Saturday, 12 January 2013
pope, pope, pope...
I see that no one responded to the post wherein I copied verbatim pope Gregory the Great's letter to the Emperor about the nature of episcopacy. Perhaps the nature of what people actually believed about the papacy (well, there was no such institution back then!) at the time is unclear from that letter? Well, let's try another letter, this time from the Archbishops of Trèves and Cologne to pope Nicholas I, who, having passed an unjust sentence upon the former, vainly supposed that he had some kind of immediate jurisdiction beyond the confines of Rome:
''Without a council, without canonical inquiry, without accuser, without witnesses, without convicting us by arguments or authorities, without our consent, in the absence of the metropolitans and of our suffragan bishops, you have chosen to condemn us, of your own caprice, with tyrannical fury. But we do not accept your accursed sentence, so repugnant to a father’s or a brother’s love; we despise it as mere insulting language; we expel you yourself from our communion, since you commune with the excommunicate; we are satisfied with the communion of the whole Church and with the society of our brethren whom you despise and of whom you make yourself unworthy by your pride and arrogance. You condemn yourself when you condemn those who do not observe the apostolic precepts which you yourself are the first to violate, annulling as far as in you lies the Divine laws and the sacred canons, and not following in the footsteps of the popes, your predecessors...''
It's interesting that an Orthodox ecclesiology still prevailed in the West, at least at the metropolitan level, whereas the arrogance of Nicholas I (who was despised by his own people) still festered away in Rome. Could you imagine a modern day Roman Catholic saying such things as ''we are satisfied with the communion of the whole Church,'' and expelling the pope from the society of Christians for not following the sacred canons and traditions of his predecessors? No mention here is made of being subject to the holy father being necessary for salvation, thou art Peter, binding, loosing, infallible, kiss my toe or burn in Hell, etc. Seen through the prism of modern ecclesiologies, this letter almost validates the position of the Sedevacantists. I mean at least they, while having not thoroughly shaken off the yoke of popery, have seen that communion with the ''neo-Modernist'' popes is superfluous to the Gospel.
In short, the Papacy is a vile institution bethought of the Devil which makes a mockery of episcopacy. The doctrine of Papal Infallibility is repugnant to the Gospel and is a heresy worse than the christological heresies which plagued the early Church, and people subject to the pope are in danger of eternal damnation.