"In the true nature of things every
green tree is far more glorious
than if it were made of gold and
1517 Martin Luther nails ninety-five theses to the Cathedral
door condemning the Thirty Years' War giving rise the the Refomation and the
Catholic have, with great adroitness, drawn three walls round themselves.
Firstly, if pressed by the temporal power, they have affirmed and maintained
that the temporal power has no jurisdiction over them, but, on the contrary,
that the spiritual power is above the temporal.
Secondly, if it were
proposed to admonish them with the Scriptures, they objected that no one may
interpret the Scriptures but the Pope.
Thirdly, if they are threatened with a council, they pretend that no
one may call a council but the Pope. Thus they have stolen our three rods and
intrenched themselves behind these three walls, to act with all the wickedness
and malice, which we now witness.
If a little
company of pious Christian laymen were taken prisoners and carried away to a
desert, and had not among them a priest consecrated by a bishop, and were there
to agree to elect one of them, born in wedlock or not, and were to order him to
baptize, to celebrate the mass, to absolve, and to
preach, this man would as truly be a
priest, as if all the bishops and all the popes had consecrated him. That is
why in cases of necessity every man can baptize and absolve, which would not be
possible if we were not all priests. This
great grace and virtue of
baptism and of the Christian estate they have quite destroyed and made us
forget by their ecclesiastical law.
indeed, past bearing that the spiritual law should esteem so highly the
liberty, life, and property of the clergy, as if laymen
were not as good spiritual Christians, or not equally members of the Church.
Whence comes this great difference among equal Christians? Simply from human
laws and inventions.
It is a wickedly devised fable, they cannot quote a
single letter to confirm it, that it is for the Pope alone to
interpret the Scriptures or to confirm
the interpretation of them.
Though they say that this authority was given to St. Peter when the
keys were given to him, it is plain
enough that the keys were not given to
St. Peter alone, but to the whole community. They must needs acknowledge that
there are pious Christians among us that have
the true faith, spirit, understanding,
word, and mind of Christ.
As for their boasts of their authority, that no one must
oppose it, this is idle talk. No one in the Christian Church has any authority
to do harm, or to forbid others
to prevent harm being done.
There is no authority in the Church but for reformation. Therefore if the Pope
wished to use his power to prevent the calling of a free council, so as to
prevent the reformation of the Church, we must not respect him or his power;
and if he should begin to excommunicate and fulminate, we must
despise this as the doings of a madman, and,
trusting in God, excommunicate and repel
him as best we may. For this his usurped power is nothing; he does not possess
it, and he is at once overthrown by a text from the Scriptures.
Let us now consider the matters which should be treated
in the councils, and with which popes, cardinals, bishops, and all
learned men should engage themselves day
and night, if they compassion Christ.
Let us rouse ourselves, fellow
Germans, and stand in
awe of God more than man, that we be not answerable for all the poor
souls that are so miserably lost
through the wicked, devilish government of
the Roman Catholic, and
that the dominion of the
devil should not grow day by day, if indeed this hellish
government can grow any worse, which, for
my part, I can neither conceive nor
believe.If this resembles the poverty
of Jesus and St. Peter, it is a new sort of resemblance.
The see of avarice
and robbery at Rome is unwilling
to wait for the benefices to fall in one after another by means of the
Pope's month; and in order to get them into its
insatiable maw as speedily as possible, they have devised the plan of taking
living and benefices in three other ways:
First, if the incumbent of a
free living dies at Rome or on his way thither, his living remains for ever the
property of the see of Rome, or I
rather should say, the see of robbers,
though they will not let us call them robbers, as though no one has ever heard
or read of such robbery.
Secondly, if a "servant" of the Pope or of one of the cardinals takes a
living, or if, having a living, he becomes a "servant" of the Pope or of a
cardinal, the living remains with Rome. Who can count the "servants" of the
Pope and his cardinals, seeing that if he goes out riding, he is attended by
three or four thousand mule riders, more than any
emperor? For Jesus and Saint Peter
went on foot, in order that their vice regents might indulge the better in all
manner of pomp.
Thirdly, whenever there is any dispute about a
benefice; and this is, I think, well nigh the broadest and commonest road by
which benefices are brought to Rome. For where there is no dispute numberless
knaves can be found in Rome who are ready to scrape up disputes, and attack the
living wherever they like. In this way many a good priest loses his living, or
has to buy off the dispute for a time with a sum of money. These benefices,
confiscated by right or
wrong of dispute, are to be forever the
property of the see of Rome. It would be no
wonder, if God were to
rain sulphur and fire from heaven and cast
Rome down into the pit, as God did formerly to Sodom and Gomorrah. What is the
use of a Pope in the Kingdom of Christ, if the only use made of his power is to
commit these supreme villainies under his protection and assistance?
princes and sirs, how long will
you suffer your lands and your people to be the prey of these
Pope has built a special house for this fine traffic the house of the Datarius
at Rome. Thither all must come that bargain in this way, for prebends and
benefices; from him they must buy the glosses and obtain the
right to practice such prime
villainy. In former days it was fairly well at Rome, when justice had to be
bought, or could only be put down by money; but now she has become so
fastidious that she does not allow anyone to commit villainies unless he has
first bought the right to do it with great
sums. If this is not a house of prostitution, worse than all houses of
prostitution that can be conceived, I do not know what houses of prostitution
- excerpt from Martin Luther's Address to the Christian
Nobility of the German nation
"On the evening of Saturday April 2, 2005, after
receiving the Rite of Extreme Unction, Pope John Paul II passed away. At this
time his chamberlain would have gone to the papal hospital bed and asked the
Bishop of Rome a question, "Are you dead?" There would be no reply from the
Pope. The chamberlain would then pick up a silver hammer and strike the Pope on
the head and repeat his question, "Are you dead?" Again there would be no
reply. The chamberlain would then thrice call out baptismal name of the Pope.
He would then declare the Pope to be dead. This is the way the Church has
determined papal deaths for centuries. This is the way of the world's oldest
Since 1763 the august Almanach de Gotha has been the ultimate
authority on the royal houses of Europe. Listed under 'Reigning Sovereign
Houses' is the Holy See. Therein is stated, "the incumbent of the Holy See is
considered by Christian sovereign families as the 'Father of the Family of
Kings,' his Holiness represents the OLDEST MONARCHY on earth."
triple sovereignty of the Pope-Person, Holy See & Vatican City - is
distinct in fact and in law. Internationally, he is not subject to any
authority on Earth. His Cardinals are considered to be Princes of the Church
and peers of the sons of reigning monarchs. Each diocese is considered to be a
royal fiefdom. The word 'diocese' originally signified an administrative unit
devised by the Emperor Diocletian, a
tyrant noted for his persecution of Christians." - Mark Owen
Catholic doctrine of mental reservation
For over seven hundred years
there has been a doctrine within the Catholic Church called "mental
reservation." The idea of "mental reservation" harkens back to a time when
there were two separate court systems - ecclesiastical courts run by the church
and civil courts run be the state.
Over seven hundred years ago the
idea of "mental reservation" was created to protect the Catholic Church in
civil court. The doctrine of "mental reservation" claims that it is
morally justifiable to lie in order to
protect the reputation of the institutionalized Catholic Church.
doctrine has been used quite extensively in modern times to protect the
Catholic Church from civil allegations that the institution of the Catholic
Church allowed recognized pedophiles to continue to work with children.
When a priest or nun
is questioned about acts of clergy that would be considered heinous, such as
pedophila, the priest or nuns are counseled by the
institutionalized Catholic Church that
lying is morally justifible, not a
sin, under the doctrine of "mental
"I'm certain there are many Catholics who have never heard of
the doctrine of mental reservation. Let's call it what it truly is. It is
standing in a public forum, swearing to one's God to tell the truth and then
lying." - Victoria Martin
"Lying to protect the church's reputation in
sex abuse cases is a moral
issue. Victims of sexual abuse by priests
suffer lifelong trauma. Mental reservation to protect the church is
immoral." - Marie Pietrasant
"As a Catholic, I am dismayed and ashamed
to learn that cardinals vow that they will never tell secrets 'the
revelation of which could cause damage or
dishonor to the Holy Church.' There can be nothing more damaging to the church
than to find that, for the Vatican hierarchy, the institution is more important
than the well-being of children in the care of its priests. We can only wonder
what other secrets are being kept that would cause damage and dishonor to the
church." - Doris Isolini Nelson
2007 Los Angeles
Archdiocese agrees to pay $660 million to settle claims of sexual abuse
committed by priests on children.
horrified and angered to
tears at the
hypocrisy and enormity of the
sexual abuse that took place in the
Archdiocese of Los Angeles over the last 70 years: 570
victims abused by 221 priests." - Jerry
"Those who suffered this shameful abuse under the guise of
religion will never be the same. I also suffered under a priest in Los Angeles.
This man was a monster who beat
children for the thrill of hearing them cry. I will never forgive and forget."
- M.J. Fleming II
"Evidence doesn't line up with the ideology that it's
always harmful for kids to have sexual relationships with adults and a boy's
sexual experience with a priest could be positive. When I was a minor, I had
sex with an adult. I'd say on balance that it was a perfectly good experience."
- Judith Levine*, Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From
Sex, Minnesota Star Tribune, March 26, 2002
emerge from a vacuum; those growing up from the 1950s on have been exposed to a
mass media culture with its pervasive "sex sells"
mentality. I visited a Catholic monastery in Big Sur a few years ago and was
impressed with its film library - it looked like a small Blockbuster. Watching
these movies was among the
monks' favorite pastimes, one monk said. "How can people be steeped in
entertainment and sexuality
from childhood and then turn off their basic human needs and desires for their
entire adult lives?" - Laura Brown
"Most of the sex abuse cases
documented in the Catholic Church scandal involved incidents between priests
and boys. But I have read some
of the grand jury documents and have been struck by the fact that many priests
abused young schoolgirls as well. The only rational response is to reflect on
how insane church leaders have
become. In the last several decades they have failed miserably whenever they
have been asked to solve problems."- R. John Kinkel
"Over the years, it has been clear to the Roman
Catholic hierarchy that anything that undermines the confidence of the faithful
in the church risks driving people away, thereby dooming them to hell.
Therefore, the best thing to do about the misdeeds of priests is to cover them
up. As the reasoning goes, the harm done to boys through
molestation is far less than that through
eternal damnation." - Rory
The Roman Catholic Church paid out more than $1 billion in
claims to victims of sex abuse by clergy in
the 1990s alone.
And then there was Dagoberto Valle Arriaga who killed
his son in the hope that church authorities would not discover that he sired a
"Every time the pope improvises the Vatican
secretariat of state reviews and cleans up his remarks." - papal spokesman
"There is a point at which any religious
institution loses sight of its reason for existence and becomes primarily interested in
preservation, which leads to corruption." - Patrick Schulp
"A reporter who reports truth about those who claim
to represent Jesus is closer to God's Kingdom than those who
officially represent it." - Ken Savage
limbo417 Council of Carthage defines Limbo. Limbo is the place
where infants who have died without baptism spend
eternity in a state of "natural happiness" but are excluded from the presence
of God. The concept of limbo - from the Latin for "edge" - was meant to address
the paradox that unbaptised infants could not go
to heaven because their original sin had not been expunged.
2007 International Theological
Commission of the Roman Catholic Church finds limbo reflects an unduly
restrictive view of salvation
and announces that unbaptised infants would now be allowed through the
"We can all breathe a
sigh of relief now that
Church has abolished limbo and promoted babies that have not been baptized
to heaven. Too bad it took the Catholic
Church centuries to decide that helpless infants shouldn't be held
responsible for their theological views." - James Underdown
"Wake me up
when the Catholic Church acknowledges
that the Kingdom of Heaven is
within - and when it devotes
itself to assisting individuals to be healthy enough to pursue a relationship
with divine will, instead of to
building bigger cathedrals and sending out updated bulletins on who gets to go
to heaven." - Mary Anagnos
InquisitionThe Inquisition lasted 782
years, from 1231 until March 13, 2013, when
Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger,
Cardinal-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly
known as the Holy Office and the Roman Inquisition), was confined to the
monastery Mater Ecclesiae.
The pope appoints the first "inquisitors of
heretical depravity" in 1231.
Tribunal of the Holy Office of the
Inquisition, Spain, is established in 1478.
Between 3000 to 5000 people
died during 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition . Politically motivated, it
aimed to use religion to foster national unity but later became the object of
Protestant anti-Catholic propaganda.
Torture was an integral part of
the inquisitorial process, mainly to extract confessions - just as it was part
of the systems used by secular courts of the time.
that the Church tried to regulate torture, establishing clear guidelines for
its use. Unfortunately, limitations on torture never really
"A man is lying on a bed.
moves about him carefully. He stirs faintly, says a few words, asks for a
drink, smiles and then becomes silent. That morning she had seen him fold his
hands, and she had asked him whether he wanted her to send for a priest. She
goes out, and a few minutes later, a dark-robed priest enters.
dying," says the man on the bed.
"What is your religion?" asks the
"The religion of my own country, the Greek Orthodox
"That is a
heresy which you must instantly abjure. There is only one true religion, the
Roman Catholic religion. Confess now. I will absolve you and baptise
"Tell me what sins you have
committed. You will repent and everything will be forgiven you."
sick man is bewildered and begins to get excited.
"Do not be surprised,
my son, if my questions are direct and to the point. I ask you in all
simplicity, as is my august duty
as a priest. Answer me in the same simple
spirit, and you will enter into
The priest nods toward the door.
"Who is that person?"
"She is a young girl," says the dying man. "I took her under my
protection when she was a child. She shared the hardships of my traveller's
life, and took care of me. I married her before my death because I am rich and
she is poor."
"I compassion her," says the dying man.
you are confessing!" cries the priest.
The two men scan each other's
faces keenly and the misunderstanding grows.
"You desired this
flesh of this
woman, and for a long time committed a
sin in spirit!"
The dying man draws
himself up and becomes hardened, incredulous before this stranger, with the
vulgar appearance, in whose mouth the words of God and truth assume a grotesque
However, he makes an effort:
"If I have
sinned in spirit, to use your words," he said, "it
proves that I have not sinned in reality, and
why should I repent of what was suffering pure and simple?"
committed in spirit is committed in
intention, and therefore in effect, and must be confessed and
Very well," says the
dying man. "I confess I have committed the sin,
and I repent of it."
"Now tell me, under exactly what circumstances did you
yield to temptation with that person, to the suggestions of the evil
The man was swept by a wave of rebellion. He half rose and
leaned on his elbow, glaring at the stranger, who returned his look steadily.
"Why have I the evil spirit in me?" he demanded.
"You are not
the only one. All men have it."
The man sat up again, seized by a new
fit of anger which consumed him like a fever.
"Then it is God who put
it into them, since it is God who made them."
The priest looked at the
rebellious man blankly.
"How else could
tried?" he said quite calmly.
"Nothing can excuse the suffering of the good."
"I have listened patiently to your
ramblings and feel sorry for you. But there's no point arguing. You must
prepare to appear before God, from whom you seem to have lived apart. Repent,
and tell me that you believe in the Catholic religion, which will
"Get out!" shouts the
dying man. But the priest does not stir.
Goaded by the urgency of the
case, impelled by the necessity of saving this soul in spite of itself, the
priest becomes implacable.
"You are going to die," cries the priest, "
You have only a few more minutes to
"No," mumbles the dying man. The black-robed priest catches hold of
both his hands.
discussion. You are losing precious time!"
"Ah!" muttered the priest
between his teeth. He twists the man's hands in his.
The dying man tries
to wrest himself free. There is a dry rattle of fury in his throat. With the
remnant of his voice, in a low tone, he gasps, "No!"
the priest. And he strikes him in the face. After that neither man moves for a
while. Then the priest goes at it again.
"Simply say with me, 'Our
Father, who art in heaven.' I do not ask you to do anything else."
dying man moves not.
"At least you will die holding a crucifix," he
He draws a crucifix from his pocket, and puts it down hard on
the dying man's breast. The dying man shakes himself in dull
horror, as if the
Roman Catholic religion is
contagious, and sweeps the crucifix to the floor.
The dying man's
face contorts. The priest stoops, mumbling insults.
"Carrion, you want
to die like a dog, but I am here!"
The priest picks up the crucifix,
and with a gleam in his eyes waits for his final chance.
The dying man pants, completely at the
end of his strength. The priest, seeing him in his power, lays the crucifix on
his breast as the last breath leaves his body. This time the dying man has no
choice but to let it stay there, unable to do anything but look at it
with dying eyes full of hate." - Henri
Popes who were the sons of other Popes or
"In 964 Pope
Benedict V raped a young girl and absconded to Constantinople with the papal
treasury only to reappear when the money ran out.
|Name of Pope
|St. Damascus I
|St. Innocent I
||son of a
||son of a
||son of a
|St. Agapitus I
||son of a
In October 1032 the
papal miter was purchased for the 11-year old Benedict IX. Upon reaching his
14th year, a chronicler wrote that Benedict had already surpassed in wantonness
and profligacy all who had preceded him. He often had to leave Rome in a hurry.
Gregory VII was a master forger, surpassing even the great fraud known
as the 'Donation of Constantine,' the document that created the Papal States.
Gregory had an entire school of forgers turning out document after document
bearing the papal seal of approval. These documents were later systematized in
the mid-1100s in Bologna by Gratian, a Benedictine monk. He called his work the
Decretum, or Code of Canon Law. It was peppered throughout with several
centuries of forgeries along with Gratian's own fictional additions. Gregory
also formalized the celibacy doctrine in order to curtail the many gifts of
church lands being given away to all of the illegitimate children of priests
and bishops. According to Catholic historian Peter de Rosa in his book
Vicars of Christ: "Popes had mistresses as young as fifteen years of
age, were guilty of incest and sexual perversions of every sort, had
innumerable children, were murdered in the very act of adultery. In the old
Catholic phrase, why be holier than the Pope?"
Alexander VI (formerly
Rodrigo Borgia) reigned from 1492-1503. Alexander committed his first murder at
the age of 12. Upon assuming the Papal miter he cried, "I am Pope, Vicar of
Christ!" Like his predecessor Innocent VIII, Alexander sired many children,
baptized them personally and officiated at their weddings in the Vatican. He
had ten known illegitimate children (including the notorious Cesare and
Lucrezia), by his favorite mistress Vannoza Catanei. When she faded, Borgia
took the 15-year old Giulia Farnese. Farnese obtained a Cardinal's red hat for
her brother who later became Paul III.
Alexander was followed by Julius
II who purchased the papacy with his own private fortune. He didn't even
pretend to be a Christian. A notorious womanizer who sired any number of
bastards, Julius was so eaten away with syphilis that he couldn't even expose
his foot to be kissed.
Under Leo X (1513-21) -
who cursed and excommunicated Martin Luther - specific prices were enumerated
by the Roman Chancery for every imaginable crime. For instance, a deacon
accused of murder could be absolved for 20 crowns. Once he had paid his
indulgence, he could not be prosecuted by civil authorities.
hundred years earlier, John XXII had done much the same thing, setting
indulgence prices for crimes ranging from incest to sodomy. During his
pontificate Innocent VIII (1484-92) granted a 20-year Butterbriefe indulgence
(letters of indulgence allowing the enjoyment of butter, cheese, milk, etc.,
during Lent) to persons who met his price. For a sum, one could purchase the
privilege of eating favorite dishes during Lent.
Leo X (Giovanni de
Medici) commissioned the Dominican friar Tetzel to sell indulgences which
released one from purgatory. Tetzel's famous refrain went, "As soon as the coin
in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs!"
Pope Sixtus IV
charged Roman brothels a Church tax. According to historian Will Durant, in
1490 there were 6800 registered prostitutes in Rome. Pius II declared that Rome
was the only city run by bastards (the sons of Popes and Cardinals)." - Mark
Popes who had illegitimate children after
1139Innocent VIII 1484-1492 several children (not so innocent)
Alexander VI 1492-1503
several children (more than the
Julius 1503-1513 3 daughters
Paul III 1534-1549 3 sons,
Pius IV 1559-1565 3 sons
Gregory XIII 1572-1585 1
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