Chapter 6

Of other vices or sins of Antichrist

It plainly appears that the Pope of Rome merits being called by that unique title of Antichrist, the man of sin, because of his opposition to Christ and his incredible ambition in advancing himself above all that is called God. Not withstanding, many other notorious sins of the Popes may be produced for further evidence of this truth.

Despite secrecy and cover-up by sympathetic historians, many of the Popes’ sins have been recorded for posterity

 Some of their sins are common to many of the Popes, while others are common to them all. For howsoever the crimes and enormities of such deep dissemblers, as these Antichristian Popes have been, were often not publicly known to the world, or being known, were not communicated to posterity, the writers of those times, being for the most part the servile flatterers of Antichrist; yet notwithstanding many of them were known, and those of which were known, many are recorded to have been guilty of fearful crimes, besides those which either were not known or recorded.

Many Popes devil worshippers

 For to begin with their horrible impiety toward towards God, have not many of these most holy fathers unintentionally revealed themselves to be very Atheists and scorners of religion? Such were John 24th,[1] Alexander 6th, Sixtus 4th, Paulus 3rd, Clement 7th, Julius 2nd & 3rd, Leo 10th. And besides them, John 12th, alias 13th, who used to blaspheme God, and when he gambled he would call upon the devil, drinking to him at his feasts.[2] Many of the Popes also have been known sorcerers and necromancers, besides those Popes which kept these things secret. It is recorded, even by biased Catholic authors,[3] that Sylvester 2nd [4] did homage to the devil and that by the power of the devil was placed in the Papacy, to which end he had delivered himself, body and soul, to the devil. Another was Gregory 7th,[5] as Cardinal Benno testifies. In fact, such were all the Popes from Sylvester 2nd through Gregory 7th. But among them, Benedict 8th, alias 9th,[6] who before his Papacy was called Theophylact, is most worthy to be remembered. For he was accustomed to sacrifice to the devil in woods and mountains, and by magical art to allure women unto him. He kept a sparrow which brought him news from all coasts. And when he had sold the Papacy to Gregory 6th [7] for 500 pounds, and thought to recover it again by means of sorcery, he consulted with the devil. However, he soon died by strangulation. His successor, Gregory 6th, being a sorcerer as well, apparently found greater favor with the devil!

Popes’ infamy as cruel murderers

 For many of them have been murderers and otherwise barbarously cruel. For example, Gregory 7th who poisoned six Popes to gain the Papacy, also sought to murder Henry the Emperor while praying in church.[8] Innocent 4th [9] sought to poison Conrad the Emperor. Clement 6th [10] caused the Emperor Lewis of Bavaria to be poisoned. King John was poisoned by a monk when the Pope had decreed he should be deposed, as was Henry of Luxemburg poisoned by eating the Eucharist, even as some report by order of the Pope.[11] By the Pope[12] was Parry suborned to murder our gracious Queen Elizabeth. So was the Jacobin[13] who murdered Henry 3rd, King of France….Alexander 6th [14] poisoned the great Turk’s brother for 200,000 crowns. He also, (or some say his son), appointed his servants to minister poison to certain Cardinals and Senators whom he had invited, but the servants gave him the wrong cup in error, dispatching him along with the rest! Paul 3rd [15] poisoned his mother and nephew,[16] that he might gain the entire inheritance of the Farnisian family. He poisoned his sister, whom he had used as a harlot, because she fancied others more than himself. He also poisoned Bosius Sfortia, the husband of his daughter, Constantia, that he might more freely abuse her. He even poisoned one Bishop and two Cardinals because they inclined to the gospel.…..Urban 6th [17] cast seven Cardinals in prison because they favored Clement 7th, and for spite put five into sacks and drowned them.

The Popes are traitors

 To their cruelty I will add their perfidious treachery and traitorous practices, especially towards the Emperors and Princes of Christendom. First of all, the Emperors of Greece were bereaved of their dominions in the West because of the rebellious opposition of the image-defending Popes to the Emperors’ iconoclast ideals. By thus renting asunder and weakening the Empire a way was made for the Turk. It has always been the practice of the Papacy to strengthen and advance themselves and their own See by weakening the Emperor and Princes. This they accomplished by picking a supposedly ‘just’ quarrel against them which would result in their excommunication. Their subjects would then be absolved from obedience toward their rulers. If by these means these rulers are not brought into subjection, the Popes then depose them, setting up others in their place. The last resort is by means of wars, sending forth Crusades into all Christendom with large indulgences and promises of heaven to all that would fight their battles. And besides these methods, they also forbid all Christians from trafficking with them and their subjects.[18] Furthermore, the Popes have enticed murderers to kill sovereigns and then seize their kingdoms as a prey. [Downame then lists innumerable historical instances of such tactics.]

Lechery of the ‘Holy’ Fathers

 But now the filthy lechery of these hallowed fathers, who would seem so chaste by condemning marriage in their clergy, must be spoken of. For although it be a rule among them, “If not chastely, then discreetly.” And Pope Nicolas 1st [19]  professes, “That it is more honest to have many women in secret than to be tied to one openly in the face and notice of men,” whether in marriage or otherwise. Therefore, in all likelihood, a final part of their uncleanness (which they sought by all means to conceal) is known to the world. Very many of the Popes have been detected and known to be most filthy fornicators and adulterers, beside John 8th,[20] or rather Joan, who was a harlot in man’s apparel, and was delivered of a child when in open procession. In this bed of whoremongers and adulterers (besides those who I know not or do not remember) are numbered, by divers authors, these which follow:

·       Sergius 3rd[21] who, by that notable strumpet, Marozia, begot John 11th,[22] Zando, who, in fornication, begot John 12th,[23] spending his time among harlots. Both of these Johns being as bad or worse than their fathers.

·       John 13th[24] was so given to whoredom he is said to have turned the Lateran palace into a brothel. And at length, being taken in adultery he was wounded to death. Such also were John 14th, 19th, 21st & 24th.

·       Likewise Benedict 6th [25] and 9th, who by sorcery lured women unto them, making them follow like pets.

·       In like manner Benedict 12th,[26] who kept many strumpets, and among others the sister of Francis Petrarch, whom by great rewards purchased her from her brother, Gerhard.

·       Of such character also were Christopher 1st,[27] and Calistus 3rd.[28]

·       Gregory 6th[29] and 7th,[30] called Hildebrand, were very ‘familiar’ with Mawde, the Countess, as was Victor 3rd.[31]

·       Innocent 4th [32] had many bastards, and so had Innocent 8th [33], who also used to wear women’s make-up.

·       Nicholas 3rd [34] begat a child by his concubine which resembled a bear by its nails and hair the cause of which some impute to the pictures of bears he had in his house. Martin 4th [35] took down the pictures when he kept the same concubine, fearing the same curse would come upon him.

·       Boniface 8th [36] kept many harlots and by them had diverse ‘nephews’, for so they called their bastards.

·       Clement 5th [37] was a common whoremonger and patron of harlots, and so was Clement 6th,[38] 7th,[39] and 8th. [40]

·       And such whoremongers were Pius 4th,[41] who died between two harlots, and Sixtus 5th,[42] of late memory.

Sins against nature

 These are not uncommon matters in the Romish votaries,[43] among whom the Popes afore mentioned may be viewed as more chaste because they have offended only by fornication and adultery. But, in a wide variety of votaries, from whom came diverse Popes, are the fearful sins against nature by incest and Sodomy. Neither are we to marvel thereat, seeing they do not only embrace the means of lust, such as idleness, fullness of bread, and abundance of worldly delights and carnal pleasures, but also reject the remedy appointed of God, which is marriage; but especially they being Idolaters are, by the just judgment of God given over to their lusts and to a reprobate mind, which is apparent to all by their committing abominations against nature. It is recorded of John 13th and John 23rd alias 24th that besides all their whoredoms and adulteries, the one committed incest with Stephana, his father’s concubine; and the other with his brother’s wife. Alexander 6th, not contented with the diverse strumpets which he kept, by whom he had six bastards, committed incest with his own daughter, Lucretia. He also gave permission to Cardinal Mendoza to abuse his own bastard son in incestuous Sodomy and Sodomite incest. Paul 3rd committed incest with two of his nieces, prostituted one of his sisters to Alexander 6th to gain a Cardinalship, and poisoned another because she had greater affection for her other lovers than himself. Neither did he abstain from his own daughter, Constantia. Of Pius 5th it is said he kept incestuous company with his own sister. Sixtus 4th was not only a filthy whoremonger and Sodomite himself, but also to incite and encourage others to the same filthiness, he built a famous brothel, containing both females and males. And he gave license to the Cardinal of St. Lucia and to all his family, that they might in the three hot months of the year frequently use Sodomy. Julius 2nd abused into Sodomy, besides others, two young French noblemen, whom Queen Anne had sent to Rome. Julius 3rd made his male lover a Cardinal. In addition, other authors have written of his committing Sodomy with the Cardinals themselves. Such sinners against nature were, as authors testify, Benedict 1, Clement 7, John 13, 14 and 24, Leo 10, and Paul 3, whose bastard son, Peter Aloysius, I cannot pass over in silence. He, treading in his father’s footsteps, being greatly loved and promoted by him, committed not only incest with his sister, Constantia, and raped other women, performed buggery with other men, he forced a Sodomite rape upon Cosmus Cherius, a worthy Bishop, with the help of men holding him by violence, while he committed that outrageous act. But it is shameful to speak that which they are not ashamed to do.

The Popes are, no doubt, Men of Sin

 And yet this is not all that is to be alleged against the Popes. Besides the fact that diverse of them having been Atheists, sorcerers, murderers, traitors, Adulterers, Sodomites, many of them have been most foul monsters (as some of their own writers call them) compounded of these and other horrible crimes. Such, besides others, were Sixtus 4, John 24, Alexander 6, Clement 7, Pius 3, etc. Neither may it be objected that although many of them have been holy men and Saints of God, and consequently not Antichrists. For howsoever all the Roman Bishops of the first six hundred years are reverenced as Saints and so-called by Popish writers, as were St. Sylvester, Saint Leo, Saint Gregory, etc., only a very few excepted, yet very few of those Popes who lived these past thousand years are esteemed Saints even by Popish flatterers. Those few who are esteemed as such are honored, not for any true holiness of character, but rather for the antichristian advancing of their See, or for some supposed miracles which were, in reality, no better than lying signs and wonders of Antichrist. Indeed, so far have these Apostate Popes been from sainthood in the sight of God, that all of them have deserved to be called men of sin, sons of perdition, outlaws, though some were not as wicked as others.

 They are called men of sin because besides those sins which infected them all, the whole order or succession of them have also been guilty of many other crimes, common to them all, many of which the Holy Ghost has set down as notes of Antichrist. To reiterate, as I have already proved to be marks seen in the Pope, they are:

·       Heresy

·       Opposition or enmity to Christ

·       Apostasy

·       Satanical pride

For if the Pope be a heretic or false prophet, if he be an apostate, yea, the very head of the Catholic apostasy, if he be an adversary opposed to Christ, though a covert and disguised enemy, if he be the king of pride, advancing himself most insolently above all that is called God, as we have proved him to be, then we need not doubt, if he were to have no other sins but these, he deserves to be called the man of sin.

Further sins of Rome prove the Pope Antichrist, his church, Mystery Babylon

 But unto these diverse sins, others may be added, as first and principally, the idolatry, superstitious and counterfeit religions of the Pope and church of Rome. For, by the whore of Babylon is signified the Antichristian state, and is described in the Scriptures, not only as a spiritual adulteress, but also as the mother of all fornications and abominations in the earth, which with the golden cup of her fornications, that is idolatries and superstitions, hath made drunk the kings and inhabitants of the earth. Now the idolatry and superstitions of the Pope and church of Rome are manifold and grievous.

·       As first, to the bread in the sacrament, which although a small creature, they worship as their maker and redeemer. Neither do they think they can worship it enough, and therefore, in the worship of it consists the chief part of their solemn service.

·       Secondly, to the cross and crucifix and images of the Trinity, all of which they teach to be worshipped with divine worship, which they do.

·       Thirdly, to the blessed Virgin Mary, who hath been worshipped among them as much or rather more than God. They call her their Lady and Goddess and Queen of Heaven. In her they repose their trust and assurance, to her they fly when in need. Of her they crave all good things, and from her they expect remission of sins and eternal salvation. To honor her they have devised and used diverse services, as offices, litanies, rosaries, Psalters, etc., full of blasphemous idolatries.

·       Fourthly, to Saints departed, who have succeeded the tutelary gods of the Heathen Romans, there being almost no country, city, parish, trade or profession which had not their several Saints to be their patrons; no disease nor other calamity which may befall them or their cattle for which they had not their particular Saints, as were the heathen gods to turn away those evils from them. They trust in the merits of the Saints for remission of sin and for eternal life. They adore them, pray to them, worshipping them, their images and their relics. By this the Papists are more gross idolaters then the very Heathen. For the Gentiles do not worship the images themselves, but the persons represented by them. But the Papists hold that the very same worship is due the image which belongs to the person whom it resembles. To these notorious idolatries we may add their diverse counterfeit religions and orders devised or authorized by the Pope, which are so many bypaths misleading men out of the only true way which leads unto heaven. Besides them there are the innumerable traditions, superstitions, twaddle and absurdities. Upon all of which, nevertheless, the fond people of all nations in these parts of the world have so strangely doted, so much so that it may most truly be said they have been besotted and made drunk with the wine of the whore of Babylon’s fornication, that is to say, with the idolatries and superstitions of the Church of Rome.

Upon their spiritual adultery, that is to say, their manifold and gross idolatry, follows their carnal adultery and uncleanness. For seeing by their idolatry they had dishonored God as did the Gentiles, therefore the Lord hath given their hearts over to unclean lusts.[44] Not only have they been guilty of uncleanness themselves, but also for being the cause of uncleanness in others. This they do when they consider the sin of fornication as though it were but a venial sin, reckoning adultery among the lesser and lighter offenses. They also give dispensations that men may commit these sins with frequency, or else they assign ridiculous punishments for committing them. But they especially encourage uncleanness through the forbidding of marriage to all their clergy, thereby, in effect, maintaining lawful brothels. For in forbidding marriage, they open a door to all uncleanness. Even Bernard saith, “Take out of the Church honorable marriage where the bed is undefiled, and do you not fill it with keepers of concubines, incestuous fellows, Gonorrheans and Sodomite, and in a word, with all kinds of unclean persons?[45]  For proof hereof one need only read The Acts if English Votaries, by John Bale. And remember the survey taken here in England before the dissolution of Abbeys,[46] wherein these irreligious houses were found to be little better than brothels of both kinds; not to mention their secular priests who were for the most part known to have been the town bullies where they dwelt. Neither will must I neglect to mention the innumerable murders of infants, besides those who died in their mothers’ wombs to prevent their parents’ shame. As for common brothels, they are maintained not only in other popish countries and cities, but even in Rome itself. Not only are they maintained by the Pope, but they are maintainers of the Pope by paying him a yearly pension, as if he, too, were a whore. Sometimes the price paid him amounts to as much as 30,000 or 40,000 gold Ducats. It is said of Paul 3 that in his Tax Tables he had the names of 45,000 citizens who paid monthly tribute to him. This fact argues his coveting filthy lucre, in addition to his patronizing filthiness. In respect to these two vices it was said of him in old time, “Neither doth the whole world suffice his covetousness, nor all harlots his lechery.”[47]

The Popes infamous for their avarice

 Of the insatiable avarice of the Pope and court of Rome many instances might be given. For they have found out innumerable ways and means to scrape together incredible sums of money out of all countries, without measure or modesty, without shame or show of honesty. But it shall be sufficient by application of Peter’s prophecy concerning false teachers in these latter times to show that through covetousness, they have, with feigned words and doctrines of their own coining made merchandise of all those that would hearken unto them.[48] For example, they have feigned that Peter was ordained of Christ the Monarch of the whole Church; that to him was committed the right to both the spiritual and temporal Monarchy; that in this Monarchy the Pope succeeded Peter as Christ’s Vicar General, as the Universal Bishop, as the Lord of the whole earth. They have feigned a Donation of Constantine, wherein he not only gave the city of Rome to the Pope, but also assigned unto him the whole Empire of the West.

Upon these grounds, armed with such authority, they have obtained, from both Princes and Prelates, what their greedy covetousness shamed not to demand. England, France, Germany and other countries have been exceedingly and miserably impoverished by the intolerable exactions of the Pope and his Court…..This gainful trade may well be called Making Merchandise of Men; for by this money added to the income derived from benefices the poor people were bought and sold….Moreover, his yearly financial perks from elections, preventions, dispensations, licenses and many similar merchandise are enumerated by title, tax or price in the book called, Taxae Cancellarie Apostolica. They are thought to exceed 900,000 Florins; not to speak of his smoke-farthings and Peter’s Pence, which bring him no small income. But besides his ordinary exactions, his extraordinary exactions were intolerable. For he hath not been ashamed to demand a tenth of all spiritual livings in some realms, and that for many years….and sometimes all the money and goods of the deceased….

But his most odious merchandise is his selling all manner of sin, which is called Taxae Poenitentaria Apostolica, whereby is promised impunity to every one who, having committed any sin, be it never so grievous, pays according to the going rate for his absolution. Included is adultery, incest, Sodomy, the abomination not to be spoken of committed with beasts, willful murder, parricide, perjury, and many more……Neither are the Pope’s own revenues arising from these grounds to be omitted. For Purgatory forsooth is his specialty, and the merits of Saints and works of supererogation which are the treasure of the Church, are his disposition. So that by applying thereof to whom he pleaseth, he can either shorten their time in Purgatory, or set them completely at liberty by his indulgences and pardons according to how much he is paid.

There are even more ways the Pope makes merchandise of men for his enrichment: Jubilees, canonizing of Saints, by his promise of remission of sins and eternal life to those that will fight his battles or execute his wicked designs; also by his doctrines of adoration of images and relics, of pilgrimages…..

By all this which hath been said it is plainly appears that the Pope most worthily deserves to be called the man of sin --- especially if you consider that in respect of several of the aforesaid sins, he is such a sinner as Jeroboam was, who caused all Israel to sin. For the Pope is not only an apostate, but he is also the head of the Catholic apostasy. Not only a heretic, but the false prophet who introduces popish heresies. Not only an Idolater and adulterer, but also the cause and author of these abomination in all the Christian world, making all sorts of men drunk with the wine of his fornication.

How the Pope is the Son of Perdition, the Lawless One

It remaineth, therefore, that we should consider whether the other two titles of Antichrist do belong to the Pope, namely, that he is the son of perdition and the outlaw or lawless person. As touching the former, there is no question that if he is the man of sin as has been proved, he is also the child of perdition in the same sense as Judas, John 17:12. And that he most justly deserves to be called the outlaw or lawless person it is most evident. Not only because he is a transgressor of the law, (for seeing every sin is a transgression of the law, therefore, by definition, the man of sin must needs be the outlaw), but also because he professes himself to be the son of Belial, that is to say, a man without yoke, who taketh himself to be bound to no law, but challenges authority to break all laws, or at least to dispense with them.

For first, as touching the laws and authority of men, “the Pope is not bound to any human law; he is subject to no law.” And “according to the fullness of power, he may dispense with the law above the law.” Yea, he may do all things, “above law, against law, and without law.”[49] And therefore, above all others is worthy to be called the outlaw. And as for human authority, “he is to judge all, but to be judged of none.” “Not the whole clergy, nor the whole world may judge the Pope or depose him.”

Neither doth he indeed subject himself to the law of God. For he not only dispense with the word and law of God, as you heard before, but also thinks he may lawfully break the laws of God. “He hath been made to believe that he may do all things, even unlawful things, and that he is more than God,” as Francis Zabarella says. And therefore some of them, when they have been admonished of their wicked practices, have answered, “Am I not Pope?,” thereby signifying that as Pope he may do as he wishes. Neither is he indeed subject to any other law, but to his own will, or rather, lust. “In those things which he wills, his will is reason alone.” “He is subject to no law, and his judgment is in the place of the law.” So that the Pope is the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning Antiochus, the type of Antichrist, that he would do as he listeth,[50] and that his will would be to him the law. To this purpose his followers say that he is “a living law, and hath all laws in the closet of his breast, that he can of wrong make right, of injustice make righteousness, that to him all things are lawful. That the Pope’s power is absolute, extending as far as he wills. That he may not be accused of Simony, murder, adultery, nor any other crime, excepting heresy.” Others writers add heresy to the list of crimes the Pope cannot commit! Nay, his actions may not be inquired into, neither may any man say to him, “Sir, why do you thus?” Yea, it is viewed no less than a sacrilege to call into question the Pope’s laws or to judge his actions. To do so “is to set a man’s face against heaven.” To accuse him is to commit the sin against the holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the world to come.

But what if it is apparent that the Pope has committed adultery or murder, or that he is a wicked man, as indeed many of them have been monsters of men? Forsooth, “the actions of the Pope must be interpreted in a good and positive light.” For if the actions a priest seen to be over familiar with a woman are to be thought as beneficial, for the purpose of blessing her, then how much more is it to be presumed in the Pope’s behalf. Or if the Pope’s acts are so black as to admit no other interpretation, then the evidence against the Pope must be excused, as were the murders committed by Sampson, the thefts of the Hebrews, and the adultery of Jacob.

And as touching his person, though the Pope be ever so wicked, he is always presumed to be good. “For who would doubt that he is holy (saith the Pope of himself) whom the height of so great honor advances?” And again, “There is a certain spirituality according to state, when a man is in the most holy and most spiritual state, and in this state is the Pope alone. And therefore everyone must call him most holy Father.”

Seeing, therefore, that the Pope is the man of sin, and a most notorious transgressor of God’s laws, seeing he holdeth himself bound to no law but esteems his own lust for a law; seeing his transgressions of the law must not be called into question, but either must be commended as virtuous actions, or excused as if done by divine instinct; seeing that though he be never so wicked, he must be deemed most holy by virtue of his papal office, it cannot be denied, but that above all men he most deserves to be called άνομος [51] : the outlaw or lawless person.

Part Five >> Table of Contents >> Title Index


[1] Also known as John 23rd.

[2] Luitprandus lib. 6. Fascic. temp.

[3] E. g., Platina, Fascic. tempo. Stelli.

[4] A. D. 999-1003.

[5] A. D. 1073-1085.

[6] A. D. 1012-1024; 1033-1044.

[7] A. D. 1044-1046.

[8] Bal ex Mario, Mat. Paris. in Henr.3.

[9] A. D. 1243-1254.

[10] A. D. 1342-1352.

[11] Gregory 13; A. D. 1572-1585.

[12] Sixtus 5; A. D. 1585-1590.

[13] I.e., Dominican terrorist.

[14] A. D. 1492-1603.

[15] A. D. 1534-1549.

[16] Bal. de Rom. Pont. act.

[17] A. D. 1378-1389.

[18] I.e., buying and selling.

[19] A. D. 858-867.

[20] A. D. 872-882.

[21] A. D. 904-911.

[22] A. D. 931-936.

[23] A. D. 956-964.

[24] A. D. 965-972.

[25] A. D. 972-973.

[26] A. D. 1334-1342. There is controversy over whether this Pope was actually Benedict 11th according to strict chronology.

[27] A. D. 903-904.

[28] A. D. 1455-1458.

[29] A. D. 1044-1046.

[30] A. D. 1073-1085.

[31] A. D. 1087.

[32] A. D. 1243-1254.

[33] A. D. 1484-1492.

[34] A. D. 1277-1280.

[35] A. D. 1281-1285.

[36] A. D. 1294-1303.

[37] A. D. 1305-1314.

[38] A. D. 1342-1352.

[39] A. D. 1523-1534.

[40] A. D. 1592-1605. He was contemporary with Downame.

[41] A. D. 1555-1559.

[42] A. D. 1585-1590.

[43] I.e., orders who take solemn vows.

[44] Romans 1:24.

[45] Cant. Serm. 66.

[46] See John Bales, Acts of the Pontiffs.

[47] Matthew Paris.

[48] II Peter 2:3.

[49] This quote, the previous quotes, and the quotes which follow are from authoritative Catholic Church decrees, glosses and papal bulls, including that of Innocent 3rd and John 23rd.

[50] Daniel 11: 36 ff.

[51] II Thess. 2:8: ‘without the law,’ translated in the KJV as ‘that Wicked’.