… He’d just need to water it down and sugar it up.
Frontal assaults haven’t worked in the past; the remnant remains and bounces back with greater vigour.
But, oh, getting clergy and religious to attack it from within and making that attack look like ‘progress’, ah, beautiful.
He plays to human weaknesses.
Pride: ‘My opinion is important. My will should be done.’
Desire for approval: ‘People are important; focus the rites on them and their wishes. We must not lose the People’
Laziness: ‘Ah, let us do less, it’s so much easier and simpler’.
Viciousness: ‘Let us make this vice no longer a sin, then we can indulge in it.’
Result: a hollowed-out religion which no longer attracts new members and repels existing ones. “One cannot serve both God and Mammon”; the contradictions, while not obvious, nevertheless bubble in laymen’s subconscious, creating disquiet. Pious people will be repelled and sinners will be find the excuse they need to not repent.
The really clever thing about Catholic Protestantism is that, officially, nothing has changed.