Below are the testimonies of Martin Luther on the pastoral authority of the Pope in the Universal Church:
“We concede — as we must — that so much of what they say is true: that the papacy has God’s word and the office of the apostles, and that we have received Holy Scriptures, Baptism, the Sacrament, and the pulpit from them. What would we know of these if it were not for them?” (Martin Luther, Sermon on the Gospel of St. John, 1537)
“Most Holy Father, before God and all his creation, I testify that I have never wanted, nor do I today want, to touch in any way the authority of the Roman church and of Your Holiness or demolish it by any craftiness. On the contrary I confess the authority of this church to be supreme over all, and that nothing, be it in heaven or on earth, is to be preferred to it, save the one Jesus Christ who is Lord of all” (Martin Luther, Letter to Pope Leo X, 1519)
“I can do only one thing, I shall most willingly promise Your Holiness that in the future I shall leave this matter of indulgences alone, and will be completely silent concerning it (if [my enemies] also stop their vain and bombastic speeches). In additionI shall publish something for the common people to make them understand that they should truly honor the Roman church, and influence them to do so. [I shall tell them] not to blame the church for the rashness of [those indulgence preachers], nor to imitate my sharp words against the Roman church, which I have used—or rather misused—against those clowns,and with which I have gone too far. Perhaps by the grace of God the discord which has arisen may finally be quieted by such an effort. I strive for only one thing: that the Roman church, our Mother, be not polluted by the filth of unsuitable avarice, and that the people be not led astray into error and taught to prefer indulgences to works of love.” (Martin Luther,Letter to Pope Leo X, 1519)
“That the Roman Church is more honored by God than all others is not to be doubted. St. Peter and St. Paul, forty-six popes, some hundreds of thousands of martyrs, have laid down their lives in its communion, having overcome hell and the world; so that the eyes of God rest on the Roman Church with special favor. Though nowadays everything is in a wretched state, it is no ground for separating from the church. On the contrary, the worse things are going, the more should we hold close to her, for it is not by separating from the church we can make her better. We must not separate from God on account of any work of the devil, nor cease to have fellowship with the children of God who are still abiding in the pale of Rome, on account of the multitude of the ungodly. There is no sin, no amount of evil, which should be permitted to dissolve the bond of charity or break the bond of unity of the body. For love can do all things, and nothing is difficult to those who are united.” (Attributed to Luther with no citation in Jean Henri Merle d’Aubigné, History of the great Reformation of the sixteenth century in Germany, 132)
EVEN Martin Luther, the main figure of the Reformation, recognized the authority of the Roman Pontiff but why is it that his followers do not? It’s time for them to drop their heresies and go back to the true Church of Christ.