22nd June – Feast of Martyrs Ss John Fisher and Thomas More

It was highly unfortunate when Amnesty International decided to switch from being abortion neutral blogamnestyto being abortion-rights advocates. Now they are making a concerted effort to get it legalised in Ireland. If you are interested in more visit this link:here

If you would like to sign an e-petition against this initiative, visit this link: here

Today we celebrate two proto-martyrs of the English Reformation. Here is the Universalis commentary on the life of St John Fisher. What spoke to me was his fidelity to his personal conscience without getting involved in the consciences of others. Secondly he was happy to presume the good faith of his opponents.

St John Fisher (1469 – 1535)
He was born in Beverley, in Yorkshire, in 1469. He studied theology at the University of Cambridge, and had a successful career there, finally becoming chancellor of the University and bishop of Rochester: unusually for the time, he paid a great deal of attention to the welfare of his diocese.
  He wrote much against the errors and corruption into which the Church had fallen, and was a friend and supporter of great humanists such as Erasmus of Rotterdam; but he was greatly opposed to Lutheranism, both in its doctrine and in its ideas of reform.
  He supported the validity of King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and for this he was briefly imprisoned. When the King had divorced Catherine, married Anne Boleyn, and constituted himself the supreme Head of the Church in England, John Fisher refused to assent. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London on a charge of treason, and on 22 June 1535, a month after having been made a Cardinal by the Pope, he was executed. He was so ill and weak that he had to be carried in a chair to the place of execution.
  He was the only bishop to oppose Henry VIII’s actions, on the grounds that they were a repudiation of papal authority, but even so he avoided direct confrontation with the other bishops, not holding himself up as a hero or boasting of his coming martyrdom: I condemn no other man’s conscience: their conscience may save them, and mine must save me. We should remember, in all the controversies in which we engage, to treat our opponents as if they were acting in good faith, even if they seem to us to be acting out of spite or self-interest.