« AnteriorContinuar »
meration of the books of Scripture,- I think no more need to be said as to this particular.
15. Eighthly: but now if, after all this, there be some Popes which were notorious heretics and preachers of false doctrine, some that made impious decrees both in faith and manners, some that have determined questions with egregious ignorance and stupidity, some with apparent sophistry, and many to serve their own ends most openly, I suppose then the infallibility will disband, and we may do to him as to other good bishops, believe him when there is a cause; but if there be none, then to use our consciences. "Non enim salvat Christianum, quòd pontifex constanter affirmat præceptum suum esse justum ; sed oportet illud examinari, et se juxta regulam superius datam dirigere ." I would not instance and repeat the errors of dead bishops, if the extreme boldness of the pretence did not make it necessary. But if we may believe Tertullian, Pope Zepherinus approved the prophecies of Montanus, and upon that approbation granted peace to the churches of Asia and Phrygia, till Praxeas persuaded him to revoke his act. But let this rest upon the credit of Tertullian, whether Zepherinus were a Montanist or no: some such thing there was for certain. Pope Vigilius denied two natures in Christ ; and in his epistle to Theodora the empress, anathematized all them that said he had two natures in one person. St. Gregory himself permitted priests to give confirmation, which is all one as if he should permit deacons to consecrate, they being by divine ordinance annexed to the higher orders : and upon this very ground Adrianus affirms that the Pope may err‘ in definiendis dogmatibus fidei 8.' And that we may not fear we shall want instances, we may, to secure it, take their own confession; “Nam multæ sunt decretales hæreticæ” (says Occham as he is cited by Almain), “ et firmiter hoc credo” (says he for his own particular): “ sed non licet dogmatizare oppositum, quoniam sunt determinatæ h.” So that we may as well see that it is certain that Popes may be heretics, as that it is dangerous to say so; and therefore there are so few that teach it. All the patriarchs, and the bishop of Rome himself, subscribed to
• Tract. de interdict. compos. à Theol. Venet. prop. 13. Lib. advers. Praxeam.
b 3. dist. 24. q. unica.
Arianism, as Baronius confesses : and Gratian affirm sthat Pope Anastasius II. was stricken of God for communicating with the heretic Photinusk. I know it will be made light of, that Gregory VII. saith, the very exorcists of the Roman church are superior to princes. But what shall we think of that decretal of Gregory the Third, who wrote to Boniface his legate in Germany,“ quòd illi quorum uxores infirmitate aliquâ morbidâ debitum reddere noluerunt, aliis poterant nubere?” Was this a doctrine fit for the head of the church, an infallible doctor ? It was plainly, if any thing ever was, ' doctrina dæmoniorum,' and is noted for such by Gratian, “caus. 32. q. 7. can. quod proposuisti :" where the gloss also intimates that the same privilege was granted to the Englishmen by Gregory,“ quia novi erant in fide."-And sometimes we had little reason to expect much better : for, not to instance in that learned discourse in the canon law * de majoritate et obedientia,' where the Pope's supremacy over kings is proved from the first chapter of Genesis, and the Pope is the sun, and the emperor is the moon, for that was the fancy of one Pope perhaps, though made authentic and doctrinal by him; it was, if it be possible, more ridiculous, that Pope Innocent the Third urges, that the Mosaical law was still to be observed, and that upon this argument; “ Sane," saith he, “ cum Deuteronomium secunda lex interpretur, ex vi vocabuli comprobatur, ut quod ibi decernitur, in Testamento Novo debeat observari.” Worse yet ; for when there was a corruption crept into the decree called Sancta Romana",” where, instead of these words, 'Sedulii opus heroicis versibus descriptum,' all the old copies, till of late, read, hareticis versibus descriptum,' this very mistake made many wise men (as Pierius " says), yea, Pope Adriano the Sixth, no worse man, believe, that all poetry was heretical; because, forsooth, Pope Gelasius, whose decree that was, although he believed Sedulius to be a good catholic, yet, as they thought, concluded his verses to be heretical. But these were ignorances; it hath been worse amongst some others, whose errors have been more malicious. Pope Honorius was condemned by the sixth general synod, and his
* Dist, 19. c. 9. Lib. 4. Ep. 2. I Vid. Corranz. Sum. Concil. fol. 218. edit. Antwerp. m Cap. per venerab. qui filii sint legitimi. ► Dist. 15. apud Gratian.
A.D. 357. n. 44.
• De Sacerd. barb.
epistles burnt; and in the seventh action of the eighth synod, the acts of the Roman council under Adrian the Second are recited, in which it is said that Honorius was justly anathematized, because he was convicted of heresy. Bellarmine says, it is probable that Pope Adrian and the Roman council were deceived with false copies of the sixth synod, and that Honorius was no heretic. To this I say, that although the Roman synod, and the eighth general synod, and Pope Adrian, all together are better witnesses for the thing than Bellarmine's conjecture is against it; yet if we allow his conjecture, we shall lose nothing in the whole: for either the Pope is no infallible doctor, but may be a heretic, as Honorius was; or else a council is to us no infallible determiner. I
say, as to us : for if Adrian and the whole Roman council and the eight general were all cozened with false copies of the sixth synod, which was so little a while before them, and whose acts were transacted and kept in the theatre and records of the catholic church; he is a bold man that will be confident, that he hath true copies now. So that let which they please stand or fall, let the Pope be a heretic, or the councils be deceived and palpably abused (for the other, we will dispute it upon other instances and arguments, when we shall know which part they choose), in the meantime we shall get in the general, what we lose in particular. This only, this device of saying the copies of the councils were false, was the stratagem of Albertus Pighius nine hundred years after the thing was done; of which invention Pighius was presently admonished, blamed, and wished to recant P. Pope Nicolas explicated the mystery of the sacrament with so much ignorance and zeal, that in condemning Berengarius he taught a worse impiety. But what need I any more instances? It is a confessed case by Baronius, by,Biel, by Stella, Almain, Occham, and Canus, and generally by the best scholars in the church of Rome, that a Pope may be a heretic, and that some of them actually were so; and no less than three general councils did believe the same thing, viz. the sixth, seventh, and eighth, as Bellarmine is pleased to acknowledge in his fourth book “ De Pontifice Romano, c. 11. resp. ad Arg. 4.” And the canon “ Si Papa, dist. 40,"
p Vide diatrib. de act. 6. el 7æ synod. præfatione ad Lectorem, et Dominioum Bannes 22æ. q. 1 a, 10. dub. 2. Picas Mirand. in exposit. theorem. 4.
affirms it in express terms, that a Pope is judicable and punishable in that case.
But there is no wound but some empiric or other will pretend to cure it; and there is a cure for this too. For though it be true, that if a Pope were a heretic, the church might depose him,-yet no Pope can be a heretic; not but that the man may, but the Pope cannot, for he is ‘ipso facto' no Pope, for he is no Christian: so Bellarmine: and so when you think you have him fast, he is gone, and nothing of the Pope left. But who sees not the extreme folly of this evasion? For besides that out of fear and caution he grants more than he needs, more than was sought for in the question,—the Pope hath no more privilege than the abbot of Cluny; for he cannot be a heretic, nor be deposed by a council : for if he be manifestly a heretic, he is . ipso facto' no abbot, for he is no Christian ; and if the Pope be a heretic privately and occultly, for that he may be accused and judged, said the gloss upon the canon “ Si Papa, dist. 40.” and the abbot of Cluny and one of his meanest monks can be no more, therefore the case is all one. But this is fitter to make sport with, than to interrupt a serious discourse. And therefore, although the canon “ Sancta Romana" approves all the decretals of Popes, yet that very decretal hath not decreed it firm enough, but that they are so warily received by them, that when they list, they are pleased to dissent from them. And it is evident in the Extravagant of Sixtus IV."com. de reliquiis,” who appointed a feast of the immaculate conception, a special office for the day, and indulgences enough to the observers of it: and yet the Dominicans were so far from believing the Pope to be infallible", and his decree authentic, that they declaimed against it in their pulpits so furiously and so long, till they were prohibited under pain of excommunication to say the Virgin Mary was conceived in original sin. Now what solemnity can be more required for the Pope to make a cathedral determination of an article? The article was so concluded, that a feast was instituted for its celebration, and pain of excommunica
4 Lib. 2. c. 30. ubi suprà. sect. est ergó.
? Vide Alphons, à Cast. I. 1. adv. hæres. c. 4. hoc lemma ridentem affabre. Vid. etiam Innocentiam Ser. 2. de consecrat. Pontif. act. 7. 8æ Synodi, el Concil. 5. sub Symmadio. Vide Collat. 8. can. 12. ubi palres judicialem sententiam p. Vigilii in causa trium Capitulorum damnarunt expressè. Extrav.comm. Extrav. grave, Tit. X. De Angelo custod. fol. 59. de consecrat. dist. 3. can. pronunciand. gloss. verb. Nativ.
tion threatened to them which should preach the contrary : nothing more solemn, nothing more confident and severe. And yet after all this, to shew that whatsoever those people would have us to believe, they will believe what they list themselves, this thing was not determined. de fide,' saith Victorellus : nay, the author of the gloss of the canon law hath these express words, “ De festo conceptionis nihil dicitur, quia celebrandum non est, sicut in multis regionibus fit, et maxime in Anglia; et hæc est ratio, quia in peccatis concepta fuit, sicut et cæteri sanctiì.” And the commissaries of Sixtus V. and Gregory XIII. did not expunge these words, but left them upon record, not only against a received and more approved opinion of the Jesuits and Franciscans, but also in plain defiance of a decree made by their visible head of the church, who (if ever any thing was decreed by a Pope with an intent to oblige all Christendom) decreed this to that purpose.
16. So that, without taking particular notice of it, that egregious sophistry and flattery of the late writers of the Roman church, are, in this instance, besides divers others before mentioned, clearly made invalid. For here the bishop of Rome, not as a private doctor, but as Pope, not by declaring his own opinion, but with an intent to oblige the church, gave sentence in a question which the Dominicans will still account' pro non determinata.' And every decretal recorded in the canon law, if it be false in the matter, is just such another instance. And Alphonsus à Castro says to the same purpose, in the instance of Calestine dissolving marriages for heresy,“ Neque Cælestini error talis fuit, qui soli negligentiæ imputari debeat ; ità ut illum errâsse dicamus velut privatam personam, et non ut Papam : quoniam hujusmodi Cælestini definitio habetur in antiquis decretalibus, in cap. ‘Laudabilem,' titulo‘De Conversione Infidelium;' quam ego ipse vidi et legi." (Lib.l. adv. hæres. cap. 4.) And therefore it is a most intolerable folly to pretend that the Pope cannot err in his chair, though he may err in his closet, and may maintain a false opinion even to his death. For besides that it is sottish to think, that either he would not have the world of his own opinion (as all men naturally would ); or that, if he were set
• Hac in perpetuum valiturâ constitatione slatuimus, &c. De reliquiis, &c. Extray. Com. Sixt. 4. cap. 1.