Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feast of St. Francis DeSales

Today is the feast day of Saint Francis DeSales. I like to think of him as the patron saint of this blog because of his desire and success in winning back fallen away Catholics to the Catholic faith. In the age before mass media and printed materials, he hand wrote tracks and slipped them under the doors of Calvinists in Switzerland and eventually won 60,000 back to the faith. He eventually was made bishop of Geneva.
He wrote a series of apologetic tracts which have been collected under the title called Catholic Controversies which I have blogged about before. Here is the link. Here's a snippet:

"Are you not aware that one of your greatest ministers teaches that the body of our Lord is as far from the Lord's Supper as heaven is from earth, and are you not likewise aware that this is held to be false by many others? Has not one of your ministers lately confessed the reality of Christ's body in the Supper, and do not the rest deny it? Can you deny me that as regards Justification you are as much divided against one another as you are against us:-witness that anonymous controversialist. In a word, each man has his own language, and out of as many Huguenots as I have spoken to I have never found two of the same belief.

But the worst is, you are not able to come to an agreement:-for where will you find a trusted arbitrator? You have no head upon earth to address yourselves to in your difficulties; you believe that the very Church can err herself and lead others into error: you would not put your soul into such unsafe hands; indeed, you hold her in small account. The Scripture cannot be your arbiter, for it is concerning the Scripture that you are in litigation, some of you being determined to have it understood in one way, some in another. Your discords and your disputes are interminable, unless you give in to the authority of the Church. Witness the Colloquies of Lunehourg, of Malbron, of Montbeliard, and that of Berne recently. Witness Titman, Heshusius and Erastus, to whom I add Brenz and Bullinger. Take the great division there is amongst you about the number of the Sacraments. Now, and ordinarily amongst you, only two are taught; Calvin made three, adding to Baptism and the Supper, Order; Luther here puts Penance for the third, then says there is but one : in the end, the Protestants, at the Colloquy of Ratisbonne, at which Calvin assisted, as Beza testifies in his life, confessed that there were seven Sacraments. How is it you are divided about the article of the almightiness of God? -one party denying that a body can by the divine power be in two places, others denying absolute almightiness; others make no such denials. But if I would show you the great contradictions amongst those whom Beza acknowledges to be glorious reformers of the Church, namely, Jerome of Prague, John Hus, Wycliff, Luther, Bucer, Cecolampadius, Zuingle(Zwingli), Pomeranius and the rest, I should never come to an end Luther can sufficiently inform you as to the good harmony there is amongst them, in the lamentation which he makes against the Zwinglians and Sacramentarians, whom he calls Absaloms and Judases, and fanatic spirits (in the year 1527)."

3 Comments:

Blogger George Weis said...

I think that that particular argument sounded like a serious can of kick butt was opened up :D Pardon the expression!

-g-

January 25, 2010 12:45 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

What's interesting is that he was known for his calmness and persuasiveness!I agree these words now ring with a certain triumphalism however, in the context of his age, this must have been what the people needed to hear to challenge them to question the audacity of starting a new church outside the one that traced itself to the apostles.

January 25, 2010 8:31 AM  
Blogger kkollwitz said...

Interesting to see how equally well his words could be spoken today as in the 16th century.

January 26, 2010 4:35 PM  

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