Protestants, Saintliness, And Us

Of all people Catholics try to make themselves beautiful glorifying, Martin Luther King seems one of the most improbable.

Even my cat knows the guy was a serious, extremely dedicated philanderer. I am now informed he was, on occasion, violent, too. Let us leave aside for a moment the explosive detail of the Black guy beating White prostitutes, and let us focus on the matter at hand: nobody can even begin of boast of any (even for protestant standards) saintly behaviour, who behaved in that way.

On the contrary, it seems to me that King’s serious sins (of which, I am sure, he was fully aware, because he was an intelligent man) were the very reason that propelled his social activism; because, as I have explained many times, religious professionals (Catholic or otherwise), when they know they are utterly deficient in what is expected of them in their role, start finding for themselves other roles that help them feel that they are good guys. Thus, the social justice preacher, or the enviro-priest, and all the rest.

I might, of course, be wrong, and it can that MLK’s serial philandering started after a vast notoriety was achieved, whilst he was quite the chaste preacher beforehand. But I doubt it, because I have seen too many examples to the contrary.

But let us come back to the saintly behaviour, and let us reflect on this: that the idea of a Protestant going straight to heaven at death is totally extraneous to Catholic thinking. Yes, certainly many Protestants are saved and land, at some point, in heaven, and even Mr Feeney agreed with this, renouncing his heresy, before he died. But this does not mean that you have two ways of becoming a saint at death, one of which is the Protestant one.

I wish MLK salvation with all my heart. I even think he was well-intentioned, before sinking in that marsh of proto-communist, bleeding heart activism that was already his mark when he died (I see here another sign of a strong and easily misled ego at work: when a mission is accomplished, you have to find another one that gives you fame and women). But I cannot avoid a strong sense of discomfort when I see Catholics talking of their “good Protestants” and completely forgetting the main fact: that they were Protestant.

Many Protestants are, of course, saved. But they are not saved because they were Protestant. They are saved notwithstanding the fact that they were Protestant. By God’s grace, they enter the Church just before death, even if they were – let me emphasise this – out of her their entire life. If you are cut off from the Church, how can you develop those qualities that make a living saint? You will be, at best, an excellent candidate for purgatory; which, honestly speaking, is not more than what I realistically hope for myself.

We need to stop our wishy-washy mingling of “good guys” irrespective of their religious affiliation, and start the process of recovery of the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant as the main trait that differentiate the one from the other.

I wonder how many priests would want to base a homily on this.

Posted on January 16, 2023, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. One of the gravest, most pernicious errors of V2: that heretics, schismatics, and Jews can number themselves as part of the “faithful” and a “believer” when they lack the gifts of Faith and Charity….

  2. For this confusion we can thank the Vatican II novelty of “ecumenism,” pursuant to which going out and making disciples of all the nations is pointless.

    I once saw an “icon” of Martin Luther King in a (very ugly) Catholic chapel at a university. I believe it was the work of this Franciscan friar, who has also done “icons” of such luminaries as homosexual activist Harvey Milk, Cardinal Bernadin, and — not included in the following link, but can be found in the same online store — a blasphemous image conflating Christ and the pagan god Quetzalcoatl.

  3. Joseph D'hippolito

    With all due respect, I disagree. Just as tax collectors and prostitutes would see the kingdom of Heaven before the Pharisees, so will Protestants and Eastern Orthodox see it before many Catholics. Why? First, God is no respecter of persons. Second, the key is (and always has been) Christ’s blood, shed as the ultimate atonement for human sin. As St. Paul said, without the shedding of blood, there’s no forgiveness of sin. Many Protestants and Eastern Orthodox recognize that fact more than many Catholics, especially in clerical and theological leadership.

    The Church doesn’t save. No church saves. Only Christ saves for He is the only one who meets God’s righteous demands for atonement. Only when the Church recovers that can it repent of centuries of idolizing wealth, power, political influence, secular prestige, intellectual fashion and institutional arrogance.

    You might argue that the Church is the vehicle through which Christ acts. But what happens if the Church becomes effectively apostate? Read the vision that Leo XIII had before composing his prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. It’s not pretty, not by a long shot.

    • You misunderstand the role of the Church, because you have stopped believing in it.

    • Joseph D'hippolito

      “You misunderstand the role of the Church, because you have stopped believing in it.”

      The Church’s leadership stopped believing in Christ long before Francis. Ask any priest or bishop if they truly believe the Resurrection was a literal event. Ask them if they believe in the Real Presence. Ask them if they know what the Gospel really means and entails beyond the cliche of “good news.” Ask them if they know the relationship between the Mosaic Law’s sacrificial system and Christ’s bloody atonement.

      You can bet every last farthing that the Jesuits don’t know or even care, let alone Francis.

      If the priests and bishops don’t know, I guarantee you the laity won’t know.

      As I said, read about the vision that motivated Leo XIII to write the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. You think he would have written that prayer if the vision wasn’t real? If it weren’t, you don’t think the Church would have declared it so?

    • The issues of individual people cannot make us think that the church has stopped being the Church. It would mean that the Church has changed her nature and is now fundamentally wrong. This goes against the concept of her indefectibility. .

  4. A Protestant I had much respect for was Billy Graham. I’ve never had any illusions that he was a saint, or should be declared a saint, but I did have hope that somehow he joined himself to the Church before he died, because I do think he tried to live as a Christian man. I still pray for his soul, and you writing about Protestants has given me hope that maybe he will be up there.

  5. Why do you mingle the good guys i.e. FATHER [not Mr.} Feeney with the bad guys? This literary giant of a great Catholic evangelist was one of the most falsely maligned heroes of the last century. He had much in common with Archbishop Lefebvre including receiving a letter of excommunication with no signature and not allowed proper canonical recourse. He abjured his “heresy” by reciting the Athanasius Creed which includes the dogma you sight here, ” out side of which there is no salvation’.
    That was “The Dogma” he had been excommunicated for holding the line on.
    He was targeted due to his success in converting the Harvard students from families with to much influence over the local hierarchy.

  6. I don’t get your response.
    He died reconciled with the church.
    Although he was never out of it, just at odds with the liberals in power. Which we should be able to relate to.

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