Would Luther convert back to Catholicism?

I know a guy that stated the changes from Vatican II would have pleased Martin Luther. The guy I know (Lutheran LCMC) also stated that Luther never wanted to leave the Catholic Church, but rather reform it. If that is the case, would he be happy with the Church today? Would he be happy with the denominations that use his name and teachings?

I think he would be pleased with conservative Lutheran church bodies from a doctrinal standpoint. He would probably not be happy with certain elements within Lutheranism that went to jettison historic church practice in favor of revivalistic-contemporary styles of worship. He would be just as critical of the Catholic Church with respect to justification and other issues that he raised at the time of the Reformation. None of that has changed in Catholic theology. Vatican II, not so much. Luther’s primary criticism of the medieval church of his day was not a moral criticism.

The Lutheran Federation recently rejected the CDF’s latest proposal for those Lutherans who want to officially be in communion with Rome. It’s probably only a small number who to want to be in communion. I recall it took years of dialogue before the Anglicans were able to agree to a proposal, it may take many more years for those Lutherans (who want to be with Rome) to accept a proposal.

Article regarding the latest proposal and rejection:


I am wondering what a Lutheran ordinarite would even look like? As far as I sm aware, Lutheran liturgical life is not distinct from Catholic liturgical practice. The disagreements are sll theological.

Good question. It would be interesting to see what Rome actually proposed, but it probably won’t be available publically. But maybe it is available, who knows.

Part of the job description of a pope is to reach out to the “separated brethren” for the sake of untiy, particularly if the separated brethren reach out first. I don’t know if the Lutherans approached Rome first, though. But the pope is quite patient. These things take time. But as society in general becomes increasingly liberal, and some Protestant churches insist on aligning themselves with liberal policies (as the Anglican communion did), some Protestants will notice that the Catholic Church does not, and has not changed, since truth cannot change.

I didn’t vote. I don’t like trying to rationalize hypothetical choices of a person that is deceased.

Generally, it’s fruitless. :rolleyes:

My first thought is to ask your LCMS Lutheran friend why he himself is not Catholic today.
Theerin would be your answer.
Lutherans are really fond of saying “Luther wanted to reform the Church” but in essence in the differences on Justification are HUGE with the LCMS and WELS. The ELCA has signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification so if anyone comes to “Rome” it will be the ELCA and that is not likely to happen given their liberal views on abortion, homsoexuality, women pastors ,

Luther might come in handy to reform the Lutheran Church today. I would imagine he would nolt be remotely pleased with the divisions into synods.

He was alive when Lutheran was used for the denom of the Church.


If Luther made it to heaven, then he did convert back to the Catholic Church! :thumbsup:


Of course; Everyone is Catholic in heaven!:slight_smile:

Latin Rite? lol Sorry…I’m off topic lol

Uh, let’s not start that conversation… :stuck_out_tongue:

Lol. Ok sorry. Back on topic now:D

Of course! :slight_smile:
No problem beiing off topic for a moment.
Maybe he is one of the “papist asses” now.
Maybe he is reading the epistle of James in heaven :)))


I am a Catholic convert who was a former Lutheran pastor in the old American Lutheran Church (ALC). I can say with certainty that the Luther I know would still have concern over the Catholic Church’s theology of justification. Luther’s objection to the Catholic Church’s teaching on justification was born out of a pastoral concern for the souls of his congregation in Wittenberg where he was the parish priest. The Dominican, John Tetzel, was hawking indulgences in the district near Wittenberg and making the most outrageous claims about the benefits of buying a plenary indulgence. Luther’s parishioners were purchasing the indulgences and returning to Wittenberg under the belief that all of their sins were now forgiven because they had placed a coin in the papal coffer. Luther was appalled because he felt the salvation of souls was in jeopardy. This was the spark that ignited the Reformation.

Obviously we can’t really know, but Luther’s positions remain at odds with the Catholic faith so I said he would remain Lutheran.

Of course, it’s possible that improved explanations and defenses of Catholic doctrine would have convinced Luther of his error. After all one of the chief things that went wrong in that era was that, for a long time at least, few theologically competent Catholics really stood up to Luther and intelligently rebutted him, with the exception of Erasmus whose own views were nearly as unorthodox, which caused him to misrepresent the Catholic side of the debate.

Thanks for posting and Welcome!

Great post.

The article mis-identifies the the name of the Lutheran World Federation.

I haven’t seen any writings to indicate what Lutheran traditions would be permitted to cross the Tiber in an ordinariate. That, of course, would be the critical point for me.


It is so hard to know what a man who lived in a completey different world would do today.
I suggest that the factors would involve whether he felt that the CC had sufficiently restated its understanding on the doctrine upon which the Church stands or falls, and whether the papacy had sufficiently reformed itself.

Hard to know.


I would say let the man rest in peace and may the mercy and forgiveness of God be with him. :wink:

Not speaking about and for the Protestant denominations but I don’t think he would remain in the Catholic Church. He kept upping the ante so to speak, so he was at a point of no return. Meaning to say his disagreement with the Catholic Church is more than just corrupt clergies but doctrines as well.

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