Luther-Bashing is Anti-Catholic


I never said I wasn’t ecumenical. As a matter of fact, I consider myself quite ecumenical - especially as it pertains to the Orthodox.

I just also enjoy debate.

It’s not an either/or situation, Jon. It’s a both/and for most everyone.

So again, cease with the ad hominems, ok?

An arbiter without jurisdiction over the arbitration is non-functioning and nonsensical.

Which makes universal jurisdiction a 2nd century attribute of the Roman Church. Pretty early, given that that it was almost the 2nd century before the NT was even finished.

QED as above.


Good Afternoon Fellows, and Peace of Our Lord be with you. Emily and I are in agreement on the “Luther Bashing”, it isn’t necessary. Initially, Luther did not revolt because of the misuse of indulgences and simony, that came later. Many priests and bishops also wanted this stopped, and called for reform. Luther wanted The New Testament re-interpreted and called for a Counsel to do this. We are also aware that Luther not only excluded seven books from the Old Testament, but, in his first translation, he left seven books out of The Canon of the NEW Testament as well, because these books did not support his beliefs concerning Justification, Purgatory, or Prayers for the Dead. The other thing to keep in mind, this was the Age of Enlightenment, and many Nationalists were against the Power of the Church and sided with Luther. So, that being said, this Catholic stands with Luther on "Reform concerning Simony and the abuse of Indulgences. I am against everything else that he railed against. God Bless. We are; Jim and Emily…


Nonsense. Arbitration often takes place in a setting where people submit voluntarily to the decision. That’s not the case here.
In fact, Nicaea canon six uses the language of equal standing.
Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop. If, however, two or three bishops shall from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical law, then let the choice of the majority prevail.

Nicaea doesn’t see it that way. Neither do the other patriarchs. This is the issue. And it is a far bigger issue that the Anglican Province in America, and twice as long ago as the Reformation.
So I’ll be ecumenical. If Rome and the EO can resolve the issue, I’ll be in RCIA the next day.


Given the ecclesial context - especially in the way Irenaeus presents it - I’ll consider this demurral and subsequent retreat to Nicaea as a hostile but over-obvious concession.

I just fail to see where Nicaea makes a liar of Irenaeus - as your argument requires. All you really have here is an argument from absence. “See? They don’t confirm Rome as Arbiter of last resort here!

Well, Jon, they also don’t confirm that David was Solomon’s dad. So I guess that’s up for question too?
(that’s the problem with that type of argument).

As far as Rome’s role as arbiter, Nicaea is actually silent. And where it doesn’t speak, you don’t get to speak for it.

As a separate issue, I think the Patriarch of Russia would never let that happen.

An event that brings over the entire EO in one move couldn’t happen for temporal reasons. Kirill enjoys the power too much. :money_mouth_face:


Except that Nicaea doesn’t call him a liar. That’s you trying to make Irenaeus fit your post Schism view. He could not have known the controversy of papal supremacy that would "develop " hundreds of years later.

Well, that’s in scripture, so…

I don’t think Rome is immune from the same issue of power.


I trust you will never have to suffer such a punishment! Perhaps you can just be confirmed without so much “preparation”?


Thank you. That’s rather my point.

Which makes his thusly uninfluenced testimony identifying Rome as the arbiter all the more weighty.
Verily, for anyone who would claim that the Roman seat is merely an “equal”, his testimony leaps across 1850 years of history to smash such a silliness.

If you’re comparing Francis to Kirill, when you are woefully under-read on Kirill.

“Putin wearing an Orthodox Cross” wouldn’t be terribly far from the mark.


It’s like I said, he can’t confirm the latter day “development” of papal supremacy because it didn’t exist then. Canon 6 tells us that the EO understanding of primacy is more like what the Fathers would have known.

I’m comparing the offices. Does Krill claim universal jurisdiction over all of the Church on Earth?


An interesting article about the movement of the Catholic Church regarding Luther, missed by some Catholic apologists. It also levels some well-deserved criticism at confessional Lutherans for their lack of response in kind.


Thanks. I do read most of the Luther-related threads here at C.A., I think there are probably a number of people that lurk around without commenting.


Just 2 corrections were needed :smiley:




There aren’t any decent Church historians - Catholic or otherwise - who deny the development of papal supremacy.

But the writings of the Ante-Nicene fathers show the Roman seat as having a greater role than simply the first that gets the plate at a church-wide buffet.

We have Irenaeus identifying Rome as the great arbiter (which logically demands universal jurisdiction in order to be a cogent claim) but he’s not the only one that identifies the unique authority of Rome before Nicaea.

Thus your views on Roman egalitarianism simply required a deliberate, willful ignorance of the Ante-Nicene fathers that good scholarship simply cannot share in good faith. And I say that as charitably as I can. Really I do.

On the whole, Jon, “primus inter pares” is nonsensical. A “primus” who is primus in some way you do not share is thusly not your “pares”. It’s a contradiction.

No, it doesn’t. You just want it to.

It shows that the concept of supremacy wasn’t as developed at that point - as other councils also indicate the progressive development of the Church’s power structure (a la the rise of Constantinople). Essentially, the canon identifies that ancient archbishop equivalents can appoint subordinate bishops without interference from others of similar rank (like Rome). That’s it.

In no way does it mention or negate Rome’s role over doctrine in the wider Church or its universal jurisdiction to affect this role.

Who does? The pope just claims jurisdiction over the Catholic Church…

Kirill claims jurisdiction over almost 2/3 of the Orthodox on the planet.

As such, I do see some irony. Presently, In a lot of ways, Moscow is to Constantinople what Constantinople was to Rome in previous centuries. :smirk:


With all due considerations to Luther and the children of the Reformation, Catholic Popes in medieval times did outshine Kirill in such areas for centuries. Luther’s Pope was anything but humble, which seemed to contribute to the problems.


Although I would refrain from ever bashing the dead Martin Luther personally. Because Luther is excommunicated, Luther’s teachings are fair game to scrutiny, bashing, judgement by anyone.

Same for any other Catholic in history who refused to repent and return to the Catholic fold, the excommunicated are released from the protection of the Catholic Church, to succumb to secular and or evil powers and principalities within their powers.

Luther is no different, who has left the protection of the Catholic Church by his own recognizance, leaving himself, subject to any and all evil powers and principalities. That said, the excommunicated should not be harmed personally by Catholic members.

It serves no purpose to bash Luther personally. Although Luther’s excommunicated teachings are fair game to any and all secular powers.


This may be, but “bashing” does not seem to support productive dialogue. I find it hurtful when “bible Christians” and certain Reformed Christians come on here and “bash” the Teachings of the Church. I do not find it beneficial to apologetics or to heal the wounds of the Church. It is possible to discuss theological differences without becoming insulting. Anyone who has read the correspondence around Luther and Church officials can easily see how his hyperbole/attitude caused the situation to spiral downward. Although there is less in writing from Pope Leo, it is very likely that he mirrored some of Luther’s profane expressions in his own responses to the man. It is just pouring lighter fluid on the fire, and that does not make the banquet of unity toward which we all strive taste any better.


guanophore, Just a few highlights and a correction :wink:
considering the times:


“Giovanni de’ Medici came from one of the most powerful families in Italy. His father, Lorenzo the Magnificent, was a diplomat, politician, patron of several great Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, and ruler of the Florentine Republic. From an early age, Giovanni was molded for a life in the Church. He was created a cardinal by Pope Innocent VIII at the age of thirteen but did not officially assume the functions of the office until he turned sixteen.”

Have you ever studied the Medici family? Can you give me any reason, apart from political, why a 13 year old should be made a cardinal? Can you tell me anything that a 16 year old would have to offer the office of Cardinal?

“Considered the last of the Renaissance popes, Leo X focused on political affairs throughout his pontificate”

What this means is that he was worldly and focused on secular power.

“Leo is perhaps best known for his 1515 decision to continue the practice of granting an indulgence to those who contributed alms to a construction project he inherited that needed more funding: the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Indulgence preachers were sent to regions throughout Christendom, including Electoral Saxony, home of an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther.”

There was not enough $ to finish building the Basilica, so Pope Leo granted an indulgence to people who gave money. This gave the populace the misguided impression that their relatives could be released from purgatory if they contributed to the building fund . There were also “indulgence” documents generated so that persons donating money could have a certificate saying that the consequences of their sins could be forgiven if they gave money.

What do you think the job of an “indulgence preacher” might be?

" At first Leo believed the issue to be a quarrel between the Augustinian and Dominican religious orders (most indulgence preachers were Dominicans), so he ordered Luther’s superior to “soothe and quiet” the man."

Pope Leo did not take Martin Luther seriously, which was a serious mistake. Not only was Luther not amenable to “soothing and quiet”, but the pebble that Luther dislodged had already started an avalanche.


"Luther refused to leave Germany, claiming ill health and a fear for his safety. "

This is not entirely unfounded. There were many faithful Catholics that would believe they did a great service to the Church and the Pope if they eliminated Luther. Such a service would have given them great benefit in Pope Leo’s “secular issues” since those who sought secular power were always in need of papal support.

“The Church was not a corrupted institution resistant to reform and Luther was not a simple reformer.”

The corruption of individuals attached to the Church, such as Medicis,cannot corrupt the One Holy and Apostolic Church preserved in purity by the Holy Spirt. so agree, Pope Leo, and any number of corrupt Popes, could not sully the Body of Christ.

I don’t know what a “simple reformer” is, but clearly, Luther was unwilling to be placated. Reform was needed, as men are always in need of reform. The doctrines of Christ, however, are never in need of reform.

Feel free to come back and give me “correction” again after you have studied the Medici family.


This is a splendid article, @JonNC. Thank you for sharing it.

I think, in Europe, it is a bit more positive and optimistic, however, than how this American author sees it, as I think was demonstrated by out joint commemoration of the Reformation on this side of the Atlantic.

As for lay Catholic Apologists being out of the loop – well, thanks be to God, the Pope, the world’s bishops, the theological community as well as the ecumenists are not out of the loop! THAT is what really matters.

Since 1983, we have joined Pope Saint John Paul II in proclaiming Martin Luther as Witness of the Gospel and as Witness of Jesus Christ.

Those of us who saw, with our own eyes, Pope Benedict in his pilgrimage to Erfurt…where he went to pay tribute to Martin Luther, both by speech and by this visit knew – and know – that we were seeing the expression of the Church today about our relations with those who are Evangelical Catholics, as they properly term themselves here in Europe…all of this in the aftermath of Vatican II.

We are liberated from a very dark past that we have moved beyond – thanks be to God! – together with out Lutheran Sisters and Brothers.

For me, most importantly, given the level at which this is happening, the fact that there are laity who do not know – or refuse to accept it and conform themselves to Vatican directives – simply means that they are trying to swim against an inevitable tight that they cannot win. This is the Will of God. This is, as the Council Fathers knew, a divine imperative.

When both soon-to-be Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II begged forgiveness before the World Council of Churches for the past transgressions of the Roman Church and of their predecessors, here was the Church at her finest hour.

As Pope Benedict said, we as Catholics can learn so much from the Lutherans.

My great regret is that the work of Cardinal Bea – of such blessed memory – is so little known outside a relatively limited circle. A greater debt is owed to him than can be expressed for where we stand today.

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