Belloc: The origins of that great movement which shook and split for generations the spiritual world, and which we call the “Reformation”.

The most important thing about the Reformation is to understand it. Not only to follow the story of it stage by stage – a process always necessary to the understanding of any historical matter – but to grasp its essential nature.

On this last it is easy for modern people to go wrong, and especially modern people of the English-speaking world. The nations we English-speaking people know are, with the exception of Ireland, predominantly Protestant; and yet (with the exception of Great Britain and South Africa) they harbour large Catholic minorities.

In that English-speaking world (to which this present writing is addressed) there is full consciousness of what the Protestant spirit has been and what it has become in its present modification.

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