UU Minute #32

Sozzini Feels the Love -- and the Hate

In 1583 -- four years after Fausto Sozzini’s arrival in Poland – the Jesuits established a center in Krakow, and began assaults on the Minor Reformed Church. Enemies were becoming suspicious that Sozzini had indeed authored the works he published anonymously – notably “On Jesus Christ the Savior,” completed in 1578, the year before his arrival in Poland, where Sozzini had argued that Christ is our Savior because his teaching and his example show us the way of salvation, not because his death paid off our debt of sin.

Sozzini was also under attack because:
“Sozzini insisted that the command not to kill is clear and without exception for Christians. Therefore, Christians could not engage in warfare or in any activity that might cause them to take a life. Nor was the punishment of criminals a Christian office. . . . Jesuits and other critics insisted that by refusing to accept an obligation to support the nation when it was at war, Sozzini was undermining the authority of the King and the security of the state.” (Bumbaugh)
With the danger in Krakow mounting, Sozzini withdrew to the nearby estate of a sympathetic nobleman, Christopher Morsztyn, who had a daughter named Elizabeth. In 1586, Fausto Sozzini, now age 47, and Elizabeth Morsztyn were married. Within a year, the couple moved back to Krakow and a daughter, Agnese, was born to them. Alas, a few months after the birth, Elizabeth died. The last 17 years of his life, Fausto Sozzini continued to write, was a single father to Agnese, and, as the acknowledged leader of the Minor Reformed Church, bore the contempt of that church’s outraged critics.

NEXT: Rakow, and the Racovian Catechism

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