Friday, October 19, 2012

Pope claimed to be God?


Questions coming from Mr. Vic Kempis:

* “The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth.” Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, “Cities Petrus Bertanous”.

* Pope Nicholas I declared: ” the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who ,being God, cannot be judged by man.”(Labb IX Dist.: 96 Can 7 Satis Evidentur Decret Gratian Primer Para)

* The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, He is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh.” Catholic National July 1895

* “We hold upon this earth the place of Almighty God” Pope Leo XIII Encyclical Letter of June 20,1894

* ” All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope.” On the authority of the Councils,book 2,chapter 17

* The Pope is of so great dignity, and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God,, and the vicar of God.” Ferraris Ecclesiastical dictionary
Did Pope Pius V, Pope Nicholas and other statements that our Popes claimed to be as God?

Alam ko po sa sarili ko na hindi ito totoo pero kailngan ko ng proof na lahat ba ng sinabi ng mga Popes ay totoo? Sinabi po ba nila talaga ito? Sana po masagot nyo po Father Abe kasi humuhina ang faith ko pag nakaka sagap ako ng mga ganitong statements ng mga anti-catholics. Thank you po Father. God Bless you , Mama Mary loves you ! (I know in myself that this is not true but I need proofs if all these were true Popes' statement? Did they really said these? Hope you could answer these Fr. Abe because my faith is getting weaker every time I read these kind of statement coming from Anti-Catholics.)


Since Father Abe is too busy and now his blog was attacked once again by the enemies of Christ let me answer your question by re-posting here a nice argument made by another Catholic defender:


If there is one thing, one argument that some anti-Catholics use that would irk me, it's their trying to prove the "Pope is God" by showing various quotes from (supposedly) Catholic works which show a Pope or a Cleric proclaiming that the Pope is equivalent to and is God Himself under the flesh. I know a few will say, "Come on, these guys have their proof and even provide citations for them! How can you refute these?"

I answer that: While these people may have done a commendable job of trying to provide citations for a statement (a plus point in my book), providing citations is not enough in many cases. I believe that one must also show the statement in question in context (cherry-picking one phrase and interpreting it removed from its context is just intolerable, IMHO), show other related works (if possible) that corroborate the statement, and always provide correct citations. If the Church teaches that the Pope is God in human form, then why doesn't a statement similar to that one appear in the Catechism, where just about all things that Catholics believe in are written? And be better sure that if there is any evidence to the contrary, that it is published in the official Catechism and not in local ones.

Now, let's first address three of these supposed 'quotes', shall we?

1.) These words are written in the Roman Canon Law 1685: "To believethat our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is tobe deemed heretical."Father A. Pereira says: "It is quite certain that Popes have neverapproved or rejected this title 'Lord God the Pope,' for the passage in thegloss referred to appears in the edition of the Canon Law published in Rome in1580 by Gregory XIII."

Quite believable, this one, isn't it? Yet the problem with this quote is:  

1.) Pope Gregory XIII's Canon Law was published in 1582, not 1580 (though this is just a minor quibble).

2.) António Pereira de Figueiredo (1761-1797) was a priest in Lisbon who published many works, including a translation of the Bible and a work entitled Tentativa Theologica (first published in 1766; it is in this work where this quote supposedly appears), in which he attacked the Papal predominancy in Portugal. The work was then translated in Latin, Spanish and Italian and sparked a controversy; eventually because of this, Pereira was excommunicated.

3.) All that Fr. Pereira he says is that the passage in the gloss referred to (in other words, the passage that is referred to in the gloss) appears in the Canon Law edition. He does not say that the gloss itself appears in this edition of the Canon Law (and it doesn't). So, suppose someone were to write a false statement in relation to another written work anywhere, would that affect the truth or otherwise the referenced written work itself?

Now, let's move on:

2.) "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh."-Catholic National, July 1895


Frs. Leslie Rumble and Charles M. Carty already answered this question in volume 2 of their Radio Replies (which were actually transcripts of a 1930's radio program hosted by them), so I would defer to them here:

2-310. Pope Pius X made the blasphemous claim that he was "Jesus Christ hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who speaks."

REPLY: A Protestant paper, the "Church Review," in England, October 3, 1895, charges Cardinal Sarto, Archbishop of Venice, with having uttered those words at Venice. Cardinal Sarto was elected Pope in 1903. But as soon as the charge was made in 1895 that Cardinal Sarto had said those words, inquiries were sent from England to Venice, and Cardinal Sarto produced the manuscript of his discourse. And this is what he actually did say:"The Pope REPRESENTS Jesus Christ Himself, and therefore is a loving father. The life of the Pope is a holocaust of love for the human family. His word is love; love, his weapon; love, the answer he gives to all who hate him; love, his flag, that is, the Cross, which signed the greatest triumph on Earth and in Heaven."


1.) The quote is said to have appeared from an English Protestant publication (October 3, 1895), not a Catholic one. As an aside, that quote had also appeared earlier from another Protestant magazine entitled Evangelical Christendom in January 1 of that year.

2.) The actual words of Cardinal Sarto (later Pope Pius X; he only became Pope in 1903) says that the Pope represents Jesus Christ, not that he is Jesus Christ, as this misquote (and those who use them) loves to say.

3.) I haven't been able to find anything about Catholic National. There is however, a Catholic publication which have the names National Catholic Register which is the oldest Catholic newspaper in the United States; however, this publication was begun in 1927.

Can someone at least show me proof that there was a 19th-century publication entitled Catholic National, and that the quote appeared in there?

3.) "We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty"-Pope Leo XIII Encyclical Letter of June 20, 1894

This one is a classic case of "cherry-picking a quote out of context." The Encyclical mentioned here is Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, which called for the reunion of Eastern and Western churches into the "Unity of the Faith". What then, does the actual Encyclical say?


...A great deal, however, has been wanting to the entire fulness of that consolation. Amidst these very manifestations of public joy and reverence Our thoughts went out towards the immense multitude of those who are strangers to the gladness that filled all Catholic hearts: some because they lie in absolute ignorance of the Gospel; others because they dissent from the Catholic belief, though they bear the same name of Christians. This thought has been, and is, a source of deep concern to Us; for it is impossible to think of such a large portion of mankind deviating, as it were, from the right path, as they move away from Us, and not experience a sentiment of innermost grief. But since We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, and now that Our advanced age and the bitterness of anxious cares urge Us on towards the end common to every mortal, We feel drawn to follow the example of Our Redeemer and Master, Jesus Christ, who when about to return to Heaven, implored of God, His Father, in earnest prayer, that His disciples and followers should be of one mind and of one heart: "I pray...that they all may be one, as thou Father in Me, and I in Thee: that they also may be one in Us." And as this divine prayer and supplication does not include only the souls who then believed in Jesus Christ, but also every one of those who were henceforth to believe in Him, this prayer holds out to Us no indifferent reason for confidently expressing Our hopes, and for making all possible endeavors in order that the men of every race and clime should be called and moved to embrace the unity of divine faith.

Pressed on to Our intent by charity, that hastens fastest there where the need is greatest, We direct Our first thoughts to those most unfortunate of all nations who have never received the light of the Gospel, or who, after having possessed it, have lost it through neglect or the vicissitudes of time: hence do they ignore God, and live in the depths of error. Now, as all salvation comes from Jesus Christ--for there is no other name under Heaven given to men whereby we must be saved--Our ardent desire is that the most holy name of Jesus should rapidly pervade and fill every land.


1.) If the Pope identifies himself as God, then why does he refer to the Lord Jesus as "Our Redeemer and Master?" Surely God cannot have a master as that would imply that there is someone superior to him.

2.) The phrase is interpreted in the wrong sense by many here. In the Catholic point of view, "we hold upon this Earth the place of God" makes perfect sense, as Catholics believe that the Pope is the Vicar (i.e. Representative) of Christ. What does a representative do? He "holds the place" of the person he represents! Far from claiming that he is God in the flesh, Pope Leo is just reaffirming his position as Christ's representative (like a Prime Minister) on Earth.


4.) Pope Nicholas I declared that "the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who being God, cannot be judged by man." (Labb IX Dist.: 96 Can 7 Satis Evidentur Decret Gratian Primer Para)


This is quite similar to an argument Frs. Rumble and Carty answered:

2-311. Pope Nicholas I said that the Pope, being God, is judged by no man.

REPLY: Never did Pope Nicholas I. say that the Pope is God. What he does say is this:"Since those in higher authority are not judged by inferiors, it is evident that the Apostolic See, than which no earthly authority is higher, is judged by none."And that is perfectly sound reasoning. Even in civil law, the king is "above the law," and not subject to his own laws. Hence the legal axiom, "The king can do no wrong." Italy itself has acknowledged the justice of the Pope's claim to be independent of all civil jurisdiction, and subject to no earthly authorities.

If I might add, the citation "Labb IX Dist.: 96 Can 7 Satis Evidentur Decret Gratian Primer Para" is obscure. I checked his opera omnia (whole works) here (based on Migne's Patrologia Latina) and found no document similar to the one above.

UPDATE (2010/10/03): After a bit of research, it now seems to me that the "Gratian Primer Para" refers to the Decretum Gratiani; for those curious about Gratian, see this page; a full text of his Decretum is available here. Lo and behold, after a bit of tweaking I finally found the source of our little quote (courtesy of the Internet ;)): it's from his Decretum, pars prima (Part One), Distinctio XCVI, Canon 7.


Satis euidenter ostenditur, a seculari potestate nec solui prorsus, nec ligari Pontificem, quem constat a pio principe Constantino (quem longe superius memorauimus) Deum appellatum, cum nec posse Deum ab hominibus iudicari manifestum sit. Sed et Theodosius minor sanctae sinodo scribens dixit Ephesinae primae. "Deputatus est igitur Candidianus, magnificentissimus comes strenuorum domesticorum, transire usque ad sanctissimam sinodum uestram, et in nullo quidem, quem faciendae sunt de piis dogmatibus questiones seu potius expositiones, communicare. Illicitum namque est eum, qui non sit in ordine sanctissimorum episcoporum, ecclesiasticis intermisceri tractatibus." (Et post pauca:) §. 1.

His itaque manifestis repertis aparet conministrum Ignatium per inperialem tantummodo sententiam nullo modo potuisse prorsus expelli. In cuius dampnatione quia presulum quoque assensus est subsecutus, aparet fuisse patratum id causa adulationis, non legitimae sanctionis.

Part II


1.): "The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth."
-Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, "Cities Petrus Bertanous," attributed to Pope Pius V.


This seems to be another case of 'hiding behind the curtain of obscurity' as we are merely given the author's surname of Barclay, with no reference to a book title.

As for the identity of this mysterious 'Petrus Bertanous', this author personally tends to believe that this refers to a certain 16th-century Dominican named Petrus Bertanus Fanensis (aka Pietro Bertano; November 4, 1501, Nonantola-March 8, 1558, Rome), who once served as bishop (later cardinal) of Fano in Italy -- the present-day diocese of Fano-Fossombrone-Cagli-Pergola -- and who, among with other Dominicans, was apparently one of the leading prelates at the council of Trent and was an orator and advocate at that same council.

During the papacy of Pope Julius III (who reconvened the second period of the Tridentine council in 1551 after Pope Paul III died in November 10th 1549 at the behest of Emperor Charles V/Charles I of Spain), who entered into a league against the duke of Parma and Henry II of France (1547–59), the Emperor's party requested that Julius admit eight people into the college of Cardinals. Four of them are to be named immediately and the other four are to be reserved in petto until conditions became more favorable; one of those whom they requested to be named immediately is Bertano, who was a member of the imperial party. Eventually he, along with thirteen others, were made cardinals on November 20, 1551, as a sign of reassurance to Charles (especially considering that all fourteen were favorable towards him).

While at first glance this connection may seem plausible (considering that both Pius V and Bertano were both Dominicans), we have to consider the following:

1.) This quote is attributed to Pope Pius V by "Bertanous" (sic). However, Michele Ghislieri O.P. only ascended to the Chair of Peter in January 7, 1566, about eight years after Pietro Bertano died. How could someone who is not then a pope make a statement about the papacy, much less someone who was dead at the time Ghislieri became pope?

2.) Considering that at the time Fra Pietro is still alive, Fra Michele still does not have the power of pronouncing ex cathedra statements - as he was not pope yet - are there chances that his statement (let's suppose for a moment that his "words" are true and are either not a misquote, mistranslation, or just flat-out made up) are actually reflective of official Church teaching?

3.) Are there any more reliable and independent sources for this quote, if any, aside from this rather obscure (and badly-titled) one?

Some sources for this 'quote' add the following phrase: "Cardinal Cusa (i.e. Nicholas of Kues) supports this statement." Now, are there any contents from Cardinal Nicholas' work which support this quote? Here is a chronological listing of Nicholas of Cusa's works. If anyone can point out a paragraph or a sentence in his works (if anyone has them) which says very much the same thing as above (preferably the original Latin included), I'll be glad to put that up.


2.) "The supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires... complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself." Leo VIII, «On the Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens», Encyclical letter, 1890

We will ignore the minor typo (the pope at this time is supposed to be Leo XIII, not the VIII) and go straight to tackle this one.

The quote in the actual encyclical (called Sapientiae Christianae in Latin), paragraph 22, says the following:


Now, as the Apostle Paul urges, this unanimity ought to be perfect. Christian faith reposes not on human but on divine authority, for what God has revealed "we believe not on account of the intrinsic evidence of the truth perceived by the natural light of our reason, but on account of the authority of God revealing, who cannot be deceived nor Himself deceive."(24)

It follows as a consequence that whatever things are manifestly revealed by God we must receive with a similar and equal assent. To refuse to believe any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all, for those at once destroy the very groundwork of faith who deny that God has spoken to men, or who bring into doubt His infinite truth and wisdom.

To determine, however, which are the doctrines divinely revealed belongs to the teaching Church, to whom God has entrusted the safekeeping and interpretation of His utterances. But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself. This obedience should, however, be perfect, because it is enjoined by faith itself, and has this in common with faith, that it cannot be given in shreds; nay, were it not absolute and perfect in every particular, it might wear the name of obedience, but its essence would disappear. Christian usage attaches such value to this perfection of obedience that it has been, and will ever be, accounted the distinguishing mark by which we are able to recognize Catholics.

Admirably does the following passage from St. Thomas Aquinas set before us the right view: "The formal object of faith is primary truth, as it is shown forth in the holy Scriptures, and in the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the fountainhead of truth. It follows, therefore, that he who does not adhere, as to an infallible divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the primary truth manifested in the holy Scriptures, possesses not the habit of faith; but matters of faith he holds otherwise than true faith. Now, it is evident that he who clings to the doctrines of the Church as to an infallible rule yields his assent to everything the Church teaches; but otherwise, if with reference to what the Church teaches he holds what he likes but does not hold what he does not like, he adheres not to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will."

Even a cursory reading of the Encyclical would show that Pope Leo XIII refers to God as if He was a separate entity - quite unlikely if you're claiming to be God in human flesh!

Now, obedience to the pope "as to God Himself" may make some feel queasy. But once again, from a Catholic lens, this is not too surprising. After all, since Catholics believe that God commissioned the Pope as his visible vicar (representative) in the government of the Church, it would not be repugnant to render submission or obedience to him, just as it would not be repugnant to listen to a king's representative and obey what he orders in the king's name. Still, (contrary to what some may think) we need to stress once again that Catholics do not hold the Pope as being equal or even superior to God, as his title Vicar of Christ shows. Think about this for a moment. How can a vicar, or a representative be superior to the one who has sent him? "No servant is greater than his master" indeed.


3): "All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope."
-On the Authority of the Councils, book 2, chapter 17



This one already appeared in 19th century anti-Catholic works, such as Theological discourses on important subjects, doctrinal and practical by James Thomson, 'Minister at Quarrelwood', and Letters in the Roman Catholic Controversy by William Brownlee, 'Of the Collegiate Protestant Reformed Dutch Church' in New York, where it is attributed to Cardinal Robert Bellarmine. By the way, for those seeking the work where all this appears - which is part of his famous Disputationes, it could be found in this link (which also contains all, or most of, Cardinal Bellarmine's work) under the title Controversiarum de Conciliis, Liber Secundis: Qui est de Conciliorum Auctoritate.

The quote - and the context in which it appears - can be found in chapter 17, entitled Summum Pontificem absolute esse supra Concilium, with the quote in bold. The English translation is courtesy of Mr. Edwin Woodruff Tait (to whom I owe a lot and would like to express sincere gratitude); his remarks within the text are enclosed in brackets.

Tertia Prepositio. << Summus Pontifex simpliciter et absolute est supra Ecclesiam universam, et supra Concilium generale, ita ut nullum in terris supra se judicium agnoscat. >> Haec etiam est fere de fide; et probatur primo ex duabus praecedentibus: nam si Papa est caput Ecclesiae universae, etiam simul congregatae, et Ecclesia universa etiam simul congregata non habet ullam potestatem ratione suae totalitatis; sequitur Papam supra Concilium esse, et supra Ecclesiam, non contra.

Secunde probatur ratione, in Scripturis fundata; nam omnia nomina, quae in Scripturis tribuuntur Christo, unde constat eum esse supra Ecclesiam, eadem omnia tribuuntur Pontifici. Ac primum, Christ est paterfamilias in domo sua, quae est Ecclesia, Pontifex in eadem est summus oeconomus, id est, paterfamilias loco Christi, Lucae XII: Quis est fidelis dispensator, et prudens, quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam, etc. Hic enim per dispensatorem, sive oeconomum, ut Graece habetur, intelligunt Episcopum. Ambrosius in hunc locum, et Hilarius, et Hieronymus in cap. XXIV Matth. ubi similis habetur sententia. Et quamvis Patres non loquantur expresse de Episcopo Romano, tamen sine dubio sententia Scripturae illa est; ut Episcopi particulares sunt summi oeconomi in suis Ecclesiis, ita esse Episcopum Romanum in Ecclesia universa. Unde Ambrosius in illud I. Tim. III.: Ut scias quomodo te oporteat conversari in domo Dei etc. << Domus Dei, inquit, Ecclesia dicitur, cujus hodie rector est Damasus. >> Et Chrysostomus lib. II De Sacerdotio circa initium, hunc ipsum locum: Quis est fidelis servus, etc. de Petro exponit.

Quod autem oeconomus summus sit supra familiam, et ab ea judicari, ac puniri non possit, patet ex hoc eodem loco, Dominus enim ait: Quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam. Et ibidem: Quod si dixerit servus ille in corde suo, moram facit Dominus meus venire et coeperit percutere servos, et ancillas, edere, et bibere, et inebriari, veniet Dominus servi illius in die, qua non sperat, et dividet eum, partemque ejus cum infidelibus ponet. Ubi vides Dominum servare suo judicio servum illum, et non committere judicio familiae. Idem etiam docet usus omnium familiarum; nulla enim familia est, in qua liceat inferioribus famulis etiam simul congregatis punire, vel expellere oeconomum, etiamsi pessimus sit, id enim ad solum Dominum totius familiae pertinet.

Alterum nomen Christi est Pastor, Joannis X: Ego sum pastor bonus, etc. Idem communicat Petro, Joan. ult., Pasce oves meas. Constat autem pastorem ita praeese ovibus, ut nullo modo ab eis judicari possit.

Tertium est, Caput corporis Ecclesiae, Ephes. IV idem communicat Petro, ut habemus in Concilio Chalcedonsi, act. 3. ubi legati sententiam pronuntiant in Dioscorum, et in epist. Concilii ad Leonem. Porro caput a membris regi, et non ea potius regere, contra naturam est, sicut etiam est contra naturam, quod membra sibi caput praecidant, cum forte graviter aegrotat.

Quartum est, Vir, seu sponsus, Ephes. V: Viri diligite uxores vestras, sicut et Christus dilexit Ecclesiam, et seipsum tradidit pro ea, etc. Idem convenit Petro, nam in Concilio general Lugdunensi, ut habetur cap. Ubi periculum, de elect. in 6. loquens Concilium de electione Romani Pontificis: << Acceleret, inquit, utilis per necessaria totius mundi provisio; idoneo celeriter eidem Ecclesiae sponso dato. >> Est autem contra Apostolum Ephes. V et contra naturae ordinem, ut sponsa praesit sponso, et non potius subsit.

_________________________________________

Third proposition: “The Supreme Pontiff is simply and absolutely over the universal Church, and over a general Council, so that he recognizes no judicial authority on earth over himself.” This is almost de fide, [necessary to be believed as a dogma of the faith] and is proved first of all from the two preceding points: for if the Pope is the head of the universal Church, even when it is gathered together at one time, and if the universal Church even gathered together at one time has no power by reason of its totality;[1] it follows that the Pope is over the Council, and over the Church, not the other way around.

It is proved by the second reason, based in Scripture: for all the names, ascribed to Christ in Scripture, from which it is determined that he is over the Church—those same names are ascribed to the Pontiff. [2] And first, Christ is the paterfamilias [male head of the household] in his own house, which is the Church. The Pope is the highest steward in the same house, that is, the household head in Christ’s place: Luke 12: “Who is the faithful and prudent dispenser, whom the Lord has set over his household, etc.” Here by “dispenser,” or “steward” [oeconomus], as the Greek has it, they [the Fathers?] understand the Bishop. See Ambrose commenting on this passage, and Hilary, and Jerome in chap. 24 of Matthew where there is a similar statement. And although the Fathers do not speak expressly about the Roman Bishop, nonetheless that passage of Scripture undoubtedly means: as the particular Bishops are highest stewards in their Churches, so the Bishop of Rome is in the universal Church. Whence Ambrose on that passage of 1 Timothy 3: “That you may know how you ought to act in the house of God,” etc, says: “The house of God, he says, is called the Church, whose ruler today is Damasus.” [Damasus, as you no doubt know, was the Pope in Ambrose’s day.] And Chrysostom in book 2 of On the Priesthood around the beginning, talking about this same passage: “Who is a faithful slave,” etc., expounds it as being about Peter.

But that the highest steward is over the household, and cannot be judged or punished by it, is evident from this same passage. For the Lord says: “Whom the Lord has established over his household.” And in the same place: “If that slave should say in his heart, ‘My Lord is delaying his coming,’ and should begin to beat the slaves and the maids, to eat, to drink, and to get drunk, then the Lord of that slave will come in a day in which he is not looking, and will cut him up and allot his inheritance among the unfaithful.” (Luke 12:45-46) Here you see that the Lord preserves that slave for his own judgment, and does not hand him over to the judgment of the household. The custom of all households teaches the same thing; for there is no household in which it is allowed for the inferior members of the household (even gathered together at one time) to punish or expel the steward, even if he should be a really bad one—for that pertains only to the Lord of the whole household.

Another name of Christ is “Shepherd” [Pastor]. John 10: “I am the good shepherd,” etc. He shares this title [literally “communicates the same thing”] with Peter in the last chapter of John: Feed my sheep. He thus establishes that the shepherd is over the sheep, so that in no way he can be judged by them.

The third is: “Head of the body of the Church,” Eph. 4. He shares this title with Peter, as we find in the third act of the Council of Chalcedon, where the legates pronounce sentence on Dioscorus, and in the letter of the Council to Leo. Further it is against nature for the head to be ruled by the members and not rather to rule them, just as it is against nature that the members should cut off their own head, even if it should perhaps be gravely sick.

The fourth is “Husband,” or “spouse,” Eph. 5: “Husbands love your wives, just as also Christ loved the Church, and handed himself over for her,” etc. This same title applies to Peter, for in the general Council of Lyons, chapter 6 “Ubi periculum” [Where there is danger] regarding election, the Council says with regard to the election of the Roman Pontiff: “Let the useful and most necessary provision be hastened on the part of the whole world; thus may a spouse be given quickly to the Church.” But it is against the Apostle (Eph. 5) and against the order of nature, that the wife should be over the husband, and not rather be subject.

[1] I’ve translated this in a woodenly literal way, because without the previous section I can’t be sure what he means. I think he’s saying that the whole Church can’t have authority over itself.

[2] I’ve translated this “all the names, ascribed to Christ in Scripture, from which” rather than “all the names which are ascribed to Christ in Scripture, whence” in order to make it clear that Bellarmine is talking about a particular category of names. He is not saying without qualification that we can say anything about the Pope that we say about Christ. He’s talking about the names of Christ that indicate His authority over the Church.


Note the difference between what Bellarmine actually says when his quote is in its proper context. Far from claiming that the Pope is God, Bellarmine is here emphasizing how the Pope occupies the highest rank in the Church as its "high steward" and "shepherd" representing the pater-familias and the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus. Also, take notice how a single translation can change the whole meaning.

11 comments:

  1. I am glad that you did a research on this. This objection has been answered repeatedly and it still comes out from time to time. Good work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, I have come in quite late on this one... hoping you will somehow see this message and have the opportunity to respond.

    Thank you for your research, it was very informative. Let us turn away from quotes written by man now, and look at the Bible itself:

    "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son. thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts. Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" - Mark 2:5-8

    What did the Jews define as blasphemy here? What they saw as a mere man claiming to be able to forgive Sins. Now Jesus Himself was able to forgive sins, as he was God, but why do we need to confess our sins to a Priest to be forgiven? Can a Priest do the works of God? No, this is blasphemy.

    Next point I would like to raise is from Timothy:

    "Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" - 1 Timothy 4:1-3

    Forbidding to marry - I would like to hear from your point of view why the Catholic church forbids marriage for Cardinals, Priests, etc., when it is clearly mentioned in the Bible that this is a doctrine of the devil?

    Current Church Law Regarding Fasting:

    The Church used to prescribe very rigorous rules for the Lenten fast (including abstinence from all meat and eating only one meal per day). The current rules, however, are much more lax. Catholics are only required to fast on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and on Good Friday, the day that Jesus Christ was crucified. Anyone over the age of 18, but under the age of 60, should eat only one full meal on those days, although they can also have small amounts of food in the morning and the evening.

    The word fast in the Bible is from the Hebrew word sum, meaning "to cover" the mouth, or from the Greek word nesteuo , meaning "to abstain." For spiritual purposes, it means to go without eating and drinking" - Esther 4:16

    So the Catholic law asks people to abstain from certain foods and dictates how many meals per day, etc. What is fasting? Abstaining from all food or drink for a period of time, not certain meats (foods) as Timothy explains will be a doctrine of the devil.

    Interested to hear your view on this.

    Maria

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  3. First of all I would like to thank you for this wonderful comment of yours. Let see. In Mark 2:5-8 a certain group of religious leaders (scribes) was witnessing an event that according to them is tantamount to blasphemy,

    “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

    But Christ answered them:

    “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the [[ Son of Man ]] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” (see also Matthew 9:6 “But I want you to know that the [[ Son of Man ]] has authority on earth to forgive sins.”)

    The Hebrew title He used was "ben Adam" [בן־אדם] meaning [[ "Son of Adam." ]] This was the Hebrew word for "a human being." The question now is why Christ did not address his self as [[ Son of God ]] which he commonly used also? It is worthy to note that Christ wanted to draw attention on how the New Covenant will work in connection with the Old: He emphasize that a Human Being can be used as instrument to forgive sin and to reconciliation a fellow man with God.

    John 20:19-23 “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    Can a Priest do the works of Christ? YES. This is NOT A blasphemy.

    Leviticus 5:1-19 : [T]his is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord.

    [T]hrough this process the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.

    [T]hrough this process, the priest will purify those who are guilty of any of these sins, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the flour will belong to the priest, just as with the grain offering.”

    [W]hen you give the payment to the priest, he will purify you with the ram sacrificed as a guilt offering, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.

    [T]hrough this process the priest will purify you from your unintentional sin, making you right with the Lord, and you will be forgiven.

    Hoping that you’re not a Scribes. Limited box minded person. LOL

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    Replies
    1. I am the way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me. Jn 14:6

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    2. and who says that no one can be a collaborator by Christ?

      New International Version 2 Corinthians 5:20:
      We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

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  4. On 1 Timothy 4:1-3? Forbidding to Marry and abstaining from Meat?

    Well, Matrimony is a holy sacrament in our Church; in fact The number of marriages being celebrated in our Church is the highest according to numbers compare to the other religious organization in the world. So how come that you came into a conclusion that we forbid someone to marry?

    Priestly Celibacy? No one is required to take a vow of celibacy; those who do, do so voluntarily. Celibacy is biblical:


    Matthew 19:11–12: But he said to them, "Not everyone can accept this saying, except those to whom celibacy has been granted, because some men are celibate from birth, while some are celibate because they have been made that way by others. Still others are celibate because they have made themselves that way for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."

    Apostle Paul also testify that he is celibate for the sake of the kingdom of God, he even exalted himself by saying he who marries does well and those who refrains from marriage will do better.

    1 Corinthians 7:8 "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I am.

    verse 38: He who marries "does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better" (1Corinthians 7:1-2, 6-9, 32-35, 38)


    Commanding to abstain from meats (Lent)? – The Fasting

    That is why the LORD says, "Turn to me now, while there is time! Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. [Joel 2:12]

    So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I wore rough sackcloth and sprinkled myself with ashes. [Daniel 9:3]

    The people returned for another observance. This time they fasted and dressed in sackcloth and sprinkled dust on their heads. [Nehemiah 9:1]

    Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church and prayed for them with fasting, turning them over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had come to trust. [Acts 14:23]

    And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. [Ester 4:3]

    When I weep and fast before the LORD, they scoff at me. When I dress in sackcloth to show sorrow, they make fun of me. I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunkards sing about me. But I keep right on praying to you, LORD, hoping this is the time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. [Psalm 69:10-13]

    So you go to the Temple on the next day of fasting, and read the messages from the LORD that are on this scroll. On that day people will be there from all over Judah. [Jeremiah 36:6]

    You see, Maria. IT IS NOT IN CONTRARY TO THE TEACHING OF CHRIST. It was you who might be blinded by some group whose intention is to deceive people and suck their blood for family business’ own sake.


    Related article: http://catholicpoint.blogspot.com/2012/07/1timothy-43-and-gnostic-docetism-heresy.html

    http://catholicpoint.blogspot.com/2012/03/lenten-season.html

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    1. Hi c.pio,

      First of all, I would like to thank you so much for your response. I wasn’t expecting the conversation to continue after such a long time, and I’m grateful for your time and attention.
      I read back on my post, and see I was just as a Pharisee, pointing the finger instead of asking humbly, so for this I do apologise, and hope we can continue the discussion in a way where people (including ourselves) can work together towards the truth of The Word, rather than squabble over it.

      I would like to respond with a few verses (sorry, this is going to be long!):

      And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32

      Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. – Luke 17:3-4

      Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. – Colossians 3:13

      For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: - Matthew 6:14

      Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. – Matthew 18:21-22

      Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: - Luke 6:37

      Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. – James 5:16

      Looking at these verses, could it be argued that in Matthew 9:6 Jesus was teaching us forgiveness of one another’s trespasses only? That Jesus was explaining the power of forgiveness?

      Furthermore:

      I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. – Psalm 32:5

      For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5

      My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: - 1 John 2:1

      Looking at the two verses from the NT I have listed above; Jesus is our mediator and advocate in Heaven.

      If we go a little deeper, into Hebrews:

      Wherefore, holy brethren, parktakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Hebrews 3:1

      From the Dake Annotated Reference Bible:

      VI Christ greater than earthly priests (Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10; 7:1 – 8:6).
      1 Because He is an heavenly High Priest, sinless, and able to deliver (3:1)
      2 Because other priests are earthly, sinful, and helpless to save (7:23, 27-28)
      3 Because He is a Priest after a higher order than that of Aaron (6:20; 7:1-11; 20-28; 8:1-13)
      4 Because He is perfect and able to save all men but other priests cannot (7:25-28; 8:1-6; 9:6-28; 10:10-23)

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    2. Eunuch – “An emasculated man, usually one castrated before puberty”

      Castration was typically carried out on the soon-to-be eunuch without his consent in order that he might perform a specific social function; this was common in many societies. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 21st century BC.[1][2] Over the millennia since, they have performed a wide variety of functions in many different cultures: courtiers or equivalent domestics, treble singers, religious specialists, government officials and guardians of women or harem servants.

      However, the verses you have pointed out from 1 Corinthians do hold weight, and I won’t disagree with that.

      Fasting:

      Refraining from eating food. The Bible describes three main forms of fasting:

      1) The Normal Fast, involving the total abstinence of food. Luke 4:2 reveals that Jesus “did eat nothing.” Afterwards “He was hungered.” Jesus abstained from food but not from water.

      2) In Acts 9:9 we read of an Absolute Fast where for three days He “neither did eat nor drink.” The abstinence from both food and water seems to have lasted no more than three days (Ezra 10:6; Esther 4:16).

      3) The Partial Fast—in Daniel 10:3 the emphasis is upon the restriction of diet rather than complete abstinence. The context implies that there were physical benefits resulting from this partial fast. However, this verse indicates that there was a revelation given to Daniel as a result of this time of fasting.

      Fasting is the laying aside of food for a period of time when the believer is seeking to know God in a deeper experience. It is to be done as an act before God in the privacy of one's own pursuit of God (Exodus 34:28; 1 Samuel 7:6; 1 Kings 19:8; Matthew 6:17).

      Fasting is to be done with the object of seeking to know God in a deeper experience (Isaiah 58:1; Zechariah 7:5). Fasting relates to a time of confession (Psalms 69:10). Fasting can be a time of seeking a deeper prayer experience and drawing near to God in prevailing prayer (Ezra 8:23; Joel 2:12). The early church often fasted in seeking God's will for leadership in the local church (Acts 13:2).

      Based on this, I don’t see the benefit of having set days for fasting where everyone is aware of each other’s fast, as it should be done in secret. I also don’t see the benefit of dictating rules around which days are for fasting, when it is an act to grow a deeper personal experience with God.

      I look forward to your response, as I don’t claim to know all, and am always seeking more wisdom from my Father. I believe it is important to share with brothers and sisters in Christ as part of our mutual learning.

      May the Lord be with you,

      Maria

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  5. Hi Sis. Maria,

    Me too, happy to have a nice and expecting a profound exchanges with you. But be patient, sometimes I’m too busy attending some errands and I have no extra time to accommodate you right away.

    Let’s get one misunderstanding out of the way first. My argument does not mean that Priest can forgive sin on its own; Only God can do that, BUT this could not be mean that a Priest has no power to confer the forgiveness of Christ (True God and True Man) that I am going discuss below.

    Now, let’s go straight to your main argument against confession of sin to a Priest.

    In John 20:19-23 Christ said “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    In verse 21 Christ says, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." It is very clear; Christ is giving his apostles the same authority that he received from his Father. But what authority did Christ receive from his Father that he was talking about here? This power is specific to sin. "Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven." In your earlier post you quote Mark 2:5-8 and I expand it to verse 10 wherein Christ said, So I will prove to you that the [[Son of Man]] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” So now, in John 20:21, he is giving that same authority to his apostles.

    You see, priest has the authority to confer or convey the forgiveness of God (not by his own authority but by the power that Christ conferred to him, as the Father sent him, so he send them (as recorded in John 20:19-23).


    One good example here is what Paul did to Corinthians. Paul, (in the name of Christ), exercised the power of forgiving and retaining the sin against incestuous Corinthians:

    In 1 Cor 3, Paul says: "I have already judged him that hath done so"

    In 2 Cor 2:10, Paul justifies his forgiveness of the repentant man by saying "If I have pardoned anything, I have done it in the person of Christ".


    [Jesus is our mediator and advocate in Heaven.]

    ABSOLUTELY CORRECT Sister Maria,

    The Priest does not redeem us; he (Priest) is but an agent assigned and empowered by the one Mediator (Christ); as I have already shown.

    In 2 Cor 5:18, Paul writes: "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation". And in 2 Cor 5:20, Paul confirms "So we are ambassadors for Christ."

    You might ask, Why not confess our sins directly to God in prayer?

    Our Church does not deny that sins will be forgiven via prayer directly to God; however, through the sacrament of confession (established by Christ) one is assured that his sins are forgiven; he does not have to rely on a subjective "feeling." Lastly, the repentance can also obtain sound advice on avoiding sin in the future.

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  6. On Fasting

    you said [Based on this, I don’t see the benefit of having set days for fasting where everyone is aware of each other’s fast, as it should be done in secret. I also don’t see the benefit of dictating rules around which days are for fasting, when it is an act to grow a deeper personal experience with God.]


    Sister Maria, I would like to thank you on your keen observation about fasting when you cited the following verses:

    Fasting is to be done with the object of seeking to know God in a deeper experience (Isaiah 58:1; Zechariah 7:5). Fasting relates to a time of confession (Psalms 69:10). Fasting can be a time of seeking a deeper prayer experience and drawing near to God in prevailing prayer (Ezra 8:23; Joel 2:12). The early church often fasted in seeking God's will for leadership in the local church (Acts 13:2).


    Fasting same like a Sunday worship; it has specific days in a week, but you can still worship God anytime, any place. Fasting in our Church are required every Friday:

    The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent. . . . (CIC 1251-1253)

    So, as you said, and I flipped it back,, I don’t see the benefit of having set days for [worshiping] where everyone is aware of each other’s prayers, as it should be done in secret. I also don’t see the benefit of dictating rules around which days are for [worshipping], when it is an act to grow a deeper personal experience with God.

    Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

    Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

    Even God prescribe specific days and time for some occasion (eg. Passover Meal)



    May God always bless you and your Family.



    c.pio

    ReplyDelete

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