Every year in October, we tend to hear a bit about Martin Luther. After all, when he nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church in Wittenberg Germany, it was October 31st. October 31, 1517 is traditionally referred to as the beginning of the Protestant “Reformation”. The reason why I put the word in quotation marks is because it is a mockery of the term. True Church reformers are St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Sienna and Pope Gregory VII. They actually made reforms in the Church and hence are far more worthy of the title than Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Tyndale, Henry VIII or Servetus. Whether you support these men or not, I think we can all agree that it wasn’t a reformation.
Of course, when the people of Witterberg woke up on November 1, 1517 there were no Protestant Churches to go to. They would come years later as Luther broke from the Church and started teaching doctrines like Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura and that free will was a myth.
Regardless, the Church handled the Luther situation extremely well. They excommunicated him and held an Ecumenical Council to condemn his doctrines. Problem solved.
For well over 400 years, no Catholic questioned this conclusion that the Church had drawn about Luther. Regardless, a few decades ago, things began to change. Many Church leaders ignored these clear condemnations and started engaging in “dialogue” with Lutheran leaders. At this point I should point out that if Luther were alive today, he would regard the majority of the worlds Lutherans to be heretics based on their modernism alone, not to mention the coziness with their leaders and the Catholic hierarchy.
This includes the present leader of the Lutheran Church of Sweden, “Archbishop” Antje Jackelén. This is a woman who lets homosexuals get “married” in her churches.
This makes me wonder, why is Pope Francis going to visit these Lutheran Church leaders? What does he hope to achieve?
Edward Pentin wrote the following:
Apprehension is growing that the event will be used to gloss over significant Catholic-Lutheran differences, some Swedish Catholics are upset at feeling marginalized and excluded from the upcoming commemoration mainly by the Lutherans, and many Catholics are concerned about a possible push towards intercommunion and the “rehabilitation” of Martin Luther.
This can be found here:
Why is the Pope meeting with these leaders? Basically, it’s what the world wants. There is nothing Catholic about these actions. The anathemas of the Council of Trent are just as valid now as the day they were promulgated.
Let’s analyze the words of Edward Pentin. Intercommunion and the “rehabilitation” of Martin Luther? Doesn’t this sound nice and warm? Two historic foes are ignoring their differences and coming together. Shouldn’t we all desire this?
I of all people should be happy about this. My name is Allan Ruhl. Notice the ethnicity of my last name? It’s German. Not only is my paternal family German but they are Lutheran as well. Both of my grandparents died as practicing Lutherans. I loved the two of them so much. Why am I not celebrating the “uniting” of my paternal Lutheranism and my maternal Catholicism? Because this dialogue is shallow, false, and based on outright dishonesty. We’re not unified in any way.
Do you remember when you were young and your parents would tell you the old cliché: “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” Of course, as children we didn’t want to obey this because we’d lose our friends and become unpopular, even though we knew deep down that the popular thing to do was often wrong. The big mistake that we make is that we don’t quote this expression to other adults. Adults probably need this cliché more than children do. Pope Francis needs to hear this just as much as the grade two student who hangs out with the wrong crew.
Again, because of my family I should be happy. The Catholic Pope and the Swedish Lutheran leader embracing each other and basically stating that both of these faiths are pretty much the same and that we’re all one. I should be ecstatic. I’m not ecstatic. We aren’t one because we believe different things, and when we finally admit that, the true dialogue can begin.