Was Manichaeism wiped out in a genocide provoked by the Church?


#1

381, Christians requested Theodosius I to strip Manichaeans of their civil rights. He issued a decree of death for Manichaean monks in 382.

Augustine of Hippo (354–430) converted to Christianity from Manichaeism, in the year 387. This was shortly after the Roman Emperor Theodosius I had issued a decree of death for all Manichaean monks in 382 and shortly before he declared Christianity to be the only legitimate religion for the Roman Empire in 391. Due to the heavy persecution, the religion almost disappeared from western Europe in the 5th century and from the eastern portion of the empire in the 6th century.

Not saying that I believe the teachings of Mani. He always reminded me of Muhammad claiming to be the paraclete spoken of in the New Testament.

However this really sounds like a Church imposed genocide which saddens me.


#2

Well, it seems that Christians asked Theodosius to do some bad stuff not the Pope. Although, I think Theodosius had some problems. He killed the brilliant philosopher Boethius for one. Nevertheless, people confuse the Church with random Christians. Ok, maybe they aren’t random but they are not the magisterium of the Church. Even St. Augustine does not have the authority of the Pope. He is a saint but he was not perfect. (Look at his life before he converted)


#3

It’s worth mentioning that the persecution of Manichaeism actually began under the Polytheistic Emperor Diocletian. The issue was followed by his successors and enhanced by Emperor Theodosius (not excusing him for that), but it’s worth mentioning that it wouldn’t have prospered in Europe even if Theodosius had refrained from persecuting them.


#4

Condemned as error:

  1. That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.

The Church is hardcore. Don’t mess with us.


#5

You’re reading it incorrectly. This is a list of that which Protestants erroneously consider to be errors.

Let’s start with #1 so that you can see what I mean.

  1. It is a heretical opinion, but a common one, that the sacraments of the New Law give pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle.

That’s the Teaching of the Catholic Church. So how can the Pope consider that a heresy?

In other words, Protestants consider it a heretical opinion, that the sacraments of the New Law give pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle.

The Catholic Church Teaches.

Our dispositions do not cause the grace; they simply remove the obstacles to the freer flow of grace and, in a sense, make more room for grace. We might illustrate this by saying that the more sand we empty out of the pail, the more water the pail will hold.

Therefore, the Catholic Church Teaches that the Sacraments give pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle.

Get it? Let’s do another one.

  1. To deny that in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.

The Catholic Church Teaches that Baptism washes away all sin in infant or adult. Why would the Pope list this as an error?

Because it is Protestants consider it heretical to deny that sin remains in a child after baptism. That is why that say that those who believe this treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.

What doe the Catholic Church Teach? The Catholic Church denies that sin remains after a child is baptized. Luther, himself, taught that. But many Protestants consider it useless to baptize infants since children can not make a proclamation of faith.

Therefore since the Catholic Church denies that sin remains in a child after Baptism, Protestants say that the Catholic Church treats with contempt both Paul and Christ.

Ok, one more. I don’t understand #3, but look at #4.

  1. To one on the point of death imperfect charity necessarily brings with it great fear, which in itself alone is enough to produce the punishment of purgatory, and impedes entrance into the kingdom.

Protestants deny that Imperfect charity is enough to bring about the pains of Purgatory. Why? Because they deny that Purgatory exists.

Does the Church teach that belief in Purgatory is a heresy? No! The error is to teach that Purgatory is a heresy.

Therefore, all the heresies listed in Exsurge Domine are written from a Protestant point of view.

And when you get to #33, “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.”

So, Protestants consider it an error to believe that heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.

What does the Catholic Church Teach? That burning heretics is against the Will of the Spirit.


#6

“Don’t mess with us”? Really? You realize that every living bishop on the planet would condemn you with the harshest of terms if you actually advocated for the burning of heretics in the here and now.


#7

I understand perfectly how the format works, thank you.

In the first, the error is plainly stated and then condemned. The error of the first?

That it is a heretical opinion , but a common one…”

The second?

“…is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ

So using that, what is the error in number 33?

“That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.”

That is the error, that it is “against the will of the spirit”. Luther opposed the burning of heretics as against the Spirit. The Catholic Church disagreed.

Let’s try number 34:

“To go to war against the Turks is to resist God who punishes our iniquities through them.”

The Catholic Church did not teach that going to war with the Turk was to resist God. Luther did! So that was condemned.


#8

Yeah, don’t mess with us. God will wipe you out and send you to Hell if you do.

I don’t care what every bishop would do, nor did I (or Pope Leo, for that matter) advocate the birning of heretics. He simply declared that it was not against the will of the Spirit, and I assent to his infallible declaration.

If the bishops of today thought it would be imprudent for the secular authorities to burn heretics, this would be reasonable and I might even agree. If they thought it was “against the will of the Spirit” to do so in any and all cases throughout all history, then they would be in error and I would pray for them to stop opposing Holy Mother Church.


#9

It would be a very difficult task from a practical standpoint. If you burned every living heretic, how many, to use one example, Americans would be left alive? Maybe a couple million…and I think that is VERY generous.


#10

Pope Francis has declared the death penalty to be contrary to the Gospel…https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-death-penalty-is-contrary-to-the-gospel-81181
Both can’t be right.
For the record I agree that the death penalty isn’t intrinsically wrong (even if Pope Francis has implied that it is on more than one occasion) based on the Church’s historical teaching… but the Magisterium is living… if the Magisterium condemns the death penalty in the here and now, what profit is there in proclaiming that burning heretics is potentially a good thing?


#11

Pope Francis is objectively in error.

The Magesterium cannot and will not ever condemn the Death Penalty.


#12

[quote=“ChunkMonk, post:7, topic:453445, full:true”]
I understand perfectly how the format works, thank you. [/quote]

Then why’d you get it wrong again?

In the first, the error is plainly stated and then condemned. The error of the first?

That it is a heretical opinion , but a common one…”

Sooo, you’re saying that it is a heresy that the sacraments of the New Law give pardoning grace to those who do not set up an obstacle.

So, then, you oppose the Teaching of the Catholic Church. Because that is precisely what the Catholic Church Teaches.

The second?

“…is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ

Then you’re proposing that we believe that sin remains in a child after baptism. That’s news to me. Because the Catholic Church Teaches that Baptism washes away all sin. That includes Original Sin.

So using that, what is the error in number 33?

“That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.”

That is the error, that it is “against the will of the spirit”. Luther opposed the burning of heretics as against the Spirit. The Catholic Church disagreed.

But not Calvin.

On this day, October 27, 1553, Geneva burned Michael Servetus at the stake for blasphemy and heresy. In the flames, Michael called repeatedly on Jesus, the Son of God for mercy.

Geneva was the home of Calvin.

To be in line with the preceding 32 statements, that says that Protestants deny “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.”

Let’s try number 34:

“To go to war against the Turks is to resist God who punishes our iniquities through them.”

The Catholic Church urged Catholics to go against the Turks (i.e. Muslims). Therefore, this isn’t saying that going to war against the Turks is an error. The error is to deny that we must go to war with the Turks.

The Catholic Church did not teach that going to war with the Turk was to resist God. Luther did! So that was condemned.

Now you’re getting it!


#13

I don’t think the Church will ever condemn the Death Penalty in its entirety. There are a few circumstances when it is necessary but as the USCCB has stated they are practically non-existent in our society. So the Magesterium will never condemn all of the Death Penalty but they will condemn most of its use.


#14

I didn’t get it wrong:

“It is a heretical opinon” was the error. The Lutherans were teaching that the sacraments giving pardoning grace was a heretical opinion. That was the error, that it was a heretical opinion. It states it plainly.

“To treat Christ and Paul with contempt” was the error. The Lutherans were teaching that the Church teaching on baptism treats Christ and Paul with contempt. The error was, again, plainly stated. The Church’s teaching on baptism does not treat Christ and Paul with contempt.

Why are you bringing up Calvin? This Papal Bull was written in 1520, when John Calvin was 11 years old. His actions which occurred 33 years after this Papal Bull have nothing to do with this Papal Bull.

The Lutherans (or at least some under their influence) were teaching that to burn heretics was against the will of the Spirit. The Church taught that burning heretics was not necessarily against the will of the Spirit. Hence the Lutheran error was that they thought burning heretics was against the will of the Spirit. You are simply wrong on your understanding of this.

The Lutherans taught it was “resist(ing) God” to go to war with the Turks. This was in error. To go to war with the Turks was not “resist(ing) God”.

I don’t know where you are getting the idea that Pope Leo X was saying burning heretics was against the will of the Spirit when that was what the Lutherans were teaching… The Church has never held that burning heretics is against the will of the Spirit.


#15

The USCCB is not the Magesterium and disagreements in prudential judgements cannot be “condemned”. By definition, prudential judgement allows for a discussion.


#16

[quote=“ChunkMonk, post:14, topic:453445, full:true”]
I didn’t get it wrong:

You did. I already explained your error. For you to repeat the same thing again doesn’t make you right.

The Lutherans were teaching that the sacraments giving pardoning grace was a heretical opinion. That was the error, that it was a heretical opinion. It states it plainly.

It is Catholic Doctrine that the Sacraments give pardoning grace.

(3) Catholic Doctrine

Against all innovators the Council of Trent declared: “If any one say that the sacraments of the New Law do not contain the grace which they signify, or that they do not confer grace on those who place no obstacle to the same, let him be anathema” (Sess. viii, can. vi).

“To treat Christ and Paul with contempt” was the error. The Lutherans were teaching that the Church teaching on baptism treats Christ and Paul with contempt. The error was, again, plainly stated. The Church’s teaching on baptism does not treat Christ and Paul with contempt.

Now you’re getting it.

Why are you bringing up Calvin? This Papal Bull was written in 1520, when John Calvin was 11 years old. His actions which occurred 33 years after this Papal Bull have nothing to do with this Papal Bull.

If Calvin was burning people 33 years after this Papal Bull was written, then the practice was firmly entrenched in Protestantism.

The Lutherans (or at least some under their influence) were teaching that to burn heretics was against the will of the Spirit. The Church taught that burning heretics was not necessarily against the will of the Spirit. Hence the Lutheran error was that they thought burning heretics was against the will of the Spirit. You are simply wrong on your understanding of this.

I doubt it.

In Luther’s own words:

“To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!” – “If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs”[Erlangen Vol 24, Pg. 294].

The Lutherans taught it was “resist(ing) God” to go to war with the Turks. This was in error. To go to war with the Turks was not “resist(ing) God”.

That is correct.

I don’t know where you are getting the idea that Pope Leo X was saying burning heretics was against the will of the Spirit when that was what the Lutherans were teaching…

Provide the quote.

cont’d


#17

cont’d

The Church has never held that burning heretics is against the will of the Spirit.

Here’s a list of the people burned by Protestants. So, if you’re right, nobody was listening to Luther.

Protestant Countries[edit]

Burning of Anne Askew and John Lascelles, 1546
Robert Barnes († 1540), Smithfield, London, England
Thomas Gerrard († 1540), Smithfield, England
Anne Askew (1521–1546), Smithfield, England
John Lascelles († 1546), Smithfield, England
John Adams († 1546), Smithfield, England
Joan Bocher († 1550), Smithfield, England
George van Parris († 1551), Smithfield, England
Matthew Hamont († 1579), Norwich, England
John Lewes († 1583)
Peter Cole († 1587)
Francis Kett († 1589), Norwich, England
Bartholomew Legate (1575–1612), Smithfield, England
Edward Wightman (1566–1612), relapsed heretic, Lichfield, England
Ian Gregory (1552-1558), Lutheran heretic, Dundee, Scotland
Michael Servetus (1511–1553), Geneva, Switzerland

Certainly, Catholics burned more. But not at the behest of the Catholic Church. It is civil authorities who burned people at the stake.

And the Catholic Church has always taught that God wants all men to be saved. Therefore, it is not the will of God, the Holy Spirit, that anyone be burned as a heretic, because it is not God’s will that anyone be a heretic.


#18

I understand the Catholic teaching on the Sacraments. For the third time now: the Lutherans were saying that Catholic teaching was heretical and that opinion was condemned as error. the opinion that the Catholic teaching was heretical was erroneous.

Please read what I wrote before you jump to responding.

Look, you can post a bunch of Protestant burn victims from 20-30 yeara after the Papal Bull was written all you want, but you will not be able to change the simple fact that Pope Leo X was condemning the Lutheran error that burning heretics was against the will of the Spirit.

The Church has never performed executions, but they absolutely allowed and supported secular authorities who did perform executions, including handing over heretics to be burned at the stake.

Your understanding here is wrong. I’m sorry but I just cannot put it any other way. You are wrong. You will not find any serious historian or theologian who agrees with you that Pope Leo X was condemning the burning of heretics.

The passage in the Bull can be read as:

Condemned:
"[The idea] that heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit."

You see? The idea that it is against the Spirit is what is being condemned. The Lutherans were not teaching that heretics to Catholicism should be burned…


#19

[quote=“ChunkMonk, post:18, topic:453445, full:true”]
Condemned:
"[The idea] that heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit."

You see? The idea that it is against the Spirit is what is being condemned.

Ok. I see that point and it also applies to the one before. I’ll have to read that again.


#20

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.


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