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Friday, 22 June 2012

SS. Thomas More and John Fisher at the "end point of the Reformation"

Father Edward Holloway, of the Faith Movement in England, coined the phrase used by the priest at Mass this morning, regarding this feast day of SS. Thomas More and John Fisher.

"The end point of the Reformation", the phrase used by Fr. Hugh, refers to the fact that England is still reeling from the secularization and fragmentation of Faith brought on by Henry VIII's break with Rome, and with morality.

Indeed, it was not only Tradition that was broken by the English Revolt, but the cultural positions on morality and ethics, pushing the English into a relativism and individualism the results of which we see today in society.

Nothing is new and all have roots in sin and degradation. That a society with law and juries would put to death such lights of Europe at Thomas More and John Fisher created a schizophrenia of justice and a break with the Greco-Roman tradition of law and order impacts us all in the West today.

Lutheranism would have remained a continental aberration and may have even faded if Henry and those who sought riches and new positions of aristocracy, by stealing from the Church, had not been the opportunists of the day. Power, money, titles became more important than prayer, fasting, obedience to Holy Mother Church and the Representative of Christ on Earth, Peter, the Pope.

To state that we are still experiencing the Reformation, or Revolt, as I prefer to call it, is an insight into the long arm of evil reaching down into our present day--the results of the Revolt were the Enlightenment and the relegation of the Catholic Truth into private lives and out of the public domain. This was the continuation of Machiavelli's real politique, not invented by him, but defined, and part of the reality of English history, up to the present time. The modernist heresies are all embedded in this Revolt, as well, with Tradition and authority undermined to the point of complete disdain for the Scriptures and the Liturgy as well as the Vatican. 

The fight continues and we shall see more martyrs, some "green" and some "red". Suffering for the Faith is the test of the real Catholic. If you are not suffering for your Faith, at this point of the Reformation, you are not living your Faith.

I would like to quote Michael Davies as well today, as it was not the people who wanted change, but one leader and his minions:

If the Protestant claim that because the Reformation in England happened it must have been both necessary and wanted is incorrect, then why did it take place? The answer is simple. The innovations in both doctrine and liturgy during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Elizabeth I were imposed on the people from above without any evidence of popular support for the changes among the people. The Protestant historian Sir Maurice Powicke accepts this unequivocally: "The Reformation in England was a parliamentary transaction. All the important changes were made under statutes, and the actions of the King as supreme head of the Church were done under a title and in virtue of powers given to him by statute." 31The only instance of such popular support for religious change in England was for the restoration of the Catholic Faith during the tragically brief reign of Mary Tudor. Another Protestant historian, Professor S. T. Bindoff notes that soon after Mary's accession to the throne in 1553: ". . . the Mass was being celebrated in London churches 'not by commandment but of the people's devotion', and news was coming in of its unopposed revival throughout the country." 32 Catholicism flourished once again in Mary's reign.

Also from Davies book, two notes which caught my eye--one, that John Fisher was ordained at 22, with a Papal Dispensation. Happy event! The second was that one of his sisters, Elizabeth, a Dominican nun, refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, and fled England, living and dying on the then island of Zeeland, part of the Netherlands. We do not know anything about her, but she had to become an exile for her faith in the Primacy of Peter.

We have a leadership crisis in the Church world-wide, but especially in GB and America. Let us pray to these great men whose feast we celebrate today, June 22nd, for leaders, both lay and clerical. Otherwise, the end point of the Revolt will end in a desiccation in the Church--a worse scenario than under the "reforming" Tudors.

SS. Thomas More and John Fisher, pray for us. And, happy name day to my son.