Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Celebrating the Reformation?

I will make this post very brief and to the point. Pope Francis is making a specific trip to celebrate the Reformation in Sweden. It is formally being declared as "a joint ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation." As a faithful Catholic, one cannot accept this course of action. It is an insult to the Saints, Our Lady and Our Lord. The Catholic martyrs who gave their lives for the true faith are insulted. The "Reformation" is nothing any sane Catholic could ever support or commemorate. In fact, if the Pope does anything other than calling for all heretical sects to return to the Catholic Church, his trip is in vain.

Saint Francis de Sales, one of the great heroes of the post-Reformation Church wrote:
Perhaps you will say, at last, that after a time your church will spread its wings, and will become Catholic by process of time; but this is talking in the air. For if an Augustine, a Chrysostom, an Ambrose, a Cyprian, a Gregory, and that great multitude of excellent pastors, have not been able to manage well enough to prevent the Church from tumbling over soon after their time, how [shall] Calvin, Luther, and the rest [do so]? What likelihood is there that it should grow stronger now, under the charge of your ministers, who neither in sanctity nor in doctrine are comparable with those? If the Church in its spring, summer, and autumn has not been fruitful, how would you have one gather fruits from it in winter? If in its youth it has made no progress, how far would you have it run in its old age?
To divide Christendom, to create factions there, to tear in pieces the robe of Our Lord, is the effect of their preachings. Christian doctrine is as a gentle rain, which makes unfruitful soil to bring forth: theirs rather resembles hail, which beats down and destroys the harvests, and makes barren the most fertile lands. Take notice of what S. Jude says: Woe to them who …have perished in, the gainsaying of Core (Core was a schismatic); these are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water which are carried about by the wind : - they have the exterior of the Scriptures, but they have not the interior moisture of the Spirit:-unfruitful trees of the autumn, -which have not the leaves of the letter nor the fruit of the inner. meaning ; twice dead, -dead to charity by schism, and to faith by heresy;-plucked up by the roots, unable any more to bear fruit; aging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion of disputes, contests and violent changes; wandering stars which can serve as guides to no one, and have no firmness of faith but change about in every direction. What wonder then that your preaching is sterile? You have but the bark without the sap, and how would you have it germinate? You have only the sheath without the sword, the letter without the meaning; no wonder you cannot uproot idolatry. So S. Paul (Tim. 3:9) speaking of those who separate from the Church, protests that they shall advance no further. If then your Church can in no way style itself Catholic up to this present, still less can you hope it may do so afterwards, since its preaching is so feeble, and its preachers have never undertaken, as Tertullian says (de Praesc. xlii.), the business or commission "of converting heathens, but only of perverting our own.” Oh what a Church, then, which is neither one, not holy nor Catholic, and, which is worse, can have no reasonable hope whatever that it will ever become so....


Steve Dalton said...

I became a Catholic because I realized that the Catholic faith was the historic faith started by Jesus and his Apostles. At the time of my conversion, I discovered the Reformation was a revolt against that faith, and the founder of that revolt was a person with severe mental problems, who projected those problems onto the larger world he lived in. Now, this Pope is making a mockery of all the Catholics who fought to uphold the faith. I pray that this Pope will have a change of heart or that his papacy will be shortened for the sake of the elect.

John Collinson said...

St. Francis de Sales references St. Jude, who references the rebellion of Core. I highly recommend reading Numbers, chapter 16. The similarities between Core's rebellion and the Protestant are very striking.