ON THE ROAD: “Our physical goal was Rome, but our real goal was a church healed of its divisions.” © ANDREW WILSON. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Here I walk

On the road with Luther

Martin Luther was not a fan of pilgrimages. I mean really not a fan. Peruse the references in the index to Luther's Works in English and you will find, one after another, the reformer's tirades against pilgrimages and a whole host of other evils attributed to the papacy and its deformed theology: indulgences, invocations of saints, monastic vows, feast days and fast days—the whole shebang. On rare occasions, Luther acknowledges that the pilgrimages of the patriarchs were blessed acts because they were done "with obedience to God." But apparently there was no such thing as an obedient-to-God pilgrimage by the early 16th century. As Luther poses it: "What are we to give to God in return for this love? Nothing. You shall not go to Rome on pilgrimages."

I'm Lutheran, and I went to Rome on pilgrimage.


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