Friday, August 30, 2013

Loraine Boettner’s List – Part 6: Popes, more Popes, [Non]Scandals, and more Popes (Items 12,13,14,18,26,30,32,39,42,43)

As we close the 6-part series on Boettner’s List, we look at several items revolving around the Papacy and things that, on the surface and only seeing what Boettner provides, appear to be scandalous…such as indulgences, forbidding Bibles and “the Cup”...even condemning Public Schools?!?! As before, to keep the length within reason, I’ll let Mr. Ariss’ examinations speak for themselves and add my own comments in blue where I feel more clarification is needed. Everything in black ink, from here on, is quoted directly from Wayne Ariss (with his generous permission…see link in the very first part of this series) with the bolded text being the direct quote from Boettner’s list :

12. Title of Pope, or universal bishop, given to Boniface III by emperor Phocas....607.

Boettner apparently wishes to give the impression that the office of Pope was invented by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas in 607, and conferred upon Boniface. The actual facts are not so simplistic.

To begin with, the title of the Bishop of Rome---Pontifex Maximus---is a term meaning "bridge-builder", which the Popes inherited from governmental functionaries of the pagan Romans. "Pope" is merely a derivation of a Latin word meaning "father"; and use of that term for various clerics is also found in both the Orthodox and Coptic churches.

Tertullian, writing in his treatise Modesty (written in 220 AD), cites a quote from "a pontiff---sovereign, of course---that is, a bishop of bishops" [21]. This places use and understanding of the term 387 years before Boettner's claim. Two other instances of the term in the definition of a patriarch are found applied to the Bishop of Carthage in 250 AD [22], and to the Bishop of Alexandria in 320 AD [23]. However, the Bishop of Rome was always held to be Head of the entire Church, (as attested to by Ignatius, Hermas, Dionysius, Hegesippus, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, and others).

Shortly before Boniface III was elected, a dispute had arisen about the way that Cyriacus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, was using the term "ecumenical patriarch"; the manner in which Cyriacus was employing the title seemed to minimize the proper office of the Pope as universal head of the Church.

Once Boniface had been elected Pope, Emperor Phocas issued a decree---aimed directly at Cyriacus---which stipulated that the See of Rome was the head see of all the churches, and that the title "Universal Bishop" belonged only to the Bishop of Rome [24]. There was imperial precedent for this action, since Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD) had issued a similar acknowledgment some eighty years before [25].

The wrangling over jurisdiction between Rome and Constantinople would continue for another 400 years, and would eventually contribute to the final East-West schism in 1054 AD; but the examples provided here more than dispose of Boettner's claim that the title of Pope was "invented" by the Byzantine Emperor in 607 AD.
[21] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 159.
[22] ibid., pg 227.
[23] ibid., pg 277.
[24] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2; "Boniface III". pg 600.
J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pg 68.
[25] ibid.

13. Kissing the pope's foot, began with pope Constantine....709.

This is a practice which was absorbed from the Roman emperors; Roman court officials kissed the Emperor's foot as a sign of respect for the head of the Empire. In like manner, kissing the foot of the Pope is a sign of respect for the head of the Christian Church, not the man himself---or, as Pope Innocent III described it, it is an act of "reverence due to the Supreme Pontiff as the Vicar of Him Whose feet were kissed by the woman who was a sinner".

Boettner is incorrect to say that the practice began with Pope Constantine, since there is at least one earlier extant example of Emperor Justin kissing the foot of Pope John I (523-526 AD) some 180 years before [26].
[26] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8; "Kiss", pg 665.

14. Temporal power of the popes, conferred by Pepin, king of the Franks....750.

During the years 741 through 747, the Frankish kingdoms that had been the domain of Charles Martel were in a state of rapid change and upheaval. By 750, Pepin the Short was in a position to take charge of the kingdom and establish stability. However, having been educated by Christian monks, and being well acquainted with St. Boniface, Pepin sought advice from Pope Zacharias as to whether he should take charge of the kingdom or not.

Pope Zacharias replied that since Pepin held de facto power over the Franks, it was better, indeed, that he should take charge of the kingdom. This confirmation disposed of the last Merovingian claimant to the throne (Childeric III), and Pepin was crowned king and anointed as such (by Boniface, acting as the Pope's representative) the next year as Soissons [27].

In light of this examination of Frankish history, it can be seen that Boettner essentially has his facts reversed: Pepin didn't confer temporal power on the Pope; rather, the Pope confirmed the temporal power of Pepin.
[27] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 11; "Pepin the Short", pp 662-663.
Kelly, pg 90.

18. College of Cardinals established....927.

At the Council of Rome, held in 499 AD, Pope Symmachus divided the City into various parochial units, each under the control of a priest known as a cardinale. Pope John VIII published a constitution between 873 and 882 which specifically mentions these cardinal priests, or presbyteri cardinales [34]. The office gradually developed into what we now have, meaning the body of higher clerics who meet to elect the next Pontiff upon the death of the reigning Pope; the actual term collegium comes into general use after 1150 AD [35]. The College of Cardinals was never so much an establishment as it was a development; but in any case, Boettner has again erred by anywhere from 200 to 500 years in either direction.
[34] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, "Cardinal", pg 333.
[35] ibid., pg 340.

26. Sale of Indulgences....1190.

Indulgences, or the remission (through the ministry of the Church) of temporal punishment due for forgiven sins, was bestowed upon the Apostles by Christ in John 20:23, and was thereafter mentioned by Tertullian (Ad Martyres, c.200 AD), St. Cyprian (Letter to His Clergy, 250 AD), and St. Basil (Letter to Amphilochius), 374 AD), as well as the Councils of Ancyra (314 AD), Laodicea (320 AD), Nicaea (325 AD), and Arles (320 AD) [52]. The abuse of indulgences has popped up from time to time throughout Church history, and has been condemned by the Church. The English Council of Clovesho in 747 AD sternly rebuked those who tried to hire penitents to perform austerities for them by means of proxy, with the indulgence thus gained supposedly going to the client of the penitent [53].

Boettner neglects to specify where he gets his date of 1190, which he apparently pulls out of the air at random; even later in his own book (pages 262-267) he blithely skips over this specific date. He is, however, in the general ballpark---the 12th century was about the time that indulgence "sales" gained popularity. Pope Urban II granted a plenary indulgence to all participants of the 1st Crusade (1095), and after this, "sales" came into prominence, the monies thus gained being used for such projects as building churches, roads, and bridges, care for the poor and the ill, or education of the young. William of Auvergne, the Bishop of Paris (1228-1249) justified these actions as acts of Christian charity [54].
[52] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, "Indulgences", pg 785.
[53] ibid., pg 786.
[54] H.R. Loyn, editor, The Middle Ages: A Concise Encyclopedia. London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd., 1989; pg 1

[It is worth noting here that an indulgence is not something that can be purchased. The scandal that revolved around the “sale of indulgences” was related to almsgiving, and the scandal was not part of Church doctrine, and was rebuked by the Church. For more on indulgences, see Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragrpahs 1471-1479. The formal definition is, “…a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions…”(CCC1471). ]

30. Bible forbidden to laymen, placed on the Index of Forbidden books by the Council of Valencia....1229.

The Index of Forbidden Books was a gradual development. The first general listing of proscribed books was under Pope Paul III in 1542. The Inquisition had an expanded list by 1559, which was intended to be world-wide, and was also the first list to bear the title "Index". The "Index Tridentinus" was issued by the Council of Trent in 1564, and in 1571, Pope Pius V established a specific Congregation of the Index, which remained in effect until 1917 [61]. Since the earliest date for the formation of the Index is 1542, it would be rather difficult to place the Bible (or any other book, for that matter) on it in 1229, which is more than 300 years before the Index existed. This is Boettner's first blunder.

The 1962 edition of Boettner's tome opines that this proscription of the Bible took place at the Council of Valencia; however, as Karl Keating points out, there has never been a Catholic church council held in Valencia, Spain---neither local, regional, nor ecumenical. This is Boettner's second blunder [62]. Keating likewise explains that even if there had been a council in Valencia, it couldn't have been held in 1229, since in 1229, Valencia was under the control of the Muslims, who were extremely unlikely to allow a Christian church council to be held in their territory; a quick check of any encyclopedia or historical atlas will bear this out [63]. This is Boettner's third blunder, and as may be seen, his chronology has completely missed the mark along with both his history and his geography.

[61] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, "Censorship of Books", pg 521.
Stravinskas, OSV's Catholic Encyclopedia, "Index of Forbidden Books", pg 507.
[62] Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988; pg 45.
[63] The Columbia-Viking Desk Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, "Valencia". New York: Viking Press, 1953; pg 1310.
Hammond Illustrated Family Atlas, Vol. 2; Map, "Europe, c.1200 AD". Glen Cove, NY: Bobley Publishing Corporation, 1969; pg H-15.

32. Cup forbidden to the people at communion by Council of Constance....1414.

Instances of Holy Communion under the auspices of bread alone can be found as far back as the Council of Laodicea in the 4th century and the 2nd Council of Trullo in the 7th, both of which specified Communion under the species of bread alone during all fast days in Lent; this makes Boettner about 1000 years off in the earliest example [65]. After this, the gradual removal of the Sacred Blood from laypeople was introduced, apparently for a variety of reasons; one of them was the Church's desire to reinforce the Church's authority against heretics and the Reformers, who rejected the idea that Communion could be received under only one species. This idea they enforced on their own, apart from the authority of the Church [66]. Another reason was to prevent spillage of the Sacred Blood, and another was to abolish the practice of self-communication by means of intinction [67].

Constance did indeed impose restricting the Sacred Blood from laymen (not in 1414 as Boettner asserts, but a year later in 1415, at the 13th session of the council), but this was a reiteration of previous rulings, including the councils above, the monastic rule of Columbanus (in which the Blood was restricted from novices), and the Council of Lambeth in 1281. It was by no means a new, novel introduction [68].
[65] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, "Communion", pg 177.
[66] ibid., pg 175.
[67] ibid., pg 178.
[68] ibid., pp 177-178.

39. Creed of pope Pius IV imposed as the official creed....1560.

There are three creeds used in the Catholic Church: the Apostle's Creed, dating at least as far back as Tertullian; the Nicene Creed, formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD; and the Athanasian Creed, dating from the 4th century. The "Creed of Pius IV" however, was not a creed, but a profession of adherence to Catholic doctrine that all ecclesiastical office holders had to swear allegiance to. Contained in Pius' bull Injunctum nobis, issued November 13, 1565 (not 1560 as Boettner erroneously claims), it contained a long list of doctrines, such as belief in seven sacraments, purgatory, the sacrifice of the Mass, obedience to the Roman Pontiff, acceptance of the Holy Scriptures, and so on, that any candidate for an office in the Church had to proclaim his belief in and adherence to [77]. As such, Boettner's implication that Pius IV "invented a new creed" is baseless.
[77] Bunson, Encyclopedia of Catholic History, "Pius IV, Creed of", pp 667-668.

42. Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals, proclaimed by the Vatican Council....1870.

The concept of Papal infallibility has been around for a long time. The letter of Pope Clement I to the church in Corinth in approximately 80 AD issues instructions to that church, and Clement makes it clear that he is to be obeyed [83]; likewise, Irenaeus in Against Heresies (180 AD) states that all churches must conform to the church of Rome and be in agreement with it [84]. Augustine, in Against the Pelagians (420 AD) quotes a letter from Pope Innocent I, and declares, "Rome's reply has come; the matter is closed" [85].

As a last example, Peter Chrysologus, the Archbishop of Ravenna, wrote to Eutyches in 449 AD, "We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the Most Blessed Pope of the City of Rome; for Blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it. For we, by reason of our pursuit of peace and faith, cannot try causes on the faith without the consent of the Bishop of the City of Rome" [86]. These examples more than suffice to show that the 1st Vatican Council merely defined the doctrine of Papal infallibility; as a concept it pre-dated the council by nearly 1800 years, and was not "invented" in 1870, despite what Boettner tries to imply.
[83] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 12.
[84] ibid., pg 90.
[85] ibid., Vol. 3, pg 142.
[86] ibid., pg 268.

43. Public schools condemned by pope Pius XI....1930.

Boettner is apparently referring to a document issued by the Catechetical Office of the Holy See on January 12, 1935 (not 1930, as he stipulates), entitled "Provido Sane Consilio: On Better Care for Catechetical Teaching". The document nowhere condemns public schools, but merely insists on the right of Catholic students in public schools to receive proper catchetical instruction from the Church, as a safeguard against academic instruction hostile to the Catholic Faith.

For example, #12 of the document states that "in some nations, the very right of the Church to direct the Christian education of children is called into question or even denied by reason of political policy"; #15 states that this interference is exacerbated by "the fact that ravening wolves have come into the world, not sparing the flock; likewise, pseudo-teachers given to atheism and the new paganism have made their appearance, giving expression to clever falsehoods and sheer nonsense by writings and by other means cunningly attempting to destroy the Catholic belief in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the divine work of the Church" [87].

Clearly the purpose of the Pope, as evidenced by the issuance of this instructional letter, is not the condemnation of public schools, but a concern that Catholic students, whatever their educational disposition, are allowed access to proper religious instruction under the legitimate supervision of the Church---a right that was being denied even then in countries like Nazi Germany. Boettner has not only misinterpreted the purpose of the letter, but he is also off by five years concerning the date of its issuance.

This concludes the series on Boettner’s List. I’d like to give a special “THANK YOU” to Wayne A Ariss who put a great amount of effort into providing actual facts and truth to Boettner’s list of supposed Catholic “inventions and heresies”. I’d also like to thank Michael “Church Militant” for keeping Ariss’s work available for reference. This 6-part series was divided, to some degree at least, into like-topics. If the numerically ordered list is needed, I again direct the reader to the source I used which is located at the “Apocalypsis” blog here:

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the effort of compiling the refutation.