Did Martin Luther commit the eternal sin?


“…whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matt 12:32)

When the Pharisees said that Jesus casts out demons by the power of Satan, Jesus showed them that they were blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

If I’m not mistaken, Martin Luther believed that the pope at that time was the Antichrist (did he say it though, or is it just an assumption?). But we know that the pope was not an Antichrist. So then, it implies that Martin Luther has blasphemed (if indeed he said those words). So has he commited the eternal sin??? :eek:


Being the pope, he definitely had the Holy Spirit in him.


The pope, being the pope at that time, definitely had the Holy Spirit in him.


I don’t see how slandering the Pope is the same as denying the Holy Spirit.

Elaborate what you mean here.


If Martin Luther said that the pope was Antichrist, it definitely implies that he said that the pope had an evil spirit in him. Therefore, I feel, he blasphemed against the spirit.


The Pope is not the Holy Spirit though. Pope Alexander VI was a scoundrel of a man.

The Holy Spirit resides within everyone, not just the Pope.


I didn’t say that the pope is the Holy Spirit. I only said that being the pope he just had to have the Holy Spirit in him. But when Luther said that the pope was the Antichrist he implied that the Holy Spirit (in the pope) was an evil Spirit.

And by the way, why was that pope a scoundrel of a man?


We can discuss it all we want, but will never know the truth. Only God knows.


If the Pope is in mortal sin, how can he have the Holy Spirit in him?


I thought the only unforgivable sin amounted to suicide. This is because there is not oportunity for repentance before death. Is this not the case?


Curious: Was this an official position of Luther or was it tantamount to a personal judgment of the Pope at the time?

I would not think however, that simply sinning against someone who has the Holy Spirit in him qualifies. After all, to murder someone in the state of grace would be sinning against someone who has the Holy Spirit in him. And by extension, if the human body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, that logic would damn anyone who sins against the body of another.

Kinda stretching the point…?


That is, of course, the only true answer, as only God knows the answers to all of the questions of any one person’s salvation.
Either Martin Luther’s, the Pope’s, or even yours or mine. None of us knows exactly until we face Jesus at our own particular time of judgement.

But to speak to the Martin Luther question here. In the interest of “full disclosure”, I am a former “cradle Lutheran” who has long since decided that the Catholic Church is the home in which I truely belong. And yet I have always thought that there must have been some small grain of truth in Luther’s original concerns for the church. Remember that before he broke with the church he was an ordained Augustinian priest, and his original intent was not to break with Rome but to redress some issues which he believed were not correct in the church at the time.

Today individuals may point to actions by individuals within the church that may not be in line with God’s / Jesus’ teachings. A look back at recent, 10 / 15 yr history, shows us that there have been cases of priests not conforming to their vows, or else why would His Holyness, Benedict XVI have expressed his applogies for the priest sexual scandals. I am not saying that todays, priests are bad, only one good priest may point to the sins of others, and say, "hey - we need to fix this’. I think that was Luther’s ORIGINAL hope when he posted his 95 theses. There were issues at that time which needed to be addressed by the Church.

Did things go drastically down hill from there? YES! Was Luther wrong in breaking from Rome? Yes. Luther was wrong! Did Luther let his anger get the better of him? Yes!

But did he commit an unforgivable sin for wanting to reform some practices, which have since been acknowledged by the true church as not having been correct at the time?

I don’t think that at this late date, 500 years, any of us can be sure of what fate may or may not have met Luther, when he had his particular personal meeting with our Savior. I for one am not going to assume that he necessarily was damned, but neither am I going to assume he was welcomed with open arms by our Lord. I am simply saying that none of us can today judge Luther, only God can do that. And by now we can probably safely say that God has judged Fr. Martin.



It is important to understand the Church’s teaching on the eternal sin. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is one’s ultimate denial of God’s grace. It does not mean every single word of hatred towards God. Many people often say hateful things to God out of anger, frustration, and doubt. Yet, these incidences are not the eternal sin. By stating that the Pope is the antichrist, Luther is not necessarily denying the mercy of God, that is a ridiculous assumption.

1864 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.


There is the teaching about salutary repentance. We must not despair the salvation of one who committed suicide.


Well, I feel generally that Luther blasphemed a lot, but I try to avoid reading him for that reason so I don’t have a lot of things to cite.


My thoughts on Luther’s eternal fate are more specifically grounded in some of the last verses of Revelation. It says there that he who takes from these words shall have taken from him his share of the tree of life, and he who adds to these words shall have added to him the punishments described in the book.

Luther removed seven books from the Old Testament and several from the New Testament, and he put them all in an appendix in the back, rather than calling them canonical. A hundred years later, his followers put the New Testament books back. The Old Testament ones have not yet been restored to their rightful canonical status in the Protestant churches.

Seven books of the Bible (not to mention the NT ones) is an enormous part of the Word of God. It is so many, many precious words of our Lord. So far as we can tell, Luther never repented of removing them. And Revelation describes clearly what the terrible penalty for doing this is.


Hey, I don’t think you’re interpreting Revelation correctly here. It says -

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of THIS book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of THIS prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in the book.” (Rev 22:18-19)

The above verse only applies to the book of Revelation. Martin Luther did not add or take away anything from the book of Revelation.

As far as the other books of the Old Testament are concerned, even St. Jerome denied their canonical value. But we still remember him as a saint, don’t we?


Did St. Jerome deny their canonical value before or after the Church had spoken definitely on it?


Pope Pius III forbid the saying of Mass for Pope Alexander VI saying “It is blasphemous to pray for the damned”.

Did Pope Pius commit the eternal sin?



Again, we cannot neglect the actual meaning of “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” Do you honsetly believe that Pope Alexander is the Holy Spirit? How do these words of Pius III fit the eternal sin at all? This sin does not deal with every word of blasphemy. It deals with one’s ultimate denial of God’s mercy. We must remember what the Church teaches before we simply accuse one person after another of committing this sin, which isn’t even our job in the first place!

CCC 1864 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.