Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

The Counter-Reformation.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Modern Catholic writers, being no longer able to deny entirely the corruption of the Church which led to the Reformation, claim that the Popes detected such evil as there was and effected a complete internal reform independently of any pressure of Protestantism. It is one of the most audacious of the myths they impose upon their people under cover of their censorship. Dr. L. Pastor, their best historian in recent times, tries feebly to vindicate the myth in the earlier volumes of his History of the Popes (29 vols., 1891-1938), but the names of the small minority of strict prelates which he quotes are unknown in history, and they had no influence. The facts he gives show that these few men began to draw up lists of the necessary reforms in 1497, but the Court of Cardinals refused to elect a reform-Pope until 1555, when half of Europe was in rebellion against the Papacy, and Rome itself had been fearfully ravaged and impoverished by the armies of the Catholic Emperor (1527). To that date every Pope was actually vicious or had merely outlived his notorious vices, and the Court and the body of the clergy remained extraordinarily corrupt. A strict (if rather bibulous) Pope then ruled for four years, to be followed by a man of so low a character, Pius IV, that, Pastor says, "the evil elements immediately awakened once more." After six years of this, Rome endured for five years the truculent puritanism of Pius V, and, after his death, vice had again thirteen years of licence (1572-85) under Gregory XIII. Sixtus V next imposed five years of rigour upon Rome, which cursed his nepotism and his cruelty, and the Counter-Reformation was then over. It had consisted of fourteen or fifteen years' temporary suppression of certain vices and ended in futility. Too much of Europe was now anti-Papal to permit the flaunting licence of the golden days, and the treasury had sunk by three-fourths or more, but the city and Italy again became very corrupt. (See McCabe's History of the Popes, 1939, pp. 421-31.)


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