Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

Page_7   Doctrine of Thomas Aquinas

 

Introduction

Designer of the Empire

“Scientia Divina”

Concept of Faith

The Image of Aquinas’ God

Aquinas’ Image of Christ and Angelic Hierarchy

Concepts of Man, the Pope, and the Papal Office

Common Good and Justice

Schism and Heresy

Conclusive Remarks

 

===================================================

 

 

…every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men,

but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven men…

…whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit,

it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming…

{Matthew 12:31, 32}

…grievous wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock…

{Acts 20:29}

 

 

Introduction

 

 

The difference among religions is the difference among the assumptions, which are recognized as truths. It means, for instance, that the article of faith of one religion might be blasphemy for another religion, and the rites of worship practiced by the followers of one religion might be considered as sacrilege by the followers of another religion. In addition, some apparently similar rituals performed in public might have different meanings.

For instance, during many centuries those who adhered to the heathen Antiquity, considered the customs of the Orphic Initiated (e.g., do not consume meat and do not touch women) as an expression of the highest human ideals, yet, they did not know (or did not want to know) that after the rites of the initiation during which the Orphic–to–be devoured raw flesh of a human child, the Initiated began to identify themselves with their bestial gods or even with their primary deity: the “absolute divine” animal – the serpent composed with the multitude of forms of deities and other beings, including animals and humans. Although the Orphic gods accepted human and animal sacrifices as the confirmation of their absolute power over life and death, the Orphic initiated avoided contact with human and animal blood and flesh, because they assumed that the matter is the source of contamination of the divine (so, if they eat meat, they – divine beings/embodiments of their bestial deity – pollute themselves with mortal stuff).  

Similarly, the “righteous” life of the Perfected of Manicheans (no animal food, strict rituals of purification, fasting, mortification of flesh, avoidance of sexual contacts with women, no social or political activity, rejection of the society and all obligations, duties, and customs) had the peculiar foundation – their beliefs; for instance,

– the matter is evil, and therefore, human flesh is evil, which has to be suppressed, mortified, and exterminated; the highly regarded method of self–extermination was  endura – the ritual of slow suicide with self–inflicted torture and starvation

 – fathering of a child is the most horrible sin.

For the Manicheans, the only proper manner of existence was slowly committed self–annihilation.

The Orthodox Christians adhere to the natural way of life: marriage between man and woman, friendship and love, children, pursuit of happiness, achievement and actualization of the highest creative potential, and decent life according to the Law and commandments of God – all this is natural and good, because God created everything perfect. God blessed man to multiply and to cherish, toil, and dominate the world in love and perfection {Genesis 1:26–31; Exodus 20:1–17; Deuteronomy 30:8–20; Matthew 5:1–48; John 13:34–35; 14:6–12; 15:1–26; 1 Timothy; Colossians; Ephesians 4:1–13; 1 Thessalonians 4:2–13; Titus 3:1–11; Hebrews 13:4–7; 1 Corinthians}.

The Orthodox Christians also practice fasting and restrain themselves from some social activities during preparations to the feasts and as the means of self–reflection and development of self–control.

So, apparently, the Manicheans and the Christians have some similarity of some manifest rituals with which they express their beliefs; however, the Christians classify the doctrine behind the Manicheans’ fasting as the greatest heresy ever invented by human imagination and the articles of the Manichean faith as the sacrilege.

As always, within the world given into dominion of men, any manifestation of the matter must be judged by its immaterial essence.

What is the essence of blasphemy?

For a Christian, blasphemy is any attempt

a/ to ascribe to God properties and features of deities of other religions and to participate in the rites of other religions: the contacts with the idol–worshipers, which can influence the manner of life and alter the beliefs, are forbidden {Exodus 34:12–17; 1 Corinthians 10:14–32}

b/ to use imagination to compile the assumptions about God – that is the idol–making process

c/ to falsify or intentionally misinterpret the texts of the Holy Scriptures – the sacred knowledge of God, which is given through the Prophets and Apostles, especially with the purpose of deceit and enslaving of other human beings.

Our Lord God and Savior promised forgiveness of everything and salvation to everyone; only blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is unforgivable sin – neither in this age, at the earth, nor in the age to come {Matthew 12:31, 32}. 

So, a theological assumption indeed is the lethal weapon, which might strike the human soul–heart–mind with the unforgivable sin.

Briefly, the Christians commit the sin of blasphemy if they suggest any possibility of any analogy between the attributes of God and the properties of man, if they attempt to ascribe to God the properties of His creations or to assert that man is capable to have the attributes and properties of God. For example, blasphemy is to ascribe the divine status to the laws of man, or to assign “a share of dignity” of God to man, or to assume that man is able to stand at the place of God and to possess the authority of God, and so on.

For the Christians, God is the Absolute and Ideal Good uncognizable and unassailable: no one is able to see the face of God and live, no one is able to cognize the ways of God or to learn His thoughts: God is the Spirit – untouchable, uncognizable, unsolvable mystery for His creations, while they are in the world of the matter. He promised to dwell with His creations in the new age to come, in the new world. Until then, those who believe in God and follow His teachings have to observe His commandments – His Law, by which the world of men exists, and to be satisfied with the knowledge granted through the Prophets and the Apostles. There is no place for human imagination and assertions in the sacred knowledge conveyed by the Holy Scriptures. If someone does not have understanding, all he should do is to ask God, and the knowledge, which he needs, will be given {John 6:44–45; 1 Corinthians 12:7–11}.

According to Thomas Aquinas, the canonized saint and the main theologian of the papal Church of Rome, blasphemy is a sin committed directly against God. Blasphemy is more grievous sin than murder: it denotes the disparagement of the goodness of God when somebody suggests something inappropriate or incompatible with God, e.g., ascribes the properties of God to His creations or makes false statements about God [Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica  II–II Q.13 a1, a2, a3]. 

So, if the one accepts the Aquinas’ wordings as a definition of blasphemy, he might infer for instance, that blasphemy is the assertion that God {Who is the Perfect Love and the source of good and life and light – John 1:1–5, 9; 9:5; 1 John 1:5; 4:8–10, 12–19} can be the source of evil, death, and darkness. This one, enlightened with the Aquinas’ explanation, might also infer that if a theologian pretends to know the thoughts of God and if he attempts to “illuminate” the others concerning self–discovered knowledge of the nature, thoughts, and plans of God, this theologian commits blasphemy and propagates heresy incompatible with the Christian teachings*1*.

So, to be protected from the sin of blasphemy, we begin with division and separation: in the following text,

1.  the references to Christianity and Christian theology are the references only to the knowledge of God conveyed by

a/ the Christian teachings given by Lord God Jesus Christ and written down His disciples – the St. Apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, James, Jude, and Paul

b/ the Christian dogma (also referred as Christian Orthodox dogma) postulated by the Ecumenical Councils of the first – seventh centuries, which speak on behalf the Universal Catholic Apostolic Church, before the Great Schism, which began in the eighths – ninth century and was completed in the eleventh century

2.  the references to Christianity and Christian theology do not include references to Catholicism, papal faith, or political theology

3. references to Catholicism, papal faith, or political theology are references to the works of the Western theologians, including Thomas Aquinas’ works, and to decisions of the councils of the papal Church of Rome summoned by the Roman Popes after the Great Schism in the eleventh century. As it is proved by Thomas Aquinas’ own writings and the deeds of the papacy during eleventh – twenty–first centuries, Catholicism is another religion. Although Catholicism covers its gods with the names borrowed from the Holy Scriptures, Catholicism is not the teachings of Lord God Jesus Christ.

The following text offers an analysis of selected doctrines of Thomas Aquinas, which underlie Catholicism.

My intention is neither to judge Catholicism – the religion, which is practiced by one billion human beings, nor to push every Catholic to convert into Christianity. I believe that the freedom of conscience is an inalienable right of every human being created in image and after likeness of God, that Christianity is the greatest gift of God bestowed by God the Father, and that only God decides the destiny of man, not other men {John 6:43–44; 8:31–32; 10:27–29; 17:6–26}.

I have three purposes:

1/ to clear the name of my faith and my religion – Christianity – from the unjust association with Catholicism and the papal Church of Rome, which initiated the Crusades, established the Inquisition, and during centuries waged religious wars, persecuted and murdered the different–minded, heretics, schismatics, scientists, and people of other faiths who did not kneel before the pope and who did not believe that the pope is the earthly substitute of God

2/ to point out the irreconcilable differences between Christianity and Catholicism, which make

– Christian faith unacceptable for the papal subjects

– the articles of papal faith unacceptable for us, the Christians, because they constitute the blasphemy against our God

3/ to convince the outsiders, who are neither Christians nor Catholics, that the Christians are not responsible for the deeds of the Catholics and that the Christians are not associated with the papal Church of Rome. If the Roman pope speaks on behalf of Christians or on behalf of the entire Christendom or as the universal teacher/shepherd of all Christians, he refers only to his subjects – the Catholics, and only to his establishment – the Vatican or papal Church of Rome: by the mercy of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, as of today, we, the Christians, still are out of his reach.

 

 

Designer of the Empire

 

Eight centuries separate Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and Thomas Aquinas (1225?–1274), Dominican monk, whose brethren–inquisitors enthusiastically exterminated the Albigensian/Manichean/Cathari heresy along with its carriers–heretics. The papal theologians named him the greatest philosopher, and the pope John XXII canonized Thomas Aquinas in 1323. Other  popes referred to Aquinas as to “angelic interpreter of divine will” without any error in his work (Clement VII) and as to “the conqueror of heretics” and “defender” of the Catholic Church (Paul V) [Clement VII and Paul V qtd. and ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:109–110].

In the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent (1545–1563) placed the Aquinas’ book Summa Theologica  “on the high altar in second place only to the Bible” [Kreeft 11–12].

In the twenty–first century, the Roman Pope Benedict XVI referred to the Summa Theologica as to St. Thomas' masterpiece, in which the saint "precisely, clearly and pertinently" outlines the truths of faith as they emerge from "the teachings of Holy Scripture and of the Fathers of the Church, especially St. Augustine" [Vatican Information Service; Twentieth Year – Num. 120; 06.23.2010] .

The Dominican Order defended the Aquinas’ doctrine with the same diligence, with which the Dominicans–inquisitors exterminated heresies.

The Code of Canon Law prescribes the studies of Aquinas’ doctrine, principles, and methods as the mandatory training for all Catholic priests.

The official opinion of the papal hierarchy holds: “the inner harmony, the essential compatibility” exists between the Aquinas’ thought and the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church; Thomism is the Church’s answer to “the most pressing problems” [New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:109–110].

In the beginning of the twentieth century, during pontificate of Pius X, Aquinas’ Summa Theologica (ST in the following references) became the textbook for all papal institutions.

In the twenty–first century, Thomas Aquinas remains the main theologian of the papal Church of Rome: the Aquinas’ doctrine, referred as “neo–Aristotelian system” [Holmes 7] or as “Christian Aristotelianism” [McKeon 149] is the official theological doctrine of the papal Church of Rome.

Contemporary papal theologians acknowledge that Augustine and Thomas Aquinas produced the “new metaphysics” out of the “Greek materials,” and opened the possibility “to ‘place’ God philosophically” – theology and philosophy became “largely identical.” Following the example of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, the theologians must be philosophers; they must apprehend the Gospel through the deepened understanding of the world and man [Fairweather 364, 368–369, 375].

The very wording reveals the particular approach to the theology. The Christian theology considers such approach as profane, because human mind is not able to find the “place” for God, and human mind is not able to ascent to understanding of the Gospels – the Law and the perfection of God – with the images of the world, which is obliterating because of violations of the Law of God.

After Thomas Aquinas’ death, some Catholic theologians attempted to condemn Thomism, at least indirectly, yet, after canonization of Thomas Aquinas (1323), any Catholic who refutes the Aquinas’ doctrine might be deposed from the papal office and condemned for heresy [New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:129–130, 132]. Until now, the loyal papal subjects do not dare to expose the actual meaning of the Aquinas’ doctrine: the subject of their disagreement with Thomism involves mostly the philosophical issues.

For instance, according to Michael A. Fahey, Professor of Systematic Theology, the Aquinas’ departure from traditional Platonism and acceptance of the Aristotle’s rational analysis “shocked” many of his contemporaries [Fahey 9].

However, it does not look that Aquinas completely abandoned Platonism: as Aristotle before him, he took from it, as well as from Avicenna’s books and from all available in his time writings of heathen philosophers, all what he needed. At first, the Plato’s Nocturnal Council provided Aquinas with blueprint and justification for the papal Inquisition and its methods. Then, Aquinas accepted the core of Plato’s polytheistic doctrine – the concept of forms/ideas (see the following sub–chapter The Image of Aquinas’ God).

So, who is Thomas Aquinas, what he has done to earn high praises and canonization, what is his legacy?

The self–image provides the key to any concept or doctrine. Aquinas left no own exposé, yet, his descriptions of the others contain sufficient details–clues to his self–image and might facilitate comprehension of the consequences of his doctrine.

Similarly to Plato’s division of mankind into the elite of divine consummated philosophers–warriors–kings and the mass population – the mob–beast, Aquinas divides the humans into two unequal groups: the first group contains ordinary men – papal subjects–laity–social animals; another group contains some mysterious beings – “the blessed.” As soon as he, Aquinas, knows both groups, he is above them.

For Aquinas, as for Aristotle, man is an animal: animal “is contained” in the man’s essence, and only mind distinguishes a human soul from an animal soul. The human nature is not good: “Christ is good by His essence in His divine nature but not in His human nature.” The evil is caused by the good, and unjust laws have the good as the source of origin [ST I Q.2 a1 a; Q.48 a2, a3, a6; Q.49 a1, a2, a3; Q.103 a7, a8; I–II Q. 93 a3, a4; III Q.5 a4 a; Truth Q.29 a1 ad5; Summa Contra Gentiles 4, 6, 7, 10, 11].

These Aquinas’ definitions contradict the Christian dogma. The human nature is good, as each creation of God is good; the human nature is especially good because man had been created in the image and after likeness of God {Genesis 1:26–27, 31}.

When the one asserts that the God’s creation is not good, this one inevitably asserts that God Who is the Spirit (John 4:24} is the source of evil, therefore, this one commits blasphemy.

If someone calls man “animal” (as Aristotle did), this someone follows the Orphic doctrine (as Aristotle did), which deifies the beast and recognized supremacy of the beast over man. If someone refers to man who was created into image and likeness of God as to “animal,” this someone assumes that the image of his god might be an image of an animal. This someone is ready to treat other men in the same way as men treat animals: men can be sold, deprived of life and freedom, maimed, sacrificed to the idols (e.g., to the abstract “common good”), etc. and this is exactly that what Aquinas’ political theology admits as permissible or even helpful with dealing with men.

To the contrary, if someone discerns in his fellow–man the same essence as is in him – the image and likeness of God – and sees another man as the temple where the Spirit of God dwells, it means that this someone is able to love his neighbor as he loves himself, and there is no seed of evil in his vision of the world.

Then, the heathen creates images of his idols–gods according to own self–reflection: cruel man has cruel gods and he ascribes own atrocities to the nature of his gods.

The key to understanding of Aquinas’ legacy and personality are in his writings, in the concepts, which his mind offered to the world.

Thomas Aquinas worked in the thirteenth century when, after the sack of Constantinople, the papacy reached the pick of its power and influence in Europe. The Aquinas’ world was the papal Church of Rome: the conglomerate of religious, social, and political establishments unified around the center of spiritual and secular authority – the Roman pope. The back–bone was the papal hierarchy developed from the Church of Rome on the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire and expanded through entire Europe, from Mediterranean to North Sea. Although the papal establishment already became incompatible with the Christian teachings, ideals, and dogma, the papacy needed the name of Christian God to substantiate the claims on superiority over all Christendom. The papacy has to adhere to the Christian faith manifestly, because the papacy needed to unify the population of Europe divided by national and language barriers. The papacy needed the perfect cover–up for its struggle for the absolute power along with the social and political policies and the methods, which would effectively and efficiently prevent the resistance and eliminate threat of social and any other instability.

At the same time, the papacy did not need the moral ideals of Christianity – the teachings of Love already became the obstacle for the papal ruthless policies and methods. Thomas Aquinas decided this problem: with the veil of theological legitimacy, he covered the abyss between the Christian teachings and the imperial aspirations of the papacy. Aquinas composed the political theology, (precisely, Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology), which became the official doctrine of the papal Church of Rome. Although Aquinas’ political theology serves the worldly purposes, it operates with the wordings and quotations from the Holy Scriptures and conceals heresy behind references to “the words of God.”

Since the heathen Antiquity, any political theology*2* provides the core of the managing subsystem, which controls and maintains existence of a social, political, or other establishment–system through the creation of the specific mentality and continuing influence on the conscience, thoughts, morality, acts, and manner of life of the members/subjects. Political theology contains the foundation for the political organization, which is supposed to actualize the cohesive and coercive powers – to keep the system in order and operational; it determines terms, condition of existence, and limits of deviation for the subjects. The solid political theology includes the system–creating/maintaining factors:

––  a definition of the absolute truth and its description in the terms of the hierarchy of the beliefs and values – the meanings of good and evil defining the morality, laws, morals, social norms, rules, etc.

––  the terms of existence of the members–parts–subsystem of the establishment–system

––  the approved pattern of thinking and actions, which would constantly re–create the system in thoughts of the subjects and secure system’s survival through maintenance of the allowable patterns of behavior and control and evaluation of actions of the subjects.

Consequently, any political theology includes many things, needed to maintain the political system and to secure its existence and expansion. Among these things are the following

            a/ a description of the main deity

            b/ a hierarchy of assumptions asserted as the truths and named “the articles of faith”

            c/ the terms and conditions for survival for the establishment/system, which is an embodiment of this theological doctrine

            d/ the meanings of the good and the evil, heresy, schism, crime, punishments, rewards

            e/ the guidelines for classification of thoughts and acts, which could be harmful for the establishment and threaten its existence, and which must be forbidden and prevented by any means, and so on.

Obviously, Aquinas could not find the necessary foundation for his design in the Scriptures; consequently, his initial task was determination of the suitable philosophical and theological authorities.

Although Origen provided some important insights, the Ecumenical Councils already rejected his writings as the mythological and useless speculations. Origen’s reputation of a condemned heretic and his disordered talkativeness were not suitable for such serious business as construction of the imperial establishment intended to gain the absolute power and global dominion.

The liberal coverage of Plato’s philosophy (the concepts of Absolute Good, freedom and divine nature of the human reason, freedom of thought, Socrates’ definition of slavery as the death of reason, speculations concerning temperance and fearlessness of divine consummated philosopher, etc.) did not fit Aquinas’ purposes; he used only some of Plato’s political and social concepts (mostly from Republic – the social–political utopia). Finally, he selected Aristotle because, for his purposes and at his time, the physical–arithmetical–logical speculations of Aristotle were recognized as the paramount classical philosophy. However, Aquinas’ main interest was Aristotle’s practical guidance for creation of the political organizations. Aquinas also borrowed Aristotle’s dialectics – the logic of simplification.

The Aquinas’ doctrine integrated the theoretical foundation (Plato–Aristotle’s social and political concepts) with the papal experience accumulated during the preceding four centuries of struggle for the absolute power over the Christendom. Into the articles of the papal faith, Aquinas embodied the social and political concepts that substantiate the policies and methods, with which the papacy controlled the multinational contingent of its subjects.

The first purpose of Aquinas’ doctrine is justification

a/ the papal claims of superiority over the entire Christendom

b/ the absolute secular power of the Roman popes with the objectives to subdue the national states to the papacy and to establish the foundation for world dominion by transforming the kings and other secular rulers into obedient and loyal vassals of the papal church

c/ the methods of worldly empire for resolving the problems of faith and managing the intramural affairs

d/ the specific establishment – the papal perfect community whose structure is almost identical with the structure of the heathen Roman Empire at the time of its highest power, and within which

–– the different nations with the different languages and manners of living would be integrated into the world–wide empire managed by the papal office

–– life, physical freedom, thought, conscience, property, public and family life of people are under the total surveillance and control of the papal office

–– one man – the Roman pope – possesses the highest spiritual and secular power and the power to promulgate the laws equated to the divine laws

–– the special managing center – the papal office or the papal hierarchy – holds the extraordinary status of “divine hierarchy” and exercises the papal right of life and death over the papal subjects

–– disloyalty to the pope and violation of his laws are considered and treated as heresy, which would condemn the disobedient, schismatics, and heretics to death and eternal punishment/“second death” in the after–life, because the papal absolute power over his subjects includes the ability to condemn the soul of heretic or other sinner to the eternal torture (e.g., according to the papal theologians, even God Himself cannot undo the papal condemnation and spare the sinner/heretic’s soul).

In the observable history of mankind, Aquinas’ system is the third serious endeavor to create the world–wide empire (after the empires of Alexander of Macedonia and the pagan Rome).

Aquinas designed the papal office as the center of the establishment intended to obtain the universal power and to operate indefinitely because of

1/ the complete control of the mind, conscience, morality, morals, social and political behavior of all population irrespective of social status, political arrangement, and nationality

2/ the elaborated methods of influence on the population and on the rulers of the states under the papal control

3/ the unification of all the world around the papacy, which would be the only center of absolute spiritual and secular power acting with the divine authority.

 

 

“Scientia Divina”

 

In the order to make his political and social concepts feasible, Aquinas had to modify the meaning of good and evil and consequently, to introduce the new meanings of faith, law, common good, and justice. In fact, he had to develop the new teachings; he had also to cover it with the Christian terminology, because in his time, the Christianity was the only common ground for unification of the barbarian–in–the–recent–Past tribes, nations, and other pieces of emerging European civilization, thus, the only available option to gain the global dominion. Transformation of the Church of Rome into the worldly empire was in the initial stage, although the papacy already began to build the Inquisition*3* – the oppressive structure for extermination of the different–minded, heretics, and opponents.

The first Aquinas’ task is justification of the right of man to create the knowledge of God with the power of own reasoning: he needs to alter the dogmas by making the Scriptures–words of God the subject of modification. Philo of Alexandria and Origen*4* already established the precedent of symbolical–allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures with the heathen philosophy.

Yet, Aquinas is interested not only with misinterpretation of the Gospels; his purposes require something more. After condemnation of Origen, and within the highly competitive environment of candidates for saints, prophets, universal teachers, and “masters” of the souls, any theological or political innovation, which is not explicitly approved by the papal authority, constitutes a dangerous endeavor: one wrong word, and Aquinas could find himself in the hands of his Dominican brethren – inquisitors. Therefore, Aquinas needs three primary things, with which he would be able to achieve his purposes:

 

a/ the solid commonly acknowledged source of references

b/ the approved methods

c/ the freedom of assertions.

 

Aristotle’s works and the pope’s support provided him with these three preliminary factors, and he began to construct a new religion, which would sustain the papal empire.

The legalization of Aristotelian philosophy and its unconditional acceptance by the papacy (and also, protection of Aquinas from any critique and accusations in heresy by his contemporaries – especially, by those theologians who initially adhered to the Christian dogma) became the first success. Even in the twentieth century, the papal hierarchy did not change evaluation of the Aquinas’ doctrine. For instance, according to Cardinal Léger, Aquinas “wonderfully expressed the Christian faith using the categories of Aristotle” and renewed theology with the “boldness” Catholicism needs today [Léger 23]*5*.

Aquinas follows the Augustine’s recommendation to take from the philosophers the truth they discovered by chance as from the “unjust possessors” [Augustine On Christian Doctrine II.XL; also qtd. in: Aquinas The Trinity Q.2 a3]. Augustine already was canonized saint and recognized theological authority. In resemblance of Augustine who exploited heathen philosophy to “aid understanding of the Trinity,” Aquinas utilizes heathen philosophy for philosophical proof of the “truths about God” and better understanding by employing “certain similitudes” [The Trinity Q.2 a2 r3].

Then, as an additional layer of protection, Aquinas elevates his theology to the rank of the superior science compiled with the knowledge received through divine revelations: he asserts that theology has the right to judge other sciences and to condemn as false anything, which contradicts theological concepts. Then, with the reference to Augustine, Aquinas declares: in addition to philosophy, which contains knowledge of God “through creatures,” theology can use all other sciences as the “handmaidens” even if “they are posterior to it in dignity” [ST  I Q.1 a5 ro2, a6 ro2; The Trinity  Q.2 a3 ao7]. Plato and Aristotle introduced similar misconception, which allows considering the subjects with the incompatible levels of complexity as adequate or equal:

–– for Plato, geometry originates the philosophical thought and leads the mind to truth [Plato Republic 527b]

–– for Aristotle, physics and geometry are the means of description of deity and human virtues [Aristotle Magna Moralia I.ix.1, 5–6; I.xxviii.1–2; Physics VIII.vi. 258b; VIII.x.267b].

To the contrary, temporal and incomplete knowledge of the natural sciences contaminates theology: the combination of philosophy, the sciences conceived within the Aristotelian framework, and Aquinas’ political theology has created the channel through which the subjects of the natural sciences penetrated the official doctrine and became articles of papal faith. Historically, unification of theology and natural sciences had two groups of disastrous consequences:

1/ the fantasies and mythical speculations produced with the imagination and Aristotelian logic contaminated the Christian dogma, and made possible the acceptance of Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology and then, ultimate conversion of the papal Church of Rome into the heathenism

2/ development of sciences at the territories under the surveillance of the Inquisition was impeded, because if the papal Church of Rome adopts the particular method of protection of the theological “truths” (the dogma or article of faith), any new discovery or idea, which contradicts the previously accepted opinion, is automatically labeled as heresy. Consequently, scientific progress as the normal process of replacement of the obsolete ideas and doctrines became almost impossible*6*.

In the nineteenth century (as well as now), the papal establishment still held its grasp on the scientific thought; for instance, the First Vatican Council (1869–1870) declared that the scientific notions should be held erroneous if they are contrary to the Church doctrine; the Council prohibited “all faithful Christians” to defend those noncompliant with the papal faith [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 809]. 

So, Aquinas has

a/ to produce a new image of a new deity, which would be suitable for the purposes of the papal establishment

b/ to unnoticeably substitute the image of deity approved by the papal hierarchy for Christian God

c/ to employ the authority of the newly–created papal deity for substantiation of the actions of the papacy.


Aquinas began with the statement: theology or the “sacred doctrine” is the science “obtained through revelation,” which includes philosophical, speculative, and practical sciences [ST I Q1 a2 a, a3 a, a4 a]. He applies the Aristotle’s method of simplified analogies to prove his statement: as music proceeds from the principles established by arithmetic, and musician accepts “on authority” the teachings of mathematician, so the “sacred doctrine” is the science because it accepts the principles “revealed to it by God” [ST I Q.1 a2].

This arithmetical–musical allegory is also the reminiscence of Augustine’s arithmetical exercises in which he connected God, music, and numbers [Augustine On Christian Doctrine II.xvi.25–26, xvii, xxviii.42, xxxviii.56; xxxix.59]: in a case of accusation in heresy, Aquinas protects himself with the authority of Augustine as the canonized “father” of “the first and universal church.”

The comparison of theology with arithmetic and mathematics discloses two points of the initial connection of the Aquinas’ “sacred doctrine” – scientia divina –with the heathenism:

1/ acceptance of the Pythagorean–Plato’s theory of numbers

2/ the Aristotelian method of simplification, which allows consideration of the objects with the incompatible levels of complexity as the adequate, although such consideration results in the illogical, irrelevant, and false assumptions.

Each science has the subject, and the subject of Aquinas’ theology is God, the principles of theology are the articles of faith, and “faith is about God” [ST I Q.1 a7]. While the object of faith is “the First Truth” [ST  II–II Q.1 a1] (that, according to Aquinas’ terminology, is God), the existence of a First Truth “is not self–evident” [ST  I Q.2 a1 ro3], therefore, Aquinas needs to prove by scientia divina.

However, in another text from the same book, Aquinas declares that faith and science cannot consider the same object: the object of faith is unseen and the matters of faith are above human intellect, while the object of science is something seen [ST II–II Q1 a5 ro 4, a6; Q4 a8 r].

Plainly speaking, it means that

a/ it is not possible to have science about God and about faith in God

b/ Aquinas’ scientia divina (as the science of God and divinity) is fiction

c/ Aquinas himself admits it.  

As soon as the subject of the Aquinas’ scientia divina is God Who is the Spirit {John 4:24}, the instant problem appears: how Aquinas would study God practically, as the object of practical science? Practical impossibility of such studies, which demand downgrading God at the level of humans and assume an ability to perceive God through the sensory perception, would reveal to any logically thinking researcher that Aquinas has own imagination as the only means to compile his “science.”

In particular, since Aristotle, the official criteria of distinction between science and fantasy include the self–evidence of the basic principles, the possibility to prove the existence of the object of science with the human senses, or with the power of human reasoning. In general, sciences are the systemic sets of assumptions concerning the discernible material world and provable with the senses or with the logical reasoning attainable with the matter and at the lowest levels of energy – information, which describes the matter.

It means that the human mind cannot have God as a subject of science, because

a/ the mind is a creator of sciences, while God is Creator of the mind – the levels of complexity are not compatible

b/ the human mind perceives and evaluates the world through the sensual perception, and the human criteria of evaluation do not work at the levels unreachable for the sensory perception – again,  the levels of complexity are incompatible.

Any attempt to detect the presence of God, to cognize the nature of God, or to consider any of attributes of God–Spirit with the means of human reasoning are pointless, moreover, destructive because they do not result in true knowledge: when the levels of complexity of the subject of consideration and the means of consideration are incompatible, there is no chance to learn truth.

Besides, from the theological point of view, the very question of a possibility to consider God as the object of science is sacrilege.

Yet, Aquinas needs to present his scientia divina as the science, because it provides the opportunity to employ the methods of human reasoning for producing the assumptions about God and because it would make possible

1/ to fabricate any concept convenient for the purposes of the papacy and to present it as the article of faith

2/ to produce any image and article of the papal faith, which would make the subjects manageable and obedient and which would secure stability and survival of the papal establishment

3/ to elevate the images created for feeding the “small and undeveloped” souls of the laity–subjects to the rank of the absolute truth and articles of faith.

The following examples illustrate how Aquinas works when he needs, for instance, to make God accessible for human consideration, therefore, useful for the Aquinas’ purposes.

Inability and impossibility to prove that human being can see God and obtain knowledge about God without the God’s revelation would make all Aquinas’ constructions pointless. To circumvent this obstacle, Aquinas declares that the science of “divine things” is possible because

a) it is possible to obtain knowledge of unknown as the derivative of known things and to infer causes from their effects; intellect might know God by “that which He is not,” through “negative theology” of the heathen philosophers

b) knowledge at the level of the matter (“sensible things”) might be the means to comprehend the spirit – to come to the knowledge of “divine”; that is how philosophers “handed down” the first philosophy as the divine science [The Trinity Q.2 a2 r, ao2].

So, Aquinas asserts the human intellect as the sources of his “science” about God: he accepts as the source of theological knowledge the images, phantasms, inferences, constructions, assertions, etc., created by the human intellect and (similar to the pagan philosophers who handed down their imaginary theology) by pure imagination.

From the theological point of view, this assertion is irrational, because God is the Spirit {John 4:24} Who does not have the analogue within the material world: the knowledge of the visible perceptible matter cannot disclose its invisible source, which human senses of perception do not perceive, whose logic is not known, and for which human languages do not have the adequate definitions.

Then, Aquinas needs to prove that the human mind can see and comprehend God. However, with all the Aristotelian luggage, Aquinas still cannot openly argue with the authority of God Who warned Moses that man cannot see God and live {Exodus 33:18–23}. Thus, Aquinas has to find a way to prove his assertions, and this way is misinterpretations of the Scriptures.

Usually, Aquinas avoids the direct confrontation and disguises his contradiction of the words of God with sarcasm, irrelevant references; sometimes, he baldly substitutes the Aristotelian concepts for the Scriptures without any explanation at all: in the same manner as Plato, Aquinas arranges the general framework in which his assertions would create an impression of the sacred knowledge and revelation of the hidden mysteries.  

For instance, when Aquinas writes about those who believe that “the created intellect” cannot see the nature of God, he mentions a bat, which blinks at the blaze of the sun. Obviously, Aquinas does not rank himself as the blinking bat, because he, Aquinas, has the special vision with which he can penetrate the mysteries of God. At the same time, Aquinas challenges pride of his readers who have the choice: to reject the Aquinas’ assertions and become “the blinking bat” in the dark cave of own stupidity or to follow Aquinas in his flights to the Sun (that is in his studies of God) and to prove that they are not the blinking bats, so they are able to accept Aquinas’ assertions as the truth.

Then, after the adequate preparation of the audience, Aquinas declares that the human intellect can see the nature of God when “God unites Himself to the created intellect” [ST I Q.12 a2 ad3, a4].  

The Scriptures describe the experience of direct communications between God and men, for instance, with Moses and the Hebrew Prophets – everything is possible for God; however, there is no one word confirming that any of the Hebrew Prophets had ever seen/learnt the nature and the face of God. The next Aquinas’ step should be discovery of such an unknown phenomenon as the united with God intellect, which can see God and learn the nature of God.

Aquinas has two precedents: the Philo’s high priest who ceased to be a man and became a some kind of new being between God and His creations*4* and the high priesthood of the heathen Roman Empire sustained with the special privileges [e.g., in: Larsen 137]. Accordingly, he introduces a new category of “the blessed” that work as the pool of the united intellects and as the receptacle of all revelations and the divine properties received by “comprehension” of the nature of God.

All these speculations serve the specific task: in imitation of the pagan philosophers and poets who created their political theology on demand of their rulers, Aquinas attempts to make God the subject of “scientific” consideration accessible for modification according to the needs of the papal hierarchy. In particular, he has to substantiate deification of the Roman pope as the head of the Church of Rome, successor of “the St. Peter’s estate” and the heir of the special power.

As soon as even a slightest possibility to have any valid justification of such “scientific” product as the “divine science” never existed, the Aquinas’ doctrine provides unlimited possibilities of dissemination of the imaginary constructions, allows introduction of new articles of faith, and modifications of the Church traditions – reforms; simultaneously, it produces heresy and discord. So, to protect himself from competitors (other pretenders to the status of “the blessed”) and their objections and repudiation, Aquinas declares that although understanding is the first principle of any science, the faith is the proximate principle; the faith became the proximate principle of his “divine science,” and divine intellect – the first principle [The Trinity Q.2 a2 ao7].

Faith is the key word, because the papacy defended its official faith by all available means, including the Inquisition, and no one loyal papal theologian would ever attempt to challenge the officially promulgated articles of the papal faith. Anything postulated as the articles of faith or the inference from them automatically becomes the untouchable “absolute truth.”

Besides other things, the Aquinas’ scientia divina reveals the methods with which the anti–evolution progresses: it confines the human thought within the imaginary world of heathen philosophy and obstructs advancement of sciences.

The consequences of Aquinas’ scientia divina might be adequately evaluated if to take into consideration that the scientia divina, became the main source of the phantasms introduced as the articles of faith, and the justification for restrictions of freedom of thinking. In similarity to Aristotle’s Polis, Aquinas designed the open structure, which is easily modified according to the needs of the ruling group. The functions of “the blessed” are similar to the functions of the Aristotle’s opinion–makers: reprogramming the conscience, restriction of the freedom of thinking, and prevention of unsanctioned knowledge.

 

 

Concept of Faith

 

The Christians hold that the faith is in the power of God; faith in not in a wisdom of men. We, the Christians receive the Spirit from God, so we may know the things freely given to us by God, and not by the words of human wisdom, but by teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes and gives abilities of the spiritual discernment, and teaches the Christian according to the promise of God. The one who has no spiritual discernment, who is ψυχικος ανθρωπος – natural (sensual or bestial) man – is not able to know things given by the Spirit of God {John 14:16–17, 26; 1 Corinthians 2:5, 12–14}.

It means that the Christian faith is given by the Holy Spirit and given directly to the human heart–mind, which accepted the Word–God and follows His commandments {John 14:23}. As everything given by God, the Christian faith is absolute, perfect, complete, unadulterated, and unassailable. The Christian faith is inaccessible for human intellect and entire “wisdom” of the world is powerless before the knowledge given by God.

Therefore, for the Christian, any assertion that the human mind might possess any ability to explain, to infer, and to modify the faith is sacrilegious. Consequently, any assertion, speculation, doctrine, which opens Christian faith for the human meddling, is heresy incompatible with the Christian dogma.

However, Aquinas’ task is to link the faith and the human intellect into the working connection, which he establishes with the statement: faith presumes “assent of the intellect to that which is believed.” The intellect accomplishes such assent by two ways: through conclusions and inferences from something already known, for example, similarly to “the habit of science,” and through an act of choice, by the distinction of faith from an opinion; the distinction might be conducted by reasoning; for instance,

– if doubt and fear are present, it is an opinion

– if there is certainty and no fear, it is faith [ST II–II Q.1 a4 a].

With these declarations, Aquinas transforms the faith into the subject of logical reasoning, moreover, into the subject of personal, firstly, Aquinas’ logical reasoning.

Then, Aquinas elaborates the next working connection: between the faith and scientia divina. He re–introduces the Plato’s concept of knowledge (the human soul contains in itself all things it can comprehend, and any knowledge is just recollection, or in the Proclus’ interpretation: the human soul contains all forms in itself [Proclus Prop. 194]). Imitating the Aristotelian style, Aquinas declares: “the thing known is in the knower according to the mode of the knower.” According to its nature, the human intellect learns the truth through synthesis and analysis; there is the same procedure in the faith as it is in sciences: people construct the propositions to obtain through them knowledge [ST II–II Q.1 a2 a].

After the statement that the human intellect might come to the knowledge of faith by synthesis and analysis as in science, Aquinas introduces the Aristotelian logic as the legitimate tool for the explanation, elaboration, and modification of faith. At this stage, his task is simple – just to compile the new articles, because the papacy already implemented the conditions needed for modification of faith: in 1229, the Inquisition in Toulouse announced prohibition of the Bible, and the Bible became the forbidden book for the laity. Consequently, during many centuries, the knowledge of the Gospels – of the Word–God – was forbidden for the vast majority of the Catholics who had to be fed with the images produced by the papal theologians – “guardians” of their souls, and had to accept as the divine truth any assertion, which the papal hierarchy considered beneficial for its purposes. The Inquisition’s decision was supported with the drastic measures; for example, in 1536, William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translation of the Bible into English (published in 1526) [“Preface” iii; Trager 174, 179; Baybrook 603].

Then, Aquinas elevates the fruits of his scientia divina at the unassailable position: as soon as the “formal aspect of the object of faith is the First Truth,” nothing false can come under faith [ST II–II Q.1 a3 a].

It means that if the statement is labeled “the faith,” it automatically becomes the truth.

Aquinas continues: it is necessary to concentrate the authority over the question of the faith with the highest level of the papal office, because the judgment of any question of faith belongs to the sole authority of the Roman pope, as everything else concerning the “whole Church.” To be considered as “a rule”/article of faith, the doctrine/notion/etc. must be accepted by the papal authority: the matters of faith are unavailable for the ordinary people and only some members of the papal hierarchy should have the access to the source of faith, that is to the Scriptures, because the matters of faith surpass the human reason and “the natural defect” of the human intellect originates the obscurity of faith. Consequently, modifications and additions to the symbol of faith and articles of faith are needed in order to provide the “greater explicitness” and to prevent perversion of faith by the evil–minded and those who err. Furthermore, the faith must be inaccessible for discussion or doubt: it is necessary to prohibit public discussion of the matters of faith with the unbelievers and with those who doubt, especially because “inordinate words” about faith may corrupt the faith of simple people, which “is more firm” exactly because they do not have access to anything inconsistent with their beliefs. Therefore, access to the knowledge of the unbelievers must be restricted with the special law, which would prohibit the public religious disputations [ST II–II Q.1 a10; Q.4 a8; Q.6 a1; Q.7 a2; Q.10 a7; Q.11 a2].

With these assertions, Aquinas prepares the foundation for transformation of the faith into the manageable interchangeable set of officially propagated beliefs; in the contemporary terms, he transforms faith into ideology of a political establishment:

a/ he defines the absolute authority in the matters of faith – if the papal hierarchy has accepted anything as the article of faith, it automatically becomes the absolute truth

b/ he justifies modification of the faith, which might be needed for the purposes and policies of the papal hierarchy 

c/ he deprives the laity (to whom Aquinas refers to as to the ordinary people with “the natural defect of intellect”) of the access to the words of God; simultaneously, he secures silence of those who otherwise would detect falsification and misrepresentation of the Scriptures

d/ he advises to prevent access to the alternative knowledge, which might prove false of the beliefs propagated by the papacy or originate any doubts, which could trigger instability of the papal establishment.

The Aquinas’ “paternal” care about the faith of simple people not only reminds the Origen’s guardianship of the “small and undeveloped” souls, which should be fed by the images created for them by theologians; there is another important reason for his concerns. Aquinas has to protect stability of the papal establishment by preventing the lower levels of the hierarchy from a possibility to change faith or to rebel against the papal modifications of faith, and he also has to make the faith blind and unquestionable that would allow maintaining of uniformity of the conscience of the papal subjects. 

In fact, no one believer would tolerate discussion of the sacred for him beliefs: the faith is not the subject of discussion. When the faith lives in the soul, a human being does not need to discuss or to prove it, because nothing can corrupt or weaken the faith: it is the foundation of existence. If the soul does not have faith, no discussion will bring it in: only God opens the heart–mind for the faith. If it happens, the heart–mind comprehends the Scriptures and acknowledges the meaning of existence as the faith. The process of preaching of the Gospels is aimed to find the people who seek the faith and who are chosen by God to find it. The disciples of God have to find such people to help them to discern their way of life, not to coerce or persuade them. Thus, the only reason to avoid discussion of faith might be needlessness to analyze the Absolute Truth that is the only reality of existence.

From another angle of consideration, the true believers have no fear before the alternative knowledge: their reason is centered on God Who guides them and gives them wisdom to comprehend, discern, and convey the truth {Matthew 10:19–20; Luke 21:15; John 16:13}.

To the contrary, Aquinas’ motives are different, and if, in his understanding, the faith can be corrupted, he does not comprehend the meaning of faith. This something he calls “faith” is, in fact, the body of knowledge compiled with the intention to secure obedience of the papal subjects and the stability of the papal establishment.

For instance, the Aquinas’ faith includes assertions inconsistent with the Christian teaching:  justification of death penalty, the mortal sins, murder, and robbery if they are committed according to the commands of the superior, the presentation of obedience to the pope as the condition of eternal salvation, etc.

The Aquinas’ assertions differ from Christian teachings; they cannot become the real foundation of life, and they might be discarded at any time if a human being learns and accept the truth of Christianity.

Consequently, the papal establishment had the only choice to prevent or at least to restrict the access to the alternative – in this case, original – knowledge*7*: to forbid the access to the knowledge unsuitable for the purposes of the papal establishment (e.g., prohibition to read the Bible and discuss the matters of the faith) and to strictly guard the sources and contents of knowledge accessible for its subjects (e.g., through the Index of the Prohibited Books still published by the Inquisition, which still functions within the papal office).

Aquinas’ texts disclose his position concerning the source of the Christian faith: “the primitive preaching of the apostles” had been accomplished in “infirmity and simplicity.” Arguing with Dionysius, who wrote that symbolic theology had no proof or significance, Aquinas compared the application of philosophical doctrines by the “doctors of divine Scriptures” to the service of faith with the transformation of water into wine [The Trinity Q.2 a3 o1, ao1, ao5] (“symbolic theology” is the collective name for the heathen philosophical doctrines, which the Gnostics and followers of Philo of Alexandria covered with the wordings borrowed from the Scriptures and presented as Christian theology.)

There are two significant details in the referred above texts.

1/ When Aquinas asserts superiority of the doctors–theologians over the “primitive preaching” of the Apostles, he follows Platonist philosophers.

For instance, Alexander of Lycopolis (third century) and Celsus (one of the heathen critics and enemies of Christianity, second century) stressed low social status of the Apostles and their followers and their “simple and easy conversations” [Alexander of Lycopolis and Celsus qtd. and ref. in: van der Horst 328]. The Aquinas’ predecessors followed the long established tradition to mock Christianity because of the apparent simplicity of the Gospels.

Indeed, some of the Apostles, including St. Peter, were fishermen before they became the fishers of men {Matthew 4:18–22}. Obviously, their background and absence of the Aristotelian physical–arithmetical–astronomical–zoological speculations in the New Testament determined the Aquinas’ reference to the teaching of the Apostles as to “primitive.” This reference leads to conclusion that although Thomas Aquinas was fully equipped with heathen philosophy, he failed to comprehend two basics, which are necessary for a Christian theologian:

a/ the essence of the irreconcilable conflict between the restricted limited sensible knowledge named “the wisdom of the world,” which is folly before God, and the eternal immaterial reality of the wisdom of God, which is confirmed not by the power and values of men, but by the power of the Holy Spirit {1 Corinthians 1:17–31; 2:4–16}

b/ the meaning of the words with which the Prophets and Apostles describe the Word–God: the Fire and the Sword, which annihilates evil, tests the heart of man, and allows discerning intentions {Matthew 10:34; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrew 4:12–13; Revelations 1:16; 19:11–15}.

If Aquinas asserts a possibility to come to the knowledge of God through the perception of the matter – images of the material world, it means that the Aquinas’ intellect dwells at the lowest level of the complexity – the level of sensual perception of ψυχικος ανθρωπος – natural (sensual or bestial) man. Yet, Aquinas not only attempts to re–tell the immeasurable complexity of the realm of God with the language of the heathen fairy tales (e.g., see Aquinas’ descriptions of angelic hierarchy and communications of the inferior angels with the superior angels); by referring to the preaching of the Apostles as “primitive,” he implies that the figments of human imagination (which, for instance, sustain the irrational scholastic speculations) are above the words of God.

The Aquinas’ contempt to the Apostle’s texts serves as the most convincing illustration of the meaning of this Apostle’s warning concerning foolishness of the worldly knowledge, if to recall that Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology provided the blueprint for Communist and Nazi ideologies and supported the decisions of the papacy, which led to the Western Schism, ruined the papal empire, and made possible the partial restoration of the papal secular power (as the Vatican state) only through the cooperation with Fascism (the Concordat of 1929 with Fascist Italy).

2/ Aquinas’ comparison implies the miracle at Cane in Galilee, when Lord God Jesus Christ transformed water in wine {John 2:1–11}. In fact, Aquinas likens the doctors of his church – philosophizing theologians – to God.  Aquinas already exploited the Plato’s idea of a divine philosopher who communicates with his deities, penetrates their thoughts, and becomes divine as much as humans can be because he is “possessed by god” [Plato Phaedrus 249c–d; Republic 496c, 500b–d]. For the Christians, there is no possibility to know the thoughts of God – they are as distant from the human mind as the heaven is distant from the earth {Isaiah 55:8–9}. The Aquinas’ wording and implication unveil not only his attitude toward the Scriptures (which he discards); they disclose his set of values and objectives, specifically, the desperate need to establish the exclusive status of papal theologians.

In one text, Aquinas asserts that although the faith is explicitly exposed in “the teaching of Christ and apostles,” due to ill–mindedness and inclination “to pervert” the Scriptures and “other doctrines,” there is the necessity to express faith “more explicitly against the errors” [ST II–II Q.1 a10 ro1].

In another text, Aquinas shares his conviction that the truth of faith is contained in the Scriptures “diffusely, under various modes of expression, and sometimes obscurely”; thus, to collect “the truth of faith” from the Scriptures, long study and practice is needed, which might be unavailable for some faithful [ST II–II Q.1 a9 ro1].

It means that the Christian faith, which according to Aquinas, is “obscurely” conveyed by the Scriptures, must be re–told/re–written to make the “primitive teaching” of the Apostles suitable for the purposes of the papal hierarchy, and “the faithful” should not attempt to have own understanding of the words of God; they must accept whatever the papal theologians offer as the truth.

The referred above Aquinas’ texts reveal two things:

1/ his actual opinion concerning the foundation of the faith

2/ the methods with which he attempts to justify the exclusive status of papal theologians.

He envisions the papal theologians as the main brainpower in the questions of faith: they should compile the meaning of faith for all subjects of the papal establishment, prepare the contents of the matters of the faith, which have to be approved by the papal authority, and justify and popularize the papal laws, decisions, and actions. Indeed, the institute of theologians served the papal hierarchy in harmony with the Inquisition:

–– Aquinas created and his followers–theologians systematically elaborated the core of the papal establishment – political theology, which was expected to sustain the stability and expansion of the papal authority

–– the Inquisition terminated those who did not accept political theology as the absolute truth, therefore, threatened stability of the papal establishment.

In fact, there is nothing ambiguous or obscure concerning the truth of faith in the Holy Scriptures as Aquinas alleges. The Scriptures contain the words of God – the Absolute Truth – written down with the language of humans, by divinely inspired humans, and for perfection of humans {2 Timothy 3:16–17}. The Holy Scriptures contain the specific instructions of God–Creator for His creations. The instructions are supplemented with the detailed explanations and examples from the history of mankind. They describe development of the civilization, which has to embody the will and commandments of God. The meaning of these instructions unrolls gradually for those who have the intention to learn the commandments of God and to follow God, as the view of far horizons gradually opens before someone who claims the mountain.

Undeniably, the truth of the Scriptures might be inaccessible (in Aquinas definition – “obscure”) for those who attempt to exploit the words of God (that is the knowledge of life) for the purposes of destruction; for instance, such as the imperial ambitions of the papal hierarchy and such crimes against humanity as persecution and execution of the different–minded. St. Paul the Apostle wrote concerning such occasions: the Gospel is hidden from the perishing unbelievers whose minds are blinded by “the god of this world” so the illumination of the gospel of glory Christ should not radiate in them {2 Corinthians 4:3–4}.

“Clarification” of the word of God by the philosophizing theologians, who extorted “obscure” truth of faith from the Scriptures and misinterpreted it according to the purposes of the papacy, had the destructive consequences: heresy, blasphemy, and schism, because the theologians employed own imagination and interpreted (in fact, misinterpreted) the words of God for justification of own phantasms, which they produced to extol their superiors as the earthly deities and to justify the papacy’s crimes against humanity by ascribing to the papacy the authority of God.

However, as the history of the papal creed reveals, the Gospels are not the only obstacle, which Aquinas overturns while designing the papal empire.

One day in the fifth century, Augustine read the Gospels, turned on his imagination, and made the assertion: the Holy Spirit “proceeds also from the Son... even as He proceeds from the Father... He proceeds at the same time from both” [Augustine Homilies on the Gospel of St. John XCIX.6–9], although at least century before that day the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (381) derived ‘The Nicean Creed’ (in Nicene) directly from the Gospels, and accepted as the axiom that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 24].

For the Christians, the words of God are the absolute truth that does not need any additions or modifications by men: the Christians “do not adulterate the word of God” {2 Corinthians 4:2}, and the words of Lord God Jesus Christ that the Spirit of Truth – the Holy Spirit – proceeds from the Father {John 15:26} are the absolute and eternal truth, which billions of augustines, aquinas, and roman popes are unable to refute.  During the period from the fifth through the ninth centuries, the Ecumenical Councils issued the special decrees concerning ‘The Nicean Creed,’ which intended to stop in their Present and to prevent in the Future any misinterpretation or modification of the main symbol of the Christian faith. In violation of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, in 1014, the Roman pope Benedict VII included the Augustine’s addition that the Holy Spirit proceeds “and from the Son” (this addition was named “Filioque”) in ‘The Creed of the Roman Catholic Church,’ which the Eastern and Greek Christian Churches rejected. About two centuries after the beginning of the Great Schism, the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) authorized ‘The Creed of the Roman Catholic Church’ with the Augustine’s addition.

The Augustine’s Filioque became the papal dogma and one of the main footholds for the claim of the Bishop of Rome on the supreme authority over all Christendom. For instance, in 1264, Thomas Aquinas characterized the rejection of supremacy of the Roman pope as “analogous” to denial “that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son” [Contra Errores Graecorum; also qtd. in: Likoudis 74–75].

Any suggestion of any possibility of any analogy between the attributes of God and the properties of man is blasphemy, even if such a man is the pope–Bishop of Rome who struggles for the absolute power, or the theologian who, as Aquinas alleges, imitates God by changing water in wine that is by applying heathen philosophy to the service of the Catholic faith.

The human thought does not disappear without a trace; is it good or is it evil, it inevitably finds an embodiment in the deeds of men at its time and under the favorable conditions. Two factors – corruption of faith and misinterpretation of the Scriptures – explain how the Aquinas’ sacrilegious analogy became possible and why his superiors digested it without releasing Aquinas to the civil authorities to be executed for blasphemy and heresy:

1/ the Origen–Augustine’s practice to misinterpret the word of God almost eight centuries corrupted the minds of Catholic theologians and members of the papal hierarchy, and the sacred knowledge of God became for the corrupted minds just the starting point for leaps into the shared imaginary world of interactive theology

2/ Thomas Aquinas was the Aristotle–Origen–Augustine’s follower with the particular affinity to the Aristotle’s pragmatism. As a circus artist, he balanced on the razor’s edge, at the very boundary between the open heresy and official teaching of the papal Church of Rome. With the Aristotelian methods, with the Origen–Augustine’s techniques, with elaborated falsifications of the Scriptures, misrepresentation of decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, and through impudent flattery to the pope, Aquinas pushed the boundary in the desirable for him direction as often as he needed.

Aquinas asserted that the Roman pope has the sole authority to “publish a new edition” of ‘The Creed,’ as well as to decide all other matters of the whole Church – that is of the universal Church (including the Greeks – the Orthodox Christians, who, in the Aquinas’ time, already separated themselves from the heresy of the papal establishment), because the pope has the authority to summon a general council and confirm its decisions [ST II–II Q.1 a10 o2, a, ro2].

Aquinas’ assertion coincides with the canon law, which elevates the pope’s right over the councils at the level of iuris divinum (the divine authority).

However, some researchers concluded that the papacy strengthened own authority and justified the right to convoke councils and to confirm their decisions with the Pseudo–Isidorian Decretals (or “the Forged Decretals’”) held to be false or “forged” [e.g., Documents of the Christian Church 103; Küng 289; La Due 84–86]. It means that the papal iuris divinum has the very worldly source of origin.

Concerning the prohibition of the Ecumenical Councils (Council of Ephesus in 431, and Council of Chalcedon in 451) to modify ‘The Nicean Creed,’ Aquinas writes:  the prohibition “was intended for private individuals, who have no business to decide matters of faith” [ST II–II Q.1 a10 o2, ro2].

In fact, when both Councils declared that the teaching of the Church about the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is complete and ‘The Nicean Creed’ is unerring, they specifically addressed their prohibition: for an attempt to compose, write, or produce another creed, bishops and clerics should be deposed and monks and laymen should be anathematized (excommunicated) [Decrees of Ecumenical Councils 65, 83, 84, 87].

It means that Dominican monk and papal saint Thomas Aquinas contradicts the Ecumenical Councils and misinterprets their decrees.

The Ecumenical Councils represented the whole – Universal (Catholic) Apostolic Christian – Church, where the original Church of Rome was one of the many Episcopates of the Christian World, and only they – the Ecumenical Councils – had the right to speak on behalf of the entire Christendom. Thus, the Aquinas’ misrepresentation reveals the peculiar attitude toward Christianity: in his service to the papacy Aquinas disregards even the Universal Christian Church, whose decisions her humble servant – the Bishop of Rome/Roman pope – should obediently execute, not amend.

Aquinas had to disregard the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils because he had two objectives:

1/ to present as the lawful act, consistent with the authority of the Roman pope, the amendment of ‘The Creed’ committed by the Bishop of Rome – the pope Benedict VII; however, according to the decision of the Ecumenical Councils, Benedict VII had to be deposed from the episcopacy for amendment of The Nicean Creed

2/ to prove the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome/Roman pope over the Ecumenical Councils, therefore over the Universal Christian Church, while the supremacy over the Universal Christian Church belongs only to God.

Logically, the next step should be the design of protective structures, which would prevent any instability and any attempt to intervene with the papal claims on divine status and absolute power: Aquinas began the war with heresies and heretics with a description of heresy*1* as a “corruption of Christian faith.” He also reiterates the Augustine’s definition of a heretic as the producer or follower of “false and new” opinions, who persists in defending them because he seeks profit or honor. Aquinas creates impression that he, who so completely comprehends the meaning of heresy, cannot err in the matters of the faith: he portrays the heretic as someone who chooses the products of his own mind, not the teaching of God, and professes the Christian faith, yet, corrupts the dogmas of faith [ST II–II Q.11 a1 a2]. The irony is that this description immediately makes all who employ the allegorical method or philosophy for interpretation of the Scriptures guilty in heresy, including Augustine and Aquinas.                                                

Then, by asserting the analogy between heresy and the money–forging (punished by death at the Aquinas’ time), Aquinas recommends to separate heretics from the Church and to deliver them “to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death.” To support his suggestions concerning the extermination of heretics by death [ST II–II Q.11 a3], Aquinas refers to the Epistle in which St. Paul the Apostle advised to excommunicate man that his spirit may be saved {1 Corinthians 5:5}.

In fact, the text from the Apostle’s Epistle, by which Aquinas attempts to justify own suggestions concerning death penalty for the heretics, is taken out of context: St. Paul the Apostle wrote about the immoral man who was living with the wife of his father, and advised to remove him from among the Christians. All Chapter 5 of The First Epistle to Corinthians is devoted to immoral and greedy men, idolaters, and robbers, who present themselves as the Christians, yet who, in fact, remain in sin. The only way to deal with them, according to the Apostle, is to drive them out from the society of the Christians. The Epistle does not contain references to heretics and the advice to put heretics to death or to judge the sinners of the world; the meaning of the referred text is avoidance of any association with the corrupted man who deliberately remains in sin. The Christians cannot leave the world; they have to deal with many different people, however, those brethren who pretend to be Christians, yet, deliberately remain in sin should be made “the outsiders” by excluding them from the society of the Christians {1 Corinthians 5:1–13}.

Evidently, Aquinas falsifies the Scriptures: he mentions the name of the Apostle only to make own suggestions verisimilar. In addition, immorality and heresy are different things, which the papal hierarchy itself treated differently. The morality and behavior of some Roman popes in the fifteenth–sixteenth century, for instance, was incompatible with the virtues traditionally expected from the St. Peter’s successors [e.g., New Catholic Encyclopedia 10:959], yet, there is no evidence that they were accused of heresy because of their immorality. At the same time, the apparently virtuous manner of life of the Perfected contrasted so drastically with the life of the papal clergy, that the Perfected attracted many followers to the teachings of Mani. Yet, the morality did not protect the Manicheans/Cathari/Albigensians from extermination.

With the reference to the Gospel {Matthew 13:24–30}, Aquinas asserts that uprooting of the heretics by death “is not contrary to Our Lord command” [ST II–II Q.11 a3 ro3].

In fact, the Aquinas’ assertion openly contradicts to the meaning of parable about weeds (Aquinas’ “the cockle”) and wheat. Aquinas should just read the text of the Gospel in full – or at least twelve verses more. Then, he would learn the explanation, which God gave His disciples: the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels of God. Wheat and weeds have to be left together until the harvest time, because in gathering the weeds, the servants might root up the wheat {Matthew 13:36–43}.

It means that extermination of sinners and their destiny is not the men’s business, and Aquinas again usurps the authority of God. The usurpation by the Inquisition of the role of the angels of God to gather “the weed” that is to exterminate heretics (along with the papal opponents) explains the Aquinas’ particular interest in angels and numerous insinuations concerning the similarity between the papal hierarchy and the “angelic hierarchy.”

In an attempt to justify the death penalty for heretics, Aquinas employs the arguments, which are not consistent with his own description of faith. Aquinas asserts that faith comes by two ways: from God through the interior light of the soul, and from the truths, which have their source in divine revelations [The Trinity Q.3 a3 ro4]; man ascends to the faith by the grace of God, and, although the will of the believer determines his belief, God by His grace prepares the man’s will, so man becomes able to ascend to the faith [ST II–II Q.6 a1 ro3] and to comprehend the divine revelations.

It seems like Aquinas acknowledges that God Himself decides who can become the believer and who would remain the unbeliever. Hence, if a heretic does not believe in an article of faith, it is because his mind is not ready: heresy is the immaturity of the mind, and nobody can prove that today’s heretic will not be predisposed tomorrow to receive from God the light of faith.

For instance, before the conversion, the Aquinas’ predecessor and Catholic saint Augustine was a follower of Mani, whose inheritance – the Manichean/Albigensian/Cathari heresy – the Aquinas’ brethren–inquisitors diligently exterminated during the thirteen–fourteenth centuries. Therefore, when the papal Church of Rome roots out heretics by death, it usurps the authority of God and contrary to the God’s commandment gathers harvest before time – weed along with wheat: who can tell, for instance, how many potential saints had been burnt at the stake?

Nevertheless, in other texts, Aquinas justifies the capital punishment of heretics with the references to the Scriptures, Augustine, and Aristotle: David the King did not have peace until his son Absalom was killed. Similarly, the Church of Rome saves the community of the faithful by putting to death some of her children, and “consoles her sorrowing heart by reflecting that she is acting for the general good” [ST II–II Q.10 a8 ro4]. Protection of the common good of the perfect (papal) community demands to put to death the heretics, the sinners, and the unbelievers. To support his assertion that to kill a sinner is as good as to kill a beast (the assertion, which contradicts the commandment of God “You shall not kill”), Aquinas refers to Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics [ST II–II Q.10 a8; Q.64 a2 a (qtd.), a3 ro3, a6 a; Q.11 a3].

The referred above Aquinas’ texts reflect either the outlook, which is completely different from Christianity, or sarcasm of the disguised heresy: the Aristotelian political concept of the common good serves to the consolation of the grieving mother–papal Church of Rome, which in violation of the commandments of God, has to put some of her children to death to save the others!

The references and context of the main Aquinas assertions in Summa Theologica lead to the only possible conclusion: in the Aquinas’ imaginary world of political theology, which the papacy has made own official doctrine, the Aristotle’s mythical–physical–arithmetical speculations supplanted the words of God.

In addition, according to Elphege Vacandard, by making Augustine advocate of capital punishment, Aquinas presents to his readers “a false idea of the teaching of St. Augustine” [Vacandard 125]. Indeed, the Aquinas’ presentation of the Augustine’s texts [e.g., in: ST II–II Q.10 a8] is not consistent with the Augustine’s Compelle Intrare  – doctrine of coercion in the name of love: Augustine does not suggest that the Church has the right of decision over life and death of men. The Augustine’s Compelle Intrare is an initial stage or just a seed of the consequent evil: it designates the restricted use of force, only for infliction of bodily pain and fear. In the letters to Proconsul Donatus and to Marcellinus, Augustine even asks to spare the sinners, because it is not their death but their “deliverance from error” and from the eternal punishment that the Christian community seeks to accomplish with the “help of terror of judges and of laws.” He does not intend “to deviate from a fixed purpose of overcoming evil with good”: he implored the secular rulers by the faith and mercy of Lord God Jesus Christ to spare life of those Donatists (heretics) from Hippo, where Augustine was a Bishop, who violently killed Catholic presbyters, and to satisfy justice without taking lives. He solemnly declared that his (the Bishop’s) recommendations to show mercy and apostolic moderation serve the interest and good of the Catholic Church [Augustine Epistles C and CXXXIII (No.100, 133) in: Political Writings 241–245, 247].

Aquinas is not concerned with deliverance from error; he suggests war as the means to protect faith by extermination of non–Catholics: the “Christ’s faithful” wage wars not to convert the unbelievers [ST II–II Q.10 a8 a].

The Aquinas’ presentation of the common good of the papal Church of Rome not only contradicts to the Augustine’s opinion concerning the good of the Catholic Church; it indicates quite a significant advancement at the way from Christianity:

–– the Augustine’s Church approves use of force for infliction of bodily pain in attempt to influence the mind, yet, she still seeks “deliverance of error” and appeals for mercy and forgiveness of murderers

–– the Aquinas’ church does not seek salvation of heretics and sinners; it “lawfully” puts them to death for the sake of common good.

When Aquinas sacrilegiously links the Christian Church and the “lawful” execution of the heretics and sinners, his speculations fulfill the Prophet’s prediction about the false pen of scribes {Jeremiah 8:8}, which turns the Law of God into a lie: Aquinas’ falsification of the word of God and falsification of the word of man for justification of capital punishment illustrates the connection between lies and death mentioned by the Gospel {“the liar and father of lies” (the arch–evil) was the murderer of humans from the beginning –  John 8:44}.

Aristotle’s ideals of the market and the definition of the good as the “best of men,” as the good feasible measurable and desirable by all, provided Aquinas with a possibility to incorporate measurable tangible finances into the intangible faith.

Aquinas discovers the unique connection between the faith and property: “unbelievers possess their goods unjustly”; consequently, the public authority may violently take the goods from the unbelievers [ST II–II Q.66 a8 ro2]. Aquinas’ connection between the officially accepted faith and the right to possess the property (that was the continuation of the practices of the Roman pagan Empire, which the superior–emperor employed for intimidation and suppression of his subjects, and also the practical development of the Augustine’s assertion that the faithful might benefit from the wealth of the unbelievers), became the natural common practice of the establishment, which nevertheless, pretended to profess the ideals of Christianity.

For instance, in the time of Inquisition, especially in Spain, the faithful Catholics legally expropriated property of the Jews and the Moors. Later, in the Nazi and communist states, the members of the ruling parties expropriated property of the Jews (Nazi Germany) and property of rich and different–minded people who did not belong to the communist party, professed Christianity or any other religion, or who were members of the social groups and national minorities marked for extermination (bolshevist Russia). Only criteria of evaluation – who are the “unbelievers” from whom their property may be taken violently – differentiate the papal hierarchical church, the Nazi state, and the bolshevist/communist state: for the papal hierarchy such main criterion was the papal faith; for Nazis – race; for communists – social status and non–submission to the communist ideology.

The papacy fully utilized the Aquinas’ doctrine, especially in a sense that man with all his possession belongs to the church, and the church (in fact, the papal hierarchy) has right to sacrifice/lose one man, or as many as needed, for the sake of the papal/common good. Although such notion directly contradicts to the Gospel {Matthew 18:10–14}, it has penetrated all social and political concepts of Aquinas and consequently, the official policies of the papal Church of Rome.

Apparently, Aquinas refutes the physical slavery of the Christians: the Jews and other unbelievers had no right to own Christian slaves and were deprived from their property or had to convert into Catholicism (and to keep their slaves–Catholic). Aquinas has no problems with that: as soon as the princes themselves are the vassals of the Roman pope, the non–Catholics, who were the “bondsmen of princes by civil bondage,” automatically come under the papal jurisdiction. Thus, the unbelievers become the subjects of the papal church whom it can “dispose of their possessions.” In addition, Aquinas asserts that the Church prohibits any kind of dominion of the unbelievers over the believers and corroborates own assertion with the St. Paul the Apostle’s words concerning to the appeal to the law of the unbelievers and the notion of intention to prevent the corruptive influence of the unfaithful–superior on the faith of the believers [ST II–II Q.10 a10, a11; Q.66 a8 ro2].

The Aquinas’ assertion is based on misinterpretation of the Scriptures because the Apostle’s text refers specifically to the appeals to the laws of pagans {1 Corinthians 6:1–6}.

According to the Apostle, Christians had to obey the governing authorities {Romans 13:1–5}, and that was written at the time of the heathen Roman Empire, when the Christian civil authorities did not exist yet.

With the reference, which, in fact, falsifies the meaning of the Apostle’s words, Aquinas legalizes deliberation of the Christians from the secular authority of unbelievers. He establishes the connection between the faith and the rights of a person by introducing the submission to the forceful conversion as the only way for the unbeliever to keep own property, to protect own life, and to continue living in the state under papal jurisdiction.

Then, Aquinas expands the doctrine of the papal faith, which demands complete submission of all believers to the absolute spiritual and secular power of the Roman pope: he asserts that faith is the main condition of the physical freedom and rights of a person in the state/community under jurisdiction of the papacy, because the papacy legitimately inherited the place of the main authority at the earthly matters: “The authority of Caesar preceded the distinction of faithful from unbelievers” [ST II–II Q.10 a10 ro2].

Then, the Aquinas’ doctrine of faith justifies the total control and surveillance over the mind, conscience, manner of life, and the very existence of a person. As a result, by mixing faith with the authority of secular power, he proceeds to the institution of slavery for the mind.

 

 

The Image of Aquinas’ God

 

The main product of Aquinas’ scientia divina is the concept of the main deity – the god of the papal establishment.

Aquinas asserts that the rational mind has the inborn desire to see “the first cause of things”; consequently, the opinion that intellect is not able to see the nature of God is philosophically illogical. Origen proclaimed that when the Holy Spirit becomes “mingled” with men, they search “even the depths of God” [Origen Spirit III.448 p.185]. Likewise, Aquinas postulates that the created intellect becomes able to see the nature of God when God unites it to Himself. After such preparatory remarks, Aquinas discovers the “absolutely granted” ability of a new class of mysterious beings – “the blessed” – to see “the essence of God” [ST I Q.12, a1, a2, a4].

These Aquinas’ assertions are the plain contradiction of the Scriptures.  St. John the Apostle conveys the words of Lord God Jesus Christ – the Word and the Son of God: “No one has ever seen God”; only He Who is from God had seen the Father; He and the Father are the One – the Son is in the Father, and the Father is in the Son, and only the Son has cognized the Father. Only through the Son man comes to the Father and learns the love and knowledge of God–Father – the knowledge that is the eternal life; only through observance of the commandments of the Son – Lord God Jesus Christ, man becomes the dwelling of the Father and of the Son {John 1:18; 6:46; 10:30; 14:6–11, 23; 17:3, 21–25; 1 John 5:7, 20}.

These words of God are the foundation of the Christian teachings and the Christian dogma; they re–iterate the explanation given to Moses that man cannot see God and remain alive {Exodus 33:20} and they clarify that man can see God only through Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnated Word Who became man and revealed the true image and likeness of God as the essence of each man. Only through Lord God Jesus Christ, man cognizes his own essence and learns God: Lord Jesus Christ is the way and the truth and life, and only through Him man comes to the Father {John 14:6}. Through observance of the commandments of Lord God Jesus Christ, man obtains the knowledge of God–Father: he learns to love God, to comply with the Law of God, and to embody the Love and Law of God into own life within the temporal world given into his dominion; this knowledge and experience prepare him for the next stage of existence – the eternity with God.

There is no one word in the Gospels concerning “the essence” of God and “the blessed” that can see this essence: the Aquinas’ fantasies confirm that he assumed the Augustine’s passion to the leaps of imagination: forgot where he started, and did not realize where he would finish. Other Aquinas’ texts also confirm that the true source of his theological discoveries is his own imagination; Aquinas’ writings reveal that the reference to “the blessed” is the Aquinas’ self–reference because he provides such details, which might be known only from own experience. For instance, the “natural” knowledge of God is obtained through “the phantasms” of God’s effect because “imagination produces some form representing God according to some mode of likeness” [ST I Q.12, a3 ro3, a13 ro2].

The source of the Aquinas’ knowledge is his imagination: he creates phantasms and likeness of “some form.” Human imagination might contain only images, phantasms, and forms, which have the visible discernible world of the matter as the source: whichever appearances these phantasms/forms/images accept, they reflect only the world of the matter, because man perceives only the world of the mater. It means that “the blessed” create idols, therefore, violate the commandment of God {Exodus 20:3–4}.

For the further confirmation of this inference, it is sufficient to read the Aquinas’ description of his god:  “the First Mover unmoved,” set in motion by no other, the first agent, the first efficient cause with the form as an essence, or the self–subsisting form, “which cannot be received in matter”; the ideas exist in divine mind, and these ideas are not generated; they are “exemplars and likeness of things according to both form and matter,” which create things. From the Word, these ideas/forms “flow into things,” and the multitudes of ideas in the divine mind correspond to the multitudes of created things. Then, “the divine essence is being itself” and as other intelligible forms it can be united to created intellect; such unification makes intellect “actual”: the human soul is the form/idea united with the matter. As soon as “the dignity of form exceeds the capacity of matter,” the matter (human flesh endowed with sensory perception) does not completely absorb the soul that makes the soul–form/idea able to operate in the levels inaccessible for the matter. Men are “bound of necessity” to love this god [Truth Q.3 a1 r, ad5; Q.19 a2; ST I Q.2, a2, a3; Q.3 a1, a2 ro3; Q.12. a2; Q.47 a1, a2;  II–II Q.104 a3 ro3; The Unicity of the Intellect 254].

The ideas, which Aquinas has discovered within the mind of his god, are not different from the Plato’s forms/god–like beings. Aquinas finds new deity – “the divine essence” and repeats the Proclus’ definition of the primal intelligence as a complete set of forms [Proclus Prop. 160, 177]; it means that Aquinas substitutes the heathen deities for God of Christians and accepts Plato’s definition of the human soul.

Concerning the perfection of God, Aquinas notices that “which is not made is improperly called perfect,” and the word ‘perfection’ cannot be applied to God  [ST I Q.4 a1 ro1; Truth Q.2 a3 ad13].

According to Aquinas’ logic, as soon as God is uncreated, He cannot be perfect. Aquinas’ remark contradicts to the words of Lord God Jesus Christ:  “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” {Matthew 5:48}, yet, it is consistent with the Aquinas’ portrayal of God as the source of evil. In other conflicting statements, he declares that the Word–God through Whom the world came into existence contains forms, which “flow into things”; any creation composed from the matter and a form can be perfect and good only through the form, and God as a form is perfect [Truth Q.8 a16 ad1; ST I Q.3. a2; Q.7 a1], and then, the Word “cannot be the form of a body” [ST III Q.2 a5 ro3].

So, in one text Aquinas ascribes perfection to the uncreated form, while in another text he declares that the uncreated cannot be perfect. If the Aquinas’ god is not perfect because he is uncreated, perfection of creations is not connected with their creator because the matter (the creature) is not able to receive or to imitate the uncreated form–god. The meaning of the Aquinas’ assertion is simple: man was not created in the image and after likeness of God.

According to Aquinas’ logic, the form (flowing into things from the Word) must be uncreated because uncreated God cannot consist from the created things. If the Word–God contains the uncreated forms, these forms must also be at least the kind of divine creatures, and the Aquinas’ god is composed by so many other gods as so many uncreated forms exist within him. Such assertion reveals the Plato–Proclus’ influence and confirms that Aquinas’ theology is the heathen multi–deity doctrine disguised with the wordings snatched from the Gospels.

Aquinas constructs his image of God with the Plato’s concept of forms/ideas elaborated by Proclus. For example, if Plato envisioned idea/form as the kind of lesser god, Proclus elaborated a form as a whole, which consists from a number of “atomic individuals” altogether making the form. Each Proclus’ god within the unity of plurality of gods is a self–complete unit (in Aquinas’ interpretation – “self–subsisting form”) and, as any intelligence, is a complete set of forms [Proclus Prop. 74, 114, 177]: the Aquinas’ description of the Word almost literally coincides with the Proclus’ text.

As Augustine before him, Aquinas applies the Origen’s methods in spite of own critical remark that Origen abused philosophy [The Trinity Q.2 a3 r]; he compiles his concepts by reinterpreting the Christian teachings with heathen philosophy. Then, he uses theological concepts based on the Plato–Aristotle’s social and political utopia for justification of the down–to–earth objectives of the papal establishment or, in definition of Ignatius of Loyola, the “hierarchical church.”

Not only the Aquinas’ image of God rests upon the Aristotle’s physical–philosophical speculations mixed with the Plato’s concept of forms/ideas; moreover, when Aquinas writes that men are “bound of necessity” to love this god, Aquinas reiterates the Aristotle’s universal ‘master–→slave’ pattern, which equates the service to God with the necessity to observe the “ruling factor” in imitation of a slave who has to observe the rules of his master [Aristotle Eudemian Ethics VIII.iii.14].

The inability to see love to God as the natural property of His creation instantly makes pointless any expectation to find true knowledge of God in the Aquinas’ doctrine: it is the heresy incompatible with the Christian teachings. Aquinas’ doctrine of god reveals the potency of his imagination, unveils the inner world of the major Catholic theologian, and foretells the danger of his ideas.

Why did Aquinas need the image of such god?

Behind all Aquinas’ speculations is the necessity to present his guesswork concerning the nature of God as the truth and to prove the possibility to see and to know the nature of God within the Aquinas’ time and within the Aquinas’ world, because Aquinas desperately needs the exclusive status for own fantasies intended to substantiate the papal claims on the status of deity and other sacrilegious assertions, on which the papal hierarchy built its claims on the absolute power. To prove that man is able “to see God as He sees Himself,” to become “most like God” through such vision, and to enjoy the same blessedness, which “makes God happy,” Aquinas refers [Summa Contra Gentiles LI] to the tree texts of the Holy Scriptures:

1) the Apostle’s promise that in the Future, when the children of God will come to knowledge of their own, they will see God, because they are the likeness of God  {1 John 3:2} {St. John the Apostle reminds that man was created into the image and after likeness of God, and after the Incarnated Word – the Son of God and the Son of man – saved/re–created the human nature, man receives the power to become the child of God – in Genesis 1:26, 27; 9:6; John 1:1–5, 12–13}

2) the God’s promise of admission to His kingdom, where His disciples will be given the access to His table {Luke 22:28–30}

3) the Wisdom’s invitation to the simple ones to come and to eat her bread and to drink wine she prepared {Proverbs 9:5}.

For any Christian, the omnipotence and righteousness of God is the axiom and the foundation of the Christian dogma. If God promises that men would see Him {e.g., in: Matthew 5:8; John 16:16–22} – it will be so. Thus, Aquinas’ assumption, which he attempts to corroborate with the texts from the Scriptures, might appear for his followers as verisimilar, although Aquinas discards two significant details.

The first, in the referred by Aquinas texts, God promises the ability to see Him to His Apostles and followers and only when they come in His kingdom; St. John the Apostle writes about the Future – next coming of God: neither God nor His Apostle mentions the earthly life of philosophizing theologians.

The second, if Aquinas assumes the right to misinterpret the words of God and to contradict the ordinances of His Apostle, Aquinas cannot be the Apostle of God. Indeed, any of qualities, which could confirm unification of the Aquinas’ intellect with God Himself, or at least extol his concepts (borrowed from the pagan philosophers) over the writings of other papal theologians, cannot be found in his writings.

Evidently, in addition to “philosophizing in the temple,” with his knowledge of “the blessed,” Aquinas established the peculiar tradition of “fantasizing about God.”

For instance, there is the obvious similarity between the main papal theologian of the thirteenth century and Sor María de Agreda (1602–1605) – the Spanish nun of the seventeenth century, who portrays herself as the “wife of the Most High” and “turtledove” of her god, asserts own likeness to the biblical prophets, and identifies the rest of mankind as “the worm” [Colahan 49, 71, 86, 134, 140, 144]. Both – the main papal theologian/”angelic doctor” and the papal nun/the “wife of the Most High”/ “turtledove” of her god – use the same method: they elevate themselves to the rank of the exceptional beings bestowed with the special privileges of knowing (e.g., similarly to the initiated of Gnostics and the Perfected of the Manicheans) and then, use self–ascribed special status for self–exaltation and promotion of own fantasies.

The attribute of truth is consistency. If the set of statements or definitions, which elaborate the main truth of the system for the particular system’s purposes, is not consistent, the doctrine is false. The Aquinas’ doctrine does not pass the test of consistency.

For example, Aquinas asserts

–– in one text, everything that is from God imitates God as “the first cause” and as the universal first principle [ST I Q.3 a7 ro1; Q.4 a3]

–– in another text, the Church cannot imitate God in His mercy to the relapsed sinners [ST II–II Q.11 a4 ro2].

A comparison of these two texts instantly prompts the question: is Christian God “the first cause” of the Aquinas’ church or the Aquinas’ church has another source of origin, because it cannot imitate Christian God?

Furthermore, in other texts, Aquinas refers to God as to the absolutely simple self–subsisting form, which cannot be received in matter, and the matter does not exists in God; God is the same as His nature, as His essence, and as His being, and the nature of God cannot be seen through the “created likeness”: in imaginative visions, men see the likeness (as the metaphorical descriptions in the Scriptures), not the nature of God [ST I Q.3 a2 ro3, a3, a4; I Q.12 a2, a3]. Then, he asserts that “strictly speaking, prime matter and God do not differ,” they are diverse “by their very being” [ST I Q.3 a8 ro 3]. Eventually, Aquinas asserts that the “divine essence can be united to created intellect” as other intelligible forms; the created intellect (the form realized with the matter) can see God and He can be reached by “the blessed.” Those who see God through His essence, they see “the whole essence of God.” The created intellect has the inborn desire to see the cause when the effect is known; if the mind could not see the “first cause of things,” such natural desire would not exist. It is a philosophically unsound conclusion that the created intellect cannot see the nature of God, and the philosophers who assert that the created intellect cannot see God through His essence err and hold the heretical position [ST I Q.3 a2; Q.12 a1, a2, a3, a4, a7; Truth Q.8 a1 r; Truth Q.20 a5 r].

These texts contain the contradictory statements:

1/ God is the form that cannot be received in the matter; the human intellect (that for Aquinas is the form realized with the matter) cannot be united with God because no matter exists in God

2/ God does not differ from the “prime matter”

3/ somehow the intellect is united with God and even can see “the whole essence of God.”

It looks like Aquinas’ “prime matter” and Aquinas’ god are the same, although according to the same Aquinas, no matter exists in god, and god is the form, which cannot be received in the matter. Then, according to one text, human intellect–form realized with the matter can be united with god; according to another text, it cannot be united with god.

In summary, the referred above statements lead to the conclusions

a) with his scientia divina, Aquinas rediscovered the Orphic arch–beast filled with the forms of the living creatures; he describes his god as a container of the opposites from which he can extract everything he needs to prove own fantasies. Such an arrangement mirrors the techniques of the heathen poets and philosophers who created their gods according to the current needs of the polis/state and supplied them with the features fished out from the pool of myths and images

b) there is no sound theological reason to transfer into the Christian dogma the description of deity produced by mixing of heathen philosophy with obsolete physics; the reason for such transactions could be found only with respect to the practical needs, e.g., such as the Aquinas’ objective to make the Christianity to serve the imperial ambitions of the papacy in the same manner as interactive theology of the pagan poets and philosophers served the Greek Polis and Roman Empire

c) a discovery of the metaphorical figures in the Scriptures and assertion of the “similarity” of these figures with the images, which represent God in the visions of men, indicate that Aquinas employs imagination as the source of the knowledge about God and expose the direct connection between the Aquinas’ scientia divina and the heathenism: Aquinas produces his “scientific” constructions with the same methods with which the pagan poets and philosophers made their gods. 

In the same time, in the best Aristotelian tradition, all Aquinas theological concepts had the practicable end: as the result of substitution of the deity of heathen philosophers (simple self–subsisting form, the first cause, etc.) for Christian God, the heathen morals and legal justice took the place of the Christian righteousness and mercy. These changes facilitated acceptance of the inhumane methods of the heathen empire as the official policies of the papal establishment: the papacy struggled for the absolute secular power over the world and dominion over the Christendom and needed the imperial methods to achieve the imperial goals. 

For example, if to follow the Christian dogma, it is not possible to imagine any justification for the execution of relapsed heretics (as well as of any person who holds different beliefs), persecutions and robbery of the Jews and the non–Catholics, and other “praiseworthy” acts of the papal “perfect” community. It was the Plato’s political utopia that provided Aquinas with the blueprint for his concept of justice and suggested the death penalty for relapsed heretics for the sake of “ideal” stability of the “ideal” society [Plato Laws 908d–909a].

The only obstacles, which Aquinas faced when he needed to present the methods of the worldly heathen establishment as the appropriate methods of the papal hierarchy, were

a/ incompatibility of the main Christian concepts of perfect love, mercy, and freedom {the Gospels convey two direct commandments concerning imitation of God: be perfect and be merciful as God–Father is perfect and is merciful –  Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:36} with the Plato’s laws designed for the heathen slavery–based society

b/ the Plato’s assertions concerning the ideal good and perfection as nature of gods, which Plato inherited from the ancient sages who kept the remnants of true knowledge of God.

Consequently, Aquinas had to modify the Christian dogma to implement the inhumane laws for the subjects of the papal establishment, and to discard those ideas, which contradict the purposes and policies of the papal hierarchy. After his assertion of the theologian’s ability to see the essence of God, he proceeds with arrangement of such an image of papal god, which would fit the demands and needs of the Aquinas’ superior. For instance, Aquinas supplements the image of his god with such characteristics as the source of unjust laws and the cause/source of evil [ST I Q.48 a2 ad3; Q.49 a1, a2, a3; Q.103 a7 ro1; I–II Q.18 a1 ad2 a3; Q. 93 a3 ro2, ro3; Summa Contra Gentiles III 4, 6, 7, 10, 11].

Although portrayal of a deity as the source of evil is consistent with the ancient heathen doctrine of unity and struggle of the opposites, such a practice is heretical and sacrilegious for the Christians.

Furthermore, among the points of interest is the Aquinas dialectics, which later was used in the Machiavellian theory of state, theory of revolution, and ideologies of communism and fascism. With the Aristotelian logic (1 through 4),

1/ Aquinas constructs the line of arguments beginning with the description of the universal source of everything and, by elaborating the definition of his god as the first cause of everything, concludes with a definition of the primary source of evil:

–– by his essence, god is the cause of things

–– god is the direct cause of everything, god works in all secondary causes, and god has in himself the ideas of first and second beings and substances, as well as accidents

–– to deny final causality is to deny existence of Providence

–– god’s predefinition determines the results of all secondary effects

–– god has an idea of first effects and second effects

–– accidents have “distinct ideas in God, because He can know each one in itself distinctly”

–– while there is no idea of evil in god, “evil is related” to god’s knowledge “as it had an idea”

–– contraries have something in common and lead “to one first cause” [Truth Q.3. a4 ad7, a7 r ad1 ad4, a8 r ad1 ad4; Q.5 a2 r, ad4].

These Aquinas’ assertions not only describe God the source of evil and as the source of the opposites; they integrate into the papal dogma dualism and the Stoic concept of causality.

2/ Aquinas reintroduces the notion of an accidental cause subsequent to an essential cause (borrowed from the Aristotle’s Physics) to explain, how the evil can happen within the Universe, which, as Aquinas has to acknowledge, is under the divine government. Contrary to the Augustine’s statement (although it is referred to as the confirmation of Augustine’s idea) that, in connection with the divine providence, nothing happens by chance, Aquinas asserts that the chance becomes possible when things escape the order of “some particular cause”; then, he names the “deficient secondary cause” as the source of evil [ST I Q.49 a2; Q.103 a7, a8]. As soon as in the referred above text, he asserts that god works in all secondary causes, this assertion reveals that while Aquinas proclaims the comprehensive divine government of “the First Cause,” he in fact, admits a possibility of disorder and makes his god the source of the disorder.

3/ With the reference to Augustine’s expression “there is no possible source of evil except good,” Aquinas declares that, while evil has only an “accidental cause,” good is the cause/foundation of evil [ST I Q.49 a1]. According to Aristotle, the secondary cause does not exist without the essential or primary cause; for Aquinas, the causality becomes the hierarchy: the first cause––a cause (as the midway)––the last effect [ST III Q.6 a1 a]

In accordance with the referred above definitions of the first cause, it might be concluded: Aquinas has named the source of evil – his god.

4/ Ultimately, Aquinas directly names his god “the author of the evil which is penalty” and implies his god’s responsibility for corruption of things because, according to Aquinas, corruption is the accidental consequence of the order of the Universe (and he already made his god the source of the disorder). Then, he refers to the unity of the opposites – “contraries”: as soon as “all contraries agree in something common,” in particular, in the nature of being, contraries have “one first common cause” [ST I Q.48 a3; Q.49 a1, a2, a3].

This is the Aquinas’ final conclusion: the good and the evil have one first common cause. Whichever logical dancing around in circles Aquinas makes with all his Aristotelian tools and with standard praises to God, the essence of all his wordings comes to the assertion, which was the blasphemy even in the Plato’s heathen “perfect” Republic: the Aquinas’ god is the cause/source of evil. If the Aquinas’ god is the source of evil, it means that the nature of Aquinas’ god originates, and then, accommodates evil. Indeed, at the beginning of his Treatise On God, Aquinas declares that god is the same as his nature, as his essence, and as his being, god acts through his essence, and knows effect “by knowing his own essence” [ST I Q.3 a3, a4; Truth Q.2 a3 ad3].

It could be only two inferences from the referred Aquinas’ texts:

1) the Aquinas’ god is the source of two opposites – the good and the evil

2) as soon as Aquinas uses the wording from the Holy Scriptures and in some texts refers to “Christ,” Aquinas speaks of the God of the Christians; therefore, the Aquinas’ speculations are blasphemy against Christian God and heresy incompatible with the Christian dogma.

The Aquinas’ concept of unity of the opposites revived the notion of ancient materialists who envisioned life and development as the unity and struggle of the eternal opposites; later, this idea became the component of Marxist dialectic, now it provides the ground for the attempts of the contemporary papal theologians to unify Marxism and Catholicism.

Aquinas not only incorporates into his doctrine the Manichean/Persian dualism and repeats the heresy of Hermogenes [Hermogenes asserted that evil should be attributed to the will of God and presented God–Creator as “the author of evil”  – in: Tertullian IX.3, X.1–3 38–40]; with his newly founded universal cause–source of evil, Aquinas follows the Plato’s inconsistency [Plato Phaedo 103c, 105a–e, 107a; Laws 896d] and destroys the ground for the concept of immortality of human soul.

Although Aquinas usually slavishly follows the heathen philosophers, in this case he discards the Plato’s advice: if a ruler intends to arrange a perfect community, he must not allow voicing of the sacrilegious claim that god – the Absolute Good – might be responsible for “any instance of badness.” Any claim on the connection of god and evil must neither be spoken nor be heard; any word and any work have to comply with the preliminary assumptions that god is good and that god is not responsible for any evil, because it is sacrilege to speak about responsibility of gods for any instance of evil [Plato Republic 380b–c].

It looks like the heathen philosopher with his Orphic mythical theology has more reverence to his deity than the main theologian of the papal Church of Rome has to his god whose place his superior – the Roman pope – claims to have as god’s earthly substitute.

Perhaps, Plato understands that what Aquinas is not able to comprehend: to make God the source of evil means to destroy the very meaning of humanity and the very foundation for existence of men. Indeed, centuries later, the Aquinas’ concept of the god–source of the evil – matured into the von Hartman’s unconscious death – “designer of evolution,” when the von Hartman’s followers openly recognized death as the main deity of the world.

Lord God Jesus Christ explained that the good and the bad do not come from the same source {Matthew 7:15–20; Luke 6:43–45}. The Christian dogma does not admit existence of the opposites/ contraries/ evil in any reference to God: God is Light and there is no darkness in Him; He is light and perfect love without darkness, fear, and suffering – perfect God Who creates everything good, Who has mercy, forgiveness, and such love to His creations that He took on Himself the sins of the world, sanctified man with Own presence, and gave man salvation and eternal life {1 John 1:1–5; 4:8–21; 5:11–13, 20}. These statements concerning God constitute the main theme of the Greek Christian theologians [e.g., St. Gregory Palamas §34 in: The Philokalia 4:359].

The Aquinas’ assertion that God – the source of good and life might be at the same time the source of evil and death is blasphemy.

For the Christians, the Aquinas’ theological “discovery” is not only the worst heresy; it is the unforgivable blasphemy, which makes the Aquinas’ doctrine and its derivative – the papal faith/Catholicism – irreconcilable with the Christian teachings and unacceptable for the Christians.

Evidently, Aquinas had to choose to whom he desires to serve – the truth of God or the purposes of his earthly masters:

–– if Aquinas does not betray the truth, the deeds of his masters and the smell of the burned at the stake victims of the Inquisition could make people think that there is no good in the papal church, because it brings death and suffering (when people begin to think it usually has the bad consequences for some establishments; for instance, such as disintegration, which is also known as the Reformation or the Western Schism)

––  if from Aquinas’ god both – the good and the evil – come, the deeds of the papacy reflect the natural order of the Universe, and everything – including robbery, maiming, torturing, execution of men created in the image and after likeness of God – might be asserted as the compliance with the Law of God.

The heathenism supports two groups of concepts concerning the origin of evil: those which ascribe creation of evil to the good deity and those which attempt to find another source of origin of evil independent from the good deity’s will. For instance, to explain existence of evil, Mani introduced the second god – the god of darkness, who exists from the eternity [Baybrook 310], and Plato named human soul “the universal cause” of all contraries, including good and evil, right and wrong [Plato Laws 896d; italic in the original].

Aquinas does not have the luxury to introduce openly new gods for confirmation of own assertions: the teaching of Mani already was officially condemned as heresy*1* and the Inquisition began the complete extermination of the Manicheans. At the same time, Aquinas needs efficiently set up the evil for the service of his masters–popes who, nevertheless, have no intention to disconnect themselves from Christianity, because Christianity provides them with the greatest advantages to assert themselves as the teachers of the universal faith, which they envision as the basis for their claims on the supremacy and the absolute power over the world. With the Aristotle’s theological–physical speculations and Plato’s “universal cause,” Aquinas unifies both gods of Mani into the Aristotelian “one first common cause.” Such unification became the logical basis for the self–asserted right of the papacy to employ evil, crimes, and capital punishment for decision of its problems, yet, to continue to claim Christianity as their own. Indeed, if the Aquinas’ god is the source of good and evil, this god’s church naturally becomes the source of good and evil for its members whose souls are the universal causes of good and evil, so when they receive the evil from their superiors, they receive their own.

 

 

Aquinas’ Image of Christ and Angelic Hierarchy

 

The Roman popes refer to themselves as to “the Vicar of Christ.”

Lord God Jesus Christ, the Word–God, has all authority in the heavens and upon the earth {Matthew 28:18}. The papal proclamations might facilitate the comprehension of the essence and significance of the power on which the popes as the “Vicars of Christ” pretend. For instance, Pius V (Catholic saint) wrote about himself: placed by God in the “supreme throne of justice” and “set up as chief over all nations and all kingdoms, to pluck up, destroy, scatter” [The Papal Bull Against Elizabeth, 1570 in: Documents of the Christian Church 267–268]. 

The problem is that popes are as mortal as all their subjects – ordinary men – are mortal. Popes have no right to beget children and to transfer their power to their offspring, yet, this power must be the constant attribute of the papal establishment.

It would be the great service to the papacy to supplement such a claim with the proof of deification as the attribute of the papal office and to find in the God’s nature, deeds, or the Law the justification for claims of the popes on the absolute worldly power. Consequently, Aquinas has to make such a concept of the nature of God, which would draw God down, at the level accessible for the papal hierarchy, and then, to lift the pope up, to the level of earthly deity – substitute of the heavenly God.

At first, Aquinas offers his “bold renewal” of the Church’s doctrine of Incarnation.

The Christian dogma is centered on the doctrine of Incarnation because it is the key to the destiny of man. Consequently, any mind that commits any misinterpretation, falsification, or the misuse of the doctrine of Incarnation becomes unable to comprehend and communicate the Christian dogma.

The Ecumenical Councils expounded the Church doctrine of the Incarnation of God. The Council in Chalcedon (451) and Second Council of Constantinople (553) postulated the dogma of the Christian Church: the incarnate Word–God unified two natures (the nature of God and the nature of man) in a single person – Lord Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, one member (hypostasis) of the Holy Trinity. Two natures – the nature of God and the nature of man – came into the union of subsistence, into a “single subsistent being.” The difference between two natures was not “taken away through the union”: there is no “mixture or confusion between two natures,” and they “undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation.” (Indeed, if a human being has been created in the image and after likeness of God, the normal human nature cannot be changed or separated from God.) There must not be discussion of two different persons or designation of the name of “Jesus” or “Christ” for human: there is one God – Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 86, 114–116].

The Aquinas’ concept of Incarnation includes the initial definition: “the Person of Christ” is a “composite person, insomuch as one being subsists in two” [ST III Q.2 a4 a].

So, if the Ecumenical Councils pointed out the union of two natures in a single subsistent being, Aquinas begins from the opposite side: composite being subsisting in two.

In another text, which incorporates the Aristotelian physical speculations, Aquinas declares: God is absolutely simple and “cannot be part of composite” [ST I Q.3 a2 a, a7 a, a8 a].

Obviously, these texts contradict each other, and the initial contradiction anticipates the following irreconcilable discord between the Church dogma and the Aquinas’ interpretation of the doctrine of Incarnation.

Then, Aquinas refers to God as to a self–subsisting form that cannot be received in matter, and the Word as “an exemplar form” – the simple form that also cannot be the form of body; according to Aristotle, everything exists by its form as the body exists by its soul, thus, a body cannot live by the Word because the Word cannot be the form of a body [ST I Q.3 a2, a7, a8 ro2; III Q.2 a5 ro3].

It means that according to the Aquinas’ assertions, the incarnation simply is not possible because “absolutely simple” form–god cannot be a part of the “composite person”; thus, the Aquinas’ “composite person” cannot be incarnate Word–God. Furthermore, as soon as an Aquinas’ body lives by the soul and cannot live by the Word–God, the Aquinas’ version of a human being is completely deprived of God that is consistent with Aristotle’s materialism. Yet, the Aquinas’ version of a human being plainly contradicts the Church dogma: the breath of God transforms dust into a human being, man lives by the Word of God, and man is the temple of the Spirit of God {Genesis 2:7; Luke 4:4; John 2:19–22; 15:4–7; 1 John 4:12; 5:11–12; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17}.

The Aquinas’ definitions and attempts to express the Christian dogma with the Platonic ideas/forms and Aristotelian philosophical–physical speculations illustrate the irreconcilable disagreement between the Church dogma and the concepts of pagan philosophers. In particular, if God cannot be a part of the composite, the Aquinas’ definition of “the Person of Christ” as “a composite person” excludes any possibility for “the Person of Christ” to be one God. Therefore, the logical framework, which underlies the Aquinas’ philosophizing, signifies either the Aquinas’ discord with the Church’s doctrine of Incarnation or the Aquinas’ inability to construct the coherent theological doctrine upon the heathen physical–philosophical speculations.

In addition, it is almost impossible to find in the Aquinas’ writings the proper reference to God – Lord God Jesus Christ – in accordance with the canons of the Ecumenical Councils: it looks like Aquinas is afraid or is not able to call the name of God.

When Aquinas considers the difference between two terms – union and assumption, he remarks: the assumption means “taking to oneself from another,” therefore, “the united” and “the assumed” are not identical: the divine nature is united, the human nature is assumed, and the Incarnation is assumption, especially assumption of the mind [ST III Q.2 a8; Q.5 a4 o3, a].

The substitution of “the assumption” for “the union” opens for Aquinas the ground for the speculations concerning possibility for one “Divine Person” to assume two human natures. He concludes that as soon as the divine power is infinite and unlimited, nothing prevents the “Divine Person” to assume another human nature. Aquinas supports his conclusion with the following analogy: as a man who put on two garments remains one man in two garments, likewise, the “Divine Person” who assumed two human natures would be one man. Then, if many men have one thing in common, they might be considered as “one people”; therefore, two human natures assumed by one Divine Person would have “a uniform relation” to this “Divine Person” [ST III Q. 3 a7 ro2, ro3].

Aquinas borrowed this analogy from Socrates who explains his concept of reincarnation with the comparison of immortal soul with a tailor who makes and wears out many coats [Plato Phaedo 87b–e]. The Aquinas’ speculations concerning possibility for one “Divine Person” to assume two human natures reiterate the same pagan concept of reincarnation, yet, with the subtle difference

– Socrates considers the reincarnation in general, as the universal order for any soul

– Aquinas is restrained with the impossibility to make openly the concept of reincarnation the official article of the Catholic faith in spite of the expressed belief of the pope Nicolas I (858–867) that he is reincarnation of St. Peter the Apostle [La Due 86]. He employs “the Divine Person” to wear such garments as the human nature and completes his arguments with the assertion of “a uniform relation to the Divine Person,” which (the uniform relation) is intended to support the concept of succession and to suggest that each pope is a new garment of the “Divine person.”

Other Aquinas’ texts [ST III Q. 8 a1 a; Q.12 a3 a; Truth Q.29 a7 ad3, ad11] (from 1 through 3) illustrate the additional working applications of the “uniform relation” to God:

1/ the faithful are the members of Christ; all together they (including Christ) constitute “one mystical person.”

As soon as all Catholics constitute “one mystical person” with Christ, the Aquinas’s assertion provide a possibility to share with God the responsibility for assassinations, tortures, robberies, persecutions, massacres (e.g., the St. Bartholomew Night’s massacre), and other crimes committed by the Catholic “members of Christ” against the non–Catholics (including the Jews, the Moors, the Protestants, and the Greek Orthodox Christians)

2/ God established Christ as the Head of the Church; thus, the works of the head (Christ) are the works of members (the faithful).

This assertion provides the papal hierarchy with a possibility to ascribe to God the crimes of the Inquisition, the Crusades, and other “works” of “one mystical person” – the papal establishment.

3/ prelates hold “the primacy in the Church” because they “represent the person and take place of Christ”

This assertion elevates deeds of the papal hierarchy at the level of the acts of God and provides a possibility to ascribe to God the responsibility for all crimes and vices of all prelates and popes committed during all history of the papacy [e.g., in: Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy; New Catholic Encyclopedia].

In conjunction with the Aquinas’ assertion that God is the source of evil and unjust human laws [ST I Q.48 a2 ad3, a3; Q.49 a1, a2, a3; Q.103 a7; I–II Q. 93 a3 ro2 ro3; Q.103 a7 ro1; Truth Q.3. a4 ad7; Q.5 a2 r, ad4], the meaning of the referred above texts comes to the following assertions, which are sacrilegious for the Orthodox Christian:

a/  many men can take the place of God (this assertion provides the pillar for the concept of papal succession and deification of the pope)

b/ the deeds of the prelates–representatives of God, other members of the papal hierarchy, and all the Catholics who constitute “one mystical person” (e.g., the Crusades and the Inquisition, mortal sins of popes and priests, sale of the forgiveness of sin) are the deeds of God.

Aquinas makes some noticeable remarks concerning “the soul of Christ,” which provide more detailed illustration of his understanding of the concept of Incarnation and his image of God (from 1 through 10):

1) the knowledge of God (that is the knowledge of simple intelligence) exceeds the knowledge of the soul of Christ (that is the knowledge of vision), yet, it knows “the divine Essence” better than “the other blessed” do [ST III Q.10 a2 ro2, a4 ro1; Q.11 a2 ro2]

2) the soul of Christ has a finite capacity, therefore, it does not comprehend “simply infinite” in its essence, yet, it knows infinite things by knowledge of “simple intelligence” [ST III Q.10 a3 ro2, ro3]

These two texts contain contradictory statements: in the second text Aquinas ascribes to “the soul of Christ” (that is to the human nature) the knowledge of “simple intelligence,” which in the first text was attributed to God, therefore, contrary to the Church dogma, asserts the change in the human nature

3) the soul of Christ has abilities of comprehension

a/ without senses (that is without turning to phantasms as angels and the other blessed “both before and after the resurrection”)

b/ with senses, by turning to phantasms (because, according to Aristotle, phantasms for the intellectual part of soul are the same as colors to sight), and with comparison and discursion as the other blessed [ST III Q.11 a4 a; Truth Q.20 a3 ad1]

4) the knowledge of the soul of Christ is less than the knowledge of angels because the soul of Christ has the natural for human manner of knowing: by turning to phantasms, comparison, and discursion [ST III Q.11 a2 ro3, a3 a, a4 a].

These two texts demonstrate the absence of consistency: if the Aquinas’ “soul of Christ” is able to comprehend without senses in the first text, there is no reasons to place the knowledge of the “soul of Christ” lower than the angelic knowledge in the second text.

5) the soul of Christ knows the divine essence “more perfectly” in similarity with “the other blessed” [ST III Q.10 a4 ro1]

6) while human nature was not changed in the union with the Word, the soul of Christ “sees the whole essence of God”; it cannot comprehend the divine essence because the finite cannot comprehend the infinite, yet it knows “infinite things in the Word”  [ST III Q.10 a1 a; a3 a ro1]

One of these texts implies possibility to know the divine essence and compares the “soul of Christ” with the other (undisclosed) “blessed,” while there is no such separate being as the “soul of Christ.” If to assume that there is no difference between “comprehension” and “knowledge,” another text denies and, at the same time, acknowledges such possibility. According to the Church’s dogma, there is one single subsistent being as the union of two natures – Lord God Jesus Christ, one member (hypostasis) of the Holy Trinity. Therefore, the Aquinas’ speculations contradict the Christian dogma because Aquinas considers the “soul of Christ” as a separate being that can be compared with other individual beings (“the blessed”). Aquinas is not entitled to compare God with His creations whatever “degree of blessedness” they would acquire, because to make comparison means

a/ to find similarity and equality in the compared things; however, according to the Church dogma, it is the blasphemy to ascribe God the properties of His creations

b/ to possess such knowledge of God that an ordinary human mind does not have.

Besides, Aquinas cannot know what the soul of Christ does or does not see, know, and comprehend in the Word (that is in God). The referred above texts disclose that Aquinas identifies himself with the Plato’s “divine” consummated philosopher who knows the thoughts of his deities and communicates with the realm of his gods

7)  the union with Word did not elevate the soul of Christ “above the limits of creaturehood” [Truth Q.20 a4 ad2]

8) “there is some addition to the soul of Christ,” some supplementary habit of light – “created grace,” with which the soul of Christ could see the Word and which made it “above the state of any created nature” [Truth Q.20 a2 r; Q.29 a1 r, a2 r].

These two texts contradict each other and the Church dogma: one text declares that there was no elevation above the limits of created being, another text asserts that it was the addition, which elevated the soul of Christ above the limits, while the Church’s dogma states that the human nature had no change

9) Christ is a prophet, and for the “Christ’s beatitude” prophecy is not “repugnant” as faith and hope are [ST III Q.7 a8 a ro2]

10) as soon as Christ “more fully than Adam” had the perfect knowledge of things in Word, he had no “imperfection of prophecy” [Truth Q.20 a6 r]

If in both texts Aquinas addresses to the human nature, these two texts contradict each other. If in the second text Aquinas writes about God, the text is sacrilegious because of comparison of God with His creation. The Gospels convey the question of Lord God Jesus Christ “Who do men say the Son of Man is?” and the answer: “one of the prophets”; Peter, as the disciple, gives another answer: “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This answer reveals that Peter received this knowledge from God – the Heavenly Father Himself {Matthew 16:13–19}.

The Peter’s answer illustrates the difference between the knowledge of God granted by God Himself and presumptions of the people. As soon as the popes identify themselves with St. Peter the Apostle, it is not logical for their saint theologian and “guiding spirit” to descend at the level of pre–Christianity and call God with the name of His servant – “prophet.” Such indiscretion makes the papal demands, at least, groundless, because it illustrates that Aquinas who attempted to justify all papal claims on the absolute power with the concept of identity of the pope with the Apostle of God, does not possess the true knowledge of God. In such a case, the popes’ recognition of Aquinas as an excellent Scripture’s scholar, the infallible “angelic interpreter of divine will,” whose teaching enlightens the papal church, etc., etc., etc. [e.g., the popes Urban V, Clement VII, Nicholas V, and Alexander VI qtd. and ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:109] confirms ignorance of both sides: the praised theologian and those who praise the theologian.

The following five texts unveil the adequacy of Aquinas’ own comprehension of the Church dogma. Aquinas declares:

1. the Christ’s grace is the highest because of His “nearness to God”; the soul of Christ has so much grace that it is “poured out” upon the others, and He bestows grace on the members of the Church; that is why He is called “the Head of the Church” [ST III Q. 7 a9 a; Q.8 a1 a ro1]

2. the grace is “the Holy Ghost,” Christ is “the author of grace”; to have grace is the attribute of human nature while to bestow grace is the attribute of God [ST III Q.8 a1 ro1]

3. “Grace is more like God” and it conforms the Christ’s soul to God, but the Christ’s mind itself is “more like God” because it imitates God in “its natural properties” [Truth Q.29 a1 ad12]

4. “the soul of Christ,” as a part of human nature, is finite in power [ST III Q.13 a1 a ro2]

5. the “Christ’s soul” as the soul of a saint had received the grace to work miracles by divine power in such a degree that “He might communicate this grace to others” [ST III Q.13 a2 ro3] (with the reference to the Gospel, which tells that God gave His disciples the power to heal diseases and to cast out unclean spirits – Matthew 10:1}.

In the referred above five texts, Aquinas applies the same term (“the soul of Christ” obviously is identical with the “Christ’s soul”) to both – to the human nature and to God:  finiteness in power, “nearness to God” and possession with grace signifies a human being.  

However, only God bestows grace; then, it is not by the power of human nature or by the power of saint through the received grace – it is by His Own power of God that Lord Jesus Christ granted His Apostles the authority over unclean spirits and ability to raise the dead, heal the sick, and to work other miracles {Matthew 10:1, 8}. The Aquinas’ assertion that the “Christ’s soul” received grace as a soul of saint contradicts the Christian doctrine of Incarnation. As soon as in different texts Aquinas provides the contradictory and ambiguous definitions of God and mingles the properties of human nature and the attributes of God, it might be concluded that he evidently has difficulties with understanding of the truth, which according to the words of Lord God Jesus Christ is revealed by the Holy Spirit {John 14:15–17, 26; 15:26; 16:13–14}.

In another text, Aquinas asserts: “there cannot be a greater grace than the grace of Christ” through the union with the Word, yet “there could be a higher and more sublime degree by the infinity of the Divine power” [ST III Q.10 a4 ro3].

The referred above texts reveal that

a/ Aquinas has positioned himself higher than God by asserting own ability to evaluate the degrees of grace starting with “the grace of Christ” and finishing with the infinity of the divine power; such self–positioning is sacrilegious

b/ Aquinas implies superiority of the divine power over the “grace of Christ” received through the union with the Word. If, according to Aquinas, the divine power is higher than God Himself, it looks like Aquinas suggests existence of an additional god

c/ under the name “the soul of Christ,” Aquinas considers the separate being to whom he ascribes in some texts – all attributes of human nature (often in comparison with the Word, the angels, and the undisclosed “blessed”), and in other texts – the attributes of the divine nature.

In summary, the referred above Aquinas’ characteristics of Christ and “the soul of Christ” reveal that Aquinas does not comply with the doctrine of Incarnation postulated by the Ecumenical Councils, especially concerning the prohibition to discuss two different persons: according to the Christian dogma, there is one God – Lord Jesus Christ, Who is perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity. 

Then, the Aquinas’ description of “the soul of Christ” almost literally coincides with the heathen mythological theology in which Proclus depicts the “divine souls” as “analogous to the gods” or even gods “upon the psychic level” that exercise divine and intellectual activities and whose “summit of... being is possessed by god.” While their intelligence is not divine, and they are “inferior to the divine grade,” they nevertheless are exalted over other souls [Proclus Prop. 185, 201, 202].

It means that Aquinas mixed into his theological doctrine the polytheistic assumptions of the pagan philosopher and sacrilegiously applies them to description of God. Also with the myths and fantasies with which the pagan philosophers portrayed their imaginary deities, Aquinas creates the foundation for exalting the papal hierarchy above the ordinary papal subjects. As the result, Aquinas substitutes the heathenism for the Christian dogma.            

The history of human misconception reveals: any written or spoken world of the author recognized as the authority (e.g., as Catholic saint and major Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas) might grow up into the doctrine or concept, which then, might be embodied into political, religious, or other establishments. If such words carry the seed of heresy, their consequences usually are the destruction and termination of the original system founded of the original truth. The following example illustrates the Aquinas’ influence on the life of the papal subjects.

The Aquinas’ assertions of possibility to see the nature of God obviously underlie the “mediating hierarchy of spiritual cognition” elaborated by Dionysius Carthusiens (1402–1471). For the Catholic theologians, the works of Dionysius Carthusiens served as the reference library. The list of the authors whose works he has read includes all known Greek and Arab philosophers and Catholic theologians (Aristotle, Avicenna, Alfarabi, Plato, Theophrastus, Origen, Augustine, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Boethius, and many others). As his readers (in the sixteenth–seventeenth centuries) believed, those who read Dionysius Carthusiens read everything; so, what he did offer to his readers?

Dionysius Carthusiens describes his “hierarchy of spiritual cognition” as the ascent from the simple faith to “the transient vision of God face to face,” which becomes possible with the “mystical intuition.” Then, the theologian proficient in “mystical theology” (“mystical theology” is a fruit of the imagination and reasoning) receives a gift of “a certain participation” in the light of the “one and simple” divine intellect [Dionysius Carthusiens ref. and qtd. in: Emery VI:102; VIII:382–383]. 

Evidently, Dionysius envisions the papal theologian as the reincarnated Plato’s divine philosopher, who knows the thoughts of his deities; accordingly, the mystical intuition becomes one of the versions of divination and the source of the “knowledge” about the imaginary world, which is presented as the realm of God. The pretense to have a vision of God “face to face” implies that proficient mystical theologians ascend to the level of Moses the Prophet {Exodus 33:11}.

Then, Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), evidently proficient in the mystic theology, produced his Spiritual Exercises and other writings, which according to their underlying concepts and the structure of arguments belong to the same logical reality that the “revelations” of Thomas Aquinas and Dionysius Carthusiens. The Loyola’s writings illustrate the fruits of heathen concepts endorsed and elaborated by his spiritual predecessors: his mystical intuition culminated in mandatory blasphemies against Lord God Jesus Christ and in adaptation of the methods of pagan diviners and followers of the cult of the Cybele (the ‘great goddess’ of ancient Greece and Minor Asia, which later became the ‘magnum mater’ of the pagan Roman Empire) for the Catholic clergy and laity.

The history connects Thomas Aquinas, Dionysius Carthusiens, and Ignatius of Loyola as the links in the logical chain of the contributors (starting with Philo of Alexandria and Origen) to the technique of perversion of the image of God:

1/ Aquinas (1225–1274) asserted that man can know and see the nature of God. This assertion is the direct contradiction of the words of God. When the human intellect contradicts its Creator, it eradicates the divine truth as the essence and meaning of own existence, thus, inevitably perverts own nature. Consequently, it becomes unable to exist within the dimension of faith and comprehend true knowledge of God: it confines itself within the limits of imaginary worlds constructed with the images of the dissipating material structures

2/ theologians Henry of Susa (1271) and Jean d’Andre (1348) asserted that the papal law to burn people at the stake was sanctioned by “the law of Christ” [ref. in: Vacandard 128]. This assertion reveals the specific degree of profanity and mental disintegration when the delusional and disordered mind begins to ascribe to God own inhumanity and own slavish irrational reasoning. This assertion along with the dreams of Teresa of Avila concerning her “very entrails” taken by “the angel” from her body and the pain as the sign of love of her god, disclose the particular mentality and the contents of imagination of the members of the papal hierarchy; they also provide a comprehensive example of the influence of divination and “mystical intuition” on the mind

3/ mystic theology of Franciscan monk Rudolph of Biberach (?–1362) and the hierarchy of spiritual cognition of Dionysius Carthusiens (1402–1471), which focus on God as on the subject of so–called “mystical” imagination, dreams, and profanities of the monks and nuns fervently practicing divination

4/ the maenad rites of the papal mediating–meditating–philosophizing mystics–diviners–theologians prepare the ground for Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556) to employ his mystical intuition to openly introduce blasphemies against God and insanity of self–torturing heathen diviners as the mandatory practices for his followers.

Plato borrowed the vision of his predecessors who described the Universe as the creation and hierarchy of the Intelligence; he supplemented it with Forms/Ideas [Absolute Good Intelligence Human Soul the Matter–Embodiment of the Ideal Forms – in: Proclus Prop. 20, 174, 188, 190, 193, 194]. However, according to the ancient doctrine of the Intelligence and its creation – the intelligent and intelligible Universe, life is the process of cognition, and an ability of cognition is the inseparable property of a living being [Proclus Prop.188]. Therefore, the ancient vision of the intelligence as the foundation of the world of men would not fit the Aquinas’ concept of unreserved obedience and the papal policies of restriction the freedom of thinking and knowledge, especially the knowledge of the word of God (e.g., the Bible forbidden by the Inquisition). Perhaps, for that reason, Aquinas restricts his practical interests mainly with interrelations and subordination within the angelic hierarchy; his version of the hierarchy of the Universe is arranged by the following levels: 

 

Christ–––The Other Blessed–––Separated Souls

Angels

Prophets

Human mind.

 

Aquinas does not disclose the nature and origin of the mysterious “other blessed,” yet, some texts could provide the clue:

1/ in the referred above and other passages [e.g., ST III Q.10 a4 ro1], Aquinas places “the other blessed” at the level of Christ; for himself, Aquinas reserves the level of observer who judges God, sees divine essence, compares the degrees of grace, and discloses what was in God and in the mind of angels before creation of the world

2/ Aquinas defines the state of perfection as the place/status within the papal hierarchy whose heads “represent the person and take place of Christ” [ST I–II Q.98 a5 ro2; The Religious state XVI 90; Truth Q.29 a7 ad3]

 

3/ Aquinas compares the application of philosophical doctrines by the “doctors of divine Scriptures” to the service of faith with the change water in wine [The Trinity and the Unicity of the Intellect Q.2 a3 o1, ao1, ao5].

Evidently, the Aquinas’ analogy implies the comparison of the service of philosophizing theologians with the miracle in Cane in Galilee, when Lord God Jesus Christ transformed water in wine {John 2:1–11}, and the Aquinas’ self–evaluation reflects the actual attitude concerning the status of philosophizing theologians at the service of the papal hierarchy.

 And indeed, the participants of the Council of Trent (1545–1563) proclaimed that the mind and spirit of St. Thomas guided them in the re–definition of the doctrine and reformation of the Roman Catholic Church [Walz ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:134] and held Aquinas’ Summa Theologica worthy to be placed on the altar as the second only after the Bible [Kreeft 11–12].

Thus, it might be inferred: the category of “the other blessed,” whom Aquinas placed at the level of Lord God Jesus Christ, includes the papal theologians, Aquinas himself, and above all, the “divinely appointed functionary,” that is a head of the papal hierarchy/“divine office” who, according to Aquinas, at the moment of admission to the “divine office” automatically ascends to the elite placed between God and ordinary humans. Then, by the grace of the papal office, the “divinely appointed functionary” becomes the possessor of the special power as the earthly substitute for God. As a result, the pretender becomes the source of knowledge about God, the highest authority in interpretation of the Scriptures and divine laws, and the source of human laws. The “blessed” include also the papal theologians and the members of the papal office.

For himself, Aquinas reserves the level of observer who judges God, sees divine essence, compares the degrees of grace, and discloses what was in God and in the mind of angels before creation of the world.

(The participants of the Council of Trent (1545–1563) confirmed the exceptional status of Aquinas when they proclaimed that the mind and spirit of St. Thomas guided them in the re–definition of the Church’s doctrine and reformation of the Roman Catholic Church [Walz ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:134]; they also asserted that Aquinas’ Summa Theologica is worthy to be placed on the altar as the second only after the Bible [Kreeft 11–12].)

Aquinas continues with substantiation of deification of the Roman pope as the head of the Church of Rome, successor of “the St. Peter’s estate” and the heir of the special power: the successful justification of the papal claims on the absolute power would elevate the papacy at the unassailable level.

The Aquinas’ “angelic knowledge” provides an additional insight into the mentality of members of the papal hierarchy.

The Aquinas’ predecessors also were specifically interested with the angels; for instance, Plato populated his divine realm with the hierarchy of gods and god–like beings: celestial bodies––“daemons”––mediators between gods and humans––the others. All deities of the middle rank are intelligent and good; they communicate with the highest gods and one another, know the thoughts of men, and have encounters with humans (in dreams or through sensory perception; for example, when the “divine voices” convey prophecies) [Plato Epinomis 984b–985c; italic in the original].

Consequently, Origen (with the irrelevant references to the Scriptures) declared that the angels and other heavenly powers are “in some way of the same substance” with God [Origen Soul 54].

Augustine asserted that it is the angels whom Plato and his followers “prefer to call gods” [Augustine The City of God XII.xxiv].

Aquinas describes angels as minds: the pure intellects that are more God–like than human–like and that are shaped by their “intelligible forms.” Then, Aquinas builds the hierarchy:

1/ the human mind has immaterial knowledge of material things; it is the mind of “wayfarer” that learns through phantasms (Aquinas’ phantasms are images – materialized properties of forms/ideas or material embodiments of forms); the human soul is the “midway” between the immaterial (spiritual) substances and the corporeal things

2/ the angelic intellect and the divine intellect are the minds of “comprehensors”; they learn by comprehension of essences (Aquinas’ essences are the very forms –  immaterial essences of material things, that make Aquinas similar to the Plato’s consummated philosophers who think by the essences) and they have “more immaterial” and more perfect knowledge than the human intellect has

3/ prophets are below angels because they are only “wayfarers”

4/ the angels are above the prophets because they are “comprehensors”

5/ the angels are “not above” Christ Who was “both a comprehensor and a wayfarers,” and “the soul of Christ,” although a part of human nature, in addition to understanding by phantasms, had “the state of comprehension” by the essences as the “separated souls” after death and as “the other blessed” have [Truth Q.8 a3 ad16; Q.9 a4 ad14; Q.10 a1 ad4, a4 a; ST III Q.7 a8 ro3; Q.11 a1 ro2; a2; Q.12 a4 a].

The questions: how, in particular, Aquinas learned what is the “separated soul” after death, and how he knows that “Christ” understands by phantasms?

Other Aquinas’ “revelations” from the realm of the angels include the following assertions:

–– although an angel sees God, he does not see “all things” because of “a defect in his intellect” [Truth Q.8 a4 ad3]

–– the angels’ “innate forms” were “modeled” upon the divine essence, the angelic intellect is in union with the divine essence: an angel sees “the entire divine essence” [Truth Q.8 a2 ad17 a5 r; a14 ad11].

These two texts not only contradict each other; they are sacrilegious. According to the Christian dogma, God created all perfectly well. The assertions that God created anything with a “defect in intellect,” and that anything “modeled” upon the divine essence (especially, in such a degree that it sees the entire divine essence) can be created with a defect, or anything that has any innate defect can be in union with God, are irrational and profane.

So, Aquinas draws his god down, at the level accessible for the papal hierarchy, and lifts the papal hierarchy up, at the level of angels – the beings that are more god–like than human–like.

There is only one problem with this Aquinas’ edifice: it is not confirmed by the Scriptures, and it cannot be confirmed by the reliable (uncontaminated by divination) human experience. However, in his work Truth, Aquinas devoted 2 questions with 24 articles to the description of his “angelic knowledge,” although Aquinas restricts his practical interests mainly with interrelations and subordination within the angelic hierarchy.

The summary of the Aquinas’ “angelic knowledge” comes to the inconsistent, irrational, unsupported, and contradictory statements covered with the lengthy metaphysical–geometrical–physical speculations. The descriptions of the nature, attributes, and knowledge of angels are borrowed from the Plato–Proclus’ writings and disclose the heathen core of the Aquinas’ theological speculations, which are incompatible with the Christian dogma. It could be only two reasons for producing such “knowledge”:

1/ the necessity to portray the papal hierarchy as the army of God and the likeness of the heavenly hierarchy: as soon as the pope believes that he “stands at the place of God,” he also might believe that the papal army is not different from the army of God. Indeed, the pope Innocent III wrote that he acts on behalf of the Holy Trinity and referred to his legate as to “a very angel of peace and salvation” who acts according to the will of God [Selected Letters of Pope Innocent… III 177, 216, 150, 151, 154]

2/ to present the author of such “knowledge” as “the blessed,” whom God reveled His essence and all His mysteries, as the God’s messenger at the exclusive service of the papal hierarchy, and as the absolutely unerring interpreter of the divine will and divine laws, who, consequently, cannot err in interpretation and justification of the papal policies and deeds.

All the referred above theological speculations have the down–to–earth purposes, because they sustain social and political components of the Aquinas’ political theology.

 

 

Concepts of Man, the Pope, and the Papal Office

 

Elevation of the papal hierarchy at the level of angelic forces does not mean that Aquinas’ vision of an ordinary human being deviates from the Aristotle’s concept of man.

Moreover, Aristotle’s concepts of man as a social and political animal and the concept of supremacy of common good over the good of a person provided Aquinas with the basis for the establishment (main components, structure, definitions), and then, with a possibility to re–focus the meaning of the common good from the whole – the community on one person – the superior–ruler of the perfect community (for Aquinas, the perfect community means the papal establishment, and the superior means the ruler – the pope). He characterizes absolutism as the best choice for any establishment and elaborates it for the Church’s use: one ruler should possess the absolute power and to realize it for the sake of the common good. Absolutism underlies the concept of the universal shepherd/teacher who must have the absolute authority over the mind and body of all human beings world–wide. With the comparison of One God and “one king bee,” with the references to Solomon the king and to the Hebrew Prophets, Aquinas asserts [On Kingship... 1:4–6, 8, 9, 13; 2:17, 19–20;The Political Ideas... 175–181]:

a/ man by “a necessity of man’s nature” must live in a multitude.

With this assertion, Aquinas rephrases the Aristotle’s statement that man is more political animal than other gregarious animals and has “a natural impulse” to association with other men [Aristotle Politics 1.2.1253a]

b/ for achievement of “the unity of peace,” the good of the many must be superior over “the particular good of each individual.”

This assertion is similar to the Aristotle’s statement that the Polis is by nature prior to its citizen’s family and prior to individual citizen as the whole is prior to its part [Aristotle Politics 1.2.1253a18].

c/ the best form of government is when one king rules the people for their common good.

With this assertion, which is similar to the Plato’s inference that the community is happiest under the authority of king [Plato Republic 576e], Aquinas begins to build the political organization intended to embody “absolute” power of the pope.

Aquinas proclaims that the supremacy of the Roman pope over rulers of the earthly states is absolute: it has the power of the divine law, which, according to Aquinas, is based upon the words with which Lord God Jesus Christ explained that He has all authority in heaven and earth {Matthew 28:18}. He declares that Christ granted St. Peter “supremacy over his brethren” and corroborates the assertion of the absolute power and supremacy of pope with the reference to the Gospel, yet, without disclosing the source of quotation [The Religious State XIX 106]. In the Aquinas’ context, it happened when God commissioned St. Peter to tend His sheep {John 21:15–17}.

In fact, there is no one word in any one of four Gospels, which might confirm the assertions that God endowed St. Peter with supremacy over all other Apostles (made him the “prince of Apostles”) and granted St. Peter the special power, which other Apostles did not receive. The Aquinas’ unsupported references to the Gospels reveal continuation of the Philo–Origen–Augustine’s practice of confirmation of own fantasies with modifications and additions to the words of God. Nevertheless, the assertion of equality of the pope with St. Peter the Apostle and then, with Lord God Jesus Christ, became the strictly guarded papal dogma.

Aquinas describes the Roman pope as the exceptional public figure who, by the will of God, “holds the apex of both powers, spiritual and secular,” because in the person of the pope the spiritual and the secular power are unified. All kings must be subjects to “the successor of St. Peter, vicar of Christ, the Roman Pontiff ... just as they are subjects to Our Lord Jesus.”  The kings are “vassals of the Church,” and the pope is a “head of the republic of Christ.” The pope has the right to punish disobedient rulers: the papal excommunication releases the subjects of the apostate king “from his control and from their oath of fidelity” [Aquinas’ ST II–II, Q. 12, a2; Contra Errores Graecorum, Quaestiones Quodlibetales, and other works; also qtd. in: Bigongiari xxxiv–xxxv].

The Aquinas’ vision of the special connections of the papal church and earthly rulers differs from the Augustine’s concept. Although Augustine designated for the state the role of “the secular arm” of the Church or the coercive instrument, which has the obligation to protect Church from the heretics and to punish heresy and schism, he considered the royal favor and protection as “a more perilous” temptation [Augustine ref. and qtd. in: Deane 200, 214–216]. Aquinas ended the Augustine’s vagueness with the direct statement: kings and rulers are the vassals of the Church/pope and the spiritual power has the secular (or temporal) power as a subject as the soul has a body [ST II–II Q.60 a6 ro3].

With a comparison, which is based on two Plato’s notions that 1/ a soul governs a body because the body is secondary, as a derivative of the soul, and 2/ that the small governing group possesses all wisdom of the community [Plato Laws 896c; Republic 428e–429a], Aquinas made two far reaching statements:

1/ the spiritual power (the pope) has the right to intervene with judgment and other “temporal matters” of the secular authority of king and other rulers

2/ the secular power and the spiritual power are inseparable as a human being is the inseparable union of the body and soul.

Concerning intervention with the secular authorities, Aquinas ascribes to the papal church the right to terminate the privilege of dominion and authority of unbelievers because the church “has the authority of God” [ST II–II Q.10 a10 a].

The popes accepted the Aquinas’ vision of their greatness; for instance, in 1570, Pius V (Catholic saint) deprived Elizabeth I of the right to the kingdom, “from all dominion, dignity and privilege whatsoever,” condemned her as a heretic, and absolved all her subjects from the oath of allegiance, fidelity, and obedience; those who disobeyed the pope’s command and remained faithful to Elizabeth I were also condemned as heretics [The Papal Bull Against Elizabeth, 1570, in: Documents of the Christian Church 267–268].

Then, Aquinas provides definition of the power of the ruler as the connection between coercion and power: the greater power applies the greater coercion. A ruler of the perfect community – state, city, etc. – possesses the “perfect coercive power.” He rules by the “political foresight,” which Aquinas compares with the providence by which God rules the world. If such a ruler inflicts death and mutilation as punishment, deprives men of life, property, and liberty for the sake of the common good or legal justice, these actions (in fact, crimes against humanity) of a ruler become the lawful and praiseworthy acts [ST II–II Q.64 a2; Q.65 a1, a2; Q.66 a5, a8; Q.67 a4; ref. also in: Bigongiari xvi]. As soon as Aquinas already asserted that the evil and unjust laws have their source in the eternal law/ will/ nature/ essence of his god, the criminal actions within the range of activities, which should secure the common good, logically become “praiseworthy” acts of the pope as supreme ruler.

With these statements, Aquinas completes the presentation of the law–giving, secular, and spiritual power of the pope as the divine and absolute; his next objects of interest include:

1/ strengthening of the structures, which would realize the common good, serve the justice, and protect the interests of the papal community under the “perfect power” of papacy – elaboration of the structure of papal hierarchical church (including the Inquisition*3*)

2/ implementation of the matrix (program of thinking and behavior) for the papal subjects.

Aquinas’ matrix for the papal subjects is the doctrine of obedience, which became the main building block of the papal hierarchy; the essence of this doctrine might be conveyed with the statement that obedience to the pope is the condition of eternal salvation.

With the reference to the Aristotle’s declaration that the virtue/goodness is obedience: slaves – to their master, and citizens – to their ruler [Aristotle Politics I.13, 1260a; III.4, 1277a], Aquinas equates obedience – personal submission to the control of the others with the virtue. He describes obedience to the superior as the divinely established order, as the good and “special” moral virtue and “the regular mode of life” for religious people [ST I–II Q. 92 a1; II–II Q.104 a2]. Consequently, disobedience to the superior becomes a mortal sin, which violates two main commandments because it contradicts love of God and to the love of neighbor (the main Aquinas’ argument for love to the superior is the statement that superior is also a neighbor).

The higher is the rank of a superior, the greater is the sin of disobedience. Aquinas explains the special importance of obedience by referring to God with the Aristotelian definition of “the first mover” that moves all things and all wills: the superior naturally moves his subjects by his commands as the divine power naturally moves things and wills. If the will of God is the first rule, the will of superior is the second rule for the inferior, and the special virtue of obedience is “more praiseworthy” than other virtues [ST II–II Q.104, a1, a2, a3, a4, a5; Q.105 a1, a2].

The context of all Aquinas’ speculations with their physical “justifications” constantly correlates obedience to the superior with obedience to God: as soon as in another text he asserts that even the wicked superior stands at the place of God [ST II–II Q.63 a3], it is reasonable to conclude that Aquinas equates obedience to the superior with obedience to God.

The next logical step is to prepare the ground for exceptional love to the superior: in Aquinas’ interpretation, the conscience, or “a judgment of reason” becomes “nothing but the application of knowledge” or habit “to some particular act.” Consequently, if in accordance with Aristotle’s definition, conscience is an act “reduced to a habit,” there might be the correct conscience and the false conscience. The correct conscience “binds absolutely and perfectly against the command of a superior”; the false conscience binds imperfectly because it binds conditionally, with reservations. The subject must not judge the command of a superior: his concern is to fulfill the command, for the obligation to obey the superior cannot be changed while the false conscience might be corrected. Besides, “the soul of a prelate is higher than the soul of a subject” [Truth Q.17 a1, a2, a5].

Aquinas’ classification of the souls embodies the Origen’s idea of “small and undeveloped” souls of ordinary people. In his eagerness to prove the value and significance of the papal hierarchy with own fantasies inspired by the heathen physicist (Aristotle), Aquinas usurps the right of God: he judges the souls and ranks the soul of prelate higher than the soul of the prelate’s subject. However, besides usual slavish praises to the papacy and blasphemies against God, Aquinas has no proof that if the prelate is a wicked sinner who lives and dies in the state of mortal sin, and his subject is a righteous and merciful Christian, after their death, the prelate’s soul would be more precious in the sight of God than the soul of the prelate’s servant. 

Another text elaborates the notion of correct conscience, which perfectly binds against commands of the superior.  With the reference to God as to the “Lord of death and life,” Aquinas connects the slaying of innocent men with the will of God and declares that the subject has no right to discuss the judgment of superior. If the subject assassinated innocent man, he is not guilty because he obeyed the superior’s judgment – in particular, to the judge who sentenced this innocent man to death [ST II–II Q.64 a6].  This notion reinvents the Augustine’s “wise judge” concept.

Aquinas could not find any basis for his assertions in the Gospels.

For the Christians, God is the perfect love, eternal life, and the light: with God there is no death, and God did not create death – men by their deeds invited the death to be their companion. For the sake of man, God came into the world to recover and save the lost and the sinners. For the sake of God, man loves his brethren and lays down his life for his friends {John 1:4–5, 9; 10:11–18, 28–30; 11:25–26; 13:34–35; 14:6; 15:12–13, 17; 17:2326; 1 John 4:9–21; Wisdom 1:13–16}. God is the perfect Love, and love is the essence and meaning of life.

Only the cult of death correlates slaying of men with the will of deity: the Aquinas’ reference is absorbed from the cult of Dionysus – the god of death and insanity. Furthermore, the application of the title and properties of the idol to Christian God is the worst kind of blasphemy a theologian can commit.

Another Aquinas’ notion – the correct conscience – is very convenient for the stability of the hierarchy, because it connects the unconditional obedience to the superior with the subject’s right conscience and the sole responsibility of the subject for fulfillment of the superior’s orders, without judgment of the orders themselves (in the twentieth century, many Nazi criminals of war asserted the duty to obey the orders in an attempt to avoid responsibility for the crimes against humanity)

Although Aquinas apparently recognizes that man should obey only God in the matters concerning his soul, he simultaneously establishes one more peculiar article of the papal faith, which attributes to the member of the papal hierarchy/office –“the superior” – an ability to stand between man and God–Creator and, then, attributes to this “substitute of God” the authority of God: “the superior” can stand between God and man; the subjects had to obey a superior as “God Himself” since they “obey him in God’s stead”: the superior’s command is the rule of the subject’s will [Truth Q.23 a8].

No man can stand between God and other man; no man can stand at the place of God, and no man is able to have authority of God. Aquinas’ assumption is sacrilegious because it asserts that man is able to stand between God and another man or at the place of God and makes man more powerful than the Law of God, therefore, at least equal to God. With this particular Aquinas’ blasphemy, the papal hierarchy asserts own right on the place between God and His creation and re–directs the focus of man’s existence from heavenly God and His commandments to the earthly “superior” and his orders.

Aquinas admits that, in the matters of man’s own soul, man has to obey God alone, and obedience to fellow man is due only in the human affairs, when “the subjects” must obey their superiors for the sake of stability. However, he notices that the faith in Christ does not terminate the duty of obedience to the secular authorities: man also must obey to the fellow man in such matters where “the superior stands between God and his subjects.”  Consequently, the religious people have three degrees of obedience: in the regular mode of life, that is sufficient for salvation, then “perfect obedience” in all lawful matters, and the third – “indiscreet obedience” in the unlawful matters [ST II–II Q.104 a5, a6].

Although Aquinas apparently recognizes that man should obey only God in the matters concerning his soul, he simultaneously establishes one more peculiar article of the papal faith the duty of the “indiscreet obedience.”

The Aquinas’ notion of “indiscreet obedience” is a completion of the doctrine, which establishes the model of perfect behavior for the subjects unconditionally devoted to the pope. These subjects include those members of the religious orders, societies, and other structures sustaining the papal hierarchy who actualize the papal policies concerning the rulers of the states and their subjects, and for whom the pope is actual/corporeal earthly god holding the absolute power over human life and over post–mortem destiny of human soul.

The history preserved examples of indiscreet obedience of the papal subjects; e.g., Dominican monks (whose religious vocation normally would be prayers for the souls of all people including the kings and the works of charity and mercy) served the Inquisition; one of Dominican monks assassinated Henry III, king of France.

The Aquinas’ doctrine of obedience is the logical completion of two inconsistent with the Christian dogma assertions if Augustine: the concept of coercion in the name of love (Compelle Intrare) and the papal right to absolve the sins of inhumanity committed for the sake of common good (the “wise judge” concept). Since, the papal hierarchy achieves its purposes through the human beings in “the state of perfection”: absolutely obedient to the papacy, absolved from the sins of inhumanity if they had been committed for the sake of interests of the papacy, and freed from

 

a/ freedom of choice

b/ freedom of thought

c/ any earthly tie and obligation.

 

Aquinas elaborates Aristotle’s universal pattern ‘master––slave’ into the threefold structure of the papal empire:

 

Man–master –→ men–slaves
(e.g., the master – pope and his slaves/vassals–kings;
the master – king and his vassals/salves;
the masters – kings’ vassals and their serfs/slaves)

The papal office/hierarchy–master –→ the believers–slaves

Common good–master –→ members of community–slaves

 

The Aquinas’ structure is designed to accommodate a whole human being: propaganda of the common good, absolute power of the deified pope, and other speculations based on falsifications of the Scriptures has to defraud and enslave the mind and re–program the conscience; the oppressive structures through the physical force determine apparent behavior and exterminate those who did not succumb to propaganda.

Such a pattern of the hierarchy is not new. It exists since origin of the groups unified by the purpose of total/absolute dominion. Long before the papacy came to being, kings, emperors, and other leaders applied it for institution of the hierarchical structures, which – as they believed – would be invincible. Yet, deprivation of freedom and the termination of natural family ties for the sake of any earthly establishment contradict the Law of God, therefore, eventually, triggers collapse of the same establishment they were intended to make unassailable.

Aquinas introduces the degrees of perfection, beginning with the concept of the state of perfection for bishops and believers, and constructs the structure intended to accommodate all ambitions of the members of the hierarchy; his assertions concerning the exclusive status of the papal hierarchy might be summarized with the following arguments:

a/ the more the Israelites worshiped God the greater became their excellence over the other nations; the more men are united to God the better they are; likewise, the state of clergy is better than the state of laity

b/ the Episcopal Office (the level of papal hierarchy) has the greater perfection than any religious order (establishment, group), which consists of religious people – the believers. The believers can reach the state of “perfection of divine love” only through the life–long commitment to the Church, confirmed with three mandatory vows: poverty (giving up all the material possession), chastity (the denial of marriage and earthly ties with other people), and complete self–denial (unreserved obedience to the superior). These three vows reveal the meaning of “the death for Christ” as “the abnegation of self–will” and submission of own life, will, and conscience to the complete control and government by the superiors

c/ the clerical office is “superior to the monastic life” and even to the religious life. The very fact of admission to the Episcopal Office assumes the believer’s perfection [ST I–II Q.98 a5 ro2; The Religious state XV–XVII, XIX–XX 85–87, 92–93, 104, 107, 113–114].

The Aquinas’ vision of the papal hierarchy reminds the Manichean Perfected, the Plato’s class of guardians of the perfect community, and the Aristotle’s social and political concepts, especially concerning the comparison of man–social animal with “bees or other gregarious animals” and the ‘master–→slave’ pattern as the foundation for the “perfect” community, in which a master decides should his slaves have children or not [Aristotle Politics I.2.1253a; 1.4.1253b, 1254a; 1.5.1254a–b; The Oeconomica 1.v.6]. Working bees, which are deprived of the reproductive function, have the responsibility to gather food and maintain life of the bee–hive and especially, to serve the queen–bee. The slaves, whose natural attachment to their offspring would be detrimental to the master’s wars or other affairs, are not permitted to beget children without their master’s consent: they exist only to serve the master.

Aquinas elevates the papal hierarchy over the community of the ordinary people – the believers or the laity. The definition of perfection implies that, by the grace of papal office, a member of the papal hierarchy possesses the infallibility of judgment and is entitled to unreserved obedience of the others.

Then, Aquinas correlates the desire to serve God with the necessity to accept the unconditional obedience (in fact, complete slavery) to the superiors. If human beings created for happiness and love desire to serve their Creator as the Catholic/papal priests, they have to reject the precious gifts – family, children – with which God blessed man {Genesis 1:27–28; 9:1}. With the transformation into the papal subjects, they must give up the natural way of life for the sake of service to the purposes of their superiors. Could the mandatory unnatural way of life be an explanation of the specific problems with the clergy’s corrupted morality and “incontinence,” which the papacy experienced in such a degree that it even had to declare that the priests in the state of mortal sin are still able to perform their service to God? Would not it be an explanation why the papal hierarchy tolerates and protects perverts and pedophiles that sexually abuse children and ruin the faith of adults [Decrees of Ecumenical Councils 707; VII. Cooperman, Daly, McGrory, O’Toole, Powell, Williams]?

Furthermore, Aquinas uses the categories of the human law to elevate the papacy above the law. He writes that the law must have the common good as its subject; otherwise, the law is not just. The law should have the coercive power to exercise “an efficacious inducement to virtue”; the coercive power is vested in the group of people or in some public figure, which has to promulgate the law to make it work. Such a public figure, or the sovereign who promulgates the law, “is above the law” because he can change the law. Consequently, the man whom God granted the “special power” can dispense from the divine law, even may allow the law not to be observed, and such dispensation benefits the common good [ST I–II Q.90 a2, 3, 4; Q.96 a5; Q.97 a4].

Then, to elevate the members of the papal office and papal “divine” hierarchy above human laws, Aquinas introduces the specific virtue of authority, by which prelates and princes, although they are wicked, should be honored because they are “standing in God’s place” and are “having a share of the dignity of God”: even “a fool honored if he stands in God’s place or represents the whole community” [ST II–II Q.63 a3].

Other Aquinas’ texts (1 through 4) elaborate the meaning of “dignity of the wicked” and its implications for the papal office:

1/ by committing sin, a man accepts “a slavish state of beasts”; with the references to Aristotle, Aquinas concludes that a sinner is worse and more harmful than a beast; so, to kill a sinner is as good as to kill a beast [ST II–II Q.64 a2]

2/ the wicked sinners, if they are prelates and princes, stand at the place of God and have a “share of the dignity of God” [ST II–II Q.63 a3]

3/ although to kill a wicked sinner is the service to the good of community, the common people – “private persons” – have no right to kill a wicked ruler or tyrant; it will be dangerous for the community and for its rulers; only public authority can sanction murder of the wicked sinners, theft, robbery, etc., – anything that a papal community needs to protect its common good [On Kingship VI.47; The Political Ideas 190; ST II–II Q.64 a3, a6; Q.66 a8]

4/ disobedience to the superior is a mortal sin because disobedience contradicts to the love of God (as the violation of His commandments) and to the love of neighbor: the disobedient does not render his obedience to the superior, therefore deprives the superior from what is “his due”; however, if the ruler usurped the power, or his commands are unjust, his subjects should not obey him, except accidentally, “in order to avoid scandal or danger” [ST II–II Q.104 a6 ro3; Q.105 a1, a2].

Thus, the place at the papal hierarchy protects the wicked sinner–beast from just punishment (in Aquinas’ time it was execution) even if he endangers the same common good, which Aquinas usually asserts as the highest priority. The place at the “divine” hierarchy also provides its occupant with the right on the unreserved obedience because the Aquinas’ conditioning “to avoid scandal or danger” might be applied to any situation of the public life (e.g., shielding of pedophiles).

The definition of disobedience as the mortal sin is the unchangeable background for any Aquinas’ reference to the papal authority: in the Aquinas’ world, subjects have no right to decide; their duty is complete obedience. Although such crimes as murder, robbery, etc., committed under command of the superior (and in violation of the Law of God) are not a sin, disobedience to the earthly rulers (including the wicked and unjust sinners) is equated with the mortal sin, which endangers the post–mortem destiny of the soul. The place at the hierarchy makes a wicked sinner worthy of honor, signifies his superiority, secures obedience of his subjects, and even reserves special connection with God (“standing at the place” and having “a share of the dignity” of God). This Aquinas’ “bold renewal” of the Ten Commandments completed the substitution of the rules of Plato–Aristotelian utopias for the Law of God in the papal Church of Rome.

Eventually, Aquinas’ “dignity of the wicked” resulted in the complete moral degradation of the papal clergy.

For instance,

– in 1215 (before Aquinas began his work), the Fourth Lateran Council attempted to reform the morals and behavior of the clergy and to restrain “clerical incontinence”

– three centuries later, the Council of Trent (1545–1563) [according to its participants, the Council of Trent was guided “by the mind and spirit of St. Thomas”  – Walz ref. in: New Catholic Encyclopedia 14:134] declared that the “priests who are in mortal sin” still discharge their duties “by the power of the Holy Spirit,” which they received in ordination [Decrees of Ecumenical Councils 242, 707]. This conclusion is based on following Aquinas’ assertions: “members of Christ by the actual union of charity” are free from mortal sins [ST III Q.8 a3 ro2]; “all the consecrations of the Church are immovable,” and the sacramental power received by consecration remains in men as long as they live, even if they become heretics or schismatics (in support of this assertion, Aquinas refers to the altar, which is not consecrated again “unless it has been broken up”) [ST II–II Q.39 a3]

– the recent wide–world scandal revealed the common practice of sexual abuse of children and unlawful cover–up of the crimes of the abusers – so called “priests” and the members of the papal hierarchy, who during many years corrupted bodies and destroyed faith of their flock*9*.

This scandal reveals two things:

a/ the consequences of the Aquinas’ “dignity of the wicked,” which places the papal “blessed” above the law

b/ with the heathen philosophy, heathen mythical theology, through contempt to God and His Apostles and suppression of truth of the Gospels, through deification of mortal man, all humans, including the members of papal hierarchy under “grace” of papal office, might relapse into heathenism and cast themselves into corruption and perversion of the heathens, of which St. Peter and St. Paul the Apostles wrote twenty centuries ago {2 Peter 2:1–22; Romans 1:18–32}.

The presumption that the papal clergy in the state of mortal sin is able to continue the priest’s mission prompts some questions:

1/ if an ordained priest, supposedly such as Jan Hus, became a schismatic, and all the Church’s consecrations are not removable, – how it is possible for the papal church, which pretends to be the Church of God, to put to death the man who still possesses “the power of the Holy Spirit” received in ordination, or just any man – the temple of God in whom the Spirit of God dwells {1 Corinthians 3:16–17}? Why then, the papal hierarchy summoned Jan Hus to their Council with the promise of physical safety (oath of safe conduct), condemned him as a heretic, and in violation of own oath of safe conduct, burned him at stake*10*?

2/ if the sacrilegious words against the Holy Spirit are the unforgivable sin, and the papal church commits unforgivable sin when it puts to death man who is the dwelling of God and carries the Spirit of God, especially, if he is a priest, with “the power of the Holy Spirit” received in ordination, how this papal establishment can pretend on the name of “church” and cover its ideology with the name of Christianity?

3/ what if an altar was defiled? If it is not possible to make the sacrifice to Holy God at the defiled altar, how it could be possible for the defiled by mortal sin man to act with “the power of the Holy Spirit,” even if it was received in ordination, before the mortal sin was committed?

This particular canon of the Council of Trent illustrates the incompatibility of the Christian teachings and the official doctrine of the papal Church of Rome, which accepted Aquinas’ assertions that

a/ wicked men are capable of standing at the place of God and having a “share of the dignity of God” because of their status within the papal hierarchy

b/ man in a state of the mortal sin can discharge his duties “by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

According to St. John the Apostle, man who commits a sin “is of devil” {1 John 3:4–10}.

According to the Council of Trent, those who commit a mortal sin (or as St. John the Apostle wrote, are “of devil”) can act with “the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Evidently, the Council of Trent assumes that the power of God can be bound by men in such a degree that even man in a state of mortal sin, who has rejected God (otherwise, he would not commit mortal sin), still possesses the power received when he was ordained. It means that the Council of Trent incorporates into papal dogma–Catholicism the heathen belief in the ability of man to bind and control deity with magic rituals or rites of worship and ascribes to the man “of devil” the ability to act “by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

If to read the Scriptures, it becomes evident that a mortal sin and the life in God are incompatible (the mortal sin is called “mortal” because the sinner freely has rejected God – the source of life). The evil and mortal sins of man do not exist in presence of God: either man has the Spirit of God or he is in the state of mortal sin. Any assertion that the priest in the state of mortal sin still could be a priest or could act with the power of the Holy Spirit received in ordination, contradicts the Scriptures and the Christian dogma: the assertion that God dwells in the sinner along with mortal sin is sacrilegious because it implies that God dwells with the evil.

Sin is a state of the freely chosen death – death of the soul, which rejected God; although the soul is immortal, without God it does not have life, because if it does not live in God, it dwells in death. Man sanctified by the Word–God is born of the Holy Spirit of God; he dwells in God Who is perfect love, and he is the dwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. Such man cannot sin: sin is lawlessness and “he who commits sin is of devil” {John 14:16–17; 15:1–26; 1 John 3:3–9, 14–15; 4:7–21; 5:12, 16–18; James 1:13–15; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19–20} [also, see: St. Maximus the Confessor 34 in: The Philokalia 2:244; St. Gregory Palamas §8 in: The Philokalia 4:295].

The Aquinas’ positive correlation of mortal sin and of the status of clergy belongs to another realm of knowledge – the heathen cult of death.

The papal dogma that man in a state of the mortal sin (that is by the man “of devil”) can discharge his duties “by the power of the Holy Spirit” is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; only this one article of papal faith is enough to prove the incompatibility of the papal dogma with Christianity.

To evaluate the Aquinas’ position without prejudice, it should be also taken into consideration that the Christian Church exists where God is present with His followers: the Church is the body of Christ and the presence of God creates the Church. It means that the Church cannot be separated from God because she instantly ceases to exist. The voluntary separation from God is death for man, and the same is with Church: there is no Church without God. Yet, Aquinas not only separates Church from God, he discards the very mission of God and contradicts the God’s words.

Through the centuries, it was held as the truth: thoughts and deeds (the degree of perfection of soul and mind), make man either suitable for the God’s purposes or transform him into the weathered branch, which will be cast away. Lord God Jesus Christ denounced the corrupted priests and scribes and dined with those whom the priests and scribes called “sinners.” Therefore, such things as the status within the religious establishment and the absence of the status, the praise and the conviction uttered by the corrupted priests, as well as all other labels and distinctions given by some humans men to other humans do not save/ruin a man. Human definitions have meaning and value only for humans. God sees the heart – true essence – of man; He rises up children of Abraham from stones, makes a king from a shepherd, transforms fisherman into those who catch men, and turns the ruler of the empire into senseless beast – whatever He does, He does it according to His will; all the inhabitants of the earth are as nothing before Him, and there is none who is able to withstand His power {Matthew 3:9; 23:1–36; Luke 5:4–11, 27–32; 20:45–47; 1 Kings 16:1–13; 2 Kings 5:1–4; Daniel 4:1–34}.

To the contrary, the Aquinas’ speculations, which became the articles of the papal faith, are intended to substantiate that the status within the papal hierarchy transforms man into a saint and assimilates him with God. It means that Aquinas substitutes “the grace” by the power of papal office for the grace of God.

Aquinas attempts to extol the uniqueness and perfection of the papal hierarchy; he portrays the Roman pope as the ruler and supreme judge endowed with the perfect/plenary power and set above all laws. Unquestionable obedience to this visible ruler, whose shoe or hand the believers (including the kings and other leaders) have a privilege to kiss during the ritual of obeisance, is asserted as the condition of salvation and eternal life. Probably, Thomas Aquinas has earned canonization exactly for such representation of the pope, or at least it was one of the main reasons for the references to Thomas Aquinas as to the “angelic doctor,” and the “greatest philosopher” of the papal church. The acceptance of his doctrine as the official doctrine of the papacy confirms transformation of the Church of Rome into the political organization that is maintained by the people deprived of freedom and natural mode of life (in some aspects similar to the Plato’s guardians), yet, Aquinas defines this establishment as the “God’s kingdom upon earth” [The Religious State XIX 104].

The following detail reveals the inner world of the papal establishment: as a Dominican monk, Thomas Aquinas was not only the loyal subject of the hierarchy; he was the hierarchy’s product–fruit and, as any papal saint, after canonization he became the official role model for the papal subjects, because the main Aquinas’ achievements include the exceptional Aquinas’ loyalty to the pope for the sake of which he disregarded

–– the authority of God – by misinterpretation of the Scriptures and contradiction of the word of God

–– the authority of the Apostles – by misinterpretation of their writings

–– the authority of the Universal Christian Church – by ignoring or misrepresentation of the decision of the Ecumenical Councils

–– the authority of Catholic saint Augustine – by misrepresentation of his writings and by making Augustine the advocate of the capital punishment for heresy.

Such emancipation of any authority at the heaven and the earth discloses the actual meaning and the consequences of deification of the pope, and also provides the warning concerning the destructive potential of the papal faith. Canonization of Aquinas has proved for all papal subjects that the papacy, the papal laws, and the papal purposes are above all and everything: above God, above the Scriptures–words of God, above the Universal Christian Church, and above papal own saints. Thus, Aquinas’ case reveals the practical results: what the papal hierarchy makes from its subjects by deification of the hierarchy’s head–pope, starting from elevation of any superior at the place of God.

 

 

Common Good and Justice

 

The concept of common good is the main pillar for the Aquinas’ social and political doctrine; it defines the significance, which the Aquinas’ doctrine has for the papacy.

The initial Aquinas’ definition (the end of every part is the whole, likewise, the common good is the end of every member of a community [ST II–II Q.58 a9 ro3]) instantly discloses that Aquinas follows Aristotle. He considers a human being as the part of the group or community – the whole, and the good of the whole as the good of a person: man exists for the good of the community, and the good of man is the good of the community. He thinks by the sets/groups/communities of people, where every member–part exists to maintain existence and to serve needs of the whole: the group becomes the main priority, and a particular good of a particular human being is lost behind the abstract good of the group/community.

Incorporation of the Aristotelian concept of the common good into the theological doctrine of the Church of Rome had the significant consequences. With the abstract meaning of the common good, which covers the good of the exclusive part of community – the papal hierarchy, Aquinas justifies any crime against humanity. The good of a person ceased to be: each – unique and precious for God – human being becomes only an insignificant part of some abstract idea – the whole: the part exists only for the good of the whole. Then, according to the Aristotelian dialectics, any part of the whole – a member of community – could be put to death, maimed, imprisoned, and deprived of liberty and property for the sake of the common good.

The Christian dogma holds the good and salvation of each human being as the main purpose of God’s mission on the Earth: God speaks of each person – a sinner, a lost sheep, which is destined to be found and saved {Matthew 9:10–13; 18:10–14; John 3:14–18, 36}.

To the contrary, the Aristotelian–Aquinas’ common good of the papal Church of Rome shifts the focus from a person to the community–establishment–conglomerate centered on the pope: the pope determines and his office interprets the meaning of the common good of the establishment according to pope’s own purposes. By the substitution of the heathen concept of abstract common good for the Christian good of a person, Aquinas gains foothold for justification of a specific social and political structure as the inseparable attribute of the common good: the common good becomes the façade of the quest for the imperial absolute power.

The Aristotle’s concept of the common good expresses the essence of the slave–owning society, where the slavery, as the natural and divinely established foundation, is expected to support the absolute power of the deified ruler. Aquinas desperately needs the order and definiteness of slavery to sustain the absolute power of the papal hierarchy; however, as soon as Christianity is the religion of freedom, he has to make slavery unnoticeable, yet, real. In addition, physical slavery is not sufficient: a slave with free mind always was, is, and will be the greatest danger for his master. Aquinas needs the all–inclusive control over body and mind of the “animated property,” which would be kept in absolute obedience, and which would be the reliable foundation for the papal hierarchy. Consequently, he has to find the way to subdue the mind to the total control that is possible only if the submission of mind would

a/ define the difference between life or death (in this case, the right attitude of the mind is maintained with the power of coercion)

b/ become the voluntary and praiseworthy act, which the community and especially its leaders must recognize as the virtue (the meaning of virtues is established through programming of the conscience).

Common good demands common justice. Aquinas’ remarks disclose his vision of justice and illustrate the logical chain of his arguments [ST I–II Q.91 a1, a2; II–II Q.57 a1 ro2, a3, a4; Q.65 a2; Q.58 a1 ro6], with which he attempts to justify the right of one man to be a master–owner of another man:

1/ justice is the means to guide and direct men toward the kind of equality, the object of justice is the right

2/ the natural right is correlated with a person by two ways: the first, by its very nature; the second, by something “resultant from it,” e.g., possession of property

3/ a slave is the instrument, which belongs to his master, a wife belongs to her husband, a son belongs to his father; thus, “something proper” – the right – is due to each kind of person according to the status or “his particular office,” and for the sake of justice, a master, for example, can lawfully physically harm his slave to enforce own instructions

4/ the slavery belongs to the right of nations and is natural “in the second way,” because, as Aristotle postulated, it might be useful for one man to be ruled by another man

5/ the law is “an expression of right,” the natural law is participation of the eternal law, and the eternal law is the name for divine providence

6/ consequently, justice – as rendering to everyone his due (e.g., physical harm or pain to a slave) – is the service to God.

Surely, the righteousness – the attribute of God (the attribute, which Aquinas identifies as the Divine justice “referred to Divine Good”) – is the dearest dream of humanity, the dream, which has the age of mankind. With assertion of legal justice as the main virtue in connection with the Divine justice, Aquinas substitutes legal justice for the righteousness. At first glance, it might look like the subtle difference; however, it has drastic consequences. For instance, if for the Christians, the essence of justice is the Law of God {and love is the fulfillment of the law – Romans 13:10}; for the Aquinas’ “blessed”– members of the papal hierarchy – the justice and dignity proceed from themselves {Habakkuk 1:7}.

Contrary to the Christian dogma, which affirms equality of all people before righteous God–Creator Who sees the heart of man, Aquinas asserts legal justice as the means to sustain the social order through enforcement of the mandatory patterns of manifest behavior according to the essence and purposes of human establishment. Such assertion shifts the focus of the mind from own conscience (as the voice of God and the commandments of God, which determine morality, ethics, and meaning of values), on apparent compliance with the mandatory patterns of manifest behavior approved by the papal authority.

Aquinas follows the Aristotle’s biological–arithmetic morality: every moral virtue is directed to pleasure and pain and might be expressed by the means of arithmetic, and such a meaning of virtue becomes a possibility to equate the members of community. Aristotelian justice comes to “equation,” or a possibility to establish “a certain proportion of equality” between a member of community and the common good: justice is seen as the distribution, or the act of rendering of something due to each member of community – “his own.” Aquinas elevates legal justice, which guards the common good, to the rank of moral virtue: legal justice that pursues the common good of men receives the status of divine justice “referred to the Divine good.” Consequently, mercy, liberality, and other virtues become “the secondary”: legal justice transcends all other virtues “as much as the common good transcends the individual good of one person”; it the cardinal virtue [ST II–II Q.58 a10, a11, a12; Q.59 a1 ro1; Truth Q.23 a6 r].

To the contrary, for the Christians, mercy comes first, as the attribute of perfect God revealed by Lord God Jesus Christ: man must be merciful as God–Father is merciful {Luke 6:36}.

The process of elevation of legal justice to the rank of the main virtue illustrates the Aquinas’ favorite trick: when he wants to validate own assertions and to cover their inhuman essence, he provides the ambiguous or irrelevant references to the Scriptures or simply mentions the name of God. However, such tricks could mislead only the ignorant people deprived of the knowledge of the word of God. Indeed, anyone who read the Bible (the Bible, which the Inquisition made the forbidden book for the Catholic laity) would see the irreconcilable difference between Aquinas’ meaning of justice and the justice according to the Christian teachings

–– God is the Father of mercies {2 Corinthians 1:3}

–– man must be merciful as God is merciful {Luke 6:36}

–– God desires mercy, not sacrifice, because He came to save the sinners {Matthew 9:12–13; 23:23}

–– mercy exults over judgment {James 2:13}.

The Aquinas’ classification of mercy as “the secondary” virtue not only contradicts the Scriptures; it reveals that the papal saint and main theologian Aquinas is not able to comprehend the basics of the Christian faith: none of the attributes of God can be referred to and treated as “the secondary.”  

Another aspect of the Aquinas’ innovation concerning virtues might become clear if to realize that the human virtues are the derivatives of the attributes of God – “the things that surround Him” [St. Gregory Palamas 95; qt.: Note F.8. by Jaroslav Pelican in: St. Gregory Palamas 147].

It means that by overthrowing the traditional virtues–attributes of God and classification of mercy – the main virtue by which man must imitate God – as the “secondary” virtue, Aquinas excludes God from the life of the “perfect” papal community in the same manner as Aristotle at his time excluded Absolute Good/God from the life of the Polis. Legal justice, which maintains “a certain proportion of equality” through the distribution of the privileges, stipulation of the power over other members of the community, particular status within the hierarchy/community, and material goods, becomes the main virtue of the papal establishment.

In his time, Aristotle defined slavery as the natural law [Aristotle Politics I.5.1254b; I.6.1255a–b]. The Aquinas’ reference to Politics and correlated arguments [ST II–II Q.57 a3 ro2] confirm: Aquinas also accepts slavery as the natural order and, consequently, the object of justice. By assembling the definitions of divine Providence, eternal law–government of God, human justice as the service to God, natural rights, and slavery into one chain, Aquinas not only legalizes slavery; he presents establishment and maintenance of slavery as the service of God, and legalizes slavery and injustice for many (e.g., unreserved obedience and unnatural way of existence for monks transformed into the blind weapon of the papal will) for advancement of interests and achievement of the purposes of few privileged “divine functionaries” (e.g., absolute power for the pope and privileged status – above the law – for the members of the papal office).

Indeed, the papal church never hesitated to have slaves; for instance, an example from the history of slavery in the North America mentioned by Garry Wills: in 1830, the Jesuits of Maryland sold all their slaves into the Deep South [Wills xiii]. So, the Jesuit society not only owned slaves; facing the developing movement for abolition of slavery, it sold them to prevent economical loss.

One more example: Aquinas characterizes suicide not only as the contradiction of the nature of human being and to charity of God; it is the injure to community because every man is a part of community, and because every man with “all his parts” belongs to the community [ST II–II Q.64 a5], and, as a possession of the community, does not have control over own life. Again, the key point of the Aquinas’ reasoning is the Aristotle’s assertion: man is the property of community – the slave who has no right to escape his master even through rejection of life – suicide.

With affirmation of slavery and legal justice, which renders any kind of person (master and slave alike) his dues, as the service to God, Aquinas prepared the main building block for the structure, which – as he expected – would actualize the absolute power of the papal hierarchy.

Aquinas establishes the connection between the faith and the rights of a person by introducing the submission to the forceful conversion as the only way for the unbeliever to keep own property, to protect own life, and to continue living in the state under papal jurisdiction. The papal faith, which demands complete submission of all believers to the absolute spiritual and secular power of the Roman pope, becomes the main condition of the physical freedom and rights of a person in the state/community under jurisdiction of the papacy. Consequently, the pope legitimately inherits the place of the main authority at the earthly matters: “The authority of Caesar preceded the distinction of faithful from unbelievers” [ST II–II Q.10 a10 ro2]. By mixing faith with the authority of secular power, Aquinas proceeds to the institution of slavery for the mind and justifies the total control and surveillance over the mind, conscience, manner of life, and the very existence of a person.

The Aquinas’ definitions of law illustrate the main method he employed to construct his doctrine. With the first arguments, Aquinas declares the self–evident truth. With the self–evident truth he achieves verisimilitude of the entire statement (for facilitation of acceptance of it by the others), while, in fact, the initial reference to truth covers false and destructive nature of the whole concept.

For instance, to make any papal law unquestionable and to establish the duty of unconditional obedience to any law promulgated by the papacy, Aquinas [ST I–II Q. 93 a3, a4]:

a/ defines the unjust law as the law, which deviates from reason and does not have a nature of law; it has the nature of violence (this part of a definition is the self–evident truth for a system based upon the concept of the righteousness)

b/ explains that the will of God is the very essence of God and “the same thing as the eternal law” (this part is an application of the authority of God for establishing the link between the self–evident truth and the main assertion, which Aquinas needs to make verisimilar)

c/ asserts that even the unjust law, “framed” by somebody in power, is derived from the eternal law, because all authoritative power descends from God (this statement is the main assertion – the false core, which Aquinas covers with the self–evident truth).

As the result of this logical dance, with the declaration that unjust laws have their source in the will of God (that is, according to Aquinas, in the nature/essence of God), Aquinas prepares the initial ground for justification of the use of evil. Full legalization of evil for the service of church might become possible only if such a church perverts the image of God and transforms the Absolute Good into the cause/source of evil. Consequently, Aquinas refers to the Dionysius’ remark that punishment itself is not an evil; the evil is to deserve punishment. He classifies sin as the offence against three established orders: the human nature, the society, and the Universe. A man sins against own nature, the superior, and God, that is against own reason, the human law, and the divine law. Logically, each sin incurs “debt of punishment.” As soon as a sinner is liable before God, people, and sinner’s own nature, God and people can justly punish a sinner [ST I–II Q.87 a1], therefore, to distribute him his part of the common good. It means that according to Aquinas, the pope acts naturally and in imitation of God, when he

a/ establishes himself as the center of spiritual, judicial, and secular power, which distributes good and evil: good for obedient subjects; evil for the disobedient sinners, heretics, and schismatics

b/ employs methods, which bring evil and destruction for the sake of the papal common good, for instance, putting heretics and schismatics to death or waging war with the non–Catholics.

Then, Aquinas needs to provide the ideal role model of the executor of the papal laws. He elaborates the Augustine’s vision of the wise judge who tortures and puts to death the innocent man, yet, does not sin against humanity because “the binding claim of society” justifies his ignorance [Augustine The City of God against... XIX.vi VI:145–147]. The following Aquinas’ assertions summarize his vision of the executors of the legal justice (1 through 3).

1) The judge who pursues the common good must form his opinion concerning the public matters according to the knowledge he obtains through “the public judicial procedure”; this knowledge is the knowledge of “a public person,” not his own knowledge. Even if a judge knows that a man is innocent and cannot find the motive to acquit him or to send the case to the superior, the judge does not sin when he sentences the innocent man to death according to presented evidences. Those who presented the false evidence are guilty in the death of the innocent man [ST II–II Q.64 a6 ro3; Q.67 a3].

This assertion explains why Augustine–Aquinas’ role model of “the wise judge” was very useful for the papal hierarchy, in particular, for the objectives of the Inquisition: Aquinas not only relieved pains of conscience (if any) of his brethren–inquisitors; he separated the “public person” who serves the common good from a person (an ordinary human being) and introduced the idea of supremacy of the public figure and the public figure’s knowledge over an ordinary human being and truth – even when the public knowledge is false. This Aquinas’ idea also had found embodiment in the oppressive structures of the totalitarian regimes.

2) There is no place for the judge’s mercy in the matters determined by the human or divine laws; the merciful judge inflicts “injury on the community” when he spares the sinners who must be punished for the sake of common good [ST II–II Q.67 a4 ro1, ro3].

This conclusion is consistent with the Aquinas’ assertions through which he substituted legal justice for the righteousness and postulated that legal justice, as the cardinal virtue, transcends mercy, liberality, and all other virtues in the same fashion as the common good transcends the individual good of one person. Again, Aquinas fights against God:

– Lord God Jesus Christ named love, mercy, and imitation of the mercy and perfection of God the Father as the qualities of the sons of God {Matthew 5:44–48; Luke 6:35–36} that is the highest good of man

– the saint and main theologian of the papal church makes own correction of the God’s words: mercy is not consisted with the struggle for the absolute power; legal justice of “the wise judge” must overcome the mercy of God.

However, legal justice is the property/subsystem of any state/secular system, even if such a system is inhuman and oppressive.

For example, according to their own concept of legal justice, the communist states exterminated aristocracy, merchants, priests, educators, scientists, wealthy peasants, followers of any religion, and all the others who did not recognize communism as the only truth,  and the cult of personalities of such criminals for instance, as Lenin and Stalin, as the only religion. All these atrocities were in compliance with the communist version of legal justice. Then, in Nazi Germany, humiliation and discrimination of people because of their nationality and race were legalized by the breeding laws into which the Nazis implemented their own version of legal justice.

Therefore, interpretation of the necessity of the state as the cardinal moral virtue might result (and did result) in elevating of the evil into the rank of the state virtues. Furthermore, the assertion of any necessity as supreme to mercy and liberality contradicts the Christian dogma and is not consistent with the mission of the Christian Church.

3) When the judge has to punish sin of rebellion against the Church, the manifest rebellion itself “stands instead of accuser” [ST II–II Q.67 a3].

The method of self–accusation facilitated the Inquisition’s judicial procedure and saved time of the inquisitors and other members of the papal hierarchy by releasing them from such formalities as proof of guilt of the accused. It was not new in the time of Aquinas: in the same way, the Sanhedrin condemned Lord God Jesus Christ and handed Him over to the civil authorities for execution {Matthew 26:59–66; Mark 14:55–64; 15:1–3, 9–11; John 18:28–31}.

Aquinas supplements his doctrine of justice with the statement: the subjects have no right to discuss the judgment of superior. If the subject executes an innocent man, it does not mean that the subject is an assassin: it is the judge who puts to death [ST II–II Q.64 a6].

The overall Aquinas’ presentation of law and judges is the logical continuation of his concepts of the common good and justice. Aquinas writes that the law must have the common good as its subject; otherwise, the law is not just. The law should have the coercive power to exercise “an efficacious inducement to virtue”; the coercive power is vested in the group of people or in some public figure, which has to promulgate the law to make it work. Such a public figure, or the sovereign who promulgates the law, “is above the law” because he can change the law. Consequently, the man whom God granted the “special power” can dispense from the divine law, even may allow the law not to be observed, and such dispensation benefits the common good [ST I–II Q.90 a2, 3, 4; Q.96 a5; Q.97 a4].

Obviously, Aquinas shares the Thrasymachus’ point of view:  justice is the privilege of the strongest imposed on the weakest “moral simpletons” who must act for the advantage of their ruler [Plato Republic 343c].  

The logical chain, with which Aquinas attempts to confirm the exclusive above–the–law status of the papacy and to place the Roman pope above the divine and human law, includes the following assertions [ST I–II Q.91 a1, ro3; a2, a3; a4 ro1; Q.93 a3]:

a/ law is a rule and the measure, which actively puts things in the order and directs them to their ends

b/ law is the “dictate of practical reason emanating from the ruler” of a perfect community

c/ the divine providence that governs “the whole community of the Universe” has its end in God Himself, and the Law of God, or the eternal law, is God Himself (in another text, Aquinas describes the eternal law as “nothing else than the exemplar of divine wisdom” [ST I–II Q.93 a1]; such a description prompts the question concerning consistency of the Aquinas’ definitions)

d/ the natural law participates in the eternal law “proportionately to the capacity of human nature”: from the natural law, human reason infers the specific determinations, which become human laws

e/ all laws are derived from the eternal – divine – law, and even the unjust law, which does not follow from the “right reason,” has its source in or is derived from the eternal law.

It means that Aquinas establishes two main logical connections, which he asserts as the truth: 

1/ divine law –→ natural law –→ human law:  the source is divine law, the middle stage is natural law, and the end is human law; therefore, each human law has its source and the beginning in the Law of God

2/ God the Ruler of “the whole community of the Universe” –→ the earthly ruler of a perfect community.

With these two connections, he targets two goals: 

1/ to elevate the laws of man at the level of the divine law, then, to elevate man at the level of divinity because his laws are at the level of the divine laws; Aquinas achieves this objective by defining the divine law as the source of the laws of the earthly ruler and by assimilating the earthly ruler with the Ruler of the Universe. Consequently, Aquinas attributes to the earthly ruler “a share of the dignity of God” and an ability to stand “in God’s place” [ST II–II Q.63 a3]

2/ to integrate the imperial law–making practice (actualization of the will of man as the law) with the official practice of the papal Church of Rome. In fact, Aquinas adapts for the papacy the Roman formulas, which reveal the source of the laws in the heathen Roman Empire: “Whatever the prince wants has the vigor of law,” and “The prince is not bound by laws” [qtd. in: Bigongiari  xviii].

The history confirms that the divine law regulates life of mankind – only those human establishments have a chance to exist indefinitely, which infer own laws from the Law of God, therefore, which exist under protection of God. Every leader emerges to accomplish the deeds of the good or the evil – whatever his subjects deserve with their good deeds and thoughts or evil deeds and thoughts. In fact, a leader might be considered as the embodiment of the sum total determined by the deeds of the members of the establishment: a good ruler arises to lead his system/state/community to deserved prosperity; a bad ruler arises to lead his subjects to the logical end – destruction for those who had rejected the Law of God and failed their mission {e.g., cf.  in: Proverbs 8:12–16; Isaiah 40:22–24; Hosea 13:9–11; Matthew 7:21–23; 15:14}. There is a category of rulers–destroyers and the category of rulers–builders/developers. Those rulers who initiate irreversible collapse and accomplish the tasks of destruction of human establishments cannot be associated with God, or have the life–maintaining Law of God as the source of own laws. Their ascent to power, rule, and the end are governed with the laws of destruction and the logic of death.

For example, Roman Emperor Nero, the pope Benedict XIII (deposed in 1417 by Council of Constance for perjury, heresy, fostering schism, and persecution the Church), Adolf Hitler, and many others of a kind had multitude of followers and executors of their laws. Yet, who would dare to assimilate them with God or to assert that their destructive policies, laws, and orders have as their source the life–maintaining Law of God? They were embodiments of the law of destruction, and they had to perform two tasks: to reveal evil of the establishments, which they were destined to rule–lead to destruction, and ultimately, to ruin the evil establishments.

Many centuries ago, St. Paul the Apostle wrote about the lawless “son of perdition” through whom “the mystery of lawlessness” works, who makes god from himself and takes his sit at the temple of God {2 Thessalonians 2:3–5}: this being would serve destruction of those who under the delusion substitute the false for the truth.

With his doctrines of faith, law, obedience, and moral perfection, Aquinas introduces and elaborates the ideals of freely accepted slavery and submission to the absolute spiritual and secular authority of the “divinely appointed functionary” – the pope. He transforms the selective common good of the Aristotle’s society, which consisted only from free citizens – slave–owners, into the selective common good of the papal hierarchy as an embodiment of the community of the believers unified by the papal faith and by the authority of the pope. Then, he declares the right of the community *11* to completely possess its members, as well as all members’ bodies – parts of the community, and justifies even the mortal sins if they are committed for the sake of common good.

For instance, Aquinas

1/ defends the barbaric punishments and executions: to maim a human being is consistent “with natural reason in relation to the common good” [ST II–II Q.65 a1 ro1]

Thus, along with the concept of pagan philosopher who perceived man as a social animal–property–part of his owner–community–Polis, the heathen custom of inhumane punishment is admitted to the life of the papal community, which, nevertheless continues to cover itself with the name of Christ and to use the wordings from the Christian terminology.

2/ postulates that any person can do everything for the common good, yet, with one restriction: robbery, murder, slaying, executions, etc. must be done by the virtue of those who rule the community (that is with permission or under the command of the superior), and while murder, theft, and other sins opposing the charity are mortal sins, they are justified when their purpose is to protect the common good [ST II–II Q.64 a3; Q.65 a1; Q.66 a7, a8]

3/ declares that it is lawful to kill the sinners; the wicked may be lawfully put to death when “the slaying of the wicked” protects and saves the good [ST II–II Q.64 a2].

These Aquinas’ texts especially vividly illustrate the depth of perversion of the Christian dogma by Aquinas and the consequences of the Aquinas’ classification of mercy as the secondary virtue and the substitution of the “legal justice” (which also identifies the crime against humanity with the virtue if the crime is committed according to the will of the superior) for the righteousness. If robbery, murder, slaying might be committed “by the virtue” of the superior, these crimes against humanity, logically, become the law and the virtues of the community controlled by the superior.

With his concepts of the common good, justice, and judge, Aquinas arranged the foundation for the Inquisition, which had the objective to exterminate without any mercy all those who threatened the stability of the papal hierarchy, while the papacy attempted to keep appearance of the Christian Church. Although the Aquinas’ concepts of the common good and justice are covered with the wordings from the Scriptures, they contradict the main commandment of God – love to God and to one another: they substitute inexorable Nemesis of the ancient pagans for love and mercy of God. The Aquinas’ concepts of common good and justice accelerated transformation of the Church of Rome into the heathen political establishment.

 

 

Schism and Heresy

 

The concepts of schism and heresy and overall treatment of schismatics and heretics reveal the essence of Aquinas’ social and political doctrines and one more time illustrate incompatibility of the Aquinas’ political theology/official doctrine of the papal Church of Rome with Christianity.  Although Aquinas asserts the commandments to love God and to love a neighbor as the central manifest point of his concept of the common good, in fact, the papal good of the community is the Aristotelian version of common good: the name of Christian love covers inhumanity of Aristotle’s Polis.

A particular concern for schismatics reveals the essence of the Aquinas doctrine with particular clarity.

The schismatic is a person who refuses to subject his mind and conscience to the pope and other superiors–members of the papal hierarchy; briefly, the schismatic (e.g., an Orthodox Christian) does not worship the pope and does not recognize ability of pope to stand at the place of God. Aquinas defines schism as the special sin of “rebelliously disobeying” to the commandments of the Church and refusal to be submitted to the Church’s judgment. Schismatics are the people who commit a twofold sin: they “refuse to submit” to the Roman pope and they reject communion with those who acknowledge the supremacy of the Roman pope. Although schism is not equal with heresy or unbelief, the choice of separation from the Church of Rome and refusal of submission to the pope make schism the mortal sin: schism is the greatest from all sins against neighbor because it opposes “to the spiritual good of multitude”; therefore, schismatics must be excommunicated and “compelled by the secular power.” The recommendation to use coercion is supplemented with the reference to the Scriptures, in particular, by the text about punishment of those who rebel against Moses the Prophet {Numbers 16:12–33} and did not recognize him as a prince over them [ST II–II Q.39 a1, a2, a4; italic in the original text].

However, Aquinas has no logical justification for positioning the Roman pope at the place of Moses the Prophet after he already made the pope the “divine functionary”– the substitute for God, which stands at the place of God and has the share of dignity of God. Indeed, the Aquinas’ superior should chastise him for such disrespect.

The key for understanding the actual danger of schism for the papacy is in the Aquinas’ statement that schismatics “are unwilling to be controlled by the Church’s spiritual power.” He already declared that justice demands man to subject his mind entirely to God [ST II–II Q.57 a1 a, ro3] and the Aquinas’ world is founded upon the substitution of the superior–pope for God.

Another interesting point of the Aquinas’ concept of schism is the assertion: the spiritual power is twofold and consists from the sacramental power, which schismatics retain, and from the power of jurisdiction, which schismatics violate [ST II–II Q.39 a3]. However, if schismatics retain the sacramental power (the sacramental power connects man with God and signifies that man belongs to God and works for His purposes), it means that for Aquinas, the violation of God’s commandments is not the mortal sin: schism becomes the mortal sin because it is the rebellion against the power of jurisdiction and deprives the papal hierarchy of prospective subjects who reject submission to the Roman pope. Aquinas classifies disobedience to the mortal man–pope as the more grievous sin than disobedience to God.

In the Aquinas’ world, schism and disobedience to the superior are mortal sins and the sinners have to be punished by death because they contradict the God’s commandments: to love God Who is represented by the head of His Church – the pope, and to love a neighbor, for example, the pope. As soon as charity, which is in the power of love, is addressed to “nothing in one’s neighbor except God,” Aquinas equates love to the superior (e.g., to the Roman pope), who also is a neighbor (as a member of the papal community), with love to God. Consequently, Aquinas focuses love to God and love to the neighbor on one person: the pope, the superior.  Then, Aquinas depicts schism as the mortal sin because it separates from the neighbor and from the community of the believers submitted to one of the neighbors, the pope. As soon as Aquinas already has equated love to the neighbor with love to God, schism automatically becomes the mortal sin because it contradicts the commandment of God [ST II–II Q.39 a2 ro3; Q.105 a1 a; Truth Q.10 a7 ad7]. Thus, the schismatics who rebel against the main Aquinas’ virtue of unreserved obedience to the superior–pope commit the mortal sin punishable by death because, for Aquinas and his superior–pope whom Aquinas deified, the rebellion against the pope is equal to the denial of God.

However, if to accept the words of God as the only truth, which from the following decisions is the mortal sin:

––  to submit own conscience to the evil and give up the priceless gift of God – the freedom of thinking for the sake of absolute obedience to the men, obsessed with self–deification and lust of power, who initiated the Crusades, established the Inquisition, and inspired their subjects to burn their neighbors at the stake, to commit murders, robberies, and other crimes, etc.

or

––  to comprehend the warning of God about the grievous wolves in sheep’s clothing and to follow the advice of God and His Apostles how to discern and avoid the servants of the evil {Matthew 7:15–23; Acts 20:29–30; 2 Peter 1:10; 2:1–22; 1 John 3:6–12; Colossians 2:6–23; 3:12–17}?  

The history makes obvious that in the papal Church of Rome, freedom of the conscience and rejection of the unreserved submission to the pope (the submission, which might include assassination of innocent men) are the mortal sins punishable with death, and Aquinas’ references to excommunication for the mortal sin of schism and to employment of the secular power means the death penalty for the schismatics. The references to the schismatics reflect the recent for the Aquinas (1225–1273) reality: they were written in the same century when the papal Crusaders sacked Constantinople (1204) and attempted to establish the papal authority over the Byzantine Empire with plunder and destruction of the temples of God and with murder, humiliation, rape, and robbery of the Greek Christians – men, women, and children.

Aquinas justifies the death penalty with the Aristotle’s concept of the common good, as well as all other policies of the papacy concerning governing of the papal subjects. He modified the statement that the city/polis or the political association is “the most sovereign of all goods” [Aristotle Politics I.1. 1252a] into the declaration:  “the state is a perfect community,” where each man “in all that he is and has” belongs to the community as its natural part. As soon as any part is imperfect, and the whole is perfect, every part exists for the sake of the whole. Consequently, it is according to nature to inflict a loss of the part to save the whole. If a sinner becomes danger and infects the community, it is not only lawful; it is even “praiseworthy and advantageous” to kill the sinner to protect the common good from corruption by sin [ST I–II Q.90 a2; Q.96 a4; II–II Q.64 a2, a3, a5, a6; Q.65 a1].

If to recall that Aquinas determined mercy to be the “secondary” virtue, elevated the unreserved obedience and crimes against humanity committed according to the order of the superior to the rank of virtues, and referred to refusal to worship the deified pope as to the mortal sin, it is become evident that the meaning of the Aquinas’ definition “sinner” is different from the definition of sin accepted by the Christian Church because it reflects the perverted meaning of the good and the evil: that what is good for the Christians is bad for the Aquinas’ establishment, and that what is the virtue for the subjects of the papal hierarchy is the mortal sin for the Christians.

The Aquinas’ perception of the death penalty discloses his attitude toward human life. He makes three clarifications concerning slaying of evildoers by the clergy [ST II–II Q.64 a4]:

1/  the clergy should follow the example of St. Peter the Apostle who did not kill Ananias and his wife by his own authority: he announced the God’s sentence {Acts 5:1–11}; therefore, the papacy, which created and used such criminal institution as the Inquisition, unnoticeably but definitely claims the possession with the same authority of God by which the Apostle acted

2/ the clergy is concerned with the “spiritual welfare,” it should not “meddle with minor matters”; thus, human life is the “minor matter” in comparison with the “spiritual welfare” of the papal hierarchy

3/ those clerics who accept the office of the earthly princes do not inflict capital punishment themselves; the others have to do that “in virtue of their authority”; it means that in the Aquinas’ perfect community the clergy may protect the spiritual welfare with the secular power, and the members of papal hierarchy – the clergy – have the ultimate authority over life and death of men by the virtue of their office.

Death penalty, as any murder/slaying a human being, is the violation of the law of inviolability of human life. Whoever commits it and by whichever means, commits the crime against God, and nothing in the world can justify usurpation of the right over life and death of man by the papacy. Whichever logical gymnastics the papal theologians made to prove that the papal clergy did not tortured and murdered sinners, heretics, and schismatics with their own hands, or, at least, had not done that openly before the public, the blood of all victims is on the pope–Prefect of the Inquisition as well as on the papal hangmen. Whichever terms the papal theologians employ, their own writings serve as the evidence against them.

For instance, as Aquinas instructs,

a/ heretics ought to be separated from the Church and handed over to the secular authorities for extermination “from the world by death” [ST II–II Q.11 a3]

b/ correction by punishment is the act of justice and it is an act of “fraternal correction,” because by punishment of “one’s brother” the other through fear might be deterred from sins; “such a correction belongs only to prelates,” and it is the business and “a grave responsibility” of prelates “to correct by means of punishment” [ST II–II Q.33 a3].

Obviously, the pope Innocent III’s letter, where he compares the heart of the pope with the Ark of the Covenant is in harmony with the Aquinas’ vision of the “grave responsibility” of the prelates to punish: as the Ark of the Covenant contains the Tablets with the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and manna; in the same fashion, the heart of pope among all other things contains “the punitive severity”; therefore, the pope, who possesses “a father’s power of correction... visits sternness” [Selected Letters of Pope Innocent III… 168].

Aquinas’ assertions illustrate the heathenism at work: Aquinas substitutes the fear before the papal hierarchy for the main commandment of Lord God Jesus Christ – to love one another. However, both Thomas Aquinas and the pope Innocent III have forgotten or intentionally discarded two things:

a/ the words of God that whoever has shed the blood of man, by man his own blood will be shed: for man was created in the image of God {Genesis 9:6}: the assassination of a human being is prohibited

b/ God neither authorized the papacy to punish the sinners nor commissioned the self–appointed “vicars” to bear the “grave responsibility” to burn His sheep at the stakes.

When Aquinas attempts to find justification for death penalty and executions practiced by the papal Church of Rome, he contradicts the word of God, misinterprets and falsifies the Scriptures to justify the inhumanity of the papal church, and makes the papal subjects to forget that bloodshed activates the incessant cycle:

 

… violation of the Law of God –→ injustice –→ murder – violation of the Law of God –→ injustice → murder –→ ....

 

When Aquinas argues for uprooting heretics by death and the mandatory death penalty for the relapsed heretics, he provides the line of arguments [ST II–II Q.11 a3, a4]. These arguments (from a through d) not only illustrate the process of modification, in fact, falsification of the Christian dogma; they reveal the Aquinas’ logic and illustrate the consequences of Aquinas’ vision of ethics, which absorbed the values of the Aristotle’s slavery–based society:

a/ the part of charity is to wish and to do good for a neighbor [ST II–II Q.11 a4 a]

In fact, it is one of the main commandments of God: His creations should love their neighbors as they love themselves and do to them as they would like to be done to themselves {Leviticus 19:17–18; Matthew 7:12; 19:17–19; Luke 10:26–37}. With the reference to the main commandment of God, Aquinas instantly creates the impression that everything in his writings is consistent with the word of God.

b/ the good consists from two parts: the main part of charity, that is the spiritual good or the health of a soul, and the secondary good, that is the temporal good – life, property, good repute, etc. The believers should wish their neighbors the spiritual good; however, charity does not bound the believers to wish their neighbors the secondary good, except when such good would be helpful for the neighbor’s soul [ST II–II Q.11 a4 a].

This assertion directly contradicts to the Law of God writhe down in the Holy Scriptures, because according to the Ten Commandments, the good of the neighbor {Exodus 20:13–17; Leviticus 19:11–18; Deuteronomy 27:16–26} includes all the temporal goods, which – according to Aquinas – the believers have no duty to wish their neighbors:

–– do not kill – that is about the neighbor’s life

–– do not bear false witness against the neighbor – that is about the neighbor’s good repute

–– do not steal and do not covet anything that belongs to the neighbor – that is about the neighbor’s property.

c/ if one member of a community possesses such secondary good and the possession might become the obstacle for the eternal salvation of other members of the community, the good of many must be preferred the good of one, and the members of community are not bound by charity to wish their neighbor the secondary good, which could obstruct their eternal salvation [ST II–II Q.11 a4 a]

Aquinas correlates the salvation of the papal subject’s soul with deprivation of a neighbor of his temporal goods that is another contradiction of the Scriptures. In fact, with such assertion, Aquinas abolishes the commandments of God (love to the neighbor) and introduces his own market–driven classification of good. Aquinas disregards the simple truth that possession with material goods – property, life, and good name by a person neither reduces nor increases the possibilities of eternal salvation or eternal condemnation for other persons: each human being is solely responsible for own deeds (and own destiny) and this responsibility distinguishes free man from a gregarious animal and slave.

d/  heretics turn back to the Church in order to save their temporal goods (life and property). If they relapse due to their inconsistency in faith, their existence would “infect others,” and the others would feel free to lapse into heresy; therefore, the relapsed heretics must be put to death in order to save the community from heresy [ST II–II Q.11 a4 a].

With this assertion, Aquinas discloses the actual purpose of his arguments along with his actual attitude toward God and Christianity: the Aquinas’ god allows his “vicar” on the earth to usurp the right over life and death of his creations, therefore, Aquinas himself has the right to correct and substitute own figments of imagination for the God’s commandments [as well as all the philosophizing theologians who, according to Aquinas, imitate God by changing water into wine when they apply philosophy for the service to their faith – The Trinity Q.2 a3 o1 o5, ao1 ao5].

Many editions of the Bible did not have the complete version of the original text of The Gospel According To Luke, as the Byzantine Bible has, in which the mission of God is stated explicitly {Luke 9:51–56 – when the Lord set to travel to Jerusalem, He sent His messengers before Him, and they came and enter the Samarian village to prepare for Him. But the village did not accept Him because He had appearance of a traveler to Jerusalem. When they saw what happened, His disciples James and John said: Lord, is it your desire that we tell the fire to descend from the heaven and to destroy them as also Elias did? But turning to them He rebuked them and said: you do not know the Spirit you are, because the Son of Man came not to destroy the souls of men but to save. And they went to another village}.

However, the mission of Lord God Jesus Christ, Who came to find the lost, to redeem the sinners, to rise the dead, to free the captives, and to save the world, and Who asked His Father to forgive the executioners who crucified Him, is perfectly clear for those who simply, without any allegorical–philosophical interpretation, read other texts of the Gospels and the Epistles of the Apostles {e.g., Matthew 18:11–14; Luke 19:10; 23:33–34; John 3:14–18; 10:7–18; 12:46; 1 John;  1 Timothy 1:15–16; 2:1–6} even in modified or incomplete editions. There is no one word in the Gospels and in the entire New Testament, which could confirm the right of man to kill other men for their sins, different faith, or disagreement in the matters of faith. In his eagerness to facilitate the efforts of the papacy to clear up the arena from heretics and disobedient schismatics, Aquinas misinterprets the Scriptures and disregards the Spirit, actual meanings, and the texts of the Gospels, because they contradict the purpose of the papacy to acquire the absolute power by any means, and because they contradict the Aquinas own objectives.

In summary, the Aquinas’ church, which he masquerades under the name of Christ, is the eternal prison, which people have no freedom to leave, and where they live in fear because they

–– might be deprived of life, property, and good repute for the sake of the common good of their superiors

–– might be executed for disobedience to the superior even if the superior’s commands contradict to the word of God and constitute the crime against humanity

–– might be executed for an attempt to choose another manner of life, another system of belief, or for adherence to the Christian teachings (e.g., as Jun Hus and his followers in Bohemia)

–– have to live under the total surveillance, give up the freedom of thinking and submit own conscience and mind to the judgment and the will of their superior

–– have to stay until their death under the fear of death accompanied with eternal punishment.

To the contrary, according to the Gospel, God Himself chooses His servants and the distinctive mark of the Christians is love to one another: Christianity is the unity in God and with God in the perfect love without fear and suffering and in the truth that sets man free {John 8:32–36; 13:34–35; 15:12–17; 17:21–26; 1 John 3:14–17; 4:7–21}. The Aquinas’ doctrine is based on fear and coercion; it means that the Aquinas’ doctrine is irreconcilable with Christianity.  

The following link of assumptions summarizes the Aquinas’ general attitude toward his brethren, the essence of his knowledge of God, and where he stays as a theologian – in the light of true knowledge of God and life or in the darkness of ignorance and death {1 John 2:9–11; 3:14–15}:

 

one must apply the God’s commandment to Peter to forgive sins of his brother
seventy times seven {Matthew 18:21–22} only toward the sins, which his brother committed against oneself

these words of God do not include the sins against neighbor or against God

the Church cannot imitate God Who receives all who come to Him

[ST II–II Q.11 a4 ro1 ro2].

 

To the contrary, the referred by Aquinas chapter of The Gospel According To Matthew is the evidence that the words of God are intended to instruct Peter that the duty of Christians is to imitate God in His mercy and forgiveness, to love and forgive those who sin against them {Matthew 5:43–48; 18:15–35; Mark 11:25–26; Luke 6:27–49; 23:33–34}. When God explains to Peter his duties concerning a brother, God mentions “fellow slave” (συνδουλος), because men of the parable are sinners – they are the slaves of sin {John 8:31–36}, and their debts are their sins before God and before other people – fellow slaves. Besides attachment for sin, there is no other kind of slavery for a human being – creation of God. So, Lord God concludes: to be forgiven, a man must forgive his brother (αδελφω) {Matthew 18:21–35}. The “brother” refers not only to the next of kin; any man – even in a position of a “fellow slave” – also is a brother. In addition, the Apostle’s reference to “one who bears the name of brother” {1 Corinthians 5:11} does not leave any doubt concerning the meaning of words “neighbor” and “brother”: in the Gospels of Lord God Jesus Christ, “neighbor” and “brother” are synonyms.

For instance, with the parable about Good Samaritan, God explains that any human being is a neighbor and everyone must show mercy on everyone including enemies; this commandment of God is also conveyed by other texts of the Gospels {Matthew 5:43–48; Luke 6:35–42; 10:25–37}.

The Gospels convey the unambiguous message of God: for any Christian, any human being irrespective of faith, status within the society (slave or freeman), nation, inner attitude, goodness and friendliness, or unfriendliness and animosity, is a “brother” and “neighbor” whom according to the commandment of God, the Christian must love as he loves himself and to whom he must be merciful whatever evil this brother, neighbor, enemy has committed. Another interpretation would be irrational and intentional deception.

The referred above assertions lead to the conclusions:

1/ Aquinas misinterprets the word of God and directly contradicts to the commandment of God given to the Church and to the Christian: imitate God, and especially, imitate God in His mercy

2/ with the borrowed from Aristotle and Plato arguments, Aquinas

 

overthrows God and makes Him the source of evil

discards the commandments of God

substitutes the policies of the heathen slave–owning society for the Christian teaching

substitutes  papal legal justice, which carries out death, tortures, maiming, robbery, and deceit
for the life–giving righteousness and mercy of God.

 

3/ Aquinas rebuffs the very meaning of existence and the mission of the Christian Church defined by God and His Apostles as fulfillment of all God’s commandments and imitation of God {Matthew 10:38; Ephesians 5:1–2; 1 Thessalonians 1:2–10} and covers the heathen concept of slavery–based “justice” with the Christian terminology and with the falsification of the Scriptures.

The referred above Aquinas’ arguments and speculations illustrate the stages of destruction of the Christian foundation of the papal church: Aquinas proceeds

 

from the introduction of the heathen concepts (with which he expresses own assertions concerning God)

through the substitution of own declarations for the God’s commandments

to the ultimate  subversion of the God’s commandment to imitate God’s mercy.

 

 

  During the centuries, the papacy

a/ preached as the axiom that the Roman pope is the top of the secular and temporal power (all rulers are his subjects and have to obey the pope instead of God)

b/ equated disobedience to the pope with the mortal sin punishable by death

c/ propagated the supremacy of the superior who alone is responsible for his orders, which the subjects must execute blindly without doubts, renouncing own judgment.

Consequently, when the secular authorities (unreservedly obedient to the pope–Prefect of the Inquisition, or the Universal Inquisitor) put to death the heretics “released” by the Inquisition, the pope held and still holds the ultimate responsibility for death of the condemned.

The inquisitors did not have any difficulties with evaluation of own actions: as Dominican Jacobo Sprengero, the inquisitor and author of Malleus Maleficarum, admitted – “All whom we cause to be burned” [Sprengero qtd. in: Vacandard 130].

The following events disclose the meaning and significance of the law of inviolability of human life – one of the main laws, which God established for the created by Him Universe:

–  the creation of man in the image and after likeness of God, for dominion over the earth and other creations of God {Genesis 1:26–28}.

–  the God’s words about the blood of Abel, which was crying to Him from the earth, and the curse, which God imposed on Cain who killed his brother Abel, firstly, deprivation of the strength of the earth {Genesis 4:8–12}

–  the words of God concerning responsibility for the blood of his brother: whoever has shed the blood of man, by man his own blood will be shed: for man was created in the image of God {Genesis 9:5–6}

–  the commandment of God – “thou shall not kill” {Exodus 20:15}

–  God has shown the way how man who killed another man should be treated {Genesis 4:9–15}: he must be cast away from the society, barred from any possibility to inflict any harm to the others, and let him live in groaning and trembling on the earth until his death comes to him

–  the God’s reference to the human body as the temple {John 2:19–21}, which St. Paul the Apostle repeats, when he refers to the human body as the holy temple of God, where the Spirit of God dwells, with the warning that God will ruin (φθερει) those who ruined (φθειρει) the temple of God – a human being {1 Corinthians 3:16–17}  (φθειρει – ruined, corrupted, destroyed, defiled; from φθειρω – to ruin through physical destruction or moral corruption)

–  despite all significance, which the king David’s wars had for ancient Israel, God rejected David as the builder of the temple, because he had shed too much blood on the earth: his son – the man of peace – was chosen to build the temple to the name of God {1 Chronicles 22:6–10}.

It means that anyone, who intentionally harms/murders/executes a human being, commits the crime against God by the attempt to destroy the image of God and to interfere with the plans of God: any murder/capital punishment of a human being – even justified with all human laws, all logic, and all wisdom of men – is the crime against God–Creator. When one human being destroys the image and likeness of God – another human being, the assassin commits the unnatural act inconsistent with the main law of the Universe. This act creates the singularity of evil and activates the laws of destruction. The history of mankind had proved the basic axiom–law of inviolability of human life: whoever killed a human being (a person, group, society, or state) had faced own inevitable ruin. Historically, the death penalty was the most convenient tool widely used to rule the societies/States/empires by fear and coercion; however, no one establishment, which applied death as the means to resolve its problems, survived long enough to disprove the promise of God that He would held responsible anyone who shed the blood of man because He created man in His image {Genesis 9:5–6}.

If the state assumes the authority over man’s life and death, the state opposes God, because only God–Creator has the authority over His creation’s life and death. If the Church condemns her children to death, such church contradicts the Law of God; she already was transformed into an ordinary social/political oppressive structure and ceased to be the Christian Church, because the very essence of the Christian Church is incompatible with murder, punishment, or inflicting of any kind of physical and spiritual suffering.

Consequently, the meaning of good in the states, nations, societies, which practice the capital punishment, must be (and historically had been) transformed in the opposite: the death becomes more attractive than life, and the word “freedom” camouflages slavery. Human justice is not all–knowing and perfect: many innocent people were executed for the crimes they never committed. If the state’s legal system has any flaw, which makes possible to execute innocent man, the ruling group of the state sooner or later, yet, inevitably would employ the death penalty as the political weapon for termination of the opponents, different–minded, or simply unfit persons.

 

 

Conclusive Remarks

 

Thomas Aquinas re–wrote Plato and Aristotle’s doctrines with the terms and wordings borrowed from the Christian dogma and elevated the strategy of imperial political struggle at the place of Christianity.

The Aquinas’ theological legacy includes the following

 

the portrayal of God as the source of evil and the unjust laws of men

the attempts to belittle Christ – the Son of God and the Son of man

the sacrilegious distortion of the image of God, misinterpretation and falsification of the words of God

the Aristotle–driven modification of the doctrine of transubstantiation,
which resulted in rejection of the most sacred tradition of the Christian Church

established by God Himself
{the Holy Communion with two elements – bread and fruit of the vine –
Matthew 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:17–20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–27}

and  the acceptance of the Manichean heresy
as the article of papal faith
(the one–element communion with bread only for the papal laity)

the sacrilegious application of the Augustine’s Filioque toward the status of the pope

deification of the Roman pope and the sacrilegious notion of the “grace” of the papal office

the intentional falsification of the Gospels and misinterpretation of the word of God
committed with for justification of the papal purposes and deeds
(for instance, such as the death penalty for heretics, sinners, and schismatic)

the transformation of the papal church of Rome
into the heathen political establishment
(especially through assertion of impossibility for the Church to imitate God in His mercy
to relapsed sinners and the consequent apologia for the mandatory death penalty for relapsed heretics).

 

The listed above “discoveries” – the main concepts of Aquinas’ political theology – are the heresy, blasphemies against God, and the crime against God and men, yet, the doctrine of papal saint Thomas Aquinas still is the official doctrine of the papal Church of Rome and foundation of the papal faith – Catholicism.

The papacy highly praised the Aquinas’ doctrine and even made Aquinas the papal saint, the guiding spirit of the papal Counsel, and the role model for the loyal papal theologians assembled later into the special unit/subsystem of the papal establishment – the Magisterium. If to recall the pope Pius VI’s (1777) definition of the Aquinas’ doctrine as the “most consistent with Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers” and recognition of Thomism as the “official teaching” of the Dominican order [the InquisitionNew Catholic Encyclopedia 14:110, 130], the referred above Cardinal Léger’s opinion [that Aquinas expressed  the papal faith with the Aristotle’s concepts  and renewed  papal theology with the “boldness,” which the Catholicism needs today  – Léger 23] provides the hint for comprehension of actual significance of the Aquinas’ doctrine.

The most revealing feature of the Aquinas’ doctrine is its official identification as “neo–Aristotelian system” [Holmes 7], “Christian Aristotelianism” [McKeon 149], and as the bold renewal of the Catholicism by “wonderful expression” of the Catholic faith with the categories of Aristotle [Léger 23]. For an unbiased researcher, the very wording of these references instantly indicates incompatibility of the Aquinas’ doctrine and the Christian teachings, because doctrines of Aristotle and other heathen philosophers and the Christian dogma are not compatible.

The controversy never left the papal Church of Rome after its transformation into the Aristotelian establishment. Doctor Martin Luther (who began as the papal theologian) refers to Aristotle as “a plague” for the sins and discerns the work of “the evil spirit” behind the Aristotelian works, which for the Catholic theologians “suppressed” the Scriptures [Luther 86–87]. The history of European nations reveals the consequences of the misconceptions of Aquinas and his predecessors: the plague of discord in the matters of faith, untimely death and suffering of the countless human beings, because of the Crusades, because of persecutions and executions of the different–minded initiated by the Inquisition, because of religious wars, and riots triggered by the Reformation/Western Schism, which began the manifest phase of disintegration of the unified before papal faith and papal empire. Indeed, if the Augustine’s Filioque triggered the Great Schism, the Aquinas’ speculations in the Aristotelian style resulted in execution of Jun Hus and the Bohemian revolt, which activated the manifest stage of the Western Schism.

Aquinas’ interactive political theology, or the neo–Aristotelian system, had been embodied into that, what today exists as the religious, social and quasi–political institution, which had grown upon that what initially was the Christian Church of Rome and today is referred to as the Vatican.

Aquinas falsified and misinterpreted the word of God with the intention to utilize the doctrine underlying the Aristotelian political organization for the purposes of establishing the worldly empire: he rejected the Absolute Truth – the word of God as incompatible with the Plato–Aristotle’s social/political utopias and put at the place of the Christian teachings own speculations, which absorbed the Aristotle’s doctrine and such Plato’s findings as, for instance, justification of the Nocturnal Council that allows justification of the Inquisition. He discarded the axiom, which he, as a theologian who was allowed to read the Bible, should infer from the Scriptures: falsifications of the words of God inevitably culminate in destruction.

The process of compilation of Aquinas’ political theology illustrates the gradual substitution of the heathenism for the Christian dogma: the starting point of the attack is the core – the Word–God (see the Aquinas’ image of Christ), the weapon – heathen philosophy, the purpose – absolute power over souls, bodies, and material wealth of the subjects.

The leaders of heathen religious establishments, states, and empires were well acquainted with the practice to cover their lust for dominion and their crimes by the name of their gods. Following the heathen philosophers, Aquinas established the precedent to use the name of Christian God and His teachings for justification of crimes against humanity. He built his doctrine on misinterpretation and contradiction of

a/ the word of God

b/ teachings of the Apostles

c/ decrees of the Ecumenical Councils (before the Great Schism), which until the ninth century represented the Universal Christian Church – the entire Christendom.

Aquinas’ political theology provided the blueprint for ideologies and arrangements of the oppressive structures of the totalitarian states. On the whole, only two things differentiate the Aquinas’ model of the hierarchical church from the Bolshevist/Communist/Soviet/Nazi states:

1/ the wordings; Aquinas’ model utilizes the wordings and definitions borrowed from the Holy Scriptures (God, faith, salvation, etc.), while Communist and Nazi versions operate with the philosophical definitions (philosophy, freedom, equality, new order, etc.) and utilize the patterns of heathen cults and myths for description of ideological, political, and social purposes

2/ the degree of physical restriction of freedom: 

– the Aquinas’ model did not provide for the limitation of travel abroad (anyway, at the Aquinas’ time, it was not too much places for heretics to escape) and even permitted to expel the Jews and non–Catholics after deprivation of property

            –  the Communists kept the subjects behind the iron curtain, considered an escapee as betrayer and enemy of the nation, and executed captured fugitives

            – the Nazis imposed the yoke of Greater Germany onto all Germans irrespective of their citizenship and dwelling at other states. 

In general, the Aquinas’ and the Communist/Nazi models have the striking similarities; for instance, they

1/ substitute the idols and human–made assumptions for God:

a/ the Aquinas’ model – the philosophical–physical heathen deity, deified head of the papal hierarchy, and the common good

b/ the Communist model –  the common good and deified heads of the communist party (e.g., Stalin’s personality cult)

c/ the Nazi model – the common good of the German nation, deified Fuehrer as the central figure of Nazi ideology (as the pope is the central figure of political theology), which became the official state religion

2/  deprive its subjects–citizens–slaves of all human rights, including freedom of thought and freedom of conscience – for all, and  life, social status, and property – for the different–minded/the opponents of the regime

3/ prohibit the Bible and the books inconsistent with the official ideology  – cult of the pope or the leader of ruling party

4/ restrict access to the sources of alternative information and knowledge

5/ provide for forceful conversion or termination of the different–minded

a/ the Aquinas’ model – mostly through the threat of exile, deprivation of property, and persecutions by the Inquisition, sometimes by waging war (e.g., the Crusades)

b/ the Communist and Nazi models – mostly through the physical extermination or separation from the society (e.g., prisons and concentration/labor camps)

6/ equate the attempt to escape/change denomination/citizenship with the state treason punishable by death.

The Aquinas’ reference to the teaching of the Apostles as “the primitive” along with the comparison of the application of philosophical doctrines by the “doctors of divine Scriptures” to the service of faith with the change water in wine discloses his real attitude toward Christianity. Following the Plato’s image of the divine consummated philosopher who knows thoughts of his deities and is connected with the divine realm, Aquinas likens the theologians to God, because his comparison implies the miracle at Cane in Galilee, when Lord God Jesus Christ changed water in wine {John 2:1–11}.        

However, if to consider Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology without bias, as that what it is – the utilization of heathen philosophy for construction of the social–political establishment intended to satisfy the imperial ambitions of the papacy – and if to evaluate the Aquinas’ doctrine within the historical context, the Aquinas’ hint evokes another associations. For example, 

– the deeds of those who despised God and became full of sins: the faithful city has “become a harlot” where murderers lodge, wine is mixed with water, princes became “companions of thieves,” silver is worthless, and everyone “runs after gifts” {Isaiah 1:2–4, 21–23} (e.g., sale of indulgencies*12*)

– those who rejected God, sacrificed to demons, and lost understanding: their wine is “the rage of serpents, and the incurable rage of asps” {Deuteronomy 32:15–33}.

The Aquinas’ own writings confirm that political theology is the perversion of the original Christian dogma; this perversion became the actuality because of intentional falsification of the words of God committed for justification of the crimes of men. Although the Aquinas’ doctrine pretends to provide the fruit of the true Vine {John 15:1}, it serves “the incurable rage of asps” {Deuteronomy 32:33}, which poisons and kills, and in the Aquinas’ case, kills literally (for instance, by burning the living breathing human beings according to the mandatory death penalty for the relapsed heretics, execution of sinners, schismatics, and heretics justified by the Aquinas’ doctrine). 

When Avery R. Dulles refers to the Aquinas’ doctrine as “a Platonized form of Aristotelianism” and mentions its Muslim and heathen sources [Dulles 119, 133], he detects its significant feature: Aquinas’ political theology embraces many concepts, which could serve the purposes of the papal hierarchy; it assimilates any ideology constructed upon the idea of absolute authority of one and absolute submission of many. This feature of the Aquinas’ doctrine is a legacy of the heathenism, which shapes theology into the shared world of interactive figments of imagination intended to determine the conscience and to rule life of the real people within the real world.

For instance, although Thomism is considered as the protective shield against other ideologies, the contemporary theologians do not hesitate to coin such terms as “Christian Marxist,” to link Marxism and “Latin American liberation theology,” and to seek revitalization of Catholicism with new philosophical sources [Dulles 125]. The history repeats itself: after the Jesuit attempt of conversion with Confucianism and corroboration of the papal hierarchy with the Fascism and Nazism, Catholicism is ready to be connected with Marxism. The ability to be associated with any ideology, including such as Nazism and Marxism, one more time proves that the true essence of the Aquinas’ doctrine is interactive heathen theology.

Aquinas pretended to teach about the nature of God, “soul of Christ,” heavenly hierarchy of angels, and so on, and was not able to comprehend the fundamental truth: it is not possible to gather good and bad fruits from the same tree – the mind defiled by imagination of heathen philosophers, who use it to create their idols and inhumane utopias, cannot obtain the true knowledge of Go

It has to be concluded that the Aquinas’ legacy is the sacrilegious perversion of the image of God, therefore, perversion and falsification of all that constitutes the meaning of humaneness and humanity. When a human being perverts the image of his Creator, he perverts own nature, therefore, activates self–annihilation by any means, including voluntarily transformation into an unreserved slave who serves corruption of faith, morality, and justice. If such a pervert holds the position of influence, he inevitably ruins the establishment, which harbors and embodies his ideas.

 The Aquinas’ depiction of the Christian teachings is immeasurably far from the reality, because Christianity is the God’s gift of freedom to any human being who willingly and freely accepts it. Christianity cannot be forcefully taken away and no one can be coerced to accept it because God is the Spirit, and the religion, which He granted people, belongs to the soul and mind: it does not need slavery and does not make slaves; it enlightens the mind/soul and brings the Absolute God and highest freedom. This freedom destabilizes any establishment, which exists by consuming lives and resources of its subjects and maintains itself with manipulating the conscience of its subjects. This ultimate freedom promised and granted by God might explain why Aquinas falsified the word of God and substituted own slavish outlook for Christian teachings: the papal establishment, as any establishment based on the heathen philosophy, does not need free people who learnt the perfect all–forgiving love of God and who have the Law of God in their conscience–heart–mind; it needs the unreserved slaves – the moving matter/flesh–body–chattel, which is deprived of faculty of deliberation and which is conveniently managed by fear and pain.

Aquinas borrowed from Plato and Aristotle the social and political concepts on which the heathen philosophers built their inhumane utopias (the doctrine of common good, the concept of social animals that exist within the bee–hive perfect community, the arrangement of the class of guardians, the Nocturnal Council, and other fantasies) and assembled them into the heathen political theology covered with the wordings borrowed from the Scriptures. Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Truth, and other works, which, seemingly, are intended to provide the comprehensive exposition of the papal faith, contain the set of heretical and sacrilegious fantasies about God. Aquinas’ doctrine has absorbed the Manichean heresy, concepts of Proclus, Avicenna, and other interpreters of Aristotle; it propagates Plato and Aristotle’s mythological assumptions under the name of Christian faith.

The process of compilation of Aquinas’ political theology illustrates the gradual substitution of the heathenism for the Christian dogma: the starting point of attack is the core of Christian teachings – God and His words, the weapon – heathen philosophy, the purpose – absolute power over souls, bodies, and material wealth of the subjects.

If to judge by the results, it becomes clear that Aquinas’ political theology corrupted faith and morality of the papal subjects, facilitated the destruction of the Holy Roman Empire and gradual corruption of the papal establishment itself; it led to the untimely death and suffering of countless human beings because of persecutions of the different–minded, religious wars, and then, riots triggered by the Reformation/Western Schism, which began the manifest phase of disintegration of the unified before papal faith and papal empire. However, the papacy still has to work on the main purposes – the absolute power and global dominion, because they still out of their reach; moreover, the papal possessions are gradually assimilated by other religions and establishments, and the reputation of the papal establishments is linked to political assassinations, stakes and tortures chambers of the Inquisition, moral and physical corruption, vice, and abuse of children in the very same places they call “churches” and the very same “divine functionaries” – the superiors and the members of the papal hierarchy that officially exists to “tend the flock of the universal shepherd and universal teacher – the pope – the infallible earthly deity that has  the place and the share of dignity of God.”     

The Aquinas’ method of misinterpretation of the word of God for aggrandizement of the papacy resulted in corruption of faith and morality and further belittlement and humiliation of man. The corrupted faith and morality, atrocities of the Inquisition, the religious wars, and persecutions committed by the papal hierarchy and its subjects – the Catholics – fostered opposition to the papacy and hostility to the Catholicism; they also provided Dr. Martin Luther with the arguments for justification of the Western Schism – Reformation. The perversion of the Christian teaching with the Aquinas’ heresy and the deeds of the papacy, justified with the Aquinas’ political theology, fostered hatred to the Christian teachings, which many people still identify with the papal establishment.

Aquinas’ political theology, which was accepted as the official doctrine of the papal Church of Rome, had formed the frame of mind of many generations of philosophers, theologians, and political leaders – builders of the European civilization; it penetrated the three dimensions of life: religious, social, and political, and along with the Plato–Aristotle’s social and political utopias, it became the practical guide for politicians, social and religious leaders who seek to enslave the underprivileged many (the mob–beast) for the sake of the privileged few (elite of divine philosophers–functionaries–etc). 

The controversy and scandals never left the papal Church of Rome after its transformation into the Aristotelian establishment. Doctor Martin Luther (who began as the papal theologian) refers to Aristotle as “a plague” for the sins of mankind and discerns the work of “the evil spirit” behind the Aristotelian works, which for the Catholic theologians “suppressed” the Scriptures [Luther 86–87]. The history of European nations reveals the consequences of the misconceptions of Aquinas and his predecessors: the plague of discord in the matters of faith, suffering and death of men, and destruction of their establishments.

Indeed, if the Augustine’s Filioque triggered the Great Schism, the Aquinas’ modification of the doctrine of transubstantiation with the Aristotle’s concept of accidents*1* resulted in deprivation of the laity of communion with both elements, execution of Jan Hus, and the Bohemian revolt, which activated the manifest stage of the Western Schism. The contemporary sex scandals and the plague of pedophilia (which naturally follow the centuries of corruption and deceit demonstrated by the “divinely appointed functionaries” – e.g., see References: New Catholic Encyclopedia, articles about the Roman Popes, esp. in fifteenth–seventeenth centuries) most vividly demonstrate the actual meaning and values of papal dogma, virtues, and morality.

From another angle of consideration, Thomas Aquinas’ works should be distinguished from the works of his dreaming–philosophizing predecessors. Philo of Alexandria and his follower Origen made the first steps: they introduced the notion that the sacred Scriptures are a collection of myths and allegories, which might be interpreted with human imagination. Then, the leaps of Augustine’s imagination resulted in the Filioque, which became the lucky finding for cover–up of the papal claims on the absolute secular power, and the wise judge concept along with the Compelle Intrare, which culminated in justification of the Inquisition.  Thomas Aquinas, in fact, was a pragmatic businessman who had to deal with the actual problems in the very competitive and dangerous environment: he apprehended all that had been produced before and assembled it into the theoretical foundation of the political organization intended to gain the absolute secular power. He identified the only vital factors, which in theory could make any establishment to last until the end of times: the faith and the conscience that define the life and death of a human being, and he attempted to use them as the foundation for the papal absolute dominion.

Similarly to Aristotle with his practical marketable good, with which the heathen supplanted the Absolute Good, Aquinas made the faith practical by connecting it with

a/ the rights on material possessions and the right to live

b/ unreserved obedience to the papal laws elevated to the rank of the divine laws

c/ total surveillance over papal subjects

d/ political and social privileges obtainable through the “divine office”–hierarchy–structure of the papal establishment.

   After the Aquinas’ modifications, the papacy began to exercise Plato’s privilege of the state to establish the cults, deities, rites of worship, and meanings of good and evil.

The Aquinas’ church pretends to imitate God in the questions of the authority over the worldly affairs, and contradicts God in the questions of mercy and forgiveness – while mercy and forgiveness are the central points of the Christian dogma. In direct contradiction to the Christian teachings {e.g., that there is no possibility to serve two masters, that where the Spirit of God is there is freedom, and that the Christian war is not with the people – it is the evil with which the Christians fight to accomplish the Commandments of God – Matthew 6:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 6:11–18}, Aquinas’ doctrine justified transformation of the Christian Church of Rome into the political organization, which pursues global dominion over bodies, souls, and reason of its subjects and utilizes the worldly means and methods to achieve its purposes (e.g., enslaving, tortures, imprisonment and capital punishment, persecutions, militants who wage religious wars, political and other conspiracies, moral and physical corruption executed through the Crusades, the Inquisition, assertion of the absolute civil authority of the pope, sale of indulgencies – remission of sins, “wicked” prelates in the state of mortal sin, papal hierarchy that stays above the human laws).

Moreover, his doctrine covered the ruthless policies, methods, and ideology of the heathen slave–owning establishment designed after Aristotelian Police and its ultimate embodiment – the heathen Roman Empire, with the name of the Christian Church to which he ascribes “the authority of God” [ST II–II Q.10 a10 a].

The acceptance of his doctrine as the official doctrine of the papacy confirms transformation of the Church of Rome into the political organization that is maintained by the people deprived of freedom and natural mode of life (in some aspects, similar to the Plato’s guardians). Although Aquinas defines this establishment as the “God’s kingdom upon earth” [The Religious State XIX 104], with the methods of political design, he built it after the Aristotle’s Polis – the modifiable set of modifiable structures as interactive and changeable according to the political purposes of the ruler as the heathen theology is interactive and changeable.

Aquinas was able to understand that the key to the absolute power over human being is in the Christian faith, which embodies the Absolute Good and therefore, the eternal ideals of a human being created into the image and likeness of God. Only masquerading of Aquinas’ political theology under the name of Christian teachings explains the longevity of the heathen – papal – political establishment and its persisting influence on the western civilization and the world affairs.

Aquinas’ weak point is misunderstanding of the power, which he attempted to apprehend: whatever are the ruler’s aspirations, purposes, wealth, power of coercion, weapons, and other means to subdue the human body, the human mind (or in theological terms, spirit–heart–soul), which knows God, is invincible. The body of man can be tortured and deprived of life, yet, the free soul, which is the temple of Living God, is unassailable and immortal. Until at least one free–thinking mind exists, the Aquinas’ establishment fails to achieve its main purpose – to transform a human being created into the image and likeness of Christian God into the form/idea of the heathen beast easily manageable with physical pains and pleasures and living under the guidance of corrupted and unguarded imagination.

The world of today is filled with crimes against humanity in such a degree that any dialog and any contact initiated with the purposes of consequent reconciliation and peace among the enemies of all kinds is the most desirable, praiseworthy, and wise intention of the blessed peace–makers who will be called the “sons of God” {Matthew 5:9}. All faiths, all religions, all social and political establishments, all ways and manners of life should overcome all the differences, to set aside the painful memories of the Past; only with the mutual understanding, good will, respect, and acknowledgement of equality of all it would be possible to achieve the greatest good of mankind: life and pursuit of happiness in peace, dignity, and freedom.

However, the reconciliation and peaceful co–existence does not mean compromise in the matter of faith: the difference among the Atheists, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Buddhist, Zoroastrians, Christians, and all those who confess other religions is in their different vision of God and consequently, in different perception of good and evil, life and death. All the people who adhere to different religions share the only common feature – the desire to live according to their faith.

It means also that the Christians respect the right of the others to confess any other religion, until the others intervene with the freedom of conscience, until the others attempt to change or misrepresent the Christian Faith, and until the others cover their crimes and heresies with the name of the Christian teachings.

However, if the establishment founded on the assumptions, which the Christians consider sacrilegious, covers itself with the name of Christian God, the Christians have no right to remain silent. They should not be the members of any church if she – while pretending to be the Christian Church – under the slogans of unity in God and under the cover of ecumenism submits herself to the authority of the Roman pope, therefore, recognizes the heathen political theology as the Christian teachings. Such a church ceases to be the Christian Church and her members cease to be Christians; they become the papal subjects.

Christians have another way of life:

–– Christians have only one Lord, and only one Father, Teacher, Shepherd, Master, and the only Ideal of absolute perfection – God, the Perfect Love, rules the world of Christians, determines their conscience, will, and path, and grants the knowledge of truth, good, and life {John 8:32–36; 10:11, 14, 27–30; 11:25–26; 12:26; 14:6, 27;  1 John 4:8–18; 5:11}

–– Christians know that they are under the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit of God {John 4:24; 6:44–45; 8:31–36; 14:15–17, 23, 26}, and that they have the complete freedom, because where the Spirit of God is, there is the freedom {2 Corinthians 3:17}

–– Christians do not want that fantasies and blasphemies of heretics be covered with the name of the Savior and Lord God Jesus Christ; therefore, until the foundation of Catholicism is the Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology, Catholicism must not be recognized as the Christian denomination

–– Christians do not want that the Christian Faith would be misinterpreted, falsified, and used by anyone for any purpose

–– Christians do not want anyone to cover the crimes against humanity (e.g., the Crusades, the Inquisition, religious persecutions, forceful conversion, religious wars, pedophilia) and centuries of lies and deceit under the name of Christianity

–– Christians do not want anyone who does not follow the Christian teachings to claim the name of Christian or to seek the union with the Christian Church

–– Christians can be members of the only Church which literally follows the Christian teachings; at the very moment the Christian Church recognizes the heretics as the Christians or submits herself to the authority of non–Christian religious establishment (therefore, leaves Christ the True Shepherd and comes under the rule of “hirelings”), she ceases to exist as the Christian Church and becomes the social–political–etc. establishment run by the grievous wolves {John 10:7–17; Acts 20:29}. 

As soon as the world became quite a crowded place,

–– the meaning of peace is life according to own faith, within the space allotted by traditions, peace–treaties, customs, and other agreements among states, nations, political, social, and religious establishments, and without a possibility to be persecuted or deprived of life for own convictions

–– the meaning of war is the intrusion into the manner of life and customs of other nations, states, religious and political establishments with the purpose to intervene with the freely chosen manner of existence and to deprive of freedom of conscience and life–maintaining resources

–– attempts to misinterpret and hijack the faith became the most promising fashion in the wars for the absolute power. If such attempts are successful, the results usually include the substitution of heresies for the original dogmas, substitution of false for the truth, substitution of sacrilegious fantasies for true knowledge, and substitution of slavery for freedom.

The history of one of such successful attempts is the history of thousand–year old establishment – the papal Church of Rome, which today, through the movement named “ecumenism,” continues to pursue the absolute power over the Christendom. Although this establishment is founded on the heathen philosophy, misinterpretation and falsification of the Christian teachings, its leader – the pope, the head of the papal hierarchy, the Prefect of the Inquisition, – represents himself as the Vicar of Christ, the universal teacher/shepherd, and the highest – infallible – authority in the matter of the Christian faith. One man – Thomas Aquinas – compiled the theoretical foundation of this establishment and deified its leader. Did not the time come to evaluate the fruits, to consider without prejudice, what the legacy of Thomas Aquinas has brought to mankind?

In my opinion, the true legacy of Thomas Aquinas is the impossibility to mention the papal Church of Rome (which still holds Aristotle–Aquinas’ heathen political theology as its own official doctrine and as the foundation of papal dogma – Catholicism) in any positive relation to God and to the Christian teachings without committing the sin of blasphemy.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Notes:

 

*1* See Heresy – Folder Archive, Page_2_2008.

 

*2* See Folder Political Theology, Page_1

 

*3* Establishment of the ground for the Inquisition lasted from 1184 (Ad Abolendam) through 1207 (Cum Ex Officii Nostri) and 1215 (decisions of The Fourth Lateran Council); the power of the law was assimilated in 1231, through Excommunicamus issued by the pope Gregory IX. The edict Ad Extirpanda (the pope Innocent IV, 1252), which was integrated into the civil law, became the “charter” of the Inquisition. The edict permitted anybody to arrest a heretic and to confiscate his property, authorized the torture as the method of inquiry, and obligated the civil authorities to apply torture to those who did not confess their heresies. The edict also became the first formal recognition of the death penalty for heretics referred indirectly in previous decrees and edicts.

In pursuit of the papal purposes, the Inquisition assumed functions and methods of the inhumane suppressive structure “revealing ferocity unknown in any beast”: it handled the problem of the papacy’s opponents by coercion, repression, and by fear of tortures and disgraceful death. For those who in spite of tortures and coercion “in the name of love” were not able to give up their beliefs and convictions, the Inquisition employed the Plato’s idea about more than one death for atheists and obstinate heretics. The method of execution by burning at stake, as many other things, the papacy borrowed from the heathen Roman Empire: in 297, the Manicheans of Egypt had been burned at stake for the attempt to intervene with the imperial cult [Chidester 127; Durant 776, 784, (qtd.) 784; Plato Laws 908–909].  

The manuals for the inquisitors issued in the thirteenth–fifteenth centuries provide some details concerning the doctrines and procedures of the search for heretics (e.g., through the confessions), posthumous condemnation of those who died before the Inquisition convicted them, process of interrogation, etc. The source of the inquisitorial literature included theological works (with the Augustine’s Compelle Intrare, and especially Aquinas’ writings), laws, and experience of the local inquisitors sanctioned by the papal Church of Rome. Continuing the Aquinas’ tradition, the papal theologians and lawyers provided the Inquisition with the systematized theological excerpts, definitions and explanations of the laws and canons; they also justified any method and any action necessary to terminate the heresy:

            –– the first book of canon of law issued in 1234 provided detailed definition of heresy and heretics

            –– the Augustine’s Compelle Intrare – doctrine of “righteous persecution in the name of love,” as the perverted interpretation of the all–forgiving Christian love and God's commandments, was the first logical step for the Inquisition to have free hands for extermination of heretics

            –– Aquinas elaborated the Augustine’s doctrine into justification of the capital punishment of the heretics

            –– the inquisitor handbooks contained the relevant citations from the writings of Aquinas and other papal theologians [Peters 62]

            –– papal theologians Henry of Susa (1271) and Jean d’Andre (1348) both asserted that the execution by burning at stake was sanctioned by “the law of Christ,” when Christ told the disciples about withered branches gathered, thrown into fire, and burned {John 15:6} [Vacandard 128].                    

The papal theologians not only portray God as “the author of the criminal code of the Inquisition” [Vacandard 128]; their assertions disclose the depth of decay of mind reached by the “Doctors of the Church” who defend the Inquisition’s crimes against God and humanity by falsifying and misinterpreting the word of God and by transforming the Christian teachings into the ideology of imperial repression.

The Inquisition had three centuries to flourish and to achieve its purposes by persecutions, inhumane tortures, and executions of the opponents of the papacy identified as heretics, schismatics, witches, scientists, philosophers, and other “free thinkers”; ultimately, as any oppressive structure, it failed. The Inquisition’s power over the human life was terminated within the societies, which accepted the Reformation; in fact, the Reformation became the main evidence of the failure to achieve the papal purposes by the means of the Inquisition} and discarded the papal claims on the absolute power.

 

*4* Concerning Philo of Alexandria – see Page_4 of this Folder; Concerning Origen – see Page_5 of this Folder.

 

*5* Cardinal Léger also portrays faith as a “social” phenomenon, not only “ineffable response” to God [Léger 23]. This assertion belongs to the realm of Aristotle’s logic; it shifts the source of the faith: instead of God, the source of faith is the Aristotle’s doctrine, which introduces ideals of bee–hive and herd as the proper way of existence for men–social animals–property of the community/Polis. Then, logically, the faith becomes the social and common attribute/property of the entire establishment that, also logically, transforms the ideals of the herd into the articles of faith.

 

*6* For instance, the struggle of the papal hierarchy with the Copernicus’ astronomical concepts illustrates some consequences of the Aquinas’ indiscretion with theology: in 1616, Jesuit prelate Cardinal Bellarmine characterized the Copernicus’ model of the Solar System as the violation of the Scriptures [Trager 223], yet, it was only contradiction of the Aristotle’s description of the Earth as the motionless self–stabilizing center [Aristotle Physics III.v. 205b; Plato Phaedo 97e, 108e–109a].

In 1600, Giordano Bruno was condemned by the Inquisition as the heretic and burned at the stake because he acknowledged the Copernicus model of the Solar System. The additional Giordano Bruno’s crimes included suggestion of the possibility of existence of multiple worlds [in: Trager 211], which the Inquisition interpreted as the belief in existence of multiple deities because Plato asserted that God created only one Universe, and Aristotle declared that “the prime motor” maintains uniformity of “continuous relation” toward things it moves; consequently, it should be one governing principle – one ruler [Plato Timaeus 31a–b; Aristotle Physics VIII.x.267b; Metaphysics XII.x].

The Aristotle’s apparent acknowledgment of existence of one deity – one “prime motor” – provided Aquinas with the fundamental reason for legalization of Aristotle’s physical philosophy as the means to re–interpret the Christian dogma. With the references to Aristotle and Plato, Aquinas made the conclusion that existence of another earth and many other worlds is not possible because there is the unity of order in all things and unity of world, as well as the unity of God Who governs all things [ST I Q.47 a3]. The Aquinas’ affirmation of impossibility of existence of many worlds became the teaching of the papacy and the article of the Catholic faith; any assertion concerning existence of multiple worlds endangered the legitimacy of the Aquinas’ physical–mythical–heological constructions, which formed the foundation of political theology, and automatically made Giordano Bruno guilty in heresy.

Yet, Aquinas overlooked or intentionally discarded the text in which Aristotle mentions a prime mover “whether singular or plural” and “all unmoved movers” [Aristotle Physics VIII.vi. 258b]. As soon as Aquinas and other theologians applied the primitive language of Aristotle’s physics toward theological studies, the words “plural” and “unmoved movers” evidently describe a multi–deity arrangement. This polytheistic statement makes all physical–theological speculations based on exclusive status of only one “prime mover” pointless and eliminates any reason to admit the Aristotle’s doctrine as applicable for monotheistic theology.

In 1601, after execution of Giordano Bruno, Pierre Charron (1541–1603) reminded: many ancient philosophers believed in existence of many worlds because would God made only this visible Universe, His power would be limited [Charron 234].

Indeed, nobody can prove that Omnipotent Almighty God–Creator of the discernible by the human mind Universe is not able to create and has not created multitudes of other universes governed by other laws; consequently, any theologian with the reasonable mind would not accept the image of the powerless or restricted by one world god, which was created by narrow–mindedness of the pagan physicist and his followers. The essence of the world of humankind is one – universal for this world – law of transformation of energy (the law, which manifests itself through “the unity of order” or uniformity of “continuous relation”). The human mind and human senses are designed to exist within the world governed with this law: they, along with their instruments and methods of research, are not able to discern, perceive, and describe directly anything created and functioning according to another law. However, a human being has been created after the likeness of Omnipotent Almighty God and does not have limits of cognition. It means that although at the present stage of development of natural sciences, the mind still is not able to overstep the range of the terms of own existence, to cognize other laws, and to discern their derivatives – other universes, nobody can prove that the human mind would not be able to do it tomorrow.

 At the time of Giordano Bruno, it was almost impossible to free the mind from the very fabric of the contradictory methods of reasoning based on the Plato–Aristotle’s fantasies. The primitive pagan physical–astronomical constructions and logic of Aristotle provided the only acceptable framework for the medieval science. This – Aristotelian – framework intertwined the nature of God and the order of the discernible by human senses Universe into the whole, thus, restricted the possibilities of God by the matter and human imagination. The very application of the Aristotelian framework toward theological studies and assertion of limitation of the power of God were the actual heresies, while the Inquisition exterminated as the heretics those who opposed the heathen misconceptions elevated to the rank of papal faith.

 

*7*  The exclusive position of the knowledge asserted as the articles of faith served not only as the guidance to the Inquisition, which burned books of the unbelievers. It, for instance, established the pattern for

–– the soviet state, which with the iron curtain protected the innocence of its subjects from the corruption by the values of the free world, withdrew the prohibited books from libraries, jailed, put in the mental institutions, or executed the authors and readers of the books inconsistent with Marxism and Bolshevist ideology

–– the Adolf Hitler’s party, which organized public manifestations with burning of the books inconsistent with Nazi ideology. 

 

*8* Only own free will to fulfill the rare predestination facilitates the titanic efforts to overstep the boundaries of the nature, give up the natural needs and desires of a body, and concentrate on the purposes, which belong to the highest levels of the Universe. Only free will should determine the marital status at the service of God {Matthew 19:10–12}. St. Paul the Apostle warned that the “teachings of demons, in hypocrisy of liars being seared in their conscience” would forbid marriage although it is the blessing of God and it is good as everything created by God is good {1 Timothy 4:1–8}. Any coercion in any form in the choice of the way of life and deprivation of the natural way of life of normal men and women who are not genially committed to the life of eunuch, results in physical and psychological disorders, which might fashion human beings into the slaves of perverted desires.

 

*9* See posting The Fruits, Folder Archive, Page April–June_2010; concerning the beginning of scandal, see References: Newspapers: The Washington Post, articles of Alan Cooperman, Peter Daly, Mary McGrory, Fintan O’Toole, Michael Powell, Daniel Williams.

 

*10* Concerning Jan Hus, see postings: Heresy and Priest, Folder Archive, Page_2_2008; War – Folder Archive, Page August_2010.

 

*11* “Community” is the Aquinas’ acronym for the hierarchy of the papal Church of Rome, which includes

 

the pope – the head of the church/highest level of the hierarchy

the papal office – the hierarchy with the “superiors” at each level

local communities of the faithful, parishes, orders, covenants, clergy of different ranks and orders, and the laity –

the lowest level or the foundation of the hierarchy

 

 

*12*  See Hierarchical Church, Folder Political Theology.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

References:

 

The Bible. “Preface.” New York:  American Bible Society, 1970.

Aristotle. “Eudemian Ethics.” The Athenian Constitution. The Eudemian Ethics. On Virtues and Vices. v. 20. With an English Translation by H. Rackham. Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard UP; London:  William Heinemann, 1971.

Aristotle. "The Magna Moralia." The Metaphysics. v.2. With an English Translation by G. Cyril Armstrong. Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard UP; London:  William Heinemann, 1935. 425–685. 2 vols.

Aristotle. The Physics. With an English translation by Philip H. Wicksteed and Francis M. Cornford. Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard UP; London:  William Heinemann, 1968. 2 vols.

Aristotle. Politics. Trans. Ernest Baker. Revised with an Introduction and Notes by R.F. Stalley. Oxford, England:   Oxford UP, 1995.

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). On Christian Doctrine. Trans. J.F. Shaw. A Select Library of the Nicene and Past–Nicene Fathers. v.2.  Buffalo:  Christian Literature, 1887. 513–597. 14 vols.

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). Homilies on the Gospel of St.John (Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel According to St.John). Trans. John Gibb and James Innes. A Select Library of the Nicene and Past–Nicene Fathers. v. 7. Buffalo:  Christian Literature, 1888.  7–452. 14 vols.

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). The City of God. Trans. Marcus Dods. A Select Library of the Nicene and Past–Nicene Fathers. v.2.  Buffalo:  Christian Literature, 1887.  1–511. 14 vols.

Augustine (Augustinus, Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo, Saint). The Political Writings of St. Augustine. Ed. with an Introduction by Henri Paoluccli, including an Interpretive Analysis by Dino Bigongiari. Chicago, Gateway Editions, 1962.

Baybrook, Gar.  Heresies of the Christian Church.  Payson, Arizona:  Leaves of Autumn Books, 1998.

Bigongiari, Dino. "Introduction." The Political Ideas of St. Thomas Aquinas. (Representative Selections). Ed. with an Introduction by Dino Bigongiari. New York:  Hafner Publishing, 1953. vii–xxxvii.

Charron, Pierre. "Concerning Wisdom."  Renaissance Philosophy. Volume II: The Transalpine Thinkers. Ed., trans., and introduced by Herman Shapiro and Arturo B. Fallico. New York: Random House, 1969.  214–248.

Chidester, David. Christianity:  A Global History. New York:  HarperCollins, 2000.

Colahan, Clark Andrew. The Visions of Sor María de Agreda: Writing Knowledge and Power. Tucson & London:  The University of Arizona Press, 1994.

Deane, Herbert A. The Political and Social Ideas of St. Augustine. New York and London: Columbia UP, 1963.

Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Ed. Norman P. Tanner. London and Washington, DC:  Sheed & Ward, Georgetown UP, 1990.

Documents of the Christian Church. Selected and edited by Henry Bettenson. 3rd ed. Ed. Chris Maunder. Oxford, U.K.:  Oxford UP, 1999.

Dulles, Avery Robert. The Craft of Theology:  From Symbol to System. New York:  Crossroad, 1995.

Durant, Will.  The Story of Civilization. The Age of Faith. (A.D. 325–1300).  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 1950.

Emery, Kent. Monastic, Scholastic, and Mystical Theologies from the Later Middle Ages. Variorum Collected studies Series; CS561. Aldershot, Hampshire, U.K., Brookfield, Vermont:  Variorum, 1996.

Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy. Ed. Frank J. Coppa. Westport, Connecticut:  Greenwood Press, 1999.

Fahey, Michael A. "Trinitarian Theology in Thomas Aquinas: One Latin Medieval Pursuit of Word and Silence." Trinitarian Theology East and West: St. Thomas Aquinas – St Gregory Palamas by Michael A. Fahey and John Meyendorff. Patriarch Athenagoras Memorial Lectures. Brookline, Massachusetts:  Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1977. 5–23.

Fairweather, Eugene. "Some Philosophical Contributions to Theological Renewal." Renewal of Religious Thought:  Proceedings of the Congress in the Theology of the Renewal of the Church. Centenary of Canada, 1867–1967. v. 1. Ed. L.K. Shook. Introduction by Paul–Émile Cardinal Leger. 2 vols. Montreal:  Palm Publishers, 1968. 356–375.

St. Gregory Palamas. The Triads (Apology for the Holy Hesychasts). Ed. with Introduction by John Meyendorff. Trans. Nicholas Gendle. With Preface and Notes by Jaroslav Pelican. New York:  Paulist Press, 1983.

St. Gregory Palamas “To the Most Reverend Nun Xenia.” “Topics on Natural and Theological Science and on the Moral and Ascetic Life.”The Philokalia: The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodimus of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth. Trans. and ed. G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, with the assistance of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Brookline) Constantine Cavarnos, Dana Miller, Basil Osborne, Norman Russel. London:  Faber & Faber, 1979–1995.  v.4. 293–322; 346–417.

Holmes, Arthur F. Christianity and Philosophy. Chicago:  Inter–Varsity Press, 1963.

van der Horst, Pieter W. "‘A Simple Philosophy’:  Alexander of Lycopolis on Christianity."  Polyhistor:  Studies in the History and Historiography of Ancient Philosophy. Ed. Keimpe A. Algra, Pieter W. van der Horst, and David T. Runia. Leiden, New York, Köln:  E.J. Brill, 1996. 313–329.

Kreeft, Peter. "Introduction." A Summa of the Summa: The Essential Philosophical Passages of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990. 11–22.

Küng, Hans.  Structures of the Church.  New York:  Crossroad, 1982.

La Due, William J.  The Chair of Saint Peter:  A History of the Papacy.   Maryknoll,   New York:   Orbis  Books,  1999.

Larsen, J. A. O.  Representative Government in Greek and Roman History.  Berkeley and Los Angeles,   California:  University of  California Press, 1966.

Léger, Paul–Émile (Cardinal Léger). "Introduction." Renewal of Religious Thought:  Proceedings of the Congress in the Theology of the Renewal of the Church. Centenary of Canada, 1867–1967. v. 1. Ed. L.K. Shook. Introduction by Paul–Émile Cardinal Léger. 2 vols. Montreal:  Palm Publishers, 1968. 19–33.

Likoudis, James. Ending the Byzantine Greek Schism:  the 14th Century Apologia of Demetrios Kydones for Unity with Rome. New York:  Catholics United for the Faith, 1983.

Luther, Martin. Basic Luther. Four of his Fundamental Works.  (The Ninety–five Theses.  Address to the Nobility.  Concerning Christian Liberty.  A Small Catechism.)  Springfield, Illinois: Templegate Publishers, 1994. 10–153.

St. Maximus the Confessor. Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice. The Philokalia: The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodimus of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth. Trans. and ed. G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, with the assistance of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Brookline) Constantine Cavarnos, Dana Miller, Basil Osborne, Norman Russel. London:  Faber & Faber, 1979–1995.  v.2.164–284.

McKeon, Richard. "Introductory Notes." Selections from Medieval Philosophers. Part II:  Roger Bacon to William of Ockham. Ed. and trans. Richard McKeon. New York, Chicago, Boston:  Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1930.

New Catholic Encyclopedia. Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America, 1967.  17 vols.

Origen. Origen, Spirit and Fire. A Thematic Anthology of his Writings by Hans Urs von Balthasar. Trans. Rober J. Daly, S.J. Washington, D.C.:  Catholic University  of America Press, 1984.

The Philokalia: The Complete Text Compiled by St. Nikodimus of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth. Trans. and ed. G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, with the assistance of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Brookline) Constantine Cavarnos, Dana Miller, Basil Osborne, Norman Russel. London:  Faber & Faber, 1979–1995.  4 vols.

Peters, Edward.  Inquisition.  New York:  Free Press, 1988.

Plato. Complete Works. Edited with Introduction and Notes by John M. Cooper.  Associated Editor D.S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, Indiana:  Hackett Publishing, 1997.

Proclus. The Elements of Theology. A revised text with Translation, Introduction and Commentary by  E. R. Dodds. 2nd ed. Oxford, U.K.:  Clarendon Press, 1992.

Selected Letters of Pope Innocent III Concerning England (1198–1216). Eds. C.R. Cheney and W.H. Semple. London:  Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1953.

Tertullian, Quintius Septimius Florens. The Treatise against Hermogenes. Trans. and Annotated by J.H.Waszink. Ancient Christian Writers. The Works of the Fathers in Translation. № 24. Westminster, Maryland:  The Newman Press, 1956.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Basic Writings of Saint Thomas AquinasSumma Theologica I–I, I–II. Summa Contra Gentiles. Ed. Anton C. Pegis. New York:  Random House, 1945. 2 vols.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). "The Disputed Questions on Truth." Selections from Medieval Philosophers. Part II:  Roger Bacon to William of Ockham. Ed. and trans. Richard McKeon. New York, Chicago, Boston:  Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1930. 159–234.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Philosophical Texts. Selected and translated with Notes and Introduction by Thomas Gilby. London:  Oxford UP, 1951.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). The Political Ideas of St.Thomas Aquinas. (Representative Selections). Ed. with an Introduction by Dino Bigongiari. New York:  Hafner Publishing, 1953.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). The Religious State:  The Episcopate and the Priestly Office. Ed. with Prefatory Notice by John Procter. Westminster, Maryland:  Newman Press, 1950.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica. v. 2: Parts II–II, III. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). The Trinity and The Unicity of The Intellect. Trans. Rose Emmanuella Brennan. London:  B. Herder, 1946.

Thomas Aquinas (Saint).  Truth.  Trans. Robert W. Mulligan. 1954. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 1994.

Trager, James. The People’s Chronology:  A Year–by–Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. Rev. ed. A Henry Holt Reference Book. New York:  Henry Holt, 1992.

Vacandard, Elphege. The Inquisition: A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church. 1915.  Trans. from the 2nd edition Bertrand L. Conway. Merrick, New York:  Richwood Publishing, 1977.

Wills, Garry. "Introduction:  Fumbling toward Justice." The Hidden Encyclical of Pius XI by Georges Passelecq and Bernard Suchecky. Trans. Steven Randall. With an Introduction by Garry Wills. New York:  Harcourt Brace, 1997. ix–xxiv.

 

Newspapers: The Washington Post

 

Cooperman, Alan. "Abuse Problem Is Clouded by a Lack of Data."  March 10, 2002. A3, A16. (a)

Cooperman, Alan.  "Abuse Policy Has Roots in Middle Ages." May 19, 2002. A12. (b)

Cooperman, Alan. "Out of ‘Zero Tolerance,’ New Support for Priests: Conservative Groups Fight for Priests, Status Quo." October 13, 2002.  A1, A23. (c)

Daly, Peter. "In This Diocese, the Policy Has Long Been Clear." March 24, 2002. B5.

McGrory, Mary. "Awaiting a Change Within the Church." August 4, 2002.  F5.

O’Toole, Fintan. "The Cardinals Who Weren’t Called to Rome." April 28, 2002. B1, B4.

Powell, Michael. "A Fall from Grace." August 4, 2002. F1, F4.

Williams, Daniel, and Alan Cooperman.  "Pontiff Calls for Discipline in Clergy."  April 21, 2002.  A1, A14.

The Internet:

 

Vatican Information Service: news.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Posted August 10, 2011

Original post November 16, 2008

 

 

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright (c)2010 Sunday's Thoughts & JustHost.com