I was born and raised a Roman Catholic in Bethlehem, PA. I started out 1st grade at Holy Infancy Catholic School in Bethlehem. Then after 2nd grade, I went to S. S. Cyril & Methodious Catholic School from 3rd to 8th grade. From 9th through 12th grade, I went to Bethlehem Catholic High School on Dewberry Avenue, and I graduatued from Becahi in 1967. So I was born and raised a Catholic. After my mother's death in 1976, I started questioning the priests at several Catholic churches that I attended. I wanted to find out where the soul of my mother had gone? They could not answer my question. It was only after attending a Bible church that I found out through reading the Bible that a person can know for sure where they will spend eternity before they die. I repented of my sins and accepted Christ alone as my Saviour in 1976. Now I know that I have eternal life through Christ as stated in the Bible. As Paul wanted to see the Jewish people come to the knowledge of Christ and be saved (Romans Chapter 10, Verse 1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved), I also do not want to see my Roman Catholic friends deceived and to go to a place called Hell and suffer in the Lake of Fire for eternity.
Christ is the only way to salvation and eternal life. Through no organization--whether it is Protestant, Baptist or Catholic--can anyone be saved only through Christ. In John, Chapter 14, Verse 6, Jesus said unto Thomas, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Jesus is also the only mediator between God and men as the Bible says in 1 Timothy, Chapter 2, Verse 5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
There is no church organization--whether Protestant, Catholic, or Baptist, or any other--that can mediate between us and the Father. Only Jesus can. There is no priest, pastor, or any other man that can mediate between us and the Father. Only "the (God)man Christ Jesus can." There is not a saint in Heaven or any person that can meditate between us and the Father, including Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus.
Mary said in Luke Chapter 1, Verses 46 and 47, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." Mary acknowledged her need for a Saviour to save her from her sins. Jesus was that God-man who came to save people from their sins, including the sins of His earthly mother, Mary. The Bible says in Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10, "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one." And again the Bible says in Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." All includes everyone, including Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus.
There is nowhere in Scripture that talks about infant baptisim for Salvation or even adult baptisim for Salvation. If baptism was necessary for Salvation, then the thief on the cross who trusted the Lord would not have gone to Heaven because he was never baptised, but the Lord promised him in Luke, Chapter 23, Verse 43, "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." So baptisim is not necessary for Salvation. It is only through faith and trust in Christ that we can be saved. The Bible talks about Christ as the only one who can save in Acts, Chapter 4, Verse 12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Again the Bible talks about Christ being the only one who can save in John, Chapter 10, Verse 9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
When we pray, we are to pray directly to God through Christ. The Bible says in Hebrews, Chapter 4, Verse 6, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." There is nowhere in Scripture that says that we are to pray to saints in Heaven or to Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus. We are also not to pray unto idols as the Bible says in Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 4, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Verse 5 also tells us that "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God." 1 Thessalonians Chapter 1, Verse 9, talks about turning from idols to serve the living God. And in Revelation, Chapter 9, Verse 20, we see "and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk." We are to pray directly to God the Father through Christ and not to saints, idols, or Mary.
Catholicism orders members to confess their sins to a man, but the Bible reveals that those who have been born into God's family can go straight to God's throne to receive forgiveness for their sins. The Bible says in 1 John, Chapter 1, Verse 9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Nowhere in Scripture is the mass ever mentioned even once. The Lord Jesus was offered as the sacrifice for our sins only one time--that being on the cross. In Hebrews, Chapter 7, Verse 27, the Bible says, "Who 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." And again in Hebrews, Chapter 9, Verses 25 and 26, the Bible says, "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Yet again in Hebrews, Chapter 10, Verses 10 through 12, the Bible says, "By the which will 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 (Christ Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." Also in 1 Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 18, the Bible says, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." According to the Bible, Christ’s death on the cross for our sins was a one-time event, not to be ministered over and over again as is done in the Roman Catholic mass.
We can never be justified by our good works. The Bible says in Isaiah, Chapter 64, Verse 6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." In Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 10," As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one." In Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23, The Bible says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Salvation is a free gift. It can never be earned through works. And the Bible says in Romans, Chapter 11, Verse 6, "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace." Again, in Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 8 and 9, the Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Christ paid the full price for our sins at Calvary. To believe that good works are necessary for us to receive God's free gift of Salvation is to say that the Lord Jesus Christ's once and final sacrifice on the cross was not enough for our sins.
Please do not just take my word for everything that I have mentioned here, but I encourage you to read the Bible as the Jews in Berea did in Acts, Chapter 17, Verse 11, "These (Jews) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." You can trust the Bible as God's Word as it says in II Timothy, Chapter 3, Verse 16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." And don't let anyone tell you that they must interpret the Scripures for you. In the Roman Catholic Catechism on page 30 and number 100 it says, "The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him," but that is totally opposite of what Peter said in the Bible. In II Peter, Chapter 1, Verse 20, the Bible says, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." Who will interpret Scripture for you the Holy Spirit of God or the Roman Catholic church? The Lord Jesus said in Luke, Chapter 11, Verse 28, "blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." So please read the Bible for yourself and see what it says.
This letter was not written to attack or criticize Catholic people. Having been born and raised as a Roman Catholic, I understand how the average Catholic thinks and feels about their religion. Two factors motivated the writing of this letter. First, it is to expose the fact that Roman Catholicism is not Biblical. It is a religion comprised of traditions of men which violate Scripture at every turn. Secondly, I would love for you to experience the freedom and peace I found when I broke free from the bondages of the Catholic church by placing my hope for salvation in Jesus Christ alone. As I mentioned, I was born and raised a Roman Catholic. At birth, I was baptized. I also received my First Communion and Confirmation. During grade school, I attended weekly religious instruction classes and attended Mass each Sunday. I confessed my sins to a priest and regularly received Communion. As I mentioned above, I repented of my sins (Repentance means a change of mind or heart about our sins) and accepted Christ alone as my Saviour in 1976. We are to put our faith and trust in Christ and Him alone for salvation. We are not to think that we can do anything to save ourselves or that any church or organization can save us. Precious Roman Catholic, that same freedom and joy is available to you. You can receive Jesus as your Savior right now. You have heard the truth, and now you can be made free! In my own words, I admitted to God that I was a sinner who deserved Hell but that I wanted to go to Heaven. Then I invited Jesus Christ to come into my heart and save me. God wants you to be saved today: " . . . behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation," 2 Corinthians 6:2. If you would like to become a child of God, just bow your head and talk to God from your heart. In your own words, pray something like this: "Dear Jesus, I admit that I'm a sinner. I repent of all my sins, and I ask you to come into my heart and save me. Thank you, Lord, for saving me and for giving me the gift of eternal life. In Jesus' name, Amen. If you just prayed a prayer like that and really meant it, God's Word promises that you were just born into God's family. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1:12) This letter was not written to criticize you but to lead you to these wonderful truths. May God bless you as you begin your new life in Him.