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Default Re: Um... Why is my religion listed as a cult? - 10-14-2009, 07:52 AM

Originally Posted by Sacred Heart View Post
First you do need to show me a reference saying which verses the Church used and how it said they were justified.

Then, explain why this matters as it was not a doctrinal teaching of the Church.
On Slavery:
(Since you hate reading so much, I'll post the section pertaining to our discussion, but please follow the link to make sure I am not taking this out of context.)

"Canon 3

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.
This canon is framed in accordance with the doctrine of the Apostle, in 1 Timothy 6:1. Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And again the same Apostle teaches his disciple Titus that he should exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Titus 2:9-10 These texts are likewise cited by Balsamon and Zonaras."

This is from the Synod of Gangra, a Catholic church council held in 340. According to New Advent, a synod is: "A general term for ecclesiastical gatherings under hierarchical authority, for the discussion and decision of matters relating to faith, morals, or discipline" . The decisions of the Synod of Gangra were upheld by the Council of Chalcedon ( ,, considered by Catholics the fourth Ecumenical Council ( According to New Advent, an Ecumenical Council is:

  1. Ecumenical Councils are those to which the bishops, and others entitled to vote, are convoked from the whole world (oikoumene) under the presidency of the pope or his legates, and the decrees of which, having received papal confirmation, bind all Christians.
The same decree is repeated in a Council under Pope Martin I in 650 AD! (

So to answer your first question, the church used 1 Timothy and Titus to justify slavery. But wait, there's more.

How about this fact from another Ecumenical Council, the Third Lateran Council (
24. Cruel avarice has so seized the hearts of some that though they glory in the name of Christians they provide the Saracens with arms and wood for helmets, and become their equals or even their superiors in wickedness and supply them with arms and necessaries to attack Christians. There are even some who for gain act as captains or pilots in galleys or Saracen pirate vessels. Therefore we declare that such persons should be cut off from the communion of the church and be excommunicated for their wickedness, that catholic princes and civil magistrates should confiscate their possessions, and that if they are captured they should become the slaves of their captors. We order that throughout the churches of maritime cities frequent and solemn excommunication should be pronounced against them. Let those also be under excommunication who dare to rob Romans or other Christians who sail for trade or other honourable purposes. Let those also who in the vilest avarice presume to rob shipwrecked Christians, whom by the rule of faith they are bound to help, know that they are excommunicated unless they return the stolen property.

The legitimacy of slavery was later incorporated into the Decretum Gratiani ("
a collection of Canon law compiled and written in the twelfth century as a legal textbook by a jurist (perhaps) named Gratian, ) which was incorporated into the Corpus Juris Canonici (, that is: "(lit. 'Body of Canon Law') is the collection of significant sources of canon law of the Catholic Church that was applicable to the universal Church or specifically to Churches of the Latin Rite or Eastern Rites.

More info here:
The ninth Council of Toledo in 655 AD (a provincial synod of bishops of Carthaginiensis , imposed slavery on the children of priests. On the councils of Toledo: "From the fifth to the seventh century, about thirty synods, variously counted, were held at Toledo in what would come to be part of Spain." "As nearly one hundred early canons of Toledo found a place in the Decretum Gratiani, they exerted an important influence on the development of ecclesiastical law." (

The Synod of Melfi under Pope Urban II in 1089 imposed slavery on the wives of priests: "disabilities of all kinds were enacted and as far as possible enforced against the wives and children of ecclesiastics. Their offspring were declared to be of servile condition, debarred from sacred orders, and, in particular, incapable of succeeding to their fathers' benefices. The earliest decree in which the children were declared to be slaves, the property of the Church, and never to be enfranchised, seems to have been a canon of the Synod of Pavia in 1018. Similar penalties were promulgated later on against the wives and concubines (see the Synod of Melfi, 1189, can. xii), who by the very fact of their unlawful connection with a subdeacon or clerk of higher rank became liable to be seized as slaves" (

In 1455, Pope Nicholas V wrote the following in an Apostolic Constitution:
"We (therefore) weighing all and singular the premises with due meditation, and noting that since we had formerly by other letters of ours granted among other things free and ample faculty to the aforesaid King Alfonso -- to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery,..."

An apostolic constitution: "
is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church." ( Full-text and background of this decree can be found here:

In 1866, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith issued this statement:
"Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons.... It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given."

The CDF "i
s the oldest of the nine congregations of the Roman Curia." ( ine_of_the_Faith). The Roman Curia is "Strictly speaking, the ensemble of departments or ministries which assist the sovereign pontiff in the government of the Universal Church" (

1800 +: The Roman Catholic church's Sacred Congregation of the Index continued to place many anti-slavery tracts on their Index of Forbidden Books in order to prevent the public from reading them. (

This is a pretty short and simple timeline of Catholic flip-flopping on the issues of slavery (though mostly supporting it):

Interesting, no? Here's some other material to brush up on Roman Catholicism and slavery:

Now, it seems to me that some of this just might count as doctrinal teaching of the church, but in case it doesn't meet your standards (I'm betting it won't. I'm sure if I posted the measly examples floating around of Catholics opposing slavery you would loudly proclaim it as infallible...) here's why it matters: Jesus said quite clearly you shall know a tree by its fruit.

Maybe I'll get around to death penalty too when I have some spare time.
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