Once you understand the two reasons all apostates leave Mother Church, you will understand why people are commemorating Martin Luther this year. You see, Martin Luther was just a pedestrian apostate. His reasons weren’t that different from the others. The problem was that Luther hit the jackpot. And today, in the midst of Amoris Laetitia and similar confusion, people have lost the ability to see why he was wrong.
Most other apostates leave and grumble in the corner. Luther, however, was able to ensnare a whole population in his hell. That alone is enough reason to give him the same infamy we give Judas. But changes in people today make him attractive. You see, we live in apostate times. I’ll show you exactly why with Fr. Hardon’s analysis.
The two reasons behind every Apostasy
Father Hardon was giving a lecture on the Bible for lay people, and once explaining the Gospel of St. John, he got into this thread:
Having taught in six Protestant seminaries, having over the years, I’ve taught many courses in Protestant theology, the two principle errors for us Catholics of Protestantism are the very ones that I’ve told you are the main reason for people leaving the Catholic Church. Historically they left the Catholic Church because of the Church’s uncompromising position on the indissolubility of sacramental, consummated Christian marriage. And the second reason Luther having left the Catholic Church, that’s by the way why we have Halloween, there would be no Halloween except for Protestantism, to make a mockery of Catholic faith in all the saints. Oh how totally brainwashed many Catholics have become.
Before we get all teary-eyed sentimental on how Luther wanted a better Church (ahem, see this post on Bellarmine and Luther), let’s get that part straight: Luther destroyed sacramental marriage and the communion of saints.
Is it any surprise that today, where the confusion over Amoris Laetitia is dominant in the land, that we’d also be seeing Catholic churches holding celebrations of Luther? Just like the Greek schism, marriage was an integral part of the rationale. And, just like the mealy mouths today who try to say Luther was a “reformer”, people say the Greeks were just trying to deal with Rome’s misunderstanding of Byzantium. Poor babies.
Attacking one Sacrament Means attacking all
Unlike the Greeks, though, Luther’s attack was more focused on destruction. He had to eliminate precursors to indissolubility: namely the priesthood and the Eucharist. Explains Fr. Hardon:
But then secondly, denying the indissolubility of Christian marriage which is historically the reason, the reason why Luther broke from the Catholic Church. Then having been a priest for 15 years, he logically had to justify his leaving the priesthood so he wrote book after book denying the necessity of the priesthood.
Why do we have to have priests? The single most fundamental reason is that we might have the Sacrifice of the Mass and have the Real Presence. Having rejected his own priesthood, then Luther wrote book after book denying the necessity of the priesthood.
What we must give, what we call the heresiarchs, they are the leading, the chief heretics, they are smart, they don’t miss a thing, and those are the two errors that are plaguing the western world today among Catholics. You don’t close forty-two parishes in Detroit, or sixty-two in Chicago without a reason, the final reason is those two articles of our faith.
And the Catholic Church will survive, as I keep saying, only where there are people still left who believe that Christian consummated marriage is indissoluble and that Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, Who is the Son of God, is on earth in flesh and physically present in the Eucharist. And what’s happening to so many church edifices is a reflection of the weakening and the loss of that faith.
Putting the “Trick” into Halloween
I love this little twist on modern Halloween and apostates that Fr. Hardon uses:
What’s happening now has been going on since, for our purpose, since Christ made the promise of the Eucharist in the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. So what’s new? Oh what’s new is that so many of these ‘ex-Catholics’ insist on parading, talk about a Halloween party, talk about walking around, walking around in disguise, they’re not Catholic.
Yesterday, the Catholic Herald reported that in a Catholic cathedral in Belgium, young men prayed the rosary during a service intended to commemorate Luther. The church called the cops and the police removed the young men.
Here’s the video (there’s also a video of my commentary on it here):
God bless those young men. What I was more saddened by it that nobody else joined them in saying the Rosary. There were Catholics there!
But, as Fr. Hardon said, they aren’t… they are just ex-Catholics wearing the disguise of being faithful. (!)
BONUS: compare what happened to these young men (i.e. apostates used the power of the state to remove them) to the reason why Pontius Pilate is mentioned by name in the Creed.
On Revolting Against the Saints
The second part, mocking the saints, is a little more subtle. The saints are witnesses to the true faith. Thus, one cannot allow others to venerate them lest those same saints witness to the devoted and show the errors. Thus, Luther had to rid the saints of power over his followers. Else, they might cast light on his errors.
In a lecture about Church history, Fr. Hardon had this to explain:
First then, Protestantism. The combination of words “Protestant Reformation” is found in all English written books, it is however not a Catholic idea. In fact, it is contrary to authentic history. There was no Protestant Reformation. There was a Protestant revolution. And there was, thank God, a Catholic Reformation. And among the lights of the Catholic Reformation, surely one of the outstanding, except for whom I wouldn’t be here, was St. Ignatius.
In other words, the Protestant revolution began and the date every self respecting Catholic should know when Martin Luther nailed those ninety-five thesis to the church door of the Castle of Wittenberg, October the thirty-first, 1517. And that really is the birthday of Protestantism. So the origins of Protestantism go back to the day that Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis to the church door of the chapel at the castle of Wittenberg in Germany.
His ninety-five thesis had become to be called a ninety-five statements some merely challenging Catholic teaching, others openly denying even revealed Catholic Truth.
It then began, I repeat, on the evening before the Feast of All Saints, and Halloween has become a clown’s day, an object of, well, of something to be laughed at because Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church on that first Halloween of Protestantism. I repeat thirty-first of October 1517.
From the very beginning, those who followed Martin Luther, and other leaders, as we’ll see, they called themselves Protestants, and the reason they called themselves Protestants because they protested. They protested against the attempt to reunify the then Roman Empire which had been, for generations, united by having one faith. Those then who protested against acceptance of a single faith in the Roman Empire became, well, those who protest. That’s what the word Protestant means – Protestors. And they’ve never been embarrassed by the name ever since. They have remained protestors. Given that definition of Protestantism, we’ve got many more Protestants than we find in the books of the Protestant denominations.
Here we are 500 years later and the trick is on us.
Shouldn’t we all be a little more like those young men in Belgium and praying our rosaries in Churches today?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
This article, Halloween Apostasy: Celebrating the Greatest Trick or Treat Disaster. Ever. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.
About John B. Manos
John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benzinger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.