Church History

My EWTN Live Show on the Papacy now on YouTube

by Steve Ray on August 16, 2019

On August 14, I was in Birmingham Alabama to do the EWTN Live show with Fr. Mitch Pacwa. He’s a classy guy, by the way, and I really enjoyed my time with him again. He’s a hunter and outdoorsman and a pleasure to be with — lots of great stories.

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A friend named Philip wrote and asked me this question:
Christ is Risen. And we with him. I was talking to Evangelical friends who directed me to some historical websites about the Marburg meeting of the Protestant Reformers. You have just finished your Dr. Luther tour of Germany. It seems that the Protestants did agree on most issues, original sin, justification by faith, the sacraments. The only thing that Luther and Zwingli disagreed on was the Eucharist at the Marburg meeting 1529.
I responded:
Yes, they agreed on 15 out of 16, but on the 16th they could come to no agreement. Number 16 was a biggie, it was the Eucharist. After their disagreements and wrangling some of the Reformers left saying, “You are of a different spirit” and “You are no longer my brother!”
Marburg is an example of the chaos brought about by private interpretation of Scripture with no authority or Church to adjudicate and direct. Chaos, acrimony, schism and more schisms.
The Marburg participants had opinions about the Eucharist–everywhere from not quite Catholic to the bread and wine being completely symbolic. It demonstrated that the “Reformers” had no mechanism of authority or unity and that one issue spiraled into so many other differences and disagreements that it was not long that Luther was approving 100,000 peasants killed because they practiced his principle of “private interpretation” and disagreed with him. Calvin went off in his own direction and soon Reformed and Lutheran churches were competing. Calvin had Servetus burned at the stake in Geneva because he disagreed with him.
Marburg with the symbol of the disunity that would roar through the sects. Whereas the words, “This is My Body” had one meaning for 1500 years, shortly after the Marburg Colloquy there was a book published entitled, “Two Hundred Definitions of ‘This is My Body.’” Very soon Luther rejected 5 of the sacraments and gave the institution of marriage into the hands of the State thus taking it away from the authority of the Church. He rejected ordination, confession, marriage and last rites.
Protestants may try to put a happy face on it, but it was the first apple to fall from the tree and soon it was a rain of apples. Today’s 4,000+ sects, denominations, factions and cults show the disaster of the “Reformation” — which was really a deformation.
Here are a few quotes to confirm my points”
[N]ew sects always rise up against me, . . . we are attacked by so many sects which constantly disagree with one another – sometimes they even originate within our own ranks – . . . (Letters III, ed. and tr. Gottfried G. Krodel; to James Propst, 15 Sep. 1538; in LW, v. 50)
 Dave Armstrong, The Catholic Luther, n.d.
Luther wrote: [K]now that our friendly conference at Marburg is now at an end, and that we are in perfect union in all points except that our opponents insist that there is simply bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper, and that Christ is only in it in a spiritual sense. Today the landgrave did his best to make us united, hoping that even though we disagreed yet we should hold each other as brothers and members of Christ. He worked hard for it, but we would not call them brothers or members of Christ, although we wish them well and desire to remain at peace. (To Catharine Luther, 4 Oct. 1529; in LL2)
 Dave Armstrong, The Catholic Luther, n.d.
From the Protestant Magazine Christian History, So the German and Swiss reformations continued their separate ways. Luther asserted, “One side in this controversy belongs to the Devil and is God’s enemy”—and he did not mean his party. To Luther, his opponents, like Erasmus, allowed human reason to intrude on the plain words of Scripture. They required Christians to bring something of their own to salvation. Each brought to mind exactly the struggles he found in the monastery. Therefore, Luther could see no reason to be more charitable with “the false brethren” than he was with enemies from Rome.
Zwingli, in particular, resented Luther’s condescending tone. He felt the Wittenberg reformer had treated him “like an ass.” On the other side, thirteen years after Marburg, Luther was still complaining about Ulrich Zwingli’s “Swiss dialect” and his pompous insistence on speaking Greek at every opportunity. Luther declared, “I’ve bitten into many a nut, believing it to be good, only to find it wormy. Zwingli and Erasmus are nothing but wormy nuts that taste like crap in one’s mouth!”
The bad blood between the two reformers set a pattern for Protestant non-cooperation that has lasted to today.
 Robert D. Linder, “Allies or Enemies,” Christian History Magazine-Issue 39: Martin Luther: The Later Years (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, 1993).

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Steve Ray discusses the Catholic Church’s history of martyrs who refused to deny Christ.

poly2Questions Covered:

  • 18:20 – How can you historically prove that the writings of the martyrs are theirs? Do most Protestants believe that these writings existed and were true? 
  • 21:55 – How can we defend the bad practices of popes in the early Church?     
  • 32:00 – My sister in law is a Born Again Christian and she always ask what the basis is for why the martyrs are saints, and she singled out Maria Goretti, the rape victim. How can I respond? 
  • The phones were not working so Steve discussed martyrs and told stories of the martyrs and martyrdom to make the issue really come alive.

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In response to a “Bible Christian’s“ Critique & Criticism of Catholics Reading the Bible

June 2, 2019

A man named and Alan posted a comment on my blog. He claims that he was once a Catholic and therefore he is eminently qualified to comment on Catholics reading Bibles. He said they don’t read Bibles and they “don’t even own Bibles”. His ignorant exaggerations discredit everything else he says but I still thought […]

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One of my favorite 1-minute videos about the Church! Swelling with pride again…

June 1, 2019

This short one-minute video is a few years old now, but it always makes me swell with pride. I am sharing it again to remind us that the Catholic Church is a blessed and elegant and universal Church that needs to be loved and defended. Enjoy, again! Maybe share with a friend or family that […]

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How We REALLY Got the Bible – the Facts Simply Presented (print this out, hand it out)

May 16, 2019

This is just one page of Bob Sullivan’s excellent little tri-fold handout to explain how we got the Bible. It is from the Catholic and historical perspective without all the Protestant biases and twisting of history. I think you enjoy the whole thing which you can see here. You can print this out, fold it […]

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What Happened to the Apostles after the New Testament?

May 14, 2019

 

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The Technology of Scripture Study: The Middle Ages (and a hilarious video at the end)

April 30, 2019

“I am an ecclesiastical historian by training and a Bible software guy by trade. Which, I think, puts me in the unique position to write about the history of the intersection of technology and Scripture study in a series of posts.” Written by my friend Andrew Jones PhD: “We might start with a description of […]

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How Many Churches Did Jesus Intend?

April 28, 2019

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father… so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent […]

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Wow! Sistine Chapel Explained; Now You See Why We Only Use Liz as our Guide in Rome!

April 21, 2019

We have a special Advent Pilgrimage to Italy in early December this year AND LIZ IS OUR GUIDE! Take a look at this video to see Liz’s amazing knowledge, passion for the Catholic Faith and eloquence. Enjoy this amazing video. To join our upcoming pilgrimages, visit our page here. We will spend two nights in […]

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Why You Should Read the Fathers of the Church

March 13, 2019

Written by Dr. David Tamisiea from St. Philip Institute. It is a nice introduction to the Fathers of the Church – the guys that made me Catholic. For the whole article, click here. ******************************* The terms “Fathers of the Church,” “Church Fathers,” “early Church Fathers,” or simply “the Fathers,” are used by Catholics and other […]

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Responding to an Eastern Orthodox Christian who challenged me about the Papacy on Catholic Answers Live

March 4, 2019

When I was last on Catholic Answers Live last week Constantine Regas called in to defend the Eastern Orthodox position against the Catholic Church’s teaching on Peter and the Primacy of Rome. Constantine’s words are in BLUE and my responses are in BLACK. I appreciated Constantine’s irenic tone and honest demeanor.  CONSTANTINE REGAS (CR): I called […]

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Who Chose the Books of the Bible? Are the Books “Self-authenticating”?

January 8, 2019

Are the Books of the New Testament “Self-Authenticating” or was the Catholic Church Necessary to Define the Canon of Scripture? By Steve Ray Hello Protestant Friend: I was very happy to receive your twenty-five-page letter which claimed that sola Scriptura (Bible alone) and sola fide (faith alone) were the faith and teaching of the Apostles. […]

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What to Think About Bad Popes

January 2, 2019

Written by Dave Armstrong and used with permission: BAD POPES: REPLIES TO A SINCERE INQUIRER, by Dave Armstrong God made an everlasting covenant with King David, even though he was an adulterer and murderer. Dave writes: “As this was originally private correspondence, my correspondent’s exact words will be paraphrased, not cited. Her “words” will be […]

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“Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths

November 27, 2018

“Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths Fr. Hugh Barbour, O.Praem. Nicea, August 24, A.D. 325, 7:41 p.m. “That was powerful preaching, Brother Athanasius. Powerful! Amen! I want to invite any of you folks in the back to approach the altar here and receive the Lord into your hearts. Just come on up. We’ve got brothers and […]

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Trail of Blood: Do Baptists Have a Claim to the Original Church?

November 26, 2018

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many ”fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct? There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood”. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving […]

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