MARCH 18, 2016
Quo Vadis, Papa Francisco?
23-THE LUTHERANIZATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
From: Alessandra Nucci Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 00:04:18 +0100
Subject: The Lutheranization of the Catholic Church
Published today in Catholic World Report:
By Alessandra Nucci,
March 16, 2016
Rome has found a name for a new Square in the heart of the city, an open space in the middle of a leafy garden park in a choice area near the Coliseum: Martin Luther Square*.
Almost 500 years after Augustinian monk Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Cathedral of Wittenberg, Swabia (October 1517), and 494 years after the bull of excommunication issued by Pope Leo X (“Decet Romanum Pontificem“, January 1521), the city of Rome has honored the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, a movement premised on what Luther condemned in that very city, the headquarters of the Catholic Church.
The nameplate “Martin Luther – German Theologian (1483-1546)” is assigned to an area laden with history: nearby are Emperor Nero’s Domus Aurea and the boulevard named after the Greek-Egyptian goddess Serapide. The square was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, September 16 of last year.
The decision came six years after an official request was advanced by the Union of Seventh Day Adventist Churches and the Union of the Lutheran Evangelical Churches in Italy.
While no official comment was issued by the Vatican, Lutheran circles have understandably been all abuzz. “I’m very pleased that our request has come true before the anniversary of the Reform in 2017,” said Pastor Heiner Bludau, senior pastor of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Italy:
When we researched [in 2010] the meaning of Martin Luther’s visit to Rome … we saw that his stay was clearly a part of the history of the Reformation and therefore of the history of Europe. So to dedicate a square in Rome to the great reformer is a highly symbolic and momentous step; in the light of world history it is a step that reflects the level reached by the process of European unification. On both counts I am extremely grateful.
The news, however, barely registered on the press radar, not only because Italy is grappling with engrossing social and economic troubles, but also because the revival of the memory and cult of Martin Luther has become almost normal fare now, both in secular and ecclesiastical circles.
In secular circles it has been powered in part by Germany’s effort to unify the separate cultures which were shaped in the formerly partitioned East and West sides of the country, quietly renewing pride in a common national history so as to get over the country’s guilt complex for the World Wars and the Holocaust, so often mentioned in post-war German education.
The endeavor to get past the memories of the twentieth century, not to mention the economic morass inherited from East Germany in the 1990s, has been so successful that Germany today enjoys a hegemony over the European Union. (Germany trails only the U.S. and the U.K. on the “Elcano Global Presence Report 2015”.) This is the case not just from an economic point of view but also a renewed admiration for the country’s apparent efficiency, moral rigor and hard work.
The process can be illustrated by the success among children and families of the plastic toy Luthers recently marketed by Playmobil, which is the fastest-selling Playmobil figure in the company’s history. Related toy replicas have also been popular, including one of Wittenberg Cathedral, one of the castle of Warburg, and one of Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora, the ex-Cistercian nun he married in 1525, which are sold as specially numbered collector’s items.
Gemany’s Catholic authorities also had a part in the revival and unprecedented universality of respect for the father of Protestant Christianity. In January 2015, the Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx—President of the German Bishops’ Conference and coordinator of Pope Francis’s Board of Economic Advisors—summed up Martin Luther’s long march through the institutions of ecumenism in Politik & Kultur: “Now having completed fifty years of dialogue, a Catholic Christian, too, may respectfully read the texts penned by Luther and benefit from his ideas.” The same acceptance has been variously expressed by Cardinal Walter Kasper, Cardinal Kurt Koch, and Fr. Hans Kung. In his 2008 publication “Night-time Conversations in Jerusalem”, written in German, Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini praised Luther as having somehow inspired the changes that came after Vatican Council II**, thereby effectively recasting as the greatest of reformers he who had previously been seen as the prototypical excommunicated heretic. **THE FRANCIS EFFECT & WHO AM I TO JUDGE-THE SPIRIT OF VATICAN COUNCIL II?
Last November, Pope Francis caused a stir when, in
the words of Vatican reporter Edward Pentin, he appeared “to suggest that a Lutheran wife of a Catholic husband could receive holy Communion based on the fact that she is baptized and in accordance with her conscience.”
Pentin reported a month later
that Pastor Jens Kruse of Rome’s Evangelical Lutheran Church “said he believes Pope Francis ‘opened the door’ to intercommunion (see page 5) when the Holy Father spoke to his church last month, and that his parishioners generally have the same opinion.” When asked if he interpreted the Pope’s remarks as “allowing Lutherans to receive holy Communion, leaving it up to their conscience?” Kruse replied in the affirmative:
The Pope said that’s a question each person has to decide for himself. I think it’s typical for Pope Francis to open doors, and now we, as churches, have the duty to find ways to fill this open door with more of a life of ecumenism, of unity. The image of an open door is, I think, a very good one because we are in front of this door at this moment and now we have to find ways to go through this open door.
Following the November 2015 event, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments,
told Aleteia.org, “Intercommunion is not permitted between Catholics and non-Catholics. You must confess the Catholic Faith. A non-Catholic cannot receive Communion. That is very, very clear. It’s not a matter of following your conscience.” In order to receive Holy Communion, Cardinal Sarah emphasized, “I need to be in the state of grace, without sin, and have the faith of the Catholic Church. … It’s not a personal desire or a personal dialogue with Jesus that determines if I can receive Communion in the Catholic Church.”
Prior to his pontficate, Josef Cardinal Ratzinger invited the faithful to reflect “very seriously” on Luther’s message and “save the great things in his theology”. But he did so without blurring the lines that define the radical change that Luther brought about in “the relationship between the Church and the individual, between the Church and the Bible”, which to this day prevents Catholics and Protestants from sharing “the certainty that recognizes in the Church a common conscience which is greater than private intelligence and interpretations”.
On his trip to Germany, less than a year and a half before abdicating, Pope Benedict XVI stopped at Erfurt, where Luther studied theology and celebrated his first Mass. In the talk given on that occasion, Benedict dwelled on the importance attributed by Luther to the issue of sin, a particularly significant facet of Luther’s teaching in the light of the current emphasis on mercy that often seems to downplay the reality of sin and the real possibility of judgment. Benedict stated:
“How do I receive the grace of God?” The fact that this question was the driving force of his whole life never ceases to make a deep impression on me. For who is actually concerned about this today – even among Christians? What does the question of God mean in our lives? In our preaching? Most people today, even Christians, set out from the presupposition that God is not fundamentally interested in our sins and virtues. He knows that we are all mere flesh. And insofar as people believe in an afterlife and a divine judgement at all, nearly everyone presumes for all practical purposes that God is bound to be magnanimous and that ultimately he mercifully overlooks our small failings. The question no longer troubles us.
But are they really so small, our failings? Is not the world laid waste through the corruption of the great, but also of the small, who think only of their own advantage? Is it not laid waste through the power of drugs, which thrives on the one hand on greed and avarice, and on the other hand on the craving for pleasure of those who become addicted? Is the world not threatened by the growing readiness to use violence, frequently masking itself with claims to religious motivation? Could hunger and poverty so devastate parts of the world if love for God and godly love of neighbour – of his creatures, of men and women – were more alive in us? I could go on. No, evil is no small matter.
In January, it was announced
that Francis plans to travel to Sweden in October of this year “for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the start of the Reformation, together with leaders of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of other Christian Churches***.” The event will be the start of events marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation; it will also “highlight the important ecumenical developments that have taken place during the past 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans.”
I hope, however, that the warmth to Luther’s ideas will not go even further and fashion the formerly excommunicated heretic into a hero and a saint, whitewashing history until even actual events lose all meaning. For the former Augustinian monk was as much a man of the flesh and of turbulent spirits as Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503), whose sins we are in no danger of being allowed to forget.
If there is a reciprocal owning up of mistakes all around, on the part of the Protestants this might include, for example, a formal disowning of Luther’s most virulent invectives, such as the ones against the Jews, contained in Luther’s 1543 book On the Jews and Their Lies, and the ones in his “Admonition to Peace”. In the latter, with regard to “The Twelve Articles of the Christian Union of Upper Swabia” (April 1525), Luther pleaded with the German nobility to suppress all the “murderous and thieving hordes of peasants” in the following terms:
What reason be there for leniency with the peasants? If there be any innocents among them, God will know how to best defend and rescue them. If God doesn’t rescue them, then that means they are criminals. I think it’s best for God to kill farmers rather than princes and judges, as the peasants have no Divine authority on which to base their wielding of the sword. No mercy, no patience towards the peasants, only wrath and indignation, from God and from man. This moment is so exceptional that a prince can earn heaven through bloodshed. Therefore, dear gentlemen, go ahead and exterminate, slay, strangle, and may whoever has power, use it.
Ironically, it was reported that at the September 2015 event in Rome, Michael Kretschmer, representative of the Bundestag (the national Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany), “remembered the sensitivity of the father of the Reformation for the last (of the world). ‘If he were here today, he would tell us to take care of the poor,’ he said.” Meanwhile, the mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, stated: “Today’s gesture means that Rome has to respect every religion and faith. It is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice, Einstein said. And here we have broken some prejudices.” By all means, let’s welcome the ridding of wrong prejudices, but let’s not reject a truth because some deem it a prejudice.
is an Italian author and journalist.
2 readers’ comments
1. “In January, it was announced that Francis plans to travel to Sweden in October of this year “for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the start of the Reformation, together with leaders of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of other Christian Churches.””
Why on earth would any Catholic want to commemorate that? What’s next, a commemoration of Arianism or Pelagianism or Gnosticism or any of the other heresies?
Pope Alexander VI may have been a man of the flesh and a turbulent spirit, but he at least does not seem to have pretended that his sins weren’t sins.
2. Are there others anticipating the canonization of Luther by unanimous Bergoglian acclamation?
Our ever so progressive theological academics have been percolating in Luther’s noxious stew at least since my theological studies some decades ago. Left wing “theological” deconstructionism by its nature is incapable of relinquishing its disingenuous, passive-aggressive, counter-intuitive rationalizations, turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse.
We are dealing here with the corpse of a Roman Catholic priest, an Augustinian religious – regarded by not a few scholars as a maniac – who venerated the omnipotence of his own hubris to such an extent he could modify the canon of Holy Scripture and jettison all manner of the Apostolic Tradition and the Magisterium. He abandoned orthodox understanding of the Holy Eucharist, junking five other sacraments, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Communion of Saints, all other manner of the means of salvation cherished in ecclesiastical tradition. He dumped his vows and the vows of his “wife” out of adherence to his own hormonal drive.
Reformation? Rather “deformation” and a mendacious revolt commandeered by the political class of the time for its own advantage. Ah, but yes, this personality profile is ever so familiar to us who have endured the last fifty-six years of Roman Catholic history.
That being said, look forward to Luther’s mega rehabilitation. Pope Bergoglio would surely appreciate that as a component of his “legacy.” What is all this telling us about the current state of Roman Catholicism? We live in an age of frenzied suicidal self–destruction. The clerical class has not only been unwilling, unable to preserve us from this lunacy, but has actually promoted it and termed it a work of the Holy Spirit. We need to come to awareness and bring the instrument of accountability to bear.
This ministry congratulates Ms. Nucci for her truthful Catholic reporting and prophetic email subject line.
***Pope Francis to travel to Sweden for joint Reformation commemoration
January 25, 2016
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will travel to Sweden in October for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the start of the Reformation, together with leaders of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of other Christian Churches.
The event will take place on October 31st in the southern Swedish city of Lund where the Lutheran World Federation was founded in 1947.
While kicking off a year of events to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, it will also highlight the important ecumenical developments that have taken place during the past 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans.
Listen to Philippa Hitchen’s report: […]
The one-day event will include a common worship service in Lund cathedral based on a Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” liturgical guide, published earlier this month by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
The commemoration in Lund follows on directly from the publication in 2013 of a joint document entitled ‘From Conflict to Communion‘, which focuses on the themes of thanksgiving, repentance and commitment to common witness. While asking for forgiveness for the divisions of past centuries, it also seeks to showcase the gifts of the Reformation and celebrate the way Catholics and Lutherans around the world work together on issues of common concern.
Please see below the joint press release from the LWF and the PCPCU on the joint ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation in Lund.
Pope Francis, LWF President Bishop Younan and General Secretary Junge to lead October event
Geneva/Vatican City, January 25, 2016
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Catholic Church will hold a joint ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation on 31 October 2016 in Lund, Sweden.
Pope Francis, LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge will lead the Ecumenical Commemoration in cooperation with the Church of Sweden and the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm.
The joint ecumenical event will take place in the city of Lund in anticipation of the 500th Reformation anniversary in 2017. It will highlight the solid ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans and the joint gifts received through dialogue. The event will include a common worship based on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” liturgical guide.
“The LWF is approaching the Reformation anniversary in a spirit of ecumenical accountability,” says LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge. “I’m carried by the profound conviction that by working towards reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we are working towards justice, peace and reconciliation in a world torn apart by conflict and violence.”
Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) explains further: “By concentrating together on the centrality of the question of God and on a Christocentric approach, Lutherans and Catholics will have the possibility of an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation, not simply in a pragmatic way, but in the deep sense of faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ.
“It is with joy and expectation that the Church of Sweden welcomes The Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church to hold the joint commemoration of the Reformation in Lund,” says Church of Sweden Archbishop Antje Jackelén. “We shall pray together with the entire ecumenical family in Sweden that the commemoration will contribute to Christian unity in our country and throughout the world.”
“The ecumenical situation in our part of the world is unique and interesting. I hope that this meeting will help us look to the future so that we can be witnesses of Jesus Christ and His gospel in our secularized world,” says Anders Arborelius OCD, Bishop of the Catholic Church in Sweden.
The Lund event is part of the reception process of the study document From Conflict to Communion, which was published in 2013, and has since been widely distributed to Lutheran and Catholic communities. The document is the first attempt by both dialogue partners to describe together at international level the history of the Reformation and its intentions.
Earlier this year, the LWF and PCPCU sent to LWF member churches and Catholic Bishops’ Conferences a jointly prepared “Common Prayer”, which is a liturgical guide to help churches commemorate the Reformation anniversary together. It is based on the study document From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017, and features the themes of thanksgiving, repentance and commitment to common witness with the aim of expressing the gifts of the Reformation and asking forgiveness for the division which followed theological disputes.
The year 2017 will also mark 50 years of the international Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, which has yielded notable ecumenical results, of which most significant is the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ). The JDDJ was signed by the LWF and the Catholic Church in 1999, and affirmed by the World Methodist Council in 2006. The declaration nullified centuries’ old disputes between Catholics and Lutherans over the basic truths of the doctrine of justification, which was at the center of the 16th century Reformation.
Cardinal Walter Kasper
(like Cardinals Marx and Koch) and the other Catholic prelates named in Ms. Nucci’s article (pp. 1/2) who welcome the Church’s Lutheranization are liberals. See Kasper’s Perplexing Notion of “Mercy” Is Not What Church Has Always Taught – an extensive book review, and its implications for Marriage
By Fr Serafino M. Lanzetta FI, September 27, 2014
(along with Pope Francis)
have been critcized by Traditionalists like Roberto de Mattei for their “Lutheran idea of mercy which had been anathematized by the Council of Trent“.
From an Indian pro-women’s ordination site concerning Hans Kung (see Ms. Nucci’s article, pages 1, 2)
(If radical feminists are happy with something or someone, it’s gotta be bad for Catholics):
We are Church recalls: 30 years since revocation of the ecclesiastical right to teach of Hans Kueng (18 December 1979) “His persistence is encouragement, inspiration and incentive for all of us.”
This 18 December 2009 will be the 30th anniversary of the day when Pope John Paul II revoked the ecclesiastical right to teach (missio canonica) of Prof. Dr. Hans Kueng because of his proposals for reform in the Catholic church. In his book “Infallible? An inquiry” published in 1970 after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and equally prompted by the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” from 25 July 1968 Kueng raised the question if the papal ministry is indeed infallible. With this Kueng, like nobody else in our time, raised the question of truth in Christianity and kept it alive ever since.
The world-famous Swiss theologian, appointed official adviser to the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XXIII, contributed decisively to an ecumenical theology notwithstanding his later marginalization by the church. His doctoral thesis “Justification” about the Swiss reformed theologian Karl Barth, finished in 1957, was praised at the time by Joseph Ratzinger, teaching colleague of Kueng at the University of Tuebingen/Germany until 1968. Kueng made major contributions to the agreement reached in 1999 between the Catholic church and the Lutheran Church with regard to the declaration of the doctrine of justification. His “Project world ethos” (www.weltethos.org) started in 1990 grew into an important stimulator for the interreligious dialogue, today more necessary than ever in the face of our global problems. On 6 October 2009 he proclaimed his “Declaration to a global business ethos” in front of the UN.
After the revocation of the ecclesiastical right to teach Kueng did not retract his theologically well founded statements to the disputed
dogma of infallibility of 1870. By doing so he showed that what we are being asked to do is not to obey but to resist the usurpations from Rome. In 1979 Kueng was appointed to the chair for ecumenical theology that was created for him outside the Catholic faculty and which he occupied until 1997.
In 1968 Hans Kueng drafted, together with other theologians, the declaration “For the freedom in theology”.
In the end this text carried the signatures of 1360 theologians – also that of Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI – from all over the world. In 1989 Kueng was co-signer of the so-called “Cologne Declaration”, a votum for an open-minded catholicity and against an overstretching of the papal authority.
Hans Kueng is also one of the spiritual supporters of the “KirchenVolksBegehren” (We are Church referendum) started 1995 in Austria which resulted in the International Movement We are Church. The second volume of his memoirs “Controversial truth” presents a historic as well as a systematic foundation of the We are Church movement’s concerns which emerged ever more clearly since the Second Vatican Council and for which he had fought already in the 1960s and 1970s. With his fundamental works (“The Church” 1967, “Being a Christian” 1974 and “Does God exist?” 1978), Kueng brought specific reform topics into public sphere early on, thoroughly justifying them both biblically and spiritually.
Today we find that Kueng’s enquiries into the papacy have not been answered at all as evidenced by the increasing conflicts between the church leadership and the laity in the church. Obligatory celibacy, ordination of women and the Eucharistic question are still being discussed – despite of all the interdictions from Rome.
In September 2005 Hans Kueng had a surprise meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, his former colleague at university, Professor Ratzinger. Not so surprisingly all topics regarding reforms within the Catholic church had been excluded beforehand. And as before so did Hans Kueng after the meeting commit to the reform issues important to him. Because, in the words of Hans Kueng in the second volume of his biography, “It is not the Council but the betrayal of the Council that led the church into crisis”.
“His persistence in the renewal of the Roman Catholic church and his commitment to ecumenical issues as well as to the dialogue between the world religions is encouragement, inspiration and incentive for all of us”, the catholic reform movement We are Church gratefully declared on the occasion of his 80th birthday on 19 March 2008
(See page 2)
In general Lutheran communities do not have a valid Eucharist, so they cannot be admitted to Holy Communion by either the Catholic or Orthodox Churches.
Pope Francis has attended a Lutheran church and generated confusion about intercommunion:
An Open Letter to Pope Francis
By Father George David Byers, November 16, 2015
Most Holy Father, Bishop of Rome, Francis:
I note your overture to a Lutheran woman at the Lutheran church on Via Sicilia in Rome on 15 November 2015, the one who asked about intercommunion (starting minute 21.00 on the Vatican YouTube video). See page 2
I had to wonder before if your recent interview with Eugenio Scalfari was correctly reported. I now have no doubt.
With due respect to your person and your office, I ask you not to make this kind of thing part of what you want to publish about the Synod with the authority of the infallible ordinary magisterium, which you inferred you would most certainly do in your speech of October 17, 2015.
If you do this, going against the doctrine of the Church, grave matters of faith and morals, on so very many points on so very many levels (HERE), and precisely as the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, and this not just to a journalist, or a single woman, but to the universal Church, deciding what is now a matter of extreme controversy, well, you won’t be able to do it. You will either die or be incapacitated, much as Pope Sixtus V dropped dead before he could accomplish his own will on a matter also touching on marriage and divorce, which I wrote about for your own benefit, HERE. […] END
Open communion is the practice of Christian churches that allow individuals other than members of that church to receive Holy Communion (also called the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper). The phrasing and exact requirements in a particular local church may vary, but membership in a particular Christian community is not required.
Most churches in the American Evangelical Lutheran Church practice their own form of open communion, offering the Eucharist to adults without receiving catechetical instruction, provided they are baptized and believe in the Real Presence.
Notable exceptions include the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church (excluding most churches in the ELCA), conservative Churches of Christ, Reformed Seventh Day Adventists and some Reformed tradition churches. All these typically practice some form of closed communion.
FRANCIS’ REHABILITATION OF AN EXCOMMUNICATED HERETIC ctd
Pope plans to visit Sweden to commemorate Reformation anniversary
By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, January 25, 2016
Pope Francis will visit Sweden in October to participate in an ecumenical service and the beginning of a year of activities to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Leaders from the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation had already been set to meet Oct. 31, 2016, for the ecumenical celebration in Lund, Sweden, where the LWF was founded in 1947.
Pope Francis “intends to participate” in the joint ceremony to commemorate next year’s anniversary, the Vatican press office said in a written communique. The announcement came Jan. 25, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul — “an important day with regard to ecumenism,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. It is the last day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Pope Francis will lead the ecumenical commemoration in Lund alongside Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, and the Rev. Martin Junge, federation general secretary, said a joint press release by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the LWF.
“The event will include a common worship based on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran ‘Common Prayer’ liturgical guide,” and will highlight ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans over the past 50 years, the press release said.
Cardinal Kurt Koch, council president, said in the press release, “By concentrating together on the centrality of the question of God and on a Christocentric approach, Lutherans and Catholics will have the possibility of an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation, not simply in a pragmatic way, but in the deep sense of faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ.”
Rev. Junge said in the joint statement that the federation “is approaching the Reformation anniversary in a spirit of ecumenical accountability.”
“By working toward reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we are working toward justice, peace and reconciliation in a world torn apart by conflict and violence,” he added.
The common prayer document, released Jan. 11, is the first jointly developed liturgical material prepared by a task force made up of representatives of the official Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity.
Catholic bishops’ conferences and Lutheran churches around the world are invited to use the Common Prayer as part of local commemorations of the Reformation anniversary in 2017. The prayer includes materials to be adapted to the local liturgical and musical traditions of the Catholic Church and Lutheran communities.
Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on a church door Oct. 31, 1517, which is usually marked as the beginning of the Reformation. While the Reformation fractured Western Christianity, Catholics and Lutherans have been committed to dialogue the past 50 years in an effort to restore full unity.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation released a joint document in June 2013 titled, “From Conflict to Communion,” which outlined ideas for joint commemorations in 2017.
The document looks at the central points of Luther’s call for the reform of the church, the points addressed later by the Council of Trent and, especially, the Second Vatican Council and issues that still divide Catholics and Lutherans.
“Luther had no intention of establishing a new church but was part of a broad and many-faceted desire for reform,” the document said. “In 2017, when Lutheran Christians celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, they are not thereby celebrating the division of the Western church. No one who is theologically responsible can celebrate the division of Christians from one another.”
In a meeting in October 2013 with representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and members of the Catholic-Lutheran international theological dialogue, Pope Francis said commemorations of the beginning of the Reformation must take place in a spirit of dialogue and humility.
“Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God,” he said.
“I believe that it is truly important for everyone to confront in dialogue the historical reality of the Reformation, its consequences and the responses it elicited,” the pope told the group.
While theological dialogue is important, he said, the key to unity lies in prayer and trying to follow more closely the teachings of Jesus.
In other news regarding papal travel, the president of Colombia’s Catholic bishops’ conference told reporters Jan. 23 that Pope Francis would visit their country early in 2017.
If this is not the Catholic “rehabilitation of Luther”, what is? Yet, 8 years ago, such a possibility was denied:
By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, Vatican City,
March 10, 2008
Rumors that the Vatican is set to rehabilitate Martin Luther, the 16th-century leader of the Protestant Reformation, are groundless, said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.
News reports in early March alleged that Pope Benedict XVI was dedicating a planned September symposium with former doctoral students to re-evaluating Luther, who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy.
The story “does not have any foundation, insofar as no rehabilitation of Luther is foreseen,” Father Lombardi told the Italian news agency ANSA March 8.
Vatican officials said the topic of the pope’s annual summer gathering of former students this year has not yet been decided. Of the two topics under consideration, Luther is not one of them, one official told Catholic News Service.
Excesses in 16th-century preaching about indulgences and in Catholic penitential practices sparked Luther, a theologian and Augustinian monk, to seek reform in the church. His concerns started a movement that led to the Protestant Reformation.
The church excommunicated Luther for preaching a philosophy doubting the pope’s infallibility.
Luther emphasized the absolute primacy of God’s action in freeing people from sin and making them just, and the total sufficiency of Christ’s death to expiate the sins of all.
In 1983, Pope John Paul II noted that studies by Lutheran and Catholic researchers “have led to a more complete and more differentiated image of the personality of Luther” as well as the complicated historical factors surrounding his life.
Nearly 500 years after the Reformation began in 1517, Lutherans and Catholics resolved one of the issues that began the Reformation era when they signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999.
The declaration said the churches’ consensus on basic truths means that the doctrine of justification is not a church-dividing issue for Catholics and Lutherans even though differences between them remain in language, theological elaboration and emphasis surrounding those basic truths.
A Google search turns up several such news reports, all of them denying the possibility of “rehabilitation”, like this one: “Is that true, or is it just something you read in The Times?”: Benedict to “rehabilitate” Luther?
http://cumecclesia.blogspot.in/2008/03/is-that-true-or-is-it-just-something.html March 7, 2008.
TO CATHOLICS FOR 500 YEARS A HERETIC, NOW A “REFORMER”!
On whose request was the Square named after Martin Luther?
The heretical “church” of the Seventh Day Adventists (they hold that Saturday is the Sabbath day)!
At Adventist Request, Rome Will Name Square After Martin Luther
By Andrew McChesney, news editor, Adventist Review, August 31, 2015
Rome will name a central square after Protestant reformer Martin Luther in response to a request by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and with the support of the Roman Catholic Church.
The square on Oppian Hill, a park area that overlooks the Colosseum in the central Monti district, will be named Piazza Martin Lutero in honor of Luther’s achievements on Sept. 16.
“It’s a lovely square with a central fountain where believers will feel at home when they visit or even when they organize public opportunities to witness,” Dora Bognandi, associate director of the public affairs and religious liberty department of the Adventist Church in Italy, said in an e-mailed statement Monday.
The decision marks the end of a six-year process that began when local Adventists asked Rome authorities to name a street or square after Luther to commemorate the 500th anniversary of a historic trip that he made to the city.
Luther, a German Catholic priest and theologian, arrived in Rome in 1510 with a desire to fully confess his sins and pursue a holy life in a city that he had viewed as holy from faraway Germany. But Rome was a political and military power at the time, and Luther decided that it resembled Babylon more than Jerusalem. By the time he left, he was questioning his own Catholic faith, although not his faith in God.
He later wrote that he would not have believed how great and shameless was the godlessness and wickedness of Rome if he had not seen it with his own eyes.
“If there is a hell, Rome is built over it,” he said.
Luther went on to become the father of the Protestant Reformation, challenging the authority of the Catholic Church and angering Pope Leo X with his condemnation of corruption among clergy and belief in salvation through faith alone. He was excommunicated from the church in 1521.
In June 2009, a group of Adventists verified that no location in Rome was dedicated to Luther and approached Rome’s Toponymy Commission, which oversees the naming of places, with the request to honor Luther on the 500th anniversary of his trip.
“Five hundred years later, where are we as Christians in our spiritual journey?” Carlo Giliberti, the initiator of the proposal and religious liberty director of the Lungotevere Michelangelo Adventist church in Rome, said in an interview with the Notizie Avventiste magazine in 2009.
“We want to be like Luther, who from Rome began his conversion experience of following Jesus and Him alone,” Giliberti said. “Luther began the Protestant Reformation from Rome, but all of us as Christians are called to choose only Jesus in our lives.”
Giliberti, supported by the Adventist Church in Italy, invited other Protestant denominations to support the Luther initiative.
Unbeknown to the Adventists, the Lutheran Church made a similar proposal to the city of Rome at the same time.
The Toponymy Commission approved both proposals on June 7, 2010. But nothing happened. The Council of Evangelical Churches in Rome appealed to the mayor later that year to implement the commission’s decision.
A new mayor, Ignazio Marino, was elected in 2013, and he promised in 2014 to follow through with the Luther plan.
The square on Oppian Hill will officially be known as “Piazza Martin Lutero, teologo tedesco della Riforma (1483-1546),” or “Square of Martin Luther, German Theologian of the Reformation (1483-1546).”
Last week, the Catholic Church announced that it also backed the tribute to Luther.
“It’s a decision taken by Rome City Hall which is favorable to Catholics in that it’s in line with the path of dialogue started with the ecumenical council,” said the Reverend Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican press office, in comments carried by the Religious News Service.
The ecumenical council is a Catholic-backed gathering of clergy from various denominations that meets to discuss religious issues. The council is in line with calls by Pope Francis for a more unified Christian voice in Europe.
Few Protestants live in Italy, where about 98 percent of the population of 60 million are Catholic. The Adventist Church has about 9,500 members worshiping in 111 churches and 19 companies in Italy, according to the latest statistics from the world church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research.
Giliberti, the initiator of the Luther Square proposal, did not live to see his dream fulfilled. He died of cancer in October 2013.
Are the Adventists (SDA) happy with the Vatican’s “ecumenical” come down?
They’re not, if you read some of the readers’ responses to the above story (Rome is still “the Beast”):
1. We could only wish that modern Protestantism had the same intensity in their opposition to Rome that Luther and the other reformers felt. Rome is very comfortable with modern Protestantism and is welcoming the separated brothers back to the mother church. More than a few are more than willing and even anxious to see the healing process continue as Rome is patronized on many levels from politics, finance and religion to every other aspect of life. And sad to say, even some SDA’s don’t see prophecy being fulfilled right before our very eyes.
Much of the differences being agitated in the world and civil governments, are also reflected in the SDA church on religious issues. The world is seeking stability and there is little evidence that such can be attained on the world level. Just so, we find the same problem in religion and spirituality in all denominations, not excepting the SDA church. The Pope is more than willing to offer the stability that seems beyond any present solution about any level of government, religion, or finance. His (the Pope’s) solution will be very attractive and appeal to all who are not grounded in bible truth. And thus “The whole world will wonder after the beast.”
2. “And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes” The Great Controversy, p. 581.1
So why would the Catholic Church back this initiative other than it can and will be used to promote it’s own agenda – and it does. It most certainly is a powerful ecumenical tool. I do appreciate Martin Luther’s (and others reformers’) contributions to who I am today as a Christian Protestant, but we must not lose touch with the reality of what the Roman Church is and is sworn to faithfully be, the persecutor of “heretics” like Martin Luther and me. Please notice there is no recanting or repentance of any of her apostasies, heresies and false teaching. I refuse to be duped by this ploy or to apologize for my harshness. I’m glad for the square, but apprehensive about the Roman church’s enthusiasm.
3. It was prophesied more than 160 years ago that Rome will pretend to apologize for her attrocities of the past to gain influence in places where she is unpopular, but this does not mean she has changed. That old book called “The Great Controversy” chapter 35 may help give more understaing of what is going on with these apologies. Anyhow time is very short there is no time to play on the enemy’s ground “square” to be more precise any longer. Those who want favors from Rome and all of us must sooner or later choose between Christ or Rome we can’t have both.
I desire the favor of Christ more than anything else. I’d rather be labelled a sect, cult or you name it so were all the true Christian movements labelled in their days of faithfullness.
Also see Rome officially commemorates Martin Luther Square
Vatican backs plan to name Rome square after Martin Luther
Within Italy there are very few Protestants; just 435,000 Italian citizens identify as Protestant, according to research published in 2012 by the Center for Studies on New Religions. Catholicism continues to be the dominant religion, with 97.9 percent of Italy’s 60 million residents having been baptized Catholic as of 2009.
How do Lutherans view Luther and the Roman Catholic Church?
1. Luther and Rome
Journey to Rome
In 1511 Luther and another monk were sent to Rome to carry out some business of the Augustinian Order, of which they were a part. Luther was given ten gold florins to take care of his needs. The two traveled on foot and found food and lodging in monasteries along the way. Luther was bothered by the luxurious living, the loose morals, and the lack of interest in spiritual things among the monks they visited.
Nevertheless, Luther still held high expectations for Rome itself. When the papal capitol first came into view he shouted, “Hail, holy Rome!” as ecstatically as a Jewish pilgrim catching his first glimpse of Jerusalem.
Within the city was a large staircase which was said to come from the house of Pilate. Those who climbed it on their knees were promised an indulgence from one thousand years of penance. Luther, believing the superstition, decided to try the ascent. He had climbed halfway up repeating the usual prayers when these words came to his mind: “The just shall live by faith.” He stood up and walked slowly down the stairs.
During his stay in Rome, Luther learned a little Hebrew from a Jewish Rabbi. He also took some Greek lessons from a refugee from Constantinople. But the more Luther saw of the city, the more his reverence for Rome turned to loathing:
The city, which he had greeted as holy, was a sink of iniquity; its very priests were openly infidel, and scoffed at the services they performed; the papal courtiers were men of the most shameless lives; he was accustomed to repeat the Italian proverb, “If there is a hell, Rome is built over it.”
So he went away thoroughly disenchanted with the “holy city,” but the month he spent there counted for much later on. He never forgot what he saw.
Three reformation treatises
In the summer and fall of 1520, Luther published his three chief writings, which today are considered the three great Reformation treatises. The first was entitled To
Estate, and appeared in August 1520. It was followed in late September by The
Church and in early October by A
Liberty is a short treatise, free from theological jargon, concerning the priesthood of all believers as a result of justification by faith. It begins with an antithesis: “A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone,” a paraphrase of Paul’s word in I Corinthians 9:19. Luther expounds this by proving that no outward works can produce Christian righteousness or liberty; faith alone is the effectual way to use the Word of God for salvation.
It does not profit the soul to wear sacred vestments or to dwell in sacred places, nor does it harm the soul to be clothed in [common] raiment, and to eat and drink in the ordinary fashion. The soul can do without everything except the Word of God…
This gives the liberty of the Christian man; no dangers can really harm him, no sorrows utterly overwhelm him, for he is always accompanied by the Christ to whom he is united by faith.
Church, Luther declares that the one test and the one authority for everything is the Word of God itself, whereas the papacy has held the church of God captive under the traditions and commandments of men. He points out that according to Scripture the Church should have only two observances: baptism and the Lord’s supper. The other so-called sacraments are merely ceremonies instituted by man. Luther is particularly indignant over the Roman degradation of the whole concept of marriage. Nothing in Scripture or in the practice of the early church forbids the marriage of any believers, yet the Roman church interfered with marriages for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, divorce is abominable to the Lord, as He Himself says, “What therefore God has yoked together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:6b). Nevertheless, the papal hierarchy firstly (in its own canon law) prohibits divorce; then it breaks all laws, human and divine, by permitting divorce for a sum of money.
The book To
Nation produced the most instantaneous, widespread, and powerful effect of anything Luther wrote. In it he applies the principles given in the shorter treatise, Concerning
Christian Liberty, to the reformation of the political society. He declares the true God-ordained and holy characteristic of every human relationship of the family, home, trade, or profession for people from all levels of society. In other words, no occupation is to be considered more “holy” than any other. Furthermore, he appeals to the mass of the German people by exposing the greatest source of the evils that oppress them: the Roman Catholic system and the pope himself.
The Romanists, with great adroitness, have built three walls about them, behind which they have hitherto defended themselves in such wise that no one has been able to reform them; and this has been the cause of terrible corruption throughout all Christendom.
First, when pressed by the temporal power, they have made decrees and said that the temporal power has no jurisdiction over them, but, on the other hand, that the spiritual is above the temporal power. Second, when the attempt is made to reprove them out of the Scriptures, they raise the objection that the interpretation of the Scriptures belongs to no one except the pope. Third, if threatened with a council, they answer with the fable that no one can call a council but the pope.
Then Luther indicts the pope himself:
It is a horrible and frightful thing that the ruler of Christendom, who boasts himself vicar of Christ and successor of St. Peter, lives in such worldly splendor that in this regard no king nor emperor can equal or approach him, and that he who claims the title of “most holy” and “most spiritual” is more worldly than the world itself. He wears a triple crown, when the greatest kings wear but a single crown; if that is like the poverty of Christ and of St. Peter, then it is a new kind of likeness. If ninety-nine parts of the papal court were done away and only the hundredth part allowed to remain, it would still be large enough to give decisions in matters of faith. Now, however, there is such a swarm of vermin yonder in Rome, all boasting that they are “papal,” that there was nothing like it in Babylon.
There are more than three thousand papal secretaries alone; who will count the other offices, when they are so many that they scarcely can be counted? And they all lie in wait for the prebends and benefices of Germany as wolves lie in wait for the sheep. I believe that Germany now gives much more to the pope at Rome than it gave in former times to the emperors. Indeed, some estimate that every year more than three hundred thousand gulden find their way from Germany to Rome, quite uselessly and fruitlessly; we get nothing for it but scorn and contempt. And yet we wonder that princes, nobles, cities, endowments, land and people are impoverished! We should rather wonder that we still have anything to eat!
When they pretend that they are about to fight against the Turks, they send out emissaries to gather money.
Ofttimes they issue an indulgence on this same pretext of fighting the Turks, for they think the mad Germans are forever to remain utter and arrant fools, give them money without end, and satisfy their unspeakable greed; though we clearly see that not a heller of the annates or of the indulgence-money or of all the rest, is used against the Turks, but all of it goes into the bottomless bag. They lie and deceive, make laws and make agreements with us, and they do not intend to keep any of them. All this must be counted the work of Christ and St. Peter!
…There is buying, selling, bartering, trading, trafficking, lying, deceiving, robbing, stealing, luxury, harlotry, knavery, and every sort of contempt of God, and even the rule of Antichrist could not be more scandalous. Venice, Antwerp, Cairo are nothing compared to this fair which is held at Rome and the business which is done there, except that in those other places they still observe right and reason.
This address to the nobility concludes with twenty-seven suggestions for reform. If carried into effect, these would produce a German National Church and would completely abolish the supremacy of the pope over the state. Luther also sought to restrict the mendicant, or begging, orders. He said that all who wished to leave the convents should be allowed to do so, for only voluntary service is pleasing to God. He would give up the saints’ days and festivals, which had become merely occasions for gluttony and debauchery, and would observe only the Lord’s day.
In this same book there were woodcuts by Cranach contrasting Christ with the pope. These cartoons depicted such scenes as Christ washing the disciples’ feet and the pope holding out his toe to be kissed, Christ driving the money-changers out of the temple, and the pope turning a chapel into an indulgence mart, etc. “It was a good book for the laity,” Luther said; indeed it caught the attention of people of every class.
The Bull of condemnation
expressed his newly developing views in writing and having spread them throughout Germany and beyond, Luther expected a strong response from the Roman Church. He wrote to a friend the following words of encouragement, which we need to repeat to ourselves time after time:
Our warfare is not with flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places, against the world rulers of this darkness. Let us then stand firm and heed the trumpet of the Lord. Satan is fighting, not against us, but against Christ in us. We fight the battles of the Lord. Be strong therefore. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Meanwhile, Eck was composing a bull to condemn Luther. The document was published in Rome in June 1520. It begins pathetically:
Arise, O Lord, plead Thine own cause; remember how the foolish man reproacheth Thee daily; the foxes are wasting Thy vineyard which Thou hast given to Thy Vicar Peter; the boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
The bull went on to condemn forty-one propositions which it attributed to Luther. It was not his evangelical principles which were attacked but only his oppositions to the practices of the Roman Church. Finally, the bull ordered that all of Luther’s writings be burned. One of the propositions of Luther which it condemned was that “certain articles of John Hus condemned at the Council of Constance are most Christian, true, and evangelical, which the universal Church cannot condemn.”
I was wrong. I retract the statement that certain articles of John Hus are evangelical. I say now, “Not some but all the articles of John Hus were condemned by Antichrist and his apostles in the synagogue of Satan.” And to your face, most holy Vicar of God, I say freely that all the condemned articles of John Hus are evangelical and Christian, and yours are downright impious and diabolical.
In December of 1520 Luther publicly burned the bull of condemnation as well as the canon law and some writings of his opposers. He commented:
Since they have burned my books, I burn theirs. The canon law was included because it makes the pope a god on earth. So far I have merely fooled with this business of the pope. All my articles condemned by Antichrist are Christian. Seldom has the pope overcome anyone with Scripture and with reason.
The opposition to Luther’s speaking drove more and more people not to condemn him, as the papacy had hoped, but to listen carefully to what he was saying. Over 400 students enrolled in Luther’s classes and nearly 600 in his co-worker Melanchthon’s. The meeting places could scarcely contain the crowds who attended Luther’s preaching.
The pope wrote to Frederick, the Elector of Saxony, demanding that the bull of excommunication be published in Germany, that Luther’s writings be burned, and that Luther be delivered up to the pope as a heretic. He threatened to cast Germany out of the Holy Roman Empire and to treat it as a pagan land. Frederick secretly consulted Erasmus, who told him “that Luther had sinned in two points; he had touched the crown of the pope and the bellies of the monks.” Therefore the Elector protected Luther, allowing him to continue his preaching, teaching, and writing in peace.
Exposing the convents
As part of the reaction against the Roman Church, some of the people began to break up convents. Luther supported this with a pamphlet giving the story of a girl named Florentina, who had been taken into a convent at the age of six.
At eleven she was forced to take the veil. When at age fourteen she told her abbess that she felt no calling for a nun’s life, the abbess told the girl that she was a nun for life and must make the best of it. Florentina tried to make her situation known to Martin Luther and later to her relatives, but each time she was caught and punished with severe penances. Eventually she was condemned to lifelong imprisonment in a cell. Later she escaped, and Luther published her story saying that he could tell many others like it.
To leave the cloistered life at that time was a capital offense. In 1522 twelve nuns were smuggled out of a convent in empty beer barrels. They were taken to Wittenberg, and Luther found husbands for eleven of them. When no husband could be found for the twelfth nun, Luther married her himself. The bride’s name was Catherine von Bora. At the end of the wedding ceremony, they were declared “to be joined together in the name of the Triune God.” Luther called her Katie and sometimes Kette, the German word for “chain.” At the time of their wedding he was 42 years old and she was 26, but Luther always said that she was the wife for him.
March 25, 2009
International expert on church unity, Rev Günther Gassmann,
a German Lutheran theologian, has urged the Catholic Church to declare officially that its excommunication of Martin Luther no longer applies.
Such a statement, “in these ecumenically less exciting times … would be a remarkable step and a sign of hope and encouragement,” said Rev Günther Gassmann, who was director of the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission from 1984 to 1995, according to an Ekklesia report.
Luther trained as a Catholic monk, but was excommunicated by the Catholic Church in 1521 after refusing to retract teachings the Church judged to be heretical.
In a March 19 lecture in Rome, Gassmann said that a joint Lutheran-Catholic statement published in 1983 to mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s birth had sought to elaborate a common position on the work and legacy of the reformer.
“Luther, a major symbol and personification during 400 years of the past Catholic-Lutheran conflict and division, is now seen as a common teacher,” Gassmann noted, at the Centro Pro Unione, an ecumenical research centre in the Italian capital.
He urged the Catholic Church to receive officially, “this changed evaluation of Martin Luther.”
In 2008, the Vatican’s top official for Christian unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper, encouraged Catholics to read Luther’s hymns, which he declared were “full of spiritual power”, and his commentaries on the Bible.
“One will then discover a Luther who is full of the power of faith, whom one cannot simply make Catholic, whom we find provoking and even alien in many respects, but from whom even Catholics can learn,” said Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 2001.
Gassmann presented an overview of the results of Catholic-Lutheran dialogue from 1965 to 2005. He praised the 1999 signing by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation of a Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification as a “unique” event.
This represented, he said, “an agreement concerning the most fundamental theological difference between Catholics and Lutherans at the time of the Reformation and ever since.”
It was the first, and so far only, time that the Catholic Church and one of its dialogue partners have officially confirmed the results of a bilateral dialogue, Gassmann added.
Gassmann noted that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, had been involved in the latter stage of talks that led to the signing of the declaration.
Catholic Church called on to revoke Luther’s excommunication (Ekklesia)
By Charles Trueheart, Washington Post Foreign Service, 11/1/99
The “Joint Declaration On The Doctrine Of Justification” was, today, nailed to his church door by Cardinal Willliam H. Keeler, thereby allegedly ending the Reformation that Martin Luther died to support.
I dare say, if Luther could, he would be rolling over in his grave at the sight of this apostasy.
Fortunately, though 61.5 million Lutherans agreed to the accord, about 3 million rejected it. You can read the Missouri Synod’s “The Joint Lutheran/Roman Catholic Declaration on Justification: A Response” and see for yourself their good reasons for not signing this document. Read the full LCMS position paper here. Keep in mind that it is a .pdf file and will take a long time to download.
(23) The Roman Catholic-Lutheran “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification”: A Denial of the Gospel and the Righteousness of Christ by Richard M. Bennett, 1999
“There have been numerous, alarming attempts over the past five years to declare Roman Catholics as “brothers and sisters in Christ” during the dialogue between Evangelicals and the Roman Catholic Church. Now something more sinister and authoritative has taken place. “The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” (JD), an official doctrinal statement jointly authored by representatives of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), has been signed on October 31st, 1999, as a joint confessional agreement. On the 482nd anniversary of Martin Luther’s pivotal posting of the yet unanswered “95 theses” that ignited the Protestant Reformation, the RCC and LWF vividly confirmed their position of the serious apostasy–to which ecumenism with Rome inevitably leads. The Lutherans of LWF have now embraced the doctrine of the Council of Trent, and in so doing have officially and formally denied the Gospel and the righteousness of Christ.”
The Luther Effect on the Catholic Church
On 31 October 1999 the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) signed the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” [http://ephesians-511.net/docs/JOINT_DECLARATION_ON_THE_DOCTRINE_OF_JUSTIFICATION.doc] which uses the word “church” in reference to Lutherans and Catholics “to reflect the self-understanding of the particular churches, without intending to resolve all the ecclesiological issues related to them”.
Source: Dominus Iesus, a ‘public relations disaster’ for ecumenism, by Edmund Doogue and Stephen Brown ENI-00-0340 Ecumenical News International, Geneva, 12 September 2000
At The Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Rome,
October 5 to 19, 2014, on the theme “Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation,” the Lutheran World Federation was represented by a prelate from South Africa.
Communion in the hand was introduced by Protestants who did not believe in Transubstantiation and the Real Presence:
Are Church authorities unaware that Protestant denominations beginning with Martin Luther in the 16th century re-introduced Communion in the hand to manifest their belief once and for all that there is no such thing as Transubstantiation and Holy Orders, and the bread used during services is just ordinary bread, and the minister is just an ordinary man with no God-given power to consecrate?
The devil made use of Luther, an apostate monk, to abolish the Mass and deny the real presence.
We may note moreover, that in, many Catholic churches the Bible is exposed publicly (as in Protestant temples), whereas one has difficulty in finding therein the place of the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament. Similarly at the Mass, the readings have increased considerably: the liturgy of the word similar to the Protestant worship) is often longer than the liturgy of the sacrifice (rejected by Luther) and looks more important. Are these not as many signs of a Protestant mentality in the Catholic Church? […]
As taught by Luther, Protestants no longer regard the Eucharist as a sacrifice but only as a meal commemorating the Supper of the Lord. This meal is taken around a table over which a pastor (man or woman) presides. The people participate in this worship standing or seated (never kneeling); hymns are sung: the Bible is read; and (quite seldom) they distribute only Blessed bread which each one receives in his hand.
What do we see nowadays in the Catholic Church? Just like among the Protestants, the Eucharist is often reduced to a community-meal (one does not hear any more about sacrifice) and the altar has been replaced by a table. In many places, the faithful no longer kneel, but remain standing or seated.
The New Order of the Mass has even taken over several protestant elements: the priest “presides” over the Eucharist, “recites the memorial of the supper”; a large part is given to the “liturgy of the word” whereas the liturgy of the sacrifice (essential part of the Mass) is carried out in a matter of few minutes.
Source: Are Catholics Becoming Protestants? By Father M. Hering, 0. P. in The Golden Sheaf, May 1980
Luther maintained that Masses are illicit in which the priest alone receives Holy Communion.
This doctrine was refuted by Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Mediator Dei of November 20, 1947
112. The august sacrifice of the altar is concluded with communion or the partaking of the divine feast. But, as all know, the integrity of the sacrifice only requires that the priest partake of the heavenly food. Although it is most desirable that the people should also approach the holy table, this is not required for the integrity of the sacrifice.
113. We wish in this matter to repeat the remarks which Our predecessor Benedict XIV makes with regard to the definitions of the Council of Trent: “First We must state that none of the faithful can hold that private Masses, in which the priest alone receives holy communion, are therefore unlawful and do not fulfill the idea of the true, perfect and complete unbloody sacrifice instituted by Christ our Lord. For the faithful know quite well, or at least can easily be taught, that the Council of Trent, supported by the doctrine which the uninterrupted tradition of the Church has preserved, condemned the new and false opinion of Luther as opposed to this tradition.” “If anyone shall say that Masses in which the priest only receives communion, are unlawful, and therefore should be abolished, let him be anathema.”
Lutherans on priestly celibacy and a married priesthood:
The rejection of clerical celibacy was a much larger issue for the leaders of the Reformation than the fuss over indulgences. Luther, Zwingli, Carlstadt, Bucer, and many other rebellious priests soon took wives (often former nuns), while Thomas Cranmer already had one hidden in Germany.
During the Council of Trent, powerful rulers like the Emperor Ferdinand put enormous pressure on the Church to abolish the law of celibacy, but the popes resolutely declined, and have done so ever since.
Lutherans, unike Catholics, ordain women priests.
In 1992 Maria Jepsen became the first woman to be appointed a Lutheran bishop and was elected to a second term in 2002. She
resigned in July 2010 after accusations of abuse in her Hamburg diocese.
Lutherans reject the August 6, 2000, Document Dominus Iesus on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church:
1. LWF General Secretary on the Vatican document ‘Dominus
Statement by Dr Ishmael Noko, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, on the Vatican document “Dominus Iesus”
The Lutheran World Federation has received news of the document, “Dominus Iesus” – On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church on September 5, 2000.’
This document pertains primarily to the inter-faith relations of the Roman Catholic Church in the wide framework of the world’s religions. The Lutheran World Federation has seen this document and will want to carefully study and fully discuss it with our Roman Catholic partners.’
The Lutheran World Federation has also seen a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent on June 30, 2000 to the presidents of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conferences around the world. This letter and its accompanying document, “Note” on the Expression “Sister Churches” says, in effect, that the word “church” should not be used by the Roman Catholic Church when addressing Protestants.’
The fact that the Roman Catholic Church is only ready to speak of Orthodox churches as “sister churches” is not new to us. According to this understanding of the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran churches and other churches of the Reformation are not referred to as churches, but – in line with the principles now restated – as “ecclesial communities.”‘
The document, “Dominus Iesus”, contains the observation that “ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery, are not Churches in the proper sense”.’
Lutheran churches, together with other churches of the Reformation, are not ready to accept the categories now emphasized by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith nor the definitions and criteria underlying them. We are disappointed that thirty-five years of ecumenical dialogue between Roman Catholics and Lutherans seem not to have been considered in the formulation of the letter and documents issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The impact of these statements is more painful because they reflect a different spirit than that which we encounter in many other Lutheran-Roman Catholic relationships.’
On October 31, 1999, the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church took a significant ecumenical step by signing a Joint Declaration that nullified centuries of conflict between our churches regarding the Doctrine of Justification. This was an important milestone in the history of Christian unity. In the Joint Declaration, a clarifying note states that the word “church” is used in the Declaration “to reflect the self-understanding of the particular churches, without intending to resolve all the ecclesiological issues related to them.” This approach is also helpful in the wider ecumenical relationship between churches. Without it, problems arise, not only on the world level of churches and communions but also on the local level where pastors and believers are developing relationships as genuine ecumenical partners as they seek to faithfully serve God in their communities.’
The Lutheran World Federation remains committed to ecumenical dialogue. We believe that ecumenism is not optional but essential to the Church. Temporary setbacks should neither be allowed to cloud or darken our vision for Christian unity as willed and prayed for by Christ himself.’
(The LWF is a global communion of 131member churches in 72 countries representing over 59 million of the world’s 63 million Lutherans. Its highest decision making body is the Assembly, held every six or seven years. Between Assemblies, the LWF is governed by a 49-member Council which meets annually, and it’s Executive Committee. The LWF secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)’
[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the information service of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Unless specifically noted, material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]’
2. The Truth about Relativism
Martin E. Marty, September 11, 2000
The Vatican issued a new statement about the way non-Catholic Christian churches are “in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who,” in the Catholic Church, “have the fullness of the means of salvation.”
Will such language cause the “gravely deficient” — Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, evangelical — to break off relations with Catholicism in the public sphere?
Not on your life. They may grumble a bit, and go grudgingly to the table in frustration the next time they talk about in-church things, a.k.a. ecumenism…
Intrachurch and ecumenical Christian life is the subject of our Sightings only when we see it directly impinging upon extrachurch life, the public order. The statement may sound abrupt and retrogressive to non-Catholics: it steps back from the Second Vatican Council, which called them “brothers,” and from the writings of Pope Paul VI, who called them “sisters,” to demand that Catholicism now be thought of as the “mother” and all the others as “daughters.” But most non-Catholics know that this was aimed more at relativizing Catholics than at anyone else. So everyone else will go along as before.
How have Catholics and non-Catholics lived both with the notion that each is the “full” or “true” church and that salvation goes on beyond the scope of each? Are they all indeed relativists? Something more subtle than that goes on. Historian Sidney E. Mead made much of a report in 1972, in which three-fourths of young people among the doctrinally rigid Missouri Synod Lutherans told polltakers that they believed both that “belief in Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation” and that “all religions lead to the same God.” These are “two theologically contrary views,” wrote Mead, yet they did not paralyze anyone.
3. Dominus Iesus, a ‘public relations disaster’ for ecumenism
By Edmund Doogue and Stephen Brown, September 1, Ecumenical News International, Geneva, 12 September 2000
A week after publishing a document which casts doubt on the validity of Protestant Christianity and asserts Roman Catholic superiority over all other churches, the Vatican continues to draw criticism both from other churches and from within its own ranks.
The general secretaries of two organisations representing major wings of Protestantism have publicly lamented the harm done to ecumenism by Dominus Iesus, on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, published on 5 September by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The document declares that churches that do not have a “valid Episcopate [bishops] and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery are not Churches in the proper sense”. Another document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published in an Italian magazine this month orders Catholic bishops not to use the term “sister church” in reference to Protestant churches. This too has also caused dismay in ecumenical circles.
Although many theologians pointed out that there is nothing new in the Vatican documents, the reaffirmation that the Vatican does not consider Protestant churches to be authentic churches has provoked widespread irritation, especially within those organisations involved in long-standing dialogue with the Vatican.
Commenting on the two documents, Dr Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, which represents 59 million of the world’s 63 million Lutherans, pointed out that on 31 October last year the Vatican and the LWF signed the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” which uses the word “church” in reference to Lutherans and Catholics “to reflect the self-understanding of the particular churches, without intending to resolve all the ecclesiological issues related to them”.
In his statement, issued on 8 September at LWF headquarters in Geneva, Dr Noko expresses “dismay and disappointment” that 35 years of ecumenical dialogue between Roman Catholics and Lutherans seem not to have been considered in the documents issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He adds that the impact of the recent statements from the Vatican is more painful because they reflect a different spirit “than that which we encounter in many Lutheran-Roman Catholic relationships.”
He adds that “Lutheran churches, together with other churches of the Reformation, are not ready to accept the categories now emphasised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, nor the definitions and criteria underlying them”.
Also in Geneva, Dr Setri Nyomi, general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, has written to Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to express “disappointment and dismay” about Dominus Iesus.
Dr Nyomi, whose organisation represents more than 75 million Christians in 215 Congregationalist, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches world-wide, says in his letter to Cardinal Cassidy that the declaration is “made without ecumenical sensitivity” and “seems to go against the spirit of Vatican II … and the progress made in relationships and dialogues since then”. “We in the World Alliance of Reformed Churches have attached much importance to the dialogue we have engaged in for a long time now,” Dr Nyomi says. “In many nations a number of our constituent members have made major strides in relationship, often relating as ‘sister churches’ in common witness and diaconal work vis-a-vis challenges in their communities.”
Dr Nyomi draws attention to the Catholic decree on ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio, approved in 1964 by the Second Vatican Council, which committed the Roman Catholic Church to whole-hearted participation in the ecumenical movement and was widely seen as the beginning a new phase in ecumenism.
By contrast, he states in the letter to Cardinal Cassidy, slighting remarks on other Christian communities in Dominus Iesus, coupled with the note on the use of the term “sister churches“, seem to be “part of a sustained effort by Catholic conservatives” to deny the growing relationship and respect between the Roman Catholic and Reformed and other churches.
By seeming “to contradict commitment to ecumenical co-operation within the Christian family or even to take us back to a pre-Vatican II spirit”, such statements raise questions, Dr Nyomi writes, concerning “how we can continue in dialogue with integrity – trusting and respecting one another”.
Ironically, Dominus Iesus was issued a week before WARC was scheduled to begin a further session of international bilateral dialogue with the Catholic Church. WARC considered calling off this session pending clarification from the Catholic Church over what it has described as the “special affinity and close relationship” binding it to Protestant churches.
WARC has however decided to go ahead with the session, but Dr Nyomi states in the letter that “we will be putting on the table for discussion the questions we have regarding how the Roman Catholic Church views the Reformed family, and its implications for our continued dialogue”.
The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the country’s main Protestant body, issued a statement on 7 September pointedly declaring that it wanted, despite the statements from Rome, to improve ecumenical co-operation with its “Catholic sister church”.
The governing board of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (VELKD), which has as members eight regional Lutheran churches, said on 8 September that there was no biblical justification for the claim in Dominus Iesus that only the Catholic Church fully incorporated the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. “To make this claim at the present time shows a lack of ecumenical sensitivity.”
The publication of Dominus Iesus on 5 September took place a day after representatives of the VELKD and the Catholic Church in Germany published a new statement on the nature of the church drawn up by a joint working group. The VELKD board said that it was confident that the German (Catholic) Bishops’ Conference would deal with the statements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in an “ecumenical spirit” and that there would continue to be a good partnership between Lutherans and Catholics in Germany in further bilateral discussions.
However, in Switzerland, Heinrich Bolleter, bishop of the Evangelical Methodist Church of central and southern Europe, said that he could not understand “why Protestants are getting so excited about the statements”. According to the Reformierte Nachrichten (RNA), based in Zurich, Bishop Bolleter said: “In our practical ecumenical work we have always known that we are not of one mind when it comes to the issue of the nature of the church. We too easily forget how in recent decades we have dealt with the issue of mutual recognition. We have always avoided the question of the understanding of the church. But we have constructed a common platform on which we can have fellowship despite different ecclesiologies.”
In Italy, Gianni Genre, newly elected moderator of the Waldensian church, said that he was concerned about the “anti-modernist accent accents being set in recent times by the Catholic Church”, RNA reported.
In Paris a prominent Orthodox theologian, Olivier Clement, commenting on Dominus Iesus, said it was an “act of blasphemy against the church to say that the Eucharist celebrated by Anglicans and Protestants is empty”.
Asked by a Swiss news agency, Agence de presse Internationale Catholique, if Orthodox Christians were closer to Roman Catholics than Protestants, Clement replied: “Of course, I’m convinced of that. But another step should be taken – a step which would prove that the closer relations between Orthodox and Catholics have positive ramifications for Anglicans and Protestants. But we can’t see any sign of such a step. I would like to add that the beatification of Pope Pius IX [in Rome early this month] is a disaster for the Orthodox, for he is the man of the First Vatican Council [which proclaimed] the dogma of papal infallibility which poisoned relations between the divided churches.”
In London, the deputy general secretary of the Baptist Union, Myra Blyth, told the Baptist Times: “We are all part of the one holy, catholic and apostolic church. For one part of Christ’s Church to claim superiority over the other is inappropriate for the times in which we live, and is unhelpful to the cause of mission.”
In the United States, Joe Hale, general secretary of the World Methodist Council (WMC), and Geoffrey Wainwright, the chair of the WMC’s committee on ecumenism and dialogues, said that the WMC welcomed the reaffirmation in Dominus Iesus of “Jesus Christ as the one Saviour of the world” but added that in its continuing dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church it looked forward to “further explanation on the question of how each partner can come to a fuller recognition of the churchly character of the other”.
For many progressive Catholics, Dominus Iesus was at best embarrassing and at worst offensive. The German branch of the We are Church movement, a Catholic organisation campaigning for radical changes in the church, described the declaration as a “questionable attempt to bring back the absolutist view of the church of the First Vatican Council with the unlimited primacy of the Pope”. The declaration, it continued, was “in stark contrast to the hopeful endeavours initiated by the Second Vatican Council for ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue”. It warned that the declaration was putting at risk plans to hold an ecumenical Kirchentag (church convention) in Berlin in 2003. We Are Church called for a clear statement by Germany’s Catholic bishops distancing themselves from the declaration.
Hans Kung*, a prominent Swiss, Catholic theologian often at odds with the Vatican, told an Italian news agency that Dominus Iesus was “a mixture of medieval backwardness and Vatican megalomania”.
In London, the Tablet, a leading independent Catholic publication, described Dominus Iesus as “a public relations disaster what a pity that it sounds notes of triumphalism that the sympathetic style and way of acting of Pope John XXIII [who initiated the Second Vatican Council], newly beatified, seemed to have dispelled forever.” *See pages 2 and 5
ANSWERS TO MAIN OBJECTIONS AGAINST DOMINUS IESUS
By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
R: That all the existing ecclesial communities should appeal to the same concept of Church seems to me to be contrary to their self-awareness. Luther claimed that the Church, in a theological and spiritual sense, could not be embodied in the great institutional structure of the Catholic Church, which he regarded instead as an instrument of the Antichrist. In his view, the Church was present wherever the Word was proclaimed correctly and the sacraments administered in the right way. Luther himself held that it was impossible to consider the local Churches subject to the princes as the Church; they were external institutions for assistance and were certainly necessary, but not the Church in the theological sense. And who would say today that structures which came into being by historical accident like, for example, the Churches of Hesse-Waldeck and Schaumburg-Lippe, are Churches in the same way that the Catholic Church claims to be? It is clear that the Union of German Lutheran Churches (VELDK) and the Union of Protestant Churches in Germany (EKD) do not want to be the “Church”. A realistic examination shows that the reality of the Church for Protestants lies elsewhere and not in those institutions which are called regional Churches. This should have been discussed.
The fact is that the Evangelical side now considers the definition “ecclesial community” an offence. The harsh reactions to your document are clear proof of this.
R: I find the claim of our Lutheran friends frankly absurd, i.e., that we are to consider these structures resulting from chance historical events as the Church in the same way that we believe the Catholic Church, founded on the apostolic succession in the Episcopate, is the Church. It would be more correct for our Evangelical friends to tell us that for them the Church is something different a more dynamic reality and not so institutionalized, or part of the apostolic succession. The question then is not whether the existing Churches are all Churches in the same way, which is obviously not the case, but in what does the Church consist or not consist. In this sense, we offend no one by saying that the actual Evangelical structures are not the Church in the sense in which the Catholic Church intends to be so. They themselves have no wish to be so.
Read this Document:
RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH
June 29, 2007
The Document affirms that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church.
Ecumenical roads no longer lead to Rome
By Andrew Hamilton, July 26, 2007
The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith recently clarified the relationship between the Catholic Church and other churches. Its document provoked mixed responses. Vatican officials insisted it said nothing new; many others, including Catholics, found it offensive. Both responses were understandable. But taken together they pointed to a lack of attention in preparing such documents.
The Congregation addressed the view that the Roman Catholic Church is simply one of a number of brands offering the same product and that adherence to any church is simply a matter of individual choice. This attitude is part of the cultural air we breathe.
Against this view the Congregation insisted that Christian bodies must be judged by the extent to which their faith and structures represent the shape of the early church. All churches agree with this claim. But they define, in different ways, what continuity with the early church means. Catholic and Orthodox churches emphasise continuity in faith and structure, while Bible-based churches generally emphasise continuity in a particular form of faith. By these standards they judge whether particular Christian bodies truly represent Christ’s church.
In the Catholic theology that prevailed before the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church alone could claim to be Christ’s church. It drew sharp boundaries between the one true church and other false churches.
The Second Vatican Council stressed the value of positive elements in other churches, insisting that God could work through these churches for the good of their members. Members of other churches shared Christian faith and their baptism was of decisive significance. The Council reconciled this insight with its conviction that the Catholic Church had a unique place in salvation by using the concept of participation. The Catholic Church shares fully in the reality of Christ’s church. Other churches participate to greater and lesser degrees. The Council caught the distinction in its statement that the Church of Christ subsists in the Roman Catholic Church, and by referring to other Christian bodies as ecclesial communities rather than as churches.
The image of participation has two corollaries. It makes less absolute the boundaries between the Catholic Church and other churches. We cannot divide churches into true and false, but into greater and less. We must say that other churches and their ministries are not equivalent to the Catholic Church, but we may not say that they are without value.
The image of participation also brings out the difference between the abstract shape of faith and church structure and the way in which faith is lived out. To say that the Catholic Church uniquely embodies the faith and structured life of the early church does not imply that its structures function as Christ would have wanted, or work better than those of other churches.
From this perspective the goal of ecumenical endeavour is not, as Catholics would once have said, that other churches should return to Rome. The priority is that in all churches, their members’ lives, their relationships and their structures correspond to Christ’s values. If they are faithful their paths may lead to a form of unity that is today unimaginable.
That is the background to the document. But although it affirms the text of Vatican II, its context is different. Vatican II wanted to make space for conversation between churches and Christians by emphasising what they share. It shaped its decrees to ensure that they were open to those who were not Catholic. The Congregation’s document emphasises the boundaries between the Catholic Church and other churches by denying their equivalence. It is not concerned to win or to encourage those outside the Catholic Church in their living of faith. For that reason when it quotes the statements of Vatican II that speak of ecclesial communities and of ministries, the passages have a different resonance than they had in the context of the Council. They seem to be judgemental and naturally give offence.
The document points to the need for the Catholic Church to find a language that expresses the logic of participation. This will emphasise what they share in common, and will speak of differences in this light. It requires attending to the living faith of other churches and not simply to their abstract deficiencies. It is a language that attends first to faces and only then to organisation. This document is lacking in this kind of attention.
In attentive conversation it is possible to say honestly that in Catholic understanding, only the Catholic Church embodies structurally the fullness of church and ministry. But to imply that other churches are not really churches, and that their ministry is not really Christian ministry, would fail to attend to the way in which Christians, including Catholics, commonly use words. The implication of the claim is gratuitously offensive. We should presume that the offence was not intended. But if it is to be avoided, a different kind of attention is needed.
A reader’s comment
The Catholic Church says the churches established during the Reformation are wrong because the clergy are not in direct apostolic succession from the disciples, and lack valid sacraments. Well, I left the Catholic Church two years ago and joined the Lutheran Church. The Lutheran Church believes their ordained clergy are in direct apostolic succession, and Baptism and Holy Communion are sacraments. Obviously, both consider the other in error.
Duane: The document was very clear in what it wanted to say. I salute the Pope for telling it like it is. Time we stopped sugar coating Catholic teaching just to make someone else happy. We do not force our belief on anyone so they can take or leave it. -Ann McEvoy
Lutheran merceneraies pillaged the Holy City!
Giulio de Medici succeeded Adrian VI and took the name of Clement VII (1523 – 1534). During his Pontificate, on 6 May 1527, there occurred the terrible sack of Rome, perpetrated by Lutheran mercenaries (Landsknechte)
of the Emperor Charles V. It is difficult to describe the devastation and sacrileges committed during this event which proved to be more terrible than the sack of Rome in 410. Men and women of the Church were targeted for especial cruelty: nuns were raped, priests and monks were killed or sold as slaves, churches, palaces and houses were destroyed. The massacres were swiftly followed by famine and plague. The inhabitants of Rome were decimated.
The Catholic people interpreted the event as a punishment they deserved for their own sins.
It was only after the terrible sack that life in Rome changed profoundly. The climate of moral relativism dissolved and the general poverty stamped austerity and penitence onto the city. It was this new atmosphere which made possible that great religious rebirth, the Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 16th century.
THE ERRORS AND DANGEROUS TEACHINGS OF THE “REFORMER” MARTIN LUTHER
Archaeologists dig up dirt on Luther
October 28, 2008
German archaeologists have stoked controversy by unearthing evidence that Reformation leader Martin Luther lived well and did not die as a pauper as commonly believed.
The Taipei Times reports German scientists have reconstructed a detailed picture of the domestic life of Martin Luther by trawling through his household waste uncovered during archeological digs on sites where he used to live.
Beer tankards, grains of corn, cooking pots, his wife’s wedding band and even his toilet are among the finds dug up during the five year project in the three places in Germany he spent his life.
But the Protestant Church in Wittenberg has called “religiously irrelevant” the evidence that the peace loving family used to throw dead cats into the rubbish bin and that the nails Luther used to secure his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg – which led to his excommunication from the Catholic Church and launched the reformation – were in fact drawing pins.
“We’ve been able to reconstruct whole chapters of his life’s history,” said Harald Meller, one of the main researchers.
Protestants from around the world were expected to flock to an exhibition at the history museum in Halle, where the best of the discoveries are to go on display starting on Friday.
Despite the widespread belief that Luther lived in poverty, evidence suggests he was a well fed man, weighing a hefty 150 kilograms when he died in 1546 at the age of 63.
The most extensive research carried out at the family home in Wittenberg showed that Luther wrote his celebrated texts with goose quills under lamps lit by animal fat, in a heated room, which overlooked the River Elbe.
It debunks something of the Luther myth to know he wrote the 95 theses on a stone toilet, which was dug up in 2004.
Martin Luther rejected papal primacy and apostolic succession and much else that was and still is Catholic.
Luther’s words are emphasized by me using the colour red -Michael
The Protestant Revolution was begun by Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, who, led astray by private judgment, set himself against the Faith held for 1500 years. He decided that all Christians before him had been in error. Is it possible to believe that Jesus founded a Church to mislead the world, and then after 1500 years approved of over 500 contradictory churches founded by men? But, you may say, the Protestant Church is the Church of Christ, purified of error, and only this purified form dates from Luther. I answer that you must choose between Luther and Christ. Jesus said His Church would never teach error (John 14:26); Luther says it did teach error. If Luther is right, Christ is wrong; if Christ is right, Luther and all his followers are wrong.
Luther’s chief errors are contained in the following propositions:
(1) There is no supreme teaching power in the Church.
(2) The temporal sovereign has supreme power in matters ecclesiastical.
(3) There are no priests.
(4) All that is to be believed is in the Bible.
(5) Each one may interpret Holy Scripture as he likes.
(6) Faith alone saves, good works are superfluous.
(7) Man lost his free will by original sin.
(8) There are no saints, no Christian sacrifice, no sacrament of confession, and no purgatory.
Following are some significant excerpts from Luther’s writings and lectures, as compared with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Taken from the book Christ vs. Luther, edited by R. A. Short, copyright 1953 by the Bellarmine Publishing Company, Mound, Minnesota)
– On Sin –
Christ: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication . . . murder . . . and suchlike. And concerning these I warn you, they who do such things will not attain the Kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Luther: “Sin boldly but believe more boldly. Let your faith be greater than your sin. . . Sin will not destroy us in the reign of the Lamb, although we were to commit fornication a thousand times in one day” (Letter to Melanchton, August 1, 1521, Audin p.178).
Christ: “And do not be drunk with wine, for in that is debauchery” (Eph. 5:18). “Keep thyself chaste” (I Tim. 5:22).
Luther: “Why do I sit soaked in wine? … To be continent and chaste is not in me” (Luther’s diary).
– On Good Works –
Christ: “What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but does not have works? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14, 26).
Luther: “He that says the Gospel requires works for salvation, I say, flat and plain, is a liar” (“able Talk, Weimer Edition, II, p.137).
– On Truth –
Christ: “Do not be liars against the truth. This is not the wisdom that descends from above. It is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:1~15). “Do not lie to one another” (Col. 3:9). “The Lord hateth… a lying tongue… a deceitful witness that uttereth lies. . . “(Proverbs 6:1&17). “A thief is worse than a liar, but both of them shall inherit destruction” (Ecclus. 20:27).
Luther: “To lie in case of necessity, or for convenience, or in excuse, would not offend God, who is ready to take such lies on Himself” (Enserch Conference, July 17, 1540).
– On Marriage –
Christ: “Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery” ~ark 10:11-12).
Luther: “As to divorce, it is still a moot question whether it is allowable. For my part, I prefer bigamy” (DeWette, Vol.2, p.459).
– On Free Will –
Christ: “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It were better for that man if he had not been born” (Matt. 26:24). “Let no man say when he is tempted, that he is tempted by God; for God is no tempter to evil” (James 1:13).
Luther: “Judas’ will was the work of God; God by His almighty power moved his will as He does all that is in this world” (De Servo Arbitro – Against man’s free will). Accosted on all sides by charges of heresy, even by many of his former associates in the Protestant movement, Luther found refuge in this, the strangest of all his beliefs. No man is accountable for his actions, Luther taught, no matter how evil. Not even Judas!
Such are the teachings of the first so-called “reformer” of Christ’s Church! If Luther was a man divinely inspired or called in an extraordinary manner, why did God permit him to fall into so many absurdities in points of doctrine?
“Luther finally brought himself to indulge the pleasing delusion that the Catholic Church was the detestable kingdom of Antichrist . . . that he himself was John the Evangelist…” (From the book Luther, page 65).
So you see the heresies, divisions, confusion, etc. resulting from the private interpretation of the Scriptures. Unless there is a church in the world, from the days of our Lord, which declares unmistakably (infallibly) who Jesus is, and what He taught, He might just as well have revealed nothing!
One Hundred Fifty Reasons I’m Catholic – And You Should Be Too
By Dave Armstrong
The founders of Protestantism denied, and Calvinists today deny, the reality of human free will (Luther’s favorite book was his Bondage of the Will). This is both contrary to the constant premise of the Bible, Christian Tradition, and common sense.
Classical Protestantism had a deficient view of the Fall of Man, thinking that the result was “total depravity.” According to Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Calvinists, man could only do evil of his own volition, and had no free will to do good. He now has a “sin nature.” Catholicism believes that, in a mysterious way, man cooperates with the grace which always precedes all good actions. In Catholicism, man’s nature still retains some good, although he has a propensity to sin (“concupiscence”).
Classical Protestantism (esp. Luther), and Calvinism, due to their false view of the Fall, deny the efficacy and capacity of human reason to know God to some extent (both sides agree that revelation and grace are also necessary), and oppose it to God and faith, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Mk 12:28; Lk 10:27; Jn 20:24-9; Acts 1:3; 17:2,17,22-34; 19:8). The best Protestant apologists today simply hearken back to the Catholic heritage of St. Aquinas, St. Augustine, and many other great thinkers.
Protestantism (esp. Luther) sets up the Old Testament against the New Testament, even though Jesus did not do so (Mt 5:17-19; Mk 7:8-11; Lk 24:27, 44; Jn 5:45-47).
Many (most?) Protestants deny Mary’s perpetual virginity, despite Christian Tradition (inc. the unanimous agreement of the Protestant founders (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.), some Protestant support, and several biblical evidences, too involved to briefly summarize.
In the Bull “Exsurge Domine”, 15 June 1520, Leo X condemned Luther’s assertions that “Indulgences are pious frauds of the faithful”; and that “Indulgences do not avail those who really gain them for the remission of the penalty due to actual sin in the sight of God’s justice” (Enchiridion, 75S, 759).
Source: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm, http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/indulge/portiuncula.htm
At the symposium on indulgences held in February 2001, Protestants were invited, to explain that indulgences do not contradict the joint declaration on justification signed with Lutherans in 1999.
Protestants have difficulty with the doctrine of Purgatory for basically two reasons: First, when Martin Luther translated the Bible into German in 1532, he removed seven books of the Old Testament, including the two Books of Maccabees, where at least implicitly the purification of the soul is found.
Second, John Calvin preached that we had lost our free will due to original sin and that God had predetermined whether a soul was saved or damned; therefore, if we cannot choose to sin and if our eternal destiny is predetermined, who needs a Purgatory? In all, the Protestant leaders cast aside centuries of Christian Church teaching when they denied the doctrine of Purgatory.
by Fr. William Saunders, 1995
A critical part of Luther’s desire to remove certain books of the Bible centered on their contents. Several books, especially Maccabees, referred to the Jewish tradition of prayer for the dead. All of these references implied the need and the holiness of those who did so, for example:
2 Maccabees 12:44-45. “For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”
Obviously this didn’t work with Luther’s doctrine, so he removed these books from the protestant Bible.
4. But, in conscience, do you think that the interior persuasion is a sufficient means to distinguish the Holy Scriptures, and put the nations out of doubt? How comes it then that Luther throws off the Epistle of S. James, which Calvin receives? Try to harmonise, I pray you, this spirit and his persuasions, who persuades the one to reject what he persuades the other to receive. You will say, perhaps, that Luther is mistaken. He will say as much of you. Which is to be believed? Luther ridicules Ecclesiastes, he considers Job a fable. Will you oppose him your persuasion? He will oppose you his. So this spirit, divided against himself, will leave you no other conclusion except to grow thoroughly obstinate, each in his own opinion.
5. Then what reason is there that the Holy Spirit should give inspirations as to what every one must believe to nobodies, to Luther, to Calvin, they having abandoned without any such inspiration the Councils and the entire Church. We do not deny, to speak clearly, but that the knowledge of the true sacred books is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but we say that the Holy Spirit gives it to private individuals through the medium of the Church. Indeed if God had a thousand times revealed a thing to a private person we should not be obliged to believe it unless he stamped it so clearly that we could no longer call its validity in question. But we see nothing of this among your reformers. In a word, it is to the Church General that the Holy Spirit immediately addresses his inspirations and persuasions, then, by the preaching of the Church, he communicates them to private persons. It is the Spouse in whom the milk is produced, then the children suck it from her breasts. But you would have it, on the contrary, that God inspires private persons, and by these means the Church, that the children receive the milk and the mother is nourished at their breasts; an absurdity.
Now if the Scripture is not violated and its majesty offended by the setting up of these interior and private inspirations, it never was nor will be violated. For by this means the door is open to every one to receive or reject of the Scriptures what shall seem good to him. Why shall one allow Calvin to cut off Wisdom or the Machabees, and not Luther to remove the Epistle of S. James or the Apocalypse, or Castalio the Canticle of Canticles, or the Anabaptists the Gospel of S. Mark, or another person Genesis and Exodus? If all protest that they have interior revelation why shall we believe one rather than another, so that this rule supposed to be sacred on account of the Holy Spirit, will be violated by the audacity of every deceiver.
Recognise, I pray you, the stratagem. They have taken away all authority from Tradition, the Church, the Councils, what more remains? The Scripture. The enemy is crafty: if he would take all away at one stroke he would cause alarm. He starts a certain and infallible method of getting rid of it bit by bit, and very gradually: that is, this idea of interior inspiration, by which everybody can receive or reject what seems good to him. And in fact consider a little how the process works itself out. Calvin removes and erases from the canon Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Machabees; Luther takes away the Epistle of S. James, of S. Jude, the Second of S. Peter, the Second and Third of S. John, the Epistle to the Hebrews; he ridicules Ecclesiastes, and holds Job a fable. In Daniel, Calvin has erased the Canticle of the Three Children, the history of Susanna and that of the dragon of Bel; also a great part of Esther. In Exodus, at Geneva and elsewhere among these reformers, they have cut out the twenty-second verse of the second chapter, which is of such weight that neither the Seventy nor the other translators would ever have written it if it had not been in the original.
Calvin takes away seven books of the Scripture: (In prologis Bib. et horum lib.) Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and the Machabees; Luther has removed the Epistle of S. James, that of S. Jude, the second of S. Peter, the 2nd and 3rd of S. John, the Epistle to the Hebrews; he ridicules Ecclesiastes, he holds Job as a fable. Reconcile, I pray you this false spirit, who takes away from Luther’s brain what he puts back in that of Calvin. Does this seem to you a trifling discord between these two evangelists? You will say you do not hold Luther’s intelligence in great account; his party think no better of that of Calvin. But see the progress of your fine church, how she ever pushes on further.
Source: How the Protestant “Reformers” violated the integrity of Scripture
By Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lutheranism’s proposition ‘Scripture only’ (Sola Scriptura) was condemned at the Council of Trent.
In the book “AN EXPOSITION AND DEFENSE OF ALL THE POINTS OF FAITH DISCUSSED AND DEFINED BATHE SACRED COUNCIL OF TRENT,” St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori says:
“A church which is not one in its doctrine and faith can never be the true church. Hence because truth must be one, of all the different churches only one can be the true one, and out of that church there is no salvation. Now, in order to determine which is this one true church, it is necessary to examine which is the church first founded by Jesus Christ. For, when the first is ascertained, it must be confessed that this alone is the True Church, which, having been once the True Church, must always have been and must forever be. For to this first Church has been made the promise of the Savior that the gates of hell should never be able to overturn it (Matt. 16: 18).
“In the entire history of religion, we find that the Roman Catholic Church alone was the first church, and that the other false and heretical churches afterwards departed and separated from her . . .
“What faith can we learn from false teachers when, in consequence of separating from the Church, they have no rule of faith? How often did Calvin change his opinions on the Eucharist! And, during his life, Luther was constantly contradicting himself: on the single article of the Eucharist, he fell into 33 contradictions. A single contradiction is sufficient to show that they did not have the Spirit of God: ‘He cannot deny Himself (II Tim. 2:13). In a word, take away the authority of the Church, and neither divine revelation nor natural reason itself is of any use, for each may be interpreted by every individual according to his own caprice. Do they not see that from this accursed liberty of conscience has arisen the immense variety of heretical and atheistic sects? I repeat: if you take away obedience to the Church, there is no error which will not be embraced.”
Since Luther, what consequences have followed from the use of the “Bible-only” theory and its personal interpretation? Just what St. Paul foretold when he said: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” 2 Timothy 4-3 (Protestant edition) According to the World Christian Encyclopedia and other sources, there are 73 different organizations of Methodists, 55 kinds of Baptists, 10 branches of Presbyterians, 17 organizations of Mennonites, 128 of Lutherans and thousands of other denominations.
Comment: The “Bible-only” theory may indeed cater to the self-exaltation of the individual, but it certainly does not conduce to the acquisition of Divine truth.
Were there any printed Bibles before Luther?
When printing was invented about 1440, one of the first, if not the earliest printed book, was an edition of the Catholic Bible printed by John Gutenberg. It is reliably maintained that 626 editions of the Catholic Bible, or portions thereof, had come from the press through the agency of the Church, in countries where her influence prevailed, before Luther’s German version appeared in 1534. Of these, many were in various European languages. Hence Luther’s “discovery” of the supposedly unknown Bible at Erfurt in 1503 is one of those strange, wild calumnies with which anti-Catholic literature abounds.
Source: The Catholic Religion Proved by the Protestant Bible
http://www.pamphlets.org.au/docs/cts/oregon/html/ctsor100.html, Catholic Truth Society of Oregon
Twenty One Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura
By Joel Peters
What is Sola Scriptura?
“We believe in the Bible alone and the Bible in its entirety as the sole rule of faith for the Christian!”
You may have heard these words or something very similar to them from a Fundamentalist or Evangelical Protestant. They are, in essence, the meaning of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, or “Scripture alone,” which alleges that the Bible – as interpreted by the individual believer – is the only source of religious authority and is the Christian’s sole rule of faith or criterion regarding what is to be believed. By this doctrine, which is one of the foundational beliefs of Protestantism, a Protestant denies that there is any other source of religious authority or divine Revelation to humanity.
The Catholic, on the other hand, holds that the immediate or direct rule of faith is the teaching of the Church; the Church in turn takes her teaching from the divine Revelation – both the written
Word, called Sacred Scripture, and the oral or unwritten Word, known as “Tradition.” The teaching authority or “Magisterium” of the Catholic Church (headed by the Pope), although not itself a source of divine Revelation, nevertheless has a God-given mission to interpret and teach both Scripture and Tradition. Scripture and Tradition are the sources of Christian doctrine, the Christian’s remote or indirect rule of faith
Obviously these two views on what constitutes the Christian’s rule of faith are opposed to each other, and anyone who sincerely seeks to follow Christ must be sure that he follows the one that is true.
The doctrine of Sola Scriptura originated with Martin Luther, the 16th-century German monk who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and started the Protestant “Reformation.” (1) in response to some abuses that had been occurring within the Catholic Church, Luther became a vocal opponent of certain practices. As far as these abuses were concerned, they were real and Luther was justified in reacting.
However, as a series of confrontations between him and the Church hierarchy developed, the issues became more centered on the question of Church authority and – from Luther’s perspective – whether or not the teaching of the Catholic Church was a legitimate rule of faith for Christians.
As the confrontations between Luther and the Church’s hierarchy ensued and tensions mounted, Luther accused the Catholic Church of having corrupted Christian doctrine and having distorted Biblical truths, and he more and more came to believe that the Bible, as interpreted by the individual believer, was the only true religious authority for a Christian. He eventually rejected Tradition as well as the teaching authority of the Catholic Church (with the Pope at its head) as having legitimate religious authority.
An honest inquirer must ask, then, whether Luther’s doctrine of “Scripture alone” was a genuine restoration of a Biblical truth or rather the promulgation of an individual’s personal views on Christian authority. Luther was clearly passionate about his beliefs, and he was successful in spreading them, but these facts in and of themselves do not guarantee that what he taught was correct. Since one’s spiritual well-being, and even one’s eternal destiny, is at stake, the Christian believer needs to be absolutely sure in this matter.
Following are 21 considerations which will help the reader scrutinize Luther’s doctrine of Sola Scriptura from Biblical, historical and logical bases and which show that it is not in fact a genuine Biblical truth, but rather a man-made doctrine…
See REFUTING THE PROTESTANT FALLACY OF SOLA SCRIPTURA
SOLA SCRIPTURA VS TRADITION
Martin Luther and Our Lady of Guadalupe
By Rick Salbato Luther’s words are emphasized by me using the colour red -Michael
A child was born in Germany of a poor peasant miner, named John Luder. This child would eventually change his name because the word “Luder” in German means “beast”. Let me emphasize this: the word “Luder” means “beast”. This will be relevant later. Now, this child, by all Twentieth Century standards or even Fifteenth Century standards, was an abused child. He didn’t like authority, and so, he was beaten constantly by his father, mother, and his teachers. One time he was beaten fifteen times by his school master before morning. He became a runaway. All authority became his enemy. One day he was almost struck by lightning, and this so frightened him that he made a promise to God. If God would save his life from the storm, he would become a priest. And so, he did. He became an Augustinian priest.
To understand Luder, we must read Luder’s own writings. When he was still a priest, Luder wrote:
“If Christ had not entrusted all power to one man, the Church would not have been perfect. There would have been disorder, and each person would have been his own master claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit. This is what the heretics do. The principle sin of heretics is their own pride. With pride they insist on their own opinions. Frequently they serve God with great devotion. They do not intend any evil, but they serve God according to their own will. Even when refuted they refuse to change their words. They think they are guided by the Holy Spirit. The things that have been established for centuries and in which countless martyrs have lost their lives, they treat as doubtful questions. They interpret the Bible according to their own heads, and carry their own opinions in it.”
Luder wanted to be a perfect priest but he did not understand one important thing; he did not understand “grace”. He wanted to acquire sanctity by his own efforts, his own justice, his own works, and he did not like anyone helping him – not even God. He hated authority, in whatever form it took, including God. He said of himself,
“I gave special tasks to myself, which my superiors fought against (and rightfully so). I was a persecutor of my own soul, by fasting and prayer, which was suicide. From misplaced reliance on my own righteousness, I became filled with mistrust, fear, hatred, and blasphemy of God. I was such an enemy of Christ, that whenever I saw a picture of Christ or the Cross, I would shut my eyes and thought that I would rather have seen the devil. I was constantly depressed or melancholy. For do what I would, my good works or righteousness brought me no help or consolation.”
It was while he was in this state of melancholy that his problems began. Leo X issued a Bull on Indulgences, and the Dominican, Tetzel, traveled throughout Germany preaching indulgences and collecting money to rebuild Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Tetzel angered Luder to the bottom of his soul because Tetzel said that man did not rely on himself, but needed the grace of God to do any good work. Tetzel taught that the grace stored up in the Church by all the saints, martyrs, monks, and cloistered nuns could be tapped. By appealing to these graces we could gain the power to overcome temptation and sin. By appealing to these graces stored up in the Body of Christ, the Church, we could gain power from God to do good and to gain the remission of sins.
So angry was Luder that his fasting and penance was for nothing, that he lashed out at Tetzel. On Halloween Day in 1517 (500 years before Fatima) he nailed up on the Church doors 95 objections against indulgences. The Church made little of it, except to answer his objections, because this was a standard way of getting answers to questions in those days. Luder began to vacillate. At first he wrote to the Holy Father, “Whatever your decision I will accept as Christ speaking through you.”
However, when his errors were pointed out to him, Luder rebelled. He denied one day what he had professed the day before. He declared the Church infallible one day, then denied it the next. He submitted to the councils and then he did not. He stated that civil government had power over the Church and then he denied it. He admitted Hell and then he questioned it. He taught that Sacraments gave grace and then he denied it. He taught seven Sacraments, then two, then three. He admitted that Baptism gave grace and then he did not. He maintained Purgatory, and then he denied it.
Finally, in 1520 he was excommunicated. Regarding his excommunication, Luder said,
“I maintain that the author of this excommunication (the Pope) is the Antichrist.”
The Bible did not support his views. He needed a new bible. In the Sixteenth Century, it could be said that if anyone could not read Latin, he could not read at all. In spite of this there were 17 versions of the Bible in the German language alone before Luder came out with his own version.
In order to make a new version, he took the Newenburg Version of 1483 and began to change everything in it. He wrote his own version from the German Newenburg Version in only 10 weeks. He never stopped changing his own version until his death. He never went to the Greek or Hebrew, and his only source was the German version written in 1483.
He changed Scriptures so that wherever it said to “do penance”, he wrote, “to do better”. In Acts 19:18 where it says, “Many of them came confessing their sins”, he wrote, “They came acknowledging the miracles of the Apostles”. In the Annunciation where it said, “Full of Grace”, he changed it to “Thou gracious one”. In Romans where it said, “We account a man to be justified by faith”, he wrote, “We hold man justified by faith alone without the works of the law.”
When questioned about his addition of the word “alone” he stated,
“If your Pope annoys you with the word, tell him that I will have it that way. Popes and
asses are one and the same thing. To the devil with anyone who censures my translation without my will or knowledge. I will have it that way. I am the doctor of all the doctors of popedom. These Popish asses are not able to appreciate my labors.”
Regarding the Doctors of the Church – Augustine, Jerome, Basil, Aquinas, Luder wrote,
“They are untrustworthy teachers. Bores, out of which Christians have been drinking. Naive blasphemers, infernal asses, knowing nothing of the gospel, deceived by the devil, and deserving of hell rather than heaven.”
Then he proceeded to take out whole sections of the Bible: Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiastics, Tobias, Machabees I and II, parts of Ester, parts of Daniel, the prayers of Menasseh.
“I do not wish to see or hear anything of Moses. If we allow the 10 commandments any influence on our conscience they become the cloak of evil, heretics, and blasphemers. If Moses should intimidate you with his 10 commandments, tell him right off to chase himself to the Jews. Moses should forever be looked about with suspicion, even as a heretic, damned, even worse than the Pope and the devil.”
Luder had no respect for the rest of the Bible, either. Judith he called a tragedy. Tobias he called a comedy. Ecclesiastics he said was OK for ordinary dumb folks. Baruch he said was worthless. Esra,
“I would not even translate it. There is nothing in it you would not find in Aesop’s Fables,” wrote Luder.
Regarding Job, he said it was a fable. Ester he said he would throw into the Ibe River. As for Jonas, Jonas he said was monstrous.
In the New Testament he rejected Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation. Of the four Gospels, he said only John was trustworthy. Regarding Hebrews he said that it has bits of wood, hay and straw. Of James he said he did not hold it to be James’ writings. Regarding Revelation he said,
“I feel an aversion to it, and this is sufficient reason for me to reject it.”
Even those words he could not change, he changed the meaning. He told his followers that wherever they saw the words, “to do” they should understand them to mean “to believe”. “Do this and you shall live” in Matthew should be taken to mean “Believe this and you shall live.”
Now, armed with a Bible that supported his views, he placed cheap copies of it into the hands of the peasants and the princes. To flatter them, he told the peasants that they were the priests and that anyone’s interpretation of Scripture had equal value to anyone else.
“Among Christians there should not be any authority,” he said.
The peasants took this farther than Luder wanted them to. Led by a man named Mussner, they revolted against the kings, princes and the Church. They demanded the right to elect priests, the elimination of serfdom, the elimination of subjects, the elimination of princes, and the elimination of kings. They used the new Gospel of Luder to claim the right to kill all until authority was destroyed and the new Kingdom of God was established.
To arouse the masses even further, Luder had cartoons pasted all over Germany showing the Pope and the Cardinals being born out of the devil’s behind.
Monasteries, churches, and the palaces of the princes were attacked. At first Luder was happy. He wanted to use the peasants to destroy the Church in Germany. However, when they also attacked the kings and princes who had protected his cause, he realized that if the peasants gained control, he would lose control.
He wrote a declaration against the peasants, and the kings posted his declaration all over Germany.
“Pure deviltry is the peasants. They rob and rage like mad dogs, therefore whoever is able to mow them down, slaughter them or stab them, openly or in secret, let them do so. Remember, nothing is more poisonous, noxious or devious than a rebel. You must kill them like you would a mad dog.”
The peasants were slaughtered like cattle. After the slaughter Luder wrote,
“I, Luder, slew all the peasants because I said they should be slain. All their blood is upon my head, but I put it upon the Lord, God, by whose command I spoke.”
In 1531 he celebrated the slaughter of the peasants by marrying a nun, and becoming the author of the “State Church” because he said,
“He who owns the country owns the Church. He who makes the laws for you, has the right to make the religion for you. No finer government in the world is there than that of the Turks, who have neither a secular nor spiritual code of law, but only the Koran.”
He said that the Abbeys belonged to the princes, and that monasteries were dens of iniquity that the kings should root out and destroy. If the kings did this, he said, then God would bless them.
So began all state-controlled religions. Eventually some governments would go so far as to outlaw all religions, as in the case of the “French Revolution” and “Communism”. By 1984 Communism would outlaw religion in 74% of the entire world.
When Pope Paul III died, Luder said,
“This is the fourth Pope I have buried and I will bury many more.”
Soon after he said that, however, Luder died. The main theological argument of Luder was that man has no free will to choose good or evil, and therefore cannot be blamed for any sin whatsoever.
“It is either God or the Devil that rules. Man has no freedom to choose and is absolutely devoid of responsibility. Having lost free will, man cannot observe the precepts of the ten commandments. He cannot master his passions. He must sin as long as he lives.”
“Good works are useless. They are sin. And in fact, impossible. It is more important to guard against good works than to guard against sin.”
Now listen very carefully to the following writings of Luder and you will see where we are going with all of this.
“If men believe in Christ and accept Him as their personal Savior, His justice will be imputed to them and they will go straight to Heaven. It does not matter what evil they have done during their lives. It does not matter whether they are, or not, repentful of their sins. It does not matter at the moment of their death whether they have contrition or not, or if they are in the state of grace. If they have accepted Christ as their personal Savior they will be saved.”
The author of that was Luder, the beast. Reading on, in Luder’s writings, he said this:
“The Laws of God are only there so that man can see in them the impossibility of doing good. Man must persuade himself to have nothing to do with the law, and that no sin should deny him anything. Let him, so to say, boast of his sins. What should be the rule every time you read in the Scripture: God commanding good works, you should understand that to mean, that the Scripture forbids good works.
Be on your guard against good works. Avoid them as one avoids a pest. I will drink all the more because you forbid it. I will drink goblets in the name and honor of the name of Jesus Christ.
If you think about good works, prayers, the laws of Christ, I advise everyone to drive these satanic thoughts out of their minds by thinking about a pretty woman, or money or drink. It is impossible to do without a woman. Chastity is an abomination.
Be a sinner and sin boldly but believe more boldly still.
We must sin as long as we are what we are. Sin will not drive us away from God even if we commit fornication thousands of thousands of times a day. The gratification of sexual desire is God’s work, and it is as necessary as eating, drinking, sweating, or sleeping.”
Regarding a family, Luder wrote,
“He who keeps a prostitute is closer to God than one who takes a wife.”
Regarding the Jews, he wrote,
“Burn their Synagogues and schools. Put them on fire, their homes, their prayer books and their rabbis.”
Are you getting an idea where Hitler got his ideas, and why he found a following in Germany?
Before he died, however, he complained that there were as many differing opinions on the Bible as there were people, but he did not repent. He went on to say, “My word is the word of Christ. My mouth is the mouth of Christ.”
Luder is the founder, the prophet, the christ of the BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS.
He is Luder, the beast, but he changed his name to Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation. Today there are 27,000 Christian sects, and there are 400 new ones created every week.
Luther, Exposing the Myth
Luther’s words are emphasized by me using the colour red –Michael
LUTHER – AS HE WAS
(Death Mask by Lucas Fortnagel – Leipzig, University Library)*
“Among you there will be lying teachers who will bring in destructive sects . . . And many will follow their wanton conduct, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned.” – II Peter 2:1-2
By Raymond Taouk, undated
Luther speaks for himself
With the new movie on Luther having recently come out I think it would be good to get a real insight to the true Character of Luther and expose the “legend” of “Luther the Reformer”. Luther is undoubtedly the father of the Protestant rebellion and spiritual father of the Modern Apostasy from God. The object of this article on Martin Luther is not to give his history, which is easily researched, but rather to give direct quotes from a man called a “great religious reformer” and to whom many non-Catholics trace back the real origin of their respective churches.
Who will doubt that the best judge of Luther’s true character than Luther himself? And so from Luther’s own words we shall see him for what he really was, that is a rebellious apostate, who abandoned the faith and led many into apostasy from God under the guise of “reformation” in order to follow his perverse inclinations.
Keep in mind that none of the following statements of Luther, which I will quote, were ever retracted by him, and so they may still be considered as part of his “religious thought”.
This should show the aspect of Martin Luther which Protestants and all alike so conveniently overlooked in these days of false ecumenism and intellectual dishonesty.
Christ taught: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
“Thou shalt not covet,’ is a commandment which proves us all to be sinners; since it is not in man’s power not to covet, and the same is the drift of all the commandments, for they are all equally impossible to us.” –
“Moses is an executioner, a cruel lictor, a torturer a torturer who tears our flesh out with pincers and makes us suffer martyrdom . . . Whoever, in the name of Christ, terrifies and troubles consciences, is not the messenger of Christ, but of the devil . . . Let us therefore send Moses packing and for ever.” 
“We must remove the Decalogue out of sight and heart” (De Wette 4, 188).
“If we allow them – the Commandments – any influence in our conscience, they become the cloak of all evil, heresies and blasphemies” (Comm. ad Galat, p.310).
What is more is that scripture constantly declares the greatness of the commandments and the importance of keeping them:
Psalm 19:7: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes.”
Luther teaches: “…with regard to God, and in all that bears on salvation or damnation, (man) has no ‘free-will’, but is a captive, prisoner and bond slave, either to the will of God, or to the will of Satan.”
“Man is like a horse. Does God leap into the saddle? The horse is obedient and accommodates itself to every movement of the rider and goes whither he wills it. Does God throw down the reins? Then Satan leaps upon the back of the animal, which bends, goes and submits to the spurs and caprices of its new rider… Therefore, necessity, not free will, is the controlling principle of our conduct. God is the author of what is evil as well as of what is good, and, as He bestows happiness on those who merit it not, so also does He damn others who deserve not their fate.” 
Christ taught: “Be therefore, wise as serpents and simple as doves”
“You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times?”
Christ taught: “He that commits sin is of the devil: for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
“Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”
“Do not ask anything of your conscience; and if it speaks, do not listen to it; if it insists, stifle it, amuse yourself; if necessary, commit some good big sin, in order to drive it away. Conscience is the voice of Satan, and it is necessary always to do just the contrary of what Satan wishes.” 
Faith and Good works
Christ taught, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven.”
Christ taught (in the words of St. James) “What shall it profit, my brethren, if a he has faith, but has not works? Shall faith be able to save him? So faith also, if it have not works is dead in itself.”
Luther teaches: “For we account a man to be justified by faith alone, without the works of the law.” – On Translation and on the Intercession of the Saints
“Good works are bad and are sin like the rest.”
“There is no scandal greater, more dangerous, more venomous, than a good outward life, manifested by good works and a pious mode of life. That is the grand portal, the highway that leads to damnation.” 
Christ taught: “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.”
Luther teaches : “Peasants are no better than straw. They will not hear the word and they are without sense; therefore they must be compelled to hear the crack of the whip and the whiz of bullets and it is only what they deserve.” 
“To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!” – “If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs”
“I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain al the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead. All their blood is upon my head. But I put it all on our Lord God: for he commanded me to speak thus.”
“God has given the law, and nobody observes it. He has in addition instituted rod masters, drivers and urgers; so then are rulers to drive, beat, choke, hang, burn, behead, and break upon the well of the vulgar masses.”
“Like the drivers of donkeys, who have to belabor the donkeys incessantly with rods and whips, or they will not obey, so must the ruler do with the people; they must drive, beat throttle, hang, burn, behead and torture, so as to make themselves feared and to keep the people in
Christ taught: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
Luther teaches: “My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire… Second, that all their books– their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible– be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted…Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country…Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it…
He who hears this name [God] from a Jew must inform the authorities, or else throw sow dung at him when he sees him and chase him away”.
“Burn their synagogues. Forbid them all that I have mentioned above. Force them to work and treat them with every kind of severity, as Moses did in the desert and slew three thousand… If that is no use, we must drive them away like mad dogs, in order that we may not be partakers of their abominable blasphemy and of all their vices, and in order that we may not deserve the anger of God and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Let everyone see how he does his. I am excused.”
Marriage and Women
Christ taught: “For this reason shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder. . . Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, commits adultery.”
“Suppose I should counsel the wife of an impotent man, with his consent, to giver herself to another, say her husband’s brother, but to keep this marriage secret and to ascribe the children to the so-called putative father. The question is: Is such a women in a saved state? I answer, certainly.”
“Know that Marriage is an outward material thing like any other secular business. The body has nothing to do with God. In this respect one can never sin against God, but only against one’s neighbour.”
“In spite of all the good I say of married life, I will not grant so much to nature as to admit that there is no sin in it … no conjugal due is ever rendered without sin. The matrimonial duty is never performed without sin.”
Virtue and Vice
Christ taught: “You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.”
Christ taught: “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.”
Christ Taught (in the words of St. Paul): “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers: Nor the effeminate nor liars with mankind nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards.“
On the Person of Christ
Christ taught, “Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do not believe Me? He that is of God, hears the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God.”
Luther teaches: “Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tell’s us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has He been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.“
Christ taught: ” For I testify to every one that hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from these things that are written in this book.”
Luther teaches: “To my mind it (the book of the Apocalypse) bears upon it no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character… Everyone may form his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it.”
“If your Papist annoys you with the word (‘alone’ – Rom. 3:28), tell him straightway, Dr. Martin Luther will have it so: Papist and ass are one and the same thing. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by: the devil’s thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. Luther will have it so, and he is a doctor above all the doctors in Popedom.”
Luther had a perverse habit of freely falsifying scripture to justify his purposes.
It is worth noting that while Luther claimed for himself the right to interpret scripture according to his own view, and claimed that he was intelligent enough to judge anyone and everything by scripture alone yet he openly affirms that “We cannot claim to fathom completely the meaning of a single verse of Scripture; we succeed in apprehending only the A B C of it, and even that imperfectly.” – Luther, Table-talk, trans. Gustave Brunet, Paris, Garnier, 1844, pg. 288.
And again he states: “Let no one believe himself competent to understand Holy Scripture, unless he has, for a hundred years, governed the Church with the Prophets, with Elijiah and Elisha, St. John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Apostles.” -Luther, Table-talk, trans. Gustave Brunet, Paris, Garnier, 1844, pg. 290.
While I leave to the reader to draw his own conclusions, it suffices to say that is what Luther really was; and the picture that is presented of him today by modern scholars, Lutherans and Protestants alike is far from the truth.
Given this fact, it’s not difficult to see how a nation like Germany was able to blindly follow a person like Hitler if it had previously so readily embrace a person like Luther. Adolf Hitler himself was indeed no doubt a true (spiritual) son of Luther and in many ways was only being logical to the principles set forth by Luther in his approach to things .
Hitler himself declared the reality of this point in one of his speeches saying: “I do insist on the certainty that sooner or later – once we hold power – Christianity will be overcome and the German Church established. Yes, the German church, without a Pope and without the bible, and Luther, if he could be with us, would give us his blessing.”
What is more is that from Luther’s own words (which I have stated above) we are able to grasp the origin of the inversion of orders in modern society, which we see has prevailed in the modern world. Luther ushered in this new era of apostasy from God in his attempt to rationalize his own perversity and make of it the foundations for civil society. The erroneous principles upon which the modern world is based undeniably come from Luther himself and can never be reconciled to the teachings of the Gospel no matter what Luther might have thought.
*The death mask as depicted above is the same as found in the book by the well known philosopher Jacques Maritain in his book “Three Reformers: Luther, Descartes, Rousseau” London: Sheed and Ward, 1950.
– N.B. Erlangen and Weimar refer to the different editions of Luther’s works. Luther’s literary work is very voluminous (the critical edition of Weimar, commenced in 1883, comprises many volumes), and is not easily found in libraries but when not having quoted from the original sources I have quoted from those authors who have draw from the original sources.
 As Luther himself stated “I am but a man prone to let himself be swept off his feet by society, drunkenness, the torments of the flesh.” – Weimar, Vol. 9, Pg. 215, Pg. 13.
On another occasion, he states: “I burn with all the desires of my unconquered flesh” – Enders Vol. 3, Pg. 189.
Matt 19:17, Cf. Matt 5:17, 1 John 5:2
 Denifle’s Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), Volume III, p. 364.
 D. Martini Lutheri Exegetica Opera Latina, published by Elsperger (Erlangen, Heyder, 1829-84), Vol. 18 pg. 146
 Erlangen Vol. 29, Pg. 126
 “Matthew 7:21, Cf. Matt 7:24, Matt 26:24,
 From the essay, ‘Bondage of the Will,’ ‘Martin Luther: Selections From His Writings, ed. by Dillenberger, Anchor Books, 1962 p. 190.
 Ibid., p. 188.
 ‘De Servo Arbitrio’, 7, 113 seq., quoted by O’Hare, in ‘The Facts About Luther, TAN Books, 1987, pp. 266-267.
 De servo Arbitrio, against man’s free will.
 Matt 10:16
 Matt 16:3
 Trischreden, Weimer VI, 143, 25-35.
 Against the Heavenly Prophets, On Images and the Sacraments.
 Erlangen, Vol. 44, Pg. 156-157. For more quotes in this regard see: “Three Reformers”, By Jacques Maritan, Pg. 34; Cf. also Jean Janssen, L’Allemagne et la Reforme. (Trans. E. Paris, Plon, 1887-1911), Vol VII, pg 427.
 Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Fol. (1516). Ficker, II, 198. Cf. Three Reformers, By Jacques Maritan, Page 31
 The Babylonian Captivity. It’s worth mentioning on this point that Luther himself had early written “Pray for me I am falling into the abyss of sin” – Enders, Vol. 3, Pg. 193.
 ‘Let Your Sins Be Strong, from ‘The Wittenberg Project;’ ‘The Wartburg Segment’, translated by Erika Flores, from Dr. Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter No. 99, 1 Aug. 1521. – Cf. Also Denifle’s Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), VOl. II, pg. 404).
 J. Dollinger, La Reforme et les resultants qu’elle a produits. (Trans. E. Perrot, Paris, Gaume, 1848-49), Vol III, pg. 248
 Matt 5:16, Cf. Apoc 20:12, Gal 6:2, 1 Jn 3:18, Jas 4:17, I Cor 13:2, II Peter 1:10, Gal 6:9.
There are also many warnings in scripture that warn against falling away from salvation (Gal 4:9, Col 1:23, 1 Tim 1:19, 4:1, Heb 3:12-14, 12:14-15, 2 Pet 2:20-21, Apoc 2:4-5).
 James 2:14-17
 Trischreden, Wittenberg Edition, Vol. VI., p. 160
 Denifle’s Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), Vol. III, pg. 47.
 Denifle’s Luther et Lutheranisme, Etude Faite d’apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), Vol. II, pg. 128.
 Tischreden, P. 137
 Matt 5:6, cf. Matt 19:18, I John 3:15, Matt 26:52, Romans 12:21
 It is important to keep in mind that these peasants were actually Protestants who favoured Luther and his views, yet in order to please the German princes Luther and gain influence Luther did not hesitate to have even his own followers put to death! As one writer put it “I know of no example in history ( with the exception of Hitler’s famous, or rather infamous, June 30, 1934) where a man turned in such an inhuman, brutal, low way against his own followers – merely in order to establish his own position, without any reason.” – Peter F. Winer, Martin Luther, Hitler’s Spiritual Ancestor, Pg. 57
 Erlangen Vol 24, Pg. 294
 Erlangen Vol 24, Pg. 294
 Tischreden; Erlanger Ed., Vol. 59. p. 284
 Sermon delivered by Luther in 1526. Ref. Erlanger, Vol. XV, 2p. 276
 Erlangen Vol 15, Pg. 276
 Weimar Vol. 30, Pg. 1
 Martin Luther; On the Jews and Their Lies, translated by Martin H. Bertram, Fortress Press, 1955
 About the Jews and Their Lies,’ quoted by O’Hare, in ‘The Facts About Luther, TAN Books, 1987, p. 290.
 Grisar, “Luther”, Vol. V. pg. 413.
 Weimar, Vol. 53, Pg. 502.
 Matt 19:4, cf. Heb 13:4
 Of Married Life
 On Marriage
 De Wette, Vol. 2, p. 459
 Weimar, Vol. 12, Pg. 131.
 On Marriage
 On Married Life
 Weimar, Vol 8. Pg. 654. In other words for Luther the matrimonial act is “a sin differing in nothing from adultery and fornication.” ibid. What then is the purpose of marriage for Luther you may ask? Luther affirms that it’s simply to satisfy one’s sexual cravings “The body asks for a women and must have it” or again “To marry is a remedy for fornication” – Grisar, “Luther”, vol. iv, pg. 145.
 John 8:44
 Lenz: Briefwechsel, Vol. 1. Pg. 373.
 Lenz: Briefwechsel, Vol. 1. Pg. 375.
 Matt 22:37
 Weimar, Vol. 1, Pg. 487. Cf. Table Talk, No. 963
 1 Cor 6:9
 Weimar, Vo. 9. pg. 215. We can also note on this point that the opinion of Luther’s contemporaries on the subject is unmistakable. They all agree that Luther “was addicted to over-drinking.” – Th. Brieger: “Aleander and Luther”, pg. 170, 307.
 Matt 23:12
 Erlangen, Vol. 61, pg. 422.
 Weimar, Vol. 18, Pg. 401.
 John 8:86 Cf. I Peter 2:22, Heb 7:26
 Trishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 107. – What a great blasphemy from a man who is regarded as “great reformer”!
 Table Talk, 2397b
 Erlangen Vol. 29, Pg. 126
 Apoc. 22: 18-19
 Sammtliche Werke, 63, pp. 169-170, ‘The Facts About Luther,’ O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 203.
 Amic. Discussion, 1, 127,’The Facts About Luther,’ O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 201. Cf. Also J. Dollinger, La Reforme et les resultants qu’elle a produits. (Trans. E. Perrot, Paris, Gaume, 1848-49), Vol III, pg. 138.
 ‘The Facts About Luther, O’Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 202.
 ‘Preface to the New Testament,’ ed. Dillenberger, p. 19. – Cf. Also Jean Janssen, L’Allemagne et la Reforme. (Trans. E. Paris, Plon, 1887-1911). Vol II, Pg. 218.
 Anyone who contends this point needs simply to read views of Luther concerning the state, civil authority and war. In his writings, we find that he openly states for example “Even if the authorities are wicked and unjust, nobody is entitled to oppose them, or to riot against them.” Or again “The ass must have blows and the people must be ruled by force. God knew this well, for it was not a fox’s brush He gave to rulers, but a sword.” – Weimar, Vol 30, Pg. 1. This point is dealt with in more detail by Peter F. Wiener in his work “Martin Luther, Hitler’s Spiritual Ancestor”, Published by Marian House, Powers Lake, N.D. 58773.
 This was undeniably recognized by the Lutherans who welcomed and supported the regime of Hitler. A point worth mentioning in this regard is that this fact is so blatantly ignored by Protestants and the Liberal media who at the same time do not hesitate to unjustly put forward attacks against Pope Pius XII and his efforts against the Nazis.
 Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s speeches, edited by Prof. N.H. Baynes [oxford, 1942], pg. 369.
The King James Bible is the classic Protestant Bible, which was first printed in 1611 under the authority of King James I of England, the official head of the Church of England. It follows the canon (or contents) established by Martin Luther in 1534 when he translated the Bible into German. He grouped what Catholics call “the seven deuterocanonical books” (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and I & II Maccabees) of the Old Testament under the title “Apocrypha” declaring, “These are books which are not held equal to the Sacred Scriptures and yet are useful and good for reading.” (Keep in mind that these seven books had been accepted by the Church as part of the official canon of Sacred Scripture even prior to the legalization of Christianity; Luther on his own initiative tampered with the canon of Sacred Scripture.) For some time, these books were printed between the Old and the New Testaments under the title “Apocrypha” but by the early 1800s they were dropped all together from the King James Version of the Bible. At present, some versions of the King James Bible will state, “with apocrypha” indicating that these seven books are included somewhere in the contents.
The deuterocanonicals teach Catholic doctrine, and for this reason they were taken out of the Old Testament by Martin Luther and placed in an appendix without page numbers. Luther also took out four New Testament books—Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation—and put them in an appendix without page numbers as well. These were later put back into the New Testament by other Protestants, but the seven books of the Old Testament were left out. Following Luther they had been left in an appendix to the Old Testament, and eventually the appendix itself was dropped (in 1827 by the British and Foreign Bible Society), which is why these books are not found at all in most contemporary Protestant Bibles, though they were appendicized in classic Protestant translations such as the King James Version.
The reason they were dropped is that they teach Catholic doctrines that the Protestant Reformers chose to reject. Earlier we cited an example where the book of Hebrews holds up to us an Old Testament example from 2 Maccabees 7, an incident not to be found anywhere in the Protestant Bible, but easily discoverable in the Catholic Bible.
Why would Martin Luther cut out this book when it is so clearly held up as an example to us by the New Testament? Simple: A few chapters later it endorses the practice of praying for the dead so that they may be freed from the consequences of their sins (2 Maccabees 12:41-45); in other words, the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. Since Luther chose to reject the historic Christian teaching of purgatory (which dates from before the time of Christ, as 2 Maccabees shows), he had to remove that book from the Bible and appendicize it. (Notice that he also removed Hebrews, the book which cites 2 Maccabees, to an appendix as well.)
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
James 2:24 (Revised Standard Version)
Luther really did not like that, so he wanted the book of James ripped out of the Bible. Then he added words to his German translation that were not in the Greek. He added the word “alone” to Roman 3:28. The problem is that the word “alone” is not in the original Greek. Luther added words to the Bible to suit his opinions. Luther was confronted by Catholics and Protestants alike about this at the time. What follows is his answer:
You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word ‘alone’ is not in the text of Paul. If your Papist makes such an unnecessary row about the word ‘alone’, say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’ and say: “Papist and asses are one and the same thing.’ I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text, and it was not necessary for the Papist to teach me that. It is true those letters are not in it, which letters the jackasses look at, as a cow stares at a new gate … It shall remain in my New Testament, and if all the Popish donkeys were to get mad and besides themselves, they will not get it out.
This quote is cited in the 1922 book, Rebuilding a Lost Faith by John Stoddard. This book is about Stoddard’s 40 year search for truth going from a Protestant seminarian to an agnostic to a Catholic (late in life).
There is also this admitting to the above quote from Luther with this comment about it:
It’s too bad that Luther seems to imply that he has the right to add the word alone if he chooses to do so. It would have been better if he had answered by saying that the Greek text indicates that the idea of “alone” though not stated explicitly is implicit in the words Paul used.
In verse 27 Paul says that boasting about anything I contribute to my salvation is totally excluded (emphasis on “totally” which is expressed by the prefix ex- on the Greek verb). Then in verse 28 Paul says that a person is justified (acquitted) totally apart from anything he does to keep God’s law (emphasis again on “totally” which is expressed by the Greek preposition choris which means “completely apart from”). So one could translate the meaning of the Greek by saying “a person is acquitted by faith totally apart from doing what God requires in the law” or one could translate “a person is acquitted by faith alone apart from doing what God requires in the law”. Either translation would bring out the emphasis of the original Greek text. This would have been a better answer on Luther’s part.
Lutherans don’t accept every interpretation Luther wrote, nor do they defend everything he says. Rather, Lutherans thank God that through Luther he restored to the church the only proper way of interpreting the Scripture, namely, letting Scripture interpret Scripture (instead of tradition or reason – or Luther – being the final arbiter of meaning)…
Luther … taught that a person sins by entering religion without the consent of his parents. But the doctrine of Luther was rejected by the holy Fathers, and by the Tenth Council of Toledo, in which it was decreed that children who had attained their fourteenth year may lawfully enter religion even against the will of their parents. A child is bound to obey his parents in what regards his education and the government of the house; but with regard to the choice of a state of life, he should obey God by embracing the state to which God calls him.
Source: Dignities and Duties of the Priest, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
In his September 8, 1907, Encyclical Pascendi Domenici Gregis,
Pope Pius IX compared the doctrines of the Modernists with those of Martin Luther, “feeling no horror at treading in the footsteps of Luther, they are wont to display a certain contempt for Catholic doctrines, or the Holy Fathers, for the Ecumenical Councils, for the ecclesiastical magisterium“
American Christian Branches of the Lutheran Church, 1517
The date before each denomination indicates the beginning of that American branch church fellowship.
1818 – Ohio Lutheran Synod
1930 – American Lutheran Church
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1820 – General Lutheran Synod
1863 – United Synod South
1867 – General Lutheran Council
1918 – United Lutheran Church in America
1962 – Lutheran Church in America
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1847 – Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
1976 – Association of Evangelical Lutherans
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1854 – Iowa Lutheran Synod
1930 – American Lutheran Church
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1860 – Swedish Augustana Synod
1962 – Lutheran Church in America
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1872 – American Evangelical Lutheran Church
1962 – Lutheran Church in America
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1890 – Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church
1962 – Lutheran Church in America
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1896 – United Evangelical Lutheran Church
1960 – American Lutheran Church
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1900 – Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America
1988 – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
1918 – Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
1929 – Apostolic Lutheran Church of America
CBCI Doctrinal Commission
July 9-10, 2015, NBCLC, Bangalore
Announcing the Uniqueness of the Christ-event
Pluralistic Context of India
Today Catholic Church historians and dogmatic theologians have reservations about the way the fathers gathered for the Council of Trent understood the Reformers. For instance “understanding the Protestant ‘faith alone’ doctrine to be one of simple human confidence in divine mercy” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Trent; a.o 10-05-2015). As for Martin Luther, “the Catholic scholar Peter Manns once suggested that Martin Luther should be counted as “father in faith”, a doctor communis, so to speak” (http://www.marquette.edu/theology/reformationtheologyatmuprogramdescription.shtml; a.o 31-07-2015). Today “Both Catholics and Protestants affirm he was not only right about a great deal, but he changed the course of Western history for the better” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/theologians/luther.html; a.o 31-07-2015). –Fr. Subhash Anand
The Catholic Church versus the multitude of churches
History proves that the First Protestant Church was the Lutheran, founded in 1517 by the ex-priest Martin Luther; all other of the some 33,800 sects have been created since then.
Hence it is an insult to Christ and the Holy Spirit to say that God’s Church fell into error and had to be reformed by Luther, Calvin and other men or women.
PERPETUITY OF THE ORIGINAL CHURCH
The Bible teaches that the visible Church of Christ has had and will ever have uninterrupted existence.
Matt. 28, 19-20: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost . . . lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Matt. 16-18: . . . and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
COMMENT: Hence the theory that Christ’s Church, which began with Christ, failed – became non-existent for 1000 or more years – and then was revived by Luther, Calvin, Knox or some other man or woman, is ridiculous and untrue.
Pope Paul VI dispatched cardinal Willebrandt, as his “Legate,” to the Lutheran Assembly of Evian (September 1970) to sing Luther’s praises. ..
Even Osservatore Romano (13 October 1967) announced: “The liturgical reform (the Novus Ordo Mass of Pope Paul VI) has taken a remarkable step forward and has come closer to the liturgical forms of the Lutheran Church.” … One may ask oneself: How is it that today, after Paul VI’s “reformation” of the Mass, the Protestants say they can accept the Catholic Mass, whereas, before, they would not accept at all that of Pius V? Is it perhaps that the Protestants have embraced the Catholic Faith? Or is it rather because Paul VI’s Mass has embraced the Lutheran thinking? … Paul VI included in the
“Consilium” entrusted with the liturgical reform, six Protestant members, in representation of the World Council of the Churches,
the Church of England, the Lutheran Church and the Protestant Community of
Why in the world did Paul VI let Luther be mimicked so servilely? The only explanation one might venture, I believe, is ecumenism, toward a more resolute rapprochement with the Protestants. With that in mind, Paul VI invited the Protestants to be part of the “Commission for Liturgical Reform.” But how was it possible that Protestants – who do not share our same Faith – could be invited to participate in a Commission for the “Reformation of the Catholic Mass?” Paul VI, with his obsession for “universal brotherhood,” for the sake of unity at any cost, had intended, with that “Mass of his,” to erase the lines separating Catholics from Protestants? If so, then his was a capital error, nay, a blatant betrayal of the Catholic Faith. The true Christian unity is realized only in the “integral truth,” in the perfect faithfulness to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, which Peter transmitted to all the successive Vicars of Christ. To vary from that is betrayal. Period!
The introduction of the Lutheran “prayer of the faithful,” too, shows well the error of the Protestants, which holds that every faithful is a priest.
And again: that having rendered collective the
(which the Priest, in the Traditional Mass, recited by himself) was a resumption of Luther’s error, when he refused to accept the traditional teaching of the catholic Church, according to which the Priest is judge, witness and intercessor by God.
Graver yet was that having reduced the Offertory into a mere preparation of the gifts, along the lines of Luther, who eliminated it altogether, precisely for the reason that the Offertory expressed, in an undisputable manner, the sacrificial and propitiatory character of the Holy Mass. And that is one of the main reasons the Protestants can now celebrate their “supper” using the text of the “Novus Ordo Missae,” without renouncing their beliefs. …. Italian priest named Fr. Luigi Villa of the diocese of Brescia, Italy, blessed by St. Padre Pio, by his own Bishop, and by Venerable Pope Pius XII who approved the mandate given by Padre Pio to Fr. Villa to dedicate his entire life to defend the Church of Christ from the work of Freemasonry and other errors in the highest echelons of the Church.
Luther may have been declared by Pope Leo X as a heretic and excommunicated from the Church, but Lutherans, those born in the tradition of Luther’s church, are not. If over the past 500 years the Popes held that Luther was a heretic, what is suddenly different today?
Pope Francis must give Catholics a detailed theological response in the light of the two encyclicals of Pope Leo X first warning and then excommunication Luther:
EXSURGE DOMINE and DECET ROMANUM PONTIFICEM
POPE LEO X JUNE 15, 1520 and JANUARY 3, 1521
And what would now be wrong if a Catholic decides to apostasize to Lutheranism?
REASONS FOR AND CONSEQUENCES OF LEAVING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Many Catholic theologians already hold that one religion is as good as another. What happened to the primacy and fullness of Catholic truth?
FROM CONFLICT TO COMMUNION
THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN UNITY and THE LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION 2013
JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION
BY THE LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION and THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 31 OCTOBER 1999
27 TESTIMONIES OF LUTHERANS WHO CONVERTED TO CATHOLICISM
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-27
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-28
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-29
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-30
GEORGE M. SIPE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-72
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-87
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-105
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-138 PAUL & CAROL QUIST
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-141 THOMAS MCMICHAEL
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-142 MICKEY MATTOX
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-143 BRUCE D. MARSHALL
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-144 REINHARD HUTTER
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-153 DAVID W. FAGERBERG
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-154 PHILIP MAX JOHNSON
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-161 JOAN TUSSING
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-167 ELIZABETH FICOCELLI
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-173 TIM AND MARY DRAKE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-176 JAMES BARRAND
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-194 MATT GIBSON
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-207 SIGRID UNSET
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-221 BONNIE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-230 GREG AND TRACIE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-243 KEN WILSKER
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-288 KARL KOHLHASE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-294 TODD VON KAMPEN
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-315 KELLY
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-350 LEXIE AMANN
10 TESTIMONIES OF THE CONVERSION OF LUTHERAN PASTORS TO CATHOLICISM
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-55
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-88
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-96
ROBERT LOUIS WILKEN
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-97
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-98
JENNIFER MEHL FERRARA
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-139 RICHARD & RUTH BALLARD
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-140 PAUL ABBE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-155 JOHN W. FENTON
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-361 DAVID SCHUTZ
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-368 RUSSELL SALTZMAN
1 TESTIMONY OF A LUTHERAN WHO BECAME A CATHOLIC PRIEST
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-192 SEBASTIAN WALSHE
1 TESTIMONY OF A LUTHERAN WHO BECAME A THIRD ORDER CARMELITE
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-369 EDELTRAUT KLUETING
4 TESTIMONIES OF LUTHERAN PASTORS WHO BECAME CATHOLIC PRIESTS
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-78
RICHARD JOHN NEUHAUS
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-86
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-150 LOUIS BOUYER
TESTIMONY OF A FORMER PROTESTANT-369 HARM KLUETING
There must be thousands more of these testimonies of Lutheran conversions to the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 01-WASHING THE FEET OF WOMEN ON MAUNDY THURSDAY
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 01A-WASHING THE FEET OF WOMEN ON MAUNDY THURSDAY
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QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 04-COMPROMISED BY NEW AGE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE?
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 05-BAPTISM OF ALIENS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 06-ENDORSEMENT OF A NEW AGE HEALER FROM INDIA?
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 08-CONSULTOR TO THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE PRACTISES NEW AGE ADVOCATES THE HERESY OF WOMEN PRIESTS
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 09-THE POPE UNDERGOES NEW AGE TREATMENTS
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QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 14-A DANGEROUS POPE CHALLENGING THE CHURCH?
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QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 16-CARDINAL DANNEELS REVEALS THAT HIS CLERICAL MAFIA STRIVED FOR BERGOGLIO AS POPE
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 17-HOW WILL TRADITION VIEW POPE FRANCIS’ PAPACY?
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 18-CATHOLIC CRITICISM OF POPE FRANCIS’ MOTU PROPRIOS ON MARRIAGE ANNULMENT
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 19-CRACKDOWN ON THE FRANCISCAN FRIARS OF THE IMMACULATE
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QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 21-AWARDED 2015 PERSON OF THE YEAR BY ANTICHRISTIAN PETA
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 22-THE CONTRACEPTION AND RABBITGATE CONTROVERSIES
A CLOSED LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS NOW OPEN-FR CONRAD SALDANHA
AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS-FR GEORGE DAVID BYERS
AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS-FR RICHARD CIPOLLA
IS POPE FRANCIS UNDERGOING TREATMENT WITH NEW AGE ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES?
CARDINAL OSWALD GRACIAS INTERPRETS POPE FRANCIS PERSONAL REMARK ON HOMOSEXUALS AS CHURCH TEACHING
THE FRANCIS EFFECT & WHO AM I TO JUDGE-THE SPIRIT OF VATICAN COUNCIL II?