Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Martin Luther and Korean Catholicism

This year is the 500 anniversary of Martin Luther's religious revolution.The Catholic Church for some time has considered him a heretic but in recent years this is changing. A professor at the Catholic Medical School writes about the change in View from the Ark in the Catholic Times.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI  said that he was not a heretic but one who wanted to clean out the corruption within the Church. He did not want to leave the Church. Pope Francis praised him as a great intellect who wanted to reform the Church of his time.

The present Church is doing many of the things that Luther advocated many centuries ago.We have the faithful reading the Scriptures, sermons are important, we sing many hymns at the liturgy, all points that Luther stressed. The changes to the vernacular in the liturgy at the Second Vatican Council were all changes Luther wanted. His irascible personality prevented his ideas from being accepted within the community of faith and consequently his leaving the Church.

The church has to always be reforming and not be negligent in this regard. The Church when we are not taking the correct road the Holy Spirit is present ready to lead us. This is the teaching of the Church. From the very beginning of the Church community, we hear this message repeated in the Scriptures.

Karl Barth the Protestant theologian says the Church needs to be always on the road to reformation. This is not only the Church but each individual Christian needs to continually be reforming our understanding of the road we are on. We are bombarded with noise from the society in which we live which makes the path we are traveling filled with obstacles. Discernment is necessary.

The professor finds it difficult to find where we are examining the road on which we are on. We do not have the will or desire to undergo a reformation. The religious and clergy are concerned with external affairs and pass over important matters. The laity with little knowledge goes along with this understanding. They are the subjects of the community but rarely are they brought into the decision making.

Sharing, fellowship, and sending are overlooked at the Sunday Mass and we have only a passive attendance. The sermons do not address where the young people are in society and their problems which alienate them from the community and we remain only a social gathering.

We have to learn some of the things that Luther has taught us. We have to turn our eyes from the external to the internal, from the material to the spiritual. A need to reconsider the efforts that seem  expended in outdoing the building programs of other dioceses. The clergy and laity need to work together. Both have to share the worries together and plan together. Not only concerned about knowing God but sharing the love we have received. This is the first step on the reformation we need to undergo.

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