(Continued from page 347)
Evidence from Papal Rome confirms her suppression of the Bible!
More confirmation of Papal Rome's suppression of the Bible!
Papal Roman Catholic writer, Melancthon Jacobus, supports this evidence and wrote:
The Catholic Church has for centuries prohibited her members, as a rule, from reading the Scriptures in their own tongue, and until lately special permission was needed for each person. The versions she does promulgate in countries mainly Catholic have often been too expensive for wide circulation, though of late a splendid reform has taken place in Italy by Pope Leo XIII. The Authentic Version of God's Words as Authorized by the Church of Rome is in Latin, long obsolete as a spoken language, except in an obscure corner of the Balkans (Melancthon Jacobus, Roman Catholic and Protestant Bibles Compared, 1908, p50).
The evidence for Papal Rome's long-term restrictions on the use of the Bible has already been dealt with adequately on our pages so we need add little more. Papal Rome's opposition is solidly written into her history in the fourth rule of the congregation of the 'Index Of Prohibited Books', approved by Pius IV and still in force, which reads:
'Since it is manifest by experience that if the Holy Bible in the vulgar tongue be suffered to be read everywhere without distinction, more evil than good arises, let the judgment of the bishop or inquisitor be abided by in this respect, so that, after consulting with the parish priest or the confessor, they may grant permission to read translations of the Scriptures, made by Catholic writers, to those whom they understand to be able to receive no harm, but an increase of faith and piety from such reading (which faculty let them have in writing). But whosoever shall presume to read these Bibles, or have them in possession without such faculty, shall not be capable of receiving absolution of their sins, unless they have first given up their Bibles to the ordinary.'
This prohibition was followed up by later declarations, such as that of Pope Leo XII, in an Encyclical dated May 3, 1824, which addressed the Latin bishops thus:
'We also, venerable brothers, in conformity with our apostolic duty, exhort you to turn away your flocks from these poisonous pastures [i.e., vernacular Bibles]. Reprove, entreat, be instant in season and out of season, that the faithful committed to you (adhering strictly to the rules of the 'Congregation of the Index') be persuaded that if the Sacred Scriptures be everywhere indiscriminately published, more evil than advantage will arise thence, because of the rashness of men.'
The laity were further blocked from reading the Word of God by the second article in the creed of Plus IV:
'I do admit the Holy Scriptures in the same sense that Holy Mother Church hath held and doth hold, whose business it is to judge the true sense and interpretation of them. Nor will I ever receive or interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.'
Since the facts show that 'Holy Mother Church 'publishes no commentaries on the Holy Scriptures', nor 'authorized interpretation' of Holy Writ and, as we have proven, 'the unanimous consent of the Fathers' is simply non-existent for they clearly commented freely, each according to his ability, it is clear that the way of the laity of Papal Rome to the Word of God is closed.
Again, it is clearly proven that 'Protestantism' has made the Bible an open book while Papal Rome has made it a sealed book for, while 'Reformed' Churches have translated the whole Bible into well over 500 languages and dialects (all the main languages spoken by 75% of the world's inhabitants) and published over 300,000,000 copies, the popes have kept the Bible locked up in the Latin tongue. It is a sad fact that, when the Rheims-Douay Bible became Rome's 'English Bible', the laity were still forbidden to read it.
The following account of the attempt to publish a translation of the four Gospels, by a distinguished French Romanist, Henri Lasserre, is extremely revealing ref.:
'Hardly can we remember so singular an incident as that which Dr. Wright records in the interesting pamphlet which now lies before us. If we had hitherto believed in the infallibility of the Pope of Rome, the fact here recorded would have delivered us from the delusion, and we trust the making of it known may have a like effect upon those who are now the victims of that fiction.
It seems that a certain M. Henri Lasserre found great benefit for his sore eyes from his faith in the water of the Lourdes Grotto, and invocations of the Blessed Virgin. Abundant facts prove that faith in anything has a curative effect. Whether it is a doll dressed in satin, as at Larghetto, or a doctor with a wide reputation, or a quack medicine, or an old woman, or a broom-stick; if you have confidence that you will be cured, it goes a long way towards curing you. [TCE: Spurgeon is commenting here on many factors regarding 'cures' promoted by 'faith' in 'something' - but he is not commenting on, nor does he exclude, genuine faith and healings wrought by the God of the Bible!] That, however, is not the point. M. Lasserre was grateful for his cure, and, moved by that gratitude, wrote a book, entitled, 'Notre Dame de Lourdes.' It was the making of the place. His pen caused Our Lady of Lourdes to be much sought after; for his writing was charmingly attractive, and secured a host of readers.
On a happy day, M. Lasserre discovered the Four Gospels, and was greatly impressed by them. He thought that the fourfold story of Jesus was the very book that France wanted; and he thought most wisely. He devoutly set to work to translate the original into the French of the day; making, not exactly a literal translation, but one which would command a reading from the ordinary Frenchman. Not in chapters and verses, but like an ordinary book, the gospel narrative flowed on in a charming manner. The version was as faithful as Henri Lasserre could make it; it would not quite satisfy an evangelical believer, but it was a wonderful performance for a Roman Catholic. For a preface, it bore in its forefront a lamentation over the neglect of the gospels by Catholics. He exclaims, 'The gospel - the most illustrious book in the world - is become an unknown book.' Strange that such a book, with such a preface, should be dedicated to 'Notre Dame de Lourdes.' But there was something stranger. The book appeared with the imprimatur of the Archbishop of Paris, and the approval and benediction of the Pope!! Note this:
'The Holy Father has received, in regular course, the French translation of the Holy Gospels which you have undertaken and accomplished, to the delight and with the approval of the Archepiscopal authority. His Holiness commissions me to express to you his approval of the object with which you have been inspired in the execution and publication of that work, so full of interest,' &c.
Miracles will never cease; the Pope had sanctioned a preface extolling the reading of the Scriptures, and had also given his countenance to a popular translation of a portion of the New Testament.
The Gospels, thus recommended, obtained a ready sale; edition followed edition, till the twenty-fifth appeared. Probably one hundred thousand copies were sold, at four francs each. Not as cheap tracts, but as valuable books which are sure to be preserved, had the Gospels entered many French families, under the sanction of the Pope.
Suddenly 'the Sacred Congregation' discovered that an error had been committed, and a decree was issued from the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, with the approval of 'OUR MOST HOLY LORD, POPE LEO XIII.,' condemning the translation of Henri Lasserre, to be placed upon the index of forbidden books. An infallible benediction was removed to make room for an equally infallible malediction in the space of twelve months and fifteen days. The book has been withdrawn from circulation; but no hand can gather up all the copies, or destroy the good which must have come of their perusal. As for M. Henri Lasserre, he deserves our sympathy, and he should be the object of the prayers of all who rejoice in gospel light, that on him the fulness of truth and grace may dawn.
This very wonderful story is set forth at length, with all the documents, by our friend, Dr. William Wright, of the Bible society; and those who invest a shilling in the purchase of his pamphlet, which is published by Nisbet, will do well to keep the document. Hereafter, it will be produced full many a time as the clearest possible demonstration that the Pope is not infallible - proof which must tell upon even a Catholic mind. We hear that the pamphlet is to be sown broadcast over Italy, and it will be good seed.'
Why did Adolf Hitler promise to finish the work of Papal Rome?
The fiasco regarding Lasserre's work occurred just over a century ago, but the overall record of Papal Rome's suppression of the Bible is irrefutable. For example, when Bible translations for Uganda and Japan were made available it was more the result of pressure from a large number of Protestants who compelled the Roman missionaries to accede to the demands of their own inquirers and converts that they should possess the wonderful Book which their fellow countrymen who attended 'Protestant' churches were reading freely! It is only since Papal Rome lost the power to continue its earlier history did she allow the distribution of the Bible in the vernacular languages, and even then she attempted to control such distribution and to force people to read only those Bibles that contain Catholic notes approved by the papacy.
Perhaps nothing reveals the truth about Papal Rome and her treatment of the Word of God more thoroughly than the history of The Waldenses, who discovered Bible truth that made it necessary to separate totally from Rome when they produced the first vernacular translation of the Scriptures - an accurate work which was promptly prohibited by ecclesiastical authority. The Waldensian translation, made from the Old Latin and Latin Vulgate, was known as the Romaunt version but was prohibited by the Council of Toulouse in 1229. There is no evidence that this decision was taken because the translation was corrupt but it was clearly made on the grounds of being a vernacular translation outside of Papal control and, of course, the Council of Trent (1546) and later papal decrees merely confirmed and continued the same policy. The evidence also irrefutably reveals that, until very recent times, Papal Roman Catholics could read the Bible in their own tongue only when they obtained special permission.
While the Roman emperors attempted to destroy the New Testament Scriptures - as revealed by The Nicomedian edict of AD 303 which called for the burning of all copies of Scripture (ref. A.H. Jones, Constantine and the Conversion of Europe, pp47, 73). Frederick Nolan's (1784-1864) research revealed that, during the great persecutions that occurred under Dioclesian and Maximian (early fourth century), ' ... the sacred Scriptures were sought with more care and destroyed with more fury than any preceding persecution'. (F. Nolan, Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, 1815, p143).
Another example of Bible believers persecuted during the first millennium is found in the history of the Donatists who were persecuted during and after the days of Augustine and the 'Paulicians' in the eastern or Grecian part of the Roman Empire who grew out of the devotion shown by a young Armenian named Constantine Sylvanus (~AD 660) to a gift of the Four Gospels, the fourteen Epistles of Paul, Acts, James, Jude, and the three epistles of John which he and fellow believers determined to follow closely in imitation of the apostolic churches so that even their enemies testified to their zeal (George Faber, The History of the Ancient Vallenses and Albigenses, 1838, p50-51; cf. G.H. Orchard, Concise History of Baptists, 1855, p132-134 - 'The Paulicians were sentenced to be capitally punished, and their books, wherever found, to be committed to the flames, and further, that if any person was found to have secreted them, he was to be put to death, and his goods confiscated '. Constantine was stoned to death in 690 and, in a historical pattern reminiscent of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, Simeon directed this murder but was later converted and succeeded him as leader and '...finally submitted himself to the flames rather than abandon the faith which, by a sacrifice of all his worldly goods and prospects, he had embraced. (Faber, p 60). Another leader, Sergius, was cut into two pieces with an ax and an entire group of Paulicians was burned to death in one enormous funeral-pyre (Faber, p47). The persecutions which began in the Grecian empire during the life of Constantine in the 7th century, under the authority of the emperors and empresses, continued through the centuries following, scattering these Bible believers so they fled to Italy and other parts of Europe until they also came to the attention of the papacy.
Lutheran historian Mosheim, writing in the 17th century, commented:
'From Italy the Paulicians sent colonies into almost all the other provinces of Europe, and gradually formed a considerable number of religious assemblies, who adhered to their doctrine, and who realized every opposition and indignity from the popes' (Mosheim, Johann Lorenz (1694-1755), An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, from the Birth of Christ to the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1840, p794).
The groups which splintered from these true believers became known by many names, including Paterini, Cathari, Bulgarians, Patarins, Gazarians, Turlupins, Runcarians, and Albigenses. The Paulicians are regarded by many historians as 'the forerunners of the Albigenses, and, in fact, as the same people ... [including] ... Professor Conybeare, one of the highest authorities on Paulician matters (Christian, A History of the Baptists in the United States, 1926, I, p53). The term 'Albigenses' probably derived from a Council which was held in the year 1176 at the town of Lombers near Albi, 'for the purpose of examining certain reputed heretics'. (Faber, p221). The Grecian and Papal Roman Catholic authorities made tremendous efforts to destroy these early Christians and most of what we know about them is gleaned from their persecutors.
The end of the first millennium after the apostles led to even greater conflict between true churches and Papal Rome and, although other false groups also appeared as they had in the earlier centuries, the persecution from secular governments and pagan religions was replaced by the persecutions of Papal Rome who made sure that the secular powers they controlled were virulent and thus '... capital punishment, even in its most dreadful form, that of burning alive, was extended to all who obstinately adhered to opinions differing from the received faith'. (Thomas M'Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, 1829, p78).
Pope Benedict VIII (1012-1024) held a synod at Toulouse 'to consider the most effectual method to rid the province of Albigenses; and though the whole sect was in 1022 said to have been burnt, yet the emigrants from Bulgaria, coming in colonies into France, kept the seed sown, the churches recruited' (ibid. Orchard, p178). Even one of the Catholic inquisitors testified grudgingly to the love these 'heretics' had for the Bible: 'They had the Old and New Testament in the vulgar tongue; and they teach and learn so well, that he had seen and heard a country clown recount all Job, word for word; and divers, who could perfectly deliver all the New Testament; and that men and women, little and great, day and night, cease not to learn and teach'. (ibid. Orchard, p266). So we have an early record of the Albigenses having translated the Word of God into their language, despite the virulent opposition of Papal Rome, and evidence reveals that any person capable of doing this can easily understand the True Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and accept it, if the Holy Spirit has quickened their spirit!
A surviving Waldensian manuscript from the 11th century records a creed which exemplifies the difference between Biblical believers and Papal Rome:
'In articles of faith, the authority of the Holy Scripture is the highest authority; and for that reason it is the standard of judging; so that whatever doth not agree with the word of God is deservedly to be rejected and avoided. The sacraments of the church of Christ are two, baptism and the Lord's supper. That is the church of Christ which hears the pure doctrine of Christ, and observes the ordinances instituted by Him, in whatever place it exists. (William Jones, History of the Christian Church, II, p56).
The hatred exhibited by Papal Rome's authorities towards those who dare translate and believe the Word of God is revealed again and again by the historical record, such as the words of Pope Gregory VII [Hildebrand] (1073-1085) who wrote to Vratislaus, King of Bohemia, in 1079, and forbade the use of the Scriptures in the Slavonic language! (Margaret Deanesly, The Lollard Bible, p23-24; H.G. Herklots, How Our Bible Came to Us, 1954, p70) in this manner:
'For it is clear to those who reflect often upon it, that not without reason has it pleased Almighty God that holy scripture should be a secret in certain places lest, if it were plainly apparent to all men, perchance it would be little esteemed and be subject to disrespect; or it might be falsely understood by those of mediocre learning, and lead to error. ... Wherefore we forbid what you have so imprudently demanded of the authority of S. Peter, and we command you to resist this vain rashness with all your might, to the Honour of Almighty God. (ibid.).
It is noticeable that Gregory VII brought in yet another dangerously un-Scriptural practice by commanding that Catholic bishops would now swear unlimited obedience to the pope at their ordination! (Gideon Ouseley, A Short Defence of the Old Religion, 1821, p257).
The increase in persecution was continued by Gregory's successors and Pascal II (1099-1118), Gelasius II (1118-1119), Callistus II (1119-1124), Honorius II (1124-1130), Innocent II (1130-1143), Celestine II (1143-1144), Eugene III (1145-1153), Anastasius IV (1153-1154), and Adrian IV (1154-1159), continued this torment of Bible-believing Christians who would not bend the knee to them. The 'Decretals' of Honorius II reveal his curses against all who refused to obey Rome, declaring:
'... all heretics, of both sexes and of every name, we damn to perpetual infamy; we declare hostility against them; we account them accursed, and their goods confiscated; nor can they ever enjoy their property, or their children succeed to their inheritance; inasmuch as they grievously offend against the Eternal as well as the temporal king'. (Wylie, The Papacy, 1888, p137).
The 'Bogomils', possibly an offshoot from the Paulicians, were condemned as heretics and suffered great persecution as 'Their followers became so numerous as to demand condemnation of the Council of Toulouse, 1119, and that of Tours, 1163'. (Armitage, A History of the Baptists, I, p278). The 'Albigenses' were likewise condemned by four different Catholic Councils and 'In 1180 Cardinal Henry commenced a crusade against them with a sword. ... Their record is the brightest, briefest and bloodiest in the annals of pious, persecuting deviltry. It begins in the middle of the twelfth century, and was blotted out before the middle of the thirteenth' (Armitage, I, p279-80). The historical record from 1146 records how other groups of genuine Bible believers in Cologne and Bonn were labelled heretics because they denied infant baptism, purgatory, intercession of the saints, and other Catholic doctrines and were accused by a Papal monk of daring to support their beliefs on these issues from the authority of Scripture! Merciless torture resulted from their failure to repent of these dreadful failings.
Peter of Bruis [Peter de Bruys] was another believer in the Bible who 'threw tradition to the winds with the double sense of Scripture, and took its literal interpretation' (Armitage, I, p284) until, after 20 years of faithful preaching, he was arrested and burned at the stake in 1126 in the 'reign' of Honorius II. Arnold of Brescia was hounded by Roman authorities in the first half of the 12th century for similar 'crimes' and The Second Lateran Council (held in 1139 under Innocent II) condemned him but he fled to Zurich and continued preaching until (in 1155 under Adrian IV) 'he was hanged, his body burned to ashes and his dust thrown into the Tiber. ... Thus perished this great patriot and martyr to the holy doctrine of soul liberty'. (Armitage, I, p292-93).
Records exist from the thirteenth century that reveal the depths to which Roman Catholic Inquisitor, Reinerius Sacco, was willing to sink in using depraved, disgusting, slander to ensure the Waldenses were persecuted to the uttermost:
'They make a cake of meal mixed with the blood of an infant. If an infant dies, it is deemed a martyr: if it lives, it is styled a saint. They meet together naked to pray, both men and women promiscuously. Many of their Believers of both sexes, scruple no more to approach their nearest relatives, than their respective wives or husbands. It is their common opinion, that marriage is a mortal sin: but they think, that no person is hereafter more severely punished for adultery and incest, than for lawful matrimony. Whatever sins they have committed before their making a profession of heresy, they never repent of them. This is manifest from the circumstance, that they never make restitution of what they have gained by usury or theft or rapine. Rather, indeed, they reserve it: or else they leave it to their children and grandchildren remaining in the world, because usury, they say, is no sin (Reinerius, c. 1230, cited by Faber, The History of the Ancient Vallenses, p72-80).
These lies are contrary to every known fact concerning the Waldensian people who were so high-principled that their very name became a designation for purity among those who knew the group. This Inquisitor had lived among the Waldenses for 17 years before joining the 'Order of Preaching Friars' and accepting their perverted version of Papal Rome. Reinerius also falsely charged the Waldenses with Manicheanism (a term originally given to the followers of a third-century north African heretical leader, Manes or Mani, who taught a form of Gnosticism that attempted to combine Christian thought and paganism while stressing asceticism, i.e. quite at home with Jerome, et al). Reinerius was employed by Pope Innocent III to hunt out the Waldenses and Cathari throughout southern France and northern Spain, as mentioned in the 'Decretal Epistles' of the year 1199 (ibid., Faber, p91-93).
The Waldenses were even charged with practicing witchcraft, as the words of another Inquisitor makes clear:
'When they wish to go to the said Vaulderie, they anoint themselves with an ointment which the devil has given them. They then rub it with a very small rod of wood: and, with palms in their hands, they place the rod between their legs. Thus prepared and equipped, they fly away wherever they please: and the devil carries them to the place, where they ought to hold the said assembly. In that place, they find tables ready set out, charged with wine and victuals: and a devil gives them the meeting, in the shape of a he-goat, with the tail of an ape, or in some form of a man. There, to the said devil, they offer oblation and homage: and there they commit crimes so fetid and enormous, as well against God as against nature [that the said Inquisitor declared that he did not dare to name them]'. (Faber, The History of the Ancient Vallenses, p340-41).
We have already given enough detail on the persecutions wrought through the Papal Bull of Innocent ('The Witches Hammer, Malleus maleficarum') which led to the burning of supposed witches, but was in truth the clearest indication of the depravity to which Papal Rome had descended. To what length the Vatican could go in sanctioning the crassest superstition is seen from Sixtus IV's Bull of 1471, in which that pontiff reserved to himself the right to manufacture and consecrate the little waxen figures of lambs, the touch of which was pronounced to be sufficient to protect against fire and shipwreck, storm and hail, lightning and thunder, and to preserve women in the hour of parturition!
Persecutions of Peter Waldo and the Waldensians is seen by studying the papacy of Pope Alexander III (1159-1181 AD) who refused to sanction the Scripture translations that were made by men associated with Waldo of Lyon, France. Waldo and his fellow believers (also called Albigenses, Lionists, Paterines, Good Men of Lyons, etc.) were the first sect that 'commenced its existence with a popular translation of the New Testament' (Armitage, A History of the Baptists, I, p295). 'Waldo employed two men to translate portions of the Bible, and extracts from the Fathers, into the popular language (1160 AD), thus forming a little book for the people. Copies were made and circulated. ... the archbishop, neither teaching the Bible nor willing that others should do it, excommunicated these new teachers, and expelled them from his diocese (1176 AD). The translators were Stephen of Ansa and Bernard Ydross (Armitage, I, p295). Waldo appealed to Rome, and sent two men to lay specimens of their translations before Pope Alexander III (1179 AD), requesting his sanction upon their labors. ... The pope did not give his sanction, for this would offend the clergy ... Five years later Pope Lucius put them under anathema ... (Blackburn, History of the Christian Church, 1880, p309-310).
The Council of Tours in 1163 AD preached Inquisition against Bible believers and '... called upon the bishops and clergy to forbid the Catholics to mingle with the Albigenses and to have commercial dealings with them and give them refuge. Princes were instructed to imprison them and confiscate their goods'. (Schaff, V, History of the Christian Church, p519). The Decree issued by this Council stated: 'No man must presume to receive or assist heretics, nor in buying or selling have any thing to do with them, that being thus deprived of the comforts of humanity, they may be compelled to repent of the error of their way'. (Ouseley, A Short Defence of the Old Religion, p221).
Alexander III laid the matter of Waldo and his followers before the Third Lateran Council in 1179 AD and the answer of the Council was delivered by the pope: '...You shall not under any circumstances preach, except at the express desire and under the authority of the clergy of your country'. (Comba, History of the Waldenses of Italy, p35). As a result of the total restrictions placed on their preaching 'Many Albigenses, refusing the terms, were burnt in different cities in the south of France'. (ibid. Orchard, p199). The Third Lateran Council 'extended the punishments to the defenders of heretics and their friends' and 'gave permission to princes to reduce heretics to slavery and shortened the time of penance by two years for those taking up arms against them'. (Schaff, V, p519). Thus the use of force and promise of 'Indulgences' by the popes was used to persecute true Bible believers while encouraging the clearest Satanic behaviour by the minions of the popes!
J.A. Wylie wrote a history of the Waldenses from the 9th to the 19th centuries and concluded that they predated Peter Waldo: 'Their traditions invariably point to an unbroken descent from the earliest times, as regards their religious belief. The Nobla Leycon [Noble Lesson], which dates from the year 1100, goes to prove that the Waldenses of Piedmont did not owe their rise to Peter Waldo of Lyons, who did not appear till the latter half of that century (1160 AD). The Nobla Leycon, though a poem, is in reality a confession of faith, and could have been composed only after some considerable study of the system of Christianity, in contradistinction to the errors of Rome'. (Wylie, The Waldenses, 1860, p3).
George Faber diligently researched the era in which these true believers fought for their beliefs and made the following observation about the Waldenses:
'As for the Vallenses or Valdenses, the religionists, properly so called, tenanted, from a most remote period, the Alpine Valleys of Piedmont: whence they obviously derived their name, which is equivalent to the English Valesmen or Dalesmen. There was, however, a French Branch of the old Italian Tree, which, as a Branch, could claim only a comparatively modern origin. These Galican Valdenses were the proselytes of Peter of Lyons in the twelfth century: and, as the wealthy merchant either by birth or by descent was a Vallensis; he, at once, both received himself, and communicated to his disciples, the name of Vaudois, from the primeval Mother-Church of Italy. ... With the pure and primitive doctrine of the pious Dalesman, he had long, most probably from his very childhood, been acquainted: but the full occupation of successful traffic, and the consequent increase of worldly opulence and worldly respectability, had choked the word, so that it became unfruitful in a thorny soil of mere speculative knowledge. But the Lord had a purpose of mercy for the individual. ... The disciples of Peter the Valdo were called The Poor Valdenses of Lyons in evident contradistinction to The Poor Valdenses of Piedmont (Faber, History of the Ancient Vallenses, pp. xxxvii, xxxviii, p459, 467).
The Waldenses traced their origin to apostolic times, as historians have explained: 'God, through his wise providence, has preserved the purity of the Gospel in the Valleys of Piedmont, from the time of the Apostles down to our own time'. (Boyer, Abrege de l'Hist. Des Vaudois, p23, cited by Faber, p287). When the Waldenses presented their Confession to Francis I of France (1544), it was prefaced with these words: 'This Confession is that, which we have received from our ancestors, even from hand to hand, according as their predecessors, in all times and in every age, have taught and delivered'. (Jean Leger, General History of the Evangelical Churches of the Piedmont, p163, cited by Faber, p288).
The Waldenses clearly had a translation of the Bible in the Romaunt language - which predated French and Italian - and this 'Lingua Romana' was the common language of the south of Europe from the eighth to the fourteenth centuries and the language of troubadours (predating your 'scop and gleeman'!) and 'men of letters' in the Dark Ages. The history of the Waldenses indicates that they had the Romaunt translation of the whole of the New Testament as early as the twelfth century (ref. The Romaunt Version of the Gospel according to John, Dr. William Stephen Gilly, D.D., Canon of Durham, and Vicar of Norham, London, 1848). Gilly's research reveals that all the books of the New Testament were translated from the Latin Vulgate into the Romaunt in the first literal version since the fall of the Roman Empire, probably not later than 1180 AD and under the superintendence and at the expense of Peter Waldo of Lyon and therefore older than any complete version in German, French, Italian, Spanish, or English. The Romaunt version was used widely in the south of France, in the cities of Lombard, and among the Waldenses of Piedmont. Seven copies (two exist within the British Isles - at Trinity College Dublin, Northern Ireland, and Cambridge University, England) of the Romaunt New Testament survive as small, plain, portable and practical volumes which contrast admirably with the dazzling, bejewelled, Latin Vulgate which was produced to be admired rather than studied and applied! (ibid., Wylie, History of the Waldenses, p12-13).
The Waldenses made sure young and old knew the Holy Scriptures thoroughly, committing to memory and accurately reciting the Word of God so zealously that they were able to send missionaries throughout Europe, even reaching Rome, as well as sharing their knowledge with the fellow 'born again' Albigenses of Southern France. Even the mid-13th century Inquisitor Reinerius testified:
'They [the Waldenses] can repeat by heart, in the vulgar tongue, the whole text of the New Testament and great part of the Old: and, adhering to the text alone, they reject decretals and decrees with the sayings and expositions of the Saints'. (emphasis added - ibid., Faber, p492; cf. ibid., Wylie, p14-18).
Who dare try and deny that refuting error by reference to the Word of God is not entirely Biblical?!
While Papal Rome opposed the efforts of Bible-believing Christians, e.g. the Waldensians, Albigenses, et al, to distribute the Word of God worldwide and endeavoured to destroy them entirely, everywhere that the Papal Cult held power that people remained in ignorance and blundered around in the Dark Ages which persist to this day, as witnessed by the history of the nations of the world (only Islam has a comparable record of murderous, Satanic, tyranny)!
Pope Lucius III (1181-1185 AD) placed an anathema (un-Scriptural curse!) on Peter Waldo and his fellow Christians of Lyons, France, and continued the ban of their Scripture distribution. No doubt true Christians such as Waldo prayed that Lucius would be blessed, for 'it is written':
43 'You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48, NKJV; cf. Luke 6:27-31)
Lucius' decree (1181 AD) stated:
'We declare all Puritans, Paterines, Poor of Lyons, &c. &c., to lie under a perpetual curse for teaching baptism and the Lord's Supper otherwise than the church of Rome'. (ibid. Orchard, p194).
Lucius went further in his 'infallible persecutions' (!) by calling a special Council at Verona (1183-84 AD) in the presence of his lackey, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, re-emphasising his previous curse by declaring the purpose was 'to bind in the chain of perpetual anathema those who presumed to preach, publicly or privately, without the authority of the bishop'. (ibid. Armitage, I, p297).
Lucius went further than before by adding to his list of those under his curse:
… more particularly we declare all Cathari, Paterines, and those who call themselves the Humbled, or Poor of Lyons, Passagines, Josephines, Arnoldists, to lie under a perpetual anathema … we therefore conclude under the same sentence of a perpetual anathema all those who either being forbid or not sent, do notwithstanding presume to preach publicly or privately, without any authority received either from the Apostolic See, or from the Bishops of their respective dioceses; as likewise all those who are not afraid to hold or teach any opinions concerning the sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, baptism, the remission of sins, matrimony, or any other sacraments of the Church, differing from what the Holy Church of Rome doth preach and observe; and generally all those whom the same Church of Rome, or the several Bishops in their dioceses, with the advice of their Clergy, or the Clergy themselves, in case of a vacancy of the see, with the advice, if need be, of neighbouring Bishops, shall judge to be heretics. And we likewise declare all entertainers and defenders of the said heretics, and those that have shewed any favour, or given countenance to them, thereby strengthening them in their heresy, whether they be called Comforted, Believers, or Perfect, or with whatsoever superstitious names they disguise themselves, to be liable to the same sentence (Allix, Remarks upon the Ancient Churches of Piedmond, 1821, p281-82; cf. Emilio Comba, History of the Waldenses of Italy, 1889, p38).
How differently the popes behave from the fine, but impetuous, Apostle Peter who followed the Words of the Lord Jesus Christ in the following passage (Mark 9:38ff., ASV):
38 John said unto him, Teacher, we saw one casting out demons in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followed not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man who shall do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink, because ye are Christ's, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
It is palpably clear that popes and their followers do not believe the Bible and therefore fail to follow the example of Peter or John, as shown by this simple contrast!
Waldo was persecuted and followed the apostles' example by preaching far and wide, in France, Italy, and Bohemia where he ended his days in 1197 AD. His followers were treated in the same manner by Papal Rome and scattered northward, up the Rhine, westward through France and across the Pyrenees, and eastward as far as Prague.
Pope Celestine III (1191-1198 AD) ordered Bible believers and their books to be committed to the flames and (in 1193 AD) sent 'Guy and Reiner, two legates, into France, with instructions of the most sanguinary description. Instead of making converts of the heretics, their orders were to burn their leaders, confiscate their goods, and disperse their flocks. They were not equally successful in every province; the pope, therefore, instigated the inert inhabitants of those provinces where the legates were least successful, to persecute the Albigenses; consequently, many of the leading persons among them perished in the flames, for a succession of years. (G.H. Orchard, A Concise History of Baptists, p204).
In 1194 (and 1197 AD) Celestine III attacked Bible believers in Spain when he 'sent the cardinal St. Angelo as legate to attend a council at Lerida, who prevailed on Alfonso II, King of Aragon, to publish an edict, ordering the Vaudois, Poor Men of Lyons, and all other heretics, to quit his territories under severe pains'. (M'Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, p33).
The 'Father of the Inquisition', Innocent III (1210 AD), briefly displayed a different face and invited dissenters to reunite with Papal Rome but the genuine Christians wisely ignored this ploy and continued in their genuine evangelism, becoming so successful in countries of the South that they had 'more schools than the Catholics'. (William Blackburn, History of the Christian Church, p310).
Innocent III then systematized the Inquisition more thoroughly than his predecessors, declaring (1215 AD) that heretics should forfeit their lives and forbidding the people to read the Bible in their own language:
'they shall be seized for trial and penalties, who engage in the translation of the sacred volumes, or who hold secret conventicles, or who assume the office of preaching without the authority of their superiors; against whom process shall be commenced, without any permission of appeal'. (J.P. Callender, Illustrations of Popery, 1838, p387).
Innocent 'declared that as by the old law, the beast touching the holy mount was to be stoned to death, so simple and uneducated men were not to touch the Bible or venture to preach its doctrines'. (Schaff, History of the Christian Church, VI, p723).
'Simple and uneducated men' in the days of the popes are apparently unable to follow the example of 'simple and uneducated fishermen', who struggled to learn under the tutelage of the Lord Jesus Christ, and are also seemingly incapable of allowing the 'Third Person of the Godhead', the Holy Spirit, to lead us 'into all truth' (John 16:7ff.)!
The Waldenses were hunted in the most barbaric fashion by Papal Rome and, under Innocent III, were hunted even more remorselessly, as revealed by 'a letter of his, writ to those of Metz, where he ordains them to be driven out and persecuted with the extremest barbarity, because they took the liberty to read the Scripture translated by Peter Waldo into the vulgar tongue. (ibid. Allix, p287).
In the preface to the Olivetan French Bible, the translators say that the Waldenses:
'have always had the full enjoyment of that heavenly Truth contained in the holy Scriptures, ever since they were enriched with the same by the Apostles themselves'. (Samuel Morland, History of the Evangelical Churches, 1655, p14). Waldensian pastor, Jean Leger, lived during the unspeakably brutal persecutions of the 17th century and wrote (General History of the Evangelical Churches of the Piedmontese Valleys, 1669 AD) that the ancient Scripture manuscripts of the Roman Catholics 'were full of falsifications'. As we proved earlier, he spoke the truth. Leger also quoted Beza, who published an edition of the Greek Received Text during the Reformation, as saying: '... that one must confess it was by means of the Vaudois of the Valleys that France today has the Bible in her own language'.
'No characteristic was more marked in the Waldensians than their love for the sacred volume, and this love compelled them to share the treasure with others by translations into the Flemish, German and French. Herzog finds no sect which was so zealous for the circulation of the Scriptures as they. ... the Waldensians laid down the Bible as the foundation and practically built upon its truths. A Romish Inquisitor, in speaking of them, tells us: 'They can say a great part of the Old and New Testaments by heart. They despise the decretals and the sayings and expositions of holy men and cleave only to the text of Scripture. ... They contend that the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles is sufficient to salvation without any Church statutes and ordinances, and affirm that the traditions of the Church are no better than the traditions of the Pharisees, insisting, moreover, that greater stress is laid on the observation of human tradition than on the keeping of the law of God'' (Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists, I, p308).
Papal Rome hated the light brought by these translated Scriptures which exposed Rome's heresies and we read:
'The crusade of Simon of Montfort so utterly destroyed them that Sismondi says: 'Simon stamped out not only a people but a literature''. (ibid. Armitage, I, p310).
Thomas Armitage described the vivid details of Papal Rome's persecution of the Waldensians:
'Many of them were frozen to death, others were cast from high precipices and dashed to pieces. Some were driven into caverns, and by filling the mouths of their caves with fagots were suffocated. Others were hanged in cold blood, ripped open and disembowelled, pierced with prongs, drowned, racked limb from limb till death relieved them; were stabbed, worried by dogs, burned, or crucified with their heads downward. Fox relates one case in which four hundred mothers who had taken refuge in the Cave of Castelluzzo, some 2,000 feet above the valley, entered by a projecting crag, were smothered with their infants in their arms. And all the time that this gentle blood was flowing, that sanctified beauty known as Innocent III, drank it in like nectar of Paradise. Of the Waldensians and other murdered sheep of Christ, he said: 'They are like Samson's foxes. They appear to be different, but their tails are tied together.' The blood-thirst of the Dominicans earned for them the stigma of 'Domini Canes', or the 'Lord's Dogs' (Armitage, A History of the Baptists, I, p311-12).
William Blackburn supplies a similar description of the persecution:
'[The Bible] was rarely translated. But wherever parts of it were rendered into popular language we see a people rejoicing in the light. A striking instance is found at Metz, on the Moselle [France]. Some Poor-men of Lyons, or Waldenses, brought there certain books of the Bible in the French language. Men and women eagerly read them. They formed Bible-reading societies … The priests tried to stop their meetings; but the members said, 'God meant his Word for the people of every class. These books teach us far more than you ever do. We cannot give them up.' The bishop reported them to [Pope Innocent III] … To the people he said: 'It is not proper for you to hold your meetings in private, nor to act as preachers, nor to ridicule the priests. Remember that men must have a special training before they can understand the deep things of Holy Scripture. The priests are trained for this purpose. Listen to them. Respect even the most ignorant of them. Beware of thinking that you alone are correct, and despising those who do not join you.' Then he threatened them with severity if they did not heed his paternal advice. Thus he laid down the doctrine which Romanists have ever since taught - it is very well for you to know the Bible, but your priest must teach it to you in what manner and measure he pleases! … the result was that Cistercian Abbots were sent to Metz to suppress this Bible-reading. The truth-seeking laymen, in their 'pious simplicity' had found out too many priestly errors for the comfort of the priests. They persisted in holding their meetings. They were called Waldensians, as if that were a hard name. Force was applied to them. They were routed; their versions were burnt, so far as possible; their opinions rooted out. The priests of Metz breathed freely again, and went on in their old ways of ignorance, idleness, and vicious selfishness. Like cases seem to have occurred at Auxerre, and various towns in France, until the Council of Toulouse, in 1229 AD, forbade the laity to possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in any language, and even popular versions of the Psalter, the Breviary, and the Hours of the Blessed Mary. Special condemnation was hurled at the Scriptures sent forth by Peter Waldo, in the Romance tongue; these must be burnt (Blackburn, Church History, p314-15).
The Martyrs Mirror, which contains records of Christian martyrs of the New Testament faith from the time of Christ to 1660 AD, also reveals that the Christians persecuted at Metz were despised by the Romanists '... because they had translated the Holy Scriptures into their mother tongue'. (Martyrs Mirror, p300).
Innocent III set new standards for Papal Rome, requiring his Inquisitors to use the three following un-Scriptural 'tests' to determine whether an accused person was innocent, or guilty of heresy:
In the trial by hot iron, a piece of red-hot metal was placed into the hand of the accused, who was forced to walk nine paces while the iron burned into his hand. The hand was then wrapped in cloth by the priest and at the end of three days was examined. If there was a wound, the accused was declared guilty and was punished or martyred. The trial by hot water was similar to this. The accused was forced to thrust his hand up to the elbow into a kettle of boiling water. In the trial by cold water, the accused was forced to strip naked and then thrown into a canal or river. If he floated he was immediately condemned. If he sank, he was considered innocent. Sinking to the point where you drowned would seem a terribly cruel way of proving your innocence, but probably the only way to escape to heaven to avoid more torment from these filthy Papal 'sons of Belial' (Deuteronomy 13:13)! How Papal Roman Catholics would love to still be able to inflict such criminal acts upon those they so clearly hate.
Appointed by Innocent III, 'Grand Inquisitor' Conrad of Marpurg apprehended more than 80 supposed heretics, tried them by the red-hot iron and found them guilty, and condemned and burned them all on the same day, at Strasburg, Germany, in 1215 AD (Martyrs Mirror, p311-313).
It is palpably clear that, more than anything, the translation of the Bible into the common vernacular infuriated Papal Rome, particularly when it was preached unencumbered by her traditions. Rome did not worry so much when the Scriptures were available in Latin because it was a language not spoken or understood by the common people!
In order to counter the powerful influence of the increasing numbers of itinerant missionaries spawned by the Vallenses, Waldenses, et al, Innocent III constituted two orders of monks that began to travel the roads in imitation of these true evangelical missionaries while preaching the truly heretical, un-Scriptural, dogmas of Papal Rome. Many who believe in the 'good life' of one of the 'saints' of Papal Rome would never know that the Friars of St. Francis of Assisi were one of the orders used for this task (Faber, History of the Ancient Vallenses, p477 ff.).
'The Crusades' that are still infamous because people are deceived into believing that were initiated to reclaim supposedly 'Christian' territory, particular Jerusalem, from Islam, were originally conceived to annihilate the supposed heretical separatists who were exposing Papal Rome for the Satanic cult that she has always been. Thus we read:
In the year 1209 AD, a formidable army of cross-bearers, of forty days' service, was put into motion, destined to destroy all heretics. ... The cruelties of these Crusaders appear to have had no parallel; in a few months there were sacrificed about two hundred thousand lives, and barbarities practised, before unheard of, all which met the approbation of Innocent III. Two large cities, Beziers and Carcassone, were reduced to ashes, and thousands of others, driven from their burning houses, were wandering in the woods and mountains, sinking daily under the pressure of want (ibid. Orchard, Concise History of the Baptists, p211).
The Waldensian's continued to suffer from the cruelties of Papal Rome for centuries:
Notwithstanding the persecution which was waged against the Waldenses, they spread within a century over a wide territory including large parts of France and Italy. The persecution in this period was less severe than in later times, and yet there were many executions. Not less than eighty Waldensian men and women were burned at the stake in 1211 AD at Strasburg in Alsace. Seven were burned at the stake at Maurillac in Spain, in 1214 AD. ... In Germany there occurred from 1231 to 1233 AD, the first general persecution of the Waldenses.
Despite persecution, the spread of the Waldenses continued. In Upper and Lower Austria Waldensian 'schools', as their places for regular worship were called, were found in 1260 in upward of fifty places. In 1315 in a small political district in Lower Austria there were Waldenses in thirty-six villages and towns. In the whole dukedom of Austria the number of their adherents was calculated to be above 80,000. They also carried on successful missionary work in Bohemia, Moravia, Carinthia, Styria (Austrian provinces), and in Silesia, Brandenburg (modern Prussia), Pomerania, and Poland. According to a statement made by the Waldensian bishop Neumeister, who in 1315 was burned at the stake in Himburg near Vienna, they were very strong numerically in Bohemia and Moravia. In Schweidnitz, a village in Silesia, no less than fifty, among them a number of women and young people, were burned at the stake in 1315. Very many suffered martyrdom in Poland about the year 1309. Toward the end of that century the Waldenses were numerous in Hungary and had also spread into Transylvania. In Saxony and Mecklenburg they were found about fifty years later.
About a decade before the year 1400 a terrible persecution of the Waldenses began in the provinces and countries named above. The meagre extant remnants of the records of this persecution are sufficient to give an adequate idea of their strength in these countries. In southern Bohemia whole villages adhered to the Waldensian faith. In Moravia they were so numerous that the Roman hierarchy almost despaired of getting command of the situation. In Brandenburg, Pomerania, and Mecklenburg no less than 443 persons were arrested in 1393 for the Waldensian 'heresy', among them were persons whose parents already had been Waldenses. In Austria so many persons were accused as Waldenses and given a hearing that the minutes of the trials filled three thick volumes. Thirty-eight Waldenses were executed in 1393 at various places in Bavaria. Three hundred persons were burned at the stake in various parts of Saxony in 1416. In 1446 twelve persons were burned at Nordhausen, and in 1454 twenty-two persons at Sangerhausen in Saxony (John Horsch, Mennonites in Europe, p7-8).
'Here lie buried 100,000 bodies!'
Reading these lists of the callous killing of people, as if these genuine Christians were no more than vermin, reminds me of the shock my parents experienced when we visited the Nazi concentration camp site at Belsen, Germany, and found row after row of engraved wooden plaques stuck in the ground recording the number of people buried there:
Papal Rome is a Satanic Killer Cult!
The figures varied from place to place, e.g. 'Here lie buried 75,000' etc. and, of course, they were all estimations - but the sheer callousness of the acts, which have also been recorded on film captured after the war ended (so that even the most disgusting of all disgusting anti-Semites will never be able to effectively deny the Holocaust), speaks loudly of the vile Satanists behind the murderous acts and screams out again:
Papal Rome's Inquisition vies with Islamic atrocities for being the most blatant sign of a Satanic religion!
The successor to Innocent III, Pope Honorius III (1216-1227 AD), followed in the murderous footsteps of his predecessor, and terrifying Inquisitions and Crusades were directed against Bible-believing Christians (Albigenses, Paterines, et al), i.e. all who maintained the sufficiency of the Scriptures in faith and practice and who denied the authority of Papal Rome. From 1220-1227 AD, Honorius laboured to ensure that a series of 'Bulls' denouncing the 'heretics' and condemning them to death were acted upon by the secular powers:
'The edicts declared that all those Paterines to whom the bishops were disposed to show favour, were to have their tongues pulled out, that they might not corrupt others by justifying themselves, others were to be committed to the flames'. (ibid. Orchard, p158).
Many fled the persecution and spread throughout Europe (ibid. Orchard, p155), struggling to recover after the massacre of their bread-winners and theft of their goods by Papal Rome. Frederick II, head of the Holy Roman Empire from 1215-1250 AD, ratified the pope's Inquisition in fear of his own eternal destiny should he fail to comply and the laws against 'heretics' strengthened to the point that (in 1224 AD) he condemned them either to be burned or to have their tongues torn out, at the discretion of the judge:
'Frederick's subsequent legislation was commended by popes and bishops, and ordered to be inscribed in municipal statute books'. (ibid. Schaff, V, p521-522).
The king of France, Louis IX, was likewise controlled by Papal Rome and the papal Inquisition was made the law of the land in France in1228 AD. Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241 AD), nephew of bloodthirsty Innocent III, followed Honorious III and showed his colours by forbidding the people to possess the Bible and suppressing Bible translations. History shows that it was during the early part of the thirteenth century that 'the Waldenses translated the Bible into the Romance and Teutonic languages' (Christian, A History of the Baptists, I, p91). Papal Rome responded predictably by burning the translations made by the Albigenses and Waldenses and also by burning those who were found in possession of the works (Halley's Bible Handbook, p783).
As already noted on our web-pages, the Council of Toulouse (1229 AD) was followed by the Council of Tarragona (1234 AD) in forbidding 'the laity to possess or read the vernacular translations of the Bible' (Catholic Dictionary; cf. Allix, Ecclesiastical History, II, p213; Simms, The Bible from the Beginning, p153, 162). The Toulouse council was particularly stringent - in the creepiest manner possible - for it prescribed that the bishops appoint in each parish 'one priest and two or three laics, who should engage upon oath to make a rigorous search after all heretics and their abettors, and for this purpose should visit every house from the garret to the cellar, together with all subterraneous places where they might conceal themselves'. (M'Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, p82).
Satanic Rome declared the Holy Scriptures in the 'vulgar tongue' produced more harm than benefit!
Gregory IX relentlessly expanded the Inquisition and Dominick Guzman founded the Dominican order and excelled as a chief agent in the filthy task:
'Before his time every bishop was a sort of inquisitor in his own diocese: but it was his [Dominick's] invention to incorporate a body of men, independent of every human being except the pope, for the express purpose of ensnaring and destroying Christians. ... at the beginning of the thirteenth century, about the year twelve hundred fifteen, Dominick broke down the dam, and covered Toulouse with a tide of despotism stained with human blood. Posterity will hardly believe that this enemy of mankind, after he had formed a race like himself, called first preaching, and then friars, died in his bed, was canonized for a saint ... and proposed as a model of piety and virtue to succeeding generations'. (Robert Robinson, Ecclesiastical Researches, 1792, p321-22).
Two papal bulls (April 20, 1233 AD) led to the Dominicans and Franciscans directing the Inquisition terrors and an edict in Spain (1234 AD) by Don Jayme of Aragon 'prohibited the use of any part of the Old or New Testament in the vernacular tongue, and commanded all, whether laity or clergy, who possessed such books, to deliver them to their ordinaries to be burnt, on the pain of being held suspected of heresy'. (M'Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, p190-91; cf. Lea, A History of the Inquisition, unabridged, I, 1887, p323-24).
Gregory IX issued a further bull (1238 AD) promising forgiveness of sins for all who would join his crusade against the 'heretics':
'That all persons may more willingly and efficiently execute the duty thus committed unto them - to all who, according to the call of the Inquisitors, attend to their various stations twenty days - to them who afford counsel and favour, and hearty aid in persecuting heretics, and the favourers, receivers, and defenders of them, and all other rebels against the church, whether in fortified places or castles; from the mercy of God Almighty, and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by his authority, we relax three years of the penance enjoined upon them: and if any persons shall die during the prosecution of that affair, we grant them a full pardon of all their sins; and we bestow upon the brethren the entire faculty of using all means to prosecute the work, and of executing ecclesiastical censure upon the refractory and the rebellious' (Chandler Curtis, Illustrations of Popery - The Mystery of Iniquity Unveiled in its Damnable Heresies, Lying Wonders and Strong Delusion with Sanguinary Persecutions of the Woman Drunken with the Blood of the Saints, New York: J.P. Callender, 1838, p388).
Thus the Catholic Inquisition, which began under Innocent III, was organised into the evil persecuting, torturing, killing machine that terrorised Europe for the next five hundred years. Historian Henry Lea wrote a three-volume work, History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, revealing the depths of the terror that the Inquisition wrought throughout Europe:
By the terms of the Treaty of Paris all public officials were obliged to aid in the inquisition and capture of heretics, and all inhabitants, males over fourteen years of age and females over twelve, were to be sworn to reveal all offenders to the bishops. The Council of Narbonne in 1229 AD put these provisions in force; that of Albi in 1254 AD included inquisitors among those to whom the heretic was to be denounced … The aid demanded was freely given, and every inquisitor was armed with royal letters empowering him to call upon all officials for safe-conduct, escort, and assistance in the discharge of his functions. … Thus the whole force of the State was unreservedly at command of the Holy Office. Not only this, indeed, but every individual was bound to lend his aid when called upon, and any slackness of zeal exposed him to excommunication as a fautor [favorer, or patron] of heresy, leading after twelve months, if neglected, to conviction as a heretic, with all its tremendous penalties.
The right to abrogate any laws which impeded the freest exercise of the powers of the Inquisition was likewise arrogated on both sides of the Alps. … In the exercise of this almost limitless authority, inquisitors were practically relieved from all supervision and responsibility. Even a papal legate was not to interfere with them or inquire into heresy within their inquisitorial districts. … At first their commissions were thought to expire with the death of the pope who issued them, but in 1267 they were declared to be continuously valid. … Under the canon law, any one, from the meanest to the highest, who opposed or impeded in any way the functions of an inquisitor, or gave aid or counsel to those who did so, became at once ipso facto excommunicate. After the lapse of a year in this condition he was legally a heretic to be handed over without further ceremony to the secular arm for burning, without trial and without forgiveness. The awful authority which thus shrouded the inquisitor was rendered yet more terrible by the elasticity of definition given to the crime of impeding the Holy Office and the tireless tenacity with which those guilty of it were pursued. If friendly death came to shield them, the Inquisition attacked their memories, and visited their offences upon their children and grandchildren. … The papal Inquisition … constituted a chain of tribunals throughout Continental Europe perpetually manned by those who had no other work to attend to. … by constant interchange of documents and mutual co-operation they covered Christendom with a network rendering escape almost hopeless. This, combined with the most careful preservation and indexing of records, produced a system of police singularly perfect for a period when international communication was so imperfect. The Inquisition had a long arm, a sleepless memory, and we can well understand the mysterious terror inspired by the secrecy of its operations and its almost supernatural vigilance. If public proclamation was desired, it summoned all the faithful, with promises of eternal life and reasonable temporal reward, to seize some designated heresiarch, and every parish priest where he was suspected to be hiding was bound to spread the call before the whole population. If secret information was required, there were spies and familiars trained to the work. The record of every heretical family for generations could be traced out from the papers of one tribunal or another. A single lucky capture and extorted confession would put the sleuth-hounds on the track of hundreds who deemed themselves secure, and each new victim added his circle of denunciations. The heretic lived over a volcano which might burst forth at any moment. ... Flight was of little avail. Descriptions of heretics who disappeared were sent throughout Europe, to every spot where they could be supposed to seek refuge, putting the authorities on the alert to search for every stranger who wore the air of one differing in life and conversation from the ordinary run of the faithful. ... It was the duty of every man to give information as to all cases of heresy with which he might become acquainted under pain of incurring the guilt of fautorship [patronship]. ... The effectiveness of the organization was unhampered by any limits of jurisdiction, and was multiplied by the co-operation of the tribunals everywhere, so that there was no resting-place, no harbor of refuge for the heretic in any land where the Inquisition existed. Vainly might he change his abode, it was ever on his track. A suspicious stranger would be observed and arrested; his birthplace would be ascertained, and as soon as swift messengers could traverse the intervening distance, full official documents as to his antecedents would be received from the Holy Office of his former home. ... The net of the Inquisition extended everywhere, and no prey was too small to elude its meshes (H. C. Lea, History of the Inquisition, unabridged, I, p340-396).
Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254 AD) continued the persecutions against the Waldensian Christians:
'In 1246, at Beziers, the old Albigensian town, laymen were forbidden to have any theological books, even in Latin, while clergy and laity were alike forbidden to have them in their mother-tongue'. (ibid. Blackburn, p315).
Innocent IV added the niceties of relentless torture to the official methodology of the Inquisition (in 1252 AD) with the Ad extirpanda (Lea, History of the Inquisition, I, p421) bull that condemned 'heretics' to death, and 'was to be inscribed in perpetuity in all the local statute books. Any attempt to modify it was a crime, which condemned the offender to perpetual infamy, and a fine enforced by the ban'. (O.C. Lambert, Catholicism against Itself, p154; cf. ibid. Orchard, Concise History of the Baptists, p159). Phillip Schaff records the fact that 'Innocent IV and Alexander IV alone issued more than one hundred such bulls'. (ibid. Schaff, History of the Christian Church, V, p520).
During the reign of terror authorised by 'Innocent IV' the Council of Narbonne (1244 AD) convened 'for the purpose of aiding and abetting the recently-established Holy Office of Holy Dominic in its project of exterminating the reputed heretics of Southern France' (George Faber, History of the Ancient Vallenses, p107) and the following un-Scriptural and unlawful (even by the standards of secular humanistic nations!) canons were included:
Canon # 22: Inquisitors were forbidden to reveal the names of witnesses.
Canon # 24: The testimony of infamous persons, of criminals, and of those who confessed themselves to have been accomplices, should be received in the process of the Inquisition against the Albigenses.
Canon # 26: He, who shall have been convicted by witnesses, or through any other proofs, shall henceforth be always reputed a heretic, even though he should deny the truth of the allegation.
It would be difficult to invent a more blatantly Satanic system in which the innocent could be charged with any 'heresy,' 'witchcraft,' or immoral act using accusers, who could be utterly untrustworthy criminals who remained anonymous, and the charge would be accepted even if there was an absence of facts or proof to support the accusation(s). It obviously removed all reasonable legal protection from people and resulted in the innocent being utterly in the power of these vile, un-Scriptural, 'Inquisitors' who remind us of the ultimate vile example of such behaviour - that exhibited by the illegal trial of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Sanhedrin before they handed Him over to the state of Rome (who, infamously, washed their hands)!
Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261 AD) continued in the same frame and, between 1255-1258 AD, issued no less than 38 bulls against 'heretics' (ibid. Schaff, V, p520, footnote 2) including one (1255 AD) that proclaimed:
'Houses of heretics are to be destroyed, and the materials to be distributed '.
The Alexander bull that established the Dominicans as permanent 'Inquisitors' was issued in 1258 AD and, between 1260-1261 AD, he issued another thirteen bulls against 'heretics'. Records reveal that, for more than a century after Innocent [III], the enforcement of the rules for the detection and punishment of heretics form the continual subject of bulls issued by the Apostolic see and of Synodal action, especially in Southern France and Spain (ibid. Schaff, V, p520). A tract, written in 1260 AD by Catholic Inquisitor Passau, attacked the dreadful 'heresy' of the Waldensians, pointing out their daring evil in that 'they have translated the New and Old Testament into the vulgar tongue and this they teach and learn'! (ibid. Herklots, How Our Bible Came to Us, p69; cf. ibid. Lea, A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Volume 1, p86).
Pope Urban IV (1261-1264 AD) kept up the same trend, issuing another menacing anathema against 'heretics' and opponents of the Inquisition as soon as he came to power, and Pope Clement IV (1265-1268 AD) likewise augmented and endorsed the decrees of the Emperor Frederick, and the Popes Innocent IV and Alexander IV as soon as he was able - in 1265 AD (J.P. Callender, Illustrations of Popery, 1838, p390):
'Inquisitors must compel secular magistrates of cities and other places, under penalty of the excommunication and interdict, to subscribe and inviolably to keep the constitutions of Innocent IV notwithstanding any indulgence of the court of Rome'.
Thus the inquisition raged in Spain and other parts of Europe where Papal Rome held power over the 'secular' authorities and, during the reign of Pope Gregory X (1271-1276 AD), England's King James I reaffirmed the decision of Tarragona (1234 AD), which had ordered all vernacular versions to be brought to the bishop to be burned (Paris Simms, The Bible from the Beginning, 1929, p162).
Pope Honorius IV (1285-1287 AD) enacted two laws against 'heretics' similar to the preceding ones and Pope Nicholas IV (1288-1292 AD) also ordered punishments to be imposed upon 'heretics' and their accomplices, confirming the works of the previous popes (ibid. Callender, p390) and enforcing the same restrictions against vernacular Bible translations.
Such was the power of Papal Rome that the thirteenth century saw Inquisitorial tribunals permanently raised in the principal towns of the kingdom of Aragon and everywhere in Spain where the Dominicans had established convents (M'Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, p84).
When Pope John XXII (1316-1334 AD) failed, as Leo III had before him, in attempted conversions of the Waldenses to Papal Rome's dogmas he rained increasing persecutions upon these people, as Wylie records:
'Desirous of resuming the work of Innocent III., he ordered the inquisitors to repair to the Valleys of Lucerna and Perosa, and execute the laws of the Vatican against the heretics that people them. What success attended the expedition is not known, and we instance it chiefly on this account, that the bull commanding it bears undesigned testimony to the then flourishing condition of the Waldensian Church, inasmuch as it complains that synods, which the pope calls 'chapters,' were wont to assemble in the Valley of Angrogna, attended by 500 delegates. This was before Wicliffe had begun his career in England'. (ibid. Wylie, p22).
In the same evil manner, Pope Clement VI (1342-1352 AD) urged persecutions against the Waldensian Christians and, in 1352 AD, he charged the bishop of Embrun to purify that area of those who refused to bow to the authority of Papal Rome and a Franciscan friar was appointed Inquisitor to superintend the will of the pope (ibid. Wylie, p23) while the territorial lords and city leaders were 'invited' to aid him. Clement also commanded the Dauphin, Charles of France, and Louis, King of Naples, to seek out and punish those of their subjects who had strayed from the faith so that the Vaudois colonies who still existed at Naples could be finally exterminated.
The brutal Inquisition continued in Spain and the record shows that:
'The persecution of the Albigenses seldom relaxed during the fourteenth century. Scarce a year passed in which numbers were not barbarously led to the stake' (ibid. M'Crie, p40).
Pope Innocent VI (1352-1362 AD) was visited at Avignon (in 1357 AD) by Richard FitzRalph, Irish Archbishop of Armagh, Regent Master in Theology, and University Vice-Chancellor, to discuss attacks on the Scriptures by Roman Catholic monks in Ireland because '... those exactions and abuses ... had become past all endurance'. (Christopher Anderson, Annals of the English Bible, 1845, I, p. xxxv). According to a manuscript possessed by the historian John Foxe, Fitzralph testified that '... the Lord had taught him, and brought him out of the profound vanities of Aristotle's philosophy, to the Scriptures of God' (ibid. Anderson, I, p. xxxv) so he was full of good intentions in complaining to this pope that 'no book could stir, whether in divinity, law, or physic, but these Friars were able and ready to buy it up'. Fizralph had sent four of his chaplains from Armagh to Oxford, seeking Scriptures and sound religious materials, but they '... sent him word again that they could neither find the Bible, nor any other good profitable book in divinity, meet for their study, and therefore were minded to return home to their own country'.
Thus the record shows in every way that your various assertions (e.g. 'The Bible was always widely disseminated and available since the beginning ... The Bible was in wide circulation and nobody believed in Sola Scriptura as you allege. ... The idea that none of the English speaking peoples had the Bible in their language is a fantasy') are clearly complete and utter fantasy!
The record shows that, in spite of the desperate attempts by Papal Rome to keep vernacular Bibles out of the hands of the people, translations appeared in the Middle Ages and 'The Bible, in whole or in part, had been translated into some 25 languages before the invention of printing from movable type, about 1450' (Simms, The Bible in America, p69; cf. our earlier pages on the subject).
We have already proven the great worth of the translation of John Wycliffe and clear links exist between him and the Lollards which resulted in continual persecution by Papal Rome which kept Europe in the Dark Ages for hundreds of years. Wycliffe's work as a translator brought upon him special hostility, but his ability to clearly identify the errors of the Papacy by reference to the Word of God was another clear factor in the hatred Rome directed at him, e.g. his reference to the way in which priests declared it to be 'heresy to speak of the Holy Scriptures in English' and, as he added in response in his Wicket (an informative tract in which he expressed his many objections to the Papacy), 'such a charge is a condemnation of the Holy Ghost, who first gave the Scriptures in tongues to the Apostles of Christ, to speak that word in all languages that were ordained of God under heaven' (ibid. Eadie, I, p81). Another of his enemies, Knyghton, a canon of Leicester, complained that in translating the Scriptures into English Wycliffe was laying it 'open to the laity and to women who could read'.
What a dreadful crime to dare to want all believers to be obedient to Scripture, as the Psalmist declares so clearly:
Psalm 119:11 (NKJV): 'Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!'
Let us hear a Papal Roman Catholic show how it is possible to 'hide' the Word of God in your heart when you are forbidden to read it in your own language and are, instead, fed crumbs of the bread of life by a fake priesthood which puts its own false interpretation on the meaning too!?
For daring to make the Word of God accessible to even the 'plough boy', Wycliffe was hounded mercilessly by the Cult of Papal Rome who forced the 'secular powers' to use torture and death penalties carried out by the most hideous means they could devise - all because the popes declared that 'it had become a crime for those who could read the Scriptures in their mother tongue to do so'. (ibid. Armitage, I, p314).
That Papal Rome's intentions remained unchanged, and were only brought to an end by the advent of Democratic Governments in the West which were initially based on clear Christian principles, is proven by these recent quotes from Papal authorities:
' ... it is evident from experience that the Holy Scriptures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have, through the temerity of men, produced more harm than benefit. ... It is therefore necessary to adhere to the salutary Decree of the Congregation of the Index, (June 13th, 1757) that no versions of the Bible in the vulgar tongue be permitted, except such as are approved by the Apostolic See ...' (Bull of Pope Pius VII, June 29, 1816)
So we see that the Bible was first officially forbidden to the people by Papal Rome - and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books - by the Council of Valencia (a cathedral city in southeastern Spain) in the year 1229, with the following decree:
'We prohibit also the permitting of the laity to have the books of the Old and New Testament, unless any one should wish, from a feeling of devotion, to have a psalter or breviary for divine service, or the hours of the blessed Mary. But we strictly forbid them to have the above-mentioned books in the vulgar tongue.'
So the Bible was forbidden to the laity, except for the Psalms or breviary (book of devotions), and even then it could be only in Latin - which of course placed it beyond the reach of the common people - at the time the Waldensians were gaining strength and the un-Scriptural decree enforced with bitter persecution.
The Council of Trent reaffirmed this decree and prohibited the use of the Scriptures by any member of the church unless he obtained permission from his superior in these words:
'In as much as it is manifest, from experience, that if the Holy Bible, translated into the vulgar tongue, be indiscriminately allowed to everyone, the temerity of men will cause more evil than good to arise from it; it is, on this point, referred to the judgment of the bishops, or inquisitors, who may, by the advice of the priest or confessor, permit the reading of the Bible translated into the vulgar tongue by Catholic authors, to those persons whose faith and piety, they apprehend, will be augmented, and not injured by it; and this permission they must have in writing.'
An anathema was attached to this decree, as well as to more than a hundred others passed by this council against anyone who should dare to violate it, as well as fixed penalties against anyone illegally possessing or selling such translations. Any Christian with the slightest experience of the gifts of the Holy Spirit will recognise this attitude toward the Word of God as the mark of a church that is not just slightly 'out of whack' doctrinally, but blatantly Satanic!
You write: It is better that you don't even try to quote Catholic Teaching, theology, principles, sources; because it doesn't seem like you have even a most basic rudimentary grasp of Catholic Theology and Teaching. It seems too lofty and above your poor comprehension level. You demonstrate a basic common ineptitude concerning Scripture as is common to the protestant community. This is so well known to the world and is indeed a cause of making the protestant community the laughing stock of the world. In regard to your comments about the Jesuits being suppressed, you must not understand the difference between the Church's Dogmatic and Disciplinary Laws. Also, you criticize and misunderstand indulgences. You might want to learn some basic concepts before purporting to speak upon them, because you really don't have any knowledge on these things. To you belongs in no way the ability to make moral lectures. The cult of protestantism believes that one can sin all they want as long as they 'believe' they'll be saved. There is no such thing as 'sin' according to protestant cults, but only 'believing' in their false personalized gods.
TCE: Even the most ignorant will recognise your continued ad hominem attacks and complete inability to find even one example to support your blanket accusations! 'Criticize and misunderstand indulgences'? That is simply too funny for words!
After revealing the spirit that 'St. Jerome' displayed towards those who dare oppose him in any way, we can hardly be surprised to find one of his proselytes displaying the same. Your delusional, illogical, statements can be discarded out-of-hand, for you fall far short of the mark in every way and make even the works of Patrick Madrid look impressive. The very fact that you throw out 'straw men' regarding the 'Protestant' view of sin and 'personalized gods' reveals the delusions and hypocrisy that can flow from a devotee of Mariolatry!
You write: The illogicalities of the protestant hermeneutic stem from the protestant chimera and hermeneutical which states that the 'holy spirit' will allegedly guide the individual 'believer' while perusing the bible, but yet there are continual doctrinal disputes among them. The conclusion that one reaches upon closer examination of protestant hermeneutics is that they must hold each of their 'holy spirits' to be different from everybody else's 'holy spirit' in the Protestant community. This Protestant illogic is too well known even to their fellow pagans and is a source of criticism for them.
TCE: Yet more 'straw men' which display your colossal ignorance of the difference between the breakaway cults, which clung to many doctrinal errors from Papal Rome, and those who carried out a thorough 'Reformation' and left the Cult of Papal Rome far behind. Genuine born again, orthodox Christians, have never feared examination of their doctrines, exegesis, or hermeneutics while, as we have shown yet again, Papal Rome's popes have displayed numerous heresies throughout the history of the Vatican while trying their utmost to destroy all the works of genuine believers!
The apostle Peter wrote: 'And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place ... . For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit' (2 Peter 1:19, 21) while James quoted Scripture in the Council of Jerusalem to settle the question that was at issue (Acts 15:16-18) and Paul also repeatedly appealed to Scripture, e.g. he asked: 'For what saith the scripture?' (Romans 4:3) and wrote to Timothy: 'From a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation' (2 Timothy. 3:15).
How many times do we find you quoting Scripture in your attempted ripostes?!
(Continued on page 349)