The translation was admirably rendered by Mary Molliné. Mgr. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais wrote a special preface for the 1st English edition. The book – 160 pages – has an excellent finished quality being bound in hardcover with an attractive layout. It includes a short appendices, Pope’s Pius XI encyclical “Mortalium Animos” on religious unity. This approachable synthesis, based on sound sources given in a very unemotional way makes “Luther’s True Face” a must read of 2017 for both Catholic & Protestants. It will be difficult for any other title to beat it as the “Apologetic Book of the Year”.
Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, SSPX, was born in 1966 in Montauban (Southern France). He graduated from National Archivist School “École nationale des chartes” in Paris. After his priestly ordination in 1996 he was appointed professor in St. Pius X Seminary in Écône (Switzerland), where he teaches apologetics, ecclesiology and esthetics. He has translated and commented on the theological treatises of cardinals Cajetan, Franzelin and Billot. He is also a regular contributor to the monthly theological review Courrier de Rome. Fr. Gleize took part in the theological discussions with Vatican theologians as an official representative of the Society of St. Pius X (2009–2012). He expressed the scope of these in the book “Disputed questions about the Second Vatican Council” [in French] (2012).
St. Thomas Aquinas International Institute for Catholic Apologetics was founded in Poland in 2007. Its activity focuses on organizing conferences and distributing information to strengthen the Catholic faith in dark times of doctrinal confusion and apostasy. Within the last ten years it succeed in forming a devoted international team of scholars, linguists, priests and laymen, skilled in theology, philosophy and history, for the defense of the revealed truth through sound apologetic books & conferences.
The book can be ordered:
#Angelus Press, official distributor in USA: https://angeluspress.org/
#St. Thomas Institute: http://www.lutherstrueface.com/
"Luther's True Face" reviewed by Adam Małaszewski: Sad truth on Martin Luther
St. Thomas Aquinas International Institute for Catholic Apologetics continues to develop its scholarly activity as proven by its latest publication. The book “Luther’s True Face” is excellent. The author is a well known French theologian of the St Pius X Society.
While dealing with this book it is worth to comment on the subject matter of the author’s methodology and the main advantages of reading it.
The topic, that this objective presentation of Fr. Martin Luther’s life and mindset, has been brought to life as a scorching reality in this present year, to address the 500 year anniversary of infamous events called “Reformation”. Those very same events that cut off entire nations from the Catholic Church and deprived them of God’s grace, sane doctrine and Catholic morals. Europe has since rapidly rolled in the direction of liberalism, secularism and the so-called modernity established on the denial of supernatural order and integral, revealed religion. The main role played in those events was obviously performed by a German religious named Fr. Martin Luther. Legends grew up round this person while authentic facts were skipped, distorted or falsely judged. During this sad anniversary, when Protestants do recall and revere their founder, unfortunately representatives of the Catholic Church also take part in its celebrations, and so it is of an urgent necessity that we all look to the true historical reality of Luther and not the image created by propaganda. One cannot sketch Martin Luther in an ecumenical disguise as a bland Church’s reformer, a religious faithful to God, honest and concerned about the Church. Luther destroyed instead of building. The anniversary of the Reformation is deplorable, not joyful. The statue of Luther placed in Vatican’s Paul VI assembly hall is a great misunderstanding and scandal.
Fr. J.-M. Gleize methodology comes from his Thomistic way of thinking. The book has a triple structure: first the author deals with Luther’s life, then with his erroneous doctrine, finally the editor rightly added in appendices Pope Pius XI's encyclical on true religious unity, “Mortalium animos” from 1928. Thus Luther’s life introduces us into an understanding of his doctrine, while the Pope’s encyclical provides sound Catholic judgment on modern ecumenism and Protestantism. Indeed, the real ecumenism consist in converting erring people to the Church, not to look for remains of truth among protestant errors.
What is the clue that demonstrates the author’s Thomistic thinking? The French clergyman follows the example of the Angelic Doctor who was the master of clearness and precision. He first clearly sets up the examined issue (questio), then distinguishes it in different nuances, collected various opinions (pro & contra) and then finally gives the right answer (responsio) and responds to contrary views. In the Thomistic philosophy (as also in reality!), there is only one possible truth that answers each question. The task of a historian, philosopher or theologian is to reach this truth and transmit it to others, following the Dominican principle contemplata aliis tradere – “contemplate and transmit”. The ecumenists are not Thomist and they act otherwise. They do not believe in one definite truth but they consider it a dynamic process so that contrary opinions can be regarded as true at the same time (sic!), for instance Catholic and Lutheran understanding of Sacraments, of Papacy, views on justification of a sinner etc. This thinking has freemasonic roots: everybody has their own understanding of truth and the freemasons are even above it, as they believe only in man and a godly Watchmaker.
Fr. Gleize did not intent to write a new or fundamental biography of Martin Luther. Such a an end would requires several years of research and would finishes at a length of a several volumes. Besides that kind of work on Luther has already been written, though, unfortunately, they are not read anymore. Catholics do not know the classic studies on the Reformation’s founder or if they do, they judge them out-of-date. It is then all the more necessary to remind all of the conclusions of noted scholars by bringing into the light of day the true, dark image of the German revolutionary.
Following this path the author has taken the most important of the Catholic researcher’s inferences and placed in our hands a short study, a compendium of Luther’s character & errors about which even the Pope has today no courage or willingness to talk. The French theologian has investigated Luther’s life and opus with Thomistic precision, so as to show the roots of his errors in his anxious, tumultuous & wry religious character. His too short education, excessive self-trust, lack of humility, indulgence for passions, vain intellectual independence and even hostility versus Tradition, Rome & scholasticism, his vulgar language – those are only some marks of his personality. Luther appeared on history’s stage in an epoch of crisis, where the seeds of his ideas found receptive ground and where he himself gained powerful allies. He threw a spark on ready powder. He gave the occasion for lawlessness and sin. His history is only the eternal truth about mankind, so easily inclined to evil and at the same time so apt to call this evil good, even in the domain of the most sacred things like the revealed religion.
The French priest remains extremely objective during all his work: Luther’s serious vices and errors have not become for him an occasion for an easy moralism but a basis for the reflection on the threat of heresy and the facility of its uprising. Fr. Gleize also notices few qualities of the German reformer and wants to be objective while relating the dramatic course of events and exposing the main heresies. Thus we learn how Luther fell off from the Truth regarding priesthood, morality and the pretended lack of free will; we are taught about his erroneous views on papacy & the Church but also about his false principle of using merely Holy Scripture to expose the Christian doctrine. More details can be found in the works of Christian apologists, theologians and historians. Here we have an excellent summary.
One should sincerely recommend this book “Luther’s True Face” to all. We should also congratulate the editor for a great translation, done by Mary Molliné, which rendered very readable in English all historical & theological nuances, present on each page of this book. The work was also published with great neatness. This kind of elaborations are real weapons in the fight for the Truth, against heresy. When there is a crisis within the Church, Catholics do have to defend themselves, so as not to become Protestants. This book will certainly help them in this struggle.