A Fugger Loan For A Second Son
Albert Margrave of Brandenburg has the bluest blood possible. He is as highborn as one can get, but unfortunately he is only a second son. His brother will inherit the title and so Albert needs something else to lord over. Why not go into religion? And because high born people don’t need to study anything Albert buys himself position in upper ranks of the church hierarchy.
That was common at the time. Faith or intellect were not the defining requirements of a church leader, noble birth was.
But to buy a position one needs money. Unfortunately, the scriptures are absolutely clear that Christians are not allowed to engage in banking. But when scriptures are inconvenient they are ignored.
And so Albert borrows 21,000 ducats from the one Christian bank who have their greedy fingers in every pie that is carved up at the time: The FUGGERS in Augsburg. With that money he buys himself one of the highest titles available in Germany, archbishop and elector of Mainz.
But now the Fuggers want their money back. And they want interest. So Albert has to make money. But how? As everybody is scared of God’s wrath, why not sell indulgences, the “get out of hell free” card. “As soon as the money in the coffer clings a should from purgatory springs.”
And the money comes flowing in very nicely and that makes everybody happy. But then, Martin Luther this renegade monk, nails his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Over night his theses dry up the revenue stream. And that makes every cash strapped church leader very angry and they go after Martin Luther with a vengeance.
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