Martin Luther

According to Catholic teaching was Martin Luther simply a heretic or was he also an apostate?

Does teaching against papal authority, the sacraments and the Church objectively make one a heretic or does it make one a heretic and an apostate?

If someone would give me some references (preferably from magisterial\infallible statements) to their answer I would appreciate it.

My understanding is that being an apostate means denying one or more point in the Apostles Creed or the essential mysteries of the faith, while heresy is denying defined dogmas of the Church.

Decet Romanum Pontificem, Papal Bull on the Condemnation and Excommunication of Martin Luther, the Heretic, and his Followers, January 3, 1521.

Fox’s Book of Martyrs is a good one to start with and the reign of Queen Mary aka Bloody Mary who killed 238 men, women and yes children because the Catholic Church didn’t like what Luther and the reformers taught. I think that is a better insight into what you are looking for.

I’m going to ignore this post.

[Miss Manners]

Now, now, let’s not reopen old wounds, shall we? This can be discussed in a civilized manner.

[/Miss Manners]

If you really want technical terms, he was both: he taught things contrary to Church doctrine, and he fell away from the Church.

As for Queen Mary, it’s true that excesses were committed under her reign, but Elizabeth I doesn’t exactly have a shining record of humanitarian practices either. :stuck_out_tongue:

It was a sad time. 500 years on, we need to forgive and move on, not keep hurling theological epithets at each other. John Hagee, Kirk Cameron and Ian Paisley, please take note. :smiley:

I do not subscribe to the people you mentioned. Old wounds, I call that Church History, as I am so reminded by Catholics of your some what 2000 year old history, minus 6 centuries without a Pope. No one ever mentions that part of Church history either. But those books are a good place to start if you want to know what Luther taught and is still believed today, by true believers. Hebrews 1 1:2 enjoy.

One of the things that I can say about Martin Luther is that thank God that God sent him along when he did since he pointed out many things that needed to be pointed out.

Is that Hebrews 1: 1-2 or Hebrews 11:2?

Hmm, let me see:

Hebrews 1: 1-2:
*God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all,
In these days, hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.
*

Hebrews 11:2
*For by this the ancients obtained a testimony. *

Thanks, I did enjoy both passages. You might enjoy John 6: 30-71, Matthew 16: 17-19 and James 2: 14-26 (the latter of which Luther enjoyed so much that he “wanted to throw Jimmy in the fireplace” :p)

Also, what Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and (forgive me for this) Benny Hinn taught are all quite different. Which of them should I follow to be a “true believer”? :slight_smile:

I’d respectfully disagree.

Martin Luther, like the Assyrians, was allowed to do what he did as a chastisement for the Church, permitted by God. But like the Assyrians, he is not an example to be followed.

Let’s see what he “pointed out”:

  1. Double predestination (which Calvin copied and pasted)
  2. The Shrinking List of Sacraments. (“Oh, all 7 are all right”, “No, only 3”, “No, just two!”)
  3. The classic of sociological analysis, On the Jews and their Lies.
  4. Sola fide (“Go, and sin on more!”)
  5. Book burning (in case you think the Communists started this, he made a nice bonfire out of Papal encyclicals and St. Thomas Aquinas’ writings)
  6. Married priests.
  7. Omitting those parts of the Bible that he didn’t like (but why did he have to pick on James and Revelation? Those are sort of fun. Now, the first few chapters of 1 Chronicles…) :smiley:

(Warning: the above is not meant to be taken too seriously.) :wink:

RPRPsych;11605528]I’d respectfully disagree.

Martin Luther, like the Assyrians, was allowed to do what he did as a chastisement for the Church, permitted by God. But like the Assyrians, he is not an example to be followed.

Let’s see what he “pointed out”:

Thoughts on the following

  1. Double predestination (which Calvin copied and pasted)

Nothing like Calvin, though he may have tinkered with it. Luther accepted the Augsburg Confession which flatly rejects it.

  1. The Shrinking List of Sacraments. (“Oh, all 7 are all right”, “No, only 3”, “No, just two!”)

Much doing with definitions. One can’t name one of the 7 sacraments held by Catholics that we as Lutherans do not do.

  1. The classic of sociological analysis, On the Jews and their Lies.

Meaning, he fit right in with the Catholics of his era. Example: Refutation of a Jew-Book by Johann Eck.

  1. Sola fide (“Go, and sin on more!”)

Indeed!

  1. Book burning (in case you think the Communists started this, he made a nice bonfire out of Papal encyclicals and St. Thomas Aquinas’ writings)

He thought that up?

  1. Married priests.

Oh, goodness. There are married priests in Orthodoxy and in Eastern Catholic Churches.

  1. Omitting those parts of the Bible that he didn’t like (but why did he have to pick on James and Revelation? Those are sort of fun. Now, the first few chapters of 1 Chronicles…) :smiley:

Never omitted. Not in his 1522 NT, not in his 1534 Bible.

(Warning: the above is not meant to be taken too seriously.) :wink:

Whew!! Good to know. :D;)

Jon

Serious answers (as opposed to the flippant ones earlier, which were in response to a post that is now deleted) - apologies if I gave offence…

And we can’t blame him too much for this, because he was an Augustinian monk, and double predestination was St. Augustine’s idea.

Much doing with definitions. One can’t name one of the 7 sacraments held by Catholics that we as Lutherans do not do.

True. It’s the theology behind them that differs.

Meaning, he fit right in with the Catholics of his era. Example: Refutation of a Jew-Book by Johann Eck.

Agreed. Both were absolutely wrong-headed.

Indeed!

That was a reference to a Bible which contained exactly this misprint. :smiley:

He thought that up?

I’d say bonfires of objectionable books are as old as St. Paul (see Acts) and probably even earlier than that. Still, he ought to have left poor St. Thomas alone. :wink:

Oh, goodness. There are married priests in Orthodoxy and in Eastern Catholic Churches.

Agreed.

Never omitted. Not in his 1522 NT, not in his 1534 Bible.[/QUOTED]

“Considered less authoritative” would probably be a more accurate statement.

[quote]Whew!! Good to know. :D;)

To be absolutely fair, Luther’s work was a reaction to certain abuses within the Church. The trouble is that he went a little too far.
[/quote]

A handful out of the 95 theses being problematic is not a really good record. The “reformers” were uniformly young (20s to mid-30s), rebellious priests and their cohorts - essentially the “occupy” movement of 500 years ago. Not a single Bishop or Cardinal - not one - joined them.

Do we forget that an internal reformation - the true reformation - was already nascent when the rebels burst out of the doors?

Do we forget that the “reformation” was a uniquely and distinctly European phenomenon?

I think we sometimes do.

An apostate is one who repudiates the Christian faith. Martin Luther did not reject Christ.

Here is a good article explaining the difference:

ewtn.com/expert/answers/heresy_schism_apostasy.htm

I hadn't thought of what you stated but you are correct.

Some Bishops did in Scandinavia, some say not entirely of their own free will, but simply moved when the national church did. Hence, the claim and indeed reality of Apostolic Succession by those national Lutheran churches

Do we forget that an internal reformation - the true reformation - was already nascent when the rebels burst out of the doors?

This would be an excellent topic for a thread, po. I’d be very interested.

Do we forget that the “reformation” was a uniquely and distinctly European phenomenon?

ISTM that many of the abuses that Luther and his colleagues were responding to were uniquely European, and of the western Church, so this fact shouldn’t be surprising.

Jon

Simply put, the “counter-reformation” is not that well known outside of the Church, as it patiently and quietly produced the much needed internal reform. It was not newsworthy and did not heavily involve politics and rival leaders, land barons and political potentates. It simply reformed the Church through fasting, prayer and patience. There must be numerous threads here, although I have not searched that out. As to various Bishops leaving, I have heard many stories and seen little evidence. In any event, the ordination rites were invariably changed in breakaway and splinter groups and that effectively ended any legitimate claim to valid succession - at least as to the definition of succession in either the Catholic or Orthodox Churches.

This really is the insurmountable problem for all outside the Catholic Church – their sects were founded by mere men not the Son of God who taught clearly – an ex-monk feels he can refute the Messiah, by deforming His Church.

Christ historically established His Church on St Peter as His first Vicar, and from the very first there have been heretics and schismatics. Peter performed the first miracle after Pentecost (Acts 3:6-7), inflicted the first punishment upon Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11), and excommunicated the first heretic Simon the magician (Acts 8:2 1), just as Luther was. Real reform was effected by the Council of Trent. The solid legislation and disciplinary decrees of that Council eradicated the acknowledged abuses such as have occurred from time to time through various dissenters.

The errors and the historical traits of Luther signify not merely that he was incontinent and foul-mouthed, but that he was the first to preach what he practised. Peter Weiner, who was a master at Stowe and a refugee from Germany, is not a Catholic and in his From Luther to Niemöller “traces German Nazism back to Luther and the Lutheran reformation.” Is The Catholic Church Anti-Social?, Arnold Lunn (& G C Coulton), Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1946, p 139].

Luther rejected seven books from the Bible because they did not conform to his selfist theological theories of justification by faith alone, his rejection of purgatory etc. It was Martin Luther in 1517 who removed seven books from the Old Testament (reducing the number to 39) Yet, for 15 centuries (1,500 years) Christianity recognized all 46 books of the O.T. The seven that are missing in the King James Version are found in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (called the Septuagint) and were written between 250 and 150 BC.

To save JonNC from yet another potential fit of apoplexy, I will note here that Luther never removed any books from his bible. What he did, was to believe and declare that the seven (Deuterocanonical) books were efficacious for reading, but were not inspired by God. Thus, he made the unilateral move of segregating them from the other books and placed them in between the two testaments in the bible which bears his name. Calvin thought likewise. Either Trent was too late, or the rebels left the Church too soon. Had they stuck around, they would have seen that the books were once again examined and declared for all time to be inspired. But, by that time, the “reformers” had so thoroughly rejected the Catholic Church that Trent made no difference.

The problem: unless they trust the Catholic Church on this issue, protestants have absolutely no way of knowing if those books are God’s word or not. Being completely fractured, they cannot convene a council. Even if they somehow managed this, they would possess no authority to make any such declaration (just as there was no authority to declare them non-inspired). The Band-Aid for this problem was to assign the insulting term “apocrypha” to them and, for the most part, ignore them. The man-made term “inter-testamental period” was later coined to cover this inexplicable lack of scripture in the immediate pre-Christian era.

The Church was aware of them and in the process of mending itself before Luther came along, see the Fifth Council of the Lateran for example.

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