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Author may be strong in his faith, but shows tragic misunderstanding of crucial Protestant concept

Letter of the day: reformation debate

Alban Maginness, in his article (News, October 24), says he believes that the Reformation was a tragedy for all Christians.

He seems to argue the split in the monolithic Roman Catholic Church was the tragedy, rather than the tragedy of false doctrine that led to the Protestant Reformation.

His patronising description of Martin Luther "accidentally" forming his own Church is naive.

The mention of many Reformations appears dismissive and he fails to recognise it as widespread dissent from Catholic doctrine and practice.

He quotes the Treaty of Westphalia as ending 30 years of religious conflict, but fails to accept that this was caused by the persecution of anyone who followed their conscience, rather than the false doctrines of the Roman Church.

The Counter Reformation was not a part of the Reformation, but the militant reinforcing of the Church's authority - a practice that continues today under the guise of ecumenism.

Pope Francis recently declared that there is no salvation outside of the Church. As the Pope, I must presume he was referring to the Roman Catholic Church. I have no doubt Alban Maginness is a devout man, strong in his Catholicism, but his article is written by someone who appears to believe that Church unity is more important than true doctrine and does not understand the Protestant concept of being "saved by faith". That is the real tragedy.

raymond hughes

Ballyclare, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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