Pope Roundup That Matters

Comics024Too many things to be said about the new pope. Again, I am not endorsing this man as the head of the church. Only Christ is the head of the church, and any other man who puts himself in that place is an anti-Christ. This is a position held by Protestants since the Reformation. Since the RCC has not done anything to change their position on the pope, neither shall we. John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards and John Wycliffe have all agreed with this position. So realize it is not something new to me, and it certainly should not be shocking to anyone that a Protestant would actually be opposed to the pope and the apostate church in Rome. There is far too much at stake when it comes to the eternal souls of people, and Protestants who hold true to Scripture can never affirm Roman Catholicism that calls justification by faith alone in Christ alone an anathema! (Canons of Trent, p. 43).

Is The Pope Catholic? With that, I start with some humor. I love what Rush Limbaugh pointed out yesterday when it came to the new pope and the drive-by media. The drive bys are all shocked that the new pope is actually … Catholic. Duh! This goes to any delusional Protestants as well, thinking and hoping that he would be more… Protestant. This is never going to happen. The pope will always be Roman Catholic because the cardinals that pick the new pope are Roman Catholic. AS Rush states:

Pope Francis I is bad news for the Drive-By Media. He is adamantly opposed to abortion. He is adamantly opposed to euthanasia. He has called the pro-choice movement a culture of death. He opposes same-sex marriage, which he has called demonic in origin. He opposes gay adoption on the grounds that it is discriminatory to the child. He opposed Argentina’s legalizing of same-sex marriage. He called it a real and dire anthropological throwback. He was exiled by the Cristina Kirchner government. He was dispatched to the northern climes and the outposts of Argentina. He literally was cast out by the government.

Rush’s point is that the pope is not this new incarnation of the drive-by media. He is not what they wanted him to be because he is actually Roman Catholic. In the words of those famous sociologist, Pete Townsend and Roger Daltery, “meet the new boss, the same as the old boss…”

Ten Reason Why I Will Never Go to Rome — Rev. Shane Lems has put together 10 reasons why we can never agree with Rome using their own statements about what they believe. He has studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church and The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, so he is not speaking off the cuff. He shows us that no matter how theological this pope may be, he is not someone we can ever agree with theologically because the magisterium of Rome is the authority of Rome, not the Scriptures alone. Here are the first four reasons:

1) …I will not have my conscience bound by man or man’s decrees.  Rome binds consciences beyond the Word by teaching that the dogmas of the Church’s Magisterium “oblige” adherence (Catechism, p. 33, 548).  I believe that God alone is Lord of the conscience and that it can only be bound by his Word (Westminster Confession of Faith 20.2).

2) …I will never submit to a Pope.  Rome teaches that the pope is “pastor of the entire Church” and has “full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered” (Catechism, p. 254).   However, Scripture teaches there is no other head of the church besides Christ (WCF 25.6).

3) …I refuse to pray to Mary or have her for a mediator or helper.  Rome teaches that Christians should pray “to” Mary; “we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself” (Catechism, p. 704ff).   The first commandment, however, teaches us not to pray to or confide in any creature (Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 94).

4) …Rome anathematized the gospel of free grace. “If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone…let him be anathema” (Canons of Trent, 43).  Scripture, however, teaches that God justifies ungodly sinners by faith alone, completely apart from works (see HC Q/A 60-61).

You can read the rest of his post here.

And the article that makes a lot of people angry is Jesse Johnson’s piece, A Friendly Reminder: The Pope is (Probably) the Anti-Christ. I think this one angers so many people because they forget that there are reals reasons for the Protestant Reformation, and there are reals reasons we believe what we do. I know a lot of people want to go along to get along, but truth matters and there need to be those who stand for the truth, and point out the wolves in sheep’s clothing when necessary. See Neil’s piece on Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdog’s for more on that. But Johnson shows that throughout history, Protestants have realized that the office of pope itself is at least an anti-Christ. The pope cannot be the head of the church.

The idea of the Pope as the antichrist is not unique to Protestants. In fact, for the 40 years where two rival Popes both called each other antichrist (1378-1417),  John Wycliffe humorously pointed out that they were each half right. He wrote that they were “two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.”

Zwingli, who was a Catholic priest before his conversion to Christ, often referred to the Pope as the antichrist. He wrote: “I know that in it works the might and power of the Devil, that is, of the Antichrist” (Principle Works of Zwingli, Vol. 7, p. 135).

Calvin devoted an entire section of The Institutes to this topic (Book IV, “Of the Popish Mass”). In that section, at length Calvin identifies the Pope as the antichrist for no other reason than he leads the Catholic Mass. “Let my readers understand that I am here combating that opinion with which the Roman Antichrist and his prophets have imbued the whole world—viz. that the mass is a work by which the priest who offers Christ, and the others who in the oblation receive him, gain merit with God.”

What is interesting in that section is that Calvin draws extensively from Augustine, who wrote (translated by Calvin into French, then into English): “It would be equivalent to Antichrist for anyone to make a bishop to be an intercessor between God and man.” There are other sections in The Institutes where Calvin simply uses the term antichrist as a synonym for pope.

 

Dear reader, please give some thoughts to these things for they do matter. It’s not like we are picking at scabs just to be picking at scabs. If what Protestants says is true, that we are justified by faith alone in Christ alone, because Paul says it, then you cannot have a form of salvation that is based upon works, as does the RCC. Since the Scriptures say Christ is the only Mediator for mankind, then we cannot have Mary worship and saint intercession on our behalf. (1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus). Either Christ is the only mediator or He is not. We must decide are we going to to trust what Scripture says? Or are we going to trust what the RCC and the popes have said over time, even though at times they have contradicted themselves?

Before you answer, you might want to take a look at the following video that helps us see how the church began to worship saints and Mary instead of Christ. It is quite enlightening.

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42 thoughts on “Pope Roundup That Matters

  1. It saddens me that you think Roman Catholics are your “enemy.” I am not going to spend a lot of time answering your post in detail, since that seems about as worthwhile as howling at the moon, but a few simple observations that pop out:

    1. The pope does not claim to be “Head” of the Church. There is only one Head of the Church, and that’s Christ (CCC 792). The pope is just a pastor, and presumably, being a pastor, you are okay with men being pastors and having authority in their churches.

    2. Ideas aren’t “anathematized,” people are. Though the word literally means “accursed,” all anathema really means is that someone is formally excommunicated from the Church. It does not mean “damned” or any other such, and it is not permanent. Excommunication is a disciplinary measure to motivate people to get their act together, to renounce heterodox doctrines or repent of serious sin. That’s the way Paul used excommunication (1 Cor 5) and “anathema.” Anyone who has been excommunicated from the Church is perfectly free, and in fact, encouraged, to renounce his views or repent of his sins and return to full communion with the Church at any time. Even Luther would have been accepted back into the Church. And as far as the Church rejected “the Gospel of free grace”: the Church rejected a number of Protestant doctrines, but in fact believes in “the Gospel of free grace” just as much as you do. Just because we don’t agree on particulars doesn’t mean we teach a different gospel.

    3. The first commandment says, “You shall have no other Gods before Me.” It says nothing about “praying to creatures.” And you are misunderstanding the sense in which Catholics “pray” to Mary and the saints. It does not connote any sense of worship or deity or any other such. In a sense of the word that’s no longer very common in English, all “pray” means is to request, ask, beg, beseech, plead, petition. See the dictionary. “Pray be careful.” “I pray your petition to speak.” And I presume you ask other people to pray for you at times, or pray for other people — in fact, you’re making making use of mediators and making yourself a mediator (someone who goes between or acts on behalf of another).

    All right, that’s enough of my time wasted.

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    1. Also: As I’ve tried to explain to you before, there is nothing in Catholic doctrine that even resembles the accusation that salvation is “based upon works.” We do in fact read the same Bible and the same Paul that you do, and affirm that salvation is through faith just as much as you do. The only “work” that is required is coming to Christ and being baptized — which, according to my Bible, is a part of the process (Mark 16:16, John 3:3–5, Matthew 28:19–20, Acts 2:37¬–41, Titus 3:4–7, Galatians 3:7, Ephesians 4:4–5, 1 Peter 3:21, etc.).

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  2. phoebehb

    “Peace, peace; when there is no peace”
    The heart and mind of the Roman Catholic Church is expressed in her Canon Law. This is how she has acted in the past, now conducts herself, and will conduct herself in the future. The face that Rome shows to the outside world has another side to it, one that is seen primarily by those inside her system when she enforces her law. For example, for twenty years the Pope has been proclaiming “peace, peace” from nation to nation. The newspapers give prominence to his continuing message calling for religious freedom and respect for each member of the human family. What is not proclaimed is Roman Catholic law and how it is implemented. Some of the smaller news services, such as News Network International who for many years carried information on how Rome applied her laws, have been shut down recently. An example of the contrast between public image and private practice was the wooing content of “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” (ECT), published in 1994. In March of the same year, the Roman Catholic Archbishop Bohn of Brazil announced at the 31st National Conference of Bishops in Brazil, “‘We will declare a holy war, don’t doubt it…the Catholic Church has a ponderous structure, but when we move we’ll smash anyone beneath us.’” The article reporting on statement went on to comment,

    “According to Bohn, an all-out holy war can’t be avoided unless the 11 largest Protestant churches and denominations sign a treaty…[which] would require Protestants to stop evangelization in Brazil. In exchange, he said, Catholics would agree to stop all persecution directed towards Protestants. Bohn called his proposal an ‘ultimatum’, and said it would leave no room for discussion.”
    Nevertheless, eighteen months later in an address to the UN entitled “The Global Quest for Freedom”, Pope John Paul II stated,

    “We will not be able to overcome it [our fear of the future] completely unless we do so together. The ‘answer’ to that fear is neither coercion nor repression nor the imposition of one social ‘model’ on the entire world. The answer…at the end of the twentieth century is the common effort to build the civilization of love founded on the universal values of peace, solidarity, justice, and liberty. And the ‘soul’ of the civilization of love is the culture of freedom: the freedom of individuals and the freedom of nations, lived in self-giving solidarity and responsibility….”
    It should be noted that the same Pope who addressed these eloquent words to the UN had two years previously nailed down laws that forbid such freedom and peace. In the small print of the 1998 Catholic Almanac under the heading Pope John Paul II, the entry entitled Canon Law states,

    “The Pope was deeply involved in the work of completing the revision of the Code of Canon Law which he ordered into effect as of Nov. 27, 1983. He called it, in effect, the final act of the Second Vatican Council…He promulgated the Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches Apr. 18th 1990.”
    Examination of these laws shows them to be of the same absolute, unlimited, and tyrannical character as those of the past. The Code has the entire necessary legislature, jurisprudence, and laws for the purposes of control and coercion. The same Pope who splendidly addressed the UN on the need for freedom simultaneously effects in Roman Catholic law the following,

    “The Church has an innate and proper right to coerce offending members of the Christian faithful by means of penal sanctions.”
    Clearly, official Roman Catholic law is the iron fist under Pope John Paul II’s velvet glove. That this is the RCC modus operandi can be learned from her history. The dissimilarity between the dictate of the present Pope and the apostle Paul is evident. The Pontiff’s rule is “The Church has an innate and proper right to coerce… ” The apostle states, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.”

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    1. Apparently you’ve copied and pasted this from someone else’s website. But what do you think?

      For what it’s worth, this supposes that Catholic canon law is “absolute, unlimited, and tyrannical” but doesn’t attempt to spell out anything at all that’s “tyrannical” about it. In case you haven’t noticed, no one has been attempting to “coerce” all “Christian faithful” since, well, the Reformation. Canon law applies to the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church only. It exercises church discipline within the bounds of our own church, which has certainly been, and continues to be, the practice of many Protestant sects. Do you suppose that the Apostle Paul never exercised church discipline?

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      1. phoebehb

        When the choice is between laugh or cry, I usually choose to laugh, even when–like now–that’s hard to do. Let me C&P again, and unless provoked beyond restraint I will not discuss this matter further with you. “None is so blind…..”

        (The excerpt below is only about 1/3 of this page’s history of the RCC vs. the Bible:
        http://www.wayoflife.org/database/persecutionofbible.html
        _______________________

        During the period when the Roman Catholic Church was in power, she did everything she could to keep the Bible out of the hands of the common people. It was illegal to translate the Bible into the common languages, even though most people could not read the official Catholic Bible because it was in Latin, a language known only to the highly educated.

        Consider some of the laws Rome made against Bible translation. These began to be made in the 13th century and were in effect through the 19th.

        (1) In the year 1215 Pope Innocent III issued a law commanding “that 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, p. 387). 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, p. 723).

        (2) The Council of Toulouse (1229) FORBADE THE LAITY TO POSSESS OR READ THE VERNACULAR TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE (Allix, Ecclesiastical History, II, p. 213). This council ordered that the bishops should 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” (Thomas M’Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, 1856, p. 82). They also searched for the illegal Bibles.

        (3) The Council of Tarragona (1234) “ORDERED ALL VERNACULAR VERSIONS TO BE BROUGHT TO THE BISHOP TO BE BURNED” (Paris Simms, Bible from the Beginning, p. 1929, 162).

        (4) In 1483 the infamous Inquisitor General Thomas Torquemada began his reign of terror as head of the Spanish Inquisition; King Ferdinand and his queen “PROHIBITED ALL, UNDER THE SEVEREST PAINS, FROM TRANSLATING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE INTO THE VULGAR TONGUES, OR FROM USING IT WHEN TRANSLATED BY OTHERS” (M’Crie, p. 192). For more than three centuries the Bible in the common tongue was a forbidden book in Spain and multitudes of copies perished in the flames, together with those who cherished them.

        (5) In England, too, laws were passed by the Catholic authorities against vernacular Bibles. The Constitutions of Thomas Arundel, issued in 1408 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, made this brash demand: “WE THEREFORE DECREE AND ORDAIN THAT NO MAN SHALL, HEREAFTER, BY HIS OWN AUTHORITY, TRANSLATE ANY TEXT OF THE SCRIPTURE INTO ENGLISH, OR ANY OTHER TONGUE, by way of a book, libel, or treatise, now lately set forth in the time of John Wyckliff, or since, or hereafter to be set forth, in part of in whole, privily or apertly, upon pain of greater excommunication, until the said translation be allowed by the ordinary of the place, or, if the case so require, by the council provincial” (John Eadie, The English Bible, vol. 1, 1876, p. 89). Consider Arundel’s estimation of the man who gave the English speaking people their first Bible: “This pestilential and most wretched John Wycliffe of damnable memory, a child of the old devil, and himself a child or pupil of Anti-Christ, who while he lived, walking in the vanity of his mind … crowned his wickedness by translating the Scriptures into the mother tongue” (Fountain, John Wycliffe, p. 45).

        [NOTE: Wycliffe, , managed to die a natural death in 1384. Thirty-one years later (1415),the RCC was still fuming: theCouncil of Constance declared Wycliffe a stiff-necked heretic and under the ban of the Church. It was decreed that his books be burned and his remains be exhumed. This last did not happen till twelve more years later–~42 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH– when at the command of Pope Martin V they were dug up, burned, and the ashes cast into the river Swift which flows through Lutterworth.]

        (6) Pope Leo X (1513-1521), who railed against Luther’s efforts to follow the biblical precept of faith alone and Scripture alone, called the fifth Lateran Council (1513-1517), which charged that no books should be printed except those approved by the Roman Catholic Church. “THEREFORE FOREVER THEREAFTER NO ONE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PRINT ANY BOOK OR WRITING WITHOUT A PREVIOUS EXAMINATION, TO BE TESTIFIED BY MANUAL SUBSCRIPTION, BY THE PAPAL VICAR AND MASTER OF THE SACRED PALACE IN ROME, and in other cities and dioceses by the Inquisition, and the bishop or an expert appointed by him. FOR NEGLECT OF THIS THE PUNISHMENT WAS EXCOMMUNICATION, THE LOSS OF THE EDITION, WHICH WAS TO BE BURNED, a fine of 100 ducats to the fabric of St. Peters, and suspension from business for a year” (Henry Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages).

        (7) These restrictions were repeated by the Council of Trent in 1546, which placed translations of the Bible, such as the German, Spanish, and English, on its list of prohibited books and forbade any person to read the Bible without a license from a Catholic bishop or inquisitor.

        Following is a quote from Trent: “…IT SHALL NOT BE LAWFUL FOR ANYONE TO PRINT OR TO HAVE PRINTED ANY BOOKS WHATSOEVER DEALING WITH SACRED DOCTRINAL MATTERS WITHOUT THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR, OR IN THE FUTURE TO SELL THEM, OR EVEN TO HAVE THEM IN POSSESSION, UNLESS THEY HAVE FIRST BEEN EXAMINED AND APPROVED BY THE ORDINARY, UNDER PENALTY OF ANATHEMA AND FINE prescribed by the last Council of the Lateran” (Fourth session, April 8, 1546, The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Translated by H.J. Schroeder, pp. 17-19).

        These rules were affixed to the Index of Prohibited Books and were constantly reaffirmed by popes in the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. These prohibitions, in fact, have never been rescinded. It is true that the Council of Trent did not absolutely forbid the reading of the Scriptures under all circumstances. It allowed a few exceptions. The priests were allowed to read the Latin Bible. Bishops and inquisitors were allowed to grant license for certain faithful Catholics to read the Scriptures in Latin as long as these Scriptures were accompanied by Catholic notes and if it was believed that these would not be “harmed” by such reading. In practice, though, the proclamations of Trent forbade the reading of the Holy Scriptures to at least nine-tenths of the people. Rome’s claim to possess authority to determine who can and cannot translate, publish, and read the Bible is one of the most blasphemous claims ever made under this sun.

        The attitude of 16th century Catholic authorities toward the Bible was evident from a speech Richard Du Mans delivered at Trent, in which he said “that the Scriptures had become useless, since the schoolmen had established the truth of all doctrines; and though they were formerly read in the church, for the instruction of the people, and still read in the service, yet they ought not to be made a study, because the Lutherans only gained those who read them” (William M’Gavin, The Protestant, 1846, p. 144). It is true that the Bible leads men away from Roman Catholicism, but this is only because Roman Catholicism is not founded upon the Word of God!

        Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605) confirmed the Council of Trent’s proclamations against Bible translations (Eadie, History of the English Bible, II, p. 112) and went even further by forbidding licenses to be granted for the reading of the Bible under any conditions (Richard Littledale, Plain Reasons Against Joining the Church of Rome, 1924, p. 91).

        (8) The restrictions against ownership of the vernacular Scriptures were repeated by the popes until the end of the 19th century:

        Benedict XIV (1740-1758) confirmed the Council of Trent’s proclamations against Bible translations (Eadie, History of the English Bible, II, p. 112) and issued an injunction “that no versions whatever should be suffered to be read but those which should be approved of by the Holy See, accompanied by notes derived from the writings of the Holy Fathers, or other learned and Catholic authors” (D.B. Ray, The Papal Controversy, p. 479).

        It was during the reign of Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) that the modern Bible society movement began. The British and Foreign Bible Society was formed in March 1804, the purpose being “to encourage a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures without note or comment.” Other societies were soon created for the same exalted purpose. Germany (1804); Ireland (1806); Canada (1807); Edinburgh (1809); Hungary (1811); Finland, Glasgow, Zurich, Prussia (1812); Russia (1813); Denmark and Sweden (1814); Netherlands, Iceland (1815); America, Norway, and Waldensian (1816); Australia, Malta, Paris (1817); etc. One of the societies began distributing a Polish Bible in Poland. The Pope, instead of praising the Lord that the eternal Word of God was being placed into the hands of the multitudes of spiritually needy people, showed his displeasure by issuing a bull against Bible Societies on June 29, 1816. The Pope expressed himself as “shocked” by the circulation of the Scriptures in the Polish tongue. He characterized this practice as a “most crafty device, by which the very foundations of religion are undermined,” “a pestilence,” which he must “remedy and abolish,” “a defilement of the faith, eminently dangerous to souls.” Pope Pius VII also rebuked Archbishop Buhusz of Mohiley in Russia because of his endorsement of a newly formed Bible society (Kenneth Latourette, The Nineteenth Century in Europe, p. 448). The papal brief, dated September 3, 1816, declared that “if the Sacred Scriptures were allowed in the vulgar tongue everywhere without discrimination, more detriment than benefit would arise” (Jacobus, Roman Catholic and Protestant Versions Compared, p. 236).

        Pope Leo XII (1823-29) issued a bull to the Bishops in Ireland, May 3, 1824, in which he affirmed the Council of Trent and condemned Bible distribution. “It is no secret to you, venerable brethren, that a certain Society, vulgarly called The Bible Society, is audaciously spreading itself through the whole world. After despising the traditions of the holy Fathers, and in opposition to the well-known Decree of the Council of Trent, this Society has collected all its forces, and directs every means to one object,–the translation, or rather the perversion, of the Bible into the vernacular languages of all nations. … IF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES BE EVERYWHERE INDISCRIMINATELY PUBLISHED, MORE EVIL THAN ADVANTAGE WILL ARISE THENCE, on account of the rashness of men” (Bull of Leo XII, May 3, 1824; cited from Charles Elliott, Delineation of Roman Catholicism, 1851, p. 21). This Pope re-published the Index of Prohibited Books on March 26, 1825, and mandated that the decrees of the Council of Trent be enforced against distribution of Scriptures (R.P. Blakeney, Popery in Its Social Aspect, p. 137).

        Pope Gregory XVI (1831-46) ratified the decrees of his predecessors, forbidding the free distribution of Scripture. In his encyclical of May 8, 1844, this Pope stated: “Moreover, we confirm and renew the decrees recited above, DELIVERED IN FORMER TIMES BY APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, AGAINST THE PUBLICATION, DISTRIBUTION, READING, AND POSSESSION OF BOOKS OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES TRANSLATED INTO THE VULGAR TONGUE” (James Wylie, The Papacy, 1867, p. 182). This encyclical was delivered against Bible societies in general, and mentioned in particular the Christian Alliance, which was formed in 1843 in New York for the purpose of distributing Scriptures.

        Pope Pius IX (1846-78) in November 1846 issued an encyclical letter in which he denounced all opponents of Roman Catholicism, among which he included “those insidious Bible Societies.” He said the Bible societies were “renewing the crafts of the ancient heretics” by distributing to “all kinds of men, even the least instructed, gratuitously and at immense expense, copies in vast numbers of the books of the Sacred Scriptures translated against the holiest rules of the Church into various vulgar tongues…” What a horrible crime! Distributing the Scriptures freely to all people! It was Pius IX who had himself and his fellow popes declared “infallible” at the Vatican I Council in 1870.

        Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) published an “Apostolic Constitution” in 1897 which stated: “All versions of the vernacular, even by Catholics, are altogether prohibited, unless approved by the Holy See, or published under the vigilant care of the Bishops, with annotations taken from the Fathers of the Church and learned Catholic writers” (Melancthon Jacobus, Roman Catholic and Protestant Bibles, p. 237).

        Where the Roman Catholic Church held power the Bible was always scarce. Consider a few examples: When the government of New Orleans was taken over in 1803, “it was not till after a long search for a Bible to administer the oath of office that a Latin Vulgate was at last procured from a priest” (William Canton, The Bible and the Anglo-Saxon People, I, p. 245). In Quebec, as late as 1826, MANY PEOPLE HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (Canton, II, 61). The situation was the same in South America, where “for about three centuries, were almost entirely without the Bible.” It was 1831 before the first Bible was printed in Spanish America, and even then the copies were exorbitantly expensive (Canton, II, 347). Thus, even when Catholic authorities finally printed some Bibles, they were priced far beyond the reach of most people. Between December 1907 and February 1908 a diligent search was made to determine how many Bibles were available in Catholic Ireland. Not a portion of the Bible was available in bookshops in Athlone, Balbriggan, Drogheda, Mullingar, Wexford, and Clonmel. A shop assistant at Mullingar said, “I never saw a Catholic Bible.” When asked about the New Testament, a sales person at the The Catholic Truth Society replied, “We don’t keep it.” Those who did the extensive survey concluded “that IN NINE TENTHS OF THE CITIES, TOWNS, AND VILLAGES OR IRELAND A ROMAN CATHOLIC COULD NOT PROCURE A COPY OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC BIBLE OR NEW TESTAMENT” (Alexander Robertson, The Papal Conquest, 1909, pp. 166-167).
        ____________________________

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      2. For what it’s worth, I don’t see what there is to cry about. Christian unity and reconciliation is a duty to which all Christians are called, and it should be sought with love, not hate. Everything I’ve offered you I’ve tried to do with charity. Please don’t cry.

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    2. I am not interested in arguing with someone else’s argument. I have heard all of these arguments before, and refuted many of them in my blog. If you would like to discuss this with me, please give me your thoughts. You are only expressing your prejudice and closed-mindedness.

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    3. For what it’s worth, I don’t see what there is to cry about. Christian unity and reconciliation is a duty to which all Christians are called, and it should be sought with love, not hate. Everything I’ve offered you I’ve tried to do with charity. Please don’t cry.

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  3. phoebehb

    You’d rather discuss MY thoughts than a recitation of documented historical facts? I can understand why. :o)

    You’ve “refuted” WHAT in your blog? That the Popes & Councils I list actually made those statements? That Wycliffe’s body was dug up and burned 42 years after his death? That as late as the mid-19th/early 20th centuries the RCC, wherever it had the power to do so, effectively kept the Bible out of lay hands?

    Please specify & refute, with documentation, any factual errors in my list.

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    1. To briefly reply to your extension list of quotations: Yes, the Church at various times has condemned vernacular translations of the biblical texts carried out against the authority of the Church. The key is that these people were operating in direct opposition and rebellion against the Church, not that they wanted vernacular translations of the Bible. The Church has never been opposed to laypeople possessing the Bible in their vernacular languages. At many points in history, beginning with the Latin Vulgate (then the common tongue of much of Europe), continuing with the Slavic translations of Sts. Cyril and Methodius (the origin of the Cyrillic alphabet which is now used by a dozen or so Eastern European languages), and in numerous vernacular lectionaries for countries all across Europe. The Douay-Rheims Bible was an English Bible translation carried out by the Roman Catholic Church between 1582 and 1635, published a good thirty years before the King James Bible. The Lollards (followers of Wycliffe) and later Reformers were not just seeking vernacular Bible translations; they were promulgating doctrines in opposition to orthodoxy that the Church deemed dangerous.

      Here is a brief. further response to the issues you are raising by a blogger I respect:
      http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/2009/07/15/why-did-the-catholic-church-prevent-vernacular-bible-translations/

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  4. phoebehb

    P.S.. At least one thing you said gave me a non-conflicted laugh: “Do you suppose that the Apostle Paul never exercised church discipline?

    Read 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 again. See anything in it that could have been understood to justify this?

    “The pulley or strappado was the first torture of the Inquisition usually applied. Executioners would hoist the victim up to the ceiling using a rope with their hands tied securely behind their back. They were then suspended about six feet from the floor. In this position, heavy iron weights, usually amounting to about 45 kg, were attached to their feet. The executioners would then pull on the rope, then suddenly allowing it to slack causing the victim to fall.

    The rapid descent would then come to an abrupt stop, bewildering every joint and nerve in the system. In most cases it entailed dislocation. This process was repeated again and again heavier and more intense until the culprit confessed or became unconscious….

    If a relapsed heretic refused to recant and endure the torture, the contumacious sufferer was then carried to the scaffold and his body bound to a wooden cross. There the executioner, with a bar of iron, would break each leg and arm in two places and left to die. If the heretic was slow to expire, the executioner would then partake to strangulation, and their body was bound to a stake and burnt outside.”
    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican29.htm

    Like

    1. That site is full of undocumented invention and fiction. If you had read any of the links I shared with you, you might understand the Inquisition in a different light. Since you are not interested in considering my historical facts, I see no reason why I should consider yours,

      Like

      1. phoebehb

        I guess you overlooked my polite request for examples of such “invention and fiction”:

        “Please specify & refute, with documentation, any factual errors in my list.”

        Like

    2. The “fiction” I am referring to is the site you are linking to and quoting from regarding the Inquisitions. There is almost nothing factual in those quotations. I have already linked to several sources which refute it.

      Like

  5. phoebehb

    What’s that? You have sources that refute the horrors of the Inquisitions? To borrow the immortal words of call girl Mandy Rice-Davies (of 1963 Profumo-affair fame) when told that Lord Astor vehemently denied having an affair with her: “Well, they would, wouldn’t they?”
    2) “The Lollards (followers of Wycliffe) and later Reformers were not just seeking vernacular Bible translations; they were promulgating doctrines in opposition to orthodoxy that the Church deemed dangerous.”
    (Could you give us examples of the “dangerous” doctrines were they promulgating? “Dangerous” to “orthodoxy”? Whose orthodoxy?)

    3) Re: the Douay-Rheims translation pre-dating the KJV. So? A brief history of what pre-dates the D-R translation:

    *On the Scottish Island of Iona, in 563 AD, a man named Columba started a Bible College. For the next 700 years, this was the source of much of the non-Catholic, evangelical Bible teaching through those centuries of the Dark and Middle Ages. The students of this college were called “Culdees”, which means “certain stranger”. The Culdees were a secret society, and the remnant of the true Christian faith was kept alive by these men during the many centuries that led up to the Protestant Reformation…Eventually a Culdee follower became “The Morning Star of the Reformation”:

    *1384, John Wycliffe, first hand-written English language translation
    (* 1415, John Hus, Wycliffe’s follower & advocate, burned at the stake with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling.)
    *1496, John Colet, another Oxford professor and the son of the Mayor of London, started reading the New Testament in Greek and translating it into English for his students at Oxford, and later for the public at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. The people were so hungry to hear the Word of God in a language they could understand, that within six months there were 20,000 people packed in the church and at least that many outside trying to get in… Fortunately for Colet, he was a powerful man with friends in high places, so he amazingly managed to avoid execution.
    *1516, Erasmus, from a half-dozen partial old Gr NT manuscripts, published a Greek-Latin New Testament [that] focused attention on just how corrupt & inaccurate the Vulgate had become.
    *1517, Martin Luther, first common-dialect German translation
    *1525, Wm. Tyndale, First print English translation directly from Erasmus’ Greek manuscripts & best available Hebrew manuscripts. Tyndale had been forced to flee England, because of the wide-spread rumor that his English New Testament project was underway, causing inquisitors and bounty hunters to be constantly on Tyndale’s trail… In 1536 he was arrested and imprisoned in the castle of Vilvoorden for over 500 days of horrible conditions…tried for heresy and treason in a ridiculously unfair trial, and convicted…strangled and burnt at the stake in the prison yard, Oct. 6, 1536. His last words were, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.” This prayer was answered three years later, in the publication of King Henry VIII’s 1539 English “Great Bible”.)
    *1582, First volume (NT) of the Douay–Rheims Bible…a translation of the Bible from the LatinVulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church. The New Testament portion was published in Reims, France…in one volume with extensive commentary and notes. The Old Testament portion was published in two volumes thirty years later by the University of Douai… Marginal notes took up the bulk of the volumes and had a strong polemical and patristic character… The purpose of the version, both the text and notes, was to uphold Catholic tradition in the face of the Protestant Reformation… an impressive effort by English Catholics to support the Counter-Reformation….In 1583 William Fulke produced a refutation of the Rheims New Testament, setting out the complete Rheims text and notes in parallel columns with those of the Bishops’ Bible….
    ………………..
    (In the 1490’s another Oxford professor, and the personal physician to King Henry the 7th and 8th, Thomas Linacre, decided to learn Greek. After reading the Gospels in Greek, and comparing it to the Latin Vulgate, he wrote in his diary, “Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer even preserved the message of the Gospel… yet the Church still threatened to kill anyone who read the scripture in any language other than Latin… though Latin was not an original language of the scriptures.)

    Like

    1. 2. “Orthodoxy”: The orthodoxy of the Christian faith that had been held and affirmed by Church Fathers and councils and the unity of bishops for some 1,400 years. “Dangerous doctrines”: Naturally, what we consider “dangerous” now is quite different than what was considered “dangerous” then. There have been Lollard-ish Protestants now for 500 years, so the Lollards now look pretty normal; but at the time, they were widely viewed, even by common people, as dangerous radicals. Any challenge to unity and orthodoxy was seen as a threat to good Christian people’s salvation that would pull them away from Christ and from the Church. I don’t argue that the Church was right to persecute the Lollards, but they did have understandable reasons for doing so other than the “tyranny” you suppose. I can cite some contemporary sources for you if you would like.

      3. The view you cite about Columba and the Culdees is a common Protestant one, but one not based in fact. Columba is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. There was no such thing as a “Bible college” in 563 (the first universities were not founded until the 1000s), and you’ll find no such claim in any historical documentation. Protestant apologists claim that Celtic Christians “preserved” “true Christianity” from “Roman corruption,” but the fact is that Columba and other Celtic Christians taught the same Christian (Catholic) orthodoxy taught in Rome and elsewhere in the Christian world. Here are some primary sources for Columba’s life:
      http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/columba-e.asp
      http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/bede-book3.asp
      (The latter, the Ecclesiastical History of the Venerable Bede, is also a good source for understanding Celtic Christianity and its relation to Roman Christianity. Bede covers many of the Celtic missionaries to Scotland and Ireland.)

      4. As you note, neither Colet nor Erasmus was persecuted by the Church — because they were not actively rejecting the authority of the Church or its orthodoxy. There is a little more to the story of Hus that you might want to read about:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hus
      Again, I don’t argue that these persecutions were right (and neither does the Catholic Church, which has publicly apologized for these wrongs) — but one must understand them in their historical context and not view it through a modern Protestant lens. This was new and frightening stuff.

      I have actually studied William Tyndale a good bit and he’s one of my heroes, even as a Catholic. It should be noted that it was secular authorities in the Netherlands who had him arrested and executed, not the Catholic Church.
      Here is where I’ve written a bit on Tyndale:
      http://lonelypilgrim.com/tag/william-tyndale/

      My point about the Douay-Rheims Bible is that it was being translated and published right in the midst of all the Protestant translations. And there had been lectionary translations into the vernacular and into many other common languages over history. There is no “keeping the Scriptures locked out” or out of lay hands like Protestants suppose. No one was ever persecuted simply for translating the Bible, but for their threats against authority and orthodoxy.

      Speaking of Greek: The Catholic Church owns and has promulgated one of the oldest and most reliable Greek uncial manuscripts of the Bible, the Codex Vaticanus. If the Church were so “tyrannical” as you suppose about the text of the Bible, would this be the case? The Greek text supports the truth of Catholic teachings just as much as the Latin does.

      Like

  6. phoebehb

    Joseph, an important clarification. Your first comment in this thread is (to Pastor T.), “It saddens me that you think Roman Catholics are your ‘enemy.’ ”

    I think I can assure you that neither Pastor T. nor I think of “Catholics” as the enemy. I have been a Wm.F.Buckley devotee since I read his God & Man at Yale as a high-school sophomore; GK Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man was the proximate instrument of my return to God in my early 40s and I can quote whole pages of his book Orthodoxy from memory, the dearest humble souls I’ve known–as well as most of my most-admired political/sociological writers & activists–are living or deceased Roman Catholics.

    Our enemy–mine anyway– is the institutional geopolitical behemoth with a history bloodier than Islam’s, with putatively-Biblical teachings bearing only enough resemblance to Bible teachings to disguise its imperial ambitions, whose greatest achievement has been the discrediting of Christianity beyond anything the church’s avowed enemies combined could ever do.

    Like

    1. I am a busy student and am sorry that I’m not having as much time as I’d like to reply to you. But briefly: Jesus said that we will know His true followers by their fruits. If you embrace such thoroughly orthodox and faithful Catholics — and there are many, many others — then it has to follow that the fig tree from which they’re all eating isn’t quite as corrupt as you think. These people all affirmed the Catholic Church and all her teachings, all her hierarchy, all her history and tradition, and to attack the Church with such rancor is to attack everything they believed in.

      A few points:

      (1) “Bloodier than Islam’s”: To what are you referring? There were mistakes made in the Crusades, mostly by people seeking their own glory and fortune, but there were many pious men fighting for pious causes who didn’t set out to kill indiscriminately. The Inquisitions: you keep insisting on these charges, and yet I’ve suggested several times that there is no historical basis for these “facts” you keep asserting. There were wrongs and injustices committed during the Inquisitions, but not the “bloodbath” you keep asserting, which is a fiction born mostly of post-Reformation, anti-Catholic prejudice, made murky by all the many people exaggerating it. Please examine some actual documentation from qualified historians. Here are a few:

      Historian Thomas Madden, in the National Review, a conservative news and commentary source
      http://old.nationalreview.com/comment/madden200406181026.asp

      The works of historian Henry Kamen (not a Catholic) and others:
      http://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Inquisition-Historical-Revision/dp/0300078803/ref=sr_1_1
      Kamen’s views summed up on Wikipedia:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition#Revision_after_1960
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kamen

      An article about recent historical understandings of the Inquisitions, with sources cited:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition

      I will cite more if you are interested, but I have a lot of other things on my plate so it may take some time.

      (2) “Imperial ambitions”: The Catholic Church, though at times possessing temporal power, never held any more of an “empire” than the Papal States in central Italy, or ever sought more than that.

      (3) “Putatively biblical teachings”: How are Catholic interpretations of Scripture any more “putative” than yours?

      (4) “Discrediting Christianity”: Among whom? Despite all of the charges that you and others have made to “discredit” the Catholic Church, there are still twice as many Catholics in the world as Protestants.

      Like

  7. phoebehb

    Correction. I just noticed that in trying to move or insert something I accidentally deleted three pre-Douay-Rheims translations. Between Tyndale (1525) and D-R (1582) should go….

    *1539 English “Great Bible”.)
    *1557, Geneva Bible, NT, followed by OT in 1560
    *1568, Bishop’s Bible, extensively revised in 1572

    So there were seven major vernacular translations published & revised before the Counter Reformation kicked in.

    Like

      1. You must switch computers a lot. I will try and stay on it, but I will be out of town for the next few days. So… if it gets stuck in moderation… sorry about that in advance.

        Like

    1. No, I was just trying to be polite and let you know I’d replied even though it wasn’t showing. Comments automatically go into moderation when they have two or more links (which cuts down on a lot of spam). It’s possible to disable that setting, but it’s usually a good idea to keep it. I’d be okay to moving our discussion to email if you’re interested (my email is ioseph.t.richardson@gmail.com), especially since it’s filling up Pastor Tim’s blog and he doesn’t seem very interested in it, 🙂 Or if you’d rather not, that’s okay, too. It is easy to get riled up and upset about these things, but I really do believe we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and want this discussion to stay civil and loving.

      Like

      1. Full disclosure: I have too much in my personal life right now to keep up with the discussion, but I don’t mind you two keeping it here, or taking it to email. You two seem to be enjoying it and from what I can tell, you are both being kind to one another, so it is good testimony to the Spirit of Christ in the midst of the discussion. So press on here if you like, or take it to email. I don’t mind either way.
        Many blessings,
        Timothy

        Like

      2. phoebehb

        Joseph, I will try to get back to this late Sunday or Monday. I am my church’s pianist and choir director and have a Palm Sunday service & three Easter services to get ready for, a funeral to play for on Sat. morning, am having 10 to dinner tomorrow and taking Fri. supper to our retired pastor and his wife, both recovering from major operations.

        Like

    2. Thanks for the link. It’s an interesting article, and I’ll try to look at it in more detail later, but I did scan a good bit of it and have a few observations:

      1. He’s not a historian, but a computer scientist; and this is not an academic, peer-reviewed article, but an amateur project.

      2. He relies heavily on highly charged, biased, anti-Catholic sources (e.g. “History of Romanism”, “The American Textbook of Popery”, “Popery an Enemy to Civil Liberty”, Ian Paisley, a vehement anti-Catholic Irish Presbyterian caught in the thick of Irish politics and sectarian hatred), misquotations from Catholic sources (his quotes from Robert Bellarmine are either misquoted or invented, and a google search for them only brings up other anti-Catholic quotations), even atheistic and anti-religious sources (e.g. “The Freethinker’s Text-Book”) for his figures. He makes the mistake of believing that they all contain elements of truth (some might, but some certainly don’t). Nearly all of his sources are early 1900s are earlier, and he makes no use of recent historical scholarship. He thinks he can reach an accurate number by averaging and looking for common denominators, when it’s entirely possible that many of these reports were only rumors and inventions or exaggerations that passed from source to source without verification.

      3. He makes a number of other unhistorical assumptions, for example, “If 5 million were killed in Spain alone in the Inquisition, the total for all countries could easily be much higher, because the Inquisition was established in many countries” (p. 37) — which assumes that the Inquisition was the same in every country, when nearly all historians acknowledge that the Spanish Inquisition was a unique case, and that the Inquisition in other countries (particularly in Italy) was relatively benign. He states that “a Bible believing church that is on fire for the Lord will generally grow by at least 5 percent a year” (p. 43), projecting his 21st century understandings of Christianity on past centuries, when the concept of American evangelicalism that he’s operating from has only been around since the mid 19th century.

      4. He includes such a broad array of different events and episodes that all sorts of things count as “papal persecutions”. Crusades (without any distinctions between true enemy combatants and innocents), the Inquisitions, supposed abuses at cloistered convents (from which there are almost no sources, only rumours — they were cloistered, after all) — even indirect evidence from unknown events?

      5. He assumes in Chapter 6 that a decline in population growth is evidence of papal persecution and executions — that just because people weren’t there, they were being killed off in mass numbers by Church, when there are many, reasons for changes in population growth: fluctuations in birth rate (people just weren’t being born at some times, or were being born in baby booms at others), as even the recent history of the U.S. shows; disease (he considers the Black Death, but neither the Black Death or any other disease can be treated as a regular or a one-time event. There were numerous and repeated plagues that affected Europe in the Middle Ages); war (there was never a moment at which there wasn’t a war going on somewhere) — and most of all, the fact that all of these population figures are only estimates, since there was never any organized, thorough, or reliable census in the Middle Ages.

      It’s very easy to google and find these sorts of charges against the Church — they’re everywhere! So if someone wants to believe the worst, there is plenty of it out there. I honestly don’t have any idea of my own what a correct figure would be, but I don’t think this is the right way to go about finding it. A historian has to go back to primary sources, records that were written at the time by people who were there. Recent historians who have gone back and reexamined the Inquisitions have done that. I am not an expert on this period but you’ve gotten me interested and I will try to get a hold of some books to read about it.

      Like

      1. In spite of vowing to put this aside through the weekend, I skimmed your last post, last words of which:
        “I am not an expert on this period but you’ve gotten me interested and I will try to get a hold of some books to read about it”.

        Ever-helpful I point you to some information you can read free. (Though if you can get hold of a copy of J.F. Moxley’s 1970 book, “John Foxe and His Book”, I recommend it.)

        The first link below, I think you might even agree, tries pretty hard to avoid extremes:
        http://monsterwax.tripod.com/inquisition.html

        It links ( in 5th paragraph) to two other online sources: one it describes as ” a hardcore Fundamentalist site on the inquisition, but with detailed sources”. [You’ll have to retrieve the link; I don’t know if Pastor T. has lifted his limit of two links per comment.]

        The second link is to a well-known atheist/humanist–i.e., violently opposed to Christianity in any form–site, and I quote its closing paragraphs:

        ‘The record of Christianity from the days when it first obtained the power to persecute is one of the most ghastly in history. The total number of Manichaeans, Arians, Priscillianists, Paulicians, Bogomiles, Cathari, Waldensians, Albigensians, witches, Lollards, Hussites, Jews and Protestants killed because of their rebellion against Rome clearly runs to many millions; and beyond these actual executions or massacres is the enormously larger number of those who were tortured, imprisoned, or beggared. I am concerned rather with the positive historical aspect of this. In almost every century a large part of the race has endeavored to reject the Christian religion, and, if in those centuries there had been the same freedom as we enjoy, Roman Catholicism would, in spite of the universal ignorance, have shrunk long ago into a sect. The religious history of Europe has never yet been written.

        It is unnecessary to add that the Reformers followed for a time in the bloody footsteps of the Popes. But when Catholic apologists eagerly quote the sentiments of Reformers and the executions of Catholics by Protestants, they betray the usual lack of sense of proportion. A twelve-century-old tradition of religious persecution is not likely to be abandoned in a few decades. This particular kind of savagery, the infliction of a horrible death for opinions, had been introduced into Europe by the Christian leaders — ancient Rome never persecuted for opinion or had any standard of orthodoxy — and it had got into the blood. The killing of men for their beliefs by the early Protestants was murder just as was the killing of men by the Inquisition. It is a mockery to ask us to detect any divine interest in Churches during those fourteen centuries of ghastly injustice and inhumanity.

        And there is this further difference. Protestant Churches have abandoned the principle that you may slay a man for heresy. The English law “De Haeretico Comburendo” (for the burning of heretics), framed and inspired by Roman Catholicism, was abandoned two and a half centuries ago, though the English Church retained absolute power in the land. One may speculate as to whether a Protestant Church might at some time revert to the old ideal, if it had the old power. I think not; but, as no [Reformation] Church ever again will have the power, it is idle to speculate.

        But death for heresy is the actual law of the Roman Catholic Church today. Vacandard and others convey to their non-Catholic readers that Rome has repented like every other Church. Not in the least: it has not sacrificed one syllable of its teaching about heretics. I am under sentence of death in the Canon Law of the Roman Church. I have in my popular work, “The Popes and Their Church, shown that about the end of the last century, when the new generation of apologists were busy with their glosses on the past and their pretty appeals for universal tolerance, a new manual of Church Law, specially authorized by Leo XIII, written by a Papal professor, printed in a Papal press, was published. It was in Latin; and probably few Catholics in America will fail to be astonished to learn that the author states, and proves at great length, that the Church claims and has “the right of the sword” over heretics, and only the perversity of our age prevents it from exercising that right! More recent manuals of Church Law have the same beautiful thesis. It is today the law of the Roman Church. Remember it when you read these subtle Jesuits and eloquent Paulists and unctuous bishops on the “blunders” of the past and the right and duty of toleration today, The Inquisition (the Holy Office) exists. The law exists. And you and I may thank this age of skepticism that we keep our blood in our veins.’
        http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/joseph_mccabe/religious_controversy/chapter_23.html
        ________________________________
        P.S.
        You write that David A. Plaisted “…relies HEAVILY on highly-charged, biased, anti-Catholic sources..”. Are we to infer from this that the sources you rely on are never highly charged, biased, PRO-Catholic? 😀

        Like

  8. Thanks, Pastor Tim. I do appreciate it, and peace be with you. If you’d like, I think you can turn the link limit for comment moderation up from just 2 (5 or 6 ought to be plenty, maybe?). It should be on your Dashboard under Settings -> Discussion.

    Like

  9. phoebehb

    My comment has disappeared. Did I not complete the posting of it (or accidentally delete it)?, or is it “awaiting moderation”? This has never happened to me before.

    Like

    1. Hmm, I’m not sure how it would work on your end. I can see comments of my own that are “awaiting moderation,” but that’s because I have a WordPress.com account and am logged into it. I don’t know whether you have an account or just enter your name and email in the comment. I guess wait and see what Pastor Tim says. If you submitted it and nothing seemed to go wrong, it may still be there.

      Like

      1. phoebehb

        My acct. is also WordPress, but it has never held a comment of mine before. And I carefully limited my links to two (even mentioning that a third link I referred to you’d have to find in the first linked piece because I didn’t know if the two-link rule was still in effect).

        If it’s lost I have it in my Drafts & can repost.

        Like

      2. phoebehb

        Taking a break from cooking. I skimmed your comment and was please to see your last words:
        “I am not an expert on this period but you’ve gotten me interested and I will try to get a hold of some books to read about it.”

        I’ll pray that one of those books is J.F. Moxley’s “John Foxe and His Book” (1970).

        I also think three online articles are worth your time – coming, as they are, from different positions in the debate:

        This first one, I think you might agree, tries pretty hard to avoid extremes:
        http://monsterwax.tripod.com/inquisition.html
        It links (see 5th paragraph) to two other online sources: one it describes as ” a hardcore Fundamentalist site on the inquisition, but with detailed sources” (I won’t give the link in case the 2-link rule is still in effect).

        The second link is to a well-known atheist/humanist site (Infidels.org) and I quote its closing paragraphs:

        ‘The record of Christianity from the days when it first obtained the power to persecute is one of the most ghastly in history. The total number of Manichaeans, Arians, Priscillianists, Paulicians, Bogomiles, Cathari, Waldensians, Albigensians, witches, Lollards, Hussites, Jews and Protestants killed because of their rebellion against Rome clearly runs to many millions; and beyond these actual executions or massacres is the enormously larger number of those who were tortured, imprisoned, or beggared. I am concerned rather with the positive historical aspect of this. In almost every century a large part of the race has endeavored to reject the Christian religion, and, if in those centuries there had been the same freedom as we enjoy, Roman Catholicism would, in spite of the universal ignorance, have shrunk long ago into a sect. The religious history of Europe has never yet been written.

        It is unnecessary to add that the Reformers followed for a time in the bloody footsteps of the Popes. But when Catholic apologists eagerly quote the sentiments of Reformers and the executions of Catholics by Protestants, they betray the usual lack of sense of proportion. A twelve-century-old tradition of religious persecution is not likely to be abandoned in a few decades. This particular kind of savagery, the infliction of a horrible death for opinions, had been introduced into Europe by the Christian leaders — ancient Rome never persecuted for opinion or had any standard of orthodoxy — and it had got into the blood. The killing of men for their beliefs by the early Protestants was murder just as was the killing of men by the Inquisition. It is a mockery to ask us to detect any divine interest in Churches during those fourteen centuries of ghastly injustice and inhumanity.

        And there is this further difference. Protestant Churches have abandoned the principle that you may slay a man for heresy. The English law “De Haeretico Comburendo” (for the burning of heretics), framed and inspired by Roman Catholicism, was abandoned two and a half centuries ago, though the English Church retained absolute power in the land. One may speculate as to whether a Protestant Church might at some time revert to the old ideal, if it had the old power. I think not; but, as no [Protestant] Church ever again will have the power, it is idle to speculate.

        But death for heresy is the actual law of the Roman Catholic Church today. Vacandard and others convey to their non-Catholic readers that Rome has repented like every other Church. Not in the least: it has not sacrificed one syllable of its teaching about heretics. I am under sentence of death in the Canon Law of the Roman Church. I have in my popular work, “The Popes and Their Church”, shown that about the end of the last century, when the new generation of apologists were busy with their glosses on the past and their pretty appeals for universal tolerance, a new manual of Church Law, specially authorized by Leo XIII, written by a Papal professor, printed in a Papal press, was published. It was in Latin; and probably few Catholics in America will fail to be astonished to learn that the author states, and proves at great length, that the Church claims and has “the right of the sword” over heretics, and only the perversity of our age prevents it from exercising that right! More recent manuals of Church Law have the same beautiful thesis. It is today the law of the Roman Church. Remember it when you read these subtle Jesuits and eloquent Paulists and unctuous bishops on the “blunders” of the past and the right and duty of toleration today, The Inquisition (the Holy Office) exists. The law exists. And you and I may thank this age of skepticism that we keep our blood in our veins.’

        http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/joseph_mccabe/religious_controversy/chapter_23.html.
        _________________________

        P.S.
        You write that David A. Plaisted “…relies HEAVILY on highly-charged, biased, anti-Catholic sources..”. Are we to infer from this that the sources you rely on are never highly charged, biased, pro-Catholic? 😀

        Like

  10. phoebehb

    I posted it again. This time it says that my comment is awaiting moderation. A first in all my posting. Go figure.

    Like

      1. phoebehb

        I can still see my (reposted) post, but you apparently can’t. If it is the one that eventually sees the light of day, I see that in it I misspelled the name of the author of a recommended book. It is Mozley, not Moxley.

        Like

  11. phoebehb

    Pastor Timothy, if the first comment is also awaiting moderation, please use the second version instead. I was in a bit of a hurry when I posted the first one. And you can delete all the chatter about what happened to the first one.

    Like

    1. Hmm, it still hasn’t shown up. He must be really busy. Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like. It occurs to me, though, that we’re getting deep off into a rabbit trail. Yes, Catholics have committed injustices in the past. Whether they were Really Big injustices or not quite so big as that, is not something really worth arguing about: I concede, we screwed up. If you want to believe there were millions massacred, you’re entitled to think so. But such a claim makes little sense when one considers what the Church is and what the pope stands for: the Gospel of Christ and the salvation of souls. Even those popes who were corrupt to the teeth and bent on lining their own pockets had that mission in mind: why would anyone want to slaughter the very people they were trying to save? It has little to do, anyway, with the question of whether the Catholic Church was founded by Christ or whether Catholics are Christians.

      Like

Comments are closed.