Prayer in English, by David Warren

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*Image: Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbein, the Younger, 1527 [Frick Collection, New York]

By David Warren, The Catholic Thing, Nov. 22, 2019

David Warren is a former editor of the Idler magazine and columnist in Canadian newspapers. He has extensive experience in the Near and Far East. His blog, Essays in Idleness, is now to be found at:

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David WarrenIn my historical imagination, the line that marks the English Reformation slices right through Saint Thomas More’s neck.

He wasn’t merely defending the Catholic doctrine on marriage, against a willful king who found it inconvenient. He had a clear view of circumstances far beyond this.

Light and witty as he could be, and a magnificent controversialist, he didn’t lay down his life in order to clinch a debating point.

In his bowels, he realized that the whole order of Catholic Christendom was at stake. Moreover, he was in a reasonable position to foresee what would happen. For on several fronts (Luther articulating only one) that order was under attack.

That he could not foresee exactly the sequence of events that would follow upon his own martyrdom goes without saying. No man can do this, and prophecy does not require it.

More was a controversialist. His English works were massive, more than 1,000 closely printed pages. (His misunderstood humanist potboiler, Utopia, was among his Latin works.) ….

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