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Karl von Miltitz (c. 1490 ‚Äď November 20, 1529) was a papal nuncio and a Mainz Cathedral canon.

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Biography

He was born in Rabenau near Mei√üen and Dresden, his family stemming from the lesser Saxon nobility. He studied at Mainz, Trier, Cologne (1508-1510), and Bologna (1510-?), but his deficient Latin reveals that he was not especially learned. He went to the roman curia in 1513 or 1514. In his career at the papal court he was unable to rise further than papal chamberlain and secretary. His Saxon heritage, however, made him a natural liaison between the papal court and Elector Frederick the Wise. On September 3, 1518 Pope Leo X decided to bestow on Frederick the papal Golden Rose of Virtue‚ÄĒan award with attendant religious privileges to deserving princes, with the aim of securing the support of Frederick the Wise in suppressing the attacks of Martin Luther on indulgences in the Church.

Nuncio to Luther

On October 15, 1518, Miltitz was appointed nuncio to deliver it to the elector. He met with Luther in Altenburg on January 5-6, 1519, and negotiated a tentative settlement to the controversy: Luther would remain silent on the indulgence issue, write a conciliatory letter to the pope, and write and publish a tract supporting papal authority. Luther's silence was contingent on the silence of his opponents; Johann Tetzel and Albert of Mainz would be disciplined, and Luther was allowed by Miltitz to make it plain that he would not recant his position. Miltitz's later meetings with Luther in Liebenwerda (October 1519) and in Lichtenburg, near Wittenberg (October 1520) were fruitless; however, Luther did publish a letter to Pope Leo X along with his tract, dedicated to the pope: On the Freedom of a Christian (1520).

Further life

From 1523 until his death in 1529 Miltitz lived in Mainz and Meißen as a canon of the Mainz Cathedral. He accidentally drowned in the Main River near Groß-Steinheim on November 20, 1529, and was buried in Mainz Cathedral.

Biography

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