17 November 2014

The Death of Catholic England

Today marks the 456th Anniversary of the death of Mary I of England, whose untimely demise led to the accession of Elizabeth I, the great persecutrix of the true faith described by Pope St. Pius V in Regnans in Excelsis as "the pretended queen of England and the servant of crime".

Perhaps St. Pius V states the significance best:

This very woman, having seized the crown and monstrously usurped the place of supreme head of the Church in all England to gather with the chief authority and jurisdiction belonging to it, has once again reduced this same kingdom- which had already been restored to the Catholic faith and to good fruits- to a miserable ruin.

2. Prohibiting with a strong hand the use of the true religion, which after its earlier overthrow by Henry VIII (a deserter therefrom) Mary, the lawful queen of famous memory, had with the help of this See restored, she has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics. She has removed the royal Council, composed of the nobility of England, and has filled it with obscure men, being heretics; oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith; instituted false preachers and ministers of impiety; abolished the sacrifice of the mass, prayers, fasts, choice of meats, celibacy, and Catholic ceremonies; and has ordered that books of manifestly heretical content be propounded to the whole realm and that impious rites and institutions after the rule of Calvin, entertained and observed by herself, be also observed by her subjects. She has dared to eject bishops, rectors of churches and other Catholic priests from their churches and benefices, to bestow these and other things ecclesiastical upon heretics, and to determine spiritual causes; has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome or obey its precepts and canonical sanctions; has forced most of them to come to terms with her wicked laws, to abjure the authority and obedience of the pope of Rome, and to accept her, on oath, as their only lady in matters temporal and spiritual; has imposed penalties and punishments on those who would not agree to this and has exacted then of those who persevered in the unity of the faith and the aforesaid obedience; has thrown the Catholic prelates and parsons into prison where many, worn out by long languishing and sorrow, have miserably ended their lives. All these matter and manifest and notorious among all the nations; they are so well proven by the weighty witness of many men that there remains no place for excuse, defense or evasion.
This is the day long celebrated in England as a good thing.  Such is the world.  Though she was not the last Catholic to, however briefly, rule England, she was the last to rule as Catholic, over a country committed to the faith in its institutions, obedient to Rome, and desiring to rule under the Kingship of Christ the King.

Just another marker on the road of the Long Defeat.


1 comment:

Jane Chantal said...

Yes – and the propaganda of the Protestant Deformation was – after the shedding of much Catholic blood -- spectacularly successful, generation upon generation of Britons being steeped in it unto the present day. How ironic that the second Elizabeth – “Defender of the [Anglican] Faith” - is now ignominiously cooperating in Anglicanism’s collapse.

Unlike “Bloody” Mary Tudor, James II - a convert and the last Catholic monarch of England - has seemingly been all but erased from history. I wouldn’t have known he ever existed, had a supposedly well-educated young man of my acquaintance not claimed that New England’s Pilgrims - of First Thanksgiving fame - were fleeing “Catholic tyranny”. Okay, I thought, so much for a college education - but just who WAS the last Catholic ruler of England?

James II, son of Charles I and younger brother of Charles II, was driven from his throne after he 1) formally instituted religious freedom of conscience – something previously unheard-of - in England, and 2) had a son with his wife, a further affront to the Anglican establishment that hardened its resolve to get rid of him.

James II’s desire to make England safe for Catholics as well as for non-Anglican Protestants seems generally to have been spun by history writers as a clever plan to gradually replace Anglicanism with Catholicism. If so, that escaped the notice of eminent Quaker and English colonist William Penn -- someone they DO teach us about in school – who was James II’s good friend and steadfast defender.