The Vatican and Martin Luther


“You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall never prevail against it.”

These are the words of Our Lord to Peter near the Sea of Galilee when He appointed him to be the first pope of His Holy Catholic Church.  The Orthodox agree with us to an extent that he was the primal patriarch of the Church while even mainstream Protestants agree that he was the primate of the Church.  The authority of Saint Peter and his successors was not questioned by Trinitarian Christians until the Renaissance, shortly before the Reformation.

It would not be surprising or shocking that many Catholics would feel offended by the Vatican’s recent move to praise the Reformation if not at least parts of it.  The Common Prayer includes such a prayer: “Thanks be to you O God for the many guiding theological and spiritual insights that we have all received through the Reformation.”  A few months ago the Vatican approved a Roman street being renamed after Fr. Martin Luther, father of the Reformation and almost 500 years of division.  I really am curious as to what the prelates think they get of out this.  People aren’t stating modern Catholic praise for the Reformation as reasons of joining the Church; they’re mentioning the indelible truth of the faith as opposed to the controversies of Protestantism for their conversion to Catholicism.

While I would agree that problems were often solved the wrong way through war, I would not go as far as to support something that only helps create confusion.  Fr. Martin Luther (yes, he was a priest) kept more of the Catholic faith than the other Reformers did. Anyhow, the Reforation was not a pretty sight, with German princes, English and Dutch monarchs enforcing changes by means of the sword (sound familiar?). In short terms, the Reformation did a lot of harm to Christendom.

The Reformation did more harm than the Inquisition ever did to Christendom. Not only were people put to death, churches and monasteries destroyed, images destroyed and Christian nations at war with each other as the result of the Reformation, but it caused a major split within Christendom that exists to this day. At least the Inquisition sought to preserve that unity even if it was a bit extreme for our days (yet moderate compared to all other judicial systems of that time).


“You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall never prevail against it.”


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