Benedict Heart Luther?

According to a Times On Line article titled "That Martin Luther? He wasn’t so bad, says Pope." Pope Benedict is going to lift the charge of heresy from Luther’s shoulders. I’m sure Martin will be happy about that.

So is this it? Does Rome and Protestantism kiss and make up? is the Reformation over? Eh, hold on. While this is good news of a step in the right direction for Rome, this doesn’t bring to an end the Reformation nor the need for it. While the Council of Trent stands as official Roman Catholic dogma, there remains a curse of damnation upon anyone who believes we are saved sola fide. What this in effect does is to admit Luther on Roman Catholic terms. That is, if you understand Luther as we understand Luther, then you’re okay. What is missing in this article is the Pope admitting that Luther was right on his most important doctrine: sola fide. All Benedict is admitting is that the Roman Church "much to learn from Luther" but are they going to learn the right things?

Be careful of Rome my friends. You don’t easily or quickly turn a container ship around. If Rome is moving, they’ll do it slowly and cautiously and make it sound like they haven’t really changed at all. They may never officially withdraw the condeming statements about the gospel they articulated in Trent. They may well just redefine it as if that was what they always meant. Luther and Rome understood each other very well at the time.

[HT: Ref21]

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