Throughout the counterargument by the gnostics and their apologists, is the usage of evidence which any Christian would actually agree with and yet it has no effect on the Christian argument whatever.
Part of those arguments involve the Crusades and the Inquisition but inevitably, they are sheeted home to the Pontiff of Rome. Take the Papal Bull Unam Sanctum of Boniface VIII:
Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
Now look at the actual words of Jesus in the gospels and His comments on Peter and the expanding church. An analogy for Unam Sanctum is the way the EEC became the EU, a completely different monster, with different powers and different catalyst [The Club of Rome] and a whole different spirit to that which had originally been envisaged.
To cap this off, look at the level of spirituality of the pontiff who promulgated Unam Sanctum, Boniface VIII:
After massacring the entire population in the Italian town of Palestrina, Boniface VIII (1294-1303) indulged in ménages with a married woman and her daughter and became renowned through Rome as a shameless pedophile. He famously declared that having sex with young boys was no more a sin than rubbing one hand against the other — which should make him the patron saint of Boston priests today. The poet Dante reserved a place for him in the eighth circle of Hell.
That’s before we look at the Borgias and Bank Ambrosia, Calvi and his occult death. Now, we all know this one:
“We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation…. We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties. [Pope Paul VI, June 29, 1972, Homily during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his coronation].
… and some Catholics have said that it is not a legit quote because it is not published at www.vatican.va. However, a commenter named Scott Windsor posted:
It’s only in Italian on the Vatican website, but it’s definitely there: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/homilies/1972/documents/hf_ p-vi_hom_19720629_it.html In this document, you will find the words: «da qualche fessura sia entrato il fumo di Satana nel tempio di Dio». I’m no “expert” in Italian, but “il fumo di Satana nel tempio di Dio” IS translated to “the smoke of Satan in the Temple of God.” I hope this helps.
Even if it is legit and it shows the fallibility of the Roman Pontiff, this still does not negate the official guidebook for the papacy – the bible and in particular, the synoptic gospels, which are the only source I accept. Even given the undoubted purpose of writing those gospels, those words are not contradictory and even given the late additions to Mark, it still does not negate the whole.
As all those books were written, even given the influence of Q in their writing, before AD70, with John arguably later by about 30 years [see the posts on John A. T. Robinson], at least three of the four were still written by immediate contemporaries of Christ, within that time frame and the fourth as a possible later reflection and that’s what distinguishes them from the other writings.
Returning to the Roman question, we have, courtesy of Rossa, this, concerning the 1st Crown of Crown Land:
Pope Boniface VIII was the first leader in history to create the concept of a Trust, but the first Testamentary Trust, through a deed and will creating a Deceased Estate, was created by Pope Nicholas V in 1455, through the Papal Bull Romanus Pontifex. This is only one of three (3) papal bulls to include the line with the incipit “For a perpetual remembrance.” This Bull had the effect of conveying the right of use of the land as Real Property, from the Express Trust Unam Sanctam, to the control of the Pontiff and his successors in perpetuity. Hence, all land is claimed as “crown land”. This 1st Crown is represented by the 1st Cestui Que Vie Trust, created when a child is born. It deprives us of all beneficial entitlements and rights on the land.
That is interesting and I’ll leave others to pursue it but it does somewhat damn the Papacy and coming back to the arguments of anti-Christians again, they always focus on either the Old Testament or on the Papacy, the Crusades or the Inquisitions – man-made embellishments.
The actual words of Christ, as a blueprint for the social contract, remain undiminished.