In Lord Acton’s essay on the Borgias, he explains how it was that Pope Alexander VI (the father of Caesare Borgia) justified his claim to unlimited power, political as well as spiritual:
The plenitude of powers thus exercised was justified by an enlargement of the mediaeval theory, which adapted it to the enlarged horizon of the Church. It is the Pope’s office, it was argued, to teach the Gospel to all nations, and to compel observance of natural law. But the heathen will not hear the Gospel, and will not keep the law, unless they are made subject to Christians…Civil rights and authorities cannot lawfully obstruct the propagation of the faith.
Who knew that GWB had such a deep knowledge of Renaissance history and ecclesiology? See, I told you he was no dummy!