Synopsis papismi, that is, A generall viewe of papistry wherein the whole mysterie of iniquitie, and summe of antichristian doctrine is set downe, which is maintained this day by the Synagogue of Rome, against the Church of Christ, together with an antithesis of the true Christian faith, and an antidotum or counterpoyson out of the Scriptures, against the whore of Babylons filthy cuppe of abominations: deuided into three bookes or centuries, that is, so many hundreds of popish heresies and errors. Collected by Andrew Willet Bachelor of Diuinity.
Willet, Andrew, 1562-1621.

THE NINTH QVESTION OF THE PRE∣rogatiues of the Pope.

BEside these priuiledges and immunities of the See of Rome, which hither∣to we haue spoken of both in spirituall and temporall matters, there are other prerogatiues, which haue been in times past giuen to the Bishops of Rome, most blasphemous & wicked, which the Papists of this age are ashamed of, and Page  154 therefore passe them ouer with silence: for Bellarmine saith nothing of them: Wee will therefore spare our labor in confuting of them, they are so grosse and absurd, but onely bring them forth, that the godly reader may vnderstand the a∣bomination of the whore of Babylon.

There are three monstrous and shameful prerogatiues, which the Canonists ascribed to the Pope in times past: and they are these, his power dispensatiue, his power exemptiue, his power transcendent, so we will call them at this time. [error 53] First, his prerogatiue in dispensing was wonderfull: it would offend a Christian eare, to heare what his grosse Canonists are nothing ashamed to say, Papa potest dispensare contra ius diuinum,* the Pope may dispence against the Lawe of God, contra ius naturae, against the Lawe of nature: contra Apostolum, against the Apostle, contra nouum testamentum, against the new Testament: Nay, Pa∣pa potest dispensare de omnibus praeceptis veteris & noui testamenti: the Pope may dispence with all the Commaundements both of the olde and new lawe. What intolerable blasphemies are here? The practises also of Popes are agreeable hereunto: for did not the Court of Rome dispence with King Henry the eights marriage with his brothers wife? but that vngodly dispensation at the last was ouerthrowne: and it was well concluded by act of Parliament: Anno. 1533. That no man had authoritie to dispence with Gods lawes.

[error 54] 2 Concerning his power exemptiue: the Pope (say they) is not bound to any lawe: No man is to iudge or accuse him of any crime, either of adulterie, murther, simonie, or such like. If he fall into adulterie, or homicide, hee can∣not bee accused,* but rather excused, by the murthers of Sampson, theftes of the Hebrues, the adulterie of Iacob. As Oziah was stricken for putting his hand to the Arke inclining, no more must subiects rebuke their Prelates go∣ing awry:* by the inclination of the Arke, the fall of prelates is vnderstoode. This generally is the opinion of the Canonists: but the Iesuites doo holde the contrarie, that it is lawfull, euen for an inferior priest to rebuke the Pope. Rhemist. Annot. in 2. Galath. sect. 8. Wherefore, seeing they confute them∣selues, they neede not any other refutation.

[error 55] 3 Concerning the third power, which we call Transcendent: One saith, that,*non minor honor Papae debetur, quàm Angelis, that there is no lesse ho∣nor due to the Pope, thē to Angels. Another saith: Papatus est summa virtus cre∣ata, The Popedome is the highest power, that was created of God, aboue An∣gels, or Archangels. Againe, those wordes of the Psalme, thou hast put all things vnder his foote,* as sheepe and oxen, fowles of the ayre, fishes of the sea: they thus blasphemouslie applie to the Pope, by sheepe and oxen vnder∣standing men liuing vpon the earth:* by the fowles of the ayre, the Angels in Heauen, whom they say, the Pope may commaunde; by the fishes, the soules in purgatorie: Ouer all these the Pope, say they, hath absolute power, who may, if it please him, release all purgatorie at once. What horrible blasphemies are here? Yet our Rhemists and other Iesuites are somewhat more modest, which confesse that the Pope is but Christs Vicar in the regi∣ment Page  155 of that part which is on the earth. Annotat. 1. Ephesians sect. 5. See∣ing then they confute themselues, wee will not further trauaile herein, but proceede.