Saturday, October 31, 2015
Happy Reformation Day!
Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses in 1517 as a protest against the selling of indulgences. After he sent a copy of the theses to Albert of Mainz (who sent a copy to Pope Leo), Luther continued to write, elaborating on the issues raised.
He makes three main points in his 95 theses: 1) Selling indulgences to finance the building of St. Peter's is wrong, 2)The pope has no power over Purgatory, 3) Buying indulgences gives people a false sense of security and endangers their salvation.
"Therefore I claim that the pope has no jurisdiction over Purgatory. ... If the pope does have power to release anyone from Purgatory, why in the name of love does he not abolish Purgatory by letting everyone out? If for the sake of miserable money he released uncounted souls, why should he not for the sake of most holy love empty the place? To say that souls are liberated from Purgatory is audacious. To say they are released as soon as the coffer rings is to incite avarice. The pope would do better to give everything away without charge."