My Reformation Theory

I have a theory...and that's all it is mind you, that one reason so many modern post reformation n-Cs reject the sacraments like the Eucharist, Confession, etc is because early on, the reformers realized that once the renegade priests who left the church with them had all died off, they would be left without anyone who could even remotely claim to validly celebrate and administer these sacraments and since most of their laity came from the Catholic faith they would soon recognize the deficiency because their clergy no longer maintained any semblance of apostolic succession and could not consecrate the Eucharist or absolve sins in confession, and that might well cripple the infant reformation faith communities. In order to handle that these leaders began to construct the errant interpretations that we see today that deny the sacraments. It's the only logical tactic that will keep people who knew and loved the Eucharist and the solace of Confession from turning back to the Catholic faith to have them validly available.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.
(The peace of the Lord be always with you all.)


Teflon said...

Might an alternative theory not be that the penalty of excommunication deprived Luther, Calvin, Zwingli et al of the right to administer sacraments, which would in turn diminish their authority over their flocks? The practical path would therefore be to lump the sacraments in with the things the Catholic Church "imposed" through "traditions of men".

Blackie said...

Hi Teflon!

Glad you made it over here!

That certainly is an equally valid, though it's possible that it was really a combination of both.
Thanks for the comment.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

ray said...

The Church of England tried to get around that problem with the tavern consecration of Bishop Parker, from whom, all Anglican orders are said to flow. The Anglican church, therefore did not do away with the Sacraments as completely as other Protestant churches did. This is why the Puritans were so much in opposition to the Church of England.

But have you noticed how nowadays the Protestants are trying to reestablish the Sacraments?

Blackie said...

Hi Ray,

I didn't know that, but it doesn't much surprise me I guess.

Some n-C communities have been liturgical and sacramental all along, but again, having lost their apostolic succession, the early church called them heretics and actually said to avoid them. (Take a look at http://www.catholicfirst.com/thefaith/churchfathers/volume01/ignatius06.cfm )