Monday, March 09, 2015

Papal Trends on the Reformation?

Here's a few posts from the Catholic Answers Forums. A person posted some papal comments reflecting current trends in the way the magisterium reflects on the Reformation. Most of this sort of ecumenical stuff falls on deaf ears on the CA forums. Granted, Rome isn't looking to retract anything in regard to the main issues of the Reformation (they're waiting for everyone else to come to their senses and agree with them)- however the attitude is much different than what one find presented by many of Rome's cyber-zealots.


Mar 3, '15, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Looking Back at what the Reformation has Done

And look at THIS (I, too, can cut and paste)

Quote:

POPE PRAISES LUTHER IN AN APPEAL FOR UNITY ON PROTEST ANNIVERSARY
By HENRY KAMM, Special to the New York Times
Published: November 6, 1983


ROME, Nov. 5— Pope John Paul II, in a letter issued today, praised Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation who was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, saying the world is still ''experiencing his great impact on history.''

His comments were contained in a letter to the president of the Pontifical Secretariat for the Union of Christians, Johannes Cardinal Willebrands, to mark the anniversary of Martin Luther, whose 500th birthday will be celebrated next Thursday. The text of the letter was made public by the Vatican,

In a related development, it was announced that Pope John Paul would preach on Dec. 11 in a Lutheran church here. The announcement was made by Christoph Meyer, the dean of the church, the Evangelical Lutheran Christoph Church, which has served the resident German community for 168 years. The service will be held in German, and the Pope will preach in the language of Martin Luther.

The letter from the Pope to Cardinal Willebrands, was dated Oct. 31, 1983, the anniversary of the date in 1517 when Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the castle church of Wittenberg, Germany, giving birth to the Protestant Reformation. The Pope wrote the letter to Cardinal Willebrands, the Archbishop of Utrecht, in German.

The Pope referred to Luther as the theologian who ''contributed in a substantial way to the radical change in the ecclesiastical and secular reality in the West.'' He continued: ''Our world still experiences his great impact on history.''

The Pope noted with satisfaction that the Protestant churches had declared the anniversary year to be an occasion that should serve ''a genuine ecumenical spirit'' and said that he saw this as a ''fraternal invitation'' to a joint reflection on the history and inheritance of Luther.

Roman Catholic and Protestant studies have yielded a more balanced picture of Luther's personality and the realities of the 16th century, the Pope continued, and shown that ''the rupture in ecclesiastical unity cannot be reduced to the lack of comprehension by Catholic Church authorities or solely to Luther's lack of understanding of true Catholicism, even if both factors played a role.''

The Pope called for continued historical research, ''that does not take sides, motivated only be the search for truth,'' to provide ''a true image'' of Luther and the Reformation. ''Guilt, wherever it exists, must be recognized, on whichever side it is found,'' the Pope wrote. Continue Search for Unity

John Paul called on Cardinal Willebrands to continue the ecumenical dialogue in quest of restoration of Christian unity and offered a special prayer and blessing for this work.

''The clarification of history that turns to the past and whose significance persists must go in equal steps with the dialogue of faith which we at present embark on to look for unity,'' the Pope wrote.

The Pope said the anniversary year was ''an occasion to meditate, in Christian truth and charity, on that event engraved in history that was the epoch of the Reformation.''

''It is time that we distance ourselves from historic events and assure that they are often better understood and evoked,'' the Pope said. John Paul said Luther was a man of ''profound religiousness'' who was ''driven by the examination of eternal salvation.'' Papal Visit Arranged Last Year
http://www.nytimes.com/1983/11/06/wo...niversary.html[url="http://www.nytimes.com/1983/11/06/world/pope-praises-luther-in-an-appeal-for-unity-on-protest-anniversary.html"]
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Old Mar 3, '15, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Looking Back at what the Reformation has Done

Here's more.
Quote:
Pope calls for “mutual forgiveness between Catholics and Lutherans”

Ecumenism
ECUMENISM
In his address to the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity, Francis said “there are no lack of difficulties but we must not be afraid”

DOMENICO AGASSO JR
ROME

“Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God,” Francis said during this morning’s audience with the delegation of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity.

The Pope’s meeting with Bishop Munib Younan, the Federation’s president and its secretary, Martin Junge, follows on from the “very cordial and pleasant meeting” which took place during the inaugural celebration of Francis ministry as the Bishop of Rome.


“It is with a sense of profound gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ that I think of the many advances made in relations between Lutherans and Catholics in these past decades, not only through theological dialogue, but also through fraternal cooperation in a variety of pastoral settings, and above all, in the commitment to progress in spiritual ecumenism. In a certain sense, this last area constitutes the soul of our journey towards full communion, and permits us even now a foretaste of its results, however imperfect. In the measure in which we draw closer to our Lord Jesus Christ in humility of spirit, we are certain to draw closer to one another. And, in the measure in which we ask the Lord for the gift of unity, we are sure that he will take us by the hand and be our guide,” Francis said.

“This year, as a result of a now fifty year old theological dialogue and with a view to the commemoration of the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, the text of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity was published, with the significant title: From Conflict to Communion. Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017. I believe that it is truly important for everyone to confront in dialogue the historical reality of the Reformation, its consequences and the responses it elicited,” Francis continued.


“Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God. Together we can rejoice in the longing for unity which the Lord has awakened in our hearts, and which makes us look with hope to the future.”

“I am certain,” Francis went on to say, “that we will continue our journey of dialogue and of communion, addressing fundamental questions as well as differences in the fields of anthropology and ethics. Certainly, there is no lack of difficulties, and none will lack in the future. They will continue to require patience, dialogue and mutual understanding. But we must not be afraid! We know well – as Benedict XVI often reminded us – that unity is not primarily the fruit of our labours, but the working of the Holy Spirit, to whom we must open our hearts in faith, so that he will lead us along the paths of reconciliation and communion.”


Finally, Francis quoted the Blessed John Paul II’s question: “How can we proclaim the Gospel of reconciliation without at the same time being committed to working for reconciliation between Christians?” (Ut Unum Sint, 98). “May the faithful and constant prayer of our communities sustain theological dialogue, the renewal of life and the conversion of hearts, so that, with the Triune God, we will be able to journey together toward the fulfilment of Jesus’ desire that all may be one,” Francis prayed.
http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en...teranos-28838/
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Quote:
In Erfurt Benedict presents Luther as a model for Catholics

In the place where Martin Luther used to speak against the Popes, Benedict XVI, the first German Pope since the Protestant Revolution, deliberately paid homage to that heresiarch. Before the trip, he expressed his desire to link his papal visit to Germany to the 500th anniversary of Protestantism. He also conveyed his wish to meet at greater length with the heads of the so-called Lutheran Church. To fulfill these desires the Lutherans offered him the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt, where Luther studied, became priest and professor of theology before leaving to split the Church and Europe.

Erfurt, where the meeting took place on September 23, 2011, and its neighboring city Wittenberg, where Luther posted his 95 theses, are considered the very heartland of Protestantism. It was there that Pope Ratzinger praised Luther’s quest for God as the “deep passion and driving force of his whole life.”

Moreover, Benedict considered Luther as a model to find God: “The question: What is God’s position towards me, where do I stand before God? This burning question of Martin Luther must once more, doubtless in a new form, become our question too. In my view, this is the first summons we should attend to in our encounter with Martin Luther.”

Further on in his speech, Ratzinger presented the heresiarch as a model for spirituality: “Luther’s thinking, his whole spirituality, was thoroughly Christocentric: ‘What promotes Christ’s cause’ was for Luther the decisive hermeneutical criterion for the exegesis of sacred Scripture. This presupposes, however, that Christ is at the heart of our spirituality and that love for him, living in communion with him, is what guides our life.”

Such were the concessions Benedict XVI made to Luther and Protestantism, attempting to throw into oblivion the unforgettable condemnations of the Catholic Church against both.
http://www.traditioninaction.org/Rev...38-Erfurt.html

25 comments:

kevin said...

Rome only wants reconciliation on there terms as they want to fetch everyone back to Rome to be one big Eucharist. Spurgeon said we can have no peace with Rome, they cant have peace with us, nor we with them. He said this, war, to the knife with her. We shall love there people, yet hate her doctrines as doctrines of demons. Yet, today Protestants are just embracing it. There ignorance is only matched by there lack of courage. The doctrine of imputation being traded for synergism. And condign merit being the rage for those who want to smuggle their character into God's work of grace. Rome has bewitched the gullible world. I wont relent one inch to a Pope and his religion. We should never allow reconciliation with blatant idolatry and accumulated righteousness. K

James Swan said...

kevin said...
Rome only wants reconciliation on there terms as they want to fetch everyone back to Rome to be one big Eucharist.


I was actually going to do a post at some point engaging in the fact that Rome's ecumenical efforts have nothing to do with "give and take," but rather, are often times simply redefining language in such a way so Rome stays "Rome."

Recently on Catholic Answers, the following comment was directed toward me- that people that are not in communion with Rome "need to realize that no reunion can occur without realising that assent to Her dogma and doctrine is an essential consequence of that reality."

http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=12765622&postcount=743

I don't think a lot of Protestants realize this- that Rome is not going to back down from any of her dogma, but rather, she expects you to change your beliefs.


kevin said...

James, you are correct. Actually, you and a few others are willing to plant your flag and fight. Many Reformed on blogs I have frequented ( CCC for example) are more interested in finding some ecumenical middle with Catholic apologist than defending imputation. But what they are having to buy is participatory justification, and seem more than willing to buy Rome's synergism. ECT was a serious blow to all Reformed effort. We need more young Reformed Apologist who call Catholicism what it is, a false Christianity, a front for the kingdom of Satan. Do Reformed forget that their confessions call the Papacy Antichrist. Meaning in the place of Christ. They have bewitched the gullible world. Rome cant change for 2 reasons, infalibilty, and they are the seat of the man of perdition. As Rome takes over the world as self said Christianity, every believer should remember Paul, John, Daniel told us that taking over the world would be antichrist. You are exactly right, Rome will never change, they want us to change our beliefs. The biggest lie Protestants have bought from Rome, is that the last 2000 years of the church was Roman Catholic. It wasnt. Tim Kauffman has done seroius scholarship on his blog, " out of His mouth" exposing Rome's errors. Check out His work " The rise of Roman Catholicism" Thanks James, you do great work. K

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Why can't Rome change her doctrine? What have they to loose if they say that they have erred and are not infallible? What would be the consequences if it would do that?

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

You can't deny that Benedict is Sympathetic to Luther though. He may not speak for the Roman Church when he does but only for himself as an individual.

kevin said...

Vincent, I agree that Bennedict has shown sympathy to Luther. But, so what. He is still considered a formal heretic by the church. And consider this, if the Reformed confessions are correct and the Papacy is the seat of antichrist, then it cannot change. Why? Because prophecy tells he will increase. Rome claims worldwide religion dominance, telling us it is the true church od Christ, at the same time scripturesays antichrist will dominate the visible world. Do you ever hear a Roman Apologist talk about who antichrist is. And yet this dominated the thinking of the early fathers, thinking it could be among them and they not know it. Cotton Mather said anyone who does not see the Papacy as the seat of antichrist is under a strong delusion. See Tim Kauffman's blog" What the Fathers feared most. K

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

He is considered a formal heretic by what church? Certainly not the Anglican Church or even the Lutheran Church for that matter. What church are you referring to? The Reformed?

John Bugay said...

I was actually going to do a post at some point engaging in the fact that Rome's ecumenical efforts have nothing to do with "give and take," but rather, are often times simply redefining language in such a way so Rome stays "Rome."

This is one of the places that we all need to explore, and I would like to see this -- although it would be a huge undertaking.

John Bugay said...

Vincent,

Why can't Rome change her doctrine? What have they to loose if they say that they have erred and are not infallible? What would be the consequences if it would do that?

please consult this picture:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6D35Nioq1QY/VPl-G0QSCUI/AAAAAAAALno/8sW5-bzQuj0/s1600/Roman-Catholic-Nature-Grace-Christ-Church-Interconnection.png

you continue to fail to distinguish what "individual Roman Catholics" say - even Ratzinger (such things MAY be regarded as vapors on a cool morning), and what the "infallible Church" says as dogma.

Of the latter, Raymond Brown says:

“Essential to a critical interpretation of church documents is the realization that the Roman Catholic Church does not change her official stance in a blunt way. Past statements are not rejected but are requoted with praise and then reinterpreted at the same time” (Raymond E. Brown, “The Critical Meaning of the Bible,” New York, NY: Paulist Press ©1981, Nihil Obstat and Imprimitur, pg 18 fn 41).

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2011/05/question-of-truth-lies-at-centre-of_31.html


This is where confusion results, not clarity. "Past statements" are always on the books, and a Roman Catholic may always refer to them as if they are dogma.

Any Roman Catholic may say anything ... but when the Roman Catholic Church "officially" says something, they are very careful to have some explication by which what they are saying does not contradict anything else that they have said officially.

The reason for this may be found in the illustration that I linked to above. THEY ARE the continued embodiment of the Incarnation of Christ (that is, "the official hierarchy" -- see Lumen Gentium 8).


This is why, as James says above, "Rome must be Rome". That is the position that may never be compromised. Almost any other verbal wriggling may be tolerated; but there is this one central "truth" that must be maintained at all costs: "Only Rome is the channel of God's grace on earth, because only the Roman hierarchy through time has been God's appointed messenger on earth".

Their word, along with the Bible, must be revered and obeyed to the same degree that Scripture is revered and obeyed. They, themselves, are still God speaking to the world (see CCC 74-100).

kevin said...

Leo X excommunicated Luther and it never changed. Are you Lutheran? Do you abide by the Book of Concord which calls the Pope Antichrist? If you do, what peace can you have with antichrist?

kevin said...

In conjunction with John said, Rome sees itself as the replacement of Christ's natural body on earth, and the continuation of incarnation as the agency of redemption. As if Rome can replace the uniquely finished work of Jesus. As Horton says, churches arent continuations of incarnation. Churches dont connect us to God. No church owns God. The church isnt the same as Jesus Christ in the world. He comes to us in the Gospel by His choosing, where and how the Spirit blows. Sometimes He meets us in the church and sometimes outside. Rome cant usurp the work of the Spirit. The church is the recepient of grace, not the provider. It is the Spirit that brings fiducia to the heart. We are incorporated into Christ's body thru the Spirit, not the flesh. The early church rejected Rome's incarnationalism as idolatry. Christians worship in Spirit and truth. K

kevin said...

In conclusiin, the church is a meatphor for the body of Christ. It can obey Christ, carry on his mission, imitate Him, but it cant usurp His finished work. Jesus said all power and dominion hasbeen given ME, not the church. The self proclaimed power of the Bishops covered the Priesthood of believers. When we tell someone their sins are forgiven, its a declaration about something already true, the declaration doesnt make it true. The Jews ar Passover, who deserved what the Egyptians deserved, werent thankful for sanctifying grace, but that God passed over them. K

Arizona Samson said...

Why can't Rome change her doctrine? What have they to loose if they say that they have erred and are not infallible? What would be the consequences if it would do that?

While the explanation offered below was in response to a Sedevacantist, it fully and artfully explains why Rome cannot change her doctrine and continue the facade of "One True Church started by Christ."

http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?219686-Roman-Pope-Takes-off-shoes-Bows-toward-Mecca-in-Muslim-Mosque&p=6531297&viewfull=1#post6531297

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Arizona can you summarize the main point of your article? I read it but fail to see how it answers my question. Have you heard of the Dimond brother's by the way?

Don Stein said...

"Leo X excommunicated Luther and it never changed. Are you Lutheran? Do you abide by the Book of Concord which calls the Pope Antichrist? If you do, what peace can you have with antichrist?"

Kevin, I'd give the same response I've given on several boards. The three Lutheran objections to the office of the papacy as laid out in the 'Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope' are conditional; when that office stops claiming the power it does, then it is no longer anti-Christ.

Some Lutherans even wonder whether the office is antiChrist at all when the man in the office deliberately does not use the power his predecessors have claimed. It's possible (even probable) that the men in that office, particularly Benedict XVI and Francis, are certainly Christian. There has never been a better opportunity to complete the Reformation and heal the wounds of division.

kevin said...

Don, with all due respect, no way is the guardian of Catholic theology a Christian. Where do you make that determination. Its a false gospel. Benedict being the sly devil that he is, being German and understanding Luther, said we can all agree with Luther that we are justified by faith. Keep listening. As it is formed in love. I asked a very simple question, the Book of Concord and Reformed confessions call the Papacy antichrist. Do you agree? Do you listen to your confessions? The Popes religion is NOTHING like mine. I am a Reformed Christian in a Bible church. Catholicism is a false Christianity. Do you get to heaven by baptism? By personal merit? By penance? By participating in your own justification? By accumulating righteouness thru sacraments by works? By Mary? No. This is another religion, not another denomination. K

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Kevin every respectable Anglican or Lutheran theologian will disagree with you with regards to Benedict. They all universally respect him. Take this article by Robert Hart for instance;

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=15-04-037-b

Even Michael Horton respects and admires him.

kevin said...

Vincent, very simple question. The book of Concord calls the Papacy antichrist? Do you agree? I could care less if every Anglican or Lutheran theologian agrees with me. I would tell them to obey their confessions. As for Horton, he believes Romes gospel is false. So he may admire Benedicts schokarship, but he believes he believes a false gospel. I look at the older cats that have been around, like Sproul, MacArthur etc. These men understand the ramifications of throwing 400 years of history away. K

kevin said...

My Protestant brothers, who respect Benedict and his religion, I ask you to read Ezekiel 13 and 14. How God sees the false visions, divinations and idolatry of Israel. Will you respect a man whose transubstantiation is the summit of worship. Who follow a piece of bread around in the streets, who worship the mother of Jesus? Who believes grace is a tool to merit salvation? What ecumenical middle can Christ have with antichrist. Luther said the Pope and his religion will not permit men to be saved. As they tell their congregation to walk the isle to get merit from there mass, more justice, increase in grace. To worship a piece of bread, denying true worship. My brothers what have we to do with this false religion? God bless. K

Vincent VAN DER WEERDEN said...

Kevin what do you think of Thomas Aquinas? Was he heretical in your view?

kevin said...

Vincent, yes. He put a piece of bread up in the place of the Savior, and put forth the elect are in a manner predestined to glory on account of their merits, instead of just God's goodness. He said his work was straw at the end of his life. Those are his words. Adoration chapels and the gospel of gracious merit can be linked to him. God bless K

John Bugay said...

Vincent -- Following on what Kevin said about Aquinas and worshipping "the host", here is something to consider:

http://www.amazon.com/We-Become-What-Worship-Biblical-ebook/dp/B002GYWNF8/

kevin said...

John, thanks for brining up Beale's book. Reading the review on it titled " Awful to read, awesome to think about" was informative. How God called those who worshiped the golden calf" stiff necked." It reminds me of the Catholics who stiff neckedly stare at the Roman wafer god. Also what is interesting to note from Beale is we become what we worship. Many Catholics believe Jesus will return as a eucharist and we all become one big eucharist. K How clear can scripture be, we are to worship God in Spirit and in truth thru faith alone in Christ alone. I believe Catholicism above all things is unbelief, like those who understood Him physically in John 6 and walked away in unbelief.

Don Stein said...

"Don, with all due respect, no way is the guardian of Catholic theology a Christian. Where do you make that determination."
And where do you? Do you know his heart?

"Its a false gospel."
Catholicism, as described in the Council of Trent, may very well be a distorted gospel. But there is some truth to it, and the modern RCC has clearly backed away from many of its anathemas. They're coming around. The Reformation is ongoing.

"Benedict being the sly devil that he is, being German and understanding Luther, said we can all agree with Luther that we are justified by faith. Keep listening. As it is formed in love."
You disagree that a saving faith is demonstrated by good works? This isn't hollow ecumenispeech, here. Benedict has essentially admitted his faith to be Lutheran! It wouldn't surprise me if he was 'asked' to resign his chair by the hardliners. He's dangerously close to full-on Lutheran conversion!

"the Book of Concord and Reformed confessions call the Papacy antichrist. Do you agree?"
I agree entirely with the Book of Concord; the charges against the office of the Papacy, regrettably, may still hold. It is a heterodox church, same with all Reformed who deny God's grace in the Sacraments. I am not held to any Reformed confessions.

"Do you listen to your confessions?"
Very carefully. The Holy Spirit guided the minds of brilliant men in crafting them.

"The Popes religion is NOTHING like mine."
I believe you.

"I am a Reformed Christian in a Bible church." I haven't any idea what that means.

"Catholicism is a false Christianity."
Misguided, certainly. False, not in most places. "We concede—as we must—that so much of what they say is true: that the papacy has God’s Word and the office of the apostles, and that we have received Holy Scripture, Baptism, the Sacrament, and the pulpit from them. What would we know of these if it were not for them? Therefore faith, the Christian Church, Christ, and the Holy Spirit must also be found among them... Thus we are also compelled to say: “I believe and am sure that the Christian Church has remained even in the papacy. On the other hand, I know that most of the papists are not the Christian Church, even though they give everyone the impression that they are. Today our popes, cardinals, and bishops are not God’s apostles and bishops; they are the devil’s. And their people are not God’s people; they are the devil’s. And yet some of the papists are true Christians, even though they, too, have been led astray, as Christ foretold in Matt. 24:24. But by the grace of God and with His help they have been preserved in a wonderful manner." ~Martin Luther. Our local blogger has a post with more context.

"Do you get to heaven by baptism?"
Do you read 1 Peter 3:21 in your Bible church?

"By personal merit? By penance? By participating in your own justification?"
Of course not! The good works I do, I do not. The Holy Spirit does them through me. What works can a dead man do? It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

"By accumulating righteouness thru sacraments by works?"
A sacrament is not man doing work to appease God, but God doing doing work to give His Grace to man. This is why Lutherans abhor the Tridentine mutilation of Christ's true and real Body and Blood. I don't worship a wafer; I eat Christ's Body and Blood as He commanded.

As well as Spurgeon could turn a phrase, he would not recognize the RCC today. It does not hold to what it did in the 1800's. He would find a closer kinship there than he would in a Reformed megachurch of today.

Algo said...

Don said:

"Catholicism, as described in the Council of Trent, may very well be a distorted gospel. But there is some truth to it, and the modern RCC has clearly backed away from many of its anathemas. They're coming around. The Reformation is ongoing."


Some great work on Anathemas here:

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/search/label/Anathema