Synod of Homberg

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Synod of Homberg consisted of the clergy, the nobility, and the representatives of cities, and was held October 20–22, 1526. The synod is remarkable for a premature scheme of democratic church government and discipline, which failed for the time, but contained fruitful germs for the future and for other countries. It was suggested by the disputations which had been held at Zürich for the introduction of the Zwinglian Reformation.

Even before Luther's dramatic appearance, the lords of the State in Germany, no less than in France and England, had extended their prerogatives into the sphere of ecclesiastical affairs. The decision of the Diet of Speyer, August 27, 1526, which allowed every sovereign authority, pending the meeting of a council, to decide matters of faith for itself and its province, recognizing its accountability to God and the emperor, conceded, even though in limited terms, a canonical basis for the application of territorialism in favor of the Reformation.

Landgrave Philip of Hesse had the sagacity to utilize the situation in a judicious manner and convened an assembly of spiritual and temporal estates at Homberg October 20, 1526, "to deal in the grace of the Almighty with Christian matters and disputes." The proceedings were opened in the church at Homberg on Sunday, Oct. 21. To promote discussion, the former Franciscan François Lambert, of Avignon, had put forth 158 articles of debate (paradoxa), which had already been posted on the church...
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