Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Anatomy, Papal Obstruction of.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Dr. Hillier (Medical and Surgical Science, 1911) says that "by a Papal interdiction of the year 1300 dissection of the human body was prohibited" (p. 37). The leading American Catholic apologist in this field, Dr. J. J. Walsh (The Popes and Science, 1912, a tissue of inaccuracies and abuse), ascribes this misstatement, or ambiguous statement, to A. D. White's Warfare of Science and Theology (1896), but White correctly states that the decretal of Boniface VIII - Catholic writers do not add that this Pope was himself condemned for scepticism and debauchery - which is in question merely forbade the practice of removing the flesh from the bones of Crusaders who had died in the East, and whose bodies were to be brought home (II, Ch. XIII). White then gives Catholic evidence that the decretal was commonly interpreted, since the basis of it was the dogma of the resurrection of the body, as a general prohibition of dissection. As late as the eighteenth century Benedict XIV was asked if the decretal prohibited dissection, and White quotes several councils forbidding monks to practise surgery or medicine. Though the anti-Papal Frederic II ordered dissection in his schools, surgery remained for centuries in a pitiful condition, and Vesalius, the great pioneer of anatomy, was fiercely persecuted for his human dissections. [See Allbutt; Medicine and Surgery; Vesalius.]


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