Luther on the Papists

luther_melanchthonJacob Sadoleto’s an able and learned man, and the papists took him up into the number of the cardinals in the hope that he might write against us. But he has no understanding, as may be seen clearly in his commentary on Psalm 51. What alien and absurd notions he introduces into the psalm! Dear God, help us! Let thy good Spirit guide us into the right path!

These arrogant and unlearned papists can’t govern the church because they write nothing, they read nothing, but, firmly saddled in the pride of possession, they cry out that the decrees of the fathers are not to be questioned and decisions made are not to be disputed, otherwise one would have to dance to the tune of every little brother. For this reason the pope, possessed by demons, defends his tryranny with the canon ‘Si papa.’

This canon states dearly: If the pope should lead the whole world into the control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted. It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man we must lose our souls, which Christ redeemed with his precious blood. Christ says, ‘I will not cast out anybody who comes to me’ [John 6:37]. On the other hand, the pope says, ‘As I will it, so I command it; you must perish rather than resist me.’ Therefore the pope, whom our princes adore, is full of devils. He must be exterminated by the Word and by prayer.”  — Martin Luther