Martin Luther Plaza Coming to Rome

Here’s some good news: the city of Rome has approved the naming of a “Piazza Martin Lutero” in the center of the city, Evangelical Focus reports.

Adventist churches had proposed the naming already in 2009, looking ahead to the coming 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. The city council approved the name a few weeks ago, and it is known that the Vatican does not opposed it.

It seems that the sign in the square will say “Martin Luther. German Theologian.” I’m OK with that, but wouldn’t it be nice to say “Church Reformer” or “Renewer of the Church”?

Be that as it may, I can’t wait to walk through the square and say a prayer for church unity and church renewal!





  1. “Root of the Thirty Years War” would not be wholly incorrect either. But I second your call for church unity and renewal.

  2. I am convinced that the Thuringian Austin friar would not have broken with Rome if he had lived during and after the Second Vatican conciliar period. I’ve long thought that that Luther’s doctrine of total depravity was an overreaction to the rampant pelagianism of his day. I am sure he would have been satisfied by the reformed presentation of the gifts and Eucharistic Prayer II.

    I am not holding my breath for the canonization of “St. Jansenius of Ypres”. I have often thought that all Catholics struggle with heresy at one point or another. Most certainly this is my case.

  3. As I understand it, it was not Luther’s intention to break with Rome.
    It seems likely that the break with Rome would not have taken place if Rome had addressed the issues instead of digging in her heels; and if various secular potentates at the time had not seized the opportunity for purposes of their own.
    A few questions:
    Will Piazza Martin Lutero have a door with 95 theses?
    Will the issues raised in the theses be debated?
    Will there be an indulgence for visiting the Piazza?
    And will there also be a Sankt Petrus Platz (have I got that right?) in Wittemberg?
    The Altenberger Dom near Cologne, Germany, is a former Cistercian monastery church, now used jointly by Lutheran and Catholic congregations. It has a bronze sculpture by Werner Franzen, showing a figure of Jesus Christ reaching down from the cross to lay a hand each on the shoulders of Martin Luther and St Bernard. An internet search will find pictures. See or

  4. I am sure pope leo X is not too happy with this but if leo would have sat down with Fr. luther over a beer, the reformation would never have happened. Many of Luther’s reforms(Augsburg Confession) was addressed almost 500 years later at Vatican II. It’s never too late to reform, renew and to say “I’m sorry”…..As the 500th anniversary of the reformation approaches, perhaps we need to study where both churches have grown from then and start wlaking, praying and saving souls for Christ, together, hand in hand, not one leading the other.

  5. “Renewer of the Church”?

    Ehhh, I’m not really comfortable with that one. The problem with Fr. Luther’s Lutheranism (as with all reconstructionist tendencies) is that it ends up creating something that never existed in antiquity. Not much was recovered or renewed, and very much was lost. Ok, sure, laypeople are receiving the chalice, but so what? Was that worth a confused Baptismal theology (that ultimately gave way to anabaptism) and turning southern Germany into a bloodbath?

    There is also this grandiosity and vulgarity that goes right through his writing; he’s was no Francis de Sales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.