Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Rehab of Martin Luther

Pope Benedict XVI is a hard one to figure out. I saw a news story today that he has come out and said that Martin Luther was only trying to cleanse the church. Is he really the first Pope to figure this out? I am not a Lutheran, but I have a lot of respect for Martin Luther and what he did. It takes a lot of courage to stand in the face of that much pressure and hold fast to your convictions. Many of us may never know what it means to be challenged in such a manner. Surely his demeanor and his unwillingness to flinch in the face of that pressure should have been enough to give the Catholic church pause before now. There was no doubt that he was sincere and the perspective of time has surely shown that his gripes about indulgences and other issues were legitimate. It was just last July that the Pope said that non-Catholic Christians are "defective". I love my Catholic brothers and sisters, but I cannot in good faith be a part of the Catholic church because some of the teachings are still unScriptural in my assessment. I have had many good discussions with friends who are Catholic and I have taken many a hard look in the Bible myself at the teachings that bother me the most, but I have been unable to reconsile them. In fact, one of those issues has taken another point today. If Pope Bendict XVI is right about Luther now, then Pope Leo X was wrong to excommunicate him then. I know that they wish to limit the scope of Papal infallibility in order to prevent problems, but shouldn't a Pope be in "infallible mode" if you will when he excommunicates someone from the church?

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