The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedJoseph Lortz
Title QuotedReformation: A Problem For Today
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/02/22
Imprint[S.l.] : The Newman Press. 1964
QuotationIs [Joseph] Lortz too severe on Erasmus? Reading him after dinner today I wondered about this. Erasmus was "hardly a Christian," etc. A scholar, an individualist, not enough sense of the Church, etc. Yet his piety is so clean, so simple and so real. It is a breath of fresh air after so much of the late M. G[ilmore]. In a way I like it even better than Thomas More's "Moralism." But was this not needed at this time? And it is completely Evangelical. Erasmus is perhaps one sided, perhaps lacking in the full Catholic spirit, was perhaps a danger in many ways, but how can one read him today without joy and agreement? Heis a splendid writer and to my mind a deeply pious one. And his satires, are they after all too bitter, too extreme? One feels that his Catholic critics almost begrudge him his fidelity to the Church, as if, to satisfy them, he ought to have apostatized and given them an open and shut case against him.
JournalDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 80
Link to Merton's Copy