Who’s a heretic? Martin Luther, Pope Saint John Paul, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis

Popes have been interested in heresy and heretics for centuries, and language linking “papacy” and “heresy” continues to prosper down to our own day. The language root of “heresy” connects with “to choose,” and the heretic is someone who, in the eyes of someone else, makes bad choices. Those of us who are not of the papal obedience, particularly of the Lutheran tribe, will commemorate, this very Wednesday, the condemnation of Martin Luther, called a “heretic” on June 15, 1520. According to best estimates, .0001520% of the world’s Lutherans and even fewer Protestants and other heirs of the Reformation will be aware of this, or will observe the day. Never mind: the date provides us with an excuse to update dealings with the papacy and heretics.