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Radio Replies Second Volume - Causes of the Reformation ^ | 1940 | Fathers Rumble & Carty

Posted on 05/05/2010 8:42:54 PM PDT by GonzoII

Causes of the Reformation

221. The power of Romanism was shattered by Martin Luther, of immortal memory.

Martin Luther is undoubtedly an outstanding figure in history. But the immortal memory of Luther will become less and less pleasant as the facts concerning him become known. Those who idealize Luther can do so only by ignoring an immense amount of inconvenient information. He was a priest of the Catholic Church, but one who was not faithful to his obligations even as a Christian. On his own admissions he was a victim of both immorality and drunkenness; and he was the most intolerant of men. Far from granting liberty of conscience, he refused to allow anyone to think differently from himself, and coolly said, "Whoever teaches otherwise than I teach is a child of hell."

222. When did the Protestant Movement begin?

In the sixteenth century. Luther, in Germany, broke away from the Catholic Church in 1517, and began to set up a new Church for himself. Henry VIII., in England, abandoned the Catholic Church in 1534, when he brought in the law of his own supremacy over the Church in his own realm. It would take too long to narrate how each of the first Protestants broke away. In various ways, each rebelled against the authority of the Church and was excommunicated by the Church. Luther denied her teaching by preaching heretical doctrines. Henry VIII defended her teachings, but violated the discipline of the Church.

223. Did not Norway and Sweden adopt Protestantism?

Lutheranism was imposed on both peoples by their rulers. The princes wanted control of the Church independently of the Pope. In breaking with Rome, they took the nearest form of Protestantism at hand — Lutheranism. Frederic I of Denmark imposed Lutheranism upon Norway. In Sweden, Gustavus Vasa led a revolt against Denmark, and was crowned king of Sweden. He himself was a Catholic, and the people were much attached to the Catholic faith. But Gustavus needed money for his new kingdom, and to get it he decided to confiscate the estates of the Church. Not from religious conviction, but solely through political expediency, he decided to impose Lutheranism also by civil authority.

224. What made Scotland abandon the Catholic faith?

There were three chief causes: Firstly, most of the people were not instructed in their religion, and were greatly disaffected towards the Catholic Church by the scandalous laxity of the Scottish clergy of the time. The clergy made little pretense at a life in accordance with what they preached, and their disedifying lives left the people ready to back up any preacher who seemed sincere, whether he was right or wrong in matters of doctrine. Secondly, John Knox eventually came from Geneva to preach straight-out Calvinism with a zeal and energy which stood out in marked contrast with the apathy of the Catholic clergy in the cause of the old religion. Thirdly, John Knox had the armed support of the nobles who sought to possess themselves of Church property.

225. So you blame the depravity of the clergy?

I give it as one of the reasons, and even as the main reason. In his book on the "Counter-Reformation in Scotland," Father Pollen says that the depravity and laxity of the clergy were unquestionably the main reasons why the faith of Catholics fell away so suddenly and so completely before the Protestant preachers. This is no argument against the Catholic Church; but it is a terrible indictment of the Catholic clergy in Scotland immediately prior to the advent of Protestantism. As Mr. Joseph Clayton has pointed out, no mass of people will ever be persuaded for long that priests and clerics can justly be exempted from the moral standards prescribed for the laity.

226. This seems to be new history from Catholic lips. Do not most Catholic writers paint the Protestant Reformation in the blackest colors?

They have maintained, and still maintain, that the Protestant Reformation can never be justified. But I admit that most history books written in the past by Catholics have exhibited a good deal of bias against the Protestant Reformers, even as the history books written by Protestants have given a distorted view of the Catholic position — and to a far greater extent.

227. History is history, and the record of truth.

You leave out the fact that historians do not always tell the truth. I admit that the writing of history is a very difficult thing. For, firstly, a man must get the facts, testing his sources rigidly at every stage. Secondly, since no one book can give all the facts, some must be left out. And here the mentality of the writer will decide the omissions. If he has any prejudices, the tendency will be to leave out the facts that tell against his theories. "What has the historian left out?" is one of the first questions to be put in estimating the worth of a textbook. Thirdly, if we consider such undisputed facts as he does give, the question arises as to the interpretation and significance of those facts. Now the textbooks of history in the English language have for the most part been written by men whole-heartedly Protestant, or by conviction anti-Catholic; or at least by those infected by the Protestant tradition, however impartial they may think themselves to be. If only unconsciously, bias and prejudice creep into their writings, and the real truth is not to be found in their works. Our complaint is not against history, but against the historians.

228. You will never undo memories of the past in Protestant minds.

We can correct those memories. We can point out that textbooks perpetuating false views of history do not give a genuine knowledge of the past, and persuade them to to cease pulling the bandage off old sores, giving them no chance to heal. In histories of the Protestant Reformation, feeling and sentimental loyalties have again and again got the better of dispassionate reason. And the education in history which they have provided has accounted for millions of professing Christians fearing and hating the Catholic Church, and that in a way which is simply baffling to Catholics.

229. Have not Catholic writers distorted history also?

Undoubtedly many have done so. On both sides history has been written in a partisan spirit. Bias, of course, may be quite unconscious. Nevertheless it results in distorted and inadequate presentations of history, and I agree with Mr. Joseph Clayton's advice that, if there is to be any bias where history is concerned, it should be, in both writer and reader, to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth — and that, both in the presentation of the facts, and in the interpretation of those facts. Of one thing I am certain: the Catholic Church has nothing whatever to fear from the results of such historical research. Truth cannot contradict truth; and the Catholic religion, being the truth, will never find itself in any way disturbed by any facts that history can reveal.

230. Not many people, either Catholic or Protestant, will agree with these views.

Those in a position to give a reliable verdict do so. I have quoted Mr. Clayton, a Catholic writer. In support let me quote a Protestant, Rev. Dr. Goudge, Regius professor of Divinity at Oxford. In a plea for a better understanding between Protestants and Catholics, he begs us to drop the prejudices of the sixteenth century when the Reformation occurred. "The whole spirit of the controversies then," he writes, "was wrong. They were black with hatred and misrepresentation, and largely conducted in theological Billingsgate. If we base our statements upon sixteenth century sources, we generally base them upon poisoned sources. At best they leave out half the truth; and at worst, they are lying." Again he says, "Much of the history written then was not history, but controversy under a thin disguise. Even if the facts recorded are indeed facts — which is not always the case — they are so selected, and so presented, as to give a false idea of what took place. Here there has happily been a great change. The best Catholic and Protestant historians are not far today from agreement about the facts, though they do not regard them in the same way. No instructed Roman Catholic now denies the appalling condition of Western Christendom at the beginning of the sixteenth century, or the failure of the Conciliar and other reforming movements to deal successfully with it. No instructed Protestant now denies that political and personal motives bulked very large in the Protestant Reformation. It is the duty of the better-informed members of all Communions to correct the errors of the less-informed, especially when these errors lead them to misjudge those from whom they are separated." So speaks Dr. Goudge, and I agree with every one of his words in this matter.

231. Don't you find it a mystery that so many millions should fall away from the Catholic Church during the Reformation?

No one with a knowledge of human psychology, and of the conditions of the period, would find it a mystery.

232. Was not the fall of the Roman Catholic Church due to the vilest practices ever recorded against any Church?

The Catholic Church did not fall. Many of her members had fallen from her standards of virtue, and this was made the excuse for their conduct by multitudes who fell from the faith into heresy. And the children of those who then fell away from Catholicism are today falling into indifference to all religion and almost complete unbelief, while the Catholic Church is the one great stronghold of Christianity in the world. Even in his own day Luther admitted that the more his teachings progressed, the worse the people became. "It is clear," he wrote, "how much more greedy, cruel, immodest, shameless, and wicked the people now are than they were under the Papacy."

233. Do you deny that the Church was in a state of decay prior to the Reformation?

I deny that. I do not deny that there was a widespread laxity corrupting the lives of many of the clergy and laity alike. St. Thomas More knew the society of his day very well, and he put things pithily when he said, "The world is tired of the clergy, but the clergy are not tired of the world." Yet St. Thomas More did not make the mistake of blaming the Church of Christ for the lax members in it. He blamed the lax members. And it would be a mistake to think that there was nothing but laxity in the Church in the times immediately prior to the Reformation. There were Saints in those days side by side with the sinners. Read that marvellous little book, "The Imitation of Christ," by Thomas a Kempis; and try to realize that that treasure of spirituality was written by a Catholic monk during those very years of supposed universal corruption. That book represents the true ideals of the Catholic Church, and is a strong condemnation of the unchristian lives of those who were a disgrace to the Christian name.

234. The Book of Revelations revealed that many of the hierarchy would fall into gross sins in the Middle Ages. History tells us that they did so.

It is a mistake to restrict the predictions of Revelations to any particular class, or to any particular age. St. John sees the forces of evil ever reviving and renewing their attack against Christ and His Church. Only with the end of the world itself will the influence of antichrist or the Beast come to an end. Through the ages surge upon surge of evil will attack the Church; now prevailing in a greater degree; now beaten back. But we need not go to the Book of Revelations for predictions of evil amongst members of the Church. Christ Himself predicted them. "It must needs be," He said, "that scandals come. But woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh." Mt 18:7. And He did not make any distinction between clergy and laity. In fact He seems almost to have permitted the fall of Judas, one of the Apostolic hierarchy, to warn us of the possibility of such things, and to preserve us from undue dismay.

235. Pope Innocent III said that the Church of his day suffered from five evils, and that the first of all was the evil conduct of prelates.

Be it so. But notice that Pope Innocent III, while aware of the abuses on the part of prelates, did not sanction them. He spoke to condemn them as not in keeping with Catholic ideals. And the obvious cure was the reform of the prelates, and the stamping out of their abuses; not the dynamiting of the whole Church established by Christ, and the creation of new Churches by men who had no authority from God to do so. Certainly Pope Innocent himself never dreamed that such abuses could afford any excuse for leaving the Catholic Church, and setting up other Churches.

236. Reform after reform was instituted by the Popes, only to fail because of strong vested interests.

Despite the exaggerated suggestion of current evils, the admission that reform after reform was attempted shows that the Catholic Church was definitely not evil in itself, but good; that she could not accept with equanimity the violation of her ideals; and that she never remained passive under the sufferings inflicted on her by her own subjects. As a matter of fact, the reforms instituted were not in vain, though in many cases they failed owing to lack of goodwill in the subjects. Eventually the Church did succeed in securing her own internal reform consisting of human beings so far as that is possible in a Church.

237. Will you set out what you consider the main causes for the loss of such multitudes to the Church at the Reformation?

There was nothing whatever wrong with the Catholic religion in itself. But there were a good many things wrong with great numbers of Catholics, or the Reformation would have been impossible. No one simple cause can explain it. The conduct of those who left the Church must be attributed firstly to their infidelity to the grace of God in their own personal lives, and to their own pride and passions. But that so many should follow these leaders demands explanation. Mass defections from the Church were possible only in a given atmosphere. And unfortunately many factors were at hand to contribute to the disaster. Political causes had weakened the authority of the Pope. Their personal ambitions made the German princes of the various small States welcome a movement which would free them from their discordant relations with the Pope altogether — even religiously. The covetous and avaricious also saw the possibility of loot and plunder in the confiscation of Church property. So they supported the Protestant rebellion even by force of arms. In England the Tudor kings had immense power, and Henry VIII, when he could not get his divorce from the Pope, found it comparatively easy to impose his ideas on his subjects, robbing them of the Catholic inheritance. We must remember, too, that the Renaissance had brought the revival of the pagan Greek and Latin classics, and these had corrupted the minds and the hearts of the educated classes. Moreover, many of the bishops and priests, far removed from Rome, had been too subservient to secular authority, and had neglected to enforce the discipline of the Church, thus weakening their hold upon the people. Laxity amongst the clergy had given great disedification; and the delay in their reformation had paved the way for a wrong reformation by breaking away from the Church. Careless priests had left the faithful uninstructed, and incredibly ignorant of their religion; and, not knowing their own faith, great numbers of simple Catholics did not discern the real evil of the separatist movement. Not knowing the truth, they were swayed by the ideas of the Reformers, who denounced Rome without demanding any higher standard of virtue than that which had prevailed. And when the temporal rulers backed up the campaign with violence and oppression, the people simply found themselves Protestants. There were many other factors also, which a brief reply can scarcely describe. But I have said enough to show the possibility of a Reformation, with its disastrous division of Christendom amongst an ignorant, dissatisfied, and disedified laity, above all under pressure by ruling princes, and grasping dukes and earls.

Encoding copyright 2009 by Frederick Manligas Nacino. Some rights reserved.
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TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: radiorepliesvoltwo; reformation

Preface To Volume One of "Radio Replies"



There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics "adore statues"; because they "put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God"; because they say "indulgence is a permission to commit sin"; because the Pope "is a Fascist"; because the "Church is the defender of Capitalism." If the Church taught or believed any one of these things it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly. Since it is other-worldly it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved. Therefore the Church is Divine.

If then, the hatred of the Church is founded on erroneous beliefs, it follows that basic need of the day is instruction. Love depends on knowledge for we cannot aspire nor desire the unknown. Our great country is filled with what might be called marginal Christians, i.e., those who live on the fringe of religion and who are descendants of Christian living parents, but who now are Christians only in name. They retain a few of its ideals out of indolence and force of habit; they knew the glorious history of Christianity only through certain emasculated forms of it, which have married the spirit of the age and are now dying with it. Of Catholicism and its sacraments, its pardon, its grace, its certitude and its peace, they know nothing except a few inherited prejudices. And yet they are good people who want to do the right thing, but who have no definite philosophy concerning it. They educate their children without religion, and yet they resent the compromising morals of their children. They would be angry if you told them they were not Christian, and yet they do not believe that Christ is God. They resent being called pagans and yet they never take a practical cognizance of the existence of God. There is only one thing of which they are certain and that is that things are not right as they are. It is just that single certitude which makes them what might be called the great "potentials," for they are ready to be pulled in either of two directions. Within a short time they must take sides; they must either gather with Christ or they must scatter; they must either be with Him or against Him; they must either be on the cross as other Christs, or under it as other executioners. Which way will these marginal Christians tend? The answer depends upon those who have the faith. Like the multitudes who followed Our Lord into the desert, they are as sheep without a shepherd. They are waiting to be shepherded either with the sheep or goats. Only this much is certain. Being human and having hearts they want more than class struggle and economics; they want Life, they want Truth, and they want Love. In a word, they want Christ.

It is to these millions who believe wrong things about the Church and to these marginal Christians, that this little book is sent. It is not to prove that they are "wrong"; it is not to prove that we are "right"; it is merely to present the truth in order that the truth may conquer through the grace of God. When men are starving, one need not go to them and tell them to avoid poison; nor to eat bread because there are vitamins in bread. One need only go to them and tell them that they are starving and here is bread, and the laws of nature will do the rest. This book of "Radio Replies" with 1,588 questions and answers goes out on a similar mission. Its primary task is not to humble the erroneous; not to glorify the Catholic Church as intellectual and self-righteous, but to present the truth in a calm, clear manner in order that with the grace of God souls may come to the blessed embrace of Christ.

It is not only the point of "Radio Replies" to prove that the Church is the only completely soul-satisfying Church in existence at the present day; it is also to suggest that the Catholic Church is the only Church existing today which goes back to the time of Christ. History is so very clear on this point, it is curious how many minds miss its obviousness. When therefore you, the readers of "Radio Replies" in the twentieth century, wish to know about Christ and about His early Church, and about His mysteries, we ask you to go not only to the written records but to the living Church which began with Christ Himself. That Church or that Mystical Person which has been living all these centuries is the basis of our faith and to us Catholics it speaks this way: "I live with Christ. I saw His Mother and I know her to be a Virgin and the loveliest and purest of all women in heaven or on earth; I saw Christ at Caesarea-Philippi, when, after changing Simon's name to Rock, He told him he was the rock upon which the Church would be built and that it would endure unto the consummation of the world. I saw Christ hanging on a cross and I saw Him rise from His tomb; I saw Magdalene rush to His feet; I saw the angels clad in white beside the great stone; I was in the Cenacle room when doubting Thomas put fingers into His hands; I was on Olivet when He ascended into heaven and promised to send His Spirit to the apostles to make them the foundation of His new Mystical Body on earth. I was at the stoning of Stephen, saw Saul hold the garments of those who slew him, and later I heard Saul, as Paul, preach Christ and Him crucified; I witnessed the beheading of Peter and Paul in Rome, and with my very eyes saw tens of thousands of martyrs crimson the sands with their blood, rather than deny the faith Peter and Paul had preached unto them; I was living when Boniface was sent to Germany, when Augustine when to England, Cyril and Methodius to the Poles, and Patrick to Ireland; at the beginning of the ninth century I recall seeing Charlemagne crowned as king in matters temporal as Peter's vicar was recognized as supreme in matters spiritual; in the thirteenth century I saw the great stones cry out in tribute to me, and burst into Gothic Cathedrals; in the shadows of those same walls I saw great Cathedrals of thought arise in the prose of Aquinas and Bonaventure, and in the poetry of Dante; in the sixteenth century I saw my children softened by the spirit of the world leave the Father's house and reform the faith instead of reforming discipline which would have brought them back again into my embrace; in the last century and at the beginning of this I heard the world say it could not accept me because I was behind the times. I am not behind the times, I am only behind the scenes. I have adapted myself to every form of government the world has ever known; I have lived with Caesars and kings, tyrants and dictators, parliaments and presidents, monarchies and republics. I have welcomed every advance of science, and were it not for me the great records of the pagan world would not have been preserved. It is true I have not changed my doctrine, but that is because the ‘doctrine is not mine but His who sent Me.’ I change my garments which belong to time, but not my Spirit which belongs to eternity. In the course of my long life I have seen so many modern ideas become unmodern, that I know I shall live to chant a requiem over the modern ideas of this day, as I chanted it over the modern ideas of the last century. I celebrated the nineteen-hundredth anniversary of the death of my Redeemer and yet I am no older now than then, for my Spirit is Eternal, and the Eternal never ages. I am the abiding Personage of the centuries. I am the contemporary of all civilizations. I am never out of date, because the dateless; never out of time, because the timeless. I have four great marks: I am One, because I have the same Soul I had in the beginning; I am Holy, because that Soul is the Spirit of Holiness; I am Catholic, because that Spirit pervades every living cell of my Body; I am Apostolic, because my origin is identical with Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem. I shall grow weak when my members become rich and cease to pray, but I shall never die. I shall be persecuted as I am persecuted now in Mexico and Russia; I shall be crucified as I was on Calvary, but I shall rise again, and finally when time shall be no more, and I shall have grown to my full stature, then shall I be taken into heaven as the bride of my Head, Christ, where the celestial nuptials shall be celebrated, and God shall be all in all, because His Spirit is Love and Love is Heaven."




Introduction To The American Edition Of "Radio Replies" Vol One


"Radio Replies" by Rev. Dr. Rumble, M.S.C., is the result of five years of answering questions during a one-hour Question Box Program over Radio Station 2SM Sydney, N.S.W. The revision of "Radio Replies" for American readers was prompted by the widespread interest the Australian edition created among Protestants and Catholics during the summer of 1937, when I was carrying on as a Catholic Campaigner for Christ, the Apostolate to the man in the street through the medium of my trailer and loud-speaking system. In the distribution of pamphlets and books on Catholicism "Radio Replies" proved the most talked of book carried in my trailer display of Catholic literature. The clergy and laymen engaged in Street Preaching agree that it is not so much what you say over the microphone in answer to questions from open air listeners but what you GET INTO THEIR HANDS TO READ.

My many converts of the highways and parks throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul have embraced the faith as a result of studying this book. Whole families have come into the Church through reading the book by this renowned convert from Anglicanism. The delay in getting copies from Sydney and the prohibitive cost of the book on this side of the universe led me to petition the author to have published a CHEAP AMERICAN EDITION in order to get this Encyclopaedia of Catholic Doctrine into the hands of fellow citizens. Because of the author's genius for brevity, preciseness, fearlessness and keen logic that avoids the usually long Scriptural and Traditional arguments of the average question and answer book, which is beyond the capacity of the man in the street, this manual of 1,588 questions and replies has already attracted readers throughout Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, England, Ireland, Canada and now the United States.

The questions he answers are the questions I had to answer before friendly and hostile audiences throughout my summer campaign. The piquant and provocative subject matter of this book makes it a fascinating assembly of 300 or more worth-while pamphlet tracts, a dictionary of doctrine for the desk of the FAMILY, the STUDENT, the SHOP HAND, the OFFICE WORKER, the ATTORNEY, the DOCTOR, the TEACHER, and the PREACHER. It is a handy standard reference book of excellence for popular questions which are more than ever being asked by restless and bewildered multitudes. It is a textbook for the Confraternities of Christian Doctrine Classes and Study Clubs.

A non-Catholic Professor after reading the book stated that, "If the Catholic Church could defend herself so logically as 'Radio Replies' demonstrates, then I do not see why you don't get more converts." Members of the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Societies and numerous women's societies have written in that they no longer have to apologetically say, "I can't answer that one." Catholic students in non-sectarian colleges and universities write in that they now walk the campus with this book under their arms, ready for all challenges and that this manual of ready reference has cured their INFERIORITY COMPLEX ON EXPOSITION OF CATHOLIC CLAIMS. Lapsed Catholics have come into my trailer-office to confess that the reading of "Radio Replies" has brought them back to the Church.

I am grateful to His Excellency Archbishop John G. Murray, D.D. for his approval of this compendium of dogmatic and moral theology for readers of the American Commonwealth and I am deeply appreciative to Rt. Rev. Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, D.D. for writing the Preface to this American edition.

From my experience on the Catholic Radio Hour, on the lecture platform, and in the pulpit, I do not hesitate to say that HERE AT LAST is the book that has something for everybody, the book for the UNINFORMED CATHOLIC, THE UNEDUCATED AND EDUCATED LAPSED CATHOLIC, and the PROSPECTIVE CONVERT.

Rev. Charles MortimerCarty




 Who is like unto God?........ Lk:10:18: 
<p>And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven.


Historical Context of "Radio Replies"

By markomalley

If one recalls the time frame from which Radio Replies emerged, it can explain some of the frankness and lack of tact in the nature of the responses provided.

It was during this timeframe that a considerable amount of anti-Catholic rhetoric came to the forefront, particularly in this country. Much of this developed during the Presidential campaign of Al Smith in 1928, but had its roots in the publication of Alexander Hislop's The Two Babylons, originally published in book form in 1919 and also published in pamphlet form in 1853.

While in Britain (and consequently Australia), the other fellow would surely have experienced the effects of the Popery Act, the Act of Settlement, the Disenfranchising Act, the Ecclesiastical Titles Act, and many others since the reformation (that basically boiled down to saying, "We won't kill you if you just be good, quiet little Catholics"). Even the so-called Catholic Relief Acts (1778, 1791, 1829, 1851, 1871) still had huge barriers placed in the way.

And of course, they'd both remember the American Protective Association, "Guy Fawkes Days" (which included burning the Pontiff in effigy), the positions of the Whigs and Ultra-Torries, and so on.

A strong degree of "in your face" from people in the position of authoritativeness was required back in the 1930s, as there was a large contingent of the populations of both the US and the British Empire who were not at all shy about being "in your face" toward Catholics in the first place (in other words, a particularly contentious day on Free Republic would be considered a mild day in some circles back then). Sure, in polite, educated circles, contention was avoided (thus the little ditty about it not being polite to discuss religion in public, along with sex and politics), but it would be naive to assume that we all got along, or anything resembling that, back in the day.

Having said all of the above, reading the articles from the modern mindset and without the historical context that I tried to briefly summarize above, they make challenging reading, due to their bluntness.

The reader should also keep in mind that the official teaching of the Church takes a completely different tone, best summed up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.271

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

269 UR 3 § 1.
270 Cf. CIC, can. 751.
271 Origen, Hom. in Ezech. 9,1:PG 13,732.
272 UR 3 § 1.
273 LG 8 § 2.
274 UR 3 § 2; cf. LG 15.
275 Cf. UR 3.
276 Cf. LG 8.
322 LG 15.
323 UR 3.
324 Paul VI, Discourse, December 14, 1975; cf. UR 13-18.

1 posted on 05/05/2010 8:42:54 PM PDT by GonzoII
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2 posted on 05/05/2010 8:44:10 PM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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The Radio Replies Series: Volume One

The Radio Replies Series: Volume Two

Chapter One: God

Radio Replies Volume Two: Proof of God's Existence
Radio Replies Volume Two: God's Nature
Radio Replies Volume Two: Supreme Control Over All Things and the Problem of Suffering and Evil

Chapter Two: Man

Radio Replies Volume Two: Destiny of Man/Death
Radio Replies Volume Two: Immortality of Man's Soul & Pre-existence Denied
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Human Free Will
Radio Replies Volume Two: Determinism Absurd

Chapter Three: Religion

Radio Replies Volume Two: Necessity of Religion
Radio Replies Volume Two: Salvation of the Soul
Radio Replies Volume Two: Voice of Science
Radio Replies Volume Two: Religious Racketeers
Radio Replies Volume Two: Divine Revelation

Radio Replies Volume Two: Revealed Mysteries
Radio Replies Volume Two: Existence of Miracles

Chapter Four: The Religion of the Bible

Radio Replies Volume Two: Gospels Historical
Radio Replies Volume Two: Missing Books of the Bible
Radio Replies Volume Two: The Bible Inspired
Radio Replies Volume Two: Biblical Account of Creation
Radio Replies Volume Two: New Testament Problems

Radio Replies Volume Two: Supposed Contradictions in Sacred Scripture

Chapter Five: The Christian Faith

Radio Replies Volume Two: Source of Christian Teaching
Radio Replies Volume Two: Jewish Rejecton of Christ
Radio Replies Volume Two: Christianity a New Religion
Radio Replies Volume Two: Rational Foundation for Belief
Radio Replies Volume Two: Causes of Unbelief

Chapter Six: A Definite Christian Faith

Radio Replies Volume Two: Divisions Amongst Christians
Radio Replies Volume Two: Schisms Unjustified
Radio Replies Volume Two: Facing the Problem
Radio Replies Volume Two: Wrong Approach
Radio Replies Volume Two: Is One Religion as Good as Another?

Radio Replies Volume Two: Obligation of Inquiry
Radio Replies Volume Two: Charity and Tolerance

Chapter Seven: A Definite Christian Faith

Radio Replies Volume Two: Meaning of "Protestant"
Radio Replies Volume Two: Causes of the Reformation

3 posted on 05/05/2010 8:45:06 PM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII


Thank you - have to share this with my boys!

4 posted on 05/05/2010 10:04:57 PM PDT by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
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To: GonzoII

I do not consider Luther infallible nor the leader of my church. I do consider him a great gift to mankind. Not perfect. Great.

Consider some of the following quotes:

All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.
Martin Luther

Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?
Martin Luther

Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.
Martin Luther

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
Martin Luther

Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.
Martin Luther

Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.
Martin Luther

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.
Martin Luther

Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see.
Martin Luther

Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding.
Martin Luther

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.
Martin Luther

For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel.
Martin Luther

Forgiveness is God’s command.
Martin Luther

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.
Martin Luther

Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.
Martin Luther

I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.
Martin Luther

I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.
Martin Luther

Hardly the arrogant jerk that this poster seems to want to paint him as.

5 posted on 05/05/2010 10:48:39 PM PDT by Persevero (If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?)
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To: GonzoII

“On his own admissions he was a victim of both immorality and drunkenness”

I guess the Roman Church ought to remove from its canon of saints and ranks of clergy all persons who ever sinned.

6 posted on 05/06/2010 3:28:15 AM PDT by bobjam
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To: GonzoII
many of the bishops and priests, far removed from Rome, had been too subservient to secular authority, and had neglected to enforce the discipline of the Church, thus weakening their hold upon the people

To my mind, with the benefit, if that is the right word, of observing the paganization of formerly Prtoestant cultures of the West, here it should be added that Protestantism is designed to cater to the spirit of the time, whatever that spirit may be. In 16 century, it served the small gentry and the merchant class and contributed to the emerging system of democtratic self-government. Today, it paved the road to neopaganism. Tomorrow, who knows.

7 posted on 05/06/2010 5:23:11 AM PDT by annalex
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To: Persevero

Most self-indulgent liars do not lie and indulge their “great pope” selves all the time, and can squeeze in a profound thought or two in between.

Much of the early leaders of so-called reformation were in great part Catholic and often sounded that way. The modern sheep herders of Protestantism would improve by imitating Luther and Calvin despite the immensity of their flaws.

8 posted on 05/06/2010 5:31:00 AM PDT by annalex
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To: bobjam

Any sin, when confessed and repented, is removed from the sinner for good.

9 posted on 05/06/2010 5:32:31 AM PDT by annalex
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To: GonzoII

I stopped at #222. The gross abbreviation presented provided enough humor to start my morning. I greatly respect my Catholic friends religious views. To present the Reformation as Rome being merely “a victim of circumstances” gives neither Catholicism, nor Protestantism much credit for anything worthwhile.

10 posted on 05/06/2010 5:47:18 AM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: annalex

And Luther would hardly disagree. Of course in his time, one could pay a fee to the church building fund instead of confessing and, with hearty repentence, turning to the Lord in true faith.

11 posted on 05/06/2010 7:12:26 AM PDT by bobjam
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To: bobjam
"one could pay a fee to the church building fund instead of confessing"


Instead of confessing?

12 posted on 05/06/2010 7:46:44 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: RFEngineer
"To present the Reformation as Rome being merely “a victim of circumstances”

That was in in #222?

You stopped way to early.

13 posted on 05/06/2010 7:52:16 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: annalex

“Much of the early leaders of so-called reformation were in great part Catholic and often sounded that way. “

Certainly. Most if not all started out as devout Roman Catholics. So of course they retained some vestiges of Roman Catholics thought/habit.

14 posted on 05/06/2010 3:58:27 PM PDT by Persevero (If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?)
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To: bobjam
Luther would hardly disagree.

Of course he would -- he is the one who invented the "faith alone" heresy in order to avoid sacramental confession.

instead of confessing

No, neither church contributions or indulgences could substitute for sacramental confession then or at any time. They could be a form of penance for a sin already confessed and absolved.

15 posted on 05/06/2010 4:53:05 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex

There is more to confession than reciting the contrition

16 posted on 05/06/2010 5:03:49 PM PDT by bobjam
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To: bobjam

The Act of Contrition is not even a part of confession. It is frequently a part of penance following absolution.

The confession is like this. First, the faithful examines his conscience with himself and attempts to identify where he has yet unconfessed sin. Familiar lists of sins, such as the Ten Commandments, or the so-called cardinal sins, help in the analysis but either method of self-examination, or no particular method at all, can be used. Next, he tells his sins to the priest formally (the formal setting guarantees that priest is bound by the absolute privacy of the confessional). If the faithful has not been able to determine during the examination of conscience that he has sinned, but suspects that he might, he discusses that with the priest. Then the priest prayerfully decides to forgive or retain the sin. If the sins are forgiven, a prayer is said to that effect and the sins are then absolved. Then a penance is given, usually a series of prayers or a charitable act, and the confession conccludes at this point

17 posted on 05/06/2010 5:19:19 PM PDT by annalex
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To: bobjam
Then the priest prayerfully decides to forgive or retain the sin.

Forgot to mention that while the process is formal in the sense that both the priest and the faithful know that a sacramental confession is taking place, and while the prayers of absolution are usually recited prayers, the process leading to that decision by the priest is by no means limited to formalities. The priest will talk to the faithful, sometime at length, in order to

Good confessors are known and the faithful seek them out. Some are legendary in their insight, such as Cure of Ars or Padre Pio. My earstwhile (I now moved) confessor Monsignior Cavanaugh of St. Rose in Sacramento has people lined up all across the back wall several times a day, -- he practically lives in the confessional. It is a gift and a skill.

18 posted on 05/07/2010 5:27:19 AM PDT by annalex
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