In celebration of the slaughter of the Protestant Huguenots in Paris on the eve of St. Bartholomew’s feast day on August 23-24, 1572, Pope Gregory XIII directed the pictured medal to be struck. Protestants who survived the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre and subsequent pogroms throughout the nation were forced to flee France.
There’s no debate that both Protestant and Catholic European rulers engaged in wars of expansion and political control. But I seriously question how a pope, allegedly guided by the Holy Spirit and infallible in all matters of faith and morals, could have celebrated the wholesale slaughter of innocent victims. In addition, by sanctioning the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the pope was encouraging further violence against Protestants.
In 2007, Pope John Paul II rightly apologized for the Paris massacre but if every pope is infallible when acting as shepherd of the Catholic church, how could Gregory XIII have celebrated an event which clearly violated the teachings of Jesus Christ? Why did the Catholic church wait 435 years before it apologized for this (among many) atrocity?
Better to follow God’s Word in all things than to follow man-made traditions.
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” Matthew 15:8-9