"Nevertheless, the forging of papal letters was even more
frequent in the Middle Ages than in the early Church." (CE. ix,

     LYINGLY FOUNDED on forgery upon forgery, as has been made
manifest by manifold admissions and proofs, the Church of Christ
perpetuated itself and consolidated its vast usurped powers, and
amassed amazing wealth, by a series of further and more secular
forgeries and frauds unprecedented in human history -- faintly
approximated only by its initial forgeries of the fundamental
gospels and epistles of the "New Testament of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ," and of the countless other forged religious
documents which we have so far reviewed. These first relate to the
infance of the Church -- constitute its false certificates of
Heavenly birth and of Divine civil status. They are, as it were,
the livery of heaven with which Holy Church clothed its moral
nakedness until it attained maturer strength and became adept to
commit the most stupendous forgeries for its own self-
aggrandizement and for the completer domination of mind and soul of
its ignorant and superstitious subjects.

     The record which we shall now expose is the most sordid in
human annals, -- of frauds and forgeries perpetrated for the base
purposes of greed for worldly riches and power, and designed so to
paralyze and stultify the minds and reason of men that they should
suffer themselves to be exploited without caring or daring to
question or complain, and be helpless to resist the crimes
committed against them. Into this chapter we shall compress in as
summary manner as possible the revolting record of Christian fraud
by means of forged title deeds to vast territories, forged
documents of ecclesiastical power spiritual and temporal, forged
and false Saints, Martyrs,'Miracles and Relics -- surpassing the
power of imagination or accomplishment by any other than a divinely
inspired Church which "has never deceived anyone," and which "never
has erred" -- in its profound, cynical knowledge and exploitation
of the degraded depths of ignorance and superstition to which it
had sunk its victims, and of their mental and moral incapacity to
detect the holy frauds worked upon them. This was the glorious Age
of Faith -- the Dark Ages of human benightedness and priestly
thralldom -- when Holy Church was the Divinely-illumined and unique
Teacher of Christendom, and when the Christian world was too
ignorant to be unbelieving or heretic, -- for "unbelief is no sin
that ignorance was ever capable of being guilty of."

     In those "Dark Ages, as the period of Catholic ascendancy is
justly called" (Lecky, History of European. Morals, ii, 14), "men
were credulous and ignorant," says Buckle; "they therefore produced
a religion which required great belief and little knowledge." Again
he says: "The only remedy for superstition is knowledge. ...
Nothing else can wipe out that plague-spot of the human mind." It
was, indeed, agrees CE. -- (from 432 to 1461) -- "an age of
terrible corruption and social decadence" (xiv, 318); and of its
mental state it says: "To such an extent had certain imaginary
concepts become the common property of the people, that they
repeated themselves as auto-suggestions and dreams." (CE. ix, 130.)
But exactly this period -- the "Dark Ages of Catholic ascendancy," 

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-- with centuries before and since, was the heyday of Holy Faith
and Holy Church: it may well be wondered who was responsible for
such conditions, when only Holy Church existed, in plentitude of
power, the inspired Teacher of Christendom? During all these
centuries, "the overwhelming importance attached to theology
diverted to it all those intellects which in another condition of
society would have been employed in the investigations of science."
(Lecky, History of Rationalism in Europe, i, 275; ef. Bacon, Novum
Organum, I, 89.) What else could be expected, was possible, when "a
bountyless intolerance of all divergences of opinion was united
with an equally boundless toleration of all falsehood and
deliberate fraud that could favor received opinions?" (Lecky,
History of European Morals, ii, 15.) Indeed, "few people realize
the degree in which these superstitions were encouraged by the
Church which claims infallibility." (Lecky, Hist. Rationalism, i,
79, n.) It is confessed: "The Church is tolerant of 'pious beliefs'
which have halved to further Christianity"! (CE. xix,341.)


     For more than a thousand years, until their fraud was exposed
by modern historical criticism, these voluminous and most 
commodious forgeries formed the groundwork and foundation of some
of the most extravagant pretensions of the Church and its most
potent instrument of establishment and dominion of its monarchical
government The Apostolic Constitutions, which we have admitted for
naivete of invention with respect to the Apostolic Prince Peter and
Simon Magus in their magic contests in Rome, is in fact "a fourth-
century pseudo-Apostolic collection. ... It purports to be the work
of the Apostles, whose instructions, whether given by them
individually or as a body, are supposed to be gathered and handed
down by the pretended compiler, [Pope] St. Clement of Rome, the
authority of whose name gave fictitious weight to more than one
such piece of early Christian literature. ... The Apostolic
Constitutions were held generally in high esteem and served as the
basis for much ecclesiastical legislation. ... As late as 1563 ...
despite the glaring archaisms and incongruities of the collection
it was contended that it was the genuine work of the Apostles ...
could yet pretend, in an uncritical age, to Apostolic origin." (CE.
i, 636.)

     The Constitutions, pretending to be written by the apostles,
laid down in minute detail all the intricacies of organization of
several centuries later; there being elaborate chapters "concerning
bishops," presbyters, deacons, all kinds of clergy, liturgies, and
Church proceedings and services, undreamed of by "apostles," or in
the "apostolic age." The prescriptions regarding the selection of
bishops are quite democratic, and vastly different from present
papal practices; the Churches, too, are distinctly episcopal and
independent. The nature of these provisions, as well as the grossly
false and fraudulent character of the whole, a vast arsenal of
papal aggression, may be seen by the following passage in the
apostolic first person: "Wherefore we, the twelve apostles of the
Lord, who are now together, give you in charge those divine
constitutions concerning every ecclesiastical form, there being
present with us Paul, the chosen vessel, our fellow apostle, and
James the bishop, and the rest of the presbyters, and the seven 

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deacons. In the first place, therefore, I Peter say, that a bishop
to be ordained is to be, as we have already, all of us, appointed,
... chosen by the whole people, who, when he is named and approved,
let the people assemble, with the presbyters and bishops that are
present, on the Lord's day, and let them give their consent. ...
And if they give their consent," etc. (Apost. Const. VIII, 2, iv;
ANF. vii, 481-482.)


     From the same pious forging hand, says CE. (i, 637), comes the
related Apostolic Canons (composed about 400), "a collection of
ancient ecclesiastical decrees concerning the government and
discipline of the Church; ... in a word, they are a handy summary
of the statutory legislation of the primitive Church. ... The claim
to be the very legislation of the Apostles themselves, at least as
promulgated by their great disciple Clement. Nevertheless, their
claim to genuine Apostolic origin is quite false and untenable. ...
The text passed into Pseudo-Isidore, and eventually Gratian
included (about 1140) some excerpts of these canons in his
'Decretum,' whereby a universal recognition and use were gained for
them in the law schools. At a much earlier date, Justinian (in his
sixth Novel) had recognized them as the work of the Apostles, and
confirmed them as ecclesiastical law." (CE. iii, 279, 280.) Here
the pious priests of God palmed off these self-serving forgeries on
the great but superstitious Emperor and fraudulently secured their
enactment into imperial law. In the same article is a description
of "a larger number of forged documents appearing about the middle
of the ninth century," among which "the Capitula of Benedict
Levita, Capitula Angilrammi, Canons of Isaac of Langres, -- above
all the collection of Pseudo-Isidore" (Ib. 285), which arch-forgery
we shall describe in its turn.


     This famous, or infamous, official fabrication, "The Book of
the Popes," is notorious for its spurious accounts of the early and
mythical "successors of St. Peter." The Liber Pontificalis purports
to be "a history of the popes, beginning with St. Peter and
continued down to the fifteenth century, in the form of
biographies" of their respective Holinesses of Rome. (CE. ix, 224.)
It is an official papal work, written and kept in the papal
archives, and preserves for posterity the holy lives and wonderful
doings of the heads of the Church universal. "Historical
criticism," says CE., "has for a long time dealt with this ancient
text in an exhaustive way ... especially in recent decades." The
Liber starts off in a typically fraudulent clerical manner: "In
most of its manuscript copies there is found at the beginning a
spurious correspondence between Pope Damasus and St. Jerome. These
letters were considered genuine in the Middle Ages. ... Duchesne
has proved exhaustively and convincingly that the first series of
biographies, from St. Peter to Felix III (IV, died 530) were
compiled at the latest under Felix's successor, Boniface II
(530-532). ... The compiler of the Liber Pontificalis utilized also
some historical writings, a number of apocryphal fragments (e.g.
the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions), the Constitutum Sylvestri, the
spurious Acts of the alleged Synod of the 275 Bishops under 

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Sylvester, etc., and the fifth century Roman Acts of Martyrs.
Finally, the compiler distributed arbitrarily along his list of
popes a number of papal decrees taken from unauthentic sources, he
likewise attributed to earlier popes liturgical and disciplinary
regulations of the sixth century. ... The authors were Roman
ecclesiastics, and some were attached to the Roman Court." (CE. ix,
225.) The general falsity of the Liber is again shown and the
fraudulent use made of it by the later Church forgers, thus
indicated: For instances, "in the 'Liber' it is recorded that such
a pope issued a decree that has been lost, or mislaid, or perhaps
never existed at all. Isidore seized the opportunity to supply a
pontifical letter suitable for the occasion, attributing it to the
pope whose name was mentioned in the 'Liber."' (CE. v. 774.) Thus
confessed forgery and fraud taint to the core this basic record for
some five centuries of the official "histories" and Acts of Their
Holinesses of the primitive and adolescent years of the Holy
Church. Pope Peter and his "Successors" for a century or more are
thus again proven pious fictions and frauds.


     As several of the most monumental of these holy Church
forgeries are associated with the first "Christian" Emperor,
Constantine, and His contemporary Holiness, Pope Sylvester I
(314-335), we may first notice the pious forged miracles which
brought Constantine to Christ -- rather to the Christians, and thus
blightingly changed the history of the world. Constantine, Augustus
of Rome, was the bastard son of the Imperator Constantius Chlorus
and a Bythnian barmaid who became his mistress, and, later, by
virtue of opulent gifts to the Church, was raised to Heaven as St.
Helena. Constantine was a picturesque "barbarian" Pagan, with a
very bloody record of family -- and other -- murders to his credit,
mostly made to further his political ambitions. He was rival of the
four Caesars who shared the divided government, against whom he was
engaged in titanic struggle, to win the sole crown of empire. The
Christians were now become rather numerous in East and West, some
two and a half or three millions out of the hundred millions of the
Empire, sufficient to make their adherence and support important to
the contestant who could gain control of them. To curry their favor
and support Constantine adopted the tactics of his sportive father,
Constantius, and made show of friendly disposition to them and even
of possible adoption of the new faith.

     The occasion and the purely selfish and superstitious motive
for the alliance of Constantine with the Christians and their God,
are described by the three noted Church historians of the period,
-- all writing after his death, -- Eusebius, Socrates and Sozomen,
all of whom give substantially the following account, here
abbreviated from Eusebius, "Father of Church History," and an
intimate of the Emperor, in his ludicrously laudatory Life of

          "Being convinced that he needed some more powerful aid
     than his military forces could afford him, on account of the
     wicked and magical enchantments which were so diligently
     practiced by the tyrant Maxentius, he sought divine
     assistance. ... He considered, therefore, on what God he might

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     rely for protection and assistance. While engaged in this
     enquiry, the thought occurred to him, that, of the many
     emperors who had preceded him, who had rested their hopes on
     a multitude of gods. ... none had profited at all by the pagan
     deities, whom they sought to propitiate ... all had at last
     met with an unhappy end, ... while the God of his father had
     given to him, on the other hand, manifestations of his power.
     ... Reviewing, I may say, all these considerations, he judged
     it to be folly indeed to join in the idle worship of those who
     were no gods, and therefore felt it incumbent on him to honor
     his father's God alone." (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, I,
     27; N&PNF. I, 489; cf. Socrates, Eccles. Hist. I, 2; Ib. II,
     1-2; Sozomen, Eccles. Hist. I, 3; Ib. p. 241.) So, Constantine
     chose the Christian's God to offset the "magical enchantments"
     of the Pagan gods in favor of his rival, Maxentius. The
     Christians flocked to his court and armies, and proud prelates
     of the Church hung around him and flattered his hopes. After
     several military successes aided by the Christians, the rival
     armies faced for decisive contest near the historic Milvian
     Bridge, in the environs of Rome, in the year 312. All are
     familiar with the fabulous priestly story of the miraculous
     Fiery Cross said to have been hung out in heaven just before
     the battle in the sight of Constantine and all his army,
     blazing with the famous device "In Hoc Signo Vinces -- By this
     Sign Conquer" -- though it was in Greek and read "En Touto
     Nika," -- and by virtue of which Constantine was himself
     conquered for Christ or for His Church.

     Here we may again see the "god in the machine' -- a pious
Christian fraud in the making, and watch its growth from nothing in
proportion of wonder from lying Father to Father as it is handed
on. Very remarkable it is, that Father Bishop Eusebius wholly omits
this portentous event, though he devotes a large part of Book IX
and all of Book X of his History of the Church (written in 324), to
Constantine, and enthusiastically describes the Battle of the
Milvian Bridge. Although he lugs divine intervention by the
Christian God into every phase of the campaign, he is content with
this colorful, naive, account: "But the emperor (Constantine),
stimulated by the divine assistance, proceeded against the tyrant,
and defeating him in the first, second, and third engagements, he
advanced through the greatest part of Italy, and came almost to the
very gates of Rome. Then God himself drew the tyrant [Maxentius],
as if bound in fetters, to a considerable distance from the gates
[i.e. to the Milvian Bridge]; and here He confirmed those
miraculous events performed of old against the wicked, and which
have been discredited by so many, as if belonging to fiction and
fable, but which have been established in the sacred volume, as
credible to the believer. He confirmed them, I say, as true, by an
immediate interposition of his power, addressed alike I may say to
the eyes of believers and unbelievers. As, therefore, anciently in
the days of Moses, the chariots of Pharaoh and his forces were cast
into the Red Sea, thus also Maxentius, and his combatants and
guards about him, sunk into the depths like a stone, when he fled
before the power of God which was with Constantine." And, in
commemoration of such signal divine aid, Constantine "immediately
commanded a trophy of the Savior's passion [a Cross] to be placed 

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in the hand of his own statue" in Rome. (Eusebius, HE. IX, ix, p.
397-9.) And with all this miraculous embellishment, not a word of
the Fiery Cross in Heaven, nor of the "miraculous conversion" of

     The pious fable, whether by him invented or not, is first
recorded by Father Lactantius, tutor to Constantine's son Crispus
before the pious father murdered his son; he tells it -- after
Constantine's death -- in its primitive and more modest form -- a
simple dream by night, in which Jesus the Christ appeared to
Constantine, and was seen or heard -- or was fabled -- to tell
Constantine to decorate the shields of his soldiers with the holy
"sign of the Cross" before they went into the fight; this he did
and won the battle-post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Constantine may
perhaps quite naturally have had such a dream -- dreams have many
vagaries, and the priests were ever at his ear. But the "heavenly
sign," the Labarum or Monogram of Christ, which Constantine was by
divine revelation or priestly suggestion directed to place on the
shields of his soldiers, was no novel thing requiring a divine
revelation, even in a dream, to suggest to the Christian priests of
a Pagan emperor; "for it had been a familiar Christian symbol prior
to his conversion." (CE. viii, 718.) By a similar divine revelation
or priest-prompting, the Persian Cambyses had tied cats to the
shields of his soldiers in their campaign in 525 B.C. against the
cat-worshipping Egyptians, who thus dared not strike with their
swords; the Christians worshipped the Cross of which the Pagans
were superstitiously afraid, as we have seen from Father
Lactantius. The result was at least the same, as related by Father

          "And now a civil war broke out between Constantine and
     Maxentius. ... At length Constantine ... led his whole forces
     to the neighborhood of Rome, and encamped them opposite to the
     Milvian Bridge. ... Constantine was directed in a dream to
     cause the heavenly sign to be delineated on the shields of his
     soldiers, and to proceed to battle. He did as he had been
     commanded, and he marked on their shields the letter X, with
     a perpendicular line drawn through it and turned round thus at
     the top, being the cipher of Christ. ... The bridge in the
     rear (of Maxentius) was broken down. The hand of the Lord
     prevailed, and the forces of Maxentius were routed." (Lact.,
     On the Death of the Persecutors, ch. xliv; ANF. vii, 318.)

     These Christ-monogram crosses were probably, to the mind's eye
of Lactantius, simple wooden or painted miniatures like the more
life-sized one which a modern Holiness specially exorcised and sent
along as an amulet or pious fetich of success on a recent
disastrous Polar Expedition. But by the time Bishop Eusebius came
on to embellish the tale, the model at least was a thing truly of
beauty and wonder. In his Life of Constantine, the holy Bishop, who
was on the Emperor's pay-roll, thus in substance relates:

     "Constantine, having resolved to liberate Rome from the
tyranny of Maxentius, and having meditated on the unhappiness of
those who worshipped a multitude of idols, as contrasted with the
good fortune of his own father Constantius, who had favored
Christianity, resolved to worship the One True God; and while he 

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was in prayer to God that He would reveal Himself to him, and
stretch forth His right hand to succor him, he had a vision after
midday, when the sun was declining, in a luminous forin over the
sun, and an inscription annexed to it, 'Touto Nika' -- (by this
conquer), and at the sight of it he and all his forces were
astounded, who were spectators of the miracle. ... The following
night, when Constantine was asleep, Christ appeared to him with
that sign, which had been displayed to him in the heavens, and
commanded him to make a standard according to the pattern of what
he had seen, and to use it as a defense against his enemies; and as
soon as it was day Constantine called together the workers in gold
and precious stones, and ordered them to fashion it accordingly" --
(it being, by his description, certainly rich, if not gaudy). And
bishop Eusebius states that Constantine, "a long time after the
event affirmed with an oath the truth of what the Bishop had
recorded" of this wonderful unhistorical fact. (Eusebius, Life of
Constantine, I, 26-31; N&PNF. i, 489-491; CE. viii, 717-8;
Wordsworth, op. cit. i, 358-9.) In a note to the last reference,
the acute Protestant clerical mind, in eager defense of even the
most absurd Catholic fables, is seen at play: "It has been objected
(by Dean Milman and others) that it is incredible that a warlike
motto on the Cross, converted into a military standard, should be
suggested by Him who is Prince of Peace. But He Who is Prince of
Peace is also Lord of Hosts; and Christ is revealed not only in the
Psalms, but also in the Apocalypse, as a Mighty Warrior going forth
conquering and to conquer." Clerical persons are really Funny-

     The pious Bishop Eusebius, exemplar of Christian historical
un-veracity to the glory of God and Church, begins his Life of
Constantine with this rhapsody over Constantine dead: "When I raise
my thoughts even to the arch of heaven, and there contemplate his
thrice-blessed soul in communion with God himself, freed from every
mortal and earthly vesture, and shining in a refulgent robe of
light, honored with an ever-blooming crown, and an immortality of
endless and blessed existence, I stand as it were without power of
speech or thought and unable to utter a single phrase, but
condemning my own weakness, and imposing silence on myself, I
resign the task of speaking his praises worthily to the immortal
God, who alone has power to confirm his own sayings." (Eusebius,
Life, 1, 2; N&PNF. i, 481-2.)

     Here is the thrice-blessed Holy Emperor's record before he was
"freed from every mortal and earthly vesture," and before his
blood-stained earthly vestments were exchanged for that refulgent
robe of light in which he communed with God himself; this record is
of the one item only of family murderings: Maximian, his wife's
father, 310; Bassianus, his sister Anastasia's husband, 314;
Licinianus, his nephew, son of his sister Constantina, 319; Fausta,
his wife, in a bath of boiling water, 320; Sopater, Pagan
philosopher and his former intimate Counsellor, 321; Licinius, his
colleague Caesar and his sister Constantine's husband, 325; with
this last, and the beheading of his own son Crispus, 326, he fitly
inaugurated and consecrated the celebrated Council of Nicaea, which
he invoked to settle the famous puzzle, whether Jesus Christ, the
Son, being born of the Father, were not consequently less ancient
than his Sire, so that there was a time when the Begotten Son did 

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not exist, and whether they were "of the same substance," or
different. It may be noticed, that the devout "Christian" Emperor
regarded this as a trifling matter of dispute not justifying the
terrible row which it kicked up among the clericals, splitting the
subjects of the Empire into throat-cutting factions for four
centuries. In his opening Address to the Council which he called to
establish peace among the priests, he turned to Alexander, Bishop
of Alexandria, and to Arius, his presbyter, and their respective
howling factions, and declared: "I understand, then, that the
origin of this controvers is this -- [the question stated by
Alexander on this point, and the negative reply of Arius]. Let
therefore both the unguarded question and the inconsiderate answer
receive your mutual forgiveness. ... For as long as you continue to
contend about these small and insignificant questions, it is not
fitting that so large a portion of God's people should be under the
direction of your judgment, since you are thus divided among
yourselves"! (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, II, 69-71; N&PNF. i,

     With respect to the Christian Emperor's murderings, the good
Bishop Lardner, with truly Christian modern moderation, admits that
the murderous atrocities of Constantine above listed "seem to cast
a reflection upon him"! But the holy Emperor was truly
conscientious and scrupulously concerned for his soul's salvation
on account of them; for it is recorded by the Church historian
Sozomen, that Constantine is said to have sought first Pagan, then
Christian, absolution from these murders, first from Sopater, then
from the Christian bishops. He relates the anxious solicitations of
the murderer thus: "It is reported by the Pagans that Constantine,
after slaying some of his nearest relations, and particularly after
assenting to the murder of his own son Crispus, repented of the
evil deeds, and inquired of Sopater, the philosopher, concerning
the means of purification from guilt. The philosopher, so the story
goes, replied that such moral defilement could admit of no
purification, The Emperor was grieved at this repulse; but
happening to meet some bishops who told him that he would be
cleansed from sin, on repentance and on baptism, he was delighted
with their representations, and admired their doctrines, and became
a Christian, and led his subjects to the same faith. It appears to
me that this story was the invention of persons who desired to
vilify the Christian religion. ... It cannot be imagined the
philosopher was ignorant that Hercules obtained purification at
Athens by the celebration of the mysteries of Ceres after the
murder of his children, and of Iphitus, his guest and friend. That
the Greeks held that purification from guilt of this nature could
be obtained, is obvious from the instance I have just alleged, and
he is a false calumniator who represents that Sopater taught the
contrary, ... for he was at that period esteemed the most learned
man in Greece." (Sozomen, i, 5; ii, 242-3.) It is said that the
rebuff of Sopater denying Pagan absolution was the motive of his
murder by the Christian Emperor. Howbeit, Constantine cautiously
denied himself the saving Christian rite of baptism until he was on
his deathbed, in Nicomedia, in the year of his forgiving Lord 337.
(Euseb., Life, iv, 62; Soc., i, 39; Soz., ii, 34; CE. i, 709.) But
none can deny the superiority of Christianity over Paganism in this
point of saving grace. The Christian historian, however, clearly
avers that some of the divinest sacraments of Christian Revelation,

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forgiveness of sin by God and absolution per priests, were ancient
features of the Pagan "Mysteries," of which even sinful Pagan
demigods might be the beneficiaries.

     But "the mighty and victorious Constantine, adorned with every
virtue of religion, with his most pious son, Crispus Caesar,
resembling in everything his father," -- as his doxology is sung --
before the murder of Crisptis -- by good Bishop Eusebius (HE. ix,
p. 443), -- was rather dubiously a "practicing" Christian; he
remained until death Pontifex Maximus, or Sovereign Pontiff of the
Pagan religion, a title which the Christian Bishops could not
arrogate until the Christian Emperors abandoned it; he ordered the
auspices or divination by inspection of the entrails of birds, and
on his death, amply baptized with blood and by the deathbed heretic
Christian rite, he was apotheoisized according to Pagan custom and
raised as a god to heaven -- to rank along with his Christian
Sainted Mother, St. Helena, of whom more anon.

     In this ecstatic vision of the celestial beatitude of
Constantine, the good Bishop Eusebius was, from the orthodox or
"right-thinking" viewpoint sadly mistaken. Constantine went
unshriven to Hell and everlasting torment; not indeed for his
crimes but for his errant creed, as a disbeliever in the Divinity
of Jesus Christ and in the Holy Trinity -- which, indeed, had not
been yet invented. The majority of the Council of Niceea had by
force and terrorism decreed that Jesus Christ was of the "same
substance" as his father God, co-eternal and coequal, ergo also
God. But Constantine heretically disbelieved this inspired dogma;
he banished Athanasius and other "Trinitarian?' prelates; even "the
death of Arius did not stay the plague. Constantine now favored
none but Arians; he was baptized in his last moments by the shifty
[Arian] prelate of Nicomedia; and he bequeathed to his three sons
[themselves either Pagans or Arian heretics] an empire torn by
dissensions which his weakness and ignorance had aggravated." (CE.
i, 709.) To such a "weak and ignorant" Emperor is due, however, the
salvation of Christianity from oblivion, and upon him is lavished
the adulations of the now "indefectible Church" which his favor
alone made possible. As for the pious Bishop Eusebius, he was
himself an Arian heretic, and from his point of view he may have
thought that he visioned Constantine glorious in Heaven. So much
for divergent religious standpoints, which at the first Church
Council "proved a beginning of strife, ... bequeathed an empire
torn with dissensions, ... [until] the Catholic bishops, the monks,
the sword of Clovis, and the action of the Papacy, made an end of
it before the eighth century" (CE. i, 710), -- thus nearly four
hundred years of throat-cutting and persecutions before Constantine
was finally proved a villainous heretic, the fatal effects of his
"weakness and ignorance" overcome, and "Catholic Truth" began to
assume its full sway undisputed through the long intellectual night
of the Christian Dark Ages of Faith.


     The "league with Death and covenant with Hell" whereby the new
Paganism called Christianity became the official State religion
being now signed and sealed, and soon enforced by laws of bloody
persecution, we shall now admire the most monumental of the holy 

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forgeries by which the Church consolidated its vast and nefast
dominion over the minds and bodies of the quickly degraded
populations under its sway.

                   THE "CONSTANTINE" FORGERIES

     A series of Church forgeries of the greatest magnitude and
most far-reaching evil consequences grew up around the name of
Constantine, forged in his name or falsely associated with it in
the nefarious work of almost limitless larceny of territorial
possessions and of papal sovereignty. A bit of historical
background is necessary to properly appreciate the underground
workings of Providence in disposing the success of these designs,
-- whereby, as said by Dr. McCabe, "Pope Adrian I induced
Charlemagne to found the papal states by producing two of the most
notorious and most shameless forgeries ever perpetrated: 'The Acts
of St. Sylvester,' and 'The Donation of Constantine,' documents
which mendaciously represented the emperor Constantine as giving
most of Italy to the papacy, and which were fabricated in Rome in
the eighth century and were used by the popes to maintain this
gigantic fraud."

     The intricate intriguing and conspiracies of the embryo papacy
under their Holinesses Zacharias, Stephen II, Adrian I, Leo III,
and of the semi-barbarian aspirants for the Frankish monarchy,
Clovis, Charles Martel, Pepin, Charlemagne, cannot be here
recounted. According to the picturesque account of Bishop St.
Gregory of Tours -- whose History is a thesaurus of the revolting
social and moral degradation of the times, Clovis was converted as
the result of his vow to the God of his Christian wife Clotilda,
that if victory were granted to him in a great battle against the
Alemanni, in which he was hard pressed, he would become a
Christian. Miracles at once attested the Divine favor: "St. Martin
showed him a ford over the Vienne by means of a hind; St. Hilary
preceded his armies in a column of fire." (Von Ranke, i, 12.) It
will be remembered that all the barbarian nations of the time were
"heretic" Christians of the hated Arian sect, who denied the
divinity of Christ and derided the Holy Trinity; the Franks thus
became the only "orthodox" Christians and the defenders of the True
Faith on behalf of the Popes. Winning the fight, Clovis and 3000 of
his army were baptized on Christmas day by Bishop St. Remigius of
Rheims. When this good Bishop came to perform the baptismal
ceremony on the king in the cathedral of Rheims, "the chrism for
the baptismal ceremony was missing, and was brought from heaven in
a vase (ampulla) borne by a dove. This is what is known as the
Sainte Ampoule of Rheims, preserved in the treasury of the
Cathedral of that City, and used for the coronation of the kings of
France from Philip Augustus down to Charles X"! (CE. v, 71.)

                     FORGED DEEDS OF EMPIRE

     The Merovingian kings of the Franks had become mere puppets in
the hands of their "Mayors of the Palace," in league with the
bishops of Rome. At last "Pepin addressed to the pope the
suggestive question: 'In regard to the Kings of the Franks who no
longer possess the royal power, is this state of things proper?'
... Pope Zacharias replied that such a state of things was not 

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proper -- [that "he should be king who possessed the royal power"].
After this decision the place Pepin desired was declared vacant.
... Still this external cooperation of the pope in the transfer of
the Kingdom would necessarily enhance the importance of the Church.
Pepin was also obliged to acknowledge the increased power of the
Church by calling on it for moral [?] support." (CE. xi, 663.) In
pay or reward for this "moral support" given by the Church, Pepin,
it is said, gave to the Church some considerable territories around
Rome, which at the incitation of the Pope he had wrested by arms
from the neighboring Lombards.


     To this alleged gift Pepin was induced not alone by the
sentiment of guilty gratitude to Zacharias and Stephen, the latter
of whom crowned him King of the Franks in 751; for further
persuasion His Holiness Stephen II procured from the Vatican
Forgery Mill the identical autograph letter of St. Peter himself,
prophetically addressed "To the King of the Franks," and so
mystically worded that: "When Stephen II performed the ceremony of
anointing Pepin and his son at St. Denis, it was St. Peter who was
regarded as the mystical giver of the secular power"! (CE. xi,
663.) This cunning Papal forgery and fraud is thus described by a
high authority: "The pontiff dictated his letter in the name of the
apostle Peter, closely imitating his epistles, and speaking in a
language which implied that he was possessed of an authority to
anoint or dethrone kings, and to perform the offices, not of a
messenger, of a teacher sent from God, which is the highest
characteristic of an apostle, but of a delegated minister of His
power and justice." (Historians' History of the World, vol. viii,
p. 557.)

     Also: "The Frankish king received the title of the former
representative of the Byzantine Empire in Italy, i.e. 'Patricius,'
and was also assigned the duty of protecting the privileges of the
Holy See. ... After the acknowledgment of his territorial claims
the pope was in reality a ruling sovereign, but he had placed
himself under the protection of the Frankish ruler, and had sworn
that he and his people would be true to the king" (CE. xi, 663), --
the divine birthright thus swapped for a mess of political potage:
for over a thousand years since it has been a mess indeed. Thus by
conspiracy, fraud, and unrighteous conquest was laid the foundation
of the sacred "Patrimony of Peter," and the unholy league between
the papacy and the French kings, which reached full fruition in the
holy massacres of the Albigenses, of the Vendee, and of St.

                       A HOLY CONSPIRATION

     The next step in the progress "conquering and to conquer" of
Christ's prostituted Church was on a broader stage and with yet
vaster consequences. Pepin died in 768, dividing his realms between
his two sons, Carloman and Charles, later "by the Grace of God" and
great villainy known to fame as Charles the Great or Charlemagne;
Charles receiving the German part, Carloman the French. On the
death of Carloman, in 771, Charles seized the Frankish kingdom. The
widow and young heirs of Carloman fled for protection and aid to 

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Desiderius, king of the Lombards, part of whose stolen territory
the pope held for God and Church. Desiderius was also father of the
repudiated first wife of Charles; the holy matrimonial mess is thus
defined: "Charles was already, in foro conscientiae, if not in
Frankish law, wedded to Himiltrude. In defiance of the pope's
protest, Charles married Desiderata, daughter of Desiderius (770);
three years later he repudiated her and married Hildegarde, the
beautiful Swabian. Naturally, Desiderius was furious at this
insult, and the dominions of the Holy See bore the first brunt of
his wrath." (CE. iii,.612.) Charles thereupon "had to protect Rome
against the Lombard"; finally the Lombards were "put to utter
rout"; Charles proceeded to Rome; and "history records with vivid
eloquence the first visit of Charles to the Eternal City. ...
Charles himself forgot pagan Rome and prostrated himself to kiss
the threshold of the Apostles, and then spent seven days in
conference with the successor of Peter. It was then that he
undoubtedly formed many great designs for the glory of God and the
exaltation of Holy Church, which, in spite of human weaknesses,
and, still more, ignorance, he did his best to realize." (Ib. 612.)
The principal fruit of this weakness and ignorance of Charles seems
to be that he could so easily let himself be duped by His Holiness
through the enormous forgeries for Christ's sake that were now
imposed upon him. In 774 Charles finally defeated Desiderius and
"assumed the crown of Lombardy, and renewed to Adrian [now Holiness
of Rome] the donation of territory made by Pepin." The "genuineness
of this donation," as well as of "the original gift of Pepin," have
been much questioned, says CE., but are "now generally admitted,"
-- which is none too assuring; but another document, this time
favorable to Charles, is just the other way: "The so-called
'Privilegium Hadriani pro Carolo' granting him full right to
nominate the pope and to invest all bishops, is a forgery." (CE.
xi, 612). Here is precisely the reason and only effective use of
this forged "Donation of Constantine" -- it was the basis for the
inducement to Charlemagne to win the Lombard territories for the
Church and to reinstate it in the "Patrimony of Peter," largely
swollen by the pretended new gifts of the ambitious king, who, in
the seven days' conference with His Holiness, had, undoubtedly,
formed together "some great designs for the glory of God and the
exaltation of Holy Church," now begun to be realized.

     The quarter of a century passed, and much history was made.
The Roman emperors ruled from Constantinople; Roman popes and kings
were legitimately their liegemen; "the Emperor of Constantinople,
legitimate heir of the imperial title," now becomes the victim of
papal and kingly conspiration, thus brought to its climax: "On
Christmas Day, 800, took place the principal event of the life of
Charles. During the Pontifical Mass celebrated before the high
altar beneath which lay the bodies of Sts. Peter and Paul, the pope
(Leo III) approached him, placed upon his head the imperial crown,
did him formal reverence after the ancient manner, saluted him as
Emperor and Augustus and anointed him," while the Roman rabble
shouted its approval. Thus, again by collusion and usurpation,
began that Holy Roman Empire, of nefast history, which Bryce
qualifies as "neither holy, nor Roman, nor empire"; but the Vicars
of God were now well started on their way to worldly grandeur and
moral degradation. Now for their forgeries.

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     The monumental forgeries which were boldly used by their
Holinesses to dupe Charlemagne and Christendom into recognizing the
papal claim of right of ownership and sovereignty over a great part
of Italy are a series of spurious documents harking in pretended
date and origin back to the "first Christian emperor" Constantine
and to His Holiness Pope St. Sylvester (314-335). About the name of
Sylvester arose "the Sylvester Legend later surrounded with that
network of myth, that gave rise to the forged document known as the
Donation of Constantine." (CE. xiv, 257.) This fable, says Prof.
Shotwell, "made its way, gathering volume as it went, reinforced
eventually by a forged Donation, until it had imposed upon all
Europe the conception of Sylvester as the potent influence behind
Constantine's most striking measures and of Constantine himself as
the dutiful servant of the See of Peter." (See of Peter, xxvi.) The
extensive variety but common general nature of these Sylvester
forgeries is thus indicated:

          "At an early date legend brings Pope St. Sylvester into
     close relationship with the first Christian emperor, but in a
     way that is contrary to historical fact. These legends were
     introduced especially into the 'Vita beati Sylvestri,' and in
     the 'Constitutum Sylvestri' -- an apocryphal account of an
     alleged Roman council which belongs to the Symmachian
     forgeries and appeared between 501 and 508, and also in the
     'Donatio Constantini.' The accounts given in all these
     writings concerning the persecution of Sylvester, the healing
     and baptism of Constantine, the emperor's gift to the pope,
     the rights granted to the latter, and the council of 275
     bishops at Rome, are entirely legendary" (CE. xiv, 370-371).


          "Ah, Constantine! to how much ill gave birth,
           Not thy conversion, but that plenteous dewer,
           Which the first wealthy Father gained from thee!"
                                   Dante, Inferno, xix, 115.

     The Catholic Encyclopedia, artless revealer of the frauds of
the Church for which it is an authorized spokesman, gives this
account of the famous Donatio Constantini, which is describes as "a
forged document of Emperor Constantine the Great, by which large
privileges and rich possessions were conferred on the pope and the
Roman Church. ... It is addressed by Constantine to Pope Sylvester
I (314-35), and consists of two parts. ... Constantine is made to
confer on Sylvester and his successors the following privileges and
possessions: the pope, as successor of St. Peter, has the primacy
over the four Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople,
and Jerusalem, also over all the bishops in the world. ... The
document goes on to say that for himself the Emperor has
established in the East a new capital which bears his name, and
thither he removes his capital, since it is inconvenient that a
secular emperor have power where God has established the residence
of the head of the Christian religion. The document concludes with
malediction's against all who violate these donations and with the
assurance that the emperor has signed them with his own hand and
placed them on the tomb of St. 

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Peter. This document is without doubt a forgery, fabricated
somewhere between the years 750 and 850. As early as the 15th
century its falsity was known and demonstrated. ... Its genuinity
was yet occasionally defended, and the document still further used
as authentic, until Baronius in his Annals Ecclesiastici admitted
that the 'Donatio' was a forgery, whereafter it was soon
universally admitted to be such. It is so clearly a fabrication
that there is no reason to wonder that, with the revival of
historical criticism in the 15th century, the true character of the
document was at once recognized. ... The document obtained wider
circulation by its incorporation with the 'False Decretals'
(840-850)." (CE. v, 118, 119, 120.)

     By Lord Bryce a graphic sketch of this notorious fraud is
given, with comments as to the mental and moral qualities of the
priestcraft which it reflects. It is, he says, the -- "most
stupendous of medieval forgeries, which under the name of Donation
of Constantine commanded for seven centuries the unquestioning
belief of mankind. Itself a portentous falsehood, it is the most
unimpeachable evidence of the thoughts and beliefs of the
priesthood which framed it, sometime between the middle of the
eighth and the middle of the tenth century. It tells how
Constantine the Great, cured of his leprosy by the prayers of
Sylvester, resolved, on the fourth day of his baptism, to forsake
the ancient seat for a new capital on the Bosphorus, lest the
continuance of the secular government should cramp the freedom of
the spiritual, and how he bestowed therewith upon the Pope and his
successors the sovereignty over Italy and the countries of the
West." (Bryce, Holy Roman Empire, Ch. vii, p. 97; Latin text,
extracts, p. 98.) In addition to these extraordinary investitures,
all forms of imperial pomp, privileges and dignities were
spuriously granted to the Pope and his clerics, "all of them
enjoyed by the Emperor and his senate, all of them showing the same
desire to make the pontifical a copy of the imperial office. The
Pope is to inhabit the Lateran palace, to wear the diadem, the
collar, the purple cloak, to carry the scepter, and to be attended
by a body of chamberlains. Similarly his clergy are to ride on
white horses and receive the honors and immunities of the senate
and patricians," including "the practice of kissing the pope's
foot, adopted in imitation of the old imperial court." (Ib. pp.

     The grossness and absurdity of these stupendous forgeries,
with their pious recitals of Constantine's leprosy cured by
Sylvester's prayers, the consequent conversion and baptism of the
Emperor in the Lateran font, and the abandonment of Rome by
Constantine in order to leave it free for God's Vicar, just up from
the catacombs, to ape imperial pomp, is made manifest by a moment's
notice of dates, and recollection of contemporary history.
Sylvester's Holiness dates from 314, he died in 335; Constantine in
337. Constantine's "conversion" by the "In Hoc Signo" miracle, was
in 312, before Sylvester became pope; at no time did Constantine
have leprosy, other than moral, therefore no physical cure was
wrought by Sylvester's prayers, and certainly no moral cleansing
worthy of note; Constantine was not baptized by Sylvester in Rome,
but heretically received that rite long after Sylvester's death,
and just before his own, in Nicomedia of 

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Asia Minor. (CE. i, 709.) But Christians were too sodden in
ignorance to know these things, and it was only with the "revival
of historical criticism" which marked the beginning of the end of
the Ages of Faith, that the truth was disclosed, or could have been
perceived. In words that blast and sear with infamy the
perpetrators and the conscious beneficiaries of this monumental
fraud and forgery, Gibbon says:

          "Fraud is the resource of weakness and cunning; and the
     strong, though ignorant barbarian, was often entangled in the
     net of sacerdotal policy. ... The Decretal and the Donation of
     Constantine, the two magical pillars of the spiritual and
     temporal monarchy of the popes. This memorable donation was
     first introduced to the world by an epistle of Adrian the
     first, who exhorts Charlemagne to imitate the liberality, and
     revive the name, of the great Constantine. ... So deep was,
     the ignorance and credulity of the times, that the most absurd
     of fables was received, with equal reverence, in Greece and in
     France, and is still enrolled among the decrees of the canon
     law. The emperors, and the Romans, were incapable of
     discerning a forgery, that subverted their rights and freedom.
     ... The popes themselves have indulged a smile at the
     credulity of the vulgar; but a false and obsolete title still
     sanctifies their reign; and, by the same fortune which has
     attended the decretals and the Sibylline Oracles, the edifice
     has subsisted after the foundations have been undermined."
     (Gibbon, Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xiv, pp. 740,
     741, 742.)

     The falsity of the Donation was first alleged and proved, in
1440, by the acute Humanist critic Lorenzo Valla, who has the
exposure of more than one Church forgery to his credit, and who
narrowly escaped the Holy Inquisition; and yet the document "was
still used as authentic" by Holy Church until the great Churchman
critic Baronius forced the confession of the fraud, but the Church
still for centuries clung to the fruits of its fraud, and would not
give them up, with their revenues and rotten "sovereignty." The
ancient forgery of "Donation" was finally canceled by Italian
patriot bayonets in 1870, and the stolen territories of "Peter's
Patrimon" restored to United Italy. That these Papal territories
were not of "divine" right, nor of even forged muniments which can
be plausibly urged, is thus confessed: "All of this, of course, is
based upon painstaking deductions since no document has come down
to us either from the time of Charlemagne or from that of Pepin."
(CE. xiv, 261.) This is confirmed, and the precarious nature of the
usurped tenure thus stated: "Nominally, Adrian I (772-775) was now
monarch of about two-thirds of the Italian peninsula, but his sway
was little more than nominal. ... It was in no slight degree owing
to Adrian's political sagacity, vigilance, and activity, that the
temporal power of the Papacy did not remain a fiction of the
imagination. ... The temporal power of the popes, of which Adrian
I must be considered the real founder." (CE. i, 155-156.)

     In a paragraph which gives a word of credit to Valla for his
exposure of the forgeries of the "Donation" and the immense and
remarkable "Pseudo-Areopagite" Forgeries, previously mentioned, 

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the vast extent of the output of the Vatican Forgery-Mill -- and
the evil persistence of the Church in clinging to them after
exposure, is thus admitted: "Lorenzo Valla, 1440, counselled
Engenius IV not to rely on the Donation of Constantine, which he
proved to be spurious. ... It was Valla who first denied the
authenticity of those writings which for centuries had been going
about as the treatises composed by Dionysius the Areopagite. Three
centuries later the Benedictines of St. Maur and the Bollandists
were still engaged in sifting out the true from the false in
patristic literature, in hagiology, in the story of the foundation
of local churches" (CE. xii, 768), -- such Liars of the Lord were
the pious parasites of Holy Church.

                   THE "SYMMACHIAN FORGERIES"

     Among the sheaf of forged documents above confessed by CE. are
the so-called "Symmachian Forgeries," forged by or in behoof of His
Holiness Pope St. Symmachus (498-514), products of the Church
Forgery Mill operated by the Pope to further papal pretensions of
the independence of the Bishops of Rome from the just criticisms
and judgment of ecclesiastical tribunals, and putting them above
law clerical and secular. Whenever there was need for false
precedents, a simple turn of the crank of the wheel of the papal
forgery-mill produced them just to order. Thus, in this instance:
"During the dispute between Pope St. Symmachus and the anti-pope
Laurentius, the adherents of Symmachus drew up four apocryphal
writings called the 'Symmachian Forgeries'. ... The object of these
forgeries was to produce alleged instances from earlier times to
support the whole procedure of the adherents of Symmachus, and, in
particular, the position that the Roman bishop could not be judged
by any court composed of other bishops." (CE. xiv, 378.) Our
Confessor is careful twice to impute these confessed forgeries to
the "adherents" of His Holiness; but they were forged for him,
used, of course with his knowledge and consent, to further his
cause in the dispute; they are thus distinctly forgeries by His


     A "record of forgery in the interest of the Church which
resembles nothing else in history," in the words of Dr. McCabe, has
so far been presented; the climax and capstone is now to be seen in
what Voltaire terms "the boldest and most magnificent forgery which
has deceived the world for centuries," the so-called "False
Decretals of Isidore." While it is true, as said by Reinach, that
"never yet has the papacy acknowledged that for 1000 years it made
use of forged documents for its own benefit," yet we have seen a
thousand confessions of the fact of forgery, and either the
admission or the inevitable inference, that they were used by the
Church in the fraudulent obtention of viciously illicit ends. The
following brief paragraph of further confession from CE., is
pregnant with suggestion of the moral depravity of popes and
priests, the whole Church, the sodden ignorance of the votaries of
Holy Church, cleric and lay, the darkness of the life of mind and
spirit till at the "Renaissance" men were reborn indeed, and after
slow and painful growth of learning and of freeing from fear, began
to expose the Church in its forgeries, 

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frauds, and vices. The tone of CE. is quite apologetical for this
particular monument of Church fraud; it seeks palliation in the
conditions of ignorance of the Middle Ages; but it forgets that
Holy Church purposely produced this ignorance, and that Popes and
Church are illumined by the Holy Ghost of their God against all
ignorance and error so that its "Church never has erred and never
shall": but maybe this statement is itself an error. CE. now speaks
for this gigantic fraud of Holy Church, the False Isidorian

          "Isidorian Decretals is the name given to certain
     apocryphal letters contained in a collection of canon laws
     composed about the middle of the ninth century. ... Nowadays
     every one agrees that these so-called papal letters are
     forgeries. These documents, about 100 in number, appeared
     suddenly in the ninth century and are nowhere mentioned before
     that time. ... The pseudo-Isidore makes use of documents
     written long after the times of the popes to whom he
     attributed them. The popes of the first three centuries are
     made to quote documents that did not appear until the fourth
     or fifth century, etc. Then again there are endless
     anachronisms. The Middle Ages were deceived by this huge
     forgery, but during the Renaissance men of learning and the
     canonists generally began to recognize the fraud. ...
     Nevertheless the official edition of the 'Corpus Juris,' in
     1580, upheld the genuineness of the false decretals." (CE. vi,
     773.) But the God-guided Vicars of God knew they were

          "Upon these spurious decretals," says Hallam, "was built
     the great fabric of papal supremacy over the different
     national churches; a fabric which has stood after its
     foundations crumbled beneath it; for no one has pretended to
     deny, for the last two centuries, that the imposture is too
     palpable for any but the most ignorant ages to credit."
     (History of the Middle Ages, Bk. VII, ch. ii, 99.) Though on
     their face affecting only matters spiritual and causes
     ecclesiastical, they soon had all Europe strangled as in the
     tentacles of a giant octopus, by a process thus described by
     Lord Bryce: "By the invention and adoption of the False
     Decretals it (the Church) had provided itself with a legal
     system suited to any emergency, and which gave it unlimited
     authority through the Christian world in causes spiritual and
     over persons ecclesiastical. Canonical ingenuity found it easy
     in one way or another to make this include all causes and
     persons whatsoever; for crime is always and wrong is often
     sin, nor can aught be done anywhere which may not affect the
     clergy." (Holy Roman Empire, ch. x, 152.) "The Forgery," says
     Dr. Draper, "produced an immense extension of papal power, it
     displaced the old Church government, divesting it of the
     republican attributes it had possessed, and transforming it
     into an absolute monarchy. It brought the bishops into
     subjection to Rome, and made the pontiff the supreme judge of
     the whole Christian world. It prepared the way for the great
     attempt, subsequently made by Hildebrand, to convert the
     states of Europe into a theocratic priest-kingdom, with the
     pope at its head." (Conflict between Religion and Science, ch.
     x, 271.)

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     The false pretense back of the huge forgery was that the
documents included were genuine papal letters and decretals of the
earliest popes, thus carrying back the Church's late pretensions to
the very first of the Church and to the pretended and fictitious
associates and "Successors" of Peter. These spurious documents are
taken up seriatim by the critical Father Dupin, as outlined in
ANF., viii, and each in its turn pronounced a forgery. From the
"Introductory Notice to the Decretals," I think it pertinent to
quote the following paragraph:

          "These frauds, which, pretending to be a series of 'papal
     edicts' from Clement and his successors during the ante-Niccne
     ages, are, in fact, the manufactured product of the ninth
     century, -- the most stupendous imposture of the world's
     history, the most successful and the most stubborn in its hold
     upon enlightened nations. Like the mason's framework of lath
     and scantlings, on which he turns an arch of massive stone,
     the Decretals served their purpose, enabling Nicholas I to
     found the Papacy by their insignificant aid. That swelling
     arch of vanity once reared, the framework might be knocked
     out; but the fabric stood, and has borne up every weight
     imposed upon it for ages. Its strong abutments have been
     ignorance and despotism. Nicholas produced his flimsy
     framework of imposture, and amazed the whole Church by the
     audacity of the claims he founded upon it. The age, however,
     was unlearned and uncritical; and, in spite of remonstrances
     from France under lead of Hincmar, bishop of Rheims, the West
     patiently submitted to the overthrow of the ancient Canons and
     the Nicene Constitutions, and bowed to the yoke of a new canon
     law, of which these frauds were not only made an integral, but
     the essential, part. The East never accepted them for a
     moment. ... The Papacy created the Western schism, and
     contrived to call it 'the schism of the Greeks.' The Decretals
     had created the Papacy, and they enabled the first Pope to
     assume that communion with himself was the test of Catholic
     communion: hence his excommunication of the Easterns, which,
     after brief intervals of relaxation, settled into the chronic
     schism of the Papacy, and produced the awful history of the
     medieval Church in Western Europe." (ANF. viii, 601.)


     Great and pernicious as were the influences of the forged
Isidorian Decretals, there yet remained a step to bring the Forger
Church to the height of its age-old ambitious scheme to completely
imitate the olden Roman Empire and dominate the world. "The School
of Bologna had just revived the study of Roman law; Gratian sought
to inaugurate a similar study of canon law. But while compilations
of texts and official collections were available for Roman law, or
'Corpus juris civilis,' Gratian had no such assistance. He
therefore adopted the plan of inserting the texts in the body of
his general treatise; from the disordered mass of canons, collected
from the earliest days, he selected the law actually in force. ...
The science of canon law was at length established." (CE. ix, 57.)
But this disordered mass out of which Gratian selected was very
largely the old 

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forged reliances of the Church; thus in making his selections
"Gratian alleges forged decretals" (CE. iv,), -- including the
Constantine Donation, the Isidore forgeries, etc. Yet, withal, "the
'Decretum' of Gratian was considered in the middle of the twelfth
century as a corpus juris canonici, i.e. a code of ecclesiastic
laws then in force." (CE. iv, 671.) It clinched the rivets in the
forged fetters of the Church upon the neck of Christendom, and
sanctioned the principles which in the next century were invoked to
found and justify the Holy Inquisition. Of this celebrated
document, the beginning of the "science" of Church legistic
sophistry, Draper says: "The most potent instrument of the new
papal system was Gratian's Decretum, which was issued about the
middle of the Twelfth Century. It was a mass of fabrications. It
made the whole Christian world, through the papacy, the domain of
the Italian clergy. It inculcated that it is lawful to constrain
men to goodness, to torture and execute heretics, and to confiscate
their property; that to kill an excommunicated person is not
murder; that the pope, in his unlimited superiority to all law,
stands on an equality with the Son of God." (Conflict between
Science and Religion, ch. x, p. 273.)


     As said by Dr. McCabe: "There was no need of further
forgeries. Now securely established on its basis of forged
donations of temporal power and territory, forged decretals stating
its spiritual powers, and forged lives of saints and martyrs, the
papacy was so strong and prosperous that the popes actually dreamed
of forming a sort of United States of Europe with themselves as
virtual presidents. Nearly every country was in some ingenious way
made out to be a fief of the Papacy and bound to recognize the Pope
as its feudal monarch." (LBB. 1130, 44-5.)

     Founding thus its religion, that newer form of Paganism called
Christianity, on falsehood and forged "Scripture" documents; its
pretensions to superiority and "primacy" on gross "interpolations"
into the forged Scriptures; its spurious claims to territorial
possessions and temporal sovereignty upon forged title-deeds and
Donations; its "spiritual" and legal domination upon forged Church
law and constitutions, -- thus was the visible Church of Christ
brought to the perfection of its power and degradation. For fifteen
hundred years every document under which it claimed, it forged; it
forged until it had no longer need of forgery, for nothing was left
to forge; forged so long as it could forge with impunity, for with
the Renaissance its old forgeries began to be discovered and
exposed, and it could commit undetected no further documentary

     Such is the objective side, as it were, of the Christian
religion and its Church. Its subjective side, the subjugation of
its victims by imposed ignorance and superstition, through
limitless forgeries of miracles, martyrs, saints and relics,
remains to be briefly noticed as a sort of by-product of the Holy
Church Forgery Mill.

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                    THE FRUSTRATED EMS REVOLT

     Not to mention the revolt known as the "Reformation," the
discovery of the unholy and criminal practices of the Church in the
matter of its claims of primacy and jurisdiction, as defined in the
Isidorian False Decretals, led to one tardy and half-way
ecclesiastical effort of revolt within the Roman Church, which
might have developed into something worth while to humanity as a
whole, but that "political considerations" intervened to bring it
to naught. It is cited simply by way of historical reminder, and as
suggestive of what may yet be effectively accomplished to the full
extent of popular repudiation.

     The Congress of Ems, in 1786, was a gathering of the
representatives of a number of German Archbishops and other clergy,
"for the purpose of protesting against papal interference in the
exercise of episcopal powers and fixing the future relations
between these archbishops and the Roman pontiff. ... On 25 August,
1786, these archiepiscopal representatives signed the notorious
'Punctation of Ems,, consisting of twenty-three articles, which
aimed at making the German archbishops practically independent of
Rome. Assuming that Christ gave unlimited power of binding and
loosing to the Apostles and their successors, the bishops, the
'Punctation' maintains that all prerogatives and reservations which
were not actually connected with the primacy during the first three
centuries owe their origin, to the Pseudo-Isidorian decretals,
universally acknowledged as false, and, hence, that the bishops
must look upon all interference of the Roman Curia with the
exercise of their episcopal functions in their own dioceses as
encroachments on their rights. ... It may easily be seen that the
articles of the 'Punctation' lower the papal primacy to a merely
honorary one and advocate an independence of the arch-bishops in
regard to the pope which is entirely incompatible with the Unity
and Catholicity of the Church of Christ," -- such are the unctuous
objections made by Christ's Church. However, the Punctations were
"ratified by the Archbishops, and sent to Emperor Joseph ii for his
support. The Emperor was pleased with the articles, and would have
pledged his unqualified support if his councillors had not for
political reasons advised him otherwise." (CE. v, 409-10.)
Rejecting the "assumption," now known to be false and forged, that
Christ had anything at all to do with Peter and the Rock-and-Keys
forgery, all may now feel free to discard these primitive
"Scripture" frauds just as all the others of the Church which have
been exposed as false and abandoned.


     "Throughout Church History there are miracles so well
authenticated that their truth cannot be denied." (CE. x, 345.)
     " ... after the working of Satan with all power and signs and
lying wonders." (2 Thess. ii, 9.)

     Look we for a moment 'on this picture and on that, the
counterfeit presentment, to slightly adapt Hamlet, of two modern
Miracles, published to the world in the Metropolitan press, -- a
sort of study in what may be called Comparative Credulity. The 

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first, although they "read it in the paper," no Christian or no
Infidel will hesitate to laugh at or commiserate as a ridiculous
superstition, taken advantage of by greedy priests to exploit their
credulous dupes. Only benighted heathen Buddhists religiously
believe the following:

          "Peasant says Buddha Arose and Cured Him.
     "Chinese Tale of a 'Miracle' by Stone Image Causes Religious
                    "Revival at Peking

     "Peking, Sept. 7. A tremendous revival of religious
superstition is being experienced by the Buddhists of Peking and
vicinity, because an aged peasant vows that he was cured (last
week) of a long-standing ailment when one of the stone images of
the sitting Buddha at Palichwang Pagoda rose to its feet, stepped
forward, and then raised its arm in sign of benediction.

     "The old peasant, named Chang Chi-kuang, is a farmer, living
near Palichwang Pagoda [a short distance from the Peking gate of
the Great Wall]. Chang Chi-kuang, who, his neighbors say, has long
suffered from lung trouble [passing by with a load of garden-truck
which he was carrying afoot into the city], became exhausted, and
stopped for rest and for refuge from the heat in the shade of an
old tree near the Pagoda, which is thirteen stories high and was
built 500 years ago, and in the days of the Ming emperors.

     "Chang Chi-kuang, as he lay resting in the shade, found his
gaze focused on the figure of the sitting Buddha, in the third
story of the Pagoda. ... The figure rose, Chang says, took two
steps, and raised its arms with a gesture of blessing. At this
point, according to Chang, he nearly swooned. He then fell to his
knees in devout worship, and when he raised his head after a long
prayer the Buddha had gone back to the place and position of the
last few hundred years.

     "The story of this miracle has spread rapidly. Every day now
thousands of pilgrims go to Palichwang from Peking and from the
villages and farms in this part of the province.

     "Both sides of the road from the Peking gate to the Pagoda are
now lined with booths where incense is sold, and hundreds of Lama
priests, with their begging bowls, now reap a rich gathering from
the pious pilgrims. ... And old Chang swears that he is now in
better health than he has enjoyed since he was a boy." (Special
Correspondence of the New York Times, October 14, 1928.)

     The foregoing religious news item is found archived in the
"Morgue" of the Great "Religious" Daily under the discrediting
caption "Superstitions"; it will be noticed that the word "Miracle"
in the headline is printed in quotes. No such skeptical note is to
be found in its next -- Christian -- report.

     Hundreds of millions of pious priest-ridden Christians do
believe the following, testified under oath in a military court, --
other hundreds of millions will regard it as they do the Buddhist
tale above related, -- and the Christian one below:

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    "Soldier's Story of a Miracle Saves Him at Court-Martial.

          "Croatian newspapers tell how a miracle figured as a
     determining factor in a court-martial trial. During the
     Austrian invasion of Upper Italy a Croatian soldier was
     suspected of having stolen a pearl necklace from a statue of
     the Holy Virgin in a pilgrims' church and was brought to
     trial. He admitted having taken the necklace. but insisted
     that it was a gift to him.

          "He said that he had gone into the church to pray, and
     had lamented before the statue of the Virgin the sad lot of
     his family, whom he had been compelled to leave destitute.
     Thereupon, he said, the Holy Virgin bowed her head, and took
     the pearls from her neck and handed them to him.

          "The Court could not venture to reject this story
     offhand, as there was general belief in the miracle-working
     power of the statue. So it referred the matter to two Bishops,
     asking them whether such a miracle was within the domain of

          "The Bishops were perplexed. If they answered 'Yes,' they
     might be protecting a rascal. But if they said 'No,' they
     would destroy the repute of that church for miraculous power
     and phenomena. Finally they answered that such a miracle was
     within the range of possibility; and in consequence the
     soldier was acquitted.

          "But the Colonel of the regiment to which the soldier
     belonged was either skeptical or of a most prudent turn of
     mind, for after the verdict of the court had been announced he
     issued his order: 'In future no soldier under my command is
     permitted, under heavy penalty, to accept a gift from
     anybody."' (New York Times, Oct. 10, 1926.)

     It is not reported whether this episcopal pair of men of God
were unfrocked for perjury and the perversion of justice, or even
gently chided by His Holiness.

     The "lying wonders" of saints, martyrs and miracles are so
intimately related, and so inextricably interwoven the one form of
pious fraud with the others, that they must needs be bunched
together in this summary treatment of but few out of countless
thousands, millions perhaps, of them recorded for faith and
edification in the innumerable "Acts" and "Lives" and wonder-works
of the Holy Church of God. Those which are here mentioned are
picked at random from a turning of the pages of the fifteen
ponderous tomes of CE., where they may be verified under the
respective names of the Saints. With scarcely an exception they are
soberly recounted as actual verities of the past and living
realities of the present.

     The degraded state of mind of the Faithful, and the moral
depravity of the Church which for nearly two millennia, and yet
into the twentieth century, peddles these childish fables as
articles of Christian faith, may be known by the mere fact of the 

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existence in limitless numbers of these precious myths. Founded by
Jean Bolland, of Belgium, in the early years of the 1600's, an
important Church Society, known as the Bollandists, yet exists and
industriously carries on its labors. "This monumental work, the
Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists, has become the foundation of all
investigation in hagiography and legend." (CE. ix, 129.) For some
three centuries its task has been and yet is, to edit and publish
in official Acta Sanctorum the Lives and "Acts" -- authenticated
records -- of every Saint in the Holy Roman Calendar. Arranged in
order of dates of their "feast days," so numerous is this heavenly
mill-made host that up to the month of October over 25,000
officially authenticated Saints are recorded; the Saint-library of
the Society has over 150,000 saintly volumes. As it costs about
$50,000 to turn out one Saint by canonization, and "not less than
$20,000" for beatification or the bestowal of the title of Blessed
(CE. ii, 369), -- the Church revenue from this single source is
seen to have been 

     Holy Church is very careful and conscientious in its processes
of certifying Saints; at least two allegedly genuine and fully
authenticated miracles must be proven to have been performed by the
candidate alive or worked by his relics after death, before final
payment is required and the name certified as a Saint to the
Calendar. A fairly modern instance showing this clerical
scrupulosity may be cited, that of the Venerable Mary de Sales, who
died in 1875 -- "Wishing to save the world over again, Jesus Our
Lord had to use means till then unknown," that is, "The Way"
invented by Mary; but no miracles were satisfactorily proved to
justify making her a Saint; however, her sanctity was proved, and
she was decreed Venerable; some miracles must later have been
proved up in her behalf, or the requisite $20,000 paid, -- for in
1897 her Beatification was decreed. (CE. ix, 754.)

     However, even Infallibility may be fooled sometimes, even if
not all the time. The most notorious instance is that of the holy
Saint Josaphat, "under which name and due to an odd slip of
inerrant inspiration, the great Lord Buddha, "The Light of Asia,"
was duly certified a Saint in the Roman Martyrology (27 Nov.; CE.
iii, 297). More modernly, in 1802, an old grave was found
containing a cadaver and a bottle "supposed to contain the blood of
a martyr"; the relies were enshrined in an altar, and the erstwhile
owner of the remains was duly and solemnly canonized as Saint
Philomena; but this was "by mistake"; and thus were fooled two
infallible Holinesses, Gregory XVI and Leo III. (CE. xii, 25.)

                       "SPECULA STULTORUM"

     Before thumbing the wonder-filled pages of CE. to pick out
from thousands, sundry examples of the inspired and truthful
histories of Saints and Martyrs, recorded for the moral edification
and mental stultification of the Faithful of the Twentieth Century,
-- when only the miracles of Science in benefit of humanity are
recognized by many as real, -- we may note the comment of that
Exponent of "Catholic Truth" conscientiously questioning a case or
two of the certified Saint-

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records. With respect to one of the notable female Saints, St.
Catherine of Alexandria, it is candidly explained: "Unfortunately
these Acts have been transformed and distorted by fantastic and
diffuse descriptions which are entirely due to the imagination of
the narrators -- [a notable one of whom was the great Bossuet of
France], -- who cared less to state authentic facts than to charm
their readers by recitals of the marvelous." (CE. iii, 445.)
Speaking of another case, St. Emmeram: "The improbability of the
tale, the fantastic details of the Saint's martyrdom, and the
fantastic account of the prodigies attending his death, show that
the writer, infected by the pious mania of his time, simply added
to the facts imaginary details supposed to redound to the glory of
the martyr." (v, 406.) How often have we heard from this same
exponent of "Catholic Truth" this same exculpation of priestly
pious mendacity in wondermongering!

     Questioning a few such instances, implicitly carries with it
the moral assurance that all the others, related as unquestioned
fact, are free from such taint of fraud, -- are, indeed, among
those "miracles so well authenticated that their truth cannot be
denied." Indeed, the reality and authenticity of very many, for
example, the bubbling blood of the sixteen-hundred-year-old
martyred St. Januarius, and its frequent efficacy in stopping
eruptions of the Volcano Mt. Vesuvius, are explicitly affirmed by
the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is now to be quoted. It may be
suspected, however, that even these certified Saint-tales, like so
many others, are fakes and "belong to the common foundation of all
legends of saints" (CE. i, 40), the fraud of which is confessed.

     Very portentous is this St. Januarius, "martyred" about 305:
"His holy blood is kept unto this day in a phial of glass, which
being set near his head, bubbles up as though it were fresh," in
the church of St. Januarius at Naples; a long article is replete
with plenary proofs of this and other miracles of the Saint. He was
thrown into a fiery furnace, but the flames would not touch him and
his companions; his executioner was struck blind, but the Saint
cured him. His holy remains were brought to Naples, and are famous
on account of many miracles, as recorded in the official papal
"present Roman Martyrology," a longer account being given in the
Breviary, as quoted in these words of assurance: "Among these
miracles is remarkable the stopping of eruptions of Mount Vesuvius,
whereby both that neighborhood and places afar off have been like
to be destroyed. It is also well known and is the plain fact, seen
even unto this day, that when the blood of St. Januarius, kept
dried up in a small glass phial, is put in sight of the head of the
same martyr, it is wont to melt and bubble up in a very strange
way, as though it had but freshly been shed. ... For more than four
hundred years this liquefaction has taken place at frequent
intervals"; elaborate tests, the last reported in 1902 and 1904,
have been unable to account for the phenomenon except as due to
miracle. "It has had much to do with many conversations to
Catholicism. Unfortunately, however, allegations have often been
made as to the favorable verdict expressed by scientific men of
note, which are not always verifiable. The supposed testimony of
the great chemist, Sir Humphrey Davy, who is declared to have
expressed his belief in the genuineness of 
the miracle, is a case in point." (CE. viii, 295-7.)

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     This Holy Bottle of blood might well be borrowed to stop the
present eruption of Mt. AEtna in Sicily, which (as this is
written), is destroying several populous towns and "the most
intensively cultivated land in Sicily," by a torrent of lava a mile
in width, against which the local Patron seems impotent: "The lava
struck Mascali, a town of 10,000 inhabitants last night, just after
the townsfolk had finished celebrating the feast of their patron,
St. Leonardo, whose statue was carried on the shoulders of four old
men." (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Nov. 8, 1928.) But such pious
thaumaturgies do not seem to be overly potent this year. In this
unguarded a priori surmise I find myself mistaken, and apologize to
the gentle reader and to Holy Church. There is no need to borrow
the Vesuvius-stopping Blood of St. Januarius; Sicily has its own
local AEtna-stopper, the Holy Veil of St. Agatha, "which, according
to tradition, has arrested the flow of lava toward Catania in the
past." This sacred and potent relic, a bit tardily, after several
large towns have been wiped out, has now "been exposed in the
cathedral by order of the Archbishop Cardinal Nava, who also issued
an appeal for prayers by all in the diocese. He exhorted the
population to remain calm and maintain their faith. On previous
occasions prayers to St. Agatha were said when an eruption
occurred, and the lava stopped short before Nicolosi and
Linguaglossa, twenty-five miles north of Catania." (N.Y. Sun, Nov.
13, 1928.) This tardy exposition of the Relics and order for
prayers, -- after scientific examinations and airplane explorations
had shown that the fiery forces were about spent and "the lava
showing signs of solidification and emissions from the smoking
mountain lessening," -- is somewhat posthumous, or humorous; the
devastation was already wrought. If St. Agatha's anti-volcano Veil
had been gotten out of storage and waved or hung up on the first
signs of eruption, some of this history, one way or another, would
have been different. But if the Saint can stop volcanoes after the
evil deed is done, -- Well, one miracle of prevention is better
than a larger number of miracles of cure, -- which are ineffective
to repair the havoc in such cases. Like miracles of 'liquefaction
of Holy Blood yet occur abundantly, as in the noted cases of
"'Saints John the Baptist, Stephen, Pantaleone, Patricia, Nicholas,
Aloysius," et id omne genus; so with the bottled "Milk of our Lady"
and the canned "fat of St. Thomas Aquinas," on their respective
Saint-days!. (CE. viii, 297.)

     The sacred Council of Trent, in 1546, decreed: "That the
saints who reign with Christ offer to God their prayers for men;
that it is good and useful to invoke them by supplication and to
have recourse to their aid and assistance in order to obtain from
God His benefits through His Son and Our Savior Jesus Christ, who
alone is our Savior and Redeemer." (Session xxv.) But the sacred
Council, in its preoccupation of combating the nascent outraged
revolt and protest of Protestantism, which was filching its most
plausible counterfeits for circulation in a hostile camp, -- seems
to have overlooked this scrap of forged Scripture: "For there is
one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ
Jesus." (I Tim. ii, 5.) The effect, however, of this multiplication
of saintly mediators is picturesque; it is finely exemplified in
the great painting "The Intercession of the 

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Saints," in the Royal Gallery at Naples: In the background is the
plague-stricken city; in the foreground the people are praying to
the city authorities to avert the plague; the city authorities are
praying to the Carthusian monks; the monks are praying to the
Blessed Virgin; the Virgin prays to Christ; and Christ prays to his
Father Almighty. The Holy Ghost, who "itself maketh intercession
for us with groanings which cannot be uttered," is quite left out
of the picture. Just how good and useful it is to invoke the Saints
directly, saving Doctor's bills and other inconveniences, will be
noticed in the catalogue of Saints below inscribed.

     It was in the fifth century, says Dr. McCabe, that "Rome began
on a large scale the forgery of lives of martyrs. Relics of martyrs
were now being 'discovered' in great numbers to meet the pious
demand of ignorant Christendom, and legends were fabricated by the
thousands to authenticate the spurious bits of bone." (LBB. 1130,
p. 40.) "Such," says CE., "are the 'Martyrium S. Polycarpi,'
admitting, though it does, much that may be due to the pious fancy
of the eye-witness"; also "the 'Acta SS. Perpetuae et Felicitas.'"

     The Saint-mill of Holy Church began operations very early, or
reached for grist far back into antiquity for the beginnings of its
Calendar of Saints. The first Saint who greets us among the
countless hordes of canonized Holy Ones is no less a primitive
personage that St. Abel, the younger son and second heir of our
mythical Father Adam, of Eden, who was canonized by Jesus Christ
himself, we are told, "as the first of a long line of prophets
martyred for justice's sake," as is the clerical interpretation of
Matt. xxiii, 34-35, "That upon you may come all the righteous blood
shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel unto the blood of
Zacharias," -- a bloody invocation in later centuries peculiarly
appropriate to the Church of Jesus Christ. This is a genuine
surprise, for no miracles wrought by St. Abel are recorded, and no
generous canonization fees seem to have been paid for his account
into the Treasury of the Lord in Rome.

                         OLD PAGAN STUFF

     Many of the Pagan gods were converted into Christian Saints,
and seem to have brought over with them the special curative or
prophylactic attributes for which they were invoked as specifics.
Indeed, the whole system was purely Pagan: "Cures, apparitions,
prophecies, visions, transfigurations, stigmata, pleasant odor,
incorruption -- all these phenomena were also known to antiquity.
Ancient Greece exhibits stone monuments and inscriptions which bear
witness to cures and apparitions in ancient mythology. History
tells of Aristeas of Proconnessus, Hermotimus of Claxomenae,
Epimenides of Crete, that they were ascetics and thereby became
ecstatic, even to the degree of the soul leaving the body,
remaining far removed from it, and being able to appear in other
places." (CE. ix, 129.) The pious plan of temporal salvation in the
Ages of Faith is thus historically vouched: "The whole social life
of the Catholic world before the Reformation was animated with the
idea of protection from the citizens of heaven. There were patrons
or protectors in various forms of 

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illness, as for instance: St. Agatha, diseases of the breast;
Apollonia, toothache; Blaise, sore throat; Clare and Lucy, eyes;
Benedict, against poison; Hubert, against bites of dogs." (CE. xi,
566.) "Catania honours St. Agatha as her patron saint, and
throughout the region around Mt. AEtna she is invoked against the
eruptions of the volcano, as elsewhere against fire and lightning."
(i, 204.)

     To the infamous sanctified fable of St. Hugh are imputed
sundry unholy accusations and persecutions against the Jews, --
(here only repeated because they are falsely affirmed in the
inspired Bull of Canonization. A Christian child was lyingly
alleged to have been crucified by the Jews; the earth refused to
receive its body, and it was thrown into a well, where it was found
with the marks of crucifixion upon it; nineteen Jews were
infamously put to death for the fabulous crime, and ninety others
were condemned to death but released, for the sake of greed, upon
payment of large fines; "Copin, the leader, stated that it was a
Jewish custom to crucify a boy once a year"! (CE. vii, 515);
similar infamies of falsehood are related in connection with St.
William of Norwich. (CE. xv, 635.)

     Here is a monumental miracle with every assurance of verity.
"St. Winefride was a maiden of great personal charm and endowed
with rare gifts of intellect. The fame of her beauty and
accomplishments reached the ears of Caradoc, son of the neighboring
Prince Alen." She refused all his advances; frightened by his
threats she fled towards the church where her uncle St. Beuno was
celebrating Mass. "Maddened by a disappointed passion, Caradoc
pursued her and, overtaking her on the slope above the site of the
present well, he drew his sword and at one blow severed her head
from the body. The head rolled down the incline and, where it
rested, there gushed forth a spring." St. Beuno, hearing of the
tragedy, left the altar, and accompanied by the parents came to the
spot where the head lay beside the spring. "Taking up the maiden's
head be carried it to where the body lay, covered both with his
cloak, and then re-entered the church to finish the Holy Sacrifice.
When Mass was ended he knelt beside the Saint's body, offered up a
fervent prayer to God, and ordered the cloak which covered it to be
removed. Thereupon Winefride, as if awakening from a deep slumber,
rose up with no sign of the severing of the head except a thin
white circle round her neck. Seeing the murderer leaning on his
sword with an insolent and defiant air, St. Beuno invoked the
chastisement of heaven, and Caradoc fell dead on the spot, the
popular belief being that the earth opened and swallowed him.
Miraculously restored to life, Winefride seems to have lived in
almost perpetual ecstasy and to have had familiar converse with
God." The place where this signal miracle occurred was at the time
called "Dry Hollow," but with its miraculous spring its name was
changed to Holywell, and it stands there in Wales to this day, a
bubblingly vocal witness to the verity of this holy yarn. Born in
600, beheaded and reheaded at sweet sixteen, she died Nov. 3, 660;
"her death was foreshown to her in a vision by Christ Himself."
(CE. xv, 656-657.) "For more than a thousand years this Miraculous
Well has attracted numerous pilgrims; documents preserved in the
British Museum give us its history, with the 

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earliest record of the miraculous cures effected by its waters.
These ancient cures included cases of dropsy, paralysis, gout,
melancholia, sciatica, cancer, alienation of mind, blood spitting,
etc. etc., also deliverance from evil spirits." (CE. repeats the
history of St. Winefride, or Gwenfrewi, in vii, 438.)

     St. Wolfgang, by a unique miracle, "forced the devil to help
him build a church." -- Et id omne genus -- ad nauseam. Such is a
handful of the holy chaff of faith, purveyed by Holy Church to all
Believers to this day. Scores of like saint-lies are here omitted
to Save space.

     These gross and degrading impostures by forged miracles not
only went unrebuked and unchecked by the Vicars of God; many of the
vice-Gods were among the most prolific miracle-mongers of the ages
of Faith. One of the most notorious wonder-workers and wonder-
forgers of Holy Church was no less a personage than His Holiness
Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604). He has the doubtful
distinction of being the author of four celebrated volumes of
Dialogi, which are a veritable thesaurus of holy wonders. From this
treasury of nature-fakery we have seen the old Pagan example,
affirmed as Christian fact by Gregory, as quoted by CE., of the man
carried off by mistake by the Angel of Death, but restored to life
when the oversight was discovered. He also relates a great flood of
the Tiber which threatened to destroy Rome, until a copy of His
Holiness's "Dialogi" was thrown into the swollen waters, which
immediately subsided, and the Holy City was thus saved. His
Holiness solemnly records the case of an awful belly-ache suffered
by a holy nun, which he avers was caused by her having swallowed a
devil along with a piece of lettuce which she was eating without
having taken the due precaution of making the sign of the cross
over it to scare away any lurking imps of Satan; and this devil,
when commanded by a holy monk to come out of the nun, derisively
replied: "How am I to blame? I was sitting on the lettuce, and this
woman, not having made the sign of the cross, ate me along with
it!" (Dial. lib. i, c. 4.) When elected Pope in 590 the city of
Rome was afflicted by a dreadful pestilence; the angels of the
angry God of all mercies were relentlessly flinging fiery darts
among the devout Christian populace. To conjure away the pestilence
-- due perhaps primarily to the filth of the Holy City and its
inhabitants -- His Holiness headed a monkish parade through the
stricken city, when of a sudden he saw the Archangel Michael
hovering over the great Pagan mausoleum of Hadrian, just in the act
of sheathing his flaming sword, while three angels with him chanted
the original verses of the Regina Caeli; the great Pope made the
Sign of the Cross and broke into Hallelujahs -- (that is, "Praise
to Yahveh," the old Hebrew war-god). In commemoration of the
wondrous event, the pious Pope built a Christian chapel, dedicated
to St. Michael, atop the Pagan monument, and over it erected the
colossal statue of the Archangel in the sword-sheathing act, which
stands there in Rome to this day -- the Castel Saint' Angelo, in
enduring proof of the miracle and of the veracity of papal
narratives. (CE. vi, 782.) The authorship of this monkish Hymn to
the Queen of Heaven being unknown, pious invention supplied its
true history: "that St. Gregory the Great heard the first three
lines chanted by angels on a certain Easter 

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morning in Rome while he walked barefoot in a great religious
procession, and that the Saint thereupon added the fourth line."
(C.E. xii, 719.) Such is ecclesiastical "history."

     The literary attainments of His Holiness Gregory were
tempered, if not corrupted, by his holy zeal, for "in his
commentary on Job, Gregory I warns the reader that he need not be
surprised to find mistakes of Latin Grammar, since in dealing with
so holy a work as the Bible a writer should not stop to make sure
whether his cases and tenses are right." (Robinson, The Ordeal of
Civilization, p. 62.) However, his zeal for more material things
was not thus hampered: "Pope Gregory I contrived to make his real
belief in the approaching end of the world yield the papacy about
1800 square miles of land and a revenue of about $2,000,000. He
used bribes, threats and all kinds of stratagems to attain his
ends." (McCabe, LBB. 1130, p. 40.)

     His Holiness Gregory I was himself one of the greatest
thaumatur-gists of the Ages of Faith: "the miracles attributed to
Gregory are very many." (CE. vi, 786.) When Mohammed was forging
his inspired Book of Koran, the illuminating spirit, in the guise
of a dove, would perch on his shoulder and whisper the divine
revelations into his ear, -- a miracle which none but quite devout
Mohammedans believe. But Peter the Deacon, in his Vita of His
wonder-working Holiness, records that when St. Gregory was
dictating his Homilies On Ezekiel: "A veil was drawn between his
secretary and himself. As, however, the pope remained silent for
long periods at a time, the servant made a hole in the curtain and,
looking through, beheld a dove seated on Gregory's head with his
beak between his lips. When the dove withdrew its beak the holy
pontiff spoke and the secretary took down his words; but when he
became silent the secretary again applied his eye to the hole and
saw that the dove had replaced its beak between his lips." (CE. vi,
786.) No good Christian can doubt, after this proof, that their
Holinesses are constantly and directly inspired and guided by the
Holy Ghost, as Holy Church assures. Wonderful as this bit of
Gregory's history is, to recommend him to lasting remembrance, "his
great claim to remembrance lies in the fact that he is the real
father of the medieval papacy." (Ibid.) These qualities of the Holy
Father which we have noticed may to an extent explain some of the
eccentricities of the Medieval Papacy.

                     FORGED AND FAKED RELICS

          "Making every allowance for the errors of the most
     extreme fallibility, the history of Catholicism would on this
     hypothesis represent an amount of imposture probably
     unequalled in the annals of the human race."
                         Lecky, History of Rationalism, i, 164.

     As loathsome an example as is to be found in the annals of
Christian apologetics for fraud and imposture is this from CE.,
following a long and revolting exposition of the Christian frauds
with respect to holy Relics of the Church:

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          "Still, it would be presumptuous in such cases to blame
     the action of the ecclesiastical authority in permitting the
     continuance of a cult which extends back into remote
     antiquity. [i. e. into Paganism.] ...
          "Supposing the relic to be spurious, NO DISHONOR IS DONE
     TO GOD by the continuance of an error handed down in perfect
     good faith for many centuries"! (CE. xii, 387.)

     It may well be that the holy God of the Christians is immune
to dishonor by worship through lying Christian frauds; but one may
question the dishonor to the human mind wrought by the impostures
of God's Vicars and his Church, cozening men into holy faith in
lies; to say nothing of the shaming dishonor of Church and priest,
who with utter want of good faith and common honesty created and
fostered all these degrading Churchly cheats.

     Before viewing some of these priestly impostures, never once
rebuked or prevented by pope or priest, but, rather, industriously
stimulated by them for purposes of perpetuating ignorance and
superstition, and of feeding their own insatiate avarice, CE. will
be invoked to give a graphic, though clerically casuistic and
apologetic review of the debauchery of morals and mind which made
possible these scandalous unholy practices of Holy Church.

          "Naturally it was impossible for popular enthusiasm to be
     roused to so high a pitch in a matter which easily lent itself
     to error, fraud, and greed for gain, without at least the
     occasional occurrence of many, grave abuses. ... In the
     Theodosian Code the sale of relics is forbidden (vii, ix, 17),
     but numerous stories, of which it would be easy to collect a
     long series, beginning with the writings of Pope St. Gregory
     the Great and St. Gregory of Tours, prove to us that many
     unprincipled persons found a means of enriching themselves by
     a sort of trade in these objects of devotion, the majority of
     which no doubt were fraudulent. At the beginning of the ninth
     century the exportation of the bodies of martyrs from Rome had
     assumed the proportions of a regular commerce, and a certain
     deacon, Deusdona, acquired an unenviable notoriety in these
     transactions. What was in the long run hardly less disastrous
     than fraud or avarice, was the keen rivalry between religious
     centers, and the eager credulity fostered by the desire to be
     known as the possessor of some unusually startling relic. In
     such an atmosphere of lawlessness doubtful relics came to
     abound. There was always disposition to regard any human
     remains accidentally discovered near a church or in the
     catacombs as the body of a martyr ... the custom of making
     facsimiles and imitations, a custom which persists to our own
     day in the replicas of the Vatican statue of St. Peter --
     [itself a fraud] or of the Grotto of Lourdes -- all these are
     causes adequate to account for the multitude of unquestionably
     spurious relics with which the treasuries of great medieval
     churches were crowded. ... Join to this the large license
     given to the occasional unscrupulous rogue IN AN AGE NOT ONLY
     UTTERLY UNCRITICAL but often curiously morbid in its realism,
     and it becomes easy to understand the multiplicity and
     extravagance of the entries in the relics inventories of Rome
     and other countries.
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          "Such tests [to secure the Faithful against deception]
     were applied as the historical and antiquarian science of that
     day were capable of devising. Very often, however, this test
     took the form of an appeal to some miraculous sanction, as in
     the well known story repeated by St. Ambrose, according to
     which, when doubt arose which of the three crosses discovered
     by St. Helena was that of Christ, the healing of a sick man by
     one of them dispelled all further hesitation. Nevertheless it
     remains true that many of the more important ancient relics
     duly exhibited for veneration in the great sanctuaries of
     Christendom or even at Rome itself must now be pronounced to
     be either certainly spurious or open to grave suspicion. To
     take one example of the latter class, the boards of the crib
     (Praesaepe) a name which for more than a thousand years has
     been associated, as now, with the basilica of Santa Maria
     Maggiore -- can only be considered to be of doubtful
     authenticity. ... Strangely enough, an inscription in Greek
     uncials of the eighth century is found on one of the boards,
     the inscription having nothing to do with the Crib but being
     apparently concerned with some commercial transaction. It is
     hard to explain its presence on the supposition that the relic
     is authentic. Similar difficulties might be urged against the
     supposed 'Column of the Flagellation' venerated at Rome in the
     church of Santa Prassede, and against many other famous
     relics. ... Neither has the church ever pronounced that any
     particular relic, not even that commonly venerated as the wood
     of the Cross, is authentic; but she approves of honor being
     paid to those relics which with reasonable probability are
     believed to be genuine, and which are invested with due
     ecclesiastical sanctions." (CE. xii, 737.) Such sophistry!

     The pettifogging sophistry of the foregoing argumentation, as
of that which follows from the same clerical source, needs no
comment. The Church of God, headed by his own Vicar General on
earth, divinely guided against all error in matters of faith and
morals, and which can detect the faintest taint of heresy of belief
further than the most gifted bird of rapine can scent a carcass,
can make no apology for permitting these degrading superstitions,
which it not only tolerates but actively propagates and encourages,
for the rich revenues they bring in. What a catalogue of its most
sacred mummeries is branded with the infamy of fraudulent in the

          "The worship of imaginary saints or relics, devotion
     based upon false revelations, apparitions, supposed miracles,
     or false notions generally, is usually excusable in the
     Worshipper on the ground of ignorance and good faith; but
     there is no excuse for those who use similar means to exploit
     popular credulity for their own pecuniary profit. The
     originators of such falsehoods are liars, deceivers, and not
     rarely thieves; but a milder judgment should be pronounced on
     those who, after discovering the imposture tolerate the
     improper cults [!] ... The Catholic devotions which are
     connected with holy places, holy shrines, holy wells, famous
     relics, etc., are commonly treated as superstitions by non-
     Catholics. ... It must be admitted that 

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     these hallowed spots and things have occasioned many legends;
     that popular credulity was in some cases the principal cause
     of their celebrity; that here or there instances of fraud can
     be adduced; yet, for all that, the principles which guide the
     worshipper, and his good intentions, are not impaired by an
     undercurrent of error as to facts. [!] Moreover ... the Church
     is tolerant of 'pious beliefs' which have helped to further
     Christianity Thus, alleged saints and relies are suppressed as
     soon as discovered, but belief in the private revelations to
     which the feast of Corpus Christi, The Rosary, the Sacred
     Heart, and many other devotions owe their origin is neither
     commanded nor prohibited; here each man is his own judge. ...
     The apparent success which so often attends a superstition can
     mostly be accounted for by natural causes. When the object is
     to ascertain, or to effect in a general way, one of two
     possible events, the law of probabilities gives an equal
     chance to success and failure, and success does more to
     support than failure would do to destroy superstition." (CE.
     xiv, 340, 341.) All these holy cults are thus confessed frauds
     and superstitions fostered by ecclesiastic greed.

     Let us remember that no True Church in Christendom can be
built and consecrated without a box of dead man's bones or other
fetid human scraps and relics deposited under the holy altar of
God. The decree of the second council of Nice, A.D. 787, reaffirmed
by the Council of Trent in 1546, forbade the consecration of any
Church without a supply of relics. (CE. xii, 737.) Thus the ancient
superstition is sanctioned and its observance made mandatory; an
unceasing demand is created, and the market supply is more than
equal to the pious demand. Hence the great and valuable, and
fraudulent, traffic above confessed and clerically palliated.


     "The Legend as to the discovering of the Cross of Christ" (CE.
vii, 203). The Holy City, Jerusalem, was, twice destroyed by the
Romans, in 70 A.D. by Titus, and again as the result of the
rebellion of Bar-Cochba, 132-135 A.D. The work was peculiarly
thorough,; not one stone was left upon another; the site was plowed
over as a mark of infamy, and the ground is said to have been sown
with salt so that nothing might ever grow there again: though pious
myths soon flourished exuberantly. Later a pagan city was
established on the site, named AElia Capitoline, and a great Temple
of Venus was erected on a suitable spot. Over two centuries later,
about 326 A.D., a great and venerated Catholic lady Saint made a
pious pilgrimage to the Holy City, namely, St. Helena, sainted
mother of the new "Christian" Emperor Constantine. This is the St.
Helena who got her start as a Pagan barmaid in a wild country
village; she fell into the graces of the Roman Imperator
Constantius as he marched through the country, became his mistress
by "concubinatus," and bore unto him who was afterwards the godly
Emperor Constantine. (CE. iv, 300.) Upon the pilgrimage of the
pious Dowager-mother to Jerusalem, great pomp and ceremony attended
her visit, under the auspices of 

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the good Bishop Macarius. By order of the Bishop and in honor of
the Christian Saint, the Temple of Venus was torn down; it was
found to have been built over an empty rock grave therefore
identically the authentic sepulchre of Jesus Christ. is it true,
that this destroyed Temple of Venus and the inclosed Holy Sepulchre
were inside the walls of the City, while the Gospels inspiredly
aver that the grave was outside the walls: a trifling discrepancy
for Faith.

     Rummaging the ruins, a vaulted underground room or cellar was
found: its wonderful contents make to pale into triviality the
lately discovered tomb-treasures of Tut-ankh-Amen. There propped
against the cellar-wall was the whole apparatus of the
Crucifiction: the three identical Crosses whereon had hung the
Christ and the two thieves; the very Nails wherewith they had been
fastened; the autograph trilingual Inscription set by Pilate over
the head of the Christ; the precise Spear which had pierced his
side; the cruel Crown of Thorns which tore his brow; the holy
Seamless Coat which he had worn and for which the Roman soldiers
gambled in the hour of death (it's curious that the winner should
have left it behind); the sacred Shroud in which the dead God was.
buried. The Pilatic Inscription was not in situ; it had evidently
been knocked off and lay apart, a "separate piece of wood, on which
were inscribed in white letters in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, the
following words: 'Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,'" as
recorded by Sozomen, the Church historian. (Eccles. Hist, ii, 1;
N&PNF. II, p. 258.)

     Due to its unfortunate separation from its original position,
it was for the moment impossible to distinguish the True Cross of
Christ from those of the thieves. A miracle was vouchsafed,
however, to identify the real Cross of the Christ: the True Cross
bowed itself down before the Saintly Empress; or, a sick woman --
or a sick man -- was cured upon touching the True Cross after
having tried the other two in vain -- according to which priestly
version is the more truthful. Sozomen (supra) says that it was "a
certain lady of rank in Jerusalem who was inflicted with a most
grievous and incurable disease," whose miraculous curing attested
the True Cross; "a dead person was also restored to life" by its
thaumaturgic touch: -- "all as predicted by the prophets and by the
Sibyl." Some tinge of dubiety may be thrown upon the report of
Bishop Macarius, who made the wondrous discoveries first recorded
by the Church historians Socrates, about 439 A.D. (Eccles. Hist. I,
xvii), and Sozomen, who wrote a little later (Eccles. Hist. II, i),
by the fact that the earliest Church Historian, the very
informative and fabling Bishop Eusebius (d. 340), in his Life of
Constantine (III, iii, and III, xxviii), gives a very
circumstantial account of the visit of the ex-Empress St. Helena to
Jerusalem, and of the erection of a Christian Church over the Holy
Sepulchre, but he is silent as the grave about the discovery of any
Cross of Christ or any of the other holy marvels. The notable event
is known, in Church parlance, as "The Invention of the Cross" --
which exactly it was.

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     The subsequent "history" of the Cross of Christ is a tangle of
typically clerical contradictions and impossibilities. "Very 
soon after the discovery of the True Cross, its wood was cut up
into small relics and scattered throughout Christendom." (CE. iv,

     "We learn from St. Cyril of Jerusalem (before 350) that the
wood of the Cross, discovered about 318, [it was in 326] was
already distributed throughout the world." (CE. xii, 736.) But
these assurances of St. Cyril and of CE. seem out of harmony with
the accredited history of the capture and asportation of the
reputed integral True Cross by Chosroes (Khosru) II, King of
Persia, who took Jerusalem in 614, massacring 90,000 good
Christians, captured the Cross of Christ among his booty, and
carried it off whole in triumph to Persia! (CE. iii, 105), -- with
results very disastrous to the Faith: "The shock which religious
men received through this dreadful event can hardly now be
realized. The imposture of Constantine bore bitter fruit; the
sacred wood which had filled the world with its miracles was
detected to be a helpless counterfeit, borne off in triumph by
deriding blasphemers. All confidence in the apostolic powers of the
Asiatic bishops was lost; not one of them could work a wonder for
his own salvation in the dire extremity." (Draper, The Intellectual
Development of Europe, i, 328; Gibbon, p. 451.) The truly
miraculous nature of this True Cross is thus described by Draper:
"The wood of the Cross displayed a property of growth, and hence
furnished an abundant supply for the demands of pilgrims and an
unfailing source of pecuniary profit to its possessors. In the
course of subsequent years there was accumulated in the various
churches of Europe, from this particular relic, a sufficiency to
have constructed many hundred crosses." (Op. cit. i, 309.) On a
great porphyry column before the Church of St. Sophia at
Constantinople, stood a statue of the Pagan god Apollo; the face
was altered into the features of the Emperor Constantine, and the
Nails of the True Cross, set around like rays, were used to garnish
the crown upon his head. Another of these holy Nails has for
centuries adorned and consecrated the crown of the emperors of the
Holy Roman Empire. The horses of a regiment of cavalry could
probably be shod with the copious supply of these Holy Nails now
venerated as sacred relies.

     "It is remarkable," says CE., "that St. Jerome, who expatiates
upon the Cross, the Title, and the Nails, discovered by St. Helena,
says nothing either of the Lance or of the Crown. of Thorns, and
the silence of Andreas of Crete in the eighth century is still more
surprising." But in due time this oversight was piously repaired.
Bishop Gregory of Tours, among other faithful Church chroniclers,
produces the Crown of Thorns, and, as an eyewitness to it, "avers
that the thorns in the Crown still looked green, a freshness which
was miraculously renewed every day"; which episcopal assurance,
skeptically remarks CE., "does not much strengthen the historical
testimony for the authenticity of the relic." But, "in any case,
Justinian, who died in 565, is stated to have given a thorn to St.
Germanus, which was long preserved at Saint-Germain-des-Pres, while
the Empress Irene sent Charlemagne several thorns which were
deposited by him at Aachen. ... In 1238 Baldwin II, the Latin
Emperor of Constantinople, 

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anxious to obtain support for his tottering empire, offered the
Crown of Thorns to St. Louis, King of France. It was then actually
[in pawn] in the hands of the Venetians as security for a heavy
loan, but it was redeemed and conveyed to Paris, where St. Louis
built the Sainte Chapelle for its reception." The further history
of the holy spurious relic is traced in detail; as late as 1896 "a
magnificent new reliquary of rock crystal was made for it"; but by
that time the holy relic, like a fighting-cock with his tail-
feathers clawed out, was a sorry sight: "The Crown, thus preserved,
consists only of a circlet of rushes, without any trace of thorns."
A ray of light on Church fakery is thrown by the closing comment:
"That all the reputed holy thorns of which notice has survived
cannot by any possibility be authentic will be disputed by no one;
more than 700 such relics have been enumerated"! (.CE. iv, 540,

     As for the Holy Lance, which pierced the side of the dying
God, also resurrected by pious diligence of "invention," its 
devious and dubious history is thus traced by our modern
ecclesiastical mummery" monger: "A spear believed to be identical
with that which pierced our Savior's body, was venerated at
Jerusalem at the close of the sixth century. The sacred relics of
the Passion fell into the bands of the pagans. Many centuries
afterwards (i.e. in 1241), the point of the Lance was presented by
Baldwin to St. Louis, and it was enshrined with the Crown of Thorns
in the Sainte Chapelle. Another part of the Lance is preserved
under the dome of St. Peter's in Rome. ... Rival lances are known
to be preserved at Nuremberg, Paris, etc. Another lance claiming to
be that which produced the wound in Christ's side is now preserved
among the imperial insignia at Vienna; another is preserved at
Cracow. Legend assigns the name of Longinus to the soldier who
thrust the Lance into our Savior's side; according to the same
tradition, he was healed of ophtbalmia and converted by a drop of
the precious blood spurting from the wound." (viii, 773-4.)

     There was also timely discovered, by some notable chance or
miracle, the very stairway, "consisting of twenty-eight white
marble steps, ... the stairway leading once to the Praetorium of
Pilate, hence sanctified by the footsteps of Our Lord during his
Passion," as we are assured by CE. (viii, 505.) This famous relic,
the "Holy Stairs," which somehow escaped the two destructions of
Jerusalem and the ravages of time for nearly three centuries, was
"brought from Jerusalem to Rome about 326 by St. Helena, mother of
Constantine the Great. ... It is now before the Sancta Sanctorum
(Holy of Holies) of the Lateran Palace. The Sancta Sanctorum
receiving its name from the many precious relics preserved there,
also contains the celebrated image of Christ, 'not made with
hands,' which on certain occasions used to be carried through Rome
in procession. ... The Holy Stairs may only be ascended on the
knees. ... Finally Pius X, on 26 February, 1908, granted a plenary
indulgence [i.e. a permanent escape from Purgatory] -- to be gained
as often as the Stairs are devoutly ascended after confession and
communion." (CE. viii, 505.) It is related that Father Luther was
performing this holy penitential climb of the "Scala Sancta," when
suddenly the vast sham and fraud of his religion burst upon his
consciousness: the 

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Reformation was a consequence. In passing this famous "Mother of
Churches," St. John Lateran, we may admire the wonderful portrait
of Jesus Christ which adorns its sacred walls; the painting of it
was begun by Dr. St. Luke himself, but being left incomplete, it
was finished by an angel.


     Think not that these ancient frauds of the Church have been
discarded in shame by the Church now that their fraudulent origin
and purpose are exposed to public obloquy and ridicule. In full
blaze of world attention and publicity of the Twentieth Century,
God's own Vicar vouches before the world for these tawdry
impostures, brought forth before the world to lend climax of
superstitious solemnity to his crazy Crusade of prayer and incited
pious hatred against the brave efforts of the Russians to undo the
fell work of the Church in that unhappy land. Associated Press
dispatches from Vatican City announce: "To lend emphasis to the
protest here, celebrated relics kept at St. Peter's -- a portion of
the true cross; St. Veronica's Veil, with which Christ is said to
have wiped His face on His way to Calvary, and the centurion's
lance which pierced His Side -- will be displayed." (N.Y. Herald-
Tribune, March 19, 1930.) "After the ceremony those present will
receive benediction with the sacred relics." (N.Y. Sun, Mch. 13,
1930.) Nearby, "the stones of the pavement on which the Apostles
[Peter and Paul] knelt in prayer and which are said to contain the
impression of their knees, are now in the wall of the Church of
Santa Francesca Romana." (CE. xiii, 797.) Such lying vouchers are
fit setting for the crusade of unholy lies and hate against a
people which for centuries has been kept in grossest ignorance and
superstition by greedy priestcraft, now repudiated by its victims.

     The foregoing solemn vouching for antique fakeries provoked a
deal of skeptical ridicule throughout the world, even among some of
the Faithful: so it must needs be emphasized by repetition, with
some notable other Fake Relics added for "assurance doubly sure."
So, when the Pagan Festival of Easter dawned on the Pagan "Day of
the Venerable Sun," His Royal-Holiness came forth in the full
splendor of the Pagan Pontifex Maximum to celebrate the Event, and
by his Infallible presence to vouch again for the genuineness of
these holy spurious Relics. Probably he wore and ostentated in the
joy of its recovery, the celebrated "so-called Episcopal Ring of
St. Peter, rich with sapphires and diamonds," stolen from the
Vatican treasury in 1925, and recently recaptured with the thief.
(Herald-Tribune, Dec. 3, 1929.) It is possible that he sat in state
in the very Throne or "Chair of St. Peter," which the Fisherman
Pope used, as dubiously vouched by CE. under that caption. In any
event, whatever throne he used was planted immediately above the
grave where lies the headless cadaver of St. Peter himself, for
"the skulls of Sts. Peter and Paul" were later viewed at the
Lateran, and there "shown for the adoration of the Faithful." As
announced in several Press dispatches, an inventory of the holy
Relies and ceremonials is here recorded. In preparation for the
Sacred Event in the Twentieth Century: "The major basilicas will
all have on display their most precious relics. ... The purported
Cradle of 

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Bethlehem [made out of an eighth century packing case] will be
brought forth. Those attending mass at the Lateran will be able to
view the skulls of Sts. Peter and Paul, and a bit of what is
believed [by whom, not stated] to be the True Cross -- [carried off
entire in 614 by the Persians]; ... the reputed Lance of the Roman
centurion who speared the side of Christ, and the 'Holy Veil' or
napkin offered to Christ by St. Veronica," -- who is a myth forged
from "vera icon." (A.P. dispatch, Apl. 19, 1930.) Also: "A fragment
of the Cross and two Thorns from the crown of the Savior. ... The
Sancta Scala (Holy Stairs), ... drew the usual Good Friday throngs
of the Faithful today. ... Processions were held inside the ancient
edifices to honor the relics, [including] what, according to
tradition, are the heads of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul ...
shown for the adoration of the Faithful." (Herald-Tribune, Apl. 19,
1930.) Then came the consummation and solemn Infallible accrediting
of these "most precious relics": -- "Pope Celebrates Easter Mass.
... Relics of the Passion [surrounded him], -- a reputed fragment
of the Cross, a piece of the Spear which pierced [reputedly] the
side of the Savior, and the Veil of St. Veronica. ... were
displayed from the balcony above the Papal Altar." (Ibid, Apl. 21,
1930.) Now at last, in Twentieth Century, "Roma locuta est -- causa
finita est" -- and these originally bogus frauds are genuine and
authentic Relics -- for the Faithful who may believe it.

     Samples of the "seed of the Serpent" of Eden, the scales that
fell from the eyes of Elijah's servant, the original wicked flea,
the two dwarf mummies of Bildad the Shu-hite and Ne-hi-miah, the
200 Philistine trophies (foreskins) brought in by David as his
marriage dot (1 Sam. xviii, 25-27), the horn of salvation, and the
instruments of Cornelius's Italian Band, are about the only honest-
to-goodness authentic Biblical relics which seem not to be
preserved among the countless holy fake treasures of Holy Church.
The famous juvenile pocket-inventories of Tom Sawyer and
Huckleberry Finn, and the monstrous fakeries of the late lamented
Phineas Barnum, are paltry trivialities beside the countless and
priceless Relic-treasures of Holy Church, religiously guarded for
"veneration" by True Believers blessed by the privilege of paying
-- the more you pay the more you merit" is the maxim - to gaze in
rapt awe at, and to kiss and fondle, these ghastly and ghoulish,
false and forged, bloody scraps and baubles of perverted piosity.
The foreskin of the Child Christ miraculously preserved exists to
this day; enough of his diapers and swaddling-cloths, as of the
sanitary draperies of his Ever-Virgin Mother, are of record to
stock a modern department store. During the era of the unholy
Crusades the soldiers of Christ brought from the Holy Land
countless numbers of duly certified bottles of the Milk of the
Virgin Mother of God, and drove a thrifty business selling them to
churches and superstitious dupes through Europe.

     Yet in existence are several portraits of the Mother of God,
"said to have been painted by St. Luke; they belong to the Sixth
century." (CE. xv, 471.) "There is still preserved at Messina a
letter attributed to the Blessed Virgin, which, it is claimed, was
written by her to the Messenians when Our Lady heard of their
conversion by St. Paul" (x, 217; cf. list of several: i, 613.) "The
Shroud of the Blessed Virgin is preserved in the Church of 

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Gethsemane." (xiv, 775.) The Holy Winding Sheet or shroud of the
Christ was formerly "exposed for veneration" at Troyes; but the
Bishop "declared after due inquiry that the relic was nothing but
a painting and opposed its exposition. Clement VI, by four Bulls
(1390), approved the exposition as lawful." After being stolen and
hawked about, this sacred relic "is now exposed and honored at
Turin." (xv, 67-68.) There must be something wrong about this, for
"The Diocese of Perigueux has a remarkable The Holy Shroud of
Christ, brought back after the first crusade. An official
investigation in 1444 asserted the authenticity of the relic." (xi,
668.) The Minster treasury of the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle, or
Aachen, where Charlemagne enshrined the Holy Thorns, "includes a
large number of relics, vessels, and vestments, the most important
being those known as the four 'Great Relics,' namely, the cloak of
the Blessed Virgin, the swaddling-clothes of the infant Jesus, the
loin-cloth worn by Our Lord on the Cross, and the cloth on which
lay the head of John the Baptist after his beheading. They are
exposed every seven years, and venerated by thousands of Pilgrims
(139,628 in 1874, and 158,968 in 1881")! 
(i, 92.)

     Without comment we let CE. record for the faith of its
readers, several of the very notable and most remunerative Relics
treasured by Holy Church. That they are all impossible, are all
bogus, all crude forgeries and fakes only possible of credit by the
most credulous child-minds, needs no comment. The sordid debasement
of the human mind to the degree of credulity here displayed, the
crass dishonesty of the false pretenses which give credit to these
things for purposes of extortion from silly dupes of religion, the
vastness of the grand larceny thus perpetrated in the name of God,
-- are beyond orderly comment.

     "The possession of the seamless garment of Christ is claimed
by the Cathedral of Trier and by the parish church of Argenteuil;
the former claims that the relic was sent by the Empress St.
Helena, basing their claim on a document sent by Pope Sylvester to
the Church of Trier, but this cannot be considered genuine. ... The
relic itself offers no reason to doubt its genuineness. Plenary
indulgences were granted to all pilgrims who should visit the
cathedral of Trier at the time of the exposition of the Holy Coat,
which was to take place every seven years." (vii, 400-1.) "The
Church venerates the Holy Innocents, or Martyrs, the children
massacred by Herod, estimated in various Liturgies as 14,000,
64,000, 144,000 boys. The Church of Paul's Outside the Walls is
believed to possess the bodies of several of the Holy Innocents. A
portion of these relics was transferred by Sixtus V to Santa Maria
Maggiore. The Church of St. Justina at Padua, the cathedrals of
Lisbon and Milan, and other Churches also preserve bodies which
they claim to be those of some of the Holy Innocents. It is
impossible to determine the day or the year of the death of the
Holy Innocents, since the chronology of the birth of Christ and the
subsequent Biblical events is most uncertain"' (CE. vii, 419.)

     In the cathedral of Cologne are preserved the skulls of the
Three Wise Men who followed the Star of Bethlehem. In the
neighboring Church of St. Gereon are distributed over the walls 

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the bones from a whole cemetery, dug up and displayed as those of
that mythical Saint and his Theban Band of 10,000 Martyrs; in
fitting competition are the spoils of the neighboring graveyard,
yielding the bones of St. Ursula and her 11,000 Virgin Martyrs. The
miraculous bones of Santa Rosalia in Palermo are the bones of a
deceased goat!

     "The city of Tarascon has for its patron, St. Martha, who,
according to the legend, delivered the country from a monster
called 'Tarasque.' The Church of 'Saintes Marias de la Mer'
contains three venerated tombs; according to a tradition which is
attached to the legends concerning the emigration of St. Lazarus,
St. Martha, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. Maximus, these tombs
contain the bodies of the three Marys of the Gospels." (CE. i,

     The Abbot Martin obtained for his monastery in Alsace the
following inestimable articles: A spot of the blood of our Savior;
a piece of the True Cross; the arm of the Apostle James; part of
the skeleton of John the Baptist; a bottle of the Milk of the
Mother of God. (Draper, The Intellectual Development of Europe, ii,
57.) But perhaps none of these impostures surpassed in audacity
that offered by a monastery in Jerusalem, which presented to the
beholder ONE OF THE FINGERS OF THE HOLY GHOST! (Draper, Conflict
between Science and Religion, p. 270.) Also there were displayed
sundry choice collections of the wing and tail feathers of the said
Holy Ghost, from time to time shed off or pulled out when, in the
disguise of a Dove, It (or He or She) came down and perched on
people. In England at the time of Henry VIII (1501), Our Lady's
girdle was shown in not less than eleven places, and Our Lady's
milk, in a condensed form, in eight places. One of these girdles
the good Queen-mother procured for Catherine of Aragon, on her
marriage with Henry, to present to her when the expected time
should come. During the plague of 1531, Henry VIII, for a goodly
price, bought some precious relic waters to avert the plague from
himself: a tear which Our Lord shed over Lazarus, preserved by an
angel who gave it in a phial to Mary Magdalene; and a phial of the
sweat of St. Michael when he contended with Satan, as recorded in
the Book of Enoch and vouched for in the sacred Book of Jude.
(Hackett, Henry VIII, pp. 11, 234.) The Cathedral of Arras, in
France, possesses some highly venerated and remarkable relies, to
wit, some of the Holy Manna which fell from Heaven in the year 371
during a severe famine; and the identical Holy Candle, a wax taper,
which was presented by the Blessed Virgin to Bishop Lambert, in
1105, to stop an epidemic. (CE. i, 752.) This same waxen Holy
Candle has burned continuously from 1105 to at least 1713 without
being to the slightest degree diminished, as his view of it was
then reported by Anthony Collins, in his Discourse of Free
Thinking; he expresses the doubt whether the attendant clergy would
permit a careful scrutiny to be made of the phenomenon.

     A final job lot of these holy fetishes as recorded by Dr.
McCabe with some pertinent comments, may be admired: "At Laon the
chief treasures shown to the public were some milk and hair of the
Virgin Mary. This was Laon's set-off to the rival attraction at
Soissons, a neighboring town, which had secured one of the 

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milk-teeth shed by the infant Jesus. There seems to have been
enough of the milk of the Virgin -- some of it was still exhibited
in Spanish churches in the nine-teenth century -- preserved in
Europe to feed a few calves. There was hair enough to make a
mattress. There were sufficient pieces of 'the true cross' to make
a boat. There were teeth of Christ enough to outfit a dentist (one
monastery, at Charroux, had the complete set). There were so many
sets of baby-linen of the infant Jesus, in Italy, France and Spain,
that one could have opened a shop with them. One of the greatest
churches in Rome had Christ's manger-cradle. Seven churches had his
authentic umbilical cord, and a number of churches had his foreskin
(removed at circumcision and kept as a souvenir by Mary). One
church had the miraculous imprint of his little bottom on a stone
on which he had sat. Mary herself had left enough wedding rings,
shoes, stockings, shirts, girdles, etc. to fill a museum; one of
her shifts is still in the Chartres cathedral. One church had
Aaron's rod. Six churches had the six heads cut off John the
Baptist. ... Every one of these things was, remember, in its
origin, a cynical blasphemous swindle. Each of these objects was at
first launched upon the world with deliberate mendacity. ... One is
almost disposed to ask for an application to the clergy of the law
about obtaining money under false pretenses." (McCabe, The Story of
Religious Controversy, p. 353.)


     These sacred and sanctified wonder-working objects are too
numerous to more than mention a few of the most celebrated.
Miraculous "waters" were in great profusion distilled or in some
weird way extracted from numbers of dead Saints, "blessed" for a
variety of purposes, and vended under the names of the productive
Saints; as "The Water of St. Ignatius," of Sts. Adelhaid, Vincent
Ferrer, Willibrord, etc. That of St. Hubert was notably a specific
for the bite of mad dogs. The formula for these holy extracts or
emulsions, with their properties and miraculous effects, are set
forth in the official "Rituale Romanum." (CE. xv, 564.) The widely
celebrated "Oil of Saints" was in immense vogue and possessed
wonderful properties, as vouched by CE. under that title. This holy
unction was "an oily substance which is said to have flowed, or
still flows, from the relics or burial places of certain saints,
and water which has in some way come in contact with their relics.
These oils are or have been used by the faithful, with the belief
that they will cure bodily and spiritual ailments the custom
prevailed of pouring oil over the relics or reliquaries of martyrs
and then gathering it in vases, sponges or pieces of cloth. This
oil, oleum martyris, was distributed among the faithful as a remedy
against sickness. ... At present the most famous of the oils of
saints is the oil of St. Walburga (Walburgis oleum). It flows from
the stone slab and the surrounding metal plate on which rest the
relies of St. Walburga in her church in Eichstadt in Bavaria. The
fluid is caught in a silver cup and is distributed to the faithful
for use against diseases of the body and soul. Similarly of the Oil
of St. Menas, of which thousands of little flasks have recently
been discovered, found at many Places in Europe and Africa; there
is also a like Oil of St. Nicholas of Myra, which emanates from his

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relics at Bari in Italy, whither they were brought in 1087. A
certain substance like flour, is recorded by St. Gregory of Tours,
to emanate from the sepulchre of St. John the Evangelist; also that
from the sepulchre of the Apostle St. Andrew emanated manna in the
form of flour and fragrant oil." A list half a column long is given
of other saints from whose relics or sepulchres oil is said to have
flowed. (CE. xi, 228-9.)

                          THE AGNUS DEI

     "These are discs of wax impressed with the figure of a lamb;
and blessed at stated seasons by the Pope. The rule still followed
is that the great consecration of the Agnus Dei takes place only in
the first year of each pontificate and every seventh year
afterwards. It seems probable that they had their beginning in some
pagan usage of charms or amulets, from which the ruder populace
were weaned by the employment of this Christian substitute [charm
or amulet] blessed by prayer. The early history of Catholic
ceremonial affords numerous parallels for this Christianizing of
pagan rites. ... So the purpose of these consecrated medallions is
to protect those who wear or possess them from all malign
influences. In the prayers of blessing, special mention is made of
the perils from storm and pestilence, from fire and flood, and also
of the dangers to which women are exposed in childbirth. Miraculous
effects have been believed to follow the use of these objects of
piety. Fires are said to have been. extinguished, and floods
stayed. They were much subject to counterfeit, the making of which
has been strictly prohibited by various papal bulls," -- (this
proving the obtaining of money by false pretenses in the papal.
monopoly of peddling them to the moron Faithful). "There are also
Agnus Deis made from wax mingled with the dust which is, believed
to be that of the bones of martyrs; these are called Paste de' SS.
Martiri, or Martyrs' Paste." (CE. i, 220.) The peddling of these
frauds has not yet been forbidden by the criminal code, nor by the
Vicars of God who gain by them. Three pages of a separate article,
are devoted to the potent prayers in Liturgies, several in doggerel
Latin verse, on pages 221-223. One of these inspired Papal
invocations over the sacred amulets is quoted by Dr. White:

          "O God, ... we humbly beseech thee that thou wilt bless
     these waxen forms, figured with the image of an innocent lamb,
     .... that, at the touch and sight of them, the faithful shall
     break forth into praises, and that the crash of hailstorms,
     the blast of hurricanes, the violence of tempests, the fury of
     winds, and the malice of thunderbolts may be tempered, and
     evil spirits flee and tremble before the standard of the holy
     cross, which is graven upon them." (White, Warfare between
     Science and Religion. i, 343.)

     The recurrence in modern times of the above recited
catastrophes raised by imps of the devil, not unseldom doing damage
even to the Faithful and to their sacred edifices, must be due to
the punible neglect to have a supply of these thaumaturgic crackers
on hand at the time and place of the flagellations of the Evil One.

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     What to a Rationalist may seem a very inhuman superstition --
though often attenuated by the clerical formula "With all my
worldly goods I thee endow," pronounced to his earthly vicar by the
happy "Bride of Jesus Christ," is the unctuously so-called Mystical
Marriage, the nuptial ceremony whereby a deluded female enters into
the joys of her Lord without actually sharing them. This holy
mummery is thus described by the oft-cited Exponent of Catholic

          "Christian virginity has been considered from the
     earliest centuries as a special offering made by the soul to
     its spouse, Christ. ... In many of the lives of the Saints,
     the mystical marriage consists of a vision in which Christ
     tells a soul that He takes it for His bride, presenting it
     with the customary ring, and the apparition is accompanied by
     a ceremony; the Blessed Virgin Mary, saints and angels are
     present. ... Moreover, as a wife should share in the life of
     her husband, and as Christ suffered for the redemption of
     mankind, the mystical bride enters into a more intimate
     participation of His sufferings, -- [casus omissus being the
     sharing of the nuptial joys also involved in the notion of
     marriage]. Accordingly, in three cases out of four, the
     mystical marriage has been granted to stigmatics. History
     [priest-written, of course] has recorded seventy-seven
     mystical marriages, in connection with female saints, blesseds
     and venerables"; -- a number of whom are named, including,
     appropriately, St. Mary Magdalene dei Pazza -- "of the Crazy
     Ones" -- as were they all. (CE. ix, 703.)

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