Would I be right in thinking no Reformation leader or successor would disagree or take exception with the following comments relative to the Reformation? I would like to share this with a friend but want to be sure it is accurate first.:shrug:
I hope you get an answer but that question is too broad, covering centuries of time, to make such a sweeping assertion that they would disagree or take exception to these statements.
In the word reformation one can find the smaller word reform. I think Reformation leaders probably had initially reform as their primary purpose and rightfully so. The church was in much needed reform.
I read a book from the 1950’s written by a British priest by the name of Philips or Phillips (I’m too disorganized to put my hands on it quickly.) He says that reform was clearly needed for at least two centuries, including such problems as weakening of the papacy, when it was transferred from Rome to Avignon.
Reform was needed because of the human element failures within the Church, an element that caused much scandal.
***Phillips book says that it took four tries to get enough bishops in Rome to actually convene a council. At that, only about 60 bishops out of about 750 showed up. this is certainly one of the human failures of leadership in the Church. but, he quotes from one of the cardinals who gave one of the opening talks, and this cardinal BLASTED the bishops for not tending to the problems of the church, especially those that they were responsible for. ***
But one can’t let abuse or scandal by any source be the justification for nullifying over 15 centuries of unchanging doctrinal teachings dealing with a visible governing Church, the priesthood of the Church and the sacred sacraments of the Church, especially the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation.
The Reformers didn’t have any trouble doing just that.
Even Jesus experienced scandal with Judas betraying Him and also with Peter denying Him three times. Within the early Church one can find within the Book of Acts other details of more scandals.
That’s a good point and the differences between these scandals should not be overlooked. Judas vs Peter are two different stories altogether. I heard a Detroit radio priest who says scandal is almost the normal condition of the Church. If you’re looking for a church without some sort of scandal, you won’t find it.
But reform was not the end result of the Reformation.
Reform was the result of the council of Trent and the overall counter-reformation. I don’t know enough about the counter reformation
Abandonment appears to be a more accurate word that describes the results. What eventually happen is that number of traditional Catholic understandings of Scripture dealing primarily with what is necessary to gain eternal life were replaced with alternative understandings of those same Scriptural teachings by the reformers.
It is clear that the reformers rejected not only papal authority, but authority of the Catholic Church. It is clear that Luther added words and deleted books to make his German Bible say what he wanted it to say.
The result was that the reformers and their successor no longer believed in the necessity of a central Church authority, priests and many of the sacraments.
See the preceding.
A much bigger result though was a great divide that still exist today between a number of Catholic and Reformation faith positions.
***Yes, that is certainly true, but – I’m not trying to compete with you really – the bigger problem was the general loss of confidence in all christian churches and in religion, in general – the distrust of it. The Protestant Principle is to go “church hunting” like finding truth was like a trip to the salad bar.
I just started reading a new book, “Unlearning Protestantism: sustaining christian community in an unstable age” by Catholic Ph.D. professor of theology Gerald W. Schlabach. The title is misleading and he took criticism from his reviewers because it is misleading, somewhat. I’m only 20 or so pages into the book; he puts forth the idea that ecumenism should focus on Jesus Christ, rather than on our faith difference, and pray that Christ will unite us. If conversions come, let God’s will be done.***