Friday, March 27, 2015



     There exists and always will exist the Church which Jesus Christ founded and there is the papacy and these two are not the same, because Orthodoxy alone is the Church and Body of Christ, which preserves His doctrine. Because the papacy claims that each pope is a successor of Christ through Peter, we are revealing the historical record of their anti-Christian lives. Orthodox leaders should be ashamed to even speak of the idea of unity and certainly not of a second church, which is impossible/

Specimen of the Life of Popes

     The character of Pope John XII, as portrayed by Roman Catholics themselves is an amazing testimony. Hear what Dr. Brands, who is a Roman Catholic, says about this pope: “In the person of this grandson of Narozia, the papacy was reduced to its deepest degradation, and Rome to its lowest depth of dishonor and humiliation.”  Finally this pope was deposed by a Council for his licentiousness and other crimes, which would fill a volume, if we were to insert them one by one; and yet the Romish church, unblushingly calls on us to believe that this wretch was legitimate successor, of self-denying Peter and Paul and above all, that he was infallible.

     Pope Otto the Great was succeeded in 973 by two rival heads of the church, namely, Pope Boniface VII and Benedict VII. The opposition between them was absolute.  The pope of one party was the antipope of the other. What one authority decreed the other strictly forbade. Pope Benedict excommunicated Pope Boniface, and the other returned the compliment, yet both of them held the authority of binding and losing, ordained priests and bishops and bestowed blessings as Vicar of Christ, etc. 

One of these rival Pontiffs, Vicar of Christ and the successor of fisherman, St. Peter, Pope John XIX, had never been a priest at all; he was Duke of Rome and seized the papacy by force. On his death in 1033, the Count of Tusculum elevated to the chair of St. Peter a boy of their family, not quite twelve years of age, and gave him the name of Benedict IX. As soon as this pontiff arrived  on the verge of manhood he recklessly plunged into every species of debauchery and crime. No expenditure was too lavish, no act was too daring, that would serve to gratify his passions. All that was related of John XII might be repeated of Benedict IX and the whole would not be told.

     Pope Benedict IX became enamored of the beautiful daughter of an Italian noble, he formally demanded her in marriage. Her father pretended to be willing, but said he would only consent on condition that the pope would abdicate his office, hoping that the throne of the church would thus fall into his own hands, and that he might sit on it whom he pleased. But Benedict, though in nowise reluctant to part with the crown, was determined to make the sacrifice a source of profit, so he sold the Papal chair which John Gratianus purchased admitted purchasing it. Pope Benedict consecrated with his own bloodstained hands this hopeful successor of Prince of the Apostles with the title of Gregory VI.

      But poor Pope Benedict was yet doomed to disappointment.  The father of the intended bride, mortified at the failure of his own schemes, refused to part with his daughter, and, assuming that the papacy was still vacant, nominated another, John Bishop of Sabina, under the name of Sylvester III. And now, Pope Benedict enraged at the trick that had been played on him, resolved to retain supreme authority of the church. He therefore continued to live in the Lateran and continued to style himself as the most holy pope. Thus the world beheld, three popes at the same time, living in different palaces, and officiating at different altars in the papal holy city. “The afflicted church,” to use the language of that time, wedded at once to three husbands, witnessed the celebration of many rival masses in the metropolis of Christendom. The war between parties, the shedding of blood, and how the swords were crossed in battle over the tombs of the apostles and martyrs is something terrible.. This dispute was at last settled by Henry III who convened a Council of bishops and clergy at Sutria. At this Council, Gregory presented himself in the hope of receiving imperial sanction to his claim of the popedom. He was compelled, however, to confess that his claim rested on no better ground than that of simony, and he with his rivals received the sentence of deposition. At the return Of Emperor Henry III to Germany he took on his train the three deposed popes. After he appointed Suidger, Bishop of Bamberg, who had followed him from Germany, as successor to the said three popes. The new pope took the name of Clement II. This unfortunate pope and his successor, Pope Damosus both died of poison.

     The dispute between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV is along story. This pope was a carpenter’s son, being educated in Rome. His name was Hildebrand. He was the first pope to claim infallibility of the pope, and wh ordered that the name pope should be applied exclusively to the Bishop of Rome. He abolished the married from the priesthood, calling such marriage fornication. 

     In the year 1074, Pope Gregory held a Council in Rome and certain decrees were passed, relating to Emperor Henry IV, which the Emperor disregarded. The Pope became angry and excommunicated Henry, absolving Christians from allegiance to him. Taking advantage of disputes between the Emperor and the powerful barons of the empire, Pope Gregory sent a letter to the bishops and princes to stir up opposition against the emperor. He pointed out that he must be bought into obedience to the church as being mistress over him.

   The bishops ruled that if Henry IV still remained excommunicated on the 23rd of February 1077, his crown would be transferred to another. Caught in this situation and left with no choice, to go to the pope and comply, they traveled from Germany in the depths of winter with was so severe that the Rhine was frozen over from November to April. They went through terrible ordeals and finally arrived at the pope’s residence where Henry solicited an audience seeking an audience with the pope. 

     The pope ignored him for days and finally sent a declaration  that he must repent for his actions, then he could receive pardon from Christ’s vicar. Henry having entered the gate of the fortress was attired in the white woolen garb of a penitent. He remained there for days, faint with fatigue and hunger, bursting with bitterness and anger which he dared not express. A second and a third day witnessed a repetition of the barbarities as the ruler of a vast kingdom servilely submitted to such cruelties which the most despotic tyrant would hesitate to inflict on the vilest malefactor and, to crown it all, it was at the hands of one who alleges to be the Vicar of the meek and humble Jesus Christ!

In part from The Old Church in the New World
To be continued.

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