By Chris Castaldo
On January 3, 1521, Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum pontificem (“It pleases the Roman Pontiff”) to excommunicate Martin Luther. This statement prohibited Luther from receiving the Eucharist, which (from Rome’s point of view) deprived Luther of Christ. Three months later, Martin was called to give an answer for his gospel hope to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, where Luther famously stood firm in his evangelical faith. The emperor pronounced Luther an outlaw and a heretic for his refusal to recant.