It occasionally happens that zealotry stands in the way of facts.
It is generally true that good trees hear good fruits. But, there is no guarantee for that. Many horrendous criminals throughout history came from excellent upbringings. The converse is also true for many declared catholic saints.
Luther grew up in a good family and received excellent education. He did very well in his religious community. There was nothing to suggest that he would fall into heresies and left the Church. It was his decision to leave the Church. The 95 theses generally outlined the abuses that Luther observed. But they were far from the heresies and the anti-semitic thoughts that he espoused later. By definition, without the pope as her shepherd, the Catholic Church ceases to exist. There is a big difference between a catholic priest and an ordained protestant minister. Only the Catholic priest can say Mass, consecrate validly the Eucharist, hear valid Confessions, etc…
Conscience is beyond the influence of our surroundings. It is a place where God speaks to us. We often hear people say “I could not do that because my conscience got to me”; “He got a guilty conscience”; “Where was his conscience?”
During the Nuremberg trials, a tribunal court, headed by US Justice Jackson, that tried and convicted Hitter’s top brass, the main argument for the defense was they did what they were told and therefore they bear no responsibility. They were shaped by their surroundings and experiences. But the court did not believe that, and no one should. It’s true the ultimate judge is God Himself. It is wrong and unacceptable to excuse the monsters in history using the “they were shaped and influenced by their surroundings and experiences” arguments. I have no problem calling evil by its name. In rare occasions where the acts of evil are so horrendous, I have no reservation calling Hitler and monsters like him “evil”.
Judging is also integral of our lives. Without judging, how are we to distinguish good from bad, to make moral decisions for ourselves, and to instruct our children? This is of course understood within the framework that God is the ultimate judge.
Who was Martin Luther to say the popes and the bishops committed heresies? By what authority? There were abuses, but heresies?? Luther can think whatever in his mind. But jumping from abuses to accusing the Church of heresies is quite an incredible leap. Luther went on to found his own church (along with the support of the German princes). When he rejected the papacy, he rejected the Catholic Church—he left the Church at that moment. Let’s be honest. Luther was an established theologian. He knew exactly what was going to happen when he referred the pope as the anti-Christ and the bishops as “fools”—among his many other heretical rants.
Any baptized person—catholic or otherwise—must ascend to the Catholic Church to be in full communion with the Church. If he willfully and knowingly rejects the doctrines or the tenets of the Church, he places himself outside of the Church and is probably self-excommunicated.
Catholics have written and said the same in anti-semitic diatribe. Do you want Lutherans to use that as excuse not to unite? I don’t think so. Pointing out the bad behavior of individuals is, for Catholics, like throwing stones in a glass house. Luther’s complaints about the Pope were not without merit, and there have been plenty of popes, bishops, and priests whose behavior has been deplorable. Do we want Lutherans to use these bad behaviors to “stir” Catholics to leave the Church?
The Lutheran Church is not based on Luther, as much as the Augsburg Confession, which has NOTHING about Luther’s “filthy verbatim” about Jews. Lutherans don’t espouse this, and never have, since the beginning.
His “filth” about the Jews echoes the Catholic Church rhetoric in which he was raised, so pointing a finger at Luther leaves the other 3 pointing back at the CC
The anti-semitic diatribe is not related at all to any of the theology that prevents Lutherans from returning to Rome. This only “stirs” defensiveness.
Focusing on negativity is not an effective evangelistic or apologetic method. We have much more in common with Lutherans than we do with Reformed Christians.
It would be much more effective to focus on the documents that Lutherans use, such as Luther’s catechism and the Augsburg confession.
It is not our place to correct the dead! The Church has already called him to account. I recommend that you WAIT until someone says something about him that is false, to make a correction. It is true that some Lutherans are unaware of some of his writings and attitudes, but there is a good reason for that. They do not accept those as part of the doctrine of their faith.
Yes that is what I said, didn’t I? I agree that we shouldn’t correct the dead, he’s already been corrected. What should be done is to correct those who say false things about him. Yes?
Edit: ok the part where I say that I would only judge Luther… That part I understand is wrong
Did he say that?
It seems to me that the bulk of the 95 theses were related to his complaints about indulgences and purgatory.
I don’t see how this is such a leap. The practice of “selling” indulgences was based upon the doctrine of the treasury of merit, and the Church’s teaching about Purgatory.
Luther believed that the CC needed reform (and he was right, people are always in need of reform). He wanted the CC to return to her more pure roots. He did not want to start his own church, nor did he want to be excommunicated.
I wonder. I am sure there were many people, not all of them theologians who had such things to say about the Pope and the behavior of the Bishops. His complaints came about in a time and place so as the tiny pebble triggered a landslide.
Yes, I think it is fair to say that Luther excommunicated himself by the time the Bull arrived. But he did not see himself rejecting the doctrines as much as the mistakes. He did not consider these practices and beliefs part of the authentic Catholic faith.
Ok, my apologies. I have not read all the posts in the thread, and I may have missed someone defending Luther in saying false things about him. I will try to catch up with all the posts today.
Lutherans go by what is in the book of Concord, which if you read it, you will notice Luther’s hyperbole and rhetoric ABSENT (except about the papacy being the antichrist). Lutherans do not espouse those anti-semitic views, so dragging them into the discussion is counterproductive.
You wrote: ”I was not t suggesting that they should. I am saying that, from Luther’s point of view, the pope, cardinals, and bishops had already done this. They abandoned the true gospel and replaced it with heresies.”
Abuses are not heresies. Abuses in the application and usage of indulgences are sinsful and are called for reform and correction.
It wouldn’t be more effective if the goal is simply to bash Luther, and by extension, Protestants in general and Lutherans in particular.
By intentionally conflating the two just makes it easier. Those who wish to bash the Catholic Church will focus on the priest scandal, not on Catholic Charities, or the message of the Gospel.
No one i know defends Luther’s anti-Judaic writings. So trying to get people to do so is, frankly, cheap apologetics.
I don’t even think it constitutes apologetics at all!! How is pointing out the shortcomings of others in any way defending one’s own faith?
The Catholic Church has always needed reform. That is true. It was not Luther’s place to change the Church to his liking—albeit that in his mind the Church would be more pure.
See for yourself!!! Look at, now 500 years later, the fruits of his labor and the church(es) Luther created. How many Lutheran churches are there? how their doctrines differ from each other, and how they are so vastly different from the Catholic Church? How divided Lutheran churches are? Woman clergy (priests) Homosexual marriages, abortion, euthanasia, gender confusion, etc… The Catholic Church would have been basically all that if Luther had his way with the Catholic Church. That would not be the Catholic Church that Jesus founded—One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I will check out of this tread as I wish to move on. I thank you for a robust and respectful discussion of a very uncomfortable topic.
When he posted the 95 Theses, he was opening a discussion. This was how scholastic debate was opened. Maybe he erred in thinking that he could write and post these assertions for academic discourse. Clearly it was an anvil that created an ever widening wedge.
I think Luther accepted that it was the place of the Pope, Cardinals, and Bishops to change the Church. This is one reason he was so frustrated. His efforts to talk to them were not reciprocated with any concern.
This division has more to do with the doctrine of Sola Scriptura than anything else. There are as many interpretations of Scripture as there are belly buttons. Luther espoused Sacred Tradition, and did not think that the understanding of Scripture should be separated from it. But each new generation that moves further and further from that Sacred tradition drifts away from the Apostolic Teaching.
As it is, we have Catholics all over this same map, along with Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc etc. Most Catholics think the Church is a democracy, and most don’t attend Mass at all, while those who do have no problem participating in Communion regularly while living in mortal sin. I thank God that He has preserved the OHCAC, but Catholics have enough work to do in cleaning our own house as we do pointing out the errors of Luther, or Lutherans.
Generally there are two groups of Lutherans. One group, often called Confessional Lutherans, hold to a “quia” position, that the confessions and scripture are to be because they are true.
The second, more liberal group, allow such things as you mention because the hold a “quatenus”, meaning " in so far as" it is true.
Most confessional synods are members of the ILC, and the liberal ones are members of the LWF.
On the other hand, there are the Old Catholics who have women clergy,too
Well I guess I have to plead guilty. But I am happy to report, I got over it. Being raised in the south, I was surrounded by Baptists, and other Protestants, and it just did not work for me. I tried, and it was just empty… for me.
I always knew I wanted to be Catholic, but how could I do that and not publicly embarrass my Dad, an Episcopal Priest? It would have been a scandal, but since they say the creed, a minor one, at least in my eyes. Time took care of that problem, Dad retired.
After I converted, it was not a matter of validating my choice, that didn’t need validating, that is how good a fit being Catholic was for me. Rather, and again this is just me, it was a matter of detoxing. That is done now. I got over it. I don’t feel the need to bash Luther any more. Is it anti-Catholic to “bash” Luther? Well, I am going to leave that to apologetics. I will say this… all are welcome!
Your using your intellect to defend division that the Protestants of the 16th century invented. No apostle ever accepted division from Our Lord’s Church. Because Jesus never accepted division from His Church. You’re using you will against the the will of Jesus. So Ask yourself, where is this going?
Where did I say I defend it?
I submit to the Church. Those who aren’t “in” the Church obviously don’t submit to the Church. So the language in paragraph 14, Luther-Bashing is Anti-Catholic isn’t isolated. It encompasses what evangelization and ecumenism is all about. When it says “whosoever” it means it applies to everyone. Not just Catholics but everyone.,
Your actions, you’re Protestant
Your actions, too. As a Catholic, you support doctrines that led to divisions over the centuries