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.