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Luther: The Infallible Church Declared The Contents of Scripture
Beggars All ^ | November 14, 2006 | James Swan

Posted on 03/08/2014 12:59:16 PM PST by Gamecock

We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists--that with them is the Word of God, which we received from them; otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it."- Martin Luther

That’s a fairly incredible quote from Luther, isn’t it? Roman Catholics frequently use it when discussing the Canon of Scripture:

“In his Commentary on John, discussing the sixteenth chapter of that Gospel, Luther admitted, "We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists--that with them is the Word of God, which we received from them; otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it." [Source: Brian Harrison, Logic and Protestantism's Shaky Foundations (This Rock Volume 3, Number 12 December 1992)]

“Martin Luther makes a pertinent observation in the sixteenth chapter of his Commentary on St. John "We are obliged to yield many things to the papists [Catholics]—that they possess the Word of God which we received from them, otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it." [Source: Jason Evert, How to Defend the Deuterocanonicals (This Rock Volume 11, Number 9, September 2000)].

These are but two examples from This Rock Magazine- an actual Roman Catholic publication. If one were to do a quick Internet search for this quote, one finds the quote used often and vigorously. See for example, this search. The on-line defenders of Rome seem to love this quote… as if it actually proves a point.

In the above articles from This Rock Magazine, the quote is supposed to prove that Luther believed the Roman Catholic Church determined the canon of Sacred Scripture. Luther is portrayed to be saying the Papacy gave us the Bible. The papacy (maybe even by infallible pronouncement) determined the canon of Scripture for Luther. Brian Harrison thinks the quote is an example of Luther at times coming “…close to recognizing that sola scriptura was false, insofar as he was relying, to some extent, on the despised "Papists" and not only on the Bible.” See, Luther said it himself: the Papists gave us the Bible, without them doing so, we would have never known what Scripture is.

How To Respond:

1. Locate a Reference or Citation: Commentary or Sermon?

First, thank the Roman Catholic using this quote for providing a reference. Normally, the citation given will simply be “Luther’s commentary on John 16.” Now this is not totally correct- the citation is from Luther’s Sermons on John 16 [LW 24], not a commentary. Luther preached on John 14-16 after March 14, 1537, finishing in either June or July of 1537. The sermons were taken down and edited by Caspar Cruciger. Luther actually credits Cruciger for writing the book. In other words, Luther didn’t sit down and write an exegetical commentary on John. Rather, this quote was the result of preaching, and someone else writing it down the way he heard it.

2. Locate a Translation: Do Catholics Actually Read Luther?

The question that I always consider when reading Roman Catholics quote Luther, is if they’ve actually read Luther. This quote serves as a great opportunity to find out. The quote as typically cited, “We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists--that with them is the Word of God, which we received from them; otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it” is not the translation from the standard English 55 volume version of Luther’s Works [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House]. Nor is it from the earlier small English set of Luther’s Works (known as the Philadelphia or Holman edition of the Works of Martin Luther), because that set doesn’t contain Luther’s Sermons on John 16. So where did the Roman Catholic citing this quote get it from? My guess is they can’t tell you, because they haven’t actually read Luther’s Sermons on John 16. They have this quote which they've read somewhere, and thought it made their point. It's probably the result of cut-and-paste, not research.

3. Put the Quote in a Context: What Does Luther Really Mean?

In expounding on John 16, Luther discusses how those who call themselves the “True Church” actually became corrupt and began persecuting true believers- just as the Jewish leadership did to the Old Testament prophets (like Jeremiah). Luther says,

“Today the pope and his crowd cry out against us that they are the church, since they have received Baptism, the Sacrament, and Holy Writ from the apostles and are their successors. They say: “Where else should God’s people be than where His name is praised, and where the successors and heirs of His apostles are to be found? Surely the Turks, the Tartars, and the heathen cannot be His people. Therefore we must be His people; otherwise it will be altogether impossible to find a people of God on earth. Consequently, he who rebels against us resists the Christian Church and Christ Himself.”” [LW 24:303].

But Luther insists they who make this claim are just like the Old Testament Jewish leadership. They claimed to be God’s people (and at one time they were), but because of sin and corruption, they actually persecuted God’s true people. They did not heed the words of the prophets. Luther notes that the plight of the true Christian in such a circumstance is exceedingly difficult. He says,

“This will surely offend and repel anyone who is not armed with different weapons and different strength, who listens only to such opinions of the most eminent and influential people on earth. “You are a heretic and an apostle of the devil,” “You are preaching against God’s people and the church, yes, against God Himself.” For it is exceedingly difficult to deprive them of this argument and to talk them out of it." [LW 24:304].

Then, comes the citation in question:

“Yes, we ourselves find it difficult to refute it, especially since 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. What business have I, then, to preach against them as a pupil preaching against his teachers? Then there come rushing into my heart thoughts like these: “Now I see that I am in error. Oh, if only I had never started this and had never preached a word! For who dares oppose the church, of which we confess in the Creed: I believe in a holy Christian Church, etc.? Now I find this church in the papacy too. It follows, therefore, that if I condemn this church, I am excommunicated, rejected, and damned by God and all the saints.” [LW 24:304].

Is Luther conceding an infallible church gave us the canon? Absolutely not. Is Luther saying an infallible extra-biblical tradition produced the Canon? Absolutely Not. Luther is simply saying that he learned about the Scriptures, Baptism, and the Pulpit, etc. from the Church of his day, in the same way the Prophets were born into a society in which the religious structure of their day was functioning, and gave the Old Testament people a religious context to live in. The visible church indeed promulgated the Scriptures and Christian doctrine. Who can deny this? But simply because they did so, does not mean the visible church in Rome infallibly declared the canon of Scripture.

Luther held that the Church was God's hand maid and servant. It does not create God's Word, God's Word creates the Church. As the servant of the Word, it gives the Word to the body of Christ, His people. Indeed, who would know God's Word if it were not for the Church continually upholding it and pointing God's people to it in each generation? One should be able to sense the thrust of Luther's argument: when the visible Church goes bad, going against it is an awesome and fearful undertaking. The Church is God's handmaid. It is to protect and promulgate the Word- but what happens when the servant disobeys the Master? Who can condemn the handmaid and not be fearful?

The quote as cited by Roman Catholics has nothing to do with an infallible Church declaring the contents of Scripture. The quote isn't discussing canonicity. The quote isn't discussing if Rome gave us an infallible list of biblical books. Rather, the quote is part of an argument based on Old Testament Israel persecuting God’s true people, and the Roman Catholic Church persecuting the Reformers. This is made clear as Luther continues. Old Testament Judaism had God's law. does this mean they were the ones who infallibly declared what that law was?

“But what is now our defense? And what is the ground on which we can hold our own against such offense and continue to defy those people? It is nothing else than the masterly statement St. Paul employs in Rom. 9:7: “Not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants.” Not all who bear the name are Israelites; or, as the saying goes: “Not all who carry long knives are cooks.” Thus not all who lay claim to the title “church” are the church. There is often a great difference between the name and the reality. The name is general. All are called God’s people, children of Abraham, Christ’s disciples and members; but this does not mean that they all are what the name signifies. For the name “church” includes many scoundrels and rascals who refused to obey God’s Word and acted contrary to it. Yet they were called heirs and successors of the holy patriarchs, priests, and prophets. To be sure, they had God’s Law and promise, the temple, and the priesthood. In fact, they should have been God’s people; but they practiced idolatry so freely under the cloak of the name “church” that God was forced to say: “This shall no longer be My temple and priesthood. My people shall no longer be My people. But to those who are not My people it shall be said: ‘You are sons of the living God’ ” (Hos. 1:10; 2:23).” [LW 24:304].

Luther realizes that even within the corrupt papacy, the true church exists:

“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.” [LW 24:305].

“In the meantime we adhere to the distinction made here by Christ and do not regard as Christendom those who do not hold truly and absolutely to what Christ taught, gave, and ordained, no matter how great, holy, and learned they may be. We tell them that they are the devil’s church. On the other hand, we want to acknowledge and honor as the true bride of Christ those who remain faithful to His pure Word and have no other comfort for their hearts than this Savior, whom they have received and confessed in Baptism and in whose name they have partaken of the Sacrament. These are the true church. It is not found in only one place, as, for example, under the pope; but it exists over the entire earth wherever Christians are found. Outwardly they may be scattered here and there, but they meet in the words of the Creed: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was born, suffered, and died for us on the cross.” In like manner, they pray: “Our Father who art in heaven.” They share the same Spirit, Word, and Sacrament. They all lead the same holy and blessed life, each one according to his calling, whether father, mother, master, servant, etc. Thus whatever we preach, believe, and live, this they all preach, believe, and live. Physically separated and scattered here and there throughout the wide world, we are nevertheless gathered and united in Christ.”[LW 24:309].

From these paragraphs, it should be obvious what Luther is driving at. It is the job of the True Church- those who believe and trust only in Christ's righteousness by faith, to call the visible church to repentance. The visible church will claim to be God speaking. The visible church may claim to be that authority which determined the Canon. But if the visible church is in rebellion against God, it is the task of the true Christian to point her back to her master.

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1 posted on 03/08/2014 12:59:16 PM PST by Gamecock
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To: daniel1212; Alex Murphy; metmom

For your information.

2 posted on 03/08/2014 1:00:29 PM PST by Gamecock
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To: Gamecock

Two things that the Bible states are not accepted by Protestants. 1]Church was founded on Peter 2] This is my body. They come up with work-arounds.

3 posted on 03/08/2014 1:16:09 PM PST by ex-snook (God is Love)
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To: ex-snook
Two things that the Bible states are not accepted by Protestants. 1]Church was founded on Peter 2] This is my body. They come up with work-arounds.

Which Church, there are 7 listed in Revelation? And since some Catholics take unwarranted credit for the Bible, they should have left out more than they do. I have NO issue with 'This is my body'. Christ set the standard and He protested the religious system in His day. Nothing new about protesters.

4 posted on 03/08/2014 1:21:57 PM PST by Just mythoughts (Jesus said Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.)
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To: ex-snook; Gamecock; All
Two things that the Bible states are not accepted by Protestants. 1]Church was founded on Peter 2] This is my body. They come up with work-arounds.

Those wicked Protestants and their work arounds!

"Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter's confession. What is Peter's confession? 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' There's the rock for you, there's the foundation, there's where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer." (Augustine, John Rotelle, O.S.A., Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine , © 1993 New City Press, Sermons, Vol III/6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327

"For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. For on this very account the Lord said, 'On this rock will I build my Church,' because Peter had said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church. (Augustine Tractate CXXIV; Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: First Series, Volume VII Tractate CXXIV)(

"In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: 'On him as on a rock the Church was built.'...But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,' that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven.' For, 'Thou art Peter' and not 'Thou art the rock' was said to him. But 'the rock was Christ,' in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable. — The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1968), Saint Augustine, The Retractations Chapter 20.1:.

“They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” For He had said to them, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto eternal life.” “What shall we do?” they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent.” This is then to eat the meat, not that which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already. (Augustine, Tractate 25)

5 posted on 03/08/2014 1:22:31 PM PST by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: ex-snook

I’ll raise you we are saved by faith and not by our works. Sola Scriptura is a bonus.

6 posted on 03/08/2014 1:22:49 PM PST by Gamecock
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To: ex-snook
Two things that the Bible states are not accepted by Protestants. 1]Church was founded on Peter

How could God's church have been founded on man? The scripture (ESV) has 142 references to 'rock'. The NT has these:1 Corinthians 10:4, Romans 9:33 specific to Christ. Ironically for Catholics, the 'first pope' offers this: 1 Peter 2:5-86 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”[a] 8 and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

Catholics would have you believe 'their rock of the church' wrote this of himself?

The OT offers these: Isaiah 44:8, Habakkuk 1:12, Psalm 78:35, Psalm 81:16, Psalm 94:22, Psalm 92:15, Psalm 95:1, Psalm 144:1. But these referenced 'rocks' must mean Peter, right?

This is my body

No work-around required. In fact, the Catholics, instead of believing the Words of Christ as offered, instead substitute transubstantiation for the clear reading of scripture.

7 posted on 03/08/2014 1:41:44 PM PST by xone
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To: Gamecock

Thanks for posting. Very informative.

8 posted on 03/08/2014 1:59:55 PM PST by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: Gamecock

The Catholic Church handed down the Bible - after keeping it secret for over 1000 years until it was ripped out of the priests’ hands and compared to what they were saying and doing. It was like finding the Book of the Law behind the Temple altar, which I think was a prefiguration.

9 posted on 03/08/2014 2:58:13 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (HELL, NO! BE UNGOVERNABLE!)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

PLEASE tell me what Bible was printed by the Gutenberg press?????

10 posted on 03/08/2014 3:01:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ex-snook

“1]Church was founded on Peter “

The church was founded upon Christ. In Christ alone my hope is found.
No man made creation or institution comes close to Christ.

11 posted on 03/08/2014 3:07:57 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Peter – rock

Matthew 16:18 -

Jesus said that Peter was *petros*(masculine) and that on this *petra*(feminine) He would build His church.

Greek: 4074 Pétros (a masculine noun) – properly, a stone (pebble), such as a small rock found along a pathway. 4074 /Pétros (”small stone”) then stands in contrast to 4073 /pétra (”cliff, boulder,” Abbott-Smith).

“4074 (Pétros) is an isolated rock and 4073 (pétra) is a cliff” (TDNT, 3, 100). “4074 (Pétros) always means a stone . . . such as a man may throw, . . . versus 4073 (pétra), a projecting rock, cliff” (S. Zodhiates, Dict).

4073 pétra (a feminine noun) – “a mass of connected rock,” which is distinct from 4074 (Pétros) which is “a detached stone or boulder” (A-S). 4073 (pétra) is a “solid or native rock, rising up through the earth” (Souter) – a huge mass of rock (a boulder), such as a projecting cliff.

4073 (petra) is “a projecting rock, cliff (feminine noun) . . . 4074 (petros, the masculine form) however is a stone . . . such as a man might throw” (S. Zodhiates, Dict).

It’s also a strange way to word the sentence that He would call Peter a rock and say that on this I will build my church instead of *on you* as would be grammatically correct in talking to a person.

There is no support from the original Greek that Peter was to be the rock on which Jesus said he would build His church. The nouns are not the same, one being masculine and the other being feminine. They denote different objects.

12 posted on 03/08/2014 3:17:52 PM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

Read the above.

13 posted on 03/08/2014 3:20:43 PM PST by Gamecock
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To: Gamecock
Was not Lucifer himself once one of the highest Angels of God yet he fell from God's grace ..he was found fallible can any eartly church of man claim infallibility? ..the hubris of a man in making such a claim of infallibility is in fact proof of his own fallibly
14 posted on 03/08/2014 3:43:47 PM PST by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
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To: Salvation

Just 100 copies of one that hardly anyone could read.

15 posted on 03/08/2014 3:55:38 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (HELL, NO! BE UNGOVERNABLE!)
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To: ex-snook
Two things that the Bible states are not accepted by Protestants. 1]Church was founded on Peter 2] This is my body. They come up with work-arounds.

Rather, two things among many things that Rome states but which are not actually taught by the Bible, 1] The Church was founded on Peter [and all that means] 2] This is my body to be eaten to gain spiritual and eternal life.

I just posted a little on the former today , and the latter has been refuted often times here, but i have never seen you on the RF, so maybe you want to try to make a case for either or both.

16 posted on 03/08/2014 4:01:22 PM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Gamecock; metmom; boatbums; caww; presently no screen name; redleghunter; Springfield Reformer; ...
For your information.

Thanks. Good resource and which i have referenced here before.

But as regards information, here is some on the context of the Reformation, which shows it was needed.

At the time of the Reformation, the Catholic historian Paul Johnson described the existing social situation among the clergy:

Probably as many as half the men in orders had ‘wives’ and families. Behind all the New Learning and the theological debates, clerical celibacy was, in its own way, the biggest single issue at the Reformation. It was a great social problem and, other factors being equal, it tended to tip the balance in favour of reform. As a rule, the only hope for a child of a priest was to go into the Church himself, thus unwillingly or with no great enthusiasm, taking vows which he might subsequently regret: the evil tended to perpetuate itself.” (History of Christianity, pgs 269-270)

In the summer of 1536, Pope Paul III appointed Cardinals Contarini and Cafara and a commission to study church Reform. The report of this commission, the Consilium de emendanda ecclesiae, was completed in March 1537. The final paragraphs deal with the corruptions of Renaissance Rome itself:

the swarm of sordid and ignorant priests in the city, the harlots who are followed around by clerics and by the noble members of the cardinals’ households …”

The immediate effects of the Consilium fell far below the hopes of its authors and its very frankness hampered its public use. … the more noticeably pious prelates [note: this the “noticeably pious” clergy] had no longer to tolerate the open cynicism of the Medicean period, and when moral lapses by clerics came to light, pains were now taken to hush them up as matters of grievous scandal.” — A.G. Dickens, “The Counter Reformation,” pp. 100,102)

honest manners should flourish in this city and church, mother and teacher of other churches … [yet] whores perambulate like matrons or ride on muleback, with whom noblemen, cardinals, and priests consort in broad daylight …” (cited in Denis R. Janz, “A Reformation Reader, Primary Texts with Introductions,” pg 406.

Let us hear the avowal of the learned cardinal Bellarmine: [Concio XXVIII. Opp. VI. 296; Colon. 1617.] “Some years before the rise of the Lutheran and Calvinistic heresy, according to the testimony of those who were then alive, there was almost an entire abandonment of equity in the ecclesiastical judgments; in morals no discipline, in sacred literature no erudition, in divine things no reverence; religion was almost extinct.”

In the same candid spirit is the following statement of de Mézeray, the historiographer of France: [Abrege’ Chronol. VIII. 691, seqq. a Paris, 1681.]

As the heads of the Church paid no regard to the maintenance of discipline, the vices and excesses of the ecclesiastics grew up to the highest pitch, and were so public and universally exposed as to excite against them the hatred and contempt of the people. We cannot repeat without a blush the usury, the avarice, the gluttony, the universal dissoluteness of the priests of this period, the licence and debauchery of the monks, the pride and extravagance of the prelates, and the shameful indolence, ignorance and superstition pervading the whole body...

These were not, I confess, new scandals: I should rather say that the barbarism and ignorance of preceding centuries, in some sort, concealed such vices; but,, on the subsequent revival of the light of learning, the spots which I have pointed out became more manifest, and as the unlearned who were corrupt could not endure the light through the pain which it caused to their eyes, so neither did the learned spare them, turning them to ridicule and delighting to expose their turpitude and to decry their superstitions.”

Bossuet* in the opening statements of his “Histoire des Variations,” admits the frightful corruptions of the Church for centuries before the Reformation; and he has been followed in our own times by Frederic von Schlegel [Philosophy of History, 400, 401, 410, Engl. Transl. 1847.] and Möhler. [Symbolik, II. 31, 32, Engl. Transl.] While all of them are most anxious to prove that the Lutheran movement was revolutionary and subversive of the ancient faith, they are constrained to admit the universality of the abuses, which, in the language of Schlegel, “lay deep, and were ulcerated in their very roots.” — Charles Hardwick A History of the Articles of Religion -

In addition is the prior historical disarray and Catholic confusion. As German Roman Catholic theologian Joseph Lortz states,

"Long before the Reformation itself, the unity of the Christian Church in the West had been severely undermined." This is in reference to the Western Schism, of which Lortz writes,

The real significance of the Western Schism rests in the fact that for decades there was an almost universal uncertainty about where the true pope and the true Church were to be found. For several decades, both popes had excommunicated each other and his followers; thus all Christendom found itself under sentence of excommunication by at least one of the contenders. Both popes referred to their rival claimant as the Antichrist, and to the Masses celebrated by them as idolatry. It seemed impossible to do anything about this scandalous situation, despite sharp protests from all sides, and despite the radical impossibility of having two valid popes at the same time. Time and time again, the petty selfishness of the contenders blocked any solution...

The split caused by the Western Schism was far from being merely the concern of theologians; no area of public or private life remained untouched; even the economic sphere was affected, mainly because of disputes in regard to the possession of benefices. Provinces of the Church, religious orders, universities, even individual monasteries and parish houses were divided. For decades, all experienced this profound division in all sectors of daily life. Good people on both sides, even saints, were not only unable to bring about unity, but in their allegiance to one or the other of the contenders they themselves were in sharp opposition. We find, for example, St. Catherine of Siena on the Roman side and St. Vincent Ferrer on that of Avignon.

Furthermore, the settlement of the Schism at the Council of Constance did not really solve the problem. The triumph of the Conciliar Theory at Constance, and even more at Basel, extended the life span of the Schism from 1378 to 1448, when it finally came to an end in the person of the Antipope Felix V. The confusion and uncertainty about the valid pope and the true Church is manifest in the amazing twists in the allegiance of Nicolaus of Cusa and Aeneas Silvio dei Piccolomini, later to become Pius II, both of whom had begun by defending the Conciliar Theory in its most radical form.

This was an experience shared by the entire West — one which would leave its imprint in Western consciousness for a long time to come. The memory of this experience was still fresh a century later. It is not too difficult to see the effects of the Western Schism in preparing the way for the doctrines of the Reformation. When Luther asserted that the pope of Rome was not the true successor of Saint Peter and that the Church could do without the Papacy, in his mind and in their essence these were new doctrines, but the distinctive element in them was not new and thus they struck a sympathetic resonance in the minds of many. Long before the Reformation itself, the unity of the Christian Church in the West had been severely undermined (pp. 35-37;

The Avignon Papacy (1309-76) relocated the throne to France and was followed by the Western Schism (1378-1417), with three rival popes excommunicating each other and their sees. Referring to the schism of the 14th and 15th centuries, Cardinal Ratzinger observed, "For nearly half a century, the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication by one pope or another, and, in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side.

The Church no longer offered certainty of salvation; she had become questionable in her whole objective form--the true Church, the true pledge of salvation, had to be sought outside the institution. It is against this background of a profoundly shaken ecclesial consciousness that we are to understand that Luther, in the conflict between his search for salvation and the tradition of the Church, ultimately came to experience the Church, not as the guarantor, but as the adversary of salvation. <font><i> <font size="1"> — Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for the Church of Rome, “Principles of Catholic Theology,” trans. by Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, S.N.D. (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989) p.196). </i> </font>

Of which the Catholic Encyclopedia (Council of Constance) states,

....after nearly forty years of disastrous life; one pope (Gregory XII) had voluntarily abdicated; another (John XXIII) had been suspended and then deposed, but had submitted in canonical form; the third claimant (Benedict XIII) was cut off from the body of the Church, "a pope without a Church, a shepherd without a flock" (Hergenröther-Kirsch). It had come about that, whichever of the three claimants of the papacy was the legitimate successor of Peter, there reigned throughout the Church a universal uncertainty and an intolerable confusion, so that saints and scholars and upright souls were to be found in all three obediences. On the principle that a doubtful pope is no pope, the Apostolic See appeared really vacant, and under the circumstances could not possibly be otherwise filled than by the action of a general council.

Under the circumstances the usual form of papal election by the cardinals alone (see CONCLAVE) was impossible, if only for the strongly inimical feeling of the majority of the council, which held them responsible not only for the horrors of the schism, but also for many of the administrative abuses of the Roman Curia. —

17 posted on 03/08/2014 4:09:58 PM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Salvation; UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
PLEASE tell me what Bible was printed by the Gutenberg press?????

Irrelevant, as the issue is not whether Rome printed Bibles, but whether they promoted easy access for personal reading of it as available by the laity, or hindered it, with the latter being the case for hundreds of years, contrary to early times.

And as the devil works to both keep the Bible out of the hands of souls and to impugn its authority, for decades Rome has taught liberal revisionism in its own sanctioned notes in her own main Bible for America.

What Bible you have read for decades in Mass and at home?

18 posted on 03/08/2014 4:17:33 PM PST by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Gamecock
It never ceases to amuse me the many times FRoman Catholics display their Luther schizophrenia, AKA, Luther Derangement Syndrome (LDS), here. One time they will post a partial quote when they imagine it helps their viewpoint, but, in nearly the next breath, they will condemn the man. It doesn't seem to sink in, either, that we don't follow Martin Luther as if he was/is the Pope of all Christians who aren't Roman Catholic. Thanks for posting the entire article from White. Though I doubt it, maybe some will be convinced to hesitate before they toss this out at the next opportunity.
19 posted on 03/08/2014 4:24:35 PM PST by boatbums (Simul justis et peccator.)
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To: Gamecock
Luther: The Infallible Church Declared The Contents of Scripture

It had PLENTY of time to include what is now called 'tradition' into the book.

If TIC had done so; way back in the day; there'd be no arguing over it now.


20 posted on 03/08/2014 4:38:22 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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