On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his "Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences," which came to be known as The 95 theses.

Historians are of the opinion that Luther had no intention of confronting his own church of felony of integrity and moral valour, but saw his disputation as an intellectual objection to church practices, and the tone of his writing as one of soul searching, rather than a strict doctrinaire wanting to oppose the church hierarchy per se. For Luther it was a matter of conscience fired by his intellectual rootedness, erudite scholarship in scripture and his allegiance to the Augustinian order.

16th century is yet another historic turn of events within the Western Patriarchate that embarks on a journey ever since the event that precipitated the final separation between the Eastern Christian patriarchate (led by the patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius and the Western patriarchate (led by Pope Leo IX).