Sunday, June 29, 2008

The British Reformation Saint You Never Hear About

His name is John Fisher. He was the only bishop who stood up and denounced Henry's insane descent into schism and heresy. Prior to his falling out with Henry, Fisher spent much effort in dismantling the errors of Martin Luther. It helped that Fisher a brilliant theologian, so much so that he was regarded as the ablest opponent of Lutheranism.

Of course, Henry was all in favor of this stuff until he wanted to get rid of Catherine. Once Fisher began opposing him on this, the die had been cast. Fisher was thrown into the Tower. Pope Paul III immediately made him a cardinal. Henry offered to send Fisher's head to the pope so that he could have it fitted for the red hat. It wasn't long after that he was executed.

The shame of it all is that you can't really find any of Fisher's really great anti-Lutheran works anymore (unless you are in a seminary library, I guess). What you can read, though, are his beautiful Expositions on the Penitential Psalms. A very moving spiritual work that I recommend to everyone.

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