The Catholic Church today claims that its bishops represent a direct, uninterrupted line of continuity back thousands of years to the Gospel apostles of Jesus Christ.
That is a false claim.
This deceptive process started in the Fourth Century when shortly after the closing of the Council of Nicaea, Bishop Eusebius (d. 339) sort to push the origins of uniformity as close back as possible to the First Century, and drew up a running list of bishops that purported to trace a line back to Mark in the Gospels, and so to Peter and Jesus Christ. The idea implied an unbroken continuity from the first apostles in doctrine and tradition, guaranteed and transmitted by a succession of bishops. In Eusebius’s sequence of names, however, invented predecessors were consciously falsified into his list, and those fictitious personages were later dismissed by the Vatican as a scribal ‘slip’ by Eusebius,¹ but they nevertheless were transformed into a series of monarchical bishops who never lived in actual history.
What the Vatican’s own records say
Catholic historian, Bishop Lewis Du Pin (d. c. 1725), wrote; ‘Sadly, the catalogues of Bishop Eusebius are forgeries or inventions of later times’.² Various attempts were made to substantiate Eusebius’s list, but the Vatican confessed that the genealogy attributed to him ’had no precise status and could not be deemed trustworthy’.³ By such forged documents does the Vatican claim ‘apostolic succession’, and clerical insiders know the claim is fictitious, saying:
‘As for the pretend catalogues of succeeding bishops of the different assemblies from the days of the apostles, exhibited by some ecclesiastical writers, they are filled up by forgeries and later inventions. Thus diocesan bishops came in, whose offices are considered as corruptions or dishonest applications: as dictated by the necessities of the church, or of instances of worldly ambition’.4
Investigation of the Vatican’s own records shows that the priesthood’s claim of a continuous ministerial succession from the apostles of the Gospel Jesus Christ is false. Catholic historian, and the first prefect of the embryonic Vatican Library, Bishop Bartolomeo Platina (c. 1495), admitted that direct lineage ‘was interrupted by repeated periods; after Nicholas 1 (867), an interregnum of eight years, seven months, and nine days, &c., &c’.5 The Vatican piously calls those breaks ‘vacations’ and they were recorded by Bishop Platina as amounting to ‘a total of 127 years, five months and nine days’.6 However, Platina failed to record the ‘vacations’ that occurred in the nine centuries or so preceding Nicholas I, for ‘unfortunately, only few of the records [of the Church] prior to the year 1198 have been preserved’.7
Another premeditated Vatican forgery
Then, early in the 16th Century, a strange document appeared called the ‘Liberian Catalogue’ and it purported to record the lineage of popes ‘from St. Peter to Pope Liberius’ (366). However, in later times the Vatican admitted that that document was of ‘a suspicious nature and not deemed reliable’8, it being just another of hundreds of Vatican forgeries. Catholic historian, Bishop Lewis Du Pin (d. c. 1725), added; ‘Unfortunately, the Liberian Catalogue is not genuine’9 and by such false documents does the Vatican claim ‘apostolic succession’. However, Erasmus got it right when he frankly admitted, ‘Succession itself is imaginary’,10 simply because the Gospel Jesus Christ never existed.
The great deception of the popes
The method whereby today’s Catholic ministry is held to be derived from apostles of Jesus Christ by a continuous succession is not an historic fact, and that creates a major problem for Catholics. The Protestant clergy say that red wine is symbolic of the blood of Jesus, while the Catholic Church maintains that red wine is a ‘substitute’ for the blood of Jesus Christ. Catholic priests claim that they are vested with the power to make that assertion from the pope, and he had that authority by an unbroken apostolic line back to Jesus Christ. That is a papal fraud.
¹ ‘Catholic Encyclopedia’, iv, 706
² ‘De Antiqua Ecclesiae Disciplina’, Bishop Lewis Du Pin (Folio, Paris, 1686
³ ‘Annales Ecclesiastici’, tome vi, Fol. Antwerp, 1597, Cardinal Caesar Baronius
4‘The Authentic and Acknowledged Standards of the Church of Rome’, J. Hannah D.D., 1844, p. 414
5 ‘The Lives of the Roman Pontiffs’, Bishop Platina, c. 1495
6 ‘The Lives of the Roman Pontiffs’, Bishop Platina; also, ‘Catholic Encyclopedia’, xii, 767-768
7 ‘Encyclopedia Biblica’, Adam & Charles Black, London, 1899
8 ‘Annales Ecclesiastici’, Folio xi, Antwerp, 1597, Cardinal Caesar Baronius
9. ‘De Antiqua Ecclesiae Disciplina’, Bishop Lewis Du Pin (Folio, Paris, 1686)
10 ‘Erasmus’, Desid, in Nov. Test. Annotations, Fol. Basil, 1542