Friday, June 27, 2014

95 Theses XI: 'H' Is For Heresy

51. Christians should be taught that the pope would be willing, as he ought if necessity should arise, to sell the church of St. Peter, and give, too, his own money to many of those from whom the pardon-merchants conjure money. My comment: I don't see how the pope could be responsible for the possible imprudence of the people.

52. It is vain to rely on salvation by letters of indulgence, even if the commissary, or indeed the pope himself, were to pledge his own soul for their validity. My comment: To my knowledge, the Church has never taught that indulgences could forgive sins.

53. Those are enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid the word of God to be preached at all in some churches, in order that indulgences may be preached in others. My comment: If so, then name names. There is no point in throwing out vague accusations that no one can do anything about.

54. The word of God suffers injury if, in the same sermon, an equal or longer time is devoted to indulgences than to that word. My comment: Is the Church's ministry part of the good news, or not? If it is, then no son of the Church has the right to decide how much or how little to talk about any one thing within it.

55. The pope cannot help taking the view that if indulgences (very small matters) are celebrated by one bell, one pageant, or one ceremony, the gospel (a very great matter) should be preached to the accompaniment of a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies. My comment: On the contrary; every aspect of the gospel should be integrated into the whole of redemption. There is a hierarchy of truth, but we should not deny doctrine in the guise of prioritizing the truths of faith.

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