Blessed Cardinal Newman said “ To study history is to cease to be Protestant.” This Oxford Don knew of what he spoke. He became a Catholic after working for many years to bring the sacred and beautiful into the Anglican Church. He believed that the poor and the uneducated especially needed the beauty of liturgy and the Sacred. To him what was most beautiful was Truth and he became convinced that the Fullness of Truth is found in the One, Holy, Apostolic Catholic Church.
As we study history in the context of permitting the whole story to be told we notice what a truncated, biased, and distorted education we encountered in the public or secular schools. Have you ever heard of William and son Robert Cecil ? They should be as infamous and as well known as Hitler, the KGB, and Stalin . In the 16th and 17th Century the Cecils became enormously wealthy by plundering the monasteries, convents, churches and cathedrals of Great Britain and Ireland. They became the power house and financiers for religious wars throughout Europe and on the oceans leading to the New World. Calvinist, Lutheran , Anglican it mattered not as long as the target was the destruction and annihilation of the Catholic Church. They had a spy system that extended to every harbour, every seminary,every country including and especially Rome. They used disinformation, deceit, agit- prop to further their ends. Their pursuit of Catholics both lay and priests, especially Jesuits echoes the hunts for Jews by the Naziis and for dissidents by the KGB in the Soviet Union. They created the first police state, everywhere and at all times pursuing the goal that the State,that is them, should be over the individual and the Church. Their philosophy was totalitarian before the word was invented.
And what were they like? That courageous Catholic, William Shakespear gives us a perfect picture of Robert Cecil in the first speech of the first scene of RICHARD III. The Duke of Gloucester , who becomes King Richard III tells us. Richard III did not look like this but Robert Cecil did.
“...Cheated of feature by dissembling nature ,
Deforned, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no deligh to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefor, since I cannot prove a lover
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle peasure of thes days,
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams......”
In the GUNPOWDER PLOT by Hugh Ross Williamson Chapter 3, beginning on page 90 describes Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury: “Robert Cecil , second son and political heir of Lord Burghley, was at the time of the Gunpowder Plot about forty years old, and for the last nine years he had been, as Secretary of State, virtually the ruler of England. He was a dwarf, and a hunchback, splay- footed, prematurely grey at thirty , not caring for wine but with a passion for jewels. He was constantly ill, usually overworked.” There is much more.
Shakespeare was a contemporary of Robert Cecil and used his plays to tell people the evils of his day. The Elizabethan era did not create a mileu of freedom and expression for great literature but provided a need for it. To state the reign of Queen Elizabeth nourished Shakespeare is like saying Stalin nourished Solzhenitsyn. Shakespeare told us four hundred years ago of this evil man by writing a play about a bad king. It is long overdue that people know the facts of the men who created a world where power and wealth attacked the true Faith of the people of Great Britain and Europe. Catholic schools and colleges must return to being thoroughly academically sound and Catholic. We are the ones who have the mandate and motive to get the story straight. Gay