LIVES OF POPES
The majority of Orthodox leaders who in our days, embrace the pope as a brother, but they ignore history which demonstrates that if they are really our brothers, then Orthodoxy is not the one true Church. What really took place is that Rome apostasized from the Church and formed a new organization called the papacy, separated from the Church they descended into immorality. Orthodox Christians would do well to let their leaders know that union is poisonous.
The Papacy, which poses as the Catholic Church, boldly proclaim that the Pope and the Papacy are the only true church and without them there is no salvation. Although in these days of confusion coupled with the poison of ecumenism, the papacy will at times deny their claims for its own purpose, but the fact remains that it is their official and canonical doctrine, that you must honor and obey the pope and the papacy to be saved, because the pope is the successor of Peter The papacy alleges that it is founded upon Peter, and they claim that this succession has lasted almost two thousand years passing from one pope to the next pope in succession which is necessary. But are they really successors of holy and pure Saint Peter? This can be answered by examining their lives.
Specimen of the Lives of Popes
Pope Formosus (891-896), who succeeded Pope Stephen V was before his election to the papacy Bishop of Porto; he was excommunicated by Pope John VIII. The election of this pope was in direct violation of the Nicene Council which forbade the translation of bishops. His immediate successor, Pope Boniface VI, was a man of such corrupted character that many historians do not acknowledge him as Pope. Pope Stephen VI was a man of such profligate character that Formosus declared that he does not consider him as pope at all.
Not long after the death of Pope Formosus, a schism arose in the Roman church between his opponents and his supporters, and while one pope revoked orders conferred by him, another, Pope John IX (890-900). In a Council at Rome, rescinded the decrees of his predecessor, and reinstated those who had been ordained by him. Does this seem like papal infallibility?
The period between AD 1378- 1417 was one of great schisms in the Roman Church. There were two rival popes, each one of them claiming to be the true pope; one resided in Rome and the other at Avignon– no one knew who was the rightful successor of Peter; and each anathematized the followers of the other, so the whole of western Christendom was under the ban of one Pope or the other.
Pope John II and Pope Sylvestris obtained the papal office by bribery, so did Pope Vigilus. Pope Sylvestius gave his allegiance to Emperor Justinian and also to his enemies the Goths at the same time. Roman historians are silent as to Pope Constantine who succeeded Pope Paul I AD 766, lest the opposition for the popes, all considered to be infallible, should become too apparent. By the swords of the Lombards Pope Constantine was forcible deposed, and having been cruelly deprived of his sight was shut up in a convent. He was succeeded by Pope Stephen IV. This pope summoned a Council to assemble in the Lateran Church, which abrogated all the decrees of Pope Constantine, deposed all the bishops whom he had ordained, annulled all his baptisms and chrismations, and according to historians, actually sentenced him to be ignominiously scourged, and then put to death– a decree which was executed by burning him in the nave of the church.
In the tenth century Rome was controlled by the licentious Theodora, her daughter Narozia and her son of the first marriage, Alberie. From 904-963, they placed and kept their lovers and children in the Holy See of Rome. In 931, Narozia’s son who acknowledges Pope Sergius III as his father, and who was only twenty years of age was given the crown and became pope with the name John XI.
Alberie’s governorship lasted for twenty years, during which a number of popes were appointed by him. Such as Leo VII, Stephen IX, Martin III, and Agapetus. Those popes were servile instruments in the hands of Alberie, and history has nothing but their names to record.
On the death of Pope Agapetus, in the year 956, Alberie designated as pope his own son Octavian, who was then eighteen years of age, he assumed the name of John XII. This profligate youth surpassed, if it were possible to surpass, his predecessors in his utter disregard, not merely of religion, but of the most common forms of morality. Truth, honor, decency were all shamefully defiled. Hardly a vice could be named or imagined of which he was not guilty. The gold and silver vessels were given as presents to his mistresses and other companions of sensual pleasure. The female pilgrims who visited Rome were decoyed to the Lateran and ruined; the treasures of the See were squandered away in gambling of every kind. The very show of divine worship was abandoned altogether, or indecently hurried through, and the audacious pope did not scruple publicly to invoke pagan deities, and mockingly to drink at his revels to the health of the devil.
It is inconceivable that these are successors who continue the teaching of the Apostle Peter, for they are not what they claim to be but show enmity toward the teaching of Christ and Peter.How can Orthodox leaders speak of unity with the papacy?
In part from The Old Church in the New World
To be continued.
To be continued.