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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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The Papacy In History And Prophecy






Platina in his life of Damasus, says, "But Damasus, when he was elected to assume the pontificate, had the deacon Uricinus for a rival in the Church, called Sicinus, where many were killed on both sides in the Church itself, since the matter was not only discussed by votes, but by force of arms". Platina de Vita Dam 1 Chr 366.




Cardinal Baronius describes the state of Rome in 498:

"For many being bribed, he (i.e. the Emperor) brought it to pass, that contrary to custom, a certain Bishop should be elected, a Roman, named Laurentius. For the sake of these persons, murders, robberies and numberless other evils were perpetrated at Rome........ And not only did the clergy, but also the Roman senate, strive against each other upon this account, with mutual dissensions and quarrelling. Festus and Probinus, two very powerful senators, undertaking the patronage of the one party, namely that of Laurentius; and Faustus the ex-consul and the other senators favouring the party of the other, namely that of Symmachus. The conflict between them is described by Anastasius; but we shall relate everything in its proper place. For there was not a contest of this nature in the Roman Church for one only, but for many years, which, when frequently lulled to sleep, revived again with a more vehement eruption ..... The state of the Church of Rome this year was most turbulent, since the clergy, divided among themselves, contended with each other and the senators of the highest rank fought among themselves very obstinately at a great risk of destroying the whole city." Annals p 532 Vol. VI ut supra.



The contention which arose as to the election of the Pope 687, is thus described by Platina:

"For the Roman people, divided into two parties, on the one hand desired Theodorus, and on the other hand desired the archdeacon Paschal. Theodorus, with his faction, had broken into the interior of the Lateran episcopal residence; but Paschal occupied the exterior, from the oratory of St. Sylvester to the temple of the house of Julia, which is close to the field. But when so great a strife and quarrelling took place there, that they did not hesitate to fight and when neither seemed inclined to yield except compelled by force of arms, the chief persons of the city, the clergy and the Roman militia, departing into one place consulted what was the best to be done for allaying the sedition. Having at length discussed the matter, when they decided that neither of those two, who by their ambition had raised such a tumult, were fit to demand the Popedom, by the will of God, no one opposing it, they elected Sergius as Pope; and raising him on their shoulders from the crowd, they first brought him into the chapel of the martyr Caesarius and presently to the palace of Lateran, the doors being broken open by force and those who occupied the place being repulsed. But Theodorus, having ascertained the general wish, saluted Sergius as Pope and kissed him; Paschal reluctantly did the same, the multitude which clasped their hands around him compelling him to do so." p 103 ch 687 Sergius I




Pope Stephen in this century carried the spirit of faction so far that he dug up the body of Pope Formosus, his predecessor and treated it with indignity.

In reference to Stephen's successor, John, Platina says:

"John X, a Roman, being created Pope, re-established the interests of Formosus, a great part of the Roman people opposing, whence so great a sedition arose, that a battle very nearly took place. But he going to Ravenna and calling a council of 70 bishops, condemned the acts of Stephen and restored the acts of Formosus. I am of opinion that this occurred both because the Pope's themselves had deserted the footsteps of Peter, and more especially because the Christian commonwealth had idle and slothful princes, whose chief interest it was that Peter's ship should be tossed about by the waves." Life of Pope Romanus, AD 897 ut supra



Baronius, in reference to the tumults of this time says:

"Thus, indeed, at Rome, all things, as well as sacred as profane, were mixed up with factions, so that the promotion of the Apostolic See was in the hands of that party which was in appearance the most powerful; so that at one time the Roman nobles, at another time the prince of Tuscany, intruded by their secular power, whatever Roman Pontiff they wished, and cast out, whenever they could him who was elevated by the contrary faction; which things were in agitation during almost the whole of this century, until the Ottos, the Emperors of Germany, who opposed both parties, interferred between them, arrogating to themselves equally the election of the Pope and the deposition of the elected.

When he (i.e. Christopher) was again cast out, that wicked Sergius again, who as you have heard, proceeded such lengths against Formosus, being powerful by the arms of Adelbert, Marquis of Tuscany, and being the slave of every vice, what did he leave unattempted? He invaded the seat of Christopher, not of Formosus as Luitprand relates through forgetfulness, who it appears indeed, after a bad entry and a worse course, attained a worse departure. These were most unhappy times, when each pope, thus intruded, abolished the acts of his predecessor." Ann p8 An 4 AD 900 ut supra.



It was during this century that the wars between Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) and the Emperor, Henry IV took place. It had been the custom for the Emperor to elect a bishop to a new bishoprick when an office became vacant, but in this century Gregory boldly determined to wrest this right


of election from the civil power by pronouncing anathema against any Emperor so doing.

Henry however was determined to oppose this new rule and when the exasperated Hildebrand ordered Henry to appear in Rome, the Emperor did so but this time with an army. The Pope was deposed and an order of election was issued by Henry. Hildebrand however acted with great vigour in return and excommunicated the Emperor and his subjects. This led to open war and unfortunately Henry found a powerful confederation of dukes against him.

This difficult position caused Henry to yield and implore the forgiveness and aid of the Pope. Accordingly he repaired to the fortress of Canusium., where the Pope lived with the Countess Matilda, and was forced to stand in the open Air for 3 days with his feet and head bare and only a blanket for his covering. On the fourth day he received absolution from the Pope, but was still kept in suspense as to his restoration of the throne.

A series of wars followed when Henry returned to the throne but he died broken-hearted and deserted by his friends in 1106.



During this era many wars and commotions occurred which can be read in the first part of these notes.



Dupin on the election of John XXII says:

"After the death of Clement V, 23 cardinals, which were at Carpentras, where the Pope held his court, entered into the conclave and remained there from May to July 22nd in the year 1314 but could not fix upon the election of a pope. The Italian cardinals were very desirous to have a pope of their nation, who might have his residence at Rome: and the Gascoygnes were for a Frenchmen, who might reside on this side of the Alps. The Italians proposed the Cardinal of Praeneste who had been before the Bishop of Aix and wrote for him to the King, but he was not at all liked by the French. Their contests lasted so long that the people gathering together under the conduct of Betrand and Raimond Gott, the nephews of the deceased pope, and coming armed to the conclave, demanded that the Italian cardinals should be delivered to them, and crying out that they would have a pope, they set fire to the conclave. The cardinals thereupon made their escape and were dispersed, and it was a very hard thing to get them to gather after this incident.




In this age there were 3 popes reigning together which led to much commotion and war.

These examples have been quoted to illustrate the continual source of tumult, bloodshed and war associated with Rome's ecclesiastical history. They are not isolated examples and if space permitted much more could be said about the remaining centuries but what has been said so far will suffice to illustrate the point.