Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


GREAT WESTERN SCHISM REFUTES PAPACY

Vatican 1 Dogma: If anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of the blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema. This study proves how untrue this dogma and invalid this anathema or excommunication is.

Roman Catholic dogma says that the bishop of Rome is the pope, or the head of the Church and Jesus has fully authorised that rank. Roman Catholic doctrine says that St Peter was the first pope for he was made the rock that the Church was built on by Christ and given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. They say these keys stand for the authority of the pope to decide how sins will be pardoned in confession among other things, these keys stand for the power to bar you from Heaven by excommunicating you. The Church adds that Peter was told that whatever he bound on earth would be bound in Heaven and whatever he loosed on earth would be loosed in Heaven so he has the power to make laws in the Church and to go against them is to go against God. Absolution outside the Catholic Church is regarded as invalid everywhere except where there is danger of death. So it is a very serious disaster if you follow the wrong pope for you wonít be able to really get rid of your sins in confession. If the Church is right that a true pope cannot lead the Church into heresy for Christ promised that the gates of Hell would never prevail over the Church, then history must be lying to us for it tells us that at one time there were a number of claimants to the papacy who all had strong claims to be the real pope so that nobody knew for sure who the true pope was. Even today the Catholic Church has to resort to guessing and weak evidence to back up its claim that it knows who the true popes were. More of that in a while.

In the past there have been two or three men claiming to be the true pope at the one time and excommunicating each other and each others followers. Some Catholic apologists have come out with the incredible idea that at the time there were two or three popes, if you were a faithful Catholic and obeyed the man your conscience told you was the real pope you were not in schism even if you were wrong about who was pope! That is like the Society of St Pius X claiming that though it has bishops consecrated in defiance of papal authority and though it runs independent of the modern day pope it is not in schism! It is in schism, it is separated from the Church for it acts it. It has been excommunicated by the Vatican and even if that excommunication is null and void it has still resulted in two separate organisations. At the Western Schism, when there were at first two popes at the one time and then three each pope excommunicated the other as a heretic or schismatic or both and also threw the other popeís followers outside the Church. Each pope took away the power of each others Church to forgive sins. In some cities, there was a bishop appointed by Pope Urban VI and another appointed by his rival Pope Clement VII. Where there is no schism there is unity, where there is no visible unity and people are disagreeing in such important matters there is schism. Urban VI and Clement VII led two similar but separate Catholic Churches one of which was not the true Church and one of which was. One of these Churches had the power to determine which of the many traditions in the Church were of divine origin. If the Church today traces its lineage through even one of the false popes that means that false tradition is in the Church and a fake popeís decrees and teachings are considered to have authority.

If such a schism can happen then surely you can have a pope becoming a heretic and destroying or harming the faith. If such a thing can happen then popes are no use for they donít have any legitimate authority over the Church. The Church has to depend on hearsay, speculation and being selective with evidence and only hearing what it wants to hear to come out with a title deed, a legal list of popes, to defend the authority of its pope and itself for if its rock has no authority it doesnít have any either and is usurping it. The damage the Great Western Schism did to Catholic belief was incalculable. The next time it happens and it will be soon it will do worse damage for communications are better now. When Rome allows women priests probably half the Church will break away and create a new papacy to continue the tradition that women cannot be validly ordained. It will have a strong claim to be the real Catholic Church for tradition forbids female ordination. This schism will be irreparable for there will always be Catholics for and against female ordination. Many will admit they donít know what to think and that they donít know which of the two popes is the real one. When that happens more splintering will be inevitable, for when major schism takes place everybody starts breaking off factions off the Church.

In 1378, cardinals in Rome elected pope Urban VI. Urban showed signs of madness and soon they gathered in a new conclave and produced a rival pope, Clement VII. Today, the Catholic Church claims that Clement was not a true pope at all. A fake who claims to be pope is called an antipope. Back to Urban VI . He wasnít mad all the time. He knew he shouldnít stay on as pope and should have resigned in favour of Clement VII. Surely a pope who causes division and heresy like this and who is unsuitable must be considered an ex-Catholic who deposes himself from the papacy? It is ridiculous to say that a person who breaks from the Church becomes an ex-Catholic by excommunication and that a Catholic who causes others to break away or who keeps that kind of trouble up is still a true Catholic. Even if Clement wasnít the true pope, Pope Urban VI could have conferred the true papacy on him.

All of the cardinals agreed that the election of Urban VI was invalid for they didnít have any freedom during the conclave due to threats from a mob demanding a Roman or an Italian. The mob had even invaded the building they were in. The two rival popes caused the Great Western Schism and resulted in one Roman Catholic Church being led by Urban in Rome and another led by Clement VII in Avignon, France. Nobody knew then who the real pope was. St Catherine of Siena backed Urban and St Vincent Ferrer backed Clement VII. Both popes excommunicated one another and one anotherís followers as well. Each Church claimed to be the true Church and that the other was a fake Church. They launched violent crusades against one another with a view to killing each other. The confusion was caused by the fact that the election of Urban was indeed carried out under threats of violence. In those times the idea of deposing a pope was very acceptable and the cardinals didnít try that route though they didnít want a schism. This indicates their sincerity, the election really was fiddled. They didnít have to admit it and they did. Before they let Urban know he was pope, they presented a Roman in pontifical robes to the mob as their pope. This was strange for they knew the mob would go berserk if they thought they were being fooled. Was this the man they really elected? It certainly must have been the case. They changed their minds and lied about Urban being elected probably because they thought he would be a better political choice. The Church today says that if an election is fiddled the pope chosen is still a valid pope for God doesnít want schism and God doesnít necessarily like the new pope. They donít believe this at all. If a female to male transsexual or somebody that had no intention of being a valid pope and who didnít believe in it or if a plastic surgery copy of some papable person was made pope they would consider this an invalid election resulting in a fake pope no matter if the Church accepts them or not. So why should it be different if the election is invalid in the sense that the votes were fiddled? If acceptance by the Church is valid then why donít they acknowledge Alexander V who was appointed when the Council of Pisa deposed both the Roman and Avignon popes as heretics and schismatics as a real pope when he had the most support and the Roman pontiff Gregory XII who they consider the true pope had hardly anybody? Didnít the whole Church accept antipope Vigilius leaving the alleged real pope Saint Silverius in a dungeon without any followers or support? (page 125, Reasons for Hope). Today the Church regards Urban VI and his line as the real popes. They were not so the Church today is in communion with fake popes and so is schismatic and heretical. To follow the wrong pope is heresy for it means you believe in the wrong rock and regard the wrong man as shepherd and father and teacher of all Christians. Antipopes are not infallible so they are dangerous and since the supreme authority in Catholicism is tradition it follows that the wrong pope means separation from tradition and the means of its protection.

The history of the popes which reveals that many popes were really antipopes and which reveals how hard it was to discern the true pope from the false shows that the pope cannot be the mark of the one true visible Church of Christ at all. Roman Catholicism is not the one right religion. The list the Church has of popes has been produced by men who took sides. Even if you have evidence for one pope being real who is to say that the case for him is just based on hearsay and gossip and the case against his rival isnít based on hearsay and gossip? Many antipopes took office after the deposition of the pope. If you disagree with the Catholic doctrine that the Church cannot depose a valid pope the whole thing gets far more murky and means that plenty of men rejected by the Church as antipopes were in fact real popes. What list you will accept will depend on your prejudices. However if you are biased towards reason your list will be drastically different to that of the modern Church. The number of papal disasters is too high to deny that the papacy is just a human institution.

The Church says that reason shows that the Church needs a simple marker to indicate that it is the true Church so that even the most uneducated person can see where the true Church is. But none of this papacy stuff is simple. Even the experts in the Vatican were wrong about who was pope and who was a pretender. So how then can the pope mark out the true Church?

To have a situation in which the true pope cannot be known and nobody knows which of two or more claimants is the true pope proves Catholicism is false because tradition is the supreme authority in Catholicism and the wrong pope means you have the wrong person telling you what divine tradition is. The true pope alone can have the means of working out what true tradition from God is and can have the power to protect it.


BOOKS CONSULTED

A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Thomas Bokenkotter, Image Books, New York, 1979
A HANDBOOK ON THE PAPACY, William Shaw Kerr, Marshall Morgan & Scott, London, 1962
A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST, Dave Hunt Harvest House Eugene Oregon 1994
ALL ONE BODY Ė WHY DONíT WE AGREE? Erwin W Lutzer, Tyndale, Illinois, 1989
ANTICHRIST IS HE HERE OR IS HE TO COME? Protestant Truth Society, London
APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA, John Henry Newman (Cardinal), Everymanís Library, London/New York, 1955
BELIEVING IN GOD, PJ McGrath, Millington Books in Association with Wolfhound, Dublin, 1995
BURNING TRUTHS, Basil Morahan, Western People Printing, Ballina, 1993
CATHOLICISM AND CHRISTIANITY, Cecil John Cadoux, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1928
CATHOLICISM AND FUNDAMENTALISM, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
DAWN OR TWILIGHT? HM Carson, IVP, Leicester, 1976
DIFFICULTIES, Mgr Ronald Knox and Sir Arnold Lunn, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1958
ENCOUNTERS OF THE FOURTH KIND, Dr RJ Hymers, Bible Voice, Inc, Van Nuys, CA, 1976
FROM ROME TO CHRIST, J Ward, Irish Church Missions, Dublin
FUTURIST OR HISTORICIST? Basil C Mowll, Protestant Truth Society, London
GODíS WORD, FINAL, INFALLIBLE AND FOREVER, Floyd McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985
HANDBOOK TO THE CONTROVERSY WITH ROME, Karl Von Hase, Vols 1 and 2, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906
HANS KUNG HIS WORK AND HIS WAY, Hermann Haring and Karl-Josef Kuschel, Fount-Collins, London, 1979
HITLERíS POPE, THE SECRET HISTORY OF PIUS XII, John Cornwell, Viking, London, LONDON 1999
HOW SURE ARE THE FOUNDATIONS? Colin Badger, Wayside Press, Canada
HOW DOES GOD LOVE ME? Martin R De Haan II, Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
INFALLIBILITY IN THE CHURCH, Patrick Crowley, CTS, London, 1982
INFALLIBLE? Hans Kung, Collins, London, 1980
IS THE PAPACY PREDICTED BY ST PAUL? Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, The Harrison Trust, Kent, 1985
LECTURES AND REPLIES, Thomas Carr, Archbishop of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1907
NO LIONS IN THE HIERARCHY, Fr Joseph Dunn, Columba Press, Dublin, 1994
PETER AND THE OTHERS, Rev FH Kinch MA, Nelson & Knox Ltd, Townhall Street, Belfast
PAPAL SIN, STRUCTURES OF DECEIT, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000
POPE FICTION, Patrick Madrid, Basilica Press, San Diego California 1999
PUTTING AWAY CHILDISH THINGS, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994
REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1974
REASONS FOR HOPE, Editor Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS, Charles Gore MA, Longmans, London, 1894
ROMAN CATHOLIC OBJECTIONS ANSWERED, Rev H O Lindsay, John T Drought Ltd, Dublin
ROMAN CATHOLICISM, Lorraine Boettner, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ, 1962
SECRETS OF ROMANISM, Joseph Zacchello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984
ST PETER AND ROME, J B S, Irish Church Missions, Dublin
THE CHURCH AND INFALLIBILITY, B C Butler, The Catholic Book Club, London, undated
THE EARLY CHURCH, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY, LION BOOKS, Herts, 1977
THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH, Hal Lindsay, Lakeland, London, 1974
THE PAPACY IN PROPHECY! Christadelphian Press, West Beach S A, 1986
THE PAPACY ITS HISTORY AND DOGMAS, Leopold D E Smith, Protestant Truth Society, London
THE PETRINE CLAIMS OF ROME, Canon JE Oulton DD, John T Drought Ltd, Dublin
THE PRIMITIVE FAITH AND ROMAN CATHOLIC DEVELOPMENTS, Rev John A Gregg, BD, APCK, Dublin, 1928
THE SHE-POPE, Peter Stanford, William Hienemann, Random House, London, 1998
THE VATICAN PAPERS, Nino Lo Bello, New English Library, Sevenoaks, Kent, 1982
TRADITIONAL DOCTRINES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH EXAMINED, Rev CCJ Butlin, Protestant Truth Society, London
VICARS OF CHRIST, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1993
WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE? J Bredin, Evangelical Protestant Society, Belfast
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN?, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988