Roman Catholicism

by Matt Slick

There is so much about the Catholic Church that is fascinating. They teach many orthodox things, and then they teach so many non-orthodox doctrines. Following are some of them in an easy-to-cut-and-paste arrangement.  Also, check out the Roman Catholicism section on CARM.

  1. Apocrypha
    1. Athanasius (300?-375) excludes apocrypha from canon of scripture: "But since we have made mention of heretics as dead, but of ourselves as possessing the Divine Scriptures for salvation...some few of the simple should be beguiled from their simplicity and purity, by the subtility of certain men, and should henceforth read other books--those called apocryphal--led astray by the similarity of their names with the true books...3...to reduce into order for themselves the books termed apocryphal, and to mix them up with the divinely inspired Scripture...it seemed good to me also, having been urged thereto by true brethren, and having learned from the beginning, to set before you the books included in the Canon, and handed down, and accredited as Divine; to the end that any one who has fallen into error may condemn those who have led him astray; and...4 There are, then, of the Old Testament, twenty-two books in number; for, as I have heard, it is handed down that this is the number of the letters among the Hebrews;5 Again it is not tedious to speak of the [books] of the New Testament..." [the apocryphal books are excluded!] (Athanasius, Festal Letter 39:2-5)
    2. Jerome (347-420) says Judith, Tobit, Maccabees not scripture:  "As, then, the Church reads Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees, but does not admit them among the canonical Scriptures, so let it read these two volumes for the edification of the people, not to give authority to doctrines of the Church."--(Jerome, Prefaces to the Books of the Vulgate Version of the Old Testament, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs).
    3. Julius Africanus (160-240) says the apocrypha book of Susanna is a forgery. "In your sacred discussion with Agnomon you referred to that prophecy of Daniel which is related of his youth. This at that time, as was meet, I accepted as genuine. Now, however, I cannot understand how it escaped you that this part of the book is spurious. For, in sooth, this section, although apart from this it is elegantly written, is plainly a more modern forgery. There are many proofs of this...But a more fatal objection is, that this section, along with the other two at the end of it, is not contained in the Daniel received among the Jews," (Julius Africanus, A Letter to Origen from Africanus About the History of Susanna)
    4. Question for Catholics. Do you Catholics believe what the Apocrypha teaches that putting the heart of a fish on hot coals drives away evil spirits (Tobit 6:8)? Do you believe you should give money for the sins of the dead (Tobit 4:11; 2 Macc. 12:43), and do you believe that Nebachanezer was the King of the Assyrians (Judith 1:5)?
  2. Atonement
    1. Question:  Sin is breaking the Law of God (1 John 3:4). Jesus bore our sins in his body (1 Pet. 2:24) and made a legal (Lawful, according to scripture) atoning sacrifice (John 19:30) where he cancelled our sin debt (Col. 2:14). So if every single sin and sin debt you've ever committed has been canceled, then how is it possible for you to lose your salvation since there are no sins left that can be held against you?
  3. Authority
    1. "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ," (CCC par. 85).
    2. " The Church's Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ..." (CCC, par. 88).
    3. “But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me,” (CCC, 119).
    4. "The power which they [catholic bishops] exercise personally in the name of Christ, is proper, ordinary, and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately controlled by the supreme authority of the Church,” (CCC, par. 895).
    5. “Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ,” (CCC, par. 1495).
    6. "The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God," (CCC 816).
  4. Baptism Saves
    1. "...Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that 'we too might walk in newness of life,'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church par. 977).
    2. "Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God's mercy," (CCC, par. 2020).
    3. But the Bible says:
      1. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast;" (Eph. 2:8-9).
      2. "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
  5. Catechism of the Catholic Church
    1. Become a godCCC 460, The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."
      1. Paste:  Become a god:  CCC 460, "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."
      2. Article:  The CCC paragraph 460 and becoming gods.
    2. Merit Grace unto Eternal Life:  CCC 2010, "...Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life."
    3. Merit Grace unto Eternal Life:  CCC 2027, "Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods."
    4. Observe the Commandments to attain Salvation:  CCC 2068, "The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; the Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord...the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."
      1. PasteObserve the Commandments to attain salvation:  CCC 2068, "the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."
      2. Counter Verses:
        1. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Rom. 3:28).
        2. "For what does the scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).
        3. "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," (Rom. 4:5).
  6. Eucharist
    1. How is it possible for the Eucharist to be the body and blood of Christ? Isn't a man only in one place at one time as Jesus was in the incarnation? He is still a man (1 Tim. 2:5). Therefore, the incarnation means that the man Jesus is only at one place at a time. Therefore, the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist violates the doctrine of the incarnation of Christ.
    2. The Eucharist is the broken body and shed blood of Christ, right? When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, he said it was his body and blood; but how can that be since he was sitting right there? Was he sitting there and also physically in the bread and wine, too?
    3. The Eucharist is the broken body and shed blood of Christ, right? When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, he said it was his body and blood; but he hadn't yet been crucified, so how could it be his shed blood and broken body?
    4. The RC Eucharist cannot literally be Christ’s blood because when Jesus instituted the supper, Levitical Law was still in effect since the death of Christ had not yet occurred and the New Covenant was not then instituted (Heb. 9:15-16). So, since the disciples were under O.T. Law when Jesus instituted the Supper, then how was Jesus NOT urging the disciples to violate the command in Lev. 17:14 which says that they were NOT drink the blood of any flesh? (Furthermore, the Jerusalem council also forbid drinking blood in Acts 15:19-20).
    5. Objections Answered
      1. Lev. 17:14 is about animal sacrifice--not human sacrifices; therefore, it does not apply to the Eucharist. The context includes verse 11 which says "For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life." Does this apply to people as well?  Of course it does.  Furthermore, if it is wrong for people to drink the blood of humans according to the Old Testament, please show me the Scripture that states it. If there is no verse that specifically says that people are not to drink the blood of people, then we are forced to go to Scriptures that speaks about drinking the blood. What verses would anyone use support that idea if not Lev. 17:14?
  7. Forgiveness
    1. “Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit,” (CCC 985).
    2. "In the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justification" (CCC 987).
    3. “Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father--every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins,” (CCC 1437).
    4. “The sacrament of forgiveness. “...Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification,” (CCC 1446).
    5. “It [penance] allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration,” (CCC 1447).
    6. “...obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance,” (CCC 1453).
  8. Grace
    1. "Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it" (CCC, par. 2023).
    2. "...Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life," (CCC 2010).
    3. "Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods," (CCC 2027).
  9. Interpretation
    1. "...no one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine,--wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold," (Trent, Session 4, "Decree Concerning the Edition, and the Use, of the Sacred Books")
  10. Islam
    1. The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day," (CCC, par. 841)
  11. Justification
    1. "Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God's mercy," (CCC, par. 2020).
    2. "If any one saith, that it is an imposture to celebrate masses in honour of the saints, and for obtaining their intercession with God, as the Church intends; let him be anathema. (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 5)
    3. "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).
    4. "If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema," (Canon 14).
    5. Verses on Justification to counter the RC position
      1. "being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;" (Rom. 3:24).
      2. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Rom. 3:28).
      3. "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).
      4. "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," (Rom. 4:5).
      5. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
      6. "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him," (Rom. 5:9).
      7. "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;" (Rom. 10:9).
      8. "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace," (Rom. 11:6).
      9. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God;" (Eph. 2:8).
    6. Trent anathematized anyone who claimed assurance of salvation (Canon 14 on Justification), contrary to the Bible (1 John 5:13). In Roman Catholic salvation initial justification is granted to you via baptism (Catechism of the Catholic Church par 2020; 1247), successive sacred rites (CCC 1248), not by faith alone (CCC 1815), but with service (CCC 1816).
    7. Justification can be lost by sinning. To regain the grace of justification you must participate in the sacraments and perform penance (CCC, par. 1446; Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, c. i).
    8. Natural Law and RC justification
      1. "The specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the creator, is necessary for salvation," (CCC 2036).  "The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law. It is made known to us by divine revelation and by human reason," (CCC 2080).
        1. Are you keeping enough of the law, the natural law (which includes the 10 Commandments) in order to be saved?  Gal. 3:10 says, " For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” 
        2. CCC 2036 says that you are required to keep the natural law in order to be saved (it is "necessary for salvation").  The Natural Law is the 10 Commandments (CCC 2080).  Are you keeping the Natural Law?  If you go to confession, then that is an admission that you are not.  Therefore, you are lost.
        3. James 2:10, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."  If are supposed to keep the natural law (because it is necessary for salvation CCC 2036), then you're not allowed to stumble and even one point otherwise you are guilty of breaking all of the law.
        4. 1 Cor. 2:14, "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."
      2. Love is the fulfillment of the Law
        1. The Catholics say that you must keep the Law of Love.  Okay, Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love God (Matt. 22:37-38 from Deut. 6:5).  The 2nd greatest is to love your neighbor (Matt. 22:39 from Lev. 19:18).  He said that the Law and Prophets were fulfilled in these two Laws.  Therefore, to keep the Law of love, you must keep the commandments.  You are still teaching being saved by keeping the Law--even if you say it is faith, working in love, that keeps the Law.
  12. Mary per Catholicism
    1. Apparitions of Mary
      1. 1531, Guadalupe Mexico, appearance to Juan Diego.
        1. These are the words of the apparition. Let’s take a look at them and pay close attention to who is exalted. Also, notice that the apparition claims perfection and holiness. "Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary.”  (theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/words/wordguad.html)
        2. Marian Apparition, Guadalupe, Mexio, 1531, “I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings.” (theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/words/wordguad.html)
        3. Marian Apparition, Guadalupe, Mexio, 1531, “Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? (theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/words/wordguad.html)
      2. 1858, Lourdes, France.  In 1858 a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous claimed to have seen Mary several times in a cave near Lourdes.
        1. "Kiss the ground as a penance for sinners," (theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/words/wordlour.html)
      3. 1917, Fatima, Portugal.  In 1917 three children (Jacinto Marto, Lucia Santos, and Francisco Marto) said an apparition of Mary appeared to them that was brighter than the sun.
        1. Marian Apparition, 1917, May 13, Fatima, Portugal, “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God to bear all the sufferings He wants to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and for the conversion of sinners?” (theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/words/wordfati.html)
        2. Marian Apparition, 1917, June 13, Fatima, Portugal, "I will take Jacinta and Francisco shortly; but you will stay here for some time to come. Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne," (theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/words/wordfati.html)
        3. Marian Apparition, 1917, July 13, Fatima, Portugal, “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say often to Jesus, especially whenever you make a sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.(theotokos.org.uk/pages/approved/words/wordfati.html)
    2. Condition of Mary
      1. Mary Full of Grace, According to Luke 1:28, the RCC says "full of grace" in reference to Mary, but in the Greek "full of grace" is "plaras karitos" which is not found in Luke 1:28 but is found in John 1:14 of Jesus and Acts 6:8 of Stephen. Instead, what is found in Luke 1:28 is "kexaritomena" which means "highly favored one."
        1. "Full of Grace" (plaras karitos) is found only in two places in the New Testament: John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
          Acts 6:8, "And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people."
      2. Mary is full of grace:  "The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" should herself be "full of grace," (CCC 722)
      3. Mary not subject to corruption:  "She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body" (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 5); "her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb," (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 14)
        1. PasteMary not subject to corruption:  "...she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body" (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 5); "her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb," (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, # 14)
      4. Mary is the all holy one:  "By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the 'Mother of Mercy,' the All-Holy One," (CCC 2677)
      5. Mary is the 2nd Eve:  It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam," (Mystici Corpois Christ, par. 110)
    3. Devotion to Mary
      1. Devotion to Mary:  "The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary," (CCC. 971).
      2. Entrust our cares to Mary:  "Holy Mary, Mother of God...we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: 'Let it be to me according to your word.' [Lk 1:38] By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: 'Thy will be done,' (CCC 2677).
      3. Ask Mary to pray for us:  "By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the 'Mother of Mercy,' the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender 'the hour of our death' wholly to her care," (CCC 2677).
      4. Pray to Mary:  "Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father," (CCC 2679).
      5. Marian prayer is epitome of the gospel:   "The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, are an epitome of the whole Gospel," (par. 971).
      6. Mary is worshipped:  "...when she [Mary] is the subject of preaching and worship she prompts the faithful to come to her Son..." (Vatican Council II, p. 420). See quote in Context
      7. No Better way than to look to Mary:  "After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary," (CCC 972).
      8. Entrusting ourselves to Mary's prayer:  "By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: 'Thy will be done,' (CCC 2677).
    4. Position of Mary
      1. Mary sits at the right hand of Christ: "...she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces. Jesus "sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high" (Hebrews i. b.). Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son..." (Pope Pius X, 1835-1914, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14).
      2. Mary is 2nd only to Jesus:  "Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son" (Vatican Council II, p. 421). "This mother...is waiting and preparing your home for you," (Handbook for Todays Catholic, p. 31).
      3. "so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother," (Vatican Website:  Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914)
      4. Mary taken into heaven:  Mary, "...when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven..." (par. 974). 
    5. Titles of Mary
      1. Mary is Advocate, Helper, Mediatrix:  [Mary] "Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation...Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'" (CCC, par. 969)
      2. Mary Mother of the members of Christ:  Mary is "The mother of the members of Christ," (CCC par. 963).
      3. Mary Preserved from original sin:  She was "Preserved free from all stain of original sin," (CCC, par. 966).
      4. Mary is Queen over all things: "She is "Queen over all things" (CCC par. 966).
      5. Mary brings us the gifts of Eternal Life:  Mary, "...by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation...(CCC par. 969)
      6. Mary is Advocate and Mediatrix:  "The Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix" (CCC par. 969).
    6. Works of Mary
      1. Mary made atonement for the sins of man:  "Christ alone truly offered the sacrifice of atonement on the Cross...In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ.  In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind."  (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma4, Ott, page 213).
        1. Paste: Mary made atonement for the sins of man:  "...Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ.  In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind."  (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ott, page 213).
        2. They respond:  "Because she said yes to God it changed the world." "Mary's blood was in Christ."
          1. But Mary did not physically atone.  To atone requires the blood sacrifice (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22) for sin to be cleansed.  So, how did Mary atone, in the biblical sense?
      2. Mary crushed the head of the serpent:  "All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin—in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world," (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus).
      3. Mary delivers souls from death:  "...You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death," (CCC 966)
      4. Mary brings the gifts of eternal salvation:  "...by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation..." (CCC par. 969)
      5. Mary is preparing a home for you:  "This mother...is waiting and preparing your home for you" (Handbook for Today's Catholic, p. 31).
      6. Mary hears your prayers:  "May the Blessed Virgin hear your every prayer," (Message of John Paul II, read by H. E. Msgr. Francesco Marchisano, Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, Saturday, 31 May 2003)
    7. Mary per the Bible
      1. Mary, the very blessed woman, lost her virginity. "And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, 25 and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus," (Matt. 1:24-25).
      2. Mary the very blessed woman, needed a savior. Only sinners need saviors: "And Mary said: 'My soul exalts the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,'" (Luke 1:46-47).
  13. Merit
    1. "...Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life," (CCC 2010).
    2. "Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods,” (CCC 2027).
  14. Penance
    1. "Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification..." (CCC, par. 1446).
    2. "By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of penance ," (CCC par. 986).
    3. "As a means of regaining grace and justice, penance was at all times necessary for those who had defiled their souls with any mortal sin. . . .The Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, c. i).
  15. Purgatory
    1. The 2nd Vatican Council, p. 63, "The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. Gods holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments."
    2. Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1498, "Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory."
    3. Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1475, "In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things." In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin."
  16. Roman Catholic Church
    1. The RC claims to be the one true Church (CCC 2105) that was founded by Jesus (Lumen Gentium 8.1) and the apostles (857).  It is necessary for salvation (846), has the authority to "reconcile sinners with the church" (1444), to represent Christ (1548), dispense indulgences (1471), absolve sins (553, 1495), instruct people in what they should do before God (2036), and perform exorcisms (1673).  It possesses infallibility in the deposit of divine revelation, doctrine, and morals (2035).  It is "guided by the apostles until Christ's return" (857), and people are moved to believe the gospel through the Church (119).  Only the Roman Catholic Church has the authority to interpret scripture (85, 100, 119) and administer sacraments (1598).  It is the minister of redemption (1471), because only through it can full salvation come (Vatican 2, Decree on Ecumenism, 3).  Its ordained ministers act in the authority of Christ (1548), but only when such authority is united with the Pope (883, 895) who has been "endowed with the authority of Christ" (2034), as has also its Magisterium (88) which is infallible (Lumen Gentium 18).
  17. Salvation
    1. Salvation through Catholic Church alone:  "The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God," (CCC 816).
      1. Quote:  Salvation through Catholic Church alone:  "The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained," (CCC 816).
    2. Heaven is God's reward for good works:  "In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere 'to the end' and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ," (CCC, 1821).
    3. Merit grace for ourselves: "Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification," (CCC, par. 2010).
    4. Salvation through keeping the commandments: "The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them;28 the Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord...the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments," (CCC, par 2068,  http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2.htm)
      1. "...the Second Vatican Council confirms: 'The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord...the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,'" (CCC, par 2068).
    5. Saved without knowing the gospel of Christ:  “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve eternal salvation,” (CCC, 847).
    6. Catholics still under the Law.  The RCC requires the Catholics to keep the law (along with faith) to be saved (CCC 2036, 2070, 2068).  But that means that they have not died to the Law in Christ (Rom. 6:6; 7:4; 7:6).  If they had, then they would not be required to keep the Law to be saved since they would have died to it and it to them--it would have no jurisdiction over them and have no ability to contribute to salvation in any way.  So, since the RCC has its people under the Law, its people are not saved and are not freed from the Law.
    7. Necessary for Salvation
      1. “The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1257).
      2. “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 846).
      3. “This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn,” (CCC 980).
      4. “The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation, (CCC 1129).
      5. Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1816).
      6. “The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law [i.e., 10 Commandments, CCC 2070], because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 2036).
      7. Detachment from riches is necessary for entering the Kingdom of heaven,” (CCC 2556).
        1. Summation:  In Roman Catholicism that which is necessary for salvation includes the church (CCC 846), baptism (CCC 1257), penance (CCC 980), sacraments (CCC 1129), service and witness to the faith (CCC 1816), keeping the ten commandments (CCC 2036 and 2070), and detachment from riches (CCC 2556).
        2.  Question:  Can the Catholic Reconcile this?  “The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law [i.e., 10 Commandments, CCC 2070], because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 2036).  Rom. 3:28 says,  "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith APART from works of the Law” (i.e., 10 Commandents).
          1. The response is that Romans 3:28's context is about circumcision, not the Law which includes the 10 commandments, but Paul says in Gal. 5:3, "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law."  So, Paul equates circumcision with keeping the whole law...including the 10 Commandments.
    8. Questions About Salvation
      1. Do you believe that going to heaven, which is salvation, is your reward for the good works that you do?  "In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere 'to the end' and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ," (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1821).
      2. If Christians have died with Christ (Rom. 6:6, 8), and that means that the Law has no jurisdiction over us (Rom. 4:15; 10:14), because we've died to the Law (Rom. 7:4), then why does the RCC say we need to keep the commandments (Law) in order to be saved (CCC 2036, 2070, 2068)?  Also, consider that Rom. 3:28 says,  "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith APART from works of the Law” (i.e., 10 Commandents).
      3. Jesus said in Matt. 7:22-23, "Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’"  Jesus condemned them to damnation, why?  Because they appealed to their faith AND works to be in heaven.
      4. Do you really believe you can merit (earn) God's grace?  "we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification," (CCC, par. 2010).
      5. Are you keeping the commandments enough to attain your salvation?  "...so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments," (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par 2068)
      6. Are you being good enough in all that you do to be saved?
      7. James 2:10, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
      8. Gal. 3:10, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."
      9. In Mt 28:18 Jesus said all authority has been given to him. In Jn 14:14 he said that if we ask him anything in his name he would do it. So would you pray and ask Jesus to forgive you of all of your sins and put all your trust and hope in Him alone? If you do, would you be forgiven of all your sins? If not, why won’t you pray and ask Jesus to forgive you of all your sins?
      10. Sin is breaking the Law of God (1 John 3:4). Jesus bore our sins in his body (1 Pet. 2:24) and made a legal (Lawful, according to scripture) atoning sacrifice (John 19:30) where he cancelled our sin debt (Col. 2:14). So if every single sin, and sin debt, you've ever committed has been canceled, then how is it possible for you to lose your salvation since there are no sins left that can be held against you?
  18. Terms
    1. Assumption--the taking of the body and soul of Mary, by god, into glory. Catholic doctrine, apparently, does not state whether or not Mary died, but tradition holds that she died and was immediately afterward assumed into heaven both body and soul.
    2. Mass--a reenactment of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross in a ceremony performed by a priest. This ceremony is symbolically carried out by the priest and involves
    3. Mortal Sin--a serious and willful transgression of God's Law. It involves full knowledge and intent of the will to commit the sin. If left unrepentant, can damn someone to eternal hell. '
    4. Purgatory--a place of temporary punishment where the Christian is cleansed from sin before they can enter into heaven.
    5. Rosary--A string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. Each set of ten is separated by another bead. It also contains a crucifix. It is used in saying special prayers, usually to Mary where the rosary is used to count the prayers.
    6. Transubstantiation --The teaching that the bread and wine in the communion supper become the body and blood of the Lord Jesus at the Consecration during the Mass.
    7. Venial Sin--A sin but not as bad as Mortal Sin. It lessens the grace of God within a person's soul.
  19. Tradition
    1. "...the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence'," (CCC, par. 82).
    2. Verses dealing with Tradition
      1. Matt. 15:4-6, Jesus said, "For God said, Honor your father and mother, and, He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death 5But you say, Whoever shall say to his father or mother, Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given to God, 6he is not to honor his father or his mother. And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition."
      2. Mark 7:8-9, "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men. 9He was also saying to them, You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition."
      3. Col. 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ."
    3. Refuting Tradition
      1. "But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater," (Heb. 7:7). The context deals with Melchizedek blessing Abraham, but the principle that the lesser is blessed by the greater is still true. If the Catholic appeals to scripture to validate tradition, then he is appealing to scripture as the superior source in order to validate his tradition, the lesser being tradition.
      2. 1 Cor. 11:2, "Now I praise you because you remember me in everything, and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you."
        1. In 1 Cor. 11:2, the traditions "delivered" in the past and, from the context, it appears that Paul is either referring to avoiding idolatry or he is restating the tradition concerning head-coverings, authority, and prayer.  There is nothing in the context about RCC Tradition.
      3. 2 Thess. 2:15, "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us."
        1. The Tradition being spoken of in 2 Thess. 2:15 is the teaching about the second coming of Christ as is spoken of in (2:1-3) and following, not the RCC tradition.
      4. 2 Thess. 3:6, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us." 
        1. In 2 Thess. 3:6, the tradition Paul is speaking of is the tradition of working hard and not being idle.  There is nothing here about RCC Sacred Tradition.
    4. Tradition Summary:  In 1 Cor. 11:2, the traditions "delivered" in the past and, from the context, it appears that Paul is either referring to avoiding idolatry or he is restating the tradition concerning head-coverings, authority, and prayer. There is nothing in the context about RCC Tradition. The Tradition being spoken of in 2 Thess. 2:15 is the teaching about the second coming of Christ as is spoken of in (2:1-3) and following, not the RCC tradition. In 2 Thess. 3:6, the tradition Paul is speaking of is the tradition of working hard and not being idle. There is nothing here about RCC Sacred Tradition.
  20. Transubstantiation
    1. Verses they use to support it.
      1. Matt. 26:28, "for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."
      2. John 6:52-53, "The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? 53 Jesus therefore said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.'"
        1. Yet, Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life," (John 6:63).
      3. 1 Cor. 11:27, "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord."
    2. Re: Transubstantiation: 1st, the Supper was instituted before Jesus' crucifixion; hence, how could it be a re-sacrifice since it hadn't happened when Jesus instituted it? 2nd, transubstantiation violates Levitical law forbidding drinking of blood (Lev. 17:14). 3rd, it violates the incarnation--for a man (Jesus) cannot be physically omnipresent as transubstantiation would physically require.
  21. Verses Examined
    1. John 20:23, "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."
      1. The context of John 20:23 is that Jesus was speaking to the disciples (v. 19).  He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit (v. 22).  Then they said "have been forgiven." It is aphiami, perfect passive, "have been" forgiven.  They are not forgiving, but pronouncing the sins that "have been" forgiven.
  22. Questions for Catholics
    1. What rituals must you perform in order to obtain the grace of God?
      1. "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace," (Rom. 11:6).
    2. Are you being good enough to keep yourself saved?
    3. If your salvation is dependent, in part, upon your ability to repent of your sins, what do you do with those since you have not repented of because you don't know about them?
    4. If authority of the Roman Catholic church is so important, then why did the Bereans in Acts 17:11 not just subject themselves to that apostolic authority instead of checking what Paul said against scripture--and Paul praised them for it?
    5. If the RC has authority over you, do you submit to whatever it says, or do you check what it says against scripture?

       

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CARM ison