Lead: In 1517 Martin Luther’s personal and theological struggles finally broke into public debate over the issue of indulgences. This was the catalyst that sparked a revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The power and authority of the Roman Catholic Pontiff is an ancient and venerable tradition. As it emerged over the centuries, the theory of papal dominion as the representative of God on earth, in Catholic thought, grew out of Jesus’ gift recorded in the Gospel of Matthew to the Apostle Peter of the so-called “keys of the Kingdom.” That was the power, beyond that of normal men and women, to loose and bind on earth matters involving heaven. One of the powers the church claimed for the pope was his ability to issue indulgences, the immediate removal of all the penalties for sin on earth and a swift journey through purgatory into heaven. By Luther’s time indulgences went for cash. 

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