The beginning of the Reformation 1517 When was Alzey ready?

Until Alzey was ready for the reformation many years went by. At this time news and information took many days to cover great distances.

On 31 October 1517 Martin Luther denunciated the preacher of indulgences Johann Tetzel in a letter to the bishops of Mainz and Magdeburg. In his letter he attached 95 theses, which rebelled against the indulgences. These theses were allegedly attached on the Wittenberg castle church and were quickly widespread as well as an unexpected strong feedback expanded.

The printing press developed by Johannes Gutenberg contributed very much to the reformation, which would not have been possible without it. Luther's theses and just invented pamphlets were spread quickly through Germany, and certainly in Alzey.

In his theses Luther turned to the sale of indulgences by the church at that time, promised remission from the punishments for sin, either for someone still living or for one who had died and was believed to be in the purgatory.

At that time Alzey belonged to the Kurpfalz and the two electors of the early days of the Reformation, Louis V and Friedrich II, had no opinion on the events in Wittenberg.

Already in 1518, Luther was appointed to Augsburg, where he was to revoke his theses in front of the high legate of Vatican Cajetan, he refused. He had to flee back to Wittenberg. There the reigning elector Friedrich der Weise refused his extradition to Pope Leo X in Rome.

The Pope then enacted a bull named Exurge Domine, in which Luther was threatened with a ban. Luther's writings were burned, so he burned a copy of the bull against him at Wittenberg. The Reformation was under way in Germany.

In 1521, Luther was summoned to a Diet of Worms. He left Wittenberg on 2 April and arrived in Worms on the 16 April, on his way he was cheered by ordinary people everywhere. He performed well prepared and clever in front of the Emperor Karl V, without changing his mind, he was given free escort for 21 days until he was declared as an outlaw and a heretic. On the 25 April he departed, and on the 5 May he was fake abducted on the way by henchmen of elector Friedrich der Weise and was hidden on the Wartburg Castle. As a matter of fact, he translated the New Testament into German in one piece.

The events in Worms were also quickly announced in Alzey, without much change in the city: almost everything remained the same until April of the year 1556, when the governing elector Ottheinrich decided in a church order that his country was called Kurpfalz and all his followers should be Lutheran at once.

At that time, however, there were similar resistances against the Catholic Church and the Emperor in many other German-speaking areas, such as in Strasbourg, Zürich, southern Germany, even Geneva and Sweden.

In Alzey two theologians were known who confessed early to the Reformation. One of them was Thomas Rhynerus, who worked here from 1518 to 1526 and married at that time, which made his attitude clear. The other was called Jakob Albich and worked in the Nikolaikirche on one of their altars as an altarist. In 1534 he became Protestant and therefore dismissed.

In 1526, Anabaptists came to Worms, where they found much attention. After they received the ban of speaking in the churches, they went to Alzey, where a trial was held in the castle in the name of the elector and the bishop of Mainz in 1527. Nine of them swore off their faith and were released, eleven were banned with a church ban. But the movement spread in Alzey. In 1528, Baptists were arrested again. Nine men were beheaded, five women drowned in the "Rossschwemme", others were tortured and mutilated. A definite change in persuasion had not been taken place yet.