(Another example of Luther's heresy against our Lord)
The Church acted most impeccably and pastorally in putting down Luther's revolt in the 16th century. Let that be our reflection, that it might encourage Catholics to stand behind the Church's verdict, and thus motivate them to encourage separated brethren to renounce the Reformation in everything it stood for. Let that be the only common denominator that unites the joint commemoration in 2017.
The following is a Guest Post by David Martin:
Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to "celebrate together" the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, under the title: “Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.” On December 18, 2014, he received a delegation of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Vatican and told them:
“In 2017, Lutheran and Catholic Christians commemorate together the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. On this occasion, Lutherans and Catholics will, for the first time, have the opportunity to keep one and the same global ecumenical commemoration, not in the form of a triumphalist celebration, but rather to confess our common faith in the Triune God." (The Eponymous Flower, December 18, 2014)
This echoes his October 21, 2013, speech to the members of the Lutheran World Federation and the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity, in which he praised "the many advances made in relations between Lutherans and Catholics in these past decades," emphasizing how "commitment to progress in spiritual ecumenism...constitutes the soul of our journey towards full communion." (Zenit News, October 21, 2013)
The problem is that their progress toward unity is in vain, if unity with Christ is what they are expecting. The Lutherans’ journey to ecclesial union consists in rejecting the errors of their wayward sect and confessing the Roman Catholic Church to be the only true religion on earth. They must reject the perfidy of Martin Luther who initiated his hateful “Reformation” in 1517, remembering the decree from the Council of Trent that Luther and the Reformation are not something that Catholics may unite with, lest they be an anathema.
The forthcoming celebration between Lutherans and Catholics is being spurred by the October 2013 document From Conflict to Communion, which cites the supposed progress being made towards a full communion between the two groups. Progress toward unity indeed is being made, in the same way Judas made progress in securing unity with the Pharisees, but such a unity betrays the Faith. The only solution for a true ecclesial communion is for Lutherans to give up their conflict with the Catholic Church, just as the Pharisees were required to give up their conflict with Christ if they wished to have union with him. There was nothing that Christ himself had to do, just as there is nothing His Church must do other than to wait for a humble act of contrition from separated brethren who protested the Faith in the sixteenth century.
The Catholic Church committed no fault in the way it responded to the Reformation five centuries ago, which means there must be no apologies made whatsoever. The papal condemnation of Luther in 1521 was truly the work of the Holy Spirit! Even so, Francis told the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity: “Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God.” Nay, the harm was done solely by the Lutheran “reformers,” while the Catholic Church acted impeccably in God’s sight to glorify His Name and advance the salvation of souls on earth.
Francis seems to operate under the premise that ecumenical unity is some sort of gift or asset, forgetting that “the friendship of this world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Since when does the Roman Catholic Church unite with world religions? Does the good pope not realize that it is the major plan of the infernal U.N., working through its World Council of Churches, to abolish the institutionalized Church of Rome and to merge all peoples and churches into an international one-world religion under the banner Antichrist?
Over a century ago this unification of all religions was foreshadowed in the writings of 19th century Freemason and excommunicated priest, Canon Roca (1830-1893), who predicted that “the liturgy of the Roman Church will shortly undergo a transformation at an *ecumenical council” in a move “to deprive the Church of its supernatural character, to amalgamate it with the world, to interweave the denominations ecumenically instead of letting them run side by side as separate confessions, and thus to pave the way for a standard world religion in the centralized world state.” (Bishop Rudolph Graber PhD, Athanasius and the Church in our Time, 1974)
The dark forces of the global elite are the ones spearheading this one-world ecumenical unity for the downfall and enslavement of mankind, which means the most pastoral thing the pope could do is to rescue the flock from this plague, and not surrender them to it. Pastoral care consists in maintaining the tradition of the Faith for the welfare of the people, as expressed by St. Pope Pius X: “The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but men of tradition.”
To say that Catholics and Lutherans will celebrate the Reformation "together" is to say they're on the same side of the fence. The Holy Father says the commemoration is not to be a "triumphalist celebration" where we commemorate the Church’s triumph over the Reformation, but where we rather “confess our common faith" with Lutherans.
Since when do Catholics share in the doctrine of heretics and schismatics? To not rejoice over the Church's verdict against Luther is to rejoice with him. "He that is not with me is against me." (Matt. 12:30) The Council of Trent put the dog out five centuries ago when it rightfully condemned Luther’s work, but Vatican II unfortunately let the dog back in. This seems to be what the coming 2017 commemoration is all about.
Faithful Catholics have no recourse but to either stand behind the Church's verdict against Luther, or be partakers in his sins. In the words of St. Paul: "You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: You cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.” (1 Corinthians 10:21)
WE SEEM TO FORGET that Luther was a raving heretic who was driven by the devil to tear the Faith asunder in Europe. His definition of “repentance” was to reject Catholicism, evidenced by his hateful words against the Mass: “It is indeed upon the Mass as on a rock that the whole papal system is built, with its monasteries, its bishoprics, its collegiate churches, its altars, its ministries, its doctrine, i.e., with all its guts. All these cannot fail to crumble once their sacrilegious and abominable Mass falls.” (Martin Luther, Against Henry, King of England, 1522, Werke, Vol. X, p. 220.)
Luther also contributed mightily to the mass murder of 70,000-100,000 peasants during the German Peasant War (1524-1525), which his Reformation helped to spark. Consider the following from Luther: "To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Therefore let whoever can, smite, slay, and stab them secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel…. On the obstinate, hardened, blinded peasants let no one have mercy, but let whoever is able, hew, stab, and slay them like mad dogs." (Erlangen Edition of Luther’s Works, Vol. 24)
In 1526 Luther justified his killing of the peasants, saying, "I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain all the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead. (Erlangen LW, Vol. 59, p. 284)
Luther furthermore blasphemed against the Christ, revealing his deficit of faith. “Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well… secondly with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery.” (Luther’s Works, American Edition, Volume 54, p. 154, Concordia Publishing House)
As for his teaching on salvation and justification, the man was a crackpot who called humble contrition “hypocrisy” and who insisted that Jesus died on the cross so that we can sin freely without the fear of eternal punishment. Consider Luther’s own words:
“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly... No sin will separate us from the Christ, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” (From Luther’s letter to Philip Melanchthon, August 1, 1521, LW Vol. 48, pp. 281-282)
Herein is the foundation of Protestantism which asserts that Jesus already “paid the price,” so that works will neither save nor condemn us. This is a devious lie with no scriptural basis, yet Luther knew that he could hook people with it by convincing them that it is taught in the Bible. His ploy was to twist the Scriptures, both in the wording and the interpretation, to establish the false premise that the use of our free will to please God is vain.
In planning his strategy he had his pet verses marked out which, in their twisted form, became ammunition to induce this licentious, worry-free attitude about sin. Knowing the temptation of human nature to shun responsibility for sin, the seducer invented the idea of "sin and be saved," and then used Scripture to try to substantiate his lunacy. The following is perhaps his favorite argument for advancing his doctrine:
"By the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him... For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law." (Romans 3: 20,28)
The law mentioned here has nothing to do with the Law of Christ or the performance of good works, but refers specifically to the Old Mosaic Law wherein they practiced circumcision and offered animal sacrifices to expiate for sin, with the observance of certain feast days, etc. Christ came to do away with these former works so that we are no longer under the Law of Moses, but under the Law of Christ. And this is what the Scripture is saying, that we are not justified by being Jew, but are justified by being Christian. Period. The old Jewish works are dead.
Unfortunately heretics have had a field-day with this and other like verses, thinking they have liberty to sin and to avoid good works, when in fact no such liberty is given in the Bible. It was Luther who started this idea that we don’t have to please God with works, before which it never existed in Christian history. Luther obviously didn’t think Christ was worth working for, which is what his rant boiled down to. The Gospel makes it clear that it's not only what we do that can banish souls to the eternal fires, but what we fail to do in good works.
The 25th chapter of St. Matthew states that those who neglect their religious duties in life will be hurled into hell by the Just Judge, who at His Second Coming will declare to them: "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me... And these shall go into everlasting punishment." (Matthew 25: 41-46)
St. Paul exhorts the faithful of God to work out their salvation "with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12), because "the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works." (Matthew 16:27) A man's works then are what justify and keep him. (James 2:17) "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13)
If there is one thing we learn from the Gospel, it is that lip service and false protestations will not save us.
Jesus himself says, "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) Christ indeed is the Savior of the world, but He will not save anyone unless they do what He says. "Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: but he that does the will of my Father who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 7: 21)
What Luther lacked above all was faith. He called Jesus an adulterer, rejected several books of the Bible, denied the necessity of good works for salvation, scorned the reality of indulgences, and denied that priests have the power to forgive sins. He maintained that the priest's role in confession is to simply declare to the penitent the forgiveness that is already his from God, arguing that it doesn't come through the priest.
This is heresy. Jesus told his representatives in the priesthood: "Receive the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall not forgive, they are not forgiven." (John 20: 22,23) Clearly we see that without the absolution (forgiveness) of the priest, the penitent is not forgiven by God.
In short, Martin Luther didn’t agree with the teachings of Jesus Christ, and had no qualms about ripping His doctrine to shreds before the people. He was a classic hypocrite, constantly accusing others of his own errors and touting himself about his “justifications in faith,” when in fact he had no faith. He was an infidel, a blasphemer, an adulterer and a murderer, and now Rome wants to find common ground with him in 2017? Why not just celebrate the anniversary of the Third Reich?
Every one of Luther’s charges against the Catholic Church were irrational and false. For instance he accused the clergy of “selling indulgences” in the confessional, which is not true. When penitents came to confession it was common at that time for priests to administer a penance in the form of having them place money in the Church’s treasury, because funds were needed to complete the Basilica of St. Peters in Rome. We might say a Peter’s pence was being raised, which should have exited praise, but this infuriated Luther because he couldn’t tolerate the idea of funding the “papal pig” and his palace.
If anyone would question his motives, let them consider his own words about the Catholic Church: "We too were formerly stuck in the behind of this hellish whore, the new church of the pope... so that we regret having spent so much time and energy in that vile h***. But God be praised and thanked that he rescued us from the scarlet whore." (Luther's Works, Vol. 41, p. 206)
Again Luther says: "I can with good conscience consider the pope a fart-ass and an enemy of God. He cannot consider me an ass, for he knows that I am more learned in the Scriptures than he and all his asses are.” (p. 344) “The papal ass wants to be lord of the church, although he is not a Christian, believes nothing, and can no longer do anything but fart like an ass." (p. 358)
Should the Vatican be commemorating the work of such a man? It is for reason that the Church excommunicated Martin Luther in January 1521, which means the faithful have no choice but to either stand behind this verdict, or be partakers in his sins. As the Bible says: "You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:21)
It is unfortunate that so many misinformed people listened to the deceiver and allowed themselves to be pulled away from the Catholic Church. Thanks to Luther and his rampage, a better part of Europe was led into apostasy, and now apostates and Catholics are asked to share a “common faith!” What does light have in common with darkness? Benedict XVI even said the Protestant religion is “no religion.”
Charity for separated brethren consists in converting them to the Faith, not in partaking in their errors. The Church from the beginning has forbidden the idea of interreligious dialogue for unity's sake, since our unity is with Christ, not with secular religions. The Church dogmatically teaches that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church (extra ecclesiam nulla salus), which means Catholics must believe this in order to be saved.
Of all the religions of earth, the Protestant sect is probably the most hostile towards the Catholic Church. It is distinguished by its abhorrence of the Virgin Mary, which is why Protestantism is so radically different than Catholicism, despite what today's ecumenical “experts" might say. Though Protestants are often good people, their sect is not good because it denigrates Mary and runs her into the ground. That is to say, not all Protestants are truly Protestant. Unfortunately it is the true Protestants that Rome is seeking unity with.
Concerning separated brethren who oppose the Faith, St. John says: "If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. For he that says to him, God speed you, communicates with his wicked works." (2 John 1:10,11)
Why then is Rome God-speeding Luther and his schismatic sect? Under the pretext of mercy they’re despising goodness and opening the door to evil. Pastoral charity means closing the door on sin and professing the Catholic Church as the only ark of salvation, even if it means being hated by all men for it. Christ himself demonstrated this selfless zeal in the way he refuted the various religious groups of his day. Never once was He open to error, never once did he show openness to the world and its thinking, but He rather rebuked the Pharisees for their pride and their contempt of majesty. His mercy was on the humble and God fearing who struck their breast, not on the “stiff-necked and uncircumcised of heart” who insisted on bringing their polluted errors into the temple.
We pray that Francis will likewise demonstrate this zeal for souls by denouncing the ecumenical Pharisees in Rome that are polluting the faithful with their errors. Jesus mercifully cleansed the lepers, so let Peter follow suit and cleanse this moral leprosy from our midst, lest it work the spiritual death of God’s people.