Comments on Foxe's Book of Martyrs

DanFugett's picture

Actually followed JPII model on maintaining general approach

Good to hear from you again.

Actually I think people here are sufficiently aware of the events of history that it is not necessary to drag up specific examples. Most of us who took world history are aware of the political/social events which typify what I refer to in general. That is with one exception. Many of us dont realize that we Protestants did the same thing during this time. That is, we also committed atrocities and incited political leaders to take direct action resulting in the destruction of entire families. Though less related to my original purpose, I am not sure I consider the historian you use any more neutral tha Gibbon since he is endorsed by a prior pope,

My point in addressing both individuals was to lay out before both a necessary shift of paradigm to mutual accontability. If you read the posts on this thread, in 2008 I also apologized for our role in these atrocities before, during and after the Reformation. To the best of my knowledge no Protestant leader has had the courage to do what your pope did in making such a public repentance as he did in 2000. I suggest that perhaps the problem is not as much that Foxe didnt tell the truth as he didnt tell the whole truth. That is, we have all had world history in school. We are aware of the atrocities committed against the children of God by both Catholics and Protestants. As far as I can tell your pope has stopped trying to make excuses or tell us it wasnt as bad as all that. He dropped lame excuses like "only a few hundred may have been killed rather than thousands." Now, you did not say that but I have heard that kind of excuse here on ccel. Well how many does it take to be an atrocity? More important, how often have we heard the other side of this? Both groups allowed our desire to maintain viability to cause us to get cozy with sympathetic political forces that would protect our group and destroy the other. Whether the English King (Henry) or the Roman Emperor (Charles), neither embraced Christianity entirely with the heart but rather saw it as a vehicle to political unity. When the pope had an opportunity to try to destroy a protestant section of a nation, he "influenced" the leaders of that country to get it to happen. Other monarchs retaliated by banning Catholocism so nationalism could flourish. Luther and Calvin both committed the same sort of atrocities. Both played the same game. Luther did NOT speak up when His Gospel aroused 100000 peasants to revolt because he could not afford to go against those very princes that provided temporal protection. The story of Calvin and Severus (sp ?) is an example of a Protestant leader participating in the actual murder of a person with whom he disagreed.

The problem I have with Foxe is that he is biased in the sense he doesnt tell the whole truth, but I would want to see an agreed as neutral source before I conclude Foxe was incorrect in what he did say. By whole truth I mean that the slaughter of innocent Catholic Christians by us Protestants was not addressed by Foxe and often isnt in a treatise of the english reformation. However, truth in that it does acknowledge that when a nation sought to direct its own destiny apart from the papal decrees, there were severe consequences.

My thoughts must not be too far off. Your John Paul II repented publically AND GENERALLY for the sins of which I speak in general. I guess when I read his prayer I find he did not think it necessary to go into the details we all already know of from history and I am not sure I do either.

    JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miles, Pope John Paul II put it this way, "We forgive and we ask forgiveness." And with that, he led church leaders and followers in sweeping confession, seeking repentance for sins that may have been committed over the past 2,000 years in the name of the church.

    They fell into seven general categories of wrongs which include, without being too specific, everything from the Crusades to the Inquisition, the forced conversions, to sins against women and anti- Jewish acts. It was a first for the church, which has only rarely and only in specific instances confessed errors in the past. The pope's sermon offered an explanation for today's day of pardon.


    POPE JOHN PAUL II: We humbly ask for forgiveness for the part that each of us with his or her behaviors has played in such evils thus contributing to disrupting the face of the church. At the same time, as we confess our sins let us forgive the faults committed by others towards us.




Michael - I think you really caught the drift I was taking when you said,

    Moving to a more applicable issue from your perspective we could ask - Did the Catholic Church persecute members of the Reformation? Yes, but as you have noted there were abuses on both sides (if one can refer to full blown wars as abuses). Are there apologies needed? Yes, but once again this would need to be reviewed in each cases specifics and how is war and prejudice to be treated in such detail. Are English Protestants prepared to go over the 400 years of suppression and prejudice the Irish have faced at their hands? Is it even possible? Can the Irish Catholics apologize on a case by case basis for those specific instances where they caused harm to innocent people during their war against the British? Is it even possible?

If we are going to look honestly at Foxe, we should try to discover the whole truth and understand the social/political/educational/medical/emotional elements of the period known as the middle ages. Also the very relevant question you raise is, in my own words, so what? Even if all Foxe said is true, neither Protestantism or Catholicism are the same exactly as then. The sins of the parents dont pass on to the cbildren. My time is far better spent asking whether WE are doing a better job of demonstrating the love of the Kingdom now than WE did then because both are groups failed miserably at that time.

In Christ,

Dan Fugett, Sr Moderator