Freethought Almanac

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October 27, 2014
October 27: Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus (1466) It was on this date, October 27, 1466, that the Dutch author, and the greatest humanist scholar of the northern Renaissance, Desiderius Erasmus was born Gerrit Gerritszoon in Rotterdam, in what is now the Netherlands. He was the product of a liaison between a housekeeper-niece and a Dutch priest. Ordained a priest […]

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October 31, 2011
October 31: The Reformer Priest

Martin Luther's Reformation (1517) It was on this date, October 31, 1517, that the Protestant Reformation began in Germany, when 31-year-old Martin Luther posted his 95 theses at Wittenberg Cathedral. That document attacked papal abuses and the sale of offices and indulgences by church officials. Furthermore, Luther argued several other points: • that Christian salvation […]

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October 11, 2011
October 11: Fidei Defensor

Henry VIII (1521): Defender of the Faith It was on this date, October 11, 1521,* that Pope Leo X conferred the title Fidei Defensor, which is Latin for "Defender of the Faith," on England's King Henry VIII. That Medici pope, whose profligate spending and perverse pleasures were the outrage of Rome, was a staunch opponent […]

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June 15, 2011
June 15: Condemning Martin Luther

Martin Luther Condemned (1520) It was on this date, June 15, 1520, that Pope Leo X (p. 1513-1521) issued the Bull Exsurge Domine (Arise, O Lord), condemning Martin Luther for forty-one doctrinal errors and threatening him with excommunication if he would not recant. It is instructive to note the nature of the time and the […]

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May 3, 2011
May 3: Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469) It was on this date, May 3, 1469, that Niccolò Machiavelli was born Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli in Florence, in what is now Italy. Florence had been ruled by the powerful Medici family since 1434, and was constantly at war with its neighboring city-states when not fending off outside aggressors. But […]

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January 27, 2011
January 27: Are Indulgences “Sold”?

one could pay money, get change, and receive a piece of paper with which one got remission of sin. The price is stipulated and there is no indulgence without "alms." That sounds like a sale.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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