“Those who know what Rome has once been are best able to appreciate what she is.” Henry Hallam
The separation of Church and State, which is one of the pillars of the U.S. Constitution, is being threatened as never before. The American Republic is being charmed by the overtures from Rome, and will soon be entangled by it. In the past, Protestants were taught to “abhor popery” and held that “to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God”. But one would have to search diligently in order to find people that even understand the meaning of true Protestantism.
History does not fail to inform the present generation about the course taken by the Papacy in its war against freedom. Whenever it was in power and had undisputed sway over the minds of its subjects, it held that obedience to the Pope was above all other duties, even above one’s conscience. The unbelievable assertions of this haughty power can be seen in its correspondence with other sovereigns.
Pope Nicholas I (April 24, 858, to Nov. 13, 867), in a letter to the Byzantine Emperor Michael III over a controversy that arose between the Emperor and the See of Rome, wrote the following words:
“Know, prince, that the vicars of Christ are above the judgment of mortals; and that the most powerful sovereigns have no right to punish the crimes of popes, how enormous soever they may be. Your thoughts should be occupied by the efforts which they accomplish for the correction of the Church, without disquieting yourself about their actions; for no matter how scandalous or criminal may be the debaucheries of the pontiffs, you should obey them, for they are seated on the chair of St. Peter. …
“Cease, then, to oppose our rights, and obey our orders, or else we will, in our turn, raise our power against yours, and will say to the nations, People, cease to bow your heads before your proud masters. Overthrow these impious sovereigns, these sacrilegious kings, who have arrogated to themselves the right of commanding men, and of taking away the liberty of their brethren.
“Fear, then, our wrath, and the thunders of our vengeance; for Jesus Christ has appointed us with his own mouth absolute judges of all men; and kings themselves are submitted to our authority. The power of the Church has been consecrated before your reign, and it will subsist after it” (Louis Marrie de Cormenin, A Complete History of the Popes of Rome, Vol. 1, 1851 ed., p. 243).
In replying to the bishops of Lorraine, Pope Nicholas used the following extraordinary language, which depicts Rome’s understanding of the loyalty of all its subjects, regardless of their citizenship:
“You affirm that you are submissive to your sovereign, in order to obey the words of the apostle Peter, who said, ‘Be subject to the prince, because he is above all mortals in this world.’ But you appear to forget that we, as the vicar of Christ, have the right to judge all men; thus, before obeying kings, you owe obedience to us; and if we declare a monarch guilty, you should reject him from your communion until we pardon him.
“We alone have the power to bind and to loose, to absolve Nero, and to condemn him; and Christians can not, under penalty of excommunication, execute other judgment than ours, which alone is infallible. People are not the judges of their princes; they should obey, without murmuring, the most iniquitous orders; they should bow their foreheads under the chastisements which it pleases kings to inflict on them; for a sovereign can violate the fundamental laws of the State, and seize upon the wealth of citizens, by imposts or by confiscations; he can even dispose of their lives, without any of his subjects having the right to address to him simple remonstrances. But if we declare a king heretical and sacrilegious, — if we drive him from the Church, — clergy and laity, whatever their rank, are freed from their oaths of fidelity, and may revolt against his power…” (Ibid., p. 242).
In inciting Charles the Bald against the King of Lorraine, Nicholas said:
“… and we order you, in the name of religion, to invade his States, burn his cities, and massacre his people, whom we render responsible for the resistance of their bad prince.” (Ibid., p. 243).
When Bagoris, King of Bulgaria, who had recently become a Catholic, inquired of the Pope if he had sinned in compelling his subjects to become catholics, even putting to death those who refused, Nicholas replied:
“You advise us that you have caused your subjects to be baptized without their consent, and that you have exposed yourself to so violent a revolt as to have incurred the risk of your life. I glorify you for having maintained your authority by putting to death those wandering sheep who refused to enter the fold; and you not only have not sinned, by showing a holy rigor, but I even congratulate you on having opened the kingdom of heaven to the people submitted to your rule. A king need not fear to command massacres, when these will retain his subjects in obedience, or cause them to submit to the faith of Christ, and God will reward him in this world, and in eternal life, for these murders.” (Ibid., p. 244).
This haughty despot is now called “Saint Nicholas the Great”. The principles which he expounded are far from being recanted by the Church. Every American, who truly understands what American citizenship really is, should be alarmed to see the approach of this power to the “land of the free”. When will people awake to their danger?
“The pacific tone of Rome in the United States does not imply a change of heart. She is tolerant where she is helpless. Says Bishop O’Connor: ‘Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect without peril to the Catholic world.’ The Catholic Review says: ‘Protestantism, of every form, has not, and never can have, any right where Catholicity is triumphant.’ (A strange kind of catholicity!) The archbishop of St. Louis once said: ‘Heresy and unbelief are crimes; and in Christian countries, as in Italy and Spain, for instance, where all the people are Catholics, and where the Catholic religion is an essential part of the law of the land, they are punished as other crimes.’” (Josiah Strong, Our Country, p. 47).
These are the last days of American Republic. Soon the Roman standards will be flying over this Nation. The Constitution will be replaced by an Imperial Religious Despotism, and Protestantism, which escaped its death penalty in the Old World, will be opposed by its unabated foe. But we cannot wait in silence, as if we willingly accepted the situation. Against the Papal encroachments, we put forth a most decided PROTEST! Where are the defenders of freedom? How are they unable to see what’s coming? Have they failed to learn from history?