Rome, the city that stood for everything Martin Luther abhorred about the Catholic Church, will dedicate a square to the influential 16th century reformer.
Nearly 500 years ago Luther went public with his Ninety-Five Theses, a dissertation against the Roman practice of selling indulgences and other facets of the Catholic Church that Luther believed were corrupt.
As history shows, conflict soon ensued between Luther and his followers and the Pope and Catholic Church, ending in both Luther’s excommunication from the Catholic Church and the beginning of Protestantism.
The Vatican’s endorsement of naming a square after Luther suggests that tensions between Lutherans and Catholics have lessened over time. The Huffpost Religion even notes that Pope Francis has shown a desire to have greater unity among all Christians in Europe.
The square to be named in honor of Luther is on the Oppian Hill, a park area that overlooks the Colosseum. Its official name will be the “Piazza Martin Lutero.”
The idea to name a Roman square after Martin Luther was suggested by Seventh-day Adventists, and was originally set to take place in 2010 to mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s trip to Rome.
Huffpost reports that city officials were not able to say why there was a five year delay in naming the square.
Publication date: August 27, 2015