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“Denn nach dem wir erlitten haben, so viel Bullen kremer: Cardinel, Legaten, Commissarien, Untercommissarien, Ertzbischoff, Bishoff, Abte, Prebste, Dechant, Dorthumpte Herrn, Priors, Gardianten, Stacionirer, Terminierer, stifft boten, klosterboten, capellen boten, alter boten, glocken boten, turn boten. Und wer kundt die rotte solcher schynder und schlinder all ertzelen? … Aber ich halt das sie nicht dein urfach gewesen, sondern das sichs hat zu mit auf ein trunken abend solch latin zu reden. Zu der Zeit wenn die Zunge auf steltzen geht und die vornunft mit halben segel ferret.”

“For after which we have suffered the clamor of so many Bulls: Cardinals, Legates, Commissioners, Under Commissioners, First Bishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priests, Lords, Priors, Stationers, monastery messengers, convent messengers, chapel messengers, alter messengers, and bell messengers. And who can explain the speech of such harassing stuff? … But I believe their origin has not been this, but rather they were begun on a drunken evening when such Latin was being spoken. At a time when the tongue was lifted up and the future was explored with half a sail.” — loose translation by Jon Bingham

Wittenberg: Melchior Lotter, 1523
Fifth edition
BV824 C37 1523

The first edition of this bull was printed by Melchior Lotter in 1522. Martin Luther (1483-1546) was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church on January 3, 1521. On April 15, Maundy Thursday, Pope Leo X published the bull “Consueverunt Romani Pontifices,” in which Luther’s name appeared for the first time on the Church’s list of heretics. Luther prepared this German translation of the bull with notes and an afterward. Luther, irony intended, dedicated the printing to Leo X as a “New Year’s gift.” Pope Leo died on December 21, 1521 and never received the gift.

Every Maundy Thursday the pope announced the excommunication of heretics, also naming the external enemies of the papacy. Bishops were required to publish these special bulls. In his 1521 bull, the pope included the Wycliffites, the Hussites, and the Fraticeli along with Luther. Luther entitled his response, the translation and printing in German of the bull, “Bull of the Supper-devouring Most Holy Lord, the Pope.” Luther commented that the bull could only have been written by a drunk.