Cleansing Fire

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Turned Upside Down

October 7th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

So — good is bad and bad is good? Right is wrong and wrong is right? Holy is hate, and hate is righteous? It seems that way so often in the world these days. It seems at times like the world some of us have known for so long is being turned upside down, challenging even our own faith and perspective. But, after all, did not Christ say to His apostles: “And will not God vindicate His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? What do you think? When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?” Yes He did say that, in Luke 18:7-8. We may not know all the reasons, but He did say so!

This is not being written to influence anyone to do any specific thing; we each have free will.  In my free will I choose to openly reject something which is being put forward in some dioceses throughout the world, and also at high Vatican levels. And I believe that ‘something’ is scandalous to souls, dangerous to faith, and deserves to be resisted. That ‘something’ is reinterpreting what used to be called the Protestant Rebellion, which then became the Protestant Reformation, and now seems to be the exaltation of the disobedient Protestant so-called ‘reformers’ to a platform of honor and prestige.

Turn that World back around again! 

ScreenShot760And a good place for that reform to begin is in the gallery at the ScreenShot761Vatican where Pope Francis had installed a large statue of Martin Luther. The reddish brandishment certainly makes one wonder where he has been for the last 500 years. In the best [most unsavory] medieval tradition of burying people face down who were expected to have gone to hell, perhaps the better image for these times is to turn that abominable statue on its head, visibly rejecting the Lutheran influence around the Catholic Church? Meanwhile, see how he is positioned with his back to us, on the receiving line at the Vatican?  Perhaps there has been some Divine Revelation that Luther finished his stint in purgatory and is now in heaven? Oh, but did he believe in purgatory? And, if so, how did he get out in only 500 years without Masses, Communions and Indulgences?

A bigger question is why didn’t Pope Paul V celebrate in 1617 the centennial of Luther’s posting his 95 theses (“Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”) on October 31, 1517 to the door of Wittenberg Castle church? Or why didn’t Pope Clement XI celebrate the 2nd centenary in 1717? Or Pius VII celebrate 300 years in 1817? Or Benedict XV celebrate the fourth centenary in 1917? (also the month of the last apparition at Fatima!) Why did prior popes seemingly not recognize those centenaries? Why now? And what is the real agenda?

This is not an attack of Lutherans!

Let’s make it clear. This is not an attack on Lutherans or any other Protestant sect. My mother was Lutheran, then Dutch Reformed and then Lutheran again before she received her 4th baptism as a Catholic (honest!) I have some very good friends who are Lutheran and I believe we have great personal respect for each other without having to agree with each other on matters of faith or any other matters. I have many friends who are in other Protestant sects, some have converted to Catholicism, and I also have close Jewish friends. This is not a disrespect to their faiths or teachings, nor have I ever felt the need to ‘phony-up’ our beliefs.

What I am saying — to be as clear as I can be — is that, based on history, past papal practice, and the overwhelming damage done by Luther, he has no place in Catholic Church Teaching, respect or recognition, without putting other Catholics in danger in their faith. It is one more thing that undermines what we have always believed, AND what we have good reason to believe. When the Vatican or any diocese elevates Luther for praise, recognizes the 500 year gap with celebration and commemoration rather than sincere bereavement and prayer for the souls of those adversely affected, it seems to me to be just plain wrong, and nothing to which I can give assent. To do so, I’d have to ask: “What has changed? and I see nothing, nor have I been taught any ‘new’ well-founded discovery or revelation. And as we are already in times in which we have to examine carefully the leadership at all levels in our own Church, and learn how to protect ourselves from bad teaching, it is notorious to be welcoming dissenting leadership to any pulpit in the Catholic Church. My hope is that no real Catholics will show up to witness or participate in such events.

Meanwhile, I don’t ask anyone to stay home or boycott — that is up to individual consciences. But I do ask that we pray together for Oneness of our Church, to withstand “celebrating” 500 years of Christian ignominy, and to exhort each other that we do better “to cry to the Lord all day and night“, than to try to compromise with the world. It is an ignominy because it cheapens what it means to be in communion with each other, insults Christ’s high priestly prayer for unity (John Chapter 17), and risks cheapening the Eucharist to a mere gratuity, a false metaphor. (Similar to the heart of the current problems with Amoris Laetitia).

For those who don’t know, this is an ENTIRELY different situation from Pope Benedict’s establishing the Anglican Ordinariate — totally Catholic, not a negotiated truce but a humble, clear, welcome and cherished return. And it is important to say so.

Can anything good come from the myth of celebrating heresy?

Personally, I think the negative far outweighs the positive, that the seriousness of mis-communicating our own faith risks even wider scandal. But if there is anything to be gained from pseudo respect for so-called Protestant reformers, there might be two points.  1) Since Protestants have also pursued much good, solid biblical study and translation, back to the original languages, it might possibly make it all the more difficult for less faithful components of the Catholic Church (or decentralized national councils) to alter biblical text. 2) Perhaps attention on such protesters and dissenters will give more credence to those who protest and dissent today while remaining inside the Church, traditional and faithful.  A number of things, which have been said by Pope Francis have been highly critical of faithful and traditional Catholics (read ‘rigid’ in the Pope’s words). Perhaps the complaints will be heard eventually, but hopefully not by waiting 500 years.

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8 Responses to “Turned Upside Down”

  1. avatar christian says:

    Sorry Diane for not making a statement directly to the theme of your article, but one line in your article grabbed me: “In the best medieval tradition of burying people face down who were expected to have gone to hell,…”

    What a horrible practice! I would be thinking of my own salvation and judgment before God, and could not readily judge and commit someone personally to hell, regardless of what they had done. I would commend them to God’s judgment and mercy. I would also pray for them as God is able to work on anyone’s soul.

  2. avatar Diane Harris says:

    You are absolutely right, Christian. We cannot and should not judge where God will send any soul at the Judgment, Particular or Final, even the worst heretic or criminal, for He wants all of us to be saved. I didn’t mean to imply that I was making that judgment, or the one about Purgatory — of course we don’t know. And the prayer “Lead all souls to heaven especially those most in need of Your Mercy” is powerful. My use of the word “best” is unfortunate; it would have been better to have said something like “most unsavory” … “best” wasn’t about goodness but about the extreme characteristics of the period, like trial by fire, the rack, etc. While the practice (in some locations) was indisputable, I think it is nevertheless inconsistent with the image that “so-and-so must be turning over in his grave!”

    Anyway, I am grateful for your making an important point. I apologize for the disturbing imagery, and while I will leave the word ‘best’ for the sake of context and understanding your comment, I have added “most unsavory” to minimize any further concern that I might be advocating the practice!

  3. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    good post, Diane. Our shallow generation is want to conflate such scuffles of theology with all the silly religious wars of the past. “So silly, our ancestors were to care about such trifles.” On the contrary, Luther’s doctrine is ever so damaging and should be considered only to analyze why Luther was wrong and the Faith of our Fathers correct.

    I’m still working through the referenced work from a previous post,”Liberalism is a Sin.”

    I think Chapter 20 Polemical Charity and Liberalism is quite pertinent.

    Granting that Liberalism is a bad thing, to call the public defenders and professors of Liberalism bad is no want of charity.

    The law of justice, potent in all ages, can be applied in this case. The Catholics of today are no innovators in this respect. We are simply holding to the constant practice of antiquity. The propagators and abettors of heresy, as well as its authors, have at all times been called heretics. As the Church has always considered heresy a very grave evil, so has she always called its adherents bad and pervert. Run over the list of ecclesiastical writers—you will then see how the Apostles treated the first heretics, how the Fathers and modern controversialists and the Church herself in her official language has pursued them. There is then no sin against charity in calling evil; its authors abettors and its disciples bad; all its acts, words, and writings iniquitous, wicked, malicious. In short, the wolf has always been called the wolf; and in so calling it, no one ever has believed that wrong was done to the flock and the shepherd.

    and it goes on…

  4. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    a little further on St. Francis de Sales is mentioned, who is frequently erroneously quoted against us here:

    Did St. Francis de Sales, so delicately exquisite and tender, ever purr softly over the heretics of his age and country? He pardoned their injuries, heaped benefits on them even to the point of saving the lives of those who sought to take his, but with the enemies of the Faith he preserved neither moderation nor consideration. Asked by a Catholic, who desired to know if it were permissible to speak evil of a heretic who propagated false doctrines, he replied:

    “Yes, you can, on the condition that you adhere to the exact truth, to what you know of his bad conduct, presenting that which is doubtful as doubtful, according to the degree of doubt which you may have in this regard.” In his Introduction to the Devout Life, that precious and popular work, he expresses himself again: “If the declared enemies of God and of the Church ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry wolf when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock and in every way and place we may meet him.”

    a search for “Luther” in the text also presents some interesting context.

  5. avatar christian says:

    There is a difference between judging a person and judging the teaching they are propagating. I think it is important to point out teaching that goes against the sum of the Bible, particularly the Gospel. It’s important to call evil teaching and practice, evil. I think some of those who had/have been teaching a contrary message, have known they are leading people astray. But I think there are many who may not know they are leading people astray and have been taken in themselves by a contrary agenda and false teaching.

    That’s why I think its important to confront someone who is preaching/teaching something contrary to our faith, and point out to them where they are wrong out of Christian love and charity. If that person persists, then take another/others with you to confront them again if possible. But I think it is important to report this person to their superior if they continue on in their preaching/teaching a message that is contrary to the faith.
    (I think the same should be true about someone who is promoting a contrary doctrine through writing).

    What is accepted is taught and spread, and continues to be taught and spread.

    I understand your concerns Diane. One thing I find disturbing about Martin Luther is his antagonist views toward Jewish people. He thought their synagogues and homes should be destroyed and their money confiscated. He also thought they should not have the same rights and freedom as non-Jews.

  6. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    I agree with christian that ad hominem arguments/attacks should be distinguished from discussions/debates over what the man wrote/taught/preached. If, however, a brother or sister were entrusting him or herself theologically to someone who was living a scandalous life style, I would consider privately and prayerfully to dissuade him/her from that relationship and trust; in that case revealing to him/her privately the scandalous life style.

    All this being said, let us not forget the Second Vatican Council’s Decree On Ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio, which references “those who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour”. The Decree states, “…one cannot charge with the sin of separation those who at present are born into these (separated from full communion with the Catholic Church) communities and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers”.

    Can any of us deny “some, even very many, of the most significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church”? Don’t the separated brothers have (as the Decree declares) the written Word of God, the life of grace, faith/hope/charity and interior gifts of the Holy Spirit?

    Of pertinent interest, I just discovered in this morning’s email a correspondence from Catholic Answers which includes the following excerpt:
    “In the documentary-style film The Protestant Revolution, written and narrated by Trent Horn, you will be introduced to Martin Luther and the events that shaped his thinking and led him to “protest” against his Catholic Faith.

    We recently spoke with John Vercillo, the head of Catholic Answers Studios, and he gave us some special insight on the depth of material to be found in this new documentary.

    Learn how Martin Luther and other “Reformers” did not restore a lost Gospel but preached a new Gospel in place of the one Christ gave his Church
    Learn about Luther’s key conflicts with the Church, especially between works and salvation
    You’ll receive a detailed explanation of what indulgences really are and what the Catholic teaching is on them
    Find out what happened at the Diet of Worms when Luther was offered the chance to recant his heretical views—his famous declaration of dissent
    See how quickly other reformers began to follow Luther’s lead and begin publicly preaching their own interpretations of scripture, and just how quickly they began to argue and differentiate on interpretations and teachings amongst themselves
    Learn how the spoken Tradition of the Church is just as much important as the word of God as is the written word
    Learn how the Canon of Scripture was first promulgated by Pope Damisus at the Synod of Rome in A.D. 382, and how it was later defined at other Councils and reaffirmed at the Council of Trent in 1545 in answer to challenges put forth by “Reformers”
    Learn how the Reformers altered the Canon of the Old Testament to support their teachings
    Learn the difference between Catholic teaching and Protestant ideas of Justification, what makes us worthy to enjoy eternal life with God
    Learn how Luther’s formula “faith alone” for salvation is correct if understood properly, as Faith working through love—in corresponding with the teaching of St. Paul
    Learn the Church’s teaching on how we are saved and the importance of Baptism and the washing away of original sin and the gift of the Sacrament of reconciliation for remission of sins and return to grace
    Learn about true Church Reformers, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis Xavier, the Jesuits, and the re-evangelization of nations that had fallen to Protestantism
    And So Very Much More…
    If want to find out more, order your copy of The Protestant Revolution today! Enter Promo Code TRENT at checkout to save 25%”

    Perhaps the Vatican and various Dioceses who are preparing to “celebrate” the separation would do better to order Trent Horn’s documentary and prayerfully watch repenting of the disunity and our own failures to give holy witness to Christ’s grace and truth entrusted to His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church…..

  7. avatar christian says:

    Thank you for your comments of Oct. 10th and the link you posted afterward. I would like to read that book!

    On a side note: From experience, I have found that not every person of a Protestant denomination believes everything of their denomination. There are those inclined to believe in much if not all, of what the Roman Catholic Church teaches.
    From experience, I have also found that not every person of the Roman Catholic Church believes everything the Church teaches.

    Most people are born into a denomination or faith and it is chosen for them. Those who are serious about matters of spirituality and religious practice, pray and contemplate what is presented before them and through this personal journey, arrive at a place where they make a conscious decision to accept or reject a particular practice, doctrine, dogma, etc. so to be able to worship God with integrity in Spirit and Truth. The personal journey of prayer and contemplation, and worship of God with heart, mind, soul, and all of one’s being, continues throughout one’s life.
    So while a particular denomination/church affiliation/faith may state particular doctrines, dogmas, practices, and other details, you CANNOT ASSUME that all of its members/congregants are on board with all of it. There might be more common ground than is usually suspected.

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