The Supreme Pontiff at high altitude: "Martin Lutero was smart». Of course, as it was also Jack the Ripper



Anche il famoso serial killer known as Jack the Ripper was definitely smarter, is something proved by the fact that the best of the police Scotland Yard He was never able to find out who he was and still his identity is shrouded in mystery. While on his intelligence could be discussed, analyzing it from another angle. So how you should argue that it is not really intelligent Christians fall into heresy and destroy the Church, whereby, as it was obvious, Luther was not able to give any intelligent and plausible justification for the damage he has done.


Giovanni Cavalcoli, o.p – Ariel S. Levi di Gualdo




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Anche il famoso serial killer known as Jack the Ripper was definitely smarter, is something proved by the fact that the best of the police Scotland Yard was never able to find out who …

In one of our private talks, Father Ariel S. Levi Gualdo returned to express his belief: "It seems that the Pope tends to give the best of themselves by plane, at high altitude, speaking to reporters'. That said expressed his other personal theories related to "brain oxygenation", on which overfly. Indeed, it was at high altitude, interviewed by a journalist during the return trip from Armenia, The Holy Father expressed arm some of his personal views on Luther, without any magisterial value, certainly some considerable, other quite questionable, because of conflicting with what the Magisterium of the Church has already expressed on Luther, especially with Leo X and the Council of Trent [the Holy Father's answer is recorded WHO by the minute 30,53 — N.d.R. In this movie you note to the right the face of Father Federico Lombardi s.j. that the question asked by the journalist to the Holy Father "... it is not the time to withdraw the excommunication of Martin Lutero ', starts to smile. Then, when the answer of the Holy Father, until it is diverted a shot by him, his face and taut like a bowstring. However, in the world of image, in which the Church has wanted to enter to spur beaten and often with reckless abandon, the images speak, inevitably the pictures speak].

Jack the Ripper hunt for victims …

This does not mean that the idea of ​​the Church of Luther He stops at those famous sixteenth century interventions, containing judgments that do not go corretti, but integrated, using the judging criteria provided Vatican Council II and taking into account the results of the ecumenism, as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, published by Pontificio Consiglio per la Promozione dell’unità dei cristiani, the 31 October 1999, who, moreover, Remember, it is simply an advisory body of the Holy See, which as such does magisterium [1], just to be clear.

Before commenting on the words of the Pope, I think it is good to admit a short presentation of the the status of the problem. In the enterprise Luther play two key factors, characteristic of the Augustinian spirituality: the problem of their personal relationship with God and the care of the good of the Church. But while Augustine was able to put it as the cornerstone of his spirituality love and contempt, Luther was always tempted by 'Love of up to contempt. He thus sought the solution not in charity, but in his fiducial faith: Dio mi salva nonostante il mio peccato. St. Augustine would say: vis Fugere Deo? Fuge in Deum! In Luther instead faith in God takes the place of God's love.

These themes adding a strong attraction to the Christ of St. Paolo Apostolo who "gave himself for me" [Gal 2,20], This theme dear, the whole medieval spirituality, especially the Franciscan and Dominican.

Jack the Ripper hunt for victims …

Luther, initially plagued, annoyed, distressed and frightened by an exaggerated consciousness of their sins and of its fragility, excessive need for perfection and the idea of ​​a God inexorably severe, angry with him and threatening, He believed to solve his unbearable inner drama with the famous doctrine of fiducial faith, O forensic justification, for which he adamantly convinced all my life that God did not take account of his sins and save him, at only condition that he believed this, without worrying about the sins, that would always be forgiven anyway. It was in essence an inability to peacefully practice the sacrament of penance, that he appeared to be torture, humiliation and a pointless exercise, because of its proud perfectionism, for which he could not stand accused of having always the same sins.

Luther believed that the fiducial faith It was an act of great humility before God, as he acknowledged sinner, He asserted the futility and even the impossibility of good works, and became convinced that the work of justification God "merciful" did everything, while he had nothing to do, so he could safely continue to sin, which in any case could not help but, given that the permanent confused trend to sin - "lust" - with sin. Because of this, he decided to stop confession, because he was convinced to be always in grace, although always he immersed - as he thought - in mortal sin. But true humility is to recognize that good works are dutiful, possible and necessary, although not enough, and together with the consequent merits they are gifts from God.

Jack the Ripper hunt for victims …

The great drama of Luther, It had not yet begun, perché egli, especially as a religious and a priest, and also for a natural opening of his soul - his father wanted to direct it advocacy -, not only felt the need to care for their salvation, but also that of others and the good of the Church. And in fact his superiors in the Order immediately noticed these attitudes and soon entrusted him with numerous assignments, especially the teaching of theology.

The idea of fiducial faith Luther, however, regarded as being based on humility and trust in God's mercy, aveva messo tali radici nel suo animo sottilmente superbo [2], he supported it as if it were true Word of God and the discovery of the true Gospel.

Luther had a very active and energetic character, generous but also authoritarian, capable of great efforts and hard work in external works, in weak while in the domain of the passions. La sua ben nota tesi dell’inutilità delle “opere” non va intesa in senso quietistico, fece eat Molinos, but it refers to the rejection of the ascetic discipline, all'occuparsi not the good of others, where Luther however many expenses energies and he knew gather collaborators and followers. Hence his reformer intent, Although this activism and zeal often harsh and violent was not born, as opposed to St. Augustine and all true reformers, by an ardent charity Divina, then an authentic supernatural motivation - what St. Caterina da Siena called "ardent desire" -, but its exceptional natural dynamism and her conviction of being justified by the fiducial faith.

historical archive forensic image: The victims of Jack the Ripper

So it was not true brotherly love, that flows from divine charity, o di vero servizio a Dio e al prossimo, but - probably without you noticing it -, the need or urge to self-assertion and domination over others. And so the above arbitrary and presumptuous idea of ​​being justified caused him excessive self-confidence and the stubborn belief that God was always in him and with him, so as to have at a certain point the boldness, his, heretic, to accuse of heresy Pope Leo X who had "dared" to censor. In this way Luther it appropriated to itself that infallibility in interpreting Scripture, that Christ gave to Peter; and how well you understand, this, It has nothing to do with humility.

The tragic turning point in Luther's life It is when he breaks with the pope on the question of justification, attorno al 1518-19. Until then he accepts the Church in her divine essence and, with the famous 95 thesis the 1517, It is moved by the intention to reform, free it from the mundane, purify, find the original Gospel, remove encrustations and weighting, unnecessary elements and barriers, correct costumes, fight the vices, increase the virtues and the study of God's Word, forming consciences, revive their enthusiasm and fervor. Some of the ideas of this period Luther would have been taken up by the reform initiated by the Second Vatican Council, but obviously in completely different ways and doctrinal and pastoral terms.

historical portrait of Martin Lutero

But when the Pope condemned his idea of ​​justification with the famous bull Arise, O the 1520, explodes in Luther a real rage against the Pope and in general against the Magisterium of the Church, that from now on he feels as high imposter, falsifier of the Gospel, oppressor of the freedom of the Christian and the Church, Demon servo.

The idea of ​​reforming the Church turns into destruction of the Church: Luther lost the perception of what can be changed and what must be preserved and begins to remove or change essentials. Note that now his application to fund a vaunted vaunted or instance of truth, and not only and not primarily a simple reform of morals or institutions. He knows and has discovered or rediscovered, against the Pope lies, how I interpret Scripture, what is the true teaching of St. Paul, What is faith, what is the true gospel, as gains salvation, What is the Church.

Until the 1517 Luther accepts the truth of the Church and just wants to reform. From the 1520, he begins to demolish the Church, He thinks he knows what the true Church. No more re-form, ma one-way. It was the beginning of the catastrophe. For this we should go very cautious - how many times we have explained in numerous articles on this our Island of Patmos -, to call, Luther and the Lutheran "reform".

the great gash Luther the Ripper

Considering himself finally free the Magisterium of the control of the indisputable interpreter Church of Revelation, directly inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luther ends up becoming a hotbed of heresies and enormities were followed him, una dietro all’altra, for the rest of his life, like a raging torrent, encountering considerable success until today. I am not here to list them, so they are known from five centuries. Among the Lutherans, Some errors have been corrected, others have worsened. It is, however, pleased that, Also as a result of the ecumenical activities, a passage from Luther, accostate da alcuni esegeti cattolici [3] more carefully critical, they showed, the wretched beyond expression, their intention Orthodox.

Wanting to make a balance of the so-called "reform" Lutheran, we leave to God's judgment on the private intentions of Luther and according to its rather explicit and stated intentions, according to what is in fact achieved Luther, according to the results of his "reform", according to the judgment of the Church and of history, outside of every servile fanaticism and any reprehensible demonization, to give an overall assessment of the work of Luther, just a few simple indisputable considerations accessible to all, to say with confidence, serene soul and responsible - and this is the most favorable judgment that can be given - that his "reform" has done more harm than good.

the victim of Luther the Ripper: Church Unity

First consideration. We call it "reformer"? Facciamolo pure, but not without taking into account the contrasting character of Luther with the true saints reformers, which produced saints, many canonized by the Church. Here are a few names known to all: St. Benedict of Nursia, Gregorio VII, San Pier Damiani, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Innocent III, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, St. Caterina da Siena, the Servant of God Girolamo Savonarola, St. Ignatius of Loyola. To follow with the great reform made by the Council of Trent in a season that has been a great flowering of saints: St. Teresa of Avila, San Pio V, San Carlo Borromeo. To follow with contemporary reformers: San Pio X, St. John XXIII, Reform of Vatican II gave in turn rise to numerous saints: Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, San Josemaria Escriva, Santa Teresa of Calcutta … All are enlightening comparisons that do not need comments.

Second consideration. If it took the Council of Trent to remedy the "" Luther's Reformation, it means that something went wrong. Just think of the wars of religion and religious to the tragic division of Europe. The Tridentine reform has produced immense fruits of holiness. What holiness produced instead Lutheran?

The Second Vatican Council recognized that some instances of Luther could be valid, but he never denied the scope of all its highly negative and harmful elements

Third consideration. The Second Vatican Council has promoted the recognition of valid aspects of Luther's Reformation, without ignoring the negative ones. The Protestant brothers in dialogue, we are considering?

The Holy Father, with words that have been around the world, he has declared:

"I believe that the intentions of Martin Luther were not wrong: He was a reformer ".

I think judging intentions is not easy, but in certain cases it may be possible and useful, especially when it comes to evaluating the thinking and actions of famous people, very studied, that we have left many testimonies and many documents But this is just the case of Luther, although in his conduct and in his writings they are contradictions, darkness and ambiguity. The intimate intentions, morals, the limits are known only to God, who can read the man's conscience, and the person. However, there are communicable intentions of an author, that appear by their linguistic and behavioral expression. On this floor it is not historically true to say that all of Luther's intentions were correct, because his words and his behavior instead prove the exact opposite. Here are a few examples: It was not just the intent to separate from the Roman Church. It was not just the intention to abolish the papacy. It was not just the intention to abolish the hierarchy. It was not just the intention to abolish the Magisterium of the Church. It was not just the intent to abolish the Mass and the Sacraments. It was not just the intention to abolish the Eucharistic adoration. It was not just the intention to abolish the cult of the saints. It was not just the intent to abolish the religious life. And with everything, It is very important to note that Luther did not destroy the church completely; otherwise it would not be a heretic, but an apostate. Like this, in Lutheranism, were the fundamental dogmas of the faith: One God, the creation, la provvidenza, the man the image of God, gli angeli, the Trinitarian dogma, the Incarnation, the Redemption. And along with this "memory" also it remained the fundamental structure of the Church: il battesimo, the grace of Christ, the salvation, God's people, and ministers, writing, il profetismo, the charisms of the Spirit, prayer, la Cena del Signore, l’etica cristiana. All these values ​​are the basis of ecumenical relations.

The Holy Father he has declared:

"Maybe some methods were not right, but at that time we see that the Church was not exactly a role model: there was corruption in the Church, there was high society, It was no attachment to money and power. And for this he protested ".

Luther ripped through the Unity of the Church …

Perhaps it should be well noted that it is not only unjust methods, but also the goals and unjust or wrong content, such as those described above, who turned “reform” in destruction, a heresy that has created a dramatic schism.

The Holy Father followed by saying:

"He was smart, and has taken a step forward justifying why did this. And today Lutherans and Catholics, with all Protestants, we agree on the Doctrine of Justification: on this point so important he was not wrong. He made a "medicine" for the Church ".

Anche il famoso serial killer known as Jack the Ripper It was definitely smarter, is something proved by the fact that the best of the police Scotland Yard He was never able to find out who he was and still his identity is shrouded in mystery. While on his intelligence could be discussed, analyzing it from another angle. So how you should argue that it is not really intelligent Christians fall into heresy and destroy the Church, whereby, as it was obvious, Luther was not able to give any intelligent and plausible justification for the damage he has done. The real intelligence, It is the result of humility. The heretic, usually, He is an intelligent person, but superb and lacks charity. He does not listen to the warning of St. Paul: "Science swells. The love builds up " [I Co 8,2]. The intellect it takes, ma, as Dante says, It must be a "loving understanding". In the end, if it really Luther made a "medicine", how come, the Council of Trent, It replaced it with another? In the event to: which of the two drugs is the right one?

the Roman Pontiff in Lund (Sweden) to celebrate the 500 years of “reform” of Luther, hugs at the end of a liturgy Masked lady from a Gentile “arcivescova” and as such coated priestly insignia. In a world that often live image, It comes from wondering: a similar impact image, It was really necessary? And if necessary, to what, It was necessary?

The Holy Father finally concludes:

"Today dialogue is very good and that document on justification think it is one of the richest ecumenical documents, richer and deeper […] There are divisions, but also they depend on the Churches'.

Del document on justification I have already spoken above. In it we must distinguish the one hand the divisions between the churches that touch the charity ; on the other, the division or separation of the Lutherans from the Catholic church, in that, questa seconda, It touches very deeply the truth, faith and dogma.


the Island of Patmos, 23 October 2016



[1] I made a recent comment in my article "The concept of justification in Luther ', July 2017, see WHO.

[2] Luther himself, Here echo of the Augustinian wisdom, He says that there is a well hidden pride in our soul. Cf Psalm 19,14: "Only by pride hidden save your servant". The problem of salvation is all here. Unfortunately Luther fell into that pride, which he had an excessive fear.

[3] See for example,: J.Lortz – E.Iserloh, History of the Reformation, Società Editrice Il Mulino, Bologna 1990.



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3 replies
  1. hector says:

    I think it's helpful to know the island goers friends the last work of Father John Cavalcoli, an essay of 36 page report entitled ” Against Luther, why should we not die Protestants” available on:

    The Vatican Tosatti reviews the essay on his blog:

  2. Zamax says:

    As I wrote long ago, Pope Francis is a great admirer of Dostoevsky, and in the work of Russian writer evil and good are often thought of as two sides of the same reality, so it happens that the great criminal coexists potentially with the saint in the same person. It '- per me – a big nonsense, which, moreover, is rather widespread even in the Catholic culture, but Dostoevsky, great writer, It is in such deep end and to be able to spacciarla for real. I'm not talking here of the case of the "great sinner" becomes "holy", on which, moreover, it is often indulge in a manner caricatured. S. Augustine, eg, It was never really a "great sinner" in the usual sense, but one who lived a youth worldliness period sentendone progressively all the weight and vanity, period in which others would have shrugged. Nor should we imagine, in my opinion, Saul when "persecuted" Christians are let go to cruelty, or in everyday life not already betrayed signs of magnanimity S. Paul.

    So, is not only "political" or wise and benevolent Jesuitism what he puts into his mouth absurdly flattering judgments of Luther (or other unfortunate characters) but a portion of its personality that makes it difficult to undeceive and causing it to carelessness. This also explains that to assume that Luther was, at least initially, in good faith in its criticisms of the Church: but all the signs are telling us the opposite, namely, that from the beginning, Instead - perhaps darkly and even lying to himself, because there was something morbid in him - Luther same laying the foundations of his great "self-justification", which perhaps he would have been buried in the folds of history if it had not become a tool of worldly powers that made it explode. This also explains some of his theatrical gestures towards that "neighbor" that political correctness now called "other", whether the migrant, il protestante, the Muslim, l’ateo; gestures but end up - beyond his intentions - to make mercy a representation in which the most important role is played by the worldly gratification.

  3. Alessandro B says:

    Eh! The things you have to say as they are. very clear and concise Summary. Is it possible that the Pope does not know these things that the believer can misinformed’ easy to learn and study alone? For example, in a recent BBC documentary on reform (seen as a positive active against the ogre represented by the Catholic Church “….who commanded all aspects of social life of the time….” as if the Church is made by people not of their own time, and the company is often not “unbelievers devotees” , Father says Ariel eats) a German scholar has quietly said the word “sola” in “sola fide” in Luther's translation of the Gospel does not exist in any previous biblical text. E’ a pure invention. A drop of truth in a sea of ​​rants of a TV presenter and Professor of history that a quick search then revealed to me convivesse for decades with his partner omesessuale. And you thought.

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