O miserum et infelicem deformationis diem!
Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine
On this day 1517, Martin Luther nails his 95 theses on the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenburg. They would spark a theological debate that would eventually rend Western Christendom asunder.
Having sparked a revolution, Luther noted; one "cannot meet a rebel with reason: your best answer is to punch him in the face until he has a bloody nose" (Paul Johnson, "A History of Christianity", page 283).
The peasants' ears "must be unbuttoned with bullets, till their heads jump off their shoulders... he who will not hear God's Word when it is spoken with kindness must listen to the headsman when he comes with an axe." (Will Durant, "The Reformation: A History of European Civilisation from Wycliffe to Calvin: 1300-1546", page 393).
"I think there is not a devil in hell; they have all gone into the peasants." (page 390).
"It is God, not man, Who hangs, and breaks on the wheel, and decapitates, and flogs; it is God who wages war."
"The world cannot be ruled by a rosary" (page 448)
Luther also recommended that the Pope, cardinals and others in the Papal curia "have their tongues torn out by the backs of their necks, and nailed in rows on the gallows" (page 450).
Eventually, Luther considered all other Protestant sects "tools of the devil", and as he died, he believed that the whole world was going to the devil because of the Catholics, the Jews, other Protestants, and the rising tide of irreligion in his own Germany.
It is hard to believe that this lunatic is almost singlehandedly responsible for the 45,000 Protestant sects around today. Inna, a Russian parishioner, answered me some 2 years ago, "Luther may have had good intentions, yes - but his work is of the Devil." Indeed, schism is never the solution to any problem in the Church.
Kenny of the Sleepless Eye, asks that we remember this day with black armbands, ashes and sackcloth.