Thursday, September 22, 2016

Father Z Needs to Do Some Research

Father Z, noted Roman Catholic blogger and advocate for reverent worship and the Latin Mass, keep knocking Luther for things that Luther did not say or mean or even imply. 
Luther (failed priest and heretic) didn’t, in fact, write that every man is his own priest, but that phrase summarizes both his view and that of most of the writers of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) and probably also the LCWR.  His radical view of the priesthood of all believers effectively reduces ordained priesthood to a role that community gives to him to do various things.  This is what modernists such as Edward Schillebeeckx wrote, which infected a generation of seminary profs and, hence, priests and, subsequently, people in the pews.
He got it right that Luther did not, in fact, write that every man is his own priest.  But Father Z got it entirely wrong when he said that phrase summarizes his view and he has radically reduced the priesthood to its functions and derived from the royal priesthood.  Anybody with a mind can read Luther and find that this is not the case.  But it is hard to blame Fr. Z since even some Lutherans have got it wrong (WELS has a functional view of the office - holding that the functions are divinely mandated but not the office itself).

Read the Augustana and tell me where there is a functional understanding of the Divine Office?  Luther's opinions are not binding upon Lutherans but our Confessions are.  In fact, the Roman Catholics were not all that concerned about what Lutherans had to say about the pastoral office because they believed there were differences of nuance but not substance when it came to the pastoral office.  Perhaps that was naive but the Lutherans had a high view of the office (at least until they suffered the encroaches of pietism and rationalism).

1 comment:

John Joseph Flanagan said...

In reality, the differences between Roman Catholic teachings and Lutheran doctrines cannot be reconciled. Many teachings of Roman Catholicism cannot even be found in the Bible, using the broadest of interpretations. So then, those Lutheran theologians who long for unity between the two denominations run a fool's errand. In my view, we can work with Catholics on issues like abortion, traditional marriage, religious freedom....but we need to draw our line in the sand in the matter of doctrinal beliefs and practices.