In years to come, the Catholic church suffered a blow. In 1517, a firestorm within the church was ignited by Martin Luther, a monk who, by publicly posting his “95 Theses” on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, began the start of what could come to be known as the Protestant Reformation…
Through his stand against the Catholic Church and its thriving corruption, a new system came into being by which believers could read the Bible for themselves instead of being forced to accept the views of those holding power. This turn of events brought about the creation of many new denominations within the Christian faith, and many exist still to this day. While doctrinal differences and individual interpretations of Scripture abound, the majority of the modern denominations – including those of Presbyterians, Baptists, Pentecostals, Adventists, Methodists, Anglicans, and Lutherans – all share a common origin in the events of the Reformation.
They say time heals all wounds. As such, one may expect that, as the years passed and man’s culture progressed, the old hostilities between the Catholic church and the Protestant Churches born in the wake of the Reformation would have cooled some, but this, I’m afraid, was not the case.
Even into relatively modern times did a certain degree of angst burn between the two groups. Take the words of Pope Pius IX, who in 1866, lumped Bible societies – or otherwise non-Catholic laity in possession of Bibles – with such social groups as socialists, communists, and clandestine societies, saying of them all “pests of this sort must be destroyed by all means.”¹ The same caliber sentiment was expressed by the notable Rev. Daniel Cahill, who declared that “he would rather the Catholic should read the worst books of immorality than the Protestant Bible-that forgery of God’s Word, that slander of Christ.”²
- The encyclical Quanta Cura Issued by Pope Pius IX, December 6, 1866
- Roman Catholic Tablet, December 17, 1853, pg 804
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