In 1789 the Protestation of the English Catholics was signed by all the vicars-general and "all the Catholic clergy and laity in England of any note," and solemnly declared before Parliament that "we acknowledge no infallibility in the pope."

Even in 19th century England and Ireland, Papal Infallibility was still denied as an article of Catholic belief. In 1822, Bishop Baines, Vicar Apostolic in England, wrote that "Bellarmine and some other divines, chiefly Italians, have believed the Pope infallible, when proposing ex cathedra an article of faith. But in England or Ireland I do not believe that any Catholic maintains the infallibility of the Pope"8 In 1825, a British Parliamentary Royal Commission was established in view of the forthcoming Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. Some of the questions put to Roman Catholic Bishops are as follows:

Question to Bishop Doyle

Q: Is the authority of the Pope in spiritual matters absolute or limited?

A: It is limited.

Questions to Bishop Murray

Q: Is that (Papal) authority under the control of General Councils?

A: That authority is limited by the councils and canons of the Church; he is the executive power of the Church, appointed to preside over it and enforce its canons or laws. Those canons vest in individuals, for instance in Bishops, certain rights, which of course is the duty of the Pope to protect and not violate; his authority is thus limited by those canons.

Q: Does it justify an objection that is made to Catholics that their allegiance is divided?

A: Their allegiance in civil matters is completely undivided.

Question to Dr. Oliver Kelley

Q: Do the R.C. clergy insist that all the Bulls of the Pope are entitled to obedience?

A: The Roman Catholic doctrine in respect to Bulls from the Pope is that they are always to be treated with respect; but if those Bulls or
Rescripts proceeding from the Pope do contain doctrines or matters which are not compatible with the discipline of the particular Church to which they may be directed, they feel it their duty then to remonstrate respectfully, and not to receive the regulations that may emanate from the Pope.

Question to Bishop Doyle

Q: Can you state in what respect the national canons received in Ireland, or any particular construction put upon the general canons, differ from those which are received in other countries?

A: For instance, a particular church, or the canons of a particular church, might define that the authority of a general council was superior to that of the Pope: Such canon may be received, for instance in Ireland or France, and might not be received in Italy or Spain.

Question to Bishop Murray

Q: Is the decree of the Pope valid without the consent of the Council?

A: A decree of the Pope in matters of doctrine is not considered binding on Catholics, if it have not the consent of the whole Church, either dispersed or assembled by its Bishops in Council. 9

In 1826, the "declaration of the Archbishops and Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland," was endorsed by the signatures of 30 bishops, declaring that "The Catholics of Ireland declare on oath their belief that it is not an article of the Catholic faith, neither are they required to believe that the pope is infallible."10

Archbishop Kenrick of St. Louis pointed out in his undelivered speech, which he had published in Naples, that for two hundred years a book had been in circulation entitled Roman Catholic Principles in Reference to God and the King. It enjoyed such a wide circulation that from 1748 to 1813 it underwent 35 editions and the Very Reverend Vicar Apostolic Coppinger in England had 12 printings of it. On the question of Papal Infallibility it states: It is no matter of faith to believe that the Pope is in himself infallible, separated from the Church, even in expounding the faith: by consequence of Papal definitions or decrees, in whatever form pronounced, taken exclusively from a General Council, or universal acceptance of the Church, oblige none, under pain of heresy, to an interior assent. 11

Papal Infallibility - A Protestant Hoax?

One of the most popular catechisms circulating in 19th century England was the Controversial Catechism by the Reverend Stephen Keenan. In the third edition of 1854, published by Marsh and Beattie of Edinburgh and Charles Dolman of London and Manchester, page 112, we find the following question and answer:

Q: Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?

A: This is a Protestant invention; it is no article of the Catholic
faith; no decision of his can oblige, under pain of heresy, unless it be received and enforced by the teaching body; that is, by the bishops of the Church. This catechism carries the enthusiastic approbation of four bishops:

By The Right Rev. Bishop Carruthers:
"A concise summary of arguments, authorities, and proofs, in support of the doctrines, institutions and practices of the Catholic Church, is here presented in a very convenient form, as an additional antidote against the unceasing effusions of antagonistic Ignorance and Misrepresentations. The work I trust will meet with the notice it deserves, and the good be thus effected which the zealous and talented author has had in view of its publication.

ANDREW, BISHOP OF CERAMIS, Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Scotland. Edinburgh, 10th April, 1846.

By The Right Rev. Bishop Gillis: I have much pleasure in adding my name to the above Approbation by my Venerable Predecessor, and in earnestly recommending the study of the CONTROVERSIAL CATECHISM to the Faithful of the Eastern District of ScotlandSBut there are many, it is to be hoped, sincere in their pursuit of Truth; and to all such, the CONTROVERSIAL CATECHISM must ever prove a welcome and highly useful guide. The fact that nine thousand copies having already been exhausted in two editions in this country, besides a third edition printed in America, is evidence sufficient of the favour with which the Catechism has been received by the Catholic Public...

JAMES, BISHOP OF LIMYRA, Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District in Scotland. Edinburgh, 14th November, 1853.

By the Right Rev. Bishop Kyle: I have read, with much pleasure, a work entitled Controversial Catechism, by the Rev. Stephen Keenan. As it contains a well-reasoned defense of the Catholic faith, and clear and satisfactory solutions of the usual objections adduced by separatists, I deem that the study of it will be most useful to all Catholics; and, therefore, I earnestly recommend it to the Faithful in the Northern District of Scotland.

JAS. KYLE, V.A. N.D.S. Preshome, 15th April, l846.

By the Right Rev. Bishop Murdoch:
Glasgow, 19th November, 1853 My Dear Mr. Keenan, I am exceedingly delighted to learn that a third edition of your excellent Controversial Catechism is about to be printed. You request my approbation of this New Edition. Most willingly and most heartily do I give it. But it is really altogether unnecessary, for the work has amply approved itself. The rapid exhaustion of the last two editions is more than sufficient proof of the value and worth of the Catechism. I know not, indeed, if we possess a better volume adapted to the wants of the time;...As long as the Controversial Catechism is to be had, it is entirely the fault of all Catholics - be their rank however humble - if they be not ready on all occasions to give a reason of the faith and hope that are in them. I am, yours sincerely in Christ, JOHN MURDOCH, V.A. W.D.

The Rev. Stephen Keenan, Dundee. PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. The rapid sale of the former edition - its approbation by many Clergyman in Scotland and by several in Ireland and England - the fact of its appearing in a very elegant American edition, approved by the Right Rev. Dr. Hughes of New York, and by the American Catholic Clergy and Catholic press - combined with the antipathy of modern religionists to its publication or circulation, and the unwilling testimony wrung from them as to its efficacy in supporting truth, - all these motives, strengthened by a desire to put down error and establish truth, have induced the Author to give the public a second edition... Thus here in mid-nineteenth century Britain and America we have a very popular Catholic Catechism claiming the notion of Papal Infallibility as evidence of Protestant deceit or ignorance.

As we have seen, this was not an article of faith that the universal church has always confessed. Pius had already tested infallibility when, in 1854, he declared the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of, "which some of them (bishops) dreaded and some opposed, but which all submitted when he had decreed without the intervention of a Council."12

Pope Pius IX - The Infallible Instrument of God: Count Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, the future Pius IX was
born in 1792, being the last of nine children, to a family of the lesser nobility. In his youth and well into his thirties he suffered epileptic seizures. For a while he was allowed to celebrate mass only on the condition that another priest or deacon was present. Nothing more is heard of this condition in his later life, however, according to his contemporaries the traces of the Pope's epilepsy were visible, in that the right side of his body was slightly less developed than the left. "This could be seen even in his face which was asymmetric, with lips awry and a head that inclined to the right."

Pius IX was the longest reigning pope, possessing personal charm and enjoying great popularity. He was also considered highly impressionable, capricious, impulsive and unpredictable. These characteristics were attributed to his epilepsy. 13 It is this Pope Pius IX who was absolutely determined to have his office dogmatically defined as the infallible instrument of God by a council of the Church. At the First Vatican Council the approval of the passing of Papal Infallibility was almost guaranteed from the beginning. First, by the incredibly unequal representation which was highlighted during the Council by a pamphlet, whose author was believed to be Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris entitled, The Liberty of the Council and the Infallibility . This pamphlet claimed that while Italy had two hundred and seventy bishops, the rest of Europe had only two hundred and sixty-five. Closer scrutiny reveals that twelve million German Roman Catholics were represented by nineteen bishops while seven hundred thousand inhabitants of the Papal States were represented by sixty-two.

Three anti-Infallibilist Bishops of Cologne, Paris and Cambrai represented five million souls. It is little wonder that the German bishops who formed the backbone of the anti-Infallibilist complained of being overwhelmed by Italian and Sicilian bishops. 14 The second reason why the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was guaranteed to pass was the deep personal involvement of Pius IX himself and the intimidating coercive tactics he used. A measure of his resolve is the statement he made to the chief editor of La Civilta Cattolica, "My mind is so made up that if need be I shall take the definition upon myself and dismiss the Council if it wishes to keep silence." 15 In a brief to Dom Gueranger, Abbot of Solesmes, a leading French Ultramontane (on the other side of the Alps; one who advocates supreme papal authority), Pius IX, while demonstrating no lack of confidence in his own infallibility, attacks and brands the bishops who oppose the definition as men, "who show themselves completely imbued with corrupt principals and who no longer know how to submit their intelligence to the judgment of the Holy See...Their folly mounts to this excess that they attempt to remake the divine constitution of the Church in order to bring down more easily the authority of the supreme Head whom Christ has set over it and whose prerogatives they dread." 16 Pope Pius IX was so bent on having the office of the Papacy declared infallible he used the power and prestige of his office to intimidate and upbraid even bishops who adopted a neutral or moderate line. The Reverend T. Mozley, special correspondent to The Times of London writes that bishops who adopted a neutral or moderate line: "find themselves sorely tried in a personal interview. They find it vain to declare their devotion or their sincerity. His Holiness tells them plainly they are not on his side; they are among his enemies; they are damaging the good cause; their loyalty is not sound. It is enough that they have signed what they should not, or not signed what they ought." 17 Ullathorne, Bishop of Birmingham wrote, "The Pope, takes every opportunity of expressing his views on the infallibility both in audiences and letters that at once get into the papers."18 Again Ullathorne writes, "The Pope, I believe, is bent on the definition, if he can, as the crowning of his reign, and I think it will in some shape probably pass." 19 To a group of vicars apostolic and Oriental bishops, Pius IX reminded them, "It is necessary for you to defend the truth with the Vicar of Jesus Christ. My children do not abandon me." 20 A stark example of how far removed the bishops, the successors of the apostles, were from the dignity and freedom they exercised at the Seven Ecumenical Councils and their subservience to the Pope can be judged by the behaviour of Wilhelm von Ketteler, Bishop of Mainz.

Just before the final vote on Papal Infallibility, a deputation of minority bishops implored Pius IX to accept certain concessions in the wording of the declaration: Ketteler threw himself on his knees and with tears in his eyes said: "Good Father, save us and save the Church of God!" 21 One cannot help recalling St. Paul's reproof to St. Peter when he, "withstood him to his face," Gal. 11:11, and St. Irenaeus' "stern rebuke" to Pope St. Victor over the Easter controversy (see Chapter II ). Pius was unmoved. Cardinal Guidi, Archbishop of Bologna, in a speech before the Council said that, while accepting infallibility, he urged the Pope to take the counsel of his bishops before issuing decisions as this is the tradition of the Church. Guidi's speech was reported to the Pope and he was sent for and scolded. The surprised Cardinal responded that he was only maintaining that bishops are witnesses of tradition.

"Witnesses of tradition?" said the Pope, "There is only one; that's me." 22 Even Roman Catholic author Dom Cuthbert Butler in his popular work, The Vatican Council, admits to the personal influence of Pius IX,..."did it amount to undue influence? That at the final stages he exerted his personal influence to the utmost cannot be questioned, for it was quite open." 23 A Council Lacking in Freedom Strenuous objections were voiced at the Council regarding the lack of freedom due to the manner of the agenda. Dom Butler admits to the Pope's control over the Council when he writes, "In all things the Pope kept to himself the complete mastery. Things which at Trent had been left in the hands of the Fathers - settlement of claims to take part in the Council, appointment of officials, regulation of procedure, etc. - were all now fixed by the personal act of the Pope...The bishops were invited and exhorted to suggest freely anything for deliberation that they thought would be for the general good of the Church. But such proposals or postulations must be submitted to a special Congregation, nominated by the Pope, for dealing with such postulates, to consider them and report its advice to the Pope, with whom the decision would lie as to whether the thing be brought forward at the Council or not." 24 Denying the validity of the Council, Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick "refused to speak at any of the general sessions after June 4th, 1870."

Bishop Joseph Strossmeyer of Diakovar told Lord Acton, "There is no denying that the Council lacked freedom from beginning to end." To Professor Joseph Hubert Reinkens, Strossmeyer said, "that the Vatican Council had not had the freedom necessary to make it a true Council and to justify its passing resolutions binding the conscience of the entire Catholic world. The proof of this was perfectly self-evident." 25 Bishop Francois Le Courtier spoke for many when he wrote, "Our weakness at this moment comes neither from scripture nor the tradition of the Fathers nor the witness of the General Councils nor the evidence of history. It comes from our lack of freedom, which is radical. An imposing minority, representing the faith of more than one hundred million Catholics, that is, almost half of the entire Church, is crushed beneath the yoke of a restrictive agenda, which contradicts conciliar traditions. It is crushed by commissions which have not been truly elected and which dare to insert un-debated paragraphs in the text after debate has closed. It is crushed by the commission for postulates, which has been imposed from above. It is crushed by the absolute absence of discussion, response, objections, and the opportunity to demand explanations; ...The minority is crushed, above all, by the full weight of the supreme authority which oppresses it..." 26 Furthermore, "the opposing minority of about two hundred bishops objected to the short time allowed for studying the text on primacy and infallibility as well as to the practice adopted by the deputations of inserting new clauses at the last moment."

"The minority bishops were not allowed to discuss the historical objections against Papal Infallibility with the deputation on the faith."27 In a letter Bishop Le Courtier complains, "See what more than aught else destroys our liberty: it is crushed under the respect we have for our Head."28 Later in frustrated anger, Bishop Francois Le Courtier tossed his council documents into the river Tiber and left Rome. The papers were retrieved and brought to the attention of Vatican officials. The price for this gesture was extracted three years later, when he was dismissed as Bishop of Montpellier. 29 In spite of the unequal representation and Pius IX using the power and prestige of his office, there was still a large number - eighty-eight bishops - who voted against Papal Infallibility, which was enshrined in the constitution, Pastor Aeternus .

Sixty-two bishops, many of whom were de facto opponents, voted with reservations, with only four hundred and fifty-one giving a clear yes - this is less than half of the one thousand and eighty-four prelates with voting privileges and less than two-thirds of the seven hundred bishops in attendance at the commencement of the Council. Over seventy-six bishops in Rome abstained from voting and fifty-five bishops informed the Pope that while maintaining their opposition to the definition that out of "filial piety and reverence, which very recently brought our representatives to the feet of your Holiness, do not allow us in a cause so closely concerning Your Holiness to say 'non placet' (it is not pleasing) openly in the face of the Father." 30 This statement alone speaks volumes for the subservience that these bishops had for the immense authority figure of the Pope a presence unknown in the councils of the Early Church. Thus lacking a moral unanimity or even a clear two-thirds majority, Papal Infallibility was now elevated as an article of faith equal to the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation. A belief that could not possibly meet the Vincentian canon of Universality, Antiquity and Consent , and in fact a belief not universally shared by Catholics even within living memory of the Council that solemnly defined it. Years later, Orthodox theologian Sergei Bulgakov, observed with disdain that, "The Vatican Council has as much right to call itself a Council as today's meetings of delegates from the Soviet republics can claim to be a free expression of the will of the people."



FOOTNOTES:  7. Historical Memoirs Respecting the English Catholics, ii,
pages 113 - 118, Charles Butler, 1819.

8. A Defence of the Christian Religion,
page 230, Bath, 1822. See W.E. Gladstone, Vaticanism page 48, 1875.

9. Friedrich's Documenta, Vol. I, pages 234, 236, 237, 240.

10. Essay on the Catholic Claims, page 300, Bishop J.W. Doyle, 1826.

11. Kenrick (Naples edition). Page 46.

12. Essays on Freedom and Power, page 305, Lord Acton,
Meridian Book, Cleveland, Ohio. 1972.

13. How the Pope Became Infallible, Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion, page 107, August Bernhard Hasler, Translated by Peter Heinegg, Doubleday and Co. Inc., Garden City, New York, 1981.

14. Butler, The Vatican Council, page 230.

15. Hasler, page 81.

16. Friedrich, Documenta, Vol. I, page 184.

17. Letters from Rome, II, 282.

18. Butler, The Vatican Council, Vol. II, page 199.

19. Ibid., page 119.

20. Friedrich, Documenta, Vol. I, page 185.

21. Butler, page 407.

22. Ibid., page 355.

23. Ibid., page 446.

24. Ibid., page 213, 214.

25. Hasler, page 133.

26. Hasler, pages 131, 132.

27. The Triumph of the Holy See, page 156, Derek Holmes
Burns & Oates, London. 1978

28.  Bulter, First Vatican Council, page 477.

29.  Hasle, page 139.

30. Bultler, The Vatican Council, page 408, 409.

31. Hasler, page 143.

In the RCC, a "vicar" is a priest who acts for or represents another, often higher-ranking member of the clergy. In the pope’s case, he substitutes for Christ Himself and another of his titles is that of Vicar of Christ.

That is a bold assertion, but hardly the boldest we have seen issuing forth from the papal throne.

Pope Innocent IV, who reigned from 1243 to 1254, took this Vicarius Filii Dei business one giant step farther. He actually declared that he was Praesentia Corporalis Christi, the bodily presence of Christ.

John XXII (1316-1334) permitted priests who paid a tax to keep their mistresses. He actually had a set table of fees for the absolution of any crime from murder to incest to sodomy. That he was serious about his revenue programs is shown by the fact that he excommunicated 1 patriarch, 5 archbishops, 30 bishops and 146 abbots for not paying taxes to the pope.

Sixtus IV (1471-1484) levied a tax on priests who kept mistresses and was the first to offer indulgences for the dead, thereby establishing a virtually infinite source of revenue. Alexander VI (1492-1503), who reportedly, at the tender age of 12, murdered his uncle, Pope Callistus II, was labeled "The Tiberius of Christian Rome" by Gibbons. He freed murderers for a price and appointed cardinals for a flat fee after which he poisoned them to take possession of their goods and hasten job turn over.

Of Paul IV (1555-1559), it was said that, "If his mother had foreseen his career, she would have strangled him at birth." He hated all women with an inflexible theological ferocity and declared that "the soul of a women is not potent enough to be a man."

Innocent XI (1676-1689) was convinced that engaging in sex merely for pleasure was sinful.

Sixtus IV (1471-1484), whose several sons were referred to as "The Pope's Nephews," was more practical. He was the first to license Roman brothels. A number of years later, Pius V (1566-1572) shut down all the bars and ran the prostitutes out of Rome.

At least one pope was insane. Steven VII (896-897) exhumed the body of his predecessor, Pope Formosus (891-6). He dressed the corpse in pontifical robes and put it on trial, finding Formosus guilty of becoming pope under false pretenses. Sergius III (904-911) dug Formosus up ten years later and beheaded the corpse.

Throughout history, Roman popes have been notorious for their love of both ecclesiastical and secular power. Ill-tempered Urban V (1378-1389), an alcoholic, pronounced "I can do anything I like, absolutely anything I like."

Innocent III (1198-216), who turned Rome into a clerical state and considered himself "Lord of the World," called himself Universal Bishop (A title repudiated by earlier popes). He promulgated more laws than all the preceding 50 popes combined, yet was bound by none of them. Declaring himself the "Foundation of All Christianity," he proclaimed that "Every cleric must obey the pope, even if he commands what is evil, for no one may judge the pope.

Urban II (1088-1099) declared that heretics were to be tortured and killed. But who exactly were heretics? Paschall II (1099-1118) quoted a forged letter of St. Andrew in support of his argument that whoever does not agree with the Apostolic See is without a doubt a heretic. Gregory IX (1227-1241) agreed that it is the duty of every Catholic to persecute heretics. He established the Inquisition to root out heretics, i.e., anyone who dared oppose any papal pronouncement, and turn them over to civil authorities for burning.

Innocent IV (1243-1254) described himself as the bodily presence of Christ (Praesentia Corporalis Christi) Therefore, anyone who failed to obey him was, ipso facto, a heretic.

Pius VIII (1829-1830) applied mind control techniques which later found favor with Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and other totalitarian leaders. He declared that anyone who heard a word of blame against the Holy Office and did not report it was as guilty as the offender and to be treated as such.

Boniface VIII (1294-1303), a monster that Dante consigned to the 8th circle of Hell with his head in a rock fissure, wrote Unam Sanctum, in which he declared his authority over all humanity: "Every human being must do as the pope tells him." In his supreme arrogance, he continued: "We declare, announce and define that it is altogether necessary for salvation for every creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

The Bull seems to fulfill all the requirements of an infallible papal statement as laid down in 1871 at the First Vatican Council. The final line " we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be  subject to the Roman Pontiff" is in the form used for  the declarations on the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.

Boniface VIII's teaching was largely repeated on a number of later occasions by both councils and popes.  "[The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that none of those who are not within the Catholic Church, not only Pagans, but Jews, heretics and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but are to go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil, and his angels (Mt. 25.41), unless before the close of their lives they shall have entered into that Church:"

Pope Eugene IV, Bull "Cantate Domino", 1441
Council of Florence - Decree for the Jacobites (1442) -

"(The Holy Roman Church).. Firmly believes, professes and preaches that "no-one remaining outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans", but also Jews, heretics or schismatics, can become partakers of eternal life; but they will go to the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels" (Mt. 25:41), unless before the end of their life they are received into it. For union with the body of the Church is of so great importance that the sacraments of the Church are helpful only for those remaining in it; and fasts, almsgiving, and other works of piety, and exercises of a militant Christian life bear eternal rewards for them alone.

"And no one can be saved, even if he sheds his blood for the name of Christ, unless he remains in the bosom and unity of  the Catholic Church", [cf. Fulgentius of Ruspa, De fide liber ad Petrum, 38, 79 and 39, 80]. Denz. 1351, cf. J Neuner and J Dupuis, eds., _The Christian Faith in the Doctrinal Documents if the Catholic Church_, rev. ed. (New York: Alba House, 1981), 1005, {p. 279)

The first signs of change in the hardline doctrine came at the First Plenary council of India 1950 [See Neuner and Dupuis p. 285].  It was the Second Vatican Council, though, which  not only saw positive value in other religions, but specifically taught that salvation was available to the adherents of other religions.

Even those few conservative Catholics who wish to defend the strict "no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church" doctrine of Boniface VIII, there is still a problem - the Vatican Council, with all its documents approved by popes, taught a completely opposite doctrine.

Vatican II in its  Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium #15-17, (November 21, 1964) effectively overturns this entire and pernicious doctrine.

WHAT ABOUT AUGUSTINE AND "Roma Locuta, causa finita est"?

St. Augustine of Hippo is, with reason, taken as an authoritative figure by both Catholics and Protestants.

One of the most famous phrases ascribed to him is "Roma locuta, causa finita" [Rome has spoken, the case is ended]. Let us examine the events around this phrase, which demonstrate rather a lot of papal fallibility!

First, Augustine never made the remark as it is usually stated. The phrase comes from Augustine Sermon 131.10.10 [Serm. cxxxi,10 in P.L., XXXVIII, 734) which ends thus: "redarguite contradicentes, et resistentes ad nos perducite. Iam enim de hac causa duo concilia missa sunt ad sedem apostolicam: inde etiam rescripta venerunt.  causa finita est:  utinam aliquando finiatur error! Ergo ut advertant monemus, ut instruantur docemus, ut mutentur oremus."

This sermon concerned part of the process of Augustine's struggle with Pelagius and Caelestius over the issue of free will (not Donatism as no end of people on the internet seem to claim). This sermon, given in Carthage on 23 September, 417 after the receipt of a letter from Pope Innocent I. The crucial phrase is "iam de hac causa duo concilia missa sunt ad sedem apostolicam, inde etiam rescripta venerunt; causa finita est". ("Two synods having written to the Apostolic See about this matter; the replies  have come back; the question is settled.")  This is often read as if Augustine was placing papal authority above that of councils, as if it were the last word. But in this instance, the case was most certainly not settled. Pope Innocent had actually died on March 12, 417 and the new pope, Zosimus proceeded to *reopen* the case [so much for "causa finita est"], and to be favorable, moreover, to Pelagius! It was eventually *the emperor Honorius* who condemned Pelagius and Caelestius, and only then did Zosimus finally follow the emperor's lead and condemned Pelagius, which he did in mid 418.  Zosimus died in late 418 and Pelegius tried to *reopen* the case yet again. This time Augustine used lay contacts [and money] at the imperial court to prevent italian bishops from supporting Pelagius. So much for "Roma locuta...". Augustine in fact was prepared to appeal to anyone to get his point accepted. For a full discussion of all this see Peter Brown,  Augustine of Hippo, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), pp. 356-63
Clement 188-97
Chosen by Peter. Condemned Athanasius, champion of orthodoxy against Arians, therefore suggested that the Son was lower than the Father.

Liberius 352-66
Condemned Athanasius, champion of orthodoxy against Arians, therefore suggested that the Son was lower than the Father.

Damascus 366-84
Killed 137 people in St. Mary Major. To compensate, claimed spiritual authority as a "successor of St. Peter," a claim not made by the Fathers of the Church.

Innocent I 401-17
Wrote to Council of Milevis that baptized babies were obligated to receive communion or else, if they died, they'd go to Hell. (Condemned by Trent)

Vigilius I 537-55
Nominated by Boniface II whose letter the people of clergy of Rome forced him to burn as an infringement upon their democratic right to elect Bishop of Rome.  Declared a heretic and excommunicated by the 5th General Council, recanted in spirit of Augustine, and was almost lynched when he returned to Rome.

Gregory I 590-604
Civil leader and Patriarch of the West.
Said unbaptized go straight to hell and suffer for all eternity.
Approved Augustine's anti-sex views: Marriage is not sinful, but sex between partners is. Original sin is passed on to children of baptized parents by the evils of sex.

Honorius I 625-638
Condemned by Church for heresy. Condemned in 1680 at 6th General Council.

Nicholas I 858-867
To Baptize, it is enough to call on the name of Christ. Stated that
confirmations provided by priests were invalid, therefore there were no confirmations in the Greek Church, therefore annulled them all.

114. Steven VII 896-897
Insane. He dug up Pope Formosus (891-6), dressed up corpse in
pontificals, and found him guilty of becoming pope under false pretenses. Died by strangulation.

Sergius III 904-911
Killed Cardinal Christopher and Leo V to become pope.  Also exhumed Formosus (10 years dead) and beheaded corpse.  Seduced Marozia, mother of Theodora, at 15 years of age, he 45, in Lateran Palace.   Fathered John XI.

Paschall II
Quoting a forged letter of St. Andrew: whoever does not agree with the Apostolic See is without a doubt a heretic.  Agreed to waive cannons and let sons of priests be ordained, otherwise no candidates would have been available.

Callistis II 1119-1124
First Lateran: All clerical marriages were invalid. Celibacy was
proclaimed to be the strongest spiritual reality against centuries of tradition contrariwise.

Alexander III 1159-1181
The ideal marriage is a marriage without sex: Model Joseph and Mary. For a marriage to be dissoluble, only consent need be present. For a marriage to be absolutely indissoluble, consent and (inherently) sinful coupling must be the case. Yet the chief end of marriage is procreating. Also, a man on his own initiative could divorce wife.

Lucius III 1181-1185
Decided that all differences among Catholics must be grave sins because they deny the pope's authority by which underpins the entire system.

Celestine III 1191-1198
A marriage between Christians can be dissolved if one of the parties chooses to become a heretic. Pronounced a heretic by Adrian VI.

Innocent III 1198-216
Lord of the World. Turned Rome in a clerical state. Princely power usurps God and therefore is bad. Priestly rule comes from God and therefore is good. Basic Manichaeism. Put England and France under interdict. Condemned the Magna Carta as contrary to moral law. Called himself Universal Bishop, a title repudiated by early popes.

Gregory IX 1227-1241
Canonized Francis of Assisi with reservation. It is the duty of every Catholic to persecute heretics.  Established the Inquisition: Heretics, i.e., all who are opposed to any paper pronouncement, civil authorities to take care of burning. Inquisitors could make no mistake or do no wrong as infallible representatives of an infallible pope.
Adrian VI 1522-1523
The last Latin Orthodox Pope. From the Autocephalous Diocese at Utrecht. Pope Eugene III made the Diocese of Utrecht an Autocephlous Diocese in 1145.  Confessed at the Diet of Nuremburg in 1552 that all evils in the church proceeded from the Roman Curia.

"If by the Church you mean its head or pontiff, it is beyond question that he can err even in matters touching the faith. He does this when he teaches heresy by his own judgment or decretal. In truth, many Roman pontiffs  were heretics. The last of them was Pope John XXII (1316-1334)."

Gregory XVI 1831-1832
Mirari Vos (1832):
-Liberty of conscience a mad opinion. Religious liberty was said to flow from "the most fetid fount of indifferentism".
-Condemned freedom of worship, press, assembly and education as a filthy sewer full of "heretical vomit."


Christ ordained 12 Apostles. One of these, namely Judas betrayed Him and then committed suicide. So let us forget about Judas. Another Apostle, namely Peter, denied Him thrice. Now lets concentrate on Peter. How did Peter deny Christ? Let us look at what the Bible tells us: Here is where Peter promises not to deny Christ: Matthew 26:33-35 "Peter answered and said unto Him, Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee. Likewise said all the disciples."

Now here is where Peter denies Christ thrice: Luke 22:55-62 "And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, this man was also with Him. And he denied Him, saying, Woman, I know Him not. And  after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou at also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with Him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And, immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt denied me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly." Hence Peter denied Christ. He was not faithful to his own word, let alone the word of the Lord. He had failed.

Fallible as he was, he fell. Even the bible makes this distinction that Peter had fallen. For instance, when the myrrh bearers were at the tomb, how did the angel address the disciples, and how was Peter addressed? Let us see: Here is the account of the myrrh bearers at the tomb: Mark 16:5-7 "And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him. But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him, as He said unto you." Note how the angel makes a distinction: "His disciples and Peter".

Is this distinction positive or negative towards Peter? It is negative towards him.  If it were positive, the angel would have said "Peter and the disciples", but the angel says: "His disciples and Peter". There was a reason for this.  It is because Peter had denied Christ. He was no longer a disciple.

He was no longer a shepherd as were the other ten. He was now simply Peter. The angel did not refer to him as one of the disciples, but rather as one who is set apart due to his denial of Christ. But our All-good and Man-befriending God, our Lord Jesus Christ, wanted to restore Peter to his previous position as disciple, apostle and shepherd. So because Peter had thrice denied our Lord, the Lord required of Peter to thrice repudiate his denial, and thereby return to his previous position.

Here is where Peter repudiates his thrice-denial by uttering a thrice-confession, and after hearing this confession the Lord restores Peter to his previous position as Apostle. Note that the Lord no longer calls him Peter, but rather "Simon, son of Jonas". This is because Peter had fallen, and it was not until after this confession that the Lord restored him to his rank: John 21:15-17 "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My lambs. He saith unto  him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep.  He saith unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep."

The Lord then goes on to explain by what death Peter shall glorify the Lord. Peter denied Christ for fear of death. Yet now that Peter had repudiated his denial and confessed his love for Christ, Jesus tells him by what death he shall glorify God: John 21: 18-19 "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him, Follow me." And indeed, Peter died with outstretched hands, girded upside down on a cross. This is the death by which he glorified God, the same death that he feared, and hence his short-lived denial. But also the same death that he suffered because of his confession and Love for Christ. All of the Apostles were shepherds, they all fed the Lord's sheep.  But it was only Peter who was in need of repudiating his thrice-denial by way of a thrice-confession. Upon thrice-confessing his love for Christ, the Lord invited him to return as shepherd by saying "Feed My sheep".

Hence we know that Peter was not infallible. Neither was he the reason that Rome was considered first among equals. Rome was only given that position because it was the capital city. If Peter is the reason, then Antioch should be the first among equals, for Peter was bishop of Antioch long before he ever became bishop of Rome. But Rome was considered first among equals because it was the capital city of the Roman Empire. At the First Ecumenical Council, three cities were named as holding first honor. These were Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. One was not considered more important than the other, there was only a difference in order, ie, first among equals,  second among equals, third among equals, etc. The Fourth Ecumenical Council decreed that Constantinople (New Rome) was now "First among equals" just as Rome is "First among equals". Now both Rome and Constantinople were "First".

Alexandria was "Second", Antioch was "Third", Jerusalem was fourth", but all were EQUAL.

When Rome fell, Constantinople remained as the only  "First  among Equals", the only Ecumenical Patriarchate, for Rome had fallen.
What was the relationship between Peter and the other Apostles?
St. Cyprian:  You will see that Christ established Peter as a sign of unity, but the other Apostles were equal to Peter in dignity of office and power.

On the Unity of the Church THE UNITY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH St. Cyprian of Carthage

Chapter 4

If anyone considers and examines these things, there is no need of a lengthy discussion and arguments. Proof for faith is easy in a brief statement of the truth. The Lord speaks to Peter: 'I say to thee,' He says, 'thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.' Upon him, being one, He builds His Church, and ALTHOUGH AFTER HIS RESURRECTION HE BESTOWS EQUAL POWER UPON ALL THE APOSTLES, and says: 'As the Father has sent me, I also send you. Receive ye the Holy Spirit: if you forgive the sins of anyone, they will be forgiven him; if you retain the sins of anyone, they will be retained,' yet that He might display unity, He established by His authority the origin of the same unity as beginning from one. SURELY THE REST OF THE APOSTLES ALSO WERE THAT WHICH PETER WAS, ENDOWED WITH AN EQUAL PARTNERSHIP OF OFFICE AND OF POWER, but the beginning proceeds from unity, that the Church of Christ may be shown to be one. This one Church, also, the Holy Spirit in the Canticle of Canticles designates in the person of the Lord and says: 'One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen one of her that bore her.' Does he who does not hold this unity think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against the Church and resists her think that he is in the Church, when too the blessed Apostle Paul teaches this same thing and sets forth the sacrament of unity saying: 'One body and one Spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God'?
Chapter 5 

This unity we ought to hold firmly and defend, especially we bishops who watch over the Church, that we may prove that also the episcopate itself is one and undivided. Let no one deceive the brotherhood by lying; let no one corrupt the faith by a perfidious prevarication of the truth. THE EPISCOPATE IS ONE, THE PARTS OF WHICH ARE HELD TOGETHER BY THE INDIVIDUAL BISHOPS.
Chapter 19

These, certainly, they imitate and follow, who despise God's tradition and seek after strange doctrines and introduce teachings of human disposition. These the Lord rebukes and reproves in His Gospel when He says: 'You reject the commandment of God that you may establish your own tradition.'





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