THAT THE PAPACY, BY HER NOVEL AND AMBITIOUS PRETENTIONS, WAS THE CAUSE OF THE SCHISM BETWEEN THE EASTERN AND WESTERN CHURCHES.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Réné-Francois Guettée - The Papacy - part nine
Nothing is wanting, as we see, to the condemnation of Pope Honorius as an heretic; yet this has not prevented Romish theologians from saying he was not so condemned. They have written long disquisitions upon this subject, in which they have distorted all the facts. The acts which we have quoted are clear enough of themselves to prove, to any honest man, that the sixth œcumenical council did not believe in the doctrinal authority of the Bishops of Rome; that those bishops themselves did not believe themselves possessed of any such authority.
Is it not incredible that the Romish theologians should have dared to cite this council in favour of their system? Among their acclamations the Fathers said, "Peter has spoken by Agatho;" "therefore," say the Romanists, " they recognized the same doctrinal authority in Agatho as in Peter." They will not reflect that this acclamation was made after the examination of Agatho's letter, when it appeared to be in conformity with Apostolic doctrine. The council approved of Agatho's letter as it condemned that of Honorius, his predecessor. It was therefore the council that possessed doctrinal authority; and no more of it was
recognized in the see of
Rome than in other Apostolic sees.
The doctrine of one Pope was esteemed to be that of Peter, because seen to be Apostolic; that of another Pope was condemned as contrary to Peter's teaching, because it differed from Apostolic tradition. This fact stands out so prominently in the Acts of the Sixth Council, that it is difficult to understand how men who claim to be in earnest have ever contested it.
Under the reign of Justinian II there assembled at Constantinople two hundred and eleven bishops, of whom the four Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem were the chief.* This assembly is known under the title of the Council in Trullo, because it was assembled under the Trullus or dome of the imperial palace. Its object was to add to the acts of the fifth and sixth œcumenical councils, which had not made any disciplinary rules. Church discipline was alone discussed. Customs widely different already
prevailed in the Eastern and Western churches, particularly in regard to the marriage of
priests. The Roman Church even then was drifting, toward ecclesiastical celibacy as a general law. The Eastern Church, on the contrary, solemnly proclaimed the ancient law respecting marriage of priests, deacons, and sub-deacons.
Rome, therefore, refused to receive the laws of the Council in Trullo. This embittered the antagonism already existing between Rome and Constantinople. In thus disavowing ancient discipline, and refusing to subscribe to canons, which were its exact expression, she was laying, the groundwork of that wall of separation which was so soon to be raised between the two churches. It was Pope Sergius (692) who refused to admit the canons of the Council in Trullo. He particularly relied upon this, that the council prescribed to the Roman Church, to change her practice regarding the Saturday fast, a practice that she had followed from time immemorial. Some zealous Romans, like the priest Blastus, had tried as early as the fifth century to impose the Roman custom upon the whole Church; at the close of the seventh century the East
undertook to impose hers upon
. It must be granted that a council of two hundred and eleven bishops had more authority than Blastus and his followers; but it was a matter of mere discipline, and the Eastern usage should not have been imposed upon the Western Church, Rome
but submitted to the judgment of the bishops of that Church. We may believe that the Eastern Church assembled in Trullo meant, by, several of her canons, to remind the Roman Church how far she had removed from the primitive discipline, and that the Roman Church would not accept that lesson, chiefly because it came from
* See the transactions of this council in Labbe’s Collection, vol. vi.
Official relations were not interrupted between the two churches; but for a long time they had been far from fraternal. The opposition of
Rome to the Council in Trullo did not prevent her intercommunion with Constantinople; but these relations were feebly kept up until the discussion regarding images arose in 726.
The Emperor Leo the Isaurian* declared himself the enemy of that "cultus" which was addressed to images, alleging that it was idolatrous. This idea does not speak very well for
his judgment;† but he had the power, and many bishops took sides with him.‡
The Emperor resorted to every expedient to corrupt Germanus. Failing in this, he persecuted him. Germanus preferred to resign his office rather than concur in the Emperor's decree against images. He retired to his father's house, where he lived like a monk and died like a saint. Anastasius, his assistant, was put in his place by the Emperor. He was an ambitious man, who had sold his faith to the Emperor for the Patriarchal See. Leo also endeavoured to corrupt Gregory II.; but his promises and threats had no other effect than to raise against him in rebellion all those who still recognized the imperial authority in the West.
Anastasius sent a letter of communion to the Pope, who refused to recognize him, and even threatened his deposition if he should continue to maintain heresy. Meanwhile Gregory II. died, (731,) and was succeeded by Gregory III. This Pope wrote to the Emperor several letters full of excellent doctrine and the most valuable information.§ Thus, in the first, he
says to the Emperor: "The decisions of the Church belong not to emperors but to the bishops; accordingly, as these do not meddle in civil affairs, so likewise should the emperors not busy themselves with ecclesiastical matters. If the emperors and the bishops agree, then they form in common a single power to treat of affairs in the spirit of peace and charity."
Leo proposing a council, Gregory told him that such an assembly was not needed,
since it was only necessary for himself to return to order, that peace might be universal respecting the question at issue. "You think to frighten us," he said, “by saying, ‘I will send to
Rome and break the image of St. Peter, and will carry off Pope Gregory loaded with chains. I will treat him as Constans treated Martin.' Know, then, that the Popes are mediators and arbiters of peace between the East and the West. We do not, therefore, fear your threats; at one league from Rome we shall be in safety."
These words depict, exactly the position which the Bishops of Rome had taken in the midst of all the nations who had dismembered the
Roman empire in the West--a position that became one of the elements of their power. As to any pretensions to any sort of political authority, or the supreme authority in the Church, no trace of either can be found in the
letters of Gregory III. He saw this authority only in the bishops; that is, he only saw a collective authority in the Church. The Emperor replying that he possessed both imperial and sacerdotal power, Gregory wrote him an admirable letter upon the distinction of the two powers, still placing the ecclesiastical authority in the episcopate. Agreeably to his
* Leo III.
† The Editor reminds the reader that the Abbe’ Guettée is not a Protestant, and that the value of his work is the greater as the testimony of one who has no protestant objections to Romish errours. The veneration of Icons or
pictures (non images) in the Greek Church, is a gross abuse, and needs to be reformed practically; but the
Romish education of the Abbé leads him, perhaps, to be less sensitive on this subject than many of the Russo- Greeks. The Catechism of Platon, Metropolitan of Moscow, exhibits a genuine dread of the peril of Idolatry which even his own dogma involves.—[ED.]
‡ See Eccl. Hist. of Theoph. and Niceph., and Labbe’s Collection of th eCouncils.
§ Letters of Greg. III. in Labbe’s Collection.
principles, Gregory III. called a council at
Rome to give a collective decision concerning images. He sent that decision to the Emperor and to Anastasius of Constantinople, with private letters to lead them back to the right way. His efforts only served to redouble the persecutions against the Catholics of the East. The bishops of those countries could neither come together in convention nor obtain a hearing. In their stead John Damascene took up the defence of the Church. The Mohammedan yoke gave the great theologian liberty boldly to attack the Emperor and those who served as his instruments to give sanction to his errours or execute his cruelties.
The doctrinal whims of Leo the Isaurian had a political result which he was far from foreseeing. The West renounced him, and
Rome, threatened by the Lombards, turned to Karl Martel, Duke of the Franks, to offer him the Roman Consulate. Gregory III. made this proposition to Karl. This terrible warrior died then, and Gregorv III. also. But the idea remained. Pepin, the son of Karl, and Pope Zachary renewed the negotiations. Zachary approved for Pepin's benefit the deposition of the first race of Frankic kings. In return, the new king delivered Rome from the attacks of the Lombards, became its lord paramount, and gave it in appanage to the Pope. Thus the relations ceased between the Popes and the Eastern emperors, whom they no longer recognized as sovereigns. The separation became complete when the son of Pepin, Karl the Great, better known as Charlemagne, was proclaimed at Rome Emperor of the West.
This political rupture made way for the religious schism between the East and the West.
Rome was rising again from her ruins at the same moment that Constantinople was falling into decay. The Popes, become more rich and powerful than ever, crowned with the diadem of temporal power, could not but meditate revenge for the humiliations to which in their pride they imagined they had been subjected.
While the West was quite escaping him forever, Constantine Copronymus, the son of Leo, assembled councils and caused the condemnation of images in an assembly of bishops bereft of conscience, who endeavoured to dishonour the memory of the Patriarch St. Germanus and the learned John Damascene. Pope Stephen II. (756) prevailed upon Pepin, King of France, to take the cause of the Church in hand. Constantine Copronymus had sent
to this prince an embassy which troubled the Pope. Stephen feared lest politics should binder his plans, and the Emperor of the East should resume some influence in the affairs of the West. He therefore wrote thus to Pepin:* “We earnestly entreat you to act toward the Greeks in such manner that the Catholic faith may be for ever preserved, that the Church may be delivered from their malice, and may recover all her patrimony." The Church of Rome had had considerable property in the East, which had been confiscated since the rupture between
Rome and the empire. “Inform us," adds the Pope, "how you have talked to the envoy, and send us copies of the letters you have given him, that we may act in concert."
Paul, who succeeded Stephen II., continued in the same relations with Pepin. His letters† show that he had to struggle against the influences of certain politicians, who were endeavouring to effect an agreement between the King of France and the Emperor of Constantinople. The latter particularly depended upon the Lombards against
Rome. The Popes were alarmed at what might be the results of such an alliance. They accordingly strove to excite the Frankic kings against the Greeks and Lombards.
We have now come to the last years of the eighth century. The Eastern empire, delivered from Copronymus and his son Leo IV., breathed again under the reign of Constantine and Irene.
* Steph. II. Epist. in Cod. Carol.
† Paul et Steph. III. Epist. in Cod. Carol.
Charlemagne reigned in
France, Adrian I. was Bishop of Rome; Tarasius, a great and saintly Patriarch, ruled at Constantinople. Before consenting to his election, Tarasius addressed to the court and people of Constantinople a discourse from which we quote the following passage: "This is what I principally fear, (in accepting the episcopate:) I see the church divided in the East; we have different languages among, us, and many agree with the West, which anathematizes us daily. Separation (anathema) is a terrible thing; it drives from the kingdom of heaven and leads to outer darkness. Nothing is more pleasant to God than union, which makes us one Catholic Church, as we confess in the creed. I therefore ask you, brethren, that which I believe is also your will, since you have the fear of God: I ask that the Emperor and Empress assemble an œcumenical council, in order that we may make but one body under a single chief, who is Jesus Christ. If the Emperor and Empress grant me this request, I submit to their orders and your votes; if not, I cannot consent. Give me, brethren, what answer you will."*
All but a few fanatics applauded the project of a council, and then Tarasius consented to be ordained and instituted bishop. He at once addressed his letters of communion to the churches of
Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.† In these he made as usual his profession of faith, and invited those churches to the Council which the Emperor was about
to assemble. The Empress-regent and her son wrote to Pope Adrian that they had resolved to assemble an œcumenical council; they begged him to come to it, promising to receive him with honours; or to send representatives if he could not personally accept their invitation.
West, and thus to break all political ties with the East. The Pope enjoyed great temporal authority in that city under the protection of the Frankic kings; he was rich, and he was ambitious to surround his see with still greater magnificence and splendour.
Adrian therefore replied arrogantly to the respectful letter he had received from the court of Constantinople.
He insisted upon certain conditions, as one power dealing with another, and particularly upon this point: that the patrimony of St. Peter in the East, confiscated by the iconoclastic emperors, must be restored in toto. We will quote from his letter what he says respecting the Patriarch of Constantinople: “We are very much surprised to see that in your letter you give to Tarasius the title of œcumenical Patriarch., The Patriarch of Constantinople would not
have even the second rank WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF OUR SEE; if he be œcumenical, must he not therefore have also the primacy over our church? All Christians know that this is a ridiculous assumption."
* Theoph. Annal. Labbe’s Collection of Councils, vol. vii., Vit.
Taras. ap. Bolland. 14 Februar.
† See all the documents in Labbe’s Collection of the Councils, 7th vol.
Here is language quite new on the part of Roman bishops, but henceforth destined to become habitual with them. It dates from 785; that is, from the same year when
Adrian delivered to Ingelramn, Bishop of Metz, the collection of the False Decretals.* There is something highly significant in this coincidence. Was it Adrian himself who authorized this work of forgery?
* Here are some details regarding the False Decretals:
It appears from the acts of the Council of Chalcedon in 451, that the Church had already a Codex Canonum, or collection of the laws of the Church. Several of these laws are held to have emanated from the Apostles themselves. What they had commenced the councils continued, and, as soon as the Church began to enjoy some little tranquillity, these venerable laws were collected and formed the basis of ecclesiastical discipline; and, as they were mostly in Greek, they were translated into Latin for the use of the Western churches.
At the beginning of the sixth century Dionysius, surnamed Exiguus, a monk at
Rome, finding this translation incorrect, made another at the request of Julian, curate of St. Anastasia at , and a desiple of Pope Gelasius. Dionysius collected, besides, whatever letters of the Popes he could discover in the archives, and published in his collection those of Siricius, Innocent, Zosimus, Boniface, Celestine, Leo, Gelasius, and Anastasius, under which last he lived. The archives of Rome at that time possessed nothing prior to Siricius—that is, to the end of the fourth century. Rome
At the beginning of the seventh century, Isidore of Seville undertook to complete the collection of Dionysius. He added the canons of some national or provincial councils of Africa, Spain, and France, and some letters of a few of the Popes, going back no further than to Damasus, who died in 384, and was the predecessor of Siricius. This collection of Isidore of Seville begins with the cannons of the Council of Nicea. He used the old translation, and not that of Dionysius for the Greek canons.
His collection was but little known, and in history we do not meet it until 785, and then disfigured and interpolated by an unknown forger, giving his name as Isidore Mercator. This collection contained, beside the
pieces contained in the collection of Isidore of Seville, certain Decretals which he ascribed to the Popes of the
first three centuries. Several scholars make Isidore Mercator and Isidore of Seville separate writers, while others think that the latter had added, through humility, the word Peccator to his name, which was corrupted to Mercator. However, this may be the best Ultramontane critics as well as the Gallicans, agree that the Decretals ascribed to the Popes of the first centuries in the collection of Isidore Mercator, are spurious. Marchetti himself admits their spuriousness. “Learned men of great piety,” he adds, “have declared against this false collection, which Cardinal Bona frankly calls a pious fraud.” “Baronius does not as frankly regard them as a fraud; nevertheless, he would not use them in his Ecclesiastical Annals, less it should be believed that the Roman Church needed suspicious documents to establish her rights.”
The Ultramontanes cannot openly sustain these Decretals as true, for it has been abundantly proved that they were manufactured partly from ancient canons, with extracts from the letters of the Popes of the fourth and fifth centuries. Entire passages, particularly from St. Leo and Gregory the Great, are found in them. The whole is
strung together in bad Latin, which for even the least critical scholar has all the characteristics of the style of the
eighth and ninth centuries.
The collection of Isidore Mercator was disseminated chiefly by Riculf, Archibishop of Mayence, who took
that see in 787. Several critics have concluded from this that this collection first appeared at Mayence, and even that Riculf was its author.
Were these False Decretals fabricated in
Spain, Germany, or ? We have no certainty on the subject. The oldest copies tell us that it was Ingelramn who brought this collection to Rome Rome from , when he had a Metz
lawsuit there in 785; but other copies tell us that it was Pope Adrian who, upon that occasion, delivered it to
Ingleramn, September nineteenth, A.D. 785. Certain it is, that at
we find the first mention of it. Yet Rome knew that these Decretals were false, since, ten years before, he had given Charlemagne a copy of the canons, which was no other than that of Dionysius Exiguus. Adrian
The False Decretals were so extensively circulated in the West, that they were everwhere received, and
, as authentic. Rome
The Ultramontanes, while they do not dare to maintain the authority of the writings ascribed to the Popes of the first three centuries, nevertheless indirectly sustain them. Several works have been written with this object against Fleury, who justly asserted and abundantly proved that they changed the ancient discipline. We will quote among these Ultramontane works those of Marchetti, of Father de Housta, and Father Honoré de Sainte- Marie:
“We may conjecture,” says Marchetti, “that Isidore gathered the Decretals of ancient Popes which the persecutions of the first centuries had not permitted to be collected, and that animated by a desire to transmit the collection to posterity, he made such haste that he overlooked some faults and chronological errours which were afterward corrected by more exact criticism.”
Thus, then, the Decretals of the first three centuries are false; neverthless they are substantially true. Such Is the Ultramontane system. It only remains to say, to make the business complete, that the texts of St. Leo and St. Gregory the Great, which are found in these Decretals, do not belong to those fathers, who, in that case, must have copied them from the Decretals of their predecessors. It would be quite as reasonable to maintain this opinion, as to say that we only find in the False Decretals a few faults and chronological errours.
To this first system of defence, the Ultramontanes add a second. They make a great display of eloquence to prove that an unknown person without any authority could never have introduced a new code in the Church. We think so too. But there is one great fact of the very highest importance which our Ultramontanes have left out of sight, that., at the time when the False Decretals appeared, the see of
had for about two centuries Rome
taken advantage of every occurrence to increase her influence and to put into practice what the False Decretals lay down as the law. Every one knows that after the fall of the Roman empire, most of the Western nations were essentially modified by the invasion of new races; that the Church seriously felt this change; that the
pursuit of learning was abandoned, and that after the seventh century the most deplorable ignorance reigned in
the Western churches. From that time the Bishops of Rome began to take part directly in the government of individual churches, which frequently lay In the hands of only half-Christianized conquerors. They sent missionaries to labour for the conversion of the invading tribes; and these missionaries, like St. Boniface of Mayence, retained for the Popes who sent them, the feelings of disciples for their masters. The churches newly founded by them, remained faithful to these sentiments. It would not, thereore, be surprising if the fabricator of the False Decretals lived in or near Mayence. He composed that work of fragments from the councils and the Fathers, and added regulations which were in perfect harmony with the usages of the see of Rome at the end of the eighth century, and which Rome, doubtless, inspired.
This coincidence, joined to the ignorance which then prevailed, explains sufficiently how the False Decretals could be accepted without protest--the see of
using all its influence to spread them. As most of the churches had been accustomed for two centuries to feel the authority of the Bishops of Rome, they accepted Rome
without examination documents which seemed to be no more than the sanction of this authority. The False
Decretals did not therefore create a new code for the Western churches; they only came in aid of a régime
which, owing to political disturbances, the Popes themselves had created.
Thus the Romanists have their labour for their pains, when they seek to defend the Decretals by saying that an unknown author without authority could not have established a new code.
Here are the objections that Fleury makes to the False Decretals: “The subject matter of these letters† reveals Their spuriousness. They speak of archbishops, primates, patriarchs, as if these titles had existed from the birth of the Church. They forbid the holding of any council, even a provincial one, without permission from the
Pope, and represent appeals to
as habitual. Frequent complaint is therein made of usurpations of the Rome
temporalities of the Church. We find there this maxim, that bishops falling into sin may, after having done penance, exercise their functions as before. Finally, the principal subject of these Decretals is that of complaints against bishops; there is scarcely one that does not speak of them and give rules to make them difficult. And Isidore makes it very apparent in his preface that he had this matter deeply at heart"
The object of the forger in this last matter is evident it was to diminish the authority of the metropolitans, who, from time immemorial, had enjoyed the right to convoke the council of their province to hear complaints against a bishop of that province in particular, and judge him. The forger, whose object it was to concentrate all authority at
Rome, would naturally first endeavour to check the authority of the metropolitan, and make the appeals to seem to offer greater guarantees and to be more consonant with episcopal dignity. Rome
One must be utterly ignorant of the history of the first three centuries, not to know that at that period the Church had no fixed organization;. that it was not divided into provinces and dioceses until the reign of Constantine and by the Council of Nicea; that it was this council that recognized in the sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch a superiority common to them all over a certain number of churches to which they had given birth, and over which, according to customs, they exercised a special supervision. But the forger does not hesitate for all this to bring into play archbishops, primates, and patriarchs during the first three centuries, and ascribes to the first Bishops of Rome, as rights, prerogatives which the councils had never recognized, and which these bishops had usurped in the West since the Invasions of the barbarians had overthrown the ancient Roman polity.
After our deep study of the history of the Church, we feel at liberty to assert that it is impossible to accumulate more errours than the Ultramontanes have done, to defend the alleged legal force of the False Decretals; that the False Decretals established in the ninth century a new code completely opposed to that of the
We do not know; but it is an incontestable fact that it was in
Rome itself under the pontificate of Adrian, and in the year in which he wrote so haughtily to the Emperor of the East, that this new code of the Papacy is first mentioned in history. Adrian is the true creator of the modern Papacy. Not finding in the traditions of the Church the documents necessary
to support his ambitious views, he rested them upon apocryphal documents written to suit the occasion, and to legalize all future usurpations of the Roman see.
Adrian knew that the Decretals contained in the code of Ingelramn were false. For he had already given, ten years before, to Charles, King of the Franks, a code of the ancient canons, identical with the generally received collection of Dionysius Exiguus. It was, therefore, between the years 775 and 785 that the False Decretals were composed.
The time was favorable to such inventions. In the foreign invasions which had deluged the entire West with blood and covered it with ruins, the libraries of the churches and monasteries had been destroyed; the clergy were plunged in the deepest ignorance; the East, invaded by the Mussulman, had now scarcely any relations with the West. The Papacy profited by these misfortunes, and built up a power half political and half religious upon these ruins, finding no lack of flatterers who did not blush to invent and secretly propagate their forgeries in order to give a divine character to an institution that has ambition for its only source.
The False Decretals make as it were the dividing point between the Papacy of the first eight and that of the succeeding centuries. At this date, the pretensions of the Popes begin to develop and take each day a more distinct character. The answer of
Adrian to Constantine and Irene is the starting-point.
The legates of the Pope and those of the Patriarchal churches of
Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, having gone to Constantinople, Nicea was appointed as the place of assembling the council. The first session took place September twenty-fourth, 787. This second Council of Nicea is reckoned the seventh œcumenical, both by the Eastern and Western churches.† Adrian was represented by the Archpriest Peter, and by another Peter,
Abbot of the monastery of St. Sabas at Rome. The Bishops of Sicily were the first to speak, and said, "We deem it advisable that the most holy Archbishop of Constantinople should open the council." All the members agreed to this proposition, and Tarasius made them an allocution upon the duty of following the ancient traditions of the Church in the decisions they were about to make. Then those who opposed these traditions were introduced, that the council might hear a statement of their doctrine. Then were read the letters brought by the legates of the Bishops of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, for the purpose of ascertaining what the faith of the East and the West might be. The Bishop of Ancyra had shared the errour of the iconoclasts. He now appeared before the council to make his confession of faith, and commenced with the following words, well worthy of being quoted: "It is the law of the Church, that those who are converted from a heresy, should abjure it in writing, and confess the Catholic faith. Therefore do I, Basil, Bishop of Ancyra, wishing to
first eight Christian centuries; and that the forger had no other object than to sanction the encroachments of the court of Rome during the two centuries preceding the composition of his work. We have carefully studied what
† Hist. Eccl. Liv. xliv.
has been said pro and contra upon this subject. The writings of the Romanists have convinced us that this forger of the ninth century has never been defended but by arguments worthy of him; that is to say, by the most shameful misrepresentations. The works of the Gallicans are more honest, and show deeper research. Yet even
in them we perceive a certain reticency which injures their cause, and even now and then a forced and unnatural
attitude concerning Papal prerogatives, which they do not dare to deny. (See the works of Hincmar of Rheims, and the Annals of Father Lecointe.)
† See its transactions in Labbe’s Collection, vol. viii.
unite myself with the Church, with Pope Adrian, with the Patriarch Tarasius, with the Apostolic sees of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and with all Catholic bishops and priests, make this confession in writing, and present it to you, who have power by apostolic authority.”
This most orthodox language clearly proves that at that time the Pope of Rome was not regarded as the sole centre of unity, the source of Catholic authority that unity and authority were only recognized in the unanimity of the sacerdotal body.
The letter of Adrian to the Emperor and Empress, and the one he had written to Tarasius were then read, but only in so far as they treated of dogmatic questions. His complaints against the title of œcumenical and his demands concerning the patrimony of St. Peter, were passed over in silence. Nor did the legates of Rome insist. The council declared that it approved of the Pope's doctrine. Next were read the letters from the Patriarchal sees of the East whose doctrine agreed with that, of the West. That doctrine was compared with the teaching of the Fathers of the Church, in, order to verify not only the present unanimity, but the perpetuity of the doctrine; and the question was also examined, whether the iconoclasts had on their side any true Catholic tradition. After this double preparatory
examination, the council made its profession of faith, deciding that according to the perpetual doctrine of the Church, images should be venerated, reserving for God alone the Latria or adoration, properly so called.
The members of the council then adjourned to Constantinople, where the last session took place in the presence of Irene and Constantine and the entire people.
The Acts of the seventh œumenical council, like those of the preceding ones, clearly prove that the Bishop of Rome was only first in honour in the Church; that his testimony had no doctrinal weight, except in so far as it might be regarded as that of the Western Church; that there was as yet no individual authority in the Church, but a collective authority only, of which the sacerdotal body was the echo and interpreter.
This doctrine is dramatically opposed to the Romish system. Let us add, that the seventh œcumenical council, like the six that preceded it, was neither convoked, presided over, nor confirmed by the Pope. He concurred in it by his legates, and the West concurred in the same way, whereby it acquired its œcumenical character.
But this concurrence of the West was not at first unanimous, at least in appearance, notwithstanding the well-known concurrence of the Pope; which proves that even in the West such doctrinal authority was not then granted to the Pope, as his supporters now claim for
him. Seven years after the Council of Nicea, that is, in 794, Charlemagne assembled at Frankfort all the bishops of the kingdoms he had conquered. In this council several dogmatic questions were discussed, and particularly that concerning images. By the decisions there rendered, the council intended to reject that of the second council of Nicea, which had not been thoroughly understood by the Frankic Bishops. These Bishops reproached the Pope
with his concurrence in that decision, and Adrian in a manner apologized for it.
He recognized, it is true, the orthodoxy of the doctrine professed by the council, but alleged that other motives would have impelled him to reject that council, had he not feared lest his opposition might be construed into an adherence to the heresy condemned. “We have accepted the council,"* wrote Adrian, “because its decision agrees with the doctrine of St. Gregory; fearing lest if we did not receive it, the Greeks might return to their errour, and we be responsible for the loss of so many souls. Nevertheless, we have not yet made any answer to the Emperor on the subject of the council. While exhorting them to reestablish images, we
* Resp. ad. lib. Carolin. in Labbe’s Collection, vol. viii.
have warned them to restore to the Roman Church her jurisdiction over certain bishoprics and archbishoprics, and the patrimonies of which we were bereft at the time when images were abolished. But we have received no answer, which shows that the are converted upon one point, but not upon the other two. Therefore, if you think fit, when we shall thank the Emperor for the reestablishment of images, we will also press him further upon the subject of the restitution of the patrimonies and the jurisdiction, and, if he refuse, we will pronounce
him a heretic."
The attacks of the Frankic Bishops against Adrian, although unjust, prove abundantly that they did not recognize in the Papacy the authority it claims to-day. The False Decretals had not yet been able completely to prevail over the ancient usages. Adrian replied to these attacks with a modesty that is easy of explanation, when we reflect how much he needed the Franks and their King Charlemagne to establish the basis of the new Papacy. Far from mentioning that alleged authority which he so proudly strove to impose upon the East, he was willing, in respect to the Franks, to play the part of prisoner at the bar. He made advances to them to the extent of proposing to pronounce the Emperor of Constantinople a heretic for a mere question of temporal possessions, or of a disputed jurisdiction. But we find in Adrian, under this humble show of submission, a prodigious shrewdness in creating occasions for increasing his power. If the Franks had asked him to declare the Emperor of Constantinople
a heretic, they would thereby have recognized in him a sovereign and universal jurisdiction, and laid thus a precedent which would not have been neglected by the Papacy.
Adrian I. died in 796, and was succeeded by Leo III, who pursued the same policy as his predecessor. Immediately after his election, he sent to Charlemagne the standard of the city of Rome and the key of the confession of St Peter. In return the Frankic King sent him costly presents by an ambassador, who was to come to an understanding with him upon all that concerned "the glory of the Church, and the strengthening of the Papal dignity, and of the Roman patriciate given to the Frankic King.†
Leo had some intercourse with the East upon the occasion of the divorce of the
Emperor Constantine. Two holy monks, Plato and Theodore Studites, declared themselves with special energy against the adulterous conduct of the Emperor. Theodore applied to several bishops for aid against the persecutions which their opposition to the Emperor had drawn upon them. The letters of Theodore Studites* are replete with fulsome praises of those to whom he writes. The Romish theologians have chosen to notice only the compliments addressed to the Bishop of Rome. With a little more honesty they might as easily have noted those, often still more emphatic, that are to be found in his other letters; and they must then have concluded that no dogmatic force could be attached to language lavished without distinction of sees, according to circumstances, and with the evident purpose of flattering those to whom the letters were addressed in order to render them favourable to the cause which Theodore advocated. The Romanists have not been willing to notice so obvious a fact. They have quoted the fulsome praises of Theodore as dogmatic testimony in favour of Papal authority, and have not chosen to see that if they have such a dogmatic value in the case of
the Bishop of Rome, they must also have it no less in behalf of the Bishop of Jerusalem, for example, whom he calls ".first of the five Patriarchs," or others, whom he addresses with as much extravagance. On these terms we should have in the Church several Popes enjoying, each of them, supreme and universal authority. This conclusion would not suit the Romish theologians; but it follows necessarily if the letters of Theodore Studites have the dogmatic value that Rome would give them to her own advantage. Moreover, if Theodore Studites
† Alcuin Ep. 84.
* Theod. Stud. Ep. 15.
occasionally gave pompous praise to the Bishop of Rome, he could also speak of him with very little respect, as we may see in his letter to Basil, Abbot of St. Sabas of Rome.‡
At the commencement of his pontificate, Leo III. had to endure a violent opposition on the part of the relatives of his predecessor, Adrian. They heaped atrocious accusations upon him.
Charlemagne having come to Rome (800) as a patrician of that city, assembled a council to judge the Pope. But Leo was sure beforehand that he would prevail. He had received Charlemagne in triumph, and the powerful king was not ungrateful for the attentions of the pontiff.‡ The members of the council accordingly declared with one voice: "We dare not judge the Apostolic see, which is the head of all the churches; such is the ancient
custom!" Men were not overnice in those days in matters of erudition. By the ancient usage the Bishop of Rome was to be judged like any other bishop; but the doctrines of the False Decretals bad no doubt begun to spread. Ingelramn of Metz, who had used them in his lawsuit at Rome, was the chaplain of Charlemagne, and one of his first councilors.
According to this new code of a new Papacy, the Apostolic see, which could judge all, could be judged of none. Rome neglected no chance to establish this fundamental principle of her power, of which the inevitable consequence is Papal infallibility and even impeccability. These consequences were not developed at once, but the principle was now skilfully insinuated upon one favourable occasion. Leo III. justified himself upon oath. Some days later, on Christmas-day, A.D. 800, Charlemagne having gone to St. Peter's, the Pope placed upon his head a rich crown, and the people exclaimed, " Long life and victory to the august Charles, crowned by the hand of God great and pacific Emperor of the Romans! "These acclamations were thrice enthusiastically repeated; after which the Pope knelt before the new Emperor and anointed him and his son Pepin with the holy oil.
Thus was the Roman empire of the West reëstablished. Rome, who had always looked with jealousy upon the removal of the seat of government to Constantinople, was in
transports of joy; the Papacy, pandering to her secret lusts, was now invested with power
such as she had never before possessed. The idea of Adrian was achieved by his successor. The modern Papacy, a mixed institution half political and half religious, was established; a new era was beginning for the Church of Jesus Christ--an era of intrigues and struggles, despotism and revolutions, innovations and scandals.
‡ Theod. Stud. Ep. 28.
‡ Sismondi alleges that this mock trial and the subsequent capital punishment of Leo’s accusers were prearranged, together with the coronation mentioned in the text, during Leo’s visit to Charlemagne a short time
previous at Paderborn. Sismondi, Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xvii.—[EDITOR.]
THAT THE PAPACY, BY HER NOVEL AND AMBITIOUS PRETENTIONS, WAS THE CAUSE OF THE SCHISM BETWEEN THE EASTERN AND WESTERN CHURCHES.
WE have shown, First, that the Bishops of Rome did not enjoy universal authority during the first eight centuries of the Church. Secondly, That they were not then considered either as the centre of unity or as the source of jurisdiction. Thirdly, That they were not supposed to be invested of divine right with any prerogatives whatever as successors of St. Peter.
If, after the ninth century, they put forward in respect of these three points pretensions contrary to the established and universal doctrine of the first eight centuries ; if they undertook to subject the whole Church to their sovereign authority; if they assumed to be the necessary centre of unity and the source of jurisdiction, we must conclude that they have sought to usurp a power to which they had no right.
If these usurpations provoked energetic resistance on the part of the Eastern Church; if the Bishops of Rome made the recognition of their usurped power a condition precedent to reunion, it must follow that the Papacy is the first and direct cause of the division. The facts we shall allege will prove this to be so.
After the coronation of Charlemagne, there was an interval of peace between the two churches. Leo the Armenian renewed the heresy of the Iconoclasts and persecuted the Catholics. Many took refuge in Rome and Pascal I. (817) built a church for them, in which they held services in Greek. This Pope even sent letters and legates to Constantinople to advocate the cause of the faith, which the majority of the bishops, with the Patriarch Nicephorus at their head, courageously defended. Leo the Armenian, hoping nothing from Rome, sought a support in the Church of France. The Bishops of that church assembled at Paris and adopted several decisions similar to those of the Council of Frankfort of which we have spoken. Several of them were sent to Rome to give good advice to the Pope, then Eugenius II.
This was the beginning of that traditional opposition of the Church of France to the
Papacy, in conformity with catholic doctrine, which has been called Gallicanism.
The Bishops of the Council of Paris, like those of Frankfort, had no precise notion of the question discussed in the East; but we only desire to prove by them that they believed they had the right to contest the œcumenical character of the seventh general council, even
after the Pope had concurred in it, and that they ascribed no dogmatic authority in the Church to the Bishop of Rome.
Several somewhat obscure Popes now succeeded each other until 858, when Nicholas I. took the see of Rome. The Eastern Church, persecuted by iconoclastic emperors, defended the holy traditions of the Church with invincible courage. She enjoyed some tranquillity at last under the reign of Michael, (842,) after a persecution that had continued almost without interruption for a hundred and twenty years. Methodius, one of the most courageous defenders of orthodoxy, became Bishop of Constantinople, and was succeeded (847) by Ignatius son of the Emperor Michael Rhangabe, predecessor of Leo the Armenian. This Michael had been shut up in a monastery with his three sons, who had been made eunuchs, in order to incapacitate them for reigning. Ignatius passed through all the lower degrees of the clergy, and was a priest when chosen for the Patriarchal see. The Emperor Michael was a licentious man, who left his uncle Bardas to govern the empire. Ignatius drew upon himself
the hatred of the Emperor by refusing, to make nuns of the Empress dowager Theodora and her two daughters. He made a powerful enemy of Bardas, to whom he publicly refused the communion, because of the scandal of his private life. Moreover, from the day of his consecration, he had also incurred the enmity of Gregory, Bishop of Syracuse, by humiliating him and refusing to permit him to take part in that solemnity, on the ground that be was accused of divers misdemeanours; which was indeed true, but he had not been judged. Ignatius subsequently judged and condemned him; but Rome, to which Gregory appealed, refused at first to confirm the sentence, notwithstanding the solicitations of Ignatius, and only consented when war was openly declared against Photius and his adherents.
We willingly admit that Ignatius had none but good intentions and conscientious motives in all that he did; but it is also just to acknowledge that he imitated neither the prudence of a Tarasius, nor the sublime self-denial of a Chrysostom. Naturally enough, the recollection of the imperial power, of which his father had been deprived by violence, did not dispose him to humour those who held that high position which he looked upon as the birthright of his family. The imperial court accused him of taking sides with an adventurer who fancied he had claims on the imperial crown, and he was exiled.
Many of the bishops before him had been equally exposed to the caprice of the court. Among his predecessors, and even in the see of Rome, Ignatius might have found examples of men who preferred to renounce a dignity they could no longer exercise with profit to the Church, rather than to excite by useless opposition disturbances which always injure it. He did not see fit to imitate these examples, and refused to renounce his dignity in spite of the entreaties of several bishops.
The court could not yield. It convoked the clergy, who chose Photius for their
Photius was nephew of the Patriarch Tarasius, and belonged to the imperial family. His portrait is thus drawn by Fleury:*
"The genius of Photius was even above his birth. He had a great mind carefully
cultivated. His wealth enabled him readily to find books of all descriptions; and his desire of glory led him to pass whole nights in reading. He thus became the most learned man not
only of his own but of preceding ages. He was versed in grammar, poetry, rhetoric, philosophy, medicine, and all the secular sciences; but he had not neglected ecclesiastical lore, and when he came to office, he made himself thoroughly acquainted with it."
In a work latterly composed by the court of Rome, they have been obliged to say of Photius:† "His vast erudition, his insinuating temper, at once supple and firm, and his capacity in political affairs, even his sweet expression of face, his noble and attractive manners, made him conspicuous among his contemporaries."
But we ought first to have traced the character of Photius after those writers who are not suspected of partiality to him. Truth also demands that we should state what documents have served as the basis of all that has since been written in the Roman Church upon the important events in which he took part.
We will first mention the letters of Metrophanes, metropolitan of Smyrna, of Stylien, Bishop of Neo-Cæsarea, and of the monk Theognostus. These three men are known as personal enemies of Photius. Anastasius the Librarian was so contemptible a man that no importance can be attached to his testimony. The following is an abstract of the sentence rendered against him at Rome itself in 868: "The whole Church of God knows what Anastasius did in the times of the Popes our predecessors, and what Leo and Benedict
* Fleury Hist. Eccl. Lib. L. § 3, ann. 858.
† The Eastern Church, a book published under the name of M. Pitzipios, Part I. chap. 4, edition of the Roman
ordered in respect to him, that the one deposed, excommunicated, and anathematized him; the other having stripped him of his priestly vestments, admitted him to lay communion. Subsequently, Pope Nicholas reinstated him on condition of his remaining faithful to the Roman Church. But after having pillaged our Patriarchal palace and carried off the Acts of the Councils in which he had been condemned, he has sent men out over the walls of this city to sow discord between the princes and the Church, and caused one Adalgrim, who had taken refuge in the Church, to lose his eyes and tongue. Finally, as many among you have, like myself, heard a priest, named Adon, a relative of his, say, he has forgotten our benefits to the extent of sending a man to Eleutherus to induce him to commit the murders you know of.* Therefore we order, in conformity with the judgments of Popes Leo and Benedict, that he be deprived of all ecclesiastical communion, until such time as he shall be acquitted by a council of the things whereof he is accused; and whoever communicates with him, or even speaks to him, incurs the same excommunication. If he remove himself however little from Rome, or
if he discharge any ecclesiastical function, he shall suffer perpetual anathema, both he and his accomplices."
Anastasius doubtless obtained a pardon from Adrian as he had obtained it from Pope Nicholas. Rome had need of him in her contentions with the East, for he spoke Greek very well, which was then a rare accomplishment in the West. Accordingly, in the following year (869) we find Anastasius at Constantinople, engaged in the council against Photius. He translated its decrees from Greek into Latin, and added a preface, in which he describes, in his own style, the acts attributed to Photius. Could such a man be regarded as a credible witness against the Patriarch of Constantinople as a wise discriminator of facts, or as an honest narrator? May we not believe that he wished to show himself faithful to the Roman Church according to the condition of his first pardon granted by Nicholas?
“It is not known precisely at what time this author died. It is certain that he was still living under the pontificate of John VIII., who was elected in 872, and died in 882."†
There has indeed been an attempt to make the world believe in a second Anastasius,
the Librarian at Rome at the same time, so as not to load the historian of the Popes with accusations which deprive him of all credibility. But no proof can be brought to sustain this assertion, which must consequently be regarded as devoid of all foundation. It is certain that Anastasius the Librarian flourished precisely at the time we have mentioned, and that no other Anastasius the Librarian is known beside the one implicated in the atrocious crimes mentioned in his sentence; who was repeatedly condemned there at Rome itself, and who only obtained pardon upon conditions which lay him open to suspicion, when he speaks of the enemies of the Roman Church.
The testimony of Nicetas David, the Paphlagonian, author of the Life of Ignatius, is relied on against Photius. We may even say that this writer is the great authority against him. Still, impartiality compels us to observe, that Nicetas carried party spirit so far against
Photius as to adopt the famous addition (Filioque) made to the creed, though not yet officially recognized as legitimate even in the West. The whole of his recital and that of Michael Syncellus, proves that these two writers must be ranked among the personal enemies of Photius.
* Eleutherus, son of Bishop Arsenus, having debauched a daughter of Pope Adrian II., carried her off and married her, though she was betrothed to another. This Pope obtained from the Emperor Louis commissioners to judge him according to the Roman law. Then Eleutherus became furious, and killed Stephanie the wife of the Pope, and his daughter, who had become his own wife. It was rumoured that Anastasius had put up his brother Eleutherus to commit these murders. At the commencement of his reign, about 868, Adrian had made Anastasius librarian of the Roman Church (V. Annales Bertin)
† Feller, Dict. Biog. voc. Anastasius.
Now, when a historical personage is to be judged, should we defer to the opinion of his enemies? The question answers itself.
A clear and invincible argument against these authors may be drawn from their own writings, as compared with other historians such as George, Cedrenus, Zonaras, and Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The former attribute to Photius, on account of their hatred to him, the persecutions of which Ignatius was the object, while they are ascribed to Bardas by the latter, who are impartial.
How shall we decide between these conflicting accounts of the historians? We will believe neither. Photius, and the Popes with whom he quarrelled, wrote letters in which their own thoughts are set forth. These letters exist; they are the most credible documents. We
will hear the litigants themselves defend their own cause. This is the best mode of arriving at the truth.
Photius received the episcopal ordination on Christmas day, 858. The following year he wrote to Nicholas I., then Bishop of Rome:
"To the most holy, sacred, and reverend fellow-minister, Nicholas, Pope of the old
Rome: Photius, Bishop of Constantinople, the new Rome:
“When I consider the grandeur of the priesthood; when I think of the distance
between its perfection and the baseness of man; when I measure the weakness of my powers, and recall the ideas I have had all my life of the sublimity of such a dignity--thoughts which inspired me with wonder, with stupefaction when I saw the men of our times, not to mention those of ancient times, accepting the dreadful yoke of the pontificate, and, though men of flesh and blood, undertaking, at their great peril, to fulfil the ministry of the pure-spirited cherubim; when my mind dwells upon such thoughts, and I find myself in that position in which I have trembled to see others, I cannot express the pain and the grief I experience. In childhood I took a resolution that age has only strengthened, to keep myself aloof from business and noise, and to enjoy the peaceful delights of private life; still (I should confess it to your Holiness, since in writing to you I owe you the truth) I have been obliged to accept dignities from the imperial court, and thus break my resolutions. Yet have I never been so bold as to aspire to the dignity of the priesthood. It seemed to me too venerable and formidable; above all, when I recalled the example of St. Peter, head of the Apostles, who, after having given to our Lord and our true God, Jesus Christ, so many evidences of his faith, and showed how ardently he loved him, regarded the honour of being raised by his Master to the priesthood as the crowning glory of all his good works. I also recall the example of that servant who had received one talent, and who, having hid it, because his. master was a hard man, that he might not lose it, was obliged to give an account of it, and was condemned to
the fire and to Hades .for having permitted it to lie idle.
“But why should I thus write to you, and, renew my pain and aggravate my grief, and make you the confidant of my sorrow? The remembrance of painful things embitters their evil without bringing any solace. That which has happened is like a tragedy, which took place, no doubt, in order that by your prayers we might be enabled to govern well that flock which has been committed to us, I know not how; that the cloud of difficulties hanging over us might be dispelled; that the heavy atmosphere which surrounds us might be cleared. Even as a pilot is joyful when he sees his well-directed bark driven by a favourable wind, so a church is the joy of a pastor, who sees it increase in piety and virtue, dispelling the anxieties that encompass him like clouds, and the fears inspired by his own weakness.
“A short time since, when he who had the episcopal office before us abandoned this honour, I found myself attacked on all sides, under what direction I do not know, by the clergy and the assembly of bishops and metropolitans, and particularly by the Emperor, who is full of love for Christ, good, just, humane, and (why shall I not say it?) more just than
those who reigned before him. Only against me has he been inhuman, violent, and terrible. Acting in concert with the assembly of which I have spoken, be has given me no respite, actuated, he says, to this insistence by the unanimous wish and desire of the clergy, who would allow me no excuse; and asserting that in view of such a vote he could not, however he might desire it, permit my resistance. The assembly of the clergy was large, and my entreaties could not be heard by many of them; those who heard them took no heed of them ; they had but one intention, one determined resolve-that of imposing the episcopate upon me in spite of myself." . . .
We will pause here one moment. The enemies of Photius have maintained that in thus expressing himself he gave evidence of his hypocrisy; that instead of refusing the episcopacy, he had desired it. They also accuse him of falsehood in asserting that his predecessor had abandoned his dignity.
Are these two assertions true? We can better know a man by his familiar correspondence than by the gratuitous assertions of his enemies. This is certainly a principle that no one will contest. Now the familiar letters of Photius to his relative, the “Cæsar " Bardas, clearly prove that he left no means untried to escape from the dignity that it was sought to impose upon him. The honours which he enjoyed at court were already a burden to him, because they forced him from studies which were his only passion; he knew, that once raised to the patriarchal chair, he would be compelled to give up that peaceful life in which
he enjoyed the truest delights of learning; and therefore he entreated Bardas to give another the chair.* What motive could he have had to write this intimately to a man who knew his tastes and was his friend ?
Now did Photius seek to deceive the Pope by writing to him that Ignatius had abandoned his see? It is certain that, right or wrong, Ignatius had been condemned as a conspirator, and as such banished by the Emperor. If, under these circumstances, he had, as Anastasius the Librarian asserts, laid his church under a species of interdict, such conduct
would have been criminal and opposed to that of the greatest and most saintly bishops. We
have already seen Pope Martin condemned, persecuted, and banished like Ignatius, yet acknowledging the legitimacy of Eugene, elected by the Roman Church as his successor without his ever having given his resignation. St. Chrysostom, unjustly exiled, wrote in this noble language: "The Church did not begin with me, nor will it end with me. The Apostles and the Prophets have suffered far greater persecutions."
As a conclusion, he exhorted the bishops to obey whoever should be put in his place, and only begged them not to sign his condemnation if they did not believe him guilty.
Photius must have considered this custom, and looked upon his predecessor as
having, fallen from his dignity, seeing that all the clergy except five votes† had elected him to succeed Ignatius. But he could not write to the Pope that Ignatius bad been deposed, since he had not been canonically condemned.
He was therefore neither a hypocrite nor a liar in writing to the Pope, as we have seen. He thus continues:
“The opportunity for entreaty being taken from me, I burst into tears. The sorrow which seemed like a cloud within me and filled me with anxiety and darkness, broke at once into a torrent of tears which overflowed from my eyes. To see our words unavailing to obtain safety, impels us naturally to prayers and tears; we hope for some aid from them even though we can no longer expect it. Those who thus did violence to my feelings left me no peace until they had obtained what they desired, although against my will. Thus here I am,
* Photi. Epist. ad Bard.
† Those historians who are enemies to Photius acknowledge this.
exposed to storms and judgments that only God knows of, who knows all things. But enough of this, as the phrase is."
“Now as communion of faith is the best of all, and as it is preeminently the source of true love, in order to contract with your Holiness a pure and indissoluble bond, we have resolved to briefly engrave, as upon marble, our faith, which is yours also. By that means we shall more promptly obtain the aid of your fervent prayers, and give you the best evidence of our affection."
Photius then makes his profession of faith with an exactitude and depth worthy of the greatest theologian. He there refers the fundamental truths of Christianity to the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Redemption. He accepts the seven œcumenical councils,
and sets forth in few words, but with remarkable accuracy, the doctrine there propounded. He adds:
"Such is the profession of my faith, touching the things that belong to it and flow from it. In this faith is my hope. It is not mine alone, but is shared by all those who wish to live piously, who have in them the love of God, who have resolved to maintain the pure and exact Christian doctrine. In recording thus our profession of faith in writing, and in making known to your very sacred Holiness that which concerns us, we have as it were engraved upon marble what we have expressed to you in words; as we have told you, we need your prayers, that God may be good and propitious to us in all we undertake; that He may grant us grace to tear up every root of scandal, every stone of stumbling from the ecclesiastical order; that we may carefully pasture all those committed to us; that the multitude of our sins may
not retard the progress of our flock in virtue, and thereby make our faults more numerous; that I may at all times do and say to the faithful what is proper; that on their side they may be always obedient and docile in what concerns their salvation; that by the "grace and goodness of Christ, who is the chief of all, they may grow continually in Him, to whom be Glory and the kingdom with the Father and Holy Spirit, the consubstantial Trinity and principle of life, now and evermore, world without end. Amen."
This letter savours of the taste of the age in its affected style. But it is no less a beautiful monument of orthodoxy, and, in all respects, worthy of a, great writer and a great bishop.
The enemies of Photius have said that another, claimed to be his first letter to the Pope, was a work of hypocrisy in which he sought to win him over to his side by unworthy means, and chiefly by affecting great zeal against the iconoclasts. They have never been able to quote a line of this supposed letter. Those who invented it seem not to have remembered that the bishops could not hold the least intercourse before the usual letters of intercommunion. On this occasion as on many others, hatred has made the forgers blind.
The first letter of Photius to the Pope is the one we have just translated.
It was brought to Rome with a letter from the Emperor. Nicholas I. took this occasion to do an act of supreme authority in the Church. This Pope is one of those who most contributed to unfold the work of Adrian I. The Jesuit Maimbourg,* meaning to praise him, asserts that, "during his pontificate of nine years, he raised the papal power to a height it had never before reached, especially in respect to emperors, kings, princes, and patriarchs, whom he treated more roughly than any of his predecessors, whenever he thought himself wronged in the prerogatives of his pontifical power." This is undoubtedly true, but Father Maimbourg did not appreciate either the historical importance of what he established, nor the fatal consequences of this development of papal power. Nor did he see that this vaunted
* Maimb. History of the Greek Schism.
development was nothing short of a radical change, and that, in, the ninth century, the Papacy was no longer the Roman patriarchate of the first eight centuries.
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