Saint Thomas More vs. Archheretic Luther
#1
Does anyone have the writings of Luther this was in response to?

Come, do not rage so violently, good father; but if you have raved wildly enough, listen now, you pimp. You recall that you falsely complained above that the king has shown no passage in your whole book, even as an example, in which he said that you contradict yourself. You told this lie shortly before, although the king has demonstrated to you many examples of your inconsistency ....

But meanwhile, for as long as your reverend paternity will be determined to tell these shameless lies, others will be permitted, on behalf of his English majesty, to throw back into your paternity's shitty mouth, truly the shit-pool of all shit, all the muck and shit which your damnable rottenness has vomited up, and to empty out all the sewers and privies onto your crown divested of the dignity of the priestly crown, against which no less than against the kingly crown you have determined to play the buffoon.

In your sense of fairness, honest reader, you will forgive me that the utterly filthy words of this scoundrel have forced me to answer such things, for which I should have begged your leave. Now I consider truer than truth that saying: 'He who touches pitch will be wholly defiled by it' (Sirach 13:1). For I am ashamed even of this necessity, that while I clean out the fellow's shit-filled mouth I see my own fingers covered with shit.

--Sir Thomas More, Responsio ad Lutherum
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#2
what was this a response too?!
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#3
Where did you get this quote from? The original work is in Latin and this is definitely an interesting translation. I've read some of his writings against Tyndale (who got very personal with More--I don't think Luther did, but I could be wrong) and I never read anything like this. Anyway, you've intrigued me. I just looked up an edition of this work and put in a request for it at the library. Should have it in a couple days. 

As an aside, this reminds me of a story in an old book on St. Francis a friend of mine had. One of the friars was being visited by an apparition of "Jesus" who was telling the friar he hated him and was going to damn him no matter what. The friar, terrified, told no one. St. Francis was given an interior inspiration that this was going on. He admonished the friar for not telling him and then told him this was definitely not the Lord. St. Francis told this friar that next time the apparition came to him he should say, "open your mouth a little wider so I can [defecate] into it." The footnote for the word in brackets said the original Italian used a much more colorful word. ;)
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#4
Ok, picked up this book and read the passage. It is in response to Luther's "Contra Henricam regem," a "refutation" of Henry VIII's defense of Catholicism (he was actually a very good apologist before he went off the rails) in which Luther misquotes him, lies about the work, etc. A lot of the more colorful language is simply More using Luther's own words against him (for example, Luther said the latrines should be emptied on the King's crown and More then turns it around on Luther).

Also of note, "pimp" in this time period merely meant a rascal or knave. Likewise, "shit" was simply synonymous with dung, filth, or excrement. It could also mean something or someone obnoxious--it didn't become a taboo "bad word" until the 17th century, 100 years after this was written. The translation I have (which is a pretty old one) uses words like "filthy," "dung," and "dungheep." I wonder what the original Latin is--I'm imaging the translation in the OP is more of a literal word for word translation than a dynamic one which takes into account idiomatic expressions of the time, etc.

As an aside, at least from what I have read, the Saint seems to get more zealous and impassioned defending the reputation of another (in this case the King) than he does defending his own reputation from the attacks of Tyndale, for example. He seems to bear the latter much more patiently--I guess that's to be expected from a Saint.  :)

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#5
I've got some more info after reading the intro and preface. So the work by Luther in question was basically his most scurrilous, obscene, and abusive work of all (and that is saying A LOT). The King felt personally responding to such garbage was beneath his dignity so he commanded More to do it. More himself didn't want to be associated with that kind of junk either so he wrote it under the pseudonym of William Ross (an Englishman who wandered Italy and died in Rome--this persona may or may not have been based on a real person). More's son-in-law and biographer, William Roper, never even mentions that More wrote this work. Historically there has been some controversy as to the actual authorship of the Responsio ad Lutherum, but it is pretty well settled now that it is from More.
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#6
Thanks for the information, SaintSebatian!  Very interesting, indeed.

A friend of mine posted this on his Facebook account, and when I read it I was soo pleased - it was rather hysterical.

Care to share any of Saint Thomas More's other writings, such as his responses to Tyndale?
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