Sunday, 6 January 2013
Precursors of Antichrist...
In the pope's own words to the Emperor at Constantinople:
''I pray your Imperial Piety to observe that there are some frivolous things that are inoffensive, but also some things that are very hurtful. When Antichrist shall come and call himself God, it will be in itself a perfectly frivolous thing, but a very pernicious one. If we choose to consider the number of syllables in this word, we find but two [Deus], but if we conceive the weight of iniquity of this title, we shall find it enormous. I say it without the least hesitation, whosoever styles himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, THE PRECURSOR OF ANTICHRIST, because he thus attempts to raise himself above the others. The error into which he falls springs from pride equal to that of Antichrist; for as the Wicked One wished to be regarded as exalted above other men, like a god, so likewise whoever would be called sole bishop exalteth himself above others.''
Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, quoted in The Papacy by Abbe Guettee.
I defy advocates of popery to equate the orthodoxy and humility of St Gregory with the pretensions of the Ultramontane popes! Where Pastor Aeternus says that the popes enjoy immediate jurisdiction and authority over the whole church, a petrine right (they say) founded on Scripture and Tradition; and St Gregory I says that anyone who claims to be universal bishop is an antichrist, exalting himself over the bishops of the Church, that making such a claim undermines the authority of each bishop in his own diocese; where is the consistency in this? Is this another one of those examples of the ''development of doctrine'' (a 19th century theory), ''the hermeneutic of continuity,'' or are we presented here with truth on the one hand and falsehood on the other? It reminds me of Finrod Felagund's counsel to Andreth on the claims of Morgoth to universal kingship over Middle-earth, which therefore is more likely to lie: those who make themselves humble or he that exalts himself?