I am amazed how misinformed people are, in my opinion, on what Luther stood for and the views Christian people have of the Pope outside of the Catholic Church.
Luther did not want to start his own church. He worked most of his adult life to show his church, the Catholic Church, where he felt they error on how they viewed and taught the Bible. He did not want people to use his name or follow him, he wanted people to read the bible themselves and make up their own minds. Yes, Luther was very passionate about his views, and voiced those views very strongly whether you agreed or not, but would you expect anything different. Just read this forum, people are very passionate on what they say and their opinions. The difference is you do not have the risk that someone will knock on you door and burn you at the stake for what you write. People pull small clips of Luther’s Works, that fill about 30 volumes, to say something negative about him, but if you have read his writings, you will see that a majority of the statements made about him are either false or taken out of content. Sound familiar; people have been using this tactic with the Bible to justify all sorts of evil things in the name of God. I feel Luther wrote certain things in a way that might have not been the best way of going about it, but he lived in a different time and place. If you really want to know, what Luther said, read Luther Works so you can find out the truth from the fiction.
Second, the main view about the Pope, in my circles, is that he is just a man that is a sinner just like the rest of us. He is no closer to God than any other man who is a Christian. We are all sinners, the Pope included, and to believe in a faith that has a cast system in Christ’s Church goes against the teachings of the Bible. I mean no disrespect and I am not trying to belittle the man’s works. There are many things to be proud of, but just like us, he is a sinner and needs God’s Grace and God’s promises just like us. Read all of Romans and I will quote Romans 3 10-12 as it is written:
There is no one just, not one,
There is no one who understands,
There is no one who seeks God.
All have gone astray; all alike are worthless;
There is not one who does good
[there is not] even one.
This is not taken out of context if you read Romans.
Then there is no need to pray to the Pope, Saints, Mary or anyone else. All have sinned, past and present, and fall short of the glory of God.