Was the Reformation led by the Devil? Since it was a departure from the truth, it could be said it was. But, Protestants are still bringing people into the knowledge of Jesus and salvation so it is not entirely clear how to classify it.
I do not think that is was directly demonic (like Luther was possessed) but that does not mean he did not influence them
I don’t think Protestants are bringing people into the knowledge of Jesus because of the Protestant Revolution, it’s just because there are good people among them. I don’t think the Protestant Revolution increased the quantity of people being saved. The Church had just discovered the Americas when Martin Luther started the revolt, so missionaries and evangelization were on the increase. We have reason to believe that a lot more people would have entered a saving relationship with God without Luther’s revolt than with it, so I think the revolt was basically entirely a work of sin (on both sides).
I don’t think the “main players” were literally possessed, but I believe satan was definitely tempting, leading, coercing and deluding them into acts/beliefs that wrong and caused much evil. (I am not saying the reformationists were evil.)
The fact that Protestants are faithful believers and sincerely bringing people to Christ shows that God can and will always bring good from bad.
EDIT: When I think of the reformation, I always remember that while Europe was losing millions of Catholics, Our Lady of Guadalupe was gaining many millions here in the Americas.
I don’t think it was Demonic at all.
I think it’s human nature.
Don’t forget about the Schism there had been a rift in Christianity long before the Reformation.
I think Protestantism is so ingrained in American Culture your never going to make the United States a mostly Catholic Nation nor can you make England a Catholic Nation again not since King Henry the eighth and the Church of England.
It is what it is.
Faith is better than no Faith.
Besides Imagine going to a sterile Church your whole life with a simple Wooden Cross and a very Charismatic form of Worship and then imagine bumping into a Catholic and imagine how weird we must appear.
Some of the Anti Catholic Sentiments I do understand because there made out of ignorance.
The other half of it is Catholics that are on the Fringe, Fundamentalist, and Militant.
People that are Mariolitars who talk about nothing but Mary and never mention Jesus other in passing.
In other words there are a lot of bad examples within the Church both Lay and Clergy leading many to leave the Church to go to Non Denominational Mega Churches with Coffee and doughnuts.
In the Past Decades the people within the Church have spoken too often about Private Revelations as a matter of fact when these are part of Catholic Culture not the deposits of Faith and these revelations are a matter of individual faith.
So many Cafeteria Catholics leave feeling that perhaps the Church has a false Gospel.
I see more Catholics reading Scripture and finding how it connects to the deposits of faith through apologetics.
If the Catholic Church is to survive in the USA then the Clergy is going to have learn to be good apologist.
Simply because the Church said so isn’t good enough for people these days.
So I think that more Masses where the Priest in his homily talks about the deposits of faith and where they are supported in scripture would save a lot of people from leaving.
As some one who loves our Catholic faith and Holy Mother Church I am uncomfortable with this question. It is important to note that at the time of the Protestand Reformation our church was in need of renewal. There were a lot of things that were being done in the name of our church that was wrong.
I do not believe for one moment that the Protestant Reformation was led by the devil. When King Henry VIII had decided that he was going to split from the Roman Catholic Church he went to one of his most trusted advisors, Thomas Moore, and presented the case that that there needed to be a “reform”. St. Thomas Aquinas stated that in his view there was no need for a “reform” but that there was a new for “renewal” within the church.
In response to the Protestant Reformation there were two positive devlopments. They were the Council of Trent and the Counter Reformation. The Council of Trent was the impetus for “renewal” in our church. As a loyal son of Holy Mother Church I personally am grateful for the Protestant Reformation. Without the Protestand Reformation I don’t believe there would have been a Council of Trent.
Lastly, I live in the Bible Belt South. It is exciting to live in the Dioces of Charlotte for the Catholic Church is flourishing and has grown strong. The Catholic Church is the largest Christian Denomination in Mecklenburg County. That being said I have nothing but respect for Evangical Christians. They are both good people and good Christians.
The Reformation seems to have been a natural result from the the public’s new ability to read the Christian canon on their own.
The bible had only become available to most of the public a few decades earlier, thanks to the printing press.
People were finally able to read it en masse and that, of course, lead to questions and debates and disagreements…and led to Catholic priest and theology professor Martin Luther’s nailing the list to the church door.
And Luther nailed that list to the door for very good reason, most would agree. Reasons we would applaud today.
Some of what he saw the Church leaders doing, like the selling of indulgences, was very wrong to do. Can you imagine that going on today?
I suppose, in a way, he can be thanked for exposing and stopping such unfair practices within the Church.
I find it very difficult to walk into Saint Peter’s Basilica knowing how the money was raised.
Yes, just go and read the writings of the “reformers” Calvin and Luther and see how demonic their theology was. Read the vitriol they spew at “rome” and compare it to the charitable and loving words expressed by the Catholic writers of the counter reformation, so desirous to keep unity in Christ’s church and to draw wayward sons home. Go compare St. Francis de Sales to the writings of John Calvin, you can see which one was influenced by the devil. The devil splits up, that’s what “diabolical” means. Protestantism has split up the church into 100+ denominations all claiming that they get the bible right. This is the result of the heretical principle of sola scriptra. And you can also include the other ideologies spawned by this demonic revolt against Christ and his Church: individualism, rationalism, rejection of authority. The protestant rejection of faith guided by reason for fideism eventually led people to reject faith all together. All this resulted in the modern wars, totalitarian states and all the carnage of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Your question is rather unfortunate and mis-stated. One cannot go back in time and start calling the original reformers led by the devil. You really ought to think about your question and how it will sound to a Protestant looking into the Catholic church. If I read that in the beginning of looking, I would have turned away. This is an offensive question. Yes it was a departure of truth but the better way is not to start calling the reformation demonic which implies those behind it demonic.
Are you now implying that modern Protestants, some of which are in Lutheran and reformed churches demonic? How does this kind of talk bring people home to the Catholic Church? By calling them demonic?
This was my historical opinion of the protestant “reformation” and the arch-heretics who led it, I am not judging individual protestants.
Yes. Satan is the Father of Lies, and Protestantism is infected with lies and founded on lies. Catholicism is the Truth and anything opposed to the Church is, by definition, in league with demons.
So then and by using this kind of logic, all Protestants and lets include Orthodox are in league with the devil because they are not part of the Catholic Church? so this kind of talk really is part of the new evangelism and this sort of talk, calling people not Catholic demonic is going to bring them into the Catholic Church?
I didn’t call any people demonic.
Anyone troubled by sin is under demonic influence. This is a fact. Jesus expelled demons from very faithful people. Jesus healed people from illness because of their faith. The only way to drive out a demon is to replace it with goodness, with the Holy Spirit. There is no human being, other than the Blessed Virgin Mary, who has not been troubled by demons at one point or another. Especially Catholics, especially Christians. False beliefs are received from demons - where else do you think we would get them?
that is what your statement and logic behind it implies.
[quote=“Catholic Encyclopedia”]The guiding principles in the Church’s treatment of heretics are the following: Distinguishing between formal and material heretics, she applies to the former the canon, “Most firmly hold and in no way doubt that every heretic or schismatic is to have part with the Devil and his angels in the flames of eternal fire, unless before the end of his life he be incorporated with, and restored to the Catholic Church.”
What Paul did at Corinth he enjoins to be done by every bishop in his own church. Thus Timothy is instructed to “war in them a good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some rejecting have made shipwreck concerning the faith. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered up to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:18-20). He exhorts the ancients of the Church at Ephesus to “take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God, . . . I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock . . . Therefore watch, . . .” (Acts 20:28-31). “Beware of dogs”, he writes to the Philippians (3:2), the dogs being the same false teachers as the “ravening wolves”. The Fathers show no more leniency to perverters of the faith. A Protestant writer thus sketches their teaching (Schaff-Herzog, s.v. Heresy): “Polycarp regarded Marcion as the first-born of the Devil. Ignatius sees in heretics poisonous plants, or animals in human form. Justin and Tertullian condemn their errors as inspirations of the Evil One; Theophilus compares them to barren and rocky islands on which ships are wrecked; and Origen says, that as pirates place lights on cliffs to allure and destroy vessels in quest of refuge, so the Prince of this world lights the fires of false knowledge in order to destroy men. [Jerome calls the congregations of the heretics synagogues of Satan (Ep. 123), and says their communion is to be avoided like that of vipers and scorpions (Ep. 130).]” These primitive views on heresy have been faithfully transmitted and acted on by the Church in subsequent ages. There is no break in the tradition from St. Peter to Pius X.
While yes those actions were bad and he pointed them out, that did not give him the excuse to become a heretic and tell people you can be saved by faith alone. He brought people away from the one true Church by initiating a new religion.
And what do you want to say to those that are Protestant? Does stating to people that they are following demonic inspired heresies? Does this really enhance interfaith discussion which lead to conversion to the Catholic Church or does this sort of talk drive people away, makes them defensive and puts them more on the attack to us. There comes a point in that we have to “speak the truth in love”. No matter what one things of the first reformers or even those that now follow them, this sort of “we are right and you are a heretic which is demonically inspired” is going to bring people back to the fold. It is very rare that someone is going to come into the Catholic Church because some Catholic went up to them, tells them the reformation is demonic and you are a heretic. Conversions rarely work that way.