Mosheim's Summary

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"In the East sinister designs, rancor, contentions, and strife were everywhere predominant. At Constantinople, or New Rome, those were elevated to the patriarchal chair who were in favor at court; and upon losing that favor, a decree of the Emperor hurled them from their elevated station. In the West the bishops hung around the courts of princes, and indulged themselves in every species of voluptuousness: while the inferior clergy and the monks were sensual, and by the grossest vices corrupted the people whom they were set to reform. The ignorance of the clergy in many places was so great, that few of them could read or write. Hence, whenever a letter was to be penned, or anything or importance was to be committed to writing, recourse was generally had to some one individual, whom common fame invested with a certain dexterity in such matters
"The bishops and the heads of monasteries held much real estate or landed property by feudal tenure; wherefore, when a war broke out, they were summoned personally to the camp, attended by the number of soldiers which they were bound to furnish to their sovereign. Kings and princes, moreover, that they might be able to reward their servants and soldiers for their services, often seized upon consecrated property, and gave it to their dependents; in consequence, the priests and monks, before supported by it, sought relief for their necessities in committing any sort of crimes, and in contriving impostures.
"Few of those who were raised, about this time, to the highest stations in the church can be commended for their wisdom, learning, virtue, and other endowments proper for a bishop. The greater part of them, by their numerous vices, and all of them, by their arrogance and lust of power, entailed disgrace upon their memories. Between Leo IV., who died A.D. 855, and Benedict III., a woman, who concealed her sex, and assumed the name of John, it is said, opened her way to the pontifical throne by her learning and genius, and governed the church for a time. She is commonly called the Papess Joanna. During the five subsequent centuries the witnesses to this extraordinary event are without number; nor did any one, prior to the Reformation by Luther, regard the thing as either incredible, or disgraceful to the church.
"All agree that in those dark days the state of Christianity was everywhere most deplorable; not only from amazing ignorance, the parent of superstition and moral debasement, but also from other causes.... The sacred order, both in the East and in the West, were composed principally of men who were illiterate, stupid, ignorant of everything pertaining to religion..... What the Greek pontiffs were, the single example of Theophylact shows; who, as credible historians testify, made traffic of everything sacred, and cared for nothing but his hounds and his horses. But though the Greek patriarchs were very unworthy men, yet they possessed more dignity and virtue than the Roman pontiffs. That the history of the Roman bishops in this century is a history, not of men, but of monsters, a history of the most atrocious villanies and crimes, is acknowledged by all the best writers, those not excepted even who plead for pontifical authority ...
"The essence of religion was thought, both by Greeks and Latins, to consist in the worship of images, in honoring departed saints, in searching for and preserving relics, and in enriching priests and monks. Scarcely an individual ventured to approach God until interest had been duly sought with images and saints. In getting relics together, and seeking after them, all the world was busy to insanity."
Nothing more, we think, need be said at present as to the nature—root and branch—of the papal system. In the mouth of at least three competent witnesses, all that we have said of Rome, from the beginning of the Thyatirian period, has been confirmed. And the half has not been told, especially on the subject of immorality. We could not transfer to our pages the open profligacy of the priests and monks. It is thought by some that the papacy fell to the deepest point of degradation in the ninth and tenth centuries. For many years the papal tiara was disposed of by the infamous Theodora and her two daughters, Marozia and Theodora. Such was their power and evil influence, by means of their licentious lives, that they placed in the chair of St. Peter whom they would—men wicked like themselves. Our pages would be defiled by an account of their open unblushing immoralities. Such has been the papal succession. Surely Jezebel was truly represented by these women, and in the influence they obtained over the popes and the city of Rome. But, alas! alas! Jezebel, with all her associations, corruptions, tyrannies, idolatries, and uses of the civil sword, has been too faithfully represented by popery from its very foundation.
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