Skip to comments.The Forum: Rehabilitating Luther: a London Times theory
Posted on 03/06/2008 6:00:53 PM PST by markomalley
The Forum: Rehabilitating Luther: a London Times theory
by Phil Lawler
special to CWNews.com
Mar. 6, 2008
"Pope Benedict is to rehabilitate Martin Luther," announces reporter Richard Owen in the eye-catching opening phrase of his story in the London Times.
Reports that appear in the Times often find their way into other news stories. That is unfortunate, because the Times has a track record of sensational and misleading coverage of Vatican affairs. This story provides one more example.
Here are the facts that Owens supplies:
Can one logically conclude, from those two facts, that the Pope will "rehabilitate" Luther? No; not even close.
Cardinal Kasper certainly must be taken seriously. As president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity he plays a key role in ecumenical dialogue. But Richard Owen is not reporting on an initiative taken by Kasper's office; he says that the Pope will issue a statement at the conclusion of an informal seminar.
Ordinarily these summer seminars do not result in formal statements, much less papal policy statements. Yet the Times story leads readers to believe that this year's session will end with a very important declaration of Church teaching. Moreover, several months before the conversation between the Pope and his old students even begins, Owen tells us what conclusions that seminar will reach.
Owen cites "Vatican insiders" to buttress his prediction that Pope Benedict will find Luther innocent of heresy. But who are these insiders, and where is the evidence for their remarkable prediction? You won't find those questions answered in the Times story.
Citing Cardinal Kasper again-- but, significantly, not quoting him directly-- Owen says that the Pope's statement on Luther will have a positive impact on Catholic-Protestant relations. He continues: "It is also designed to counteract the impact of July's papal statement describing the Protestant and Orthodox faiths as defective and not proper Churches."
Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The document issued by the Vatican last July was not a papal statement but a "Response to Questions" from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It said that the Protestant denominations, lacking the Eucharist, "cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called 'Churches' in the proper sense"-- a formulation that is subtly but significantly different from the inaccurate quotation in the Times article. Finally, the Vatican statement did not apply the same criticism to the Orthodox churches; on the contrary it affirmed that they should be recognized by Catholics as "sister churches."
If the Times report can cram three significant errors of fact into a single sentence, how likely is it that the paper's predictions are accurate? Prudent readers can make their own judgments.
martin luther is responsible for more lost souls that any other person in history
Luther, part 2
That would be why Marin Luther is likely burning in hell.
Can you please enlighten me as to what you believe Luther taught that would lead people to end up in hell?
Well, what about all that trash he talked about the purchase of papal indulgences? Jesus expressly authorized them in the Sermon on the Mount, didn't he?
Can you please point out the place in the sermon on the mount where Christ authorized the church to sell indulgences?
I guess my attempt at making a point with humor failed utterly. My bad. Of course Christ authorized no such thing in the sermon on the mount or elsewhere. Yet the principal reason the Catholic Church branded Luther a heretic was his attack on the Pope's innovative financing scheme and his insistence that scripture was the source of Christianity, not the institution of the Church.