The Pope Writes Zwingli: And Zwingli Responds to the Bearer of the Letter

Pope Adrian wrote Zwingli on 23 January, 1523-

“Adrian, Pope, the sixth [of the name], to his dear son salutations and the Apostolical benediction: We send the venerable brother Ennius, Bishop of Verulam, our domestic prelate and Nuncio of the Apostolic See, a man distinguished for prudence and fidelity, to that unconquerable nation most completely linked unto us and to the Holy See, in order that he may treat with it respecting things of the highest importance to us and the Holy See, and to the entire Christian commonwealth. Although he is enjoined to conduct our affairs with your nation openly and in public, yet because we have a certain knowledge of your distinguished merits and especially love and prize your loyalty, and also place particular confidence in your honesty, we have commissioned this Bishop, our Nuncio, to hand over to you in private our letter, and declare our best intentions toward you. We exhort your devotion in the Lord, and that you have all confidence in Him, and with the same disposition, in which we are inclined to remember your honour and profit, to bestir yourself also in our affairs and in those of the Apostolic See. For which you will earn no small thanks from us.

“Given at Rome at St. Peter’s, under the ring of the Fisherman, January 23, 1523, of our pontificate the first year.”

Zwingli wasn’t about to agree to abandon Reform just to get a plumb reward from the Pope. So he read it, and, according to a letter he wrote his mentor and friend Thomas Wyttenbach, ‘The Pope is the Antichrist’ (letter of 23 June, 1523- SS VII,300)-

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