The use of forgery by the Papists and the Pseudo Isidorian Orders.      

By Achilleas V. Pitsilkas, The true “ROCK” OF FAITH AND OF LIFE
Published by “Orthodox Kipseli”.

        The completely unsupportable, anti-evangelical, anti-patristic and contrary to every dogmatic understanding of the primacy of jurisdiction of the Pope, based on the false interpretation of the word “petra” spoken by the Lord to the Apostle Peter, it finally becomes obvious by the use of forgery by the papists. Namely, when the papists saw that their claims on domination were not at all well received by the East, they decided to use the anti-Christian method of historical forgery, with which after a certain time they arrived at the so called Pseudo-Constantinian Gift and later the so called Pseudo-Isidorian Orders, which aimed at supporting the perceptions of the jurisdictional primacy of the Popes and at the same time to combat the theocratic ideas of the emperors.

Because of this, according to Stephanidis, “they were likened to the huge magical sword of the legendary Ziegrfried” which was forged in the mid- 9th century to be used in the battles of the Popes as a potent weapon, turned against every other ecclesiastical authority. (From the book of V. Stephanidis, Ecclesiastic History, Athens 1959, p300).

The Pseudo-Constatinian Gift.


The forgery was characterized as the pseudo-Constantinian Gift made ostensibly by the Great Constantine when he departed from the west, ceding to the then Pope Silvester, who healed the emperor from the disease of leprosy, “the rule of the western nation, imperial authority, imperial honours and imperial insignia” (K. Muratidis, Relations of the Church and Society, from the Orthodox viewpoint and the recent directions in the ecclesiology and sociology, Athens 1965, p. 140).


When did it first appear in the limelight of history?

        The so called Gift of Great Constantine to Pope Silvester was used for the first time as truth, by Pope Adrian in the letter he sent to the Great Charles (Charlesmagne) in the latter part of the 8th century (771-795), so that he may recognize and attribute to his person all the privileges and rights that it comprises. From that period and for more than 800 years, this “Gift” was presented by the papists as truth, despite the obvious fakeness it comprised, until the fakeness and forgery was proved by the west’s researchers. “As much as the deceit was inept, notes the historian Fleury, it however deceived the Latin Church and for a period of 800 years they considered this as the truth as soon as they let it go during the past century, yet today every one, no matter how well brought up, is easily convinced of this deceit.

The content of the pseudo-Constantinian Gift

        According to this myth, the Pope of Rome Silvester (313-335) healed, as we said earlier, the Great Constantine, from the disease of leprosy he suffered from, and baptized him Christian. For this reason, allegedly the Great Constantine gave as a gift, the rule over the whole Church, which contained these main items:

  • 1. The primacy of the Pope, above all kingdoms and worldly thrones
  • 2. The jurisdictional primacy over all ecclesiastic thrones of the East, namely above the Alexandrian throne, as well as Antioch’s, Jerusalem’s and Constantinople’s and in general over all the Churches in the World.
  • 3. The gift of the Lateran Palace, the royal diadem, of the umbilical rope and of the omophorion that “surrounds” the royal neck, of the purple robe, of the red tunic and of the royal raiment and the rights over the royal horses. Over the above are included much more, and even the Royal scepter, the seals and the other royal decorations of highness.
  • 4. The possibility of the Pope to wear the royal diadem, namely the golden crown, decorated with priceless pearls “to the pleasure of God and honour of the holy and highest of the Apostles.
  • 5. The duty of the kings and rulers of nations to hold the reins of his horse so that it be glorified “beyond the earthly kingdom and decked in the nation’s glory.
  • 6. The transfer of the kingdom to areas of the east, because it was felt unjust to have the worldly king his headquarters there, where the hierarchy of clergy and the head of the true religion was located”! (From the book by Ralli and Potli, Synaxis of the Holy Canons, 6th Vol, p 261).

How the forgery of the pseudo Constantinian Gift is proved.


       The lie and forgery of this gift becomes obvious through a large number of reasons especially from the following:

From historical errors

       With this gift reference was made of the Patriarch of Constantinople during the period of the Great Constantine, yet not only there was no Patriarch but even the City of Constantinople did not then exist! It is also said that this gift was in accordance with the knowledge and consent of the senators of the Emperor, when during that period the Senate was still idolatric and until then the Emperor Valentian offered sacrifices to the idols (St. Nectarios of Egina). The Great Constantine, according to this gift, distributed to his three sons the regions they took over to govern, donating to the Pope the referred to in the gift regions, when during the reign of the Emperor Justinian (527-565) the regions of South Italy, Sicily etc were under the rule of the emperor!
Exactly because of these historical errors it was later noted that “nothing is greater lie than the fantastic gift of Rome and of the western kingdom to Pope Silvester 1st by Great Constantine (Nectarios Pentapoleos, Historical reasons that led to the Schism, Issue 1, Athens 1999, p199).

By the early historians who refute the arguments of the pseudo Constantine gift.

       According to the historian Eusebio of Caesaria, Great Constantine was not baptized by the Pope Silvester (314-335) but by the cousin of the emperor Eusebio of Nikomedia, with the co-attendance of other bishops at a suburb of Nikomedia, a little before his death (on the life of Great Constantine, Vol 4, Chaps. 61,62,63), by the historian Sozomeno (Ecclesiastic History, Vol 2, Chap 32), by historian Socrates (Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 1, chap 39) etc. According to the above mentioned historians, Great Constantine’s baptism did not occur before the transference of the Capital from the West to the East, but after and more accurately before the end of his life. As concerns his sickness, he was never cured from it, since he died from it in 337. All these arguments that refer to the so called Constantinian Gift were erroneous and for this they are justly characterized as Pseudo-Constantinian.

From the more recent researchers who deny the validity of the Pseudo-Constantinian Gift.

       The first of the more recent researchers of the West who denied the validity of the Peudo-Constantinian Gift was Laurence Valla, who lived during the 15th century. Subsequently many more others wrote about this fallacy or more accurately this forgery and even the famous Dollinger who published his work, “On the Papist’s myths of the middle ages” in 1863 in Monaco, separating his position from Papism mainly due to the issue of primacy.

From the silence of the Popes until the 8th century AD

       All the Popes, successors of Silvester, who were active until the reign of Adrian 1st (771-795) never used nor did they ever mention the so called Great Constantinian Gift, despite their discords and frictions with many emperors. If for example, this gift had some historical basis, some snobbish popes would have surely used it, as a weapon, in their arguments they had every so often with the Byzantine Emperors.

From the anti-evangelical content and expression.

       When the papist forgers created the Pseudo-Constaninian Gift, they did not consider that with their creation they subverted in reality the whole teaching of the Lord, when He declared unequivocally the “learn from Me that I am meek and humble in the heart and find comfort in your heart (Matt 11:11:29). Namely, if a faithful studies the Bible and then the so called “Constantinian Gift” he will immediately discover from the content and style of the latter that ever since the Popes armoured themselves with this “Gift” they were not able henceforth to live, as the Lord had preached to His disciples “as sheep among wolves” in other words without being based on finances and on rods for their defense. For this K. Muratides noted that such adulteration of nature of the basically spiritual and other worldly organization of the Church constitutes complete aberration from the golden rule upon which the relationship with the State of the early Church was regulated (Relationships between Church and State from the Orthodox perspective, Vol. 1, Athens 1965, p141). The adulteration of the evangelical teaching, according to the above author, resulted in the beginning “of the longstanding tragedy” inducing the Bishop of Rome to become swamped “by worldly cares” and “depart from his main mission”.

About the so called “legalization” of the primacy, apparently by the Great Constantine.

       According to this “gift” the Pope did not receive the primacy either from the Apostle Peter or from the Church but from a worldly ruler. Great Constantine however, as emperor, could not grant such primacy, for in reality he did not receive from God such authority.

The Pseudo-Isidorian Orders.

       As if one blooper was not enough, in which the papists stumbled, to support the unsupportable, they unfortunately proceeded with another similar fabrication by mixing truths and lies, as will become apparent below, with the creation of the Pseudo-Isidorian Orders.

Why they are called Pseudo-Isidorian Orders

       The collection of adulterated papist orders was characterized as the Pseudo-Isidorian Orders, their drawing up being assigned to the Spaniard Isidor Mercator. This name was derived by the union of two authors, Isidor of Seville and from the author of translations of ecclesiastical decisions, Mario Mercator (V. Stephanides , Church History, Athens 1959 p299). With the name of Isidor of Seville (560-636), there existed an earlier collection of genuine canons and papist orders. In that collection, during the 9th century, 94 false decratelia were mixed with the truth in a satanic manner such as to reinforce the authority of the Popes against that of the emperors and the leaders of the other Churches. For this reason, historian V. Stephanides states, “No other adulteration in the global history was created with such a skill and no other had such great results”. From the said study, namely of the theological sources, according to the previous author, “elements were used” which were distorted in such a way to fit the desired by the papists meaning, without their terrible adulteration becoming easily perceptible.

The contents of the forged Orders.

       According to the texts of the pseudo-Isidorian Orders, the priesthood is the visible head of the Church, namely “caput totius orbi” (head of all ecumenism) having the total authority not only ecclesiastically but also over political matters. Also every bishop is the representative of the Pope from whom he receives his authority. For this reason from every bishop and whatever synod it is possible to request the Pope to resolve any argument, because him being the so called vicar of Christ on earth, has the prerogative to judge and to resolve every difference. Moreover, no synod can possibly convene or occur, whether local or ecumenical, without the express permission of the Pope! The decisions of the Synods however, have no validity if they are not finally approved by the officiating Pope, who is the highest judge and governor of the Church and above all Synods.

When they appeared.

         The Pseudo-Isidorian Orders appeared and used the first time by the Pope Nikolas 1st (858-867) about whom it was said, “he made himself emperor of the whole world”. The Pope himself arrogantly declared that the emperor received his authority from the apostle Peter and for this he is absolutely subordinate to him. For this reason in fact, according to K. Muratidis, he considered its use so imperative and necessary, the crowning and validation of the emperor by the Pope, “as was the royal lineage for the kings”(Relationship between Church and State, A Athens 1965, p. 138)

   What these forgeries and false Orders prove.

         The false and forged Pseudo-Isidorian Orders are apparent from many reasons and especially the following.

The reference of the papist encyclicals of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd century AD

       The forger of the Orders erred in including the papist encyclicals of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd centuries AD namely those of Clements, Anenglitus, Euvarestus etc, while no one of the early historians made any mention of these. Dionysios the Small, who was active in the 6th century, had collected according to saint Nectarios of Egina, early canons and papist encyclicals that were issued from 398 on, confirming at the same time that he found no papist orders before this year (Historical study, 1st Issue, Athens 1998 p190-191).

Interior reasons.

        In every unbiased study these papist orders appear as forged on internal grounds of which the most important are the following:

Apparent anachronisms.

        The bishop of Rome Miltiadis, who was Pope from 311 to 314, in those Orders he comments on the decisions of the 1st Ecumenical Synod (325) that took place after his death, while at the same time it maintains that the Pope, as head, had apparently the primacy of jurisdiction over the four patriarchates! The title however of the patriarch prevailed, according to much later historians, namely, during the years of the emperor Theodosius 2nd the Minor (408-450). From such anachronisms it becomes obvious the forger of these Orders was writing on events based on his period, without correctly considering the historical framework of the people he produced.

The Decretalia expressions.  

(Decretalia were Papal decrees giving decisions on points or questions of canon law)

       The expressions of the Pseudo Isidorian Orders are so supercilious to the Popes that they do not express the habits of the popes of that time but of much later on. For this reason many Roman Catholics such as Baronius, Bellarminus etc were forced to acknowledge the illegitimacy of these Orders.

The research of recent historians

        The illegitimacy of these Orders was proved in the most recent years for the first time by the Lutheran authors of the Magdenburgh centennial Flakios and the rest of the 16th century AD (from the book Nectarios of Egina). After the above, many more wrote about this adulteration, between who were also some Catholic researchers. For this reason today these Orders are not characterized as Isidorian but as Pseudo-Isidorian. “Following extensive research, one of the researchers Abbe Fleury, says about it, that they found (namely in the Decretalia) different excerpts of the Saints Leo and Gregory and other popes, who had lived much later of those who are referred as the publishers of the decretalia. Almost all their chronologies are concocted and the lie becomes totally obvious” (Livre quarante quatrieme CXXII p 157)