Over and over again I get push back from some Roman Catholics who insist that Luther is the source of all the wrongs that have happened in the last 500 years. One of the chief complaints has to do with the issue of conscience. It is claimed, not accurately, that Luther gave primacy to individual conscience over the Church, her teaching magisterium, the papacy, council, and just about anything else. According to this idea, Luther placed the individual and his sovereign conscience above all and, in particular,over the Scriptures so that he is singularly responsible for undoing any and all churchly authority and truth.
The surprise here is that it appears that Amoris Laetitia is doing exactly that. So, in the matter of their reception of Holy Communion, those who remarried after a divorce use their own individual conscience to determine whether or not they are fit and repentant and reconciled to the faith. Indeed, Pope Francis and his supporters are doing just what they condemn Luther (falsely) for doing. They bypass the Church entirely and the priestly office and responsibility to leave it at the door of the individuals in question.
Let me say that Luther did not himself stand on individual conscience nor does he countenance such. It is not that Luther has replaced one pope with everyone a pope at all. Luther insists that his conscience is captive to the Word of God and not some individual Word of God defined or interpreted as he desired but the Word of God in catholic form and truth, the faith of our fathers. The truth is that the end result of of Rome's machinations was to place the Church above the Scripture, the Church as the source and judge of those Scriptures, and particular offices within the Church as the ones who ultimately make this determination. In the end, Rome ended up with dogmas alien and foreign to Scripture and, the cause of the Reformation, in conflict with Scripture.
Now we see that Rome has come full circle and Pope Francis seems intent upon giving the individual conscience full authority to make a determination which heretofore was a judgment of the Church and by the Church. What was a principle too Protestant for Luther and for which Luther was roundly condemned by the more radical voices of the Reformation, has now become the operating principle behind Amoris Laetitia. All of this makes a Lutheran laugh but not the light-hearted laughter of a joke but the sad laughter of a terrible screw up.
Will Lutherans also get blamed for the Antichrist claiming there is no hell?
Translated excerpt from Pope Francis interviewed by his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari:
[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] "They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls."
The original Italian excerpt is also seen on the website, "THERE IS NO HELL" -- new Francis revelation to atheist journalist just in time for Good Friday.
This current pope is something else. The things that come out of his mouth sound more like the ramblings of of an incoherent teenager not a supposed learned theologian.
The Pope can say and do anything that is contrary to Roman Catholic and/or basic Christian doctrine and yet......the laymen remain loyal and are not leaving Rome. Fascinating.
Almost as fascinating as the Romanist clergy who remain loyal to Rome and the Antichrist and urge their parishioners to do so.
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