Question from on 08-06-2007:
Dear Doctor, Martin Luther was an intelligent man who should have been a lawyer or something other than a priest. He made an injudicious vow in a tense situation that he would join a monastery if he survived. This kind of vow is easliy dismissed in confession, but he proceded. He was influenced by questionable theology and was governed by scrupulosity. He was looking for an iron clad guarantee of salvation. He looked on the "selling" of indulgences that was happening in Germany to get money to build/rebuild a church as the epitomy of the problems in the Church. However, "selling" and "buying" indulgences are a matter of intent and just because one "pays" money, isn't a proof of it. One has only to actually read his 95 theses to see that he realy wasn't interested in reform. Many are heretical. If one wants to really learn about the man they should read his "Table Talks" They show him in a very different light in his own words.
Thank you, God bless you,
Answer by Richard Geraghty on 08-14-2007:
Thank you for the note. I agree with you that Martin Luther was not just looking for a reform of corrupt practices but had ideas from the beginning that did not fit the Catholic Faith. Many other Catholic besides Luther condemned the way the doctrine of indulgences was being uses. One can cry out against these abuses and still remain a Catholic. But Luther's protest went deeper, attacking many central points of Catholic belief. It was this protest that led him to be condemned by the Church.