Anabaptists?


#1

My sister called me and told me that my nephew was currently learning about Bloody Mary in history, and she wanted to know was there something that protestants had done that he could bring up in response. I hate to throw stones back and forth with people (and I really don’t think that the fact of Bloody Mary killing a bunch of prots. proves or disproves anything other than that she was crazy), but my first thought was that a bunch of protestants (Lutherans?) killed a number of the anabaptists in the sixteenth century. Is this true? Anyone know anything about this?


#2

[quote=Absalom!]My sister called me and told me that my nephew was currently learning about Bloody Mary in history, and she wanted to know was there something that protestants had done that he could bring up in response. I hate to throw stones back and forth with people (and I really don’t think that the fact of Bloody Mary killing a bunch of prots. proves or disproves anything other than that she was crazy), but my first thought was that a bunch of protestants (Lutherans?) killed a number of the anabaptists in the sixteenth century. Is this true? Anyone know anything about this?
[/quote]

She need look no further than Mary’s sister, Elizabeth, for starters. Look in the Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent under English Confessors and Martyrs for a very large list:

www.newadvent.org/cathen/05474a.htm

You might also be interested in a less inflammatory rendition of Mary’s reign:

newadvent.org/cathen/09766a.htm


#3

Definitely Elizabeth. Her reign is when Catholics, including St. Edmund Campion and many others, were martyred. They were hanged, drawn, and quartered, which - in my opinion - is worse (and much more messy) than plain old burning at the stake.


#4

As a I am a convert from the anabaptists you will find this interesting. In Switzerland we were killed by Zwingli and the Calvanists not Catholics. I at one time believed that all protestants were attacked by the Catholic church.

John


#5

she wanted to know was there something that protestants had done that he could bring up in response. I hate to throw stones back and forth with people (and I really don’t think that the fact of Bloody Mary killing a bunch of prots. proves or disproves anything other than that she was crazy),

Mary Tudor was the daughter of Henry VIII, half sister of both her predecessor (Edward VI) and her successor, Elizabeth I.

Unlike her sibs, she was Catholic and returned England to the Church during her short reign. The bishops and other churchmen surrounding Edward VI were none too pleased with her accession and actually did scheme (unsuccessfully) to keep her from the throne. She could have had them drawn and quartered for treason, but chose to burn them for heresy instead, which was a questionable move, at least in retrospect.

And yes, she was a bit “crazy”, from the historical record. Apparently she died of cancer which might have affected her judgement, and her life was pretty tumultuous, her father failed to get the annulment he sought from the pope, and the English people had some concern about her spouse, King Phillip of Spain, as Spain was a major rival of England at the time.

but my first thought was that a bunch of protestants (Lutherans?) killed a number of the anabaptists in the sixteenth century. Is this true? Anyone know anything about this?

The German princes and Luther did squelch at least one peasant revolt by anabaptists, but that event was not directly linked to Mary I and England.


#6

Originally Quoted by Kielbasi:

Unlike her sibs, she was Catholic and returned England to the Church during her short reign. The bishops and other churchmen surrounding Edward VI were none too pleased with her accession and actually did scheme (unsuccessfully) to keep her from the throne. She could have had them drawn and quartered for treason, but chose to burn them for heresy instead, which was a questionable move, at least in retrospect.

The public in England at this time wasn’t clamoring for Protestantism; so burning them was probably not a wise decision.

Mary Tudor was the rightful heir to the throne, whereas Elizabeth I was not.

The German princes and Luther did squelch at least one peasant revolt by anabaptists, but that event was not directly linked to Mary I and England.

True. In my opinion, the Protestant Reformation was not Catholic v. Protestants but instead was every side for itself. Of course, there were political factions as well, which only aggravated the religious situation.


#7

You might also want to mention that Elizabeth had her own Catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, beheaded because of her threat to the throne. (it was thought there might be a peasant uprising of sorts-especially in the northern parts of the country- of the Catholic population which would threaten her position. It was widely believed that Mary of Scots was the true heir.)


#8

The Lutherans did persecute Anabaptists, but generally didn’t execute them unless they were engaging in violent revolution (one guy died in suspicious circumstances when his cell caught fire–the Lutherans claimed that he lit the fire to try to escape when the guards came to put it out, but no one noticed and he suffocated). Zurich and some other Reformed governments did execute Anabaptists, however, as did the English (though they didn’t have lots of Anabaptists to deal with).

The peasant revolt of 1525 was not Anabaptist, although some people with Anabaptist sympathies (or who became Anabaptists later) were involved in it. The Munster takeover of 1533 was Anabaptist, and it was brutally repressed by both Protestants and Catholics.

Edwin


#9

It would probably be more effective to looka t some one before “Bloody Mary,” who committed criems againt Catholics. Actions afterwards, like those by Elizabeth I and cohorts, can be defended more easily as being motivated by issues of retaliation and fear of extinction of their belief system, because Mary demonstrated that people were out to extinguish Protestants.

I can’t remember if Calvin was before Elizabeth or not, but his actions lead to the deaths of many Catholics. But then is it helpful to pull contexts from outside a country?

I never understood why people are so eager to throw stones, in terms of “your religion persecuted ours,” as all religions have blood on their hands. I hoep the history class is being taught in this context, and not that it was a case that religion war only became part of modern European history (time usually given fm 1648 onwards; Treay of Wesphalia to present) because of Catholicism.

Then again, I never understood how the Anglican church survived; the creation of an immoral egotistical state leader. It should have died out when the former “defender of the Catholic Faith” did.


#10

Then again, I never understood how the Anglican church survived; the creation of an immoral egotistical state leader. It should have died out when the former “defender of the Catholic Faith” did.

Henry managed to turn the whole issue into one of preventing civil strife in England. He made it look like he was divorcing Catherine of Aragon for state reasons -no male heir. Without a male heir, England would resume the civll strife of the 15th century [The War of the Roses]. Since Catherine could not provide a male heir, he needed to remarry to guarentee successful continuation of his dynasty. When the Pope refused the annulment, Henry essentially made it look like the Pope wanted to see England return to civil war, which NONE of the English common people really wanted.

Coupled with the civil strife that did follow anyway, and Elizabeth’s ability to consolidate her rule (as an Anglican) and restore what the people considered to be a semblance of peace, the church’s stability over time was assured.

Unfortunately.


#11

This thread gives some history of the Anabaptists. They were persecuted by both Protestants and Catholics, and nearly wiped out in some areas of the Tyrol. forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=16999&highlight=Mennonites


#12

[quote=serendipity]It would probably be more effective to looka t some one before “Bloody Mary,” who committed criems againt Catholics. Actions afterwards, like those by Elizabeth I and cohorts, can be defended more easily as being motivated by issues of retaliation and fear of extinction of their belief system, because Mary demonstrated that people were out to extinguish Protestants.
[/quote]

How about their dear father, Henry VIII? He definitely did his share of persecuting Catholics. He instituted the Oath of Supremacy, which required all government officials to swear that Henry was the Head of the Church in England. Those who refused to swear, such as John Fischer and Thomas More, were executed. Henry also closed down all monasteries in England and kicked out all the monks. The land and money in these monasteries were given to Henry and his cronies. Because he had dissolved all the monasteries, the poor, who depended on that charity to survive, had no place to go. It is not without cause that he was called by Charles Dickens a “spot of blood and grease on the history of England.”

After him came Thomas Cranmer, the regent of Edward VI. It was Cranmer who wrote the Book of Common Prayer, which got rid of the Real Presence. He got rid of the priesthood and made a new ceremony of ordination called the Ordinal. He also wrote the 39 Articles, a new creed. He instituted the Act of Uniformity, in which anyone not attending the new “services” was imprisoned. Finally, here’s the big one, anyone who professed belief in the Real Presence was burned at the stake as a heretic. All of this was before Mary Tudor came to the throne. If that isn’t persecution of Catholics, I don’t know what is.


#13

Because he[Henry VIII] had dissolved all the monasteries, the poor, who depended on that charity to survive, had no place to go.

The religious orders in England were quite well heeled, but they were also the social safety net in that country (as well as elsewhere).

The destruction of this system, led directly to the poor tax, and the Elizabethan Poor Law of 1602 which was an unfunded mandate on the local governments, the mother of all welfare programs in English speaking countries.


#14

Of course Mary’s dad killed St Thomas Moore
And a few wives
And started a war or three
And confiscated the church lands (at considerable profit)
Dispossessed the nuns and monks

The Tudors (whether they prayed in Latin or English) were a strong willed bloody minded bunch

Probably good for the stability of the nation as a whole after the chaos of the Wars of the Roses

But really tough on dissenters of any stripe

They were very tumultuous times with fortunes, and dynasties as well as souls up for grabs

Trying to do a little tête-à-tête of which side was more evil probably is a fruitless exercise


#15

The religious wars and atrocities were frequently a mask for political maneuvers and annexation of church properties for monetary gain.

The secularists like to bring up the religious strife as a justification for undermining the moral authority of religion. They like it when student is class start throwing stones between religions. They’ll probably not bring up how secularization lead to the French Revolution and Reign of Terror. Modernism and Unitarianism lead to Atheist Communism and Nazism. Scientific theories like Darwinism, without a religious moral framework, lead to eugenics, euthanasia and holocaust. In three short centauries secularism is responsible for more violence and deaths than all the religious wars and atrocities in history.


#16

Violence against Catholics by hte English! look no farther than Ireland! i wrote a paper on the conflict last year - learned so many things that just seemed to conventiently slip through the minds of my teachers for the past eleven years. here we go

Following a policy known as ‘plantation’, traditionally believed to have been begun by Queen Elizabeth I, the Crowns of England confiscated hundreds of acres of land, forcing off the Irish who refused to convert, and giving the land to the English Protestants. The vast majority of this land is in the northeastern portion of Ireland.

The first bloody uprising occurred during the reign of Henry’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I in 1579. The Irish found the English Book of Common Prayer and the English language being forced into their lives in response to their support for the Catholic Queen Mary, whom Elizabeth had succeeded. Elizabeth, whose strong navy would defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588, easily crushed the rebellious Irish and brutally massacred the troops. The queen also ordered the confiscation of 200,000 acres of Catholic owned land in the southeast and gave it to English Protestants

Oliver Cromwell landed in Ireland with his troops on August 15, 1649. With his advanced warfare and superior army, the Irish have no chance, but Cromwell does not rest with simply victory. The strict Puritan, believing that God approved of his actions, continued to slaughter nearly the entire population of the coastal town of Droghede, killing nearly 3,000 including civilian men, women and children. He then proceeded up the Irish coast, forcing all the Irish into submission. Throughout his expedition, to limit the Irish population, Cromwell kidnapped and sold into slavery thousands of Irish women and children to the West Indies. In the few years that Cromwell was in power in England, he reduced the population of the native Irish from 1,466,000 to 616,000

Only three years after his malicious campaign in Ireland, Cromwell issued the Act of Settlement of 1652. By this act, two thirds of Irish land were taken and given to Protestants. Any Irish person who refused to convert were forced off their lands, to the rocky Irish coast where farming was poor. Many of Cromwells’s horrific laws, such as offering £5 for the head of a Catholic priest were not repealed until the more lenient Charles II came to the throne.

In 1703 the Penal Laws were enacted, which reduced all Catholics to poverty with no rights of citizenship. They were forbidden to vote, hold office, were barred from military of civil service, the legal profession, teaching, no Catholic schools were allowed, and they could not own a horse valued for more that £5. The Catholic masses had to be held in secret, their religious rights were restricted, and a father was forced to leave his farm divided equally between all of his sons, resulting in eventually the farm being too small to support any family. These laws were not retracted entirely until 1829 (McCarthy 48)

While the English appeared to be eager for more control over Ireland, they proved pitiful when disaster struck with the Irish potato famine. The majority of the victims were the working class Catholics, and many outraged survivors and historians have claimed that the British purposely did not try to help until to late. During the famine nearly three million were lost through either starvation or emigration, especially to the newly progressing United States. Many Irish farmers were forced to continue to pay their steep rents on their homes, even if this required the family going hungary. To many, the British did not care about the plight of the Irishmen.

sadly - there are even more examples that continue into today. hope this helps!!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.