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|German to English translations [PRO]|
|German term or phrase: wenn die Münze im Kästlein klingt, die Seele in den Himmel springt.|
|this term is used if you want to critise churches: that they bless their believer pay for this service.|
|English translation:As soon as a coin in the coffer rings / the soul from purgatory springs.|
Johann Tetzel (1465 – 11 August 1519) was a German Dominican preacher remembered for selling indulgences and for a couplet attributed to him, "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings / the soul from purgatory springs." In 1517, Tetzel was trying to raise money for the ongoing reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica and it is believed that Martin Luther was inspired to write his Ninety-Five Theses, in part, due to Tetzel's actions during this period of time.
Tetzel was born in Pirna, Saxony, and studied theology and philosophy at the university of his native city. He entered the Dominican order in 1489, achieved some success as a preacher, and was in 1502 commissioned by the pope to preach the jubilee indulgence, which he did throughout his life. In 1509 he was made an inquisitor, and in 1517 Pope Leo X made him commissioner of indulgences for all Germany.
He acquired the degree of Licentiate of Sacred Theology in the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, 1517, and that of Doctor of Sacred Theology, 1518, by defending, in two disputations, the doctrine of indulgences against Luther. The accusation that he sold full forgiveness for sins not yet committed, caused great scandal; Martin Luther considered his actions evil, and began to preach openly against him.
He was also condemned (though later pardoned) for immorality. It became necessary to disavow Tetzel and, when he discovered that Karl von Miltitz had accused him of perpetrating numerous frauds and embezzlements, he withdrew, broken in spirit, wrecked in health, into the Dominican monastery in Leipzig. Miltitz was later discredited to the point his claims carry no historical weight. Tetzel died in Leipzig in 1519. At the time of his death, Tetzel had fallen into disrepute and was shunned by the public. On his deathbed, Tetzel received a magnanimously penned correspondence from Martin Luther, stating that the child (i.e. the scandal) had a different father.
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