(Continued from page 262)When is a 'Pope' not a 'Pope' but an 'anti-pope'?
Popes have often been severely at odds with their predecessors/successors on key issues, e.g. Agapetus (535-6) burned the anathema which Boniface 11(530-2) had solemnly issued against Dioscorus (530). The latter is shown to be an antipope, but Agapetus, who sided with him, is somehow claimed to be a true pope. Adrian II (867-72) said civil marriages were valid - but Pius VII (1800-23) declared them invalid. How, then, can both men be on the list of 'legitimate' popes. Nicholas V (1447-55) voided all of Eugenius IV's (1431-47) 'documents, processes, decrees, and censures against the Council [of Basle]. [so that they were] ... to be regarded as having never existed' (Dollinger, op. cit., p. 275) - yet both are still found on the official list of popes today.Rome attempts to crush all truth?
Pope Clement XIV issued a decree suppressing the Jesuits (July 21, 1773) - but it was reversed by a decree issued by Pope Pius VII restoring them (August 7, 1814). While Eugenius IV condemned Joan of Arc (1412-31) to be burned as a witch and heretic - she was later beatified by Pius X (1903-14) in 1909 and then canonized by Benedict XV (1914-22) in 1920. None of these equally false acts can ever reverse the humiliation and agonising death suffered by Joan but, compared with the many atrocities of this cult, this is just one example of the vile acts of the 'popes.' The Cathedral of Notre Dame, in Paris, France, contains a popular image of Saint Joan of Arc, France's 'national heroine.' Candles light up the area where countless pointless prayers are offered to Joan who, the Bible clearly teaches, has absolutely no power to influence anything here on earth at this time or at anytime since her death. If an 'infallible pope' can condemn a saint to death as a witch and heretic, who is safe on this earth from their madness? Of course, Eugene IV also remains on the ludicrous list of allegedly infallible 'successors of Peter.'
It is not just history that conclusively proves the fallacious claim to apostolic succession and papal infallibility. Even some of Rome's 'popes' denied the latter also: e.g. Vigilius (537-55), Clement IV (1265-8), Gregory XI (1370-8), Adrian VI (1522-3), Paul IV (1555-9) and even Innocent III (1198-1216), the latter a despot of the lowest ilk. What motivated Pope Pius IX in his determination to establish this obvious fraud as official dogma?
Examine the statements of the man and you will find a clear trail of motives: Pius IX had recognised that the Reformation that brought the true freedom in Christ that His Gospel promised had resulted in an increasing proliferation of genuine democratic nations, most notably the USA, built on Biblical principles of freedom. As a result Roman Catholic domination over governments and citizens, mainly through the typically undemocratic dictatorships they had exploited from the inception of the Papal Cult, was slowly coming to an end. In an attempt to curb the tide against his despotic rule, Pius tried to permanently establish his grip on the naive and gullible through this false dogma and convened the First Vatican Council (December 8, 1869):
These false and perverse opinions [of democracy and individual freedom] are so much the more detestable, by as much as they ... hinder and banish that salutary influence which the Catholic Church, by the institution and command of her Divine Author, ought freely to exercise, even to the consummation of the world, not only over individual men, but [over] nations, [over] peoples, and [over] sovereigns. - Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (December 8, 1864)
Pius IX only made clear the repeated suppression of basic human rights which were the regular practices of his predecessors in their evil quest to bring all mankind under the absolute authority of the Roman Catholic Cult. For more than a thousand years Rome had religious and civil control over the entire city of Rome and its surroundings. Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) abolished the secular Roman Senate and placed the administration of Rome directly under his command. The popes' authority even extended to large territories outside Rome acquired in the eighth century when they used a deliberately manufactured fraudulent document known as The Donation of Constantine. Using this document, Pope Stephen III convinced Pepin, king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, that territories recently taken by the Lombards from the Byzantines actually had been given to the papacy by the Emperor Constantine. Pepin fell for the deception and routed the Lombards, handing the pope the keys to some 20 cities (Ravenna, Ancona, Bologna, Ferrara, Lesi, Gubbio, etc.) and the huge chunk of land joining them along the Adriatic coast.
The Donation, dated 30th March, 315, declared that Constantine had given these lands, along with Rome and the Lateran Palace, to the popes in perpetuity. In 1440 this document was proven to be a forgery by Lorenzo Valla, a papal aide, and historians to the present day agree with his findings. Despite this the self-proclaimed infallibility of the popes convinces them to assert to this day that The Donation was genuine and is the basis to justify their displays of riches and possessions - and to continue to wield such power as they still have through Roman Catholic dupes within the governments of the world. An inscription in the baptistry of Rome's St. John Lateran continues to ignore the evidence presented by one of their won and assert the claims for The Donation - thus showing yet again the papist contempt for truth.
The papacy controlled and taxed the Papal States they embezzled in this manner and derived great wealth from them until 1848 when the pope, along with the rulers of most of the other divided territories of Italy, was forced to grant his rebellious subjects a constitution. In September 1860, despite his now relatively impotent protests, Pius IX lost all of the papal states to the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, leaving him, at the time of the First Vatican Council in 1870, still in control of Rome and the surroundings.
While Pope John Paul II (September 10, 1987 - ref. National Catholic News Service, Pastoral Visit to the United States, p9) proclaimed in his 'Second Pastoral Visit' to the U.S.A. :
I come to proclaim.., the message of human dignity, with its inalienable human rights... [as] a pilgrim in the cause of justice and peace ... as a friend of the poor... who are seeking.., the deep meaning of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Pius IX and his predecessors consistently enforced papal rule through force, but a century later we moved into the era of John Paul II, a heretic of a different kind who sucked up to other deceivers - why else would he kiss the Satanic Qu'ran and call the Dalai Lama (who denies belief in God but allows people to worship him!) 'a great spiritual leader'? The true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ - as opposed to the variable heresies of Rome - has been preached by small groups of Christians who inherited the truth from the Apostles and who would never have tolerated any who deviated seriously from the truth which was 'once for all delivered unto the saints' (Jude 1v3).
These 'saints' (Greek hagios, meaning sacred [physically, pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially, consecrated], most holy) were genuine believers who existed long before the Papacy took the awarding of the title to 'worthy' individuals upon itself. Until believers begin serious Bible study they do not discover many truths that Rome has suppressed, or mis-appropriated to its own advantage. In the Book of Ephesians Paul addresses his letter to saints - why would he do this? Did a whole fellowship of Rome-type 'saints' exist? After all, Rome has taught that saints are dead people who have achieved such spiritual eminence that they have been given that special title, saints after going through 'canonization.' The deceased person's life is examined carefully to see whether he, or she, qualifies for sainthood. If the candidate's character and conduct are found to be above reproach, if they have been responsible for working at least two miracles, then they are qualified to be made a saint. Are Rome's claims for this procedure found in the Bible? Absolutely not! Nine times in Ephesians, Paul addresses his readers as saints (Eph1v1, 15, 18; 2v19; 3v8, 18; 4v12; 5v3; 6v18). These saints were alive, not dead, though once they had been "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph2v1-3). And it is clear that they had never performed any miracles, though they had experienced a miracle by trusting Christ as Saviour (Eph2v4-10). The word saint is simply one of the many terms used in the New Testament to describe "one who has trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour." The person is "alive," not only physically, but also spiritually (Eph2v1). You will find Christians called disciples (Acts9v1, 10, 19, 25-26, 36, 38), people of the Way (Acts9v2) and saints (Acts9v13, 32, 41). The word saint means "one who has been set apart." It is related to the word sanctified, which means "set apart." When the sinner trusts Christ as his Saviour, he is taken out of "the world" and placed "in Christ." The believer is in the world physically, but not of the world spiritually (John17v14-16) for every true believer possesses the Holy Spirit (Rom8v9; 1 Cor. 6v19-20), and it is through the Spirit's power that the Christian is able to function in the world. How did these people at Ephesus become saints? Through these two words: "faithful" and "grace" (Eph1v1-2). When Paul was inspired to address his letter to the "saints ... and faithful in Christ Jesus" he was not addressing two different groups of people. The word faithful carries the meaning of "believers in Christ Jesus." These people were not saved by living faithful lives; rather they put their faith in Christ and were saved. This is clear from Ephesians 1v12-14, 19. The word grace is used twelve times in Ephesians, and refers to "the kindness of God toward undeserving people." Grace and mercy often are found together in the Bible, and they certainly belong together in the experience of salvation. Grace and faith go together, because the only way to experience grace and salvation is through faith (Eph2v8-9). The phrase "in Christ Jesus" is used twenty-seven times in this letter! It describes the spiritual position of the believer: he is identified with Christ, he is in Christ, and therefore is able to draw on the wealth of Christ for his own daily living. It is another tragedy that Rome has even distorted the meanings of so many important Biblical words - not just these but others too - so that they can maintain their power over the faithful who been duped into believing Rome's claims.
John Paul II attempted to convince the world that his Church always championed basic freedoms and does so to this day. Many are fooled by such apparent sincerity, ignorant of the fact that he contradicts the consistent stance of the papacy and the dogmas which his Church has enforced in the most violent and vile forms of oppression since its conception and would do so today if it were allowed. The very fact that governments led by atheists can resist Rome reveals the obvious fact that the Popes cannot possibly have the power they claim Scripture gives them.
The government of the USA was frequently praised during the U.S. tour (1987) by John Paul II while it was repeatedly denounced by his predecessors. Rome foolishly boasts that she never changes - another falsehood! John Paul II continued to declare the party line of Rome that, to be a good Catholic: 'it is necessary to follow the teaching of our Lord expressed through the Church'. It was recognition of the false presentation of Biblical truth by Rome that was recognised by Luther and other faithful Roman Catholic priests and led to the Reformation. It is the same tragic fact that even the most sincere Catholic still has to accept the Church's explanation of what the Word of God means and the same denial of freedom of conscience and individual moral accountability to God which Rome has relentlessly pursued throughout history.
While John Paul II continues to claim that he and his Church are the champions of freedom the history of Rome proves that it has consistently opposed basic human rights. If Rome had really changed we would expect to hear a clear apology for the centuries-long suppression of elementary human rights by previous popes and their Church but the truth is rather that all 'apologies' by popes are, in reality, casting the blame for 'mistakes' on the minions in the church who made the 'errors' without papal consent. The present pope poses as the friend of the downtrodden while attempting to ignore the slaughter of millions of people simply because they embraced the Biblical gospel of God's grace and for that 'heresy' were anathematized, persecuted, terrorised, tortured, and killed by Rome.
Persecute heretics - i.e. anyone who dares oppose 'Popes'!
While pretending to admire freedoms brought by democracy to the USA, John Paul II denounces Protestants and freedom of religion in the next breath before his ignorant, brain-washed, Catholic audiences in Latin America. This is entirely consistent with the continuous pattern that Rome established many centuries ago. One example was The Concordat between Pius IX and Ecuador (September 26, 1862) which established Roman Catholicism as the state religion, forbade other religions, and went so far as to declare that all education was to be 'strictly controlled by the Church' and arrogantly stated that 'only Catholics might be regarded as citizens of Ecuador.' If Roman Catholics cannot spot the control that matches that exerted by Communist or Fascist states we can only conclude that the degree of mind-control exerted by Rome is comparable to the worst that these secular deceptions can offer and on a par with such as the Moonie cult. When Ecuador's neighbours, Colombia, had the audacity to take the opposite course the following year, establishing religious freedom and curtailing the monopoly on education and the privileged position that had long been enjoyed by the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Pius IX was furious. On September 17, 1863, in an encyclical titled Incredibili Afflictamur, he lashed out at the 'nefarious and most iniquitous' laws that Colombia had enacted, citing especially the evil of allowing 'the worship of non-Catholic sects.' Again, he arrogantly declared the Papal view of this nation that dared to stand against him:
We with Apostolic Authority denounce and condemn all such laws and decrees with all their consequences, and by the same authority we abrogate those laws and declare them entirely null and without binding power.
Colombia resisted Rome for 85 years until 1948, when a pro-Catholic government regained power and re-established the concordat that Pius IX had demanded. The results were predictable: hundreds of Christians were slain for their faith, their churches and schools destroyed, and evangelism by non-Roman Catholic groups mainly forbidden. Rome has not changed and the situation remains essentially the same in many countries in South America to this day.
Johann Ignaz von Dollinger, devout Papal Roman Catholic historian, pointed out:
The whole life of such a man [the pope], from the moment when he is placed on the altar to receive the first homage by the kissing of his feet, will be an unbroken chain of adulations.
Everything is expressly calculated for strengthening him in the belief that between himself and other mortals there is an impassable gulf, and when involved in the cloud and fumes of a perpetual incense, the firmest character must yield at last to a temptation beyond human strength to resist. (J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council, London, 1869, p337-338)
Pope Gregory XVI (1831-46) attempted to answer critics of false papal claims in The Triumph of the Holy See and the Church over the Attacks of the Innovators where he wrote that popes had to be infallible in order to fulfill the office of a true monarch. The fact that popes have betrayed such claims by their own ludicrous actions and declarations makes the very attempt utterly laughable! But, in his eagerness to retain all the power of Church and state, he also rejected freedom of conscience, religion, the press, or society as a whole was: 'a false and absurd concept.' Freedom of the press was equal madness. Pius IX succeeded this fool and convened Vatican I in a continuing attempt to repel any nation that dreamt of following the United States in seeking freedom from monarchs and papal despots. The Catholic World summarised the papal view of the US constitution thus:
... we do not accept it, or hold it to be any government at all.... If the American Republic is to be sustained and preserved, it must be by the rejection of the principle of the Reformation, and the acceptance of the Catholic principle...
The popes made clear their utter reversal of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, e.g. Pope Gregory IX (1227-41) declared it the duty of every Catholic 'to persecute heretics.' The papal definition of 'heretic' remains anyone who fails to give complete allegiance to Rome and equally treason to the state so that they used both instruments to torture, imprison, and kill - as Peter de Rosa made clear (Vicars of Christ, p175):Papal Pretensions to Omnipotence
"The record of the Inquisition would be embarrassing for any organization; for the Catholic Church, it is devastating. Today, it prides itself, and with much justification, on being the defender of natural law and the rights of man. The papacy in particular likes to see itself as the champion of morality. ... The church was responsible for persecuting Jews, for the Inquisition, for slaughtering heretics by the thousand, for reintroducing torture into Europe as part of the judicial process ... What history shows is that, for more than six centuries without a break, the papacy was the sworn enemy of elementary justice. Of eighty popes in a line from the thirteenth century on, not one of them disapproved of the theology and apparatus of Inquisition. On the contrary, one after another added his own cruel touches to the workings of this deadly machine."
Many have criticized de Rosa but, as he shows in this brief quote, he manages to speak well of contemporary Rome while ignoring the atrocities still perpetrated in the name and tradition of Rome. Well before (~400 years before) the Inquisition was established by Gregory IX, Pope Nicholas I (858-67) encouraged recent convert to Rome, the King of Bulgaria, to force this vile Christian-cult of Rome upon his people:
I glorify you for having maintained your authority by putting to death those wandering sheep who refuse to enter the fold; and ... congratulate you upon having opened the kingdom of heaven to the people submitted to your rule.
A king need not fear to command massacres, when these will retain his subjects in obedience, or cause them to submit to the faith of Christ; and God will reward him in this world, and in eternal life, for these murders. (History of the Popes, Cormenin, p243-244)
The popes are found to parrot the same message for most of their history and, again, these are allegedly infallible successors to Peter. The revolutionary ideas of freedom established by the many escapees from Roman Catholic persecution in Europe to the United States led to a Constitution which quickly gained solid adherents with their distant cousins back in Europe. Rome has never given up her aim of continuing her autocratic rule through monarchies and, as they fell, autocratic governments - no matter what their leanings (anyone examining the Serb-Croat history fuelled and led by monsters from the Roman Catholic Church will find their protestations falling like rotten wood). Pius IX fought savagely to retain Rome's dictatorial powers through the laughable doctrine of 'papal infallibility' and a host of quotes reveal the nature of the battle:
'... the first article of the first heading of the [Spanish] constitution proclaimed that 'the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion, in Spain and in all the Spanish possessions, will be the religion of the King and of the nation and no other one shall be permitted.' (La Inquisicion Espanola - The Spanish Inquisition - Gerard Dufour)
' [in a] Catholic country, a man may entertain [in his mind] whatever religious or irreligious opinions he likes' but 'he must keep them to himself,' or else 'he is brought before the Tribunal [of the Inquisition]' (Comte Le Maistre, in his defense of the Spanish Inquisition q.v. )
Pius IX (Syllabus of Errors, 1864) condemned the belief that 'every man is free to embrace and profess the religion he shall believe true....' and, in the same document, decreed the union of Church and state, Roman Catholicism must be the state religion everywhere and force may be used to compel obedience, and there is no hope of salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church, etc. Such statements have never been repudiated by Rome and enforced severe punishment (e.g. as a 'galley slave' for 7-9 years for any caught attending Protestant services) was one option to discourage 'heretics'. Clement XII (1730-40) specifically prescribed the death penalty for membership in the Freemasons (another cult!) - or even for 'rendering aid, succour, counsel, or a retreat to one of its members.'
True Christianity had been suppressed by Rome for more than a thousand years but freedom of conscience and basic human rights, based on true interpretation of the Bible, had begun to spread wider since the Reformation and now severely threatened the Papal foundations. One nineteenth-century historian wrote, concerning Pope Clement XII (1730-40):Denying History to Build a Lie
As soon as he was seated on the throne of the apostle, like his predecessor [Benedict XIII (1724-30)], he declared himself to be an enemy of the democratic ideas which were filtering through all classes of society, announced his pretensions to omnipotence, and set himself up as a pontiff of the Middle Ages.'
While men like Thomas Jefferson rejoiced in the fact that the United States had abolished 'religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered' and further urged that 'public reason, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press' be preserved, one hundred years later Pius IX was still hoping for a growth of Roman Catholicism to take over the country (The Papacy and the Civil Power, R.W. Thompson, New York, 1876, p.51-53).
Ironically, in 1861, when the newly formed Kingdom of Italy (with King Victor Emmanuel II at its head) declared Rome its capital, though the pope and his military forces still held and 'ruled it,' and a crowd gathered along the Corso, shouting, 'Viva Italia! Viva Vittorio Emanuele!' the papal police quickly demonstrated their Christian love by firing on them. A leading Italian at the time wrote that the Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition was still very much alive and that its 'secret power ... was felt not only in religious questions, but in every other. ... Under such a system, the man who had murdered or plundered another had nothing to fear from Papal justice' if he did not espouse basic human freedoms 'and were a firm adherent of the temporal [papal] power.'
In 1864, in Quanta Cura, Pius IX denounced what he called:
that erroneous opinion most pernicious to the Catholic Church, and to the salvation of souls, which was called by our Predecessor, Gregory XIV, the insanity (deliramentum): namely, 'that the liberty of conscience and of worship is the peculiar (or inalienable) right of every man, which should be proclaimed by law, and that citizens have the right to... openly and publicly express their ideas, by word of mouth, through the press, or by any other means.'
Reconciling this vile filth with John Paul II's claims that Rome is and always has been the champion of human freedom can only be swallowed by the most ignorant of brain-washed acolytes. Rome's pathetic attempts to re-write history are only regularly matched by cults, such as the Mormons or the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses, as witnessed by an article in The Catholic World which credited the Catholic Church with giving England that great charter of human rights, the Magna Carta, when the truth was that Rome had done everything she could to destroy it!
When the people of the province of Rome voted by 133,681 votes to 1,507 for an independent Italy free of foreign influence and papal control, Pius IX fought back viciously and executed hundreds of Italians who held 'heretical' views and confined about 8,000 to papal jails under intolerable conditions: 'many chained to the wall and not released even for exercise or sanitary purposes. The English ambassador called the dungeons of Pius IX 'the opprobrium of Europe.'
An eyewitness described this monument to the pope's infallibility:
From dawn till nightfall, the miserable captives would cling to the iron bars of their horrible dwellings, and perpetually call upon the passer-by for alms in the name of God. A Papal prison! How I shudder in writing the words ... human beings were heaped confusedly together, covered with rags, and swarming with vermin.
Rome's Palace of the Inquisition still stands next to the Vatican, but has been renamed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Instead of burning the monument to Papal tyranny to the ground, as the mob desired when Pius IX was deposed, the new government persuaded the people to keep it for 'some charitable purpose' and opened to the public to 'let the citizens see with their own eyes the secret mechanisms of the papal system.' One eyewitness wrote of the repugnant scenes viewed by those to who came to this 'house of horrors':
They did not need any evidence to know that the only crime of serious moment in the States of the Church was liberal thought [advocacy of basic human freedoms] in religion and politics. That their friends and relations had been spirited away, and immured in prison, they also knew too well. And when the prison doors were open these emaciated heretics had a sad tale to tell of cruel suffering and ingenious torture.
No Discussion Allowed
Pius IX formally opened Vatican I on December 8, 1869, planning to deal with opposition to papal infallibility (which all now knew he intended to force through the Council) although many knew that papal infallibility had been repeatedly denied, particularly by previous popes. To accept it now would be to go against centuries of Church tradition as well as the Scriptures, but the small minority in favour were prepared to use intrigues, promises, and threats as necessary. Lord Acton was able to write to Great Britain's Prime Minister, William E. Gladstone (on November 24, 1869), two weeks before the Council officially convened: 'Everything is in readiness here for the proclamation of papal infallibility'. The English charge d'affaires to the Holy See commented that preparations to push through infallibility had been so well organized that:
... foreign bishops find it quite impossible to express their own opinions freely. They will be unpleasantly surprised to find themselves forced to sanction something which they actually wished to condemn.
Swiss historian and scholar August Bernhard Hasler revealed fuller details of the sinister intrigue that led to the mendacious decision of Vatican I when he spent five years in the Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity and gained access to their secret archives. After he dared reveal that 'The whole business amounted to a clear manipulation of the Council' and wrote 'How the Pope Became Infallible' he met an 'untimely death' just after the manuscript was finished. And, for daring to write the book's introduction, Catholic theologian Hans Kung was 'stripped of his ecclesiastical teaching privileges.'
Rome's presents the Vatican I declaration of 'infallibility' as representing the mind and will of their bishops but fail to reveal that many were strongly opposed to affirming infallibility both on scriptural and traditional grounds. Some who protested and departed before the final vote was taken only affirmed it later under Vatican threats and for the sake of Church unity and one, Bishop Lecourtier, was so distressed by the fraud that he 'threw his conciliar documents into the Tiber and left Rome....' - which resulted in his removal from his bishopric.Licensing Dictatorial Powers
Those bishops who did attend were prevented from leaving when their exit visas were deliberately withheld to encourage them to vote as they were clearly instructed and two Armenian bishops, one of whom was Placidus Casangian, Abbot-General of all Armenian Antonite monks, who escaped Rome before writing to both the pope and the Council that due to'the constant threat of imprisonment and owing to his serious illness, he had feared for his life and thought his only safety lay in flight.'
Cult-like control was imposed over Council to stifle opposition and prevent free discussion: 'There was to be no discussion in small groups, speeches at the Council could not be printed... [making] it impossible to study the arguments and give a careful response to them ... and bishops were forbidden, under pain of mortal sin, to say anything about what took place in the great hall of the Council.' Any who attempted to voice an opinion contrary to the popes agenda were interrupted: 'often with the explanation that no one was allowed to speak so negatively about the Holy See.'
Those Roman Catholics who have been duped into accepting papal infallibility as a gift from God passed down from Peter to his successors are clearly ignorant of the fact that it was forced upon 'the Church' in the manner described above which was summarised by one attendee, Archbishop Georges Darboy, who wrote in his diary (for December 20, 1869): 'The elections are dishonest.'
'The pressure was felt, in particular, by bishops financially dependent on the Vatican' and those who, like the Armenian bishops, remained determined to refuse to support infallibility. How did the 'Loving Holy Father' respond in to his faithful followers? He commanded their leaders 'to perform compulsory spiritual exercises in a monastery.' Bishop John Stephanian was one such leader who refused to comply and was arrested in the street by the papal police which, unfortunately for these other top followers of the cult, provoked a riot by a mob of people who recognised his position and led to his rescue. If the Lord Jesus Christ did not command legions of angels to His own rescue (Matt26v53) in Gethsemane, or call on them to prevent Judas betraying Him, or save 'Pope' Peter from crucifixion, how can we believe this pope could set his dogs on one of his own? But, then, many of the previous machinations of the popes are equally unbelievable. The papal police also instituted surprise house searches:No Historical Support
'Msgr. Lorenzo Randi, papal minister of police and later a cardinal, had all letters from newspaper correspondents intercepted at the [Vatican] post office and suppressed the most negative reports.'
J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, eminent Papal Roman Catholic historian and theologian with 47 years experience and faithful service to Rome, pointed out that the pope's claim to infallibility lacked support from Scripture or from Church tradition, and was promptly defrocked and excommunicated. He was not alone in taking this view which was predominantly shared by Papal Roman Catholic historians and bishops within the Church of Rome at that time. The monumental work, The Pope and the Council, published just prior to Vatican I by von Dollinger, was immediately placed on the Index of Forbidden Reading as Pius IX attempted to hide the facts from history from his faithful, but sadly ignorant, flock:
Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius know nothing of special Papal prerogative, or of any higher or supreme right of deciding in matters of doctrine. In the writings of the Greek doctors, Eusebius, St. Athanasius, St. Basil the great, the two Gregories, and St. Epiphanius, there is not one word of any prerogatives of the Roman bishop. The most copious of the Greek Fathers, St. Chrysostom, is wholly silent on the subject, and so are the two Cyrus; equally silent are the Latins, Hilary, Pacian, Zeno, Lucifer, Sulpicius, and St. Ambrose...
St. Augustine has written more on the Church, its unity and authority, than all the other Fathers put together ... He urges all sorts of arguments to show that the Donatists are bound to return to the Church, but of the Papal Chair, as one of them, he knows nothing.
As a result of their ejection from Rome, German Catholics who joined von Dollinger separated themselves from Papal Rome and established the typical cult spin-off under the name: 'Old Catholics'. Having rejected the decrees of the First Vatican Council (1870), especially the dogma of the 'infallibility of the pope'. The 'Old Catholic' movement began publicly with a meeting of professors at Nuremberg (1870) under the leadership of von Döllinger and, by 1874, a new church had been established with a bishop consecrated by a Jansenist bishop (Jansenists believed Christian life, i.e. Papal Rome, could be reformed by returning to the ideas of St. Augustine) of the Church of Utrecht, which had itself separated from Rome in an earlier (1724) schism considered to be a precursor of the 'Old Catholic' movement. Church doctrines were codified by the Declaration of Utrecht (1889), which rejected communion with the pope and many Roman Catholic doctrines and practices and allowed priests to marry and made confession optional, i.e. a slight improvement on the Roman cult.
Other leaders who opposed Pius IX included Bishop Joseph Hefele of Rottenburg, a former professor of church history, who addressed these words to the First Vatican Council:A Tragic Farce
'Forgive me if I speak simply: I am very familiar with the old documentary sources of the history and teaching of the Church, with the writings of the Fathers, and the acts of the Councils, so that I can say... I have had them in my hands night and day. But in all those documents I have never seen the doctrine [of papal infallibility from a credible source].'
Hasler informs us further:
[Archbishop] Thomas Connolly ... of Halifax, Nova Scotia, had come to Rome as a convinced adherent of infallibility. After thorough study he became one of its declared opponents ... he repeatedly challenged the Infallibilists in the Council hall to come up with clear texts from the first three centuries - always in vain. He made a private offer of one thousand pounds (perhaps thirty thousand dollars today) to anyone who could provide the text he wanted. All he got was a forgery. (August Bernhard Hasler, How the Pope Became Infallible, Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1981, p153)
Von Dollinger had thoroughly warned anyone who had the nous to listen of Pius IX's planned attempt to push through his 'infallibility' and gave clear guidelines for the bishops who would gather to deliberate this vital decision:
None of the ancient confessions of faith, no catechism, none of the patristic writings composed for the instruction of the people, contain a syllable about the Pope, still less any hint that all certainty of faith and doctrine depends on him.
For the first thousand years of Church history not a question of doctrine was finally decided by the Pope. ... Even the controversy about Christ kindled by Paul of Samosata, which occupied the whole Eastern Church for a long time, and necessitated the assembling of several Councils, was terminated without the Pope taking any part in it .... In three controversies during this early period the Roman Church took an active part - the question about Easter, about heretical baptism, and about the penitential discipline. In all three the Popes were unable to carry out their own will and view and practice, and the other Churches maintained their different usage .... Pope Victor's attempt to compel the Churches of Asia Minor to adopt the Roman usage, by excluding them from his communion, proved a failure.
So the evidence from top historians is that, even in the immediate centuries after Christ, the Church had no notion that the Bishop of Rome had the final word on all disputes or that he was infallible - because there is absolutely no evidence that support the idea. Furthermore, the evidence from the doctrines and actions of the popes makes it clear that they were not only ludicrously fallible, but often despicable, moronic and utterly wicked. It is revealing that a 1987 Time poll revealed that 93 percent of Catholics held the opinion that 'it is possible to disagree with the pope and still be a good Catholic.' Not that the evidence shows that the opinion of Roman Catholics is of much value either!
Pius IX had personally approved an article in La Civilta Cattolica which, in February 1869, began his campaign for infallibility. Although denying any knowledge of the article during an audience with foreign ambassadors, despite writing at least large sections under another name, Pius tried to fool those present. Three Bishops, Clifford, Ramadie, and Place protested the degrading language that Pius IX had publicly used concerning them, but 'he denied the whole thing.' Another was brave enough to take a stand before the multitude of witnesses: Bishop Henri Maret, dean of the Sorbonne in Paris openly declared that Pius IX was: 'false and a liar.' How would Roman apologists defend Pius? Probably by claiming that he was following the first 'pope', Peter, and lying when challenged (Matthew 26v69ff.) - if only the 'popes' had a fraction of Peter's integrity!
The intrigues of Pius IX didn't stop him trying to insist that he wished to 'leave the Council completely free.' Count Trauttmansdorff was one witness to these deceptions and declared (June 22, 1870): 'The facts proving the opposite are too numerous and too obvious' and Cardinal Gustav von Hohenlohe remarked: 'I need no other argument against papal infallibility than this single one, that in my entire life I never met a man who was less particular about the truth than Pius IX.' These were not the only bishops who voiced their concerns in such language - many voted with their feet when, on July 17, 1870, the day before the vote was to be taken, 55 who were opposed declared that 'out of reverence for the Holy Father they did not wish to take part [in the vote]. They then left Rome in protest.'
The last day of the Council (July 18, 1870) found only 535 'yes' votes recorded out of 1084 original members entitled to vote, but the Vatican newspapers managed to find a way to record the event as if the assent was unanimous. Threats of demotion, loss of position, and other pressures, were applied to many who opposed so that 'papal infallibility' could be installed as a dogma of Papal Rome. Few Catholics know the facts and their apologists are skilled in 'spinning' the facts to deceive the unwary.
As Bishop Dupanloup entered in his diary (June 28, 1870): 'I'm not going to the Council anymore. The violence, the shamelessness, and even more the falsity, vanity, and continual lying force me to keep my distance.' On August 26, 1870, fourteen German theologians made their concerns equally strongly: 'Freedom from every sort of moral coercion and from influence through superior force is a sine qua non for all ecumenical councils. Such freedom was missing from this gathering....'
Hasler was able to spend years researching the secret Vatican archives and found documented proof that revealed Pius IX to be involved in:
'... unhealthy mysticism, the childish tantrums, the shallow sensibility, the intermittent mental absences, the strangely inappropriate language even in strictly official speeches, and the senile obstinacy all indicate the loss of a solid grip on reality...'
Beyond this there are instances of near megalomania which are still hard to evaluate. In 1866... Pius IX applied Christ's saying, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life,' to himself. On April 8, 1871, Count Harry von Arnim-Suckow reported to the imperial chancellor, Prince Otto von Bismarck, of Pius IX's attempt to work a miracle: ... as he was passing by the church of Trinita dei Monti, the pope bade a cripple who was lying out in front, 'Rise up and walk!' But the experiment failed.'
The historian Ferdinand Gregorovius had previously noted in his diary (June 17, 1870) some other embarrassing failings of this deluded man:
'The pope recently got the urge to try out his infallibility.... While out on a walk he called to a paralytic: 'Get up and walk.' The poor devil gave it a try and collapsed, which put God's vice-regent very much out of sorts. The anecdote has already been mentioned in the newspapers. I really believe that he's insane.'
That so many leaders who witnessed Pius IX at work should suggest he was suffering from delusions of grandeur and madness is recorded by another Catholic Church historian, Franz Xaver Kraus, who noted in his diary:
'Apropos of Pius IX, Du Camp agrees with my view that ever since 1848 the pope has been both mentally ill and malicious.'
(Continued on page 264)