Attention!
15 million Ukrainian are displaced by Russia's war.
Millions miss a meal or two each day.
Help us change that! Click to donate today!

Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Popery

Additional Links

literally means attachment to the religion or to the party of the pope; and in this sense the word is synonymous with the profession of the Roman Catholic religion. In its use, however, it has come to involve either the idea of' contempt or disparagement, or is intended to designate what are regarded by Protestants as the most exaggerated and superstitious among the doctrines and practices which they ascribe to Roman Catholics, and of which the principal are the infallibility of the Church; the supremacy of the pope; the doctrine of the seven sacraments-namely, baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony; the celibacy of the clergy; the worship of saints and the Virgin Mary, of pictures and images; prayers for the dead, intercession of saints, purgatory. unwritten traditions, etc. A proper distinction is made by some writers between popery and the papacy. Popery is the erroneous principle- salvation by man-in opposition to the truth of the Gospel, which is salvation by grace. The papacy is the secular organization in which this error is embodied. The one is the body, the other the animating and controlling spirit. (See POPISH VIEW).

The Church of Rome is charged with having departed from apostolic Christianity by requiring all who communicate with her to believe, as necessary to salvation:

1. That that man is accursed who does not kiss and honor and worship the holy images.

2. That the Virgin Mary and other saints are to be prayed to.

3. That, after consecration in the Lord's Supper, the bread is no longer bread, and the wine no longer wine.

4. That the clergyman should he excommunicated who, in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, gives the cup to the people.

5. That they are accursed who say that the clergy may marry.

6. That there is a purgatory that is, a place where souls which had died in repentance are purified by suffering.

7. That the Church of Rome is the mother and mistress of all churches.

8. That obedience is due from all churches to the bishop of Rome.

9. That they are accursed who deny that there are seven sacraments.

From these doctrines, contrary to Scripture and the primitive Church, have resulted these evil practices:

From the veneration of images has sprung the actual worship of them.

The invocation of the Blessed Virgin, and of other saints, has given rise to the greatest blasphemy and profaneness. The bread in the Eucharist has been worshipped as it were the eternal God. From the doctrine of purgatory has sprung that of indulgences, and the practice of persons paying sums of money to the Romish bishops and clergy to release the souls of their friends from the fabulous fire of purgatory.

We append a list of these principal heresies of the Church of Rome, and the time at which they were introduced:

Invocation of saints first taught with authority by a Council of Constantinople, A.D. 754.

Use of images and relics in religious worship first publicly affirmed and sanctioned in the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 787.

Compulsory celibacy of the clergy first enjoined publicly at the first Council of Late an, A.D. 1123.

Papal supremacy first publicly asserted by the fourth Council of Lateran, A.D. 1215.

Auricular confession first enjoined by Innocent III, at the fourth Council of Lateran, A.D. 1215.

Prayers in a foreign tongue first deliberately sanctioned by the Council of Trent, A.D. 1562.

Transubstantiation was first publicly insisted on by the fourth Council of Laterman, A.D. 1215.

Purgatory aid indulgences first set forth by the Council of Florence, A.). 1438.

Judicial absolution authorized by the Council of Trent, A.D. 1551. Apocrypha received as canonical at the Council of Trent, A.D. 1547.

Communion in one kind only, first authoritatively sanctioned by the Council of Constance, A.D. 1414.

The Roman number of the sacraments first settled by the Council of Trent, A.D. 1545.

This system of doctrine will be best understood by a reading of the creed of popery as adopted by pope Pius IV (q.v.), and published in 1564. (See PROFESSIO FIDEI). It embodies the decisions of the Council of Trent. Every Roman Catholic is bound by it, and Romish officials swear to it. After repeating the Apostles' Creed, the form of the oath goes on:

"I most firmly admit and embrace apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, land all other constitutions and observances of the same Church. I also admit the sacred Scriptures according to tile sense which the holy mother Church has held and does hold, to whom it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures; nor will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the fathers. I profess, also, that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the new law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and for the salvation of mankind, though all ale not necessary for every one viz., baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, prenance, extreme unction, order, and matrimony; and that they confer grace; and of these, baptism, confirmation, and order cannot be reiterated without sacrilege. I also receive and admit the ceremonies of the Catholic Church, received and approved in the solemn administration of all the above-said sacraments. I receive and embrace all and every one of the things which have been defined and declined in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin ad justification. I profess likewise that in the mass is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, aid substantially the body and blood, together with the son and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation. I confess, also, that under either kind alone, whole and entire, Christ and a true sacrament is received. I constantly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise that the saints leaning together with Christ are to be honored and invocated, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to he venerated. I most firmly assert that the images of Christ and of the mother of God, ever virgin, and also of the other saints, are to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration are to be given to them. I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church; and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people. I acknowledge the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman bishop, the successor of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and vicar of Jesus Christ. I also profess and undoubtedly receive all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent: and likewise I also condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies whatsoever, condemned and anathematized by the Church. This true catholic faith, out of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, I, N., promise, vow, and swear most constantly to hold and profess the same whole and entire, with God's assistance, to the end of my life. Amen."

For literature, (See ROMANISM).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Popery'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/popery.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

Search for…
Enter query in the box below:
Choose a letter to browse:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
Prev Entry
Poper, Henry
Next Entry
Popish Plot