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Karlheinz Deschner died in 2014, a year after he published the tenth volume of his Criminal History of Christianity, which he had begun more than twenty-five years before, after seventeen other preparatory studies.

Throughout the nearly five thousand pages of the German edition translated into several languages—but curiously not into English except for the abridged translations in this site!—, Deschner somewhat resembles Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn’s second non-fiction work, his study of Jewry in Russia, has not been translated into English either, except for a few sections in The Occidental Observer.

Since the early 1960s Deschner wrote about the early days of the Church. Supported by an overwhelming textual apparatus, his previous books were his letter of introduction when, in 1970, he proposed to the German publishing house Rowohlt the colossal project of writing the true history of the Church in ten volumes. In 1986 the first volume of his Criminal History appeared, covering everything from the brutalities of the Old Testament to the time of Saint Augustine.

Born in a Catholic family (his mother, of Protestant family, had converted to Catholicism before getting married), Deschner studied in religious institutions. In 1942 he joined the ranks of the Wehrmacht. He was wounded several times and when the Third Reich collapsed he was a parachutist.

After the war, in his native city Würzburg Deschner got his doctorate in 1951. That same year he married the one that would be a companion of his life, Elfi Tuch. Tuch was separated and the couple was excommunicated by the then Bishop of Würzburg, Julius Dörpfner, who would play a leading role in the Second Vatican Council. Until the moment of his excommunication, Deschner had not published a single line against the Church.

Unlike Solzhenitsyn Deschner never got good money from, for example, a Nobel prize. His main economic support were the various sponsors who supported him throughout his life; something similar to how a few white nationalists are able to make a living.

Yesterday, my translation of what is now the first abridged volume of Deschner’s ten books came to me through Fedex. Unfortunately, also this week my laptop’s hard disk broke down together with the motherboard (apparently, an electric discharge). Had it not been for the generous donations I received when I announced the publication of this first volume, it would have been impossible for me to repair the machine that allows me to bring this site to life.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 100

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

Most of the written statements about the martyrs are false, but all of them were considered as totally valid historical documents (7 of 7)

Although the number of Christian martyrs in the first three centuries could be calculated at 1,500 (a figure certainly problematic), although of the 250 Greek martyrs in 250 years only 20 are historical, although only written news of a couple of dozen martyrs remain and although the greatest theologian of the pre-Constantine era, Origen, says that the number of Christian martyrs is ‘small and easy to tell’, in 1959, the Catholic theologian Stockmeier continues writing:

For three centuries they were persecuted to death.

Also in the middle of the 20th century, the Jesuit Hertling writes:

It is necessary to assume a six-digit number.

Is it really necessary? Why? He himself says it: ‘The historian who critically analyses the sources and wants to relate things as they have been, constantly runs the risk of hurting pious feelings—if he does not reach the result that there were millions of martyrs’.

But the Church has not only criminally exaggerated the number of martyrs, but also its description. Still in the middle of the 20th century, the Catholic Johannes Schuck boasts (with double imprimatur), as if the history of the Church by Eusebius of the 4th century continued:

It was a fight! On the one hand the beasts of the circus, the bonfire that burns the throbbing limbs, the torture, the cross and all the torments that seemed to come out of hell like a dirty sewer. On the other hand, the unwavering strength with which Christians faced the whole world, helpless… with the heart already under the first glows of eternity.

Schuck himself rejoices that the cruel persecutions against Christians ‘produced a great benefit to the kingdom of God’, and that ‘the Church only won’. While ‘the blood of their martyrs’ deprived ‘the Church from its most valuable souls’, these, who were the best, ‘passed into the fold of the Lord by faith and the spirit of sacrifice, love and nobility of the Christians’.

And with a tide of fabrications.

Fabrications of this kind were also found in another very different, though interdependent, field of ecclesiastical politics. Just as in order to increase the faith the written statements about false martyrs were created to increase the clerical power, false catalogues of bishops were made. That is, little by little an apostolic origin was attributed to all episcopal sees.

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 99

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

Most of the written statements about the martyrs are falsified, but all of them were considered as totally valid historical documents (6 of 7)

It only remains to say that we are not talking about pious legends, but about written statements, of historical stories; that these documents also expressly claim to be the ‘correct notes’ where we can read, ‘The exact history of those who were before us has been written down by the lips of elders and reliable bishops and priests who love the truth. They saw it with their own eyes in their day’.

The Christians gave testimony of their faith with their blood in increasing groups, that in such quantities and so heroically died that the executioners ended up exhausted from the massacres. On one occasion they die with their sixteen bishops, on another 128 martyrs; then 111 men and nine women, then 275, then 8,940, then they cannot be counted since their number is greater than several thousand.

In fact, there were far fewer Christian martyrs than the world was led to believe over the centuries. Some of the true ones disappeared without a trace, their ashes were thrown into the rivers or scattered by the wind.

There were vast regions in which the martyrs were scarce or nonexistent, and as relics began to be placed in the altars, pilgrimages to distant places were organised and painful travels were carried out, if indeed they were made. The remains of known martyrs reached a high price, but the demand of pieces of martyrs was excessive, whether or not their names were known. Group martyrs enjoyed special preference:

• The 18 of Zaragoza,

• The 40 of Sebaste, all the ‘servants of arms’,

• The 70 companions of the holy monk Athanasius,

• Those who were drowned in a river, the 99 executed with St. Nicon in Caesarea/Palestine,

• The 128 who died with the holy Bishop Sadoth under the Persian King Shapur;

• The nearly two-dozen bishops and 250 clerics who reached martyrdom also in Persia,

• The 200 men and 70 women who suffered heroic martyrdom under Diocletian on the island of Palmaris,

• The 300 suicides that Prudentius invented (the most admired and read Christian author in the Middle Ages), who, to avoid being slaughtered under Valerian, threw themselves into a pit of quicklime,

• The—more stories of falsehood!—1,525 martyred saints of Umbria, the Theban legion,

• No less than 6,600 men who were apparently martyred in Switzerland (probably they alone more than all the Christian martyrs in all of antiquity),

• The thousands of martyrs that Emperor Diocletian burned alive in a church because they refused to do any ‘offering to idols’ (Roman Martyrology),

• The 10,000 Christians crucified on Mount Ararat or the 24,000 Catholic companions of St. Pappus, who under Licinius died for Christ in Antioch.

Afterwards even the figures are left untold, speaking of ‘innumerable’ martyrs. The deaths of ‘many martyred saints’ are stereotyped as ‘almost all the flock’. There are accounts of ‘the suffering of many holy women who out of love for the Christian faith were martyred in the cruelest way’. The following can be read in the Roman Martyrology:

Record of all Christians crowned with holiness and death in martyrdom, whose life, written statements and heroic deaths the Roman Catholic Church has compiled from the most secure sources and which it records and preserves for their eternal commemorative memory; with added summaries of the highlights of their lives, the reason for their conversion, their acts and their painful death.

It is understandable that very often the relics were designated with the formula: ‘whose name God knows’.

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Published in: on September 1, 2018 at 7:33 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 99  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 98

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 
Most of the martyrs’ acts are falsified, but all of them were considered as totally valid historical documents (5 of 7)

Following the above examples, as many Christian heroes could have died as the writer wanted. Let us compare the martyrdom of Mar Jacob in Persia with that of St. Arcadius in North Africa, which is still honoured by the Catholic Church on January 12, and also recorded in the Roman martyrology.

Like St. Jacob, Saint Arcadius is a hero and a Christian from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, that is, literally unbreakable. Confronted finally with the instruments of torment by the rabid consul, he only scoffs: ‘Do you order that I have to undress?’ And he listens to the sentence to cut him slowly one member after another with ‘happy mood’. The text continues: ‘Now the executioners rush on him and cut off the joints of his fingers, arms and shoulders, and crush the toes, feet and legs. The martyr voluntarily offered one member after another, swimming in his blood, praying aloud:

‘Lord, my God! All these members you have given me, I offer them all to you’, etcetera. And all those present swim in tears just as the saint does in blood. Even the executioners curse the day they were born.

Only the wicked Roman consul remains undaunted. When the holy confessor had cut off all the lesser members, he ordered the elders to cut off the larger members with blunt axes, so that only the trunk remained. The holy Arcadius, still alive (!) offered God his scattered limbs and shouted: ‘Happy members!’ after which—as has been said, ‘nothing but the trunk’—it followed an ardent religious sermon to the adepts of the classical world…

The editor of the gigantic Catholic work cited, which in the prologue assures us that he only wishes to ‘offer facts founded on the place (!) of the so-called legends’, and ‘only facts that are true and historically proven’, offers in this work an infinity of horrifying stories.

And starting from such horrible coarseness, still in the 20th century—with multiple authorisations of superiority—the government of the Catholic souls extracts the ‘doctrine’ with the words of none other than St. Arcadius: ‘To die for Him is to live! Suffering for Him is the greatest joy! Support, oh Christ, the hardships and adversities of this life and do not let anything divert you from the service of God. The heaven is a worthy reward for everything’.

For those who do not have enough wonder even with the martyrdom of Mar Jacob—supernatural things happen as well.

To a Christian who owes and wants to kill another Christian, the ‘strength of God’ raises him twice and almost throws him to the ground; three hours is as dead.

Saint Nerses’ head could not be cut off, not even with eighteen swords; only with a knife.

And where these heroes die, since they must die, ‘often at night armies of angels ascend and descend’. And indeed, there is no doubt about the story, as even some ‘pagan’ shepherds saw that ‘three nights the armies of angels were floating above the place of death and praising God’.

Acts of martyrs!

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Published in: on August 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 98  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 97

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 

Most of the written statements about the martyrs are false, but all of them were considered as totally valid historical documents (4 of 7)

Mar Jacob, the one tear into pieces, after the ten fingers of the hands and three of the feet have been torn off, smiling, makes deep comparisons: ‘Third toe, follow your companions and do not worry. For the same as the wheat that falls to the earth and in the spring makes your companions grow, you too will be reunited in an instant with your companions on the day of the resurrection’. Is not this well said? But after dropping the fifth toe, he cries out for vengeance: ‘Oh God, direct my punishment and make my revenge fall on the ruthless people’.

Often these saints become rude and insult their impious torturers or judges according to all the rules of the religion of love; they augur them ‘gnashing of teeth for eternity’, insult them by calling them ‘impure, dirty, blood lickers’, ‘lewd ravens, who rest on corpses’, ‘a snake of a thirst-eater’, ‘greens’ of hatred ‘like a bad viper’, a lascivious looking for ‘women in the bedroom’, an ‘impure dog’. Saint Aitillah tells his executioner: ‘You really are an irrational animal’. And St. Joseph does not think precisely of loving his enemy, of offering him the other cheek. The writer says: ‘Joseph filled his mouth with saliva and suddenly spit on his face and said: “You, impure and stained, you are not ashamed”.’

After Mar Jacob had been cut one by one all fingers and toes, accompanied each time by a noble or poisonous sentence against the ‘butcher wolves’, he remains firm in the faith and ready for more torture. ‘Why are you lounging?’ he asks impatiently. ‘Don’t forgive your eyes. For my heart rejoices in the Lord and my soul rises up to him, who loves the mortified’.

Thus, after the ten fingers and toes, the executioner’s helpers systematically cut, with grinding teeth, new members and with each of those who fall, the holy man makes comments with a pious sentence. After losing his right foot, he says: ‘Every limb you cut off from me will be a sacrifice to the king of heaven’.

They cut off his left foot and he said: ‘Hear me, O Lord, for You are good and great is Your goodness for all. They call you’. They cut off his right hand and he shouts: ‘The grace of God was great with me; free my soul from the deep realm of the dead’. They cut off his left hand and he said: ‘Look, you did miracles with the dead’. They approached and cut off his right arm and he spoke again: ‘I want to praise the Lord in my life and sing hymns of praise to my God as long as I exist; He likes my praise; I want to rejoice in the Lord’.

The perverse ‘pagans’ cut off his left arm, tear off the right leg of the knee… and finally ‘the glorious’ is reduced to ‘head, thorax and abdomen’. Then he reflects briefly on the situation and ‘opens again the mouth’ to tell God a brief speech. It is already daring to talk in such a reduced state—he has lost everything for Him!:

Lord, God, merciful and compassionate. I beg you, listen to my prayer and listen to my pleas. Here I am without my members. I’m here in half body and I’m silent. I have nothing, Lord, I do not have fingers to implore you; nor have the persecutors left me hands to extend them toward You. They have cut my feet off, my knees have been ripped off, the arms are away, the legs are cut. Here I am before You as a destroyed house, of which only a crown of tiles remains. I beg you. Lord, God…

And at night the Christians stole the corpse, or rather, ‘picked up the twenty-eight dismembered members’ and the rest. And then fire fell from heaven that ‘licked the blood from the straw until the members of the saint blushed and became like a ripe rose’.

Acts of martyrs!

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 96

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 
Most of the written statements about the martyrs are false, but all of them were considered as totally valid historical documents (3 of 7)

But precisely the bishops—whose martyrdom was considered ‘something special’ before that of ordinary Christians—very rarely were martyrs. They fled en masse, sometimes from one country to another, to the limits of the Roman Empire, naturally at the behest of God and without forgetting to send from a safe place letters of support to the lesser faithful who were left imprisoned. In the old Church this was so well known that even in numerous spurious accounts of martyrs there are few bishops who figure as martyrs! (The patriarch of Alexandria, Dionysus, was in such a hurry when a local pogrom broke out that he fled on the back of a cavalry devoid of a chair—he rightly bears the nickname ‘the Great’.)

But practically all of the ‘saints’ of the first centuries were later declared martyrs, ‘even if they had died peacefully. Anyone worthy of the veneration of Constantine had to be a martyr ‘(Kötting). Therefore, ‘very few’ of the Acta Martyrum are ‘true or based on real documentary material’ (Syme).

And especially after the 4th century Catholic Christians had records and accounts of martyrs that seemed forged by the ‘heretics’, so they ‘purified’ them by counterfeiting. Although they admitted the miracles of the apostles that the accounts related, they did not want to consider valid the ‘false doctrines’ that accompanied them.

In this way, orthodox counterfeiters such as the so-called Pseudo-Melitus, the Pseudo-Jerome, the Pseudo-Obadiah and others, provided counter-falsifications. Christian ‘martyrs’ acts did not recoil at any exaggeration, no lack of truth, no kitsch. Since the Church made no use of the martyrdom of the woman of the apostle and first pope, St. Peter, a tale transmitted by a Father of the Church, St. Thecla is considered the first martyr, although it is said that she escaped martyrdom by a miracle.

Giovanni Battista: St. Thecla Liberating a City from the Plague, 1759.

But Catholic martyrology is strictly documented with the martyrdom of Polycarp, even knowing the hour of his death, something almost unique in proto-Christian literature. However, the date is unknown. It is unknown either if it was under Marcus Aurelius or Antoninus Pius. In this ocular testimony of the death of a Christian martyr—the oldest text: a throughout falsified text with revisions and interpolations with pre-Eusebian and a post-Eusebian false annexes—, the holy bishop knows in advance the type of his death.

Upon entering the stadium he is encouraged by a voice from the sky: ‘Stand firm, Polycarp!’ Miraculously he is not burned at the stake, to which ‘especially the Jews’ throw firewood. All the flames burn in vain. The executioner must then finish him off, his blood extinguishes the fire and from the saint’s wound a pigeon ascends to the sky… These acts ‘arose little by little and in a fragmentary way’ (Kraft).

However, even in the 20th century, in the Catholic Lexikonfür Theologie und Kirche (Encyclopaedia of Theology and the Church) this story shines as ‘the most valuable testimony for the Catholic worship of saints and relics’. Even today, the brave martyr continues to be venerated, who, as befits a bishop, had previously fled several times and changed his hiding place: the Byzantine and Syrian Churches celebrate it on February 23, the Melkites on the 25th and the Catholics on January 26, and Polycarp continues to act as ‘patron saint against the pain of ears’.

Let us take a look at the Acts of the Persian Martyrs.

The Christians are heading en masse towards their execution ‘singing the psalms of David’. They smile as the executioner lifts the sword. All the teeth are ripped out and all the bones are grounded. New whips are bought on purpose. They are hit until only pulp is left of their bodies. Their joints are broken, they are skinned from head to toe, they are cut slowly from the middle of the neck to the skull, their noses and ears are cut, burning needles are stuck into their eyes, they are stoned, they are cut with a saw, they are left to starve until the skin falls from their bones. Once sixteen elephants step on the heroes…

But whatever it is, the martyrs tolerate almost everything for a surprisingly long time and with good cheer, so to speak, with joy. Being only blood and shredded flesh, they launch the most edifying discourses. They shout with joy: ‘My heart rejoices in the Lord and my soul rejoices in its bliss’. Or they recognise: ‘This suffering is only relief’.

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Published in: on August 30, 2018 at 10:46 am  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 96  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 95

Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 
Most of the written statements about the martyrs are false, but all of them were considered as totally valid historical documents (2 of 7)

The tolerance of the Romans in religious matters was generally great. They had it before the Jews, guaranteeing their freedom of worship, and even after the wars fought against the Jews, they were not forced to worship the gods of the state and released from the obligatory offerings to the emperors.

Until the beginning of the 3rd century, the hatred against Christians—who considered themselves exclusive; who, with all humility (!) thought of themselves as special, like the ‘God of Israel’, ‘chosen people’, ‘holy people’ who felt themselves as the ‘golden part’—came mostly from the common peoples. For a long time the emperors imagined themselves too strong before this dark sect to intervene seriously. ‘They avoided whenever possible’ the trials against Christians (Eduard Schwartz).

For two hundred years they were not subjected to any ‘persecution’. Emperor Commodus had a Christian favourite. In Nicomedia, the main Christian church was in front of Diocletian’s residence. Also his preceptor of rhetoric, the Father of the Church Lactantius, remained safe in the vicinity of the sovereign during the toughest persecutions against the Christians. Lactantius never appeared before the courts or went to jail.

Almost everyone knew Christians, but they did not like to get their hands dirty by persecuting them. When it was necessary because the adepts of the Greco-Roman culture were furious, the officials did everything possible to release the imprisoned. The Christians only had to renounce their faith—and they did it massively, it was the general rule—and nobody bothered them again.

During the most intense persecution, that of Diocletian, the state only demanded the fulfilment of the offering of sacrifices that the law imposed on all citizens. Non-compliance was punished, but in no case the practice of the Christian religion. Even during the persecution of Diocletian, the churches were able to dispose of their property.

Even with Emperor Decius, in the year 250, we cannot speak of a general and planned persecution of Christians. At that time the first Roman bishop is killed in a persecution. Fabian died in prison; there was no death sentence on him. But up to that date, the ancient Church already considered as ‘martyrs’ eleven of the seventeen Roman bishops, although none of them had been martyrs! For two hundred years Christianity had lived side by side with the emperors. And in spite of that, on the Catholic side they still lie—with ecclesiastical imprimatur (and dedication: ‘To the beloved mother of God’)—in the mid-20th century: ‘Most of the popes of that time died as martyrs’ (Rüger).

(Cornelius by Master of Meßkirch.) The ‘pope’ Cornelius, who died peacefully in 253 in Civitavecchia, appears as beheaded in the acts of the martyrs. Also falsified are those that make the Roman bishop Stephen I (254-257) victim of the persecutions of Valerian. Pope St. Eutychian (275-283) even buried ‘with his own hands’ 342 martyrs, before following them himself.

The Church tried to cover up the apostasy of several popes at the beginning of the 4th century by falsifying the documents. The Liber Pontificalis, the official list of the papacy, points out that the Roman bishop Marcellinus (296-304), who had made sacrifices to the gods and had delivered the ‘sacred’ books, soon repented and died martyred: a complete forgery.

In the Roman martyrology, one pope after another gain the crown of martyrdom—almost everything is pure deception. (Interestingly, until the end of the 3rd century the cult of the martyrs had not begun in Rome.)

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Christianity’s Criminal History, 93

Below, an abridged translation from the second volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 
As the historical-critical exegesis of the Bible teaches us, Jesus—the apocalyptic man who, totally within the tradition of the Jewish prophets, waits for the immediate end: the irruption of the ‘God’s imperial rule’, and thereby makes a complete mistake (one of the most solid results of exegetical investigation)—certainly did not want to found any Church or institute priests, bishops, patriarchs and popes.

As late as the middle of the 2nd century, the Roman Christian community had about thirty thousand members and 155 clerics. None knew anything about the appointment of Peter, nor about his stay and martyrdom in Rome.

 
The list of fabricated Roman bishops

The oldest list of Roman bishops was provided by the father of the Church, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, in his work Adversus Haereses, roughly between the years 180 and 185. The original Greek text is not preserved; only a complete Latin copy of the 3rd century or 4th, if not the 5th. Literature about it is hardly noticeable, the text is ‘spoiled’ in a manifest way. What remains a mystery is the origin of the list. Ireneus wrote down a little more than the names.

And nowhere is there talk of a primacy of Peter! By the end of the 2nd century Peter was not yet counted in Rome among the bishops. And in the 4th century it is affirmed that he was pope for twenty-five years! Bishop Eusebius, a historian of little confidence, even guilty of falsification of documents, transmitted in his time the succession of Roman bishops.

Eusebius ‘perfected’ also the list of Alexandrian bishops, very similar to that of the Romans. The same with the Antioquian list, associating an Olympiad with each one of the bishops Cornelius, Eros and Theophilus. In the list of bishops of Jerusalem he also worked with artificial computations, not having ‘practically any written news’ of the years in which they were in office. Later, Bishop Epiphanius made an exact dating comparing it with that of the emperors.

Around the year 354, the Catalogus Liberianus (Liberian Catalogue), a relation of popes that goes from Peter to Liberius, indicating dates in days and months, was continued and ‘completed’, as indicated by the Catholic Gelmi, who immediately added: ‘All these data have no historical value’.

The Liber Pontificalis (Book of the Popes), the official book of the popes, the oldest list of the Roman bishops, contains ‘a great abundance of falsified or legendary material’, which the author ‘completes by new findings’ (Caspar). In short, it carries so many fabrications that until the 6th century it has hardly any historical value, not naming Peter, but a certain Linus, as the first bishop of the city. Thereafter Linus is in second place and Peter in the first.

In the end a ‘position of Peter’ is constructed (Karrer) and becomes ‘papacy’. ‘Like a seed’, writes the Jesuit Hans Grotz in a poetic way, ‘Peter fell on the Roman earth’. And then many others fell, as is still happening today. Little by little all the ‘successors’ of Peter could be counted, as has been said, with the year in which they acceded to the papacy and the date of their death, apparently in an uninterrupted succession. (Editor’s Note: Deschner’s books have no illustrations but see the image that I chose for this post: part of a poster of the purported bishops of Rome from St. Peter to Pope Francis under the heading ‘I Sommi Pontefici Romani’. The poster is so large that, already unfolded, I had to hang it on a wall to photograph it.)

However, over time the list of Roman bishops was modified, perfected, completed in such a way that, in a table compiled by five Byzantine chroniclers, of the first twenty-eight bishops of Rome only in four places do the figures agree in all columns. Indeed, the final editor of the text, perhaps Pope Gregory I, seems to have expanded the list of names to include twelve saints, in parallel with the twelve apostles. In any case, the list of Roman bishops of the first two centuries is as unreliable as that of the list of the Alexandrians or Antiochenes, and ‘in the first decades it is pure arbitrariness’ (Heussi).

Note of the Ed.: Fabricated list of popes. Starting at the left,
St. Peter. Note the noblest faces the artist used for these
non-existent popes to make the faithful believe that the first
popes were not only saints, but also holy men of the white race.

The invention of a series of traditional names and tables, partly constructed, artificially filling the gaps, existed long before the appearance of Christianity and its lists of bishops falsified from the beginning. It is comparable to the Old Testament genealogies, which through a succession of names without empty gaps, guaranteed participation in the divine promises; especially the list of high priests after the exile, as a list of rulers of Israel.

Furthermore, the ancient pastors of Rome were not considered in any way ‘popes’. For a long time they had ‘no other title than that of the other bishops’ (Bihimeyer, Catholic). Whereas in the East, patriarchs, bishops and abbots were long known as ‘popes’ (pappas, papa, father), this designation appears in Rome for the first time on a tombstone from the time of Liberius (papacy 352-366).

At the end of the 5th century, the notion acquired a naturalisation certificate in the West, where the Roman bishops used the word ‘pope’ to call themselves, along with other bishops, although they did not do so regularly until the end of the 8th century. And until the second millennium the word ‘pope’ does not become an exclusive privilege for the bishops of Rome.

The first to refer to Mt, 16, 18, is, of course, the despotic Stephen I (papacy 354-357). With his hierarchical-monarchical conception of the Church, rather than episcopal and collegial, it is to a certain extent the first pope.

Not even Augustine, so fond of Rome but sometimes oscillating delicately among the pope and his African brothers, defends papal primacy. That is why Vatican I, of 1870, even reproached his ‘erroneous opinions’ (pravae sententiae) to the famous father of the Church. Sumus christiani, non petriani, ‘We are Christians, not Petrians’, Augustine had affirmed.

Similarly, like the bishops and fathers of the Church, the ancient councils did not recognise the primacy of law of Rome.

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Published in: on August 28, 2018 at 10:04 am  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 93  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 92

Fourth century glass mosaic of St. Peter,
located at the Catacombs of Saint Thecla.

 

Below, an abridged translation from the second volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

The story of the discovery of Peter’s tomb

According to an ancient tradition, the tomb of the ‘prince of the apostles’ is on the Appian Way, and according to another version, under the church of St. Peter. It seems that in the middle of the 2nd century this tomb was already sought.

Around the year 200 the Roman presbyter Gaius believed he knew where Peter’s tomb was, ‘in the Vatican’, and Paul’s tomb, ‘on the way to Ostia’. And since Constantine it has been venerated—and visited—the presumed tomb of Peter in St. Peter’s church.

However, its historical authenticity has not been proven; simply, in the Constantinian era there was a belief that they had found Peter’s tomb. But this belief did not prove anything more in those times than today. What was found under the church of St. Peter (in whose vicinity was the Phrygianum, the sanctuary of the goddess Cybele) was a large number of pagan tombs: in the last excavations no less than twenty-two mausoleums and two open crypts.

Between 1940 and 1949 the archaeologist Enrico Josi, the architect Bruno Apolloni-Ghetti, the Jesuit Antonio Ferrua and another Jesuit, Engelbert Kirschbaum, excavated under the dome of St. Peter. The management was given to the prelate Kaas, who was then director of the centre.

The results of various critical researchers—Adriano Prandi, Armin von Gerkan, Theodor Klauser, A. M. Schneider, and others—ended up extracting from the Jesuits the confession that the (Catholic) report of the excavations was not ‘free of errors’. There were ‘defects in the description’. They spoke of ‘greater or lesser contradictions’ and mention that errare humanum est (to err is human) ‘which, unfortunately, continues to be fulfilled’. But the decisive thing is that they want to ‘believe’. In no way has criticism ‘caused them to falter’. Finally, Engelbert Kirschbaum records the following:

Has Peter’s tomb been found? We reply: the tropaion of the middle of the 2nd century has been found. However, the corresponding tomb of the apostle has not been ‘found’ in the same sense, but it has been demonstrated: that is, by means of a whole series of clues, its existence has been deduced, although there are no longer ‘material parts’ of this original tomb.

Ergo, the grave has been there, but it’s gone! ‘Fantasy would like to imagine how the corpse of the first pope rested on earth’, Kirschbaum writes, and assumes that Peter’s bones were removed from its tomb in the year 258—naturally, without the slightest demonstration.

When Venerando Correnti, a well-known anthropologist, studied the legs of the vecchio robusto (old robust), the presumed bones of Peter, he identified them as the remains of three individuals, among them with ‘almost total certainty’ (quasi ciertamente) those of an elderly woman of about seventy years old. However, on June 26, 1968, Pope Paul VI announced in his address on the occasion of a general audience: ‘The relics of St. Peter have been identified in a way that we can consider as convincing’.

In fact, any identification among the pile of buried remains was, both at the beginning and after two thousand years, impossible even if Peter was there. Erich Caspar has rightly pointed out, with a good dose of prudence, ‘that the existing doubts will never be eliminated’.

Within this same context, Johannes Haller has recalled, also rightly, the scepticism regarding the authenticity of the Schiller and Bach skulls, although the distance in time is much smaller and the conditions much better. Likewise, Armin von Gerkan writes that, even if Peter’s tomb were discovered with inscriptions that would attest to it—which is not the case—that would prove nothing ‘since that inhumation would come from the Constantinian era, and it is very possible it was a fiction’.

Norbert Brox, who in 1983 knows ‘with all certainty’ that Peter has been in Rome, confesses that the role that Peter played in the community of that city is unknown. ‘It is ruled out that he was its bishop’. The author of the First Epistle of Peter (the ‘apostle of Jesus Christ’ in ‘Babylon’, that is, Rome) did not present himself as bishop but, according to the Protestant theologian Felix Christ, ‘as a preacher and above all as an ‘elder’. Also for the Catholic Blank, Peter was not, ‘in all probability the first bishop of Rome’, and naturally not the founder of the Roman community.

Even for Rudolf Pesch, so faithful to the opposite line, there was no ‘such beginnings’, no episcopate in Rome. Neither Peter nor Paul—‘neither of the two apostles has had a direct’ successor ‘in a Roman bishopric’. However, at the end of his study, this Catholic declares that the papal primacy is ‘the Catholic primacy of Peter united to the succession of the apostles in the office of bishop, at the service of the faith of the Church, One and Holy’. This is the factum theologicum.

In plan English, hiding a fact to obtain what would not otherwise be achieved.

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Published in: on August 27, 2018 at 4:41 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 92  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 91

Below, an abridged translation from the second volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.

 
There is no evidence of Peter’s stay and death in Rome

Nor was he ever the bishop of Rome. It is an absurd idea, but it is the basis of a whole doctrine that the popes and their theologians literally put on the roof. There is no definitive proof, even that he was ever in Rome.

The Christian community of Rome was founded neither by Peter nor by Paul or the ‘blessed founding apostles’ (in the 6th century, Archbishop Dorotheus of Thessalonica attributed a double bishopric to them), but by unknown Judeo-Christians. Already then, between these and the Jews there were so serious disturbances that Emperor Claudius, in the middle of the 1st century, ordered the expulsion of Jews and Christians, among whom no differences were made: Judaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes [Claudius] Roma expulit (‘Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Claudius] expelled them from Rome’—Suetonius).

Peter’s stay in Rome has never been demonstrated, although today, in the era of ecumenism and the approximation of Christian churches, even many Protestant scholars assume it. But assumptions are no demonstration. Even when according to legends full of fantasy, Peter suffered martyrdom in Rome and was crucified as his Lord and Saviour, although, out of a desire for humility, with his head down…

In reality, there is not a single solid proof about that. Not even Paul, who would be the one who founded the Roman community with Peter, and who writes his last epistles from Rome (although he never cites his adversary, Peter, in them) knows anything about it. Nor is there any data about it in the history of the apostles, the synoptic Gospels. Likewise, Clement’s important first Epistle, from the end of the 1st century, knows nothing of the history of ‘You are Peter’ or of another appointment by Jesus, nor of any decisive role of this apostle. Clement limits himself to reporting with imprecise words about his martyrdom. In short, throughout the 1st century there is silence in this regard, as well as in the 2nd century.

The oldest ‘witness’ of Peter’s stay in Rome, Dionysius of Corinth, is suspect. First, because his testimony comes from the year 170 approximately. Secondly, because this bishop is very far from Rome. And thirdly, because he affirms that Peter and Paul not only found together the Church of Rome but also that of Corinth: an aspect that contradicts Paul’s own testimony. Does a guarantor of this type deserve more confidence about the Roman tradition?

But those who doubt this, or even deny it, ‘only raise an infamous monument to their ignorance and fanaticism’ (Gröner, Catholic). But is not precisely the other way around? Is not fanaticism more frequent among the faithful than among the sceptics? And also ignorance? Don’t religions, Catholicism and the papacy live on it? Don’t their dogmas overflow in the irrational and supernatural, in logical absurdities? Do they fear nothing more than authentic criticism? Haven’t they instituted a strict censorship, the index, the ecclesiastical authorisation to be able to print, the anti-modernist oath and the bonfire?

Catholics need Peter’s visit, they need the corresponding activity of this man in Rome, who will head as ‘founder apostle’ the list of Roman bishops, the chain of his ‘successors’. In this theory the ‘apostolic’ tradition and the primacy of the pope are largely based.

They affirm therefore, especially in popular writings, that the presence of Peter in Rome ‘has been demonstrated by historical research beyond all doubt’ (F.J. Koch); ‘it is a result of the investigation confirmed in a general way’ (Kösters, Jesuit); it is ‘totally incontestable’ (Franzen); it is attested in ‘all the ancient Christian world’ (Schuck); there is ‘no’ news of antiquity ‘as sure as this’ (Kuhn), which does not make any more certain the image that Peter has ‘set up his episcopal chair, his seat, in Rome’ (Specht / Bauer).

In 1982, for the Catholic Pesch ‘there is no longer any doubt’ that Peter died martyred in Rome under Nero. (However, the martyred bishop Ignatius does not say anything about it in the 2nd century.) Pesch considers it unquestionable. But neither he nor anyone else provides any proof. For him it is only ‘an attractive idea to assume that Peter left for Rome’.

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