Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Our Lord God the Pope"...not: Part 2

Now, to continue this series - with all its snarkiness (LOL):

1.): "The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth."
-Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, "Cities Petrus Bertanous," attributed to Pope Pius V.
This seems to be another case of 'hiding behind the curtain of obscurity' as we are merely given the author's surname of Barclay, with no reference to a book title.

As for the identity of this mysterious 'Petrus Bertanous', this author personally tends to believe that this refers to a certain 16th-century Dominican named Petrus Bertanus Fanensis (aka Pietro Bertano; November 4, 1501, Nonantola-March 8, 1558, Rome), who once served as bishop (later cardinal) of Fano in Italy -- the present-day diocese of Fano-Fossombrone-Cagli-Pergola -- and who, among with other Dominicans, was apparently one of the leading prelates at the council of Trent and was an orator and advocate at that same council.

During the papacy of Pope Julius III (who reconvened the second period of the Tridentine council in 1551 after Pope Paul III died in November 10th 1549 at the behest of Emperor Charles V/Charles I of Spain), who entered into a league against the duke of Parma and Henry II of France (1547–59), the Emperor's party requested that Julius admit eight people into the college of Cardinals. Four of them are to be named immediately and the other four are to be reserved in petto until conditions became more favorable; one of those whom they requested to be named immediately is Bertano, who was a member of the imperial party. Eventually he, along with thirteen others, were made cardinals on November 20, 1551, as a sign of reassurance to Charles (especially considering that all fourteen were favorable towards him).

While at first glance this connection may seem plausible (considering that both Pius V and Bertano were both Dominicans), we have to consider the following:

1.) This quote is attributed to Pope Pius V by "Bertanous" (sic). However, Michele Ghislieri O.P. only ascended to the Chair of Peter in January 7, 1566, about eight years after Pietro Bertano died. How could someone who is not then a pope make a statement about the papacy, much less someone who was dead at the time Ghislieri became pope?
2.) Considering that at the time Fra Pietro is still alive, Fra Michele still does not have the power of pronouncing ex cathedra statements - as he was not pope yet - are there chances that his statement (let's suppose for a moment that his "words" are true and are either not a misquote, mistranslation, or just flat-out made up) are actually reflective of official Church teaching?
3.) Are there any more reliable and independent sources for this quote, if any, aside from this rather obscure (and badly-titled) one?

Some sources for this 'quote' add the following phrase: "Cardinal Cusa (i.e. Nicholas of Kues) supports this statement." Now, are there any contents from Cardinal Nicholas' work which support this quote? Here is a chronological listing of Nicholas of Cusa's works. If anyone can point out a paragraph or a sentence in his works (if anyone has them) which says very much the same thing as above (preferably the original Latin included), I'll be glad to put that up.
2.) "The supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires... complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself."
Leo VIII, «On the Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens», Encyclical letter, 1890
We will ignore the minor typo (the pope at this time is supposed to be Leo XIII, not the VIII) and go straight to tackle this one.

The quote in the actual encyclical (called Sapientiae Christianae in Latin), paragraph 22, says the following:
Now, as the Apostle Paul urges, this unanimity ought to be perfect. Christian faith reposes not on human but on divine authority, for what God has revealed "we believe not on account of the intrinsic evidence of the truth perceived by the natural light of our reason, but on account of the authority of God revealing, who cannot be deceived nor Himself deceive."(24)
It follows as a consequence that whatever things are manifestly revealed by God we must receive with a similar and equal assent. To refuse to believe any one of them is equivalent to rejecting them all, for those at once destroy the very groundwork of faith who deny that God has spoken to men, or who bring into doubt His infinite truth and wisdom.
To determine, however, which are the doctrines divinely revealed belongs to the teaching Church, to whom God has entrusted the safekeeping and interpretation of His utterances. But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself. This obedience should, however, be perfect, because it is enjoined by faith itself, and has this in common with faith, that it cannot be given in shreds; nay, were it not absolute and perfect in every particular, it might wear the name of obedience, but its essence would disappear. Christian usage attaches such value to this perfection of obedience that it has been, and will ever be, accounted the distinguishing mark by which we are able to recognize Catholics.
Admirably does the following passage from St. Thomas Aquinas set before us the right view: "The formal object of faith is primary truth, as it is shown forth in the holy Scriptures, and in the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the fountainhead of truth. It follows, therefore, that he who does not adhere, as to an infallible divine rule, to the teaching of the Church, which proceeds from the primary truth manifested in the holy Scriptures, possesses not the habit of faith; but matters of faith he holds otherwise than true faith. Now, it is evident that he who clings to the doctrines of the Church as to an infallible rule yields his assent to everything the Church teaches; but otherwise, if with reference to what the Church teaches he holds what he likes but does not hold what he does not like, he adheres not to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will."
Even a cursory reading of the Encyclical would show that Pope Leo XIII refers to God as if He was a separate entity - quite unlikely if you're claiming to be God in human flesh!

Now, obedience to the pope "as to God Himself" may make some feel queasy. But once again, from a Catholic lens, this is not too surprising. After all, since Catholics believe that God commissioned the Pope as his visible vicar (representative) in the government of the Church, it would not be repugnant to render submission or obedience to him, just as it would not be repugnant to listen to a king's representative and obey what he orders in the king's name. Still, (contrary to what some may think) we need to stress once again that Catholics do not hold the Pope as being equal or even superior to God, as his title Vicar of Christ shows. Think about this for a moment. How can a vicar, or a representative be superior to the one who has sent him? "No servant is greater than his master" indeed.
3): "All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope."
-On the Authority of the Councils, book 2, chapter 17
This one already appeared in 19th century anti-Catholic works, such as Theological discourses on important subjects, doctrinal and practical by James Thomson, 'Minister at Quarrelwood', and Letters in the Roman Catholic Controversy by William Brownlee, 'Of the Collegiate Protestant Reformed Dutch Church' in New York, where it is attributed to Cardinal Robert Bellarmine. By the way, for those seeking the work where all this appears - which is part of his famous Disputationes, it could be found in this link (which also contains all, or most of, Cardinal Bellarmine's work) under the title Controversiarum de Conciliis, Liber Secundis: Qui est de Conciliorum Auctoritate.

The quote - and the context in which it appears - can be found in chapter 17, entitled Summum Pontificem absolute esse supra Concilium, with the quote in bold. The English translation is courtesy of Mr. Edwin Woodruff Tait (to whom I owe a lot and would like to express sincere gratitude); his remarks within the text are enclosed in brackets.

Tertia Prepositio. << Summus Pontifex simpliciter et absolute est supra Ecclesiam universam, et supra Concilium generale, ita ut nullum in terris supra se judicium agnoscat. >> Haec etiam est fere de fide; et probatur primo ex duabus praecedentibus: nam si Papa est caput Ecclesiae universae, etiam simul congregatae, et Ecclesia universa etiam simul congregata non habet ullam potestatem ratione suae totalitatis; sequitur Papam supra Concilium esse, et supra Ecclesiam, non contra.

Secunde probatur ratione, in Scripturis fundata; nam omnia nomina, quae in Scripturis tribuuntur Christo, unde constat eum esse supra Ecclesiam, eadem omnia tribuuntur Pontifici. Ac primum, Christ est paterfamilias in domo sua, quae est Ecclesia, Pontifex in eadem est summus oeconomus, id est, paterfamilias loco Christi, Lucae XII: Quis est fidelis dispensator, et prudens, quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam, etc. Hic enim per dispensatorem, sive oeconomum, ut Graece habetur, intelligunt Episcopum. Ambrosius in hunc locum, et Hilarius, et Hieronymus in cap. XXIV Matth. ubi similis habetur sententia. Et quamvis Patres non loquantur expresse de Episcopo Romano, tamen sine dubio sententia Scripturae illa est; ut Episcopi particulares sunt summi oeconomi in suis Ecclesiis, ita esse Episcopum Romanum in Ecclesia universa. Unde Ambrosius in illud I. Tim. III.: Ut scias quomodo te oporteat conversari in domo Dei etc. << Domus Dei, inquit, Ecclesia dicitur, cujus hodie rector est Damasus. >> Et Chrysostomus lib. II De Sacerdotio circa initium, hunc ipsum locum: Quis est fidelis servus, etc. de Petro exponit.

Quod autem oeconomus summus sit supra familiam, et ab ea judicari, ac puniri non possit, patet ex hoc eodem loco, Dominus enim ait: Quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam. Et ibidem: Quod si dixerit servus ille in corde suo, moram facit Dominus meus venire et coeperit percutere servos, et ancillas, edere, et bibere, et inebriari, veniet Dominus servi illius in die, qua non sperat, et dividet eum, partemque ejus cum infidelibus ponet. Ubi vides Dominum servare suo judicio servum illum, et non committere judicio familiae. Idem etiam docet usus omnium familiarum; nulla enim familia est, in qua liceat inferioribus famulis etiam simul congregatis punire, vel expellere oeconomum, etiamsi pessimus sit, id enim ad solum Dominum totius familiae pertinet.

Alterum nomen Christi est Pastor, Joannis X: Ego sum pastor bonus, etc. Idem communicat Petro, Joan. ult., Pasce oves meas. Constat autem pastorem ita praeese ovibus, ut nullo modo ab eis judicari possit.

Tertium est, Caput corporis Ecclesiae, Ephes. IV idem communicat Petro, ut habemus in Concilio Chalcedonsi, act. 3. ubi legati sententiam pronuntiant in Dioscorum, et in epist. Concilii ad Leonem. Porro caput a membris regi, et non ea potius regere, contra naturam est, sicut etiam est contra naturam, quod membra sibi caput praecidant, cum forte graviter aegrotat.

Quartum est, Vir, seu sponsus, Ephes. V: Viri diligite uxores vestras, sicut et Christus dilexit Ecclesiam, et seipsum tradidit pro ea, etc. Idem convenit Petro, nam in Concilio general Lugdunensi, ut habetur cap. Ubi periculum, de elect. in 6. loquens Concilium de electione Romani Pontificis: << Acceleret, inquit, utilis per necessaria totius mundi provisio; idoneo celeriter eidem Ecclesiae sponso dato. >> Est autem contra Apostolum Ephes. V et contra naturae ordinem, ut sponsa praesit sponso, et non potius subsit.


Third proposition: “The Supreme Pontiff is simply and absolutely over the universal Church, and over a general Council, so that he recognizes no judicial authority on earth over himself.” This is almost de fide, [necessary to be believed as a dogma of the faith] and is proved first of all from the two preceding points: for if the Pope is the head of the universal Church, even when it is gathered together at one time, and if the universal Church even gathered together at one time has no power by reason of its totality;[1] it follows that the Pope is over the Council, and over the Church, not the other way around.

It is proved by the second reason, based in Scripture: for all the names, ascribed to Christ in Scripture, from which it is determined that he is over the Church—those same names are ascribed to the Pontiff. [2] And first, Christ is the paterfamilias [male head of the household] in his own house, which is the Church. The Pope is the highest steward in the same house, that is, the household head in Christ’s place: Luke 12: “Who is the faithful and prudent dispenser, whom the Lord has set over his household, etc.” Here by “dispenser,” or “steward” [oeconomus], as the Greek has it, they [the Fathers?] understand the Bishop. See Ambrose commenting on this passage, and Hilary, and Jerome in chap. 24 of Matthew where there is a similar statement. And although the Fathers do not speak expressly about the Roman Bishop, nonetheless that passage of Scripture undoubtedly means: as the particular Bishops are highest stewards in their Churches, so the Bishop of Rome is in the universal Church. Whence Ambrose on that passage of 1 Timothy 3: “That you may know how you ought to act in the house of God,” etc, says: “The house of God, he says, is called the Church, whose ruler today is Damasus.” [Damasus, as you no doubt know, was the Pope in Ambrose’s day.] And Chrysostom in book 2 of On the Priesthood around the beginning, talking about this same passage: “Who is a faithful slave,” etc., expounds it as being about Peter.

But that the highest steward is over the household, and cannot be judged or punished by it, is evident from this same passage. For the Lord says: “Whom the Lord has established over his household.” And in the same place: “If that slave should say in his heart, ‘My Lord is delaying his coming,’ and should begin to beat the slaves and the maids, to eat, to drink, and to get drunk, then the Lord of that slave will come in a day in which he is not looking, and will cut him up and allot his inheritance among the unfaithful.” (Luke 12:45-46) Here you see that the Lord preserves that slave for his own judgment, and does not hand him over to the judgment of the household. The custom of all households teaches the same thing; for there is no household in which it is allowed for the inferior members of the household (even gathered together at one time) to punish or expel the steward, even if he should be a really bad one—for that pertains only to the Lord of the whole household.

Another name of Christ is “Shepherd” [Pastor]. John 10: “I am the good shepherd,” etc. He shares this title [literally “communicates the same thing”] with Peter in the last chapter of John: Feed my sheep. He thus establishes that the shepherd is over the sheep, so that in no way he can be judged by them.

The third is: “Head of the body of the Church,” Eph. 4. He shares this title with Peter, as we find in the third act of the Council of Chalcedon, where the legates pronounce sentence on Dioscorus, and in the letter of the Council to Leo. Further it is against nature for the head to be ruled by the members and not rather to rule them, just as it is against nature that the members should cut off their own head, even if it should perhaps be gravely sick.

The fourth is “Husband,” or “spouse,” Eph. 5: “Husbands love your wives, just as also Christ loved the Church, and handed himself over for her,” etc. This same title applies to Peter, for in the general Council of Lyons, chapter 6 “Ubi periculum” [Where there is danger] regarding election, the Council says with regard to the election of the Roman Pontiff: “Let the useful and most necessary provision be hastened on the part of the whole world; thus may a spouse be given quickly to the Church.” But it is against the Apostle (Eph. 5) and against the order of nature, that the wife should be over the husband, and not rather be subject.

[1] I’ve translated this in a woodenly literal way, because without the previous section I can’t be sure what he means. I think he’s saying that the whole Church can’t have authority over itself.

[2] I’ve translated this “all the names, ascribed to Christ in Scripture, from which” rather than “all the names which are ascribed to Christ in Scripture, whence” in order to make it clear that Bellarmine is talking about a particular category of names. He is not saying without qualification that we can say anything about the Pope that we say about Christ. He’s talking about the names of Christ that indicate His authority over the Church.

Note the difference between what Bellarmine actually says when his quote is in its proper context. Far from claiming that the Pope is God, Bellarmine is here emphasizing how the Pope occupies the highest rank in the Church as its "high steward" and "shepherd" representing the pater-familias and the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus. Also, take notice how a single translation can change the whole meaning.

1 comment:

Rachel Crockett said...

I know this is an old post, but I came across it when refuting someone who brought up these quotes.

But I had a question regarding the one attributed to Pope Pious V.

This website attributes the writings to William Barclay and I wanted to know your thoughts on it: