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God Loves To Save The Most Despicable Kinds Of People 
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I can hear many of your objections already.  You’re wondering what Roman Catholicism is doing listed as a false (aberrant) religion.  You think we’ve gone over the edge in profiling another Christian denomination as a cult.  You’re about ready to chuck your modem out the window, and the only reason you’ve read this far is out of a morbid curiosity.  Well, let me take a moment to address your concerns.

I will grant you that the Catholic Church shares a large number of Biblical beliefs with evangelical Christianity:  the inerrancy of the Bible, the Trinitarian nature of God, the virgin birth and deity of Jesus Christ, as well as His crucifixion and resurrection.  In fact, we have no doubt that there are a number of born-again Christians within the Catholic Church. These Christians properly understand the biblical doctrine of salvation, and have developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.   However, many of the official doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church are either un-Biblical or extra-Biblical.  In fact, the Catholics use a different Bible than Protestants.  Their Bible has more books within it, which accounts for some of the differences in Catholic doctrines.  Furthermore, the Catholic Church has traditionally held that salvation can be attained only through observance of their sacraments.  Therefore, they have set themselves apart as the only true church, and we must contend for the faith.

You ask, “Many different denominations share different interpretations of scripture.  So aren’t you just splitting hairs here?”   The answer is “no”, and here’s why.  The differences here are not based on whether one should be baptized by immersion or by sprinkling, and they are more important than whether there will be a pre-tribulation rapture or a post-tribulation rapture.  The differences here have to do with the most fundamental and foundational Christian doctrine – salvation.  Within Catholicism, the definitions related to salvation are different, and salvation is based on works.  Because of this, Catholics do not believe that anyone can be assured of their salvation.  This is incredibly sad and distressing!!

Our brief overview of Roman Catholic beliefs is presented for two reasons – to educate non-Catholics about the beliefs and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, and to show Catholics that one can indeed be assured of salvation.  Our ministry exists to contend for the truth, and to do so with love.  If we shied away from addressing the doctrines of Catholicism, simply because we may not be popular for doing so, we would be failing to carry out the Great Commission.  With that commission in mind, let us now take a look at the beliefs of Roman Catholicism.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Changes to the Ten Commandments by the Catholic Church. This is different in the numbering and contents of the commandments.
Hebrew and Protestant Catholic
Number Text (Exodus 20) Number Text Actions
1 You shall have no other gods before Me (Verse 3) 1 You shall have no other gods before Me Praying to Mary and saints
2 You shall not make for yourself any idols or any likeness of what is in Heaven above or earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them. (Verse 4 - 6) Deleted Image worship
3 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes his name in vain. (verse 7) 2 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain Priest confessions
4 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant, your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the Heavens and the Earth and the Sea and all that is in them and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the seventh day and made it holy (Verse 8 -11) 3

Changed
Remember to keep holy the Lord's day. Sabbath changed from Saturday to Sunday
5 Honor your Father and your Mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Verse 12) 4 Honor your Father and your Mother Infallible pope. The holy father
6 You shall not murder (Verse 13) 5 You shall not murder Persecute heretics
7 You shall not commit adultery (Verse 14) 6 You shall not commit adultery Church and State union
8 You shall not steal (Verse 15) 7 You shall not steal Sits on the throne of God as god
9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Verse 16) 8 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor Tradition in place of the Word of God - the true witness. Claims to be infallible.
10 You shall not covet your neighbor's house you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Verse 17) 9 You shall not covet your neighbor's house Covets the authority and duties of God. God on Earth, holder of the triple crown with keys to heaven earth and purgatory.
10 You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
 
Catholicism

Catholicism calls herself the "mother" church. The church is responsible for several significant changes in the doctrines and their basic world view is also troubling. Let us take a look at some of these views and doctrines and recent events that I believe are prophetically significant. Top of Page

The Role of the Pope
The pope is seen as the supreme leader of the entire Christian Church, even if the rest of Christianity doesn't recognize it. In fact he is the leader of spiritual matters over the entire world - even if other religions do not recognize that yet. He has the divine right to lead nations, chastise rulers, wage war against heresy and use the state to complete its goals. He is superior to the state.
He is infallible when he speaks about doctrine. He cannot be questioned. He answers to no human, only to God. He can forgive sins and withhold forgiveness. He can grant tokens of release from purgatory.He is god on earthTop of Page

 
Political Aspirations

The church believes that it has the absolute right to rule and should be the only one to determine spiritual affairs (actually only the Pope should) and that it is also the best one to rule in political matters because of the Pope's unique relationship to God. Therefore, the notion of church and state separation is pure blasphemy in their eyes. The church has the right to rule from God and it demands the right to do so from national leaders.  Top of Page

 
Praying to the Saints

The thought of praying to someone other that our Father God is astonishing, but the reasons given for this is so revolting it makes me weep for God and his reputation. This picture of an angry, revengeful God who does not want to be near us, who only tolerates requests on our behalf through special human beings, is certainly not the picture of God that Jesus Christ came to demonstrate to us.

  • God is more likely to hear the pleas of Mary and the saints than yours. But God says he will 'not cast out anyone who comes to him'.
  • Christ is an angry judge from whom we must be protected. Mary appeases his wrath. But Jesus says there is no other mediator but Him.
  • He would prefer if we did not approach him directly. But Jesus says 'come boldly to the throne of grace'.
  • He is constantly offended by us. But Jesus said 'father forgive them' and 'he is not ashamed to be called our brother'.  Top of Page
 
The Rosary

The rosary is a string of beads that the Catholic Church uses during prayer. The reverence shown to Mary is obvious in the fact that in each decade of beads on the rosary -for every 10 prayers said to Mary only 1 is said to God.

This is a corruption of the tithing principle. We give back to God one tenth of what he gives us for our personal and physical use. But God requires 100% of the things that belong exclusively to Him. See a more detailed explanation of the rosaryTop of Page

The Role of the Virgin Mary
The worship of Mary, today acclaimed as an infallible dogma, was once condemned by the same 'infallible' Church as a deadly sin. Starting in the year 600, the church has made prayers to the virgin, queen of heaven a dogma.
She has been called Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Refuge of Sinners, Gate of Heaven, Mother of Mercies, Ark of the Covenant, and Spouse of the Holy Ghost.

As we honor God by capitalizing words that refer to Him like (He, Him, His), some honor Mary in the same way by capitalizing pronouns such as (she and her).

A well-known publication, entitled The Glories of Mary, by of Alphonsus Liguori, now a canonized saint of the Church of Rome canonized in 1839 . It has been authoritatively declared by the Church of Rome that all the writings of Alphonsus Liguori contain "not one word worthy of censure".

Mary
The Virgin
Mary, Mary quite Contrary
We shall be heard more quickly if we call on her holy name that we should if we called on the name of Jesus our Saviour.

    The Glories of Mary
        by Alphonsus de Liguori

In 1803 the Congregation of Rites stated that "In all the writings of Alfonso de Liguori there is not one word that can be justly found fault with."

Here is what Liguori believes and teaches:  Top of Page

Even Christ owes a debt of Gratitude to Mary

"Nothing resists your power, because the Creator of all honours you as his mother, making your glory his own. Mary owes her Son an infinite gratitude for choosing her for his mother; but it is not less true to say that Jesus Christ has contracted a species of obligation towards her for the human existence he received from her, and in recompense for this benefit he honours her by hearing her prayers." Top of Page

 

She is a Savior and Mediator
"The way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary." In his book The Glories of Mary, Alphonsus de Liguori writes concerning Mary:
      [...] she is truly made a mediatrix of peace between sinners and God.
      Sinners receive pardon by [...] Mary alone.
      [...] We shall be heard more quickly if we call on her holy name than we should if we called on the name of Jesus our Saviour.
      [...] The holy Church commands a worship peculiar to Mary.
      [...] Mary is called the Gate of Heaven because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her.
      [...] The way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary. Top of Page  

Five Dogmas of Mary
# Description
1 431 Council of Ephesus - Mary is the mother of God (Theotokos )
2 Perpetual Virginity, the eternal Spouse of the Holy Spirit and the New Eve. and Mary's salvation role as the Ark of the New Covenant
3 1854, Pope Pius IX : Immaculate Conception, Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin from the moment of Her conception
4 1950 Assumption - she participated in her Son's resurrection by being raised up into heaven both body and soul after her death.
5 1997 petition to be officially defined. Our Mother The Lady of All Nations: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.
God Obeys her Commands

Rome exalts Mary to such a degree that it holds that "all things, even God, obey the commands of Mary". Rome considers Mary to be a far more powerful mediator than the Lord Jesus Christ:

"Sometimes we shall be heard sooner by invoking the intercession of Mary than by praying to Jesus our Saviour" (page 209).
"I am fine, if my Redeemer cast me off on account of my sins, I will throw myself at the feet of His mother, Mary, and will remain prostrate before her, until she obtains my pardon" (page 183).

Rome exalts Mary to such a degree that it holds that "all things, even God, obey the commands of Mary" (page 265).  Top of Page

 
Christ the angry Judge, Mary the protector

The Lord Jesus is entirely ignored as the Advocate of - and Intercessor for - His people, these titles and offices being given to Mary.

Christ is represented as an angry Judge from whom Mary saves sinners; thus she is called "the only advocate of sinners" (page 190f.), and we are told (page 282) that

"her Son, the Judge of the world, cannot bring Himself to condemn the criminals whom she defends", and that (page 193) "when God is angry with a sinner whom Mary takes under her protection, she restrains her Son, that He may not inflict chastisement, and saves the sinner".  Top of Page
Salvation through Mary

"Most holy Virgin, take us under your protection, for we have no other hope of salvation than through thee." (Page 257)

In Mary, then, the Romanists place all their hope. For they say (page 252) that "he who is protected by Mary is saved; he who is not protected by her is lost".

Thus Romanism is Marianism, and Rome teaches the same today. Even the Mass has been converted into Mary worship by the addition of prayers to her, and the prominence given to them. Pope Leo XIII outstripped his predecessors in this regard and was thus fittingly styled the 'Pope of the Rosary'. The Rosary consists of 166 beads, on which are recited one Creed, 15 Pater nosters and 150 Hail Mary's. Its recitation was said by Leo XIII to be "the most powerful and most pleasing" manner of "honouring" Mary. Every Pope today still issues an encyclical on "The Devotion of the Rosary", in which he preaches Mary-worship.
Again, the following idolatrous language is addressed to Mary by the same author:

"Nothing resists your power, because the Creator of all honours you as his mother, making your glory his own. Mary owes her Son an infinite gratitude for choosing her for his mother; but it is not less true to say that Jesus Christ has contracted a species of obligation towards her for the human existence he received from her, and in recompense for this benefit he honours her by hearing her prayers."

The same writer adopts the following blasphemous address to Mary:

"O great Queen, it is by you the miserable are saved; and because their salvation is your work, they shall form your crown in heaven."  Top of Page
 
Mary the Intercessor
"It is the opinion of many, and I hold the opinion to be true and indubitable, that all God's graces are dispensed through the hands of Mary, and that all the elect are brought to salvation through the divine mother. In conformity with this opinion, it may be said that the salvation of all depends on preaching devotion to Mary, and confidence in her intercession."  Top of Page
Mariolatry - Worship of the Virgin Mary

The dogma of the immaculate conception.

she was preserved from original sin at the first moment of her existence and, as well, that 'Mary was free from personal sin and moral imperfection throughout her life'
Other official or authorized works of the Catholic church such as the book Ten Series of Meditations on the Mystery of the Rosary by John Ferraro and The Glories of Mary by Alphonsus de Liguori describe the following roles for her:  Top of Page
 
  • Another Redeemer. She is co-Redemptor of the human race because she believed in Christ's mission of salvation and she suffered in her heart whatever was lacking in the passion of Christ. Apparently, we need another mediator besides Christ because His sacrifice alone was insufficient - and Mary is the most qualified. She also ransomed mankind from the power of Satan. and while Jesus redeemed us with the blood of His body, Mary with the agonies of her heart.
    The church and the saints greet with these words: You, O Mary, together with Jesus Christ, redeemed us.
    Are we obligated to Jesus for His passions? -- so we are indebted to Mary for her participation in His passions. She gave birth to Jesus with joy; she gave birth to us, brothers of Jesus, in anguish and sorrow. Top of Page

  • Source of Salvation . God has ordained that no grace will be granted to us except through Mary. It is a doctrine preached by all the saints that no grace will come to us from heaven without passing through Mary's hands.
    No one will be saved nor obtain mercy except through You, O' heavenly lady. Remember this well, no one will enter heaven without passing through Mary as one would pass through a door. O' Mary, our salvation is in your hands.
    To be devoted to you, O' Mary, is a weapon of salvation which God gave to those whom He positively wants to save. Top of Page

  • Saved by her merits . During His passion, Mary suffered in her heart all the pains that Jesus suffered in His body. For this reason, God exalted her so greatly.
    We were condemned through the fault of one woman; we are saved through the merits of another woman. Just as Eve was the root of death for everyone, so Mary was the source of life for everyone.
    If we spread devotion to Mary, we will gain heaven -- "Who explains me will have life everlasting."
    God shared His power with her [Mary]. "My mother, ask, for I must not turn away your face." Christ speaking to Mary: "Without your command, no one shall move hand or foot in the whole land."  Top of Page

  • Authority. All grace is passed from God to Jesus, from Jesus to Mary, and from Mary to us. The grace of God, cure for our ills, comes to us through Mary like water through an aqueduct.
    Mary is the compliment of the Holy Spirit. Before God she asks not -- she commands!
    No true devotee of Mary will be damned because she is the terrible conqueror of the devil.  Top of Page

  • Holy . Mary is holier than the saints, loftier than the heavens, more glorious than the cherubim, more venerable than any other creature.  Top of Page
  • Mary the Ark of Salvation. It was never written of anyone that he became a saint without having a special devotion to Mary.
    When God deeply loves a soul, and finds it stained with sin, He covers it with a beautiful mantle that makes it precious to Him -- that mantle is Mary.
    Mary is the ark of salvation built by God on the deluge of our faults so that whoever desires may enter and be saved  Top of Page
  • Devotion to Mary Required. Without devotion to Mary , no one can enter heaven
  • No one can acquire an intimate union with Jesus and a perfect fidelity to the Holy Spirit without being greatly united with Mary.
    Whoever is enamored of Mary, attaches his soul to a steadfast anchor that will draw him to the port of happiness.
    It is important to be devoted to Mary as it is to enter heaven, because no one can enter Paradise who is not devoted to Mary.
    In reward for humility, God gave to Mary the power of filling with blessed souls the thrones left empty by the rebellious angels.  Top of Page

  • Administrator on Earth and Heaven .
    Mary is secretary of the King of Heaven. It is she who writes in the Book of Life the names of the predestined, and signs them with the emblem of God. She herself is the Book of Life from which God will read the names of the elect on the day of judgment.
    She is queen of apostles because she formed them and directed them in their preaching. Mary is Queen of Apostles because by herself she routed all the heresies. Mary is Queen of Apostles because she is mother of grace and channel of mercy. She is Queen of Apostles because in her every hope is life and virtue. She is Queen of Apostles because she is conqueror of the Infernal Dragon.  Top of Page

The Virgin Mary Apparitions
While Marian apparitions are reported to have occurred in the past, until the last two centuries they have been rather infrequent. The sightings seemed to have escalated during the Great Awakening. It was a counter-revolutionary move by the forces of darkness.

Summary of Changes
Since no original text exists and since we have thousands of fragments and since the Bible has been hand copied for thousands of years, one would expect that errors would creep in. The best evidence shows that the Hebrew scholars took the very greatest care in copying the words of God. Christ himself probably used the Septuagint which was available during his time. No one gave a hint that anything was seriously wrong at that time.  Top of Page

The Catholic Church and the Bible


Scriptural Authority
The Bible was once banned in the church. Even now its use and interpretation by ordinary people is not encouraged. In the thirteenth century, the Council of Toulouse ruled:
We prohibit laymen possessing copies of the Old and New Testament ... We forbid them most severely to have the above books in the popular venacular. . . . The lords of the districts shall carefully seek out the heretics in dwellings, hovels, and forests, and even their underground retreats shall be entirely wiped out. Concil. Tolosanum, Pope Gregory IX, Anno. Chr. 1229

The Council of Tarragona, A.D. 1234, ruled that:

No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned lest, be he a cleric or a layman, he is suspected until he is cleared of all suspicion. D. Lortsh, Histoire de la Bible en France, 1910, page 14

The church accepts all the following as authoritative for defining church doctrine:

  • Pope - through the doctrine of infallibility (ruling with perfection and without possibility of error when speaking about doctrines of faith.
  • Tradition.
  • The infallible teaching of the church.
  • 66 books of the Protestant Bible.
  • Apocryphal books added by the Council of Trent in 1546. See the history of the biblical canonTop of Page

Sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them , flowing out from the same divine well-spring, move towards the same goal. Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. And Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles [the pope and bishops of the Roman Catholic Church] so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching. Thus it comes about that the Church does not draw her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Hence, both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence...

But the task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. Yet this Magesterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.

It is clear, therefore, that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magesterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls" (Vatican Council II , Pages 755-756). (Emphasis ours.)

But when Christians separated from us affirm the divine authority of the sacred books, they think differently from us -- different ones in different ways -- about the relationship between the scriptures and the Church. For the Church according to Catholic belief, its authentic teaching office has a special place in expounding and preaching the written Word of God (Vatican Council II, page 468).  Top of Page

Scriptures are not sufficient

"We must, therefore, conclude that the Scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith...because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance..." (The Faith of Our Fathers, page 73). (2Top of Page

Catholic Church is God's Official Interpreter

How can you get the true meaning of the Bible? You can get it only from God's official interpreter, the Catholic Church. 'This, then, you must understand first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is made by private interpretation' (2 Peter 1:20). (A Catechism for Adults, page 10). (2)

"The simple fact is that the Bible, like all dead letters, calls for a living interpreter." (The Faith of Millions, page 155). (2) Top of Page

 

Scriptures are not Safe to find the will of God

"The very nature of the Bible ought to prove to any thinking man the impossibility of its being the one safe method to find out what the Savior taught." (Question Box, page 67). (2Top of Page

Scriptures are Dead

"... A dead and speechless book." (Question Box, page 67). (2Top of Page

Scriptures Forbidden to common people

"In early times the Bible was read freely by the lay people ... New dangers came in during the Middle Ages...To meet those evils, the Council of Toulouse (1229) and Terragona (1234) forbade the laity to read the vernacular translations of the Bible. Pius IV required bishops to refuse lay persons leave to read even Catholic versions of Scripture unless their confessors or parish priests judged that such reading was likely to prove beneficial." (Catholic Dictionary, page 82).

"Of all the advice that we can offer your holiness we must open your eyes well and use all possible force in the matter, namely to permit the reading of the gospel as little as possible in all the countries under your jurisdiction. Let the very little part of the gospel suffice which is usually read in mass, and let no one be permitted to read more. So long as people will be content with the small amount, your interest will prosper; but as soon as the people want to read more, your interest will fail.

The Bible is a book, which more than any other, has raised against us the tumults and tempests by which we have almost perished. In fact, if one compares the teaching of the Bible with what takes place in our churches, he will soon find discord, and will realize that our teachings are often different from the Bible, and oftener still, contrary to it.
From a speech given by the Cardinals to Pope Pius III National Library in Paris, Folio Number 1068, Volume 2, pages. 650-651  Top of Page

The Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass
The mass started in 394 A.D. It is defined as an unbloody sacrifice of Christ. The bread and wine are the actual, literal (not symbolic) presence of God - therefore this bread must be worshipped as God.

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that all the faithful ought to show to this most holy sacrament the worship which is due to the true God, as has always been the custom of the Catholic Church. Nor is it to be adored by any the less because it was instituted by Christ to be eaten (Vatican Council II, page 104).

If any one shall deny that the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; and shall say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a figure, or virtually -- let him be accursed (Canon 1, Council of Trent).
If any one shall say that the substance of the bread and wine remains in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, the outward forms of the bread and wine still remaining, which conversion the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation -- let him be accursed (Canon 2, Council of Trent).
If any man shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, even with the open worship of latria, and therefore not to be venerated with any peculiar festal celebrity, nor to be solemnly carried about in processions according to the praiseworthy, and universal rites and customs of the holy Church, and that he is not to be publicly set before the people to be adored, and that his adorers are idolaters -- let him be accursed (Canon 6, Council of Trent). Top of Page

 

Salvation by Works

The Wealth of the Church
Heretics
The property of heretics was given to the church. Consequently, the rich were a big target for the church. Bribery and threat of the charge of heresy were greatly misused. Power was on sale. It was the custom of the inquisitors to divide the property of the condemned among themselves. Therefore, these sinful, unholy judges destined for the fires of hell had no incentives to release the prisoners.

The prophecy in Daniel 11 states that "he will divide the land for gain". The Inquisition has been called the biggest land grab in history.
Indulgences
It is big business to sell indulgences, to announce jubilees or pilgrimages to Rome. Any works of penance that encourages giving money. A promise of indulgences to the general population was enough to make any civil leader obey the popes. The church has raised massive armies with their guaranteed promises of heaven and the wealth of the heretics in this life.
In the book called "Tax of the Sacred Roman Chancery", this is a list of the amount to be paid for a particular sin. These were established in 1316 by Pope John XXII. Leo X published it in 1514.
The Prices of Sins in the Church of Rome
Sin * Price
Abortion $1.50
Murdering a layman $1.75
Perjury, forgery, Lying $2.00
Murdering a family member $2.50
Burning a neighbor's house $2.75
Violence on a priest $2.75
Total absolution $12.00
* Prices may be in nineteenth century dollars
If anyone shall say that the ungodly man is justified by faith only so as to understand that nothing else is required that may cooperate to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is in no wise necessary for him to be prepared and disposed by the motion of his own will ... let him be accursed (Canon 9, Council of Trent).
If anyone shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed (Canon 12).

The belief that Christ's sacrifice paid only for the guilt of sin and not for the penalty of sin has created several doctrines all based on works or acts of the worshipper. Because man must pay for his sins all people (except a special few) must go to purgatory. To get out of purgatory earlier than your sins allow, can be accomplished by the living before they die and on your behalf by the living through the following means.  Top of Page

  1. Indulgences. A decrease in the number of days spent in purgatory. This can be done by saying the rosary a prescribed number of times daily or by doing other acts as announced by the pope. It could also be received at a price.  Top of Page

  2. Penance. Good deeds, money.  Top of Page

  1. Supererogation. Excess supply of good works by some souls can be applied to others.  Top of Page
The pope holds the triple crown and the keys because he can unlock the gates of purgatory by granting indulgences. Protestants have called indulgences a license to sin. This is technically not true because the Catholic church does want the faithful to be faithful. But in reality, people can treat them as get out of purgatory free cards. When the pope granted all crusaders immediate passage to heaven (bypassing purgatory). the murdering hordes went stealing, raping, torturing and murdering at will.  Top of Page

Indulgences

John Tetzel said, "Indulgences are the most precious and sublime of God's gifts. This cross [pointing to the red cross] has as much efficacy as the cross of Jesus Christ. Draw near and I will give you letters duly sealed, by which even the sins you shall hereafter desire to commit shall be all forgiven you. I would not exchange my privileges for those of St. Peter in heaven, for I have saved more souls with my indulgences than he with his sermons. There is no sin so great that the indulgence cannot remit it, and even if any one should (which is doubtless impossible) ravish the Holy Virgin Mother of God, let him pay-let him only pay largely, and it shall be forgiven him. Even repentance is not indispensable. But more than all this: indulgences save not the living alone, they also save the dead. Ye priests, ye nobles, ye tradesmen, ye wives, ye maidens, and ye young men, hearken to your departed parents and friends, who cry to you from the bottomless abyss, �We are enduring horrible torment! a small alms would deliver us; you can give it, and you will not.' . . . The very moment that the money chinks against the bottom of the chest, the soul escapes from purgatory and flies free to heaven." History of the Reformation, by D'AUBIGNE, page 68.

Since all humans (except Mary) go directly to Purgatory to suffer punishment for the penalty of sin, the church teaches several methods by which one can shorten their stay in purgatory. One of these are indulgences. These may be purchased with money or through acts of penitence, acts of charity, or other pious means. The concept of indulgences is based on the idea that one's good works merit God's grace. Since Christ's sacrifice was insufficient for the full payment of the penalty of sin, acts of piety and gifts to the Roman Church may be used as partial payment for one's sins. The efficacy of an indulgence depends upon the merit attributed to it by the church. For example, one may pay to have a mass said for a relative believed to be in purgatory. The mass will then account for a certain number of days deleted from his purgatorial sentence. The use of indulgences spread gradually. It became a very clear element in the history of the Church when the Popes decreed that

certain works which were suitable for promoting the common good of the Church 'could replace all penitential practices' and that the faithful who were 'genuinely sorry for and had confessed their sins' and done such works were granted 'by almighty God's mercy and ... trusting in his Apostles merits and authority' and 'by virtue of the fullness of the apostolic power' 'not only full and abundant forgiveness, but the most complete forgiveness possible for their sins.

For 'God's only begotten Son ... has won a treasure for the militant Church ... he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ's vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation. They may apply it with mercy for reasonable causes to all who have repented for and have confessed their sins. At times they may remit completely, and at other times only partially, the temporal punishment due to sin in a general as well as in special ways (insofar as they judge to be fitting in the sight of the Lord). The merits of the Blessed Mother of God and of the elect ... are known to add further to this treasure' (Vatican Council II, page 70).

[The Roman Catholic Church] 'teaches and commands that the usage of indulgences -- a usage most beneficial to Christians and approved by the authority of the Sacred Councils -- should be kept in the Church; and it condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them. (Vatican Council II, page 71)

The Roman Catholic Church says it alone can grant this essential blessing for full salvation, and then condemns to hell those who disagree.

For God's only-begotten Son ... has won a treasure for the militant Church ... he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ's vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation. They may apply it with mercy for reasonable causes to all who have repented for and have confessed their sins. At times they may remit completely, and at other times only partially, the temporal punishment due to sin in a general as well as in special ways (insofar as they judge to be fitting in the sight of the Lord). The merits of the Blessed Mother of God and of the elect ... are known to add further to this treasure (Vatican Council II, page 70).
Vatican II established 20 complex rules concerning when and how any indulgence may be obtained, and condemned "with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them ... [for] the task of winning salvation.  Top of Page

Penance
The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed. They often are. In fact, in purgatory the souls of those 'who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions' are cleansed after death with punishment designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican Council II, page 64).

On the subject of salvation and the expiation of sin, Vatican Council II stated:

Therefore, the Church announces the good tidings of salvation to those who do not believe, so that all men may know the one true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent and may be converted from their ways, doing penance (Vatican Council II, page 6).

The full taking away and, as it is called, reparation of sins requires two things.

  1. Friendship with God must be restored. Amends must be made for offending his wisdom and goodness. This is done by a sincere conversion of mind.
  2. All the personal and social values, as well as those that are universal, which sin has lessened or destroyed must be fully made good. This is done in two ways. The first is by freely making reparation, which involves punishment. The second is by accepting the punishments God's just and most holy wisdom has appointed. From this the holiness and splendor of his glory shine out through the world. ...  Top of Page

The Rosary

The Mysteries
There are three types of Mysteries which center around the lives of Jesus and Mary.
The Joyful Mysteries
  • The Annunciation. When Gabriel announced the birth of Christ.
  • The Visitation. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth.
  • The Birth. The Birth of Jesus Christ
  • The Presentation. Simeon saw the infant in the temple.
  • The Finding in the Temple. The story of Jesus Christ in the temple as a young boy.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
  • The Agony in the Garden. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • The Scourging at the Pillar. Jesus was beaten.
  • The Crowning of Thorns. Jesus was crowned with a crown of thorns.
  • Carrying the Cross. Jesus carried the cross on the road to Golgotha.
  • The Crucifixion. Jesus was crucified between two thieves.
The Glorious Mysteries
  • The Resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead.
  • The Ascension. Jesus was taken to heaven.
  • The Holy Ghost at Pentecost. The descent of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Assumption of Mary. The belief that Mary rose bodily to Heaven.
  • The Coronation of Mary, Queen of heaven and Earth. The belief that Mary was crowned as queen.
Rosary The devotion to Mary centers around daily prayers recited with a rosary. The string of beads helps to keep track of the prayers and acts required.
The Prayers. 5 decades of the rosary include 1 Creed, 2 Our Father, 153 Hail Marys, 16 Glory be to the Father, (or 1 Glory be and 15 Fatima Decade Prayers), and 1 Hail Holy Queen.

So there are 154 prayers said to Mary and 18 to God, but if you use the Fatima Decade prayers instead of the Glory be prayer then you have 2 prayers to God and 169 to Mary.
  1. The Crucifix. While holding the crucifix make the Sign of the Cross and then recite the Apostles Creed.
  2. The First 5 Beads
    • Recite the Our Father on the first large bead.
    • On each of the three small beads recite a Hail Mary for an increase of faith, hope and charity.
    • Recite the Glory Be to the Father on the next large bead.
  3. The Decade (one large and ten small). Recall the first Rosary mystery and recite the Our Father on the next large bead. For each of the fifteen Mysteries do the following as you reflect on the mystery:
    • On each of the adjacent ten small beads (also referred to as a decade) recite a Hail Mary .
    • On the next large bead, recite the "Glory Be to the Father" or "The Fatima decade prayer" (added in 2000).
  4. When the fifth mystery is completed, the Rosary is Customarily concluded with the Hail, Holy Queen.

Relics, Idolatry and Image Worship
To understand the charge of idolatry, one should understand that the Catholic sees several levels of honor or worship. So it would be fair to say that standing side by side, God would receive more honor than an idol. However, the practice of honoring images and the dead in any degree, while giving the impression that God is unapproachable (except through Mary and the saints) does create an environment where the appearance of idolatry has merit.

Images, Scapulars, Amulets, Cloths and String
Length of Indulgences
Action * Days
Kissing a scapular 500
Venerate the image of divine mercy on divine mercy Sunday (first Sunday after Easter). Eternal life
Wearing the carmelite scapular at death Will not go to hell
* Number of days reduced in Purgatory
Relics
Gregory 1 introduced the idea of selling relics to those who could afford it. Some people made a profit by being paid for authenticating relics.
  • A cross made from 'filings' from chains worn by St Peter which could unloose you from your sins forever.
  • Keys of St. Peter made from 'filings' from chains worn by St Peter which could unloose you from your sins forever.
  • Fragments of 'the true cross'
  • Bones and body parts.
  • Skull of Saint Lawrence who was roasted to death August 10, 258
  • Tears shed by Jesus, that are still wet
  • Barbs from the Crown of Thorns
  • Mary's undergarments
  • Hair
  • Clay left over after God made Adam
  • A branch from Moses' burning bush
  • A feather from the wings of the Angel Gabriel.
  • A sack full of Peter's toe nails
  • Six to fifteen sacred foreskins were snipped from Jesus at his circumcision.
  • Christ's navel, tears and fingernails.
  • Two skulls of Peter
  • Six or seven thigh bones of the Virgin Mary.


Whether or not we play with word meanings, the truth of the matter is, that in practice, the lower adoration or honor given to dead saints or plastic statues, such as bowing, kissing the feet or praying in front of these objects and to these dead people appears to be indistinguishable from the heathen adoration of his idol.

The councils of Trent and Nicaea II state the following:
[The holy Synod commands] that images of Christ, the Virgin Mother of God, and other saints are to be held and kept especially in churches, that due honor and reverence (debitum honorem et venerationem) are to be paid to them, not that any divinity or power is thought to be in them for the sake of which they may be worshipped, or that anything can be asked of them, or that any trust may be put in images, as was done by the heathen who put their trust in their idols [Ps. cxxxiv, 15 sqq.], but because the honor shown to them is referred to the prototypes which they represent, so that by kissing, uncovering to, kneeling before images we adore Christ and honor the saints whose likeness they bear (Denzinger, number. 986).

The following is the official Catholic position on the veneration of images.

  • It is forbidden to give divine honor or worship to the angels and saints for this belongs to God alone
  • We should pay to the angels and saints an inferior honor or worship, for this is due to them as the servants and special friends of God.
  • We should give to relics, crucifixes and holy pictures a relative honor, as they relate to Christ and his saints and are memorials of them.
  • We do not pray to relics or images, for they can neither see nor hear nor help us.

Although the first point claims to forbid idolatry, the next two allow the practice.

Guess what? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck - it is a duck. Quack quack!

Evolution
Pope John Paul II, in a October 1996 message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, stated that the theory of evolution is more than a hypothesis and that it must be taken seriously by Christians (Vatican Information Service, October, 23 1996).

The Imperfect Catholic Priest
The crime of blasphemy was made against anyone who claimed the following attributes of God:

  1. Equality with God
  2. The right to forgive sins

The Catholic Priest pages 78 - 79 says the following:

Seek where you will, through heaven and earth, and you will find but one created being who can forgive the sinner ...
That extraordinary being is the priest, the Catholic Priest.

According to Catholic doctrine, God has to abide by the decision of the priest in matters of granting or withholding forgiveness! In the book Dignity and Duties of the Priest Volume 12, page 2, it states:

God Himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priest, and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse to give absolution...
The sentence of the priest precedes, and God subscribes to it.

It is blasphemy to assign to oneself the power of God, and it is bold to claim that God should subject himself to imperfect men.

The ridiculous nature of these statements is only magnified by the current (2002) scandal of pedophile priests in Massachusetts, and the response of their leaders.
A recent news report states that since the 1980s over 1000 priests have been charged with these crimes - this is only those that have been discovered. Statistics show that most are not.

This carnival of priests and their leaders knew about many of these long-term abusers they also promoted and moved them from one congregation to another. John Geoghan was convicted of molesting 86 boys. In one case, a pedophile priest was placed in a home for troubled boys! Imagine that!. One priest, Paul Shandley, openly advocated sex with children and was a member of a group whose sole mission was to preserve their "right" to have sex with minors. Shandley molested boys as young a 6 years old. When he was arrested, he was making plans to flee to Thailand.
You may ask, why Thailand? Because it is a country that openly supports child kidnapping and prostitution. While you might go to a Caribbean Island on vacation, paedophiles flock to Thailand.

In a recent meeting between the Vatican and a group of United States Cardinals, the church could not and would not state that it has no tolerance for peodophiles.

And this, according to the Catholic Church, is the human whom God must obey!!

Infallible?. Pope Boniface was so evil that Clement V had Boniface's body dug up and burnt as a heretic. He joked just before he died that

... had much chance of going to Heaven as a roasted chicken

Loss of Power
The church once had such power over the European nations, that it could force the leaders of nations to carry out its will by force. The loss of power occurred in several stages:

  1. The Reformation
  2. The French Revolution (1789 - 1799)
  3. Italian unification (1870) - the popes lost the right to rule politically over the papal states.
 
 

 The belief that does not save is the belief that does not change the person who believes. Jesus said that if you believe in Him, you would be changed