Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Luther and the Catholic Church

On Route to UK Visit Coverage. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (today Benedict XVI), from Church, Ecumenism and Politics, Crossroads, NY, 1988

Council of Trent, 16th Ecumenical Council, December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods
Is the idea realistic of the Chatholic Church lifting its excommunication of Luther on the basis of the results of recent research?

To do justice to this question one must distinguish between excommunication as a measure taken for the sake of order by the Church as a legal community against a particular person and the factual content that forms the occasion for such a procedure. Since the Church's legal power obviously affects only living people the excommunication ceases with the death of the person concerned. To that extent the question of lifting the excommunication directed against the person of Martin Luther is otiose: it came to an end with his death, since after death judgement belongs to God alone. The excommunication directed against the person of Luther does not need to be lifted; it has long since ceased to exist.

But the question whether the doctrines put forward by Luther still have the effect of dividing the Church today and thus exclude from the community of communion is something completely different...For one must observe that there are not only anathemas against Luther's teaching but also quite emphatic rejections of the Catholic approach on the part of Luther and his followers which reached their culmination in his saying that "we are divided forever". One does not have to take what Luther wrote when seething with anger about the Council of Trent in order to show how categorically he rejected the Catholic thing:

"We should take them---the pope, the cardinals and whatever riffraff belongs to His idolatorus and Papal holiness---and (as blasphemers) tear out their tongues from the back, and nail them on the gallows...Then one could allow them to hold a council, or as many as they wanted, on the gallows, or in hell among all the devils"

After the final breath Luther did not just categorically reject the papacy but saw idolatry in the Catholic doctrine of the sacrifice of the Mass because in the Mass he saw a relapse into the law and thus a denial of the Gospel.

Similarly to trace all these difference back to misunderstandings is in my eyes a presumptuousness that has its roots in the Enlightenment and that cannot do justice either to that person's passionate struggle or to the weight of the realities at issue. The real question can therefore only be how far it is possible for us today to transcend the positions adopted then and to attain a perception that overcomes that of the past.

To put it another way, unity demands new steps; it cannot be contrived by tricks of interpretation...Indifference is only an illusory means of binding the two sides together." (pp 103-105)

--->How history might have been different had the first Protestants accepted the invitation to discuss / dialog about their concerns and issues at the Council of Trent...

--->The Bible Only: The history of Sola Scriptura in 3 minutes, 32 seconds :-)
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--->2005 Gland Inquisitor. Pope Benedict's antigay tendencies. By William Saletan "For decades, while moderate clerics defended celibate gay priests, Ratzinger pressed for a purge of homosexuality not merely as an act or a lifestyle but as an orientation. Now he's in charge, and he's got ambitions beyond the church. He wants to cleanse us all, inside and out." --

"If then any man be in Christ he is a new creature, the old things are passed away, behold all things are made new"---2 Cor. 5:17

--->Pope says saving heterosexuality like saving the rainforest

--->Think of the children. Children adopted by same-sex couples suffer “diverse trauma and behavioral disorders,” psychologist’s research reveals

Nothing?

Note: Fairness matters. Not only on account of the above (and so much more) , but because the so-called Progressives know what many extreme traditionalists do not seem to sufficiently realize in justice. The retro's ("Progressives") attack because he has restored the Tridentine Mass to the world, and no priest need consult a bishop (!) or have a "stable group of faithful" explicitly asking for and desiring this Mass in order to celebrate it whenever and wherever he wishes; he has just restored Pro Multis to the Canon of the 1970 Roman missal. He lifted the excommunications on the bishops of the SSPX, infuriating in so doing 'Progressives,' the ADL, and more. He is spending his advanced age with no little suffering continuing to clear up ambiguities which were exploited; he says now as Pope, as he did in the 1980's, that "indifference" can be no basis for ecumenical unity or dialog (see 1st above). He is inviting Anglicans and all who reject the non-sequiturs relating to extreme biblical criticism and moral relativism to return to the Church.

...this is nothing? Let's not be crazy, but grateful and patient and just. More, let's put our shoulder to the plow! Any carping soldier who refuses the fight because the last battles have not been won needs his head examined. He is fit for nothing.
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--->International Union of Muslim Scholars Rejects Vatican's Request to Build Church in Mecca

--->This preacher has popped all his buttons, is quite mad, gonzo...and vicious against not only Muslims but the rest of us. Let's hope Muslims know this is a singular act of derangement.

--->Lessons from California. On Taxpayer Funding of Human Embryo Research