Luther (2003) Script

Help me! Don't let me die like a dog on this road!

Don't let me die!

I'll become a monk! I'll become a monk!

I'll give myself to God! I'll give myself to God!

I'll give myself to You! I'll give myself to You!

Just spare me! Spare me!

Just help me!

Your father's here.

He's brought the whole family.

He's leaving.

Father, please stay for supper! Father!

Your first Mass, and you crap yourself!

I hoped we could talk.

We scraped to send you to the law, to elevate you to a noble profession.

I sweat in the mines for 20 years to give you the chance I never had!

Is that how you interpret the commandment to honor your father and mother?

God brought me here. God?

A shaft of lightning burns your arse, and you call that God?

The devil, more like!


Shut up! Shut up! Leave me alone!

Satan, stifle your lying tongue!

I never claimed to be good! Never!

They know my faults here... my pride, my cursed lust!

I confess them all! I confess them all!

Just leave me! Just leave me!

Just leave me! Please leave me!

You're too hard on yourself, Brother Martin.

Arguing with the devil never does any of us any good.

He has had 5,000 years of practice.

He knows all the weak spots.

I'm sorry about today.

I'm not here to scold you, Martin.

I'm too full of sin to be a priest.

You know, in two years I've never heard you confess anything remotely interesting.

I live in terror of judgment.

And you think self-hatred will save you?

Have you ever dared to think that God is not just?

He has us born tainted by sin, then He's angry with us all our lives for our faults, this righteous Judge... who damns us... threatening us with the fires of hell!

I know! I know I'm evil to think it!

You're not evil.

You're just not honest.

God isn't angry with you.

You are angry with God.

I wish there were no God.

Martin, what is it you seek?

A merciful God!

A God whom I can love.

A God who loves me.

Then look to Christ.

Bind yourself to Christ and you will know God's love.

Say to Him, "I'm yours. Save me."

"I am yours. Save me."

I am yours. Save me.

I am yours. Save me.

The brothers are not happy with your decision.

They think there are others in our cloister better suited to deliver your letters to Rome.

Martin has two degrees and an aptitude for law.

It will be a legal brief he carries.

Besides, it will do him good to be out in the world.

We need your teaching, brother!

Try some wine.

Let go of me! Let me go!

You listen, you little thief!

Keep going. It's none of your business.

Keep going, for your good.

Hey, you look lonely, brother.

Alms for a blind man!

Come on, come inside. No.

Statues of all your favorite saints.

Saint Cecilia for sore throats, Saint Paul for bad backs and swollen feet, brother.

Saint Joe for chapped hands, the Virgin...

Pope Julius is coming!

Get down!

Down! The Pope is here!

It's the Holy Father! Clear the streets!

Make way for the Pope! Make way for the Pope!

This way for Saint John the Baptist's head!

Move along.

Move along, there. Move along from the Baptist's head.

Give generously!

Good enough, brother.

Fast or slow, you'll get your 500 years.


Name of the deceased and relation?

Hendrick Luther.


An Our Father on every step.

When you reach the top of the stairs, Hendrick will be released from Purgatory and into the gates of Heaven.

Name of the deceased and relation?

Wolfram Eschen, uncle.

An Our Father on every step.

When you reach the top of the stairs, Wolfram will be released from Purgatory and into the gates of Heaven.

You are back from Rome almost two weeks.

Two weeks, and scarcely alert, even in the confessional.

As your father in Christ, I order you to speak.

Rome is a circus... a running sewer.

You can buy anything... sex, salvation.

They have brothels just for clerics.

As they probably do in Leipzig.

One church had the coins for which Judas sold our Lord.

100 years off Purgatory for kissing each one.

And you think Rome unique in such relics?

There are even rumors about the Holy Father himself, that he has a lust for power!

Let's go outside.

What's wrong with here?

Well, this floor... the color.

I like color, but you give your brothers a hard choice... they either learn to scrub like you, or find a way to make your patch a little less sparkling.

Gently, like milking a cow.

The ancients reverenced their bees.

They valued them more than slaves.

Have you ever read the New Testament, Martin?

No, Father.

Not many have, but in Wittenberg you will.


A doctorate in theology.

You're sending me away to study?

I'm sending you to the source... the Scriptures.

Christ Himself.

Here I'm losing my faith, feeling like a fool even to pray, and you're sending me away?

You'll preach. I'd be a fraud as a preacher!

We preach best what we need to learn most.

Do not send me away from you.

God gave you gifts for a purpose.

In Wittenberg, you will be able to change minds, open eyes.

That's what you want, isn't it?

To change things?

Welcome to Wittenberg, Father Martin.

I am Ulrick Wender. I'll be helping you in the parish.

Gunter and I have caught some fish for your first meal among us.

Wender. That's a Dutch name.

I was born in Utrecht.

We have to stop for Hanna.

She's a little... well, she keeps a child hidden in the forest.

A child living in the forest?

A crippled child.

If we don't buy the wood, the little thing doesn't get fed.

Wood, brother?

Half or full bundle?

As much as this will buy.

This is our new priest, Father Martin.

Hello, Hanna.

Thank you, Hanna.


Good morning, Otto!

This is our new preacher, Father Martin.


I look forward to seeing you at Mass.

Good luck, there.

Get back to your work, Thomas!

You'd think I was a leper.

They thought you were coming for a collection.

They thought I wanted their money?

No, they thought the Pope wanted their money.

Every time a new priest comes, they have to pay Rome for the privilege of sacraments.

Nulla salus extra ecclesiam.

This debate has raged for over 1,400 years, from the earliest days of the church, but now the Fifth Lateran Council has reaffirmed Saint Cyprian's famous dictum, "Nulla salus extra ecclesiam... outside the Holy Roman church, there is no salvation."

Professor Carlstadt.

What of the Greek Christians?

The Greek Christians?

Well, an early church document clearly states that a Roman bishop, not a Greek, was Saint Peter's successor.

And, of course, it was Peter whom our Lord Christ made His representative on earth.

So we must consider the saints of the Greek church to be damned?

You miss the point.

But that is the inevitable consequence of Cyprian's claim...

Greek Christians are outside salvation.

Or is this claim based on an over-literal reading of Matthew 16:18...

"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church."

Yet two lines earlier, in verse 16, we find the very foundation of our faith...

"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Surely the more universal we make these great words, the nearer we come to the mind of Christ.

You question the authority of the church council, sir?

Not at all.

Though in 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council allowed that Cyprian could be wrong and salvation could exist outside the church...

though not outside Christ.

Thomas! Thomas!

Why would he do such a thing?

If only we knew what was in his head.

What does God say, Father, for suicide?

I never, never said I had the answers.

I defy you, devil! You...

I know your handiwork! You and your stinking lies!

Shaming... shaming... shaming a mother, telling her to hide her broken child, telling her boy to kill himself!

Brother Martin, the boy's damned! I'm not allowed to do this!

The others won't rest with him in here!

This is holy ground! He's a suicide!

Tell Otto to bring his son! Tell him!

Some people say that according to God's justice, this boy is damned because he took his life.

I say it was overcome by the devil.

Is this child any more to blame for the despair that overtook him than an innocent man who is murdered by a robber in the woods?

God must be mercy.

God is mercy.

He is yours. Save him.

Terrible. Unforgiving. That's how I saw God.

Punishing us in this life, committing us to Purgatory after death, sentencing sinners to burn in hell for all eternity.

But I was wrong.

Those who see God as angry...

do not see Him rightly... but look upon a curtain as if a dark storm cloud has been drawn across His face.

If we truly believe that Christ is our Savior... then we have a God of love, and to see God in faith is to look upon His friendly heart.

So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this...

"I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it?

"For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf.

"His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God.

Where He is, there I shall be also."

Prince Frederick wants him silenced.

You should have stopped him, Carlstadt. Forbidden him.

Forbidden him, Spalatin?

To teach theology?

He undermines the prince.

Come on, there is no clear teaching on relics.

When I became a monk, I believed the monk's cowl would make me holy.

Was I an arrogant fool?

Now they have made me a doctor of divinity, and I'm tempted to believe that this scholar's robe will make me wise.

Well, God once spoke through the mouth of an ass.

Perhaps he's about to do so again.

But I'll tell you straight what I think.

Who here has been to Rome?

Did you buy an indulgence?


I did.

For a silver florin, I freed my grandfather from Purgatory.

For twice that, I could have sprung grandma and Uncle Marcus too, but I didn't have the funds, so they had to stay in the hot place.

As for myself, the priests assured me that by gazing at sacred relics, I could cut down my time in Purgatory.

Luckily for me, Rome had enough nails from the Holy Cross to shoe every horse in Saxony.

But there are relics elsewhere in Christendom.

Eighteen out of twelve apostles are buried in Spain.

And yet here in Wittenberg, we have the pick of the crop... bread from the Last Supper, milk from the Virgin's breast, a thorn that pierced Christ's brow on Calvary, and 19,000 other bits of sacred bone, all authenticated sacred relics.

Even John Tetzel himself...

Inquisitor of Poland and Saxony, seller of indulgences extraordinary, connoisseur of relics, envies our collection!

To possess them for a single night, he would willingly surrender five years of his earthly life!

Or 500 years in Purgatory.

And now, good citizens of Wittenberg, Prince Frederick of Saxony invites you here to his courtyard to witness a mystery play on that ever most popular of subjects... the Day of Judgment.

Just like old times, Martin.



Prince's secretary.

Such secretaries have a habit of becoming Excellencies.

Even when we were law students, I had you marked for great things.

I was hoping you may be of some help in that regard.

Prince Frederick is exceedingly proud of his relics.

Then I'm sorry he didn't hear my lecture.

Perhaps I could have swayed him.

He spent 20 years and a large fortune building his collection, that in a week's time, on All Saints' Day, thousands of faithful Christians are coming to see.

Paying to see.

Contributions are customary for indulgences, along with confession and true penitence.

Ah, yes.

The right prayers, the right coins, and 1,900,202 years and 27 days less in Purgatory.

Do not bite the hand that feeds you, Martin.

Our prince pays for your chair in this university.

His relics pay for your chair.

And he who pays the piper... calls the tune.

Do not embarrass him.

No one is more delighted with your popularity here.

He'd prefer you stay.

Master Kranauer, is Luther open to persuasion?

Not likely, my prince. He's as bitable as...

As a donkey, you were going to say?

Indeed, indeed.

I am conscious of the great honor you do me, Cardinal Cajetan, in recommending me to His Holiness.

I doubt you'll think it an honor 20 years from now, Aleander.

My first master was Pope Alexander VI.

Three mistresses, five children, and a most fervent devotion to bullfighting.

Pope Julius II... a month ago, he was spiritual leader of the whole world.

Quite dignified-looking, isn't he?

But it's not what Julius wanted.

He wanted to be remembered as a warrior, sitting on his horse, sword in hand, besieging the Venetians.

What is it you seek, Aleander?

To serve God.

To serve him with all my heart.

And that is how you will be tempted.

Pope Leo X, sovereign bishop of Rome, successor to Saint Peter and holy head of the Roman Catholic church.

I've been longing for someone to save Christendom.

Let us pray he's come.

Your reputation precedes you, Aleander.

Then I am fearful.

Cardinal Cajetan says you're a brilliant scholar, yet possess a fervent desire to serve.

I have need of such gifts.


Albert of Brandenburg wants to be Archbishop of Mainz.

He's already archbishop of two German territories.


Then canon law disqualifies him from holding a third.

Moreover, wasn't he underage when granted his first post?

Just so.

Even as I myself was.

Doubtless Cajetan has informed you that I was made cardinal at the age of 13.

Albert's ambition could still serve God's glory.

The Turks at the gates of Vienna.

The French are yapping at my heels, and Rome itself has become an open sewer filled with wild dogs and cats by day and brigands and fornicators by night.

And this new Basilica of Saint Peter's, it's not just a building, Aleander, it's a symbol of my intent to restore Christ's church.

And Albert could be a minor blessing in that.

He offers 10,000 ducats for Mainz.

But Albert is bankrupt.

You're well-informed.

The Fuggers will lend him the money.

The imperial bankers?

An eight-year loan.

And how would he repay them?

John Tetzel.

There, that's him! Father John Tetzel!

Don't unfurl the banners until the fire ignites.

Everything has been prepared exactly as you instructed.

Welcome, Father Tetzel!

Come on, people!

Gather round!

Good people of Juterbog... have you ever burned your hand in the fire?

Even one finger made raw by the flame will torment you throughout the night.

Is it not so?


Imagine, then, your entire body burning.

Not for one sleepless night... not for a week, but for all eternity!

Are we to be spared the fires of damnation on the Judgment Day?

Tonight, your Pope, the vicar of Christ, sends you a gift, a gift to save you from such fires, a special indulgence granted for the building of Saint Peter's Church in Rome... where the bones of the apostles lie moldering, exposed to wind and rain, desecrated by wild animals.

Take heed the words of your Holy Father who says, "Lay a stone for Saint Peter's, "and you lay the foundation for your own salvation and happiness in heaven."

How? With this indulgence.

When? Tonight, and only tonight.

Seek the Lord while he is near.

Here is your raft.

Take hold!

In Heaven, there is a treasure chest filled with merit.

Merit from Christ Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints, who, through their holy lives, have merit to spare for us poor sinners in need.

Tonight, that treasury is open to you.

Do you not hear their voices, the screaming voices?

Your deceased parents.


Uncles, aunts screaming.

Beloved child.

Beloved child.

Because, for a few coins, you can rescue them from their punishments and pain.


Open your ears.

Father calling to son, mother to daughter.

When a coin in the coffer rings, the soul from Purgatory springs.

God-fearing man, do you have a coin for Christ?


Gentle mother...

when the time comes, make certain your crippled child can run to Jesus.

These learned monks are standing by to write down your name or the name of a loved one, dead or alive, on this... your passport to the celestial joys of Paradise.


We can preach until we're hoarse, but if we cannot bring the Christ of the Gospels to our people...

-...what do we offer them? Dr. Martin!

I did this for Grete.

Issued by the Archbishop of Mainz.

Where did you get this?

Juterbog. I bought it in the church.

It's just paper, Hanna.

These words mean... nothing.

It's no good?

You must put your trust in God's love.

Save your money to feed Grete.

"To Albert of Mairnz.

"father in Christ and most illustrious prince.

"forgive me that I should dare to write to you.

"I make bold because it is my duty to serve you

"and to warn you of the crooked practices of those who claim to represernt Your Grace."

"Christ did not command the preaching of indulgences. but of the Gospel."

Forward this to Rome.

"Christians are to be taught

"that he who gives to the poor

"or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences."

"If the Pope can empty Purgatory, why would he not do so out of love rather than for money?"

My God, who is this Martin Luther?

Fritz! What?

Dr. Luther wanted everyone to see that!

And everyone will.

Good people of Magdeburg, take hold of the raft while you still can.

So much grace for so little coin!

German money for the German church.

Does Saint Peter lie in a German church?

Or Saint Paul?

We don't need your saints.

Or any of the holy apostles? With this indulgence, I can absolve any sin.

I can even save the soul of the man who violates the mother of God herself.

One-fifth of the usual take.

How will you explain this to Rome?

Damn that heretic!

He will burn in hell.

This drunken little German monk is intoxicated with himself.

Sober him.

Why was Prince Frederick not apprised of your letter to Albert of Mainz?


I did not want him compromised.

Now our prince can swear before God he had no knowledge of my writings or my criticism of the Archbishop.

Criticism of the Archbishop? What of your criticism of Rome?

Do you have any idea how embarrassing this is to Prince Frederick, his prize professor of theology drawing condemnation from the Pope?

My criticism was not of the Holy Father himself, but of those rogues who claim to represent him.

You have been summoned to appear by Rome.

You are threatened with excommunication.

But I'm a loyal son of the church!

I don't believe the Pope would issue such a summons.

Welcome to the world of politics, Doctor.


Lay low.

Do not write a single word to anyone until I have a chance to sort this out.

They've already published my explanations of the 95 Theses.

I dedicated it to Pope Leo.

Clearly, clearly you've heard the rumors... that the Pope has summoned me to Augsburg.

Well, it's true.

It's true, and I pray fervently he will find no fault with me.

But think on this while I am gone.

We obsess... over relics.


Pilgrimages to holy places.

Yet all the time, all the time, there is Christ.

Christ. Christ, here... in every corner, in every hour of the day.

He isn't found in the bones of saints... but here, in your love for each other, in your love for one another... in His sacraments, and in God's holy word.

If we, if we live the word, by faith...

in love and service to one another, we need fear no man's judgment.

Good to see you. Thank you.

Martin, the faculty stands behind you.

I have written a letter of protest, and I'll be the first to sign should they arrest you in Augsburg.

Thank you, Carlstadt. Thank you.

Bless you. Bless you.


Are you in trouble?

What happens now?

I honestly don't know.


Thank you, Father.

Just try to keep your big mouth shut.


She wants you to know that she prays for you every night.


Have I...?

Have I caused you trouble too?

I'm here to get you through this.

They've stopped Tetzel from preaching.

He's in Leipzig under house arrest.

That's a good sign, isn't it? That means that Rome must understand.

It just means he went too far.


Martin, listen to me.

Cardinal Cajetan didn't bring you here to teach him the Scriptures.

I beg you in God's name to have a care.

Be temperate.

Don't talk, just listen.

Your life could depend on it.

He's waiting for you.

I am Girolamo Aleander, representing Cardinal Cajetan.

Your meeting won't take long. I'm here to prepare you for tonight.



It was never my intention to say anything against the honor and the dignity of our Holy Father.

Of course not, Brother Martin.

And that being the case, that we all desire peace, you only have to follow a few simple rules of protocol.

When you meet the Cardinal, you will throw yourself on the floor, face to the ground.

The Cardinal will tell you to stand, at which time you will kneel and remain kneeling throughout your hearing.

Do you understand?


If the church takes exception to a single point, I will submit to her immediately.

But I'm sure when the Cardinal and Pope Leo understand my position... they'll find no fault with me.

We have a misunderstanding.

There will be no discussion.

No debate.

You have one word to say and one word only.


I recant... and the matter is over.

I think we do have a misunderstanding.

I came to Augsburg to warn the Pope about the abuses against the faithful by the indulgence preachers.

Have a care, Brother Martin.

It is the Pope who shall decide what is or is not beneficial to Christendom.

This evening, one word.


Thank you, Excellency.

Brother Martin...

with your permission, I'm going to arrange a bath for you.

Thank you, Excellency.

My son, I know you desire to be a faithful servant of Christ and His church.

I am here to help you.

Stand on your feet, my son.

What do you have to say?

Have I erred?

Yes, you have erred.


That I may avoid such error again.

You have erred by teaching new doctrines.

Which of my teachings is offensive to Rome?

For one, indulgences.

Pope Clement's decree, Unigenitus. clearly states that the merits of Christ are a treasure of indulgences.


I'm sorry, Your Grace.

I think you'll find it says...

"The merits of Christ acquire the treasure of indulgences."

I am not here to wrangle with you.

No, Your Grace.

But Unigenitus was issued 175 years ago, and were this decree not so embarrassing to our church, perhaps it would not be commonly called Extravagante and left out of most collections of canon law.

It contradicts Anomitanos.

Our present Pope Leo is in harmony with Clement's decree... and there ends the matter.

The honor of the Papacy is not preserved by the naked assertion of Papal authority, but by safeguarding the Pope's credibility and the clear testimonies of divine Scripture.

The Pope interprets Scripture.

He may interpret it... but he is not above it.

He was to say one word.

We both know the selling of indulgences have no Scriptural support.

If common people could read the Bible for themselves, they would understand just how broad the church's interpretations are.

That is outrageous!

The Scriptures are too complex for even the average priest to understand, much less the common man!

Indulgences are an established tradition which give comfort to millions of simple Christians.

Comfort? Your Grace, I'm not interested in comfort.

Comfort is not the issue!

So you consider your discomfort more important than the survival of Christianity?

I'm interested in the truth! The truth?

The Turks are building armies on our eastern borders.

We are on the brink of war.

To the west, lies a world of souls who have never heard the name of Christ.

That is the truth!

Christianity is tearing apart, and just when we need unity most, you create confusion!

My goal is not to quarrel with the Pope or the church, but to defend them with more than mere opinion.

The Gospel cannot be denied for the word of man.

I refuse to argue with that monk.

You said he was a simpleton.

He questioned the Pope's authority.



Or shall we call it Extravagante like the rest of the world?

He's a heretic.

Our orders were clear.

Either he recant...

Do not presume to lecture me, Aleander.

I know perfectly well what our orders were.

I kept my temper and merely asked to be shown the error of my ways.

If you do not recant, you will be delivered to the Inquisition.

Will you recant?


Then there is only one way to save your life.



Martin Luther, in the name of Christ, I release you from your vows to the Augustinian order and commend you to God's mercy.

I'm no longer your father, do you understand?

Were I your father, then under canon law, I would be obligated to deliver you to the authorities!

But I'll be your spiritual father...

until the day I die.

Now go.

Go quickly!

There is a horse at the back gate.

Don't leave me alone, Father. Please.


My prince. how shall I answer?

The Cardinal demands that Luther be delivered to Rome or banished from Saxony.

Have you read Luther's work?

Yes, all of it.

Yes. He's a brilliant little monk, isn't he, with an independent mind.

Yes, he is.

Oh, Spalatin, you were at law school with him, weren't you?

Did he show any inclination then of surrender to influence?


After all, all he has done is to debate, eloquently, on a most interesting subject.

And, after all, that is all one can ask a good university professor to do.

So what shall we say to the Cardinal?


My lord, we have to respond.

Spalatin, there are two ways of saying no to someone you believe to be stronger than yourself.

The first is to say nothing and go on merely doing what you were doing before, and pretend that you never heard, allow time and inertia to be your allies.

And the second?

And the second is to say no in such a kind and thoughtful way it befuddles them.

Naturally, if both these strategies fail, there is nothing but to relent.

Or to fight!

And of course, if you decide to fight, you also have to decide to win.

No, I'm not going to send my monk to Rome.

They'll only kill him.

It's so irritating.

Who are they to deprive my university of such a fine mind?

Your little German monk is still spewing filth at us.

He has a new cartoon circulating.

He calls you an ass playing a harp, Cajetan.

The point, Your Holiness, is that he does not write in Latin.

Luther writes in German.

That is his sword.

So he does not play like a gentleman?

Ordinary Germans can quote his work.

If we wait, we might be too late.

You exaggerate his importance.

Besides, you told me yourself you agree with his list of abuses.

Some of his concerns have long been held by those who love the church, yes.

I don't suppose your little monk would be interested in a cardinal's hat?

I think he would be ashamed to wear it, Your Holiness.

We must put pressure on Prince Frederick, Excellency.

Aleander is right.

Frederick is our key to Luther.

Germany is on the brink of chaos, and we don't want to divide the church.

I grow tired of you missing the big picture, Cajetan.

That's why I've sent Karl von Miltitz to Germany in your stead.

My lord, greetings from our most Holy Father.

As for me, I am especially honored to meet you, as all of Christendom knows of your steadfast devotion to the faith.

I have brought you a gift from our Holy Father... to express his highest esteem for your lordship, for, as you know, my lord, this most sacred rose is consecrated annually by Pope Leo himself, and sent to just one favored prince in recognition of heroic loyalty and devotion to Christ's holy church.

Spalatin, I'm sorry for keeping you so late, but this is a matter of some urgency.

First of all, give Miltitz 600 ducats as an expression of our gratitude.

My lord, the rose is hardly worth so much.

Oh, I know that.

And then tell them that we will not deliver Luther to Rome.

And get that... that rose...

Put it among the relics, and while you're about it, move all the relics out.

Move them to someplace I don't even know where they are.

I don't want to know where they are. I want...

Go on.

When I was a child, I thought like a child, I was a child, I played like a child.

And now, thanks to the adults, I've had to join the world of adults.

And I am appalled... by how easy they thought it was to bribe me!

Armed horsemen!

Over there!

What is so important that you interrupt us?

Prince Frederick of Saxony.

He refuses to surrender Luther to you, Your Holiness.

Go! Go, go!

Arise. O Lord and judge thy cause.

A wild boar has invaded thy vineyard.

We can no longer suffer the serpent to creep through the field of the Lord.

The books of Martin Luther are to be examined and burned.

Anyone who presumes to infringe our excommunication and anathema will stand under the wrath of Almighty God and the Apostles Peter and Paul.


You can burn his books, but you can't burn his ideas!

Go back to Rome, you butchers!

Go burn your own books!

Go burn the Pope's books!

Papist devils! Papist devils, leave us!

By order of His Holiness, Pope Leo X... the works of Martin Luther shall be erased from the memory of man!

Martin Luther speaks the truth!

Devils. Here, Father!

Find someone else to do it!

He belongs to us!

This... is what Rome calls a Papal Bull, an edict from the Pope himself.

There's only one thing to do with this blast of wind.

Yes! Feed the fire! Feed the fire with canon law!

Feed the fire with every lie ever written in Rome!

Come on, feed it! Feed the flames!

Feed it!

That's right, feed the flames!

Feed the flames! Feed them!

My Emperor.

My good uncle.

Allow me to extend my congratulations on your elevation.

I've come to speak to you about Martin Luther.

Our Holy Father has sent his new cardinal to advise us.

Oh! You mean you've traveled all the way from Rome just in order to advise us about this small matter?

Heresy is never a small matter, my lord.

Your Highness, if I might for a moment have your ear.

If your business is Martin Luther... My business is Saxony, sir...

...and I wish a brief audience with my Emperor.

Deliver Luther to Rome. I cannot.

He's my subject. It's my duty to see that he gets a fair hearing.

Aleander has given me his word that the Inquisition will give Luther a proper hearing.

The Rome Inquisition does not give hearings, my lord.

It gives death sentences.

And the whole of Germany prays that you will defend her.

The heretic must be tried.

Your blessed grandfather Maximilian told us that no German subject would ever be condemned without a fair trial in his own country.

Then we shall hear him in Germany.

In Worms.

Worms is still a very long way from Wittenberg, my lord, and the Pope himself has put a bounty on Luther's head.

His spies are everywhere, in defiance of my humble rule, and therefore, sir, in defiance of your greater rule.

Then I will ensure Martin Luther's safe conduct to a fair hearing.

I myself shall send you an imperial guard to escort him.

On that you have my word.

Oh, yes.

Martin Luther is coming!

Bless us, Father! Please bless us!

Help my family, please, Doctor! Give us your blessing!

Don't kneel to me. I'm no saint.

Bless me, Father! Bless me, Father!

Father! Bless me, Father!

I thought you had abandoned me.

I thought I was alone again in this world.

Be still, Martin.

One slip, and you'll save the Emperor a trial.

I'm here to serve you.

I jest because I'm so afraid.

Martin, I hoped you'd help reform the church, not destroy it.

With all its sins, the church is still the church.

What is a child without its family?

How would people fare left to themselves, helpless and frightened?

All my life, I have seen a world that hates evil more than it loves good.

I beg you to look to the good, Martin.

You are tearing the world apart.

That day when you sent me out so boldly to change the world...

Did you really think there wouldn't be a cost?

It is simply a matter of individual conscience.

They'll burn him for sure.

Do you, Martin Luther, recognize these books?

The 95 Theses. A Sermon on Indulgence and Grace.

The Babylonian Captivity.

Freedom of a Christian.

Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation?

Are you the author?

All are mine.

These books contain heresies against our holy church.

Do you recant what you've written?


Please, God, let him say the right thing.

I was... Speak up.

May I have time to consider?

You have had the time, and you should have been prepared to answer.

I would like to answer satisfactorily, without injury to the divine word or danger to my soul.

Any one of us might be expected to bear witness, unequivocally and fearlessly at any time.

All the more in your case, a famous, experienced professor of theology.

We grant you one day.

Tomorrow you shall answer.

Damn you, go back to hell!

Damn you, damn you, damn you!

Damn you, go back to hell!

Shut up, shut up, shut up!

Shut up! I feel your foul breath on my neck!

Happy devil you are, to see me mute!

Shaking... shaking like an animal at the slaughter!

Oh, my, yes. Well, where is his faith now?

Where's his faith now? Where's his boasting now?

Where's his boasting...?

I am yours. Save me.

I am yours.

Save me.

I am yours.

Save me.

Speak well, Doctor. Good luck, Martin.

Good luck. Good luck, Martin.

God be with you. I pray Thee do Thy will.

Order in the hall.



Martin Luther, are you the author of these writings?

I am.

Do you recant what you have written here?

I cannot renounce all of my works because they are not all the same.

First are those books in which I have described Christian faith and life so simply that even my opponents have admitted that these works are useful.

To renounce these writings would be unthinkable, for that would be to renounce accepted Christian truths.

He is not here to make speeches, only to answer.

The second group of my work is directed against the foul doctrine and evil living of the Popes, past and present.

No! Yes!

Through the laws of the Pope and the doctrines of men, the consciences of the faithful have been miserably vexed and flayed.

If I recant these books...

I will do nothing but add strength to tyranny and open not just the windows but also the doors to this great ungodliness.

He has condemned himself.

In the third group, I have written against private persons and individuals who uphold Roman tyranny and have attacked my own efforts to encourage piety to Christ.

I confess... that I have written too harshly.

I am but a man and I can err.

Only let my errors be proven by Scripture...

and I will revoke my work and throw my books into the fire.

You have not answered the question.

You, Martin Luther, will not draw into doubt those things which the Catholic church has judged already, things that have passed into usage, rite, and observance... the faith that Christ, the most perfect Lawgiver, ordained, the faith the martyrs strengthened with their blood.

You wait in vain for a disputation over things that you are obligated to believe.

Now give your answer.

Yes or no?

Will you recant or will you not?

Since Your Majesty and Your Lordships desire a simple reply...

I will answer.

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by plain reason... and not by Popes and councils who have so often contradicted themselves...

my conscience is captive to the word of God.

To go against conscience is neither right nor safe.

I cannot...

and I will not recant.

Here I stand.

I can do no other.

God help me.

Yes, Martin!

The man's a heretic! He's a prophet of God!


Young Martin walks out!

You have your answer!




Luther! No, it's not that simple.

Luther! -...the word of God!

Luther! Luther!

God bless you, Martin!

Make way!

I am descended from a line of Christian emperors.

You will not make a heretic of me.

He has condemned himself, Excellency.

He must be stopped before he infects all of Germany.

My lord, you gave Luther the promise of a safe conduct.

Luther's not a man but a demon, clothed in his religious habit, the better to deceive us.

Martin Luther's your subject.

What do you say?

He is too daring for me, my lord.

Although not, it seems, for the people.

If anything should happen to him on the way back...

so be it.

Thank you!

God bless your journey home, Brother Martin!

You'll always be in our hearts, Martin!

Truth will out, Brother Martin!

God be with you!

Why are they leaving us?



Martin Luther, step down and your comrade will be spared.

I'm Luther.

Ulrick, no!

I am Luther.


Sorry about the rough ride.

Prince Frederick was keen to nab you before someone else did.

They may have murdered Luther. but they will not stop what we have started.

The holy war has just begun!

Any man who holds himself up as the master of others, whether he be prince, Pope, priest, even professor, must repent... must repent or be cut down!

You call me Professor Carlstadt.

No more!

From this day forward, I am Brother Andreas.


And all of you, likewise, prepare yourselves for the great leveling!


"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image."

Learn to despise props and pretensions.

Stand with the righteous, or be cut down with the others.

There is no middle ground!

Teach us!

Martin would never have shamed a student for wearing a crucifix!

I know Martin Luther. I discovered him.

He said reform. You want revolt!

If you haven't got the stomach to finish what he started, Melanchthon, step aside.

Why are you babbling in riddles?

Beware, or you too shall be cut down.


I asked for a Greek New Testament.

I need proper books, not this rubbish.

And a Greek-German dictionary.

Leave us.

And a Greek-Latin dictionary.

This is not the time, Martin.

Well, the Emperor's going to burn me, anyway.

He'll burn us all.

This is treason.

To have a New Testament in German, in words ordinary people can understand?


It's the thing Rome fears most.

Well, you must blame the Author for that.

The wall... break it down!

Make breaches!

No popes! No witches! No priests!

This cursed house... pull her down!

Come out, you...

How do you expect to do this? Just give us our rights!


We must send in soldiers.

And cause more bloodshed?

If Wittenberg cannot settle its religious problems without that, then the rest of the world will not be impressed.

Send for Luther.

How's the work?


Words are like children... the more care you lavish on them, the more they demand.

Rather like women.

I wouldn't know.

Take this verse in Saint Luke...

"It is the father's will that nothing be lost."

In our language, the word "will" denotes strength, willpower, bending someone to your will.

But in the original Greek, this three-letter word denotes passion, fire, inner organs.

It can mean beloved, desire, even sexual desire.

Eat your porridge.

You're not even listening.

Besides, porridge does nothing for my bowels.

No, it's not the word that's important, but what it's saying about God.

You are too much alone here.

"You are too much alone here." Oh, very good, Spalatin.

Two weeks since you last came. Of course I'm too much alone!

How can I write for our people when I don't live among them?

The language of the Bible should be like a mother talking to her children.

Well, it's decided, Martin Luther must not leave this room.

But Knight George... may.

It's time you saw for yourself, Martin.

Why? Why were they killed?

No reason.

Just happened to be in the wrong place, got in the way of a mob of peasants looting a monastery.

The whole world's been turned upside-down by that madman Luther.

And him saying that every Christian has the right to take what they need by force.

Well, Luther's gone, but his damned ideas have set the whole earth on fire.

Soon this country will be blazing.

Please! Let me go in the name of God!

Take off your Roman dresses or have them burnt off!

Cowards! Cowards!


How dare you?

You call yourselves Christians?


You, why are you standing there? Put out this fire!

Run! Buckets! Shovels! Run!

When a limb is rotten, you must cut it off.

You know that as well as I. Get out!

Martin, this is for you! Let it burn!

Get out of Wittenberg before I beat you out!

Beat me out?

I defended you. I supported you.

I'm carrying on just as you would have.

You think this is my work?

This is never my work!

No, it's the people's work!

The people's work!

It's the people's work.


Are you there?

Now, how is he?

Luther's depressed, my lord.


He feels the peasants have twisted his language.

But he will join them?

Luther abhors violence.

But he's in sympathy with their grievances?

It's hard to argue against freeing people from crippling taxes or the purgatory of being born slaves all their lives.

You know, if Luther were to lift one finger, every peasant in Germany would rise up behind him.


Luther's a theologian, my lord.

He fights, but with his tongue or his pen.

He will not draw the sword.

I have finally torn the world apart.

I urged the princes to action. and how they have answered my call!

I said these rebels were outside God's law. that nothing on earth is more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel. that they must be stopped by every means possible.

And yet the blood they shed is as nothing compared to this slaughter I have unleashed.

You don't want to go in there, sir.

It's over.

Yes. It's over.

How many?

No one knows yet.

How many?

Some say 50,000.

Some 100.

100,000... dead peasants.

There were knights among them.

That's a plague, Spalatin.

That's butchery.

Have a care, Martin.

You may need these butchers.


We are seeking Dr. Luther.

Please. My sisters and I escaped three days ago from the convent at Nimbschen.

And... you still came here?

Because this is where Dr. Luther lives.

Sir, we were smuggled out in these herring barrels.

We've been two nights on an open wagon, have had no rest, no food, no sleep.

So if you could just tell me...


I'm Luther.

Katharina von Bora.

Martin Luther.

But you know that already.

I'll take you to a shelter.

Who's there?


Martin Luther?

My lord.

Well. We meet at last.

I dedicated this work to you, my lord.

The translation of the New Testament... into our own language.

Into German?

But this will separate us from Rome... forever.

I have always sought Christian unity, but not at the price of servitude.

I answer to God's law, not Roman.

Roman law is the reality.

I believe in the reality of Christ.

With no compromises?


You realize, of course, they'll take this to be an act of sheer provocation.


And they will not hesitate to strike back.

Yes, I know.

Well, so long as you know.

Do you think I could have my present now?

Yes, of course.

Take my heart

And never worry Evil tongues will mock We'll mock in turn For my heart is my gift to thee

Have not a care Never worry Stay, Ulrick, stay.


Marry one of these lovely young women.

I know there's at least one left.

I'll bring God's word to my homeland.

No, this is not a good time. No prince can protect you there.

I want the Dutch people to know what I experienced when I read His word for the first time.

Then God be with you.

And with you, Martin.

You left so quickly, I feared it was my singing.

If only it were.

Look at him.

He goes to his fate, hurrying like a bridegroom.

Not all bridegrooms are so fleet.

I would not say the bachelors of Wittenberg have been tardy.


The other nuns are all spoken for.

And you've made it so clear that marriage is an honorable estate... for everyone else, at least.

I see why you scare them. My grief is that I scare you.

I know you like me, Doctor.

I feel your heart when we make music together.

But when the music ends, you flee.

I'm a man of blood, Katie. I divide people.

Thousands have died because of me.

Most days I'm so depressed I can't even get out of bed.

People try to make me a fixed star.

But I'm not.

I'm a wandering planet.

No one should look to me for guidance.

Two things I promise you... we will make joyous music together, and to get to you, your enemies will have to step across my dead body.

In return, I ask only one thing... that you bring none of them to our marriage bed, not peasants or princes or Popes, unless He be a God of love.

For God's sake, at least get new candles!

There's nothing left except these. Now!

So much for Leo who would rebuild Rome...

Bankrupt. 800.000 ducats in debt.

Had he lived, he would have sold the Vatican itself.

But as a Pope, he could have changed the world.

He could have reformed the church instead of just rebuilding it.

Leo was a spiritual dwarf when we needed a giant like Luther.

Well, Luther's getting married.

To a runaway nun.

He wouldn't dare.

If I were to tell you that Albert of Mainz sent us a wedding present. what would you say?

Send it back.

Then it's as well he did no such thing, or we'd be having our first quarrel.


They are going to burn Ulrick! They caught him at the border.

What is it? What has happened?

The Emperor summons our princes to Augsburg.


To finish what he began at Worms.

You mustn't go. They'll fry you like a suckling pig.

If you die, everything you stand for dies with you.

All right, what will you say? How will you make them change their minds?

I don't know. Well, I need to know!

Katie, first they wanted me to recant.

Now they want half of Europe to bow the knee.

We must fight!

Let somebody else fight.

Let somebody else be roasted like a pig!

All I want is Luther.

Break the princes, and you break Luther.

Their tactics will be to delay, to bog the process down in detail.

Luther's hymns.

They are.

You must keep the issues simple, Excellency.

They must accept there is only one church.

This plague just goes on spreading.

I should have burned him!

My princes, brothers in Christ. this isn't a time for caution. but for boldness.

Charles is not the frightened youth you saw at Worms, Dr. Luther.

He has humbled France and sacked Rome itself.

Only the Turk remains a threat to him.

In a word, he has all the time and resource in the world to reduce us to a powder piece by piece, state by state.

And I think he means to do it.

My lords... silence will not save us.

If we challenge Charles, will there be war... the awful shedding of yet more blood?

I honestly don't know. I've mislaid all my former certainties.

But think.

The Emperor invites us to present our creeds, to present what we believe in.

Satan invites us to preach in hell.

Is that a trap?

Or our greatest opportunity so far?

And remember, since I may not come with you to Augsburg, you'll face Charles' rough alone.

Your choice is simple.

If you give in, my lords, the bright comet that is our faith will shatter and be reduced to a few isolated torches, sputtering in a dark universe.

This way!

And why does the father run to meet his prodigal son?

Landowners don't run.

Noblemen don't run.

Princes don't run.

So why does this rich, landowning father run?

Because he's afraid.

He's so afraid that his son will run back to the filthy pig farm.

He runs because he loves his son.

And there's a special word for this love.



And you know what this word means?

It's just a church bell, Martin, ringing the Angelus.

Continue the story.

Beloved princes of the Empire, I will be brief and to the point.

Your ministers shall not preach, and you will outlaw these Bibles in the common language and declare anyone who possesses one an enemy of the state.

We will not stop our ministers from preaching the word, here or anywhere else.

Do not concede, my lord.

We will not outlaw the new Bible, my lord.

As a sign of your loyalty to me, tomorrow you shall all march in the Corpus Christi procession to the cathedral and worship, all of you, in the Roman manner.

We will not, my lord.

You will!

Or you shall know my sword!

Before I let anyone take from me the word of God and ask me to deny my belief, I will kneel and let him strike off my head.

Your Highness, we have drawn up a confession of our faith which I believe you will find blameless.

I am so very happy to have been loved by you...

Katharina von Bora.

Martin! Martin!

We did it, Martin!

We did it!

The Emperor allowed us to read our confession of faith!

The princes stood up to him!

He had to listen!

They can't stop us now, Martin!

What happened in Augsburg, opened the gate to the freedom of religion and changed the world.

Martin Luther lived, preached and taught the God's word 16 years more.

He and Katharina von Bora were happily married and had six children.

His Bible translation laid the foundation-stone for a common German language.

Today over 540 million people pays the service in the way Luther helped shape.

Subripped by Andante