Saint Cyprian of Carthage…

…judges Francis’ defense of the Jovinian heresy

  • The virgins are the more illustrious portion of Christ’s flock

My address is now to virgins, whose glory, as it is more eminent, excites the greater interest. This is the flower of the ecclesiastical seed, the grace and ornament of spiritual endowment, a joyous disposition, the wholesome and uncorrupted work of praise and honour, God’s image answering to the holiness of the Lord, the more illustrious portion of Christ’s flock. The glorious fruitfulness of Mother Church rejoices by their means, and in them abundantly flourishes; and in proportion as a copious virginity is added to her number, so much the more it increases the joy of the Mother. (Saint Cyprian. Treatise on the dress of Virgins, no. 3)

…judges Francis’ idea that the Orthodox are no longer schismatics

  • Schisms have no other origin than that of refusing obedience to the one judge in the place of Christ in this world

Heresies and schisms have no other origin than that obedience is refused to the priest of God, and that men lose sight of the fact that there is one judge in the place of Christ in this world. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Epistle XII to Cornelius, no. 5, quoted by Leo XIII in the Encyclical Satis cognitum, no. 15, June 19, 1896)

  • Whoever is separated from the Church is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy

The spouse of Christ cannot be defiled; she is uncorrupted and chaste. She knows one home, with chaste modesty she guards the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God; she assigns the children whom she has created to the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined with an adulteress is separated from the promises of the Church, nor will he who has abandoned the Church arrive at the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He cannot have God as a father who does not have the Church as a mother. If whoever was outside the ark of Noah was able to escape, he too who is outside. the Church escapes. The Lord warns, saying: ‘He who is not with me is against me, and who does not gather with me, scatters.’ He who breaks the peace and concord of Christ acts against Christ; he who gathers somewhere outside the Church scatters the Church of Christ. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the Unity of the Catholic Church, II, 6)

  • Darkness with light cannot coexist: they have gone forth from us, they were not of us

Congratulations are due, when such as these are separated from the Church, lest they prey upon the doves and sheep with their cruel and venomous contagion. Bitterness cannot cling and join with sweetness, darkness with light, rains with clear weather, fighting with peace, sterility with fecundity, drought with running waters, storm with calm. Let no one think that the good can depart from the Church; the wind does not ravage the wheat, nor does the storm overturn the tree strongly and solidly rooted; the light straws are tossed about by the tempest; the feeble trees are thrown down by the onrush of the whirlwind. The Apostle Paul execrates and strikes at these, when he says: ‘They have gone forth from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us.’ Hence heresies have both frequently arisen and are arising, while the perverse mind has no peace, while discordant perfidy does not maintain unity. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the Unity of the Catholic Church, 9-10)

  • Whoever has separated himself from the Church is to be shunned

Such a one is to be turned away from, and whoever has separated himself from the Church is to be shunned. Such a man is perverted and sins and is condemned by his very self. […] That man bears arms against the Church; he fights against God’s plan. An enemy of the altar, a rebel against the sacrifice of Christ, for the faith faithless, for religion sacrilegious, a disobedient servant, an impious son, a hostile brother, despising the bishops and abandoning the priests of God, he dares to set up another altar, to compose another prayer with unauthorized words, to profane the truth of the Lord’s offering by false sacrifices, and not to know that he who struggles against God’s plan on account of his rash daring is punished by divine censure. […] (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the Unity of the Catholic Church, II, 6)

…judges Francis’ idea that it is no longer necessary to declare one’s sins to a confessor to be pardoned

  • A new kind of devastation has appeared under the title of mercy; and the wounds of the dying are covered over

Moreover, beloved brethren, a new kind of devastation has appeared; and, as if the storm of persecution had raged too little, there has been added to the heap, under the title of mercy, a deceiving mischief and a fair-seeming calamity. […] They do not seek for the patience necessary to health nor the true medicine derived from atonement. Penitence is driven forth from their breasts, and the memory of their very grave and extreme sin is taken away. The wounds of the dying are covered over, and the deadly blow that is planted in the deep and secret entrails is concealed by a dissimulated suffering. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Treatise III, De Lapsis, no. 15)

…judges Francis’ attitude towards public sinners, changing Vatican protocol

  • He who soothes the sinner furnishes the stimulus to sin – the priest must not mislead by deceiving concessions

For, as it is written, ‘They who call you happy cause you to err, and destroy the paths of your feet,’ he who soothes the sinner with flattering blandishments furnishes the stimulus to sin; nor does he repress, but nourishes wrong-doing. But he who, with braver counsels, rebukes at the same time that he instructs a brother, urges him onward to salvation. ‘As many as I love,’ saith the Lord, ‘I rebuke and chasten.’ And thus also it behooves the Lord’s priest not to mislead by deceiving concessions, but to provide with salutary remedies. He is an unskillful physician who handles the swelling edges of wounds with a tender hand, and, by retaining the poison shut up in the deep recesses of the body, increases it. The wound must be opened, and cut, and healed by the stronger remedy of cutting out the corrupting parts. The sick man may cry out, may vociferate, and may complain, in impatience of the pain; but he will afterwards give thanks when he has felt that he is cured. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Book on the Lapsed, no 14, ML 4, 477-478)

  • The need of righteousness, that one may deserve well of God the Judge

Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. There is need of righteousness, that one may deserve well of God the Judge; we must obey His precepts and warnings, that our merits may receive their reward. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The Unity of the Church, 15)

…judges Francis’ idea on conversion of the papacy

  • The form of the Church comes from the words of Christ: ‘thou art Peter’

Thence, [that thou art Peter] through the changes of times and successions, the ordering of bishops and the plan of the Church flow onwards […] (Saint Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle XXVI)

  • The Lord established by His authority the origin of the same unity as beginning from one

Upon him, being one, He builds His Church, and although after His resurrection He bestows equal power upon all the Apostles, and says: ‘As the Father has sent me, I also send you. Receive ye the Holy Spirit: if you forgive the sins of anyone, they will be forgiven him; if you retain the sins of anyone, they will be retained’, yet that He might display unity, He established by His authority the origin of the same unity as beginning from one. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The unity of the Catholic Church, Ch. 4)

  • Does he who strives against the Church and resists her think that he is in the Church?

This one Church, also, the Holy Spirit in the Canticle of Canticles designates in the person of the Lord and says: ‘One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen one of her that bore her’ (Ct 6:8). Does he who does not hold this unity think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against the Church and resists her think that he is in the Church […]? (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The unity of the Catholic Church, Ch. 4)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church’s fault for the Anglican schism

  • Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined with an adulteress is separated from the promises of the Church

The spouse of Christ cannot be defiled; she is uncorrupted and chaste. She knows one home, with chaste modesty she guards the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God; she assigns the children whom she has created to the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined with an adulteress is separated from the promises of the Church, nor will he who has abandoned the Church arrive at the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He cannot have God as a father who does not have the Church as a mother. If whoever was outside the ark of Noe was able to escape, he too who is outside. the Church escapes. The Lord warns, saying: ‘He who is not with me is against me, and who does not gather with me, scatters.’ He who breaks the peace and concord of Christ acts against Christ; he who gathers somewhere outside the Church scatters the Church of Christ. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage, The unity of the Catholic Church, II, 6)

…judges Francis’ idea on Ecumenical dialogue

  • Let no one corrupt the truth of the faith by perfidious prevarication

Does he who strives against and resists the Church trust that he is in the Church, when moreover the blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same thing, and sets forth the sacrament of unity, saying, ‘There is one body and one spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God?’ And this unity we ought firmly to hold and assert, especially those of us that are bishops who preside in the Church, that we may also prove the episcopate itself to be one and undivided. Let no one deceive the brotherhood by a falsehood: let no one corrupt the truth of the faith by perfidious prevarication. […] The Church also is one, which is spread abroad far and wide into a multitude by an increase of fruitfulness. As there are many rays of the sun, but one light. […] Her fruitful abundance spreads her branches over the whole world. She broadly expands her rivers, liberally flowing, yet her hear is one, her source one; and she is one mother, plentiful in the results of fruitfulness. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the unity of the Church, II, 5)

  • Whoever is separated from the Church is joined to an adulteress

The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church. The Lord warns, saying ‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathereth not with me scattereth.’ He who breaks the peace and the concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ; he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the unity of the Church, II, 6)

…judges Francis’ idea on Catholic Faith and Luteran belief

  • He who gathers elsewhere than in the Church, scatters – Whoever is separated from the Church: is joined to an adulteress and does not attain the rewards of Christ

The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If anyone could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church. The Lord warns, saying, ‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathereth not with me scattereth.’ He who breaks the peace and the concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ; he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the Unity of the Church, II, 6)

  • Only the heads of the Church are allowed to baptize and to give remission of sins

For first of all the Lord gave that power to Peter, upon whom He built the Church, and whence He appointed and showed the source of unity-the power, namely, that whatsoever he loosed on earth should be loosed in heaven. And after the resurrection, also, He speaks to the apostles, saying, ‘As the Father hath sent me, even so I send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith, unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.’ Whence we perceive that only they who are set over the Church and established in the Gospel law, and in the ordinance of the Lord, are allowed to baptize and to give remission of sins; but that without, nothing can either be bound or loosed, where there is none who can either bind or loose anything. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Epistle LXXII to Ubaianus, concerning the baptism of heretics, no. 7)

  • Baptism of those outside the Church falsely assumes the resemblance of baptism and frustrates the grace of faith by shadowy pretence – it is adulterous and profane

But we who hold the head and root of the one Church know, and trust for certain, that nothing is lawful there outside the Church, and that the baptism which is one is among us, […] Therefore we ought to consider their faith who believe without, whether in respect of the same faith they can obtain any grace. For if we and heretics have one faith, we may also have one grace. […] confess the same Father, the same Son, the same Holy Ghost, the same Church with us, they may also have one baptism if they have also one faith. […] moreover, with the other heretics nay, with them there is nothing but perfidy, and blasphemy, and contention, which is hostile to holiness and truth. How then can one who is baptized among them seem to have obtained mission of sins, and the grace of the divine mercy, by his faith, when he has not the truth of the faith itself? For if, as some suppose, one could receive anything abroad out of the Church according to his faith, certainly he has received what he believed; but if he believes what is false, he could not receive what is true; but rather he has received things adulterous and profane, according to what he believed. This matter of profane and adulterous baptism Jeremiah the prophet plainly rebukes, saying, ‘Why do they who afflict me prevail? My wound is hard; whence shall I be healed? while it has indeed become unto me as deceitful water which has no faithfulness’ (Jer 15:18). The Holy Spirit makes mention by the prophet of deceitful water which has no faithfulness. What is this deceitful and faithless water? Certainly that which falsely assumes the resemblance of baptism, and frustrates the grace of faith by a shadowy pretence. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Epistle LXXII to Ubaianus, concerning the baptism of heretics, no. 2.4 – 6)

  • Why do we receive an adulterous and alien church, a foe to the divine unity, when we know only one Christ and His one Church?

It is a good soldier’s duty to defend the camp of his general against rebels and enemies. It is the duty of an illustrious leader to keep the standards entrusted to him. It is written, ‘The Lord thy God is a jealous God’ (Deut 4:24). We who have received the Spirit of God ought to have a jealousy for the divine faith; with such a jealousy as that wherewith Phineas both pleased God and justly allayed His wrath when He was angry, and the people were perishing. Why do we receive as allowed an adulterous and alien church, a foe to the divine unity, when we know only one Christ and His one Church? The Church, setting forth the likeness of paradise, includes within her walls fruit-bearing trees, whereof that which does not bring forth good fruit is cut off and is cast into the fire. These trees she waters with four rivers, that is, with the four Gospels, wherewith, by a celestial inundation, she bestows the grace of saving baptism. Can anyone water from the Church’s fountains who is not within the Church? Can one impart those wholesome and saving draughts of paradise to any one if he is perverted, and of himself condemned, and banished outside the fountains of paradise, and has dried up and failed with the dryness of an eternal thirst? (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Epistle LXXII to Ubaianus, concerning the baptism of heretics, no. 10)

…judges Francis’ idea that Jesus is only mercy

  • He who soothes the sinner with flattering blandishments furnishes the stimulus to sin

For, as it is written, ‘They who call you happy cause you to err, and destroy the paths of your feet,’ he who soothes the sinner with flattering blandishments furnishes the stimulus to sin; nor does he repress, but nourishes wrong-doing. But he who, with braver counsels, rebukes at the same time that he instructs a brother, urges him onward to salvation. ‘As many as I love,’ saith the Lord, ‘I rebuke and chasten.’ And thus also it behooves the Lord’s priest not to mislead by deceiving concessions, but to provide with salutary remedies. He is an unskillful physician who handles the swelling edges of wounds with a tender hand, and, by retaining the poison shut up in the deep recesses of the body, increases it. The wound must be opened, and cut, and healed by the stronger remedy of cutting out the corrupting parts. The sick man may cry out, may vociferate, and may complain, in impatience of the pain; but he will afterwards give thanks when he has felt that he is cured. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the lapsed, no. 14: ML 4, 477-478)

…judges Francis’ idea that Koran is a book of peace

  • Those who stand firm in the faith remember that they have obtained grace in the Church

The greater and better part of the confessors stand firm in the strength of their faith, and in the truth of the law and discipline of the Lord; neither do they depart from the peace of the Church, who remember that they have obtained grace in the Church by the condescension of God. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the Unity of the Church, no. 22)

…judges Francis’ idea on sects forming part of the Church

  • Unity cannot be severed, nor can one body be separated by a division of its structure

God is one, and Christ is one, and His Church is one, and the faith is one, and the people is joined into a substantial unity of body by the cement of concord. Unity cannot be severed; nor can one body be separated by a division of its structure, nor torn into pieces, with its entrails wrenched asunder by laceration. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The Unity of the Church, no. 23)

  • We are to be congratulated when the evil are separated from the Church

We are to be congratulated when such as these are separated from the Church, lest they should lay waste the doves and sheep of Christ with their cruel and envenomed contagion. Bitterness cannot consist and be associated with sweetness, darkness with light, rain with clearness, battle with peace, barrenness with fertility, drought with springs, storm with tranquility. Let none think that the good can depart from the Church. The wind does not carry away the wheat, nor does the hurricane uproot the tree that is based on a solid root. The light straws are tossed about by the tempest, the feeble trees are overthrown by the onset of the whirlwind. The Apostle John execrates and severely assails these, when he says, ‘They went forth from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, surely they would have continued with us’ (1Jn 2:19). Hence heresies not only have frequently been originated, but continue to be so; while the perverted mind has no peace — while a discordant faithlessness does not maintain unity. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the Unity of the Church, no. 9-10)

…judges Francis’ criteria for the nomination of Bishops

  • We ought to choose none but unstained and upright ministers

Having which things before our eyes, and solicitously and religiously considering them, we ought in the ordinations of priests to choose none but unstained and upright ministers, who, holily and worthily offering sacrifices to God, may be heard in the prayers which they make for the safety of the Lord’s people, since it is written, God hears not a sinner; but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does His will, him He hears (Jn 9:31). On which account it is fitting, that with full diligence and sincere investigation those should be chosen for God’s priesthood whom it is manifest God will hear. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Epistle 67, to the Clergy and People Abiding in Spain, no. 2)

…judges Francis’ idea on asking prayers from non-catholics and atheists

  • ‘Where there are two or three, I am with them’: Christ is speaking to those who are in the Church, and not of schismatics

For when the Lord urged unanimity and peace upon His disciples, He said: ‘I say to you that if two of you agree upon earth concerning anything whatsoever that you shall ask, it shall be granted you by my Father who is in heaven. For wherever two or three have gathered together in my name, I am with them, ‘showing that the most is granted not to the multitude but to the unanimity of those that pray. […] but rebuking the faithless for their discord and commanding peace to the faithful by His word, He shows that He is with two or three who pray with one mind rather than with a great many who are in disagreement, and that more can be obtained by the harmonious prayer of a few than by the discordant supplication of many. […] The Lord, moreover, is speaking of His Church, and He is speaking to those who are in the Church, that if they are in agreement […] Where there are two or three, I am with them,’ He who established and made the Church did not separate men from the Church, but rebuking the faithless for their discord and commanding peace to the faithful by His word, He shows that He is with two or three who pray with one mind rather than with a great many who are in disagreement, and that more can be obtained by the harmonious prayer of a few than by the discordant supplication of many. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The Unity of the Catholic Church, XII, PL 4, 508-509)

…judges Francis’ ideas on the Church closed and ailing

  • By heresy, the unrighteous are distinguished from the righteous as the chaff from the wheat

It is needful also that there should be heresies, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you’ (1Cor 11:19). Thus the faithful are approved, thus the perfidious are detected; thus even here, before the day of judgment, the souls of the righteous and of the unrighteous are already divided, and the chaff is separated from the wheat. These are they who of their own accord, without any divine arrangement, set themselves to preside among the daring strangers assembled, who appoint themselves prelates without any law of ordination […] whom the Holy Spirit points out in the Psalms as sitting in the seat of pestilence, plagues, and spots of the faith, deceiving with serpent’s tongue, and artful in corrupting the truth, vomiting forth deadly poisons from pestilential tongues; whose speech doth creep like a cancer, whose discourse forms a deadly poison in the heart and breast of every one. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. De unitate Eclesiae, no. 10, ML 4: 507)

 …judges Francis’ idea on the immortality of the soul

  • This journey of time ends with death, but then there is eternity

That in the meantime we die, we are passing over to immortality by death; nor can eternal life follow, unless it should befall us to depart from this life. That is not an ending, but a transit, and, this journey of time being traversed, a passage to eternity. (Saint Cyprian. Liber de Mortalitate, no. 22: PG 4, 597)

…judges Francis’ idea on the role of non-christian religions

  • He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother

He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. De Unitate Ecclesiae, 6: ML 4, 503)

…judges Francis’ idea on religious liberty

  • Let no one corrupt the truth of the faith by perfidious prevarication

Moreover the blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same thing, and sets forth the sacrament of unity, saying, ‘There is one body and one spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God?’ And this unity we ought firmly to hold and assert, especially those of us that are bishops who preside in the Church, that we may also prove the episcopate itself to be one and undivided. Let no one deceive the brotherhood by a falsehood: let no one corrupt the truth of the faith by perfidious prevarication. […] Thus also the Church, Shone over with the light of the Lord, Sheds forth her rays over the whole world, yet it is one light which is everywhere diffused, nor is the unity of the body separated. Her fruitful abundance spreads her branches over the whole world. She broadly expands her rivers, liberally flowing, yet her head is one, her source one; and she is one mother, plentiful in the results of fruitfulness: from her womb we are born, by her milk we are nourished, by her spirit we are animated. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage, De unitate Ecclesiae, no. 4-5)

  • The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous – She knows one home

The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church. The Lord warns, saying, ‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathereth not with me scattereth.’ He who breaks the peace and the concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. De unitate Ecclesiae, no. 6)

…judges Francis’ idea on our sins drawing us close to Jesus

  • There is need of righteousness, that one may deserve well of God the Judge; the Lord says ‘I know you not’ to those who work iniquity

For both to prophesy and to cast out devils, and to do great acts upon the earth is certainly a sublime and an admirable thing; but one does not attain the kingdom of heaven although he is found in all these things, unless he walks in the observance of the right and just way. The Lord denounces, and says, Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. There is need of righteousness, that one may deserve well of God the Judge; we must obey His precepts and warnings, that our merits may receive their reward. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The Unity of the Church, 15)

…judges the act of seeking blessings from heretics and schismatics

  • Jesus Christ is not pleased with the prayer of schismatics: how can two or three be gathered in the name of Christ when separated Him?

For when the Lord urged unanimity and peace upon His disciples, He said: ‘I say to you that if two of you agree upon earth concerning anything whatsoever that you shall ask, it shall be granted you by my Father who is in heaven. For wherever two or three have gathered together in my name, I am with them,’ showing that the most is granted not to the multitude but to the unanimity of those that pray. […] But how can he agree with anyone, who does not agree with the body of the Church herself and with the universal brotherhood? How can two or three be gathered in the name of Christ, who it is clear are separated from Christ and His gospel? For we did not withdraw from them, but they from us, and when thereafter heresies and schisms arose, […] The Lord, moreover, is speaking of His Church, and He is speaking to those who are in the Church, that if they are in agreement […]: ‘Where there are two or three, I am with them,’ He who established and made the Church did not separate men from the Church, but rebuking the faithless for their discord and commanding peace to the faithful by His word, He shows that He is with two or three who pray with one mind rather than with a great many who are in disagreement, and that more can be obtained by the harmonious prayer of a few than by the discordant supplication of many. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The unity of the Catholic Church, ch. XII)

  • Shun those who compose prayers with unauthorized words and profane the Lord’s offering by false sacrifices – they bear arms against the Church

Such a one is to be turned away from, and whoever has separated himself from the Church is to be shunned. “Such a man is perverted and sins and is condemned by his very self” (Tit 3, 11). […] That man bears arms against the Church; he fights against God’s plan. An enemy of the altar, a rebel against the sacrifice of Christ, for the faith faithless, for religion sacrilegious, a disobedient servant, an impious son, a hostile brother, despising the bishops and abandoning the priests of God, he dares to set up another altar, to compose another prayer with unauthorized words, to profane the truth of the Lord’s offering by false sacrifices, and not to know that he who struggles against God’s plan on account of his rash daring is punished by divine censure. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage. The unity of the Catholic Church, ch. XII)

…judges Francis’ ideas on a heretic being a martyr

  • The Blood Shed by a Schismatic does not Wash Away the Stain of Sin

Do they deem that they have Christ with them when they are collected together, who are gathered together outside the Church of Christ? Even if such men were slain in confession of the Name, that stain is not even washed away by blood: the inexpiable and grave fault of discord is not even purged by suffering. He cannot be a martyr who is not in the Church; he cannot attain unto the kingdom who forsakes that which shall reign there. Christ gave us peace; He bade us be in agreement, and of one mind. He charged the bonds of love and charity to be kept uncorrupted and inviolate; he cannot show himself a martyr who has not maintained brotherly love. (Saint Cyprian of Carthage, On the Unity of the Church, p.II, n. 13-14ML 4, 510-511)

  • The Torments Suffered by a Schismatic do not Serve as a Crown, but rather a Chastisement for his Perfidy

 They cannot dwell with God who would not be of one mind in God’s Church. Although they burn, given up to flames and fires, or lay down their lives, thrown to the wild beasts, that will not be the crown of faith, but the punishment of perfidy; nor will it be the glorious ending of religious valor, but the destruction of despair. Such a one may be slain; crowned he cannot be. He professes himself to be a Christian in such a way as the devil often feigns himself to be Christ, as the Lord Himself forewarns us, and says, “Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many” (Mk 13:16). As he is not Christ, although he deceives in respect of the name; so neither can he appear as a Christian who does not abide in the truth of His Gospel and of faith.(Saint Cyprian of Carthage. On the Unity of the Church, p.II, n.14 – ML 4, 510-511)

  • The Baptism of Blood is Useless to a Heretic

 Can the power of baptism be greater or of more avail than confession, than suffering, when one confesses Christ before men and is baptized in his own blood? And yet even this baptism does not benefit a heretic, although he has confessed Christ, and been put to death outside the Church, unless the patrons and advocates of heretics declare that the heretics who are slain in a false confession of Christ are martyrs, and assign to them the glory and the crown of martyrdom contrary to the testimony of the apostle, who says that it will profit them nothing although they were burnt and slain. (1Cor 13:3)  (Saint Cyprian of Carthage, Epistle LXXII (to Jubaianus), n. 21 – CSEL III/1, 794)

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