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What are we to think of Calvin?
(Translated from Le Bachais, No. 35, November-December 1999, the publication of the Priory St. Pierr ^ | December, 1999 | Rev . Fr. Philippe Marcille

Posted on 06/26/2010 10:46:26 AM PDT by Natural Law

What are we to think of Calvin?

Rev . Fr. Philippe Marcille

The influence of John Calvin (1509-1564) has been immense, perhaps even more so than that of Luther. Certainly, without the bellowing revolutionary Luther, Calvin would not have been able to do anything; yet without Calvin, the revolt would not have had the political impact that it did in France and especially the United States.

Origins

He was born in Picardy, France, in 1509. His parents were well-to-do people. A very gifted student, he received a benefice from the Church and continued his studies at Paris. He was not well liked by his classmates: they nicknamed him "the accusative." He readily scolded others and tattled on them, while remaining aloof and bitter. But when in public, he would lose all his reserve and stand out in debates. An anti-Lutheran, defender of authority, he approved the legal actions brought against the most strident Lutherans.

The Personal Crisis

In 1532, at the College of France, he was still Catholic. By the end of 1533, he had suddenly turned Protestant, sold his benefices, and begun the life of an itinerant preacher. What happened?

Protestant hagiography has sought to explain it by edifying conversations in his room that would have taken place between Calvin and a Protestant cousin. Recent studies, however, have shown that the two were hundreds of miles apart at the time. A key, though, was left in part by Calvin himself:

Each and every time I entered within myself, a horror so great came over me that neither purifications nor satisfactions could have effaced it. The more I considered myself the more my conscience was pricked with sharp darts, so much so that only one consolation remained, and that was to deceive myself by forgetting about myself ....bewildered by the misery into which I had fallen, and even more so by the knowledge of how close I was to eternal death (Letter to Sadolet).

It is only fair to wonder what could be the nature of such a burning self-reproach. There is one answer, based upon serious evidence, one that has always been passionately denied by the Protestants. In 1551, a Catholic controversialist revealed that the archives of the city of Noyon, Calvin's birth place, contain the record of a condemnation against Calvin, at age 18, for sodomy. He had by then already received the tonsure. His parents obtained clemency from the bishop, so that instead of being condemned to death as the law demanded, he was branded as a sign of infamy. The Catholic controversialist presented the evidence signed by all the eminent personages of the city. The English scholar Stapleton went there to examine the archives during Calvin's lifetime, and vouched for the fact. The contemporary German Lutherans spoke of it as an established fact (Schlusselburg, Théologie calvinienne).

At twenty-four, Calvin was at a crossroads. He had to choose between confession or Lutheranism. He chose: "Only believe, and you are as sure of your own eternal salvation as of the Redemption of Christ. Only believe, and despite all the crimes, not only will you remain in the grace of God, in justice, but you will always remain in grace and you will never be able to lose it" (Bossuet's summary of his doctrine in "Variations").

The Heresiarch

His career began. He wandered to Strasbourg, Basel, Ferrara, and finally settled at Geneva in 1536 as preacher. There he was to show his full worth, not only as a preacher, but also as a political virtuoso. In five years, he was able to solidify his authority over the Consistory the Council of the Ancients, a disciplinary tribunal that passed sentence on all public sinners]; first as leader of the Protestants in exterminating the Catholics (half the city fled, ruined, all their property and possessions confiscated), then as president of the Council that voted on the right interpretation of the Bible, and finally as chief of the tribunal and the army of informers and police in charge of morality and doctrine.

The Tyrant

He began obsessively multiplying laws of public morality. Death was the penalty for high treason against religion as well as for high treason against the city, and for the son who would strike or curse his father, and for the adulterer and the heretic. Children were whipped or hanged for calling their mother a devil. A mason wearily exclaimed "to the devil with the work and the master," and was denounced and condemned to three days in prison. Magicians and sorcerers were hunted down. They always confessed, of course. According to the city register, in 60 years, some 150 were burnt at the stake.

The years went by; Calvin's obsession gripped the Genevans. The number of dishes that could be served at table was regulated, as well as the shape of shoes, and the ladies' hair styles. In the registers are to be found condemnations such as these: "Three journey-men tanners were sentenced to three days on bread and water in prison for having eaten at lunch three dozen pates, which is a great immorality."

That was in 1558. Drunkenness, taverns and card games were punished by fines. The city's coffers filled up and served to pay new informers. For there were ears everywhere in the republic of evangelical liberty, and the failure to inform was itself a misdemeanor. "They are to be stationed in every quarter of the city, so that nothing can escape their eyes," wrote Calvin. Sermons were given on Thursdays and Sundays. Attendance was obligatory under pain of fine or flogging. Not even children were excused. The spies would verify that the streets and houses were empty. Every year, the controllers of orthodoxy went house-to-house to have everyone sign the profession of faith voted that year. The last Catholics disappeared by death or exile. None spoke of changing religion, for Calvin had had a law voted punishing by death anyone who would dare question the reforms of the "servant of Geneva."

Calvin's City

Outwardly Geneva become an exemplary city where an iron morality reigned. Inwardly it was rotten. The population had been augmented by refugees of all sorts: Protestants chased from France, but also delinquents seeking impunity. Calvin's law allowed divorce: people hastened to Geneva from Savoy and the province of Lyons to get remarried. The Protestant Genevan Galiffe, a genealogist, concluded from his studies that the Geneva of Calvin's time was the gutter of Europe. And Calvin knew it:

Out of ten evangelists, you will scarcely find a one who became evangelical for any other reason than to be able to abandon himself more freely to drinking and dissolute living.

Calvin humbly took the title of "servant of Geneva," but God, he held, spoke by his mouth. "Since God has deigned to make known to me what is good and what is evil, I must rule myself by this measure..." And everyone else, too! One morning the city awoke to find gallows had been erected in all the public squares, to which a placard was attached: "For whomever shall speak ill of Mr. Calvin." A letter from the dictator sums up his attitude: "It is necessary to rid the land of these damned cads who exhort the people to resist us, blacken our conduct ...such monsters must be stamped out."

Absolute Power

Calvin's life was not snow white: there are stories of seized inheritances, "spontaneous gifts" made to the great man by merchants, considerable sums sent from the queen of Navarre or the duchess of Ferrara or from other well-off foreigners destined for the poor of the city, but which disappeared into the poor pockets of the great man; marriages arranged for members of his family by threatening rich refugees with expulsion.

Lampoons were circulated: woe to whomever the evangelical police seized in possession of one of them. Some escaped from torture or death by fleeing in time. Calvin then had their wives banished and their goods confiscated. For security's sake, he had the death penalty voted for whomever would even speak of recalling the exiles from their banishment.

Daniel Berthelier, master of the Mint of Geneva, had learned at Noyon the truth about Calvin's past, and had kept written evidence at his house. He was discovered, horribly tortured, and finally beheaded.

It was the execution of Servetus that consolidated the dictator's power. Calvin had cleverly had his adversary's book sent to the hive of Protestant popes, all of whom, including Melancthon, congratulated him on instigating the condemnation of this horrible heretic. Calvin immediately exploited this fleeting prestige to have appointed as electors a multitude of the men who had taken refuge in Geneva, for reasons which were not always based on religion, whom he called "the confessors of the faith." He soon controlled an absolute majority on the Consistory. He then had his last adversaries hunted down, exiled, or educated. It was 1554: before him were ten years in which to exercise absolute power.

There was no more resistance. Even the most powerful citizens could be forced to walk bare-footed around the city, clothed in a shirt, a candle in- hand, crying out "Mercy to God," the ordeal ending by a public confession made kneeling before the Consistory.

When not consulting the spies' reports, Calvin wrote his own book of revelation entitled Institutes of the Christian Religion. He worked on it incessantly, rearranging it, augmenting and re-editing, until it reached a thousand quarto pages. Woe to the critics, whose criticism would elicit from the author a rain of invectives. His ire was as likely to inveigh against Protestants as Catholics. Of Lutherans he was provoked to say: "They are quick tempered, furious, fickle, inconstant, liars, full of canine impudence and diabolical pride."

The quality of Calvin's cold hatred was terrible indeed. It is manifested especially in the affair of Michael Servetus. This learned doctor, a closet Protestant, amused himself by picking out all the blunders and errors that he could find in Calvin's pride and joy, The Institutes. He then sent the book with his own annotations to Calvin. That was in 1546. Calvin clenched his teeth: "If he comes hither and I have any authority, I will never let him quit this place alive" (Letter to Viret, a preacher of Lausanne). He awaited the moment of vengeance for seven years. In 1553, Servetus published anonymously an anti-trinitarian treatise. Calvin, who knew all the publishing channels of Protestant books, was able to discover the author's identity. He denounced him, furnishing proof to the Inquisition, which condemned Servetus, and then helped to obtain the mitigation of his punishment in light of all the good he had done as a physician. The unfortunate Servetus fled to Geneva, where he was arrested on sight. He was made to rot in prison two months. He pleaded to be allowed to have clean clothes and linen, but Calvin opposed the request. He was condemned to be burned alive. Calvin himself arranged the pyre: the pile of faggots was disposed in a circle around the stake so as to make the condemned man be burnt slowly. Calvin remained for two hours at his window listening to the man's screams. He received the approbation of the Protestant hive.

After 1559, the spleen that he had vented on his enemies seemed to be concentrated in his own entrails: stomach aches, intestinal pains, nephritic colic, bloody coughing racked him. His successor Theodore Beza confined him to his room and maintained the legend of the great man. But he confided that his master was becoming daily more imperious and tyrannic. He had unforeseeable fits of anger. Nothing satisfied him. He scolded; he threatened; he inveighed against all the pastors. He made the members of the Consistory confess publicly before him.

He died on the 27th of May 1564 after, it seems, thanking God for his evangelical mission. Was he a prophet, as the Protestants think? Maybe, in the final analysis, the prophet of religious democracy, the Antichrist's democracy. As he lay dying, though, he never had upon his lips the final cry that graced the lips of his dying victim, Michael Servetus: "Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me."

(Translated from Le Bachais, No. 35, November-December 1999, the publication of the Priory St. Pierre Julien Eymard, France).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Ecumenism; History
KEYWORDS: anticatholic; blasphemy; calvin; calvinism; catholic; freformed; heretics; protestant; protestantism; reformation
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Truly a vile heresey from a vile man.
1 posted on 06/26/2010 10:46:31 AM PDT by Natural Law
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To: Natural Law

No question he was broken. It is just that his perfectly framed condemnations of the demonic cult of Rome has helped perhaps billions escape the clutches of that utter cesspool.


2 posted on 06/26/2010 10:49:59 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Natural Law

True enough but one can say the same things about the Catholic Church before the Reformation. As a disclaimer I am RC but the world is a better place because of the Reformation.


3 posted on 06/26/2010 11:00:06 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: Natural Law

True enough but one can say the same things about the Catholic Church before the Reformation. As a disclaimer I am RC but the world is a better place because of the Reformation.


4 posted on 06/26/2010 11:00:15 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: Natural Law

Thanks for the post. Shocking.


5 posted on 06/26/2010 11:17:21 AM PDT by Judith Anne (Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.)
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To: Judith Anne

The article and the posts are good examples of why the Founders kept government from any actions either of religious support or religious condemnation.

History is replete with examples of why they limited government as they did.


6 posted on 06/26/2010 12:48:26 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: Natural Law
In 1551, a Catholic controversialist revealed that the archives of the city of Noyon, Calvin's birth place, contain the record of a condemnation against Calvin, at age 18, for sodomy.

I'm curious about something, no biography of Calvin that I can find mentions a wife. Did he have one?

7 posted on 06/26/2010 2:16:31 PM PDT by Desdemona (One Havanese is never enough.)
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To: Desdemona
"I'm curious about something, no biography of Calvin that I can find mentions a wife. Did he have one?"

The charge of Sodomy was made about Calvin during his career as a religious despot in Geneva, Switzerland. It came from his earlier life in France in what was at that time a PROTESTANT area. It was popularized by Jerome Bolsec, a former Carmelite Monk who had joined the so-called 'reform' and gone to live in Geneva. While there Bolsec disagreed with Calvin publicly on a technical issue relating to predestination. Calvin had Bolsec arrested and held in abysmal condition while seeking to have him executed for heresy.

Bolsec was intelligent and articulate. He won the sympathy of the ecclesiastical 'court' that Calvin convened. While they did not all agree with his position, they did not think that he was a danger to the faith in Geneva. Calvin demanded Bolsec's death. The Court would not agree. Then Calvin took a poll of the other Protestant pastors in Switzerland. They refused to exact the death penalty either. In fact, Calvin lost some of his closest friends because of his murderous attitude towards Bolsec. After suffering horrible physical and mental abuse, Bolsec was banished from Geneva and advised to leave Switzerland for his own safety.

He later came to his senses and returned to the Catholic Faith. He then wrote a book on the life of Calvin which frankly repeated every negative comment or charge ever made against the man. The sodomy charge was one of them.

Attempts had been made to verify the sodomy charges against Calvin, but since the events allegedly happened in a Protestant area, there have been charges of cover up and collusion to protect Calvin's 'good name.'

Calvin was in Geneva for several years when some of his fellow 'reformed pastors' WHO HAD ALL MARRIED came to him and showed concern for the fact that he hadn't. They arranged a marriage for him to the widow of another pastor who was older than Calvin. This was a marriage of convenience for both parties.

They had only one son at which point most of Calvin's biographers agree that he had very little to do with his wife. Calvin took no interest in his son who recedes into historical obscurity and is never heard from again. The relationship between Calvin and his wife was described as more like that that of a priest with his housekeeper or of an UNMARRIED MAN LIVING WITH HIS MOTHER.

8 posted on 06/26/2010 2:28:45 PM PDT by Natural Law (Catholiphobia is a mental illness.)
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To: Natural Law

Who are you quoting?


9 posted on 06/26/2010 3:09:28 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
"Who are you quoting?"

Margin notes and scraps from my personal library including Jerome Bolsec - La vie, mort et doctrine de Jean Calvin, autrefois ministre de Geneve: Ensemble la vie de Jean Labadie, à présent ministre à Geneve

You see, I figure that if Protestants can claim that the Holy Spirit speaks to them through the words of Calvin I figure the Holy Spirit can speak to me through the words of his associates too.

10 posted on 06/26/2010 3:30:39 PM PDT by Natural Law (Catholiphobia is a mental illness.)
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To: Natural Law; Desdemona
Cottret, Bernard (2000), Calvin: A Biography, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-3159-1 Translation from the original Calvin: Biographie, Editions Jean-Claude Lattès, 1995.
    Calvin took a prosaic view on the issue of his own marriage, writing to one correspondent, "I, who have the air of being so hostile to celibacy, I am still not married and do not know whether I will ever be. If I take a wife it will be because, being better freed from numerous worries, I can devote myself to the Lord.
Nothing about love. He was looking for somebody to just do his chores for him.
11 posted on 06/26/2010 3:41:40 PM PDT by Titanites
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To: Titanites

Very interesting. LOl! I sometimes wonder how many men marry just to have a mother-figure in their lives who will take care of them.


12 posted on 06/26/2010 3:56:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
I sometimes wonder how many men marry just to have a mother-figure in their lives who will take care of them.

I've met a number of women over the years who were charmed during courtship only to find out after the wedding that their husbands wanted just this. They felt very betrayed.

13 posted on 06/26/2010 5:27:27 PM PDT by Desdemona (One Havanese is never enough.)
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To: Titanites
Nothing about love. He was looking for somebody to just do his chores for him.

Well, he certainly didn't need anybody to trim his beard for him. I wonder if he was the prototype (minus the sunglasses) for ZZ Top? I suppose that in between condemning people, humiliating people and killing people, that there was no time for personal hygiene...


14 posted on 06/26/2010 6:45:59 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Natural Law
Calvin took no interest in his son who recedes into historical obscurity and is never heard from again.

Yeah, that tends to happen to children who die in infancy.

15 posted on 06/26/2010 7:27:55 PM PDT by RansomOttawa (tm)
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To: MarkBsnr
I wonder if he was the prototype (minus the sunglasses) for ZZ Top?

His choice of headgear was certainly the prototype for this:


16 posted on 06/26/2010 8:01:07 PM PDT by Titanites
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To: Titanites

So what is this? Reformed Rabbitarian?


17 posted on 06/26/2010 8:21:16 PM PDT by MarkBsnr ( I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: Natural Law

So, apparently Saturday is Bash Calvin Day for Catholics, but I can’t quite figure out when Praise Calvin Day occurs. I know it does, because I’ve seen it on FR before, but quite frankly I’m stumped.

Does it relate to cycles of the moon or something, lol?

I’ve pretty firmly established that Monday, Wednesday and Friday are Bash Luther days for Catholics, with Praise Luther on alternating days.

But, admittedly, this deciphering is a work in progress.

At least you guys have finally eschewed digging up corpses to hurl invective at them in some sham of a postmortem trial. “Tales From The Crypt” meets the medieval Star Chamber, I guess.

John Wycliffe and Pope Formosus are no doubt deeply relieved.


18 posted on 06/26/2010 8:46:55 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry; Natural Law; MarkBsnr
At least you guys have finally eschewed digging up corpses to hurl invective at them

Have the Calvinists stopped digging up corpses and burning them, like John Calvin's cronies did to John of Bruges, aka Jan David Joris?

19 posted on 06/26/2010 9:53:02 PM PDT by Titanites
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To: GladesGuru

Absolutely spot on.


20 posted on 06/26/2010 9:55:58 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Dutchboy88

Do Protestants think Calvin was a modern prophet?


21 posted on 06/26/2010 9:58:51 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Natural Law
There is one answer, based upon serious evidence, one that has always been passionately denied by the Protestants. In 1551, a Catholic controversialist revealed that the archives of the city of Noyon, Calvin's birth place, contain the record of a condemnation against Calvin, at age 18, for sodomy.

Ooooh boy. That's gonna leave a mark.

22 posted on 06/26/2010 10:02:10 PM PDT by theanonymouslurker
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To: theanonymouslurker; Natural Law; metmom
a Catholic controversialist revealed...

This might give some people a hint of the motivation and malice for making such information public if it were true. It also brings into question the honesty. I am not a follower of Calvin but I wonder if he, as a former Catholic, experienced any form of abuse from his own priests. It sounds par for the course to blame the victim, that part hasn't changed much. But we do know it "takes two to tango",so they say. I wonder who was his "partner" in this henious act since he was a teenager when it supposedly happened?

One lesson I remember from the nuns is, "Clean off your own doorstep before you try to clean off someone else's.".

23 posted on 06/26/2010 10:22:54 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.)
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To: Titanites
Have the Calvinists stopped digging up corpses and burning them, like John Calvin's cronies did to John of Bruges, aka Jan David Joris?

They'll not have been doing it as long, as frequently or as energetically as their Catholic brethren, if so.

24 posted on 06/26/2010 11:19:20 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Natural Law; Desdemona
The charge of Sodomy was made about Calvin during his career as a religious despot in Geneva, Switzerland.

Your thread and posts are slanderous, crude fiction. The lie is so preposterous you capitalize it! lol.

It's a mark of Calvin's integrity that papists become so enraged by the mere mention of his name. They loathe everything he stood for -- Scriptural truth, Biblical inerrancy, the liberty of the Christian conscience, and the infallible leading of the Holy Spirit.

Calvin took no interest in his son who recedes into historical obscurity and is never heard from again.

Dying in infancy will do that.

Calvin married Idelette de Bure, "the excellent companion of his life." She died in 1549 and Calvin never ceased mourning her. Their only child Jacques, died shortly after he was born.

Here is a better picture of the great reformer and man of God, rather than the trash you've posted...

JOHN CALVIN, THE THEOLOGIAN

25 posted on 06/27/2010 1:13:09 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Natural Law
If, as people have mentioned on this thread, the son died in infancy, why is it not quoted in some of the more accessible sources for biography. That's a simple fact that does not need to be omitted.
27 posted on 06/27/2010 5:22:56 AM PDT by Desdemona (One Havanese is never enough.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"Your thread and posts are slanderous, crude fiction. The lie is so preposterous you capitalize it! lol."

This is precious coming from someone who has repeated lies about the Catholic Church and Pope BXVI's life so many, many, times.

The truth is that Calvin was a vicious sodomite and like Luther's antisemitism, it affirms that God would not have chosen such a flawed vessel to bring what amounts to a new Gospel.

28 posted on 06/27/2010 9:08:19 AM PDT by Natural Law (Catholiphobia is a mental illness.)
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To: RegulatorCountry; rbmillerjr; stfassisi; Natural Law; MarkBsnr
They'll not have been doing it as long, as frequently or as energetically as their Catholic brethren, if so.

So, now we're down to the argument that, yeah we may have done it, but not as often as you.

Here's a guy, Jan David Joris, who so feared for his life under Calvin's police state, that he had to write his opposition to Calvin's practices/doctrines under the assumed name John of Bruges so that he wouldn't be persecuted.

3 year after the poor fellow had died and was buried, the Calvinists found out the true identity of John of Bruges. So they held a trial to convict him of heresy, exumed his corpse and punished him by burning.

29 posted on 06/27/2010 9:18:00 AM PDT by Titanites
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To: Natural Law

30 posted on 06/27/2010 9:22:13 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (DeMint 2012)
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To: Desdemona
"If, as people have mentioned on this thread, the son died in infancy,"

There are some who doubt that the infant was even Calvin's. Without DNA testing I wouldn't conclude one way or the other.

31 posted on 06/27/2010 9:34:37 AM PDT by Natural Law (Catholiphobia is a mental illness.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Natural Law; Desdemona
Calvin married Idelette de Bure, "the excellent companion of his life."

Here's the full quote using his own words: “the excellent companion of his life,” a “precious help to him amid his manifold labours and frequent infirmities.”

Note that there's nothing about love, just that she was a good servant.

Calvin never ceased mourning her.

Apparently because he now had to pay someone to scrub his floors.

32 posted on 06/27/2010 9:49:20 AM PDT by Titanites
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To: Natural Law

Of late, I’ve read quite a bit about Calvin and he comes off in many accounts as a narcissistic control freak. He may not have been, but that’s certainly the impression one gets.


33 posted on 06/27/2010 10:00:32 AM PDT by Desdemona (One Havanese is never enough.)
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To: Desdemona
"Of late, I’ve read quite a bit about Calvin and he comes off in many accounts as a narcissistic control freak."

That is a good summary. I think he was an opportunist who used scripture and the very real excesses of the Catholic Church for personal gain. Anyone who would sugggest that Calvin was another Paul bringing a new Good News or in any way the equal of Augustine or Aquinas is either being stupid or recreating Calvin's sins themselves.

34 posted on 06/27/2010 10:09:18 AM PDT by Natural Law (Catholiphobia is a mental illness.)
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To: Natural Law; Desdemona; count-your-change; RegulatorCountry; boatbums; Dutchboy88; Artemis Webb; ...
Roman Catholic Dave Armstrong calls this "baseless slander."

The single charge was made 13 years after Calvin's death by a priest who returned to Roman Catholicism. I wonder who stood to gain by trying to destroy his reputation?

From HERE...

"Jerome Bolsec, an ex-Carmelite friar who embraced the reformed faith in Paris, settled in Geneva and served as a physician. He publicly attacked Calvin's doctrine of predestination, was banished from Geneva, and eventually returned to catholicism. His "revenge was to publish in 1577 a scurrilous biography of Calvin, accusing him among other things of sodomy, which continued to be an arsenal for anti-Calvinist polemics for the next two centuries" (Lindberg, 266).

From The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913):

"(Bolsec) published biographies of the two Genevan reformers, Calvin and Beza (1519-1605). These works are violent in tone, and find little favour with protestant writers. Their historical statements cannot always be relied on. They are "Histoire de la view, des moeurs . . . de Jean Calvin

Williston Walker, Yale historian, in his book, John Calvin (New York: Schocken Books, 1906; rep. 1969) writes about Bolsec:

The more specific charge, to which reference is now made, was formulated thirteen years after Calvin's death, by Jerome Hermes Bolsec . . . that Calvin had been convicted of heinous moral turpitude . . . No evidence has ever been produced of the existence of such a document as Bolsec alleges. Jacques Desmay, the earnest Catholic writer who used his stay as Advent and Lenten preacher at Noyon in 1614 and 1615 to learn all he could of Calvin's life there by records and tradition, found nothing of it. An equally determined Roman historian of Noyon, Jacques Le Vasseur, in his Annales of 1633, expressly repudiated it; and careful modern Roman Catholic scholars, such as Kampschulte and Paulus, reject it as "unworthy of serious refutation" and write:

"...The whole calumny would be unworthy of discussion had the accusation not been repeatedly renewed by a certain class of controversialists during the last century -- in one instance as recently as 1898."

"A certain class of controversialists." lol. Sounds familiar.

From Protestant historian Philip Schaff:

"Philibert Berthelier (or Bertelier, Bertellier), an unworthy son of the distinguished patriot who, in 1519, had been beheaded for his part in the war of independence, belonged to the most malignant enemies of Calvin. He had gone to Noyon, if we are to believe the assertion of Bolsec, to bring back scandalous reports concerning the early life of the Reformer, which the same Bolsec published thirteen years after Calvin’s death, but without any evidence.768 If the Libertines had been in possession of such information, they would have made use of it. Berthelier is characterized by Beza as "a man of the most consummate impudence" and "guilty of many iniquities." He was excommunicated by the Consistory in 1551 for abusing Calvin, for not going to church, and other offences, and for refusing to make any apology...

That abominable slander about sodomy, which even Galiffe rejects, Audin and Spalding are not ashamed to repeat.

From "The Life of Calvin" by Theodore Beza...

After (Bolsec) had been banished from Geneva, through the influence of Calvin and Farel, for sedition and Pelagianism, he wrote a life of Calvin, with a view to destroy the reputation of that great and good man.

The great Dr. Moulin observes, that not one of Calvin’s innumerable enemies ever carped at the purity of his life, but this profligate physician, whom Calvin had procured to be banished from Geneva, for his wickedness and impieties. The reproach of such a man, says Middleton, was an honor to Calvin, and especially upon such an account, for as Milton truly says, “Of some to be dispraised, is no small praise.” The calumnies of Bolsec, however, were reiterated by other enemies, and are sometimes, even in this age, raked from the filth where truth has long since consigned them. “One of the greatest uses,” says Middleton, “which may be drawn from reading, is to learn the weaknesses of the heart of man, and the ill effects of prejudices in points of religion. No less a person than the great cardinal Richelieu, has produced all accusation against Calvin, on the credit of Bertelier, than which none was ever worse contrived, and worse proved; though it has been adopted, and conveyed from book to book. Bertelier pretended, that the republic of Geneva had sent him to Noyon, with orders to make an exact inquiry there into Calvin’s life and character; and that he found Calvin had been convicted of sodomy; but that, at the bishop’s request, the punishment of fire was commuted into that of being branded with the Flower-de-luce. He boasted to have an act, signed by a notary, which certified the truth of the process and condemnation. Bolsec affirms, that he had seen this act; and this is the ground of that horrid accusation. Neither Bertelier, nor Bolsec, are to be credited. If Bertelier’s act had not been suppositious, there would have been at Noyon, authentic and public testimonies of the trial and punishment in question; and they would have been published as soon as the Romish religion began to suffer by Calvin’s means. Bertelier had no party against him in Geneva more inexorable than Calvin, who held him in abhorrence, on account of his vices. Bertelier was accused of sedition and conspiracy against the state and church: but he ran away, and, not appearing to answer for himself, was condemned, as being attainted and convicted of those crimes, to lose his head, by a sentence pronounced against him, the sixth of August, 1555. No envoy or deputy was ever sent from Geneva on public business, who was not in a higher station than that of Bertelier; besides, there were some considerable persons at Noyon, who retired to Geneva, as well as Calvin: by whose means it was very easy to receive all the information which could have been desired, without going farther.

If what Bertelier said was true, he would have had his paper when he fled from Geneva: but it is plain he had not the commission he boasted of, after that time. But can any one believe, that, before the year 1555, when those who were called heretics durst not show themselves for fear of being burnt, a deputy from Geneva should go boldly to Noyon, to inform himself of Calvin’s life? Who will believeth that if Betrelier had an authentic act of Calvin’s infamy in 1554, he would have kept it so close, that the public should have no knowledge of it before 1557? Was it not a piece which the clergy of France would have bought for its weight in gold? ‘But why (says Bayle), do I lose time in confuting such a ridiculous romance? Nothing surprises me more than to see so great a person as cardinal de Richelieu, depend on this piece of Bertelier; and allege as his principal reason that the republic of Geneva did not undertake to show the falsehood of this piece.’ The truth is, this cardinal made all imaginable inquiry into the pretended proceedings against Calvin at Noyon, and that he discovered nothing; yet he maintained the affirmative on the credit of Jerom Bolsec, whose testimony is of no weight in things which are laid to Calvin’s charge. Bolsec would have been altogether buried in oblivion, if he had not been taken notice of by the monks and missionaries for writing some satirical books against the Reformation. He was convicted of sedition and Pelagianism at Geneva, in 1551, and banished the territory of the republic. He was also banished from Bern: after which he went to France, where he assisted in persecuting the Protestants, and even prostituted his wife to the canons of Autun. He was an infamous man, who forsook his order, had been banished thrice, and changed his religion four times; and who, after having aspersed the dead and the living, died in despair.

Varillas thought Bolsec a discredited author: Maimbourg rejected the infamy that was thrown upon Calvin: and Florimond de Remond owns, they have defamed him horribly. Papyrius Masso spoke very ill of Calvin, but would not venture to mention the story of the Flower-de-luce: and he called those, mean wretched scribblers, who reproached that minister with lewdness. It is not strange that cardinal de Richelieu, in one of the best books of controversy that has been published on the part of the church of Rome, should be less scrupulous and nice than Remond, Masso, and Romuald; and that he should give out, as a true matter of fact, the story of Bolsec, which began then to be laid aside by the missionaries? Richelieu intended to have reconciled both religions in France, but was prevented by death; and there was not one story which people did not believe, when it defamed him or cardinal Mazari.

So continue to spread a lie that was born out of the counter-Reformation. Your own Roman Catholic apologists deny it and call is a lie, giving proof to Calvin's supposition that regardless of the idolatry Rome preaches, there are still sheep among her. God willing, they will be led to greener pastures.

And Desdemona, every biography of Calvin states he and his wife, Idelette, had a son who died in infancy. Seems a rather base thing to ridicule.

35 posted on 06/27/2010 10:46:01 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
"He was convicted of sedition and Pelagianism at Geneva, in 1551, and banished the territory of the republic."

Which means he was right and had to be formally destroyed. The only reason Calvin had to have a secret police was because he had so many secrets to protect.

36 posted on 06/27/2010 10:55:17 AM PDT by Natural Law (Catholiphobia is a mental illness.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
That doesn't change the fact that in every account of Calvin that I've read he comes off as a narcissistic control freak, personality traits that happen to be quite common among the homosexual men of my acquaintance (sp). I had never heard/read the charge of sodomy, and I am quite well aware of
37 posted on 06/27/2010 11:02:06 AM PDT by Desdemona (One Havanese is never enough.)
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To: Desdemona
Ooops. Didn't quite finish that thought.

I am aware that people make up falsehoods to defame innocent people. I have no idea what's true and what's not, but the accounts of a lot outside of sexuality makes that charge at least plausible.

38 posted on 06/27/2010 11:04:28 AM PDT by Desdemona (One Havanese is never enough.)
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To: Titanites; RegulatorCountry
Have the Calvinists stopped digging up corpses and burning them, like John Calvin's cronies did to John of Bruges, aka Jan David Joris?

It kind of beats burning them before their dead, like the cronies in the Catholic church did to heretics.

It's that glass house thing.

39 posted on 06/27/2010 11:23:25 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Titanites; RegulatorCountry
Have the Calvinists stopped digging up corpses and burning them, like John Calvin's cronies did to John of Bruges, aka Jan David Joris?

It kind of beats burning them before they're dead, like the cronies in the Catholic church did to heretics.

It's that glass house thing.

40 posted on 06/27/2010 11:23:48 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: 1010RD
Do Protestants think Calvin was a modern prophet?

Not that I ever heard.

41 posted on 06/27/2010 11:24:50 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Natural Law
Secret police???

Do you know anything of history?

Geneva had one of the first representative forms of government. Based on Biblical precepts, the city was run by two elected councils -- a larger council, like the U.S. House of Representatives, and a smaller council, like the U.S. Senate.

All elected.

Where do you think the founding fathers got the ideas from which they fashioned this country's constitutional, representative government?

"Secret police" was Rome's modus operandi which gave us Mussolini and Hitler and Chavez and Franco and Peron and Castro and Somoza and Philip II...

The list is endless.

42 posted on 06/27/2010 11:25:41 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: boatbums

I find it pretty ironic that the RCC is all up in arms about some supposed sexual impropriety by someone who has been dead for so many hundreds of years and has so little verification to back it up.

Jesus taught something about a speck and a plank, IIRC.


43 posted on 06/27/2010 11:27:00 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Desdemona
That doesn't change the fact that in every account of Calvin that I've read he comes off as a narcissistic control freak, personality traits that happen to be quite common among the homosexual men of my acquaintance (sp).

lol. Then perhaps the error is in your choice of reading material.

You might also try hanging out with less "homosexual men of (your) acquaintance."

44 posted on 06/27/2010 11:28:36 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Desdemona
There are not "accounts of a lot outside of sexuality" and therefore the charge is not "plausible."

I have no idea what's true

Got that right.

45 posted on 06/27/2010 11:31:54 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Natural Law

List of sexually active popes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sexually_active_popes


46 posted on 06/27/2010 11:33:13 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
It kind of beats burning them before they're dead, like the cronies in the Catholic church did to heretics.

And the Calvinists didn't? Is that what you are trying to say?

It's that glass house thing.

Indeed. You should be careful.

47 posted on 06/27/2010 11:35:10 AM PDT by Titanites
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To: Titanites; RegulatorCountry; rbmillerjr; stfassisi; Natural Law; MarkBsnr
Here's a guy, Jan David Joris, who so feared for his life under Calvin's police state, that he had to write his opposition to Calvin's practices/doctrines under the assumed name John of Bruges so that he wouldn't be persecuted.

Galileo Galilei

48 posted on 06/27/2010 11:35:49 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
Galileo Galilei

A strange comparison, if that was what you were trying to attempt.

49 posted on 06/27/2010 11:37:57 AM PDT by Titanites
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To: Desdemona
That doesn't change the fact that in every account of Calvin that I've read he comes off as a narcissistic control freak, personality traits that happen to be quite common among the homosexual men of my acquaintance (sp). I had never heard/read the charge of sodomy, and I am quite well aware of .....I am aware that people make up falsehoods to defame innocent people. I have no idea what's true and what's not, but the accounts of a lot outside of sexuality makes that charge at least plausible.

Then what's the point of bringing it up other than to try to defame someone?

Control freaks come in all types. It's not a sole distinguishing feature of homosexuals so proves nothing.

50 posted on 06/27/2010 11:39:42 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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