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Catholic Church's Claims Are Weak In Early History, Regarding Papa

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Who originally came up with the idea of papal infallibility? It was the creation of Peter Olivi, a Franciscan who was more than once accused of heresy (an auspicious parent for the concept of infallibility, wouldn't you say?). His reason for attempting to limit papal power seems to have been to prevent future popes from rescinding a ruling favorable to Franciscans made by Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280). Nicholas was willing to go along with this idea, but later popes rejected it outright. For example, Pope John XXII (1316-1334) went so far as to call it "...a work of the devil...the Father of Lies." and in 1324 actually issued a papal bull condemning it as heresy.


i'm not sure if 'work of the devil' and that sort of language actually came from Pope John. at least, i don't see it in that encyclical. i wonder if it is something Hans Kung said to paraphrase and others misconstrue it? needs looked into

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One estimate had Pius's support at only about 50 bishops at the opening of the First Vatican Council with about 130 opposed and the rest undecided (Of 1050 bishops and others eligible, 800 attended the council, half of them representing European dioceses, and a majority of the rest, European missions abroad. The Americas had 100 representatives).




Pius stacked the council. There were 96 consulting positions, and among them 59 were filled by Italians (his biggest supporters) and just 37 to officials from other countries. Out of those last 37, a mere 6 had any proir experience working with the Vatican. Upon later reflection, many of the inexperienced members came to believe that their ill-fated appointments occurred only so that they could more easily be outmaneuvered by the pope's supporters. One, Bishop Joseph Karl Hefele wrote to a friend:

  • The longer I stay here, the more clearly I see the duplicity behind my appointment as consultor concilii. That was just Rome's way of hoodwinking the public with the appearance of neutrality. In reality, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing here.



As bad as this situation [the rules, logistics, and conditions of Vatican I] was, the pope exacerbated it by refusing to allow any copies of the speeches to be printed, preventing the cardinals from actually taking the time to study them carefully. Moreover, small group discussions in which issues could be debated and collectively reviewed were expressly prohibited — later, even large groups were banned.


Finally, only committee members were given permission to reply to a speech immediately after it had been given — coincidentally, all committee members supported infallibility. All these rules were instituted by Pius before the council met and without consulting the bishops - at prior councils the bishops set their own rules for debate and discussion.



Pius bullied the bishops directly. When one Archbishop Bathiarian of Armenia refused to support Pius' push for infallibility, Pius actually went so far as to try and get the papal police to arrest his personal secretary, sparking a small riot in the process. The other Armenian bishops were so frightened that they immediately asked permission to return home. They were denied, but two were smart enough to flee anyway.




Pius used financial pressure on the bishops. Well over 350 bishops attending the council were financially dependent upon the Vatican, without which they would be in dire straights. Pius did not hesitate to take clear advantage of this fact, threatening any who dare dissent with total cut-off from Vatican coffers. Enforcement was achieved by requiring all voting to be done in public - and this tactic worked more than probably any other.

With all of this going on, is it any wonder that many simply stopped attending meetings? Bishop Felix Dupanloupe wrote in his diary: "I'm not going to the Council anymore. The violence, the shamelessness, even more the falsity, vanity, and continual lying force me to keep my distance." Bishop Lecourtier from France, who was so discouraged that he threw his notes into the Tiber river and simply went home only to have his bishopric taken away for his trouble, complained:

  • An imposing minority, representing the faith of more than one hundred million Catholics, that is almost half the entire Church, is crushed beneath the yoke of a restrictive agenda, which is contradicts conciliar traditions. It is crushed by commissions which have not been truly elected and which dare to insert undebated paragraphs in the text after debate has closed. It is crushed by the absolute absence of discussion, response, objections, and the opportunity to demand explanations; by newspapers which have been encouraged to hunt the bishops down and to incite the clergy against them.






Pius may have been insane. He suffered from seizures his entire life and later developed memory loss and an inability to think clearly for long periods of time (by his own admission). By 1869, disease and stress had taken a serious toll on his psychological state and people noticed that he had become unpredictable, irrational, emotional and dictatorial — sometimes acting like a megalomaniac. Historian Ferdinand Gregorovius reported that 1870:

  • The pope recently got the urge to try out his infallibility...While out on a walk he called to a paralytic: "Get up and walk." The poor devil gave it a try and collapsed, which put [the pope] very much out of sorts. The anecdote has already been mentioned in newspapers. I really believe he's insane.


Ultramontanism is not Pius IX's only claim to fame — a number of important changes were made during his tenure. For example, in 1854 he declared the dogma of Immaculate Conception. According to this dogma, Mary was protected from all sin — even original sin — because she had been chosen to become the mother of Jesus. This was the first time in the history of the Catholic Church that a Pope had taken it upon himself to proclaim a doctrine or dogma without first consulting a council.



Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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very very well written. by the aformentioned writer mentioned in the wiki article... Brian Tierney.
he examines whether and how much Olivi innovated the understanding of infallibility. in it, he at first examines some of Aquanis's thoughts as a predecessor to Olivi and how much innovation if any occurred. and then examines Olivi's thoughts themselves.


Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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so we see 1050 bishops were eligible to attend. of those 800 bishops attended, of those about 200 left. of the 600 that stayed, 60 abstained from voting. of the 540 left of those, 350 were financially dependent upon the vatican and the pope made it known he would retaliate against dissent. of those, the 110 left, they may have wanted infalliblity to be defined as it was. 


i do see that that article said it was only once estimated that 50 were supportive and 130 opposed. and the rest undecided. we can see that of those undecided, it must have been at least 60 were uninfluenced by at least money, and switched to supporting.

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here is a lay catholic's response about the whole john v clement issue, that seems at odds with the above reference information. more needs looked into on this.



Pope St. Clement I was the third bishop of Rome (not counting St. Peter the Apostle). He died around the year 99.

His extant epistle, which scholars do accept as genuine (unlike 2 Clement), is an incredibly early witness to the organization of early Christianity. It's addressed to the church at Corinth.

At Corinth the Christian community had deposed certain presbyters (priests) unlawfully, and St. Clement was answering an appeal that was made to him to resolve the issue. In his letter, he explains that bishops and presbyters exercise apostolic authority, and that the deposition was unlawful. He informs them that the presbyters in question must be reinstated and obeyed.

Some cite it as evidence of universal papal jurisdiction at an extremely early date, since Corinth is far, far outside not only the church of Rome but even the whole Roman province. Another reason it's considered evidence of universal papal authority is that the Apostle Saint John was probably still alive at the time in Asia Minor, which is closer to Corinth than Rome. Yet though it would have been quicker to contact Saint John, they instead appealed for some reason to someone who wasn't even an Apostle - namely, the bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter.

As a Catholic, I find these arguments convincing. In any case, regardless of where one stands, 1 Clement is an important historical document, one of the oldest writings of the Church Fathers.



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the issue of apostle john and the bishop of rome is actually a pretty compelling argument, if only there weren't so many conflicting stories about it.

here's some more ideas to add to that.

"While in Ephesus, by order of the Roman emperor Domitian, John was exiled to an island called Patmos.  In what is known as the cave of the Apocalypse (located on this island), the sacred text of the book of Revelation was given to the apostle John by Jesus (it is here that John recorded what is written in the New Testament book of Revelation.)



When he was released from exile, he returned to Ephesus and lived till the time of the Roman emperor Trajan. 

It is said that John, "Founded and built churches throughout all Asia, and worn out by old age, died in the sixty-eight year after our Lord's passion and was buried near the same city (Ephesus)."


There is, also, a Church tradition which says that John was in Rome for a time."

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the only thing I originally read that I agreed with, was that the OP said Catholic Answers Forum has a lot of censorship issues and would have removed the thread.


But I didn't continue reading the thread due to I had already had my morning board meeting in my bathroom office, so there was no need for further reading material.

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good reference books

i'm suspicious of the last book, cause most so called 'contradictions' are not contradictions, or are not things taught as infallible.


A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Thomas Bokenkotter, Image Books, New York, 1979

A HANDBOOK ON THE PAPACY, William Shaw Kerr, Marshall Morgan & Scott, London, 1962 

A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST, Dave Hunt Harvest House Eugene Oregon 1994 

ALL ONE BODY – WHY DON’T WE AGREE?  Erwin W Lutzer, Tyndale, Illinois, 1989 

ANTICHRIST IS HE HERE OR IS HE TO COME?  Protestant Truth Society, London  

APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA, John Henry Newman (Cardinal), Everyman’s Library, London/New York, 1955 

BELIEVING IN GOD, PJ McGrath, Millington Books in Association with Wolfhound, Dublin, 1995 

BURNING TRUTHS, Basil Morahan, Western People Printing, Ballina, 1993 

CATHOLICISM, Richard P McBrien, HarperSanFrancisco, New York, 1994

CATHOLICISM AND CHRISTIANITY, Cecil John Cadoux, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1928  

CATHOLICISM AND FUNDAMENTALISM, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988  

CHRISTIAN ORDER Number 12 Vol 35 Fr Paul Crane 53 Penerley Road, Catford, London, SE6 2LH

DAWN OR TWILIGHT? HM Carson, IVP, Leicester, 1976 

DIFFICULTIES, Mgr Ronald Knox and Sir Arnold Lunn, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1958  

ENCOUNTERS OF THE FOURTH KIND, Dr RJ Hymers, Bible Voice, Inc, Van Nuys, CA, 1976 

FROM ROME TO CHRIST, J Ward, Irish Church Missions, Dublin  

FUTURIST OR HISTORICIST? Basil C Mowll, Protestant Truth Society, London 

HANDBOOK TO THE CONTROVERSY WITH ROME, Karl Von Hase, Vols 1 and 2, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906  

HANS KUNG HIS WORK AND HIS WAY, Hermann Haring and Karl-Josef Kuschel, Fount-Collins, London, 1979  


HOW SURE ARE THE FOUNDATIONS?  Colin Badger, Wayside Press, Canada 

INFALLIBILITY IN THE CHURCH, Patrick Crowley, CTS, London, 1982 

INFALLIBLE?  Hans Kung, Collins, London, 1980 

IS THE PAPACY PREDICTED BY ST PAUL?  Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, The Harrison Trust, Kent, 1985  

LECTURES AND REPLIES, Thomas Carr, Archbishop of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1907 

NO LIONS IN THE HIERARCHY, Fr Joseph Dunn, Columba Press, Dublin, 1994 

PAPAL SIN, STRUCTURES OF DECEIT, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000

PETER AND THE OTHERS, Rev FH Kinch MA, Nelson & Knox Ltd, Townhall Street, Belfast 

POPE FICTION, Patrick Madrid, Basilica Press, San Diego California 1999

PUTTING AWAY CHILDISH THINGS, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994  

REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1974  

REASONS FOR HOPE, Editor Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982 

ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS, Charles Gore MA, Longmans, London, 1894  

ROMAN CATHOLIC OBJECTIONS ANSWERED, Rev H O Lindsay, John T Drought Ltd, Dublin  

ROMAN CATHOLICISM, Lorraine Boettner, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ, 1962  

SECRETS OF ROMANISM, Joseph Zacchello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984 

ST PETER AND ROME, J B S, Irish Church Missions, Dublin 

THE CHURCH AND INFALLIBILITY, B C Butler, The Catholic Book Club, London, undated  

THE EARLY CHURCH, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987

THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH, Hal Lindsay, Lakeland, London, 1974

THE PAPACY IN PROPHECY!  Christadelphian Press, West Beach S A, 1986  

THE PAPACY ITS HISTORY AND DOGMAS, Leopold D E Smith, Protestant Truth Society, London  

THE PETRINE CLAIMS OF ROME, Canon JE Oulton DD, John T Drought Ltd, Dublin  


THE SHE-POPE, Peter Stanford, William Hienemann, Random House, London, 1998 

THE VATICAN PAPERS, Nino Lo Bello, New English Library, Sevenoaks, Kent, 1982  


VICARS OF CHRIST, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1993  

WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE?  J Bredin, Evangelical Protestant Society, Belfast 

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN?, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988 






This book is a goldmine for the person who wants to shake off the guilt of disobeying the pope.  It is liberty to the slavery the pope wants to subject them to.  It is basically a collection of hard to come by official Church texts that show that the popes did not always teach the same thing.



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The Supremacy of the successors of S. Peter is seriously involved in the doubts respecting the Apostle’s bishopric at Rome. [There is not a syllable in the three texts alleged to embody the Petrine Privilege (Matt. 16:18, 19, Luke 22:31, 32, John 21:15–37) which empowers S. Peter to convey the privilege, whatever be its nature, to any other person, and there is no evidence producible that he ever did confer and transmit his peculiar privilege and authority.]  For if the permanence of S. Peter’s privilege was recognized in early times, it is difficult to account for several historical facts.  Thus

(a) In A.D. 95 Clement of Rome writes to the Corinthians, and does not give the slightest indication of this privilege;

(b) In A.D. 108 S. Polycarp consults Anicetus about the keeping of Easter, but he does not consider himself bound to defer to his authority as conclusive on the point; [Eusebius Hist. Eccl. iv. 14; v. 24.  Neither bishop would yield to the other, but the two parted in peace.]

(c) In A.D. 196 Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, disputes with Victor, Bishop of Rome, on the same point, and as they cannot agree, Victor excommunicates him, and for so doing, although Bishop of the capital of the West, he is rebuked by a number of bishops, and amongst them by Irenaeus himself, [It is important to observe that Eusebius recognizes no special “Petrine privilege,” on the strength of which Victor was justified in taking the course he did.  Hist. Eccl. v. 24.] “Victor stood reproved.  His excommunication failed.” [Gore, Rom. Cath. Claims, p. 91.]

(d) In A.D. 255 Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, and other African bishops come into collision with Pope Stephen on the question of heretical baptism, and when the latter refuses to recognize them, and renounces communion with the African Churches, they stoutly express their disapproval of his attempt to make himself a “bishop of bishops”;

(e) In A.D. 424 the bishops of Africa, with S. Augustine at their head, write strongly to Pope Celestinus, denying his right to interfere with their jurisdiction, and complaining that he had violated the Canon of the Council of Nicaea, which directed that causes between bishops and clergy shall be heard by their own metropolitan, and not carried elsewhere; [See Laud, Conference with Fisher, p. 166; Crackanthorpe, Def. Eccl. Angl. p. 176; Hooker, Eccl. Pol. VII. xii. i.]

(f) Above all, Pope Gregory the Great vehemently protested against the bishop of Constantinople, [As S. Cyprian had done before him; “Neque enim quisquam nostrum Episcopum se Episcoporum constituit, aut tyrannico terrore ad obsequendi necessitatem collegas suas adegit, quando habeat omnis Episcopus pro licentia libertatis et potestatis sum arbitrium proprium.”  S. Cyprian in Concil. Carthag. vii.] for claiming the title of “universal bishop,” and not only declares such an assumption to be arrogant, indeed, and schismatical, but affirms that he who made it was a forerunner of Antichrist. [“Ego autem fidenter dico quia quisquis se universalem sacerdotem vocat, seu vocari desiderat, in elatione sua Antichristum praecurrit, quia superbiendo se caeteris praeponit.”  Greg. Magn. Epist. vii. 33; “Si unus Patriarcha universalis dicitur, patriarcharum nomen caeteris derogatur.”  Ibid. v. 43.]



and more on early church and dissendence towards notions of infallibility



Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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Gregory the Great seems to argue that Rome, Alexandria AND Antioch are the sees of Peter where three bishops with his authority reside:


Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places is the See of one. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself established the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. (Gregory the Great, Book VII, Epistle XL)


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