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You are not responsible for what the Israeli state does. No need for shame, that is. But all Americans should critique it, and far more than that! As they should for all injustices over which they can have an effect — especially here at home, and on US foreign policy in general. This attitude proves that you are insincere and have an anti-Israel agenda rather than a genuine commitment to Palestinians or anyone else.

To clarify, that is not an accurate description of my views. I am concerned with victimization of the Palestinians, and have criticized the Arab governments for their role on many occasions, but UN role and the primary relationship is that associated with the Israeli occupation.

Why is the Palestinian refugee issue the only one allowed to fester for 60 years by the UN when every other population exchange eg Pakistan and India has been resolved? Were all members of the human family to reach the spiritual and ethical stature of Dr. Falk-no matter what their religion or none , or ethnic or national affiliation-we would never fear annihilation by our own hands.

Thanks, Nan, for such a movingly generous response. It is so easy to be misunderstood on this terrain, and so it is especially satisfying to have my intended meaning reflected in your comment. Yes they certainly clash with more extreme branches e. Kahanism , but does your vision clash with the idea of the right of self-determination for the Jewish people the most basic idea of Zionism?

First, do you mean Israel proper? Or you might be including the West Bank as well? Because I think we can agree that Arabs with Israeli citizenship are treated much better than the Palestinians. Kahanism , but does your vision clash with the idea of Jewish self-determination te most basic idea of Zionism? Our understanding of these issues is just different.

I do mean Arabs with Israeli citizenship, and do agree that they are far better off than Palestinians in the occupied territories, but are nevertheless victims of discrimination and abuses of human rights. Would you share further details on the issue with me? Which human rights abuses are Israeli Arabs victims of? Are we talking about torture or extrajudicial executions?

Legally enforced segregation like in Apartheid South Africa? Or perhaps the fact that the Israeli Government spends less on education, health and other public services on Arabs than Jews on a per capita basis, or that they have bigger trouble to get building permits than Jews do, or that Arab workers earn less than Jews for doing the same job, all of this being not so different from, for example, the well-established fact that Hispanic and African Americans have a bigger chance to be imprisoned than White Americans do or the banning of Burqa in some European countries?

Yes, there are complexities surrounding what are the rights of self-determination with respect to the Jewish people, and what are limits imposed on those rights when they clash with the rights of another people. I cannot respond adequately on the status of Palestinians within Israel proper, and does resemble the situation confronting other minorities, but it still in my judgment challenges the viability of maintaining Israel as a Jewish state as distinct from a state that offers Jews a homeland.

There are numerous examples of democratic states that define themselves through the identity of a majority and where minorities are treated as equals; Romania, Finland, Belgium with its German minority and so on. And you pretend you are a law Professor. You are a joke! OH Doug.. Especially the threat of being anti semitic. Do you really think that works anymore?

My beginning response to R. But has the Jewish whine ever abated as a result of that gift? Well what about the Arabs and their Quran? What about an international televised critique on every aspect of the Quran, Talmud, Muslim and Jew with the most learned Imams and Rabbis and finally get to the bottom of it all?

She goes rather lightly I think, on Jews, probably for publishing purposes. Finkelstein and many others are right about that, of course. Both words still have meaning, and both words still apply when applicable. Hahaha is that all you have? Not very enlighening, but very typical. Damn Foxman and Dershowitz, they screwed it all up for you. Whatever Doug, when there is no way out, always go for the personal. You just prove the point As I said Doug, listening to the perpetual whines is always redundant and boring.

Get a new shtick! EdithAnn, I can say without any fear of contradiction that you have proven yourself to be a bigot. But somehow I get the impression that your hate pre-dates your introduction to false Talmud quotes. And, yes, I do study the Talmud, and have for many decades now. I also find it telling that Falk treats your outright bigotry with kid gloves while he likes to compare Israel to Nazis. I can say without any contradiction on my part, your assumption of my bigotry is more then amusing.

Calling one a bigot seems to have taken the place of calling me anti Semitic. However, did you ever think the Quran might be misinterpreted too? Both documents have been edited over the centuries by people not any more intellectually superior then yourself and most likely far less. When the UN representative himself rejects the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine, there is a basic problem that cannot be overcome, as you stand opposed, in princple, to the basis of resolution Also, I wonder, how many years did you study in yeshiva?

Sunday school or afternoon talmud torah attendance as a child does not make you qualified to speak authoritatively. I personally believe your understanding of the prophets is out of context; certainly, I know of no prominent Orthodox Jewish leader or sage who holds the view that you do. My attitudes toward the nature of the state of Israel are irrelevant to my role as UN representative.

As for Judaism, I only meant to convey my own experience of being Jewish, and did not intend to offer any interpretation based on study or immersion. I have had none. Prof, You are a great man with good heart. GOD is with you brother. I am also a jew and believe in what you are saying. Your post is a remarkable testimonial to the triumph of introspection over intransigence, of compassion over cupidity and humanitarianism over homicide.

Moreover, I genuinely admire your incredible patience when responding to the ignorant and intolerant. You will always be a teacher. Sir, I just wish to say thank you for your willingness to speak out on numerous important issues. I see you are 80 or so. Please live long, many need your wisdom and perspective. Please keep blogging daily. You specifically refer to Mr. The Secretary-General condemns these remarks.

He has repeatedly stated his view that any such suggestion is preposterous — and an affront to the memory of the more than 3, people who died in the attack. Falk is proof of Anti-American behaviour. Moon also said the settlements were illegal as well as the Gaza massacre.. No one believes all your nonsense. As I said, you are too, too funny…and you have no credibility what so ever Silke.. Everyone on the planet knows it was all Israeli inspired…just another Mossad caper…just as the death of Harari was all Israel too and the UN has that one also..

Get off it…if there are deaths and destructions anywhere on the planet, always look to Israel first.. How come there are no bombs ever hitting Israel? I hear they have a breed of cockroaches in Israel that indulge in feeding on electric cords, maybe those are the real Stuxnetters …. Now that the UN Secretary General has publicly singled you out, raising your profile, you are bound to have more supporters and detractors. This is an excellent read. With that statement, you follow in the footsteps and teaching of the most famous Jew the world has ever known, Jesus of Nazareth.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Bravo Prof. Falk you really let your ideas be taken further by the most reasonable sounding people there are. Shame on you! You have crafted an elequent essay, and you have articulated how many Jewry including myself throughout the world think about this situation. But it strikes me as sad that you have to go to such lengths — and make such a defense. Somehow, these arguments should be the reverse.

That is, the forces that oppose you should be defending their inhumanity as you have nothing to apologize for, nor justify since yours is the moral and just position to take. That is, that our two peoples destiny are now inextricably bound up together, much in the manner that King believed that the fate of blacks and whites were bound. Neither of our two peoples, Jewry or Palestinians, will likely survive if we do not learn to live together as brothers and sisters, and in an atmostphere of mutual concern and respect. The governmental format this idea takes does not much matter really.

Bi national state or two state or multicultural civic state etc. The point is that form needs to follow function, namely, that the cultural identity of both groups need care, recognition, concern, and respect, particularly by each to the other. Barth, William. Only Women give birth and mostly Men kill the living. Thanks, Pamela, for these perceptive words that carry the issues further, and in important, yet disturbing directions. A useful insight into On Jewish Identity and ideas I will employ on my blog.

Excellent stuff! The question of globalization is at the heart of human civilization as far as I can see. While I agree completely with your sceptical views on tribalism, there is also another side to nationalsim and religious affinity I think; it can act as self-defense against imperialism, which is why I personally believe there is a resurgence of nationalism and religion all over the world. If you look at the first manifestation of the modern state it occurred in Milano in the 12th century, more or less explicitly as a defense against the French and German imperialist designs and against the Papal claim of Universality.

The result was a splendidly prosperous society, which was able to defend itself until Napoleon conquered it in There are great benefits to globalization, I agree, but the danger still remains that any such centralized power brings almost unimaginable temptation for abuse, and if it ever fell into the hands of totalitarians nationalism and relgion might quickly become the only viable means to defens ourselves, once again. Despite his annoying habit of calling Israelis Nazis, I have never accused Prof.

Falk of being a self-hating Jew. But now that he has revealed his thoughts about Jewish identity, I may have to revise my assessment. But as his essay is entitled On Jewish Identity, we must explore the evidence he brings in applying these sweeping generalizations to Judaism. Astonishingly for a scholar of Prof. The historical screen then goes dark until we are propelled into Prof. In the process, he ignores a formative period of two millennia during which Judaism evolved from a temple-based sacrificial cult to a prayer and study-centered religion.

But Prof. My hunch is the omission of Jewish references stems from the inconvenient truth that Prof. Falk knows very little about his subject. Even a cursory study of Jewish history discredits many of the sweeping generalizations he employs to dismiss and defame Jewish identity. Exhibit A: Prof. Early biblical books, including Genesis, reflect the theology and symbolism of the Akkadians and other peoples of the ancient middle east.

Later books, such as Ecclesiastes, are clearly influenced by Greek philosophy. The Mishna, which was completed around CE, organizes biblical legislation into categories, a format learned from the Romans. Recent scholarship has discovered an on-going dialogue between the rabbis and church fathers covering several centuries. Both sides shared ideas which each adopted and built into its separate theology. Maimonides, perhaps the greatest of all rabbis, was an Aristotelian who sought to reconcile traditional Jewish teaching with wisdom he learned from Muslim scholars during the era of Convivencia in Medieval Spain.

Reform Judaism is a product of the Enlightenment. Zionism was nurtured in the intellectual soil of Romanticism. The list of things borrowed and things lent is endless. Exhibit B: Prof. Jews have always pursued social justice, following a commandment articulated in the Book of Deuteronomy. Here inAmerica, where Jews at long last have the opportunity to participate in the larger society as full citizens, we have been leaders and workers in the pursuit of equal rights and freedom for all.

And Israel, despite its flaws, remains the one democracy in the Middle East, albeit an imperfect one. To be sure, there are Jews in Israel, the United States and everywhere who are guilty as charged. They are especially visible in certain West Bank settlements where a desire to subjugate the Palestinians prevails. But they constitute a small minority. To extrapolate a community-wide character from their aberrant and abhorrent behavior is polemic, not scholarship.

A word must be said about Prof. Falk, along with a slew of interfaith worship experiences. I have marched, rallied and demonstrated alongside interfaith colleagues for a long list of causes. Several years ago, my partner and I joined with a group drawn from our synagogue and a local Methodist church to rebuild an African American church in rural Alabama that had been destroyed by arson. Contrary to what Prof.

Falk believes possible, being a Jew enables me and many others to be better human beings. Most disturbing is the flagrant disconnect between Prof. But the mandate he accepted when becoming Special Rapporteur of the of outrageously misnamed United Nations Human Rights Council is to report only on perceived Israeli violations on the West Bank, while turning a blind eye on Palestinian suicide bombers and the like.

You read that correctly. In a conflict fraught with extraordinary complexities, where right and wrong exists on both sides, Prof. Falk choose to play an utterly one-sided, prejudicial and destructive role. As one who has argued frequently and fervently that criticism of Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitism, I am appalled by the damage Prof. One final thought. Did anyone blanch at Prof. Proud of what? My question as a rabbi is not whether anybody else believes him, but whether he, himself, does.

A little soul searching might help him appreciate the toxicity of the things he says about Jewish identity. These insights, in turn, might help him to recognize and understand the prejudice that fuels the toxicity of what he says about Israel. As you are probably aware, we have common friends here in Santa Barbara, making me particularly sad that you chose to insult me so intensely and unfairly. To begin with I have never equated Israelis with Nazis, and find the accusation odious.

Further, I never purported to be doing more than express my sense of my own identity as a Jew in response to allegations that I was self-hating. Further still, I received several communications from rabbis that were much kinder than yours, and even supportive of what I was trying to express. Again, I am disappointed that you did not see fit to attempt even a civil discourse on these matters of obviously deep personal concern to you.

I think not. As other below have documented, you are on record making the exact comparison. The rabbi gave you a detailed commment on your piece and you resorted to lying about your past, including your mandate which you insisted should not only report solely on the Israel side but you actively insisted that Palestinian violations of human rights NOT be investigated which is weird given you claim to have such a concern for the Palestinians — as opposed to simply hating Israel.

Again I would think all Israelis would consider it a privilege that anti-Israelis like you feel Israel is so utterly blameless that you are compelled to resort to fabrication to attack her. Shlomo Sand is no more qualified to give his opinion about ancient Middle Eastern history than you are to share your odd views about Jewish identity. You really are a joke.

Truth is people like you have lost the ideological battle of the 20th century. Communism is dead and you take on Israel as a revenge. Zionism dates from only The first International Zionist Congress was held in These ideological extremists shared similar ideas with German nationalists bearing in mind that modern Germany only dates from The German and Zionist ideologues shared similar ideas with regard to blood and soil.

They both came to share Nazi ideology with regard to lebensraum for their manufactured ethnic races. The British Palestine Mandate provided the extremist Zionists with an opportunity to deposit and expand their settlements through the displacement of the pre-existing population of Palestinians, for whom their racist ideology cared nothing. In this, they shared similar sentiments with white supremacist Afrikaner nationalists in South Africa. Where the Afrikaner apartheid regime in South Africa failed, the Zionist apartheid regime in Palestine has succeeded.

They have both pursued a Bantustan policy by dividing up into unfeasible areas those areas populated by native populations. By creating Palestinian Bantustans across Palestine, this has made it impossible for all people in the Palestinian area to have a common vote. By ensuring the Palestinian Diaspora remains disenfranchised, the Zionists have rigged pseudo-elections held in Palestine to suit themselves.

I have always thought that the native South Africans were surprisingly forgiving towards the Afrikaners and other whites in South Africa, post-apartheid. If only all the peoples in Palestine could show the same belief and confidence in one another, then I am sure it would work out there too. They must all reject their extremist leaderships. The essential problem on all sides is the poisonous nature of religion. A new Palestine, based upon a secular constitution, is absolutely essential. This would guarantee people can hold any beliefs and pursue any rituals, if they so wish.

The clear understanding that Ira Youdovin and all other religionists need to grasp is that there is no God, Yahweh or Allah. Put this religio-ideological nonsense aside and you might just be able to get all peoples in Palestine to live peacefully together. You might then see the sort of intellectual flowering that people like Maimonides achieved under the tutelage of Saladin Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub. You might also see a true growth in all the peoples in that sorely afflicted part of the world.

Illuminating and persuasive??? Please tell me and your other bloggers that you were only being nice, or inadvertently hit the auto response button while you were distracted.

Timeline for the History of Judaism

Dear Prof. Thank you for your response to my post. However, there are some items which demand additional attention:. Some months later, you declined an opportunity afforded by BBC reporter Tim Franks to withdraw or modify your accusation:. That last comment is especially troubling. If the perception that you equate Israelis with Nazis is wrong, may I suggest that you publish an unambiguous clarification.

Moreover, the sweeping generalizations I noted in my critique are hardly the stuff of personal reflection. Regarding your work for the U. On that matter, I think it unfair of you to chastise me for electing to air my critique on your blog, instead of raising it in personal conversation. Blogging exists for the purpose of enabling people to exchange views in a public forum, inviting others to participate.

Talking to you personally does not afford an opportunity to impact on others who read your blog, much less the many others who read e-magazines and websites which picked it up. To Rabbi Ira: In my very-American opinion no amount of the passing of years will ever make the quaint notion of founding a country based on ethno-religious centrism rightful. You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by submitting a written request to support aeon. We will try and respond to your request as soon as reasonably practical.

When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. Omar ibn Said c Digitally colourised. It was not edited by his owner, as those of other slaves written in English were, and is therefore surmised to be more authentic. It also attests to the high level of education that existed in Africa at the time and also reveals that many Africans who were brought to the United States as slaves were followers of Islam.

Sam Haselby. His book The Origins of American Religious Nationalism came out in paperback in and has been widely reviewed. Edited by Brigid Hains. The first words to pass between Europeans and Americans one-sided and confusing as they must have been were in the sacred language of Islam. Christopher Columbus had hoped to sail to Asia and had prepared to communicate at its great courts in one of the major languages of Eurasian commerce.

Not just the language of Islam, but the religion itself likely arrived in America in , more than 20 years before Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door, igniting the Protestant reformation. Moors — African and Arab Muslims — had conquered much of the Iberian peninsula in , establishing a Muslim culture that lasted nearly eight centuries. By early , the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella completed the Reconquista , defeating the last of the Muslim kingdoms, Granada. By the end of the century, the Inquisition, which had begun a century earlier, had coerced between , and , Muslims and probably at least 70, Jews to convert to Christianity.

Spanish Catholics often suspected these Moriscos or conversos of practising Islam or Judaism in secret, and the Inquisition pursued and persecuted them. Eight centuries of Muslim rule left a deep cultural legacy on Spain, one evident in clear and sometimes surprising ways during the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Islam served as a kind of blueprint or algorithm for the Spanish in the New World. As they encountered people and things new to them, they turned to Islam to try to understand what they were seeing, what was happening.

The Spanish gave the name, in , taking it from The Deeds of Esplandian , a romance novel popular with the conquistadores. The novel features a rich island — California — ruled by black Amazonians and their queen Calafia. The Deeds of Esplandian had been published in Seville, a city that had for centuries been part of the Umayyad caliphate caliph, Calafia, California. Across the Western hemisphere, whenever they arrived at new lands or encountered native peoples, Spanish conquistadores read the requerimiento , a stylised legal pronouncement. A formal and public announcement of the intent to conquer, including an offer to the faithless of a chance to submit and become believers, is the first formal requirement of jihad.

Following centuries of war with the Muslims, the Spanish had adopted this practice, Christianised it, called it the requerimiento , and took it to America.


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Iberian Christians might have thought Islam wrong, or even diabolical, but they also knew it well. If they thought it strange, it must be counted a very familiar strange. The rebels, the governor noted, were mostly Wolof, a Senegambian people, many of whom have been Muslim since the 11th century. Muslims were more likely than other enslaved Africans to be literate: an ability rarely looked upon with favour by plantation-owners.

In the five decades following the slave rebellion on Hispaniola, Spain issued five decrees prohibiting the importation of Muslim slaves. Muslims thus arrived in America more than a century before the Virginia Company founded the Jamestown colony in Muslims came to America more than a century before the Puritans founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Muslims were living in America not only before Protestants, but before Protestantism existed.

After Catholicism, Islam was the second monotheistic religion in the Americas.

Jewish history - Wikipedia

The popular misunderstanding, even among educated people, that Islam and Muslims are recent additions to America tells us important things about how American history has been written. In particular, it reveals how historians have justified and celebrated the emergence of the modern nation-state.

One way to valorise the United States of America has been to minimise the heterogeneity and scale — the cosmopolitanism, diversity and mutual co-existence of peoples — in America during the first years of European presence. The past is those bits and pieces of history that a society selects in order to sanction itself. The writing of American history has also been dominated by Puritan institutions.

It might no longer be quite true, as the historian and Southerner U B Phillips complained more than years ago, that Boston had written the history of the US, and largely written it wrong. But when it comes to the history of religion in America, the consequences of the domination of the leading Puritan institutions in Boston Harvard University and New Haven Yale University remain formidable. Think of history as the depth and breadth of human experience, as what actually happened.

History makes the world, or a place and people, what it is, or what they are. In contrast, think of the past as those bits and pieces of history that a society selects in order to sanction itself, to affirm its forms of government, its institutions and dominant morals. The consequences bear directly on the matter of political belonging today. Nations are not mausoleums or reliquaries to conserve the dead or inanimate.

They are organic in that, just as they are made, they must be consistently remade, or they atrophy and die. The virtual Anglo-Protestant monopoly over the history of religion in America has obscured the half-a-millenium presence of Muslims in America and has made it harder to see clear answers to important questions about who belongs, who is American, by what criteria, and who gets to decide. Historically, they are best understood as the great collision, mixing and conquest of peoples and civilisations and animals and microbes of Europe and Africa with the peoples and societies of the Western hemisphere, from the Greater Caribbean to Canada, that began in From to at least about , America, simply, is Greater America, or vast, early America.

Muslims were part of Greater America from the start, including those parts of it that would become the United States. Against all odds, Zemourri survived and made a life for himself, travelling from the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico through what is now the Southwestern US, as well as Meso-America. He struggled through servitude to native peoples before fashioning himself into a well-known and respected medicine man. De Vaca told of the disasters that befell the conquistadores , and of the eight years that the survivors spent wandering through North and Meso-America. If there is such a thing as a best version of the American pioneer or frontier spirit, some resonating experience of adaptation and reinvention that can stamp itself on a nation and peoples, it is difficult to find one who represents it better than Zemourri.

Between and , the beginnings of plantation society in the Chesapeake allowed local slavemasters to bring more than 6, Africans to Virginia and Maryland. What was the measure of encouragement he gave during the last days of his ministry, in the spring of , cannot be ascertained. It probably amounted to no more than this, that the marriage might be tried in England without the interference of the Pope. As things then stood, such an understanding would be sufficient to justify the exultation of Wolsey.

Up to this time the idea of divorce had occupied the thoughts of Henry in a vague and languid way. Neither aversion for the Queen, nor desire of an heir, nor religious scruple caused him to pursue it with a fixed determination. Whilst it was uncertain who was to be his future Queen, the King displayed no eagerness.

In the House of Valois there were two princesses. Henry was not likely to incur such risk for such a bride. He wrote to the King that the envoy when he saw her had forthwith renounced his purpose. In the year Margaret was again in France: and a widely spread tradition, doubted but not discussed by Mr. Brewer, points to her as the wife intended for the King. The testimony of other writers is vitiated by an anachronism; for they assign the divorce to the year , when Margaret was already married to a second husband. He cannot have heard that it was Margaret. She herself once reminded Henry, in after-years, that she was to have been his wife.

This speech, which would have been ungracious if she had refused him, was an allusion to proposals made by Lewis XII. Francis I. The repudiation of his Spanish wife would not enable Henry to compensate himself by closer ties with France. The divorce, promising no political advantage, could only make way for the elevation of an English bride.

But though purposeless now as an affair of State, it became an object of passion. After long preliminaries a treaty of alliance with France was signed in April ; and Henry betrothed his daughter Mary to the son of his ally. The event was celebrated on the 4th of May by a ball, at which the French ambassador, Turenne, danced with the Princess.

At that time she had lived at Court four years, and Henry, though not dissolute according to the standard of contemporary monarchs, had long regarded her with feelings which contributed to make him indifferent to a foreign match. She repelled his suit; and for more than a year he could obtain no sign of requited love. At length he made her an offer of marriage, which was accepted. His letter is undated; but it must have been written about the time when Anne Boleyn first became conspicuous: not later, because the intrigue which was designed to make her Queen stood revealed before the end of May.

There is cogent reason to believe that it was not written earlier. Lord Rochford deposed before the Legates at Blackfriars that the conjugal estrangement between the King and Queen had begun in For in the interest of the Boleyns it was essential that the scruples of Henry should have preceded the proposals of marriage to their daughter. As soon as the Queen had an appointed rival, and the pleas of policy and religion were absorbed in the Edition: current; Page: [ 17 ] stronger influences of passion, the divorce was pressed forward with desperate and unrelenting energy.

The friendship of France was secured, and there was nothing to be feared from Rome. The proceedings were secret. Proctors appeared to accuse and to defend the marriage. Both accuser and defender were officers in the household of the King. The effect of this collusive suit was to put Henry in the position of defendant.

He was not a persecutor, but a victim; the protector, not the assailant, of her happiness and honour. It was in his power so to conduct the defence as to ensure his condemnation, and so to contrive his appeal as to ensure its rejection. Instead of putting forward his own suspicious scruples, he would appear to yield, with grief and remorse, to the solemn voice of the Church, reproaching him with involuntary sin, and dividing those whom God had not joined.

It was intended that Catharine should know nothing until sentence was given. At the end of a fortnight Wolsey adjourned the court. So grave an issue required, he said, that he should consult with the most learned prelates. In truth, the plot was marred by the fall of Rome. The Pope was shut up in the castle of St. That danger neither Henry nor Wolsey had the hardihood to face. No more was heard of the abortive suit until, in our day, Mr. Brewer dragged it into light. Wolsey had already sounded the opinion of the divines. The first consultation was unfavourable. The Bishop of London, the Dean of St.

Pace and Wakefield promptly retracted. Cambridge was partially brought round by Cranmer. It was difficult otherwise to understand how Henry VII. Such things might be in Portugal, where the King could scarcely be prevented from marrying his step-mother. But in England stricter notions prevailed. Tunstall afterwards declared that he had defended the marriage only until he was convinced that the popular belief on this point was wrong.

Of all the works written against Luther in the beginning of the Reformation, his were the most important; and he was eminent not only in controversy, but as a promoter of that new learning which theologians who were weaker in the faith looked on with detestation and dismay. As Wolsey deemed him an enemy, the question was submitted to him in terms so general that Fisher appears to have made answer without suspecting that he was taking the first step on a road ending at the scaffold.

Catharine had been apprised, very early, of all that was done. In the month of March she had taken alarm. She was not allowed to see the Spanish ambassador alone; but she warned him that she had Edition: current; Page: [ 19 ] need of his protection. In spite of the vigilance of the Government, Catharine despatched her physician and one of her attendants to Spain, to instruct the Emperor of the outrage inflicted on his blood.

The remedy she desired was that he should cause the Pope to revoke the powers which had been delegated to the Cardinal for life. The ambassador, Mendoza, reported at the same time that public animosity was rising against him; that his enemies were forcing upon him measures by which he would inevitably work out his own destruction; and that Tunstall would soon be Chancellor in his stead. The French alliance afforded Wolsey the means of recovering his influence, and of becoming once more, for a short space, the principal personage in Europe.

At the head of the most splendid embassy that ever crossed the Channel, he went to concert with Francis the measures to be taken in common defence against their triumphant enemy. It was necessary to provide, during the abeyance of the Papacy, for the government of the national Churches. Wolsey agreed with Francis that they should administer the ecclesiastical interests of both countries without reference to the Pope while his captivity lasted, and should be free to accept his acts or to reject them at pleasure.

A still larger scheme for the government of the entire Church was proposed by the French. The suspension of the Papal authority was not so formidable as the uses to which it might be put by the ambition of Charles. If he could not compel his prisoner to serve him as the instrument of his vengeance against France and England, it was in his power to put a more pliant and trusty cardinal in his place. This was no visionary apprehension. Ferdinand of Austria was entreating his brother not to relax his grasp until the Pope had accomplished all that was wanted for the settlement of Europe; and Mendoza, seeking to tempt Wolsey away from the Edition: current; Page: [ 20 ] connection with France, whispered to him that the Emperor now united the spiritual and temporal power, and was in a position to fulfil his ancient promise, by deposing Clement.

Wolsey was proof against such solicitation. Wolsey urged them to come, in the expectation that he would, at their head, possess a virtual supremacy. The cardinals who were in France joined with him to inform Clement that they held themselves absolved from their obedience, and intended, if he should die in captivity, to elect a Pontiff for themselves. Among the signatures to this momentous declaration are the names not only of the French and English Chancellors, but of the Legate Salviati, who was nearly related to the Pope.

It was not entirely unwelcome to Clement himself, 1 as it made it less likely that the Emperor would coerce him. But he refused to permit his cardinals to accept the ominous invitation to Avignon, for Gattinara met it by threatening him with a council to be summoned by Colonna. He proposed that Clement should sign a protest nullifying all the acts he might perform under pressure of captivity; and should appoint Wolsey his Vicar-General until the moment of his deliverance.

He charged Gambara, the Nuncio in England, to obtain these powers by persuading the Pope that Charles would never set him free, and that his Vicar would do his will in all Edition: current; Page: [ 21 ] things. He was carefully to conceal from him the purpose to which the required authority was to be applied. It would have settled the question of Divorce, by enabling Wolsey to appoint the judges and to hear the appeal. The engagement was to be seen before starting by Gambara.

Then Wolsey undertook, by virtue of his special powers, to release the French King from his bond. After it had been described in fitting terms to Clement, and had exalted his confidence and admiration for the Cardinal, it was to become waste paper. It was unreasonable that grave ecclesiastical causes should wait the pleasure of the hostile soldiery that guarded the Pontiff; or that an issue of vital consequence to the English crown and nation should be left to the judgment of men who were the helpless prisoners of an interested and adverse party.

But on this point Wolsey was resolved to bear down all opposition. Rome supplied the qualification that made him indispensable. To preserve that supply, to maintain his position as Legate against the influence of Charles V. He might succeed, without any profit to the King. He might effect his own exaltation, and might then be intimidated from employing it for the desired end. It was plain that he was using the Divorce for his own aggrandisement. His aggrandisement might, after all, do nothing for the Divorce. When his vast designs were unfolded, a sense that they were outwitted fell upon the cabal that were pushing the fortunes of Anne Boleyn.

Wolsey had been ready in May to go all lengths, and he now declined to go further without the cognisance of Rome, or to question the plenitude of the dispensing power. It seemed that he was betraying the King to the Pope. He defended himself in a remarkable letter, and fancied that he had dispersed the gathering storm. When Henry expressed a wish to see Gardiner, he replied that he could not spare him. Then, for a season, his adversaries prevailed. They persuaded Henry that he could reach his end by a shorter road; and he sent his Secretary Knight to Rome, with instructions which were unknown to Wolsey.

The Nuncio Gambara, supported by letters from Cardinal Salviati, was to open the matter. Gambara was to be followed by Casale and Ghinucci. Stafileo, Bishop of Sebenico and Dean of the Rota, promised his assistance; for Wolsey had found him in France, and had no difficulty in moulding his opinion. Ghinucci and Casale were the most respectable of all the agents engaged in these transactions. Clement afterwards accused Stafileo of having been the author of the mischief.

But the artful machinery which Wolsey had contrived was thrust aside, the management was wrested from his hands, and he was obliged to recall his instructions; while Knight proceeded to execute orders which were studiously concealed from his knowledge. During the interval in which his adversaries pursued the matter in their own way, and laboured to rob him of the merit of success, Clement made terms with his conquerors.

The original intention was only to seek a dispensation for marriage within the forbidden degrees when the first should be dissolved. It could be requisite only because the King had been the lover of the mother or sister of Anne Boleyn. He declared that it was not the mother. The dispensation demanded would, in some measure, have confirmed the right to try the cause in London. But the Nuncio advised that it should be unconditional, and should not be made to depend on the divorce of Catharine.

This petition was not brought before the Pope. Cranmer was chaplain to Lord Rochford. He was so much averse to the theories that were undermining the marriage-law, that he protested vehemently against the later practice of his Lutheran friends, calling them Mohammedans for their encouragement of polygamy. It would appear that he was the author of the altered counsels. When Wolsey on his return reported himself to Henry, the answer came to him in the shape of an order from Anne Boleyn.

He could measure the ground he had lost by his prolonged absence. He regained it in the following winter by his inexhaustible energy and resource; and Edition: current; Page: [ 24 ] the importunities of Anne for some token of attention, were it even a basket of shrimps, confirmed him in the assurance of recovered power. Long before his complacent incompetence was exposed, Wolsey had taken back into his own hands the conduct of affairs.

The sharp lesson just administered had taught him caution. His services in promoting the Divorce were certain to increase the exasperation of the people, and could never disarm the hatred or the vengeance of the magnates whom he had humbled. Success was not less dangerous than failure.

It became the object of his efforts to transfer from himself the formidable burden of responsibility, and to take shelter behind a higher authority. He applied first for powers for himself, or for Stafileo, to try the validity of the marriage; but he required that their commission should be couched in terms which implicitly ruled the decision.

In a passage which was omitted from the fair copy of this despatch, Wolsey confessed that the dissolution of a marriage which had lasted so long would give too great a shock to public feeling for him to take it upon himself. Before the day came on which the Imperialists had covenanted to release the Pope, he was allowed to escape, and he made his way to Orvieto, where the emissaries of Henry, bringing to his feet the humble but fervent prayer of their King, taught him that he possessed, as Bishop of Rome, resources more than sufficient to restore the lost sovereignty of Central Italy.

He was without the semblance of a Court. Few of the prelates, and not the best of them, had joined him in his flight. His chief adviser in this most arduous conjuncture of his stormy Pontificate was Lorenzo Pucci, Cardinal of Santi Quattro, a Florentine, and an adherent of his house, who, after the death of Edition: current; Page: [ 25 ] Leo, had attempted to raise him, by surprise and acclamation, to the vacant throne. To many sordid vices Pucci added the qualities of energy and intrepidity, which his master wanted.

At the storming of Rome he was the only Cardinal seen upon the walls. He was struck down whilst, with his voice and his example, he strove to rally the defenders, and climbed into the Castle through a window after the gates had been closed. He had been Minister under Julius, and, for his extortions under Leo, men said that no punishment was too bad for him. Wolsey had given orders that money must not be spared; but Pucci, who was noted for cupidity, refused a present of two thousand crowns, and could never be made to swerve in his resistance to the English petitions.

He drew up the Commission which Knight asked for, with alterations that made it of no effect; and he baffled the English envoys with such address that the winter passed away before Henry had obtained any concession that he could use, or that the Pope could reasonably regret. The dominant purpose was to gain time. The Emperor, on receiving the messages of Catharine and Mendoza, immediately insisted, through his Viceroy at Naples, that Wolsey should be forbidden to act in the matter, and this demand reached Clement whilst still surrounded by the soldiery that had sacked Rome before his face.

He had now become free; but it was the freedom of an exile and a fugitive, without a refuge or a protector from an enemy who was supreme in the Peninsula. The instrument which the skill of Pucci had made innocuous and unavailing, appeared to him charged with dreadful consequences. He begged that it might be suppressed. He strove to exclude the cause from his own direct jurisdiction.

Having consulted with Pucci, and with Simonetta, the ablest canonist in Rome, he exhorted Henry to obey the dictates of his own conscience, and to dismiss the Queen and take another wife, if he was convinced that he could lawfully do it. Once married to Anne Boleyn, Henry had nothing to fear. But if he waited the slow process of law, and gave time for protests and appeals, the Emperor might compel them to give sentence in Rome.

Clement deemed that it would be a less exorbitant strain of his prerogative, and less offensive to Charles V. Henry VIII. That he should, nevertheless, have rejected an expedient which was in the interest of those to whom he habitually listened, which was recommended by his own strong passions, and which the confidential counsel of the Pope invested with exceptional security, is the strangest incident in the history of the Divorce. In March , the Pope was at Bologna, holding conference with the newly crowned and reconciled Emperor.

Clement could not resist the demand, but he yielded reluctantly. He put forth a Bull in the terms which the Emperor required. These words were spoken in secret; and at Orvieto also Clement had desired that his advice should be attributed to the prelates who were about him. Henry may well have feared that, after taking an irrevocable step, he might be compelled to purchase indemnity by some exorbitant sacrifice; or he may have apprehended in what happened five years later, that the Pope, compelled by Edition: current; Page: [ 27 ] the Emperor, would excommunicate him for disobeying his injunctions.

Having taken his stand, and resolved to seek his end on the safer ground of submission and authority, he refused to abandon it. All the auspices at first favoured Henry, and every prejudice told against the Emperor, whose crafty policy, while it enabled Lutheranism to establish itself in Germany, had inflicted irreparable injury on the See of Rome.

The sympathies of the Roman Court were as decided on one side as they might be now in a dispute between the head of the House of Bourbon and the head of the House of Savoy. No monarch since Saint Lewis had stood so high in the confidence and the gratitude of the Church.

He had varied his alliances between Austria, France, and Spain; but during four warlike pontificates Rome had always found him at its side. He had welcomed a Legate in his kingdom, where none had been admitted even by the House of Lancaster. He was the only inexorable repressor of heresy among the potentates of Europe; and he permitted the man to whom the Pope had delegated his own authority to govern almost alone the councils of the State.

No testimony of admiration and good will by which Popes acknowledge the services of kings was wanting to his character as the chosen champion of religion. The hat, the sword, and the golden rose had repeatedly been sent to him. Julius, in depriving Lewis XII. Such was his reputation in Christendom that when he talked of putting away a wife who was stricken in years to marry a bride in the early bloom of her beauty, the world was prepared to admire his scruples rather than to doubt his sincerity.

Clement, though not without suspicions, suffered them to be allayed. He spoke of the case as one which was beyond his skill, but which no divine was more competent to decide than Henry himself. Cajetan wrote of him in , Cochlaeus in , with the full assurance that he had been deceived by others, and that his own religious knowledge was teaching him to discover and to repair the error of his advisers.

After the final condemnation had been pronounced, a prelate engaged in the affair wrote to him in terms implying that in Rome it was understood that he had been led astray, not by passion but by designing men. Even Paul III. The good faith of Henry was attested by an imposing array of supporters. The Nuncio came to Rome to plead his cause. Stafileo and Simonetta, the foremost judges of the Rota, admitted that it was just. Two French bishops who had visited England, and who afterwards became cardinals, Du Bellay and Grammont, persistently supported Edition: current; Page: [ 29 ] it.

Cardinal Salviati entreated Clement to satisfy the English demands. Lee, the adversary of Erasmus, who followed Wolsey at York, and Tunstall, the Bishop of London, who followed him at Durham, went against her. The most serious defection was that of Tunstall; for the school of Erasmus were known to oppose the Divorce, and of the friends of Erasmus among the English clergy, Cuthbert Tunstall was the most eminent. He is the only Englishman whose public life extended through all the changes of religion, from the publication of the Theses to the Act of Uniformity.

The love and admiration of his greatest contemporaries, the persecution which he endured under Edward, his tolerance under Mary, have preserved his name in honour. Yet we may suspect that a want of generous and definite conviction had something to do with the moderation which is the mark of his career. He reproved 2 Erasmus for his imprudence in making accessible the writings of the early Fathers; and in the deliberations touching the separation from Rome, in the most important Session of the Parliament of England, when he was, by his position, his character, and his learning, the first man in the House of Lords, he allowed himself to be silenced by an order from the King.

Tunstall informed Catharine that he had abandoned her cause because he believed that she had sworn a false oath. Nor did the conduct of the most distinguished English laymen confirm the reported unpopularity of the Divorce. Yet Pole allowed himself to be employed in obtaining the assent of the University of Paris, and accepted his share of merit and responsibility in a success which cost Henry more than a million of francs.

Sir Thomas More had defended divorce in the most famous work that England had produced since the invention of printing. The most daring innovator of the age, he had allowed his sentiments to be moulded by the official theology of the Court. And as they be well worthy, the temporaltie dothe burne them. And after the fyre of Smythfelde, hell dothe receyve them, where the wretches burne for ever.

More was steadfast in upholding the marriage, but never permitted his views to be known. He represented to Henry that he was open to conviction; that he was incompetent to pronounce and willing to receive instruction. He promised to read nothing that was written in favour of the Queen. So reticent and discreet a supporter could not be counted on Edition: current; Page: [ 31 ] her side; and More consented, as Chancellor, to act ministerially against her.

He assured the House of Commons that Henry was not urging the Divorce for his own pleasure, but solely to satisfy his conscience and to preserve the succession; that the opinions of the Universities had been honestly given, and that those of Oxford and Cambridge alone were enough to settle the question.

Whilst he remained in power he left the Queen to her fate, and did his best to put off the hour of trial that was to prove the heroic temper of his soul. The Bishop of Rochester, indeed, was faithful and outspoken to the end; but his judgment was not safe to trust. Death for the sake of conscience has surrounded the memory of Fisher with imperishable praise; but at that time he was the one writer among our countrymen who had crudely avowed the conviction that there is no remedy for religious error but fire and steel; and the sanction of his fame was already given to the Bloody Statute, and to a century of persecution and of suffering more cruel than his own.

His examination of the authorities was able and convincing. He admitted that they were not all on his side; but he held that even if the balance had leaned heavily against him it would not have injured his client. The interpretation of law, the solution of doubts pertained to the Pope; and the Pope had decided this dispute by the undeniable act of dispensation. The question might have been difficult on its merits; but there was, in reality, no question at all. The value of the maxim, that the fact proves the right, had just then been seriously impaired.

The divine whom Leo X. It was absurd, he contended, to try the existing system of indulgences by the rule of tradition, when it was plainly justified by the daily practice of the Church.


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But the argument of Prierias was discredited by Adrian VI. It was a source of weakness in dealing with the first signs of Protestantism in England to adopt a position which had been so recently discarded in the conflict with the Reformation in Germany. But Fisher went still farther. The strength of the argument for the Queen was that a prohibition could not be absolute from which the contingency of a brother dying childless had been specially excepted.

PREFATORY NOTE

But her advisers would not trust that plea. The law was clearer than the exception. No brother, in the history of Christianity, had felt bound to obey the injunction of Deuteronomy. The prohibition of Leviticus had been almost universally observed. This objection was felt so strongly, that Fisher and the advocates of Catharine contended that even if the Divine law forbade the marriage, the Divine law must yield to the law of the Church.

The claim was an unsafe ground for sustaining the marriage; for the marriage was the most effective precedent by which papal Canonists sustained the claim. The shifts by which several writers defended the marriage betray much perplexity. One divine attributed the matrimonial troubles of Jupiter and Saturn to the want of a Papal dispensation.

It was commonly believed, by a mistaken application of a pronoun in the works of St. Antoninus, that Martin V. And there were some who maintained that a man might marry not only his sister, but his grandmother, and even his own mother or daughter. The maxim that a dispensation, to be good, must be warranted by sufficient reason, was generally admitted by canonists; and Julius, in excusing his delay, had said that a dispensation opposed to law and good morals can be justified only by necessity.

Assuming, therefore, in principle, his right to perform the act, the question raised was, whether necessity had been shown, and whether the motives alleged by the petitioners were adequate and true. Henry had pretended that without the marriage there was danger of war; yet he made it manifest that no such urgent purpose of public welfare existed. The dispensation had no sooner reached his hands than he confessed that it was not wanted, by causing his son to make a solemn protest that he did not mean to use it.

Henry VII. It was said that he was troubled in conscience; 1 and Erasmus affirms that Edition: current; Page: [ 34 ] extraordinary pressure was afterwards required to induce Henry VIII. Her father, though more deeply interested than Henry VII.

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The plea of political necessity for a dispensation, which was repudiated as soon as received, and was not employed during six years from the date of the first demand, was nothing but a transparent pretence. To this was added another argument, calculated immeasurably to facilitate the task of the Pope. Ferdinand assured him that Prince Arthur had been too young for marriage, and that Catharine, during her short union with a failing invalid, had not contracted the supposed affinity. The Bull was drawn to meet the wishes of the English, but in terms which significantly indicated the influence of the Spanish representations.

Julius had promised it at the eve of his election, and he granted it by word of mouth immediately after. It was impossible to refuse her prayer. But for this, the Pope would not have Edition: current; Page: [ 35 ] yielded. To the Cardinal Adrian, who was one of those whom he had appointed to advise him in the matter, he expressed a doubt whether such an act lay within his power. The Cardinal assured him that the thing had been done repeatedly by recent Pontiffs. The contention was that these statements had misled the Pope into the belief that he was doing no more than the facts amply justified, whilst he was in reality exceeding the limits which all his predecessors had observed, on the strength of facts which were untrue.

Unless it was certain that neither the imaginary precedents of Adrian, nor the pretended motives of Henry, nor the improbable allegations of Ferdinand, had influenced the decision of Julius II. It was an issue charged with genuine doubt, and not necessarily invidious in the sight of Rome. In the French and English Universities, responses favourable to Henry were obtained with some difficulty, and against strong minorities.

Although jurists in Italy4 could not earn his fee without risk of life, famous teachers of Bologna, Padua, and Sienna, whose names were cited with reverence in the Roman Courts, approved of his cause. The judgments of men in this controversy were not swayed by the position they occupied towards the Papacy. Luther strenuously upheld the rights of Catharine. Sixtus V. For the action of Julius was challenged as a judge of fact, not as a judge of law. The English disputed not the plenitude of his authority, but the information which had determined its use; and it was the opinion of Clement VII.

But it was essential at first to the position and the tactics of Wolsey. Henry appeared in the character of an affectionate husband, bewildered in conscience by scruples he was anxious to remove. Nobody could bind him under deeper obligation than by enabling him to live with Catharine undisturbed. As late as the month of May , long after this fiction had become contemptible, Gardiner had the effrontery to say that Henry still lived with the Queen on unaltered terms. That course would imperil the succession, would overthrow Wolsey, and, in the presence of advancing Lutheranism, would ruin the Church in England.

He wrote at the same time to Orvieto that the instruments granted to Knight were little better than a mockery, and that he regarded the hostile influence of the Emperor as the only obstacle he had to overcome. Gardiner was charged to obtain a Bull for Wolsey, in Edition: current; Page: [ 37 ] conjunction with a Roman Cardinal, directing them to try the cause, and if they should be satisfied of certain facts, which he thought it not difficult to establish, to declare the marriage null and void.

Next to this joint commission, he preferred one for a Roman Legate alone. In the last extremity he would accept one for the two English Archbishops; but he would not act by himself. The Bull, as Wolsey drafted it, made a defence impossible, made the trial a mere formality, and virtually dissolved the marriage. Both Fox and Gardiner declared that it would be hazardous to rely on powers obtained in so disgraceful a manner.

They nevertheless attempted to obtain the Bull, hoping that it might be useful at least for the purposes of intimidation and coercion. The English envoys found the Pope in the dwelling of Cardinal Ridolfi, Bishop of Orvieto, beneath the shadow of the gorgeous cathedral, but surrounded by solitude and desolation, occupying a bare unfurnished chamber, and eating out of earthenware. At his first step Gardiner fell into an ambush. Clement inquired after Wolsey, touching a report that he was against the Divorce. Gardiner eagerly testified to his zeal in its favour.

The Pope replied that, in that case, he would not be accepted as an impartial judge. During two long interviews he met the strenuous exertions of the Englishman with imperturbable temper and dexterity. He was ready to appoint Legates, and to confirm their sentence; but it was impossible to induce him to favour one party to the detriment of the other, in the manner of the proposed Bull.

Gardiner plied his arguments with extreme vigour.


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  • Addressing the Pope, and the small group gathered round him, he protested that the King of England asked only for light to clear his conscience, and would obey the word of the Church, whatever it might be. He implored them not to repulse the wanderer who came as a suppliant to a guide. If he should appeal in vain to the Holy See, the world would say that they were deprived of wisdom, and that the Canons which were unintelligible to the Pope were only fit for the flames.

    Pucci and the other prelates Edition: current; Page: [ 38 ] listened without emotion, for they were persuaded that Henry had other wishes than to clear up doubts. Clement confessed that he was not a scholar, and that, if it was true, as men averred, that all law was locked in the breast of the Pope, it was a lock to which, unfortunately, he had no key. When Gardiner declared that Henry would help himself, if Rome refused to help him, Clement replied that he heartily wished he had done it.

    Finding that it was useless to ask for the Bull that Wolsey wanted, Gardiner proposed that an act defining the law as desired should be given privately, for fear of Spain, never to be produced unless Clement refused to confirm the sentence. To this the Pope replied that if the thing was just it should be done openly; and if unjust, not at all. At length, when the final conference had lasted during many weary hours, Gardiner, believing that he had lost his cause, kindled into anger.

    Gambara and Stafileo were present, and he exclaimed that they had made themselves tools to deceive and to betray the King. Then he turned fiercely against Clement, and denounced him. It was well, he said, that men should know how Rome treats those who serve her, that she may find no succour in her own extremity, and may fall with the consent and the applause of all the world.

    At these words the Pope sprang to his feet, and strode about the room, waving his arms, and crying that they might have the Commission as they wished.