Thursday, March 06, 2008
REHABILITATING MARTIN LUTHER
The Pope is planning to rehabilitate Martin Luther - whose actions instigated the Protestant Reformation – by arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the Church of corrupt practices.
Benedict XVI will issue his findings on the 16th-century German theologian after discussing him at the papal summer residence, Castelgandolfo, during his annual seminar of 40 fellow theologians, the Ratzinger Schülerkreis.
Luther was and condemned for heresy and excommunicated in 1521 by Pope Leo X, who had initially dismissed him as “a drunken German” and predicted he would “change his mind when sober”.
Vatican insiders say the 80-year-old Pope - himself born in Germany - will argue that his countryman was not a heretic after all.
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