On the eve of All Saint’s Day, October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, Germany.
Luther’s objections focused on the practices within the Catholic Church regarding absolution; he rejected the validity of indulgences, criticizing the practice of indulgences being sold with the intent of making penance for sin a financial transaction rather than genuine contrition.
Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses was the spark that started the Protestant Reformation.
Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
- When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
- The word cannot be properly understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, i.e. confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
- Yet its meaning is not restricted to repentance in one’s heart; for such repentance is null unless it produces outward signs in various mortifications of the flesh.
- As long as hatred of self abides (i.e. true inward repentance) the penalty of sin abides, viz., until we enter the kingdom of heaven. Continue reading