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)

Boniface VIII (1235-1303), Pope.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Historians and literary men who now repeat fraudulent Catholic claims about "the glorious thirteenth century" shrink from noticing that it was crowned by the pontificate (1294-1303) of one of the most scandalous in the long gallery of "bad Popes." Apart from a very serious but unprovable charge that he had his predecessor murdered - he certainly took the Papacy from him by fraud and imprisoned him - his successor Clement V had, as part of his own corrupt bargain for the Papal chair, to convene a Council of the French Church in 1312 to try the dead Boniface, and, at this, voluntary Roman witnesses, chiefly priests and lawyers, accused Boniface of blasphemy, cynical scepticism, denial of immortality, defence of adultery ("no more harm in it than rubbing your hands together," he had said), and mockery of all religion and morals. The statement of the Catholic Encyclopaedia that the prelates acquitted him of the charges is false. They were afraid to make any pronouncement on the evidence, which was endorsed by the greatest lawyers in France. Gregorovius, the Papal historian, tries to relieve him of the charge of vice on the ground that he was eighty years old, but even the Catholic Encyclopaedia makes him only sixty-eight years old when he died, or less than sixty at his accession. The severe strictures on him in Prof. Rockwell's article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica have been cut out of the article in the last edition, but the Cambridge Mediaeval History, which reflects the general opinion of historians, says that "the evidence seems conclusive that he was doctrinally a sceptic" and "it is probable that for him, as later for Alexander VI, the moral code had little meaning" (VII, 5). Dante voices contemporary opinion in Italy when he puts the Pope deep in hell (Canto XIX, 52-7).


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Scanning, HTML Rae West. First upload 98-02-08