To come against Luther was to come against the people. And no secular or Church official in the country was willing to draw that kind of backlash against himself.
Roberts Liardon tells us that Luther’s reforms included public care of the poor. At that time, begging was prohibited. Money that was previously used by the monasteries was used for orphans, students at the universities, and poor girls’ dowries.
The Mass was reconstructed. Evangelical preaching replaced the old stodgy routine. Carlstadt began an attack on celibacy, which Luther ultimately agreed with. Luther became personally responsible for the escape of nuns from their convents. Once the nuns were in his custody, he sought to marry them off to priests who had left the monasteries. His Resolute, Redheaded Wife Luther even married one of the nuns himself, though he tried in earnest to marry her to someone else. It began after he arranged for her rescue from a convent, something he felt was his duty before God, though it was a crime punishable by execution. Her name was Katherine von Bora, and she was one of many who had gotten a hold of Luther’s writings inside the convent. Already discontented before reading his works, she wrote Luther on behalf of herself and eleven other nuns who wanted to leave the convent. Luther devised a plan using the father of one of the nuns, who delivered smoked herring inside the convent walls weekly. He was trusted by the Church authority there, so his truck wasn’t stopped and searched on the day he emptied twelve barrels of fish and left with those same barrels filled with twelve nuns. Katherine was one of them.
Roberts Liardon tells us that Katherine had been at the convent against her will, as many of the nuns were. This was why Luther would write the fathers of nuns to get them to set their daughters free. But in Katherine’s case, she was put there because of her stepmother. Katherine was born with a strong personality and quick wit. This was uncomfortable for her father’s new bride, so she was sent away at the age of nine or ten.