His Book of Martyrs is held forth as a Historical Resource at "studylight".
Books by 'John Foxe'
The Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe, is an account of Christian martyrs throughout Western history from the first century through the early sixteenth centuries, emphasising the sufferings of English Protestants and proto-Protestants from the fourteenth century through the reign of Mary I. First published in 1563 by the Protestant John Day, the book was lavishly produced and illustrated with many woodcuts and was the largest publishing project undertaken in Britain up to that time. Commonly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, one fuller title of the work is Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Days, Touching Matters of the Church. Widely owned and read by English Puritans, the book helped mould British popular opinion about the nature of Catholicism for several centuries.
Indeed I think so much that the present edition* is not that of John Foxe himself. It contains the Affaire Calas in chapter 4. And John Calas or Jean Calas was executed by "vile garrote" (strangulation) in 1762.
Foxe's Book of Martyrs
by 'John Foxe'
Chapter 4 — Papal Persecutions, p. 7
Martyrdom of John Calas
We pass over many other individual maretyrdoms to insert that of John Calas, which took place as recently as 1761, and is an indubitable proof of the bigotry of popery, and shows that neither experience nor improvement can root out the inveterate prejudices of the Roman Catholics, or render them less cruel or inexorable to Protestants.
Seeing my own father is a believer in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and seeing he is very upset even twenty years later at my Catholic conversion, and seeing he seems to encourage Protestants both here in Paris - far away from his own Sweden - and world wide where I get contacts on the internet to regard me as a madman or a drunkard, and seeing this has ruined my life up to this day, I am not quite sure that Jean Calas was innocent of murdering his son, after another one had already converted to Catholicism, by being disgusted at having two sons convert. Protestant prejudice against Catholicism can be cruel and persistent.
Back to the chapter 4 of "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" (edition nth with very many additions).
Before that, there has been an account of St Bartholomew's Massacre, of Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, but the Calas affaire goes on to the end of page 9 / last of a chapter belonging to a book with a first edition in 1563.
I think it is a safe bet that this is NOT from the first edition. Studylight does not give us any details of what edition they are using. It is very clearly one into which additions have been made after John Foxe, by editors who may or may not have been named in the book itself, but who remain unnamed on the site "studylight" where I have also been accessing John Calvin's comments.
The most part of the chapter 4 is concerned with French Catholicism vs Huguenots. St Bartholomew's Massacre begins at the bottom of page 2. I find it a pretty safe bet, the edition we deal with is heavily inspired by Huguenot emigrants who got a refuge in England and perhaps already then in the Thirteen Colonies - or such of them as were already extant by the time when Louis XIV revoked it and the ensuing years.
BUT, before that we are dealing with some heavily erroneous stuff which can very well be by Foxe himself.
Popery having brought various innovations into the Church, and overspread the Christian world with darkness and superstition, some few, who plainly perceived the pernicious tendency of such errors, determined to show the light of the Gospel in its real purity, and to disperse those clouds which artful priests had raised about it, in order to blind the people, and obscure its real brightness.
The principal among these was Berengarius, who, about the year 1000, boldly preached Gospel truths, according to their primitive purity.
Where in Christendom was the Real Presence of the Sacrament NOT believed by the time of Berengarius? The question is relevant due to Matthew 28.
One sect in Armenia, the Tondrakians, had denied it, and in their time the Armenian Schismatics or Heretics, known as Armenian Apostolic Church, still uphled this, since they condemned Tondrakians for denying it. Be it noted that on some few points Tondrakians were right about certain things. A baptism is valid even if performed by a layman without subsequent immediate chrismation. Which that condemnation by the Armenian Church denied. Even they were unheard of before the 7th or perhaps 6th Century, as far as I know.
But apart from Tondrakians, no one was denying the Real Presence in Berangarius' time, nor did he himself continue to do so.
Catholic Encyclopedia* > B > Berengarius of Tours
The imprisonment, however, did not last long. The Bishop of Angers, Eusebius Bruno, was his disciple and supporter, and the Count of Anjou, Geoffrey Martel, his protector. The following year, by order of Henry I, a national synod was held in Paris to judge Berengarius and Eusebius Bruno; neither was present, and both were condemned. At the Council of Tours (1055), presided over by the papal legate Hildebrand, Berengarius signed a profession of faith wherein he confessed that after consecration the bread and wine are truly the body and blood of Christ. At another council held in Rome in 1059, Berengarius was present, retracted his opinions, and signed a formula of faith, drawn up by Cardinal Humbert, affirming the real and sensible presence of the true body of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. (Mansi, XIX, 900.) On his return, however, Berengarius attacked this formula. Eusebius Bruno abandoned him, and the Count of Anjou, Geoffrey the Bearded, vigorously opposed him. Berengarius appealed to Pope Alexander II, who, though he intervened in his behalf, asked him to renounce his erroneous opinions. This Berengarius contemptuously refused to do. He then wrote his De Sacrâ Coenâ adversus Lanfrancum Liber Posterior, the first book of which — now lost — had been written against the Council of Rome held in 1059. He was again condemned in the Councils of Poitiers (1075), and of St. Maixeut (1076), and in 1078, by order of Pope Gregory VII, he came to Rome, and in a council held in St. John Lateran signed a profession of faith affirming the conversion of the bread into the body of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary. The following year, in a council held in the same place Berengarius signed a formula affirming the same doctrine in a more explicit way. Gregory VII then recommended him to the bishops of Tours and Angers, forbidding that any penalty should be inflicted on him or that anyone should call him a heretic. Berengarius, on his return, again attacked the formula he had signed, but as a consequence of the Council of Bordeaux (1080) he made a final retraction. He then retired into solitude on the island of St. Cosme, where he died, in union with the Church.
However, this may have been hidden from Foxe, and the allegation he founded a sect of Berangarians rather than having Eusebius Bruno for sole supporter, more or less, may have come from Catholic sources unduly alarmed of heresies spreading:
According to some of their contemporaries, Berengarius held erroneous opinions about the spiritual power, marriage, the baptism of children, and other points of doctrine. (Bernold of Constance, De Berengerii haeresiarchae damnatione multiplici in P.L., CXLIX, 1456; Guitmond, De Corporis et Sanguinis Christi veritate in Eucharistiâ, P.L., CXLIX, 1429, 1480.) But Berengarius's fundamental doctrine concerns the Holy Eucharist.
I first though Bernold of Constance lived in the fifteenth Century, but no, he was a contemporary, thouugh his works were published centuries later in print:*
Catholic Encyclopedia > B > Bernold of Constance
Historian and theologian, b. in Swabia about 1054; d. at Schaffhausen, 16 September, 1100. [...] His name has ever been associated with the reforms of Gregory VII. The seventeen tracts that have reached us are mostly apologies for the pope's policy, or vindications of men who advocated or enforced it in Germany. Chief among these are: "De prohibendâ sacerdotum incontinentiâ", written against the married clergy; "De damnatione schismaticorum", wherein he justified the pope's condemnation of that abuse; "Apologeticus super excommunicationem Gregorii VII", a defence of the pope's excommunication of Henry IV and his partisans. Bernold is the author of a chronicle (Mon. Germ. Hist., Script., V) which is still highly esteemed.
Now, back to Foxe:
Many, from conviction, assented to his doctrine, and were, on that account, called Berengarians. To Berengarius succeeded Peer Bruis, who preached at Toulouse, under the protection of an earl, named Hildephonsus; and the whole tenets of the reformers, with the reasons of their separation from the Church of Rome, were published in a book written by Bruis, under the title of "Antichrist."
Maybe Foxe had read a book "by Peter de Bruis" which he saw entitled as "Antichrist", but I am not sure of the authorship. Besides, Peter de Bruis was living in a century where book publishing was a bit trickier than it became later, since printing with moveable types in the Latin alphabet** was not yet invented. Books were copied by hand.
I suspect that Reformers were challenged about the tenets of Reformed Religion being innovations - or that much I know, I need not suspect it - and then (this being what I suspect) certain works containing theologemes from Luther, Calvin, Beza, Zwingli and others were being forged under names such as "Antichrist by Peer de Bruis" or "The Wicket by Wycliffe". Before the printing press, book printing was so much less of an issue.
Actually, before the printing press, book publishing was so much less of an issue and book printing not an issue at all.***
Book copying en masse was not done by one or two men with machinery, but by several men - often University Students - who were sworn to obedience to the Bishop under whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction the university lay. And these in turn were not in existance before Pope Alexander III on Third Lateran Council enjoined the duty of Bishops to hold Cathedral schools. After the lifetime of Peter of Bruis.
I had been speculating that the method used by universities like Sorbonne in the times of St Albert or St Thomas, St Bonaventura and Bishop Stephen II Tempier (all of whom I respect, including the bishop who is not a canonised saint) could have been invented earlier by monasteries.
Here I find the common opinion very useful for my cause, even if it is true that I am a very great fan of books and access to them and that the society before, Catholic and Christian though it was, may have been cumbersome to my habits of reading. In the time of Peter de Bruis, there was no possibility of making a great impact by publishing a book.
He did make a great impact by making a bonfire of crosses. He made such a great impact on the Catholic population there that they resorted to lynching him by letting him join the crosses on his bonfire. It may be noted, first of all, that to them as well as to Church men, Peter de Bruis was acting like an enemy to the Holy Cross of Our Lord - and I subscribe to the judgement - and then that the Church men did not take any initiative to burn him, since burning heretics was simply not done. Peter de Bruis was the first in the West.
A bit earlier, a Basileus of New Rome (at the Bosphorus, a k a Constantinople, more recently Istanbul) had also burned a heretic. Alexius Comnenus had burned Basilius the Physician. Now, nobody in Foxe's book of Martyrs mentions Basilius the Physician or Alexius Comnenus - any more than Tondrakians. By this token you may guess the Reformers were not using Tondrakians or Basil the Physician as precedents for Reformed theology. And he was not reformed. Of Genesis 1:1 he would not have believed the words "and Earth" - and of the creator of earth in his book, he did not believe he was God, nor that it was in the beginning, nor that he also created Heaven.°
But by the Fourth Lateran Council, under Innocent III, there was such a horror at mainly Albigensians - that is people agreeing with Basil the Physician - that the Church did after all agree to the burning of relapsed and of pertinacious heretics. This was not so at the time of Berengarius. If it had been he would have been burned for renewing his heresies after the first recantation.
Be it noted that though Albigensians were not encouraging violence as personal behaviour, neither did they consider the human life as sacred. If you know the Kali sect, the Thuggees, with whom English colonial powers had some trouble, and their tenet they were doing the victims a favour by sacrificing them to Kali, you may guess a little what attitude to death - if not to violent killing - the Albigensians had. Suicide by starvation was one of their "Sacraments" or "Sacramentals." I was in prison invited to a hunger strike, I refused to participate. The one who took or tried to take the initiative had, since his crime, converted to Evangelical Pentecostal Christian practise. To me, a Catholic, a hunger strike is far too much like the Albigensian Endura.°° But among Albigensians there was this further thing, making it worse than a hunger strike, that a person on hunger strike might count on prison guards forcing food into him. An Albigensian agreeing to Endura might be helped the other way round, by his Albigensian surroundings: he was prevented from taking food or water. They also procured abortions.
It is thus not any outbreak of personal instability within an otehrwise totally non-violent sect, but rather a thing not usually encouraged but not impossible to expect either, when Albigensians murdered a Papal legate, an act which propelled the "Albigensian crusade" (or Crusade against the Albigensians).
Here is how Foxe treats the event (yes, this passage is very probably from the original edition or one during his own lifetime - with an addition in later ones):
The Albigenses were a people of the reformed religion, who inhabited the country of Albi. They were condemned on the score of religion in the Council of Lateran, by order of Pope Alexander III. Nevertheless, they increased so prodigiously, that many cities were inhabited by persons only of their persuasion, and several eminent noblemen embraced their doctrines. Among the latter were Raymond, earl of Toulouse, Raymond, earl of Foix, the earl of Beziers, etc.
A friar, named Peter, having been murdered in the dominions of the earl of Toulouse, the pope made the murder a pretense to persecute that nobleman and his subjects. To effect this, he sent persons throughout all Europe, in order to raise forces to act coercively against the Albigenses, and promised paradise to all that would come to this war, which he termed a Holy War, and bear arms for forty days. The same indulgences were likewise held out to all who entered themselves for the purpose as to such as engaged in crusades to the Holy Land. The brave earl defended Toulouse and other places with the most heroic bravery and various success against the pope's legates and Simon, earl of Montfort, a bigoted Catholic nobleman. Unable to subdue the earl of Toulouse openly, the king of France, and the queen mother, and three archbishops raised another formidable army, and had the art to persuade the earl of Toulouse to come to a conference, when he was treacherously seized upon, made a prisoner, forced to appear barefooted and bareheaded before his enemies, and compelled to subscribe an abject recantation. This was followed by a severe persecution against the Albigenses; and express orders that the laity should not be permitted to read the sacred Scriptures. In the year 1620 also, the persecution against the Albigenses was very severe. In 1648 a heavy persecution raged throughout Lithuania and Poland. The cruelty of the Cossacks was so excessive that the Tartars themselves were ashamed of their barbarities. Among others who suffered was the Rev. Adrian Chalinski, who was roasted alive by a slow fire, and whose sufferings and mode of death may depict the horrors which the professors of Christianity have endured from the enemies of the Redeemer.
The Albigensians were very much not of the Reformed Religion, since they were very much not believing Genesis 1:1.
They were not condemned on the score of religious discord alone, but because of their horrendous acts.
Simon of Montfort was not a bigot for heading the Crusade, nor was St Leopold Duke of Austria a bigot for joining it. Which he did.
And the sects in Poland and Lithuania may have or not have included people calling themselves Albigensians, but were very much not the original evil thing which the Medieval Inquisition along with Crusaders like Simon of Montfort and St Leopold of Austria stamped out. Be it noted, usually not by killing, but by conversion.
Here is one corrective to the false impression given in this site of "studylight":
The Night's Dark Shade
by Elena Maria Vidal(Author)
Here is another one:
The Name of the Rose: including the Author's Postscript– September 28, 1994
by Umberto Eco(Author), William Weaver(Translator)
It may be added that 1994 was not the first edition, I read an earlier one in 1984. It dramatically changed my view of the Inquisition, which up to then I had regarded as a diabolical and at least unbiblical aberration. I had not known what Albigensians were till I read it. My mother had in a Bible school been taught the lie (from Foxe) that they were Bible believing Christians.
Since I was even previous to this pro-Catholic (with reservations precisely on Inquisition), and anti-Reformation (since I knew the Reformation was very bloody and Church Persecuting business), this discovery made me decide to become Catholic.
A little later I came across a sweet passage in a novel by Chesterton, the first I ever read by him, in German translation:
THE RETURN OF DON QUIXOTE
G. K. CHESTERTON
Looking for the quote I come across this one:
"That has been defended economically," said Braintree, with restraint. "One authority has pointed out that the best trades are paid equally already."
"Karl Marx, I suppose," said the expert, testily.
"No, John Ruskin," replied the other. "One of your Victorian giants." Then he added, "But the text and title of the book were not by John Ruskin, but by Jesus Christ; who had not, alas, the privilege of being a Victorian."
Here, rather, the one I was looking for:
"You think he was affected by the Albigensian doctrines?" inquired the librarian, earnestly and almost eagerly. "It is true, of course, that the seat of the heresy was in the south and a great many of the troubadours seemed to have been in that or similar philosophical movements."
"His movements are philosophical all right," said Archer. "I like my movements to be a little less philosophical when I'm making love to a girl on the stage. It's almost as if she really meant him to be shilly-shallying instead of popping the question."
"The question of avoiding marriage seems to have been essential in the heresy," said Herne. "I notice that in the records of men returning to orthodoxy after the Crusade of Montford and Dominic, there is the repeated entry iit in matrimonium. It would certainly be interesting to play the part as that of some such semi-oriental pessimist and idealist; a man who feels the flesh to be dishonour to the spirit, even in its most lovable and lawful form. Nothing of that comes out very clearly in the lines Miss Ashley has given me to say; but perhaps your part makes the point a little clearer."
"I think he's a long time coming to the point," replied Archer. "Gives a romantic actor no scope at all."
"I'm afraid I don't know anything about any sort of acting," said the librarian, sadly. "It's lucky you've only given me a few lines in the play."
He paused a moment, and Julian Archer looked at him with an almost absent-minded pity, as he murmured that it would be all right on the night. For Archer, with all his highly practical savoir faire, was not the man to feel the most subtle changes in the social climate; and he still regarded the librarian more or less as a sort of odd footman or stable-boy brought in by sheer necessity, merely to say, "My lord, the carriage waits." Preoccupied always by his own practical energies, he took no notice of the man's maunderings about his own hobby of old books, and was only faintly conscious that the man was maundering still.
"But I can't help thinking," the librarian was continuing, in his low meditative voice, "that it might give rather an interesting scope for a romantic actor to act exactly that sort of high and yet hollow romance. There is a kind of dance that expresses contempt for the body. You can see it running like a pattern through any number of Asiatic traceries and arabesques. That dance was the dance of the Albigensian troubadours; and it was a dance of death. For that spirit can scorn the body in either of two ways; mutilating it like a fakir or pampering it like a sultan; but never doing it honour. Surely it will be rather interesting for you to interpret bitter hedonism, the high and wild cries, the horns and hootings of the old heathen revel, along with the underlying pessimism."
"I feel the underlying pessimism all right," answered Archer, "when Trelawney won't come to rehearsals and Olive Ashley will only fidget about with her potty little paints."
He lowered his voice a little hastily with the last words, for he realised for the first time that the lady in question was sitting at the other end of the library, with her back to him, bent over books and fidgeting away as described. She had not apparently heard him; in any case she did not turn round, and Julian Archer continued in the same tone of cheerful grumbling.
"I don't suppose you have much experience of what really grips an audience," he said. "Of course, nobody supposes it won't go off all right in one sense. Nobody's likely to give us the bird--"
"Give us what bird?" asked Mr. Herne, with mild interest.
I may add, since Chesterton's day, the idea that Troubadours were inspired by Albigensian ideology has been discredited.
But what stands its ground through the times of Umberto Eco and - much later - Elena Maria Vidal is that Foxe is very discredited in believing Albigensians were Reformed or otherwise in any way Bible Believing Christians.°°°
If someone will ask me if I take the word of three mere novelists over that of Foxe, who was a Church historian, and very respected such among Protestants, I answer definitely yes. He was not a Church Historian from the Tradition of the Church, and the learning he gathered about his matter has since then been very much bypassed. I prefer three novelists who have done their research# to a hack historian who has not done such. I prefer talent neglected to incompetence (that is the best word I can use for Foxe) vaunted and lifted up to the skies.
I respect Kent Hovind when it comes to research he has done about dragons and thunderbirds and other critters that could very well be post-Flood dinosaurs. But when he gets to subjects like Church History, it is a pity he trusts Foxe, and it is a pity he is a friend of the infamous Jack Chick who does so too and on top of that trust men like Avro Manhattan and Hochhuth. It is a pity also that Romanides studied at Harvard, where he got a very lopsided view of Catholic history. But I do respect him for saying Aeneas spoke Greek when he came to Italy. If it is Mycenean Greek and not Koiné he meant. Though in my opinion it could also very well be Hittite, Aramaic, Phenician, perhaps even Etruscan or Sumerian.
I can believe the historical myths or rather legends from mythology. But I cannot believe the mythology of Foxe.## Soyons anti ces mythes. Let's be against such myths, even if that be seen as an Antisemite stand. For part of Jewry also eagerly looks to Avro Manhattan. And perhaps also that Foxe.
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
* Speaking of editions, the one I use of Catholic Encyclopedia is the following:
The Catholic Encyclopedia
** Whenever Chinese or Koreans invented their printing, that is of no concern to Peter of Bruis.
*** Thanks to Kent Hovind for lesson in efficient use of misstatements!
° With the Protestants, we Catholics start disagreeing from chapters 3 and 4 of Genesis onward. What was the fall? Did Cain have free will or was he predestined to kill Abel? But with Basil the Physician, the disagreement starts in Genesis 1:1, and therefore we see even Protestants as far more Christian in doctrine than him or other Manichaeans.
°° I have seen the provençal word enduro - Mistralian spelling of same word - used of a motor bike race. I am not into motor bike races either, out of personal taste, but at least they are not sins of suicide. If you tend to think of IRA members as hunger striking, well, IRA of the 1970's was not exactly a fully Catholic organisation, although it was an organisation recruiting among usually not so practising persons of the Catholic confession, since the two religions are there also two ethnicities fighting about the same land (or previously so, up to the famous Good Friday agreement some time ago). Even so, their cause struck me as more just than the Ulster Scots cause, even previously to reading Umberto Eco.
°°° Wonder if BBC had been used as abbreviation for Bible Believing Christians before it became acronym for British BroadCasting (network). Or was it British Broadcasting Company? Either way, Albigensians were not BBC in the other sense - nor in the current one.
# Among these, Umberto Eco is not even a Catholic believer, as far as I know. Meaning that unlike Chesterton and Vidal, he has no bias in favour of the Inquisitors. The Protestants who respect Foxe do not include High Church men like Newman, before his conversion and I think C. S. Lewis knew very much more about the Middle Ages than was usual for his background in Belfast, and so he knew Foxe had at least not spoken the truth about Albigensians.
## Shall I even bother to mention that in chapter 5 he makes St Dominic more or less an Inquisitor and nothing else. A man of prayer, one who spent nights in waking prayer liek St Patrick and Our Lord Jesus Christ, not mentioned. A preacher, not mentioned, or barely. Just that he was connected to the Inquisition insofar as Dominicans and Franciscans became the most usually employed ones. And no, St Joan of Arc was not tried by these.