The burning of heretics

I know that this is one of those topics that goes round and round periodically, but alas, that’s because there is a lot of confusion on the subject (on both sides–anti-Catholic misrepresentation and Catholic denial). I see that there was a thread in February, when I was not involved on the forum. However, the subject has come up again between me and steve b, and I decided I should move it to its own thread.

As in other times I’ve argued this issue, I have rested my case on three texts, which exemplify the standard Catholic position in the late Middle Ages: IV Lateran, which orders civil rulers to get rid of heretics from their lands and sets up an inquisitorial system designed to try heretics and, if necessary, hand them over to the civil authorities for punishment; Aquinas’ discussion of heresy in the Summa, which explicitly says that heretics should be “exterminated from the world by death”; and Leo X’s bull Exsurge Domine, which condemns Luther for denying that heretics should be burned.

On Aquinas, steve has suggested that Aquinas is raising an objection rather than giving his own opinion. A quick look at the relevant article of the Summa will show that that isn’t the case.

On Lateran IV, Steve’s argument is that canon 18 forbids the killing of heretics. But it doesn’t. It merely forbids the clergy from being directly involved in death sentences or executions. The common practice was to have the Church court find the heretic guilty and then hand him/her over to the civil authorities, who would actually pronounce and carry out the death sentence. Hence, Steve is wrong to say that canon 18 forbids the execution of heretics. The condemnation of Hus is an excellent example of the system in operation.

On the other hand, my criticism of the translation Steve was using, which renders Latin “exterminare” by “expel,” was probably mistaken. I still think that the translation is a bit misleading, since I think it unlikely that a non-violent, non-lethal “expulsion” is meant here. But “extermino/are” does primarily mean “to drive out,” and I ought to have known that. I still think it’s a euphemism for what was going on, but “expel” is in itself a perfectly fine translation of “extermino,” and I goofed in not recognizing that. I also should not have said that Lateran IV is telling rulers to be like the crusading armies, since part of the purpose of the Council was arguably to provide a more efficient and less indiscriminately bloody way of repressing heresy. It’s also possible that canon 18 is meant to forbid the kind of direct involvement with violence that the papel legate Arnaud-Amaury had engaged in. However, if so, it was ineffective, since papal legates were involved in later crusades. And Arnaud-Amaury was never censured that I know of–indeed, he later became an archbishop.

With those caveats, I continue to maintain that IV Lateran is obviously not forbidding the killing of heretics, and that historically we know that heretics were being burned at the stake and massacred. IV Lateran’s provisions clearly assume this, and language about “expelling” or “punishing” heretics has to be read in that context.

Now back to Pope Leo and Luther and the question of whether “burning heretics” is “against the will of the Spirit.”

A Hebrew author of an unknown date–most scholars would say of the time of Josiah, although I’m not sure about that. The author is writing under divine inspiration, but the divinely inspired meaning can only be ascertained here in light of the fuller revelation that would come in Jesus, as interpreted by the Church. Through that lens, we know that what is being asserted here is not that unbelievers should be killed but that deliberately turning away from God to worship other gods is a horrific sin which should be uncompromisingly rejected.

Dt 13:6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 some of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him; 9 but you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

:confused: are you saying Sodom was destroyed by hapinstance or by Satan and NOT by God?

I’m saying that how God acts in this world is more mysterious than you’re allowing it to be. The only direct personal action of God in the world that I recognize is in Jesus. Everything else is mediated. I don’t have to have a theory as to exactly what happened at Sodom. The divinely inspired point of the story is pretty clear.

If Luther had no problem with God burning heretics, why then did he say burning heretics was NOT the will of the HS.

Because obviously neither Luther nor Pope Leo had thought of the tortured, hyper-literal interpretation you are giving this phrase. They both knew what they were talking about. They were both talking about civil authorities burning heretics at the stake with the explicit approval of the Church, who indeed condemned the heretics in the first place and then handed them over to the civil authorities knowing and expecting that they would be killed.

Now I’ll turn the question back on you: if Luther really understood the phrase the way you’re suggesting, why would he ever have denied this? It makes no sense at all.

As you can see from the quote above and others presented, The death penalty has been around from early OT times.

Of course. That’s not the question.

The Church isn’t in the killing business.

It was in the later Middle Ages and early modern period, although through a piece of legalistic hypocrisy it tried to pretend to itself that it wasn’t. Again, go read the CE article on heresy, especially the section on legislation against heresy. The CE is honest and clear about this. I have pointed this out several times now, and you keep ignoring me. Why are you disregarding the CE? Do you somehow think it has an anti-Catholic bias?:rolleyes:

When passover took place, and the 1st born was taken, who knows how many were taken that night, is God now on trial?

Look, if you want to say that the Church was right to hand heretics over to be executed, then I’m not going to argue that here and now. All I said, originally, was that Luther’s context was one in which heretics were being executed. You took offense at this, bizarrely. It’s common knowledge and undisputed by any historian that I know of.

I’m pointing out to you that the Church through canon law, is making sure that everyone knows where the lines are drawn

Yes, and the lines were drawn between the Church condemning heretics and handing them over to the civil authorities (which happened and was not just the act of “rogue clerics”) and the Church actually pronouncing or executing death sentences (which was indeed forbidden and only done, if done at all, by “rogue clerics”). I can’t see that this distinction makes much difference. The heretics were just as dead, and the Church fully intended them to end up dead.

I don’t deny there was a death penalty. It’s been there since early in the OT.

Then I don’t know what you do deny.

Do you deny that Church courts handed heretics over to the civil authorities with the full knowledge and intention that they be burned at the stake?

And do you deny that this is what Luther was attacking and Pope Leo defending?

If you don’t deny these things, then I have no idea what we have been arguing about.

[/LIST]While the Church used canon law to make clear her position on heretics, it is NOT against the will of the HS to burn heretics, which is Leo’s point, because God has done that before…as I pointed out from scripture.

No. Leo wasn’t talking just about what God does. He was talking about what Luther was talking about (and we both agree that Luther wasn’t denying that God burned heretics in eternal fire and punished unbelievers and idolaters temporally in the OT). He was talking about the temporal punishment of heretics by the civil authorities, with the full cooperation and approval of the Church. This did not contradict Lateran IV, as I have pointed out several times and as the CE agrees.

You are obfuscating the issue and trying to whitewash the Church’s record with one hand while defending the killing of people for religious reasons in principle with the other.


You brought up inquisition. The inquisition was meant to deal with spy’s who had let the muslim empire of the moors into catholic Spain, Portugal,and France. rarely was anyone hurt, and the prison were actually so nice people lied to get into them. It was a political issue, not religious, the papacy was a literal kingdom at the time. Virtually no one killed was innocent, they were all guilty of high treason. yes, at one time, the catholic church believed in the death penalty. Ironic

Back in the February thread I made some contributions that you might find helpful: posts 55-56, 89, 125, and 158 are mine, and I hope you’ll read those posts and let me know what you think.

I’ll quote some of the relevant portions here:

[quote=dmar198]First, let’s quote the relevant document:

Lateran IV, Canon 3: “[Civil rulers] ought publicly to take an oath that they will strive in good faith and to the best of their ability to exterminate/expel in the territories subject to their jurisdiction all heretics pointed out by the Church.” 1215 A.D.

First, let it be noted that the most significant word in Canon 3 is translated in two different ways: sometimes as exterminate, sometimes as expel. But let us suppose that exterminate is the correct translation. In that case, there is an apparent contradiction between this teaching and the modern teaching of the Church on the just use of the death penalty.

Consider this quote from the Catechism: “The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against [an] unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means” CCC 2267.

The Catechism seems to say that the State must not use the death penalty if they can avoid it, and its purpose is to “defend ] human lives against [an] unjust aggressor.” But Lateran IV seems to say that the death penalty must be used against heretics. According to the Catholic Church, our teachings cannot change. How do we square this apparent contradiction?

By reading carefully. Lateran IV does not say that the death penalty must be used against heretics in all cases – it says it must be used against “all heretics pointed out by the Church.” That phrasing is important. It acknowledges the Church’s right to decide upon the moral use of the death penalty. And the Church says that the death penalty cannot be used against someone unless they are an “unjust aggressor” who is attacking “human lives” and who cannot be stopped in any other way.

Similar reasoning applies to Pope Leo X’s Bull Exsurge Domine.

According to that document, Error 33 was: “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.” 1520 A.D.

To say the same thing in other words, what Exsurge Domine is condemning is the idea that it is contrary to the Law of God to apply the death penalty to heretics. And we do condemn that: “The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty.” But when? “[Only] if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against [an] unjust aggressor.”

This is not a new interpretation of this teaching; this was how it was understood at the time. I think that perhaps no better proof of this can be cited than St. Thomas More, who was in charge of executions in England shortly after Exsurge Domine was published. According to this saint, writing in 1528, the Church’s teaching was tempered by the fact that heretics’ executions should only be done once they themselves have become violent. He says this several times in his Dialog Concerning Heresies, Part IV, Chapter 13: “[The princes] never in fact would have resorted so heavily to force and violence against heretics if the violent cruelty first used by the heretics themselves against good Catholic folk had not driven good princes to do it.”

“[A]s I said before, if the heretics had never started with the violence, then even if they had used all the ways they could to lure the people by preaching…yet if they had left violence alone, good Christian people would perhaps all the way up to this day have used less violence toward them than they do now.”

“[F]rom the beginning [heretics] were never by any temporal punishment of their bodies at all harshly treated until they began to be violent themselves.”

“[Therefore] what the Church law on this calls for is good, reasonable, compassionate, and charitable, and in no way desirous of the death of anyone.” (More, Thomas. Dialogue Concerning Heresies. Translated by Gottschalk, Mary. 2006. New York, NY: Scepter Publishers. p. 460-464)Now I admit that this teaching was not always followed in the Middle Ages by everyone, and in the space of 1000 years from 500 to 1500 A.D. I am sure that there were people who ordered the deaths of heretics who could have been left alive. But apart from the fact that no one is obliged to follow unjust orders, it is worth pointing out that the Albigensians, against whom Lateran IV was directed, were known to have existed in 1022 A.D., almost 200 years before the Albigensian Crusade was ordered against them, and the Church’s bishops did not order anything to be done against them until the papal legate Blessed Pierre de Castelnau was murdered by them when he was trying to peacefully recover the Albigensian regions to the Catholic faith. In this case, too, it was the heretics’ violence which begot a violent response, though the violence of the Catholics was arguably beyond what was required.

Cont’d next post

Cont’d from last post

[quote=dmar198]In addition to what I’ve posted before on this thread, I wanted you to know that I’ve been giving your questions a lot of thought in and out of my classes lately, and I had some additional thoughts that I thought you might find helpful.

It is my understanding of Church teaching that the Anathema of the Church falls under the protection of papal infallibility only when it is attached to an ex cathedra papal declaration or a decree of an ecumenical council about faith or morality. Because of this, the threat of excommunication for doing X (or refusing to do Y) doesn’t imply that the X is morally wrong or that Y is morally right. Therefore, if you were excommunicated for disobeying a cleric who told you to do something (e.g. execute a heretic), no matter what order he had given you, even if he was the pope himself, it would not imply that there was any Church teaching declaring that the action commanded of you was morally right. The only thing that could declare the teaching of the Church on the matter infallibly would be if there was an ex cathedra statement, or a decree from a council, that identified the action under question and declared it to be morally right.

If my analysis is correct, then, if you were told by a bishop that, under the authority vested in him by Canon 3 of the 4th Lateran Council, he hereby commanded you to execute a certain heretic; and if you then appealed to the pope, arguing that he had requested his death without good reason; and even if the pope then overruled you and commanded you to execute the heretic, and said that you would be excommunicated unless you did, all of this put together would still not mean that this was okay according to the teaching of the Church. To determine the morality of the command, a Council (or the pope in an ex cathedra statement) would have to decree that it is okay for a heretic to be executed even if he is not an unstoppable violent criminal. That is not what the Fourth Lateran Council decreed, and it is not what Exsurge Domine decreed; therefore, nothing about the Church’s teaching then was contrary to what it is now, even though it is possible that some commands of the Church’s hierarchy were immoral.

Could you consider this analysis thoughtfully and get back to me? I’d also like to see if a Canon Lawyer could verify it; it seems sound to me, but I’m not an expert in Canon Law.

No, the clerics handed them over to the civil authorities without requesting or commanding the shedding of blood, because that was forbidden by Canon 18 of the IV Lateran Council: “A cleric may not write or dictate letters which require punishments involving the shedding of blood, in the courts of princes this responsibility should be entrusted to laymen and not to clerics.” “No cleric may decree or pronounce a sentence involving the shedding of blood, or carry out a punishment involving the same, or be present when such punishment is carried out.”

I think it is important to read Canon 3 with Canon 18 in mind. The execution of heretics was to be done specifically for “all heretics pointed out by the Church” (Canon 3), but ordinary clerics were forbidden from requesting such executions. Perhaps what these canons really show is how seriously the Church regarded the execution of heretics; it seems to have specified that executions should happen *when a Church organ other than an individual cleric investigated the matter and found it to be necessary. That is a very limiting principle on the right of nations to execute heretics, and perhaps it shows why the usual examples people can come up with were internationally controversial figures like Hus, Wyclif, Waldo, and the Albigensians.

In the Reformation period, St. Thomas More also remarks on this point, defending the Church from the accusation that it was merciless by saying that the Church’s clerics did not request the State to execute heretics anyways; that was a State administered penalty, and, in More’s opinion, they showed themselves to be Christ-like when they showed a history of avoiding the use of violence until it became necessary for defense against violence by the heretics themselves. (I provided quotes to that effect from him in a previous post; see post #55-56 of this thread.)

Cont’d next post

Cont’d from last post

I think you are bringing up a very important point, that even if we disagree with the use of capital punishment, changing that is not the juror’s job, his job is just too give a verdict. But I think the Church’s medieval hierarchy would be more admirable, viewed from a historical perspective, if they had protested the use of the death penalty in the case of non-violent heresies and if they had acted more strongly to change the law that applied the death penalty to non-violent heretics.

To be clear, I am not saying that the Church’s leaders never did protest, or that their typical silence or even support for the use of the death penalty against heretics constitutes proof that they overturned the early Church’s more merciful attitude (because even when some of their writings supported it, this support was never asserted with dogmatic authority), but it sure would make the medieval Church look more admirable if brave souls more often stood up against this use of the death penalty as leaders of the Church. And perhaps they did, and I just can’t find translated records of it yet. But I’ll keep looking.

Either way, since the Church never asserted with dogmatic authority that non-violent heretics may be executed, the argument that the Catholic States of the middle ages sometimes used the death penalty in immoral ways is no proof against the holiness or infallibility of the Church.

IOW, it is in the canon of scripture, ergo God inspired.

It is part of the Torah, the 5 books of Moses who as we know received the “law” from God.

Heresy is non belief of something one IS to believe. That could cover a big range of subjects. Same as it applies to a big range of religious beliefs.

If we look at the definition of heresy today 2089 and consider the Jewish link above, then considering the “law” to a Jew of the time,

when Moses came down from the mountain, he has the commandments with him. What did Moses do to those who didn’t believe? Exodus 32:25-27

As I said on the other thread, there are many instances ( I gave the scriptures) where God reduces the population of heretical thinking and immoral behaving people.

I was left with the distinct impression you didn’t take it literally. Which suggest to me you don’t think it happened or you don’t think it happened as scripture states.

Considering God razed (burned) those cities and everything in them, it’s proof God burning heretics is NOT against the will of the HS.

Luther could care less what the pope thought and he said as much. Remember, I was the one who gave the link to Luther’s letter on tranlation. Where he admits adding alone where it wasn’t before. And he would listen to NO ONE because he was Dr Martin Luther and he would have it so.

Luther said “burning of heretics was against the will of the Holy Spirit” And that’s FALSE.

here’s what made no sense to me.

You made both statements

  1. Luther (unlike me) had no problem with the idea that God literally burns people.
  2. Luther denied that burning heretics was the will of the Spirit,

I’m saying you automatically assume every heretic is turned over for death. Deep down you think when the canon says exterminate, exterminate = kill. And it doesn’t.

In Germany, at the time, who started and led the executuions against who?

Obviously it’s the way you say things when you’re building a polemic.

The question is, is it against the will of the HS to burn heretics. Obviously it is NOT

No. It’s about,

is it the will or is it NOT the will of the HS to burn heretics. If we agree He does it at the end of time, I showed where He does it IN Time.

Putting aside the burning of heretics for a second, I would like to remind you, Steve, that Luther did not justify his translation solely by saying that he would have it so. He did say the words you quote, but it was a sarcastic quip directed solely for the “papists” who he said–if I remember correctly–had the understanding of asses or something like that. His primary justification that he gives (questions of merit aside) was that his translation accurately conveyed the meaning of St. Paul’s statement according to the text and that it was necessary for the German to be idiomatic. I can show you the source if necessary. Further, he was not so original as he is popularly portrayed. I could pull a quotation from St. Thomas’s Commentary on 1 Timothy where Thomas Aquinas uses the expression “justified by faith alone” using Romans 3:28 as a prooftext. The thing is that Luther meant something totally different. “Sola fide” is not the most helpful distinction of the Protestant position from the Catholic position. There is so much more at play. Point is, we as Catholics do ourselves a disservice when we repeatedly fall back on the “Luther added ‘alone’ to Romans 3:28” argument.

Resume the burning of the heretics and the infidels.

Just for clarification, this thread is a spin off of another thread. I addressed this in the following post in point #3 on the following post #31 on the other thread

There were 18 “printed” editions of the bible IN GERMAN before Luther’s version. Before that all German translations as all translations were hand written. I hope you’re not suggesting Luther was the ONLY German who could understand, speak, and write proper German.

Please do. And while you present that, please show ALSO that Luther was the ONLY German who understood, spoke, AND wrote proper German.

Please do. And while you’re showing the quote, show where it split the Church.


How so? We see scripture as one leg of a 3 legged authority stool. Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church each one a leg. Authority and rule of faith is not a one legged stool.

How could it? It took 300+ years after the books were written, to collect them into a canon. Before that, there was no authoritative canon, ergo no NT scripture.

First, I would ask that you drop your offensive posturing since I am not defending any of Luther’s arguments. I am only interested in historical accuracy.

Secondly, here is the source of Luther’s statement.

Here is the most relevant part,

For you and our people, however, I shall show why I used the [German equivalent of the] word sola — even though in Romans 3 it was not [the equivalent of] sola I used but solum or tantum. (5) That is how closely those donkeys have looked at my text! Nevertheless I have used sola fides elsewhere; I want to use both solum and sola. I have always tried to translate in a pure and clear German. It has often happened that for three or four weeks we have searched and inquired about a single word, and sometimes we have not found it even then. In translating the book of Job, Master Philip, Aurogallus (6) and I have taken such pains that we have sometimes scarcely translated three lines in four days. Now that it has been translated into German and completed, all can read and criticize it. The reader can now run his eyes over three or four pages without stumbling once, never knowing what rocks and clods had once lain where he now travels as over a smoothly-planed board. We had to sweat and toil there before we got those boulders and clods out of the way, so that one could go along so nicely. The plowing goes well in a field that has been cleared. But nobody wants the task of digging out the rocks and stumps. There is no such thing as earning the world’s thanks. Even God himself cannot earn thanks, not with the sun, nor with heaven and earth, nor even the death of his Son. The world simply is and remains as it is, in the devil’s name, because it will not be anything else.

I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text – if the translation is to be clear and vigorous [klar und gewaltiglich], it belongs there. I wanted to speak German, not Latin or Greek, since it was German I had set about to speak in the translation. But it is the nature of our language that in speaking about two things, one which is affirmed, the other denied, we use the word allein [only] along with the word nicht [not] or kein [no]. For example, we say “the farmer brings allein grain and kein money”; or “No, I really have nicht money, but allein grain”; I have allein eaten and nicht yet drunk"; “Did you write it allein and nicht read it over?” There are countless cases like this in daily usage.

In all these phrases, this is a German usage, even though it is not the Latin or Greek usage. It is the nature of the German language to add allein in order that nicht or kein may be clearer and more complete. To be sure, I can also say, “The farmer brings grain and kein money,” but the words “kein money” do not sound as full and clear as if I were to say, “the farmer brings allein grain and kein money.” Here the word allein helps the word kein so much that it becomes a completely clear German expression. We do not have to ask the literal Latin how we are to speak German, as these donkeys do. Rather we must ask the mother in the home, the children on the street, the common man in the marketplace. We must be guided by their language, by the way they speak, and do our translating accordingly. Then they will understand it and recognize that we are speaking German to them.

Also you are not far off the mark when you ask if Luther thought he was the only person who could speak German. He spends a good portion of the letter saying just that.

“First of all if I, Dr. Luther, had expected that all the papists together were capable of translating even one chapter of Scripture correctly and well into German, I would have gathered up enough humility to ask for their aid and assistance in translating the New Testament into German. However, because I knew (and still see with my own eyes) that not one of them knows how to translate or speak German, I spared them and myself the trouble.”

I can’t pull up a copy of the commentary on my phone right now, but here is an article by a Protestant blogger, James Swan, who deals more or less fairly with the argument you presented and cites the quotation I mentioned among several others.

Okay, here is the only place online I know of that has a copy.

St. Thomas says,

[/indent]In the law there were certain things that were moral and certain things that were cermonial. The ceremonials indeed are given in a figure of Christ and the Church, but they are lacking, as they must be understood not just carnally, but also spiritually; and in a figure of things to coime, and so that you will know that they are not to be kept perpetually, but cease with the coming of the truth.

Jer. XXXI, 31: And I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel nad the House of Judah, not according to the pact which I made with their fathers, etc…

And so expounds the Gloss.

But the Apostle seems to speak of morals, because he says that the law was given on account of sins, and these are moral precepts. There is a lawful use of these, that a man not attribute to them more than what is contained in them. The law is given that sin may be made known. Rom. VII, 7: Because unless the law would have said, “lust not,” I would not know lust, etc.; which is said in the Decalogue. Therefore, there is not hope in them of justification, but in faith alone. Rom. III, 28: We judge that a man is justified through faith without works of the law.[/indent]

Of course, Thomas does not mean this in a Lutheran sense, as would be clear from what he said about Romans 3:28 in his Commentary on Romans. But all I am demonstrating is that the the words “faith alone” were used by an unquestionably Catholic writer in connection with Romans 3:28.

So am I.

As I pointed out in my previous post, this thread spun off from another thread. I pointed out I already posted Luther’s letter on translating on the other thread #31 the internal link in that post I pointed to, was link #3 . That’s the version I posted. It appears your link to Swan’s copy of Luther’s letter on translating, cleaned up Luther’s language.

I have no idea what you are talking about. The text of the letter I posted is the same as yours. Did you even read the text of the letter? If you did, I don’t see how in good faith you could say, “Luther merely said, ‘Luther will have it so…’” since that is evidently false, as the passage I quoted demonstrates, unless you mean to say that James Swan (who has nothing to do with the first site I posted) has tampered with the text and manufactured the entire passage.

Please reread the link you posted and get back to me.

For you and our people, however, I shall show why I used the word
“sola” - even though in Romans 3 it wasn’t “sola” I used but
“solum” or “tantum”. That is how closely those asses have looked
at my text! However, I have used “sola fides” in other places,
and I want to use both “solum” and “sola”. I have continually
tried translating in a pure and accurate German. It has happened
that I have sometimes searched and inquired about a single word
for three or four weeks. Sometimes I have not found it even then.
I have worked Meister Philip and Aurogallus so hard in translating
Job, sometimes barely translating 3 lines after four days. Now
that it has been translated into German and completed, all can
read and criticize it. One can now read three or four pages
without stumbling one time - without realizing just what rocks and
hindrances had once been where now one travels as as if over a
smoothly-cut plank. We had to sweat and toil there before we
removed those rocks and hindrances, so one could go along nicely.
The plowing goes nicely in a clear field. But nobody wants the
task of digging out the rocks and hindrances. There is no such
thing as earning the world’s thanks. Even God cannot each thanks,
not with the sun, nor with heaven and earth, or even the death of
his Son. It just is and remains as it is, in the devil’s name, as
it will not be anything else.

I also know that in Rom. 3, the word “solum” is not present in
either Greek or Latin text - the papists did not have to teach me
that - it is fact! The letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these
knotheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same
time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text -
if the translation is to be clear and accurate, it belongs there.
I wanted to speak German since it was German I had spoken in
translation - not Latin or Greek. But it is the nature of our
language that in speaking about two things, one which is affirmed,
the other denied, we use the word “solum” only along with the word
“not” (nicht) or “no” (kein). For example, we say “the farmer
brings only (allein) grain and no money”; or “No, I really have no
money, but only (allein) grain”; I have only eaten and not yet
drunk"; “Did you write it only and not read it over?” There are a
vast number of such everyday cases.

In all these phrases, this is a German usage, even though it is
not the Latin or Greek usage. It is the nature of the German
tongue to add “allein” in order that “nicht” or “kein” may be
clearer and more complete. To be sure, I can also say "The farmer
brings grain and no (kein) money, but the words “kein money” do
not sound as full and clear as if I were to say, “the farmer
brings allein grain and kein money.” Here the word “allein” helps
the word “kein” so much that it becomes a clear and complete
German expression.

We do not have to ask about the literal Latin or how we are to
speak German - as these asses do.

justification by “faith alone” is mentioned once in the bible. That’s really the first time it was used. Except “not by” is in front of it. Which is the point I was making here on the other thread #21 And we know works that James is talking about is good works, NOT works of law.

So, we’re talking really about how Luther used justification by “faith alone”. If Aquinas used it as Luther used it, which we both know he didn’t, then Aquinas would have been condemned as well.

This is ridiculous guys. Open a new thread.

For one example

Your text said

"(5) That is how closely those donkeys have looked at my text! "

The text I presented said “That is how closely those asses have looked at my text.”

That’s what I meant. So you see I did read what you posted.

Donkeys and asses are synonyms. They mean the same thing. It is just a different translation. Martin Luther did not write in English.

Its this type of apologetic that makes it difficult for myself and I believe many others to identify with Catholicism. The CC does not deny that heretics were put to death but insists on denying its defective teachings set the conditions for their deaths in the first place. How do you know that “Virtually no one killed was innocent, they were all guilty of high treason.” My guess is those “virtually no ones” would beg to differ with you.

I think the problem with this statement is that there never was a Church teaching that set those conditions.

The examples of killings that have been cited in this thread seem to have been based on misinterpretations of the Church’s teachings, and the teachings of Lateran IV and Exsurge Domine have contexts that appear to limit the application of the death penalty to conditions determined by the Church.

The reason I think that is important is because there are several examples of leading Church figures of those times who understood the Church’s teachings the same way we do now, or in a way that trends toward that direction. I cited a few examples in an earlier post.

Thus the execution of heretics was sometimes due to the heretics’ own violence, as St. Thomas More pointed out, and any executions of nonviolent heretics were not due to the Church’s teachings themselves, but to the States’ interpretations of those teachings, or their own absolutist philosophies of government – attitudes that were later condemned.

Does that seem like a reasonable interpretation of these events?

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