Pope vs. Pope: What Does the Catholic Church Really Think about Martin Luther?

Chris Castaldo | October 31, 2016


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On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Exurge Domine (“Arise, O Lord”), censuring 41 of Luther’s 95 theses and threatening him with excommunication. In the bull, Leo called Luther’s teaching a “deadly poison.” Leo said he could not “tolerate or overlook any longer the pernicious poison of the above errors without disgrace to the Christian religion and injury to orthodox faith.”

Nearly five centuries later, a reporter recently asked today’s pope whether he would annul this damning verdict of Luther during the upcoming anniversary commemorations. After all, Francis is scheduled to take part in festivities today with Lutherans in Lund, Sweden. Pope Francis’s response:

I think that the intentions of Martin Luther were not mistaken. He was a reformer. Perhaps some methods were not correct. But in that time, if we read the story of the pastor, a German Lutheran who then converted when he saw reality—he became Catholic—in…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/pope-vs-pope-what-does-the-catholic-church-really-think-about-martin-luther.