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Luther: Reformer Or Perverter?

Courageous Catholics on the doorstep of a Catholic church, while Luther is warm and dry inside.
Courageous Catholics on the doorstep of a Catholic church, while Luther is warm and dry inside.

0) Summary

1) An invitation to come and pray, to fight against the silly celebration of the Protestant "Reformation", ordered by Ottawa's Bishop.
2) A few horrible quotes from Luther, clearly justifying our opposition.
3) An analysis of the reaction of Ottawa's Bishop, showing a lack of competence and honesty.
4) A suggestion for a good common prayer with Protestants.
5) A suggestion for a good rational debate against Protestants.

1) Message from Mrs. Doris Gagnon

There are but two alternatives, the way to Rome, and the way to Atheism.
[John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua]

Dear friends,

In reparation for the commemoration of the Protestant Reformation which will be taking place at Ottawa's Notre Dame Cathedral on Saturday November 25th, a public Rosary has been organized. It will take place in front of Ottawa's Notre Dame Cathedral between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Protestant heresy is a very grave, objective evil, which has destroyed the unity of the Church, caused countless political and military conflicts, and brought enormous amounts of people, yesterday and today, towards eternal damnation. Luther and his followers have tarnished all that is most precious, i.e. the Most Holy Virgin Mary, the Holy Eucharist, the Saints, the sacraments (including confession), love for the Pope, the priesthood, Tradition, and doctrine. The heresy is also at the root of the propagation of a great many errors regarding ideas and morals (divorce, relativism, etc.).

Saint Francis de Sales, who devoted his life to fighting the Protestant heresy, cried out, overtaken with sorrow, before the city of Geneva, a majority of whose citizens had converted to Protestantism: «This land once so beautiful, has been desolated because its citizens have violated the law of God and broken His covenant. (...) O Geneva, return to the Lord your God (...)». Saint Francis de Sales never held prayer services with Protestants. He devoted himself to converting them!!!

Also, it is altogether inappropriate to mark in any way whatsoever this objective evil, other than to combat it. To solemnly commemorate the rape of one's mother would be objectively a lesser moral evil than to commemorate such a damning heresy.

The Catholic faith is to have nothing to do with the horrible errors taught by Lutherans.

Saint Thomas Aquinas stated: «[...]if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Gal. 2:11, 'Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.'» (Summa theol., II-II, 33, 4c).

In addition, as Bishop Athanasius Schneider has recently stated, the Catholic faithful must witness to Catholics in error, and to all men, all the way to martyrdom if required.

This is a matter, also if not mostly, of Charity toward God first and foremost, and toward one's neighbour. Protestants, as for all men of goodwill, must in no way be confirmed in their errors, but rather they must be told that the road they are currently following leads to damnation, and that the Church, as a loving Mother, waits for them.

I await your presence, with your families, at 11:30 a.m. at Notre Dame Cathedral, to join the courageous faithful who will be praying devotedly to Our Lady. We will pray the 15 mysteries of the Rosary in the square in front of the Cathedral (OUTDOORS), as a witness to our Faith and to beg Our Lady to protect our Faith, our most precious possession.

Bring your family, your friends, your neighbours. Let us be a large group, to show that the faithful can rise up, in peace and joy, to witness publicly to their love of God and His Church.

In Corde Mariae,

Doris Gagnon

2) A few quotes from Luther


Nowadays, "catholic" bishops repeat so often that Luther is cute and filled with the Holy Spirit, that many are surprised when a true Catholic dares to say something negative about Luther. Let's see what kind of things Luther wrote:

«I look upon God no better than a scoundrel»
[Weimar, Vol. 1, Pg. 487. Cf. Table Talk, No. 963]

«Christ committed adultery first of all with the women at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: 'Whatever has He been doing with her?' Secondly, with Mary Magdalen, and thirdly with the women taken in adultery whom He dismissed so lightly. Thus even, Christ who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died.»
[Trishreden, Weimer Edition, Vol. 2, Pg. 107]

«I have greater confidence in my wife and my pupils than I have in Christ»
[Table Talk, 2397b]

«It does not matter how Christ behaved -- what He taught is all that matters»
[Erlangen Vol. 29, Pg. 126]

«[The commandments] only purpose is to show man his impotence to do good and to teach him to despair of himself»
[Denifle's Luther et Lutheranisme, Étude Faite d'apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), Volume III, p. 364]

«We must remove the Decalogue out of sight and heart»
[De Wette 4, 188]

«If we allow them -- the Commandments -- any influence in our conscience, they become the cloak of all evil, heresies and blasphemies»
[Comm. ad Galat, p.310]

«It is more important to guard against good works than against sin.»
[Trischreden, Wittenberg Edition, Vol. VI., p. 160]

«Good works are bad and are sin like the rest.»
[Denifle's Luther et Lutheranisme, Étude Faite d'apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), Vol. III, pg. 47]

«There is no scandal greater, more dangerous, more venomous, than a good outward life, manifested by good works and a pious mode of life. That is the grand portal, the highway that leads to damnation.»
[Denifle's Luther et Lutheranisme, Étude Faite d'apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), Vol. II, pg. 128]

«[...] with regard to God, and in all that bears on salvation or damnation, (man) has no 'free-will', but is a captive, prisoner and bond slave, either to the will of God, or to the will of Satan.»
[From the essay, 'Bondage of the Will,' Martin Luther: Selections From His Writings, ed. by Dillenberger, Anchor Books, 1962 p. 190]

«Man is like a horse. Does God leap into the saddle? The horse is obedient and accommodates itself to every movement of the rider and goes whither he wills it. Does God throw down the reins? Then Satan leaps upon the back of the animal, which bends, goes and submits to the spurs and caprices of its new rider[...] Therefore, necessity, not free will, is the controlling principle of our conduct. God is the author of what is evil as well as of what is good, and, as He bestows happiness on those who merit it not, so also does He damn others who deserve not their fate.»
[De Servo Arbitrio, 7, 113 seq., quoted by O'Hare, in The Facts About Luther, TAN Books, 1987, pp. 266-267]

«His (Judas) will was the work of God; God by His almighty power moved his will as He does all that is in this world.»
[De Servo Arbitrio]

«No good work happens as the result of one's own wisdom; but everything must happen in a stupor [...] Reason must be left behind for it is the enemy of faith.»
[Trischreden, Weimer VI, 143, 25-35]

«Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides [...] No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.»
['Let Your Sins Be Strong, from 'The Wittenberg Project;' 'The Wartburg Segment', translated by Erika Flores, from Dr. Martin Luther's Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter No. 99, 1 Aug. 1521. -- Cf. also [Denifle's Luther et Lutheranisme, Étude Faite d'apres les sources. Translation by J. Paquier (Paris, A. Picard, 1912-13), Vol. II, pg. 404)]

«Do not ask anything of your conscience; and if it speaks, do not listen to it; if it insists, stifle it, amuse yourself; if necessary, commit some good big sin, in order to drive it away. Conscience is the voice of Satan, and it is necessary always to do just the contrary of what Satan wishes.»
[J. Dollinger, La Reforme et les resultats qu'elle a produits. (Trans. E. Perrot, Paris, Gaume, 1848-49), Vol III, pg. 248]

«Peasants are no better than straw. They will not hear the word and they are without sense; therefore they must be compelled to hear the crack of the whip and the whiz of bullets and it is only what they deserve.»
[Erlangen, Vol 24, Pg. 294]

«To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!» -- «If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs»
[Erlangen, Vol 24, Pg. 294]

«Like the drivers of donkeys, who have to belabor the donkeys incessantly with rods and whips, or they will not obey, so must the ruler do with the people; they must drive, beat, throttle, hang, burn, behead and torture, so as to make themselves feared and to keep the people in check.»
[Erlangen, Vol 15, Pg. 276]

«If the husband is unwilling, there is another who is; if the wife is unwilling, then let the maid come.»
[Of Married Life]

«Suppose I should counsel the wife of an impotent man, with his consent, to give herself to another, say her husband's brother, but to keep this marriage secret and to ascribe the children to the so-called putative father. The question is: Is such a women in a saved state? I answer, certainly.»
[On Marriage]

«It is not in opposition to the Holy Scriptures for a man to have several wives.»
[De Wette, Vol. 2, p. 459]

«The word and work of God is quite clear, viz., that women are made to be either wives or prostitutes.»
[On Married Life]

«In spite of all the good I say of married life, I will not grant so much to nature as to admit that there is no sin in it. [...] no conjugal due is ever rendered without sin. The matrimonial duty is never performed without sin.»
[Weimar, Vol 8. Pg. 654]

«What harm could it do if a man told a good lusty lie in a worthy cause and for the sake of the Christian Churches?»
[Lenz: Briefwechsel, Vol. 1. Pg. 373]

«To lie in a case of necessity or for convenience or in excuse -- such lying would not be against God; He was ready to take such lies on Himself»
[Lenz: Briefwechsel, Vol. 1. Pg. 375]

«St. Augustine or St. Ambrosius cannot be compared with me.»
[Erlangen, Vol. 61, pg. 422]

«What I teach and write remains true even though the whole world should fall to pieces over it»
[Weimar, Vol. 18, Pg. 401]

For those with a strong stomach, you can read even more about Luther. Warning, Ann Barnhardt does not mince words.

3) Monsignor Terrence Prendergast's response to criticisms

«Stay away from my church with your Rosaries! After all, I'm a Jesuit!»
"Stay away from my church with your Rosaries! After all, I'm a Jesuit!"

Article published in the Ottawa Sun on November 25, 2017, called Prendergast: Reconciling the Reformation, 500 years after event that split Christian church. My usual style of comments.

Yesterday at Notre Dame Cathedral, Eastern Synod Evangelical Lutheran Bishop Michael Pryse and I took part in a service commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Catholics and Lutheran adherents and others from a variety of Christian denominations joined us. The service included mixed choirs supported by the Basilica's majestic organ, sincere prayers for Christian unity, and the tangible witness of praying together.

We were seeking to live out the hope of Jesus at the Last Supper, «that all might be one» (John 17.21). Many found this a joyous occasion. But not all. The gathering troubled some.

Were we about to canonize Luther and his teachings? How can we «celebrate» the Reformation, when it tore apart the fabric of Christ's church? I had several email exchanges and heated discussions with some Roman Catholic faithful.

So why did you not post those e-mail exchanges on your diocesan website? In my experience, "heated" discussions tend to cool down when the other party doesn't feel like they are being censored out of existence (and yes, that is an e-mail exchange showing that you censored teachings of the Catholic Church in your diocese).

The purpose of the event was not to glorify Martin Luther or the Reformation, as some assumed.

"Glorify" Martin Luther or the Reformation, probably not explicitely. But "normalize", "de-stigmatize", "de-sensitize"? Probably yes, judging from the rest of your message. In other words, when you say that your goal was not to glorify Luther, you're throwing an Escher.

The Prior General of the Augustinians recently noted two aspects of this watershed moment in the history of Christianity.

"Watershed moment"? When Saul fell off his horse on the way to Damascus, that was a "watershed moment", but a good one. When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, that was another "watershed moment", but a very bad one. Why do you use such an ambiguous expression? Why not just say "This disaster in the history of Christianity"?

Fr. Antón wrote, «Luther not only abandoned the Order but abhorred religious life with all his might, rejected ascetic practices and piety, rejected praying the breviary and other obligations, radically altered sacramental theology, condemned the vows and promoted the abandonment and the mass exodus of vowed religious.»

Among others. But he did far worse than that. Why not mention the rest of the horrors?

The Order of St. Augustine, to which Luther belonged, has no reason to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation

Nobody, not even Lutherans, has any reason to celebrate Luther or his errors. A great many souls are probably in Hell today because of those errors.

but, yes, to commemorate it. And we do it with serenity, highlighting the positive aspects that it brought about:

In the following list, are you really saying that the One True Church of God, the Most Holy Catholic Church, denied and destroyed these things, and that Luther brought them back to Christianity?

the revalorization of the individual,

What does that mean anyway?

the reaffirmed confidence in God,

What? The Catholic Church did not teach us to have confidence in God before Luther?

the centrality of Sacred Scripture,

Did you actually read what Luther says about the Ten Commandments? Luther basically takes Holy Scripture and uses it as toilet paper!

the bringing of the liturgy closer to the people,

He destroyed most of the Sacraments, especially the Most Holy Sacrament of the Mass! How can you destroy the most important part of the liturgy, and simultaneously "bring it closer to the people"? That's like driving the Titanic straight into an iceberg, and claiming that you've just "brought the Titanic closer to the people"!

the development of a sense of community,

What does that mean?

a healthy secularity,

You mean, by destroying the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Luther eliminated the clergy, thereby making everything "secular"?

and the need for reform, understood as a return to the essentials.»

OK, he did say a reform was necessary, but the reform of the Catholic Church that came about in those days is called: THE COUNCIL OF TRENT. What actually re-formed the Church was the Council of Trent, the Roman Catechism, and saints like Saint Pius V and Saint Charles Borromeo. Luther de-formed the Church.

When planning this event, we faced a choice. One option would be to ignore the anniversary of the Reformation.

Now watch how he does a magic trick and claims there was only one other choice!

Alternatively, we could acknowledge it and try, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to search out its graces as we work and pray with our fellow Christians who, since 1517, have been separated from us.

Wow! The next time you see some mugger attacking a little old lady and trying to steal her purse, instead of jumping to the defence of that poor lady (like screaming for help, or calling the police, or poking the mugger in the eye with your car key, etc.), just take her purse, give it to the mugger, then tell that poor old lady, in a soothing voice, to "search out the graces of your mugging".

Notice by the way the passive formulation used by Prendergast: "[...] have been separated from us". No, Luther was an adult; he didn't have to show I.D. to buy beer and cigarettes in a convenience store. He separated himself from the only Church of Christ, because he wanted to.

Notice also another formulation often used by Leftist Bishops: "with the help of the Holy Spirit". They like to let people believe that what they are doing comes from a divine inspiration. For myself, each time I get back in front of my laptop to write, I pray the Holy Spirit. I guess it doesn't work, because I keep quoting the official teachings of the Church!

The Second Vatican Council urged us to do this in its 1964 decree Unitatis redintegratio, «On ecumenism.»

Does the Vatican II Council really urge Christians to "search out the graces of your mugging"? Or is this just another example of Leftists putting words in the mouth of that poor suffering Council? Let's look at the very first sentence of that document:

The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.

Sounds nice and full of charity. Yes, we are all in favor of unity! Now let's look at the very next sentence:

Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only.

Oopsie-Daisy! So if Christ founded only one Church, then the Lutherans have to come back to the only true Church of Christ. Did you mention that, inside the Catholic church where you were partying with those Lutherans? I doubt it. But that didn't prevent you from trying to silence ordinary Catholics by throwing sand in their eyes.

Catholic and Lutheran theologies disagree in some areas. However, the two faith communities have been working for many years to grasp and, where possible, overcome differences.

Bizarre wording. "Where possible"? So it is not possible for Lutherans to convert to Catholicism, like God wants them to?

There has been progress.

The Catholic-Lutheran dialogue, for example, produced the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1997.

This important document clarifies our differences and points of convergence. Both faith communities agreed to a common understanding of the meaning of «justification» -- the key concern of Luther -- with the approval of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Did you actually read that document carefully? I did, and the result is not pretty:

Joint Declaration on Justification, or Smoking a Joint of Modernism-ification?

To achieve such fruitful results, much effort is necessary behind the scenes, including cultivating occasions of joint prayer and expressing common teaching.

Given the drastic effects of the Reformation and the continuing prejudices and misinformation about Catholic and Lutheran beliefs, seeking common ground is vital. This is increasingly urgent as Christianity faces exclusion from the public square.

We can address the divisions within the Christian community without compromising our beliefs.

Yes, that is possible, but that is certainly not what was done in the smoking disaster you refer to here above.

Through continuing, honest though challenging dialogue, we can faithfully work

and pray

Good idea! Let's invite the Lutherans to come and say a Rosary with us in the Notre-Dame of Ottawa cathedral, your church! Oops, riiiiiight, they have heretical beliefs about the Mother of God. No problem, we'll just kick out the Catholics so the Lutherans can party comfortably inside!

for greater unity. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. True ecumenical prayer and dialogue seek common ground, but do not ignore important differences. A helpful part of that process is finding occasions where we can pray together, especially in areas that are difficult for both communities.

Prendergast is the Archbishop of Ottawa

4) "Aren't you nasty with the Lutherans?"

The Cross of Sacrifice, near the St-Louis Door in Quebec City.
The Cross of Sacrifice, near the St-Louis Door in Quebec City.

Leftists never cease to take the respect due to men, to try to apply it to the errors of these men. This is why one of the most powerful antidotes of this website is: "Love the sinner, hate the sin!" Hating the mistakes of Lutherans doesn't mean we should hate Lutherans!

If I were a bishop, I would find a common activity to do with Lutherans, but elsewhere than in a Catholic church. A more "neutral" location would be preferable. For example, praying together in front of the Cross of Sacrifice monument here, near the Saint-Louis Door in Quebec City. Each year, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a ceremony is held in front of this monument, to remind us of the men who died in combat to defend our rights.

I stopped going to this ceremony, because I was deeply disgusted two years ago by the military chaplain. Indeed, the most important moment of the whole ceremony is the public prayer. Just before the prayer, the soldier who commands the whole group screams an order rarely heard in military parades. He shouts: "Group! RE-MOVE... HEADDRESS!", and all the soldiers, together like one, remove their headdress (beret, cap, etc.) out of respect, because the prayer will begin.

That day, the chaplain did not pray. He simply read a tasteless poem, which did not mention "God", or "Jesus Christ", nor any reference to praying for the repose of the souls of soldiers who died on the battlefield. (And look at the monument: it's a big Christian cross, with a sword on it.) I was fuming! A soldier doesn't remove his headdress to listen to a bad poem. A soldier does not even remove his headdress before his military superiors, even the Commander-in-Chief! The only good reason for a soldier to remove his headdress is because he's standing before God, and he's praying to the Lord of Armies ("YHWH Sabaoth").

Lutherans and Catholics could go and say an "Our Father" together in front of this monument. This would already be much more Christian than the pagan silliness perpetrated by this "catholic" chaplain, while showing that we have many things in common (like a beautiful Country worth dying for).

5) Conclusion

A prankster taped «Decet Romanum Ponteficem» on the doors of the Chiesa Evangelica Alemanna in Venice next to the signs proclaiming the celebration of the Protestant «Reform».
A prankster taped «Decet Romanum Ponteficem»
on the doors of the Chiesa Evangelica Alemanna in Venice
next to the signs proclaiming the celebration of the Protestant «Reform».

How convenient that we were just talking about soldiers and war and dead people. I was recently listening to a video by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson (I don't remember the title, sorry), where he was saying something along these lines:

- disagreements are inevitable in a society;

- citizens must be able to resolve their disagreements through debates, by freely and frankly discussing with each other, especially about the most difficult, the most delicate, the most "politically incorrect" subjects;

- if such debates are forbidden, disagreements between citizens will not disappear, but they will be settled with blows and violence, rather than with debates.

Common prayers for Christian unity are a very good idea. But that's not enough; we need debates. Christians are not divided because they do not pray. Christians are divided because they do not believe the same beliefs. These doctrinal differences can and should be examined rationally.

If I were Monsignor Prendergast, not only would I organize prayers with the Lutherans, but I would also organize a debate. What better way to both show that Lutherans are wrong, and that we are all civilized and polite Canadian citizens?

The title of the debate would be: "Is Decet Romanum Ponteficem still true nowadays?" It's indeed Pope Leo X's Bull by which Luther was excommunicated. And of course, in order to publicize this intellectual joust, I would go nail this document on the doors of the churches of my diocese!

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