A plaza named for Martin Luther is planned for Rome

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The Vatican has given its backing to a central Rome square being named after Martin Luther, a church reformer excommunicated by the pope nearly 500 years ago.

RNS:

Next month a hilltop square in Rome is due to be named Piazza Martin Lutero, in memory of Luther’s achievements. The site chosen is the Oppian Hill, a park area that overlooks the Colosseum.

The move has been six years in a making, following a request made by the Seventh-day Adventists, a Protestant denomination, Italian daily La Repubblica said. The original plan was to inaugurate the square in time for the 500th anniversary of Luther’s historic trip to Rome in 2010. City officials were not able to discuss the process behind naming the square or the reason for the holdup.

Despite Luther being thrown out of the Catholic Church during his lifetime, the Vatican reacted positively to news of the square’s upcoming inauguration. “It’s a decision taken by Rome city hall which is favorable to Catholics in that it’s in line with the path of dialogue started with the ecumenical council,” said the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican press office, referring to a gathering of churchmen to rule on faith matters.

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Professor Christopher Seitz
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Professor Christopher Seitz

Sober, dedicated, sacrificial Augustinian monk, who travelled to Rome as such, and was stunned at the decadence. All before the Reformation. Good for Roman Catholicism 2015. Reading the major biographies one is struck at how utterly un-protestant Luther would now be judged.

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Deacon Jim
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Deacon Jim

As a former Lutheran, this is great news .

Deacon Jim Brown

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