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Issue Date:  March 21, 2008

Luther’s rehabilitation called groundless

VATICAN CITY -- Rumors that the Vatican is set to rehabilitate Martin Luther, the 16th-century leader of the Protestant Reformation, are groundless, said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi.

News reports in early March alleged that Pope Benedict XVI was dedicating a planned September symposium with former doctoral students to re-evaluating Luther, who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy.

The story “does not have any foundation, insofar as no rehabilitation of Luther is foreseen,” Lombardi told the Italian news agency ANSA March 8. Vatican officials said the topic of the pope’s annual summer gathering of former students this year has not been decided, but Luther is not one of the topics under consideration.

-- Catholic News Service

National Catholic Reporter, March 21, 2008

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