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Guettee_ThePapacy

Guettee_ThePapacy

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Published by Tremaine Combs
The relationship between the Popes of Rome and the other Bishops of the Christian Church up to the split between East and West in 1054 AD.
The relationship between the Popes of Rome and the other Bishops of the Christian Church up to the split between East and West in 1054 AD.

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Published by: Tremaine Combs on Nov 01, 2010
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12/29/2012

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 1
EDITOR’S PREFACE
Réné-Francois Guettée was ordained a Roman Catholic priest at Blois, France in the year 1839. Almost immediately following his ordination he set out on a monumental task conceived in hismind a few years earlier. To research and then write a complete “History of the Church of France”.It was this innocent endeavor that would soon lead him to unexpected discoveries and inescapableconclusions concerning the papacy (This book being the fruit of those labors).With patience and care Guettée skillfully sweeps away the rubble of misconception and fraudthat obscured the pristine voice of Church Fathers and their genuine apostolic witness. Hisimpeccable proofs shattering the pretensions and anti-Catholic innovations of Rome whosefoundation was evidently no longer Christ. Instead she is shown to have chosen a differentcornerstone and a most fallible substitute.He reveals how this former apostolic see once renowned for her orthodoxy would, throughworldly arrogance and pride insert her single unaccountable bishop as the principal overseer of theChurch, thus negating the ancient apostolic model for governance. Its effect, a continuing denial andillegitimate replacement for the Churches One and True Head.In Chapter V Father Guettée presents a series of letters written by Pope Gregory the Great(6
th
C). These letters to the Patriarch of Constantinople , John the Faster are responses to what heconstrues as John’s attempts to be recognized as the Church’s Universal Bishop or Bishop of Bishops.A notion he thoroughly and absolutely condemns as inspired by the devil. (He being the first born of those who attempt by self exaltation to ascend a place not theirs.) Forcefully and with great clarity hevigorously denies such prerogative for any Apostolic See including the one he himself now presidesover, Rome.In these pages, the reader will also find in abundance meticulous scholarship and perhaps for the first time insight as to what is genuine Catholic ecclessiology. Father Guettée remains ever faithful to the Vincentian model in his approach. This is a rule eminently Catholic and necessarywhen examining matters of The Faith.
XX: The Notes of a true Catholic
 
(an excerpt from St. Vincent of Lerins Commonitory 5
th
C)
This being the case, he is the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, wholoves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and theCatholic Faith above everything, above the authority, above the regard, above the genius,above the eloquence, above the philosophy, of every man whatsoever;
who sets light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believethat, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and fromancient time.
 Confronted by the complete and unfiltered testimony of the Church Fathers and havingexamined in depth the undeniable historic records, Father Guettée found that Treasure and Pearl of Great Price. (The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church) He would not for the sake of career and promised honors be silenced. For that courage and intellectual honesty we can all be grateful.Kevin M. Kirwan 1999
 
 2
AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION.
THE
Pope is a king, and pretends to be sovereign pontiff of the Christian Church. We do not propose to occupy ourselves with his royalty. To what advantage ? It will soon fall. Its ruin isdecreed by Providence. Foreign bayonets will no more save it than the sophisms of its defenders. If,as is affirmed, these are necessary to uphold the sovereign pontificate, it is but another reason for desiring its fall-because this pontificate is an usurpation. This we proceed to demonstrate in the present work. To reach this end we shall have recourse neither to questionable arguments nor todeclamation. Facts drawn from original sources are summoned as witnesses. We take the Romanepiscopate at the origin of Christianity, follow it through centuries, and are able to proveincontestably, that during eight centuries the spiritual Papacy, as we understand it at the present day,had no existence; that the bishop of Rome was during three centuries only a
bishop,
with the samerank as the others; that in the fourth century he received a primacy of honor without universal jurisdiction; that this honor has no other foundation than the decrees of the Church; that his
restricted 
 jurisdiction over certain neighboring churches is supported only upon a custom legalized by Councils.As for the universal sovereignty, absolute,
of divine right 
--in other words, the Papacy--factsand catholic testimony of the first eight centuries condemn instead of sustaining it.History reveals to us the Papacy, after several fruitless attempts, taking its birth fromcircumstances and establishing itself in the ninth century, with its double political and ecclesiasticalcharacter. Its real founder was Adrian I Nicholas I chiefly contributed to its development; GregoryVII. raised it to its loftiest pitch.Adrian I. was in fact the first Pope. They who before this occupied the see of Rome, wereonly bishops, successors, not of St. Peter, as has been declared and repeated to satiety, but of Linus,who was already bishop of Rome when St. Peter arrived in that city, to seal there by his martyrdomthe faith he had preached. The defenders of the Papacy commit, therefore, at the outset, one of thegrossest historical errors in carrying back the Papacy, that is, the Papal sovereignty, to the origin of Christianity. This error has led them to a thousand others, impelled, as they have been, to seek proofsfor the support of this false theory in the history of the Church and in the writings of the ancientfathers. They have thus wrested facts and distorted testimonies. They have even dared to attack HolyScripture, and by delusive anti-Catholic interpretation, made it bear 
 false witness
in favor of their system. It is thus that the Church of Rome was the first to give example of those individualinterpretations for which she so bitterly reproaches Protestantism. She was the first to abandon the
Catholic rule
of the interpretation of the sacred books; she has put aside the collective interpretationof which the fathers of the Church have been the faithful echoes, and upon her own authority she has presumed to discover in Scripture that which the Church Catholic has not found there. She has comethus to arrogate for her usurped sovereignty a
divine
foundation. She has drawn from this principleall its consequences; the Pope has become the vicar of Jesus Christ, the necessary centre of theChurch, the pivot of Christianity, the infallible organ of heaven. These Papal errors were so skillfullydisseminated in the western countries that they were there gradually adopted. The protests whichthey drew forth were indeed continued, but partaking of the spirit of the age, they were notsufficiently pointed; such even as were raised against the abuses of the Papacy, admitted as beyondquestion a divine basis for that institution.At the present day, these errors have penetrated not only among the clergy and religious men;the rationalists--anti-Christians themselves--admit the idea that the Pope is the sovereign chief of theChristian Church, and that his spiritual prerogatives are derived from Jesus Christ. Many Protestantsthemselves do not conceive of a
Catholic
Church without a Pope, and see this church only in theRoman Church.
1
 We ourselves have been misled by the common error, taught as we had been to regard it as arevealed and incontestable verity.
1
The author thus touches
two
of the greatest advantages which modern writers, unfortunately, concede to thePapists: 1
st
, That of identifying historical Christianity with the Mediæval Roman system; 2d. That of calling theTrentine Church the
Catholic
Church.
 
 3
In embarking upon the extensive researches we were obliged to make for the preparation of the
 History of the Church of France,
it did not enter our thoughts to examine certain questions, whichonly in an indirect way entered into our subject and upon which we had blindly accepted certainopinions. Hence some expressions too favorable to the Papacy, and some errors of detail in our book.We seize the occasion now offered to give warning of them, in order that our readers may be on their guard against these errors, which, however, will find their correction in the present work.Rome has visited-with her censure the
 History of 
 
the Church of France
 because it was notsufficiently favorable to her pretensions. We ourselves censure it because
too many
concessions arethere made to Roman prejudices which bad been imparted to us as truth, and which we had not beenat the pains thoroughly to examine. Should Providence ever put it into our power to reprint the
 History of the Church of France,
we shall deem it an obligation of conscience to make the correction.This would have been done at the demand of Rome, had Rome condescended to convince us of ,error.We shall do it, however, at the requirement of our own conscience, now more enlightened. No man is infallible; hence, inasmuch as a man dishonors himself by changing his opinionswithout good reason or pretending such change from motives of interest, in the same degree does hehonor himself when acknowledging and retracting errors he discovers himself to have committed.We are therefore disposed to great tolerance toward Roman Catholics who believe in thedivine origin of the Papal prerogatives; for we know that this prejudgment is communicated to all of them with the first elements of religious instruction, and that every thing in the Roman Church tendsto strengthen it in their souls. But the more deeply this delusion is rooted in the Roman Church, andgenerally in all the West, the more are we bound to combat it with vigor.To this pursuit have we for several years perseveringly devoted ourselves, and, thanks toGod, our labors have not been useless. We hope the new work we now send forth will also bear itsfruits, and will come to the help of those religious men, daily increasing in number, who, in the presence of the abuses and excesses of every kind committed by the. Papacy, can no longer be blinded respecting it by old delusions.Accustomed to see in it the divine centre of the Church, they can no longer recognize such acentre in this hotbed of innovations and of sacrilegious usurpations; they ask, therefore, where is theChurch of Jesus Christ? We need only divest the Papacy of the glory it has usurped, that the ChurchCatholic may at once appear in her majestic perpetuity, in her univer 
 sality.
The Papacy has narrowedit to the point of presuming to comprehend the whole Church in itself. Tear away these glittering pretensions, and the Christian society will appear marching with unbroken progress through ages, preserving inviolate the deposit of revelation, protesting against every error, whether emanating fromRome or elsewhere; accepting as her rule only the
catholic rule
founded upon the Word of God, of which the Councils and the Fathers are the organs.In this holy society there are neither Greeks nor Barbarians, but
Christians
only, who can saywith St. Pacian,
"Christian
is my name;
Catholic
my surname," because they believe
without exception
in all fullness (Kath ólon) the doctrine taught by the Master and preserved intact by theChurch in all ages and in all places. This great truth is concisely expressed by the well-known wordsof Vincent of Lerins:“Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus."The Pope would, in his own interest, limit the Church to such as acknowledge hissovereignty, that he might then absorb them and say, "
 I am the Church." 
Let us break down the barriers he has raised, and we shall at once see the Church in all her beauty, expanding in freedom,unshackled by territorial boundaries, owning as its members all particular churches, bound together  by the same faith, communing with one another through pastors alike apostolic, made one in JesusChrist, the great Pontiff, the sole Head of the Church, and in the Holy Spirit its guide.Who has broken this admirable unity of the first Christian ages? The Pope.He has usurped the place of Jesus Christ, and has said to all churches, " It is in me and by meyou shall be united; the ministry of your pastors shall proceed from me; from me are you to receive

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