by Dr Clive Gillis
On Tuesday October 21st 1890, HRH Prince
Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900), who had just been appointed
Commander-in-Chief at Devonport, unveiled the monument to the Armada
on Plymouth Hoe.
The date was the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. On the
south face of the monument were inscribed the words “He blew with
His winds, and they were scattered,” reproduced from the reverse of
the famous Armada medal of Elizabeth 1.
But the end is not yet. The fight against Rome continues.
Sixteen years earlier, in the same city
of Plymouth, so rich in Protestant history, the Rev William
Harris Rule had written in the preface to his two volume History
of the Inquisition:
“All churches that have lost the
Spirit of Christ are given to persecute, but no church on earth
except the Church of Rome, has had a separate institution for
the inquest and punishment of heresy, with a peculiar code of
laws and appointed courts, judges and officers. This and this
only is the INQUISITION”.
William Rule was writing in the
age of revolutions, when Rome’s temporal power was being overthrown.
“I am no longer predicting a speedy
extinction of it everywhere, as when I wrote my last preface,
but have the happiness of recording the accomplished fact”.
It is true that the dungeons, torture
chambers, prisons and great public burnings may have gone, but
Rome’s persecuting spirit still emanates from the same building that
it did in Rule’s time.
The illustration in Rule’s first volume is a view of the façade of
the Inquisition. We reproduce it alongside the only view available
to the public today, that is, with the photographer’s back to the
Bernini colonnades, looking through the twenty foot high, massively
fortified, steel barrier, manned by the Swiss guard. Rule’s
photograph shows the identical building from with Vatican City,
looking back to the Bernini colonnades, with no barrier.
Far from having become a museum or art
gallery this building is still the nerve centre of Rome’s
persecuting endeavors, now heavily fortified.
“is become the habitation of devils,
and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean
and hateful bird”.
Hence the fate of erring Romish
Chief Inquisitor Prefect
Ratzinger, is of
no particular interest to us except to show that the Spirit of
Inquisition lives on today.
In the middle ages, familiars, or Inquisition spies, reported
heretics who were secretly investigated and then forcibly detained
without stated reason, to face the Inquisitors. Amazingly this
pattern is still followed. Any Romanist can denounce any other to
the Inquisition confidentially. Those being investigated are only
informed officially at a late stage.
One theologian only discovered that he
was being investigated when a colleague informed him that he was
requested immediately to return copies of his books to the Gregorian
Pontifical University in Rome, because the Inquisition needed them.
The Ratio agendi (Manner of proceeding) against heretics
published at Rome, by the Inquisition on June 29, 1997, is on the
official Vatican website. The Vatican makes no secret of the threat
it poses to heretic transgressors.
“has the duty of examining writings
and opinions which appear contrary to correct faith or dangerous
… This fundamental pastoral responsibility concerns all the
pastors of the Church, who have the duty and the right to
exercise vigilance,” or, in other words, spy on one another.
This “vigilance” leads to a Preliminary
“The indicated writings or teaching
are given attention by the competent Office, which submits them
to the examination of the Congresso (the weekly meeting
of the Superiors and Officials of the Congregation). After a
preliminary evaluation of the gravity of the question, the
Congresso decides whether or not to undertake a study by the
The Office study follows. The
theologian’s work is then,
“carefully examined with the
collaboration of one or more Consultors or other experts in the
If they decide a witch-hunt is in order
the Ordinary procedure of examination commences.
Those found heretical then face Disciplinary measures. No longer
physically burnt at the stake, Rome does the worst she can.
author has not corrected the indicated errors in a satisfactory way
and with adequate publicity, and the Sessione Ordinaria has
concluded that he has committed the offense of heresy, apostasy or
schism, the Congregation proceeds to declare the latae sententiae
penalties incurred; against such a declaration no recourse is
This usually means that their license to teach in Romanist
universities is withdrawn and since heresy taints by association
they are shunned by colleagues.
As in the Middle Ages the process
is exquisitely slow and laborious leaving victims in suspense for
years. A story once leaked out from the Inquisition that a baby was
found in its corridors.
Ratzinger was horrified but he was
reassured by a junior Inquisitor that anything conceived within
their walls could never reach fruition in only nine months!
As far as Protestants are concerned, the Inquisition marked the year
2000 Jubilee by reaffirming Rome’s unique “salvific” position. The
Inquisition’s Declaration was entitled
Dominus Iesus. It was ratified by the Pope in June and published by the
Inquisition in August.
The English edition of the Vatican
newspaper L’Osservatore Romano issued the full text as a
special supplement to an edition which also covered the
beatification of Pius IX, the Pope who affirmed papal infallibility
This appeared under the sub headline,
“Pius IX gave absolute primacy to
God and spiritual values”.
The insert was lavishly illustrated with
early icons of a severe looking Christ. L’Osservatore
pointedly included one from the national Museum of LVIV in the
Ukraine, the heartland of the battle between the Latin Rite and
Russian Orthodox churches.
Dominus Iesus granted “sister church” status to the Eastern
Orthodox Churches but “on the other hand” denied that Protestant
churches are true Churches. Ratzinger held a Vatican press
conference on September 5th.
He is reported as saying,
“the document was a necessary
response to the theology of religious pluralism, which is
growing not only in theological circles, but also more generally
in Catholic public opinion… there is a growing body of opinion
suggesting that other religions can offer an important
complement to the teachings of Christianity.”
“The cardinal pointed out that many people today view the
(Roman) Church’s traditional claim to be the unique and
universals means to salvation as a bit of fundamentalism which
is an attack on the modern spirit and a menace to toleration and
liberty. Because of that attitude, he continued, many people see
ecumenical dialogue as an end in itself. Dialogue – or rather
the ideology of dialogue – becomes a substitute for missionary
activity and for the urgency of an appeal to conversion.”
Rome accepts nothing less than
capitulation to herself, something the ecumenists will one day
discover for themselves.
“This mistaken notion of dialogue …
emphasizes not a search for objective and absolute truth, but a
desire to put all religious beliefs on the same plane. And such
dialogue gives rise to a false idea of tolerance, which allows
respect for other beliefs because it rejects the possibility of
any objective truth”.
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone,
Secretary to the Inquisition, observed that,
“Dominus Iesus does not contain any
new teaching, but reaffirms and restates the doctrine of the
Catholic faith in answer to contemporary problems and theories.”
(See Unum Sanctum in below insert)
Boniface VIII - Unum Sanctum
November 18, 1302
This Papal Bull brought forth by Boniface VIII
stated the Papal Throne's power over all men and the
Divine origins of that very same power. It was
somewhat a response to Philip le Bel's refusal to
accept Boniface VIII Papal supremecy.
Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to
maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and
also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we
confess with simplicity that outside of her there is
neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the
Spouse in the Canticles proclaims: "One is my dove,
my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of
her who bore her," and she represents one sole
mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of
Christ is God.
In her then is one
Lord, one faith, one baptism . There had been at the
time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring
the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a
single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e.,
Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all
that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.
We venerate this Church as one, the Lord having said
by the mouth of the prophet: "Deliver, O God, my
soul from the sword and my only one from the hand of
the dog." He has prayed for his soul, that is for
himself, heart and body; and this body, that is to
say, the Church, He has called one because of the
unity of the Spouse, of the faith, of the
sacraments, and of the charity of the Church.
This is the tunic of
the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was not rent but
which was cast by lot . Therefore, of the one and
only Church there is one body and one head, not two
heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar
of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter, since
the Lord speaking to Peter Himself said: "Feed my
sheep" [Jn 21:17], meaning, my sheep in general, not
these, nor those in particular, whence we understand
that He entrusted all to him . Therefore, if the
Greeks or others should say that they are not
confided to Peter and to his successors, they must
confess not bei ng the sheep of Christ, since Our
Lord says in John "there is one sheepfold and one
We are informed by the
texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its
power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the
temporal. For when the Apostles say: "Behold, here
are two swords" that is to say, in the Church, since
the Apostles were speaking, the Lord did not reply
that there were too many, but sufficient. Certainly
the one who denies that the temporal sword is in the
power of Peter has not listened well to the word of
the Lord commanding: "Put up thy sword into thy
scabbard". Both, therefore, are in the power of the
Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the
material sword, but the former is to be administered
for the Church but the latter by the Church; the
former in the hands of the priest; the latter by the
hands of kings and soldiers, but at the will and
sufferance of the priest.
However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the
other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual
power. For since the Apostle said: "There is no
power except from God and the things that are, are
ordained of God", but they would not be ordained if
one sword were not subordinated to the other and if
the inferior one, as it were, were not led upwards
by the other.
For, according to the Blessed Dionysius, it is a law
of the divinity that the lowest things reach the
highest place by intermediaries. Then, according to
the order of the universe, all things are not led
back to order equally and immediately, but the
lowest by the intermediary, and the inferior by the
superior. Hence we must recognize the more clearly
that spiritual power surpasses in dignity and in
nobility any temporal power whatever, as spiritual
things surpass the temporal.
This we see very
clearly also by the payment, benediction, and
consecration of the tithes, but the acceptance of
power itself and by the government even of things.
For with truth as our witness, it belongs to
spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power
and to pass judgment if it has not been good. Thus
is accomplished the prophecy of Jeremias concerning
the Church and the ecclesiastical power: "Behold
today I have placed you over nations, and over
kingdoms" and the rest.
Therefore, if the
terrestrial power err, it will be judged by the
spiritual power; but if a minor spiritual power err,
it will be judged by a superior spiritual power; but
if the highest power of all err, it can be judged
only by God, and not by man, according to the
testimony of the Apostle: "The spiritual man judgeth
of all things and he himself is judged by no man".
however, (though it has been given to man and is
exercised by man), is not human but rather divine,
granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to
him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter
confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself,
"Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound
also in Heaven" etc., [Mt 16:19]. Therefore whoever
resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the
ordinance of God, unless he invent like Manicheus
two beginnings, which is false and judged by us
heretical, since according to the testimony of
Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the
beginning that God created heaven and earth.
declare, we proclaim, we define that it is
absolutely necessary for salvation that every human
creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
“He emphasized that because it comes
from the Holy See, with the explicit authorization of the Pope,
the document must be viewed as the teaching of the Magisterium
(the body of teaching of the infallible popes), rather than just
another theological opinion.”
The “Sister” status of the Eastern Orthodox Churches was soon the
subject of a clarifying Note by Ratzinger on the 14th September
2000, intended to harden the position against “ambiguities”.
The Orthodox must accept the papal
primacy to become part the true (Roman) Church, and the term
“Sister” must never be used of Protestant churches. Interviewed on
22nd September by Frank-furter Allgemeine he spoke more
When asked to comment upon the fact
“the ecclesial status of Anglicans
and Protestants is not acknowledged” in Dominus Iesus he replied
that during the Jubilee he aimed to bring “what is essential
firmly to the centre of this occasion”.
He was then asked to comment on,
“The fact is that the Evangelical
side now considers the definition ecclesial community an
offence. The harsh reactions to your document are clear proof of
“I find the claim of our Lutheran
friends frankly absurd, that we are to consider these structures
(the Reformed Churches), resulting from chance historical
events, (to be) the Church in the same way (that) we believe
(that) the (Roman) Catholic Church founded on the apostolic
succession…. is the Church”.
He also quoted Luther’s condemnation of
the Roman Church as the Antichrist in such a convoluted way that one
felt he was implying the exact reverse. He went on to affirm the
Bible can only be truly interpreted by Rome.
A rumor in 1996 hinted that John Paul II wanted to rescind the
excommunication of Luther, but that Ratzinger personally blocked it.
Ratzinger is certainly on record in 1998
as confirming that “the anathemas leveled at Lutherans by the
Council of Trent are still in force”. Readers will recall the
negotiations upon the doctrine of justification by faith between the
Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation at that time, leading to
the Joint Declaration of the 25th June 1998.
Readers may also recall the subsequent
bizarre Vatican Response document backtracking on the core points. Ratzinger is generally believed to be the prime mover behind the
Response, despite his protestation that it is a “smooth lie” that he
wished to strangle the Joint Declaration at birth.
A compromise was reached in this murky
affair when Ratzinger took a leading role in producing an Annex
document which was designed to save everyone’s face whilst ensuring
that the final agreement was on his own carefully worded terms.
Rome – Always
1300 AD Unum Sanctum…
Consequently we declare assert define and pronounce that to
be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every creature
necessary to Salvation… promulgated November 18, 1302
2000 AD Dominus Iesus: On the
Unity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and
the Church. IV. Unicity and Unity of the Church
16. “The Catholic faithful
are required to profess (italics Rome’s) that there is
an historical continuity – rooted in the apostolic
succession – between the Church founded by Christ and
the Catholic Church: This is the single Church of Christ
… (which) … continues to exist fully only in the (Roman)
Catholic Church … This Church, constituted and organized
as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit
in) the (Roman) Catholic Church, governed by the
Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with
17. “Therefore there exists
a single Church of Christ which subsists in the (Roman)
Catholic Church governed by the successor of Peter … The
(Eastern Orthodox) Churches while not existing in
perfect communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church
remain united … by apostolic succession a valid
Eucharist (Mass) and are true particular (disobedient)
Churches … since they do not accept the (Roman) Catholic
doctrine of the Primacy (of the Pope of Rome) which
according to the will of God the Bishop of Rome
objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.
“On the other hand the ecclesial
communities (Protestant heretics) which have not preserved
the valid Episcopate and genuine and integral substance of
the eucharistic mystery (Mass) are not churches in the
proper sense …”
23. The intention of the
present declaration, in reiterating and clarifying
certain truths of the faith, has been to follow the
example of the Apostle Paul, who wrote to the faithful
of Corinth: “I handed on to you as of first importance
what I myself received” (I Cor 15:3). Faced with certain
problematic and even erroneous propositions, theological
reflection is called to reconfirm the Church’s faith and
to give reasons for her hope in a way that is convincing
In treating the question of the true religion, the
Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught: We believe
that this one true religion continues to exist in the
Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus
entrusted the task of spreading it among all people.
Thus, He said to the Apostles: “Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”.
(Mt 28:19-20) Especially in those things that concern
God and His Church, all persons are required to seek the
truth, and when they come to know it, to embrace it and
hold fast to it.
The revelation of Christ will continue to be the true
lodestar in history for all humanity: The truth, which
is Christ, imposes itself as an all-embracing authority.
The Christian mystery, in fact, overcomes all barriers
of time and space, and accomplishes the unity of the
human family: From their different locations and
traditions all are called in Christ to share in the
unity of the family of God’s children.... Jesus destroys
the walls of division and creates unity in a new and
unsurpassed way through our sharing in His mystery.
unity is so deep that the Church can say with Saint
Paul: “You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but
you are saints and members of the household of God".
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul
II, at the audience of June 16, 2000, granted to the
undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, with sure knowledge and by his
apostolic authority, ratified and confirmed this
declaration, adopted in plenary session and ordered its
Rome, from the Offices of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
August 6, 2000
the Feast of the Transfiguration
of the Lord