Albert, German churchman

Albert, 1490–1545, German churchman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. A member of the house of Brandenburg, he became (1514) archbishop of Mainz. Because Albert was underage, this appointment was uncanonical and he was required to pay a large fee for a papal dispensation. To assist Albert in raising this sum, the pope authorized an eight-year sale of indulgences. Albert authorized (1517) Johann Tetzel to preach this indulgence—occasioning Martin Luther's public protest against indulgences. A patron of Ulrich von Hutten, Albert was expected to join the Reformers, but after 1525 he actively opposed them. Later he invited the Jesuits to preach in his diocese. He was a friend of Erasmus.

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