Papal Power

In vindicating the Reformers right to protest against the claims of the Papacy, French Reformer Jean Claude writes:

What could our fathers say to that divine power that the flatterers of the Popes attributed to them? As the Glossary of the Decretals, which remarks, “That everyone said of the Pope that he had all divine power- caeleste arbitrium ; that by reason he could change the nature of things, applying the essential properties of one thing to another; that he could make something of nothing; that a proposition which was nothing he could make to be something; that in all things that he should please to do, his will might serve for a reason; that there is none who could say to him, Why dost thou do that?  that he could dispense with whatsoever was right, and make injustice to become justice, by changing and altering that which was right; and, in fine, that he had a plentitude, a fulness of power.”

~ A Defense of the Reformation trans. T.B-M.A. 1815, pg. 21

These are amazing claims, and we too often forget that they were actually made and actually believed by many.  They were binding upon the consciouses of the faithful, and indeed, one has a difficult time seeing how they do not seek to take the place of God.  This is just one reason why the Reformers responded to the papacy in the manner that they did.