There is something to be said about an ecumenical dialogue, but would it be ecumenical if one side had to disown their originators?
In the end, the most controversial words of the interview, which, for the German media, were these:It is time that those on the Protestant side of the argument completely dissociate themselves from Luther’s view that the pope is the Antichrist. Because that was not intended for the Pope as an individual Christian. The Catholic Church was to be considered thus in her self-image. This can not be dismissed as a time-related controversy. We need to move on from the shadows of our denominational perspective on the Church’s history.The words of the bishop have been heavily criticized – including by Catholics (of course) who view them as somewhat quaint. No Protestant says that today! Sorry, we know that Protestantism is not in the best shape in the nation of Luther and Melanchton, but it does not matter: plenty of Protestants around the world (go ask the dozens of millions of new Evangelicals in Latin America) do hold Luther’s view of the Holy Roman and Apostolic See faithfully.
I’m not sure if I detect sarcasm or not, but many Protestants still consider Rome the Great Whore of Babylon and the Pope, at the very least, an antichrist. But for Lutherans today, I suspect, it was a time controversy and well suited to the book of Revelation. I am not saying it was accurately applied by any means.
Anyway, just a conversation starter.
Of course, I don’t ‘own’ Luther so, you know, I have no problem ‘disowning him’ at times. Usually I do so by speaking about his drinking habits.