Is there a source for this alleged Pope Innocent III quote?


Is there a source where this quote can be verified and read in context? “Every cleric must obey the Pope, even if he commands what is evil; for no one may judge the Pope.” --Pope Innocent III (1198-1216).

This quote appears in chapter 7 of Dave Hunt’s “A Woman Rides the Beast” and is quoted on many anti-Catholic websites. I have searched in vain for a source document.

Thanks a bunch.


If a source is not cited, don’t believe it.

For example, Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday that “not eating the crust around your pizza is a sin against the Holy Spirit, and if done, one will suffer in Hell for eternity.”

I can’t remember where I read that quote, but it’s true, you just have to trust me.


I looked far and wide and only found the quote on anti-Catholic sites as you mentioned. They also don’t supply any source for their information, except that of the book you mentioned.

Here are some things that Pope Innocent III did have to say.

A person named Francisco Suarez seems to have started the whole thing and it passed from one bad seed to another.



It is a quote you will find in just about every anti-Catholic screed there is… To date i have not found one single person who can substantiate the quote


Thanks kell0618,

I never give credence to these things unless I can find a source. Such was my entire journey into the Church. I would find a damning quote and after some research, it would either be out of context or fabricated.

How is Francisco Suarez connected? Do you know?

God bless!


Is that the eminent Spanish Jesuit theologian who lived from 1548 to 1617 :slight_smile: ? Come to think of it, “eminent” is an understatement - “outstanding” would be nearer the mark.


It seems that the quote is fabricated because it violates the constant teaching of the Catholic Church. The modern catechism states this:

1756 It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.


Though I find it hard to believe someone would invent a quote from a pope who served 900 years ago in an attempt to suport some anti-Catholic position. :whistle: :wink:



Thanks RPP,

Everyone is confirming what I’ve found to be true. Thanks for the input. It is hard to believe that some would fabricate errors in the name of Christ. Even when I wasn’t Catholic I sought to advance my beliefs with integrity. In reality, I think the average joe sees the quote on what he thinks is a reputable source and passes it along, thinking it reliable because of where it was quoted.

Thanks for the feedback.:thumbsup:

May all Catholics seek to live what they profess to believe!

closed #9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit