12. THE QUESTION WAS: What was Martin Luther before he started Protestantism?

a. Buddhist monk    b. Catholic monk    c. Detective Monk

THE ANSWER IS…..B…Catholic monk (technically, an Augustinian friar. Also a priest)


St.  Augustine (4th century priest and bishop) kept his chastity vows until death. Martin Luther (16th century) did not, and married after leaving the priesthood.

St. Augustine managed a convent of nuns and urged them to keep a holy life of poverty and chastity.  Martin Luther encouraged whole convents of nuns to run away, break their vows, and get married.

On the other hand, one must feel sympathy for Luther. As Fr. John Trigilio and Kenneth Brighenti have pointed out, Luther joined the priesthood not because of a specific divine calling (a must for all future priests), but because of a promise he made when he was scared to death of being struck by lightning in a violent storm. When he realized he could not keep the life of strict discipline and the exceptional level of holiness expected by his monastery, he despaired. His psychological struggle contributed to his eventual declaration that evil works, even if notorious and repeated, could not separate a person from salvation. The first 1600 years of Christianity universally taught that serious evil could separate one from eternal union with God. (For more info, see Catholicism for Dummies by John Trigilio and Kenneth Brighenti)


            Teaching of St. Augustine        Life of St. Augustine       Works of St. Augustine

Jerome, speaking of the heretic Jovinianus, wrote: "he assails virginity and hates chastity; he revels with worldlings and declaims against the fasts of the saints . . . "

full quote by Jerome: "condemned by the authority of the Church of Rome, amidst pheasants and swine's flesh, breathed out, or rather belched out his spirit. And now this tavern-keeper of Calagurris, who, according to the name of his[1] native village is a Quintilian, only dumb instead of eloquent, is[2] mixing water with the wine. According to the trick which he knows of old, he is trying to blend his perfidious poison with the Catholic faith; he assails virginity and hates chastity; he revels with worldlings and declaims against the fasts of the saints; he plays the philosopher over his cups, and soothes himself with the sweet strains of psalmody, while he smacks his lips over his cheese-cakes; nor could he deign to listen to the songs of David and Jeduthun, and Asaph and the sons of Core, except at the banqueting table. This I have poured forth with more grief than amusement, for I cannot restrain myself and turn a deaf ear to the wrongs inflicted on apostles and martyrs."





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