Martin Luther: True Reformer or Defender of Erroneous Conscience?

Crisis Magazine | 2/25/2017 | R. Jared Staudt
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Two trials, two appeals to conscience.

Trial 1: I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.

Number - Bishops - Universities - Lordship - Cause

Trial 2: If the number of bishops and universities should be so material as your lordship seems to think, then I see little cause, my lord, why that should make any change in my conscience. For I have no doubt that, though not in this realm, but of all those well learned bishops and virtuous men that are yet alive throughout Christendom, they are not fewer who are of my mind therein. But if I should speak of those who are already dead, of whom many are now holy saints in heaven, I am very sure it is the far greater part of them who, all the while they lived, thought in this case the way that I think now. And therefore am I not bound, my lord, to conform my conscience to the council of one realm against the General Council of Christendom.

What is the difference of these two quotes?

Friar - Martin - Luther - Primacy - Conscience

The first, from the friar Martin Luther, asserts the primacy of conscience over the universal consent of the Church and the tradition.

The second, from a laymen Thomas More, notes the agreement of conscience to the faith of Christendom, the history of the Church, and the saints of Heaven.

Appeals - Belloc - Assessment - Nature - Protestantism

Why are these appeals to conscience significant? I think Belloc is fundamentally correct in his assessment of the nature of Protestantism as a denial of religious authority, resting in a visible Church:

The Protestant attack differed from the rest especially in this characteristic, that its attack did not consist in the promulgation of a new doctrine or of a new authority, that it made no concerted attempt at...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crisis Magazine
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