Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pray Tell Watch: Fr Anthony Ruff On Luther

I recently posted about Fr. Anthony Ruff's recent critique of some of what was written by Fr. Barron concerning a video put out by an evangelical. I think it is relevant to look at the rest of his response, which concerns the arch-heretic Martin Luther.  This is really amazing stuff. First, below is what Fr. Barron wrote,
"What the young man in the video is presenting is a simplistic and radical form of evangelicalism whose intellectual roots are in the thought of Martin Luther. Luther famously held that justification (or salvation) takes place through grace alone accepted in faith, and not from good works of any kind...
To rely on liturgy or sacraments or moral effort for salvation, Luther thought, amounted to a pathetic “works righteousness,” which he sharply contrasted to the “alien righteousness” that comes, not from us, but from Christ. This basic theological perspective led Luther (at least in some texts) to demonize many elements of ecclesial life as distractions from the grace offered through Jesus, and this is why we find, even to this day in many evangelical Protestant churches, a muting of the liturgical, the sacramental, the institutional, etc."
Next we have Fr. Ruff's response. 

"Also unfortunate is Barron’s caricature of Luther. Pro Ecclesia and recent Luther studies, anyone? The New Finnish School, anyone? Barron rightly critiques the video for driving a wedge between Christ and the Church. What a shame that in doing so, Barron drives a wedge between Luther and the Catholic Church. So much for ecumenism."
First of all, how can Fr. Barron drive any larger wedge between Luther and the Catholic Church than that which Luther himself drove? How is what was presented a caricature? What about the "New Finish School?" Anyone? Anyone care? How about being honest? Look at historical documents and read what the arch-heretic Luther actually wrote and taught, and then ask yourself who drove the "wedge". Luther in many respects was in complete opposition to the Catholic faith. Putting your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes and then pretending that it never happened is not going to improve Catholic-Lutheran relations. The only way to improve that relation is to clearly demonstrate where Luther erred, and why Lutherans today should reject his errors and return to the one true Christian faith. Ecumenism does not come at the expense of truth.

How about this for a wedge? Anyone? Anyone?

Below is an excerpt from Luther's reply to Pope Leo X and his Bull of excommunication. Luther was so out his mind that he couldn't even decide who he thought wrote the Bull. He sounds like a raving lunatic. But even despite that fact, he made it clear that whoever it was, whether it be Pope Leo, Eck, or anyone else, that they were surely the "anti-Christ." We all know who approved of the Bull don't we? Pope Leo X. There was no wedge there! How dare Fr. Barron recount Luther's teaching and drive a huge wedge between Luther and the Catholic Church!

But whoever wrote this bull, he is Antichrist. I protest before God, our Lord Jesus, his sacred angels, and the whole world that with my whole heart I dissent from the damnation of this bull, that I curse and execrate it as sacrilege and blasphemy of Christ, God's Son and our Lord. This be my recantation, Oh bull, thou daughter of bulls...Of the cross of Christ, that all men should resist them. You then, Leo X, you cardinals and the rest of you at Rome, I tell you to your faces: "If this bull has come out in your name, then I will use the power which has been given me in baptism whereby I became a son of God and co-heir with Christ, established upon the rock against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. I call upon you to renounce your diabolical blasphemy and audacious impiety, and, if you will not, we shall all hold your seat as possessed and oppressed by Satan, the damned seat of Antichrist; in the name of Jesus Christ, whom you persecute.
Move along people..nothing to see here...no wedge here folks....Luther calling the Pope the anti-Christ, along with the rest of his rants drove no real wedge...no wedge here folks......nothing to see.....move along....

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