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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Thoughts on Ecumenism or When Will Pope Francis Rehabilitate Henry VIII?

Rehabilitate Henry VIII?
  • Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke a few days ago at an ecumenical monastery in Bose, Italy at a Conference on justification, the Gospel of grace. Among other things, he said, "the ecumenical program should be formulated in the following terms: an evangelical Catholicism and a Catholic Protestantism." What the heck does that mean? If both faith's compromise we can reunify? Hey, you Catholics give up on the indissolubility of marriage and evil of abortion and the Protestants will give clergy? Yeah...don't hold your breath.
  • Kasper also said that Catholics and Protestants are part of  "the one and only body of Christ, that is the Church" and ended his talk saying, "If we do not want the Churches to empty even more, we need to focus on the core." Anyone who has followed Cardinal Kasper's convoluted reasoning at the two synods on the family could easily believe he has no core on which to focus. Everything is up for grabs -- and that, essentially describes Protestantism. Empty pews are certainly preferable to empty (non-existent) theology. Kasper and other churchmen of his ilk explain why Jesus lamented, "When I return will I find any faith on the earth?" I don't think Christ will find much at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity headed by Kasper. 
  • As I wrote a few days ago, the Orlando diocese was hosting an ecumenical prayer service with the Lutheran Church imitating Pope Francis' historic trip to Lund to celebrate the 500th anniversary of heretic Martin Luther's rebellion. The diocesan newspaper gushed over it. Nothing was said, of course, about Luther's vicious attack on the Church and the pope whom he considered the anti-Christ. As far as I can tell there was no discussion of abortion which is (or should be) a serious stumbling block since the Lutherans consider abortion legitimate in at least some cases. You can learn more about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) here
  • Luther has been so rehabilitated by Pope Francis that his statue now resides at the Vatican. Perhaps we will see someone like Cardinal Kasper suggest his canonization to further the process of Church unity. We're being told these days that Luther didn't want to break from the Church. He wanted what I suppose we could call a "new evangelization." Luther was a real innovator. He wrote a new Bible that eliminated the Letter of James and a number of other books that interfered with his vision for a new and improved Catholic Church. If we'd only listened to him we wouldn't have needed Vatican II!
  • So who's next on the list for rehabilitation? Henry VIII? We could start making plans now to celebrate the 500th anniversary in 2027 of the likely year Henry decided to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. That actually fits well with Amoris Laetitia since its 10th anniversary is 2016. Perhaps the Vatican could hold a big celebration for divorce and remarriage at St. Peters with a pontifical Mass in 2016 where "all are welcome" to receive the Body and Blood of Christ no matter their moral state. Then that could be followed by the canonization of Henry VIII in 2017. Wouldn't such a scenario appeal to the Anglicans and Episcopalians? Why should the Lutherans get all the fun? 


Susan Matthiesen said...

So...about Luther...according to Leszek Kolakowski, not a fan of Luther, "Since Christianity is about the salvation of the individual soul; and since, according to Luther, salvation is a matter of faith, which is God's gift; and since, further, neither priest nor the Pope nor the Church as a whole has the power of forgiving sins - and whatever is done by us without faith is a sin - the conclusion seems natural that the visible Church has nothing to do and should be abrogated."

Have Francis and Kasper thought of that? They really have nothing to do at all according to Lutheranism. They should just go away and be replaced by Luther and Protestantism. Basically that's what they're doing to the Catholic Church right now.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...


15 They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power.


2. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. "For in one spirit" says the Apostle, "were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free." [17] As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. [18] And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered -- so the Lord commands -- as a heathen and a publican. [19] It follows that those are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.

ABS has a rather tough time figuring out how Lumen Gentium is not contradicting Mystici Corporis but he does understand how it is that every single document of Vatican Two was submerged in the Ecumenical Waters with the predictable result of Indifferentism.

Ecumenism in the Universal Solvent of Tradition.

Anonymous said...

Mary Ann, you love history so you have to recognize that the Catholic Church has to share the blame on the reformation.

Poor weak, Pope Clement would never have been a Pope had it not been that he was bastard of the Medici's and placed there to continue to advance the families influence and fortune. The Holy Spirit was about as far from that decision as can be. Unfortunately for all involved Clement liked to play political games but he was very bad at it..he tried to play Charles and Francis off each other all the while living an extravagant lifestyle paid for by the granting favors and political graft. Clement was so busy playing politics and enjoying the high life that he totally ignored his unpopularity in Germany and the dangers that would have for the Church. He was also totally unprepared for radical rejection of papal authority (they can't ignore me, I'm the Pope) and so mishandled it by the time he turned his attention to Germany it became a permanent rejection.

So here comes narcissistic, sociopathic Henry. Clement really had no theological grounds to grant a dispensation for Henry to marry Katherine in the first place as she was married to his brother...(no one knows but I think Katherine convinced herself there was no sex in that marriage but she is still the victim in all of this..) and he so mishandled the annulment case of Henry by again procrastinating (was he hoping that Henry would grow bored with Anne and return to Katherine, or that Katherine would retire to a convent..he under estimated both of them) that it eventually led to Wosley's fall (a political player of epic proportions) that the anti-ecclaistastical parties triumph. When he FINALLY made a decision to deny the annulment, it was again too late, and resulted in the final break with Rome. Henry was a strong ritualist that would put Fr. Z to shame

I think what Pope Francis is recognizing is that Luther and the reformers (Not including Henry) did have a point...a total break from the Church, no, but the Church badly needed to embrace reform, and all of this could have been avoided if not for the total obliviousness of the Church Hierarchy, who if you want to point fingers, are just as big of villains as the reformers themselves. For Catholics to embrace a cartoon version of history (Luther BAD/Church GOOD) is to invite a repeat of that history.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I don't disagree that there was plenty of corruption in the Church. That's been true of most periods of history after the first century. I don't think that excuses heresy and Martin Luther's writings are diabolical. The Church had problems but Luther was downright evil. Here's what he said about the Mass: "[no sin of immorality] manslaughter, theft, murder and adultery is so harmful as this abomination of the Popish Mass.” [I would have] “rather kept a bawdy house or been a robber than to have blasphemed and traduced Christ for fifteen years by saying the Masses.”3

St. John Fisher certainly believed that Luther was bad. “My God!” he wrote, “How can one be calm when one hears such blasphemous lies uttered against the mysteries of Christ? How can one without resentment listen to such outrageous insults hurled against God’s priests? Who can read such blasphemies without weeping from sheer grief if he still retains in his heart even the smallest spark of Christian piety? ...”5 And that's from a saint whose martyrdom was to some degree instigated by Luther's rebellion which sparked many others.

Luther was an egomaniac who said, “Whoever teaches differently than I, though it be an angel from Heaven,let him be anathema....“I know I am more learned than all the universities. …” 7

He was also an anti-Semite. “If Moses should attempt to intimidate you with his stupid Ten Commandments, tell him right out: ‘Chase yourself to the Jews’.”10

(See more at

Fr. John Hardon, S.J. said if Luther's unpublished works were brought to light people would be shocked. The man was an egomaniac ruled by his lust. Many people think his rebellions was only about the selling of indulgences and the lavish living of the hierarchy. It wasn't. Yes, there was corruption among the priests of the time, just as there is today with our own dissenters. The German bishops with their billions of euros from the state tax come to mind. That in no way can exonerate Luther for ripping the Church apart and he should never be rehabilitated because it's impossible.

Anonymous said...

To clarify...Pope Julias gave the dispensation for Katherine and Henry to wed...I conflated he and Clement in my comment. Also..I wasn't saying Luther was a hero..but he wouldn't have been as successful as he was if the Church, the Pope and the hierarchy was not as corrupt as it was (and too short sighted to see it coming.) Its too bad its the monks, and the sisters on the ground who had to pay the price..especially in England...where the local parishes provided so many needed..what we would call "social services" that they state did not care, education, feeding of the poor, etc.