Vatican: Catholics now recognize Martin Luther as a ‘witness to the gospel’

Vatican: Catholics now recognize Martin Luther as a ‘witness to the gospel’

[Is a “witness to the gospel” the same as a doctor of the Church?]

John-Henry Westen

ROME, January 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A newly released document from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Christian Unity promotes the upcoming January 18-25 ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’ with the theme ‘Reconciliation: The love of Christ compels us.’ Encouraging commemorations in all dioceses of the world, the Pontifical Council notes the theme is drawn from the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. In 2017, it says, “Lutheran and Catholic Christians will for the first time commemorate together the beginning of the Reformation.” The text also states that “Catholics are now able to hear Luther’s challenge for the Church of today, recognizing him as a ‘witness to the gospel.’”

The announcement follows on the heels of Pope Francis’ controversial trip to Lund, Sweden, where he joined in the launch of the 500th year anniversary of the most devastating split in Christianity in its history. The Lutheran Church of Sweden to which Pope Francis went for the celebration accepts contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and female clergy, all of which are strictly and unalterably forbidden in the Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, the Vatican is pushing the joint celebration of the Reformation focusing on the common element of “Jesus Christ and his work of reconciliation as the center of Christian faith.”

The theme of the week of Christian unity has Vatican watchers wondering if the Pope may announce that in certain limited cases intercommunion for Protestants might be possible. The Pope suggested such previously in an informal talk at a Lutheran parish in Rome where in November 2015 he told a Lutheran woman asking about receiving Communion with her Catholic husband to “go forward” guided by individual conscience.

That suspicion was given momentum last month when Cardinal Walter Kasper, one of the Pope’s closest advisors, said he hoped that the Pope’s “next declaration opens the way for shared Eucharistic communion in special cases.”

Eucharistic intercommunion is the main desire for Lutheran and Catholic leaders involved in the Papal participation in the Lutheran commemoration. Swedish Professor Dr. Clemens Cavallin in an essay on “Sweden and the 500-year reformation anamnesis” notes that the Church of Sweden webpage states explicitly about the pope’s visit: “What we foremost wish is that the common celebration of the Eucharist will be officially possible. This is especially important for families where members belong to different denominations.”

The severity of the change, if implemented, was stressed by Monsignor Nicola Bux, a former consulter to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. If the Church were to change its rules on shared Eucharistic Communion, it would “go against Revelation and the Magisterium,” leading Christians to “commit blasphemy and sacrilege,” Bux told Ed Pentin of the National Catholic Register.

Regarding the Eucharist, Lutherans have a fundamentally different faith from Catholics, who believe that during the consecration at Mass the bread used becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ while still looking like bread. Lutherans believe in a fleeting presence – that while Christ is present in the bread during the service, it is just normal bread again outside the service.

The approach of Pope Francis to a joint commemoration of the Reformation is partially based on a “naïve” understanding of the theological dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics, according to former Anglican, now Catholic priest Fr. Dwight Longenecker. Fr. Longenecker points to this statement of Pope Francis about Martin Luther as problematic: “Today, Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err.”

Pope Francis draws his enthusiasm for this agreement on a Joint Declaration between Catholics and Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification. However, Fr. Longenecker points out that the Vatican issued a detailed official clarification document wherein Pope Benedict (while still serving as Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) pointed out that there was not a consensus between Catholics and Lutherans on the understanding of justification. “The level of agreement is high, but it does not yet allow us to affirm that all the differences separating Catholics and Lutherans in the doctrine concerning justification are simply a question of emphasis or language,” said the document. “Some of these differences concern aspects of substance and are therefore not all mutually compatible.”

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6 comments on “Vatican: Catholics now recognize Martin Luther as a ‘witness to the gospel’

  1. If all of this is true, it is infamous, possibly apostasy and utterly blasphemous.

    No Catholic in his right mind can accept this obscene insult to Christ and His Church.

  2. Over my dead body.

  3. “The text also states that “Catholics are now able to hear Luther’s challenge for the Church of today, recognizing him as a ‘witness to the gospel.’”
    People can try and defend, rationalize and twist the apostasy of the conciliar hierarchy of last fifty-five years all they want, but I’m not going to.
    This isn’t the Church I grew up in, or any Catholic grew up in since 33 AD.
    These people IMO are not only heretics but apostates of the faith!
    They are jeopardizing, and have jeopardized countless souls both inside and outside of the Church for nearly 60 years.
    IMO, I don’t believe many of these conciliar prelates even believe in a particular of final judgement, or any kind of judgement, Hell demons etc.
    I’m going to continue to follow the teachings of the Church as it has been taught for 2000 years, in spite of these evil men.

  4. How much bovine scat do they think we’ll swallow? Even the NeoCats have to be choking on all the Francis feces over the past year.

    From the “you can’t fool all the people all the time” department, Zero Hedge has this funny ditty. John Harwood Asks “Who Do You Believe America?” – Gets Surprising Answer

    CNBC Political reporter, friend of Hillary, and Democratic Party sycophant John Harwood took to Twitter last night to ask:

    “Who do you believe America? Wikileaks, or US Intel Officials?”

    The response is yet another slap in the face for the establishment’s perspective on how the world should really run…

    And that Mr. Harwood is why Donald Trump is about to become President! When will you and your ilk wake up to this?

    As Trump tweeted earlier in the week: “It is for the American people to make up their minds as to the truth.”
    [emphasis in original]

  5. Ah !!!! Can Luther Sainthood be coming next? The Church is run by Satan and Masons . One religion for all the world 🌎 is their goal. We all see how well the EU is working . The book “Rite of Sodomy,” by Randy Engels, tells the story. It should be required reading. What is going on now should be no surprise to anyone. Montini, the flagrant homosexual Archbishop of Milan and later Pope Paul, and Roncalli, a Mason and later Pope John 23rd, planned the destruction of the Church in the 30’s. Montini’s parents were leading leftists in Italy at that time. Wonder the Alinsky influence on Montini, when he was Pope, and Roncalli became a mason when he was in Turkey?? Wonder the Masonic influence in Vatican 2?? The book spells it out. One of the best books ever written on what is causing what you see in the Church today! Pope Francis and his red hat henchmen are carrying out the destruction, as we watch, the master plan of the Marxists and Masons! Unfortunately Father feel-good and his flock have no clue, or do they?

  6. How long until Bergoglio appoints a female Swedish Lutheran as a Cardinal?

    Pope Francis and Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Sweden,

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