Defending the Sacred Tradition Part 1 – St. Pius V and Martin Luther

Jude Missa

After the Ascension of our Lord into Heaven and the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon our Lady and the Apostles, the Church has faced numerous challenges, including persecutions from the Jews, the Roman Empire and other pagan nations. The demon used it to destroy the Church from the outside. Yet he also attempted to destroy the Church from within. There have been prior attempts to wreak havoc on the Church. Including critiques of corruption by a Catholic priest named John Wycliffe. But it was until 1517, when Martin Luther, an Augustinian Friar who wrote his ninety-five theses protesting against the sale of indulgences, became the wick of the Protestant Reformation.

He saw the corruption in the Church and then started to spread false teachings, including having his own interpretation of the Sacred Scripture and the Justification of Faith Alone (Sola Fide). Because of his heresies, he was excommunicated in 1520. Then he began establishing a new church and his false teaching spread that led others to build their own church according to their own interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures which resulted in the birth of Protestanism.

They started attacking the Sacred Tradition of the Church, including the doctrines of Purgatory, Praying to the Saints, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the one that they attack the most, the Eucharist and the Holy Mass. They targeted the faithful, including priests who did not know the faith and doctrines of the Church. As Protestantism spread, it won the hearts of many people, the priests as well as the hearts of various princes, including those in Germany. Pope Paul III wished for a council as a counter-reform which resulted in the Council of Trent. But the council was delayed a few times because of war and the attacks of the Protestants until it reached its end in 1563 with resulted in the condemning of all Protestant doctrines, Catholic Church leadership reformation, proclamation that Church’s interpretation of the Bible was unquestionable and the proclamation that the Sacred Tradition have much authority as Scripture. Even though the Council of Trent has ended, the problem in the Church is still unresolved.

Until a Dominican Priest and Cardinal, Antonio Ghislieri was elected as Pope in 1566 and took the name of Pius V. As a priest, he supported the papacy against the Protestants. He was known to inculcate discipline, develop the practice of monastic virtues and as a Dominican, he has a devotion to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was ordained Bishop of Sutri and became Pope after the death of Pope Paul IV with the support of St.Charles Borromeus. As pope, he imposed the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent. He fixed the problems that the previous pope cannot like dismissing the Papal Court Jester, forbidding horse racing in St. Peter’s square, severe sanctions were imposed against blasphemy, adultery and sodomy which he became the subject of hatred in Rome. He also championed and reinforced the Holy Tradition of the Church. And eventually he abolished the sale of indulgence in 1567. As the protestants attacked the sacred tradition, including the Holy Mass, he promulgated the Tridentine Mass and made it mandatory where all the priest must celebrate it to make the church united. And as a Dominican, he also established a devotion to the Holy Rosary, and to be recited to all the church and faithful to the world.

In this article we have looked at the differences between Saint Pius V and Martin Luther. Martin Luther, having seen the problems within the church, decided to become heretical, left the church and create his own. On the other hand, St. Pope Pius V, stayed in the church and resolved the problems from the inside.

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