Reformation in Riga’s archbishopric

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1546

In 1564 the reformation was carried out in Riga' archbishopric, i.e. the Lutheran church organization was applied. The key person was the protestant archbishop Wilhelm, brother of Prussian duke Albrecht. Wilhelm had already from the year 1530 when he came to Livonia strongly supported the promotion of Lutheranism.

becoming Riga's archbishop in 1539 he had to play the hypocritical game: Wilhelm made an impression to the pope as he were a fine catholic, at the same time the people of Livonia knew that he was the supporter of the new religion.
In 1546 Wilhelm decided the stop any hypocrisy in Livonia and carried out the reformation in the archbishopric. He was assisted thereby by the chancellor Christoph Sturtz who had studied in Wittenberg by Luther itself. Wilhelm was also supported by Riga's knighthood, but the catholic canons were against it.

Though the reformation could be carried out in the archbishopric, but the plan of archbishop to do it within the whole Livonia did not realize, as the order was against it. The resistance of the order was probably foremost caused by this that Wilhelm was its political opponent and his importance had increased with carrying out the reformation.
Other bishops were also against over-Livonian reformation as they were afraid that this might occur too radical and threaten their power. Thus Wilhelm could carry out the reformation in archbishopric.


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