Trivia / Saint Peter
As to Peter, biblical criticism has shown before now that he had probably no more to do with the foundation of the Latin Church at Rome, than to furnish the pretext so readily seized upon by the cunning Irenaeus to benefit this Church with the new name of the apostle - Petra or Kiffa, a name which allowed so readily, by an easy play upon words to connect it with Petroma, the double set of stone tablets used by the hierophant at the initiations, during the final Mystery. In this, perhaps, lies concealed the whole secret of the claims of the Vatican. As Professor Wilder happily suggests: "In the Oriental countries the designation ptr, Peter (in Phoenician and Chaldaic, an interpreter) appears to have been the title of this personage (the hierophant). . . . There is in these facts some reminder of the peculiar circumstances of the Mosaic Law . . . and also of the claim of the Pope to be the successor of Peter, the hierophant or interpreter of the Christian religion."
[Based on: http://www.sacred-texts.com/the/iu/iu101.htm]
[Based on: H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, reprint (1998, Vol. 2) of the 1877 edition, p. 91-92]
We must once more return to that greatest of all the Patristic frauds; the one which has undeniably helped the Roman Catholic Church to its unmerited supremacy, viz.: the barefaced assertion, in the teeth of historical evidence, that Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome. It is but too natural that the Latin clergy should cling to it, for, with the exposure of the fraudulent nature of this pretext, the dogma of apostolic succession must fall to the ground.
[Based on: http://www.sacred-texts.com/the/iu/iu102.htm]
[Based on: H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, reprint (1998, Vol. 2) of the 1877 edition, p. 124]
The myth of St. Peter was the slender thread from which hung the whole weighty structure of the Roman papacy. One solitary passage in the Gospel of Matthew said Jesus made a pun by giving Simon son of Jonah the new name of Peter, "Rock" (Latin petra), saying he would found his church on this rock (Matthew 16:18-19).
Unfortunately for papal credibility, the so-called Petrine passage was a forgery. It was deliberately inserted into the scripture about the 3rd century A.D. as a political ploy, to uphold the primacy of the Roman see against rival churches in the east. (1) Various Christian bishoprics were engaged in a power struggle in which the chief weapons were bribery, forgery, and intrigue, with elaborate fictions and hoaxes written into sacred books, and ruthless competition between rival parties for a lucrative position of God's elite. (2)
Most early churches put forth spurious claims to foundation by apostles, even though the apostles themselves were no more than the mandatory "zodiacal twelve" attached to the figure of the sacred king. Early popes were often mere names, drawn from the titles of Roman gods, such as Eleutherios or Soter, falsely inserted into an artificial chronology to simulate succession from Peter. But even Catholic scholars now admit that the stories of Peter's upside-down crucifixion before Nero, and burial in the Vatican hill, were ficticious. (3)
The real roots of Peter's legend lay in pagan Roman myths of the city-god called Petra, or Pater Liber, assimilated to the Mithraic pater patrum (Father of Fathers), whose title was corrupted into papa, then "pope." (4) This personage had been both a Rock and a Father - that is, a phallic pillar - in the Vatican mundus since Etruscan times, when oracular priests called vatis gave their title to the site. Other variations of the deity's name were Patriarch (Chief Father), Pompeius, and Patricius (Patrick). (5) Like Indian Brahmans, Roman "patricians" claimed a patrilineal descent from the god. Since his name also meant a rock, he was what the Old Testament called "the Rock that begat thee" (Deuteronomy 32:18).
Mithraic solar symbolism entered into many papal customs. St. Peter's Chair, the papal throne, was decorated like the throne of Mithra with zodiacal signs and the twelve labors of the sun god. (23)
It is now certain that there was no St. Peter in Rome to "found the papacy." (29) Stories about Peter were invented after the Roman see was well established. During the first five centuries of the Christian era, no one thought the bishop of Rome had a right to govern other bishops; there was no such doctrine as the primacy of the Roman see. "Christ neither founded nor desired the Church." (30) Indeed, the Jesus of the Gospels would have had no reason to found a church, since his principal message was that the world was going to end almost at once.
Whatever his origin, St. Peter stood for patriarchal opposition to the female principle, as shown by the Gnostic Gospels later censored out of the canon. The Dialogue of the Savior made the holy harlot Mary Magdalene the superior of all apostles; the Gospel of Mary said Christ loved her best, and gave her a secret revelation that Peter tried to force out of her. In the Pistis Sophia, Mary remarked, "Peter makes me hesitate; I am afraid of him because he hates the female race." (31)
Legends aside, the real political power of the popes depended on popular acceptance of the doctrine of Peter's keys. Like a Brahman high priest, the pope assumed absolute control over God, who would grant his vicar's slightest request. Thus invested with divine power on earth, the pope became a figure comparable to the ancient god-kings, worshipped with similar subservience and inclined toward a similar arrogance. (33)
Boniface came to power by tricking his simple-minded, 80-year-old predecessor Celestine into abdicating the throne. Boniface had Celestine imprisoned in the fortress of Fumone, and had him murdered, rumor said, by driving a nail into his head. Boniface's enemies cherished as a holy relic Celestine's alleged skull, with a hole in it. Boniface had many enemies because he used papal power to seize lands and towns of the wealthy Colonna family, to give them to his own family, the Gaetani. Encountering resistance from the Colonnas, Boniface preached crusades against them and plunged Italy into a bloody civil war. He besieged the Colonna city of Palestrina and offered to return half the enemy's possessions if the city were given up; but he broke his promise. Once it was in his hands, he had Palestrina razed, its palaces, libraries, and treasure-houses sacked, its ground plowed and sown with salt. One of the Colonnas survived and eventually assassinated Boniface. (38)
A similarly avaricious heir of St. Peter was the highly inclement pope Clement VII, nicknamed "the Butcher" because of his fondness for massacre. He promised the mutinous people of Bologna that he would "wash his hands and feet in their blood." (39) At Cesena in 1376 he offered mercy to the city, then killed five thousand of its citizens. There were uprisings against him. Mobs hounded him out of Rome and Naples, crying, "Death to the Antichrist! Death to Clement and his cardinals!" (40)
Over all, the heirs of St. Peter have tended to follow the general pattern of dictators, some less benevolent than others. If they had any quality in common, it was acquisitiveness. This appeared so consistently that the renaissance popes made it a heresy to say Jesus and Peter were poor men. Visiting Rome in 1511, Martin Luther was so shocked by the decadent luxury of the papal court that he wrote: "If there is a hell, then Rome is built upon it.... Tiberius, the heathen Emperor, even if he were such a monster as Suetonius writes of, is nevertheless an angel in comparison with the present court of Rome. The same hath to serve the supper table twelve naked girls." (41) It was rather a contrast with the popular image of the twelve apostles.
(1) Reinach, 240. (2) H. Smith, 252. (3) Attwater, 274. (4) H. Smith, 252. (5) Knight, S.L., 47. (23) Robertson, 137. (29) Reinach, 240. (30) Guignebert, 125, 226. (31) Pagels, 22, 64-65. (33) Campbell, C.M., 390. (38) Chamberlin, B.P., 93, 102-5. (39) Lea, 255. (40) Tuchman, 322, 333. (41) Chamberlin, B.P., 246.
[Based on: The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker (copyright 1983), p. 787-792]