Pope is bridegroom?

Hi guys I’m having some trouble authenticating the authenticity of a quote made about Pope innocent 3rd. The quote was given to me by a protestant who likes to attack the “wafer god” of Rome. The quote:-

Pope Innocent III was the first who instituted the office of the Inquisition: the slaughter of millions of innocent Bible believing Christians was the result of this ‘holy’ inquisition). Innocent III declared, “Yea, I am the bridegroom; for I have the noble, rich, and high exalted, yea, the honorable, pure, gracious, and holy Roman church for my bride… I have espoused her sacramentally. This bride has not been wedded to me portionless, but has given me her rich dowry, namely, the fullness of spiritual and of temporal power.” (Innocent. 3, in Consecra. Pontif., Serm. 3, page 19)

does anyone know the context of this, if it’s even true etc? I’m not sure exactly where I could locate these records. Thanks guys in advance

sounds like a rap song in my head :thumbsup:

The Inquisition did not kill millions of people. I have never studied the Roman Inquisition in particular, but the Spanish Inquisition, which is more often cited in attacks against the Church, executed several thousand people over a period of centuries…and only a small percentage of those tried were actually executed. By the standards of the day, Church courts (inquisitions) were very lenient when compared with their secular counterparts…there is documented evidence of criminals deliberately blaspheming so they could be transferred from the harsh secular courts to the more merciful tribunals of the Inquisition.

In regards to the quote…no idea if it is authentic or not, but every single priest is the groom in a sense. We believe that the priest, when offering the holy sacrifice of the mass, stands in “the person of Christ”. At holy mass, Christ the groom is mystically united to His bride the Church. The priest is thus the mystical representative of the groom and the congregation of the bride. This is especially true of bishops who hold the fullness of holy orders - and thus of the Pope.

Asiyreh #1
the slaughter of millions of innocent Bible believing Christians was the result of this ‘holy’ inquisition). Innocent III declared,

Totally false.

Italian historian Rino Cammilleri says, “When almost all of northern Europe – and particularly Protestant Europe –- was hunting witches, that phenomenon was non-existent in Spain.”

However, there were 30,000 women in Britain and 100,000 in Germany burnt as witches, not by any Inquisition! [William Thomas Walsh, *Isabella of Spain, 1930].

As noted scientist and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead remarked, in an age that saw a large number of “witches” subjected to torture and execution by Protestants in New England, “the worst that happened to the men of science was that Galileo suffered an honorable detention and a mild reproof.” [Alfred North Whitehead, *Science and the Modern World (New York: New American Library, 1963), p. 10].

Also see:
Question from Gregory Dulmes on 09-08-2002: **
Why are we always apologizing for the inquisitions? Why should Catholics feel bad that Exsurge Domine condemned Luther for the error stating that the burning of heretics was against the will of the Spirit? I tire of self-righteous critics denouncing the Church on this. Let me attempt a defence:

  1. Temporal rulers and states have the legitimate authority to administer capital punishment.

  2. At the time of the inquisitions, the states involved were explicitly, formally, officially Catholic entities. Kings and emperors were crowned in religious ceremonies. Because the Church rebuilt Europe, these kingdoms derived their authority from the Church.

  3. A heretic was both a proliferator of doctrinal error and a social revolutionary. To be a heretic meant one was dedicated to overthrowing both the Church and the temporal order, i.e., fomenting revolution.

  4. The Church executed no one. The Church’s main role was to determine if the accused was actually a heretic or not. He or she was then turned over to the state - sometimes. The state’s official punishment for heresy was usually a death sentence.

Hence, since a heretic was both a false teacher and a social revolutionary, he threatened to unleash chaos in society. I have no doubt that, given the rulers of the time (rulers God allowed to be) that the will of the Spirit was to give the heretic his just deserts (i.e., justice), meaning death at the stake. This does not make God or the Catholic Church cruel or sadistic. Any one who thinks this is cruel can simply review the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when heresy triumphed. The tragedy in lives and souls lost speaks for itself.

Lastly, the inquisitions were not only not bad, but were good. Why? Because they were an advancement over the mob violence and vigilante justice that proceeded them. Everything was usually by the book, carried out by the due ‘controlling legal authorities’. If a man was executed, you can at least be sure that the accusations against him were true.

Where am I wrong in this?

**Answer by Matthew Bunson on 09-08-2002 (EWTN): **
Thank you for your views. They are shared by a great many people who object to the seemingly endless number of apologies demanded from the Church.

Thank you guys for the great replies. I shall return to the field. I’m just cutting my teeth on history, a beautiful adventure. I shunned it when I was away from the Church. Now I own it all. Saints and sinners alike. From what I can find on Pope Innocent his favorite expression on himself seems to be “servant of servants.” Lol I found something about him giving some guy 100 our fathers a day and making him bow each time, and a lot more, because; he planned to eat his wife. And when I say planned I mean, she made it to the dinner table…

A lot of theologians and historians seem to gush about Pope Innocent he must have said some really great things? I still can’t find anything relating to that particular statement in the OP apart from second hand sources on protestant websites.

Yeah, the inquisition did not lead to so many executions, and of those it did lead to, even if you argue they were unjust, were certainly not of “bible believing Christians.”

Regarding the quote from Pope Innocent III, I’m not sure if it is authentic or not, but there is a long history of speaking metaphorically of bishops being wed to their Churches. Just like an actual bridegroom’s relationship to his bride is compared to Christ and the Church by St. Paul, so is a bishops relationship to his particular Church comparable and he should act as her head and be prepared to give himself up for her. Innocent III, as Bishop of Rome, was head of the Church of Rome, just as bridegroom is head of his bride.

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