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Details from St John Fisher by Jacobus Houbraken (c. 1760), and St Thomas More by Hans Holbein the Younger (1527).

By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture,  Jul 31, 2020

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio

Before Henry VIII tried to make himself head of the Church in England, one of the most striking things about the work of St. John Fisher as the Bishop of Rochester was his regular involvement in cases of heresy. His lifetime was a transitional period between the world of Christendom—which was more or less firmly grounded in Catholicism—and the world as we know it today, where the expectation is that most people will either not hold or actively oppose the Catholic Faith.

Of course, most of the opposition in Fisher’s time came from people who claimed to be Christian but thought the Church no longer (or perhaps never) accurately represented the teachings of Christ. But as this had the result of overthrowing the sacramental system (especially in its social dimension) and eliminating the authority principle when it came to determining the truths of the Faith, the consequent confusion opened the way for skepticism and the rampant secularism we experience today. This is not to assess blame, but to recognize both a logical and an obvious historical progression. Christians, when it comes to dismantling the Church, must be careful what they wish for.  ….

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