From Religion News Service:
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.
Luther was excommunicated in 1521, after calling into question the authority of Rome beginning with his 95 Theses which, by tradition, he posted on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg in 1517. He called into question the Church’s practice of selling indulgences and he disparaged the idea that a papal pardon could achieve forgiveness of sins.
But in recent years, the Roman Catholic Church has become more involved in ecumenical dialogue and the Vatica was supportive of the name change.
“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.