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"Our religion and love of our Lord are incomplete if they do not acknowledge thee as his Vicar." (Liturgical Year)

"The decrees I have carried out have never been my own but the apostles', that they might be forever confirmed and upheld." (Pope Liberius, 355 A.D.)

"There is one God, and Christ is one, and there is one Church, and one chair founded upon Peter by the word of the Lord. Another altar cannot be constituted nor a new priesthood except the one altar and the one priesthood." (St. Cyprian, 3rd century A.D.)

"Time and again, so as to demonstrate what His power can accomplish, He employs weak instruments to rule His Church; in this way, all men may increasingly realize that it is God Himself who governs and protects the Church with his wonderful providence." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope St. Pius X in Lamentabili: "When the Church proscribes errors, she cannot exact any internal assent of the faithful, by which the judgments published by her are embraced." (Pope St. Pius X, This proposition was condemned in "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.)

"If, therefore, the Greeks or others say that they are not committed to Peter and to his successors, they necessarily say that they are not the sheep of Christ, since the Lord says there is one fold and one shepherd (Jn. 10:16). Whoever, therefore, resists this authority thus ordered by God, resists the command of God." (Pope Boniface VIII)

"He Who reigns on high, to Whom is given all power in Heaven and earth, has entrusted His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, to one person on earth alone, namely: to Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and to Peter's successor, the Roman Pontiff, to be governed by him with the fullness of power." (Pope St. Pius V)

"Let us not listen to those who deny that the Church of God is able to forgive all sins. They are wretched indeed, because they do not recognize in Peter the rock and they and they refuse to believe that the keys of the kingdom of heaven...have been given to the Church." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, circa 397 A.D.)

"But the man who has embraced the Christian faith, as in duty bound, is by that very fact a subject of the Church as one of the children born of her, and becomes a member of that greatest and holiest body, which it is the special charge of the Roman Pontiff to rule with supreme power, under its invisible head, Jesus Christ." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

"[L]et us keep vigil in the presence of the most blessed Apostle Peter; who, as we experience and know, watches unceasingly like a shepherd over the sheep entrusted to him by the Lord, and who will prevail in his entreaties that the Church of God, which was rounded by his preaching, may be free from all error, through Christ our Lord. Amen." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Hallowed, therefore, in the minds of Christians is the very idea of public authority, in which they recognize some likeness and symbol as it were of the Divine Majesty, even when it is exercised by one unworthy. A just and due reverence to the laws abides in them, not from force and threats, but from a consciousness of duty; 'for God hath not given us the spirit of fear.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

"For at the present turbulent time, as much as ever, Satan 'has sought after us all in order to sift us as wheat.' Still who is so sluggish, so different-minded to Us not to understand fully that Christ does what He said He would do: to pray for Peter that his faith should not fail even in the present grim circumstances. Later ages will be amazed at the wisdom, magnanimity, and firmness of Our predecessor Pius VI." (Pope Pius VII, "Diu Satis", 1800 A.D.)

CONDEMNED Error of John Hus: "No one takes the place of Christ or of Peter unless he follows him in character, since no other succession is more important, and not otherwise does he receive from God the procuratorial power, because for that office of vicar are required both conformity in character and the authority of Him who institutes it." (This error was formally condemned by the Council of Constance in 1418 A.D.)

"Jesus had said: 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church' (Mt. xvi. 18): no, Peter was to die; the promise, therefore, could not refer to his person alone, but to the whole line of his successors, even to the end of the world. How stupendous is the action of the Holy Ghost, who thus produces a dynasty of spiritual princes, which has reached its two hundred and fiftieth Pontiff, and is to continue to the last day!" (Gueranger, 19th Century A.D.)

"O Peter, on thee must we build; for we wish to be dwellers in the holy city. We will follow our Lord's counsel, by raising our structure upon the rock, so that it may resist the storm, and may become an eternal abode. Our gratitude to thee, who hast vouchsafed to uphold us, is all the greater, since our senseless age tries to build a new social edifice on the shifting sands of public opinion, and therefore accomplishes nothing except ruin and confusion!" (Liturgical Year)

"Before the day when man separated what God had joined together, the name of the Apostolic See was held in reverence by all the nations of the Christian world: and the East, like the West, agreed without hesitation in its obedience to the Pontiff of Rome, as the legitimate successor of St. Peter, and, therefore, the Vicar of Christ here on earth." (Pope Leo XIII, "Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae", 1894 A.D.)

"Renewing the ancient privilege of the patriarchal sees, with the approval of the sacred universal synod, we sanction that after the Roman Church, which by the ordering of the Lord before all others holds the first place of ordinary power as the mother and teacher of all the faithful of Christ, the (Church of) Constantinople holds the first, Alexandria the second, Antioch the third, and Jerusalem the fourth place." (Lateran Council IV, 1215 A.D.)

"In addition, the proposition which states 'that the Roman Pontiff is the ministerial head,' if it is so explained that the Roman Pontiff does not receive from Christ in the person of blessed Peter, but from the Church, the power of ministry, which as successor of Peter, true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church he possesses in the universal Church, [is condemned as] heretical." (Errors of the Synod of Pistoia, Condemned in the Constitution "Auctorem fidei," Aug. 28, 1794 A.D.)

CONDEMNED Error of John Hus: "The pope is not the manifest and true successor of the prince of the apostles, Peter, if he lives in a way contrary to Peter's. If he seeks avarice, he is the vicar of Judas Iscariot. Likewise, cardinals are not the manifest and true successors of the college of Christ's other apostles unless they live after the manner of the apostles, keeping the commandments and counsels of our lord Jesus Christ." (Council of Constance, Condemned articles of John Hus)

"This, most blessed Pope, is the faith that we have been taught in the Catholic Church. If anything therein has been incorrectly or carelessly expressed, we beg that it may be set aright by you who hold the faith and see of Peter. If however this, our profession, be approved by the judgment of your apostleship, whoever may blame me, will prove that he himself is ignorant, or malicious, or even not a Catholic but a heretic." (Attr. St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"As Christ is the Shepherd, is Peter not a shepherd? On the contrary, Peter is also shepherd, and so are all of such kind without any doubt shepherds. For if he be not shepherd, why should it be said to him: feed my sheep? Yet it is the true shepherd who feeds his own sheep. Now it was said to Peter, not, Feed thy sheep, but my sheep. Hence Peter is shepherd not in himself, but in the body of the Shepherd. For if he fed his own sheep, they would immediately become goats which he was feeding." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"The Divine condescension has made this an honorable day for me, for it has shown by raising my humbleness to the highest rank, that He despised not any of His own. And hence, although one must be diffident of merit, yet it is one's bounden duty to rejoice over the gift, since He who is the Imposer of the burden is Himself the Aider in its execution: and lest the weak recipient should fall beneath the greatness of the grace, He who conferred the dignity will also give the power." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"On the part of the person appointed [to the episcopal office], it is not required that he esteem himself better than others, for this would be proud and presumptuous; but it suffices that he perceive nothing in himself which would make it unlawful for him to take up the office of prelate. Hence although Peter was asked by our Lord if he loved Him more than the others, he did not, in his reply, set himself before the others, but answered simply that he loved Christ." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and 'greatest theologian in the history of the Church')

"Can. 1370 §1 A person who uses physical force against the Roman Pontiff incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; if he is a cleric, another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state, can be added according to the gravity of the delict. §2 A person who does this against a bishop incurs a latae sententiae interdict and, if he is a cleric, also a latae sententiae suspension. §3 A person who uses physical force against a cleric or religious out of contempt for the faith, the Church, ecclesiastical power, or the ministry is to be punished with a just penalty." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"That we may remain members of our apostolic head, the throne of the Roman Pontiffs, of whom it is our duty to seek what we are to believe and what we are to hold, venerating him, beseeching him above others; for his it is to reprove, to correct, to appoint, to loose, and to bind in place of Him Who set up that very throne, and Who gave the fullness of His own to no other, but to him alone, to whom by divine right all bow the head, and the primates of the world are obedient as to our Lord Jesus Christ Himself." (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church)

"The word 'centralization' can designate a system of government that claims to take everything into its own hands, to decide and to direct everything and reduce all subalterns to the mere role of instruments. This centralization is absolutely foreign to the spirit of the Roman Pontiffs and the Apostolic See. But the Holy See cannot renounce its position as the directing center of the Church. While leaving to the constituted Superiors the initiatives provided for by the Constitutions, it must preserve its rights and exercise its function of vigilance." (Pope Pius XII, 1957)

CONDEMNED Error of Wyclif: "Peter and Clement, together with the other helpers in the faith, were not popes but God's helpers in the work of building up the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ." [Council of Constance, Sentence condemning 260 articles of Wyclif, 'This holy synod, therefore, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, repudiates and condemns, by this perpetual decree, the aforesaid articles and each one of them in particular; and it forbids each and every Catholic henceforth, under pain of anathema, to preach, teach, or hold the said articles or any one of them.']

CONDEMNED Error of Wyclif: "Just as a prince or a lord does not keep the title of his office while he is in mortal sin, except in name and equivocally, so it is with a pope, bishop or priest while he has fallen into mortal sin." [Council of Constance, Sentence condemning 260 articles of Wyclif, 'This holy synod, therefore, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, repudiates and condemns, by this perpetual decree, the aforesaid articles and each one of them in particular; and it forbids each and every Catholic henceforth, under pain of anathema, to preach, teach, or hold the said articles or any one of them.']

"According to this promise of the Lord (Mt. 26:18), the Apostolic Church of Peter remains pure and spotless from all leading into error, or heretical fraud, above all Heads and Bishops, and Primates of Churches and people, with its own Pontiffs, with most abundant faith, and the authority of Peter. And while other Churches have to blush for the error of some of their members, this reigns alone immovably established, enforcing silence, and stopping the mouths of all heretics; and we, not drunken with the wine of pride, confess together with it the type of truth, and of the holy apostolic tradition." (St. Cyril, Doctor of the Church)

"I declare anathema every heresy and especially that one which disturbs the position of the present Church, which teaches and declares that excommunication is to be despised and that the restrictions of the Church are to be cast aside. Moreover, I promise obedience to Paschal, the supreme Pontiff of the Apostolic See, and to his successors under the testimony of Christ and the Church, affirming what the holy and universal Church affirms and condemning what she condemns." (Formula prescribed for cities of the Eastern Church, 12th Century A.D.)

"Furthermore, it follows that from that supreme power of the Roman Pontiff of ruling the universal Church, the same has the right in the exercise of this duty of his office of communicating freely with the pastors and flocks of the whole Church, so that the same can be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation. Therefore, We condemn and disapprove the opinions of those who say that this communication of the supreme head with pastors and flocks can lawfully be checked, or who make this so submissive to secular power that they contend that whatever is established by the Apostolic See or its authority for the government of the Church has no force or value unless confirmed by an order of the secular power." (Vatican Council I, 1870 A.D.)

"That faith thus understood is necessary to salvation no man can reasonably doubt, particularly since it is written: Without faith it is impossible to please God. For as the end proposed to man as his ultimate happiness is far above the reach of human understanding, it was therefore necessary that it should be made known to him by God. This knowledge, however, is nothing else than faith, by which we yield our unhesitating assent to whatever the authority of our Holy Mother the Church teaches us to have been revealed by God; for the faithful cannot doubt those things of which God, who is truth itself, is the author. Hence we see the great difference between this faith which we give to God and that which we yield to the writers of human history." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Lest the supreme pontiff may seem to be influenced by carnal affection rather than by right reason, and to avoid the scandals that sad experience shows often arise, in future he shall not make or allow to be made anyone related to him by blood or affinity to the third degree inclusive a duke, marquis, count, feudatory, emphyteutic tenant, deputy, governor, official or castellan of any province, city, town, castle, fortress or place of the Roman church, nor give them any jurisdiction or power over them, nor appoint them captains or leaders of men under arms. The cardinals must never agree with a supreme pontiff attempting to act otherwise, and his successor as pontiff shall withdraw and revoke anything done in this way." (Council of Basel)

"Who would not be fearful at the present condition of the Christian people? The divine love by which we abide in God and God in us grows very cold as sins and wickedness increase every day. Who would not be shocked when considering that We have undertaken the task of guarding and protecting the Church at a time when many plots are laid against orthodox religion, when the safe guidance of the sacred canons is rashly despised, and when confusion is spread wide by men maddened by a monstrous desire of innovation, who attack the very bases of rational nature and attempt to overthrow them? Assuredly with such reason for fear, we would have no hope of escaping slavery except that the Guardian of Israel, who does not sleep, says to His disciples: 'Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.' He deigned to be not merely the guardian of the sheep, but the shepherd of the shepherds as well." (Pope Pius VI, "Inscrutabile", 1775)

"[T]hough He has delegated the care of His sheep to many shepherds, yet He has not Himself abandoned the guardianship of His beloved flock. And from His overruling and eternal protection we have received the support of the Apostles' aid also, which assuredly does not cease from its operation: and the strength of the foundation, on which the whole superstructure of the Church is reared, is not weakened by the weight of the temple that rests upon it. For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual: and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter. For when, as has been read in the Gospel lesson, the Lord had asked the disciples whom they believed Him to be amid the various opinions that were held, and the blessed Peter [replied], saying, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,' the Lord says, 'Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and flood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father, which is in heaven. And I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.'" (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"[St. Jerome's] voice is now still, though at one time the whole Catholic world listened to it when it echoed from the desert; yet Jerome still speaks in his writings, which 'shine like lamps throughout the world.' Jerome still calls to us. His voice rings out, telling us of the super-excellence of Holy Scripture, of its integral character and historical trustworthiness, telling us, too, of the pleasant fruits resulting from reading and meditating upon it. His voice summons all the Church's children to return to a truly Christian standard of life, to shake themselves free from a pagan type of morality which seems to have sprung to life again in these days. His voice calls upon us, and especially on Italian piety and zeal, to restore to the See of Peter divinely established here that honor and liberty which its Apostolic dignity and duty demand. The voice of Jerome summons those Christian nations which have unhappily fallen away from Mother Church to turn once more to her in whom lies all hope of eternal salvation." (Pope Benedict XV, "Spiritus Paraclitus", 1920 A.D.)

"Surely it is lamentable that those eager for novelty easily pass from a contempt for scholastic theology to a neglect, and even a disrespect for the magisterium of the Church, which supports that theology by its authority. For, this magisterium is considered by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle to science; indeed, by certain non-Catholics it is looked upon as an unjust restraint by which some learned theologians are prevented from pursuing their science. And, although this sacred magisterium, in matters of faith and morals, should be the proximate and universal norm of faith to any theologian, inasmuch as Christ the Lord entrusted the entire deposit of faith to it, namely, the Sacred Scriptures and 'divine tradition', to be guarded, and preserved, and interpreted; yet its office, by which the faithful are bound to flee those errors which more or less tend toward heresy, and so, too, 'to keep its constitutions and decrees, by which such perverse opinions are proscribed and prohibited,' is sometimes ignored as if it did not exist. There are some who consistently neglect to consult what has been set forth in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs on the character and constitution of the Church, for the reason that a certain vague notion prevails drawn from the ancient Fathers, especially the Greek. For the popes, as they repeatedly say, do not wish to pass judgment on those matters which are in dispute among theologians, and so there must be a return to the early sources, and the more recent constitutions and decrees of the magisterium are to be explained from the writings of the ancients. Even if perchance these things seem to have been wisely said, yet they are not without error. It is true that, in general, the Pontiffs grant freedom to theologians in those matters which are disputed with varying opinions, but history teaches that many things, which formerly were subject to free discussion, later cannot permit any discussion. It is not to be thought that what is set down in Encyclical Letters does not demand assent in itself, because in this the popes do not exercise the supreme power of their magisterium. For these matters are taught by the ordinary magisterium, regarding which the following is pertinent: 'He who heareth you, heareth me.' [Luke 10:16]; and usually what is set forth and inculcated in the Encyclical Letters, already pertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their acts, after due consideration, express an opinion on a hitherto controversial matter, it is clear to all that this matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot any longer be considered a question of free discussion among the theologians." (Pope Pius XII, "Humani generis", August 12, 1950 A.D.)

"The Apostolic voice did not thunder forth in vain. On the contrary, not only did the obedient children of the Church hearken to it with marveling admiration and hail it with the greatest applause, but many also who were wandering far from the truth, from the unity of the faith, and nearly all who since then either in private study or in enacting legislation have concerned themselves with the social and economic question. Feeling themselves vindicated and defended by the Supreme Authority on earth, Christian workers received this Encyclical with special joy. So, too, did all those noble-hearted men who, long solicitous for the improvement of the condition of the workers, had up to that time encountered almost nothing but indifference from many, and even rankling suspicion, if not open hostility, from some. Rightly, therefore, have all these groups constantly held the Apostolic Encyclical from that time in such high honor that to signify their gratitude they are wont, in various places and in various ways, to commemorate it every year. However, in spite of such great agreement, there were some who were not a little disturbed; and so it happened that the teaching of Leo XIII, so noble and lofty and so utterly new to worldly ears, was held suspect by some, even among Catholics, and to certain ones it even gave offense. For it boldly attacked and overturned the idols of Liberalism, ignored long-standing prejudices, and was in advance of its time beyond all expectation, so that the slow of heart disdained to study this new social philosophy and the timid feared to scale so lofty a height. There were some also who stood, indeed, in awe at its splendor, but regarded it as a kind of imaginary ideal of perfection more desirable then attainable... Nor is the benefit that has poured forth from Leo's Encyclical confined within these bounds; for the teaching which On the Condition of Workers contains has gradually and imperceptibly worked its way into the minds of those outside Catholic unity... Catholic principles on the social question have as a result, passed little by little into the patrimony of all human society, and We rejoice that the eternal truths which Our Predecessor of glorious memory proclaimed so impressively have been frequently invoked and defended not only in non-Catholic books and journals but in legislative halls also courts of justice... The Encyclical On the Condition of Workers, without question, has become a memorable document and rightly to it may be applied the words of Isaias: 'He shall set up a standard to the nations.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931 A.D.)

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