October 31, 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary when the heretic priest Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the All Saints Church door in Wittenburg. The revolt had been already fomenting throughout Europe and the actions of Martin Luther were the spark that ignited the Protestant split from the Catholic Church. He was responding to various abuses and scandals that rocked the Church in Europe, not unlike the scandals that are present today. The problem was not with what the Church taught, but with the way men lived.
Martin Luther wanted to change Church teaching instead of calling Catholics back to follow the moral teachings of Christ and His Church. He began to throw out much of the Church’s moral teachings in order to fit in with his own ‘world’ view of the Church. Martin Luther also rejected most of the sacraments, except for baptism and marriage, yet his views on marriage were also distorted. He made himself the sole arbiter on how to interpret Sacred Scripture and even removed books that he thought did not belong in the Bible.
The principle ‘Sola Scriptura,’ which states that Scripture alone is the sole authority when it comes to Christian living, was the result of Martin Luther’s breaking away from the Church, because he needed an authority which most people would respect. The ironic twist about sacred Scripture is that in 1 Tim 3:15 St. Paul writes “if I am delayed, you may know how to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” Holy Scripture says that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, not Sola Scriptura. We must continue to pray that those protestant sects which broke away from the Catholic Church may once again be united to her.