Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 18 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Daudi Okelo and Bl. Jildo Irwa

Why the Reformation matters to Catholics: a deacon weighs in

STAMP

Public Domain

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/07/17

It’s my friend and brother Deacon Scott Dodge from Salt Lake City: 

Some Roman Catholics may blanch at the idea that the Protestant Reformation did Christendom any lasting good.

Scott Dodge is not one of them.

Sure, Martin Luther’s nailing of his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Castle chapel’s doors five centuries ago eventually led to a prolonged, bloody schism in the Western Church, and the more than 30,000 Protestant denominations existing today — all asserting, to some degree, to be the “truest” expression of Christian faith.

But Dodge, an ordained deacon at St. Olaf’s Parish in Bountiful, insists the Reformation — still seen by some less-ecumenical Catholics as more of a “Protestant rebellion” — brought changes for the good from the Vatican.

Well, at least eventually, says Dodge, who will speak Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the topic at Blessed Sacrament Church, 9757 S. 1700 East, Sandy. His comments conclude a series of seminars commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

“When you look at the history of that, at first, the [Roman] church learned little to nothing,” Dodge says. “Even up to and including the Council of Trent, the church pretty much just reacted.”

The 18-year-long Council of Trent, beginning in 1545 (28 years after Luther’s church door posting), condemned Protestant heresies on one hand and made key doctrinal clarifications on the other.

Reacting to Luther’s insistence on “sola scriptura” (that the Bible is the sole and infallible rule for doctrinal truth), Dodge says, “the Catholic Church learned the importance of scripture, not just for doctrine and practice, but in the lives of Christian men and women on a daily, ongoing basis.”

The deacon, a respected religious scholar in his own right and a current ministerial doctoral candidate at Oregon’s Mount Angel Seminary, says a second major change out of the Holy See took longer to fully germinate.

The three-year Second Vatican Council, beginning in 1962, cleared the way for the formerly Latin Mass in local languages; allowed priests to face parishioners, rather than celebrating Mass with their backs to the pews; and eased restrictions on musical and art expressions within the church. It also permitted changes to prayers and the liturgical calendar.

“[Rome] found it important for Catholics to fully, actively and consciously participate in the liturgy,” Dodge explains. “The reforms [of Vatican II] gave us the Mass in vernacular, in forms the people can relate to and, more importantly, participate in.”

Read it all. 

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
2
communion
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
3
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
4
CROSS
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
5
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
6
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
7
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More