Rorate Caeli

500 years of Wittenberg: 'We cannot celebrate a sin'

From the news agency of the German dioceses (KNA), via the news website of the Diocese of Münster:

Kurt Koch for commemoration and acknowledgment of guilt
Ecumenism Cardinal: Reformation is no reason to celebrate

Vienna. There is no reason to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, in 2017, in the opinion of the "ecumenical cardinal" of the Vatican, Kurt Koch. He pleads for, not an anniversary, but a "reformation memorial", said the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on Tuesday night (04/24/2012) in Vienna: "We cannot celebrate a sin." On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther published 95 theses on the state of the Church, which started the Reformation and led to the secession of the Protestant churches.

He was aware that, with his statement, he might be perceived as an "anti-ecumenist," Koch said. He expects to make an anniversary commemoration a "two-sided admission of guilt", following the model of reconciliation seeked by John Paul II in 2000. The commemoration of the Reformation would then lead to progress in the ecumenical discussion of the churches.

With the atonement plea in the the Jubilee Year of 2000, the pope apologized extensively for the first time in 2000 years for the errors and sins of Christians. Among these, John Paul II denounced the division of Christendom.


  1. Tradical9:24 PM

    "...two-sided admission of guilt ..."

    At first I was happy, then I read the above.

    Oh well, plus ca change ...

  2. Ferraiuolo9:25 PM

    Wunderbar! Maybe it is time to not celebrate another thing which happened 50 years ago. I will not say what it was, you might know what I mean!

  3. Francis9:34 PM

    This is one time that I agree with Koch. Yet I'll wait for him, like any Cardinal who sounds like he is upholding pre-Vatican II Catholic dogma, to apologize or say that his comments were "taken out of context". If the Pope or any other high ranking Cardinals or bishops celebrate, or achnowledge in a positive manner, the five hundred year "anniversary" of the protestant revolt with heretics and schismatics who have and are jeopardizing their immortal souls by being outside of the One True Church/faith founded by Our Lord on St. Peter and His successors outside of which there is no salvation then the conciliar Catholic Church is no better than the protestants. What the Pope (whomever it is, hopefully it will be Benedict XVI)should do is condemn the protestant revolt and call all of the lost sheep back to the Church of Christ which is the Catholic Church. Whether he does or not I don't know, but in the relativist Vatican II Church I doubt that he will. I hope I'm wrong.

  4. R. John9:46 PM

    If by "two sided guilt", he is referring to Martin Luther and himself, then it sounds like a good idea. After all, wasn't Koch the Bishop of Hans Kung, the priest "in good standing" who has been denying the faith publicly and leading countless souls into error for decades? I would say that Koch does indeed have some apologizing to do.

  5. Martyjo9:52 PM

    Cardinal Koch's notion of a Reformation Commemoration with apologies from both sides brough back to mind the following words of Pius XII. Pay particular heed to the last line of the first paragraph:

    "I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul. … I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past.

    A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, "Where have they taken Him?"

    1. Martyjo - Very interesting. Where is that quotation from?

  6. It's obvious both sides were guilty. The errors on Martin Luther were obvious.

    As for the Church, Luther was taught some very strange theology, and it appeared to be wide spread enough that he was actually able to convince the laity that the Church was in error and that the Eucharist was not only secondary to preaching, but didn't even need to be celebrated more than a few times a year.

    Similarly, it's a disgrace that every bishop except for John Fisher just accepted that King Henry the Eighth could be Pope, and within a generation accept that Protestantism and "Catholicism" could co-exist in the same Church.

  7. Some sense at last!

    A 'two sided admission of guilt' if it merely points out the obvious, namely the widespread corruption in the church at the time, is acceptable. Though such did not of course justify heresy.

  8. Picard10:16 PM

    Well, normally I am also very critical re what comes from Rome, neocon bishops and esp. Koch et al.
    (Koch just defended the error of rel. liberty f.e.).

    But here I can only gratulate Bf. Koch. If he really said "We can not celebrate a sin" then: applause!

    Then things are getting really better - slowly, yes (two-side admission, ok...) - but they are.

    Ferraiuolo - I am on your side, of course. No, we can not celebrate a sin...! (Things are then not only better but plain good if Cardinals will say so re that event Ferraiuolo and me have in mind!)

  9. Martyjo10:22 PM

    "Prof. of Theo said...
    I know Cardinal Koch and he is sincere and a good man. Martin Luther was hardly the only one who sinned in the early 16th century. We did not regulate ourselves as we should have. We owe others an apology for this."

    A Cardinal who is good and sincere is not necessarily orthodox in the Faith. Did not His Eminence recently address an ecumenical group in Austria, declaring that the "martyrs" on both sides of the Reformation are now in heaven looking down with a smile at us who still bicker. I paraphrase of course, but was this not the general message?

    That's a denial of the dogma "extra ecclesiam nulla salus."

    As for Martin Luther, he was the one who sinned and that's why he was excommunicated. That certain reforms may have been necessary in the Church at that time was no excuse for Luther's sinful behaviour.

    The Catholic Church is the spotless bride of Christ, both infallible and immutable. She owes no apologies to those who reject her divine doctrine.

  10. Francis10:33 PM

    Don't forget Koch's insinuation recently that the old covenant is still in force for the Jews, who according to Koch and many others like him in the conciliar church don't need to accept the Triune God, be baptized or convert to the Catholic Church to be saved. Koch might have been correct about not celebrating the protestant revolt, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  11. Read Belloc or Coulombe. The protestants then and now were out for mammom, plain and simple. It is a worldly religion. Luther, Calvin, and the other rabble rousing, benighted theologians were the pawns of the proto-capitalists who sought to rule this demon infested realm without interference from the Holy See. The seed money for their takeover of Christendom was expropriated from the HMC, including the land and tools of the peasantry toiling under her protection. May God Almighty soon remove the scourge of protestantism from our midst and send it to Hell where it belongs.

  12. Isn't the reason traditionalists celebrate the Council of Trent, St. Pius V and the great saints of the Counter-Reformation (e.g. Sts. Philip Neri, Ignatius Loyola, Charles Borromeo, Francis de Sales, Robert Bellarmine, etc.) precisely because they cleaned up many abuses in the Church, abuses that created fertile ground for the errors of the Reformation? We can't have it both ways. We cannot claim that the Counter-Reformation cleaned up rampant scandals in the Church and then turn around and say there is nothing to apologize for, that everything was fine and dandy in Christendom until Luther showed up.

    I think it is appropriate and necessary for Catholics to show humility in admitting that many Catholics (lay, religious, clerical and even popes) were not living their faith, even as we insist that Protestants did not recover the faith but distorted it; they did not put an end to the scandals but added to them. But to those of you who think there is only "one-sided guilt," I ask, are you prepared to defend the likes of Alexander VI or the Valois Dynasty?

  13. Well, once again someone proves that even a broken clock is right twice a day. Sorry, Koch but placing this on one side of the scale and the rest of your history on the other....well, let's just not finish that sentence.

    It was a REVOLT, not a reform by any stretch of the imagination for the VERY SAME REASON there was no reform, nor a need for reform by VatiCON II.

    R. John ... pointing out the countless grave errors caused by Koch still does not give even an iota of merit to a devil like Martin Luther. If Judas in Hell, he's sitting on Luther's lap.

  14. I like my drink, but Luther was a drunken, nun-marring, arch-heretic, who had "farting matches with the devil", and said that Angels dance on pins every time a Jew farts.

    How can such a man be the inspiration for millions of Lutherans and most protestants is beyond me!

  15. A. M. D. G.12:08 AM

    It seems that the hierarchy of the NO cannot bear to bluntly state the obvious regarding the Reformation without somehow placing blame on the Catholic Church too. While there were abuses regarding indulgences, among the other assorted excesses prevalent during that time (of the Renaissance), there was no defection from the Catholic Faith on the part of the hierarchy. I don't think anyone denies there were problems with clerical discipline, to do so would be absurd. Luther was a know-it-all Renaissance man looking for a cause to champion. He was a vile and vulgar creature. One simply has to read his writings to glean this. The Cardinal is not comparing apples-to-apples. Nice try, but no cigar!

  16. A. M. D. G.12:11 AM


    Hurray for you! Home run!

  17. A. M. D. G.12:21 AM

    Alexander VI never defected from the faith. The Valois dynasty was not composed of the Church's hierarchy and therefore had no commission to preach, teach, and baptize.

    Should all of us collectively apologize for not living up to the standards of the Catholic Faith? After all we, all of us, do sin and need to avail ourselves of the sacrament of penance. Which by-the-way is usually done in the privacy of the confessional. There is no need to beat our breasts in public!

  18. Francis12:21 AM

    "I think it is appropriate and necessary for Catholics to show humility in admitting that many Catholics (lay, religious, clerical and even popes) were not living their faith, even as we insist that Protestants did not recover the faith but distorted it; they did not put an end to the scandals but added to them. But to those of you who think there is only "one-sided guilt," I ask, are you prepared to defend the likes of Alexander VI or the Valois Dynasty?"

    Are you willing to defend modernism, relativism, syncretism and religious indifferentism introduced at Vatican II and promulgated by Paul VI and JPII through 1960's masonic inspired ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue, Assisi scandals 1-3, dual covenant theories, a protestant invented, man centered liturgy, Communion in the hand, lay Eucharistic ministers etc. As bad as Alexander VI, the Borgias and the Valois dynasty was, it can't compare to the destruction of the Catholic Church, her dogmas and her liturgy by the 1960's by the conciliar modernists.

  19. Greyghost12:36 AM

    Save souls. . . convert all to the one true Church, the Catholic Church . No guilt in doing this!

  20. rodrigo12:41 AM

    "modernism, relativism, syncretism and religious indifferentism introduced at Vatican II"

    Quotes or it didn't happen.

  21. Anil wang, little of that has to do with the church I'm afraid. Luther made most of his stuff up and certainly neither he nor those who may or may not have taught the nonsense submitted their works for the approval of the Church. As for people falling away from the faith, that is partly due to the weakness of human nature and perhaps clerical ignorance, lack of fervour etc... But certainly all the church could apologise for is bad morals etc.. whether it should do so or not is another matter altogether

  22. Greyghost1:01 AM

    Guilt is a human characteristic based on individual conscience. Usually people place guilt on the Institution of the Church because it is there you find feeble men and woman. Beyond that, the Catholic Church itself, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is not in error.

    Bshp Lefebvre in They Uncrowned Him is quite clear on the tactics used to destroy the Church. The claim of "two sided guilt" is just another example of an attack on the Catholic Church and it's beliefs. Sorry.

    "To restore all in Christ" means both the Bible and His Church, including all of it's traditional teachings. That is why we must educate, convert and save souls for Him, Christ the King.

  23. Itwas no "reformatio". It was a "DEFORMATION"of Christ's Church .Let us get our terms right and then those separated will be confronted by REALITY not comforted by familiarity!

  24. T. Rex2:50 AM

    "Quotes or it didn't happen."

    Address during the last general meeting of the Second Vatican Council, Dec. 7, 1965.

    The religion of the God who became man has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God. And what happened? Was there a clash, a battle, a condemnation? There could have been, but there was none. -PPVI

  25. AMDG writes: Should all of us collectively apologize for not living up to the standards of the Catholic Faith?

    Yes. That is precisely what we should all collectively do, even as we collevtively insist that our sins are no excuse to abandon Christ, the Catholic faith and the Church.

    AMDG also writes: "There is no need to beat our breasts in public!"

    Whoever it was that composed the Confiteor, placed it in the solemn, PUBLIC worship of the Church, and instructed us to strike our breasts three times during it (I think the composer's name was "Holy Mother Church") seems to feel quite differently than you. I see every need to beat our breasts in public.

  26. Francis asks: "Are you willing to defend modernism, relativism, syncretism and religious indifferentism introduced at Vatican II and promulgated by Paul VI and JPII through 1960's masonic inspired ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue, Assisi scandals 1-3, dual covenant theories, a protestant invented, man centered liturgy, Communion in the hand, lay Eucharistic ministers etc[?]"

    No. What on earth could I have said that possibly gave you the impression that I would? Why would my unwillingness to defend abuses in one era suggest to you that I'd be willing to defend them in another?

    Francis says: "As bad as Alexander VI, the Borgias and the Valois dynasty was, it can't compare to the destruction of the Catholic Church, her dogmas and her liturgy by the 1960's by the conciliar modernists."

    Objects always look bigger when they are closer to you. This spatial principle also applies to temporality. Savonarola might not be so willing to agree that things in his day were so much better than they are today. The state of the Catholic Church before the Council of Trent was arguably far worse than it is today. Why do you suppose St. Pius V demanded that liturgies be at least 200 years old? Imagine what litugical rot God and time has swept under their merciful sands. I hope in 500 years, if the world is still around, our desendents look back from the glorious state of the Church in their day and have the luxury of remembering our own time as such a horrible period in Church history. Some how I doubt they will. The wheat and the chaff just keep growing and growing. It's almost as if the Lord KNEW they would.

  27. AMDG - Sorry, but just to add: you are quite right that Alexander VI never defected from the faith, this fact is profound evidence for the truth of Christ's promise to St. Peter. If any pope were so unfortunate, foolish and/or malicious to ever defect from the faith, it would have been him. So it would seem that Christ's promise to St. Peter is quite a bit stronger than human foolishness, conspiracy and malice. The papacy hinges on something more secure than the character and backroom businesses of men.

    This is why I cannot quite wrap my head around positions that suggest Paul VI or John Paul II didn't simply do terribly ill-advised things, but actually "defected from the faith." Besides the fact that each and all of the singular material accusations to this effect fail to pass the least muster, the very suggestion that it could happen - that one of Christ's little ones could sin simply for believing or doing what the pope says (in the capacity of his office) - is quite remarkable to me. It wouldn't seem to fit either the plain meaning of Christ's promise or the way that promise has played out in more than 1900 years of Church history.

    Perhaps you will think me very credulous, but I believe our Lord Jesus Christ will not allow one of his little ones to fall for giving obedience to the man they with honest simplicity believe to be pope. This is why the Church's indefectibility has even protected the official acts of many anti-popes! I am certainly not claiming that all the pope's actions are wise or good, but that even when they are foolish and bad (for which the pope will have to answer to God!), even these acts are protected in such wise that Good Shepherd's sheep are protected.

  28. T. Rex - Paul VI was boasting that the Council (representing "the religion of God who became man") has "met" secular humanism ("the religion of man who makes himself God"), like the Good Samaritan met the dying man on the road. The Council, he says, listened with "boundless sympathy" and took care to acknowledge of man's needs, thus paving the way for a new type of humanism, which no longer "renounce[s] the transcendent value of the highest realities."

    If you want to criticize this as self-congratulatory, fluffy, naive nonsense, I'm right with you. But to claim it as proof of "modernism, relativism, syncretism and religious indifferentism" is unsustainable. Check that, I will grant you some syncretism.

    By the way, if these things were "introduced" by Vatican II, how could the popes have spent several hundred previous years condemning them? Vatican II opened the windows, let down the guard and let these errors run rampant in the institutions of the Church. But they had been "introduced" into the Church long, long before Vatican II. Alfred Loisy and George Tyrell were priests, after all. You can say, "but they were condemned," but not all the modernists were condemned. Pere Louis Duchesne, Dom Lambert Beauduin and the vast majority escaped condemnation. Vatican II gave them all a wonderful opportunity run amok, "to dance in the forests and play in the fields," as that groovy Modernist diddy goes.

  29. I disagree with apologizing. We are all free to respond to abuses or scandals without perpetrating not only heresy, but a huge split in the Church, causing some to lose their souls.

    Nothing to celebrate...

  30. Luther - heretic, schismatic, glutton, drunkard and blasphemer.

    Who on Earth could ever celebrate the anniversary of such a reprobate? His disobedience and that of others has gradually led to the moral rot in westerndom that we experience today. The consequences of which are at large within the modern catholic church.

    1. With all due respect ... you forgot lecher.

  31. Benedict8:21 AM

    I don't recall much fanfare when it was the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' birth a few years ago.

    And isn't a bit early to start planning 'celebrations' of Luther's tightfisted diatribe.

    We better get our skates on to start planning the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' resurection.

  32. The point here is not that the men in the Church sinned, it is to imply in any way that the Cathiloc Church herself sinned. The situation with the protestant heretics is essentially different - the foundation of those sects was intrinsically evil.

    The "admission of guilt" or any apology for things Catholics did is inappropriate. Those were personal sins that should have been confessed, if. they weren't, and justice is being meted out for them in the next life

    The message that is being heavily implied if not stated by the hierarchy "The Catholic Church was wrong and the protestant 'churches' were wrong. Let's just get along now." I am sure that the protestants won't be apologizing or admitting guilt forn the heresy that that they spew to this day. THIS IS A PATENTLY FALSE POSITION.

  33. Francis11:31 AM

    Joe said "The message that is being heavily implied if not stated by the hierarchy "The Catholic Church was wrong and the protestant 'churches' were wrong. Let's just get along now." I am sure that the protestants won't be apologizing or admitting guilt forn the heresy that that they spew to this day. THIS IS A PATENTLY FALSE POSITION".

    Well said Joe. The conciliar hierarchy's goal is not conversion of the protestant heretics (who's immortal souls are in jeopardy of eternal damnation because of their heresies) back to the one true Church of Christ which is the Catholic Church, but a religious relativist "imperfect relationship" where we all work together to promote social justice, peace and no one is condemned and everyone goes to Heaven. As stupid, unbiblical and unCatholic (if that's a word) as that is, this is what many in the post Vatican II hierarchy believe.

    Carl said: "The state of the Catholic Church before the Council of Trent was arguably far worse than it is today."

    I doubt that Carl. While many in the hierarchy back then might have been personally corrupt and sinful they never changed Catholic dogma or the Mass wholesale to appease the world, the Jews, or the protestant heretics as did Vatican II and its subsequent hierarchy. From my understanding Pope Pius V called the Council of Trent to uphold Catholic dogma and to codify the Mass in the face of the protestant revolt and their heresies spewed from it.

  34. Martyjo12:07 PM

    Tom said...
    Martyjo - Very interesting. Where is that quotation from?

    Tom, it's taken from a book written about Pius XII published in 1972 called Devant l'histoire, p. 52-53, by Mgr. Georges Roche.

    Sorry for the delay in responding.

  35. I don't think the Lutheran belief in the total curruption of human nature allows for an apology! After all Faith alone saves why bother to avoid sin? We just need to have more Faith. Why bother to dialogue with an increasingly corrupt and disintegrating Lutheran world?

  36. A. M. D. G.12:40 PM

    Carl, the personal failings for individual Catholics have nothing to do with the Church collective. It is like present day white Americans beating their breasts and saying "mea culpa" in reparation for the yolk of slavery imposed upon Africans of centuries past. I for one will not do it. So, you go right on beating your breast and be sorry for everyone else's sins. I myself will pray for the return of the Protestants to the Catholic Church!

  37. Imposing the yolk of slavery on Africans is nowhere near as bad as imposing the white of the egg of slavery on them.


  38. There is only one anniversary in October 2017 that the Catholic Church should pre-occupy itself with: the centenary of the end of the apparitions at Fatima.

  39. Francis3:05 PM

    One correction on my last post Pope Paul III convened the Council of Trent not Pius V. Mea culpa.

  40. The "two-sided admission of guilt"??? My God! For what reason has an institution of God's laws the same guilt as the breaker of His laws? Only because this institution holds the law to tight? Or maybe in another period, to soft? In other words: it's never good enough. How totally misleading is this kind of speaking! From a pope! We've let our focus totally shifting away from the question of what is right and from the breakers and holders of the Divine laws, to the role of the institution which necessarely has the duty to protect the divine laws and, therefore, is necessarely the only Holy Church of God. And because it necessarely has to practice the divine laws and watch over the believers that they do also, there is always something possible to say about the way the Church acts. But JPII misses the point completely by equalizing the Court with the breaker of the laws. It cannot be the court which is being accused all the time, because that immediately leads to the point where all justice disappeared.

    Of course the world likes to accuse the divine court all the time, because it's master is satan with his own court, competing with the divine court. But if the Church tends to agree with satan more and more.., well, finish this thought for yourself!

  41. If I, as a pastor, am living an immoral life, and my example prompts a member of my congregation to leave the Church and denounce Catholic clergy as a brood of vipers, would it be appropriate for my bishop and brother priests to apologize and attempt to redouble their own efforts in virtue? I think so. It is no secret that many of the Catholic clergy were not only teaching but also living in ways that scandalized the faithful, prior to Martin Luther's revolt. Do I regret the scandalous, sinful lives that impacted so many people back then? Absolutely. I am very sorry it happened. This does not exonerate, justify, or mitigate Luther's position. But it makes my heart break for the tarnished image it creates of the immaculate Spouse of Christ. Apology cannot erase that image; it merely acknowledges sorrow for this particular part of the agony that has occurred within the Mystical Body. I would not disparage an apology, nor stand on a pedestal and declare: "YOU must apologize because WE belong to the one true Church." The Body of Christ is perfect; its members are not. Humility--acknowledgment of our own sin and our absolute dependence on God--is the only appropriate pedestal upon which to stand when we announce that we belong to the Mystical Body.

  42. J.G. Ratkaj5:40 PM

    There is no need neither to stick to the wicked legende noire concerning Pope Alexander VI. nor to feel any "guilt" for the churchand her hierarchs who were confronted with the protestant turmoils.

  43. Anonymous9:26 PM


    You need to study chruch history, not malicious black legends, lick the so-called Ballet of Chestnuts.

    Dont' believe all the propaganda about the church being as corrupt as the heretics alleged. And, the counhter-reformaiton was a disastrous response, ehich led us to where we are now.

    Of course, the counter-reformation enthusiasts will never admit this, for it would be to call into question their entire worldview.

    We need a return to pre-reformation praxis.

    + Wolsey

  44. On the numerous apologies of the Church, Jean Barella, in La charité profanée, comments:
    “We see the Church, twice millenarian, accusing itself of crimes which an apostate and perverse world imputes to it.... The Church and clericalism, political power, control of money, sexuality, Protestantism.... The Inquisition and Galileo, Constantine and the Council of Trent, the surplice and Latin, sacred art and theology – are all abandoned into the hands of human justice... And in the apostate world what secret jubilation ensues from this spectacle of great self-denunciation: ‘Ah! The time has come. The infamy is questioned, admitted, lamented’.... But note the most sinister and most certain secret of this comedy: religion is an execration to the modern world, just to the extent that it is modern....

  45. I had always been taught that, at the time, the nailing of theses to a church door was a way of calling for a council. Presumably a faithful son of the church would be prepared to abide by whatever such a putative council should decide. Plenty of saints have asked the church to act- and thenceforward, having asked , been obedient. Had Trent been earlier, would luther have so acted?
    It's easy to judge that his subsequent behaviour indicates bad faith from the word go - or one could charitably suppose that he enjoyed the notoriety he was getting and went on an egotrip- there's few of us the Devil can't get somewhere that way with- and a council was no longer even a tactical aim for him. Who knows?
    BTW, a better historian than me might confirm or deny another thing Ive read : Both Rome AND Luther were in the right about indulgences, in That how they left Rome, in writing, was Ok, how they got pushed in germany, in writing, was NOT; that this took not long, for the times, to discover, but by which time events had moved on so fast (which Luther IS responsible for that noone, particularly luther and his gang of supporters, gave two s***s any more. Query:True?
    However: Commemorating the date as the starter's pistol for Trent would suit me.
    Be a bit like Dunkirk if you ask me, but never mind.

  46. I suggest we read the 95 thesis get a real shock at how ignorant Luther was. He had NO Greek or Hebrew and his theological knowledge basic.

  47. The church of today is certainly far worse off since there have been innumerable acts of abomination of desolation in the once holy places. This resembles the times of the Prophet Daniel when the Temple was so besmirched. The church of today is liturgically and pastorally disorientated to such an extent that most Catholic no longer believe in The faith as such but in their own personalised forms. The church's very own surveys demonstrate this fact.

  48. Let us hope God in his infinite wisdom and mercy will grant that this be the last centennial, and also that the project to turn the Catholic Church into a liberal protestantism will finally become history!

  49. Okay, as succinctly as I can.

    Joe - People on both sides did things that were wrong. On the Catholic side, there were people who manipulated events for personal gain, provided scandal through ignorance and/or corruption, etc. On the Protestant side, there were people who reacted against abuses by separating from the Church and promoting new erroneous doctrines. "Admitting" that there was guilt on "both sides" is not a matter of apologizing as if the Church was sinful, but a matter of acknowledging patently obvious facts.

    Francis - I think you are seriously underestimating the extent of the confusion and abuse before Trent. The lines between Catholic and Protestant were often not sharply drawn. Clerical formation was a disaster. Liturgical abuses were rampant.

    AMDG - What does admitting the existence scandals in the Church prior to and during the Reformation have to do with you taking personal responsibility for these scandals? An admission that there was some guilt on the Catholic side of the divide isn't the same as pretending we today were personally guilty for their sin.

    Tom - It kind of sounds like you want the pope to apologize for apologizing.

    J.G. Ratkaj and Wolsey - Alexander VI's promotion of nude depictions was scandelous (and certain). And his treatment of Savonarola was likewise scandelous. If some of the more extreme stories surrounding him are "black legends," it is easy to understand why people believed them.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!