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From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope
Then the popes began to seize kingdoms for themselves. They transferred kingdoms. They troubled the kings of almost all European nations with unjust excommunications and wars, but especially the German emperors. Sometimes they did this for the purpose of occupying Italian cities, while at other times for the purpose of incapacitating German bishops, and forcing from emperors the right of appointing bishops. Indeed, it is even written in the Clementines, “When the empire is vacant, the pope is the legitimate successor.”
Pulling It Together
God rules the world with both left and right hands. The left-handed governance is the administrations of both state and church. If it has to do with the flesh, with property and daily life, it is likely the left hand at work in our lives. The right-handed rule of God is spiritual; it operates through faith alone. Generally, the left hand does not understand what the right hand is doing. As a result, the physical and earthly tries to dominate the spiritual and heavenly aspects of life. Nevertheless, human governments—whether civil or religious—have no divine right to make demands on the spirit, forcing people to believe one thing or another. Accordingly, the right hand has no business dictating law to the left hand, or seizing its property.
Prayer: Help me to keep the faith, Lord, and so, continue to live according to the Spirit. Amen.
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