The Papacy, by Réné-Francois Guettée

The above author, being ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1839, endeavored to write a complete history of the church of France. This effort led him to convert to Orthodoxy. He says of his own work,

We take the Roman episcopate at the origin of Christianity, follow it through centuries, and are able to prove incontestably, that during eight centuries the spiritual Papacy, as we understand it at the present day, had no existence; … As for the universal sovereignty, absolute, of divine right–in other words, the Papacy–facts and catholic testimony of the first eight centuries condemn instead of sustaining it.

History reveals to us the Papacy … taking its birth … in the ninth century, with its double political and ecclesiastical character. Its real founder was Adrian I Nicholas I (whereas) Gregory VII raised it to its loftiest pitch. …

The Roman traditions of the first eight centuries are not the same as those of succeeding ages. The Papacy has, therefore, lost its true perpetuity in the very points wherein it has innovated.

He says that the bishops of Rome were successors not of Peter, but of Linus, who was bishop there before Peter arrived. He says the Pope has usurped the place of Jesus Christ, saying to all churches, ” ‘It is in me and by me you shall be united; the ministry of your pastors shall proceed from me; from me are you to receive doctrine. I am supreme pastor. It is my right to govern all. I am supreme judge. I may judge all and be myself judged by no one whomsoever. I am the echo of heaven, the infallible voice of God.’ “

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