Pope celebrated wholesale slaughter of Protestants with medal

In celebration of the slaughter of the Protestant Huguenots in Paris on the eve of St.Gregory medal 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

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4 thoughts on “Pope celebrated wholesale slaughter of Protestants with medal

  1. “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?”

    This is a misunderstanding of papal infallibility. Infallibility does not mean that popes don’t sin or make mistakes, it doesn’t even mean that a pope’s own theological reflections are accurate. The doctrine of papal infallibility only applies to formal declarations on matters of faith or morals. It is very rarely applicable.

    For the record I am not Roman Catholic, nor am I trying to defend the slaughtering of Protestants (at any time) or the celebration of said slaughtering with the production of a medal. I am also not trying to defend the doctrine of papal infallibility as it stands. I am merely encouraging you to give an accurate representation of the things you disagree with.

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  2. Yes, I’m very aware that only teachings that are labeled “ex cathedra,” given as shepherd of the church, are considered infallible. But if pressed, Catholics will say only the declarations on infallibility, the immaculate conception of Mary, and the assumption of Mary are unquestionably infallible. After that it’s all very mysterious. No one is willing to go out on a limb and declare which other papal teachings are infallibly dogmatic. Why not? Certainly Gregory XIII was acting in his capacity as shepherd of the church when he sanctioned the Protestant slaughter, wasn’t he? If not, why not? This event certainly involved the pope’s leadership in a matter of faith and morals. Catholics themselves can’t/won’t give examples of their own infallibility dogma which leads to questions such as this. But thanks for your comment.

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    1. “Certainly Gregory XIII was acting in his capacity as shepherd of the church when he sanctioned the Protestant slaughter, wasn’t he?”

      Yes, certainly. Which is why John Paul II “rightly apologized” for the massacre. (Again, not that that justifies anything, just that the Catholics very obviously agree with you on this point).

      Were the Protestant leaders who sanctioned violence against the Catholics not also acting in their capacity as shepherds when doing so? If you understand that papal infallibility is not applicable here, why do you write as though it is? You very lightly touch on the fact that atrocities were committed on both sides, but you condemn the Catholics and not the Protestants. On what basis?

      If you want to write about papal infallibility then go ahead and write about papal infallibility. As it is, your attempt to force it onto an issue where it doesn’t apply is misleading and unfair. There are plenty of legitimate bones to pick without having to resort to such things.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “Were the Protestant leaders who sanctioned violence against the Catholics not also acting in their capacity as shepherds when doing so?”

        “As it is, your attempt to force it onto an issue where it doesn’t apply is misleading and unfair.”

        Thanks but now it’s you who are forcing the issue. As you’re aware no secular or religious leader on the Protestant side was claiming to be THE infallible, Spirit-guided shepherd of Christianity, completely incapable of leading the members of the church into egregious (or even minor) doctrinal error. I can certainly force the issue as readily as the Catholics can obscure it. If I’m not being “fair,” they’re not being fair either. Look, a pope had a medal struck celebrating the mass slaughter of “heretics” and no one apologized until a few years ago. It’s an embarrassment and might cause a Catholic or two to start questioning their system. Let’s pray for Catholics to accept Christ and come out of bondage instead. Done.

        Liked by 2 people

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