fredag 11 oktober 2013

How is Chick erroneous about where we got the Bible from?

1) Creation vs Evolution : Heard of Libby Anne? , 2) Did Libby Anne misunderstand at least Something about Young Earth Creationism? Or: Why don't they teach logic in these schools?! 3) Further Faulty Logic in Craig A. James's "refutation of a dialogue" 4) Stupid Word Game, Craig A. James? 5) Whose assumptions are best or least well proven? 6) Somewhere else : Is the Genesis "the Basis of the Whole Bible" or are there others? 7) Great Bishop of Geneva! : How is Chick erroneous about where we got the Bible from? 8) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... to Hitchens on Revelation, Decalogue and Evidence for Moses. 9) Correspondence de / of / van Hans-Georg Lundahl : Notifying Craig A. James of a refutation of his refutation ...

Some people may know that I consider Kent Hovind pretty bright when it comes to the question between Bible and modern So Called Scholarship. You know the "deep time" thing and the "evolution thing" and "men and dinosaurs never lived together thing" and a few more like that.

But one thing he is not bright on is exact points of moral theology. Like what you need to avoid to get saved ("drinking any alcohol" is not on the correct list) or what you need to do to get saved (baptism and confession and doing the penance set out in confession are clearly on the list of how one gets one's soul washed in the blood of the lamb - and he would include baptism only as a sign to show one's heart is already washed, which is wrong and not confession, not penance).

Now, since that is so, one might take a real wild guess and ask whether we share the same outlook on Church History. We. Do. Not.

Fortunately for him, he is not the chief culprit in his connexion of this issue. Chick is the guy he follows on such things. Here are some of the calumnies and errors.

And since I just admitted that accepting the Gospel depends on credibility for witness of the Church, it so happens I think Chick is a culprit also for those who reject the Gospel - by not giving it a credible pedigree between God some two thousand years ago and us. He can write a thing like this - he gives a history of the Bible, where he is wrong on part 2 "intertestamental period" in saying no Scripture was written and that there was no Church (the "Jewish Church" existed from Moses to Kaiaphas and Jesus showed his unity with Moses by being part of it, and Maccabees were written), but here we get to some anti-catholic stuff, first a straw man:

God the Holy Spirit inspired them, perfectly and accurately, to write the words of God for the church. The church did not "inspire" anything.

It is perfectly true, but the Catholic Church never claimed the Church inspired the Bible. It claims the Catholic Church recognised which version of OT was inspired and which books were inspired under New Testament. Precisely as the Jewish Church soon after it was founded by the Covenant at Sinai had recognised as Holy the books it had watched Moses write.

Not familiar with the word "Jewish Church"? You have not read Haydock, then. It had authority to make new feasts not found in Torah, as we see from Purim and Hanukkah. Exactly so its Perfect Successor before God, the Catholic Church has the right to decide on feasts. And on fasts. But if ever you studied Hebrew, you may have heard the phrase Qahal Israel. Now, Qahal and Ekklesia mean exactly the same thing. They mean the formal assembly of a nation or a city state.

The problem with what Chick says is not that the Church inspired the Gospels or the Epistles or Apocalypse.

The problem is that he seems to think the phrase "we get the Bible from the Catholic Church" somehow mean that.

Pope Leo XIII very clearly stated way before Chick was born that God is author of the entire Bible and of each book and each part of a book. The one thing He is not original author of is of course quotes from what bad characters in the Bible said. "There is no God" - well, that is not God saying it, He is stating that the fool is saying it in his heart. But apart from examples like that God is saying everything that the Canonic Bible of the Catholic Church is saying. God, not just the Church.

However, under God there are human authors, and just as Moses belonged to the Jewish Church before its apostasy by Kaiaphas, so St Paul after his conversion from that apostate Jewish Church belonged to the Christian Church. And just as the Jewish Church had known Moses was part of it, the Christian Church knew St Paul was part of it. Just as the Jewish Church could assess how credible it was that "God spoke to Moses and said" in the light of the Exodus, so the Christian Church could asses the claims of St Paul when he states a thing like "I say this not from Christ but from me" and in another context "I state this not from me but from Christ" - in the light of St Paul working miracles.

When the apostles wrote their letters, the congregations received them. They read them. They spread them. They copied them for other brethren in Christ Jesus. And they recognized their authority in the Christian's life. So the Scriptures were produced by men of God, not by "the church." But they were produced FOR the church.

The men of God were also men of the Church. It was the Church that recognised them as men of God. They were not private people with no connexions previous to writing inspired books, they were not a Camel driver who suddenly got a vision of one claiming to be Gabriel, nor a shepherd who got insulted and then instructed by nine muses, whom he had observed singing hypns to among others "Kronos of the crooked mind" ... they were men already involved in the Church and therefore already accepted as men of God by the Church when they wrote. Moses was already accepted by what became the Jewish Church for the Passover by the time they arrived at Sinai. St Matthew was already accepted as a Disciple of Christ, one of the Twelve before his Gospel.

But though the original manuscript of each book was rather for the Church than by the Church, its preservation and the fact of copying and spreading it were acts precisely of the Church. Just as the copying of Torah scrolls had been under the Jewish Church.

And the Church accepting it is not very well formulated in his words about "the congregations" ... first Church does not mean any and every kind of congregation, but Ekklesia means the same as Qahal. And second it had a central authority. In Rome. Even when a council assembled elsewhere about a thing (such as that of Carthage about - among other things I presume - Scripture Canon) it was confirmed by Rome.

The last book of the Bible was Revelation, written about 96 AD, just before the apostle John died around 100 AD. After the apostles died, the churches continued to collect the letters they did not have, to read them and understand the authority under God by which they wrote.

Actually the lives we have state that St John wrote the Gospel after returning from exile on Patmos. Meaning after the Apocalypse. The rest of the statement is correct as far as it goes, but bypasses the fact of central authority.

But no one else shared that place. There is an "epistle of Barnabas" (which bears no proof it was written by Barnabas), which many think was penned in the first century. But the difference between its message of salvation and of the apostolic writings is too easy to see. If you believe the Scriptures, you cannot believe the so-called "epistle of Barnabas."

I have not read Epistle of Barnabas, and I do not recollect if it was condemned as spurious or just left alone. I do know that the Epistle to the Hebrews has by some been consiodered as written by St Barnabas rather than by St Paul. I also know that two Gospels are not written by any of the Twelve : Sts Mark and Luke were thus not Apostles in that restricted sense.

There are the writings of Polycarp, disciple of John (when John was very aged). There are writings of Clement and others. But those are all writings of Christians. Just Christians. Some were even martyrs, but their writings depended on the Scriptures--they were not Scripture themselves.

That much we agree on. Thanks to decision of the Church. One early list of NT books includes Pastor Hermas. I think it is the same one which also includes Epistle of Barnabas, but I might be wrong. Their writings are not Scripture themselves.

Their writings depend on the Scriptures? Actually on Scripture and Tradition.

Anyone who would base their faith on them would have a horrid foundation, just as if there were "Lutherans" today, learning of God's word only what they find in Martin Luther's writings. Interesting writing, at times "inspirational" writing, fine. Inspired? Not a chance.

Anyone basing his faith on their writings would have a better basis than if basing it on Martin Luther's. He was a heretic condemned by the Catholic Church. They were men of the Church and men of God, recognised as such by the Church.

And one needs the Truth of the Bible much more than the text of the Bible. Some parts are explained in appearance clearer in these writings.

Διδαχη explains we fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. In the Gospel it says "when the Bridegroom is present his friends are happy and do not fast" (no fasting on Sundays - except individual medical reasons) "but when the Bridegroom is taken away, then will they fast" (Christ was taken away on the Wednesday when Judas received thirty pieces of silver and on the Friday when he hung on the Cross). Without the explanation of the Διδαχη (from the very earliest Christians) some cut off from Tradition might have taken that word from the Gospel as meaning one can fast no more as Christians after Pentecost happened. Indeed one can and should. Christ recommends prayer and precisely fasting. But not on the days when Christ comes to us (Thursdays and especially Sundays) but on those days when in Holy Week he was taken from us. Wednesdays and especially Fridays. As stated in the Διδαχη.

The Roman Catholic church has had only one aim from its earliest, pagan and political origins: To destroy the true Christians, and to destroy their Bible.

When exactly was that? I know of no moment in history which would fit such a description!

If you mean Bergoglio, he seems to be Jewish one day and is accepted as Catholic the other day. As I said, the Jewish Church apostasised through Kaiaphas. And before Vatican II you do not get very great success for Jewish infiltrators (excepting possibly just Pius XII).

That is why they substituted the corrupt Alexandrian perversions of scripture, instead of using the preserved, prophetic and apostolic Words of God as found in Antioch of Syria, where "the disciples were first called Christians" (Acts 11:26).

OK, which of the Apostolic Churches has totally renounced the Alexandrian version (which Genealogy of St Luke agrees with, see "second Cainaan")? Was the OT that Chick describes as preserved found in connexion of a NT? But above all, since we have the Bible in the sense I already explained (and not in the strawman sense Chick needlessly refuted) from the Church, which Apostolic Church preserved exactly that text?

That is why they also added the Alexandrian writings we now call "Apocrypha" to their perverted bibles.

I suppose this means the books excluded from the 66 books version. Included in Septuagint.

That Roman Catholics recognise seven (if you count Baruch a k a "Baruch 1" as a separate book rather than appendix to Jeremiah) plus two chapters in Daniel and some other detail.

The Nestorian or Syrian Old Testament includes several of these or all and Baruch 2. And more psalms than 150. Its NT excludes books which Chick agreeing with RCC accepts as canonic.

The Copts in Ethiopia also have more Psalms than 150, and they have Book of Henoch. Let us quote good old wiki: "The Ethiopian "narrow" canon includes 81 books altogether: The 27 book New Testament; those Old Testament books found in the Septuagint and accepted by the Orthodox; as well as Enoch, Jubilees, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Rest of the Words of Baruch and 3 books of Meqabyan (these three Ethiopian books of Maccabees are entirely different in content from the four Books of Maccabees known elsewhere)."

The diverse Eastern Orthodox Churches also have more books than RCC, not 66. Roumanians have Third and Fourth Maccabees (the last of these is held as written by Flavius Josephus). Russians have Three Books of Ezra instead of the two we often call Ezra and Nehemia. They add a first book that is a prequel to them.

No Apostolic Church has accepted just the 66 books. That is a purely Protestant invention, absent from 1500 years of Christian Tradition. And none of the books that Chick would describe as "added" contradict Genesis either.

That is why they used their Jesuits to infiltrate the Protestant Seminaries, Colleges and Bible Schools.

Well, the first goal of Jesuits - when getting to England rather than Ethiopia or Angola or Brazil as missionaries - was rather to celebrate Mass for faithful Catholics. Some were martyred at Tyburn for it. But if they sometimes tried to reach out to people honestly deluded by Protestantism and pious enough to try to become servants of God, and if they did not directly lie on any point, I am not inclined to grieve for any supposed dishonesty therein.

But look what a giant leap from "earliest Pagan political origins" to the RCC as contemporary with Protestants.

He even skips the clear fact that RCC preceded Protestants. That Protestants actually had been in but not of the Catholic Church.

Their Jesuits became the "teachers" and planted seeds of doubt in the Christians' minds. These doubt-ridden Christians then taught at other colleges and schools. All the while they planted that same seed of doubt of God's word in their students.

Cardinal Newman - I was reading his lecture series about the Idea of an University yesterday - actually said it was Protestant "free exmination" of Scripture which led to doubt. From the first.

Socinians were less Christian the Watchtower Society, as far as Bible doctrine is concerned. Luther wanted to do away with Epistle fo St James. Calvin thought of Jonah as a "religious novel". Anabaptists threw moral doubts about Romans Chapter 13. Modernism came from Protestants to Catholics, not from Jesuits to Protestants. Atheism was proposed by Lord Shaftesbury - in a Protestant nation. Accepting miracles and portents in history (and ultimately therefore also Gospels) was attacked by a Protestant called Bayle. He was followed by one Hume - who was inheritor of the most ruthless Protestant Reformation and the most ruthless hunt of Jesuits of them all - he was a Scotsman.

Darwin was an Anglican. His model in Geology, Lyell, was catering to Protestant modernism at a time when Catholics would only have shook their heads at such things. His model in zoology and "natural theology", Pailey, was an Anglican clergyman, not a Catholic one. The inventor of deep time was also a Scottish Protestant. James Hutton.*

If you want continental Englightenment in the Culprit list, ok, but Kant was a Protestant and Spinoza was a Jew. Rousseau, though converting to Catholicism was not totally true to it (and Confession of a Savoyard Country Priest can be taken as an act of apostasy and was on index of forbidden books). His background also was Protestant. Those with Catholic background still engaging in sowing doubts - like Voltaire - lauded Protestantism as much as a man with Austrian background nevertheless lauded Prussia. I like to remember him as a decent painter. Or as model for a Dictator in a funny film by Charlie Chaplin. But those loyal to Catholicism in Austria were not typical Nazis and those loyal to Catholicism in XVIIIth C. were not sowing any seeds of doubt.

Didn't Christianity consist of the Catholic Church for the first 1500 years?

No. While the Catholic Church was seeking to control the world through religion, true Christians were running for their lives from the Catholic holocaust that ran for centuries.

God has always had His people, faithful to Him and His Word. They had no part in the Roman Catholic Church. Through much of history, organized religion has hunted and slaughtered God's people. For an excellent overview of this, read the classic work, "The Trail of Blood."

Let us suck the marrow of each bone ...

While the Catholic Church was seeking to control the world through religion, ...

Again, since when? I find really and truly no date fitting that description!

... true Christians ...

Who were they? Albigensians who believed Satan had created the world? Bogumils?

Or Donatists who on the one hand differred from Protestants by Seven Sacraments and on the other hand said that someone really fallen after baptism cannot be saved or restored?

The only true Christians I can fit into tenth Century are clearly Catholics. Unless you would like to add Ethiopians and Nestorians. Even Eastern Orthodox were not separate from us back then?

... were running for their lives from the Catholic holocaust that ran for centuries.

Problem 1: Inquisition starts targetting Albigensians, who cannot by any stretch of imagination or charity be called Christians. They were, like a sect that St Augustine left for the Catholic Church, Manicheans.

Problem 2: Inquisition starts well after any kind of societal change that Protestants like these would describe as a fake Church taking the place of the real one.

When Priscillianists are condemned and persecuted, the ecclesiastic condemnation is not equal to asking the Emperor for persecution. He does so because of certain disorders other than merely being heretics condemned by the Church. Same as with revolutionary killing machines among the Donatists.

Problem 3: this means that we would have a real gap between early true Christians and later Protestants.

A gap which contradicts the words of the Lord in Matthew 28 as much as it throws a stupid doubt about the divinity of the Christian Bible.

Unless of course he would settle for pretty late just-before-Inquisition and otherwise clearly Roman Catholics as the very latest early true Christians. But if early Christianity is found in pre-Inquisition Catholicism, how come anyone could settle for Protestantism?

Problem 4: earliest burning of a Heretic for Heresy (as totally distinct from witchcraft or sedition, meaning Priscillianists and Donatists) was not done by the Catholic Church or at demand of the Catholic Church.

One Basil the Physician thought was apprehended and condemned as secret leader of a Bogumil sect. So the Basileus, the Roman Emperor, Alexius I Comnenus tried to convert him, failed and the burned him at a stake. Of the two, certainly Alexius did believe in Genesis and Basil did not. It may be noted Alexius was in schism with Rome in a sense - though the schism was favourably overlooked when he asked Urban II for the help known as First Crusade (which in the end he did not accept as such).

Two heretics had been executed in the West the Century just before - but those were popular lynchings, not official executions. In one of the cases it was a reaction to him burning crosses - which was considered as a pretty clearly diabolic act. And they had as pretty clearly not been providing good copies of the Bible.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre - Paris X
University Library
Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary

*I could have added that Buffon was a Freemason, and the first lodge was from London and its earliest members Protestants. Cuvier was from a Lutheran family. "Natif d'une famille luthérienne de Montbéliard, territoire alors rattaché au duché de Wurtemberg où l’école est obligatoire, c’est la lecture de Buffon au cours de ses études brillantes qui orientera la vie de Georges Cuvier[2]." Lutheran and from a region with compulsory schools ... not a Catholic, thus.

torsdag 3 oktober 2013

Dialogue with a Mormon - Matthew 28

DanielPetersonMod> Azimi
Who is "you people," Azimi? I was DEFENDING your religion against cwhicker12.
ChrisMcC1> DanielPeterson
He wasn't responding to you, Daniel. He was responding to cwhicker12's ridiculous comment, just as you were. Check the quoted phrase and the threading indentation.
DanielPetersonMod> ChrisMcC1
I was puzzled because, above, Azimi correctly identifies me as a Mormon apologist, but then wants to know why I'm being hypocritical and attacking his religion -- which I most certainly wasn't doing. (I'm also, professionally, an Islamicist.)
Hans-Georg Lundahl> DanielPeterson
A professional Islamicist and a Mormon apologist? Well, unlike some Muslims at least you believe the text is correctly transmitted between Jesus' words and our reading of Matthew 28:18-20, so how does a disappearance of the entire visible Church between either the Apostles' deaths (or in St John's case perhaps assumption) and Mohammed or the previous event and Joseph Smith (discounting for the time Church was supposedly prolonged in Americas through Indians) square with the "omnibus diebus" part of that text?
DanielPetersonMod> Hans-Georg Lundahl
Who says that the VISIBLE church disappeared? That was precisely what DIDN'T disappear.

Incidentally, I prefer to go back to the original rather than reading the text in translation. (And why privilege the LATIN translation.) I agree that Jesus was with his disciples, and that he was with his church until the end of the "aion" -- the end of the age. I'm not sure why you imagine that that promise would rule out an apostasy.
Hans-Georg Lundahl> DanielPeterson
It does not rule out all and every kind of apostasy.

It rules out that the visible Church apostasises without a visible remnant visibly continuing the visible Church as before the apostasy.

Criterium of visibility is due to a few considerations:
  • directly affirmed in "a city built on a mountain cannot be hidden", and mountain is synonym of rock, polis of ekklesia
  • implied by authority of Church:
    • pillar and foundation of truth
    • given authority to loose and bind concerning absolution and excommunication (given to same eleven men who heard the promise in Matth 28:18-20)
  • implied by the fact the true Church cannot be a secret Church, since secrecy is a work of the devil.
DanielPetersonMod> Hans-Georg Lundahl
Sorry. I don't really see anything like a persuasive argument here, Hans-Georg Lundahl. You seem, from my perspective, to be concatenating a group of unrelated scriptural passages and concepts, but in a rather arbitrary way.
Hans-Georg Lundahl> DanielPeterson
Since all these passages describe Apostolic Church, their lining up is giving a complete description of its characteristics. Neither arbitrary nor untraditional.
Extracted from comments under article:
Sic et Non / Daniel C. Peterson : “Muslims protecting Christians in Egypt during mass”

söndag 30 juni 2013

Erroneous Sola Scriptura - known as "Formal Principle" to Reformers Luther & Melanchthon

I was invited to a group called "Five solas vs Catholic Church". I am a Catholic and thus against the collection five solas though not all of them equally. Here is the first one.

It is in a certain manner opposite to both Tradition as Infallible and Magisterium as Infallible.

It is therefore erroneous.

It is actually more opposed to Tradition as Infallible than to Magisterium.

The opposite of Magisterium as infallible and as compulsory is not so much Sola Scriptura as such as the Private Judgement on the Sola Scriptura.

The total and erroneous Protestant doctrine is therefore bipartite:

Error 1: Apostolic Christianity is generally accessible through Bible alone as opposed to Bible and Tradition.

Error 2: Individually we are responsible to the Sola Scriptura only through direct Private Judgement on its content. A man who is unlearned and leaves a point out from his individual Bible reading understanding is not excused for chosing as probable a wrong solution because he was feeling he had to submit to a Magisterium that was wrong, but he was instead in such a case wrong to take Magisterium as above himself in the manner God is and Bible are. Infallibility belongs only to God, is the claim, not to either man individually or any group of men together.

That the second is untrue is clear from the Bible. It says "The Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth". Christ is its head and as God and as sinless man infallible, which even Protestants admit, but if Christ alone in the Church were infallible on any point, then there would be a neck problem, the body not communicating properly with its head. So, we must say that the visible Church today - whereever it truly is - is infallible when speaking unitedly.

That the first is untrue is also clear from the Bible as well as from the Church.

One bit of a warning, to things like Modernist Catholics. Or semimodernist who think they must "obey" modern magisterium in accepting modern cosmology or deep space or deep time with evolution.

A Protestant would not agree that private judgement is an excuse for disagreeing with the Bible. A Catholic must therefore not agree that Magisterium (above his private judgement, when genuine and when his private judgement as bishop or Pope is not preceding the magisterial one on hitherto undecided questions), he must as said not agree that Magisterium is any kind of excuse for disagreeing either with Bible (72 books*, not just 66) or with Tradition.

Furthermore, on those particular matters, there seems to be no consensus about what is magisterium and, supposing CCC is such, whether CCC is sufficiently obliging. But insofar as Catechism of the Catholic Church endorses as "knowledge" things that contradict Bible or Tradition (specifically theories contradicting a young and "small" universe), it would be like a Protestant who in private judgement thought "this is my Body" or "whatever you bind on earth" as something the Bible did not clearly indicate what to believe about. Such a Protestant is no longer a Christian, and if any bishop or Pope puts full weight into certain modern theories included in certain paragraphs thereof, such a Magisterium is no longer Christian and therefore no longer magisterial either.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BpI Georges Pompidou
Sunday after Sts Peter and Paul

72 if, as traditionally, the canonical book of Baruch is not counted as a separate book but as an appendix to Jeremiah (whose secretary Baruch was). Otherwise it is 73.

fredag 17 maj 2013

Popular on Apologetics Section

måndag 6 maj 2013

A Suspicious Testimony

Clear Gospel, Directory, Rev. Ronald R Shea, Esq.
Testimony called: No Infused Grace

Quotes with my answers and follow up questions:

"As with so many other sects within Christendom, I was taught that my salvation was not contingent upon the work of the Savior, but dependent upon my obedience to the ten Commandments. Actually, the work of the Savior was unknown to me. Every 'good Friday' we would make the 'stations of the cross' reflecting on the torture and death of Jesus. But what was the significance of it? Basically, my theology was, 'look what those mean people are doing to Jesus. This is just TERRRIBLE!.' "

OK, two questions:

1) were you ever taught that Christ's work for your salvation was handed to your personally profiting from it in Holy Mass?

2) were you ever taught to adress Christ on the Cross with the words "tantus labor non sit cassus" = may such a great work not be invalid/unprofitable (for myself) - or were you not?

"But the removal of venial sins was much more complex. Confession absolved you of your sins, but you still faced Purgatory. So I never quite understood what advantageous confession held for venial sins. The only real advantage I could see was that, if some sin were “right on the line” between mortal and venial, it was probably best to confess it and get it erased."

Confessing a venial sin that you do not regret is dangerous, and if you only confess that one without real regret, your confession is worse than worthless, it is a sacrilege. Therefore, when confessing a venial sin you may also search for a sin in the past that you CERTAINLY regret, and your confession will not be a sacrilege. A venial sin can be erased by confession, by communion, by prayer, by anything done out of love for God, since its essence is laxness about the love of God.

A mortal sin is what the Bible calls "crucifying Jesus all over again".

The thing with venial sins is that though they must be erased before one enters heaven, they need not be erased before death. A mortal sin kept in the hour of death on your conscience is persisting in betraying your Lord. Is that too complex for you?

(And yes, previous paragraph means that everyone in Purgatory is headed for Heaven. Nobody in Hell is headed for Heaven, unless God raises him from the dead so once again alive he can repent before dying again. Which has happened a few times.)

"Receiving communion was supposed to 'infuse grace' into me. This mystical substance called 'grace' was supposed to empower me to live a good life, so I would sin less, and consequently, spend less time in purgatory (or—God forbid—hell!)."

Infused grace mean the life of God himself, the Holy Spirit, infused into your soul. It is not just a question of being a good boy, though dead souls will not even be able to do that in the long run.

"There was also a complex system of different kinds of graces. I can only remember two of them now, 'actual grace' and 'sanctifying grace.'"

The "complex system" is precisely those two. The actual graces are what enable you to be a good boy (whether you consciously receive them as graces from God or not), and the sanctifying or infused grace is the life of God becoming life of your soul. Obviously if you die without it, you go where the dead souls go, to the place of eternal death.

Oh, as for Indulgence Prayers, are you sure that Gloria Patri was Fifteen Years and Memorare was Forty-five? I am not quite sure about that. But even if it were true - I suspect it is not, either you lie or your memory fools you but I could be wrong - it could be explained by the fact that Gloria Patri should be prayed daily. There is actually no theological reason why you should not still pray it daily, unless your dissatisfaction with the "Sacramental System" has worn off to be a mistrust in Holy Trinity too.

"I raised my hand in class, and said, 'Sister Ruth Marie, some people won’t have to go to Purgatory when they die, right?' Without hesitation, she responded, 'No, everyone has to go to Purgatory.' "

She might either not have heard your question included the words "when they die" or she might even more probably have been replaced for teaching you wrong. Some people are said to have had all of their purgatory on earth. The Holy Martyrs, or St Thérèse of Lisieux who made in part Tuberculosis her martyrdom (contracted, I think while she was tending to the sick) and in part every little annoyance she could offer up to God by bearing it with a smile to the annoying person.

Your mental calculus about how many years you were spending in purgatory was pretty much misapplied mathematics, due to your superfluous question of where you were standing about avoiding Purgatory. Now, Luther in a dark moment, and he was condemned by Pope Leo X for saying it, stated that the souls in Purgatory love God so much they would hate to leave Purgatory without effecting all the penances, and therefore dislike having indulgences applied to them. That is wrong, they are of course satisfied if God lets them off earlier than supposed. But if you had instead of asking how much Purgatory you were escaping by ten minutes of Gloria Patri tried to use the ten minutes to Glorify actually the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, you might have made it to Heaven, after some stumbles, with pretty good ease (not meaning you would have died already, but meaning you would have already been secure of going to Heaven and not too afraid of going to Purgatory first).

"Still, I recognized that, within me lay the passions that could damn my eternal soul to hell!"

It is not the passions, it is consenting to them, outside the hallowed ground of marriage, which would do that.

Have you not read "who looketh on his neighbours wife with carnal desire has already committed adultery with her in his heart" or "adulterers ... will not enter the Kingdom of God"?

What you needed (and what I for one need too) was marriage. Ask your wife if she wouldn't like to get along back to the Catholic Church with you, that is saving your soul.

"I needed to cloak my question in some measure of piety."

Ouch, pretty much the kind of mistake I used to do pretty often when confessing in certain years after my conversion. Pretty certain attitude to ruin confession for you.

"And in choosing Christ, I needed to 'prove' to myself that I had trusted Christ alone, and not 'Christ plus works.' And this is consistent with Matthew 3:5-9. I not only needed to repent of my dead works, I needed to 'bring forth fruit of my repentance.' I needed to live my life in a way that confirmed I was trusting Christ alone."

What exactly were you trying to do?

Going to Holy Mass is not doing a dead work, it is visiting Christ on Calvary, where he died for you. If you cannot go back in a time machine to the first Good Friday and see Him bleed for you, and if you cannot go to Narnia and be present at the stone table, you can go to Holy Mass. What is "dead works of the law" about that?

"I need no other argument. I need no other plea. It is ENOUGH that Jesus died, and that he died for me."

Did he die for Hitler and Stalin and were Stalin and Hitler saved? Or did Hitler and Stalin miss out on something they had to do, like not committing mortal sins that crucified Christ again and like visiting Christ in Holy Mass to renew their love for him? Are you saying that Hell is empty?

Oh, sorry: I saw you are single. But I also saw you with children on photos from a Christmas. Are you actually divorced?

Sorry again, I saw you are married to Ch. R., you will have to correct info on the directory:

NameRev. Ronald R Shea, Esq.
Home ChurchLindly Avenue Baptist Church
Missions CountryPakistan
Marital StatusSingle
AddressKept private by request
PhoneKept private by request.
EmailKept private by request.

"I recited the "Glory Be" for ten minutes straight. . . keeping a tally, of course, for the number of prayers I recited. I realized God could keep track of such things, and I had full confidence in his omniscience. But I also needed to know where I stood."

If you had been told how to pray the Rosary - which can give you plenary indulgence (no time at all in Purgatory for sins committed and forgiven before it was gained), how come you did not try to use knots on a string or even rosary beads for the tally, so you could get your mind off keeping the tally?

Did they never teach you the Rosary?

I mean, testimonies like this look a bit like wilful forgetfulness about your Catholic past. Or, just possibly, with Chick Tract like "honesty" close to Avro Manhattan and Phelps, a lie.

If it were true, I would very much like to know who your bishop was back then, so his sinful negligence in catechism can be duly punished by the Roman Catholic Church.

[He posted his testimony on a FB Group that is Catholic and Sedisvacantist. I was added to it and posted quotes with my answers there first./HGL]

Oh, double sorry, I just saw that Mr R. is not at all the Ronald Shea that the testimony is about.

[So A posted testimony of B, and I confused them, apologioes made on group./HGL]

torsdag 14 februari 2013


Great Bishop of Geneva! : 1) Makarios · 2) Once Saved, Always Saved - True for Church, Not True for All Christians Individually · 3) Protestants - Not - Getting Around Matthew 28 Last Three Verses: John Calvin's Attempt · 4) Barnes NOT getting around Matthew 28:20 ... · 5) Since St Francis of Sales had Real Objections to Calvinism ... 6) Contra Sproul 7) Barnes on Jewish Tradition 8) If Constantine had Founded the Catholic Church ... 9) Salvation and Schrödinger's Cat Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : 10) ... on Apostolic Succession, both as to Reasons and Answering an Objection or Two (quora)

Romans 4:8

Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.

Cross reference Psalms 32:1

Of David. A maskil. Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Catholic interpretation: a newly baptised person is such. Both the original sin and his own previous transgressions (in case he was baptised as an adult) are forgiven by baptism. Nothing which he committed before baptism will ever be counted against him again by the Lord. Such he remains as long as he commits no mortal sin.

If there is a new sin, it is not covered by a baptism that went before it. However, confession is open to him. If it is a small one, he can exercise the life which is in him through baptism, and it is enough to cover the small sin. If it is such a sin as to deprive him of the life that is within him through baptism, then he needs to confess, repent and resolve, get absolution. And then he is blessed again. The transgressions he committed after baptism are covered also, God will never remember them either against him.

As far as I know, the Greek Orthodox, the Monophysite, the Nestorian interpretations are exactly the same or closely similar. All of these Churches do have confession - though most Catholic theologians would argue it is not valid except in special cases. Like innocent ignorance of where the Church is (it may be common or not, but still special: the Church as such is not invisible), or for a Catholic the cases of either dying before confession unless confessing to one of those, or living long without confession unless confessing to one of those.

Blessed does not just refer to a juridic state of non-condemnation, nor to a subjective feeling of relief over not being condemned after doing something condemnable. It refers to the life that is in the newly and rightly baptised man, which is the same life that can continue past death, if it is there in that moment, and freed from mortal cares, either directly or after purgatory will make a man blessed without any reservation or dimming of the glory. It is the heavenly life. It is in Catholic Theology referred to as The State of Grace, and it is by Theologians defined as the Indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in the human soul concerned.

Protestant reply: but if God knows that a man who has just been justified will sin in the future, does not that mean he is not blessed unless God already decides not to count the future sins either?

No, is the Catholic answer to that reply. The blessedness is not the same thing as an unrevocable decision of God not to damn him ever whatever he may do in the future. God knows if the man's blessedness will last or not. The man does not. But St Paul tells him in this verse that his past sins are no more an impediment to his life in God or the life of God in him, as soon as his sins are covered either by baptism or, if committed after baptism, by the sacrament of confession. The blessedness as such is God's indwelling in the man's soul.

There may or probably even was a time, when Judas Ischariot was blessed, was in a state of grace. But probably even before the betrayal, he lost the blessedness, lost the state of grace, by greed and by stealing from God.

Now, check if my explanation is correctly in accordance with Haydock's Bible commentary of verses 6-9 of this chapter:

Ver. 6. As David, &c. That is, David accounted a man happy in being justified by God's grace, and not by his own works, when he said: Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven by the mercies of God, and whose sins are covered; that is, covered so as to be no more, even in the sight of God. (Witham)

Ver. 7. Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. That is, blessed are those who, by doing penance, have obtained pardon and remission of their sins, and also are covered; that is, newly clothed with the habit of grace, and vested with the stole of charity. (Challoner) --- When it is said that the sins of man are covered, we must not imagine that they still remain, but on account of the goodness of God will not be punished, as the Lutherans contend; for the justice of God could not suffer this: but by it we must understand that they are entirely blotted out, and neither exist, nor are considered any longer by God. Still, we must not conclude that man is blessed, as soon as sin is remitted; since the same psalmist, in another place, ascribes happiness to man when he walks in the law of the Lord, and when he keeps judgment and does justice. (Psalms i; cv; and cviii.) And our Saviour says, If you know these things, blessed shall you be if you do them. (St. John xiii.) (Estius) --- Moreover, if sins were never blotted out, but only covered, why did the royal prophet pray to the Almighty, saying: blot out all mine iniquities; and in different parts of the 50th psalm and psalm cviii, speaking of the egregious sinner, he says: let the sin of his mother not be blotted out; which would mean nothing at all, if sins were never blotted out? (Haydock)

Ver. 8. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord hath not imputed sin. That is, blessed is the man who hath retained his baptismal innocence, that no grievous sin can be imputed to him. And likewise, blessed is the man who, after falling into sin hath done penance, and leads a virtuous life by frequenting the sacraments necessary for obtaining the grace to prevent a relapse, that sin is no more imputed to him. (Challoner)

Ver. 9. This blessedness, by which a man's sins are forgiven, and his soul truly justified, was promised, and is given to the uncircumcised Gentiles, as well as to the circumcised Jews, by the faith and grace of Christ; as Abraham was justified, when he was in the state of uncircumcision. (Witham)

That's all I had to say on this one./HGL

Oh yes, one more: St Peter decided to baptise Cornelius, when through the visible signs of the Holy Ghost the Apostle knew that the uncircumcised Roman had this blessedness in him, already before baptism. For if we are bound to seek the Sacraments, God is not bound to deny grace to those that have not yet gone to them./HGL

fredag 8 februari 2013

Resurrection, Holy Eucharist, Holy Poverty (or, Why Was Wycliff Wrong)

The defense for the Resurrection is rather well put by the son of Craig Lampe, Ph.D.* Here, Joel Lampe on The Bible on Trial:

He also said he learned from his academic study of Jesus' disciples that, many of them experienced horrific deaths "and none even flinched."

"These were 11 guys who went 11 different directions (after the Ascension) and never saw each other again. They all told the same story and refused to deny what they saw. There had to be something to what they believed," he said.

They did stay together a few years as collective episcopacy of the Church in Jerusalem. With St Peter as their head. So, based on merely that, there is a theoretical chance they could have concocted a story, at least they had the time if you go only by that.

  1. However, the Church started out with a Story told on Pentecost day. If they had been reshaping the story after, they would have lost adherents. So, in fact they did not have more time than 52 days between Crucifixion and Pentecost.

  2. If they had agreed on it in spite of facts known by them (supposing there had been such as would have invalidated their story) they would not have died unflinching deaths under torture, or, as for St John, faced a naturally inevitable death under boiling oil and then survive miraculously.

    Nor been in the mood for the show they did on Pentecost day. And the miracle of Languages would not have happened. God does not make miracles for liars.

  3. If they had been mad, they would not have been able to agree on a story and would not have been able to guide, in the open, a Church like that.

    Even sane people have trouble making homeless shelters agreeable for all concerned, perhaps they do not want to but want people to look for work so as to get away from them - but the Church in Jerusalem was people sacrificing their carreers so as to be able to live together.

    The Hippie Camps have tried to rival that recently - and mostly failed. And it started out 5000 men plus women and children. Not just Hippie camp, but Woodstock - and Altamont. As far as scale is concerned. But the Church had no Altamont. And even Altamont was not ran by madmen, it just went wrong anyway.

One more quote from Joel Lampe:

A couple of years later, he said, he began studying the lives of William Tyndale, John Rogers, Thomas Cranmer and John Wycliffe - biblical publishing pioneers who were persecuted or killed for challenging the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

Big trouble number one with that story: the question what happened to the Church between the Apostles (or possibly Saint Jerome) and John Wycliffe.

Bible says the Church cannot fail between Ascension and Return of Our Lord. Our Lord's words, end of Gospel of St Matthew.

Big trouble number two with it: his Father Dr Craig's* solution the Bible teaching was kept pure and alive by a "secret society called the Culdees".

Bible says the Church cannot be a secret society. "A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden". "No man lighteth a candle/lamp so as to place it under a bushel" - and would God who lit the beacon of Light for our souls, whose word is a lantern for our feet put his candle** under a bushel? Or allow it to be put under a bushel by evil men for any longer time?

Even in Russia, 1917-1990, lots of people knew the Gospels because they were known before, from the time of the Czars. And that obscuration was not even reducing the Church to a secret society, since Orthodox and in some parts Catholic priests were openly celebrating Mass and preaching the Resurrection on Easter.

Now, let us therefore look on Craig's story about Wycliff, from The Forbidden Book.

John Wycliff was a product of the chosing of that secret society...

As already stated, the Culdees were not a secret society, they were Monks of the Celtic discipline. Iona was founded by some spiritual grandson or greatgrandson of St Patrick (whose biography I am now reading). By the way, it is not Culdee that means a certain starnger, but Chaldaeus, Chaldean. And St Joseph was not a Chaldean, he was a Hebrew, a Hebraeus. Culdee is not Latin but Irish: "Caol Dé" = "Companion of God". Just as "Socius Jesu" (the Latin for Jesuit) = "Companion of Jesus." But as little as the Jesuits in Spain, as little were the Culdees in the British Isles a Secret Society.

It is possible that certain Culdees after the Norman Conquest ousted the Celtic Church Discipline (and yes, Celtic and Roman Church differred only on discipline) degenerated into a secret society, just as it is possible that Templars after the burning of Jacques Molay in 1313 degenerated into a secret society more than they had become already by then (I mean Jacques Molay was no true and faithful successor of Hugues de Payns, unless he fooled - as I think he did not - the Council of Troyes of 1129, because quite certainly Hugues de Payns was not forcing - and would not have been allowed to start the order if he had been thought to force - new recruits to the order to tread on a Crucifix, as Jacques Molay was condemned for: some say Templars surviving in Scotland became the deplorable Freemasons, by infiltrating what had previously been Lodges of simple builders, and it is just barely possible but not at all likely that such degeneration happened to some Culdees as well).

But it is normally so that the Culdees who were not allowed to continue in their older discipline after Norman Conquests of the Celtic fringes (as well as Monks of Ely after Norman Conquest in England) took the Benedictine or later possibly Cistercian discipline. And on what basis could you say there were exceptions living on as a secret society or that new Benedictines even were secretly disloyal to the new Church discipline but at same time highly organised? Contemporary documents? - Not that I know of.

Wyclef stated he belonged to a secret society? - Would have been dangerous. Not likely.

Secret societies later claimed they continued the Culdees whose man Wyclef was? - That is in my opinion the very likeliest basis, unless it is just hysteria about Catholicism making secret society like behaviour a necessity for true Christians and trying to identify the "secret society Christians", picking Culdees for a reason or another.

Some have stated that the whole Reformation (like Freemasonry, like Bolshevism) is after all the product of people acting sometimes after the fashion of secret societies. These would be Jews, the sect that much earlier had crucified Our Lord. I find it barely likelier Jews by hatred of Christianity (which was offering them a status of second class citizens, after all) would have misunderstood or otherwise attacked the Holy Eucharist, picked out a man who did not shun them too much, talked to him and so on ...

But at least as likely if not likelier that some persecuted Waldensians - for there were times when they were persecuted - approached him.

If we can discount that, we can say he was his own deluder.

Here prepared a little tract called the Wicket, and it was a denial of Transsubstantiation.

That much is nearly sure that he denied Transsubstantiation. Or at least attacked it. Has the tract been preserved or not? Has if there is one its genuine descent from the pen of Wycliff been duly established?

Because the Bible did not support the idea that there is some kind of illusion or som kind of hocus pocus

The "refutation" of Transsubstantiation based thereon was refuted itself by St Thomas Aquinas:***

Summa Theologiae, III P, Q 75


Summa Theologiae, III P, Q 77

From the latter, A 1:

Objection 1. It seems that the accidents do not remain in this sacrament without a subject, because there ought not to be anything disorderly or deceitful in this sacrament of truth. But for accidents to be without a subject is contrary to the order which God established in nature; and furthermore it seems to savor of deceit, since accidents are naturally the signs of the nature of the subject. Therefore the accidents are not without a subject in this sacrament.

Reply to Objection 1. There is nothing to hinder the common law of nature from ordaining a thing, the contrary of which is nevertheless ordained by a special privilege of grace, as is evident in the raising of the dead, and in the restoring of sight to the blind: even thus in human affairs, to some individuals some things are granted by special privilege which are outside the common law. And so, even though it be according to the common law of nature for an accident to be in a subject, still for a special reason, according to the order of grace, the accidents exist in this sacrament without a subject, on account of the reasons given above (75, 5).

In other words, it is the real lightness or whiteness of bread you experience by touch or sight even when there is no real bread there any longer. And because the real whiteness and lightness is still there, same lightness and whiteness as when they were those of bread not yet consecrated, there is no deceit. There is no illusion.

And they would serve the elements in a Cannibalistic way.

Not at all. Cannibalism means eating the body of a man dead, or possibly dying from the cannibalism, unless it is very limited as in modern perversions of ritual Vampyrism. It means taking away pieces or drops to eat by one man what would otherwise have been the life of another one.

But Christ is risen, and His Body and Blood are not there under their own dimensions. Each communicant takes into his mouth and swallows, under the dimensions of bread and wine, not a piece of Christ's body but all of it, not a drop of Christ's blood but all of it. It is not blood as being spilled, it is blood as running in the veins of the Risen Body. Communion is not Cannibalism, it is offering up one's body to be a place where Christ is in His Body and Blood. Cannibalism is eating someone else's death. Communion is eating God's life. Cannibalism is eating someone weaker than oneself, since already dead. Communion is eating someone stronger than oneself, since already risen and since the very Person of God the Son, of God Almighty.

However, if Wycliff himself made the charge - I am right now searching Wikipedia for "The Wicket Wycliffe Lollards" and I get: "Did you mean: The Cricket Wycliffe Lollards" because Wicket is also a term in the Cricket game - then he was basically agreeing with Jewish anti-Christian and earlier Roman Pagan anti-Christian polemics. The "Cannibal" charge against Christians was made due to the Holy Eucharist. The Cannibal charge made by Celsus.

While on search for The Wicket, I get to an Old Paths Publications where Wycliff is said to have "defended property rights against Rome." He did not, he attacked voluntary poverty, the state in which the Church of Jerusalem lived. He called people having sold all their property and given it to the poor and living as beggars "thieves" precisely as the Pharisees and Sadducees might have called the Church in Jerusalem.

Between St Jerome and the time of Wycliff, the Faith delivered to and through the Apostles was not kept alive by a secret society of Culdees emanating into Wycliff, but by the established Church - including the time when it condemned Wycliff.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Château d'Eau Library
St John of Matha, O. SS. Trin.

* As per mail I received Craig Lampe is Ph. D. I am neither claiming nor denying it, he is claiming it. As to what University or what subject, I do not know. It is not Lund University's Faculty for History, nor for Classical Studies. I know a Historian there, I studied Latin there, such ignorance as his about the Latin Middle Ages is inconceivable there. At least if you are promoted to Ph.D. - as I was not but do not claim to have been.

** Probable reference not to the kind of candles or tapers of wax you seen in Church, but to oil lamps. These had wicks like candles, and I am quoting from memory.

*** His Summa Theologiae is available online, both Latin and English translation. It has five parts, of which he did the first four in context. Prima Pars (I P) is about God as Creator and about Creation in General. Secunda Pars is really two parts, it is about Human Actions and their principles and that means it is there you find definitions of Sin and Grace. Prima Secundae (I-II) deals with basic principles of human actions, there you find freewill and passions, law and grace and the charismata. Secunda Secundae (II-II) deals with diverse virtues and sins. There you can find definition of Faith, Hope and Charity - as well as of diverse sins against these. Tertia Pars (III P) deals with Incarnation, Redemption, Church and Sacraments. But III P is only the part he completed himself. It includes Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, but the general outline of the work is followed up by his disciples in Tertiae Partis Supplementum (III Suppl.), which takes the rest of the Sacraments, and in context with Penance deals also with Indulgences. After the Sacraments it goes on to Eschatology. Its words are his, but taken together from earlier works done on other plans, basically. Each of these five parts - I, I-II, II-II, III, (III) Suppl - is divided into sections not marked in citation but these are subdivided into Quaestiones that are numbered all through such a part. After one quaestio dealing with Theology and Holy Writ you continue counting the Quaestiones about God, as such, as Trinity, as Creator, and after that the numbering continues unbroken for the Quaestiones about Creation (Q 70 is about "The Work of Fourth Day of Creation" for instance), and each Quaestio is subdivided into closely related aspects, known as Articles. Each Article begins with the "Objections" against truth, continues one authority for truth known as "Sed Contra", then comes St Thomas' explanation of the main point in the "In corpore" and then his answers to objections in the final parts known as "Ad 1, ad 2 ..." enumerating the responses to each of the objections in same order.

tisdag 5 februari 2013

Good News about Protestants

I received a mail from the author of The Forbidden Book:

Dear Sir, I received your research on The Forbidden Book. I will review it carefully. Thank you for sending it to us. Craig Lampe, Ph.D

Now, that is a change from the days of "bilious Bale". If mistaken, now they will at least look it up!/HGL

måndag 28 januari 2013

The Royal Inquisition, England, Compared to Others

"Discover how the Word was preserved through the 1,000 year period of the Dark and Middle Ages, when possession of scripture in any language other than Latin meant certain death at the hands of the organized church."

source of quote:

It did not.

Possession in English might have meant death during the anti-Lollard Inquisition, decided by one law of the English Parliament, for about one hundred years.

This is what wikipedia states:

The De heretico comburendo (2 Hen.4 c.15) was a law passed by Parliament under King Henry IV of England in 1401, punishing heretics with burning at the stake. This law was one of the strictest religious censorship statutes ever enacted in England.

The statute declared there were "...divers false and perverse people of a certain new sect...they make and write books, they do wickedly instruct and inform people...and commit subversion of the said catholic faith".[1] The sect alluded to is the Lollards, followers of John Wycliffe.

De heretico comburendo urged "...that this wicked sect, preachings, doctrines, and opinions, should from henceforth cease and be utterly destroyed...", and declared "...that all and singular having such books or any writings of such wicked doctrine and opinions, shall really with effect deliver or cause to be delivered all such books and writings to the diocesan of the same place within forty days from the time of the proclamation of this ordinance and statute."[1]

"And if any person...such books in the form aforesaid do not deliver, then the diocesan of the same place in his diocese such person or persons in this behalf defamed or evidently suspected and every of them may by the authority of the said ordinance and statute cause to be arrested...". If they failed to abjure their "heretical" beliefs, or relapsed after an initial abjuration, they would " burnt, that such punishment may strike fear into the minds of others...".[1]

Section 6 of the Act of Supremacy (1 Eliz.1 c.1) (1559) repealed the statutes but it was not until March 1677 that a bill to take away the Crown's right to the writ was introduced in the House of Commons. It passed in that session.

Footnote 1 links to full text of the Royal - not Papal! - decree, English version:

De Hæretico Comburendo (1401)

Continued: While we are speaking about Lollards: they petitioned the parliament in 1395. It seems they wanted the Parliament to force their ways on the Catholic Church in England, which was at the time the only Church there, the Church of everyone, except, recently, these Lollards. Now, 1401 Henry IV decides they shall be burned. What happened? Did the Parliament listen to their demands, make a decision, that the Pope wanted the King to override, and did the King dissolve the Parliament in order to push this, in obedience to the Pope?

No, you will happen to recall that 1401 was during the period of 39 years when there were two Popes.

One was in the Holy Roman Empire of Germanic Nation (a part of it that was Roman enough to speak Provençal), namely in Avignon, close to the French border (it became Spanish briefly during Thirty Years War and was conquered by France under Louis XIV). Not in England. The other one was in Rome. Not in England either. It seems the English decision has something to do with English independence from either Pope rather than with Papal decisions.

It seems that the Parliament debated the Lollard petition and came to the conclusion that the Lollards were wicked and dangerous. They took the decision to persecute heresy in those particular ways (burning was staple rather than as elsewhere rare, inquiry was free rather than regulated - i e torture was elsewhere limited to maximum three days - and it was in the hand of a bishop rather than of Friars like Franciscans or Dominicans depending on the Pope). And Henry IV ratified it in 1401.

When John Foxe started writing his Booke of Martyrs, he was writing about that one, not about the French or Spanish or Italian Inquisitions. For some reason, maybe that Mary Tudor persecuted him out of England (under that English law, since Cardinal Reginald Pole had advised her not to burn any heretics, but she insisted), and he was given shelter on the continent, the heretics there saw an opportunity to achieve a book about their glorious past, as they mythologised it. And John Foxe widened the scope of his book.

Had anything like the English Inquisition gone on on the Continent? Yes. In France. In the parts where English King was recognised as the French one too. After 1401.

I will now turn to a better historian than John Foxe, and "as good an Inquisition hater as he", namely Henry Charles Lea. Since I read a French translation, I will backtranslate to English, beside the official French translation of the work. Histoire de l'Inquisition au Moyen-Age has been translated to French in 1900 and reedited in 1986, the text is by one Salomon Reinach. "American" original 1887. Page references are to original English (or "American") edition, which are given in the margin, this is 139 and Pope Martin V finds the Inquisition needs financing, it had no money to fulfill its functions any more:

Peut-être trouverait-on une réponse à cette question dans une pétition signée, en cette même année 1418, par les citoyens d'Avignon en faveur des Juifs.
 Maybe one would find an answer to this question in a petition signed, this same year 1418, by the burghers of Avignon in favour of the Jews.
La protection accordé par les papes avignonnais à la race proscrite avait fait de la ville un centre juif.
 The protection accorded by the Popes of Avignon to the proscribed race had made the city a Jewish centre.
Ils y rendaient des services que la population appréciait, mais ils étaient sans cesse molestés par les inquisiteurs, qui entamaient, contre eux des poursuites sans motifs, mais non, peut-être, sans profits.
 They there rendered services appreciated by the population, but they were unceasingly molested by the Inquisitors, who began pursuits against them without any motive, but not, perhaps, without any gain.

Note that the assessment of Jewish innocence here is his, not mine. In religious matters they were quite offensive now and then. A bit more than Lollards, perhaps even. And I suspect H-C Lea to be more than a bit obtuse about that.

Martin écouta avec bienveillance la requête.
 Martin heard the request favourably.
Telle était la déchéance de l'Inquisition que le pape donna aux Juifs le droit de nommer un assesseur, chargé de siéger à côté de l'inquisiteur en toute affaire les concernant.
 Such was the downfall of the Inquisition that the Pope gave the Jews the right to name an assessor, charged to sit beside the Inquisitor in every proceeding where they were concerned.

Compare Jews and Lollards, or the English Parliament from 1395 to 1401 with the burghers of Avignon in 1418, and compare Henry IV, King of England, with Martin V, Pope of Rome (he was, I recall, the first one Pope after the Schism).

Now, Dr. Craig Lampe pretended that Julius II and Leo X "began Holy Wars against the Jews" ... well, no. They succeeded a century after Martin V, and the habit of protecting Jews was strong with Papacy. Here, fortunately, I found a source not favourable to Popes or to Inquisition, who documents this.

Henry-Charles Lea however considered the presence of assessors a downfall of Inquisition. On the contrary, one brag of the Inquisition over centuries was being more fairminded than secular courts. In Spain people would commit some religious offense - not on burning-at-the-stake-level, but something like swearing, which was considered blasphemy (and to be fair, it was). The Inquisitor would hear their confession of the crime, hear their extenuating circumstances, and thereby give them a fair hearing in the case tha really concerned them. He would then give them a penance for swearing, which penance was a pilgrimage to Santiago - during which time of course the secular court could not pursue them. Besides, they could not pursue them because the Inquisition was a higher court, simple as that.

Why were the Lollards hated? Look here:


Unlike what you may think, until the times when the martyrdoms inflicted on them by the English Inquisition had given them a halo of sainthood, Lollards may have been thought of as creepy odd-balls.

Number four blasphemes the Blessed Sacrament, and number eight the Holy Cross and other relics. And that in the land of Glastonbury, proud of having, somewhere hidden, the relic which is as holy as cross and lance, namely chalice. Thanks to St Joseph of Arimathea.

But can even St Joan of Arc have been executed as suspect of being a Lollard? Look at nr 10 "That. manslaughter in war, or by pretended law of justice for a temporal cause, without spiritual revelation, is expressly contrary to the New Testament, which indeed is the law of grace and full of mercies." Now, St Joan had precisely a spiritual revelation about her war against the English in France. Did she believe such a one was necessary for a war not to be sinful? No, of course not. She was Catholic. As Catholic as any Protestant in the Spanish-American War, on that point. But the fact remains, the charge of heresy in context with a spiritual revelation about a war, as well as the fact that the proceedings were like Inquisitorial proceedings in England rather than the usual ones in France, makes my point. I have not yet read H-C Lea's account of Saint Joan of Arc's process./HGL

söndag 27 januari 2013

Answers about "The Forbidden Book"

Chesterton wrote this in chapter II of his The Catholic Church and Conversion: "I owe it to the liberal and Universalist atmosphere of my family, of Stopford Brooke and the Unitarian preachers they followed, that I was always just sufficiently enlightened to be out of the reach of Maria Monk." Maria Monk is actually cited in a certain kind of anti-Catholic literature. "It is true that this general truth was hidden from many by certain definite assertions. I can only call them, in simple language, Protestant lies about Catholic lying. The men who repeated them were not necessarily lying, because they were repeating. But the statements were of the same lucid and precise order as a statement that the Pope has three legs or that Rome is situated at the North Pole. There is no more doubt about their nature than that. One of them, for instance, is the positive statement, once heard everywhere and still heard often: "Roman Catholics are taught that anything is lawful if done for the good of the Church." This is not the fact; and there is an end of it. It refers to a definite statement of an institution whose statements are very definite; and it can be proved to be totally false. Here as always the critics cannot see that they are trying to have it both ways. They are always complaining that our creed is cut and dried; that we are told what to believe and must believe nothing else; that it is all written down for us in bulls and confessions of faith. In so far as this is true, it brings a matter like this to the point of legal and literal truth, which can be tested; and so tested, it is a lie. But even here I was saved at a very early stage by noticing a curious fact. I noticed that those who were most ready to blame priests for relying on rigid formulas seldom took the trouble to find out what the formulas were." And a little further down: "I never dreamed that the Roman religion was true; but I knew that its accusers, for some reason or other, were curiously inaccurate."

So, even if a Protestant tells you so and so about Rome, it is not always so and so. I have seen a video, which is curiously inaccurate about almost any aspect of "Catholicism between 400 and 1400", including about who was Pope when. It does accurately state that Catholics were required, as always, to believe Transsubstantiation, that is that in Holy Mass the bread and wine truly and substantially, and not just symbolically, though usually not externally, are turned into the very and substantial Body and Blood of Our Lord. We are also required to believe Indulgences and Pilgrimages are good, and some of us are required by some penance to do a prayer which is indulgenced or make a pilgrimage, which are usually indulgenced.

Somewhat lower down, the statement is that indulgences stopped secular justice from pursuing criminals. Pilgrimages actually did that and the Culdees were actually very much for that. You see, criminals are often enough punished by the state so that bad men shall not continue to poison society. But penance is rehabilitation, it is so before God and in some cases - such as pilgrimages - before man as well. I made a pilgrimage for another purpose myself, it was not imposed as penance, but I do know for a fact that the same pilgrimage was used as penance by he Inquisition. But I am afraid, dear reader, that if you are not already a Catholic, you will think I am mad for using words like Culdee, Indulgence, Inquisition and for that matter rehabilitation in manners not familiar to you. So, I will link to this video, of which I have so far answered the first minutes, the first long third or short half, and then we shall see about my explanations. If you are a Protestant, the accusations made in the video may be more familiar to you than my explanations. Keep reading. But first hear the video:

The Forbidden Book - History of the English Bible (2 of 7, put on line by Anastasis 300)

In what follows, I will "print" the quotations from the video (skipping what I already wrote about) in bold or fat letters, and here is the first one:

"As the centuries passed, the Vulgate would be corrupted by unfaithful copy, and the interpretation of the canon was restricted to a few dozen scholars in each generation".

Tell me, unfaithful copy, does it corrupt systematically or at random?

At random, I think you will have to agree.

Now, if there were lots of copies made and distributed all over the Catholic world (mainly Roman Empire, soon also Germanic and Celtic parts outside the Empire, like Wessex or Iona), why would and how could any one bad copy error spread all over the copies of the Vulgate?

When Pope Innocent III argued against remarriage of divorced, he seems to have had a bad text for Matthew 19:9. He quoted as "etsi propter fornicationem" ("even if it be because of fornication"), but the Vulgate as we now have it has "nisi ob fornicationem" ("unless it be because of fornication"). The variant ob/propter is not important, and I quote Innocent III from memory, so maybe it was ob there too. But "nisi" and "etsi" mean very different things.

However, later Catholics, accepting the "nisi" reading, also argue against remarriage after mere divorce. We say it means "unless it be because the apparent marriage is a fonrication", like if one finds out too late that the husband and wife are really brother and sister and so were never married at all before God.

But the point is, even if Pope Innocent III had a bad text (not meaning his conclusion was wrong!), the good reading existed beside the bad one.

Saying that all copies of the Vulgate got tarnished by one and same error of copy is like presuming that bleeders' disease (the one that is inherited by X chromosome, but also cancelled by other X chromosome, so that a man gets it if his mother carries it in the ovum he comes from, but a woman gets it only if she has it both from mother and paternal grandmother) could become universal feature of all families of an entire big nation. It is impossible. Because the bleeder's disease or haemophilia arose as a random mutation, way after Adam, way after Noah and his three sons and their wives. Precisely so, errors from unfaithful copying arise, among good Christians dealing with the Bible, only at random.

The "few dozen scholars" in each generation is hardly any better. What this is based on - and the misunderstanding can be honest, if stupid - is that only a few dozen scholars in each generations have survived as commentators to our times. It is hardly likely even that is true, but it has at least some likelihood. But it is certainly not true that only a few dozen scholars in each generation had any chance of being busy with Biblical exegesis.

However, believing as they did, and as we do, that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, they were not much into doing original research. They were usually content to copy what comments already existed - except of course when these were either silent or diverged on any one question that any one exegete thought important. But in such a case, there were in each generation thousands of monks and bishops and secular clergy and canons living with their bishop after the rule of St Augustine and so on and so forth, sometimes even nuns, for that matter, who would be able to contribute and from among whom the preserved contributions of those times do come.

"By 400 a.D. the Scriptures had been translated into over 500 languages"

Tough luck for this lie, I am somewhat of a linguist. I may be under some ostracism from other linguists for believing the tower of Babel and probable or at least possible non-unity of original Indo-European input into the language families concerned. But I do agree with linguists in general that 500 languages were very many more than what were available for writing in back then. Sumerian was dead, Akkadian was dead, Etruscan was dying or dead. Chinese was not dead, but far off from known Christian communities. Blackest Africa was avoided for centuries, after one of the Apostles failed there (meaning of course, well South or West of Civilised Aksoum and Ethiopia which became Christian). In France there was no Gaulish translation, because Gaulish was a boorish language, everyone spoke Latin and French is only later separated from Latin (by a.D. 800 the issue is clear, one could pronounce a Latin text as closely to popular pronunciation as you liked, but it was still not understandable: so a Council decided the priest after reading the Gospel text had to translate it in the Sermon into Lingua Romana Rustica, i e French around Paris or Provençal around Aix).

And since everyone spoke Latin in 400, there was very little need for other translations. French begins to be clearly different from Latin only 400 years later, and Spanish and Italian only 600 years later. Meaning of course, different from Latin as pronounced then and there, not as Caesar pronounced it.

But didn't it take centuries for French and Spanish and Italian to become the languages they are or were when first written? Yes, in a sense it did, and of course they were very different from Classical Latin way before that. But that does not mean that Latin in the Church was already impossible to understand. It was as easy for them, if they were used to it, as it is for you to read King James Version or Shakespear. Of course, when we read Shakespear aloud, we no longer pronounce "one" as in second syllable of "atone" or "alone", but rather as "wun". And when Éamonn DeValera read classical Irish poetry, a word like the one written "cride" was rather pronounced as "cree" in his mouth than as "creether" which would have been the Old Irish way to say the word. And when a Greek reads the New Testament, he is not pronouncing "kai" as "kuy" but as Spanish "qué". He is in fact resounding the ancient words in their ancient spellings according to the newer pronunciation. And, so were of course, up to that point in 813, the Catholic Priesthood everywhere where they spoke Latin as the people did. They could read the letters "seruus" or "seruum" and pronounce it like "sers" or "serf". They could read the letters "uolo" or "uult" and pronounce them "wirl"/"well" or "wirlt" (with audible L, but without audible R, "ir" being like Standard British pronunciation of "girl"). They adapted the code for reading to what the words were pronounced like in their own time, and so in a way do the English to this very day whose spelling goes back to Chaucer in its basics.

Now, when I said that everyone spoke Latin, that is true for the Western part of the Roman Empire, basically. But in Britain there were not so Romanised and in Ireland totally un-romanised Celts who did not. And the Germanic peoples did not either. So, were they without the Bible?

Not quite. Not just the fact that their clergy knew Latin, but also the fact that translations were made, though not exactly used in Liturgy.

To pray all of the Hours, by the text, you needed to be able to read all of the 150 psalms - in Latin. Alfred the Great translated 50 of them into Ænglisc - what we now call Old English or Anglo-Saxon. It was meant as a beginners aid with the psalter. He also translated De Cura Pastorali by Pope St Gregory the Great into Ænglisc - as well as Boëthius, De Consolatione Philosophiae, which he translated himself with some insertions of his own. Meanwhile, as to Bible story, there was a vers Genesis (being of course the story of Genesis), a verse Exodus (story of the other books of Pentateuch, but not laden with the actual legislation), Judith (even the scholar here found it profitable for history), and Christ (story of the four Gospels). I mean, if the verses we know best nowadays of Anglo-Saxon poetry were Beowulf and The Wanderer (I think the older title is Widsith), the verses probably read most back then were of course the Biblical poems. As useful perhaps for getting the Biblical History across, as the Comic books I read the Old Testament in when I was a child (and a believer in the Catholic Church as former persecutor of the Bible, theoretically, though that was not what I saw or cared about when it came to Catholics I had any contact with).

Similarily there are translations and paraphrases for Old Irish. And for Old Welsh. I know very little of them.

In Old Saxon - the Saxon of German Saxony - something like the poem "Christ" existed, it was Heliand. It was the Gospel story retold after the Gospel harmony of Tatian. So, no, there was no dearth of Holy Writ. The people were not cut off from it. Very much later, with somewhat less direct access to the writ outside sermons (unless these poems based on the Bible were read precisely as sermons), one Piers Plowman gave an answer that showed he knew the Gospel alright:

The plouman answered then the preste
Sire, I beleue in Ihesu Christe
Who suffred deth and harrowed Hell
As I haue hered mine elders tell.

As far as we know, he was not a Lollard. As far as I know, at least (before checking).

I checked, it is just a few years too early to be after John Wycliffe's declaration, and its author's name is not John but William. Scholars think it was written by one William Langland, but they are not sure.

"The technique to sustain its power was simple. Control people's minds by controlling their education. And control their education by controlling their language."

The one thing that was ensured by making sure things were conducted in Latin, in the West, was ensuring people got an education at all.

The Latin was not controlled by BBC speakers in Latin, it was not controlled by Latin teachers from every country being sent to Rome in order to acquire the exact language which they were to use among their pupils. And above all, there was perhaps an agreed but not a centrally controlled vocabulary, except in important matters such as Christianity.

When French missionaries came to the Iroquois and gave their lives to make them Roman Catholic, they did translate a bit of literature into Iroquois. But they found Iroquois so wanting - for the Christmas story they had neither any word for shepherd nor for sheep but replaced it with beaver hunters offering beaver skins to "the Son of Gitchemanitoo" - that obviously any Iroquois wanting to be a priest absolutely had to learn another language and probably French before Latin.

Now, the Vernaculars of Europe were not quite as wanting as Iroquois for the Christmas story - they had shepherds that spoke other languages than Latin after all - but they were hardly adequate for serious studies whether in theology or in law school. Irish being a remarcable exception due to oral culture of the Files.

"The Pope was elevated to God's sole agent to lead the Church. And resistance to his leadership was an act of heresy, punishable by excommunication, or by death."

Papacy was not the sole leadership, but shared leadership with bishops and abbots and kings and emperors in various configurations that were disputed. Excommunication means you cannot go to Communion - unless you find a priest who is willing to brave that excommunication. Emperors now and then found such priests despite being excommunicated, and so did the King who eventually killed St Thomas Becket - or had him killed, more properly.

Heresy and schism are two different crimes to Canon Law. Both are punishable by excommunication but different ones. Even heresy was not punishable by death until after year 1000. The first Manichean heretics, that is the first believer in Satanic Creation of bodies and biology and divine creation of souls only, who got burned on a stake for that heresy (there came many before him) was Basil the Physician, who was burned by the Romaic Emperor (some call that Byzantine) Alexius I Comnenus or Ἀλέξιος Α' Κομνηνός. That was in 1118. Way after a.D. 400. Way irrelevant to Ἀλέξιος that Basil the Physician "opposed the spiritual leadership of the Pope" (so did the Emperor who burned him). He opposed the doctrine revealed by God. That is what heresy is about. But in 1118 the Popes were not yet for burning heretics. Alexius lost his temper after a discussion with the heretic Basil.

Some would of course argue that Basil the Physician was not the first to be executed for heresy, but Priscillian was, and that was in Spain, before 400. However, Priscillian was executed for magic. By the Roman power.

When the Roman power persecuted the adherents of Priscillian, St Martin refused to partake in the persecution and even wanted to avoid sitting down next to one bishop who favoured it.

When St Augustine favoured - after seing the results - the persecution of Donatists, it was a persecution carried out by the secular power and after the Donatists had even been invited to a Council in order to defend, if they could, their position. They had been condemned as heretical. And remember, Donatists were as violent as the adherents of Muenzer or of Ziska, they were hardly peaceful Mennonites.

What was the punishment for Priscillianism? For Priscillian himself and a few more, who had appealed from the Council of Bourdeaux to the Emperor - at the time Maximus - it was death. Heresy was not among the charges, but things like magic (Priscillian, like John Todd, knew magic at least, so the charge is not absurd), praying naked, sedition (they had incited to stealing Catholic Churches) and a few more.

When Theodosius became Emperor, the crime of Priscillianism was exactly what is nowadays done by judges on council of psychiatrists for much lesser offenses, like alcoholism or drug abuse. Their property passed on to their heirs, unless these too had fallen into heresy. The slaves that denounced Priscillianist masters were freed. The slaves that followed Priscillianist masters in heresy fell to the fisc. And a Priscillianist could make no testament, sign no contract and so on and so forth. In other words, he was made a dependant. As the modern world does with far less bad people, with far more innocent ones.

And most surely, the Protestant who is so upset by "death penalty for heresy", and for that being inflicted by "papacy", is or was when alive (the video seems to be an older TV programme) not a quite Priscillianist heretic. At least not if he believed the Symbolum of St Athanasius, the Trinitarian form of which is closely repeated in the First Council of Toledo, in its Regula fidei contra omnes haereses, maxime contra priscillianistas.

"A world that had become free in Christ ..."

By a.D. 400, it was already fashionable to free ones slaves, if one was a Christian. But there were still slaves.

It was during the "Dark and Middle Ages" that Catholics, like Queen St Bathilde of France, abolished slavery.

The Council of Meaux or one of them (IXth C.) excommunicated slave hunters and slave traders, especially if selling to the Moslems or agressing Christians.

And of course, the slaves of Priscillianist masters were immediately freed on denouncing the heresy, as said. Another religious reason for a master to be forced to free a slave was if the Church saw him as having a real religious vocation. A master who refused to free a slave whom the Church considered worthy of priestly studies (we are talking about young people, presumably) was excommunicated.

"Indulgences were granted for crimes that ranged from adultery to murder, and rendered the state powerless to prosecute the criminal"

Well, no. Getting punished by the state and getting punished by God for eternity or in purgatory are two different things.

Indulgences are only about your situation before God.

"A list of tarriffs for various indulgences was established by Pope John XXII and first published by Pope Leo X"

If a Pope establishes a thing, he publishes it. Popes are no mafia bosses who establish things in secret that only later are published by other Popes.

G K Chesterton wrote: "A priest might say anything about the Faith; because a Protestant might say anything about the priest. These novels were padded with pronouncements like this one, for instance, which I happen to remember: "Disobeying a priest is the one sin for which there is no absolution. We term it a reserved case." Now obviously a man writing like that is simply imagining what might exist; it has never occurred to him to go and ask if it does exist. He has heard the phrase "a reserved case" and considers, in a poetic reverie, what he shall make it mean."

Similarily, 12 USD for all crimes would seem to be a poetic reverie for what "plenary indulgence" means. Did there exist "tarriff lists" for indulgences? Depends a bit on what you mean by a "tarriff".

"Lay out thy bread, and thy wine upon the burial of a just man, and do not eat and drink thereof with the wicked."

Tobias 4:18 - an Indulgence practised already in the Primitive Church, when said for the repose of the buried. Also a premonition of the Masses said on anniversaries of martyrdoms on martyrs' graves. And of course for the Indulgence won for a dead when a Mass is said for him.

Other indulgences involve pilgrimages or recital of prayers. I have seen prayer books from before Vatican II cited, with real indulgence "tariffs."

Such a prayer is 300 days indulgence. If said every day, it is a plenary indulgence once a month. Such another prayer is 400 days indulgence. And if said daily, a plenary indulgence once a month.

Such a prayer in Church if said within a week from confession and communion is plenary indulgence - as a Rosary in Church each of the 8 days from November 1 to November 8.

Such a pilgrimage if ended by confession, comunion, prayer in Church was plenary indulgence. St James, for instance.

Those are real indulgence "tarriffs." I have seen two explanations theologically for phrases like 300 days indulgence - one being a 300 days shorter time in Purgatory, one being a shortening of Purgatory corresponding to what 300 days of doing penance would have gained. Either way, plenary indulgence means immediately releasing a soul from Purgatory, and if the one you do it for is already in Heaven, it goes to another soul, especially if you pray God to so accept it.

But 1.25 USD for breaking celibacy, 2 USD for murder, 12 USD for indulgence in advance of all crimes one is about to commit, those are not real. For one thing, the list cannot be real since USD did not exist back then. For another thing the list cannot be real because there was no one currency back then. What would the prices have been like? Maravedies? Solidi? Mark? Guilders? Pennies? Shillings? What about currencies having neither pennies nor shillings? Scudi? You see the difficulty.

And for another thing, it would have meant not just a Total Corruption of Man, but an even more total corruption of Christian conscience than of Pagan consciences, and that would have meant an impossibility for Pagans to convert other than by brute force during those times. That is very much not so.

You see that this list with indulgenc tarriffs is pure phantasy. It is the staple of Anti-Catholic biassed disinformation of the Chick Tracts Type.

But what is true is that once a gift to the building of St Peter's basilica was included in the indulgenced pious practises. Tetzel was carrying one collection purse for it. That was abolished in 1563, by the Council of Trent.

Among the Orthodox, not all link Indulgence practises (like the one from Tobias 4:18) to Purgatory. Mark of Ephesus was the one bishop who opposed the decisions of the Council of Florence. He denied, among other things, especially Purgatory. He said that "saved, but as through a fire, and they shall suffer loss" means damnation, where "saved" bears no relation to eternal salvation from sin, only to non-annihilation. But he was not against prayers for the dead. On the contrary, he said these profit them very much. So, some Orthodox say that the forty days after death involve fighting with demons in airy toll-houses, but a much more common explanation, it would seem, is that the prayers for the dead, known from all eternity by God, are heard in ways that profit the salvation and merits - they do think the blessed in Heaven have different fulness of bliss according to merits acquired in the state of grace - of the persons before they die. Theoretically Purgatory would be another option in that spectrum, but since Mark of Ephesus - whom they consider and I once considered as a Saint - specifically opposed it, it has fallen out of it.

Earlier one of their complaints against Rome was that the Pope was seen as the only one able to add to the list of good works meriting indulgence, whereas in reality the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Antioch and Alexandria and Jerusalem at least also enjoy this privilege. Nowadays, when I brought this up while among Orthodox, I have had reactions like "yes, but Constantinople was destroyed for some sin, and we do not claim infallibility for each patriarchate singly, only for all the Patriarchates together" (which is also an argument used when it is brought up how Papist Photius of Constantinople was). Maybe they did not think "Indulgences" meant specified good works but rather sold pardons - they were US Americans and therefore living in a culture where that sad calumny against Rome is flourishing in connexion with the word Indulgences.

And an Orthodox lady I used to know told me she saw no theological problem with the indulgence letter she got, not indeed for money, but for a pilgrimage to Rome, or something like that.

But some will among them believe a priest about the Catholics who in his turn believes the Protestants about them, because he thinks the Catholic Church cannot be other than the first and worst Protestant sect, excusing the others.

Much as I find free-will baptists excused because they were not rebelling directly against Rome after a Catholic childhood, the founders, but they were Arminians who took after Mennonites. And even Arminians and Mennonites do not come straight from a rebellion against Rome, but Arminians, agreeing with the Jesuit Molina on free will, got out of Calvinism, which had rebelled directly against Rome (Calvin, Knox, Beza and Bucer all had, like the two men Bucer sought to unite posthumously despite them, Luther and Zwingli); and Mennonites were reformed adherents of Muenzer, distancing themselves from the latter's use of revolutionary violence.

Crusading has also been on the list of good works meriting indulgence - in so far as it is a question of crusades to the Holy Land or in Spain, it was technically indulgenced as "a pilgrimage carried out with arms". To the Holy Sepulchre or to St James. If one was killed in battle by the Infidels, and if one was in the state of grace - indulgences help only against Purgatory, not against Hell, which is where one goes if one has not God in the heart when dying - such an indulgence applied to oneself. If one returned safely, one could apply it for the soul of a deceased person.

I do not know exactly when the Crusades were taken from the list of indulgenced practises. I do know that the indulgence was not gained by the killing of non-Catholics as such, still less if these were not armed, but on relation to putting oneself into danger to protect weaker Christians, like civilians, clergy, monks, nuns, and of course Holy Places and things. And that implies non-Catholics were only a target if agressors of these or of the crusaders.

"Pope Julius granted an indulgence to the future pope Leo X who was married with two children."

The so-called Pope Julius shows a portrait of Innocent III:

Here is the real Pope Julius II:

And Pope Saint Julius I:

And the guy who had two children was Pope Alexander VI, he had them before becoming Pope. We will see his portrait later ...

But possibly John Bale mixed them up a bit. If the info comes from John Bale that is. It may have come from one of some other people like him too. Who was this John Bale, anyway? Let us take a look at wikipedian information about especially his work of 1547 "The Image of Both Churches":

The Image of Both Churches was published by John Bale in 1547, and is a thorough commentary on the book of Revelation, the last book in the Christian Bible. Bale proceeded by taking short passages and following with a detailed paraphrase to explain the meaning and significance of such things as the opening of the seven seals, the first beast, the second beast with two horns, the blowing of the trumpets, and the going forth of the horsemen. Of central concern was the correct identification of Antichrist.

Bale’s understanding of Revelation differs markedly from the current popular view. For example, he knows nothing of a future Antichrist, a charming wonder working man who will rise up at the very end of the age. This concept was taught by the Roman Catholic Church, but was refuted by Reformers such as William Tyndale, and also Martin Luther as he matured in his understanding. However, it is again accepted in the popular teachings of dispensationalism. Bale says, however, Antichrist is with us now, in the image of a Church. The opening of the seals describes what happens when God's word is brought forth into the light. He believed that he was living in the time of the opening of the sixth seal, the Reformation, a time of great upheaval when the Scriptures were being freed from the grip of the Church of Rome. He understood the time of the seventh seal to be when God's word would go forth more freely and peacefully: the final season of God's word while the present world stands.

Bale wrote during a time when many men had great passion for the Christian scriptures. His central thesis is that the book of Revelation is a prophecy of how God’s word and those who love it (the “saints”) would fare at the hands of men and a false Church during the last age, meaning the time between the ascension of Jesus and the end of the world. Bale identified two types of churches. First there was, and would be until the end of the age, a false church, or Church of Antichrist, which persecutes those who do not bow to its dictates. He did not entirely limit his criticism to militant Roman Catholics but commented, if circumspectly, upon others that followed the same example, both in England - which might be a reference to the early Church of England - and in “other regions”, perhaps a reference to tyrannical theocratic reigns of such Protestant leaders as Huldrych Zwingli on the continent. He also speaks critically of the Church of Mohammed (“Mahomet”): its tyranny over the people (the “Turks”) and persecution of the saints. Bale’s view is that persecutions reflect the image of Antichrist’s Church. By contrast, the true Church loves and teaches God's word truly

The Image of Both Churches is clearly influenced by the tenor and terror of the time. Writers then often used extremes of expression - either very flattering or very insulting - and Bale was no exception. But the times then were nothing like we know now. As documented by historian John Foxe, the times were fierce: men and women were publicly burned alive, dying in agony in flames, or were imprisoned, or had their goods confiscated and livelihoods taken away, for the crime of “heresy” – that is, disagreement with the reigning Church as to the meaning or import of God's word. Some fierceness of expression is perhaps understandable; however is also unfortunate in one who professes to follow the Lamb of God, for lambs are not fierce.

Now, first of all, the writer of these lines calls John Foxe an historian. In a sense he is. But his Book of Martyrs is very distorted history. In the same era, a Catholic called it the Protestant Legenda Aurea. I find that unfair to Legenda Aurea, actually.

Here is an assessment of Foxe's Book of Martyrs as to its accuracy:

Foxe based his accounts of martyrs before the early modern period on previous writers, including Eusebius, Bede, Matthew Paris, and many others. Foxe's own contribution was his compilation of the English martyrs from the period of the Lollards through the persecution of Mary I. Here Foxe had primary sources of all kinds to draw on: episcopal registers, reports of trials, and the testimony of eyewitnesses, a remarkable range of sources for English historical writing of the period.[47]

Foxe's material is more accurate when he deals with his own period, although it is selectively presented, and the book is not an impartial account. Sometimes Foxe copied documents verbatim; sometimes he adapted them to his own use. Although both he and his contemporary readers were more credulous than most moderns, Foxe presented "lifelike and vivid pictures of the manners and feelings of the day, full of details that could never have been invented by a forger."[48] Foxe's method of using his sources "proclaims the honest man, the sincere seeker after truth."[49]

It would have been fairer to say, that his account is more accurate when dealing with the English part of contemporary persecution of heretics. The earliest part is of course an accurate account of Catholics martyred by Romans before they converted, through Eusebius and Bede. But there is a middle part to it too, when he starts painting all the victims of the Inquisitions, not just the English one, as innocent Christians. For 13th C. he choses Matthew Paris - a monk, but an enemy of Papacy and of Mendicant orders. An upholder of the tyrant Frederick II the Stauffer. And as such as likely as not an enemy of Inquisition, since it was at the time exclusively papal and mendicant: endorsed by the Pope Innocent III and executed by Dominicans and Franciscans.

It may be that the English Inquisition took its non-Papal and non-Mendicant turn precisely due to the criticism of Matthew Paris. It was directed against Lollards and took Bishops for judges. They had no Papal reglement to follow. A French bishop under English rule under Hundred Years War did as they, he was named Cauchon and was bishop of Beauvais. He judged after much torture - more than the Papal reglement allowed - St Joan of Arc to the flames. As she was burned, her executors said "we are lost, we have burnt a saint".

That was however after the time of Matthew Paris.

If Foxe had been fair minded, he might not have given as much credence as he did to horror stories about the Inquisition on the continent. It was after all the English Inquisition that he knew. But then his wife had been from early on an admiring fan of the Coventry martyrs, Lollards burned in the early 1500's by the bishop of Coventry's decision.

So, Foxe was prejudiced against the continental Inquisition because he had seen the English one (which continued under Protestantism as the Star Chamber, basically, and persecuted Catholics while Foxe and Bale were writing), and Bale trusted the untruths about Rome abroad that he found in Foxe ... and he did not go to Italy, so he was not exactly in a position to know at first hand what Popes had and what Popes had not two children.

Let us take the question of Leo X being married and having two children by Indulgence of "Pope Julius" (whom the speaker does not precise whether its is Pope St Julius I, a martyr and 35th bishop of Rome, Pope Julius II - who at least lived in the Renaissance or Pope Innocent III, whose portrait was shown in the video) first ... Alexander VI, who was a Borgia, not a Medici, and who was far earlier than Leo X, did have two children. They were called Lucrezia and Césare. She was famous for poisoning and he for politics without scruples. Neither of them was involved in Papacy as such and one can imagine their dad Pope Alexander VI was a bit ashamed of them, since they were proof he had sinned against his duty of celibacy. However, a Protestant controversialist like Foxe or Bale was hardly likely to be content with attacking Alexander VI for that. I mean, he was not involved in condemning Protestant heresies, so condemning him was far more useful in connexion with English or French Colonialism in the Americas, because he had divided the Colonial Empire into only two spheres, the Portuguese with West Africa and Brazil and the Spanish with the rest of the Americas (in theory, though France and England would change that, and even Holland) and the Philippines ... but if you wanted to defend specifically Protestantism rather than Catholicism independent of the Papacy (such as that of Frederick II or Matthew Paris or the kings of France or Henry VIII), you had to defend Luther, and so you had to attack not the Borgia Pope, but one of the Medici Popes, Leo X.

On the video it was not stated who the two children of Leo X were. Obviously not Lucrezia and Césare though. However, on a google for "Leo X Holy Wars" I found a Satanist site which has "canonised" Leo X as a saint of evil (Catholicism has not canonised him as a saint, but that does not mean he was extremely bad), on accounts of among other things nepotistically making cardinals his two sons, the future Medici Popes Clement VII and Pius IV. Now, on wikipedia I found a genealogy of the Medicis which as father for Clement VII stated not a John Medici (=Leo X), but a Julius Medici. When looking up Clement VII I found he was ... first cousin of Leo X. As to Pius IV, he was from a burgher family not closely related to the Medici nobility but bearing the same name. Could John Bale have been jumping to conclusions?

You see, Pope Leo X was the Pope who had first condemned 41 out of Luther's 97+95 (much overlapping) theses in Exsurge Domine, then sent him Cardinal Caietano for a debate and at last excommunicated him so as to have him count as a "publican and a heathen". Admitting Pope Leo X was something like decent was hardly in the interest of one seeing Luther as the opening of the sixth seal of the Apocalypse.

The Satanist "Saint Leo X" page except having info about who Leo X is supposed to have been father to also included the infamous apocryphic quote attributed to Leo X by one John Bale. Here is a page with real research about that quote:

So, do you believe Satanists and English second rate Reformers - or do you believe Protestant Apolegetics writers of the present?

"Augustine's proclamation about prostitution as a necessary evil resulted in over 100.000 prostitutes being employed by the Church."

Reminds me of Chesterton's "in Protestant fiction the priest can say anything, because the writer can say anything about the priest". Now, it is quite true that St Augustine regarded prostitution as a necessary evil, and said so. That was hardly a proclamation. And it was certainly not the Church that employed Prostitutes.

One real consequence of these words by St Augustine was that St Louis IX of France legalised Prostitution. It was already going on illegally. One condition for legally being a Prostitute was not to hook close to the Church. One or two blocks away at least. And a few more things that while giving some the impression of making Paris less decent actually made it more so. I am not sure whether medical exams for venereal diseases come from St Louis IX or very much later.

The building of beautiful buildings was "a practise that threatened to bankrupt the Church"

Not quite, since Churches were built with interruptions rather than by loans. See thereone my essay:

Medieval Matters for Richard Dawkins (scroll down to "Cathedrals")

"unless new ways to raise money could be employed. One such way was to raise enormous sums of money from parishes by granting pardon from penance in purgatory".

At least one thing right: purgatory is penance rather than hellfire. I say "rather than" because penance is inexact. Penance is done on earth to avoid both Hell and Purgatory if done well enough.

Enormous sums is like speaking of the enormous sums Billy Graham got together. Enormous when added up, yes. When given by each man, no.

"Popes Julius and Leo declared the Holy Wars to justify the mass slaughter of Jews, to steal their money and possessions in order to finance the building of the Vatican."

Wars, Holy or not, are usually documented. They are not directed against Jews, at the time, since these had no independent statehood.

Documentation is available for the real acts of Pope Julius II:

Cherubini Vol 1 ff 477 - 534, Bullarium Suae Sanctitatis Iulii II,_SS_Iulius_II,_Bullarium_(Cherubini_vol_1_ff_477-534),_LT.pdf

And for Pope Leo X:

Cherubini vol1 ff 534-628 Bullarium SS Leo X,_SS_Leo_X,_Bullarium_(Cherubini_vol1_ff_534-628),_LT.pdf

Cherubini vol 4 ff 296-298: Constitutiones SS Leo X,_SS_Leo_X,_Constitutiones_(Cherubini_vol_4_ff_296-298),_LT.pdf

Find such declarations of war on the Jews in the Bullarium or shut up the lies you came with!

Same goes for other allegations against other Popes, here is the index to bulls and encyclicals of Popes:

"Pope Leo X revealed the truth of his convictions when he said: 'how profitable the fable of Christ has been to us!'"

At least if you believe John Bale's satyric play called A Pageant of Popes.

John Bale, first a Catholic friar, a Carmelite, actually only wrote the satyric play in Latin. It was translated into English later, by people on whom the jokes were lost.

"This was the age of two Popes, one in France, one in Rome. They were making a mockery of Christianity."

Actually the age of two popes lasted for a few decades after seventy years of Papal exile, and was way past when Leo X ruled. 1378 to 1417 was the age of two rival papacies. And that period of the Papacy stranded in France had lasted 1309 to 1376.

"Pope Urban VI and Clement VII were each claiming to be Pope"

Real Portraits of Clement VII, whereas the one shown as his portrait in the film is ... Alexander VI:

"How was the word of God preserved during these centuries?"

The actor ties the "Bible college of Iona" (in real history a monastery) to a "secret society" called the "Culdees".

Sorry, but secret societies are not God's way!

Who loveth the light ... et c.

Moses did not form a secret society. Aaron did not form one, though the college of Aaronite priests held secrets from the people such as the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation. The Kabbalah has been a way to distort that secret teaching away from Christianity. At least in books like Zohar. But the Kohanim were no secret society. Their sacrifices went on with very few interruptions - they did go underground during the reign of Athaliah, though, but that was one lifetime and it was catacombs rather than secrecy oaths and such stuff - from Aaron up to that sacrifice which Kaiaphas should not do, because he had sullied himself with the murder of God.

Nor did the Christians exactly survive as a secret society even under persecution for 280 years. Preaching was open, and some openness there was as to the type of rites performed and the fact it was on a Sunday, before morning (Sunday service being not just Holy Mass, but starting with Laudes back then).

"He who is ashamed before me before men ..."

If the Culdees, so called, were against Romanism, and did not say so, they partook of its sins.

And that is obviously rot. In reality they were monks:

Sometimes they were against people more faithful to Rome, i e Anglo-Saxon and Norman monks. But they were not against Catholicism as in what a Protestant objects to in it.

When the actor states that the Culdees had a Bible College in Iona, that is actually not too bad as history goes. Monks do read the psalter every day - Copts take all 150 psalms each day, and so spend much time reciting psalms, Benedictines and Canons of St Augustine and other Western monks and nuns of the Latin rite take 150 psalms per week. So does the Byzantine Church, except it says them in the order they are in the psalter, starting with the first eight psalms, I seem to recall, with Great Vespers, Saturday Evening, the canonic beginning of Sunday. How long Culdees took to recite the psalter, one day or one week, I do not know. But that is not all, there was a time between the first two prayers in the morning when each monk was supposed to study, usually the Bible. Matins could be at midnight or at two or three o' clock in the morning - at least for equinoctial hours, adaptations were made according to the seasons - and Lauds at Sunrise. Between Matins and Lauds a Monk was supposed to read, often enough the Bible, often enough book after book, and each part of each book as slowly as possible; reading silently so as not to disturb the others, but at the same time trying to savour the words as if they were reading them aloud. We talk about breathing and articulating without using the voice, for each sentence, then going silent completely and savouring it. And of course copying books by hand - often Bibles, but also Psalters and Missals - gave such monks as were employed therein another daily chance to read the Holy Texts.

Did you read all that much Scripture in your Bible college? I know that I as a layman in the Catholic Church do not.

Now, what were the words of Wycleff? He said the two Popes were false priests.

But how many years did the situation last for? 1378 to 1417. Just 39 years. Some people denying that John Paul II was the true Pope arranged Papal elections with what they considered enough canonicity. Pulvermacher when elected per e-mails (took the name Pius XIII) stated "we broke the record, that was 39 years without a pope, this time it was forty" ...

Explanations due and forthcoming:

- Why "39 years without a Pope"? Because "dubius papa nullus papa" according to the moralists. Or the ones he cited. When there were two popes, both were doubtful, so neither was a pope whom it was clearly compulsory to follow.

- Why "this time it was forty"? Because he considered himself the first pope since 1958, when Pius XII died. He considered the previous election of Michael I (32 years after 1958, 1990) as invalid, due to only lay electors and a layman elected. Now, lately, Michael I, or David Bawden, has been provided with Apostolic Succession as a bishop.

So, 39 years of double papacy, is that "making a mockery of Christ"?

Wiki even says Wycliffe was suspet of heresy before the schism:

"The demand of the Minorites that the Church should live in poverty as it did in the days of the apostles was not pleasing in such a crisis. It was under these conditions that Pope Gregory XI, who in January, 1377, had gone from Avignon to Rome, sent on 22 May five copies of his bull against Wycliffe, dispatching one to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the others to the Bishop of London, King Edward III, the Chancellor, and the university; among the enclosures were 18 theses of his, which were denounced as erroneous and dangerous to Church and State."

No, this sketch of history between 400 and Wycliffe will not do as history. Sorry, but the TV-Trope applies "You fail history forever". (It has been renamed: Artistic Licence: History).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Paris, Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St John Chrysostom