Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reformation Day: Luther's Pact With the Devil

Luther's Pact With the Devil
Martin Bucer laments: The greater part of the people seem only to have embraced the gospel in order to shake off the yoke of discipline and the obligation of fasting and penance, which rested upon them in popery, and that they may live according to their own pleasure, enjoying their lusts and lawless appetites without control. That was the reason they lent a willing ear to the teaching of justification by faith alone and not by good works, for the latter of which they had no relish." [(Bucer, De Regn. I, c. I, 4) Cf The Facts About Luther, Msgr Patrick F. O'Hare, LL.D., Tan Books Reprint, 1987,  P. 91.]

Such violence  done to good doctrine, politics and sound morals by Luther's Revolt, was also leveled against art, and continues to be accomplished today as this article about a Tate Museum exhibit reveals appropriately in the Guardian for today, being Reformation Day in some circles:

Two images haunt me from Tate Britain's survey of attacks on art in Britain since the Reformation. One is a painfully realistic, lifesize stone figure of the dead Christ, eyes closed, chest emaciated, body taut. This terrifying portrait of death is a radical and dangerous work of art. It was carved by an unknown sculptor in the early 16th century then apparently buried, as an idolatrous object, just a few years later when Henry VIII rejected the Pope and dissolved Britain's monasteries.
  1. Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm
  2. Tate Britain,
  4. London
  5. SW1P
  1. Starts 2 October 2013
  2. Until 5 January 2014
  3. Venue website
The other is a portrait that was bought by the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman just so they could deface it. They've added bloody marks, made the mouth ugly and the eyes mad. We're supposed to think this is hilarious.
Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm wants to make us think, but I found myself asking the wrong questions and drawing the wrong conclusions. The exhibition fumbles with ideas about "iconoclasm", or the deliberate destruction of art: can art vandalism be art? Is there a perverse humour or truth or beauty in a suffragette slashing Velázquez's Venus or the IRA blowing up Nelson's Pillar in Dublin?


Anonymous said...

To presume that either Luther (who was made a Doctor of the Church, at the ripe young age of 23!), or Calvin, or Cranmer would partake of the spirit of antichrist, is to ignore the same things going on within Rome today- don't blame dead men who sought to love and serve God faithfully, in an era when the Church of Rome was just as corrupt as today, and not get smeared with the brush you are using! I still reverence the Faith I learned prior to Vatican II, but cannot and could not remain in the Church that jettisoned that faith, and consider myself honest- a hallmark of the righteousness that comes by faith, as St. Paul says. Add to that sodomite priests, gay choirmasters, Lesbian nuns in the seminary college I taught at, and the complete difference among the pious Protestants I have known, (who also have their issues, don't get me wrong) I had to leave Rome, all in order to REMAIN the Catholic my mother brought me up to be! Columns like this are as bad as the Christophobic bashing the Liberal press indulges in, 24/7. I would expect better of you folks.

- Fr. John+

Tancred said...

Are you saying that errors shouldn't be criticized and that Martin Luther wasn't the heretic and destroyer he obviously was?