Archive for doctrinal decrees

The “Original Sin” Scam

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, history, logic, Middle Ages,, random, religion with tags , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by chouck017894

Some private response to the article “Born in Sin” (July 10, 2009), a theory which is also alluded to as “Inherited Sin” or “Original Sin,” has prompted a few more notes.  Specifically, attention is drawn to the eighteenth ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church that assembled in Trent, Italy on December 13, 1545.  It was a tiresome affair that lasted intermittently until 1563!  Eighteen years!  Indeed, three pontificates, Paul III, Julius III, and Pius IV would sit upon the papal throne before the council would finally fold up shop.

Hammered out among god’s alleged representatives were such things as disciplinary decrees regarding Episcopal duties, the religious orders of the church, the education of the priesthood, and the censorship of books.  Doctrinal decrees were also issued on the Mass, purgatory, the veneration of “saints,” and the doctrine of indulgences.  Thus the long, dragged-out “council” set the corporate standards of the Roman Catholic faith and for practices that remain to this day.  Of course decisions set in place by that council infected even the religious reformation blocs.

For starters, it was in the fourth session (1546) that sacred tradition was put on a par with Scripture, as were also all the books contained in the Vulgate (edited by “saint” Jerome c. 392).  This version of the scriptural presentation is known as the Vulgate because it employed the language of the common people in Jerome’s time.  It contains not only the sixty-six books of the Authorized Version but also eleven books of the Apocrypha, which the Catholic Church holds as being divinely inspired, but which most Protestants reject as not in keeping with the most ancient authority.  In other words, of doubtful religious significance.

At this overly long ecumenical council, there was much haggling whether the story of Susanna and the Elders belonged in Scripture, for example.  Ultimately it wound up as an apocryphal addition to the book  of Daniel (which happens to be a Hebrew retelling of a Babylonian tale).  The Vulgate was then declared to be “authentic,” and affirmed to be canonical.

Now, back to the main point: it was with this council that the no-escape clause of “Original Sin” was heartily embraced.  Dressed in holy phraseology the council announced, “From the fall of man until the hour of baptism the Devil has full power over him and possesses him.”  What a perfect scam: holding all mankind as hostage as blemished from Adam’s nibbling fruit from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Nothing much has been changed in the assessments made in the Middle Ages by the eighteenth council on what constitutes holy “truth.”  In the nineteenth century things were updated with insertion of clarifying additions: added were two definitions of the Immaculate Conception and the declaration of the infallibility of the pope.  It is on such authority that we are told that we can be cleansed of “sin” (life’s inevitable boo-boos) only by a religious business machine.