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Bishop Robert Barron, in his June 13 article titled "Looking at Luther With Fresh Eyes," describes arch-heretic Martin Luther as "a mystic of grace, someone who had fallen completely in love."
In his discussion of Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World, by Protestant scholar Alec Ryrie, Barron admits, "I will confess to a certain fascination with Luther. I have been reading his books, speeches and sermons for many years" and notes he had been doing so since college.
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He describes Luther as the "undisputed father of the Reformation" and as "cantankerous, pious, very funny, shockingly anti-Semitic, deeply insightful and utterly exasperating."
Before launching into praise for Luther, he adds, "I disagree with lots and lots of his ideas," without clarifying any important points.
He then goes on to say, "For at the core of Luther's life and theology was an overwhelming experience of grace. After years of trying in vain to please God through heroic moral and spiritual effort, Luther realized that, despite his unworthiness, he was loved by a God who had died to save him."
He excuses Luther's brash and sacrilegious language against the Church founded by Jesus Christ, saying that people in love always speak in absolutes, using Luther's Scripture alone, faith alone and Jesus alone as examples.
Barron adds, "Luther was an ecstatic, and the religious movement he launched [Protestantism] was 'a love affair.'"
Presumably, Luther was in love with God when he said:
Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: 'Whatever has He been doing with her?' Secondly, with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even Christ, Who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.
Luther also referred to the Catholic Church as "Roman Sodom" and promoted taking up arms and violently overthrowing Church leadership. He also referred to the pope as the "Antichrist" and faithful Catholics as "agents of Satan."
In February, Barron had the opportunity to discuss Catholic doctrine on human sexuality and marriage with liberal homosexual commentator, Dave Rubin. After receiving heavy criticism from thousands of people for wasting his chance to intelligibly defend Church teaching, Barron instead accused his critics of being obsessed with "pelvic issues."
Barron has become known for his "reasonable hope" doctrine, claiming that most people don't go to hell after they die, despite the contrary teaching held by Our Lord Himself, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and countless other saints.
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