To the average person, when asked what the Protestant Reformation was all about, they will usually give some answer about how the Catholic Church just became too powerful, or how it caused the religious wars of the 17th century. Which then supposedly justifies their belief that religion is terrible and violent, especially when it comes to Catholicism.
I’m not even going to get into this distorted reasoning. The fact is that 125 million people died in both areligious world wars; communisms death toll up to this point is 100 million; and even abortion, which kills 50 million babies worldwide EVERY year and has resulted in 1.5 billion deaths in the past 50 years.
Even adjusted by population differences, that makes for a stark contrast in numbers. It is clear that when man becomes unrestrained by the moral law, he inevitably descends into barbarism. This barbarism gives them a false view of the concept of freedom that can be best summed up by a decadent French aristocrat during the revolutionary period who said, “the freest of people are they who are most friendly to murder”.
The True Nature of the Protestant Reformation
It is well known that King Henry VIII’s lust for adultery, or Luther and Calvin’s grievance with the Church doctrine, were instrumental in the Reformation. However, little emphasis is placed on the other aspect of the Reformation, that one could say, is orders of magnitude more important than Luther or Calvin’s new erroneous heresies. That the main motive for the Protestant Reformation was in the rich and powerful’s desire to seize Church property and solidify their absolute power over their subjects.
The nobility at the time didn’t really care much about the new doctrines being espoused by these new heresiarchs, they already controlled the hierarchy in their land through their ability to appoint and depose any cleric they liked or disliked. All they saw was the new riches that could be amassed by going along with these heretics who gave them the pretext to loot Church property, and by extension, rob the poor of their inheritance.
It wasn’t a Reformation but a devastation which produced many of the societal ills which afflict society to this day. The real reformation happened at the Council of Trent, where the abuses caused by the Renaissance popes were dealt with. What we call the Protestant Reformation wasn’t a reformation at all, but a revolution. Labelling this event as a ‘reformation’ is really just a form of deceptive Protestant propaganda. This is why writers like Fr. Edward Cahill describe this event as the ‘Protestant Revolt’ or ‘Protestant Revolution’.
The rich and powerful at the time were rewarded heavily from the newly looted Church property, while the poor who had in the past benefited immensely from the charity of the Church were now left to fend for themselves. The Church was always a great defender of the rights of the people against the despotism of the powerful, but after the Protestant revolt, that was no more. This was the single event that created the very distinct class culture that Britain is known for. It drove a wedge so deep between the upper and lower classes that the lower class still hasn’t recovered 500 years on.
This was also the event that allowed the concept of liberalism, and by extension, the American model of organisation (Americanism) to be moulded. Liberalism was founded on the belief by the rich that the pursuit of great wealth wasn’t an evil in and of itself. If driving down the wages as low as possible was used as a mechanism to achieve this pursuit of wealth, so be it, according to the rich anyway. If they described it as bluntly as this their scheme of greed would be revealed, instead they called it ‘property rights’, or as the Americans call it, the ‘pursuit of happiness’.
Modern usurious banking was also a direct product of the Revolution, which went on to create the Wall Street Crash of 1929, which created the perfect depleted conditions for communism and fascism to grow. The scepticism that Protestantism created also led to its own downfall when these Protestants started to question the whole idea of Christianity instead of just the Catholic faith.
Yes, it’s astounding, all of the current ills of society can be traced back to this single event. There’s a saying that goes along the lines of ‘the average man traces all events back to World War II, the more astute man traces it back to the French Revolution, but the true scholar traces it back to the Protestant Revolution’. This is the general outline of what we know as the Protestant Revolution, but to understand the gross injustice of this event we need to go back to the very beginning, the time prior to this cursed event.
Catholic Britain: A Charitable Nation of Prosperity and Peace
The Christian religion was partly introduced to Britain as early as the 2nd century, but was effectively introduced in the year 596, when Pope Gregory the Great sent monks to preach the gospel. This creates the quite peculiar fact that Britain has been twice as Catholic as it has been Protestant. At the beginning of Christian Britain, the land had been concentrated in the hands of a few, just like in every other pagan society at the time. As the landowners became Christians, they soon desired to have priests settled near them to accommodate their and their tenant’s spiritual needs.
They built a parochial house and gave the priest some farmland for his own keep. As well as this, the landowners provided a tithe to the Church from the produce of their estates. This arrangement created what we know today as parishes and Church property. With this newfound support from the landowners, the bishop of York set up a canon for all clergymen to follow. The first part of the priest’s income would be used for Church repairs, the second part for the relief of the poor, and the last part for the upkeep of the priest’s own ascetic livelihood.
Another institution of Catholic Britain was the monastery. Monasteries began when like-minded hermits came together in their pursuit of spiritual perfection through chastity and charity. Noblemen of this time, in atonement for their sins or from the goodness of their own hearts, bequeathed during their lifetime or in their will, great estates for the erection or maintenance of these monasteries. These monasteries were held in high esteem by everyone as they gave great relief to the poor and became numbered at about 20 per county during this period (roughly the same size as counties in Ireland).
Few realise this, but an invention of Catholic Britain was the Magna Carta and all of the other liberties Protestants pride themselves on as the supposed creators. Trial by jury; public trial; the impartiality of proceedings; the laws which regulate the descent and possession of property; are all laws, among many others, that have their roots in the freedoms that Catholicism brings a nation. The Church were great defenders of the vulnerable, and the nobility at that time knew not to overstep their bounds.
A great testament to the wealth of Britain at this time is in a series of letters written by, the then Lord High Chancellor of King Henry VI, John Fortescue, just a century before the Revolution. He explains the conditions in Britain compared to that of France. Britain as a powerful nation back then, were actually in possession of parts of modern-day France, but in the land not conquered by them, there was a clear distinction in the living standards between the two nations.
The French lived in great hardship and misery. They were heavily taxed; their clothes were mere rags, no better than sackcloth; consumed no meat and only drank water. If they ever succeeded in escaping this poverty, they would inevitably be subject to the King’s tax which would drag them down into their abject poverty again.
Those ‘priest-ridden’ English on the other hand had a King that could change no law without the express consent of the parliament. They drank no water, had meals abounded in a variety of meats, and wore clothes made from good woollen. But weren’t France and Britain both Catholic nations back then you might be thinking. This statement is true but doesn’t take into the account that Catholic Britain with the liberties given to it by the Magna Carta were founded exclusively on Christian principles, unlike France.
Nobilities’ Encouragement of Henry to Usurp Papal Authority
King Henry VIII, born in the year 1509, was crowned King of a prosperous and content people. Henry married his older brother’s nominal widow, Catherine, whom he had one surviving daughter with, Queen Mary I. But after 17 years of marriage, he cast his gaze at the younger Anne Boleyn. Henry sought an annulment of the marriage from the Pope as he argued that he was living in a state of sin for marrying his brother’s widow. The Pope refused, as he had already granted Henry a special dispensation to marry his brother’s widow in the first place. So Henry proceeded to overthrow the spiritual power of the Pope in England by making himself head of the Church.
The parliament, whose members were exclusively men of wealth, with the aid of Henry’s chief advisor, Thomas Cranmer, knew that if Henry assumed spiritual authority over the nation that a mass plundering could occur of Church property. And so they encouraged the King to fulfil his desires. Henry appointed Cranmer as archbishop of Canterbury in a Catholic consecration, where Cranmer took an oath earlier that day to disobey the Pope if a dispute between Henry and the Pope ever surfaced. With this promise, Henry went straight into negotiations with Cranmer to annul his marriage with Catherine.
Henry then married Anne Boleyn, who later birthed Queen Elizabeth I. Not happy that he didn’t attain a son; he had Anne executed. The following day, Henry was married to Jane Seymour, which goes to show the heartlessness and unrestrained tyranny that was of the essence of Henry’s character. Although there were 6 marriages in total, this marriage with Jane was the last consequential one as it birthed the future King Edward VI.
The Barbarity and Injustice of the Looting Operation
Every aspect of life was irreversibly changed after the Revolution. In all, it was calculated that the theft of Church property amounted to over 2,000,000 acres in Britain alone, slightly bigger than the size of county Cork. This suppression of the monasteries immediately produced a class of the poorest in the country known as the paupers, who were originally looked after by the clerics.
This event necessitated the introduction of the Poor Laws, although many Protestants historians gloat about how generous their Protestant forefathers were for introducing this law. These historians however forget to mention that their Revolt directly caused this mass poverty. Even those that were favourable to the Revolt admitted that it resulted in the “increase of misery, poverty, dearth, beggars, thieves, and vagabonds”.
Pre-Revolution farming in Britain sounds very utopian in the way co-operation was so extensive. In the Durham monastery for example, a common mill ground the corn; bread was made in a common oven; a smith worked in a common forge, shepherds watched over the sheep and cattle of various tenants on the fields common to the village. There even were committees set up to monitor pollution. Post-Revolution, tenants had to accept their new landowners who monopolised the land and raised the rent rates so as to make the most of their new purchases.
Around 90% of Church revenue was given over to the nobility, which left 10% for the new Protestant Church to operate with. Even in Catholic countries throughout Europe, 50% of the Church’s revenue was seized by their despotic rulers. Keep in mind too that the Church operated all the schools, colleges, and hospitals back then, which left a massive reduction in their funding. The Church originally set aside a fourth of its tithe (Church revenue) for the relief of the poor through its monasteries.
Now even with the 10% that was left of Church revenue, the new priests (known as vicars) greatly disregarded their duty to give a substantial part of their tithe to aid the poor. The share of the tithe initially seen as the ‘patrimony of the poor’ was diminished even further with the introduction of married clergy, who now had to support their families instead of just themselves.
Not only was their plundering of Church property, there was also a premeditated ransacking of the wealth owned by the guilds; carried out by Henry’s successor, King Edward VI. The guilds could be described as the trade unions of the medieval era who – like the monasteries – saw it as their duty to take care of older members of the guild and to provide for the poor in general. Not stopping there, many hospitals were confiscated, and the scholarships and aid given to the poor seeking to move up the social ladder through education were greatly reduced.
The Unknown Protestant Inquisition
Not only did the people of Britain have to deal with the impoverished state they now were subjected to, they were also faced with the prospect of being hanged, drawn, and quartered if they maintained the faith of their forefathers. This barbaric punishment involved being dragged by horse to the place of execution; hanged by the neck until the martyr is almost dead; while still alive they would be disembowelled and have their organs burnt in front of them; their head would be cut off, their body quartered; and then finally their dismembered limbs would be stuck on pikes across the city as a warning to the rest of the population.
Everyone seems to remember the Spanish Inquisition with their highly inflated numbers, but few point out the inquisitions promulgated by Protestant monarchs against Catholics. Although the killing of religious dissenters seems repugnant to us in the 21st century, we must acknowledge that there is a big difference between the legitimacy of these two Inquisitions. Whereas Catholics in Britain refused to apostatize from the Church ordained by Jesus Christ Himself; the heretics of the Spanish Inquisition, on the other hand, sought to bring the same devastation seen in Protestant countries to their people.
The Catholic clergy the poor used to rely on, that was roughly 2% of the population (over 5 times more clergyman than Ireland in the 1960s, adjusted for population size), now faced severe persecution. Seminaries inevitably had to be set up along the coast of continental Europe in order to maintain the faith in Britain, with the courageous Jesuits being at the forefront of this anti-heresy charge.
The Myth of Popular Support for the Protestant Revolution
There is also this presumption that there was popular support for the Revolution and the King was in some sense liberating them from the shackles of Rome; this couldn’t be further from the truth. When Queen Mary I restored Catholicism once again 20 years after the revolution, there was a general feeling of relief by the people. They didn’t even feel like they needed to change the laws regarding Protestantism, as they felt that these laws were null and void by the general feeling of the nation. Queen Mary gave back the Church property stolen by Henry (unlike the nobility who didn’t like that this made them out as the bandits they were), abolished the debased currency, and paid off the national debt.
Although Mary did have to execute rebels to maintain the throne, her death toll paled in comparison to the sea of blood her successor Elizabeth I instituted to bring back the Protestant faith. As the victors write the history books, Mary was unfairly nicknamed ‘Bloody Mary’, while Elizabeth was nicknamed ‘Good Queen Bess’.
The main reason for the eventual support of Protestantism by the people can be attributed to one thing – patriotism. Mary of Scotland was supposed to succeed Mary I, but as Mary of Scotland was married to Francis II of France (who was in the line of succession for the throne), it would have led Britain to be subjected to French rule.
Protestantism eventually became intertwined with patriotism, and conversely, Catholicism with the enemy (France). Even after this fact, historians have deduced that if we are including people who would call themselves Catholic and would be Catholic in tradition, the proportion would be 50% of the population at the end of Elizabeth’s reign (80 years after the Revolution).
If we look at the state of affairs during the English Civil War (120 years after the Revolution), about a third of the nation was still vaguely in sympathy with the old religion, and a sixth of it were willing to make heavy sacrifices by openly declaring themselves Catholic. Of the officers killed on both sides, about one-sixth were estimated to be admittedly and openly Catholic.
All in all, the reason that the truth about the Revolution has never been explained properly can be down to the continuous propaganda created by the Protestant ruling class at the time, which was later solidified by our current godless writers of our history books. For if we all knew the truth behind the Protestant Devastation — as it should be called — we would be able to understand the true roots of the ills we see in society today.
[Sources used include: A History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland by William Cobbett (who himself was a Protestant) and The Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc].