Time of decision: either Fatima, or Luther

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Time of decision: either Fatima, or Luther

It’s hard to imagine any other events that would be such extreme polar opposites as the apparitions in Fatima and the so-called Reformation launched by Luther. One is a call to pray humbly and contemplate the face of Our Lady, who ceaselessly points towards her Son, the other one might be a warning against yielding to the sin of pride which inevitably leads men to their doom.


From among many words said and written about the event whose the 500th anniversary was in 2017 no doubt the thoughts of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, a Brazilian thinker and Catholic activists, are worth considering. We will find there many valuable and definitely “politically incorrect” insights about the revolt of Pseudo-Reformation launched by that German Augustinian friar.


Pride and sensuality


According to „Doctor Plinio” the roots of Protestantism are to be looked for in “pride and sensuality, whose satisfaction is the pleasure of pagan life” – as we read in his book “Revolution and Counter-Revolution” which is fundamental to the Brazilian thinker’s work.


A particularly destructive role was played by pride, responsible for creating “the spirit of doubt, free examination, and naturalistic interpretation of Scripture”. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira points out that “it produced insurrection against ecclesiastical authority, expressed in all sects by the denial of the monarchical character of the Universal Church, that is to say, by a revolt against the Papacy”. On the other hand “the triumph of sensuality” led to abolishing celibacy and introducing divorce. To sum up it is once again necessary to point out the lamentable results caused by following Martin Luther’s teaching. These are: a rebellion, the rejection or extremely selective treatment of the Church moral teaching, which de facto means Our Lord’s teaching.


Despite such a great threat resulting from the spreading of this revolution of Pseudo-Reformation – to use Doctor Plinio’s terminology – the Church of those days knew what steps to take to make the Bark of St. Peter keep on course. An excellent summary of the existing situation was given by Professor Father Michał Poradowski who noticed that “at the age of Luther and the Council of Trent such signs were met with a uniform attitude of condemnation”. There is no doubt that the danger of total Protestantization of the Church was prevented just thanks to that unyielding attitude.


Unfortunately, as Father Poradowski noticed, “at present the reaction of Catholics is divided in this case; for some of them it is depravity and a cause of anxiety, while for the other ones it is an occasion to be satisfied as in the Protestantization of Catholicism they see progress and modernization and some of them even a way to ecumenism. Regrettably we can also find some members of the Church hierarchy in that other group. The essence of their attitude seems to be in the words of Cardinal Reinard Marx, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference, who stated bluntly: “We are not a branch of Rome. Each episcopate is responsible for pastoral work in their own cultural circle”. Such remarks and decisions made by the German episcopate confirm one’s believe that the rebellious legacy of Doctor Luther upon Rhine is quite rich.


Paradoxically, those who seem to eulogize over him and continue his work are not the direct heirs of the Augustinian friar, administering the bankrupt’s state of hundreds or maybe even thousands of Protestant denominations, but rather some Catholic clergymen, theologians and lay activists.

They forget, or – what is more likely – they don’t want to remember something that Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk points out, that Martin Luther’s attitude vividly reminds a situation where a son hearing about his mother’s serious illness, not only does not help her, but also rejects the principle of “motherhood” itself.


The path of Fatima

How much different – compared to the Pseudo-Reformative decisions of Luther and his companions, rebellious and indicating a huge amount of pride – the message of Our Lady of Fatima is! Although it is profound and full of meaning, it can be easily understood by everyone who wants to accept it with an open heart. The message to Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco makes up a program of concrete actions, which taken would be of crucial importance for the present and the future of the human race. But in order to implement it, it is necessary to make atonement. It should not be only personal, but it should also include whole nations and societies.


No doubt the message of Fatima, emphasizing the importance and uniqueness of the Rosary, is a remedy for worldly pride as this prayer, as no other one, requires a particular amount of humility from someone who prays. After all without this virtue repeating the same words many times and moving your fingers from bead to bead will quickly become monotonous and tiresome. For sure with the rosary in hand and humility of heart it will be easier for us to avoid going astray – into the wilderness of Lutheran error.


Although the events of the beginning of the Pseudo-Reformation took place 400 years before the apparitions at Fatima, it is worth stressing, as did the author of “Revolution and Counter-Revolution”, that “the warning of the spreading of the Communist errors throughout the world, contains implicitly the rejection of the errors of Protestantism and the French Revolution”. We can see clearly that for the Brazilian Catholic thinker Luther’s rebellion was not only a distinct turning point in the history of the world, but also had its influence on the fate of the whole world. The errors spread by Luther laid the ground for the next stages of the Revolution crushing Christian civilization. Therefore we can certainly assume that the message of Fatima is also a warning against the tendencies of Pseudo-Reformation which we can easily see in the Church.


We can see clearly that these two ways, described above, exclude each other. They have nothing in common. All attempts to reconcile them “in the way of dialogue” are dangerous experiments doomed to failure. Only following the instructions of Our Lady of Fatima the Church – immune to all the temptations coming from the internal adherents of Protestantization – will be able to lead to the salvation of the faithful. Otherwise she might lead them astray the way Martin Luther decided to go. And that is not so far from the place, where the heat goes up from the Abyss and an overwhelming stench takes away all hope.


Łukasz Karpiel

Translation: jjf


DATA: 2017-12-19 14:09
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