Roman Catholicism, wrote Fyodor Dostoevsky “has proclaimed a new Christ, not like the former one, but one who has been seduced by the third temptation of the devil — the temptation of the kingdoms of the world: “All these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me!”Feodor Dostoievsky, The Diary of a Writer, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919, “March 1876”, p. 255. This is the main reproach made by the Orthodox to the Roman Church. I find it entirely justified, and I would add that the Catholic false Christ is in fact Yahweh in disguise.
Unlike the Patriarch of Constantinople or later that of Moscow, who only claimed the “spiritual sword” (sacred authority), the medieval popes also claimed the “temporal sword” (secular power). Not only did they directly govern one of the richest principalities in Italy, but they claimed to rule over kings and emperors (read “The Failed Empire: the Medieval Origin of the European Disunion”).
To justify their project of universal monarchy, the popes employed an army of legal scholars who developed a new canon law to prevail over feudal and customary law, while using forgeries to make their new system appear to be the oldest.
The most famous medieval forgery is the “Donation of Constantine.” It was fabricated in a papal scriptorium between 750 and 850, and later included in a collection of a hundred other false decrees and synodal acts known today as the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.