“The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.” vs. 13
When Pope Leo X finally moved against Martin Luther in 1520, he issued the bull Exsurge Domini in which he quoted this verse from Psalm 80 as support for his condemnation of Luther’s teachings. According to his understanding the Church was the vineyard of the Lord, established by Jesus and given over to the successors of Peter for safekeeping. And now Luther, the boar from the forest who was ravaging it, was given 60 days to desist and recant…or face the consequences. When he finally received the bull Luther gathered students at Wittenberg and burned it along with a copy of the canon law…there would be no reconciliation! It was a sad time for the Church…and a reminder of how God’s most precious gifts can be squandered and misused. The pope was right in one sense. The Church was being threatened…but not by serious reformers like Luther. The core of its malaise lay in its wholehearted embrace of worldly ways and its love of power and wealth. Wherever those impulses rise to the surface the integrity of Christ’s teachings is undermined and corruption is sure to follow. Thank God for all those leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, who have led the move toward reformation through the centuries! They are the ones who have insured the continuing proclamation of the Gospel in spite of our horrible stewardship and the proliferation of mind-boggling abuses.
Thought for the Day: What’s the greatest threat currently faced by the Church?