Articles Comments

Holy Family Cathedral » Uncategorized » Q&A about Reformation Background

Q&A about Reformation Background

How many churches are there?
(Christ founded one true Church. There can be no others.)

And that one, of course, is the Catholic Church?
(Of course.)

So all other Christian churches are entirely false?
(I didn’t say that. All other Christian churches deviate to some extent from the fullness of truth found in the Catholic Church. “Catholic” means, among other things, “complete” or “full”. But if other churches are Christian at all, they must retain some measure of the truth of Christ’s gospel.)

Are all Catholics saved?
(Probably not.)

Are all Protestants damned?
(Probably not.)

What difference does it make if one is Catholic or Protestant?
(Do you want to belong to Christ’s own Church? If your answer is “No”, you’re the one who needs to explain, not me.)

Can’t we all just be nice and go to Heaven?
(No. What’s “nice”, anyway?)

Is the Catholic Church a medieval deviation from Christ’s own Church?
(No. The Catholic Church is Christ’s own Church.)

Did the Catholic Church ever stop being Christ’s own Church?
(If it did, then Jesus Christ was a liar, and no one should be a Christian of any sort.)

What kind of society had the Catholic Church built during the Middle Ages?
(The most progressive society on Earth.)

Was there really a “Renaissance”?
(No–at least, not the way most books describe it.)

Before the Reformation, wasn’t the Catholic Church backward, corrupt and unpopular?
(No–though everyone agreed there were faults which needed fixing.)

Before the Reformation, didn’t Popes bribe their way to the Papacy, keep mistresses, murder their enemies, and lead armies in battle?
(Probably not. Some of the “Renaissance” Popes were a worldly lot, but they were not nearly as bad as lies and legends have made them.)

Before the Reformation, didn’t many Catholic clergymen keep mistresses, in violation of the rule of celibacy?
(Yes. But the Reformation only made things worse. Reformation encouraged clergymen to abandon the rule of celibacy altogether.)

Before the Reformation, wasn’t the Catholic Church too rich?
(Some churchmen lived too high. But most of the Church’s wealth went to community service. The modern welfare state is a secular attempt to replace the Catholic social safety net which the Reformation destroyed.)

Before the Reformation, didn’t the Catholic Church try to keep people from reading the Bible?
(No. The Church tried to keep people from misreading the Bible. Some churchmen, however, went too far.)

Before the Reformation, weren’t Catholic clergy ignorant and narrow—minded?
(Clergy trained at Catholic universities were the best-educated and most broad—minded class of people in the world. However, not all clergy were university-trained…)

Before the Reformation, weren’t Catholic laymen ignorant and uninvolved?
(The average Catholic layman knew more about his religion, and practiced it more fervently, than most modern laymen do. That may not be saying very much.)

Didn’t the Reformation encourage the spread of literacy among the unlettered mass of people?
(Probably–if by “literacy” we mean bare ability to read. However, according to a Protestant writer, the Reformation destroyed a sophisticated Catholic literary culture and replaced it with crude fundamentalism.)

Before the Reformation, didn’t the Catholic Church try to sell forgiveness and salvation in the form of indulgences?
(No. There were indulgence scams; but legitimate indulgences could not be “sold” and did not offer “forgiveness” or “salvation”. Come find out what indulgences really were — and are — and how they really worked — and still do.)

Didn’t the Catholic Church teach “works righteousness”?
(No. The Catholic Church never taught “works righteousness”—and still doesn’t).

Didn’t the Catholic Church need reform?
(Yes. The Church always needs reform.)

Then didn’t the Catholic Church need the Reformation?
(No. The Church didn’t need the kind of “reform” which the Reformation gave it.)

In that case, why did the Reformation happen?
(Good question. This session poses that question. Later sessions will try to answer it.)

Filed under: Uncategorized · Tags:

Leave a Reply