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unsatisfactory condition of heedlessness. But all three claimed the Vicariate ; and all the three mutually anathematized each other as antichrists, and wolves, and deceivers, and Judases, and sons of perdition. If all the three were infallible, then were there three antichrists in the Church; for each pronounced his rivals to be respectively an antichrist. If no one of the three was infallible, then the dream of papal infallibility is at an end. If one of the three was infallible, while the other two were antichrists, by what marks are we to distinguish the two antichrists from the genuine Vicar? To settle the claims of the three rival Pontiffs, and at the same time to preserve the infallibility of the Papacy, would puzzle a wiser man than Solomon himself.
Nor have Councils been less fallible. The second Council of Ephesus is generally condemned in the Church of Rome: and Bellarmine gives a list of General Councils which are to be rejected; some for heresy; some for want of the Pope's approbation; and some as not received by the Universal Church, that is, the Church of Rome.
Nor is this infallibility placed conjointly in Pope and Council ; for, on the one hand, the Decrees of the Council of Constance and Basil declare the supremacy and infallibility to be in General Councils--that these are above Popes; and that those are heretics who deny this doctrine. On the other hand, Pope Leo and the Lateran Council assert, that it is necessary to salvation that all Christ's people should be subject to the Bishop of Rome; and that the Pope has authority over all Councils. Wherefore this contradiction of each other overthrows the common foundation.
The state of human nature, likewise, renders such a claim, even under its most favourable aspect, impossible. How much more apparent is the impossibility, when this quality, more than human, is claimed for a long succession of men, many of them confessedly the most profligate and unprincipled, who used their power, which, whatever it was, ought to have been wholly spiritual, to the worst purposes of worldly policy, to the gratification of the most inordinate ambition ; who invariably pursued this object by wars, by usurpations, by crimes of the blackest kind; who took on them to pronounce, ex cathedra, what the whole Christian world should believe ; determining magisterially on the most difficult and abstruse questions, and adapting their determination to their politics. The pretension, if it were not so insulting to common reason and common sense, and had not been such an instrument of power ill employed, would only be ridiculous. Neither is the case made better by ascribing infallibility to Councils; for they consist of fallible men, the aggregate of whom can never compose infallibility; of men with all their passions and prejudices about them; which are directed, as large assemblies are apt to be, by the ability and address of a few leaders, and governed by cabal and intrigue. That this was notoriously the case with the last Council, that of Trent, which has completed the fabric of Popery, as it exists in our days, we know from the most authentic accounts and most convincing evidence.
OF THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE
“ MOREOVER, we define, that the holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Pontiff have a primacy over the whole world, and that the Roman Pontiff himself is successor of St. Peter, the chief of the Apostles, and true Vicar, or, representative, of Christ, and that he is the head of the whole Church, and the Father and Teacher of all Christians; and that to him, in St. Peter, was delegated by our Lord Jesus Christ full power to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church ; " as also is contained in the acts of General Councils and in the holy Canons. (2.) (Concil. Florent. Sess. X. apud Labbe. Vol. XIII. p. 316.) and the Council of Constance, (Sess. VIII.) anathematises all who deny the Popes being the immediate Vicat of Christ, and his apostles. In the fourth, or great Lateran Council, it is set forth “that the secular powers shall be admonished, and, if necessary, be compelled by ecclesiastical censures, to make oath that they will, to the utmost of their power, strive to extirpate from their territory all Heretics, declared to be such by the Church; and further, that if any temporal Lord, being required and admonished by the Church, shall neglect to purge his territory from all taint of heresy, he shall be excommunicated by the Metropolitan and other Provincial Bishops; and if he contemptuously omit to give satisfaction within a year, it shall be signified to the Holy Pontiff, in order that he may thenceforth proclaim his vassals absolved from all fealty to him, (3.) and may expose to Catholics his territory to be occupied by them, who having excommunicated the Heretics, may possess the same without contradiction.” (Con. Labb. Vol. XI. 147.) Pope Boniface VIII. declares “that we are instructed by the Gospel, that there are two swords, the spiritual and the temporal—the one to be used for the Church, the other by it—but at the nod and sufferance of the Priest. But one sword ought to be under the other, and the temporal authority to be subjected to the spiritual ; and finally, we declare, say, define, and pronounce, that it is of necessity of salvation to every creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." Innocent III., who presided over the great Council of Lateran, says, “God instituted two dignities, which are the authority of the Pope, and the power of Kings: the spiritual is the greater; and that which rules over carnals, the lesser. So that the difference between Pontiffs and Kings may be understood to be as great as between the sun and moon ; (Decret. De. Maj. et Obed. Lib. I.) On the primacy of the Roman Bishop, the Council of Trent issued no Decree ; but Pius's Creed requires every true Catholic to “promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Bishop, the successor of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and the Vicar of Jesus Christ.” In the General Council of Florence in 1439, the point was fully decided : “Moreover we define that the Holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Bishop, has the Primacy over all the earth; and that he is the successor of the Blessed Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, the true Vicar of Christ, the Head of the whole Church, and the Father and Teacher of all Christians; and that to him, in the person of the blessed Peter, was
committed by our Lord Jesus Christ, the full power of feeding, directing, and governing the universal Church, in such manner as is contained in the acts of General Councils, and in the holy Canons,” (Conc. Gen. XIII. 515.) Similar to this is the Decree of the Lateran Council, “That the Roman high Priest holds a primacy over the universal Church, as successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles; the Father and Doctor of all Christians, to whom all power is committed to feed, direct, and govern the Catholic Church." (4.) And at the coronation of a Pope the triple crown is put upon his head, with these words ; “Receive this diadem adorned with three crowns, and know yourself to be the father of Princes and Kings, Governor of the world, and heir on earth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Dominus Noster, Deus Papa, Our Lord God the Pope, is the frequent compliment of the Canonists. The same title is given him by the Council of Lateran. (Sess. IV.)
Allied to the Supremacy of the Pope is that of the Roman Church, which is declared to be “the Mother and Mistress of all Chùrches;” (5.) (Pope Pius IV.'s Creed,) and the power which she claims and exercises in virtue of that Supremacy. Her right to cut off from her communion all whom she regards as Heretics, can neither be denied nor complained of.---But she has ever claimed the right, in virtue of her supremacy, to exercise a vindictive power of punishment over those so cut off, 6 for it is not to be denied,” says the Trent Catechism, “that heretics and schismatics are in the power of the Church, as those who may be judged by her, punished, and condemned with an anathema." The great Lateran Council decrees, o that those whom the Church condemns as Heretics, are to be delivered over to the secular power, to be punished in the manner that is due,” viz. death in its most appalling form