Contrasting Ecumenism

“For this reason”, the Pope added, “I am very grateful to our Protestant brothers and sisters who have made it possible to hold this highly significant meeting in the convent where Luther began his theological journey, to pray … and talk together about our responsibility as Christians today. I am delighted to be able to express our fundamental unity as brothers and sisters who work together for the good of humankind, announcing the joyful message of Christ, of God Who has a human face and Who speaks to us”.

(Benedict XVI, Vatican Information Service, 23 September 2011)

In virtue of our pastoral office committed to us by the divine favor we can under no circumstances tolerate or overlook any longer the pernicious poison of the above errors without disgrace to the Christian religion and injury to orthodox faith. Some of these errors we have decided to include in the present document; their substance is as follows:

25. The Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, is not the vicar of Christ over all the churches of the entire world, instituted by Christ Himself in blessed Peter.

28. If the pope with a great part of the Church thought so and so, he would not err; still it is not a sin or heresy to think the contrary, especially in a matter not necessary for salvation, until one alternative is condemned and another approved by a general Council.

33. That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.

37. Purgatory cannot be proved from Sacred Scripture which is in the canon.

No one of sound mind is ignorant how destructive, pernicious, scandalous, and seductive to pious and simple minds these various errors are, how opposed they are to all charity and reverence for the holy Roman Church who is the mother of all the faithful and teacher of the faith; how destructive they are of the vigor of ecclesiastical discipline, namely obedience. This virtue is the font and origin of all virtues and without it anyone is readily convicted of being unfaithful.

(Leo X, Ex Surge Domine, 15 June 152)

In addition to the contrast between Benedict XVI and Leo X in general, I selected a few of the alleged “errors” of the Reformation that Leo X singled out. Papal supremacy, of course, made the last. But so did the idea that it is ok to disagree with the pope and the majority of the church, even when the matter has not been defined. According to Leo X, capital punishment of heretics is not just ok, it’s “the will of the Spirit.” And Leo X actually thought one could prove purgatory from the canonical Scriptures.

One might say that in some ways there has been substantial progress between the time of Leo X and the time of Benedict XVI. But Rome has not officially repudiated its own earlier teachings – it has not said it was wrong, even after nearly half a millenium of demonstration of those errors.


One Response to “Contrasting Ecumenism”

  1. Natamllc Says:

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