In this lengthy argument, which we have split into three parts, US lay writer, Edgar Davie, looks at the history of the notion of infallibility and a couple of instances where the institution has seemingly broken the founding principle on which the entire notion is based. Today we present the second part of his argument.
Article Navigation: Part I | Part II | Part III
On the History and Consequences of Papal Infallibility
The Pagan Origin of Siricius' Law...
In the Deposit of Faith St. Paul describes the importance of our unchangeable traditions, "hold fast to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistles" [2 Thess. 2:15]. So, holding fast to our traditions we discover the Apostles selected married men and their wives, such as Aquila and Prisca, to establish house-churches and jointly spread the Gospel [1 Corinthians 16:19]; St. Peter too reminds us of this tradition, "They went to the Temple every day but met in their houses for the breaking of bread" [Acts 2:46]. The Sacerdotal priesthood of today first appeared in the second century and no Christian Bible would exist until the fourth century. But thoroughly instructed in the faith of Christ by Apostles and disciples, these early husband and wife teams spread the faith with preaching and teaching. This then was our first tradition during the Deposit of Faith. Today, as one considers changes from these first traditions, the historical origin of Siricius' law becomes paramount.
The non-Christian belief of celibacy's superiority first appeared among pagan converts during the second century, a time of persecution and dislocation following the destruction of Jerusalem. Christians were forced to flee across the Roman Empire c.136AD, a Christian exodus into the pagan world that resulted in chaos, igniting a century of confusion and conflict within the Church when a new generation of Christian leaders, all of whom were converts, began to hold differing views of Jesus: Was He a God in human form or merely a prophet who spoke for God? Others believed Jesus was the son of a benevolent and loving God, certainly not the one evil God of tribal Judaism.
The Apostles and the first generation of disciples were gone, and the generation of husbands and wives whom they had instructed were also gone, along with their understanding of Old Testament traditions. The modern belief that popes in Rome exercised teaching authority over these unorganized and dispersed Christians groups is woefully incorrect. Eminent Catholic historian Anthony Gilles explains in his book, People of God, "At first not all bishops believed the bishops of Rome, or even the popes, were superior to other bishops in authority." Across the Empire bishops exercised independent teaching authority over their followers, and many became imbued with the pagan superiority of priestly celibacy.
Icon of St Ignatius of Antioch.
Early on however celibacy apologists were challenged. The Gnostic belief of celibacy's superiority among pagan converts was condemned as early as 108AD by Apostolic Father Bishop St. Ignatius of Antioch, a student of Apostle St. John. In his letter to younger bishop St. Polycarp, Ignatius was firm; "If anyone is able to remain celibate in honor of Christ let him remain so without boasting. If he boasts about it he is undone, and if he seeks to be more esteemed than the bishop he is corrupted." Tragically, after the death of Apostolic students such as Ignatius and Pope Callistus (c. 217) who ordained married men, Gnostic teachers faced little opposition. Only in the third century, 200 years after Christ, did new literature composed by unknown authors (most notably the Didascalia, c. 230AD) appear, alleging for the first time the Apostles abandoned marital sex in order to 'act in the place of Jesus'. While the number of Christian sects requiring celibate priests increased, they exerted little effect across the Empire prior to Siricius because no law of celibacy existed, and the majority of priests remained men "who must manage his family well and bring up his children to obey him." [1Timothy 3:4].
Papal Doctrine -vs- Inflallible Dogma...
Ultimately, Siricius' law proved impossible to implement universally during the Dark Ages, and had only moderate effect until the Middle Ages and Pope Gregory VII in 1074AD. Emerging from the Dark Ages many priests and bishops under the authority of European rulers were married men who owned their Churches and land, which they then willed to family members or sold outright to other clerics as a business transaction, thus depriving the Church of vast wealth. As Gregory saw it, "The Church cannot escape from the laity unless priests first escape the clutches of their wives.". Desperate after the failure of three Papal Synods in the ninth century to end marriage by selling wives into slavery, Gregory began a movement to reestablish Siricius' law. Eventually, in 1139AD, Siricius' law of mandatory celibacy was reinstituted and universally enforced by Pope Innocent II during the Lateran Council. Today the Church officially denies this law is a Papal Doctrine that nullifies Christ's Infallible Doctrine of priestly matrimony, asserting: "Celibacy for priests is not a dogma or doctrine; it is a discipline and can therefore be changed." This modern explanation is fraught with duplicity.
Unfortunately, most Catholics will acknowledge they do not understand the important difference between Dogma and Doctrine. Dogma is divine revelation of faith or morals, such as the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Orders and Matrimony, all divinely revealed by Christ and infallibly transmitted by the Apostles in Scripture and tradition. A Doctrine is merely the human expression of a Church belief, either written or oral. So, what was Siricius' law of celibacy intended to be, Dogma, Doctrine or simply a discipline? Did Siricius intend to issue an infallible papal declaration from the Chair of Peter?
Siricius' doctrine was issued as a Decretal, an authorative papal teaching to be held by the whole Church. Describing his papal authority to issue this definitive document in the name of St. Peter, Siricius begins "with the affirmation of the permanent presence and action of the Apostle Peter on the Roman See in the person of his successors [Siricius]." Presented as an ex cathedra declaration, Siricius asserts clerical celibacy and sexual abstinence originated among the Apostles and must therefore be continually observed. However, while claiming to speak for St. Peter, Siricius relies only on third century traditions of Gnostic-Christian bishops who first demanded sexual abstinence, and from that apocrypha asserted: Christ Himself "…wanted the beauty of the Church to shine with the splendor of chastity... [Therefore] what the Apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us also endeavor to keep."
With this statement Siricius asserts it was the Apostles who first taught sexual abstinence, and in doing so placed his Decretal on the level of infallible dogma. That Siricius intended to infallibly speak for St. Peter while inserting his new doctrine into the Deposit of Faith is beyond debate. As required by Catholic theological definition of 'Infallible Doctrine' it was clearly a "manifestly evident" infallible papal doctrine nullifying Christ's teaching of Sacramental Matrimony (Canon Law 749.3). And most importantly, while denied by the Church today, it was an illicit change disproving the concept of papal infallibility.
"Some New Doctrine" and a Chance of Terms...
Pope Pius IX summoned the First Vatican Council solely for the purpose of declaring infallible papal teaching to be the final word between God and man.
The modern Church denials that mandatory celibacy is a doctrine appeared only after the highly contentious Vatican Council I of 1870, when ex cathedra Papal infallibility was formally proclaimed. Reacting to Protestant ascendency following the Reformation, and loss of papal authority across Europe, Pope Pius IX summoned the First Vatican Council solely for the purpose of declaring infallible papal teaching to be the final word between God and man. During this repressive council Cardinals were isolated and sternly threatened with reprisals should they fail to support Pius' infallibility vote. In his book Infallibility? An Inquiry, renowned theologian Fr. Hans Küng wrote: "As painful and embarrassing as it may be to admit, this Council resembled a well organized and manipulated totalitarian congress." The Holy Spirit played no part in that totalitarian council.
Concerned with historical abuse of papal authority 60 Cardinals left Rome and refused to vote, but fortunately the remaining members were concerned with historically unchecked infallible papal edicts and agreed to an important limitation of papal infallibility, declaring that successors of Peter may not add "some new doctrine" into the Deposit of Faith. This Dogmatic Church limitation of papal infallibility was the coupe de grace. It established that it matters not whether Siricius' law is termed a dogma, a doctrine, or a discipline, it is an infallible papal declaration that changed a Doctrine of Christ and once more disproves the concept of papal infallibility.
At this point any reasonable person would ask, if such a change came about how could it exist and go unnoticed for centuries? The answer is actually quite simple: realizing mandatory celibacy could no longer be defended as a doctrine, modern Church teaching merely denies the Law of mandatory celibacy was ever believed to be a Doctrine, a cover-up no different than the modern cover-up of sexually abusive priests for which voluminous evidence is available. Today mandatory celibacy is falsely termed an ancient discipline, instituted by the Apostles when they freely chose to reject marital sex. But this defense is of no help. Had the Apostles abandoned their wives (which history belies) it would have been their free choice, and the Apostles well knew they had no authority to deny the Sacrament of Matrimony to other married men such as themselves. This illicit law would today deny St. Peter himself admission to the priesthood.
Article Navigation: Part I | Part II | Part III | ...Continued next Friday
Also see links below:
 Christian Cochini, S.J. The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy. Ignatius Press.
 www.ewtn.com/library/councils/V1.htm#6 See chapter 4, "On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff", point 6
 For in depth reports see theologian and former priest Patrick J. Wall’s expose. patrickjwall.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/secular-blessing-of-a-cover-up/
Clicking on the images in this article will take you to the original source.
Edgar Davie, born Dec.1, 1933, graduated with Bachelor of Engineering degree Vanderbilt University 1958. He served as 2Lt, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1958-60, and studied law at Nashville School of Law 1962-63. Davie married in 1964 and is the father of seven children, all of whom graduated from Catholic schools. He attends St. Ann Catholic Church in Nashville and served as Committee Chairman for VOTF, Nashville, TN, 2002. The initial copies of his new book were presented first to his bishop and to his priest.
His professional career as a Civil Engineer consisted of: Bridge designer for Tennessee Department of Transportation; construction superintendent for Interstate highway projects; Manufacturers Representative for engineering construction materials associated with Civil Engineering infrastructure projects in southern U.S. He concluded his professional career as the first Executive Director of the Tennessee Concrete Association, a nationally affiliated trade and marketing association, charged with educating designers and builders of municipal, state, and federal infrastructure projects, of concrete's innovations and superiority as the dominant material for civil projects. He retired in 1994 to pursue his lifelong desire to become a professional portrait artist. www.portraitsbyEdgar.com
A religious experience in 1980 led to 30 years private study into the historical origins of Christianity as a Jewish sect, and the later beginnings of other Christian denominations, as well as comparative theologies of Islam and non-monotheistic beliefs. He has also written on the composition, source material, and chronology of the New Testament. Writing in 1999 to demonstrate that Catholicism is the visible organized Church left by Jesus he self published a book, Before the Bible: Beliefs and Practices of the First Christians, tracing the Church's beginnings until Constantine in 325AD. His book concluded that all original Christian doctrines until that time were correct.
In 1982 Davie's Cursillo group sponsored Fr. Mitch Pacwa S.J.'s first daily radio program, explaining Catholic doctrine to a Protestant audience. Today Fr. Pacwa is Director of Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN-TV)
Only after eighteen years of continued investigation in order to better understand the historical Jesus, and the lives of His apostles, did new concerns arise surrounding Church developments after Constantine that departed from Christianities' first teachings. Having initially defended priestly celibacy as a freely chosen discipline, based solely on historical Catholic apologetics, new concerns arose with the advent of modern priestly sex abuse allegations. Having twice experienced pedophilic abuse as a child he had devoted two years investigation into clinical and psychological literature explaining the nature, content, cause and effect of pedophilia. These traits are evident in the selection and formation of many clerics who suffer from arrested psychosexual development. His book raises no objection to voluntary celibacy or to homosexually oriented priests, as did the Vatican in 1961. The author believes a married priesthood will redress sexual predators of both orientations.
His new historical examination of celibacy led both to a vastly different conclusion regarding the neo-Christian practice of mandatory celibacy for priests and, ultimately, to a new book, Illicit Celibacy and the Deposit of Faith. He now concludes the origin of mandatory celibacy, lost in the fog of history, has been incorrectly imbued into Christian Catholics for 900 years, and has apparently gone unnoticed by generations of Catholic teachers as an unjustified change from original traditions, left to Christianity in the infallible Deposit of Faith, and of the infallible Ordinary and Universal Magisterium.
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