THE ATMOSPHERE FOR A REFORMATION - Part II
the Catholic Church nurtured the seed of her destruction within her
the Church, as a whole, in her human element, is neglectful of this
primary role, the sanctification of her members. The neglect is
frightening. Of course, there is a sputtering of efforts here and
there, as was at Luther's time, by more competent saints. But, any
sputtering here and there did not change the momentum towards
Protestantism. Great Saints, like Cajetan and Ignatius of Loyola,
could not stop the division of Europe into the Catholic and
Protestant camps. . .that is, half of Europe lost; neither can
anyone much less than a saint stop the Protestantinization of the
Catholic Church today.
Church's neglect of her primary purpose for existing, the
sanctification of her faithful through a true and complete
exposition of Christ's commands, left a Catholic Church ingrained
with traditional practices which are meaningless: There was no
rationale for Catholic belief, a rationale that St. Thomas of
Aquinas exquisitely presented in his Summa. Because of the neglect
of the men in the Church, Catholicism became an irrational religion.
was in this atmosphere of irrationality that such Catholic
religious, like the Augustinian Martin Luther, were raised. The lack
of knowledge of the reasons behind Catholic belief irretrievably
made them decide to interpret Scriptures the best way they knew. .
.purely by literal and human interpretation. "I will
interpret Scriptures the way I understand it." That's a very
far cry from the Catholic attitude of, "What is God telling us
in Scriptures?" The Reformation was born from this uninformed,
unstudied interpretation of Scriptures by Catholic religious. And, I
repeat, they were nurtured in the bosom of a neglectful mother.
it simplistically, the Reformation is not an anti-doctrinal
movement. The Reformation had nothing against any Catholic Doctrine.
. .at least at the beginning. How could they when they did not quite
understand Catholic Doctrine. It was an objection against a mother
who was not doing her job: in fact, a mother who was having a grand
worldly time and was asking her children to pay for it. The
beginnings of the Reformation was anti-clerical; it was a movement
against the men of the Church, their abuses, their worldliness,
their way of life, their sins, their repressive treatment.
And, frankly, in that era, there was everything to complain about
the men of the Church--one of which was the manner funds were being
raised. . .at one instance, through the sales of indulgences.
this point, with the devil and his hatred there, with willing
instruments ready, with a neglectful mother asleep to the oncoming
tragedy, the forces were in a position for the breakup of
Christendom; but the situation was still salvageable. . .in fact,
VIII entered the picture. He, like Martin Luther, had no doctrinal
quarrel with the Catholic Church. Up to the end of his life, he
stuck to his well-learned Catholic Doctrine. The poor guy simply
wanted to commit adultery; he had no intention of being either a
heretic or a schismatic. But forces outside him were gathering and
were about to overwhelm England.
spite of all these gathering forces, the Reformation or, better
still, the "destruction of Christendom in Europe" was far
from happening. Martin Luther did not have a theology of religion to
attract anyone. So far the battle lines were merely drawn between
mere personal annoyances. And Europe was too intelligent to
sacrifice her Catholic religion for personal grievances.