[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]I have question to ask in this forum, becuase there must be some people here who know more history than I do. A friend asked me this:
[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]“To say that protestantism has caused the world to lose faith also strikes me as odd since the world by definition lacks faith. Haven’t there been plenty who have lacked faith throughout Christendom?”
I replied as follows:
[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]Your statement reminds me of something a priest said once when I told him about the prophecy of the mystics of a MINOR apostasy to occur before the great one. His response was, “But there have been MANY apostasies.”[/FONT]
[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]This really disturbed me, because it was as if he was implying that, myriads of times in Church history, the near totality of Europe fell into an UTTERLY DEPRAVED rejection of the Gospel, that is, that, like today, about 80% of them had absolutely no regard for God’s existence, that were utterly indifferent to ANY religion, and that they lived only for materialistic pleasures and accomplishments. But my question is, is this true? That is, when we read about the history of the Middle Ages, why then is religion, and especially Christianity, so much emphasized, if in fact the world of Europe and its children have always been mostly full apostates? I mean, is this implying that all the wrigamoral of the religious wars, persecutions, debates on doctrine, etc, were merely taking place amongst only a very tiny fraction of the European population, and that the rather other majority of the Europeans had absolutely no concern for religious issues (ie, like today in the Global North). The problem is, I’ve always assumed that when they described the Middle Ages as an “Age of FAITH”, they meant it! That is, that, TRULY, the majority of Europeans, while not always holy, nevertheless practiced Christianity, and, for matter, mostly Catholicism?
So I really didn’t understand what this priest was saying? But then a further light came to me from a guy named Fidelis on Catholic Answers Forum. He said the same thing as the priest: there have been MANY “apostasies”, but he went on to qualify his assertion, that the priest did not, and this gives me a clue as to what probably the priest meant as well. Fidelis said (I’m paraphrasing from memory):
There was the Arian apostasy, the Muslim attacks, the Eastern Apostasy (i.e. schism), the Protestant apostasy, the Enlightenment apostasy*
So what Fidelis seems to think is that ANY rejection of Catholic doctrine, whether COMPLETELY, or only PARTIALLY, is nevertheless an “apostasy”. I also saw Father Kramer of the book of desitny use the same word: he called Protestantism an “apostasy”.