I and others,
have thought and spoken badly of Pope Liberius.
Thinking and saying that:
Liberius was the weak Pope;
Liberius, was the first Pope to not be canonised;
Liberius was the Pope who unjustly excommunicated St. Athanasius;
Liberius, was the perfect historical example to use
when you want to justify disobeying the Pope.
Recently a friend said to me:
"Well after all,
Pope Liberius unjustly excommunicated St. Athanasius
and it is Athanasius, not Liberius, who is the saint."
This gave us reason to investigate the matter more fully.
Today, 23 September is the ancient feast of Saint Liberius, Pope and Confessor.
based upon the investigations of historians.
Historians since the 1500's
have tried to piece together an accurate account of history
but there is nothing conclusive
that should condemn Pope Liberius.
How many know that
Pope Liberius was considered a Saint
for over a thousand years?
There is no proof that he signed ambiguous statements in exile.
There is no proof that while in exile he signed anything at all.
There is no proof that while in exile he excommunicated St. Athanasius.
or lived in his time spoke highly of Pope Liberius:
Saint Ambrose, Pope Saint Anastasius I, St. Basil the Great.
There is more that enough doubt on these matters
to regret ever having thought badly of the holy Pope
who suffered exile precisely
the Nicean Creed
he would not condemn St. Athanasius.
Immediately before he was sentenced with exile,
the Emperor Constantius rebuffed him with the sentence:
"You would defend Athanasius against the world!"
There is a lot of evidence in favour of Pope Liberius.
We have decided to gather some of the evidence together
in order to champion his reputation.
The first article has been professionally translated from French.
It was written by the very reputed Church Historian
Fr. Rohrbacher. It is here:
Holy Pope Liberius Blog
If anybody would like to help pay for translations
they would be most welcome
would assist us in making reparation
in championing the reputation of Holy Pope Liberius.