Classes and Podcast on Catholic Retrospective on the Anniversary of Protestant Reformation

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by Dr. Cheryl White

As the world prepares to mark the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation on October 31, the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans is using this historic opportunity to focus a variety of educational offerings on the rich history of the Church, which will examine both the Protestant movement and the resulting Catholic Reformation. The time will also serve as an opportunity to pray for the restoration of unity among all Christians.

Keeping with the theme of “A Catholic Retrospective: Transcending History through the Eyes of Faith,” the Cathedral will have a series of adult faith formation classes in conjunction with the historic anniversary, as well as the launch of a series of educational podcasts by Fr. Peter Mangum on related topics.

Transcending history through the eyes of faith is a concept drawn directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which explains the Church as visible in history, yet also eternally existing outside of it. Given the nature of the topics to be explored, this seems an especially appropriate way to frame the Cathedral’s programming.

Historians generally note the beginning of the Protestant Reformation to have occurred with the publication of the 95 Theses Against the Sale of Indulgences by Martin Luther, who nailed his “protest” to the door of his church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. Luther’s act of protest against abuses of practice within the Church had historic consequences that resulted in an eventual splintering of Christianity into many different groups and sects. Since the historic anniversary of this protest naturally invites a focus on the Catholic Church, it provides us with a unique educational opportunity as we remind ourselves of the fullness of our faith.

In addition to the adult education offerings, a 10-part weekly audio podcast series hosted by Fr. Peter Mangum will launch on September 1, with each installment focusing on a different aspect of the Church’s response to the Protestant movement as well as an emphasis on prayers for the restoration of unity. In these brief talks, Fr. Mangum uses both a theological and historical approach to the common themes evoked by the Protestant Reformation, resulting in an eloquent defense of our Catholic faith.

Among some of the podcast titles are: “Did Martin Luther Intend to Start a New Church?” and “Can the Church Be in Error?” as well as “Highlights of the Council of Trent,” and “Saints of the Catholic Reformation.” The podcasts will be available on the new Cathedral blog, https://catholicretrospective.wordpress.com, the Cathedral website and the Cathedral YouTube channel.

The following is a schedule of related classes and events to be held at the Cathedral. Sunday classes all begin at 9:15 a.m. and all are welcome to attend.

•  September 17 – Welcome and Overview for Fall Adult Faith Formation

September 24 – The Church Catholic and Apostolic: The First 1500 Years of the Faith, Dr. Cheryl White

October 1 – The Church Catholic and Apostolic: The First 1500 Years of the Faith, Dr. Cheryl White

Wed., October 11 –  6:00 p.m. Re-cap of The Church Catholic and Apostolic: The First 1500 Years of the Faith

October 15 –  A Catholic Retrospective: Transcending History Through the Eyes of Faith Seeking Christian Unity

October 22 – A Catholic Retrospective: Transcending History Through the Eyes of Faith,  Dr. Cheryl White: The Late Medieval Church, the Bad Popes, and Catholic Cry for Reform

October 29 – A Catholic Retrospective: Transcending History Through the Eyes of Faith, Fr. Peter Mangum, Dr. Cheryl White, Robert Cruz Martin Luther’s Protest & The 95 Theses Against the Sale of Indulgences

November 5 – A Catholic Retrospective: Transcending History Through the Eyes of Faith,  Fr. Peter Mangum: The Council of Trent & the Tridentine Mass

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