Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lucia Redefining marriage and anti-Catholic persecution

More than one thousand Catholic priests in Britain have signed a letter articulating their fears of a new wave of anti-Catholic persecution in Britain if marriage is redefined.

In one of the biggest joint letters of its type ever written, they raise fears that their freedom to practise and speak about their faith will be “severely” limited and dismiss Government reassurances as "meaningless".

They even liken David Cameron’s moves to redefine marriage to those of Henry VIII, whose efforts to secure a divorce from Katherine of Aragon triggered centuries of bloody upheaval between church and state.

They claim that, taken in combination with equalities laws and other legal restraints, the Coalition's plans will prevent Catholics and other Christians who work in schools, charities and other public bodies speaking freely about their beliefs on the meaning of marriage.

Even the freedom to speak from the pulpit could be under threat, they claim.

And they fear that Christians who believe in the traditional meaning of marriage would effectively be excluded from some jobs – just as Catholics were barred from many professions from the Reformation until the 19th Century.

This is not an unjustified fear, nor is it scaremongering.  It's happened before.

Rev Dr Andrew Pinsent, a leading Oxford University theologian, who also signed the letter, said: “We are very sensitive to this historically because of course the reformation started in England as a matter of marriage.

Henry VIII could have been forgiven for his adultery but he didn’t want to do that, he wanted to control marriage and redefine what was a marriage and wasn’t.

“Because the Church would not concede that point, that launched three centuries of great upheaval in English society, and from the Catholic point of view life was very difficult."

A number of old English houses have "priest holes", a hole in the floor where a priest could be hidden from agents of the State. Being a Catholic priest during the years that the "priest holes" were in operation generally made for a very short life span.

All the hatred of the enemy is generally most aggressively directed at priests, for they make Christ physically present on earth. This letter shows that even full on liberal Catholic priests, according to Damian Thompson who recognised a number of the names, realise what they are facing and so will be quiet no longer.

It's not just Catholics who will be in the firing line, either, it's any person who holds the politically incorrect view that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

Related links: Gay marriage could signal return to ‘centuries of persecution’, - say 1,000 Catholic priests ~ The Telegraph
Gay marriage: after today's letter in the Telegraph, the Catholic Church really is at war with the Government ~ Damian Thompson, The Telegraph
Once marriage is redefined, everyone will be at risk ~ Bob McCoskrie's Blog

14 comment(s):

Psycho Milt said...

Rev Dr Andrew Pinsent, a leading Oxford University theologian, who also signed the letter, said: “We are very sensitive to this historically because of course the reformation started in England as a matter of marriage.

Yes, an authoritarian regime in Rome lost the right to claim political authority over the English people due to a dispute that started over marriage. Oh, the humanity! How can such a terrible injustice be prevented in future?

Andrei said...

How can such a terrible injustice be prevented in future?

How can such gross distortions of history be prevented in the present.

The Pope didn't have political authority over the English, Milt, that was firmly in the hands Henry VIII, a somewhat scary guy

Psycho Milt said...

Are you familiar with the term "second estate," Andrei? The RC propaganda view that the English Reformation was about Henry VIII wanting a divorce is the real distortion of history here - in reality it was about the long-standing interest of English kings in not having the second estate's boss contesting their authority. (It was also about the religious interests of the third estate, but that's not relevant here.)

Andrei said...

um Milt, civil authorities desire to be despots and have total control over the people. We see this throughout the ages up until today today.

The Church to varying degrees in history has the hearts and minds of the people and breaks the monopoly of the all powerful State. The Church doesn't have guns to enforce its will, the civil authorities do

Because their monopoly on Authority is not absolute those who would rule over us are at best antpathetic to the Church. Often they are overtly hostile and attack it.

In the Sixteenth century lots of blood would be spilled in the attempts of the Despots to separate people from their Church and to make it bend to the will of the despots.

In our more enlightened times it still goes on, but now by telling sweet lies and fooling the people - the particular line being peddled with "gay marriage" is that the Church is a dour fun killer who wants to stop people doing whatever they want. The government in this pretends to be benevolent and understanding but in reality it is being malevolent, the endgame being nations of docile serfs.

It is illustrated well in this film sequence

http://youtu.be/yZFfvtIjSJE

Lucia Maria said...

Psycho,

"The RC propaganda view that the English Reformation was about Henry VIII wanting a divorce is the real distortion of history here - in reality it was about the long-standing interest of English kings in not having the second estate's boss contesting their authority."

Really? I suppose by the time of Henry VIII, who executed a number of people that had very strong claims to his throne (ie Ed­ward Stafford and Edmund de la Pole), that could be one way of looking at it if you ignored Henry's desire for a divorce at the time, which a number of his own subjects didn't support either (Elizabeth Barton one particularly noteworthy person who lost her head because of her "visions" against it).

As Andrei states, "the Church doesn't have guns to enforce its will, the civil authorities do." All the Church has is a small, but not insignificant number of people who are extremely loyal and will give their lives if necessary. That's really more of a problem to people like Henry VIII (that's why he killed so many of his own subjects) than any "political authority" you might imagine the Pope has or might have had.

Psycho Milt said...

The Church to varying degrees in history has the hearts and minds of the people and breaks the monopoly of the all powerful State.

You could see this at work in France and Russia, for example. In France, the locals were so grateful that when they finally deposed the first estate they engaged in large-scale massacres of the churchmen who'd looked after their interests so well for so long. Or something.

As Andrei states, "the Church doesn't have guns to enforce its will, the civil authorities do."

Which is why the Church was completely unable to respond politically and militarily to the Reformation. Oh, wait...

Lucia Maria said...

Psycho,

Still waiting for an explanation of your last paragraph.

Psycho Milt said...

Sorry, I didn't realise. I'm not sure what you're after - it should be reasonably obvious that the religious system of an entire country can be changed permanently on the whim of a king, so the idea that the English reformation was all down to Henry wanting a divorce doesn't stand up even to a casual glance. Re the long-standing desire of English kings to keep the Pope's nose out of English business, that's a pretty consistent thread from the Plantagenets through to the Glorious Revolution, which was the last gasp for both the Papists and the absolute monarchists (funny how those seem to go together) in England, a full 150 years after Henry wanted a divorce.

Psycho Milt said...

Aargh! "...it should be reasonably obvious that the religious system of an entire country can't be changed permanently on the whim of a king..."

Andrei said...

It should be reasonably obvious that the religious system of an entire country can't be changed permanently on the whim of a king..

Yes it can if the King has the muscle to do it.

See those who strenuously objected were subject to extremely gruesome deaths in public and the various psrts their dismembered corpses hung in prominent places until they rotted away before the eyes of the general populace.

This had the intended effect of making most people keep their mouths shut and their heads down.

Of course the "reformation" created a civil war in northern and central Europe that lasted many years and decimated the population as civil rulers extended their power or used it to come to power and filled their treasuries with the property of the Church. The sixteeth century would have been a nightmareish time to have lived I think.

Of course Protestantism contains the seeds of its own demise, if the Faith can be rewritten in the 16th century to advance the power of the rulers, it can be rewritten at anytime. And if the "church" is the servant of the civil authorities used to advance their temporal agendas then too we see the doctrines of the church constantly revised to advance the agendas of the ruling class

Psycho Milt said...

See those who strenuously objected were subject to extremely gruesome deaths...

In other words, there was no change for those who disputed the official orthodoxy, only the people doing the disputing changed.

Of course the "reformation" created a civil war in northern and central Europe that lasted many years and decimated the population as civil rulers extended their power or used it to come to power and filled their treasuries with the property of the Church. The sixteeth century would have been a nightmareish time to have lived I think.

Agreed. Religious authorities don't give up power easily, much like any other authorities. One of the main reasons for that civil war was that the absolute monarchists recognised quite clearly what the Reformation meant for absolute monarchy - and what it meant was most definitely not an extension to the power of absolute monarchs.

Andrei said...

Agreed. Religious authorities don't give up power easily,

Henry VIII was a religious authority?

Well I suppose he was after he made himself head of the Church and she the blood of those who didn't go along with that

Kimbo said...

"the Church doesn't have guns to enforce its will, the civil authorities do."

Unless they resort to offering indulgences for participating in a crusade...like they did with the Spanish Armada.

Recusants weren't persecuted in Elizabethan England primarily because they were Catholics. Elizabeth preferred them to be left alone to live in peace, and practice their religion on private. But instead the Pope had to go and pronounce her a heretic, whom all Catholics were under spiritual obligation to assassinate. So much for Rome not having guns, or daggers, or poison, or the sword, or the stake...

Henry may well have been a despot with mixed motives (pretty much an equivalent of his contemporaries, the Borgia Popes), and many English may have been reluctant for Reformation in 1533. By 1558, once they'd seen political Catholicism back in action, they leaped at the opportunity to remain forever Protestant.

Lucia Maria said...

Kimbo,

An indulgence is not a gun. All it does is remove temporal punishment due to forgiven sin, thereby reducing the amount of time spent in Purgatory when you die. There are many ways to gain an indulgence, though, the effectiveness of it depends of how attached to venial sin a person is, and if people want them, they didn't have to join in a Crusade to gain them in the past and they don't have to now.

It's news to me that I have to assassinate heretics. Where on earth did you get that from, that Catholics during the time of Queen Elizabeth I were under spiritual obligation to kill her? Is that from the same place that talks about Catholics eating babies for breakfast?

"By 1558, once they'd seen political Catholicism back in action, they leaped at the opportunity to remain forever Protestant."

Erm, not exactly. The wealthy class that had been greatly enriched by Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries were afraid of having to give up their ill gotten gains, so supported Protestanism to protect their wealth. Never underestimate the power of money.

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