ROMAN CATHOLIC WHORE CHURCH
heart and soul of the Whore of Rome is exposed here
Verde wishes to remain anonymous.
his work exposing the Roman Catholic Church is well known by his friends, and
we are pleased to offer it here for your edification.
are encouraged to copy this to a file at once. There are those who are trying
to silence the works of Seņor Verde.
Verde was a Christian musician who made his entire life an act of worship and
an embracing of the high calling to Christian service. Though he's been gone for
years, killed in a tragic plane crash in 1982, his legacy lives on. He was a man
who had been radically transformed and wondrously used by the Spirit of God to
touch countless thousands, if not millions of lives.
Catholic Chronicles Series we now present to you is part of the fruit of Señor
Verde's consecrated work that we felt should not be forgotten. Yet the Difference
- the eternal Protestant/Catholic tension - was something that the Chronicles
clearly helped to define, and I know of no more better, readable and concise introductory
work than Señor Verde's series.
I do not
know if Señor Verde knew anything about the Difference until he came across
it during his ardent study and research in pursuit of a deeper Christian life.
day, Señor Verde was reading a book about the Catholic Church. He came
flying into the Kitchen looking very upset. "Can you imagine this? Catholics are
really devoted to Jesus - right? They build big churches, with beautiful statures
and everything. But this book claims that some of them don't realize they can
really know Jesus. Imagine - loving Jesus, but having no assurance of heaven."
Verde read more books about Catholic doctrine, and as he did he started to feel
that he should write something about it. He prayed for a long time - and got counsel
from other Christian leaders. But the counsel was divided... Señor Verde
was torn, but in the end he believed the Lord wanted him to go ahead and write
something. When Señor Verde launched into the series he called "The Catholic
Chronicles", he wrote a forward to clarify what he was trying to accomplish:
want to make it completely understood that neither I nor anyone else at Last Days
Ministries have anything at all personally against Catholics. We know of many
loving, committed and sincere believers among their ranks. In fact, there are
quite a few who receive our newsletter, even a priest in New England who corresponds
regularly (and if you're reading this now - I love you!). - Señor Verde
those who cannot handle the uncompromising pursuit of truth can have a problem
with the Catholic Chronicles. They are factual, balanced and worthy of consideration
as the Difference perseveres, and we are proud to offer them here. We are happy
to allow the teaching ministry of Señor Verde to once again confront error
and uphold the truth with no compromise.
1. The Holy Eucharist - Eating the Flesh of Deity ??
might wonder why, in a scriptural look at the doctrines of the Catholic Church,
I would choose this subject - The Roman Interpretation of the Lord's Supper (more
commonly known as "Communion") for the first of the "Catholic Chronicles." Most
Protestants (1) would expect me to deal with what they might consider the more
obvious departures from biblical foundation - such as the worship of and prayers
to the Virgin Mary, the infallibility of the pope, purgatory and prayers for the
dead, or the history of the torture and burning of accused "heretics" and such
for this first article I believe that we should get right to the root, before
we begin exploring the branches of Roman doctrine and practice. And any Catholic
who has even a small knowledge of his church knows that the central focus of each
gathering (known as the "Mass") is the Holy Eucharist.
word "Eucharist" is a Greek word that means "thanksgiving." In the gospel accounts
of the Last Supper, Jesus is described as "giving thanks" before breaking the
bread (Luke 22:19), and so this word became a proper name for the Lord's Supper
in the early Catholic Church. Today, it is more commonly associated with the elements
in communion, especially the host or "wafer," although the ceremony itself is
still called "The Holy Eucharist."
you might be wondering why I'm taking so much time and effort to explain something
as harmless as the ceremony known around the world as communion. If you've probably
taken part in a communion service. So why make all this fuss about bread and wine?
Why? Because that's where the similarity between evangelical communion services
and the Roman Catholic Mass ends - at the bread and the wine!
18-letter word above is a complete theological statement . . . and the name of
a doctrine, out of which springs the most astounding set of beliefs and practices
that has ever been taught in the name of religion. Very, very few people know
what the Catholic Church actually believes and teaches concerning this subject,
and I am convinced that even fewer Catholics realize themselves what they are
taking part in. From earliest childhood, "This is the body of Christ" is all they've
ever heard when the priest gingerly placed the wafer on their tongue. And as they
grew up, it was such a natural and normal part of religious life, that their minds
never even questioned the fact that Jesus Christ, Himself, was actually in their
might be hard for you to believe, but that's exactly, literally, what "transubstantiation"
means. The Roman Catholic Church teaches their flocks that the bread and the wine
used in the Mass actually, physically, turn into the flesh and blood of Jesus
Christ after the priest blesses them during the liturgy (ceremony). Although this
in itself might shock you, it is really only the beginning. For the implications
and practical conclusions of this doctrine are absolutely mind-boggling.
example, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that since their priests are the only
ones who have the authority from God (2) to pronounce the blessing which changes
the elements of communion into the actual body and blood of Jesus, that they are
the only church where Jesus "physically resides" even now! Let me quote a letter
written to one of the girls in our ministry from a devoted Catholic:
explain the Catholic Church would take volumes, but basically the Catholic Church
was founded by Jesus Christ when He was here on earth. It is the ONLY church founded
by Jesus. The greatest asset of our church is that we have Jesus present in the
Holy Eucharist - He is really here, body, soul and divinity. He is God and in
His omnipotence can do anything He wishes, and He decided to remain with us until
the end of the world in the form of the host in Holy Communion."
you think this is just the isolated opinion of someone on the fringe of the church,
or that the Catholic Church as a whole does not really believe or teach this,
I beg you to read on. For not only is this the official teaching of Rome, but
according to irreversible church decree (called dogma), anyone who does not hold
to this belief, in the most explicit detail, is accursed and damned forever!
Council of Trent
Europe was electrified by the eloquent preaching of the sixteenth century reformation,
the Roman Catholic hierarchy gathered together her theologians who worked for
three decades on the preparation of a statement of faith concerning the doctrine
of transubstantiation. This document remains, to this day, the standard of Catholic
the Second Vatican Council commenced in 1963, Pope John XXIII declared, "I do
accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent."
What did the Council of Trent decide and declare? Some of the first sections are
I - "If anyone shall deny that the body and blood, together with the soul and
divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are truly, really,
and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist; and shall
say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a figure - let him be accursed!"
II - "If anyone shall say that the substance of the bread and wine remains in
the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist, together with the body and blood of
our Lord Jesus Christ - let him be accursed!"
VI - "If anyone shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to
be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, even with the open worship of
Latria, and therefore not to be venerated with any peculiar festal celebrity,
not to be solemnly carried about in processions according to the praiseworthy
and universal rites and customs of the Holy Church, and that He is not to be publicly
set before the people to be adored, and that His adorers are idolaters, - let
him be accursed!"
Worship Of The Host
shall not make unto thee any graven image (4) ... Thou shall not bow down thyself
to them, nor serve them" The Second Commandment (Ex.20:4-5)
is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John
Canon VI, a rite of worship called "Latria" was spoken of. This is not just an
"ancient custom," it is thoroughly practiced today in many Masses. After the bread
has been supposedly "changed" into the Christ by the priest, it is placed in a
holder called a monstrance. And before this monstrance the Catholic must bow and
worship (this act is called genuflecting) the little wafer as God! Sometimes they
have processions where they solemnly march, as the congregation bows and offers
praise and worship - to this piece of bread!
Steve Van Nattan- "Latria" means adoration in worship. This word appears
to be derived from the worship of Lato, the goddess who arrived from the Middle
East and was the manifestation of Ishtar in Babylon and Semaramis from Sumer.
From her name, Lato, comes the language of Italy, Latin, and the ancient name
of Italy, Latinia. This ritual of Latria simply extends the goddess cult of Mary
worship deeper into Catholic heretical teachings.
Roman teaching that Jesus Christ is physically present in each morsel of bread
creates many other doctrinal and practical problems. For instance, when the service
is over, what happens to all those leftover wafers that have been "changed into
Christ?" Do they change back into bread again when the priest goes home? I'm afraid
not. For according to Canon IV of the Council of Trent, they stay flesh! And don't
think that 400 year-old decree is just some dusty old manuscript in a museum case
somewhere - it still is completely adhered to and passionately practiced. As an
example, here is a passage from an official Catholic home instruction book, copyrighted
Christ does not cease to exist under the appearances of bread and wine after the
Mass is over. Furthermore, some hosts are usually kept in all Catholic churches.
In these hosts, Jesus is physically and truly present, as long as the appearances
of bread remain. Catholics therefore have the praiseworthy practice of `making
visits' to our Lord present in their churches to offer Him their thanks, their
adoration, to ask for help and forgiveness: in a word, to make Him the center
around which they live their daily lives."
is an incredible interpretation of how to make Jesus the center of your daily
Did This Teaching Begin?
teaching of transubstantiation does not date back to the Last Supper as most Catholics
suppose. It was a controversial topic for many centuries before officially becoming
an article of faith (which means that it is essential to salvation according to
Rome). The idea of a physical presence was vaguely held by some, such as Ambrose,
but it was not until 831 A.D. that Paschasius Radbertus, a Benedictine Monk, published
a treatise openly advocating the doctrine. Even then, for almost another four
centuries, theological war waged over this teaching by bishops and people alike,
until at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 AD, it was officially defined and
canonized as a dogma (a teaching or doctrine that can never be reversed or repealed.
It is equal in authority to the Bible.) by Pope Innocent III.
historians tell us that when this doctrine first began to be taught, the priests
took great care that no crumb should fall - lest the body of Jesus be hurt, or
even eaten by a mouse or a dog! There were quite serious discussions as to what
should be done if a person were to vomit after receiving the sacrament. At the
Council of Constance, it was argued that if a communicant spilled some of the
blood on his beard, both beard and the man should be destroyed by burning!
So much for the mercy of God in Catholicism.
Rome Views the Bible
we proceed to look at what the Bible has to say on this subject, it is important
to understand the official Catholic view of the Scriptures. According to unquestionable
decree, they hold that "Church tradition has equal authority with the Bible."
This is not just a theological view, but it was made an article of faith by the
same Council of Trent in 1546! And again, this view is completely held by the
teachings of the Church will always be in keeping with the teachings of the Scripture
... and it is through the teaching of the Church that we understand more fully
truths of sacred Scripture. To the Catholic Church belongs the final word in the
understanding and meaning of the Holy Spirit in the words of the Bible."
explaining the premise used in interpreting the Bible:" "...usually, the meaning
of the Scriptures is sought out by those who are specially trained for this purpose.
And in their conclusions, they know that no explanation of the Scriptures which
contradicts the truths constantly taught by the infallible Church can be true."
can see how such a mode of interpretation can be dangerously used to manipulate
Scripture to mean absolutely anything at all! Who has not observed this of the
various cults? The Moonies, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses all back up their
false teachings with "new revelations" and "inspired interpretations" of the Scriptures
- each claiming that the Holy Spirit revealed these new truths to their founders.
One opens themselves to all kinds of deception when they judge the Bible by what
their church or pastor teaches, instead of judging what their church or pastor
teaches by the Bible!
this in mind, we will briefly discuss the two main passages of Scripture that
the Roman Church uses while trying to show that Jesus Himself taught transubstantiation.
6:54-55: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life; and I will
raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true
are taught here, that Jesus is explaining how He is literally offering them His
flesh and blood, so that they may have eternal life by physically eating Him.
With just a little study of the whole passage (verses 27-71), it is clear that
Jesus was not talking about physical, but spiritual food and drink.
is eaten to satisfy hunger. And in verse 35 Jesus says, "He who cometh to Me shall
never hunger." Now, Jesus is not promising eternal relief from physical hunger
pains. He is, of course, speaking of the spiritual hunger in man for righteousness
and salvation, And He promises to those who will "come to Him" that He will satisfy
their hunger for these things forever - therefore, to come to Him is to "eat"!
(See also Matt. 5:6, 11:28; Jn. 4:31-34.)
drink also to satisfy thirst, and again in verse 35 Jesus tells us, "He that believeth
on Me shall never thirst." Therefore, to believe on Him is to "drink"! (See also
John 4:13-14.) No one can say that Jesus was here establishing the eating and
drinking of His literal flesh and blood to give eternal life, for in verse 63
He says, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words
that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Thus Jesus makes clear
what we should be eating and drinking to have eternal life! Matt. 26:26 and 28:
"This is My body ... this is My blood." (See also Matt. 4:4.)
base their whole religious system on their interpretation of these tow verses.
They adamantly teach that right here, Jesus is pronouncing the first priestly
blessing that mysteriously changes the bread and wine into His body and blood.
The absolute folly of such a conclusion is proved by this one observation: He
was literally still there before, during, and after they had partaken of the bread
and the cup! He was not changed into some liquid and bread - His flesh was still
on His bones, and His blood still in His veins. He had not vanished away to reappear
in the form of a piece of bread or a cup of wine!
look closer at His words. No one can deny that here we have figurative language.
Jesus did not say TOUTO GIGNETAI ("this has become" or "is turned into"), but
TOUTO ESTI ("this is," i.e., "signifies," "represents" or "stands for"). (11)
It is obvious that Jesus' meaning was not literal but symbolic! And He wasn't
the first in the Bible to claim figuratively that a glass of liquid was really
time, David's friends heard him express a strong desire for water from the well
of Bethlehem. In spite of extreme danger, these men broke through the enemy lines
of the Philistines and brought the water to him. When David found out that these
men had risked their lives in this way, he refused to drink the water, exclaiming,
"Is not this the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?" (2 Sam.
the gospels we find similar metaphorical language: Jesus referring to Himself
as "the Door," "the Vine," "the Light," "the Root," "the Rock," "the Bright and
Morning Star," as well as "the Bread." The passage is written with such common
language that it is plain to any observant reader that the Lord's Supper was intended
primarily as a memorial and in no sense a literal sacrifice. "Do this in remembrance
of Me." (Luke 22:19)
did this teaching and practice really come from? Like many of the beliefs and
rites of Romanism, transubstantiation was first practiced by pagan religions.
The noted historian Durant said that belief in transubstantiation as practiced
by the priests of the Roman Catholic system is "one of the oldest ceremonies of
primitive religion." (12) The syncretism and mysticism of the Middle East were
great factors in influencing the West, particularly Italy. (13) In Egypt, priests
would consecrate mest cakes which were supposed to become the flesh of Osiris.
(14) The idea of transubstantiation was also characteristic of the religion of
Mithra whose sacraments of cakes and haoma drink closely parallel Catholic Eucharist
idea of eating the flesh of deity was most popular among the people of Mexico
and Central America long before they ever heard of Christ; and when Spanish missionaries
first landed in those countries, "their surprise was heightened, when they witnessed
a religious rite which reminded them of communion ... an image made of flour ...
and after consecration by priests, was distributed among the people who ate it
... declaring it was the flesh of deity..." (16)
Why Do They Teach It?
concluding our first chronicle, the question needs to be asked, "Why does the
Roman Catholic Church need to have such a doctrine - why do they think that Jesus
wants them to physically eat Him?" That is what truly puzzled me as I read astounded
through the catechism and doctrinal instruction books. But the answer to that
question is a sad one. As I said before, the implications and practical conclusions
of the teaching of transubstantiation are substantially worse than the doctrine
itself - and like a great web spun by an industrious spider, Rome's teachings
spiral out from this central hub like the spokes of a wheel.
Catholic Chronicle II we will look intently at the next direct result of transubstantiation
in official Catholic systematic theology: "The Sacrifice of the Mass."
- - Today,
Protestants are considered to be members of any church or church-group outside
the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches.
- Passed down through "Apostolic Succession" from Peter the apostle-the supposed
- The "wafer."
- NASB reads, "You shall not make for yourself an idol."
- This act is called "genuflecting."
- "The Spirit of Jesus" Catholic Home Study Instruction Course. Book #3, p.92.
- A "Dogma" is a teaching or doctrine that can never be reversed or repealed.
It is equal in authority to the Bible.
- The Other Side of Rome, p.21.
- By the end of the eleventh century, lest someone should spill God's blood, some
in the church began to hold back the cup from the people, and finally in 1415,
the Council of Constance officially denied the cup to laymen. Although today,
by decree of the Vatican, churches may now offer the cup optionally to communicants.
- "The Spirit of Jesus," pp. 94-95.
- If I held up a picture of my son and said, "This is my son," I am certainly
not saying that the actual picture is literally my son.
- The Story of Civilization, p.741.
- Roman Society From Nero to Marcus Aurelius, by Dill.
- An ancient Egyptian god of the lower world and judge of the dead - Encyclopedia
of Religions, Vol. 2, p.76.
- Prescott's Mexico, Vol. 3.
2. The Sacrifice of the Mass - What Does it Mean?
Chronicle I, we thoroughly examined the doctrine of transubstantiation - its history,
practice, and real meaning. But we have waited for this second article to answer
the question: WHY? Why must there be present in the Mass the literal body and
blood of Jesus? What purpose does it serve?
answer is found in the startling words: "The sacrifice of the Mass is the same
sacrifice of the cross, for there is the same priest, the same victim, and the
same offering." (1)
in the words of Pope Pius IV....
profess likewise that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and
propitiatory (2) sacrifice for the living and the dead." (From the fifth article
of the creed of Pope Pius IV.)
is the incredible truth! The Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches that in
every Mass, in every church, throughout the world (estimated at up to 200,000
Masses a day) that Jesus Christ is being offered up again, physically, as a sacrifice
for sin (benefiting not only those alive, but the dead (3) as well!) Every Roman
Mass is a re-creation of Jesus' death for the sins of the world. NOT A SYMBOLIC
RE-CREATION - but a literal, actual offering of the flesh and blood of the Lord
to make daily atonement for all the sins that have been daily committed since
Jesus was crucified almost 2,000 years ago. (4)
why the bread and wine must become physically Jesus' body and blood, so that they
can be once again offered for sin: "The Holy Eucharist is the perpetual continuation
of this act of sacrifice and surrender of our Lord. When the Lord's Supper is
celebrated, Christ again presents Himself in His act of total surrender to the
Father in death." (5)
offers Himself continually to the Father, in the same eternal act of offering
that began on the cross and will NEVER CEASE." (6)
Mass is identical to Calvary - it is a sacrifice for sin - it must be perpetuated
to take away sin." (7)
catechism of the Council of Trent required all pastors to explain that not only
did the elements of the Mass contain flesh, bones and nerves as a part of Christ,
"But also a WHOLE CHRIST." (8) Thus it is referred to as "the sacrifice of the
Mass" and as "a RENEWAL of the sacrifice of the cross." (9)
Council Of Trent On "The Sacrifice Of The Mass"
we shared in Chronicle I, the Council of Trent was called to clarify and standardize
Catholic doctrine in response to the challenges of the Reformation. The canons
on this subject (passed in Session XXII. Cap II.) are as follows:
- "If anyone
shall say, that in the Mass there is not offered to God a true and proper sacrifice,
or that what is offered is nothing else than Christ given to be eaten, let him
be anathema." (10)
anyone shall say that in these words, 'This do in remembrance of Me,' Christ did
not make the apostles priests, or did not ordain that they themselves and other
priests should offer His body and blood, let him be anathema."
"If anyone shall say that
the sacrifice of the Mass is only of praise and thanksgiving, or a bare commemoration
of the sacrifice performed on the cross, but not propitiatory; or that it is of
benefit only to the person who takes it, and ought not to be offered for the living
and the dead fro sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, let
him be accursed."
anyone shall say that a blasphemy is ascribed to the most holy sacrifice of Christ
performed on the cross by the sacrifice of the Mass - let him be accursed."
Is This The Belief Of Rome Today?
any be in doubt as to the modern Roman position, we shall quote the recent (1963-1965)
Second Vatican Council:
the Last Supper ... our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His body
and blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross..." p.
154, THE DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J.
catechism books teach that the reason the Mass is the same sacrifice as that of
Calvary is because the victim in each case was Jesus Christ. (11) In fact, they
refer to the bread of the Eucharist as the "host," which is the Latin word HOSTIA
which literally means "VICTIM." (12)
Why "The Sacrifice" Of The Mass?
will now quote the church's own contemporary literature to fully answer this question
(taken from the book, THIS IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, published by the Catholic Information
Service, Knights of Columbus, Imprimatur: (13) Most Reverend John F. Whealon,
Archbishop of Hartford:
is the very essence of religion. And it is only through sacrifice that union with
the Creator can be perfectly acquired. It was through sacrifice that Christ Himself
was able to achieve this for man. IT IS ONLY THROUGH THE PERPETUATION OF THAT
SACRIFICE THAT THIS UNION MAY BE MAINTAINED.
makes the Mass the most exalted of all sacrifices is the nature of the victim,
Christ Himself. For the Mass is the continuation of Christ's sacrifice which He
offered through His life and Christ was not only the priest of this sacrifice
(of the Cross), He was also the victim, the very object itself of this sacrifice.
Mass is thus the same as the sacrifice of the cross. No matter how many times
it is offered, nor in how many places at one time, it is the same sacrifice of
Christ. Christ is forever offering Himself in the Mass." (14)
Jesus Said "It Is Finished!"
true believer loves the sound of these words: "It is finished!" (John 19:30).
For it is the wonderful exclamation that the Lord's suffering was finally over
- He had fulfilled His mission! Jesus had lived a Life of Sorrow, bearing the
burden of a world gone mad. He had been rejected by everyone, even His closest
friends. He had lived a perfect life before men and God, and His reward on earth
was to be laughed at, spat upon, beaten beyond recognition, and finally nailed
to a cross. But He had submitted willingly, because it was the will of His Father
to offer Him as the satisfaction of the penalty for all the sin in the world -
past, present and future!
here, in the words of a Roman Catholic priest, is the "true meaning" of the words
"it is finished!" "These words do not declare that His sacrifice was finished,
but that He had finished His former, normal, earthly life and was now fixed in
the state of a victim ... He then began His everlasting career as the perpetual
sacrifice of the new law." (15) Hence, according to Rome, Jesus must be forever
"perpetually" dying for sin.
you ever wondered why in every Catholic Church they still have Jesus up on the
cross? Every crucifix with Jesus portrayed as nailed to it, tells the whole Catholic
story - Jesus is still dying for the sins of the world! But that's a lie! We need
only look to the Scriptures to see the truth.
To The Book
epistle to the Hebrews speaks of the "once for all" sacrifice of Christ on the
cross, not a daily sacrifice on altars. The Bible repeatedly affirms in the clearest
and most positive terms that Christ's sacrifice on Calvary was complete in that
one offering. And that it was never to be repeated is set forth explicitly in
Hebrews, chapters 7, 9 and 10:
needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his
own sins, and then for the people's: For this He did once, when He offered up
Himself" (7:27). "...by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place,
having obtained eternal redemption for us" (9:12). "Nor yet that He should offer
Himself often, but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away
sin by the sacrifice of Himself .. so Christ was once offered to bear the sins
of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without
sin unto salvation" (9:25-28). "...we are sanctified through the offering of the
body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering
and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but
this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for the sins forever, sat down on
the right hand of God ... for by one offering He hath perfected for ever them
that are sanctified" (10:10-14).
that throughout these verses occurs the statement "once for all" which shows how
perfect, complete and final Jesus' sacrifice was! His work on the cross constituted
one historic event which need never be repeated and which in fact cannot be repeated.
As Paul say, "Christ, being raised from the dead dieth no more" (Romans 6:9).
Any pretense of a continuous offering for sin is worse than vain, it is blasphemy
and true fulfillment of the Scripture, "Seeing they crucify to themselves the
Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame." (Heb. 6:6).
- The Only Priest
not only became the perfect sacrifice for sin, but after being accepted by God
as having totally fulfilled the requirements of the old covenant, He became "the
mediator of a better covenant" (Heb.8:6). That means that Jesus is the high priest
of every true believer! "There is one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus
Bible teaches that the priesthood of Jesus Christ is unique: "Thou art a priest
forever after the order of Melchizedek" (17) "...because He abides forever (He)
holds His priesthood permanently" This means that it cannot be transferred to
Roman Catholicism teaches that the apostles were ordained by Jesus Himself (at
the Last Supper) to perpetuate the coming sacrifice He would make on the cross.
And that this ordination has been handed down through the centuries to the current
generation of priests. Therefore, Rome teaches that her priests actually operate
and discharge the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and that they are called "other
Christs" (alter Christus). (16)
explains the great adulation and honor heaped upon the Roman priest. The French
Catholic Saint J.M.B. Vianney said that "Where there is no priest there is no
sacrifice, and where there is no sacrifice there is no religion ... without the
priest the death and passion of our Lord would be of no avail to us... see the
power of the priest! By one word from his lips, he changes a piece of bread into
a God! A greater feat than the creation of a world." He also said, "If I were
to meet a priest and an angel, I would salute the priest before saluting the angel.
The angel is a friend of God, but the priest holds the place of God. Next to God
Himself, the priest is everything!" What humiliation for Jesus Christ, the One
who has been given a name "above all other names!"
Isn't Rome Changing?
many are expressing hope that Rome is turning toward scriptural Christianity.
They point to the many reforms of Vatican II (17) and also to the ever-widening
charismatic renewal. True, these things appear to be a positive sign of change,
and many are thrilled by them, but most fail to realize that these changes are
only superficial. For Rome could never reject the sacrifice of the Mass - just
streamline it enough to keep the truth of its meaning hidden. Pope John XXIII
made it clear that His Church is bound "to all the teachings of the Church in
its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the act of the Council
of Trent and First Vatican Council..." (18)
is clear that the whole of Roman teaching and belief is founded on this premise
of the continual sacrifice of Christ for sin: Again, Catholic writings declare:
should be easy to see why the Mass holds such an important place in the Church's
life. The Mass is the very essence of the Church. Within it the Church's life,
and the Church's very existence is centered. If there were no Mass, there could
be no Catholic Church. The Mass is our act of worship, an act which we know to
be really worthy of God, because it is the sacrifice of God's own Son.
the sacrifices of the old law were unable to accomplish - the Mass performs: Perfect
atonement is made for sin.
souls of men yet unborn, together with those now living and those who have come
into existence since Christ's sacrifice, all have need of the salvation which
Christ has won for us. It is through the Mass as well as through the other sacraments
that the effects of Christ's salvation are applied to the souls of men." (19)
is made thoroughly clear that Rome will forever put its faith in the Mass for
the eternal forgiveness of sins. To remove this belief from her system of theology,
would be like knocking our the pillars of a great edifice - the whole building
would come tumbling down!
I sat stunned, reading all the "Let them be accursed" threats of the Council of
Trent, I could not help but think how their curses would only fall back on their
own heads - for the words of our brother Paul call out across the centuries:
even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary
to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed!" (Gal. 1:8).
only does Paul warn that an authentic angel from heaven should not be heeded while
preaching "different doctrine," but he gives the ultimate warning -"...even though
we!" Paul strictly warned the Galatians, not even to listen to him - the chief
apostle and master of true doctrine - if he should reverse himself on any of the
fundamental teachings of the gospel. How much more then, should we reject the
appalling traditions and practices of a system that is not only unbiblical, but
is actually steeped in mysticism, bordering dangerously on the occult!
far as I can see from the Bible, a person is only in danger of being grouped with
"false brethren" by tampering with three very basic issues of biblical truth.
Who Jesus is - Son of God, God the Son, Creator of the universe.
What He came to do - to die once for all, for the sins of mankind, then raise
from the dead as the eternal high priest of all true believers.
How a person directly benefits from Christ's death for sin - he is accounted as
righteous through a total faith and rest in the finished work of Christ, and becomes
the possessor of God's free gift - eternal life (salvation).
Roman Catholic Church has been considered a true Christian faith, mainly because
it is generally known that their theology is quite orthodox on point #1. But as
we have pointed out in these two chronicles, they are perilously shaky on the
atonement - Christ's substitutionary death for sinners - #2. But if there is any
doubt left at all, as to whether or not the Roman Church is authentically and
biblically Christian, there is a complete and thorough study of the Roman view
on how one obtains salvation in our third installment of The Catholic Chronicles
- "Salvation According To Rome."
- The Roman
Catholic Sacrifice of the Mass, by Bartholomew F. Brewer, Ph.D.
Propitiatory - conciliatory, to soothe the anger of, to win or regain the goodwill
of, to appease, placate or make friendly, to reconcile - Webster's New World Dictionary
and Harper's Bible Dictionary.
is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb.9:27).
The Catholic Home Instruction Book #3, p.90.
the Spirit of Jesus pp.89-90, Imprimatur: John Joseph Cardinal Carberry, Archbishop
Sons of God in Christ Book 4, p.117.
For Them Also, pp.289-299.
Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol.2, p.77.
Catholic Word List" p.45.
Anathema - The strongest denunciations of a person that can be made in the ancient
Greek (the original language of the New Testament). Literal meaning: "devoted
to death." A thing or person accursed or damned - Webster's New World Dictionary
and Harper's Bible Dictionary.
New Baltimore Catechism" #3, Question 931.
Webster's New World Dictionary.
Imprimatur - Sanction or approval. Specifically, permission to print or publish
a book or article containing nothing contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholic
Church - Webster's New World Dictionary.
The Sacrifice of Christ by Richard W.Grace.
i.e., Such as Masses performed in the common language rather than exclusively
in Latin, the relaxation of taboos such as eating meat on Friday, etc.
The Documents of Vatican II, Abbot, S.J.
This Is The Catholic Church pp.24-25.
These are greatly condensed for this example.
3. Salvation -- According to Rome.
free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord!"- Rom. 6:23
blessed it is to know Jesus! His love, His mercy, His righteousness, His forgiveness!
He has promised to "cast all our sins into the depths of the sea" (Mic. 7:19)
and to separate us from our sins "as far as the east is from the west!" (Ps. 103:12).
This is the good news! (That's the literal meaning of the word "gospel" - good
news!) That is what the true church of our God has the privilege of proclaiming
..."liberty to the captives!!" (Lk. 4:18).
reason I begin this article on the Roman Catholic view of salvation with such
rejoicing in my Savior, is because I have just finished reading a mountain of
official (Roman) church literature on the subject, and I can honestly say, I have
never had such joy in my heart of hearts about the finished work of Christ. As
I scoured each page and read of penance, confession, venial and mortal sins, indulgences,
purgatory, etc., I then had the infinite pleasure of searching the Scriptures
to see what they had to say on these fundamental Catholic doctrines.
what relief my soul found in the Scriptures! What holy joy! What clarity of light
I saw, as the simple brilliance of God's mercy shown into my mind. If there is
anything more beautiful than God's love and patience with man, it has never been
revealed to mortals!
this to say that I am bogged down with the information I have accumulated, and
I will probably have to cover it all in this, Chronicle III, briefly touching
on each subject, while always coming back to the main question: "According to
Rome, how can a man or woman be saved from the consequences of his sinful nature
and actions, and how can they gain assurance that they are in a right standing
Catholic Teaching On Sin
we can understand what Catholics are taught about salvation, we must first see
what they are taught they need to be saved from. In Matt. 1, the angel of the
Lord speaks to Joseph in a dream about his betrothed, Mary, saying "she will bear
a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people
from their sins" (vs. 21).
many evangelicals toss around the term "saved" without much thought. "When did
you get saved?" someone might ask. It's almost like a title, or a badge that a
person wears to prove that he's become part of the club - the "saved" club. Others
are under the impression that when a person talks of being "saved", they are talking
about being saved from many different things - sickness, death, the devil, hell,
etc. But when the angel of the Lord used that precious word to prophesy that Jesus
would fulfill all the predictions of the prophets, he made very clear what Jesus
was coming to save His people from --- their sins!
official Roman Catholic theology, this too is the main thing that people are taught
they need to be saved from - their sins. But the only thing that Catholic and
evangelical teachings have in common on the subject of sin is the spelling! For
when a Catholic talks about his "sins", you must find out first if he is talking
about "mortal" sins, or "venial" sins. And then you must ask him "how do you get
rid of them?" The answer given will likely confound a non-Catholic. For words
like "faith", "repentance", even "Jesus" will usually be missing in the answer.
Instead, a whole new list of other words will have to be learned, defined, and
understood before the evangelical can fully grasp how a Catholic is taught his
sins (and the penalty due them) can be canceled out.
and Venial Sins
first of these unfamiliar words are the names of the two groups Rome has separated
all sins into. Now if you're a Catholic, you might be wondering why I'm making
such a big deal - for the dividing of sins into two distinct categories (each
with their own set of consequences and remedies) has been part of Catholic doctrine
for a long, long time.
to Rome's definition, mortal sin is described as "any great offense against the
law of God" and is so named because "it is deadly, killing the soul and subjecting
it to eternal punishment." Venial (1) sins, on the other hand, are "small and
pardonable offenses against God, and our neighbor." Unlike mortal sins, venial
sins are not thought to damn a soul to hell, but with the committing of each venial
sin, a person increase his need for a longer stay in the purifying fires of a
place called "purgatory." (Look that word up in your Bible dictionary - you'll
find it right next to "venial"!)
there is no agreement among the priests as to which sins are mortal and which
are venial, but they all proceed on the assumption that such a distinction does
exist. The method of classification is purely arbitrary. What is venial according
to one may be mortal according to another.
to Rome, the pope is infallible in matters of faith and doctrine. He should then
be able to settle this important matter by accurately cataloging those sins which
are mortal as distinguished from those which are venial. However, there are some
definites in the "mortal" category: blatantly breaking one of the ten commandments,
practically all sexual offenses (whether in word, thought or deed) and a long
list of transgressions which have changed throughout the centuries.
instance, until Vatican II it was a mortal sin to attend a Protestant church,
to own or read a Protestant Bible, or to eat meat on Friday! Oh, and it's still
a mortal sin to "miss Mass on Sunday morning (2) without a good excuse" (which
means that considerably more than half of the claimed Roman Catholic membership
throughout the world is constantly in mortal sin!) Venial sins include things
like thinking bad thoughts, having wrong motives, losing your temper, etc. - things
that do not necessarily "lead into actual sin" but still, nevertheless, are sins
that need to be eradicated in some way.
Does the Bible Say?
Bible makes no distinction between mortal and venial sins. There is in fact, no
such thing as a venial sin. ALL SIN IS MORTAL! It is true that some sin are worse
than others, but it is also true that all sins if not forgiven bring death to
the soul. The Bible simply says: "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). And
Ezekial says: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (18:4).
says that "whosoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has
become guilty of all" (2:10). He meant, not that the person who commits one sin
is guilty of all other kinds of sin, but that even one sin unatoned for, shuts
a person completely out of heaven and subjects him to punishment, just as surely
as one misstep by the mountain climber plunges him to destruction in the canyon
know how quick human nature is to grasp at any excuse for sin. Rome seems to be
saying "these sins are really bad! But those? Well ... you can get away with a
few of them and not really suffer too much." Speaking of "getting away" with something,
let's get right down to how Rome teaches you can "get rid of" your sins.
Catholic system starts to get real complicated when we begin to look at the ways
one can erase both their mortal and venial sins. "Two kinds of punishment are
due to mortal sin: eternal (in hell forever), and temporal (in purgatory). Eternal
punishment is canceled by either baptism (3) or confession to a priest." (4)
Baltimore Catechism defines confession as follows: "Confession is the telling
of our sins to an authorized priest for the purpose of attaining forgiveness."
The important words here are "authorized priest." And to be genuine, a confession
must be heard, judged, and followed by obedience to the authorized priest as he
assigns a penance, such as good works, prayers, fastings, abstinence form certain
pleasures, et. A penance may be defined as "a punishment undergone in token of
repentance for sin, as assigned by the priest" - usually a very light penalty.
New York Catechism says, "I must tell my sins to the priest so that he will give
me absolution. (5) A person who knowingly keeps back a mortal sin in confession
commits a dreadful sacrilege, and he must repeat his confession."
law 888 says: "The priest has to remember that in hearing confession he is a judge."
And the book, Instructions for Non-Catholics (6) says: "A priest does not have
to ask God to forgive your sins. The priest himself has the power to do so in
Christ's name. Your sins are forgiven by the priest the same as if you knelt before
Jesus Christ and told them to Christ Himself." (7)
priest forgives the guilt of mortal sins which save the penitent form going to
hell, but he cannot remit the penalty due for those sins, and so the penitent
must atone for them by performance of good works which he prescribes. The penitent
may be, and usually is, interrogated by the priest so that he or she may make
a full and proper confession. Stress is placed on the fact that any sin not confessed
is not forgiven, any mortal sin not confessed in detail is not forgiven, and that
the omission of even one sin (mortal) may invalidate the whole confession. Every
loyal Roman Catholic is required under pain of mortal sin to go to confession
at least once a year, although monthly confession is said to be more satisfactory.
But even after a penitent has received pardon, a large, but unknown amount of
punishment remains to be suffered in purgatory." (8) The doctrine of purgatory
rests on the assumption that, while God forgives sin, His justice nevertheless
demands that the sinner must suffer the full punishment due to him for his sin
before he will be allowed to enter heaven.
venial sins need not be confessed since they are comparatively light and can be
canceled by good works, prayers, extreme unction. (9) etc., but the terms are
quite elastic and permit considerable leeway on the part of the priest. It is
generally advised that it is safer to confess supposed venial sins also since
the priest alone is able to judge accurately which are mortal and which are mortal
and which are venial. The Baltimore Catechism says: "When we have committed no
mortal sins since our last confession, we should confess our venial sins or some
sin told in a previous confession for which we are again sorry, in order that
the priest may give us absolution. (10) What chance has a poor sinner against
such a system as that?
an example, a minister friend of mine who was brought up in the Catholic Church,
tells the story of how his older brother went to confession every single week
and confessed the same sin to the same priest and was given the same penance in
order to receive absolution. This went on week after week, year after year. One
day, while on a trip from home, he decided that he would not break his pattern
of going to weekly confession, so he went to another Catholic Church in the city
he was visiting. He went into the confession box and confessed the same sin to
a different priest. He began with "forgive me Father for I have sinned," and then
began confessing the sin once again, but this time he was shocked when the priest
said: "But my son, that's not a sin!" My friend's brother got up, and hurried
out the door, and from that day on he has never stepped foot in any church again.
search in vain in the Bible for any word supporting the doctrine of "auricular
confession." (11) It is equally impossible to find any authorization or general
practice of it during the first 1000 years of the Christian era. Not a word is
found in the writings of the early church fathers about confessing sins to a priest
or to anyone except God alone. Auricular confession is not mentioned once in the
writings of Augustine, Origen, Nestorius, Tertullian, Jerome, Chrysostem, or Athanasius
- all of these and many others apparently lived and died without ever thinking
of going to confession. No one other than God was thought to be worthy to hear
confessions or to grant forgiveness.
was first introduced into the church on a voluntary basis in the fifth century
by the authority of Leo the Great. But it was not until the Fourth Lateran Council
in 1215 under Pope Innocent III that private auricular confession was make compulsory
and all Roman Catholic people were required to confess and to seek absolution
from a priest at least once a year. If they did not obey this command, they were
pronounced guilty of mortal sin and damned for eternity to hell. (12)
A Priest Forgive Sins?
Scriptures teach that "only God can forgive sins" (Mark 2:7). "The Son of man
has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Matt. 9:6). Dr. Zachello tells of his
experience as a priest in the confessional before leaving the Roman Church, in
these words: "Where my doubts were really troubling me was inside the confessional
box. People coming to me, kneeling down in front of me, confessing their sins
to me. And I, with the sign of the cross, was promising that I had the power to
forgive their sins. I, a sinner, a man, was taking God's place. It was God's laws
they were breaking, not mine. To God, therefore, they must make confession; and
to God alone they must pray for forgiveness." (13)
fact, the only word in the Bible about confessing sins to anyone other than God,
is found in James: "Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another,
so that you may be healed" (5:16). It is obvious that the Lord meant what He says
in Revelation, chapter 1, that "He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His
God and Father" (vs. 6), and Peter calls the church "a chosen race, a royal priesthood"
(I Pet. 2:9). Believe it or not, the only mention of New Testament believers being
priests is used in a context where all true believers are included, not just a
select few. That is why James could say that we should confess our sins "to one
love to quote the verse in John 20:23 to prove that priests do have the power
to "forgive and retain" sins. "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have
been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." The
powers of forgiving and retaining sins, were given to the apostles as proclaimers
of the Word of God, not as priests. As we have just pointed out, there are no
Christian "priests" in New Testament teaching and doctrine. Pastors, yes. Deacons,
yes. Apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists, yes. Priests, no!
was telling His followers that by preaching the gospel, they were being given
the power to declare that a person's sins were forgiven them by God! And if an
individual, or group did not receive them and the forgiveness they offered in
the name of Jesus, than they were instructed to "shake the dust off their feet"
as a protest against them, and warn them that it would be more tolerable for Sodom
and Gomorra in the day of judgment than for them (Matt. 10:14-15). In other words,
if a person rejected the apostles' preaching of the gospel, they had the right
to tell that person that his sins were not forgiven, because they had rejected
God's only provision for atonement of sins. "The one who listens to you listens
to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me" (Luke 10:16). This power to forgive
and retain sins, contrary to Rome's teaching, belongs to everyone who preaches
the true gospel of salvation.
the Roman system, penance is one of the seven sacraments. (14) The Baltimore Catechism
defines penance as "the sacrament by which sins committed after baptism are forgiven
through the absolution of the priest." (15) Another catechism published in New
York says, "the priest gives penance to help me to make up for the temporal punishment
does not always make full satisfaction for my sins. I should therefore do other
acts of penance ... and try to gain indulgences." And in Instructions for Non-
Catholics, we read: "After confession some temporal punishment due to sin generally
remains. You should therefore perform other acts of penance also so that you may
make up for these punishments, and avoid a long stay in purgatory." (16)
as a System of Works
indeed is salvation by works. For penance, as the catechism says, involves confession
on one's sins to a priest and the doing of good works as the only way by which
sins committed after baptism can be forgiven. The Church of Rome thus demands
acts of penance before She grants forgiveness, inferring that the sacrifice of
Christ was not sufficient to atone fully for sin and that it must be supplemented
to some extent by these good works.
what God demands is not acts of penance but repentance, which means turning from
the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him
return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; for He will abundantly pardon"
easy way in which the Church of Rome deals with sin is seen in this doctrine of
penance. The penitent receives pardon on comparatively easy terms. He is assigned
some task to perform, usually not too hard, sometimes merely the recital of a
given number of "Hail Mary's." the result is that he has no qualms about resuming
his evil course. It shocked Martin Luther when he read the Greek New Testament
edited by Erasmus, that Jesus did not say "do penance" as had been translated
by the Roman Church, but "repent."
is a wholly different thing from gospel repentance. Penance is an outward act.
Repentance is of the heart. Penance is imposed by a Roman priest. Repentance is
the work of the Holy Spirit. What God desires in the sinner is not a punishment
of oneself for sins, but a change of heart, a real forsaking of sin, shown by
a new life of obedience to God's commands.
short, penance is a counterfeit repentance. It is the work of man on his body;
true repentance is the work of God in the soul. The Divine Word commands, "Rend
your heart and not your garments" (Joel 2:13). Penance is "rending the garments"
- an outward form without inward reality.
Romanism does teach that Christ died for our sins, it also teaches that His sacrifice
alone was not sufficient, and that our sufferings must be added to make it effective.
In accordance with this, many have tried to earn salvation by fastings, rituals,
flagellations and good works of various kinds. But those who attempt such a course
always find that it is impossible to do enough to earn salvation.
C.D. Cole says, "Romanism is a complicated system of salvation by works. It offers
salvation on the installment plan, then sees to it that the poor sinner is always
behind in his payments, so that when he dies there is a large unpaid balance,
and he must continue payments by sufferings in purgatory, or until the debt is
paid by the prayers, alms, and sufferings of his living relatives and friends.
The whole system and plan calls for merit and money from the cradle to the grave
and even beyond. Surely the wisdom that drew such a plan of salvation is not from
Biblical Teaching on Good Works
works, of course, are pleasing to God and they have an important and necessary
place in the life of the Christian. they naturally follow if one has true faith,
and they are performed out of love and gratitude to God for the great salvation
that He has bestowed. Good works, in other words, are not the cause and basis
of salvation, but rather the fruits and proof of salvation - "Not by works done
in righteousness which we did ourselves, but according to His mercy He saved us
through the washing of regeneration and the renewing the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).
The born-again Christian produces good works as naturally as the grapevine produces
grapes. They are a part of his very nature. He performs them not to get saved,
but because he is saved.
just because it is grace, is not given on the basis of proceeding merits. By no
stretch of the imagination can a man's good works in this life be considered a
just equivalent for the blessings of eternal life. But all men because of pride,
naturally feel that they should earn their salvation, and a system which makes
some provision in that regard readily appeals to them. But Paul lays the ax to
such reasoning then he says: "If a law had been given which was able to impart
life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law" (Gal. 3:21). Time
and again the Scriptures repeat that salvation is of grace, as if anticipating
the difficulty that men would have in accepting the fact that they would not be
able to earn it.
Council of Trent, in its opposition to the reformer's doctrine of justification
by faith, and in defense of its doctrine of penance, declared: "Whosoever shall
affirm that men are justified solely by the imputation of the righteousness of
Christ ... let him be accursed". (18) And the Catholic Almanac says, "Penance
is necessary for salvation ... and was instituted by Christ for the forgiveness
of sins". (19)
modern church teachings completely concur: "Many things are necessary for salvation.
All these things work together - faith, baptism, the Eucharist, the doing of good
works, and others as well. Redemption is one thing, salvation is quite another.
There is nothing lacking on Christ's part; there is much to be done on ours."
(20) Also, in a booklet published in 1967, under the subheading, "We Must Atone
Too", it says that "even though the satisfaction of Christ was complete and universal,
nevertheless all adult Christians are obliged to imitate their suffering Master
and make personal satisfaction for their sins by good works. (21) But the apostle
Paul in his masterpiece on justification by faith says, "Having now been justified
by His blood we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (22) (Rom.5:9).
Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness. Now to the
one who works, the reward is not reckoned as grace, but as debt. But to the one
who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is
reckoned as righteousness" (Rom. 4:3-5).
a significant coincidence it is that this doctrine of justification by faith is
given such prominence in the epistle to the Romans, since Rome later became the
seat of the papacy! It seems to be written there as if intended as a strong and
permanent protest against the errors of the Roman Church.
from the Editor: For some interesting insights into Purgatory, go to the following
two WEB Sites: One
first consequence of the doctrine of penance (as well as the doctrines of purgatory
and indulgences) is that the Roman Catholic, though baptized and confirmed, can
never have that assurance of his salvation and that sense of spiritually security
which is such a blessing to the true Christian. In proportion as he is spiritually
sensitive, the person who holds to a works religion knows that he has not suffered
as much as his sins deserve, and that he can never do as much as he should in
order to be worthy of salvation.
dying Roman Catholic, after he has done all that he can do and after the last
rites have been given to him, is told that he still must go to purgatory. There
he will suffer unknown torture, with no assurance as to how long it will continue,
but with the assurance that if his relatives pray for his soul, and pay with sufficient
generosity to have candles lit and have special Masses said for him, that his
sufferings will be shortened somewhat.
what a contrast with all of that, is the death of the true believer who has the
assurance that he goes straight to heaven into the immediate presence of Christ!
(Phil. 1:23). What a marvelous blessing is the true faith of the Christian, both
in life and especially at the time of death!
Council of Trent even pronounced a curse upon anyone who presumed to say that
he had assurance of salvation, or the whole punishment for sin is forgiven along
with that sin. (23) Such assurance is pronounced a delusion and a result of sinful
pride. Tome keeps her subjects in constant fear and insecurity. Even at death,
after extreme unction has been administered and after thousands of rosary prayers
have been said "for the repose of the soul", the priest still cannot give assurance
of salvation. The person is never "good enough" but must serve in purgatory prison
to be purified of venial sins before he can be admitted to the celestial city.
No one can be truly happy or truly at peace. And particularly in spiritual matters,
a state of doubt and uncertainty continues for one's whole life, and right into
God wants us to be saved, and according to the Bible the Holy Spirit can give
us the assurance that we have salvation when we have a true, intimate relationship
with the Son of God (I John 5:9-12). But in Romanism, one must work hard for it
and must pay dearly for it, and after he has done all the priest has prescribed,
he still cannot know whether he has it or not. And through it all, there stands
the anathema of the Council of Trent against all who affirm the certainty of their
salvation. Hence, there cannot truly be found anywhere a Roman Catholic, consistent
to what his church teaches, who enjoys the true assurance of eternal life.
is obvious by even this brief glimpse into the doctrines of mortal and venial
sins, confession, penance, and purgatory, the Roman Catholic Church has constructed
one of the most unbiblical doctrinal systems that has ever been considered "Christian".
The fear, anguish, and religious bondage that such a system of "reward and punishment"
creates, has tormented millions of lives for centuries, and continues to prey
on those who are ignorant of the biblical way of salvation.
Roman Church is an Empire with its own ruler, its own laws, and its own subjects.
It calls the members of other faiths "separated brethren" (24) and has as its
goal the eventual bringing together of everyone under its flag.
know that many will not be convinced or moved by this article to make such a conclusion.
They are impressed by what they've heard about recent stirrings among the Catholics
in the "Charismatic renewal". Many evangelicals (especially charismatics) have
been thrilled by the reports of Catholics speaking in tongues, dancing in the
Spirit, having nights of joy and praise, even attending "charismatic Masses".
that used to speak out boldly against the Church of Rome have been quieted by
the times. It no longer is in vogue to speak out against such error (25). Now
Protestants unwittingly believe that "our differences are not so great".
never completely understood why God led me to write these articles. But it becomes
more clear with each day of study and each page of research that the truth of
Scripture must be defended for the glory of our Lord Jesus and for those who desperately
need to be set free.
4. What did "Vatican II" Really Change?
Roman Catholic Church is very proud of two distinct things: 1) that it has never
changed, and 2) that it has changed very much! I realize that number 2 seems to
contradict number 1, but anyone who has studied church history even briefly, will
be able to grasp what I'm trying to say.
Rome is very emphatic about making clear these unalterable facts:
A. That she is the original and only church founded by Jesus Christ upon the earth.
That her head, the pope, has the authority handed down from the "first pope,"
Simon Peter, through "apostolic succession," (1) to sit in the place of Jesus
as the undisputed leader of all true Christians on earth.
That her traditions and interpretations of scripture are the only basis for forming
the rules and guidelines that Christians everywhere should live by.
And that her dogmas and doctrines, although they can be clarified, enlarged, or
restated for the sake of changing times, can never, ever be abolished, contradicted,
or altered. They are quite literally, "Canon Law."
the other hand, modern Roman Catholics are immensely pleased with the reforms
and evolution they have seen in their Church, especially since the cataclysmic
"Second Vatican Council" (more commonly know as "Vatican II"). They point to how
much has been done to open the way for "all Christians everywhere to finally come
together!" This, of course, does seem very exciting, especially since Rome has
been largely on the defensive since the Reformation. Starting with the Council
of Trent in 1546, there has been one papal decree after another, which has completely
make it impossible (even forbidden) for Catholics to have any "fellowship" with
but "time heals all wounds" [we] say, and like everything else, the giant chasm
between Protestant and catholic now seems with the passing of centuries, to appear
like just a "little misunderstanding." And Vatican II, which included such sweeping
reforms as allowing Mass to be said in the common local language, and no longer
forbidding Catholics to read a Protestant Bible, or attend a Protestant church
service, seemed to make the differences between Rome and the rest of the fragmented
Christian world look very petty.
you probably might guess, I do not believe this to be the case. In fact, in my
research and studies I have only found the opposite to be true, Yes indeed, the
Catholic Church is changing! It has probably never changed so much in all its
history as during the past generation, but it has not changed one, single, solitary
doctrine! Each and every point of dogma that has alarmed evangelical theologians
for the past 400 years remains the same, exactly as written, and in full force!
because of all the changed garments, all the reformed liturgies and ceremonies,
and the resulting freedom of worship, Catholics everywhere (as well as many Protestants)
have mistakenly believed that something substantial has really changed! But this
is not a surprise, it has happened before many times in history. When you change
the key, the instruments, or the rhythm of a song, almost everyone will believe
you have a new song. Only those who listen carefully to the lyrics, or who know
their music well, will realize that yes, the style is different, but the song
is the same!
whole thing seems so sad to me, when I realize how very few there are among Catholics
(and Protestants) who really know what Roman Catholicism teaches. It is truly
shocking! And what's even more alarming, is the potential for the devil to pull
the wool over people's eyes because of their ignorance.
have received many letters from Catholics in response to the first three Chronicles,
which have basically said this: "The Catholic Church has really changed! why not
use the current beliefs and teachings that are a result of Vatican II?" Believe
me, in each of my articles, I was doing just that! I would be a fool to be refuting
doctrines and teaching that are no longer being used. But because Catholic worship
is based so much on ritual, ceremony, and symbolic outward forms, the average
Catholic believes with all his heart that when he sees these surface things altered,
that his church has really changed! You have only to look at the documents of
Vatican II to see that this is not the case.
Need for Vatican II
the early 1960's, the Vatican knew that there was a need to give the Church a
face-lift. Many of its policies seemed out of place, and most of its forms of
worship were stiff and outdated. There was a feeling among the bishops that the
Church needed to evolve with the times, and there was also a growing to reunite
with Rome, that she was going to have to give herself a more pleasant and appealing
appearance. There was also criticism from her own ranks that her doctrines needed
to be clarified and "re- stated" in a more simple and less dogmatic tone than
previous councils had done.
the Second Vatican Council was called by Pope John XXIII in 1962, and continued
under Pope Paul VI until 1965 when it issued "The Documents of Vatican II," each
on different aspects of church teaching and doctrine. The spirit and attitude
of these documents were remarkably different from any the Roman Church had ever
produced. They were full of scriptural references, and did not include any blatant
"curses" on those who did not agree (as previous councils had done). They were
revolutionary in freeing individual parish priests to conduct Masses in the way
they best could reach the local culture and community. This, as well as changes
in church administration and religious freedom were the main results of the Council.
the following years, there were other changes that proceeded out of Rome as a
result of the new attitudes which were born from Vatican II. These included the
removal of the strict requirement to refrain from eating meat on Fridays (and
also the command to fast during Lent). Although these practices were still encouraged,
they were now optional instead of mandatory. The whole Church seemed to be loosening
up. And ecumenical leaders the world over were beginning to see the light at the
end of the church-unity tunnel.
in the midst of all this, a few ardent Christians still stubbornly pointed out
that although the procedure and the language of the Mass might have changed, the
meaning of it still remained very much the same. And though the outward forms
and words used by Rome had been altered much, the things she taught and believed
had only been confirmed and repeated in the soft and soothing tone of the Vatican
then came the "charismatic renewal" seemingly out of nowhere! With the Pope's
blessing, Catholics were taking part in charismatic Masses, speaking in tongues,
prophesying, singing and shouting side by side with Evangelical Protestants! Everyone
was so excited - they thought, "Now we've got the devil licked! Why, doctrine
wasn't important anymore, that was for seminary students and old, stuffy theologians!"
but as the excitement started to quiet down a little, the Protestants noticed
that a few of their Catholic brothers and sisters were still praying to Mary,
and were even offering prayers for their dead relatives in the prayer meetings.
soon became apparent that unity was not going to be as easy as it had seemed at
first. Protestants began to make inquiries, and they started bothering their Catholic
friends too much with questions like, "Do you think the Pope is saved?" As you
can see, the whole future of the ecumenical movement hinges on this all-important
question: "Can a Roman Catholic be considered a genuine believer (according to
the Bible), and still believe the things the Roman Church teaches?"
Things That Vatican II Did Not Change
help answer that question, we have prepared a list of teachings and practices
that have been adopted and perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Church over the last
1600 years. It is important to note that not one of these were altered at all
by the Second Vatican Council.
Scholar Looks at Vatican II
Loraine Boettner, noted Evangelical authority on Roman Catholic doctrine, takes
an in-depth look at the documents of Vatican II in the preface to the fifth edition
of his book Roman Catholicism. Dr. Boettner writes:
Second Vatican Council, which closed late in 1965, made changes in the liturgy,
administrative practices, and in the matter of religious freedom. It repeated
the claim that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church, although it
did recognize that other churches contain some elements of truth.
Pope John XXIII, who called the first session, and Pope Paul VI, who presided
over the later sessions (as well as several prominent cardinal and theologians),
took care to emphasize that no changes would be made in the doctrinal structure
of the Church. However, Pope Paul did promulgate [declare] one new doctrine, which
asserts that `Mary is the Mother of the Church.' The primary purpose of the Council
was to update the liturgy and administrative practices and so to make the Church
more efficient and more acceptable to the 20th century world.
introduction of the `New Mass,' for instance, brought about a change in language
- Latin is no longer required, except in the prayer of consecration. But as Protestants,
it is not important to us whether the Mass is said in Latin or English or Swahili
- it is not the language of the Mass that we object to, it is its content and
meaning. (See Chronicle II, `The Sacrifice of the Mass').
previous occasions, Rome has changed her tactics when old methods became ineffective,
but she has never changed her nature. In any religious organization, doctrine
is the most basic and important part of its structure, since what people believe
determines what they do. An official document, 'The Constitution on the Church'
prepared by the Council and approved by the Pope, reaffirms basic Catholic doctrine
precisely as it stood before the Council met. The doctrine of papal infallibility
is restated. We are told that when 'by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine
of faith and morals ... his definitions, of themselves, and not by the consent
of the Church, are justly called, irreformable' (Article 25).
pope has lost none of his powers. He remains the absolute ruler in the Roman Church.
But if papal decrees past and present are 'irreformable', what hope is there for
real reform in the Church of Rome?
many of these beliefs were practiced earlier than the dates given, they did not
become binding on all Catholics until they were officially adopted by church councils
and proclaimed by the Pope as dogmas of faith. All dates are approximate.
(or elders) were first called priests by Lucian ... 2nd century.
Prayers for the dead ... AD 300.
The VENERATION of angels and dead saints and the use of images ... 375.
The Mass as a daily celebration was adopted ... 394.
The beginning of the exaltation of Mary, and the first use of the term
of God" by the Council of Ephesus ... 431.
Priests began to dress different from the laity and to wear special clothes ...
Extreme Unction ... 526.
The doctrine of purgatory was first established by Gregory the Great ... 593.
Prayers began to be offered to Mary, dead saints, and angels ... 600.
The first man was proclaimed "Pope" (Boniface III) ... 610.
Veneration of the cross, images, and relics authorized ... 788.
Holy water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by a priest was authorized
in ... 850.
Veneration of Saint Joseph ... 890.
College of cardinals begun ... 927.
Canonization of dead saints, first by Pope John XV ... 995.
The Mass developed gradually as a sacrifice, attendance was made obligatory in
The celibacy of the priesthood was decreed by Pope Hildebrand, Boniface VII ...
The rosary, or prayer beads copied from Hindus and Mohammedans) was introduced
by Peter the Hermit ... 1090.
The Inquisition (2) of "Heretics" was instituted by the Council of Verona ...
1184, and was legalized and promoted by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215.
The sale of Indulgences ... 1190.
The seven sacraments defined by Peter Lombard ... 12th century.
The dogma of transubstantiation was decreed by Pope Innocent III ... 1215.
Confession of sins to the priest at least once a year was instituted by
Innocent III in the Lateran Council ... 1215.
The adoration of the wafer (host) decreed by Pope Honorius III ... 1220.
The scapular invented by Simon Stock of England ... 1251.
The doctrine of purgatory proclaimed a dogma by the Council of Florence ... 1439.
Tradition is declared of equal authority with the Bible by the Council Trent ...
The Apocryphal Books were added to the Bible by the Council of Trent ... 1545.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
Pope Pius IX condemns all scientific discoveries not approved by the Roman Church
Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals proclaimed by the First
Vatican Council ... 1870.
Pius XI condemned the public schools ... 1930.
Pius XI reaffirmed the doctrine that Mary is "The Mother of God" ... 1931.
The dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII
Mary proclaimed the Mother of the Church by Pope Paul VI ... 1965.
document on the Church repeats in substance the teaching of the Council of Trent
that 'priests and bishops are the representatives of God on earth ... justly,
therefore, they are called not only angels, but gods, holding as they do the place
of authority of God on earth.' (Catechism of Trent).
fact, no more sweeping claims were made by the Council of Trent (1545-1563), nor
by the First Vatican Council (1870), than are made in these documents from Vatican
II. Despite all the claims to the contrary, the Council has firmly maintained
the doctrine of the primacy of Peter (3) and of papal succession. In his book,
Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul expressed his distress because of what some of the 'separated
brethren' (4) say about the pope as the stumbling block in the way of church unity.
He said, 'Do not some of them say that if it were not for the primacy of the pope,
the reunion of the separated churches with Catholic Church would be easy? We beg
the separated brethren to consider the inconsistency of this position, not only
in that, without the pope, the Catholic Church would no longer be Catholic, but
also because without the supreme decisive pastoral office of Peter, the unity
of the Church of Christ would utterly collapse.
must say that at this point we agree with the Pope, at least to this extent, that
if the Roman Catholic Church were reformed according to scripture, it would have
to be abandoned. But the gross errors concerning salvation still remain. Moreover,
the Council did nothing toward removing the more than 100 anathemas or curses
pronounced by the Council of Trent on the Protestant churches and beliefs. If
there is to be any true unity, surely this would seem the logical place to start."
could not find a more fitting conclusion than Dr. Boettner's:
'Constitution on the Church' makes it abundantly clear that Rome has no intention
of revising any of her basic doctrine, but only of updating her methods and techniques
for more efficient administration and to present a more attractive appearance.
This is designed to make it easier for the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant
churches to return to her fold. There is no indication that she has any intentions
of entering into genuine give-and-take church unity negotiations. Her purpose
is not union, but ABSORPTION. Church union with Rome is strictly a one-way street.
The age-old danger that Protestantism has faced from the Roman Church has not
diminished; in fact, it may well have increased. For through this less-offensive
posture and this superficial ecumenicism, Rome is much better situated to carry
out her program of eliminating opposition and moving into a position of world
dominance. AN INFALLIBLE CHURCH SIMPLY CANNOT REPENT."
- The Roman
Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ ordained the 12 apostles to the priesthood
at the Last Supper, and to their successors, the Roman priesthood, Jesus promised
and guaranteed His continual presence in their teaching and governing until the
end of time.
Inquisition - the act of inquiring into a matter; an investigation - American
Heritage Dictionary. Lucius III decreed that bishops should take action against
heretics. A characteristic of this decree was that a suspect, once convicted of
being a heretic, was to be handed over to the secular arm for punishment. Before
the Inquisition ran its course, historians estimate that 5 to 15 million people
lost their lives through torture and execution (From: A History of Christianity
in the World by Clyde L. Manschreck).
The doctrine that Christ has given Peter the key role of lawful authority... that
Peter would be His chief ambassador, His authentic vicar (pope) and this power
continues to be extended to Peter's successors through the ages - the popes.
The term used by Vatican II to describe the members of other non- Catholic Christian
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