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An English Anglican’s assessment of the 16th Century Church of England….. November 3, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society.

……and Ireland, where the Tudors, Stuarts, and others tried to force protestantism down the collective throat of a most reluctant population.

Edmund Spenser was and remains a famous poet of Elizabethan England.  Whatever his merits as a poet, he saw much to dislike in the Elizabethan Anglican church.  Spenser made the following observations of the “official” religion of Anglicanism in England and Ireland at the close of the 16th century.  This is reported in Dom Charles Poulet’s decidedly pre-conciliar A History of the Catholic Church:

the-glee-of-smashing-idols-calvinists-in-a-catholic-church-1The state of the Reform church [I still think Catholics have failed miserably in adequately describing the protestant sects.  They are not churches, and certainly did not “reform” anything.  We need to come up with better, more accurate terms, and not use their own self-serving terminology. Protestant revolutionaries is apt, and instead of saying “reformation,” or “reform church,” perhaps “deformation” and “deformed church” would be better.]  at this period is worthy of note.  It is impartially described by Edmund Spenser, an English protestant poet, who had a residence in Ireland.  “Whatever disorders you see in the Church of England,” he wrote, “you may find in Ireland, and many more, namely gross simony, greedy covetousness, incontinence, careless sloth, and generally all the disordered life in the common clergyman…..They neither read the Scriptures, nor preach to the people, nor administer the communion…….It is great wonder to see the odds which are between the zeal of the Popish priests and the ministers of the gospel. [Spenser’s term for Anglican ministers]  For they [Catholic priests] spare not to come out of Spain, from Rome, and from Rheims, by long toil and dangerous traveling hither, where thy know peril of death awaiteth them, and no reward or riches are to be found, only to draw the people unto the Church of Rome; whereas some of our idle ministers having a way for credit and estimation thereby opened unto them without pains and without peril, will neither for the same, nor any love of God, nor zeal of religion, nor for all the good they may do for winning souls to God, be drawn from their warm nests to look out into God’s harvest.

That was the first, and, at the time, the only honest thing that was said about the reform in Ireland.  Penned by an eye-witness, it summed up the whole situation perfectly.  His description is corroborated in every detail by the state papers that have since come to light.

————–End Qu0te————-

Indeed.  At the time Dom Poulet’s history was written, the prevailing view in the academy was still that old protestant trope, that the people of England, by and large, welcomed the protestant revolt in their 180px-Iconoclasmland and had little love lost for the Church.  This view was basically just a repetition of the old polemics the victorious protestant nobility and power elite had made since Elizabethan times, and it was as self-serving as it was false.  More recent scholarship has shown just how painful and pitiful the “reform” in the British Isles really was, being born in lust, powered by greed (the sacking of the monasteries and the redistribution of those semi-public lands used for the welfare of the poor, all given in payment to the nobility to support the revolutionary creed), and executed by naked and most cruel force.  The large majority of the population was opposed to the reform, and a quite substantial proportion remained attached to the Catholic Faith even after decades of the most severe and unrelenting persecution possible.

In fact, it took a century or more of this kind of abuse to drive people from the Faith.  It must be remembered that for the vast majority of this long period – in which many families were completely impoverished by taxes levied on them just for being Catholic, or refusing to partake of the “established” religion (such an apt name, established by MAN!) – these faithful had virtually no recourse to any spiritual sustenance of any kind, and might see one of the few priests sent to England perhaps once every few years.  And this is how souls were broken of the Faith in the formerly Christian lands of the Levant and North Africa, left from generation to generation without priest or bishop by an evil, repressive government. It is an amazing testimony to our Faith that even after three CENTURIES of this most violent repression, there were still hundreds of thousands of professing Catholics in England by the time of the “Catholic Emancipation Act” of 1830, an act which allowed for full public worship and, wonder of wonders, the ability of
Catholics to even hold public office. I guess the grave “threat” they posed to the power elite and their ill-gotten riches was judged to have been sufficiently attenuated by then.

Always remember: the protestant creeds were all born in lust, powered by greed, and inflicted by force. I cannot overstate this point. Yes there were millions who willingly – and for as many different reasons – went over to this heresy that has eaten away at Western Civilization for 500 years, but there were many millions more who were more or less forced into protestantism unwillingly, or would at least have been much happier remaining under the “old religion.”




1. Baseballmom - November 3, 2014

I have often wondered why we use the term reformation…. I think rebellion is much more accurate. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila REFORMED….. Luther and Henry VIII REBELLED….

2. guy Mcclung - November 4, 2014

As with property and land returned to Jews from Germany, taken by the Nazis; and property and land taken by the Communist East Germans from citizens who fled – Why cannot the present government of England be forced to return to the Catholic Church all that was taken? Much of this property is still easily identifiable today. Besides as the Church of England goes out of existence due to lack of interest, they no longer need the churches, monasteries, graveyards, etc. Better that buildings be returned to their rightful owner and used for the worship of God than be made into Pizza take away drive throughs. No Englishman who knows history and truth can say – with a straight face- “We are not like the Nazis; we are not like the Stasi.” Guy McClung , San Antonio

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