If there was ever a pivotal moment in the history of Western civilisation it was 31st October 1517,when a priest named Martin Luther nailed a letter of protest – called
The Ninety-five Theses – to the doors of Wittenberg church in Saxony, central Germany. The main complaints in this long letter concerned the Catholic Church’s sale of
indulgences (the selling of divine forgiveness for cash); simony (the selling of Church positions); and the formal licensing and legalisation of prostitutes.
The complaints Martin Luther made were scholarly and reasoned, but they were considered heretical by Catholic leaders because they challenged the authority and wisdom of a supposedly infallible pope. Martin Luther was not the first to have made these kind of complaints, as there had been many who had previously protested about Church corruption and the abuse of its many powers, but these complaints grew much louder during the 15th century, when the Papacy was controlled by the Borgia family. The Borgias were considered to be especially debauched and corrupt popes, with Alexander VI being variously accused of nepotism, adultery, theft, rape, bribery, incest and even murder during the1490s. Given the low opinion of the Papacy at this time, Martin Luther’s letter, pinned to the doors of
Wittenberg church, happened to be the spark that ignited the Protestant Revolution – a spirited but initially uncoordinated enterprise that hoped to counter or reduce the power of the Catholic Church. Martin Luther’s campaign was greatly helped by the recent invention of the printing press, which spread copies of his letter all over Europe, and so news was able to spread much quicker than before. William Tyndale also used the same printing presses to translate and print the Bible into English; but the Church objected as it meant that common people could at last read the Bible themselves and bypass the rule and interpretations of the priests. As a punishment for the grave heresy of spreading knowledge and truth, Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X in 1521, while William Tyndale was burned at the stake at Vilvoorde near Brussels in 1536. This is the reality of life under a religious tyranny.
Fig 3. A modern romanticised image of Martin Luther nailing his ‘Ninety-five Theses’ to the door of Wittenberg church in Saxony.
The parallel revolution in England
At this very same time, King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, were both Catholics. But Catherine, an ardently Catholic Spanish princess, had not managed to produce a male heir for Henry. Advisors to the king blamed this upon Catherine, who had formerly been the wife of Henry’s late brother, Arthur, a marital union which might have been against Church teachings. Other close royal advisors – like Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer, who had already been influenced by the writings of Luther and Tyndale – were making secret plans behind the king’s back to influence his thinking; and so they brought a beautiful young Protestant aristocratic lady to court in 1522, by the name of Anne Boleyn, who greatly charmed the king. It was reputedly Anne who introduced King Henry to Tyndale’s ‘heretical’ printed pamphlets.
In this era kings of Europe were still nominally subservient to the Roman Catholic Church. The pope had the power to excommunicate entire nations; and while this was essentially a spiritual excommunication it was also a tacit declaration of war, as neighbouring Christian nations were obliged to take up arms against the outcast nation. Nevertheless Protestant reformers like Thomas Cromwell still wanted King Henry to assert Praemunire or Royal Supremacy, and break with Catholic Rome. If these Gnostic religious reformers could boost the power of their king it would simultaneously reduce the power of the Catholic Church, just as Martin Luther had urged five or so years earlier. It is not clear if Henry was a willing participant in this scheme or whether he was being manipulated from behind, but he was happy enough to summon a Parliament in 1529 to rule on the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and likewise on his proposed marriage to Anne Boleyn. However, Pope Clement VII forbade this annulment and so the Protestant reformers again urged the king to use his own powers, under the law of Praemunire facias.
Fig 4. King Henry VIII, one of England’s greatest monarchs.
Wittingly or unwittingly, it was Henry’s complex marital relations that inspired England to break away from the Roman Catholic Church.
Henry did just that and in 1531 he demanded royal authority over the Catholic Church in England. This was swiftly followed by many laws and edicts that changed the face of the Church in England, so that it was no longer Catholic. This was the beginnings of what became known as the Church of England –a new, simpler and less authoritarian Christian Church which was ultimately governed by the English monarch, rather than the papal ’emperors’ of Rome. This culminated in the dissolution of the monasteries. These religious enclaves were not only bastions of traditional Catholic thinking they were also rather rich, and King Henry was persuaded that they should be closed down and their assets seized. Thus in 1536, on the pretext of the discovery of immoral goings-on between monks and nuns, the great monasteries of England were abandoned and their great wealth and power was transferred to the king himself. But such a seismic political change and such a blatant challenge to papal authority was not without great risks, and the Catholic Church in Rome did indeed declare war on England, which is one reason why the great Spanish Armada sailed to invade England in 1588. But more on that later………..
After Henry VIII’s death in 1547, the continuation of these Protestant reforms in England was by no means certain, for the succession went to a Catholic – Bloody Mary. Thankfully, the deranged and despotic Mary was soon succeeded by Elizabeth I, Henry’s younger daughter by his second wife, Anne Boleyn – the lady who had been pivotal in starting the English Protestant Reformation back in 1531 by spreading William Tyndale’s printed pamphlets. Being a daughter of Boleyn, Elizabeth was staunchly Protestant and immediately set out to undo the damage and divisions caused by Mary’s bloody Catholic reign. Elizabeth’s religio-political reforms culminated in 1559 with the Act of Supremacy, which reestablished the English monarch as the head of the English Church of England, and the utter rejection of rule from Rome. These may seem like peripheral issues, but under these new enlightened social reforms, the 44-year reign of Elizabeth’s blossomed into a glorious era of peace and prosperity for Merry England. If there was a great deity in the starry skies above, it seemed to everyone that it was most certainly a Protestant deity, for even the Catholic Church’s great Spanish Armada was swept to its doom by the fickle fingers of Nature, and Merry England remained safe and prosperous.
Isn’t it ironic, now the grand lodge, the royal society, the great industrial corporations,the enlightened free thinking scientists, in a technocratic communitarian alliance are prosecuting a war on humanity itself; seeking to forge a transhuman slave state of the whole world. Fuck the lot of them!
Couldn’t have put it better myself mate. Well said.
Letting the Jews back into Britain…. that went well didn’t it ffs
Jew means government in Hebrew. Jesus and Mary M were Gnostic Jews, who believed in true science and human development, unlike Catholic Jews who want science corrupted and humanity suppressed. Recognise anything? The descendants of the gnostics were the Protestants in the 17th and 18th centuries. Reverting to the world pre-Reformation to suppression of people seems to be the plan of the current regime worldwide. The corruption of health science is merely a beginning.