Saturday, September 23, 2017

Origin of Roman Catholic Church - 59

Continued from previous post –

So far, during this brief preview of Church activities we noticed how this institution is gradually shifting from their original stand of rigidness to suit demands of time. That means Church is now guided by laws of evolution same as Hinduism. Freethinking is gaining ground within Church activities. Many clergies openly admit of that. In this new situation what is happening within the Catholic Church we shall see in coming posts. This does not mean the old habits of rigidness are altogether gone. Those habits do pop up their heads and occasionally create dirty scenes within the activities of Roman Catholic Church.
Modern science is playing a big role in this process of converting Church from rigid fanatic force to a more reasonable force that accepts that most ideas of Church are wrong. Position of modern science is getting upper hand over traditional religious beliefs. Concept of God and gods are becoming more scientifically acceptable. On the other side, rigidness of modern scientific attitude of not accepting any idea that is based on spiritualism is slowly diminishing. Catholic Church never had any spiritual status in the past save some show of that attitude. We also notice that Yoga, having proved its usefulness in everyday life, gets more acceptances by new generation people. Under this observation, we shall see what the scene of modern Church of twentieth century is.
Roman Catholic Church in twentieth century -

Roman Question - 1870–1929

The provisional capital of Italy had been Florence since 1865. After defeating the papal forces in 1870, the Italian government moved to the banks of the Tiber a year later. Victor Emmanuel installed himself in the Quirinal Palace. Rome became once again, for the first time in thirteen centuries, the capital city of a united Italy. Rome was unusual among capital cities only in that it contained the power of the Pope and a small parcel of land (Vatican City) beyond national control. This anomaly was not formally resolved until the Lateran pacts of 1929.
The last eight years of his long pontificate (career as a Pope), – the longest in Church history – Pope Pius IX spent as prisoner of the Vatican. Catholics were forbidden to vote or being voted in national elections. However, they were permitted to participate in local elections, where they achieved successes. Pius himself was active, during those years, by creating new diocesan seats and appointing bishops to numerous dioceses, which had been unoccupied for years. Asked if he wanted his successor to follow his Italian policies, the old pontiff replied:
My successor may be inspired by my love to the Church and my wish to do the right thing. Everything changed around me. My system and my policies had their time; I am too old to change direction. This will be the task of my successor.
Continues in next post –
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Monday, September 11, 2017

Origin of Roman Catholic Church - 58

Continued from previous post –
Catholic Reformation continues -

Reformation and Counter-Reformation - 1517–1585

Baroque Papacy - 1585–1689

The pontificate of Pope Sixtus V (1585–1590) opened up the final stage of the Catholic Reformation, characteristic of the Baroque age of the early seventeenth century, shifting away from compelling to attracting. His reign focused on rebuilding Rome as a great European capital and Baroque (Elaborate and extensive ornamentation in decorative art and architecture that flourished in Europe in the 17th century) city, a visual symbol for the Catholic Church. While doing all this main purpose of the Church that is to promote spirituality was conveniently lost.
New ideologies such a socialism and communism emerged in this period and due to this development politics also changed. Politics of war was gradually replaced by politics of elections. Encouraged by all socially alert people all over the world; Pope of Roman Catholic Church had to accept that change and mould its political policies in that accordance. Governments were elected by voters and importance of military power was reduced in the period. Diplomacy was gradually replacing military might in Europe as well as the world. Papal authority has to be very careful in this mixed situation. This provides for more and special type of a challenge to Papal authority. In addition to that, other ideologies such as Hinduism and Yoga began to attract new generations when they found that these new concepts are making many issues in human life easy to face. Secretly though Pope has ordered his companions, too skillfully copy and reintroduce these, scientifically more correct approaches within Christian practices so that Church can benefit by them. Some orthodox groups oppose it but as the time demands, they will have to accept these Hindu practices to improve working of Church. The only care they have to take it to see that ordinary Christians do not get the smell of that. However, 'You Tube', and 'Face Book', on internet may not allow that to happen and eventually everybody shall realize that church is gradually shifting to Hinduism without openly admitting of that.
END of this series -

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Origin of Roman Catholic Church - 57

Continued from previous post –
Catholic Reformation

Council of Trent: 1545-1563
Pope Paul III first proposes in 1536 a council to tackle the issues raised by the Protestant reformers. He also sets up a commission of cardinals to report on abuses within the church. The cardinals find evidence of many of the failings pointed to by Martin Luther, including inadequate training of priests, incompetence of bishops, laxity in the monastic and mendicant orders and the scandal of prelates holding multiple appointments.
It is nine years before Paul III finally assembles his council, at Trent in 1545. The delay caused by many conflicting interests - including those of the emperor Charles V, who insists on it being held in imperial territory, and Francis I of France who fears it may somehow benefit Charles V, king of France.
From an unpromising start (only 3 papal legates and 31 prelates at the first session), the council grows in stature during a period of 18 years. There are long intervals during which it is not convened. The sessions occur in 1545-47 under Paul III, in 1551-52 under Julius III and in 1562-63 under Pius IV. All this was happening when construction of St. Peter was undergoing.
By the end, it proves a turning point for the Roman Catholic Church largely because the council responds differently to the two prongs of the Protestant challenge - in each case with considerable vigor.
On the question of abuses within the church, the council accepts the validity of the criticism and puts in place corrective measures - improved seminaries to educate clergy, strict rules about bishops residing in their dioceses, reforms within the monastic orders.
With these practical steps taken, the council refuses by contrast to yield an inch on doctrinal matters. The number of "Sacraments" remains at seven, "marriage for priests" is rejected, "justification by works" and "justification by faith" both supported, and the efficacy of relics and "indulgences" is reaffirmed - as also is the "cult of the Virgin Mary" and the saints.
With the ancient colorful certainties thus reinforced, and an improved priesthood entering service, including the invaluable Jesuits, the Roman Catholic Church after the Council of Trent is suddenly well placed to confront the Protestant challenge.
During the period of the council, in 1562, the Spanish mystic and ascetic, Teresa of Avila, founds the first of many convents in the movement known as the Carmelite Reform. St John of the Cross applies the same reforming zeal to monasteries.
Saints such as Teresa of Avila (and there will be several during the 17th century) are the perfect Roman Catholic response to the Protestant reformers. They are as morally severe as any northern puritan is, but there is an ecstatic quality to their religion, which is distinctly southern (European). In its new style, the baroque, the Roman Church has the ideal medium in which to hint at religious ecstasy. Now with renewed force confession and inquisition continued with new form.
It is conventional to call this renewal of Roman Catholicism the Counter-Reformation, but the phrase is too negative. Originally, a response to northern (European) reform the movement amounts in the end to a full-scale southern (European) alternative. Catholic Reformation is a more accurate description.

Continues in the next post –
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Friday, August 11, 2017

Origin of Roman Catholic Church - 56

Continued from previous post –
Catholic Reformation
What reforms Pope introduced in Papal office is quiet interesting. Alessandro Farnese, elected pope in 1534 as Paul III, seems likely to prolong the worst aspects of the Renaissance papacy. He was appointed cardinal at the age of twenty-five because his sister Giulia was having an affair with the Borghese Pope, Alexander VI. While a cardinal, he kept a mistress in Rome by whom he had four children. As Pope, he outdoes many of his predecessors in the favors he heaps upon his family. He detaches Parma and Piacenza provinces from the Papal States and turns them into hereditary duchies for his eldest son. Two of his grandsons are in their teens when he creates them cardinals.
Yet, as it turns out this is the Pope who launches the Catholic Reformation!
Two details in particular during Paul's pontificate, signal the start of the Catholic Reformation (also often known as the Counter-Reformation, being the church's response to the Protestant reformers). One is Paul's convening of the Council of Trent in 1545. He achieves this after several attempts and against considerable opposition.

The other great innovation of his reign is more of a God-given accident than any result of papal initiative. Paul is visited in Rome in 1537 by a group of passionately committed students from the University of Paris. Headed by Ignatius of Loyola, they offer their services directly to the pope. These students were deeply impressed by the work of St. Peter at Rome and their youthful minds, notwithstanding other excesses, decide to support him probably because that was best suited to them. Pope also wanted something like this to come up to create his image in the pontificate.
Society of Jesus: 1540-1541
The visit to the pope by Ignatius Loyola has echoes of St Francis and St Dominic with Innocent III. It was history repeats. Unlike those 13th-century saints, with their mission to live and preach among the poor of the expanding towns, St Ignatius is very much of his own time - a man of the 16th century. Where the twin challenge is the drift of much of Europe into the Protestant heresy and the opening up of a far-flung pagan world, bringing fruitful fields for mission work in this new age of ocean travel and exploration. Members of Society of Jesus were, as it were, carrying 'key to Heaven', that is supposed to give Pope the higher authority over other Bishops in Christian world. Ignatius Loyola's inner aim appears to be that, to get hold of that key.
To these challenges, Ignatius can bring the energy and the organizing skills of a trained soldier. Offered a force of spiritual commandos, answerable directly to his person only in fighting Rome's battles, Paul III seizes his chance. In September 1540, he authorizes a new order, to be known as the 'Society of Jesus'. In April 1541 Ignatius's colleagues elect him as the first general; the title, in use to this day, accurately reflects the nature of the campaign being undertaken.
Ignatius writes simple rules for his order. There is to be no specific form of dress, no regular commitment to attend particular services. Jesuits, as they soon come to be called, are to be free to move fast wherever they are needed. Obedience to the pope is central. Jesuit theologians are already at the pope's side during the Council of Trent.
Many priests joined this force and moved all over the world to convert people to Christianity. Other indulged in serving poor people by giving them succor, still others engaged in spreading education to people and still others engaged in medical care and many more were busy managing orphanage, old homes, disabled homes and many such activities; resulting in improving image of Church all over. Many notable Jesuits are revered today all over the world; one name is that of Mother Teresa. This innovation in the Church worked for the cause of Jesus but their aim was not of teaching righteousness but they wanted to use the goodwill they earn by these activities to convert people to Christianity belonging to Roman Catholic Church. This became obvious when people receiving benefits from their services refused to convert to Christianity of Church, the same so-called humble servants of Jesus turned into vicious people treating those who refused very badly.

Continues in the next post –
You may contact me on my Email ID given below,
You are invited to visit my other blogs
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You may visit blog, Freedom of Expression,
Freedom of Expression, http://kothare-thinks.blogspot.in/

Marathi blog, http://kothare-marathi.blogspot.in/ मला असे वाटते 

Origin of Roman Catholic Church - 55

Continued from previous post –
Catholic Reformation
What reforms Pope introduced in Papal office is quiet interesting. Alessandro Farnese, elected pope in 1534 as Paul III, seems likely to prolong the worst aspects of the Renaissance papacy. He was appointed cardinal at the age of twenty-five because his sister Giulia was having an affair with the Borghese Pope, Alexander VI. While a cardinal, he kept a mistress in Rome by whom he had four children. As Pope, he outdoes many of his predecessors in the favors he heaps upon his family. He detaches Parma and Piacenza provinces from the Papal States and turns them into hereditary duchies for his eldest son. Two of his grandsons are in their teens when he creates them cardinals.
Yet, as it turns out this is the Pope who launches the Catholic Reformation!
Two details in particular during Paul's pontificate, signal the start of the Catholic Reformation (also often known as the Counter-Reformation, being the church's response to the Protestant reformers). One is Paul's convening of the Council of Trent in 1545. He achieves this after several attempts and against considerable opposition.

The other great innovation of his reign is more of a God-given accident than any result of papal initiative. Paul is visited in Rome in 1537 by a group of passionately committed students from the University of Paris. Headed by Ignatius of Loyola, they offer their services directly to the pope. These students were deeply impressed by the work of St. Peter at Rome and their youthful minds, notwithstanding other excesses, decide to support him probably because that was best suited to them. Pope also wanted something like this to come up to create his image in the pontificate.
Society of Jesus: 1540-1541
The visit to the pope by Ignatius Loyola has echoes of St Francis and St Dominic with Innocent III. It was history repeats. Unlike those 13th-century saints, with their mission to live and preach among the poor of the expanding towns, St Ignatius is very much of his own time - a man of the 16th century. Where the twin challenge is the drift of much of Europe into the Protestant heresy and the opening up of a far-flung pagan world, bringing fruitful fields for mission work in this new age of ocean travel and exploration. Members of Society of Jesus were, as it were, carrying 'key to Heaven', that is supposed to give Pope the higher authority over other Bishops in Christian world. Ignatius Loyola's inner aim appears to be that, to get hold of that key.
To these challenges, Ignatius can bring the energy and the organizing skills of a trained soldier. Offered a force of spiritual commandos, answerable directly to his person only in fighting Rome's battles, Paul III seizes his chance. In September 1540, he authorizes a new order, to be known as the 'Society of Jesus'. In April 1541 Ignatius's colleagues elect him as the first general; the title, in use to this day, accurately reflects the nature of the campaign being undertaken.
Ignatius writes simple rules for his order. There is to be no specific form of dress, no regular commitment to attend particular services. Jesuits, as they soon come to be called, are to be free to move fast wherever they are needed. Obedience to the pope is central. Jesuit theologians are already at the pope's side during the Council of Trent.
Many priests joined this force and moved all over the world to convert people to Christianity. Other indulged in serving poor people by giving them succor, still others engaged in spreading education to people and still others engaged in medical care and many more were busy managing orphanage, old homes, disabled homes and many such activities; resulting in improving image of Church all over. Many notable Jesuits are revered today all over the world; one name is that of Mother Teresa. This innovation in the Church worked for the cause of Jesus but their aim was not of teaching righteousness but they wanted to use the goodwill they earn by these activities to convert people to Christianity belonging to Roman Catholic Church. This became obvious when people receiving benefits from their services refused to convert to Christianity of Church, the same so-called humble servants of Jesus turned into vicious people treating those who refused very badly.

Continues in the next post –
You may contact me on my Email ID given below,
You are invited to visit my other blogs
Ashok Kothare, http://ashokkotharesblog.blogspot.com/ for stories
I reckon, http://kotharesviews.blogspot.com/ for philosophy
You may visit blog, Freedom of Expression,
Freedom of Expression, http://kothare-thinks.blogspot.in/

Marathi blog, http://kothare-marathi.blogspot.in/ मला असे वाटते 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Origin of Roman Catholic Church - 54

Continued from previous post –

Support for the excommunicated monk is so strong among German knights that the young emperor, Charles V, is prevailed upon to hear his case at a diet held in 1521 in Worms. Luther is given a safe conduct for his journey to and from the diet. He is no doubt aware of the value of an imperial safe conduct to John Huss a century earlier, Huss was burnt at the stake in July 1415, and however, Luther accepts the challenge.
The Legislative assembly of Worms: 1521
Where Huss had slipped into Constance in 1414 almost alone, Luther arrives at the legislative assembly at Worms supported by a large number of enthusiastic German knights. Nevertheless, apparently the purpose of the confrontation, from the emperor's point of view, is a demand that he should recant.
In a lengthy speech, Luther explains that he will abjure any of his views if they can be proved wrong by scripture or reason. Otherwise, he must remain true to his conscience and to his understanding of God's word. The presses soon reduce this to the pithy statement, which has been remembered ever since Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders., 'Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise'. Germans were otherwise also not very much in favor of Pope's office and this opportunity they look to as one more chance to pull papal authority further down. Luther's victory at the diet encourages more intellectuals to dare for more changes in the existing form of Pope's authority. As a result, Luther's stand leads, eventually, to the emergence of the first sect to break away from the Roman Catholic Church and to survive the opposition of the papacy - Lutheranism, finally established by the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. Since it came out of protest by Luther to papal authority disregarding concept of key to heaven it was called, 'Protestants'. This first Protestant faith is soon followed by others, violently disagreeing among themselves. Zwingli goes further than Luther. The Anabaptists far outstrip either. Meanwhile Henry VIII devises a new English church for personal purposes. The papacy, unable to stem the tide, calls the 'Council of Trent' and develops the Catholic Reformation - Rome's own rigorously virtuous program of reform.
In the meanwhile, power struggle in Italy continued to the extent that in year 1527, Rome was sacked by imperial troops wit total disregards for Pope's authority as religious lord. We often observe that European Kings seldom regarded Pope as a power unless proven and they continued to push its power by using military might. They took Pope as a political force more than as a spiritual force. The papacy, responsible for the scheming alliances, which foster so much of the conflict, appears to receive its just reaction in the sack of Rome in 1527. But it too emerges much strengthened a decade or two later. Once the Catholic Reformation is under way, Rome and Spain - allies in spiritual severity - are well equipped to exercise strict control over the entire peninsula apart from republican Venice. Throughout we see there is hardly any spiritual activity involved in any of the programs of Pope, they were full of political power struggles all over. Pope's kingdom was just like any other king's kingdom. Nobles had no regard for any of the Popes as Bishop of Catholic faith.


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Origin of Roman Catholic Church - 53

Continued from previous post –

Martin Luther's advent
Martin Luther, a man both solemn and passionate, is an Augustinian friar teaching theology at the university recently founded in Wittenberg by Frederick the Wise, the elector of Saxony. Obsessed by his own unworthiness, he decides finally, that no amount of virtue or good behavior can be the basis of salvation (as proposed in the doctrine known as justification by works). If the Christian life is not to be meaningless, he argues, a sinner's faith must be the only merit for which God's grace might be granted. This doctrine was based on St. Paul's teachings. Martin Luther developed sizable follower-ships amongst his companions in the Church and out side. They began to protest against the claims made by prevalent authority that Popes have ecclesiastical powers over people. Later on, that group was called Protestants. These Protestants tend to deny that Peter and those claimed to be his immediate successors had universally recognized supreme authority over all the early churches. The same Protestants said that Rome's prominence may be seen as only moral, and political not ecclesiastical, and that emergence of the Roman pontiff to supreme power and prominence happened by natural (man made) circumstance rather than divine appointment.
Luther therefore becomes a passionate believer in an alternative doctrine, justification by faith, for which he finds evidence in the writings of St Paul. In a way, Martin Luther encouraged devotion against intelligent method for salvation, the doctrine that proposes justification of work. This doctrine says, virtue and good behavior or righteousness is responsible for salvation. St. Paul had recommended that devotion for Jesus is more important than righteousness. This he recommended in time when they were interested in collecting as many people around Jesus as possible by way of a market strategy to promote creed of Jesus; that helped them in garnering maximum support for his Christianity. Eventually religion of Christianity grew phenomenally in Europe. Actually, this was a total deviation from the real teachings of Jesus but nobody bothered about it as nobody was really, interested in Jesus and his teachings. Everybody in the Church was interested in business of religion. Therefore, Martin Luther got big support from interested parties such as king of England particularly because that king had a grudge against the papal authority, which had put him to task on the matter of his marrying many women and not because that king has anything to do with what Martin had in his plans.

Nothing could be farther from the concept of justification by faith than Tetzel's impudent selling of God's grace. Luther has often argued against the sale of indulgences in his sermons. Now he takes a more public stand. He writes out ninety-five propositions about the nature of faith and contemporary church practice. Both Tetzel and Luther were far away from Jesus and his teachings but now they being against each other a fight of propaganda began amongst them. The tone of these 'theses', as they come to be known, is academic. However, the underlying effect, apart from overt criticism of indulgences is that, truth is to be sought in scripture rather than in the teaching of the church. By nailing his theses to the door of All Saints' in Wittenberg, as Luther does on 31 October 1517, he is merely proposing them as subjects for debate.

This raised tremendous turmoil in Europe as three ideologies (Indulgence of Tetzel, devotion to scriptures of Luther and original philosophy of Jesus, righteousness) conflicting with each other began to confuse common European faithful and it continues to create conflicting in that continent for many centuries. Instead of launching a debate in Wittenberg, the ninety-five theses spark off a European conflagration of unparalleled violence. The Reformation ravages western Christendom for more than a century, bringing violent intolerance and hatred, which lasts in some Christian communities down to the present day. No sectarian dispute in any other religion has matched the destructive force, the brutality and the bitterness, which begins in Wittenberg in 1517. Church stoutly stood by the Indulgence of Tetzel and intellectuals in favor of Martin Luther.

Luther is as surprised as anyone else is by the eruption, which now engulfs him - slowly at first but with accelerating pace after a year or two. Its violence derives from several unusual elements. The papacy is determined to suppress this disrespect for papal authority. Luther's writings are burnt in Rome in 1520; his excommunication follows in 1521. This is the predictable part; the unexpected elements are the groundswell of support in Germany, nourished by a deep resentment of papal interference; and the effect of the relatively new craft of printing. Printing technique was developed during this time. The Europeans had copied the idea of printing paper from Chinese; only difference was that they in Germany had mechanized the whole process so that multiple copies of the same print became possible. A new market for books developed simultaneously and people were interested in reading the new material. There was not much to read and so whatever little was printed became popular in literate people. In that, Luther's ninety-five theses attracted their attention and as a result, his thoughts spread like wild fire in all Germany. A fierce debate develops, with pamphlets pouring from the presses - many of them from Luther's pen. Within six years, by 1523, Europe's printers produce 1300 different editions of his tracts. In these circumstances, it was impossible for the issue to be swept under the carpet. Any action taken against Luther in person is certain to provoke a crisis - though in the early years his safety depends heavily on the protection of Frederick the Wise, proud of his university and reluctant to hand over to Rome its famous theologian, however controversial he was. Now in the new situation Pope has to answer more public than what was in early days. The number of owlish persons had increased tremendously due to printing. Facing them all was not so easy.

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