:: WARNING ::
Certain kinds of people
Henry VIII did not write it for the lukewarm, the apathetic or the mediocre. Unconcerned as they are about objective truth and reality, they systematically avoid controversy at all costs and view courageous effort and risk as the ultimate evil, which they are never prepared to face. They vainly try to adjust their views to please everyone, even at the risk of displeasing God Himself.
Henry VIII did not write it for the worshippers of relativistic ecumenism. Indifferent to the glory of God and salvation of souls, they imagine that any religious denomination, large or small, old or new, will always be favorably acknowledged before the throne of Christ as His Church and Bride. To them, it matters little if such denominations were established according to individual whims and preferences, objections, hair-splitting Bible interpretations or subjective moral or doctrinal choices.
Above all, Henry VIII did not write it for the agnostics and relativists, who do not recognize anything as absolute and leave as the ultimate measure only the measure of each one and his desires*; who accept religion only as a private matter, as long as it does not upset their petty comforts and lifestyles.
Such people are unable to appreciate the fact that a counterfeit understanding of ecumenism, imbued with irenic relativism, has infiltrated the minds of a very large number of baptized Christians today, including Church authorities.
Ignoring as it does the objective Revelation handed down by the Apostles, such a mental attitude assumes that any creed or code of ethics is an acceptable expression of the Christian Faith, as long as it is regarded as ‘sincere’ and upsets no one; for such men, sincerity in belief is sufficient proof of legitimacy and truthfulness.
They overlook the fact that only the unsullied, objective truth shall set them genuinely free, and lead them to authentic happiness in this life and in the hereafter.
It could be said that Henry VIII wrote this book for men of mature faith, who do not follow fashions and the latest novelty, but rather are profoundly rooted in friendship with Christ.*
Such men believe in the entire divine Revelation given to
the Apostles by Jesus Christ, who founded one Church, not many, His only
Bride, against whom the gates of hell shall never prevail.
The Spirit of God is He Who guides the Church, whose Magisterium is the sole authentic interpreter of Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition.
The Church founded by Jesus Christ administers the seven Sacraments that He instituted as the ordinary means to receive divine grace unto eternal salvation.
It could also be said that when Henry VIII wrote ‘Defence of the Seven Sacraments’, he realized that Catholics could not remain immature in the faith, in a state of inferiority, as they run the risk of being tossed about and carried here and there by any doctrinal wind. He felt that a clear faith, according to the creed of the Church, was needed.*
In short, it was primarily to safeguard the integrity of the true Faith, delivered to the Apostles, and to call all men to salvation in the Church founded by Jesus Christ, that the King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, wrote this book.
We pray that you will be among those who accept or will accept the Faith whose integrity Henry VIII endeavored to protect and safeguard in writing the ‘Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martinum Lutherum’ - Defence of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther.
Raymond and Theresa de Souza
* Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, homily at the Conclave that
elected him Pope.