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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Martin Luther, wasn’t so bad says Pope

I Knew the Pope liked Luther back when he was a cardinal, but I found this article still interesting.
Pope Benedict XVI is to rehabilitate Martin Luther,
arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the
Church of corrupt practices.
Pope Benedict will issue his findings on Luther
(1483-1546) in September after discussing him at his annual seminar of 40 fellow
theologians — known as the Ratzinger Schülerkreis — at Castelgandolfo, the papal
summer residence. According to Vatican insiders the Pope will argue that Luther,
who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy, was not a heretic.
Walter Kasper, the head of the pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,
said the move would help to promote ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and
Protestants. It is also designed to counteract the impact of July's papal
statement describing the Protestant and Orthodox faiths as defective and “not
proper Churches”.
The move to re-evaluate Luther is part of a drive to
soften Pope Benedict's image as an arch conservative hardliner as he approaches
the third anniversary of his election next month. This week it emerged that the
Vatican is planning to erect a statue of Galileo, who also faced a heresy trial,
to mark the 400th anniversary next year of his discovery of the

The Pope has also reached out to the Muslim world to
mend fences after his 2006 speech at Regensburg University in which he appeared
to describe Islam as inherently violent and irrational. This week Muslim
scholars and Vatican officials met at the pontifical Council for Inter-Religious
Dialogue in Rome to begin laying the groundwork for a meeting between the Pope
and leading Muslims, also expected to be held at Castelgandolfo.
Kasper said: “We have much to learn from Luther, beginning with the importance
he attached to the word of God.” It was time for a “more positive” view of
Luther, whose reforms had aroused papal ire at the time but could now be seen as
having “anticipated aspects of reform which the Church has adopted over time”.
The Castelgandolfo seminar will in part focus on the question of apostolic
succession, through which the apostles passed on the authority they received
from Jesus to the first bishops. After the Reformation Protestants took the view
that “succession” referred only to God's Word and not to church hierarchies but
some German scholars have suggested Luther himself did not intend

For the rest of the article go here:


Turretinfan said...

FYI - I don't have the link, but the Vatican has disclaimed this article as inaccurate. Supposedly there is no plan to rehabilitate Luther, though no one really knows for sure.

Jnorm said...

Thanks for letting me know.

I should of brought this to the attention of Phatcatholic before posting it.


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