Christianity between Protestants and Catholics

religion, answering three questions, one page per question.

Martin Luther once said “In order to be truly free, one must be properly enslaved.” Evaluate this statement using your knowledge of the Catholic Tradition. 2) What is the Catholic Tradition view of Original Sin and does this view still have relevance today, why or why not? 3) Why has the Church ruled and maintained the ruling that only men may serve as priests, should this practice continue or change, why? Three sources. MLA.


Martin Luther, a 15th century monk of the Augustinian order, symbolizes the split within Christianity between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Luther once said “In order to be truly free, one must be properly enslaved.” He was referring to his belief that human beings have free will only by the grace of God. Luther believed that without God one would have no free will. According to Luther, a Christian was a free person, subject to no one, yet at the same time a willing servant, freely subject to everyone, that people cannot do anything to contribute to their own salvation, that salvation must be received from God as a gift (Martin pg). The Church emphasized that humans played a role in their salvation through the church, however, Luther believed that salvation was possible outside the church. Luther argues that humans are enslaved to sin and that all are under the wrath of God, and can only obtain freedom and salvation by God’s grace (Martin pg). Humans are forever under God’s will and mercy, no man is free except by the will of God, thus, he is never a free man by his own actions. The Church believed that man could repent through the church and reach salvation by his own contrition. However, Luther believed that no matter the repentance, it is only through God’s grace and will that a man’s soul is saved (Martin pg).

Where Luther believed man was enslaved to sin, only free through God’s grace, the Church believes that evil is through man’s action, that evil has no existence of its own, that it is merely a distortion of God’s good (Schreck 18). Because God made man in His own likeness and gave him free will, it is through man’s own will, his own rebellion, that created the original sin. Adam and Eve lived a rich and full existence with God, nature, and each other. The only restrictions God gave to Adam and Eve, was that they must not eat from the tree of knowledge, lest they die (Schreck 21). This state of bliss is referred to in Catholic theology as the ‘original righteousness’ or the ‘original innocence’ (Schreck 20). The human race was lured into its own sin of pride when man was deceived by Satan into believing he could be like God on his own terms. Thus, the original sin is mankind’s prideful rebellion against God (Schreck 21). Satan promised Adam and Eve that they would be like God, having full knowledge of good and evil, thus, when they ate from the tree of knowledge, they received what Satan promised, they knew good and evil for they had for the first time committed evil, by disobeying God. “Rebellion against God and pride are at the heart of humanity’s primordial sin” (Schreck 21).

Original sin refers not only to the first human sin, but also to the condition of separation from God into which every human is born. Since the original sin, man is now born into the world with knowledge of God or a real relationship with him (Schreck 21). Thus, humans must re-establish their relationship, their connection to God, by studying his word through the scriptures and by their acceptance of Jesus Christ as his only son who died for human sin. Due to the original sin, humans must re-connect to God during their lifetime through prayer and achievements. The idea of original sin still has relevance today for the Catholic Church, for man must come to know God through Christ.

Many feel that it is simply due to early philosophies and culture that limit women from serving as priests in the Catholic Church, that it has nothing to due with true church tradition. Early Christians adopted Greek philosophy which held that women to be inferior to men by nature (Women pg). “Roman law, which became the basis for the Church’s laws, gave women a low status in society” (Women pg). Moreover, Paul had forbidden women to teach in the church, citing as that only man was created in God’s image (Women pg).

Many feel that since women have held positions as deacons for centuries, that this is contradictory to the Church’s position on women priest. “The Council of Trent defined: ‘If anyone says that in the Catholic Church there does not exist a hierarchy, established through divine ordination, which consists of bishops, priests and deacons, let him be anathema'” (Women pg). The tasks of women deacons ran parallel to those of male deacons and corresponded to a complete diaconate ministry, thus this “ordination imparted to women was a true sacramental ordination, parallel in all essentials to that of the diaconate for men” (Women pg). Therefore, if women are validly ordained as deacons and this is considered as part of sacramental holy orders, then women should be validly ordained as priests.

Works Cited

Martin Luther: 1483-1546.” 02-19-2003).

Schreck, Alan. Basics of the Faith: A Catholic Catechism. Servant Books. 1987; pp. 18-

Women’s Ordination.” Catholic Internet Library..

A accessed 02-19-2003).

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