Questions were vexatious to answer, to say the least for me. Especially questions from a square-shaped face alien that has no nose and went by with the name of Anais, I suppose.
Leaning my back against the wheat field, I had no ambition to reply to Anais’ demands or head off to school and listen to der Lehrer’s lectures. It was plainly a matter of time, when the queer-looking alien was annoyed with my usual reclusive self and left for someone else to bother. yet, Anais didn’t even budge a move or make a sound after she sat down on the wheat in the field my family owned.
“Can I ask you a question?” Anais ended the imitating silence between the both of us by asking me another question.
“You are already asking me one.”
“But another one, please?”
What was this about, really? Hoping that this would end soon, I let her ramble on and on about things I didn’t consider, or care about such as Catholicism and Protestantism. “…You know, I was wondering whether your parents are Catholic or Protestant?” The alien asked.
“Protestant, but they were originally Catholic.”
Anais began to question me even more about the religious aspects of my life, claiming that she was investigating about the Protestant Reformation and needed help.
“Were your grandparents Protestant?” The story about my grandparents’ choosing Catholicism over Protestant was still a sore topic to my parents, especially Papa’s parents. Before we moved to another town to reside, Grandfather protested against Protestantism and was in shock when Papa admitted that he supports Martin Luther. As a result, Grandfather disowned Papa. Mama had told that Grandfather still loves him dearly, but he couldn’t accept Papa’s choice of religion.
“C-C-Catholic.” I stuttered darkly under my breath, remembering the tears Papa shed over the conflicts he had with Grandfather.
“Why are your parents Protestant and your grandparents Catholic?”
“Long story.” I didn’t feel like explaining my family’s estranged relationship with my extended family to a stranger.
Anais smiled brightly, “I have a lot of time to hear you out, you know!”
Comprehending that she would not give up until she got the chance to hear my story, I gave a small sigh and said, “To start us off, the Catholic Church was a corrupted place. The preachers would sell indulgences and simony. My family was not OK with the usage of indulgence-”
“What are indulgences and simony?” Anais interrupted me out of nowhere.
“Indulgences are release from punishments for sins. In a simpler definition, it’s where you pay for your sins, without actually redeeming yourself by doing something good. Simony is when you pay for your job without doing any actual work,” I explained quickly, “many people would actually pay their job!”
Anais widened her eyes in shock, “That’s insane!”
“Thankfully, when the 95 Theses by Martin Luther was published, my family realized that we were not the only ones who weren’t comfortable with indulgences and simony. That’s when the Protestant Reformation started. People stopped attending church due to what the 95 Theses had said about preachers who sold indulgences.”
“What’s a Pope?”
“The Church official with the highest power in the Church, basically.”
Anais raised her eyebrows, “That’s a lot of power the Pope has, then.”
I nodded in agreement. “But after the Protestant Reformation, many are following Protestantism, like me and my family. Therefore, the power the Pope had decreased. Half of my town is Protestant, I think.”
“What happened to the people who were condemned from the Church for protesting against these indulgences and simonies?”
“You mean, heretics?”
“That’s what they’re called. But some were burned by the Church and some fled. Martin Luther was deemed a heretic by the Church.”