We just passed the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a Wittenberg church, initiating a massive split of the Christian community. What should Catholics make of this event 500 years later? How should Catholics relate to their Protestant brothers and sisters? That’s what Bishop Barron discusses today. A listener asks how Catholics should feel about Protestant denominations.

Topics Discussed

  • 0:05 – Introduction
  • 2:00 – What are Bishop Barron’s initial thoughts on this anniversary?
  • 4:00 – Who is Stanley Hauerwas?
  • 6:15 – Why is Hauerwas so friendly to the Catholic tradition?
  • 8:00 – Is the Reformation effectively over?
  • 13:40 – How does the Reformation continue to fracture the Church Universal?
  • 17:50 – What was the difference maker for reform movements that did not splinter the Church, such as the Franciscans and Dominicans?
  • 21:00 – Is the problem of authority the key to Protestantism?
  • 24:00 – How should Catholics feel about Protestant denominations?

Bonus Resources

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    5 comments on “WOF 101: What to Make of the Protestant Reformation?

    1. Beverly Dow Nov 14, 2017

      Sehr interessant! Danke!

      • Geraldine Nov 15, 2017

        I’m reading “Triumph” by H R Crocker III but not yet done reading it. So far it seems to me that the situation against our church just got out of hand. Luther was a nut case that should have been brought down, period. And our church at that time was in disarray. A perfect storm. Sad. So many people led astray.

    2. Cachin Nov 16, 2017

      Great podcast as usual by Bishop Barron. Just responding to Geraldine above: even Bishop Barron didn’t refer to Luther’s initiative as leading others astray! He articulated qualities both positive and negative. You forget too quickly that Stanley Hauerwas is a conversation partner here, and he’s not Catholic and neither is he led astray. The Bishop quite rightly avoids this easy reduction to brute tribal lines, and thank God!

    3. Sharon Wilson Dec 6, 2017

      I am a pentacostal interested in church history. You are right the Lutherans could have remained in the church as a Lutheran order of the catholic church. And you are right that protestants need someone to decide what the truth is. However the church service in Pentacostal churches seem more interesting than the Mass I see on EWTN. But it is great that a least part of the church is unified and going strong after 2,000 years. The Pentacostal churches Are lively and exciting . I enjoy the miracles and healings. But it seems impossible that protestants will ever agree.

      • Greg Rowat Dec 15, 2017

        With respect to Sharon’s comments: First I commend you on your interest in Church history. With a fuller and more common understanding of history we would likely be much further down the path of reunification.
        I do, however, want to express some disagreement with your emphasis on the entertainment quality of a church service vs. a Catholic Mass. We are there to praise and worship God through the coming together of Heaven and Earth in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. To extend Bishop Barron’s statement that, “Your life is not about you”, the “Mass is not about you”; it is about the triune God. If you look deeply into history, particularly the Church Fathers, you will see the centrality of the encounter with Christ in the Eucharist. What you will not see is any review of entertainment value, how good the band was or the coffee afterward. I am a convert to the Church and I characterize my conversion as having thought my way into the Church. There is much thinking to be done in the study of Church history. And as Newman says, “to become steeped in history is to cease to be protestant” for your mind will simply not allow any other conclusion. With admiration, respect and the love of Christ and His Church, Greg

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