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 Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius 
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New post Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Dear Listmembers,

I would urge everyone on this list to read the following excellent articles which provide an excellent respectful and Catholic history of the controversy regarding Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius. I think that the history of these incidents has often been misrepresented by the Church's enemies to fit their agenda of undermining the papacy.

The Supposed Fall of Honorius and His Condemnation
The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol VII, #2, 1882, pp. 162-168
http://books.google.com/books?id=oJoNAQ ... on&f=false

The Alleged Fall of Pope Liberius
American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. VIII, 1883, pp. 529-549
http://books.google.com/books?id=o-gRAA ... us&f=false

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:02 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Mike,

Were the subsequent papal condemnations of Pope Honorius imprudent?

Catholic Encyclopedia wrote:
St. Agatho died before the conclusion of the council. The new pope, Leo II, had naturally no difficulty in giving to the decrees of the council the formal confirmation which the council asked from him, according to custom. The words about Honorius in his letter of confirmation, by which the council gets its ecumenical rank, are necessarily more important than the decree of the council itself: "We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius,...and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted." ... Pope Honorius was subsequently included in the lists of heretics anathematized by the Trullan Synod, and by the seventh and eighth ecumenical councils without special remark; also in the oath taken by every new pope from the eighth century to the eleventh in the following words: "Together with Honorius, who added fuel to their wicked assertions" (Liber diurnus, ii, 9).

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Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:17 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Were the subsequent papal condemnations of Pope Honorius imprudent?

No. One could say that Honorius acted imprudently but not as pope acting for the universal Church; on that ground he was criticised quite appropriately.

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Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Were the subsequent papal condemnations of Pope Honorius imprudent?

No. One could say that Honorius acted imprudently but not as pope acting for the universal Church; on that ground he was criticised quite appropriately.


John,

All the papal condemnations of Pope Honorius I seem to treat his actions as impacting the universal Church. The condemnation was in the Breviary Lessons for centuries, and used in the papal oath. The condemnation was universal in its impact and scope.

No one who defended Honorius ever alluded to this incident as not impacting the universal Church as a defense for the papacy. In fact, writers have gone out of their way to try to show that Honorius did not define anything ex cathedra, or they tried to show the statement was orthodox, or that the Council documents were altered.

Pope Leo II:
To the Spanish bishops he explains his meaning: "With Honorius, who did not, as became the Apostolic authority, extinguish the flame of heretical teaching in its first beginning, but fostered it by his negligence." Heretical teaching impacts the universal Church.

Which theologian/writer has expressed the opinion that Honorius' action did not impact the universal Church?

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:59 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Mike wrote:

I think that the history of these incidents has often been misrepresented by the Church's enemies to fit their agenda of undermining the papacy.

Mike


Mike,

Don't you think it is, perhaps, unwise to try to defend Honorius after he was condemned by subsequent pontiffs? The Council Acts of Vatican I would be helpful to read concerning this issue, as this was an important issue raised by the anti-infallibilists. I don't think that the papal condemnations were ever viewed in the light of historical revisionism (meaning they never happened, or were based on false evidence). The Council Fathers said that Honorius' act was not intended to apply as doctrine to the Church, but that his action jeopardized the whole Church by seeming to support an heresy. His failure was not in promulgating heresy; "as he was not an heretic in intention, but in fact"; but in failing to stop a rising heresy.

Edited to add quote marks.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:15 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Dear Teresa,

Teresa Ginardi wrote:
All the papal condemnations of Pope Honorius I seem to treat his actions as impacting the universal Church.

Your question was, "Were the subsequent papal condemnations of Pope Honorius imprudent?" If they were, then this must be for some reason which you have not stated. I see no such reason.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
The condemnation was in the Breviary Lessons for centuries, and used in the papal oath. The condemnation was universal in its impact and scope.

This all seems irrelevant. I am granting, for the sake of the argument, that the condemnations were merited.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
No one who defended Honorius ever alluded to this incident as not impacting the universal Church as a defense for the papacy.

Please state the various defences of Honorius that you have consulted in order to form this judgement.

In any case, I did not say that Honorius's actions did not "impact" the Church. I said, quite carefully, that "one could say that Honorius acted imprudently but not as pope acting for the universal Church." I meant to highlight that he did not issue any public instrument making any demand or imposing any precept on the Church; he did not address the Church at all, and he did not publish anything anyway. He wrote two private letters offering advice. That private advice may have been imprudent. It merited, in the opinion of Pope Leo, condemnation - actually, to be exact, the condemnation by a council held in the East put Leo in an awkward spot and he judged that it were better to condemn Honorius on lesser grounds than the council than to permit an occasion for Greek schism to develop. The prudence of Leo's approach is perhaps its most manifest feature.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
In fact, writers have gone out of their way to try to show that Honorius did not define anything ex cathedra, or they tried to show the statement was orthodox, or that the Council documents were altered.

Yes, although you ought to notice that these writers were all addressing the question of infallibility or of the personal orthodoxy of Honorius.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:36 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Don't you think it is, perhaps, unwise to try to defend Honorius after he was condemned by subsequent pontiffs?

Well, Mike can answer for himself, but he is preceded in this by Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine, who happen to be respectively the greatest ecclesiastical historian of all time and the greatest expert on the papacy of all time.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:38 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Don't you think it is, perhaps, unwise to try to defend Honorius after he was condemned by subsequent pontiffs?

Well, Mike can answer for himself, but he is preceded in this by Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine, who happen to be respectively the greatest ecclesiastical historian of all time and the greatest expert on the papacy of all time.


John,

Granted that Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine are respectively the greatest ecclesiastical historian of all time and the greatest expert on the papacy of all time, but, I suspect, papal condemnations would supercede their opinions; especially, when it continued publicly for centuries. The issue is docile subjection to papal and curial documents. If the fact is held that multiple popes were wrong in issuing/upholding the condemnation, and the Breviary comments of June 28 were wrong, and the papal oath was wrong, the historical facts as presented by multiple papacies concerning a pope were wrong; then the papacy is seen as more than imprudent, but downright ineffective in protecting its own reputation. It has caused and allowed possible scandal to be associated with the Office of Peter, and to one of Christ's Vicars on earth.

The point is who do Catholics subject themselves to in this issue: the popes, or Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine? Did the Vatican I documents (Acts, I believe they're called) that discussed this issue state the position of Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine as the accepted position of the Church? I believe not, but I certainly could be wrong. Please correct, if I am.

Also, would the status of Pope Honorius I be considered one of 'dogmatic fact'; that is his papal condemnation?

Edited to add last sentence.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:31 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Granted that Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine are respectively the greatest ecclesiastical historian of all time and the greatest expert on the papacy of all time, but, I suspect, papal condemnations would supercede their opinions;

They would. But there are no such papal condemnations.


Teresa Ginardi wrote:
If the fact is held that multiple popes were wrong in issuing/upholding the condemnation, and the Breviary comments of June 28 were wrong, and the papal oath was wrong, the historical facts as presented by multiple papacies concerning a pope were wrong;

That is not in any way the proposition being put here.

Please read this very carefully.

I am saying that the condemnation of Honorius was a prudent act. I am saying that Honorius was not condemned for any papal act directed to the universal Church and published as such.

I think those statements are luminously clear even if they express notions that you find too subtle due to a lack of careful consideration of their actual import.

In other words, you're missing the point.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:58 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
The point is who do Catholics subject themselves to in this issue: the popes, or Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine? Did the Vatican I documents (Acts, I believe they're called) that discussed this issue state the position of Cardinal Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine as the accepted position of the Church? I believe not, but I certainly could be wrong. Please correct, if I am.

No, please go and do your own research and tell us what you find. You are not even sure you are in possession of the facts and yet you are insisting on your interpretation of those facts. This is madness, Teresa.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:00 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
I have read rather extensively on the Pope Honorius I issue, including St. Robert Bellarmine's position, also that of Cardinal Baronius. I've seen only small extracts from the Vatican I discussions. I believe the 'official' Church position is the one taken by the popes starting with Pope Leo II ... that is my position.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:18 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I believe the 'official' Church position is the one taken by the popes starting with Pope Leo II ... that is my position.

Well, then since that's my position also, you'll have to work out where we disagree, which we most certainly do. And since I have stated my position explicitly it's over to you.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:31 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
Pope Leo II:
To the Spanish bishops he explains his meaning: "With Honorius, who did not, as became the Apostolic authority, extinguish the flame of heretical teaching in its first beginning, but fostered it by his negligence." Heretical teaching impacts the universal Church.

Which theologian/writer has expressed the opinion that Honorius' action did not impact the universal Church?

What do you mean by "impacts" the Universal Church? This seems awfully imprecise.

Doesn't a personal scandal of a Pope also "impact" the Universal Church?

Robert


Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:32 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Dear Theresa,

Sorry for the delay in responding, work has been busy lately. To your points. I agree with John Lane in his reply to you on this issue, and there is not to much more that I can say in addition to what John already wrote.

I believe that the Popes were prudent in condemning the inaction of Honorius, despite the fact that he never adopted heresy himself. As John pointed out in his excellent reply to this, this does not involve official papal acts of Honorius, as he did not bind the flock in an evil law or teach false doctrine to the universal Church.

I do think it is important to defend Pope Honorius for several reasons. First and foremost, the issue is important in regards to Papal infallibility. Pope Honorius did not fall from the Faith, he did not teach false doctrine to the faithful, he just failed to suppress a heresy.

In the bigger picture though, this issue is significant, in that the enemies of the Church, (and so I am clear here, I am not accusing anyone on this forum of any such thing), have consistently tried to undermine the authority of the Church. Heresies and schisms are always grounded in a spirit of disobience and disrespect for ecclesiastical authority.

So, those who seek to undermine the papacy, pour through possible scenerios in Church history which may give some appearance of support to their theory that Popes can defect from the Faith, or that they can lead the flock astray into false doctrine, etc. This is in my view, one of the reasons why great Catholics such as St. Robert Bellarmine and Cardinal Baronius, and others vigourously defend the Popes in Church history, to stop the enemies of the Church from trying to undermine the papacy.

We as Catholics can never can an inch to the enemies of the Church. We cannot concede any points to heretics. The facts and the truth are on our side, and where the facts are not always clear, always stand by the Church, and interpret the existing evidence to defend Her. Some Catholic writers in my view, despite their good intentions, have taken a weak approach, in regards to defending the Papacy and I think this is a tragic mistake.

Yours in JMJ,

Mike

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:37 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John, Mike, Robert,

First, my only interest in this topic opened by Mike was to support Holy Mother Church's decision on Pope Honorius I: Roma locuta est, causa finite est. I thought it unwise to try to open a discussion that did not include the fact that Rome had spoken about the disposition of Honorius, and that Catholics should submit docilely to that decision. I think any discussions outside of what Rome has seen fit to say on Honorius, however well-intentioned, undermines the papacy, if not directly, at least, indirectly. My intention throughout this discussion has been to submit to Rome's decision.

Second, I think Rome's decision is clear that this incident cannot be viewed as a private matter, but had effects for the Universal Church by its Chief Pastor, who instead of protecting the flock from heresy, allowed the wolves to continue marauding. The Patriarch wished a decision from Rome on the Monothelite 'problem'. The letter was used by the Patriarch for his own declaration which was published by the Emperor. Rome in her final decisions on Pope Honorius I declares that Honorius was negligent, not as private pastor to Patriarch Sergius, but as Chief Pastor of the Universal Church: "who did not, as became the Apostolic authority, extinguish the flame of heretical teaching in its first beginning, but fostered it by his negligence". I do not understand how Rome's condemnation of Pope Honorius I can be understood in any other way than that Pope Honorius I did not exercise one of the primary responsibilities of a pope: that is as Chief Pastor protecting the flock from heresy.

I'm sorry if that has been seen as 'madness'. I shall refrain from posting further on the topic.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:52 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
John, Mike, Robert,

First, my only interest in this topic opened by Mike was to support Holy Mother Church's decision on Pope Honorius I: Roma locuta est, causa finite est. I thought it unwise to try to open a discussion that did not include the fact that Rome had spoken about the disposition of Honorius, and that Catholics should submit docilely to that decision. I think any discussions outside of what Rome has seen fit to say on Honorius, however well-intentioned, undermines the papacy, if not directly, at least, indirectly. My intention throughout this discussion has been to submit to Rome's decision.

Second, I think Rome's decision is clear that this incident cannot be viewed as a private matter, but had effects for the Universal Church by its Chief Pastor, who instead of protecting the flock from heresy, allowed the wolves to continue marauding. The Patriarch wished a decision from Rome on the Monothelite 'problem'. The letter was used by the Patriarch for his own declaration which was published by the Emperor. Rome in her final decisions on Pope Honorius I declares that Honorius was negligent, not as private pastor to Patriarch Sergius, but as Chief Pastor of the Universal Church: "who did not, as became the Apostolic authority, extinguish the flame of heretical teaching in its first beginning, but fostered it by his negligence". I do not understand how Rome's condemnation of Pope Honorius I can be understood in any other way than that Pope Honorius I did not exercise one of the primary responsibilities of a pope: that is as Chief Pastor protecting the flock from heresy.

I'm sorry if that has been seen as 'madness'. I shall refrain from posting further on the topic.

Teresa,

I believe your statement "Rome had spoken" is being questioned here. You believe that "Rome has spoken", and you correctly understand what She said, and that ends the discussion for you.

If you happen to misunderstand what Rome said then you become entrenched in a position and dismiss any factual arguments there are against it or any other approved sources that appear to conflict with your understanding.

Robert wrote:
What do you mean by "impacts" the Universal Church? This seems awfully imprecise.

Doesn't a personal scandal of a Pope also "impact" the Universal Church?

These were actually real questions...it would be helpful if you attempted to answer them directly.

Robert


Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:05 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Teresa Ginardi wrote:
I'm sorry if that has been seen as 'madness'. I shall refrain from posting further on the topic.


Dear Teresa,

Please accept my apology for the use of that term. It was unnecessarily harsh.

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Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:48 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
As already stated, Pope Honorius's letters to Sergius were private correspondence which were never published during his lifetime. For this reason alone there can be no question of any public act by Pope Honorius. It simply was not his will that this advice should be given to the Church.

This fact is, further, a complete explanation of why the Honorius case is of no value whatsoever to sedeplenists or Protestants in their respective arguments against the truth. A secret letter obviously cannot be an ex cathedra judgement; nor can a secret letter constitute "public heresy." Honorius's private advice was unknown and caused no controversy.

For those who are not aware, Mann's work is of very high authority, in the kind of stratum occupied by Von Pastor.

Rev. Horace K. Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Part I, Vol. I (of 18 vols), Second Edition, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., London, 1925, p. 336.

"During the lifetime of Honorius his letters to Sergius were never made public by that patriarch, and the 'one will' controversy seems to have slumbered."

Interested readers can consult the entire volume here: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/books ... 01Pt01.pdf

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Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:42 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius - Reply to Teresa Ginardi
Dearest Teresa:

Have you read our article on "The Honorius Calumny" which I have mentioned here a time or two in the past?

Here is the link to it: http://www.eclipseofthechurch.com/HonoriusCalumny.htm

This article might answer some of your questions. It is based on St. Robert Bellarmine's treatise on the subject.

I might clariy a point: the Roman Church has never admitted any condemnation of Honorius.

Here are St. Robert's words on it:

On the fourth proof which is proposed, I answer Pope Hadrian, and the Council he gathered in Rome, does not directly affirm Honorius to have been heretical. He merely reports that he has been declared heretical by the Orientals. He knew quite well that, according to the antecedent Council that had been convoked by Martin I in Rome, Honorius had never been condemned by the Western Church.

In addition, when the opponents of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility attempted to use the alleged defection of Honorius against that doctrine, it was ruled inadmissible by Rome.

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Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:39 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
I am bumping this thread up in light of the recent discussion about Pope Honorius on the Cardinal Franzelin thread dealing with the ordinary magisterium. I think the links at the beginning of this thread will provide a solid and irrefutable case in defense of these two popes. I noticed that the links I had posted for this several years ago were out of use, so I have updated them, and they are now working.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Mike, these look like interesting articles but I can only access snippets. Did you find the entire text of either? I checked Archive.org which is often better than Google Books and no luck. Many other volumes are available (and what a fascinating journal!) but not these.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John,

The links should be opening the full text of the articles, bringing the reader to the exact page of the volume. I checked them before I updated the links earlier.

I will convert the articles to text and post them in individual posts. The articles are priceless, so it may be good to have a permanent copy put on the Bellarmine Forums anyway.

The Journal is amazing, I spend many hours going through them. The AER also has many back volumes now online. Best of all, they are free.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol VII, #2, 1882, pp. 162-168 (exact reproduction of the text)

THE SUPPOSED FALL OF HONORIUS AND HIS CONDEMNATION.

OCCASIONS for discussing the mooted points of Catholic teaching are never wanting. Objections of opponents a thousand times met and answered, are repeated by tyros and half-fledged controversialists with all the assurance of a first discovery and of infallible certainty. A very particular interest attaches to the case of Pope Honorius, so often cited against the doctrine of Papal infallibility, because it is the strongest case presented in the history of the Church, and to an unpracticed controversialist has the appearance of being unanswerable. The simple fact that this Pope was, after his death, condemned by a Council of the Church, and that the decree was sanctioned by another Pope, seems to stare us in the face and demand a satisfactory explanation. What, then, are the facts in reference to this interesting case?

The Synod of Ephesus had defined, in opposition to Nestorius, that in our Lord there is but one person; the Council of Chalcedon had defined, against Eutyches, that there are, in Christ, two natures. From these two definitions arose a new heresy, teaching that there is only one will in Christ and one operation. The followers of this opinion were called Monothelites.

Cyrus, Patriarch of Alexandria, in a solemn and public agreement which he made with the Egyptian heretics, in order to reconcile them to the Church, was the first to formulate the error. This he did in the VIIth chapter, in the following terms: "That this same Christ, one and the Son, performs both the actions which belong to him as God, and those which are human, by one, sole, theandric operation" St. Sophronius, at that time a monk, and shortly after Patriarch of Jerusalem, implored Cyrus to abstain from the expression, " one sole theandric operation;" for if there were two natures in Christ, each perfect, it was necessary to acknowledge also two wills and two operations. To all the arguments, counsel and prayers of Sophronius, Cyrus remained inflexible. Sophronius thereupon had recourse to Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in order that the latter might dissuade his friend Cyrus from his error. Sergius, who was more astute than Cyrus, though himself also a Monothelite, answered Sophronius that neither the word one will, nor the word two wills should be used; that these terms were new and would be a scandal to the faithful and an impediment to the conversion of heretics. Sophronius, however, repudiated this plan of silence. At this point he was chosen Patriarch. Sergius, fearful lest Sophronius, strengthened by his new dignity, should prove too formidable an adversary to the Monothelites, sent letters to the Roman Pontiff, in which he defended the formula of Cyrus, and asked that his plan of silence should be approved by Honorius. To defend Cyrus's formula he used this argument: If there are in Christ two wills, one must be divine, willing the things that are divine; the other human, willing the things that are human.

But the human will, willing human things, may will sin; which is contrary to the divine will. There will, therefore, be in Christ two contrary wills. But it is absurd to admit two contrary wills in the one person of Christ; therefore it is absurd to say there are two wills. This epistle of Sergius is full of cunning, and written with the greatest apparent submission and deference. Honorius, in his answer, drew a very clear distinction between the substance of the doctrine concerning two wills in Christ, and the formulas by which that doctrine is expressed. As to the substance of the doctrine, he says that we must admit, in the one person of Christ, two perfect and entire natures, the divine nature operating divine actions, and the human nature operating human actions, each unconfused, distinct, not only operating, but the principle of its own operations (operantes et operatrices) in regard to those things which are proper to itself.

As to the formula by which this doctrine, entirely contrary to Monothelism, ought to be expressed, Honorius says, "You must confess, with us, one Christ our Lord, operating in either nature, divine or human actions (in utrisque naturis divina ad humana operantem).”

Now this formula is directly opposed to that of Cyrus, who had not said, "operating divine or human actions," distinctively and separately, but "operating divine and human actions," conjunctively and in a mixed manner, by one, sole operation, which was neither simply human nor simply divine, but always theandric — that is, compounded of divine and human.

Honorius adds that the Church has always spoken thus, and so we ought to speak.

As to the question relative to this formula, as to the use, namely, of the words one or two he says, explicitly, that he does not wish to give a definition upon it, leaving it to the grammarians; he therefore approves Sergius's counsel in regard to silence, and confirms it by his own exhortations. But Sergius had defended the article of Cyrus's agreement in regard to the use of the word one (as for the word theandric, Sergius had prudently suppressed it in his appeal to Honorius). Honorius, therefore, expressly and solidly confutes both Sergius and Cyrus by this argument. According to the expression of Scripture, Christ assumed human flesh. Now, in human flesh there are two wills; one upright, which is conformed to the divine will; the other vitiated and contrary to the divine will. Hence, in the Scriptures, flesh is taken in two senses; there is good flesh, which is conformed to the will of God, and vitiated flesh, which is contrary to the will of God. Now Christ did not assume these two wills of human nature; he assumed one — the good will; because he did not assume human nature vitiated, but upright.

The preceding is an analysis of the epistle which Honorius wrote to Sergius. It is this epistle which gave rise to the whole question in regard to Honorius; for the heretics not only violated the rule of silence imposed upon them, but, through bad faith, distorting, to suit their own ends, the word one used by Honorius in speaking exclusively of the human nature of Christ, not of his person, they claimed Honorius as a Monothelite, and, resting on his authority, propagated their error.

The Catholics immediately took up the defence of Honorius. The Abbot John, who was scribe and secretary to Honorius, and who had written the letter, testified as follows: "We said that there is one will in the Lord, not of his divinity and humanity, but of his humanity solely." St. Maximus, Doctor, a "hammer" of the Monothelites, and afterwards martyred by them, asserted and proved that the writings of Honorius did not favor the Monothelites, and that his intention had been to maintain one will in the human nature of Christ, not in his person. John IV, who, after Severinus, succeeded Honorius in the Papal chair, wrote a defence of Honorius to the Emperor Constantine, in which he makes the same assertions that Maximus had made.

The Lateran Synod, convoked by St. Martin against the Monothelites, fifteen years after the date of Honorius's letter, condemned the Monophysites and anathematized them by name, without making any mention of Honorius; nay, it even asserted that all the Roman pontiffs had not, since the rise of the heresy, desisted from solicitude for the faith, writing to the erring, etc. The series of these pontiffs is as follows: Honorius I. (628), Severinus (640), John IV. (642), Theodore I. (649), St. Martin I., Pope St. Agatho, who convened the Sixth General Council, defended Honorius before the Fathers there assembled, and said that Honorius had exhorted the erring that, "at least, by keeping silence, they should desist from the error of their doctrine."

Notwithstanding all this the Sixth Council burned the letters of Honorius, called Honorius himself a heretic, anathematized him after he had been dead for forty-two years, and this sentence of the Sixth Council was approved by Pope St. Leo II and following Pontiffs, and was, moreover, approved and repeated by the Seventh and Eighth Councils.

From this series of events and the condemnation by the Council arise the following questions: What is the true sense of this condemnation? What argument can be derived from it against the infallibility of the Pope? And what against the orthodoxy of Honorius himself as a private person? We shall say a few words about each of these in order.

First: In what sense was Honorius condemned by the Council? Not as one who had asserted, taught, or propagated heresy, but as one negligent in his pastoral office, one who had favored heretics (not heresy), and had been overindulgent to Sergius.

Let it be observed, in the first place, that, from the first ages of the Church, the name heretic was applied, first, to those who taught or maintained error in good faith; secondly, to those who taught or maintained heretical doctrine, not only with a knowledge of their error, but also with pertinacity and obstinacy; and, lastly, to those who neither taught nor maintained error themselves, but were accessory to the pertinacity of heretics, whether by protecting them, by favoring them, or by not repressing them, if they were obliged to do so by their office; and it was said, moreover, that bishops were obliged to this repression by apostolic tradition and the discipline of the Holy Fathers. The first class of heretics that we have mentioned were not punished; the second and third were visited with equal penalties. What we have said is clearly evident from ecclesiastical history, from the discipline of the primitive Church, and from the Fathers.

Having premised these remarks we may proceed to our arguments.

I. Many were condemned by the Sixth Council; Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Petrus, Paulus, Macarius, etc., and together with these, Honorius. Of all the rest we find it said, in the condemnatory clauses of the Council, that they had maintained one will in Christ; nowhere is this said of Honorius. Therefore it cannot be proved by the authority of the Council that Honorius taught one will in Christ.

II. In none of the Acts of the Council is it said that Honorius is called a heretic because he maintained or taught heresy.

III. It is said expressly, and not once only, that Honorius is condemned because, by his silence, he fostered the Monothelites and followed the counsel of Sergius. For example, Act. Conc. XIII., "We execrate the impious dogmas of these men, and we judge that their own names shall be cast forth from the Holy Church of God, that is to say, Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrrhus, Peter, and Paul, and also Theodore. And with these we order that Honorius be cast out and anathematized, because we find by the writings, made to Sergius, that in all things he followed his counsel and confirmed his impious doctrines." The Latin has stqui in cut em ejus, which is ambiguous, and may mean either to follow the doctrine, or follow the intention and plan of Sergius; but the original Greek text, of which the Latin is a translation, has, without any ambiguity, "followed the counsel."

Honorius, therefore, is not condemned like the rest for his impious dogmas, but because, by following the counsel of Sergius, he did not repress but strengthened (confirmavit) an impious dogma.

IV. It is expressly said in the Acts, that God cannot endure that rule of silence, "Et quomodo non indigneretur Deus qui blasphemabatur et non defendabatur." "And how could God but be indignant, who was blasphemed and not defended?" (In Sertno Ptosphonetics, Act. XVIII.) Hence, also, and for the same reason the Council is indignant, and hurls its anathema against Honorius.

V. The letters of Honorius were burned because they were destructive to the Church and favorable to the heretical contumacy of Sergius, not indeed, in doctrine, but in their approbation of the rule of silence and in too great lenity toward the heresiarch. They are condemned not because they contained the same impiety as the writings of the others, but because "ad unam eandemque impietatem tenderent;" they tended (in the Greek concurred) to one and the same impiety."

VI. If, therefore, Honorius is called a heretic, and is anathematized and cast out, it is not for heresy, but for connivance towards heretics. And expressly in this sense was the intention of the Council interpreted by the Emperor Constantine, who was not only present at the Council, but took part in it. In the same sense did St. Leo interpret it, who, having carefully examined the Acts of the Council and conferred with the legates who presided over it, approved them and translated them into Latin. Both Constantine and Leo say that Honorius was condemned, not because he taught error, but because he had favored and strengthened heretics, and had not stained the Church himself, but suffered it to be distained by others.

Second: What argument can be drawn from the condemnation of Honorius against the infallibility of the Pope?

The Catholic doctrine of infallibility is this: "When the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as Teacher of all Christians, he defines, by his apostolic authority, a doctrine of faith or morals, to be held by the Universal Church, he possesses, through the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, that infallibility which our Divine Redeemer willed that His Church should possess in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals; and therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff, of themselves, and not by reason of the consent of the Church, are immutable (irreformabiles)." Council of the Vatican.

In order, therefore, that the condemnation of Honorius should prove that the Popes did not always possess this infallibility, two things must be established. 1st. That Honorius, exercising his office of Pastor and Teacher, defined some doctrine to be held by the Universal Church. 2d. That this doctrine, thus defined, was heretical. But neither can be shown.

For 1st, in Honorius's letters there is no definition. In the first place, Honorius says that he does not wish to define anything, and he merely approves the plan of imposing silence; and he assigns no reason for this precept of silence except the fear of giving scandal and offence; and the simplicity of men, which are not motives for defining but for withholding a definition. In the second place, Honorius, in his letters, did only that which Sergius asked of him, and it was because he followed, in this way, the counsels of Sergius, that he was condemned. But Sergius had asked no definition, but only an approbation of the precept of silence. Therefore Honorius gave no sentence of definition, but only a precept of silence.

In the third place, Honorius said to Sergius, in his letter: "It does not behoove us to affirm one or two operations." "Non nos oportet unam aut duas operationes predicate." But he could not, possibly, define that there was neither one nor two wills in Christ, because it is absolutely necessary that there should be either one or two. Therefore, Honorius defined nothing, but simply forbade that any should say one or two.

And, 2d, the Council condemned no heresy as having been maintained by Honorius.

In the first place, there was no heresy in Honorius's letters, as we have proved.

In the second place, the Council condemned him, not for heresy, but for connivance with heretics.

Third: What can be drawn from the condemnation, against the faith and uprightness of Honorius as a private person?

1st. That Honorius was not sound in the faith we have shown to be false. The Council did not condemn heresy as having been maintained by Honorius. Therefore his orthodoxy is unquestionable.

2d. Honorius was condemned by the Council for a sin of omission in a most weighty matter which was destructive to the peace of the Church. This condemnation was "in foro externo" first, because, in Councils, it is external actions that are condemned, not the intentions of the conscience that are judged; and secondly, because, forty-two years after the death of Honorius, no judgment could be passed, or was, in fact, passed, upon his intentions. This being premised, it is more than certain that the precept of silence imposed by Honorius and condemned "in foro externo" was, as to its objective nature, culpable in itself and in the highest degree pernicious to the Church. It merited, therefore, the condemnation which it received from the Council. But what shall we say of this same precept "in foro conscientite;" that is to say, in reference to the culpability of the act, not considered in itself, but in relation to the intentions of Honorius and the guilt which he thereby incurred, or did not incur, before God? Could Honorius, without any fault before God, have judged that, in those particular circumstances, silence was more opportune than the condemnation of error? Honorius was a Pope, not a prophet. His letter should not be judged by the effects which it produced, but by that which human prudence could suggest to him at the time. What then could human prudence suggest to him? We cannot, here, pass any sentence on this point. There are many Catholics who condemn Honorius; there are others who absolve him from all fault. Any one may believe what seems to him more probable. The Popes are not impeccable, but infallible, and this only when they define, with all solemnity, ex cathedra.

But it may be said that St. Leo II asserts that Honorius, being departed, has been punished with eternal condemnation. Therefore, he asserts him to have sinned. We answer that the only possible sense to be attributed to these words is, that Honorius had committed an act, which, in itself, merited eternal condemnation. For, as to the fact of his perdition, a fact of this kind cannot be decided upon by the Church without most certain signs and miracles; because that fact is one which is hidden from human knowledge. It is true that in the canonization of saints, the Pope judges that eternal salvation has certainly been obtained by the saint canonized; but he judges from indubitable prodigies by which God confirms the arguments of human prudence.

We answer, in the second place, that this testimony of St. Leo would prove, not that Honorius was a heretic (for in that very same passage St. Leo says that Honorius was condemned, "because by his negligence he had fanned the flame of heretical dogma"), but that Honorius had sinned grievously, which opinion any one is free to hold who thinks he sees probable ground for it.

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Mike


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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. VIII, 1883, pp. 529-549 (exact reproduction of text)

THE ALLEGED FALL OF POPE LIBERIUS.

De Hebrceorum et Christianorum sacra monarchia et de infallibili in utraque magisterio. Per Professorem Aloisium Vincenzi. Romanex typographia Vaticana, 1875.

Erreurs et mensonges historiques. Par M. Ch. Barthelemy. Paris. Bleriot ed., 1875.

AMONG the many great historical puzzles that have engaged the attention or stimulated the diligence of the learned for centuries, that furnished by the alleged fall of the saintly Liberius stands forth prominent, almost unique. Two schools of thought have been occupied at intervals during fifteen centuries in the vain task of unravelling the threads of this provokingly entangled snare; the one to vindicate the name of a Pope whose memory has been embalmed in the eloquence of St. Ambrose, and the other to brand it with deepest infamy, to bury it beneath a mountain of malignant opprobrium. To the latter school belonged many historians, or dabblers in ancient story, of the last [...] of the seventeenth century. For those who took their creed and inspiration from the modern Mahomet, Martin Luther, it was a labor of love to justify the rebellion of their master against what they called the dynastic despotism, which had lain like a terrible nightmare on the slumbering breast of Christendom for over a thousand years. What cared they if, in rejecting the Papacy, they would infect the religion and the order established by the man-God? They argued then that the Papacy was fallen from grace, and this as early as the fourth century. Look, say they, at Liberius! He subscribed an Arian formula, or creed, and in his delirious haste to regain his darling Roman See, delivered Christendom over to the sect which railed at the divinity of Jesus Christ! If, then, the Roman See, at the centre of your boasted unity, became heretic as early as the fourth century, what corruption may we not look for in more recent times?

When, through political intrigue and bad faith, the party of the "Gallican liberties" appeared in France, at its head were found some men who, like Bossuet, shone like stars of the first magnitude in the literary as well as in the ecclesiastical firmament; men who, by virtue of their own principles, were urged, perhaps unwillingly, into an attitude hostile to the indefectibility of the Holy See. In his "Defensio," as we shall see further on, the eminent Bossuet, who undoubtedly had read all that appeared in evidence for and against Liberius at his day, was betrayed into arguments and forced to conclusions from which, it is certain, his noble faith recoiled. What wonder, then, that lesser lights were bedimmed, or that scholars without the Church's pale would with impunity point their shafts against the memory of the calumniated Pontiff? But, alas for human words and human works, modern criticism has inserted a wedge into the knotty trunk of Arian forgery, and the sundered parts reveal to astonished eyes the "true inwardness" of the forgers. In this article it will be convenient, 1st. To sketch, currente calamo, the history of the times in which Liberius lived and suffered. 2d. To present the main arguments used to prove his fall; and 3d. To refute these arguments, and thereby establish his innocence. It was during the reign of Constantine that Arius, a man of stately figure and apparently ascetic habits, began to preach to the people of Alexandria that the Saviour who had redeemed them was not, as the Christian world believed, really and substantially the Son of God. The novelty of the doctrine, the eloquence of the preacher, and the disaffection of a certain number of courtiers, gave the error an impulse which not even its inventors had foreseen or expected. In vain did the patriarch, St. Alexander, endeavor to recall the ambitious and erring priest. The very patriarchal throne whence issued the fatherly invitations to retract his blasphemy was the prize coveted by the heresiarch, and the disappointment occasioned by his failure to secure it drove him to the sacrifice of his faith and his salvation. Mildness and entreaty failing, the Patriarch convened a council to pronounce upon the errors of Arius. The heresiarch refused to retract them, and was excommunicated. The secretary of the Patriarch at this council was a young deacon, famous for his prudence, piety, and learning; and for him Arius conceived a particular hatred, which he seems to have transmitted to his children in heresy. The deacon was Athanasius, in whose defence our Liberius suffered so much, forty years afterwards. Retiring into Palestine, Arius won golden opinions among the Emperor's wretched courtiers, among whom were Eusebius, a bishop in name only, and Constantia, the Emperor's sister. Many other Eastern bishops also supported the cause of Arius. He composed verses in which he embodied the poison of his doctrines, and distributed them among the common people. Set to the airs of the obscene songs of the day, they "took," as we say nowadays, and in a few months the blasphemies of an excommunicated renegade became the faith of thousands. Nor need we be astonished at this rapid popular lapse into heresy. Only a few years had elapsed since Constantine, victorious over Maxentius and Licinius, became sole master of the Roman commonwealth and put an end to the persecutions. For three centuries, in fact, the wave of persecution had swelled high, and, therefore, religious instruction was given to the Catholic masses under very great difficulty and amid constant dangers. Even many of the clergy had not the science their state required. Since the conversion of Constantine, though no edicts were pressed against the pagans, yet these felt that favors would be best obtained by believing or affecting to believe as the Emperor. Doubtless, then, of the vast numbers who joined the Christian Church at this period, many were prompted by interest, others were allured by fashion, and comparatively few were urged by conviction. Instruction in the necessary articles of faith was all that could be dispensed—and these but superficially—at such a time; but the Christian spirit very, very few seemed to have grasped, even in a low degree. It is a miracle in the moral order that any Christianity was left at all when the persecutions temporarily ended; and if, with Gibbon and the so-called philosophic school, we reject the vision of the cross seen by Constantine in the heavens, it seems somewhat more than a prodigy that he and so many others exchanged the religion of their glorious ancestors, for that of an ignoble and crucified "Galilean." But to return to our subject. For five long years the doctrinal war continued, the athletes on both sides deploying their utmost abilities, exerting every influence that could be brought to bear upon their adversaries, and exhausting the ammunition of the Greek tongue in subtleties and distinctions, which that elegant language, of all others, is capable of expressing. Constantine is interviewed by the friends of Arius, he is besieged by the tears and entreaties of his sister, and fawned upon by unworthy ecclesiastics. Finally, with the concurrence of Pope Sylvester and some others, he assembles the famous Council of Nice. Three hundred and eighteen bishops there assembled proclaimed the ancient belief to be a dogma of faith. Jesus is the Eternal Word of God, uncreated and consubstantial with the Father. Whether we ascribe it to pure malice, or to ignorance of the binding force of a solemn decree made by the Church in council, or in fine to a hope that the fallen might return to the fold, certain is it that many of the Eastern bishops communicated in divinis with the now formal heretics just as they had done previously. Whatever the cause, many prevaricated, and neither the threats of the Emperor nor the voice of conscience brought back to a full acquiescence in the decrees of Nice a large portion of the clergy and people of the East. For more than thirty years from this time until the reign of Julian, the Christian world presents a scene of wild confusion led by the Arian emperors, the sons and successors of Constantine. Athanasius is several times driven from his see of Alexandria, in which he succeeded St. Alexander; now on the charge of murder, sacrilege, and other nameless crimes, now on the charge of stopping the supplies of wheat—and every student of history knows how serious such a charge must appear, since Egypt was the great granary of the Roman world. Driven away at one time by the imperial troops, at another he is rescued by them from the murderous frenzy of the Arian bishops and their creatures. Council after council is summoned and disbanded with no end other than to gratify the whim of an imperial theologue, or the spleen of a usurping ecclesiastic. Creed follows fast upon creed, and one scarcely overtakes and devours its predecessor, when itself is overtaken and devoured by a new one. In all some fifty creeds, Arian, semi-Arian, and nondescript, welled up from the copious fountain of heretical impiety, and the people looked in vain out into the doctrinal mist for a gleam of hopeful light, and groped about for something solid in the ever-darkening clouds of heterodoxy which enveloped them and their teachers. The fickle Constantine banished Arius and recalled him, silenced Alexander, then gave him a hearing, expelled Athanasius and restored him, sat in silence and awe before the assembled Fathers at Nice, and yet, probably delaying his baptism till, at death's portal, he received it at the hands of Eusebius, whose faith was as uncertain as his conduct was blameworthy. Constantius, the son of Constantine, was an avowed Arian and a coward besides, and every coward is cruel when he has power. In the battle of Mursa 54,000 of Rome's best soldiers fell victims of his ambition, and while the Caesar Julian kept in check the barbarians of the North, this emperor took all the credit to himself. Instead of attending to the decaying finances, or winning fame by checking the anti-Christian persecution of Sapor, the Persian, and guarding the outposts of the empire against invasion, this theologaster squandered his time in disputations with the divines of his party, and in persecuting those of his subjects who dared to believe otherwise than their whimsical master.

The See of Rome, however, remained unshaken amid these stormy scenes. In a surging and angry ocean strewn with the wrecks of many creeds and philosophies, flashed one beacon light which never ceased for an instant to mark the harbor of infallible doctrine; it came from "the house built on the rock." To Peter's successor, where his brethren so often betrayed him, the persecuted but ever active Athanasius turned his face; for even in this early age the East acknowledged in the Pope a primacy over all other bishops—awkward as the fact is for the sects. Julius I, then in the chair, indicted a council to examine the cause of the struggling bishop; he justifies him and condemns as irregular the proceedings of those who drove him from his see. Ursacius and Valens, two unworthy bishops, who, instead of residing in their own sees, followed continually at the heels of the Emperor, were among the deadly enemies of Athanasius, and they sought every opportunity to vilify him before their royal patron, little listing Papal decisions. Their repeated and calumnious charges, supported by specious forgeries, enraged the Emperor to an extent that perhaps extenuates the malice of his subsequent acts of violence, while the real instigators of his crimes have become objects of contempt to every succeeding age. On a charge that Athanasius was a supporter of the usurper Magnentius, these creatures urged the Emperor to annul his former letters of reconciliation with the Patriarch, and to solicit his condemnation by Liberius, who had succeeded Julius in the Roman See. Constantius understood well the importance and even the necessity of such a sentence—it would have ended the controversy forthwith—and he determined to obtain it by blandishments or by threats. It was in the first year of the Pontificate of Liberius (352) that the demand was made. To the son of Constantine was due some respect; and to this, rather than to any suspicion of the guilt of the accused, it may be owing that the persecuted bishop was again put on trial. A council meets at Rome; on one side are the unsupported charges of the Emperor; on the other the letters of the Egyptian bishops, together with the acts of their council testifying to the innocence of their Patriarch. Only one verdict was, under the circumstances, possible; and by the chair of truth that verdict was rendered. The faith of Athanasius was that of the Church; his sufferings for that faith had made him a confessor, almost a martyr, whose acquittal by the Pope was hailed with acclamations of joy by the Catholic world, while it stung like a barbed arrow the imperial accuser, and maddened him beyond control. He decreed exile against all who would not subscribe to the condemnation of Athanasius. The Pope sent two legates to him, Vincent of Capua and the veteran Osius, with the hope of appeasing his wrath, and solicited him to convene a general synod. While the legates were on their mission, Vincent was inveigled, by some Arian bishops into a condemnation of Athanasius—a fact which the Pope deplores in a letter to Osius. Another embassy of three bishops waited on Constantius and presented a letter from Liberius, in which he expressed great grief in view of the Emperor's injustice, disclaimed any desire to increase the prerogatives of his see, but maintained the inviolability of those already possessed by it; he declared that he was resolved to guard the faith of his predecessors, and once more asked him to convene a council to settle their interminable disputes. Constantius agrees and names Milan as the place for the meeting of the council, to which the Pope sends his legates, Lucifer of Cagliari, Pancratius, a priest, and Hilary, then a deacon. The synod opened under unfavorable auspices, the Emperor in person being there. From the outset violence reigned supreme, and the spirit of party triumphed where the spirit of peace should rule.

The Arian faction, with the state to support it, insulted and banished the Papal legates, and scourged one of them, Hilary, the most outspoken against the irregular proceedings. The other bishops present at the council, overawed by civil and military violence, signed the condemnation of Athanasius. Liberius sent to his glorious legates, now in exile, letters of condolence and encouragement, wherein he regrets his inability to suffer with them. Now a fresh difficulty arose for the Arian party. Though the condemnation of Athanasius was signed by many bishops, and the Papal legates were disposed of, yet Liberius was unconquered. How approach him? Eusebius, one of the eunuchs, a class, by the way, which was transplanted from the East at the decline of Roman greatness, was commissioned with the task. He approached the Pontiff with bribes, and was repulsed; and the bribe-money, which he placed as a gift on the tomb of the Apostles, was thrown into the street by the Pope's order. Threats were equally vain. "Let the Emperor," said the Pope, "replace Athanasius in his see and revoke his cruel edicts, and then we shall call a council, away from court influence; we will first anathematize Arianism, and then inquire into the charges against Athanasius." The Emperor then ordered the Pope to be brought to Milan, where, after a fruitless interview, he exiled him into Thrace. Such are in the main the circumstances which led to the alleged fall of Liberius; such is a glimpse of the troublous period of about a quarter of century. On inquiry we find the masses ignorant, many of the clergy little better than intruders, intriguers, and courtiers, who put their livings above their faith. We hear of wars in the North and East, of seditions in every city, often excited by factious bishops and their asseclae, of exorbitant taxation and dishonest officials, of calumnies made and retracted, and then repeated, of forged documents and letters unscrupulously circulated. We find one Emperor a Pontifex Maximus while professing Christianity, and another an Arian and a quack theologian. Add to this that the means of rapid communication, so familiar to us of the XIXth century, were then unknown, and we have the outlines of the IVth century.

II. We now come to the arguments used by those who regard Liberius as a heretic. The narrative given above of the part played by this Pope in the Athanasian difficulty is disputed by no one, so far as we know. When the eunuch Eusebius failed to extort by threats as well as by bribes the signature of the Pontiff in condemnation of the Alexandrian bishop, he retired to his imperial master at Milan. We have seen above how the Pope was sent for, interviewed and exiled to Beraea, in Thrace. After two years passed in misery he was permitted to return to Rome, where he ended his days peaceably. How, it is asked, did he obtain leave to return? An Emperor would certainly never yield to a bishop; and it is, therefore, obvious that the Pope yielded at length to the pressure put upon him, subscribed the condemnation, and in one word abjured the faith of Nice. Furthermore, he adopted as his own the creed of Sirmium, and thereby became formally an Arian. This is the substance of the charge. We shall proceed to quote from a few of the chief authors who make the charge, this being the fairest way to present our opponents' case. Gibbon, a historian of the skeptical school, and one who betrays peculiar fondness for Protestant historians, always preferring their opinions to those of Catholics when the honor of Rome is involved, expresses his opinion concerning the Liberius question in these few words: "When he was banished to Beraea, in Thrace, he sent back a large sum which had been offered for the accommodation of his journey, and insulted the court of Milan by the haughty remark that the Emperor and his eunuchs might want that gold to pay their soldiers and their bishops. The resolution of Liberius and Osius was at length subdued by the hardships of exile and confinement. The Roman Pontiff purchased his return by some criminal compliances, and afterwards expiated his guilt by a seasonable repentance." (Italics ours.) Decline and Fall, vol. ii., p. 345. Milman's. Such is the view taken by Protestants and infidels generally, and certainly it is jauntily enough expressed by the author quoted, who is esteemed by many the greatest and most lucid of modern historians. As Bossuet, the author of the charming treatise or discourse on universal history, is so well known, and his opinions on controverted points of great weight, his presentation of the case against Liberius will probably appear the strongest exposition of adverse opinion we can choose.

We may remark here, by the way, that Gibbon must have had in his mind the fictitious history of Pope Marcellinus and his repentance after his fall, with all the poetic accompaniments of tears and a council of edified clerics! For there is nowhere on record a "seasonable repentance," nor anything approaching it, in the career of Liberius. It is not necessary here to give all the circumstances which brought out the famous "Defensio;" let it suffice to say, that when in A.D. 1682 the clergy of France ventured to assert their spiritual independence of Rome, Bossuet was chosen to draw up an exposition and a defence of their principles and position, and one of the grounds of the argument was, that the Roman See was not what it professed to be, infallible in matters of doctrinal teaching. After mentioning the repugnance he experiences in undertaking this work, he continues: "For my part I lean to the opinion that, of all these various formulas (the Arian or semi-Arian creeds of Sirmium), that which Liberius subscribed was the most innocent. But it is no less certain that Liberius acted very badly, since, knowing the artifices and the treachery of the Arians, he subscribed a profession of faith which dissembled the consubstantiality of Christ. After this subscription Liberius did not hesitate, in letters as shameful as miserable, to take sides with the Arians and to banish Athanasius from his communion and from that of the Roman Church. But at this epoch, the communion of Athanasius was the Catholic communion. The conduct of Liberius justifies fully the anathema with which St. Hilary branded the memory of this Pope. St. Jerome says formally that Liberius subscribed an heretical formula. On his return, therefore, the Romans considered him only as a traitor who had deserted the cause of the faith, who had sullied himself with Arian filth, and who had communicated with the sectaries in everything except the question of second baptism. These are the very words of the Liber Pontificalis." Here is a terrible indictment, well presented, strongly supported, and if the authorities were but trustworthy, victoriously sustained. But the error lies in the evidence, not in Bossuet's logic. In his Universal History, he trips over this great historic problem in these few words: "The orthodox bishops were driven from their sees; the whole Church was filled with confusion and trouble; the constancy of Pope Liberius yields to the hardship of exile, and Osius, formerly the prop of the Church, is vanquished by suffering." The proofs for the double accusation of perfidy and apostasy the learned bishop finds in the Fragments of Hilary, in the words of Jerome, in the acts of Eusebius, and in the Liber Pontificalis. We shall dissect these authorities later on. Fleury, a historian of the rank Gallican school, who endeavors to pull down the reputation of the Popes wherever he meets them, after detailing the undisputed facts about the persecution of Liberius, says: "The bishop of Beraea when Liberius was in exile presented to him the Sirmium profession of faith, that is to say, according to the most probable opinion, the first proposed against Photinus at a council held in the year 351, at which Demophilus had assisted. It suppressed the terms consubstantial and like in substance, but could otherwise be defended, as, in fact, it has been, by St. Hilary. Liberius approved of it and subscribed it as Catholic; he renounced the communion of Athanasius and embraced that of the Easterns, that is, of the Arians." Fleury here admits that the formula signed has an orthodox interpretation, but otherwise the tenor of his opinion is that Liberius became a heretic, openly and scandalously. Perhaps the good Gaul did not see the patent contradiction in his words. Mosheim, the Lutheran historian, is at least no harder on the Pope than Fleury. He says in his church history: "The Emperor's (Constantius) attachment to the Arians animated him against their adversaries, whom he involved in various troubles and calamities, and obliged many of them by threats and punishment to come over to the sect which he esteemed and protected. Among these forced proselytes was Liberius, the Roman Pontiff, who was compelled to embrace Arianism, Anno 357." Respecting the original documents upon which these historians based their opinions, we may say that on their face they go strongly against Liberius, and it is only more modern and skilful criticism that has stripped them of their fictitious importance. The Fragments of Hilary, for instance, represent the Pope writing thus to the Eastern bishops: "To the most beloved priests and bishops of the East, health. As the law says, 'justa judicate filii hominum,' I do not defend Athanasius, . . . but when I saw . . . that you had condemned him justly, I joined in your judgment and sent letters ... to Constantius. Having removed Athanasius, therefore, from the communion of all of us, . . . I say that I am at peace and concord with you all and with the Oriental bishops."1

Further on, he says he accepts (libente animo suscepi) fully the Sirmian formula, etc. This is but a sample of the Fragmenta. Jerome says in his Chronicles: Liberius, overcome by the miseries of exile, subscribed the Arian heresy and entered Rome in triumph. The Acta Eusebii represent Liberius, after his return from exile, persecuting his former flock, publicly teaching Arianism, and joining with the Emperor to put the priest Eusebius to death. Even Bossuet dissents from the latter portion of this statement of the "Acts;" but altogether he regards them as good enough authority for his case, particularly as their contents agree strikingly with

1 Here is the original quoted by Vincenzi, to whom we are greatly indebted for the materials of this article: "Dilectissimis fratribus presbyteris et episcopis orientalibus salutem .... sicut lex loquitur 'justa judicate filii hominum' ego Athanasium non defendo. ... At ubi cognovi, quando Deo placuit juste vos ilium tondemnasse, mot consensum commodavi sententiis vestris, litterasque super nomine ejus .... dedi perferendas ad imperatorem Constanlium. Itaque amoto Athanasio a communione omnium nostrum .... dico me cum omnibus vobis et cum universis orientalibus episcopis pacem et unanimitatem habere."

the words of the Liber Pontificalis. Here, it is said, is testimony sufficient, if history may at all be trusted, to establish the treason of Liberius against religion and justice. True, he was made to suffer, but he yielded, and there is the proof of the fact! Add to these the doubt of Rufinus about the innocence of Liberius, his bitter condemnation by his successor, Damasus, and the hard accusation of the outraged Athanasius in his history to the monks, and what more proof do we want that the unfortunate Pope ceased to confirm his brethren?

III. Having heard fully the case against Liberius, it is now in order to show its weakness; and this we shall do, 1st, by establishing the presumption of the Pope's innocence; 2d, by giving on historic authority the true explanation of his return to Rome; 3d, by showing the documents used by our opponents to be valueless. Liberius was of Roman birth and became Pope, A.D. 352, a stormy period in the Church's history, when anarchy was beginning to prevail in the government, and heresy to grow strong apace. From his youth up Liberius had manifested great piety, and his humility caused him to shun the highest office on earth and to resist his appointment. This resistance will, of course, be set down by those ninnies who measure all men by the rule of their own inclinations, as affected or "convenient;" but it is not in our power to scan and decipher men's intentions. His contemporaries, at least, thought his humility sincere. Up to the time of his reputed fall, his words, his letters, and all his acts were redolent of apostolic virtue; and after his restoration to his See, the same zeal to combat error, to denounce heresy, and to confirm his brethren by word and example, was ever manifest. In proof of this we may point to the tone of his letters regretting the fall of his legate Lucifer; his replies to the eunuch Eusebius; his rejection of the bribes offered him privately; his defiant tone to the Emperor himself; his refusal to take money for his journey from the Empress; his pathetic epistles to his legates in exile; his wish to suffer with them; his actual longsuffering in his cruel exile in Thrace. His expressed wish to suffer with the exiled bishops was, therefore, no bravado, but genuine, as the result proves. From these facts, which few deny, it is clear that the presumption of Liberius's innocence is very strong, so strong, in fact that to prove his fall demands evidence of the most positive and irreproachable kind. In his case we have not merely that legal presumption which shields the accused in every criminal case, " nemo praesumitur malus," but we have in his favor a chain of circumstances which preclude all probability of a fall. There are those (Among them Natalis Alexander, vol. vtti., 135, and in fact many Catholic writers and annalists, down to the last century. The fact that Liberius signed an Arian formula seemed to them established; but they took different views of the morality and significance of his act.) who contend that though Liberius signed an Arian formula, he did not become a heretic; for, they say, the formula he signed was really defensible, though it omits the "consubstantial." Now, granted for the moment that he did sign a formula, it is admitted that he signed it under violent pressure at the hands of imperial jailers; but such an act would be practically valueless. Secondly, the act, therefore, could not be interpreted to imply a wish to so teach the Church, in which case alone the Pope is declared infallible. Thirdly, since the creed said to have been probably signed by Liberius contained nothing positive against the faith, and only omitted an important word, even if intentionally, it would be interesting to know by what process of judicial interpretation his merely signing it could be called heretical teaching. Admitting, then, for argument's sake the fact of the signature of a Sirmian formula by Liberius, he cannot be said, as universal doctor of the Church, to have taught heresy. But we deny the fact of the signature absolutely. We are not called upon here to prove a negative; but as the alleged fact rests on the historic value of certain documents, we would have only to show that these documents are untrustworthy, in order to make clear the character of the accused. But we will not rest here. The presumption in favor of Liberius is strengthened by the favorable testimony of his contemporaries and immediate successors. We quote a few: St. Basil, in his Epistle 263, calls him "the most blessed bishop," and says that his faith and authority never failed. St. Ambrose, in the third book de Virginibus, calls him "beatae memoriae," of blessed memory—a term which he repeats frequently throughout the work. Pope Damasus, writing to the Illyrian bishops concerning the assent to be given the Nicene definition, says expressly that, though the council of Ariminum (Rimini) had decreed otherwise, "the Roman bishop Liberius, whose judgment must be sought before all others, gave no consent to its decrees." How could Damasus use this language, or enforce his own authority by the example of his predecessor, if there had been even a doubt of the latter's integrity? The inference is plain. Siricius, too, his second successor, cites the authority of Liberius adversely to re-baptism, and calls him "my predecessor of venerable memory." This is bitter irony if Liberius is not innocent. Athanasius, in his Apologia, thus relates the fall of Osius (or Hosius) of Cordova: (He signed the condemnation), "not because he thought us guilty, but because he was unable, by reason of his age and weakness, to bear his torture," No. 89. But there is not a word about the fall of Liberius, who was likewise in exile. Elsewhere he says that Liberius and Osius were witnesses who had preferred death to betrayal of the truth. If, however, both these heroes fell, historic accuracy requires that the whole truth be told. In his work, De fuga sua, No. 4, Athanasius informs us that while the Church was in peace, and the congregation at prayers, many bishops, and among them Liberius, a herald of the truth, were torn away and driven into exile for no other cause than their opposition to Arianism; that, furthermore, they did not subscribe the calumnies which were uttered against him (Athanasius). This was written after the return of Liberius to Rome; but, if he had, as alleged, departed from the Nicene faith, of what use would his testimony be, or what weight would his name add to the cause of Athanasius? Would not the latter, on the contrary, have mentioned the unfortunate fall of the one who, up to a certain time, had defended him? And if he was, by the subscription of the Pope, cut off from the communion of Rome, would he not have mentioned the fact? This is no doubt the view taken by the forgers of the "history of Arianism" attributed to Athanasius, wherein the fall is related at length. It has been contended by some editors that the last numbers of the Apologia above mentioned are not authentic; but the learned Vincenzi maintains that the reason given by those editors in support of their opinion—viz., that the Apologia was completed before the exile of Liberius—is of no force; and he shows that the work, which would be incomplete without Nos. 89 and 90, must, therefore, have been written after the return of Liberius to Rome, because it speaks of the exile. But this is not the place to reproduce the arguments this learned writer employs. In Sulpicius Severus, Historia, lib. iv., c. 12, is preserved an encyclical of Liberius, published after the Council of Rimini, in which he anathematizes Arianism and exhorts all who fell, whether by weakness or by violence, to return at once to the bosom of the Church. But in the Fragmenta several such letters are extant bearing the name of Liberius; these are all heretical in tone, while the former is orthodox in every particular. All, however, admit the authenticity of the orthodox letter. How, then, could Liberius have the audacity, had he written the heretical letters, to set himself up as a teacher, and a reprover of the fallen, without at least retracting his former words, and apologizing for the scandal he had given? No apology appears; on the contrary, the tone is commanding and, therefore, indicative of the authority of innocence. Had he himself been guilty and among those who "suffered detriment to their faith by force or fraud," the world must have known it. If Rome became Arian all the bishops knew it; and before the chief bishop could command their respect, he owed the Catholic world an apology for this greatest of scandals.

Let us go a step further, and assert that, had he fallen, volumes of episcopal reproaches and countless decrees of protesting councils would have deluged his fated throne, and plunged him into a sea of disgrace,—the roar of whose waves would at this distant day deafen our ears, and make a defence of Liberius impossible. Two inferences follow — first, Liberius did not, could not, have fallen by subscribing the Sirmian formula and the condemnation of Athanasius; secondly, all letters which bear the name of Liberius, and represent him favoring the Arians, are forgeries. Another circumstance strengthens these conclusions. After the restoration of Liberius a council was convened by the Emperor at Seleucia, and another simultaneously at Rimini. The Bishop of Rome was not invited, and therefore neither he nor his legates had any part in it. Had he been an Arian, as claimed, this would have been the time to exhibit him on the "ministerial benches." After these unfortunate councils this Pope, who, we are told, had yielded to the Emperor, who had condemned Athanasius, and signed away his faith to regain his See, and eat his mess of pottage amid the seven hills, started suddenly into opposition, and anathematized the acts of the Emperor's council. Strange independence of a fallen and servile Pope! Iniquitas mentita est sibi.

Again, Lucifer Calaritanus (of Cagliari), in his book against Constantius, Faustinus and Marcellinus, in their work presented to Valentinian and Arcadius, mention the exile of Osius and of Liberius. They state that Osius yielded to the persecution, but not a word have they about the Bishop of Rome. Strange omission!

Sulpicius Severus, too, Historia, lib. ii., No. 39, says: "Liberius of Rome and Hilary are sent into exile. But Liberius is restored shortly after to Rome (Urbi) on account of the sedition there.” Farther on he states that Osius, then a doting centenarian, probably yielded; but he says nothing of the kind about Liberius. How could these authors all conspire, as it were, to conceal from history the crime of Liberius, the greater sinner, and to parade the defection of the lesser light? Ammianus Marcellinus, a pagan historian of this era, in lib. xv., chap, vii., after epitomizing the great quarrel between the Emperor and Athanasius, states that the former's will to banish the latter was opposed by the Bishop of the "Eternal City," who, because he would not yield, was with great difficulty carried off at night against the will of the people, who loved him dearly.1 This well-informed historian lays great stress

(1. The author's words are: "Athanasium epum eo tempore apud Alexandrian! .... altius se efferentem, ut prodidere rumores assidui crctus (synodus ut appellant), removit a sacramento. Hunc per subscriptionem abjicere sede sacerdotali, paria sentiens caeteris, jubente principe, Liberius monitus perseveranter renitebatur, nec visum hominem nec auditum damnare, nefas ultimum sjepe exclainans, aperte scilicet recalcitrans imperatoris arbitrio. Id enim ille, Athanasio semper infestus, licet sciret impletum, tamen auctoritate quoque potiore reternre Urbis Episcopi Jirmari, desiderio nitebatur ardenti; quo non impetrato, Liberius aegrc populi metu, qui ejus amore flagrabat, cum magna difficultate noctis medio potuit absportari.")

on the opposition shown by Liberius to the will of Constantius, but he does not say that the opposition at any time ceased, which cessation, had it ever taken place, the historian should and would necessarily have noted to make the narrative complete. Socrates says distinctly, lib. ii., c. xxxvii., that Liberius recovered his See shortly after his return (from exile); "for the Roman people, having become seditious, expelled Felix from the Church; and the Emperor, though unwilling, gave his assent." How could the Emperor be unwilling to restore Liberius to his See if the latter had fulfilled all his behests? It were inexplicable. Athanasius gives a full account of the trial made by Constantius to win over Liberius. When Eusebius, the eunuch sent by the Emperor to tempt the Pope with gold, received no better reception than Simon Magus, who tempted Peter, he resorted to threats. The interview thereupon ended, and the Pope replied to the threats by letter as follows: "You think to force me to subscribe to the condemnation of the Patriarch of Alexandria. How can I? Three consecutive councils, one of which represented the universal episcopate, have recognized, verified, and proclaimed the innocence of Athanasius. He was present. We ourselves have heard all the calumnies with which they would crush him peremptorily refuted. We have admitted him to our communion We have pledged him the most tender affection; and now that he is absent, persecuted, proscribed, are we to hurl an anathema against him? No! Such is not the rule of the ecclesiastical canons, nor the tradition of the blessed and great Apostle Peter, which our predecessors have transmitted to us. The Emperor, you say, wishes for peace; let him commence by recalling the cruel edicts he has launched against the Patriarch; let him set Athanasius at liberty, and place him firmly in his See." Hist. Arian., No. 36. Language like this was not calculated to appease an Emperor. The Gesta Liberii, a scroll lately discovered, tells us that for a time the Pontiff retired to the catacomb of Noella, in the Via Salaria, a voluntary exile; but his retreat was discovered, and he was led to Milan, where the Emperor held the following dialogue with him, reported in substance both by Athanasius and Theodoret. Said the Emperor: "As you are Bishop of our city we exhort you to reject the communion of Athanasius. The world has judged him," etc.

Liberius: "Sir, ecclesiastical judgments must be just. Establish a tribunal, and, if he be found guilty, judgment will be pronounced. We cannot condemn a man who has not been tried."

Emperor: "The world has condemned his impiety."

Liberius: "Those who subscribed his condemnation have not seen all that passed. The glory you promise them, or the punishment you threaten, has influenced them."

Emperor: "What do you mean by the words glory and punishment?"

Liberius: "Those who love not the glory of God, and prefer your favors, have condemned him without trial. This is unworthy of Christians."

Emperor: "He has been judged by the Council of Tyre, where he was present."

Liberius: "Not in his presence, but after his withdrawal." (Here a bishop, who was by, put in that Liberius wished to boast, on his return to Rome, that he had baffled the Emperor.)

Emperor: "What do you account yourself in the world, to raise yourself alone to disturb the earth?"

Liberius: "Even if I were alone, the cause of the faith would not fall."

Emperor: "What has been once decreed cannot be reversed. The judgment of the majority of the bishops must decide, and you are the only one attached to this wretch."

Liberius: "Sir, we have never heard that, in the absence of the accused, a judge would consider him a wretch, as if he were his particular enemy."

Emperor: "He has offended the world in general, me in particular I will send you back to Rome if you embrace the communion of the Churches. Yield for peace sake; subscribe, and return to Rome?"

Liberius: "I have already bid adieu to my brethren in Rome."

Emperor: "You will have three days to consider," etc

Liberius: "Three days nor three months will not change my resolution. Send me where you like."

Here, is language worthy of a Pope. Who can imagine this hero yielding cringingly afterwards to this very Emperor and retracting these sublime words? But if the Pope had prevaricated and condemned Athanasius, of what use would it have been for the latter to publish this interview? Both Athanasius and the Arian faction, and the whole world, in fact, knew the importance of having the Roman Bishop on their side. Hence the efforts made all around to secure his subscription. Hence the forgeries of the Arians, so unjust to Liberius. Hence, too, the History and other works written by the Bishop of Alexandria. It would, therefore, have been doubly absurd for Athanasius to hope for favor by claiming the Bishop of Rome's suffrage, if that suffrage had been reversed, and himself cut off from the Pope's communion.

But Theodoret, in lib. ii., c. 15, et seq., of his Ecclesiastical History, accounts fully for the return of Liberius to Rome after his long exile, and once for all settles the question at issue. Could any doubt remain after the evidence given above, the following account must dispel it: "The glorious athlete of the truth, Liberius, went into Thrace, as ordered; but after two years Constantius set out for Rome. The wives of the senators and nobility besought their husbands to approach the prince and ask him to restore the shepherd to his flock; adding that, if this were refused, they would leave their homes and migrate to their great shepherd. Their consorts said they feared the anger of the prince. 'He will, perhaps,' said they, ' not pardon us men; but if you ask him he will, doubtless, spare you. One, then, of two things will happen; he will either hear your prayers, or, if he refuse, he will at least send you away unhurt.' These most excellent women followed the advice, and approached the Emperor clad in elegant style, so as to insure a respectful reception on his recognizing them as nobles. Having come thus adorned before the Emperor, they suppliantly asked him to take pity on so great a city deprived of its shepherd and exposed to the fury of wolves. But he answered the matrons that the city did not want a second shepherd, having already a fit one to look after it; for, after the departure of the great Liberius, one of his deacons, Felix by name, was ordained. He, indeed, kept whole and inviolate the formula of faith expounded by the Fathers of Nice; but he communicated freely with those who had sullied it, and for this reason none of the Roman citizens would enter the church while he was there. This, too, the matrons made known to the Emperor. Yielding, therefore, the Emperor ordered that illustrious man, worthy of all praise, to return from exile."

Theodoret informs us, further on, that the sources of his information were "pious men still living." With evidence like this before him, it seems incomprehensible that anyone could conceive the fall of Liberius to be other than a calumny of the blackest dye.

How, then, it will be asked, are we to account for the testimony of the Liber Pontificalis, of the Fragmenta of Hilary, or of St. Jerome, etc.? We might answer in general terms that, as the character of the Pope has been unanswerably vindicated, these so-called testimonies can be of no weight. But, to answer in detail, we say, 1st, as to the Liber Pontificalis. This is the journal of the Pope, so to speak, not compiled (as some have thought) by one person, but written up by many hands from a very remote period. This work informs us that Liberius was treated with by Ursatius and Valeus (his bitter enemies!), and recalled to Rome by the Emperor; but that, on his arrival there, he dared not enter, and besought the Emperor's cousin, Constantia, to intercede with the Emperor for him; that Felix was then expelled violently; that Liberius communicated freely with the Arians, and joined in a persecution of the clergy, who refused to receive him; that Felix died in peace, etc. Now this chapter is so full of contradictions that it at once reveals its origin. Firstly, Liberius is said to have come to terms with Constantius, and is recalled; yet he dares not enter Rome until he mollifies the Emperor through Constantia!—a glaring contradiction. Next, rebaptism is made to appear the theological difficulty between the Pope and the Emperor, though the question was not dreamt of at the time. Again, Liberius and Constantius are reported meeting in a council at Rome at a time (359) when the Emperor was in Pannonia warring with the Sarmatians and the Quadi. Fourthly, Felix was, we know, a martyr; yet, according to this book, he died naturally! As regards the persecutions at Rome, Liberius suffered with his clergy at the hands of the Arians. This self-contradictory chapter of the "Liber P." is, therefore, a forgery in the interest of the Arians, most probably written while that faction were in the ascendant at Rome.1

The Fragments, ascribed to St. Hilary, which accuse Liberius of signing an Arian formula, and of condemning Athanasius, are another forgery. St. Jerome knew nothing of them; for, in his enumeration of Hilary's works, he makes no mention of them. Next, they contradict the well-known convictions of Hilary, so oft repeated in his authentic works.

Rufinus, in his Church history, lib. i., speaking of the works of Hilary, is also ignorant of the Fragmenta. This author says that he is in doubt about the supposed fall of Liberius; but if he had read or heard of these Fragments (and he would if they existed), which so unhesitatingly record it, the authority of their author would have left no doubt in the mind of Rufinus, and he would have said simply, "Liberius fell." Furthermore, while the Fragments give all those letters which represent Liberius as an abettor of Arianism, they studiously omit mention of the famous orthodox epistle of this Pope. The Arian compiler was very cunning, but overreached himself. Either, then, the Fragmenta are spurious, or the other reputed works of Hilary must be considered unauthentic. The latter proposition is preposterous, "a lame and impotent conclusion," as all critics admit. The Fragmenta are, therefore, of no value, and the charge they support falls to the ground. In fact, the very existence of these forgeries over the renowned signature of Hilary would establish, in default of other evidence, the innocence of the man they accuse so boldly; for, the weaker and the more perverse the charge, the greater the desire of its inventors to father it on some great personage. 2d.
'Many chronologists, among them Muratori, are of opinion that the compilation of the Liber Pontificalis was not begun until somewhere in the eighth century. If this opinion is of any weight, the testimony of the work, as against Liberius, is nil.

The "Acta Enubii," discovered, in A. D. 1479, by Mombritius, and reproduced in his Miscellanea by Baluze in the seventeenth century, seemed for a time to establish the guilt of Liberius, and were relied on as genuine by Bossuet.1

They tell of a “man of God," Eusebius, who suffered martyrdom at the hands or with the complicity of Liberius, who had joined the Arians, etc. In a word, they are of the same tenor as the "Liber P." notice of Liberius; and betray the same spirit, if not the same hand. We know, contrary to these "Acta," that Pope Damasus praised the memory of his predecessor. We know, too, that the dialogue said to have taken place in Rome between the Pope and the Emperor in 359 is a fiction, yet the "Acts" record it.

Constantius never saw Rome after his month's stay in 358. These "Acts," or portions of them, are therefore self-confessed forgeries. 3d. We have the positive testimony' of Jerome, who says that Liberius, "overcome with the hardships of exile, subscribed an heretical formula, and entered Rome as a conqueror." How shall we meet this? St. Jerome wrote far from the scenes he chronicled—in fact, in the Holy Land; and no doubt (unless the words be, as some contend, an interpolation) he wrote what he heard noised about him, some thirty years after the events, unsuspicious of the injury done a Pope by this horrid Arian slander. He alone, of all the Catholic writers of antiquity, asserts the guilt of Liberius, and he stands contradicted by the collective evidence of others so situated as better to know the truth. Like that of Bossuet, the dictum of Jerome, if genuine, was based on evidence regarded by him as bona fide, but which, in point of fact, was just the reverse. The opinion, that the sentence given from Jerome's Chronicle is also an Arian interpolation, has very strong arguments in its favor. We know that the works of Origen were tampered with, even during the lifetime of the author, by sectaries desirous of having the support of so great a name. He reclaimed, but in vain, and history has misjudged him. Athanasius and others complained of a like grievance. The wholesale forgeries of the Arians give us a presumption that this faction would secure Jerome's name, if possible. Besides, it is admitted that the Chronicle has, in fact, been interpolated, or otherwise disfigured; and Menochius (quoted by Barthelemy, Errors and Historic Lies) says, in this connection, that "there is not a trace of the fall of Liberius in the manuscript of the Chronicles of St. Jerome preserved in the Vatican, and given the Pope by the Queen of Sweden. This manuscript is

1 Several other critics, even of that date, such as Petan, Labbe, and Tillemont, either rejected the Acta, as fabricaiions of the Arians, or, at best, as very suspicious documents.

argued by Holstenius to be very ancient, and the learned believe it to have been written in the sixth or seventh century."

At best, then, the citation is doubtful, and therefore of no weight whatever. No wonder the historians should be so puzzled about which formula was signed, and to fix the date of the alleged fall of Liberius. A lie needs good backing, as liars need good memories. Both Socrates and Sozomen mentioned the matter in their histories, but they failed to mention on what basis they make their statements. They also disagree in their story; and Sozomen, who makes three references to the fall, disagrees with himself. Socrates places the exile, saying nothing of the fall, after the Council of Rimini (359). Sozomen, lib. iv., c. xi., says that, when Constantius went to Rome (358), he endeavored in vain to seduce Liberius, and exiled him. In c. xv. he says that the Emperor brought Liberius to Sirmium, and induced him to sign a formula made there (which one?), and that afterwards rumors were set afloat by Eudoxius and others that Liberius had condemned the word "consubstantial," and had acknowledged the Son dissimilar to the Father. In c. xix. he states that the Emperor enjoined on all to subscribe to the decrees of Rimini; and that those refusing, among them Liberius, Bishop of Rome, were driven from their sees. This is a sad mixture of dates and places!

But this chaos of forgery, folly, and fanaticism is growing tedious, and we must end somewhere. To recapitulate. 1st. It has been shown that the life of Liberius was irreproachable up to the year 355 or 356; that his letters to the exiled prelates, breathing a desire to suffer with them, his defiant attitude towards the Emperor, his rejection of all bribes, his long suffering in exile, the universal esteem in which his contemporaries held him, and, lastly, his condemnation of the decrees of Rimini, after his return from exile, establish the presumption of his innocence of the crimes of injustice, inconstancy, and apostasy. 2d. That the spirit of the Arians was one of lies and forgery, of which they were often convicted; and that the documents we have, accusing Liberius of apostasy, etc., bear evidence, internal and external, of interpolation, or worse. 3d. That whereas the Arian faction, with Constantius at its head, made frantic endeavors to secure the alliance of the Roman Bishop; and whereas such alliance would be of no use to them whatever, unless made known to the whole world by imperial proclamation, nevertheless there is no evidence to show that such a course was adopted; but, on the contrary, that "rumors (of the defection of Liberius) were set afloat," in an underhand way, were industriously circulated in the East, and afterwards wafted westward in documents bearing great names. This fact is the more remarkable, because the fall of Osius was published from the housetops as a mighty victory. 4th. That, besides the negative and the circumstantial evidence adduced, we have the positive testimony of Sulpicius and of Theodoret that, not any criminal compliancy on the part of Liberius, but the demand of the Romans, induced the Emperor, much against his will, to restore the holy Bishop to his See. Is it any wonder, then, that turning to the Greek office we find Liberius catalogued among the saints? In the Greek Menology we read, at the 27th September, "The blesssed Liberius, defender of the truth, was Bishop of Rome during the reign of Constantius. His zeal made him undertake the defence of the great Athanasius Then Liberius, who fought with his whole strength against the malice of the heretics, was exiled to Beraea in Thrace. But the Romans, who loved and honored him, remained faithful to him, and besought the Emperor to restore him. Liberius returned to Rome, where he died after wisely governing his flock."

The spirit of error has ever been busy among men opposing God's work, but in the end truth shall prevail. The God-man was misrepresented and his death secured by calumny, and His Vicar on earth may expect no better treatment. Man's reason and will are weak, and a divinely constituted authority alone can guide him into truth. Our Lord knew this, and gave us in His Vicar the corner stone of His Church, this infallible authority. The enemy of our salvation knows it too, and hence his endeavors to pull down the Papacy by impugning its doctrinal infallibility. Had this authority once erred, Christ's promises were vain; His work a fraud or a failure. The Council of the Vatican decreed that the Pope, teaching ex cathedra, is infallible, which decree insures Catholics that neither Liberius, nor any other occupant of Peter's chair, has ever taught the Church error. Nevertheless, it is highly useful and satisfactory for us to know that the voice of history re-echoes that of authority, and proclaims that no shade of error has ever clouded the brow that wears the Papal crown. As the ruins of ancient greatness, discovered in Egypt and elsewhere, confirm many things related in Scripture, so, as fresh manuscripts and monuments of other days emerge from the dust of centuries, we shall find vindications of many who are now maligned, not because they deserve it, but because they represent Him who said to His followers, "Blessed are you when they shall revile you and persecute you; speak all things evil against you untruly for my sake; be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven." Matt. v. 2.

Here is a Latin translation of the formula supposed to have been signed by Liberius, taken from the Bullarium Romanian, vol. iii.: "Sirmiensis fidei confessio aut formula Semiarianorum a Marco Arethusio epo graece conscripta, a Liberio subscripta haec est. Credimus in unum Deum patrem omnipotentem creatorem et factorem omnium, in quo omnis paternitas in caelo est, et in terra nominatur. Et in unigenitum ejus filium Dm. Nm. Jm. Xm. ante omnia saecula ex patre genitum ex Deo, lumen de lumine per quem omnia in cselis et in terra facta sunt, tam invisibilia quam visibilia; eumdemque verbum esse et sapientiam, lucem veram et vitam, et ultimis diebus hominem factum, natumque ex Sancta Virgine, crucifixum, et mortuum et sepultum esse, sedereque ad dexteram patris, venturumque in consummationem saeculi ut judicet vivos et mortuos, reddatque unicuique secundum opera sua. Cujus regnum indesinens permanebit in infinitas aetates. Sedet enim ad dextram patris non solum in hoc saeculo sed et in futuro. Et in spiritum sanctum hoc est paracletum quem promissum Apostolis post ascensum in ccelos, misit ut doceret eos et commonefaceret omnium. Per quem omnes animae quae in eum sinceriter credunt sanctificantur." (Here follow twenty-six explicative paragraphs or articles.)

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Great work, thanks Mike.


Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:55 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
If I recall accurately, Bellarmine's opinion (and he relies upon Baronius) is that St. Leo's condemnation of Honorius was genuine but that it resulted from Leo being deceived by the falsified acts of the 6th Ecumenical Council. This is certainly plausible since the Greeks falsified nearly every important text they laid their hands on at one time or other.

However Justin Fevre, the editor of the Paris edition of Bellarmine's Opera Omnia, has the following to add in a footnote (liber IV, Chapter XI):

"Rome has never admitted any accusation against Honorius. The letters of Saint Leo II which divulge the condemnation have been fabricated by Monothelists. This is evident from a confusion of dates, from the stupidity of the 'Pontiff' contradicting St Agatho and Emperor Constantine Pogonat, and writing to Quiricius Toletanus, who had been dead for forty years, and to Simplicius, a Spanish prefect who never existed. If you want more proofs, consult the ‘Annales de philosophic chretienne’ 1853, second volume." (given in http://www.eclipseofthechurch.com/HonoriusCalumny.htm).

Now this is an interesting claim. What would be useful is to see if Baronius or Bellarmine managed to locate copies of Leo's condemnations in the Vatican archives, which I think they must have, because it is absurd to suppose they relied upon Greek texts when their position was precisely that the Greek texts were categorically unreliable. Yet if they did find the relevant texts in the Vatican, then how could Fevre state in 1870 what he does above? This might be answered by consulting the reference he provides, Annales de philosophic chretienne 1853, second volume.

I place these comments here for the record, since it seems unlikely that anybody has ready access to this work. Hopefully somebody one day will be prompted to do the leg-work required.

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:46 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
This French publication deals with the Honorius-case also here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=_C4EAA ... &q&f=false


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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Quote:
The AER also has many back volumes now online. Best of all, they are free.


Hi Mike! where??? :)

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Quote:
The AER also has many back volumes now online. Best of all, they are free.


Hi Mike! where??? :)


Hi Cristian,

The Internet Archive has quite a few up to the 1920's.
http://www.archive.org/search.php?query ... pe%3Atexts

Also google books has some too.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Mike wrote:
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Quote:
The AER also has many back volumes now online. Best of all, they are free.


Hi Mike! where??? :)


Hi Cristian,

The Internet Archive has quite a few up to the 1920's.
http://www.archive.org/search.php?query ... pe%3Atexts

Also google books has some too.


Thanks. :)
Actually I was thinking about something written in the 40`s and 50`s and of Fenton :)
Regarding google books... I can`t see most of the books, is there any reason? Should I create a gmail account?

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:14 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
The top result of this search reveals an article about Honorius too, but I cannot access the book. http://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&tb ... e+Honorius

Anybody else? (It's the 1872 vol.)

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Actually I was thinking about something written in the 40`s and 50`s and of Fenton :)


I pretty much found all the Fenton articles in the AER in the local theology library and scanned and posted them, Cristian. There's lots more of interest there, of course, just not by Fenton. :)

Btw, today I created a couple of new forums, one to get all that "una cum" stuff out of the main discussion forum so people can see the more interesting and important material more easily, and the other to contain texts from authorities. I went through and pulled out all the ones I could find that we have posted and moved them there. That should help you to feed your Fenton hunger. :)

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:24 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
The top result of this search reveals an article about Honorius too, but I cannot access the book. http://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&tb ... e+Honorius

Anybody else? (It's the 1872 vol.)


Hi John,

It is the French journal Revue du Monde Catholique. I looked through the article, but French is not one my strong areas. The gist appears to me to be along the lines of the article from the American Catholic Quarterly Review. If you want I could e-mail you the text later or post it on the forum in text format.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Actually I was thinking about something written in the 40`s and 50`s and of Fenton :)


I pretty much found all the Fenton articles in the AER in the local theology library and scanned and posted them, Cristian. There's lots more of interest there, of course, just not by Fenton. :)


I want to have ALL Fenton, I`m "Fenton addict", I never told you so? :lol:

Quote:
Btw, today I created a couple of new forums, one to get all that "una cum" stuff out of the main discussion forum so people can see the more interesting and important material more easily, and the other to contain texts from authorities.


Yes, I saw it, good job!

Quote:
I went through and pulled out all the ones I could find that we have posted and moved them there. That should help you to feed your Fenton hunger. :)


Would you believe me if I tell you I`m still hungry? :mrgreen:

Cristian

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:34 pm
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
BTW, here it is an interesting link with a lot of stuff!

http://liberius.net/

if you go to the bottom of it you´ll see this:

Quote:
Qui était saint Libère ?
Saint Libère était Pape entre l'an 352 et l'an 366. Il souffrit l'exil pour avoir refusé d'excommunier saint Athanase, patriarche d'Alexandrie, comme le voulait l'empereur Constance : « Je demande à Dieu de mourir, plutôt que de me prêter au triomphe de l'injustice ». La fête de saint Libère est le 23 septembre.
Des hérétiques ariens inventèrent une prétendue « chute » de ce Pape : fatigué de l'exil, il aurait excommunié saint Athanase et souscrit à une profession de foi hérétique. Pour appuyer leurs mensonges, les ariens inventèrent de toutes pièces des textes de saint Libère.
Cette fable absurde de la chute de saint Libère est malheureusement très répandue aujourd'hui ; or aux calomnies des hérétiques ariens il faut préférer les dogmes de la foi : car un pape légitime ne peut pas errer dans la foi.
« Et ces Pontifes, qui osera dire qu'ils aient failli, même sur un point, à la mission, qu'ils tenaient du Christ, de confirmer leurs frères ? Loin de là ; pour rester fidèles à ce devoir, les uns prennent sans faiblir le chemin de l'exil, tels les Libère, les Silvère, les Martin ; d'autres prennent courageusement en main la cause de la foi orthodoxe et de ses défenseurs qui en avaient appelé au Pape, et vengent la mémoire de ceux-ci même après leur mort. » (Benoît XV, Encyclique Principi Apostolorum, 5 octobre 1920) Le pape saint Libère a été victorieusement défendu par les abbés Rohrbacher et Darras, les Bollandistes, le cardinal Dechamps, Mgr Baunard, Mgr Fèvre, etc. Une compilation partielle est disponible au format PDF dans Le pape saint Libère.


Which is something like:

Quote:
Who was St. Liberius?

St. Liberius was Pope from 352 until 366. He was exiled for having refused to excommunicate St. Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, as the Emperor Constance wanted him to do. "I ask God to die instead of helping injustice to triumph" The feast of Saint Liberius is on September 23. Heretics made up a false fall of him: tired of the exile, he would have excommunicated St. Athanasius and signed an heretical profession of faith. In order to support their lies they made up all the texts of St. Liberius.
This absurd fable is unfortunately very widespread today; but we must prefer the dogmas of faith instead of the calumnies of the heretics: a legitimate Pope cannot err on matters of faith.

"Who may dare to say they have fallen from their mission they received from Christ of confirming their brothers, even on one single point? In order to be faithful to this duty some of them went to exile without giving up, such as Liberius, Silverius, and Martin..." Benedict XV Principi Apostolorum, Oct. 5 1920)
St Liberius was successfully defended by Frs. Rohrbacher, Darras, the Bollandistes, cardinal Dechamps, Mgr Baunard, Mgr Fèvre, etc. cfr. http://www.liberius.net/livre.php?id_livre=8 "


Cristian

Edited for translating the last sentence.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Cristian and Mike, thanks to both of you. No, I don't need the article, thanks Mike. The one point that would be good to extract would be whatever he says that touches on the point Justin Fevre made regarding Leo's letters. That's possibly new research, adding to Baronius, and it certainly adds to Honorius's exculpation.

Cristian, abebooks.com and search by author. I have a loose-leaf hand-made book here (it's "bound" with a hole punch and cable ties!) by Fenton entitled "The Concept of the Diocesan Priesthood". That's where I got it. You can put in a permanent request and abebooks will email you when a copy of whatever you ask for is listed.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:09 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Cristian and Mike, thanks to both of you.


Thanks you John.

Quote:
No, I don't need the article, thanks Mike. The one point that would be good to extract would be whatever he says that touches on the point Justin Fevre made regarding Leo's letters. That's possibly new research, adding to Baronius, and it certainly adds to Honorius's exculpation.


I have Bellarmine´s opera omnia published by Favre... that what he says is found there or where?

Quote:
Cristian, abebooks.com and search by author. I have a loose-leaf hand-made book here (it's "bound" with a hole punch and cable ties!) by Fenton entitled "The Concept of the Diocesan Priesthood". That's where I got it. You can put in a permanent request and abebooks will email you when a copy of whatever you ask for is listed.


Thanks John!

I read that book of Fenton. It is a gem! It was translated into Spanish in the 50´s :)

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
I have Bellarmine´s opera omnia published by Favre... that what he says is found there or where?


Ken's author says, "footnote (liber IV, Chapter XI)."

I'd guess it's in the De Romano Pontifice. If you wouldn't mind giving us the actual text of the footnote, that would be great. Hopefully the modern writer has paraphrased it accurately.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:25 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
I have Bellarmine´s opera omnia published by Favre... that what he says is found there or where?


Ken's author says, "footnote (liber IV, Chapter XI)."

I'd guess it's in the De Romano Pontifice. If you wouldn't mind giving us the actual text of the footnote, that would be great. Hopefully the modern writer has paraphrased it accurately.


Sure! I`ll give you the text this afternoon!

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Yes. The footnote is in Liber Quartus, Caput XI, and here it is in its entirety, in Latin.

"(18)Certum est: 1° extitisse apocryphorum fabricas tum Antiochiae, tum Constantinopoli, prope Ecclesiam sanctorum Joannis et Phocae; 2° Episcopos Graecos, numero 227, absque haesitatione subscripisse praetenso Concilio quini-sexto; 3° textum sextae, Synodi fuisse pluries mutatum et interpolatum, ita ut contradictionibus scateat; 4° falsariorum crimen probari, si comparantur acta VI Synodi cum vitis S. Agathonis in Libro Pontificali; 5° Romam nunquam admisisse accusationem adversus Honorium, et epistolas S. Leoni II quae damnationem fatentur, e monothelitarum fabrica exisse, quod manifestatur epocharum confusione et stupiditate dua Pontifex contradixisset S. Agathoni et Imperatori Constantino Pogonat, et scripsisset tum Quiricio Toletano a quadraginta annis mortuo, tum Simplicio, praefecto Hispano, qui nunquam exstitit. Qui plura desiderat, adeat: Annales de philosophie chrētienne, 1858, secundo tomo.
Caeterum, quidquid sit de apocryphis et interpolatis sive litteris Pontificalibus sive actis VI Concilii, neque fides catholica, neque doctrina de infallibilitate Papae, neque etiam Honorii personalis fides in causa sunt:
1° Non fides catholica: nam Honorii litterae non directae sunt, ut regula fidei, omni Ecclesiae, et diu ignotae, fuerunt, non tantum in Occidente, sed etiam in Oriente ubi, in Concilio Constantinopolitano tantum, Episcopis innotuerunt;
2° Neque doctrina de infallibilitate Papae ex cathedra definientis: nam Honorii litterae non sunt dogmaticae et Honorius, non solum non definivit quidquam; sed, de orta questione, nihil definiendum sibi esse declaravit;
3° Nec etiam Honorii personalis fides: nam, quidquid sit de sensu proprio et naturali harum litterarum, et praesertim de sensu relativo, hic Pontifex, ob adversariorum insidias, potuit de eorum intentione decipi et non sat verborum sensum ponderasse.
Questio tota versatur in hoc scilicet: Honorius fuit ne Monothelismi fautor positivus aut negativus ?
Epistolae Leonis II Papae et Liber diurnus Romanorum Pontificum; Honorium tantum negligentia et inadvertentia peccassa videntur indicare.
Concilii autem acta dicunt eum positive heresi favisse: quia in omnibus mentem Sergii secutus fuisset et impia confirmasset dogmata. Sed forsan haec oppositio est tantum in specie. Credendum est enim Honorii litteras a summis Pontificibus intellectas fuisse in sepsu ab auctore intento; dum Concilium respexit tantum sensum litteralem et relative ad Sergii epistolas.
Circa hanc controversiam, post Sorbonicum Maretum, vehementer erravit clarissimus Dupanloup, Aurelian. Episcopus, in Observationibus de infallibilitatae Papae inopportune non definienda, et vehementius A. Gratry, abbas Academicus liberalismo, ut dicunt, nimium adductus. Quippe qui dicere non erubuit, Ecclesiam, ut Honorium excusaret, in recentibus Breviariis mentitam fuisse. Aurelianensem Episcopum confutarunt Augustin. Dechamps, Archiepiscopus Melchliniensis, Petrus Belet et Philippus Guignard, scriptores eruditi. Academicum sacerdotem Gratry contriverunt, et, ut bene dicam, iu pulverem redegerent, J. Chantrel, A. de Margerie archipresbyter Roques et doctissimus Dom. Gueranger, monasterii Solesmensis abbas. In Galaad redolent semper aromata."

There MAY be a typo or two, although I have gone through this document (Liber Quartus) several times, comparing it to the photocopy I have of the entire book. I still find typos once in a while.

I have the entire book (Liber Quartus) here in Latin. From what I have so far found, this collection of Bellarmine's work by Fevre has NEVER been translated in to any other language. I find this appalling. I WISH I was more fluent in Latin, and had enough time to translate the entire collection... :(

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Ken Gordon wrote:
Yes. The footnote is in Liber Quartus, Caput XI, and here it is in its entirety, in Latin.

"(18)Certum est: 1° extitisse apocryphorum fabricas tum Antiochiae, tum Constantinopoli, prope Ecclesiam sanctorum Joannis et Phocae; 2° Episcopos Graecos, numero 227, absque haesitatione subscripisse praetenso Concilio quini-sexto; 3° textum sextae, Synodi fuisse pluries mutatum et interpolatum, ita ut contradictionibus scateat; 4° falsariorum crimen probari, si comparantur acta VI Synodi cum vitis S. Agathonis in Libro Pontificali; 5° Romam nunquam admisisse accusationem adversus Honorium, et epistolas S. Leoni II quae damnationem fatentur, e monothelitarum fabrica exisse, quod manifestatur epocharum confusione et stupiditate dua Pontifex contradixisset S. Agathoni et Imperatori Constantino Pogonat, et scripsisset tum Quiricio Toletano a quadraginta annis mortuo, tum Simplicio, praefecto Hispano, qui nunquam exstitit. Qui plura desiderat, adeat: Annales de philosophie chrētienne, 1858, secundo tomo.
Caeterum, quidquid sit de apocryphis et interpolatis sive litteris Pontificalibus sive actis VI Concilii, neque fides catholica, neque doctrina de infallibilitate Papae, neque etiam Honorii personalis fides in causa sunt:
1° Non fides catholica: nam Honorii litterae non directae sunt, ut regula fidei, omni Ecclesiae, et diu ignotae, fuerunt, non tantum in Occidente, sed etiam in Oriente ubi, in Concilio Constantinopolitano tantum, Episcopis innotuerunt;
2° Neque doctrina de infallibilitate Papae ex cathedra definientis: nam Honorii litterae non sunt dogmaticae et Honorius, non solum non definivit quidquam; sed, de orta questione, nihil definiendum sibi esse declaravit;
3° Nec etiam Honorii personalis fides: nam, quidquid sit de sensu proprio et naturali harum litterarum, et praesertim de sensu relativo, hic Pontifex, ob adversariorum insidias, potuit de eorum intentione decipi et non sat verborum sensum ponderasse.
Questio tota versatur in hoc scilicet: Honorius fuit ne Monothelismi fautor positivus aut negativus ?
Epistolae Leonis II Papae et Liber diurnus Romanorum Pontificum; Honorium tantum negligentia et inadvertentia peccassa videntur indicare.
Concilii autem acta dicunt eum positive heresi favisse: quia in omnibus mentem Sergii secutus fuisset et impia confirmasset dogmata. Sed forsan haec oppositio est tantum in specie. Credendum est enim Honorii litteras a summis Pontificibus intellectas fuisse in sepsu ab auctore intento; dum Concilium respexit tantum sensum litteralem et relative ad Sergii epistolas.
Circa hanc controversiam, post Sorbonicum Maretum, vehementer erravit clarissimus Dupanloup, Aurelian. Episcopus, in Observationibus de infallibilitatae Papae inopportune non definienda, et vehementius A. Gratry, abbas Academicus liberalismo, ut dicunt, nimium adductus. Quippe qui dicere non erubuit, Ecclesiam, ut Honorium excusaret, in recentibus Breviariis mentitam fuisse. Aurelianensem Episcopum confutarunt Augustin. Dechamps, Archiepiscopus Melchliniensis, Petrus Belet et Philippus Guignard, scriptores eruditi. Academicum sacerdotem Gratry contriverunt, et, ut bene dicam, iu pulverem redegerent, J. Chantrel, A. de Margerie archipresbyter Roques et doctissimus Dom. Gueranger, monasterii Solesmensis abbas. In Galaad redolent semper aromata."


Thanks Ken! I don`t dare to translate this since it would be really bad... Anyone wish to translate this? :)

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
We have a partial translation, Ken. The first part is what your modern author gives, although he has paraphrased and added some data to #2 to clarify it:

"(18)Certum est: 1° extitisse apocryphorum fabricas tum Antiochiae, tum Constantinopoli, prope Ecclesiam sanctorum Joannis et Phocae; 2° Episcopos Graecos, numero 227, absque haesitatione subscripisse praetenso Concilio quini-sexto; 3° textum sextae, Synodi fuisse pluries mutatum et interpolatum, ita ut contradictionibus scateat; 4° falsariorum crimen probari, si comparantur acta VI Synodi cum vitis S. Agathonis in Libro Pontificali; 5° Romam nunquam admisisse accusationem adversus Honorium, et epistolas S. Leoni II quae damnationem fatentur, e monothelitarum fabrica exisse, quod manifestatur epocharum confusione et stupiditate dua Pontifex contradixisset S. Agathoni et Imperatori Constantino Pogonat, et scripsisset tum Quiricio Toletano a quadraginta annis mortuo, tum Simplicio, praefecto Hispano, qui nunquam exstitit.

Quote:
It is quite certain:

1) that there were specialised workshops fabricating apocryphal documents both in Antioch and in Constantinople in the surroundings of the churches dedicated to Saint John and Saint Phocas.

2) that 227 Greek bishops have, without any qualms, signed the text of the so-called "quintus-sextus" (V - VI) General Council, a wild meeting between the Fifth and the Sixth regular ones, which Rome has always considered as a “robbers' synod”, similar to the one that took place after the real Sixth synod of Constantinople, and prepared the ”canons of Trullos”, well-known because the Eastern Church has used them as an excuse to allow her priests (popes) to marry.

3) that the texts of the Sixth Synod have undergone so many mutations and interpolations that they are teeming with contradictions.

4) that forgery is patent when one compares the acts of the Sixth Synod with St. Agatho`s biography in the Pontifical Annals (Liber Pontificalis).

5) that Rome has never admitted any accusation against Honorius. The letters of Saint Leo II which divulge the condemnation have been fabricated by Monothelists. This is evident from a confusion of dates, from the stupidity of the “Pontiff” contradicting St Agatho and Emperor Constantine Pogonat, and writing to Quiricius Toletanus, who had been dead for forty years, and to Simplicius, a Spanish prefect who never existed. If you want more proofs, consult the ‘Annales de philosophic chretienne’ 1853, second volume. (given in http://www.eclipseofthechurch.com/HonoriusCalumny.htm).


The second part is a summary of the proofs that Honorius was not a heretic, did not seek to define anything, and that his letter to Sergius was orthodox anyway. The usual list and the usual proofs, as far as I can see.

There isn't much left of the case against him, is there? :)

Btw, this case is yet another illustration of the impact of Bellarmine on scholarship. His arguments and proofs are the ones everybody realised were unimpeachable and then adopted and repeated down the centuries. You can see his hand in so many theological theses in this way. What a master!

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Yes! What a master, indeed! :shock:

Believe me, even as poor as my Latin is at this point, reading Bellarmine's book IV in the Latin gives one the sense of sitting at his feet, hearing him speak.

Before beginning to read this book, I had only a very dim idea of his stature.

After digging into it, I am amazed at how little is really known of his works, and I consider that lack to be absolutely appalling.

One thing Dr. Peters mentioned in his translation of the 1917 Code was that there have been vastly more books, doctoral and masters theses, and other documents written on Canon Law in ENGLISH than in any other modern language.

This is another reason why I decry the lack of an English translation of all of Bellarmine's works.

I firmly believe we need that...especially now. :(

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
BTW reading the commentary of Card. Schuster on the 17th Sunday after Pentecost I found this:

Quote:
The passage from the Epistle to the Ephesians (IV, 1-6) vigorously impresses upon us the idea of the unity of the Christian family, a unity founded on the identity of the Spirit which inspires all the members of the mystical body of Jesus Christ. God is one, the faith is one; there is one baptism and one bishop! With these words in olden days the Romans, making a tumult in the Circus, answered the heretical Emperor Constantius, when he proposed to allow the Antipope Felix II, whom he himself had appointed, to reside in peace beside Liberius, the staunch defender of the Nicene faith


As an aside I remember we discussed before about Felix II (which according to St. Robert was Pope) but couldn´t find exactly were.

Cristian

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
BTW reading the commentary of Card. Schuster on the 17th Sunday after Pentecost I found this:

Quote:
The passage from the Epistle to the Ephesians (IV, 1-6) vigorously impresses upon us the idea of the unity of the Christian family, a unity founded on the identity of the Spirit which inspires all the members of the mystical body of Jesus Christ. God is one, the faith is one; there is one baptism and one bishop! With these words in olden days the Romans, making a tumult in the Circus, answered the heretical Emperor Constantius, when he proposed to allow the Antipope Felix II, whom he himself had appointed, to reside in peace beside Liberius, the staunch defender of the Nicene faith


As an aside I remember we discussed before about Felix II (who, according to St. Robert, was a Pope) but couldn't find exactly where.


According to what I have been able to find on this subject, Felix II WAS an antipope, but his life and death were confused for quite some time with that of a martyr, St. Felix, of which very little is known. Even the Roman Pontifical perpetuated the error, and it really wasn't cleared up until as late as 1925 or so.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Here's part of what Bellarmine says.

"In addition, unless we are to admit that Liberius defected for a time from constancy in defending the Faith, we are compelled to exclude Felix II, who held the pontificate while Liberius was alive, from the number of the Popes: but the Catholic Church venerates this very Felix as Pope and martyr. However this may be, Liberius neither taught heresy, nor was a heretic, but only sinned by external act, as did St. Marcellinus, and unless I am mistaken, sinned less than St. Marcellinus." (lib. IV, c. 9, no. 5)

Further, after explaining that Felix was for a time an antipope, he continues (no. 15): "Then two years later came the lapse of Liberius, of which we have spoken above. Then indeed the Roman clergy, stripping Liberius of his pontifical dignity, went over to Felix, whom they knew [then] to be a Catholic. From that time, Felix began to be the true Pontiff. For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic."

Ken you might want to grab the rest of the test of this section and paste it in here when you get time. No hurry! :)

The trouble with modern scholarship on points of Church history like this one seems to me to be a lack of theological formation. Bellarmine takes this case and explains it, on sound principles. Modern scholars can't grasp what happened, and so they reject Felix's status as a true pope and invent this idea that he was confused with another saint of the same name. I have always found that kind of theory absurdly unlikely. They do the same thing to St. Denis, as if the people of Paris could have conflated two men who lived two hundred years apart! Or have thought that their bishop was a Greek scholar who was converted by St. Paul when he was in fact neither.

Also, it is true that (some of) the Roman laity didn't accept Felix as pope, but the clergy did.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Here's part of what Bellarmine says.

"In addition, unless we are to admit that Liberius defected for a time from constancy in defending the Faith, we are compelled to exclude Felix II, who held the pontificate while Liberius was alive, from the number of the Popes: but the Catholic Church venerates this very Felix as Pope and martyr. However this may be, Liberius neither taught heresy, nor was a heretic, but only sinned by external act, as did St. Marcellinus, and unless I am mistaken, sinned less than St. Marcellinus." (lib. IV, c. 9, no. 5)

Further, after explaining that Felix was for a time an antipope, he continues (no. 15): "Then two years later came the lapse of Liberius, of which we have spoken above. Then indeed the Roman clergy, stripping Liberius of his pontifical dignity, went over to Felix, whom they knew [then] to be a Catholic. From that time, Felix began to be the true Pontiff. For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic."


Ah! This makes much more sense: I vaguely remembered that Felix II, although foisted on the Church by the Emperor (actually, by the Empress), was later "regularized" one way or another, and was looked upon as the true pope. However, I thought that this was after Liberius died. From what I remember, Felix II then died as a martyr for the Faith, because he opposed the Empress. However, I was also afraid I was remembering a different set of Popes. Thanks for this.

John Lane wrote:
Ken you might want to grab the rest of the text of this section and paste it in here when you get time. No hurry! :)


Will do. I will have to get it out of my 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, since St. Robert's works which contain this are still all in Latin, and I am not really competent enough to attempt to make a really good translation of it. Perhaps Christian or John Daly or Jim Larabee could attempt it sometime. I would be happy to send any or all of these folks the entire book as either an MS-Word files or a PDF.

John Lane wrote:
The trouble with modern scholarship on points of Church history like this one seems to me to be a lack of theological formation. Bellarmine takes this case and explains it, on sound principles. Modern scholars can't grasp what happened, and so they reject Felix's status as a true pope and invent this idea that he was confused with another saint of the same name. I have always found that kind of theory absurdly unlikely. They do the same thing to St. Denis, as if the people of Paris could have conflated two men who lived two hundred years apart! Or have thought that their bishop was a Greek scholar who was converted by St. Paul when he was in fact neither.


Indeed! :shock:

John Lane wrote:
Also, it is true that (some of) the Roman laity didn't accept Felix as pope, but the clergy did.


Yes. Later. Thanks for the clarification, John.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Ken Gordon wrote:
Will do. I will have to get it out of my 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, since St. Robert's works which contain this are still all in Latin, and I am not really competent enough to attempt to make a really good translation of it. Perhaps Christian or John Daly or Jim Larabee could attempt it sometime. I would be happy to send any or all of these folks the entire book as either an MS-Word files or a PDF. "


Either is fine.

One can gain an insight into the problem of modern historians by recalling that Louis Duchesne, one of the leading figures in revisionist Church history, had his book "Histoire ancienne de l'Église" placed on the Index by Pope St. Pius X. That can only mean one thing - it offended sacred doctrine in some manner or other.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Here's part of what Bellarmine says.

"In addition, unless we are to admit that Liberius defected for a time from constancy in defending the Faith, we are compelled to exclude Felix II, who held the pontificate while Liberius was alive, from the number of the Popes: but the Catholic Church venerates this very Felix as Pope and martyr. However this may be, Liberius neither taught heresy, nor was a heretic, but only sinned by external act, as did St. Marcellinus, and unless I am mistaken, sinned less than St. Marcellinus." (lib. IV, c. 9, no. 5)
Further, after explaining that Felix was for a time an antipope, he continues (no. 15): "Then two years later came the lapse of Liberius, of which we have spoken above. Then indeed the Roman clergy, stripping Liberius of his pontifical dignity, went over to Felix, whom they knew [then] to be a Catholic. From that time, Felix began to be the true Pontiff. For although Liberius was not a heretic, nevertheless he was considered one, on account of the peace he made with the Arians, and by that presumption the pontificate could rightly [merito] be taken from him: for men are not bound, or able to read hearts; but when they see that someone is a heretic by his external works, they judge him to be a heretic pure and simple [simpliciter], and condemn him as a heretic."


Well this never convinced me :)
There are several arguments here I think:

1) Regarding St. Marcellinus, in the first volume of the opera omnia, in his "recongition" of his books St Robert made a sort of retractationes and he said that St. Marcellinus didn´t sacrificed the idols (if you need the quote let me know please).

2) There is a foot note in that chapter IX of the book IV written, I guess, by Févre saying:
Quote:
"What is objected against Liberius it is very well refuted by the modern historians: in XVI cent: Deglen, in XVII: Andrea Duchesne, XVIII Cardinal Orsi; XIX by Rohrbacher, Darras and Blanc. Besides Liberius is defended in some special works by Frs. Corgne, by the very much learned Zaccarias, and by Stilting. Finally many things may be found in the Gallandi Bibliotheca Patrum; in Joseph de Maistre: The Pope and the Gallican church; In Béchillon, in Constant: history of the infallibility of the Pope, in Reinerding which responds to the objections of Dollinger, Schneemann and Hefele; and in Dumont".


3) I read also somewhere (DTC? DAFC?) the same as Ken said regarding that it was confused with some martyr called Felix, but I didn´t know about that of Pius XI modifying it. Any quote would be appreciated :)

4) He says that "Liberius did 2 bad things: he excommunicated St. Athanasius and was in communion with heretics". I wonder if these 2 things are proven or were invented by the enemies of Liberius?

5) St. Robert says he lost the pontificate because of a "presumption" but after saying he was not heretic but this is really weird... nowhere in the Catholic theology is said that a Pope may lose the pontificate because of a "presumption". You lose it by: death, (express) renunciation, public heresy (tacit renunciation) and habitual lose of reason.

"Presumption is the logical consequence that either the law or the judge deduce from a certain fact in order to probe an uncertain fact, based in the relation it usually exists among them. The fact in which the presumption is based is called evidence (indicium in latin)" (Commentary of canon 1825 in BAC). Now the known fact here are two according to St Robert: that he excommunicated St. Athanasius and that he was in communion with heretics, none of them are certain as far as I know, and if they are not certain they can´t be an indicium.
I´ll quote McDevitt on this saying that canon 188 is not a presumption, but I´ll do it later.

Quote:
The trouble with modern scholarship on points of Church history like this one seems to me to be a lack of theological formation. Bellarmine takes this case and explains it, on sound principles. Modern scholars can't grasp what happened, and so they reject Felix's status as a true pope and invent this idea that he was confused with another saint of the same name. I have always found that kind of theory absurdly unlikely. They do the same thing to St. Denis, as if the people of Paris could have conflated two men who lived two hundred years apart! Or have thought that their bishop was a Greek scholar who was converted by St. Paul when he was in fact neither.


I see your point John but I guess St Robert had to face the fact that Felix II was (is?) venerated as Pope and had to explain it somehow, and, to be fair, he didn´t convince me. :)

Cristian

I just edited 2 little mistakes.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Ken Gordon wrote:
I would be happy to send any or all of these folks the entire book as either an MS-Word files or a PDF.



Do you have St Robert in word file???

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Well this never convinced me :)


That's because you don't understand it. :)

It isn't easy to understand.

The key thing to keep in mind is that the Church is not just the pope, it's all the Catholics, and the chief part is the clergy taken collectively. The Church is governed by public things, not private things. What is in the external forum is therefore primary and sufficient. What St. Robert is saying is that if there is a sound basis for the judgement that the Roman Pontiff has lost the faith, then it is open to the clergy to reject him and choose another, certainly Catholic, pope. In this case Liberius was not certainly a Catholic, as far as could be judged externally, and a doubtful pope is no pope. Felix II was certainly a Catholic, so he could be chosen.

Read the following from Wernz-Vidal concerning doubtful popes. Note the principle upon which it rests - the requirement for certitude, based upon what is in the external forum, for a claim to authority to be accepted.

Quote:
454. Scholion.

The ancient authors everywhere admitted the axiom, 'Papa dubius est papa nullus' [i.e. 'A doubtful pope is no pope'], and applied it to solve the difficulties which arose from the Great Western Schism. Now this axiom could have several meanings. For instance 'a doubtful pope' could be understood not negatively, but positively - i.e. in the sense that would apply when, after a careful examination of the fact, competent men in the Catholic Church would pronounce: 'The validity of the canonical election of this Roman pontiff is uncertain.' Moreover, the words 'No pope' are not necessarily understood of a pope who has previously been received as certain and undoubted by the whole Church, but concerning whose election so many difficulties are subsequently brought to light that he becomes 'a doubtful pope' so that he would thereby forfeit the pontifical power already obtained.

This understanding of the axiom concerning 'a doubtful pope' should be reproved, because the whole Church cannot entirely fall away from a Roman pontiff who has been legitimately elected, on account of the unity promised to His Church by Christ. But the other part of this axiom could have the meaning that a Roman pontiff whose canonical election is uncertain and remains subject to positive and solid doubts after studious examination, absolutely never did acquire also the papal jurisdiction from Christ the Lord. For this reason the bishops gathered together in a general council, in the event that they subject to examination a doubtful case of this kind, do not pronounce judgement on a true pope, since the person in question lacks the papal jurisdiction. Now if the axiom be understood in this last sense, the doctrine which it contains is entirely sound. Indeed this is what is deduced in the first place from the very nature of jurisdiction. For jurisdiction is essentially a relation between a superior who has the right to obedience and a subject who has the duty of obeying. Now when one of the parties to this relationship is wanting, the other necessarily ceases to exist also, as is plain from the nature of the relationship. However, if a pope is truly and permanently doubtful, the duty of obedience cannot exist towards him on the part of any subject. For the law, 'Obedience is owed to the legitimately-elected successor of St. Peter,' does not oblige if it is doubtful; and it most certainly is doubtful if the law has been doubtfully promulgated, for laws are instituted when they are promulgated, and without sufficient promulgation they lack a constitutive part, or essential condition. But if the fact of the legitimate election of a particular successor of St. Peter is only doubtfully demonstrated, the promulgation is doubtful; hence that law is not duly and objectively constituted of its necessary parts, and it remains truly doubtful and therefore cannot impose any obligation. Indeed it would be rash to obey such a man who had not proved his title in law. Nor could appeal be made to the principle of possession, for the case in question is that of a Roman pontiff who is not yet in peaceful possession. Consequently in such a person there would be no right of command - i.e. he would lack papal jurisdiction.

The same conclusion is confirmed on the basis of the visibility of the Church. For the visibility of the Church consists in the fact that she possesses such signs and identifying marks that, when moral diligence is used, she can be recognised and discerned, especially on the part of her legitimate officers. But in the supposition we are considering, the pope cannot be found even after diligent examination. The conclusion is therefore correct that such a doubtful pope is not the proper head of the visible Church instituted by Christ. Nor is such a doubtful pope any less compatible with the unity of the Church, which would be in the highest degree prejudiced in the case of the body being perfectly separated from its head. For a doubtful pope has no right of commanding and therefore there is no obligation of obedience on the part of the faithful. Hence in such a case the head would be perfectly separated from the rest of the body of the Church. Cf. Suarez, De Fide, Disp.10, sect.6, n.4, 19.


Now, these canonists, Wernz and Vidal, do not agree with St. Robert Bellarmine in part. They do not agree that the principle "a doubtful pope is no pope" can be applied properly to the Great Western Schism. You can look this up if you like, and it is a legitimate controversy. Wernz-Vidal give these authors against Bellarmine: "This application made, for instance, by Bellarmine and Suarez and others has now been justifiably contradicted by Ballerini, Phillips, Bauer, Cardinal Hergenroether, Cardinal Franzelin, de Ecclesia, p.233 sq. Cf. also Bouix, De Papa, t.II p.673 sq.; Billot, De Ecclesia, p.134 sq."

I am not convinced by the view of Wernz and Vidal. I don't know what Billot says. I don't care what Bouix says. :)

On the same difference of opinion would turn the question of Felix II. Bellarmine's explanation would be rejected by Wernz and Vidal. But their own principles, which I think are absolutely sound, support his conclusion. The reason that they restrict the application to cases of elections is because of another principle, which is as follows: "This understanding of the axiom concerning 'a doubtful pope' should be reproved, because the whole Church cannot entirely fall away from a Roman pontiff who has been legitimately elected, on account of the unity promised to His Church by Christ."

Against this, I cite the authority of St. Robert Bellarmine and I argue that this doctrine is a novelty. Bellarmine's doctrine does not involve any harm to the unity of the Church, since it merely says that the man who was pope ceases to be so, not secretly, but publicly, and therefore the unity of the Church, which is visible and perennially perfect, is unaffected.

Quote:
1) Regarding St. Marcellinus, in the first volume of the opera omnia, in his "recongition" of his books St Robert made a sort of retractationes and he said that St. Marcellinus didn´t sacrificed the idols (if you need the quote let me know please).


No, that's fine. It's merely a question of fact, and it doesn't affect any principle as far as I can see. if you disagree, then we'll need to discuss it.

Quote:
5) St. Robert says he lost the pontificate because of a "presumption" but after saying he was not heretic but this is really weird... nowhere in the Catholic theology is said that a Pope may lose the pontificate because of a "presumption". You lose it by: death, (express) renunciation, public heresy (tacit renunciation) and habitual lose of reason.

"Presumption is the logical consequence that either the law or the judge deduce from a certain fact in order to probe an uncertain fact, based in the relation it usually exists among them. The fact in which the presumption is based is called evidence (indicium in latin)" (Commentary of canon 1825 in BAC). Now the known fact here are two according to St Robert: that he excommunicated St. Athanasius and that he was in communion with heretics, none of them are certain as far as I know, and if they are not certain they can´t be an indicium.
I´ll quote McDevitt on this saying that canon 188 is not a presumption, but I´ll do it later.


No, the canon is not describing a presumption. It's describing divine law. St. Robert called the judgement of the Roman Clergy a "presumption" because it is a judgement in the external forum of something which is in reality internal and therefore cannot be known directly. All judgements of heresy are presumptions in this sense. Moral certitude is precisely of this character.

Quote:
Moral certitude is the unwavering assent of the mind to what expresses the normal mode of human conduct. Thus we have moral certitude that a mother will love her child. It is to be noted in passing that the expressions, "It is morally certain," and "It is a moral certainty" are "newspaper English" for a greater or lesser degree of "probability." These expressions, as used casually in unscientific speech, are not to be confused with the terms moral certitude and morally certain, used in Criteriology. For these terms do not indicate a mere opinion, however probable, but true certitude, a full and unwavering assent of the mind upon evidence taken from the normal human mode of action, evidence which the mind finds sufficient to win its full assent.
...
Another phase of moral certitude is that which the mind achieves by adverting to the evidence of normal human conduct in the circumstances. If I am in doubt whether a bill is paid; if I can find no evidence in writing that it was or was not paid; then I consider the character of the debtor, and the character of the creditor. I find that the debtor is scrupulously honest. I find that the creditor is exact in keeping accounts. By the evidence of these facts, by the evidence of what an honest debtor and a business-like creditor would normally do in the circumstances, I can arrive at moral certainty that the bill was paid. But if I an unable to determine the issue by such investigation; if the character of the debtor and the creditor leave me in doubt about the bill, then I fall back upon a reflex principle, viz., "A law of doubtful application cannot bind to certain obligation." This principle expresses the normal, sane view of prudent men; it is a dictum of common human sense. Hence, direct methods failing, I may resolve my doubt by invoking this reflex principle and may achieve moral certitude thereby.

From: http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/certainty.html


Now St. Robert is applying this principle of moral certitude in the reverse, in the sense that he is saying that the claim to the papacy requires certitude, and in the case of Liberius that certitude fell away. He does this because of the principle enunciated by Wernz-Vidal, which is that only a certain law binds, and in the case of a claim to the papacy this is the relevant principle. So, the conclusion:

The Roman Clergy chose another pope because the required certitude of Liberius's status was now lacking.

You still might not agree with this reasoning, but I hope you understand it better. Let me know if anything is not clear.

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
I should add that I find Wernz and Vidal's last paragraph unclear.

Quote:
The same conclusion is confirmed on the basis of the visibility of the Church. For the visibility of the Church consists in the fact that she possesses such signs and identifying marks that, when moral diligence is used, she can be recognised and discerned, especially on the part of her legitimate officers. But in the supposition we are considering, the pope cannot be found even after diligent examination. The conclusion is therefore correct that such a doubtful pope is not the proper head of the visible Church instituted by Christ. Nor is such a doubtful pope any less compatible with the unity of the Church, which would be in the highest degree prejudiced in the case of the body being perfectly separated from its head. For a doubtful pope has no right of commanding and therefore there is no obligation of obedience on the part of the faithful. Hence in such a case the head would be perfectly separated from the rest of the body of the Church. Cf. Suarez, De Fide, Disp.10, sect.6, n.4, 19.


The first half of it is clear, down to the conclusion, "The conclusion is therefore correct that such a doubtful pope is not the proper head of the visible Church instituted by Christ." And in fact this argument is supportive of Bellarmine's position.

The remainder is unclear. Let's take it sentence by sentence.

"Nor is such a doubtful pope any less compatible with the unity of the Church, which would be in the highest degree prejudiced in the case of the body being perfectly separated from its head."

If they mean, "Nor is such a thesis concerning the case of a doubtful pope any less compatible with the unity of the Church..." then that makes sense, but not otherwise.

"For a doubtful pope has no right of commanding and therefore there is no obligation of obedience on the part of the faithful."

This is clear as it stands, and is just the restatement of the fundamental principle enunciated above.

"Hence in such a case the head would be perfectly separated from the rest of the body of the Church."

This is completely baffling. I can only imagine that it is meant to read something like, "Hence in such a case the head would not be perfectly separated from the rest of the body of the Church, because there is no visible head." But I'm not sure.

JS Daly did the translation and I don't have access to the original. Does anybody have access to the Latin?

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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
If I don´t get something wrong, then I think Mr. Daly´s translation is correct (it would be surprising if it could be otherwise).


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Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:45 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
John Lane wrote:
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Well this never convinced me :)


That's because you don't understand it. :)



That´s a very good reason :)

Quote:
It isn't easy to understand.


Indeed! I´ll try to respond this in the next coming days. I´m working on it!

Quote:
1) Regarding St. Marcellinus, in the first volume of the opera omnia, in his "recongition" of his books St Robert made a sort of retractationes and he said that St. Marcellinus didn´t sacrificed the idols (if you need the quote let me know please).

No, that's fine. It's merely a question of fact, and it doesn't affect any principle as far as I can see. if you disagree, then we'll need to discuss it.


True, it is not essential to the issue in question, I just wanted to point out that fact about St. Marcellinus :)


Quote:
You still might not agree with this reasoning, but I hope you understand it better. Let me know if anything is not clear.


Yes to the first 2 :) and no, I don´t think it is necessary any clarification, your point is very clear :)

Cristian

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Leon Bloy


Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:38 am
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New post Re: Pope Honorius and Pope Liberius
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
your point is very clear :)


Well that is a relief. I didn't understand this particular point myself for years, and I have never seen any explanation of it, so it is good if at least it can be explained clearly.

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Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:21 am
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