According to Roman Catholic thought, the Church "is nothing more than an absolute monarchy"1 whose absolute despot is the pope who functions as such in all her expressions.2 On this monarchy of the bishop of Rome "all the power and stability of the Church is anchored,"3 "whose existence would otherwise not be possible."4 Christianity itself is "anchored and totally based on the doctrine of Papism,"5 and, furthermore, "the doctrine of Papism is the most significant element of Christianity,"6 "its epitome and its essence."7
The monarchic authority of the pope -as supreme leader and head of the church, cornerstone of the Church, infallible teacher of the faith, representative of God on earth, shepherd of shepherds, and supreme hierarch- is absolutely binding, can be executed at any moment, and has ecumenical force. This authority extends by divine right8 upon all baptized Christians of the whole world,9 simultaneously and individually. This dictatorial authority can be applied directly and at any moment upon any Christian, whether lay or clergy, bishop, archbishop, cardinal, or patriarch, and even upon any church, regardless of denomination or language10 because the pope is the supreme bishop of every bishopric throughout the world.11
Those who refuse to acknowledge his authority or do not submit to it blindly 12 are "schismatic, heretical, impious, and sacrilegious; consequently, their souls are already predestined to be thrown in the outer darkness because it is an indispensable condition for the salvation of their soul to believe in the God-given doctrine of Papism and to submit to its representatives."13 In this way, the pope seems to incarnate that imaginary pre-Christian leader whose imminent coming was believed by Cicero and whom all people need to accept in order to be saved.14
On the basis of this Roman Catholic doctrine, Pope Gregory VII affirmed: "Given that the pope has the right to intervene and to judge all spiritual matters of all Christians and each one of them separately, he is enabled that much more to intervene in their mundane and earthly affairs."15 For this reason, even though he can limit his authority to the imposition of spiritual penalties and to the denial of salvation of all those who refuse to submit to him, "he has the right to compel the faithful to believe in him."16 It is for this reason that "the Church holds two swords: one symbolic of the spiritual and the other of the worldly authority. The first sword is in the hands of priests and the other in the hands of kings and soldiers. Yet, even the second sword is under the discernment and will of the priests."17
The pope, contending he is the representative and earthly vicar of Him Whose "kingdom is not of this world,"18 of Him Who forbade His apostles to exercise even the slightest predominance and hegemony over the faithful,19 enthrones himself as worldly king, thus continuing in his person the caesaro-imperialist tradition of Rome, the Eternal City and queen of the world.20 Throughout the course of history, the pope became the master of great nations and declared the bloodiest wars against other Christian kings in his quest to conquer new lands or simply to satisfy his unquenchable thirst for dominance and power. He also owned thousands of slaves and often played a central and decisive role in international politics. It is the duty of the Christian rulers and governors to submit to the king ordained by God, who enfranchises his kingdom and his political-ecclesiastical throne and "who was established as the splendor and anchor of all the kingdoms of the world."21 Today, the worldly kingdom of the pope is confined to Vatican City, which is an autonomous state with political representation in every nation on earth and with its own military, police force, weapons, prisons, currency, and commerce.
As the consummation of his complete authority, the pope has one more outrageous privilege, totally unique in the entire world: he is presumed to be "infallible" by divine right according to the doctrinal definition of the Vatican Synod of the year 1870.22 Such a monstrous and unimaginable privilege has never even occurred in the wildest dreams and imagination of the most barbarian and derailed idolatrous religions. Nevertheless, as a result of this doctrine, "all humanity must address him with the same words which were once addressed to the Savior: 'Thou hast the words of eternal life.'"23
Thus, the presence of the Holy Spirit to lead the Church "into all truth"24 is unnecessary, as are the Holy Scripture and the holy Tradition, because now there is a "god" on earth with the authority to invalidate, or even declare as deluded,25 the teachings of the God of Heaven. Based on this claim of infallibility, the pope is the absolute Rule of Faith.26 He can promulgate, even without the consent of the Church, as many new dogmas as he wishes, to which the faithful must strictly adhere and blindly obey if they want to avoid the tortures of hell after death.27 It depends solely on the will and pleasure of his Holiness, wrote Cardinal Baronius, for what he wishes must be deemed 'holy and sacred by the entire Church,'28 and his pastoral epistles must be considered, and believed, and obeyed as 'Canonical Scriptures.'29
A natural consequence of the doctrine of infallibility is that the papal teachings must be kept with blind obedience. This is precisely what Cardinal Bellarmine, a saint of the Roman Church, presented in no uncertain terms in his notorious Theologia:
If one day the pope fell into the error of imposing sins while prohibiting virtues, the Church would be obliged to believe that sins are indeed beneficial and virtues are bad. Alternatively, she would be committing a sin against her conscience.30
Cardinal Zabarella is even more preposterous on this matter:
If God and the pope convene at a certain Synod, [...] the pope can do [there] almost anything God can do, [...] and the pope does whatever he wishes, even violations; therefore, he is something more and higher than God.31
When I completed the study of these books, I saw myself as a foreigner within the bosom of my church.
It became apparent to me that her organic synthesis had no relationship whatsoever with the Church established by Christ, which the apostles and their successors had organized and which the Holy Fathers had described and clarified. This papal organization could hardly be identified with the Church of Christ since it is obviously built not on the Rock which is Christ Himself, but on the quicksand of some alleged privileges of the pope, privileges which were purportedly bequeathed to him by Simon Peter, who most certainly never had them or even imagined them.
We, says Saint Augustine, one of the greater Fathers of the Church, who are Christians in our words and in our deeds, do not believe in Peter but in Him in Whom Peter himself also believed [...] He, Christ, the Teacher of Peter, Who catechized him in the way that leads to eternal life, He is our unique and only Teacher.32
Really, how could I possibly accept the infallibility of the popes, who usurp a title promoting themselves as the exclusive heirs of the Apostle Peter, who, more than the rest of the apostles, was told by the Lord on several occasions that he (Peter) did not know what he was saying?33 Where was the infallibility of Peter when he was reprimanded by the Apostle Paul for being clearly in the wrong34 because he "walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel"?35 Are those who call themselves his "official successors" to the papal throne and to the bishopric of Rome infallible? In fact, they knew very well that they harbored quite a few scandalous names in their lineage such as that of Pope Marcellus, the notorious apostate and idolater, who, as everyone knows, sacrificed in the temple of Aphrodite and in front of her altar.36
Was Pope Julius infallible, he who was excommunicated as a heretic by the Synod of Sardice?37 Was Liberius infallible, he who was a follower of the delusions of Arius and who condemned Athanasios, the great champion of Orthodoxy?38 Was Felix II infallible, he who, according to Saint Athanasios, was elected Pope by three eunuchs and ordained by three spies of the emperor? Such a man was a worthy candidate of his body of electors, given his well-known heretical beliefs, and his overall conduct, befitting an antichrist.39 Was Honorius infallible, he who subscribed to the heresy of monothelitism?40 What about Gelasios who held heretical positions about the doctrine of the Divine Eucharist? Was Sixtus V infallible, he who circulated an edition of the Holy Scripture which he "corrected" by himself based on the authority and the fullness of his apostolic power? That edition was so distorted by all kinds of delusions, that it was soon withdrawn because it was such a great scandal.41 Was Urbanus infallible, he who condemned the theory of Galileo that the Earth revolves around the Sun?42 Was Pope Zachariah infallible, he who prohibited anyone from believing that the Earth is round by threat of anathema?43 And what can be said of Pius II, who had the amazing sincerity to send a friendly reminder to King Charles VII of France warning him not to believe the words of the popes because most of the time they speak out of passion or self-interest?44 Was Pius IV infallible, he who dared to repeal the Seventh Canon of the Ecumenical Synod of Ephesus45 and who violated the oath he swore at the ritual of his enthronement?46
Saint Cyprian says that it is the Church, and not the bishop of Rome, which constitutes the "pure and life-giving water that cannot be blurred or adulterated, because the spring from which it flows is in itself pure and crystal clear."47
Our Lord Jesus Christ promised His permanent support until the end of age to the entire Church and not exclusively to the popes.48 For the benefit of the entire Church and not only for that of Peter and his successors, He promised to ask from His Father the "Spirit of Truth,"49 the very Spirit that teaches "all the truth"50 and all that the Lord taught.51 It is precisely for this reason that the Apostle Paul calls the Church, and not Peter, "the pillar and ground of the truth."52 Likewise, Saint Irenaeus teaches that we must seek the truth of Christ in the Church and nowhere else because "within her bosom, we find it pure, complete, and unadulterated, with the utmost certainty."53 The Lord addressed not only Simon Peter but all His apostles and disciples saying, "He who hears you, hears me."54
Besides, throughout the entire history of the ancient Church, from its inception until the great schism, there is not a single precedent either of any great disagreement or a momentous matter of faith that has been resolved by the bishops of Rome. In my view, this is quite inexplicable if we were to suppose that the popes were indeed recognized as the true, absolute, and, above all, infallible leaders of the ecumenical Church. It is common knowledge that not a single one of the great heresies was defeated by a pope but rather by a synod, or through a Church Father or saintly theologian. Arianism, for example, was condemned by the Synod of Nicea and not by the pope, who himself was infected by this heresy. The Synod of Ephesus condemned Nestorianism; Saint Epiphanios confounded the Gnostics; the Blessed Augustine refuted the cacodoxies of Pelagianism, and so on. Furthermore, the bishops of Rome never served as arbiters in any of these great ecclesiastical matters; on the contrary, they were often the ones indicted and prosecuted on matters of faith by other bishops, patriarchs, or synods. In this manner the Synod of Arelat resolved the contention between the bishop of Rome and the bishops of Africa regarding the matter of rebaptism.55 Similarly, it was the African Church that wrote a strong admonition to the bishops of Rome and Alexandria warning them to put an end to enmity and seek peace.56 The patriarch of Alexandria in unison with the Eastern bishops excommunicated Pope Julius at the Synod of Sardice.57 Pope Honorius was condemned and anathematized by the Sixth Ecumenical Synod,58 and so on.
Having gained an unwavering conviction about the accuracy of all this evidence -a conviction that has never left me since- I wrote the following letter to my father confessor at the first instance of communication after our separation. I have studied the books so kindly suggested by your reverence. Nevertheless, my conscience does not permit me to violate the commandments of God and place my trust in human teachings59 that lack even the slightest biblical foundation. Such are the assorted Papist absurdities that have spawned from the irrational doctrine of infallibility. We acknowledge the true Church based on biblical criteria, as stated by the Blessed Augustine, and not on apophthegmatic verbalism, nor episcopal synods, nor the letter of dissensions -whichever they happen to be- nor on deceptive signs and wonders. We base our acknowledgement only on those things that are found written in the prophets, in the psalms, in the words of the Shepherd Himself, in the works and the teachings of the Evangelists and, in short, on the canonical authority of the Holy Scriptures.60
Furthermore, the same Holy Father [the Blessed Augustine] writes against the Donatists:
I no longer wish to hear your opinion or my opinion, but let all of us abide by 'thus says the Lord.' Undoubtedly, there are Scriptures of the Lord onto whose authority we all agree, obey, and submit. Let us then seek to find the Church in these and let us discuss our differences based on these Scriptures.61
And so, I concluded my letter to my father confessor with these words:
I shall never distance myself from the principle that provides the true Christian rule for the test of faith and every doctrine, which is the authority of the word of God and the Tradition of His Church.62 Your doctrines are irreconcilable with this rule.
He did not take long to respond:
You did not adhere to the advice and to the orientation I offered, my father confessor complained, and you let the Bible continue its dangerous influence on your soul. The holy books are like fire, which when it does not illumine, burns and darkens... and for this reason the popes correctly posited that "it is a scandalous delusion to believe that all Christians can read the Holy Scriptures",63 since our theologians confirm that "these consist of a dark cloud, a parapet that often becomes a refuge even to atheists."64 According to our infallible leaders, "the belief in the clarity of the Scriptures is a heterodox dogma".65 Ás far as Tradition goes, I should not find it necessary to remind you that "in matters of faith, we are first and foremost obliged to follow the pope, more so than one thousand Augustines, Jeromes, Gregories, Chrysostoms, etc".66 And when we possess the interpretation given to us by Rome on any text of the Bible whatsoever, we must believe that we possess the truth of the word of God, irrespective of whether this interpretation may seem to us absurd and contradictory to the very meaning of the text.67 His position, however, bolstered my personal conviction even more. Despite all his theories, despite all the dogmas of our (Roman Catholic) Church, despite even the pope himself, I would never set aside the word of God, which is absolutely and indisputably perfect and lucid to those who have found the true knowledge.68 This is the word of Light,69 which can seem nebulous only to those who are on the way to their perdition and whose spirit is blinded by the god of this age.70 The Holy Scripture is the word of life,71 grace,72 truth,73 and salvation,74 and I did not wish to neglect it and find myself liable at the hour of judgment.75
I was well aware that faith in Holy Scripture was the most accurate76 and absolutely catholic faith,77 since, according to Saint Athanasius,78 this alone is sufficient for the profession of the truth. For this reason Saint John the Chrysostom stresses the fact that "when we have the Holy Scriptures, it is senseless to seek other teachers outside of these."79 "In these [Holy Scriptures]," writes Saint Isidore of Pelusium, "[there] exists everything we need to know"80 and "everything we are interested in knowing."81 Basil the Great adds further that "it is an evident imperfection of our faith and proof of pride to reject something found in the Holy Scripture or, alternatively, to accept something not recorded there."82 Based on this, the Holy Fathers come to the obvious conclusion that "we must believe only what is written in the sacred books and neither seek83 nor ever use84 what is not written there." By contradicting and opposing the Scriptures, my church lost all validity in my eyes, since she became one and the same with those heretics who, according to Saint Irenaeus, "once they were reproved by the word of God, they turned against it to reproach it."85
The great Chrysostom further writes on this: He who adjusts himself to the framework of the Holy Scriptures is the true Christian. He, who fights them, finds himself outside the rule of faith. And if this one comes to tell you that the Scripture teaches what he believes, then, tell me, have you no mind of your own or reasoning ability?86 This was the final contact I had with my spiritual father. I considered it a lost cause to continue our correspondence so I did not write to him again. Neither did he seek to learn any news about me after that, choosing instead to distance himself from any further involvement in my unpleasant ordeal. He was concerned that it could ultimately hurt his excellent chances of promotion to the episcopacy 'by the grace of the apostolic see' (Apostolicae Sedis Gratia), which he had served so faithfully. Still, I did not stop there. I had begun to diverge from the divergence of my church, setting course on a new path, feeling unable to stop until I reached some positive stance that was at least theoretically sound.
The drama I experienced in the course of those days was that, even though I felt myself increasingly distant from Papism, I did not yet feel any inclination toward approaching any other ecclesiastical reality. Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and Anglicanism were, in my view, very vague ideas and it was neither the right time for me nor did I have the opportunity to think that they had the slightest connection with my personal circumstances. Despite everything, I loved my Church, the Church that had made me a Christian and whose cassock I wore. Therefore, it became necessary for me to study this matter on a much deeper and even broader scale, before I could gradually reach the painful realization that my Church did not actually exist and that I had no place in the Papist community. And indeed, given the dictatorial authority of the pope, the authority of the Church and of the episcopal body is for all practical purposes nonexistent. According to Roman Catholic theology:
The authority of the Church is authentic and effective only when it coincides with the will of the pope. Otherwise, it is of no value whatsoever.87 Consequently, the net worth of the pope is the same with or without the Church. In other words, the pope is everything and the Church is nothing. With good reason then and much sadness Bishop Maret wrote:
In changing the constitution of the Church, we also change its dogma. From now on, it will be more accurate [for Roman Catholics] to confess in the Divine Liturgy, 'I believe in the pope,' instead of saying, 'I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.'88 The significance and the role of the bishops are limited to the position of simple associates, subservient representatives of the Papist authority, scattered to the four corners of the earth. They submit to this authority just as the simple faithful do. The Papists attempt to justify this condition based on an absurd interpretation of a verse in the twenty-first chapter of the Gospel of John89 according to which (they say): The Lord bequeathed to the Apostle Peter and first pope the pastoral commission over His lambs and sheep; namely, the commission of the supreme and absolute shepherd of all the faithful, who are symbolized as lambs, and over all the rest, apostles and bishops, who are symbolized as sheep.90 Furthermore, the bishops in Roman Catholicism are not considered at all successors of the apostles,91 on account of the following belief:
The authorities of the apostles were lost with them and consequently were not passed down to their succeeding bishops. Only the authority of Peter, under which all other authorities fall, was transferred to his successors within Papism.92 Accordingly, there is a tremendous difference between the succession of Peter and the succession of any other apostles. The Roman pontiff succeeds Peter as the official shepherd of the entire Church and, consequently, has all the authorities emanating from Him Who bequeathed them to Peter, whereas the rest of the bishops do not actually succeed the apostles, because they were mere shepherds empowered [by Peter], and as such cannot have successors.93 According to Papism, therefore, those who hold the office of the bishop do not inherit any apostolic authority and do not possess any other authority except the one they receive, not directly from God, but from the supreme pontiff of Rome: "The authority of the bishops emanates directly and straight from the pope."94 This I considered an unjustifiable offense against the episcopal office, which was sacrificed and rendered worthless for the sake of bolstering and elevating papal authority. One does not need to have an extensive knowledge of the history of the ancient Church to understand that ever since the apostolic age the order of the bishops has founded its authority on the premise that "it succeeded the apostles and governed the Church with the same power95 and the same office that they had."96 According to Saint Athanasius, it was the Lord Himself who instituted the office of the episcopate through the apostles.97 And so, Saint Gregory the Great clearly teaches:
Today in the church, the bishops hold the position of the apostles.98 Saint Ignatius of Antioch posits that the apostolic authority received by the bishops proceeds from God the Father 99 and further adds that the bishop does not submit to anyone other than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.100 Consequently, "the gold chain that unites the faithful to God connects link to link and passes from the bishops to the apostles, from the apostles to Jesus Christ and from Him to God the Father." 101
This teaching was so well embedded in the Tradition of the Church and was expressed so overtly by the Holy Fathers that for me there was absolutely no doubt whatsoever about its validity. One only needs to read the ancient episcopal catalogs left by Saint Irenaeus, Tertullian, Eusebius, Saint Jerome, Saint Optatus of Milev, and so many other Fathers and ecclesiastical historiographers, who recorded and attempted to describe with the utmost care the succession of the bishops who presided over the various Churches instituted by the apostles. After the names of the founding apostles, the names of the bishops of every see were recorded successively up to the time of the authors of these catalogs. So then, what is the purpose of so much care, so much interest, and so much effort to prove this apostolic succession, if, as Roman Catholicism contends, "the authority of the apostles was lost along with the apostles themselves and was not transferred to their successors, the holders of the office of the episcopate"?102
Very consistent with the Papist teachings about the authority and power of the bishops is the Roman Church's position on the Ecumenical Synods themselves. It is believed that the Ecumenical Synods have no added value other than the one the pope confers upon them, and so the papists assert:
The Ecumenical Synods neither are, nor can they be, anything other than Christian conferences called by the power of the Sovereign and conducted with him as the Chairman.103
Since this sovereign is not the Lord but the pope, first and foremost an Ecumenical Synod cannot exist unless called personally by the pope as the Chairman104 or his immediate representatives.105 At any given moment during the proceedings of an Ecumenical Synod, the pope, and only he, can postpone, move, or dissolve it.106 It is enough for the pope to exit the hall saying, "I am no longer here," to have the Ecumenical Synod be reduced to a mere meeting, and, in the event its members continue to persist, to a lawless and schismatic group.107 Even the decrees of a Synod are virtually worthless, if they are not approved by the pope and published with the seal of his authority.108
In reading all these texts, I came to a realization totally inconceivable to me up to that point, that, in essence, all the Roman Catholic bishops who had gathered together from around the globe at the first Vatican Synod in 1869 consented to demote themselves and become voiceless servants of the bishop of Rome, by accepting the dogma of Papal infallibility. The pope served essentially as the dictator of that Synod from the day it commenced until it concluded, so that anything he wished was passed, while nothing he opposed was accomplished. Indeed, this is well documented by the announcements of one of the members of the Synod, the German Archbishop Strossmayer, whose sober conscience was scandalized in witnessing the order of the episcopate deprived of any power and freedom of will in the face of an almighty pope:
At the Synod of Vatican we did not have any essential freedom. For this reason, it cannot be considered a true Synod with the right to draft decrees with binding power over the conscience of the entire Catholic world [_] Anything that could ensure the freedom of speech and expression was most carefully censored and suppressed [_] and, as if all this were not enough, this synod constituted the most scandalous public violation of the ancient ecclesiastical axiom 'quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus' 109 In other words, it was necessary for the alleged papal infallibility to be applied and enforced in the most obvious and appalling way before that same infallibility was declared a dogma. Furthermore, there were additional allegations about the overall legality of the synod, such as the fact that the bishops of Italian descent, mostly high officials, were the colossal majority in it, having practically the power of monopoly in voting; or that the vicarii were subjected to the most scandalous propaganda, while the entire mechanism of papal authority, enforced at the time by the pope in Rome, succeeded in intimidating everyone and suppressing all freedom of expression. Therefore, one may easily deduce what sort of freedom of discussion (an inviolable principle in every synod) we were afforded at the Synod ofVatican.110
During my severe spiritual crisis, I nearly gave up all my studies. I spent all the free time allotted by my monastic order meditating in the solace of my cell. For months on end, I researched the biblical, apostolic, and patristic sources pertaining to the structure and organization of the early Church, increasing my knowledge in this broad subject. Naturally, this painstaking work could not be done in total secrecy. It became apparent that my overall conduct was heavily influenced by the dilemma that had absorbed my whole being. I did not hesitate to seek guidance outside the monastery from persons and works that could possibly answer my questions. As time went on, I started, with much discretion and caution, to reveal aspects of my ordeal to various church intellectuals whom I had befriended over the years. By discreetly disclosing and alluding to some aspects of my concerns, I received their valuable input, advice, and opinions on this intricate and significant topic that greatly preoccupied my existence. However, I soon discovered that most of the people I had trusted were much more fanatical than I had presumed. Even though they recognized the absurdity of the entire Papist teaching, they remained hopelessly bound to the idea that "the submission due to the pope demands the blind consent of the mind"111 and to the adage of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits:
In order to have the truth in all things and never be led astray, we must always abide by the constant principle that if we perceive something with our eyes as being white, it may actually be black, if this is what the Church hierarchy declares.112
Influenced by this fanatical mindset, which sterilizes any rational argument, a priest of this order and longstanding friend of mine, confided in me the following:
Everything you say is unquestionably logical and quite obvious from every point of view, and I have no reason not to accept it. However, we, the Jesuits, outside the three usual promises, must especially abide by a fourth one, much more crucial than those of obedience, purity, and poverty: we also promise unfailing submission to the pope.113 For this I am obliged to choose to be thrown to eternal condemnation with the pope, rather than be saved with all these unshakable truths of yours.
FOOTNOTES TO CHAPTER 31. Devoti, Instit. Canon., Proleg., Cap. 2. 2. Gregory VI (Mauro Capellari), About the Primacy of the Roman Bishop, Introductory Homily, Ch. 25. 3. Bull Pastor Aeternus, of the Synod of Vatican, Introduction. 4. Maistre, Du Pape, Discours préliminaire, I; also Ibid., Book I, Ch. 3. 5. Ibid., Introductory Homily, 3. 6. Cardinal Belarmino, De Sum. Pontifie., Book 2, Ch. 31, vol.1. 7. Ibid., Foreword, vol. 2. See also: Marin Ordonez, El Pontificado, vol. I, Madrid 1887, Ch.10, pg. 30; J. Donoso Cortés, Obras Completas, vol. 2, Madrid 1901, pg. 37. 8. Pius X, "Vacante Sede Apostolica"25th December 1904; Pius XI, "Cum Proxime", 1st March 1922. 9. Agosto Trionfo, Summa de Potestate Ecclesiastica, Quaest.19, 1, article 3. 10. Mons. Roëy, L'Episcopat et la Papauté au Point de vue Theologique, appendix 10, in "The Conversations at Malines" published by Lord Halifax, London 1930. 11. See for ex. The Bulletin of the Diocese of Strausburg, March 1945 vol. 3,pg.45. 12. Mauro Cappellari (Gregory XVI), Ibid, Table, Ch. 6, 10. 13. Gerson, De Statu Sum. Pont., Consid. 1. 14. Cicero, De Divinatione, Book 2, Ch. 54. 15. Gregory VII, Epistle "Notum fieri," to the Germans. 16. Mauro Capellari (Gregory XVI), Ibid. 11. 17. Boniface IIX, Bull "Unam Sanctam"; A more clear and detailed explanation can be found in: Bernadus Claravalensis, De Consideratione, IV, 3.; Hugui Sancti Victoris, De Sacramentis, II, 2, 4.; Alexandre d'Halés, Summa Theologica, IV, quaestio 10, num. 5, num.2. 18. John 18:36. 19. Luke 22:25-26. 20. Mathieu, Le Pouvoir Temporal des Papes. 21. Maistre, Du Pape, Discours Prelim., 2. 22. Constit. Dogmat. Conc. Vatic, Sess. 4, Bull "Pastor Aeternus". (Full text in: Denzinger, Enchiridion, 139, 1667-1683). 23. Veuillot, Livre sur la Papauté, Ch. 1, 11 (John 6:68). 24. John 16:13. 25. Based on the alleged infallibility of the pope, the Roman Catholics approximate those old heretics who were condemned by the entire church because, according to Saint Vincent of Lerins, "They had the audacity to promise and to teach that an extraordinary and totally personal grace is sent to their church, i.e., to their heretical sect, so without any toil, without any effort, without the slightest care, even without asking, all the members of their sect receive such power from God, and since it feels like angels are holding them on their wings, they never injure their feet on stones, i.e., they never succumb to the scandal of misinterpreting the faith.” (Commonitorium de Orthod., Fide, 25, 8). 26. Perujo, Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Sciences, 100. 27. Devoti, Instit. Canon., Prol. Ch. 2. The words of Saint Vincent are very fitting here: "I never cease to be amazed," says this ancient and most reverend father of the Church, "for the extreme impiety of their blinded nous (mind), for their insatiable passion for falsehood and evil; so they are not satisfied with the rule of faith given to us once and for all from the ancient times, but they daily seek innumerable innovations and they are constantly restless in their desire to add or to change or to subtract something from the religion, as though it is not divine dogma, which suffices once revealed to people, but a human organism, which cannot reach perfection unless it is perpetually corrected and revised." (Commonitorium 21,1). 28. Baronii, Annales, Ad Ann. 553, No. 224. 29. Gratianus, Codex Juris Canonici, vol. 1, Paris 1612, dis. 19, part I, Ch. 6, pg. 90 and Col.55, edition Leipzig 1839. 30. Si autem Papa erraret, praecipiendo vitia, vel prohibendo virtutes, tenetur Ecclesia credere vitia esse bona, et virtutes mala (Theologia, Bellarmino, De Romano Pontifice, Book 4, Ch. 23). 31. "Deus et Papafaciunt unum consistorium [...] Papa potest quasi omniafacere quaefacit Deus [...] et Papafacit quidquid libet, etiam illicit, et est ergo plus quam Deus" (Cardinalius Zabarella, De Schism, Innocent. VII). 32. St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XVIII, 54. 33. Luke 9:33. 34. Gal. 2: 11. (NIV) 35. Gal. 2:14. I saw that they were not walking in line with the truth of the Gospel. 36. Pope Marcellus (296-303) fell into the sin of idolatry and reached the point of sacrificing to the gods of the gentiles to save his life and his property during the persecution of Diocletian. It is a well known historical fact that Marcellus entered the temple of Aphrodite and offered sacrifices to the goddess on her very altar. This scandalous event, which became widely known at that time, caused the Christianity of Rome to keep, for many generations, the worst memory of this pope, at least until the end of the 5th century, according to historical accounts that have reached our days. The Roman Catholic historians, unable to deny the reality of these sad events, prefer to blame these on the imagination of the heretical Donatists, enemies of Marcellus, who supposedly organized a defamation campaign against him after his death. At the same time, however, they are equally unable to explain to us why, if that were the case, Pope Marcellus was expressly noted as an apostate in the Roman Liber Pontificalis itself. Moreover, this was precisely the opinion of the Roman hierarchy that refused to include the name of its apostate leader in the official calendar where the time periods of the papal hierarchies are recorded. Indeed, from Favius (250) until Markus (395) all the names of the Roman bishops are found, with the exception of that of Marcellus. 37. It is generally known that at the Synod of Sardice (342343) the Eastern bishops under the leadership of Patriarch Stephen of Antioch excommunicated Julius, Bishop of Rome. This took place after the Western delegation demanded the revision of certain aphorisms and ecclesiastical dispositions of the East. (See Mansi, Summa Conciliorum, Actae Synod. Sardic. Decreta). 38. Concerning the heresy of Liberius (352-366), we have three indisputable witnesses: Saint Jerome, Saint Hilary, and Saint Peter the Damian. Initially, the Orthodox Liberius was barred from Rome and exiled by the Arians. A short while later, however, weary and distraught by the hardships of exile and nostalgic for the glorious, luxurious life of the papal see, he betrayed the faithful, apostatized, and signed the heretical Arian "Creed." After this he condemned and anathematized Saint Athanasius as a heretic. Overjoyed by these events, the heretical Arians welcomed him back to Rome and enthroned him once again. Saint Jerome expressly records: "Liberius, weary from the hardships of exile, signed the heretical delusion and returned to Rome as a conqueror” (Chronicles,A.D. 357 and: De Script. Eccles.) This is also confirmed by Saint Hilary, who laments seeing the papal signature under the heretical “Creed” and exclaims: Haec est perfidia ariana! (Fragment. Histor.,VII).Saint Peter the Damian, during the 11th century, affirms once again that Pope Liberius was a “heretic and an apostate” (Liber Gratissimus, Ch. 16). 39. St. Athanasius, Against Arians, 73. Saint Athanasius also comments that Pope Felix was so scandalously heretical, that the faithful of Rome refused to enter the churches he was visiting (Epistle to monastics, Paris 1627, opp. I, 861. See also: Duchesne, Histoire Ancienne de V Eglise, Vol. II, Ch. XIII). 40. Pope Honorius (625) accepted and publicly ratified the heretical teachings of the monothelites. Persisting in such a blatant delusion against the faith, he was unanimously condemned and anathematized by the 6th Ecumenical Synod together with all the other leaders of the monothelite heresy. "To Theodore Pharanites the heretic, anathema; to Sergius the heretic, anathema; to Honorius the heretic, anathema; to Cyrus the heretic, anathema; to Pyrrus the heretic, anathema." (see Mansi, Sum. Concil., Gener., Sess. XIII).These are indisputable truths especially since they are confirmed in the pastoral epistles by the very popes who succeeded Honorius. Thus, Leo II, in his apostolic epistle sent to the bishops of Spain asking for their consent on the teachings of the 6th Ecumenical Synod, states that Honorius and his followers were “punished with eternal condemnation” (aeterna condemnatione muletati sunt) because the Synod found them to be in betrayal of the purity of the apostolic tradition. He also wrote to King Ervigius that Honorius was condemned by the venerable Synod and was excluded from the communion of the Catholic Church. Likewise, Pope Adrian II, in the Synodal epistle of the Roman Synod, refers to the heretical guilt and anathema of Honorius by the Synod: Honorio ab Orientalibus post mortem anathema sit dictum, sciendum tamen est, quia fuerit super haeresi accusatus… (Adrianii II, epist. Synod. Concilii Romani, quae in octavae Synodi ActioneVII et lecta et approbata est).The Roman Catholic historians, unable to refute these undeniable facts, have been ordered to keep absolute silence about them or in the event that it is absolutely necessary simply to refer to them in passing. Thus, for example, in the Somme des Conciles of Abbe Guyot (Paris 1868) not the slightest reference to the condemnation of Honorius can be found in the minutes of the XIII session of the 6th Ecumenical Synod (see V. I, pg. 315). All these events were duly included in the festal service book Breviarium Romanum in celebration of Saint Leo who is honored in the West on June 28th, up until the day the Vatican authorities adjudicated the text to be so offensive that it ordered its extinction. This alteration took place when Pope Clement VIII revised the Breviarium. 41. Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) circa 1590 published a version of the Vulgata and officially declared from the perpetuum Decretum that this would hence be the only authentic text, superior to Holy Scripture, since it was corrected by him, “buttressed by the authority overflowing his apostolic power.” The Decretum officially informed the faithful that all other editions of the Bible automatically lost all their value and anyone who would dare to make even the smallest alteration to this new text, whether in the area of teaching or other public interpretations, such as personal discussions, would be “ipso facto” excommunicated. This edition by Sixtus V was so heavily flawed in the area of translation, expression, and teaching, that only an amateur could have produced it. This fact caused the immediate withdrawal of this edition in the midst of a great scandal. Cardinal Bellarmine surmised that this episode presented a serious obstacle regarding the promulgation of his teachings on papal authority. He then asked Pope Gregory XIV (1590-1591), successor of Sixtus, to protect the reputation of the latter by permitting Bellarmine to republish the text with the necessary corrections (see Cardinal Bellarmine, Autobiography, 1591, pg.211). Bellarmine was also contemplating the addition of a prologue in this new edition, for the purpose of explaining to the faithful that in the unfortunate first edition of 1590 there were "some falsehoods" caused by the printers and other persons! However Bellarmine himself confesses in his Autobiography that this was simply a pious lie, since everyone knew that Sixtus was the author of this "labyrinth of every kind of falsehood," and that every paragraph touched by this Pope had been altered in the worst way, Permulta perperam mutata (Bellarm. Aut., ibid, 291). Clement the VIII (1592-1606), the Pope who succeeded Gregory, wishing to have this matter erased from people's memory as soon as possible, published a new text of the Vulgata in 1592, different from the previous one in a great number of points, though still flawed. The general ridicule fomenting from the unfortunate Vulgata of Sixtus V took such dimensions that for many centuries the memory of this Pope was the cause of much comedy and laughter. 42. When the Holy Inquisition tortured Galileo following the orders of Pope Urbanus demanding the recantation of his theory that the Earth rotates around the Sun, this outstanding astronomer, having lost his faith in the Pope and his church, even at the signing of the recantation, whispered these words, immortalized by history: "But it does rotate...!" Immediately after this, Urbanus VIII publicized, as a victory of his papal authority, the action of the recantation of the great astronomer, who was treated so unjustly by the papal henchmen of the Holy Inquisition. As a result, from June 30, 1633, everyone was obliged to believe that the Earth does not rotate around the Sun, under the threat of being condemned as a heretic. "But God, who in those days was still more powerful than the bishop of Rome," says Stanislas Jedrezewsky with a good dose of irony "would eventually justify Galileo." Truly, shortly thereafter the progress of astronomy made the "heretical" theory of Galileo most obvious, compelling Pope Pius VII to ridicule the papal authority in 1822, rectifying the actions of the Holy Inquisition against Galileo in 1633 and permitting the astronomical endeavors of Copernicus. Finally, after the actions of these popes had caused a great scandal among the faithful and much ridicule and scorn from the scientific world, the Vatican, unable to find any other means to restore the status of its authority, reversed its position on everything it had condemned and anathematized up to that point in these matters. In 1835, forced by widespread taunting, the Pope ordered the removal of all the works of Copernicus, of Kepler, and of Galileo from the Index of Prohibited Texts (Index Librorum Prohibitorum). 43. See Innovaciones del Romanismo, G.H.C., Madrid 1891,XIV, pg. 202. 44. "Unum a te petimusfili charissime, Doctoribus Sedis Apostolicae non Semper credas, multa illorum passionibus tribuas" (Epist. Pii II ad CarolumVII Regem Galliae, Epist. CCCLXXIV). 45. Pius the IV abrogated the 7th Canon of the Ecumenical Synod of Ephesus, which contains the aphorism of the relinquishment and the anathema against anyone who would dare to compile and to force upon the faithful a "Creed" other than the one proclaimed by the Synod of Nicea. Pius IV composed his own "Creed" which bears his name: "Creed of Pius IV" (Credo Pii Quarti). In reality this creed does not essentially contradict the Nicean, but the fact remains that it is different. Consequently, during the 5th session of the Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon after the pronouncement of the Nicean Creed, the Holy Fathers forbade not only the composition of a contradictory "Creed," but even "any other form of a Creed regardless of what it says" (See Mansi, Summa Concil, Act. Concil. Ephes., Can.VII, act. Conc. Calced, sess.V). 46. Every Pope, at the behest of the 8th Canon of the Synod of Constance, is obliged to make this confession of faith during his enthronement ceremony, as presented in the Liber Diurnus: "With my mouth and my heart I promise to uphold without the slightest change, all that was legislated and commanded in the Eight Ecumenical Synods; the first of Nicea, the second of Constantinople, the third of Ephesus, the fourth of Chalcedon, the fifth and the sixth of Constantinople, the seventh of Nicea, and the eighth of Constantinople. I promise to uphold all of them equal in authority and honor, carefully following all that has been instituted by them and condemning all that was condemned.” 47. St. Cyprian, Epistle LXXIII. 48. Matt. 28:20. 49. John 14:16-17. 50. John 16:13. 51. John 14:26. 52. 1Tim. 3:15. 53. St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies III, Ch. 4. 54. Luke 10:16. 55. See Mansi, Summa Conciliorum, Act. Concil. Arelat., Can. VIII. 56. "Placuit etiam, ut de dissentione Romanae atque Alexandrinae Ecclesiae, ad sanctum papam Innocentium scribatur: quo utraque Ecclesia intra se pacem, quam praecepit Dominus, teneat" (Codex Canon. Eccles.Afric., No. 101). 57. See, Mansi, Sum. Concil., Concil. Sard., Decreta. 58. Honorio haeretico, anathema" (Mansi, Sum,. Concil, Act. VI Concil. Gener, sess. XIII). 59. Matt. 15:3-9, Mark 7:7-9. 60. St. Augustine, De Unitate Ecclesiae, 1,16. 61. St. Augustine, Epist. Adversus Donatum, 3,5. 62. St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium, 29, 2. 63. Clementii XI Bulla "Unigenitus". 64. Cardinal Bellarmine, DeVerbo Dei..., Liber IV, 4. 65. Gregory XVI (Mauro Cappellari), El Triunfo de la Santa Sede, Madrid 1834, Index, Ch. 8, 2. 66. Cornelius Mussus., In Epist. ad Roman., I, Ch. VIV 67. Cardinalli Hosii, De Expresso Verbo Dei, 1584, pg. 623. 68. St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, vol. 6, Ch. 15, par. 8-9. 69. Ps.118 (119), 105. 70. Cf.. 2 Cor. 4:3-4. 71. Phil. 2:16. 72. Acts 20:32. 73. Eph.1:13, James 1:18. 74. Acts 13:26, Eph. 1:13. 75. See John 12:48. 76. See 2 Tim. 3:15-17. 77. St. Augustine, Sermo IV De Verbo Apostol. 78. St. Athanasius, Against Greeks, Vol.1, Part 1. 79. St. John Chrysostom, Homily 9, Epistle to the Colossians. 80. St. Isidore of Pelusium, Epistle, 4, 67, 91. 81. St. Basil, Epistle to Gregory; St. Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana, 1, Ch. 9. 82. St. Basil, On the Faith, Ch. 1; See also: St. John Chrysostom, Homily 13; on 2 Corinthians, Homily 21, in the 6th chapter on the Epistle to Ephesians, Homily 6, About Lazarus; St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechism 12.83. St. Basil, Homily 21, Against the slanderers of the Holy Trinity; St. John of Damascus, About the Orthodox Faith, Book 1, Ch. l.Theodoret, Dialog. 1. 84. St. Ambrose, De Offic., Lib. I, 23; Origen, Homily 5, On Leviticus. 85. St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies I, 3, Ch. 2.86. St. John the Chrysostom, Homily 33, Acts of the Apostles.87. Devoti, Institutiones Canonicae, Proleg., ch. 2. 88. Maret, Du Concile General, 2, 375. 89. John 21:15-17. 90. Bernardino Llorca S, J., Historia de la Iglesia Católica, vol. I, Madrid 1950, pg. 262. 91. Pii X, Decretum Lamentabili, 50; Actae Sanctae Sedis, 40, 476. 92. Devoti, Institutiones Canonicae, Prolegom., Ch. 2. 93. Ibid. 94. Bellarminus, De Pontifice Romano, Liber IV, 24 and 25, also Liber 1,9. 95. St. Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians 12:44. 96. See Martigny, Dictionn. D'Archéologie Chrétienne, Evèques, p. 569: Minutes of the Synod of Chalcedon. 97. St. Athanasius, Epistle to Dracontius, 3:1. 98. St. Gregory the Great, Homilies on the Gospels II, 23:5. 99. St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, 3. 100. St. Ignatius ofAntioch, Epistle to the Philadelphians, 1. See also Martigny, Dictionn. D’Archeologie Chrétienne, Evèques, p.566. 101. Ruiz Baeno, Padres Apostólicos, Introduction to the Epistle of St. Clement, Madrid 1950, p. 149. 102. Devoti, Institutiones Canonicae, Prolegom.,Ch. II; Bel-larminus, De Pontifice Romano, Lib. IV, Ch. 24, 25, and Ch. 9. 103. De Maistre, Du Pape, Book I, Ch. 3. 104. Benedict XV, Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 222 1; Hefele, Histoire des Conciles, Introduction, II, 3. 105. Benedict XV, Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 222 1; Devoti, Institutiones Canonicae, Prolegom., III, 38; Hefele, Histoire des Conciles, Introduction, II, 3. 106. Decree of Leo X in the Fifth Synod of Lateran. 107. De Maistre, Du Pape, Book I, Ch. 3. 108. Benedict XV, Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 227; Leo XIII, Circular "Satis Cognitum." 109. Catholicum est, quod semper, quod ubique et quod ab omnibus creditum est, meaning: It is indeed catholic when it is believed always, everywhere, and by everyone. (St.Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium, Ch. 2). 110. Excerpt from the declarations published in the newspaper Kölnische Zeitung July 13,1881. 111. Gregory XVI (Mauro Cappellari), ElTriunfo de la Santa Sede, Madrid 1834,Table, Ch. VI, 10. 112. Ignatius Loyola, Libro de Exercicios Espirituales. 113. The devotion of the Jesuits to the papal see was never sincere, especially during the occasions when the special interests of this dark order were conflicted. The Jesuits, despite the promise of blind obedience to the pope for which they boast, saying that they possess an exceptional virtue due to this, suddenly suffered from amnesia when Clement the XIV commanded the dissolution of their order. Truthfully, Pope Clement in his decree, Decretum Brevis, in 1773, announced the dissolution of the Jesuit organization and its total annihilation. The Jesuits, however, instead of practicing their virtue of blind obedience, took refuge in the countries of Prussia and Russia, where the pope could not enforce his decree with military force. They regrouped and increased their numbers there until 1814. Afterwards with their many machinations and intrigues, they succeeded in convincing Pope Pius VII to annul the previous decree and to replace it with another one that permitted the existence and function of the order once again.
Page created: 20-5-2011.
Last update: 20-5-2011.