December 14, 2015
This is an excellent excerpt from one of
the premier historians of the Roman Catholic Empire, Avro Manhattan
in his book, "The
Vatican Billions". In it, he chronicles how
the Roman Catholic Church has claimed rights over all
kingdoms and all lands since the days of the "Donation of
Like many Vatican documents, completely made up out of thin air
by one Pope or another. This is untold history that all need to
disseminate and pass on as to the true owners and rulers of their
Avro Manhattan was the world's
foremost authority on Roman Catholicism in politics.
A resident of London, during WW II he
operated a radio station called "Radio Freedom" broadcasting to
occupied Europe. He was the author of over 20 books including the
The Vatican in World Politics, twice Book-of-the-Month
and going through 57 editions.
"It is wrong to show ignorance of
the origin of things and to imagine that the Apostolic See's
rule over secular matters dates only from Constantine. Before
him this power was already in the Holy See.
Constantine merely resigned into the hands of the Church a power
which he used without right when he was outside her pale. Once
admitted into the Church, he obtained, by the concession of the
vicar of Christ, authority which only then became legitimate."
Pope Innocent IV
Claims Ownership of the Western World
The establishment of the Papal States provided the Roman Catholic
Church with a territorial and juridical base of paramount
From then on it enables her to launch
upon the promotion of an ever bolder policy directed at the
accelerated acquisition of additional lands, additional gold, and
the additional status, prestige and power that went with them.
The Emperor Charlemagne had not, in fact, turned his back on
Rome after recognizing
Pepin's Donation, but Pope
Hadrian I in A.D. 774 presented him with a copy of the
Donation of Constantine.
This was reputed to be the grant by Constantine of immense
possessions and vast territories to the Church. It was another papal
forgery. Whereas the letter from Peter had been a forgery by Pope
Stephen, the Donation of Constantine was one by Pope Hadrian I.
The Donation of Constantine had tremendous influence upon the
territorial acquisition and claims of the papacy, and a cursory
glance at its origins, contents, and meaning will help to elucidate
The Donation was preceded and followed by various papally forged
documents on the level of the Blessed Peter's missive. Like the
latter, their specific objective was to give power, territory and
wealth to the popes. Thus, soon after Pepin's death, for instance, a
document appeared on the scene which was a detailed narrative put
into the mouth of the dead Pepin himself.
In it Pepin related, in somewhat
extravagant Latin, what had passed between himself and the pope,
"the successor of the Turnkey of
Heaven, the Blessed Peter".
His disclosure was meant as proof that
he had donated to the pope, not only Rome and the Papal States
already mentioned, but also Istria, Venetia and indeed the whole of
Not content with the Papal States and the new regions acquired, the
popes now wanted even more, thus proving the accuracy of the old
saying that the appetite increases with the eating.
They set themselves to expand even
further their ownership of additional territories. They concluded
that the newly born Papal States, although of such considerable
size, were too small for the pope, the representatives of the
These territories had to be extended to match Peter's spiritual
Something incontrovertible by which the
popes would be unequivocally granted the ownership of whole kingdoms
and empires had, therefore, become a necessity.
At this point this most spectacular of all forgeries makes its
the Donation of Constantine.
Purporting to have been written by the
Emperor Constantine himself, it emerged from nowhere.
The document with one master stroke put
the popes above kings, emperors and nations, made them the legal
heirs to the territory of the Roman Empire, which it granted to
them, lock stock, and barrel, and gave to St. Peter - or rather to
St. Silvester and his successors - all lands to the West and beyond,
indeed, all lands of the planet.
The document was a sum of the previous forgeries, but unlike past
fabrications it was definite, precise and spoke in no uncertain
terms of the spiritual and political supremacy which the popes had
been granted as their inalienable right. The significance and
consequences of its appearance were portentous for the whole western
The social structure and political framework of the Middle Ages were
molded and shaped by its contents.
With it the papacy, having made its boldest attempt at world
dominion, succeeded in placing itself above the civil authorities of
Europe, claiming to be the real possessor of lands ruled by Western
potentates, and the supreme arbiter of the political life of all
In view of the profound repercussions of this famous forgery, the
most spectacular in the annals of Christianity, it might be useful
to glance at its main clauses:
Constantine desires to promote
the Chair of Peter over the Empire and its seat on earth by
on it imperial power and honor.
The Chair of Peter shall have
supreme authority over all churches in the world.
It shall be judge in all that
concerns the service of God and the Christian faith.
Instead of the diadem which the
Emperor wished to place on the pope's head, but which the
pope refused, Constantine had given to him and to this
successors the phrygium - that is, the tirara and the lorum
which adorned the emperor's neck, as well as the other
gorgeous robes and insignia of the imperial dignity.
The Roman clergy shall enjoy the
high privileges of the Imperial Senate, being eligible to
the dignity of patrician and having the right to wear
decorations worn by the nobles under the Empire.
The offices of cubicularii,
ostiarii, and excubitae shall belong to the Roman Church.
The Roman clergy shall ride on
horses decked with white coverlets, and, like the Senate,
wear white sandals.
If a member of the Senate shall
wish to take orders, and the pope consents, no one shall
Constantine gives up the
remaining sovereignty over Rome, the provinces, cities and
towns of the whole of Italy or of the Western Regions, to
Pope Silvester and his successors.
With the first clause the pope became
legally the successor of Constantine:
that is, the heir to the Roman
With the second he was made the absolute
head of al Christendom, East and West, and indeed of all the
churches of the world. With the third he was made the only judge
with regard to Christian beliefs.
Thus anyone or any church disagreeing
with him became heretic, with all the dire spiritual and temporal
results of this. With the fourth the pope surrounded himself with
the splendor and the insignia of the imperial office, as the
external representation of his imperial status.
With the fifth the whole Roman clergy was placed on the same level
as the senators, patricians and nobles of the Empire. By virture of
this clause, the Roman clergy became entitled to the highest title
of honor which the emperors granted to certain preeminent members of
the civil and military aristocracy, the ranks of patrician and
consul being at that time the highest at which human ambition could
The sixth and seventh clauses, seemingly irrelevant, were very
For the popes, by claiming to be
attended by gentlemen of the bedchamber, doorkeepers and bodyguards
(cubiculari, ostiarli, etc.) emphasized their parity with the
Emperors, as preciously only the latter had this right.
The same applies to the claim that Roman
clergy should have the privilege of decking their horses with white
coverings, which in the eighth century was a privilege of
The eighth clause simply put the Senate at the mercy of the pope.
Finally the ninth, the most important
and the one with the greatest consequences in Western history, made
the pope the territorial sovereign of Rome, Italy and the Western
Regions; that is to say, of Constantine's Empire, which comprised
France, Spain, Britain and indeed the whole territory of Europe and
By virtue of the Donation of Constantine, therefore, the Roman
Empire became a fief of the papacy, while the Emperors turned into
vassals and the popes into suzerains.
Their age old dream, the Roman dominion, became a reality, but a
reality in which it was no longer the Vicars of Christ what were
subject to the Emperors, but the Emperors who were subject to the
Vicars of Christ.
The early concrete result of the
Donation thus was to give a legal basis to the territorial
acquisitions of the popes, granted them by Pepin and Charlemagne.
Whereas Pepin and Charlemagne had established them sovereigns de
facto, the Donation of Constantine made them sovereigns de jure - a
very important distinction and of paramount importance in the claim
for future possessions.
It is very significant that it was after the appearance of the
Donation under Pope Hadrian (c774) that the papal chancery
ceased to date documents and letters by the regnal years of the
Emperors of Constantinople, substituting those of Hadrian's
Although there are no proofs that the document was fabricated by the
pope himself, yet it is beyond dispute that the style of the
Donation is that of the papal chancery in the middle of the eight
century. The fact, moreover, that the document first appeared at the
Abbey of St. Denis, where Pope Stephen spent the winter of
754, is additional proof that the pope was personally implicated in
Indeed, although here again there is no direct evidence, it is
supposed that the Donation was forged as early as 753 and was
brought by Pope Stephen II to the Court of Pepin in 754, in order to
persuade that monarch to endow the popes with their first
Once the Papal States came into being, the document was concealed
until it was thought that it could be used with his son, Charlemange,
who had succeeded his father.
The first spectacular materialization of the Donation was seen not
many years after its first appearance, when Charlemagne, the most
potent monarch of the Middle Ages, granted additional territories to
the Papal States and went to Rome to be solemnly crowned in St.
Peter's by Pope Leo, as the first Emperor of the Holy Roman
Empire, in the year 800.
The great papal dreams of,
the recognition of the spiritual
supremacy of the popes over emperors
the resurrection of the Roman
Empire, at long last had come true
The subjugation of the Imperial Crown
was not, however enough.
If it was true that this put the source
of all civil authority - that is to say, the emperor - under the
pope, it was also true that the distant provinces could not or would
not follow the imperial example. The best way to make them obey was
by controlling the civil administration in the provinces, as had
been done at its center with the emperor.
As the pope had made a vassals of the civil authorities in the
dioceses. By so doing the pope, with a blindly obedient,
hierarchical machinery, would control at will the civil
administration of the whole empire.
It was to put such a scheme into effect that yet another forgery,
complementary to the Donation, appeared little more than half a
century later, again from nowhere. In 850 the pseudo-Isidorean
Decretals, better known as the as the "False
Decretals," made their first official appearance.
They are a heterogeneous collection of
the early decrees of the councils and popes. Their seeming purpose
was to give a legal basis to the complaints of the clergy in the
empire, appealing to Rome against the misdeeds of high prelates or
of the civil authorities.
Although some of the contents of the Decretals are genuine, a
colossal proportion was garbled, forged, distorted or entirely
This was in order to achieve their real
aim: to obtain additional power for the popes by giving to the
abbots, bishops, and clergy in general authority over civil
jurisdiction in all the provinces, thus establishing a legal basis
for evading the orders of the provincial secular rulers.
The result was that
the Roman Church obtained important
privileges, among them immunity from the operation of the secular
law, which put her out of reach of the jurisdiction of all secular
In this fashion the clergy acquired not
only a peculiar sanctity which put them above the ordinary people,
but a personal inviolability which gave them an enormous advantage
in all their dealings or disputes with the civil power.
Thus, thanks to a series of fabrications, forgeries, and
distortions, carried out through several centuries and of which the
Donation of Constantine was the most spectacular, the popes not only
obtained a vantage ground of incalculable value from which to extend
their spiritual and temporal power, but rendered themselves
practically independent of all secular authority.
Even more, they saw to it that the
statutes of emperors and kings, no less than the civil law of
nations, be undermined, greatly weakened and indeed obliterated by
their newly acquired omnipotence.
Once rooted in tradition and strengthened by the credulity of the
times, the dubious seedling of the Donation grew into a mighty oak
tree under the shadow of which papal authoritarianism thrived.
From the birth of the Carolingian Empire in the year 800 onwards,
the gifts of Pepin, the Donation of Constantine, and
the False Decretals were assiduously used by the pontiffs to
consolidate their power.
This they did, until , with additional
forgeries and the arbitrary exercise of spiritual and temporal
might, these documents became the formidable foundation stone upon
which they were eventually to erect their political and territorial
claims, the rock upon which stood the whole papal structures of the
The Donation was given increasingly varied meanings by the
succeeding generations of theologians.
Notwithstanding the disparity in their views, however, they all
agreed upon one fundamental interpretation: the Donation gave the
widest possible power and authority to the papacy.
Thus, for instance, whereas Pope Hadrian
I stated that Constantine had "given the dominion in these regions
of the West" to the Church of Rome, Aeneas, Bishop of Paris,
asserted about the year 868 that as Constantine had declared that
the one of the realm
the other of the Church,
not rule in one city, he had removed his residence to
Constantinople, placing the Roman territory "and a vast number of
various provinces" under the rule of the Apostolic See, after
conferring regal power on the successors of St. Peter.
The Popes acted upon this, using the argument as a basis to increase
their territorial sway, with the inevitable new accumulation of
wealth which went with it. Gregory VII (1073) directed all
his energies to that effect.
He concentrated spiritual and political
jurisdiction in himself, the better to administer the Western Empire
as a fief of the papacy.
That implied the extension of his temporal dominion over the kings
and kingdoms of the earth and therefore over their temporal riches.
The capture of Jerusalem and the success of the First Crusade gave
incalculable prestige to the pontiffs. While the nations of Europe
attributed this vicotry to manifest supernatural power, the Roman
Pontiffs were quick to transform the great martial movements of the
Crusades into powerful instruments to be used to expand their
spiritual and temporal dominion.
This was done by employing them as
military and political levers which never ceased to yield
territorial and financial advantages throughout the Middle Ages.
Such policies went a step further when, basing papal claims on an
even more daring interpretation of the Donation, it was stated that
the secular rulers should be made to pay tribute to the papacy.
A vehement advocate of this was Otto
of Freisingen, who in his Chronicles composed in 1143-6, did not
hesitate to declare that as Constantine, after conferring the
imperial insignia on the pontiff, went to Byzantium to leave the
empire to St. Peter, so other kings and emperors should pay tribute
to the popes.
For this reason the Roman Church maintains that the Western kingdom
have been given over to her possession by Constantine, and demands
tribute from them to this day, with the exception of the two
kingdoms of the Franks (i.e. the French and German).
Such advocacy was made possible because only a century earlier, in
1054, Pope Leo IX had declared to the Patriarch Michael Cerularius
that the Donation of Constantine really meant the donation,
earthly and heavenly imperium to the royal priesthood of the
With passing of the centuries, the popes, instead of abating their
claims, continued to increase them by declaring that, by virtue of
the Donation, emperors were emperors simply because they permitted
them to be so the sole ruler in spiritual and temporal matters
being, in reality, the pontiff himself.
Such pretensions were not left to wither in the theoretical field.
They were directed to concrete territorial, political, and financial
goals which the pontiffs pursued with indefatigable pertinacity.
Pope Innocent II (1198-1216), the most
energetic champion of papal supremacy, thundered incessantly to all
Europe that he claimed temporal supremacy over all the crowns of
for, as the successor of St. Peter,
he was simultaneously the supreme head of the true religion and
the temporal sovereign of the universe.
His tireless exertions saw to it that
papal rulership was extended over sundry lands and kingdoms.
The power given by the Donation to the Roman Church was further
enhanced by that inherent in the papacy itself. As the direct
successors of Peter, the popes were the only true inheritors of the
might of the Church, and hence of whatever and whoever were under
The theory ran as follows:
‘Christ is the Lord of the whole
world. At his departure he left his dominion to his
representatives, Peter and his successors.
Therefore the fullness of all spiritual and temporal power and
dominion, the union of all rights and privileges, lies in the
hands of the pope.
Every monarch, even the most powerful, possesses only so much
power and territory as the pope has transferred to him or finds
good to allow him.'
This theory was supported by most
medieval theologians. It became the firm belief of the popes
In 1245, for instance, Pope Innocent IV expounded this
doctrine to none other than the Emperor Frederick, saying that, as
it was Christ who had entrusted to Peter and his successors both
kingdoms, the heavenly and the earthly, belonged to him, the pope:
by which he meant that the spiritual dominion of the papacy had to
have its counterpart also in papal dominion over all the lands,
territories and riches of the entire world.
Not even the most ambitious emperors of the Ancient Roman Empire had
ever dared to claim as much.
As soon as the race for the conquest of he western hemisphere began,
the pope came to the forefront, as a master and arbiter of the
continents to be conquered .
For, if all islands belonged by right to
St.Peter, than all the newly-discovered and yet-to-be-discovered
lands with all riches, treasures and wealth in any form belonged to
the popes, his successors.
The New World thus had become the
possession of the papacy.
It was as simple as that...