Christian BoyLove Forum #66652
Any objective reader of the history of Great Britain from 1555 to 1688 will realise that it is impossible for the Catholic Church to be trusted. First we had 'Bloody Mary' - who martyred a substantial number of Protestant leaders, Archbishop Cramner, Bishops Latimer and Ridley.
Then after she died an early death - not least because Catholic France had conquered the last English possession on the Continent of Europe - Elizabeth was formally deprived of her temporal authority by the Pope, who then sent a crusade against England, in the form of the Spanish Armada. This was defeated against all expectation - not least because of the weather.
The subsequent reign of James II, the last Catholic king of England, ended when he abused his power to try to regain the country for Rome, and was ejected; the invasion of England by William of Orange that finished him off was also notable for the weather clearly benefiting William and disadvantaging James.
James then invaded Ireland with the support of the French but against the will of the Pope; he lost at the battle of the Boyne. Despite this his son and grandsons headed up rebellions in Scotland in 1715 and 1745, the latter getting as far south as Derby before collapsing morale led to Bonny Prince Charlie turning tail.
The 18th century was also notable for the Evangelical Revival in England, which spawned the Methodist church. No serious believer in the working of God in converting a country can dismiss the powerfully changed lives bought about by the preaching of the Wesleys and many others. Yet Rome denies this can be the work of God.
The 18th century also saw the anti-clericalism of the French revolution prompted by the gross corruption of the Catholic church in France.
The terminology associated with the claims of Papal infallibility and the doctrines of the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of the BVM reveal a church that was long on self confidence. In recent years its attempts to cuddle up to Protestantism in the ecumenical movement are in gross violation of its own declared beliefs; that it does so is a demonstration of its failure to believe its own stories.
In more recent years the collapse of Brazil as a catholic country, along with the fading of faith in most of Europe reveals that Catholicism had become an institution that people went to out of a sense of duty, not a church which actually engaged people with God.
Has God worked through the Catholic church? Yes, of course. But that is equally true of most other denominations, and in no way is a reason to join a deeply flawed, hypocritical and ineffective institution. Its execution of Jan Huss in the 15th century despite granting a safe conduct establishes that its word cannot be trusted. When it makes appropriate reparations to the British government for the revolts and civil wars it has encouraged in our land over the years then I will believe it is truly reformed. Until then it is a church that has no greater claim than any other to exclusive authority, and much to be deeply penitent about; that it took 400 years to abandon the mass in Latin in a measure of how far behind the times it is.