Reformation era Catholics being persecuted?


#1

From learning about the history of the Protestant Reformation, I realize that Protestants typically only give examples of their particular “breed” (denomination) of Protestants being persecuted. Like, in my denomination (not the one I started, but the one I am a member in;)) you hear about particular Scottish Covenantors, and Puritans, and people like that, who were persecuted by the mostly Anglican civil governments of their time. And Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary) gets a hard wrap too, because supposedly she wasn’t Anglican, but was fully Roman Catholic.

But I understand that the Anglicans and some non-Anglican Protestants were cruel to the Catholics under their dominion as well. I guess what I’m asking for is articles or books that tell of Catholic hardships during the Protestant Reformation. Like, a Catholic version of “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.” And discussion of that, without being a copy of a previous thread on the same topic about the Inquisition.


#2

Hi Reformed Rob:

Let’s get it started with this: English Confessors and Martyrs (1534-1729)

newadvent.org/cathen/05474a.htm


#3

The best general book on the subject of martyrdom and persecution in the 16th century is Brad Gregory, Salvation at Stake. Gregory is a Catholic but he’s very fair to all sides.

I don’t know of a single instance of a Catholic ever being executed as a heretic by a Protestant government. I’m not saying that it didn’t happen, only that I don’t know of it. Protestant-on-Catholic violence (apart from wars) falls mostly into one of two categories:

  1. In England, several hundred Catholics were executed as traitors. Some of these executions occurred at the time of Henry’s initial break with Rome, when Thomas More, John Fisher, and the Carthusians were executed for refusing to accept Henry’s claims of supremacy. More of them occurred under Elizabeth and James, starting in 1572, when the Pope excommunicated Elizabeth and urged Catholics to rise up against her. Most of the executions were of missionary priests coming from abroad (many of whom were young Englishment who had gone to the Continent for training in order to become missionaries to their homeland) and of laypeople who had sheltered or aided them in some way. These priests and their accomplices were considered foreign agents working to overthrow the government. A few were, but most pretty clearly were not, and in some instances the government seems to have been aware of this. In other words, while the Elizabethan government did have valid reasons to suspect the loyalty of Catholics, it can’t be denied that the persecution became a religious as well as a political one. In fact, those categories really can’t be separated. However, as a matter of fact they were executed as traitors, not as heretics. (Protestant England did burn several heretics at the stake, but they were anti-Trinitarians or Baptists or some other kind of Protestant radical.)

  2. On the Continent, all the instances of Protestant killing of Catholics that I know of were mob violence. This was particularly directed against priests and religious, and against Catholic laypeople who tried to defend religious objects of some kind (particularly the consecrated Host), which were usually the prime targets of Catholic violence.

In short, I think a fair analysis has to conclude that Catholic governments were relatively more likely to execute Protestants purely on the basis of their religion than vice versa, and that Catholic mobs were generally more likely to massacre Protestants just for being Protestant than vice versa. (Natalie Zemon Davis has an excellent article comparing Protestant and Catholic mob violence in France, which can be found in her Society and Culture in Early Modern France.) That doens’t make Catholics wrong and Protestants right, of course. Furthermore, we have to distinguish among different Catholic governments. The Hapsburgs (in both Spain and Austria) and the French government were particularly brutal–just as among Protestant governments the English were probably the most ruthless. On the whole, large kingdoms tended to be more ruthless in their punishments than smaller territories. German principalities both Protestant and Catholic usually resorted to exile rather than execution. Eastern European Catholic monarchies such as Poland were among the most tolerant in Europe. So the picture is very complicated, and if you take the Hapsburgs and the French out of it the Catholics don’t look so bad. But then these were the two major Catholic monarchies in Europe.

In Christ,

Edwin


#4

Gods peace be with you theophilus Reformed Bob!

Learn about the Tyburn Tree.:frowning: This was a gallows that hung many a Christian clergy by protestants. You will also find some of the names of the Christian martyrs and some of the wonderfull things they said before being slain by the reformed church.

I have also looked for similar sources. I have noticed that generally speaking there are more more examples of Catholic attrocities towards protestants (and Catholics) then vice versa due to all the Catholic bashers out there. Many books I could cite for you I can not find in book stores or in my local library.

Try this link

tyburnconvent.org.uk/index2.html

Anyway, we all need to learn the truth so that we do not repeat our mistakes. There is enough guilt to go around to all sides. A good saying is don’t toss rocks if you live in a glass house. Or let the one without sin cast the first stone.

Let us know if you find any credible source and facts. We are all brothers of Christ and need to learn from and to respect each other.

A prisoner of Christ,:bowdown:


#5

I hope we can all agree with the Pope in Ut Unam Sint, and Jesus in John 17, and the ECT document, that we ought not to behave like people did in the 16th and 17th centuries!


#6

[quote=Reformed Rob]…I guess what I’m asking for is articles or books that tell of Catholic hardships during the Protestant Reformation. Like, a Catholic version of “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.” And discussion of that, without being a copy of a previous thread on the same topic about the Inquisition.
[/quote]

Reformed Bob,

I forgot to add, you won’t find a Catholic version of Foxe’s Book of Fabels OOPS I mean Foxe’s Book of Myths DOH I mean Foxes Book of Propaganda ARRRGH I mean Foxes Book of Martyrs. You see that book is fiction at best and is filled with anti-Catholic lies and false propaganda.

I hope you would never read such a hate filled book of lies from any Catholic Christian. It is sad we live in a world were a book like Foxes is mistook as truthfull. I hope good Catholics and other Christians never lower themselves to Foxes depth in the sewer with Satan.

See the lies here:

calvarychapel.com/library/foxe-john/text/bom.htm
geocities.com/johncw7000/foxmartyrs.html

See truth about it here:

1911encyclopedia.org/F/FO/FOXE_JOHN.htm
infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0819389.html
education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry?id=17590
cin.org/archives/cinapol/200301/0025.html
cin.org/archives/cinapol/199911/0390.html
cin.org/archives/cinapol/200301/0021.html

Go in Gods peace,


#7

[quote=Malachi4U]Reformed Bob,

I forgot to add, you won’t find a Catholic version of Foxe’s Book of Fabels OOPS I mean Foxe’s Book of Myths DOH I mean Foxes Book of Propaganda ARRRGH I mean Foxes Book of Martyrs. You see that book is fiction at best and is filled with anti-Catholic lies and false propaganda.
[/quote]

This is a good point, and I don’t think it’s because Catholics are better in that way than are Protestants. I think as the minority religion of the English speaking world, Catholics have not been in a position to go tit for tat. The tools of propaganda have been with the Protestant majority, as witnessed by the persistance of the “Black Legend” surrounding the Crusades and “Inquistion.” Don’t forget, as recently as 150 years ago it was illegal to celebrate a Catholic Mass in England. It is still illegal for the English sovereign to be Catholic. It is only recently that more balanced histories of these events are coming out.


#8

:blessyou:
Well thank you for the kindly responses. There were several books mentioned on a similar post called "Answering Inquisition/Albegensian Crusade Charges " or something like that.

I’ve heard that Foxes’ Book was misleading at points, but I’ve not read much against his work. When I was a Reformed Camp Counselor, I read portions of it a couple nights to my high-school age campers. Perhaps… shame on me! Why did they all want to hear those tales anyways?

Ok, I’m looking into the Tyburn Tree. If you’re wrong I’m going to persecute you!! Just kidding!!

There certainly is a lot written about the atrocities that Protestant groups had to go through. The area I’ve been learning about is mid-late 17th Century Scotland, and the Scottish Covenanters and their descendants. They were run out of house, home and church by the wicked Anglican bishops and nobles. My Catholic friend tells me that the Anglicans persecuted the Catholics in their domain as well. But you never hear about that… Anyone have any input regarding that?


#9

:I have noticed that generally speaking there are more more examples of Catholic attrocities towards protestants (and Catholics) then vice versa due to all the Catholic bashers out there.:

Unfortunately it can’t be put down just to that. There do seem to be more of the former than the latter. (Although if you add Protestant atrocities against other Protestants, the picture changes. As I said earlier, Protestants did burn more radical Protestants at the stake on occasion, and a number of Anabaptists were drowned by Protestant governments.)

There’s actually quite a bit of literature on the persecution of English Catholics by Protestants. Try William Roper’s life of St. Thomas More, and John Gerard’s Autobiography of a Hunted Priest, for starters. Evelyn Waugh wrote a fine biography (though it’s not a professional historical work) of Edmund Campion.

However, it’s true that Catholics took a while longer to start coming up with this sort of thing than Protestants. Brad Gregory, whose work I mentioned in an earlier post, tries to figure out why that was so, but doesn’t have terribly clear answers. With regard to More and his compatriots, the Catholics seem to have chosen not to make a big deal out of their martyrdom until the Protestantization of England was certain, decades later. There seems to have been a lot of ambiguity as to the status of the Henrician Church–much like the Patriotic Catholic Church in China today. I don’t think the Pope wanted to create a cult of martyrs because there was hope for a diplomatic solution. Of course, Pius V took a very different approach in 1572. . . .

In Christ,

Edwin


#10

This is a case of the Victor writing the History. So much so, that many Catholics on this thread have followed the pattern by saying Catholics killed more protestants than Protestants did Catholics! NOT TRUE. Unfortunately there isn’t one book that lists everything. You have to research.

Foxe is an extremely biased propagandist. He totally ignores all protestant killing and torture of Catholics, even when his “martyrs” were responsible.

William Cobbett in his HISTORY OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION, has some description.

The work of blood was now begun, and proceded with steady pace… As a specimen of the works of burnett’s “necessary reformer”, and to spare readers repetition, let us take the treatment of John Houghton, prior of the Charterhouse of London, a convent of the Carthusian Monks.

This prior, for having refused to take the oath, was dragged to Tyburn. He was scarcely suspended when the rope was cut, and he fell alive on the ground. His clothes were then stripped off; his bowels were ripped up; his heart and entrails torn from his body and flung into a fire; his head was cut fron his body; the body was divided up into quarters and parboiled; the quarters were then subdivided, and hung up in different parts of the city; and one arm was nailed to the wall over the entrance to the monastery!

Such were the means Burnet said were necessary to introduce the Protestant Religion into England! How different, alas! from the means by which the Catholic Religion had been introduced by Pope Gregory and Saint Austin! These horrid butcheries, mind, were perpetrated under the primacy of Foxe’s great martyr, Cranmer,

Letter of Richard Pollard to Thomas Cromwell, November 16, 1539

Pleaseth it your Lordship to be advertised that…[On November 15] the late abbot of Glastonbury went from Wells to Glastonbury, and there was drawn through the town upon a hurdle to the hill called the Torre, where he was put to execution; …Afore his execution [he] was examined upon divers articles and interrogatories to him ministered by me, but he could accuse no man of himself of any offence against the king’s highness, nor would he confess no more gold nor silver nor any other thing more than he did before your Lordship in the Tower…I suppose it will be near Christmas before I shall have surveyed the lands at Glastonbury, and take the audit there….

On 8 April, 1538, Friar Forrest was taken to Lambeth, where, before Cranmer, he was required to state that King Henry was Head of the Church. This, however, he refused to do. Forrest was sentenced to death, and was taken to Smithfield and burned. To add to the humour of this spectacle, the friar was burnt over a bonfire of religious statuary. Others disembowelled or burnt within months included:1534: Elizabeth Barton, (The Holy Maid of Kent), with five companions;John Dering, O.S.B., Edward Bocking, O.S.B., Hugh Rich, O.S.F., Richard Masters p., Henry Gold p

After Catholics rose at the closing of the Monasteries in 1536, King Henry wrote: Our pleasure is that . . . you shall cause such dreadful execution to be done upon a good number of the inhabitants of every town, village, and hamlet that have offended, as they may be a fearful spectacle to all others hereafter that would practice any like matter.

Several hundred, were executed, of whom no record remains. The following names, which do survive, are grouped under their respective abbeys or priories. - Barling: Matthew Mackerel, abbot and Bishop of Chalcedon. Bardney: John Tenent, William Cole, John Francis, William Cowper, Richard Laynton, Hugh Londale, monks. Bridlington: William Wood, Prior. Fountains: William Thyrsk. Guisborough: James Cockerel, Prior.Jervaulx: Adam Sedbar, Abbot; George Asleby. Kirkstead: Richard Harrison, Abbott, Richard Wade, William Swale, Henry Jenkinson, monks. Lenten: Nicholas Heath, Prior; William Gylham, monk. Sawlet: William Trafford, Abbott; Richard Eastgate, monk. Whalley: John Paslew, Abbott; John Eastgate, William Haydock, monks. Woburn: Robert Hobbes, Abbott; Ralph Barnes, sub-prior; Laurence Blonham, monk. York: John Pickering, Priests: William Burraby, Thomas Kendale, John Henmarsh, James Mallet, John Pickering, Thomas Redforth. Lords: Darcy and Hussey. Knights: Francis Bigod, Stephen Hammerton, Thomas Percy. Laymen: Robert Aske, Robert Constable, Bernard Fletcher, George Hudswell, Robert Lecche, Roger Neeve, George Lomley, Thomas Moyne, Robert Sotheby, Nicholas Tempest, Philip Trotter. Henry Courtney, Marquess of Exeter; Henry Pole, Lord Montague; Sir Edward Nevell Sir Nicholas Carew; George Croft p. John Collins p.; Hugh Holland. Their cause was “adhering to the Pope, and his Legate, Cardinal Pole”. Lawrence Cook, Prior of Doncaster; Thomas Empson; Robert Bird p.; William Peterson p.; William Richardson p.; Giles Heron l. Martin de Courdres, O.S.A., and Paul of St. William;


#11

…continued
Over the next few reigns around 600 Catholic priests alone, and thousands of ordinary Catholics were disembowelled or otherwise murdered by Protestants because of their faith. Topcliffe, Elizabeth’s chief torturer, had a special house full of torture equipment to be used on Catholic priests. One elderly priest was tortured 12 separate times to gain information on other priests and believers. Other large-scale massacres of Catholics include those following the West Country Prayer book rising of 1552 and the Northern Rising of 1570, and during the Civil War of the 1640s

In Ireland the list of those massacred for their faith also runs into the thousands, including the citizenry of the towns of Drogheda, clonmel and Wexford, massacred by Cromwell.

A list of Irish Priests killed can be found here:
homepage.tinet.ie/~earrings/list-of-priests-killed.html.

Going back to Foxe:

Foxe writes of people punished under Mary Tudor, for “reading the bible in church”. How dreadful! you’d think. Some Christian person sat in Church just reading his bible, and the evil Catholics drag him out and throw him in a dungeon!

But go into the facts deeper and you find that the person arrested was not reading the bible quietly, but standing up in Church, accompanied by confederates, interrupting the worship and shouting out a selected passage in a loud voice, then “interpreting” it to condemn the worship as idolatry and the harlotry of babylon.
A little different to the first impression gained by reading Foxe, is it not?

Another of Foxe’s “martyrs” was William Flower, who he called, “the Martyr of God”.

But why was Flower “martyred”? Because “compelled by the Spirit” he went into St Margaret’s Westminster on Easter Sunday 1555, drew a knife and attacked the priest at the altar with it about the head and arm, so that the “chalice and consecrated hosts being in his hand were sprinkled with his blood.”

Again this shows Foxe as a polemicist rather than historian.


#12

Well, thank you for that Axion. I read it all.

I’ve learned something interesting! In Braveheart, apparently the place where they tortured William Wallace (Mel Gibson) was Tyburn. Though the movie’s depiction of it was somewhat different than the actual architecture of the real place, but I though that was neat.

Ok, I’m reading up more. It’s not like the “deciding point” for me, however, it’s inspiring to learn of what men and women have endured for the sake of their faith. Presbyterians and Catholics both suffered greatly at the hands of Anglicans, so you can’t just say that one or other group is “right” based merely on certain historical facts.

I don’t mean to leave the thread here, I’m just not knowledgeable enough about it all to add to much more to it. But, don’t stop keeping what some of you have learned from coming, others would learn from reading it probably.


#13

Hasn’t it been documented that more Protestants died under Bloody Mary than Catholics under the English crown?

At least that’s what the new Concise Edition of Butler’s Lives says.


#14

[quote=Fidel’s]This is a good point, and I don’t think it’s because Catholics are better in that way than are Protestants. I think as the minority religion of the English speaking world, Catholics have not been in a position to go tit for tat. The tools of propaganda have been with the Protestant majority, as witnessed by the persistence of the “Black Legend” surrounding the Crusades and “Inquisition.” Don’t forget, as recently as 150 years ago it was illegal to celebrate a Catholic Mass in England. It is still illegal for the English sovereign to be Catholic. It is only recently that more balanced histories of these events are coming out.
[/quote]

Perhaps we should all pray for Prince William’s conversion?
Now wouldn’t that be a firestorm of controversy.
I heard that Tony Blair attends Catholic Mass weekly, his children are catholic, his wife is catholic. But Tony Blair is technically Anglican and hasn’t converted yet due to anti-catholic prejudice.
Many people think he will convert upon his retirement.


#15

[quote=DominvsVobiscvm]Hasn’t it been documented that more Protestants died under Bloody Mary than Catholics under the English crown?

At least that’s what the new Concise Edition of Butler’s Lives says.
[/quote]

Ok, so are you implying that Catholics are more tyrannical than Anglicans?

I don’t doubt that what you say is true, though I also understand that “Mary killed her thousands, and Elizabeth killed her tens of thousands.”


#16

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