Neil Oliver Praises the Protestant Reformation

Neil Oliver Praises the Protestant Reformation

Editor writes…

Unfortunately, since one of our trolls drew our existence to the attention of YouTube, I have been shadow-banned on that platform, or I would have gone to town on the above video segment about The Church, underneath the video at source. Instead, I’ve tried to correct as many of Neil Oliver’s errors as possible below: he’s made the classic mistake of accepting, uncritically, the Protestant errors about Catholicism, despite the fact that he had just spent the first part of his talk discouraging uncritical acceptance of “authority” – any and all authority – due to our experience of government abuse of authority under cover of Covid, this past couple of years.  The irony – that he does not challenge the Protestant “narrative” – seems to have escaped his notice…

As regular bloggers here know, I am quite a fan of Neil Oliver and often post his commentaries challenging the removal of our God-given freedoms throughout the lockdown/restrictions period.  And, true to form, his first segment about the need to not trust political leaders and various human institutions is excellent.  I just wish he’d put the same effort into checking the truths of the claims made against the Church.  Watch the video and then check out the list of corrections below.  I think I’ve covered all of the anti-Catholic propaganda points he made, but I’ve done so by memory (a few hours after seeing the video) so if I’ve omitted anything please feel free to take a moment yourselves to correct him in the comments.  Please and thank you!

(1) Bibles were chained to the pulpit to prevent the early Christians from reading the bible for themselves

False – Every Mass [includes] scripture readings. Before the printing press, Bibles cost, in today’s dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars, because they were hand scribed by Catholic monks and took years to produce. To have a thief steal a Bible from the Church meant that no Masses could be said, until huge sums of money could be found to buy another one. So yes, the priests chained the Bibles down to prevent theft, and not to keep the laity from reading them.

(2) Thanks to Luther, the Bible was finally printed in a language for all to understand

False – St. Jerome, some 1100 years before Luther, translated the Greek and Hebrew scriptures into Latin, the modern language of the day.

And there’s this…   “It would be to perpetuate a prejudice all too long current among Protestants, founded on Luther’s often false or at least exaggerated statements, were one to fail to recognise how widely the Bible was known even before Luther’s day and to what an extent it was studied among educated people. Modern research, not seldom carried out by open-minded Protestants, has furnished some surprising results in this respect, so that one of the most recent and diligent of the Protestant workers in this field could write: “If everything be taken into account it will no longer be possible to say as the old polemics did, that the Bible was a sealed book to both theologians and laity. The more we study the Middle Ages, the more does this fable tend to dissolve into thin air.” “The Middle Ages concerned themselves with Bible translation much more than was formerly supposed.” Were Vernacular Bibles Unknown Before Luther? | Dave Armstrong (

Then, of course, the wholly expected swipe at The Crusades. Read The Real History of the Crusades here         

And could there be a “critique” of the Catholic Church and the Reformation period without another swipe at the doctrine of Indulgences?  Unfortunately, just as today we have unfaithful priests teaching falsely about various matters of faith and morals (e.g. telling the faithful that it’s permitted to use contraceptives) so in medieval times, there were unfaithful priests who abused the Church’s glorious teaching on indulgences to profit financially from it. That wasn’t “The Church” any more than it is “The Church” saying “sure, Mrs Smith, go ahead and use contraceptives.” today.  That’s “Father” Rob Banks.  Hopefully, too, future generations reading about the shameful abuse of children by unfaithful priests will know, intuitively, that this was never “the teaching” of the Church.  The Church is both human and divine in its constitution.  Martin Luther split Christendom because he forgot that.  He allowed his righteous anger at the bad behaviour of unfaithful priests (the human element in the Church) to lead his followers into schism, and so right out of the divinely constituted Church established by Christ Himself.

Then there’s the “Reformation” chestnut: we don’t need priests to mediate between God and us, we can do that ourselves.  Well, in that case, why did God send His Son to earth to mediate for us and then bequeath His own priestly powers to his first apostles as noted in the New Testament, which is consistent in teaching about what we now call the ministerial priesthood as distinct from the “universal priesthood of believers”.

Other objections, not mentioned by Neil Oliver abound, of course, such as why do we call priests “Fathers,” when the Bible (Matthew 23:9) says not to do so? Because Jesus was using hyperbole, trying to emphasize the greatness of God the Father. If that weren’t so, He would not have given us the commandment to “Honor thy FATHER and thy Mother,” and Jesus would not have called Abraham “Father” (John 8:56).

So don’t be fooled. It is great to have an intellectual belief that Jesus is our personal Lord and savior (by the way, this expression is not explicitly in the Bible). However, the Protestant objections above militate against the consistency of the Bible, which was given to us all as a whole in the fourth century by the Church and Pope Damasus I. These objections are a huge misreading of the integral message of Scripture.  The above taken from The Catholic Stand

   You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.                                            (Matthew 16:18)   

Comments (24)

  • editor Reply

    I’ve sent the link to this thread to Neil Oliver via GB News, so don’t call him names 😀

    He lives just along the road from us in not-so-sunny Stirling, so I don’t want him sending the Hate Police to our door 😀 Be nice! Neil is Nice!

    October 15, 2022 at 6:45 pm
  • westminsterfly Reply

    I’m sure Neil is nice, no reason to suspect otherwise – but this is classic GB News presenter fodder – some things they are spot on about, other things, they are way, way, off. And as the late, great Fr Hugh Thwaites RIP used to say, it only needs a small amount of poison to make the whole cake deadly. People will see Neil’s incisive comments on other issues, and will automatically assume he is right about everything. This is why I have long maintained that GB News and some of their presenters are far more dangerous than other MSM channels – because they mix great stuff with blatant error, and will the masses be able to discern the difference? I think we all know the answer to that.

    October 15, 2022 at 7:12 pm
    • Lily Reply


      I completely agree about the one drop of poison. GB News is the best of a bad bunch in terms of media news reporting but that’s not saying much, LOL!

      I’m actually quite surprised that he just drank in that propaganda. You’d think he’d have been able to think more rationally, like how come the Catholic Church has lasted through thick and thin for two thousand years, despite all the schisms, with the same teaching intact after all this time.

      I’m surprised and disappointed that he did not explore “the other side”, especially after all that good stuff about not being fooled by government propaganda – then he goes and is fooled by protestant propaganda!

      October 15, 2022 at 8:16 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        I have to admit, more than once I’ve been disappointed in GB News. Mark Steyn keeps the vaccine / sudden deaths unexplained, at the forefront of his show, which is the only place we can find that information, and Dan Wootton also speaks out about these things but I’m not as keen on GB News as I once was, TBH.

        October 15, 2022 at 10:03 pm
      • editor


        It’s their excellent reporting on the vaccines and sudden unexplained deaths stats that makes GB News stand out at the moment. The BBC, ITV etc are a waste of space.

        October 15, 2022 at 10:45 pm
    • editor Reply


      You have put your finger on an important problem – the tendency of people to think someone who is excellent on certain issues (such as Neil Oliver on lockdown/restrictions etc) is then always correct in other areas when that is, sadly, as we have just witnessed in the above video, not necessarily the case.

      I am hoping that after he reads this thread (!) Neil will realise there’s no shame in admitting you’ve made a mistake. I bet the dad in the story italicised below, wishes he’d said that to his daughter before taking her into his office on a “Take your kid to work” day…

      A man took his 6-year-old daughter to his office on ‘Take your kid to work day’. As they walked around the office, the girl turned visibly upset and soon started crying. Her father asked her what was wrong. As everyone gathered around, she sobbed “Daddy, I’m getting bored walking around the office. Please show me those clowns you said you work with”

      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

      October 15, 2022 at 10:52 pm
      • Michaela

        Love the joke about the “clowns”! LOL!

        October 16, 2022 at 5:07 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    Really disappointed in Neil Oliver as He should stick to what He knows which is certainly Protestantism. Certainly their were faults in the Historical Catholic Church but people in glass Houses Neil should not throw stones. Catholics and Catholicism he surely knows educated Western Society and its because of the Mass Godliness in the West especially that we see the decline. Protestantism He must know is a non entity and most see it as a Social Club and nothing whatsoever to do with ones Soul. Of course Bergoglio is trying to get us to catch up, and it seems we are doing so fast. Also as regards the Reformation which really was a Revolution throughout Europe, many very many atrocities were carried out. Also as far as Mr Olivers video above is concerned i cut him of as soon as He said Roman Catholic Church.

    No Neil it is The Catholic Church. Full stop actually its Protestants who call it the Roman Catholic Church. Sometimes Neil even the most [ liberal ] still has that bit of bigotry inside Him. Al notcomment much Neil as i do not know or really wish to know your past. What i will say is that You must have lived a fairly sheltered and easy life to find out at 55 that you could not trust Authority. That Mr Oliver i knew certainly when i was 18 having been stitched up on a False charge of trying to bring other Troubles that were taking place in Great Britain to Scottish Streets. That B.T.W. was in 1969 . Am sure a fine Historian like yourself will tie up exactly what i am on about in 10 Seconds .

    October 15, 2022 at 9:22 pm
    • editor Reply


      You’re a hard man, right enough, but the next time somebody tries to stitch you up, contact me. I had sewing lessons in my youth, and I’m sure it would all come back to me in a case of emergency 😀

      October 15, 2022 at 10:43 pm
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    I’ll need to watch the part about The Church again, but I think most of the errors were corrected in the introduction.

    What always surprises me about Protestants (and I have them in my own family as I’ve said before) is that they claim to take the Bible literally but then criticise us for taking Jesus’s words literally when he said “this is my body” and “this is my blood” – they call Catholic teaching on the Eucharist “blasphemous” for that! So, they pick and choose the way they interpret Scripture.

    I’m disappointed in Neil, like everyone else, but that’s life – he’s living in a very Protestant country and the Catholic hierarchy and priests are not exactly covering themselves in glory these days so it’s not surprising that he’s receptive to the errors of Protestantism. I’m saying a wee prayer for him this evening.

    October 15, 2022 at 9:57 pm
    • Josephine Reply

      Margaret Mary,

      Me, too, I have Protestants in my family, and they don’t take the bits literally that they think are “Catholic bits” such as the teaching of Jesus on the Eucharist.

      It really is disappointing to see Neil so easily believing the Protestant errors instead of delving deeper into the subject. You only have to realise that if Protestantism was the true religion, that would mean that Jesus had left his Church without the truth for 1500 years, most of its history! That doesn’t make sense at all. It’s a wonder that thought didn’t strike him.

      October 16, 2022 at 4:55 pm
  • Pauline Reply

    Thank you for your prompt for your response to this video, Pat.
    Like you, I am usually grateful for Neil Oliver’s political insight. So disappointing and ironic that he should use the repetition of a tired and inaccurate narrative as an analogy to encourage self-education.

    October 15, 2022 at 10:00 pm
    • editor Reply


      What a nice surprise to find you here. We’re all disappointed in Neil’s incredibly uneducated commentary about the Catholic Church – I do hope he pays a visit to this thread and thinks again. And again. And again 😀

      Speaking of “prompting” – I had intended to email to check that you’ve seen our advertisement for our March 2023 Conference and that you would be booking your ticket(s) like, say, er… yesterday 😀 They’re going steadily, so don’t leave it too long.

      October 15, 2022 at 10:41 pm
    • Josephine Reply


      I agree with you about Neil’s political insights – his thinking is crystal clear on what has been going on in the past two years, or is it three now, I’m losing count. I especially liked it when he said he was not going along with any future restrictions – and Dan Wootton said the same, Deo Gratias! I hope they stick to that decision.

      October 16, 2022 at 4:57 pm
  • Athanasius Reply


    I’m in agreement with you and others regarding Neil Oliver. I like the man for his sharp intellect, objective reasoning and defence of our human freedom under God. It’s such a pity, then, that he has chosen not to use those attributes together with his eminent credentials as an historian to get to the truth about the Catholic Church.

    There is such a gulf between human reason and divine faith that it’s impossible to bridge unless by a direct gift from God. That gift is given to all who desire it and do what is within their power to be disposed to receive the truth. Neil is no fool, humanly speaking, but he’s as blind as a bat spiritually. As Editor says, he rightly warns all to mistrust the false narrative of corrupt politicians while swallowing hook, line and sinker the false narrative of those who styled themselves religious “reformers”. Our Lord’s words to the Pharisees seem apt here “you strain on a gnat and swallow a camel”. I feel sorry for Neil, he is such a clever man yet so supernaturally illiterate.

    October 16, 2022 at 11:41 am
    • Josephine Reply


      Sorry to say, you are right about Neil being “supernaturally illiterate” – it’s a terrible shame because he does have a great intellect and he has been a leader at GB News in the fight against lockdowns and restrictions. We should pray for a special grace for him to see the truth about the Catholic religion.

      October 16, 2022 at 4:59 pm
    • Michael 🙏 Reply


      Amen to your wonderful remarks. I am in complete accord with you.

      Every blessing

      Michael 🙏

      October 21, 2022 at 1:32 am
  • Michaela Reply

    Well, I’m actually amazed at Neil Oliver for parroting out those tired old criticisms of Catholicism. With just minimal research, he’d have found the counter arguments to those criticisms, so it really doesn’t say much for his scholarly expertise that he didn’t even try to find out if there were any explanations/counter arguments for those Protestant claims.

    He has been very good on the Covid scam, that I agree, but this is really disappointing, nevertheless.

    October 16, 2022 at 5:05 pm
  • editor Reply

    It occurred to me earlier today that I had forgotten to mention one key criticism of the Church which Neil repeated, and it is this – another old chestnut – that the Church controlled people through manipulation, making them afraid and guilty. I quote: “The [Catholic] Church, by the application of guilt and fear, a fear of Hell and damnation, terror of living in sin and all the rest of it, there was an impressive degree of control over people’s lives… but then, in the 16th century, came the Reformation.”

    Perhaps more than any other error, this one underlines the ignorance of critics about the very nature and purpose of the Church. Analogy coming up: it’s like criticising Marks & Spencer for selling Ladies Fashions instead of sports equipment. Get it? M & S never claimed to sell sports equipment, but they do their bit in advertising Ladies Fashions.

    People like Neil – who apparently see the Church as a kind of extension of the Government’s Social Work Department, helping the poor, needy etc and keeping its nose out of politics and morality in the permissive spirit of “live and let live” – clearly do not know the Gospels, where Christ spoke about Hell, arguably at least as often as He spoke about Heaven. Why? To warn us against ending up there! Critics who launch into this sort of attack on the Church are ignoring the (shall we say) “possibility” that Hell actually exists. And if it DOES exist, don’t YOU (Neil & Co.) want to know how to avoid it? That’s the purpose of the Church, it’s the warning voice from God in society. The Church doesn’t exist to provide us with places to go to sing hymns. Gerragrip.

    What strikes me, therefore, thinking about this part of Neil’s (highly biased) critique of Catholicism, is that it is shallow, especially given his overall context which is to warn us against accepting political authority unquestioningly. For, if those same politicians against whom he (rightly) warns us, were healthily afraid of Hell, and had a terror of living in sin because God is hugely offended by sin, then… well… his video warning wouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

    Maybe if those politicians had properly formed consciences, to make them feel guilt when they are doing wrong, maybe then we would never have been placed in lockdowns or had our churches closed or still, to this day, be living under unnecessary and intrusive restrictions. Been in a pharmacy recently? The social distancing rules are still in place, the staff still wearing daft face masks, and all the rest. No political leader with a truly formed conscience – certainly not a Catholic conscience – would have co-operated with the evil-doing of those who destroyed our way of life (perhaps for good) during the so-called Covid pandemic.

    So, don’t knock it, Neil & Co. – guilt, fear, Hell, damnation… Politicians living with an informed conscience, a healthy fear of doing wrong and offending God, with a healthy level of guilt to match, and a sharp awareness of the danger of spending eternity in Hell, will never pose a danger to anyone. Such politicians will not become the kind of totalitarian dictators we have suffered for the past two or more years. It’s those with purely worldly ambitions and with no thought for eternal consequences, who act as they please.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

    October 16, 2022 at 8:59 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    This rambling video tends to undermine Mr. Oliver’s credibility to a substantial degree. Before he launched into his diatribe against the Church, he spoke of “thinking properly,” the value of rational skepticism, dismissing the idea of an absolute truth, and “do your own reading.”

    Well, Mr. Oliver, you have clearly violated your own rambling standards in accepting what Protestants and their “history” books claim about the Church. Did you do your own reading before you repeated the old lies about the Church controlling everyone through fear? No. Are you “thinking properly,” or just regurgitating the lies of Protestants? The answer is obvious. Did you exercise any “rational skepticism” before you affirmed the lies spewed by the enemies of the Church? No. And has it ever occurred to you that if you deny the existence of absolute truth, then you deny the existence of God?

    I won’t go any further than that, because I have no desire to watch the rest of his screed. Sooner or later, the single-issue “conservatives” always reveal the rest of their package, and despite the appealing wrapping paper, it’s the same old agenda.

    October 16, 2022 at 11:11 pm
    • editor Reply

      RCA Victor,

      And the reason Neil can read is ultimately down to the Church’s concern for education in pre-Reformation times 😀

      There are some Protestant historians who admit that many of the claims about education in pre-Reformation Scotland are false. The widespread belief that prior to the Reformation there were no schools in Scotland has been debunked by the more honest scholars, who acknowledge both that the monasteries provided an education before the Reformation and that after the Reformation the Reformers’ plan to have a school in every parish was financially impossible. The fact is, anyway, that they inherited a system already in place – for example there were schools in the 12th century attached usually to cathedrals, and the Bishop of Aberdeen is believed to have been responsible for the Education Act of 1496.

      Additionally, Neil might have acknowledged that, while the Pope and bishops went along with the Covid restrictions, they did so against a backdrop of laity like ourselves complaining about it! So, the idea that Catholics are an oppressed group, so terrified of Hell that we don’t challenge our priests, bishops and even popes, is a manifest falsehood. He might have at the very least noted that fact, in an attempt to be even handed, which, of course, he wasn’t.

      I repeat – it is very disappointing to note that Neil Oliver’s exhortations to us to do our own research and not trust politicians, did not extend to his assessment of the Catholic Church.

      October 17, 2022 at 8:46 am
      • RCAVictor


        Apparently Mr. Oliver’s highly selective “conservatism” is not restricted to him. Have a look at the way this article starts out, comparing the Inquisition to the persecution of doctors who resist the Covid narrative. And this on a supposedly conservative, nay, VERY conservative website, one of my favorites (until now…):

        Maybe these “conservatives” should wear masks, to prevent them from catching the pandemic of anti-Catholic lies….ahem….

        October 17, 2022 at 4:18 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Attacking the Catholic Church is the last remaining “respectable” bigotry. “Racism”, out, “Homophobia” out, “transphobia” out… you’ll get my drift. We’ve even got the cops here asking the eco-protesters in London (who are blocking the roads, including access to fire engines and ambulances) if there’s anything they need, just to let the cops know…

        But say what you like about those guilt-ridden, pig-ignorant Catholics, and you can walk tall, without fear of anyone “cancelling” you – quite the reverse, you’re likely to be given an award of some kind.

        October 17, 2022 at 4:53 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    ED you have it spot on there, attacking Catholics is now the be all and end all. Of course Mr Oliver, and i suppose rightly so has an Audience to please ,so a littlie of putting the Boot ,shall we say into Catholicism will certainly not do His reputation any harm .Again like most on here i Like Neil Oliver, and at least He has spoken out against the Covid Tyranny . Athanasius really summed it up in 2 words ,Supernaturally Illiterate, for i Personally know that had i died in my 20s ,which was nearly a couple of times i would have known very little of The Hand of God . I believe it is a very impoverished person indeed who reaches a certain age and has not experienced it . As for myself ,and maybe lots on here who have without doubt had Spiritual Experiences were we just [ Lucky ] were we Chosen ,or did we notice and see The Supernatural situations. I would love to hear others opinions

    October 17, 2022 at 5:38 pm

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