Every Member Ministry

Remember how the Second Vatican Council affirmed the priesthood of believers?

The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, in order that through all those works which are those of the Christian man they may offer spiritual sacrifices and proclaim the power of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. (Lumen Gentium 2.10)

Look where it leads:

Here is part of what the pope said:

And today Lutherans and Catholics, Protestants, all of us agree on the doctrine of justification. On this point, which is very important, he did not err.

No, no, no. Now see, this infuriates me as an apologist (and former Protestant). It is one thing to have to correct this nonsense when it comes from the late Anglican bishop Tony Palmer. But from the pope? I defend the poor man, but at times he exasperates me.

Turns out Lutherans and Roman Catholics don’t agree:

Now, it is true, that some consensus has been reached between Catholics and Lutherans on justification. But it is not at all true to say, as Pope Francis does, that we all “agree” now, as though there are no differences to speak of. And for him to say that Luther “did not err” on justification is just flat baloney.

I mean, for heaven’s sake, Luther taught justification by faith alone. The Council of Trent condemned this error. Was Trent wrong? Or was Pope Leo X wrong in Exsurge Domine?

Leo X condemned Martin Luther’s view that the sacraments give pardoning grace

Leo X condemned Martin Luther’s teaching that sin remains after baptism

Leo X condemned Martin Luther’s view that a just man sins in doing a good work

And in its Canons on Justification, the Council of Trent pronounced an anathema on the following views of Luther:

Canon 5 anathematized the view that Adam’s sin destroyed free will

Canon 7 anathematized the view that good works before justification are sinful

Canon 9 anathematized justification by faith alone

Canon 11 anathematized imputed righteousness

Canon 25 anathematized the view that good works are venial sins even for the just man

There are important differences between Protestants and Catholics, and ecumenism is of no use if we don’t treat them honestly. We can’t just pretend they are not there and wish them away. If Luther “did not err,” did the Church err? Should we all become Protestants?

Trent was right; Leo X was right. Luther did indeed err; and in this particular statement, so did Pope Francis. I love Pope Francis; he’s my Father; but no, no, no. He was wrong.

Move over papal audacity. Say hello to lay audacity.

3 thoughts on “Every Member Ministry

  1. every member ministry

    “Then lastly, build them up, build them up. Just a brief comment on verse 6, “And let the one who is taught the Word share all good things with him who teaches.”

    “ Some people think this verse means you should pay the preacher. I don’t think that’s what it means at all. Why would he drop that obtuse thought in the middle of this context? What he is saying is the one who bears the burden and holds this guy up, or this lady up, is obviously teaching the Word to that person. That’s part of it. And they mutually share, koinōneō, in all good things, all the noble, moral, spiritual excellencies that he is learning.”

    “The implication here is simply this. You’re involved in a building process. You pick them up by confronting sin, calling for a confession, repentance, prayer, back to the Word. You hold them up by an accountability relationship in which you get under the burden and help them carry the burden. And you build them up by sharing back and forth all the good, excellent, moral truths that flow out of the process of teaching. That’s an essential part of it. You might give someone a book. You might give them a tape. You might bring them to church with you. You might be in a Bible study with them. It’s been a joy for me, I guess this is one of the, one of the privileges of being the preacher. I would never be able to personally teach all the people that I would like to be able to teach, to follow them up, but I have the privilege of preaching publicly every week so that they can come and sit under that teaching and I can cover a lot more ground that way. But there must be that personal sharing in the edifying process of the Word of God.”



  2. The quality of lay Catholic online apologists reminds me of the KJV only types, except the Catholics think they get some sort of sophistication cachet by association with cool European names. What the don’t get is that the guys they invoke so mightily to establish their impeccable certainty… well, the Catholicism they represent is hardly a monolithic tower or even that smart, even if it can speak both Latin and French as well as lob (but also explain away) anathemas. The old Popes thought democracy was evil, impressive sounding guys like Danilou and DeLubac were far closer to William Barclay than William Cunningham, Garrigou-Lagrange was doctoral advisor to John Paul II and Louis Bouyer to Hans Kung. And the guy who wrote the ballyhooed Catechism of the Catholic Church has active gays on his parish board. Hot mess.


  3. If ain’t ex cathedra, it ain’t dogma so the papa can say anything and the faithful will still follow and explain away the hot mess. Will he change the catechism of the Catholic church? Of course not, he embraces confusion and inconsistency. Ali I think you missed the point again.


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