Although becoming Orthodox may not have been a particularly viable solution for Martin Luther, Cyrillic's statement both avoids the question and answers it.
We can argue that Luther's "remaining loyal to the Pope" would've made little sense from an Orthodox POV, but ISTM that there would've been some value to it if becoming Orthodox was truly not a viable solution for him.
I didn't intend to argue that remaining loyal to the Pope wouldn't have made sense, or that it wouldn't have had some value to it. Nor do I believe that the ramifications of his split were harmless. I did, however, have to look up ISTM, but I'm in the know now.
While both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism are not Orthodox, the latter is definitely closer to Orthodoxy than the former,
and if faith matters at all, that has to count for something. At least if the ecumenical councils are to be trusted.
I don't argue that in many respects Roman Catholicism is closer to Orthodoxy than most forms of Protestantism. That doesn't mean, at least in my opinion, that we use the same standard of applying the terms heresy and schism towards those leaving Rome. The post I responded to strongly implied that Martin Luther's act was both. I disagree with that idea, while maintaining that there still may have been a more beneficial outcome in remaining.
Similarly, while it may be better to stay a Roman Catholic than become some adherent of an odd denomination, the logic of the argument for Luther to remain could be taken to the following extreme:
Leave the RCC for Orthodoxy: Just swell.
Leave the RCC for Protestantism: Heretical schismatic.
If someone leaves the RCC because of a Roman Catholic heresy, as Martin Luther did and many do today, I'm simply saying that this action should be understandable and difficult to condemn from our side.
Once again, I think this debate tends to boil down to whether the RCC is part of the
Church or not? If it ceased to be the
Church at some point after leaving the
Church, as most of us contend, then leaving it doesn't carry the same ramifications as leaving the Orthodox Church. Nor can we expect people to stay in a church that we ourselves (both OO and EO) cut ties with.
Just because the RCC more closely resembles the Orthodox Church than others doesn't mean that it wasn't and isn't a powerful rival, plucking many from our fold over the centuries and representing the most well-known, influential, and widely recognized apostolic church in the world.
Is this to say that there is no value in remaining Roman Catholic? Of course not, but how do we determine closeness? Is it the overall theology? If so, certain aspects of Arminian influenced Methodist Christian Perfection appear closer to Orthodoxy than certain Roman Catholic teachings. Liturgically, the Anglo-Catholic parish near me represents a much closer form of worship--in sight, sound and feel--than does the RC parish near me. I don't think you're arguing that it is always a clear-cut decision of closeness, but I'm asserting that it isn't.
In either case, I think most of us believe the RCC was sick or misguided around the time of the reformation, in some form or another, if not outright broken and/or compromised/distanced form the Church. In this regard, I think we can at least empathize with Martin Luther's decision to leave.
I guess I'll defer the broader question of whether he should've stayed or not to smarter, wiser people than myself. My point was simply that he cannot rightfully be viewed--from an Orthodox perspective--as being a schismatic, as he "schism'd" from a post-schism church.
P.S. I love your posts, Mor. Very glad to have you posting again.