Calling a Spade, a Spade

I can forgive Protestants and Protestantism for most things.

I can forgive Protestants for the Know-Nothing Party and their murderous Philadelphia Nativist Riot, the Intolerable Acts, Bloody Monday and the Orange Riots in New York City in 1871 and 1872. I forgive them for the “Blaine Amendments” which forbade tax money be used to fund Catholic parochial schools.

I can also forgive them for the KKK and for funding the Mexican atheist genocidal maniac Plutarco Ares Calles in his efforts to kill Catholics during the Cristero Wars. I can forgive them for calling any, and all, popes, the “Anti-Christ(s)” and “Whores(s) of Babylon.”

I also forgive them for supporting Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy by which the Church gained many of her modern martyrs. In addition, I forgive them for the Recusancy Acts and the fictitious, so-called “Popish Plot.” I forgive them also for the fact that as a Catholic, I shall never sit upon the British Throne though literally everyone else is allowed to do so.

I can forgive Protestants for The Troubles in Ireland and Oliver Cromwell and his engineered Potato Famine and the slaughter and military occupation of that country. I forgive them for the enslavement of 50,000 men, women and children who were forcibly removed from Ireland and sent to Bermuda and Barbados as indentured servants―America’s first slaves.

I forgive them for the Canadian Gavazzi Riots and the Orange Order and Ontario Regulation 17 that doomed Catholic schools in Quebec. I won’t even mention the American Protective Association and their Canadian counterparts, the Protestant Protective Association as I’ve chosen to forgive. I also forgive Protestants for forcibly converting Catholic convicts and political prisoners to Anglicanism in Australia; forced conversions is something that Muslim terrorists have been doing for 1400 years.

I forgive Protestants for 500 years of venom and vitriol spouted by every street preacher and door-knocker―the seething anti-Catholic hatred that is at the core of primitive Mormonism, Seventh-Day Adventism and Jehovah’s Witnesses―but not them exclusively. Indeed, it makes up a great deal of traditional Anglicanism, Methodism and many other forms of “mainstream” Protestantism.

I forgive Protestants who refuse to refer to Catholics as “Christians.”

I also forgive them for intentionally ignoring the 1500 years that occurred prior to Martin Luther when everyone in Western Europe who was a Christian was, by necessity, a Catholic.

I forgive them for Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, the inspiration for the current assault upon religious liberty in America and Europe. Don’t worry, Jack Chick and your ignorant and poisonous “Chick Tracts” and for calling Catholics, “Mackerel Snappers”―all is forgiven.

I forgive Martin Luther for foisting a desecrated and greatly redacted Bible upon the world pretending that God “would have wanted it that way.” Luther removed seven books and parts of three others from the Old Testament―the fullness of which is called the Septuagint and was used by Christ himself when he walked among us.

And I also forgive Martin Luther for accepting funding from Suleiman the Magnificent, the Sultan of the Muslim Ottoman Empire as he “struggled” to secede from the Catholic Church. Luther schemed to throw Christendom under the bus for fun and profit as he urged his fellow Protestants to side with the Muslim Turks in defeating the Catholic Church and, with it, Europe. Suleiman even extended his munificent kinship to any and all Protestants in Hungary and Romania now that they were no longer “Christian” (i.e., loyal to the pope). The sultan urged Luther and Protestants to unite under the Muslim banner to defeat both the emperor and the pope. Please recall that Suleiman the Terrorist wanted nothing less than to wipe Christianity from the planet―talk about politics and their strange bedfellows!

But all is forgiven … I swear it.

I forgive Protestants for the ridiculous 700 Club television show and their tiresome attacks on the One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I also forgive Protestants for taking 500 years to realize that Sola Scriptura is a great deal of nonsense and that even Luther had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary―the first Christian, the Mother of God and, indeed, the second most often quoted individual in the Gospels.

I also forgive Protestants for their cognitive dissonance in simultaneously insisting that: 1) everyone is allowed to interpret the Bible as they wish and they are all equally correct and 2) Catholics are wrong in the way they interpret the Bible no matter how they do it.

I forgive Protestants for their anti-Catholicism, which is what historian John Highham called “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history,” and what historian Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. has called, “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people.”

I also forgive Protestants for their support of the violence towards Catholics during the so-called “Enlightenment” and for the development of Freemasonry and the Brazilian “Religious Question” and the Columbian La Violencia and the Michelade Massacre of 1567. By the way, Freemasonry’s exotic magicalism greatly contributed to the development of Mormonism, Unitarianism, Seventh-Day Adventism, Christian Scientists and Jehovah’s Witness’ Arianistic perspectives.

For all of this, I have nothing but forgiveness for them.

I forgive Protestants for making Fr. Nicholas Copernicus put the brakes on his heliocentric theory and data until after his death even though his friend, Pope Paul III, urged him to publish while the scientist was still alive. Apparently, Fr. Copernicus hoped to avoid upsetting Luther and Melanchthon who were both contemptuous of the priest’s heliocentric paradigm and feared that his theories would further alienate Protestants against the Church from which they originally sprang.

This isn’t an empty Christian platitude―I truly forgive them for the Great Tragedy, that is, their sixteenth century split with Rome.

I also forgive them for John Calvin’s, Ian Paisley’s and the Westboro Baptist Church’s reductive, tiresome and poisonous bluster and posturing. I further forgive Protestants for their support and schadenfreude as they stood back and did nothing during Spain’s Red Terror and during Hitler’s repression of the Catholic Church especially for The Night of Long Knives. But my forgiveness isn’t limited to only this opprobrium. Indeed, I also forgive Dutch Protestants’ explicit support of the Tokugawa Shogunate when they slaughtered tens of thousands of Japanese Catholics in the sixteenth century.

I forgive them one and all for the 500 years of anti-Catholic stereotypes typical in their literature as in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum, Paul Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian.

I forgive them for their support/coddling of the rabidly fundamentalist atheist “Americans United for Separation of Church and State” which was originally an explicitly anti-Catholic organization called “Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State.”

I forgive all Protestants for crucifying European history with their insidious and indecorous “Black Legend” which poisoned the minds of hundreds of millions of people who would rather believe lies about the Inquisition rather than risk reading a book on the subject.

I even forgive Protestants for the countless false prophecies concerning the end of the world that have proved time and time again to be absolutely false. As an aside, I also forgive them for ignoring Scriptures that specifically explain how to distinguish between one of God’s real prophets and a false one:

You may wonder how you can tell when a prophet’s message does not come from the Lord. If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and what he says does not come true, then it is not the Lord’s message. That prophet has spoken on his own authority, and you are not to fear him. (Deut. 18:21-22)

In addition, I forgive Protestants for ignoring Christ’s own words (the red-letter words) when he commissions St. Peter as the Church’s leader:

And so I tell you, Peter: you are rock, and on this rock foundation I will build My church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. (Matt. 16:18)

And like the previous passage, Protestants will ignore the salient fact that Christ’s One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church will never fail. Not even the Gates of Hell will prevail against it. If follows that if an organization that claims to be inspired by the Holy Spirit actually fails miserably, that means the Holy Spirit wasn’t truly with them such as the Anabaptists, the Shakers and the Puritans. 11 Protestant churches close every day in America. It’s impossible to determine how many close every day around the world. There are 41,000 Protestant churches around the world currently and that means at least 40,999 are completely wrong. This doesn’t include the many tens of thousands of Protestant churches that have failed in the past 500 years. God clearly isn’t dictating different messages to intentionally sow discord, confusion and lies … however, this does remind me of another lesser spirit who enjoys doing exactly this (John 8:44).

But what I can’t forgive them for, not yet at least, is their insipid restorationism―the idea that God somehow made a mistake 2000 years ago when he gave control of the his, One, True Church to the Catholic Church and the papacy, whose progenitor was St. Peter as testified by Christ not once but twice in the New Testament (Matt. 16:18-19, John 21:15-17).

Restorationism is the belief that Christianity should be restored to how it was during the Apostolic Era using nothing but Scriptures―a project doomed to failure. Their goal to re-establish Christianity in its original form has been a part of Christianity for 2000 years and, indeed, St. Francis of Assisi hoped to “get back to the basics” also but he didn’t make the mistake of believing that God had made a mistake in putting St. Peter and his successors in charge. Rather, he hoped to refocus the Church―not to change dogma and authority.

This is not something that can be generously glossed over as their previous genocide of Catholics on multiple continents or even the desecration of our holiest places over the past 500 years. The trillions of Protestant lies about Catholics are as naught in comparison to this blasphemy.

To suggest that God was somehow mistaken in anything he does is scurrilous impiety and profane heresy.

Luther’s “Ecce ego sto!” sounds more and more like Lucifer’s “Non serviam!

Restorationism is anathema. God makes no mistakes (Ps. 19:7-10). He doesn’t mumble or backpeddle like Allah (Ps. 12:6-7). He’s not confused or addlebrained (Neh. 9:6). He needs no assistance from anyone or anything (Col. 1:6). His decisions are final and perfect in their love and justice (Prov. 16:10). He doesn’t need to explain himself (Rom. 1:20). He accepts no counsel (Ps. 33:11).

When God bestowed stewardship upon Peter and his successors, God didn’t mean “well … you can be in charge until people in the sixteenth century come to know better.”

Restorationism is beyond comprehension. God isn’t imperfect and thus, anyone who worships an imperfect God isn’t worshiping the Trinity (Ps. 18:30).

Muslims also celebrate a restorationism of sorts in that they believe Islam is what Allah always had in mind but was simply not sure how to implement it successfully until the advent of Mohammad. They believe that both Jews and Christians have become corrupted along with their sacred scriptures, which are “untrustworthy” due to Allah’s machinations. And that only they have a perfect and complete understanding of God’s “true plan.”

Sound familiar?

But if this is true, as in the case of Protestantism, then how did God’s message get garbled in the first place? Wouldn’t God have known his message was going to get hinky? If he’s omniscient and omnicompetent he would. A lesser god would easily fall into this error.

How was he so foolish in trusting the wrong people initially? How could mere mortals come to realize something that he couldn’t (Job 38:1-41:34)?

But, more importantly, how can we ever trust this imperfect deity now that new messengers, none of whom are divine, have come along? Perhaps this deity is confused once again. It’s a slippery slope and one that is easily proven wrong.

I don’t see a difference in what these Christian restorationists believe and that which Islamic restorationists proffer. It’s not odd that Protestants had received Muslim financial, political and ideological support 500 years ago―birds of a feather, as it were.

But the main reason I condemn restorationism is that it’s a non-starter. If someone believes in evil grand conspiracy theories, they make themselves out to be the hero/champion that God has been looking for. It’s up to them and no one else! They are the thin holy line that separates Order and Chaos―between Heaven and Hell. And as they are assured of their sanctified state, anything and everything they think, say and do is acceptable. After all, this is what “God wanted” all along…

Editor’s note: Readers who want to consult the 47 footnotes to this article may sign in at the Academia website using your Gmail or Facebook accounts then use the search engine to find the article. Pictured above is “The Meeting of Sir Thomas More with His Daughter After His Sentence of Death” painted by William Frederick Yeames.

Angelo Stagnaro

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Angelo Stagnaro is a journalist and editorialist for the National Catholic Register (USA) and the Catholic Herald (UK) specializing in apologetics and catechetics. His books on Catholic theology include: The Pro-life Manual; Loves That Dare Not Speak Their Name; A Modern Sinner's Guide; The Pursuit of Holiness; A Christmas Cookbook; A Lenten Cookbook; How to Pray the Dominican Way; The Christian Book of the Dead and The Catechist's Magic Kit. His upcoming books are There's a Saint for That; Ten Rules of Life, his first novel The Wolf of Gubbio and his first children’s book Clever Daniel the Dragonslayer will be released by Hope & Life Press. He has Master's degrees in Biological Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology and is currently working on his doctorate in bio-cultural anthropology. His dissertation topic is on secularism and atheism and the Church’s response to them.

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