JustforCatholics Questions


#1

justforcatholics.com

I check this site out every once in a while to see what kind of garbage they are putting out there. I was wondering if you guys could help me out with a point they try to make.

Pope Honorius was condemned as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Pope Christopher became pope by forcibly dethroning his predecessor, Leo V, and putting him into prison. He was then driven from the chair by his successor, Sergius III. Pope John XII was a coarse, immoral man, whose life was such that the Lateran was spoken of as a house of prostitution, and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general odium. Pope Benedict IX sold the papacy to Pope Gregory VI for a large sum of money. Pope Clement VI imposed taxes, sold beneficiaries and squandered the church riches on pompous banquets and receptions. Pope Alexander VI was known for murder, bribery, and selling positions of authority in the Catholic Church. Pope Gregory VII and his successors used forged documents to expand the power of the papacy.

But what good is a chain if even one of its link is corroded, let alone if there are a score of rusty links? The chain still breaks down at the weak links and the claimed apostolic authority of the papacy falls to the ground and breaks in pieces.

Can anyone help with the accusations made against each of these Popes here? Thanks.


#2

I am not an expert on papal history. I do know we have had some less than stellar popes. What I do know is that what WAS preserved through all the bad popes was the pure deposit of faith. No pope, even if he were immoral, ever taught that is was okay to be immoral. They never taught any erroneous doctrine ex cathedra. THis site probably doesn’t understand that we are to follow the teaching of the magisterium in the area of faith and morals (the official teachings that is). We are not commanded to do as the pope does or act like he does.

So, it actually attests all the more to a divine institution in that no pope ever taught error in the area of faith and morals (officially in the capacity which we understand to be infallible) and no pope ever contradicted another pope in the area of faith and morals :thumbsup: . In this way, these links are not absent, rusty or corroded at all.

So we see that the deposit of faith has been preserved (even if the souls of certain popes may not have been preserved) and that we can truly cling to the teachings of the Church as the Lord has shown that HE will not allow the gates of hell to prevail against HIS Church.


#3

Personally, I find it easier to agree with such points. There have been a number of corrupt popes and other leaders in the Church.

The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. The authority that He gave to the Apostles and their successors does not become nullified just because the person receiving the gift fails to live a life worthy of the manner in which they were called. This is like saying that Jesus had no authority because He chose the 12, and one of them was a devil.

Furthermore, no Protestant would agree that the sins of the preachers in their tradition nullified the Word of God.

The unbroken chain is maintained by the HS, who is incorruptible, not by the rusty links of humans through which He works.


#4

I basically agree with what guanophore has posted.

As an analogy I would look at the situation in the US with President Nixon and the whole Watergate scandal.
In this situation there was much wrangling and high-handed and illegal activity that went on. However in the end the country survived. The Ideals and respect for the Laws and the Consitution survived.

The same can be said for those times of distress in the Church. Regardless of when how or by whom the office of Pope, was abused, the ideals, respect for true authority, doctrine and teaching has survived.

Just firther evidence of who is truly in Charge. Our Lord and King Jesus Christ.

Peace
James


#5

Here are some good articles:
catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0010fea5.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9409fea2.asp
catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0104fea4.asp


#6

Just one question: is there anything that would nullify a Pope once elected? i.e. is there anything that he could do that would ‘break the chain’?


#7

There is no ‘chain’ of popes.

The ‘chain’ of apostolic succession means that every current bishop can trace his legacy back to the apostles without a break. In order for that chain to be broken, every bishop in the world would have to die without any succeeding bishops having been consecrated. The pope is only ONE of those bishops, and his see is vacated every time a pope dies.

Regarding bad popes, there were many, at a time in world history when the Church had become the seat of enormous temporal power. Obviously corruption followed, but as previous posters have noted, that had little to do with Church doctrine, nor did most of the ‘bad popes’ have much interest in same.

It’s also notable that in many cases, when the Church’s enemies present a list of ‘bad popes’, many of the names turn out to be pretenders, no more pope than I am! But I have not researched the names mentioned in the opening post. Maybe another poster will do so.


#8

Mr. Mizzi forgot to mention the Pope that cut off someone’s ear. I think that would qualify for his list.


#9

Here are some links with regard to popes you are mentioning:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope_Christopher
newadvent.org/cathen/08426b.htm
newadvent.org/cathen/02429a.htm
newadvent.org/cathen/04023a.htm
newadvent.org/cathen/01289a.htm
newadvent.org/cathen/06791c.htm

About Pope Honorius it was already given by Catholic dude.


#10

A pope’s election can be nullified if it was discovered his election was irregular in the first place - this would include simony, heresy, clandestine marriage, an irregular voting among the cardinals, if his office was obtained by political intrigue (i.e., involvement of the secular powers), and if his office was promised to him. It all depends on the circumstance AT THE TIME OF ELECTION (kind of like the idea behind a marriage annulment).

But once a Pope is validly elected, the only way that he can be removed is by death or abdication. A Pope can be pressured by his brother bishops and even the lay Church to abdicate, which has happened a few times in history.

Blessings,
Marduk


#11

St. Peter denied Christ three times.

Judas betrayed Him.


#12

if that is how apostolic succession is meant to be (and not a strict straight one line succession),
then I think the Protestant leadership chain are valid as well.

of course, the Reformers would have ordained succeeding leaders after them. and the Reformers like Martin Luther was a priest and could ordain others as well.


#13

No, first of all the succession is not of “priests” it is of Bishops, so the fact that Luther was a priest is irrelevant.


#14

That is correct, and that is why:

  1. The Eastern Orthodox Churches, being merely schismatic, have valid orders.

  2. The Churches of the Anglican Communion claim to have valid orders, though the Roman Catholic Church disputes this.

  3. Certain so-called “Old Catholic” churches, such as the Polish National Church, may or may not have valid orders. It would depend on the history of each such Church.

  4. Various Protestant Churches have hierarchy known as bishops, but they do not have apostolic succession, nor do most of them make any such claim. It is more a matter of authority within each denomination. Of course, many other Protestant denominations have no such hierarchical system.


#15

He was not a Bishop, so he never had the authority to ordain others to the priesthood, even when he was in full communion with the Church. As far as I know, he never attempted to ordain anyone, though.


#16

Quote:
Pope Honorius was condemned as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council.

No, that’s not accurate. Pope Honorius was condemned for failing to adequately oppose a heresy, not for actually teaching the heresy. There is a world of difference here – Catholics do not consider the pope to be “perfect” or assured of doing his job without incident. Catholics believe only that the pope (and the Church) cannot teach erroneous doctrine as a matter of required belief. Honorius never taught heresy as a matter of required belief.

Pope Christopher became pope by forcibly dethroning his predecessor, Leo V, and putting him into prison. He was then driven from the chair by his successor, Sergius III. Pope John XII was a coarse, immoral man, whose life was such that the Lateran was spoken of as a house of prostitution, and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general odium. Pope Benedict IX sold the papacy to Pope Gregory VI for a large sum of money. Pope Clement VI imposed taxes, sold beneficiaries and squandered the church riches on pompous banquets and receptions. Pope Alexander VI was known for murder, bribery, and selling positions of authority in the Catholic Church. Pope Gregory VII and his successors used forged documents to expand the power of the papacy. …

Suppose those were all true, so what? Catholics do not believe popes are incapable of sin, so these facts would prove nothing.

Quote:
But what good is a chain if even one of its link is corroded, let alone if there are a score of rusty links? The chain still breaks down at the weak links and the claimed apostolic authority of the papacy falls to the ground and breaks in pieces.

There being no “break” in the chain of Apostolic succession, there is no problem.


#17

I may be mistaken, but I think this is the guy that John Martignoni has taken to task at length.

Visit www.biblechristiansociety.com and review the debates as well as the newsletters for lengthy rebuttals of EVERYTHING this guy stands for.


#18

I don’t think Martin Luther had the power to ordain my big toe.


#19

UPDATE

It appears justforcatholics.com is for sale.


#20

Your reasoning would be correct except that only bishops, not priests, can ordain. Luther was a priest, not a bishop, so he never had the power to ordain. But yes, a heretical bishop would still have the power to validly ordain.


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