Luther Thought He Was Divine!
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
I do not understand how men of the Church today, including some of the most cultured, learned, and illustrious, mythicize the figure of Luther, the heresiarch, in their zeal to favor an ecumenical rapprochement directly with Protestantism and indirectly with all the religions, schools of philosophy, and so forth.
Do they not perceive the danger that is lying in wait for all of us at the end of this road, that is, the formation on a world-wide scale of a sinister supermarket of religions, philosophies, and systems of all sorts, in which truth and error will be broken up in pieces, mixed together in a cacophonous confusion? The only thing missing from the world would be — if we could reach such a point – the whole truth, that is, the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Faith, with neither spot nor wrinkle.
Today I present some facts about Luther that clearly point up the odor that his revolted figure would spread in that supermarket, or rather, that morgue of religions, of philosophies, and of human thought itself. To him belongs, from a certain point of view, the role of being the point of departure in this march toward total confusion.
|Fr. Leonel Edgar da Silveira Franca, S.J., one of the founders of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and its first Rector (1941 -1948).|
I have drawn these passages from the magnificent work of Fr. Leonel Franca, S.J., A Igreja, a Reforma, e a Civilização [The Church, the Reformation, and Civilization] (Rio de Janeiro, 1934).
A uniquely characteristic element of Luther’s teaching is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Put more simply, this means that the superabundant merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, alone and by themselves, without our cooperation, assure the eternal salvation of man, so that one may lead a life of sin in this world with neither remorse of conscience nor fear of God’s justice.
For Luther, the voice of conscience was not that of grace, but rather that of the Devil!
For this reason, he wrote to a friend that a man vexed by the Devil should occasionally “drink more abundantly, gamble, entertain himself, and even commit some sin out of hatred and spite for the Devil so that we may not give him an opportunity to disturb our consciences with trifles. The whole Decalogue should be erased from our eyes and our souls, from us who are so persecuted and molested by the Devil”.
Along the same line he also wrote: “God only obliges you to believe and to confess (the faith). In all other things He leaves you free, lord and master to do whatever you will without any danger to your conscience; on the contrary, it is certain that, as far as He is concerned, it makes no difference whether you leave your wife, flee from your lord, or are unfaithful to every obligation. What is it to Him if you do or do not do such things?”
The incitement to sin given in a letter to Melanchton on August 1, 1521, is perhaps even more categorical: “Be a sinner, and sin strongly (esto peccator et pecca fortiter), but believe and rejoice even more firmly in Christ, the conqueror of sin, of death, and of the world. During this life, we have to sin. It is sufficient that, by the mercy of God, we know the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Sin will not separate us from Him, even though we were to commit a thousand murders and a thousand adulteries per day”.
Martin Luther, the apostate Augustinian friar from Erfurt,
who in his rebellion lashed out against God, Jesus Christ the
Son of God, the Blessed Sacrament, the Virgin Mary,
and the Papacy.
This doctrine is so bizarre that even Luther himself could scarcely manage to believe in it: “There is no religion in the whole world that teaches this doctrine of justification; I myself, even though I teach it publicly, have a great difficulty in believing it privately”.
Luther himself recognized the devastating effects of his admittedly insincere preaching: “The Gospel today finds adherents who are convinced that it is nothing but a doctrine that serves to fill their bellies and give free reign to all their impulses”.
And Luther added, regarding his evangelical henchmen, that “they are seven times worse than they were before. After the preaching of our doctrine men have given themselves up to robbery, lying, imposture, debauchery, drunkenness, and every kind of vice. We have expelled one devil (the papacy), and seven worse ones have come in”.
“After we understood that good works are not necessary for justification, I became much more remiss and cold in doing good...and if we could return now to the old state of things and if the doctrine of the necessity of good works to be holy could be revived, our alacrity and promptness in doing good would be different”.
All these insanities make it understandable how Luther reached a frenzy of satanic pride, saying of himself: “Does this Luther not appear to you to be eccentric? As far as I am concerned, I think he is God. Otherwise, how could his writings or his name have the power to transform beggars into lords, asses into doctors (of learning), falsifiers into saints, slime into pearls!”
At other times, Luther’s opinion of himself was much more objective: “I am a man exposed to and involved in society, debauchery, carnal movements, in negligence and other disturbances, to which are added those of my own office”.
|The Bull “Decet Romanum Pontificem” of Leo X, excommunicating Martin Luther.|
Excommunicated in Worms in 1521, Luther gave himself up to idleness and sloth. On July 13 of that year he wrote to Melanchton: “I find myself here insensate and hardened, established in idleness. Oh, woe! Praying little, and ceasing to moan for the Church of God, because my untamed flesh burns in great flames. In short, I, who ought to have the fervor of the spirit, have the fervor of the flesh, of licentiousness, sloth, idleness, and somnolence”.
In a sermon preached in 1532: “As for me I confess, and many others could undoubtedly make an equal confession, that I am careless of discipline and zeal. I am much more negligent now than under the papacy; no one has ardor for the Gospel now like that you used to see”.
What, then, can be found in common between this morality and that of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church?
This article was originally published in the Folha de S.Paulo, on January 10, 1984.
1.M. Luther, Briefe, Sendschreiben und Bedenken, Ed. DeWette [Berlin, 1825-1828]; Franca, pp. 199-200 ↑
2.Werke, Weimar ed., XII, pp. 131 ff.; Franca, p. 446 ↑
3.Briefe, Sendschreiben und Bedenken, II, p. 37; Franca, p. 439 ↑
4.Werke, XXV, p. 330; Franca, p. 158 ↑
5.Werke, XXXIII, p. 2; Franca, p. 440 ↑
6.Werke, XXVIII, p. 763; Franca, p. 441 ↑
7.Werke, XXVII, p. 443; Franca, p. 443 ↑
8.Werke, Ed. Wittenberg, 1551, IV, pp. 378; Franca, p. 190 ↑
9.Briefe, Sendschreiben und Bedenken, I, p. 232; Franca, p. 232 ↑
10.Briefe, Sendschreiben und Bedenken, II, p. 22; Franca, p. 198 ↑
11.Saemtiliche Werke, XVII , p. 353; Franca, p. 441 ↑
Luther, Absolutely Not!
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
In 1974, I had the honor of being the first to sign a declaration
published in a number of the main Brazilian dailies and reproduced in
almost all the nations where the then eleven TFPs existed. Its title was
“The Vatican Policy of Détente with the Communist Governments – For the TFP: To Take No Stand? Or To Resist?.”
In that declaration the organizations stated their respectful
disagreement with the “Ostpolitik” led by Paul VI, and expounded in
detail their reasons for this. All of it, let it be said in passing, was
expressed in such an orthodox manner that no one raised any objection.
Summing up in one sentence all their veneration for the Papacy and the
firmness with which they stated their resistance to the Vatican’s
Ostpolitik, the TFPs said to the Pontiff: “Our souls are thine, our
lives are thine. Command us as thou wilt, but do not command us to cross
our arms before the onslaught of the red wolf. To this our conscience
I recalled this statement with special sadness as I read the letter of John Paul II to Cardinal Willebrands
regarding the five-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther
and signed last October 31, the anniversary of the heresiarch’s first
act of rebellion in the church of the castle of Wittenberg. It is so
full of benevolence and amenity that I asked myself if the august signer
had forgotten the terrible blasphemies that the apostate friar had
hurled against God, Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Blessed Sacrament,
the Virgin Mary, and the Papacy itself.
French historian Frantz Funck-Bretano, member of The Academy of Ethics and Political Science, of the Institut de France.
Certainly he is not ignorant of them, for they are within reach of any cultured Catholic in respected books that are still not difficult to obtain today.
I have two of them in mind. The first is A Igreja, a Reforma, e a Civilização [The Church, the Reformation, and Civilization], by the great Jesuit, Fr. Leonel Franca. The silence of the ecclesiastical hierarchy is allowing dust to settle upon the book and the memory of its author.
The other book is by Frantz Funck-Brentano, one of the best known French historians of this century, a member of the Institut de France, and furthermore, a man whose motives are scarcely suspect, since he was a Protestant himself.
We shall begin by citing some texts from Funck-Brentano’s Luther.
Let us go directly to this unspeakable blasphemy: “Christ,” said Luther, “committed adultery for the first time with the woman at the well, of whom John speaks. Did they not murmur around him: ‘What then did he do with her?’ Later, he did the same with Magdalen, and shortly thereafter with the adulterous woman, whom he absolved so lightly. Thus, Christ, so pious, also had to fornicate before dying.”
Having read this, it is not surprising that Luther thinks, as Funck-Brentano points out, that “certainly God is great and powerful, good and merciful...but he is stupid – ‘Deus est stultissimus.’ He is a tyrant. Moses was moved by his will, acting as his lieutenant, as his hangman, and was neither surpassed by anyone nor even equaled in scaring, terrorizing, and martyring the poor world.”
|Martin Luther, the apostate Augustinian friar from Erfurt, who in his rebellion lashed out against God, Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Blessed Sacrament, the Virgin Mary, and the Papacy.|
This is strictly consistent with another of his blasphemies which makes God the one really responsible for the treason of Judas and the revolt of Adam: “Luther,” comments Funck-Brentano, “goes so far as to declare that Judas, in betraying Christ, acted under the imperious decision of the Almighty. His will (that of Judas), was directed by God; God moved him with His omnipotence. Adam himself, in the earthly paradise, was constrained to act as he did. He was placed by God in such a situation that it was impossible for him not to fall.”
Consistent still with this abominable sequence, Luther, in a pamphlet titled “Against the Roman Pontificate Founded by the Devil” of March, 1545, called the Pope not “Holiness,” according to the custom, but “Most Infernal” and added that the Papacy had always shown itself to be bloodthirsty.
It is no wonder that Luther, moved by such ideas, wrote to Melanchton regarding the bloody persecutions of Henry VIII against the Catholics of England: “It is licit to be wrathful when one knows what kind of traitors, thieves, and murderers the popes, their cardinals, and legates are. Would to God that many kings of England dedicate themselves to putting an end to them.”
For this very same reason, he also exclaimed: “Enough of words: Fire and sword!” And he adds: “We punish thieves with the sword. Why should we not seize the pope, the cardinals, and the whole gang of the Roman Sodom and wash our hands in their blood?”
Luther’s hatred accompanied him to the end of his life: Funck-Brentano affirms: “His last public sermon in Wittenberg was on January 17, 1546 – a last cry of malediction against the pope, the Sacrifice of the Mass, devotion to the Virgin.”
It is no shock that great persecutors of the Church have celebrated his memory. Thus “Hitler ordered that October 31 be made a national holiday in Germany, commemorating the day in 1517 that the rebellious Augustinian friar fixed his famous 95 theses against pontifical supremacy and doctrines on the doors of the church of the castle of Wittenberg.”
In spite of all the official atheism of the communist regime, Dr. Erich Honnecker, president of the Council of State and the Council of Defense, and the top man in the German Democratic Republic, agreed to head the committee that organized last year’s garish commemorations of Luther right in Red Germany.
|The Bull “Decet Romanum Pontificem” of Leo X, excommunicating Martin Luther.|
Nothing is more natural than for the apostate friar to stir up such sentiments in a Nazi leader and, more recently, in a communist leader.
But there is nothing more disconcerting, even dizzying, than what happened during the very recent commemoration of the five-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Luther in a squalid Protestant temple in Rome last December 11.
The prelate who participated in this festive act of love and admiration in memory of the heresiarch is the one whom the conclave of 1978 elected Pope, whose mission it would be, therefore, to defend the holy names of God and Jesus Christ, the Holy Mass, the Holy Eucharist, and the Papacy against heresiarchs and heretics!
“Dizzying, shocking,” groaned my Catholic heart, which nevertheless redoubled its faith in and veneration for the Papacy.
The Church, the Reformation, and Civilization, by the great Fr. Leonel Franca, is left for me to cite in my next article.
This article was originally published in the Folha de S.Paulo, on December 27, 1983.
3.Luther, Paris, Grasset, 1934 ↑
4.Propos de Table, no. 1472, Weimar Ed. 2, 107; Cf. Funck-Brentano, p. 235 ↑
5.Propos de Table, no. 963, Weimar Ed. 1, 487 ↑
6.Funck-Brentano, p. 230 ↑
7.Funck-Brentano, p. 246 ↑
8.Funck-Brentano, pp. 337-338 ↑
9.Funck-Brentano, p. 254 ↑
10.Funck-Brentano, p. 104 ↑
11.p. 340 ↑
12.Funck-Brentano, p. 272 ↑
13.see German Comments, Osnabrück, West Germany, April, 1983 ↑