Christianity’s Criminal History, 148

For the context of these translations click here

 

St. Gregory of Tours (Louvre)

When we read the History of the Franks, as amorphous as it is detailed, by Gregory of Tours, which is the main source of that period, we are surprised that the same head in which such a grotesque belief in miracles and the devil was floating around, and that seems to have no other concern than some obscure miracles and signs—for him unquestionable facts, gesta praesenti—, we are surprised, I repeat, that this same head relates with the most realistic tone and often with an almost amoral indifference the horrors of the time without admiring either the decadent displays of conscience or the most criminal heroes of the age.

He doesn’t feel the slightest scruple and knows nothing of the conflicts between loyalties, being unreservedly in favour of the brutal policy of the princes, that is, in favour of their crimes insofar as they represented the advance of the Catholic Church. This means, however, a halfway between securing for the Church a stable situation and for the high clergy’s ever-increasing riches; he belonged to that clergy. (Someone has observed that the episcopal ministry, supposedly so exhausting, left Gregory sufficient time to write his extensive works.)

No doubt civil and fratricidal wars didn’t entirely fit into the saint’s mind, for they naturally affected him and his Church. But external wars, wars aimed at the aggrandisement of the Christian kingdom—the annihilation of the ‘heretics’ and especially the Arians (four times he tells the hoax story of the fathers of the Church, according to which Arius burst in the toilet); the extinction of the pagans and other infidels—, could never be terrible enough. Thus, at the beginning of the fifth book of his History of the Franks, he confesses without a qualm: ‘Would that you too, O kings, were engaged in battles like those in which your fathers struggled, that the heathen terrified by your union might be crushed by your strength! Remember how Clovis won your great victories, how he slew opposing kings, crushed wicked peoples and subdued their lands, and left to you complete and unchallenged dominion over them!’

Fighting battles, killing enemy kings, and subjugating hostile peoples as well as his own, is what a famous Catholic saint, after more than half a millennium of Christianity, calls all this. For ‘the triumphs of the Franks are also the successes of Gregory’ (Haendler).

Even when it comes to sexually motivated murder, Gregory acts as a modern ‘progressive’. Without batting an eyelid he recounts the case of the exuberant Deoteria. While her husband was on a trip to Béziers, she sent word for King Teudebert: ‘No one can resist you, dearest lord. We know that you are our master. Come, then, and do what is pleasing in your eyes’. And Theudebert came to the castle, made Deoteria his concubine, his wife; and Bishop Gregory calls the Catholic lady (who afterwards began to fear her own daughter’s rivalry and had her killed at Verdun) ‘a skilful and clever woman’. As skilful and clever as Theudebert himself because, as Gregory himself proclaims, ‘she ruled her kingdom with justice, honoured the bishops and made donations to the churches’; and ‘all the taxes, which had hitherto reverted to the royal treasury of the churches of Auvergne, she graciously remitted to them’.

In other words, Gregory turns a blind eye to the well-known Catholic double standard.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 147

For the context of these translations click here

 
Ignorant, criminal on a grand scale and a good Catholic

It is true that we cannot judge that epoch, an epoch of ignorant, superstitious, fallacious and bloody people, with our modern—oh so ethical—modern standards: we must not act anachronistically against history! But can we and should we still measure that era, a thoroughly Christian era, by Christian criteria, by certain biblical criteria, such as the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount or the commandments of the Decalogue? And precisely because we look at it in this way, shouldn’t we recognise it by its fruits?

The Catholic author Daniel-Rops, too, feels a prevailing sense of ‘horror’ at ‘the continually repeated spectacle of crimes that are frankly unspeakable’. ‘Everywhere there is blatant violence, ready to explode at any moment. Nothing stops it: not family ties, not the precepts of the most elementary decency and not even the Christian faith’. Not even that? Didn’t the faith allow all that to go on? Didn’t it provide what we might call the supreme consecration, the endorsement of the status quo? Didn’t the faith pray for the rulers, the generals, the cutthroats? Didn’t it pray before wars, during wars, and after wars? Didn’t it participate in wars and plundering, or make continual donations to the Church from the spoils of war or plunder? Didn’t it fatten the powerful on the misery of the masses?

The Church unreservedly sided with the scoundrels and butchers. And while the violent acts of the kings are more and more unbridled, the chain of blood vengeance never ends, the murders of relatives multiply precisely among the great ones: the Catholic son kills the Catholic father, the brother kills the brother who is as Catholic as him, the Catholic uncle kills the Catholic nephew, and while the robberies of the Merovingian kings occur, the annihilated enemies who were Germanic princes, and the snatched booty of gold, jewels and weapons could hardly be hidden any longer under the underground vault of the palace of Braine; the episcopate saw in those crowned Catholic criminals the legitimate representatives of state authority, the representatives of God on earth.

Since the Church sided with the Merovingian potentates from the beginning as their ally, it was able to develop as it hadn’t done for a long time. Its influence grew, and both the secular and monastic clergy became incredibly wealthy. And to a large extent the almost permanent catastrophes, and the terror that rarely ceased, greatly favoured the appearance of donations to the Church. ‘As people expected protection and help from them, and were continually threatened by looting, arson, murder and violence, they turned to the Church and its saints’ (Bleiber).

The Church thought nothing of opposing this. Its wheat increased. It was only between 475 and the beginning of the 6th century that the number of Gallic monasteries increased tenfold; but in the first half of the following century more abbeys were built there than ever before or since. And looking back to the middle of the 7th century, a modern researcher even speaks of ‘an episcopal and monastic state’ (Sprandel). The episcopate, which was a ‘great power’ not only economically but also politically (Dopsch), played almost as decisive a role in the kingdom as the absolute sovereign monarchy did in the Church. The two were closely linked and intertwined, for the ruler also had to show himself devotissimus of the Church and, at least in the Carolingian period, was regarded ‘as a clergyman’ (Brunner).
 

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Editor’s note: Chess, as it is known today, emerged in Medieval Europe as an evolution of a Persian game which in turn evolved from an Indian game (the earliest reference to the latter is found in the Mahabharata: an epic-religious text of the Aryans from the 3rd century BC).

As can be seen in the picture, two bishops flank the king and queen in the original formation of the game, already in its European incarnation.
 

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The whole period, cruel in the extreme and extraordinarily fraudulent, was at the same time very ‘pious’. Attendance at Sunday mass was widespread ‘at the ringing of the bells they crowded into the churches’ (Pfister). Eucharistic communion became almost as widespread. Church singing was zealously cultivated. Almost everyone attended the processions. Catholic festivals were celebrated as great popular festivals. People prayed before they began to eat, and not a glass of water was drunk without first making the sign of the cross. And it was not only God who was prayed to, but all imaginable saints were invoked continually. Numerous churches were built with marble columns and marble-covered walls, stained glass windows and many paintings; the rich even had their own domestic chapels. The kings dealt with saints, as Theuderic I did in 525-526 with St Gallus in Cologne (who set fire to a temple there, ‘because none of the foolish pagans were to be seen’ after which the arsonist took refuge in the royal palace). Childebert I visited a saint. Queens, like Radegund for example, washed the feet of bishops. Crass superstition was commonplace. Relics from Rome and Jerusalem were hoarded, and pilgrimages were made, looking for health, to the supposed tombs of the apostles.

In a word, there was a deep conviction ‘of the reality and power of the living God’ (Heinsius). There abounded ‘a vigorous and fresh faith in God and his providence; one dealt with the divine, not as an abstraction or an idea, but as a very real force. This conviction prevailed among all, shared by ecclesiastics and laymen without distinction’. The first half of the 7th century was openly regarded as ‘a flourishing period of the Frankish Church’ (Hauck), which was seen to be ‘deeply rooted in the people of the Franks’ (Schieffer), and the bishops and episcopal synods ‘applied to the work’ (Boudriot).

Published in: on May 20, 2022 at 11:31 am  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 147  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 146

 

The Church in the Merovingian Period

‘The Frankish reign of the Merovingians… was an age bathed in blood and murder, full of the most dreadful tragedies, at the same time replete with believing zeal and holiness’. —Franz Zach, Catholic

‘No one in history ever founded so many monasteries again…’ —P. Lasko

‘… a bloody period of the Frankish Church’. —A. Huack

‘Naked violence reigned everywhere… the continually renewed spectacle of almost unspeakable crimes’. —Daniel Rops, Catholic

 
In the Merovingian period Gaul was already fundamentally Christian, and became increasingly Christianised.

It is true that its oldest inscription, certainly Christian, only dates from the year 334 and Lyon; but today it has been lost. And, indeed, at that time Christians were still a minority, even in the cities where the Christian emperors, and of course their Christian collaborators too, lived.

In any case, the spread of Christianity in Gaul had already made rapid progress, and it seems that by 250 there were already bishops there: in Toulouse Saint Saturninus, Arles Marcianus, Paris Saint Dionysius and Narbonne, where a few decades later there is evidence of a Christian cemetery. And in any case, these bishops, like those of Tours, Clermont and Limoges, were in no way delegates of Rome. The alleged Roman mission is undoubtedly a falsehood of the 5th or 6th century: an attempt by the papacy to assert its authority. And, naturally, such a falsehood also had to ensure the apostolic origin of these Gallic bishoprics. The same motif is also found in Spain.

But in the 4th century, episcopal sees already swarmed Gaul. In the Belgian-Germanic territories, too, there are more and more bishoprics: in Orléans, Verdun, Amiens, Strasbourg, Speyer, Worms, Basel, Besançon, and Chalon-sur-Saone. Not to mention older ones, such as those of Trier, Metz and Cologne, all of which—like those of Tongeren and Mainz—falsely claimed to be foundations of disciples of the apostles.

At the end of the 5th century, when Gaul became the epicentre of Western history, some 115 bishops ministered there, almost exclusively in cities. And by the end of the 6th century, Gaul was occupied by 11 metropolitan sees with 128 dioceses: Arles had 24 bishoprics, Bordeaux 17 and Bourges 9, Lyon 10, Narbonne 7, Reims 12, Rouen 9, Sens 7, Tours 8, Trier 9 and Vienne 5.
 

A kind of holy cancerous ulcer

This period, in which Christianity infected the Germanic world, the dominance of the Frankish nobility was forged and the typical medieval society of royalty, church and nobility emerged from the 5th century, was an era characterised, as few others had been, by unbridled passions and bloody atrocities, betrayals and untold crimes.

Palace intrigues, dynastic quarrels, incessant betrayals, the unscrupulous elimination of kings and princes (the average lifespan of the Merovingians was 24.5 years) and the bestial campaigns to wipe out entire families were as commonplace as drunkenness and epidemics, famines and plundering. The history of Gaul in the Merovingian period is a unique chronicle of barbarism. Administration, trade and agriculture all collapsed to a greater or lesser extent, and crime triumphed to the full.

There has hardly ever been a more anarchic period in Europe than these early centuries of the Middle Ages. And yet the clergy didn’t think of forbidding intervention. The prelates were not overly incited by the desire for martyrdom. And the Church itself came to enjoy all the plundering and pillaging. Its real estate, which had already increased in the 4th century, then increased immeasurably.

Already in the 6th century its wealth grew ‘to infinity’ (Dopsch). ‘During the Merovingian period no memorable rebellion of ecclesiastical authority ever broke out, simply because the Church was not in opposition to the civil power, but collaborated closely with it’ (Bodmer). Indeed, the Frankish bishops participated in the power struggles between kings and grandees, ‘albeit with material and not spiritual weapons’ (Bund), going so far as ‘the de facto usurpation… of instruments of state and military power’ (Prinz).

In reality the high clergy and the first nobility are the driving forces of that immense confusion. In the imperium, they set up semi-independent powers, causing it to lurch either to one side or the other in permanent crises, which led to chaos.

There have never been so many saints, perhaps except for the martyrial era with its squadrons of so-called blood witnesses. In the 7th century alone, no fewer than eight hundred have been counted. Moreover, ‘that Merovingian century, so decisive for the development of the West’, found ‘a spiritual expression appropriate to the age in the lives of saints’, hagiography having experienced ‘an undoubted increase’.

The saints enjoyed high prestige. They built great monasteries with pompous churches. Like their biographers, they had an unmistakably positive attitude towards the monarchy and the nobility, most of them coming from aristocratic families. One could almost have the impression that ‘nobility was the anteroom to sainthood’, and one could speak of the ‘self-sanctification’ of Merovingian noble society (Prinz).

This was just as beneficial to the Church as the caste of the lords. Its desire for political-charismatic domination, which had been damaged by the apostasy of the old faith, was strengthened by the resources of the new faith providing Christian legitimisation. At the same time, however, the epoch, and especially the 7th century, was characterised by a ‘flowering’ of hagiography and a taste for the miraculous, which amounted to ‘the greatest falsification of historicity’, and consequently led to ‘the state of prostration of Western historiography’. All in all, this ‘was the result of a barbarisation, after the ancient stream had dried up’ (Scheibelreiter).

Published in: on May 17, 2022 at 1:39 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 146  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 145

For the context of these translations click here

 
Mission and slaughter

Under Dagobert I, whose chief advisors included Arnulf, bishop of Metz, and Kunibert, bishop of Cologne, the paganism on the left bank of the Rhine was increasingly combated, and all the Jews in the kingdom were forcibly baptised.
 

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Editor’s note: This is where it becomes clearer than ever that white nationalists, most of whom have a positive view of Christianity, aren’t honest with themselves.

While it is true that The Northman film that depicts Vikings burning women and children alive isn’t to be believed, it is true that some ancient Scandinavians were brutal in preventing miscegenation, like the Visigoths who burned at the stake those who stained their blood with Mediterranean mudbloods. Christianity came to change things in Visigothic Spain: burning heretics rather than Goths who sinned against the holy spirit of their race. Now even Jews could mingle with Aryans if they only converted to Christianity! And not only Jews…

As long as the racial right in North America is reluctant to revise its history of Christianity, I will be pointedly denigrating them on The West’s Darkest Hour. The German Karlheinz Deschner continues:

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Dagobert also opened the mission of the Frisians, to which Bishop Kunibert had formally committed himself, with an edict imposing baptism. And just as the king fought in the south, west and north, and just as he fought the Basques, Bretons, Saxons and Frisians, he also invaded the first Slavic kingdom, the great kingdom of the Frankish merchant Samo, which stretched from the Erzgebirbe or Ore Mountains to the eastern Alps…

The only source, which recounts the genocide of the Bulgars, is found in Fredegar: ‘After their defeat the Bulgars were expelled from Pannonia: 9,000 men with women and children, who turned to Dagobert, begging him to take them into Frankish lands for a lasting settlement. Dagobert ordered the Bavarians to take them in for the winter, while he consulted with the Franks about what to do next. When they had been distributed among the various houses of the Bavarians, Dagobert ordered the Bavarians—after taking advice from the Franks—that each of them should kill the Bulgarians on a certain night with the women and children he had in his house. And the Bavarians carried it out immediately’. And of the 9,000 people, only 700 escaped the slaughter and fled across the Windisch to the Duchy of Walluc.

The main reason for the unprecedented carnage was probably ‘the annihilation of the Bulgarian ruling class’ (Stórmer). In principle, this had nothing to do with the ‘mission’ but with an Ostpolitik or Eastern policy, which in turn had a lot to do with a ‘mission’.

‘Mission, Catholicisation and the healing of souls appear in the 5th-6th centuries in close connection with the Frankish king, with the deputy duke of Bavaria and the Frankish aristocracy in the west and east’, writes Kari Bosi after narrating the great slaughter, and adds: ‘It is no accident the name of the last great Merovingian king Dagobert I who pursued a vigorous Ostpolitik strongly emphasised in the Lex Baiuarium… It is known for the close collaboration between Dagobert and St. Amandus’.

Moreover, it is known that the rex torrens was considered a saint like other murderers of entire populations, such as Charlemagne or Charles ‘the Great’. And finally, it is known that St. Amandus reproached King Dagobert, ‘something that no other bishop dared to do’, with capitana crimina for very serious crimes; although these crimes, which one saint reproached another saint for, were less about the sexual life of the sovereign than about his violent actions.

(Left, Dagobert’s tomb at Saint-Denis, remade in the 13th century.) But that was an exception. For nothing prevented the old chroniclers from comparing Dagobert, the great beheader, the initiator of the Bulgarian slaughter and an unscrupulous man in general, with Solomon, the rex pacifica, and exalted as ‘benefactor of the churches’ (ecciesiarum largitor), as ‘most vigorous nourishing father of the Franks’ (fortissimus enutritor francorum) who brought peace to the whole kingdom and won the respect of the neighbouring peoples; which also doesn’t prevent us from reading: ‘He filled all the surrounding kingdoms with fear and terror’ (Liber Historiae Francorum). Nevertheless, or precisely because of this, the ‘great’ Merovingian king, the friend of the monks, Dagobert, who died after a brief illness on 19 January 638-639, still lives on today especially in France, as the bon roi Dagobert (the good king).

Published in: on May 11, 2022 at 1:48 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 145  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 144

 
The fall of Brunhilda and the first peak in the Christianisation of the idea of kingship

(Left, pen drawing from the earliest manuscript of the Chronicle of Fredegar which is believed to depict Eusebius and Jerome, 715 AD.) On the death of Childebert II, he was succeeded by his two sons: Theudebert II (595-612) in Austria, and Theuderic II (595-613) in Burgundy. Brunhilda was the first to rule in the name of her grandchildren, who were still minors, and who only gradually began to intervene in the struggles with the royal house of Neustria after they had reached majority.

In Burgundy, of which she soon became the true ruler, she continued the struggle against Chlothar and, to take revenge on her Austrian enemies, instigated Theuderic against his brother Theudebert of Austria, who, she kept repeating, was not the son of a king but of a market gardener. As late as 600, the two brothers had jointly inflicted a heavy defeat on Chlothar II, who was then only sixteen years old, and had sacked his kingdom, reducing it to a narrow coastal strip around Rouen, Beauvais and Amiens. And still in 602 they had jointly fought the Basques and ‘with God’s help’ had subjected them to tribute.

But afterwards they fought each other fiercely and bloodily. The Chronicle of Fredegar recounts that

never since time immemorial had the Franks or any other people fought so fiercely. Such was the deadliness between the two armies that, where both sides began the battle, the corpses of the dead had no place to lie, but the dead were so crowded together among the other bodies that they stood upright as if they were alive. But Theuderic, with the help of God, defeated Theudebert once more; and the vassals of Theudebert during their flight from Zülpich to Cologne were put to the sword, covering the ground in stretches. On the same day Theuderic came to Cologne and seized all the treasures of Theudebert.

In Cologne, where the Franco-Burgundians entered, Theuderic had his brother tonsured and then cut off his head and annihilated his entire family. ‘Even a very young son of his was grabbed by the foot by order of Theuderic and beaten against a rock, until his brains fell out of his head’, says the Chronicle of Fredegar.

It was the end of one of the innumerable purely Catholic fratricidal wars.

The victor then attempted to seize control of the whole of Gaul and immediately advanced on Neustria. But when he was at the height of his triumph he died unexpectedly, still in his youth, in the year 613. His sons were also killed by Chlothar II of Neustria. But not his godson Merovech, whom Chlothar imprisoned in a monastery, but ‘whom he continued to love with the same affection with which he had taken him from the sacred font of baptism’ (Chronicle of Fredegar).

On the death of Theuderic in Metz, Brunhilda immediately had his eldest son and great-grandson, Sigibert II, who was about ten years old, proclaimed king of Austrasia and Burgundy. But the Austrasian grandees betrayed her. Led by the glorious ancestors of the Carolingians, the two traitors, the steward Pepin of Landen and Arnulf—the future saint and bishop of Metz—, went over to the side of Chlothar II. And after the high treason of the Austrian aristocracy, the queen was also abandoned by the feudal lords of Burgundy under the steward Warnachar. They had decided it beforehand ‘and of course both the bishops and the rest of the great lay lords, according to the contemporary chronicler… resolved not to let a single son of Theuderic escape, but to kill them all and then annihilate Brunhilda and to promote the sovereignty of Chlothar’.

This sealed the queen’s ruin, the exclusion and even the elimination of the Austro-Burgundian branch of the Merovingian dynasty, as well as the triumph of the nobility over the crown.

Brunhilda’s army deserted without resistance. She fled to the Jura and tried to sneak into Burgundy, but at Orbe (in today French Switzerland), by Lake Neuchatel, she was taken prisoner by the Frankish steward and handed over to her nephew.

Chlothar, as God-fearing as he was cruel and thoroughly ecclesiastical-minded, and who as the first Frankish king compared to David, whose ‘piety’ the Chronicle of Fredegar exalts, was a ruler who granted the clergy new rights and abundant donations, guaranteed them freedom of episcopal elections, exempted them from all the burdens of ecclesiastical property, was ‘clement and full of kindness to all’. The queen consort of Chilperic I, Fredegund, subjected her to torture for three days in the year 613. (Note of the Ed.: queen Brunhilda of Austrasia was Fredegund’s sister-in-law.) This happened when Brunhilda was already almost septuagenarian; she then had the soldiers ride her on a camel, and finally tied by her hair, one arm and one foot ‘to the tail of the wildest steed’ and dragged her to death, until ‘her limbs were torn off one after the other’ (Chronicle of Fredegar). Her bones were burned. And her offspring were also eliminated up to her great-grandchildren, with the sole exception of Prince Merovech, Chlothar’s godson.

(Left, Brunhilde is dragged to her death.) But a modern researcher writes: ‘It was precisely under this ruler that, as can be clearly demonstrated, the Christianisation of the idea of the king reached its first peak’ (Anton).

Pope Gregory had miscalculated. It was neither Brunhilda nor the Austrian branch that emerged victorious from these massive atrocities: the victor was the Neustrian Chlothar II, to whom Gregory had sent only a single letter of his 854 letters that have been preserved. In 614 the king convened a national synod in Paris which marked the beginning of the national Frankish Church, independent of Rome for a century.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 143

 

Brunhilda, Chlothar II and Dagobert I
or ‘the Christianisation of the idea of king’.

‘… a wild political animal’. —J. Richards referring to Brunhilda.

‘Precisely under this sovereign, as can be clearly demonstrated, the Christianisation of the idea of the king reached one of its first peaks’. —H.H. Anton, concerning Chlothar II.

‘… God gracious above all measure… he heard him above all in the advice of St. Arnulf, bishop of the city of Metz… He heard him also in the warnings of his steward Pipinus and Kunibert, bishop of Cologne’. —Fredegar, alluding to Dagobert I.

‘He filled with fear and terror all the kingdoms around him’. —Liber Historiae Francorum.

 

Pope Gregory I gallivanting with ‘a wild political animal’

In the year 592, the oldest of the Merovingian kings, Guntram, died in the Frankish kingdom after a series of threats and attacks, and he died without leaving any descendants. But after the death of his own sons he had adopted his eldest grandson, still a minor, Childebert II (575-596), leaving him part of his kingdom. He thus ruled two partial kingdoms: Austrasia and Burgundy. Childebert, who in the last period of his life subdued the rebellious Bretons in the west and a Thuringian people between the Saale and Elbe in the east, soon came under the full influence of his mother.

The powerful Brunhilda, the most prominent figure in the Frankish kingdom, had in 575 imposed her five-year-old son’s rule in Austrasia and settled the ensuing power struggle with the Austrian nobles of Guntram’s camp in her favour, and in favour of the kingship.

In his letters, the holy father completely ignores Brunhilda’s dreadful family discord. He sees her, her son, her kingdom and all the other kingdoms won for the right faith ‘as bright lamps shining and illuminating amidst the night darkness of unbelief’. He repeatedly thanks her for the support she has given to his English missionaries on their journey through the Frankish kingdom. He extols her ‘love for the prince of the apostles, Peter, to whom you are wholeheartedly devoted, as I know’. And he asks for her help, often in vain, against simony, schismatic groups and ‘pagan’ cults.

Gregory exhorts Brunhilda to forcibly prevent the worship of sacred trees and other idolatries and recommends the use of scourging, torture and imprisonment to obtain the conversion of rebellious ‘pagans’. And, of course, the pope also sent relics to the queen.

Gregory I wrote to the powerful queen, who supposedly ruled the Church, about a dozen letters, usually in a tone of syrupy flattery, which he also used with the imperial house, both with the (later) victim and the murderer. With some restraint he began the first papal epistle: ‘Your Excellency’s character, praiseworthy and pleasing to God, is to be seen both in your government and in the education of your son’, but it soon got louder. And while ‘Gregorian chant’ had nothing to do with Gregory, here he could sing in higher and higher tones:

How great are the gifts which God has bestowed on you, and with what clemency the grace of heaven swells your heart, not only do your many other merits attest, but they are especially recognised in the fact that you rule the coarse hearts of heathen peoples with the art of cautious prudence, what is still more meritorious, the regal power is accompanied by the adornment of wisdom.

Brunhilda was not only powerful but also useful to the Church. She made numerous donations and built abbeys, and the pope even asked for her support for the reform of the Frankish Church and the protection of ecclesiastical property.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 142

For the context of these translations click here

 
Catholic Church historians of the 20th century celebrate Pope Gregory as ‘one of the most important pastors among the popes’ (Baus), as ‘one of the most remarkable and cleanest figures on the chair of Peter’ (Seppelt/Schwaiger) and have long seen him occupying a ‘place among the great ones in the kingdom of heaven’ (Stratmann). Harnack, on the other hand, undoubtedly wiser than all the above and certainly more honest, rightly calls Gregory pater superstitionum, the father of (medieval) superstition.

Gregory I often failed to intervene effectively against recalcitrant bishops or even lost the battle. He had no influence on the course of events in Spain and the conversion of the Visigoths to Catholicism. Among the Merovingians, with whom he tried to establish a dialogue with every possible concession and warning, he failed completely, without achieving the reform of the Frankish church or the synod he so desired. The Merovingian imperial church became even more independent than it already was. Even against the Longobards it had little lasting success. And even his greatest mark of honour, the conversion of England to Catholicism, soon fizzled out, although only after his death. His successors had to start afresh and built up what is falsely attributed to him.

Gregorian chant, ‘that jewel of the Church’ (Daniel-Rops), known at least by name to many who know nothing of Gregory, in no way comes from him, even if it displeases certain sentimental Christians. In reality, the liturgical changes he introduced are few and insignificant. Even so, throughout the Middle Ages the Gregorian Sacramentary, the Missal, the Gregorian Antiphonary, the sung Missal and Gregorian chant all came to be the work of Gregory, who would have reordered, corrected and expanded the traditional chants of the Church. Recent research is unanimous in denying him such merits; the evidence is compelling.

When Gregory I died on 12 March 604, the world was covered in the thickest darkness in his eyes. He was ill, in his last years he could no longer walk, lying almost always in bed, harassed and exhausted by pain. The Longobards, whom he had not tamed, were threatening Rome, whose famine-stricken population was cursing the pope. And while in the North Gregory was venerated after his death, in Rome itself he was almost forgotten for centuries: a probable consequence of the triumph of the diocesan clergy over his monastic rule.

Is it a credit to Europe that this ambitious, intolerant and poor-spirited pope could be called the ‘father of Europe’?

Published in: on April 19, 2022 at 11:09 am  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 142  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 141

For the context of these translations click here

 

Pope Gregory’s books

The triumphs of the abstruse, not to say of foolishness, in no less than thirty-five books, which the author himself described as libri morales and that in the Middle Ages, to which they served as a compendium of morals, were called Magna Moralia, with incessant summaries, compilations, commentaries and enormous diffusion. And that creation of Gregory, the most ancient and vast, founded his fame as an expositor of Scripture (deifluus, radiator of God) and a moral theologian: the product of a mind that contemporaries and posterity placed above Augustine and exalted as incomparable, whose works in copies or epitomes and summaries flooded all medieval libraries and for centuries obscured the West!…

The famous papal book, which, like everything else written by Gregory, lacked any originality, summarised, it was said, what had already been formulated by the three ‘great Latin fathers’—Tertullian, Ambrose and Augustine—and at the same time transmitted to the Middle Ages the ancient exegesis of the Catholic coryphaeus. No doubt this great work deserves consideration.

The imposing and grandiose work Dialogues on the Life and Miracles of the Italic Fathers soon became extraordinarily popular with the help of God and the Church, exerting ‘the widest influence’ on posterity (H.J. Vogt). It contributed through the Longobard Queen Theudelinde to the conversion of her people to Catholicism. It was translated into Arabic, Anglo-Saxon, Old Icelandic, Old French and Italian. Pope Zacharias (741-752), a Greek who was characterised above all by ‘prudence’, translated it into Greek. It was to be found in all libraries and greatly broadened the spiritual horizons of the religious. It was ‘read by all learned monks’ and with its ideas about the afterlife, which created a school, and especially with its numerous miraculous claims, it gave rise to ‘a new type of religious pedagogy’ (Gerwing)…

There is nothing crude or superstitious here, which goes by the name of virtues: healings of the blind, resurrections of the dead, expulsions of unclean spirits, miraculous multiplications of wine and oil, apparitions of Mary and Peter, apparitions of demons of all kinds. In general, punitive miracles enjoy special preference. Creating fear was—and is—the great speciality of the parish priests.

It is no coincidence that the fourth and last book ‘for the edification of many’ (Gregory) revolves dramatically around death, the so-called afterlife and the reward and punishment in the beyond: extra mundum, extra carnem. During the plague of 590, Gregory says that in Rome ‘one could see with one’s bodily eyes how arrows were shot from the sky, which seemed to pierce people’. A boy, who, out of homesickness and a desire to see his parents, escaped from the monastery for one night, died on the very day of his return. But when he was buried, the earth refused to receive ‘such a shameless criminal’ and repeatedly expelled him, until St. Benedict placed the sacrament in the boy’s breast. Criminals were naturally those who, even as children, were locked up for life in the monastery exclusively for the ecclesiastical ambition of power and profit.

 

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Editor’s Note: And also for the asses of the ephebes, insofar the vow of celibacy of the monks burned them (and continues to burn them). Without such a vow, they could be able to have a normal outlet for their lust. In the country where I live there is an obscene saying: “En tiempos de guerra cualquier agujero es trinchera” — ‘In times of war [burning celibacy] any hole is a trench’!
 

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Pope Gregory ‘the Great’ records a whole series of resurrections of the dead, carried out by the priest Severus, St. Benedict, a monk of Monte Argentario, and Bishop Fortunatus of Todi, the famous conjurer of spirits, who also immediately restored sight to a blind man with the simple sign of the cross. On the other hand, an Arrian bishop was punished with blindness. And among the Longobards there is a demon who was dragged out of a church by monks.

Gregory tells us of the multiplication of wine by Bishop Boniface of Ferentino, who with a few bunches of grapes filled whole barrels to overflowing. And the Prior Nonnoso of the monastery of Mt. Soracte, in Etruria, with his prayer alone moved a stone which ‘fifty pairs of oxen’ had not been able to move. Gregory reports that Maurus, a disciple of St. Benedict, walked on water. ‘O miracle unheard of since the time of the Apostle Peter’ and that a ‘brother gardener’ tamed a snake, which stopped a thief; that a raven carried away bread that was poisoned (‘In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ take this bread and carry it to a place where no man can find it! And then the crow opened its beak’).

Gregory the Great! A nun forgets to ‘bless with the sign of the cross’ a head of lettuce before eating it, and so gobbles up Satan, who snarls out of his mouth: ‘But what have I done, what have I done? I was sitting quietly on the head of lettuce, and she came and bit me’. Bad woman but blessed be God: a saint expels Satan from her, Gregory the Great!

But there are also altruistic and helpful devils; devils who even, and precisely, render their services to the clergy and obey their word. ‘Come here, devil, and take off my shoe!’ a priest orders his servant, and the devil promptly serves him personally. Oh, and Gregory knew the devil in many of his forms: as a snake, a blackbird, a young black man and a foul monster. Only as pope he didn’t know him. Indeed, caution and enlightenment were called for.

According to Gregory, the holy bishop Boniface performed one miracle after another. Once, when he was in urgent need of twelve gold coins, he prayed to St. Mary, and immediately found in his pocket what he needed: in the folds of his tunic appeared ‘suddenly twelve gold coins, glittering as if they had just come out of the fire’. St. Boniface gives a glass of wine, the contents of which don’t run out, although one constantly drinks from it. And what about the miracle of the caterpillars, or the miracle of the wheat? No, Gregory ‘cannot pass them by in silence’. Indeed, when St Boniface ‘saw how all the vegetables withered, he went to the caterpillars and said to them: “I adjure you in the name of the Lord and our God, Jesus Christ, get out of here and don’t destroy these vegetables”. Immediately they all obeyed the words of the man of God, so not one of them was left in the garden’…

But for this doctor of the Church, ‘the Great’, not even all this gross nonsense—which whole generations of Christians have believed, they had to believe—didn’t exclude him from the supreme honours of a Church.

The miracles of punishment have always been preferred. Sometimes a fox falls dead, sometimes a minstrel. The important thing is that the power of the priests is seen! Even the most believing churchman cannot believe (and not only today) that the ‘great’ pope would have been so gullible. But Karl Baus, for whom the ‘greatness of Gregory’ lies precisely ‘in his vast pastoral action’, doesn’t say a single word about the very pastoral Dialogues in the four-volume Catholic Handbook of Church History. And Vogt opens the chapter on Gregory with a grandiosely comic sentence about his greatness: ‘Gregory the Great, the last of the four great doctors of the Latin Church, lived in an age which neither demanded nor permitted great achievements’. Á la bonne heure! Well said, indeed.

He who was to be the guide of the centuries to come also enriches the topography of hell. Its entrances, he declares, are mountains that spew fire. And as in Sicily the craters were getting bigger and bigger, he declared once again the imminent end of the world: due to the agglomeration of the damned, wider and wider accesses to hell were required. Whoever enters there will never return. But Gregory knew that some of the dead were released from purgatory after thirty masses. This was the case with a monk who had broken his vow of poverty. Gregory also knew that not all are freed from limbo, and that even children who die without baptism burn in eternal fire.

The modern progressives, who are now rushing to extinguish hellfire—because it seems incredible to them—have against them not only the great pope and doctor of the Church, but also Jesus himself and countless other coryphaei of the Church. For Gregory, the eternity of the pains of hell ‘are true with all certainty’, and yet he teaches that ‘the torment of his fire is for something good’…

Isn’t this a magnificent religion, the religion of love?

Published in: on April 4, 2022 at 2:01 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 141  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 140

For the context of these translations click here

(Left, Pope Gregory in the great window at
the Church of the Good Shepherd (Rosemont, Pennsylvania).)

Modern research attributes to this pope regular studies and very solid instruction, ‘an eminent cultural and moral training’ (RAC XII 1983). However, precise data on Gregory’s scientific culture are lacking. In that blessed Christian age, it did not actually exist. ‘Criticism and judgment fade’, wrote Ferdinand Gregorovius in the middle of the 19th century. We no longer hear from schools of rhetoric, dialectics and jurisprudence in Rome. Instead, he discovers that ‘more room than ever has been made for mystical enthusiasm and material worship’. And in much more recent times Jeffrey Richards confirms: ‘The philosophical and scientific training had long since disappeared’. Gregory had probably only studied Roman law, having reached the last remnant of classical training …

At that time there was hardly anyone in Rome who knew Greek. And the papal biographers of the Liber Pontificalis show how badly Latin was written… For Gregory the only relevant philosophy is in the Bible, ‘his supreme authority’ (Evans). And all the wisdom in the world, ‘science, the beauty of literature, the liberal arts’ are things that only serve for the intelligence ‘of Scripture’, that is, for a life of constant repentance and penance. But everything that does not directly serves religion is rejected by Gregory. He eliminates it completely.

The pope, one of the four ‘great’ fathers of the Latin Church and patron of educated people, ordered the burning of the imperial library on the Palatine (where the western emperors, their Germanic heirs and the Byzantine rulers continued to reside) as well as the library of the Capitol. In any case, the English scholar John of Salisbury, bishop of Chartres, affirms that the pope had had manuscripts of classical authors destroyed in Roman libraries.
 

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Editor’s Note:

See what Catherine Nixey says in this section of her book about the destruction of old libraries by Christians. Even if he had not been assassinated, I believe that George Lincoln Rockwell would have failed because he never saw that it was not yet time to do any activism, but to spend long and painful years in the temple of ‘Delphi’, so to speak.

For those who survived him after the attack that took his life, the correct tactic would have been to follow what Rockwell had started with the journal National Socialist World, but this time bringing out the true history of our parents’ religion. Himmler and his gang had already done something similar with their pamphlets for the members of the SS, since they already contemplated the CQ although in a more embryonic way than we do in The West’s Darkest Hour. And the German psyche had already been prepared by 19th-century philosophers like Schelling and Hegel, who spoke of a more pantheistic conception of ‘God’ than the crude theism of Judeo-Christians.

Jumping directly into activism in 1960s America, as Rockwell did, tacitly implied that the masses of Americans were already awake and that they only needed a good guide. But they weren’t. And not even the pundits of white nationalism today are. Otherwise, by now they would have said something about the climax of the essay considered the masthead of this site:

435 CE: In this year occurs the most significant action on the part of Emperor Theodosius II: He openly proclaims that the only legal religion in Rome apart from Christianity is Judaism! Through a bizarre, subterranean and astonishing struggle, Judaism has not only persecuted the old culture, and Rome, its mortal archenemy, adopts a Jewish creed—but the Jewish religion itself, so despised and insulted by the old Romans, is now elevated as the only official religion of Rome along with Christianity!

Using the metaphors of Savitri, there can be no ‘lightning’ (action) without ‘sun’ (wisdom), and the fact is that in white nationalism the blackest darkness reigns just before the dawn, as they are still allergic to Delphi’s wisdom by ignoring Christianity’s history. Karlheinz Deschner continues:
 

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Around 600 Gregory lectured harshly in a letter to the Gallic bishop Desiderius of Vienne, because he taught classical grammar and literature. Filled with shame and ‘great disgust’ he attributes to his ‘grave iniquity’ a blasphemous occupation, as if the same mouth could not ‘sing the praises of Jupiter and the praises of Christ’.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 139

For the context of these translations click here

 

Gregory I, work of the Danish sculptor
Christian Carl Peters (1883-1884).
Frederik’s Church, Copenhagen.

We can thus consider Gregory as the founder of the temporal power of the papacy. Without yet existing a Church-State there was already a kind of State, or at least an important factor of power. Gregory elected the bishops, together with the large landowners, the provincial governors and defined their powers, especially the judicial power. The pope also influenced commerce and controlled, in conjunction with the senate, measures and weights. And to him they belonged—this being perhaps what increased his power the most—enormous territorial extensions, great agricultural estates throughout Italy and beyond.

Despite everything Gregory remained, like his predecessors, the subject of the emperor, his superior. The imperial person and government were considered sacred. The monarch of Byzantium also fought ‘heresies’, promulgated ecclesiastical edicts and convened councils…

Between the exarch of Ravenna and the pope there were no good relations. Italy, and especially the territorial chaos of its middle part, was a focus of small, almost continuous wars. That is why the exarch wanted to protect the corridor of land between Ravenna and Rome, and the pope himself wanted to protect Rome; but there were no longer enough troops for it. The Roman garrison, considerably depleted by the plague and without receiving soldiers, was on the brink of a mutiny.

Gregory assumed command. He took charge of the city, intervening decisively in all military actions, from the appointment of officers to the operations of the generals or the negotiation of armistice conditions. He took care that no one evaded the service of arms under the pretext of service to the Church. Furthermore, he recruited people from the monasteries to guard the city walls, although he avoided putting soldiers in the nunnery monasteries. He even designed military installations for Campania, Corsica and Sardinia. He took care to reinforce the weak points of the imperial enclaves with reinforcement troops and fortifications. He appointed a commander for Naples, whose population he threatened: ‘Whoever opposes his just orders will be considered as a rebel against Us, and whoever obeys him obeys Us…’

 
The beginning of papal propaganda in England

The beginnings of Christianity in Britain remains in the dark. Early Northern Christians had been Scandinavian merchants. In the year 314 there is a testimony of three British bishops who participated in the synod of Arles.

Roman rule over Britain, established in 43 c.e. by Emperor Claudius with four legions (barely 40,000 men), had finished around 400. In 383 Theodosius abandoned Hadrian’s Wall, and at the beginning of the 5th century the Romans, under the orders of Stilicho and Constantius III, withdrew. Faced with the attacks of Picts and Scots, the British called to their aid the Germanic tribes of Jutes and Saxons, and later also the Angles, who created a series of regional kingdoms that fought each other. Such were those of Kent, Sussex, Essex, and Wessex as well as those later of Mercia, Northumbria, and Middlesex, both rising to supremacy. But the period between 450 and 600, called Dark Ages, remains the least known period in English history.

In the time of Gregory the province of Brittany of the old Roman rule consisted of the Roman-British kingdoms in the west and the pagan kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, who had established themselves in the rest of the island territory. In August 598, Gregory wrote to Bishop Eulogius of Alexandria that the Anglo people lived ‘in an outer corner of the world’ and that ‘they still venerate the tree and the stone…’ with a veneration that was not without sense and beauty.

Towards the end of the 6th century King Ethelbert of Kent married the Merovingian and Catholic princess Berta, great-granddaughter of Clovis, niece of Brunichilde and daughter of the Frankish King Chabert of Paris. In her entourage was Bishop Liuthard, who was supposed to celebrate the Christian liturgy, although Ethelbert was still a pagan. But upon becoming the most powerful king of England and being recognised as sovereign, Gregory hastened to send (595-596) the prior of his monastery of St. Andrew, Augustine, with some 40 monks, as emissaries to the ‘barbarians’… Unfortunately Ethelbert allowed the Roman monks to develop their propaganda in the kingdom…

The fables of the Trinity and Peter, etc., now replaced the cult of Odin and the Druids. At Pentecost 597, or more likely 601—if it really happened—the king had many Angles baptised. There are no sure testimonies of the ‘conversion’ of Ethelbert, but he was certainly the founder of three Episcopal churches in Kent and Essex: those of Canterbury, Rochester and London, which already existed in 604 when Augustine died. And with his predominantly civil laws the king protected ecclesiastical possessions as well. But at his death in 616 (or 618), and this does appear with certainty, his son and his successor Eadbald was still pagan, and so was probably his second wife.

In 602 reinforcements arrived from Rome. Abbot Mellitus, who two years later was already bishop of London, came with his troops dressed in monastic robes, carrying all kinds of ornaments, sacred vessels, relics, and various papal letters. The news of the conversion reached Constantinople. Nor was the exhortation lacking to destroy paganism and to continue the work of conversion amid the warnings and evocations of the terror of the final judgment. ‘Therefore, my most illustrious son’, Gregory wrote to the king, ‘keep carefully the grace you have received from God and hasten to spread the faith among the people who are subject to you. Increase still more your noble zeal for conversion; suppress idolatry, destroy their temples and altars…’

Thus wrote the preacher of humility. But when the occasion required it—and that was always the supreme rule of his conduct—Gregory knew how to act with greater caution and adopt an apparently more conciliatory tone, which at times may even seem comical. For example, to his ‘dearest son’, Abbot Mellitus, leader of the new troop of propagandists, he wrote that he had resolved

after long reflection on the situation of the Anglos. It is unnecessary to destroy the pagan temples of those towns, but only the idols that are in them. Then those temples must be sprinkled with holy water, altars erected and relics deposited. Because if such temples are well built, they can perfectly be transformed from a dwelling place of demons into houses of the true God, so that if the same people don’t see their temples destroyed, lay down their error from their hearts, recognise the true God and pray and go to the usual places according to their old custom…

Isn’t this a magnificent religion? If the temples are ‘well built’ there is no need to demolish the devil’s work. None of that: they can then serve the work of God. You just have to destroy the ‘idols’ and let the new ones in exclusively.