Archive for the ‘Excommunication’ Category

Rejecting the Truth with Clement XI

November 21, 2010

Some of Rome’s rejections of Scriptural truth are more clear than others. One particularly clear set of examples comes from the dogmatic Constitution, “Unigenitus,”dated Sept. 8, 1713, and authorized by Clement XI. I’ve previously posted a full list of the 101 “errors” condemned (link to full list).

There many alleged errors identified. I’ve taken the liberty to highlight a few of them. Remember, these are what the Roman church has officially proclaimed to be errors.


  • 79. It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.
  • 80. The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all.
  • 81. The sacred obscurity of the Word of God is no reason for the laity to dispense themselves from reading it.
  • 82. The Lord’s Day ought to be sanctified by Christians with readings of pious works and above all of the Holy Scriptures. It is harmful for a Christian to wish to withdraw from this reading.
  • 83. It is an illusion to persuade oneself that knowledge of the mysteries of religion should not be communicated to women by the reading of Sacred Scriptures. Not from the simplicity of women, but from the proud knowledge of men has arisen the abuse of the Scriptures, and have heresies been born.
  • 84. To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ.
  • 85. To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.

The Power of God in Salvation

  • 30. All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved.
  • 31. The desires of Christ always have their effect; He brings peace to the depth of hearts when He desires it for them.

Particular Redemption

  • 32. Jesus Christ surrendered Himself to death to free forever from the hand of the exterminating angel, by His blood, the first born, that is, the elect.

Justification by Faith that Works through Love

  • 51. Faith justifies when it operates, but it does not operate except through charity.

Faith as the Gift of God

  • 69. Faith, practice of it, increase, and reward of faith, all are a gift of the pure liberality of God.

The Church

  • 72. A mark of the Christian Church is that it is catholic, embracing all the angels of heaven, all the elect and the just on earth, and of all times.
  • 73. What is the Church except an assembly of the sons of God abiding in His bosom, adopted in Christ, subsisting in His person, redeemed by His blood, living in His spirit, acting through His grace, and awaiting the grace of the future life?
  • 74. The Church or the whole Christ has the Incarnate Word as head, but all the saints as members.
  • 75. The Church is one single man composed of many members, of which Christ is the head, the life, the subsistence and the person; it is one single Christ composed of many saints, of whom He is the sanctifier.

Total Depravity

  • 38. Without the grace of the Liberator, the sinner is not free except to do evil.
  • 39. The will, which grace does not anticipate, has no light except for straying, no eagerness except to put itself in danger, no strength except to wound itself, and is capable of all evil and incapable of all good.
  • 40. Without grace we can love nothing except to our own condemnation.
  • 41. All knowledge of God, even natural knowledge, even in the pagan philosophers, cannot come except from God; and without grace knowledge produces nothing but presumption, vanity, and opposition to God Himself, instead of the affections of adoration, gratitude, and love.
  • 42. The grace of Christ alone renders a man fit for the sacrifice of faith; without this there is nothing but impurity, nothing but unworthiness.
  • 48. What else can we be except darkness, except aberration, and except sin, without the light of faith, without Christ, and without charity?

The Absolute Necessity of Grace

  • 1. What else remains for the soul that has lost God and His grace except sin and the consequences of sin, a proud poverty and a slothful indigence, that is, a general impotence for labor, for prayer, and for every good work?
  • 2. The grace of Jesus Christ, which is the efficacious principle of every kind of good, is necessary for every good work; without it, not only is nothing done, but nothing can be done.
  • 5. When God does not soften a heart by the interior unction of His grace, exterior exhortations and graces are of no service except to harden it the more.
  • 9. The grace of Christ is a supreme grace, without which we can never confess Christ, and with which we never deny Him.

The Irresistibility of Grace

  • 10. Grace is the working of the omnipotent hand of God, which nothing can hinder or retard.
  • 11. Grace is nothing else than the omnipotent Will of God, ordering and doing what He orders.
  • 12. When God wishes to save a soul, at whatever time and at whatever place, the undoubted effect follows the Will of God.
  • 13. When God wishes to save a soul and touches it with the interior hand of His grace, no human will resists Him.
  • 14. Howsoever remote from salvation an obstinate sinner is, when Jesus presents Himself to be seen by him in the salutary light of His grace, the sinner is forced to surrender himself, to have recourse to Him, and to humble himself, and to adore his Savior.
  • 15. When God accompanies His commandment and His eternal exhortation by the unction of His Spirit and by the interior force of His grace, He works that obedience in the heart that He is seeking.
  • 16. There are no attractions which do not yield to the attractions of grace, because nothing resists the Almighty.
  • 17. Grace is that voice of the Father which teaches men interiorly and makes them come to Jesus Christ; whoever does not come to Him, after he has heard the exterior voice of the Son, is in no wise taught by the Father.

Unjust Excommunication

  • 91. The fear of an unjust excommunication should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be expelled from it, as long as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Church herself by charity.
  • 92. To suffer in peace an excommunication and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul; far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.

Yes, folks, those are things that Rome has officially taught are errors – yet many of these teachings are the truth, as I think will be obvious to most of those reading.

– TurretinFan

Rome and Freedom of Religion

August 25, 2010

Rome’s practices with respect to the freedom of religion have obviously changed. We don’t hear stories about any modern-day inquisitors. However, it should be noted that Rome’s view on coercion of apostates is actually set in a dogmatic definition.

Specifically, Canon 14 on Baptism from Trent’s Seventh Session reads as follows:

CANON XIV.-If any one saith, that those who have been thus baptized when children, are, when they have grown up, to be asked whether they will ratify what their sponsors promised in their names when they were baptized; and that, in case they answer that they will not, they are to be left to their own will; and are not to be compelled [cogendos] meanwhile to a Christian life by any other penalty, save that they be excluded from the participation of the Eucharist, and of the other sacraments, until they repent; let him be anathema.

Notice that Trent is saying that the people who reject Christianity upon coming of age, but who were baptized as infants, are to be compelled beyond excommunication. I’m not aware of Roman Catholicism actually practicing this in modern times, but can any Roman Catholic reconcile a view of religious liberty and self-determination with Canon 14 above?

Compare this:

The freedom of the act of faith cannot justify a right to dissent. In fact this freedom does not indicate at all freedom with regard to the truth but signifies the free self-determination of the person in conformity with his moral obligation to accept the truth. The act of faith is a voluntary act because man, saved by Christ the Redeemer and called by Him to be an adopted son (cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5; Jn 1:12), cannot adhere to God unless, “drawn by the Father” (Jn 6:44), he offer God the rational homage of his faith (cf. Rom 12:1). As the Declaration Dignitatis humanae recalls, no human authority may overstep the limits of its competence and claim the right to interfere with this choice by exerting pressure or constraint. Respect for religious liberty is the foundation of respect for all the rights of man.

One cannot then appeal to these rights of man in order to oppose the interventions of the Magisterium. Such behavior fails to recognize the nature and mission of the Church which has received from the Lord the task to proclaim the truth of salvation to all men. She fulfills this task by walking in Christ’s footsteps, knowing that “truth can impose itself on the mind only by virtue of its own truth, which wins over the mind with both gentleness and power”.

– Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the Inquisition), Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, Section 36 (footnotes omitted)(24 May 1990)

How is the alleged freedom of self-determination consistent with compulsion beyond excommunication? That’s the question for my Roman Catholic readers.


Leo X on Luther

December 16, 2008

Do people still believe what Leo X said about Luther. Mr. Bellisario (editor of the “Catholic Champion” blog) has republished part of an English translation of one of Leo X’s writings against Luther. (link).

What’s interesting is that the the decree Mr. Bellisario cuts and pastes from here (link) makes reference to an earlier bull, Exsurge Domine, also by Leo X, in which Leo X says:

Moreover, because the preceding errors and many others are contained in the books or writings of Martin Luther, we likewise condemn, reprobate, and reject completely the books and all the writings and sermons of the said Martin, whether in Latin or any other language, containing the said errors or any one of them; and we wish them to be regarded as utterly condemned, reprobated, and rejected. We forbid each and every one of the faithful of either sex, in virtue of holy obedience and under the above penalties to be incurred automatically, to read, assert, preach, praise, print, publish, or defend them. They will incur these penalties if they presume to uphold them in any way, personally or through another or others, directly or indirectly, tacitly or explicitly, publicly or occultly, either in their own homes or in other public or private places. Indeed immediately after the publication of this letter these works, wherever they may be, shall be sought out carefully by the ordinaries and others [ecclesiastics and regulars], and under each and every one of the above penalties shall be burned publicly and solemnly in the presence of the clerics and people.

Indeed, the bull pasted by Bellisario makes reference to this particular section, noting: “in several states and localities of the said Germany the books and writings of the said Martin were publicly burned, as we had enjoined.”

The document concludes (in a style normal for papal bulls): “X No one whatsoever may infringe this our written decision, declaration, precept, injunction, assignation, will, decree; or rashly contravene it. Should anyone dare to attempt such a thing, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

I’ve asked before, and I’ll ask again: who has infringed this written decision and/or contravened it? Did they do so with a greater authority than that of Leo X?

I’ve heard people claim that “canon law” has done away with the penalty announced by Leo X for reading Luther, but I have not seen how they propose to use canon law to overcome, infringe, or contravene a papal bull.


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