Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2017

Martin Luther - 500 Years Later

Martin Luther - 500 Years LaterGerry O'Shea
This year we commemorate a momentous event in the history of Christendom: The posting of ninety five theological propositions in October 1517 by Martin Luther on the door of the church in Wittenberg, a town located on the river Elbe in Germany.
Luther, an Augustinian monk and college professor, was challenging the practice of selling indulgencesthat the Church claimed reduced or eliminated the residual punishment in purgatory due for sins already confessed to a priest. While the dubious practice of promoting indulgences has fallen into abeyance in our time, many readers who grew up in the 60's and 70's can tell stories about how they were encouraged to say certain prayers with indulgences attached that varied from a mere 100 days relief in purgatory to a plenary indulgence which could blot out a multitude of transgressions committed by oneself or others.
Luther was objecting as a loyal Catholic priest and certainly had no plans to b…