Sunday, July 21, 2019

Moravian Moment # 191 — Luther’s 95 Theses and the Fire Ignited in the Church…Part 9


November 14, 2010

Martin Luther used The Ninety-Five Theses to display his unhappiness with the Church's sale of indulgences, and this eventually gave birth to Protestantism. It especially defied the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the nature of penance, the authority and power of the pope and the efficacy of indulgences. Three fundamental things happened as a result of Luther’s passion to see the truth of the gospel being proclaimed. It promoted the protestant reformation. It brought many changes in religion, and way of life. New religious groups were formed. Today we will look at articles 80-86.

  1. The bishops, curates, and theologians, who permit assertions of that kind to be made to the people without let or hindrance, will have to answer for it.
  2. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult for learned men to guard the respect due to the pope against false accusations, or at least from the keen criticisms of the laity.
  3. They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter's church, a very minor purpose.
  4. Again: Why should funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said? And why does not the pope repay, or permit to be repaid, the benefactions instituted for these purposes, since it is wrong to pray for those souls who are now redeemed?
  5. Again: Surely this is a new sort of compassion, on the part of God and the pope, when an impious man, an enemy of God, is allowed to pay money to redeem a devout soul, a friend of God; while yet that devout and beloved soul is not allowed to be redeemed without payment, for love's sake, and just because of its need of redemption.
  6. Again: Why are the penitential canon laws, which in fact, if not in practice, have long been obsolete and dead in themselves,—why are they, to-day, still used in imposing fines in money, through the granting of indulgences, as if all the penitential canons were fully operative?
  7. Again: since the pope's income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers?