Tuesday, May 16, 2017

... on Pope, James I, Divine Right

What did the Roman Catholic Church think when James l and subsequent monarchs started claiming rule by divine right?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
Answered 18h ago
That depends on what exact domain you speak of as “by divine right” and how direct the divine right is supposed to be.

Pope rules Church by divine right, normally not being appointed by any monarch (though it happened).

King rules a country by divine right, mediated by at least the blessing of either the Pope or one of his bishops.

This means, the King’s divine right is subsidiary to that of the Church, not above it.

Brian Epstein
2h ago
I had no idea that the monarchs entertained divine right by the church's leave, although it certainly makes sense, there couldn't have been many crazy enough to claim supremacy over the Vatican at that point in history. Do you know if they threatened the title for leverage? Lol nvm, of course they did

Hans-Georg Lundahl
James I did not claim he had supremacy over Church State, but either that Holy Roman Emperor or that Pope had it.

Pope as secular prince, that is.

James I very much DID claim he had supremacy over Church in England, Scotland and Ireland, and he motivated this by claiming the divine right of Kings was direct, and superior to Church as a visible body.

In other words, he was saying that Church in any parish in London, Church in any parish in Oxford etc belong to exactly ONE visible society ultimately and sovereignly higher than themselves, that one being the Kingdom of England. He pretended that the Church universal was only a VIRTUAL society, not a visible one.

The Pope and James I’s Cardinal Bellarmine (though I have not yet read the controversies, except one excerpt due to correcting a misquote) on the other hand considered that a parish in London or Oxford owes loyalty to TWO visible societies higher than themselves:

  • as Christians, to the Catholic Church
  • then only, as Englishmen, to James I.

Both Pope and King having their right from God, but the Pope having the higher one.

Brian Epstein
1h ago
So if I understand correctly, they were granted divine right to rule by virtue of their being rulers?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
By virtue of them becoming rulers of a legitimate society.

If you put together ten bandits and are elected chief of them, for purposes of robbing people and cars on the highway, you don’t get a divine right to rule the other bandits, since your band is better off disbanded.

Also, you do not GET divine right by ALREADY being ruler of a legitimate society, you get the divine right as soon as you get to being ruler, basically.

Irrespective of how you get to being ruler (including elections, so presidents, if of legitimate societies and duly elected and not trying to oppress the legitimate society or turn it into sth else, also rule by divine right).

This means, while there is rule after popular election or rule after dynastic heritage, there is no rule by popular right or by hereditary right, in both these cases the moral authority behind the rule, as opposed to the means of accessing it, is God Himself.

Brian Epstein
3m ago
Good Lord the semantics! So means of ascension are unimportant to God in granting the moral authority to rule? That's a convenient loophole.

I suspect this now falls into my “Log out and get a book” file, thank you for assisting me in becoming this curious about the subject.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
No, ascension is not unimportant, since it needs to be either legal, or if irregular needs to have some good excuse for irregularity.

However, type of régime (as long as Church retains God’s own Constitution, with Pope and Bishops etc) is unimportant : God is basically a Constitutionalist (moderately, not in absurdum) who is accepting of any Constitution not against God.

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