Carmelite Chronicles
The Copenhagen Confession

October 23, 2012 |

On July 2, 1530, a Herredag met in Copenhagen at the royal summons for the purpose of healing the religious differences in the kingdom. Besides about 30 nobles, the archbishop, six bishops, and a few religious and canons, there appeared “Master Tausen and his company,” numbering more than 20 evangelical preachers from every province in the land. The reformers defined their doctrinal position in a statement consisting of 43 articles, the “Copenhagen Confession,” which became the creed of the Danish Protestant Church, corresponding to the Augsburg Confession of German Lutheranism and Zwingli’s Fidei Ratio and Confessio Tetrapolitana. The Danish confession is a quite independent composition, formerly attributed to Tausen, but recently awarded to Peter Laurentsen as the author.

The Catholic theologians, who included several foreigners, presented a list in Danish of 27 errors attributed to the reformers. Helie is generally thought to be the author of this list. The reformers wrote a Reply to the 27 accusations and added 12 of their own against the bishops. The debate remained in literary form only; the Catholic party saw the inadvisability of a public debate witnessed by the people. These had been thoroughly aroused against the bishops and clergy by the fiery sermons of the preachers. One of the targets of their oratory was Lector Paul,
who now received the nickname, “Vendekaabe” (Turncoat). Without an armed escort the streets were unsafe for him and the other Catholic theologians.

From The Mirror of Carmel by Joachim Smet, O. Carm.

Fr. Joachim Smet O.Carm.
Fr. Joachim Smet, O.Carm. (1915-2011) was one of the leading historians of the Carmelite Order. In addition to being a founding member and President of the Institutum Carmelitanum in Rome and editor of Carmelus, a journal of Carmelite Studies, Fr. Joachim was a gifted writer. he is well-known for his four-volume work The Carmelites and his Life of Saint Peter Thomas. Among his other works: Familiar Matter of Today-Poems (2007), The Mirror of Carmel: A Brief History of the Carmelite Order, (2011), various publications on Carmelite Nuns, Carmelite Liturgy, Carmelite Libraries of Spain and Portugal and the Carmelites of Medieval England.
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