“Finally, this is what I want you to consider: If the mass would produce and bestow as little of temporal honor, riches, and power as the precious gospel and the truth, how many ardent celebrants of the mass, do you think, one would find today? In truth, for the past six hundred years (I do not want to calculate backward too far) we would have seen neither pope, cardinal, bishop, nor other servants of the mass, but they all would have become evangelical or Lutheran, and we would at the present time truly wonder what these names, pope, cardinal, bishop, mass, clerics, etc., meant, and what kind of creatures they would have been, whether elf, dwarf, water nymphs, or malicious demons. However, because the mass brought in money, honor, and power, such great goods were gained as a result of this commercial activity and business that they have now subjected the world’s kingdom to themselves and have also undertaken to subject heaven and God’s kingdom and majesty to themselves, and would like to have his word be subject to themselves. However, at this point, Lucifer becomes too ambitious, desiring to establish his throne as being equal to God’s, yes, above God’s. As a result he knocks his head against the vault [of heaven] and falls down into the abyss below.
There is no doubt about it: If God would give me enough [power] so that I would be able to make the pope and his papacy as rich and as mighty as they have been till now, and they would be certain that it would remain that way, ah, I would within a month’s time make better Lutherans out of the pope, cardinals, bishops, clerics, monks, and all the worms and avaricious vermin than I myself am. These highly learned, thoughtful, thievish, and rapacious lords still think that no one, not even the Holy Spirit himself, should perceive that they are contending so fiercely for their mass solely on account of their avarice, their belly, their rule, and their power. They claim that it is the church’s and the ancient fathers’ teaching, even though their own conscience bears witness to them that it is something else” (Luther’s Works, v.38 p.230-231).