How do I defend against the Donation of Constantine?


#1

Some of my professors and fellow history majors absolutely love to point out that the Donation of Constantine was forged, and they reject Catholicism because of that.


#2

So why do they reject Catholicism, which was founded by Christ in AD** 33**, spread through the world, was finally no longer persecuted around AD 320, and has been growing every since. . .based on a forged document from AD 750 or so? :confused:

What does the document have to do with the teachings of the Catholic Church? Nothing, that’s what.

It would be like rejecting the Declaration of Independence and the entire idea of the existence of the United States based on a ‘forged document’ that came to light on OPRAH, called, “The Declaration of Independence Code”, written in 1950, and claiming that the Founding Fathers had a secret cabal, and that contrary to what we ‘think’, the government has been using a “Declaration of Independence Code” to pick out our Presidents.

And arguing that because of that ‘forged document’ they no longer believe in the authenticity of the Declaration of Independence, or any United States history from then on, because obviously the forged document ‘proves’ that the whole idea of independence and democracy never existed in the first place.


#3

Because they like to flaunt anything that makes Christianity, and especially the Church, look bad. They don’t really care about anything that makes it look good or redeem any of the bad.


#4

The Catholic Church was not founded upon this document. What, exactly, is their problem?

That would be like rejecting all of science because of Piltdown man and other frauds. Unless they can offer some sort of logical connection beyond what you’ve told us, their conclusion is juvenile .


#5

Their problem is that it proves that the Church is at its very foundation totally corrupt and run by people who dedicate their lives to achieving power and making money. It’s very hard to tell a professor that the forgery is not in line with Church teaching when he or she brings it up in class.

Also another issue that one professor likes to point out is that papal infallibility was codified in 1870, conveniently in time for the current pope to use his newfound power to try to convince Italians to have nothing to do with unification.


#6

Wow. Now that’s just outright plain intellectual dishonesty on their parts. And to think that they’re professors forming young minds too.

And how do these so-called facts “prove” that the Church is at its very foundation totally corrupt and run by people who dedicate their lives to achieving power and making money?


#7

Because it happened it must make the Church evil. Any student who already seeks excuses to hate Catholicism isn’t going to question it too much.


#8

Then by that logic it must make the university evil too, because it was fostered by the Catholic Church. Evil begets evil, no?


#9

I find it amazing that this -

newadvent.org/cathen/05118a.htm

is what is being used by those who claim to be professors and students of history. It should be quite embarrassing to be drawing conclusions based on a forgery. How about if you suggest to them that they provide evidence of the authenticity of this document? A real historian shouldn’t have too much trouble with this.


#10

**As it is not authentic, no such evidence exists - which is why it is not possible to provide it. **

**There are two problems with the Donation: **
[LIST]
*]**It was quoted & appealed to as a very important foundation for Papal authority: as it is a fabrication, this has serious implications for the exercise of Papal authority as built upon the document, & for the results of that exercise. **[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]**That this is a fabrication casts doubt on the genuineness of other Papal claims. There are other inauthentic documents & parts of documents, such as the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, the fictions in the Liber Pontificalis, the interpolated sixth canon of Nicea I: all of this adds up to give a very bad impression of the honesty & truthfulness of a Church which could tolerate such dishonesty. When the Church has been shown to be - to be blunt - a liar, more than once & on matters of importance, trust in its unbounded love of truth is not likely to be the attitude of those who are invited to join it. **[/LIST]**There is a very serious moral issue here, & as the CC claims to be a teacher of moral truths, it is not unfair or unreasonable to apply moral standards to issues in which moral questions are involved - do forgery & fraud ad majorem Ecclesiae gloriam really raise no moral issues :frowning: ? **


#11

Correction. They think that their *saying so *proves it. That’s not the same thing as proving it.

It’s very hard to tell a professor that the forgery is not in line with Church teaching when he or she brings it up in class.

No, actually it’s quite easy. When they say that it proves something, raise your hand and ask, “How so?”

Also another issue that one professor likes to point out is that papal infallibility was codified in 1870, conveniently in time for the current pope to use his newfound power to try to convince Italians to have nothing to do with unification.

With all due respect to your professor, that’s the kind of logic a sarcastic little girl would use (no offense to sarcastic little girls). Unless he or she can prove a direct connection between one and the other, they should keep their childish speculation to themselves.

Been there, done that. I’ve got B’s in college classes where I deserved A’s because I stood up to the teacher in class, but the long run truth and fairness are more important.

Anyway, here’s all you need to know. Everything else is just speculation:
angelfire.com/ms/seanie/forgeries/donation.html


#12

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