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10 November 2008

THE MYTH OF SAINT PETER—the man who never was.

Barbara Walker, in her opus The woman’s encyclopedia of myths and secrets. (1993. Harper and Row) wrote about the fancy and fiction of St. Peter who we may call “the man who never was”.

“The myth of Saint 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 third century AD as a political ploy, to uphold the primacy of the Roman see against rival churches in the east. [Reinach, S. Orpheus. New York, Horace Liveright Inc. 1930, 240].

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 the lucrative position of god’s elite. [H. Smith (1952). Man and his gods. Little, Brown and Co. Boston, USA.]

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 titles of Roman gods, such as Eleutherios or Soter, falsely inserted into an artificial chronology to simulate succession from Peter.

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 partum (Father of Fathers), whose title was corrupted into papa, then “Pope”. 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 pagan deity’s name were Patriarch (Chief Father), Pompeius, and Patricius (Patrick). 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).

THE VATICAN PHALLUS: The god’s stone phallus remained planted in the Vatican mount through the later stages of the Roman empire and well into the Middle Ages—perhaps even into the 19th century, when a visitor said Vatican authorities “kept in secret a large stone emblem of the creative power, of a very peculiar shape” [G. R. Scott. Phallic Worship. Associated Booksellers. Westport, Conneticut].

Medieval names for such an object—perron, pyr, Pierre—show that it was both a “rock” and a “peter”. Such was the ancient Pater’s phallic sceptre or pillar topped with a pine cone, the thyrsus of Pater Liber. Church authorities often converted a carved perron into a Christian symbol simply by placing a cross on its tip.

It is now certain that there was no St. Peter in Rome to “found the papacy.”[Reinach 240]. 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.”

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."

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