Luther-Bashing is Anti-Catholic


My apologies for jumping in- I skimmed through this link written by Steve Weidenkopf. He asserts, “Although Luther’s 95 Theses contained multiple heretical opinions, the most dangerous was his rejection of papal authority.” Since you posted the link, would you be willing to elaborate which part of the 95 Theses Mr. Weidenkopf has in mind?

It’s generally understood that at the time of the posting of the 95 Theses, Luther had not rejected papal authority. It is also my understanding that there was no complete dogma on the indulgence when Luther posted the 95 Theses, so Luther was not technically a heretic when he posted that document. That’s why there was supposed to be debate and discussion on the points made in the 95 Theses.

Thanks in advance.


Back in post 222, @josh987654321 claimed the following about the 95 Theses:
“I agree except for this, In his 95 Thesis he also trashed Transubstantiation among other things that I am not as well versed in. Transubstantiation isn’t an abuse.”

In a later post, I provided a link to the 95 Theses, and asked which one. I’ve yet to receive a reply.
So, I look forward to replies to both.


This behavior is probably the best example of “Luther Bashing” available. Attributing things to Luther, and claiming a certain document contains ideas that they do not! It is clear that the people asserting such drivel have not actually read what they are citing. It is poor scholarship, and disingenuous, to the point of bearing false witness. This is contrary to the dignity to which the Church calls us to treat our separated brethren.


I think from a Catholic perspective, there is much to criticize Luther for. From that perspective, one doesn’t need to make things up.


I concur, character “bashing” is never productive in any dialogue or debate.

Character “bashing” makes it evident that the one doing the character bashing is losing the debate. However, because “bible Christians” and non-Catholic Christians who are out of full communion with the Catholic Church are at liberty to question, debate, inquire about the divine revelations and apostolic teachings of the Catholic faith.

A dialogue or debate is not necessarily an avenue to healing or reconciliation of separated brethren, although such mediums do not hurt, when they inform and correct misunderstanding.

The negative “bashing” from any side, serves no purpose, except to feed one’s ego en-flamed from evil powers and principalities. Should the opposing side react with bashing, will find their represented position to be a lost cause.
Respective of Luther’s and Pope Leo’s past times, it was not uncommon for debaters to air personal insults and attacks of one’s position especially in legal court battles, not to exclude some of the early Church Father’s, St. Jerome and St. Augustine for example.

Today the debate forum should not take on such Character and substance “bashing”, to add, nor play the blame game. Maturity is required here, when TRUTH should be sought after and the subject of discussion.

In summary, a Catholic is called to defend and give a reason for his/her faith, and then, use words when necessary. Character “bashing” serves no purpose from a positive light. Admittedly, speaking for myself, during a debate, I have been the subject of character and substance “bashing”, many times I consider the attack a blessing (per biblical practice, “blessed are those who are persecuted for my name (Jesus) sake”) and refrain from attacking, although I have failed at times, by returning a negative rebuttal to my opponents position. I work out my salvation with fear and trembling, by refraining from character “bashing”.
Peace be with you



As we read in From Conflict to Communion

233. How theologians presented their theological convictions in the battle for public opinion is quite another matter. In the sixteenth century, Catholics and Lutherans frequently not only misunderstood but also exaggerated and caricatured their opponents in order to make them look ridiculous. They repeatedly violated the eighth commandment, which prohibits bearing false witness against one’s neighbor. Even if the opponents were sometimes intellectually fair to one another, their willingness to hear the other and to take his concerns seriously was insufficient. The controversialists wanted to refute and overcome their opponents, often deliberately exacerbating conflicts rather than seeking solutions by looking for what they held in common. Prejudices and misunderstandings played a great role in the characterization of the other side. Oppositions were constructed and handed down to the next generation. Here both sides have every reason to regret and lament the way in which they conducted their debates. Both Lutherans and Catholics bear the guilt that needs to be openly confessed in the remembrance of the events of 500 years ago.

Catholic confession of sins against unity

234. Already in his message to the imperial diet in Nuremberg on 25 November 1522, Pope Hadrian VI complained of abuses and trespasses, sins and errors insofar as church authorities had committed them. Much later, during the last century, Pope Paul VI, in his opening speech at the second session of the Second Vatican Council, asked pardon from God and the divided “brethren” of the East. This gesture of the pope found expression in the Council itself, above all in the Decree on Ecumenism85 and in the Declaration on Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Acetate).(86)

235. In a Lenten sermon, “Day of Pardon,” Pope John Paul II similarly acknowledged guilt and offered prayers for forgiveness as part of the observance of the 2000 Holy Year.(87) He was the first not simply to repeat the regret of his predecessors Paul VI and the council fathers regarding the painful memories, but actually to do something about it. He also related the request for forgiveness to the office of bishop of Rome. In his encyclical Ut Unum Sint, he alludes to his visit to the World Council of Churches in Geneva on 12 June 1984, admitting, “the Catholic conviction that in the ministry of the bishop of Rome she has preserved in fidelity to the Apostolic Tradition and faith of the Fathers, the visible sign and guarantor of unity constitutes a difficulty for most other Christians, whose memory is marked by certain painful recollections.” He then added, “As far as we are responsible for these, I join with my predecessor Paul VI in asking forgiveness.”


From the Pope’s Address some few days ago to an Ecumenical Delegation from Finland, meeting at the Holy See

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I offer you a cordial greeting as we gather during your pilgrimage to Rome, which is by now an annual event on the feast of Saint Henrik. I thank the Lutheran Bishop of Espoo for his kind greeting. As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity draws to an end, we think back with joy on this past year’s joint commemoration of the Reformation, which strengthened and deepened, in our Lord Jesus Christ, the communion between Lutherans and Catholics and their ecumenical partners throughout the world. This joint commemoration remains a fruitful opportunity for ecumenism, for it marked not a goal but rather a point of departure in the ecumenical quest for full and visible unity between Christians, under the threefold sign of gratitude, repentance and hope, all three of which are indispensable if we truly desire to heal our memory. It is not by chance that our efforts are moving towards the study of a major ecumenical question that we intend to discuss in the future, namely, the nature of the Church.

An essential part of the joint commemoration of the Reformation worldwide has been the ecumenical aspect of our prayer and our meetings, no longer marked by the disputes and conflicts of the past. Our commemoration took place in a quite different spirit, for we understood the event of the Reformation as a summons to confront together Christianity’s loss of credibility, and to renew and strengthen our common confession of the Triune God. The year just ended reminded us of a time when Christian unity was not yet sundered. Consequently, there was only one way for Lutherans and Catholics to commemorate 2017: in ecumenical communion.



Today I receive from you with joy and gratitude the document recently issued by the Lutheran Catholic Dialogue Commission for Finland, entitled: “Communion in Growth. Declaration on the Church, Eucharist and Ministry”. Its title reflects the decisive issues to which ecumenical dialogue can and must now turn its attention. After the consensus reached between Lutherans and Catholics on fundamental questions regarding the doctrine of justification, the ecclesiological implications of that agreement must necessarily be part of the agenda of ecumenical dialogues.

At a time when societies are increasingly secularized, our service to ecumenism consists in bearing witness to the presence of the living God. The greatest ecumenical challenge we face is that of reaffirming the centrality of the God question, which has to do not with any God, but of the God who revealed his face to us in the man Jesus of Nazareth. Since Lutherans and Catholics can now acknowledge together the centrality of the God question, it has been possible to join in an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation, not as a mere pragmatic gesture but with a deep sense of faith in Christ crucified and risen, a faith to which we can now testify together. By so doing, we are shouldering the great ecumenical responsibility to which last year’s commemoration of the Reformation called us.

Your pilgrimage coincides each year with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, whose theme this year – “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power” (cf. Ex 15:6) – reminds us of the situation of dire need in which countless people live in many parts of our world. It is our duty to come to their aid, united by our shared ecumenical commitment. In complete humility, then, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ that by his grace we Christians throughout the world may be instruments of his peace. May he help us always, amid divisions between peoples, to work together as witnesses and servants of his healing and reconciling love, and in this way to sanctify and glorify his name. Let us constantly implore the support of God’s grace and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, who guides us to the fullness of truth.

Once again, I offer you my warm welcome. Upon you and upon all Christians in Finland I cordially invoke God’s blessings.


This is well stated. While I admire Luther, I’m not a Lutheran. I can think of a number of things I disagree with him on, I can also think of a number of things in which I think he blundered, sometimes sinfully. However, he was not a child of the Devil (Cochlaeus), sexually immoral (Denifle), a neurotic (Grisar), mentally-ill (Ganns), morally depraved and corrupt (O’Hare), in league with Satan (O’Connor), etc. I could go on and on with such descriptions.

I don’t think anyone should be misquoted, whether one thinks they’re the “enemy” or not. I see the study of any person in church history as an exercise in the love of God and neighbor. How do I love my neighbor in the study of church history? There probably are many ways, but the one that applies here is in my words. If I bear false witness against my neighbor, even if he’s been dead for hundreds of years, I am not loving him. I say let the people in church history be exactly who they were, warts and all. Luther certainly had warts and sins, but he did not “kick the cat” as well on the way to posting the 95 Theses. That is, he is not as bad as many portray him to be. Zeal without truth= nothing.


Interesting question you posted here; “How do I love my neighbor in the study of church history?” Can you provide or think of any way’s on how can I love my enemy? as it pertains to this Luther thread? Anyone?


Thanks for your response. As I stated, above: Not bearing false witness against Luther by using out-of-context quotes, or not interpreting what he said (or did) in light of the time and setting in which occurred, according to his overall theology, and in context. I would add also, not using double standards in argumentation. I gave an example here of how some Catholics use a double standard in regard to Luther’s attitude towards the Jews. If I make an argument, but the same sort of argument can be made against my own position or theological / historical allegiance, it’s not a valid argument.


Really honestly trying to see something from the others point of view rather than just filing it in the garbage.


Can you substantiate this, at least the Catholics writing part? The only thing on this thread that has been posted were a measly two obscure quotes from Eck that were not ‘the same in anti-semitic diatribe’.

There is a clear distinction between ‘behavior’ and doctrine; and, when a Christian mixes ‘bad behavior’ with erroneous doctrine in writing, you expose it, when necessary, in the most charitable and gentle way possible to inform, not to ‘bash’.

There is no such thing as ‘The Lutheran Church’. There are hundreds of different Lutheran ecclesial communities in which very few confess the AC. Of course the AC has nothing about Luther’s filth, that is the whole problem; many Lutheran pastors (I have had personal experience with this) do not want anyone to know the majority of Luther’s works because their knowledge of these works and their silence will instantly discredit them.

Can you substantiate this?

Of the Jews and Theirs Lies is a polemical treatise that is not intended to be theologically based, yes, I would agree with you. However, that is just one of his works; there are plenty that comingles theology with his obsession with the devil, human excrement, and foul language. Read Luther’s Hans Wurst published in 1541 and ask yourself if that writing is merely ‘bad behavior’.

Absolutely 100% agreed! But, that does not mean that error and coarseness should just be forgotten altogether and the Canons of the Council of Trent expunged. I do not recall Catholics going door-to-door or posting thread after thread about how deranged a person Luther was. However, when the topic of his works comes up (viz. this thread), we are obliged, in the most ecumenical way, to expose the truth of his works and let the Lutheran decide how to evaluate them.


Sure, there is much truth in them (AC/S&L C). But, I am not going to sugarcoat anything under the pretext of false ecumenicism. Luther’s works are not Lutherans. Lutherans are beautiful souls in which many are entirely more pious and devout in their faith than many Catholics and I cannot wait to see them in Heaven, if I make it. But, again, doctrinal error is doctrinal error, and filth is filth, and when Luther and his works are brought up, the truth must be exposed; no spin, no commentary, no judgment, no insinuating…just quoting his works verbatim for the Lutheran to read and decide.


Who said pope Leo didn’t take Luther seriously? Multiple attempts took place to have discussion with Luther. Luther wouldn’t have any part of it.

So without a face to face

Here is Leo’s communication with Luther that did take place

Luther, Exsurge Domine, Bull of Leo X

then came
Decet Romanum Pontificem


Both of those are less ‘conversation,’ and more ‘condemnation.’

One literally calls the burning of heretics the will of the Spirit.


Emperor Charles V set the tone, I believe, for dialogue going forward. When he conquered a majority of the Lutheran lands and began re-imposing many Roman Catholic practices, his army came to the place where Luther’s body rested. His generals asked whether Luther should be exhumed, or at least have his grave defiled. He responded, “No. My quarrel is with the living, not the dead.”

If only folks today shared the view of that Roman Catholic ruler.


Have you never seen the answer to THAT?

Is the HS NOT involved in the following judgement and condemnation?





As I posted to guanophore, here is the progression of thought between Pope Leo and Luther.

Exsurge Domine, Bull of Leo X Look at error #25

then came

Decet Romanum Pontificem


Neither of those answers TertiumQuid’s questions, especially in light of the fact “that at the time of the posting of the 95 Theses, Luther had not rejected papal authority.”

I’m genuinely interested in your answer here, as it was the act of burning Exsurge Domine that most historians mark as Luther’s jettisoning of papal authority. The 95 Thesis simply don’t fight against papal authority. They would seem, rather, to appeal to it.

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