Monday, May 22, 2006
A Catholic apologist has uncovered the long hidden fact that Philip Melanchthon, one of the chief figures of the 16th century Protestant Reformation had “strong enthusiasm for astrology.” He does this because he’s trying “to show the true nature of these "reformer's" beliefs, in all of their flying colors. Truth is always more interesting than pseudo-hagiography and myths of origins.”
As you may or may not know, Protestant historians have an “Opus Dei” like conspiracy to keep information like this hidden- they decided long ago to keep damning information like this away from the general mass of Kool-aid-drinking-protestants. Secret meetings have been held throughout the centuries in which Protestant scholars meet together and swear their allegiance to putting forth the myth of the Reformation. Keeping Protestant laymen ignorant of their real history keeps them from joining God’s “True Church.” Luckily, the work of brave Catholic apologists helps to continually crack the “Reformation Code”.
Yes, it is true, Melanchthon was quite the astrologer. When I learned this, I almost instantly abandoned the Reformation and joined the Roman Catholic Church. I had been misled by Protestant historians to view Melanchthon as a complex man, with flaws and faults, but also a man who produced great work in a volatile time. Helpfully, a Catholic apologist popped that bubble for me also.He also noted of Melanchthon:
“As for Melanchthon's "complexity": yes, he sure was: a mild-mannered humanist who was too much of a wimp to even stand up to his friend Luther, yet who was in favor of killing peaceful Anabaptists, those who rejected the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (the very belief that he himself later came to hold!), and those who held that some heathen might be saved. He described the Calvin-instigated burning of Michael Servetus as "'a pious and memorable example to all posterity." A very complex man indeed: and typical of the first generation of Protestants: not exactly renowned for their exceptional holiness, doctrinal orthodoxy or religious toleration . . .”
Wow- I had to do some real soul searching when I read this real history of Melanchthon! This short paragraph really sums up Melanchthon, doesn't it? I was so blind by following and (probably) worshipping the early Reformers! For instance, in one of those “auntie-Catholic” truth hiding long biographies of Melanchthon I wasted my money buying, one Protestant author attempted to do damage control on the dark secret of Melanchthon’s astrology:
“The paradoxical sixteenth century was an age of criticism. It questioned history, theology, ecclesiasticism, and culture. It was an age of learning, with many strains of culture mingling to produce the foundations of modern life; but it was also an age of superstition, with its books of fantasy, sorcery, astrology, and demonology. Humanism was the great tool of this critical age, but humanism was also used to preserve the past. Some of the most educated men were the most morbidly scrupulous. None of the great leaders of the age escaped this aspect of the dark past. A large circle of astrologers surrounded Pope Paul III. Kepler included astrological predictions in his calendar of 1594 and became court astrologer under Kaiser Rudolf II. The founding of the Wittenberg University was delayed until a favorable astrological moment presented itself, and the first rector, Martin Polich of Mellerstadt, was the author of many annual star predictions. Those who did not accept astrology nevertheless had their dreams, and devils, and angelologies. Records show that a large circle of the best scholars of the time were directly associated with Melanchthon in pursuing astrology [footnote #5: Hieronymous Wolf, Camerarius, Achilles Gassar, Vitus Amerbach, Johannes Homelius, J. Schoner, J. Heller, David Chytraeus, Joachim Cureus, Herman Witekind, Jacob Milich, and Caspar Peucer]."
Source: Clyde Manschreck, Melanchthon The Quiet Reformer (New York: Abingdon Press, 1958),103.
Can you just see the historical Protestant kool- aid being dolled out here? This Protestant historian is trying to whitewash the evidence of Melanchthon’s devious astrological bent by placing the reformer in a historical context! As if this excuses such an attribute of Melanchthon! Further, in his bent against the Roman Catholic Church, this Protestant author had the audacity to print the probable lie that a Pope of the “true Church” himself had astrologers! Of course, the astrologers were probably placed there by the government or something- it’s impossible that the man sitting in the chair of Peter could believe in astrology!
This same spin-author goes on to suggest that Melanchthon considered systematized astrology a “science.” Imagine, a medieval humanist believing that astrology was something to scrutinize as a Science! The author then lists a whole bunch of humanists who thought the same thing! Gosh, these guys were silly. Why couldn’t these guys be as informed as we are in the year 2006? Surely that silly idea of historical anachronism doesn’t apply. I expect these guys should have been just as informed as we are. They shouldn’t have been so medieval.
The same “spin doctor” Protestant author points out:
“Astrology, dreams, and omens were a part of Melanchthon’s inheritance, a legacy which he did not transcend. He inherited some of his religious nature from his father, who was unusually pious and god-fearing, but also superstitious about such things as astrology, for he had Phillip’s horoscope read. Melanchthon’s tendency toward astrology might be analyzed as an attachment to his father. Philip was also greatly influenced by his uncle Reuchlin, who, in spite of the fact that he criticized alchemy and astrology as magical arts of the devil, was strongly attached to the cabala. Reuchlin sought to find in Jewish words and numbers the secret depths of religion. Even enlightened, critical humanism was not without its Aberglaube. Renaissance popes Julius II and Paul III honored astrology, and chairs of astrology were actually established in many universities. Almost every court had its astrologer.”
Source: Clyde Manschreck, Melanchthon The Quiet Reformer (New York: Abingdon Press, 1958),110-112.
Here is yet more spin to try to dismiss the facts about Melanchthon. Now the author tries to blame Melanchthon’s father and relatives! Look what’s going on here- this spin-author is trying to put forth a historical context simply to dismiss the facts. Protestant Reformation authors will do anything to cover up the truth! Then, as a last blast of anti-Catholicism, the author again seeks to slander the Papacy by pointing out Popes Julius II and Paul III honored astrology. Look at the depths of deception this writer will sink to.
So after learning the awful truth about Melanchthon’s devotion to astrology, why do I remain a Protestant? Well, it’s because I’m an “auntie- Catholic”. But don’t worry, DA has found me out. He notes that I “misrepresent Catholic theology with ridiculous whoppers”, and that my writing is in some instances “absurd” and “filled with many elementary errors about Catholic doctrine.” But, hopefully with his continued historical research into the Reformation, many of you will be spared from my absurdities and errors.
***Addendum*** Catholic Apologetics Wonders Never Cease*******
Ah, some Catholic apologists never ceases to amaze me. He visited this blog entry and snatched (or perhaps "hijacked") the two quotes I utilized from Clyde Manschreck's book, Melanchthon The Quiet Reformer (New York: Abingdon Press, 1958). This is humorous because due to his "self imposed" resolution won't directly respond to me, but yet taking the information I provided and synthesizing it into his own material is fine and dandy.
He says of these quotes:
"many thanks to amateur Luther historian James Swan for kindly transcribing this material."
Well, perhaps someone reading his blog will benefit from these quotes. Perhaps his readers will be able to extract what I tried to say jokingly in this blog post: history must be presented in a historical context. DA's original entry did nothing to set the record straight. It was simply an example of "shock" apologetics, similar in nature to those out-dated polemics used by Father Patrick O'Hare.
DA mentions in his blog back comments:
"It's the anti-Catholics who need to be confronted with their "historical hypocrisy" and highly selective, warped presentations of Church history. They can do with this material what they will. It's out there now (all I did was collect stuff from the Internet and a little bit from books not online), and I believe the more facts we know about anything, the better we are informed, in order to take an educated, intelligent position, whichever way we come down on things."
Indeed, confront me. Hopefully you're now better informed by the material I posted here which you hijacked and used on your blog.