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HUS far it has been shown into what heresies and grave errors, with contempt for the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, England has at last fallen. It remains for us to discuss the origin of this whole fall, that is, the denial of the obedience due to the Supreme Pontiff, and the usurpation by a temporal king of the false name of supreme head in the spiritual matters of his own realm. For this was the beginning of the whole schism, and from this schism has come heresy, as we have above shown. But it is not necessary again to recall the wretched and base reason which provided the occasion for such great change and horrendous schism; for the truth of the story is plainly enough described in the beginning of the first book; but the evident argument, which is taken therefrom, that this Anglican change did not rise from the true God but from prince of darkness, also remains sufficiently inculcated in the same book; and therefore, with the things pertaining to the past deed omitted, there remains to be treated in this book the right of the king and the Pontiff. And although concerning the absolute temporal power of the king no contest or controversy has been moved, but only about his subordination, dependency and due obedience to the Roman Pontiff, yet, that the whole matter may be more exactly understood and that we may more fully satisfy the King of England (who in his Preface complains that the Pope has unjustly usurped so great a power against the kings that he contends he can at will change, give, and take kingdoms away), therefore we shall first discourse of what the faith teaches about the duty and jurisdiction of temporal kings, and afterwards of what it teaches about the primacy of the Roman and Supreme Pontiff and the power which, in consideration of his duty, he has the authority to exercise over all temporal princes. Moreover after the order of doctrine, according to the opportunity of each place, has been observed, we shall advert to and at the same time refute the various errors pertaining to this point which the king here and there brings forward in his Preface and Apology, and we shall satisfy the objections that he indicates; but into the many other matters which could be said on this point we shall not digress.



































CHAPTER 1 blue


1 - 2. The error of some Jews who acknowledge no human principality. spacer3. First assertion: a political principality introduced in due manner is just. spacer4. Proof by reason. spacer5. For political principality one mystical head is enough. spacer6. Second assertion: the power of the political prince flows from God. spacer7. Proof by reason. spacer8. The basis for the error at the beginning of this chapter is dissolved.

HE ancient error can be referred to in this place of certain Jews who were in the habit of saying that God should be recognized as a kind of prince and lord, for they seem to reject all human principality, and thence also political kingdom, as contrary to human liberty. Thus Josephus reports, Antiquities XVIII.1, where he calls the author of this error Judas Gaulanitis, for perhaps he had this name from his origin; for in ch. 2 he calls him Judas of Galilee, perhaps from his native land; but in Bk. II ch. 2, De Bello Judaico, he calls him Simon of Galilee; yet in Acts 5 mention of him seems to be made under the name of Judas of Galilee, of whom it is said: “in the days of the taxing, he drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.” Of this sedition Josephus also makes mention, loc. cit. and in Bk. VII, chs. 29 and 31, De Bello Judaico, and some think that these are the Galileans “whose blood Pilate had mingled in their sacrifices,” as Luke reports in Chapter 13, and the passage is expounded by Oecumenius and Anastasius Nicaenus, q. 67, on Scripture. And since Christ the Lord was a Galilean and gathered his disciples from Galilee, therefore perhaps those Judeans prepared the calumny of this error when they asked Him, “Is it lawful to give unto Caesar, or not?’ as Augustine thought in interpreting those words of Psalm 118: “Princes have persecuted me without a cause," and Jerome on Titus 3, at the beginning.
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But it is not plain to me whether that Judas of Galilee was putting forward his opinion about mankind as a whole or only about Jews; for he could have thought especially about the Jews that it was not possible that they be reduced to subjection by heathen emperors, or be compelled to pay tribute, or that they should recognize them as rulers, because that people had been taken under the peculiar rule of God. And therefore perhaps afterwards also the Apostles and Christians were in the beginning suspected of this error by the pagans, as can be taken from Justin, Apology 2, and Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, Bk. IV, and as I will speak more fully in Chapter 3. But if that Judas spoke absolutely about all men and human principalities, he perhaps could have held his ground on the natural dignity of man. For man was made in the image of God, sui iuris, and created subject to God alone, and therefore it does not seem that he could be justly reduced to the service or subjection of any man; therefore one man cannot justly be compelled to recognize another as a prince and temporal lord; and therefore a political principality which usurps this dominion is neither lawful nor from God.
spacer 3. Nevertheless Catholic truth is that political principality introduced in due manner is just and lawful. I say introduced in due manner so that I may exclude power usurped through tyranny, because by that is well understood wicked violence, not true and just power, since it would lack just title of dominion; but what this just title is I shall touch upon in the following chapter. Therefore, thus explained, the said resolution is contained expressly in Holy Scripture, Proverbs 29: “The king by judgment establisheth the land,” and again, “The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.” Wisdom 6: “The wise king is the stay of the people.” For in these and the like passages it is openly supposed that temporal kings are true and legitimate princes or lords. And therefore I Peter 2 teaches, “Be subject to every human creature for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king as supreme, &c.” Also later, “honor the king,” and Paul, Romans 13, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” Also later, “not only on account of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake”; for one is not bound to obey on account of conscience except to one having a legitimate power to command. Besides among the Fathers Clement taught this truth, bk.4, Const. ch. 12, saying: “Be ye subject to every king and power in those things which please God, as to the ministers of God and judges of the impious.” Also further: “Offer to them all due fear, all tribute, every tax, &c.” And he concludes: “For this is the law of God.” Basil has the same in Bk.VII, ch. 17 Morals, Rule 79, where also he adduces that passage of Titus 3: “put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers;” and Jerome, Epistle 4, after the middle, where he confirms it by examples taken from the brutes, saying “the mute animals and the herds of wild animals follow leaders of their own. Among bees there are princes, the cranes follow one in educated order, there is one emperor, one judge to a province, &c.”  and he seems to have taken it from Cyprian, in his book On the Vanity of Idols.
spacer 4. From these testimonies can be gathered in the first place the reason for this truth, which is taken from the necessity for this principality and its power, and consequently from its purpose, which is the conservation of the human and civil republic. For man by his nature is inclined toward civil society, and he is especially in need of this for the convenient preservation of his life, as rightly Aristotle taught, Politics Book I, chs. 1 and 2. That it has also been thus ordained by God for the procuring of harmony and charity among men, Chrysostom has expounded in a long discourse, homily 4, on 1 Corinthians. Moreover the community of men cannot be preserved without justice and peace, nor can justice and peace be preserved without a governor who has the power of ordering and coercing; therefore in the human commonwealth a political prince is necessary to hold it fast in its duty. Therefore it is said in Proverbs 11: “where no governor is, the people fall,” and in Ecclesiastes 10: “Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child,” because it is not sufficient to have a prince unless he be fitted to govern. And therefore God threatens punishment in Isaiah 3: "And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.” Since therefore human nature cannot be destitute of the means required for its own conservation, it cannot be doubted that from the nature of the matter, and with attention to right and natural justice, a political prince should exist in civil society having over it lawful and sufficient power. On this discourse one may look at Augustine, .Propos. in Epistol. ad Roman., prop. 72, which Anselm imitates him, Romans 13, and ibid. Primas and Laur. Justinian De Triumphali Christi agone, ch. 12.
spacer 5. The same thing can be declared by the natural example of the human body which without a head could not be preserved. For the commonwealth of men is like the manner of an individual’s body because, without its ministers and orders of persons which are like to the several members, it cannot persist. Therefore much less could it be preserved without a governor and prince whose office it is to look after the common good of the whole body. The same can be explained with examples taken from art, such as a ship for example, which will necessarily perish unless a helmsman is present. So of an army if there be no leader and so on. And the examples tend also to this point which are taken from other animate things by Cyprian and Jerome. They aim to conclude with these (it must be noted) not only that there must be a prince in a republic but also that there must be only one. “For never,” said Cyprian, “did society in a realm begin without trust or cease without bloodshed.” But they speak about the supreme principality, for under it there can be several governors in the various parts of the province; however, it is necessary that they all be subordinated to one, in whom there is supreme power. For if there were several and they were not subordinated among themselves, in no way would it be possible for unity or concord and obedience to be preserved with justice, as is known sufficiently by itself. But this must be understood too of a single prince, not as to his proper person but as to his power and consequently as to his person, whether real  or mystical or political; because for the rule and conservation of civil society a single monarch is not absolutely necessary (indeed, there are other kinds of rule that are sufficient, although perhaps they are not as perfect, as we will touch on below), and therefore when we speak of this one political principality we mean one tribunal, or a single power, whether it exists in one natural person, or in one council, or in a congregation of several, as in a fictive person, so that it is in one head.
spacer 6. Besides the reason taken from the purpose and necessity of this power, there is necessity to show the justice of it from its origin. Therefore we add that the political prince gets his power from God Himself. This also, absolutely speaking, is de fide; for as his reason for obedience owed to such a prince Paul expressly added, Romans 13: “For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.” And later: “For he is the minister of God”; and Proverbs 8, divine wisdom says: “Through me kings reign”; and Wisdom 6: “Hear Kings, since power has been given thee by the Lord, and virtue by the most High.” And so 3 Kings 10, about King Solomon it is said: “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel”; and Daniel ch.2 said to Nebuchadnezzar: “for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power and strength.” And the same is taken from Jeremiah 27. The common doctrine of the Fathers, who expound the aforesaid places in Paul, is the same, especially Chrysostom, Hom. 23, and Origen, Book IX, on Romans, and Oecumenius on the same place, who says: “Because equality in everything is a seditious thing, therefore God adjoined power,” homily on Psalm 148 about the words: “Kings of the earth, all peoples, princes, and all judges of the earth, it was the work of the providence of God to have divided the universe among those that bear magistracies and those that obey them.” Nazianzen, orat. 17, and Epiphanius Contra Archontic. et haeres. 40 where, among other things, he says about the power of the prince: “Not from other sources but from God”; Isidore of Pelusium, Book II, Epistle 206, says that command was formed and instituted by God; and Theophilus of Antioch, Book I to Autolycus says: “ I will adore God not Caesar, knowing that Caesar was ordained by Him”; And he said later that the king or Caesar was to be honored and God to be prayed to for him; “For,” he says, “the kingdom or the command  and the administration of affairs has been committed or delegated to him by God.” The same is widely taught by Irenaeus, Contra Haereses V.24, where he expounds passages of the Scriptures in this sense, especially of Paul, and refutes other interpretations; and very excellently does Tertullian say in his book To Scapula, “The Christian is the enemy of no one, much less of the emperor whom, because he knows him to be set up by his own God, he must love and revere and honor and desire the safety of.” Lastly Augustine, City of God, V.21, says: “Let us not attribute the power of giving kingdom and command except to the true God.” And the same thing is confirmed by the Fathers mentioned in the previous assertion, and by others to whom I shall refer in the following chapter.
spacer 7. The reason for this assertion much depends on the manner in which one believes God gives this sort of principality or power, and this must be dealt with in the following chapter, and so now a proof is given in brief, that first all things that are of the law of nature are from God as the Author of nature; but political principality is of the law of nature; therefore it is from God as the Author of nature. And thus this assertion is founded on the preceding; for since this principality is just and lawful, it cannot fail to be consonant with the natural law; and since it is necessary for the conservation of human society, which human nature itself seeks, it is also by this title from the natural law which demands such power; therefore as God, who is the Author of nature, is also the Author of the natural law, so also He is the Author of this primacy and power. For, as the Philosopher said, he who gives the form gives those things that are consequent to it. Next, the same inference can be made in this way, because every good flows from God as from the prime Author, following that verse of James I: “Every good gift and every Perfect gift is from above” but political principality is good and honorable, as has been shown, therefore it is from God. Finally, terrestrial kings are, for this reason, called the ministers of God in Scripture, as we have seen; therefore their ministerial power is ministerial with respect to God; therefore He is the original Author of this government. Moreover it is most declared from the power which the political prince has for taking vengeance on the wicked, even depriving them of life, if it should be necessary; for this without divine approval could not have been done, since God alone is the lord of the life of man, and Paul signifies this when he says: “for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Thence also there is that reference of Augustine, On the Nature of Good against the Manichees “the power even of the guilty is only from God,” and he cites the verse “By me kings reign,” and the like.
spacer 8. So from this is readily apparent the response to the basis of the contrary error which is understood in the latter sense declared above, whereby it is contrary to the proposed Catholic truth. For though man is created free, yet he is not without being able and suited to be subjected to another man for a cause that is just and consonant with reason; nay, some subjection is natural to a man, either by the supposed natural process of generation, as is the subjection of a son to his father, or under some supposed pact, as is the subjection of the wife to the husband. So therefore, in a given civil society the subjection of the individual persons to the public power or the political principality is natural, as agreeable to right natural reason, and necessary for the convenient conservation of human nature. And therefore neither is this subjection repugnant to, the condition of man, nor does it amount either to a wrong against God, for although the political prince is a king, legislator and lord in his own degree, yet he is such in a far different and inferior manner to God. For of man these things are said only by a certain participation as a minister of God, but to God alone are they suitable in essence and origin. But if the error is understood in the prior sense, it is not opposed to the Catholic assertion proposed by us, because although the Jewish people had been exempted by the peculiar privilege of God so that they could not lawfully be subject to heathen princes, nevertheless in the state of the Jews itself a lawful political prince could be found, just as in fact it was in their time, and likewise in other realms and provinces of the nations there could be the same sort of principality, and in each supreme prince there could be a like power over the peoples subject to him. But yet even in that sense the opinion did not have a solid foundation; but there is not time to expound this and also to examine whether the Jews justly and legally, or through injustice and tyranny, were subjects of the Romans and forced to pay tribute to the emperor, for questions of this nature have no reference to the present purpose.



1. King James is of the opinion that political principality is immediately from God.spacer 2 - 4. What things are required for some power to be conceded immediately by God. spacer5. Supreme civil power is immediately conferred by God on a perfect society only. The first part of the assertion is proved. spacer6. Second proof. spacer7. Proof of the second part. spacer8. Objection. spacer9. How democracy is said to be by right of nature. spacer10. No political principality is immediately from God. spacer11 - 12. Confirmation from the Fathers. spacer13. The conclusion is proved by reason. spacer14. The same conclusion is shown by examples. spacer15. Objection. spacer16. Human will can in two ways intercede in the conferring of power that flows from God. First way. spacer17 - 20. Second way.

HE question treated in the preceding chapter was made clear because of what I now propose, for in it there is no contention between us and the King of England; but it had necessarily to be put first so that the latter could be understood. In this the most serene king thinks not only in a new and singular manner but also keenly inveighs against Cardinal Bellarmine blue on the ground that he asserted that “authority was not immediately granted to kings by God in the same way as it was to Pontiffs.” He himself, then, asserts that the king has his power not from the people but directly from God; and he tries to urge his own opinion by certain arguments and examples, whose efficacy we will weigh in the next chapter.
spacer 2. But although this controversy does not pertain directly to the dogmas of the faith (for nothing defined can be shown in it from divine Scripture or the tradition of the Fathers), nonetheless it must be diligently explained and treated. First, because it can be the occasion of error in other dogmas. Next too because the aforesaid opinion of the king, as it is asserted and intended by him, is novel and singular, and it seems to have been invented both to exaggerate the temporal power and to weaken the spiritual. Then lastly, because we think that the opinion of the most illustrious Bellarmine is ancient, accepted, true, and necessary. In order that we may show this, it is needful first to make clear what must exist for any power to be directly from God, or (which is the same) that God is the direct cause and author of any power. For, in the first place, it is required that God be the proximate cause, conferring such power by His own will. For it is not enough that God, as the first and universal cause, bestow the power; for although even in this way God may be said in some way directly to effect it, or to give whatever depends on him as on a first cause, whether by reason of proximate virtue or as the immediate subject, as distinguished by philosophers; yet this method of direct effectuation is insufficient in the present case. Because there is no power which is not in this manner from God as from the first cause and to that extent directly; and thus even when power is given directly by men, a king, or a Pontiff, it is given also by God as the first cause flowing into that effect and into the act of the created will through which it is given. But indeed such power is not said to be directly from God, but only secondarily; for proximately it is granted by man and depends on him. So power is then power said to be absolutely given directly by God when God alone through His own will is the proximate cause and per se giver of such power, and in this manner we are speaking in the present case; otherwise the discussion would be frivolous and to no purpose.
spacer 3. Nay further, it is necessary to distinguish two manners by which God can and is wont directly, that is, by His own authority and will, to confer any power. One manner is by granting the power as necessarily connected by the nature of the thing with some nature of a thing which God Himself creates, as can be easily seen in the physical faculties; for God in creating the soul gives to it directly intellect and will, because, although power of this type naturally flow from the soul itself yet, because God alone directly creates the soul, He is said also directly to confer the powers that follow it as a logical consequence. Therefore the same obtains, preserving proportion, in the moral power, for the power of the father over the son is moral and is conferred directly by God Himself as the author of nature, not as a peculiar gift and wholly distinct from nature, but as necessarily consequent on it, the foundation of generation being supposed; just as on the contrary the subjection of the son to the father is natural, but as a necessary consequence on such a rational nature as thus produced. In another way power is granted by God per se (so to speak) and by peculiar gift, not as necessarily connected with the creation of something, but as voluntarily added by God to some nature or person. Of this type we can provide quasi-physical and moral examples; for the proximate power of performing miracles is quasi physical, and yet God directly confers it on whom He wills, not as a duty, but in consequence of the plan of His own will. The power also of jurisdiction, for example, granted to Peter was moral, yet God conferred it directly and immediately and per se. Moreover the reason for the distinction is not other than that the powers themselves can be of different characteristics or orders, and God is able to work both in a connatural and in a preternatural or supernatural manner.
spacer 4. Therefore, when the king adds that God directly gives to kings the temporal principality and power, we must see whether that assertion can, from the aforesaid tests, be in any way true. But first must be made plain the subject to whom God is said to give this directly, and for what and what sort of government He way be considered to be giving it. For this power can be considered either according as it exists, or can exist, in the whole political body of the commonwealth, or of the civil community, or according as it exists, or can exist, in these or those members of the said community. Again, the same power can be considered either absolutely and abstractly or as determined to a certain type of political government. For (as is the common moral doctrine of philosophers) the government of the human republic can be of three kinds: a monarchy of one supreme prince who makes one individual person, an aristocracy, of one supreme council or tribunal formed from several best men, and a democracy through the votes of the whole people; these three types are the simple ones, but out of them others can be formed, which make use either of two of them, or of all, which are wont to be called mixed governments. Therefore a political principality can be considered of itself and absolutely, as a certain supreme power of civil rule of the republic, abstracting from this or that type of rule, as well simple as mixed; or as determined after some type of rule out of those that we have enumerated. From these proposals and distinctions it can be absolutely decided, without any ambiguity and by evident reason, how a principality may be directly from God, and that yet it can be entrusted to supreme kings and senates that are not directly commended by God but by men.
spacer 5. For, first, the supreme civil power viewed in itself, is indeed given directly by God to men gathered into a perfect political community, not in truth in consequence of any peculiar and quasi-positive institution, or by gift altogether distinct from the production of such nature, but through the natural consequence by the force of the first creation of it, and thus by the force of such gift this power is not in one person, nor in a peculiar congregation of many, but in the whole perfect people or body of the community. This explanation with respect to all its parts is common not only to the theologians but to the experts in law to whom I shall at once refer. Now I show by reasoning the individual parts. The first and second part, indeed, because this political power is natural, for even without any intervening supernatural revelation or faith, this power is by the dictate of natural reason acknowledged by dictate of natural reason as being wholly necessary for the conservation and equity of it; a sign, then, is that it is in such community as a property consequent on nature or creation and the natural institution of it. For if in addition to this a special grant of God were necessary, and a concession not connected with nature, it would not be possible to agree about it by natural reason alone, but there would be need that it be manifested to men through revelation, so that they might be sure about it, which, however, is false, as is plain from what has been said.
spacer 6. But that at least in this way it must necessarily be said that this power is immediately from God is easily concluded from the same principles, because those things that are a consequence of nature are given immediately by the proper and immediate author of same nature, as I have declared; but this power is a certain property consequent on the nature of man as congregated into one political body, as also has been shown; therefore it is immediately granted by God as he is the author and provider of such nature. This can be proved, next, because this power is from God, as has been proved in the preceding chapter, and with respect to such community no medium interposes (so to say) between God and it, by which it may be granted. For by the very fact that men are congregated into the body of one city or republic without the intervention of any created will, such power results in that community with so great necessity that it could not be impeded by human will; it is to this extent a sign that it is immediately of God, with only the intervention of that natural effect or consequence of nature, and with the dictate of natural reason showing rather than producing the power of the same. Nor did Cardinal Bellarmine ever deny the immediate emanation of this power from God, as declared in this manner, but rather supposed it, because he posited no medium between the people and God, but between the king and God he wanted the people to be the medium through which the king got such power; which is very different, as will now be made clear.
spacer 7. Hence too it is evident (as we were saying in the last part of the assertion) that this power, viewed absolutely, since it is from the Author of nature as by a natural consequence, is not in one person, nor in a special group, whether of the best men or of any other group whatsoever of the people, because from the nature of the matter this power is only in the community so far as it is necessary for its conservation, and so far as it can be shown through the prescription of natural reason; but natural reason only shows it to be necessary in the whole community, and not in one person, nor in a senate; therefore according as it is directly from God, it is known to be only in the community as a whole, and not in any part of it. This I understand concerning a part of the community not only designated individually or materially (so to speak) but also conceived formally, whether indeterminately or vaguely; that is, it is not directly in one certain person, for example, Adam, Jacob, or Philip, nor even from the nature of the matter does it require to be in one single person; and it is the same proportionally of the senate, whether it is viewed materially, as consisting of such persons, or formally, as congregated from such and so many persons. And the reason is plain, because from the power of natural reason no reason can be thought out why this power should be limited to one person or to a certain number of persons within the whole community more than to another; therefore by force of natural concession it is directly only in the community. Finally the thing is plain by force of natural reason alone that political principality is not limited to monarchy, or to aristocracy, simple or mixed, because there is no reason that is convincing that a fixed type of government is necessary. This is confirmed by experience itself; for that is why the various provinces and nations select also different kinds of government, and none of these works against natural reason or against the immediate institution of God. Wherefore it is a sign that political power has not been directly granted by God to one person, prince, king, or emperor, otherwise that monarchy would have been directly constituted by God; nor has it been so granted to a single, or any particular senate, or to a particular congregation of a few princes, otherwise that aristocracy would have been directly instituted by God; and the same argument will be possible about any kind whatsoever of mixed government.
spacer 8. You will say: if this reasoning were effective, it wou1d also prove that God had not directly given to the whole community this political power, because otherwise democracy would be directly in consequence of divine institution, just as we were inferring about. monarchy and aristocracy. But this no less is false and absurd in democracy than in the other kinds of government, not only because just as natural reason does not determine monarchy or aristocracy as necessary so neither democracy; nay much less so, because it is the most imperfect of all, as Aristotle testifies, and as is evident in itself. But also because if any institution were divine, it could not changed by men. Response is made by denying the first concession, for rather from the fact that power has not been given by God instituting monarchy or aristocracy, it is necessarily concluded that it has been given to the whole community, because there is no other human subject left, so to speak, to whom it could have been given. But as to the second point, namely, that hence it follows that democracy is of divine institution, we answer, that if this is to be understood of positive institution, the consequence must be denied; but if it is understood of a quasi natural institution it can be and ought to be admitted without any inconvenience. For a difference is to be very much noted between these types of political government, for monarchy and aristocracy could not have been introduced without positive institution, divine or human, because human reason taken alone does not determine anyone of the said kinds as necessary, as I have said; hence since in human nature, viewed in itself apart from faith or divine revelation, positive institution has no place, about these types it is necessarily concluded that they are not directly of God. But democracy could be without positive institution, by purely natural institution or emanation, with only the negation of new or positive institution, because natural reason itself dictates that the supreme political power naturally follows from a perfect human community, and by force of the same reason pertains to the community as a whole, unless through a new institution it is transferred to another, because by force of reason neither does another determination have place nor is a more immutable one demanded.
spacer 9. Therefore this power, as far as it is given directly by God to the community, according to the manner of speaking of the law experts, can be said to be of natural law negatively, not positively, or rather of concessive not of absolutely prescriptive natural law. Because, doubtless, the natural law indeed grants through itself and directly this power to the community, yet does not absolutely prescribe that it always remain in it, nor that through it this power be directly exercised, but only as long as the same community does not otherwise decree, or also as long as no change has lawfully been made by someone having the power. An example comes from the freedom of man, which is opposed to slavery, for it is of natural law, because by the force of the natural law alone man is born tree, nor can he without some lawful title be reduced to slavery; but the law of nature does not prescribe that every man always remain free, or (what is the same) it does not absolutely prohibit man being put into slavery, but only that it not be done either without the free consent of the individual, or without lawful title and power. Thus therefore the perfect civil community by the law of nature is free and is subject to no person except itself but as a whole has power over itself, which if it were not changed would be a democracy, and nonetheless either by its own decision, or by another having the power and just title, it can be deprived of such power and can be transferred to another person or senate.
spacer 10. From these considerations finally it is concluded that no king or monarch has or has had (according to ordinary law) directly from God or from divine institution a political principality, but by the medium of human will and institution. This is the distinguished axiom of theology, not for derision, as the king proposed, but in truth, because rightly understood it is most true and especially necessary for understanding the purposes and limits of civil power. Moreover it is not novel, or invented by Cardinal Bellarmine, as seems to be attributed to him by the aforesaid; for much earlier Cardinal Cajetan taught this in Apologia or Tract. 2 on the Authority of the Pope p. 2, ch. 10; Castr., On the Penal Law,I.1; and Driedo, On the Liberty of Christ,I.19; also Vitoria, in Relectio on Civil Power, n. 8 and following; and it is taken from the same author, in Relectiones 2 on Ecclesiastical Power, Conclusion 3, and on 1. Soto, Book IV On Justice q.2, a. 1, in the discourse of conclusion 1, and more broadly in q. 4, art. 1.; which Luis Molina followed, Tract 2 on Justice, disput.21. Also St. Thomas insinuates it in 1.2, q. 9 a. 3, and q. 97, a. 3, and more clearly in 2.2, q. 10. And not only from the theologians, but also from the law experts the teaching has been commonly handed down, in Books III ff. De Const. Princip. and in Books II ff. De Origin. Iuris, and among the moderns by Navarro in ch. ‘Novit.,’ De iudiciis, n. 3, especially nos. 41, 85, 94, and no. 112ff. to 121, and no. 147; and Covarruvias, in Practicis Quaestionibus ch. 1, no. 6, who also refer to others.
spacer 11. Besides this truth can be taken from the holy Fathers, first, because they assert that man was created by God free and free-born, and only  received directly from God the power of ruling over the brute beasts and inferior things; but the dominion of men over men was introduced by human will through sin or some adversity. This Ambrose hands down on Colossians 3, at the end; and more broadly Augustine, The City of God, XIX.15, and Quaestion. in Gen. q. 153, and Gregorym Moralia, XXI.10, elsewhere ch. 11, and in Pastorali, Part II, ch. 6. For what they say about the liberty of each man and the slavery opposed to it, is by the same reasoning true of a mixed or fictitious person of a single community or human city. For according as it is directly ruled by God with the law of nature, it is free and sui iuris. This liberty does not exclude, but rather includes, the power of ruling itself, and of giving commands to its own members, but it excludes subjection to another man, as far as it is by force of natural law alone, because God has given directly such power to no one among men until through human institution or election it be transferred to someone. Secondly, this is particularly confirmed by the opinion of Augustine, Confessions, III.8, where he says: “It is a general pact of human society to obey its own kings.” For by these words he signifies that the regal principality, and the obedience owed to it, has its basis in a pact of human society, and therefore it is not from the direct institution of God, for a human pact is contracted by human will.
spacer 12. And perhaps this pact is signified by the name of “regal law” in Book I, De Constitut. Princip., where Ulpian says that for this reason the pleasure of the prince has the force of law, “because by the regal law, which is made of its power, the people transferred to him and into his hands all its own sovereignty and power.” These words Emperor Justinian approved and transcribed in § Sed et quod principi, Institut. De Iure natur. gent. et civili, for that law is termed regal, not because it was passed by some king, but because it was passed about the power of the king, as is said in the same bk.1, where it is also signified that it was constituted by the people who created and instituted the dignity of the king by transferring to him its own power, as there also the glosses and the doctors expound. But that law could not have been made by way of mere precept, since through it the people abdicated from the supreme power of making law; therefore it should be understood as constituted through the medium of a pact by which the people transferred power to the prince under the duty and obligation of taking care of the republic and of administering justice, and the prince accepted both the condition and the power; by which pact the regal law, or the law about regal power, remained firm and stable; not therefore directly from God, but from the people do kings have this power. Whence is said also in Book I, § ‘Novissime’ ff. De Orig. Iuris, “because the senate was not able to rule all the provinces honestly, after a prince had been set up, the right was given to him that what he had determined should be valid.”
spacer 13. But the reasoning of the assertion is easily gathered from what has been said; for that power is said to be in someone directly from God, which comes to him, either through the sole will of God or by force of natural reason alone, or by some divine institution; but this power of which we are treating was given by none of these methods to kings by God, speaking according to the ordinary law, because neither through the special will of God was it directly given ( for such will of God neither has been revealed nor made known to men), nor also does the natural law alone dictate by itself that this power should be in kings, as has been shown; lastly, the institution, or determination, or transfer of this power was not made directly by God to the kings, as is plain from experience itself. Again, because in other respects such institution would be immutable, and all change made in it by man would be iniquitous; nay, all cities, realms, or republics should keep to the same institution, because there is no greater reason for one than the other, nor does one get to a greater degree such institution from divine revelation than another. Therefore this institution is human institution, because it has been made by men; therefore by men directly the power was given to kings, whose dignity was created by this institution. But God is said mediately to give this power to the kings, first, because He granted it directly to the people, which transferred it to the kings; secondly, because God consented and cooperated also in this transfer proximately made by the people as a first and universal cause; then lastly, because He approves it and desires it to be preserved. Also, just as human law does indeed oblige directly from the will of the human prince who makes it, yet it indirectly also binds by force of the will of God who wills that lawful princes be obeyed, following that verse of Peter, “Submit yourselves &c., for so is the will of God.”
spacer 14. Finally it can be made plain by the example of human dominion over inferior things. For absolutely speaking, all things over which men have dominion have been given to them by God, yet not in the same manner. For God did not immediately give (in the ordinary way of speaking) to any man property in and peculiar dominion over anything, but He immediately made everything common and private dominion was introduced partly by the law of nations, partly by civil law; and nonetheless these private dominions are indirectly also from God, not only because they draw their origin from a first grant of God, but also because through His own general providence He is in accord with these things; and also finally because He desires that these things be preserved after they have been constituted. And hence Augustine said, Tract 6, on John, at the end, “Whence does each possess what he possesses? Is it not by human law? For by divine law the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; yet by human law one says: ‘This villa is mine, this house is mine, this slave is mine.’” And below he concludes: “Human rights themselves God distributed to mankind through the emperors and secular kings.” Thus therefore, keeping proportion, it is God who distributed the political kingdoms and principalities but he did it through men, or the consent of peoples, or through some similar human institution.
spacer 15. But someone will perhaps say that by this discourse it is only proved that the power of a king is not given by God to any person without the intervention of human will and action, yet it is not sufficient to prove that it is not given directly from God, for even the Apostolic dignity was granted to Matthias indirectly by the action of the other Apostles, and nonetheless it was granted to him directly by God; and likewise the Pontiff is elected by the cardinals, and yet he receives his power directly from God. Similarly he who inherits when come to majority, receives this right by generation from his immediate parent, and nonetheless he is thought directly to have those goods from the first institution of majority, because it is by force of the will of him alone, even if the nearest parent be very unwilling, that he attains majority. Thus therefore, although temporal kings by succession attain the regal dignity, they receive it directly from God by force of the first institution.
spacer 16. But this objection does not weaken but rather strengthens the discussion made; first, because the examples are not similar; next, also because we did not assert that any kind whatever of will or action of man that is interposed suffices for make the grant of power not to be directly from God, but it was said only of a particular change and transfer made through a new human institution. Therefore in two ways human action or wish can intervene in the transfer of power that has its origin from God Himself; first, by merely designating or constituting the person who is to succeed to the dignity instituted by God in altogether the same way in which it was instituted and without authority or power of changing or diminishing it. And this method with respect to the pontifical dignity was preserved in the Old Law according to carnal succession; but in the New Law it is done through a lawful election by which the person is designated. Therefore of this method of succession it is true that nothing stands in the way of conferring the power directly from God, and the examples adduced prove only this. And the reason is that the power is conferred by force of the first institution and of the will of God, of which the sign is that it is conferred with the completeness and immutability with which it was instituted, and because the succession also has its origin in the same power from the same institution; for that is why in the Old Law through carnal generation men succeeded to the priesthood, because by God Him self it was so instituted; but now the designation of the person is done by another and more spiritual method, because ecclesiastical tradition teaches that so it was instituted by Christ, who committed the method of election, or designation, of the person to be defined by His Vicar.
spacer 17. In another way, then, can the transfer of power be made by man, through a new grant or institution besides the designation of a person, and then even if such power has a basis in some prior divine institution made to another, nevertheless that transfer, which is made afterwards, absolutely is by human law, and not by divine, and directly from man, and not from God. An example is in slavery, for if a man sells himself into slavery to another, that slavery is absolutely by human law and the power which the master has over the slave was granted directly from the slave himself through the natural power and liberty which he himself had from the Author of nature. Thus therefore it is at present concerning the subjection of the whole human community to one prince, for it proceeds directly from the will of the community, and therefore it is directly from man, and from the human law, although it draws its origin from the natural power which each community received from its Author over itself. And the reason is clear, because in these and the like cases neither is the designation of the person sufficient, nor is it separable from the grant or contract, or quasi human contract, that it have effect over conferring the power, because natural reason alone does not introduce the transfer of power from one man to another through the sole designation of the person without the consent and efficacy of the will of him by whom the power is to be transferred or conferred. Therefore a transfer of power cannot be understood which would be made directly by God, through the means of generation, election, or similar human designation, unless where the succession is of positive divine institution; but regal power gets its origin not from positive divine institution, but from natural reason, through the medium of free human will; and therefore necessarily it is from man directly conferring it and not merely designating the person.
spacer 18. And hence also it arises (which is clear indication of this truth) that this regal power is not equal in all kings, nor with the same rights as to duration, perpetuity, or succession, and the like. For in some cases the power is absolutely that of monarchy, but in others with a mixture of aristocracy, or with dependence on a senate, even as to decisive votes, and sometimes only in certain cases, other times in all the more important matters; or sometimes in many cases, sometimes in fewer. Again, to some kings power was given not only to the person, but also to his progeny (so to speak), that is, they would be able to transfer the dignity to their sons and grandsons, but in other cases it is granted only for the person, and without carnal succession, so that if a king dies another is elected, as is the case in the kingdom of Poland, and as is done in the Roman Empire itself; nay, it even would be possible for a king to be chosen for a certain period, if thus it had been started in the beginning, because by nature it is not repugnant to the thing. Therefore it is a manifest sign that it is a direct human institution and therefore it can have all this variety which is not repugnant to reason, and which may fall under human choice.
spacer 19. And hence at last it happens that this regal power or domination can be received in various ways, which it is here necessary to note, so that more fully the resolution related may be understood. For the first method of conferring this power on a prince in the primeval institution is by the voluntary consent of the people. Moreover this consent can be understood in various ways; one is that little by little and in a successive manner it may be given, according as the people is gradually increasing. As, for example, in the family of Adam, or Abraham, or other similar family in the beginning, they obeyed Adam as parent, or paterfamilias, and afterwards, as the people grew, that subjection could be continued, and the consent extended to obeying him even as a king, when that community began to be perfect. Also perhaps many realms (and in particular the first kingdom of the city of Rome) thus began. And in this way (if one would rightly consider) regal power and perfect community can begin at the same time. But there can be another method when the community, already perfect, voluntarily elects a king to whom it transfers its power, which is a method especially suitable per se and agreeable to reason. But after this transfer is once made it is firm and perpetual; then there is no further, necessity for a new election or a new consent of the people; for that consent is sufficient which was granted in the inception of the kingdom, so that from the force of that consent the same regal power and dignity way be transferred by succession. Also in this manner in kingdoms by succession kings can also be said to have the power directly from the people, not through a new consent, but in consequence of the force of the ancient one; for from their parents the sons have the same realm in virtue of the first institution more than by the will of the parents, for, even if the father does not desire it, the firstborn succeeds to the kingdom, and therefore the father considers himself only as applying or constituting the person to whom the same power by force of the same first contract may be transferred.
spacer 20. But besides this voluntary method, sometimes provinces or free peoples are accustomed involuntarily to be subjected to kings through war; moreover this turns out to be done both lawfully and unlawfully. When therefore a war had a just title, then the people is really deprived of the power that it had, and the prince who prevailed against it acquired the real right and dominion over such a kingdom, because on the supposition that the war was just, that is a just penalty. So captives in a just war are deprived of the liberty conceded to them by nature, and they are indeed made slaves as a just punishment. And therefore I have said above that the regal power is founded on contract, or a kind of contract; for the just penalty for sin has the place of a contract so far as the effect of transferring the powers and dominions, and therefore it is to be equably observed. But oftener it happens that some kingdom is seized through an unjust war, by which method usually the more famous realms of the world have been enlarged, and at the same time in the beginning the kingdom is not acquired nor true power, since the title of justice is lacking; but with the passage of time it comes about that the people freely consent, or by their successors the kingdom is commanded in good faith, and at that time the tyranny will cease, and the true dominion and regal power begin. And thus always this power will be obtained directly by some human title or human will.



1 - 2. First basis of the king taken from inconvenience. spacer3. By refutation of the king the illustrious Bellarmine is vindicated. When a people can rise up against the king and exempt itself from his power. spacer 4. The people cannot restrain power once it has been transferred to the king, nor abrogate his just laws. spacer5 - 6. Second basis of the king. Solution. spacer7 - 8. It is more probable that Saul received his power from the people. spacer9. Matthias received his apostleship directly from God. spacer10. The examples which King James adduces do not prove that political principality is immediately from God. spacer 11. Third objection. spacer12. Solution.

HERE seem to be two bases in particular of King James to make him think that kings have their power not from the people but directly from God. He puts the first forward by way of contradicting Bellarmine and inferring certain inconveniences. The first inconvenience is that the contrary opinion is the “foundation of sedition most eagerly seized upon by the factious and rebellious.” For if a prince had his power from the people, “the people would be able to rise up against the prince and would be able to lay claim to freedom for themselves whenever it seemed good to them, relying, of course, on the same right and power that they had transferred to the king; especially since Bellarmine says that never do the people transfer to the king their power in such a way that they do not retain that power for themselves potentially, so that in certain cases they can actually retake it.” Also in the same manner the king would be able to infer that his subjects have the undiminished right to restrict the power of the prince, both to abrogate his laws and to do other like things, which are of the superior power. For if the king has his power from the people, he always depends upon them; therefore the power of the people is superior; therefore it is able to effect everything which ee have inferred. But these things are absurd, for they offer the occasion for seditions, and they weaken the power of the princes: so that they cannot preserve the severity nor the integrity of justice.
spacer 2. We answer that none of these inconveniences follow from the solution or opinion proposed. For we especially deny that from it the occasion of rebellions or seditions against lawful princes is given. For after the people has transferred its power to a king, it is not lawfully able, relying on its own power, by its own will, whenever it wishes, to lay claim to freedom for itself. For if it granted its own power to a king, which he accepted, by this very fact the king acquired dominion; therefore although the king received this dominion from the people through grant or contract, it will not therefore be permitted for the people to take away that possession of the king, nor to take again its own liberty; just as in an individual person who has renounced his own liberty and has sold or given himself into slavery cannot afterward by his own will remove himself from slavery. It is the same therefore for a fictitious person or a community after it has fully subjected itself to some prince. Again, after a people has transferred its own power to a king, it has now deprived itself of it; therefore relying on its own power it cannot lawfully rise up against its king, be cause it is relying on a power that it does not have, and thus it will be not a just use of power but an usurpation of it.
spacer 3. But as to what Bellarmine said from Navarro, that a people never so transfers its own power to a king but that it retains it potentially, so that it can use it on certain occasions, it is not opposed nor does it offer to peoples a basis for reclaiming liberty for itself at its pleasure. Because Bellarmine did not say absolutely that a people retains the power potentially “for whatever acts it pleases, and whenever it wants to exercise them,” but with great limitation and circumspection he said “in certain cases.” These cases must be understood, either according to the conditions of the prior contract, or according to the exigencies of natural justice, for just pacts and conventions must be kept. And so if a people transferred its power to a king, reserving it to itself for certain grave cases or businesses, in these cases lawfully it can use it and keep its own right. But there must be sufficient agreement about such a right either by ancient and definite instruments or by immemorial custom. Also by the same reasoning if the king turns his just power into a tyranny by abusing that power in manifest destruction of the city, the people will be able to use their natural power to defend themselves, for of this never did they deprive themselves. But outside of these and the like cases never will a people, relying on its own power, be permitted lawfully to revolt from a lawful king, and so all basis or occasion for sedition ceases.
spacer 4. And so by the same reasoning it is not lawful for a people once subjected to restrict the power of their king more than it was restricted in the first transfer or agreement, because it is not permitted by that law of justice which teaches that lawful pacts must be observed, and that an absolute grant, once validly made, cannot be recalled, either wholly, or in part, and especially when it was burdensome. Nay a people cannot, using its own power, abrogate the just laws of the prince, but only when relying on the tacit or expressed consent of the same prince, as St. Thomas formerly taught, and as we have elsewhere rather fully set forth, De Legibus Book VII. Therefore it absolutely is not true that a king depends on his people in the matter of his own power, although he has received it from that people, because he can be depending in becoming, as they say, and afterwards not depend in keeping, if he fully and absolutely accepted it. Threfore after a king has been constituted, he has the supreme power in all those matters for which he received the power, even if he has received it from the people, because the law of justice requires this, as we have shown.
spacer 5. In the second place the king brings in the examples of Saul and David, who not from the people, as Bellarmine contends, but from God directly got their principality. This in particular about Saul he strongly asserts, because he was elected by lot with the divine approval, which he says is a certain proof that his power was received from God directly. This he argues from the example of the selection of Matthias, about whom we know that he received the Apostolic dignity directly from God, because he was elected by lot to it, Acts 1. We answer about the examples of Saul and David that in both cases it can be disputed whether these two kings obtained power directly from God, or from the people; for neither is clearly gathered from the Holy Scripture. For though it is well known from the same Scripture that the person of each was designated as king by divine approval, will, and revelation, yet it does not follow that God directly granted them the power; for these are two different matters, and from the one the other is not rightly concluded. For just as God sometimes granted to men the faculty of designating a person to whom He Himself will directly give power, so conversely God could reserve to Himself the power of designating a person to whom the people would directly grant the power.
spacer 6. And so in the matter of these two kings Cardinal Bellarmine very probably conjectures that it happened so from the words of Deuteronomy 17: “When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me, thou shalt In any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.” In these words two things are put as distinct, namely to choose him who will be the future king and to make him king; the former God reserved to Himself, but the second He granted or left to the people, as is plain from these words: “Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee whom the Lord thy God shall choose,” and from chapter 28 of the same book: “The Lord shall bring thee and thy king, whom thou shalt set over thee, to a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, &c.” But to set up a king does not only signify to ask for a king, as afterwards that people asked in 1 Samuel 8:5, but it signifies to make a king. Both because it is thus explained in what was said in Deuteronomy 17: “thou mayest not set up a stranger over thee”; and also because in this passage the people is ordered to set up as king him whom the Lord had selected; but the petition for a king could not be for a particular person selected by God, for it preceded such choice; therefore that constituting of a king was nothing but the creation of a king and a direct conferring of the regal dignity and power; therefore the election of the person, which God had reserved for Himself, was nothing other than the designation of the person. Therefore in that passage it is supposed that the people from the nature of the matter had the power of setting up a king; for God did not peculiarly there grant it to that people, but He granted it as common to other nations, and He permitted his people to use it, or He predicted that they would at some time use it, as was fulfilled in 1 Samuel 8, and following. And though the power also of designating the person would naturally be suitable to any people, nevertheless as a peculiar favor to that people, in order that a more suitable person might always be designated, God reserved to Himself the power of electing the person.
spacer 7. Therefore from this passage the best conjecture is that it was thus observed in the creation of the first king of that people, who was Saul, which also can be inferred from the story of his election. For in I Kings 10, after the lot had fallen on Saul, Samuel said to the people: “see ye him whom the Lord hath chosen,” as if seeking and awaiting the consent of the people, and then the people shouted, saying, “God save the king.” But afterwards, after the king had been set up, it is added that Samuel wrote the manner of the kingdom, &c. Nor is it of importance that earlier in this chapter, prior to the lots being cast, it is said that Samuel anointed Saul: “Is it not that the Lord bath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?” because (as Bellarmine says, and as is probable) that was not the transfer of the power or the handing over of the kingdom, but it was a certain promise and prediction, according to the custom of the prophet, of a future happening, and, as it were, a certain preparation of the mind of Saul for the future dignity. Nay, rather, because after the choice of God and the acclamation of the people, yet many objected, it is added in chapter 11 that Samuel again gathered the people into Gilgal to renew the kingdom, and it is added “ all the people went to Gilgal and there they made Saul king before the Lord. With these words it is not signified that there was a new choice of kingdom, but rather a confirmation of the former one, so that it might remain more strong among the people and that the minds of all the subjects might be more acquiescent, and all division and dissension be removed, as correctly Abulensis said in that passage, q. 12 and 13, and Josephus confirms it in Antiquities bk.6, ch., and he adds that there, with the multitude looking on, again Samuel anointed Saul with the sacred oil, to which, however, the Holy Scripture does not refer; but it can be understood from this that a similar anointing has not always at the same time gone with the handing over of a kingdom, but It could also have been a sign of a transfer already made or to be made in the future.
spacer 8. Thence in the same book of 1 Samuel 16, in a like way secretly David was anointed by Samuel along with the promise of the kingdom, which thereafter for many years Saul peacefully possessed; this is a clear proof that through this anointing David was not made king, but was only designated as the successor of the realm. And therefore afterwards, in bk.2, ch.2, again he was anointed by the tribe of Judah, to be “King over the house of Judah,” and there also it is reported that David said, “Although your master Saul is dead, yet the house of Judah have anointed me king over them,” signifying that the promise of the Lord through the consent of the people was fulfilled. And therefore he did not begin to reign over the other tribes until (as chapter 5 says) “all the elders of Israel came to the king in Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David king over Israel.”
spacer 9. Therefore this opinion is probable, against which the argument of the king about the lots has too little weight, for choice through lots directed by the special providence of God in itself only proves that the designation of the person was directly made by God Himself. Nor thence did it come about that Matthias, who was selected by lot, did not receive directly from God the Apostolic power and dignity. Because although from the method alone of selection by lots this is not sufficiently gathered, from the quality and excellence of such dignity and power it is understood. For the Apostolic dignity was supernatural and directly instituted by Christ, and therefore He alone could directly grant it. Whence although the apostles without lots could have chosen Matthias alone (which they could have done if they had recognized for a certainty that he was the more worthy, as the Fathers rather frequently insinuate), nonetheless from Christ Himself directly he would have received the dignity and power; therefore not from the lots, but from the quality of the power it must be gathered whether it is conferred directly by God.
spacer 10. According to this exposition, then, by those places and examples the common opinion is the rather confirmed that has been handed down. But because that exposition is not de fide, nor wholly necessary, let us concede to the king as probable that Saul and David received their power directly from God, for each one will easily be able, if he wishes, to accommodate the words of the Scriptures to this sense. And of David Soto plainly affirms this, De Iustitia IV, q2, a.1; and Navarro of both, in the said chapter Novit. n. 3, 33, and 147; and the same is though by Abulensis, as above cited. Nonetheless this not only does not oppose the solution given but rather therefrom can it be more effectively confirmed. First, because the special examples have too little value for inferring a general rule; rather they are wont to be exceptions to the rule, and therefore from them the argument is customarily taken, which the jurists call from the special case, to infer the rule to the contrary. Secondly, because in the same citations it is plainly supposed that there is in a free people the power to set up a king over itself, nay of both selecting and of designating the person to whom it gives the right to the realm, which plainly the testimony of the Scriptures proves, as we have set forth above. And therefore God peculiarly reserved to Himself the election of the person to be constituted over the people as king, because, aside from the revelation and command of God, this was wholly placed in the hands of the people for decision. Therefore from that a general rule for all kingdoms cannot be inferred, that is, that it pertained to God directly to designate or select the person placed on the throne of the realm, either in the beginning of such realm, or in its subsequent history (otherwise the King of England should show when God by peculiar revelation or singular sign selected either him or someone of his progenitors as King of England); nor even can it be inferred that God ordinarily gives or has given a principality to temporal kings, even if perhaps in the beginning of the kingdom of Israel, on account of the special care that He had assumed over it, once and again He did it. This finally can be gathered also from another prohibition made for that people, in the words of Deuteronomy 17: “thou mayest not set a stranger over thee”; for that prohibition without doubt was not natural but positive. For it is well known that other peoples and nations could create kings from any province or nation, and among the Roman emperors themselves it was thus observed without any injustice or violation of the natural law. Therefore that prohibition was natural and positive; therefore it supposed power in that people of creating a king for itself from any family, unless divinely prohibited, and consequently it is concluded that, before that prohibition in the people of Israel, but in other peoples, to whom that prohibition did not pertain, there was this free power and through it kings had their beginning.
spacer 11. Thirdly, we can urge in favor of the king and of his opinion passages in the Scriptures and saints by which we have also proved that kings are ministers of God and have their power from Him; for in those passages to God alone is attributed the grant of that power; therefore they should be understood as God granting directly, because this is the purer and more simple interpretation; for whatever is added to it is said to be beside the Scripture. Again, the minister of anyone, by the ordinary and better method, is customarily set up directly by him whose minister he is. Lastly we say by this reasoning that the Pontiff has his power directly from God, because Christ Himself conferred it, and from the force of that first grant it is transferred to others, though it may be transferred by the ministry and election of men; therefore by this reasoning the regal power will be directly from God.
spacer 12. But to these matters first we answer that the regal power itself is directly from God as the Author of nature, as we have said. But because it is not through special revelation or grant but through a certain natural process, which natural process is plain, therefore it is only granted immediately by God to that subject in whom by the force of natural reason alone it is found; but this subject is the people itself, and not any individual of it, as I have shown. But because the people transfers this same power to the king, therefore the regal power is said to have been granted by God; and besides because the election itself of a king is not accomplished without divine cooperation, nor without His peculiar providence. This is excellently set forth by Chrysostom, homily 23 on Romans, where treating of these words, “For there is no power but of God,” he says, “What do you say? Therefore every prince has been set up by God? This (he says) I do not say, For my present discussion is not of just any prince at all, but about the matter itself, that is, of the power itself.” Therefore he subjoins: “For that there be principalities, that these men indeed rule and those are subjects, and that all matters are not conducted simply or heedlessly, I say there is need of divine wisdom. Therefore he does not say, ‘for there is no prince but of God,’ but he is speaking of the thing, saying ‘For there is no power but of God’” Theophylact there teaches the same. But it is not necessary that all these matters be so distinctly set forth in Scripture. For it is evident that various effects in almost the same words are attributed to God, and from the subject material the manner should be gathered according to right reason in what way they are said to be by God. For also God is often said to grant kingdoms by special permission, though they are taken by injustice and sedition, as the King of England himself seems to think about Jeroboam, and in other cases it is much more certain, as Augustine noted, City of God, V.21; and Origen, hom. 5, on Judges. But as kings are termed ministers of God, it is enough that they hold their power from Him, though through the agency of the people, because that way is the most connatural and best which can be thought out within the latitude of natural reason.
spacer 13.
But for comparison or equalization which is made in this matter between the Pontiff and kings, I answer that the reasoning is far different. For in the first place the Pontifical monarchy was instituted for the Church Universal directly by God Himself and ordered under such conditions that it cannot be changed. But the method of temporal rule was not defined nor ordered by God, but this was left to the disposition of men. Secondly, the spiritual power never was in the community of the whole Church, because Christ conferred it not on the body, but on its Head, or his Vicar, and therefore the Church cannot concur in the election of the Pontiff as giving the power but as designating the person. But the civil power from the nature of the thing is in the community itself, and through it was transferred to this or that prince by the will of the community itself, granting it (so to speak) as its own possession to another. Whence also it comes about that the supreme spiritual jurisdiction of the Pontiff has so been conferred by divine law that it cannot be limited, not diminished and not increased, even by the universal consent of the Church, nay not even by the will of the Pontiff. For as long as he retains the dignity he is unable to lessen or change it in himself. But the regal power, or that of any supreme temporal tribunal, could have been in the beginning made greater or less, and it will be able to be changed in passage of time or diminished, according as it will be expedient for the common good by him who will have the power for this purpose.



1 - 2. Error of the ancient heretics. First basis of this error. spacer3. Second basis. spacer4. Rejection of the aforesaid heresy from Scriptures and the Fathers. spacer5. Rejection of the same heresy by a reason taken from St. Thomas. spacer6. The force of St. Thomas’ reason is made plain. It is not licit for the faithful again to create voluntarily for themselves an infidel king. spacer7 - 8. A pagan king seizing a Christian city in a just war also secures true dominion over it. When subjection to a prince tends to the detriment of the faith, the faithful can exempt themselves from it. spacer9. When matrimony between infidels can be dissolved because of the conversion of one of them to the faith. spacer10. Conclusion: it is de fide certain that there are true kings and princes among Christians. spacer11 - 14. Evasion. It is rejected. spacer15. The assertion is proved by reason. spacer16 - 17. Response to a tacit evasion. spacer18. In what Christian liberty consists. spacer19. The first basis of the first error is solved. spacer20. The place in Matt. 17 is expounded. spacer21 - 22. The second basis is solved.

LTHOUGH in this question there is no controversy between us and our adversaries, but because many of then (as I hear, and as the King of England in his preface often teaches) censure the Roman Pontiff for his doctrine, alleging that it overturns the laws and the dominions belonging to princes, I have thought that we must set forth what the Catholic faith lays down on this matter, or what the saner teachings of the doctors maintain, so that by this way also an approach may more clearly and suitably be made to the chief controversy about the primacy of the Pope. So there are two ways it has been thought and affirmed that Christian kings do not have the supreme civil power to make laws, to punish crimes, and to declare political right. One of these was that of those who say that in the church of Christ such power was not possible, nor was there any lawful use of it, because Christians cannot be subjects of any temporal dominion. The other is that of those who, although they say that there is temporal power in the church, yet deny that there is supreme power in the temporal king but only in the Pope, from whom the power of kings is derived through tolerance or grant. About this second point we shall speak in the next chapter, but because it supports the first we shall briefly explain it here; also because the new sectarians do not in this matter think rightly.
spacer 2. So then many of the ancient heretics, as if following or imitating the error of the Galileans related in chapter 1, said that Christians were not subject to temporal princes, especially heathen ones. Some said this only of perfect Christians, and above all spiritual ones, as the Beguards, some about all the just, some about all Christians, which errors I think it superfluous here to recount more fully. From this came the chatter of the Anabaptists, and of others like them, that for Christians political principality is not lawful, especially over Christians. But different bases can be thought out for these errors. A first, and one particular to heathen princes, is that it is unworthy and dangerous for an infidel prince to have dominion over the faithful; for therefore Paul advises in 2 Corinthians 6: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” And he explains the reason in various ways, saying: “for what fellowship hath righteousness with un righteousness? or what communion hath light with darkness? or what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” Therefore since the political primacy is of God, the concession of it should not be understood as against due order and with peril to the Faith, for those things that are of God are orderly in the highest degree; therefore by the very fact that one is baptized in Christ and receives His faith he is made immune from subjection to heathen princes. And this can be confirmed from the words of Matthew chapter 17 where, when Christ had asked Peter: “of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?” and Peter had answered, “of strangers”, the Lord concluded: “Then are the children free”, at least from tributes, and consequently from power, for these are two correlatives. Moreover, by the word ‘children [sons]’ Christ comprehended all his brothers, and therefore all the faithful, “because all are sons of that kingdom under which are all earthly kingdoms,” says St. Augustine, bk. I, Evangelicarum Quaestionum, q. 23. Or there is another title by which these share in the same liberty, because all belong in a special and excellent manner to the family of Christ, who is a natural son; and when the son is said to be free, his family is included with him, as Lyra said on that passage, whom others imitate, and as Jerome thought saying: “He bore for us the cross and paid tribute; we for His honor do not pay tribute, and as sons of the king are immune from taxes.” These words cannot be restricted, as some wish, only to the priests and the clergy; for he joined the two equally together “He bore for us the cross, and He paid tribute.” But He underwent the cross for all simply, as well lay as cleric; therefore for all He paid the tribute; therefore He freed all from paying tribute to temporal kings; therefore he exempted them both from their domination and from their jurisdiction, because, the one liberty accompanies the other.
spacer 3. The second and more general basis of this error is that Christians are free even from the power of Christian princes, because Christian liberty demands this, which liberty Luther and the other sectaries of this time understand and greatly exaggerate in this sense, twisting to this sense the various Scriptures which we abundantly satisfied in De Legibus I.18 and 19, III.31, and therefore these we now omit. But from this principle, or Christian liberty so understood, it is rightly inferred that even in Christian princes there is no civil or political power over the faithful, because if they are not held to obey, princes do not have the power to command, because these two are correlatives, and if one is taken away it is necessary that the other be taken away. Hence they introduce also the testimonies of the New Testament in which they say it is prohibited to Christians to dominate and to be subject. For about domination it is said in Luke 22: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, etc,, but ye shall not be so,” or, as Matthew ch. 20 says: “But it shall not be so among you,” where Chrysostom, homilies 56, said that Christ wished to establish this distinction between gentiles and Christians. Moreover on subjection Paul says, 1 Corinthians 7: “be ye not the servants of men,” and he indicates the reason, setting forth first, “Ye are bought with a price,” as if he would say that it is unworthy that those redeemed by Christ be subject to earthly powers.
spacer 4. But this opinion is without doubt wholly heretical. For in the first place the apostles taught that the faithful, already converted to Christ should obey the kings and powers, not only to avoid punishment, neither because they were at that time unable to resist, nor only on account of avoiding offense, but also “for conscience’ sake and because they are ministers,” as from Peter and Paul we have proved in chapter 1. Now these apostles were speaking at the time when emperors and kings, and their prefects or potentates, were infidels and idolaters; therefore we have from their teaching that Christians are subject to princes, even heathen ones, and consequently true kings who are infidels have power over Christians living in their territories. Secondly, thus the ancient fathers understood those passages and taught them, as Chrysostom, Ambrosius, Origen, Ephiphanius and others brought forward in chapter 1, and expressly Justin, Second Apology to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius, a little from the beginning, where he avowedly frees the Christians from this calumny saying: “But the tributes and the census we in the first place try everywhere to pay to those who have been set up by you, as we have been by Him instructed.” And he brings forward the words of Christ, Matthew 22: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”; and he concludes: “Hence we adore God alone, but we gladly serve you in other matters, and we profess you to be kings and princes of men, and we ask that you be found to have, along with regal power, a good and sound mind.” In these words he professes in the name of all Christians that the infidels are true kings and princes of the Christians, as they are men, and that they can have power over them, even if they should not have a sound mind. The same was thought by Ignatius, epistle 10 to the people of Smyrna, and Optatus, Book III, Against Parmenian, where he expressly says, “even if such a man were emperor who lived as a pagan.” Lastly we can bring in for this the words of Ambrose, Book IV, on Luke 5, at the end, where, considering the words of Matthew 17, he says, “Indeed it is a great and spiritual lesson by which Christian men are taught that they are subject to the higher powers, lest anyone think that the constitution of the earthly king should be undone.” There also he alludes to the words of Paul in Romans 13. Hence manifestly he speaks of a legitimate king, even though he be not a Christian, for Paul spoke in that way, and Christ was speaking about Caesar, a pagan emperor, and in the same sense speak the Fathers to whom we will at once refer.
spacer 5. But the reason for this truth St. Thomas touches upon, 2.2, q. 10, a. 10, because he says: “dominion or preference of rank was introduced from human law, but the distinction between believers and unbelievers is from the divine law; but the divine law, which is from grace, does not take away the human law, which is from natural reason.” And therefore the distinction between believers and unbelievers, considered with respect to themselves, does not remove the dominion and preference of unbelievers over believers. This reasoning is very good and can be explained in the following manner. For when the subjects of any pagan king are converted to the faith, they are not exempted by that act or by force of divine law from the temporal jurisdiction of their own lawful prince, because they cannot by their own power deprive another of his dominion and right; nor even is it granted to them to do it by the authority of God, because this has neither been revealed to them nor does natural reason dictate it; nay, even the contrary is taught by Scripture and right reason too. Both because, if a divine grant does not intervene, it would, properly speaking, be against justice, and also because it would give rise to offense on the part of infidels and a certain disgrace of the Christian religion, the propagation of which would be very greatly impeded in this manner. The confirmation and explanation are from the example of marriage among unbelievers, which is not  dissolved by the act itself of conversion, for example, of the wife to the faith, but still the wife remains subject to her infidel husband because he retains his power over her, as St. Paul testifies in 1 Corinthians 7, as fully explained by St. Augustine, De Adulteriis Coniugiis, I.18. But the reason, which St. Thomas touched upon, is because marriage among infidels stands on the right of nature, but the profession of faith does not of itself change the right of nature, or the human agreement founded upon it. This reasoning also Innocent indicated in his chapter Gaudemus on divorces. Therefore by this reasoning lawful civil power is not lost on account of the conversion of subjects to the faith.
spacer 6. But it must be strongly noted concerning the teaching of St. Thomas in the passage cited that the reasoning holds only when the dominion and power of the heathen prince existed prior to the faith of the subjects, in which also are seen most to proceed the testimonies of Peter, Paul, and the tradition of the Fathers. Therefore St. Thomas adds that, if the discussion be of instituting or granting power anew to infidels over the faithful, this in no way is to be permitted. “For this,” he says, “would cause offense and peril to the faith,” for the subjects, unless they be of great virtue, easily follow the rule and the religion of the prince. “And likewise,” he says, “infidels despise the faith if they know the defects of the faithful.” But this doctrine must be understood when a new subjection of the faithful to an infidel prince depends on consent and desire of the faithful; for it is in this case that effectively proceed the reasons of St. Thomas and the testimony of Paul which he adduces, 1 Corinthians 6: “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust (that is, the infidels, says St. Thomas), and not before the saints (that is, the faithful)?” as a little later the apostle himself declares saying; “But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.” For if even in private cases among the faithful the infidels must not be voluntarily chosen as judges, certainly much less can any Christian people place an infidel prince over themselves; and therefore, as St. Thomas says, in no way does the Church allow this.
spacer 7. But if indeed it should happen that a faithful people involuntarily is again subjected to an infidel prince by a just title, then the assertion advanced the reason made would proceed. So that, for example, if a pagan king in just war should get possession of a Christian state, then he would acquire a true dominion, for this also has been derived from the law of nations, which the faith does not do away with. Nor does the Church, speaking of itself, stand in the way when the infidel prince is heathen and is not subject to the Church itself, as to what we are now saying. And it would be the same if it happened that an infidel king by the lawful right of succession should obtain a Christian people formerly subject to a Christian prince, because then also the faith of the subjects does not impede the acquisition of the dominion, nor does it depend on the will of the people, but necessarily it comes from some prior and just institution. But these things must be understood for themselves, that is, by forestalling offenses and perils of the faithful, which can also follow in consequence of the subjection of the faithful to the ancient infidel princes, and therefore in both cases, if such inconveniences would probably be feared, and they could not be avoided unless either by not bearing, or not accepting such a prince, this should and must be done, because the right and power for doing this is not lacking in the Church. And by this reason St. Thomas said generally in the place cited that the Church could justly order infidels to be deprived of dominion and preferment over the faithful, who are made into sons of God, though for the purpose of avoiding scandal the Church does not utilize this power concerning infidel princes otherwise not subject to it.
spacer 8. Hence we should further consider that some infidels are subject to the church only temporarily, as are the Jews residing in the lands subject to Christian princes, and with these infidels we do not deal because they are not supreme princes, of whom we are now especially treating. Yet about these it is certain that the Church or Christian princes can govern them in temporal affairs, and very especially in those that concern the liberty and security of the faithful, so far as they judge it expedient for the good of the faith, which belongs to another consideration. But some infidels are subject to the church spiritually, though in other respects they are supreme temporal princes, such as baptized heretics, who are in name Christian, yet in fact they are infidels, because they lack the true faith, but they are subject to the Church by reason of the character of baptism. And about these the solution stated is true, not only on account of avoiding danger to the faithful, but also on account of the direct power which the Church has for punishing heretics, even though they be kings, as we shall below see. But some infidels are in no way subject to the Church, neither in temporal nor in spiritual matters, neither in law nor in fact. Arid in these cases the teaching of St. Thomas only proceeds of the indirect power through which the Church can free and defend its faithful subjects from moral dangers and the chances of losing the faith. For of itself the Church does not have jurisdiction over these infidel kings, according to St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 5: “About those that are without, they are naught to us,” and just as it is not possible to compel them to the faith, so neither, on account of the crime of infidelity, to punish them; wherefore neither under this title is it possible to deprive them of their dominion and jurisdiction which they have had over Christians. This then can the Church do only under the head of spiritual government and necessary provision for the subject faithful, which, however, it could do under this head, I most truly think, because he who grants the power of governing has as a result given whatever is required for its suitable use, as must be shown more fully in what follows.
spacer 9. In the present case the best argument can be taken from the teaching received and approved by the Church, and which has been taken from Paul, 1 Corinthians 7, where he says that the wife previously infidel who has converted to the faith, if the other neither wants to be converted nor to cohabit without injury to the Creator, can dismiss him and dissolve the marriage; therefore by the same or a greater reason power is given to the Church to free the faithful from the yoke of infidels of any sort, when by such subjection the faith is imperiled; for here the reasoning of Paul equally urges, saying: “A brother or sister is not under subject to service in such cases.” Nay, rather can a distinction in this be noted, for because the bond of matrimony is indissoluble by its own nature, and exists between two determinate persons to such a degree that it cannot, with that title, be dissolved, it is necessary that it be clear about the peril in particular to the faithful spouse; but the regal power falls on the multitude of men and of itself is not so immutable, and therefore a general and common peril in which the faithful who live as subjects, morally speaking, of infidel princes, is sufficient for the Church to be able to free all of them from such subjection, even though about the peril to individuals the fact is not in particular clear, because the moral laws, which apply universally, consider those things which happen for the most part, even if they happen not to hold in the particular case. Yet nonetheless the Church rarely uses this power, and lawfully so, even though it leave its own faithful in some peril, because either it does not have the strength to execute its authority with effect and success, or because it fears as a probability greater offenses. Nevertheless also at that time individual subjects lawfully will be able to flee or use other means to evade the danger, if there is moral certainty about it; first because they are more held to take counsel for their own souls then the right of another, and second because then from such a prince they suffer injustice and violence, and therefore they are not held to obey.
spacer 10. From these things it is further certain and de fide that there are true kings and princes in the Church of Christ who have true political or civil power over their own subjects, even Christians and the faithful. This assertion in these terms ‘faithful and Christian princes’ is not expressed in the whole New Testament, perhaps because at the time it was written there were not yet temporal kings converted to the faith, and therefore the occasion did nor arise of speaking of them. Yet the adduced testimonies sufficiently prove this assertion, both by analogy, or certainly by greater reason, and because the words of the apostles are wholly limitless and universal. For Peter says: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme.” And later: “Honor the king.” And then he instructs servants to be subject to their masters, “Not only to the good, but also to the froward”; therefore he understands the same with greater force about all the faithful subject to princes, whether good or bad; but they cannot be called good princes unless they be faithful. Lastly the admonishment of Paul, Titus 3: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers,” which he more fully hands on in Romans 13, was not given by him only for the time of the primitive church, but that it might remain perpetually therein; therefore even now it has place in respect of Christian princes. Also the same can be confirmed by the testimonies of the Old Testament, by which it is clear that faithful princes had political power over faithful subjects, whose power they were bound to obey, as of Moses, Joshua, and the other judges up to Samuel; it is afterwards collected about Saul, David, and their successors from Deuteronomy 1 and 17, and from Judges and Kings, and 2 Chronicles 19, where also mention is made of the inferior judges and magistrates; and therefore much more must this subjection and subordination be observed in the Law of Grace, because it does not regard the ceremonials of the Old Law and does not, generally speaking, pertain to the judicial elements of that Law, but to the moral law of natural right, whether immediately or by the medium of some human right; and these rights continue in the Law of Grace and obligate more perfectly.
spacer 11. But perhaps someone will say that this basis rightly draws its conclusion from the hypothesis that in the Christian Church there are true temporal kings and princes who have true dominion and jurisdiction over Christians; for, with this assumption, the natural law of justice and obedience evidently obligates the subjects to obey. But the adversaries who defend the opposing error deny this starting point, saying that it is repugnant to the teaching of Christ and to Christian liberty or to the perfection of the Law of Grace. But against this the supposition can be proved from the perpetual tradition of the Church, from the time when the emperors and kings began to be converted to the Christian Faith; for they were always held to be true kings and princes, and not less, nay more perfect and excellent, than they were before. This is clear from the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, and others, especially about Constantine, Theodosius, and the like. Again this is often professed by Genera1 Councils, as is clear from the First of Nicea, at which Constantine was present, and from others. Besides, the Supreme Pontiffs, writing to Christian kings and princes, recognized them as true princes and temporal rulers, as is apparent from the many epistles of St. Leo and St. Gregory, and from others to whom we will refer to in the following chapter. Now we only note the words of Pope Symmachus, Apology to the Emperor Anastasius, in which he says: “We receive human powers their place until they raise their wills against God.” The Twelfth Council of Toledo, ch.1, under excommunication, declared, Eringius to be true king of Spain; and the Council of Meaux, chs. 15 and 16, lays a curse on those who presume to contradict the regal power and speaks of Christian kings, and says of them that they have their power from God, according to the opinion of the Apostle, which therefore the Council also understands of Christian kings.
spacer 12. And the apostolic testimonies were understood in the same way by Chrysostom, Ambrose, and other Fathers, and very well did Augustine say in his book, On certain propositions on the Epistle to the Romans, prop. 72, concerning the words: “Let every soul be subject to the higher powersm”“very correctly does he admonish that no one, from the fact that he has been made a Christian called by the Lord to freedom, be raised into haughtiness and think that in the journey of this life he need not keep his order, so as to think that he need not be subject to the higher powers to whom the government has been handed over for the period of temporal existence.” And later: “If anyone therefore think, since he is a Christian, he need not pay taxes or tribute, or need not render honor due to those powers that look after these matters, he is in great error.” There Augustine speaks of his own time, where there were already Christian princes in the Church; and thus he applies the words of Paul to all princes who for the time are reigning. These words of Augustine were also borrowed by Anselm about Paul, and by Primasius more briefly. And again Augustine, Against Crescon. III.51, declares how necessary is the office of king even among Christians, and in how much better and healthy a way it is exercised by good, that is, pious and faithful kings, than by evil and infidel ones.
spacer 13. Besides, the honorific titles by which the ancient Fathers wrote to the faithful princes confirm this, as Cyril of Alexandria in his book, On the Right Faith to Theodosius, where he first calls him a most Christian king, and then says to him: “You are the founts of the highest dignities, and above al eminence, and you are the head and origin of human happiness.” And later: “Of your so pious and very famous empire the greatest bulwark is our Lord Jesus Christ; for through Him kings reign &c.” And later he promises that he will show “that glorious piety toward God is the unalterable basis for regal honors.” Like things can be seen in Ambrose, in his epistle to the Augustus Gratian, which he prefaced to his books on the Faith, where he even calls him “most Christian prince, and most Christian of princes.” Likewise in his sermons on the death of Theodosius and Valentinian, and in various epistles to Christian emperors of his own time. Also Gregory Nazianzen recognized the same thing, Oration 17, whose very fine words I shall refer to below in a more convenient place.
spacer 14. I add besides the more ancient testimony of Martial, Bishop of Limoges, who lived near the time of the Apostles, and in his epistle 2 to the Tolossi, ch.8 he tells of having converted to the faith a certain prince of France, whom he calls king, and he strongly praises his person, and adds: “Whom you ought to obey, because he has be constituted a prince for you by God, &c.” Also a passage in Tertullian can be noted, book on Idolatry, ch. 15 there he says first that those things are to be rendered to Caesar which are Caesar’s, and to God which are God’s, just as Christ taught. Thereafter he subjoins: “So then, as regards the honors of kings and emperors, we have sufficiently prescribed that we ought in all obsequiousness in accordance with the teaching of the Apostle to be subject to magistrates and powers. But within the limits of discipline, as far as we are separated from idolatry.” Here, although he speaks of the time of the pagan emperors, yet he understands his teaching to be general. Therefore in ch.17 he adds that Christians at that time could accept from emperors the dignity and administration of civil power, provided they exercise it without any sinking into idolatry. Therefore finally Prosper rightly has written in his book, Epigrammaton 34:

Whatever the order of the world well demands and whatever thing proposed does not violate pious faith is to be granted; no power ought to be despised by the gentle and the saints; it is right to serve kings and lords; so that it may benefit the servants of Christ for true honor that they have loved the good and borne the evil.

spacer 15. One can easily be persuaded by reason of this truth, because the Christian Faith or baptism does not render incapable of regal dignity, or of principality, or of political power; therefore if anyone had it before the faith, he docks not lose it because of baptism or faith, if he be converted to it; or if someone already a Christian is appointed to it by lawful election or by another just title, truly he acquires it, and he is constituted a true king, or prince, or magistrate; and so faithful and Christian subjects are also bound to obey him. The inferences are indeed evident per se and from what was said. But the proof of the antecedent is either that incapacity would be from the particular institution of Christ, or from the nature of the thing, or from some natural repugnance; for no other basis can be thought of; but each of these is wholly false and irrational.
spacer 16. About the first it is clear, both because nowhere do we read that Christ prohibited to the faithful regal principality, as will easily be shown below in satisfying the bases of the contrary opinion; but also because about Christ and the time of grace it has the rather been predicted that the kings of the earth would believe on Christ and adore him, Psalm 71: “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts and all the kings of the earth shall fall down before him, &c.” Hence Psalm 2 it is first said that the kings of the earth have set themselves against Christ, and afterwards it is subjoined: “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings, be instructed ye who judge the earth. Serve the Lord with fear &c.” Also Isaiah 49: “And kings shall be thy nursing fathers and they shall bow down to thee with their faces toward the earth, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.” And ch.60: “And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising &c.” Nor can it be said or thought that kings coming into the faith of Christ by this fact lost their realms and ceased to be kings, because as the Church sings, “He who gives heavenly kingdoms does not snatch away mortal things.” Nor would another providence have been pleasing nor convenient, for if kings, when converted to Christ, at once by that fact were deprived of realms justly possessed, few certainly would have been so contemptuous of their realms as to want to become Christians, Therefore it is not credible that Christ, who calls to Himself men of all orders an wisely and pleasingly disposes of means suitable for their conversion, had placed so great an impediment to the conversion of temporal princes, or left such an instruction in His Church.
spacer 17. Especially because neither did such an institution pertain to the splendor of the Church, nor to good temporal government, nor to spiritual perfection. The first is plain  because it much more honors the faith of Christ and the Church that emperors, kings, and princes of the earth be subjected to Christ and His Vicar, and this without doubt is what is commended in the above posited promises. The second is also plain, for the reason set forth above, about the necessity of political principality for the preservation of human society, has no less place in the Church of Christ than outside it, because Christians also need a political community in which peace and justice are protected, and for this purpose Christians also need civil direction and restraint, as has in itself been noted. Therefore since Christ neither willed His Church to be badly governed in temporal affairs, nor decreed either that He would miraculously rule it, it is not due that a quasi connatural governance be taken away from it, nor also, as a result, that the political principality be removed from it. Lastly the third part is proved because political principality is not against the essential perfection of the Church, which consists in true and living faith working through charity. For, since principality is consonant with justice and natural reason, it cannot be contrary to charity. Nor is it even contrary to the perfection of the counsels, for it is no concern of this that the lack of temporal dominion or jurisdiction be constituted under necessity but only that under the counsel it be left to free will, following that saying: “If thou wilt be perfect &c.” And so evangelical perfection and the efficacy of the grace of Christ is shown rather in this, that many emperors and kings voluntarily abdicated their empires and realms.
spacer 18. From these considerations the other member rests sufficiently proved, to wit, that Christians are not, from the nature of the thing or by reason of any other natural repugnance, incapable of political principality. First, because it has been shown rather from the nature of the thing that this governance is necessary for Christians, for whom it is much better to be governed by Christian princes than by non-Christian, as was also shown by the way and is sufficiently known of itself; therefore rather from the nature of the thing is it necessary that Christians be capable of temporal kingdoms and magistracies. Second, also because if there were any repugnance, it would be either to Christian freedom, or to the faith. But Christian freedom does not consist in exemption from just human laws, nor in immunity from just restraint or punishment of wrongs when they are committed against peace and justice; but it consists in exemption either from the laws of Moses, or from the fear of servitude, or (which is the same) it consists in free service as a consequence of love and charity, to which human government is not repugnant, but rather, if it is present, aids it; but if it be absent its lack is supplied through coercion. Also the aforesaid power, or the subjection corresponding with it, is not at all repugnant to the faith, because each is in conformity with natural reason, which is not adverse to the faith. Certainly Paul sufficiently confirms this in the epistle to Philemon, where he manifestly supposes, on account of the faith that Philemon had and that Onesimus his servant had embraced, that neither was the right of dominion taken away from the former, nor was the latter exempted from this service; therefore the same must a fortiori be said of political jurisdiction and the subjection corresponding to it.
spacer 19. As to the first basis, then, of the contrary error, we reply that those words of Paul, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” are understood literally of infidels as infidels, that is, do not take part with infidels in the proper activities which they perform as infidels. And this sense all the reasons of Paul prove. But from this opinion it is only concluded that the faithful should not obey infidel princes if they prescribe anything against the faith or true religion. And in this way was that passage there understood by Ambrose, Theodoret, St. Thomas, and St. Augustine, Against the Donatists after the collation, chs. 6 & 21. Jerome too, Book I Against Jovinian and epistle 11 to Ageruchias, understood by ‘yoke’ matrimony, thinking that there it is prohibited to a Christian woman to contract it with a pagan. But without doubt there the Apostle does not speak specially of the bond of matrimony, because neither is mention made of this, nor does there occur in the whole context an occasion for specially treating of this. It is certainly probable, as Chrysostom says there in hom. 6, that Paul advises the faithful in general to avoid too much intercourse and familiarity with infidels, especially on account of the danger that they be corrupted by them in faith or morals. In this sense Paul did not hand down a new positive precept, but explains a natural one, by which each is bound to shun danger, lest he be lost in it. And in this way too the Christian republic is bound to shun an infidel prince and not to accept him, if it depends on its own consent; or even to repel him if from his rule the peril of moral destruction would be feared; yet this ought to be done, not by private authority, but by public, when in other respects the prince has a lawful right to the realm. And thus the required order is preserved, and the danger is avoided.
spacer 20. As to Matthew 17, since it must be more broadly considered when speaking about ecclesiastical immunity, now I briefly say that under the name of sons is not there comprehended all the faithful, nor even all the just, because Christ literally speaks of natural sons, as is plain from the context and from the explanations of all. But as to Augustine, St. Thomas answers, 2.2, q. 104, a. 6, ad.1 , that he spoke in a spiritual sense and in this way the sons of the kingdom are free from the slavery of sin and from the tribute which they have to pay by reason of it. This is not agreed to by Cajetan there, and so he explains that under the head of sons of the kingdom, to which earthly realms are subordinate, Augustine meant not all the just as sons but those who are in authority, as are bishops, and other ecclesiastics. But even these are not natural sons, and therefore under the name and idea of sons (if we stand only on the proper signification of the words) they are not comprehended. And therefore Jansen thinks that Augustine spoke of Christ only, even if he should think in the plural of sons, because Christ the Lord is speaking generally of natural sons. Nor even are all Christians comprehended under that freedom on account of another title, that they are the family of Christ, as Paul sufficiently explains, Romans 13, because that union with Christ in the same family, that is, the Church, is very broad and general, and of another order, that is, the spiritual order, which does not remove corporal servitude or subjection, and consequently does, not remove the order of justice which is born from it. Whether, indeed, by reason of that title immunity is extended to all ecclesiastics by force of the words of Christ we will see later, and we will expound the words of Jerome which seem to touch on it.
spacer 21. To the second basis we now answer that true Christian freedom does not exclude honorable subjection to lawful temporal princes, not only Christian ones but also infidel ones, as is sufficiently made plain from the teachings of the Apostles, and more fully in the aforesaid book De Legibus. Finally, as to the words of Christ the Lord we reply that by these words Christ did not intend to remove a just principality from among Christians, but only to teach them not to imitate the ambition and tyranny of pagan princes. And therefore it was not about kings simply but with a limitation that he said: “the princes of the gentiles exercise dominion over them,” where also the word ‘dominion’ indicates too great desire and too ambitious a way of governing, as Peter, 1. canon, ch.5, said, “Neither as being lords over the clergy.” Also thus did Chrysostom explain, homily 56 on Matthew, and in another brief narration on Matthew, ch. 20. And from the occasion on which the Master spoke to repress the ambitions of his disciples and the strife as to the primacy, and from the words that He subjoined: “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister,” it is very plain that Christ did not exclude order and degrees of greater and lesser, but wanted to moderate the desire of his Apostles.
spacer 22. But as to Paul, we answer that when he says, “Be ye not servants of men,” he does not speak of civil subjection, nay, not even of penal or rigorous servitude, for neither is repugnant to, nor derogates from the worth of, the redemption of Christ, for in the same place a little before he had said, “Art thou called being a servant? care not for it.” Rather he adds that it is possible for servitude to be preferred to freedom, at least on account of humility, as St. Thomas expounded along with Ambrose and Gregory. Therefore, when he says, “Be ye not servants of men,” he means in the matter of the servitude in which a man is preferred to Christ, by serving a man in things which are opposed to the service of God. And because this would be contrary to affection for the redemption of Christ, therefore he premised a very good reason, saying, “Ye are bought with a price.” Therefore to serve men in this way should be foreign to those redeemed by Christ, but to be subject to lawful princes in things which are not repugnant to God is not unworthy, but rather, according to the words of the same Redeemer: “Render therefore to Caesar the things which be Caesar’s and unto God the things which be God’s.”



1.What supreme power is. spacer2. There is a double subjection, direct and indirect, and what each is. spacer3. The sense of the question is made clear. spacer4. First opinion for the negative.spacer 5. First basis. spacer6. The true opinion is established. spacer7 - 8. An emperor does not have supreme temporal power over the Church. spacer9 - 10. The assertion is proved from the authority of the Supreme Pontiffs. spacer11. The same conclusion. spacer12 - 13. Supreme civil power does not belong to the Supreme Pontiff by human right. spacer14 - 16. The same is proved of divine right. spacer17 - 18. Objection. It is solved. spacer19. Objection. First response. spacer20 - 21. Second solution. The response is rejected. spacer15. The bases of the contrary opinion are solved.

NY power, then, is said to be supreme when it recognizes no superior; for that word, supreme denotes a negation of a superior whom the other, who is said to have supreme power, may be bound to obey. Moreover it is understood to be about a superior on earth, or a human superior, for with God no comparison is made; for what human prince, unless he be an atheist , or mad, would presume even to attempt to withdraw himself from under the divine power? Therefore there is excluded through that negation subjection to a supreme mortal man. But that negation can be taken in various ways, and therefore, so that the title of the question may be understood and so that it may be distinguished from the other questions that are here possible, it is necessary to make plain the manner and sense of that negation. For, first, it is possible to deny utterly all subjection to a superior man, as well in spiritual matters as in the civil. Secondly, it is possible to deny subjection in the same temporal arid civil matter. And although in the prior question a very great disagreement exists between us and the King of England, for he wishes to be under no one one even in spiritual matters, which we believe to be against Christian faith and obedience, nonetheless we do not now treat that question, because we have not yet spoken about the spiritual power, without the understanding of which the solution of this can in no way be understood; and therefore I relegate it to the last part of this book, and at present we call that temporal power supreme which in the same order or matter has not been subjected to another.
spacer 2.
Next, in the present case, a double subjection is accustomed to be distinguished, i.e., the direct and indirect. That is called direct which is within the end and boundaries of the same power; indirect which is only born in consequence of direction to a higher end, and pertains to a superior and more excellent power. For civil power proper is ordered of itself only directly to the convenient state and temporal felicity of the human republic for the time of the present life, and therefore also the power itself is called temporal. Therefore the civil power is then called in its own order supreme when in the same order and with respect to its own purpose an ultimate resolution is made to it in its own sphere, or in the whole community which is under it, such that on such a supreme prince depend all the inferior magistrates who have power in such community or in a part of it, but the highest prince himself is subordinated to no superior in order to the same purpose of civil government. But because temporal or civil happiness must be referred to spiritual and eternal happiness, therefore it can come about that the matter itself of civil power must be directed in another way and governed in order to spiritual good, which civil reason alone would seem to demand. And then, though the temporal prince and his power in actions does not directly depend on another power of the same order and which looks only to the same end, nevertheless it is possible that it be necessary for him to be directed, aided, or corrected in his own field by superior power that governs men in order to the more excellent and eternal end; and then that dependency is termed indirect because that superior power sometimes concerns itself with temporal matters, not of itself or on its own account, but in an indirect way, and on account of another.
spacer 3. Hence it comes about that this negation of subjection in temporal matters, which the prerogative of supreme princes is believed to include, must be further subdivided into two senses. For it is possible to deny even all subjection, as well direct as indirect, and thus another twofold question is raised. The first is, whether the power of a Christian king is supreme in the first sense, that is, neither directly nor indirectly recognizing a superior in civil or temporal matters; the second is whether it is supreme at least in the second sense, that is, recognizing no direct superior in temporal matters. On these questions there is such great diversity, that the first pertains to dogmas of faith, and in that nearly the point of the whole controversy turns between us and the king of England; but the latter neither is a matter of faith nor in it is there any disagreement between us. Yet nevertheless the present question must not be taken in the prior sense, nor about indirect subjection, or rather exemption; because (if it be attentively considered) it pertains to the question of spiritual power, because that indirect subjection can only be with respect to spiritual power, or (which is the same), if any power can be thought of to which the supreme temporal power may indirectly be subjected, it can only be the spiritual power, as we shall see in discussing it, and therefore we must also put this question back to that place. The title, therefore, of the present question must be understood only about the supreme power, which in the same order does not directly recognize a superior. For although, as I have said, on this point there is no controversy between us and the king, because he often complains about Catholics, that we deny the jurisdiction of Christian princes and the obedience owed to them, therefore this question I thought should not be passed by at this time, so that it may be made manifest from the solution of it that the regal power over all those matters which are consonant with the natural law is preserved in good order according to Catholic doctrine.
spacer 4. It as therefore the opinion of certain Catholics, especially of the law experts, that in the Church of Christ not only is there spiritual governance but also a temporal monarchy, and therefore in the Catholic church there is only one supreme temporal prince, having as such and directly supreme civil power over the Church universal, and that he is the Supreme Pontiff by the institution of Christ. Thence they collect as a result that no republic, or no king or emperor has supreme power in temporal matters, because there cannot be two supreme heads in the same order; therefore if the Supreme Pontiff has supreme temporal power directly and through himself, necessarily in all the other temporal princes there is no supreme power, because there will be none that does not recognize a superior in temporal affairs. Nay some even add that all rights to realms and dominions were conferred on Peter as the Vicar of Christ, and thus the Roman Pontiff succeeds to this right, and therefore the supreme civil power potentially (as they say) is only in the Pontiff, although through other kings he administers it by means of tacit or expressed grant. So say those who are outstanding among ancient interpreters of pontifical right, the Gloss, Innocent, Hostiensis, John Andreas, Panormitanus, Felinus, and Decius in ch. Novit. De Iudiciis, and in ch. Causam quae 2, and in ch. Per venerabilem, Who are legitimate sons, and ch. Solitae, De Maiorit. et obedien., and in ch. Super his, De Voto, and others in ch. Quoniam, dist. 10, and in ch. Cum ad verum, 96. dist., and among interpreters of the law of Caesar, Bartol. Oldrad., Paulus de Castro, and others to whom Navarro and Covarruvias, to be quoted below, refer. To these are added St. Anthony, 3 p. tit. 22, c.5, § 13 and 17, Alvarus Pelagius, and Augustine of Ancona, along with many others referred to by the aforesaid.
spacer 5. Their basis is first in the many decrees of the Pontiffs, who seem to affirm this, which matters we shall refer to below when we shall explain their mind. Second we will show this power in use and various effects. Of this character are the transferring of the Empire from the Greeks to the Germans, and the institution of a method of electing the emperor and confirming him, and occasionally, to depose him, which are all acts of the temporal power. But if the emperor is not supreme much less are other kings. Therefore sometimes kings have been deposed by Pontiffs. Third, so as to adduce the Scriptures as well to prove this, they suppose that Christ had not only direct spiritual power but also temporal. First, because He said: “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth”; also, because He was the natural Son of God. Hence they infer that both powers were equally entrusted to His Vicar, both because He himself made no distinction but said absolutely to Peter: “Feed my sheep,” under which word ‘feeding’ is no less included civil government than spiritual; for of David it is said, 2 Samuel 5: “the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel.” Second also for the good government of the church and its unity and peace it was expedient. Thence a fourth natural reason is added, that in one body there should be only one supreme head, from whom proceed all acts of life, whether serving the body or the spirit, as from a primary source; but the Church is a single mystical body as has already been shown above; therefore it requires one supreme governor in both orders, nay, both powers in one person; because if they are divided among different persons endless disputes and dissensions will arise, which can hardly be composed with human diligence and reason, as experience itself shows.
spacer 6. Nevertheless it must be said that Christian kings have supreme civil power in their own order and recognize no other directly superior within the same temporal or civil order, upon whom in the acts of their power they per se depend. Hence it comes about that there is not given in the Church one supreme temporal prince of the whole Church, or of all the kings of it, but there are as many as there are supreme kingdoms or republics. This is the more received and approved opinion among Catholics, to whom forthwith we shall refer. But the proof of the first part depends on the latter; for if there is no one temporal head, the result necessarily is that there are many supreme kings, as has been set forth by us; indeed at this time we do not intend to consider in particular whether this or that king is supreme, nor to compare these princes themselves with each other, for that would be very foreign to the present purpose.
spacer 7. Now for the same reason we do not now treat this question, whether the Emperor is the superior in jurisdiction in all provinces and realms of Christians and consequently the supreme monarch in the Church universal. Because, although it could pertain to the latter part of the assertion, yet it pertains almost not at all to explaining the dogmas of the faith, and therefore we briefly suppose that the emperor does not have this dominion or supreme temporal jurisdiction over the whole Church (whatever Bartolus and some other law experts should think), because either he never has had it, or, although he has possessed it, for the greater part he has lost it. But that he never had it is the most probable, because neither in a supernatural or extraordinary manner did he have it from Christ the Lord or from the Roman Pontiff, as will be made clear a fortiori from things to be said; nor did he acquire it by any human law, because never, either through election or through just war, did one emperor subject to himself the whole world or the whole Church. For though we admit that the ancient Christian emperors were lawful princes over their whole domain, yet it does not thence come about that they were supreme princes of all Christians, because outside their territory many peoples could have been Christians. For, as Prosper correctly said, De Vocat. gent. II.6, “Christian grace was not content to have the same boundaries as Rome, and it subjected many peoples to the scepter of the cross whom Rome itself did not conquer with its arms.” Thence also is that which Pope Leo, in serm. 1 Apostolorum de Roma, said: “So that you might govern more widely by divine than by earthly domination.” Add that this very Roman Empire was divided into Eastern and the Western, and then that the Western Empire (which alone remained among the Christians after the Eastern had been seized by the pagans), though so far as dignity is concerned it endures in one person, was, as to jurisdiction, divided among many princes and kings. Of these, though some are subjects of the emperor, more are thought to be lawfully exempt by the right of prescription, adding at the same time the consent of the peoples, or title of just war. And thus we know suppose that, besides the emperor, that there are several temporal kings wholly free from his jurisdiction, as are the kings of Spain, France and England.
spacer 8. Therefore, it is only left to prove the assertion about the Supreme Pontiff; for if he does not have as his own dominion of supreme temporal jurisdiction over all the kingdoms of the Church, no other can be imagined who might have such primacy, and therefore there will be several supreme temporal kings. That therefore the Pontiff does not have such temporal power in the Church universal was held among the theologians especially by Maior, in [Sentences] 4, dist .24, q. 3, Cajetan, tom. I, Opuscula, tract. 2, c. 3, and 2.2, q. 43, a. 8, Vitoria in Relectionibus, Soto, De Iust. IV.2, and Bellarmine, De Sum. Pontif., V.1ff., who refers to several others. Also among the law experts, Covarruvias, in Regul. ‘Peccatum’, 2 p. § 9, no. 7, and Navarre, in ch. Novit., notab. 3 very fully, and, by referring to several others, in no. 41, and Petrus Bertrand. tract. De Orig. Iurisdict. q. 3. blue Also (which is the main point) the Pontiffs themselves in many places simply recognize this truth.
spacer 9. Therefore by their rights in the first place is the assertion proved. For Pope Nicholas writes to Archbishop Albinus as follows: “The Holy Church of God has no sword, except a spiritual one”. Now by the word ‘sword’ is accustomed to be signified in canon law the temporal power; therefore this should especially be understood about both the direct power and the jurisdiction that the Church has through itself and, so to speak, on its own intrinsic account. For in its own territory, by having obtained another title, the Church, or an ecclesiastical prelate, can have a temporal sword, as the Roman Pontiff has it in his own particular domain. Besides, the same Nicholas, in his letter to the emperor Michael, said the following: “Neither did the Emperor seize the rights of the pontificate, nor did the. Pontiffs usurp the name of emperor, since Christ thus separated in their appropriate activities and distinct dignities the duties of each power, &c.” The same is handed on to us by Pope Gelasius when in epistle 10 he writes to emperor Anastasius: “There are two by whom chiefly the World is led, the sacred authority of the Pontiffs and the regal power”; and Pope Gregory, Bk. II, indict. 11. epistle 61, elsewhere ch. 100, to emperor Maurice, says: “For this purpose power over all men has been granted to the piety of my lords, so that the terrestrial kingdom may serve the celestial kingdom”; and Pope John, in his letter to emperor Justinian, which is included in 1. Inter Cleros, ch. De Sacra Trinitate, recognized his supreme principality and regal power.
spacer 10. Besides, Innocent III, ch. Novit., De Iudiciis openly thinks that the King of the French has supreme temporal jurisdiction, which the Pope did not want to disturb or diminish; and therefore he says therein: “For we do not intend to judge about the fiefdom, to whose court itself it pertains,” clearly signifying that it does not pertain to himself, at least directly, as the Gloss and Innocent correctly remarked. This he more fully explains when he adds: “Unless by chance by common right through a special privilege or by custom it has been taken away.” For by this exception he declares that by divine law it has not been taken away from the regal right. The same is besides expressly said by Innocent in ch. Per venerabilem Who are legitimate sons, of the king of the Franks, that he does not recognize a superior in temporal matters. And of the Apostolic See he says: “In the patrimony of Blessed Peter he can freely (that is directly and absolutely) dispose, in which he exercises both the authority of the Supreme Pontiff and executes the power of a supreme prince (at least a temporal prince), plainly thinking that in the other realms he cannot thus freely dispose about temporal matters. The same in ch. Solitae, De Maiorat. et Obedien., he confesses that the emperor “in temporal matters takes precedence in his own dominion”; and of the regal power he says that “in carnal matters it is preeminent,” and in ch. Causam, 2, Who are lawful sons, Alexander III expressly says that it pertains to the king, not to the Church, to judge of temporal possessions, and he speaks in particular of the King of England. It is therefore sufficiently clear that the Roman Pontiffs themselves never arrogated to themselves power of this type, which will be more fully evident from the subsequent discourse.
spacer 11. Second, this truth is chiefly proved because no just title can be assigned that direct dominion in temporal jurisdiction over all the realms of the Church befits the Supreme Pontiff; therefore he does not have it, for neither could it be obtained without a just title. The assumption is proved, because either that title would be of positive divine right, or of human right; for it is manifest, from what has been above stated, that it cannot be directly from natural right. For it has been proved that from direct natural right only the perfected human community, and one politically united into the body of a single republic, has the supreme temporal jurisdiction over itself. But the congregation of the Church, although it be one spiritual or mystic body of Christ, and in this category would have unity of faith, baptism, and head, yet it is not united in the manner of one political congregation, but it contains in itself varied kingdoms and republics, which in the political class have no unity among themselves; therefore by force of natural right there is not immediately in the whole community of the Church one supreme temporal and universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, but there are as many supreme temporal jurisdictions as there are political communities which are not members of one realm or civil republic.
spacer 12. And therefore by no lesser evidence is it concluded that such power is not in any ecclesiastical prince by any human title, by the medium of which that natural power was transferred to him; because this title is either the election or consent of the people, and this has no place in the present case, as is manifest of itself; for never have all Christian peoples by their own will and consent submitted themselves to one man as to a supreme temporal prince. Or the title is from a just war, and of this also it is clear that it does not have place in any ecclesiastical prince. Or the title is from a lawful succession, and here also it cannot be, precisely by insisting on human right, because it supposes a lawful title and dominion in a predecessor, and thus, by ascending, one must necessarily stop at someone who received by another prior human title such dominion without succession; and this cannot be except by consent of the people or by war, which either was just from the beginning, or by the tacit consent of the subjects was made just through legitimate time; but none of these has any basis in the case of any Pontiff, whatever time or former age may be thought of. Or, lastly, this title is from some grant made by man, and about this here exists almost the same reasoning as of the title of succession. The reason is that no one can give except what he has; but no temporal prince, even a temporal one, has ever had supreme direct temporal jurisdiction over all Christian provinces and realms, as I have touched on above; therefore there is no one who could have made such a grant to the Church or to the Pontiff.
spacer 13. All these things rightly confirm those canonical laws which hand down that the Roman Pontiff has the lawful right and the temporal dominion over the Roman realm or patrimony (as they call it) of St. Peter, effected through the donation of the emperor Constantine, as is plain from ch. Constantine, 1 and 2, dist. 96, and from ch. Fundamenta, de elect. in 6, and ch. Futuram, 12, q. 1. For from these sources it is plainly collected that by the title of donation alone does he have direct temporal jurisdiction over the kingdom and the cities which are in the patrimony of St. Peter, under which patrimony we include all the temporal possessions which the Roman Pontiff now possesses, whether the donation of the entire patrimony was made by Constantine, or was begun by him and was increased by other kings and princes.
spacer 14. There remains to speak about the title of positive divine right which could only have been begun through the gift of Christ the Lord, and persist through lawful succession; but by Christ the Lord no such grant was made, and consequently no lawful succession could exist in such temporal jurisdiction; therefore neither by this title does jurisdiction of this type belong to the Pontiff. But that Christ did not give this jurisdiction to the church is proved especially because if He had given it to anyone, it would have been especially to Peter, as now I suppose from what must be stated below concerning the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. But that it was granted to Peter is not sufficiently gathered from Matthew 16 where, before the words, “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth,” and “whatsoever thou shalt loose,” Christ put first the promise, “I give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven”; therefore Christ did not promise to Peter the keys of the earthly kingdom, and therefore He did not promise him temporal dominion, or direct temporal jurisdiction, but spiritual power. Therefore what Christ added, “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth,” or “whatsoever thou shalt loose,” must without doubt be under stood in accordance with the power which under the name of the keys He had promised. And similarly the words, “Feed my sheep,” must be understood in accordance with the same power, for there Christ fulfilled the promise made before. But in no other place did Christ indicate that He was granting temporal dominion or a direct proper kingdom to Peter, or to His Church, and also ecclesiastical tradition does not show it but rather the opposite, as has been seen; therefore by no supernatural way can there be clarity for us about such temporal and direct jurisdiction of the Pontiff; therefore it cannot with basis be attributed to him, since he could not have it except supernaturally.
spacer 15. Next the best conjecture is that Christ did not assume for Himself in His humanity an earthly or temporal realm with direct dominion and jurisdiction, such as is in the emperor or other human princes; therefore He did not bestow it on His Vicar on earth. We suppose the antecedent from things which we have said in 1 tom., 3. p., blue, about the kingdom of Christ, and it is briefly now shown from these things, which Scripture says about the poverty of Christ the Lord, as that verse in 2 Corinthians 8: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” Hence John XXII, in Extravagant., ‘Cum inter nonnullos,’ de verbor. Signific, teaching that Christ, not withstanding His poverty, had dominion over a certain few and usual things, manifestly supposes that He did not take dominion over realms, or over other things the property in which makes men rich. And this the Lord Himself signified when in Matthew 8 and Luke 9 He said, “the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Also about temporal jurisdiction He likewise signified Luke 12, when to someone asking, “Speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me,” he replied: “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” as if He would say that He did not assume that judgment, nor had come into the world to exercise temporal jurisdiction, as rightly Ambrose, Theophylact, and Euthymius remarked.
spacer 16. Also this too the Lord Himself confirmed, John 18, saying, “My kingdom is not of this world,” that is, it is not temporal and earthly, as is the kingdom of Caesar, as Cyril there expounds, Book XII on John, ch.10 and following; and Chrysostom, Homily 82 on John, and very well Augustine, tract. 115, saying: “Hear, all, ye earthly kingdoms, I do not stand in the way of your domination in this world, my kingdom is not of this world.” Therefore all the Fathers teach that Christ assumed a spiritual kingdom, which does not exclude true poverty. And therefore in Zechariah 9 it is predicted that the Savior will come, who would be a king and a poor man, which was declared fulfilled in Christ, Matthew 21 and John 12; and in Psalm 2 of Christ it is said: “Yet have I set my king up on my holy hill of Sion,” and at once is added: “I will declare the decree,” to signify that the kingdom is spiritual, not earthly. Hence Augustine in the place cited said that the mountain upon which Christ was set is not of this world, “because the believers in Christ, who are His kingdom, are not of this world”; moreover Hilary said that Jerusalem is not earthly but celestial. Also in this manner it was predicted by the angel about Christ: “The Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David,” and at once he adds, “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end,” because it was not to be temporal but spiritual, as was remarked by Epiphanius Haeres. 29, and Jerome, Jeremiah 22 and Zechariah 6. But the reason is because a temporal kingdom was not necessary for Christ for His own honor or majesty, and for our example and redemption it was more expedient that He not assume it.
spacer 17. And so hence is easily proved the prior inference, that Christ did not confer on His Vicar power which He Himself did not assume. You will say, although Christ may not have had a temporal kingdom, transitory and imperfect, yet He had also in His humanity, on account of the grace of union, a certain more excellent dominion, by which He could make use of all things whatsoever, or of temporal kingdoms, by His will, and consequently through this also He was able to give to His Vicar temporal kingdoms and direct temporal jurisdiction. We answer that it is not denied that He was able to do this, just as He was able to assume them for Himself, but we gather that He did not make the grant, since He did not assume it, because He left on earth only a Vicar of that kingdom which He Himself had in fact assumed, which kingdom is spiritual, as we have shown, and indeed it is perfectly consummated in glory, but in this world it is begun in the Church militant. Again because Christ had perfect spiritual power without direct temporal jurisdiction, therefore He could also communicate to His Vicar perfect or sufficient spiritual jurisdiction without the other direct temporal jurisdiction. And lastly because just as it was expedient that Christ Himself assume temporal jurisdiction, so also it was fitting that he not communicate it to His Vicar, lest he either perturb the kings of the earth, or seem to mix spiritual matters with secular.
spacer 18. Hence we can argue finally with reason, that temporal dominion with direct civil jurisdiction over the church universal was not necessary for the spiritual government of the Church, as is manifest in itself, nor even was it useful for the same end, nay rather it could have been a great detriment; therefore it is not very likely that it was granted by Christ. The minor is proved first because temporal government is far different from spiritual, and it involves men in secular matters, which are very greatly adverse to spiritual matters, on which account Paul said, 2 Timothy 2: “No one that wars for God entangleth himself with the affairs of this World.” Therefore it is not credible that Christ the Lord joined these two supreme and universal powers in one Supreme Pontiff of the Church, since it is morally impossible that one man can be equal to both weights of universal government.
spacer 19. You will say: By this reason it would be proved that the Supreme Pontiff or other Bishops cannot and ought not to be at the same time temporal princes. The answer in the first place is that it is true that Christ the Lord did not institute this, nor lay it down, nor did He grant to any of His ministers or pastors temporal principality. Also the discourse made proves this, and what we have said about the kingdom of Christ confirms it, that He assumed no temporal principality or secular judgment over the whole world or any part of it, whence also to no Bishop nor to His Vicar did He communicate it; what therefore He said about Himself, “Who made me a judge over you?” applies to each Bishop. This is also shown by other testimonies and by the long discourse of Bernard, De Considerat. ad Eugenium I.6, and II.6. I add that nonetheless Christ did not prohibit the Pope, or a bishop, from being able at the same time to be a temporal lord, because neither can such a prohibition be shown, as has above been touched upon, and from things yet to be said it will be further established; nor even does it follow from the reasoning set forth, because it is not in itself evil that the same person be an ecclesiastical pastor and a temporal prince. Nay rather, though a too ample and universal temporal care would not rightly comport with a spiritual solitude, yet a certain limited temporal principality can not only be permitted, but is also expedient for preserving the splendor and prestige of the Church, and for necessary expenses and other like honorable purposes, as is rightly stated in ch. Fundamenta, De Elect. in 6. And therefore Christ the Lord did not prohibit it, but He left it at the disposition of man, regulated by right reason, and in accordance with the needs of the times.
spacer 20. But an answer to the objection offered could be given in another way, that these things only prove that the exercise of both universal jurisdictions ought not to be entrusted at the same time to the same person, yet nonetheless it was possible that each jurisdiction be granted by way of habit to the Pontiff, and that it be granted under the law and condition that he exercise the spiritual himself but the temporal ordinarily through others. But this too is easily attacked, not only because even that jurisdiction by way of habit is also not shown by any title or probable means, as has been proved, but also because it is either not pertinent, or very odious. For either he who has it ought never himself to use it, and thus it will be otiose and useless, because never will anyone be able to use it through others unless first he use it himself, at least by delegating it, or entrusting it as ordinary. But if it be said that it was given for this use, I further ask whether the Pontiff, for example, by entrusting this jurisdiction, wholly abdicates it and utterly relinquishes all responsibility for it, or whether, indeed, he entrusts it under the conditions that he always remain superior in temporal affairs, and with the power of recalling the commission, or at least of limiting it, or even of correcting it under his discretion or emending the things performed under it. If this jurisdiction is thought of by way of habit in the former manner, it is without fruit and otiose. For what does it matter that the Pontiff have this power by way of habit if by necessity he has to grant it to others, through whom he is to exercise it, and now, after he has given it, he is unable to exercise the part of the superior in that order? Nay, rather it follows that he does not even now have it, and is only imagined to have sometime had it, so that an emanation of that power to the secular princes may be attributed to the Pontiff, which is considered very productive of envy and too odious, and otherwise is also profitless and baseless.
spacer 21. But if this power is thought of by way of habit in the latter manner, so that it could proceed to act whenever it pleased or ought to, thus the hate and envy is increased, because now the temporal princes will not be supreme kings, and false will be the song of Sedulius, received by the Church and very celebrated: “He does not seize mortal things who grants celestial;” and the Pope will be able at will to take away or change temporal kingdoms, and even to vindicate to himself, at least validly, judgments on temporal matters and dispensations and the like; for although perhaps he would not do well on account of the perturbation of order, yet the thing done would hold, because it would be from the supreme jurisdiction on which the inferior depends. But this is not only odious and, not without cause, can perturb the minds of kings; but it is also incredible of itsef, because it is against the universal peace of the Church and against the universal and perpetual use of it. Therefore even the law experts, who say that the Supreme Pontiff has the supreme temporal jurisdiction, do not admit this. Nay in many acts of temporal jurisdiction they absolutely deny that the Pontiff can do them outside his own temporal dominion, even validly, as is commonly handed down by the doctors, ch. ‘Per venerabilem,’ ‘Who are lawful sons.’ And lastly, if in this way the Pontiff had temporal jurisdiction over the whole Church, he should be no less solicitous for the good temporal government of all the kingdoms of the Church than for the spiritual government of all the episcopates. For, preserving proportion, the obligation and the reason is the same; and so proceeds the reasoning made, that this double universal solicitude morally exceeds human strength and capacity, and it is against all reason and use.
spacer 22. Of the bases of the contrary opinion the first and second proceed only about indirect power. And to be sure many of the authors referred to for that opinion speak only of that same superior power, as we shall set forth at the end of this book. But the third basis proceeds from a false principle, because Christ the Lord did not assume temporal dominions, as has been said. In like manner the fourth basis is defective, because the Church is not one temporal republic as it one spiritual republic, and therefore it does not need one supreme direct temporal power, but one spiritual power which extends to temporal things, as we shall see below.



1. There is an ecclesiastical power of order and one of jurisdiction. spacer2. Again, ecclesiastical jurisdiction is double. Sense of the question.spacer 3 - 4. The heresy of Marsilius of Padua and the basis for the Anglican Schism. spacer 5. The basis of this sort of heresy. spacer 6 - 8. First assertion de fide. Proof from Scripture. spacer 9. Evasion of the King of England and his reasons. spacer 10. The evasion of the king is rejected. spacer11. Satisfaction made to the first proof of the king. spacer 12. The king’s second proof is dissolved. spacer 13 - 14. The Holy Spirit cannot properly be called the Vicar of Christ. spacer15 - 16. Christ the Lord conferred true spiritual jurisdiction on Peter. spacer17. Distinction between the spiritual and temporal power. spacer18 - 19. The bases of the errors referred to at the beginning of this chapter are solved.

ITHERTO we have said of temporal power that it is clear no Christian prince can by right accuse the Catholic Church or Catholic Doctrine of arbitrarily snatching due power away from him; now we must speak about spiritual power so that we may also show what schismatic kings in this genus unduly usurp, and in what things, against divine right, they refuse to obey and be subject to ecclesiastical power. But because ecclesiastical power is manifold, therefore in the title we restrict the question to the power of spiritual and external jurisdiction. For a double ecclesiastical power is wont to be distinguished, namely of order and of jurisdiction; for to these two members are reduced the others that are wont to be enumerated, as Navarrus rightly notes. Therefore, we do not here treat of the power of order for it does not pertain to the present controversy, because it is not a power of a superior over subordinates but is a certain moral faculty ordered to the religious cult of God, whether by the offering of sacrifice, or by the administration and dispensing of sacraments which are established for the sanctification of the faithful, or finally by certain other ceremonies which ought to be done agreeably and in orderly manner for the adornment of the sacrifice or of the sacraments. Hence even the Protestants do not seem altogether to deny this power, although they interpret it in a way that they confess it rather in name than in reality. But this should be examined in a tractate on the Sacraments.
spacer 2. Again, the power of jurisdiction is distinguished into the jurisdiction of the internal forum of penance and of the external forum of the Church. The first is what proximately establishes priests as superiors and judges in a certain divine and secret forum which is carried out in the sacrament of penance. And although on this matter too there is great contention by the heretics of this time against the Catholic Church, we pass it over here because neither does King James touch on it nor does it have regard to exterior ecclesiastical governance. Therefore, having omitted these powers, our talk is about the power of external jurisdiction given for governing the Church insofar as the Church is a certain spiritual republic and mystical body of Christ, which we call spiritual so as to distinguish it from the temporal. Hence, according to our intention, to ask whether there is this jurisdiction and to ask whether it is distinct from the temporal is the same thing.
spacer 3. In this question, then, there was the heresy of Marsilius of Padua who almost 500 years ago said, among other heresies, that Christ had given no jurisdiction to his Church or to bishops or to the Roman Pontiff either over laymen or over clerics, either for prescribing or obligating or for compelling or punishing; but that he had only given to priests a power of ministering the sacraments and preaching the word of God, and had left them in everything else subject to the disposition and jurisdiction of temporal princes. Thus do several authors refer to this error but Albert Pighi does it more distinctly than the rest, Book V De Ecclesiast. Hierarch. And it seems that on this error Henry VIII, King of England, based himself for raising schism against the Roman Church. For, so that he might deny obedience to the Pontiff, he also as a result denied that he had a superior on earth in either temporal or spiritual matters; and so he asserted that in his kingdom he had all the supreme power which could respectively be in the Church. And he seems to have thought the same about any temporal Christian king whatever, because he could not find a greater reason or title for such a power in himself than in other supreme kings; and King James plainly and often affirms it or supposes it in his Preface to Christian Princes.
spacer 4. From this fact it is manifestly proved that they do not recognize in the Church any power of jurisdiction beside that which is in temporal kings or which flows from them, because they can claim no other title for usurping it. Hence, just as we said above that royal power had flowed from the people to the kings, so English histories report that King Henry arrogated this power to himself from the consent of the kingdom in Parliament, and the same in a similar session was declared for Edward his immediate successor, and afterward it was renewed for Elizabeth. Therefore here is a sign that they think about this power is not otherwise than about a political one. The same is also shown by King James, since he professes to have it by hereditary right and title of carnal succession. Nor was Calvin stranger to this error or Luther, for although Calvin did not approve of the primacy of Henry he is nevertheless compelled on another principle to deny a spiritual power of this sort. For he along with Luther and others make Christians equal in the priesthood and take wholly away the distinction of clergy from lay people, and thus posit no special power in the Church for governing it, beside that which is in the political magistrate or which exists by the nature of the thing in some community for preserving right order.
spacer 5. The bases for this error are diverse. For those last referred to could have a basis in that they believed that there is no true and proper sacrifice in the Church, and consequently no true and proper priesthood, but only a spiritual and metaphorical one which is common to all Christians, about which it is said 1 Peter 2:5: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” And later, 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.” But Marsilius, though he did not deny the priesthood and did distinguish cleric or priests from the people, yet he denied there was an hierarchical order in the clergy, and said that all priests were equal to bishops and bishops to the Pope; hence he inferred that they did not have subjection or preferment among themselves or with respect to the people, but he said that all were subject to the political magistrate. And he adduced that verse of Luke 22:25 - 26: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them…but ye shall not be so.” He thought that by these words all dominion or jurisdiction was prohibited to clerics. And he induced other testimonies of Scripture which take clerics away from secular cares, as is that one: “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life,” 2 Timothy 2:4, and: “If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church,” 1 Corinthians 6:4. But about the kings of England it is not clear to me on what other basis they rest for support unless, by twisting the Scriptures to other senses, they deny that a spiritual power has been founded on them and exaggerate what the Scriptures prescribe to all Christians, that they be subject to princes and temporal magistrates. Hence in this respect they make the Church of Christ equivalent to a synagogue or a faithful republic which could exist in the law of nature, wherein they think there was no other governing power beside that which was given to kings in the Old Law or that, under another state, could exist by the nature of the thing in such a community ordered to the cult and religion of the true God, and that was transferred from the people to the princes or (which is exactly the same) by consent of the people to the first born, as if it were one and the same connatural power.
spacer 6. Nevertheless the Catholic truth is that in the Church there has been given a spiritual power of true and proper jurisdiction by which the Christian people could be conveniently governed in order to the salvation of the soul. This assertion is de fide certain, as Catholics teach by common consent and as is proved first in very open testimonies of Scripture. Chief are these two: “Whatever you bind…” Matthew 16, and “Feed my sheep,” Matthew 21, which will be expressly dealt with below. Similar also is that verse of Matthew 18:17: “If he neglect to hear the Church let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican,” and it adds, v. 18: “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” For to bind and to loose are manifestly acts of jurisdiction, and there is there not merely talk of jurisdiction in the internal forum, or in the secrecy of penance, as is per se evident, nor of temporal jurisdiction. For excommunication, about which the talk is there, is an ecclesiastical censure, which even King James himself sometimes calls spiritual in his preface. There are also the express words of Paul, 2 Corinthians 13:10: “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” Now the power was a spiritual one, for there was no temporal or royal power in Paul. Again, there pertains to the same power what the same Apostle says, Acts 20:28: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you bishops, to feed [alt. rule] the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood,” where he openly says that power has been given by God to bishops for ruling the Church; but ruling and government are the same thing. Hence, unless great force comes into being through words, the Apostle is speaking of the power of jurisdiction; but, in order to signify that this ruling is spiritual, he adds about the Church “which he hath purchased with his own blood,” for Christ did not acquire with his blood a temporal kingdom but a spiritual.
spacer 7. Hence this truth can be confirmed by a very good reason along with testimonies of Scripture at the same time. For we have from the Scriptures that an eternal kingdom was promised by the Father to Christ the God man according to that verse of Psalm 131:11: “Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” And the Angel added, Luke 1:32 - 33: “The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” But this reign of Christ was promised not only in heaven but also to be handed over and begun on earth, as is clear from Daniel 7:13: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven.” And below, v. 14: “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” But that the son of man is Christ, who is often called son of man in the Gospel, everyone understands, and that his kingdom is to be begun on earth after the other empires and is to last for ever, is openly predicted both in that place and also in Daniel and the verse of Ezechiel is in accord, 37.22: “And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall no more be two nations.” These words are clearly understood of Christ and his Church, as is clear from the whole context up to the end of the chapter. But this reign of Christ is not corporal or temporal but spiritual and eternal, as we said in chapter 4, and as is collected from the words of the same Ezechiel, v. 23: “But I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, &c.” and from Jeremiah 23:5 - 6: “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness.” And this very thing is confirmed by the other testimonies of Scripture and the Fathers adduced in the cited chapter 4.
spacer 8. From this we further conclude that this reign of Christ is nothing but his Church in which he himself spiritually reigns. As Gregory said, Bk. I, on the last words in 1 Kings. And Augustine in Tractat. 115, on John: “What is his kingdom save those who believe in him? To whom he says, you are not of this world.” And later: “Hence he does not say, my kingdom is not in this world, but, it is not of this world; nor does he say, it is not here, but, it is not from here. For it is here unto the end of the age.” Therefore as it is a spiritual kingdom, so it should be ruled by a spiritual power. But this perpetual kingdom is not only in heaven but also on earth, as long as the world will last, as I referred to from Augustine, and as I also showed in the first book when treating of the Church; therefore too the spiritual power for ruling it has been so conceded by Christ to the Church that it should endure perpetually in it, because the kingdom could not be preserved without a governing power proportioned to it. Hence rightly did Epiphanius say, Haeres. 29: “The throne of David and the royal seat is the priesthood in the Holy Church, which royal dignity along with a pontificate together conjoined to it has been lavished by Christ on his Holy Church, because the throne of David that is not to fail through eternity has been transferred to him.” And later: “The royal dignity has been transferred from the carnal house of Judah and Israel, but the throne sits firmly in the Holy Church of God through eternity.”
spacer 9. Now to this reason King James tacitly responds in Preface pp. 5,7, in these words: “Nor, if earthly kingdoms ought to be ruled by earthly monarchs, does it thereby follow that the Church should be governed by an earthly monarch.” But as to why it does not follow he indicates two reasons. The first is: “Because neither is there any individual director or monarch of the whole globe or of all kingdoms.” The second is: “Because Christ is monarch of his Church, and he who fulfills the vicariate of Christ is the Holy Spirit whom he promised he would send;” and here he adds the verse: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them…but ye shall not be so.” But in these words the king touches on another question about monarchy, to be treated of below, which is diverse from the present one. For now we are only treating of the supreme spiritual power necessary for ruling the kingdom of Christ, which is the Church, and we say that this must be in the Church itself as it dwells on the earth, whether it be in one person or in several or in a congregation composed of them, which we will see afterward. But the words of the king tend toward the result that there is no power necessary in this kingdom of Christ which is to bear the vicariate of Christ, as is most clear from the latter reason which he adduces about the office of the Holy Spirit, and therefore here they cannot be passed over.
spacer 10. Therefore about the first equivalence of the spiritual kingdom of the Church with an earthly kingdom, if the comparison is done with proportion, it is no less necessary that there be in the Church some supreme earthly governor, that is, a visible and mortal man, than in an earthly kingdom. Because the universal Church of Christ is no less one Church, or one kingdom in its order, than is any temporal kingdom in its order. And although the Church as to its end and its chief means is a spiritual kingdom, nevertheless as to the persons who make it up it is also an earthly one, and the actions in which it must be ruled, or directed, or corrected, are also earthly, that is, external and visible; and by the mediation of these are to preserved its peace, unity, religion, and all the rest which are necessary for the convenient governing of this body; therefore no less in this kingdom is a supreme power necessary which, in a human and perceptible manner, is to direct and govern its members and their actions in order to eternal salvation. And therefore rightly did Boniface II, Epist. 1, and Gregory, Epistolar, IV.96, elsewhere epistle 52, indict. 3, say when speaking about the Church: “For this purpose the provision of divine providence has established that the diverse grades and orders are distinct, so that one interweaving of concord might come to be from the diversity, and so that the administration of the individual offices might be rightly carried out. For neither could a universal whole subsist by other reason if this sort of large order of difference was not preserving it.” But because in this diversity and order of grades it is not possible that there be process to infinity nor that there be division among them, therefore it is necessary that it be united or terminated in some supreme head. Hence Gregory subjoins: “Then will each office be fulfilled in a wholesome way when there is one in first place to whom recourse can be had.” But just as this is certainly true in each spiritual or ecclesiastical congregation, and in each bisophric or particular church, or province, so by much greater reason is it necessary in the universal Church. And hence Pope Anastasius said in his Apology against the emperor Anastasius: “If all power is from God, then that power is more so which is set above divine things;” which power we now call the spiritual power. Therefore the inference, which the king condemns, is very good, that if the earthly kingdom should be ruled by an earthly monarch, then it was necessary that the Church too have its monarch or supreme governor on earth.
spacer 11. Now the first reason of the king does not only fail to defeat this but rather gives proof of it, if another diversity between the Church and the whole globe as regard earthly kingdoms is considered. For in the entire globe of the earth there is not one republic only, or one temporal kingdom, but several and various which do not compose among themselves a single political body; and therefore there ought not to be for the whole universe one monarch, nor (speaking more generally) one commander, nor one supreme political or human tribunal. Nay there could not morally or humanly be one. But by contrast the Church of Christ is one perfect, mystical body and one (so to say) simple kingdom diffused throughout the whole globe, as was said in the first book dealing with the Catholic Church. And for that reason one supreme power was necessary which would be over the whole of it. Wherefore, if we suppose that the governance of the Church is a monarchy, as will be shown below, a comparison of it with the temporal kingdom is not to be made with the whole globe but with the individual kingdoms of the globe: just as each temporal kingdom is ruled by one earthly monarch, earthly, I say, as to person, power, matter, and proximate end, so the whole kingdom of the Church should be ruled by one monarch, earthly indeed as to person but heavenly as to power, matter, and proximate and principal end. For by this reason Christ’s Church Militant, although it could be said to be an earthly kingdom because it consists of mortal men living on earth, nevertheless it is in Scripture often called the kingdom of heaven, and Christ said of it: “My kingdom is not from here.” Augustine notes there that he did not say, “it is not here,” because in truth it is in this world, but, “it is not from here,” because, although it is in the world, it is not of the world but has come from heaven, and for that reason such a kingdom needs a governor earthly and heavenly at the same time.
spacer 12.
As to the second reason, we concede indeed that Christ the Lord is the first monarch of his Church. And for that reason, as long as he lived on earth and conversed with his apostles, he governed it per se himself as supreme King and Pontiff of it, and he chose apostles, consecrated priests and bishops and sent them to preach, and joined disciples to them, and provided other necessaries as opportune for that time and state of the Church. But because now he is absent from the Church Militant as to his visible presence, therefore he cannot as before discharge per se and proximately the office of pastor of the Church, and for that reason, to stand in for his visible presence, he made provision of a Vicar or commander to whom he committed the governance of his Church. This fact, indeed, the King of England does not deny, but (which is remarkable) says that this Vicar is the Holy Spirit, because Christ promised that he would leave not Peter, he says, for directing and teaching the apostles but the Holy Spirit. But this is said not properly or not truly or not relevant to the thing and cause we are treating of. I know, indeed, that Tertullian sometimes called the Holy Spirit the Vicar of Christ, De Praescript. Haereticorum, chs. 13, 28, but with an improper and metaphorical locution only, because Christ said John 14.:6: “And he will give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” And later, v. 25 - 26: “These things have I spoken unto you being yet present with you. But the comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to remembrance, whatever I have said unto you.” In these words Christ promised the Holy Spirit who confers on the faithful internal virtue, illumination, and remembrance by His grace.
spacer 13. But this operation cannot be attributed to the Holy Spirit as to the Vicar of another, if the propriety of the word is kept to. Because a Vicar properly is the minister of some other who is principal author and whose office he carries and whose power committed to him he uses; but the Spirit teaches within and inspires as principal and proximate cause of grace and internal virtue, in the way Paul said, 1 Corinthians 3:7: “So then neither is he who planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” The Holy Spirit, therefore, cannot with propriety of speech be called the Vicar of Christ. But Tertullian spoke thus in a broad and improper sense, because the Holy Spirit had been sent to console the apostles in the place of Christ, and to teach and explain many thing which, from the brevity and opportunity of time, Christ himself could not or ought not to have passed on. Hence he said: “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another comforter,” as if he were to say, you had a comforter in me, and although I am departing you will not lack for it, for the Father will given another who will console you in place of me. And in the same sense (as Euthymius indicates) he said of the Holy Spirit: “whom the Father will send in my name,” that is, that he may perfect what I have begun by bringing to remembrance and declaring to you what I have taught and by adding things that you could not bear now and by giving testimony about me. Therefore by this reason the Holy Spirit could be said in a certain way to bear the office of Christ, or to fulfill it, not by vicarious or ministerial virtue, which belongs to an inferior, but as principal cause perfecting what Christ could not finish off during the brief time of his life. Hence whoever succeeds another in office in this way, or perfects what the other began and could not perfect, can be said to supply his office vicariously, even if he is not properly his vicar and does not operate through an inferior and participated power dependent on another.
spacer 14. But if the King of England understood that the Holy Spirit fulfilled the office of Christ only in this way, he thinks unjustly that that operation of the Holy Spirit suffices for an external governance of the Church accommodated to men, because that virtue and operation of the Holy Spirit is invisible and purely spiritual and internal; but men need also an external and visible ruler. Next, if that invisible inflowing of the Holy Spirit were sufficient for the visible Church, not only the Holy Spirit but also Christ himself, absent and now invisible to us, could be said to be the Vicar for himself as present and visible, because he also promised about himself, Matthew 28:20: “and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” namely by invisible protection and help, as I explained above. Besides, if Christ, because he is principal monarch of the Church, did not confer on it a visible ruler who should govern it in his place, why does the King of England in his Preface p. 134, call himself and other kings Vicars of God? For in his opinion, whereby he believes himself head of the Church in his kingdom even in spiritual things, it is necessary that when he calls himself Vicar of God he understand it not only as regard the temporal kingdom but also as regard the British Church; therefore he is in conflict with himself when he says that Christ left no Vicar of himself beside the Holy Spirit.
spacer 15. Lastly it is false that Christ did not promise a Peter who was to direct and teach others; for he not only promised but even gave, for by promising him the keys he promised him both the key of governance and the key of wisdom. Again, when he said to him, Luke 22:32: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not,” he immediately added: “and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” And finally when he said to him, John 21:16: “Feed my sheep,” he manifestly comprehended both doctrine and governance or direction, as we will see below. And beyond these, in many other places Christ indicated that there would be in the Church a spiritual command, and some minister or ministers to bear his office as proper and visible vicars. So do the Fathers understand that verse of Luke 10:16: “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me,” Ambrose on that place, and Hilary , can. 27 on Matthew. Chrysostom collects the same, Bk. II De Sacerdotibus, from Luke 12. For when Christ, in the parable of the householder who wishes to be waited for and obeyed with much vigilance and care by his subjects, had explained how the Lord was to be served, Peter asked him, v.41: “Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even unto all?” And the Lord answered, v.42: “Who then is that faithful and wise steward?” indicating that the apostles had been specially called, so that they might be as chief servants to whom the care of others was entrusted, and that Peter chiefly, who was to be set up over the whole family of Christ, was obligated not only to common vigilance but also to special fidelity and prudence. This care and obligation Peter calls to mind when he says, 1 Peter 5:2: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly according to God.” And the words of Paul agree, 1 Corinthians 4:1 - 2: “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful &c.” and in 3.5 he had said: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed,” that is his Vicars, and ruling the Church in his place, and in Romans 13 he called a temporal prince or judge a minister of God.
spacer 16. For the fact that the apostolic ministry was also with power and jurisdiction for passing judgment the same Paul sufficiently declares at the end of the said chapter 4, saying, v. 21: “What will ye? Shall I come unto with a rod?” and 5:3: “For I verily, as absent in the body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved, etc.” And expressly Hebrews 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, etc.” And 1 Timothy 5:17: “Let the priests that rule well be counted worthy of double honor.” And Titus 1.7: “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God, &c.” and 2:15: “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” Finally the places of Paul have regard to this where he describes the unity of the body of the Church and the various members of it, as Romans 12, where he says, among other things, v. 8: “he that ruleth, with diligence.” And 2 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4:11 - 12, where he puts: “some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors; and teachers; …for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” This mode of government he says is to endure “to the end of the age,” that is, to the end of the world, as was explained above (Matt. 28:20).
spacer 17. From this it is manifestly clear that this spiritual power is altogether distinct from the temporal. First, indeed, and principally in end; for the temporal power is ordered to preserving the peace and moral decency of the republic, according to the verse of Paul, 1 Timothy 2:2: “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” But the ecclesiastical power is ordered to attaining eternal salvation, according to the verse of Paul, Ephesians 4:12: “For the perfecting of the saints, etc.” and that of Hebrews 13:7: “Obey them that have the rule over you…for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account.” Another difference is in origin, because the temporal power draws its origin from God the author of nature by the medium of natural reason; and considered per se in this way it is of natural right; but insofar as it is in a king, or a senate, it is of human right; but the ecclesiastical power is of divine positive right, and by special promise and concession of Christ: “I will give unto thee the keys.” “Feed my sheep.” “As the Father hath sent me, so I send you.” For just as the end toward which this power is ordered, and the acts and means which subserve it, are above nature and human strength, so also the power itself must have an origin above the right of nature or human right. And for that reason, finally, these powers differ as material and spiritual, natural and supernatural, earthly and heavenly. And thus is this distinction explained by Pope Gelasius on the bond of anathema, and Pope Nicholas I in his letter to the emperor Michael, saying toward the end: “The Mediator of God and men, Jesus Christ, did thus distinguish the offices of each power in proper acts and different dignities, wishing them to be borne upward on the proper medicine of humility, not plunged down again with human pride into hell, so that Christian emperors need Pontiffs for eternal life, and Pontiffs use imperial laws only for the course of temporal affairs, since spiritual action is distant from the incursions of the body.” Gregory VIII touches on the same differences, Epistolar., IV ep. 2, to Herimanus, and confirms them from Pope Anastasius in his letter to the emperor Anastasius, from Gregory in his Pastoral. Symmachus teaches the same in his Apology against the same emperor Anastasius, saying: “Let us compare the honor of the emperor with the honor of the Pontiff, between whom the distance is as great as that the former bears the care of human things and the latter of divine.” And later: “You administer human things, he dispenses to you divine things.” Symmachus says the same in the Roman Synod, and it is referred to at large in ch. Bene quidem, 96 distin., and we will refer to many other places in the two following chapters.
spacer 18. Nor are there obstacles to this Catholic doctrine in the bases of the other errors, that are based in other heresies, which we cannot refute expressly in this place. In the basis of the first error, therefore, it is heretical to say that there is in the Church no true and proper sacrifice, or no true and proper priesthood. And it is similarly heretical to say that all the faithful are equal in the priesthood, which things have all been disputed and proved by us elsewhere. Marsilius of Padua also erred in the faith when he supposed that all clerics or priests or bishops are equal by divine right. For as to the power of order from the institution of Christ, a bishop surpasses a priest, and a priest a deacon, etc., as was shown at large in the tractate about the sacrament of order. But in power of jurisdiction there is from the apostles a most certain difference, which can easily be collected from the testimonies adduced, and will be shown at large in what follows as regard Peter and his successors. Besides, as to what he said, that Christ prohibited Pontiffs to rule temporally, in the first place it is altogether false and erroneous, as we will show in chapter 8. Next, as to that which we are now dealing with, it is of no importance; because even if it be admitted, all that can be inferred from it is that Pontiffs and bishops do not as such, through the power that they have, rule temporally but spiritually, which we altogether contend for when we say that their power is not temporal but spiritual.
spacer 19. And this is what is at most proved by that testimony: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them…but ye shall not be so” (which also the King of England has not omitted), for even in that sense Christ did not prohibit his apostles to rule, but only to rule as the kings of the Gentiles do, that is, temporally; but it was necessary that at least those rule spiritually who have supreme power in that order. Unless we wish to say that even the Supreme Pontiff does not so properly rule in a spiritual way as rule vicariously, because he is not set over the Church as supreme king but as Vicar of the Supreme King. But the truth is that the Lord has not prohibited ruling, but governing by dominating over people, preferring oneself to them by exalting oneself, and by treating subjects inhumanly, as Gregory said in Pastoral. 2 pars., ch.v 6, when he expounds the words of Christ through those of Ecclesiasticus 32, “They established him leader,” otherwise “they placed you as ruler, do not exalt yourself, be among them as one of them;” and those of 1 Peter 5:3: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage [alt. clerics], but being ensamples to the flock;” and those of Paul 2 Corinthians 1:24: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy.” And Gregory has similar things in MoraliaXXXVI.19, elsewhere 22, Registri Bk. I, and Bernard, bk. II De Considerat., at the beginning. And so through these things a response is also made to the bases which on this point the king of England touched on; but to the others which he objects against the primacy of the Pontiff, and against the true sense of the Scriptures by which he proves it, we must speak of them in what follows.



1 - 2. What the disposition is of the spiritual and temporal power in their order to their subject. Error of the Anglican sect about the subject of spiritual power. spacer3 - 5. First conclusion: to temporal kings, as such kings, no spiritual power belongs.spacer 6 - 11. The assertion is proved from the Supreme Pontiffs.spacer 12. The same assertion is confirmed from the emperors.

ESIDES the differences between the spiritual and temporal power delivered in the preceding chapter, there occurs another which, because its origin is also the chief basis for the Anglican schism, we have reserved to be examined in this chapter, although the conclusion is manifest from the principles laid down in the preceding chapter. Now the distinction consists in this, that the temporal and spiritual power do not per se have regard to the same persons, whom they ought to fit, but rather are separable in subject, which plainly supposes a distinction between them and points to it. But it is possible to err about this distinction in two ways that are extreme contraries. First, by asserting that these powers are not only distinct but also so repugnant that for them to be conjoined in the same person is contrary to divine right. And thus Marsilius of Padua seems to have erred, although he either confounds the spiritual power with the temporal, or denies that they can come together, not in any subject at the same time but only in priests. However, this error understood in this sense has no basis, and it will briefly be refuted in the following chapter since, for the present purpose, it has little relevance. The other way of erring, then, is proper to the Anglican sect, whose principle and basis is that the spiritual power is not separated from the temporal but is annexed to the scepter of the king. This is what Henry VIII wanted, whom his successors Edward and Elizabeth followed, and Sander reports it at large in his first three books about the Anglican schism, where he also describes various laws passed by the said princes for increase of this power in the kingdom.
spacer 2. Finally King James persists in this error, as is clear enough from his deeds, and as he often professes in his Preface, especially p. 5 of the Preface, saying: “For I do not believe myself to be in any part inferior to the Pontiff.” And in the same sense he says on p. 2 about temporal kings, “whom God has placed on his throne in the highest grade of dignity as his vicars and legates for exercising judgment." And again, p. 10 ,to kings: “Whom God has commanded to be his chief vicars on earth for administering justice.” And in the same sense he says, p. 14, that the controversy which he has with his Catholic subjects has its motive from nowhere else “than from the ambitious tyranny of Pontiffs which they have unjustly usurped to themselves over the temporal rights of kings against the authority of the Scriptures, against the mind of the Councils and of the ancient Fathers.” And finally he concludes in the same place that he has devoted his whole Apology to asserting this authority of kings (namely in this sense). But the basis for this error seems only to be that he does not recognize a distinction between spiritual and temporal power, and because he denies the primacy of Peter and his successors, about which we will speak in the following chapters.
spacer 3. But the Catholic truth is that temporal kings, as they are such or by reason of their supreme jurisdiction in the political principality, have no spiritual power over the Church. This assertion can be proved by the authority of Scripture in two ways. First, because in the New Testament this power is promised and given by Christ to those persons who were not temporal kings. Second, because it is not found given to temporal kings; and from both heads, taken both singly and together, the conclusion is rightly drawn that it does not exist in temporal kings, because it cannot exist except in those to whom it was given by Christ and in their legitimate successors. The first part is sufficiently proved by the testimonies adduced in the preceding chapter, by which it is clear that Christ singularly promised and gave this power to Peter. Next it is also shown from elsewhere, that he gave it to the apostles, John 20, to whom and to their successors he promised it under the name of the Church, Matthew 18. Other testimonies also show that Paul often used this power, and that it is found in the bishops and overseers of the Church, and that it is exercised by them; but none of them was a king or administered temporal jurisdiction. From here also a very efficacious argument can be taken, for before there were temporal kings in the Church there were pastors in the Church with true spiritual jurisdiction for ruling the Church, as is manifestly collected from the use of the same power and from the testimonies mentioned; therefore this power does not of itself depend on the royal power, nor is it from the force of it conjoined with it; for at that time temporal kings did not have it, nor had they received it from those who were legitimately using it.
spacer 4. And hence is it also openly proved from the Scriptures (which we also touched on in the previous chapter) that this power is of a different origin than the temporal; for the temporal power, as it is found in a king or some similar person, comes either proximately or by succession or some other human title from the multitude of the people, who conferred their authority on the prince; but the former power did not have that origin. For in the primitive Church the apostles had it, not from the Christian people, but from Christ; and they communicated it by their authority to other bishops, and independently of the people, as is clear from Paul Titus 1:5: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain priests in every city, as I had appointed thee.” And 1 Timothy 4:14: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee.” And in chapter 5 he showed that it was with Episcopal jurisdiction, v.19: “Against a priest receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses, etc.” Since therefore it is clear from the preceding chapters that all royal power has emanated proximately from the people, the consequence certainly is that there is by force of royal power no spiritual jurisdiction or power in a king.
spacer 5. Finally, a second proof from the negative authority, as they say, of Scripture is in the present case efficacious on the same principle and basis. For, as St. Thomas rightly said, Ia, q.101, a.1: “in things which are above nature belief is on authority alone;” and “things which come from the sole will of God above all that is due to the creature cannot be known to us save insofar as they are divinely revealed;” but the spiritual power of the Church is a gift above nature, and it depends on divine will and institution, both as it is and as it is in such and such a person, or by such and such a mode or succession. But there is no divine revelation or authority to show that Christ gave this power to temporal kings; therefore, as St. Thomas said above, “where authority is lacking we ought to follow the condition of nature.” This condition of nature in the present case indeed is that a temporal king only has that power which men led by natural reason could confer on him, and thence that he has a naked and precise temporal power. But the fact that divine authority does not provide testimony for a greater power in kings is manifest. For in the first place the adversaries do not allow of a word of God outside the Scriptures, and even were they to allow of it, there is no sacred or apostolic tradition which points to such power in kings but rather to the contrary, as will be clear from the discourse of this chapter and of the whole present book. But we will prove it sufficiently from Scripture by demanding testimony where Christ conferred this power on kings, which without doubt cannot be shown, neither in the Old nor in the New Testament. For the testimonies which are wont to adduced, in which we are commanded to obey kings, are frivolous, since they contain nothing about a new power conceded to kings by Christ, but only advise us of a natural obligation whereby we are held to obey kings when they give command in things which pertain to their jurisdiction, as we will declare at large below when replying to objections. But here can be weighed the fact that Paul, wherever he describes the ecclesiastical hierarchy and distinguishes its bases, structure, ministries, and governments, does indeed number apostles, prophets, pastors, and doctors, but makes no mention of kings and emperors; not because they were not to be in the Church in the future, but because as regard what regards the hierarchical order of the Church they do not constitute a proper grade, but are reckoned along with the lay populace and not among those who are placed for the edifying of the body of Christ in spiritual things to the perfecting of the saints; but they are only deemed to be among those who are to be edified and perfected. Finally can be expounded what Christ the Lord, when questioned whether it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, accurately responded: “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s,” indicating certainly that to Caesar, that is the emperor or king, only that was to be rendered which was owed by force of the power of king or Caesar. Therefore Christ, as Salmeron gravely noted, just as he did not take away the royal power, so neither did he increase it, nor did he commit to it the particular right of feeding his sheep. Chrysostom also adds, hom. 71 on Matthew, “When you hear that to Caesar are to be rendered the things that are his, do not doubt that those things only are said which do not offend piety and religion. For what opposes faith and virtue is the tribute and tax, not of Caesar, but of the devil.” More clearly Ambrose says in epist. 14, elsewhere 33, to his sister Marcellina: “It is alleged that all things are licit to the emperor, that the universe is his. I reply, do not load yourself, emperor, so as to think that in things which are divine you have any imperial right; do not extol yourself, but if you wish to rule divinely, be subject to God, as it is written: What are God’s to God, what are Caesar’s to Caesar. To the emperor belong palaces, to the priest the Church; the right of the public walls, not of the sacred walls, has been committed to you.”
spacer 6. Third, this assertion is proved by the testimonies of the Pontiffs and of canon right, which though they seem to be given in their own cause do also have in them the greatest authority, both because of the key of wisdom which they have for teaching the Church, as we made known in book 1, and also because they show the certain and unchanged tradition of the Church. For not only the moderns but also the most ancient Pontiffs, saints, and martyrs have provided testimony for this truth. And first we could adduce all those things that they wrote about the primacy of the Roman Church; but these are to be mentioned later, and so now we only adduce those writings in which they compare both powers between themselves or in which they demand obedience also from emperors and kings, which they could not do if in temporal kings there was supreme spiritual power. Of this sort is that of Pope Anastasius II to the emperor Anastasius: “But for love of your empire and for the beatitude which the kingdom might acquire, we preach, for our apostolic office, that, as is fitting and as the Holy Spirit dictates, obedience be given to our admonishments.” And later: “Let not your piety spurn me when I rather often suggest these things, having before your eyes the Lord’s words in the Gospel: He who hears you hears me, and he who spurns you spurns me; but he who spurns me spurns him who sent me.” And Pope Gelasius, epist. 10, to the same Anastasius teaches very constantly that the same power befits himself and not the emperor, where he has these words among others: “August Emperor, there are two things by which this world here is principally ruled, the sacred authority of Pontiffs and the royal power, etc.” And Pope Symmachus says to the same emperor: “If you are a Christian prince, you ought to hear in patience the voice of any apostolic superior.” And later: “Let us compare the honor of the emperor with the honor of the Pontiff, etc.” And later: “If all power is from God, that power is more so which is set over divine things; defer to God in us and we will defer to God in you.” Here he openly denies that the spiritual power is in the emperor but in the Pontiff; and afterwards he adds: “All Catholic princes, either when they have taken up the government of the empire, or when they have acknowledged new superiors set up in the Apostolic See, have immediately written to it to make known that they are its partners.” Symmachus wrote this 1100 years ago and we see it preserved up to our times.
spacer 7. Besides, this is confirmed by the definition of the same Pope Symmachus in the 3rd Roman Council: “It is not licit for laymen, even religious, or for the powerful in any city, to decree anything in any way about ecclesiastical faculties, the care of disposing which has indisputably been committed by God to clerics alone.” Also many things to confirm this truth are brought together by Gratian, 96 distinct. And in particular it is largely confirmed by Pope Nicholas in his letter to the emperor Michael, but among many other things he says: “Now that we have come to the truth (that is the truth of the Gospel), neither has the emperor seized upon the rights of the pontificate, nor has the Pontiff usurped the imperial name, since the same mediator of God and man, the man Christ Jesus, to proper acts and distinct dignities has thus divided the offices of each power, so that both may Christian emperors have need of Pontiffs for eternal life and Pontiffs may use imperial laws for the course of merely temporal things.” The same is largely handed down by Gregory VII in his letter to Herimann, bishop of Metz, Bk. IV, ep.1, and in another to the same, Bk. VIII, ep. 21, where by words and deeds from other emperors he confirms the same truth. Again, Innocent III, ch. Solitae, says that the emperor in temporal matters and the Pontiff in spiritual matters has the preeminence. And Boniface VIII, in Extravag. unic., De Maiorit. et obedien., says that in the Church there is both a spiritual sword to be wielded by the hand of the priest, and a temporal sword to be used by the hand of laymen for the Church and at the behest and sufferance of the priest. Which is tacitly confirmed by Clement V, in Extravag., Meruit, de privileg., although he declares, by the Extravagant of Boniface, that the king or kingdom of France is not more subject to the Apostolic See than it was before. Finally, this is confirmed by what Gratian, distin. 63, ch. 1, reports from Pope Adrian: “So that lay princes or potentates not intervene in ecclesiastical elections, because in ecclesiastical things they have no power.” It is also contained in the fourth Council of Constantinople, elsewhere synod 8, ch.22, where also ch .12 not only denies to temporal princes power of creating bishops, but also says that he is to be deposed who has been installed by their tyranny. Again, in synod 7, ch.3, is declared void the election of a bishop made by a temporal prince, referred to by Gratian on the cited distin.63, ch. ‘Omnis.’ Thus too did Innocent III say in ch. Ecclesiae, De Constitut.: “Over churches or ecclesiastical persons no faculty to laymen has been afforded; on them rests necessity to obey, not authority to command.” Similar things are contained in ch. Tua 1, De Decimis. These are taken from the fourth Council under Symmachus III. And many other canon rights can be adduced wherein the exemption of ecclesiastical causes from the power of laymen is prescribed; for in them the supposition is made that in temporal magistrates there is no spiritual power; but we reserve all those things for the book on ecclesiastical immunity (Book IV).
spacer 8. To these testimonies can be adjoined the opinions of other Fathers, who although they were not Pontiffs, were yet bishops, archbishops, and patriarchs, or holy doctors of the Church, and in the first centuries of the Church. Among these stands out Chrysostom, homil. 4 and 5 De verbis Isaiae, who says among many other things: “Although the royal throne seems a thing to be admired, yet to it is allotted the administration of earthly affairs, nor beyond this power does it have any additional authority.” And hom. 88 on Matthew, he says to a deacon: “You have greater power than he (that is, than a secular prince),” namely in ecclesiastical administration. Many things the same in Book III De Sacerdotio. And Cyril of Jerusalem: “Surely,” he says, “the Church has the lamb and the lion feeding together, as we see up to the present day that worldly princes are ruled and instructed by ecclesiastics?” Where he alludes to Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf shall also dwell [alt. feed] with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together,” where under the word ‘feed’ he includes the two of ‘ruled’ and ‘instructed’. Cyril of Alexandria too in epist.31 to John, and the synod of Antioch, and it is referred to in the synod of Ephesus, vol.5, ch.9, at the end, where he admonishes the bishops to listen to those who wish to accuse others of heresy lest there be tumult in outside tribunals, and he adds: “But it is much better and more just for ecclesiastical questions to be moved and formed in churches, and not among others outside to whom indeed the treatment of these sorts of causes is not at all fit.”
spacer 9. Celebrated too is the opinion of Gregory Nazianzen, orat.17, to citizens struck with grave terror, where after he has given speech to his subjects, subjoins: “But what of you, princes and prefects? For to you now our speech turns.” And later: “Will you bear me speaking freely in equitable spirit? For you also the law of Christ subjects to my command and throne; for we too bear command, I will also add a more excellent and more perfect command, unless however it is equity for the spirit to submit its fasces to the flesh, and for things heavenly to cede to things earthly.” In which words I weigh especially the words “the law of Christ subjects.” From which things it is clear according to the opinion of Nazianzen that this institution and distinction of powers is divine and of the law of Christ. Many like things too can be taken from the same, orat.1, which is an apology for his absence, and from orat.27, near the end. Very well too is Damascene, orat. 1, De Imaginibus, near the end: “For neither,” he says, “is it mark of pious kings to overturn ecclesiastical statutes.” And later: “To make statutes and give decree about such things does not pertain to kings, etc.” And orat.2, a little from the beginning: “Of kings,” he says, “it is not the part to prescribe laws to the Church,” which he confirms with the testimonies of Paul, 2 Corinthians 12 and Hebrews 13 above treated of. In Theodoret too, Histor.,
IV.16, stands out the opinion of the priest Eulogius, who when he was warned by the prefect of the heretical emperor Valens: “Be in communion with the emperor,” says Theodoret, “he ironically but very elegantly replied: “Did he receive with the empire also the dignity of priest?” And when the prefect, perceiving the irony, was provoked to anger, he himself again responded that he had a Pastor whose will he followed. The same deed is narrated by Suidas at the entry ‘Leontius of Tripoli Bishop of Lydia.’ For when Constantius was presiding at a meeting of bishops and was giving many prescriptions, with others assenting, he himself kept quiet; and when he was asked by the emperor why he was silent replied: “I marvel how it happens that, deputed to other cares, you treat of different ones; you who preside over the military and the republic prescribe things to bishops which pertain only to bishops.”
spacer 10. Ambrose in addition in the letter above mentioned to his sister Marcellina expressly denies that the emperor has in things which are divine any imperial right. And the same he largely and constantly teaches in orat. or address 1, against Auxentius, where among other things he says: “You also yourself do know that I am wont to defer to emperors, not to yield, and to offer myself freely, but without fear, to the punishments that are being prepared.” And later: “I replied what was proper to a priest; what is proper to the emperor let the emperor do.” And later about the Arians, who were seeking a church from the emperor, he said: “You see how much worse the Arians are than Jews: they asked whether he thought tribute should be paid to Caesar, these wish the right of the Church to be given to the emperor.” And later: “A good emperor is within the Church, not above the Church; for a good emperor seeks help of the Church not to check it. These things, as we humbly say, so we constantly expound.” Also in the acts of the Council of Aquilea when the heretic Palladius, fleeing the condemnation of the bishops, appealed to the laymen present, Ambrose thus responded: “Priests should judge laymen, not laymen priests.” And later: “And if he is detected in many impieties, we yet blush that it be seen that he who claims the priesthood to himself is condemned by laymen. And for this, since also in this very thing he is to be condemned who waits upon sentence of laymen, since priests should more judge of laymen, I pronounce him unworthy of the priesthood.”
spacer 11. Very well is this truth confirmed by Athanasius when he first refers to and commends the words of Hosius to Constantius in his epistle to those leading a solitary life: “Desist, I beg, and remember you are mortal: fear the day of judgment, keep yourself pure for that day, do not involve yourself in matters ecclesiastical; nor give command to us in this sphere, but rather learn them from us. To you God committed the empire, to us he has entrusted the things of the Church; and just as he who carps at your empire with evil eye contradicts the divine ordinance, so do you also take heed lest what things are of the Church you draw to yourself and become guilty of a great crime. Give (it is written) what things are Caesar’s to Caesar, and what things are God’s to God. Neither therefore is it holy for us on earth to hold empire, nor do you hold the power of censers and things sacred, Emperor.” And later thus of his own opinion Athanasius writes: “If this is the court of bishops, what in common with it has the emperor? But if on the contrary these things are established by the threats of Caesar, what need is there of men with the title of bishops? When from the founding of the age was it heard of? When did the court of the Church receive its authority from the emperor?” But he calls them bishops by title whom Constantius had created by his own authority, who as to title, so he says later, were bishops, but not in truth, which in marvelous way fits Anglican bishops. Finally, Augustine, ep. 48, 162, rebukes the Donatists, because in an ecclesiastical cause they had dared to appeal from the court of bishops to the emperor Constantine. “Neither has a Christian emperor,” he says, “dared so to take up their tumultuous and deceptive quarrels that he has judged of the court of bishops who sat at Rome.” And later: “How much he detested them in this thing you have heard.” And since Constantine, at last overcome by the importunity of the heretics, gave sentence, Augustine tacitly excuses him, saying: “He himself yielded to them so as to judge after the bishops of the cause, being about to seek afterward pardon from the holy prelates, while they however had not what more they might say.” And what Optatus Milevitanus relates about the same cause agrees, bk.1, contra Parmen., near the end: “Donatus,” he says, “believed there should be appeal from the bishops,” to which appeal the emperor Constantine thus responded: “O mad boldness of fury, they have interposed an appeal the way it is wont to be done in the causes of Gentiles.”
spacer 12. To these we can add the confessions or testimonies of the very emperors themselves. For the emperor Justinian in Authent., Quomodo oporteat episcopo &c, says: “Greatest indeed of all are the gifts of God conferred by his supreme clemency, the priesthood and the empire: the former indeed ministering in things divine, but the latter presiding over things human or giving to them diligence, each proceeding from one and the same principle, they adorn human life.” The emperor Justinian therefore understood that the emperor did not have spiritual power in things divine. And the same was the opinion of Constantine the Great who refused judgment among the bishops at the Council of Nicea, recognizing that it did not in fact pertain to him, saying: “God has made you bishops, and to us you are judges given by God, and it is not agreeable that a man should judge Gods, but he alone of whom it is written: God stood in the synagogue of the Gods, and in the midst did he judge between the Gods.” The report is from Ruffinus, Histor. Additae ad Eusebium, I.2. Pope Adrian too in his letter to the emperor Michael, where also he refers to Theodosius in his letter to the synod of Ephesus writing: “It is not licit that he who is not of the order of the most holy bishops should be involved in ecclesiastical dealings.” Sozomen also reports, Histor. VI.7, that when certain bishops sent a legate to the emperor Valentinian, seeking power for convening in a Council for things of the faith, he himself replied: “To himself, who was one of the number of laymen, it was not licit to interpose himself in affairs of that kind;” which is also reported by Nicephorus, II.40. And of the same Valentinian Sozomen reports, Histor. VI.21: “he was much affected toward God, to such extent that he would not intervene either to command anything to priests, or to initiate anything in the institutes of the Church which seemed to him better or worse; for although he was best emperor, to be sure, and well suited to handling things, yet he considered these matters far to exceed his judgment.” And in the tripartite history, VII.8, it is reported of the same Valentinian that when at Milan, after the death of the heretic Auxentius, he desired a Catholic bishop to be ordained, he said to the bishops: “You clearly know, being experts in the divine words, what sort of man should be Pontiff.” And later: “Set up therefore such a one in the pontifical see to whom we too, who govern the empire, may sincerely submit our head, and whose admonishments, when we as men offend, we may necessarily receive as the medicines of one who cures.” And when the bishops were asking that he himself decide as being pious and wise, he responded: “Such a choice rests on you.” There is extant beside among the letters of Innocent I a certain letter of Honorius Augustus to Arcadius, wherein, writing of the cause of Chrysostom, he says: “Since, if anything be handled about cause of religion among prelates, the court ought to be Episcopal, for to them has regard the interpretation of divine things, to us the obedience of religion.” And later: “By these things, finally, is it taught what the divine majesty about them has judged, &c.” Lastly among the acts of the eighth General Synod a speech of the emperor Basil is reported by Surius, wherein very piously and faithfully he says to laymen: “What to say about you I have nothing further than that it is in no way licit for you to speak about ecclesiastical causes. For to investigate and question these things belongs to patriarchs, Pontiffs, and priests, who have been allotted the office of governance, who have the power of sanctifying, binding, and loosing, who have received the ecclesiastical and heavenly keys, not to us, who must be shepherded &c.” which words he continues largely and wisely and piously.



1 - 2. First reason. spacer3. Second reason. Evasion of the Protestants. It is rejected. spacer4. Another evasion is excluded, and it is shown that the supreme head of the Church ought to be one. spacer5 - 8. Objection. Solution. Instance. Response.spacer 9. A certain evasion is refuted. spacer10. Third reason. spacer11. Response of the heretics. spacer12. The same response is refuted most from the principles of the Protestants. spacer13. The same response is impugned by its disadvantages. First. spacer14. Second. spacer15. Evasion. It is rejected. spacer16. An evasion of this sort is repugnant to King James himself.

OW that the Catholic truth has been given sufficient basis in authority, it can by reason from the same principles easily be proved. Because the power of ruling can in no man be found without just title, from which principle we proved above that in the Pontiff there is no direct supreme temporal power; therefore from the same is the conviction plain that in a temporal king there is no power for spiritual governance. Hence, those who gladly hear the first must admit the second, unless they wish to speak as their will please without reason. Because much less is there found a just title for spiritual power in a temporal prince than of temporal power in a spiritual pastor. Now the assumed principle is in brief proved, because either the title is of natural right or of positive divine or human right; but all these are easily excluded by what has been said. For of natural right it cannot be, both because the power itself is not natural, as has already been proved, and also because no power of dominion or rule over others is in a particular person immediately of natural right but in the community; but this spiritual power is not in the human community as flowing from it naturally; nor insofar as it is in a particular person can it be proximately founded in the will of the same community, as conferring or transferring such power to another, because it is of by far a higher order; therefore it cannot be in a king of natural right. And by the same reason is conviction given that it is not of a human right which may in sole natural right be founded or take therefrom its origin, of which sort is the right of nations or civil right, because if natural right itself does not reach to such power, much less do the inferior rights which are founded on it.
spacer 2. But about divine right the thing is manifest from what has been said, that such right is to be proved by divine authority; but there is no authority, not divine merely but not a provable human one either, which shows that such right has been given to kings. Nay, although sometimes there can be persuasion given by reason that something is of divine right, it has to be collected sufficiently from revealed principles or at any rate it has to be shown, on the supposition of the institution of the Church, to be more in agreement with divine providence. But none of these in the present case has entrance, because there is no revealed principle from which such spiritual power may with likelihood be proved in kings, nay rather all revealed principles are repugnant to that dogma, as has been shown. And lastly all reason of convenient providence and ecclesiastical discipline shows that this heavenly power ought not to have been given to temporal kings, both because they are in temporal cares and secular business most involved, and also because they cannot be at leisure for sacred letters and divine science, which doctrine however is most necessary in ecclesiastical pastors. For which cause Paul said in his first letter to Timothy 4:13: “Give attendance to doctrine.” There also he indicates another reason, that since this power is conferred for a spiritual end and for the salvation of souls, there is required in him on whom it is conferred the state of spiritual and perfect life, so that he can no less in word and example than in power be of service to his subjects. But temporal kings, speaking morally and by force of status, do not have this kind of life nor profess it, and therefore for this office they are not apt. Finally for this cause in the Church of Christ priesthood is not per se conjoint with kingdom; for kings have not been adopted so as to be constituted for men in things which relate to God; therefore by the same reason neither are they fit for spiritual governance. And hence consequently is excluded all title founded on canon right; both because canon right is derived from divine positive right, and also because the reasons stated proceed about it no less; and finally because it has been shown that canon right is to such presumption of kings altogether repugnant. And this discourse will become more evident in the following chapter, wherein how light the bases are which the king adduces for this right will be shown.
spacer 3. Another reason we can form in this way: that if spiritual power were in temporal kings there would in the Church be as many supreme spiritual princes as there are supreme temporal princes, which is both absurd and to the principles of the faith much repugnant. The consequence is manifest. First, because if the power of ruling the Church in spiritual things is intrinsically conjoint with the royal power, it is not then reduced to a higher principle below God nor is it on any mortal power dependent. Second, because there is not greater reason why one king should be subject in spiritual things to a second than the reverse. But perhaps the Protestant Anglicans not only concede this but also chiefly intend it. Nor do they deem it any inconvenience, because they do not admit several heads in spiritual things of the whole Church Universal, but of the several particular churches which are in diverse kingdoms as parts of the Church Universal, and so in similar way they can have several particular heads. But how absurd this is and monstrous in the Church of Christ Militant in this world he will easily understand who has considered from the Scriptures that the Church of Christ is one mystical body most perfectly instituted. For such a body requires one supreme power, which has efficacy over all its members, whether that power be in one true person or in one congregation (which we will see later), because without such a power there could not be a due union and conformity among the members of such a body.
spacer 4. They will say perhaps that it is enough that all the particular churches are in Christ the one head united. But against this is that the Church Militant, as it exists in the world, is one spiritual kingdom and mystical body perfectly one in its kind; therefore it requires even in this world one supreme tribunal, under which it may be governed, otherwise it could not be said to have unity, to the extent it is active in this world. Which is made plain from a similarity; for several kingdoms, which are warring under diverse kings and emperors, are not one kingdom or empire, because they do not have one supreme governance on earth, although they are all united in one King, God, who is also Supreme Temporal King of all kings. Hence from that opinion it openly follows that the several churches, which are in the world, do not more constitute a universal Church which is properly one, than several temporal kingdoms are one temporal republic, or one empire or one kingdom. And there is further declaration from another example accommodated thereto; for if in diverse provinces there are active two armies of the king of Spain, under two leaders supreme and in no way subordinated one to the other, they cannot be said to be one army, even if they are united in the same king remotely and from him receive the influx of an alternative reason. So must it therefore be said of diverse kingdoms, to the extent they are distinct churches, if they were warring under supreme ecclesiastical heads.
spacer 5. Added to this, finally, is that the unity of the Church without unity of faith and sacraments cannot be preserved; but this unity of faith in diverse kingdoms and provinces could not be preserved without a great miracle, if the parts of the Church and their heads on earth were altogether diverse among themselves and without subordination to some supreme power which all on earth are held to obey. For this is sufficiently shown by experience, for it is hence that have arisen all the schisms and divisions of churches. And the reason is clear, because if two temporal kings are supreme in spiritual things, and one should choose in his kingdom such and such a mode of religion and the other another, and one takes one faith by his judgment from Scripture, the other a contrary one, how could they be reduced to unity? And hence finally it is concluded that it cannot morally happen that two supreme churches, that is, churches not recognizing in spiritual things a superior on earth, be united even in Christ, because they are not united in Christ except by the true faith, and consequently by one and the same faith, because the true faith is not but one; but such churches could not in one faith be preserved, as has been shown; therefore neither could they retain unity in Christ.
spacer 6. \You will say that the discourse proceeds in the same way about bishops or apostles, even if in them there is said to be supreme spiritual power. I reply that it is also true that they must be reduced to one supreme head, so that the unity of the Church can be preserved. But as for what this head is like we will see below; for by force of the stated discourse it only follows that there be one head, whether it be one bishop or one congregation of bishops. You will instance that the like can be said by Anglicans, that although the temporal king is also in his kingdom supreme in spiritual things, when comparison is made with any other individual person, nevertheless there could from all the Christian kings a council or meeting be convened, wherein there would be a spiritual power superior to the kings singly, by whose authority the unity of the Church could be preserved. To which response the King of England seems not foreign, for he seems to recognize the authority of a legitimate council, since indeed he reposes faith in the first four Councils, and complains that they are not now in use, and contends that the power for convening them belongs to kings and not to the Pontiff.
spacer 7. However this evasion not only fails to settle the thing but rather complicates it further. For in the first place if before the convoking of that council or meeting no king has superior power in spiritual things, who will have power to convene it? For if some oppose, no one will be able to compel them. But if also bishops are to be convoked, no king will be able to compel or to call bishops authentically not subject to him to convene; the thing will therefore be morally impossible and by the Author of the Church insufficiently supplied. Just as in political affairs, if for the disposition of things that are necessary for the good governance of the whole universe there were need to convene in assembly all kings and princes supreme in temporal things, certainly such a convocation would be impossible and foreign to every prudent providence. Next who would be president in such a meeting? For none would wish to yield to another, since he would be equally supreme, and especially if the business to be dealt with was matters of the faith; for if they differed in these things from each other, each would think he should believe rather his own mind than the opinions of others. Especially so if the rule of the King of England is true, whereby each proposes to all the kings his own knowledge for foundation of his faith.
spacer 8. Besides that, once this monstrous meeting or council is admitted, if it were above individual kings, no temporal king would now be supreme in spiritual things, in the way the King of England stubbornly contends. And therefore I deem that his mind is not to admit the power of any council as supreme but only to serve for some prudent consultation and more public examination of things. For that is why it is of councils themselves he constantly speaks, but he approves what he wishes and rejects what he does not wish, setting himself up as judge of them. Nay, in a certain place of his Preface, he discriminates by his own judgment among those to be convoked to a General Council, if one were now to be convened.
spacer 9. Finally, if kings supreme in temporal things have in their kingdoms also spiritual power supreme with respect to other kings, there is left no basis for asserting that a congregation of such kings has in the Church power over all of it and over all its princes. Because this does not follow from the sole nature of the thing nor can it be asserted. Just as in temporal affairs, although a congregation of kings might occur, it would not have supreme jurisdiction over them singly, unless each on his own accord were to renounce his right by first changing the governance and constituting from many monarchs one aristocracy; but that it be voluntary and by thought is rather a thing fictive than subsistent in reality. The same therefore will occur in the case of spiritual power if it be conjoint with the temporal from the nature of the thing. But if someone imagines that Christ, by his particular institution, wanted individual kings to be subject in spiritual matters to a congregation of themselves, he should point out some trace of this institution. And all the more especially so because everything we have said against the power of individual kings proceeds equally against any multitude or congregation of them. Fictitious therefore and plainly monstrous is this supreme spiritual power of temporal princes in whatever way it is imagined or thought up.
spacer 10. A third reason we can finally construct from the disadvantages; for in the first place from such a position it follows that Christian kings can, if they wish, exercise by themselves all the proper actions of priests and bishops, as are the offering of sacrifice to God or (if they do not admit this) ministering the sacraments, binding by excommunication and censures, or absolving therefrom or from sins, and other things which pertain to the public cult of God. But these are unheard of in the Church of Christ; nay, even in the Jews’ synagogue it is said to the king, 2 Chronicles, 26:18: “It pertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord;” and because he ceased not he was struck with leprosy. Which, that it has no less place in a Christian king, is rightly taught by Chyrsostom, hom.5, De verbis Isai. And besides if a temporal king, by the very fact that he is a king, can of himself legitimately carry out these actions, it will be licit also for a woman to perform the same, for she is capable of royal power and has along with it, according to the opinion of the Protestants, the same supreme spiritual power. But Paul, 1 Corinthians 14, does not permit women even to speak in the Church, much less to perform sacred actions, but orders them to be silent and subject.
spacer 11. But the adversaries could, by distinguishing among actions which require the power of order or merely of jurisdiction, reply that a king can perform of himself every act of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and that for this he has supreme power, and it is enough for having the primacy in spiritual things, even though other actions, which require the power of order, he is not able of himself to perform. But this in the first place is alien from the institution of Christ, for he wished the Church to be ruled by them whom he wished to be principal ministers of the word of God and of the sacraments, namely by bishops, in whom the power of order exists par excellence. Next it is sufficiently absurd that the supreme governor of the Church not be able to perform the chief acts ordered both to the divine cult and to the sanctification of the faithful. For in a civil republic the inferior magistrates can, in order to the purpose of their power, effect nothing which the king or emperor cannot discharge with higher power for the same purpose; therefore much more in the Christian republic, since the ecclesiastical power, whether of order or of jurisdiction, is ordered to a spiritual end and the sanctification of souls; those two powers ought so to be ordered among themselves and instituted that in the supreme prince of the Church they be joined together with all perfection and excellence, and therefore that nothing be done by inferiors which could not, to the extent it is by the force of the power, be perfected by the superior or the chief.
spacer 12. We can also convince the Protestants from their own principles. For among them the power of order is nothing but a deputing of ministers made by the king or temporal magistrate. For if perhaps in England (as they report) other ceremonies are used in constituting ministries, they are not reputed necessary, nor instituted by Christ, but have been on account of some exterior decoration thought out or preserved. Therefore without them the king could institute ministers for the same actions; therefore much more could he of himself perform all those actions. And again, queen Elizabeth by force of the same dignity could do the same, and by the same reason could she constitute women as ministers of her Church. For who would believe that a woman could be head of the Church and not a minister of it? But far from the Church of Christ be so absurd a government and hierarchy.  
spacer 13. Nay rather if supreme spiritual jurisdiction follows temporal and does not in any way demand the power of order, certainly it could be even in a heathen king over the whole Church under his sway, because he has as perfect a power of jurisdiction as a Christian king, and from Scripture it cannot more be proved that for use of such jurisdiction baptism is necessary than that the episcopate or the clerical order is. And there is further declaration of this; for in the Roman Church Constantine, for example, before he was converted to the faith, had supreme temporal power: either therefore he already had spiritual power as well and thus the inferred inconvenience is admitted, than which nothing is more absurd; or if Constantine did not have it certainly it was with Sylvester; therefore even after the baptism of Constantine Sylvester retained the same power and not Constantine. For who effected the transmutation or translation of the power from Sylvester to Constantine? Or by what word of God was it done that Constantine by baptism alone is from a sheep made a pastor, and passes from a spiritual son over into supreme parent and governor? Certainly these things are incredible and absurd. But if Constantine when baptized retained only the temporal power, certainly the same power alone did he transmit to his successors, and the same power has been divided among other kings and princes who now exist. Or if any other kings were afterward made Christians, not thence drawing their origin, the same can be proportionately applied to them. And in a similar way, if after the baptism of Constantine Sylvester continued in his pontificate with the same spiritual power, the same has come to his successors up to this day. And the same proportionately about England and any Christian king whatever.
spacer 14. Another absurdity also we can infer. For if with supreme temporal power is conjoined a similar spiritual power, why is there not in any inferior temporal magistrate or prince, even if he recognize a superior, a similar conjunction of each power, with due proportion and subordination to the superior? For there is the same reason, nor by force of natural right can any discrimination be established. And Scripture does not more give spiritual power to supreme princes than to inferior. But where Scripture speaks of the obedience due to temporal princes, it speaks generally both of kings and of other magistrates. For thus the verse of Paul is understood, Romans 13:1: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers,” as Peter more expounds, 1 Peter 2:13 - 14: “whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him.” But if this absurdity be conceded, the whole ecclesiastical hierarchy as concerns the rule of external governance must be overturned. For where a temporal king is believed to be supreme governor in spiritual things, by that very fact from there the supreme Pontiff is excluded; therefore if a royal prefect of one city also has there spiritual command, the bishop will consequently have to be excluded from spiritual governance, because there cannot be two heads of the same order; or a fortiori all other prefects or ecclesiastical governors will be excluded, and so, whether the king of England wills it or no, we will fall into the anarchy of the Puritans as far as ecclesiastical governance is concerned.
spacer 15. It could be replied that there is not the same reason about a supreme king and about inferior magistrates, because the king has of himself and as if by necessity both powers conjoined; but the inferiors have their power from the king; and therefore the king could by his own will divide those power and communicate the temporal to the civil prefect and the spiritual to the bishop. But in the first place all this does not transcend human will and institution, which the king could even by his own judgment change just as he established it; therefore he could overturn the whole ecclesiastical hierarchy as concerns the governance of the Church. Next the king is not speaking in agreement with his opinion if he concedes this; for he now admits that the spiritual and temporal powers are distinct, and separable in subject, and by his will separate; why then will they not be separable or even separate in the head of each order, or by what title can he show that he possesses both powers?
spacer 16. For another reason too this cannot stand with the words of the king; for he himself in his Preface, p. 54, reprehends Bellarmine for the fact that at De Pontifice IV.25, he denied that bishops have immediately from God received their power; he himself thinks therefore that bishops have their jurisdiction immediately from God. How then can he now say that he gives them jurisdiction and that it is placed in his will not to confer it on them but on his temporal magistrates? Unless perhaps he makes himself superior also by divine right. Next, the King of England confesses in the same place that he dissents from the Puritans about Episcopal jurisdiction; but the Puritans affirm that ecclesiastical jurisdiction is conferred by the temporal magistrate; therefore if the king says that he confers jurisdiction on bishops he does not differ from the Puritans on the point of Episcopal jurisdiction, whatever he may think about the difference in dignity of order. Therefore, so that the government of the Church may through bishops and not through temporal magistrates be firm and stable, this institution is divine and the jurisdiction even of bishops descends from Christ — either through the mediation of the Pope, as Bellarmine thinks with more probability, or immediately, as others even Catholics think with probability. For the matter does not concern the present cause. For in whatever way it be by Christ’s positive institution, it cannot be from a temporal king, nor can it depend per se on him, and consequently the royal power cannot be directly and per se over the Episcopal power, and hence neither can it be supreme within the ambit of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. This repugnance in his words and opinions the king, led on perhaps by a spirit of contradicting Bellarmine, has not considered, thought it is yet clear enough, as we will again declare in the following chapter.



1. Triple question about the power of ruling the Church. spacer2 - 3. First objection. spacer4. In the law of nature there was no power of a supernatural order. Nor any spiritual jurisdiction. spacer5. Objection. spacer6. Second objection. spacer7. Third objection from the NewTestament. spacer8. Solution to the two first testimonies. spacer9. From the third testimony, in 1 Timothy 2, nothing against the truth established can be collected. spacer10. The testimony of Matthew 22 concludes to the opposite. The testimonies also of John 18 and Luke 12 and 22 confirm the doctrine handed down.  spacer11. Fourth objection. spacer12. Solution. Augustine is wrongly cited for the contrary error. spacer13. Response to the words of Isidore. spacer14. Fifth objection from the Fathers. spacer15. Solution. The true sense of the Fathers is shown. spacer16. Genuine exposition of the Council of Arles.

ANY are the things by which the King of England tries to persuade that by a just title he assumes to himself spiritual power and the name of supreme head and spiritual governor in his kingdom, and all that he adduces are objections against the truth we have proved; which, although they be not difficult, so as to give satisfaction to them all, we cannot pass over. But because several of them are taken from the deeds of kings and emperors and do not pertain to the present point, in order that the individual objections may, located in their places, be clearly perceived, three questions must here to distinguished. One, which we are now treating of, is whether the spiritual power is joined in the prince necessarily with temporal power. The second, on the supposition that these powers are in diverse persons, is whether one is superior to the other and which it is; on this point we will speak from chapter 21. The third is the general question about the exemption of clerics from the temporal power, even in civil and criminal causes and in tributes, which without doubt is far different from the other two, and must be treated from other principles in the next book. Therefore if there are examples of deeds of Catholic princes which can in any way against ecclesiastical jurisdiction be objected, they chiefly pertain to the third question about the immunity of clerics, as we will see there, and a few we will also touch on in the second question. On the present point however, there will scarcely, I believe, be found, before Henry VIII, an example of a Christian prince, even in name alone, albeit a heretic, who attempted by force of his proper and innate power to usurp an act of spiritual jurisdiction, much less to assume to himself supreme jurisdiction and the primacy of spiritual power. And therefore, having omitted these examples, we will briefly consider the other titles whereby the king tries to establish his right or in appearance to defend it.
spacer 2. The first is that by right of nature these two powers are conjoined, the royal and the sacerdotal; therefore this right of nature remains intact in the law of grace, because grace does not destroy nature, nor was the law of Christ given to take away the law of nature, but to perfect it. The proof of the assumption is that before the law of Christ and Moses only natural right was observed, for that is why it is called the time of natural law. But at that time the same people were kings and priests, as is clear of Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and generally from the accepted rule that then the first born and heirs of the kingdom were at the same time priests, as is taken from Jerome, epistle 26 to Evagrius, and Rupert, On Genesis I.12. Hence Paul, Hebrews 12, calls Esau profane for the fact he sold his birthright, which was sacred by reason of the priesthood.
spacer 3. This title I do not find expressly proposed by the king, but for completeness of doctrine and because the king, by alleging in his favor certain testimonies of the New Testament, seems to suppose it, I think it should not be omitted, although in truth it is frivolous. For in the first place, having admitted the ancient custom, which seems to have been in vigor not only among the faithful but also among the Gentiles, we deny that it was by natural right, that is, a precept of natural law, although by the mediation of human reason and will it took its origin from general principles of natural right. Because although sacrifice is in some way by natural right, and consequently priesthood too, yet that it be instituted in such and such a way, and be attributed to these or those persons, is not prescribed by the right of nature but needs to be defined by some positive right. And in this way, before the Law of Moses, by the right of nations or by the morals of peoples was the conjoining of the chief sacerdotal dignity with that of the king introduced. Which custom, as it was changed in the Old Law, could also be changed in the New Law. Nay, that it was so changed, and that this pertains to the perfection of the law of grace, is taught by Pope Nicholas to the emperor Nicholas, saying: “These things were before the coming of Christ, that certain were in figure kings and priests at the same time, which that holy Melchizedek was sacred history makes plain.” And later: “But when truth was reached, that the same man be king and pontiff no emperor or Pontiff has any longer laid hold of.”
spacer 4. Next, if the discussion is about the priest as to power of order the difference is manifest; for in the law of nature there was no proper and supernatural power of order, but there was only the ministry of sacrificing and of interceding for the people, to which anyone could be deputed, either of his own accord or by consent of the people, because God had at that time prescribed nothing in particular about priesthood or sacrifice; and thus Pope Anacletus, epistle 2, denies that Melchizedek and Abraham or other  men of that time had obtained sacrifice “by sacerdotal authority,” namely by special institution of God. But in the Old Law, as God determined the sacrifices, so also did he the priesthood or the pontificate, without intervention of the people or their consent. Which also Christ instituted in a higher and more excellent way in the New Law. But if the discussion is about priesthood as to power of jurisdiction, the objection is supposing in the first place either something false or very uncertain, namely that the priest or pontiff in the law of nature had spiritual jurisdiction, which is either false or uncertain. Because such power had neither been specially given by God in that state, as is evident of itself, nor could it belong to men by natural right, because human governing power did not transcend the human order, and was principally instituted for ordering men to each other, such that, although it could have care over the divine cult, always in its manner and determination it respects the common good of the human republic, as St. Thomas says in a similar case, Ia IIae, q.99, a.3. Wherefore a comparison between the law of nature and of grace is not rightly made, because in the law of nature the governing power was sufficiently comprehended under the temporal, for it could make the like disposition about things pertaining to the cult of God, insofar as it was expedient to the common good of the human republic; but it is otherwise in the law of grace, which is the divine law, which principally orders men to God and refers the good of the very republic to the friendship of men with God. And therefore the priestly power in this law is spiritual and of a higher order, and it could not be by men themselves, nor by their community, but had to flow from Christ himself, as it did in fact flow, as was shown above.
spacer 5. You will say that this is true of men considered only as they are men; for thus it is manifest that in them there cannot be power except natural; but it is otherwise of Christian men as they are Christians and as they compose a city, not merely political, but also Christian. For just as such a community is founded on faith and supernatural religion, so it has therefrom a power of a higher order, connatural to grace itself, for disposing those things that have regard to the divine cult in a way agreeable to true faith and the friendship of God; therefore such must ecclesiastical power be judged to be and, as a result, it could by the whole community be conferred on its temporal king. I reply that the antecedent could have had place if Christ the Lord had not instituted his Church and its governance in a special and far more excellent way than could from the sole nature of the thing be in a community of men, even as they are Christians. But now Christ has with his special institution gone before, so to say, and elevated the spiritual governance of the Church. First, by instituting it in the manner of one mystical body diffused through the whole globe, in which unity of faith and concord in a substantial rite of religion ordered to the cult of God and to the sanctification of men could be preserved;  but this without supreme spiritual power could not be done, as I showed above. But universal power over the whole world could not proceed from men themselves, dispersed everywhere too; it therefore had to be from Christ. Again, Christ instituted a certain Church to be in faith the pillar of truth and in morals always holy; and therefore such spiritual power did he give it that through this power it could to both ends be rightly and without substantial defect directed; therefore such power ought necessarily to be more than human. Finally, from the sole nature of the thing, even if the men of the Church be looked on as they are Christians, it would not be necessary for them to be ruled by bishops or other similar pastors on whom a special care of souls is incumbent; but now the Church ought necessarily to be ruled by bishops and priests whose institution and distinction descends without doubt from divine right; therefore the governing power of the Church of Christ in spiritual matters is not from the Christian people even illumined by faith, but is from Christ himself, either immediately or through participation by him to whom Christ himself immediately communicated it.
spacer 6. A second objection is taken from some places of the Old Testament, in which is signified that the pontiffs of the Old Law were inferior and subject to the kings. But this objection I now omit, because, as to what regards the present place, it is manifest from the Old Law that the pontifical dignity and royal power were in diverse persons, which is now alone what we are treating of. But about the comparison of these powers we must speak below, and there we will the better see whether it was necessary to have, or to have had, the same condition or relation of inferior and superior in both laws, the Old namely and the New.
spacer 7. There is therefore a third objection taken from testimonies of the New Testament, in which it is prescribed to all Christians that they obey temporal kings, which testimonies were mentioned above and are collected by the king in his Apology p. 129, namely Romans 13, 1 Peter 2, where he also adds that of 1 Timothy 2, where Paul prescribes prayers to be said for all, but chiefly for kings and for all who are in authority, and that of Matthew 22: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, etc.” and that of John 18: “My kingdom is not of this world,” and that of Luke 12: “Who made me a judge over you?” and that of Luke 22: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them &c.”
spacer 8. But none of these testimonies make for the cause, and some of them can give proof against the king’s intention. For, in the first place, in none of them is the talk in particular of spiritual power, nor is it insinuated in them that it has been conceded to temporal kings, or that obedience must be given to them when in the matter of such power they give commands. When, therefore, Paul says, Romans 13:1: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers,” he is speaking generally of all superiors, as is clear from the tenor of his words. Hence the words can rightly be understood with a suitable division, namely that each one in that in which he is superior is to be obeyed by those who are subject to him. For thus also he says later, v. 7: “Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due, honor to whom honor, etc.” The general distribution, therefore, is to be accommodated to the individuals according to the measure of the power; but what this is in individual Powers is not there explained. But let us grant that there Paul is speaking in particular of temporal power, about which he says a little later, v. 4: “For he beareth not the sword in vain.” What else can be collected from that place thus understood except that temporal princes are to be obeyed in that which they justly and rightly prescribe? But who denies this? Or can it be thence collected that even in spiritual and ecclesiastical things they are to be obeyed? Certainly Paul was speaking not only about Christian princes but also at that time especially about heathen kings, to whom as to temporal lords Christians were also held to be obedient; nor for that reason let any prudent man say that they were then the heads of the churches in their kingdoms. All things therefore which there Paul and Peter say in their letters are to be referred to the same sense; for either the words are to be understood respectively, that to each is to be rendered his right or his due obedience according to the grade of his power; or, if the words are understood definitively of temporal lords, they are also internal to their forum, and the matter is to be understood as the reason itself of justice demands; for the apostles are not there founding a new right but are prescribing observance of natural right itself. For they warn slaves in the same way to be subject to masters, and women to be subject to husbands &c.
spacer 9. But as to the third testimony we confess that Paul implores that prayers be made for all men, and then in particular he adds, 1 Timothy 2:2: “for kings and for all that are in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life.” But how does this pertain to the spiritual primacy of a temporal king? Does he, because he puts kings in the first, therefore say that they are the heads of churches in spiritual things? Vain certainly is the interpretation, and Chrysostom gives a far other reason there in homily 6, namely: “for that reason did he add ‘for kings’, because then kings were not worshipping God, and for many years afterwards they persisted in the infidelity which they had received by sequence of succession.” And later: “But since he sees as a consequence that Christians would grow tepid in this regard and would not admit warnings of that kind if for a Gentile and at the time of the sacraments they had to offer prayers, see what following on he added, so that from consideration of the gain they might more easily and more gladly receive the admonition. ‘That we may live a quiet and peaceable life,’ he says.” Therefore, in the mind of Chrysostom, he did not for this reason designate kings because they were the spiritual heads of churches (which most especially they could not then be, since they were Gentiles), but rather lest the faithful should for this reason think that they should not be publicly prayed for. Nor did Paul say, “chiefly for kings,” for that word ‘chiefly’ the king adds of himself, but he spoke simply, as if he were to say that under ‘all’ heathen kings too were comprehended; for although they were Gentiles, they were to be prayed for so that they might be converted to the faith. And this Paul the more signified in the reason which he subjoined, vv. 3 - 4: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” And lastly, even if Paul had added that word ‘chiefly’ it would make no difference, for because the conversion of kings both was more difficult and is more necessary to the common good of the Church, therefore could it also be specially and chiefly recommended.
spacer 10. But as to the words of Christ, Matthew 22:21: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”, it has already been shown above from the mind of Chrysostom, Ambrose, and Athanasius, that the opposite is rather proved, namely that “unto Caesar”, that is to the temporal king, are to be rendered “the things which are Caesar’s”, that is, the things that belong to the temporal power, which precise response has the force of exclusion, as Theophylact indicated when he said: “But Jesus by this fact, that the coin was stamped with the image of Caesar, is persuading them that due to Caesar are the things that are his, that is, which have his image, for the king is to be obeyed in corporal and external things but God in internal and spiritual ones,” namely when God prescribes either immediately or through his pastors, according to the word of Paul, Hebrews 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.” Also, about the other words of Christ, John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world,” we say that it too proves the contrary, as is from the words without difficulty collected. For three things from the doctrine of Augustine and other Fathers we have noted from those words, namely that Christ has a kingdom, even in this world, although not of this world; hence deservedly do we collect that the kings of this world, by the fact that they are such, do not have power in the kingdom of Christ, insofar as it is of a higher origin; and by equal consequence we collect that this kingdom of Christ is not lacking in its governors who, although they be not kings of this world, that is temporal kings, are spiritual pastors and a royal priesthood. And there is the same reason about the words of Christ, Luke 12:14: “Who made me a judge or divider over you?” For they prove that temporal causes do not per se pertain to the kingdom of Christ, or to his Vicar, hence rather is it to be inferred from the contrary, or from exchange of proportion, that spiritual causes do not pertain to the temporal king. Finally we say the same of the last words, Luke 22:25: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them.” For Christ did not add, ‘But you are not to govern,’ or ‘you are not to command or to correct subjects,’ but rather he supposes that they were in the future to be rulers or pastors, and therefore he added, v.26: “But ye shall not be so,” as if presupposing a governance, and distinguishing it from the temporal kingdom, and demanding a different manner in it, which Peter made plain in many words in his first letter, ch.5, as was noted earlier.
spacer 11. A fourth objection can be taken from the name of Vicar of God, which the king of England attributes to any temporal king whatever. And lest the mode of speaking seem new, Edward King of England used it before James, as I find reported in his laws ch.1 9, and yet he is placed among the number of the saints. And we can confirm the same from the authority of Augustine, Quaestionum Veteris et Novi Testamenti, p.2, q.91, where he says of a king: “He is adored on earth as a vicar of God.” Eleutherius too in a certain letter to Lucius king of Britain is said thus to have written: “You recently by divine mercy received in the kingdom of Britain the law and faith of Christ, you have in your kingdom both pages, from them by the grace of God, by the council of your kingdom, take the law, for you are in your kingdom the Vicar of God.” Therefore beside this vicar there is no need for another who is to be immediately under God, and therefore in the king is the whole power vicarial of the divine power, whether it is spiritual or temporal. We can also expand this objection from Isidore, Sententiae. or De Summo Bono, III.49, saying: “God gave to princes the prelacy for the governance of peoples;” but prelacy is a name for spiritual power, for he is not called prelate except who is superior in spiritual things.
spacer 12. respond briefly that the consequence is of no moment, whatever may be thought of the mode of speaking assumed in the antecedent, about which there is no need for contention, although the things alleged for it are apocryphal. For the book Quaestionum Veteris et Novi Testamenti, by the judgment of all doctors, is not Augustine’s, because it is not his style and the doctrine in many places is not Augustinian. Although that opinion, well explained, may be true, namely that the king is adored, that is cultivated and venerated because of his dignity, in which he in some way represents God, whose vicariate he bears. The letter too which is cited from Eleutherius is spurious, because there is found neither among the pontifical letters, nor in the volumes of the Councils, nor among Catholic authors any mention of it, but it was made up by some heretic, as Sander noted, De Clave David, V.6. And the words themselves, which are referred to from it, sufficiently show the fact, for it is a paraphrase proper to the Novati and altogether alien to the Roman Pontiffs.
spacer 13. But we do not deny that a king can in a good and sound sense be called Vicar of God; for Paul, Romans 13, calls kings ministers of God, which is almost the same. Hence Ambrose there says that the prince “bears the vicariate of God,” and for that reason subjection to him is to be preserved. But to bear the vicariate is the same as to be vicar. But it is not rightly inferred from this that kings are vicars of God in spiritual things; for God is principal King both in the temporal kingdom and in the spiritual kingdom of the Church, and in each he has placed his vicars, kings in the temporal, bishops and especially the Supreme Pontiff in the spiritual. Hence from the fact that the king is vicar in one kingdom it is not well inferred that he is so in both. For Gentile kings too, of whom Paul was also speaking, are ministers of God and hence vicars, not however in spiritual things but in temporal ones only. The same therefore is to be said of Christian kings, although they could also be with particular title vicars of God, for defending the Church and protecting prelates, so that they can in peace and with fruit minister spiritual things. And it is in this sense that Saint Edward spoke. But Isidore in a certain large sense called the prefecture, or any power of ruling, a prelacy, as also in the preceding ch.49 he placed under the title of ‘Prelates’ kings and all powers of the age whatever, not only the faithful but also infidels. Hence it is clear that he is not speaking of prelates in that rigorous sense in which the term now in common usage is taken for an ecclesiastical leader, but as it is derived generally from the verb ‘prefer’ and can signify any superior or primary governor.
spacer 14. Fifth can be objected certain testimonies of the Fathers who are wont to attribute primacy to the king or emperor. But of these some pertain to the comparison of each jurisdiction, which, as I said, will be dealt with below. But others are proper to this place, because in them the Fathers seem to attribute proper acts of spiritual power to kings. For such acts are teaching the truth, dispelling errors, and the like, and yet Epiphanius says, Haeres. 40, that kings were given so that they might dispose and administer all things well from God. “And to the good ordering of the earth,” he says, “where slaughters and battles and ignorance as well as good doctrine…,” signifying that all these fall under the care of the king. And thus also Alcuin in the preface to his books De Trinitate to Charlemagne says that wisdom was given to him “so that he might rule and teach his subjects with pious solicitude.” And below he says that it pertains to him “to decree justice, to prescribe counsel, to admonish sanctity, so that each may return home happy with the precept of perpetual salvation.” And later he adds: “That a prince of a Christian people must know and preach all things that are pleasing to God is very evident. For neither does it more fit anyone either to know things better or more than the Emperor, by which doctrine he must be of advantage to all subjects &c.” Nay rather, the Council of Arles under the same Charlemagne, last chapter after all the decrees, subjoins: “These we have decreed must be presented to the emperor, asking his clemency that if anything here is lacking it may be supplied by his prudence; if anything contrary to what reason maintains, it may be emended by his judgment; if anything reasonably reproachable, it may be perfected by his aid, divine clemency assisting.”  Here too could be added objections from acts of convening General Councils, or of presiding in them, or again creating or deposing Pontiffs; for these acts and the like are proper to ecclesiastical jurisdiction; and yet that emperors rather often exercised them is contended by the King of England in his Preface.
spacer 15. To the first part I reply that the Fathers never attribute to kings proper acts of spiritual jurisdiction, but sometimes by way of exhortation or praise or honor they excite them to perform certain acts which can without jurisdiction be performed, or to see to it that other acts in the Church are done fruitfully by the pastors by whom the acts can legitimately be performed. One of these acts could be to have care that ignorance be removed from the Church, that good and sound doctrine be preserved and increased, of which Epiphanius speaks. And it has place even in a political republic within its limits, as is evident of itself, and thus does it pertain to the king by force of his proper power. But with respect to the Church, and as regard the doctrine of the faith, it can pertain to the king, not indeed by publicly preaching it of himself, nor by giving authority to preach, but by providing help to Catholic prelates and preachers, and by founding studies of sacred letters, and by coercing through his power the spreaders of evil doctrine. And this was the sense declared by the Fathers of the Council of Tours under Charlemagne at the beginning; for after they commended the piety and wisdom of the emperor, they subjoin: “Intent therefore on these things he gave to the pious and religious priests of God, who hold the government of the Church in the kingdom conferred on him by divine bounty, admonishments with very wholesome exhortations that they devote effort and in deeds excel, whereby they may rule themselves by acting well and by instructing in words and examples those subject to them.” And Alcuin above quoted indicates the same, saying: “There is much occasion for all the faithful to glory in your piety, while the solicitude of your clemency has a priestly vigor, as is fitting, in preaching the word of God.”
spacer 16. But the rest of what we referred to are words of praise and honor, for even a Christian emperor can be learned and well instructed in sacred doctrine, and he can in private, in accord with the occurrent occasion, teach the truth. Also in a similar way do the words of the Fathers of the Council of Arles have this tendency, that they seek protection and help from the emperor for the execution of their decrees, as is clear from the final clause of their words; but the rest are words of modesty and urbanity from which no judgment, either of subjection in spiritual things on the part of the Council or of spiritual power in the emperor, can be taken. Also, to the other part of the objection, we say in one word that those acts do not properly belong to the imperial power, but it can or sometimes could exercise in them some cooperation or preparatory disposition or condition which does not require spiritual power, as we will declare more at large in what follows.



1 - 2. The Roman Pontiff has this power. spacer3. Conclusion de fide. Proof from the promise of Christ. spacer4 - 7. The aforesaid promise was made to Peter in his own person. spacer8. The same truth is confirmed from the Supreme Pontiffs.spacer 9 - 12. It is shown again from the Fathers. spacer13. Peter, Matthew 16, was designated the foundation of the Church. Proof from the Fathers. spacer14. Proof again from reason. spacer15. Christ conferred on Peter through the keys supreme spiritual power. spacer16. Confirmation from John 21. Rejection of a certain interpretation of heretics. spacer17. What the word ‘feed’ signifies in Scripture. spacer18. The power of Peter extends to the whole Church. spacer19 - 20. The exposition given of the words of Christ is confirmed from the Fathers. spacer21. The same truth is shown from the titles of Peter. spacer22. Reason for the institution of the Primacy of Peter. spacer23. Ecclesiastical governance ought to be monarchical.

EFORE we compare the spiritual power with the temporal, on which the present controversy chiefly depends, it is necessary to inquire whether this power is in the Roman Pontiff, with whom the whole quarrel and contention of the King of England deals. But because the Roman Pontiff does not have this power except by legitimate succession, and succession hangs on an origin and institution which could only have been done by Christ; therefore we must first look into this institution, on which point two questions can be distinguished, one abstract, so to say, or general, whether Christ has in his universal Church left a monarchical governance in some person who bears his vicariate; the second question is concrete or particular, whether to such person, namely Peter, Christ has committed his vicariate and power over all the faithful. We will however treat these at the same time because, as far as concerns faith and authority, we cannot better show the institution than from the singular deed of Christ; and the reason for the institution from its general cause we will afterwards investigate.
spacer 2. Nor is it necessary to delay over reviewing the errors which there have been on this matter and which now by Lutherans and Calvinists and the rest of the Protestants are pertinaciously defended, because they are both very well known and we are now treating only of the Anglican sect, whose head and defender of the same, the King of England, often contends in his Preface that Christ did not give to Peter a greater power than to the other apostles; and on pp. 22 and 24 and especially 58 he tries to twist into other senses the words of Scripture. But his bases we will hereafter expound. Now first the Catholic truth must be made firm. And since very many Catholics and most learned men have most diligently labored to confirm this truth, it will not be worth the labor to transcribe everything they have said and to collect it in this place; but some few things, which will seem to our judgment more select and efficacious, we will borrow from them and, using what brevity and perspicuity we can, propound them.
spacer 3. We say therefore that Christ the Lord by instituting his Church Militant, before he left it as to his visible bodily presence, commended it to Peter as to his Vicar and Supreme Pastor, and thereby conferred on him supreme spiritual power for governing it. The conclusion is certain de fide, which we will prove chiefly by that twin testimony with which not only Bellarmine, whom in this the King of England has dared to reprehend, but all the Pontiffs and Fathers confirmed the same truth. The first is that verse of Matthew 16 where, after in response to Christ asking, v. 13: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Peter had said, v. 16: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Christ said to him, vv. 17 - 19: “Blessed art thou, Simon bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” This was the promise of Christ, who cannot deceive in promises, and therefore it cannot be doubted but that he fulfilled it, because he then promised it. But let us see to whom he promised and what he promised; for if these two be fully and faithfully understood, this testimony alone is sufficient for confirming the assertion.
spacer 4. First, thenk it is evident from the tenor of the words that the promise was made to Peter in his own person, for it is marked by so many circumstances that there can about it be no doubt. For first the Evangelist relates that Simon Peter made a confession of the divinity of Christ. Nor do I think it lacking in mystery that the Evangelist joined both names ‘Simon Peter’. For Peter was first called Simon, as is clear in John 1, and here it is added on, both for taking away all ambiguity, because another apostle too was called Simon, and for the mystery which Christ at once declared. Next the Evangelist adds that Christ spoke to this same man. And that this might be the more witnessed Christ again with the same name addresses him, saying: “Blessed art thou, Simon;” and because he was reserving the name Peter for explaining the mystery, lest the name of Simon seem ambiguous, he added another circumstance proper to that person, saying: “Bar-jona,” that is, son of Jona or John, just as he had said the same, John 1:42: “Thou art Simon the son of Jona.” But Christ in the said place named Simon at the same time when praising him, so that thence too it could be understood of what sort the promise was and to whom it was made: for it was remunerative and was to be made to him who had merited praise in the confession. Just as Hilary there in canon 26 said: “And a worthy reward plainly did the confession of Peter obtain, because he had seen the Son of God in man;” and Jerome in the same place: “to the Apostle’s testimony about himself he rendered return. Peter had said: ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God;’ the true confession received reward: ‘Blessed art thou, Simon bar-jona.’” Christ, therefore, wishing not only with praise to reward Peter but also with marvelous promise, subjoins: “And I say also unto thee, etc.” where rightly Jerome remarks: “Because you have said to me, ‘Thou art the Christ, etc.,’ I too say to you, not with a word null and of no effect, but I say to you, because my having said is a having done.” That word ‘unto thee’, therefore, designates the same person of Simon, to that person therefore are the words of Christ directed, to him therefore is the promise made. Maximus, homil. 1, In Natali Petri et Pauli, and Prosper, De Vocat. Genes., II.28.
spacer 5. But in the words of Christ I consider that some are only affirmative by way of the indicative, ‘Thou art Peter,’ others contain prediction and promise, namely, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church…and I will give unto thee, etc.’ The first affirmation therefore could have also the tenor of giving more expression to the person about whom the future prediction was and to whom the promise was made. Christ therefore wished to call to mind that this Simon was he to whom he said long before, John 1:42: “Thou art Simon son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation A rock.” And at the same time, as I think, Christ wished to indicate for what cause he imposed on Simon the name of Peter, namely because of the very firm and unmovable faith which he was going to receive, the first and signal confession of which he then made, and therefore he deserved to hear: ‘Thou art Peter.’ Hence rightly Ambrose, serm. 6 De Variis Actionib., said: “Although he was called Simon, for his devotion he was called Peter.” Nay, he adds, because Christ is the rock, “to faithful Simon he communicated his own name.” Which also Chrysostom touched on, homil.10, on Mark. Most well however does Cyril, on John, II.12, note that Christ foresaw the future faith of Peter and therefore he said to him, “‘thou shalt be called Cephas,’ that is, Peter, suitably signifying by this name that on him as on a rock and most firm stone he was going to build his Church.” Next Chrysostom adds, homil. on Psalm 50, in the first part a little after the beginning, “therefore was he called Peter by Christ, because he was endowed with rock-like faith.” Where also twice he calls him the ‘base of the faith’, and homil. 9, De Poenit., “When I say Peter, I name a firm rock not himself, an immovable foundation stone,” signifying that Christ had given the name Peter to Simon because of the immovability, not which he had in himself or from himself, but which he was going to receive in the faith, and therefore elsewhere he calls him “a firm and solid rock of faith.” Which all are elegantly embraced by Pope Leo, serm. De Transfigur., ch. 1, saying of Peter: “And so greatly pleasing was he in this sublimity of faith that, endued with the happiness of blessing, he would receive the sacred firmness of an inviolable rock, founded on which the Church would prevail over the gates of hell and the laws of death.”
spacer 6. Hence further is clearly understood what Christ designated when he said, ‘and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ For without doubt he designated the same Peter, as frequently the ancient and most grave Fathers have understood, and as is openly plain from the context. For that is why Christ first said to him, ‘Thou art Peter,’ so as at once to say to the same that on him would he build the Church, and that for this office he had made him by his grace a rock. Next it is shown that those words along with the ones that follow contain a remunerative promise; therefore it is made to the same man who is blessed because of a good confession and who deserved the name of Peter; therefore he designated the same by the word ‘this rock’. Which fact will become more evident if it is considered that Christ did not use the word Petrus (Peter) or Petra (rock) as if of different genders. Hence if the words of Christ had been reported in this way by the Evangelist, ‘Thou art Petra and upon this petra I will build my Church’, no one would doubt that these words ‘thou’ and ‘this’ were designating the same petra, and for that reason the same person; but Christ spoke in the way that Matthew also in Hebrew or Syriac wrote it; for in those languages the feminine and masculine of Petrus and petra are not distinguished, and so the Syriac has the same word in both places. But the Greek and Latin translator accommodated the masculine name to the person of Petrus, because he was a man, but the foundation of the building they named with the feminine noun petra, because so is it in these languages with propriety called.
spacer 7. Besides, by the term ‘this’ a present singular thing is wont to be designated; but there no other thing was signified by the name rock, and on which the name rock might properly and without metaphor be imposed, except the person of Peter; therefore it was he without doubt whom Christ designated when he said, ‘Upon this rock.’ For so as to take away all occasion of error, nay also of doubt, he premised, ‘Thou art Peter,’ as if placing him before his eyes whom he wished to designate. Besides, when Christ immediately subjoined, ‘And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,’ who will doubt that by the word ‘thee’ he had designated Peter and that to him he spoke, since he directed his speech to him from the beginning and spoke with the same tenor always to the same person? Therefore also when he said, ‘and upon this rock,’ he spoke of the same person. Finally because it is not credible that in so clear and continuous a context Christ is speaking now to Peter, next is designating something else by the demonstrative ‘this’, and immediately returns to Peter. For thus the whole sentence and promise would be uncertain and ambiguous, and the care taken to determine with so many modes and circumstances the person to whom the promise was made would have been superfluous.
spacer 8. And such was how this place, on the part of the person to whom the promise was made, was understood in the first place by the Roman Pontiffs who touched on this place, especially Clement, epistle 1 to James, and Anacletus, epistles 2 and 3, Leo above, sermons 2 and 3 In Die Assumptionis Suae, and epistle 89, whose other words we will refer to in what follows; and many things we have adduced from Gregory, I.6, and several are collected by Gratian in his Decretum dist. 12, 21, and 22, and we will refer to many places in what follows where the Pontiffs founded their primacy not in human but in divine right, because of succession from Peter, to whom the Lord spoke with promise in this testimony.
spacer 9. And in the same way were these words understood by all the holy bishops and most ancient doctors of the Church. Cyprian, epistle 55 to Cornelius, says that on Peter the Church is founded; and he speaks in the same way in epistles 69, 71, and 73, and in other places which we noted above in book 1, chapters 5 and 6. Again Hilary, canon. 16 on Matthew, where the above cited words, “A worthy reward plainly did the confession of Peter obtain,” he subjoins: “O in the announcement of a new name, happy the foundation of the Church, etc.” He has the same in Book VI De Trinit., and Psalm 131. But Ambrose, De Fide IV.3, “You have,” he says, “in the Gospel what he said to Peter: ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not,’ but to the same man when he says earlier, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ he replied, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, etc.’”, and he subjoins words very much to be noted: “Therefore to whom he gave the kingdom by his proper authority, could he not make firm his faith? Whom, when he says ‘rock’, he pointed to as the firm support of the Church.’ The same he says most well on Psalm 40, near the end, “He is Peter to whom he said, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, etc.’” and he adds, “Where Peter, there the Church.” Again at large in sermon 9 above cited and sermon In Cathedram. S. Petri, and sermon 11 De Sanctis. Largely too does Augustine, sermon 29 De Sanctis, which is the fifth of Saints Peter and Paul: “Alone among the apostles he merited to hear, ‘Thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ Worthy, indeed, who was the stone of foundation for building the peoples in the house of God, the pillar of support, the key of the kingdom,” and many similar things are contained in sermon 16, which is De Cathedra Petri, and sermon 49, De Verb. Dom., ch.3, and De Baptismo, II.1, referring to these words of Cyprian, “Peter, whom first the Lord chose, and upon whom he built his Church,” he adds: “Behold the place Cyprian calls to memory, which we too have taught in the Holy Scriptures, that the apostle Peter, in whom the primacy of the apostles is preeminent with so excellent grace, is by a later apostle, Paul, corrected &c.”
spacer 10. Most well too does Pacianus say, epistle 3 to Sympronianus, near the middle: “As Matthew himself reports, to Peter did Christ speak, to one man, for the reason that he might found unity from one,” and immediately he refers to the words, ‘upon this rock I will build my Church.’ Also I referred above to Cyril of Alexandria and to Chrysostom, to whom could be added Cyril of Jerusalem, Cateches. 18, saying: “The Savior has ordained our holy Christian Church, about which he said to Peter: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” And Nazianzen, orat.26, says: “You see how from among Christ’s disciples, great to be sure all of them and excelling and worthy of election, this one is called rock and receives the foundations of the Church on his faith.” Again Basil, on ch. 2 of Isaiah, when he had said that the Church was built on the prophets and apostles, adds further: “Of whom one was Peter; upon which rock he had promised that he would build his Church;” and Book II Contra Eunomium, near the beginning, he says of Peter: “Who since he was superior in faith, took up the building committed to him of the Church;” and homil. 29, which is De Poenitentia: “Peter denied the third time, and he was placed in the foundation;” and later: “Peter had already said before and had been pronounced blessed. He had said, ‘Thou art the Son of the high God,’ and he had heard in turn that he was the rock, being so praised by the Lord; for although he was the rock, he was not the rock as Christ. He was the rock as Peter. For Christ truly is the immovable rock, but Peter is because of the rock. For Christ lavished his titles of dignity on others; but he lavished them not as being emptied of them but as having them still. He is the Light. You are the light of world, he says. He is the Priest, and he makes priests. He is the Lamb, and he says: ‘Behold I send you forth as sheep among wolves.’ He is the Rock, and he makes a rock. What things are his, he lavishes on his servants.” Similarly Epiphanius in Anchorato, not far from the beginning, speaking of Peter under the name of the Prince of Apostles, subjoins: “But the Lord himself established him first of the apostles, a firm rock, upon which is built the Church of God &c.
spacer 11. To these Fathers are added others in expounding Matthew. Theophylact and Euthymius follow Chrysostom, but Jerome especially follows him in saying: “On Simon who believed in the rock Christ is bestowed the name Peter, and according to the metaphor of the rock it is rightly said: ‘I will build my Church on thee.’” The literal sense surely could not be more truly or clearly explained. Hence in other places he often says that the Church of Christ has been founded on Peter. In his Dialog. 1 Contra Pelagianos, a little from the beginning, and in his epistles 54 and 57, and bk.1 Contra Jovinian., he first says calls Peter the rock of Christ, but later, answering a tacit objection and declaring the reason, he says: “Upon Peter is the Church founded, although the very thing is in another place made upon the other apostles, and all together receive the keys of heaven, and equally on them is the fortitude of the Church made firm; yet for this reason is one among the twelve chosen, so that, with a head established, occasion of schism may be taken away.” Where it is to be attentively considered that among the apostles he establishes a certain equality and nevertheless a head too. For equality is in the apostolate, in certitude of doctrine, on which the fortitude of the Church is made firm, and in the universal power of the keys: but the one head, which is put in place for taking away schisms, indicates the authority and jurisdiction of Peter over the other apostles too, and the perpetuity of his power without which a perpetual concord opposed to schisms could not exist in the Church.
spacer 12. A similar opinion is held by Pope Leo, epistle 89, ch. 1, saying: “The sacrament of this office the Lord wished in such way to pertain to the office of all the apostles that he might in the most blessed Peter, the summit of all the apostles, principally locate it, so that from him, as from a certain head, his gifts might be diffused as it were through the whole body, so that he who dared to depart from the firmness of Peter might understand himself to be divorced from the divine mystery. For he wanted this Peter, assumed as consort of undivided unity, to be named that which he himself was when he said: ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ so that the edifice of the eternal temple, by the marvelous gift of the grace of God, might consist in the firmness of Peter.” Lastly it is frequent among the other Fathers that they call Peter for this reason the foundation of the Catholic Church, the rock of the Church, the first Pontiff of the Church. As can be seen in Isidore, De Offic. Ecclesiastic. II.5, and De Vita et Morib. Sanctor. ch. 69, and in other places, which we indicated in book I, chapter 6. And Peter Chrysologus, serm. 107, Laurentius Justinianus, De Obed. ch. 12. Tertullian, before he had fallen into heresy, often spoke in the same ways about Peter, as in De Praescript. ch. 22, and De Monogamia, ch. 8. From which opinion even when he had become a heretic he did not depart, although he corrupted it in a certain way, De Pudicitia, ch .25, as we will more commodiously notice in chapter 17.
spacer 13. No one can therefore doubt that to Peter was that promise made; it remains now to explain what was promised to him. For there seems to be in the words a double promise, one about the foundation of the Church, another about the power of binding and loosing: but I reckon that the same is first explained through a metaphor and afterwards by words more proper. When therefore Christ said that he would found his Church on Peter, he promised Peter that he would make the foundation itself of the Church so firm and immovable that it could both sustain the whole mass of the Church and never, with so much firmness, fall or collapse. Hence Ambrose in the cited book De Fide, IV.3, when he says in the words above mentioned, “to whom he gave the kingdom by his proper authority,” signifies that Christ there promised to Peter the kingdom of the Church, and because this kingdom is both established by faith and needs to be perpetual, therefore Ambrose adds that Christ could also make the faith of Peter firm and establish him as the firm support of the Church, indicating that all this was in those words promised to Peter. Which thing he also declared, serm.2 among various sermons, which is De Cathedra Petri, where he says it was promised to Peter that “like an immovable stone he would hold together the frame and mass of the whole Christian world.” And fairly similar things are contained in Augustine, the said sermon 16, De Sanctis. But Jerome in the said book 1, Contra Jovinian, thinks that there Peter was promised that he would be the head of the apostles. But Cyprian along with Augustine in the said book De Baptism., II.1, think that the primacy of the Church was there promised to Peter. Chrysostom too, homil. 15, on Matthew, says Peter was promised he would be the pastor of the Church. And all these reduce to the same.
spacer 14. Finally, the reason for the metaphor is that some singular dependence of the Church on Peter is through that metaphor signified, which cannot consist in other thing than that to Peter was to be given a singular power for instructing and ruling the Church in faith and morals, on which power both the edification and the conservation of the Church would perpetually rest. As when a ship is said to be founded on some person, it is at once understood by the metaphor that it rests on him as on a governor or captain; and thus also is a kingdom said to be founded in the king, and conversely the king is said to be the foundation of the kingdom. Wherefore, although the metaphor of foundation or rock could also have other uses and significations, yet when accommodated to this place and these circumstances it can have no other accommodation than this one; and for that reason the Fathers and the Church have so understood it.
spacer 15. But in order to explain the thing more openly, Christ added another metaphor and an explanation of it, when he said: “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” For by the name of key is wont to be signified the power of a king or of ruling, as is clear in Isaiah 22:22: “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder,” that is, the principality or the pontificate or the power, about which he had a little before said, v.21: “And I will commit thy government into his hand.” Christ, therefore, when promising the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter, promised nothing other than the power of ruling the Church, which on earth is a spiritual kingdom tending to the attainment of the kingdom of heaven, and for that reason it is to be governed by a certain heavenly power. Which power through sufficiently proper words is immediately explained by Christ, saying: “And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, etc.” For with these words he expressly promised Peter a singular power of binding and loosing; which power is not other than the power of passing laws, or laying censures, or imposing similar burdens, or taking them away, as is clear both from the common use of such words and from the similar words of Matthew 18:8: “Whatsoever ye shall bind, etc.” And from other words in John 20:23: “Whose soever sins ye remit, etc.” Therefore the keys signify nothing other by the metaphor than the spiritual power for ruling the Church of Christ in order to the attainment of the kingdom of heaven. From this place, therefore, the primacy of Peter is manifestly proved, although heretics by various objections and evasions try to obscure it, to which we shall respond in the next chapter, lest we should omit confirmation of the established truth.
spacer 16. Everything, therefore, which we have said about the aforesaid promise of Christ, is from other words of Christ in John 21 very greatly confirmed, and from both places taken together and compared with each other the evidence of the truth is made very clear. For what Christ had promised, he fulfilled to Peter when he was about to ascend, saying to Peter once and again: “Feed my lambs,” and a third time: “Feed my sheep.” By these words he committed the care and government of the whole Church to him and constituted him his Vicar; and then plainly the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the power of binding and loosing did he bestow on him in a proper and special way; and thus on his shoulders as on a firm foundation and immovable stone he placed the edifice of the Church. Of all which can persuasion be easily made if the whole deed of Christ and his words are considered with a pure intention and mind. For in advance of creating Peter Supreme Pontiff Christ thrice asked him: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” and “Lovest thou me?” and “Lovest thou me?” Through which he first wished to signify that of something great and excellent and very greatly dear to himself he wanted to make commendation to Peter, namely his Church, which he himself very greatly loved, for which he gave himself up and left Mother and Father, as Paul showed, Ephesians 5. Next, after the love of Peter for him had been made manifest, Christ said to him: “Feed my sheep.” By which words the heretics contend that no power was given to Peter but only a precept for preaching the word of God, which is the food of souls. But the exposition is vain and ridiculous, for about the mission of preaching Christ had already said, John 20L21: “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you,” and he was going on to say later on his departure, Matthew 28:19: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.” Why, for the sole office of preaching, was there need to act in so singular a way with Peter and preface so great a weight of words and questions?
spacer 17. Next, the word ‘feed’ in the way in which it is employed by Christ does not only signify the act (so to say) of ministering food, but also the office and care of procuring all things that pertain to feeding sheep and ruling them and protecting them and preserving them in life. Next, it comprehends everything that belongs to the pastoral office. For it was the same to say to Peter, ‘Feed,’ as to say, ‘I leave you shepherd of my sheep.’ But a good shepherd, as Christ himself said, John 10:2 - 4, “entereth in by the door, and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out, and he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” And later, v. 11: “The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep;” and as he there indicates, he is not conducting himself as an hireling who, since he is not a shepherd, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. Therefore, from the opinion of Christ, it pertains to the office of the pastor who enters through the door, that is, through Christ himself, as he himself explains, or (which is the same thing) who is by him constituted over his flock, not only to minister food but also to guard, and to rule, and all the other things that pastoral care requires. So it was not only preaching of the word but the whole care of his flock which Christ commended to Peter. And without doubt this is the most usual signification of the word employed in the metaphor, not only as to the common way of speaking but also in sacred Scripture, as is clear from 1 Peter 5:2: “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly according to God.” Where ‘feed’ without doubt signifies not only preaching, for by speaking alone constraint is not wont to be done; but it signifies rule or government, which is sometimes wont to be too violent, and so he subjoins, v.3: “Neither as being lords over the clergy.” Similarly the word ‘taking the oversight’ manifestly shows that Peter spoke of the prudence and solicitude of a pastor in ruling and guarding the sheep, and not of mere preaching of the word. Thus too 2 Kings [Samuel] 5:2: “Thou shalt feed my people Israel;” in explanation of which is added: “Thou shalt be a captain over Israel;” and 7:7: “Spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel?” Which is immediately declared through the words, v. 8: “I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people Israel.” And of Christ Isaiah said, 40“11: “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd;” and infinite like things are in the prophets. Therefore this very thing did Christ signify to Peter when he committed to him the feeding of his sheep.
spacer 18. And next, when he put sheep indefinitely, he comprehended without doubt all of them indiscriminately, because in similar locutions indefinite speech is equivalent to universal speech, and because there is no greater reason to interpret such words about these sheep than about those sheep. Nay, because there lambs and sheep are by name distinguished, Euthymius reckons that what is signified is not only the imperfect but the perfect too are subject to the care of Peter. But Bernard, Book II De Considerat. ad Eugenium, expounds that not only the common people but also the prelates and bishops up to the apostles themselves as well were commended and made subject to Peter. Hence he thus speaks, ch. 8: “Not only of the sheep but of the pastors too you are of all of them the one Pastor. Whence do I prove it, you ask? From the word of Christ. For to whom, I do not say among bishops but among apostles too, were the sheep in this way absolutely and indiscriminately committed? ‘If you love me, Peter, feed my sheep.’ Which sheep? The peoples of that and of that city or region or definite kingdom. ‘My sheep,’ he said. To whom is it not plain that he did not designate some but assigned all? None is excepted where none is distinguished. And perhaps there was present the rest of the fellow disciples when, committing to one, he commended unity to all in one flock and one pastor, according to the verse, ‘One is my dove, my fair one, my perfect.’ Where unity, there perfection.” In which words Bernard excellently confirmed and enriched the aforesaid sense.
spacer 19. Nor is this interpretation novel or recent, for in the same way did the ancient Fathers understand the cited words of Christ. For Pope Leo, serm. 3 on his appointment, said in the same sentence: “From the whole world one Peter is chosen, who over the calling of all the Gentiles and over all the apostles and all the fathers of the Church is set in charge, although there be in the people of God many priests and many pastors yet properly does Peter rule whom Christ too principally rules.” Chrysostom, homil. 87, on John, says: “Why, finally, omitting the others, does he address only Peter about these things? He was the mouth of the apostles and prince and head of the band itself – for which cause also Paul went up to see him beside the others; and at the same, so that Christ might show him that now trust was to be had in him, for he was as it were forgetting his denial, he committed to him the care of this brothers.” And later: “Thrice however he asks, and often prescribes the same thing, so that he might show how much he valued the care of his sheep and that this would be the greatest argument of his love.” Cyril again, John, XI.64, says: “In individual confessions, the words a little varied, he heard that he was to have the care of his rational sheep.” And similarly Augustine, tract. 123: “Nor does he hear aught so many times from Peter than that he loved him, nor does he so many times aught commend to Peter than that he feed his sheep.” But what it is to feed the sheep of Christ he declares in a few words at the end of the same tractate saying: “they should strive as far as blood for the truth to whom he committed the feeding and ruling of the sheep.” And serm.62, De Verbis Domini, explaining the same words ‘feed my sheep’ he says: “Let to us the care pertain, to you the obedience, to us the pastoral vigilance, to you the humility of the flock, etc.” where to the word ‘feed’ he opposes the word ‘obey’. He understood therefore that the pastoral care did not consist only in teaching but also in ruling and prescribing and that this was committed to Peter over the whole Church. Just as he also says, serm.4 9, De Verbis Domini: “The Lord says to Peter, the one individual on whom he forms his Church: Peter, do you love me? He responds: I love you. Feed my sheep.”
spacer 20. And again Ambrose, serm. 48, De Tempore in Feriam 3ae Hebdomadae Sanctae, treating of the same place, says: “He who before his tears was a sinner is after his tears assumed as pastor; and he received others to rule who before did not rule himself.” And in the said sermon 1 De Sanctis, or De Cathedra Petri, said: “As a good Pastor he received the flock to guard, so that he who had been infirm for himself might become the firm support for everyone.” Where he alludes to both testimonies and joins one to the other. And he explains Galatians 1, that by the word ‘feed’ the care of the churches was delegated to Peter, saying of Paul: “It was worthy for him to desire to see Peter who was first among the apostles, to whom Christ had delegated the care of the churches.” Next, Book X, on Luke 24 toward the end, he says: “The Lord was not doubting; he was asking, not so as to learn, but so as to teach whom, having to ascend into heaven, he was leaving to us as Vicar of his love; for thus you have ‘Simon son of Jonas lovest thou me?’ ‘Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee’; Jesus says to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’” And later: “Now not lambs, as at the first, nor sheeplings as in the second, but sheep he bids him to feed, that the more perfect may be governed by him who is more perfect.” And bk.5, De Fide, in the preface he largely explains the same place in the same sense, saying that Peter was that prudent and faithful servant whom the Lord had set up over his family. Almost the same is contained in the book De Dignitate Sacerdotali, ch.2. But most well does Cyprian connect both testimonies, book De Unit. Eccles., near the beginning, when he says: “The Lord speaks to Peter, ‘I say unto thee, that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church…’ And again to the same after his resurrection he says, ‘Feed my sheep.’ On that one individual he builds his Church, and to him he entrusts his sheep for feeding, and although on all the apostles after his resurrection he bestows equal power, and says, ‘As the Father hath sent me…’, and ‘Whose sins ye remit…’, yet to manifest unity he established one chair, and the origin, beginning from one, of that same unity he did by his authority dispose.” And later: “The primacy was given to Peter, so that one Church of Christ and one chair might be shown.” And later: “Who leaves the chair of Peter, on whom the Church is founded, has he confidence that he is in the Church?”
spacer 21. Lastly this truth is confirmed by the various epithets that the Fathers are wont to bestow on Peter for explaining that office and power which he received from Christ in the cited places. For thus is he called ‘head of the apostles’ by Jerome, Book I Contra Jovinian., and by Optatus, Books II and VII Contra Parmen. Cyril of Alexandria too, Book XII on John, ch. 54, calls him ‘head and prince’, and Thesaur., XIII.2, ‘summit of the apostles.’ He is also said to be constituted as ‘pastor of pastors’ by Eusebius Emisenus in serm. De S. Joann. Evangelista, and he gives a reason, because “he rules subjects and prelates. Of all therefore is he pastor, because besides lambs and sheep there is nothing in the Church.” Hence Isidore, De Vita et Morte Sanctorum, ch. 69, calls Peter ‘pastor of the human flock’. Again, Origen, Book V on Romans 6, near the end, says: “Since to Peter the sum of things about feeding the sheep is delivered, and since on him as on ground is the Church founded, the confession of no virtue is required of him save love.” Again Peter is called the Vicar of Christ in the Council of Nicea, can. 39; of which canon we will say many things below. And Anselm on Matthew 16 calls him principal Vicar; because all the other bishops too, who receive the power of binding and loosing, are in their way Vicars of Christ, but Peter is the principal. Whom for the same reason he there calls prince of the apostles, which title is frequent among the other Fathers. And thus also do they frequently say that he received the primacy of the Church, as in the case of Ambrose on 2 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 2; and most well Bede from the cited words ‘feed my sheep’ in homil. De Vigilia Apostolor. Petri et Pauli. And the same is intended by Chrysostom, hom. 80 Ad Populum, when he says: “to him throughout the whole globe of the earth has been delivered the presidency of the Church, or care for the globe of the earth has to him been entrusted,” as he says, hom.87 on John. Or “of the whole Church he has taken up the government,” as Damascene says, orat. De Transfiguratione, where to Peter he speaks thus about the Church: “This Church Christ has himself purchased with his own blood, but to you as to a most faithful steward he has handed it over in trust.” And below: “He made you the keeper of the keys for the heavenly kingdom.” And later he says that Christ wanted Peter to be present at his transfiguration “as the chief who had taken up the government of the whole Church.” Hence Ephrem says in serm. De Transfigurat. that as the one Moses was prince of the Hebrews, so Peter was constituted prince of the Church of Christians. And many things can be seen in Gregory, hom. 21 In Evangel., and , Epistolar. III, epist. 39, elsewhere epist. 67, and Book I, epist.24.
spacer 22. Finally if we wish to give some reason for this divine counsel, it is necessary to separate the institution of the governance from the choice of the person. For we can give for the choice of the person no proper cause besides the divine good pleasure. For although God had disposed Peter with that faith and love which rendered him worthy for taking up such ministry, as from the words of Matthew and John above treated is manifest; yet the faith of Peter was not the first reason for his election, but the will of God, for because he chose them, therefore did he call him, so that by cooperating with his call he might most worthily become Vicar of Christ. But of the institution of the primacy the proper reason was what Cyprian, Pope Leo, and other Fathers have touched on, the unity of the Church and the best governance for it, because if in the Church there had not been one head to which the diverse members of the Church might have recourse, it would easily be broken by diverse schisms, as Anselm too above rightly said.
spacer 23. But so that its governance might be best it was necessary that this head be one monarch, for monarchy is the best form of governance of all, as from the Fathers, the theologians, the philosophers, and the historians is learnedly shown by Cardinal Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, I.2 and following. But if in other human communities and kingdoms this is true, much more certainly was it necessary in the governance of the whole Church; because since the ecclesiastical republic is the most ample, and has been instituted for the whole world, it could not conveniently be by one supreme power governed if such power did not in one man reside. For if it were in a congregation of many, there would not be in the world a power apt for ruling except when such persons were gathered into one council. How then could it supply aid for difficulties that arise when such a congregation is wanting, or by whom could it be with efficacy compelled if there was in the Church no head to which this sort of general providence and care of the Church might perpetually belong? This reason certainly gives conviction that the primacy of Peter was morally necessary; and the same reason gives conviction that that primacy was not for the person of Peter alone but perpetual, as is made convincing by these words too, ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,’ as was largely proved in Book I and will in the following be amply confirmed.



1 - 3. No one can accuse the primacy of Peter of novelty. Peter cannot be said to be prince of the apostles except by reason of supreme majesty. spacer4. Objection of the king from Scripture against the proof of the primacy of Peter.spacer 5. Solution to the objection. Catholics prove immediately from Scripture only the primacy of Peter in spiritual things. spacer6. When a Pontiff might take kingdoms away from temporal princes. spacer7. Second objection. spacer8 - 9. Response. The words of John 21: “Feed my sheep” are said to Peter alone. spacer10. First exposition of the words of Matthew 16: “And upon this rock &c.” Second exposition. Even the authors of the aforesaid expositions establish Peter as foundation of the Church. How the foundation of the Church on Peter and on faith agree,spacer 11. The exposition of Augustine is expounded and explained. spacer12. The power of binding and loosing was in Peter perpetual and independent, but in the others by dependence on him. spacer13. Certain places of Augustine are expounded.spacer 14. The exposition of the words of Augustine is also proved from the words of Christ. spacer15. The instance posed by the King in his Preface, p. 58. It is refuted. spacer16. An inferior prelate could add in his censure that he is doing it by power received from the Pontiff; but to add that he is doing it in virtue of the Pope is not appropriate. spacer17. A final objection taken from various indications. Four indications of this sort. spacer18. Peter has obtained first place as head in all congresses. To the first indication.spacer 19. To the second. spacer20. To the third. spacer21. To the fourth.

GAINST the primacy of Peter understood in the sense declared by us in the previous chapter some things are touched on in passing and as if incidentally by King James, which it is necessary to satisfy. For he says on p. 60 of his Preface, “It is indeed true that Peter, by reason of both age and time when he was called by Christ, was one of the principal apostles, a prince in the order of those twelve whom Christ first chose, and one of the three whom for the sake of preserving the order he placed above the rest.” And on p. 59 the doctrine, which we have shown to be Catholic, he does not fear to call “recent and novel.” Which is for me an effective argument that the Protestants either have not read the holy Fathers or have basely deceived their king. For from what has been said it is clearer than light that the doctrine handed down about the primacy of Peter began with the Church itself and is founded on the words of Christ understood in the way that the most ancient Fathers have expounded: none therefore, who does not wish on purpose to deceive or be deceived (which is not to be believed of the most serene king), can call this doctrine recent or novel. He spoke then out of deception or ignorance about the truth, not however an ignorance probable or that could excuse him of grave lapse and guilt, since he could easily dispel the ignorance and error, if he wished. Besides there is the fact that if he confesses Peter was a prince of the twelve apostles, what, I ask, is that which he adds, “prince in the order” or “for the sake of preserving the order”? Or what is that order, or in what excellence or dignity of person is it founded? For every order, so that it may justly and prudently be constituted among certain persons, requires in them some foundation of excellence or excess or inequality which might, to the constituting of the order, be proportioned and accommodated.
spacer 2. If Peter, therefore, has no dignity or power greater than the other apostles nor jurisdiction over them, according to what order is he called prince of them? For superiority in age or priority of vocation are with God of little moment, with whom, as there is no acceptance of persons, so there is no difference of ages: nay, in his sight often the last are first and the first last. Especially so because it is not clear that Peter was older than the other apostles, or was called before all of them, since at least Andrew preceded him, as is taken about his vocation from John 1, and about his age the probable opinion of Epiphanius, Haeres. 51. Also neither can that order be founded in grades of sanctity, for this judgment is reserved to God; nor has it hitherto been revealed to us who among the apostles was in true sanctity greater with God than the rest. Nor again is it enough that Christ behaved as family with him and that in some acts he seems to have preferred him to certain others; for by this reason even John could be said to be prince in order; nay, James too, for he was one of the three whom in certain activities Christ wished to have as particular associates. Besides, because the sole special display by Christ of favor or love was not sufficient foundation for any order among the apostles that was going to remain after Christ’s departure. Add that the king always speaks of political order in the Church’s hierarchy, to which that past favor or benevolence has little reference, nor will any prudent man repute Paul to be lesser in order because he was not of those three or because he did not as family adhere to Christ while alive in mortal body.
spacer 3. Lastly in the way indeed that Peter is deemed prince among the apostles it was not from man but from Christ, and so he had by divine right that principality; therefore if he was prince in the order, it must be that such order was created and instituted by Christ himself. But we do not read that Christ instituted in his Church any dignities which, on account of political order alone, may claim for themselves a special honor or the first sees in seating or speaking, but we only read, 1 Corinthians 12, that Christ placed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third doctors, other pastors and doctors, and lastly distributed other graces or ministries: but in all these Peter cannot be said to be prince among the apostles by reason of order. So that we then may assert what is true, the thought of such political order in the Church of Christ as something instituted by himself is recent and novel; for the order among Peter and the other apostles was founded in superior power for ruling and governing both them and the universal Church in perpetuity. And this Christ taught us and we read it in the ancient Fathers, but the rest are human inventions or novelties.
spacer 4. But in the first place the king inveighs against the double proof of the primacy of Peter from those places: “Thou art Peter,” and “Feed my sheep.” And first indeed, as if mocking Bellarmine, he says, p. 22: “Nor does the last chapter of my disputation make attack with other machines than with those words of Christ, ‘Feed my sheep,’ ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’” But later on p.2 4 he says: “Thus does he make up a new and no doubt egregious sense for those words of Christ, ‘Feed my sheep &c.,’ as if they signified, ‘Take away, proscribe, depose Christian princes and kings.’ With these too, ‘Whatsoever thou shalt loose, etc.’” And lastly on p. 128 he goes so far as to call “shameless and impudent” the “violence which on the sense of those places the Cardinal brings to bear, that from them he should erect the supreme power of the Pontiff in temporal matters over kings and princes.” But in these words no reason or testimony is stated in objection, but only are propounded the abuses and calumnies of the Protestants on which the king rests his faith, and for that reason we might easily pass them over; but lest anyone, through confusion and ignorance of the truth, should be moved by them, there is need to distinguish the false from the true and to explain the whole matter.
spacer 5. Bellarmine, therefore, and all of us who are together in this cause, do not from those places prove proximately and immediately the primacy of Peter in civil or temporal things, but in ecclesiastical or spiritual things. But whether this spiritual power is extended to temporal things is another question to be treated of, and to be decided, by both authority of ecclesiastical tradition and force of reason, from the prior foundation of the supreme spiritual power proved by the aforesaid testimonies. But the king so reports the proof of Bellarmine as if by those testimonies he wished to prove the Pontiff to be absolute temporal lord of all kingdoms and able by his choice to give them or take them away, which is very far from his true mind. Hence, in his response, he modestly and prudently asks: “Where, I ask, in my book did you see so impolitic and shameless an exposition?” It was not he, therefore, who affixed the sense to the words of Christ which nowhere appears in his books; but he who deceived you, O king, affixed that sense without any appearance of verisimilitude. The sense, therefore, which Bellarmine affixed to those testimonies is the same with that whereby we have proved the primacy of Peter in spiritual things, which is truly a sense outstanding indeed and not new, but proved by the common consent of the ancient Fathers.
spacer 6. But from this sense by inference and necessary connection rightly could Bellarmine demonstrate by the same testimonies the power of Peter for deposing kings, not indeed all of them at his decision, “such that he could give and take away kingdoms at pleasure,” as the king says on p. 23, but heretical and incorrigible ones, either for their worthy punishment or for the necessary defense of his sheep, and therefore not by absolute dominion or direct power (as they say), but by indirect. Let not then the King of England say that the words “feed my sheep” are so expounded by us as to mean “take away, proscribe, depose Christian princes,” for this no Catholic has said. But if he wishes what is true sincerely testified, we say, among the many other things that are contained in those words and in the power given through them, that also this is, “take away, proscribe, depose heretical kings” who do not wish to be corrected, and who are in things pertaining to the Catholic faith pernicious. But this sense imposes no violence on the words of Christ and is by necessary consequence elicited from them; nor is it new but proved by the perpetual tradition of the Church, nor is therefrom a direct power of Peter in temporal matters but only an indirect one collected, which we showed cannot from the supreme spiritual power be separated.
spacer 7. But the king continues by objecting to the exposition of those places as they are introduced for proving the singular spiritual power of Peter. And first he seems to argue form the authority even of Catholic doctors, who have in various ways interpreted those places, whence addressing Bellarmine, p. 58, he says: “But neither is he ignorant what reason the ancients introduce as to why to Saint Peter Christ entrusted his sheep to feed.” Next he himself seems to approve the exposition of those who say that both places, namely “I will give unto thee the keys” and “feed my sheep,” were said indeed to Peter but pertained to all the apostles, whose persons Peter was himself bearing. Which he confirms hence, that elsewhere the power of the keys was conceded in the plural number, Matthew 18:18: “Whatsoever ye (plural) shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye [plural] shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” From which words he wishes to collect that the power of the keys was not less conferred on the other apostles than on Peter and that he therefore did not have the primacy. Nay, many are they among the Protestants who not only on the apostles but on the whole Church wish the power of the keys to have been conferred, because in the place cited from Matthew Christ had said, 18:17: “Tell it unto the Church; but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican;” and immediately, as if giving the reason, he subjoins: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” Here then is a sign that Christ spoke to the apostles or disciples insofar as they were representing the Church or contained it virtually.
spacer 8. But because this objection involves both testimonies and there is not altogether the same reason in each of them, they must be spoken about in turn. And in the first place, about the words “feed my sheep,” I do not find among the ancient Fathers dissenting opinions or expositions, neither about the person to whom individually “feed” is said, nor about the signification of the verb ‘feed’, nor about the persons comprehended under the name of sheep and lambs. For although in expounding these two last terms there be some variety, whether the two terms ‘lambs’ and ‘sheep’ signify the same or diverse persons, yet in truth there is no discrepancy that might have importance for the present cause. For all Catholics agree that the whole flock of Christ and all the sheep were committed to Peter, whether under the individual terms of ‘lambs’ and ‘sheep’ they were all signified or whether under both at the same time because of diverse properties. And hence it necessarily follows that the words pertained to Peter alone, and that they were said to him not as bearing the person of others but most properly and specifically because of the individual office committed to him. Which from the common consent of the Fathers in the preceding chapter is sufficiently proved, and can from the context itself be sufficiently proved. Both because Christ by asking Peter: “Lovest thou me more than these?” sufficiently distinguished him from the others so that he was only dealing with him in his proper person, not as representative of the rest but as distinct from them. And also because under the name of ‘sheep’ he comprehended the other apostles, as was above proved: therefore the verb ‘feed’ was necessarily said to Peter as to a sole individual or as to a pastor who had under a certain reason been uniquely constituted; because the individual apostles could not at the same time be pastors of the same universes; neither was any of them made pastor of Peter in the way that Peter was constituted as pastor of all the rest.
spacer 9. Nor did any of the ancient Fathers, as I said, understand the words as to ‘this rock’ in some other way. For although some Fathers say that what Christ then said to Peter was also said to the rest of the apostles and pastors of the Church, they understand it to be said to Peter as in exemplary fashion and that it fits the others according to fitting proportion. For although Peter alone be constituted universal pastor of the Church, there is no exclusion of particular pastors to whom singly, not all, but some of the sheep might be committed, according to that verse of 1 Peter 5:2: “Feed the flock of God which is among you,” where the phrase ‘which is among you’ determines a particular flock, and of Acts 20:28: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you rulers.” Just as therefore other pastors are assumed to a part of the care along with Peter, so ought they to understand that to him was it said: “Lovest thou me? Feed my sheep.” Not because Christ, when he pronounced almost the like words, was speaking formally to all particular pastors or to Peter in the person of all; but because the virtue and reason of the words of Christ have with proportion place in all pastors. For they could not rightly be disposed for feeding the flock of Christ unless they loved Christ himself. And in this sense Augustine in his book De Agone Christiano, said: “When it is said to Peter, it is said to all: Lovest thou me? Feed my sheep.”
spacer 10. I come to the other place, Matthew 16, wherein there is some greater variety of expositions, especially as to the words: “And upon this rock;” for sometimes the Fathers give exposition that the demonstrative ‘this’ designates the faith of Christ, God and man, on which they say the Church is founded, as Chrysostom there indicates, hom. 55, and Hilary. And frequently others are wont to say that the faith is the foundation of the Church. But others give as exposition that Christ, by saying “upon this rock”, designated himself, because as is said 1 Corinthians 3:11: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ,” about whom it is said, 10:4: “And that rock was Christ.” Which exposition is contained in Augustine, tracts .27 and 124 on John, and serm. De Verbis Domini. However none of the Fathers who have expounded this place in other ways denied that Peter was in a special way the rock and foundation of the Church, as was above shown about Hilary and Chrysostom, and the same holds of Ambrose and others who are wont to be alleged for the former exposition. For in the same places they say both things, namely that Peter and that the faith of Christ or his confession are the foundation of the Church. For both under diverse reasons are true, that Peter as Vicar of Christ, holding his place in his absence, is the foundation of the Church and that he after Christ in his own way supports it. But the faith is said to be the foundation as the reason of the founding (to so say), for because of his singular faith Peter was made the foundation of the Church and, by his faith, is constituted a firm rock accommodated to founding the Church. In this sense, therefore, the said Fathers spoke, and Chrysostom, homil.2 on Psalm 50, said: “Because of the strength of his confession is he called Peter, the Lord saying: Thou art Peter and upon this rock, etc.” But if the speech is not about the faith of Peter specifically but about faith in general, that too is said to be the foundation of the Church, because it is the first reason and as it were the form of the Church constituting and uniting its members. And in this way are those words sometimes wont, by accommodation and in mystical sense, to be applied to the whole Church and to the individual faithful, as Origen did, tract. 4 on Matthew; who yet does not deny that in a proper and literal sense Peter alone is there signified by Christ with the name ‘rock’ and is promised as foundation of the Church, as from the same is clear in homil. 5 on Exodus,
spacer 11. But the other opinion of Augustine, that Christ is the rock, it is, considered in itself as to doctrine, most true but, as to the sense of the words of Christ, it can be difficult to accommodate. For nothing truer can be said than that Christ is the corner stone and rock on which principally the Church is founded; nay that Christ alone is per se and by his virtue the foundation of the Church. But that in the cited place of Matthew Christ spoke about himself or that by saying, “upon this rock” he signified himself, cannot in truth be accommodated to the literal and proper sense of the words, as is manifest from what was said in the previous chapter. Hence either the exposition of Augustine is not delivered by him as literal but as mystical, or it must be reduced to the preceding exposition. For he speaks of Christ as he is object of the faith which Peter confessed, and thus in this way is Christ by “this rock” said to be indicated, faith in whom no doubt is as if the reason for which Peter has been made the foundation of the Church. But that Augustine did thus speak about Christ can be taken from his words. For Retractiones I.21, he speaks in this way: “Afterwards I thus expounded what was said by the Lord, ‘Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, …’ so that ‘upon this’ might be understood as him whom Peter confessed when he said, ‘Thou art the Christ &c’” Add that Augustine proposes this sense not as certain but as probable and that he was moved to it by the diversity of the terms ‘Peter’ and ‘rock’ which diversity in reality was nothing, as I already said. Finally Augustine does not exclude the other sense and much less does he doubt the truth of the opinion that Peter was also the rock on which the Church is founded; for he often teaches it in the places mentioned in the previous chapter; and in the said Retractionum I.21 he says that that sense is chanted by the mouth of many in the verses of the most blessed Ambrose: “At the sound of this [the cockcrow] the rock itself of the Church washed away its guilt.”
spacer 12. Next, as to what the king objects about the words, “whatsoever thou shalt bind,” because elsewhere it is said in the plural, “whatsoever ye shall bind,” it contains no difficulty; for it is certain that Peter and the apostles received the power of binding and loosing; but that difference of words shows that the power was to Peter promised in other wise than it was to all the apostles. For to Peter was it promised as ordinary and universal and always to remain in the Church, but to the other apostles it was given, or only as it were delegated, for their persons; or if it be considered as it was going to remain in the bishops their successors, it was given as dependent on Peter and through Peter, as Pope Leo, Anselm, and the other Fathers above mentioned have noted. And from the circumstances of each place the fact is manifestly collected, as from the things said in the previous chapter is sufficiently clear. As in John 20 Christ had said generally to Peter and the others, “As the Father hath sent me even so send I you,” and nevertheless in ch.21 he specially said to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” namely as supreme pastor over everyone even the apostles themselves.
spacer 13. Nor are there obstacles to this truth in the several testimonies of Augustine, which are wont to be objected here, that he said that Peter when receiving the keys signified the Church; for he understood that Peter signified the Church because it was as prince of the Church that he received the power of the keys, not for his person only but as the keys were to endure perpetually in the Church of Christ and in his successors and other Pontiffs and his helpers the bishops. And so Augustine said tract. 50 on John: “If to Peter alone (that is, for his person alone) this was said, the Church does not do this,” because, to be sure, its power would have died with Peter. Hence because even now the Church binds and looses he infers: therefore “Peter when receiving the keys certainly signified the holy Church.” Which inference would have been nothing if he had understood that Peter represented the Church as standing in the place of it, because that neither necessarily follows nor is true. Since neither did the Church commit this representation or delegation to Peter nor did Christ do it by his power, since he did not signify it by his words. Therefore Augustine understood that Peter then represented the Church by reason of his primacy and his see, for thus what is given to the head on account of the body is deemed to be given to the Church in its head, just as what is given to a king for ruling is reputed to be given to the kingdom. And thus did the same Augustine say, tract. 124 on John, that Peter because of his primacy bore the person of the Church. Which he very openly explains when he says: “The Church, which is founded on Christ, received the keys of the kingdom of heaven in Peter.”
spacer 14. Next, this was also the way of speaking of Christ, Matthew 18: “Tell it unto the Church,” that is, to the pastors of the Church, as everyone expounds and as the thing itself proclaims; for the sin of a brother could not be denounced to the whole company of the Church, but pastors are in the name of the Church signified because the Church is in the bishop as in its head. In a like way, therefore, is Peter in the cited places said to have represented the Church. And in this way too is left solved what was objected from the same place of Matthew, because what Christ subjoined: “but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican,” he understood in the like way of the pastors of the Church; to the same therefore or by reason of them did he say: “Whatsoever ye shall bind,” and here he spoke in the plural because sins were not to be denounced only to the supreme Pastor but also to the rest, and therefore, as we said, that statement was made without prejudice to Peter’s individual power. “For if he wanted the rest of the princes to have anything common along with Peter, never did he except through Peter give what he did not deny to the others,” as Pope Leo excellently says, serm.3 Assumptionis Suae.
spacer 15. But yet against this response the king further urges these words: “But if it were not so (that is, if not all the apostles or if Peter not in the name of them all received the keys from Christ equally), how, I ask, could Paul (1 Corinthians 5) be to the Church of the Corinthians the author with his spirit of that incestuous man’s excommunication? Surely it was necessary to say ‘with the spirit of Peter’. How could all the apostles make use of their censures in the name of Christ and not anywhere make mention of his Vicar?” But this conjecture is of little moment. For in the first place although to Peter individually were the keys given, nevertheless on Paul too and the other apostles Christ immediately conferred the power of binding and loosing; and therefore rightly could they pass censures in the name and virtue of Christ, whose proximate ministers they were, without making mention of Peter. Next, even if they had received power immediately from Peter (as now bishops do, according to the more probable opinion), it was not necessary, in passing sentence of excommunication, to make mention of the Vicar of Christ, just as neither do Catholic bishops now, although they recognize the Roman Bishop as the Vicar of Christ, when they pass sentence of excommunication, say in the name or by the virtue of the Pope, but either they simply use their ordinary power or they can also say in the virtue of Christ or through the power by Christ conceded to them. And the reason is that although Peter is as the universal Pastor of the Church, he is yet not the principal Author and Lord but his Vicar. Hence even Peter himself when passing censure could say in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, by his office and authority. Therefore the same could be done by the inferior prelates, because they have authority, albeit through the mediation of Peter as dispenser, principally from Christ and operate in virtue of him. Just as when a viceroy of some kingdom or province has often received from the king authority for establishing governors and magistrates in cities and yet they all in their public pronouncements and especially when they make use of the sword profess that they are doing it by authority of the king and not of the viceroy.
spacer 16. Nor yet do I deny that a minister or legate of the Pontiff could say when excommunicating that he does it by power received from the Pontiff. For they would speak truth and without injury to Christ, because by those words the effect is not attributed to the Pontiff as principal cause simply but only as in the class of a minister or a Vicar communicating his jurisdiction. But it would perhaps be otherwise if it were said in the name or virtue of Peter or of the Pope, because these words seem to signify the authority of the principal Lord, as Saint Thomas thinks on 1 Corinthians 5. And therefore such a mode of speaking is not in use. But another mode, namely ‘by authority conceded to me by the Pope’ or something similar is wont sometimes to be used by ecclesiastical judges, especially those who are delegates. Yet I say that even that way of speaking is not necessary nor used by ordinary pastors, as bishops are, who after having received power use their right in the manner of proximate cause. But in the apostles, as I said, a greater reason comes into play, because not from Peter but immediately from Christ did they have authority. Hence it is clear that deservedly did Paul say “and with my spirit;” nor did he have to say, nay he could not say, “and with the spirit of Peter;” both because of the reason given, that Paul did not have power from Peter since he was an apostle not by men nor through men but through Jesus Christ, as he himself says, Galatians 1; and also because there the phrase ‘and with my spirit’ does not signify the virtue or power of operating but a necessary condition for judging, namely sufficient knowledge of the cause, as is plain from the words, 1 Corinthians 5: “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,” for in the same sense he subjoins, v. 4: “when ye are gathered together and my spirit,” that is, my knowledge and spiritual presence. But this condition could not be attributed to Peter, nay not properly to Christ either, because it is a proper and personal condition requisite on the part of the minister, and in addition to this is required the authority of the principal Lord, and therefore Paul added, v .4: “with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
spacer 17. Finally the king brings as objection certain indications directly against the primacy of Peter. One is “because in all the congresses of the apostles we read that Peter sat among them as one out of many,” as in the Council of which mention is made in Acts 15. Where also, for the sending of the messengers, it is only said, v. 22: “Then pleased it the apostles and priests with the whole Church to send chosen men.” “But,” says the king, “about the head of the Church pure silence. Thus in their letters mention is made of apostles, elders, and brothers, but about Peter not a word.” The second indication is that Paul, 1 Corinthians 1, reprehends those who say “I am of Cephas” equally with those who say “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos,” when however, if Cephas was head of the Church, they who were not standing by him ought the rather to be condemned as defectors from the faith and only the followers of Peter should be held to be faithful. The third indication is that Paul, in Galatians 2, dealt then with Peter in so little kindly a way that he did not only put himself on an equality with him but even made himself superior. As fourth indication, although it is put by way of derision, he adds that Paul, Galatians 1, when he says he went up to Jerusalem “to see Peter and deal with him about certain things,” did not add that “he also went there for holy kissings of his feet.”
spacer 18. But these and the like things are not worthy to be proposed against the authority of the whole Church and the sufficiently express words of Christ, yet satisfaction must be made to them lest we seem to omit something. To the first in the first place we say that what is assumed is false, for in Acts 1 a certain congress of Apostles is reported and yet not only is Peter placed as head in the first place but he even himself, as head, addresses the whole band, and makes decree about creating a twelfth apostle in place of Judas, which decree the others followed. Where rightly does Chrysostom say, homil.3: “How fervent he is, how he acknowledges the flock entrusted by Christ, how in this choir he is prince.” Therefore, with Chyrsostom as witness, whom others follow, in that congress Peter is put forward as superior to the rest and as bearing universal care. Which thing is also noted by Pope Leo IX, epist. to Michael, ch. 16, saying that there Peter made use of his authority. Hence it is not without cause that almost always when the apostles are numbered Peter is put in the first place as leader and prince of the rest, which, that it was not done by chance nor because of another excellence or prerogative, Bellarmine learnedly shows in De Summo Pontifice I.18. Therefore also in the Council of Jerusalem he is first to speak and pronounces his opinion with great authority, which, that it also pertained to his primacy and (so to say) to his presidency in the Council, many have noted. Hence it was not necessary that afterwards, in decreeing the mission of the legates or in the form of the decree, any special mention of Peter be made, both because mention had already been sufficiently made of Peter and his opinion, and also because it was not specially in the name of Peter but in the name of the whole Council that the letter and definition were written. There can be added too that in authority and in the spirit of not erring in the faith the apostles then had a certain equality, and therefore in this respect all had been placed in the first order.
spacer19. To the second indication we reply that it pertains not at all to the present cause; for as Chrysostom notes, orat .3 on 1 Corinthians, that among the Corinthians “the schisms were not on the ground of disagreement in faith but on the ground of division of opinion in human contention.” Which the same Paul sufficiently explained, both by sweetly and gently imploring them to be, v.10, “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment,” and also by explaining what the contentions were, because they were glorying about private masters or baptizers and were being named from them, saying, v. 12, “I am of Paul, I of Apollos, I of Cephas.” But Paul but his own and Peter’s and Apollos’ name, not because in fact the divisions and contentions were under these names, but putting them there in the place of those who were the heads of the factions, either so that he should not, by naming them, exacerbate things further, or so that he might the more exaggerate the thing; for if under the names of the prince-apostles it was not licit to make contentions and divisions, much less under the names of others. Since, therefore, the contentions were only that each was glorying about his own master of minister, as if it was better by him to be baptized or taught, it was not necessary either to condemn those who were not named from Cephas or to praise those who gloried of his baptism, but only to commend those who said: “I am of Christ.” Because neither those who said “I am of Paul or Apollos” were dissenting from Peter, the visible head, in faith but only in a special affection or admiration for their baptism or master; nor were those who said they were of Peter in this to be tolerated; because although Peter was visible head, yet he was not as the supreme prince but as vicar of the prince, who is Christ alone, from whom alone are Christians to be named. Nor even by private affections for Peter and Paul was Christ or the name of Christians to be divided, because neither is baptism better by the fact that it is given by a better minister nor are the like contentions to be moved in the Church.
spacer 20. About the third indication, taken from the deed of Paul resisting Peter, many things could be said if they had not recently been said by us in Book IX of De Legibus, and therefore I say briefly that the ancient heretics too took thence an argument against the dignity or rather against the doctrine of Peter. To whom in one word Tertullian responds, De Prasecrip. Haeret., when he says: “Besides if Peter was reprehended, the fault was in his behavior not in his preaching.” Therefore it is false that Paul either dealt with Peter in an unkindly way or that he made himself equal, much less that he made himself superior. For come. If the King of England were to do something carelessly or to the scandal of his subjects, and some one of his family or his council were to warn him that he was not acting rightly, or that he was unjust, or was of some little offense to others, would he therefore be making himself superior to the king or not recognizing him as king? Not at all, otherwise it will never be licit for a subordinate fraternally to correct his prelate, or to resist him with due reverence, so that public scandal might be taken away; which is something that cannot be said. Therefore from that deed of Paul cannot be collected that he placed himself before Peter in power or prelacy, for although he was inferior he could use that office of charity. And so was that place understood by Augustine, ep.19, and St. Thomas, IIa IIae, q. 33, art. 4, ad 2.
spacer 21. To the fourth, about the journey of Paul to see Peter, Galatians 1, certainly Jerome did not doubt there to say that he went up “with the desire to give honor to the first apostle;” and Ambrose: “It was worthy that he should desire to see Peter, who was first among the apostles, to whom the Savior had delegated the care of the churches.” And other Fathers too often speak thus. And although we confess that from the sole act of Paul the prelacy of Peter cannot be necessarily collected, yet on the supposition of other testimonies commending the dignity of Peter, a great indication can therefrom be taken that Paul recognized Peter as his head and universal pastor of the Church, and therefore as soon as he conveniently could, he went up to Jerusalem to visit him and to give him due honor. Nor is it to be doubted but that Paul for his humility would desire to kiss the feet of Peter, but neither the modesty nor submission of Peter would have permitted it; nor finally was it necessary for Paul in that place to report the mode of honor and reverence which he showed to Peter. But about the custom of venerating the Pontiff through kissing his feet, which the King of England here tacitly wishes to disparage, here is not the place to speak; let him who wishes read Joseph Stephanus in his opusculum De Adorat. Pedum, in vol. III of his Tractates.



1. Error of heretics.spacer 2 - 3. Conclusion de fide. The primacy of Peter did not with his life become extinct. Proof from Matthew ch. 16. spacer4. Proof from John ch. 21: 4. spacer5 - 6 Evasion. It is rejected. spacer7 - 8. Proof also by reason. spacer9. Objection. It is dissolved and turned back. spacer10. The Roman Bishops did not in all privileges succeed Peter in the primacy.

HERE are not lacking at this time heretics who not only deny that Peter or the Roman Pontiff is Pastor of the whole Church, or Vicar of Christ, but also say that even if by hypothesis Peter had that prerogative it became extinct with him, so that in this way they may the more easily deny that it perseveres in the Roman Pontiff. So as, therefore, to overturn this error from its foundations and reach by the same steps the truth aimed at, we will first show in this chapter that Peter, not by extraordinary right or by individual or so to say life privilege, but by ordinary right and reason was created over the Church enduring perpetually into the future Vicar of Christ; afterwards, however, in the following chapter we will turn our step to the Roman Pontiff.
spacer 2. At the beginning, therefore, we state that the primacy of Peter was not conferred on him alone for his person but that it was instituted in him so that it might endure perpetually in the Church. This can easily be proved from what has been said in the two preceding chapters. For, by this reason, after Christ said to Peter: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,” he immediately adds: “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” promising the Church’s perpetual duration founded on Peter as on a rock most firm and to endure perpetually, as was above in book 1 proved at large, and is confirmed by the other promise of Christ, Luke 22:32: “I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not.” And by this reason Augustine said, as we explained in the preceding chapter, that Peter represented the Church when the keys were given to him, because not for his person alone but for his see, so that it might endure perpetually in the Church and rule it and in its way sustain it, were they given to him. Hence as from those words, “Thou art Peter, &c.” Ambrose inferred, on Psalm 40, so we can infer, “where the Church, there Peter;” and as long as the Church endures so long does Peter endure, which also Ambrose signified subjoining: “Where the Church, there no death but eternal life,” and that is why he added: “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Rightly indeed did he say, “where the Church, there no death,” because although individuals from the Church die, the Church does not die, and although Peter is deceased, the see of Peter is not deceased.
spacer 3. Besides, the other words of Christ, “Feed my sheep,” blue if his intention and the reason of the institution are prudently considered, no less effectively prove the said truth. For in the first place the reason from the Fathers above adduced, that Christ, by indefinitely commending his sheep to Peter, is understood to have committed all the sheep to his care, proceeds equally of sheep at all times and in all places, because as there were going to be sheep of Christ in diverse places so in diverse times, and the sheep would need some supreme Pastor at every time as also in every place. Next, when Christ said, “Feed my sheep,” it is certain that he did not speak only about the sheep that were then already gathered into his fold; for they were few, but Christ was providing for a future Church to be gathered from all nations. Therefore it was not only his present but also his future sheep that he commended to Peter; and since he did not affix a limitation of times, he committed the sheep of all times to Peter, just as we have said about place or as could be said about number. Someone will say that from this is rightly proved that to Peter were commended also future sheep while he himself lived but not future sheep afterwards. For how could he feed sheep in the future after him? The reply is that that is incredible, because otherwise Christ would not have sufficiently provided for his sheep, when however he had no less care for the sheep in the future after the death of Peter than while still alive. Hence rightly does Chrysostom say, homil. 55 on Matthew, “Here openly he foretold that there would be a great multitude of those who were and are to believe, and he makes him think higher things and constitutes him Pastor of the Church,” namely of the Church composed of all who were and are to believe. Nor is it difficult to explain how Peter after his death could feed the sheep of Christ left in this world. Both because from here we understand that not only to Peter in his person but to the See of Peter, or to Peter as containing in himself as if in seed and foundation all his successors, had Christ commended his sheep. And also because, for this cause, to the pastoral office of Peter it pertained to provide the way in which there would be succession to him so that the sheep of Christ would not be left without Peter as pastor, even if the person of Peter was deceased, and thus until today Peter feeds the sheep of Christ through his successors.
spacer 4. And this is confirmed very well by those words of Christ, John 10.:6: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring…and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” For from these we collect that in the Church of Christ there was always so to be one Pastor as one fold, and hence that the Pastor given and instituted by Christ was to endure until the whole flock of Christ should be gathered. Christ also signified in those words that one Pastor was necessary in his Church because of unity of fold; but this unity of fold was to preserved for all time, because in all time there is one Church; therefore also the one Pastor constituted by Christ was given for all time, not in the same person, but on the same throne, just as the Church is one not in the same persons but in succession of the same people. Hence Augustine says, De Pastorib. ch. 13: “Here I find all good pastors in one pastor. For in truth good pastors are not lacking, but they are in one. They are many who are divided. Here one is foretold, because unity is commended. For truly not for this reason are pastors [plural] not now spoken of, that the Lord did not find to whom he might commend his sheep: but for this reason then he commended, that he found Peter. Nay rather in Peter himself he commended unity. The apostles were many and to one it is said: Feed my sheep.”
spacer 5. But perhaps adversaries will say that that the one Pastor is Christ, for at once Augustine adds: “All good pastors are in one and are one; they feed, Christ feeds.” The reply is that Christ indeed is principal Pastor in whom all other pastors together also with Peter labor and are united; yet nevertheless even on earth there needs to be one Pastor, Christ’s Vicar, in whom the inferior pastors are proximately united and labor. Because as the Church Militant is visible, so God has placed in it visible pastors and doctors, with whom the people should be united; and in order for the pastors themselves to be united among themselves also one visible Pastor is necessary to hold the place of Christ in his absence. Hence Augustine subjoins: “For also Peter himself, to whom he commended his sheep, he wished to make, as if a second to a second, one with himself, so that in this way he commended him his sheep, so that he might be the head, might carry the figure of the body, that is, of the Church, and that they as bride and bridegroom might be two in one flesh.” And serm. 24, De Sanctis, ch .2, in the same sense he said: “In the one Peter was figured the unity of all pastors.”
spacer 6. But much clearer and fuller is what Cyprian says in his book De Unit. Eccles., near the beginning: “So as to manifest unity he established one chair, and by his authority he disposed for the same unity an origin beginning from one.” Where manifestly he distinguishes the institution and disposition of one chair, instituted for conserving the unity of the Church, by Christ himself the institutor of it. And similarly he designates, besides Christ, one other Pastor, so that from him it might draw its origin, not so that with him it might finish. Hence he subjoins: “The beginning advances from unity. The primacy is given to Peter so that one Church of Christ and one Chair might be pointed to,” thinking that that chair would endure as long as the Church endures. And this very thing in many other places is signified by the same Cyprian, especially epist. 40: “God is one, and Christ is one, and one is the Church, and one is the chair founded by the voice of the Lord on Peter.” And epist.55 where he has that celebrated statement, that: “from this arise heresies and schisms, because obedience is not given to the priest of God, and because the one who in the Church in place of Christ is priest for time and judge for time is not thought on.” And almost the like is contained in epist. 69 to Florentius; and in epist.73 to Iuvaianus he says: “To Peter first, on whom the Lord built the Church and whence he established the origin of unity, he displayed and gave that power, so that that might be loosed in heaven which he had himself loosed on earth.” Which place Augustine acknowledges in bk.3 De Baptismo, ch.17, when he says: “That to Peter as in figure of unity the Lord gave power is manifest, because that unity is also said to be one perfect dove.” Therefore by reason of that institution it is manifest that it was not only a special favor or grace that was given to the person of Peter, but a disposition of governance that was to last perpetually in the Church.
spacer 7. Thence also is taken a moral reason founded on the best government of the Church. For Christ the Lord is supreme King, whom God gave as head over the whole Church, as is said in Ephesians 1, that is, over the triumphant and militant Church, which is one and the one body of Christ, as if constituted from those two parts, as is said in the same place and in Colossians 1. Those two Churches, therefore, are as two partial kingdoms of the one integral kingdom of Christ, and for that reason to him as to its proper king the government of each kingdom pertains. But it could not without a huge and extraordinary miracle happen that Christ should be at once visibly present in each part of this kingdom, and besides the heavenly place, after the resurrection, was by reason of status due to him; and for the faith of believers it was not expedient that Christ should remain visibly among them, as he himself said, John 16.7: “It is expedient for you that I go away;” and for that reason he now rules the celestial kingdom immediately through himself. Therefore since he could not in the same visible way govern this militant part of his kingdom, to his wisdom it pertained to provide therein a mode of governance suited to men. Therefore as this kingdom was going to last as long as the world will last, so the mode of its governance could not be other than that which Christ instituted; and conversely the institution of its governance was so made that it should no less last than the kingdom itself, otherwise it would be imperfect and insufficient. But that institution was of monarchy in Peter, as we have seen; therefore not only for Peter was it made but also for his successors. Which fact is more or less declared in these words by Cyprian, epist.27: “Our Lord, when disposing the rationale of his Church, speaks in the Gospel and says to Peter: ‘I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’” And later: “From here through the interchange of times and successions runs the ordination of bishops and the rationale of the Church, so that the Church might be established on bishops, and every act of the Church might through the same commanders be governed.” Where he signifies that not only the succession of the Roman Pontificate but also of all the other bishops is derived from that primary and as it were root institution, which also in his book De Unit. Ecclesiast. he pursues more at large.
spacer 8. Next, that not only to Peter but also to his successors was given power and pastoral care, and thus that his primacy was perpetual, is openly declared by Pope Leo, serm.2, De Assumpt. Sua, when he says: “Even if to many pastors he delegated care of his sheep, yet he himself did not abandon the guarding of his chosen flock. For whose principal and eternal protection we have also received the defense of the apostolic strength, which indeed does not fail of its work; and the firmness of the foundation, on which is constructed the height of the whole Church, does not grow weary under any mass of the temple resting on it. For the solidity of that faith, which is praised in the Prince of the apostles, is perpetual; and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so does that remain which Christ in Peter established.” And later: “There remains therefore the disposition of the truth…” and the rest of what he pursues. And in a like way Chrysostom, Book II De Sacerdot., when treating of the place in John 21, says among other things: “For what cause did Christ shed his blood? Certainly to acquire those sheep whose care he committed both to Peter and to Peter’s successors.” And he adds: “Rightly therefore and worthily did Christ thus speak, Matthew 24:45: ‘Who then is a faithful and wise servant whom the Lord hath made ruler over his household?’” And later he says openly that the successors of Peter now do that “which when Peter was doing, Christ wished him to be endued with authority and to excel by far the rest also of the apostles.” Likewise St. Augustine, in his book De Utilitate Credendi ch.16, declares this perpetuity through the successions of bishops from the Apostolic See, and in Contra Faustum XI.2, says: “You see in this matter what strength the authority of the Catholic Church has, which, from the most well founded sees themselves of the apostles up to the present day, is made firm by the series and agreement of the bishops in succession to them.” And in like way is this truth declared by Optatus, Pacianus, and others whom we will refer to more agreeably in the next chapter.
spacer 9. But the heretics can object that because the other apostles only for their own persons received the apostolic appointment or dignity, therefore after their death they did not have successors in that dignity; therefore neither did Peter in his apostolate have a successor, because although he was first among the apostles and had among them received some principality or power for purpose of preserving order and concord, yet no greater reason for succession is found in him than in the others. The reply is that the contrary can by that argument be proved; for in the apostles two things can be considered to have been conferred on them by Christ the Lord, namely, the power of order and the apostolic dignity. The former was nothing other in them beyond ordination, or Episcopal consecration, which pertains to the foundations of the Church, and therefore with them it was not made extinct but in it they have the bishops as successors, as is supposed by Cyprian in his book De Unit. Ecclesiae and in the other epistles cited, by Augustine, Enarrat. in Psalm. 44, and by Jerome, epist. 85 to Evagrius. And therefore must it about this power be understood, as he says there, that all bishops are equal. But the latter, that is, the apostolic dignity, included many privileges, namely power immediately delegated by Christ for preaching throughout the universal globe with an authority and a special power conceded by Christ himself, according to the verse, John 20.21: “As the Father hath sent me even so send I you.” Again it included many graces and prerogatives accommodated to such an office, as were abundance of the Spirit with confirmation in grace and in faith, along with a certain fullness of knowledge, such that in matters of the faith they could neither deceive nor be deceived, whether by teaching or writing; and again that besides the gift of tongues, which they had for teaching, they had also the direction of the Spirit for canonical writing. Therefore in this dignity it is true that the apostles did not have successors, for it was an extraordinary dignity and requisite only for beginning the dissemination of the Gospel and planting the Church; but it was not necessary for its ordinary governance.
spacer 10. Hence on this part too, as regard many of the said prerogatives, there was no succession to Peter. But besides these two parts, something singular was bestowed on Peter, namely the right of supreme Pastor and of Christ’s Vicar in his Church, considered simply and absolutely with respect to any place and any time. And in this Peter is not to be compared with the rest of the apostles, else he would have received nothing singular; and therefore, on this part, the inference is of no moment, and rather (as I said) is it licit to infer the opposite, from the singular concession and by reason of the office. But in the rest of the apostles the Episcopal authority can in a special way be considered as to jurisdiction, insofar as they received the ordinary governance and see of some church, as James the brother of the Lord was constituted bishop of Jerusalem; which however about the others is not certain, although it could have happened by the same reason. As regard this Episcopal authority, therefore, because it is ordinary in the Church, there was also succession to the apostles, as Simeon succeeded to James. And so, in this respect, a comparison can in some way be admitted, but the reason is far different, both because this ordinary Episcopal dignity was not to any apostle beside Peter given by divine right but by the mediation of Peter, as Eusebius reports about James, Histor., II.1, and as is likely about John when he was staying at Ephesus, from Irenaeus, III.3, at the end, so as to omit what the histories say about Andrew, Barnabas, and others. Where, then, the apostles as proper bishops were ruling particular churches, that jurisdiction was contained within certain limits and was conceded to them only within those limits, but the jurisdiction of Peter, which he received immediately from Christ, was universal for the whole Church; and thus it was also proper to him to have in this dignity a successor. (See Baronius, Annales vol. I, for the years 44, nrs. 29f. and 51, nr. 54).



1. First assertion. spacer2. First reason for the conclusion. spacer3. Second reason. spacer4. Third reason. spacer 5. Second assertion de fide. spacer6. The Vicar of Christ should be visible and in a definite see. spacer7. Proof of the conclusion. spacer8. In the Roman See alone could Peter have had a successor to his primacy. spacer9 - 10. An evasion of certain heretics is refuted. spacer 11. Another evasion of heretics. spacer12 - 13. It is refuted. The successor to Peter in the Roman episcopate has also necessarily succeeded to the primacy.

E take as supposition what has been sufficiently proved in the preceding, that in the Church always some successor to Peter in his universal governance was required; but now we add that he could at each time be only one supreme bishop and one person. Because it has been shown that the ecclesiastical republic and its spiritual governance ought always to be so preserved as it was by Christ established; but it is by Christ’s institution a monarchy; therefore it ought to be preserved by succession; therefore there could be only one successor of Peter at the same time or at any time, although there must be multiplication by succession at diverse times. A fuller explanation is that, if several bishops succeeded to Peter at the same time, in three ways could it be understood.
spacer 2. In the first way each of them might succeed only to part of the pastoral office, as if by dividing the primacy among themselves, such that the whole would indeed be in all of them at once, but not in each singly nor in all collectively, but divided by parts among the individuals. And this way is what some of the Protestants are reported to have asserted, alleging the remark of Cyprian, De Unit. Eccles.: “The episcopacy is one, whereof a part is by individuals held in solidarity.” But this is nothing other than to deny true succession to the primacy of Peter; for, by the very fact that the primacy was divided among many in that way, none of them would be universal Pastor of the Church but only of the part of it which touched them; therefore none of them would be true and (so to say) adequate successor of Peter; for none would be simply supreme for the others to acknowledge, which is what Peter had. And as a result none would be fundamental rock of the Church, and to none of them would pertain the words of Christ “Feed my sheep” insofar as by those words all the sheep were commended to one Pastor. Next, in none of them would the unity of the Church be maintained, but rather the Church would be split among the many of them, just as the West and the East were divided into diverse empires; which, how much it is repugnant to the unity of the Church, was shown above. Nor is the sense of the words of Cyprian that which the Protestants imagine, since the very same Cyprian, both in the same book and in other places already often mentioned, very greatly commends the one chair and the one Bishop of the Catholic Church, without whom its unity could not subsist. Therefore the sense is that the episcopacy of the Church is one but under it there are particular bishops who are called to a part of the care, not as supreme Pastors in their dioceses but under one who is supreme. Which sense is sufficiently declared by Cyprian when he adds: “The Church too is one, which is extended into a broader multitude by increase of fertility.” And after various examples, taken from the many roots and branches and rivers that have unity in their origin, he concludes about the unity of Church in this way: “But there is one head and one origin and one mother rich in results of fertility,” which mother he elsewhere designates in particular, as we will soon see.
spacer 3. In the second way the succession of several at the same time in the primacy of Peter could be thought of, not as divided but as collective, and by way of one tribunal or congregation. And this way is how they could have been thinking who, notwithstanding the primacy of Peter, said that a General Council was above the Pope. Although they would perhaps be compelled to say that even at the time of Peter the Council of the apostles or bishops was above Peter, because the same proportion should be kept; nor is there greater reason about one time than about another; nay, nor could the doctrine otherwise stand, as I will immediately show. But to think in this way about Peter and his primacy is not only not founded in the Gospel but is even repugnant to the words of Christ, as is clear from all the things we have said about the primacy of Peter. For Christ commended his sheep simply to Peter, whether each individual singly or the whole flock of them together, and the power over it he bestowed on Peter, and for that reason he established him as foundation of the body of the Church. But to the sheep themselves, whether divided or to the whole flock at the same time, not only was no power over Peter given but no power at all is even said to have been immediately conferred on them by Christ. But about this elsewhere, for now we have sufficiently proved that to Peter simply was given power over the whole Church, not for his person only but that it might succeed him. On this supposition, therefore, we say that a successor in the power which Peter had could only be one person and not a congregation of several, otherwise Christ’s institution would have been changed from monarchy to aristocracy, which could not be without the authority of the same Christ, which has not been revealed either by Scripture or tradition. And besides it would not be succession but would be a new creation, or the institution of a second governance, whose origin it would be necessary to show; for Peter’s primacy has, by force of the first institution, persevered through succession alone, as has been shown. Next, abstracting from the question about comparing the Pope and a Council, it is certain that Peter had primacy in the whole Church as long as a council was not actually gathered together, whose gathering together would depend on the will of Peter since he himself alone would be superior in the whole Church; therefore the successor too of Peter in this power ought to be one person, bearing one episcopacy, whatever might thence follow about the comparison of it with a Council, which matter is for our present purpose of no importance.
spacer 4. Finally in the third way it could be thought that Peter has together and at the same time several successors, having both divided and in solidarity a complete primacy and a universal pastoral care. And this way has not even by any heretic been asserted or thought out. For in the first place it involves a repugnancy because, if several are first, none of them is first positively, that is as superior over all, but at most negatively, that is as not having another above him; but each alternative is repugnant. Because from the first member it follows that none of them has succeeded Peter in the primacy, because Peter was positively superior to all and pastor simply of all Christ’s sheep apart from himself, which thing none of them would have. From the second member, however, the unity of the Church is both destroyed and its body is given a monstrous shape, as having at the same time two equal heads, which could have neither peace nor concord between them. And for that reason even nature as a whole abhors this multitude of powers, as the Philosopher also said at the end of the Metaphysics, and in a better way Cyprian De Idolor. Vanit. and Athanasius Contra Idola. Hence the very brute animals too are wont to follow one leader, as Jerome says at large in epistle 4. Next, if the other apostles did not have with Peter a similar equality how could it be imagined that any bishop afterwards was equal in jurisdiction to the successor of Peter? Or what institution or necessity could be imagined for several at the same time in a succession, full and in solidarity, of one power? It is certain, therefore, that the successor of Peter could only be one person or one bishop. After he has been legitimately created, as Cyprian rightly said, epistle 52: “Whoever now wishes to be the bishop must be thrust outside; nor may he have the Episcopal ordination who does not hold the unity of the Church. Whoever that man may be, though he boast much of himself and make most claim for himself, he is profane, he is alien, he is outside. And since there could not be a second one after the first, whoever is made after the one, who ought to be only one, he is not now second but nothing.” Let it therefore be settled that in the one Episcopal see, or in the one series of bishops, this succession ought to be established.
spacer 5. We therefore hence conclude that only the Roman Bishop is the true successor of Peter and that the power given to Peter for feeding the sheep of Christ persists in him. This assertion is certain and ought by held by Catholic Faith; for although expressly and in exact terms it is not read in sacred Scripture, it is in the principles therein revealed virtually contained, because it is by the Church sufficiently declared, nay by a certain evidence and experience of things it is clear. The declaration in the first place, for we have it from the Scriptures, is that to Peter was given the primacy of the Church as something that was going to endure in it perpetually, as has sufficiently been proved. But this endurance, since it was not going to be in one and the same person, was necessarily going to be by succession of several persons in the same dignity, and this is contained sufficiently in Scripture, not by any addition but by legitimate interpretation of the same Scripture. But in which see or bishopric this succession and the series of persons succeeding to this dignity was to be left is not related by Scripture, because the canonical history of the New Testament does not reach up to the death of Peter. And therefore, to make clear with certainty for the Church that it was fulfilled in such and such a see and that up to the present day is fulfilled the institution that Christ made and that is revealed in Scripture, it is enough that the application (so to say) of that institution and dignity to such and such a bishopric be proposed very sufficiently to the same Church through evident and continuous tradition and a usage very well known.
spacer 6. For just as we showed in the first book from the reason, institution, and end of the Church of Christ that it was necessary for it to be visible individually and with particularity, so that from the institution and office of the Vicar of Christ it was necessary for it to be visible to the Church in a particular and determinate see and succession. For what would it profit the Church to believe confusedly that there was on earth some bishop or some bishopric with the power and office of the Vicar of Christ, if it did not know in particular and with certainty believe which was such bishopric? Or how could the sheep follow their pastor, or have recourse to him, or hear and recognize his voice, if they did not believe in particular that such bishop was sitting in such see or bishopric? Just as therefore the Church visible is not by human only but also by divine faith believed to be the true Church, because the sensible signs by which it is seen are not the reason for believing but propose as evidently credible that it is the true Church which God revealed would always exist in the world; so must it be believed not by human faith only but also by divine that the Roman Pontiff is the visible head of this Church in the place of Christ, because the signs by which we point out this head make it evidently credible that he is the one whom Christ, by force of his institution, established as his Vicar. In this way, then, we say that the posited assertion is de fide and that it is in Scripture, with the tradition of the Church adjoined, sufficiently contained.
spacer 7. It remains for us to adduce the signs and testimonies of this evident credibility. And the first and as it were the fundamental one is that St. Peter sat in the Roman bishopric in the last period of his life and there died; for hence the consequence is made that his successors continued in the same see. So as better to understand the antecedent, we can distinguish three times or states in Peter after the ascension of Christ. In the first he presided over the universal Church of Christ without determination to a proper and special care of any particular bishopric, namely for five or six years before he fixed his see at Antioch, as is clear from Eusebius in his History and from other ancient histories. In the second Peter sat for seven years at Antioch, from the last year of Tiberius. When these were finished, in the second or, as some wish, the third year of Claudius, and the year 44 or 45 of the advent of Christ, he founded the Roman Church and transferred his see to it, and there he sat until the death which in the same city of Rome he suffered through martyrdom.
spacer 8. Hence it results, therefore, that succession to the chair of Peter could not have happened in the church of Jerusalem or of Antioch. Because in the first he never sat, but in it he made James sit first of all, to whom Simeon succeeded, as we said, and it is noted in the histories. But in the second he did not remain but sat there only for a time and consequently, while still living, he had there a successor whom he himself by his authority established, whether Evodius or Ignatius, about which Turrianus can be consulted in Constitutiones Clementis VII.46, and Baronius De Matyrolog., for the first day of February. Now Evodius succeeded Peter in the particular bishopric of Antioch but not in his primacy or universal episcopacy. For the see of Antioch was assumed to himself by Peter not from Christ immediately, or by divine right, but by his own choice and by human right, and therefore he could easily relinquish it and hand it to another. But the Pontifical dignity he had immediately from Christ and by divine right, and therefore as long as he lived he did not relinquish it nor, as I judge, could he have relinquished it, because he had from the immediate choice and conferring and precept of Christ himself the universal Church committed to him. It remains therefore that in the Roman see Peter had a successor to his pontificate; both because in no other could there be trace or reason for this succession, even if it be the see of Alexandria, because Peter never sat there, or of Constantinople which, while Peter was alive, had not been founded; and also because Peter should have a successor at his death, therefore he had him in the bishopric where he died, namely the Roman.
spacer 9. There are nevertheless not wanting heretics who, in order to escape the force of this argument, deny that Peter sat at Rome or that he died there. But I think it superfluous to put together against them a longer disputation, both because neither does the King of England insinuate this idea nor, as I think, do the Protestant Anglicans persist in this opinion, although perhaps sometimes they held it, and also because the evasion has no trace of truth nor any proof, to which it is necessary to respond. But that Peter was at Rome from somewhere else his own words indicate in his first letter, 5:13: “The Church that is at Babylon…saluteth you;” for that there by the name of Babylon Rome is signified is the interpretation of all Catholic interpreters and doctors, whom modern authors there collect, and so it is not necessary to refer to them; for also later, when treating of Antichrist, we will touch somewhat on this point. And lastly, that in the same Rome Peter exercised his Pontificate up to his death and that there he died is handed down by the common consent of all the ancient Fathers, both Greek and Latin, whom Sander refers to at large, De Visibili Monarchia VI.10, and Bellarmine, Book II of De Romano Pontifice, from the beginning over several chapters. Sufficient now for us is the authority of Jerome, Book II of De Scriptoribus Ecclesiast., and on Galatians 2, and of Eusebius in his History, whose words Jerome has pretty much borrowed, and with them agree other writers, both Latin and Greek, in addition to the testimonies of the Pontiffs themselves, the successors of Peter, which we will immediately relate.
spacer 10. Finally some Catholics blue add that, although we were to allow to the heretics that Peter was not at Rome, nevertheless the Roman Pontiff could have been the successor of Peter; for Peter could, while being or sitting elsewhere, delegate at Rome or elsewhere a successor to himself. Which indeed is for the confusion of heretics said truly and by supererogation, but it proceeds only about possibility or power. But to make the thing clear as to fact, it matters much that Peter was bishop of Rome up to his death. For if Peter had had his see elsewhere up to this death, in order for the bishop of Rome to succeed him in his pontifical see, it would be necessary to show the institution from a particular ordering of Peter, which in truth does not exist, because not elsewhere but in the Roman see and city he died. Which, once posited, there was no need for a new institution or will of Peter, for from the nature of the thing, on the supposition of prior divine institution, he who succeeded Peter in the see of Rome also followed him in his primacy, and so by succession it descended to the rest of the Roman Pontiffs.
spacer 11. But the adversaries could in another way escape, even if they are compelled unwillingly to admit that Peter was bishop of Rome up to his death, namely that from this it only follows that the successor of Peter was bishop of Rome, but that it is not rightly thence collected that the same successor was bishop and pastor also over the whole Catholic Church. Because these two dignities or episcopacies are distinct and separable; for he could be Pontiff of the universal Church although not be the bishop of any particular diocese, as we saw in Peter at the beginning of his pontificate. Besides, that universal dignity could first be joined with a particular bishopric and afterwards be separated from it, as we saw was done in the see of Antioch, where Peter had a successor in the bishopric of Antioch who did not succeed to the papacy; therefore the same could have happened on the death of Peter also in the bishopric of Rome; because in Peter himself too the conjunction of such bishopric with the primacy was not of divine right but of human, namely from the will of Peter, and so it could easily have ceased with his death. Nay, by the very fact that the successor of Peter is elected only by the Roman and not by the universal Church, it seems to follow that he has succeeded to a particular and not to a universal episcopacy.
spacer 12. We reply that it is no less certain that the first successor of Peter, and consequently the rest, succeeded in the episcopacy of the Catholic Church than in the episcopacy of Rome. Our proof of this is that always one person alone succeeded to Peter, as is clear from the histories and the Fathers, whom we will refer to in the next chapter; therefore either that person had together with the bishopric of Rome the primacy of the Church, which is what we intend, or the primacy has been left without succession and has perished; but this last is impossible because it is contrary to divine right and to the promise of Christ; therefore the first is altogether certain. Wherefore, from the fact that Peter located his see at Rome and conjoined his pontifical dignity to that bishopric (whether that conjunction was by divine institution, through a special precept and revelation, as some wish, or was by the human will of Peter, although divinely inspired), by the very fact that it was not changed while Peter was alive and has remained fixed, for that reason he who takes the place of Peter in the bishopric has necessarily succeeded him in both dignities. And however it may be about the other question, which is disputed by theologians, whether the Supreme Pontiff can separate the primacy from the Roman See and locate it either in another bishopric or leave it separated from every particular bishopric, I reckon it certain that, until some Supreme Pontiff has done that, the universal Church, when the papacy is vacant, cannot do it, because an inferior power cannot change what by a superior has been established; and because, just as to Peter alone was given the primacy for himself and for his successors, so to him alone or to the Supreme Pontiff does the concern belong to determine the pontifical see and to prescribe the mode of its election or succession. Thus therefore, since Peter located his see at Rome and conferred on it all his primacy and his power, and since he did not change that institution while alive, the Church, left by the death of Peter without a head, could not afterwards change the institution, and therefore the successor of Peter in the bishopric of Rome is of necessity at the same time successor to the primacy.
spacer 13. Nor is it an obstacle that the election of his successor was made by the clergy of Rome and not by the universal Church; for, as I said, to determine the mode of succession pertained not to the body of the Church but to Peter himself; and therefore as Peter wished to locate his pontificate firmly in the See of Rome, so also did he establish the election of his successor to be made by the Roman clergy. Or certainly Peter himself designated Clement his successor, as Clement himself writes, 1 Epist. to James the brother of the Lord, and Constitutiones., VII.45, although (as the more probable opinion has it), he himself yielded it first to Linus and Cletus and afterwards Clement succeeded them. And thus all of them succeeded to the pontificate as to the bishopric of Rome at the same time, and succession in the same way has descended to all the Roman Bishops following.



1. Proof from Irenaeus.spacer 2. From Augustine and Optatus of Milevis. spacer3. From Epiphanius and Tertullian. spacer4. From Jerome and Cyprian.

INCE, for confirming every dogma of the faith, ecclesiastical tradition has great force, it ought certainly to have the greatest in the present article which consists as it were in a certain fact and course of things and a continuous succession. And therefore we have thought it necessary to confirm this truth with every kind of testimony. And first we will use the testimonies of the ancient Fathers, who not only affirm that the Roman bishops have succeeded Peter in the pontificate, but also count this succession among the chief foundations and signs of the true and Catholic Church, as was often insinuated in book 1 and as we will now briefly review. For first thus does Irenaeus speak, III.3: “Since it is extremely long to enumerate the successions of all the churches, by indicating that of the greatest and most ancient Church, the one known to all, founded and constituted by the most glorious apostles Peter and Paul at Rome &c.” And later: “The blessed apostles, therefore, founding and setting up the Church, handed over the episcopacy of administering the Church to Linus.” And afterwards he enumerates the successors up to Eleutherius. And in those words I note simply that he says they “handed over the episcopacy of administering the Church,” and without restriction to the Roman Church, because the one could not be separated from the other, and therefore about the Roman Church he said first: “With this Church, because of its more potent principality, every church must agree, that is, those who everywhere are the faithful, in which Church there has always been preserved, by those who everywhere are the faithful, the tradition which comes from the apostles.”
spacerspacer 2. Second, Augustine, Contra Epist. Fundamenti, ch. 4, places among the sure indications of the Catholic Church this one: “From the See itself of Peter the apostle, to whom the Lord after his resurrection commended the feeding of his sheep, the succession of priests up to the present episcopacy.” And in the psalm against the party of Donatus: “Count the priests if you will from the See itself of Peter. And in that order of fathers see who succeeded to whom. It is the rock which the proud gates of hell will not overcome.” Where he very clearly shows that the succession was in the very pontifical dignity which is signified by the rock. And thus in Contra Litter. Petiliani, II.51, he says that the see of the Roman Church and the see in which Anastasius was then sitting were the same; and finally, epistle 165, he numbers the successions of all the Pontiffs from Peter up to Anastasius. In like manner Optatus, Book II Contra Parmenian., says: “One must see who sat prior in the see and when.” And later: “You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Episcopal chair was conferred on Peter first, whereon Peter the head of all the apostles sat, so that in this one chair unity might by all be preserved.” Where he clearly speaks of an Episcopal chair above the whole Church. Hence he adds later: “Therefore on the undivided chair, which is first among the dowries (namely of the Catholic Church), first sat Peter, to whom Linus succeeded &c.” up to Siricius.
spacer 3. The same succession is accurately reported by Epiphanius, Haeres. 27, near the end, and after it he subjoins: “And lest anyone wonder that we review the individual instances so exactly, for clarity is by these always shown,” thinking that, for clarity of true and Catholic doctrine, succession of this sort and knowledge of it is necessary, because, as he himself said of Peter in Ancorato near the beginning: “This is the firm rock on which the Church is built, and the gates of hell, which are heresies and heresiarchs, shall not prevail against it. For in him in every way is the faith made firm, because he received the keys of heaven, and looses on earth and binds in heaven.” Which rock and power he traces down by succession to his own times, so as to show that in it the faith was made firm, against which heresies do not prevail. The same series of Pontiffs is described in verses by Tertullian, Book V Contra Marcionem, the last chapter, where, speaking of the disciples of the apostles who “succeeded throughout the globe,” he subjoins: “Among whom Linus, the chosen great one, approved by the people, placed on this chair whereon he had himself sat, Peter bade first to sit in very great Rome &c.” which he continues up to Thelesphorus, of whose time he says: “the Church of Rome stood firm, flourishing in piety, set up by Peter, whose successor he also was. For now in ninth place Higinus has received the chair.” And afterwards he reviews Pius and Anicetus. And in his book Preascript., ch. 30, he makes mention of Eleutherius who sat after Anicetus, nay also after Soterus. For thus he speaks: “It is evident that he (Marcion) had first believed Catholic doctrine in the Roman Church, until (supply, he was banished) under the episcopacy of blessed Eleutherius;” and ch. 36: “You have Rome, whence authority for us too is ready to hand. A Church happy in its state, on which the apostles poured out their whole doctrine with their blood,” where I understand by ‘whole doctrine’ even the firmness and incorruption of the same doctrine.
spacer 4. Lastly St. Jerome too briefly mentions in his book De Scriptoribus Ecclesiast. this succession in Clement. Often too Cyprian, when dealing with the election and ordination of Cornelius, especially epist. 45 to Cornelius, where first he calls the Roman Church “root and mother of the Catholic Church,” but afterwards he says: “Now the truth equally with the dignity of your episcopacy is established in most open light and with most manifest and most firm approbation. So that you (as he had first said) and your communion, that is, the unity equally with the charity of the Catholic Church, may be firmly approved and held by all our colleagues,” where he clearly teaches that the Roman Bishop, properly elected, is so the successor of Peter that on him the universal Church is founded and united, just as it was founded and united on Peter. Hence speaking of the same Cornelius, epist. 53 to Antonianus, says: “Cornelius has been made bishop, when no one before him was made, when the place of Fabian, that is the place of Peter and the platform of the priestly chair, was vacant.” And indeed these Fathers speak more expressly of the very succession of the Pontiffs in the see and dignity of Peter; but there are very many others who acknowledge the dignity itself in the Roman Bishop and make much of it, to whom we will in chapter 17 below make reference.



1 - 16. Various ways in which the Pontiffs build up their dignity.spacer 17 - 20. Later Pontiffs too have with equal constancy guarded their primacy.

LTHOUGH this kind of proof may not move Protestants, as I will say below, yet I do not judge it should be omitted, both because in truth it is a most grave and for Catholics a most useful one and embraces in itself many kinds of arguments; and also because King James in his Preface, p. 60, when he said that Peter was first and prince of the apostles in age, in vocation, or in sum in order, not in power, he subjoins: “Nor did the Bishop of the Roman See claim anything further to himself in the three hundred years following Christ.” In order, therefore, to prove that this testimony has through error and deception been given by the king, I will run not only through three hundred but also six hundred or more years of Christ and show evidently that the Roman Pontiffs, from the beginning of the nascent Church, claimed the primacy of the Church for Peter and for themselves, not only as to political order but much more as to the authority and power of a superior.
spacer 2. But so that the force of the testimonies and words may be perceived, it must be noted that there are various ways in which the Pontiffs build up their dignity. One is in expressly declaring the excellence of power in Peter and calling themselves Peter’s successors and applying to themselves words said about Peter. Another is by assuming titles of dignity which cannot be in accord with them save by reason of such primacy. Another is by attributing or reserving to themselves acts of supreme jurisdiction and spiritual power over the whole Church. For since it cannot be judged that they wanted unjustly to usurp jurisdiction, they are supposing that succession in this supreme dignity is in that See preserved. The last way, finally, is by expressly fighting for this truth and disputing against the errors of those who oppose it. From these ways of speaking and proving, and from the various acts of supreme power which the Roman Pontiffs always exercised, various kinds of arguments for confirming the truth can be adopted. But in order that the perpetual tradition of the Church may be more evidently laid open, it has seemed more commodious to propose, preserving the order of times, what individual Pontiffs have in every century taught about their primacy.
spacer 3. First, then, Pope Anacletus [Pope nr. 3, after Peter and Linus], epistle 1, says that the Apostolic See is that on which Christ has founded his Church and therefore the greater causes pertain to it; epistle 2 he says: “We hold the reins of government of the Church,” and epistle 3 he expressly confirms and declares this truth, saying that the Roman and Apostolic Church has from the Savior himself obtained primacy and eminence of power over all churches.
spacer Second, Evaristus [nr. 5], epistle 1, calls “the Roman Bishop the head, to whom in doubtful matters recourse must be had.” Alexander
I [nr. 6], epistle 1, calls him “apex and head.”
spacer Third, Sixtus
I [nr. 7], epistle 1, calls him “head of all churches.”
spacer Fourth, Anicetus [nr. 11], his sole letter, says that “to himself pertains all judgments of bishops.
spacer Fifth, Eleutherius [nr. 13] has the same in his epistle, ch. 2.
spacer Sixth, Victor [nr. 14], epistle 1 to Theophilus, says that: “to do the contrary is nothing other than to transgress the boundaries of the apostles and their successors and to violate their decrees.”

spacer 4. Seventh, Zephyrinus [nr. 15], epistle 1, from the place in Matthew 16, where he calls the Roman Church the head of the whole Church, and that it pertains to it by apostolic authority to instruct the rest, and at the end: “For I am mindful that I preside over the Church under his name whose confession is glorified by the Lord Jesus Christ and whose faith always destroys all errors.”
spacer Eighth, the same supposition is made by Anterus [nr. 19] to the bishops established in the province of Baetica and Toledo, replying to their consultation about the exchange of bishops, and first he takes the occasion to say that Peter whom he calls “our holy master and prince of the apostles” was transferred from Antioch to Rome for utility’s sake. And declaring that the same could be done in other bishoprics by apostolic authority, he subjoins: “These things, as you have requested them, though they are not unknown to you, we command to be observed.” And at the end: “Therefore, brothers, stand and hold the traditions of the apostles and of the Apostolic See.”
spacer Ninth, Fabian [nr. 20], in epistle 1, shows at once his pontifical authority both in the title, “to all co-ministers everywhere in the Catholic Church,” and in the introduction, “we are admonished by the divine precepts and the Apostolic Institutions that for the state of all the churches we keep watch with tireless love. Hence, it follows, you must know the things that in the Roman Church are done in the sacred rite of the Church, so that, following her examples, you may be found true sons of her who is called your mother.” Where certainly he supposes that appellation to have been already everywhere made public and accepted. The same is also in the same way collected from epistle 2, to all the bishops of the East, and from epistle 3, to Hilary, where he says of himself that he has: “On this account by divine grace been advanced to the sacerdotal summit and established on a certain watchtower of the priests of God, to prohibit what is illicit and to teach what is to be followed.” And next he prescribes the order to be observed in ecclesiastical courts. “With preservation in them all,” he says, “of the Apostolic Authority,” to wit of the Roman Church.

spacer 5. Tenth, Cornelius [nr. 21] in his epistle to Cyprian, which is 46 among Cyprian’s letters, relates that certain people, deceived by ignorance, made schism against him; but that afterwards, when they had realized the truth, they came to their senses in the following words, which he affirms are their own: “We know that Cornelius has been chosen Bishop of the most holy Catholic Church by the Almighty God and by Christ our Lord.” And later: “Our mind was always in the Catholic Church, for neither are we ignorant that there is one God, that there is one Christ the Lord, whom we confess, one Holy Spirit, that there ought to be one Bishop in the Catholic Church.” Which confession he himself so approves that he says: “Were we not moved by their profession?” And later: “These letters we judge you should send to the rest of the churches.”
spacer Eleventh, Lucius [nr. 22] in his epistle to the West begins thus: “The letters of your love, which you have sent to the See of the blessed apostle Peter for reason of your business, we have gladly received.” And afterwards he replies as if universal pastor and makes disposition of many things.
spacer Twelfth, Sixtus
II [nr. 24], in his first epistle, first says that he “presides over the Church in the name of him whose confession is praised by Christ and whose faith never deceives anyone but destroys all heresies.” But later he adds that it is licit for bishops to appeal to the Apostolic See, “to whose disposition all the more important ecclesiastical causes and the courts of the bishops have, by the ancient authority of the apostles, of their successors, and of the canons, been reserved; since bishops are held blameworthy who have done otherwise toward their brothers than it has pleased the Pope of the same See to be done.”
spacer 6. Thirteenth, the like is contained in epistle 2 of Dionysius [nr. 25] to bishop Severus: “From the beginning we have from blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, received trust so great that we have the authority, by the help of the Lord, to come to the aid of the Universal Church.” And afterwards he prescribes a division of parishes to be carried out and the norm given by him to be made known to all. “So that this precept,” he says, “might not be special but general.”
spacer Fourteenth, Felix [nr. 26] in his first epistle, confirms that “the greater causes of the whole Church are reserved to himself.”
spacer Fifteenth, Marcellus [nr. 30] in his first epistle to the bishops of the province of Antioch thus begins: “Carrying the care of all the churches, according to the apostle.” Which thing he pursues at large by confirming everything said above, and he adds that “no synod can be legitimately made without the authority of the Roman See.” And these things may be enough for confuting the assertion of the king, for Marcellus lived up to the year of Christ 310; but for the greater evidence of the truth, we must at least run through the other three centuries following.

spacer 7. Sixteenth, Eusebius [nr. 31] thus begins his third epistle: “Blessed be the Lord our God, who by his mercy has dedicated his Roman Church to the priesthood of the blessed apostle Peter, and has conceded, by exchange of love, to show us the way that concerns us, because of the universal care which is ours on account of the privilege of the same Church.”
spacer Seventeenth, Melchiades [or Miltiades, nr. 32] in his epistle to the bishops of Spain, when saying that it pertains to himself to pass judgment on bishops, adds: “For these the Lord has reserved for his own judgment, and this privilege he has committed to blessed Peter alone, the bearer of the keys and his vicar. Which prerogative has justly grown in his See, to be inherited and possessed by future times, since among the apostles too there was a certain discrimination of power.”
spacer Eighteenth, from Sylvester [nr. 33] we can adduce the final canon of the Roman Synod established under him, which runs thus: “No one will judge the first See, since all sees desire justice to be moderated by the first See. Nor by Augustus, nor by any cleric, nor by kings, nor by the people will the judge be judged.” And it was subscribed to by 284 bishops with some priests and deacons, and even by Augustus Constantine himself.
spacer Nineteenth, Marcus [nr. 34] in his epistle to Athanasius and the bishops of Egypt, says: “This is the holy and apostolic mother of all churches, the Church of Christ,” which he also says is immaculate in the Faith, because the promise made to Peter is fulfilled in the Roman Pontiffs.
spacer Twentieth, Julius
I [nr. 35] in his epistle to the East calls the Roman See the first, and says that to it pertains the rights of convoking synods, of judging bishops, and of reserving the greater causes to itself, “because it is set above all, not only by the decrees of the canons and the holy Fathers, but by the voice of the Lord our Savior.” Which he also repeats in his rescript against the East on behalf of Athanasius.
spacer 8. Twenty-first, Liberius [nr. 36] in his rescript to Athanasius says at the beginning that he has received in Peter authority over the universal Church.
spacer Twenty-second, Felix
II [Antipope to Liberius] in his rescript to Athanasius and the Egyptians understands the words of Christ in Matthew 16 about the Roman See.
spacer Twenty-third, Damasus [nr. 37] in epistle 2 to the bishops of Africa, first says: “We, who over the house of the Lord, that is, the universal Catholic Church, have received the Episcopal ministry.” Next he subjoins: “You know that the Apostolic See has been constituted the firm and immovable foundation fixed by God, and the most glorious title of his priests, that is, of all bishops, and the summit of the churches.” And he subjoins at once the words of Christ. And among the epistles of this Pontiff there is extant one to him from Aurelius, bishop of Carthage, requesting from him the statutes and decrees in the Roman See from Peter up to Damasus himself, “in accordance,” he says, “with the authority of the Apostolic See.” When sending which, Damasus says in epistle 5: “We desire you to keep them, and we command that they be preached and made public to others, so that they may by all with due reverence be kept inviolate.”
spacer Twenty-fourth, Siricius [nr. 38] in epistle 1 to Himerius, bishop of Tarragona, says: “We carry the burdens of all; nay the blessed apostle Peter carries them in us.” And in his third epistle to all the orthodox: “Necessity commands us to speak, who have the care of all the churches.”
spacer Twenty-fifth, Anastasius [nr. 39] writes thus to all the Germans and the bishops of the region of Burgundy: “Your love requires from the authority of the Apostolic See a response to your consultations.” And afterwards he replies in this form of words: “We command by Apostolic authority.”

spacer 9. Twenty-sixth, Innocent I [nr. 40] in various ways of speaking and in many letters teaches this truth, and exercises by precept and decree the universal power which is founded in the Gospel; but to relate all of them would here be prolix. And so it will be enough to point to the places, namely epistle 1 to Victricius II, to Exuperius, to Innocent, and more or less through all the subsequent ones, but specially to be noted is epistle 17 to the emperor Arcadius, wherein with these words he excommunicates him: “I, the least and a sinner, to whom is entrusted the throne of the great apostle Peter, separate and reject you and her from the reception of the immaculate mysteries of Christ our God &c.” which he there pursues, using his power of binding and loosing over all bishops and patriarchs. To be noted too is epistle 27 to the bishops of Macedonia; for when Innocent had received letters from them, he says: “In those letters I have seen many things set down which induce astonishment in our mind.” And later, explaining them, he says: “When I had had them very often repeated, I observed that the Apostolic See (to which, as to the head of the churches, the report sent was hastening), whose sentence was thought still to be doubtful, was suffering infliction of injury.” Also in epistle 29 to Decentius he shows at large the same thing; and best in epistles 31 and 32 to the Councils of Carthage and Milevis.
spacer 10. Twenty-seventh, Zosimus [nr. 41], in epistle 1 to bishop Hesychius, says: “We marvel that the statutes of the Apostolic See have not been conveyed to your love.” And later: “If you think that anything has been lacking in your authority, we supply it.” And later: “Whoever, setting aside the authority of the Fathers and the Apostolic See, has neglected this, let him know that he is to be by us more strictly punished.”
spacer Twenty-eighth, Boniface
I [nr. 42] in epistle 2 to the bishops of France, thus concludes about the courts of bishops in grave causes: “By our authority must they be confirmed.” And epistle 3 to bishop Hilary he thus writes: “Fortified by the right of a Metropolitan and supported on our precepts, approach, etc.”
spacer Twenty-ninth, Celestine
I [nr. 43] in epistle 1 to the bishops of the provinces of Vienne and Narbonne, says: “On the watchtower are we established by God.” And later: “Our spiritual care is not wanting about places far off but extends itself everywhere that the name of God is preached.” And in epistle 4 to the church of Constantinople, speaking about Athanasius, he says: “He has found the peace of communion in this See, whence help is always supplied to Catholics.” And epistle 5 to Nestorius he says that to himself pertains the care of the Faith and of all the churches; and the same is openly collected from the rest of his letters.
spacer 11. hirtieth, from Pope Leo [nr. 45] many things were adduced in earlier chapters, for in almost all his epistles he shows himself pastor of the Universal Church, as in epistle 4, at the beginning, he makes it express in his words, saying: “We are urged on by the divine precepts and the apostolic admonitions that we should be vigilant for the state of all the churches with tireless love.” Also to be noted is epistle 47, to the synod of Chalcedon, wherein, after he had said that it was the will of the emperor that a Council be convened, he adds: “the right and honor of the most blessed apostle Peter being preserved;” and later he says that through his vicars he himself presides over the universal synod. And epistle 53, wherein he rebukes Anatolius, the patriarch of Constantinople, on the ground he had wanted to be preferred to the church of Alexandria and Antioch, a fact he repeats in his two following epistles, and in the latter, which is addressed to the Augusta Pulcheria, he speaks thus: “The agreements of the bishops and of the holy canons established in the synod of Nicea, being repugnant to the rules, we, with the piety of your faith united to us, dismiss as void and, by the authority of the blessed apostle Peter, we annul them by an altogether general definition.” Also very good is epistle 84 to Anastasius the bishop of Thessalonica, to whom, as he himself says, he had delegated his functions, he says: “so that, made imitator of our meekness, you may assist in the care which we principally owe by divine institution to all the churches.” And in epistle 89 to the bishops of the province of Vienne he makes express declaration of the divine institution of ecclesiastical monarchy in Peter and his successors, the Roman Bishops. Which institution he proves from the custom, among other things, of consulting the same See, of appealing to it, and from the fact that judgments have been overturned or confirmed by it, which “dignity divinely given,” he says he guards, “not seeking his own but the things that be of Christ.” The same is very well treated of in the sermons on his assumption [of the papacy], especially the third.
spacer 12. Thirty-first, the same is professed by Pope Hilary [nr. 46], epistle 3 to bishop Ascanius, and at the beginning of the Roman Council convened under him.
spacer Thirty-second, he same supposition is made by Simplicius [nr. 47], epistle 1 to Zeno the bishop of Seville, to whom he commits the functions of the Apostolic See, and in epistle 3 to the emperor Zeno, whom he calls son and stirs him up to preserve the Faith, saying later: “For this norm persists in his successors (that is of Pope Leo), and it is the same with apostolic doctrine, on which the Lord enjoined the care of the whole flock &c.” And in epistle 5 to Acatius there are contained these words worthy of note: “Because, since the doctrine of our predecessors of holy memory is extant, against which it is impious to dispute, he who seems to be rightly wise does not need to be instructed with new assertions.” And epistle 9 to Augustus Zeno, he says: “Sustaining the care of all the churches, etc.” Which he also shows in epistle 13 to the same, where he also dispenses him from one of the canons of the Council of Nicea.

spacer 13. Thirty-third, a great defender besides of this dignity was Gelasius I [nr. 49], epistle 2 to the bishops of Dardania, and 6 to the bishops of Lucania, chs. 11 and 27, and most of all in epistle 10 to the emperor Anastasius, where he confirms this truth at large, and declares how much over the emperor, whom he calls son, the Pontiff excels. And in epistle 11 to the Dardanians he testifies that the Apostolic See confirms all synods and that no bishop can escape from his judgment, etc. Many like things are contained in his Admonition to Faustus, and in his volume De Vinculo Anathematis and most of all in his decree De Apocryphis Scripturis, at the beginning.
spacer Thirty-fourth, Anastasius
II [nr. 50], in his epistle to the emperor Anastasius, warns him to obey his mandates, because the See of Peter by divine ordination holds the principality over the universal Church.
spacer Thirty-fifth, the same is shown at large by Symmachus [nr. 51] in his Apologet. against the same Augustus Anastasius, from whom we took many things in earlier chapters.
spacer Thirty-sixth, Hormisdas [nr. 52], in epistle 1 to Augustus Anastasius, having been now in some manner corrected, he praises him saying: “May you think of the orthodox concord of the Church in reverence of the blessed apostle Peter, preserving especially the divine precepts.” And later: “Having directed to us your holy declarations, your piety has deigned to make mention of the holy Council, about which matter we will then be able to make a most full reply when you will have wished to give us evident knowledge of the reason for its convening.” In these words he sufficiently shows that a decree about convening a council pertains to himself and after the cause is known, about which many letters between the same Pontiff and emperor can be viewed. And the like is contained in the same Pontiff’s epistle 22 to the emperor Justin, along with many following ones.

spacer 14. Thirty-seventh, Boniface II [nr. 55] in his epistle to Eulalius bishop of Alexandria, at the beginning, shows the same dignity and confidence in the power of Peter.
spacer Thirty-eighth, the same is very well shown in epistle 2 of John II [nr. 56] to the emperor Justinian.
spacer Thirty-ninth, Pope Vigilius [nr. 59], epistle 1 ch.7, says thus: “To no one, whether he thinks lightly or is fully wise, is it doubtful that the Roman Church is the form and foundation of the churches &c.” The same is taken from epistle 2 of the same to Augustus Justinian, whom he calls son. The same from epistle 4 to bishop Aurelian, and in the fragment of the letter of Theodorus bishop of Caesarea, and of others, and from epistle 7 to the whole people of God.
spacer Fortieth, Pelagius
I [nr. 60], in epistle 1 to Vigilius, at the end, after confuting a certain error, he adds: “May your love take care that it become known to all the churches, etc.” and he subjoins the reason: “For I am mindful that I preside over the Church in the name of him whose confession is glorified by the Lord Jesus Christ, and whose faith destroys all heresies.” Also epistle 3 is very good and much to be noted for what we will say in what follows, and epistle 5, that in matters of doubt about universal synods recourse must be had to the Apostolic See.
spacer Forty-first, John
III [nr. 61] in his epistle to the bishops of Germany and France says that he is admonishing them by his apostolic letters, following in the footsteps of his predecessors; and again toward the end he says: “With the warning command of the Lord’s voice, whereby Peter is imbued by the threefold repetition of the mystical sanction, that he who loves Christ feed Christ’s sheep diligently and with great care, since through love of the Holy See itself, over which we by the abundance of divine grace take first place, by its love we are exhorted &c.”
spacer Forty-second, Pelagius
II [nr. 63], epistle 2 against John the bishop of Constantinople, who was ambitious for the primacy, he says: “With thorough rejection of the audacity which has been assumed against the Apostolic See and against the voice itself of the Lord Savior, let the empty hearts of the erring cease from disputing against the precepts of the Lord, etc.” which he pursues at large, teaching that the Roman See, by the institution of the Lord, is the head of all churches, and that thereto pertains the convening of Councils, and that what does not rest for support on its authority cannot be legitimate.
spacer 15. Forty-third, finally Gregory the Great [nr. 64], who presided over the Church up to the year of our Lord 610 [actually 590 - 604 A. D.], exercised the same pontifical authority by his acts and confirmed it by his words, as is clear from his letters, wherefrom some things we will briefly touch on. For, speaking generally, in almost all of them he gives outstanding demonstration of the care of a universal pastor; and especially is to be noted, Book I, epistle 24, which is to all the patriarchs of the world, in which he stresses the burden imposed on him, and honors five General Councils and as it were confirms them again; and in epistle 71 he says: “The greater is the reverence exhibited by the rest of the churches to the Apostolic See the more it becomes it to be solicitous for their protection,” and in Book III, indict.11, epistle 7, ch. 46, he professes and exercises power over all bishops, and for ending all difficult causes. But later in Book III, epistle 32, elsewhere indict. 13, ch. 76, he severely rebukes the exaltation of John of Constantinople, and threatens coercion unless he return to his senses, and takes the occasion to say: “It is clear to all who know the Gospel that by the Lord’s voice the care and principality of the whole Church is committed [to me].” Which he also repeats, Book VII, epistle 69, where he also says that without the consent and authority of the Apostolic See no Council has any force. And in the same book, epistle 64, dealing with the same bishop of Constantinople, he says: “The Byzantine primate was accused of a certain crime and the most pious emperor wished him, in accord with the canonical statutes, to be judged by us.” And later about the same primate he says: “But as to his saying that he is subject to the Apostolic See if any fault is found in bishops, I know not which bishop is subject to him.” And Book VI, indict. 15, ch. 37, elsewhere ch. 201, to Eulogius bishop of Alexandria, he refers to the epistle of that patriarch, in which he recognizes the chair of Peter in the Roman See, and adds: “Who is there who does not know that the holy Church is founded on the firmness of the prince of the apostles? &c.” In Book IV, epistle 51, elsewhere ch.95, he sends the pallium to a certain bishop. The same from epistle 54, and often he confirms bishops, and sometimes deposes them, or excommunicates them. And Book VII, epistle 125, he says: “What has once been sanctioned by the authority of the Apostolic See lacks nothing of firmness &c.” Innumerable like things will be found in those epistles.
spacer 16. Especially to be noted, however, is a remarkable place of the same Pontiff, on the fifth penitential Psalm, about the words: “Those who praised me swore against me.” For there, as if describing the schisms of his time, he says: “The madness of error has most in our times worked the poison of its malice; and the peace of the whole Church has it disturbed with its schismatic infestation. For it has stirred up against the Church of God not only an innumerable multitude of people, but even, if it be holy to say it, the royal power. For no reason allows that he be numbered among kings who destroys rather than rules his empire, and who can have as many colleagues of his perversity as he has made alien to the company of Christ; who, seduced by the greed of most base gain, takes the spouse of Christ captive, desires to abduct her, and by rash daring fights to make empty the sacrament of the Lord’s passion. The Church indeed, which, redeemed by the price of his blood, our Savior wished to be free, this Church he tries, overstepping the rights of the royal power, to make his handmaid. How much better would it be for him to acknowledge her his mistress and, by the example of religious princes, display to her the obedience of devotion and not stretch out the pride of his dominance against God, from whom he has received the dominion of his power? For Himself it is who says: ‘By me kings reign.’ But, blinded by the darkness of his immense greed, and ungrateful, as is clear, to divine beneficence, and puffed up against God, he has the boundaries set by our fathers transgressed, contemning the divine fear, and is against Catholic truth carried by the fury of his tyranny. But so far has he stretched out the temerity of his madness that he claims to himself the head of all the churches, the Church of Rome, and usurps over the mistress of the nations the rights of earthly power. Which he altogether has forbidden to be done who committed it specifically to the blessed apostle Peter, saying: ‘To thee will I give my Church.’ Let the mouth of those who speak iniquity be stopped, and let every rank of heretics fall silent, because falsehood has no strength which by the voice of truth itself is found to be destroyed.”
spacer 17. Just as during these first six centuries the Roman Pontiffs gave of their primacy testimony and very manifest signs, so further in all the later centuries their successors most constantly taught it, and have for this truth, necessary to preserving the unity of the Faith and the Church, fought very mightily. But I do not judge it opportune to pursue their individual opinions one by one, both because Protestants do not about particularly later Pontiffs deny this fact, and also because all the rights and canonical decrees, which are contained in the Decree and the Decretals, are full of testimonies of this sort. But certain more striking places, which to the present controversy seem more adapted, I have thought it necessary briefly to point out. Therefore to be looked at are the epistles of Honorius I [nr. 70] to Edwin king of the English and bishop Honorius; for from these it is clear that both the king and the bishops of England had from the Apostolic See requested or received spiritual rights. For there the Pontiff, at the petition of the king, sends two palliums to two Metropolitans, and concedes to each that they could, by the authority of the Pope, propose on their death a successor for themselves. Also can be viewed the epistle of Leo II [nr. 80] to the bishops of Spain about reception of the sixth synod; of which mention is made in the fourteenth Council of Toledo and which is reported in its totality from an ancient and authentic codex by Garcia Loaisa in his collection Conciliorum Hispaniae. For in it Leo calls the Roman Church and the Apostolic See the holy Church mother of all, and of himself he says: “Although we are not his equal, we yet fulfill the function of the prince of the apostles.” And likewise Benedict II [nr. 81], in his epistle to the same Council reported in the same place, says: “Although we are not the equal of blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, we fill his place for the ministry by divine help committed to us.” Also is to be consulted the epistle of Agatho [nr. 79] to the emperor Constantine, which is contained in the sixth Synod, act. 4, where he shows that the places from the Gospel above treated pertain to the Roman Church, and insists most of all on the fact that in the Faith it has never erred nor can err.
spacer 18. Also is much to be noted the epistle of Adrian I [nr. 96] to the emperors Constantine and Irene, which is contained in the seventh Synod. For in the first part of it he exhorts the emperor “to persistence in the faith of Peter and of the Roman Church, and to the honoring of the most holy Roman Church, of the prince of the apostles, just as was done by earlier pious emperors, who from their whole heart loved his vicar.” But in the second part, which is omitted by the Greeks, though it is preserved in the Vatican Library, and was added by Anastasius, he says about this See: “Carrying out the primacy in the whole world, it has been constituted the head of all the churches &c.” and he rebukes the patriarch of Constantinople because he dared to assume the name of Universal Bishop, since he could not ever have the name, even in second rank, without the authority of the Roman Pontiff. And he adds words deserving of note: “But if he be styled above his superior, the holy Roman Church, which is head of all the churches, certain it is that he shows himself a rebel and heretic against the holy synods. Because if he is universal he is acknowledged to have the primacy even over our See, which shows itself ridiculous to all the Christian faithful, because primacy and power in the whole world has by the Redeemer of the world been given to the blessed apostle Peter, and through the same apostle the Roman Church holds, to this present day, the principality, the power, and the authority.”
spacer 19.
Besides, Nicholas I [nr. 106] often in his epistles professes this truth, especially epistle 6 to Phocius, and in the seventh, his response; copiously and efficaciously, however, he confirms the same in epistle 8 to the emperor Michael, which is the first to him, and in the second to the same, and in epistle 10 to the bishops subject to the see of Constantinople, and in epistles 18, 20, 30, and more or less in the rest. Many like things are also contained in the epistles of John VIII [nr. 108], which, although they be not contained in the volumes of the Councils, have been very recently published in volume III of the pontifical letters, but especially can be noted, in epistle 73 to Count Lambert, these words: “The Apostolic See, which the Almighty God has deigned to found on the rock of his name, has not only by the kings and princes of the earth but also by the august emperors, lords on their thrones over the whole earth, been honored as head of all the churches of God; and they have by worthy announcements praised its Pontiffs as Vicars, that is, of blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, and they have studied to entreat them by their prayers and supplications; and may they to the end of the age, while the name and memory of Peter last, not cease to make supplication.” Again in epistle 84, to Louis, son of the emperor Charles, whom in the place of his father he established as his close adviser.
spacer 20. Next, Leo IX [nr. 153], in his Apologia contra Michaelem et Leonem, ch.9, places among the heresies of the Eastern bishops the presumption of taking up the name of Universal Bishop, which, he says, was offered to the Roman Bishop by the synod of Chalcedon, and although it could to him, after Christ, most suitably belong, from modesty and humility he did not accept it; and in ch.10 he decrees that on the Apostolic See no one among mortals can pass judgment. “The most blessed and Apostolic Pontiff Sylvester [nr. 33] divinely decreeing along with his spiritual son Constantine, the most religious Augustus, the universal synod of Nicea approving and subscribing &c.” Also can be viewed his epistle to Peter Bishop of Antioch, and his epistle to the emperor Constantine Monachus. Again Gregory VII [nr. 158], in his books of epistles, has many things in confirmation of this truth; but especially can be viewed, in book 1, epistle 63 to the King of Aragon, and 74 to Alphonse and Sancho, Kings of Spain, where he praises their fidelity to the Apostolic See and commends their agreement with it, and, in book 3, epistle 10 to King Henry, where in the very salutation he says: “To King Henry salutation and Apostolic benediction, provided however he has obeyed, as befits a Christian king, the Apostolic See &c.” And thereafter the whole letter is in confirmation of the Roman Primacy; and afterwards he excommunicates Siegfried archbishop of Moguntina and others because of schism from the Roman Church. And lastly he also excommunicates the king himself, and “absolves all Christians from the bond of the oath which they have made to him, or will make, and forbids anyone to serve him.” But in Book IV, epistle 12 to the bishops and princes of the Teutonic kingdom he reports how the same king, humbled in penance, “has requested the pardon of absolution,” receiving from him an oath of safety. And in the same book, the last epistle to the king and princes of Spain, he professes the same universal care, as can there be seen more at large. Also Innocent III [nr. 177] wrote outstandingly of the primacy of the Roman Church in sermon 2, De Consecratione Pontificis, and in various epistolic decretals, as well in Book I as in Book II, he often repeats the same. And lastly in almost all the bulls, constitutions, and extravagants the same supreme power always has been and is exercised by modern Pontiffs. On this point, therefore, the perpetual tradition and agreement of the same Pontiffs is evident.



1 - 2. First mode of evasion.spacer 3. Another evasion is refuted. spacer4 - 8. From four General Councils the tradition of the Pontiffs is fortified. spacer9 - 11. From other synods the same tradition is confirmed.

OWEVER, in one or other of two ways the adversaries of the Roman Church are wont to respond to the adduced testimonies of the Pontiffs. The first is that it is not agreed that the aforesaid decretal epistles are legitimate; nay they reprehend many things in them on account of which they contemn their authority. Nevertheless this response is to be rejected, not only among Catholics, but also among all learned and prudent men, as frivolous and incredible, as has been shown at large by our Francisco Torres in the books he produced in defense of those epistles, wherein he responds to all the calumnies of them of Magdeburg. But we say in brief that, to begin with, the antiquity of the epistles is so great that there can be no fear they were fabricated for refuting modern errors. Besides, about the epistles of Leo I no one has hitherto had doubts; and yet he himself in epistle 2, ch. 5, gives commandment to keep all the established decretals, as well of Innocent of blessed memory as of all his predecessors. And more clearly Pope Gelasius, who lived 1100 years ago, in the decree about the books that are authentic, which Gratian also refers to, dist.15, ch.3, speaks thus: “The decretal epistles, which the most blessed Popes at diverse times have given from the city of Rome for the consultation of diverse Fathers, are to be venerably received.” And the same, after almost 350 years, is confirmed by Nicholas I, in epistle 42 to the bishops of France, a great part of which is inserted by Gratian in the Decree, dist. 19, ch. 1. Again St. Jerome, in epistle 11 to Geruchias, testifies that he had sometimes helped Damasus in responding to consultations from the East and the West. It cannot, therefore, be doubted that it was a custom of the Roman Pontiffs to govern the Church through these letters; neither then is it likely that they have all perished or that there are others save those that have been received and preserved in the Roman Church.
spacer 2. In addition to this, many of these epistles are inserted and connected with the epistles of other Fathers, which cannot be called into doubt without great impudence and temerity, as is clear from the epistles of Cornelius with the epistles of Cyprian, of Innocent with the writings of Chrysostom and Augustine. Again from the letter of the Pontiff Marcus with the epistle of Athansius to the same, and again from the epistle of Liberius. Again from many others of the epistles of Jerome and Augustine. Again from the epistle of Theodoret to Leo with his response. Some too are received among the other works of the same Pontiffs, as among the works of Gregory, Leo &c. Nor is there greater reason for doubting those than the rest of their works. Again many are reported by the gravest historiographers, as I will prove in the following chapter. There are besides extant very ancient exemplars of the several epistles in the Vatican Library, from which the epistles have been very recently edited and corrected with the greatest fidelity and care. Next, although about one or another epistle, or a part of it, some reason for doubt or suspicion might arise, nevertheless, as for what concerns the present cause, we have so great a cloud of witnesses placed over us (to use the words of Paul), and so great an agreement of opinions and actions of supreme jurisdiction, that no one, unless he were very stubborn and impudent, could doubt but that here was the sense and the consensus of all the Roman Pontiffs, the universal Church again agreeing and consenting.
spacer 3. But then another response occurs from those who say that in this business the testimony of the Pontiffs is not to be listened to, because no one is a legitimate witness in his own cause. Yet this response too cannot be listened to by a Catholic man. First, because in truth the Roman Pontiffs are in this business not so much witnesses in their own cause as in the cause of Christ and the universal cause of the whole Church. Next, because they are not so much witnesses as judges in like causes; for to them it pertains to declare the dogmas of the Faith, and to propound these to the Church, as was seen above; but this article pertains to the dogmas of the Faith, as the same Pontiffs decree with the same certitude, and as has been proved above from the divine Scripture. Hence, whether they be called judges or witnesses, they are to be believed to have taught the truth, not led by their own, but by the divine, spirit. Besides, although their testimony be looked on as human, it is of the greatest authority and makes the thing evidently credible; for it is not credible that in this point they erred through ignorance, because some of them were the wisest, while others were disciples of the apostles and conversed with them on familiar terms, especially Clement and Anacletus, who Ignatius testifies were Peter’s deacons, in epistle 5 to the Trallians; but through others, in company with Linus, Cletus, and the like, this tradition has come down to their successors. They were also very holy men, so that for that reason it can scarcely be believed they wanted, from ambition or arrogance, to usurp for themselves a power that had not been given. Many of them too sealed their faith with their blood. Since, therefore, they taught this article among the dogmas of the Faith, they bequeathed it confirmed, not only by their word, but also by their life and death. Finally, since the King of England professes that he does not dare resist the ancient Fathers of the first centuries, if he wishes to speak consistently, he should, in the presence of so many Fathers, keep silent and not dare to contradict them. But so that we may more fully persuade him, we will add four General Councils, which he himself venerates, that marvelously agree with the said Pontiffs.
spacer 4.
The first Council of Nicea [325 A. D.], then, Book III, in the canons taken from Pope Julius I, epistle 1, in canon 1, thus speaks: “Councils ought not to be celebrated apart from the sentence of the Roman Bishop.” And in canon 2: “Bishops may, in the graver causes, freely appeal to the Apostolic See and flee to it as to a mother &c.” And in canon 3: “While the Pontiff of the Apostolic See is re-judging the cause of a bishop, let no other be ordained in his place;” and a reason is given, “because without consulting the Roman Pontiff it is not permitted to define such causes absolutely,” since it was said to Peter by the Lord: “Whatsover thou shalt bind, etc.” And in the 80 canons translated from the Greek and Arabic, in canon 39, it is said thus: “The patriarch presides over all those who are under his power in the way that he who holds the See of Rome is head and prince of all patriarchs, seeing that he is first, like Peter, to whom has been given power over all Christian princes, and over all their peoples, as he who is Vicar of Christ our Lord over every people and over the universal Christian Church; and whoever contradicts this is excommunicated by the Synod.” About which canon must be seen what is noted in volume I of the Councils. And with it agrees the Council of Sardica [343 A. D.], in canons 4 and 7, which are about the causes of bishops being brought to a close by the Roman Pontiff.
spacer 5. Next, in the first Council of Constantinople [381 A. D.], canon 3, otherwise 5, it is said: “Let the bishop of Constantinople have the primacy after the Roman Bishop.” In this canon one thing is supposed and another established. Indeed, it is supposed that the Supreme Pontiff has the primacy in the Church, and this is what now concerns us; for the General Council supposed what it held for certain and indubitable. Nor can the King of England imagine that the Council speaks of primacy only by reason of political order, as regard some external splendor or honor; for it speaks of primacy in the way in which it was borne by the Roman Pontiffs themselves, namely by jurisdiction and power; and in canon 2, immediately preceding, it is clear that the Council speaks of primacy in rule and government of the Church. But the other part of that canon was not received for a long time, as is clear from Pope Leo, epistle 53, elsewhere 51, to Anatolius, ch. 2, and from the two following, to Augustus Marcianus and Augusta Pulcheria. And from Gregory, Book VI of his Epistles, epistles 31 and 37, and from Nicholas I and Leo IX in the places above cited. But this too commends the primacy of the Roman Church, since that is why the statute did not either then or for a long time have force, because the Roman Church did not approve it; but when the Roman Church gave consent, it began to have effect, as is clear from Innocent III with the Lateran Council [1215 A. D.], ch. Antiqua, about privileges.
spacer 6. Further, the first Council of Ephesus [431 A. D.], in its epistle to Pope Celestine, which is contained in volume IV of that synod, ch. 17, addresses him as supreme pastor and judge of the faith in this way: “With all admiration we embrace Your Holiness’ zeal for piety, your care – most welcome and pleasing to the Savior — for the sincerity of the faith of us all; for it is settled as a habit for you, so outstanding as you are, that you be known to all, and that you establish your devotion as the solid foundation of the churches.” Where certainly the talk is not only of the person of Celestine but of the habit of the See itself, hence it subjoins: “But because necessity required that all things which came to pass in this holy synod be declared to Your Holiness, we could not fail to write with these letters in detail to Your Holiness &c.” In these words too they show their dependence on the Roman Pontiff. Hence, in volume 2 of the same Council, ch. 15, when the whole Council, after hearing the letters of Celestine, had, in the absence of his legates, acclaimed them and followed his instruction, and when the legates afterwards had arrived and had understood what had been done, one among them, Philip, said: “We give thanks to this holy and reverend synod because, when the letters were read to you of the most holy and most blessed Pope Celestine, you, by your voices, by your pious announcements, showed yourselves to your holy head to be the Church’s holy members; for your blessedness is not ignorant that the head of the whole Faith and of all the rest of the apostles is blessed Peter.” Which is again more largely repeated by the same Philip, saying that no one doubts that Peter was constituted Vicar of Christ by Christ himself, and that through his successors he lives on always, and that his successor and holy vicar is the Roman Pontiff. These speeches the holy synod did not detest, but rather agreed with the apostolic legates, and in great conformity subscribed with them to the same Faith. And in ch.17 of the epistle of the synod they report to the emperors among other things that Celestine had sent letters to Cyril, so that he, assuming his functions in this regard, might perfect the things defined at Rome, and that afterwards he had sent the priest Philip, who, it says, “bears here the person of the most holy Celestine.” And many other the like evident signs of the pontifical primacy are read in that Council.
spacer 7. Nor have we found fewer things in the Council of Chalcedon [451 A. D.], whereat also the legates of Pope Leo presided in his place over the Council, among whom Paschasius, Actor. 1, at the beginning, thus speaks: “Of the most blessed and apostolic sir, the Pope of the City of Rome, which is the head of all churches, we hold in our hands the precepts, whereby his Apostleship has deigned to prescribe that Dioscorus, archbishop of the Alexandrians, may not sit in the Council but may be brought in to be heard,” and the whole Council obeyed Leo as its head. And in Actor. 2, when the epistles of Leo had been read, all the Council Fathers said: “So we believe; so Peter through Leo has spoken.” And in Actor. 3, Leo is often called “Universal Patriarch, and Universal Archbishop;” and, near the middle, bishop Julian said to the Pope’s legates: “Your holiness now holds the primacy of the most holy Leo.” And later: “We beg your holiness, who hold the place of the most holy Pope Leo, to pronounce against him (that is, against Dioscorus) your sentence &c.” all which things were partly done in the name of the whole Council and partly the Council was agreeing with the legates. In addition, Surius reports, at the end of act 15, the following sentences of the same Council: “We do homage, according to the Scriptures and the definition of the canons, that the most holy Bishop of Old Rome is the first and greatest of bishops.” Again other things: “If any bishop is proclaimed infamous, let him have free sentence of appealing to the most blessed Bishop of Old Rome, because we have Peter as rock of refuge, and he alone has in the place of God the right, with free power, to discriminate the infamy of an accused bishop, according to the keys given to him by the Lord.” Again: “Let all other things defined by him be held as from the Vicar of the Apostolic Throne.” But these sentences are not now found in the Council of Chalcedon, but Surius cites them from St. Thomas in his work Contra Errores Graecorum, in whom I find the second and third, in ch. 32, § Ostenditur etiam quod Petrus; but I do not find there the third, but in § Ostenditur etiam quod praedictus, he speaks thus: “It is read in the Council of Chalcedon that the whole synod exclaimed to Pope Leo: ‘May the most holy Apostolic and Universal Patriarch live for many years.’”
spacer 8. But beside these there are express testimonies of the same Council, act 16, in the epistle to Leo, in which are reported the things done in the Council, where from the verse of Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” they first infer: “how much concerning the priests, who preferred knowledge of its confession to their fatherland and their labor, the Council could show of peculiar affection toward those in whom you indeed were presiding, as the head in its members, over those who possessed your [priestly] order.” And later, referring to the crimes of Eutyches, it says: “And those indeed who understood the things which concern a pastor he cut off, but those who proved to be wolves he set up over the sheep, and after all these things he extended his madness over and against him to whom the guarding of the vineyard was by the Savior committed, that is, also against Your Apostolic Holiness. And he had planned excommunication against you who hasten to unite the body of the Church.” And later they seek confirmation of the things decreed by them, and especially about the preeminence of the patriarch of Constantinople. And although the Pontiff did not approve this, as we said above, yet in that very petition the synod professes the primacy of the Pontiff; and thus do they expound the decree above referred to of the second synod: “Which prescribes,” they say, “that after your most holy and Apostolic See does the see of Constantinople have honor, which is second in order, you being confident that, as about you shines the Apostolic ray, you spread it as far as the church of Constantinople by governing in the accustomed way, and you more often extend it &c.”
spacer 9. In the same way can the same tradition be confirmed by many things which are contained in the fifth general synod in the second Council of Constantinople [553 A. D.], confirmed by Pope Vigilius. Again from the sixth synod, acts 17 and 18, and from the seventh synod convened under Pope Adrian, which proceeded in all things under his obedience and according to his instruction, as is collected from act 7 at the end. Also in the eighth synod there is extant canon 21, wherein primacy is attributed to the Roman Church, which it calls the See of Peter, prince of the apostles. And, to omit the other things which, if they were legitimate, always proceeded under obedience to the Roman See, this truth was specially taught by the Lateran Council [1215 A. D.] under Innocent III, chs. 5 and 6, and it was more expressly defined by the Council of Florence [1439 A. D.] in the letters of union, the Greeks agreeing with the Latins, in these words: “We define that the holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff possesses the primacy over the whole world, and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, and true Vicar of Christ, and head of the whole Church and father and doctor of all Christians, and that to him in blessed Peter was given by Jesus Christ our Lord full power for feeding and governing the Universal Church &c.” Finally the Council of Trent, [1545 A. D.] from its beginning and in the whole of its progress, recognizes the authority of the Pontiff, and at the end requests his confirmation, and specially in session 6, ch. 1, De Reformat., it calls him Vicar of God on earth, possessing the authority of the Supreme See.
spacer 10.
Also from the provincial Councils could many things be collected that for the sake of brevity we pass over; yet can be looked at the Roman Council under Sylvester [314 - 335 A. D.], and the third and fourth Roman Councils under Symmachus [498 - 514 A. D.], and the fourth Council of Orléans [541 A. D.] ch. 1, and the Councils of Carthage and of Milevis [401 - 403 A. D. ] in their epistle to Pope Innocent, which are numbers 90 and 92 among the epistles of Augustine, in which the authority of the Roman Church for full condemnation of heresy is required. Which is also confirmed by the other bishops together with the same Augustine in epistle 95 to the same Innocent, which epistles are also made mention of by the same Augustine in epistle 96, saying: “Reports from the two Councils of Carthage and Milevis have been send to the See of the apostles; also to Pope Innocent of blessed memory we have written, besides reports of the Councils, familiar letters…To everything that noble gentleman wrote back in the same way, as was pious and befitting the Commander of the Apostolic See.” And in agreement with these is the African Council under Boniface [525 A. D.], ch. 35.
spacer 11. But besides these can be noticed the second Council of Tours [567 A. D.], in whose ch. 21 these words deserving note are contained: “Which priest would against the decrees which have proceeded from the Apostolic See presume to act?” And almost similar words are contained in the first Council of Braga [561 A. D.], ch. 18, where all the bishops said it was fitting that everything be celebrated among them in like-minded service, and they add: “Especially since we also have with us concerning certain definite causes an instruction from the Apostolic See, which to its questions, of the former Profuturus Prudentius of venerable memory, it received from the very chair of the most blessed Peter.” And Lucretius, bishop of Braga, added: “Rightly has your paternity remembered the authority of the Apostolic See &c.” And at once, chs. 22 and 23, they decree that in the order of mass and baptism they are to follow the aforesaid instruction of the Roman See. Hence the first Council of Toledo [400 A. D.], in its assertion of faith, in the last anathema says: “If anyone do in saving baptism anything against the See of St. Peter, let him be anathema.” But most of all our proposition is confirmed by the words of the sufficiently ancient third Council of Toledo [589 A. D. ], canon 1: “Let the constitutions of all the Councils remain in their vigor, and the synodal epistles at the same time of the holy Roman Prelates.” For in these words is sufficiently clear how much the authority was, not only of the Roman Church, but also of its decretal epistles, about which a like decree is contained in the fourteenth Council of Toledo [684 A. D.], ch. 11.



1. Authorities from the Greek Fathers confirming the same tradition.spacer 2. From Ignatius and Irenaeus. spacer3. From Athanasius. spacer4. From Gregory Nazianzen. spacer5. From Cyril of Jerusalem. spacer6. The same primacy is cathered from the custom of referring the graver causes to the Supreme Pontiff. spacer7. From Theodoret. spacer8. From the historians Socrates and Sozomen. spacer9. Authorities of the Latin Fathers. Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose. spacer10. Jerome. spacer11 - 12. Augustine. spacer13. Prosper. spacer14. Isidore, Bede. spacer15 - 16. Anselm and Benard.

LTHOUGH to confirm faith about the primacy of the Roman Pontiff enough and more than enough is the authority of the Pontiffs and the Councils, nevertheless the authority of the holy Fathers is not to be omitted, of whom some we adduced above who have provided express testimony to the succession of the Roman Pontiff in the see of Peter; but now others must be introduced who testify about the excellence of the chair itself and of its dignity, by whom the agreement of tradition will more evidently stand firm, and also by whose authority the King of England, who seems to give some deference to the Fathers, will perhaps the more be moved. But one must hold before one’s eyes that the same modes of arguing can be taken from the doctors which we noted in the Pontiffs, namely from the words and the titles by which they honor the Roman Pontiffs, from the acts of supreme spiritual jurisdiction which they attribute to them, and from the more notable opinions wherewith they profess their primacy. First then we will begin from the Greeks, who in the present cause can be adjudged less suspect.
spacer 2. First therefore Ignatius, in epist.15, to the Romans, salutes the Roman Church in the most honorific way and says about it: “Which sits first in place over the Roman realm.” Again Polycarp, when “he came to Rome, to Anicetus in the city ruling the Church” so that he might consult about a question of Easter (as testified by Jerome De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis on Polycarp and Irenaeus, III.3), seems sufficiently to have recognized the Roman Pontiff as pastor and master of the Faith. But clearer and more copious is Irenaeus, III.3, calling the Roman Church the greatest and most ancient, and saying it was founded by the apostles Peter and Paul. And he subjoins: “With this Church, because of its more potent principality, every church must agree, that is, those who everywhere are the faithful &c.”
spacer 3. Next St. Athansius in his epistle to Marcus the Bishop of the Romans salutes him thus: “To the holy and reverend lord of the apostolic height, Marcus, the father of the holy Roman and Apostolic See and of the universal Church, Athansius and all the bishops of Egypt send greeting.” And later, adding his petition, he says: “We wish that from your authority of the holy See of the Church, which is the mother of all churches &c.” And later: “We are yours, and obedient to you we both are and always wish to be together with all those committed to us.” And in his epistle to Felix II, which is contained in the acts of the same Felix in vol.1 of the Councils, he himself along with the other bishops of Egypt implores the aid of the Apostolic See in these words: “We place before your holy apostolate that you deign to carry the care for us in the accustomed way.” And later: “Because always our ancestors and we have drawn help from your holy Apostolic See, and we acknowledge that you bear the aforesaid apostolic care for us, and we ask the Supreme See, according to the decrees of the canons, that we receive help from there from where our predecessors received ordinations and dogmas and supports. We also have to that See recourse as to a mother.” And later: “Which thing (namely giving definition about the Faith) we in no way presume to do against your will, the canons commanding that we ought not to decree anything about the greater causes without the Roman Pontiff.” And later: “Because of that, you and your predecessors, namely the apostolic leaders, were constituted by him at the summit’s peak and were commanded to have the care of all the churches.” And later: “To whom all judgment of bishops is committed.” And later about this primacy he expounds Matthew 16 (“Thou art Peter and upon this rock, etc.”), and confirms it all by the authority of the Council of Nicea. With him agrees Basil, in epistle 52, which is addressed to the same Athansius, saying: “It has seemed agreeable to me that the Bishop of Rome be written to so that he may consider what things are being here done.”
spacer 4. Also Gregory Nazianzen, orat. 23 in praise of Hero, records how Peter, the successor of Athanasius at Alexandria, when expelled from his see by Lucius the Arian, fled to the Roman Pontiff, “as by tacit accusation,” he says, “he provoked tears in all so that they might in his eyes and face focus on the magnitude of his calamity and so that he might obtain help, and we know in what way he obtained it.” In which words Nazianzen together with Peter of Alexandria acknowledged the authority of the Pontiff for also judging the causes of the East. Which thing is also from the same Nazianzen collected in orat. 53, which is the second to Cledonius, where he records how Vitalius, the follower of Apollinaris, had fraudulently made gift of a certain book about the Faith, secretly professing heresy, but Damasus, the fraud being known, expelled him from the company of the Church; and finally he destroyed the book with anathema. In the same way the pontifical power is testified to by Chrysostom in his epistles to Innocent I, seeking from him help against those who had unjustly deposed him, both by declaring the deposition invalid and by punishing the evil doers, for whom however he piously intercedes that, if they come to their senses, they should not be excommunicated, by this very fact recognizing the power of the Pontiff.
spacer 5. In like manner Cyril in his epistle to Celestine (which is among the epistles of Cyril and is contained in the Council of Ephesus, vol. I, ch. 29), in the cause of Nestorius, referred the whole thing to him as to the head, and subjoins: “But although things are thus, we have yet not dared to desert his communion before we indicate these very things to your piety, etc.” To whom Celestine responded (epistle 12 among the epistles of Cyril in the said vol. I, ch.1 6): “Using the acknowledged authority of our See and our office and place with power, you will, not without the greatest care, execute that sentence, namely that unless within an interval of 10 days, to be counted from the day of this our numbering, he anathematize in formally stated words his wicked doctrine, etc.” And later: “Let your holiness at once provide for that church, but let him understand by all means that he has been separated from our body.” Which letter Cyril obeyed, as is clear from his epistle to Nestorius (epistle 10 in the said vol. I, ch. 14), which is about the excommunication, saying: “Which unless you perform according to the time stated in the letters of the most holy and most reverend Celestine, Bishop of the Romans, may you know with certainly that there will thereafter be for you no social intercourse with the bishops and priests of God, no speech, no place lastly among them.” And the like things are contained in the following letter to the clergy and people of Constantinople. In addition St. Thomas reports in his work Contra Errores Graecorum, ch. 32, §Habetur, the same Cyril saying in his book Thesaurus: “As Christ received from the Father the fullest authority, so to Peter and his successors he committed it most fully.” Again: “To none other than to Peter did he give the fullness that was his own, but to him alone.” Where the word ‘alone’ does not exclude successors but the other apostles, for a little later he says that to Peter he gave power and the Church. And later the same St. Thomas says: “It is also shown that to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is of the necessity of salvation; for Cyril says in the book Thesaurus: ‘Therefore, brothers, if we imitate Christ so that we his sheep may hear his voice, remaining in the Church of Peter &c.” Nor must there be doubt about these testimonies even if now they are not found in Thesaurus, both because of the authority of St. Thomas and also because we know that several books of Thesaurus have perished.
spacer 6. Next from the ecclesiastical histories also written by the Greeks it is clear that the most ancient practice of the Church was that in the graver causes there should from the whole Church, even the Eastern, be recourse made to the see of Peter, for seeking either a declaration of faith or a condemnation of some heresy or the gathering or confirmation of a synod, or for seeking judgment by way of appeal or of just defense, from which it is established manifestly that the supreme power of the Roman Bishop was acknowledged and believed by all the Greeks from the beginning of the Church. But of this practice, besides the testimonies adduced, the best argument is taken from the history of Eusebius, VII.24 [ch. 30 §§ 18 - 19], where he says about Paul of Samosata: “When he had lost the bishopric together with the orthodox faith and did not wish to exit from the house of the bishop that was proper to that church, the emperor Aurelian, when asked for his opinion about it, decreed in a most holy way what was to be done. For he prescribed that the house of the church be awarded to them to whom the Christian bishops of Italy and of the city of Rome should by letters prescribe it to be awarded.” For so great was the public fame of the Roman primacy among the Greek Christians that it was not hid even from the gentiles; and therefore the emperor, though an infidel, pronounced that opinion in a most holy way, as Eusebius says approving that opinion and consequently the primacy too, because it was in conformity with the Faith, though it had been proffered by an infidel.
spacer 7. The same tradition is taken from Theodoret, Hist., II.22, where he says about the Lesser Council of Rimini: “It should not have the force of precedent, especially since the formula was composed without the consent of the Roman Bishop, whose opinion was to be waited for before all others &.” and in V.10, he relates that Damasus, after the rise of the sect of Apollinaris, deposed both him and his disciple Timotheus and signified the fact by letters to those in the East, which letters he there refers too and they begin: “That your love, most honorable sons, bestows due reverence on the Apostolic See is to you surely also a very great honor. For although in the Holy Church, wherein the holy apostle sat when teaching us by what manner the reins of government, which we have taken up, were to be managed, there is to us rendered the first place, yet we confess ourselves far inferior to that degree of dignity.” And later the same Pontiff signifies that the Eastern Catholics have had recourse to him, saying: “Why is it that you again require of me the deposition of Timotheus, who has even here by the decision of the Apostolic See, when Peter the bishop of Alexandria was present, been deposed together with his master Apollinaris?” All which things are approved by Theodoret. Nay, he himself too, when he had come under suspicion in the Faith, took refuge by letter with Pope Leo, saying: “To your Apostolic See we hasten, so that we may receive from you a cure for the ulcers of the churches, for to you it belongs to be first in all things. For by many things which make you superior is your See adorned. For other cities are adorned by size or beauty, etc., but to yours an overflowing abundance of goods has been given by Him who is the giver of all things and who presides over the whole earth.” And the rest, which he pursues at large.
spacer 8. This tradition, next, is agreed with by Socrates, Histor. II.5 [ch.9], where he indicates that the Council of Antioch was illegitimate because it did not have the authority of Julius the Roman Pontiff. “Since,” he says, “the ecclesiastical canon bids that decrees of the Church are not to be sanctioned without the sentence of the Roman Bishop.” And reporting, in ch. 11 [IV.36], that Athanasius and several other Eastern bishops, when ejected from their sees, came to Rome so as to inform Julius the Roman Bishop of their status, he says: “Since the Roman Church was in possession of privilege beyond the rest,” and IV.3, reporting similar things of Peter of Alexandria, he adds about him: “When he had returned with letters from Damasus the Roman Bishop, the people, trusting in them, expelled Lucius and introduced Peter into his place.” And Sozomen, Histor., III.8, relating the flight of Athanasius and others to Julius the Roman Bishop, adds: “Whose accusations once the Roman Bishop had understood, he received them into communion. And since, because of the dignity of the See, the care of all concerned him, he restored to each individually their sees, and wrote to the Eastern bishops and faulted them… And he gave mandate that certain, in the name of them of all, should appear on an appointed day.” And in ch.9 he refers to other letters of the same Julius wherein, besides other things, this was contained: “that there was a law with regard to the dignity of the priest which pronounced those acts to be void which were established against the sentence of the Roman Bishop.” He also adds, ch. 10 (which is something to be noted), that when by these letters no advance was made against the rebellious bishops of the East, he demanded help from the emperor Constans as from the secular arm, and in this way at length he compelled the Eastern bishops to come to Rome, and in VI.22, when a controversy had arisen about the dignity of the Holy Spirit, he said: “The Roman Bishop, when he had been informed about it, wrote letters to the bishops of the East that, together with the bishops and priests of the West they should believe the Trinity to be consubstantial and equal in glory. By which deed, the individual matters having once been judged by the Roman Church, they quieted down, and thus the controversy seemed to have an end.” And this is sufficient about the Greek Fathers.
spacer 9. From the Latins much has in the earlier chapters and in book 1 been adduced which does not here need to be repeated but to be briefly insinuated and to some extent enlarged. First therefore Tertullian, De Preascrip., ch. 36: “You have Rome whence authority is to hand.” And in De Pudicitia, ch. 1, he calls the Roman Bishop “greatest Pontiff and Bishop of bishops;” where Pamelius points to many places of the same author which I omit because this author, when he fell away from the Roman Church, did not think rightly of its primacy although he was not altogether ignorant of it. A great and faithful assertor of this truth, then, was Cyprian who in his epistles very often requires for the unity of the Church one supreme head and says it is in the Roman Church, as can be seen in epistles 40, 45, 52, 55, 76, whose words we have often referred to. Again Ambrose in his oration on his brother Satyrus, and on 1 Timothy 3, and his book of epistles in number 7 to Pope Siricius with other bishops he says thus: “We have acknowledged the watchful letters of Your Holiness, a Good Shepherd, who faithfully keep the door committed to you and guard with pious care the flock of Christ, worthy to be he whom the sheep of the Lord hear and follow.” And epistle 4 to the emperors Gratian &c., treating of shunning the Arians, he says: “How can it be that him whom we see included in their society we do not judge to be also an assertor of perfidy? What too if he had been absent? Yet your clemency is to be implored lest it permit the head of the whole Roman world, the Roman Church, and the sacrosanct Faith of the apostles to be troubled; for from there to all flow the rights of venerable communion, etc.” And epistle 9 to Theophylact of Alexandria: “We think the matter should be referred to our holy brother, the priest of the Roman Church, since we presume that your judgments will be those that cannot displease him.” And later: “So that we also, having received the catalog of your statutes, may, when we know that that has been done which the Roman Church without doubt will approve, happily gain profit from the examination.” With these words, written to an Eastern bishop, Ambrose sufficiently bears witness to the Roman Church’s custom of governing the East too.
spacer 10. To the same practice and power Jerome is witness, epistle 11 to Ageruchias, saying (as I related above) that he had himself sometimes helped Damasus in replying to the synodal constitutions of the East and the West. And epistle 16 to Principia, he refers to what has been touched on above about Athanasius and Peter of Alexandria who, escaping the persecution of the Arian heresy, “fled to Rome as to the safest haven of their communion.” Also in epistle 8 to Demetriades, near the end, he calls the Roman See “the Apostolic Chair” thinking the same about its primacy as about the primacy of Peter, his opinion on which we related above. Again more copiously in epistle 57 to Damasus, whose words were already adduced above, where he also teaches that that see had Peter’s privilege of not erring in the faith. Which thing he also thinks in his Apologia Book II, or Book III of his Apologia Contra Rufinum, where he has these words: “But let it be known that the Roman faith praised by the apostolic voice does not accept tricks of this sort, even if an angel should announce otherwise than has once been preached.” And later: “And yet I marvel how Italy might have approved what Rome has contemned, its bishops have taken up what the Apostolic See has condemned,” tacitly denying that it could have happened or that he himself believes it.
spacer 11. From Augustine too having recourse to the Roman Pontiff as to the Vicar of Christ, we have said much above, from the same Augustine’s epistles 90, 92, and 95. With these the same Augustine is in accord Retract., II.50, saying that: “the Pelagian heresy has by the bishops of the Roman Church, Innocent and Zosimus, with the cooperation of the letters of the African Councils, been condemned.” And in epistle 157, at the beginning, he openly professes that he is subject to the Roman Pontiff when he says: “When I was present near Caesarea, they came to the place where the ecclesiastical necessity enjoined on us by venerable Pope Zosimus, bishop of the Apostolic See, had drawn us.” And later, having related the words of the same Zosimus to prove the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins, he subjoins: “In these words of the Apostolic See the ancient and established Catholic Faith is so certain and clear that it is impious for any Christian to doubt it.” And epistle 102 about the Roman Church he says: “In which the principality of the apostolic chair has always flourished;” and there too he relates that in the cause of the Donatists the judgment of the Apostolic See was waited for. And he repeats the same at Contra Epist. Parmen., I.5, and epistle 165, where he says that to recognize the Catholic Church one should most look at the succession in the see of Peter, thinking that it was the rock on which the Church was founded. Which he expressly declared in the psalm against the party of Donatus, vol. VII, saying: “Count the priests if you will from the See itself of Peter. It is the rock which the proud gates of hell will not overcome.”
spacer 12. Besides on the same basis he says, Contra Iulianum, I.4: “I think that the part of the world should be sufficient for you wherein the Lord wished the first of his apostles to be crowned with a most glorious martyrdom. Had you wished to hear the blessed Innocent who presides over that Church, you would now have removed your dangerous youth from the Pelagian snares. For what could that holy man reply to the African Councils save what the Apostolic See and the Roman Church along with the rest anciently and persistently holds?” Which place is much to be taken notice of for in it plainly does Augustine teach that the definition of the Pontiff makes the Faith certain even without a General Council. Hence in De Peccato Originali, II.7, he refers also to Celestine, the colleague of Pelagius, that “he did not dare resist the letters of the blessed Pope Innocent;” nay that he promised to condemn everything which that See condemned. Lastly, Book I Ad Bonifacium, at the beginning, he says among other things: “May you not disdain, who do not think high things though you preside at a greater height, to be friend of the humble and to repay the love they have paid.” And below: “Since it is common to all of us who perform the office of bishop, although you yourself preside on that higher eminence of the pastoral watchtower, I do what I can in accord with the small part of my duty &c.”
spacer 13. In agreement with Augustine is Prosper against Collator, ch. 10, where, holding the definitions of Innocent and Zosimus against Pelagius to be infallible, he infers as it were an absurdity against Collator: “According to your judgment Pope Innocent, most worthy of Peter’s See, has erred.” And later: “The sacrosanct See of blessed Peter, which speaks to the whole world by the voice of Pope Zosimus, has erred.” And ch. 41 he again says: “Innocent of blessed memory has struck the head of the wicked error with the apostolic sword.” And later: “To the decrees of the African Councils Pope Zosimus of blessed memory has adjoined the strength of his sentence, and for the cutting off of the impious he has armed with the sword of Peter the right hands of all the commanders.” Where he also adds Boniface, of whom he says: “He used against the enemies of God’s grace not only the apostolic but also the royal edicts.” And of Celestine he adds: “The statutes of his predecessors and the synodal decrees he judged had to be inviolably observed.” And about the same he subjoins: “Nor did he with a more sluggish care liberate the Britons from the same sickness, etc.” And later he says that the same care had made Scotland Christian. And in the book De Ingratis, ch. 2, he speaks thus: “Rome, the See of Peter, which is made the world’s head in pastoral care, holds by religion what it could not gain possession of by arms.”Similarly too in Book II, De Vocatione Gentium, in imitation of Leo, he says: “Rome by the principality of the apostolic priest has been made greater in the fortress of religion than on the throne of power.” In this way too Fulgentius spoke, De Incarnat. et Gratia, ch. 11: “The Roman Church, lit up by the words of Peter and Paul as if by resplendent rays and adorned by their bodies, is the summit of the world.” Also from Optatus of Milevis, Contra Parmenian., many things have been referred to, but especially Book II: “You cannot,” he says, “deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Episcopal chair was conferred on Peter first, whereon Peter the head of all the apostles sat, so that in this one chair unity might by all be preserved, so that now he might be schismatic and sinner who against this one chair should set up a second.”
spacer 14. Likewise Isidore in his epistle to Eugenius bishop of Toledo, after explaining the power given to Peter in the way passed on by us above, subjoins: “Whose dignity of power, although transfused to all bishops of churches, yet more specially in the Roman Prelate, as by a certain singular privilege, eternally remains higher than in the other members.” And in the preface to his collection of canons, which is contained in the first volume of Councils, he says that he had collected, along with the Councils, the decrees and synodal letters of the Pontiffs, “because in them, for the summit of the Apostolic See, the authority is not less than the Councils.” And at the end, he says: “The authority for convening Councils has been committed by a peculiar power to the Apostolic See, nor do we read that any Synod was valid that was not convened or supported by his authority; these things are testified by canon authority, strengthened by ecclesiastical history, confirmed by the holy Fathers.” It is also confirmed by Bede in his homily on Saint Benedict of England, vol.7, about whom he says: “He hastened to make pilgrimage to the doors of the blessed apostles so that, because the faith was still rude among the race of the English and the institution of churches was beginning to flower, he might receive there a more perfect form of living where the topmost head of the Church is eminent among the high apostles.” And Histor. Anglor., II.1, he says of Gregory: “When first in all the world he was holding the pontificate and was presiding over churches long since converted to the faith of truth, he made our race, enslaved until then to idols, the Church of Christ &c.” And III.25, he reports that the King of England and others already at that time believed that the keys given to Peter remained in the Roman Church. And in bk.4, ch.1, and often in that history, he shows how great always was the providence of the Pontiff for the English, and the obedience of them to him.
spacer 15. Next, all the later Fathers too have most constantly taught the same truth, among whom we will number only two, Anselm and Bernard, who have spoken most gravely about the pontifical dignity. For Anselm, in De Incarnatione Verbi, thus begins: “To the Lord and Father of the Universal Church in pilgrimage on earth, to the Supreme Pontiff Urban, brother Anselm.” And later: “Since divine providence has chosen Your Holiness, to whom he commits the guarding of Christian life and faith and the ruling of the Church, to no other is reference more rightly made if anything contrary to Catholic faith arises in the Church, so that by Your authority it may be corrected; nor, if anything is said in response to error, is it to any other more safely shown, so that it may by Your prudence be examined.” And in his preface to Romans he says that that letter is put in first place, although it was not written first, because Rome was both at that time head of the whole world and still today the Roman Church possesses the principality of all churches.
spacer 16. But St. Bernard much more copiously teaches this very thing in epistle 25 to Gaufrid, where he says among other things: “Of Germany, of France, of England, of Scotland, of the Spains, and of Jerusalem the kings, along with the whole clergy and the peoples, support and adhere to the Lord Innocent, as children to their father, as members to their head, anxious to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” Again epistle 131 almost the same argument to the Milanese, and epistle 183 to Conrad king of the Romans, he says: “I have read ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers.’ Which sentence I desire and in every way admonish you to keep in showing reverence to the Vicar of the Supreme and Apostolic See and blessed Peter, just as you wish it to be kept to you by the whole empire.” And of the sublimity of that See he speaks in outstanding way in epistle 137 to Eugenius, and more at large in Book III of De Considerat. to the same, ch. 8, several words from which were related above and therefore we pass them by. Here too can be added the testimonies and examples of temporal kings and emperors, but some of these were touched on above, and we will adduce more in what follows when comparing the spiritual power with the temporal. Now let the notable words of the emperor Constantine suffice in ch. In Memoriam, dist. 19, where he thus speaks: “Let us honor the holy Roman and Apostolic See so that she, who is to us the mother of the sacerdotal dignity, should be the mistress of ecclesiastical reason; wherefore humility with meekness is to be preserved so that, although scarcely to be borne be the yoke imposed by the Holy See, we may yet bear and sustain it with pious devotion.” But there is no need here to demand special reason in addition to authority. For those reasons are sufficient that were adduced about the perfect governance of the Church and about the necessity of one head in one body for the conservation of its unity and faith. For that this head be constituted in such See, although it have many moral congruences that have been insinuated by the Fathers and can easily be thought of, the proper reason is the will of Christ and Peter, which by the adduced testimonies is made sufficiently known to us.


1. Against the spiritual power of the Pontiff many things are objected by King James. spacer2. First Objection. Confirmation.spacer 3. Solution to the objection. spacer4. The confirmation is dissolved. spacer5. Instance. Response. From the Scriptures is collected not the primacy of kings but of the Pontiff. spacer6 - 7. Second objection. Confirmation. spacer8. Solution to the objection.spacer 9. A certain instance is refuted. spacer10. Response to the confirmation. spacer11. From the Council of Sessa the primacy of the Pontiff is also confirmed. Marcellinus was not deposed by the Council.spacer 12. An example about an heretical Pope is met. An heretical Pope is deposed by God himself, not by men. Before deposition of a Pontiff a declaratory sentence of crime must first be given.

GAINST the dignity and primacy of the Roman Pontiff the King of England makes many objections scattered through his book besides those that we related above against the primacy of Peter, many of which touch on the comparison between the Pontiff and temporal kings, and we will, after the said comparison has been made, examine them better in what follows. There we must also speak about the power of the Pontiff over kings in temporal matters. Now we will respond only to the things that seem to be objected absolutely to the supreme spiritual power of the Pontiff. Now these things seem, both in the Preface and in the Apology of the king, to be reduced to three heads, excepting those that are taken from the acts of kings or emperors, about which, as I said, we will see later.
spacer 2. The first head is that this dogma has no or a weak foundation in the word of God, as he says in the Apology p. 118 and in the Preface pp. 22, 28, 60 and very many other places. We can in his objections also weigh the confirmation that Paul, when describing in Ephesians 4 the ecclesiastical ministries and order of the Church, makes no mention of the Vicar of Christ, although however that place seems most apt for proposing it if it belonged to the hierarchy of the Church. Hence the king, on the said p. 60, marvels greatly and says he does not know “by what arts the Roman Pontiffs have been made Vicars of Christ; nay rather Gods on earth, marked with a triple crown, that is, kings of heaven and of earth and of inferiors, judges of the whole world, and themselves to be judged by no one, heads of the faith, etc.,” which he pursues, concluding: “By what arts, I say, they have ascended to so great a height, I for my part know not.”
spacer 3. However by this very fact the king, if he wished to be wise, might understand that this was not done by human art but in virtue of the word in Matthew 16:18: “Upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” as the ancient Fathers in holy and Catholic way understood. For by that art did Pope Sylvester so subject to himself the emperor Constantine that the emperor did not blush to confess him Vicar of Christ, successor of Peter, and worthy of greater honor than himself; by the same art did the other holy Pontiffs preserve the same dignity and power and defend it against the gates of hell. For in fact those arts were not other than the word of God, freely preached with great virtue of spirit, and sometimes confirmed by divine virtues and illustrations, as the times offered opportunity according to the disposition of divine providence. The king errs, therefore, and contradicts the word of God when he says that the primacy of the Pope has a weak foundation in the word of God. For both in the written word of God is the perpetual primacy of Peter and its endurance always into the future through succession sufficiently contained, and through the unwritten word of the same Christ has the sense of the written word been with certainty handed down. Besides it has also been evidently declared that the succession of Peter has persisted in the Roman See. Nor can the king or his Protestant doctors escape the force of this word except by both denying the truth of the unwritten word and interpreting the written word by their own sure knowledge and private spirit. But that both of these are foreign to Catholic truth, nay that they are the foundation of all heresies and schisms, was sufficiently demonstrated in Book I.
spacer 4. To the confirmation added by us from the place in Ephesians 4 we can reply from the doctrine of Augustine in bk. De Fide et Operibus ch. 9, where, treating of the place in Acts 8 about the eunuch whom Philip baptized, although he said nothing more than, v. 37, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” hence some argued that it was not necessary to teach catechumens anything else for them to be baptized, Augustine himself however replies: “Scripture kept silent and allowed the rest to be understood that Philip did with the eunuch when he baptized him.” Thus, therefore, we say that, although Paul kept silent in that place about the one Vicar of Christ, the pastor of the whole Church, he left it to be understood in the rest of what he describes.
spacer 5. Now this reply could be turned against us, for earlier we used this place to prove that kings do not have spiritual power over the Church, because Paul made no mention of them either in this place or in other similar places; which inference can be evaded in exactly the same way. I reply from the words of the same Augustine in the place cited: “In the fact indeed that he says (that is, Luke), v. 38: ‘Philip baptized him,’ he wished to be understood that all things were fulfilled; which, although they were passed over in silence in the Scriptures for the sake of brevity, yet we know by the sequence of tradition that they were fulfilled: in the same way too by the fact that it is written, v.35, that Philip preached the Lord to the eunuch, one must in no way doubt that in the catechism those things were said that pertain to the life and morals of one who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.” So, therefore, in the present case we say that Paul, under that description of the Church, comprehended everything that either from tradition or from other places of Scripture perspicuously pertains to the order and hierarchy of the Church. But it is sufficiently handed on to us, both within Scripture and without it, that the visible Church is one sheepfold under one visible Pastor who bears the vicariate of Christ; this Pastor, therefore, was explained by Paul under the general name of pastors, because he did not assume there the province of explaining in particular all the grades and ministries of ecclesiastical order. For which there is also the argument that when he was treating of the same argument in 1 Corinthians 12 he omitted evangelists, whom he places under prophets, and puts there virtues and other things which he omitted in the place in Ephesians, and in neither place did he put priests and deacons, although it is manifest from other places of Scripture that they pertain to ecclesiastical hierarchy. But, as for kings, no Scripture or tradition teaches that in the ecclesiastical hierarchy they have a special place or function in ecclesiastical governance or ministry, and therefore, when they are passed over in silence in those principal places, they are altogether excluded; especially because neither under a specific nor a general form of words are they included.
spacer 6. The second objection is indicated by the king in these few words in his Preface p. 60: “Thus sometimes were they (namely the Roman Bishops) subject to General Councils, as in fact recently the Council of Constance inaugurated a fourth Pontiff after three abdicated.” Which objection can be confirmed because Pontiffs are in other cases deposed or otherwise judged by the Church through the mediation of Councils. For that it can so be done was defined by the said Council of Constance and confirmed by the Council of Basel, and both attempted to carry it out. Pope Marcellinus too was once deposed by the Council of Sessa; and that he can be deposed in a case of heresy is handed down in ch. Si Papa distinct. 40, and is commonly accepted by all Catholics.
spacer 7. I reply in the first place that this objection pertains rather to the question about the comparison between a Pope and a General Council than to the question about the primacy of the Pontiff. For the Fathers who were present at the Councils of Constance and Basel, and Gersonius and other doctors who thought that a General Council was above the Pontiff, nevertheless believed with sure faith that the Roman Bishop was supreme and universal Pastor of the Church, above all bishops and patriarchs, having spiritual jurisdiction over them and over all the faithful of whatever condition they be, even if they are kings or emperors, and against this the objection made does not proceed, as is evident of itself; and that fact suffices for our purpose, whatever may be thought about the other question raised. But because we believe it altogether true that no jurisdiction was immediately conferred on a General Council by Christ, and that therefore, while a legitimate and undoubted Pontiff lives, the jurisdiction of a General Council depends on him and accordingly is subject to him (which must be treated of elsewhere), therefore satisfaction to the said objections must be briefly made.
spacer 8. To the principal objection, then, we reply that at the time of the Council of Constance there were three pretender Pontiffs in the Church, named Gregory XIII, Benedict XIII, and John XXIII. But since it is certain, and was proved above, that there cannot be several true Pontiffs in the Church, the consequence is that they were not all Pontiffs. Hence also it could be that none of them was certain Pontiff, and to that extent not Pontiff, because none of them was yet received by the common consent of the Church nor was believed to be legitimately elected. Now, in such a case, a General Council, although without a head, has the right to make enquiry about the true and legitimate Pontiff and, if it find that none of the pretenders is legitimate and certain Pontiff, to depose them all, or rather to declare that none of them is true Pontiff, and accordingly to see about a true Pontiff for the Church. And this at most is what the Council of Constance did by deposing the three Pontiffs and electing Martin V. Now from the fact that this was done nothing can be collected against the dignity or power of the Pontiff, because since doubtful Pontiffs are not true Pontiffs, the power of a Council over them takes nothing away from true Pontiffs; for, when a true Pontiff has been afterwards elected by such a Council, there will be in him full pontifical power, superior to the Council itself, because he has power not from it but from Christ. But because someone can say that it is sufficiently certain that John XXIII was Pontiff, we can add that, however it may be, he himself at length voluntarily renounced the Papacy, as is clear from the histories, and likewise Gregory XII yielded. But Benedict XII, otherwise Petrus de Luna, although he never wished to yield, nevertheless died a little after the election of Martin, and a certain Clement, who was appointed in his place, made renunciation a little afterwards, and Martin V was recognized and received as sole and true Pontiff by the Universal Church.
spacer 9. But if someone gives as instance that the subsequent Council of Basel passed sentence against Eugene IV, the sole and undoubted Pontiff, and created Amadeus, called Felix, in his place, the response is that the Council herein erred, which is not to be wondered at because it was now not proceeding legitimately nor under obedience to the Apostolic See. Hence too it erred in approving the assertion, handed on in the Council of Constance, that a General Council is above the Pope. Whence consequently it judged that a Council, once legitimately gathered, could not be dissolved without its own consent by the Pontiff, nay could compel the Pontiff himself to be present at the Council. Which foundation, however, is altogether false, and therein could the Council of Constance err, because it was neither convoked by a true and certain Pontiff nor had him present per se or through legates. Hence it was legitimately convened only for removing the schism, not for defining dogmas of faith. It exceeded, therefore, the limits of its power and so could err, and consequently the following Council of Basel herein erred too because, as I said, it was not then proceeding legitimately. And thus the aforesaid assertion was afterwards condemned by the Pontiffs and by the Lateran Council under Leo X. Also Eugene IV deemed both the sentence and the assertion of the Council of Basel to be nothing, as is reported in the same Council session 38. And the same opinion as Eugene was held by the Universal Church, which, notwithstanding the sentence, took both Eugene and his successor Nicholas V for true Pontiffs, repudiating the antipope Felix, who afterwards yielded to Eugene, and thus the pontifical dignity always remained complete.
spacer 10. The old example, however, about the deposition of Marcellinus is not objected by the king, who does not admit the acts of that Council and accuses it of contradiction, blue because in it is often said that “the Pontiff is judged by no one,” and yet Marcellinus left it after being judged, for a sentence of anathema was passed against him, to which all the bishops subscribed, for Marcellinus could not also excommunicate himself. Neither are there lacking some too among Catholic writers who doubt the history of Marcellinus, as one can see in Baronius vol. II for the year 302 n. 95 and following, and for the year 303 n. 89 and following. However, Baronius himself advises that an ancient history commonly received in the Church should not be called into doubt. Especially since Pope Nicholas in his epistle to the emperor Michael reports it as true, and uses it to confirm the authority of the Apostolic See.
spacer 11.
One must note, therefore, that the sin of Marcellinus was a kind of infidelity and therefore it pertained to the Council to inquire about it, both because of public scandal in the matter of faith and because of the safety of the Church. Because, however, his guilt was only against confession of faith and not heresy, therefore did the assembled bishops often say: “Judge yourself by your own mouth, for the first See is judged by no one.” From which words the supreme authority of the Pontiff is confirmed. Now Marcellinus himself seems to have pronounced sentence against himself when he said: “I have sinned before you all, and I cannot be in the order of priests.” By which words it has seemed to some that he renounced the pontificate, and that the bishops accepted the renunciation, and that therefore it is said about them: “They subscribed to his condemnation and condemned him,” not by the force of a jurisdiction that they had over him while he was Pontiff, but by consenting to him and accepting his renunciation. And thus no one judged him while he was Pontiff but, as is at once subjoined, “he was condemned by his own mouth.” But after he ceased to be Pontiff, he could also be bound by censures by the Council, as is evident of itself. Or perhaps he did not withdraw from the papacy, as is more probable, because this is not there expressly said, nor do the cited words bear renunciation before them but penance; nor does Damasus, nor Platina, or the Roman Breviary report it, but they signify rather that he was Pontiff, even at the time when he suffered martyrdom, and Baronius clearly testifies to it for the year of Christ 304. But, on this supposition, it must consequently be said that not properly in the ecclesiastical forum was he condemned or punished or bound by censure, but voluntarily for the example of others and to avenge his sin he separated himself and, as it were, suspended himself or abstained from his office. Which judgment the Council approved, and passed as it were a declaratory sentence of his crime, Marcellinus himself nodding approval, and in this sense it is said that the Council condemned Marcellinus. And thus there is in the words of the Council no contradiction.
spacer 12. To the final part of the objection about an heretical Pope we reply, in the first place, that it is not certain whether a Pope, even as a private person, can fall stubbornly into heresy. Hence, if the opinion is true that denies a Pope can be a heretic, the objection ceases. But because the canons and the Councils seem to suppose the contrary, as is clear from ch. Si papa dist. 40, and from the Roman Council under Adrian, and from the eighthSynod, it must be conceded, once the case is admitted, that a Pope can then be judged and deprived of his dignity. But how it may be done without prejudice to his dignity is variously explained by the doctors; but it is not necessary in the present case to report and examine the individual opinions. I therefore say briefly that an heretical Pope is not deposed by men but by God himself, although not without the ministry of the Church or of a Council passing a declaratory sentence of crime against him. For just as a Pope is elected by men and yet he receives the dignity not from men but immediately from Christ, so too, although he may be declared a heretic by the sentence of men, nevertheless not by human right but by divine does he stand at once deprived of the dignity. But whether for such privation or deposition such a sentence is necessary, or whether the sin itself of heresy suffices, at any rate when it is external and notorious from the fact itself, is disputed by the doctors. But it seems to me more consonant to reason and to right governance that a declaratory sentence of the crime is necessary, given by a Council possessed of authority, so that everything may be done in orderly fashion and the dangers of schism removed.



1 - 4. The testimonies of Gregory are reviewed. spacer5. The legitimate explanation of the testimonies of Gregory is given, and the argument of the king is turned back against him. spacer6. Double acceptation of the name ‘Universal Bishop’. The name of ‘Universal Bishop’ is suitable for the Pontiff if it does not exclude the other particular bishops. spacer7 - 8. Why Gregory avoided this name.

HE third principal objection is taken from Gregory [sc. Pope Gregory the Great] in the various epistles wherein he reprehends John of Constantinople because he called himself, and wished to be named, Universal Bishop or Patriarch; and the more to confound him he adds: “None of my predecessors ever consented to use so profane a term,” Book IV, indict. 3 ch. 80, otherwise epist.39 to Anastasius of Antioch, where he also says: “For as your reverend holiness knows, the holy Synod of Chalcedon offered to me, Pontiff of the Apostolic See, which I serve by the disposition of God, this name of universality, but none of my predecessors, etc.” And like things are contained in epist. 32 to Maurice, 33 and 34 to Constantia, and 38 to the same John, and 36 to Anianus, and Book VII, epist.69 to Eusebius of Thessalonica. And he adds in Book VI, epist. 30 to Maurice, otherwise ch. 194: “I confidently say that whoever calls himself, or desires to be called, universal priest is in his exaltation a forerunner of antichrist, because he puts himself by his pride ahead of the rest.” Another reason too given by Gregory is that, if one Patriarch be said to be universal, “the name of patriarchs is taken away from the rest. And therefore,” he says, “none of the Roman Pontiffs assumed this term of singularity, or consented to use it, lest, while something is given private to one, all the bishops should be deprived of due honor.” Which reason proceeds equally of the Supreme Pontiff. Hence the same Gregory, Book VII, indict. 1 epist. 30 says to Eulogius of Alexandria, who, when writing to him, had called him Universal Pope: “But I ask that your most sweet holiness not do more for me, because what is offered beyond the requirement of reason to another is taken from you.” And later: “For if your holiness says that I am universal Pope, you deny that you are what you affirm me to be universal.” Where he signifies that one being Universal Bishop is repugnant to others being true bishops. And this opinion was handed on before Gregory by Pelagius II against the same John in epist. 1 to the illegitimate Council of Constantinople. And it is, before these Pontiffs, read in the third Council of Carthage ch.26 and in the African Council at the time of Boniface, the canon which contains: “The Bishop of the First See may not be called Prince of priests or Supreme Priest or anything of the sort, but only Bishop of the First See.”
spacer 2. This argument is greatly urged by the King of England in his Apology, pp. 16 and 107, and from the mentioned testimonies of Gregory he thinks to cut the sinews of many, or certainly of all, of the things we have adduced for the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. He also most contradicts Bellarmine on the ground that he used in favor of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff another testimony of Gregory in which he calls the Apostolic See “head of the faith,” Book XI, epist. 42. For, says the king: “he who repudiates the name of Universal Bishop, will he in equanimity have tolerated to be called head of the faith?” And therefore he himself expounds it of a head or governor in general, whether he be Pope or king, within his dominions or borders. And because he saw that this exposition was forced, as indeed it is, he begs permission that, if it be rejected, he may be able to say that “Gregory spoke either with little caution or excessively.” But, with the same permission of the king, he himself commits both, because without any reason or foundation he applies that free censure to the words, not only of Gregory, but also of all the ancient Fathers. Nay, we can add that it redounds even onto the words of Christ; for he is no less the foundation of the Church than head of the faith; now Christ said about Peter, that is, about the see of Peter as I proved above, that he was the foundation of the Church; Christ was excessive, then, or spoke incautiously if Gregory was excessive or spoke incautiously by calling the Apostolic See the head of the faith.
spacer 3. For Gregory was speaking not of himself alone but of his See. For thus does he say: “Now we give admonishment that the reverence of the Apostolic See not be disturbed by any one’s presumption, for the state of the members is then intact if the head of faith is struck by no injury, and the authority of the canons stays unharmed and unstained.” For, from this train of words, it is clear that the same Apostolic See, to which he advises reverence to be given, he afterwards calls “head of the faith, which the members must strike with no injury, so that their state may remain intact.” Which I understand particularly of the state of faith, because those who disturb everything against the reverence due to the Apostolic See cannot persevere in the true and integral faith. And for that reason, perhaps, he changed his way of speaking, and what he had first called “the Apostolic See” he afterwards called “Head of the Faith,” so as to indicate that there is threat of great danger in contemning the obedience and reverence due to the Apostolic See, for transition is easily made to the danger of losing the faith. And the confirmation is that Christ was certainly not excessive nor did he speak incautiously when he said to Peter, Luke 22:32: “and when thou art converted, strengthen they brethren;” but this function, together with the privilege, v. 32: “I have prayed for thee, that they faith fail not,” was conferred not only on the person but also on the see of Peter, as we showed in book 1; therefore there is no excess, nor incautious speaking, if the Pontiff, who is set in place as a living rule of faith for strengthening the brethren, is called head of the faith. Hence the Fathers of the Council of Chalcedon, in their epistle to Pope Leo, call him “firmness of faith” when they say: “May your firmness fulfill for your sons what is fitting.”
spacer 4. Much more so by the fact that it can rightly be understood that he is called head of the faith because he is the head of all the faithful, the abstract put for the concrete, to denote that there is no true faith except in the members of this head, or that faith itself is what conjoins the members with the head. Hence it happens that both the head and the members may be called ‘of the faith’ because they coalesce through faith in the one body, which is the Church. And in this way, to be head of the faith is nothing else than to be head of the Church, on which head, in its kind, the faith of the Church depends. Wherefore it is ridiculous to adapt those words to temporal kings, or to interpret that head only about a political governor and only for passing laws for the sake of external order, since Gregory openly speaks of the head of the whole Church, and in matters spiritual; for it is also for this cause that he calls him head of the faith. And although it be true that at the beginning of the epistle Gregory had treated of conceding to the bishop of Palermo the use of the pallium, which use pertains to a certain ecclesiastical ceremony, afterwards, taking occasion therefrom, he admonished him to observe, and make to be observed, ecclesiastical discipline about reverence for the Apostolic See, and about the unharmed and unstained authority of the canons, and the integrity of morals; all which things pertain to ecclesiastical and spiritual governance. Therefore Gregory was speaking about the head of this governance when he called the Apostolic See the head of the faith.
spacer 5. By turning back, then, the king’s argument, the legitimate sense of others can in this place easily be erected. For if Gregory called his See the head of the faith, because firmness of faith, and care and solicitude for preserving and propagating it and also, as a result, the honest morals that depend on it, were committed to that See, when he refused the name of “Universal Bishop” he was not denying the supreme pastoral care of his See, but he wished to avoid the invidiousness of the word and the appearance of exaltation and ambition. And not only from that place, but also from innumerable others, nay from the same ones where he treats of the name ‘universal’, there is manifestly collected that Gregory acknowledged in himself and in his See the care of supreme and universal Pastor. For in the same epist.32 to Maurice he says: “It is matter of proof for all who know the Gospel that by the voice of the Lord the care of the whole Church was committed to the holy apostle Peter, prince of all the apostles.” And later: “The care of the whole Church and the principality is committed to him, yet he is not called Universal Apostle.” Behold where he acknowledges the principality but refuses the name. And in epist. 36 and 38 he at the same time contemns the name and uses universal power by dissolving and condemning an illegitimate Council convened without the authority of his own See, and by threatening censures against John if he does not return to his right mind. Nay, in Book VII, epist. 64, he blames the same John for the same name, although John himself did not deny that he was subject to the Apostolic See, as the same Gregory relates, who also adds that he knows of no bishop who is not subject to the same See; therefore, by refusing the word ‘universal’ he did not intend to deny universal jurisdiction to his own See. Hence also in epist. 69, when about to treat of the same cause, he thus begins: “We are constrained by the care of the governance we have taken up to extend watchfully the solicitude of our office, etc.” And later he shows the same cause when he says that “things done in a Council without the authority and consent of the Apostolic See have no force;” and at the end he passes a general censure against those who violate his precepts; that I may pass over the other places above cited wherein Gregory both commends and exercises the primacy of the Roman Church.

spacer 6. Why then did Gregory forbid and repudiate the name ‘Universal Bishop’ as profane? The response comes with Cardinal Bellarmine, Book II De Clericis last chapter, that the name ‘Universal Bishop’ can be used in two ways. First for signifying one bishop who is proper and proximate pastor of the whole Universal Church and of all particular churches and dioceses, in the way, that is, in which the bishop of Coimbra, for instance, is unique bishop of his whole diocese, wherein he can have a vicar, or several vicars, but not another bishop. To imagine in this way, then, a Universal Bishop of the whole Church is contrary to divine right, and therefore that term of ‘Universal Bishop’, taken with this signification, is profane and sacrilegious. But in another way can he be said to be ‘Universal Bishop’ who has, by way of universal cause, jurisdiction over the whole Church; but he does not exclude particular bishops who are both true bishops and, as proximate causes, possess ordinary jurisdiction under the Supreme Pontiff. And taken in this way the term is in itself indeed not profane, because it signifies a thing true and very sacred and necessary for the Church; however, as taken by the Patriarch of Constantinople it was profane and full of presumption and pride, because by it he was attributing to himself what he did not have. And for the contrary reason, when attributed in that sense to the Roman Pontiff, it is not profane but signifies the truth, and therefore in the Council of Chalcedon it is attributed to Pope Leo, as Pope Gregory often testifies in the said epistles. And in the same sense were equivalent names attributed by the Councils and the Fathers to the Roman Bishop, as to be “head of the Universal Church,” in the Council of Chalcedon act. 16; “to have care of the Universal Church,” Leo epist. 82, Eusebius epist.3, Dionysius epist. 2; “Rector of the house of God,” Ambrose on 1 Timothy 3; finally “Bishop of the Universal Church,” as he is often called in the pontifical epistles above mentioned, and in the Council of Chalcedon act. 3, and in many other epistles of bishops or princes writing to the Roman Pontiffs, which are reported in the acts of Councils and among the pontifical epistles; and especially those can be looked at that are read in the Council of Chalcedon act. 3.
spacer 7. Yet nevertheless Gregory repudiated the name of ‘Universal Bishop’, both because of excess of humility — for in this could the King of England say better that Gregory was excessive, not by ambition, but for example of humility; and also so that he might more effectively curb the pride of the bishop of Constantinople; and finally because, on account of the ambiguity of the name, it could offend the other bishops, and this reason is the one Gregory more often uses and, because this danger is not found in the use of other words, he for that reason did not detest the others. And through these things response is also made to Pope Pelagius, for he was moved by the same reason that Gregory was, as is manifest from his words in the said epist. 1, and at the same time in the same epistle he calls the Roman Bishop the head of all the churches.
spacer 8. Now about the name of Supreme Pontiff there was never any doubt, as the emperor Justinian testifies in his Authentic about the Roman Church, collat. 1, where he says: “As the origin of laws was obtained by the elder Rome, so there is no one who doubts that in Rome too is the summit of the Pontificate;” nay the Council of Chalcedon says to Leo in its epistle to him: “Your Highness;” and Gregory, Dialogi I.4, relating the history of Equitius, says: “Equitius began to give great thanks to the almighty God, asserting that he had visited him through the Supreme Pontiff,” since the messenger sent to him by the Pontiff said: “that his father, the Apostolic Pontiff, wished to see him.” Jerome indeed in his Preface to the Gospels calls Damasus “the supreme priest,” which is the same thing. Therefore the canon of the Councils of Carthage and of Africa are not understood of the Roman Pontiff but of the African primate, as is rightly expounded by the Gloss in ch. 3 distinct. 99. For no provincial or national Council could establish how the Pope was to be called; nay, perhaps it was to prevent injury being done to the Pope that the Fathers of those Councils forbad their own primate to be called Supreme Pontiff.



1 - 2. The fourth objection of the king and the first in this chapter. spacer3. It is proved that the primacy of the Pontiff could not be from the emperors.spacer 4. To Phocas. The objection is met. Phocas only protected the primacy of the Pontiff. spacer5. To the elder Justin. To the younger Constantine. spacer6. To Constantine the Great. spacer7. To the Council of Nicea. spacer8. Another objection from conjectures. spacer9. It is solved. Several of the Pontiffs make very perfectly satisfied the governance of the Church.spacer10. The accusations of heretics are refuted. spacer11. The primacy of the Pontiff does not display injury to Christ but his singular providence toward the Church.

HEfourth objection is insinuated by the king in his Preface, p.60 ,where he makes mention of Phocas, saying that up to the times of Phocas the Roman Pontiffs obeyed the emperors. Hence he indicates what other Protestants are wont to assert, that Phocas established that the Roman Pontiff should have the primacy among others. They seem to be favored by other historians, for Bede De Temporibus on Phocas says thus: “He established, at the request of Pope Boniface, that the See of the Roman and Apostolic Church was the head of all the churches, because the church of Constantinople was writing that it was first of them all.” And almost in the same way is it narrated by Paul the Deacon in De Gestis Longobardorum IV.11, and Antonius Sabelicus Aeneade 8 Book VI, and Pomponius Laetus in Compendium Hist. Romar. on Phocas, and many others report the history in the same way. And on account merely of those words Protestants wish to prove that in that year (which was 607 as Genebrardus along with others wishes, or 606 as Baronius wishes) the Roman Pontiff began to have the primacy over the Universal Church, especially over the East. Although neither is it here consistent with itself, for the Magdeburgians Centur. 6 said that the Roman Pontiff was made Patriarch by the emperor Justin in the year 520, unless perhaps the latter are talking about the Patriarch of the West but the former about the Primacy which was extended also to the Eastern Church.
spacer 2. Others said that the Roman Church had the primacy from Constantine IV, because Platina on Benedict II says that “Constantine, moved by the sanctity of Benedict, sent ratifying sanction to him so that he, whom the clergy, people, and the army of Rome had chosen as Pontiff, the same should at once be believed by all to be the true Vicar of Christ, without waiting for any authority from the Prince of Constantinople or the Exarch of Italy, as was accustomed before to happen.” Others refer this dignity of the Roman Bishop to Constantine I, because in the edict of Constantine in the second to last chapter dist. 96 it is thus said: “The emperor Constantine, on the fourth day of his baptism, conferred on the Pontiff of the Roman Church the privilege that in the whole Roman world priests should hold him as head just as judges so hold the king.” And afterwards the words of the privilege are set down at large, which are also reported in vol.1 Concilior. and are approved by Gelasius along with the Council of seventy bishops. And almost the same words are used by Leo IX against Michael ch.10. And hence others said that the privilege was given to the Roman Church by the Council of Nicea; for Leo IX above says that the Pontiff is judged by no one, “the most blessed and apostolic Pontiff Sylvester so decreeing, and the Augustus Constantine, his spiritual son, giving approval along with the whole Synod of Nicea.” Similar locutions are found in the 4th Council under Symmachus, and in the other Councils mentioned above. Others finally refer this institution indeed to the times of the apostles; they say however that the apostolic institution is not divine, because the ancient Pontiffs sometimes say that Peter, with the consent of the other apostles, was established as their prince. About which and other errors Torquemada can be looked at, De Eccles. II.39ff., and Bellarmine De Pontif. II.17 .
spacer 3.
However, all these things have neither foundation nor any likelihood, because the primacy of the Roman Church is older than all the Christian emperors, as was proved above from the most ancient tradition. Besides the fact that we also proved that temporal kings have no spiritual power or jurisdiction by which they might be able to make disposition of ecclesiastical things. But ecclesiastical primacy is spiritual and supernatural, as we proved; how then could the emperors establish it or confer it? Next we proved that this dignity is from the institution of Christ, and that by force thereof it endures through continual succession and always passes by the same divine right to the Roman Pontiff, on the supposition of the determination made to such See by Peter; therefore it is vain to seek for the institution of this dignity from the emperors. Nay, rather, it had its beginning neither from the Councils or the Fathers nor from the apostles, but from the Lord himself, as Anacletus and other pontiffs above referred to testify, and as we proved from the Gospel as understood by the Fathers. Hence, wherever something is found written by one of the Fathers or Catholic writers that the Roman See has the primacy from some Council or from the Fathers, the sense is that it had it from them, not as establishing or donating such dignity, but as declaring and defending or preserving it. For thus the Council of Nicea declared that the Roman Bishop has the primacy over everyone and adds that “he also always had it.” But best is Nicholas I in his epistle to the emperor Michael when he said: “The privileges are given to this Holy See by Christ; they are not given by Synods but celebrated and honored by them.” The emperor Justinian in Authentica De Ecclesiast. title ch.1 spoke thus: “We ratify, according to the definition of the Synods, that the most holy Pope of Old Rome is the first of all priests.”
spacer 4. What the King of England says, therefore, that before Phocas the Roman Pontiffs obeyed the emperors, has regard to the chapters following, where we will deal with the comparison of each power and show that to be false. But as to what he insinuates and what other Protestants more clearly contend, that Phocas conferred something of power or jurisdiction on the Roman Pontiff, it is false and has been introduced by ignorance or (which is more likely) by the malevolence of Protestants. For one must recollect from what was said in the preceding point that there was between Gregory and John of Constantinople a controversy over the term ‘universal’, which was not so much about the thing or the power itself (for John himself, as we saw, admitted that he was subject to Gregory) as about the title, which, because of the offense to others, the pride, and the danger of passing over into schism, greatly displeased the Roman Pontiffs. When therefore Pelagius and Gregory, neither by their warnings nor by the intervention of the emperors, could bring John of Constantinople to their own opinion and to a saner mind, and when Cyriacus, John’s successor, persisted in the same madness, Boniface III who, after Sabinianus, Pontiff for only one year, succeeded to Gregory, prevailed on Phocas to compel Cyriacus not to use that title, by declaring that it could only be applied to the Roman Church, as was rightly declared by Platina on Boniface III, by Blondus bk.9 decad.1, Genebrardus in Chronicum for the year 607, and Baronius in Annales for the year 606. And it is per se evident that much before Phocas, in the Council of Nicea and in other Councils, the primacy of the Apostolic See was made plain, and in the Council of Chalcedon in particular the Roman Pontiff was declared Universal Bishop, although the modesty and moderation of the Pontiffs refused to accept that name. Baronius also notes that Cyriacus did not deny subjection and obedience to the Roman Pontiff, because immediately after his election he at once sent his responsals together with the synodal letter to Pope Gregory, as is got from the same Gregory in Book VI, epist.31. From which also it is clear that Gregory never complained about usurpation of jurisdiction but about the ambitious title, injurious to other bishops and especially to the Roman See. Therefore Phocas by his authority defended the Roman See and suppressed the pride of Cyriacus, but he conferred nothing new on Boniface.
spacer 5. Now about Justin I find no history held in authority that reports that the elder Justin conferred anything of power on the Roman Bishop, not only for the year 520, but not even for the whole time of his reign. For although he often wrote with great faith and reverence to Pope Hormisdas and sent gifts to the Roman Church, he never conferred special privileges on that See; whence therefore could the heretics have taken that error or the suspicion of it? Especially because from the acts of the Council of Chalcedon, and from the many others adduced above, it is has been evidently shown that the primacy of the Roman See was very well known in the whole world before Justin. And in the same way is easily refuted what was said about Constantine IV, for he was emperor more than two hundred years after Justin; but the primacy of the Roman Church was older than Justin, and therefore could not have been from him; therefore much less could it have been erected by a later Constantine. Nor do the words of Platina indicate this, but only that the emperor Constantine ended the custom whereby the consent of the emperor or of the exarch was wont to be expected for completion of creating the Pontiff; but about the power of the Supreme Pontiff Constantine said nothing, nay from his words is openly collected that he thought a Pontiff duly elected was at once Vicar of Christ.
spacer 6. The same response has place for Constantine the Great, for before his conversion the Roman Pontiff exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Universal Church, not only in the West but also in the East, as was sufficiently shown above. Nothing pertaining to this power, then, did Constantine confer on the Roman Church, but what he found he approved and believed; nay, even by his own obedience and subjection he recognized it, and in reverence and honor of so great dignity he conceded temporal goods also to the Roman Church, so that he might procure greater honor and splendor for it. Which can be made certain from the words of the same edict; for at the beginning he confesses that through the apostles Peter and Paul God worked marvels in his favor. “With the intervention,” he says, “of Sylvester, our Father and Universal Pope.” And later he thus speaks: “How much power the same our Savior conferred on his blessed apostle Peter in heaven and on earth was most clearly declared to us by the same venerable Father.” And later he subjoins: “We have judged that, just as on earth St. Peter seems to be established Vicar of the Son of God, even the Pontiffs too, who are successors of the prince of the apostles himself, should possess a fuller power of principality than the extent of the earthly empire seems to have.” But he interposes these words: “[power] conceded by us and by our command,” which is to be understood of concession by consent and recognition, not by proper donation, lest these words should conflict with the preceding ones, in which he confessed that Peter was Vicar of Christ and the Roman Pontiff his successor; and therefore he sets that power before the imperial, but an emperor could not give a power greater than the imperial. Or the understanding also is that he conceded to the See of Peter splendor and temporal principality in honor of the spiritual, so that it might thus be in greater honor than the empire itself. Which is signified by the following words, in which much to be noted is that he calls the empire “earthly power and earthly throne,” but the pontificate he calls “sacrosanct and most holy See of blessed Pete &c.”
spacer 7. To the final part, about the Council of Nicea and other Councils, the response is also evident from what has been said and from the words of Leo III cited in the same place; for first he says that the Pontiff is judged by no one, “St. Sylvester by divine authority making decree,” that is, not establishing it by himself but declaring a divine right; for this is strictly indicated by the words and demanded by the matter, for he himself could not exempt himself by his own authority; he declared, therefore, that he was exempt by divine authority. And Leo adds: “The August Constantine and the Synod of Nicea giving approval and subscribing,” that is, by defining, declaring, and promulgating that such was the divine privilege of the Apostolic See. Nevertheless Leo also adds that Constantine conferred this privilege, which must necessarily be understood according to what was said above, namely that he conferred it by approving it and by establishing that it should be observed. And thus too did John II say in his epistle to the emperor Justinian: “You preserve reverence for the Roman See and you subject everything to it, and you draw everything to its unity, to whose author, that is, to the first of the apostles, the command by the voice of the Lord was given: ‘Feed my sheep,’ which is declared to be truly head of all churches by the rules of the Fathers and by the statutes of the princes, and is evidenced by the affections of your most reverend piety.” In which words is rightly embraced what Christ or what the Fathers and the princes conferred on this dignity; for from Christ is the institution and the conferring of power together with the precept of feeding; from the Fathers is the declaration and the definition; but to the emperors properly belong recognition and defense. Next, the same should be said proportionally of the apostles with respect to Peter; for the other apostles did not confer power on Peter, as is clear from the Gospel, but very gladly accepted it given by Christ.
spacer 8.
Besides these objections, Protestants are wont to make others taken from reasons or conjectures, as that one man could not suitably govern the Church diffused through the whole world. Hence, to prove this, they are wont to exaggerate, or even to invent, the defects or vices that are noted in some Pontiffs; and the King of England does not omit to make accusation of certain things that he affirms are committed in the elections of Pontiffs. Finally, others add the usual, and in many things their common, objection that great injury is done to Christ if besides him another head of the whole Church is established.
spacer 9. But these things are of little moment, for if this governance of the Church were merely human and were to be carried out only by human strength, or moral prudence or only natural judgment, not unrightly would it be judged to exceed the capacity of one man; nay rather we admit that even the ordinary helps of grace are not sufficient for it if God did not offer far greater and special ones. But since Christ the Lord promised to his Vicar both the singular presence of his own providence and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and since he prayed specifically for his faith, although to govern spiritually the whole universe be a burden difficult for human weakness, yet it is not impossible, nor is it so morally difficult that many Pontiffs both sustained it for the most part excellently and fulfilled it perfectly and with holiness. Most of all so because although one man is Supreme Pontiff, yet he does not govern on his own everywhere and immediately, but by divine institution he summons other bishops too and pastors to a part of the solicitude, and as much as is expedient communicates to them a part of his jurisdiction, and reserves to himself the greater and graver matters and all the recourse necessary for preserving unity and concord. And in this way the governance of one is not only made possible but was even necessary for preserving the unity of the Church, as we showed; nay it would also be in its way easy if it were not disturbed by errors and schisms.
spacer 10. To the accusations against the persons of the Pontiffs made by their enemies we can, in the first place, say with Augustinem epist .165: “In that order of bishops which leads from Peter himself up to Anastasius (we ought to say up to Paul V) who now sits on the same chair, although some traitor may in those times have insinuated himself, nothing was prejudicial to the Church or to innocent Christians, to whom the Lord, foreseeing the proposed evils, says, Matthew 23:3: ‘Whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not;’ so that the hope of the faithful might be sure, which is placed not in man but in the Lord.” Next we can add that the same Augustine replied to the Donatists, De Unico Baptismo contra Petilianum ch.1 6: “What need is there for us to rebut the accusations leveled by him against the bishops of the Roman Church, whom he has pursued with incredible calumnies? For although they may be accused of crimes, are they also convicted of them? Or are they shown to be convicted by any firm instruments? etc.” which he elegantly pursues. Yet we do not deny that some sins and scandals are related in the histories about some Pontiffs, but these are both few in comparison with the multitude of so many illustrious and holy Pontiffs, and it ought to be no wonder that in so great a multitude a few bad ones are found, since among the twelve apostles one was a traitor. Hence, just as he did not defile the apostolic dignity, so neither did any corrupt Pontiff taint the Apostolic See, because none of them was a heretic, at least one who publicly taught heresy, and an evil life does not diminish the sanctity of the See. And what we say about the persons of the Pontiffs, should be understood as said about their election. For what the King of England murmurs against we are ignorant of its having happened in our age; and although perhaps sometimes it was committed, it is wrongly noted and blamed as if it was frequent or constant; and therefore rightly did Bellarmine respond: “It is a custom with adversaries to transfer to all a sin that has at any time been committed by one.” And finally, although in such election men sometimes as men offended, it does not thereby necessary happen that the election is not by the Holy Spirit, who knows how to use the evil well, even for electing a worthy person; and although sometimes, because of his hidden judgments, he permits there to be error in the election of the person, nevertheless, for the good and firm institution of the Church, the Holy Spirit is present to confer his power on the one duly elected, whoever he is, and thus the sins of men do not prevent the election being in one way or another by the Holy Spirit.
spacer 11. Finally, to the last part, we deny that it works to the injury of Christ that he has one Vicar on earth who is, in his own way, the visible head of the militant and visible Church, because this head is a ministerial one, but Christ himself is alone always the principal head. Just as also we were saying about the rock, or as Christ too in Scripture is called “Pastor of our souls [alt. Shepherd of your souls],” 1 Peter 2:25, which does not prevent it being said of other men: “The Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the Church of God [alt. overseers, to feed the Church of God],” Acts 20:28. For although Christ is the highest and principal “Prince of pastors [alt. chief shepherd]”, as is said 1 Peter 5:4, nevertheless the others too are pastors as ministers of that Prince; nay, they are even sometimes called princes, according to that verse, Psalm 44 [45]:16: “Whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth,” yet all are under that supreme Prince. Thus therefore is the Pope too pastor and bishop and prince of pastors and bishops, that is, of mortal ones or ones ministering under the immortal and absolute Prince. In the same way also there is a ministerial and mortal head under the principal and immortal one. And therefore this not only does not derogate from the dignity of Christ but even commends his charity and his power and his singular providence toward his Church.



1. Spiritual and temporal power are compared among themselves in a double way. spacer2. Various questions which arise from the subordination of one power to the other. spacer3. The error of Protestants about the subjection of kings to the Pontiffs. spacer4. Basis for this error. spacer5. Assertion de fide. Temporal kings are in spiritual matters subject to the Pontiff. spacer6. The conclusion is proved from the Council of Nicea and from the Fathers. spacer7 - 12. It is proved again from the deeds of the emperors. spacer13 - 15. Several kings of England have embraced this assertion. spacer16. The same subjection of kings is established by the deeds of the English. spacer17. Other doings of theirs are related that confirm the present institution. spacer18 - 19. The same subjection of kings is proved also by efficacious reason.

LTHOUGH at present we have to deal principally with the subordination and comparison of the spiritual and temporal power, since for perfect knowledge of them this fact is what remains principally to be declared; nevertheless, we take our beginning from the persons themselves, in which such powers are present, because the foundation of the aforesaid subordination most thereon depends. But to make this plain, I advert to the fact that the aforesaid powers, the spiritual and temporal, can be compared either in nobility and excellence or in subordination and subjection one to the other; for these two are so diverse that they can be separated in the way that in the case of physical powers one can be more excellent than another (as seeing than hearing) even if one is not subjected or subordinated to the other in its action. We are not now, therefore, comparing these powers in their absolute perfection and excellence; for, when explaining the distinction of the spiritual power from the temporal, we sufficiently showed that the former was more excellent than the latter, which thing I also expressly taught in my work De Legibus, and, on the supposition of a distinction between both powers, it can scarcely admit of doubt. Because the spiritual power is a certain higher participation in the divine power, having more perfect effects, a higher end, a more noble origin, and a certain being of diviner and more excellent order, as is shown also by the various ways in which the Fathers speak, whom I noted in the places cited.
spacer 2. We are, then, comparing these powers in their subordination and dependence one on the other, which can either be conceived formally (so to say) between the powers themselves, or only between the persons in which such powers exist. For it can be inquired whether one of these powers can apply the other to its acts or restrain it from them; or whether the person who has one power may, as to the acts pertaining to it, be subjected to the person having the other, wherein one can also ask whether this subjection is reciprocal or only on one or other part. All which things, to touch on the point of difficulty, we propose are in need of being dealt with about the persons in whom these powers are in a supreme grade of excellence to be found, as are the emperor and the Supreme Pontiff. Three questions, then, result. The first is whether the Supreme Pontiff has the persons of temporal kings and princes spiritually subject to himself. The second is whether the Pontiff has subject to himself, not only the person of the king, but also his temporal power, however supreme, such that he can, by giving command, direct, demand, supply, or impede his acts. The third is consequent on these, whether the Pontiff by reason of his spiritual power is able, not only to direct Christian princes by giving command, but also to compel them by punishment, even up to privation of their kingdom, if there be need, which is almost the point and hinge of the whole controversy, and therefore it needs to be the more accurately treated of. And three similar questions can be moved on the converse side, namely whether a king or emperor has the person of the Pope or other bishops subject to himself in temporal and civil matters. Again, whether a king by his temporal power can dominate over the spiritual by inciting or restraining it in order to his own government. Third, whether a king can prescribe to a Pontiff with coercive power, even up to deposing him. But of these latter questions the first pertains to the dispute about the exemption of clerics from the civil power, to which we will devote the whole of the next book, and there it will be copiously treated of; but here we will only touch on something about the person of the Pontiff as far as will be necessary for solving certain objections. The second question, however, contains, on supposition of a resolution of the former questions, no difficulty, and for that reason will be solved along with them by way of consequence. But the third question is connected with the preceding ones and it too, insofar as it can concern the Pontiff, as he is Pontiff, will be solved by the by in what follows, but insofar as it is about the Pontiff as he is a man or a citizen, it will be solved in the following book along with the first question.
spacer 3. In this chapter, then, the first question proposed is to be treated of, wherein the opinion of Protestants is that a temporal king and in general a prince supreme in temporal things is subject to no man in spiritual things, and thence that neither does the power of a king depend on the will of any man. Which error has from Marsilius of Padua taken its origin, and to it Henry VIII, King of England, greatly adhered, whom now the most serene James imitates, as is shown not only by his deeds but by his words too, which he has placed in various places of his Preface. For in this sense he says, on page 2, about temporal kings: “Whom God has placed on his throne at the highest level of dignity, as his vicars and legates for exercising judgment.” And more clearly on page 5: “For neither do I believe myself inferior to the Pontiff in any respect.” And again on page 10 to kings: “Whom God has commanded to be his chief vicars on earth for the administration of justice.” And in the same sense he says, on page 14, that the controversy which he has with his Catholic subjects, has been moved from nowhere else “than from the ambitious tyranny of Pontiffs which they, against the authority of the Scriptures, against the mind of the Councils and the ancient Fathers, have over the temporal rights of kings unjustly usurped.” And finally he concludes in the same place that to assertion of this authority of kings (in this sense, that is) his whole apology is devoted. In which places, although sometimes he speaks about subjection in temporal things, yet he understands it about direct as well as indirect subjection, for so as to exclude both of themom kings he even denies spiritual subjection; and for that reason he arrogates spiritual power as well to himself, and on this foundation his whole scheme rests.
spacer 4. As I was writing these things, a book of the most illustrious Cardinal Bellarmine came into my hands, wherein he replies to William Barclay, who has in a certain novel way denied the power of the Pontiff in temporal affairs. For Barclay professed that the Pontiff has supreme power in spiritual things, even over kings and emperors, and nevertheless he denied the subordination of the temporal power to the spiritual, and consequently he also denied that a Pontiff can in the temporal things that pertain to the right or dominion of a king introduce any change, or make disposition in them of anything. And although, in the aforesaid book, many foundations for it are referred to, yet do I find none serious or taken from authority or urgent reason, and, of whatever sort they are, they are so fully and learnedly satisfied by the Cardinal that there is no necessity to add anything. The sum, then, of everything is that Christian kings have supreme power in temporal matters; but it is repugnant for power to be supreme and subject to another, whether directly or indirectly. But to prove each of these he collects from the Scriptures the common testimonies, whereby obedience to temporal princes is commended, and he joins thereto that the power of the Pontiff as regards temporal things has no foundation in Scripture, or in the use or tradition of the Church. He also accumulates many things in which he confounds this question of the spiritual power of the Pontiff with the question of the exemption of clerics, although however, as I have often said, they are distinct and to be defined by far different principles; and so everything which pertains to exemption we have remitted to the Book following, but we will make satisfaction to the rest in the next chapter.
spacer 5. For a beginning, then, against the King of England we lay it down that, as Barclay admits, the Roman Pontiff is the spiritual father and supreme pastor of temporal kings, however supreme they may be in their own order; and hence, in those things that have regard to the soul and spiritual governance, kings are subject to the Roman Pontiff. This assertion is a direct response to the first question proposed, and it is to be held de fide catholica. And it does not need new proof, for it follows evidently from the principles handed down in the preceding chapters. For we showed that the Pope is the Pastor of the all the sheep of Christ; but Christian kings are to be counted among the sheep of Christ, otherwise they will be outside the fold and outside the Catholic Church; therefore their Pastor too is the Pope; therefore, conversely, they lie under the spiritual power itself of the Pontiff; for these two things are correlative and inseparable. Wherefore the Scriptures, the testimonies of the Pontiffs, of the Councils, and of the Fathers, which prove that the Supreme Pontiff succeeds to Peter in the universal power of ruling the Church, prove too that kings are subject to the same power of the Pontiff, at least in spiritual things; for power given over the whole flock or the whole body extends to the individual sheep or the individual parts. And the reason whereby that power embraces under itself all the baptized, of whatever condition, is the same as that whereby it comprehends kings too and emperors, because by no right are they exempt, and because royal dignity is not in conflict with Christian subjection, otherwise it would also be in conflict with the Christian faith and profession, since the faith itself of Christ requires this obedience from those who worship him.
spacer 6.
To these general reasons and testimonies can be added special words, in the first place from the Council of Nicea, canon 39, among the 80 translated from the Arabic, where it says: “He himself is first like Peter, to whom was given power over all Christian princes and over all their peoples, as he who is Vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ over all peoples and the universal Christian Church.” Hence Pope Symmachus [498 - 514 A. D.], in his Apologia to the emperor Anastasius, speaks to him thus: “You, if you are a Christian prince, should listen to the voice of any apostolic chief whatever.” And Pope Anastasius II [496 - 98 A. D.], in his epistle to the emperor Anastasius, requires from him obedience in the things whereof he admonishes him. And Gelasius [492 - 96 A. D.] to the same: “Although you preside over the human race in the dignity of earthly affairs, yet to the chiefs of divine ones you submit your neck in devotion.” And later: “Learn that you ought to be subjected in the order of religion, etc.” From the testimonies adduced above too, by which we showed the primacy of the Roman See, many things expressly declare that among the sheep committed to Peter even kings and the emperor are numbered. Nazianzen especially, in his oration to the people when they were struck with fear, says: “Raise up a voice more free; know that you are sheep of my flock.” And Chrysostom, homil. 83: “If he who is crowned with the diadem approach unworthily, restrain him; you have greater power than he.” And Ambrose, in his book De Dignitat. Sacerdot., ch. 2, says that: “The necks of kings are submitted under the feet of priests.”
spacer 7. Next, very manifest is this truth in the deeds, examples, and testimonies of Christian emperors and kings; for in the first place it has been handed down about Philip I, a Christian emperor of memory, that he obeyed Pope Fabian [236 - 50 A. D.] when he commanded him not to come to communion before bewailing his sins seated among the public penitents, as Eusebius relates, History, VI.25, elsewhere ch. 27 [actually ch. 34], and Nicephorus, V.25. Of Constantine too a history is known that in a Council he said that he needed to be judged by the bishops, not that he would judge them, in Ruffinus I.2. With sufficient piety too the emperor Justin, in Book IV, ch. De Summ. Trinit. et Fide Catholica, says: “We, rendering homage to the Apostolic See and to Your Holiness, which is a thing that always has been and is our wish, honoring Your Holiness as befits a Father, we hasten to bring all things that pertain to the state of the churches to the notice of Your Holiness, since we have always great zeal to defend the unity of Your Apostolic See and the state of the holy churches.” And other things that he pursues, whereby he sufficiently shows he was spiritually subject to the Apostolic See, as is rightly understood and lauded by Pope John [523 - 26 A. D.] in his rescript, which is related in the same law § Inter Claras, where he says among other things: “You keep reverence for the Roman See, and subject all things to it, and lead them to its unity &c.” which we referred to above.
spacer 8. The words are much to be noted too of the emperor Charlemagne: “In memory of the blessed Peter let us honor the holy Roman and Apostolic See so that she, who is to us the mother of the sacerdotal dignity, should be the mistress of ecclesiastical reason; wherefore humility with meekness is to be preserved so that, although scarcely to be borne be the yoke imposed by the Holy See, we may yet bear and sustain it with pious devotion.” Which words from the chapters of Charles are reported by Gratian in ch. 3, dist.19; and Nauclerus, vol II, ‘generat.’ 28, says that it is one of 23 chapters of laws which Charles sent to his subjects. And it was received by the Fathers in the Council of Tribur, canon 30. Hence also Pope Symmachus said in the sixth Roman synod: “It is not licit for the emperor or for anyone who guards piety to do anything that may be an obstacle to the apostolic rules.” And it is reported by Gratian in ch. 2, dist.10, where similar words from Popes Callistus, Marcellinus, and Adrian are related. Nay, the same Pope Adrian [772 - 95 A. D.] in the last of his chapters says: “By a general decree we establish that he be an execrable curse and guilty always before God as a sinner against the Catholic Faith who among kings or potentates confides or permits any censure in the decrees of the successive Roman Pontiffs to be in any respect violated,” as is found in Gratian in ch. ‘Generali’ 25, q.1.
spacer 9. There can besides to these be added several signs of reverence and obedience given to the Apostolic See by emperors and kings in all places and times. For, to begin with, almost all call him “spiritual Father” and add “most blessed,” “most holy,” or something equivalent, as one may see in many epistles of diverse emperors to Popes Leo, Hormisdas, Anastasius, and others; and specially can be noted the words of Ladislaus king of Hungary in his oration to Nicholas V [1447 - 55 A. D.], where he calls him “Very Great Pontiff,” “only prince of Christians,” and “king of kings,” and “a god on earth,” as is found in Cocleus, Book XI, Historiae Husitarum. Next, they often confess and recognize the chair of Peter in the Roman Pontiff and his universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, as is clear from Constantine and others cited above, and from Valentinian in his epistle to Theodosius, in Acts 1 of the Council of Chalcedon, and in another of the same to Leo [440 - 61 A. D.] where he says that Leo “has the principality of the priest, presiding over the faith, and that a council is by him to be convened as author,” and from other epistles which can there be seen. Again from Justinian in his laws and his Authentica cited above, and from the letters to Boniface II [530 - 32 A. D.], which are reported among the acts of Boniface, vol. II, where first he understands of the Apostolic See the verse: “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,” and subjoins: “These words spoken are proved by the effects of things, because in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been beyond stain preserved.” And later: “We anathematize all who against the holy Roman and Apostolic Church with pride raise their necks, we who follow in all things the Apostolic See and preach all that it has established.”
spacer 10. And Frederick I, in his epistle to the Greek emperor Emmanuel, first says that the Roman Church has by God been ordained sole mother, lady, and mistress of all churches. Hence he infers: “To the Supreme Pontiff, whom as to name we call holy, may you exhibit due obedience and honor.” A letter also is cited of Leo, King of the Armenians, to Innocent III [1198 - 1216 A. D.] whom he calls “Lord and Father in Christ and Universal Pope and Pastor, whom God wished to preside over his Church.” And he subjoins: “Informed by the grace of your light, we, to recall the whole kingdom committed by God to us and all the Armenians to the unity of the holy Roman Church, by inspiration of the divine mercy, long and desire.” Like things were written by Michael Palaeologus to Gregory X up to the year 1274. And many things the Greek emperor Andronicus wrote in a letter which is extant in the Palatine Library, where he says the Roman Church has the supreme and absolute primacy over the universal Catholic Church handed to it by the Lord &c.
spacer 11. In addition, Charles king of France, in a letter to Adrian II [867 - 2 A. D.], thus writes: “To the most holy Father Adrian, Supreme and Universal Pontiff, Charles by the grace of God king and your spiritual son, etc.” And Hugo king of France to Pope John XV [985 - 96 A. D.] says among other things: “This with complete affection we say, that you may understand and know that we and ours turn away from refusing your judgments.” And Louis too King of France in an epistle to Pius II [1458 - 64 A. D.] first salutes him in these words: “To our most blessed Father, Pope Pius II, filial obedience;” and then he subjoins: “You the Vicar of the Living God we honor with such veneration that your holy admonitions, especially in matters ecclesiastical, we wish to listen to as to the voice of the Pastor and to obey them with prompt mind; that you are the Pastor of the Lord’s flock we profess and know and we follow you when you command, etc.” Thus St. Louis king of France, among the documents written before his death to his son Philip, says: “Be devoted and obedient to your mother the Roman Church, and to its Pontiff show yourself compliant as to a spiritual father.” Thus in addition Sigismund king of Poland, in his epistle to the Lateran Council under Leo X [1513 - 21 A. D.], which is contained in its Acts, VII, offers his obedience to the Supreme Pontiff, and adds “according to the custom of my ancestors.”
spacer 12. And in the same Council, session 2 at the beginning, there is contained a mandate from the Catholic King Ferdinand, in which among many other illustrious testimonies of his faith he puts this: “We profess ourselves a son most devoted to the holy Roman Church, our mother, and for her honor and state most ready to lay down life.” And later he adds that he is sending a legate so that he may be present at the Council, “and there,” says the king, “to offer due obedience to the aforesaid most blessed Lord our Pope as often as may be opportune &c.” And almost the like words from Charles V are contained in the Edict of Worms. Nor is it necessary to refer to more testimonies of the kings of the Spains, because the thing is very well known, and because King Alphonsus in his Laws, first part, tit. 5, Books II, III, IV and V, not only expressly professes but even eruditely declares the dignity and power of the Pontiff, saying that for this reason he is in a special way “Vicar of Christ and successor of Peter,” and that therefore is he called “Apostolic” by antonomasia, and is even named “Pope” because “Father of fathers, and head of the bishops and other prelates. And therefore,” he says, “all Christians of the whole world, when they approach him, kiss his feet.” He next adds at the end of law 4: “He who denies that the Pontiff has this power or is the head of the Church is not only excommunicate but a heretic as well.” And in Book 5 he says generally and without exception that all Christians are held to obey the Pontiff in spiritual matters, and other the like things.
spacer 13. I come to the Kings of England who, from the beginning of its call to the Faith up to Henry VIII, recognized the Roman Pontiff as supreme Pastor of the Church. For the first king of Britain, Lucius, as soon as he took up the Faith, sent an epistle to Eleutherius [175 - 89 A. D.] “beseeching,” as Bede says, “to be made by his mandate a Christian, and soon he obtained the effect of his pious petition.” By which deed and example he openly showed that he recognized the Pontiff as his Pastor, for how could he make petition of so necessary a sacrament from someone other than his Pastor? Again he professed that the Pontiff has the keys of the whole Church, and that to him it principally pertains to receive through the door of baptism kings and princes within the Church. Otherwise why did he not rather from some British bishop (if perhaps someone was there as successor from the preaching and ordination of Joseph [sc. of Arimathea]), or at any rate from some neighboring bishop, make petition for baptism? For, as we take from Irenaeus I.8, already at that time in Germany, France, and Spain, which are provinces nearer the island of Brtain than Rome, churches had been founded and bishops created, so why did he send messengers to none of them but to the Roman Bishop only? Not, certainly, for any other reason than that he believed him alone to have universal jurisdiction and superior power over the Church. Also we related above from Bede, III.25, that King Oswald, when he heard that to Peter principally were given the keys of the kingdom of heaven and came to believe that his successor was the Roman Pontiff, said: “I say to you, that here is the doorkeeper, whom I will not contradict but, to the extent I know and am able, I desire to obey his statutes in everything.” “As the king was saying these things,” says Bede, “those sitting by gave their support and hastened to what they knew to be better to transfer themselves.” And many other things about the recourse of the kings of England to the Apostolic See in matters and business ecclesiastical are reported by Bede.
spacer 14. Again Pope John X [914 - 28 A. D.] admonished King Edward as one of his sheep, as Polydore relates, Book VI. And there is a very good epistle of King Edward to Nicholas II [1058 - 61 A. D.] which he thus inscribes: “To the Supreme Father of the Universal Church Nicholas, Edward by the grace of God king of the English due subjection and obedience,” Baronius for the year 1060, note 9. And afterwards in an epistle he makes confession and petitions him to ratify what the Pope’s predecessor had, under the name of obedience and penance for a certain vow, enjoined on him, and to confirm certain privileges; and afterwards he says that he is increasing and confirming the donations and customs of monies which St. Peter has in England, and that he is sending the monies collected along with royal gifts, etc. Almost the like epistles are found of one of two Edwards, King of England, to Boniface VIII [1294 - 1303 A. D.], and of the other to Clement VI [1342 - 52 A. D.]. And there are also, Baronius for the year 1190, very good words of King Richard II to Clement III [1187 - 91 A. D.]: “A juster success is to the deeds of princes allotted when from the Apostolic See they receive strength and favor and are by the conversation of the holy Roman Church directed. For that reason we have thought it worthy to transmit to the knowledge of Your Blessedness what things between us and Lord Tancred, the illustrious king of Sicily, were recently in a public and necessary compact celebrated.” And later: “We strenuously ask Your Holiness and the holy Roman Church that the holy Apostolic See receive on our behalf a pledge of faith; and so that it may confidently do so, by the testimony of the present letters to you do we concede free power more severely to compel us and our heirs and our land, if against the aforesaid peace we will have come, &c.”
spacer 15. In addition, Kenulph King of the Mercians in England wrote an epistle to the Pontiff John III [561 - 74 A. D.] in which he first gives thanks to God, because “when He thought that the most glorious Pastor of his flock Adrian needed to be perpetually rewarded above the skies, yet by pious providence he had raised over his sheep him (that is, Leo) who has knowledge to lead the Lord’s flock to the fold of a higher life.” And later: “Wherefore I consider it opportune the ear of obedience to your holy commands humbly to incline.” blue And afterwards, having humbly asked for blessing, he subjoins: “This blessing all who before me were kings of the Mercians merited to secure from your predecessors; this I myself humbly beg, and from you, most holy one, I desire to obtain it, insofar as, in the first place, you may receive me a son by lot of adoption to yourself, as I choose you a father to me and embrace you always with all the strength of obedience.” Baronius for the year 169. Also is reported by Peter of Blois a certain letter of the Queen of England, which is number 144 for him, in which against the tyranny of a certain Christian prince she implores the aid of Pope Celestine [422 - 32 A. D.], saying: “Whom God has constituted above the nations and kingdoms in all plenitude of power.” And later: “Nor can you ignore those things without the note of crime and infamy, since you are Vicar of the Crucified, successor of Peter, god also of Pharoah.” And after she has reported that the tyrant held the keys in derision, she concludes: “Although you do not wish to prosecute the injury to you, yet you may not ignore the disgrace to Peter, the injury to Christ.”
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In addition there can in this place be adduced, as sign of this spiritual subjection, the custom of the Kings of England, which Edward above kept in mind, of sending tribute to the Roman Church in reverence to St. Peter, which custom took from King Ina its beginning, on the evidence of Polydore, Book I, and was conserved and increased by his successors, as is pursued in Book V and other places. And afterwards it was, by a law passed by William the Conqueror of England, confirmed, and is among his laws called the tenth, and has, as inscription, concerning Peter’s Pence. And in this way it was, up to the times of Henry VIII, paid to the Roman Church. Hence is it very well collected by Sander, the cited work, V.6, that it is not likely the kings of England, who in honor of the saint made their kingdom subject of tribute to the Roman See, denied to the same See the spiritual government of the same kingdom. And this evidence can be richly added to by the things that Azor gathers together in part 2 of his Institut., IV.35.
spacer 17. Finally it can be confirmed from the ancient use and practice of the ancient Catholic kings of England, who always petitioned from the Pontiffs, both dispensations in vows or ecclesiastical laws, and confirmations of bishops, and also the accustomed pallium to be given to archbishops, and would often send the archbishops themselves for receiving the pallium finally to Rome, but sometimes the kings would petition from the Pontiffs that it be given to them in their absence. At times too bishops and kings, in controversies which they had among themselves, would appeal to the Pontiff, about which and many like things can be seen Newbridge, Book I of Rerum Anglicanarum, and Malmesbury, Book I of , De Gestis Pontificum, and Book I of Histor. Novel. And Peter of Blois, epistle 136, with many others, and Matthew of Paris in Historia Regum Angliae, and Baronius for the years 1100, 1117, 1174, and as many times as the history of the Kings of England crops up. Other things too are collected in summary by Sanders in Clavi David, V.6. Which here it is not necessary to repeat, since (as we noted above) even Henry VIII himself, King of England, bequeathed, before he fell into schism, a great writing in defense of the Roman See and its authority, in his Assertio Sacramentorum Contra Lutherum, artic 2. Where among other things he says: “I will not be so unjust to the Pontiff as to dispute with anxiety and solicitude about his right, as if the thing were held in doubt.” And that was why he petitioned for a dispensation from the Pope, because at that time he acknowledged himself subject to the spiritual power of the Pontiff, according to the faith and tradition which, not only from this predecessors, but from the universal Christian world he had received; to which tradition he also in his book bears witness.
spacer 18. Finally this truth manifestly follows from a certain principle proved in chapter 6 of this book; for we proved that a temporal king has by force of his royal dignity no spiritual power or jurisdiction. Which principle is not less true of English kings than of others, as is evident of itself; for that is why King James strives to persuade all kings of the opposite, because he sees that the cause and reason are the same. From this principle, therefore, we thus conclude: temporal kings do not have spiritual power over the Church; therefore it is necessary that in spiritual things they be subject to the ecclesiastical power. The proof of the consequence is that there are in the Church only sheep and pastors, or sheepfold and pastor; but he who does not have spiritual power is not a pastor; therefore it is necessary that he be a sheep, otherwise he will not be in the fold or a member of the Church. And indeed, it is against all reason and right order that in the Church there should be some who can spiritually neither rule nor be ruled, otherwise neither is the Pope completely and perfectly Christ’s Vicar, nor would things be done in order, nor could the Church be preserved in unity and peace, nor finally could there be sufficient provision for the safety of all the faithful.
spacer 19. Hence this reason not only proves that the temporal king is subject to the Pontiff in spiritual things, but also that by ordinary right each king is subject to his bishop, unless he be exempted by the Pontiff and be received immediately under his protection and jurisdiction. That which the King of England takes badly and reprehends in Bellarmine is however manifest, if the due order of ecclesiastical hierarchy be considered. For kings are counted among the sheep having no spiritual jurisdiction; therefore by the force of this status, and with attention only to natural or divine right, they do not have a greater exemption from the jurisdiction of bishops than do other layfolk dwelling in the same diocese. And this is proved by the example of Ambrose and the like and by what Chrysostom said, “you have greater power than him,” blue and some other things which we related above. But it is more clearly handed down by Clement III [1187 - 91 A. D.] in ch. ‘Omnes Principes,’ De Maiorit. et Obedientia, where it is noted by the Gloss and by Panormitanus and other doctors, and in ch. ‘Solitae’, under the same title. But from this ordinary right kings are wont to be exempted by the privilege of the Pontiffs, but in no way from obedience to the Pontiff himself can they be exempted, and for that reason they are to him chiefly said to be spiritually subject.



1. First conclusion.spacer 2 - 3. This assertion is common among Catholics. spacer4. Proof of the conclusion. spacer 5. It is shown from the part of kings themselves that directive force over them exists in the Pontiff. spacer6 - 8. Convincing proof of the same from an efficacious dilemma. spacer9 - 10. By examples the same dependence of kings on the Pontiff is shown. spacer11 - 12. The matter of civil and canon law. spacer13. Civil laws making disposition about ecclesiastical matters are by right itself invalid.spacer 14 - 15. When a Pontiff can intervene in secular judgments. spacer16 - 19. For defense of the Faith kings can be compelled by the Pontiff.

Othe assertion proved in the preceding chapter a second is to be subsumed, which follows from the preceding one, and which responds to the question posed second at the beginning of the previous chapter, namely, that the Supreme Pontiff by force of his spiritual power or jurisdiction is superior to temporal kings and princes, so that he may direct them in their use of temporal power in order to a spiritual end, by reason of which he can prescribe such use, or prohibit it, or demand it, or impede it, insofar as will for the spiritual good of the Church be agreeable. For by directive power we do not understand merely the power of advising, or admonishing, or asking, for these are not proper to a superior power; but we understand a proper power of binding or of moving with moral efficacy, which others are wont to call coercive power; but this term more pertains to punishments, about which we will speak in the next chapter, but here we are talking of the jurisdiction for binding in conscience.
spacer 2. The assertion thus explained, then, is accepted by the common consent of Catholics, whom we in part alleged in chapter 4 of this Book. For those authors who teach absolutely that the Pope has supreme power, even temporal, over the whole world make this their principal intention, and perhaps either all or most of them have spoken in this sense alone. For although sometimes they speak indistinctly and without sufficient declaration or even speak improperly (because the power of the Pope is not temporal but spiritual, which contains temporal things under it, and concerns itself with them indirectly, that is, on account of spiritual things), yet they often declare this sense and touch on the distinction either expressly or virtually. For they affirm that the Pope can do some things indirectly but deny that he can do them directly. As passing judgment on a feudal compact, as the Glossa said in ch. ‘Novit.’ De Iudiciis, at the word ‘Iudicare’, which is followed by Innocent, and by Panormitanus, no. 17 and following; nay, if he is read attentively from no.11, in no other way did he understand that the Pontiff has supreme temporal power. Likewise the Gloss said in rule ‘Possessor,’ 2, De Regulis Iur. in Book VI. , that the Pope can indirectly rescind a civil law in view of avoiding sin, but not that he can do so directly and per se, that is, when a reason ceases to hold pertaining to the salvation of the soul, where, although it does not formally use these terms ‘directly’ or ‘indirectly’, it does, however, in fact and by description declare the same sense.
spacer 3. There is a similar example in the Gloss, ch. ‘Per Venerabilem,’ Qui Filii sint legitimi, at the phrase ‘Habeat potestatem’, and it concerns legitimacy with a view to temporal things, which legitimacy the Pope cannot give directly, though he could indirectly. On which example can be seen Covarrubias, on Book IV Decretal., p 2, ch. 8, §8, no. 13 and following, and Molina, De Primogen., III.2, no. 10 and following, and several others, whom they refer to. But the rest of the doctors, especially the theologians cited in chapter 4 above, denying that the Pontiff has absolute dominion over all kingdoms or direct temporal power over all kings, by unanimous consent teach this truth about the directive power of the Pontiff over kings and princes and over their jurisdiction and governance. They refer for this truth to many other doctors, and Bellarmine to many more at the beginning of his reply to Barclay, some of whom we will note in the following assertion.
spacer 4. The first and chief foundation we take from those Scriptures in which a universal care of souls is committed to the Pontiff. For full and perfect power for carrying this care was given to Peter, and so also to his successors, the Roman Bishops, because he who succeeds in office succeeds also in power; therefore such power was given for everything which was necessary for this governance; therefore in that spiritual power is included a directive force over any temporal power whatever that exists in kings or supreme princes. The assumption is manifest both from the words of the Lord, “Whatsoever thou shalt bind,” and “Whatsoever thou shalt loose,” and “Feed my sheep,” and because to Christ’s wise providence this pertained. Thence too is the first consequence easily shown, because not only is Christ true God, whose works are perfect, but also any prudent governor, who commits his functions to someone as vicar, or makes delegation of his power, gives as a result power for everything that to the end or effect of such commission or delegation is required, as prudent natural reason and rights both civil and canon prescribe, De Iurisdict. Omnium Iudic. I.1ff.: “To whom jurisdiction is given to him those things too seem to be conceded without which such jurisdiction could not be realized.” And ch. ‘Praeterea’, De Offic. Deleg.: “From the fact that to someone a cause is committed, he receives fullness of power over all that is acknowledged to have regard to that cause.
spacer 5. It remains for us to prove the inference subsumed, namely that in this indirect spiritual power a force directive of temporal things is included. For this is what adversaries most deny, and they demand from us an express testimony of Scripture in which such inclusion is taught. But we easily reply that an express testimony of Scripture is not needed in everything, and that it is enough if it is collected from what has been written by a clear and necessary reason, or by the tradition and interpretation of the Fathers. We say, therefore, that it is contained in Scripture as the particular in the universal, or as one of the necessary means is included in the end or in the power of directing to the end that belongs to such spiritual power. But this can be explained in a double way, namely either on the part of the temporal prince himself or on the part of his subjects. For, as I said, temporal kings are spiritually subject to Peter and to his successors; but the spiritual power given to Peter is universal, for directing all the acts of subjects by which eternal life can be lost or gained, as is proved by the indefinite word ‘Feed’ and by the universal power of binding and loosing; but one of these acts in a Christian prince is the due use of his governing power, for if he not use it justly he will be condemned; therefore, to the spiritual pastor of such a prince the faculty pertains of directing him in the use of his temporal power, if he deviate anywhere from right reason or from the Faith in justice or charity. Thus, therefore, that power extends indirectly to temporal things, for the use itself of temporal power, insofar as it can harm or benefit the soul, is contained under spiritual things as the particular under the universal, and as a necessary means under the end to which spiritual power is ordained. And this reason is very well implied by Pope Gelasius to the emperor Anastasius, where he distinguishes two powers, the spiritual and temporal, and adds: blue “Wherein the weight of priests is so much the greater the more they are also for kings themselves among men to give account in divine examination.” Wherefore those words of Paul, Hebrews 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves,” comprehend kings no less than the rest, because the words too are universal; and the reason added by Paul: “for they watch for your souls as they that must give account,” proceeds also about kings, as I said from Gelasius; rightly, then, can we say that in those words this power of those ruling over the Church is contained.
spacer 6. In another way too, and a no less effective one, is this inclusion shown on the part of the subjects of a Christian temporal king, because if he should himself prescribe iniquity or permit his subjects beyond what is expedient illicit use of temporal acts or goods, it will lead to great spiritual loss for his subjects; but the Pontiff is bound to have spiritual care for the whole Christian people subject to temporal kings; therefore in this office is included the power of turning away from a Christian people all spiritual disadvantages which can from the abuse of temporal power redound to them; therefore by this title too it is necessary that the power of the spiritual prince extend indirectly to temporal things, so that he may so dispose temporal things that they do not harm spiritual ones. And this reason too is implied by Gelasius above if he be read as the other reading has it: “the more they are for very kingdoms too among men to give account.” And both are also signified by Pope Nicholas to Michael, saying: “Christian emperors are for eternal life in need of the Pontiffs.”
spacer 7. There is a further declaration of this reason. For both the temporal and spiritual power, insofar as they exist in the Church, ought so to have been conferred and possessed that they work to the benefit of the common good and salvation of the Christian people; therefore it is necessary that these powers observe a certain order among themselves, otherwise peace and unity could not in the Church be kept; for often temporal advantages are repugnant to spiritual ones, and therefore either there will be a just war between each power, or one must yield to the other so that all may be rightly ordered. Therefore either the spiritual power will be under the temporal, or conversely. The first can according to right reason neither be said nor thought, because all temporal things should be ordered to the spiritual end; therefore it must on the contrary be said that the temporal power is subject to the spiritual, so that it not turn it from its end. For the powers are subordinated in the same way as the ends also are. And hence rightly did St. Thomas say, IIa IIae, q. 40, art. 2, ad 3, that wars are subordinate to the power of the Pope, because a power, virtue, or art that has respect to a superior end has inferior faculties subject to it in order to the same end. And q. 60, a. 6, ad 3, he speaks thus: “The temporal power is subject to the spiritual as the body to the soul, and therefore judgment is not usurped if a spiritual commander introduces himself into temporal affairs.” And in Sentences 2, dist. 44, in expounding the text ad 4, says that: “the secular power is under the temporal in those things that pertain to the salvation of the soul, and therefore in those things the spiritual power is more to be obeyed than the temporal, although in those that pertain to the civil good the temporal power is more to be obeyed.” In which words too the above distinction is plainly indicated. But he adds a limitation, saying: “Unless perhaps to the spiritual power be also joined secular power, as in the Pope, who holds the summit of each power.” Which could be understood of the one directly and of the other indirectly, according to the earlier words. But because these later words contain an exception from the former, he seems rather to be speaking in them of both powers direct, and consequently to be speaking of the Pontiff as he is at the same time Pontiff and temporal king. Next, that he has the summit of each power because in each order he has supreme power, although it is not equally universal; as even Innocent III said, in the cited chapter ‘Per Venerabilem.’
spacer 8. And in this way are to be understood other things which the same St. Thomas delivers about the same power in De Regimine Princip., I.14, and III.10, 11, 12, and 13, if however it be his work. In which places he uses various examples and likenesses to declare this truth, and with many histories and deeds of the Supreme Pontiffs he confirms the same. The same is very well and fully enough treated by Alexander of Hales, p. 2, q. 118, membr. 3, a.1, and p.3, q .40, membr. 5, penultimate question, and p. 4, q. 10 membr. 5, after a.2, in the tractate De Officio Missae, p. 2, a. 2; by Hugh of St. Victor, Book II, De Sacram., p. 2, ch. 4; by Torquemada, in Summa De Eccles., II.113; by Ubald, vol. I, in Doct. Fid. Antiq., II.76; by Cajetan in Apolog. pro Roman. Pontif., ch. 13; Henry, Quodlib., 6, q. 23, where he says that “the Apostolic Priest is related to kings as the civic master-builder to the other artisans in the city;” by Bellarmine, De Summo Pontif., V.6, 7, and 8; by Albert Pighi, , De Ecclesiast. Hierarchia, V.14 and 15; by Sanders, De Visib. Eccles. Monarch., especially ch. 4; by Vitoria, in his double lecture De Potestate Eccles., and his second De Potestate Civili, and in his lecture De Indis, p. 2, n .29; by Driedo, De Libert. Christian., II.2; by de Soto, in Sentences 4, d .25, q. 2, a. 5, and Book IV De Iustit., q. 5, a. 4; by Navarrus, in ch. ‘Novit.’ De Iudic. Notab. 3, num.19, and following; by Almain, De Potestate Ecclesiast., ch. 8; by Molina, with reference to many others, vol. I De Iustit., disput. 29; and the jurists agree, to whom we will refer below.
spacer 9. This dependence and subordination are in addition made plain by very good examples. The first is about lord and servant; for a lord has a particular power over a servant, which without doubt the Pope does not have over another’s servant; hence it is rightly said that he does not have the direct power of a lord over him, and yet it is certain that any temporal lord whatever is subject to the power of the Pontiff, as far as due use of his lordship is concerned, so that it not be contrary to the spiritual salvation of either lord or servant; and in this sense is the Pontiff rightly said to have superior indirect power over another’s servant. And in a like way paternal power belongs directly to the proper parent and not to the spiritual Pastor, and yet that power, although given by nature, is subject to the spiritual power, to be ruled and directed by it, and so spiritual power can be said to be indirectly extended to the government of Christian sons. By parity of reasoning, therefore, the temporal power of the king is by the spiritual power of the Pontiff to be governed and directed. And the examples can be applied to the temporal prince himself, so that from them an argument a fortiori can be taken. For a king does not indeed have formal, so to say, or direct paternal power over the son of any of his vassals, nor proper lordship over the servant of any of his subjects, and yet he has eminent or indirect power for directing his vassal in the use of the paternal power which he has over his son; therefore much more does the Vicar of Christ have a like power over Christian kings in order to the spiritual good of the whole Christian people.
spacer 10. Besides, this power is displayed by its use. For it can be manifold but to two modes in particular it can be reduced, which can be distinguished in accord with the two powers of a temporal prince. For there is in the prince a power of jurisdiction, which is properly called civil and moral, of which chiefly are we treating. But so that this power can be feared and preserved, it has to have conjoint with it another power, not of right but of fact, so to say, which is physical and can be called executive or military. According to these two powers of a temporal prince we distinguish two modes of this spiritual governance or direction. The first pertains to acts of civil jurisdiction, such as is the emending or correcting of civil laws when these are not consonant with good morals. For then the Pontiff can emend them, either by passing contrary ones or by commanding secular princes to rescind or correct them. Which is the common doctrine of theologians, along with St. Thomas, Ia IIae, q. 96, a .5. The same is copiously delivered by the jurists: Bartholus, in 1 ‘Privilegia’, Corp. de Sacros. Eccles., last question; Alexander, in 1. ‘Captatorias’, Corp. de Testam. Milit.; Antoninus and Imola, in ch. ‘At Si Clerici’, De Iudiciis; John Andreas, Calderino, and Abbas, in ch. 1 ‘De Novi Oper. Nunciat.’; Felinus in ch. ‘Ecclesia’, De Constitut., n. 41; Covarrubias, in Epit. 4, Decret., p. 2, ch. 8, §9, n. 6 and following; Antonio Gomez, in 1 and 10 Tauri., nos .37 and 38; Fortunato Garcia, in Tractat. de Ult. Fin. Utriusque Iur., no. 51, who refers to others. And this is very frequent in canon right and approved by common sense and the custom of the Church, and therefore it is not licit for a Catholic man to have doubt about the pontifical power.
spacer 11. But it is to be noted that the proximate matter of civil law is sometimes per se and directly distinct altogether from canon law, as when it is purely temporal and in no way sacred, nor is of itself ordered to a spiritual end, as is, for example, defining the price of merchandise, disposing the order of civil courts, and so on; but sometimes it communicates in some way with the matter of canon law by reason of a thing drawn under both laws, as laws about matrimony, funerals, pious bequests, and the like. blue When therefore civil laws are of this latter class they can not only directly but also indirectly be emended by the spiritual power and nullified, because the matter is either directly spiritual or is of mixed forum, and therefore the spiritual power can deal directly with it, and for that reason all civil laws that are concerned with such matters, if they be contrary to canon right, are corrected by it, because they are overcome by a more excellent power. And in this way civil laws that make disposition about matrimony are taken away by canon laws if they are repugnant to them; and those alone are in force that assist canon laws, in the way permitted by them. As, for example, civil laws used to permit matrimony among blood relatives of the second degree, over which the canon laws prevail by nullifying them.
spacer 12. To this order pertain canon laws that make disposition about promissory oaths, so that they may altogether be kept, the civil law notwithstanding, and that prescribe to lay courts that they make them to be kept. blue In addition, to this too have regard canons establishing against civil laws that pious bequests with only two witnesses are valid. For pious causes fall directly under the spiritual power. Again civil laws that in many cases prohibit and punish second marriages are set aside by the canons, as is plain from the titles about second marriages, and so about other things. But, on the other hand, when the matter of civil laws is purely temporal, then they can only be corrected by the Pontiffs indirectly, when they either favor sins or give occasion to them. As are laws that allow excuses in bad faith, which are abolished by the canons, as is clear. blue And the same holds of laws that permit usury, concubinage, etc. Or also when they are less consonant with natural equity, as are laws denying sustenance to bastard sons, which are tempered by the canons. And, with the same proportions preserved, if any civil law were judged agreeable to the spiritual good of the kingdom and kings were negligent in passing it, the Pontiff could by his authority pass it, as Pius V did when giving form to the constitution of a census; which matter is sufficiently temporal, but the form seemed agreeable for avoiding the dangers of usury, and so the same reason for indirect power intervened.
spacer 13. To which can be added another way of nullifying civil laws by force of ecclesiastical power, namely when they make disposition in purely canon matter, as are those that are in particular passed about clerics and ecclesiastical affairs, and other similar ones that derogate from ecclesiastical liberty. But these laws are void by the right itself of nature, and they are by the canons rather declared to be than made void, because they are concerned with matter that is alien and outside the sphere of temporal jurisdiction; they can however be said to be in their root, as it were, nullified by virtue of spiritual power when the matter has been by spiritual power made canon and has been reserved to the ecclesiastical forum. For this too can be done by virtue of spiritual jurisdiction, when the matter concerns the divine cult or religion, as was said in the matter of De Legibus more at large. And of these sorts of laws there exist obvious examples in canon right under the titles De Immunitate Ecclesiarum and under the title De Constitut., and several are adduced from them by the Gloss in the Extravagant ‘Quia in futurum’ of John XXII, under the term ‘Torneamenta’. But, outside common right, a very good case is taken from an epistle of Louis the King of France to Pius II, wherein among other things he speaks thus: “As you have enjoined, the pragmatic sanction hostile to your See we have from our kingdom and from our Dauphin at Vienne, and from all our sway, by these presents driven out, overthrown, and taken it away by its roots.
spacer 14. And what has been said about laws can be proportionately understood about courts and sentences; for the Pope cannot directly usurp secular courts, but in a cause necessary for the spiritual good, he can either nullify an unjust sentence or reserve some temporal cause to himself; especially when there is strife among those who do not recognize a superior in temporal matters and it is judged conformable to the common good of the Church. And thus Innocent III said in ch. ‘Per Venerabilem’, Qui filii sint legitimi, that over the patrimony of Peter he himself exercises full power, “but in other areas,” he says, “after there has been inspection of definite causes, occasionally we exercise temporal jurisdiction.” And almost the same as to opinion was said by Bernard, Book I De Consideratione, for in ch. 6 he says that temporal courts do not pertain to Pontiffs, but he adds in ch. 7: “But it is one thing incidentally to make excursus into them, when indeed there is urgent cause, but another to dwell on them as if they were important.” The reason is that it concerns the office of the Pontiff to prevent public sins, and to take away the moral occasions of them, especially those that are being brought in with some force or authority; therefore, if civil laws or secular judgments favor sins and provide occasion for them, they can by the Pontiff be either declared void or even made void, as Vitoria rightly said, lecture 1 De Potest. Eccles., q. 3, § ‘Utrum potestas spiritualis sit supra &c.’ no. 13. Also in a similar way it concerns the Pontiff to promote faith, religion, and piety, and therefore he can in their favor lay down some statute and prescribe that it be kept, notwithstanding any civil law whatever.
spacer 15. Another use of spiritual power can be in directing the temporal, to the extent it has the power and strength of executing or administering. And this use can be twofold, one is curbing the abuse of the power, the other is in moving it to necessary use and, if there be need, commanding it in help of the Faith or defense of the Christian religion. For both uses, then, there resides power in the Pontiff. And about the former indeed the thing is per se evident, because as Innocent III said in ch. ‘Novit.’, De Iudiciis, to curb sins is proper to the spiritual power, and it is especially obliged to do so when the sins are publicly harmful and contrary to the common good; but such is the abuse of royal power to inflict harm and to make unjust war; therefore, without doubt a king is in this thing subject to the Pontiff, who can thus prohibit him from such use of his power.
spacer 16. But that in the second way too the Pontiff can command kings is proved because Christian princes, whether by their duty, or by a certain legal justice whereby a member of the republic is obliged to come to its aid, or by Christian charity, they are bound to defend the Church and bring aid to it. Therefore, when necessity or cause demand, the Pontiff can, as spiritual pastor both of the Universal Church and of princes themselves, move them to use of their power, by stirring them up and obliging them by command. The assumption is evident from the terms, because all Christians are members of the one body of the Church, but members, as Paul says, 1 Corinthians 12, ought for each other and especially for the good of the whole body be solicitous, each according to his power and dignity; therefore when the power of a prince is necessary, this solicitude and care is most incumbent on him. Hence Pope Leo, epistle 75 to the emperor Leo, says: “You ought unhesitatingly to face the fact that royal power has been not only for the governance of the world but also most of all for the protection of the Church conferred on you.” And Gregory, Book II, indict.11, epistle 61, or ch.100: “For this purpose has power been given to the piety of emperors, so that those who desire good may be helped and so that the earthly kingdom may serve the heavenly kingdom.” And best Augustine, epistle 50, treating the verse of Psalm 2:10 - 11: “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear,” says: “In one way he serves because he is a man, in another way because he is also a king. Because he is a man he serves by living faithfully; because he is a king he serves by sanctioning with due vigor laws that prescribe justice and that prohibit the contrary.” Hence the Council of Paris under Louis and Lothar, II.2, says: “The king ought first to be a defender of the Church, of the servants of God &c.” And therefore the same emperors, Louis and Lothar, wrote to Pope Eugene: “Truly do we acknowledge ourselves indebted, according to the quality of our strength and the capacity of our intellect, to provide, in all causes that pertain to the divine cult, support and help to those to whom the governance of the churches and the care of the Lord’s sheep has been committed.” And the Catholic emperor Charles V, in the Edict of Worms, said: “To the honor of Almighty God and to the reverence of the Roman Pontiff and of the holy Apostolic See, we, according to the duty required of the imperial dignity, with both zeal and eagerness, in the custom of our forefathers, and also with our inborn strength, are ready, for the defense of the Catholic Faith and for the honor, guard, and protection of the holy Roman and Universal Church, to expose all our force and powers, our empire, kingdoms, dominion, life at last and our very soul.”
spacer 17. But from these things the inference above made is easily proved. For if a king or a prince in providing this help to the Church should be negligent, without doubt can the Pontiff excite and move him by giving command. First from the principle above proved, that the Pope is not only pastor of the king as a man but also as a king, because in each office he ought to conduct himself rightly, so that he can be saved and please God; therefore the Pontiff can attend to and give him command to fulfill in this regard the obligation of a king. Next, although the necessity of the Church be not so urgent that there arise from the law itself of charity as it were a natural obligation, the Pontiff, when a sufficient cause intervenes, may impose it, because it would be a just precept; for in order to the spiritual end it would be consonant with reason, and hence it would be imposed by legitimate power. Because, although the Pontiff be head and superior in spiritual things, he has the power of imposing those precepts that in order to the spiritual end and the good of the Church are just and prudent.
spacer 18. And by this reason did Pope Boniface, in Extravagant Unam Sanctam, De Maior. et Obed., tacitly giving his approval to the opinion of Bernard, De Consider., IV.3, say that in the See of Peter there was not only the spiritual sword but the temporal too. “But this one is for the Church and that one by the Church to be wielded; that one is in the hand of the priest, this one in the hand of kings and soldiers, but at the will and with the forbearance of the priest, because it is necessary that sword be under sword.” Which he proves at large by showing that the due institution of the Church demands this order, and he concludes: “That to the Roman Pontiff every human creature is subject we define and pronounce to be altogether necessary for salvation.” And in the same way Pope Nicholas II, speaking of the Roman Church, says: “It he alone founded who committed to the blessed key-bearer of eternal life the rights of the earthly as at the same time of the heavenly kingdom,” namely by exercising the heavenly per ser but the earthly by using its power, exciting it efficaciously, if there be need, by command. And in the same way the same Pontiff, in an epistle to the bishops of France, enjoins on them and their defenders, “that with the spiritual as at the same time with the temporal sword they pursue certain wicked persons until the goods of the Church are recovered.” Which with the appropriate division is to be accepted, for the bishops with the spiritual sword, but the defenders, that is the patrons or the princes, with the material sword are commanded to defend the Church.
spacer 19. Many like things can be taken from the Decretals, dist. 96, chapter ‘Si Imperator’, where Pope John says: “from the ordination of God all secular powers ought to be subject to the Church;” and Gelasius, ch. ‘Duo Sunt’, writing to the emperor Anastasius, says among other things: “You know that you depend on their judgment and not that they are reduced to your will, etc.” The same in ch. ‘Quamvis’, dist. 22, Innocent I, in ch. ‘Quoties’, 24, q. 1. Like things are had from Gregory VII, in ch. ‘Quis dubitet’, and from Innocent III, in ch. ‘Solitae’, De Maiorit. et Obed., where he says that the pontifical power is compared to the imperial as the soul to the body, or as the sun to the moon. The same in ch. ‘Per Venerabilem’, Qui filii sint legitimi, said in this sense: “in other areas too, after there has been inspection of definite causes, we occasionally exercise temporal jurisdiction,” that is, not directly as in the proper patrimony of the Church, but indirectly, when a reason of the spiritual end demands it. Which is confirmed from Deuteronomy 17:8: “And if there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, etc.” and from 1 Corinthians 6:2: “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” Thus finally is to received what Bernard said above and epistle 256 to Eugene: “Both swords are now to be exercised: by whom, then, if not by you? Each belongs to Peter, the one at his will, the other in his hand, as often is it need to be drawn.” For the phrase ‘at his will’ needs to be expounded, for it is to be understood of just and prudent will, as by the other phrase ‘as often as it need to be drawn’ makes sufficiently plain. But this will supposes power which, for a certain eminent reason, is called the material sword, insofar as it can by it be efficaciously moved. There is, therefore, in the Pontiff as to this part too a directive power over temporal princes. And thus is sufficiently declared and proved the posited assertion, which will in the following chapter be more fully confirmed.



1. Target of the controversy with the King of England. spacer2. Power for coercing unjust kings certainly exists in the Supreme Pontiff. spacer3. The same is proved from the Scriptures. spacer4. By the rod in Scripture coercive power is signified.spacer 5. The evasions of adversaries are rejected. spacer6 - 9. The power of binding includes coercive power. spacer10 - 11. It is shown that Pontiffs can punish temporal kings even with temporal penalties. spacer12 - 13. The same is collected from the deed of St. Peter the Apostle. spacer14 - 16. The usage of the Pontiffs confirms the same truth. spacer17. The same is proved by reason. spacer18. Confirmation. spacer19. The power of punishing with temporal penalties is necessary for the Church. A tacit evasion is excluded. spacer20 - 21. Kings are not more exempt from the coercive power of the Pontiff than are others. spacer22 - 23. Although the Pontiff cannot punish a heathen king, yet he can free the subject faithful from his dominion.

ERE, as I said, is the hinge and chief target of the present controversy. For indeed king James, who denies the Pontiff’s jurisdiction over the Universal Church and especially over kings, has cared little about the directive power. But, on the other hand, he is anxiously afraid of the Pontiff’s coercive power, that power especially which extends itself to despoiling of the kingdom, because, persisting in his error, he does not believe his scepter is secure if such power is believed by his subjects to exist in the Pontiff. So that he can, then, persist freely in his blindness, he wishes to deprive the Church of all remedy against heretical princes. Which before him was also the fabrication of Marsilius of Padua and of other enemies of the Church. But the contrary is taught by all the Catholic doctors whom I above mentioned, and Bellarmine in his cited new work notes them more at large, and it is not less certain than the other things that have been said. Nay, if these be carefully weighed, refutation of the said error and defense of the Catholic truth proved by usage, authority, and reason will not be difficult.
spacer 2. For first, that in the Pontiff there is power for coercing temporal kings who are unjust and incorrigible and especially schismatics and stubborn heretics follows evidently from what has been said. Because directive force without coercive is ineffective, witness the Philosopher Ethics 10, last chapter. Therefore if the Pontiff has directive power over temporal princes he has coercive power too, if they refuse to obey his just direction by law or precept. The consequence is proved because things that are from God are ordered and instituted in the best way; therefore if God gave the directive power to the Pontiff, he gave the coercive, since the institution would otherwise have been made imperfect and ineffective. Hence, by the contrary reason, theologians teach that the Church does not have power of prescribing acts merely internal, because it cannot pass judgment on them and consequently cannot impose on them a penalty, which pertains to the coercive power, as St. Thomas says, Ia IIae, q. 91, a. 4, and q. 100, a. 9. Therefore, conversely, since the Pontiff can by effective command direct the temporal power in its acts, he can also compel and punish princes not complying with him in things which he justly prescribes.
spacer 3. And this reason was without doubt enough; but because adversaries demand Scriptures, from these too we can confirm this truth in no obscure way. For Paul 2 Corinthians 10:4 first speaks thus: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” And later he subjoins, v. 6: “And having in a readiness to avenge all disobedience.” And later, v. 8: “For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed.” Now in these words the Apostle openly teaches that he had from God power of avenging and punishing all disobedience of any of the faithful whatever, as far as was necessary for the edification and good of the Church; but the power of avenging or punishing is coercive, as is evident per se. Hence Chrysostom in homily 22 on that place speaks thus: “For this purpose have we received power, that we might edify: But if anyone should struggle and strive and be so disposed that he cannot be cured by any reason, then finally we use also another faculty, striking him down and laying him low.” Theophylact too expounds it thus: “We have in a readiness penalty and vengeance.” And later: “Especially indeed for edification have I received it (namely power), but if anyone is incurable, we will use demolition.” And later: “If I wanted to boast, because God has given me somewhat more, so that I should have power for conferring benefits first of all, and, when I am compelled, for punishing, I will not be ashamed, that is, I will not be shown arrogant or a liar.” And in this way do Theodoret and other Greeks give exposition to the letter, and Anselm among the Latins, and Cajetan on that place, and St. Augustine in epistle 50, when he uses this testimony for proving that the Church can compel heretics with penalties to bring them to their senses.
spacer 4. The same power of avenging is, in fact, signified by Paul with the name of the rod, 1 Corinthians 4:21: “What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod?” according to the phrase of Scripture, Psalm 22:9: “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron,” and similar places, and Psalm 22 [23]:4: “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,” the way Jerome expounds Zechariah 1. And he thinks the same about the aforesaid words of Paul, Galatians 6. More clearly did Augustine thus expound them, Contra Epistolam Parmen., III.1, saying: “Now here it appears that he speaks of vengeance, which to signify he names rod.” And Ambrose, epistle 18 to his sister Marcellina: “Whom the rod expelled from the heavenly sacraments, him meekness has restored.” And De Poenit., I.12: “What it is to come with a rod is taught by the attack on fornication, the accusation of incest, the rebuke of the tumor, the condemnation finally of the thing.” The same opinion is maintained by Gregory, Book I, epist.4, and Tertullian, De Pudicit., ch. 4, to pass over the expositors on the same place.
spacer 5. Nor do I see what can be said in response to these places, unless perhaps either that Paul was speaking to the common people of the Church subject to him not about kings, who are superiors; or that he was speaking about a power especially conceded to him, from which it is not licit to argue to the ordinary governance of the Church. But each is futile. For why do the words of Paul not comprehend disobedient and stubborn Christian kings? Not, surely, because there were then in the Church no temporal kings? But perhaps then too there were in the Church no English; so will his words not comprehend all them either? Or is it perhaps because kings are higher in power and temporal dignity? But this does not prevent them being subject to the yoke of Christ and ecclesiastical power, as we have shown; therefore if that power is coercive over bad Christians, as Paul is witness, it is also punitive over Christian kings; or if the King of England glories that he is exempt, let him either confess that he is not a Christian or let him show the divine privilege and the exemption made in the word of God, otherwise he by right loses the cause, albeit he in fact resist. But although the power of Paul, as far as it regards his person and apostolic dignity, be extinguished with him, it does not follow that it does not in the Church perpetually remain; because that same power was more perfectly in Peter by ordinary right and so as to have succession to him, because it was necessary for the office of feeding and for the agreeable governance of the Church, as was shown in earlier chapters.
spacer 6. And it is confirmed finally from the power of binding and loosing singularly given to Peter; for the power of binding includes also the power of coercing and punishing. And if adversaries deny this fact, they must show the exception, for Christ spoke in universal terms, saying: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind.” Add that Christ himself so interpreted that power, Matthew 18. For when he said: “If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican,” he subjoins: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” As if he were to say, if he obey not the Church when it binds, let him be to thee as an heathen, because there will not be lacking in the Church power for binding so effective that what it shall bind will in heaven too be judged to be bound. And so, although Calvin and his followers twist this place, as they do others, the Church has from it always understood that there is in its pastors the power of coercing, at least by censure of excommunication, which is spiritual penalty. Which, that at the time of the apostles it was used in the Church, is sufficiently shown by Paul, 1 Corinthians 5; and that it has in this way been kept by perpetual tradition is testified by all the rights, all the Councils, all the decrees of the Pontiffs, all the writings of the holy Fathers, and finally by all the histories, such that it is superfluous to bring them forward. But that this sort of coercion is especially necessary against heretics is sufficiently show by Paul, Titus 3:10, saying: “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject.” And by that verse of 2 John 10: “Neither bid him god speed.”

spacer 7. Only I will not omit that which is of most importance for the cause, namely that it is a thing very much known for true that this censure has often been used by the Pontiffs against emperors and kings. For Innocent I excommunicated Arcadius and Eudoxus because of crimes committed against St. Chrysostom, as is clear from the last of his epistles, and from Nicephorus, XIII.34; and the same is related by Gregory VII, Registrum, VIII.21. Gregory II bound with a synodal anathema the emperor Leo and his followers in the overthrowing of images, as is reported from Zonaras and others by Baronius for the year 726, no.24. And the same was afterwards confirmed by Gregory III, as Platina reports. Also Gregory VII, after often admonishing the emperor Henry IV, excommunicated him in a Roman Synod, as is contained in Book III of his Epistles, epistle 15. And that the same sentence was by the succeeding Pontiffs and the Councils confirmed is eruditely confirmed by Bellarmine against Barclay, ch. 9. And the same Gregory VII in another Roman Council bound emperors, kings, and other temporal princes who usurped the investiture of bishops or of other ecclesiastical dignities with the bond of excommunication ipso facto, as is contained in bk.7 of his epistles, after epistle 14. And the same put an interdict on Poland because of the king’s very great offense committed in the killing of St. Stanislaus, as is in the writing of Baronius, for the year 1079, n.40. In addition, Alexander III excommunicated the emperor Frederick I, as Platina reports of Alexander III, where he also places on record many other things which show this supreme power in the Pontiff. Afterwards, Innocent III “branded emperor Otho the fifth with an anathema,” as Platina says in his life. Gregory IX excommunicated Frederick II, as is had from ch. ‘Ad Apostolicae’, De Sentent. et Re Iud., in 6. Finally John XXII excommunicated Louis of Bavaria, the intrusive emperor, as Albert Pighi reports at large in his book De Visib. Monarch., ch. 14. In addition this power in the Church is supposed by the Lateran Council under Innocent II, 1, ch.3, when it bids that by ecclesiastical censure, if it be necessary, secular powers, whatever duties they fulfill, be compelled publicly to swear an oath for the defense of the Faith, etc. Which form of passing a censure, which is to comprehend kings and emperors, is very frequent and was not recently usurped but is sufficiently ancient, since in a certain privilege conceded by Gregory I to the monastery of St. Medardus it is found, as is read after his letters. And to that place of Gregory the other Gregory VII refers and takes the same argument from it, Registrum VIII, epistle to Herimetensis.

spacer 8. Basil the emperor also confesses the same power in the Pontiff over emperors in the eighth Synod, act. 6, saying: “Pope Nicholas together with the Church of the Romans has pronounced an anathema against those who resist a decree and sentence of this sort. But we, once knowing this and fearing the judgment of the promulgated anathema, thought it necessary to comply with the judgment of the Roman Church.” The same was recognized by Philip I King of France, who was excommunicated by Urban II and was afterwards brought to his senses by Paschal and sent to Rome for release from it, as can be seen in Baronius for the years 1100 and 1101. The same was acknowledged by Louis King of France, when he wrote to Alexander III earnestly requesting him to use his power against the king of England for the death of St. Thomas of Canterbury. And Henry himself king of England did not dare resist, and humbly undertook the penance imposed by the Pontiff, as Platina reports. A like example is reported by Peter of Blois in epistle 145 about Eleanor queen of England, who in her own defense and for her son who was unjustly held in prison by the King of France requested the Supreme Pontiff’s help and his use of the spiritual sword against the king. Lastly the same power was acknowledge in the Pontiff by the King of England who delivered the King of France to Innocent III to be rebuked and, if he refused to listen to him, to be excommunicated, as we collect from ch. ‘Novit.’, De Iudiciis, where the Pontiff has the words: “It is not our intention to judge of feudal compact.” And later: “But to make decree about sin, of which without doubt the censure pertains to us, which censure we can and should exercise over anyone.” Hence about the same Innocent III Matthew of Paris reports that, in the year 1204, he excommunicated John King of England and debarred him from his kingdom.

spacer 9. For this reason even Marsilius of Padua himself, as they report, blue did not dare to deny that the Pontiff can coerce princes and kings, especially heretical ones, by ecclesiastical censures of excommunication or also of interdict, but he did deny that he can proceed further against them, Azor, p. 2, Inst., IV.19. And King James in defense of his oath of fidelity does not seem so sharply to resist the power of excommunicating than of temporally punishing, and so he defends the oath most with this title, that by it he is not compelling subjects to abjure the Pope’s power for excommunicating a king but only for depriving him of his royal power and dominion. For he reckons, as he says in his Preface, p. 12: “The right of deposing kings has been sought out for the Pontiff by no legitimate title. And this unjust usurpation (as he calls it) and secular violence of the Pontiffs far and greatly exceeds excommunication, which is a spiritual censure.” From which words it is sufficiently clear that he is not so averse to spiritual censure than to temporal coercion.

spacer 10. It remains therefore for us to proceed further against him and against Marsilius and others, and to show that the same power of the Pontiff can to coercion of kings by temporal penalty and to privations of kingdoms, when necessity requires, be extended. Which thing can by almost the same discourse from the same places of Scripture be satisfactorily done. For Christ the Lord gave to Peter and his successors power for correcting all Christians, even kings, and consequently, if they are disobedient or incorrigible, for coercing and punishing them; but he did not limit this power to ecclesiastical censures; therefore neither could it by us or by any prince of the Church be limited, but it pertains to the Roman Pontiff himself to decree and to determine fitting penalty according to occasion or necessity as it occurs. The first proposition we have already sufficiently proved, but the second we can show from the words of Christ often adduced and rightly weighed. For the word of Christ: “Feed my sheep,” is indefinite, hence insofar as in the word ‘feed’ is included also the power of coercing, which is necessary in any pastor, such power is not delimited to censures but is left as to mode of penalty or coercion for determination by prudence or the equity of justice. For any pastor has power for coercing the sheep, not according to a determinate mode, but as it will be fitting or expedient for the sheep.
spacer 11. Next this we also collect from the other words of Christ: “Whatsoever thou shalt bind,” for these too are general and indefinite. But if anyone says that in Matthew 18 they were declared and delimited to the tie of censure, we reply that it is declared there that in the general power of binding is included the chain of excommunication, not however that the power is limited to imposing that penalty alone. Both because no such limitation is from the context collected, and also because although there is mention only of excommunication made, nevertheless other censures fall under that power, as interdict, suspension, and again other ecclesiastical penalties. Nay, even the chain of precept and law is included under that power; and, from the force of such words, that power, as it is directive, is not delimited to this way of directing by means of personal precept or of settled law that obliges in this or that way, but it embraces indefinitely every appropriate directing. The same therefore holds of coercion. And so from this place by Innocent IV along with the Council of Lyons was this power collected in ch. ‘Ad Apostolicae’, De Sent. et Re Iud., in 6.
spacer 12. Besides, that this power is adumbrated in Peter’s deed, at whose rebuke Ananias and his wife died, is indicated by Bede, On Luke, III.40, when he says that at the words of the apostle Peter Ananias and his wife fell, because it was expedient in the New Testament too that sometimes, though rarely, such vengeance happen, for the correction of others. And in Book III De Mirabilib. Sacrae Script., last chapter, it is said in the name of Augustine, that it was done “so that it might be shown how great the apostolic authority was and how great the sin had been, and so that the rest might by the example be chastened.” More clearly Gregory, bk.1, epistle 24, when treating of the office of Pastor, and of the kindness and severity and also zeal for justice that it requires, adduces Peter as example, saying; “For hence it is that Peter holding, by the authority of God, the principality of the holy Church, refused to be venerated immoderately by the well acting Cornelius and, when he discovers the guilt of Ananias and Sapphira, soon shows how much his power above the rest had grown. For with a word he struck down their life, which he seized with scrutinizing spirit, and again recalled that he was supreme in the Church against sins.” And thus although that deed was extraordinary and done by special prompting and virtue of the Holy Spirit, nevertheless as Gregory says later: “The zeal for vengeance opened up the force of the power.”

spacer 13. And the same is shown by Paul 1 Corinthians 5:5 when he not only excommunicated the fornicator but even delivered him “unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord;” for the fact he says “for the destruction of the flesh” clearly indicates that he was punished beyond spiritual censure also by bodily vexation, and compelled to do penance that his spirit might be saved. And thus is the place expounded by Chrysostom in orat.15, when he says that he was delivered to the demon for the destruction of the flesh, as Job was, although not for the same cause, so that “he might,” he says, “scourge him with an evil sore or some other sickness.” Theophylact: “that he might vex him with disease and make him waste away.” Anselm too, although he adds another explanation, persists more in this one. For at the end of ch. 24, explaining the act of the “rod”, that is of the apostolic power for coercion, says: “By excommunicating some, by harshly reproving others, by bodily scourging others (as befits a father).” And afterwards, ch. 5, says that the destruction of the flesh signified “strong affliction of the flesh done by the devil.” And he reports that the Apostle had power “that anyone he excommunicated was at once seized and plagued by the devil for as long and as much as the Apostle wished.” Which mode of plaguing required a singular quasi executive or imperative virtue over the demon, which is commonly not given to others; but nevertheless it supposes a jurisdiction of coercing not only by excommunication but also in other ways. And the same exposition is signified by Pacian, in Paraenesis De Poenit., when from that place he collects that sometimes penalty and affliction of body is necessary; and similarly Ambrose, De Poenit., I.12, insofar as he compares that destruction of the flesh with the afflictions of Job, as Chrysostom did. Therefore, according to this exposition of the Fathers we get from that place ecclesiastical correction and vengeance standing not in spiritual censure alone but also sometimes in affliction of the body, and therefore the pastors of the Church can use temporal penalty in order to a spiritual good.
spacer 14. Secondly, we can show this truth by the authority and practice of the Church. For among those Pontiffs, who we said excommunicated emperors and kings, Gregory II made Rome with the whole of Italy withdraw from the empire of Leo, as Baronius reports from Theophanes for the year 730, nrs. 3 and 4. And the same is attributed to Gregory III by Sigbert in his Chronicle for the year 731, saying: “he refuted the emperor Leo of error, and took the Roman people and the taxes of the West away from him.” But Gregory VII deprived Henry IV of the empire and of the kingdom, as is clear from the sentence above cited, whose words are these: “Blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, incline, I beseech, your ears to us.” And later: “Supported then by this confidence, for the honor and defense of the Church on the part of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I by Thy power and authority deny to king Henry, son of the emperor Henry, who has with unheard audacity risen up against Thy Church, the government of the whole kingdom of the Teutons and of Italy, and I absolve all Christians from the bond of the oath which they have taken or will take upon themselves, and I forbid anyone to serve him as king.” In like manner Innocent III deprived Otho, whom he excommunicated, “of the titles of empire,” says Platina. Again Innocent IV, in the Council of Lyons, deprived the emperor Frederick II, already excommunicated by Gregory IX, of the empire, not only releasing his subjects from the oath of fidelity but also “by apostolic authority firmly prohibiting anyone from in any other respect obeying or attending him as emperor or king;” and binding with censure of ipso facto excommunication those who thereafter afforded him as emperor or king advice or help or favor. Finally Clement VI thrust Ludwig of Bavaria, who had unjustly obtained the empire and was already excommunicated by his predecessors, out of the empire and had someone else, namely Charles IV, elected legitimate emperor.
spacer 15. But besides these things, which have regard to the empire, Pope Zacharias in a similar case in the kingdom of France transferred the title of the kingdom from King Childeric to Pippin, as is found in Gregory VII, Registrum VIII, epist.11, ch. ‘Alius’, 15, q. 9, and Baronius for the year 751 at the beginning, and for the year 841, n. 3. Where also is reported that a change was made in the kingdom of France at the time of the emperor Lothar and of his brothers Louis and Charles who, supported on the authority of the bishops, divided the kingdom between themselves and deprived Lothar of it on account of his crimes. Also Boniface VIII declared Philip the Fair King of France deprived of his kingdom, and on that occasion promulgated his ExtravagantUnam Sanctam’, De Maiorit. et Obedient., as Aemilius reports in his life of the same Philip. Again Gregory VII, when he laid an interdict on Poland because of the killing of Stanislaus, deprived King Bonislaus of the kingdom, as Cromer testifies, Book IV of Rerum Poloniae. But we have a striking example in England itself in King John, who, when he was committing great crimes against religion, priests, and other innocents, and was often warned by Innocent III, so that, as disobedient and stubborn, he refused to come to his senses but rather became daily worse, was by the same Innocent, after much consultation with the fathers (as Polydore says), deposed from the royal dignity, and the peoples subject to him were absolved from their oath, and Christian princes, being informed of the fact, were admonished to pursue John as an enemy of the Church. Terrified by this sentence and struck with fear of imminent peril, John at last swore that he would abide by the decision of the Pontiff and handed the diadem taken from his head to Pandulph the Pontiff’s legate, never in the future to receive it, either he or his heirs, except from the Roman Pontiff. So Polydore, Book XV.
spacer 16. Now all these and the like things were done not rashly or in a corner but some of them very frequently in Councils and sometimes in a General one, as in that of Lyons. And they were done in the sight of the whole Christian world, by which they were approved and entrusted to execution; therefore it is incredible that they were acts of usurped and not of true power. Add that the Lateran Council under Innocent III, ch. 3, supposes the same power, when it says: “If a temporal lord, after being warned by the Church, neglect to purge his land of heretical deformity, let him be excommunicated by the metropolitan. And if neglect to make satisfaction within a year, let it be made known to the Supreme Pontiff so that thence he may himself declare the vassals released from fidelity to him and expose his land to occupation by Catholics, etc.” From all which things an argument of the following sort is concluded: The Universal Church cannot err in things that pertain to faith and morals, but the Universal Church agreed to deeds of this kind and approved them as consonant with divine and natural right, and it likewise approves canon laws imposing penalties of this kind on temporal princes because of the gravest crimes; therefore it is as certain that the Pontiff can coerce or punish temporal princes with these types of penalties as it is certain that the Church cannot err in faith and morals.
spacer 17. Third, this truth is made plain by reason; for this power was necessary by a double title in the supreme head and pastor of the Church, namely both because of emperors or kings themselves and any temporal princes whatever, and because of the peoples subject to them. By the first title was this power necessary so that the Pontiff could either correct and emend a rebellious prince or even punish him as he deserves, for both pertain to the Pontiff: but if often happens that censures alone are not sufficient for these effects, as daily experience sufficiently shows. Therefore it must necessarily be said that Christ conferred this power on his Vicar, since he no less established him Pastor of Christian princes than of the rest of the Christian people. Wherefore, as far as concerns the first title, when either solely or principally the question is one of emending a prince who has sinned, Pontiffs are especially wont to use the censure, because it is the proper medicinal penalty of which Christ speaks Matthew 18. But if it happen that princes are corrected by censure and emended, the Church is not wont to proceed against them to rigorous vengeance by grave and public penalties; it can, however, and is wont to enjoin some penalties, both for repairing losses, if any have perhaps been by them inflicted, and also so that they may give as well to God as to the Universal Church some satisfaction. For to repair losses and compensate for injuries inflicted is not so much a penalty as a certain restitution and payment of a debt, even though compulsion for doing it require superior power. But besides this compensation due by commutative justice, reason of the common good and of legal justice requires that some penalty be applied to avenge the offense for the satisfaction to the Church and for example and fear to others. But when, notwithstanding the censure, a king is defiant and incorrigible in his offense, then graver penalties ought to be applied, and of this sort are almost all the cases above enumerated, as St. Thomas noted, De Regimine Principum, III.10.
spacer 18. And this part can be confirmed because, with respect to the other faithful or baptized Christians, the Church has power not only for coercing them through censure for emendation of the offense, but also for avenging the offenses through other temporal or bodily penalties in manner suitable to the ecclesiastical judge and pastor; therefore legitimate bishops of the Church have the same power, and especially the Supreme Pontiff, over temporal princes even supreme ones. The assumption is manifest from the perpetual use of the Church; for the canons are wont to impose pecuniary penalties sometimes up to the confiscation of goods. Sometimes even they impose corporal penalties short of danger of life and limb, as is the penalty of flogging, sometimes even as far as condemnation to the galleys; and when the penalty of blood is necessary, although ecclesiastical judges are not wont to impose it because of the decency of their status, they can commit the culprit to the secular judge, bidding him to punish him according to the equity of the laws. All which things can be most of all considered in the crime of heresy. For heretics are not only excommunicated by the Church and afflicted with other spiritual penalties, but are also deprived of all their temporal goods, not only by the laws of the emperors but also by virtue of the canons. And lastly if he is either stubborn or relapses, by the laws of the emperors he is punished with death, but by the canons he is released to the decision of the secular judge, so as to receive retribution for the quality of his deed, according to the ch. ‘Ad abolendam’, De Haeret., with the like.
spacer 19. Now that these penalties are most just the use of the Church satisfactorily proves, and Augustine very well defends it, epistles 48 and 50, and Contra Epist. Parmeniani, III.2. But that this power is necessary in the Church of Christ as it was by him established is proved by reason; because if the subjects of the Church cannot by penalties of this sort be coerced, they would easily come to despise spiritual ones and do very great harm to themselves and to others. For as is said Proverbs 29:15: “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” Hence the Christian thing would not be agreeably instituted, nor would it be sufficiently provided for, if it did not have power for compelling rebels who refuse to obey its censures. Nor will it suffice to say it is enough that there is in Christian temporal princes this power, both because princes too can themselves commit offense and need correction, as I will say even now. And also because avenging misdeeds pertains per se only to civil magistrates insofar these are contrary to the peace of the republic and human justice; but to coerce them as they are contrary to religion and the salvation of the soul looks per se to the spiritual power, and therefore to it should most pertain a faculty of using temporal penalties for such correction, either by inflicting them itself or by employing the service of the secular arm, so that everything may be done decently, in order, and effectively.
spacer 20. It remains that we prove the first inference, namely that if over the rest of the faithful of inferior order the Church has this power, it has also received it besides, in Peter especially and his successors, over supreme temporal princes. The consequence is proved, then, from the principle posited above, that these princes are as well the sheep of Peter as all the rest; and temporal dignity or power does not render them immune or exempt from such power or penalty, because neither from Christ’s words nor from any other principle or reason can such liberty, or rather license for sinning, be collected. Nay rather is this power much more necessary in the Church for coercing princes of this sort than their subjects. First indeed, because they themselves are freer and so fall more easily and, once fallen, are with more difficulty corrected. Next because the sins of princes, especially those against faith and religion, are more pernicious, for they easily draw along subjects to imitate them, whether by example or by benefits and promises or even by threats and terrors. For which reason rightly did the Sage of Ecclesiasticus 10L2 - 3 say: “A foolish king will be the ruin of his people. For as the governor of a city is so also will be the inhabitants thereof.” Which even the philosophers, led by reason and experience, taught, as Cicero from Plato, bk. 1 Epistulae. Hence the same Cicero, in Book III of De Legibus, rightly also said: “Vicious princes do not only conceive vices for themselves but also pour them out on the city.” Because, lastly: “Princes offend more gravely than the rest, and therefore they should by their pastors also be more gravely punished,” as Gregory said about pastors themselves in Pastoral, p. 3, ch. 5, and it is referred to by Pope Nicholas against Lothar king of France in his epistle to the same, and it is referred to in ch. ‘Praecipue’, 11, q. 3.
spacer 21. And hence finally can easily be shown another title of this power over kings, namely for the defense of their subjects; for it not only regards the pastor to correct erring sheep, or to recall them to the fold, but also to ward off wolves, and to defend them against enemies, lest they be dragged from the fold and perish; but an unjust king, especially a schismatic or a heretic, puts his subjects in great danger of perdition, as is made known from what has just been said, and therefore Claudian said: blue “To the example of the king the whole world is conformed; the fickle crowd always changes with its prince.” Therefore it regards the office of the Pontiff to defend the subjects of an heretical or perverse prince and to liberate them from that evident danger; therefore Christ, who did and instituted all things well and best, conferred on Peter this power and comprehended it under the word ‘feed’ and under the power of binding and loosing. Therefore by it can Peter both deprive such a prince of his dominion and constrain him so that he not harm his subjects, and release them from their oath of fidelity or declare them released, because that condition is always understood to be included in such an oath.
spacer 22. Which point was by St. Thomas and approved theologians seen to be so grave and efficacious that it alone per se suffices for depriving an infidel king of his dominion and power over the faithful, even though the first reason of vengeance and just punishment is inoperative. For according to the doctrine of Paul, “about those who are without” the Church does not judge. Hence the same theologians collect that the Pontiff cannot punish a heathen non-baptized king on account of infidelity or other sins. And yet if he have subject faithful, the Pontiff can snatch them from his subjection because of the moral and evident danger of destruction, as St. Thomas teaches, IIa IIae, q. 10, a. 10. And it is collected from Paul 1 Corinthians 6, for he rebukes the faithful because they were going to court before infidel judges, and he supposes that the Church can create judges, who may even in temporal things judge among the faithful, lest they be compelled to go to infidels; and to give proof of this he says, v. 3: “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” Which words are alleged by Gregory, Book VII, epistle 21, and he infers from them: “To him then to whom the opening and closing of heaven is given it is not licit to judge of the earth? God forbid.” Hence too a faithful spouse can be separated from an infidel spouse, if she cannot live with him without injury to the Creator, according to the doctrine of Paul, 1 Corinthians 7. And by the same root baptized children are freed from the power and association of infidel fathers, lest they be again involved in their errors, as is said in the fourth Council of Toledo, ch. 59. Therefore by like or greater reason is a king who is Christian or subject to the Church by reason of baptism deprived of his power and dominion over his vassals; therefore the title is per se sufficient for the Pontiff to be able to punish those princes and by right to deprive them of their kingdoms, and for this purpose to use the sword of other princes, so that thus sword may be under sword, so that they may be mutually aided in fighting for and defending the Church.
spacer 23. I could in this place expound, confirm, and defend other titles whereby the Roman Pontiff can from just causes make disposition of temporal things, as he did in transferring the empire, and in instituting the manner of election of the emperor, and in administering it, when it is vacant, and in other cases too pronouncing justice in temporal causes. But neither the brevity of this sort of work permits us to pursue all of them, nor are they necessary for our intention and plan, and therefore to other authors who have very learnedly disputed on these things I direct the reader.



1. Intoduction. spacer2. First objection.spacer 3. Response is made to the testimonies of the New Testament. spacer4. To the testimonies of the Old Testament. spacer5 - 7. The prerogatives adduced by King James are weighed. The name of sons of God does not befit all kings. spacer8. Priests more frequently than kings are said to be anointed in Scripture. spacer9. This praise is especially attributed to the kings of Israel. spacer10. Priests are much more excellently called ministers of God than kings. spacer11. David was not called an angel, but he was made equal to one in a certain property. spacer12 - 13. Kings are nowhere called angels, but priests very much so.spacer 14. A certain evasion is attacked. spacer15 - 16. From the fact that kings are called lamps no spiritual power is attributed to them. spacer17. Kings are nurses of the Church in temporal things, the Pontiff in spiritual ones. spacer18. The conclusion is drawn that the prerogatives introduced by the king bring nothing against the supreme power of the Pontiff. Solution.

Oas more to confirm the Catholic doctrine that we have displayed in the three preceding chapters we have thought it necessary, at the end of this book, to make satisfaction to some objections whereby the power of the Pontiff over temporal princes is wont to be attacked by adversaries. And since Cardinal Bellarmine does this copiously in his last work against Barclay, therefore I shall propose only those objections which are insinuated by the King of England, or which contain some difficulty, or whose resolution might contribute something useful for greater manifestation of the truth. But I note (as I also warned above) that in these objections the cause of the primacy and power of the Pontiff over the laity is often confused with the cause of the exemption of clerics from the jurisdiction and power of the laity; which controversies, as they are distinct, so they are by us separated in our dispute (as they are by other Catholic authors); and therefore everything that pertains to exemption we reserve for the following book, and we will there make specific satisfaction to the objections pertaining to that matter. But because the exemption of the person of the Supreme Pontiff himself is conjoined with his divine dignity and with natural right, therefore we cannot pass over some of the things that are wont to be objected to the immunity of the Pontiff and to his supreme exemption from all human judgment. And although the superior power of the Pontiff over kings and princes, both in temporal and in spiritual matters, has been made plain by us in distinct assertions, as if in their parts or grades, yet, because the king speaks in indistinct manner against the primacy, therefore will we put forward his objections in more or less the same way, but in responding we will declare distinctly what is directly attacked by each, and thus we will more clearly and easily defend the individual things we have said.
spacer 2. The first objection, then, is taken from Scripture and has two parts, one we can in scholastic manner call positive, the other negative. The first is indicated by the king in his Preface p. 14, when he says in general that the authority and power which the Pontiffs have usurped for themselves over the temporal rights of kings is nothing other than an ambitious tyranny against the authority of the Scriptures; and about the same h24e says on p. 22 that the power unjustly usurped by the Pontiffs conflicts with the Scriptures.  But which these Scriptures are he does not say in those places but refers to his Apology, which he says is wholly devoted to asserting the authority of kings. In the Apology, however, I only find on pp. 25 and 129 some testimonies of Scripture wherein obedience to secular princes, even for conscience’ sake, is commended, and they are indeed the epistle to the Romans ch.13 along with others, which were treated by us sufficiently at the beginning of this book. To these he there adds many from the Old Testament which I note are of a double order. For there are certain of them in which obedience even to unjust and infidel princes is permitted, or praised, or prescribed, or in some other way confirmed, as is that of Joshua 1:17: “According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee;” and that of Jeremiah 27“12: “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.” Again he adds the one of Exodus 5, that the children of Israel requested permission to depart from Pharaoh, and the one of 1 Ezra 1, that they obtained similar permission from Cyrus, king of the Persians. And in this order should be numbered the other testimonies of Scripture which he afterwards brings together, in which the dignity of kings is declared with various titles of honor in the Old Testament, for kings are called ‘sons of the most hight God’, ‘Anointed of God’, ‘made according to the hear of God’, ‘lights of Israel’, ‘nurses of the Church’. In another order he puts certain deeds of the kings of Israel, which we will speak of in the following chapters.
spacer 3. However, the aforesaid testimonies neither contribute anything to the present cause nor, considered in themselves, contain any difficulty or controversy besides one, which furnishes occasion for a certain specific question; but that question is of a sort that the truth handed down does not depend on the resolution of it which, by running through them one by one, I will briefly make clear. For, to begin with, the places of the New Testament do indeed prove that there is in kings a true civil jurisdiction drawing its origin from God himself, and that therefore a king is in a proper way to be honored, and obedience is to be given to him, not only from fear of punishment but also from conscience; all of which we taught at the beginning of this book to be true according to the doctrine of the faith. But from them it can by no likelihood be inferred that kings have no superior by whom they are to be ruled in spiritual things, and consequently also in temporal things in their order to spiritual things; and therefore I said that those testimonies do not in any way pertain to the present cause. Nay rather, it is not even sufficiently proved from those places that the power of temporal kings is so supreme in its own order that they should recognize no direct superior in temporal things; for this, as I said, does not strictly have regard to the faith, although it be a thing most true by far and more consonant with Scripture, as we also showed in our discussion.
spacer 4. Nor do the former testimonies of the Old Testament prove anything more; for we only obtain from them that obedience is to be given to the king, or the prince, or the governor of the community, namely in his own forum when he prescribes a valid precept. For this and nothing else did the children of Israel offer to Joshua, when they said: “According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee; only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.”  But the words of Jeremiah, if they be understood about the absolute will of God whereby he decreed to give the children of Israel under the true dominion and power of the king of Babylon, prove at most that temporal kings must be obeyed, just as was said about the other testimonies. But if they be understood only of the permissive will whereby God had decreed to permit it for the punishment of the sins of the Jewish people, so that the king subjugated that people to himself by his own power and by fact rather than by right, thus the words contribute nothing to the cause, because the discussion in that place is not about a true king but about a tyrant to whom the Israelites were admonished to submit their necks, not so much for conscience’ sake as for avoiding greater evils, as the words subjoined indicate, vv.12-13: “Serve him and his people, and live. Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence? Etc.” And it also helps that the said words are from the prophet before the people were reduced to servitude to Nebuchadnezzar, and so he was rather inducing them not to resist his dominion and power, and consequently to serve him at least in fact, even though they were not bound by right to do so. And the reason is the same about the other places, whether Pharaoh or Cyrus were true kings of the people of the Jews or not, or (which is the same thing) whether the people of Israel were bound by right to ask for permission to depart, or whether merely in fact, because of the power of their princes, they did not dare to depart without their permission and will.
spacer 5. Much less indeed is urged by those testimonies wherein various titles of veneration and honor are attributed to kings, because some of them are common to others who are not kings, while some do not befit all kings but were prerogatives of certain persons. Which is clear from a brief run through of them one by one. For, in the first place, that the title of ‘sons of God’ is attributed to a temporal king is collected by the King of England only from the words which God says about Solomon, 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 7:14: “I will be his father, and he will be my son.” But these words, as they are there said, are certainly not common to all kings but contain a particular promise made to Solomon, as is clear both from the preceding words, v. 13: “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever,” and from the words subjoined, vv. 14 - 15: “If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I put away before thee, etc.” From which words it is openly clear that the words “I will be his father” do not fit Saul, although he was a temporal king chosen by God, made king immediately and without succession by God’s authorship; that excellence, therefore, is not common to all kings, but a singular favor promised to Solomon.
spacer 6. Nay, there are some who think that the words in their propriety neither fit Solomon himself nor are literally said of him but of Christ alone signified through Solomon, because Paul alleges them of Christ in Hebrews 1, and because in Christ alone are they fulfilled, which God immediately promised, 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 7:16: “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.” But although it be true that the words do in a certain singular way fit Christ and are said of him in a historical or at least mystical sense, nevertheless we cannot deny that they are literally said of Solomon, for that is openly collected from the context and from 3 Kings [1 Kings] 1 and from 1 Chronicles 22 and 28. Now they are said of him not because of the mere dignity or power of a temporal king, otherwise they would have been said of all kings and would fit Saul, which has been shown to be false; but because of the singular providence, governance, and protection under which God had determined to assume Solomon, or because he had decreed never to deprive him of the kingdom, even if he were to sin, but that he would chastise him, as God himself sufficiently declared in his words. Or, certainly, because he had determined to make him holy and just, and the name of ‘sons of God’ is more proper to the just than to kings. For kings, if they are impious, are not sons of God. And therefore if the words are understood of adoptive sonship to God, they have a condition attached, “if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments,” as is expressly added in 1 Chronicles 28:7, and later David is reported to have said to Solomon, v.9: “If thou seek him he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” Now in this way could it be said in the name of God to any just man: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son.” What prerogative, then, of temporal kings can be gathered from those words?
spacer 7. The second title for kings, which the king makes much of, is that they are sometimes called Gods, and he mentions the verse of Psalm 81 [82]:6: “I have said, Ye are gods.” But whence does the king show that those words are said specifically of temporal kings? Certainly he cannot show it, since it is false. For Christ in John 10 expounded the words differently when he said, v.35: “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came.” For the word of God was not made to kings alone, but more to prophets, or even to all the faithful, and especially the just. Hence Augustine on that place in Tractat. 48 understands Christ’s exposition about all men who through the word of God become by participation sons of God, and especially about the faithful Jews who then believed in God. Besides, the beginning of the psalm itself, namely v.1: “God standeth in the congregation of the Gods [alt. the mighty], etc.” can scarcely be adapted to kings, but best to the faithful and to prophets, or also to priests; but most of all to judges and their congregation, for it is added, vv. 1 - 2: “he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly?” as is noted by Euthymius and others. Just as also in Exodus 22 judges are called Gods there, vv. 8 - 9: “…shall come before the gods [alt. judges],” that is, to the judges, and later, v.28: “Thou shalt not revile the gods,” although Chrysostom understands this of priests, Psalm 137 [138] at the beginning, when he says that Scripture is accustomed to call a priest an angel and a God. And again many understand of priests and of judges the words of Psalm 49 [50]:1: “The God of Gods [alt. the mighty God], even the Lord, hath spoken,” and that verse of Psalm 46 [47]:9: “The strong Gods of the earth are greatly exalted [alt. the shields of the earth belong unto God, he is greatly exalted].” Which words can indeed comprehend kings, though not them only, but all the great and powerful ones of the earth, who are said to be Gods, not because they are, but because they wish to dominate in such a way as if they were Gods, or (if the appellation be taken in a good sense) because they in a special way participate in the power and preferment of God. In which way indeed can priests much more than kings be called Gods by participation.
spacer 8.
The third mark of kings is that they are called ‘anointed’, 1 Kings [1 Samuel] 24. But this appellation is much more frequently attributed to priests, because by anointing are they consecrated, as is evident from Exodus 29, Leviticus 4 & 8. Hence when it is said Psalm 104 [105]:15: “Touch not my christs [alt. mine anointed],” not only kings but priests too are included. And therefore perhaps (which is a thing to be noted) in 2 Maccabees 1 both are conjoined when it is said of Aristobulus, v.10: “who is of the family of the christ priests,” either to distinguish him from christ kings or from their priests, who were not christs, as they existed among the gentiles or in the law of nature. Next, external anointing of itself confers no power nor indicates any dignity, except the one it is imposed to signify. If therefore the king speaks of a christ or of someone anointed by this external anointing, whence does he prove to us that the anointing of kings signified their power over the Pontiff or over ecclesiastical matters, and not rather that by the anointing of the Pontiff himself is signified his primacy and excellence over kings? No reason can assuredly be given. But the truth is that from the force of anointing alone neither of them is signified or can be proved but has to be collected from other principles. But if the king is talking, not about mere external anointing, but about an invisible and interior one, since that happens through the internal grace of the Holy Spirit, not only can kings in this way be said to be Anointed but all the just and in a way all the faithful, and about them too can be understood the words cited: “Touch not my christs.” Neither can even all kings be called christs in this way, and it is clear that David, when in the place mentioned he spoke of Saul, did not call him a christ in this sense.
spacer 9. The fourth prerogative is that “he sits on the throne of God,” from 2 Chronicles 9 there at v. 8: “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne.” But, to begin with, in those words “the throne of God” signifies nothing other than the governance of the people of Israel, or the seat of the kingdom in that people. For as that people is in a special way said to be the people of God, because he chose it specially and sanctified it and undertook a particular care for it, according to that verse of Exodus 19.5-6: “ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people…and a kingdom of priests and an holy nation;” so the kingdom of it is said to be the throne of God, and more frequently is it called the throne of David and the throne of Israel, 3 Kings [1 Kings]:1 and 2, and often elsewhere. Hence just as God said to Samuel 1 Kings [1 Samuel] 8:7: “they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them,” so the throne of that kingdom could also be called the throne of God, because the kings of that kingdom were both made by God and were in some way put in place of God in the governance and care of the kingdom. That praise, therefore, thus understood is not common to all kings but is proper to the kings of Israel, nor does it signify in them another excellence or power but only the civil power for that particular people, given in a special way and election by God. Next, although all kings can be said to sit in the throne of God, because they are ministers of God and have their power from him, what is got therefrom except the temporal power of kings supreme at most in its own order?  For in this signification there is not only one throne of God given but many, because as Nazianzen said: “A bishop too has his throne, on which he is put to rule the Church of God,” on Acts 20. There exists, therefore, a spiritual throne and there can be throne under throne, either in the same order, as a bishop is under the Pontiff, and a king sometimes in his own way under the emperor, or in a diverse one; and in this way the temporal throne is under the spiritual, because although both are of God or from God, yet “the things that be of God are ordered.”
spacer 10. A fifth excellence of kings is posited, that they are the servants of God, and so are they called in 2 Chronicles 6. But this can be attributed to kings in two ways. First, by the very fact that they are kings, because they are the ministers of God whom in their office they chiefly serve or should serve; and in this way indeed the prerogative fits all kings; but it fits more and in a more noble way priests and Pontiffs, because they minister to God in things of greater moment and of more excellent order, and by him are they more immediately established in their office; and for that reason Paul thus begins his epistle to the Romans: “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ,” and his epistle to the Philippians, “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ,” and to Titus: “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ,” and in the same way speak Peter and James and Jude at the beginning of their epistles, and John his Apocalypse 1. But in Acts 4 and 17 the preachers of the Gospel are called servants of God; nay they are also called “stewards of the mysteries of God,” in 1 Corinthians 4:1, nay helpers too and ministers in 1 Corinthians 3. But in another way the appellation of servant of God is said by reason of obedience to God, and of observance of his precepts, according to that verse of Romans 6:18: “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” In which sense without doubt Solomon called his father a servant of God in the said place of Chronicles, and in this sense neither are all kings servants of God but only the pious and those obedient to God, nor kings alone but all those made free from sin are servants of God, as is manifest from the said words of Paul and from the very frequent use of Scripture. Therefore this appellation denotes no particular excellence in kings.
spacer 11. Sixth, the king ponders that the name of angel is sometimes attributed to kings, and he adduces only the place of 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 14:20, where a certain woman said to David: “My lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God,” who also said above, v. 17: “as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil.” And we can add a like place from 1 Kings [1 Samuel] 29:9 where Achish said to David: “I know that thou are good in my sight, as an angel of God.” However these things were said not to all kings but only to David, and not because of his royal dignity, which in the place mentioned later he had not yet obtained, but because of certain special reasons found in him; namely because of his wisdom, his meekness of spirit, and his honesty of morals; therefore the person of that king, not the royal power, is therein commended. Add that in those places David is not called an angel but is in a certain property compared to an angel, which is a very different thing, as is per se evident.
spacer 12. Nor is that comparison to be taken according to equality but according to a certain imitation or even analogous proportion. For thus the particular “as” is frequently taken in Scripture, as in John 17.:1: “that they may they be one, as we are”, and Matthew 5:48: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father is perfect.” And very similar is the place of Acts 6.:5 where it is said of Stephen: “they saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” By which words neither is Stephen called an angel nor is any excellence of power indicated, but only a marvelous beauty or brightness or splendor of light which then appeared in his face. For that phrase is a Hebrew one, whereby the excellence of some virtue or beauty is exaggerated after the likeness of an angelic one, as is common. Thus, therefore, in the said place, that woman wished to praise the wisdom of David, not to call him an angel. Hence, if we are to speak truly and strictly, there is no place in Scripture in which the name of angel is attributed either to all kings or to any temporal king, although however it is written about a priest, Malachi 2.:: “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the angel [alt. messenger] of the Lord of hosts;” where Cyril of Alexandria said: “Because he perspicuously proclaims the will of God and contains the hortatory law of speech;” and Jerome says: “The priest of God is called an angel, because he is a follower of God and of men and proclaims his will to the people.” Therefore from the appellation of angel much more is the priestly dignity commended than the royal. For although a priest be said by metaphor or analogy to be an angel, yet the proportion is founded on the office itself or on the priestly dignity, not on any property found in the person of any priest, as was explained of the person of King David.
spacer 13. The same paralogism is committed when from that which is said of David by Samuel, 1 Kings [1 Samuel] 13:14: “The Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart,” the inference is drawn that kings are said to be “made according to the heart of God.” Which is an open fallacy, both because David is not there said to be made according to the heart of God when he is made king, but he is said to be found to be a man according to the heart of God and therefore was he assumed by God to be the leader of his people; therefore, royal power did not make him to be according to the heart of God but the grace which God first conferred on him, so that when he was already made to be according to his heart God should also make him king. Therefore an inference to some excellence of kingly power is not thence rightly drawn, but there is only shown the equity of God’s election and the singular election of grace in respect of the person of David. Hence God conferred no less a royal dignity and power on Saul, although however he did not find him to be according to his heart. For God said, Acts 13:22: “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart.”
spacer 14. But if someone says that a king can, because of likeness and participation of power, be said to be made according to the heart of God, and that thus it fits all kings, we reply, to begin with, that this is not the sense of that place, as has been proved, nay neither can a place be found in Scripture on which it might be founded. Next we add that, although it be freely conceded, nothing further is proved by it than that a king participates in a certain special way in the power of God, or that the institution of kingship is pleasing to God and draws its origin from his providence. But how does this relate to the comparison with priestly dignity or pontifical power? For this is much more according to the heart of God, because it both pleases him more and draws its origin in a higher way from him. Nay, if we speak of the people of Israel, the pontifical dignity was for a special reason more according to the heart of God than the royal, for God invented and established the former from his sole good pleasure and wisdom, but the latter he conceded as if compelled to the request of the people, as is taken from 1 Kings [1 Samuel] 8. And for much greater reason can the Pontificate among the Christian people be said to be according to the heart of God, because it is both more divine and of a higher order and was conceded by God to his Church by a greater providence and good pleasure.
spacer 15. Nor is the argument much dissimilar which is taken from the eighth title of the king, taken from 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 21:17, where David is by his subjects called “the lamp [alt. light] of Israel.” For those words too (as Abulensis there thought) can be understood as specially said of the person of David, on whom the eyes of the whole people were intent as on a lamp because of his singular virtue and fortitude, and therefore they were very afraid lest he be quenched, that is killed, because they hoped for great benefits from God through him. But let us grant that he was called lamp because of the eminence of the royal dignity, and that the name befits, under the same metaphor, all kings, what can thence be collected against the pontifical eminence? For Christ said to the apostles, and consequently also to their successors, Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world,” which is something greater than to be a lamp, and hence, if we persist in the metaphor, indicates a greater dignity.
spacer 16. The final title the king takes from Isaiah 49, where Isaiah predicted about the Church that has been assembled from the gentiles, v. 23: “Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers,” and he tacitly understands kings to be called nursing fathers because of the eminence of power which kings were going to have in the Church of Christ and in ecclesiastical things. But, first, Jerome explains the place there about the apostles and apostolic men, but the sense seems to be mystical one. We admit, then, that the discussion there is literally about the kings of the gentiles converted to the faith of Christ, but we say that not their power but their piety is there extolled. Such as it was in Constantine, in Charlemagne, and was also and now is in our Catholic kings who, with all their strength, apply themselves to helping the faithful and to guarding and spreading the true Church of Christ. This is also signified by Augustine De Unit. Ecclesiae ch. 7, when he said that Isaiah predicted that the kings of the earth, who first persecuted the Church, were afterwards going to be its helpers. In addition St. Cyril of Alexandria adds in his Book IV on Isaiah, and does so very well, that the prophecy was fulfilled, because “one may see that those who have believed in Christ are endowed, because of the piety of their lords, with honor and are thought worthy of all mercy, so much so that their lords seem to be none other than their nurses.” Add that the very metaphorical name of ‘nurse’ signifies or indicates nothing else than the care of feeding and promoting offspring, according to that verse of Paul 1 Thessalonians 2:7: “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.”
spacer 17. Hence not only kings but also apostles and Pontiffs can be called nurses of the Church, as Jerome wished and as Paul indicated, but in a far different way; for kings are (so to say) per se nurses in temporal things, but apostles in spiritual things, according to that verse of Paul 1 Corinthians 3:1 - 2: “Even as unto babes in Christ, I have fed you with milk.” And thus Pontiffs per se nourish the Church as it is the Church, but kings as it is a civil and political assembly. But because that which is spiritual presupposes that which is animal, therefore the Church is much helped in spiritual things by good civil governance and by temporal benefits, and therefore are good and pious kings called nurses of the Church. For that name is more a mark of kindness and condescension than of power and majesty. Under which metaphor it is also attributed to God in Hosea 2 and in other places. And this sense of the words of Isaiah is declared by the words that follow where he at once subjoins about the same kings, 49:23: “they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth,” that is, to the Church, or Christ in the Church, as the Fathers expound. For because Christ is the head of the Church, says Jerome, rightly is Christ adored in the body, and especially in his Vicar. Rightly therefore do we understand that that prophecy is literally fulfilled in emperors and kings kissing the feet of the Pontiff, their face toward the earth, which many have done in presence before him, others showed by letters their ready spirit, and especially Edward, King of England, in his epistle to Clement VI. With which accords another prophecy of the same prophet, 60:14: “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee…and shall bow themselves down at the soles of they feet.”
spacer 18. It is therefore manifestly clear that from these sorts of notes of royal dignity nothing else can be collected than that to kings honor and obedience are due within their domain and in matter that is subject to them, which there is no one who denies; but it is not licit thence to infer anything that derogates from pontifical dignity. For all the titles befit the priest in a more excellent way and especially the Supreme Pontiff, as has been declared by the by. And besides, priests and apostles are said to be the foundations of the Church, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, the ministers of Christ, the stewards of the mysteries of God, the helpers of God, the parents or begetters of the sons of God, Galatians 4, 1 Corinthians 4; mediators between God and men, ambassadors of Christ and of God, 2 Corinthians 5 and Ephesians 6; key-bearers of the heavenly kingdom and accordingly possessed of the royal throne, not an earthly one, but an heavenly, as Chrysostom said, Homilia 5 ‘De Verb. Isaiae’. Lastly they are called pastors by Christ and by the apostles, namely of rational sheep, that is, leaders and rulers of the flock of Christ, as Ambrose said Book II on Luke and De Dignit. Sacerdotal. I.2. And the King of England could have attributed this name as well to a king, because it is said to David, 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 5:2: “Thou shalt feed my people Israel;” and hence he might take up a more apparent argument against us, because we collect the power of Peter from the word ‘feed’. But to this too we will easily reply that the word ‘feed’, since it is metaphorical, can signify diverse things, and has to be understood according to the subject matter and other places of Scripture and the interpretation of the Fathers. But in these ways it is manifest that, when said of David, it signified civil and temporal governing, as is in the same place, and in chapter 7, immediately explained, when it is said: “and thou shalt be a captain over Israel &c.” But what was said of Peter signifies a higher and spiritual government, through the power of binding and loosing and the keys of the kingdom of heaven, to which temporal kings must be subject if they wish to attain the heavenly kingdom.



1. Preface. spacer2 - 3. Various actions of kings are brought in as objections. Response to them individually. Kings are bound by the right of nature to take away idols. spacer4. Jehosaphat brought the people back to God through the priests. spacer5 - 6. Why Jehosaphat sent princes along with priests. spacer7. Jehosaphat only designated priests who had from God the power of judgment. spacer8. The fourth action adduced by King James is solved. spacer9. Another action is added by the king. spacer10 - 11. It belongs to kings in their own way to take away abuses. spacer12. David did not touch the ark of God. spacer13. The king brings in as objections the deeds of Solomon in 1 Chronicles ch. 28 and 2 Chronicles ch. 6. These deeds display no spiritual power.spacer 14 - 15. How the dedication of the temple could have been done by Solomon. spacer16 - 18. Two other deeds of the same order. A deed from 2 Chronicles ch. 34 is of no importance for the cause.

OR a foundation of this objection the king tries to show from Scripture that kings among the people of the Jews “managed everything” that in some way pertains to ecclesiastical governance. Because, since it should not be believed that they usurped a jurisdiction not given by God (since kings both just and holy exercised those actions), it is rightly inferred that they did everything by royal power. Hence further it is also established that kings can do the same now in the Church of Christ, because neither did the ancient kings have any other power besides royal, nor is there now less power in kings than there was then.
spacer 2. To prove this foundation, therefore, he induces, to begin with, a place from 2 Chronicles 19 where three things are reported about King Jehosaphat. First, vv. 3 - 4, “he took away the groves, he went out through the people and brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers.” Again, that in Jerusalem, v. 8, “he established the Levites and the priests and the princes of the families of Israel to judge judgment and the cause of the Lord for the inhabitants thereof.” But from these nothing else can be collected than that they took away the groves or the idols, which was also done by other kings of Israel, Asa 3 Kings [1 Kings] 15, and Hezekiah 4 Kings [2 Kings] 18. This, I say, pertains also to secular kings from their office. For to worship idols is contrary to natural reason, and contrary to the common good of the human city or republic. Hence also, in the absence of faith, the kings of the gentiles would be bound to this very thing, if they wished properly to use the natural light of reason; and by greater reason are faithful kings bound to this, whether in the Old Law or now in the Law of Grace. That action, therefore, is not proper to spiritual or ecclesiastical power but is common to each or belongs to each forum, as they say, because it conduces to the end of each. But, particularly as to the exercise of it, there is wont to be need of the power of kings, as was in fact the case among the people of Israel because of their hardness; and therefore are the kings greatly praised who destroyed idols; but because they introduced idols, or were negligent in abolishing them, they are greatly blamed and marked. From that action, therefore, nothing is collected, as will immediately be more declared of another similar case.
spacer 3. To this kind of action also has reference the fact that many of the kings of the Jewish people are blamed, for the fact they did not take away the high places. For whether those “high places” were certain idols placed on high mountains or hills for worship, or whether they were certain altars erected on various mountains or places outside the temple or the place of the tabernacle for also sacrificing to the true God, almost always the term is in Scripture taken in a bad sense, and it signifies a place in which sacrifice was made in an undue and superstitious way. Because either sacrifice was made to an idol or, if it was made to the true God, it was not according to his will, that is, not in the place deputed by him, that is, in the temple when already built or before in the place of the tabernacle. About which can be seen Abulensis on 3 Kings 3 q.3. In the way, then, that kings can and should overturn idols, the kings of Israel were also bound to taken away the “high places”, not as Pontiffs, but as executors and assistants of the Pontiffs. And for that reason the contrary negligence in them is especially blamed, because they were able more effectively to destroy them than the Pontiffs were by their teachings and precepts, and in addition because the history there was composed about kings in particular.
spacer 4. Almost the same thing can be considered in the second action. For when it is there said that Jehosaphat “went out again through the people…and brought them back unto God,” one must understand that he did it not of himself but through certain messengers or ministers, as is there commonly noted by interpreters. For the word ‘again’ indicates that he had before gone out on another occasion; but no other going out of Jehosaphat to his people is read of besides the one that is read in 2 Chronicles 17, namely vv. 7 - 8: “in the third year of his reign he sent of his princes…to teach in the cities of Judah, and with them he sent Levites…and priests;” this very thing, then, he is said to have done again in ch. 19, namely, that he sent them to go round all the cities to teach and instruct the people in the law of the Lord. But this action, although per se and by office it pertains to the Pontiffs and to the priests, yet it belongs in their own way also to kings to furnish their own mode of providence for it. For thus now too Catholic kings are said to send preachers to the nations subject to them, because they are sent at their will and request and under the protection of the same and at their expense. In this way, therefore, could Jehosaphat, by the providence of a faithful king who has zeal for God, go out by means of preachers and doctors to instruct the people, observing however the necessary mode and order according to the rite of that time. And therefore he is said to have sent priests and Levites, to whom that office per se pertained.
spacer 5. But that he also sent certain “of his princes” is not an obstacle, even if we admit that those princes were not of the tribe of Levi but were mere laymen, since they are distinguished from the Levites. This is, I say, no obstacle because either those laymen could be sent, not to teach, but to guard the Levites and priests and to restrain by their office the rebels and idolaters that there were then, and also, in case of need, to compel them to hear the word of God. Or certainly, although they too taught, there is no impropriety, because, although it does not pertain to laymen either to resolve doubts of the law or to define doctrine of the faith (for this was committed to priests, Deuteronomy 17), yet they could be learned and instructed in the law and in faith, so that they could instruct and exhort others; for this is neither evil from the nature of the thing nor is it found forbidden in the Old Law, especially since they did it by the consent of the priests. Just as in Acts 13, when Paul and Barnabas had entered a certain synagogue, the princes of the synagogue sent to them saying, v. 15: “Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on,” although however Paul was not of the tribe of Levi, and therefore he was reputed by the Jews to be a mere layman. And we have a like example about Christ in Luke 4. Thus the action of Jehosaphat, therefore, when rightly understood, did not pertain to proper ecclesiastical government but to royal protection and to defense and propagation of the faith, which office is also by canon right commended to Christian kings.
spacer 6. The third action was to establish judges. And there too Levites, priests, and princes are enumerated. Where also two like things need to be explained, namely how it pertained to the king to establish Levites and priests in that office, and how he could associate lay princes along with them. But each will easily be understood if the other words that are added later are considered, namely, v. 11, “Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah, the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters.” Where the office of the king and the office of the Pontiff are openly distinguished, and the latter is said to preside over the things that have regard to God, but the king or his vicar over those that have regard to men. Thus therefore, when priests, Levites, and princes are said to be established to do judgment, a double judgment is comprehended under that term, as Cajetan rightly noted on that place, namely a secular judgment and, as it were, an ecclesiastical one, or one that pertains to sacred things. And in this way is the second question easily answered; for it is not necessary to associate the judgments or the persons but to understand them with an appropriate partition, for to secular princes ought the secular judgment to be committed, but to Levites the ecclesiastical. And thus should it plainly be understood, since the Pontiff ought to have charge over the one judgment but the royal governor over the other, when and as it might be necessary.
spacer 7.
Also for almost the same reason, although the king be said to have established both judges, there is no need to understand it in the same way about all of them, for of himself he established lay judges, both choosing them by his own virtue and giving them power, but not so the Levites and priests, but only by attaching and designating them to such office; for they had the power of exercising it from divine institution, whether immediately or through the Supreme Pontiff. Which is made plain from the other words: “Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah in other matters;” which, although they seem to be said in the same way, did, however, in respect of the Pontiff, not effect power, so to say, or confer it, but declared what pertained to the Pontiff by his own right, as is clear from Deuteronomy 17. But, power in respect of the civil governor flowed from the king, because it was especially established on the king’s behalf. Thus, therefore, although it be in one word said that he established these judges and those, nevertheless it must be understood about each with a distribution that is appropriate and in accord with law and due order. Princes, therefore, he made judges per se and by his own force, but Levites only in the manner of a per accidens cause by as it were attaching and nominating the persons, not however by creating them without the consent of the Pontiff. And in this way this action is of almost the same reason as the preceding, and does not pertain to proper jurisdiction of ecclesiastical governance, but only to a certain care and pious zeal of a faithful king, as was explained in the case of the others.
spacer 8. The king next adds another reason, which we can number in fourth place, namely, “to purge corruption and take away abuses.” But for proof of this he only adduces the place of 2 Kings, or as he puts it, 2 Samuel 5:6, where no mention is made of purging corruption or taking away abuses; but all that is reported is that, when David went up to Jerusalem to the Jebusites to attack the city, it was said to him by the inhabitants of the city: “Thou shalt not come in hither except thou take away the blind and the lame who say David will not come in hither [alt. thinking, David cannot come in hither].” But these words cannot in any way be applied to the reformation of morals or the taking away of abuses, because neither is the matter dealt with there, nor can it be thought that the Jebusites wanted to consult David on this matter under that metaphorical locution, as it were. Hence, although the words are obscure, and are therefore variously expounded by interpreters (as one may see in the Gloss, Theodoret, Abulensis, Carthusianus, Cajetan, and others on that place), nevertheless all agree that in those words the taking away of the blind and lame was only proposed to David as a necessary means for capturing the city. Either by those words other enemies of David among the Jebusites are signified, who rose up against him saying: ‘David will not come in hither,’ and they are called ‘blind’ because of the error of their mind, and ‘lame’ because they did not walk rightly with David. Or in fact the lame in body and the blind were placed on the walls of the city to defend it in mockery and derision of David (as seems more probable and more agreeable to the sense according to the Vulgate edition), but in neither sense is there anything of importance for the present cause, because the purging of corruption is not there dealt with. For although there is immediately subjoined that David proposed a reward to those who took away the blind and lame who hate the soul of David, and hence the proverb arose: “the blind and lame will not enter the temple,” the inference cannot thence plausibly be drawn that David, by taking away the blind and lame, wished to signify that the taking away of abuses and the purging of corruption pertained to himself; for what is this conclusion or connection or conjecture? Assuredly it can be nothing but pure divination.
spacer 9. To this action indeed pertains also the other that the king puts later, when he says of kings that: “they establish public reformers, having summoned and gathered for that end priests and laity promiscuously;” for the taking away of abuses and the purging of corruptions has particular regard to public reform. But for proof of those reforms he only adduces the place already dealt with from 2 Chronicles 17, whence all that is obtained is that Jehosaphat ordained or procured a certain reform by sending princes, priests, and Levites to reform the people by teaching and instructing them in the law of the Lord. But why laymen were sent along with Levites has already been made plain; nor is any gathering there read of that was made up promiscuously of laymen and Levites. Therefore just as we said that the sending was not an act of jurisdiction, so must we say it of this reform.
spacer10. Wherefore (however it may be with proofs) we readily concede that it pertains to kings, within their own order and in the way appropriate for them, to take away abuses and purge their realm of corruptions. For, to begin with, if the corruptions and vices are against natural justice or just civil laws, or are against the peace of the republic, it directly pertains to the king to re-purge his subjects of such vices. But if the vices are in matter of religion or faith, after he has established through the same faith or through the Pontiffs (to whom it pertains to explain the will of God) that they are abuses and corruptions, it also pertains to the king to take away abuses of that sort, either by using punishment and coercion against his subjects, or also by carefully procuring that the ecclesiastical pastors apply their efforts to it at the same time, or finally by taking away with his strong arm the occasions for corrupt customs, just as we said a little above about the destruction of idols. For that was assuredly in that people a chief part of the reform of morals and the purging of corruptions. Although, therefore, it be expressly said in the Old Testament that kings took away abuses and purged corruptions, it can and should be understood in the aforesaid way and without any usurpation of ecclesiastical primacy. Just as now too Catholic and pious kings take away abuses and corruptions from their domains; nay, inferior princes too in their territories and private heads of families in their own home can in their own way and according to their own capacity expel corruptions from their home, and use all the providence, whether political or domestic, that can be exercised by them in respect of their subjects and that can be of service to that end.
spacer 11. To this head too has regard the example which the king adduces from 4 Kings [2 Kings] 18 about the bronze serpent broken up by Hezekiah. For (as I said in Book II, chapter 12) although that serpent was made by command of God and had a good signification, because of which it had at the beginning a good use, nevertheless afterwards it began to be for the Hebrews an occasion for scandal and ruin because of the ignorance of the people, and their blindness of mind, and their hardness of heart caused by corrupt custom. And therefore rightly could the king, by breaking up the serpent, take from the people the occasion for their ruin. For although it was made by God’s precept, God had not for that reason commanded it to be preserved; but it was kept in memory of the divine kindness by the prudent and pious decision of the preceding princes of that people; but after it began to be worshipped and adored in an irreligious way, it ought to have been broken up according to the law that command: “Break the statues, and cut down the groves.” And because this law was spoken not only to the priests but also to the kings, therefore Jehosaphat could break up the serpent, not by exercising priestly jurisdiction but by fulfilling the law.
spacer 12. In the fifth place we put the other actions reviewed by the king, which contribute to the cause much less than the preceding ones; such indeed is “to take the ark of God to an appointed place,” 1 Chronicles 13. For David, about whom the discussion is there, did not carry the ark nor did he touch it; for it was first licit only to Levites, and second only to priests, Numbers 4, 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 6, but not to David, although he was king. And therefore only for the sake of divine honor did he accompany the ark, which was licit not only for the king but to anyone among the people, as is said a little later in the same place, 2 Kings [2 Samuel] 6, that David and the whole house of Israel brought up the ark. And the like is contained in 3 Kings [1 Kings] 8. But it is added that King David danced before the ark. But what of it? Was that action proper to priests or to kings? Certainly it could seem to be more proper to men of an inferior condition. Hence a little later in the same place David was despised and blamed by Michal, not because he had performed an action of great dignity, but because he had been made, v.20. “as one of the vain fellows,” but he himself with great devotion and gratitude toward God replied, v.22: “I will play and be yet more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight.” David, therefore, did not deem that action to have been of priestly dignity, much less of pontifical, or above it, but to have been of great humility and reverence toward God, and Scripture portrayed the person of David to indicate this, but added, v.5: “David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord.”
spacer 13. Of the same order are certain deeds of Solomon, from which also a royal argument is taken, namely, “to build the temple, to dedicate it when built, and to honor it when consecrated by his presence.” But all these things kings do today even now, nay also other lesser pious and powerful men, and they are not for that reason reckoned to be exercising a work of ecclesiastical power, much less of primacy. For to build a temple is of itself just an act of religion that requires on the part of the builder, beside a pious will, only the means for the necessary expense, but on the part of God is required acceptance of it by himself or by his Vicars. But on that occasion God had shown his will sufficiently by a special revelation, and therefore on the part of Solomon only royal power and magnificence along with a pious and faithful will could have been wanting; therefore nothing else is rightly collected from that deed.
spacer 14. But dedicating a temple can signify two things. One is to consecrate it by some proper religious action; the other is to offer or give it to God by one’s own will externally manifested. In the first way, to dedicate temples pertains to priests or Pontiffs. Now in the dedication of that temple this action does not seem to have been other than either, on the part of men, offerings of sacrifices, which pertain to priests alone, as I will now explain, or, on the part of God, his presence or descent under the appearance of a cloud that filled the temple, to signify that the dedication pleased God, and therefore, as is said in 3 Kings [1 Kings] 8:11: “the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord;” which action was not of man but of divine honoring, to which King Solomon gave testimony saying, v. 12: “The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.” In this sense, therefore, King Solomon cannot be said to have dedicated the temple, nor is it so read about Solomon, nor does the king of England attribute this to him, since he only says that by his presence he honored the work of consecration. But in the second way it is rightly said that Solomon dedicated the temple. But thence no argument is taken; for anyone can offer a thing or his house for the divine cult. As it is said in Exodus 35.29: “every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.” And it is at once added: “The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord.” Thus therefore, in the said place of 3 Kings [1 Kings] 8:63 is it said: “The king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord.” Next, as for what is added, that the king honored the work of consecration with his presence, it is clear that it was common to the whole people, and thus it makes nothing to the purpose.
spacer 15. But, to distinguish the mode of his presence, the actions that were performed in the dedication must be distinguished. The first was to bring the ark, the tabernacle, and the vessels of the sanctuary into the temple, and of this it is said, v. 4: “those did the priests and the Levites bring up,” and it is added, v. 5: “And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark,” where the king is conjoined with the multitude and is distinguished from the priestly order. The second action was the offering of the sacrifices, and this was done without doubt by the priests as by the proper ministers; but it seems to be attributed both to the king and the people when it is said of them, v. 5: “and they were sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered,” but they are understood to have been immolated by the priests, as is frequent in Scripture and also in the common way of speaking. And thus is it also said there, v.63: “Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offering,” and again, v. 64: “the king hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered burnt offerings and meat offerings,” namely, through the priests, wherein no power above them is shown but rather an inferior status and condition. Hence now too kings, just as also other laymen, make offering through the priest. The third action was of praying, and this was also common to the whole people. Another action finally was to render an account to the people about the building and dedication of the temple, which indeed Solomon performed with royal authority and as the singular patron (and so to say) of the temple, yet he usurped nothing that was pontifical, nor did he show himself superior to the Pontiff. Therefore the whole of that deed pertains in no way at all to the cause about ecclesiastical and royal power or their comparison.
spacer 16. Next, for proving the same power of the king, two other deeds of almost the same order are brought forward, which have no greater force than the preceding ones. One is that “they had the book of the law, that was plucked out of the darkness, to the people,” from 4 Kings [2 Kings] 22. However it is reported in that place indeed that Hilkiah the Pontiff said to Shaphan the scribe, v. 8: “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord,” and it is added that he gave it to Shaphan, who also read it and afterwards said to the king that Hilkiah had given him a book, which Shaphan also read before the king. But that the king had the book recited to the people is not said in that chapter, but only that the king, greatly moved by the reading of the book, sent the priests to consult God about the thing. But in chapter 23 it is added that the priests reported something to the king that a certain prophetess had said, and it is added, vv. 1 - 2: “The king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant,” where Abulensis expounds ‘he read’, that is, he had it read; for he thinks that Shaphan the scribe read the book, which is not foreign to the use of that locution, as the king himself rightly proves from another similar use in chapter 22. Yet, nevertheless, from 2 Chronicles 34 it is collected rather that the king himself read the book of himself, for there it is expressly said, v.30: “he read in their ears all the words of the book.” But in this history what is there, I ask, that shows in the king a pontifical power or primacy? That he gathered the people, or read the book? Neither certainly. For to gather the people is not of itself a spiritual or ecclesiastical action, but indifferent, which could be done by royal authority for various ends. But that it should now be done for a spiritual end does not come from the spiritual power of the king but from his holy zeal and intention, for a faithful king aided by divine grace and faith can often use his royal and civil power for the spiritual good of his people, because, although he acts proximately in matter civil or indifferent, he can refer it to the said end. But to read the book was more a work of honoring, of humility, and of devotion than of power. And although he himself did not read but had it recited, he showed no greater authority, because it was the same to do it himself or to do it through Shaphan his scribe and minister, and because, although the book was sacred, the action of reading it is common to priests and laity.
spacer 17. Another deed is that kings “sometimes renewed the covenant between God and the people.” And the citation in the margin of the royal Apology is the place in Nehemiah or 2 Ezra 9 at the end. But in that place it is not said that the king renewed the covenant between God and the people, nor could it be said, because at that time there were no longer kings in Israel. Since, therefore, it was said at the beginning of the chapter, v. 1: “The children of Israel were assembled with fasting and with sack-clothes;” and since later was added, vv. 4 - 5: “Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and certain others…and said, Stand up and bless the Lord, etc.,” the conclusion is made at the end of the chapter, v38: “We make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.” From which context it is very clear that the whole people, either of their own accord or moved by the words of the Levites, renewed the covenant, and therefore the princes in the name of the whole people along with the Levites and priests sealed unto the covenant. But if someone perhaps ponders that ‘princes’ (who it is likely were laymen) are put in the first place, he may notice that the Levites too are put before the priests, and hence he may conjecture that the later place in that order seems to be the more worthy, as often happens. Also mentioned in the same margin is the second book of Kings (for us the fourth) chapter 8 verse 4, but I find nothing in the whole chapter. Now we cannot deny that in chapter 23, treated of above, after the reading of the book of the covenant, there is added, v. 3: “And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord.” And a little later is added: “And all the people stood to the covenant.” But in this deed too nothing else shines forth than the piety and the holy zeal of the prince. For the renewal or making of the covenant was nothing other than a certain renewing of fidelity to God, or a sort of new promise of obedience to his law; but this any man can do, or any people, whether of their own accord or provoked by the example or word of another. In this way, then, did the aforesaid king do it, and in doing it he went before others, so that he might provoke them by his example and word. Hence rightly Cajetan there notes: “See how much good a good prince may be cause of.”
spacer 18. From all these examples and testimonies, then, no spiritual jurisdiction or special power in things pertaining to God is shown to have existed in the kings at the time of the Old Law. But it is very well shown that a good and faithful king should be a defender of divine faith and of true religion, and that he will diligently see to it that all errors and superstitions against doctrine true and approved by the Church either should have no entrance or, where it may have been found, should be expelled. This fidelity, then, toward God was shown by the aforesaid good kings and was, in the New Law, observed with the greatest piety by Constantine, Charlemagne, Charles V, and other Catholic kings, although they did not acknowledge themselves parents of the Church, or prelates, or superior to prelates, but sons, and subjects, and protectors.



1. Objection of the king from the deed of Solomon. spacer2. The deed of Solomon indicates in him no spiritual power. spacer3 - 4. Even in the Old Testament the Pontiff was superior to the king. King Uziah was punished because he tried to undertake the office of the priests. spacer5. The preeminence of the Pontiff is shown by reason of his greater dignity. spacer6 - 7. From the deed of Solomon it is not sufficiently collected even that his civil power was above the Pontiff. spacer8. An argument taken from the old Pontificate over to the new is nothing in the present cause. spacer9. Instance of heretics. Response. spacer10. The argument of the adversaries is turned back against them.

FTER the rest of the deeds of the kings of Israel, the King of England introduces a deed of Solomon, “who took authority from Abiathar so that he was not a priest of the Lord,” as he himself relates; and hence he collects that the king was superior to the Pontiff, so that he thence concludes that the same is to be observed in the Church of Christ. This argument is founded on the place of 3 Kings [1 Kings] 2 where Solomon commanded the Pontiff Abiathar to go as it were into exile, saying, v. 26: “Get thee to Anathoth, unto thine own fields; for thou art worthy of death; but I will not at this time put thee to death, because thou bearest the ark of the Lord God etc.” And later the conclusion is drawn, v.27: “So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord.” Now Solomon is never reprehended in Scripture for this deed; nay in ch. 3 is added, v. 3: “And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father; only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.” Which exception, of whatever sort it was (which is not now important), shows that up to that time Solomon kept the other precepts and consequently did not sin in that deed. Rather, some commend the clemency of Solomon in that deed because, although Abiathar was worthy of the penalty of death, Solomon allowed him his life because of the office of priest which he had exercised and because he had been partaker in the labors of his father, and he commuted the punishment to the milder one of exile and dismissal. But for that same punishment to have been justly inflicted it is necessary that Solomon had jurisdiction and superior power over the Pontiff; therefore the king was then superior to the Pontiff. Which Abulensis qq. 28 & 31 admits on this place among others who were guided by this argument, and it was the opinion of St. Bonaventure in his tractate De Ecclesiast. Hierarch. p. 2 sect. 1 at the end, and on Sentences 4 distinct.24, in his exposition of the literal sense, which is also handed on by St. Thomas, if the little work 20 is his, De Regimine I.14 at the end, whom also many other grave authors have followed. From this fact, then, the King of England infers that the king is also superior to the Pontiff in the New Law, and hence that he has the primacy in his own realm.
spacer 2. This objection indeed is founded on a thing very dubious, namely whether in the Old Law the Pontiff was exempt from the jurisdiction of the king as to offenses and the judgment and punishment of them, which here we do not wish to dispute, because we do not think that a truth of the faith, which is what we are teaching, depends on that controverted question among Catholics. Especially because, as I have often said, the question of the exemption of clerics from the jurisdiction of laymen in temporal affairs is altogether diverse from the question of primacy and power in spiritual affairs. Now, from that deed can at most be collected that the Pontiff in the Old Law was not exempt from the royal jurisdiction as to secular or civil or criminal tribunals. But one may not thence infer that King Solomon had any jurisdiction in spiritual affairs or in things pertaining to God, because that cause was a temporal one. For the crime which Abiathar is supposed to have committed was one of treason because of his conspiracy with Adonijah against Solomon. Again, the punishment of exile was temporal. But dismissal from the pontifical office either followed from the prior punishment of exile or was only a certain separation from the use of that office; which could then more easily be done, because two people then carried out that office, namely Zadok and Abiathar, and thus Abiathar could for a just cause be removed so that Zadok alone bore the pontificate. And perhaps, just as the sacrifices of that time were carnal and the ceremonies are called by Paul, Hebrews 9:1, “ordinances of divine service and a worldly sanctuary;” thus that pontificate was not so spiritual that someone could not be deprived of it for the crime of treason by the same majesty he offended, if jurisdiction was not lacking to it. For if it could deprive him of life, as those words indicate, “for thou art worthy of death,” what wonder that it could deprive him of the pontificate?
spacer 3. But I add further that, even with this concession or permission, it does not follow that the pontificate at that time was not simply superior to the king in dignity and power. The proof is that, to begin with, those functions were altogether distinct and per se and directly uncombined. For we are supposing about the king that he had supreme power in temporal things, which is simply true about direct power, whether it extended to priests and the Pontiff or not, from which question we are now abstracting, as I said. Next, to the Pontiff was committed power and administration of spiritual things, or of things that pertained to God and to the doctrine of the faith and to declaration of law, as is clear from Deuteronomy 17:8 - 12: “If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment…&c.,” up to “And the man that will do presumptuously and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die etc.” And therefore in 2 Chronicles 19 he is said to preside in things that are referred to God. In these things, then, the king could not introduce himself, as is sufficiently proved from the deed of King Uzziah, who, when he tried to exercise the ministry of the priest by burning incense on the altar of incense, was struck with leprosy until the day of his death, as is related in 2 Chronicles 26. Which deed is expounded at large by Chrysostom Homilia 4 ‘De Verbis Isaiae’ &c., who addresses the king: “Stay within your limits; the limits of the king are one thing, the limits of the priest another.”
spacer 4. Now that among those two dignities the pontifical was simply greater is subjoined in express words by Chrysostom when he says: “This kingdom” namely the sacerdotal “is greater than that,” that is, the temporal. “For a king is not made plain from the things that are seen here; nor should his value be estimated by the gemstones that are affixed to him, nor from the gold with which he is clothed. He indeed has been allotted the things on earth to administer; but the right of the priest comes down from above.” Which he pursues at large later. And although he is often and in many matters speaking of the priesthood of the New Law, yet he also speaks of the Old, hence he later infers: “This principate is greater, wherefore the king submits his head to the hand of the priest, and everywhere in the Old Scripture priests anoint kings.” Hence again Chrysostom on Psalm 113 [115] when expounding the words, vv. 9 - 10: “O Israel, trust thou in the Lord; he is their help and their shield; O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; he is their help and their shield,” he thence collects the excellence of the priesthood, when he says: “He divided speech between Israel and the priestly class, because a private man is not to be compared with a priest, but the latter far surpasses him.” Therefore he thinks that it was for the sake of greater honor that the priestly class was divided from the rest of the people of the children of Israel, under which people kings are manifestly comprehended. And many collect the same excellence from the fact that in Leviticus 4 a nobler victim is commanded to be offered for the Pontiff than for the King, for that it was an indication of his more excellent dignity is noted by Philo, De Victimis, and he is followed by Theodoret, Procopius, and others. And other indications of this excellence are wont to be taken from Exodus 19, Numbers 27 and 35.
spacer 5. The reason indeed for the greater dignity can be taken from the matter of each office; for the pontificate, even the legal one, was proximately ordered to God and did not touch upon men except in their order to God; the kingship on the contrary, however, deals wholly with men, and as far as concerns itself, or by the force of its object, it does not touch upon God except as is expedient for the good of men and of the republic. Hence the matter of the pontificate is of a higher order and was even then in some way spiritual. And next, just as the virtue of religion is higher than the virtue of justice, so the pontificate, which the functions of religion regard, is of more worth than the kingship, whose function it is to deal with justice. For in the Old Law too did this reason hold place. And by almost the same proportion his excess not only in dignity but also in power can be shown. For that the Pontiff then also had his own power, not only for administering, but also for giving command and passing judgment in controversies about the law and about doctrine, cannot be denied from the places cited in Deuteronomy 17 and 2 Chronicles 19. But the fact that his power was supreme in its own order is proved by the words of Deuteronomy 17: “And the man that will do presumptuously...” And from the same words can be collected that they also include the king because they are universal; therefore the king too was subject to this power of the Pontiff, and was bound to stand by the Pontiff’s definitions and decrees and to obey his precepts in his own area; therefore, in this respect, the Pontiff was superior to the king. But if perhaps the Pontiff was subject to the king as to temporal or civil crimes, and therefore in diverse respects and on diverse foundations they had a mutual relation of inferior and superior to each other, nevertheless, because of excess in matter and end, the power of the Pontiff can be called simply greater and superior.
spacer 6. I add in addition that from Solomon’s deed (as far as it is of present concern) is not sufficiently collected that the king had jurisdiction over the Pontiff in a temporal or criminal cause (however it be with whether it can be proved from some other source). The proof is, first, that many think that Solomon in his capacity as prophet and not as king deposed Abiathar, as Theodoret says on that place q. 9 and Procopius on the same, and several of the moderns. And they base themselves on the subject words: “So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord; that he might fulfill the word or the Lord, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.” For Abiathar was of the seed of Eli to whom God said through Samuel, 1 Kings [1 Samuel] 2, that it would sometime come about that the pontificate would be taken from his family because of the sins of his sons; which words were perhaps fulfilled in Abiathar. Now Solomon, understanding that fact by the prophetic spirit and moved by divine instinct, committed to execution what God had threatened. But if this be so, nothing can be collected from that place about the ordinary power or jurisdiction of kings over Pontiffs, because this was extraordinary. And this response can easily be sustained but with difficulty proved; because the words “that he might fulfill &c.” are frequently said even if God’s threats are fulfilled through evil ministers and deaths or unjust acts of violence. Because those words do not give a reason that may move a man to action but one that moves God to allow, or they signify the sequence of one thing after another, not a cause. Just as it is said about the soldiers who crucified Christ that they divided his garments “that it might be fulfilled etc.,” Matthew 27:35. Yet nevertheless the response is probable which we will by the authority of Innocent III confirm in the following book and which is defended by Cardinal Bellarmine both from other places of Scripture and from consideration of the Hebrew word, in ch. 15 against Barclay.
spacer 7. But others do not hesitate to say that Solomon acted unjustly in that deed, by usurping a power he did not have. But I dare not affirm it because of the words of Scripture that I mentioned in chapter 3, and because in the ancient Fathers and expositors I do not find that deed numbered among Solomon’s sins or charged to his guilt. Wherefore if he had neither jurisdiction nor a special instinct or revelation, I would rather excuse him by saying he banished or separated Abiathar, who had conspired against him, not in punishment of him but as consulting his own defense and the preservation of peace and of the kingdom. For if Abiathar had conspired against him and was conjoined with Adonijah in friendship, Solomon could rightly be afraid that, after the death of Adonijah, Abiathar, who was in the office of Pontiff and in Jerusalem, might work something to his ruin. Therefore such circumstances could then occur that the king might prudently and without sin coerce the Pontiff in that way, even if he had no jurisdiction over him.
spacer 8. But I add lastly that even if we grant (which we are not now conceding) that the Pontiff in the Old Law was not exempt from the coercive power of the king, no argument is thence taken for the time of the Law of Grace. For the power of kings in the Law of Grace is not in itself greater than it was in the Old Law, for in both it is of a merely civil or natural order and origin, although in the Old Law it was conferred in a more special way by God. But the pontifical dignity and power is far greater and of a higher order, as is sufficiently clear from what has been hitherto said and as was said in our tractate De Legibus. And therefore no argument can be made from the old Pontiff to the Vicar of Christ in things that pertain to subjection and imperfection. For to the Mosaic Pontiff were not given the keys of the kingdom of heaven nor the power of binding and loosing, whose action on earth is held ratified in heaven, which were given to the Supreme Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, along with a far greater supreme government of the Church than the old Pontiff had for ruling the Synagogue, to whom it is nowhere said: “feed my sheep,” as was said to Peter. Therefore subjection to a temporal prince is far more in conflict with the pontificate of the New Law than it was in conflict with it in the Old Law, and accordingly from deeds of the Old Law no argument to the New Law can be drawn. Besides, the pontificate of that law pertained to its ceremonies, which have already wholly ceased, and a new institution has been made, according to which supreme power and exemption has been given to the Vicar of Christ.
spacer 9. But adversaries urge against us a demand to display this institution from Scripture, and they use against us the second mode of arguing from the Scriptures which we above called negative, namely that nowhere is it found written down in the New Testament that the Roman Pontiff has primacy or power over kings, especially one that extends in any way to temporal things.  But, if what we have so far said is weighed, we will not only reply easily to this argument but we also turn it plainly against the King of England. For first, about what concerns power and primacy over kings, it is already clear from what was said above, where we proved how this power is collected from Scripture and the words of Christ; nor is it necessary that the conclusion be express in Scripture, but it is enough and more than enough that it be made clear and firm by tradition and definition of the Church. But as to what pertains to exemption, besides what is manifestly collected from that superior power itself, it will in the next book also be proved from the words of Christ and the like tradition of the Church.
spacer 10. To the negative argument, therefore, we deny that the power of the Roman Pontiff over kings is not proved from Scripture. But we turn back the argument in this way: the primacy of the King of England is not proved from Scripture and according to his faith nothing is to be believed which is not contained in Scripture; therefore he is in conflict with himself by asserting it and by compelling his subjects to believe it. The proof of the major is that it is not made clear from the Old Testament, because all the testimonies brought forward do not prove it even about the state of the Old Law, as we have seen; and were they to prove it about that period of time, they would effect nothing for the state of the New Law, as was also shown. Nor can it even be proved from the New Testament; for all the testimonies adduced by the king are of no moment, as we have shown. Hence his chaplain (as I find related) admitted that the foundation of that primacy must be looked for in the Old Testament, and no trace or example of it is found in the New. And the same argument can be made against the exemption of the King of England from the coercive jurisdiction of the Pontiff, for the foundation for that, if there could be any, would certainly have to be looked for in the Old Testament; now it has none in the New but is rather in conflict with the general words of Christ, “whatever you bind” and “feed my sheep.”



1. First objection. spacer2. Solution. spacer3. Second objection from certain provincial Councils. It is solved. spacer4. As regards the Council of Tours. As regards the Council of Chalons. spacer5. As regards the Council of Mainz. spacer6 - 7. Ass regard the Council of Reims. spacer8 - 10. Solution.

HE The King of England adds further in his Preface p. 22: “The aforesaid power over kings usurped by the Pontiffs is in conflict with the Councils and the Fathers;” and he says he has demonstrated it in his Apology. Indeed in the Apology itself on p. 29 he introduces, to begin with, the Council of Arles that met in the time of Charlemagne, which thus concludes at the end of its chapters: “These things which we perceived to be worthy of emendation we have noted with the greatest brevity possible, and we have decreed them to be presented to the Lord Emperor, requesting his clemency so that if anything here is deficient his providence might supply it; if anything is contrary to reason his judgment might emend it; if anything is arranged reasonably his help, with the aid of divine clemency, might perfect it.” From which words the King of England wishes to collect that the Fathers of that Council recognized the emperor as judge and superior over them and over their decrees.
spacer 2. Yet they themselves thought nothing of the kind nor reckoned that the emperor thought it. For in the prologue of the same Council they thus speak of the emperor: “He arranges with watchful urgency the strengthening of the state of the Church of God.” And later: “Beseeching and imploring all the priests of God to instruct with pious preaching the churches which he has undertaken to rule, etc.” And at the end of the aforesaid words they do not ask that their decrees be confirmed by the emperor but that they be perfected by his help, that is, committed to execution. Therefore they recognize that the governance of churches is entrusted, not to the emperor, but to themselves; indeed they indicate two offices of the emperor in these sorts of things, namely to exhort and to assist the pastors of the Church in their governance; which, as I have often said, does not pertain to jurisdiction but to piety and human power or authority. There is also to be noted in those words that there is in them no talk about things of faith but about decrees pertaining to moral practice, as is clear from the words, “things which we perceived to be worthy of emendation we have noted with the greatest brevity possible.” So because there were in them many decrees that concern laymen together with clerics, as is clear from chs. 4, 5, 12, 13, 15, 22, 23, they therefore acted prudently by presenting them to the emperor so that, aided by his authority, they might be able more easily to commit them to execution. But the remaining words are words of urbanity, modesty, and humility, as is clear from the use of the like words; and so it is vain to collect from them a proper subjection or jurisdiction.
spacer 3. Secondly the king objects, “six General Councils altogether handed themselves over to Charlemagne.” Now he names the Councils of Frankfurt, Arles, Tours, Chalons, Mainz, and Reims. But, to begin with, I do not see why he calls these Councils general since almost all were provincial, and some were at most national; next I find nothing in the said Councils on account of which they may be said to have “altogether handed themselves over to Charlemagne.” And, in the first place, the Council of Frankfurt was without doubt not general; for, as is clear from the title of the letter of the same Council to the prelates of Spain, only the bishops of Germany, Gaul, and Aquitaine were present at it, and no mention is made of legates of the Apostolic See or of confirmation by it. But about Charlemagne is only said, in the title of the book of the sacred syllabus, that the Council was held in the presence of the most clement prince Charles. And there Charles is placed, not as author, but as exhorter and defender, nor as part of the Council but as an honorific witness. And although at the beginning of the book of the sacred syllabus Charles proposes to the Council the necessity of extirpating a certain error, yet afterwards it is only the Council which teaches the truth in the discussion of the book, whose author is said to have been Paulinus, and he at the end of the book thus speaks: “But we, lords and most dear brothers, following the sound doctrine of faith of the Fathers who preceded us, rejecting altogether all the ravings of frivolous men, let us with our heart have belief unto justice and with our mouth make confession unto salvation, etc.” But afterwards it prays only for Charlemagne “that God may protect him and defend him, etc.” and later it prays him to do battle for the love of Christ against visible enemies. Nor do I find there any word whereby the Council “altogether handed themselves over to Charles.” The King of England would have acted more satisfactorily if in the acts of the Council he had considered that the same Charles, in his epistle to Elipandus and the other Spanish priests, calls himself, not father or primate of the Church, but son and defender of the holy Church of God. Again he could have noticed that the Fathers of the Council, when they pronounced their sentence at the end of the book, at once added: “With reservation in everything to the privilege of right of the Supreme Pontiff, our Lord and Father Adrian, most blessed Pope of the first See.” Again he might note what they say later, “and of blessed Peter, the first Pastor of the Church.” And again he can note that only the synod of the bishops wrote the doctrine of the faith to Elipandus and others; but later Charles wrote as protector and defender of the synod.
spacer 4. About the Council of Arles we have already spoken [in chapter 9]. Now in the Council of Tours nothing else is found except that in its preface they praise Charlemagne and affirm that they have met at that place on his most salutary exhortations, but at the end they conclude in these words: “These things we have aired in our meeting; but as to how next our most pious Prince will be pleased to manage them, we his faithful servants are with cheerful heart ready for his command and will.” For what else were religious and prudent and modest bishops going to say to a pious emperor who was, with holy zeal, attending only to those things that pertained to the good of the Church, not as governor of the Church, but as son and defender? Now in the Council of Chalons there are contained at the beginning words similar to those treated of above from the Council of Arles, and so there is no need to make the same repetition. For in that Council only morals were dealt with, and among its decrees are found also some things that are common to the laity, as chs. 18, 21, and especially 43; where, for that purpose, the opinion of the emperor is waited on for applying a remedy to certain public and common vices. Nor do I find any word in that Council whereby it altogether handed itself over to the emperor. But there is in ch.66 only a decree that all should pray unceasingly for the king, which is a far different thing. Rather an addition is made there that the Council said that the warnings of the Scriptures and the decrees of the canons needed to be examined with careful search and carried out with like observance, wherein is commended, after the Scriptures, not the imperial but the ecclesiastical authority. Nay, rather the subjection of the Council to the emperor, which the King of England makes much of, is repugnant to chapters 28 and 37 of the same Council. For in the former is said that, concerning the degrees of consanguinity that prohibit or nullify marriages, the ecclesiastical canons are to be consulted, not the king. While in the latter is said that the canons of the Councils are to be read and understood by the priests, because priests should live and teach by them.
spacer 5. Almost the same judgment holds of the Council of Mainz, for although in the preface of the Council the Fathers treat the emperor with the same honor and refer all things to him as with the preceding Councils, nevertheless they make sufficient distinction there between the powers, and to the laity they commit controversies about mundane laws “and justicial matters of the multitude” (as they say), and bestow proper honor on each person and state, “according,” they say, “to the word of blessed Peter (1 Peter 2:17), the first Pastor of the Church.” Hence they add later: “In addition it also seemed fitting to us that priests be honored with the legitimate and undisturbed right of the Church of God; of whom the Lord says (Luke 10:16): ‘He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.’ And the Apostle says to the Hebrews 13:17: ‘Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls as they that must give account.’” But later in ch. 6, when they were making certain dispositions about sons disinherited by their parents, they add, since they seemed to be touching on civil matters: “As far as pertains to us or to our power;” and to the emperor they say: “But anything perhaps that is anywhere found to be outside our office, we dare to urge your clemency to correct it.” There they make open disposition in spiritual and pious causes by their own power; but where secular help is necessary they request it from the emperor. And thus in ch.7 about the causes of the poor they say: “Let this be altogether corrected by your command.” And in ch. 8 they speak very well about each power.
spacer 6. Finally, in the Council of Rheims honorific mention of the emperor is indeed made at the beginning, but nothing is attributed to him which seems to concede him any jurisdiction in the Council. Rather, when it is said at the beginning (which was said also in the four prior Councils) that “the meeting was convened by the most pious Caesar, Lord Charles, in the manner of the former emperors,” there is an addition made as it were in clarification of that manner: “on the order of Ulfarius, archbishop of the same holy See;” a fact we will explain a little later in the case of the General Councils as well. For these five, about which we have spoken, were without doubt only provincial Councils, and therefore the proper convoking of them, along too with power of jurisdiction, belonged to the archbishop, but it is attributed to the emperor as to one petitioning for it and cooperating with it through his temporal support.
spacer 7.
Third, the king brings in as objection the first four General Councils. “Nay,” he says, “the other four too, thus commonly called, subjected themselves in everything to the prudence and piety of the emperor. So much so that the Council of Ephesus inculcates with sufficient clarity that they came together summoned by the wise word, the will, sanction, and mandate of the emperor.” He introduces in addition words of the same Council in its epistle to the Augustuses, where the Fathers say that “they all take flight together as suppliants to the dominion of his piety, so that what they have carried out against Nestorius and those who agree with him might have the emperor’s strength.”
spacer 8. However, the king hides in the first four Councils all the things that show the primacy and power of the Roman Bishop over the emperors and over the General Councils, and he only snatches on one word or another that commends in its degree the imperial dignity, and that is readily understood from other places. And since the king adduces nothing in particular about the Council of Nicea, and since we mentioned many things above, there is no need to add anything here, especially since it is well known how much the emperor Constantine deferred in that Council to the bishops and to their power.
spacer 9. From the furstt Council of Constantinople too the king notes nothing, although however he should not ignore what the Fathers of that Council wrote to Pope Damasus, namely: “By the mandate of the letters which were sent last year by your reverence after the Council of Aquilea to the emperor Theodosius, we prepared ourselves to make the journey as far as Constantinople, and we carried the consent of the bishops along with us about celebrating this Council” (Theodoret Hist. V.9). Behold how the emperors concur in convening Councils, namely by asking and requesting from the Pontiff a mandate for convoking them or, when they have obtained it, by procuring its execution, or by giving commands in virtue of it.
spacer 10. From the Council of Ephesus too might the king note the words of the emperors Theodosius and Valentinian which they put in their epistle to the Council. For when they sent Count Candidianus to the Council so that he might be as it were the protector of the Council and the guardian of the peace, they subjoin: “But by the law and on the condition that he have no common share in questions and controversies that concern dogmas of the faith; for it is impious for him who is not inscribed in the catalogue of the most holy bishops to involve himself in ecclesiastical business and consultation.” These words are contained in vol.1 of that Council ch.32. And in ch.29 there is contained an epistle of Cyril to Pope Celestine, where he asks that, in the cause of faith that was then being dealt with against Nestorius, he might clearly expound by letters his judgment to Macedonia and the bishops of the entire East. And from vol.2 it is clear, especially from ch. 13 on, that nothing in that synod was done without the authority of the Pontiff. Besides, in the acts preparatory to the Council of Chalcedon there is contained an epistle of the Augusti Valentinian and Marcian to Pope Leo, to whom they thus speak: “We thought it right at the beginning with sacred letters to address Your Holiness, who posses the principate in the episcopacy of the divine faith, inviting and asking Your Holiness to pray to the eternal divinity for the stability and status of our empire, so that we may obtain that intention and desire, insofar as, once the impious error has been taken away by the celebration of a synod on your authority, there might be the greatest peace among all the bishops of the Catholic Faith.” In which words I put very great weight on the words “on your authority;” for by them, along with the preceding ones, is very well explained what the emperor or what the Pontiff confers in convoking a Council, namely that the emperor confers intercession and the Pontiff authority. And the same words suffice to explain the words of the Council of Ephesus about the convoking of it by the emperor. Indeed the things that the Fathers of the same Council (see vol.4 of the same Council ch. 14) wrote to Theodosius after the Council’s definition, begging that the things done and defined thereat might receive his strength, have the same sense as explained above, namely that the Fathers asked them to protect and defend the faith by their authority. Hence later in another epistle to the Augusti (ch. 16), they exhort them to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, so that, they say, “just as each of them obeyed the synods of the holy Fathers celebrated at the time of their rule, and fortified the sanctions of the Fathers with their laws, and showed by their decrees with what observance they deferred to them; so you also &c.” Where they clearly teach that it belongs to an emperor to obey and observe the decrees of General Councils, but then to fortify them with his laws and to provide for them to be carried out. On which point can also be read the third Roman Synod under Symmachus, where not only the Fathers but also king Theodoric attribute to the Pontiff the power of convening Councils, although he often use it at the request of emperors and kings.



1. A first testimony from Augustine. Nothing favors the king. spacer2. A second from Tertullian. Which however only commends the supreme power of kings in temporal affairs. spacer3. A third from Justin. spacer4. A fourth from Ambrose. The true mind of Ambrose. spacer5. A fifth from Optatus. Its true sense.spacer 6 - 7. A sixth from Gregory. spacer8. Response of Baronius for the year 593 nn. 14ff., and of Bellarmine in response to the King of England. spacer9. Other testimonies of the Fathers commending the imperial dignity, and the explication of them. spacer10. In the testimony of Cyril, already related in the previous paragraph, the same holy Doctor insinuates that there is another dignity superior to the regal.
HE king objects further in his Apology p.26 certain opinions of the Fathers. The first is from Augustine on Psalm 124 [125], where he says that Julian, although he was unjust, an infidel, and an idolater, nevertheless was true temporal lord, and Christians were obliged to obey him. But who denies this? For it was expressly proved by us above that infidels too can be true kings and lords, and that they are to be obeyed in things just and licit. Which we also say is true of an heretical and schismatic king, as long as he is not deposed or deprived of his kingdom by the Church. And thus did Augustine speak. But if the king says that he cannot be deposed, he has to prove it from somewhere else; for Augustine certainly does not say it; and in other places he generally teaches that it is just for heretics to be compelled to the faith by tortures and punishments. But if the king takes an argument therefrom that that most impious apostate [sc. Julian] was not deposed by the Church, we reply that the argument is of no moment, for the Church did not omit to do it because it could not rightly do it, but because it was vain to attempt it, because the Church could not then carry it out.
spacer 2.
The second testimony is from Tertullian, Ad Scapulam ch. 2: “A Christian is enemy to no one, much less to the emperor; and since he knows him to have been established by his God, he must both love him, and revere him, and honor him, and wish him safety along with the whole Roman Empire as long as the age lasts, for so long will it last. Therefore, in the way that is licit for us and as it is expedient for him, we honor the emperor, as a man second to God and consequent to whatever is from God, and less only to God. This he himself too wishes. For thus is he greater than all when he is less only to God.” But we too used this testimony and another from Tertullian above to prove the supreme power of temporal kings; and nothing else can with any foundation be collected from those words. For that he calls the emperor “a man second to God” he said for this reason, that in the order of temporal governance the emperor or supreme king is immediately under God, and he recognizes no other superior in that order. And in the same sense must be taken that he calls him “less only to God”, namely in his own empire, obedience, and purely civil and temporal governance. For it is otherwise manifest that one temporal king or emperor can be greater than another in power and domain, even if one is not subject to the other. And by greater reason is the Pontiff greater than the emperor, because he exceeds him not only in dignity and domain but is also superior to him in another more excellent order, and in order to a higher end. And in this way there is place for the limitation which Tertullian applies in the same words: “in the way that is licit for us and as it is expedient for him we honor the emperor,” namely in the things that are subject to his power and that are not repugnant to God and his faith. For when the emperor goes to excess in these and offends, he is no longer using legitimate power and, if he be a Christian, he has as such a superior by whom he may be corrected.
spacer 3. Nor is more proved by the words that in the third place he adduces from Justin Apolog. 2 Pro Christianis, which we also treated of above, and they prove nothing other than that the emperor and king, as long as he is king, is true lord whom one must obey in things that are subject to him. But no one will doubt that a king can either renounce his kingship or lose it, and also then his lordship and power, and that consequently also the obligation to obey him ceases.

spacer 4. Fourth, he adduces the words of Ambrose, Orat. contra Auxentium de Basilic. non Tradend. at the beginning: “I will be able to grieve, I will be able to weep, I will be able to groan; against arms, soldiers, the Goths too my tears are arms. Such are fortifications of the priest. In other wise I neither may nor can resist.” By which words the king of England seems to want to conclude that Pontiffs cannot resist the unjust attempts of schismatic kings with power, but only with word, with exhortation, and with prayer. But the mind of Ambrose was far different, which he sufficiently showed when he resisted Theodosius not only with prayer but also with command and spiritual power. Ambrose’s opinion, then, was that it was not the office of the priest to take up sensible and material arms against a tyrant emperor or rebel, and to resist him with camps of soldiers. And nevertheless he does not deny that the Church has power whereby to resist him; but because this is often ineffective against the incorrigible and contemptuous, therefore, he says, the last refuge of a priest lies in tears and prayers to God. Now the King of England could have more carefully weighed the words that Ambrose put at the end of his oration: “What is more honorable than that an emperor should be called a son of the Church? Which, when it is said, is said without sin, is said with grace. For a good emperor is within the Church, not above the Church.” Therefore, he will be able as a son to be corrected by a father, and as an inferior by a superior, because if he is not superior assuredly he must be inferior; for two heads cannot be equal without schism. And there is a like place, to be expounded in the same way, in Chrysostom De Verbis Isaiae hom. 4: “For a priest’s job is only to rebuke, and to give frank warning; not to take up arms, not to hold the shield, not to brandish the lance, not to draw the bow, not to shoot the darts, but only to rebuke and to give frank warning.” For under the word ‘rebuke’ must be understood to be included whatever pertains to ecclesiastical correction, and then also is in place what the same Chrysostom put as preface: “Where the priest is contemned, and the dignity of the priest trodden under foot, nothing else besides could the priest have done, (he addresses God) ‘I have furnished what belonged to my office; I can do nothing more; come to the aid of the priest, because he is trodden under foot &c.’” Now he is treating of Azariah, who resisted Uzziah as much as he could, and it must be proportionally understood of the Pontiff of the New Law.
spacer 5. In the fifth place the king adduces the words of Optatus, Book III of Contra Parmen.: “Above the emperor there is only God, who made the emperor.” But these words are to be expounded in the same way as the like ones of Tertullian, namely that the emperor is in his order supreme under God, which does not exclude a subordination he has as a Christian to a spiritual power. And that this was Optatus’ intention is sufficiently manifest from the other places of his mentioned above, and from the occasion he then had for guarding the imperial dignity. For he was acting there against Donatus, who was despising the laws of the emperors, and he says: “What has the emperor to do with a Church” that, as he says, “had its mind against the precepts of the Apostle Paul?” About which precepts he says later that they are to be kept “even if the emperor lives as a gentile.” The thing he says, then, that only God is greater than the emperor, he understands also of a gentile emperor, about whom he could not be thinking that he had primacy or spiritual power over the Church; he was speaking, therefore, of the emperor only as to temporal power.
spacer 6. Sixth, he inflicts greater violence on the words of Gregory in Book II, epist. 51 indict. 2, otherwise ch.100, which is to the emperor Maurice about the law he had passed that soldiers were not to be received into the monastery, which was unjust and contrary to the supernatural end; and yet he did not dare to revoke it by that indirect power which we attribute to him; he did not therefore recognize that power in himself. Hence, after Gregory had addressed the emperor in words of submission and humility, calling himself “his Lord, and servant of his piety,” then, showing the injustice of the law, he says among other things: “But I, who spoke these things to my lords, what am I but dust and ashes? But yet because I consider this constitution to tend against the Lord God, I cannot be silent before lords.” And nevertheless at the end of the epistle he thus concludes: “I indeed, subject to command, have had the same law transmitted through the several parts of the earth; and because the law is itself not at all in concord with the Almighty God, behold I have by a page of my suggestion made announcement to the most serene lords. On each side, then, I have done what I owed, who have both to the emperor shown obedience and on God’s behalf not kept silent about what I thought.”
spacer 7. We reply that it has been sufficiently shown above what St. Gregory thought about the power of the emperors over the Church, since on the fifth penitential Psalm, otherwise 101 [102], about the words, v. 8: “Mine enemies reproach me all the day,” he has against the emperor Maurice left written: “So greatly does he extend the temerity of his madness that the head of the churches, the Roman Church, he makes claim of for himself and usurps the right of earthly power over the mistress of the nations.” And later on another verse, v. 25: “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth,” he numbers the same Maurice among the persecutors of the Church, saying: “What is Nero? What Diocletian? What lastly this fellow, who at this time persecutes the Church?” From this place, therefore, a rather different understanding is rightly collected by Cardinals Baronius and Bellarmine. blue For since the emperor, though a Catholic and otherwise a benefactor of the Church, was abusing his power, prudently did Gregory behave toward him by writing submissively, and gently exhorting and instructing him, so that he might more easily lead him to emend or revoke the law. So not for this reason did he not immediately use his power, that he did not have it, but because he did not then expect fruit if he used rigor. And therefore to insinuate this and to guard the dignity of his office, he says at the beginning of the same epistle: “But I, unworthy servant of your piety, do not speak as Bishop in this suggestion, nor as servant by right of the republic, but by private right.” And nevertheless he did not at that time disregard necessary providence toward the Church; for the law, which he says at the end of the epistle he has had sent to various parts of the world, he did not send without due correction and moderation, as is clear from the epistle of the same to the bishops of the diverse regions, which is contained in bk.7 indict.1 epist.11. Where, after he has said: “The law which the emperor has given &c. I have endeavored to send to your firmness etc.” he adds: “Exhorting this most of all, that unless their life be strictly examined, they are not to be received, but after sufficient proof and examination” he says they are to be received. In which he manifestly used the authority he had over the civil laws in order to the good of the soul and for moderating law to a spiritual end.
spacer 8. Lastly we can add certain other locutions of the Fathers which seem to favor too much the civil power or dignity. Ignatius in his epist. to the Smyrnaeans says: “One must also honor the king, for neither is anyone more excellent than the king or anyone like him in all created things.” But it is understood of excellence and likeness in power, namely in its own order, as we have said. Hence in the same place he also says about a bishop that he is to be honored “as prince of priests, bearing the image of God and of Christ.” And later: “Nor is anything in the Church greater than the bishop who has been consecrated to God for the salvation of the whole world.” Which is also to be understood relatively and with proportion. Cyril of Alexandria too, De Recta in Deum Fide ad Theodosium, speaks thus at the beginning: “From God, whose height is greatest, to you, most famous kings, the height of human fame rising up with incomparable excellence over all others, has been given an outstanding and honorable lot. For you are the founts of the greatest dignities, and above all eminence, and the principle and origin of human happiness. And whatever lies below the thrones of kingship is governed by the most clement commands of your majesty so that it may lead a legitimate and admirable life; and they who do not bear the yoke fall easy victim to your strength.”
spacer 9. Now these above said words easily receive understanding and are written with so much moderation and prudence that they not only do they per se betray at once their true sense but also give sufficient indication of another power more excellent and more than human. For that is why Cyril said that the height of human highness has been given to kings, because the priestly and pontifical height is more than human. Hence after he has said that the emperor is the fount of the greatest dignities and above all eminence, he at once adds “the principle and origin of human happiness.” For all those things are to be understood of earthly and temporal dignities that are ordered to human, that is, natural or civil happiness. Which is further declared by the words: “whatever lies below the thrones of kingship is governed by the most clement commands of your majesty so that it may lead a legitimate and admirable life.” For Cyril knew that there were many things that did not lie below the thrones of kingship, which it was not then necessary more clearly to explain; because his determination then was not to hand on ecclesiastical doctrine but only to render the emperor kindly toward hearing the true faith about Christ.

spacer 10. Finally can be noted the words of Pope Symmachus in Apologet. adversus Anastasium Imperatorem, where he compares the Pontiff with the emperor in the honor due to them and says: “Not to say superior, the honor is certainly equal.” However, from his preceding words the sense and modesty of the Pontiff are clear. For he had said: “Let us compare the honor of the emperor with the honor of the Pontiff, between whom the distance is as great as that the former carries the care of human things, the latter of divine.” From which principle he could indeed have expressly concluded that the honor due to the Pontiff is greater, but he did not wish to out of modesty. Now he calls the honor equal, not simply, but according to proportion, insofar as each of them is supreme in his own order. But afterwards in the discussion of the Apology he eloquently affirms and proves that he has superior authority for coercing an emperor, if he is a heretic or communes with heretics condemned by the Church.



1. The king charges the primacy of the Pontiff with novelty. spacer2 - 3. How ancient the primacy of the Pontiff is.spacer 4 - 5. Philip was the first Catholic emperor, and the Pontiff used his power against him. spacer6. The argument of the king taken from the vote of the emperor in choosing the Pontiff. spacer7. By what right emperors sometimes cast a vote in the election of Pontiffs. spacer8. A privilege conceded by one can be revoked by another who is equal. spacer9. The second objection of the king taken from the acts of emperors over Pontiffs. Otho did not depose the Pontiff John. spacer10. Of the Pontiffs mentioned, not all were legitimate. spacer11 - 12.The third objection from the deeds of kings. Response. spacer13. The king St. Louis.spacer 14. Louis XI. spacer15 - 17. The error of Gerson about the power of a Council over the Pontiff.

HE King of England complains further that this power over Christian princes “was usurped through ambition and abuse,” as he says in his Preface, p. 22. But to prove this he also contends that its use is new. For thus in his Preface, p.24 he says that “new and absurd is” the sense of those words of Christ, “Feed my sheep,” and “Whatever you bind,” by which a power of that sort is collected. And on p. 60, when he had said that Peter was prince of the apostles whom Christ chose only by a certain order, he subjoins: “Nor did the Bishop of the Roman See arrogate anything more to himself in the three hundred years after Christ.” Next, to prove this newness, he says generally in the same place that the Roman Bishops were up to the times of Phocas subject to the emperors. But how foreign this is to the truth has been sufficiently shown above. But previously, on p.28 and following, he had reviewed some of the deeds of emperors and kings that can be brought to bear to show the aforesaid novelty of usurped jurisdiction and the ancient subjection of the Roman Pontiffs, and we must therefore speak about them here.
spacer 2. But first, as to refuting the general complaint about novelty, sufficient indeed might be the things we adduced to prove this power from ancient usage and tradition. However we add briefly that, if the discussion is about the power itself, it is as old as is the ancient institution of ecclesiastical monarchy set up by Christ himself in words sufficiently express. For that this is the legitimate sense of those words and that it is not new but very ancient, nay that it has also been perpetual in the Catholic Church, has been sufficiently demonstrated. But that in the institution and power is included this power for coercing Christian princes who are heretics, schismatics, or disobedient to the Church, pernicious, and incorrigible, has been shown by evident reasons and testimonies. Since to these the King of England has nothing to say in reply, he feigns that Catholics assert that “the Pontiff can take and bestow kingdoms at will,” as he says in his Preface p. 23, nay can even “lead kings to death at pleasure,” as he adds on p. 24. Where he also adds that the words of Christ, “Feed my sheep,” are so expounded by us “as if they signified this: take away, proscribe, depose Christian princes and kings.”
spacer 3. But (as I again already said above) these are frivolous evasions and vain monsters invented by Protestants so that they might both impose on the king and excite hatred against Catholics and against the truth itself. For can it be that, because the King of England has power to coerce his subjects by just punishments when they offend against his laws, therefore it must be said that he can at will kill his subjects or deprive them of their goods? Certainly neither would his subjects want to hear this nor would he himself permit so great a tyranny to be attributed to himself. Why then does he invent in Christ’s Vicar what he would be ashamed to hear about himself? A true novelty, then, is found in this inventing of tyrannical power by Protestants, but the antiquity of legitimate pontifical power for the just coercion of princes, even up to privation of kingdoms if the cause deserve it and they themselves are rebels, has, on the basis of the words of Christ, been evidently shown by Catholic doctors; nor does anything remain to be said about the power itself.
spacer 4. But if the discussion is about the use, we can distinguish between the use of directive and of coercive power, and about each we readily confess that they did not exist in the Church toward Christian emperors or kings in the three hundred years after Christ, not because they could not exist, but because their matter did not exist; for there were no Christian princes or emperors at that time. What wonder, then, if the Pontiffs could not govern them by their precepts and laws, nor compel them by their power, since Paul said, 1 Corinthians 5:12: “For what have I to do to judge them that are without?” At that time they could only preach the faith to them; but as long as the emperors did not voluntarily receive it and did not profess it through baptism they could not more effectively be directed or ruled. However, I except from this time that brief period when Philip was Christian emperor; for the Pontiff Fabian used his power against him, to the extent just occasion permitted, as we reported above from Eusebius. So that, by this example, it may appear that neither solid nor simply true is the absolute saying of the king that “neither did the Roman Bishops arrogate more to themselves in the three hundred years after Christ,” since, to the extent the occasion of that time permitted, Fabian legitimately used it. Add that also at that time the Church used its spiritual power even in temporal matter, as far as was expedient for its own good, taking no account of the civil laws, but correcting or limiting them for a spiritual end. The best example is in the law made by a certain African Council, ch. ‘Displicet’ § Repetis q. 4, as Cyril relates in epist. 66, that a cleric may not be named as guardian in a will, although the civil laws lay down that no one can be exempted from guardianship &c. ‘De Excusat. Tutor.’ over several laws.
spacer 5. Besides, after those times, the Pontiffs always used this power over Christian princes, first indeed by directing them with warnings and precepts and, when they had to, by emending their laws, as we saw about Gregory in the preceding chapter and as we reported above about others. But afterwards also by coercion, as far as necessity required and the reason of the times permitted. For use of this coercive power is not per se necessary but when necessity compels. And would that there had never been necessity for its use, that is, that there had never been things that required its exercise! Therefore, as long as such crimes were not found in Christian princes, such a use could not have existed in the Church without prejudice of power. On the contrary, indeed, it was not necessary, as soon as Christian emperors began to be apostate or rebels against the Church, that the Church or the Pontiffs should have used all their power against them; because they could have feared from such use not fruit but harm to the Church. Hence Augustine, replying to a similar argument of Donatus epist.204, says to the same: “You repeat, as I hear, that in the Gospel it is written that seventy disciples left the Lord and were allowed the choice of their evil and impious departure, and that to the remaining twelve who stayed the response was made, Will ye also depart? And do you not notice that the Church was first then sprouting with new seed and that not yet had in it been fulfilled the prophecy: ‘And all the kings of the earth will adore him, all the nations serve him’? Which indeed the more it is fulfilled the greater the power does the Church use, so that it not only invites but also compels to good.” The same thing happened, then, in the first times, for instance, of Julian or of others, who by power and tyranny persecuted the Church in the manner of gentiles. And nevertheless the use of this power was not lacking in those times when it could with fruit be used, as is openly shown from the censure of Ambrose against Theodosius and of Innocent against Arcadius; and thus also afterwards, in the succession of times according as occasions occurred, this power was made use of, as we saw.
spacer 6. But the King of England opposes with contrary facts, showing the contrary right of the imperial power over the Pontiffs. “For the assent of the emperor,” he says, “in a long course of years intervened in the choosing of Pontiffs &c.” Which he pursues at length, and from them he tries to take an argument for a more excellent imperial power. But because I have dealt with the election of Pontiffs more at length in the material proper to Pontiffs, now I briefly admit that the practice was for some time kept that the election of the Pontiff was confirmed by the consent of the emperor, as is clear from Platina on Pope Firmian and from other histories, and openly from Gregory Book VII, indict.1 epist.1 at the end, where he affirms in these words that the was made Pontiff by the will of the emperor: “Behold the most serene Lord emperor commanded that the monkey be made a lion. And indeed by his provision he can be called a lion, but he cannot become a lion. Hence it must be that all my guilt and negligence he should depute not to me but to his piety, who committed to the weak the mystery of strength.” But we then add that on many occasions Pontiffs were made without the consent of emperors or kings, namely both before the conversion of the emperors to the Christian faith for three hundred and more years, and after the conversion of Constantine for another two hundred years until the August Justinian, from whose time the emperors began to take up that right, as is common in the histories. Hence we collect that the emperors did not receive this power by divine right, because otherwise without their suffrage the election of a Pontiff could never have been validly done. Neither did they have it by force of the empire, both because otherwise they would have arrogated it to themselves from the beginning, and chiefly because the empire is earthly and human, but the dignity of the Pontiff is in its manner divine and heavenly.
spacer 7. They exercised that power, then, either as usurped or as conceded by the Pontiffs themselves. And indeed in the first way they exercised it by force and by power from Justinian up to Constantine IV. And this force and tyranny is deplored by Gregory on the fifth penitential Psalm, where he also relates the violence, avarice, and simony of the emperors in extorting money for their confirmation; which custom endured up to Pope Agatho, as is taken from ch. ‘Agatho’ d. 63. Wherefore the argument is vain that the king takes from this custom, because no right can be obtained by extreme force and injury. But in the second way some say that the emperors Charlemagne and Otho used this power by virtue of the privileges that Adrian I and Leo VIII conceded to them, as Gratian reports in ch. ‘Hadrianus’ 2 &c. In Synodo d. 63. However those chapters from Gratian are taken from false histories, and the privilege was invented by schismatics, as Cardinal Bellarmine shows fully in his response to the king, and Cardinal Baronius more fully for the year 774 n.10, and for the year 94 n.22, where he takes, among other reasons, an argument from the fact that no history relates that Charles or his successors used such a privilege. And so the royal argument is altogether overthrown.
spacer 8. And although I consider this opinion of the cardinals to be altogether true, lest however anyone think that the solution of the argument depends on repudiating the history, which now there is not leisure to examine, we judge it needing to be added (which even Bellarmine did not omit) that even if the history were true and the privilege true, and even if there be sufficient agreement about the legitimate use of it, nothing is thence inferred against the eminence of the pontifical power; nay in this it is enhanced, because it is so great that even the election of the Pontiffs depends on its institution and determination, and that it was able by privilege to communicate to the emperors some part either of the election or of the confirmation of a future Pontiff. Which, although some Pontiff had conceded it, some successor of his too could have revoked it. For the Supreme Pontiff always remains superior to the emperor, and a privilege freely conceded by a superior can be revoked by the same or by an equal successor; especially if such privilege is of little use to the Universal Church, such as it doubtless was, or pernicious rather. But that the emperor, notwithstanding such a privilege, always remains inferior to the Pontiff is manifest, because by such a privilege no spiritual jurisdiction was given to the emperor. For the right of nominating, choosing, or confirming is not jurisdiction but a certain authority that (of whatever sort it is) is concerned with choosing the person to be Pontiff but not with the Pontiff once chosen, over whom not even the Pontiff himself can concede or delegate any jurisdiction or power. Neither too was the emperor, because of such a privilege, exempt from the jurisdiction of the Pontiff, because it is even repugnant for a Pontiff to concede a like privilege in diminution of the dignity and care that flowed down to him from Christ. Nor is such exemption necessary for the effect of such a privilege for, before the Pontiff is chosen, exemption has no place, but after he has been chosen even those who chose him are subjected to him, as is clear in the case of the cardinals and the other electors. But in the course and change of time the privilege was taken away, and a better form of election was instituted, about which, by God’s gift, we will speak elsewhere.
spacer 9. The king continues and objects, secondly, that “everywhere there occur examples of emperors who abrogated from the Roman Pontiffs their power.” And he uses the examples of the emperor Otho who deposed John XII, and of the emperor Henry III who deposed Benedict IX, Gregory VI and Sylvester III. But, in the first place, even if these examples were true, they would effect nothing against the truth. Because from facts that are not proved to be just and licit no right is shown. Next, we say that they are in part not true, in part not faithfully narrated. For Otho did not depose John. For either he did it by temporal power, and he could not legitimately use this against a Pontiff, not only because by force of the pontificate he was exempt, as I will show in the next book, but also because the Pontiff was then a king and supreme in temporal matters, just as he is now; or Otho did it by spiritual power, and this too cannot be said, because he did not have it, as we showed, nor do we read that he usurped it or that Otho labored under the error of making himself head of the Church. Nay, we read as much in him as in other Catholic emperors that they never treated of the causes of abdication of Pontiffs by their own arm or power, but by the authority of a certain synod, whose gathering together they were arranging.
spacer 10. Hence Platina in his life of John XII, although he first says that Otho, by persuasion of the clergy, created Leo VIII in the place of John who had fled away, nevertheless he at once made the thing clear by saying that since the Romans were insistent with the emperor that, when John had been taken away, he should create another Pontiff, he replied that the election pertained to the people and the clergy, and that in this way the clergy had chosen Leo but that Otho had received him. Nay he even indicates that John was not deposed because of his morals alone but because “he had seized the pontificate by the power of his father Alberic;” for in those words he seems to indicate that he was not rightly elected but was intruded by violence and power. And this is what Onufrius thinks in his additions to Platina, when he thinks that Leo VIII was rightly elected while John was alive. But because it is perhaps truer that neither was John rightly deposed nor Leo validly elected, one must add that Otho was excessive in a zeal not according to knowledge [Romans 10:2], and that the synod was private and illegitimate, and that it could have erred in judging that a Pontiff could be deposed because of crimes other than heresy; or perhaps it did it more because of the violence of the emperor and human fear than because it thought it could legitimately be done. See Baronius for the year 964 n. 15. But as to what concerns the three Pontiffs, it is in the first place false that they were all true Pontiffs, for about Sylvester it is certain that he was intruded and schismatic. But about the others there is also some doubt, although it is more probably believed that they were legitimate Pontiffs. Next Sylvester was ejected not by Henry but by Benedict IX, the legitimate Pope. Again he himself was afterwards not deposed by Henry, but of his own free will (or on the persuasion of a certain holy abbot as some report, or so that he might live more freely) he took money and renounced the papacy. And in this way was Gregory VI ultimately introduced; whom alone did Henry afterwards take care to depose, where there could be the same error which many say happened in the case of John XII although they say he also voluntarily yielded. See Baronius for the year 1044.
spacer 11.
Third the king makes a transition after emperors to kings, and first he says in general that kings rejected with no less constancy this temporal right of the Pontiff over themselves; next he relates certain deeds of some of the kings of Gaul and England, from which he wishes to conclude that the Pontiff has over kings no right by divine institution, and that he could not have it acquired by prescription either, since the prescription would be interrupted by similar facts. But I have not deemed it necessary in examining the truth of the histories to delay over facts of this sort, because although they all be admitted as they are related, they conduce not at all toward concluding what is intended. First from the general reason that the deeds of temporal kings are of little value for showing divine right; both because it is not their office per se to know it or teach, but that of the prelates of the Church and especially of Supreme Pontiffs; and also because, to be sure, kings often pass beyond the rights of royal power supported by their power and seduced either by ambition to dominate or by desire for most base gain. Second, and more especially, because all the words and deeds that are reported pertain to other causes or matters; and from them not only can it not be inferred that the Roman Pontiff does not in spiritual things have a supreme power that may extend itself to the direction and correction of kings even in temporal matter, but also it cannot be collecte