EARLY CHURCH FORGERIES

For the doubting mind or historically curious it is easy to find in Google Search and  encyclopedias sources that substantiate claims of forgery for the following three instances. Today they are accepted by virtually all serious historians as falsifications.

THE DONATION OF CONSTANTINE

Wikipedia

The Donation of Constantine (LatinDonatio Constantini) is a forged Roman imperial decree by which the emperor Constantine the Great supposedly transferred authority over Rome and the western part of the Roman Empire to the Pope. Composed probably in the 8th century, it was used, especially in the 13th century, in support of claims of political authority by the papacy.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia affirms: “This document is without doubt a forgery, fabricated somewhere between the years 750 and 850. As early as the fifteenth century its falsity was known and demonstrated.”

SYMMACHEAN FORGERIES

Wikipedia:

“During the dispute between Pope St. Symmachus and the anti-pope Laurentius,” the Catholic Encyclopedia reports, “the adherents of Symmachus drew up four apocryphal writings called the ‘Symmachian Forgeries’. … The object of these forgeries was to produce alleged instances from earlier times to support the whole procedure of the adherents of Symmachus, and, in particular, the position that the Roman bishop could not be judged by any court composed of other bishops.” 

Consult: INTERNET MEDIEVAL SOURCEBOOK – FORDHAM UNIVERSITY

PSEUDO-ISIDOREAN DECRETALS

Wikipedia:

“The Pseudo-Isidorean Decretals (or False Decretals) are a set of extensive and influential medieval forgeries, written by a scholar or group of scholars known as Pseudo-Isidore. The authors, who worked under the pseudonym Isidore Mercator, were probably a group of Frankish clerics writing in the second quarter of the ninth century. They aimed to defend the position of bishops against metropolitans and secular authorities by creating false documents purportedly authored by early popes, together with interpolated conciliar documents.”

“False Decretals is a name given to certain apocryphal papal letters contained in a collection of canon laws composed about the middle of the ninth century by an author who uses the pseudonym of Isidore Mercator, in the opening preface to the collection.”(Home Catholic Encyclopedia “New Advent.”)

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jackfisher

I am a practicing Catholic, Jesuit trained, Vatican II amateur theologian, popularizing a complex belief theme for a larger reading public. I have found great spiritual joy in the biblical and historical experts’ recovery of the long lost vision of Jesus’ passion for the Father’s commitment to his created world. This passion of Jesus is embraced in the universal Prayer, THE OUR FATHER. In recent years I have been inspired by the re-discovered spiritual approach to our God in the Ecumenical Council Vatican II.As an additional note I have enjoyed more than forty years of academic and practical experience dedicated to social, economic and political development in the poorer countries of Central and South America. Except for development work I am not a professional in any field, but have lived long enough to earn Licenciates in Philosophy and Theology as well as Masters degrees in Medieval History and Urban Planning, and an ABD (all but dissertation) in Economic and Social Development.

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