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George Duke of Saxony was one of Martin Luthers greatest opponents He was the son of Duke Albrect and the Bohemian princess Zedena he was originally destined for the clergy which meant he has obtained higher education including Latin At the age of seventeen he was called upon to govern in place of his father during the latters absence in the Netherlands a task that he approached with a sense of high duty and diligence and a feeling for order right and thrift His government was exemplary and his family life a happy one After his fathers death in 1501 he became Duke of Saxony When Luther initially posted his attack on indulgences in 1517 George did not immediately oppose him He was very much aware of the need for reform and spoke out against abuses in the monasteries and those surrounding the granting of indulgences What Luther writes is not altogether untrue nor uncalled for In fact these matters need speaking out about and holding up to the light If no one mentioned the evils in the Church the very stones would cry out in the end Simon 223 In his pursuit of the truth he sponsored the Leipzieg debates in 1519 between John Eck a leading German theologian and Luther He was shocked however when Luther seemed to advance the views of John Hus and from then on he was a strong opponent of the Lutheran heresy As Luther became a defined heretic and split with Rome George turned against the reformers One of the Churchs strongest supporters in Germany he did all he could to prevent the spread of Lutheranism into his territories Even so he did not lose sight of the fact that there was a great need for reform within the Church When the German princes of the Empire presented the Emperor with a list of grievances at the Imperial Diet of Worms in 1521 George included
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