Luther's Break with the CC-When

Hi to all…especially the Luther experts…:slight_smile:

When did Luther’s break with the CC actually occur? Can the the date be penned (or approximate year)?

And what was the final/main reason for the split/break?


Note: Please this is not for debate…just for some historical views and facts. Thanks.

It’s hard to tell because Pope Leo X issued a papal bull to Luther telling him that he risked excommunication if he didn’t recant on 15 June 1520 and on 10 December that same year Luther burned the papal bull in defiance…so 10 December 1520 could be seen as the break because Luther made his stand, he didn’t care if he was to be excommunicated he was not going to recant. You can also say the 3rd of Janurary 1521 was the official break when Luther was officially excommunicated from the Church.

The reason for the break as Lutherans see it, the Church demanded that Luther recant all his teachings including his 95 Thesis. Luther demanded that the Church provide evidence of his heresy in Scripture and 'not from Popes or Bishops who have oft contradicted each other". Since the Church was unable to refute Luther because the Church does not follow sola Scriptura Luther and the Church split. Luther was angered by the high-levels of corruption and decadence as he saw it and demanded a change to the way the Church was acting. This did not happen and Luther formed his own church.

Yes, but you will never get Catholics to admit there was corruption in the Church. With the “The Church said it, that’s the way it is” crowd, the Church can never be wrong or do wrong…oh, let me add, on matters of faith. So then you get into arguments on what are matters of faith. Those that do not fit, are never matters of faith. Geez, it’s a can of worms.

The Roots of the Reformation by Karl Adam

II. LUTHER - The Final Break

…The abuses in the Church were not the real cause but only the occasion of the Reformation…the abuses within the medieval Church certainly unleashed Luther upon the path of revolution, and justified him in the eyes of the masses and in his own judgment. But they were not the actual ground, the decisive reason for Luther’s falling away from the doctrine of the Church…It was not ecclesiastical abuses that made him the opponent of the Catholic Church, but the conviction that she was teaching falsely. And this conviction dates from long before the fatal 17th October, 1517. He had interiorly abandoned the teaching of the Church long before he outwardly raised the standard of revolt. Certainly, as early as 1512, without as yet knowing or wishing it, he had grown away from the Church’s belief (Lortz, vol. i, p. 191).

There is no exact date when Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church. Although the date October 31, 1517 has often been cited since it’s the day he published the 95 Theses, at that time he still considered himself a Catholic and agreed with most of the Church’s teaches. If he just published the Theses and left it at that, no one would ever have heard of him. The schism occurred over many years as Luther became more and more opposed to Catholicism. Here is a good (but pretty anti-Protestant) video explaining it:

Yes, I know and understand that the makers of this video are not in good standing with the Church, and that their form of so-called Traditional Catholicism is itself schismatic. This video, though, says nothing contrary to the teaching of the Church; it just says things in an excessively negative manner. PLEASE do not make ad hominem arguments.

Well, I’m a Catholic and I frequently admit that there was corruption within the Church. There has been for most of its history. No one ever said that all members of the Catholic Church were pure as the driven snow. We must admit that there were some terrible abuses by members of the clergy in Luther’s time and I don’t blame him for taking the Church to task on those issues. St. Francis of Assisi took took Catholic clergy to task as well, 300 years before Luther. The difference was that when Francis spoke, bishops wept and repented. He re-built the Church from the inside and was always obedient. But when he spoke the truth no one could deny it.

Same here. Whenever I discuss with a Protestant about the Reformation I do not whitewash the Church.
Luther was right to speak out against the corruption that was in the Church.

However, Luther was not right to change the doctrine of the Church.


Certainly not a concensus that I’ve found, even her at CAF, which has a reputation as being rather conservative.


Are you really Catholic?

Since you mentioned St Francis…one of my favorite songs…A favorite saint. Pardon the quick detour…

Thanks for the input…Austen.

I did some reading after seeing your post…and read about the actions before the issuance of Exsurge Domine…and after.

Things could have turned differently if cooler heads prevailed and everyone pulled back and took time for cool off. What do you think?

Agreed…with SteveVH too. I heard one of our apologists say…that there is nothing to gain trying to hide our dirty linen…honesty about it is the way to go.

Thanks…Jon…I am quite surprised you have not chimed in…:D…yet. :wink:

Indeed…one of my favorites too…first learned the song in 6th grade…decades ago…:smiley:

Everyone also leaves out the political aspect taking place in Germany.
The northern princes embraced Luther in opposition to the Holy Roman Emperor.
There was too much to gain

I’m not too sure that much could have changed. Exsurge Domine was issued in June 1520, but Luther did not receive this until September or October. By that time it was issued and Luther received it, he published two of his most scathing treatises against the Church pre-excomunication: To the Christian Nobility and The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. On the Freedom of the Christian (published in November) did violate the command that he refrain from teaching, but its tone is noticeably less abusive than the previous two treatises. My point is that I don’t think that anything could have prevented Luther’s excommunication after To the Christian Nobility.

The Church certainly had its problems but those were not the major reasons for his fall. Luther fell to pride like satan himself. Luther rejected the foundational dogmatic teachings of the Church and substituted his own. The heresies he created and led countless souls into are condemning who knows how many people. There were Saints of that same time period who saw the corruption in the Church. You know what they did about it? They voiced their opinion when and where they could while remaining obedient to Christ and His Church. You know? That vow that Priests take? That Luther took? Had Luther simply remained within the Church and prayed for it and did anything he could when and where to change things from within (obviously not likely when you’re just a Priest-hence where prayer comes in). Christ promised to always be with the Church and keep her from error. That promise has never been broken. Christ healed the Church just has He has always done and always will continue to do, no matter what man made scandals come from within or without. Luther lost his faith in Christ to uphold His scriptural promises, and so Luther set out to do everything himself. That was his sin of pride. And when he fell, he fell hard. And took countless millions of souls with him u_u

Yes I think that if the Church decided to actually take Luther on his debate instead of just treating him like another Jan Hus and if Luther had tried to be less…Luther (Luther was the type of guy who just said what he felt no matter how brutal it may have been…no one was more blunt, troubled, moody, crude and downright bombastic than Luther) then perhaps there could have been a reform that could have stopped the whole Protestant movement right then and there.

Thank you for that Michael Voris-esque rant, but the OP wanted just simple historical facts…he doesn’t want a debate. :wink:

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