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Chapter 13: The 4th Empire Extended—Papal Rome, Part 8

Mystery Babylon and the Stone Kingdom, part 40—Papal Bull: Unam Sanctam

Welcome back! Where we left off in this series we were marching through various proofs and evidence that the papacy is without question the mouth of the little horn speaking great things” as described in the book of Daniel.

In Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, Vol. 5, we read this concerning the apogee of the papacy attained under Pope Innocent III (emphasis mine).

The brilliant pontificate of Innocent III, 1198-1216, …marks the golden age of the medieval papacy and one of the most important eras in the history of the Catholic Church. No other mortal has before or since wielded such extensive power. As the spiritual sovereign of Latin Christendom, he had no rival.

At the same time he was the acknowledged arbiter of the political destinies of Europe from Constantinople to Scotland. He successfully carried into execution the highest theory of the papal theocracy and anticipated the Vatican dogmas of papal absolutism and infallibility. To the papal title vicar of Christ,” Innocent added for the first time the title vicar of God.”

He set aside the decisions of bishops and provincial councils, and lifted up and cast down kings. He summoned and guided one of the most important of the councils of the Western Church, the Fourth Lateran, [in] 1215, whose acts established the Inquisition and fixed transubstantiation as dogma.”

I will stop there just to explain to my listeners who do not know the meaning of that term transubstantiation. It refers to the teaching of the church of Rome that when, during the Catholic ceremony of the mass, the priest picks up the wafer of bread and declares This is my body.” Transubstantiation means that the wafer of bread instantaneously becomes the actual, literal, physical body of Christ.

Yes, I know, it still looks like bread, tastes like bread, feels like bread, and has all the other physical and chemical properties of bread, but hey, if the priests and the pope say it is the actual and literal body of Christ, who are we to say otherwise, right?

Well, that might have worked in the Dark Ages—and it still holds a grip on the minds of millions of trusting Roman Catholics to this day—but many have seen not only the absurdity of that claim but also the blasphemy.

First the absurdity. When I was in the third grade, I had my first opportunity to become an altar boy and to serve the priest at mass. So, years before I studied Latin in the Catholic seminary, I had to memorize numerous passages in Latin to become an altar boy.

But then the Second Vatican Council came along in the mid-1960s and one of the results was that the mass could henceforth be spoken in the native languages of the Roman Catholics around the globe. So therefore, when the priest held the wafer of bread, the people could now hear and understand what he was saying; namely, this is my body.”

Before that, all that the parishioners heard were the Latin words: Hoc est corpus meum. With the laity being unskilled in the Latin language, they often slurred and butchered this phrase. The mispronounced phrase became part of the slang of our American English language as the phrase, hoc-us poc-us.” And thus many non-Catholics now characterize the supposed miracle of the priest as simply a con game, a ruse, a magic trick, i.e., a bunch of hocus pocus.

Now to the blasphemy. Once the Reformation took hold in many parts of Europe and the Bible came into the hands of the people, they began to realize that the hocus pocus thing—the so-called transubstantiation—was in fact blasphemy.

Why? Because the Scriptures make it clear that Jesus’ bloody sacrificial death on the cross was more than enough to satisfy the requirements to cover the sins of all people for all time.

And so if the church of Rome church teaches that the priests are literally and actually sacrificing the body and blood of Christ every time the mass is performed, then what they are demonstrating by that act is that the sacrifice of Christ was insufficient! It is truly a heresy and blasphemy because it denies the Scriptures. Among others, here are three in particular:

Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world [age] hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Back to Innocent III. His birth and baptismal name was Lothario. He was the son of Count Trasmondo of the house of Conti de Segni, one of the most powerful and ruling families of the Latium. The Latium was the region of western central Italy which encompassed the city of Rome.

That family, the house of Conti de Segni, furnished nine popes, of whom Innocent III was the last. I bring that out to demonstrate once again, and to ask you to consider once again, as I did in regard to the Pierleonis: is it possible that certain powerful families exercise power for centuries, either out front, as popes, or from behind the scenes?

As one digs deeper into the details, one finds that history seems to bear that out. We shall come back to this idea further on in these studies when we see another family ascend to the world stage as the papacy declines in power.

Dr. Froom writes: Thus the age of Innocent III ended. He was never surpassed by any of his successors. Perhaps Boniface VIII surpassed him, although not in greatness, but only in sheer audacity.” What did Boniface do that was so audacious? Continuing to quote Professor Froom in Volume 1 of The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers:

His were the most presumptuous claims ever made by any pontiff, not so much that these were substantially new, but never before were they set forth with such clearness and actual bluntness as appears in Boniface’s famous bull, Unam Sanctam.

That Latin phrase, Unam Sanctam, is translated One, holy” as in the way the Roman church refers to itself as THE one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. The word catholic, by the way, means universal.” And a papal bull—spelled just like the animal—refers to some letter or edict sent by a pope to all the churches of Roman Catholicism, and which contains some decision or order or decree.

It is important to remember that, at the time of this papal bull, 1302, virtually all European Christendom was under the authority of Rome, both on the religious side and the secular side. In this bull, known as Unam Sanctam, church historian Schaff says: …the arrogance of the papacy finds its most naked and irritating expression.”

Froom gives the final climactic statement of Unam Sanctam in its English translation which reads as follows. Listen to this carefully (emphasis mine):

Furthermore, that every human creature is subject to the Roman pontiff,—this we declare, say, define, and pronounce to be altogether necessary for salvation.”

How brazen, presumptuous, and arrogant is that! But Boniface VIII was not the only pope smitten with such arrogant pride. Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) claimed to be advancing the cause of Christian unity when he declared in speaking of himself and the other popes that

We…hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.”

​ (Leo XIII)

This same man also declared—and when he uses the word church, we must understand that he means the Roman Catholic church alone, of course—Leo XIII said:

The only begotten Son of God entrusted all truths which He had taught to the Church in order that it might keep and guard them and with lawful authority explain them, and at the same time He commanded all nations to hear the voice of the Church as if it were His own, threatening those who would not hear it with everlasting perdition.”

Moreover, we must not omit Pope Gregory IX who declared:

Those whom the Pope of Rome doth separate, it is not a man that separates them but God. For the Pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man but of the true God….dissolves, not by human but rather by divine authority…”

I am in all and above all, so that God Himself and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do…wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God, what do you make of me but God?

Again, if prelates of the Church be called of Constantine for gods, I then, being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all gods.”

[Source: Decretales Domini Gregori ix Translatione Episcoporum, (on the Transference of Bishops), title 7, chapter 3; Corpus Juris Canonice (2nd Leipzig ed., 1881), col. 99; (Paris, 1612), tom. 2, Decretales, col. 205 (while Innocent III was Pope).]

I could easily go on for hours with quotation after quotation, but these are clearly more than sufficient to demonstrate that the papacy has indulged in blasphemy by speaking great words against the Most High God.

Let us ask then, how have the Roman church’s own apologists viewed such statements? Have they sought to retract them, correct” them, or explain them? We ask further: Have subsequent popes themselves repudiated any of these outrageous and arrogant claims?

Not at all. Rather, the record shows that when such things are brought to the attention of the apologists of Rome, they only reiterate them with more arrogance, if that were possible, and they remain recalcitrant.

I have spoken in another series of Bible lectures about a man named John Henry Cardinal Newman. That was in my series called Which Bible? Which Version? which is still available from us. Therein, I pointed out how the once-Anglican clergyman (Newman) was a leader of the Oxford Movement” in Great Britain, which leaned and pushed toward Romanism.

In 1845, Newman converted to Roman Catholicism and was rewarded with the office of cardinal. He was a prolific writer. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI declared Newman as being beatified,” which is one of the steps in Catholic dogma on the way to declaring some a saint.”

Of course, according to the Bible, it was the Israel people (and no other) who were called saints” in the Old Testament, and such terminology also applies to them as Christians in the New Testament. The entire Catholic teaching that only certain elite individuals can be named saints” is without biblical foundation.

With that bit of introduction concerning John Henry Cardinal Newman, I want to quote briefly from his writing entitled: Protestant Idea of Antichrist. I have a very long quote in my library from this writing—or one could probably find it online these days—but we do not have time to quote it at length, so I will cut to the chase.

He who speaks for Christ must be [either] His true ambassador or Antichrist. And nothing but Antichrist can he be if appointed ambassador [when] there is none. Let his acts be the same in both cases, according as he has authority or not, so is he most holy or most guilty.

It is not the acts that make the difference, it is the authority for those acts. The very same acts are Christ’s or Antichrist’s according to the doer; they are Antichrist’s if Christ does them not. There is no medium between a vice-Christ and an Antichrist.”

Well, there are several things in that quotation we would take issue with, but not with the main contention which is that the Roman church and the papacy are either true in their claims of authority from Christ, or they are Antichrist.

Cardinal Edward Manning, likewise, a convert from the Church of England to Romanism, wrote of this challenge of inescapable alternatives.” Manning wrote:

A system like this [i.e. Romanism] is so unlike anything human, it has upon it notes, tokens, marks so altogether supernatural, that men now acknowledge it to be either Christ or Antichrist.

There is nothing between these extremes. Most true is this alternative, The Catholic Church is either the masterpiece of Satan or the kingdom of the Son of God.”

Thank you, Cardinals Manning and Newman! There we have it from the pens of two of the great cardinals of the Catholic church. Not only do the popes make all their outrageous and arrogant claims, but they claim they have the authority of Christ in doing so.

Which goes to the old strategy that if you are going to deceive and the people, tell lies so outrageous that no one would dream that anyone would lie so outrageously. Reminds me of some examples of our recent presidents. I will not raise taxes; read my lips.”

Or Bush 41’s successor, Bill Clinton, when he so outrageously claimed regarding smoking marijuana that he never inhaled,” or concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky—well, never mind; we won’t go there.

Let’s break here and in the next blog we will get into the two alternatives regarding the papacy and the church they lead. Either a masterpiece of Satan or the kingdom of Christ… tune in next time to find out!

Up next Chapter 13-The 4th Empire Extended, Papal Rome, Part 7 Chapter 13-The 4th Empire Extended, Papal Rome, Part 9
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