Catholic Controvercies


I saw this on another web forum and thought it was just a great quote. Thought I’d post it here. It’s from St. Francis de Sales The Catholic Controvercies. I wonder what people would think if we had people who spoke openly like this today.





First, then, your ministers had not the conditions required for the position which they sought to maintain, and the enterprise which they undertook. Wherefore they are inexcusable; and you yourselves also, who knew and still know or ought to know, this defect in them, having done very wrong in receiving them under such colors. The office they claimed was that of ambassadors of Jesus Christ Our Lord; the affair they undertook was to declare a formal divorce between Our Lord and the ancient Church his Spouse; to arrange and conclude by words of present consent, as lawful procurators, a second and new marriage with this young madam, of better grace, said they, and more seemly than the other. For in effect, to stand up as preacher of God’s Word and pastor of souls,—what is it but to call oneself ambassador and legate of Our Lord, according to that of the Apostle:* We are therefore ambassadors for Christ? And to say that the whole of Christendom has failed, that the whole Church has erred, and all truth disappeared,—what is this but to say that Our Lord has abandoned his Church, has broken the sacred tie of marriage he had contracted with her? And to put forward a new Church,—is it not to attempt to thrust upon this sacred and holy Husband a second wife? This is what the ministers of the pretended church have undertaken; this is what they boast of having done; this has been the aim of their discourses, their designs, their writings. But what an injustice have you not committed in believing them? How did you come to take their word so simply? How did you so lightly give them credit?

To be legates and ambassadors they should have been sent, they should have had letters of credit from him whom they boasted of being sent by. The affairs were of the greatest importance, for there was question of disturbing the whole Church. The persons who undertook them were extraordinaries, of mean quality, and private persons; while the ordinary pastors were men of mark, and of most ancient and acknowledged reputation, who contradicted them and protested that these extraordinaries had no charge nor commandment of the Master. Tell me, what business had you to hear them and believe them without having any assurance of their commission and of the approval of Our Lord, whose legates they called themselves? In a word, you have no justification for having quitted that ancient Church in which you were baptized, on the faith of preachers who had no legitimate mission from the Master.

Now you cannot be ignorant that they neither had, nor have, in any way at all, this mission. For if Our Lord had sent them, it would have been either mediately or immediately. We say mission is given mediately when we are sent by one who has from God the power of sending, according to the order which he has appointed in his Church; and such was the mission of St. Denis into France by Clement and of Timothy by St. Paul. Immediate mission is when God himself commands and gives a charge, without the interposition of the ordinary authority which he has placed in the prelates and pastors of the Church: as St. Peter and the Apostles were sent, receiving from Our Lord’s own mouth this commandment: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every creature;* and as Moses received his mission to Pharao and to the people of Israel. But neither in the one nor in the other way have your ministers any mission. How then have they undertaken to preach? How shall they preach, says the Apostle, unless they be sent?*

*2 Cor. v. 20.
*Mark xvi. 15.
*Rom. x. 15.


What will our Lord think if we run out of people who think ( and speak ) like this?


[quote=The Dead Bishop]What will our Lord think if we run out of people who think ( and speak ) like this?

Don’t worry TDB, I am confident he’ll make sure we don’t run out of them…



I know a Catholic who speaks like that, and he used to be a member at my church, very Reformed! And very educated. I’m excited to see such a post from the Catholic Controversy, since that is the first real “Catholic” book I read.

For anyone reading this, though I’m Protestant, I have to say that St. Francis put forth one of the strongest arguments for the Catholic faith in that work. Just what he had to go through in writing all those letters (that make up the chapters in the book) and getting them out to the Calvinists he was sent to is amazing!

Anyways, take that however you want to, but if I was Catholic, I’d want to have that book ingrained in my mind!

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