English Martyrs Pilgrimage Diary 4

…was the remembrance of a Catholic England that was not only brutally destroyed, but a destruction which, to this day, is covered up by a smokescreen of ignorance, propaganda and lies. Henry VIII is still presented in tourist information boards, cathedral guides and church leaflets as “the charismatic young King who reformed a corrupt church system of the Dark Ages.” His depredations, robbery, iconoclasm and cruelty is totally glossed over. Time and again the pilgrims were astounded to see how Mary Queen of Scots Catherine of Aragon were ignored or sidelined–how Mary Tudor was still presented as “Bloody Mary” and Elizabeth I as “Good Queen Bess”. Happily our guide at the Tower was probably a Catholic and stressed how Elizabeth’s persecution of Catholics was far more severe and long lasting and pervasive than Mary’s persecution of Protestants ever was.

That this misrepresentation still continues with films like the two Elizabeth movies and the recent TV series Wolf Hall is shameful. Revisionist historians like Eamon Duffy, Jack Scarisbrick and Christopher Haigh have done their work and any researcher now has no excuse not to know the true history of the period, but of course that history doesn’t sell. So the blood of the English martyrs is ignored. The true horror of Tyburn Tree, Topcliffe’s torture chambers and 300 years of Catholic persecution in England–the longest and harshest in history–is swept under the carpet. Chief among the culprits, of course, are the Anglicans. They continue to present their laundered view of history–despite knowing full well what happened, and still (to my knowledge) there has been no formal attempt of repentance and sorrow for what happened similar to Pope St John Paul II’s famous Ash Wednesday service of repentance in the year 2000.

So it is, that the  lamb of the Lord continue to be slaughtered and even today the sufferings of our brothers and sisters across the world are hardly reported, dismissed as “ethnic violence” or ignored for more “important” stories like the a movie star’s sex change.

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