The Peace of Augsburg 1555
– Lutheranism established in Germany.
Extracts from the Treaty.
15. In order to bring peace to the Holy
Roman Empire of the Germanic Nation between the Roman Imperial Majesty and
the Electors, Princes and Estates, let neither his Imperial Majesty nor
the Electors, Princes, etc., do any violence or harm to any estate of the
empire on the account of the Augsburg Confession, but let them enjoy their
religious belief, liturgy and ceremonies as well as their estates and
other rights and privileges in peace; and complete religious peace shall
be obtained only by Christian means of amity, or under threat of
punishment of the Imperial ban.
16. Likewise the Estates espousing the
Augsburg Confession shall let all the Estates and Princes who cling to the
old religion live in absolute peace and in the enjoyment of all their
estates, rights, and privileges.
17. However, all such as do not belong
to the two above named religions shall not be included in the present
peace but be totally excluded from it.
18. And since it has proved to be a
matter of great dispute what was to happen with the bishoprics, priories
and other ecclesiastical benefices of such Catholic priests who would in
course of time abandon the old religion, we have in virtue of the powers
of Roman Emperors ordained as follows: where an archbishop, bishop or
prelate or any other priest of our old religion shall abandon the same,
his archbishopric, bishopric, prelacy and other benefices together with
all their income and revenues which he has so far possessed, shall be
abandoned by him without any further objection or delay. The chapter and
such are entitled to it by common law or the custom of the place shall
elect a person espousing the old religion who may enter on the possession
and enjoyment of all the rights and incomes of the place without any
further hindrance and without prejudging any ultimate amicable transaction
19. Some of the abbeys, monasteries and
other ecclesiastical estates having been confiscated and turned into
churches, schools, and charitable institutions, it is herewith ordained
that such estates which their original owners had not possessed at the
time of the Treaty of Passau shall be comprised in the present
treaty of peace.
20. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction over
the Augsburg Confession, dogma, appointment of ministers, church
ordinances, and ministries hitherto practiced (but apart from all the
rights of Electors, Princes and Estates colleges and monasteries to taxes
in money or tithes) shall from now cease and the Augsburg Confession shall
be left to the free and untrammeled enjoyment of their religion,
ceremonies, appointment of ministers, as is stated in a subsequent
separate article, until the final transaction of religion will take place.
23. No Estate shall try to persuade the
subjects of other Estates to abandon their religion nor protect them
against their own magistrates. Such as had from olden times the rights of
patronage are not included in the present article.
24. In case our subjects whether
belonging to the old religion or the Augsburg confession should intend
leaving their homes with their wives and children in order to settle in
another, they shall be hindered neither in the sale of their estates after
due payment of the local taxes nor injured in their honour.