The robbery of the century! corruption in the vatican!
of the properties of the emperor Constantine and of half of Europe.
RACHEL Yes, one moment, please, … No sir, here at Emisoras Latinas we respect the freedom of opinion of all our guests, … and even more if the guest is Jesus Christ, … Wow! … I think we’ve got a big problem.
JESUS What’s going on, Rachel?
RACHEL After the debate with the Pope the telephone hasn’t stopped ringing. The public, or at least part of the public, has taken strong exception to your words. They say that they will denounce us if we don’t stop these broadcasts immediately.
JESUS And what are they so bothered about?
RACHEL They say you’ve offended the Holy Father.
JESUS Me offending him? But that man is the one who is offending people, especially poor people. How can he speak in my name dressed up like an emperor? I couldn’t have spoken more clearly it’s impossible to serve two masters, God and money.
RACHEL But be reasonable, Jesus. In the Vatican, in the churches, there are many paintings, sculptures, gems of much value. They’re works of art.
JESUS Rachel, in traveling around these days, I have seen many poor men and women, I’ve seen children who are hungry. They are our greatest works of art, made in the image and likeness of God. All the treasures and artistic objects that those temples hold are not worth as much as just one of them.
RACHEL Yes, but …
JESUS You’re a mother, Rachel, right?
RACHEL Yes, I have two children.
JESUS And if you saw your children suffering from hunger, would you dare to put on golden rings and dress up with crowns and luxurious garments?
RACHEL Well, if you put it that way…
JESUS There’s really no other way to put it.
RACHEL All right then, but what can they do with all those things they have, sell them?
JESUS They can sell them, give them away, let them do what they like. But there’s one truth I will tell you those camels will not pass through the eye of a needle.
RACHEL A call is coming in, … Yes, hello? … Pepe Rodriguez, the researcher? … How nice. … You’d like to offer your opinion about the recent debate with the Pope?
PEPE Yes, it was magnificent. And I’d like let you to know that, besides the social insensitivity that it indicates, all that great wealth that you saw through Vatican television is stolen property.
RACHEL How do you mean stolen? Are you referring to the business of indulgences that we were discussing on a previous program?
PEPE No, I’m referring to the Donation of Constantine.
RACHEL Could you explain yourself better, please?
PEPE Listen, Rachel, and have Jesus hear this as well. Four centuries after the death of that sinister Roman emperor Constantine, the Catholic Church came up with a document that it said was written personally by Constantine.
RACHEL And what did that document say?
PEPE It said that the emperor was entrusting his personal palace to the church of Rome, in the person of Pope Sylvester.
JESUS A palace for a representative of mine?
PEPE He also gave the Pope the imperial insignia and the purple royal robes. That red cape which the Popes wear even today is a souvenir of Constantine.
RACHEL It’s hard to believe…
PEPE But it gets better. According to that document, Constantine turned over to the Pope the whole city of Rome, the whole of Italy, and all the western provinces of the empire. That’s thousands and thousands of square kilometers, half of Europe.
RACHEL But did Constantine really sign that letter?
PEPE No, the famous Donation of Constantine was a counterfeit document fabricated by another pope, Stephen II. It was in that way that the Roman church accumulated such colossal wealth, and even today it’s prospering from the returns of that robbery.
JESUS I can’t believe what I’m hearing.
RACHEL Thank you, Pepe Rodriguez. … Whew … Jesus, I’m trying to remain impartial as a journalist, but …
JESUS Well, I’m not! The priests of my time were small-time worms compared with this race of vipers.
RACHEL I think that … that maybe the best thing now is to sign off for today. From Jerusalem, reporting for Emisoras Latinas, this has been Rachel Perez.
ANNOUNCER Another God is Possible. Exclusive interviews with Jesus Christ in his second coming to Earth. A production of María and José Ignacio López Vigil, with the support of the Syd Forum and Christian Aid.
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Legend upon legend
The traditional Catholic legend says that Constantine, before the battle which made him emperor of the western empire in the year 312, saw in the sky a cross, which was a symbol of his coming victory, and that experience made him “convert” to Christianity. Another legend relates that Pope Sylvester I had cured Constantine of leprosy after his military victory and that out of gratitude he left all his inheritance to the Roman papacy. Constantine died in 337, after being baptized on his deathbed.
Owners of an empire
Four hundred years after Constantine died, Pope Stephen II made public an imperial decree that had been completely unknown up till that time: the “Donation of Constantine”, dated March 30th of the year 315. In that decree the emperor “donates” to the church of Rome a huge extension of the empire’s territories, in gratitude to Pope Sylvester “for having cured him of leprosy”.
The document was actually a forgery elaborated by Pope Stephen II in order to achieve an alliance with Charlemagne that would help him confront the Lombards, who were threatening the power of the Roman papacy. By that time the Roman empire had already fallen, and different kings were dividing the European territories up among themselves. In such a complex and explosive situation, the fraudulent document made the Pope in Rome owner of practically all of Europe. The forged decree served for centuries to lay the bases for a power that had never before been seen in history, the power of the papacy. found
Donation of power, money, lands, pomp and luxury
The Donation of Constantine reads in part as follows:
I perceived these things, and learned that by the kindness of St. Peter himself [the Pope] I had been entirely restored to health: I, together with all our satraps and the whole senate and the nobles and all the Roman people, who are subject to the glory of our rule, considered it advisable that, as on earth he (Peter) is seen to have been constituted vicar of the Son of God, so the pontiffs, who are the representatives of that same chief of the apostles, should obtain from us and our empire the power of a supremacy greater than the earthly clemency of our imperial serenity is seen to have had conceded to it, and so we choose that same prince of the apostles, or his vicars, to be our constant intercessors with God. And to the extent of our earthly imperial power, we decree that his holy Roman church shall be honored with veneration; and that, more than our empire and earthly throne, the most sacred seat of St. Peter shall be gloriously exalted; and we give to it the imperial power, and dignity of glory, and vigor and honor.
And we ordain and decree that he shall have the supremacy as well over the four chief seats Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople and Jerusalem, as also over all the churches of God in the whole world. And he who for the time being shall be pontiff of that holy Roman church shall be more exalted than, and chief over, all the priests of the whole world; and, according to his judgment, everything which is to be provided for the service of God or the stability of the faith of the Christians is to be administered. It is indeed just that there the holy law should have the seat of its rule where the founder of holy laws, our Savior, told St. Peter to take the chair of the apostleship; where also, sustaining the cross, he blissfully took the cup of death and appeared as imitator of his Lord and Master; and that there the people should bend their necks at the confession of Christ´s name, where their teacher, St. Paul the apostle, extending his neck for Christ, was crowned with martyrdom. There, until the end, let them seek a teacher, where the holy body of the teacher lies; and there, prone and humiliated, let them perform the service of the heavenly king, God our Savior Jesus Christ, where the proud were accustomed to serve under the rule of an earthly king. …
We have also constructed the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul, chiefs of the apostles, which we have enriched with gold and silver; where also, placing their most sacred bodies with great honor, we have constructed their caskets of electrum, against which no force of the elements prevails. And we have placed a cross of purest gold and precious gems on each of their caskets, and fastened them with golden keys. And on these churches for the endowing of divine services we have conferred estates, and have enriched them with different objects; and, through our sacred imperial decrees, we have granted them our gift of land in the East as well as in the West; and even on the northern and southern coast – namely, in Judea, Greece, Asia, Thrace, Africa and Italy and the various islands – under this condition indeed, that all shall be administered by the hand of our most blessed father the pontiff Sylvester and his successors. …
In return for which, to those same holy apostles, my masters, St. Peter and St. Paul; and, through them, also to St. Sylvester, our father, the chief pontiff and universal pope of the city of Rome; and to all the pontiffs his successors, who until the end of the world shall be about to sit in the seat of St. Peter: we concede and, by this present do confer, our imperial Lateran palace, which is preferred to, and ranks above, all the palaces in the whole world; then a diadem, that is, the crown of our head, and at the same time the tiara; and, also, the shoulder band, that is, the collar that usually surrounds our imperial neck; and also the purple mantle, and crimson tunic, and all the imperial raiment; and the same rank as those presiding over the imperial cavalry; conferring also the imperial scepters, and, at the same time, the spears and standards; also the banners and different imperial ornaments, and all the advantage of our high imperial position, and the glory of our power.
And we decree, as to those most reverend men, the clergy who serve, in different orders, that same holy Roman church, that they shall have the same advantage, distinction, power and excellence by the glory of which our most illustrious senate is adorned; that is, that they shall be made patricians and consuls and shall also be decorated with the other imperial dignities. And even as the imperial soldiery, so, we decree, shall the clergy of the holy Roman church be adorned. And even as the imperial power is adorned by different offices – by the distinction, that is, of chamberlains, and door keepers, and all the guards – so we wish the holy Roman church to be adorned.
And, in order that the pontifical glory may shine forth more fully, we decree this also: that the clergy of this same holy Roman church may use saddle cloths of linen of the whitest color; namely, that their horses may be adorned and so be ridden, and that, as our senate uses shoes with goats´ hair, so they may be distinguished by gleaming linen; in order that, as the celestial beings, so the terrestrial may be adorned to the glory of God. Above all things, moreover, we give permission to that same most holy one, our father Sylvester, bishop of the city of Rome and pope, and to all the most blessed pontiffs who shall come after him and succeed him in all future times – for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ our Lord – to receive into that great Catholic and apostolic church of God, even into the number of the monastic clergy, any one from our senate, who, in free choice, of his own accord, may wish to become a cleric; no one at all presuming thereby to act in a haughty manner.
We also decree that this same venerable one, our father Sylvester, the supreme pontiff, and all the pontiffs his successors, might use and bear upon their heads – to the Praise of God and for the honor of St. Peter – the diadem, that is, the crown which we have granted him from our own head, of purest gold and precious gems. But he, the most holy pope, did not at all allow that crown of gold to be used over the clerical crown which he wears to the glory of St. Peter; but we placed upon his most holy head, with our own hands, a tiara of gleaming splendor representing the glorious resurrection of our Lord. And, holding the bridle of his horse, out of reverence for St. Peter we performed for him the duty of groom; decreeing that all the pontiffs his successors, and they alone, may use that tiara in processions.
In imitation of our own power, in order that for that cause the supreme pontificate may not deteriorate, but may rather be adorned with power and glory even more than is the dignity of an earthly rule: behold, we give over to the oft-mentioned most blessed pontiff, our father Sylvester, the universal pope, as well our palace, as has been said, as also the city of Rome and all the provinces, districts and cities of Italy or of the western regions; and we relinquish them, by our inviolable gift, to the power and sway of himself or the pontiffs his successors. So we do decree, by this our godlike charter and imperial constitution, that it shall be (so) arranged; and do concede that they (the palaces, provinces etc.) shall lawfully remain with the holy Roman church.
Wherefore we have perceived it to be fitting that our empire and the power of our kingdom should be transferred and changed to the regions of the East; and that, in the province of Byzantium, in a most fitting place, a city should be built in our name; and that our empire should there be established. For, where the supremacy of priests and the head of the Christian religion has been established by a heavenly ruler, it is not just that there an earthly ruler should have jurisdiction.
We decree, moreover, that all these things which, through this our imperial charter and through other godlike commands, we have established and confirmed, shall remain uninjured and unshaken until the end of the world. Wherefore, before the living God, who commanded us to reign, and in the face of his terrible judgment, we conjure, through this our imperial decree, all the emperors our successors, and all our nobles, the satraps also and the most glorious senate, and all the people in the whole world now and in all times previously subject to our rule: that no one of them in any way allow himself to oppose or disregard or in any way seize these things which, by our imperial sanction, have been conceded to the holy Roman church and to all its pontiffs. If anyone, moreover – which we do not believe – prove a scorner or despiser in this matter, he shall be subject and bound over to eternal damnation; and shall feel that the holy chiefs of the apostles of God, Peter and Paul, will be opposed to him in the present and in the future life. And, being burned in the nethermost hell, he shall perish with the devil and all the impious.
The gigantic fraud which was the Donation of Constantine allowed the Catholic Church to accumulate a huge patrimony from which it lives even today. For centuries this forgery was used by the Popes to install and remove civil authorities, to annex territories, and to influence the politics of Europe.
Even though the document was denounced as a forgery from the year 1001 on, it was not until 1440 that Laurenzio Valla, a humanistic educator and philosopher, and also a pontifical secretary, revealed by means of very detailed linguistic analysis, that it really was a counterfeit document. His findings were not published until 1519, after Luther had already begun to combat papal autocracy in Germany.
The Vatican did not acknowledge the fraud until the 19th century, at which time it was under pressure from the political changes taking place throughout the world. Even so, the Popes have never expressed any repentance for this scam, and even less have they demonstrated any willingness to make any compensation for what had been stolen or extorted for centuries by means of the “Donation of Constantine”.
After accumulating great properties and wealth and imposing its power and its laws for centuries in all of Europe, the Roman papacy lost a large part of its possessions, so that by the 19th century it was “reduced” to what is today the Vatican, a city-state of less than one-half square kilometer, with a thousand inhabitants; it is the sovereign state with the smallest territory and the smallest population in the world. The Basilica and Plaza of Saint Peter occupy 20% of its territory.
Despite its territorial losses, the Vatican is a very wealthy state, but its properties, its financial holdings, and its businesses are always kept secret. The patrimony of the Vatican has been calculated at between one billion and 12 billion euros. It is claimed that a third of the buildings of Rome are still owned by the Vatican and that the golden treasures stored away in this mini-state are incredible, among the greatest in the world. There is much speculation about the present-day wealth of the Vatican. Two thousand years of history can provide us information, if not about the wealth itself, about how so much wealth got accumulated.
At the website www.freie-christen.com/riqueza_de_la_iglesia.html may be found a document (in Spanish) called “The wealth of the Church is money stained with blood.” It contains much useful information and a good bibliography on this topic. The table of contents offers a list of topics to help with further research: “The wealth of the Vatican: gold, stocks and bonds, consortiums, lands, cities, real estate. Super-rich through: slavery, servitude, blessings and titles, selling pardon, Inquisition and witch-burning, forgery of documents, fraudulent inheritances, tithes, sale of posts, murders, side incomes, prostitution, subventions from swindling the people.”
Power and glory: some estimates
In 1984 British researcher David Yallop revealed in his book In God’s Name the circumstances surrounding the murder of Pope John Paul I in October, 1978, after he had decided to clean up the Vatican’s financial world, which by that time was involved in all kinds of criminal activities and fraudulent operations. In 2007 Yallop published another book, The Power and the Glory, with the aim of unveiling the personality of the successor of John Paul I, the polish Pope Karol Kojtyla, and the way he had used pontifical power. Yallop gives specific details concerning Wojtyla’s complicity with the sordid world of Vatican finances. Pope John Paul II ignored the measures his predecessor had proposed and never dismissed the persons mainly responsibl