Sunday, October 16, 2016

Chocolate Luther

The statue of Martin Luther that graced the meeting of the Pope and Lutherans in Rome was made of chocolate - what does it mean?

It could mean that Martin is meant to melt in the warmth of the Pope's presence in Rome, like those harsh, hate-filled words he used about the Catholic Church, the Mass, Apostolic Succession, the Papacy, Orthodox Catholics, not to mention the Jews, the peasants and other protestant reformers.

The great advantage of a chocolate Luther is that despite harsh attitudes of some Catholics to Lutherans about receiving Holy Communion; the expectation that they should actually be in communion with the Catholic Church, and that they should reject sin and having been to Confession desire to live the life of Grace in communion with the Church Jesus founded, a chocolate Luther can be shared by anyone. In chocolate Luther, we can all be sharers. As lutheran-lady-bishops wander to and fro, holding in their fingers a portion of the sweetness of Luther's broken body, to the words, 'A bit of Martin Luther', everyone can reply 'Amen'. To those who might find even this difficult, the words could be changed to , 'Do you want a bit of chocolate, dear', who would refuse?

Theologians might argue whether all chocolate takes on a degree of Lutheranisn and everyone is waiting for Cardinal Kasper's latest book, following on from 'Mercy', the world is hungry for 'Chocolate'. and Catholics of course wait for the words of the Great Chocolatier, or should that be the Great Confectioner, for a definitive statement.

Will bits of Luther be handed out at the next Consistory? Will some reactionary Cardinals develop a chocolate allergy?

The ecumenical world awaits a marzipan Calvin, a licorice Cranmer and a toffee Knox, all of which are due to appear in Rome over the next few years.

For now, choco-luther anyone?


Deacon Augustine said...

Just so long as you don't try to "convince" anybody of your new-found faith in Chocolatism, Father. That would be solemn nonsensical proselytism and lead to the "death of ecumenism."

tradgardmastare said...

Or perhaps a Zwingli Toblerone or Knox Edinburgh rock?

Highland Cathedral said...

As a Scot, Knox should be a tablet Knox, tablet being a Scottish version of fudge. Not that Knox was given to fudging. That's more the realm of the other Tablet. And the contemporary version of the ecclesial community he founded. The Church of Scotland's General Assembly recently stated its support for the traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality but at the same times declared that any Kirk Session could appoint a homosexual in a civil partnership to be the minister of their church.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Utterly ludicrous. It reduces ecumenism to a farce.

Highland Cathedral said...

As far as I can see, ecumenical dialogue seems to be mainly of interest to liberal Catholics and liberal Protestants. This is because they have so much in common with each other. Would it be going too far to say that in every liberal Catholic there is a closet Protestant seeking to come out? But it is interesting to read what Newman said about Catholics who doubt a single aspect of Catholicism:
"And so again, when a man has become a Catholic, were he to set about following a doubt which has occurred to him, he has already disbelieved. I have not to warn him against losing his faith, he is not merely in danger of losing it, he has lost it; from the nature of the case he has already lost it; he fell from grace at the moment when he deliberately entertained and pursued his doubt. No one can determine to doubt what he is already sure of; but if he is not sure that the Church is from God, he does not believe it. It is not I who forbid him to doubt; he has taken the matter into his own hands when he determined on asking for leave; he has begun, not ended, in unbelief; his very wish, his purpose, is his sin."

Tony V said...

It's easy to condemn Luther with the advantage of hindsight. But how would any of us have felt had we lived at the time?
The tragedy of the Protestant Reformation is that it narrowed what it meant to be Catholic. Henceforth it was difficult to be Augustinian and Catholic. Luther was no saint, but neither are most of us.

Leo Flanagan said...

Would you like a little bit of white chocolate dear?

On The Road To Damascus said...

Ecumenism: The Catholic Church is the one true Church. Everything else is bogus. The end.

John Vasc said...

It reminds me of the proverbial usefulness of a chocolate teapot.

John Collinson said...

Tony V,

Luther was more Manichean than Augustinian. Saying that he was no saint is a terrible understatement; he competes with Judas Iscariot for wickedest man of all time (I really don't know which of them has the greater punishment in hell).

Liam Ronan said...

I can see from the photograph that Martin Luther has been created using some type of brown-coloured material, Father, but are you certain that's chocolate?

Fr Ray Blake said...


Liam Ronan said...

Ah well, Father, 'twas an honest inquiry given the scatological bent of much of Martin Luther's utterances. Better for him had he invoked the eschatolical more religiously than the former.

Tony V said...

ohn C,
I'm not sure how one measures wickedness. Was Luther worse than Mohammed (assuming that the historical Mohammed bears any resemblance to the Mohammed of Islam, which is another question)? I don't imagine Luther was much worse than most of us.

Liam Ronan said...

For those interested in a brief glimpse at what the saintly Martin Luter wrote and said, here is a link to some nuggets of his holy wisdom. There is a quote from St. Thomas More on Martin Luther included as well as various other relevant links.

**Warning - The zealous hero of the Reformation speaks quite frankly** -

"Talking Tough: Martin Luther’s Potty Mouth"

Walter Paolone said...

This would be about the time Jesus would say to (today's installation of) Peter: 'get behind me satan'

mazara said...

Martin Luther on the Dignity and Majesty of God

“I look upon God no better than a scoundrel” (ref. Weimar, Vol. 1, Pg. 487. Cf. Table Talk, No. 963).
“Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tell’s us. Was not everybody about Him saying: ‘Whatever has He been doing with her?’ Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.” (ref. Trishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 107. – What a great blasphemy from a man who is regarded as “great reformer”!).
“I have greater confidence in my wife and my pupils than I have in Christ” (ref. Table Talk, 2397b).
“It does not matter how Christ behaved – what He taught is all that matters” (ref. Erlangen Vol. 29, Pg. 126).

Simple Simon said...

Upon looking closely at the statue and the text written on the book Luther's holding, I discovered that it had been written in Latin. Not being a latin scholar, my attempt at translation gave me 'Birds of a Feather.' How near did I get?

John Fisher said...

"It's easy to condemn Luther with the advantage of hindsight. But how would any of us have felt had we lived at the time?
The tragedy of the Protestant Reformation is that it narrowed what it meant to be Catholic." Let's quote Henry VIII on Luther who he called “a venomous serpent, a pernicious plague, infernal wolf, an infectious soul, a detestable trumpeter of pride, calumnies and schism.” "Do not listen to the Insults and Detractions against the Vicar of Christ which the Fury of the little Monk spews up against the Pope; nor contaminate Breasts sacred to Christ with impious Heresies, for if one sews these he has no Charity, swells with vain Glory, loses his Reason, and burns with Envy. Finally with what Feelings they would stand together against the Turks, against the Saracens, against anything Infidel anywhere, with the same Feelings they should stand together against this one little Monk weak in Strength, but in Temper more harmful than all Turks, all Saracens, all Infidels anywhere." They knew what it was to be a Catholic.
Remember Cromwell was Lutherans and died for it yet Henry ordered as many as 72,000 executions during his reign.

English schoolchildren remember Henry VIII’s daughter as “Bloody Mary,” an allusion to the more than 300 Protestants the staunchly Catholic Mary I had put to death during her five-year reign. In truth, though, Henry VIII was by far the bloodiest Tudor ruler, ordering tens of thousands of executions during the tumult of the English Reformation. (Henry’s most famous victims included his former top adviser Sir Thomas More, as well as two of Henry’s six queens—Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard).

Maria Anna said...

Mazara, that is so sad. What he said - his ideas - are a spirit amongst those who follow him or recognize him as "saint". Calvin and Zwigli were less atheist, one needs close attention to their writibgs to spot their heresies, but for a Christ- loving Christian (is there any other kind?) What Luther said is sheer blasphemy. So sad, for Francis and all who treat this matter horizontally as polytics. Our worlds is according to the Holy Fathers once more an enemy of redemption.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

@Highland Cathedral :
“ … ecumenical dialogue seems to be mainly of interest to liberal Catholics and liberal Protestants “.
Well, I wouldn’t know about that, I have always kept as far away as possibe from ecumaniacs. They can do no good for me.
Is it a spiritual thing ? Or is it not rather the strong tendency of many of us to keep up with the Joneses ? To go all out for the latest and greatest ? In the material world, you simply MUST possess the latest wide-screen TV, MP3 player, smartphone, latest BMW, trendy shoes or specs, you get the idea.
Honestly, from those whom I have unfortunately met, I would say they have all lost almost all of their tiny brains, replaced by a whacking great, terrifying but irremovable smile or grin or rictus.

Anonymous said...

John Fisher - I too have heard the 70,000 number. Where does it come from? If true, it constituted about 3% of the total population.

Remnant Clergy said...

Sorry but you commit the sin against ecumenism for those vanilla lovers.

Gez Walsh said...

Would you like a little bit of chocolate Martin Luther father? Ah, gwan gwan gwan gwan gwan...

Tony V said...

@John Fisher: I don't see the point of working out who the bloodiest Tudor was. They were all a bad lot...though put in a position of absolute power perhaps most of us would be just as bad. The bigger question is: how did anyone, Protestant or Catholic, think it was all right to torture and kill people in the name of Christ? Is that the gospel Jesus came to deliver?

Palincor IG said...

I am convinced of the words Christ spoke, and cannot therefore believe Luther. If anyone is not sure wether to believe Luther or not, I would say immerse yourself in reading of Christ in the Gospels, you cannot come out from that believing anything of Luther 's.

One particularly big point - salvation is by repentance also, not by faith alone.

Physiocrat said...

What is one to make of this by Bishop Kenney?

Watch what happens at Lund 31 October/1 November.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Physiocrat: Interesting reference.

The Bishop says: "Would Martin Luther have been excommunicated today? The answer is no, he probably wouldn’t.". I would ask whether anyone ever gets excommunicated to-day in regard to doctrinal matters.

The Bishop fails to answer the question: "‘From Conflict to Communion’ describes that what will happen in Lund is not a celebration, because we don’t celebrate division within Christianity, so what is it about?"


"He’s already made a gesture about that, of course, when he visited a Lutheran church in Rome and, during a question-and-answer session, suggested to a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic man that perhaps, if her conscience permitted, she could receive communion in her husband’s church.

He did, but we’re not sure what it meant. He’s never clarified that."

Evidently Bishop Kenney is as confused as we all are about what the Pope meant.

What is notably absent is any mention of what the Lutherans understand by the Eucharist and where they are on transubstantiation.

To say "On the Eucharist, Lutherans have more or less the same doctrine as we have. But you’ve got Lutheran priests with practices that suggest otherwise, but they’re not widespread." is just not good enough.

But is not Protestantism a dead letter anyway and he is chasing after a will-of-the-wisp?

Liam Ronan said...

Dear Father Blake and Nicholas Bellord,

I realize it is late into this discussion, but nonetheless I bring to your notice (below) a March 1, 2007 LifeSite News report of the remarks of Giacomo Cardinal Biffi made at the papal retreat at that time in respect of the rise of the Antichrist in our time and what the characteristics of the Son of Perdition would likely be. Pope Benedict XVI personally invited the Bolognese Cardinal to address the assembled:

"Pope’s Retreat Preacher Speaks on Antichrist as a “pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist”


Fr Ray Blake said...

I remember Cdl Biffi's words well.

Liam Ronan said...

Thank you for your reply, Father. I suspected you might be familiar with the good Cardinal's words.

I recall that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI himself mused on Vladimir Soloviev’s, ‘A Short Tale of the Antichrist’.

Pointing to Soloviev’s recounting of the second temptation of Jesus, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, observed in his 2004 book ‘On the Road toward Christ Jesus’:

“And a phrase of Soloviev’s is illuminating: The Antichrist believes in God, but in the depths of his heart he prefers himself.”

Nicolas Bellord said...

Further on the Bishop Kenney interview:

"The women priests question is complicated, because some of the women priests I meet we have no problem with, because what they consider as priesthood has almost nothing to do with what we consider as priesthood.

I have received into the Church former Lutheran women priests who, in all honesty, simply wanted to preach, it had nothing to do with sacramental life."

But are there not women Bishops even Archbishops? And do not Lutheran women priests pretend to celebrate the Eucharist? Does Bishop Kenney imagine that they would accept being demoted to something like a woman deacon just preaching but not celebrating? This is surely pie in the sky.

Incidentally I notice the interviewer was Austen Ivereigh on his tower where he proclaims endless adulation to Pope Francis.

TLMWx said...

Was Luther really found dead in his bed strangled by his bed sheets? If so yourimage above would be more than a little ironic.:-).

Nicolas Bellord said...

A bit late in the day but I think we ought to take note of Eccles's warning that this chocolate statute of Luther may contain traces of nuts.

James said...

About that figure of 72,000 executions attributed to Henry VIII - this article from 1959 discusses the myth and its transmission: The figure is sometimes given as 70,000. Sometimes it is quoted as the number of Catholic martyrs under Henry VIII, which is incredible as the Fundamentalist exaggerations of the number executed by 'the Inquisition'.

Maybe the choccy Luther is a symbol of the lack of stability of the movement he founded, and a working model of how it must at last vanish, leaving only a mess behind,