Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Mythical Fall of Pope St. Marcellinus

Mirror link

MYTH
Pope St. Marcellinus apostatized, turned over the sacred books, and offered incense to pagan gods

Unprovable Charge Comes From Unreliable Sources
1. Anglican scholar John Norman Davidson Kelly (†3/31/1997), author of The Oxford Dictionary of Popes says that Pope St. Marcellinus (6/30/296-10/25/304) gave up the Sacred Books and offered incense to pagan gods.{1} The most that the historian can conclude from the accusation of Donatist Bishop Petilianus of Constantine in Africa is that there were rumors to to that effect in Africa.{2} The heretic could not provide any proof of his assertion, nor could anyone else,{3} or else the Doctor of Grace, Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo [Against the Letters of Petilianus], could not have so firmly vouched for the maligned pope.{4} Furthermore, the holy pope was not named in the document brought by the Donatists to the Catholic-Donatist conference in Carthage, "the Acts of confiscation of the church buildings at Rome."{5}

Pope St. Marcellinus Was Not A Martyr
2. It is not the case that Pope St. Marcellinus apostatized, repented, and sought and obtained martyrdom. Not one reliable source from the fourth and fifth centuries calls him a martyr.{6} He is not in the list of martyrs in the 354 Roman "Chronograph," nor is he in the Martyrology of St. Jerome{7}. Eusebius of Caesarea would have expressly stated that Pope St. Marcellinus was a martyr if he in fact died for the faith.{8}

Notes & References
{1} "Marcellinus, St." The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. J. N. D. Kelly. with new material by Michael Walsh. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Fordham University. 9 December 2009 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t99.e31>.
{2} Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Pope Saint Marcellinus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 9 Dec. 2009 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09637d.htm>.
{3} Ibid.
{4} Ibid.
{5} Ibid.
{6} Ibid.
{7} Ibid.
{8} Ibid.

No comments: