Today my wife and I are exploring new things in Rome. We again visited the beautiful church dedicated to the founder of the Jesuits. It is called the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. In Italian it is Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio. It was built in the 17th century, back when the Jesuits knew who they really were and what their commission and charism was (though there are still a few like that today, e.g., Fr. Joseph Fessio and Fr. Mitch Pacwa and the deceased Fr. John Hardon).
In the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola there is a huge statue of St. Ignatius standing tall looking up to heaven. In his hand is the open Bible.
Beneath him is Martin Luther with a closed Bible. St. Ignatius has his foot on Luther’s neck and Luther is biting the back of his own hand.
Click IMG_3603 for a short video clip.
This would probably not go over very well today. In fact the sign under the statue only says “A Statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola” but fails to explain the original purpose and meaning of the statue and who is under St. Ignatius’ foot.
I bought their booklet explaining all the statues and art in the church and it fails to show this statue or to explain it.
Fr. Fessio likes this statue — and so do I. I know we are in a new era today, and do not necessarily attach to Protestants the schism caused by Luther and we refer to them as our “separated brethren.”
But we still need to realize that when the “Reformation” took place the rebels were heretics and caused a schism in the Church and the saints and theologians did not hesitate to say so. We need to quit being politically correct and overly ecumenically sensitive and start calling heresy heresy and schism schism when they raise their ugly heads up in our current time.