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What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius? Where are the forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because suspected of heresy? Remember the ‘Index Expurgatorius', the Inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the guillotine. John Adams
The ‘divinity’ of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find Christianity encumbered with.
The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation where or when has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a free inquiry? ... The most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. John Adams
Abstinence Makes The Church Grow Fondlers. T-shirts and bumper stickers
The early Christian movement had a lot of different viewpoints and many of them were censored. One version got branded as orthodox. Professor Kirsti Copeland
In the unity of the godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three persons being truly distinct one from another. Thus in the words of the Athanasian creed the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods but one God. Catholic Encyclopaedia
April 12th 1633 ... In Rome 70-year-old Galileo Galilei is on trial for heresy. Days that Shook the World 2e6: Reach for the Stars, BBC 2006
There can be no ultimate proof of God’s design. ibid. Pope to Galileo
The Dialogue is being printed, not in Rome but in Florence. ibid.
The Inquisition makes its intentions unmistakably clear. ibid.
The Dialogue is banned by the Catholic Church, and will remain so for the next two hundred years. ibid.
And the Catholic Church just took this position that we have to be the one faith. We can’t have anybody else believing in these other gods, or polytheism. Devon Jackson, author Conspiranoia: The Mother of All Conspiracy Theories, interview Illuminating Angels & Demons
Whereas you, Galileo, were denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the Sun is the centre of the world. Following the position of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture. Catholic Church charge against Galileo
The best scientific explanation we have for the origin of the universe and everything in the universe including all living systems and ourselves is by what I call neo-Darwinian evolution ... It does not at all contrast with any Catholic teaching. Father George Coyne, interview Professor Richard Dawkins
Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gypsies can assume. If ever there was a body of men who merited eternal damnation on earth as in hell, it is this society of Loyolas. John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson 1816, cited O’Malley and Martin p55
The Roman Church burnt and destroyed hundreds of other manuscripts. Beyond Belief: Jesus in India, 2012
The Reformation in Germany in 1517 led by Martin Luther. It was an emotional and intellectual earthquake throughout Europe. It undermined the seemingly all-powerful Roman Catholic Church and demanded that everyone should have the right to read the Bible in their own language. Melvyn Bragg, The King James Bible: The Book That Changed the World, 2001
In 325 A.D. Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea to decide the basic tenets of Christianity. He brings together the most powerful church leaders from around the world to discuss legalising a formal Christian religion ... Constantine also unified the Christian Gospels and limited the Gospels he considered ‘fit for the State religion’. ibid.
The Bible’s chapter divisions were created in the early 1200s. The Forbidden Book: History of the Bible, 1986
Jerome: in 382 he was commissioned to translate the Bible from the Greek into Latin: it became known as the Latin Vulgate. ibid.
The Church in Rome allowed only one language and that language was Latin. ibid.
The Pope was elevated to God’s sole agent to lead the Church. ibid.
Over 100,000 prostitutes being employed by the Church. ibid.
One such way was to extract enormous sums of money from parishes by granted pardon for penance to purgatory. ibid.
It is useless and vain for the Protestants to exclaim against the Roman Catholics for their Mariolatry, based on the ancient cult of lunar goddesses, when they themselves worship Jehovah, prominently a lunar god, and when both Churches have accepted in their theologies the ‘Sun’ – Christ of the lunar trinity. Madame Helena P Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine I
Everything would be a Roman church. And that’s the story Luke wants to tell. John Dominic Crossan
Ever since the world was at peace all the different Christians in the world have been obedience to the Roman Church. It is agreed by all nations that it is forbidden to move things that have been immovable for a long time. Henry VIII
They took the story of the greatest disciple, the prince of apostles – Peter – and used him to give the head of the church in Rome his power to rule one billion Catholics. Dr Robert Beckford, The Secrets of the Twelve Disciples, 2008
Rome: the secrets of the early movement are closely guarded. ibid.
The entire story of Peter and Rome appears to be shrouded in confusion, mystery and vested interest. ibid.
Archbishop Menezez had authority from the Pope in Rome to force the Thomas Christians to join the Catholic Church by whatever means. He wanted to break the link to Thomas so he ordered the church’s archive to be destroyed. ibid.
At Claremont the Pope commanded the knights of Europe to capture what he believed were rightfully Christian cities and kill any Muslims that stood in their way. Rageh Omaar, Christianity: A History: Crusades s1e4, Channel 4 2009
What followed was the first major massacre of the Crusades. Hundreds perhaps thousands of Muslims were butchered here. From now on this kind of wholesale slaughter would be the calling card of Crusaders in many of the cities they conquered. ibid.
Most people will find it hard to believe that the Crusaders committed acts of cannibalism, but these acts were actually recorded by the Crusaders themselves. ibid.
But it was events in the twentieth century that transformed Saladin into a cult figure. The War against the Crusaders is now seen as Islam’s greatest victory against the West. ibid.
But yet in Europe I am struck by the opposite: by the absence of history and the knowledge of this chapter of Christian history. ibid.
There had already been attacks on power-crazed bishops, ignorant priests, and fake holy relics. Luther targeted a set of corrupt documents called Indulgences. In 1517 he made them the launch pad of his religious rebellion. Ann Widdecombe, Christianity: A History: Reformation s1e5
What Luther was unleashing was one of the greatest political and religious revolutions in history. ibid.
For me this is the triumph of the Reformation: the Luther Bible. With his own notes hand-written in the margin. ibid.
The Pope was the official head of the Church in England. And gave Henry the title Defender of the Faith for his loyal zeal. Yet it was this same Henry that eventually brought the Reformation to England. ibid.
It continued for five days. The River Seine ran red with blood and copy-cat attacks occurred throughout France ... The Reformation had led ordinary Christians to butcher one another. ibid.
Christianity needed a reformation, but I think the way it worked out in practice was the most appalling tragedy. ibid.
For more than 1,500 years Christians saw the Bible as the primary source of knowledge. But in the seventeenth century a new movement emerged that challenged the Christian view of the world. What we now call science emerged about 400 years through the work of a group of European thinkers who discovered new ways of interpreting the world. They no longer relied on the delivered word of God. The scientific revolution put individual curiosity, enquiry, reason, and experiment above religious dogma. And to my mind science is quite simply the biggest challenge that Christianity will ever have to face. Professor Colin Blakemore, Christianity: A History: God and the Scientists s1e7