Martin Bucer bigraphy, stories - Protestant reformer

Martin Bucer : biography

11 November 1491 - 28 February 1551

Martin Bucer () (11 November 1491 – 28 February 1551) was a Protestant reformer based in Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. Bucer was originally a member of the Dominican Order, but after meeting and being influenced by Martin Luther in 1518 he arranged for his monastic vows to be annulled. He then began to work for the Reformation, with the support of Franz von Sickingen.

Bucer's efforts to reform the church in Wissembourg resulted in his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church, and he was forced to flee to Strasbourg. There he joined a team of reformers which included Matthew Zell, Wolfgang Capito, and Caspar Hedio. He acted as a mediator between the two leading reformers, Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli, who differed on the doctrine of the eucharist. Later, Bucer sought agreement on common articles of faith such as the Tetrapolitan Confession and the Wittenberg Concord, working closely with Philipp Melanchthon on the latter.

Bucer believed that the Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire could be convinced to join the Reformation. Through a series of conferences organised by Charles V, he tried to unite Protestants and Catholics to create a German national church separate from Rome. He did not achieve this, as political events led to the Schmalkaldic War and the retreat of Protestantism within the Empire. In 1548, Bucer was persuaded, under duress, to sign the Augsburg Interim, which imposed certain forms of Catholic worship. However, he continued to promote reforms until the city of Strasbourg accepted the Interim, and forced him to leave.

In 1549, Bucer was exiled to England, where, under the guidance of Thomas Cranmer, he was able to influence the second revision of the Book of Common Prayer. He died in Cambridge, England, at the age of 59. Although his ministry did not lead to the formation of a new denomination, many Protestant denominations have claimed him as one of their own. He is remembered as an early pioneer of ecumenism.

Rejecting the Augsburg Interim (1547–1549)

With the onset of the Schmalkaldic War in 1546, Protestants began a gradual retreat within the Empire. On 21 March 1547, Strasbourg surrendered to the imperial army, and the following month the decisive imperial victory at the Battle of Mühlberg ended most Protestant resistance. In Strasbourg, Bucer and his colleagues, including Matthew Zell, Paul Fagius and Johannes Marbach, continued to press the council to bring more discipline and independence to the church. Charles V overruled their efforts at the Diet of Augsburg, which sat from September 1547 to May 1548. The Diet produced an imperial decree, the provisional Augsburg Interim, which imposed Catholic rites and ceremonies throughout the Empire, with a few concessions to the Reformation. To make the document acceptable to the Protestants, Charles needed a leading figure among the reformers to endorse it, and he selected Bucer.

Bucer arrived in Augsburg on 30 March 1548 of his own volition. On 2 April, after he was shown the document, he announced his willingness to ratify it if certain changes were made; but the time for negotiations had passed, and Charles insisted on his signature. When he refused, he was placed under house arrest on 13 April, and shortly afterwards in close confinement. On 20 April, he signed the Interim and was immediately freed.

Despite this capitulation, Bucer continued to fight. On his return to Strasbourg, he stepped up his attacks on Catholic rites and ceremonies, and on 2 July published the , a confessional statement calling on Strasbourg to repent and to defend reformed principles outlined in twenty-nine articles. Charles ordered all copies destroyed. Tension grew in Strasbourg, as Bucer's opponents feared he was leading the city to disaster. Many Strasbourg merchants left to avoid a potential clash with imperial forces. On 30 August, the guild officials voted overwhelmingly to begin negotiations to introduce the Interim. Bucer stood firm; even after the city of Konstanz surrendered and accepted the Interim, he called for Strasbourg to reject it unconditionally. In January 1549, with plans underway for the implementation of the Interim in Strasbourg, Bucer and his colleagues continued to attack it, producing a memorandum on how to preserve the Protestant faith under its directives. With no significant support left, Bucer and Fagius were finally relieved of their positions and dismissed on 1 March 1549. Bucer left Strasbourg on 5 April a refugee, as he had arrived twenty-five years earlier.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine