Friday, April 12, 2013

Catholics Killed by Protestants....

The Persecution of Catholic by Protestants Or: 
Dave Armstrong's Book of Martyr's 

My mother taught me to be careful not to make too quick a judgement because there are always two sides to every story. And since the Protestant Reformation is the groundwork for the whole of the American experiment, the Catholic side of history or beliefs is often non-existent in schooling. It is kind of a Protestant set up, I mean, who is going to listen to or trust the testimony of the whore of Babylon?

Well, up until the flood of Protestants becoming Catholic in recent decades, those born into Catholicism, the “turn the other cheek” Catholics have been trying the Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s make-nice, laugh a lot and blend-in approach.

But now... (the music to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly begins in the background)....we zealous newbie Catholics have entered the fold and have this residual Protestant evangelicalism still clinging to our pearly white sheep-wool. We have acquired ourselves a rosary and we are not afraid to use it.... And we have been reading history.... oh yeah... we have been reading history. 

Time for some balance. And though the levity helps to introduce the subject, it is truly not a laughing matter. I will turn now to a more serious attitude. And God bless us as we read: 

It is highly unnecessary to list the serious problems of the Catholic Church down through the centuries. Most people know them well. So for the sake of justice Dave Armstrong (and a little bit of me) have put together quotes from many historical sources. Hopefully, after the balance of justice have been equalled we can forgive and forget the sullied background of both Catholicism and Protestantism for the sake of Christ. Perhaps when both Protestants and Catholics are humbled by their past, we can then heal. Remember Christ said that the world will know we are Christians by our love, one for another.

So, let’s get this over, so that we may be one in Christ:

(Note: I think I got most of this from Dave Armstrong’s website, but I can’t remember... so credit him for all the work.)

Was the Reformation about Religious Liberty?

“Historically nothing is more incorrect than the assertion that the Reformation was a movement in favor of intellectual freedom. The exact contrary is the truth. For themselves, it is true, Lutherans and Calvinists claimed liberty of conscience . . . but to grant it to others never occurred to them so long as they were the stronger side. The complete extirpation of the Catholic Church, and in fact of everything that stood in their way, was regarded by the reformers as something entirely natural.” ( Johann von Dollinger, Grisar, VI, 268-269; Dollinger: Kirche und Kirchen, 1861, 68)

“Save for a few splendid sayings of Luther, confined to the early years when he was powerless, there is hardly anything to be found among the leading reformers in favor of freedom of conscience. As soon as they had the power to persecute they did.”(Secular scholar Preserved Smith, The Social Background of the Reformation 177)

“...Luther’s nature was essentially despotic. He insisted that his will in theological and ecclesiastical matters must be supreme. Everyone who differed from him in regard to dogmas he pronounced a heretic, if not worse, and this in words which frequently were far too low and vulgar to be reproduced. Among the mildest of his utterances is:-- ‘Whoever teaches otherwise than I teach, condemns God, and must remain a child of hell’. After such words he hardly needed to say, ‘I can hear and endure nothing which is against my teachings.’” ( John L. Stoddard, Rebuilding a Lost Faith by an American Agnostic, p.97

The Kings Used the Reformation For Money

“Right from the beginning, Luther's spiritual revolt had let loose material greed. The German rulers, the Scandinavian monarchs and Henry VIII of England had all taken advantage of the break from papal tutelage to appropriate both the wealth and the control of their respective Churches.” (Henri Daniel-Rops, 309-310)

“The cities found Protestantism profitable. . . . The Lutheran princes suppressed all monasteries in their territory except a few whose inmates had embraced the Protestant faith.” (Will Durant, 438-439)

Melanchthon, the right hand man of Luther, lamented about the outcome of the Reformation: “They do not care in the least about religion; they are only anxious to get dominion into their hands, to be free from the control of bishops . . . Under cover of the Gospel, the princes were only intent on the plunder of the Churches.”(Durant, 438, 440)

One of the worst of the plunders of Catholic property was under British King Henry VII who, after tearing the papal crown off the Rome’s bishop and placing it on his own head he made land grabs and seized Catholic property on his island as well as Ireland. 

Luther’s friend Erasmus wrote, “This certainly is a fine turn of affairs, if property is wickedly taken away from priests so that soldiers may make use of it in worse fashion; and the latter squander their own wealth, and sometimes that of others, so that no one benefits.” (Erasmus, 157)

Luther was content with the expulsion of the Catholics. Melanchthon was in favor of proceeding against them with corporal penalties . . . Zwingli held that, in case of need, the massacre of bishops and priests was a work commanded by God. (Janssen, V, 290)

Now we start looking at the actual persecution. 

Chronology of Anti-Catholicism

Luther Advocates Violence Towards the Catholics

Protestant peasants went to the same church Luther had nailed his 95 thesis on and destroyed its altars, statues and threw out the priests. Many reformers thought it their duty to silence the Pope and popery by force. (Grisar, 298

Luther, not too kindly nor with religious tolerance wrote: "The Pope and the Cardinals . . . since they are blasphemers, their tongues ought to be torn out through the back of their necks, and nailed to the gallows!" (Against the Papacy of Rome, Founded by the Devil

More Luther:
"It were better that every bishop were murdered . . . And we would smile did it happen. All who contribute body, goods . . . that the rule of the bishops may be destroyed are God's dear children and true Christians." (Werke, Weimar, v.28, pp.142-201 Against the Falsely Called Spiritual Order of the Pope and the Bishops)
"...these Cardinals, these Popes, and that whole abomination of the Romish Sodom . . . why do we not wash our hands in their blood?" (Werke, Erl., v.2, p.107 On the Pope as an Infallible Teacher).


Zwingli's Zurich was definitely not a haven of Christian freedom:
The presence at sermons . . . was enjoined under pain of punishment; all teaching and church worship that deviated from the prescribed regulations was punishable. Even outside the district of Zurich the clergy were not allowed to read Mass or the laity to attend. (Janssen, V, 134-135)

The Mass was abolished in Zurich. (Dickens, 117). 

In Zurich the reformers demolished churches and burned monsteries. Bishops of Constance, Basle, Lausanne and Geneva were forced to abandon their sees. (Daniel-Rops, 81-82)

Young Bible students he once mentored were now advocating more radical reform . . . refusing to have their babies baptized, citing his own earlier ideas . . . In January, 1525, Zwingli agreed that they deserved capital punishment . . . for tearing the fabric of a seamless Christian society. (John L Ruth., "America's Anabaptists: Who They Are," Christianity Today, October 22, 1990)

The penalties enjoined by the Town Council of Zurich [for Anabaptists] were 'drowning, burning, or beheading,' according as it seemed advisable . . . 'It is our will,' the Council proclaimed, 'that wherever they be found, whether singly or in companies, they shall be drowned to death, and that none of them shall be spared. (Janssen, V, 153-157)

Luther's home territory of Saxony had instituted banishment for Catholics. (Grisar, VI, 241-242).
Inquisitor General: Martin Luther. Heretics? Catholics. “It is the duty of the authorities to resist and punish such public blasphemy.” (Grisar, VI, 240)

At Constance, on March 10, the Catholic faith was banned. “There are no rights whatever beyond those laid down in the Gospel as it is now understood” So then they went about following what they interpreted the Bible to command by smashing altars, organs, and everything inside the Catholic churches were considered idolatrous. (Janssen, V, 146)

Zwingli declared the massacre of the bishops for the sake of the gospel. (Janssen, V, 180; Zwingli's Works, VII, 174-184) Zwingli’s treatment of Anabaptists hadn’t improved for his town council ordered 170 heretics burnt through the cheeks with hot irons; many were beheaded; some had their tongues cut out. (Janssen, V, 160)

Protestant theologian Meyfart (on tortures of Catholics he personally witnessed): “Rome it is not customary to subject a murderer . . . an incestuous person, or an adulterer to torture for the space of more than an hour; but in Germany . . .the torture is kept up for a whole day, for a day and a night, for two days . . . even also for four days . . . after which it begins again . . . There are stories extant so horrible and revolting that no true man can hear of them without a shudder.” (Janssen, XVI, 516-518, 521)

Back in Luthersville and Calvinsville: the Council of Strassburg ordered the total destruction of several Catholic churches and convents. (Janssen, V, 143-144). AND in Frankfurt-am-Main (Durant, 424). AND in Basle, Switzerland. (Stoddard, 94)

Luther advocates death by hanging for heretics and traitors.

Luther’s bosom reformer, Melanchthon, insisted on capital punishment for the rejection of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (after putting some to death for this he changed his mind later on in life and himself rejected the real presence), the denial of infant baptism (Smith, 177), and the belief that some heathen might be saved (Janssen, IV, 140-141). He demanded the suppression of all books that opposed or hindered Lutheran teaching (Janssen, XIV, 503). 

The Protestant states suppressed or forbade Catholic worship, and seized Catholic properties (Janssen, VI, 46-63, 181, 190, 208-214, 348-349). Censorship of the press was adopted (Janssen, IV, 232 ff.), along with excommunication (e.g., in the Augsburg Confession of 1530).

(note: I’m pretty sure these last two paragraphs were copied and pasted directly from Dave Armstrong’s website.)

Inquisitor General: Melanchthon Heretics: Anabaptists

After scores being sentence to death or life imprisonment, Melanchthon responded: “Why should we pity such men more than 
God does?” (Durant, 423) When Luther read of what his old friend was doing he replied that it please him and about all the cruelty his response was, “it is even more cruel of them . . . not to teach any certain doctrine -- to persecute the true doctrine . . .(Grisar, VI, 251)

In Strasburg not only the Catholic heretics were put to death, their entire families were executed with them. (Bax, 352).

Luther began what he called “frightening” citizens to attend Lutheran preaching under excommunication and threats of civil punishment. (Grisar, VI, 365; letter to Leonard Beyer,)

Anglican England began slaughtering the Irish monks, almost 800 a year.

Catholic mass abolished in Geneva. All Catholic churches, monasteries and convents seized and closed. (Harkness, 8)
Several Lutheran towns voted to hang or banish Anabaptists, Catholics or Zwinglians. (Janssen, V, 481).

King Henry burned or beheaded or disemboweled Anabaptists, monks and bishops. (Hughes, 181-182) Let’s hear some more gruesome details by one who saw it. These heretics were, “hanged until partially conscious. Then their bellies were cut open, their intestines wrenched out and tossed on a fire, and their hearts ripped out by hand. The bodies were beheaded and quartered, and the pieces were posted at various locations throughout England. As the executioner slit open his belly, John Houghton, prior of the London Carthusian monastery, said, "O most holy Jesus, have mercy upon me in this hour." This was the punishment for treason in sixteenth-century England. Their crime? Refusal to recognize "the king, our sovereign, to be the supreme head of the Church of England afore the Apostles of Christ's Church." Oh about 318 of them.... During England’s “Pilgrimage of Grace” the King suppressed those darned Catholic revolts, killing as many as 4000. 

Luther: “That seditious articles of doctrine [Catholics and Anabaptist’s] should be punished by the sword ...when it is a case of only upholding some spiritual tenet, such as infant baptism, original sin, and unnecessary separation, then . . . the stubborn sectaries must be put to death.” (Janssen, X, 222-223; pamphlet of 1536)
"Zwingli complained of Luther's intolerance when he was the victim . . . but he and his followers threw the poor Anabaptists into the Lake of Zurich, enclosed in sacks." (Patrick O’Hare, 50:293

1530-40 Northern Europe
[There came a change . . .] The temptation to loot Church property and the habit of doing so had appeared and was growing; and this rapidly created a vested interest in promoting the change of religion. Those who attacked Catholic doctrine, as, for instance, in the matters of celibacy in the monastic orders . . . opened the door for the seizure of the enormous clerical endowments . . . by the Princes . . . The property of convents and monasteries passed wholesale to the looters over great areas of Christendom: Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Northern Netherlands, much of the Germanies and many of the Swiss Cantons. The endowments of hospitals, colleges, schools, guilds, were largely though not wholly seized . . . Such an economic change in so short a time our civilization had never seen . . . The new adventurers and the older gentry who had so suddenly enriched themselves, saw, in the return of Catholicism, peril to their immense new fortunes. (Hilaire Belloc, 9-l0)
[This is getting too long so I am going to skip some dates... just more of the same.... and I don’t want to be too redundant.]

Henry made sure the Bible was made available to the English people. 

Henry regrets giving Bible to people because of theological riots in home, churches and taverns and forbids anyone but licensed theologians from preaching from scripture.

Catholic friar, John Forest, roasted alive over a fire made of a wooden statue of a saint.

1545 Switzerland
John Calvin wrote, “If he [Michael Servetus] comes to Geneva, I will never allow him to depart alive.” A few years later: Michael came. He did not conquer, and Michael burned. 

Calvin recalls his martyrdom: “showed the dumb stupidity of a beast . . . He went on bellowing . . . in the Spanish fashion: "Misericordias!" . . .(Daniel-Rops, 190-191)

1554 Switzerland
Reformer Theodore of Beza wrote: “What crime can be greater or more heinous than heresy... Christian magistrates [Geneva], do your duty to God, who has put the sword into your hands for the honor of His majesty; strike valiantly these monsters in the guise of men.” Later he characterized those who demanded freedom of conscience “worse than the tyranny of the pope. It is better to have a tyrant, no matter how cruel he may be, than to let everyone do as he pleases.”

When in England’s Protestant Queen Elizabeth I gained the throne, Ireland “ran red with the blood of innocent victims.” This icy butcheress starved to death or slaughtered around 1.5 million Catholics and seized their land. ( J. M., The Way of the Aggressor, p. 20.)

For just a break in the horror I thought I would pause here and tell you that:
  • Zwingli called Luther “the devil” among other things many times.
  • Lesser known Reformer, Oecolampadius believed Luther to be seduced by Satan and arrogant.
  • Luther called other reformers “miscreants” who have “in-deviled, through-deviled, over-deviled, corrupt hearts and lying mouths.” He considered them damned. 
  • Calvin called Luther ignorant and wrote that “people ought not to let themselves be duped by following his steps.” He also wrote, “I am carefully on the watch that Lutheranism gain no ground, nor be introduced into France. The best means . . . for checking the evil would be that the confession written by me.” And he couldn’t stand Zwingli either.  

A Jesuit Disemboweled
Jesuits mutilated in England and Scotland. 

British Parliament signs act that every Irish Catholic priest be hanged, beheaded, quartered, his bowels drawn out and burned, his head thrust upon public poles. Dissenters fingers were twisted off, they were seared with hot iron, whipped or beaten till bones were broken. The edict added, “If any one shall know where a priest remains concealed, in caves, woods, or caverns, or if by any chance he should meet a priest on the highway, and not immediately take him into custody and present him before the next magistrate, such person is to be considered a traitor and an enemy of the Republic... any correspondence or friendship with a priest, he is to suffer death.”

British Protestant historian, Professor Lecky recorded in his History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century, “the slaughter of the Catholic Irishmen was looked upon as literally the slaughter of wild beasts. Not only men, but even women and children who fell into the hands of the English, were deliberately and systematically butchered. Bands of soldiers traversed great tracts of country, slaying every living thing they met.” 
Scottish Protestant Dr. Smiles agrees, “Men, women and children wherever found were put indiscriminately to death. The soldiery was mad for blood. Priests were murdered at the altar, children at their mother’s breast. The beauty of woman, the venerableness of age, the innocence of youth was no protection against these sanguinary demons in human form.”

British citizen, Protestant Margaret Clitherow, converted to Catholicism and was arrested for harboring a Catholic priest. Her sentence? The same as all who converted, she was to be crushed to death beneath a half tone of weights. She is recorded as stating, “I am fully resolved in all things touching my faith, which I ground upon Jesus Christ, and by him I steadfastly believe to be saved, which faith I acknowledge to be the same that he left to his apostles, and they to their successors from time to time, and is taught in the Catholic Church through all Christendom, and promised to remain with her unto the world's end, and hell-gates shall not prevail against the same faith; for if an angel come from heaven, and preach any other doctrine than we have received, the Apostle biddeth us not believe him.” As her ribs cracked, Margaret whimpered, "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Have mercy on me." Her body was left under the door and weights from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., then stuffed secretly in a rubbish heap. Queen Elizabeth who ordered this execution, was responsible for murdering more Catholic in one year that the Inquisition did in all its over three hundred years. Anglican bishops were accomplices if not directly but for their silence.

Oliver Cromwell sent to their deaths over 5500 Irish specifically as punishment for their Catholic faith. Including the entire population of the town of Drogheda. When reporting to the House of Commons, Cromwell announced, “It has pleased God to bless our endeavor at Drogheda. . . we put to the sword the whole number. . . . I wish that all honest hearts may give the glory of this to God alone, to whom indeed the praise of this mercy belongs." (Seumas MacManus,The Story of the Irish Race, 1920)

The infamous “Cromwellian Settlements” followed his conquest of Ireland. Millions of acres of land were allocated to English Protestant settlers. The landowners of Irish birth were either killed, banished or forced out to Connaught in the west of Ireland, where it was hoped “they would starve to death.” (J. M., The Way of the Aggressor, p. 20.)

From 1649 to 1652, one-third of Catholic Ireland, about 660,000 people were killed. Twenty thousand Irish boys and girls also were sold into slavery to the West Indies. (F. H., Cromwell, p. 149.) It was a deliberate Protestant attempt at Catholic genocide. Many scholars today call it an attempt at ethnic cleansing.

In Sweden, Catholic land and churches were seized by the crown. In many countries Catholic Bibles were taken and burned. Huguenots butchered Catholics by tearing out their bowels, burning them, hacking up children, priests’ genitals were cut off, grilled and fed to them. 

Persecution of Catholics by Huguenots
Engraving from Richard Verstegen, Théâtre des Cruautez des
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. (3)

Rousseau says truly: 
"The Reformation was intolerant from its cradle, and its authors were universal persecutors . . ."

Auguste Comte also writes:

"The intolerance of Protestantism was certainly not less tyrannical than that with which Catholicism is so much reproached." (Philosophie Positive, IV, 51)

1789 French Revolution
One of the aims of the revolution was the destruction of the Catholic Church. The persecution and death was vicious. Some French historians call it French Catholic genocide. 

Austria and America had strong anti-Catholic laws and sentiments but no persecution.

Irish Catholic Holocaust --- 5-8 Million died because of anti-catholic bigotry. Starved to death by Anglican England. 

I will stop here.... Catholic martyrdom continued in the millions, but not at the hands of Protestants. 


The story of the Reformation has been one-sided. Big bad Catholic Church meets godly punishment for her theological crimes and martyrdom of people who dared to disagree with her. Reformation sets people free. Yet author of a huge 16 volume history of Germany,  Johannes Janssen, records that the Protestants weren’t near as religiously-oriented as claimed. Among the reformers, “Cursing and blaspheming were as frequent as praying was rare.” Many scholars realize that the Reformation was really a manipulation of Christians by the government. 

“Those who think the Protestant Reformation threw off the yoke of tyrannical church leaders and restored a New Testament church must realize that not Scripture but a sacralized king was in charge of the English Reformation from start to finish.”

“The principle which the Reformation had upheld in the youth of its rebellion - the right of private judgment - was as completely rejected by the Protestant leaders as by the Catholics . . . Toleration was now definitely less after the Reformation than before it.” (Will Durant)

[On the Reformers] “It required no great sagacity to perceive the inconsistency and dishonesty of men who, dissenting from almost all Christendom, would suffer none to dissent from themselves, who demanded freedom of conscience, yet refused to grant it.” (Protestant scholar Thomas Macaulay, Babington, Essays)

Luther’s right-hand man, Melanchthon, once penned, “All the waters of the Elbe would not yield me tears sufficient to weep for the miseries caused by the Reformation.” (Melanchthon, Philip, Epistles, Book 4, Ep. 100.)

Enough? Okay... enough. 
We forgive you, Protestants.

Isn’t that silly? Today’s Protestants have nothing to be forgiven. They didn’t torture or murder anyone, nor would they. Neither would the Catholics. Please forgive us, for we too can’t believe what early Catholicism did. Why do Christians hurt Christians? I just don’t understand.

Now can we just heal from all these horrors and start to love each other? Trust each other? Respect each other? Even if we disagree?

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