College Notes
Church History
Lecture 18

The Catholic Church - History


From The Popes and Their Church, by Joseph McCabe:

"Of all the fictions which still shelter from the storm of modern criticism under the leaky umbrella of 'Catholic Truth,' the legend of the divine foundation of the Papacy and the Papal system is quite the boldest and most romantic. No divine force, but a pitifully human series of forgeries and coercions, of pious frauds and truculent ambitions perpetrated in an age of deep ignorance, built up the Papal power, hierarchy, and creed." p. 3

A. 1870 - Infallibility of the Pope when he speaks Ex-Cathedra.

Taken from The Spirit of Catholicism, by Karl Adam:

"The Catholic sorrowfully recognizes that even the holders of the highest and most exalted office on earth can be children of their age and slaves of its conceptions, and that the Holy Spirit in governing the Church does not guard every act of the pope but is infallibly operative only when the pope speaks ex-cathedra, i.e. when basing himself on the sources of the faith and in the fullness of his power as Head of the Church and successor of St. Peter, he pronounces a decision in matters of faith or morals which embraces and binds the whole Church." p. 248

B. c.800-1000 Enter darkest age of human history.
1. Called "Midnight of the dark ages".
2. Speaking of Religious history and corruption.

C. c.900s "Rule of Harlots".
1. Papacy very corrupt for a period of 600 years. From 900-1500's, time of the Reformation.
2. John XII - One of the all time worst popes. Guilty of almost all crimes.

From The Popes and Their Church, we read:

"Liutprand tells us how John, pressed by a rival, appealed to the Emperor Otto, and when Otto came to Rome the Romans brought up against their spiritual father a list of crimes which would, they said, 'make a comedian blush for shame'; and a comedian was the lowest thing they knew. The Romans were lenient, but they could not tolerate a Pope who committed murder, perjury, adultery, incest (with his two sisters), rape, and sacrilege. Before the synod convoked by Otto it was proved that John had 'turned the Lateran Palace into a brothel,' cut out the eyes of or castrated those who criticized him, raped girls and women who came to pray in St. Peter's, gambled, cursed, drunk to the devil.... There was, in brief, nothing that he had not done." p. 35


    3. Bonafax VII - Murdered Pope John 14th to gain throne of the Pope.
     a. Papacy referred to as "monsters of guild", and "antichrists" by a bishop within the church
     b. Almost all offices of priests and bishops were bough
    4. John XIX - Went through ranks of the priesthood in one day to become Pope.
5. Benedict IX (1033-1039) - One of the worst Popes.
     a. Bought office at 12 years of age
     b. Committed horrible sins against church doctrine

D. Late 1000s:
1. German Emperors become predominate political force.
2. Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand):
     a. Had control of papacy for several years
     b. Was later elected Pope in 1073
     c. First to discourage reading of the Bible
     d. Clergy among the wealthiest people of Europe

E. c.1100 Urban II begins crusades (1198).
1. Main motive for crusades, to free Holy Land.
2. Primarily against Albegenses.

F. 1160 Adrian IV - first and only English Pope.

G. 1200s Peak of Papal Power.
1. 1198-1216 - Innocent III:
     a. Most powerful Pope, called himself "Vicar of God", "Vicar of Christ," and "Supreme Power of the World"
     b. Claimed right to depose kings and princes
     c. All things on earth subject to the "Vicar of Christ"
2. Penance and indulgences come into play.
3. Indulgences, special services, granted instead of penance, (prayer after confession).

From Developments of Roman Catholicism, we read:

"One of the most disastrous developments of Romanism, and one that has brought more shame and misery into its history than perhaps any other, is its doctrine of indulgences. That doctrine is that the Church has the power to grant to penitent due to them for their sins, and under temporal punishment is included the punishment being now endured in purgatory, or that will be endured there hereafter. The ground on which the doctrine is composed of the infinite merits of Christ and the works of supererogation done by the saints. These merits it can transfer to those who comply with the conditions which from time to time it lays down for the reception of the indulgences." p.68


        a. Special services included killing a heretic or serving in the papal army
     b. Note: dealing with illiterate people, those educated were in the priesthood
     c. Last act of Contrition - give all penance and indulgences to relative in purgatory, condemn self to hell unless God grants benevolence sending you to purgatory
4. Innocents declarations and doctrines:
     a. Bible forbidden to be read in the Vernacular

From The Popes and Their Church, by Joseph McCabe, we read:

"You rub your eyes, or your ears, and you inquire further; and you discover the most ingenious system that was ever devised for keeping educated people uneducated. This is the system of 'Catholic Truth.' The Catholic must read his own literature (duly authorized by the bishop, whose beaver hat is stamped on the front page), and must not read any that differs from it. Catholics are safely kept within the compound of 'Catholic Truth,' and it will be understood that quaint doctrines may be imposed under such circumstances." p. 4

        b. Brought state under total control of the church
     c. All monarchs of Europe obeyed his will
     d. Ordered two crusades
     e. Decreed doctrines of Transubstantiation
     f. Declared that once made pope, cannot be excommunicated
     g. Declared doctrine of papal infallibility
     h. Condemned Magna Carda - granting rights to the common man
     i. Not as much more blood shed until the 1500's than at this time
         1) Ordered extermination of heretics
         2) Massacred Albegenses

A. Time frame: 1200s
1. Turned heretics over to civil authorities to absolve themselves from guilt.
     a. There were 3 inquisitors to make it very legal
     b. There were three basic tortures
     c. The worst torture was fire
     d. Oaths were taken by all to help the inquisitors
     e. They used the Bible for justification
     f. Killing became indiscriminate
     g. Age did not matter
     h. Many different methods were used for torture
     i. For some the motive was money
     j. Many took advantage of women during this time
2. Aimed at Albigenses.
3. No pope has ever apologized for the Inquisition until Jn. Paul II who did mention it while in Spain
4. Boniface VIII - (1294 - 1303)
     a. "Unim Sanctum" - all subject to Roman pontiff
     b. Dante called church "sewer of corruption"
     c. Dante developed concept of hell

B. Time frame: 1300s:
1. Political power shifts from Germany to France.
2. 70 years - papal office moved to Avignon, France.

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