Sunday, 1 July 2007
by PAT O'DEA, Socialist Worker (NZ) Martin Luther, a 16th century church professor at Wittenberg Catholic University, was troubled. The citizens of Wittenberg, many of whom belonged to Luther's flock, were in the habit of seeking forgiveness of sins by purchasing indulgences. Luther had previously already preached in condemnation of indulgences. When on Halloween, the Eve of All Saints, in 1516, he again spoke out, drawing everyone's attention to his revolutionary view that the Pope could not free souls from purgatory. He condemned the very idea that money payments could wash away sins as pernicious. Logically it simply meant that the wealthy could sin with impunity. Martin Luther courageously did this, despite the fact that the Castle Church at Wittenberg and even the university where he was employed were both dependent to a large extent on this lucrative source of revenue. Here in 21st Century New Zealand Green Party politicians fail to condemn Carbon Trading, allowing the rich to sin with impunity. And instead have given their secular blessing. They could do worse than heed Martin Luther, who once wrote; "....Indulgences are most pernicious because they induce complacency and thereby imperil salvation."