Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 14, 1955
NUMBER 10, PAGE 3,6b

The "Son Of Perdition's" Pomp And Ceremony

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (II Thessalonians 2:3-4.)

The foregoing words were written by the Apostle Paul some twenty years after the church had been established on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 33. Paul went ahead to state that the "mystery of iniquity doth already work ...." (Verse 7.) In his writings, it is indicated that this Antichrist would arise from within the church itself. "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:29-30.)

We devote the rest of this treatise to excerpts dealing with the subject of Papal power, as the pontiffs themselves would define it.

Pope Leo XIII — 1877-1903 A.D.

In Leo XIII's Encyclical Letter, titled in English, "The Reunion of Christendom," he wrote ......But since We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty ...." (Jamvero cum Dei omnipotentis vices in terns geramus); see Great Encyclical Letters, page 304. Please note that this 'humble servant' saw fit to capitalize the 'W' in the pronoun 'We,' when referring to himself.

In Leo's Encyclical Letter on the 'Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens,' he stated: "But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself." (Page 193, Ibid.)

Pope Paul III — 1534-1549 A.D.

Paul III began his Bull with the words of the Lord in Jeremiah, which, by the way, he appropriated to himself: ". . . . Behold, I have placed thee over peoples and kingdoms...."

Pope Pius V — 1566-1572 A.D.

Pius V began his Bull by referring to himself as a prince "set up over all nations and all kingdoms, to root up, destroy, dissipate, disperse, plant and build . . . ." (See A. Lowndees, Vindication of Anglican Orders.)

Dr. John A. Ryan Comments On Leo XIII's Encyclical Letter, 'Immortale Dei'

Dr. Ryan's closing remarks read as follows: "In a genuinely (Roman, L.W.M.) Catholic State, public authority should not permit the introduction of new forms of religion; but when several denominations have already been established, the State may, and generally should permit them all to exist and to function. The reason is that the attempt to suppress them would on the whole be injurious to the commonwealth." Does not such a position answer and explain the cause of all the difficulties which the workers of the churches of Christ have had in Italy during the past few years?

Catholic Encyclopedia On Papal Position

A number of statements are contained in the Catholic Encyclopedia, relating to Papal authority. They are abridged as follows: "The sources of . . . . positive ecclesiastical law are essentially the episcopate and its head, the pope .. . . The pope, as head of the episcopate, possesses in himself the same powers as the episcopate united with him . . . . In proportion as the administration of the Church became centralized, the intervention of the popes in legislation became more and more marked . . They are the fruitful source of Canon Law; can abrogate all laws made by predecessors or Councils, legislate for the whole Church or for a part, for a particular country, or for individuals. The Pope is not legally obliged to obtain the consent of any person or persons; is limited only by Divine law, natural and positive, dogmatic and moral. He is the living law, having all law in the treasury of his heart . . . . From the earliest ages the letters of the Roman Pontiffs constitute, with the canons of the councils, the principal element of Canon Law." (Cath. Ency., Vol. IX, page 59 a, b.)

Encyclopedia Britannica

The Encyclopedia Britannica gives Gratian's condensation of the doctrine of Papal sovereignty in relation to canon law, as follows: "They (the popes, L.W.M.) are above all the laws of the church, and can use them according to their wish; they alone judge and cannot be judged." (Ency. Brit. Vol. XX, page 695 d.)

In 1924, an Italian published a book in Rome, entitled, "La Supernazionalita del Papato." The author was Ludovico Lucantonio. This work was dedicated to Cardinal Gasparri, the Papal Secretary of State. On page 71, it is declared ipsissimis verbis, (the very words) .... "The Pope here on earth is Christ." ("Ll Papa, qui in terra, e Cristo; ditelo altrimenti Vicario di Cristo, e successore di Piestro, e direte tutta una cosa.") The preface to this book was written by a Roman Monsignor.

Ignatius Loyola in the sixteenth century said: . . . . the white that I see, I would believe to be black, if the Hierarchal Church were so to rule it . . . ." (Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, with Commentary by Joseph Rickaby, S. J., page 223.)

Pope Pius XI — 1922-1939 A.D.

In a Pastoral Letter on the election of 'His Holiness,' Pius XI, the statement is made: "The papacy — the accepted and cherished supremacy of one conscience over all other consciences, of one will over all other wills!"

Summation Of Roman Writers On Papal Power And Position

  1. Leo XIII — "WE . . . . hold the place of God Almighty."
  2. Leo XIII — SUPREME TEACHER is the Roman Pontiff.
  3. Leo XIII — COMPLETE SUBMISSION must be given to the Pontiff as to GOD HIMSELF.
  4. Paul III — Pope placed OVER PEOPLES and OVER KINGDOMS.
  5. Pius V — Pope a PRINCE OVER ALL NATIONS and ALL KINGDOMS, with power to 'root up,' `destroy,"dissipate,"disperse,"plant' and 'build.'
  6. Catholic Encyclopedia — Pope . . . . the fruitful SOURCE OF CANON LAW.
  7. Catholic Encyclopedia — Pope . . . . can abrogate ALL laws made by predecessors.
  8. Catholic Encyclopedia — Pope .... is the LIVING LAW.
  9. Encyclopedia Britannica — Pope . . . . (according to Gratian) is ABOVE ALL LAWS OF THE CHURCH, and can use them as they wish.
  10. L. Lucantonia — Pope . . . . is CHRIST ON EARTH!
  11. Pius XI — Pope's will is over ALL OTHER WILLS. Pope's conscience is over ALL OTHER CONSCIENCES.

.... Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU: . .

(Emphasis mine, L.W.M.) Read Matt. 20:25-26.) Jesus has ALL POWER, both in heaven and on earth. (Matt. 28:18.)