Debate: The Anti-Catholic “Pope as God” Argument

Debate: The Anti-Catholic “Pope as God” Argument October 28, 2018

[words of Paul Mansbacher will be in blue]

We the Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland, prostrate at the feet of your Holiness, humbly offer you our warmest congratulations on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of your ordination to the priesthood …. our thoughts go back to that great event fifty years ago by which your Holiness was taken from amongst men and appointed for men in the things that appertain to God, was made a minister of Christ and a dispenser of His Mysteries, RECEIVED POWER OVER THE REAL and mystical body of our Saviour and became a mediator between God and man – ANOTHER CHRIST. (An address to the Pope, 1949)

 

The above actually comes from an address to the Pope by Irish Bishops and Archbishops as I have stated. [he later stated this after repeated requests for proper documentation]

This is not documentation.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you, For many shall come in my name, saying, I AM CHRIST; and shall deceive many. (Matt 24:4-5)

First of all, I would hope that you would document your polemical posts. Where did this come from? Boettner or Hislop or Jack Chick?

I have Boettner and Hislop and a few Chick tracts – but I have used other sources, including that of ex-Romanist priests.

But if the above citation is accurate, this would, of course, not be an equation of the pope with Jesus (which is absurd and blasphemous and which has never been taught by the Catholic Church), but a reference to the notion of alter Christus or little Christ — which means that the pope acts as a representative of Christ in his priestly function (as all priests do). The pope is also referred to as Peter sometimes; again, not literally, but in the sense of “successor.”

Each priest at Mass is re-creating the scene at the Last Supper, of Jesus offering the first Holy Communion and saying, this is My body. But in no sense is that any sort of equality with Christ.

1) The symbolic equation of Christ and His disciples (even all of mankind) is a most biblical concept:

John 13:20 (NRSV) . . . whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. (cf. Lk 9:48, Mk 9:37, Mt 18:5)

Matthew 25:35, 40 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink [etc.] . . . just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.

2) Also, the disciples speak and act in Jesus’ name (the very name Christian implies that): Mk 10:39, 41;  Lk 10:17-20;  Jn 14:13-14;  16:23-24;  Acts 4:10, 18; 5:28, 40-41; 9:15; 1 Cor 1:10; 2 Thess 3:6; many more).

3) Furthermore, the disciples were given the power to bind and loose in Jesus’ name (impose penance and offer absolution of sins, from God): Mt 16:19; 18:18; Jn 20:23. This is the priestly function.

4) In Scripture there is often taught a mystical (but almost literal) identification of the Body of Christ (the Church: 1 Cor 12:27; Eph 1:22-23; 5:30; Col 1:24) with Christ Himself. Jesus equated Paul’s persecution of the Church with persecution of Him (Acts 9:5; cf. 8:1, 3; 9:1-2). This is incarnational theology, and poorly understood by many evangelicals.

2 Corinthians 4:10 (RSV) Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (cf. 2 Cor 1:5-7)

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. (cf. Gal 2:20)

Colossians 1:24 . . . in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. (cf. 2 Cor 11:23-30; Gal 6:17)

5) The prophets spoke in God’s name, in the first person (read the prophetic books of the OT for numberless examples). This might appear to an outsider as an equation with God, but as we all know, they were merely speaking for God.

6) The same would hold for the NT writers in certain instances. If men can write God’s own “God-breathed” words, then certainly they can speak for God, not as directly (in the case of the pope), but as His representative. The President’s press secretary is not the President, but he speaks for him. Papal legates speak for popes. Ambassadors speak for the countries they represent. Again, context is crucial.

7) Note that in Scripture the Angel of the Lord is oftentimes seemingly equated with God Himself (e.g., Gen 16:7 ff.; 21:17 ff.; 22:11 ff.; 31:13; Ex 3:2; Judges 6:11 ff.; Zech 3:1-2). Yet in other passages, the Angel of the Lord is distinguished from God (2 Sam 24:16; Zech 1:12-13). So this is a clear example of a creature being described as “God,” yet we know that it is not God, from other passages. So, either this is a contradiction, and the Bible contradicts itself, or the equation is only symbolic and representative.

Since I have shown that Pope Leo XIII clearly distinguishes himself from God, his strong language at one point can only logically be interpreted as symbolic and representative — which is totally in accord with Scripture, as I have just demonstrated.

Jesus said unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

I alone despite my unworthiness, am the successor of the apostles, the Vicar of Jesus Christ: I ALONE have the mission to guide and direct the barque of Peter; I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. (Pope Pius IX)

This sounds fishy. I would have to see the context of this, and get the documentation. I suspect the pope was quoting Jesus, and it has been distorted for anti-Catholic purposes. Whatever it means (i.e., if it is true at all), Pope Pius IX would not identify himself with Christ. Popes don’t even claim to be speaking directly from God — almost inspired — as people like Luther and Calvin do. Infallibility is merely a “negative” protection: from committing error when proclaiming a truth as binding upon all the faithful.

I have presented two quotations already from Romanist sources which demonstrate quite plainly that the pope is considered to be another Christ.

Hardly, and you didn’t give me the complete “Romanist” source (i.e., author, publisher, etc.), so that might perhaps make you a “rumorist.”

You have chosen to ignore my arguments. So be it.

You have to make an argument in order for me to ignore it . . .

Lets look at some more claims of the pope and compare them with scripture:

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thess 2:4)

Now the temple of God today is his church.

No pope ever said he was God Almighty. This is an insult to everyone’s intelligence. I have explained above how God intended for men to represent Him. That doesn’t mean they replace Him, or attain equality with Him. Your posts (wherever they are from) are just anti-Catholic twisting of the facts, no doubt, as is always shown when these attempts are examined closely.

A church does not have an altar, by definition a place were sacrifices are performed – but a temple does.

Why, then, is there an altar in heaven (Rev 6:9; 8:3, 5; 9:13; 11:1; 14:18; 16:7) if the need for all altars was abolished after the death of Jesus?

 

We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty (Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical, The Union of Christendom [1885] )

[Note: this will be extensively examined and commented upon later on]

Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns, and know that thou art the Father of Princes and Kings, RULER OF THE WORLD, the vicar of our Saviour Jesus Christ. (National Catholic Almanac)

Note that the pope has accepted the position which Jesus Christ rejected when he was offered it by Satan.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan …. (Matt 4:10)

And his response to Pilate:

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world …. (John 18:36)

Much more could be quoted in support of this, but this should be more than sufficient to make the point.

Further, one of the titles of the pope is, Universal Apostle (also sometimes universal or ecumenical bishop). Now hear Pope Gregory I (AD 590-664):

St Peter is not called Universal Apostle …. the whole church falls from its place when he who is called Universal falls …. But far from Christian hearts be that BLASPHEMOUS NAME …. I CONFIDENTLY AFFIRM THAT WHO SO CALLS HIMSELF, OR DESIRES TO BE CALLED UNIVERSAL PRIEST, IN HIS PRIDE GOES BEFORE ANTICHRIST. (To the Emperor Maurice, Epistola 5:20-7:33, on repudiating the title)

This is an old, tired, and fallacious argument, often used by the Orthodox as well. It so happens I have already dealt with it: Did Pope Gregory the Great Deny Papal Primacy and Supremacy?

And to the Patriarch of Antioch he writes that this title is “PROFANE, SUPERSTITIOUS, HAUGHTY, AND INVENTED BY THE FIRST APOSTATE.” (Epistola 7:27).

This is explained in the above paper.

Instead of casting aspersions, provide some evidence.

I gave plenty of Scripture, but you ignored that. Even if you tackle it later, it is quite rude to preach your venomous anti-Catholic rhetoric first, and claim you will get to my material later.

It is a mark of bigotry to rubbish statements without providing any evidence.

Your (undocumented) citations from Hislop, Chick et al, are certainly not “evidence.” They derive from hostile sources with an ax to grind, who have long since been refuted on factual grounds — and not only by Catholics: by others who are interested in truth and accurate critiques and scholarship.

The biblical standard is “at the mouth of two, or at the mouth of three witnesses” – you have provided NONE. I have provided many to support the claim that the pope claims to BE Christ on earth, not simply represent him. You have as yet refuted none of it.

I have, from Scripture, shown the sense in which this metaphorical expression is to be understood, but — generally speaking — I don’t waste time on ludicrous and ridiculous charges, just as I wouldn’t spend my time arguing with a man in a lunatic asylum who says the moon is made of green cheese, or that he is Jesus, or that he is perfectly sane. One has to draw the line somewhere . . .

The popes claim to BE Christ – throughout the ages!!! I have quoted much evidence to show that the pope is not simply acting as a representative of Christ, but IS Christ.

Then certainly you could document it from authoritative documents such as Vatican II or Trent, if this ridiculous charge were true. Instead, you rely on undocumented obscure incidents derived from pseudo-scholars or outright buffoons like Hislop and Chick. This is beneath contempt!!!! And perhaps good will come from this as the many others on the list [and now at my website] who are conscientious, thoughtful Christians and who despise lies wherever they are directed, will now see your attempts for what they are.

The truth being that the pope claims to BE Christ – a truth that has to be hidden if Rome is wanting fellowship with Protestants – something which she totally forbade until she judged the climate to be right for it to occur without danger to herself. I still remember pre-Vatican II Rome!

Oh, I see, so this answers my last question; these things aren’t proclaimed openly, but are held in secret . . . now we are in the nutty world of conspiracy theory. Do you believe that the Jesuits assassinated Lincoln, too (and JFK), or perhaps that the Vatican is in cahoots with the Jewish world bankers, or the Illuminati, or the Masons, or the Council on Foreign Relations? Or all of the above? Maybe the Catholic Church will orchestrate the Y2K fiasco in order to bring in the Antichrist . . . I better get out soon!!!!!!! Thanks for enlightening me!

Now Christ’s priesthood is another subject. Each priest is NOT re-creating the scene at the Last Supper. He is participating in a blasphemous and idolatrous act – pretending that he has the power to create Christ in a piece of bread at his command.

That takes out Luther, then. Do you say he was a heretic, and probably went to hell?

I have a rather revealing book . . . .

I bet you do!!!!! . . .

. . . including sections how Romanists priests view and celebrate the mass. It is called Frock Off, and is written by an ex-Romanist priest. It does not display Romanists priests in a favourable light AT ALL!

Yeah, lemme guess: did they conduct Satanic masses, engage in intercourse with witches (or maybe demons), and boil frog guts in large black kettles?

I know that ROMANISM/PAPISM/POPERY has many faces, depending on who she is dealing with. The difficulty is stripping away the facade to find what she truly believes and practices.

I can see now how this is a very convenient theory and tactic for you. I hope that most thoughtful Christians can see through this. If not, I fear for you when you stand before God and have to give account for all your lying.

Romanism is deceitful in the extreme. [Name] has already told us that although he was 25 years in Romanism and studied for the priesthood, he does not recognise the face which I have been putting on display. That is only evidence of Rome’s duplicity.

Of course! It could never be evidence that you might be mistaken, now could it? But note that I will only accuse you of being ignorant and emotionally hostile. I won’t stoop to the level of accusing you of deliberate and conscious slander, as you quickly do with regard to my Church (and probably me, too by this point, I would guess). I think you really believe your own lies, and that you are profoundly ignorant of my Church. Only God knows how many years you have been cultivating your little anti-Catholic world of thought. It becomes an obsession with many people, just as all conspiracy theories and mass propaganda do.

It has already been pointed out on this list by someone who has personal experience of it the Rome is syncretistic.

Well, what further proof is required, then? If one former (probably disgruntled) Catholic on this list claimed something, who am I to argue?

In fact, I have evidence that the papacy is engaged if talks in Israel which could ultimately result in the complete Vatican moving to Jerusalem and the Pope being declared the head of ALL the world’s religions. How’s that for duplicity?

YES!!!!!!! Proof that we are in league with the Jewish bankers!!!!!!!! Funny, though, that many Jews continue the slander that Pope Pius XII forsook the Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, when in fact he is responsible for saving 850,000 — more than any other country or organization. But I guess that is just another aspect of the clever diabolical deception, huh Paul?

The Vicar of Christ the head of ALL religions? But Christ says that HE is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. You may laugh and mock, but it is happening!!

I do laugh: at your fathomless incredulity and manifest folly.

I fear that you are ignorant of the true nature of what you are involved with. And if you are not, and knowingly a part of this great harlot, so much the worse.

Which do you believe now, after this post?

I have attempted to discuss the issues with many Romanists, from ordinary members through priests, bishops and “a scholar”. The discussion has generally been terminated by them – if not ignored entirely – at a relatively early stage.

I can surely understand why . . .

As regards the so-called bogus quotes, as you will see from another post, there has been a move around for decades to ‘sanitize’ records on things which Rome does not want the world to know about. I have a sneaking suspicion that that is what has been happening here.

However, if you can get a copy of The Papacy is the Antichrist by Dr J A Wylie, a respected Scottish theologian and historian of last century, you should find most of them.

[This is the only further documentation of his many quotes which Paul has provided, as of this date, besides passing (non-specific) references to Boettner and Zacchello immediately below. If he wishes to supply the needed documentation at some point, I will be glad to enter them into this debate]

Præclara Gratulationis Publicæ, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE REUNION OF CHRISTENDOM JUNE 20, 1894 (Not 1885 as quoted by Boettner – I should have followed Joseph Zacchello’s date – I just kept it in reserve!?!)

Here is a longer quote:

This thought has been, and is, a source of deep concern to Us; for it is impossible to think of such a large portion of mankind deviating, as it were, from the right path, as they move away from Us, and not experience a sentiment of innermost grief. But since We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, and now that Our advanced age and the bitterness of anxious cares urge Us on towards the end common to every mortal, We feel drawn to follow the example of Our Redeemer and Master, Jesus Christ, who when about to return to heaven, implored of God, His Father, in earnest prayer, that His disciples and followers should be of one mind and of one heart: I pray – that they all may be one, as thou Father in Me, and I in Thee: that they also may be one in Us. And as this divine prayer and supplication does not include only the souls who then believed in Jesus Christ, but also every one of those who were henceforth to believe in Him, this prayer holds out to Us no indifferent reason for confidently expressing Our hopes, and for making all possible endeavors in order that the men of every race and clime should be called and moved to embrace the unity of divine faith.

What of your scholars now, Dave? How is that they could not find any such encyclical? Is their scholarship lacking? Or are they just being deceitful?

And why is this encyclical missing from the list at apana.org?

The whole encyclical can be read at:

http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/l13-pgp.htm

But I notice that PRAECLARA GRATULATIONIS PUBLICAE – –> THE REUNION OF CHRISTENDOM is missing from this site –> as well. Strange, strange!!!

I notice logic (and often, legitimate documentation) is missing from Paul’s quixotic anti-Catholic posts. Strange, strange!!!

This encyclical is mentioned in Gregory Baum’s The Catholic Quest for Christian Unity, Glen Rock, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1962 (p. 37):

Pope Leo XIII . . . tried to create a new climate of friendship and respect for the dissident Churches of the East. In his encyclical Praeclara Gratulationis, he used expressions which had rarely been employed in Roman documents before.

Why would this encyclical be suppressed if it is in fact, a notable milestone in the 100-year-old trend towards ecumenism?

I have the book The Great Encyclicals of Leo XIII (New York: Benziger Bros., 1903). The encyclical in question is reproduced in all its glory, pp. 303-319. Its date is June 20, 1894. As for the ridiculous claim made about the “controversial” quote (which appears to be genuine), I already answered that above (i.e., how to interpret it). But since when has evidence and rational argument ever swayed an emotional anti-Catholic?

Please note the IMPORTANCE of this encyclical – “This was the FIRST papal document dedicated to ecumenism.” And yet, David and his scholars denied its existence until it was forced upon them.

The lies and sheer nonsense continue. I didn’t deny its existence!

Paul has yet to produce a single reputable historian who states that popes claimed to be God, contra my assertion. As typical of anti-Catholic conspiratorial polemicists, Paul feels perfectly comfortable with ignoring so many of my challenges, and simply continuing his ranting, as if I had never written what I did. Meanwhile, I am taking my time on this beautiful Saturday morning doing the laborious work of refutation of his claims, which are ridiculous and unworthy of response in the first place (I only do it so others here can learn about the nature and invalidity of run-of-the-mill anti-Catholic “argumentation”).

In addition, I consulted another place of Romanist scholarship (not on the net). They again told me that NO SUCH ENCYCLICAL EXISTED. They consulted their Actae Sanctae Sedis (spelling??). They told me that NO ENCYCLICAL was issued by Leo XIII on 20 June 1894 (I told them the correct date). Is this not evidence of conspiracy?

In your mind it obviously is, but if so, why is it that the book I cited above (dated 1962) made reference to it? The book was devoted to defending ecumenism in the Catholic Church, so if this encyclical was regarded as a stumbling-block and an embarrassment, surely it would not have mentioned it.

Furthermore, I have discovered additional evidence of the “betrayal” of this “conspiracy” (us dumb Catholics — clever and sneaky though we are — do a lousy job of hiding things totally):

1) The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: Benziger Bros., 1903), the book I have in my own library, where I located Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Præclara Gratulationis Publicæ (The Reunion of Christendom, 20 June 1894), was reprinted in 1995 by TAN Books (Rockford, Illinois).

2) Papal Encyclicals, compiled by Claudia Carlen (Wilmington, North Carolina: McGrath, 1981, 5 volumes), includes the English language text for 280 papal encyclicals from 1740 to 1981. Perhaps Paul will make the claim that the encyclical under consideration is deliberately omitted, for the conspiracy’s sake. I hope he does, so I can make the appropriate telephone calls and refute that . . .

3) Last but not least, Pope John Paul II obviously is in the dark about the conspiracy, since he cites Præclara Gratulationis Publicæ in the very first footnote of his encyclical Orientale Lumen (Light of the East, 2 May 1995). Furthermore, he includes a reference for this encyclical in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, which reproduces the Latin texts of encyclicals (vol. 14, pp. 195-214), and verifies the date (20 June 1894). Paul above insinuated that the encyclical couldn’t be found in this source, according to “another place of Romanist scholarship” (as is a bad habit of his, Paul omits the name, so we can’t find out who made this boo-boo — but Paul apparently trusts any source who verifies his own anti-Catholic opinion on any given subject).

Let others on the list decide whether this all adds up to a “conspiracy” or if Paul’s inability to find this encyclical on three Catholic sites is sufficient proof of the alleged sinister plot of deceit and cover-up. The encyclical does not appear to be online (excepting one anti-Catholic site which reproduces it). But a lot of things aren’t online — big wow [this debate took place in 1998]! [the encyclical is indeed now online]

Finally David, you have called this quote of Leo XIII, “bogus”, “drivel”, “intellectual suicide”, “an insult to everyone’s intelligence”.

You continue to spout absolute falsehoods even in this sentence, where you make a vain attempt to trap me by my own words (by wresting them from their context). Flat-out amazing. Again, the quote was “bogus” because it contained an incorrect title and date [1885 / “The Union of Christendom”]. Would you think much of my scholarship if I cited a work Institutions of the Calvinist Religion (1659), by John Calvin? And what if, when you asked me for documentation, I gave you an obscure 100-year-old anti-Protestant book, with no page numbers listed (as if you could easily obtain it, or had the desire to spend hours paging through such a work, in the rare chance that it was available).

As to my descriptions “intellectual suicide” and “an insult to everyone’s intelligence,” those were in reference to anti-Catholicism generally, specifically to the laughable, idiotic charge that popes have claimed to be God. I didn’t apply that terminology to the quote under consideration!!

For example, in a post of 12-10-98, I reiterated this opinion of mine:

My own long-held opinion is that the anti-Catholic position (i.e., the one which holds that the Catholic Church is not Christian, and is pagan, the Whore, deliberate idolatry, etc. ad nauseam) constitutes intellectual suicide (when held by a Protestant or Orthodox).

Now that the quote has been shown to be accurate,

No, the correct document and date have been identified, and I did that, remember?

Going back to the quote from Leo XIII, I never made a claim that the one sentence was “bogus.” In fact, my biblical evidence presented initially, and again above (in expanded form), was precisely in response to utterances along those lines. My beef all along with you was that you were interpreting wrongly.

So from the beginning of this pathetic thread I have made two parallel arguments: from language and from textual disputes. Both still stand, since you haven’t answered the “language” argument (as bolstered by biblical analogies) in the least. In the textual vein, you have triumphantly touted this one citation of Leo XIII, but I have disproven your interpretation of it in this post. You have yet to produce full documentation for all your other quotes (many refuted by myself or fellow apologists), save for one 100-year-old secondary (and anti-Catholic) source.

Since, therefore, you have made only one (now refuted) argument from one text, and ignored all the others, you have miserably failed on both counts, yet now parade your “victory” to the list, and definitively proclaim the existence of a Catholic conspiracy to hide past encyclicals. Is this not deliciously ironic and humorous? Ignorance masquerading as decisive knowledge?

do you see how you have condemned Romanism and its popes out of your own mouth?

No, but I have certainly condemned anti-Catholicism, lying, slander, know-nothingism, and bigotry (in any form) out of my own mouth, and will continue to do so boldly and without fear.

You have effectively called Romanism “bogus”, “drivel”, “intellectual suicide”, “an insult to everyone’s intelligence”.

Only an anti-Catholic could twist one’s condemnation against anti-Catholicism, and claim that it was made — in effect — towards “Romanism.”

“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty”, Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical, The Union of Christendom (1885).

Alright, let’s look at this (I’ve already noted the incorrect source given), since Paul seems to think he has hit a grand slam here. On the page before this quote, the pope states:

[W]e most earnestly offer thanks in the first place to the goodness of God, by whose help and bounty we have been preserved to attain our great age . . .

The “Mansbacher version” (granting Paul’s claims for the divinity of the pope) should read as follows:

[W]e most earnestly offer thanks in the first place to the goodness of ourselves, because by our own help and bounty we have preserved ourselves to attain our great age . . .

How can God get old anyway? And He doesn’t have to help Himself to get old! God is eternal; He just is!

Now let’s look at the quote in its context (wouldn’t that be nice for a change?). To be fair, Paul did eventually cite it at length (at first he did not), but he failed to see that the longer quote is a disproof of his interpretation of it, as I will now demonstrate:

But since we hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, and now that our advanced age and the bitterness of anxious cares urge us on towards the end common to every mortal, we feel drawn to follow the example of our Redeemer and Master, Jesus Christ.

And now I shall comment, assuming for the sake of argument that the pope has claimed to be identical with, or equal to God, as Paul claims:

But since we hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, . . .

Note the word “who”. This proves that Pope Leo XIII was indeed speaking as a representative of God, not as God Himself. The “who” shows that God is other than Leo (as already evidenced by the phrase “the place of”). If he was claiming to be God, he would have said (using proper grammar) “. . . God Almighty, and would have all men to be saved . . . ” Let’s draw a parallel to nail down this point:

“But since we hold in this company the place of the supervisor [i.e., in the supervisor’s absence], who will have all workers to be productive and to increase the output of the company . . .”

The “who” clearly refers to the absent supervisor, rather than the assistant. Likewise with Leo and God.

. . . and now that our advanced age . . .

God can’t get old. Or does Paul claim that Leo thought he was a second incarnation of Jesus, and had two natures, like Jesus did, so that he could get old?

and the bitterness of anxious cares urge us on towards the end common to every mortal, . . . .

God isn’t mortal, either. Pope Leo did live another nine years, though. :-)

we feel drawn to follow the example of our Redeemer and Master, Jesus Christ.

If Leo thought He was God, how could he think Jesus was his “redeemer” and “Master”? How could God redeem Himself?

The encyclical ends:

May God, who is rich in mercy, and in whose power are the times and moments, grant our wishes and desires, and in His great goodness, hasten the fulfillment of that divine promise of Jesus Christ; There will be one Fold and one Shepherd.

God is separate from Leo, and He is the one Who grants “wishes and desires.”

Related Reading:

What Year Did Popes Become Antichrist? (vs. John Calvin) [3-11-10]
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(abridged version of a dialogue from 1 January 1999)

Photo credit: woodcut of people kissing the pope’s feet, from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist, by Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472-1553) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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