The article presents Martin Luther’s teaching on justification in the context of its soteriological and anthropological consequences, which at least on the verbal level are defined by the terms imputatio and deificatio. The basic presentation of the main aspects of this teaching is preceded by an outline of the historical background of its formation, where both the dispute over indulgences and the mystical inspirations of Luther’s theology played a significant role. The Wittenberg Reformer comprehended justification both as attributing to the believer the righteousness of Christ and as a close union with Him. This unity, whose image is marriage, consists in the commercium sacrum between man and Christ. The participation of a believer in the righteousness of Christ manifests itself as a kind of “transition” into Christ. In this sense, the existence of the justified person becomes an “ecstatic” existence, extra se, that is in God, resulting as a new – divinized (vergottet) – life.
The article tries to find a possible model of role that the papal office can play for ec-umenical dialogue. First, the author reviews opinions about the pope and his office issued by the Evangelical Church in the 16th century, especially in Martin Luther’s theology. In the second step, there is an analysis of the ‘pope’ understanding presented by the modern Polish Lutheran theology. According to the applied method of “unity in reconciled diversity” it seems that the pope, as a head of the Roman Catholic Church could be understood as primus inter pares. The article develops the possible consequence of this papal duty in the vision of the ecumenical Pentarchy. It would be an ecumenical collaboration between the 5 biggest traditions of the modern Christianity: Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Eastern Pre-Chalcedonian Churches, Anglicanism and Lutheran Protestantism. This model does not mean a way to the institutional primacy of the Bishop of Rome.
The Catholic image of Martin Luther in the course of the centuries evolved from the literally negative one during the time of the Reformation and the centuries that followed, through the theological attempts and historically in-depth analyses inspired by the ecumenical movement up to contemporary acceptance of several theological postulates. Contemporary movements of Roman-Catholic thinking of Luther well summarize historically vulnerable and dogmatically deepened opinions of the recent popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. Following the agreement texts of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission at the world forum, ecumenically open popes can find out in Martin Luther a profoundly religious man, the witness of the Gospel whose theological thought is still relevant and a challenge for the presently secularized world.