Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 23, 1953

Papal Infallibility — No. 2

Luther W. Martin, Rolla, Missouri

(Note: — This is the second part of an article which appeared in the New York Times shortly before the Vatican Council of 1870 declared the doctrine of papal infallibility to be true. The first half of the article appeared last week. The article shows that even within the Catholic Church herself there was strong and bitter opposition to the "infallibility" doctrine.)

"XVIII. According to the doctrine of the Popes Innocent III., Alexander IV., and Bonifacius, it is just and Christian to deprive the children of those who differ from the church on religious matters, of their birthright, even though they themselves are Catholics. If the sons, however, accuse their father of heresy, and thus deliver him up to death at the stake, their inheritance, according to Papal teaching, is not to be confiscated.

"XIX. According to the Papal doctrine, torture is an institution completely in harmony with morality and the spirit of the gospel, and it is especially advisable to employ it against those who are accused of heresy. Such were the decrees of Innocent IV., and several later Popes. Paul IV., particularly recommended a very general use of the rack.

"XX. According to the doctrine and regulations of Pope Pius V., (1569), to put those who have confessed another faith, or who have been proved guilty of heresy, to the rack, in order to induce them to denounce those who have shared their opinions, is just and Christian.

"XXI. According to the bull of the canonized Pope Pius V., even the sons of a man who insults an Inquisitor are to be punished by infamy and the loss of their property.

"XXII. A number of Papal decrees declare it to be the duty of every Christian who discovers a trace of heresy or unsound doctrine in others, though they be his nearest relations, to denounce them, and thus deliver them up to imprisonment, torture and death.

"XXIII. The same Popes declared it to be just and Christian, and consequently commanded that the relapsed, even when they retract their errors, and return to the faith of the church, shall be executed, and, furthermore, that witnesses who would not have been admitted as evidence by any other court, on account of their infamy or former crimes, may be heard against the accused in a trial for heresy.

"XXIV. According to the Papal doctrine, it is just and Christian to deprive the adherents of other opinions of their children, in order that they may be educated in the Catholic faith. Thus, Pope Innocent, by a decree of the holy office at Rome, declared the edict, by which Duke Victor Amadeus, of Savoy, in 1794, restored the children of the persecuted Waldenses, of his State, to their parents, null and void.

"XXV. According to the Papal doctrine, a sentence pronounced on heresy can never be commuted, nor can a person condemned to death or imprisonment for life on this account be pardoned.

"XXVI. Down to the year 1553, the papal teaching was that whosoever obstinately professed a doctrine condemned by the Church, or having once recanted, again fell into heresy, ought to be committed to the flames. In that year, however, Paul IV announced a new principle, that certain doctrines, even though entertained for the first time and immediately recanted, were at once to be punished by death. Whoever rejected one of the definitions of the Church with respects to the Holy Trinity, or denied the perpetual virginity of the Mother of our Lord, and asserted that the Biblical expressions, the 'brothers of Jesus' signified literally the sons of the virgin Mary, was to be treated as one of the relapsed, and executed, even though he retracted his opinions.

"XXVII. Down to the year 1751, the theologians (especially those of Italy), who defended the trial of witches, the reality of an express pact with Satan, and the various supernatural evils effected by it, as well as the carnal intercourse of men and demons, appealed to the infallible authority of the Pope, and the bulls of Innocent VII., Sixtus V., Gregory XV., and several other Pontiffs, in support of theory; as these things are there asserted, or taken for granted, and certain definite punishments are imposed upon them.

"XXVIII. When an oath has been sworn which is opposed to the interests of the Church, in pecuniary matters for instance, it must be broken. So Innocent III., taught. (Deer. 2, 24, 27)

"XXIX. The Pope can, at his pleasure, absolve subjects from their oath of allegiance, as was done by Gregory VII., Alexander III., Innocent III., and many later Popes.

"XXX. He can also absolve a monarch from the treaties he has sworn to observe, and the constitution he has sworn to respect; indeed he can empower the Father Confessor of a sovereign to release him from any oath he may find it inconvenient to fulfil. Clement VI., granted such powers to King John, of France. Clement VII., absolved the Emperor Charles VI., of his oath to respect the liberties of the Netherlands, and, again, of the oath he had sworn not to banish the Moors from their homes. Paul IV., too, announced to the Emperors Charles and Ferdinand, that he released them from their oath on the Religious Peace of Augsburg.

"XXXI. In the year 1648, a prospect of toleration was opened up to the Catholics of England and Ireland who were much oppressed by the laws of the State, and they were required to sign a paper, renouncing the following principles:--(a) That the Pope can free anyone from the duty of obeying the existing government of his country; (b) That the Pope can absolve a Catholic of oaths sworn to a heretic; and (c) That those whom the Pope has condemned as heretics may be ill-treated or put to death at his command, or with his dispensation. The signature of fifty-nine English noblemen and several clergymen were appended to this renunciation; but Pope Innocent X., declared those who had signed it subject to the censures imposed on such as deny the authority of the Pope, i.e., to excommunication. The penal laws against the Catholics consequently remained in force a century longer. At an earlier period Paul IV., had condemned the oath of allegiance appointed for the Catholics by James I., which led to the execution of many of them.

"XXXII. According to the Papal doctrine, the Pope can absolve a man from every vow made to God, and can empower others to do so; nay, he may grant such powers beforehand for future vows. Thus Popes have empowered the confessors of princes to release them immediately from any vow they might in future make and afterwards repent of.

"XXXIII. By granting indulgences, the Popes have declared that their power extends to Purgatory, and that it depends upon them to liberate the souls therein in prison, and to bring, them immediately to the enjoyment of celestial blessedness. Thus Pope Julius II., granted to the Order of the Knights of St. George, when restored by the Emperor Maximilian, the privilege, as soon as they put on the dress of the order: confessi et contriti, a poena et a culna et carcere Purgatorii et poenis esse debeant, plane et libere paradisum et regnum intraturi.

"At that time (1500), or somewhat earlier, the doctrine first came into credit at Rome, that the Pope could, by a special privilege, grant to certain altars the right of freeing one or more souls from purgatory.

"XXXIV. The Pope can dissolve a marriage by placing one or both of the parties under the great ban, and declaring them heathens and infidels. Thus, Urban V., in the year 1363, when he excommunicated the Duke of Milan, Bernabo Visconti, not only deprived him and his children of all their rights and property, and absolved his subjects from their oath of allegiance, but at the same time declared his wife free to marry another.

"XXXV. Innocent III., had paved the way for him by declaring that the tie between a Bishop and his diocese was even stronger than the marriage bond, and, therefore, as indissoluble by men as the latter. Only God, and the Pope as his Vicegerent, could part the Bishop from his flock, which necessarily implied that the Pope, and he alone, can dissolve a marriage, even though it is perfectly valid.

"XXXVI. According to the Papal doctrine, it is praiseworthy and Christian for a man who has promised on his oath to marry a woman, to deceive her by a false marriage, and then to leave her and enter a monastery. Alexander III., in the year 1172, gave this advice, which involves the two crimes of fraud and violation of the sacrament, and it is inserted in the code of ecclesiastical law compiled by command of the Popes.

"XXXVII. According to the Papal doctrine, everyone is guilty of the crime of idolatry who attends a religious service held by a married priest, for his blessing is turned into a curse. Gregory VII., asserted this in direct opposition to the teaching of the ancient church, and even to modern theology. It has long been universally rejected.

"XXXVIII. According to the Papal doctrine, the Pope has the power to grant a higher degree of eternal blessedness in recompense for services rendered him. Thus, Nicholas V., promised to all who took up arms against Amadeus of Savoy and his adherents, not only the pardon of all their sins, but an increase of celestial happiness.

"XXXIX. According to the Papal doctrine, it is false and damnable to say that a Christian ought not to allow himself to be kept from doing his duty by the fear of an unjust excommunication. The contrary is true. So at least Clement XI., affirmed in the bull. Unigenitus.

"XL. According to Papal assurances, and a revelation made to Pope John XII., those who die dressed in the scapulary of the Carmelites are always delivered from purgatory, on the Saturday after death, by the Virgin Mary, and led directly into heaven. Such is the teaching of the bull Sabbathini, which was confirmed by Alexander V., Clement VII., Pius V., Gregory VIII., and Paul V., by the last after a long and careful examination.

"XLI According to a Papal decision, it is the excess of extravagance and folly, and an abominable novelty to translate the Roman mass-book into the vulgar tongue. By so doing the majesty of the Latin ritual is violated, and trodden under foot; the dignity of the holy mysteries desecrated by exposure to the eyes of the vulgar, and disobedience, foolhardiness, impudence, and rebellion are engendered. The authors of such translations are sons of destruction. Such were the words of Alexander WI., in his breve of the 12th of January, 1661, and yet translations of the missal are now in general and daily use among the most pious Catholics of France, England, and Germany.

"XLII. To lend money on interest is, according to the Papal doctrine, a great sin, and whoever has done so is bound to make restoration. By Papal legislation it was made into a crime, usury, which fell under the jurisdiction of a spiritual judge. The principle affirmed by the Popes was: It is unjust and sinful to demand payment for the use of capital. This definition of usury was extended to every branch of business. Clement V., declared that to defend usury was heresy, and threatened it with the same punishments. The following Popes, Pius V., Sixtus V., and especially Benedict XVI., gave their sanction to the condemnation of taking interest. The consequence was an increase of the worst forms of usury. Means were found of avoiding the law, and deceptive contracts were made. Hence the prosperity of the whole district was injured, and the most flourishing branches of trade and industry were banished from Catholic countries."

(NOTE: The original of this article was written in Vienna, Austria, in the year, 1866, by Clemens Schrader. THIS ARTICLE PROVES EITHER ONE OR BOTH OF TWO THINGS — (1) THAT ROMAN CATHOLICISM HAS CHANGED, AND IS THUS RENDERED HARMLESS ( ?) — (2) THAT ROMAN CATHOLICISM HAS NOT CHANGED, AND DOES NOT CHANGE, AS THE CATHOLICS THEMSELVES CLAIM, AND IS THUS AS DESPICABLE AN ORGANIZATION AS COMMUNISM. If Catholicism has changed, then Rome is making a currently false claim that she has not changed. It is my sincere conviction that Roman Catholicism HAS changed through the centuries, but that it is still the most insidiously operating institution in existence. — Luther W. Martin.)