Kriminalgeschichte, 21

Editor’s note: Volume 3 of Deschner’s opus deals with forgery and brainwashing in the Ancient Church.

But since Volume 1 we get a taste of the flavour of how the early Christians grossly exaggerated the ‘gentile’ sins (see my hatnote on the previous instalment of this series), just as presently the fate of the Jews in World War II has been grossly exaggerated.

In the hostile takeover of Aryan civilisation, be the Ancient World or today, the art of making whitey feel guilty has been a formidable weapon. No wonder why Hitler called Christianity ‘the Bolshevism of the Ancient World’.
 

A Christian Dirce, by Henryk Siemiradzki. A Christian woman is martyred under Nero in this re-enactment of the myth of Dirce.

 

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Below, abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
The persecutions against Christians in the mirror of ecclesiastical historiography

The accusations against the pagans began, precisely because of these persecutions, presented with enormous exaggeration. And in that vein we have followed well into the 20th century, when it is still written that during the 1st century Christianity was ‘bathed in its own blood’, ‘innumerable hosts of heroic characters’ are weighed, and ‘the second century is recalled by the procession of those bearing on the forehead the bloody mark of martyrdom’ (Daniel Rops); although, at times, it must be confessed that ‘they were not millions’ (Ziegler).

The most serious and undisputed investigations estimate the number of Christian victims sometimes at 3,000, others at 1,500 for the total of three centuries of persecution. A Christian as worthy of respect as Origen, who died in 254 and whose father was a martyr, and who suffered torture himself, says that the number of witnesses of blood of Christianity was ‘small and easily re-countable’.

In effect, it happens that most of the ‘martyrs’ acts are forgeries, that many pagan emperors never persecuted Christianity, and that the State did not meddle with Christians because of their religion. In fact, the civil service of the old regime treated them with enough tolerance. They granted them deferrals, they ignored the edicts; tolerated deceptions, set them free, or taught them the legal arguments with which they could free themselves from persecution without abjuring their faith. Those who denounced themselves were sent home, and even often they indifferently endured the provocations.

In the first half of the 4th century, however, Bishop Eusebius, ‘father of ecclesial historiography’, is inexhaustible in inventing stories about the wicked pagans, the terrible persecutors of Christianity. To this theme he devotes the whole eighth book of his Ecclesiastical History, from which surely one can affirm what a scholar of the 9th and 10th volumes of this work said (which is almost the only available source on the history of the Church in the antiquity): ‘Emphasis, periphrasis, omissions, half truths, and even falsification of the originals replace the scientific interpretation of reliable documents’ (Morreau).

We see there how, again and again, the wicked pagans—actually our bishop Eusebius—torture Christians with lashes, ‘those really admirable fighters’; they rip their flesh out, break their legs, cut their noses, ears, hands and other members. Eusebius throws vinegar and salt in the wounds, heaves sharpened reeds under the nails, burns backs with molten lead, fries the martyrs in grills ‘to prolong the torment’. In all these situations and many more, the victims retain their integrity, even their good humour: ‘They sang praises to the God of heaven and gave thanks to their torturers, to the last breath.’

Other believers, Eusebius informs us, were drowned in the sea ‘by order of the servants of the devil’, or crucified, or beheaded ‘sometimes in number of up to a hundred men, young children [!] and women in a single day… The executioner’s sword mended, and the tired executioners were forced to relieve themselves’.

Others were thrown ‘at the anthropophagous beasts’, to be devoured by wild boars, bears, panthers. ‘We have been eyewitnesses [!] and we have seen how, by the divine grace of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, of whom they bear witness, when the beast was ready to leap it receded again and again, as repulsed by a supernatural force’.

The bishop tells of the Christians (five in all) who were to be ‘shattered by an enraged bull’: ‘As much as he dug with its hooves and delivered goring from one side to the other, spurred by red irons, snorting with rage, the Divine Providence did not allow any harm on them’.

Christian historiography!

In one passage, Eusebius mentions ‘a whole village of Phrygia inhabited by Christians’, whose inhabitants, ‘including women and children’, were burned alive… but unfortunately he forgot to tell us the name of the village in question.

It is a habitual feature of Eusebius to get by without the details despite having been, as he says, an eyewitness. He prefers to speak of ‘innumerable legions’, of ‘great masses’ exterminated partly by the sword, sometimes by fire, ‘countless men and women and children’ who died ‘in various ways by the doctrine of our Redeemer’. ‘Their display of heroism defy description’.

During the persecution of 177 in Gaul under Marcus Aurelius (161-180), the philosopher-emperor whose Meditations Frederick II of Prussia admired, Eusebius tells us that there were ‘tens of thousands of martyrs’. However, the martyrology of the Gallic persecution under Marcus Aurelius totals… 48 victims. Of all these, the so-quoted Lexikonfür Theologie und Kirche only recounts eight, ‘St Blandina with Bishop Photinus and six of his followers’. On the contrary, the number of pagan victims in Gaul was, in later centuries, ‘far superior’ (C. Schneider).

On the persecution by Diocletian, the bloodiest (against the express will of this remarkable emperor), Eusebius could not regret—or perhaps it would be better to say to celebrate, since the leaders of the Church always considered providential the persecutions, and popes of our 20th century have affirmed it—that the victims would have counted by tens of thousands, since many eyewitnesses still lived. Persecutions are a stimulus. They foster the unity of the persecuted and are the best propaganda imaginable of all time. Eusebius, author of a chronicle ‘on the martyrs of Palestine’ wrote in his Ecclesiastical History: ‘We know the names of those who stood out in Palestine’ and cites a total of 91 martyrs, and not ‘tens of thousands’.

In 1954, De Ste Croix reviewed for the Harvard Theological Review the figures of the ‘father of Christian historiography’ and only sixteen Palestinian martyrs were found, and that for the worst of the persecutions, which lasted there ten years, bringing the average not even two victims a year. In spite of all this, one of Eusebius’s modern panegyrists rejects the conclusion that Eusebius lacked ‘scientific scrupulousness’ (Wallace-Hadrill).

Kriminalgeschichte, 20

Note of the Editor: In this section Deschner says:

Therein lies the destructive tendency, of consequences that even reach us today, that instead of the ‘natural cosmos’ there is an ‘ecclesiastical cosmos’: a radical religious anthropocentrism, whose numerous repercussions and ‘progress’ endure beyond medieval theocracy [emphasis added].

Bingo! This is exactly what Savitri Devi tried to convey in Impeachment of Man, and also the Nazis right after they reached power.

Pay due attention how these early Christian writers refer to the adepts of Greco-Roman culture as ‘gentiles’ (the painting in this post depicts Clement, author of Exhortations to Gentiles).

 

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Below, abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(Criminal History of Christianity)

The defamation of the cosmos and pagan religion and culture (Aristides, Athenagoras, Tatian, Tertullian, Clement and others)
 
Aristides

By the middle of the 2nd century, Aristides, one of the first apologists, whipped (in a text of apologetics that was not discovered until 1889 in the monastery of St Catherine of Sinai) the divinization of water, fire, winds, sun and, of course, the cult of the land; this being the place ‘where the filth of humans and animals, both wild and domestic… and the decomposition of the dead’, ‘recipient of corpses’.

Nothing, then, of the animal kingdom or the vegetable kingdom. Nothing of pleasure. And the polytheistic worlds are ‘madness’, ‘blasphemous, ridiculous and foolish talk’, which are the source of ‘all evil, hideous and repugnant’, ‘great vices’, of ‘endless wars, great famines, bitter captivity, and absolute misery’, all of which falls upon humanity ‘because of paganism’ and only for that.
 
Athenagoras

[On the other hand], at the end of the 2nd century the Athenian Athenagoras wants to see God, the father of reason, even in creatures devoid of it, and demands that the image of God be honoured not only in the human figure, but also in birds and terrestrial animals. Prudently, this Christian declares that ‘it is necessary that each one choose the gods of his preference’. Athenagoras does not harbour the intention to attack their images and does not even deny that they are capable of working miracles; Augustine takes a very similar stance.

How humble, or could almost say pious, Athenagoras seems in his A Plea for the Christians, when he asks for the ‘indulgence’ of the pagans Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, and praises their ‘prudent government’, their ‘kindness and clemency’, their ‘peace of mind and love of humans’, their ‘eagerness to know’, their ‘love of truth’ and their ‘beneficent actions’. He even assigns them honorary titles that did not correspond to them.
 
Tatian

However, at the same time, that is, towards 172, the Eastern Tatian writes a tremendous philippic against paganism. For this disciple (Christianized in Rome) of St Justin and future leader of the Encratites ‘heresy’, for the ‘barbarian philosopher Tatian’, as he called himself, the pagans are pretentious and ignorant, quarrelsome and flatterers.

They are full of ‘pride’ and ‘bell-like phrases’, but also of lust and lies. Their institutions, their customs, their religion and their sciences are nothing more than ‘follies’, ‘stupidity under multiple disguises’, ‘aberrations’. In his Oratio ad Graecos Tatian criticizes ‘the talk of the Romans’, ‘the frivolity of the Athenians’, ‘the innumerable mob of your useless poets, your concubines and other parasites’.

The ex-pupil of the sophists finds ‘lack of measure’ in Diogenes, ‘gluttony’ in Plato, ‘ignorance’ in Aristotle, ‘gossip of old women’ in Pherecydes and Pythagoras, ‘vanity’ in Empedocles. Sappho is no more than a ‘dishonest female, a prey to wrath of the uterus’, Aristippus a ‘lustful hypocrite’, Heraclitus a ‘vain self-taught’. In a word: ‘They are charlatans not doctors’, ironizes the Christian, ‘great in words but lacking in knowledge’, who ‘walk on hooves like wild animals’.

Tatian makes a tabula rasa of the classical rhetoric, of the schools, of the theatre, ‘those hemicycles where the public greets listening to filth’. Even the plastic arts (by theme and chosen models), and even what the whole world has admired and still admires, the poetry and philosophy of the Greeks, Tatian continually opposes the ‘frivolity’, ‘folly’, the ‘sickness’ of paganism to Christian ‘prudence’. Faced with ‘the rival and deceitful doctrines of those whom the devil makes blind’ he opposes the ‘teachings of our wisdom’.

With this discourse (‘unique and forceful requisition against all the achievements of the Hellenic spirit in all disciplines’ according to Krause) it begins the undermining of all pagan culture, followed by ostracism and almost total oblivion in the West for more than a millennium.

Tatian militated on the very front of the ancient Church—which stretched from St Ignatius (who rejected all contact with pagan literature and could almost be said that rejected instruction in general) and his co-religionist Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, the polygraph Hermias and his Satire on pagan philosophers as crude as elemental, the father of the Church Irenaeus, the bishop Theophilus of Antioch and others who manifested their unrest against the old philosophy—, condemned as ‘false speculations’, ‘ravings, absurd, delusions of reason, or all these things at once’.

According to St Theophilus (a rather mediocre spirit, but the head of a prestigious site), what the representatives of Greek culture spread, without exception, is nothing more than ‘babble’, ‘useless talk’, since ‘they have not had the less hint of truth’, ‘have not found even the slightest bit of it’.
 
Tertullian

For Tertullian, the height of impiety and the culmination of the seven deadly sins, which are generally assumed in the Gentiles, is the worship of multiple gods, not taking into account that in the end these are but the forces of nature personified and deified, or those of sexual potency. Tertullian, perhaps more than any other Christian author before him, undertook a systematic struggle against this worship.

Tertullian notes with satisfaction that the pagans had little respect for their own idols and for the uses of their religion. He puts in sights the impassibility of the gods, the indignity of their myths; he mocks and gets scandalised that Christians cannot go anywhere without stumbling over gods. He prohibits them from any activity remotely related to ‘idolatry’, as well as the elaboration and sale of images and all professions useful to paganism, including military service.
 
Clement

Even a friend of Greek philosophy as Clement of Alexandria, in his Exhortations to Gentiles rebutted all those ‘sanctified myths’, ‘impious altars’, ‘diviners and insane and useless oracles’ and all their ‘schools of sophistry for unbelievers and gambling dens where madness abounds’.

As regards the ‘mysterious cults of the ungodly’ Clement intends to ‘reveal the delusions hidden in them’, their ‘holy frenzy’ since there is nothing more in them than ‘deceitful orgies’, ‘totally inhuman’, ‘seed of all evil and perdition’, ‘abominable cults’ that would no doubt only impress ‘the most uncultured barbarians among the Thracians, the most foolish among the Phrygians, and the most superstitious among the Greeks’.

Christians of antiquity did not understand the fascinating cycle of the life of plants, so celebrated by the pagans, or the interpretation of ancient myths in relation to fecundity, which implied the participation in tellurian and cosmic realities, as well as the experience, deeply religious, of the echo of the beautiful and the vital in every human being. Therein lies the destructive tendency, of consequences that even reach us today, that instead of the ‘natural cosmos’ there is an ‘ecclesiastical cosmos’: a radical religious anthropocentrism, whose numerous repercussions and ‘progress’ endure beyond medieval theocracy.

While condemning the divinization of the Cosmos, Clement launches in his Protrepticus a systematic anathema against sexuality, so linked with pagan cults, ‘with your demons and your gods and demigods, properly called as if we were talking about semi-donkeys [mules]’.

At the beginning of the 4th century, the Synod of Elvira promulgated a series of anti-pagan provisions: against ‘worship of idols’, against magic, against pagan customs, against marriage between Christians and pagans or idolatrous priests, all sanctioned with the highest ecclesiastical penalties. The pagan cult involved excommunication even in articulo mortis, as well as for murderers and fornicators. However, the council in question abstained from extremist positions. In Canon 60, for example, it denied the categorisation of martyrs to those who had perished during the tumults resulting from the destruction of ‘idolatrous images’. This was because Christianity was not yet an authorized religion.

The tone changed when it was elevated to the category of official religion. In the conflict with the old believers the great inflection occurs in 311, when emperor Galerius authorized Christianity, albeit grudgingly.

Kriminalgeschichte, 19

Editor’s note: Modern scholarship differs from the traditional view that the Book of Revelation was penned by John the Apostle. Taking into account the author’s infinite hatred of the Romans precisely in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (‘lake of fire’, etc.), my educated guess is that ‘John of Patmos’ probably had Jewish ancestry.
 

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Below, abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
Anti-pagan hate in the New Testament

Paul’s preaching against the pagans was far more moderate than against ‘heretics’ and Jews. Often, he tries to counter them, and manifestations of clear preference in favour of ‘idolaters’ are not uncommon. Just as he wanted to be an ‘apostle of the Gentiles’, and says that they will participate in the ‘inheritance’ and promise them ‘salvation’, he also adhered to pagan authority, which he says ‘comes from God’ and represents ‘the order of God’ and ‘not from one who girds the sword’. A sword that, incidentally, finally fell on him, and that counting that, in addition, he had been flogged in three occasions despite his citizenship, and imprisoned seven times.

Paul did not see anything good in the pagans, but he thinks that they ‘proceed in their conduct according to the vanity of their thoughts’, ‘their understanding is darkened and filled with shadows’, have ‘foolish’ heart, are ‘full of envy’ with ‘homicides, quarrelsome, fraudulent and evil men, gossipers’, and ‘they did not fail to see that those who do such things are worthy of death.’

All this, according to Paul (and in this he completely agreed with the Jewish tradition so hated by him), was a consequence of the worship of idols, which could only result in greed and immorality; to these ‘servants of the idols’ he often names them with the highwaymen. Moreover, he calls them infamous, enemies of God, arrogant, haughty, inventors of vices, and warns about their festivities; prohibits participation in their worship, their sacramental banquets, ‘diabolical communion’, ‘diabolical table’, ‘cup of the devil’. These are strong words. And their philosophers? ‘Those who thought themselves wiser have ended up as fools’.

We can go back even further, however, because the New Testament already burns in flames of hatred against the Gentiles. In his first letter, Peter does not hesitate to consider as the same the heathen lifestyle and ‘the lusts, greed, drunkenness and abominable idolatries’.

In the Book of Revelation of John, Babylon (symbolic name of Rome and the Roman Empire) is ‘dwelling with demons’, ‘the den of all unclean spirits’; the ‘servants of the idols’. It is placed next to the murderers, together with ‘the wicked and evildoers and assassins’, the ‘dishonest and sorcerers… and deceivers, their lot will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone’ because paganism, ‘the beast’, must be ‘Satan’s dwellings’, where ‘Satan has his seat’.

That is why the Christian must rule the pagans ‘with a rod of iron, and they will be shredded like vessels of potter’. All the authors of the first epoch, even the most liberal as emphasized by E.C. Dewik, assume ‘such enmity without palliatives’.

Kriminalgeschichte, 18

Below, abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(Criminal History of Christianity)

 

Chapter 4: First attacks against paganism

‘And you, too, Holy Emperor, have the duty of holding and punishing, and it is your duty, by virtue of the first commandment of the Most High, to pursue with your severity and in all possible ways the abomination of idolatry’. —Firmicus Maternus, Father of the Church

‘Two measures interested Firmicus: the destruction of the temples, and the persecution to death of those who did not think like him’. —Karl Hoheisel

 

If from the first moment the Christians fought with ‘holy wrath’ the Jews and ‘heretics’, they showed some moderation before the heathen, called héllenes and éthne by the treatise writers of the 4th century. The concept of ‘paganism’, which was very complex and referred to both religious and intellectual life, excluded only Christians and Jews, and later Muslims. It is not, of course, a scientific notion, but rather theological, coming from the late New Testament period, with obvious negative connotations.

Translated into Latin it gives gentes (arma diaboli, according to St. Ambrose), and then, as the adherents of the old religion were being reduced to rural zones, pagani, pagan. In the meaning that designated non-Christians, this word appears for the first time in two Latin epigraphs of the beginning of the 4th century. In the ordinary sense it meant ‘peasants’ and can also be understood as antonym of ‘military’. For example, the ‘heathen’, that is, those who were not soldiers of Christ, were called in ancient Gothic thiudos, haithns, that in old high German gives heidan, haidano (modern German: Heiden), with the probable meaning of ‘wild’.

We said, then, that the initial treatment given by Christianity to these ‘savages’ was rather mild, a notable behaviour. It preludes the tactics used by the Church during the next long millennium and a half: against the majority, prudence, make oneself be tolerated to survive; then destroy that tactic as soon as possible. If we have the majority, no tolerance! Otherwise, we are in favour of it. That is classic Catholicism, to this day!

At first, the pagans only saw in Christianity a dissident sect of Judaism. This was in line with the negative opinion that the Jews generally deserved, all the more so because, in addition to having inherited the intolerance and religious exclusiveness of them, they did not even represent, like Jewry, a coherent nation. The ancient believers only found ‘impiety’ in those innumerable groups, which also took no part in public life, something that made them suspects of immorality.

In a word, they were despised and made responsible for epidemics and famines, so it was not surprising from time to time the cry of ‘Christians to lions!’ Hence the fathers of the pre-Constantinian period wrote ‘Tolerance’ with capital letters, making it a virtue. They were untiring in their demand for freedom of worship and respect for their beliefs, while making protests of detachment, of virtue, as if they lived on earth but were already walking in heaven; loving all and not hating anyone, not returning evil for evil, preferring to suffer injustices than to inflict them, nor sue anyone, nor steal, nor kill.

If almost all the pagan things seemed to them ‘infamous’, Christians considered themselves ‘righteous and holy’. By 177, Athenagoras explained to the pagan emperors that ‘every one should be allowed to have the gods he chooses’.

Towards the year 200, Tertullian is in favour of freedom of religion; that some pray to heaven and the others to altars; that these worship God and others Jupiter. ‘It is a human right and a natural liberty for all to worship what seems best to them, since with such cults no one harms or benefits others’. Origen still cited a long series of common points among the religion of the pagans and the Christian, to better emphasise the prestige of the latter, and does not want to allow blasphemy against gods of any kind, even in situations of flagrant injustice. It is possible that some Fathers of the Church expressed themselves by conviction; in others it would be nothing but calculation and opportunism.
 

The anti-pagan issue in Early Christianity

But as much as they postulated religious freedom, they attacked the pagans in the same way they did with the Jews and ‘heretics’. That controversy, sporadic or we could almost say casual at first, gained ground since the end of the 2nd century, that is, when they began to feel strong. From the time of Marcus Aurelius (161-180) we know the names of six Christian apologists and the texts of three pieces of apologetics (from Athenagoras, Tatian and Theophilus).

Arnobius of Sicca, who was Lactantius teacher, authored seven pathetically boring mammoths of polemics, Against the pagans, whose gods had sex ‘like dogs and pigs’, ‘shameful members that an honest mouth cannot even name’. He criticises their passions ‘in the manner of unclean animals’, ‘with a frantic desire to exchange the filth of coitus’.

Like many other writers, Arnobius recounts the Olympic loves of Jupiter with Ceres, or with humans such as Leda, Danae, Alcmena, Electra and thousands of maidens and women, not forgetting the Catamite ephebe. ‘Nothing displeases Jupiter, until finally it would be said that the unfortunate was only born to be a seed of crimes, target of insults and common place with all excrement of the sewers of the theatre’: the theatres that, according to Arnobius, deserve to be closed, as well as burned most of the writings and books.

An adulterous god is a thousand times worse than another who exterminates humanity by a flood! Christians judged as ridiculous legends the stories of gods that Homer and Hesiod tell. On the other hand, that the Holy Spirit could make a maiden pregnant without altering her virginity was a very serious thing, as one of the most famous Catholics of the ancient time, Ambrose, demonstrated. That pagans buried the figure of a god and dispensed it funeral honours, and then celebrated their resurrection with feasts, also seemed highly laughable to Christians, even taking as holy their own liturgy of Holy Week and Easter Resurrection.

Just as the superstitious pagans tainted with magical practices, from the first moment the Christians believed that idolatrous cults were of direct diabolical inspiration; some, like Tertullian, also include in that qualification the circus, the theatre, the amphitheatre and the stadium.

It is significant, however, that all these criticisms, these censures and ridicule were not manifested until later; in the beginning, when Christians were still a minority, they had no choice but putting on a brave face to the bad weather. The ancient world was almost entirely pagan and, in front of this supremacy, the Christians acted with prudence and even made compromises if necessary, in order to be able to end it when the time came.

This is also evident in the oldest Christian authors.

Kriminalgeschichte, 17

Antonello da Messina
Jerome in his study, ca. 1474-1475
National Gallery, London

Below, abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
St. Jerome and his ‘cattle for the slaughter of hell’

To the master Jerome, rich in wealth inherited from a noble Catholic household, we can admit without any doubt his words, ‘I have never respected the doctors of error, and I have always felt as a necessity of the heart that the enemies of the Church were also my enemies’.

And Jerome, in fact, so ardently took up the fight against the heretics that, unintentionally, supplied more than enough ammunition to the pagans, even in a treatise on virginity which he considered very precious. Still immature as in the days of his most ardent youth, the saint dedicated the text to Eustachia, a very young (seventeen-year-old) Roman of nobility, a ‘disciple’ and, in time, also saint: her celebration is commemorated on September 28. Jerome made known to her ‘the dirt and vices of all kinds’, as his modern biographer admits, the theologian Georg Grützmacher, calling it ‘disgusting’.

At the same time that he turns red-hot against the ‘heretics’ and receives, occasionally, the same qualification, Jerome plagiarises to right and left, wanting to be admired for his imposing erudition. He copied Tertullian almost verbatim, without naming him. From the great pagan sage Porphyry he took everything he knew of medicine, without recognising the merit. The ‘repellent mendacity of Jerome’ (Grützmacher) is often manifested.

Coming from such a holy mouth, it seems an exercise in moderation to just call Origen ‘blasphemous’, from whom he also ‘boldly’ copied ‘entire pages’ (Schneider), or when he says of Basilides that he was ‘an ancient master of errors, only notable by his ignorance’, and of Palladium ‘a man of low intentions’. Already in his habitual tone he calls the heretics ‘donkeys in two feet, eaters of thistles’ (of the prayers of the Jews—who according to him is a race unworthy to appear in the human race—he also said that they were heehaws); he compares Christians of other beliefs with ‘pigs’ and asserts that they are ‘cattle for the slaughter of hell’, in addition to denying them the name of Christians, since they are ‘of the devil’: ‘Omnes haeretici christiani non sunt. Si Christi non sunt, diaboli sunt’.

This most holy doctor of the Church, to whom we give special attention in this section (because we have not given him a chapter of his own, unlike the pure theologians such as Athanasius, Ambrose and Augustine), made many enemies even with people of his own party; for example the patriarch John of Jerusalem, whom Jerome persecuted and also his hermits, for many years. And even more violent was his enmity with Rufinus of Aquileia; in all these cases the discussion dealt with the works of Origen, at least apparently.

Origen himself, whose father Leonidas won in 202 the palm of martyrdom, suffered torture under Decius but refused to apostatise, and died in about 254 (he would be about seventy), it is unknown whether as a result of torture. What is certain is that Origen was one of the noblest figures in the history of Christianity.

This disciple of Clement of Alexandria personified in his time all Eastern Christian theology. Even long after his death he would be praised by many bishops, or rather by most of the East among them Basil, Doctor of the Church, and Gregory of Nazianzus, who collaborated in an anthology of the writings of Origen under the title Philokalia. The text was even appreciated by Athanasius, who protected it and quoted it many times. Today Origen is again praised by many Catholic theologians and it is possible that the Church has repented of its condemnation for heresy, too little nuanced, that pronounced against him at the time.

In antiquity the disputes around Origen were almost constant; as is often the case, faith was hardly more than a pretext in all of them. This was especially evident around the year 300, and in the year 400, and again in the middle of the 6th century, when nine theses of Origen were condemned in 553 by an edict of Justinian, adding to this sentence all the bishops of the empire, among whom the Patriarch Menas of Constantinople and Pope Vigilius stand out. The emperor’s decision had political (ecclesial) motives: the attempt to end the theological division between Greeks and Syrians, by uniting them against a common enemy, none other than Origen.

But there were also dogmatic reasons (which, after all, are political reasons too): some ‘errors’ of Origen such as his ‘subordination’ Christology, according to which the Son is less than the Father, and the Spirit less than the Son, which certainly reflects better the beliefs of the early Christians than the later dogma. His doctrine of apocatastasis is also worth mentioning, the universal reconciliation which denied that hell was eternal: a horrible idea that for Origen cannot be reconciled with divine mercy, and finds its origin (as well as the opposite doctrine) in the New Testament.

* * *

The measure of a saint who could so rudely argue against the other fathers was demonstrated by Jerome in a short treatise, Contra Vigilantius, written according to his own confession in a single night. Vigilantius was a Gallic priest from the beginning of the 5th century, who had undertaken such a frank and passionate campaign against the repellent cult of relics and saints; against asceticism in all its forms, and against anchorites and celibacy, and received the support of a few bishops.

‘The mantle of the Earth has produced many monsters’, Jerome begins his outburst, ‘and Gaul was the only country that still lacked a monster of its own… Hence, Vigilantius appeared, or it would be better to call him Dormitantius, to fight with his impure spirit the spirit of Christ’.

‘Then he would call him ‘descendant of highway robbers and people of bad life’, ‘degenerate spirit’, ‘upset dimwit, worthy of the Hippocratic straitjacket’, ‘sleeper’, ‘tavern owner’, ‘serpent’s tongue’ and he found in him ‘devilish malice’, ‘the poison of falsehood’, ‘blasphemies’, ‘slanderous defamation’, ‘thirst for money’, ‘drunkenness comparable to that of Father Bacchus’ and accused him of ‘wallowing in the mud’ and ‘bearing the banner of the devil; not that of the Cross’. Jerome writes: ‘Vigilantius, living dog’, ‘O monster, who ought to be deported to the ends of the world!’, ‘O shame!, they say that he has bishops, even as accomplices of his crimes’ and so on, always in the same tone.

Equally harsh was the polemical tone used by Jerome against Jovinian, a monk established in Rome. Jovinian had moved away from the radical asceticism of bread and water and at that time advocated a more tolerable lifestyle; had many followers who thought that fasting and virginity were not special merits, nor virgins better than married women.

Jerome only dared to launch his two treaties against Jovinian after the latter had been condemned by two synods in the mid-nineties of the 4th century: one in Rome under the direction of Bishop Siricius, and another in Milan presided over by Ambrose, who judged Jovinian’s quite reasonable opinions in the final analysis, as ‘howls of wild beasts’ and ‘barking dogs’. On his behalf, Augustine, sniffing ‘heresy’, appealed to the intervention of the State and to better emphasize his theses he got the monk to be whipped with whips of lead tips and exiled him with his acolytes to a dalmatic island. ‘It is not cruelty to do things before God with pious intent’, Jerome wrote.

Jerome’s ‘main skill’ consisted in ‘making all his opponents appear as rogues and soulless, without exception’ (Grützmacher). This was the typical polemical style of a saint, who, for example, also insulted Lupicinus, the canon judge of general jurisdiction in his hometown of Stridon with whom he had become antagonistic, concluding the diatribe with this mockery: ‘For the ass’s mouth thistles are the best salad’. Or as when he charged against Pelagius, a man of truly ascetic customs, of great moral stature and highly educated. In spite of having once been a friend of Jerome, he describes him as a simpleton, fattened with porridge, a demon, a corpulent dog, ‘a well-primed big animal’ which does more harm with the nails than with the teeth.

That dog belongs to the famous Irish race, not far from Brittany as everyone knows, and must be terminated with a single stroke with the sword of the spirit, as with that Cerberus can of legend, to make him shut up once and for all the same as his master, Pluto.

While dispensing this treatment to a man as universally respected as Pelagius, Jerome advocates asceticism and the anchorite life: the subjects of most of his works, with so many lies and exaggerations that even Luther, in his table talk, protests: ‘I know of no doctor who is as unbearable as Jerome…’

This Jerome, who sometimes slandered without contemplation and praised others with little respect for the truth, who was for sometime advisor and secretary of Pope Damasus and then abbot in Bethlehem; a panegyrist of asceticism that enjoyed great popularity in the Middle Ages, has been raised with infallible instinct to the university patronage, in particular in the theological faculties. It seems to us that he was short of becoming pope. At the very least, he himself testifies that according to the common opinion, he was deserving of the highest ecclesiastical dignity: ‘I have been called holy, humble, eloquent’.

His intimate relations with various ladies of the high Roman aristocracy excited the envy of the clergy. In addition, the death of a young woman, attributed by the indignant people (perhaps for some reason) to the ‘detestabile genus monachorum’, made him unpresentable in Rome. That is why he fled, followed shortly by his female friends, from the city of his dreams of ambition.

In the 20th century, however, Jerome ‘still shines’ in the great Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche edited by Buchberger, bishop of Regensburg, ‘despite certain negative aspects; for his manliness of good and the elevation of his views, for the seriousness of his penances and the severity towards himself, for his sincere piety and his ardent love for the Church’.

Talking to myself

More and more The West’s Darkest Hour is resembling my racist blog in Spanish La Hora Más Oscura: where I basically have almost no feedback in the comments section. My position is so radical that in Spanish I ended up talking to myself to the point that I switched languages and started to blog in English some years ago.

Even the big intellects in the Alt-Right are not valiant enough when approaching the subject of the religion of our parents. For example, last year Andrew Joyce wrote a decent piece about the ethnosuicidal problems in Christianity (here). But in yesterday’s audio interview he says that Christianity is not for cucks when directly asked (here).

So the elephants in the room—the Holocaust that the Allies perpetrated on the Germans and ethnosuicidal Christianity—are almost taboo in white nationalism.

I can do nothing to break the taboos. I don’t have the economic resources to move to a first world country with good libraries and expand Tom Goodrich’s Hellstorm into something quantitatively more ambitious as for the number of pages, e.g. like The Gulag Archipelago. But at least I can continue to add excerpts from Karlheinz Deschner’s maximum opus: a series of books that have yet to be translated to English by a publishing house.

Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums is the first massive, comprehensive exposé of the real history of Christianity. English-speaking houses are so cucked that they have not even translated Solzhenitsyn’s second non-fictional book…

Superficial thumbs up

During the fourth century as divisions and sects grew, the schisms and the heresies developed with increasing boldness. The anti-heretic shouting also became more strident, more aggressive. At the same time, the struggle against non-Catholics sought judicial support. It was time of agitation and almost pathological actions: a true ‘spiritual disease’ [my emphasis].

This quotation from my last excerpts of Deschner’s book gives an idea why I reproduce chapters of the Julian novel on Sundays. Also, if we reread the italicised sentence it is impossible not to see the analogies with our times.

As I see it, the West has suffered two great psychotic breakdowns in history: the first in the 3rd and 4th centuries that resulted in the conquest of the Roman Empire by a cult of Levantine extraction (as we shall see in Deschner’s chapters on Constantine), and what has been happening in the West in the 20th and 21st centuries.

For white nationalists it is easy to see the descending spiral of a spiritual disease that destroys their race today. (Just take a look at Tucker at Fox News: not every interviewee is a kike: there are ethnosuicidal whites as well.) But few have notion of the first psychotic breakdown that suffered the fair race in the centuries in which Christianity was born. And this, despite that much earlier than Deschner, Edward Gibbon also blamed Christianity in his magnum opus.

Recall these passages from the introduction to Criminal History of Christianity, quoted in The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour:

The magnificent temples of worship of antiquity were destroyed almost everywhere: irreplaceable value buildings burned or demolished, especially in Rome itself, where the ruins of the temples served as quarries. In the tenth century they still engaged in breaking down statues, architraves, burning paintings, and the most beautiful sarcophagi served as bathtubs or feeders for pigs.

But the most tremendous destruction, barely imaginable, was caused in the field of education. Gregory I, the Great, the only doctor Pope of the Church in addition to Leo I, according to tradition burned a large library that existed on the Palatine. The flourishing book trade of antiquity disappeared; the activity of the monasteries was purely receptive. Three hundred years after the death of Alcuin and Rabanus Maurus, the disciples were still studying with manuals written by them. Even St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church’s official philosopher, writes that ‘the desire for knowledge is a sin when it does not serve the knowledge of God.’

In universities, the Aristotelian hypertrophy aborted any possibility of independent research. To the dictation of theology were subject philosophy and literature. History, as a science, was completely unknown. The experimentation and inductive research was condemned; experimental sciences were drowned by the Bible and dogma; scientists thrown into the dungeons, or sent to the stake. In 1163, Pope Alexander III (remember in passing that at that time there were four anti-popes) forbade all clerics studying physics. In 1380 a decision of the French parliament forbade the study of chemistry, referring to a decree of Pope John XXII.

And while in the Arab world (obedient to Muhammad’s slogan: ‘The ink of scholars is more sacred than the blood of martyrs’) the sciences flourished, especially medicine, in the Catholic world the bases of scientific knowledge remained unchanged for more than a millennium, well into the sixteenth century. The sick were supposed to seek comfort in prayer instead of medical attention. The Church forbade the dissection of corpses, and sometimes even rejected the use of natural medicines for considering it unlawful intervention with the divine. In the Middle Ages not even the abbeys had doctors, not even the largest. In 1564 the Inquisition condemned to death the physician Andreas Vesalius, the founder of modern anatomy, for opening a corpse and for saying that man is not short of a rib that was created for Eve.

Consistent with the guidance of teaching, we find another institution, ecclesiastical censure, very often (at least since the time of St. Paul in Ephesus) dedicated to the burning of the books of pagans and the destruction (or prohibition) of rival Christian literature, from the books of the Arians and Nestorians until those of Luther. But let us not forget that Protestants sometimes also introduced censorship, even for funeral sermons and also for non-theological works, provided they touched on ecclesiastical matters or religious customs.

However self-destructive it may have been for whites to empower a Levantine cult in Imperial Rome, at least Christianity had not a focused agenda to exterminate whites. The second psychotic breakdown, which we see developing in our days, is more vicious. Unless a racial revolution takes over it would no longer be possible to recover—as in the Renaissance—because the purpose now is to destroy Aryan DNA through miscegenation. Alas, there’s no revolution on the horizon, so we need to delve deeper into history to understand the West’s darkest hour.

Those thumbs up that I receive on my Facebook page for Siege links I don’t receive on Kriminalgeschichte—they’re superficial thumbs up. I wonder if their authors are able to see that, after a life dedicated to National Socialism, Christianity corrupted the mind of the author of Siege into going astray mystically. We can only imagine the revolutionary movement that Mason could have inspired in the US had he remained focused on racial matters.

Kriminalgeschichte, 16

Below, translated excerpts from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(“Criminal History of Christianity”)

 
The ‘God of peace’ and the ‘children of Satan’ in the fourth century (Pachomius, Epiphanius, Basil, Eusebius, John Chrysostom, Ephraim, Hilary)

During the fourth century as divisions and sects grew, the schisms and the heresies developed with increasing boldness. The anti-heretic shouting also became more strident, more aggressive. At the same time, the struggle against non-Catholics sought judicial support. It was time of agitation and almost pathological actions: a true ‘spiritual disease’ (Kaphan).
 
St Pachomius

Saint Pachomius, the first founder of Christian monasteries (from 320 onwards) and author of the first monastic rule (of Coptic rite), hated the ‘heretics’ like the plague. This ‘abbot-general’ who wrote in code part of his epistles, considers himself capable of discovering heretics by smell and affirms that ‘those who read Origen will go to the lowest circle of hell’. The complete works of this great pre-Constantinian theologian (who was defended and appreciated even by great fanatics like Athanasius) was thrown by Pachomius to the Nile.
 
Epiphanius

In the fourth century Epiphanius of Salamis, a Jewish apostate and antisemitic fanatic and viper, writes his Apothecary’s Drawer (Panarion), where he warns his contemporaries against no less than eighty ‘heresies’, among which he even considers twenty pre-Christian sects! This does not prevent a coreligionist such as St. Jerome from praising him as patrem paene omnium episcoporum et antiquae reliquias sanctitatis, nor that the second Council of Nicaea (787) honoured Epiphanius with the title of ‘patriarch of orthodoxy’.

In his Apothecary’s Drawer, as confusing as long-winded, the fanatical bishop exhausts the reader’s patience with the pretence of supplying massive doses of ‘antidote’ to those who have been bitten by these snakes of different species, who are precisely ‘heretics’ for which the ‘patriarch of orthodoxy’ not only ‘asserts as certain the most extravagant and unbelievable hoaxes, even pledging his word as a personal witness’ (Kraft), but also invents the names of ‘heretics’ and pulls out of thin air new and nonexistent ‘heresies’.

Christian historiography!
 
St Basil

In the fourth century, Basil the Great, doctor of the Church, considers that the so-called heretics are full of ‘malice’, ‘slander’ and of ‘naked and brazen defamation’. ‘Heretics’ like to ‘take all things on the evil side’, provoke ‘diabolical wars’, have ‘heavy heads for wine’. They are ‘clouded by drunkenness’, ‘frenetic’, ‘abysses of hypocrisy’ and ‘of impiety’. The saint is convinced that ‘a person educated in the life of error cannot abandon the vices of heresy, just as a Negro cannot change the colour of his skin or a panther its spots’, so heresy must be ‘branded by fire’ and ‘eradicated’.
 
Eusebius

Eusebius of Caesarea, ‘father of ecclesiastical history’, born between 260 and 264 and the future favourite of the Emperor Constantine, offers us a complete list of horrible ‘heresies’. The celebrated bishop, now little esteemed by the theologians who judge him ‘scarce in ideas’ (Ricken S.J.), ‘of diminished theological capacity’ (Larrimore), beats a large number of false and deceitful men: Simon the Magician, Satorrinus of Alexandria, Basilides of Alexandria and Carpocrates as schools of ‘heretics who are enemies of God’ who operate with ‘deceit’ and incur in ‘the most abhorrent abominations’.
 
St John Chrysostom

Nor does John Chrysostom, the great enemy of the Jews, see in heretics anything other than ‘children of the devil’ and ‘dogs that bark’. Incidentally, the comparisons with animals are a very used argument in the controversies against the heretics.

In his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Chrysostom stands beside Paul, ‘that spiritual trumpet’ to fight against all non-Catholic Christians, and quotes him with satisfaction when he says: ‘The God of peace [!] shall crush Satan under his feet’. Note that he does not say to ‘subdue’ them but ‘crush’ them; more concretely, ‘under your feet’. In a sermon to the Christians, Chrysostom invites the public blasphemers (who in those days already included Jews, idolaters, and heretics often called ‘antichrists’) to be questioned in the streets and, if necessary, receive the proper beating.
 
St Ephrem

For Ephrem, a doctor of the Church and a person who professed a deep hatred for the Jews, his Christian enemies were ‘abominable renegades’, ‘bloodthirsty wolves’ and ‘unclean pigs’. Of Marcion, the first founder of Christian churches (and also the creator of the first New Testament, and more radical than anyone in the condemnation of the Old Testament) says that he is devoid of reason and that his only weapon is ‘slander’. He is a ‘blind’, ‘a frenetic’, ‘a shameless harlot of conduct’; his ‘apostles’ are nothing but ‘wolves’…

It is evident that whoever wants to learn to hate, to insult, to slander without deceit, must seek as an example the holy fathers of the Church, the great founders of Christianity. Thus they proceeded against all those who did not think like them, Christians, Jews, or pagans: ‘Have no contemplations with idolatrous filthiness’ (Ephrem). For them, paganism was nothing more than ‘foolishness and deceit in all respects’ and the pagans ‘people who have lied’, ‘devour corpses’ and are ‘like pigs’.
 
St Hilary

[For] Hilary, a doctor of the Church who, apart from his special displeasure of the Jews… he also had as main enemies the ‘heretics’. Born in Gaul at the beginning of the fourth century, he attacked the Arians and fought, as the Catholic Hümmeler testifies despite that 1,500 years have passed, ‘the last breath of that plague.’

Admired by Jerome to the extent that he took pains to copy a work of Hilary; praised by Augustine as a formidable defender, and proclaimed by Pius IX, in 1851, Doctor of the Church, after long debates on baptism, the Trinity and the eternal combat of Satan against Jesus Christ, Saint Hilary charges against ‘perfidy and folly’, ‘the viscous and twisted path of the serpent’, ‘the poison of falsehood’, ‘ the ‘venom hidden’, ‘the insanity of the doctors of error’, their ‘feverish deliriums’; the ‘epidemic’, ‘illness’, ‘deadly inventions’, ‘traps for the unwary’, ‘tricks’, ‘endless madness’, the ‘pile of lies of their words’, etcetera, etcetera.

With these litanies, Hilary fills twelve books of his De Trinitate, ‘the best treatise against the Arians’ (Anwander). The monotonous flow of hatred is interrupted only to elucidate, or perhaps better to say to obscure, the question of the Trinity.

Why Deschner

Why reproduce passages from Karlheinz Deschner’s book?

When more than eight years ago I discovered the internet sites that claimed to defend the West from mass migration, I was delighted. The first of those places where I interacted with people was Gates of Vienna. It was the first time in my life that I encountered Jews in serious discussions.

Then I knew nothing of the Jewish problem. But the way that half-Jew Takuan Seiyo reacted when I began to awaken to the Jewish question was so bilious that in my mind it had the diametrically opposite effect: it made me see that his critics were right.

Then I started having problems with the star of the anti-jihad movement: the Norwegian Fjordman especially when, in a thread of Gates of Vienna, I mentioned that famous YouTube clip in which a Jewess emigrated to Sweden says that the Jews will play a central role in turning European countries multiracial. Fjordman became furious, and I did not understand his fury until, thanks to the Breivik incident in Norway, later it was revealed that Fjordman’s father was Jewish.

That means that Fjordman is a crypto-Jew, something that in time I also came to suspect of another commentator of Gates of Vienna, Conservative Swede: as in August of 2009 he became furious with me in a discussion thread when I mentioned Hitler. (That happened before I openly converted to National Socialism.)

Another Jewish fellow in the counter-jihad movement with whom I had problems was the late Lawrence Auster. Once I woke up to the Jewish question in 2010, Auster slandered me on his site saying that I wanted to exterminate the Jews—in times when I didn’t say such a thing. As his site View From the Right received many hits on Google, that defamation caused me problems, as one of my family’s friends is a Jewess; and the gossip of what Auster wrote came to her ears and eventually to my family’s.

Thus, over time I realized that the anti-jihad movement was full of ethnic Jews, half-Jews and crypto-Jews. But all of this paled with the way Edward S. May (‘Baron Bodissey’), the admin of Gates of Vienna, reacted to my awakening.

As I’ve said in this blog, the ‘Baron’ interrupted the publication, in his site, of the series of chapters that I now collect under the title Day of Wrath. But what surprised me the most was that the ‘Baron’ is neither a Jew nor a crypto. He is one of those typical boomers who almost feel devotion for the Jews. I will never forget the e-mail he sent me when notifying me that he would interrupt the publication of my book. This pious Christian spoke of the ‘sanctity’ of the Jews he knew! So the underlying problem in Gates of Vienna was the gentile administrator, more than the kikes that orbited his site.

Gates of Vienna, I later learned during my awakening on the Jewish question, was only the tip of the iceberg. In Esau’s Tears, a book I bought when I still wanted to communicate with them, I was exasperated how, throughout the 19th century, Europeans handed the press over to the subversive tribe. The platform that the modest Gates of Vienna provided to those Jews was only a gecko compared to Godzilla in the wider world! And all, over the years I came to realise, because of a version of Christianity sympathetic to Jewry—precisely the version of Christianity in the United States.

The way I see things now is uncomplicated. I could compare it with an influenza virus that damages our defences and makes us prone to a bacteria that infects our throats.

White nationalists are very aware of bacteria. But very few—Tom Sunic among them—are aware that bacterial subversion was not the product of spontaneous generation but was internalised via a religion of Semitic origin, Christianity. So, and here I go beyond Sunic, if we hate the ‘virus’ (Christian ethics) to the point of destroying it, the bacteria problem would be solved because our defences would be robust again. This is why I am now adding more blog entries of Deschner’s Criminal History of Christianity.

Which white nationalist knows the history of Christianity? Who was aware of, say, the rabid fanaticism with which the Fathers of the Church and the early theologians fought each other (see my latest entries from Deschner’s book)?

The truth is that nationalists ignore the history of their religion: they know only the myths, legends and lies they told us as children educated in the Christian faith.

It is time for someone to understand the Christian virus from its origins, in the hope that the Aryan man will be able to recover his defences and win the battle against (((bacteria)).

Kriminalgeschichte, 15

Below, translated excerpts from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(“Criminal History of Christianity”)

 
The ‘beasts with human body’ in the third century (Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian)

Tertullian

Toward the beginning of the third century, Tertullian, the son of a non-commissioned officer and lawyer who occasionally exercised in Rome (where he drained the cup of pleasure, as he himself confessed) writes his ‘requisitions against heretics’, although not much later, and during the final two decades of his life, he himself would become a ‘heretic’, a Montanist and eloquent leader of a party of his own, that of the Tertullianists.

In his Praescriptio, however, that clever and mocking Tunisian, who dominated all the facets of rhetoric, ‘proves’ that Catholic doctrine is the original and therefore the true doctrine, in the face of the innovations of heresy, and that the ‘heretic’, therefore, is not a Christian and his beliefs are errors that cannot aspire to any dignity, any authority, any ethical validity.

(Later on, that born polemicist would whip up Catholics with his wit and sharp tongue, despite having been the creator of the institutionalized notion of the Church, as well as of the whole doctrinal apparatus of sin and forgiveness; baptism and penitence, Christology, and the dogma of the Trinity: that is, the very notion of the Trinity was his work.)

When Tertullian still belonged to the Church—to the point he would be later called the founder of Catholicism—he was in favour of avoiding the controversy with ‘heretics’ saying that ‘nothing is taken from it but stomach or head upset’. He even denies them the writing, since he says that they ‘throw holy things to dogs and pearls, even if they are false, to pigs’. He calls them ‘wrong spirits’, ‘falsifiers of truth’, ‘insatiable wolves’. For Tertullian ‘only the fight is worth; it is necessary to crush the enemy’ (Kötting).

St Hippolytus

Around the same time Hippolytus, the first anti-bishop of Rome, related in his Refutatio up to 32 heresies, 20 of them Gnostic. It is, among all the heresiologists of the pre-Constantine period, the one who left most news about the Gnostics, and he knew nothing of them! Moreover, these ‘heretics’ served only as a screen for the attack on his true enemy, Callixtus, the bishop of Rome, and the ‘heresy’ of the ‘Callixtusians’.

According to Hippolytus who, speaking of himself, claims he wants to avoid even the appearances of ‘slander’, many of the heretics are nothing more than ‘liars full of chimeras’, ‘daring ignorant’, ‘specialists in spells and incantations, formulas of seduction’. Noecians are ‘the focus of all misfortunes’, the Encratites ‘some incorrigible conceited’, the Montanists ‘let themselves be deceived by women’, and their ‘many foolish books’ are ‘indigestible and worthless’.

The Docetists propose a ‘confused and ignorant heresy’, and even Marcion, so selfless and personally unblemished, is nothing more than ‘a plagiarist’, a ‘debater’, ‘madder’ than the others and ‘more shameless’; as far as his school, it is ‘full of incongruities and dog life’, a ‘heretical impiety’. ‘Marcion or one of his dogs’, wrote the holy anti-bishop (and patron saint of the cavalry) Hippolytus, finally stating that he had broken ‘the labyrinth of heresy, and not with violence’ but ‘with the force of truth’.

St Cyprian

By the middle of the third century, among those who fought relentlessly against the defenders of other beliefs, there also flourished the holy bishop Cyprian, the author of the saying: ‘The father of the Jews is the devil’, which would have so much fortune among the Nazis. He was an arrogant, typical representative of his guild, who pretended that ‘before the bishop one must stand as, before, the figures of the pagan gods’.

Like the Jews and the pagans, Christian opponents of Cyprian are for him creatures of the devil, who ‘testify every day with an angry voice their mad frenzy’. And just as any Catholic writer ‘breathes holy innocence’, in the manifestations of ‘traitors to the faith and adversaries of the Catholic Church’, of ‘the shameless supporters of heretical degeneration’, there is nothing but ‘bark of slander and false testimony’.

Cyprian insists and repeats himself, for example in his 69th epistle, in which every ‘heretic’ is ‘enemy of the peace of our Lord’, that ‘heretics and renegades do not enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit’, who are ‘prisoners of the punishments to which they are credited for joining in the insurrection against their superiors and bishops’; that ‘all without remission shall be punished’, that ‘there is no hope for them’, that ‘all will be thrown into perdition’ and that ‘all those demons will perish’. To the ‘heretics’, the saint argues with abundant evidence taken from the Old Testament, ‘neither food nor drink is owed to the earth’, nor, what to say, ‘the salvific water of baptism and divine grace’. From the New Testament he deduces that ‘one must depart from the heretic as the contumacious sinner, who condemns himself’.

Bishop Cyprian does not tolerate contact of any kind with the separated Christians. ‘Separation encompasses all spheres of life’ (Girardet). For Cyprian, who occasionally dedicates himself to establishing ‘true lists of heretics’ (Kirchner), the Catholic Church is everything and the rest, in the end, is nothing… For him they are only enemies: alieni, profani, schismatici, adversarii, blasphemantes, inimici, hostes, rebelles, all of which is summed up in one word: antichristi.

That tone ends up being the one usually used in interfaith relations. While the Church itself is praised as ‘heavenly paradise’, the doctrines of adversaries are always ‘absurd, confusion’, ‘infamous lie’, ‘magic’, ‘disease’, ‘madness’, ‘mud’ ‘plague’, ‘bleating’, ‘bestial howls’ and ‘barking’; ‘delusions and scams of old women’, ‘the greatest impiety’. As for separated Christians, they are always ‘conceited’, ‘blind, persuaded to be worth more than others’, ‘atheists’, ‘crazy’, ‘false prophets’, ‘Satan’s firstborn’, ‘demon spokesmen’, ‘beasts with human form’, ‘poisonous dragons’ against which we must proceed, sometimes even with exorcisms.

Against the heretics the charge of corruption of customs is also repeated; they are… like the males chasing many goats, or like stallions whinnying when they sniff the mare, or like grunting pigs. According to the Catholic Irenaeus, the Gnostic Marcus seduced his parishioners with ‘filters and magic potions’ to ‘tarnish their bodies’. Tertullian, after becoming a Montanist, proves that Catholics indulged in drunkenness and sexual orgies during the celebration of the holy supper; Cyril says Montanists climbers were child-eating ogres.

From Christians to Christians!

And yet Augustine had said: ‘Do not think that heresies are the work of four fainthearted; only strong spirits originate heterodox schools’. St. Augustine devoted his whole life to persecute them, and then with the help of the secular arm.