“If we punish thieves with the yoke, highwaymen with the sword, and heretics with fire, why do we not rather assault these monsters of perdition, these cardinals, these popes, and the whole swarm of the Roman Sodom, who corrupt youth and the Church of God? Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?“
Martin Luther, June 25, 1520
One of the really terrible things about ecumenicalism as it is commonly practiced is the usual deep air of mendacity about it. Case in point:
Over the past 50 years, especially with the impetus provided by the Second Vatican Council, those divisions between Catholics and Lutherans have begun to heal and the pace of concrete efforts toward restoring unity has quickened, retired Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans told a recent ecumenical gathering at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Kenner.
“The international and national dialogues between Lutherans and Catholics in the last 50 years have yielded significant truth,” Archbishop Hughes said, prompting Catholics “to revisit the person and motivation of Martin Luther” in advance of the 500th anniversary in 2017 of the publication of Luther’s theses.
“His genuine desire to promote renewal in the church cannot be denied,” Archbishop Hughes said. “The personal struggle that marked his life was severely complicated by the way in which authorities in Rome, during the papacy of Pope Leo X, treated him. A helpful place to begin is to note the need for both faith and repentance.”
Bishop Michael Rinehart, head of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, said there was “a spirit of ecumenical hospitality right now that we need to enjoy while it is happening.”
“Luther did not want to leave,” Bishop Rinehart said at the March 25 gathering. “He was bold, he was blunt, he was vulgar and mistakes were made, but he really didn’t want schism. He wanted to reform the church he loved.”
Go here to read the putrid rest. Where to begin? As early as 1520 Martin Luther was preaching that the Pope was the anti-Christ:
“We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist”
Here are some of the milder things said by Herr Doktor Luther in regard to those Catholics who followed the Pope instead of Pope Luther:
What is the whole papacy but a beautiful false front and a deceptively glittering holiness under which the wretched devil lies in hiding? The devil always desires to imitate God in this way. He cannot bear to observe God speaking.
If he cannot prevent it or hinder God’s Word by force, he opposes it with a semblance of piety, takes the very words God had spoken and so twist them as to peddle his lies and poison under their name. (What Luther Says, II: 10007)
Since the papal church not only neglects the command of Christ but even compels the people to ignore it and to act against it, it is certain that it is not Christ’s church but the synagogue of Satan which prescribes sin and prohibits righteousness. It clearly and indisputably follows that it must be the abomination of Antichrist and the furious harlot of the devil. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)
Let him who does not want to be lost and go to the devil be on his guard with all diligence and earnestness against the papacy and its doctrine, and let him never again accept even the most insignificant and smallest part of the papacy’s teaching, no matter what it may cost him. Let him flee from the papacy and its following as from the devil incarnate himself, and let him by no means be silenced by the sweet, slippery words of hypocrites or be persuaded that yielding and conceding something for the sake of peace is a matter of little consequence and that the bond of love should not be disrupted for the sake of something trifling (as they represent and rationalize this to be). Come now, there is assuredly no joking in this matter; eternal salvation and eternal damnation are involved. (What Luther Says, II:1019-1020)
Can anything more horrible be said than that the kingdom of the papists is the kingdom of those who spit at Christ, the Son of God, and crucify Him anew? For they do crucify Christ…in themselves, in the church…and in the hearts of the faithful…Therefore let everyone who is honestly given to piety flee out of this Babylon as quickly as possible…. For so great are its impurity and its abomination that no one can express them in words; they can be discerned only by eyes that are spiritual. (What Luther Says, II: 1020)
My dear pope, I will kiss your feet and acknowledge you as supreme bishop if you will worship my Christ and grant that through His death and resurrection, not through keeping your traditions, we have forgiveness of sins and life eternal. If you will yield on this point, I shall not take away your crown and power; if not, I shall constantly cry out that you are the Antichrist, and I shall testify that your whole cult and religion are only a denial of God, but also the height of blasphemy against God and idolatry. (What Luther Says, II: 1069)
What kind of a church is the pope’s church? It is an uncertain, vacillating and tottering church. Indeed, it is a deceitful, lying church, doubting and unbelieving, without God’s Word. For the pope with his wrong keys teaches his church to doubt and to be uncertain. If it is a vacillating church, then it is not the church of faith, for the latter is founded upon a rock, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (Matt.16:18). If it is not the church of faith, then it is not the Christian church, but it must be an unchristian, anti-Christian, and faithless church which destroys and ruins the real, holy, Christian church. (Luther’s Works, vol. 40, Church and Ministry II, The Keys, p.348)
All this is to be noted carefully, so that we can treat with contempt the filthy, foolish twaddle that the popes present in their decrees about their Roman church, that is, about their devil’s synagogue (Rev.2:9), which separates itself from common Christendom and the spiritual edifice built up on this stone, and instead invents for itself a fleshly worldly, worthless, lying, blasphemous, idolatrous authority over all of Christendom. One of these two things must be true: if the Roman church is not built on this rock along with the other churches, then it is the devil’s church; but if it is built, along with all the other churches, on this roc, then it cannot be lord or head over the other churches. For Christ the cornerstone knows nothing of two unequal churches, but only of one church alone, just as the Children’s Faith, that is, the faith of all of Christendom, says, “I believe in one holy, Christian church,” and does not say, “I believe in one holy Roman church.” The Roman church is and should be one portion or member of the holy Christian church, not the head, which befits solely Christ the cornerstone. If not, it is not a Christian but an UN-Christian and anti-Christian church, that is, a papal school of scoundrels. (Luther’s Works, Volume 41, Church and Ministry III, Against The Roman Papacy, An Institution Of The Devil, p.311)
These arrogant and unlearned papists can’t govern the church because they write nothing, they read nothing, but, firmly saddled in the pride of possession, they cry out that the decrees of the fathers are not to be questioned and decisions made are not to be disputed, otherwise one would have to dance to the tune of every little brother. For this reason the pope, possessed by demons, defends his tyranny with the canon “Si papa.” This canon states clearly: if the pope should lead the whole world into the control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted. It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man we must lose our souls, which Christ redeemed with his precious blood. Christ says, “I will not cast out anybody who comes to me” (John 6:37). On the other hand, the pope says, “As I will it, so I command it; you must perish rather than resist me.” Therefore the pope, whom our princes adore, is full of devils. He must be exterminated by the Word and by prayer. (Luther’s Works, vol.54, Table Talk, No.441, p.330)
I guess one can argue that Luther was not truly interested in schism, but was rather interested in extirpating all Catholics who believed differently than him. For that purpose he made his new church completely subservient to the local German rulers and made use of the secular power against those who opposed him.
Wishing to have good relations with non-Catholic Christians is quite laudable and in general I support it, especially since most of my relatives are Protestant and fine people. However, Bishops lying about the past is not the way to go about it.