Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 26, 1954
NUMBER 16, PAGE 12-13

"Quoting A Roman Catholic" (Part Two)

Luther. Martin, Rolla, Missouri

In a previous article dealing with this subject, we quoted some of the writings of Dr. J. J. I. Dollinger, who was a member of the Roman Catholic priesthood for forty nine years, prior to his excommunication. Dr. Dollinger was on the faculty of the University of Munich at the time of his excommunication. However, his works published before his excommunication are still referred to, and quoted by present day Catholic writers. Thus, we believe that we are according fair treatment to the Catholic hierarchy whenever we choose to refer to Dr. Dollinger's writings.

Our first article dealing with Dr. Dollinger's views on Papal Infallibility, dealt with the fabrication of the Isidorian decretals in the middle of the ninth century. Now, we wish to produce his writings on the:

Forgeries Of The Hildebrandine Era

"Nearly three centuries passed before the seed sown (Isidorian decretals) produced its full harvest." (The Pope and the Council, page 80.)

"For almost two hundred years, from the death of Nicholas I, to the time of Leo IX, the Roman See was in a condition which did not allow of any systematic acquisition and enforcement of new or extended rights. For above sixty years (883-955 A.D.) the Roman church was enslaved and degraded, while the Apostolic See became the prey and the plaything of rival factions of the nobles, and for a long time of ambitious and profligate women. It was only renovated for a brief interval (997-1003 A.D.) in the persons of Gregory V and Silvester II, by the influence of the Saxon emperor. Then the Papacy sank back into utter confusion and moral impotence; the Tuscan Counts made it hereditary in their family; again and again dissolute boys, like John XII, and Benedict IX, occupied and disgraced the apostolic throne, which was now bought and sold like a piece of merchandise, and at least three Popes fought for the tiara, until the Emperor Henry III put an end to the scandal by elevating a German bishop to the See of Rome.

"With Leo IX (1049-1054 A.D.) was inaugurated a new era of the Papacy, which may be called the Hildebrandine. ' Within sixty years, through the contest with kings, bishops, and clergy, against simony, clerical marriage, and investiture, the Roman See had risen to a height of power even Nicholas I never aspired to. A large and powerful party, stronger than that which two hundred years before had undertaken to carry through the Isidorian forgery, had been laboring since the middle of the eleventh century, with all its might, to weld the States of Europe into a theocratic priest-kingdom, with the Pope as its head. The urgent need of reform in the church helped on the growth of the spiritual monarchy, and again the purification of the church seemed to need such a concentration and increase of ecclesiastical power. In France this party was supported by the most influential spiritual corporation of the time, the Congregation of Cluny. In Italy, men like Peter Damiani, Bishop of Anselm of Lucca, Humbert, Deusdedit, and above all Hildebrand, — who was the life and soul of the enterprise, — helped on the new system, though some of them, as Damiani and Hildebrand, differed widely both in theory and practice.

"It has not perhaps been sufficiently observed that Gregory VIII is in fact the only one of all the Popes who set himself with clear and deliberate purpose to introduce a new constitution of the church, and by new means. He regarded himself not merely as the reformer of the church, but as the divinely commissioned founder of a wholly new order of things, fond as he was of appealing to his predecessors. Nicolas I alone approached him in this, but none of the later Popes, all of whom, even the boldest, have but filled in the outline he sketched.

"Gregory saw from the first that Synods regularly held by the Popes, and new codes of church law, were the means for introducing the new system. Synods had been held, at his suggestion, by Leo IX and his successors, and he himself carried on the work in those assembled after 1073. But only Popes and their legates were henceforth to hold Synods; in every other form the institution was to disappear. Gregory collected about him by degrees the right men for elaborating his system of church law. Anselm of Lucca, nephew of Pope Alexander II, compiled the most important and comprehensive work, at his command, between 1080 and 1086 A.D. Anselm may be called the founder of the new Gregorian system of church law, first, by extracting and putting into convenient working shape everything in the Isidorian forgeries serviceable for the Papal absolutism; next, by altering the law of the church, through a tissue of fresh inventions and interpolations, in accordance with the requirements of his party and the stand-point of Gregory. Then came Deusdedit, whom Gregory made a Cardinal, with some more inventions. At the same time Bonizo compiled his work, the main object of which was to exalt the Papal prerogatives. The forty propositions or titles of this part of his work correspond entirely to Gregory's Dictatus and the materials supplied by Anselm and Deusdedit. The last great work of the Gregorians (before Gratian) was the Polycarpus of Cardinal Gregory of Pavia (before 1118 A.D.), which almost always adheres to Anselm in its falsifications.

"The preface of Deusdedit to his work is the programme of the whole school whose labors were at length crowned with such complete success. The Roman church, says the Cardinal, is the mother of all churches, for Peter first founded the Patriarchal Sees of the East, and then gave bishops to all the cities of the West. Councils cannot be held without the sanction of the Pope, according to the decisions of the 318 Fathers at Nice. The Roman clergy rule without the Pope, when the See is vacant, and therefore Cyprian and the Africans humbly submitted to their decisions before the election of Cornelius — a pet crotchet of the Cardinal's, which Anselm, who was not a Cardinal, did not adopt. He adds, that he writes in order to confirm the authority of Rome and the liberty of the church against its assailants, and ,maintains that the testimonies he has collected disprove all objections, on the principle that the lesser must always yield to the greater — i.e., the authority of Councils and Fathers to the Pope. With this one axiom — which not only opened the door wide for the Isidorian decretals, but prevented any attempt to moderate their system by an appeal to the ancient canons — the revolution in the church was accomplished in the simplest and least troublesome manner.

"Clearly and cautiously as the Gregorian party went to work, they lived in a world of dreams and illusions about the past and about remote countries. They could not escape the imperative necessity of demonstrating their new system to have been the constant practice of the church, and it is difficult, if not impossible to distinguish where involuntary delusions merged into conscious deceit. Whatever present exigencies required was selected from the mythical stores at their command hastily and recklessly; then fresh inventions were added, and soon every claim of Rome could be shown to have a legitimate foundation in existing records and decrees.

"It is so far true to say, that without the pseudo-Isidore there would have been no Gregory WI, and that the Isidorian forgeries were the broad foundation the Gregorians built upon. But the first object of Isidore was to secure the impunity of bishops, whereas the Roman party — which for a long time had a majority of the bishops against it — wanted to introduce a state of things where the Popes or their legates could summarily depose bishops, intimidate them, and reduce them to complete subjection to every Papal command. The newly invented doctrines about the deposing power contributed to this end. In a word, a new history and a new civil and canon law was required, and both had to be obtained by improving on the Isidorian principles with new forgeries. The correction of history was to some extent provided for in Germany by the monk Bernold, and in Italy by the zealous Gregorian Bonizo, Bishop of Picacenza, who tried, among other things, to get rid of the coronation of Charles the Great. Their other assistants had to invent or adapt historical facts for party purposes, for their new codes of church law innovated largely on ancient church history. Gregory himself had his own little stock of fabricated or distorted facts to support pretensions and undertakings which seemed to his contemporaries strange and unauthorized. It was, for instance, an axiomatic fact with him that Pope Innocent I excommunicated the Emperor Arcadius, that Pope Zachary deposed the Frankish king Childeric, and that Gregory the Great threatened to depose the kings who should rob a hospice at Autun. He treated the Donation of Constantine as a valuable and important document; it gave him a right over Corsica and Sardinia. His pupil Leo IX used it against the Greeks, and his friend Peter Damiana against Germany; Anselm and Deusdedit assigned it a prominent place in their legal books.

"At the same time, Gregory thought it most important, with all his legislative activity and lofty claims and high-handed measures, not to seem too much of an innovator and despot; he constantly affirmed that he only wished to restore the ancient laws of the church, and abolish late abuses. When he drew out the whole system of Papal omnipotence in twenty-seven theses in his Dictatus, these theses were partly mere repetitions or corollaries of the Isidorian decretals; partly he and his friends and allies sought to give them the appearance of tradition and antiquity by new fictions.

"Gregory's chief work is his letter to Bishop Hermann of Metz, designed to prove how well grounded is the Pope's dominion over emperors and kings, and his right to depose them in cases of necessity. In this he showed his adherents how to manipulate facts and texts, by twisting a passage in a letter of Pope Gelasius to the Emperor Anastasius so skillfully, by means of commissions and arbitrary collocations, as to make Gelasius say just the opposite of what he really said, — vis., that kings are absolutely and universally subject to the Pope, whereas what he did say was, that the rulers of the church are always subject to the laws of the emperors, only disclaiming the interference of the secular power in questions of faith and the sacraments.

"How what was a falsification to begin with was falsified again in the interests of the new system, and accentuated to serve the cause of ecclesiastical despotism, may be seen from the eleventh canon of Causa. 25, Q. 1, in Gratian. The Council of Toledo in 646 A.D., had excommunicated the Spanish priests who took part in the rebellion against the King, and included the King himself in the anathema if he violated this censure (hujus canonis censuram). Out of this Isidore made, two hundred years afterwards, the following: The anathema applied to all kings who violated any canon binding under censure, or allowed it to be violated by others; and this he put into the mouth of Pope Hadrian. In the new text-books compiled by Anselm, Deusdedit, and Gregory of Pavia, the (pretended) decrees of the Popes were put in place of the canons of Councils, and this supplied just what was wanted — a system of ancient church law to justify the procedures of Gregory VII and Urban II against the princes of their own day — and a Pope would never lack some pretext for threatening excommunication with all its consequences.

"Gregory borrowed one main pillar of his system from the False Decretals. Isidore had made Pope Julius (about 338) write to the Eastern bishops,--'The church of Rome, by a singular privilege, has the right of opening and shutting the gates of heaven to whom she will.' On this Gregory built his scheme of dominion. How should not he be able to judge on earth, on whose will hung the salvation of damnation of men? The passage was made into a special decree or chapter in the new codes. The typical formula of binding and loosing had become an inexhaustible treasure — chamber of rights and claims. The Gregorians used it as a charm to put them in possession of everything worth having." (Pages 20-88, The Pope and the Council, written by Dr. J. J. I. Dollinger, under the pen name 'Janus.')

Thus, from a Roman Catholic scholar's own writings we have copied factual information, showing how the power of the Pope had its beginning upon the forged Isidorian Decretals, with further elaborations and distortions in later centuries.

Dr. Dollinger refused to accept the Roman Papal Infallibility dogma. and was EXCOMMUNICATED.