The Reformation: Martin Luther’s Pathological War

mamibio74

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[QUOTE = "aragorn, post: 808058, membre: 2611"]
Excellet, Luc, merci!

Encore un autre "mythe qui est brisé" - Luther ressemble à votre envoûtant schizoïde typique. On se demande comment serait notre monde aujourd'hui, s'il n'avait pas répandu ses bêtises.
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In my opinion the world would be like that is it now because another would have fulfilled the role of Luther at another time in our history. The SDS is pushing us inexorably in the same direction.
 

luc

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If true, how can such a misunderstanding occur? The text cannot even be taken out of context if one wishes to.
This is absolutely mind-boggling indeed. If you contrast Luther's Paul interpretation with that of Engberg-Pedersen in "Paul and the Stoics", for example, it's just absurd how Luther could come up with, and get away (!) with his reading.

During my research, I also found that Protestant theologians have often engaged in a lot of what Political Ponerology would describe as "substitution" of pathological material by normal people. For example, they have desperately tried to re-introduce some kind of notion that good deeds are important. And no wonder, because Luther's rants go so completely against the most basic common sense and human decency. I mean, look at the quotes by marek above. Holy Mother!!!

BTW, thanks @marek760 for bringing up Patrick F. O'Hare's book "The Facts About Luther". It's very cheaply available on Amazon, I just ordered it and I'm very curious, I think it may provide a good overview of many of the things discussed here and then some. O'Hare was a priest writing a century ago, and he apparently "lets Luther speak for himself" in the book.

Another thing that I found interesting is that the Catholic Church was and is extremely moderate, if not silent, about the Martin Luther issue and Protestantism in general. Isn't it strange? It's as if they decided at some point to not rock the boat. But I have no idea. Obviously, of all institutions, they must know exactly what went down during the Reformation. And they should have plenty of motivation to come out against Luther and gang. Just found it curious that they don't.
 
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luc

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I think I'll have to apologize to Luc for some of my remarks.

I've allowed myself to be triggered and that wasn't helpful... :rolleyes:
No worries, and it takes courage to admit something like this. Thank you :flowers:

Also, I'm thankful for the opposition as well, because I had to look hard into my own thoughts on the matter and discovered more aspects that I didn't notice before in the process. And as I said before, when you push a certain angle like I did here, it's easy to go astray.
 

bjorn

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I certainly agree. There is an attack on Christianity and 4-D elements of the PTB may actually have gone back in time to arrange things according to their requirements.

While searching for a church that is adhering to the original tenants of Christianity we shouldn't count out the Orthodox churches which have a following of more than 200 million people in Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation.

I think the language barrier keeps most of us here from exploring their fate.

Are they being attacked too?
Good points and it certainly made me think and explore the issue.

Yes, they are under attack, externally that is. Western press propagates that Putin is rebuilding the Orthodox Church to build his power.

The reality of it is ofcourse different. Putin has long been a supporter of Christianity and Christian values within Russia. He has called for the Church to play a larger role in citizens’ social lives, better religion classes in schools, and television programs emphasizing religious values.
Thousands of churches under his leadership have been rebuild.

It's obvious that in the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.

Not only geopolitically wise, but also spiritual. Russia under Putin's leadership seems to be the main enemy.

Why is that? And shouldn't we try to figure it out? One can't help to get 'biblical' contemplating about this.

When we witness his actions, the more difficult it becomes to believe that he is driven by anything other than divine purpose.

Whether or not Putin himself is the man who will reshape the world and save us from the Hell of liberalism is inconsequential. Ultimately, the point is that what he is building in Russia, replacing the old system of communism not with ‘liberal globalism’ but with Christian principles.

I believe that the present state of difference between the East and West indicates that the Russia will become the force of liberation for the world.

The machinery of salvation will exist for any man of greatness to use after the West falls. And it is going to fall on its own - Russia does not have to do anything.

- Symbolic photo perhaps?

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luc

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I started reading Patrick F. O'Hare's book "The Facts About Luther", and so far it's fascinating. It's heavily sourced and mostly relies on Luther's own writings as well as a bunch of (mostly Protestant) historians who wrote at the end of the 19th century and pretty much figured out back then what a fraud Martin Luther was.

Sometimes, O'Hare goes on epic rants, I guess the preacher in him gets the best of him at times. And while this is certainly heavily colored by Catholic doctrine, I can understand his reaction, given the sheer amount of vulgar, incoherent blasphemy and lies Luther engaged in. Also, it gives an insight into Catholic doctrine and the Catholic mindset, which is interesting in and of itself.

What I found totally relieving and frustrating at the same time is that the book comes to pretty much exactly the same conclusion as I did after my initial research: namely that everything about Luther flows from his insane "sola fide" doctrine. In his deranged mind, he saw himself as full of sin (true enough) and couldn't see any way of being saved except for single-handedly changing Christian doctrine so that he can be saved by "faith alone", by God unilaterally saving him, no matter how many sins he commits. When he faced opposition by the Church theologians, he went on an insane crusade against everything about the Church and developed the rest of his crazy and contradictory theology.

In the foreword to the book, written in 1917, it is summed up like this:

Since the publication of Denifle’s works, the suite of events in Luther’s apostasy has had to be changed; and we see at last that the furthermost point backwards to which his cleavage from the Church can be traced is not opposition to the Papacy but the false idea which seems to have haunted him into obsession—his total impotency under temptation. It was this negation of the moral value of human actions, this denial of one’s ability to overcome sin, which led to his famous doctrine on the worthlessness of good works. The only hope he had was in a blind reliance on God, whose Son, Jesus Christ, had thrown around him the cloak of His own merits. From this starting-point, it was facilis descensus Averni. Opposition to all good works, and in particular to monastic regulations and to Indulgences, led to opposition to authority, episcopal and papal.

Germany was politically ripe for revolt at that moment, and the union of the Empire and the Papacy made it impossible to distinguish the victims, once the national spirit was aroused. That Luther aided, and aided powerfully, in this opposition to the Holy Roman Empire of both Church and State is undeniable; but what Protestant scholars have denied in no uncertain terms is the long litany of triumphs accredited to the Luther of fiction. His greatest work—the translation of the Bible into German—is openly called a plagiarism. The claim that he is the father of popular education is ridiculed by leading Protestant historians. His economic views are considered retrogressive even for his own time. The assertion that he is the founder of the modern State is denied categorically by his latest non-Catholic biographer, who tells us that he preferred despotism to democracy, and that he never doubted the right and duty of the State to persecute for heresy. The Luther of fiction is being more and more obscured by the Luther of fact. But it takes time for the conclusions of scholars to reach the multitude, and with very little limitation the old shibboleths of the middle nineteenth century are being repeated today in Lutheran pulpits, Sunday-schools, and partisan biographies.
What I found frustrating is that back when I did the research, it took me weeks of obsession, of reading all kinds of stuff including obscure theological essays, some of Luther's own words, historians and what have you, and often felt "gaslighted" and didn't know what to believe... There is so much Protestant propaganda and twisted arguments, and some of the Catholic rants didn't help either. Only after much confusion, the theory I outlined in the initial post emerged of a deeply pathological man who wanted to save himself and couldn't stand the demands God and the Church put on him. He feared the light and went to war with it, spiraling down into hell in the process. But in this book, it was all spelled out all along!

What's fascinating about all this is to see Luther and the Reformation in light of what is happening today with the SJW's, Jordan Peterson's teachings and so on. There are so many similar dynamics going on; I guess it's the age-old story of a Judas who hates God and the Light and is totally corrupted by evil in the process. All this also reminds me of Collingwood and his idea that we need to "re-enact" history. But for this to work, we need to truly understand where people are coming from - both the subject of our study AND the sources writing about them. It's not enough to say "this source has a Catholic or Protestant bias", we need to know precisely the angle from which a source is telling the story. For example, those Protestant historians writing in the 19th century IMO had an Enlightenment-focus. They wanted to know whether Luther truly was a "champion of the Enlightenment", as the Protestant myth has it, and they found out that he was nothing like that.

But back to the book: although you should keep in mind that O'Hare is a Catholic priest, I think he's very insightful and tells the truth in most of what he says. At the very least, he tells the other side of the story, and it's an important side.

To give one example: the whole Indulgence thing was nothing like what we are told. What was going on at the time when Luther started his crusade was this: the ancient St. Peter Basilica was falling apart, and the Pope(s) basically started a donation campaign to replace it with an ambitious new one. Thus there were "indulgence preachers" who went about telling people about this and that each could make a donation according to his rank (i.e. means). And according to Catholic doctrine, this would provide a very specific form of alleviation from punishment, namely temporal punishment. (There is also guilt and eternal punishment, which can only be alleviated by Confession, making amends and so on, but NOT by indulgences.) Basically, the way I understand it, is that they said: "Look, we have this important project going on, and if you donate for it according to your means, it's good for the soul." But in no way does that mean you buy tickets for future sins or can buy your way into heaven or anything like that. In fact, how is that different from any modern form of donations?

It's also interesting how modern people, tainted by the most sloppy and silly Enlightenment-thinking, cannot fathom that people back then might have actually WANTED to donate for such a project. It was after all about building a magnificent Basilica for the whole of Christendom. And look how millions around the world STILL go to Rome and see the Basilica, in awe of what religious people accomplished back then.



All this doesn't mean that there wasn't corruption going on or that the indulgence system might have been misused etc. But it's one thing to criticize specific forms of corruption, but it's another thing to set out to burn everything to the ground. Clearly, Luther and gang didn't care for the poor, as they said, but just hated God and the Church.

Caveat: I haven't cross-checked O'Hares claims about the indulgence issue.
 
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Pierre

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To give one example: the whole Indulgence thing was nothing like what we are told. What was going on at the time when Luther started his crusade was this: the ancient St. Peter Basilica was falling apart, and the Pope(s) basically started a donation campaign to replace it with an ambitious new one. Thus there were "indulgence preachers" who went about telling people about this and that each could make a donation according to his rank (i.e. means). And according to Catholic doctrine, this would provide a very specific form of alleviation from punishment, namely temporal punishment. (There is also guilt and eternal punishment, which can only be alleviated by Confession, making amends and so on, but NOT by indulgences.) Basically, the way I understand it, is that they said: "Look, we have this important project going on, and if you donate for it according to your means, it's good for the soul." But in no way does that mean you buy tickets for future sins or can buy your way into heaven or anything like that. In fact, how is that different from any modern form of donations?
The last part shows the real bone of contention between Luther and the Catholic church. The disagreement about the indulgences was just the superficial symptom of a much fundamental divergence.

After Luther's controversial writings in 1517, the Pope sent a Dominican cardinal (Thomas de Vio also know as Cajetan) to meet and discuss with Luther. 3 meetings occurred during the year 1518.

By the end of the interviews (October 1518), Luther writes to the prince Frederik of Saxe. Luther states that he's willing to make concessions on the topics of the indulgences but he refuses to make any compromise about the justification through faith.

Cajetan and Luther both agreed on the salvation that comes from the grace of Christ. For Cajetan, this grace is given to us by God, but it must also become for the individual the foundation of a new act, of a new thought, of a new way of being rooted in responsibility. On the opposite, for Luther, the subjective and personal certainty of being saved is all what is needed to reach salvation.

In other words, while Cajetan stress the role of "God" along with the free will, chosen morality and responsibility of individuals; Luther embrace the opposite stance: he removes God from the equation, he removes free will, morality and responsibility from individual and replaces it with, basically, a mere act of subjective and individual of wishful thinking: "I believe I will be saved, therefore I will be saved, no matter how badly I behave".
 

luc

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I'd like to share a little passage from the book (The Facts about Luther) which I found interesting. It describes some of the Catholic church's teachings as opposed to Luther's (see below).

I have been thinking: yes, there were and are some serious flaws in Catholicism, and some of the system is questionable. Plus, as we have discussed elsewhere in detail, the very foundations of Christianity (bible, gospels etc.) are shaky indeed, to say the least.

But at least, religious people back then HAD a system, a frame of reference in which they could talk and think deeply about some of the most important aspects of our existence here on Earth, about spiritual Truth, about evilness and how to avoid it, about the afterlife and so on. Nowadays, people even lack the basic vocabulary - they can't even talk about any of this. This makes us easy prey on the spiritual plane! We not only lack the weapons to defend ourselves, we have been duped into believing that there isn't even an attack, and that our attackers are our friends.

As for Luther, we find all the ingredients of a schizoid who, after proclaiming the schizoid declaration, projecting his own nature onto the world, that "all men are evil and sinful to the core", in complete spiritual arrogance comes up with ludicrous theories that warp and bend the natural law and turn it into a spiritual downward spiral for those who let such pathological material infect their minds.

Anyway, just some thoughts - here's the excerpt:

What the Catholic Church teaches and ever has taught her children is to trust for mercy, grace and salvation to the merits of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, she asserts that we have free will and that this being assisted by Divine grace can and must cooperate to our justification by faith, sorrow for our sins and other corresponding acts of virtue which God will not fail to develop in us if we do not throw obstacles in the way of them. Thus is all honor and merit ascribed to the Creator, and every defect and sin attributed to the creature.

The false views which have been circulated concerning man’sjustification, and which have for the last four hundred years done service against truth, originated in the erratic brain of Martin Luther, whose career evidenced the cold fact that he was incapable either of hard reasoning or clear thinking. We do not wish by this remark to insinuate that the “Reformer” was not endowed with talent of a high order, but, as every student of his history knows, his thought on serious topics most frequently was strikingly confused. He was not an exact thinker, and being unable to analyze an idea into its constituents, as is necessary for one who will apprehend it correctly, he failed to grasp questions which by the general mass of the people were thoroughly and correctly understood.

How he missed and confounded the consecrated teaching on man’s justification is a case in point. He allowed himself to cultivate an unnecessary antipathy to so-called “holiness by works” and this attitude, combined with his tendency to look at the worst side of things—and his knowledge of some real abuses then prevalent in thepractice of works—doubtless contributed to develop his dislike for good works in general. And it led him by degrees to strike at the very roots of the Catholic system of sacraments and grace, of penance and satisfaction, in fact, all the instruments or means instituted by God both for conferring and increasing His saving relationship with man. The extraordinary exaggerations of which he was guilty in this regard must be imputed, not to the Church’s teaching, but to the peculiar notions he formed of it in theconfusion of his own thoughts—as we shall see later on.

The Catholic Church has always insisted upon the necessity of being “perfect even as Our Heavenly Father is perfect,’ by such an entire subjugation of our passions and a conformity of our will with that of God, that “our conversation “ according to St.Paul, “may be in heaven” while we are yet living here on earth. This fundamental truth Luther knew well. Early in his career he ambitioned, as was right, to exemplify the teaching of the Church in his life. He desired to be perfect, to reach justificationand to become a great saint. For a time he adopted the approved and necessary means whereby his heart’s desire for perfection might be realized. In an evil moment, however, he unfortunately allowed himself to forget the indispensable necessity of humility which is the groundwork of all the virtues, and by which, says St. Bernard, “From athorough knowledge of ourselves we become little in our own estimation.”

Although this lesson was strongly enforced by Christ and His disciples, yet he seemed to entirely overlook it, and gradually he became a prey to spiritual pride, the prolific source of all evil. Dominated by this dangerous spirit, he grew careless in the use of the ordinary sane and prudent means sanctioned by all the masters of the spiritual life to acquire true peace of heart and perfect union with God. To the exclusion of all and every counsel of the experienced in the direction of souls, he, in a spirit of unbounded self-sufficiency, imagined he could acquire perfection by his own peculiar methods and exertions. As a result of his mistaken determination to reject every wise rule laid down for the acquirement of perfection, he went from one extreme to another until he exhausted himself vainly in fasts, prayers and mortifications. Moderation and common sense in his case seemed to have been unknown qualities. When at length the thought dawned on him that he had not been able in spite of all his singular, excessive, imprudent practices of piety to hide from himself the sinfulness of his nature and the continual violence of his passions, and that he had still to struggle with temptation, he was plunged more and more into sadness, desolation, and terror of God’s justice. At this time he seemed to forget that if God’s justice avenged sin, it also rewarded true virtue. He should have known that the Catholic Church, of which he was a member, never expected any of her subjects to propitiate God with their own works exclusively. She always taught her children that over and above the performance of legitimate and approved works of piety, they were directed to put their trust for the mastery of the flesh in the infinite merits of the Redeemer and discharge their duties in full reliance on Divine grace which is ever freely bestowed on all who earnestly strive to do good and avoid evil. Confidence in God and diffidence in self enable the humble, no matter what form passion may assume, ever to say with St. Paul, “I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me.” Had Luther remembered this teaching of the Church and been obedient to the directions of his spiritual guides, he would not have been carried away by his own whims and fancies to the loss of his peace of mind and to distress and anguish of soul.

In this state of inward depression, which often prostrated him with terror, he had the pity and kindly consideration of his friends. To console and afford him relief some of them recommended him to direct his attention in future more than he had in the past to greater confidence and reliance on God’s mercy which is infinite and ever ready to relieve sinners through the merits acquired by the death of Christ. The suggestion, which was not novel or unknown to him, inspired him for a time with new hope. It let a beam of sunlight into the darkness of his terror. This, however, was soon dispelled, for a reaction set in when he began to ponder over and put his own sense on the words of St.Paul, “The just man lives by faith.” By a process of reasoning peculiar to himself he construed the word “faith” to mean an assurance of personal salvation and “justification” to mean, not an infusion of justice into the heart of the person justified, but a mere external imputation of it. Having managed to connect in his own mind, and afterwards in the minds of others, the word“faith” with this unnatural meaning, he could appeal to all the passages in St. Paul’s Epistles which assert that justification is by faith and claim them as so many proofs of his newly discovered doctrine. He thinks now that self-pacification is secured and that henceforward he can dispense with all and every other virtue enjoined in Scripture and work out his salvation through “faith alone without works.” How he came to hold this unwarranted position, he tells in the following words:
In such thoughts (referring to his ill-will and anger against God), I passed day and night till by God’s grace, I remarked how the words hung together: to wit, ‘The justice of God is revealed in the Gospel’ as it is written, ‘The just man lives by his faith.’ Thence have I learned to know this same justice of God, in which the just man, through God’s grace and gift, lives by faith alone … I forth with felt I was entirely born anew and that I found a wide andunbarred door by which to enter Paradise.
In this declaration of false security, we have the beginning of Luther’s new gospel, which, needless to say, is directly and openly opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a theologian, he should have realized that his notion of the absolute assurance of salvation imparted by Faith was as false as it was unsound, and as a professor of Scripture, he should have known that faith alone is barren and lifeless apart from the meritorious works which are necessarily connected with and founded on it. To hold and declare that men are justified by faith to the entire exclusion of other Divine virtues is nothing less than a perversion of the Bible, a falsification of the Word of God, and an injury to souls called to work out their salvation along the lines plainly designated by Jesus Christ. But Luther’s self-esteem and self-conceit blinded him to the truth he once held in honor, and, instead of repelling and mastering his singular conception of salvation, as he was in duty bound to do, he held to it with unbending tenacity, developing it more and more until he finally declares in Cap. 2, ad. Gal. that “Faith alone is necessary for justification: all other things are completely optional being no longer either commanded or forbidden.” It is this doctrine which he afterwards called the Articulus stantis vel cadentis Ecclesiae; and if we cannot quite accept this description of it, at least wecan recognize that it is the cornerstone of the Lutheran andCalvinistic systems.

In Luther’s new program of salvation the living, vital, efficacious faith that manifests itself in good works, and, without which, it is impossible to please God, must no longer prevail in the minds of men. All the old teachings, practices and observances of piety, so useful and helpful for man’s justification and his deliverance from Divine vengeance, must now be forgotten and abandoned. The priesthood, sacraments, indulgences, intercessory prayer, fasts, pilgrimages, all spiritual works must be displaced to make way for his miserable, degrading, and colorless invention of faith without works. In his special system he wanted none of the old means for gaining eternal life. They were considered antiquated, unavailing and worthless. In his estimation it was not possible for man to perform any works which were really good and acceptable to God. Man was so depraved in consequence of the fall of Adam and Eve that he became totally corrupt, both in his intellect and his will, and was consequently incapable till regenerated of thinking, willing or doing any good thing. All his actions, therefore, even those which were most strictly accordant with the precepts of the natural and Divine law, were “evil and only evil and that continually.” “Corruption hung over man forever and tainted everything he did. All the works of man before justification were damnable sins; and all the works of man after justification were so sinful in the sight of God that, if He were to judge them strictly, everyone would be damned.” In commentingon one of the Psalms, he makes this horrible statement:
Conceived in sorrow and corruption, the child sinseven in his mother’s womb, when, as yet, a merefetus, an impure mass of matter, before it becomes ahuman creature, it commits iniquity and incursdamnation. As he grows the innate element ofcorruption develops. Man has said to sin, ‘Thou artmy father,’ and every act he performs is an
offense against God; and to the worms, ‘You are mybrothers,’ and he crawls like them in mire andcorruption. He is a bad tree and cannot producegood fruit; a dung-hill and can only exhale foulodors. He is so thoroughly corrupted that it isabsolutely impossible for him to produce goodactions. Sin is his nature; he cannot help committingit. Man may do his best to be good, still his everyaction is unavoidably bad; he commits a sin as oftenas he draws his breath. (Consult Wittenb. III. 518)
These were favorite sayings of Luther. Thus, if we are to believe him, every action of an unregenerate person, however just, generous or noble, is utterly perverse and corrupt. On the other hand, he maintained, “no action that was bad would bring the regenerate man under condemnation, because he was justified by faith; nor were his good actions, in even the slightest degree, meritorious, because they were done entirely through the grace given him by the Holy Ghost.” He further states that “the nature of man is so corrupted that it can never be regenerated and sin will remain in the soul, even of the just, forever. God’s allpowerful grace does not cleanse from sin. The Almighty does not regard the sins of men. He covers them over with the merits of Christ and does not impute them to the sinner whose faith in the sufferings of the Redeemer is made manifest.” This is the effect of faith, which, he says, “tends to prevent cur filth from stinking before God.” (Walch XIII. 1480.)

Over and over again Luther asserted that man could not be just, but, in his desire of novelty, he thought there must be some way never known before whereby man could be made just, and so after a display of loose thinking, his wonderful ingenuity for mischief invented the theory of justification by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ and not as heretofore by the communication of His justice. He says:
Christ has suffered for our sins and has fulfilled thelaw for us. We have only to believe in Him and bybelieving in Him, take hold, as it were, of His meritsand put them on like a cloak. If we do that, althoughimperfect and unholy, we shall be saved andconsidered just, not for anything that God made us,not for regeneration, or transformation, orsanctification but for the righteousness of Christ,who in Himself was infinitely holy. All that man hasto do is to remain passive; he must not attempt to doanything himself for his salvation. This would bepresumption.
Man must remain with regard to all things, which pertain to the salvation of the soul, as Luther states in his comment on Genesis19:26, “like the statue of salt into which the wife of Lot waschanged; to the trunk of a tree or a stone, like a statue, lifelessand having no use of either eyes, mouth or other senses or of aheart.” “To be a Christian means to have the Evangelium and to believe in Christ. This faith brings forgiveness of sins and Divine grace; it comes solely through the Holy Ghost, who works it through the word without any co-operation on our part. . . . Man remains passive and is acted upon by the Holy Ghost just as clay is shaped by the potter.” (Tischr. II. C. 15. § 1.)

This view of justification was forthwith made the fundamental dogma of the new religion Luther formulated for the world’s acceptance. From the time this false doctrine was first announced, his followers in heresy have been taught to believe that men are saved by faith alone and that good works are altogether unnecessary. “The Gospel,” Luther falsely declares,“teaches nothing of the merits of works; he that says the Gospel requires works for salvation, I say, flat and plain, is a liar.”(Table Talk, p. 137, Hazlitt.) If men believe in Christ, they are told, and accept Him as their personal Savior, His justice will be imputed to them and they will go straight to Heaven. It does not matter what evil hey have done during their lives; it does not matter whether or not they repent of their sins; it does not matter whether or not, at the moment of death, they have compunction, contrition or attrition, or, are in a state of grace - if they have faith they will be saved.
 

genero81

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The global power of the Roman popes, and their amazing capacity to mobilize the Western warrior class, had grown in the tenth century when German king Otto I had made alliance with the local ruling family of the Latium, the counts of Tusculum, who had by then established a hereditary right on the bishopric of Rome, but who exerted no authority beyond the Latium. The Roman pope (from the Greek papa, a Greek word that had hitherto been applied respectfully to every bishop) and the German emperor thus cofounded the Holy Roman Empire, in imitation and as a challenge to the patriarch and the basileus of Constantinople. In the next two centuries, the power of the popes continued to grow, through constant struggle with the German emperors, especially those of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. The popes resorted to their newly invented psychological weapon of excommunication, which could be used to undermine any sovereign’s authority. In the middle of the eleventh century, triumphant popes developed a radical political vision of their own universal empire, best summarized by the Dictatus Papae, a series of 27 statements by Pope Gregory VII, which included the following claims: “1. That the Roman church was founded by God alone. 2. That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal. 3. That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops. […] 8. That he alone may use the imperial insignia. 9. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet. 10. That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches. 11. That his title [Pope] is unique in the world. 12. That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors. […] 19. That he himself may be judged by no one. […] 22. That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness. 23. That the Roman pontiff, if he have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made holy by the merits of St. Peter. […] 27. That he may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.” In their attempt to establish this new world order, the Gregorian reformers employed an army of legists who elaborated a new canonical legal system to supersede customary feudal laws. Almost all popes between 1100 and 1300 were jurists, and they transformed the papacy into a huge international judicial machine.139 The “Donation of Constantine,” a forgery made in a pontifical scriptorium, constitutes the centerpiece of the legal basis they needed for their formidable claims. By this document, the Emperor Constantine supposedly transferred his authority over the western regions of the empire to Pope Sylvester I, making the pope the supreme sovereign of all western kings. The false donation also bestowed on the papacy “supremacy over the four principal sees, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Constantinople, as also over all the churches of God in the whole earth.” So it also served in the pope’s struggle with the patriarch of Constantinople, which ultimately led to the Great Schism of 1054. Other arguments used in support of the pope’s pretense at world supremacy included the claim to be sitting on the throne of Saint Peter, Christ’s first disciple, supposed to have been martyred in Rome. The origin of this tradition is disputed; the New Testament says nothing of Peter’s travel to Rome, and assumes that Peter simply remained the head of the Jerusalem church. And the earliest sources mentioning Peter’s presence in Rome, the writings of Peter’s supposed immediate successor Clement of Rome, are today recognized as forgeries. There is something Levitical in the papal authoritarian legalism of the Gregorian Reform, its fraudulent international law, and its transformation of articles of faith into binding laws. The whole theocratic papal ideology appears to be directly inspired by the political project of the Deuteronomic school: a world order placed under the supreme authority of a caste of priests. The Roman church’s vision of sin, penance, and salvation is likewise legalistic, but also monetary in essence, in sharp contrast to the original conception of the Greek fathers that stressed man’s potential for deification (theosis), rather than his need to extirpate himself from sin.140 With his associates, Pope Gregory VII, a former financier (born Hildebrand, a family of bankers to this day) turned the Church into an institution of spiritual credit. Their accounting conception of sin would lead to the traffic of indulgences, which would later revolt Martin Luther and launch the Reformation.

Guyénot, Laurent. From Yahweh to Zion (pp. 151-153). Kindle Edition.
 

thorbiorn

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I started reading Patrick F. O'Hare's book "The Facts About Luther", and so far it's fascinating. It's heavily sourced and mostly relies on Luther's own writings as well as a bunch of (mostly Protestant) historians who wrote at the end of the 19th century and pretty much figured out back then what a fraud Martin Luther was.
On The Roman Catholic Understanding of Martin Luther there is a review, by a protestant?, on the Roman Catholic view on Martin Luther listed in a chronological order, which also includes a summary of the points made by O'Hare. In the short list below I have added the years the people lived, when possible:
The Roman Catholic Perspective of Martin Luther (Part One)
By James Swan
I. Introduction
II. Johannes Cochlaeus (1479 - 1552)
III. Heinrich Denifle (1844 – 1905)
IV. Hartmann Grisar (1845 – 1932)
V. Catholic Encyclopedia (1910)
VI. Patrick O'Hare: The Facts About Luther (1917)
VII. Other Catholic Anti-Luther Writers
Professor Conrad Wimpina (1518)
Sylvester Prieras (1519)
John Pistorius The Younger (Late sixteenth century)
Ignaz Dollinger (mid nineteenth century)
Johannes Janssen (late nineteenth century)
Hilaire Belloc (early twentieth century)
Jaques Maritain (1950)
Remigius Baumer (1980)
VIII. Conclusion
http://www.ntrmin.org/The%20Roman%20Catholic%20Understanding%20of%20Martin%20Luther%201.htm#a6

Below are more views on Luther and or protestantism from Catholic, or Orthodox perspectives:
The following is Catholic: The accomplishments of Martin Luther, prince of the heresiarchs -<br> Part One: Why Luther is the heresiarch <i>par excellence</i> and The accomplishments of Martin Luther, prince of the heresiarchs -<br> Part Two: Luther's theology was "Solus Lutherus" which has:
V The Patrimony of Martin Luther
Luther’s patrimony subsists not only in the Protestant sects, but for the last fifty years also in the heart of the Catholic Church Herself and in the modern mentality in general.

Among Catholics today we discern Luther’s patrimony (and that of Protestantism) in the doctrines, at times mixed up with Catholic doctrines, of the self- interpretation of Holy Scripture, of the Church as solely an institution of men and as sinful, and of the Holy Mass as “a commemorative meal” where the Priest acts merely as “president”.

We discern it, moreover, in that radical subjectivism widely diffused amongst Catholics of to-day who seem incapable of understanding that the Faith is objectively true, which they must thus profess and teach as such; instead of seeking communion with other Confessions or religions in the name of an indefinite and vague ecumenism; a radical subjectivism in opposition to the concepts of dogma, heresy, and anathema; an individualism that seeks a direct relationship with God in all things, setting aside the Church, the priesthood or Sacraments, and in particular the Sunday Mass and Confession.

Protestant elements are especially found in the charismatic movement inside the Catholic Church to the extent that this amounts to an abandonment of the Church, dogmas, and Sacraments, in favour of a direct relationship with God.

These elements are most clearly present in the charismatic group known as the 'Neocatechumenate' (at least before its recent reform by the Vatican) which proclaims the radical sinfulness of man, denies the true nature of the Church, the sacramental priesthood, the sacrificial nature of the Holy Eucharist in favour of a conception of “supper” or feast, denies the Real Presence (at least in the fragments of the Most Blessed Sacrament), harbours doubts regarding Transubstantiation, plays down the Sacrament of Penance, and teaches the self- interpretation of Holy Scripture.

Regarding the relationship of Lutheranism and Protestantism with the modern mentality, they are part of, or promote, that great current of subjectivism that smoothed the way for Descartes, for idealism and for modern philosophy in general, which draws the world away from God, from the True, the Good and the Beautiful, towards atheism and nihilism.

In the light of these considerations it is difficult to understand the reasons why a Catholic would wish to extol the achievements of Martin Luther.

The next is an Orthodox view on Matin Luther:

In July 1519, Martin Luther, the founder of the Reformation which would ultimately give rise to what we call the Protestant churches, engaged in a debate with a famous Roman Catholic apologist named Johann Eck in Leipzig.​
Eck was a Papalist, meaning he was in favor of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the primacy of the Pope over the entire Church, a doctrine that was unknown to the Early Church and never accepted by the Holy Orthodox Church. Martin Luther, too, was against this doctrine, albeit for entirely different reasons. As a young Roman Catholic monk-priest, Luther had questioned several points of Roman Catholic doctrine, including things like indulgences, purgatory, and of course, papal primacy. Sadly, the one doctrine Luther did not question was the worst of them all, the Filioque, or the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son (as opposed to the Father only), which he accepted and even included in his statements of faith, like the Augsburg Confession.​
The debate between Luther and Eck focused on many of these issues, especially papal primacy.​
When Eck argued that the fullness of the Christian Church lay in Rome under the authority of the Pope, Luther did something that would surprise both Evangelicals and Orthodox alike today. He invoked the Orthodox Church as an example of true Christianity for the past thousand years. Indeed, he held up the Orthodox Church as a source of truth to show that the Roman Catholic Church had deviated from the principles of the Early Church. Archpriest Josiah Trenham even quotes Luther as saying, “The truth lies with the Greeks” (i.e. Orthodox) in his recent book, Rock and Sand.
Sadly, despite several respectful exchanges between the Holy Orthodox Church and the Protestant reformers in the subsequent decades, the latter were not willing to abandon the numerous innovations in the faith that they had introduced in the Reformation. Even more tragic is the fact that the nature of the Reformation itself, which gave every Protestant the right to interpret the Holy Scripture and the faith in his own way, gave rise to countless divisions among Protestants, which is why we see an endless list of different Protestant churches like Lutheran, Baptist, non-denominational, etc. in our society. Although they came from the same 16th c. Reformation led by Martin Luther, they are hopelessly divided on matters of faith. In fact, many prominent non-denominational churches today would consider Martin Luther a heretic or at least misguided, because he stood for things like Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, the Ever-Virginity of the Holy Theotokos Mary, and the pure example of the saints of the Church. Most modern Protestants have never heard such things preached in their gatherings.​
The sad irony here is that Martin Luther rebelled against the primacy of the Pope of Rome and actually saw the truth of Holy Orthodoxy, but unfortunately, he chose to make everyone a pope instead, which led to even more division and confusion.​

There is growing interest in Martin Luther in the Orthodox Church says Ecumenical Patriarch has
THERE IS GROWING INTEREST IN MARTIN LUTHER IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH SAYS ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
Moscow, June 9, 2017
Photo: The Tablet
Photo: The Tablet​
The Orthodox Church has been taking an active and increasing interest in the person and works of Martin Luther lately, according to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Constantinopolitan primate expressed this opinion during a speech at Germany's Tübingen University on May 30, the day after receiving an honorary doctorate for his work in promoting the Orthodox-Protestant dialogue, as part of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, reports the Catholic news agency The Tablet.​
The Patriarchate of Constantinople entered into a bilateral theological dialogue with the Evangelical Church of Germany in 1969.​
As previously reported, during his own visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople in September 2016, Heinrich Bedford-Strom, Chairman of the Council of German Evangelical Churches, told His All-Holiness that “it would be a special honor” if the patriarch would attend the celebrations in Wittenberg and Tübingen.​
The patriarch accepted, and arrived in Stuttgart on Sunday, May 28, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Evangelical Theology and History Department in Tübingen the next day. He was also presented with the German translation of his book Encountering the Mystery, and attended a two-day symposium on Evangelical and Orthodox theology.​
In his speech, His All-Holiness stated that interesting is growing in the Orthodox Church particularly in Luther’s concept of freedom, which he views as of “epochal significance.” Patriarch Bartholomew welcomes this new direction of investigation, as Luther’s ideas on freedom were a turning point in the history of the understanding of freedom, and are therefore very important for Christianity’s engagement with the modern world that bears a notion of self-centered freedom, which ultimately leads to self-isolation and which is far removed from the Christian understanding of freedom as a gift of God.​
The teaching of Luther, who, conversely, Romanian elder Cleopa (Ilie) referred to as “the second Arius,” is thus very important for Orthodox Churches, he stated, as their belated dialogue with the modern world is now “in full swing.”​
The Patriarch also spoke often about the fruits of the contemporary dialogue, reports the site of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, emphasizing, among other things, that Eucharistic ecclesiology has opened up new ways of discussing ecclesiological issues, noting that the term “theosis” is now approached positively by many Lutheran theologians.​
“He stressed that the intercultural dialogue must continue and that many of its positive effects in the past must be made known, and not neglected, but stressed the need for theological scholars to become new, dynamic theologians with a spirit of dialogue and with an ecumenical orientation,” the patriarchate reports.​

Patriarch Bartholomew is according to still the head and must have overseen the split of the orthodox church in Ukraine.

For an observation regarding the number of books in the protestant Bible as influenced by the opinion of Martin Luther:: Missing books of the Bible has
A Muslim, a couple of Evangelicals, a Progressive Christian, and an Orthodox Christian walk into a cafe to talk about Christianity. The Muslim points to the Protestants and says, “Why do you claim to be Bible-based when Martin Luther deleted books from the Bible? Even the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox have those books.” His question is hotly debated for some time.
But here is the answer I provided him about the Old Testament books that seemed to have disappeared somewhere between the 1500’s and the early 1900’s:
1) Martin Luther did not delete those books of the Bible. Even he didn’t have the courage to remove them. He simply put them at the end of the Old Testament (OT) and said they were of lesser importance, calling them the Apocrypha. Due to cutting costs on printing, those books were eventually removed. If you have a Bible printed before the 1900’s (which I do), it probably has those books in them. The complete removal of them, I think, is actually a fairly modern phenomenon.
From someone associated with the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate: http://www.patriarchia.ru/en/db/text/5270401.html
Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk on the Future of Christianity in Europe
On 18 September 2018, in Lisbon, A Junção do Bem Foundation organized a reception in honour of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, who is currently on a visit to Portugal. After the reception Metropolitan Hilarion delivered an address on the Future of Christianity in Europe.
Ladies and gentlemen,​
I extend my greetings to all of the conference participants. I am pleased today to be among you and have the opportunity of exchanging opinions on issues which have great significance for the Christian view of the world. One of the global problems is the future of Christianity on the continent of Europe. This topic is not only not losing its relevance, but with each year gains ever new resonance. According to statistics, Christianity is today not only the most persecuted religion (at present more than 200 million Christians are subject to persecution in more than fifty countries throughout the world)1, but also encounters new challenges which touch upon the basic moral imperatives and traditional values.​
The preaching of the Gospel appeared in Europe for the first time on the shores of the Aegean Sea. During his second missionary journey, the apostle Paul with his co-travelers, among whom was the evangelist Luke, for the first time stepped upon European soil. In Spain the first Christian communities appeared most likely in the first century AD. The apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans expressed his intention to visit Spain (see: Rom 15.28). He preached in Rome (Acts 28.30-31) and, according to the Christian tradition, the apostle Peter also preached there. By the time of martyrdom of both of these apostles there was already a strong Christian community in Rome. In the second half of the first century Christian communities existed in many cities of the Roman Empire headed by bishops who had been appointed by the apostle Paul and his disciples.​
In the second and third centuries faith in Christ continued to spread and was established mainly in those places where it had existed since apostolic times. Christianity, having been firmly established within the Roman empire, extended beyond its borders and was accepted by many peoples in Asia, Africa and Europe.​
As we know, this rapid spread of Christian teaching was aided, firstly, by the zeal and self-sacrifice of the first Christian preachers; secondly, by the holy life and behaviour of Christians, their mutual brotherly love, unshakeable resolve, belief in the truth of the Christian faith and, in particular, by the determination and joy with which they endured terrible torments for Christ; and, thirdly, by the miracles which the faithful performed both during their life and during the torments to which they were subjected.​
When confronted by the pagan cults spread among the population of Europe, the Christian faith was always the victor. Gradually it became the foundation of people’s world view and of the social and state order. The European state system was built up on the Christian basis, and Christianity became a national religion for the European countries, having had a great effect on the development of the law and public morality. The Middle Ages in Europe were already a Christian period, for at the time various spheres of private and public life were developing in accordance with the teaching of Christ.​
The Christian preachers brought to the European continent not only the ‘glad tidings,’ but also education. The Church became for people the source of literacy, and churches and monasteries – the centers of education. The largest abodes formed the first libraries, and the clergy and monastics taught the local population to read and to write.​
Inspired by the Gospel ideals, the outstanding Europeans created masterpieces in architecture, fine arts, music, and literature. These masterpieces enriched the treasury of the European culture and became the common property of the entire humanity.​
After the Middle Ages there came the Age of Enlightenment that discovered new ways and means of perceiving the world. That period saw the rise of science and new forms in fine arts and music. To this day numerous tourists find inspiration in the remarkable pieces of painting and sculpture which are based on the Gospel and New Testament stories, adorn cathedrals in the European cities or are exhibited in museums and art galleries. However, as for the world outlook, that period saw the first signs of Christianity losing its authority as the regulator of social relations. The theocentric worldview model was giving way to the anthropocentric one.​
The Modern Times only reinforced this tendency, with the idea of secularism, nihilism and relativism in spiritual and moral spheres growing in strength. The very foundations of the life of society and state were reviewed: the state became more secular, and the public morality more dependent on the bourgeois ethics. In Europe these processes were associated with the bloody revolutions of the 17th-18th centuries in England and France. These processes weakened Christianity and changed the religious landscape in Europe.​
Nowadays the majority of people living on the European continent do not identify themselves with Christianity. Data research in Great Britain shows that more than half of the country’s inhabitants – for the first time in history – do not affiliate themselves with any religion. In an opinion poll conducted by the National Centre for Social Research in Britain in 2016 there took part 2942 adults, of whom 54 percent, to the question of religious allegiance, chose ‘no religion.’ Among those aged between eighteen and twenty-five the number of non-religious is higher still – seventy-one percent. For comparison, in 1983, when similar research had only just begun, only thirty one percent of respondents said that this did not belong to any religion2.​
In continental Europe the situation looks similar: data from a European opinion poll conducted between 2014 and 2016 shows that the majority of youth (more than fifty per cent) from sixteen to twenty-nine in countries such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Sweden, Holland, Hungary, Belgium, France, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Spain do not associate themselves with any religion. In Portugal it is forty-two per cent3.​
The secular idea, which has taken over an even greater number of minds, is extremely hostile towards religion and Christianity in particular. It views religious belief as its ideological opponent.​
The philosophical backbone of secular humanism is the notion of the absolute worth of the human person and the presence of universal, so called ‘common human’ values, which supposed to be the foundation of a single world civilization. By ‘common human values’, however, are understood not only the spiritually and moral foundations of all religions which are obligatory for both religious and non-religious people (‘do not kill,’ ‘do not steal,’ ‘do not lie,’ and so on), but also many dubious ideas from the religious perspective and rooted in liberal humanist morality.​
Humanist morality proceeds from the notion that the sole factor which can limit a person’s freedom is the freedom of others: what is right is that which does not touch upon the interests of those around us; what is wrong is what impinges upon their freedom. The notion of an absolute moral norm, as well as the notion of sin, is altogether absent in contemporary humanist ethics since it rejects God and the laws he has given for human existence. Yet if morality becomes relative, then freedom becomes permissiveness because only morality is able to limit and guide towards the good a person’s free choice, From the perspective of the religious person, it is far from a fact that everything that does not impinge directly upon the interests of others is truly moral. And true freedom for the religious person is not permissiveness (even if it is limited by secular administrative and criminal legislation), but liberation from sin, the overcoming within one’s self of that that which hinders spiritual perfection.​
What, then, is the future of Christianity in Europe in the climate of an increasingly secular humanism and liberal ideas? Research conducted by the Center for the study of global Christianity at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (USA) and the Pew Research Center indicates that Europe will be the only continent in the world where the number of Christians will consistently fall: from 560 million people in 2015 to 501 million people in 20504 (according to the Pew Research Center, from 553 million people in 2015 to 454 million in 2050)5. This is a truly alarming prognosis, and it reflects the sad tendencies in Europe’s religious and philosophical picture.​
I am asked whether similar such processes are taking place on other continents, for example, America. The authors from the Pew Research Center come to an interesting conclusion: the number of non-religious people in a number of European countries (for example, Great Britain, Germany) is comparable to the number in the USA (twenty-four percent among adults are atheists, agnostics or ‘not decided’). But in practice American ‘non-believers’ turn out to be more religious that some EU citizens who identify themselves with religious population groups6. It is a paradox, but Americans, who identify themselves as ‘non-believers’, for some reason state that they absolutely believe in the existence of God. At the same time, in Western Europe this indicator – absolute faith in the existence of God among people who say they have no connection to any religion – hovers from one per cent in Austria, Germany and Great Britain to twelve per cent in Portugal.​
The surrender by the Christian churches in Europe of their position is none other than the result of three great defeats in the history of Christianity, each of which became a stepping-stone for the next retreat. The first defeat was the division of the Christian East and West with the subsequent division of Western Christendom; the second was the secularization of the divided Christian world which ensured the end of Christian states; the third was the adaptation of many divided Christian denominations to secular values and ideologies instead of Christianizing secularized ideology. The accent upon ‘modernization’, which in essence is the secularization of Christianity, was the main reason why Christianity has been more associated with the role of guarding the cultural and historical heritage and has ceased to become a living faith for people. This ‘modernization’ of Christianity is manifested not only in the acceptance but also in the justification of things in people’s and society’s lives which, if we proceed from Gospel teaching, have always been considered sinful.​
To our great regret, a number of European Protestant churches have embarked upon the path of their churches’ recognition and blessing of same-sex unions, capitulating before the secular liberal ideas of human rights and freedoms. This latter in the contemporary world is transformed into a force that is sufficient unto itself and tolerates no criticism. Certain well-organized minority groups successfully impose their will upon the majority under the pretext of observing human rights. In essence, human rights have been turned into an instrument of manipulating the majority. The time has come to speak not of liberal ideology but of a secular totalitarianism in relation to those who do not accept it.​
Pressure by the secular state upon the churches plays an important role in this. The architects of secular society have attended to the legal aspect of the issue: formally one can belong to any religion, but one will be subjected at best to criticism and at worst to persecution if one attempts to motivate one’s actions with reference to religious beliefs and freedom of conscience. For example, if you are priest and live in a country in which same-sex unions have been legalized, then you have little chance of refusing to marry this ‘couple’ and at the same remained unpunished by the state. Thus, for example, the Swedish prime minister Stefan Louven has stated that all ministers of the Church of Sweden should be obliged to marry same-sex couples using the following comparison: ‘I would make a parallel with a nurse who refuses to carry out an abortion. If you work as a nurse, then you must be able to perform an abortion, otherwise you ought to go and do something else… The same applies to ministers7.​
Today we can see how the process of legalizing vice and sin in Europe is rapidly speeding up. The list of such things is getting longer. If at first we were dealing with prostitution and abortion, then countries began to recognize same-sex relationships, euthanasia and transgenderism. At the same time, it would be wrong to say that all of this is happening with the tacit consent of the peoples of Europe themselves. We have seen demonstrations of many thousands of people in Paris against equating the traditional family with partnerships between people of a non-traditional sexual orientation. As a result, a law was adopted granting homosexual couples equal status and rights with traditional families by ignoring completely the ethical aspects of the problem, and protesters were broken up with truncheons and tear gas.​
I would like to concentrate a little on the problem of euthanasia – the legal provision for someone to die voluntarily. This combination of murder and suicide is assuming new forms of its application. Thus, in some European countries among those who can be euthanized are children, which is one of the results of a distorted interpretation of human rights. A young child does not have the capacity to act as a full citizen – for example, he cannot vote or get married as society recognizes that he does not have the sufficient ability to take responsible decisions. However, the state has given its assent to euthanasia, to the voluntary death of infants, children, girls and boys, by assuming that it (the state) thereby is following the tenets of humanism and philanthropy. We recall the case in Great Britain of the infant Charlie Gard which ignited a public discussion on the topic of what is good and what is bad from the perspective of the authority of the state. This instance is in essence a unique case of forced euthanasia: the state machine of Great Britain ‘out of the best of motives’ blocked attempts to transfer the child with a very serious illness for treatment in the USA, proposing that treatment would be of no use and it would be better to let the child die by giving it palliative care.​
Why, then, has Europe as a bastion of Christianity become today the powerhouse and engineer of these destructive processes and ideas? The contemporary modernization of Christianity in the Western world may be compared to the situation in the Russian empire before 1917. The Revolution and the dramatic events that ensued had, apart from social and political motivations, deep spiritual causes. Faith had been transformed into a formality, a custom that was to be endured. In Russia before 1917 no one, with the exception of a few, could have known that the empire would collapse and that it would be taken over by an atheist totalitarian state in such a resolute way and for such a long time.​
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has spoken of this: ‘The root destruction of the way of life – and I am speaking now of … the people’s spiritual and cultural self-awareness – was possible only because something important vanished from peoples’ everyday lives, including those from among the elite. In spite of outward prosperity and well-being, scientific and cultural achievements, less and less place was left in peoples’ lives for a living and sincere faith in God, for an understanding of the exceptional importance of values emerging from the spiritual and moral tradition8.​
I would also like to quote the words of a Catholic bishop testifying to the weakening of faith in modern-day European society and the consequences of this process. Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Papal Council for Christian Unity, notes: ‘When we expel God from our lives, then we begin to trample people down.’ He has noted several stages of the ‘expunging’ of Christian values from the European conscience in the modern period. He believes that sixty years ago heralded the beginning of the ‘feeling of a new start’: the anti-Christian ideology of Fascism had been vanquished and ‘religious people’ had now ascended to power in Europe such as Robert Shuman and Konrad Adenauer and others. However, their Christian vision of the ‘new Europe’ was not realized: by 1968 the continent has been overwhelmed by a ‘wave of de-Christianization’ based on emancipation, secularization and Marxism, while the new political elite had turned its back on Christianity. By the beginning of the 1980s the Marxist utopia had been replaced by the anti-utopia of relativism and nihilism, and the role of the Church noticeably decreased – a new stage of Europe’s ‘de-Christianization’ had come. Cardinal Koch believes that today we are witnesses to the third stage when Europeans have found themselves in the ‘grindstones’ of a secular experiment9.​
Unfortunately, human rights organizations every year document hundreds of cases of various sorts of discrimination of Christians for their beliefs. This problem that Europeans are encountering of course should be a different topic of conversation. Yet I cannot ignore the topic of the discrimination of the new Christians – the migrants from the Middle East and north Africa. They are under extreme pressure from their former countrymen who are Muslims and act aggressively against Christians as a result of the stereotypical thinking and propaganda of radical Islamists. Christians are kept in refugee camps alongside Muslims, which has become the reason why Christians there are assaulted, humiliated, raped and robbed. I call upon all of those who can influence the situation to intervene and show deep concern for the defense of Christians by offering them separate refuge. Christians in their own country have become a persecuted minority, have endured a terrible genocide from radical Islamists in Syria, Iraq, Sudan and other hot spots. And now, instead of being rescued, they continue to endure violence in refugee camps in the EU at the hands of modern-day barbarians who have also ended up as migrants.​
Aid to suffering brothers and sisters also bears a direct relation to the issue of the future of Christianity in Europe. We should be optimists and preserve hope that ahead of us will be a time of new opportunities for the testimony of faith.​
People of faith must continue their labours at all possible levels in European and international forums in vindicating the right to freedom of conscience and religion, in opposing the development of legal acts which directly or indirectly discriminate against Christians or touch upon the freedom of religion, and in fighting the imposed marginalization of Christianity and its expulsion to the borders of public life.​
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, who has created his Church in order to carry out his mission in the human world, will not desert us with his all-powerful aid and support: ‘In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’ (Jn 16.33).​
______________​
1 Report for 2018 by the Observation committee of intolerance and discrimination of Christians in Europe. Page 5 https://www.intoleranceagainstchris...load/publications/files/Report-2018-final.pdf.​
2 The numbers of non-believers in Great Britain exceeds 50% for the first time. Число неверующих в Великобритании впервые превысило 50%
3 Christianity as default is gone’: the rise of a non-Christian Europe. 'Christianity as default is gone': the rise of a non-Christian Europe.​
8 Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the opening of the XXV International Nativity Educational Readings. http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/4789256.html
9 Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk and Cardinal Kurt Koch spoke at the international conference on the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue. http://www.blagovest-info.ru/index.php?ss=2&s=3&id=44012.​
DECR Communication Service/Patriarchia.ru
Version: Russian
 

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{article}The Orthodox Church has been taking an active and increasing interest in the person and works of Martin Luther lately, according to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
This is the same Bartholomew who early this year granted independence in Ukraine of the Orthodox Church (causing much upheaval).

{article}Sadly, the one doctrine Luther did not question was the worst of them all, the Filioque, or the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son (as opposed to the Father only), which he accepted and even included in his statements of faith, like the Augsburg Confession.
This Filioque was discussed at some length in Mettan's book Creating Russophobia, yet he did not mention Luther (as he came later). Now this Filioque keeps coming around and seems to be part of the initiating West/East schism (which is interesting considering the above stance with Luther all those years later):

“In the religious area, the Byzantine patriarch, thanks to the leading role of his town, often found himself at loggerheads with the bishop of Rome. The early Church recognized the authority of the pope, but as a primus inter pares, according to Saint Peter’s formula. At that time, the pope had no power to decide on his own but only that of convening and presiding over the ecumenical councils. At the institutional level, the Church was organized into patriarchates, under the aegis of five patriarchs (Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Rome) equal under the law and whose declarations of faith had to be approved by the other four before they could exercise their magisterium.
All important decisions had to be taken by consensus during the ecumenical councils gathering all the components of Christendom. This system was thus rather democratic, and the oriental patriarchs, in particular the patriarch of Byzantium, were very attached to this mode of operation.
Thus it was according to usage and the canonical rule then in force that the Council of Nicaea adopted in 381 the Symbol, or Creed, which was originally a public declaration of faith pronounced on Good Friday by candidates to baptism. That version, adopted and recognized by all Christendom, pointed out that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father without any mention of the Son. There existed, however, here and there, variations that mentioned that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son (Filioque), without this creating any doctrinal difficulty, adoption of “and” being facultative and in keeping with the law.
As of the 6th century, recitation of the Creed became an integral part of the mass and spread in the West, notably in Spain, at Emperor Justinian’s instigation, as he saw in it a way to reaffirm his domination over that part of his empire.4 In 589, a council convened in Toledo at the initiative of Visigoth king Reccared proclaimed that the Creed must henceforth be sung during mass and must mention procession from the Father and the Son on pain of anathema. It was probably the Visigoth king’s way of affirming his adhesion to the Roman faith and rejection of Arianism (a doctrine contesting the divinity of the Son as equal to the Father’s). The version with Filioque slowly spread within the Germanic world with at first no one saying anything against it, everyone remaining free to add it or not to the Creed.
Things began to go wrong early in the 8th century when, after Charles Martel’s victory over the Arabs in 732, the Carolingians affirmed themselves as the main power in the European West. At the instigation of Pepin the Short, and then of Charlemagne, they took it into their heads to restore the Western Roman Empire with a view to reinforcing their domination over the newly conquered territories. They decided to firm up their still tottering power by using all the resources of their soft power, i.e. by imposing a liturgical reform, the Gregorian chant, as well as a Credo sung with Filioque, throughout their new empire.
To achieve his ambitions, Charlemagne enrolled a first-class lieutenant, high-flying intellectual and propaganda genius, at once minister of the Interior, of Education, and of Information: the English monk, Alcuin. By force as much as by persuasion, relying on the Germanic nations of the empire—Franks, Goths, Saxons, Visigoths—Alcuin succeeded in convincing the diffident bishops to adopt the new Creed against the will of the pope and the Latin bishops, who held to the old recited version with no mention of Filioque, as practiced by the Byzantines and the Eastern Church.
The man western imagination takes pleasure in designating as “the flowery-bearded emperor,” as the kind granddad who invented school, was in reality an enlightened but absolute autocrat, a kind of successful Stalin, who reigned as a nitpicker over not just men but also their consciences, to the extent of personally writing to Bishop Amalarius to “ask for information on instructions given to priests as to the administration of baptism as well as a report on ceremonies in use.”5
As to education, Alcuin reorganized schools and workshops of copyists of ancient texts. He wrote manuals in each subject:
Come and take a seat now, you whose function it is to transcribe divine law and the sacred monuments of our Fathers’ wisdom. Be careful not to let frivolous words into such grave matters; make sure your unthinking hand will make no error. Studiously search for pure texts so that your pen, in its swift flight, follows the right path...

Excerpt From: Guy Mettan. “Creating Russophobia.” iBooks.
 

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Johannes Reuchlin, the greatest humanist scholar of his time after Erasmus, defended the Jews.197 Reuchlin immersed himself in Jewish writings and published in 1506 De rudimentis Hebraicis, the first Hebrew grammar by a non-Jew. He was interested in Kabbalah, which he combined with Neoplatonic magic in his book De verbo mirifico (The Magic Word). Kabbalah is an outgrowth of Talmudism particularly popular in Marrano circles. Its founding text, the Zohar (Book of Splendor), presents itself as having been written in the second century CE by Simeon bar Yochai Rabbi, hidden in a cave, and fortuitously rediscovered in the thirteenth century by Moses de Leon in a market of Spain. Needless to say, academic research ascribes authorship to Moses de Leon himself; the book’s antiquity is factitious. The basic principle of Kabbalah is the sacralization of the Hebrew language: since it is the language of God, by which God created the world, it follows that the knowledge of sacred words and their numeric meanings (associated with angelic powers) grants a demiurgic power to the kabbalist. Reuchlin defended the Talmud and Kabbalah before the emperor, against the Dominicans. He considered these Jewish books “the speech and the most sacred words of God.” His erudition, aided by the corruption of certain officials, managed to overturn the imperial order to destroy Jewish books. The debate continued for more than a decade in the universities, motivating many books in both camps. In 1517, Reuchlin published De arte caballistica, dedicated to Pope Leo X. In 1533, Cornelius Agrippa, inspired by Reuchlin, published De occulta philosophia. Thus did kabbalistic occult inspiration take root in the Christian West. Humanist thinkers, opposed to the Christian foundations of their society, sided with Reuchlin and campaigned against the Dominicans. They counted among their ranks such Marranos as Fernando de Rojas, author of the famous Celestine (1499). Pope Leo X (1513–1521) took the side of Reuchlin, who dedicated his De arte caballistica to him in 1517. Leo X, whose real name was Giovanni Médici, came from the powerful Florentine family of the Medici, a “race of usurers” according to Machiavelli, owners of the most important bank in Europe, founded in 1397.198 The Medicis were closely linked to the Abravanel clan, and favored the immigration into Tuscany of Jews from Spain and the Balkans. Leo X made the papacy hated by his immoderate use of indulgences to fill the coffers of the Vatican. Let us take a brief detour to discuss the Kabbalah, emphasizing its role in the birth of Zionism, through prophecies of the return of the Jews to Palestine, notably in the Zohar. Though the Kabbalah was born in Spain in the thirteenth century and spread, under a veil of secrecy, in Italy and Germany in the fourteenth century, it was at the end of the fifteenth century that it became an important part of Judaism, especially among crypto-Jews, who found in its occult dimension a resonance with their own hidden condition. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 triggered a great craze for Kabbalah, while accentuating its double messianic-apocalyptic dimension.199 The Marranos found themselves better placed than the unconverted Jews to influence the Church with regard to kabbalistic prophecies. Thus, Solomon Molcho (1500–1532), born in Portugal to a Marrano family, rose to the post of royal secretary in the High Court of Justice, met the Pope, and tried to convince him to form an army of Marranos and attack the Ottoman Empire in order to liberate Palestine for the Jews. According to historian Youssef Hindi, Molcho “was the first to have concretely established Zionism’s political strategy towards Christians, with the aim of using them to bring the Jews back to the Holy Land [. . .] persuading them to embrace Jewish messianic designs as their own. The controversy of Reuchlin led to an unquestionable victory of Judaism over Christianity, and it was the starting point of the Reformation. According to Heinrich Graetz, “We can boldly assert that the war for and against the Talmud aroused German consciousness, and created a public opinion, without which the Reformation, like many other efforts, would have died in the hour of birth, or, perhaps, would never have been born at all.”201 Luther took the side of Reuchlin, joining the ranks of his continued struggle by writing Sola Scriptura, the pillar of his Reformation, and promoting the study of Hebrew. Most disciples of Reuchlin became Lutherans. Luther was initially very friendly toward Jews, publishing in 1523 a pamphlet titled That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew. In it he blamed “the popes, bishops, sophists, and monks—the crude asses’ heads” for being unable to convert the Jews: “If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian.” Hoping to do better, he wrote: “The Jews are of the lineage of Christ. We are aliens and in-laws; they are blood relatives, cousins, and brothers of our Lord. Therefore, if one is to boast of flesh and blood, the Jews are actually nearer to Christ than we are.” But after much disappointment, Luther had second thoughts. In On the Jews and Their Lies, written a few years before his death, he deemed them so corrupted by deadly sins as to be almost unredeemable, and especially resented their economic prosperity: “They are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury.” Luther recognized, in particular, the evil influence of the book of Esther, “which so well fits their bloodthirsty, vengeful, murderous greed and hope.”202 Luther’s turning against the Jews was also a turning against the spirit of the Old Testament, whose deleterious influence Luther had seen in the peasant revolt led by Thomas Muntzer, with whom he disengaged. Speaking to members of the Allstedt alliance in April 1525, Muntzer exhorted them to massacre: “Do not be merciful, even though Esau offers you good words [Genesis 33:4]. Pay no heed to the lamentations of the godless. They will bid you in a friendly manner, cry and plead like children. Do not let yourselves be merciful, as God commanded through Moses [Deuteronomy 7:1–5].” In 1538 Luther wrote a polemic charge Against the Sabbatarians, those Christians who insisted upon following the Old Testament command to worship on the Sabbath, and whom Luther suspected to be infiltrated by Jews.203 Since its appearance, the Protestant Reformation has been seen by Catholics as effecting a return to Judaism under the influence of Jews and Marranos. Its contempt for saints and destruction of the Marian cult, in particular, are an indirect attack against Christ. If the Jews shunned the Reformation, this was not the case for crypto-Jews, who saw it as a way to leave the Church and gain easier access to the Hebrew Bible. The role of the Marranos was particularly important in the Calvinist movement, which not only brought back the God of the Old Testament, but also condoned moneymaking and usury. During his lifetime, Calvin was already suspected of having Marrano origin. His name, spelled Jehan Cauvin, plausibly derives from Cauin, a French version of Coen. Calvin wrote commentaries on the entire Old Testament and perfectly mastered Hebrew, which he learned from rabbis. He heaped praise on the Jewish people: pure knowledge of God comes from them, as did the Messiah. His obsession with the law, and his belief that idolatry should be eradicated by military force, have their roots in the Old Testament, as does his obsession with purity. Calvin writes in his commentary on Psalm 119: “Where did Our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles draw their doctrine, if not Moses? And when we peel off all the layers, we find that the Gospel is simply an exhibition of what Moses had already said.” The Covenant of God with the Jewish people is irrevocable because “no promise of God can be undone.” The new covenant is indistinguishable from the first: “The covenant made with the ancient Fathers, in its substance and truth, is so similar to ours, that we can call them one. The only difference is the order in which they were given.” According to the famous thesis of Max Weber in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), the Calvinists were the main architects of global capitalism. Werner Sombart opposed him, in The Jews and Modern Capitalism (1911), with the thesis that this role must be credited to the Jews. The history of Marranism, of which neither Weber nor Sombart had sufficient knowledge, reconciles both theses, since Calvinism is, in its origin and spirit, a form of crypto-Judaism.

Guyénot, Laurent. From Yahweh to Zion (pp. 186-191). Kindle Edition.
 
All that nonsense about Hebrew being the "language of god"! Geeze, probably didn't even exist when the Babylonians were writing their texts on clay.
This "divinization" of languages seems to happen quite frequently in connection with religion. Classical Arab is supposedly holy because it is the language in which the Quran was "revealed", and yet many passages make more sense when read in Aramaic, if I recall correctly.
Same with the status of Sanskrit, however in one of the sessions it was said that it actually is the oldest existing language that still exists.
 

Aeneas

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This has been an eye opening thread about Luther and his abject failings. Having been raised as a Lutheran (at least nominally) I can recognise how Faith in Christ was the important thing and not our actions on life. Amazing how incongruent that is with taking responsibility and no free lunch universe. So it is not surprising that virtues and even the word virtue is almost non-existant in a Lutheran country like Denmark. It is also not so surprising as I wrote in the Scandinavian thread today that Satanists have been accepted as a religious community in Sweden, a country that has for centuries been Lutheran.

Regarding the Catholic Church, then it is quite possible that it has in part itself to blame for what became the Lutheran Reformation. I am thinking of forerunners for Luther and how the Catholic Church responded. One, I discovered while doing genealogy years ago, as a forebear, Jan Zizka turned out to be a follower of Jan Hus, who was the founder and leader of the Hussites and what became the Bohemian Reformation. This happened 100 years before the German Reformation. The Catholic Church did not curry favours by leading Jan Hus into a trap by dishonoring a promise of free passage and the result of a long trial was that Jan Hus was burned at the stakes. This ignited the Hussites Crusades:

Hussite Crusades[edit]
The Hussite Wars were fought to win recognition of faith of the Hussites, the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation, and though predominantly a religious movement, it was also propelled by social issues and strengthened Czech national awareness. The Catholic Church deemed Hus's teachings heretical. He was excommunicated in 1411, condemned by the Council of Constance, and burned at the stake in 1415. The wars proper began in July 1419, with the First Defenestration of Prague, when protesting Hussites threw the town councillors and the judge out the windows of the New Town Hall. It has been reputed that King Wenceslaus IV was so stunned by the defenestration that he died from the shock shortly afterward on 16 August 1419. This led to the armed conflict in which Žižka would earn his fame.
True radicals :jawdrop:
Link:
After Hus was executed in 1415, the followers of his religious teachings (known as Hussites) refused to elect another Catholic monarch and defeated five consecutive papal crusades between 1420 and 1431 in what became known as the Hussite Wars.[5] Both the Bohemian and the Moravian populations remained majority Hussite until the 1620s, when a Protestant defeat in the Battle of the White Mountain resulted in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown coming under Habsburg dominion for the next 300 years and being subject to immediate and forced conversion in an intense campaign of return to Catholicism.
And:
Hus was a strong advocate for the Czechs and the Realists, and he was influenced by the writings of John Wycliffe. Although church authorities banned many works of Wycliffe in 1403, Hus translated Trialogus into Czech and helped to distribute it.[6]
Hus denounced the moral failings of clergy, bishops, and even the papacy from his pulpit. Archbishop Zbyněk Zajíc tolerated this, and even appointed Hus a preacher at the clergy's biennial synod. On June 24, 1405, Pope Innocent VII, however, directed the Archbishop to counter Wycliffe's teachings, especially the doctrine of impanation in the Eucharist. The archbishop complied by issuing a synod decree against Wycliffe, as well as forbidding any further attacks on the clergy.[6]
So it appears as if there were splits in the Catholic church with some seeing the need for reform within the church and others who wanted to stamp dissenting voices out by force.

The writings that influenced Hus were by John Wycliffe (ca mid1320ies to 1384) about which wiki says:
John Wycliffe
(/ˈwɪklɪf/; also spelled Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe, Wickliffe; 1320s – 31 December 1384),[2] was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, Biblical translator, reformer, priest, and a seminary professor at the University of Oxford. He became an influential dissident within the Roman Catholic priesthood during the 14th century and is considered an important predecessor to Protestantism.

Wycliffe attacked the privileged status of the clergy, which had bolstered their powerful role in England. He then attacked the luxury and pomp of local parishes and their ceremonies.[3]

Wycliffe also advocated translation of the Bible into the vernacular.
In 1382 he completed a translation directly from the Vulgate into Middle English – a version now known as Wycliffe's Bible

Wycliffe's followers, known as Lollards, followed his lead in advocating predestination, iconoclasm, and the notion of caesaropapism, while attacking the veneration of saints, the sacraments, requiem masses, transubstantiation, monasticism, and the very existence of the Papacy.
Wycliffe's Bible - Wikipedia
Wycliffe's Bible - Wikipedia

His thoughts about dismantling big parts of the Catholic Church is not far from what Luther proposed 150 years later.


Wycliffe lived through the plague years (1347-1351) which clearly marked him and his later thoughts were that the end was near. If one allows for him thinking that the plague might have been due to sinning against God, then perhaps that is what sparked his criticism of the Catholic Church:
was the archbishop of Canterbury, and his book On the Cause of God against the Pelagians, a bold recovery of the Pauline-Augustine doctrine of grace, would greatly shape young Wycliffe's views,[9] as did the Black Death which reached England in the summer of 1348.[10] From his frequent references to it in later life, it appears to have made a deep and abiding impression upon him. According to Robert Vaughn, the effect was to give Wycliffe "Very gloomy views in regard to the condition and prospects of the human race."[11] Wycliffe would have been at Oxford during the St Scholastica Day riot in which sixty-three students and a number of townspeople were killed.
Those gloomy views of the condition and prospects of the human race sounds like the view schizoids have of human beings. It does not mean that Wycliffe was a schizoid, as the experience could well have had that effect, but on the other hands, such views were ready to be picked up by someone with whom such views resonated, like a schizoid rebel such as Luther appears to have been.

Another article speaking about the Bohemian Reformation mentions some forerunners of Jan Hus. It has to be said that the article speaks from a Lutheran viewpoint (7th day Adventist), so the bias is to be kept in mind (just like with wikipedia):

Three very well-known Bohemian reformers were the forerunners of Huss. The first of these, Konrad von Waldhausen, died in 1369. It is significant that the Bohemian reformers were mostly ex-priests who had raised their voices against apostasy in their church. They felt the Catholic Church did nothing to build up the morality of the people, or to help them spiritually. Konrad von Waldhausen spoke out strongly against the monks and their idleness. His preaching centered around the prophecies of the end of the world.
Konrad von Waldhausen (1320/1325 - 1369) also lived through the Black Death, which undoubtedly influenced his end of the world viewpoints.

The second was Milicz von Kremsier (1374). He was a Bohemian, but was able to speak the German language. A great orator, he frequently preached four or five times a day. Churches often were so crowded that he had to leave the building and speak in the open. An eager Bible student, he was especially interested in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. His study of these prophecies led him to the conviction that the corrupted medieval church was Antichrist and that divine judgments would soon fall upon the church. He foresaw a reformation by which the church would be prepared for the second advent of Christ. The coming of the Antichrist became the burden of his sermons, and he did not spare the priests, bishops, and others in high places.
Milicz (1320/1325-1374) likewise lived through the Black Death!

Since the Catholic Church was so close connected with the worldly powers at the time, it would be surprising if the influence of ponerization would not have taken place to some degree or that at least some pathological deviants had found their way to power and influence. A few pathological figures in prominent positions would have done a great deal to galvanize an opposition movement, especially one inspired by end of the world writings by people who had lived through the Black Death.

If one adds the possibility of hyperdimensional influences, then it is not difficult to see how a little assistance over a few hundred years could create the conditions to splinter the Christian Church and create the conditions for the destruction of souls on an unprecedented scale. If not destruction of souls, then hindrance of soul development by whole populations who have been cut of from the spiritual connection.

Dostoevsky had some interesting comments about the Catholic Church, but I will post about that another time.
 
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