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BRIEF HISTORY
OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH




 

THE ATMOSPHERE FOR A REFORMATION - Part V

[How the Catholic Church nurtured the seed of her destruction within her own womb.] 

Of course, most of the improvements in the life of Europe did not come from Calvinism; they came from the Renaissance. The Reformation did not even come from the Renaissance. What came from the Reformation, due to its subjectivism, is the division of Europe along nationalistic or ethnic lines which, from that time on until now, is the cause of all Europe's problems.

While Catholicism united the entire Europe, Protestantism fragmented Europe into a hundred factions. And while united Christendom united all trades into guilds, Protestantism lined one trade in competition with the same trade in fragmented Europe. The good of all, paramount among the guilds, was laid aside; only the good of one was paramount in Protestant Europe.

In the intellectual sphere, Protestantism's narrow-minded  thinking made it depend on the most unreliable of authorities, one's personal feelings or the authority of mere print, like the printed Bible. The doctrine is egotistical but effectively removed the authority of the Pope. This subjectivism made personal experience or emotion the source of authority; and its consequence is spiritual anarchy, wherewith one Catholic doctrine after another was abandoned one by one and substituted by personal opinions of individual preachers. A doctrine that advances the supremacy of the authority of the personal, individual experience is the necessary seed for disaster. This factionalism caused by Protestantism is what imperils the world today.

Sad to say, Catholics, even Cardinals and bishops, contributed to the dissolution of Europe and the advancement and victory of Protestantism.  It is said that Cardinal Richelieu aided the Protestants of Germany to defeat the German Catholics by sending Gustavus Adolphus because he feared that a strong Catholic Germany was a threat to  Catholic France. With Cardinals like this, you don't need Protestants. It is also said that the Catholics of the Netherlands aided the Protestants there against Catholic Spain because they feared the Spanish Catholic soldiers who were looting the Netherlands. So I do not tire in saying that the Catholics contributed much to the success of the Reformation. 

The ignorance, neglect, complacency and worldliness of the men of the Church were the breeding ground for the Reformation. But that era boastedof great saints: Sts. Ignatius, Francis Borgia, Philip Neri, Charles Borromeo, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thomas More, Jerome Emiliani, Cajetan, John of God, John of Avila, Stanislaus Kostka, Angela, John Fisher, Joseph Calasanctius, Peter of Alcantara, Peter Canisius and Robert Belarmine.

I am sure Luther, Zwingly and Calvin were no match against these saints. A third of these saints could have stopped the tide of the Reformation. Then why did it succeed?  It was a punishment from God, a Divine Retribution towards a Church that was not faithful to its founder. While in Europe millions of Catholics were being lost, the Catholic Church  was winning millions to the Faith in Mexico through Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the old story of God abandoning Israel--Europe-- because of her infidelity, and going to the Gentiles, going to the New World. 

 

 

 

 

 

(12-06-02)

 

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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