Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is the Pope still Catholic?

An interesting statement by Pope Benedict:

"Luther, the pope had told his audience, had been right to insist in sola fide, that a believer was justified by faith alone!"

Now, before we get too excited, here is how the pope defined faith:

"The pope defined faith as 'identification with Christ expressed in love for God and neighbour'. Such love fulfilled the law. Being justified meant simply being with Christ and in Christ. Christ alone was sufficient."

Depending on what "identification with Christ" means, there may be something significant here. Lutherans believe the faith by which we are saved is that we believe and take as our own what God has promised in Christ. This faith is the gift of God the Holy Spirit given through the preached Gospel. I can't place my finger on it, but it does seem to me that the pope's definition of faith is a different one, and it seems to me that it is centered on "identification with...".

This may cause some e-apologists heads to explode though:

"Luther had correctly translated Paul's words as 'justified by faith alone', the well-known sola fide, Benedict affirmed, as reported in the newspaper."

This translation was a famous "scurrilous interpolation" by Luther who only wanted to import his subjective, private judgement into the translation of the Bible, according to more than one RC e-apologist I have read.



steve martin said...

"This faith is the gift of God the Holy Spirit given through the preached Gospel."

(don't forget baptism)

That's the trouble with the R.C.s...they have a completely diiferent way of interpreting words.

It makes for a much livelier tap dance.

Edward Reiss said...

Well, to be fair, it does sound rather pro "Lutheran". I wouldn't automatically assume he was stating something dishonestly, or that he is engaging in logomachy.

steve martin said...


Maybe you are right.(I hope so)

I think I'm just wary of the R.C. apologists attack dogs.

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