PopeWatch: Reformation

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The Pope is flying to Sweden to join in Lutheran ceremonies commemorating the Reformation.  PopeWatch thought this might be a good time to review some of Luther’s less harsh statements about the papacy.  The harsher statements, due to language, PopeWatch could not present on this blog:


What is the whole papacy but a beautiful false front and a deceptively glittering holiness under which the wretched devil lies in hiding? The devil always desires to imitate God in this way. He cannot bear to observe God speaking.

If he cannot prevent it or hinder God’s Word by force, he opposes it with a semblance of piety, takes the very words God had spoken and so twist them as to peddle his lies and poison under their name. (What Luther Says, II: 10007)

Since the papal church not only neglects the command of Christ but even compels the people to ignore it and to act against it, it is certain that it is not Christ’s church but the synagogue of Satan which prescribes sin and prohibits righteousness. It clearly and indisputably follows that it must be the abomination of Antichrist and the furious harlot of the devil. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)

Let him who does not want to be lost and go to the devil be on his guard with all diligence and earnestness against the papacy and its doctrine, and let him never again accept even the most insignificant and smallest part of the papacy’s teaching, no matter what it may cost him. Let him flee from the papacy and its following as from the devil incarnate himself, and let him by no means be silenced by the sweet, slippery words of hypocrites or be persuaded that yielding and conceding something for the sake of peace is a matter of little consequence and that the bond of love should not be disrupted for the sake of something trifling (as they represent and rationalize this to be). Come now, there is assuredly no joking in this matter; eternal salvation and eternal damnation are involved. (What Luther Says, II:1019-1020)

Can anything more horrible be said than that the kingdom of the papists is the kingdom of those who spit at Christ, the Son of God, and crucify Him anew? For they do crucify Christ…in themselves, in the church…and in the hearts of the faithful…Therefore let everyone who is honestly given to piety flee out of this Babylon as quickly as possible…. For so great are its impurity and its abomination that no one can express them in words; they can be discerned only by eyes that are spiritual. (What Luther Says, II: 1020)

My dear pope, I will kiss your feet and acknowledge you as supreme bishop if you will worship my Christ and grant that through His death and resurrection, not through keeping your traditions, we have forgiveness of sins and life eternal. If you will yield on this point, I shall not take away your crown and power; if not, I shall constantly cry out that you are the Antichrist, and I shall testify that your whole cult and religion are only a denial of God, but also the height of blasphemy against God and idolatry. (What Luther Says, II: 1069)

What kind of a church is the pope’s church? It is an uncertain, vacillating and tottering church. Indeed, it is a deceitful, lying church, doubting and unbelieving, without God’s Word. For the pope with his wrong keys teaches his church to doubt and to be uncertain. If it is a vacillating church, then it is not the church of faith, for the latter is founded upon a rock, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (Matt.16:18). If it is not the church of faith, then it is not the Christian church, but it must be an unchristian, anti-Christian, and faithless church which destroys and ruins the real, holy, Christian church. (Luther’s Works, vol. 40, Church and Ministry II, The Keys, p.348)

All this is to be noted carefully, so that we can treat with contempt the filthy, foolish twaddle that the popes present in their decrees about their Roman church, that is, about their devil’s synagogue (Rev.2:9), which separates itself from common Christendom and the spiritual edifice built up on this stone, and instead invents for itself a fleshly worldly, worthless, lying, blasphemous, idolatrous authority over all of Christendom. One of these two things must be true: if the Roman church is not built on this rock along with the other churches, then it is the devil’s church; but if it is built, along with all the other churches, on this roc, then it cannot be lord or head over the other churches. For Christ the cornerstone knows nothing of two unequal churches, but only of one church alone, just as the Children’s Faith, that is, the faith of all of Christendom, says, “I believe in one holy, Christian church,” and does not say, “I believe in one holy Roman church.” The Roman church is and should be one portion or member of the holy Christian church, not the head, which befits solely Christ the cornerstone. If not, it is not a Christian but an UN-Christian and anti-Christian church, that is, a papal school of scoundrels. (Luther’s Works, Volume 41, Church and Ministry III, Against The Roman Papacy, An Institution Of The Devil, p.311)

These arrogant and unlearned papists can’t govern the church because they write nothing, they read nothing, but, firmly saddled in the pride of possession, they cry out that the decrees of the fathers are not to be questioned and decisions made are not to be disputed, otherwise one would have to dance to the tune of every little brother. For this reason the pope, possessed by demons, defends his tyranny with the canon “Si papa.” This canon states clearly: if the pope should lead the whole world into the control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted. It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man we must lose our souls, which Christ redeemed with his precious blood. Christ says, “I will not cast out anybody who comes to me” (John 6:37). On the other hand, the pope says, “As I will it, so I command it; you must perish rather than resist me.” Therefore the pope, whom our princes adore, is full of devils. He must be exterminated by the Word and by prayer. (Luther’s Works, vol.54, Table Talk, No.441, p.330)

PopeWatch of course understands that the Pope has decided to overlook all of this due to his focusing on the main enemy confronting his papacy:  faithful Catholics who do not believe that the Church was invented in 1965.  For faithful Catholics, this pontificate is all trick and never treat.

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  1. Motives?

    What is the up take?
    What is behind this participation in celebrating the errors of Luther?

    Ecumenical outreach?

    I’m seriously asking because I don’t know why he is going to a second celebration within two months related to Protestant Church formation.

    My only naive guess is this. Unity among the churches?

  2. Phillip: That “unity” as some sort of end in itself mean’s nothing of value and could as well be the source of grave evil….as in WWII when Italy, Japan, Germany, and the U.S.S.R. were solidly unified for a while.
    There is something dangerous in chasing after virtuous sounding windmills without the underlying good sought being clearly defined.
    I think of recently abused words like, compromise, sensitivity, pastoral care, gradualism, and, oh yes, even Satan quotes scripture to its author.
    In this crazy world of ambiguity, I long for shepherds that are as “cunning as serpents” without forked tongues.

  3. Don L.

    Ambiguity is, sadly, the word that best describes the pontificate of PF.
    I asked those questions with all sincerity.
    His unity could be costly if he adapts to heretical ideas or reforms ie. women priesthood.

    Unfortunately there’s no telling what he might write or say next.

  4. The woman may not be ordained a priest unless she has a vocation, a call from God to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Since Jesus Christ did not call women to be ordained at the Last Supper, how can anyone, even the Pope, call women to Holy Orders?

  5. Motives…. try doing an online search of Sweden, Lutherans, Pope Francis, immigrants, Muslim “refugees”, Soros, raising money for “refugees” at the Lutheran get together in Lund… , Swedish Lutherans give most help to the Muslim “refugees”, …
    Very sad state of affairs…

  6. Pope what’s his name is sticking it to rigid Catholics like Donald says and playing to the cafeteria catholics. He will probably give Communion to all Lutherans in attendance at his reluctant Mass that, he thinks, may undermine his seditious visit.

  7. I may be dense, but this screed gives no concrete examples of iniquity. I know he rightly objected to selling indulgences, but I don’t even see that specifically mentioned here, although it could be elsewhere (in the “harsher” realm?) Luther was a mad-man.

  8. One of the big things that differentiates Lutherans from Catholics is the authority of the pope. So …
    not only who is he to judge, but who is he to them.

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