Thursday, March 6, 2008

Luther and the Pope

This is a very different Catholic approach from the description of Luther I remember reading in my youth - something like "Luther was a drunken monk who lusted after a nun...." Of course Protestants were guilty of similar anti-Catholic absurdity. Things have been getting better for some time.

Orthodox believers increasingly emphasize what we have in common in contrast to the enemies of Christianity and those who would appease them.

Times Online:

Pope Benedict XVI is to rehabilitate Martin Luther, arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the Church of corrupt practices.

Pope Benedict will issue his findings on Luther (1483-1546) in September.... According to Vatican insiders the Pope will argue that Luther, who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy, was not a heretic. [....]

Cardinal Kasper said: “We have much to learn from Luther, beginning with the importance he attached to the word of God.” It was time for a “more positive” view of Luther, whose reforms had aroused papal ire at the time but could now be seen as having “anticipated aspects of reform which the Church has adopted over time”. [....]

Luther challenged the authority of the papacy by holding that the Bible is the sole source of religious authority and made it accessible to ordinary people by translating it into the vernacular. He became convinced that the Church had lost sight of the “central truths of Christianity”, and was appalled on a visit to Rome in 1510 by the power, wealth and corruption of the papacy.

In 1517 he protested publicly against the sale of papal indulgences for the remission of sins in his “95 Theses”, nailing a copy to the door of a Wittenberg church. Some theologians argue that Luther did not intend to confront the papacy “in a doctrinaire way” but only to raise legitimate questions - a view Pope Benedict apparently shares.

Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X, who dismissed him initially as “a drunken German who will change his mind when sober”.
That Martin Luther? He wasn’t so bad, says Pope -Times Online

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