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by Albert James Dager

INTRODUCTION One may ask as did Pontius Pi- This may even be said of some
late, “What is truth?” For the priests (and certainly of many nuns)

here are problems in dealing with
Christian there is only one unim- who have not understood the full
doctrinal errors in any church or
peachable source: the Word of God, implications of certain doctrines of
religious sect. Because one speaks their church. We can be thankful
the Bible, understood with the
out against error, he is often con - that we are saved by grace and not
mind of Christ—a mind humbly
sidered unloving toward those who submitted to seeking the will of God by knowledge.
hold those errors. That may be true and following it. All who seek the Yet with knowledge comes re-
in some instances. No doubt there truth with that mind will find it sponsibility. Many Catholics, when
are those who use their knowledge of (Matthew 7:7). presented with the truth, receive it
the truth as an excuse to vent their Because Roman Catholicism and enter into the salvation pro-
wrath upon others with whom they places its teaching authority and its vided by Christ. Some attempt for a
find theological disagreement. traditions on an equal footing with time to remain in the Roman Catho-
Besides the truth of one’s words, Scripture in formulating its doc- lic Church in the hope that they
one’s motive for his actions is the trines, it has fallen into great error. may reach others in that church
all-important consideration in de- It has rejected the objective standard with the truth. Sooner or later,
termining whether or not he is jus- of God’s Word in lieu of the subjective however, as the full implications of
tified in his charges: “Though I have reasoning of man’s religious spirit. the Roman Catholic Church’s teach-
all knowledge and have not love, I Where there has been conflict be- ings dawn upon them, they are
am nothing” (I Corinthians 13:2). forced to make a choice: will they
tween Scripture and tradition, Ro-
The truth spoken in love— tolerate serious error that nullifies
man Catholicism has attempted to
whether gently or harshly—is the the grace of God, or will they leave
explain Scripture in a manner that
only way to confront error. Though in order to seek a more scriptural
subordinates it to tradition.
not all who hear the truth will rec- walk and enter into fellowship with
Among Roman Catholics today
ognize the love or accept the words, true believers in Christ?
there is a searching for truth. And It is to non-Catholic Christians
this does not diminish the service to
with that searching has come an that I hope this writing will give a
God or man performed by those
awakening to the fact that one’s sal- better understanding of why we
speaking the truth in love.
vation rests solely upon the shed cannot accept the Roman Catholic
When zealousness overtakes
good judgment it’s difficult to make blood of Jesus and His resurrection. Church (that is, as a religious sys-
the truth sound as if it is being of- There have always been those tem) as one with which we may
fered in love. No one likes criticism, within the Roman Catholic Church have unity. But it is also to those
and it is all the more unappealing who have recognized this truth and Catholics who are seeking the truth
when offered in words hard to re- have attempted to bring it to light of God that it is offered as a means
ceive. Yet there are times when only in spite of persecution from the po- to bring better understanding of
hard words can adequately express litical hierarchy. Perhaps they have how certain teachings of their
the truth. But no matter how the not had a full grasp of the knowl- church nullify the doctrine of salva-
truth is presented, we always risk of- edge of the truth, having been in- tion by grace.
fending those who may not under- doctrinated in Romanism for all or This particular writing deals
stand our motive or the truth itself. most of their lives, but they have with Roman Catholicism for specific
As Galatians 4:16 asks, “Am I loved Jesus and have sought a reasons. That church’s plea for
therefore become your enemy, be- closer walk with Him in the only unity has not been understood
cause I tell you the truth?” way they knew. among Christians who are unaware
that unity with Rome must be on PROLOGUE fining doctrine for the universal
Rome’s terms: submission to papal Church or in making laws. (cf. In-
When Jesus came to the neighbor- fallibility). He is addressed as His
authority. Also, there is a trend hood of Caesarea Philippi, he asked Holiness the Pope. By title and
among Christians to look favorably his disciples this question: “Who do right he is: Bishop of Rome, Vicar
upon Roman Catholicism because it people say that the Son of Man is?” of Jesus Christ, Succes sor of St.
is perceived as intrinsically “Chris- They replied, “Some say John the Peter, the Prince of the Apostles,
tian.” It is reasoned that, since Ro- Baptizer, others Elijah, still others Supreme Pontiff, Patriarch of the
man Catholicism teaches the virgin Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop
“And you,” he said to them,
birth, the deity of Christ, the sacri- and Metropolitan of the Roman
“who do you say that I am?” province, and Sovereign of the
fice of the cross, the resurrection,
“You are Messiah,” Simon Peter State of Vatican City. (Cf. Apostolic
and belief in an eternal hell, what-
answered, “the Son of the living succession)
ever else they teach isn’t impor-
God!” Jesus replied, “Blest are you, Vatican II teaches: “This
tant—they are only minor errors Simon son of Jonah! No mere man Church (of Christ) constituted and
that can be overlooked. has revealed this to you, but my heav- organized in the world as a soci-
But the true implication of Roman enly Father. I for my part declare to ety, subsists in the Catholic
Catholic teachings has escaped many you, you are ‘Rock,’ and on this rock I Church, which is governed by the
Christians who are unaware of ex- will build my church, and the jaws of successor of Peter and by the
actly what they contain. The issues at death shall not prevail against it. I bishops in union with that Succes-
hand in this writing are certain doc- will entrust to you the keys of the sor, although many elements of
trines—essential for all Roman kingdom of heaven, whatever you de- sanctification and truth can be
Catholics to believe, and unchange- clare bound on earth shall be bound in found outside of her visible struc-
able— that effectively nullify the car- heaven; whatever you declare loosed ture. These elements, however, as
dinal doctrine upon which the on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” gifts properly belonging to the
Christian faith is built: salvation by Then he strictly ordered his disci- Church of Christ, possess an inner
grace. ples not to tell anyone that he was dynamism toward Catholic unity”
Careful analysis of Roman Messiah. (Matthew 16:13-20) (LG8).
Catholic teaching demonstrates con- And: “In exercising supreme,
clusively that that church limits in Upon this passage of Scripture
rest all the claims of the Roman full, and immediate power over
the hearts and minds of its adher- the universal Church, the Roman
Catholic Church as being the only
ents the saving power of Jesus’ Pontiff makes use of the depart-
blood. true Church instituted by Christ.
ments of the Roman Curia. These,
All Roman Catholic doctrine and its
The six doctrines presented therefore, perform their duties in
herein are by no means the only se- interpretation of Scripture and tra-
his name and with his authority,
dition likewise have their founda-
rious errors to which the Roman for the good of the Churches and
tion in this single Bible passage. It
Catholic Church adheres. But they in the service of the sacred pas-
is this singular portion of all the in-
are six of the most serious errors tors” (CD9).
spired writings which the Roman The Pope thus has a genuine
which nullify the cardinal doctrine
Catholic Church claims as the primacy of jurisdictional power,
of salvation by grace. This analysis
authority to make its laws and de- that is, a power connected with
is offered with the earnest prayer
clare its doctrines which must be the primatial office itself as an es-
that Roman Catholics who are adhered to in order to be considered
searching for the truth will come to sential, constitutive element.
fully incorporated into the Body of
the realization that salvation rests
Christ. Regarding the reason why Rome
solely upon the grace of God The Roman Catholic Church be- is the seat of the Roman Catholic
through the person of Jesus Christ lieves that when the Apostle Peter Church, The Catholic Encyclopedia
alone, and not on any other media-
(Petros, lit., “Rock”) was told by Jesus says, under the heading “ROME”:
tor or mediatrix, nor on the merits that upon this rock (petra, lit.,
of one’s own works. The capital city of today’s It-
“stone”) he would build His ecclesia aly, the seat of the government,
And while my hope is for Catho- (called-out), Peter was given pri-
lics to realize these truths, I also and principal city of the ancient
macy over all the apostles and, sub- Roman Empire, was inhabited as
pray that all who call themselves sequently, over the entire Body of early as the eighth century B.C.
“Christian” will realize them and Christ. He was proclaimed to be the After having spent some time in
come out from any church whose first Pope; the Roman Catholic Jerusalem and Antioch, St. Peter
teachings nullify them. May all who Church believes that all succeeding journeyed to Rome in AD 42 and
call themselves Christians examine Popes are his successors. established the Church, making
their own hearts and, with a better numerous converts and enduring
According to The Catholic Ency-
understanding, reach out to Catho- the first-century persecutions. It is
clopedia published by Thomas Nel- within the city of Rome, called the
lics with the truth rather than ac- son Co., page 479: city of seven hills, that the entire
quiesce in the name of
The Pope is the Roman Pontiff area of Vatican State proper now
“ecumenism.” who, by divine law, has supreme is confined. By treaty with the Ital-
(Bible quotations are taken from jurisdiction over the universal ian government certain other
the Roman Catholic St. Joseph’s Church. He is the supreme supe- properties apart from the Vatican
Edition of the New American Bible rior of all religious. The Pope may State are considered as territorial
unless indicated otherwise) act alone or with a council in de- parts of the state of Vatican City.

Since the founding of the Church There is a problem which we documents which purport to be offi-
there by St. Peter, the city of Rome must honestly consider here. God’s cial to that church when in fact they
has been the center of Christen- salvation doesn’t fluctuate from cen- are not.
dom. The city itself is the diocese
tury to century. What was neces- Roman Catholic Canon 1394 re-
of the Pope as bishop of Rome.
sary for salvation at the beginning quires that when a work is printed,
About the Pope and his relation- is still necessary today and no a notice of the grant of the permis-
ship to Christians (both Roman amount of philosophizing can sion (the “imprimatur”) must be
Catholics and non-Catholics) the change that fact. printed in that work. It is the sim-
Roman Catholic Church holds the The issue here isn’t whether plest and most efficient way to ac-
following doctrine to be true: non-Catholics can have salvation if quaint the public with the fact that
Hence we declare, affirm, de- they do not submit to the Pope. The the permission was granted by an
fine and pronounce that it is al- issue is whether or not the Pope authoritative source within the Ro-
together necessary for the and/or the Magesterium of the Ro- man Catholic Church.
salvation of every creature to be man Catholic Church has a legiti- The Latin word “imprimatur” lit-
subject to the Roman Pontiff. mate claim to infallibility in its erally means “let it be printed,” and
It must be understood that the proclamation of dogma. is used by Roman Catholic Church
doctrine of Papal Infallibility states Granted, this may seem like a authorities to extend permission for
that when a Pope is speaking offi- small matter to most Christians of the printing of writings, prayers,
cially on matters of faith or morals any denominational persuasion, but pictures, and other material. The
he is speaking infallibly and there the importance can only be under- word is generally followed by the
is no possibility of error in his pro- stood as one realizes the conflict in name of the ordinary (bishop, abbot,
nouncement. dogma which casts a shadow of prelate, etc.) of the diocese in which
This doctrine, stated by Pope question on the teaching authority the printing or publishing was done
Boniface VIII in 1302 through his of the Roman hierarchy. For if there or where the author lives.
encyclical, “Unam Sanctam,” was is any question of the validity of The imprimatur guarantees that
considered doctrine as defined and that teaching authority then all of the written work is free from any
pronounced officially. Since Roman the stated dogmas of the Roman doctrinal or moral error as defined
Catholic doctrine cannot change (ac- Catholic Church would have to be by the Roman Catholic Church.
cording to the Roman Catholic tested to see if they were, in fact, of In addition to doctrine which the
Church itself) then this doctrine God or not. The essential dogmas Roman Catholic Church considers
must still be in effect. relating to salvation and the des- essential to belief in order to be con-
Today this doctrine is ignored, tiny of the human soul are espe- sidered a member of the true Body
or at best played down, because of cially crucial for consideration. of Christ, I have also listed secon-
the impact it can have upon non- There are several such dogmas as dary teachings as well as rituals
Catholics; but we can’t ignore the fact defined by the Roman Church and traditions which the Roman
that it was declared doctrine and, no which, if properly understood, nul- Catholic Church holds sacred.
matter how it has been elaborated lify the biblical doctrine of salvation Following the stated doctrine I
upon since, it still must be considered through faith in Jesus’ shed blood have listed Scriptural verses which
true by all Catholics. There is no sal- for the atonement of sin. can clearly be understood without
vation to anyone who is not subject to In an attempt to be as totally ob- any special knowledge of the Bible,
the Pope. jective as possible, I have, in the fol- by anyone who will read this work
If this doctrine is not true, then lowing pages, followed a simple with an open heart. These Scrip-
neither can be the doctrine of Papal outline consideration of several doc- tural passages should prove valu-
Infallibility. We would see immedi- trines as they are defined by the Ro- able in ascertaining the validity of
ately that Pope Boniface VIII made man Catholic Church. After naming the questionable teachings.
an error in his pronouncement of this a particular doctrine I have, wher- Finally, there follows my own
doctrine. However, assuming that ever possible, stated the year it was personal observations which, using
this doctrine is true, then how do we defined, the source of its definition. the intelligence that the Lord gave
handle the following doctrine as de- As well, I have stated the Roman me, along with a sincerity to learn
fined by Vatican II: Catholic Church’s basis for that the true nature of these doctrines,
The Church recognizes that in definition—whether it be according gives a logical explanation why I
many ways she is linked with to that church’s interpretation of feel that the doctrine or teaching in
those who, being baptized, are the Holy Scriptures or according to question should not be held by a be-
hon ored with the name of Chris- tradition. Then follows a verbatum liever, or at least should not be held
tian, though they do not profess
the faith in its entirety or do not
quotation of the doctrine from a re- unquestionably as a prerequisite to
preserve unity of communion liable source. All sources quoted are membership in the Body of Christ.
with the successor of Peter. approved Roman Catholic publica- It is my hope that those who
We can say that in some real tions which bear the imprimatur of read these pages will be ministered
way they are joined with us in the authorized representatives of the to in their spirits and that all, both
Holy Spirit, for to them also He Roman Catholic Church. The impri- Catholics and non-Catholics will
gives His gifts and graces, and is matur, or “right to publish” is the come to a better understanding of
thereby operative among them Roman Church’s means of protect- God’s work in and outside of the Ro-
with His sanctifying power. ing iself from spurious or forged man Catholic Church.

nitions, of themselves, and not
l DOGMA from the consent of the Church, Galatians 1:9:
l DECLARED BY VATICAN COUN- are justly styled irreformable, for I repeat what I have just said: if
CIL I - AD 1870 they are pronounced with the as-
anyone preaches a gospel to you other
l BASIS FOR BELIEF: NONE sistance of the Holy Spirit, an as-
l TIMES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE: sistance promised to him in than the one you received, let a curse
blessed Pe ter. Therefore they need be upon him!
no approval of others, nor do they
And: “The Roman Pontiff is
Definition: not pronouncing jugment as a pri- The Apostle Paul, not Peter,
Infallibility - In its Catholic vate person. Rather as the su - wrote this epistle. And he was very
doctrinal meaning, infallibility is preme teacher of the universal careful to point out in the verse just
the end result of divine assistance Church, as one in whom the cha- previous to this one that even if he
given the Church whereby she is rism of the infallibility of the himself were to preach any other
preserved from the possibility and Church herself is individually gospel than the one he had
liability to error in teachings on present, he is expounding or de- preached, he should be accursed.
matters of faith and morals. That fending a doctrine of Catholic Since the doctrine of papal infal-
infallibility was always present in
Faith” (LG 25). libility is a doctrine, it must be be-
the Church, even from apostolic
times, is frequently affirmed by And: “Although the individ- lieved by anyone who would remain
actions and declarations of the ual bishops do not enjoy the pre- in God’s grace. But the simple gos-
Apostles (Gal. 1:9) and spoken of rogative of infallibility, they can pel of Truth that Paul proclaimed
by the fathers of the Church as the nevertheless proclaim Christ’s had nothing to do with faith in any
“charisma of truth” (St. Irenaeus). doctrine infallibly. This is so, even person other than Jesus Christ. If,
The doctrine of infallibility was when they are dispersed around in order to belong to the Body of
defined by Vatican Council I the world, provided that while
(Sess. III, cap.4) and promulgated Christ and, therefore, to be an heir
maintaining the bond of unity
on July 18, 1870, the day before of salvation, it is necessary to be-
among themselves and with Pe-
war broke out between Germany lieve in the infallibility of a mere
ter’s successor, and while teaching
and France, which led indirectly man, then faith in Christ’s atone-
authentically on a matter of faith
to formal suspension of the Coun- ment isn’t enough. Galatians 1:9 in
or morals, they concur in a single
cil three months later. The doc- no way affirms infallibility. On the
trine defines that infallibility is: (1) viewpoint as the one which must
be held con clusively” (LG 25). contrary, the mere suggestion that
in the Pope personally and solely the Apostle Paul could become apos-
as the successor to St. Peter, (2) in And: “This infallibility with
an ecumenical council subject to which the divine Redeemer willed tate himself and bring another gos-
confirmation by the Pope, (3) in His Church to be endowed in de- pel later would be evidence that he,
the bishops of the Universal fining a doctrine of faith and mor- as the greatest teacher to the
Church teaching definitively in als extends as far as the deposit of Gentiles, wasn’t infallible.
union with the Pope. As such, in- divine revelation, which must be Some might argue that he
fallibility does not extend to pro- religiously guarded and faithfully wasn’t the Pope—Peter was. In the
nouncements on discipline and expounded” (LG 25). ( The Catholic same book of the Bible and just in
Church policy and by no means Encyclopedia, Nelson - pp. 292-293) the next chapter (2) Paul relates
includes impeccability of the Pope how he had to rebuke Peter for his
or inerrancy in his private opin- Infallibility does not mean
ions. It is, briefly, the assured preservation from sin, which is
attitude towards the Gentile believ-
guarantee of the unfolding of the impeccability. In apostolic times, ers, treating them as inferior to the
apostolic deposit of faith by au- St. Peter was infallible in the exer- Jewish believers.
thority of the Church whereby cise of his office. But, unlike the Scripture presents ample evi-
Christ’s doctrine must and will be Blessed Virgin, he was not impec - dence that Peter was not the great-
handed on by an infallible Church cable, although it is commonly est authority in the early assembly.
guided by the Holy Spirit. It is held that all the apostles were More often than anyone else, James
distinguished from both biblical confirmed in grace on the day of is recorded as holding sway over the
inspiration and revelation. (The Pentecost and thus preserved
apostles in speaking authorita-
Catholic Encyclopedia, Nelson-p. 292) from losing the friendship of God.
Infallibility is not inspiration.
tively, and is given preeminence in
Inspiration implies that God is the the ministry of apostle (Acts 12:17;
Teachings: 15:13; 21:18; I Corinthians 15:7;
principal author of the word or
Vatican II further teaches: work inspired, although using a Galatians 1:19; 2:9; 2:12). Even
“This is the infallibility which the Paul was more prodigious in his
human instrument; whereas infal-
Roman Pontiff, the head of the teaching. Yet, as I have stated al-
college of bishops, enjoys in virtue libility is a providential aid, so
of his office, when, as the supreme that the human being who was ready, he admitted to the possibility
shepherd and teacher of all the helped (and not God) is the imme- that even he might be swayed from
faithful, who confirms his breth- diate author of an infallible state- the truth and at a later time preach
ren in their faith, he proclaims by ment. (The Catholic Catechism, another gospel than the true gospel
a definitive act some doctrine of Doubleday - p. 224) which had already been proclaimed.

The Gospel of Christ is the good are no new revelations that bind the When Roman Catholicism in just
news of salvation through faith in believer apart from the Bible. the past couple of decades taught
His redemptive work. To add doc- What I wish to point out in using that, if a Catholic were to eat meat
trines to the already proclaimed these verses from the Epistle of on Friday and die without confessing
doctrines of Scripture on the basis James is that, according to them, it to a priest he would go to Hell, it
of their being recently revealed is to there must have been some Popes was certainly speaking on a matter of
say that, as years pass, later gen- who were not infallible because faith and morals combined. Accord-
erations must meet newer stan- their actions betrayed a lack of wis- ing to Catholic law, it was a mortal
dards of belief than earlier dom and faith. It isn’t my purpose sin worthy of eternal damnation to
generations. This is not reasonable, to rehash all of the old accusations eat a piece of meat on Friday. This
nor is it in conformance with God’s against former papal authorities depended, of course, on what part of
own words that “I, the Lord, do not who committed all sorts of atrocities the world you lived in or what rite
change” (Malachi 3:1). in the interest of power. The Roman you adhered to (Eastern or Western).
In any case, this is hardly an Catholic Church is well aware of Roman Catholic claims to the con-
adequate Scriptural basis for de- them and, at least as far as the hi- trary, infallibility, by definition of re-
claring so important a doctrine that erarchy of today is concerned, they lating to all proclamations having to
would permit complete control of are looked upon as unfortunate cir- do with faith and morals, extends to
the thinking of billions of people the laws of the church, not only to
cumstances of the past.
down through the ages. the doctrines of the church. And,
But those atrocities prove that
the Popes responsible for them were since the Roman Catholic Church in-
incapable of exercising proper faith sists that no decree spoken with in-
and wisdom. Even later on in his fallibility can be changed, it is only
Epistle James makes the comment logical to assume that, when those
James 3:13-17: that “faith without good works is laws were changed regarding the
If one of you is wise and under- dead.” Dead faith can hardly pro- eternal destiny of a soul because of
standing, let him show this in prac- duce infallibility in judgment. Even some alleged sin, the irreformable
tice through a humility filled with though the Roman Catholic Church theory can only be held invalid.
good sense. Should you instead This concept of infallibility must
nurse bitter jealousy and selfish am-
may honestly state that infallibility
be tested then against any changes
bition in your hearts, at least refrain does not mean impeccability, it nev-
in Roman Catholic Church law
from arrogant and false claims ertheless must be remembered that
whereby the eternal destiny of the
against the truth. Wisdom like this God will not impart His grace to
believer is altered simply because
does not come from above. It is evildoers.
earthbound, a kind of animal, even all such laws pertain to morality as
The question of infallibility isn’t
devilish, cunning. Where there are defined by the church at a given
even dealt with in Scripture. A doc- moment in time. The doctrine of in-
jealousy and strife, there also are in-
trine so important as this should be
constancy and all kinds of vile be- fallibility does not allow for any
expected to be stated in the writings
havior. Wisdom from above, by such changes. Yet no Catholic will
contrast, is first of all innocent. It is of the Apostles, since they covered deny that such changes have taken
also peaceable, lenient, docile, rich everything else that was necessary place. Remember now, that these
in sympathy and the kindly deeds for belief. changes I am speaking about are
that are its fruits, impartial and sin- When the Roman Catholic only relative to laws that affect the
cere. Church says that the Pope’s defini- eternal destiny of the soul; not the
James 1:5: tions are irreformable and therefore laws of ritual or any other inconse-
If any of you is without wis-
need no approval of others, nor do quential rules. The Roman Catholic
dom, let him ask it from the God they allow an appeal to any other Church rightfully omits those laws
who gives generously and ungrudg- judgment, she is placing the Body of from consideration of infallibility.
ingly to all, and it will be given Christ at the mercy of the personal It isn’t that the Pope cannot be
him. whims of a single human being or, infallible that is the issue. It is that
in some cases, the magesterium only the Pope can be infallible; and
FINAL COMMENT with the approval of that single hu- that he is infallible on his own
While the Scriptures quoted man being. merit apart from inspiration by the
above don’t actually refute the doc- The word “irreformable” means Holy Spirit. On one hand, it is to
trine of infallibility in so many “beyond the possibility of being re- say that it’s because of the Holy
words, they prove that God’s wis- formed.” It implies that no change Spirit that the Pope is infallible,
dom is available to all who will ask is ever possible. Yet, there are and on the other hand that the
in faith believing. Actually, it is pos- countless instances of changes in Pope, not God, is the author of infal-
sible for any person to be infallible Roman Catholic teaching. Remem- libility.
at any point in time when he is be- ber now that infallibility applies to This contradiction must be dealt
ing led by the Holy Spirit in what all teachings on faith and morals with honestly because it is a defi-
he says. This is what is known as when the Pope is speaking officially. nite allusion to the possibility of su-
speaking prophetically. Yet anything This must then apply to all Church pernatural power being the
spoken in the name of the Lord laws which can affect the eternal property of a human being without
must agree with Scripture. There destiny of believers. crediting God’s help. I’m sure most

Roman Catholics would deny such a trust in all these and live in obedi- with what he was to do on Good
teaching. Yet according to Vatican ence to God’s Word in order to have Friday has been the Church’s own
II (LG25) this is true (The Catholic the true Jesus Christ. To add to this norm for intimately relating the
two. The sacrifice of the altar,
Encyclopedia, pp. 292-293). Gospel actually diminishes it.
then, is no mere empty com-
Finally, without belaboring the But there is more to it that even memoraton of Calvary, but a true
point, I refer you to the Prologue of this. Since the Messiah is the Word and proper act of sacrifice,
this writing to refresh your memory of God (John 1) who became flesh, whereby Christ the high priest by
on the teaching of Boniface VIII He must necessarily be God Himself an unbloody immolation offers
that, without submission to the Ro- and, therefore, unchangeable (Mala- himself a most acceptable victim
man Pontiff there can be no salva- chi 3:1). Since the Word of God does to the eternal Father, as he did on
tion. That was Roman Catholic not change, then the manifestation the cross. “It is one and the same
doctrine which, according to the of that Word through His written, victim; the same person now of-
church, cannot change. Yet, Vatican inspired Word is unchangeable. fers it by the ministry of his
priests, who then offered himself
II has recently overridden that doc- Consequently, any teaching which
on the cross. Only the manner of
trine and said that non-Catholics is not in conformity to the written offering is different.”
who are baptized, and even non- Word of God, or which adds to or The priest is the same, namely,
Christians, can have salvation even subtracts from that written Word, is Jesus Christ, whose divine person
though they do not have the fulness not of the Spirit of God. the human minister represents at
of the faith for not having submit- Therefore, the laws of the Ro- the altar. “By reason of his ordina-
ted to the authority of the Pope. man Catholic Church which put tion, he is made like the high
As I said, I don’t wish to belabor conditions for salvation upon the in- priest and possesses the power of
the point and I feel that this evi- dividual, other than what the writ- performing actions in virtue of
dence is sufficient to refute any ten Word of God puts upon them Christ’s very person.” (Canon 9)
such teaching that the Roman Pon- (namely, justifica tion by faith in The victim is also the same,
tiff is the only source of God’s reve- Christ alone), are invalid laws. namely, the Savior in his human
lation which can be considered Therefore, regardless of the claim of nature with his true body and
infallible. infallibility in proclaiming those blood. Worth stressing is that
The fact is that God will reveal laws, they need not be adhered to. what makes the Mass a sacrifice is
His truth to any of His children who It’s especially an imposition upon that Christ is a living human be-
are obedient and seeking with an the individual to say that, depend- ing with a human will, still capa-
honest heart. But that truth will al- ing upon when in history or where ble of offering (hence priest) and
ways be based upon His unchanging on the face of the earth he happens being offered (hence victim), no
Word and can never be contradic- to live, his adherence to those laws less truly today than occurred on
tory to that Word. will determine whether he may in- the cross. (The Catholic Catechism,
Every Christian must hold to herit the promise that God has for Dou bleday - pp. 465, 466)
John’s warning in I John 4: him. All we need do is obey the laws
Beloved, do not trust every according to faith in Christ as al- CATHOLIC BIBLE REFERENCES
spirit, but put the spirits to a test ready revealed in the written Word, Matthew 26:26-28:
to see if they belong to God, be- the Bible. If we add anything to the
cause many false prophets have During the meal Jesus took bread,
work already done by Christ on the blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his
appeared in the world. This is cross in terms of salvation, we err.
how you can recognize God’s disciples. “Take this and eat it,” he
Spirit: every spirit that acknowl- said, “this is my body.” Then he took
THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to
edges Jesus Christ come in the
flesh belongs to God, while every l DOGMA them. “All of you must drink from
spirit that fails to acknowledge l BASIS FOR BELIEF: TRADITION it,” he said, “for this is my blood, the
l TIMES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE: blood of the covenant, to be poured
him does not belong to God.
NONE out in behalf of many for the forgive-
This seems simple enough until ness of sins.”
one realizes that there are many THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH Mark 14:22-24:
false teachers today who acknowl- TEACHES:
edge that the man Jesus did live al- During the meal he took bread,
Definition: blessed and broke it, and gave it to
most two thousand years ago in the them. “Take this,” he said, “this is my
flesh. But the word “Christ” or The Sacrifice of the Mass is body.” He likewise took a cup, gave
“Anointed One,” (Greek) is the same really the holy and living repre- thanks and passed it to them, and
as the Hebrew “Messiah.” It is in sentation and at the same time the they all drank from it. He said to
this name that the fullness of Jesus’ unbloody and efficacious oblation them: “This is my blood, the blood of
nature and mission on earth are of the Lord’s Passion and that the covenant, to be poured out on be-
contained. Anyone speaking through blood-stained sacrifice which was half of many.”
offered for us on the cross. (The
the Spirit of God will acknowledge Catholic Encyclopedia, Nelson - p. Luke 22:19,20:
that Jesus, the only begotten Son of 375) Then, taking bread and giving
God, came in the flesh to do the will thanks, he broke it and gave it to
of His Father. That will was to die Teachings: them, saying: “This is my body to be
through the shedding of His blood, Christ’s own association of given for you. Do this as a remem-
then rise again bodily. One must what he did at the Last Supper brance of me.”

He did the same with the cup af - from remaining in office; but Jesus, again those same sacrifices
ter eating, saying as he did so: “This because he remains forever, has a which can never take away sins.
cup is the new covenant in my blood, priesthood which does not pass away. But Jesus offered one sacrifice
which will be shed for you.” Therefore he is always able to save for sins and took his seat forever
those who approach God through him, at the right hand of God; now he
I Corinthians 11:23-26: since he forever lives to make interces- waits until his enemies are
I received from the Lord what I sion for them. placed beneath his feet. By one
handed on to you, namely, that the It was fititng that we should have offering he has forever perfected
Lord Jesus on the night in which he such a high priest: holy, innocent, un - those who are being sanctified.
was betrayed took bread, and after defiled, separated from sinners, higher The Holy Spirit attests this to us,
he had given thanks, broke it and than the heavens. Unlike the other for after saying, “This is the
said, “This is my body, which is for high priests, he has no need to offer covenant I will make with them
you. Do this in remembrance of sacrifice day after day, first for his after those days says the Lord: I
me.” In the same way, after the sup- will put my laws in their hearts
own sins and then for those of the
per, he took the cup, saying, “This and I will write them on their
people; he did that once for all when minds,” he also says, “Their sins
cup is the new covenant in my
he offered himself. and their transgressions I will re-
blood. Do this, whenever you drink
it, in remembrance of me.” Every Hebrews 9:11-15: member no more.” Once these
time, then, you eat this bread and have been forgiven, there is no
But when Christ came as high
drink this cup, you proclaim the further offering for sin.
priest of the good things which have
death of the Lord until he comes!
come to be, he entered once for all into
I Corinthians 10:16,17: the sanctuary, passing through the
Is not the cup of blessing we greater and more perfect tabernacle The writer of Hebrews was very
bless a sharing in the blood of not made by hands, that is, not be- careful to reiterate several times,
Christ? And is not the bread we longing to this creation. He entered, the lack of need for continual sacri-
break a sharing in the body of not with the blood of goats and calves,
fices. This particular letter was
Christ? Because the loaf of bread is but with his own blood, and achieved
eternal redemption. written to the Hebrew Christians
one, we, many though we are, are
For if the blood of goats and bulls because they needed to be reas-
one body, for we all partake of the
and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes sured that the previous sacrifices of
one loaf.
can sanctify those who are defiled so animals were no longer necessary.
COMMENTS ON CATHOLIC BIBLE that their flesh is cleansed, how much He pointed out that once Jesus paid
REFERENCES: more will the blood of Christ, who the price for our sins there was no
through the eternal spirit offered him - other price to be paid; by the Lord
All of these Scriptures say pretty self up unblemished to God, cleanse (as priest) or by anyone else.
much the same thing and they all our consciences from dead works to As our high priest today He per-
relate to the last supper activity worship the living God! forms the function of mediating for
and the words of Jesus. There are us before the throne of God as we
no other Scriptures upon which the Hebrews 9:24-28: come to Him in simple faith, accept-
Roman Catholic Church bases so For Christ did not enter into a ing what He has done for us. Why
important a doctrine as this, that sanctuary made by hands, a mere do we need to attach provisions to
the Mass is the actual sacrifice of copy of the true one; he entered
His wonderful grace? The Bible
the cross being reenacted in an un- heaven itself that he might appear
before God now on our behalf. Not speaks so plainly here, why argue
bloody manner—not merely a sym- against it?
that he might offer himself there
bolic reenactment of that sacrifice— There is a more crucial matter to
again and again, as the high priest
being offered through the priest. enters year after year into the sanc- be considered here. Every time the
The question arises as to why tuary with blood that is not his “sacrifice” of the Mass is being of-
such a sacrifice is necessary. If Je- own; if that were so, he would have fered it is a denial of the finished
sus’ death on the Cross was a fulfill- had to suffer death over and over work of the Cross. To say that Jesus
ment of His role as sacrificial Lamb from the creation of the world. But must be offered up to God thou-
for the penalty and guilt of sin, why now he has appeared at the end of sands of times every day, all over
do we need further sacrifices? the ages to take away sins once for
the world, is to nullify a professed
That question can best be an- all by his sacrifice. Just as it is ap-
pointed that men die once, and after
belief in the sacrifice on Calvary. It
swered by Scripture itself, taking is saying that Jesus’ actual death
death be judged, so Christ was of-
into consideration that nowhere in fered up once to take away the sins on the cross is no more than a dry-
the Bible is such a continuing sacri- of many; he will appear a second run for all those that follow on the
fice spoken of. Quite the contrary, time not to take away sin but to altars of Roman Catholic churches
as we shall see. bring salvation to those who eagerly everywhere. Roman Catholic claims
await him. to the contrary, it says that the
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES TO REFUTE Lord’s actual death wasn’t enough.
Please, dear reader, don’t close
By this “will,” (of God) we
Hebrews 7:22-27: have been sanctified through the your mind to this. I realize that
Thus has Jesus become the guar- offering of the body of Jesus these pages don’t contain pleasant
antee of a better covenant. Under the Christ once for all. Every other reading for you if you consider your-
old covenant there were many priests priest stands ministering day by self a devout Catholic as I once did.
because they were prevented by death day, and offering again and But there is so much at stake here.

God wants us to come to Him in the devils also believe, and tremble” the Holy Eucharist, after the con-
simple faith, accepting His word as (James 2:19 KJV). secration of the bread and wine,
the basis for that faith. When the Do you believe? You do well. our Lord Jesus Christ, true God
and true man,” is present “under
traditions and philosophies of men But the devils also believe and they
the appearances of those sensible
encroach upon the simply stated tremble. things,” it rests its faith on the
truths contained in Scripture, the To know about God is one thing; words of Scripture and the evi-
issues cannot help but become to know Him personally is quite dence of Sacred Tradition. (The
clouded. another thing. One may say that he Catholic Catechism, Doubleday -
This is why I urge you to search knows about the wealthiest man in page 458)
the Scriptures diligently to test the all the world, but until he is adopted
by that man as an heir, he cannot The first serious ripples of
things that are written here. Don’t controversy came in the ninth cen-
take any man’s word for God’s truth really appropriate the benefits of be- tury, when a monk from the
no matter how impressive his titles ing a son. God has offered us a way French Abbey of Corbie wrote
and seminary training might be. No to enter into His blessings by provid- against his abbot, St. Paschasius
one is infallible when it comes to ing a one-time sacrifice for all of our (785-860). Ratramnus (d.868) held
stated truth other than when he is transgressions. When we speak of that Christ’s body in the Eucharist
led by the Holy Spirit. But how can grace we know that we are speaking cannot be the same as Christ’s his-
of God’s unmerited favor. Therefore, torical body once on earth and
one know if the Holy Spirit is be- now in heaven because the Eucha-
if salvation is by grace, what can we
hind the one speaking unless one ristic body is invisible, impalpa-
do to earn it? None of us can pay the
tests the teaching against the writ- ble, and spiritual. He wanted to
price of so great a gift.
ten Word of God which was given to But God so loved the world that
hold on to the Real Presence but
us for that purpose? stressed the Eucharist as symbolic
He gave His only begotten Son, that rather than corporeal. His book on
You must even test my words. In whoever believes in Him should not
fact, I earnestly implore you to do the subject was condemned by the
perish but have everlasting life. Synod of Vercelli, and his ideas, it
so. Realize this, however: everyone Believe it. Accept it. And bear is held, influenced all subsequent
who has the Spirit of God in him with me as we carry on. theories that contradicted the tra-
has the ability to decipher truth ditional teaching of the Church.
from error if his heart is truly open TRANSUBSTANTIATION Within two centuries the issue
to God to receive instruction. l DOGMA had reached such a point of grav-
The first question you must ask l DECLARED BY POPE INNOCENT III ity that a formal declaration was
yourself, if you are honest, is: do I - AD 1215 evoked from the Holy See. In
have the Spirit of God living in me? 1079, Archdeacon Berengar of
If you don’t know the answer to this Tours who favored Ratramnus’
question, then the chances are that position and wrote against what
you don’t. he considered the excessive real-
If you wish to know the truth in ism of Paschasius, was required
all these matters and you also wish by (Pope) Gregory VII to accept
to draw closer to God, then it is nec- THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH the following declaration of faith
TEACHES: in the Eucharistic presence:
essary that you accept His sacrifice
I believe in my heart and openly
on the cross as the full and complete Definition: profess that the bread and wine placed
atonement for your sins. Repent, upon the altar are, by the mystery of
Transubstantiation; “The way
once and for all, of your sins and the sacred prayer and the words of the
Christ is made present in this sac-
ask the Lord to give you His Holy rament (Holy Eucharist) is none Redeemer, substantially changed into
Spirit so that you can be assured of other than by the change of the the true and life-giving flesh and
eternal life. It is His Spirit living in whole substance of the bread into blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, and
us that quickens our spirits and His Body, and of the whole sub- that after the consecration, there is
makes them alive to God. stance of the wine into His Blood present the true body of Christ which
From that point on it’s a matter (in the Consecration at Mass)...this was born of the Virgin and, offered up
of living daily for Him and search- unique and wonderful change the
for the salvation of the world, hung
Catholic Church rightfully calls
ing the Scriptures to learn His will on the cross and now sits at the right
transubstantiation.” (encyclical
for your own life. “Mysterium Fidei” of Paul VI, hand of the Father, and that there is
There is freedom in Christ which Sept. 3, 1965). The first official use present the true blood of Christ which
has been denied us all as long as we of the term was made by the flowed from his side. They are present
remain subject to the dictates of Fourth Council of the Lateran in not only by means of a sign and of the
men who impose upon us the re- 1215. Authoritative teaching on efficacy of the sacrament, but also in
striction of religious tradition. the subject was issued by the the very reality and truth of their na-
Consider this: You must do more Council of Trent. (1979 Catholic Al- ture and substance. (The Catholic
manac - p. 387) Catechism, Doubleday - page 461)
than believe that God’s truths are
real. You must accept them for Teachings: Responding to the claims of
yourself personally. As the Apostle When Catholic Christianity af- merely symbolic or spiritual pres-
James said, “Thou believest that firms, without qualification, that ence, the Church condemned
there is one God; thou doest well: “in the nourishing sacrament of “anyone who denies that the body
and blood, together with the soul CATHOLIC BIBLE REFERENCES: “What then, if you were to see the
and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Son of Man ascend to where he was
Christ and, therefore, the whole Mark 14:22-25: before...? It is the spirit that gives life;
Christ is truly, really, and substan- During the meal he took bread, the flesh is useless. The words I spoke
tially contained in the sacrament blessed and broke it, and gave it to to you are spirit and life.”
of the Holy Eucharist, but says them. “Take this,” he said, “this is
that Christ is present in the sacra- my body.” He likewise took a cup,
Jesus Himself stated that He
ment only as a sign, or figure, or gave thanks and passed it to them, was speaking in a spiritual sense;
by his power.” and they all drank from it. He said that we must eat of Him spiritually
The expression “whole Christ” not physically, because the flesh it-
to them: “This is my blood, the
proved to be decisive. Since the blood of the covenant, to be poured self is worthless. Yet, we see how
whole Christ is present in the ful- out on behalf of many. I solemnly the previous verses were taken out
ness of his divine and human na- assure you, I will never again drink of context and an important doc-
tures, this implies that he is of the fruit of the vine until the day trine built upon them even to the
present under the sacramental ap- when I drink it new in the reign of point of stating that the Roman
pearances with the totality of his God.” Catholic Church condemns anyone
divine attributes as well as his hu- who does not agree with their inter-
man properties. He is therefore in John 6:48-58:
the Eucharist also with the essence I am the bread of life. Your ances- Let’s be totally objective here be-
of those dimensional features that tors ate manna in the desert, but they cause, if one uses a particular rule
we commonly associate with a liv- died. This is the bread that comes
of interpretation to state that the
ing hu man being. The explanation down from heaven for a man to eat
and never die. I myself am the living Lord is speaking literally in a spe-
of how these physical properties
bread come down from heaven. If any- cific verse of Scripture, then he
are possible is part of theological
one eats this bread he shall live for- must use the same rule of interpre-
speculation but the fact is a matter
ever; the bread I will give is my flesh, tation for the rest of that verse.
of faith. (The Catholic Catechism,
for the life of the world." That’s only logical and fair to the
Doubleday - p. 462
At this the Jews quarreled among Scripture itself.
There was no dependence on themselves, saying, “How can he give It is obvious that Jesus, when
Aristotelian philosophy in the us his flesh to eat?” Thereupon Jesus He said, “This is my body” did not
Church’s use of words like “sub- said to them: “Let me solemnly assure say “This has become my body.”
stance” or “transubstantiation.” you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Since He was in His body at the
Long before either term had be- Son of Man and drink his blood, you time He said it, then He couldn’t
come commonplace in the West, have no life in you. He who feeds on have been in the piece of bread. And
the East spoke regularly of the ou- my flesh and drinks my blood has life since His blood was flowing through
sia or being of the bread and wine, eternal, and I will raise him up on the His veins, it couldn’t be in the cup.
which were changed into the ou- last day. For my flesh is real food and If we were to apply such a definition
sia or being of Christ. That which my blood real drink. The man who absolutely, then we must take the
con stitutes bread and wine, in vir- feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood
tue of the sacramental consecra-
rest of His statement in the same
remains in me, and I in him. Just as manner. In Luke 22:20, the same
tion, ceased to be bread and wine
the Father who has life sent me and I event is described in more detail
and became the reality of the
have life because of the Father, so the and the words are repeated almost
whole Christ. What alone re-
mained were the species, i.e., ap- man who feeds on me will have life verbatum in I Corinthians 11:25:
pearances or external properties of because of me. This is the bread that
He did the same with the cup af-
what looked and tasted like bread came down from heaven. Unlike your
ter eating, saying as He did so:
and wine but were now the living ancestors who ate and died nonethe-
“This cup is the new covenant in
body and blood of the Savior. less, the man who feeds on this bread my blood, which will be shed for
Given this perdurance of shall live forever.” He said this in a you.
Christ’s presence as long as the synagogue instruction at Capernaum.
species remain, it was only logical Using this more complete ac-
for the Church to worship the COMMENTS ON CATHOLIC BIBLE count of what the Lord said, we ask
Blessed Sacrament as it would the the question, “Was the bread His
person of Jesus himself. As a re- body?” Therefore we may honestly
sult, he is to be adored “in the The best thing to share here is to ask, “Was the cup the new cove-
holy sacrament of the Eucharist point out the continuation of the nant?” If so, what happened to this
with the worship of latria, includ- Gospel of John discourse on the new covenant when the cup was
ing the external worship.” Con- Lord being the bread from heaven. lost? Without that cup, we have no
cretely this means that the Blessed In the very next verses we read: new covenant. Of course, the cup
Sacrament is to be “honored with After hearing his words, many of was symbolic of the new covenant
extraordinary festive celebrations” his disciples remarked, ‘This sort of which would be ushered in after the
and “solemnly carried from place talk is hard to endure! How can any - Lord spilled His blood for our re-
to place” and “is to be publicly ex- one take it seriously?’ demption and, by His resurrection,
posed for the people’s adoration.” Jesus was fully aware that his dis- opened the door for full fellowship
(Council of Trent - Canons 1 & 3) ciples were murmuring in protest at with God as before the fall of Adam.
(The Catholic Catechism, Doubleday what he had said. “Does it shake your We must likewise apply the rule
- pp. 462-463 faith?” he asked them. of consistency to the verses that re-

call the Lord’s words about His be- teachings of Roman Catholicism, we Definition:
ing the living bread. Now, consider will see that it is telling us that a Purgatory - The state or condi-
for a moment: Was the Lord a piece piece of bread is actually God. tion in which those who have died
of bread at the time He made that Before we throw that off as non- in the state of grace, but with
statement? Which will it be? Is Jesus sense, remember that Roman some attachment to sin, suffer for
bread, or is a piece of bread Jesus? Catholicism also justifies its posi- a time before they are admitted to
According to this reference which the tion on Mary as the Mother of God the glory and happiness of
Church uses to teach transubstan- on the basis that Jesus is God and heaven. In this state and period of
tiation, the Lord was bread. There- passive suffering, they are puri-
she is His mother—therefore she is
fied of unrepented venial sins, sat-
fore, His disciples could have bitten the Mother of God. It is no more isfy the demands of divine justice
into Him and swallowed a piece of unreasonable to use the same ra- for temporal punishment due for
bread. Ridiculous? Of course. tionale to assume then that the sins, and are thus converted to a
But He said it and if it were to piece of bread is God if it is, accord- state of worthiness of the beatific
be taken literally instead of spiritu- ing to Roman Catholic teaching, vision. (1979 Catholic Almanac - p.
ally then we can just as easily con- the very person of Jesus Christ. 379)
clude that His flesh was made of Remember too, that “anyone Teachings:
dough as we can conclude that a who denies it as the body and
piece of dough is His flesh. blood, together with the soul and Catholicism believes there is
We must also then consider that still the prospect for expiation (not
divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ” repentance) called purgatory be-
Jesus was a rock, a tree, a vine, a stands condemned. This means cause its function is to purify
star, etc., for there are many pas- that all Christians who are not Ro- those who die in God’s friendship
sages of Scripture which speak of man Catho lics are damned because but are not fully cleansed of the
Him in those terms and even by His they don’t accept this teaching. It, effects of their sins. (The Catholic
own words. in itself, is a contradiction of the Catechism, Doubleday - p. 254)
If you are a Roman Catholic I stand of Vatican II on the position The Benedictine constitution
urge you not to close your eyes to of non-Catholic Christians. states that “We, with our apostolic
this very important point. The rea- Because the concept of “tran- authority, make the following
son will follow. substantiation” is essential to the definition,” and then goes on to
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES TO REFUTE sacrifice of the Mass, the two are declare that the souls of the just,
unalterably linked together and, who die in God’s friendship,
THE DOCTRINE OF TRANSUBSTAN- “soon after death and, in the case
TIATION: should one be found false then they
must both be found false. That be- of those who need it, after purifi-
John 6:59-63 cation, have been, are, and will be
ing the case, even the concept of
in heaven.” (The Catholic Cate-
Quoted above. “transubstantiation,” if it is ad- chism, Doubleday - page 257)
hered to, nullifies the professed
Luke 22:18: faith in the atonement of Jesus If those who are truly repen-
I tell you, from now on I will not Christ on the Cross. It too, as does tant die in charity before they
drink of the fruit of the vine until the the Mass, tells us that that atone- have done sufficient penance for
com ing of the reign of God. their sins of omission and com-
ment wasn’t enough. To say such is
mission, their souls are cleansed
to deny the essential doctrine of after death in purgatorial or
FINAL COMMENT: atonement. This is true regardless cleansing punishments.
When Jesus said that He of whether or not one states that The suffrages of the faithful on
wouldn’t drink of the fruit of the belief. Can I say that I have ac- earth can be of great help in re-
vine again until the kingdom of God cepted the sacrifice of Jesus on the lieving these punishments, as for
was established, He acknowledged Cross for my sins in a true sense if instance, the Sacrifice of the Mass,
that it was still wine that was in I still hold reservations about need- prayers, almsgiving, and other re-
the cup because that is what the ing to add my own works through ligious deeds which, in the man-
fruit of the vine is. It isn’t blood. vicar iously offering sacrifices to ner of the Church, the faithful are
The substance was unchanged after supplement the original sacrifice? accustomed to offer for others of
He had pronounced His “conse cra - Of course not. the faithful. (Decree - 2nd Council
tion.” of Lyons - AD 1274)
Now, why is it so serious to con- PURGATORY
sider the Roman Catholic sacra- CATHOLIC BIBLE REFERENCES:
ment of the Holy Eucharist as l PROPOSED BY POPE GREGORY I - 2nd Maccabees 12:41-45 (Old Testa-
unworthy of participation by true AD 593 ment Apocryphal book):
Christians? In light of Roman l DECLARED DOGMA BY THE
Catholic teachings that it must be All then blessed the ways of the
COUNCIL OF FLORENCE - AD Lord, the just judge who brings hid-
worshipped even as the Lord Jesus 1439 den things to light, and gave them-
Himself is worshipped, it must be l TIMES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE: selves to prayer, begging that the sin
classed as idolatry. NONE committed might be fully blotted out.
Why do I use such strong words? Next, the valiant Judas urged the peo-
Because, if we really analyze this THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ple to keep themselves free from all
doctrine aside from traditional TEACHES: sin, having seen with their own eyes

the effect of the sin on those who had Even if they could be proven to This passage speaks of the value
fallen. be the inspired Word of God of our works for rewards. It is the
After this he took a collection (which they cannot), they would quality of our work which will be
from them individually amounting to still be part of the Old Cove nant tried as by fire, not we ourselves.
nearly two thousand drachmae, and dispensation and, since Jesus, Our trial is on earth to see if we will
sent it to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice through His death, burial and res- live righteously before God.
for sin offered, an altogether fine and According to this Scripture, all
urrection, put an end to the curse
noble action, in which he took full ac-
of sin for all believers, the destiny that we have built, if it is on any
count of the resurrection. For if he weak foundation, will be burned. It
of the souls of the faithful de-
had not expected the fallen to rise
parted has been altered from those says nothing of punishment but
again it would have been superfluous
who merely had the hope of the only that whatever is not done for
and foolish to pray for the dead.
first resurrection along with the Christ will be destroyed.
Whereas if he had in view the splen-
Messiah (Jesus). The Day (capital D) is the name
did recompense for those who make a
Remember Jesus’ testimony of commonly given in Scripture for the
pious end, the thought was holy and
Lazarus and the rich man in hades; Great Day of the Lord which will be
devout. This is why he had this atone-
ment sacrifice offered for the dead, so Lazarus was in “Abraham’s bosom” the time of His coming again to the
that they might be released from their awaiting the resurrection with Je- earth in order to restore it unto
sin. sus. Now, Scripture says, to be with Himself. At that time all the works
Christ is far better than to continue of men will be judged whether they
(Matthew 12:32): living on earth (Philippians 1:23). are acceptable to God or not. If they
Whoever says anything against Which would you rather be- are found to be wanting in their
the Son of Man will be forgiven, but lieve—that when you die you must quality they will not stand for re-
whoever says anything against the wards but will be as chaff to be
face torture for your sins, or that
Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, ei- burned up. Even though all the
ther in this age or the age to come. Jesus paid it all for you and you will
be immediately in His presence at works of a man may be burned, the
I Corinthians 3:10-15 the time of death? The Roman man himself may be saved if he has
Thanks to the favor God showed Catholic Church offers you purga- the covering of the blood of Jesus
me I laid a foundation as a wise tory and an end less agonizing on Christ and His worthiness accord-
master-builder might do, and now the part of your loved ones who ing to faith.
someone else is bulding upon it. must do penance and pay indul- He will stand destitute of re-
Everyone, however, must be careful wards though, as one fleeing
how he builds. No one can lay a gences in order to get you out. The
Bible offers you immediate bliss in through a fire and losing all of his
foundation other than the one that
the presence of the Lord. Which is possessions.
has been laid, namely Jesus Christ.
If different ones build on this foun- telling the truth? To use this Scripture as a proof
dation with gold, silver, precious text for the belief in purgatory is to
stones, wood, hay or straw, the work Matthew 12:32: say that the Day of the Lord—not
of each will be made clear. The Day today—is when purgatory (testing
will disclose it. That day will make This Scripture can only be em- by fire) will be in effect. This is not
its appearance with fire, and fire phasizing the severity of sinning what the Roman Catholic Church
will test the quality of each man’s teaches. It teaches that purgatory is
work. If the building a man has against God’s Holy Spirit. Even the
Catholic Church teaches that sins real today.
raised on this foundation still
stands, he will receive his recom- cannot be forgiven after death. Pur- SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES TO REFUTE
pense; if a man’s building burns, he gatory is supposed to cleanse only THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY:
will suffer loss. He himself will be from the penalty of death due to
saved, but only as one fleeing sins already forgiven. When Jesus The following Scriptures tell us
through fire. said “either in this age or in the age of the confidence we have in the
to come” the key word is “age.” He complete atonement for our sins by
COMMENTS ON CATHOLIC BIBLE didn’t say either in this life or after Jesus Christ. They offer proof that,
REFERENCES: death. This age is the age of grace once our sins are forgiven, they are
2nd Maccabees 12:41-45: whereby we are forgiven as a result never remembered by God.
of our faith in the atoning work of
The Book of Maccabees is a por- the Cross. The next age will be the Psalm 103:12,13:
tion of the apocryphal books which millenial reign of Christ whereby As far as the east is from the
are held to be inspired Scripture He, along with His saints, will rule west, so far has he put our trans-
only by the Roman Catholic Church the nations with a rod of iron. Dur- gressions from us. As a father has
as part of their Old Testament. ing that age, as even now, the sin of compassion on his children, so the
They were never recognized as the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit Lord has compassion on those who
fear him.
inspired Scriptures by the Jewish will not be forgiven.
theologians of old, and they are the To quote this Scripture as I John 1:9:
only books never referred to by any “proof” of purgatory is illogical and But if we acknowledge our sins,
of the New Testament writers or by contradictory. he who is just can be trusted to for-
any person spoken of in the New give our sins and cleanse us from
Testament. I Corinthians 3:10-15: every wrong.

Romans 8:1: fense, much more shall those who re- To profess belief in Purgatory is
ceive the overflowing grace and gift of to cast scorn upon the Lord’s sacri-
There is no condemnation now
justice live and reign through the one fice which was a perfect offering to
for those who are in Christ Jesus.
man, Jesus Christ.
satisfy God’s justice.
Acts 13:38,39: To sum it up, then: just as a sin-
Was it a perfect sacrifice, or
You must realize, my brothers, gle offense brought con demnation to
wasn’t it?
that it is through him (Jesus) that the all men, a single righteous act brought
all men acquittal and life. Just as
What you choose to believe is
forgiveness of sins is being pro-
claimed to you, including the remis- through one man’s disobedience all
your responsibility. Whether or not
sion of all those charges you could became sinners, so through one man’s
you accept His atonement (pay-
never be acquitted of under the law of obedience all shall become just.
ment, full and complete) for your
Moses. In him every believer is ac- sins will determine whether or not
quitted. Titus 3:5-8: you have any forgiveness at all.
Romans 3:21-28
But when the kindness and love I don’t ask you to accept my de-
of God our saviour appeared, he saved termination on the matter. What I
But now the justice of God has us; not because of any righteous deeds do ask is that you search the Scrip-
been manifested apart from the law, we had done, but because of his
even though both law and prophets tures with an open heart and devoid
mercy. He saved us through the bap- of human traditions which could
bear witness to it—that justice of God tism of the new birth and renewal by
which works through faith in Jesus the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he lav-
cloud proper understanding.
Christ for all who believe. All men ished on us through Jesus Christ our
have sinned and are deprived of the saviour, that we might be justified by MARY’S IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
glory of God. All men are now unde- his grace and become heirs, in hope, of l DOGMA DECLARED BY POPE PIUS
servedly justified by the gift of God, eternal life. You can depend on this to IX - AD 1854
through the redemption wrought in be true. l BASIS FOR BELIEF: TRADITION
Christ Jesus. Through his blood, God
made him the means of expiation for Philippians 1:21,23: l TIMES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE:
all who believe. He did so to manifest For, to me, “life” means Christ; NONE
his own justice, for the sake of remit- hence dying is so much gain.
ting sins committed in the past—to I am strongly attracted to both: I THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
manifest his justice in the present, by long to be freed from this life and to TEACHES:
way of forbearance, so that he might be with Christ, for that is the far bet- Definition:
be just and might justify those who ter thing.
believe in Jesus. Immaculate conception - This
What occasion is there for boast- Hebrews 10:14-18: is the privilege and the singular
ing? It is ruled out. By what law, the By one offering he [Jesus] has for- grace that divine omnipotence be-
law of works? Not at all! By the law ever perfected those who are being stowed upon the Blessed Virgin
of faith. For we hold that a man is jus- sanctified. The Holy Spirit attests this Mary to preserve her from origi-
tified by faith apart from observance to us, for after saying, “This is the nal sin by infusing into her soul
covenant I will make with them after sanctifying grace from the very in-
of the law.
those days, says the Lord: I will put stant of conception in the womb of
Romans 5:1-2: my laws in their hearts and I will her mother, St. Anne. Through
Now that we have been justified write them on their minds,” he also this, Mary, who was to be the
by faith, we are at peace with God says, “Their sins and their transgres- Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
through our Lord Jesus Christ. sions I will remember no more.” was conceived in the state of holi-
Through him we have gained access Once these have been forgiven, ness and justice. This effect,
by faith to the grace in which we now there is no further offering for sin. caused by the act of God, resulted
stand, and we boast of our hope for in her being free of the conse-
See also Hebrews 7:22-27; 9:11- quences of original sin, such as the
the glory of God.
15; 24-28. slavery to the devil, subjection to
Romans 5:9: concupiscence, and darkness of
Now that we have been justified FINAL COMMENT: the intellect. Further, Mary was
by his blood, it is all the more certain not subject to the law of suffer-
This doctrine of a place called
that we shall be saved by him from ing and death, which are penal-
“Purgatory” rests heavily upon tra- ties of the sin of human nature,
God’s wrath.
dition which, I realize, the Roman even though she knew these, ex-
Romans 5:15-19: Catholic Church places on an equal perienced them, and endured
But the gift is not like the offense. level with the Scriptures. The prob- them for our salvation. The
For if by the offense of the one man lem with this doctrine, however, is dogma of the Immaculate Concep-
(Adam) all died, much more did the that it actually nullifies the pro- tion was defined for the Universal
grace of God and the gracious gift of fessed belief in the atoning work of Church’s belief by Pius IX, Dec. 8,
the one man, Jesus Christ abound for the Cross. 1854, as follows: “We declare, an-
all. The gift is entirely different from It says that Jesus suffered, bled nounce, and define that the doc-
the sin committed by the one man. In trine which states that the Blessed
and died a cruel death for our sins,
the first case, the sentence followed Vir gin Mary was preserved, in the
upon one offense and brought con- but that His sacrifice wasn’t first instant of her conception, by
demnation, but in the second, the gift enough. The punishment for those a singular grace and privilege of
came after many offenses and brought sins must still be dealt with by hor- God Omnipotent and because of
acquittal. If death began its reign rible suffering akin to a temporary the merits of Jesus Christ the Sav-
through one man because of his of- lake of fire. ior of the human race, free from

all stain of original sin, is re- his disciples, he said, “There are my ception. If this were so important a
vealed by God and must be be- mother and my brothers. Whoever doctrine, it would seem that the
lieved firmly and with constancy does the will of my heavenly Father Lord would have made mention of it
by all the faithful.” (The Catholic is brother and sister and mother to
Encyclopedia, Nelson - p. 285, em- me.”
somewhere in His revealed Word.
phasis ours) In Luke 11:27-28 Jesus is defi-
Luke 2:48-50: nitely saying that everyone who
Teachings: When his parents saw him they hears the word of God and keeps it
The sinlessness of Christ’s were astonished, and his mother is blessed even above His own
mother has been recognized said to him: “Son, why have you mother. Her blessing was in being
from the beginning, but was lit- done this to us? You see that your
tle dwelled upon except in the father and I have been searching for
chosen as a vessel to bear the hu-
writings of the Greek and Latin you in sorrow.” He said to them: man body of the Son of God. That,
Fathers when they described her “Why did you search for me? Did in itself, made her blessed above all
perfect holiness and compared you not know I had to be in my Fa- other women. Yet, any person, man
her with the first woman, Eve. ther’s house?” But they did not or woman, can be considered as
They spoke of her as “holy, inno- grasp what he said to them. blessed as Mary if they will recog-
cent, most pure, inviolate, unde- nize Jesus Christ as the means of
filed, immaculate,” in a way that COMMENT: their salvation and live accordingly.
left no doubt they considered
her absolutely without sin. (The According to the Pope (Pius IX) Matthew 11:11 tells us that, in
Catholic Catechism, Doubleday - who defined this doctrine, every the opinion of Jesus (and who
page 151) member of the Roman Catholic should know better?) John the Bap-
Church must believe it firmly and tist was greater than any other
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES TO REFUTE with constancy (firmness of mind born of woman. Here, again, only
THE DOCTRINE OF THE MARY’S IM- without deviation). This means, by the New American Bible uses the
MACULATE CONCEPTION its very definition that, unless one word “man” where all others simply
Romans 3:23-25: holds to this doctrine which cannot say “none other” or something simi-
be supported by Scripture, one can- lar. Nowhere in the original is there
All men have sinned and are de -
not be a member in good standing of any implication that only males are
prived of the glory of God. All men
are now undeservedly justified by the Body of Christ. Combining this being referred to. If this is the case,
the gift of God, through the redemp- with the other teachings of the Ro- then Jesus was saying that no one
tion wrought in Christ Jesus. man Catholic Church, it becomes who had been born up to that time
Through his blood, God made him impossible to attain salvation be- was a greater human than John the
the means of expiation for all who cause one would be considered a Baptist. Naturally, the balance of
believe. heretic for denying the teaching Scripture allows for His own excep-
Luke 11:27,28: authority of the Church. tion but it doesn’t allow for Mary’s.
Consequently, your salvation not In Luke 1:46,47 Mary, by her
When he was saying this a
woman from the crowd called out, only rests upon belief in the atone- own words, acknowledges her need
“Blest is the womb that bore you ment for your sins on the Cross, it for salvation because she calls God
and the breasts that nursed you!” must necessarily depend upon your her savior. Even God is not a savior
“Rather,” he replied, “blest are they faith in Mary’s sinlessness. In fact, to anyone who is without sin simply
who hear the word of God and keep if must rest on her suffering and because they would already be en-
it.” death, according to the Roman
joying His fellowship just as the an-
Matthew 11:11: Catholic teachings cited above. This
gels. One does not need a savior
in itself should be enough to dis-
I solemnly assure you, history unless he or she needs to be saved
has not known a man born of suade a person from holding any
from something. The reason man-
woman greater than John the Bap- stock in the authority of men, who
kind needs a savior is to release us
tizer. Yet the least born into the can so easily compromise the essen-
tial doctrine of redemption through from the penalty of sin and its influ-
kingdom of God is greater than he.
Jesus Christ alone, to teach. ence in our lives.
Luke 1:46,47: Jesus again placed all who do
But for those who need proof, or
Then Mary said: “My being
at least a reasonable rebuttal to the will of the Father on an equal
proclaims the greatness of the Lord, footing with His mother and his
my spirit finds joy in God my sav- this idea of Mary’s immaculate con-
ception, let’s examine it in light of brothers when, in Matthew 12, He
ior...” pointed to His disciples and said
the few Scriptures that I have cited
Matthew 12:46-50: as evidence to the contrary. that they are His brothers, sisters
He was still addressing the When it says, in Romans 3:23, and mother. That means that you
crowds when his mother and his that all men have sinned it doesn’t can be accounted holy and pure if
brothers appeared outside to speak just mean the male gender. In fact, you will first of all accept the salva-
with him. Someone said to him, tion that Jesus provided for you by
the Roman Catholic New American
“Your mother and your brothers are
Bible is the only edition that uses His one-time sacrifice on the Cross
standing out there and they wish to
speak to you.” He said to the one the word “men.” All others simply of Calvary and allow the Holy Spirit
who had told him, “Who is my state “all have sinned,” or some- to gain control of your will so that
mother? Who are my brothers?” thing similar. Nowhere, of course, you may be found doing the will of
Then, extending his hand toward does it say that Mary was any ex- the Father.

An important aspect of the doc- clared the Assumption of the definition that “by the authority of
trine of Mary’s immaculate con cep- Blessed Mother of God a doctrine our Lord Jesus Christ, of the
tion is that she was free of darkness of faith. The solemnity is cele- Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul,
brated on Aug. 15 and is a holy
of the intellect because of her sin- and by Our Own authority, We
day of obligation.
lessness. If this is the case she most pronounce, declare, and define as
The feast was celebrated by
certainly would have been able to divinely revealed dogma: The Im-
the Christians of the seventh cen -
grasp what Jesus was telling her in tury, based on the Scriptures. In
maculate Mother of God, Mary
Luke 2:49 about having to be in His ever Virgin, after her life on earth,
the OT the singularity of the
Father’s house. Yet Mary was just Blessed Mother as the “woman” was assumed, body and soul to
as puzzled as Joseph in not under- was declared (cf. Gn. 3:15) as be- the glory of heaven.” (Encyclical
standing the reasons for Jesus’ be- ing through whom the redemp - Munificentissimus Deus)
havior. tion would become ful filled. The The spontaneous reaction of
It must be borne in mind that all NT declares that redemption (Lk. the faithful was gratitude for the
subsequent doctrines relating to the 1; I Jn. 3:9) and the Blessed Virgin exalted honor paid to the Mother
mother of Jesus are inexorably Mary was “full of grace” and of God. The Pope’s own senti-
linked to this doctrine. Her perpet- could not be perfect as God fore- ments were expressed to the bish-
ual virginity, her assumption into told unless she re mained incor- ops gathered in Rome for the
heaven, her position as Mother of ruptible (cf. l Cor. 15:54-57). Pope occasion when he told them the
God, cannot stand the test of logic Alexander III (1159 to 1181) wrote: joy he felt over the proclamation
or God’s justice if this one doctrine “Mary conceived without detri- and the assurance it gave him that
of her immaculate conception is not ment to her virginal modesty, Mary would obtain the graces of
true. brought forth her Son without which mankind stood in such dire
Whatever you choose to believe, pain, passed hence without decay, need. On the level of piety and de-
you must understand that any doc- according to the word of the an- votion, therefore, Mary’s Assump-
trine that places a human being in gel, or rather God speaking by the tion was only the climax in a
a position of special favor with God, angel, that she might be shown to series of definitions to honor the
by its very nature, nullifies the pro- be full, not half-full of grace.” ( Blessed Virgin, beginning with the
fessed belief in the atoning work of The Catholic En cyclopedia, divine maternity at Ephesus and
Jesus on the Cross. In order to have Nelson-p. 56) terminating in the past century
salvation, you must receive the gift with the doctrine of her Immacu-
by faith in Him only. To say that Teachings:
late Conception. But dogmatically
someone, as in this case, can be con- Almost as soon as Pius IX de- the Constitution of Munificentis-
ceived without sin is to say that the fined the dogma of Mary’s Im - simus Deus has a much deeper
cross is meaningless simply because maculate Conception, Rome was
God could have created each indi- beseiged with petitions for defin-
ing her bodily Assumption. It is Pope Pius defined Mary’s As-
vidual in the same manner, thereby sumption as a truth divinely re-
calculated that from 1870 to 1940,
avoiding the agony of Calvary. Yet vealed. Of the two sources of
over four hundred bishops, eighty
this is contrary to His basic law of thousand priests and religious, revelation, theologians commonly
justice where He says that, “without and more than eight million of the say the Assumption was implicit
the shedding of blood there is no laity had formally signed requests in Tradition, in spite of the practi-
forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). asking for the definition. cal absence of documentary evi-
As a consequence, on May 1, dence before A.D. 300. Yet the
MARY’S ASSUMPTION INTO HEAVEN 1946, Pius XII sent the following Pope finally declared that the doc-
l DOGMA questionnaire to all the bishops of trine was in revelation. How do
l DECLARED BY POPE PIUS XII - AD the Catholic world: “Do you, Ven -
we know? On the answer to this
1950 erable Brethren, in view of the
question rests a new insight into
l BASIS FOR BELIEF: TRADITION wisdom and prudence that is
Christian Tradition that had been
l TIMES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE: yours, judge that the bodily As-
gaining momentum since the
NONE sumption of the Blessed Virgin
eighteenth century. Briefly stated,
can be proposed and defined as a
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH Tradition is coming to be identi-
dogma of faith; and do you, along
TEACHES: with your clergy and faithful, de- fied more with the Church’s mag-
sire it?” isterium or teaching office and
Definition: less exclusively as the source
Within a few months, the re-
Assumption of the Blessed plies received in Rome were “al- along with Scripture, of the truths
Vir gin Mary - The doctrine of the most unanimous” in favor of of salvation. Behind this new em-
tak ing up of the body and soul of definition. The Pope drew the in- phasis is a development of dogma
the Mother of God into heaven af- since the Council of Trent that re-
evitable conclusion from the con-
ter her death was an early teach- veals hidden depths in the Mysti-
ing of the fathers and of special sent of those whom “the Holy
Spirit has placed as bishops to cal Body of Christ. The Church is
interest to all Christians. Tradition
and theological reasoning show rule the Church of God.” not only the guardian of a faith
that the privilege of the Assump- On November 1, 1950, Pius XII once and for all given to the apos-
tion was revealed implicitly. On answered these requests of the tles, but expositor of that faith in
Nov. 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII de- Catholic Hierarchy with a solemn every age to the end of time.

In August of the same year is the lot of mortals. “It is ap- Christ Jesus who died for us?”
that he defined the Assumption, pointed unto man to die, and after (Rom. 8:34)
the Pope laid down the principles death the judgement;” and as Je- But if, notwithstanding all, our
that guided the marian definition. sus died, so will his Mother die, hearts fail within us at the thought
The Church’s teaching authority, for in all things, so far as may be, of our sins and miseries, we will
he said in Humani Generis, is not shall her lot be like to his; more- entreat our dear Mother who is
confined to reflecting or consoli- over, since all her children must also the Mother of our Judge, to be
dating the past. It is also, and es- pass one day through the gate of to us Felix caeli porta, the gate of a
pecially, the vital present-day death, so bitter to human nature, happy eternity, that when all is
function of an organism animated so their Mother will go before passing and death is near, she
by the Spirit of God. “Together them, treading the same path. But may turn her eyes of mercy to-
with the sources of revelation in her passing hence there will be wards us, and show unto us at
(Scripture and Tradition) God has for her no bitterness, death will length the ever-blessed Fruit of
given to his Church a living mag- lead her straight to God. She had her womb, Jesus, teaching us to
isterium to elucidate and explain waited, obedient to the will of trust him absolutely and to the
what is contained in the deposit of God who would have her remain full. So may it be for us all we be-
faith only obscurely and, as it a while on earth, the Apostles’ seech thee, O loving, O kind, O
were, by implication.” The degree Queen. But now the chains which sweet Virgin Mary. (The Teaching
of obscurity, we may add, is un- held her captive at length were of the Catholic Church, Macmillan -
important. Given this faculty by broken and her sinless soul pp. 547, 548)
her founder, whose Spirit of truth winged its flight to be with her
abides with her at all times, the Son for ever. And Mary’s judge-
Church can infallibly discern what ment: “Well done, good and faith-
belongs to revelation no matter ful servant.” Were these words for
how cryptic the contents may be. which all Christ’s servants wait II Kings 2:9-12
Consequently, when Pius XII expectant ever spoken as when
defined the Assumption, he did When they had crossed over,
they were addressed to her, who Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask for
more than propose the doctrine alone was crowned in heaven as whatever I may do for you, before I
for acceptance by the faithful or
the Mother of her Lord? am taken from you.” Elisha an-
give them a new motive for devo- swerd, “May I receive a double por-
The bodies of the holy Apos-
tion to the Blessed Mother. He in- tion of your spirit.” “You have
tles, of the Martyrs who shed their
dicated the Church’s right to asked something that is not easy,”
blood for Christ, of men and
authorize a legitimate develop- he replied. “Still, if you see me
women famed for their sanctity,
ment in doctrine and piety that taken up from you, your wish will
were to be carefully preserved
scandalizes Protestants and may be granted; otherwise not.” As they
and venerated in the Church from
even surprise believing Catholics. walked on conversing, a flaming
the first beginnings of Christian - chariot and flaming horses came be-
(The Catholic Catechism, Doubleday
ity. Of the Mother of God no relics tween them, and Elijah went up to
- pp. 160-161)
should remain upon the earth. heaven in a whirlwind. When El-
The Passion of our Lord found Mary was taken up, body and isha saw it happen he cried out,
its echo in the compassion of his soul, to the un veiled presence of “My father! my father! Israel’s
Holy Mother. In truth the sorrows her Son. She was the mystic Ark chariots and drivers!” But when he
of Mary, the sorrows of her could no longer see him, Elisha
of the Covenant which God had
trans-pierced heart, were neces- gripped his own garment and tore
sary not only that many thoughts sancti fied. The body of the Virgin
Most Holy from which the Holy it in two.
should be revealed of sorrowing
men and women, but also for her Spirit had formed the body of Genesis 5:22-24:
own perfect sanctification. Her Christ should not be permitted to Enoch lived three hundred years
soul had to be made perfect in the see corruption. Behold the Queen after the birth of Methuselah, and he
furnace of trial and tribulation. As in her beauty by the side of her had other sons and daughters. The
in all things else so pre-eminently Son, as already the Psalmist saw whole lifetime of Enoch was three
in this must she resemble our her in prophetic vision, in a ves- hundred and sixty-five years. Then
Lord, that he was the Man of Sor- ture of gold wrought about with Enoch walked with God, and he was
rows and acquainted with grief. no longer here, for God took him.
divers colours. She is the eldest
Of all the redeemed his Mother
must be nearest to his Cross, not daughter of the Father, and the I Corinthians 15:51-52:
only on Calvary, but also in every beloved Mother of the Son, and Not all of us shall fall asleep,
hour of her earthly pilgrimage. the chosen Spouse of the Everlast- but all of us are to be changed—in
But that pilgrimage, both for ing Spirit. an instant, in the twinkling of an
Jesus and for Mary, at length was We, too, have to die and to eye, at the sound of the last trumpet.
over. And now that our Lord is meet Christ in judgement. We The trumpet will sound and the
glorified in his Kingdom, every trust to be greeted with forgive- dead will be raised incorruptible,
tear that his Mother shed on earth ness and love as we enter into his and we shall be changed.
shall be wiped away by his Kingdom. He will not reject us,
pierced hand, and changed into a whose arms were extended wide
jewel in the crown upon her peer- for us upon the Cross of pain. One might wonder what II Kings
less brow. Mary must die, for this “Who is he that shall condemn? 2:9-11 and Genesis 5:22-24 have to

do with the doctrine of the Assump- for those He considered especially vide complete and everlasting
tion of Mary. Actually, they are an anointed. salvation for those who believe in
indication that the teachings This particular doctrine is also Him.
around which this doctrine revolves commemorated on a special, holy
are faulty. Notice that the Roman day of obligation. For those who
Catholic Church approves the don’t know what a holy day of obli- As significant as these doctrines
teaching that Mary must die and, gation is, it simply is a law that and practices are in nullifying sal-
although she is far above every obliges all true believers to attend a vation by grace, there is also to be
creature, even death cannot be Mass and observe that day in a spe- considered the impact of the Roman
cial manner, in honor of the occa- Catholic Church’s belief in its
spared her.
sion for which it is named. In other authority to teach from whatever
Yet, both Enoch and Elijah were
words, not only are members obli- motive it deems suitable. In its own
taken to heaven without seeing
gated to acknowledge the proposed words, “Tradition is coming to be
death. If God favored Mary above
truth of the doctrine, but they are identified more with the Church’s
all others why would he not have magisterium or teaching office and
spared her having to see death? But bound under the penalty of mortal
sin to observe it in a special way. less exclusively as the source along
even more significant than this is with Scripture, of the truths of sal-
the fact that death is the penalty for Should one not do so and die with-
out confessing this sin he will be vation.” This can only mean that
sin. Without sin there would be no the Roman Catholic Church regards
judged condemned to Hell for eter-
death. The fact that Mary died at its teaching office as more reliable
nity regardless of the merits of
all, whether her body saw corrup- than the Scriptures. The reason
Christ’s death on the Cross for his
tion or not, can only attest to the they can feel justified in this posi-
fact that she had to have been born tion is that they consider them-
in sin just as all humans are. Enoch INDULGENCES selves the only true deposit of faith
and Elijah are proof that God can Besides these six doctrines that and, consequently, whatever they
spare death to His children if He so nullify salvation by grace, there is say has to be the truth. This is held
sees fit, in spite of the fact that it is the Roman Catholic practice of to regardless of the obscurity of the
the consequence of sin. Elijah’s and granting indulgences. For monetary tradition as their own words reveal.
Enoch’s lives were so exemplary payment, through doing penance, or In effect, then, this dogma, be-
that God saw fit to take them with- by observing special rituals, the cause of its threat of the penalty of
out their seeing death. If Mary’s life Catholic Church teaches that one mortal sin according to faith, nulli-
was so much more exemplary than may acquire credits toward purga- fies the essential doctrine of faith in
theirs, which the Roman Catholic torial suffering for him self or for the atoning work of Christ on the
Church teaches, then she would not some loved one who has passed Cross. It says that, in order to
have had to see death either. away. maintain fellowship with God, you
Jesus was the exception on the While acknowledging that indul- must honor the mother of Jesus
other side. He was the only person gences have been abused, the Ro- with special days of devotion.
who didn’t deserve to die. Yet God man Catholic Church ascribes that Should you not do so you can lose
made Him to be sin for our sins, abuse to “the past.” As if no such your salvation.
and hung Him on a cross to pay the abuses occur today. But the very This fact cannot be denied. It is
penalty for those sins. He could not nature of indulgences is an abuse a condition which men have at-
die a natural death because His against the purity of the Faith. To tached to the saving work of the
flesh was sinless. He had to be put make matters worse, the Roman Savior in dying for our sins.
to death in order to taste of it for Catholic Church condemns those Yet Paul tells us in Romans that
our sakes. What a sacrifice! That who oppose the idea of indulgences: we are justified by faith without the
God would become man for worms [The Roman Catholic Church] deeds of the law. In this case, which
like us and allow Himself to suffer teaches and commands that the takes precedent—the Word of God
usage of indulgences—a usage or the laws of men?
the humiliation and torture of death
most beneficial to Christians and As in all other cases, you must be
as a criminal. How can we escape if
approved by the authority of the the final arbiter of that question for
we neglect so great a salvation that Sacred Councils—should be kept your own life. I would encourage you
He has provided for us? in the Church; and it condemns to take the Lord’s words at their face
We cannot forget I Corinthians with anathema [cursing by ecclesi- value. “If the Son frees you, you will
15:52. Here we are told that even astical authority] those who say really be free” (John 8:36). v
all the members of Christ’s Body that indulgences are useless or
who are alive on the day that He re- that the Church does not have the
Copyright 1988, Media Spotlight
turns will be changed into their in- power to grant them.
corruptible bodies without seeing
death. So again, God is indicating to
What could do more to denigrate
the efficacious sacrifice of Jesus, our
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us that the sting of death is still at Savior? To say that men can earn A BIBLICAL ANALYSIS OF RELIGIOUS & SECULAR MEDIA

His option for individuals, although credits toward their own salvation Media Spotlight
there are only two recorded in- is to trample the blood of Christ
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stances where He actually has, in under foot. It is to count that blood Additional copies available on request.
the past, nullified the death penalty less than pure in its ability to pro-

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