Theodosius, who made christianity the offical Roman state religion about 384, enacted:
"We desire that all the people under our clemency should live by that religion which divine Peter the apostle is said to have given the Romans. ...
We desire that heretics and schismatists be subjected to various fines. ...
We decree also that we shall cease making sacrifices to the gods.
And if anyone has committed such a crime, let him be stricken with the avenging sword."
(Cod. Theod. xvi, 1, 2; v, 1; x, 4.)
From ............. FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY
With a shudder of undying loathing for the cruel cynical Hypocrite, we may admire the sweet charity of tender mercy displayed by the Holy Church of the Christ, exampled in the sanctimonious Formula of Judgment whereby its Holy Inquisition handed over the racked and broken errant Child of Faith to the prostituted Secular Arm for the final Act of Murder -- the blessed Auto-da-Fe, with a prayer for the hated heretics: Ut quam clementissime et sine sanguinis effusionem puniretur -- should be punished as mildly as possible and without the shedding of blood !
Their Holinesses kept a standing Decree of Indulgences from the pangs of Purgatory for all the hoodlum Faithful who would please and glorify God by attending the sacred ceremonials of Burning, and especially to those who would aid God and the priests by fetching fagots for the consecrated fires, and throw water on the wood so that the priest-set flames would be slower in their purifying work and allow the wrathing "Obstinate" longer time to make Peace with God and Holy Church by meet Repentance; in which event, the "reconciled" Child of Faith would be dragged from the flames only partly cremated, and returned to prison cell there to agonize out the remainder of his life in rapt contemplation of the beauties and sweetness of the blessed Christian Religion, crooning "Praise God from whom all blessings flow!"
The foregoing loathsome boasted record of the Church, sinister and infamous as it is, may be complemented by the following cynical and sophistical recital of the mental and moral debauch of ignorance imposed by the Church, concluding with the formal admission that "the theocratic State was called upon [by its prostituted mistress the Church] to avenge with the pyre" defiance of the lying fraudulent pretensions of the Church:
"During the Middle Ages the Church guarded the purity and genuineness of her Apostolic doctrine through the institution of the ecclesiastical (and State) Inquisition. ... Following the example of the Apostles, the Church today watches zealously over the purity and integrity of her doctrine, since on this rests her whole system of faith and morals, the whole edifice of Catholic thought, ideals, and life. For this purpose the Church instituted the Index of Prohibited Books, which is intended to deter Catholics from the unauthorized reading of books dangerous to faith or morals, for it is notorious that clever sophistry coated with seductive language may render even gross errors of faith palatable to a guileless and innocent heart. (p. 766.) ...
Now, formal heresy was likewise strongly condemned by the Catholic Middle Ages; and so the argument ran: Apostacy and heresy are, as criminal offenses against God, far more serious crimes than high treason, murder, or adultery. ... But, according to Romans xiii, 11, seq., the secular authorities have the right to punish, especially grave crimes, with death; consequently, heretics may be not only excommunicated, but also justly (juste) put to death' (St. Thomas, II-II, Q; xi, a, 3). ...
The earliest example of the execution of a heretic was the beheading of the ring leader of the Priscillianists by the usurper Maximum at Trier (385). Even St. Augustine, towards the end of his life, favored State reprisals against the Donatists. ... Influenced by the Roman code, which was rescued from oblivion, Frederick II introduced the penalty of burning for heretics by imperial law of 1224.
The popes, especially Gregory IX, favored the execution of this imperial law, in which they saw an effective means for the preservation of the Faith. ... Unfortunately, neither the secular nor the ecclesiastical authorities drew the slightest distinction between dangerous and harmless heretics, seeing forthwith in every (formal) heresy a contumelia Creatoris, which the theocratic State was called upon to avenge with the pyre." (CE. xiv, 766, 768.)
"THE SECULAR ARM"
"Hypocrites! Ye compass land and sea to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves!" Jesus. (Matt. xxiii, 15.)
"The barbarous penal forms of the Middle Ages are to be credited, not to the Church, but to the State"! (CE. xiv, 768.)
It is a monstrous hypocritical perversion of truth to pretend, as the Church ever does, that these inhuman and devastating legal enactments and deeds of fire and blood, which ad horrendum we have just read in faint outline from secular and ecclesiastical history, and which brought several "Most Christian" nations to utter ruin, moral and economic, were the voluntary and spontaneous expressions of the social policy of Secular rulers, enacted and wrought against their subjects in order to preserve the peace and safety of the State and to regulate the civil and political conduct of their peoples.
The [Roman Catholic] Church, by fraud and fear, brought the secular rulers under her ignominious domination, and forced them by her threats, as we have seen proved and admitted, to make and enforce these infernal enactments and destructions.
"This is the stale pretense of the Clergy in all countries, after they have solicited the government to make penal laws against those they call heretics, or schismaties, and prompted the magistrates to a vigorous execution, then to lay all the odium on the civil power; for whom they have no excuse to allege, but that such men suffered, not for religion, but for disobedience to the laws." (Somers Tracts, vol. xii, p. 534; cited by Buckle, Hist. of Civilization in England, i, p. 246.):
But the Church waited not for the secular rulers to obey her murderous behests to "avenge with the pyre" the crime of disbelieving and deriding the Faith, nor did she lose time while watching the execution of her commands of murder by the secular arm.
The Church was then itself a secular ruler over vast territories, the stolen "Patrimony of Peter" or States of the Church; and for those territories their Royal-Holinesses set the example of murder and burning of their own heretics. His Holiness Pope Gregory IX (1227-41) was, we are told "very severe towards heretics, who in those times were universally looked upon as traitors and punished accordingly." ...
When in 1224 Frederick II ordered that heretics in Lombard should be burnt at the stake, Gregory IX, then Papal Legate, approved and published the imperial law. In 1231 the Pope enacted a law for Rome that heretics condemned by an ecclesiastical court should be delivered to the secular power to receive their 'due punishment.' This 'due punishment' was death by fire for the obstinate and imprisonment for life for the penitent. In pursuance of this law a number were arrested in Rome, burnt at the stake, and imprisoned." (CE. vi, 797.)
And it was in Rome, by law and command of His Royal-Holiness Clement VIII, that the defier of the "Triumphant Beast," Giordano Bruno, was burned alive in Rome in 1600.
The hypocritical lie is repeated -- and in the same breath belied. "Officially it was not the Church that sentenced unrepenting heretics to death, more particularly to the stake ... Gregory IX ... admitted the opinion, then prevalent among legists, that heresy should be punished with death, seeing that it was confessedly no less serious an offense than high treason. ...
[The succeeding popes went from opinions to acts.]
In the Bull Ad Extirpanda (1252) Innocent IV says:
'When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podesta or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them.'
Moreover, he directs that this Bull and the corresponding regulations of Frederick II [for burning heretics] be entered in every city among the municipal statutes under pain of excommunication, which was also visited on those who failed to execute both the papal and the imperial decrees. ...
The passages [of the imperial decrees] which ordered the burning of impenitent heretics were inserted in the papal decretals. ... The aforesaid Bull Ad Extirpanda remained thenceforth a fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by several popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicholas IV (1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others.
The civil authorities, therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake. It is to be noted that excommunication itself was no trifle, for, if the person excommunicated did not free himself from excommunication within a year, he was held by the (papal) legislation of that period to be a heretic, and incurred all the penalties that affected heresy." (CE. viii, 34.)
Here it may be remarked, that prescription or statute of limitations runs not against the murderer. Thus Holy Church, who has murdered and procured the murder of millions, can never escape the just verdict and fatal sentence for her crimes before the bar of Civilization. Impotent now, senile, but venomous still in intention, she reeks yet with the blood of her slain; their ghosts, like Banquo's, will never down. They cry yet to Humanity: Ecrasez l'Infame!
We have just read from CE the confession that "the theocratic State was called upon to avenge with the pyre" all forms of heresy -- or hate for the Church -- as a "contumelia Creatoris." Again it says -- again contradicting its false pretense that the State is alone to be "credited?' with these pious infamies: "After the Christianized Roman Empire had developed into a theocratic (religious) State, it was compelled -- [by whom but by the Church with its terrorizing threats to the superstitious rulers] -- to stamp crimes against faith (apostasy, heresy, schism) as offenses against the State. (cf. Cod. Justin., 1, 5, de Haer.: 'Quod in religionem divinam commttitur, in omnium fertur injuriam.') Catholic and citizen of the State became identical terms.
Consequently crimes against faith were high treason, and as such were punishable with death." (CE. xiv, p. 768.) A truer statement of the direful consequences of this enforced prostitution of the "secular arm" of the State to the criminal purposes of the Church in coercing its false and accursed religion upon humanity, cannot be made than this confession, in specious and unctuous words: "The role of heresy in history is that of evil generally. Its roots are in corrupted human nature. It has come over the Church as predicted by her Divine Founder; it has rent asunder the bonds of charity in families, provinces, states, and nations; the sword has been drawn and pyres erected both for its defense and its repression; misery and ruin have followed in its track"! (CE. vii, 261.) The confessed accursed record of Christianity!
The utter dependence of the Church for the beginnings and for the persistence of its bloody dominance, upon the extorted favors and support of the prostituted "Secular Arm" of the State to do its dirty work of subjection, is confessed and illustrated by two instances, one with respect to the overthrow of Paganism, the other accounting for the ultimate suppression of the early heretical sects. Of the former, it is "credited" to the Emperor Gratian: "In the same year, 375, he abolished all the privileges of the pagan pontiffs and the grants for the support of the pagan worship. Deprived of the assistance of the State, paganism rapidly lost influence. ...
He made apostasy a crime punishable by the State." (CE. vi, 729.) With a clerical slur at the "fanciful speculations of the Eastern sects so dear to the Eastern mind," oblivious of the equally fanciful "Oriental speculations" which are the only source of the holy dogmas of Western Christianism, it is cynically oblivion] -- under the anathema of the guardians of the deporecorded: "but, lacking the support of the temporal power, they sank -- [just as "orthodox" Christianity would have sunk to situm fidei" -- holding the sword. (CE. vii, 259.)
As elsewhere suggested, it is pertinent to remark, that history would quickly repeat itself in this highly-to-be-desired respect, with the withdrawal of "the support of the temporal power," through the immense and illegal support yet given to the Beggar Church through deadhead tax exemption on its thousands of millions of dollars of ill-gotten, idle and hoarded properties.
"St. Augustine seems to have originated the application of the words Compel them to enter in, to religious persecution. Religious liberty he emphatically cursed: Quid est enim pejor, mors animae quam libertas erroris ? -- For which is worse, the death of the soul than the liberty of error?' (Epistle clxvi.)
Boniface III decreed excommunication of any magistrate who either altered the sentence of the Inquisition, or delayed more than six days in carrying it into execution. In the beginning of the thirteenth century, Innocent III instituted the Inquisition, and issued the first appeal to princes to employ their power for the suppression of heresy. In 1209, De Montfort (at Innocent's instigation), began the massacre of the Albigenses. In 1215, the Fourth Council of the Lateran enjoined all rulers, 'as they desired to be esteemed faithful, to swear a public oath that they would labor earnestly, and to the full extent of their power, to exterminate from their dominions all those who were branded as heretics by the Church.'
The Council of Avignon, in 1209, enjoined all bishops to call upon the civil power to exterminate heretics. The Bull of Innocent III threatened any prince who failed to extirpate heretics from his realm with excommunication, and with the loss of his realm." (Lecky, History of the Rise and Progress of Rationalism in Europe, vol. II, chap. iv, passim.)
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