Pope Leo X (b. 1475, r. 1513–1521).
Bulla Decimi Leonis, contra errores Martini Lutheri, & sequacium.
Strasbourg: Johann Schott, 1520.
Although proceedings against Luther first began in 1518, other papal priorities had delayed further action. Two years later, investigations resumed and a commission examined Luther’s writings to determine which of his teachings were heretical. Forty-one errors were identified and censured in this papal bull which begins with the words “Exsurge Domine” (“Arise, Oh Lord” from Psalm 74:22). On June 15, 1520, this bull was first published in Rome and publicly proclaimed in a ceremony which included the burning of Luther’s works. Insisting that Luther recant, this bull did not excommunicate Luther. This next and final step would occur with the papal bull Decet Romanum issued on January 3, 1521. By then Luther had refused to renounce the forty-one propositions and had fully rejected Church authority when he publicly burned a copy of the bull and other books of canon law on December 10, 1520 in Wittenberg.