[quote=Chaffa55]You may have already checked this, but The Catholic Encyclopedia has articles on each your subjects:
American Catholics in the first half of the twentieth century were guided in their understanding of Luther by the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia written by George Ganss (1855 – 1912). Now available on-line, a new generation of Catholics (and non-Catholics!) are similarly coming under the influence of Ganss’s work. Ganss was strongly influenced by Denifle, and he has been credited for bringing the “views of Denifle to the English speaking world.” James Atkinson gives an accurate summary of Ganss’s article:
“He declares that Luther inherited a wild temper from his father, who was an irascible man almost carried to murder by his fits of temper. Ganss denies that Luther ever had a true vocation to the monastic life; and suggests that in the monastery he became the victim of inward conflicts. He also claims that Luther was unfaithful both to the rules of his order and to the teaching of the Church, and that his infidelity brought on very deep depressions of a mental and spiritual kind. Ganss attributes Luther’s consequent despair to a false understanding of the Roman teaching on good works, and describes his break with the church as the product of reforming zeal that degenerated into political rebellion. The reformer is portrayed as a revolutionary who, in the enforced leisure of his sojourn at the Wartburg, broke down under sensuality; it is alleged that in his book On Monastic Vows, Luther pleads for an unbridled license.Ganss presents Luther’s irascibility in pathological terms, and describes him as disheartened and disillusioned in his old age, dejected and despairing, tortured in body and spirit, abandoned by friends and colleagues alike. He assembles his portrayal of Luther in terms of “The Accusers’: it is all a matter of revolt, apostasy, a fall- the unhappy end of a monk unfaithful to his vows. There is nothing of Luther’s searching biblical theology, of his glad-heartedness in Christ and joy in the gospel, of his deep prayer life, of his compelling power as a preacher, of his invincible faith. He speaks of Luther’s sojourn in the Wartburg as beset by sensual temptations, and yet makes no reference to the fine books he wrote there during his captivity of some nine months, books such as his Refutation of Latomus, not to mention his magnificent and influential literary masterpiece, the translation of the entire New Testament, which in itself would have been a life’s work for any other mortal.” (James Atkinson, Martin Luther: Prophet to the Church Catholic, 14-15).
Interestingly, the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) does not use Ganss’s article on Luther, but rather uses Catholic Reformation scholar John P. Dolan’s article. Dolan argues,
“no evidence existed for prior Catholic assertions that Luther’s family’s poverty “created an abnormal atmosphere” for his early development. It was absolutely absurd, moreover, to contend that Luther was a “crass ignoramus,” and it was no longer tenable to hold, as Denifle did, that Luther was an “ossified Ockhamite.” To question Luther’s religious motives for entering the monastery, furthermore, did Luther a Fundamental injustice. Dolan instead focused upon Luther’s religious and theological discoveries and admitted the scandalous and immoral simoniacal acts associated with the sale of indulgences. Dolan’s article recognizes precisely what religious and doctrinal issues were at stake in the Reformation, a view that was not evident in the earlier twentieth or nineteenth century views of Luther" (Patrick W. Carey, “Luther in an American Catholic Context,” 52-53).
This snippet was taken from my paper, found here:ntrmin.org/The%20Roman%20Catholic%20Understanding%20of%20Martin%20Luther%201.htm