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.
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.
Where is burning at the stake, mentioned or supported in Exsurge Domine? As I recall, scripture condemns heretics, and thereofore when they die, if they haven’t repented, the go to hell. The eternal fire.
The Church has no control over the state, however.
Hold up. The original question, paraphrased from this post, was:
Which part of the 95 Theses rejects papal authority?
In response, you posted a link to Exsurge Domine, which was written by Pope Leo X in 1520, approximately 3 years after the 95 Theses were posted in 1517. This does not explain where Luther rejected papal authority. Especially since most historians mark Luther’s burning of that Bull (which happened after it was written ) as his first real act of defying papal authority.
So, again, please explain how the 95 Theses rejected papal authority? Otherwise, please explain how a Pope saying something years later mean that Luther said it years earlier?
This brings to mind one of the biggest complaints of Luther and the early Lutherans - that the Roman authorities weren’t even listening to the actual objections raised. We see this right from the get-go at Worms. The papal authorities demanded Luther recant all of his works. But that would’ve included “good” stuff that even his adversaries used, so he refused. The authorities didn’t want to waste time with a discussion on which works were good, or which works were bad. They just wanted Luther to kiss Papa’s ring and go away. Or die. That would’ve worked, too. No conversation. Just condemnation.
It brings to mind the Sanhedrin lashing the Apostles and telling them not to teach. I think this method probably worked in most, if not all, cases that reached that level, but the Sanhedrin did not understand the power of what they were facing, any more than the Diet of Worms did. The pebble had already dislodged the avalanche, and it was even too late for renouncing his works to be effective. In any case, it was not a fair request, as they were unwilling to accept the parts of his writings that were not contrary to Church Teaching.
I could, but it is off the thread topic. There has been a lot of anti-Semitism in Catholic history. Luther was steeped in it. He was raised Catholic, attended Catholic seminary, was a monk in a Catholic order, went to Catholic college and obtained his doctoral letters from Catholic institution. Some responsibility for his spiritual formation falls to the CC.
I suppose this might be necessary in some cases, but Luther was not trying to make doctrine when he wrote Of the Jews and Their Lies, and even if he had been, his followers did not accept it as such. At this point, it is time to work to heal the wounds to unity, and pouring salt into them is really not going to do that. It will be more effective to focus on what Lutherans believe TODAY that is keeping them from unity with the successor of Peter.
This is a sad fact.
Interesting. It must be difficult to have ones credibility standing upon such a fragile foundation.
As opposed to what?
There are times when I think an exploration into Luther’s other writings might be useful. Personally, I would be ashamed to call myself after someone that behaved as he did. I am just not convinced it is an effective apologetic method.
Did you think the OP was bringing up Luther’s works for discussion?
How did the Church respond to The 95 Theses? In 1520, Pope Leo X published a bull known as Exsurge Domine (Latin, “Arise, Lord”) in which he rejected 41 propositions taken from the writings of Martin Luther up to that time. However, only a few of the rejected propositions came from The 95 Theses. Most were based on things Luther said in other writings.
Which of The 95 Theses did Exsurge Domine reject?
The rejected propositions in Exsurge Domine are formulated from things Luther said, but they are not verbatim quotations.
Three of the rejected propositions—numbers 4, 17, and 38—are drawn from The 95 Theses. In each case, the rejected proposition is based on two of Luther’s original theses.
Here are the rejected propositions along with the corresponding theses:
Proposition 4. To one on the point of death, imperfect charity necessarily brings with it great fear, which in itself alone is enough to produce the punishment of purgatory and impedes entrance into the kingdom.
Thesis 14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.
Thesis 15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near the horror of despair.
Proposition 17. The treasures of the Church from which the pope gives indulgences are not the merits of Christ and of the saints.
Thesis 56. The treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.
Thesis 58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.
Proposition 38. The souls in purgatory are not sure of their salvation, at least (not) all; nor is it proved by any arguments or by the Scriptures that they are beyond the state of meriting or of increasing in charity.
Thesis 19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.
Thesis 18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.
Exsurge Domine thus rejected things it saw expressed in theses 14, 15, 18, 19, 56, and 58…
I don’t think this thread was about his “filthy works”, I think it just descended there. On the contrary, I think the OP seemed to be pointing toward ecumenism, charity, and unity. It seems to be a difficult subject for Catholics, as there is some centrifugal force that spins us into “Luther Bashing”.
I don’t disagree with your point, but it did not seem that the purpose of the thread was to discuss his works, but rather, the way that Catholics have a knee jerk reaction about Luther that seems to make us want to point the finger at his shortcomings.
I am sure he did as the problem progressed and became bigger, but at the beginning, the instruction was to soothe and quiet him, rather than really give an ear to his concerns. Don’t get me wrong, I think the outcome would likely have been the same - Luther has lost respect for the hierarchy as far back as his journey to Rome. His observations during his “pilgrimage” seemed to permanently sour him.
He did not hold back on criticism of the Pope, either. His language sounds disdainful and cynical.
Let us pray that our minds and hearts will be conformed to the will of the Spirit, which I do not think is the burning of our siblings in Christ!
I think there might be some huge chunks of chapters missing from your history book.
The interaction between Luther and the Pope did not begin with Exsurge Domine. That is how it ended!
Not entirely, though recent teaching has indicated that it is not necessary, since it is technologically possible now to protect society by separating persons that in the past may have best served the greater good with their deaths.
I am not sure he has even read the 95 Theses.
What you have posted, @steve-b, is actually support for the other side of the argument. Rather than responding with dialogue, the Pope sent envoys, first to try to “soothe and quiet” Luther, then later to put him on trial. The trial ended with the Ecclesial authorities demanding that Luther renounce all his works, including those that were not contradictory to the Church teaching. Those who were sent to silence him did not even read all of his work or care to listen to his arguments. It was not so much a dialog as it was an ultimatim. You are right, the Pope did respond to Luther with Exsurge Domine, but this was years later and related much more to publications and events that occurred AFTER the 95 Theses (which were mild in comparison). If you want to throw the 95 Theses out in a thread such as this, it might be beneficial to read them.
Did I say something that led you to believe I was blaming the Pope? Realistically, Luther was a small peon from the point of view of Leo. He was a complaining academic in a small town parish. Leo did what any leader should do, which is to have the ecclesiastical representatives of the region address his issues.
If I have a complaint about the way the United States is running, that does not qualify me to have an audience with the president. I should start locally, which is where Luther started. He took his concerns to the local Bishop.