Luther vs. Pope Leo: A Conversation in Purgatory
Author: Paul R. Hinlicky
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Martin Luther and Pope Leo X awake in the afterlife. It is 2017, and they have been asleep since the posting of the Ninety-Five Theses in 1517, the imagined execution of Luther, and the death of Leo in a strange accident. To their mutual chagrin not only does each discover the other face-to-face in 'heaven,' but they learn that by divine decree they are roomed together indefinitely. The pope's first reaction to the news is that this is his purgatory for the sins of the Medicis. Luther despairs that he is in hell: 'It was works after all,' he surmises.
Discussing the key issues that divided Catholics and Protestants and birthed a Reformation 500 years ago, Paul Hinlicky creates an imaginary reconciliation in heaven between Martin Luther and Pope Leo X, who work through the controversies that divided them in their historical encounter. They even get a little help from John Wesley. In Luther vs. Pope Leo, Luther and Leo become the creative instruments of a renewed commitment to Protestant-Catholic ecumenical reconciliation (as signaled by the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church in 1999).
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