The Temporal Power of the Supreme Pontiff

Chapter II

What pertains to this position, we will prove three things in order. First, that the Pope is not Master of the whole world. Secondly, that he is not master of the Christian world. Third that he is not master of any province or town, nor does he have by divine right any temporal power. The first point is taught expressly by John of Turrecremata. The Pope, he writes, should not be said to have merely temporal power by divine right, so that he could be said to be the “Master of the whole World,” Francis Victoria says the same. The same is taught by others and proved, that the Pope is not Master of those domains which infidels obtain. For, first of all, the Lord, in the Gospel of John, entrusted only his sheep to Peter. Hence, the Pope may not adjudicate infidels who are not his sheep. Therefore, infidel Lords are true and supreme rulers of their kingdoms. For dominion is not founded on grace or faith but on free will and reason, nor does it descend by divine right (jure divino) but by reason of jus gentium (the law of nations), as is clear from the fact that God approves of the kingdoms of the nations in both the Old and New Testaments. In Daniel (chapter 11), in Matthew (chapter 22): “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” i.e., what are due to him by right. “Render” to Caesar what are due to Caesar by right, not simply “Give” to Caesar. And in Romans 13, 7: “Render to all what is their due; pay taxes to whom taxes are due; toll to whom toll is due.” And Paul also commands there that we should in conscience obey foreign rulers: but we are certainly not obliged by conscience to obey him who is not a lawful prince.

If, however, the Pope is not the Master of those areas which infidels hold, it follows that he is not the Lord of the whole world, unless, “per absurdum,” those areas be said not to belong to the “world.” They say that we are obliged to obey infidel Princes because they are vicars of the Pope! But, to the contrary, for the Pope would not want to have vicars of this kind, and if he were able, he would gladly give the kingdoms of infidel rulers to believing rulers. It is ridiculous, however, [to think] that God has given the Pope authority over the whole world but has not given him any capability to make use of such a right.

But, they reply, the Pope is the spiritual Monarch over the whole earth; and, nevertheless, he has not been able to exercise this primacy over the whole earth. I reply: the Pope is said to be spiritual Monarch over the whole earth, not because he presides over all men but because he presides over all Christians spread over the whole earth. And, again, also concluding from the hypothesis, namely, that if the whole world would be converted to the Faith, clearly the Pope would preside, by a spiritual jurisdiction, over the whole earth. Therefore, too, he has a right to send preachers of the Gospel over the whole earth.

But Alexander the Sixth divided the whole, recently discovered, world between the Spanish and Portugese Kings. I reply: He did not make the division for the purpose of having these kings set out to make war against infidel kings of the New World, but only that they might induce preachers of the Christian Faith to go forth and to protect and defend both the preachers and those converted by them. [A defense of the right to teach and believe!] and, at the same time, that he might prevent disagreements and wars between Christian rulers who sought to do business in those new areas. (See Cajetan and de Soto.)