During the 1530s and 1540s, the city experienced the German Reformation’s most important conflict about confession and absolution, the so-called Nurnberg Absolution Controversy. Martin Luthers Werke was a strong advocate of private confession and successfully influenced leaders of the Reformation to share his enthusiasm. Lutheran private confession contributed directly to the transference of religious authority from clerical to lay hands that was an essential feature of the German Reformation. By the early 1530s there was widespread agreement among leaders of the German Reformation about how private confession should be practiced. Over the next several years the Nurnberg magistrates continued to support private confession, at least officially, but did little to encourage its actual implementation. They occasionally called for the examination and absolution of communicants, but would not take the next step of hiring new confessors. The council made it clear that it had no intentions of reintroducing the sacrament of penance, a sentiment with which the Nurnberg clergy whole-heartedly agreed.