Dr Thomas A. Droleskey; Francis the Illusionist, Part Two

Francis the Illusionist, Part Two

by Thomas A. Droleskey

Christ or Chaos

Did you like Francis The Hun two months ago now?

You did?

Great.

Why is that great?

Well, because you are about to read some quotes used in its text again under this new title. I mean, I have no intention staying up until 2:00 a.m. as I did yesterday morning, the third such late night posting in a row to provide new quotations when all that needs to be done to adapt older ones to events that have occurred since that time.

Thus it is that this adaptation of Francis The Hun seeks to remind readers that the love affair between the conciliar revolutionaries and the theological and ecclesiastical descendents of the insidious, lecherous, drunkard named Martin Luther is one that has gone on for many decades now. Francis the Illusionist simply wants us to believe that revolution against the Divine Plan that God Himself instituted to effect man’s return to Him through the Catholic Church is what is principally responsible for plummeting men and their nations in the depths of the abyss is actually of God and that the Catholic Church, she who is the spotless, immaculate mystical spouse of her Divine Founder and Invisible Head, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, bears great guilt for the “injustices” done to Father Luther.

Oh, you don’t believe me?

Let me allay your doubts as Make a few interjections here and there:

(Reuters) – Senior Roman Catholic and Lutheran officials announced on Monday they would mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 as a shared event rather than highlight the clash that split Western Christianity.

The Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) presented a report in Geneva admitting both were guilty of harming Christian unity in the past and describing a growing consensus between the two churches in recent decades. (Catholics, Lutherans jointly to mark Reformation anniversary.)

Interjection One:

Of course there is a “growing consensus” between Lutherans and the conciliarists as both are members of false religions founded upon rejections and redefinitions of the dogmas of the Catholic Faith.

Back to Reuters:

The 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, the doctrinal challenge that launched the Protestant Reformation, will be the first centenary celebration in the age of ecumenism, globalization and the secularization of Western societies.

“The awareness is dawning on Lutherans and Catholics that the struggle of the 16th century is over,” the report said. “The reasons for mutually condemning each other’s faith have fallen by the wayside.”

They now agree belief in Jesus unites them despite lingering differences, it said, and inspires them to cooperate more closely to proclaim the Gospel in increasingly pluralistic societies.

“This is a very important step in a healing process which we all need and we are all praying for,” LWF General Secretary Martin Junge said at the report’s presentation in Geneva.

“The division of the church is something we cannot celebrate but we can see what is positive and try to find ways towards the future together,” said Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Vatican’s department to promote Christian unity. (Catholics, Lutherans jointly to mark Reformation anniversary.)

Interjection Two:

Calling Francis the Illusionist and Kurt Koch, his assistant who works over at the “Pontifical” Council for Promoting Christian Unity, calling Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Is anyone out there in cyberspace?

Here is a little news flash for you both: Catholic doctrine does not simply “fall by the wayside.” No one can simply “wave his hand” and pretend that the “passage of time” makes the doctrines of the Catholic Church, each of which have been revealed by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, somehow irrelevant or in need of a “new” understanding.

Here is another nifty little insight for you both: every false religion, including your own, is loathed by the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Blessed Trinity.

In a mood for more, Jorge and Kurt?

Sure, happy to oblige.

Those with disparate beliefs cannot be “united.”

Additionally, chaps, there are no such things as “lingering differences.”

Permit me to introduce you to Pope Leo XIII’s Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896:

Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this perfect concord amongst men, from which concurrence of wills and similarity of action are the natural results. Wherefore, in His divine wisdom, He ordained in His Church Unity of Faith; a virtue which is the first of those bonds which unite man to God, and whence we receive the name of the faithful – “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. iv., 5). That is, as there is one Lord and one baptism, so should all Christians, without exception, have but one faith. And so the Apostle St. Paul not merely begs, but entreats and implores Christians to be all of the same mind, and to avoid difference of opinions: “I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms amongst you, and that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Cor. i., 10). Such passages certainly need no interpreter; they speak clearly enough for themselves. Besides, all who profess Christianity allow that there can be but one faith. It is of the greatest importance and indeed of absolute necessity, as to which many are deceived, that the nature and character of this unity should be recognized. And, as We have already stated, this is not to be ascertained by conjecture, but by the certain knowledge of what was done; that is by seeking for and ascertaining what kind of unity in faith has been commanded by Jesus Christ. (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)

It is the likes of Francis the Illusionist and Kurt Koch who are deceived, not the people disparaged by the “Petrine Minister” as “restorationists.”

All right, back to the cheery news from Reuters:

Roman Catholicism, the world’s largest church, has about 1.2 billion members or just over half of all Christians. There are about 75 million Lutherans in LWF member churches and other Lutheran groups around the world.

Catholics and Lutherans began seeking theological common ground after the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, which opened the Roman church to better relations with other churches, and have ironed out many of their differences over the decades.

They took a major step forward in 1999 by agreeing a common view on justification, the doctrine at the core of their 16th century dispute. At issue was whether Christians attained eternal salvation by faith alone or also by doing good works. (Catholics, Lutherans jointly to mark Reformation anniversary.)

Interjection Three:

Who was it who helped to broker the “deal” that made the Conciliar-Lutheran Joint Declaration on Justification a reality?

That’s right, Benedict the Contortionist, serving in his capacity as Joseph “Cardinal” Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Deformation, Destruction and Deconstruction of the Faith.

What’s wrong with this “joint declaration”?

Well, please re-read Bishop Donald J. Sanborn’s Critical Analysis of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

Yes, there more from Reuters, sadly:

Both sides admitted in the 93-page report that they had often ridiculed each other’s teachings in the past, sinning against the eighth commandment which bars giving false witness.

The Lutheran side confessed its shame and regret over “the vicious and degrading statements that Martin Luther made against the Jews” and rejected other “dark sides of Luther” including his support for the persecution of Anabaptists.

The report said Christians in developing countries, now an important region for both churches, could not identify with 500-year-old European rows. Secularization in Western societies in recent decades meant many old feuds were now forgotten there.

The rise of Pentecostal and charismatic movements over the past century “have put forward new emphases that have made many of the old confessional controversies seem obsolete“, it added. (Catholics, Lutherans jointly to mark Reformation anniversary.)

Interjection Four:

“New emphases” have now made “old confessional controversies seem obsolete.”

This means that the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, failed Pope Leo X when he issued Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520, and came to the following conclusion:

Therefore we can, without any further citation or delay, proceed against him to his condemnation and damnation as one whose faith is notoriously suspect and in fact a true heretic with the full severity of each and all of the above penalties and censures. Yet, with the advice of our brothers, imitating the mercy of almighty God who does not wish the death of a sinner but rather that he be converted and live, and forgetting all the injuries inflicted on us and the Apostolic See, we have decided to use all the compassion we are capable of. It is our hope, so far as in us lies, that he will experience a change of heart by taking the road of mildness we have proposed, return, and turn away from his errors. We will receive him kindly as the prodigal son returning to the embrace of the Church.

Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him, through the merciful heart of our God and the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by which and through whom the redemption of the human race and the upbuilding of holy mother Church was accomplished, know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us. If they really will obey, and certify to us by legal documents that they have obeyed, they will find in us the affection of a father’s love, the opening of the font of the effects of paternal charity, and opening of the font of mercy and clemency.

We enjoin, however, on Martin that in the meantime he cease from all preaching or the office of preacher.

{And even though the love of righteousness and virtue did not take him away from sin and the hope of forgiveness did not lead him to penance, perhaps the terror of the pain of punishment may move him. Thus we beseech and remind this Martin, his supporters and accomplices of his holy orders and the described punishment. We ask him earnestly that he and his supporters, adherents and accomplices desist within sixty days (which we wish to have divided into three times twenty days, counting from the publication of this bull at the places mentioned below) from preaching, both expounding their views and denouncing others, from publishing books and pamphlets concerning some or all of their errors. Furthermore, all writings which contain some or all of his errors are to be burned. Furthermore, this Martin is to recant perpetually such errors and views. He is to inform us of such recantation through an open document, sealed by two prelates, which we should receive within another sixty days. Or he should personally, with safe conduct, inform us of his recantation by coming to Rome. We would prefer this latter way in order that no doubt remain of his sincere obedience.

If, however, this Martin, his supporters, adherents and accomplices, much to our regret, should stubbornly not comply with the mentioned stipulations within the mentioned period, we shall, following the teaching of the holy Apostle Paul, who teaches us to avoid a heretic after having admonished him for a first and a second time, condemn this Martin, his supporters, adherents and accomplices as barren vines which are not in Christ, preaching an offensive doctrine contrary to the Christian faith and offend the divine majesty, to the damage and shame of the entire Christian Church, and diminish the keys of the Church as stubborn and public heretics.} . . . (Pope Leo X in Exsurge Domini, June 15, 1520.)

The contention made above in the joint conciliar-Lutheran statement on plans to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s diabolical revolution means also that God the Holy Ghost failed the Fathers of the Council of Trent when they condemned Luther’s theological propositions in a systematic manner.

These contentions are blasphemous and a denial of the Divine Constitution of Holy Mother Church.

Let us have a look at the “controversies” engendered by Luther that have become “obsolete” somehow with the passage of time as each one of his major errors is listed and critiqued for you readers by way of reiteration of points made many times before on this site.

Luther believed in and asserted the following heretical propositions:

(1) That Our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not create a visible, hierarchical Church.

(2) That there is no authority given by Our Lord to the Pope and his bishops and priests to govern and to sanctify the faithful.

(3) That each believer has an immediate and personal relationship with the Savior as soon as he makes a profession of faith on his lips and in his heart, therefore being perpetually justified before God.

(4) Having been justified by faith alone, a believer has no need of an intermediary from a non-existent hierarchical priesthood to forgive him his sins. He is forgiven by God immediately when he asks forgiveness.

(5) This state of justification is not earned by good works. While good works are laudable, especially to help unbelievers convert, they do not impute unto salvation. Salvation is the result of the profession of faith that justifies the sinner.

(6) That grace is merely, in the words of Martin Luther, the snowflakes that cover up the “dung heap” that is man.

(7) That there is only one source of Divine Revelation, Sacred Scripture.

(8) That each individual is his own interpreter of Sacred Scripture.

(9) That there is a strict separation of Church and State. Princes, to draw from Luther himself, may be Christians but it is not as a Christian that they ought to rule.

These lies have permutated in thousands of different directions. However, they have sewn the fabric of the modern state and popular culture for nearly half a millennium, serving as a good deal of the foundation of conciliarism itself and its own devastation of souls.

Here below are explanations of these lies and their multifaceted implications for the world in which we live:

(1-2) The contention that Our Lord did not create a visible, hierarchical church vitiates the need for a hierarchical, sacerdotal priesthood for the administration of the sacraments. It is a rejection of the entirety of the history of Christianity prior to the Sixteenth Century. It is a denial of the lesson taught us by Our Lord by means of His submission to His own creatures, Saint Joseph and the Blessed Mother, in the Holy Family of Nazareth that each of us is to live our entire lives under authority, starting with the authority of the Vicar of Christ and those bishops who are in full communion with him. The rejection of the visible, hierarchical church is founded on the prideful belief that we are able to govern ourselves without being directed by anyone else on earth. This contention would lead in due course to the rejection of any and all religious belief as necessary for individuals and for societies. Luther and Calvin paved the way for Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the French Revolution that followed so closely the latter’s deification of man.

(3-6) Baptism is merely symbolic of the Christian’s desire to be associated with the Savior in the amorphous body known as the Church. What is determinative of the believer’s relationship with Christ is his profession of faith. As the believer remains a reprobate sinner, all he can do is to seek forgiveness by confessing his sins privately to God. This gives the Protestant of the Lutheran strain the presumptuous sense that there is almost nothing he can do to lose his salvation once he has made his profession of faith in the Lord Jesus. There is thus no belief that a person can scale the heights of personal sanctity by means of sanctifying grace. It is impossible, as Luther projected from his own unwillingness to cooperate with sanctifying grace to overcome his battles with lust, for the believer to be anything other than a dung heap. Thus a Protestant can sin freely without for once considering that he has killed the life of sanctifying grace in his soul, thereby darkening his intellect and weakening the will and inclining himself all the more to sin-and all the more a vessel of disorder and injustice in the larger life of society.

(7-8) The rejection of a visible, hierarchical Church and the rejection of Apostolic Tradition as a source of Divine Revelation protected by that Church leads in both instances to theological relativism. Without an authoritative guide to interpret Divine Revelation, including Sacred Scripture, individual believers can come to mutually contradictory conclusions about the meaning of passages, the precise thing that has given rise to literally thousands of Protestant sects. And if a believer can reduce the Bible, which he believes is the sole source of Divine Revelation, to the level of individual interpretation, then there is nothing to prevent anyone from doing the same with all written documents, including the documents of a nation’s founding. If the plain words of Scripture can be deconstructed of their meaning, it is easy to do so, say, with the words of a governmental constitution. Theological relativism paved the way for moral relativism. Moral relativism paved the way for the triumph of positivism and deconstructionism as normative in the realm of theology and that of law and popular culture.

(9) The overthrow of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as it was exercised by His true Church in the Middle Ages by the Protestant concept of the separation of Church and State is what gave rise to royal absolutism in Europe in the immediate aftermath of Luther’s handiwork. Indeed, as I have noted any number of times before, it is arguably the case that the conditions that bred resentment on the part of colonists in English America prior to 1776 might never have developed if England had remained a Catholic nation. The monarchy would have been subject in the Eighteenth Century to same constraints as it had in the Tenth or Eleventh Centuries, namely, that kings and queens would have continued to understand that the Church reserved unto herself the right to interpose herself in the event that rulers had done things-or proposed to do things-that were contrary to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law and/or were injurious of the cause of the sanctification and salvation of the souls of their subjects. The overthrow of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ deposited power first of all in the hands of monarchs eager to be rid of the “interference” of the Church and ultimately in the hands of whoever happened to hold the reins of governmental power in the modern “democratic” state. Despotism has been the result in both cases.

Let me restate once again that Catholic doctrine is no more mutable than God Himself.

Ah, it’s time for the final excerpt from the Reuters report:

The report said Luther’s 95 Theses were meant to begin a debate about practices such as selling indulgences and were not intended to found a new church. Both sides mishandled the crisis that followed, leading to the final split.

Disputes over the authority of the Bible, which Lutherans stress more than Catholics, have narrowed so much that lingering differences would no longer justify maintaining their split, the report said. It spoke of the two churches sharing “unity in reconciled diversity” over these issues.

But while ecumenical dialogue has developed new common understandings on some divisive points, other doctrines – such as the office of the Catholic pope or the nature of the ordained clergy – still remain significantly far apart.

The LWF said it wants to talk with Anglican, Mennonite, Reformed, Orthodox and Pentecostal churches about how they might also participate in the 2017 commemoration. (Catholics, Lutherans jointly to mark Reformation anniversary.)

Interjection Five:

For an refutation of the misrepresentation of Father Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses, please see the full text of Pope Leo X’s Exsurge Domine, which is appended below.

Let it be conceded that Father Martin Luther did not want to found a new church. A “new church,” a false church, that is, is all that could have resulted from his heretical propositions, and the fact that the conciliar revolutionaries have found much “common ground” with Lutherans despite some “lingering difficulties” is just another proof of the falsity of conciliarism as it explains away or simply waves away as irrelevant Faith, Morals, Worship and even history itself the “sentiments” considered to be more “befitting” “modern man” in a “globalized” and “pluralistic world.”

Religious conflict among those who believe themselves to be Christians?

Blame Martin Luther.

The rise of doctrinal and moral relativism as a result of the rejection of the dogmatic truth that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted a visible, hierarchical Church and founded it upon the Rock of Saint Peter, the Pope?

Blame Martin Luther.

The prevalence of individualism as the means to “interpret” the words of Holy Writ and to act as one wants in the fallacious belief that men are “saved’ by making a profession of faith in the Holy Name of Jesus  in their hearts and on their lips?

Blame Martin Luther.

The rise of authoritarian and totalitarian statism that is plaguing every so-called “civilized” nation on the face of this earth today?

Blame Martin Luther.

Does Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis and Kurt Koch understand this?

Not really.

Father Patrick O’Hare’s insights into Luther and his false religion are useful to call to mind once again:

“Anointed,” as Luther was, “to preach the Gospel of peace,” and commissioned to communicate to all the knowledge which uplifts, sanctifies and saves, it is certainly pertinent to ask what was his attitude towards the ministry of the divine word, and in what manner did he show by speech and behavior the heavenly sanctions of law: divine, international and social?

As we draw near this man and carefully examine his career, we find that in an evil moment he abandoned the spirit of discipline, became a pursuer of novelty, and put on the ways and manners of the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” whose teeth and claws rent asunder the seamless garment of divine knowledge which should have been kept whole for the instruction and the comfort of all who were to seek the law at his lips. His words lost their savor and influence for good, and only foulness and mocking blasphemy filled his mouth, to deceive the ignorant and lead them into error, license and rebellion against both Church and state. Out of the abundance of a corrupt heart this fallen priest, who had departed from the divine source of that knowledge, which is unto peace, shamelessly advanced theories and principles which cut at the root of all order, authority and obedience, and inaugurated an antagonism and a disregard for the sanctity of law such as the world had not seen since pagan times. His Gospel was not that of the Apostles, who issued from the upper room of Jerusalem in the power of those “parted tongues, as it were of fire.” His doctrine, stripped of its cunning and deceit, was nothing else, to use the words of St. James describing false teaching, but “earthly, sensual, devilish”; so much so, that men of good sense could no longer safely “seek the law at his mouth” and honestly recognize him as “the angel of the Lord of Hosts” sent with instructions for the good of the flock and the peace of the nations. Opposed to all law, order and restraint, he could not but disgrace his ministry, proclaim his own shame, and prove to every wise and discerning follower of the true Gospel of peace, the groundlessness of his boastful claims to be in any proper sense a benefactor of society, an upholder of constituted authority and a promoter of the best interests of humanity.

Luther, like many another framer of religious and political heresy, may have begun his course blindly and with little serious reflection. He may never have stopped to estimate the lamentable and disastrous results to which his heretofore unheard-of-propaganda would inevitably lead. He may not have directly intended the ruin, desolation and misery which his seditious preaching effected in all directions. “But,” as Verres aptly says, “if a man standing on one of the snowcapped giants of the Alps were to roll down a little stone, knowing what consequences would follow, he would be answerable for the desolation caused by the avalanche in the valley below. Luther put into motion not one little stone, but rock after rock, and he must have been shortsighted indeed–or his blind hatred made him so–if he was unable to estimate beforehand what effect his inflammatory appeals to the masses of the people and his wild denunciations of law and order would have.” He should, as a matter of course, have weighed well and thoroughly the merits or demerits of his “new gospel” before he announced it to an undiscriminating public, and wittingly or unwittingly unbarred the floodgates of confusion and unrest. Deliberation, however, was a process little known to this man of many moods and violent temper. To secure victory in his quarrel with the Church absorbed his attention to the exclusion of all else, and, although he may not have reflected in time on the effects of his revolutionary teachings, he is nonetheless largely responsible for the religious, political and social upheaval of his day which his wild and passionate harangues fomented and precipitated. Nothing short of a miracle could have prevented his reckless, persistent and unsparing denunciations of authority and its representatives from undermining the supports by which order and discipline in Church and state were upheld. As events proved, his wild words, flung about in reckless profusion, fell into souls full of the fermenting passions of time and turned Germany into a land of misery, darkness and disorder. (Monsignor Patrick F. O’Hare. The Facts About Luther, published originally in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Frederick Pustet Company in 1916, reprinted in 1987 by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 215-217.)

We must, of course, continue to remember that this is the time that God has appointed from all eternity for us to be alive. He has work for us to do. Let us do this work with courage and valor as we never count the cost of being humiliated for the sake of defending the integrity of Faith, as we never cease our prayers for the conversion of all people, including those who adhere to the falsehoods of Lutheranism and all other Protestant sects and of Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis the Illusionist and his fellow conciliarists themselves, to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.

To this end, as always, we must make reparation for our sins, especially during this season of Lent, living more and more penitentially each day, spending time in prayer (when it is possible to do so) before Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, our weekly use of the the Sacred Tribunal of Penance, and our daily consecrating our hearts and our very selves to Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.

There is work to do. Let us be earnest about of the work of converting our own souls by making reparation for our own sins so that the seeds we plant for the  conversion of others and for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the fulfillment of her Fatima Message might fall on more fertile ground.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and the hour of our death Amen

Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary now?

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of the the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Juliana Falconieri, pray for us.

Saints Gervase and Protase, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints

Appendix

The Text of Pope Leo X’s Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520

 

Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod. When you were about to ascend to your Father, you committed the care, rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church, to Peter, as the head and your vicar and his successors. The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.

Rise, Peter, and fulfill this pastoral office divinely entrusted to you as mentioned above. Give heed to the cause of the holy Roman Church, mother of all churches and teacher of the faith, whom you by the order of God, have consecrated by your blood. Against the Roman Church, you warned, lying teachers are rising, introducing ruinous sects, and drawing upon themselves speedy doom. Their tongues are fire, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. They have bitter zeal, contention in their hearts, and boast and lie against the truth.

We beseech you also, Paul, to arise. It was you that enlightened and illuminated the Church by your doctrine and by a martyrdom like Peter’s. For now a new Porphyry rises who, as the old once wrongfully assailed the holy apostles, now assails the holy pontiffs, our predecessors.

Rebuking them, in violation of your teaching, instead of imploring them, he is not ashamed to assail them, to tear at them, and when he despairs of his cause, to stoop to insults. He is like the heretics “whose last defense,” as Jerome says, “is to start spewing out a serpent’s venom with their tongue when they see that their causes are about to be condemned, and spring to insults when they see they are vanquished.” For although you have said that there must be heresies to test the faithful, still they must be destroyed at their very birth by your intercession and help, so they do not grow or wax strong like your wolves. Finally, let the whole church of the saints and the rest of the universal church arise. Some, putting aside her true interpretation of Sacred Scripture, are blinded in mind by the father of lies. Wise in their own eyes, according to the ancient practice of heretics, they interpret these same Scriptures otherwise than the Holy Spirit demands, inspired only by their own sense of ambition, and for the sake of popular acclaim, as the Apostle declares. In fact, they twist and adulterate the Scriptures. As a result, according to Jerome, “It is no longer the Gospel of Christ, but a man’s, or what is worse, the devil’s.”

Let all this holy Church of God, I say, arise, and with the blessed apostles intercede with almighty God to purge the errors of His sheep, to banish all heresies from the lands of the faithful, and be pleased to maintain the peace and unity of His holy Church.

For we can scarcely express, from distress and grief of mind, what has reached our ears for some time by the report of reliable men and general rumor; alas, we have even seen with our eyes and read the many diverse errors. Some of these have already been condemned by councils and the constitutions of our predecessors, and expressly contain even the heresy of the Greeks and Bohemians. Other errors are either heretical, false, scandalous, or offensive to pious ears, as seductive of simple minds, originating with false exponents of the faith who in their proud curiosity yearn for the world’s glory, and contrary to the Apostle’s teaching, wish to be wiser than they should be. Their talkativeness, unsupported by the authority of the Scriptures, as Jerome says, would not win credence unless they appeared to support their perverse doctrine even with divine testimonies however badly interpreted. From their sight fear of God has now passed.

These errors have, at the suggestion of the human race, been revived and recently propagated among the more frivolous and the illustrious German nation. We grieve the more that this happened there because we and our predecessors have always held this nation in the bosom of our affection. For after the empire had been transferred by the Roman Church from the Greeks to these same Germans, our predecessors and we always took the Church’s advocates and defenders from among them. Indeed it is certain that these Germans, truly germane to the Catholic faith, have always been the bitterest opponents of heresies, as witnessed by those commendable constitutions of the German emperors in behalf of the Church’s independence, freedom, and the expulsion and extermination of all heretics from Germany. Those constitutions formerly issued, and then confirmed by our predecessors, were issued under the greatest penalties even of loss of lands and dominions against anyone sheltering or not expelling them. If they were observed today both we and they would obviously be free of this disturbance. Witness to this is the condemnation and punishment in the Council of Constance of the infidelity of the Hussites and Wyclifites as well as Jerome of Prague. Witness to this is the blood of Germans shed so often in wars against the Bohemians. A final witness is the refutation, rejection, and condemnation no less learned than true and holy of the above errors, or many of them, by the universities of Cologne and Louvain, most devoted and religious cultivators of the Lord’s field. We could allege many other facts too, which we have decided to omit, lest we appear to be composing a history.

In virtue of our pastoral office committed to us by the divine favor we can under no circumstances tolerate or overlook any longer the pernicious poison of the above errors without disgrace to the Christian religion and injury to orthodox faith. Some of these errors we have decided to include in the present document; their substance is as follows:

1. It is a heretical opinion, but a common one, that the sacraments of the New Law give pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle.

2. To deny that in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.

3. The inflammable sources of sin, even if there be no actual sin, delay a soul departing from the body from entrance into heaven.

4. To one on the point of death imperfect charity necessarily brings with it great fear, which in itself alone is enough to produce the punishment of purgatory, and impedes entrance into the kingdom.

5. That there are three parts to penance: contrition, confession, and satisfaction, has no foundation in Sacred Scripture nor in the ancient sacred Christian doctors.

6. Contrition, which is acquired through discussion, collection, and detestation of sins, by which one reflects upon his years in the bitterness of his soul, by pondering over the gravity of sins, their number, their baseness, the loss of eternal beatitude, and the acquisition of eternal damnation, this contrition makes him a hypocrite, indeed more a sinner.

7. It is a most truthful proverb and the doctrine concerning the contritions given thus far is the more remarkable: “Not to do so in the future is the highest penance; the best penance, a new life.”

8. By no means may you presume to confess venial sins, nor even all mortal sins, because it is impossible that you know all mortal sins. Hence in the primitive Church only manifest mortal sins were confessed.

9. As long as we wish to confess all sins without exception, we are doing nothing else than to wish to leave nothing to God’s mercy for pardon.

10. Sins are not forgiven to anyone, unless when the priest forgives them he believes they are forgiven; on the contrary the sin would remain unless he believed it was forgiven; for indeed the remission of sin and the granting of grace does not suffice, but it is necessary also to believe that there has been forgiveness.

11. By no means can you have reassurance of being absolved because of your contrition, but because of the word of Christ: “Whatsoever you shall loose, etc.” Hence, I say, trust confidently, if you have obtained the absolution of the priest, and firmly believe yourself to have been absolved, and you will truly be absolved, whatever there may be of contrition.

12. If through an impossibility he who confessed was not contrite, or the priest did not absolve seriously, but in a jocose manner, if nevertheless he believes that he has been absolved, he is most truly absolved.

13. In the sacrament of penance and the remission of sin the pope or the bishop does no more than the lowest priest; indeed, where there is no priest, any Christian, even if a woman or child, may equally do as much.

14. No one ought to answer a priest that he is contrite, nor should the priest inquire.

15. Great is the error of those who approach the sacrament of the Eucharist relying on this, that they have confessed, that they are not conscious of any mortal sin, that they have sent their prayers on ahead and made preparations; all these eat and drink judgment to themselves. But if they believe and trust that they will attain grace, then this faith alone makes them pure and worthy.

16. It seems to have been decided that the Church in common Council established that the laity should communicate under both species; the Bohemians who communicate under both species are not heretics, but schismatics.

17. The treasures of the Church, from which the pope grants indulgences, are not the merits of Christ and of the saints.

18. Indulgences are pious frauds of the faithful, and remissions of good works; and they are among the number of those things which are allowed, and not of the number of those which are advantageous.

19. Indulgences are of no avail to those who truly gain them, for the remission of the penalty due to actual sin in the sight of divine justice.

20. They are seduced who believe that indulgences are salutary and useful for the fruit of the spirit.

21. Indulgences are necessary only for public crimes, and are properly conceded only to the harsh and impatient.

22. For six kinds of men indulgences are neither necessary nor useful; namely, for the dead and those about to die, the infirm, those legitimately hindered, and those who have not committed crimes, and those who have committed crimes, but not public ones, and those who devote themselves to better things.

23. Excommunications are only external penalties and they do not deprive man of the common spiritual prayers of the Church.

24. Christians must be taught to cherish excommunications rather than to fear them.

25. The Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, is not the vicar of Christ over all the churches of the entire world, instituted by Christ Himself in blessed Peter.

26. The word of Christ to Peter: “Whatsoever you shall loose on earth,” etc., is extended merely to those things bound by Peter himself.

27. It is certain that it is not in the power of the Church or the pope to decide upon the articles of faith, and much less concerning the laws for morals or for good works.

28. If the pope with a great part of the Church thought so and so, he would not err; still it is not a sin or heresy to think the contrary, especially in a matter not necessary for salvation, until one alternative is condemned and another approved by a general Council.

29. A way has been made for us for weakening the authority of councils, and for freely contradicting their actions, and judging their decrees, and boldly confessing whatever seems true, whether it has been approved or disapproved by any council whatsoever.

30. Some articles of John Hus, condemned in the Council of Constance, are most Christian, wholly true and evangelical; these the universal Church could not condemn.

31. In every good work the just man sins.

32. A good work done very well is a venial sin.

33. That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.

34. To go to war against the Turks is to resist God who punishes our iniquities through them.

35. No one is certain that he is not always sinning mortally, because of the most hidden vice of pride.

36. Free will after sin is a matter of title only; and as long as one does what is in him, one sins mortally.

37. Purgatory cannot be proved from Sacred Scripture which is in the canon.

38. The souls in purgatory are not sure of their salvation, at least not all; nor is it proved by any arguments or by the Scriptures that they are beyond the state of meriting or of increasing in charity.

39. The souls in purgatory sin without intermission, as long as they seek rest and abhor punishment.

40. The souls freed from purgatory by the suffrages of the living are less happy than if they had made satisfactions by themselves.

41. Ecclesiastical prelates and secular princes would not act badly if they destroyed all of the money bags of beggary.

No one of sound mind is ignorant how destructive, pernicious, scandalous, and seductive to pious and simple minds these various errors are, how opposed they are to all charity and reverence for the holy Roman Church who is the mother of all the faithful and teacher of the faith; how destructive they are of the vigor of ecclesiastical discipline, namely obedience. This virtue is the font and origin of all virtues and without it anyone is readily convicted of being unfaithful.

Therefore we, in this above enumeration, important as it is, wish to proceed with great care as is proper, and to cut off the advance of this plague and cancerous disease so it will not spread any further in the Lord’s field as harmful thornbushes. We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church. Now Augustine maintained that her authority had to be accepted so completely that he stated he would not have believed the Gospel unless the authority of the Catholic Church had vouched for it. For, according to these errors, or any one or several of them, it clearly follows that the Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit is in error and has always erred. This is against what Christ at his ascension promised to his disciples (as is read in the holy Gospel of Matthew): “I will be with you to the consummation of the world”; it is against the determinations of the holy Fathers, or the express ordinances and canons of the councils and the supreme pontiffs. Failure to comply with these canons, according to the testimony of Cyprian, will be the fuel and cause of all heresy and schism.

With the advice and consent of these our venerable brothers, with mature deliberation on each and every one of the above theses, and by the authority of almighty God, the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own authority, we condemn, reprobate, and reject completely each of these theses or errors as either heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth. By listing them, we decree and declare that all the faithful of both sexes must regard them as condemned, reprobated, and rejected . . . We restrain all in the virtue of holy obedience and under the penalty of an automatic major excommunication….

Moreover, because the preceding errors and many others are contained in the books or writings of Martin Luther, we likewise condemn, reprobate, and reject completely the books and all the writings and sermons of the said Martin, whether in Latin or any other language, containing the said errors or any one of them; and we wish them to be regarded as utterly condemned, reprobated, and rejected. We forbid each and every one of the faithful of either sex, in virtue of holy obedience and under the above penalties to be incurred automatically, to read, assert, preach, praise, print, publish, or defend them. They will incur these penalties if they presume to uphold them in any way, personally or through another or others, directly or indirectly, tacitly or explicitly, publicly or occultly, either in their own homes or in other public or private places. Indeed immediately after the publication of this letter these works, wherever they may be, shall be sought out carefully by the ordinaries and others [ecclesiastics and regulars], and under each and every one of the above penalties shall be burned publicly and solemnly in the presence of the clerics and people.

As far as Martin himself is concerned, O good God, what have we overlooked or not done? What fatherly charity have we omitted that we might call him back from such errors? For after we had cited him, wishing to deal more kindly with him, we urged him through various conferences with our legate and through our personal letters to abandon these errors. We have even offered him safe conduct and the money necessary for the journey urging him to come without fear or any misgivings, which perfect charity should cast out, and to talk not secretly but openly and face to face after the example of our Savior and the Apostle Paul. If he had done this, we are certain he would have changed in heart, and he would have recognized his errors. He would not have found all these errors in the Roman Curia which he attacks so viciously, ascribing to it more than he should because of the empty rumors of wicked men. We would have shown him clearer than the light of day that the Roman pontiffs, our predecessors, whom he injuriously attacks beyond all decency, never erred in their canons or constitutions which he tries to assail. For, according to the prophet, neither is healing oil nor the doctor lacking in Galaad.

But he always refused to listen and, despising the previous citation and each and every one of the above overtures, disdained to come. To the present day he has been contumacious. With a hardened spirit he has continued under censure over a year. What is worse, adding evil to evil, and on learning of the citation, he broke forth in a rash appeal to a future council. This to be sure was contrary to the constitution of Pius II and Julius II our predecessors that all appealing in this way are to be punished with the penalties of heretics. In vain does he implore the help of a council, since he openly admits that he does not believe in a council.

Therefore we can, without any further citation or delay, proceed against him to his condemnation and damnation as one whose faith is notoriously suspect and in fact a true heretic with the full severity of each and all of the above penalties and censures. Yet, with the advice of our brothers, imitating the mercy of almighty God who does not wish the death of a sinner but rather that he be converted and live, and forgetting all the injuries inflicted on us and the Apostolic See, we have decided to use all the compassion we are capable of. It is our hope, so far as in us lies, that he will experience a change of heart by taking the road of mildness we have proposed, return, and turn away from his errors. We will receive him kindly as the prodigal son returning to the embrace of the Church.

Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him, through the merciful heart of our God and the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by which and through whom the redemption of the human race and the upbuilding of holy mother Church was accomplished, know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us. If they really will obey, and certify to us by legal documents that they have obeyed, they will find in us the affection of a father’s love, the opening of the font of the effects of paternal charity, and opening of the font of mercy and clemency.

We enjoin, however, on Martin that in the meantime he cease from all preaching or the office of preacher.

{And even though the love of righteousness and virtue did not take him away from sin and the hope of forgiveness did not lead him to penance, perhaps the terror of the pain of punishment may move him. Thus we beseech and remind this Martin, his supporters and accomplices of his holy orders and the described punishment. We ask him earnestly that he and his supporters, adherents and accomplices desist within sixty days (which we wish to have divided into three times twenty days, counting from the publication of this bull at the places mentioned below) from preaching, both expounding their views and denouncing others, from publishing books and pamphlets concerning some or all of their errors. Furthermore, all writings which contain some or all of his errors are to be burned. Furthermore, this Martin is to recant perpetually such errors and views. He is to inform us of such recantation through an open document, sealed by two prelates, which we should receive within another sixty days. Or he should personally, with safe conduct, inform us of his recantation by coming to Rome. We would prefer this latter way in order that no doubt remain of his sincere obedience.

If, however, this Martin, his supporters, adherents and accomplices, much to our regret, should stubbornly not comply with the mentioned stipulations within the mentioned period, we shall, following the teaching of the holy Apostle Paul, who teaches us to avoid a heretic after having admonished him for a first and a second time, condemn this Martin, his supporters, adherents and accomplices as barren vines which are not in Christ, preaching an offensive doctrine contrary to the Christian faith and offend the divine majesty, to the damage and shame of the entire Christian Church, and diminish the keys of the Church as stubborn and public heretics.} . . .

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