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The Errors of Protestantism

In the early 16th century the Catholic Church experienced a large separation which significantly changed Christianity. The separation, which became known as the "Protestant Reformation", was initiated when Martin Luther (1483-1546), a Catholic priest, began to publicly challenge numerous teachings of the Catholic Church. The Catholic doctrines that Martin Luther challenged had been taught unanimously by the Catholic Church for the 15 centuries prior, going back to the days of Christ and the Apostles. He was eventually excommunicated by the Catholic Church, and afterward started the "Lutheran" churches.

Years later, the protesting continued through a Catholic man named John Calvin (1509-1564). However, he could not come to complete agreement with Luther’s ideas, and so began to form his own churches (the "Reformed" churches). Ulrich Zwingli was another reformer who surfaced around the same time, though he could neither come to agreement with Luther nor Calvin.

The floodgates were now opened, and in the years and centuries following, numerous other reformation movements surfaced, such as that initiated by John Knox (starting the Presbyterian church in 1560), Robert Browne (starting the Congregational church in 1592), and John Smyth (starting the Baptist church in 1609), none of which could come to agreement on their doctrines. Protestant denominations have snowballed since, all which lack unity, and today there are literally thousands of them.

Below we show the errors in the doctrines of the reformers (namely Luther and Calvin), which also apply to the Protestant denominations that have formed since. Most of the arguments we present were compiled from the writings of St. Francis de Sales, who brought thousands back to the Catholic Church through his writings in the 16th and 17th centuries. The facts we present below show that the tenets of this revolution and the Protestant religions based on them cannot be correct. Lastly, we present examples from the writings of the early Church Fathers (the first Christians in the centuries after the Apostles) showing that they were certainly Catholic, and not Protestant.


Click a topic:

  1. The Protestant reformers had no legitimate mission from God (or from someone given power by God) to reform the Church

  2. To those who say the Protestant reformers had an immediate mission from God to reform the Catholic Church

  3. To those who say the true church is invisible

  4. To those who say the Catholic Church perished, which brought about the need for a reformation

  5. To those who say the true Church can err

  6. The Protestant reformers have violated Holy Scripture

  7. The translations and interpretations of the Scriptures have been violated by the Protestant reformers

  8. To those who claim they can interpret and understand the Scriptures themselves

  9. To those who do not believe in Apostolic tradition, but in Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura)

  10. To those who believe that faith alone (Sola Fide) justifies our salvation

  11. The true Church of Christ must be one in unity and doctrine

  12. The true Church ought to be resplendent with miracles

  13. Only the Catholic Church has been shown to be accompanied with repeated first class miracles

  14. The true Church of Christ ought to always practice the perfection of Christian life

  15. The true Church of Christ must be universal

  16. The true Church must be ancient, the Protestant churches are very new in comparison

  17. The true Church of Christ must be perpetual

  18. The true Church of Christ must be fruitful

  19. The Protestant reformers have violated the authority of the Councils

  20. To those who do not believe in St. Peter as being authority of the Apostles

  21. To those who do not believe St. Peter was first Bishop of Rome and that he had successors that continued to lead the Church

  22. To those who do not believe in the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) and His authority over the Church

  23. To those who do not recognize and do not have respect for the authority of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope)

  24. The teaching of the Protestant reformers contradicts reason

  25. To those who do not believe in the seven Sacraments as the Catholic Church always has

  26. To those who do not believe in Purgatory or in praying for the faithful departed

  27. To those who do not recognize or have any devotion to the Blessed Virgin

  28. To those who do not believe in veneration of statues, pictures, crucifixes and other images of Christianity

  29. To those who feel sin does not affect your salvation, or believe that by simply choosing Jesus as your "personal savior", you have been saved regardless

  30. To those who do not believe in the repetition of prayer

  31. New! Examples of writings from the early Church Fathers (the first Christians in the early centuries after the Apostles) showing they were Catholic, not Protestant
     

1. The Protestant reformers had no legitimate mission from God (or from someone given power by God) to reform the Church:

bulletJesus Christ instructed His Apostles to preach the Gospel to the whole world, therefore they had an "immediate" mission from God. St. Paul sent Timothy of Ephesus and Titus of Crete as Bishops to help him on his first mission, therefore they had a "mediate" mission from someone given the power by God to send them.
bulletOn the other hand, never have we seen any of the Protestant reformers show any mission from God or from anyone else to reform the church. Rather it is readily apparent they wrongfully took it upon themselves to make reforms. "How shall they preach unless they be sent"? Romans 10:15.
bulletNo individual has the right to associate himself with the Apostles or attempt to act under their authority; the individual must be sent or commissioned with divine authority. "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber" John 10:1. Here we see Martin Luther openly agreeing with this.
bulletConsider verses such as "As the Father hath sent me, I also send you" John 20:21 and  "He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me" John 13:20.
bulletHow can people without any authority attempt to make such drastic decisions affecting a divinely founded, global Church? Laity or princes do not have authority or power to start such a mission, rather someone must be sent legitimately, in Apostolic fashion, such as from a Bishop, or their mission is null. "Neither doth any man take the honor to himself but he that is called by God, as Aaron was." Hebrews 5:4
bulletIf you say the reformers were given appropriate mission to reform the Catholic Church, then we ask who is the authority that sent them? We know it was not the Catholic Church for the ideas of the Reformation are against Catholic teaching, and it was not the Lutheran and other Protestant churches for they were not yet formed when the reformation was being organized. So on who's authority was the mission of the Reformation?
bulletIf the church from which the Protestant reformers came were true, they can only be labeled heretics for having left it. And if the church from which the reformers came were NOT true, then that church could not have given the reformers true mission to reform the Catholic Church.


2. To those who say the Protestant reformers had an immediate mission from God to reform the Catholic Church:

bulletTo claim that the Protestant reformers were given direct mission by God to reform the church requires undeniable proof, otherwise people all over the world could easily claim direct mission from God on all sorts of beliefs, then where would we be? Then each time we thought we were following the truth we would be forever interrupted by men claiming an extraordinary vocation. Is that how Jesus intended His Church to be?
bulletConsider the miracles sent by God through Moses so that others would believe his mission. Also consider the miracles performed by Jesus and the Apostles so that the people would believe their word. Yet the Protestant reformers, despite making the most drastic changes to the Catholic Church since its founding, have never shown a miracle or any other sign to prove their mission, as would have occurred elsewhere in Scripture with such a drastic change to the faith. Jesus did not hesitate to show signs when reforming the Church, so what audacity do the Protestant reformers have to propose changes as drastic as Jesus made without showing any signs? "Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do." John 14:11,12
bulletWhy should we take the Protestant reformers mere word without a sign? He who boasts an extraordinary mission from God without immediately producing undeniable signs cannot be believed.
bulletIf there was a true immediate mission from God to reform the church, then we ask which one had the true mission; Luther, Calvin, or another reformer? Each of these men had opposing beliefs from the start which resulted in different denominations so it is quite obvious these men did not have an immediate mission from God.
bulletFor those who would like to claim the Protestant reformers were true prophets, why did they act contrary to all other prophets before them by not showing any undeniable signs to prove their words, and by opposing the one true Church which no other true prophet has ever done?
bullet"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema" Galatians 1:8.
bulletConsider the repeated vulgarities in the writings of the reformers. Did Our Lord or the Apostles or Saints speak in this manner? Are we really to believe that someone sent from God to reform the Church was to speak in this manner?
bulletFurthermore, why would Luther claim he was not someone holy if he truly had an immediate mission from God to reform the Church?
bulletAnd lastly, the Protestant reformers such as Luther and Calvin each have openly claimed the Catholic Church to have been the True Church during the early centuries of Christianity. Then later when these men fell into disagreement with the Church, they suddenly claimed it was a false Church. Do you think someone who had an immediate mission from God would teach that something is true, then later recant and teach the exact opposite? Have we ever seen Our Lord or His Apostles teach us something and then later have a change of heart and teach us the exact opposite? It is plainly obvious that hypocritical teaching is not from God.


3. To those who say the true Church is invisible:

bulletNowhere in Scripture will it ever be found that the Church is invisible. Rather references in Scripture are everywhere which point to a visible Church. How are the following verses to be understood of an invisible Church?

"And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will  not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican" Matt 18:17.

"Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts 20:28

"But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" 1 Tim 3:15

"And sending from Miletus to Ephesus, he called the ancients of the church" Acts 20:17

"And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church, and by the apostles and ancients, declaring how great things God had done with them" Acts 15:4

"And when they had ordained to them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed" Acts 14:22

"And when they were come, and had assembled the church, they related what great things God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles" Acts 14:26

"And going down to Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem, and saluted the church, and so came down to Antioch" Acts 18:22

bulletIt is illogical to think that Jesus would establish His Church then make it invisible and inaccessible to us. If that were the case, where would one seek it to rule it, converse with it and lay complaints before it?
bulletWhen the Church sent St. Paul, and received him, when he confirmed it, ordained priests in it, assembled it, saluted it, wrote to it, and persecuted it, was this just in spirit? These were visible acts on both sides!
bulletThe pastors and doctors of the Church are visible, therefore the Church is visible. The pastors and their sheep must know each other. What kind of shepherd cannot see his flock? St. Peter was as to a pastor when Jesus told him, "feed my sheep", and so were the Apostles, and they are all visible.
bulletIt is the property of the Church to carry on the preaching of the Word of God, the Sacraments etc. How could this be called invisible?
bulletHow do Christians begin their course as people of God? By Baptism, a visible sign. And by whom are they governed? By bishops, which are visible men. And how has the Church been persecuted over the centuries? By visible people. Need we say more?
bulletTo put it simply, the body is composed of body and soul, and so is the Church. The Church consists of Her interior soul, which is faith, hope, charity, grace etc (all invisible), and Her exterior, which is her members, preaching, Sacraments, sacrifices etc (all visible).
bulletSome Protestants, in defense of the invisible Church theory, have claimed that there are two Churches; one visible and imperfect Church made of its members (which can err and are called "reprobate"), and one invisible and perfect Church made of the "elect" that only God knows (which cannot err). Not only is this belief not found in Scripture but it is also illogical as we will now explain:

It is well known that all members of the Church must have their sins loosed and retained as Scripture says. Those whose sins are retained are considered reprobate (this includes priests and bishops), though they remain members of the Church until their sins are loosed. It is not until a person is cast from the Church that they are no longer considered members. Judas was reprobate, yet he was Apostle and bishop.
To say only the elect (which Calvin and other reformers say are unknown to us) are members of the true Church is to say we cannot know for sure who our prelates are and who to pay obedience to. This goes to show that not only the elect, but also the reprobate are in the Church. The Church is equivalent to an army with good and bad soldiers, many of which stray or are killed, but the army as a whole still remains victorious over the gates of hell despite downfalls of its members.
bulletIn summary, the New Testament frequently refers to the Church as an external, visible society. How then could Our Lord require us to believe under penalty of damnation (Mark 16:18) and to consider the Christian disobedient to the Church's commands "a heathen and a publican" (Matt 18:17) if we could not easily and unmistakably recognize the Church as a visible society?
 

4. To those who say the Catholic Church perished, which brought about the need for a reformation:

bulletTo say that the Church perished or went apostate is blasphemous against the Passion of Our Lord. Didn't Jesus undergo His passion and death for us that He could establish His Church for all of us? Of what sense does it make that Our Lord should let go of His Church which cost Him so dear right after He established it? Of what sense would it make that He would take it back from us after giving it to us? How could He have abandoned the Church, which cost Him all of His blood? Do you think that Jesus is weaker than His adversary, the devil, and was overcome by him?
bulletIn Scripture Jesus clearly made promises on promises pertaining to the perpetuity of His Church. To say the Church perished is to call Jesus a liar. "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt 16:18)
bulletWho gave Luther and Calvin a commission to revoke so many holy and solemn promises which Our Lord made of His Church? Did Our Lord not say of His Church, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"? (Matt 16:18) And didn't He say, "behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" Matthew 28:20? And didn't Our Lord say "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever" John 14:16? And don't we see repeated mention in the New Testament that Our Lord will be with us? How can all of these promises stand if the Church perished or went apostate? And if the true Church is to last forever as Christ told us, how can it have failed or went apostate for a thousand years as the Protestant reformers claim?
bulletHe who thinks himself to be the reformer or resuscitator of the Catholic Church attributes to himself the honor due to Jesus alone, and makes himself greater than the Apostles. The Apostles preserved the Church by their ministry after Our Lord instituted it. He who says that he has found the Church dead and raised it to life himself is the most audacious human alive.
bulletIf the Church did perish and the Protestant reformers were the ones to truly resuscitate the Church back to a true state, that would make them greater than the Apostles. But never have they shown any signs or wonders of such greatness in their lives as the Apostles did!
bulletTo say that the Church perished sometime after the first five or six centuries as the Protestant reformers say is to imply nothing else than our predecessors for nearly 1000 years before the reformation are damned, for outside of the true Church there is no salvation.
bulletAnd lastly, there is no doubt there were problems in the Church before the Reformation. The Church has always had problems in every century and has always been persecuted, as Our Lord told us would be the case. We also see in Scripture that Our Lord said He would be with His Church forever and that it would never fail. Looking at the history of the Church, whenever problems had arisen, the Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, always called together General Councils and corrected the problems. If there were problems in the Church before the Reformation, it was not up to unknown men like Luther and Calvin to try and correct them on their own without any authority when it was well known that the Church had always used General Councils to correct problems for the 1500 years prior.


5. To those who say the true Church can err:

bulletThe Protestant reformers such as Calvin and Beza claim the Catholic Church to have been the True Church during the early centuries of Christianity (before they claim it fell into error). During those five hundred years the Church had fought and condemned the doctrines of the Protestant reformers. Yet now Calvin and Beza have the audacity to offer the same doctrines again as medicine and holy reformations? If when the True Church in the early centuries of Christianity declared those Protestant beliefs to be error, how can the Protestant reformers now claim them to be truth and to base their new churches on them?
bulletIf the Church can err, to whom shall we have recourse in our difficulties? Protestants will say Scripture. We do not doubt that we must believe in and consult Scripture, but what if our difficulty pertains to Scripture itself? How can we find an answer? I cannot go to Luther or Calvin for they have opposing opinions. Do you really think Our Lord went to the trouble to establish His Church just to leave us in anarchy with no recourse on matters which could or could not damn us?
bulletAll denominations shout their claims with equal assurance that their interpretation of Scripture is accurate, which would leave all others inaccurate. To say Our Lord has not left us any guides to help us choose the good from the bad in an environment that He knew contained much error, is to say that He wishes us to perish, which we know He does not.
bulletOur Lord said, "And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican" (Matt 18:17). How else can this be understood than Our Lord sends us to the Church in our differences?
bulletIf the Church can err, and God commands us to go to the Church, then this means God wishes to deceive us. Does it make sense that God would send all of His lambs to the slaughter by commanding them to consult a Church that can contain error?
bulletWhen St. Paul says, "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15), why would he call the Church the "pillar and ground of truth" if it could contain error?
bulletIf the Church did err and the Protestant reformers started churches of their own as they did, then how can we explain this verse from Scripture: "And he hath subjected all things under his feet, and hath made him head over all the church" (Ephesians 1:22). This verse refers to Jesus being head of ONE church, not multiple churches such as those started by Lutheran, Calvin and subsequent Protestants.
bulletIt must be made clear here that when we refer to the Church not erring, we are referring to the Church not misguiding the faithful with respect to faith and morals, which we are required to hear and know for our salvation. The Church at the same time is also a human society because it consists of human members. This is why scandals, heresies, schisms and sins among its members also arise. These sins are expected with human beings and do not indicate a failure of a divinely founded Church that Our Lord promised would never fail! Did the mission of all the Apostles fail or cease to be because Judas turned to betrayal? Of course not. Christ Himself foretold of these type of problems in Scripture when He spoke parables in Matthew 13 regarding the cockle growing together with the wheat and the net containing good fish and bad fish. Consider the verses, "Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just." Matthew 13:47-49.
bulletIn summary, Our Lord said His Church would never fail, yet we clearly see members of His Church making mistakes due to their human natures. These mistakes clearly do not indicate failure of the Church. Again, the Church is equivalent to an army with good and bad soldiers, many of which stray or are killed, but this does not affect the army as a whole. The same applies to the true Church of Christ; it continues unscathed over the gates of hell despite the downfalls of its members.


6. The Protestant reformers have violated Holy Scripture:

bulletThe Protestant reformers have said the Catholic Church was the true Church in Her early days. It is important to note that it is the Catholic Church who, through Her early Councils, originally confirmed which books of the Bible were considered inspired, and which books were to be included in the Canon of the Bible itself. This was essential to assure copies of Scripture had in those days agreed with the originals, and also to weed out books which contained heretical doctrine in them. The Catholic Church confirmed the books (the Canon) of the Bible in the Councils of Hippo (393) and 3rd Council of Carthage (397) when, according to the Protestant reformers, She was still the true Church (click here for the actual Council text and scroll down to see the list of books in the Canon at that time, which is the same Canon used by the Catholic Church today). The Catholic Church also confirmed the same Canon at the Council of Florence (1441) and Council of Trent centuries later and have used the same Canon ever since the Council of Hippo in 393. How then did the Protestant reformers remove so many books (i.e. Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Machabees, Wisdom etc) from the Old and New Testaments if it was the true Church that ruled they were Canonical? If the Protestant reformers truly thought the Catholic Church was the true Church at one time then later fell into error, why do the reformers not follow the decisions the Church made when She was still supposedly true?
bulletWho told the Protestant reformers that the books they removed from the Bible were not legitimate and by what authority did they remove them? Some Protestant reformers claim some books were rejected because they were not in Hebrew or Chaldaic, though some other books that were kept by the Protestant reformers were not in these languages either, so this excuse cannot be used. And where is it found in Scripture that they should be written in a certain language?
bulletTo say that some books were not accepted because they were not accepted by the Jews does not apply to the point at hand either. The Catholic Church holds the books of Machabees and others mentioned above as Canonical, and if she was the true Church when She determined this, then this is what must be believed. Because the Jews did not accept the deutero-canonical books does not effect the fact that the early Christian Church accepted them. Where in Scripture does it say the Christian Church has not as much power to give authority to the Sacred Books as the Mosaic may have had?
bulletWhy do the Protestant reformers call parts of Scripture false when the whole of antiquity has held them as articles of faith? We see many writers from the first three centuries including St. Clement of Rome, St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, Tertullian, Cyprian and many others all allude to the deutero-canonical books we mention above. Who gave the reformers the direction to declare these books false? For example, the book of Judith was made authoritative by the Council of Nice, when the Church was never greater or more solemn. Why blatantly defy the decisions of this council?
bulletOf those reformers who claim their decisions to strike books from the Canon are from the Holy Ghost, we ask that you please show proof. Why would the Holy Ghost suddenly give inspirations as to what everyone must believe to unknown men like Luther and Calvin, after they abandoned the Councils and the entire Church? Shall we simply believe the reformers at their word? How then do we believe or not believe the next person who also claims the same inspiration? If the Protestant reformers were inspired, then God would clearly show the world a sign like with others inspired in Scripture, but a sign the reformers have not shown so they are not to be believed.
bulletIf God had revealed something a thousand times over to a private person we should not be obliged to believe it unless God gave us such an undeniable sign that we could no longer call it into question. How else are we to separate the false prophet from the true prophet? If we were obliged to believe everyone claiming internal revelations, we would soon be swamped with deceivers and would be completely lost.
bulletWhere did the Protestant reformers come up with the exact list of books in the Canon they choose to follow? Who told them which books should be included or removed? It was not the Jews that told them as the Gospels would not be there. It was not from the Council of Laodicea for the Apocalypse would be in it. It was not from the Council of Carthage or Florence for Ecclesiasticus and Machabees would be included. So where did the reformers decide on their specific list of books to include? No such Canon was used before the Protestant reformation as the many Protestant denominations use now. What is the likelihood that the Holy Spirit hid for the first 1400+ years of the Church, then revealed a new Canon to two unknown men, namely Luther and Calvin?
bulletThe Protestant reformers have taken away many books from the original Scriptures such as  Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom and both books of Machabees. In the ancient Church there was originally some doubt about some books being inspired and no doubt about many others, yet the Protestant reformers have accepted some of the doubtful and cast out some that were never doubtful. So why were the specific set of books cut from the Scriptures by the Protestant reformers other than that the doctrine of some were hard for them to accept? The reformers do not give a logical answer for their striking some books from the Canon and it is clear that they were simply contradicting the Church. It just so happens that the contents of the books of Machabees contains doctrine on the intercession of Saints and prayers for the departed and Ecclesiasticus contains doctrine on the honor of relics, which is doctrine that just so happens to be accepted by the Catholic Church and denied by the reformers. Remember, it was the Catholic Church in Her early days (when She was the True Church according to the Protestant reformers) that received the books Machabees as canonical along with the other books of Scripture. So why defy the Church on just Machabees?


7. The translations and interpretations of the Scriptures have been violated by the Protestant reformers:

bulletIt is one thing for the Protestant reformers to dare cut off entire books, chapters, sentences and words from Scripture, but even more, the books that they chose not to cut off they have corrupted and violated by their translations. Compare the Vulgate Latin translation from the middle of the second century, (universally received by the Church at that time and declared as authentic by the Council of Trent) to translations of Scripture Protestant churches use today. There is a night and day difference in wording. And even worse, compare translations of Scripture between different Protestant denominations and they also differ!
bulletHow can private men (the reformers) so boldly take their hand to the word of God and change it? If one man does such a thing, then what is to stop the next man from doing it to his taste, and the next to his taste? An example:
In Acts 2:27 we see, "thou wilt not leave my soul in hell" while in a version of a Protestant bible we see the verse, "thou shalt not leave my corpse in the tomb". Clearly this is not an accurate translation and the meaning is not at all the same. It is common knowledge that only one word can change the meaning of an entire sentence. We note here that Hieronymus Emser, a literary opponent of Luther, points out 1400 inaccuracies in Luther's translation of Scripture, while Bunsen, a Protestant scholar, points out 3000. If Luther, Calvin and other reformers' translations of a verse in Scripture differ from the original AND from each other, which one is the word of God? Or are all three versions of the verse still the word of God, though their translation may make their meaning completely different from the next? How can so many brains which are so different make so many translations without overthrowing the sincerity of Scripture?
bulletIt has always been a practice of the early Church to limit the Scriptures to universal languages such as Greek and Latin since they are not only universal but also not subject to changes like other languages. Most other languages change town to town in accents, phrases, and words (i.e. slang), and vary season to season and age to age and therefore it has never been recommended by the early Christian Church to translate the Bible to other languages that are not fixed languages. Doing so has much more danger than profit as we can see from our example above. Though we note here also that the early Christian Church has never disallowed translation of the Scriptures to non-fixed languages, though She has always insisted that public services of the Church use a fixed language translation to avoid possibly misleading the faithful with verses of possibly incorrect translation and meaning.
bulletIn summary, the Protestant reformers not only made major changes to Scripture by poor translations, but also translated Scripture to all the local non-fixed languages of the people where they started their churches, and they use those faulty translations in their church services. Is it not evident why there are so many Protestant interpretations of Scripture all in conflict with one another?
 

8. To those who claim they can interpret and understand the Scriptures themselves:

bulletThe Protestant reformers claim that we simply need to refer to Scripture for our salvation. We agree, but when two people disagree on the interpretation of Scripture, who shall be the judge as to the correct interpretation? Disagreements arise in nearly every verse of Scripture of which could easily lead one of the parties to damnation. It is illogical to think that Our Lord would expect us all to interpret Scripture on our own with no judge to turn to since this will always lead to endless disagreements. There can be countless wrong answers to a question, but only one right answer. All of those interpreting Scripture incorrectly will be lead down the wrong road. It is illogical for us to think God left us in anarchy with respect to interpretation of Scripture, at the mercy of the winds and the tide, with no pilot to help steer the way, as this would mean he wishes our destruction. As with a ship at sea, if everyone attempts to steer in the direction they think is right, we will inevitably wind up lost.
bulletConsider the Constitution of the United States if there were no U.S. Government to rule over it and make decisions over conflicts and offenses that arise with it. The result would be anarchy. Where have you ever seen any great province or organization which has governed itself? Consider any governed country, state, or any organized group throughout the history of the world. All were governed by an earthly leader of some sort or else they would wind up in chaos and confusion. If there were not a king in a kingdom, a foreman in a shop, or a captain of a ship, there would be no order. Why then do the Protestant reformers claim that all of their members do not need an earthly ruler to help guide them? What has this gotten them but thousands of opposing denominations (and growing) which is nothing better than anarchy? Never can a province be well governed by itself, especially when it is large.
bulletIf it is true that the Scriptures are so easy to understand, what is the use of the commentaries made by countless Protestant ministers, and what good are so many schools of Theology?
bulletAlso consider the verse, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16). How else can we interpret this than to say Scripture is difficult to understand, and to interpret it incorrectly can lead to our destruction?
bulletAnd to those who say they must read and understand Scripture themselves, consider the large number of poor ignorant people who cannot read the Scriptures. What is to happen of them? Obviously they can find and seek their salvation through the mouth of a pastor. "How shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher?" Romans 10:14.
bulletConsider the verse, "And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understandest what thou readest? Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." Acts 8:30-31. Obviously interpretation of Scripture is needed!


9. To those who do not believe in Apostolic tradition, but in Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura):

bulletThe Bible was not put under one cover until the Councils of Hippo (393) and 3rd Council of Carthage (397) accepted the official list of books (click here for the actual Council text and scroll down to see the list of books in the Canon at that time, which is the same as used by the Catholic Church today). Not for over 1000 years after these early Councils was the printing press invented (~1450), so Bible manuscripts were quite rare and costly before the printing press came about. Between 397 and 1450 then, how did most people learn about the contents of Scripture, and who was the authoritative figure for the early Church during these centuries? The authority clearly could not have been the Bible, but clearly was the Church Herself who preached it to the faithful. So how can Scripture have been our only guide for the centuries before copies of the Bible were readily available, and were the people who lived during those centuries all damned because they did not have access to Scripture?
bulletConsider this verse from Scripture: "Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name" John 20:30-31. What else does this tell us than Jesus did and said other things that were not recorded in Scripture? Are we really to think that anything Jesus did or said that didn't make it into the books of Scripture are false or should not be adhered to?
bulletConsider the verse, "But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written" John 21:25. Clearly there are many things Jesus said and did that were passed on as tradition (by word of mouth) and did not make it into the books of Scripture.
bulletNowhere in Scripture do we see references to Jesus writing anything down during His public life, nor does Scripture show that He ever asked His Apostles to write down what He was teaching either. We can see only Peter, Paul, James, John Jude, Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote parts of what Our Lord taught, the others did not write anything as far as is recorded. If Scripture were the ONLY resource we should have for our salvation, surely Jesus and His Apostles would have written constantly, but they did not. Instead Scripture shows that the Apostles TAUGHT as they were instructed by Our Lord: "Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" Matt 28:19. So while Scripture is essential, tradition is also essential.
bulletNowhere in Scripture does it say Scripture alone should be accepted as revelation, and it certainly does not say we should condemn Apostolic tradition. Look all through the Gospels and you will see nothing spoken against tradition except for traditions which are human or against Scripture. Why do the Protestant reformers add this to Our Lord's words? It is forbidden to add anything to Scripture, as it is to take anything away from it. Why do the Protestant reformers also take away the traditions which are expressly authorized?
bulletConsider the verse, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle." 2 Thessalonians 2:14. What else does this tell us than the Apostles spread the word of God not only through Epistles, but also by WORD, and that we should hold to the traditions which we are taught?
bulletAny unwritten Apostolic doctrine we call Tradition. Consider the verse, "If any man be hungry, let him eat at home; that you come not together unto judgment. And the rest I will set in order, when I come." 1 Corinthians 11:34. This clearly shows St. Paul writing important words to the Corinthians, then stating he will "set the rest in order" when he comes, yet we do not have writing about them elsewhere. What he said then, will it be lost to the Church? No, it has come down through tradition.
bulletConsider the verse, "Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full." 2 John 1:12. St. John had something worthy of being written yet he chose to speak instead. Instead of Scripture, he has made tradition.
bulletConsider the verse, "Hold the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me in faith, and in the love which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 1:13. This is clearly St. Paul recommending to St. Timothy an unwritten Apostolic word. This is tradition!
bulletAlso consider the verse, "And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also." 2 Timothy 2:2. What is this but the Apostle speaking, the witnesses relating, and St. Timothy teaching, followed by these teaching others? This is clearly tradition.
bulletConsider the verse, "I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now" John 16:12. When did He say these things which He had to say? Was it all written? It is also said that He was forty days with them teaching them of the Kingdom of God, but we have neither all of His apparitions nor everything He told them during that time.
bulletConsider the verses, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” Matthew 28:20, and “He that heareth you, heareth me" Luke 10:16, etc. This clearly shows the Apostles teaching is true revelation.


10. To those who believe that faith alone (Sola Fide) justifies our salvation:

bulletNowhere in the bible does it state faith "alone" justifies, and this new doctrine was not heard of before the 16th century. Why did the Protestant reformers propose it and what authority gave it to them?
bulletConsider the verse, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in. Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me." Matthew 25:34-36. Are these not examples of good works? Why would Our Lord give them so much emphasis if only faith was of importance?
bulletConsider the verses, "And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith to him: All these I have kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me." Matt 19:16-21. Are the above verses not filled with good works? How much more proof from Scripture do we need to show that Our Lord commanded us to do good works for our salvation?
bulletConsider the verse, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works." Matthew 16:27. Again here we have more proof that good works are required of us.
bulletConsider the verse, "And every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor." 1 Corinthians 3:8. Again this clearly does NOT refer to faith alone, but to labor, which is works.
bulletConsider the verse, "And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2 (St Paul). What is charity other than helping the needy? Charity is clearly considered among good works. And in the same Chapter we also see the verse, "And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity." (1 Corinthians 13:13). This clearly puts charity BEFORE faith, so to say "faith alone" is all that is required of us is clearly contrary to Scripture.
bulletConsider the verse, "Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?" James 2:24. How much more plain can it be said that faith alone is not enough for our salvation?
bulletConsider the verse, "What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?" James 2:14. And we see several verses later that the answer to this question is NO.
bulletConsider the verse, "So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself." James 2:17. No explanation is needed for this verse!
bulletConsider the verse, "But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith." James 2:18. Another extremely obvious verse that proves our point on the subject.
bulletConsider the verses, "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 2:20-21. No explanation is needed for these verses.
bulletConsider the verse, "For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead." James 2:26. How can the Protestant reformers claim faith is sufficient when we read a verse like this with such obvious meaning?
bulletAnd finally consider the verse, "Wherefore, brethren, labor the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election." 2 Peter 1:10
bulletIn summary, justification by faith alone has overwhelming opposition in Scripture. Some Protestants have been known to reference other verses from Scripture in an attempt to show that works are NOT required for our salvation. However if one looks at verses that appear to speak negatively about works, they are clearly referring to works that glorify men and not God. Here we agree; works done to please men do not help with attaining our salvation.


11. The true Church of Christ must be one in unity and doctrine:

bulletFirst, it cannot be that the true Church is divided of belief in opinion, as God would no longer be its author. God, a God of Truth, could not possibly have revealed a plurality of religions, or a multitude of varying Christianities. Our Lord taught one religion and founded one Church, not multiple ones. The Protestant denominations clearly fall into this category with their thousands of denominations, all with beliefs opposing the other. How can we call thousands of opposing denominations a reformation of the Church? Our Lord's threat of damnation for not believing clearly condemns the opposing Protestant denominations that have formed since the Protestant reformation.
bulletConsider the verse, "And Jesus knowing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." Matthew 12:25. Are not Protestant denominations divided among themselves with little hope to reunite?
bulletConsider the verse, "And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:15. One body is one Church, and cannot possibly be thousands of opposing denominations.
bulletWhen the Protestant reformers brought forward the belief that each was to interpret Scripture on his own, that made each person on earth equivalent to the next. Under this belief a lay person is equivalent to a priest or minister, therefore it is optional for a lay person to consult them. This situation inevitably leads to conflicts between all of these "equal" people claiming their interpretation is correct, which inevitably leads to different denominations which inevitably leads to multiple doctrines. As already mentioned above, nowhere is it found in Scripture that we are to interpret Scripture on our own, rather Scripture does clearly indicate Our Lord instructed His Apostles to, "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned." Matthew 16:15. Clearly we must believe in one religion as taught by the Apostolic successors to be saved, not to believe two unknowns like Luther or Calvin, or any other number of reformers claiming different doctrines.
bulletLooking at all the Catholic Church has been through with respect to heresies and persecution, the same faith remains in Catholics century to century. Looking at any random point in the history of the Catholic Church, if there was ever a difference in opinion relating to faith or morals, a General Council or the Roman See, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always determined what the correct belief should be, and you will see every Catholic has always submitted to their decisions and argued no more. The Protestant denominations do not have this structure, and therefore they will forever be in disagreement and will forever have multiple doctrines. Can one really call this introduction of contradicting doctrines a reformation of the Church? This is not the teaching of Our Lord.
bulletThe Protestant reformers such as Luther and Calvin did not even agree on the same canon of Scriptures from the start of the Reformation. They also differ in opinion on things such as number of Sacraments and other beliefs. For example, Protestant denominations are as much divided among themselves regarding Justification than they are divided with the Catholic Church, with no hope of ever coming to an agreement. Scripture cannot be their judge because it is concerning Scripture that they are in disagreement. From the start of the Reformation this was clearly a red flag that this so-called reformation of the Church was not sent from God, as why would God suddenly decide to spin off multiple denominations with opposing doctrines? Why didn't Jesus teach, approve or ever hint of such a thing?
bulletThose who have a diversity of canon, that are divided into thousands of opposing denominations with different beliefs, cannot "add up" to one true Church, and neither can they be called by the name of "Church" like the Catholic Church can who has one same head, the same canon of the Scriptures, and one like rule for interpreting them. "He that is not with me, is against me" Matthew 12:30.
bulletIt is very common these days to get a variety of answers when asking Protestants if their denomination holds the truth over other Protestant denominations. We've heard some Protestants claim "Our denomination is not 100% correct". If not, then we ask why are you a part of that denomination? If your denomination is not the true Church as Christ gave to us, which denomination IS the true Church, the pillar of truth? We know it must exist somewhere because Christ promised us it would always exist.
bulletWe have also heard some Protestants claim that it is not for them to place judgment on the correctness of any denomination. We ask, why not? Our Lord clearly laid out what the truth is and how we are to be saved, why are you now unsure about it, and most of all why are you indifferent about it? Here we present two points against these illogical claims:

1) For one to claim they are a Lutheran or Presbyterian or some other Protestant, but yet be indifferent and not claim their religion is the true or correct religion is absurdity. How can one be indifferent in what they believe? This is the same as believing truth and error are both acceptable. Are mathematicians indifferent in the outcome of their equations? Are scientists indifferent in their studies? If they were, they would not have the respect of their peers and would not be mathematicians or scientists. Where would we be if every scientist or mathematician or doctor were to be indifferent in their work and always produce uncertain results generation to generation? What you believe in must be the truth from your perspective or you cannot claim you believe in it. The fact of the matter is, if no one is an authority and if everyone is open to their own interpretation of Scripture, this inevitably leads to indifferentism, for who knows who is right! Nowhere else in the world will you see the concept of indifferentism accepted as we see with Protestant denominations. It is just as wrong to deny the faith than it is to be indifferent about searching for it!

2) If one Protestant denomination believes in the real presence in the Holy Eucharist, and another believes it to be a symbol only, these are directly opposing views and only one can be the truth. If the Symbolic point of view were true, then the believers in the real presence would be guilty of idolatry among other things and if the real presence is true, the symbolic believer would be following a false religion. How can Protestants be indifferent about denominations when critical beliefs such as this separate them? How could Protestants be neutral on a belief that would decide whether we are saved or damned? Only one belief is true according to Our Lord. To say one religion is as good as another when such massive differences exist between each of them is to say truth and error are acceptable to Our Lord, which is simply absurd. Our Lord never taught multiple doctrines!
 

12. The true Church ought to be resplendent with miracles:

bulletFirst, let us define the two types miracles; first class and second class. In this section, when we refer to miracles, we are referring to those of the first class, as explained on our Miracles Page.
bulletFirst class miracles were obviously left with the Church to confirm Her teaching. No doubt first class miracles were originally used to confirm the word of Moses, that he might be believed. And Our Lord said that if He himself had not done miracles, the Jews would not have been obliged to believe him. And we know by looking at the history of the Catholic Church and Her Saints that they have always been resplendent with first class miracles, of which have never stopped. We know this based on the many authors we have with irreproachable authority century after century. Why then do some Protestants attempt to say miracles have ceased from the Church? Miracles have always been with the Church and therefore they are a property of the Church. If God used miracles to speak to men in Scripture, why would He remove this from the Church He established for all of us?
bulletConsider the verse, "And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover." Mark 16:17,18. Our Lord does not say "all" believers would work miracles, and does not say miracles would be limited to just the Apostles or limited just to the years in which they lived, but simply that miracles will follow "those who believe”.
bulletConsider the verse, "Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do." John 14:12. The part of the verse "he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do" clearly backs up the other verse directly above with respect to the miracles Jesus performed. "Believe for the very works' sake" confirms that miracles are but signs to make us believe.
bulletIn a nutshell, "those who believe” are in the church, and those believers are followed by miracles, therefore in the Church there are miracles. There are believers in all times, and believers are followed by miracles, therefore in all times there are miracles.
 

13. Only the Catholic Church has been shown to be accompanied with repeated first class miracles:

bulletTo assure our points below are understood, please see our explanation of first and second class miracles on our Miracles page (if you have not already done so) before reading this section.
bulletThere is simply no doubt about the repeated astounding miracles associated with Catholic Church and Her Saints over the centuries, which so many historians describe, and so many persons had a part in, and where so much evidence is left behind, many of which took place in the Church’s early years when the Protestant reformers considered the Catholic Church to be the true Church. Some quick examples are St. Francis of Paula raising the dead to life, St. Francis Xavier raising a man to life and healing the paralyzed, deaf, dumb and blind. There are many, many bodies of Saints discovered incorrupt without embalming even after being centuries under ground, and these bodies spanning nearly 20 centuries are still on display all over Europe. There are also many, many books dedicated to these happenings and others. Yet the Protestant reformers have chosen to play down these happenings and even deny them, we can only assume because these first class miracles have not been found in their churches. To deny such an overwhelming number of occurrences with an abundance of credible witnesses and evidence is simply looking the other way. And to try and claim 2000 years of first class miracles are either all lies, hallucinations, or simply not miracles at all is absurdity. If the writings of repeated first class miracles in the Catholic Church are not miracles, then how can they be explained?
bulletSome Protestant denominations have also attempted to claim that these miracles seen throughout the Church's history are all from Satan. We answer that to collectively claim all of the greatest of Saints throughout 2000 years of Church history all performed miracles via Satan is as absurd as saying Our Lord cast out devils by the devil.
bulletFor those Protestants who claim that they have first class miracles in their churches, we ask that you please bring forward proof for your claims as the Catholic Church always has. It is possible second class miracles may be experienced by anyone that God chooses, but second class miracles are always questionable and are of no comparison to the first class miracles experienced repeatedly in the Catholic Church over the centuries. We have yet to see any proof for first class miracles in Protestant churches such as Saints raising others from the dead, Saints incorrupt bodies, the stigmata and SO many other astounding occurrences seen in the Catholic Church over the centuries.
bulletSome Protestants have also tried to claim that there is no longer a need for miracles since the Gospel of Christ has already been preached to all corners of the earth and since Christianity has already been established. If this were true, then miracles would probably have stopped occurring at some point during the first few centuries after Christ at periods when Christianity was quite secured and the persecutions had ceased, but so far were miracles from ceasing in those centuries and in all other centuries since the time of Christ, that this theory is made illogical.
bulletThe Protestant reformers have also claimed they made no new church, but simply polished and cleaned up the existing Church which had failed. Since they removed key parts of the faith and Sacraments which were in the true Church in Her early days, the result is not a reformed church but a new one. At the time before the Church was "reformed" it contained the character of first class miracles. We ask all Protestant denominations; show us the character of first class miracles in your church now as it was in the early days of the Church.
bulletThe Church has always been accompanied by first class miracles, just as Her founder Jesus Christ was. Therefore She is the true Church. No other society can claim these miracles which the Catholic Church does, so glorious and so continual, unless God was with it! "If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham." John 8:39.
bulletGod cannot be an author or confirmer of a lie, therefore that which is continually confirmed by miracles cannot be a lie, but must be truth. It is true that there are both false miracles and true miracles, and some miracles that are debatable as to the presence of God's power (i.e. second class). True miracles as sent from heaven will be apparent to the elect. "By their fruits you shall know them." Matthew 7:16
bulletThere is scarcely any article of our religion which has not been proved by miracles. Where the true miracles are, we know the true Church is. God would never bear witness to a Church which did not have the true faith, and was erring, deceiving and idolatrous. For this reason, and the reason that Protestant Churches do not appear to have first class miracles, we believe the Protestant Reformation was a departing of the true faith.
bulletWhy is it that first class miracles are seen so continually throughout the history of the Catholic Church, but not seen outside of it? We answer with this verse from Scripture, "And he wrought not many miracles there, because of their unbelief" Matt 13:58
bulletAs with miracles, the Catholic Church at all times has also had prophets, yet some Protestant reformers have also claimed that prophecy has left the true Church along with miracles. Yet there have scarcely been any Saints in the Catholic Church throughout the last 2000 years who have not prophesied. We ask the Protestant denominations, if your church be the true church, please show us the prophets from your church as the Catholic Church can from any given point over the last 2000 years.
 

14. The true Church of Christ ought to always practice the perfection of Christian life:

bulletLooking at the New Testament, it is filled with teachings from Jesus on how to live the perfect Christian life. Here are many examples of recommended virtues direct from Scripture. In addition to these virtues, Jesus was entirely poor and lived on alms as an example to us, and taught His Apostles to carry nothing when they went to preach. He also taught us to be humble, meek and obedient even to those of which we have no obligation. He left us examples of poverty, chastity, and self-denial. Of what purpose were all these examples if they were not to be put into practice?
bulletConsidering the examples Jesus has set for us, consider the lives of the Saints who have imitated these virtues throughout their entire lives and were able to perform miracles as Our Lord did. Moreover, the Catholic Church as a whole has always put into practice these virtues in every season for the love of God.
bulletConsider the glory of so many Saints and other devout religious who gave up all and risked their lives to travel to foreign countries and spread the faith, without other expectation than of labors, miseries, and martyrdom, and without other aim than the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Many of these Saints have died for Christ as did St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Polycarp, St. Agnes and St. Cecilia; they have won whole nations to Christ like St. Patrick, St. Boniface, St. Ansgar, St. Methodius, and St. Francis Xavier; they have founded religious orders of men and women that won countless souls to the perfect following of heroic virtues such as St. Benedict, St. Bernard, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Madeline Barat; they have given up all in life to care for the sick, the poor and the imprisoned such as St. Camillus, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. John of Matha; and they have defended the faith in every part of the world as did St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Canisius. These are just a few examples.
bulletNow compare these to the lives of the Protestant reformers and their subsequent churches who condemned the monastic discipline and gave it up altogether. And rather than imitate the virtue of poverty, many aim to make the temporal goods of their church theirs. The virtue of chastity was condemned and has been scarcely practiced since. In addition, without a Pope to be obedient to and no need to consult others on interpretation of Scripture, the virtue of obedience was blurred. And with no need to confess sins, the borders of morality have been blurred as well. Martyrdom is also scarcely heard of in Protestant churches since the Reformation. Many ministers marry when they did not in the early Church. ("He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God." 1 Cor 7:32). Why did the Protestant reformers oppose and stop practicing these virtues in direct opposition to the examples of Our Lord and early Church?
bulletHere we present a quote from Calvin which clearly shows Catholics in the early days of the Reformation already accusing Calvin and his churches with abandoning these virtues.
bulletIn summary, the Protestant reformers and most Protestant churches that came afterward have abandoned these virtues of the perfect Christian life at the word of the reformers; ordinary men. Yes, all of these virtues are not mandatory, but we can see they are highly recommended in Scripture. Christ gave us these repeated examples for a reason, and the Catholic Church and Her Saints and those in monasteries have continually practiced these virtues to the fullest.


15. The true Church of Christ must be universal:

bulletNo matter which part of the world you may travel to, you will notice that all Catholic Churches are called "Catholic". Now consider the names of churches started by the Protestant reformers such as Calvinist, Lutheran, Congregationalist, Protestant etc. Protestant churches were not in existence before these names existed, and these names were not created before Protestant churches were. They were not reformed, but all created NEW and SEPARATE.
bulletIn addition many Protestants refer to their churches as "reformed", yet the Lutherans, Anabaptists, Trinitarians and others also claim to use the term "reformed". At the same time many Protestant denominations oppose that the other uses the term because they all are in opposition on their beliefs. How could all of these flavors of names, all in disagreement, be the true Church of Christ?
bulletOur Lord perfectly formed and sanctified His Church with His life. The true Church, "the pillar and ground of truth", never needed reforming and to say that the Church Our Lord left us was in need of reforming is to say that Our Lord didn't establish His Church correctly or that the Holy Ghost failed to protect it. Changing or reforming the Church which Our Lord established is not called reform, it is called heresy.


16. The true Church must be ancient, the Protestant churches are very new in comparison:

bulletAs Tertullian once said, "Error is a corruption of truth, truth must then precede". Moses was before Abiron, Dathan and Core; the angels were before the devils, Lucifer was good before he fell into eternal darkness etc. Consider the verse, "They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us." 1 John 2:19. "Went out from us" means they were within before they went out. The going out is called heresy, the being within is fidelity. The true Church precedes heresy. In the centuries immediately after Christ the Catholic Church was the only notable Christian Church in existence, so what can we say for the Protestant denominations which started appearing in the 16th century and later?
bulletCalvin himself admits that in the first few centuries the Catholic Church had not yet strayed from the Evangelic doctrine. Well the question for Protestants then becomes, when was it that the true Church lost Her faith? At what time, under what bishop, by what means, by what force, and by what steps did this false religion take possession of Rome and the Church itself? What protest, what troubles, and what lamentations did it cause? Was everyone asleep while Rome was forming new doctrines and Sacraments? Is there not one single historian to publish or leave behind any commentaries on such a great matter? Why can't the Protestant reformers answer the above questions? Yet no one questions when the Protestant reformation and churches began because every related incident is well known, and the troubles, woes and violence that were caused by them.
bulletThe true Church of Christ was started by Christ, the Protestant churches were started in the 16th century and later by ordinary men. Some Protestants may try and claim their church was around before the 16th century and to them we ask, where was your Protestant church before the 16th century, what was it called, was it called by the same name, and who in history claimed to be a part of it? Do not try and say it existed but was invisible, for if it were not seen and is not referenced in historical documents, who can say it existed? And if you still claim your Protestant church existed before the Reformation, Luther contradicts you, for he said he was quite alone when he started the Reformation.
bulletIf one of the churches must be true, it is the Catholic Church since it is clearly the only perpetually existing Christian Church since the time of Christ. The new Protestant churches therefore cannot be called true, but can only be called heretical.


17. The true Church of Christ must be perpetual:

bulletLooking at history one can gather a list of all heresies the Catholic Church has ever fought and condemned, and noting where these heresies were born and died, the Catholic Church still endures perpetually. To those Protestants who would claim the Catholic Church did not exist for a time since the time of Christ, we ask you to name the years in which She didn't exist.
bulletIn addition we ask, where were all of the Protestant churches even a few hundred years before the Reformation? Please do not attempt to say they were invisible as this cannot be proven. Our answer is, the Protestant churches clearly did not exist before the Reformation and therefore none can be the true Church of Christ.


18. The true Church of Christ must be fruitful:

bulletIf we look at any history book or book on the lives of the Saints, we see repeated missions by Saints in every country in every lifetime to overturn idolatry, paganism, and convert others to the true Church, many at the expense of their own lives. Did Our Lord not ask His Apostles to do so? "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:16.
bulletAnd consider the massive number of those Saints who were willingly martyred during these missions. "...and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it." Matthew 10:39. Yet why do we not see notable missions of Protestants throughout the last 500 years dedicating and giving their lives to converting pagans and others as Christ asked, and as has been seen in the Catholic Church?


19. The Protestant reformers have violated the authority of the Councils:

bulletConsider the verse, "And the apostles and ancients assembled to consider of this matter." Acts 15:6. From the earliest days of the Church there have been many councils assembled by the bishops of the Church to help in instructing the people and to provide for their salvation by resolving the doubts and disagreements relating to Christian doctrine. The principal cause why General Councils have ever been called together have always been to put down heresy, schisms, and scandals. And who was originally given this authority other than St. Peter who was given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven? "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven" Matthew 16:19. He who has the authority for feeding the sheep has the authority for calling the shepherds together to learn what pasturage and waters are good for the flock.
bulletConsider the verse later in the same chapter after the Apostles assembled to consider the matter, "For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us." Acts 15:28. It is apparent by this verse that the Apostles themselves believed their decisions at the council were overseen by the Holy Ghost.
bulletAlso consider the verse, "And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican." Matthew 18:17. When can we hear the Church most distinctly than by the voice of general council, where the heads of the Church come together to review and make decisions on difficulties?
bulletConsider the verse, "Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:19-20. This verse from Our Lord states that He is there to guide those gathered together in His name. If Our Lord is there to guide a small group gathered in His name to discuss any matter, how much more will He be there to guide men during a General Council of the Church with hundreds of religious present, to discuss a matter of faith and morals for the whole WORLD to follow?
bullet Also consider the verse, "Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts 20:28. How much more clear can this verse be than to say that there are bishops that rule over the Church and that the Holy Ghost watches over those Bishops? And when do they outwardly rule it? When making decisions at General Councils.
bulletWhat does the true Church use as its best weapon against heresy, than the judgment of General Councils? Some Protestants may say Scripture is the best weapon. And to this again we say Scripture cannot be used as a weapon against heresy when its the inaccurate understanding of Scripture that is the cause of the heresy. Without the authority of General Councils to help us understand the meaning of Scripture and make final decisions on it (guided by the Holy Ghost as we show above), the articles of our faith would be subject to never ending appeals and revisions by those who have their own opinion of it.
bulletHave you ever thought about why the Protestant reformers chose to ignore the authority of the General Councils of the early Church, even though those Councils were held in centuries when the Church was still supposedly the true Church according to some of the Protestant reformers? It is clearly because these General Councils have condemned several times over the many beliefs that the Protestant reformers chose to revive in their new Protestant churches. The Protestant reformers had no choice but to discard the decisions of prior General Councils because their decisions conflicted with their beliefs. There is no other word to describe this other than HERESY.


20. To those who do not believe in St. Peter as being authority of the Apostles:

bulletConsider of all the Apostles, Our Lord chose to give a permanent new name ONLY to St. Peter by saying, "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter" Matthew 16:18. Note Our Lord did not give the other Apostles an additional new names, only Peter, which signifies Peter's authority among the Apostles. And if we look elsewhere in Scripture, other name changes have signified a change of status, such as with Abraham in Genesis 17:5 and Jacob in Genesis 32:28.
bulletConsider the verse, "And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren." Luke 22:31. When Our Lord was about to establish the faith in His Church, He specifically prayed for St. Peter as head. Scripture does not show Our Lord saying this to any of the other Apostles. Is this not to place him as responsible for all? And it is also equally clear that having prayed specifically for St. Peter, the head of the others, it was so St. Peter might not fail, who was to assist with supplying the others with the faith as well.
bulletAnd when Our Lord says, "being once converted" that St. Peter should "confirm thy brethren", does this not clearly state that St. Peter is head of the others? Our Lord could not have given St. Peter the command to confirm the Apostles without charging him to have care over them.
bulletAlso consider the verses, "When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep." John 21:15. Our Lord again, only said these words to St. Peter and not to the other Apostles because St. Peter alone was the authority among them. There is no confusion on whether Our Lord was speaking to St. Peter alone here for the part "more than these" shows Our Lord referring to the other Apostles, and only St. Peter was grieved. And what does it mean to give someone charge of feeding the sheep but to be their pastor, ruler and shepherd? In many places in Scripture to "feed" and to "rule" are used interchangeably as well so there is no confusion here.
bulletAnd when Our Lord said, "As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep." John 10:15, Our Lord was not referring to specific sheep, but ALL of His sheep. Some Protestants have argued that Our Lord was referring to only specific "lambs" and "sheep" in John 21, but this is illogical for if He was, why did He not specify the specific lambs and sheep?
bulletIn addition, Our Lord first says, "Feed my lambs" twice, then "Feed my sheep" once. What was the purpose of this? This was to clearly give St. Peter charge not only over the people but the pastors and Apostles themselves for the sheep nourish the lambs.
bulletWe also have proof of St. Peter's authority over the other Apostles based on any time either all or part of the Apostles are referenced in Scripture, St. Peter is always listed first, and in each of these instances, the other Apostles' names that follow are not in any particular order.
bulletWe also note in numerous places in Scripture where there is occasion for the Apostles to speak, St. Peter is known to speak for the group. "Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God." John 6:68. Notice St. Peter speaks for the group and also says "and WE have believed", speaking for all. Only one in authority speaks for a group.
bulletConsider the verse, "And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe" Acts 15:7. This verse clearly shows St. Peter publicly exercising his authority over the other Apostles.
bulletSome Protestants have been known to say that all the Apostles are equal, with St. Peter having no authority over them. Looking at the verses just referenced above, Our Lord clearly bestowed this right on St. Peter for the good of the Church; to avoid schisms like we see in the Protestant churches today!
bulletTo further expand on this point, in several other locations in Scripture there are references to Peter and the other Apostles without naming them, such as "Peter and they that were with him" (Luke 9:32) and "Simon, and they that were with him, followed after him" (Mark 1:36) which clearly indicate St. Peter as head. St. Peter is also named separately when referencing all of the Apostles on several occasions such as "But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee" (Mark 16:7), and "But Peter standing up with the eleven" (Acts 2:14), and "and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles" Acts 2:37. What more can be said on this subject?
bulletHere we see St. Peter being first to convert others to the Church; "They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls" Acts 2:41
bulletHere we see St. Peter performing the first healing; "But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk. And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles received strength" Acts 3:6-7
bulletSt. Peter was the first of the Apostles to raise the dead; "Peter kneeling down prayed, and turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and seeing Peter, she sat up. And giving her his hand, he lifted her up. And when he had called the saints and the widows, he presented her alive." Acts 9:40,41. There is simply no doubt as to St. Peter's authority over the other Apostles.
bulletThe Protestant reformers have also denied St. Peter was originally the first head of the Church. How can anyone deny this when so many writings from the first three centuries from renowned people contain references to St. Peter being first head of the Church and head of the Apostles? For example we have in the middle of the third century St. Cyprian saying that Cornelius has succeeded to "the place of Fabian which is the place of Peter" (Ep 55:8; cf. 59:14). Firmilian of Caesarea notices that Stephen claimed to decide the controversy regarding rebaptism on the ground that he held the succession from Peter (Cyprian, Ep. 75:17). In the first quarter of the 3rd century (about 220) Tertullian (De Pud. 21) mentions Callistus's claim that Peter's power to forgive sins had descended in a special manner to him. About the same period, Hippolytus in  "Clement of Rome", 1:259) reckons Peter in the list of Roman bishops. In addition writings from St. Jerome quote St. Peter as "Head of the Church" and a writing from St. Hilary as "Happy foundation of the Church" and many, many other examples not listed here. There is simply no doubt as to St. Peter being the first Bishop of Rome.
 

21. To those who do not believe St. Peter was first Bishop of Rome and that he had successors that continued to lead the Church:

bulletOur Lord clearly said, "Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." Matthew 28:19-20.  It is very clear from these verses that the Apostles in their lifetime could not have taught ALL nations themselves, hence Our Lord continued the SAME thought with the word "and", stating that He would be with them to the end of the world. This can only refer to successors.
bulletAlso consider the verses, "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you." John 14:16-17. Here Our Lord clearly states the spirit of truth would "abide with them forever", which indicates their successors as well. How were the Apostles to fulfill Our Lord's words in the verses above without Apostolic successors? It is clear Our Lord knew they could not finish teaching all nations in their lifetime and that He was promising to be with their successors, guiding them until the end of the world. How else can these verses be interpreted?
bulletFurthermore we can immediately see that "teaching all nations" would not be limited to the Apostles alone, for we see St. Paul in his Epistles sending Bishop Titus and Bishop Timothy to finish the work he had begun in spreading the faith. Furthermore, we see St. Paul instructing Bishop Titus to further pass on this position to others; "For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee" Titus 1:5
bulletAs we mention elsewhere on this page, Our Lord clearly established St. Peter as His vicar and administrator of the Church on earth. If Our Lord was to establish a head of His Church back when the Apostles were alive and were so steadfast and so strong, how much more today is the Church in need of a head when there are so many weaknesses and infirmities in the members of the Church?
bulletAs for St. Peter having successors, several ancient writings exist from the first, second, and third centuries from St. Clement, St. Irenaeus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Dorotheus, Optatus of Milevis, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and the Fourth General Council of Chalcedon, ALL which make reference to St. Peter being first Bishop of Rome who later handed succession to St. Linus, St. Anacletus, and St. Clement. Some of the writings about these three successors conflict with each other with respect to the order of these successors, due to the fact that St. Clement was first offered to be successor of St. Peter as Bishop, but he initially refused it until the deaths of St. Linus and St. Anacletus, who took the role before him. Nevertheless all ancient writings agree on these three as being successors of St. Peter. So why do the Protestant reformers choose to ignore the writings of all antiquity?
bulletThe Protestant reformers have stated that the Catholic Church was still pure during the first six or so centuries, and writings from countless Saints and others during those same centuries all coincide in that St. Peter was first Bishop of Rome, who later handed off that succession to other Bishops of Rome, St. Linus, St. Anacletus, and St. Clement. So why do the Protestant reformers choose to deny this? And to those who agree St. Peter had successors but that those successors were not the Bishops of Rome, the early General Councils of Nice, Constantinople, and Chalcedon contradict you, all indicating the Bishops of Rome were successors.
bulletIn short, never in the early centuries of the Church were there bishops who claimed they were head or superior over the rest other than the Bishop of Rome. On what grounds then do the Protestant reformers have to challenge what is so plentiful in ancient writings?
bulletIt is also interesting to note that some of the Protestant reformers chose to deny St. Peter was ever in Rome, which is contrary to ancient writings. Calvin, seeing this denial would oppose antiquity, instead chose to believe St. Peter was "not long" Bishop of Rome instead. It is interesting to see the immediate conflicts in opinion that arose between the Protestant reformers before the reformation even got off the ground. It is clear from ancient writings that St. Peter spent the majority of his life in Rome, and some years in Judea and Antioch.
bulletAs for Protestant reformers challenging the term "pope" used for the Bishop of Rome because it is not found in Scripture,  it is simply a term that means "chief father" or "grandfather". There are many other terms that people use for the Bishop of Rome such as "His Holiness" and "Holy Father" which are not in Scripture either, but they do not have to be as they are simply a choice of terms. We see reference to the term pope in writings of St. Jerome and the Council of Chalcedon (which was held while the Church was still "pure" according to the Protestant reformers) and in other writings, but the choice of the term is insignificant as it simply refers to the head Bishop of Rome.
bulletWe all agree that the books of the Bible contain the inspired Word of God. These books of the Bible also contain the many writings of St. Peter such as 1 St. Peter and 2 St. Peter, and we all believe them to be inspired and the infallible Word of God. Why then do the Protestant reformers find it so far above reason to also believe in St. Peter's infallibility acting as head of the Church?


22. To those who do not believe in the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) and His authority over the Church:

bulletFirst let us consider the term "rock" used so frequently in Scripture. If we look throughout Scripture, "rock" has always been used to refer to Our Lord and no one else. Our Lord by His excellence is called the rock, because He is the foundation of the Church. This we all agree on.
bulletNow let us go back to the primary verses in Scripture which the Protestant reformers disagree with the meaning of, which are, "And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18. Some Protestant reformers choose to believe that Jesus was speaking to St. Peter, but starting with "and upon this rock" they claim Our Lord was no longer referring to St. Peter. Why would Our Lord bother to mention or refer to St. Peter in the verse if He was about to speak about something else? We answer it is illogical to think Our Lord said the sentence beginning with "Blessed are thou, Simon Bar-jona..." in order to say nothing more than "thou are Peter" afterward, then suddenly change the subject mid-sentence to refer to something else. The verse only makes sense when all is referring to St. Peter.
bulletNote that at that time, "Peter" was not the proper name of a man as we know it today, but was only then appropriated to Simon Bar-jona by Jesus, and this name was not given to anyone else. This forces the question, if the name Peter was never used before this time, why would Our Lord suddenly give Simon the name Peter? What could have been the meaning or purpose of this name change other than implying Simon was equivalent to what "Peter" meant, which is rock?
bulletNote also that when Jesus first met St. Peter He said, "Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter." John 1:42. Note here that the name Cephas also translates to the word "rock", as does Peter. In other words Cephas and Peter and rock all have the same meaning. So this is the same as saying, "thou art rock; and upon this rock...". Now considering that the term "rock" has always been attributed to Our Lord only throughout Scripture, what do you think it signifies when Our Lord now calls St. Peter "rock"?
bulletIn addition we can clearly see the early Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries referring to St. Peter as the rock. For example Tertullian writes, "Peter, who is the rock whereon the Church was to be built, and who obtained the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (De Praes., 22). St. Cyprian also writes, "Peter, whom the Lord chose as first, and upon whom He built His Church" (Epis. 71, Ad Quintum).
bulletNext we see the verse immediately following "That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" with the verse "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." Matthew 16:19. Notice "thee" which is referring to St. Peter alone. Also, verses 18 and 19 clearly go together and are a continuous thought separated by "and", contrary to some of the Protestant reformers who would illogically try to separate the verses under unrelated thoughts. And to confirm, the belief as explained above has been maintained by the Catholic Church from Her earliest days, and was confirmed at the Council of Chalcedon, when even the Protestant reformers admit the Catholic Church was the true Church.
bulletAlso consider Our Lord, upon stating "upon this rock I build my church" is comparing His Church to a building, and when He says He will build it on St. Peter, He is referring to St. Peter being the Church's visible foundation here on earth. This in other words makes St. Peter head and superior of this Church. In other words, Our Lord is the foundation, founder and builder, while St. Peter is only the foundation from an administrative point of view. Our Lord is the Church's master, while St. Peter only has management of it on earth.
bulletIt is true that Scripture teaches us that there is no other foundation than Our Lord, though it also teaches us that St. Peter is also a foundation, and further that the Apostles are as well. It is incorrect and illogical to give up the belief that Our Lord is foundation after we read that St. Peter is also foundation or that the Apostles are. Rather all three beliefs remain, and instead we focus on the degree in which they are each considered foundations. Consider the verse from St. Paul, "Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Ephesians 2:20. Here St. Paul clearly implies all of the Apostles are foundations, with Our Lord having a notable difference among them as corner stone of the foundation. The Apostles are also called foundations but from a different perspective; simply because it is they that lay the foundation of the Church everywhere by their preaching. Prophets are mentioned in this verse for the same reason; we know they are not foundations of the Church but we can refer to them as such in another sense because of their doctrine.
bulletThe Catholic Church has always believed that Our Lord is the only foundation of the Church and our faith. No one has ever doubted this. Though some Protestants will ask why then Catholics place Peter as foundation. And we answer that it is not WE that placed him there, but Our Lord who did so in verses 18 and 19 as we mention above. If anyone besides Our Lord had placed St. Peter as part of the foundation of the Church, we and the rest of the Catholic Church would protest. “For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid” 1 Corinthians 3:11. Our Lord simply approved this Himself so who are we to deny it? Note that St. Peter and the Apostles are not foundations BESIDE Our Lord, rather they are foundations subordinate to Our Lord.
bulletAnd to those Protestants who claim Our Lord also said the same to the Apostles as to St. Peter; "And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." we agree fully. But notice nowhere in Scripture does Jesus say "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven" to anyone other than St. Peter.
bulletSome Protestants also like to claim that the Catholic Church considers St. Peter as a successor to Christ. They are incorrect. Rather St. Peter is a vicar of Christ and should in no way be compared to Christ who is God. Just as a King gives his son power to chastise, grant favors, and give gifts, his son does not have the scepter, but only exercise of it. What the King's son does will be valid, be that does not make him King. This relationship is similar to that of Our Lord and St. Peter, and to that of St. Peter and the Apostles.
bulletIn summary, all of the Apostles are referred to as foundations of the Church, but in authority and government, St. Peter precedes. St. Peter is foundation, not founder of the whole Church, and he is a foundation, but founded on another foundation, which is Our Lord. St. Peter is the foundation (not founder) of the Church on earth, and is the administrator of faith, hope, charity, the Sacraments, and of the Church on earth, but he is NOT the Lord of them.
 

23. To those who do not recognize and do not have respect for the authority of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope):

bulletFirst, we see on many occasions in Scripture where there is occasion for the Apostles to speak, St. Peter is known to speak for the group. "Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God." John 6:68. Notice St. Peter speaks for the group and also says "and WE have believed", speaking for all. Also consider the verses, "Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:15 and "And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible. Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?" Matthew 19:26. Also consider at the election of St. Matthias it is St. Peter alone who speaks and determines. There are many other examples in Scripture where St. Peter speaks for the group of Apostles. Simply put, it is usual that the head should speak for the whole body, and that what the head says is considered to be said by all the rest. And it is this reason that St. Chrysostom and Origen have called St. Peter "the mouth and crown of the Apostles". "Amen, amen I say to you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me." John 13:20
bulletWhen St. Peter was placed as foundation of the Church, and the Church was certified that the gates of hell should not prevail against it, was it not enough to say that St. Peter as foundation-stone could not be crushed with infidelity or error, which is the principal gate of hell?
bulletIf the head shepherd can conduct his sheep into venomous pastures, the flock is soon to be lost. So if the head shepherd, with no other visible head available, can wander, who will set him straight? If there are no other head shepherds to lead and the sheep are not capable of guiding, how can this head shepherd guide his flock with a guarantee that hell will not prevail, unless supernatural assistance exists?
bulletConsider the great authority of Moses who sat and judged all the differences among the people, and all difficulties which occurred in the service of God. He appointed judges for issues of lower importance and the greater doubts were reserved for him. God spoke through him for decisions of that time and we all believe this. Why then do the Protestant reformers doubt a similar situation with the head of the Catholic Church? Considering Moses, is this situation THAT far above reason? Clearly it is not. If God had such providence over the religion of the Jews to establish them a supreme judge in whose sentence they were bound to consent to, there is no doubt that God provided Christianity with a similar judge or pastor who has the same authority to remove doubts and disagreements concerning the Scriptures.
bulletEven Luther originally believed in the authority of the Pope as we can see in his letter to Pope Leo X in 1518 where he actually presents six reasons for proof of authority of the Holy See in Rome and states that Scripture supports these reasons! Calvin himself originally believed in the authority of the Holy See as well, stating the Ancients have honored and revered it. So on what grounds do these Protestant reformers change from being Catholics, scrapping their beliefs to start a whole new doctrine?
bulletIt is clear looking at the history of the Catholic Church that She does not believe the Pope can err or mislead the faithful in regards to faith and morals, which is based on Our Lord's words that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. Outside of decisions on faith and morals and in all private decisions, the Pope is susceptible to mistakes just as anyone else. Simply put, everything a king says is not law and does not become law, but only that which the king pronounces as king and legislator. So goes the same with the Bishop of Rome; he can make errors outside the chair of Peter, as a private individual by writings and bad example, but with pronouncements on faith and morals in the chair of Peter, Our Lord's promise holds.
bulletIf all are bound by the Lord to believe the teachings of the Apostles and their successors or be condemned, and those teachings could contain error, what confusion would occur in Christendom with some parties considering one teaching good, another bad, and others occupying themselves in controlling the decisions of their superiors?
bulletConsider the verse, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth." John 16:13. How does the Holy Spirit teach, but through the Pastors of the Church?
bulletConsider St. Ignatius, early church Father and Bishop of Antioch, who sent his Epistle to the Trallians around the year 107 AD. In it he writes, "For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ..." and in the same paragraph writes, "It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ". This was in the earliest time of the church shortly after the death of the last Apostle. Clearly St. Ignatius here openly states that a Bishop should be obeyed as to Christ himself, and that we should also be subject to the presbytery (priest) as to the Apostles. How much more would this apply to the head bishop of the church in Rome?
bulletTo Protestants who rather consider Luther an authority, how can you look to a man who blindly excommunicates the Pope, and the Bishops, and the entire Catholic Church in one written Bull while completely ignoring all the facts as presented on this page? Such decisions can only be made out of anger or frustration and not of intelligent facts. And what are we to think about Luther writing to the King of England claiming, "I will be the enemy of the papacy, burnt I will be thy enemy." Are these the words of a Christian? Of an authority? Consider the writings of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and other reformers which are filled with vulgarities, calumnies, insults, detraction and ridicule. Are these really the words of a Christian with a mission from God to "reform" the Church? What does this all mean than that they have nothing else to say and are unable to keep from ill-saying? No one sent from God would do or say such things as these reformers have.


24. The teaching of the Protestant reformers contradict reason:

bulletThere are many beliefs put forward in the writings of the Protestant reformers which are anti-Christian, illogical and contradict reason. One example we give here is the theology put forth by Calvin, Zwingle and Beza which in summary says that it is God's will that we sin, and because we cannot avoid the will of God, we can not act otherwise, therefore we are not at fault for any sin. Where in Scripture is this taught we ask? This blatantly contradicts reason and Scripture.
bulletAnother belief put forth in the writings of Calvin mentions the Law of God is impossible. What else does this imply other than Our Lord is a tyrant who commands impossible things? If it is impossible, why is it commanded?
bulletEven more absurd is the belief of Luther, Zwingle, and Calvin that the whole Church may have erred for a thousand or so years in understanding the Word of God, yet these reformers can each guarantee they understand it right! "If the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?" Matthew 5:13. In other words if the Church, the guardian of truth, were to lose the truth, by whom shall the truth be found? By Luther? By Calvin? We find it infinitely more likely that the Protestant reformers erred rather than the entire Church.
bulletAnother absurdity we see with the Protestant reformers is their claim that the Catholic Church has erred, and that all men can err, and then follow this by preaching their own interpretation of certain verses of the Scriptures, claiming it as the Word of God. If everyone else has erred or is capable of erring, how can the Protestant reformers be so audacious to claim they have not erred?
bulletAnother absurd belief of the Protestant reformers is that we must interpret the Scriptures by the analogy of faith. This can only lead to countless denominations with opposing views, and when any of these opposing denominations presents their view of a verse in Scripture, Protestants admire every interpretation given as though all are acceptable to God! This is illogical, for as we mention above, if one denomination believes in the real presence in the Holy Eucharist while another believes the Eucharist is just a symbol, only one can be correct. The real presence is either TRUE, or IDOLATRY, so believing one or the other will decide whether or not we are saved. Where in Scripture did Jesus say believing in two totally opposite views is acceptable? In addition, where else in the world is such a belief accepted that many views are acceptable? Surely mathematicians and scientists do not allow multiple beliefs for the same situation and neither do we see such an illogical belief anywhere else. Yet how illogical is it for the Protestant reformers to suddenly propose an "all beliefs are acceptable" belief starting in the 16th century?
bulletConsidering we all believe in Jesus and what He taught us, is it not more logical for Jesus to have left seven Sacraments for the justification and sanctification of the sinner rather than leave just two, one of which serves for nothing and the other for little? Would it not be more logical for Jesus to have left the power of absolving in the Church then to have not left it at all? Would it not be more logical for Our Lord to have left a visible Church, which is universal, of striking aspect, and perpetual than to have left it little, secret, scattered and liable to corruption?
bulletAside from the statements from the reformers which contradict reason, we also see contradictory statements as well. To this we simply state that someone sent by God to reform the Church could not and would not teach in a contradictory manner such as we have seen Martin Luther do, for how can we believe someone who teaches one thing, then teaches the opposite? Our Lord and His Apostles taught truth, never contradiction.
bulletThese illogical beliefs and contradictory teachings which we mention above are clearly either contrary to the teachings of Christ, contradict reason or contradict themselves, and the Protestant reformers propose many of these beliefs in their reformation as medicine for the Church?
 

25. To those who do not believe in the seven Sacraments as the Catholic Church always has:

bullet"Sacraments" are defined as outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace. The Catholic Church has always believed in seven Sacraments, though during the Protestant Reformation, the reformers originally differed among themselves with regard to the number of Sacraments. If this Reformation were truly from God, why would there be disagreements on the number Sacraments from the start? In any case, after the Reformation most reformed churches discarded five of the seven Sacraments, despite the fact that the early Church Fathers continually refer to seven Sacraments. The Council of Trent also reconfirmed seven. Below we quickly review the seven Sacraments, and their sources in Scripture. On what grounds and on what authority were the five removed by the reformers?

Sacraments in General
 
bulletWhile the Catholic Church has always held to the consecratory words of each Sacrament, the Protestant reformers have written that these consecrating words are charms, and that the true form of the Sacraments is preaching. We ask the Protestant reformers where their Scriptural support is for such a reformation? Verses such as "That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life" Ephesians 5:26 and "Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" Matthew 28:19 each clearly prove that preaching is not the true form of the Sacraments. And also the verses "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved" Matthew 16:16 and "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" 1 Corinthians 1:17 clearly show preaching and the Sacrament of Baptism are two different things, so why do some of the Protestant reformers combine them?
bulletThe Protestant reformers have also claimed that providing the exterior action of Baptism or the Eucharist, even with no intention or even joking, the Sacrament still occurs and is valid. Again we have nothing in Scripture to vouch for such a belief and this belief has been condemned by multiple Councils such as that of Florence and Trent. In summary, if a man were talking in his sleep or drunk and said the words of a Sacrament, the meaning and intention are not there, and no Sacrament has been administered, just as all that a judge says does not become law just because it came from his mouth, he has to make the intention of making it law.

Sacrament of Baptism
 
bulletConsider the verse, "But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38. Though most Protestants claim to believe in the Sacrament of Baptism, many disagree on the details of the Sacrament. In the above verse, we clearly see our sins are forgiven at time of the Sacrament of Baptism, and that we receive the Holy Ghost through the Sacrament.
bulletIn addition the Protestant reformers violate the Councils, the Popes and the early Church Fathers regarding this Sacrament who all believed in Baptism of children. By what authority did the Protestant reformers change this doctrine?

Sacrament of Penance
 
bulletIn many verses in the New Testament, we see Our Lord forgiving sins such as, "And he said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee." Luke 7:48 and "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee." Mark 2:5.
bulletNow consider the verses, "He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." John 20:21-23. Here Our Lord clearly says he is sending the Apostles and giving them the same right to forgive sins all in the same phrase. For what reasons should the Apostles be sent to forgive or retain sin if there is no need for us to confess?
bulletConsider the verses, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity." 1 John 1:8-9. This clearly states we should confess our sins.
bulletOf what purpose are all the references in Scripture to confession of sins, forgiveness of sins, remission of sins, repentance of sins, doing penance, and "blotting out" sin if they are of no concern to our salvation, and if we are not to worry about cleansing ourselves of them?
bulletEarly writings of the church are filled with references to the Sacrament of Penance. By what authority did the Protestant reformers change this doctrine which had always been believed to be a Sacrament before the Reformation?

Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (Real Presence)
 
bulletRegarding the Holy Eucharist, consider these verses and comments that follow:

"And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body" Matthew 26:26. Here Jesus clearly states that the bread IS His body, not a symbol of it. Nothing symbolic is spoken of here.

"And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me" Luke 22:19. Here Jesus tells us to perform this same process as He.

"If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world" John 6:52. Here Jesus very clearly states that the bread IS His flesh, He does not say it is a symbol of it. Yes, this is a mystery and difficult to understand, we agree, but we must believe in the words of Our Lord. And if Our Lord was referring to a symbol only, why would this symbolic-only bread have any special characteristics such as allowing us to "live forever"?

"The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?" 1 Corinthians 10:16. This clearly shows the Apostles belief in the bread and body of Our Lord being the same. So why do the Protestant reformers choose to oppose the Apostles regarding this?

"And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body." Mark 14:22. This says the same as above.

"I am the bread of life" John 6:48. This says the same as above.

"This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven" John 6:50-51.
Here Jesus says HE is the bread, and the bread comes down from heaven (which makes it much more than symbolic), and says anyone who eats it will not die (spiritually that is).

"Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day." John 6:54-55.
Here Our Lord repeats the same as above. How else can this be interpreted?

"For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him" John 6:56-57.
Again we have an unmistakable equation of Our Lord's flesh and bread, and Our Lord's blood and the wine. Combine this with the meanings of the verses above, and we clearly have something extremely special, something infinitely more special than something only symbolic.

"After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him." John 6:67.
Clearly some assumed Our Lord was referring to cannibalism here. Had Our Lord been referring to a symbolic relation between bread and body, and blood and wine, He certainly would have clarified that he was referring to a symbolic representation when the others tried to leave, but He did not. Elsewhere in Scripture Our Lord was always certain to clarify His meaning on key doctrines when he sensed others were confused. How much more would Our Lord have gone out of His way to clarify in this situation upon seeing some of His disciples leaving to follow him no more? Rather, Our Lord clearly meant what He said and did not need to clarify; He mentioned we would be eating His body and drinking His blood (obviously spiritually present after being properly consecrated). Yes, this is a mystery and hard to understand, but this is the only logical meaning behind Our Lord's words, so we must accept them.
 
bulletThe verses above are the words of Our Lord, and the Catholic Church did not create them or their meaning. The words are what they are and the Protestant reformers had no right to oppose all antiquity and create the "symbolic" belief for the Eucharist, when this is clearly not stated in Scripture. The belief in the real presence in the Holy Eucharist was universal among Christians up until the Protestant reformation, so again this is an example of new doctrine started by the Protestant reformers.
bulletLet us also consider these verses, "For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 11:26-29. Here we ask Protestants who believe the bread and wine only to be symbols of Our Lord's body and blood, for what purpose does Our Lord say "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord" if these are only symbols? How does one eat a symbol "unworthily"? And does it make sense that we would bring judgment on ourselves by eating and drinking only a symbol?
bulletSome Protestants choose not to believe in the real presence since this doctrine "sounds silly" or because they cannot comprehend it. Is the doctrine of the real presence a mystery? Absolutely! And if it is a mystery, we surely cannot fully comprehend it, rather we believe it because Our Lord told us it was so. We cannot choose not to believe a doctrine Our Lord teaches us simply because we cannot fully comprehend it. There are other doctrines we cannot fully understand either such as God's omnipresence. Do we not believe this because we cannot fully comprehend it? Of course not. We cannot expect to fully understand the actions or doctrines of an all-powerful God, and our limited understanding of them does not limit what God can do.
bulletIf we look at ancient writings from the Christian Church we also see repeated mention of the real presence in the Eucharist going back to the earliest centuries of the Church. Many writings from prominent members of the Church which teach of the real presence include writings of St. Cyprian in the 3rd century, St. Cyril of Jerusalem in the 4th century, St. Ambrose in the 4th century, St. John Damascene in the 8th century, and St. Paschasius in the 9th century just to give a few examples. And during those early centuries we do not see anyone contesting this belief so it remains clear that the early Christian Church openly believed in the real presence in the Eucharist. If the early Church believed in the real presence, on what grounds did the Protestant reformers discard this belief?
bulletAs proof for the validity of the real presence in the Holy Eucharist, there are many examples of Eucharistic miracles in the Catholic Church over the last 2000 years with proof remaining for all to see. Many, many occurrences of blood suddenly dripping from the Holy Eucharist, and Holy Eucharists mysteriously changing to flesh, and wine later appearing as blood, have occurred repeatedly in the Catholic Church throughout the last 20 centuries. And it is important to note that these miracles are not seen in non-Catholic churches. Each of these instances have been investigated thoroughly by the Catholic Church and non-church members and have been determined as true first class miracles by the Catholic Church, and the actual hosts, flesh and blood involved have been on display all over Europe for the public to see for hundreds of years. They are still on display and available for anyone to see to this day!

Why do Protestants have little to say about these repeated Eucharistic miracles in the Catholic Church? Does this lack of interest have anything to do with the fact that these miracles do not occur in their churches? Would the Protestants dare claim these miracles that span 2000 years and occur in all parts of the world are all frauds? What is the likelihood of an untold secret among Catholics for 2000 years to fabricate these Eucharistic miracles? No one is asking the Church to produce these miracles and they are not in demand by anyone, so why would the Church spend so much of Her time fabricating them? What would the Church have to prove by doing so?

In addition, many of these Eucharistic miracles have occurred in the presence of the greatest Saints of the Church, Saints who dedicated their lives to imitating Christ, and so by their very nature do not lie. Would you have the audacity to say these Saints have all lied about these Eucharistic miracles for 20 centuries? The Catholic Church has no control over these incidents, they simply happen. Why do Protestant churches not experience such miracles repeatedly each century as the Catholic Church does? Our answer is in this verse alone: "These signs shall follow them that believe." Mark 16:17-18

        Sacrament of Marriage

bulletConsider the verse, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church" Ephesians 5:31. St. Paul himself refers to marriage as a Sacrament.
bulletConsider the verses, "Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the savior of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things." Ephesians 5:23-24. Scripture clearly shows marriage is a very special Sacrament as it compares the husband to Christ himself!
bulletConsider the verses, "But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her." Mark 10:6-9. These verses show that the reason God made men and women was for marriage. This has always been believed to be a Sacrament. Why did the reformers discard it after 1400+ years?
bulletRegarding divorce, Scripture also repeats often that divorce is forbidden, just like we cannot be "unbaptized", we cannot be "unmarried". Regarding divorce, we can refer to the verse directly above, and also the following verses: "Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband, commmitteth adultery" Luke 16:18. And also, "But to them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the wife depart not from her husband. And if she depart, that she remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And let not the husband put away his wife." 1 Corinthians 7:10-11. And finally, "For the woman that hath an husband, whilst her husband liveth is bound to the law. But if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. Therefore, whilst her husband liveth, she shall be called an adulteress, if she be with another man: but if her husband be dead, she is delivered from the law of her husband; so that she is not an adulteress, if she be with another man." Romans 7:2-3

Sacrament of Confirmation
 
bulletConsider the verses, "Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost." Acts 8:14-17. Confirmation also has always been believed to be a Sacrament by the early Church. On what grounds was it discarded?
bulletAnother verse, "And when Paul had imposed his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied." Acts 19:6. Here we have another example of the Sacrament of Confirmation as above. And since the Apostles chose successors to continue their same work of continuing the church (such as with Bishop Titus and Bishop Timothy), why would this practice be omitted?

Sacrament of Holy Orders
 
bulletWe see St. Paul discussing ordination of priests in churches in his Epistles to Titus and Timothy, such as "For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee" Titus 1:5. Is an ordination of a priest not an outward sign instituted to give grace?
bulletAnd we see in Acts 14:22; "And when they had ordained to them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed". Again we have reference to ordination of priests in the Church. Why would bestowing such a special privilege as priestly ordination be suddenly discarded as a Sacrament by the reformers?
bulletConsider the verse, "Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Acts 20:28. This verse is self explanatory!
bulletConsider the verse, "For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins." Hebrews 5:1. And three verses later we also see the verse, "Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was." Hebrews 5:4. This clearly implies one must be divinely commissioned as a successor of the Apostles in order to preach the Gospel authoritatively. In addition, this verse clearly implies this as well, "How shall they preach unless they be sent"? Romans 10:15
bulletConsider, "Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophesy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood." 1 Timothy 4:14
bulletAlso Consider, "For which cause I admonish thee, that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee, by the imposition of my hands." 2 Timothy 1:6.
bulletFurthermore, consider the verses, "Then the twelve calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles; and they praying, imposed hands upon them. And the word of the Lord increased; and the number of the disciples was multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly: a great multitude also of the priests obeyed the faith." Acts 6:3-7. Are these verses not an example of the twelve Apostles applying the Sacrament of Holy Orders to others?
bulletHere is another example as well, "Then they, fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away. So they being sent by the Holy Ghost, went to Seleucia: and from thence they sailed to Cyprus." Acts 13:3-4. Here we clearly see imposition of the priesthood (Holy Orders) and it clearly being understood that they that received it were considered to be sent by the Holy Ghost.
bulletConsider the verse, "Impose not hands lightly upon any man, neither be partaker of other men's sins. Keep thyself chaste." 1 Timothy 5:22. Here we clearly see St. Paul instructing Timothy on the seriousness of Holy Orders.

Sacrament of Extreme Unction
 
bulletConsider the verses, "Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him" James 5:14-15. These verses clearly explain the Sacrament of Extreme Unction which the Catholic Church has always accepted as a Sacrament, and which the Protestant reformers chose to discard. On what grounds would they have discarded such clearly understandable Words of God?
bulletAlso consider the verse, "And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them." Mark 6:13. Here is another example of the same Sacrament followed to anoint the sick. Why would this suddenly no longer be a Sacrament after 1400+ years?
 

26. To those who do not believe in Purgatory or in praying for the faithful departed:

bulletBefore we discuss details on the truth of Purgatory, let us start by mentioning that in Luther's early writings he originally believed in the truth of Purgatory, but later he retracted this belief. If God was guiding him in leading this supposed reform of the Church, why does Luther later change his mind on such an important doctrine that the Catholic Church has always believed since Her earliest years? Never will you see the true Church or it's members suddenly change or create new doctrine as Luther has!
bulletConsider the verse, "Every man's work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire." 1 Corinthians 3:13-15. When the Apostle says "he shall be saved", he excludes the fire of hell in which no one can be saved. By saying he shall be saved "as by fire" can only refer to a purgation as in Purgatory. It is evident from these verses that many who will gain possession of the Kingdom of God will pass through fire. This clearly is not hell fire, so it will therefore be the temporary fire of Purgatory.
bulletConsider the verse, "Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing." Matthew 5:26. And also "There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb." Apocalypse 21:27. These verses clearly state we must be perfect before we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If we die and still have debt remaining for minor sins we have committed, how are we to make up for these unless Purgatory exists? And notice the word farthing, which refers to the smallest money one can owe (not enough to earn us damnation, but too much to allow us to enter heaven).
bulletNext we have the verse, "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." 2 Machabees 12:46. How can one be loosed from their sins after their death if in heaven there is no one with sin, and if hell is eternal? There is clearly a place for the remission of sins after death. This verse is very evident as to its meaning. To avoid this, the Protestant reformers removed this entire book from the Scriptures, holding it as Apocryphal. For what reason was this book removed other than the fact the Protestant reformers had no answers for its contents? This book of Machabees has been held as authentic and sacred by the Third Council of Carthage back in the fourth century when according to the Protestant reformers, the Church was still pure. So to answer this verse by denying the authority of the entire book is to deny the authority of antiquity.
bulletConsider the verse, "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." Matthew 12:32. For Our Lord to say a particular sin cannot be forgiven "in this world, nor in the world to come" it implies that there may be some remission of other sins in this world or the one to come. Then where can a sin be forgiven outside of this world other than a place like Purgatory?
bulletConsider the verse, "But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Matthew 5:22. Notice it is only the third sort of offense is punished with hell. What if one dies with other types of offenses mentioned? Clearly the judgment of God after this life consists of something other than hell. This is the belief of the Ancient Fathers.
bulletConsider the verses, "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" Phillipians 2:10 and "And no man was able, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, to open the book, nor to look on it" Apocalypse 5:3 and "And every creature, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth..." Apocalypse 5:13. Where could these references to "under the earth" refer to other than Purgatory? They certainly do not refer to hell.
bulletConsider all of the early Councils of the Church that have approved of prayers for the departed, and also Purgatory such as the Third Council of Carthage, Fourth Council of Carthage, Council of Braga, Council of Chalons, Council of Orleans and Council of Worms and many others afterward. We also have writings of the early Church Fathers such as Tertullian, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. John Chrysostom which all openly speak of praying for the departed. We have further writings from St. Clement, St. Denis, St. Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Gregory, and countless others who write of and believe in Purgatory and prayer for the departed. The Protestant reformers have chosen to oppose all of antiquity and throw out these beliefs.
bulletConsider these other passages from the Old Testament which have always been believed by the true Church to refer to a place of purgation:

We have passed through fire and water, and thou hast brought us out into a refreshment. Psalms 65:12

If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. Isaias 4:4. The phrase "wash away the filth" is to be understood of the purgation necessary.

I will bear the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned against him; until he judge my cause and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth into the light, I shall behold his justice. Micheas 7:9. Saying "I will sit darkness" and "I will bear the wrath of the Lord" and "until he judge my cause" cannot be understood of pain so properly as that of Purgatory.

Thou also by the blood of thy testament hast sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water. Zacharias 9:11. The pit has always been understood by the Church to be Purgatory.

And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. Malachias 3:3. This has also always been understood to mean a purgation.

Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy indignation; nor chastise me in thy wrath. Psalms 37:2.
 

27. To those who do not recognize or have any devotion to the Blessed Virgin:

bullet Why did the Protestant reformers choose to discard devotion and veneration of the Blessed Virgin suddenly when this was always the practice of Christians in earlier centuries? And why is She ignored and even disliked by most Protestant denominations, contrary to Scripture and the early Christian Church? Even Luther himself admitted it is possible to honor the Saints and the Virgin Mary.
bullet First let us consider the following verses from Scripture:
"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name." Luke 1:48
And also the verse, "And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." Luke 1:28

Here we have the written Word of God which states all generations will call the Blessed Virgin "blessed", and also an angel from heaven referring to the Blessed Virgin as "blessed" among all women as well. Note the term "blessed" refers that which is holy, heavenly, favored with blessings, or highly favored.
 
bullet Now consider the Blessed Virgin, a human being, was chosen to bear in Her womb God incarnate, a God who created all things and is infinitely perfect. "And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35. We know God would not have chosen a sinful person to bear an infinitely perfect, divine being like Jesus Christ. This fact alone makes her "blessed" without even having to read it elsewhere in Scripture. Though the fact that she is considered "blessed" does NOT make her divine, and does NOT make Her comparable in any way to Our Lord, since only Our Lord is the one who is divine. The Blessed Virgin was still a human being like you or I, but obviously a specially chosen one at that.
bullet Worship or adoration of the Blessed Virgin has always been FORBIDDEN by the Catholic Church, since She is NOT divine and since only the Holy Trinity may be adored. For proof of this, we can look in the Catholic Encyclopedia under "Devotion to Blessed Virgin Mary" at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15459a.htm.
Instead, rather because Scripture tells us she is "blessed", the Catholic Church has always only allowed DEVOTION or VENERATION to Her, or simply put, a reverence and devoutness towards Her.
bullet We see many early Christian writings which spoke frequently of the Blessed Virgin, a sign of their veneration to Her. The Early Church Fathers venerated the Blessed Virgin and were profoundly devoted to Her as Catholics are today. St. Irenaeus (115 - 200), Bishop of Lyons and Father of the Church refers to the Blessed Virgin as "our most eminent advocate". St. Ignatius of Antioch (50-117) wrote to the Ephesians (c. 18-19) about mysteries of Our Lord's life being connected to those of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Elsewhere she is referred to more than once as the "antithesis of Eve". St. Justin and Tertullian both wrote about Her before the end of the 2nd century. She was included in the writings of countless Saints, always being referred to with the highest veneration, yet never worshipped. She was defended in the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Trent makes mention of Her under Justification. Pope Pius IX made pronouncements about Her as well among so many other writings. We also have miracles such as those repeated healings at Lourdes which are directly associated with Her. Simply put, if the Word of God refers to someone as Blessed or Holy, though worship is inappropriate, reverence and devoutness are quite applicable.
bullet Why do so many make a devotion to the Blessed Virgin? Simply to ask Her intercession and prayers as we see done elsewhere in Scripture. For example:

"For the rest, brethren, pray for us, that the word of God may run, and may be glorified, even as among you; And that we may be delivered from importunate and evil men; for all men have not faith." 2 Thes 3:1

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the charity of the Holy Ghost, that you help me in your prayers for me to God" Rom 15:30

"Praying withal for us also, that God may open unto us a door of speech to speak the mystery of Christ (for which also I am bound)" Colossians 4:3


"And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel." Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:3-4

As Christians, we believe in the Word of God found in Scripture, which refers to the Blessed Virgin as being called "Blessed for all generations". Why ignore or take a dislike to a creature God himself refers to as "Blessed"?
 
bullet Also note, Jesus loved His earthly mother above all earthly creatures and loves Her exceedingly to this day. As Christians we strive to imitate Christ, so why ignore or even take a dislike to the Blessed Virgin in direct opposition to Jesus? Is she to be disliked for some reason? If so, why?
bullet If Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary were still on earth, would Jesus encourage us to ignore and even dislike His Mother as so many Protestant denominations openly do?
bullet Jesus could have appeared on earth in any fashion of His choosing, but instead He chose to come through the Blessed Virgin to us. Why did He choose to come through the Blessed Virgin if there were not a reason? The reason is obvious; He came to us through Her, now God allows us to go through Her to Him in our prayers and requests.
 

28. To those who do not believe in veneration of statues, pictures, crucifixes and other images of Christianity

bullet We must first note here that it can readily be seen from the very beginning that Christians adorned their catacombs with paintings of Christ, of the Saints, and of scenes from the Bible, including parts of Our Lord’s Passion such as His crowning.
bullet Next we note many ancient writings which reference pictures and statues commonly used by Christians in the early centuries of the Church including St. Ambrose (d. 397) and St. Augustine (d. 430) each referring several times to pictures of our Lord and the saints in churches, St. Jerome (d. 420) also writes of pictures of the Apostles as well-known ornaments of churches, Gregory of Tours (d. 594) says that a Frankish woman, who built a church of St. Stephen, showed the artists who painted its walls how they should represent the Saints out of a book. St. Nilus in the fifth century blames a friend for wishing to decorate a church with profane ornaments, and exhorts him to replace these by scenes from Scripture. St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444) was also a great a defender of icons in the Church. These are just a few examples.
bullet The conclusion here is that the principle of adorning chapels and churches with pictures dates from the very earliest Christian times. Centuries before the Iconoclast troubles they were in use throughout Christendom. So also all the old Christian Churches in East and West used holy pictures constantly.
bullet Next we note the Council of Nicaea II (787) approved of veneration of images, and forbade adoration of them. The Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have always followed decisions of this Council since.
bullet As additional proof that Catholics do not "worship" or idolize such images, we can clearly see in the document "Veneration of Images" in the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07664a.htm) that the Catholic Church has always allowed ONLY veneration but never worship of pictures, statues and the like.
bullet Some non-Catholics may still somehow insist that veneration of a picture or statue is somehow idolatry or superstition regardless of the proof we provide above. To this we ask, do you have pictures of loved ones around your home as reminders of them? If so, do you love the actual pictures and frames they are in, or do you love who the pictures remind you of? And if you kneel to read a prayer from a prayer book, are you worshipping the prayer book or just using it as an aid? I think we all know the answers to these questions.
bullet Now let us consider the definition of prayer from "A Catholic Dictionary" (1958) which states that prayer is the "raising of our mind and heart to God”. Hence anything that raises our thoughts heavenward is prayerful.
bullet Let us now consider the average Christian home today. Many do not have a single symbol of Christianity in any room, but rather are filled with modern art that appeal to sensual rather than the spiritual side of our nature. The Catholic home (especially the devout Catholic home) will be filled with pictures and/or statues of Our Lord, or crucifixes instead of modern art. The result? Looking around a home such as this will constantly "raise the mind and heart to God" for everyone in the family, which is what prayer does. This is clearly not worship but rather an aid. While a family who owns a home filled with modern art will always be thinking on "earthly" levels and will scarcely give Our Lord a second thought throughout the day. Scripture tells us to pray often, so a prayerful home is much better than a non-prayerful home.
bullet In summary, statues, pictures and the like are a constant inspiration to pious thoughts. They are not ornaments or objects of idolatry or superstition, but prayer aids. Even a short look is an effective means of prayer! Not to have any pictures or statues is a denial that Jesus is master of our households.  We all know what Our Lord thought of those who refused to publicly acknowledge Him. No amount of prayer aids is too many, and makes the task of raising our children in the love of God that much easier.
 

29. To those who feel sin does not affect your salvation, or believe that by simply choosing Jesus as your "personal savior", you have been saved regardless:

bulletFirst consider the verse, "Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 7:21. Here we see we must DO, not just believe!
bulletConsider the verses, "Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. These verses clearly tell us that sin DOES effect our salvation!
bulletConsider the verses, "And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Matthew 19:16-17. Why would Our Lord command us to keep the commandments in order to have life everlasting if we are already supposedly saved by choosing Him as our personal savior?
bulletAlso consider the verses, "For if we sin willfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins, but a certain dreadful expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire which shall consume the adversaries." Heb 10:26-27 (St. Paul). Again these verses clearly show sin directly effects our salvation.
bulletConsider the verse, "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation." Phil 2:12 (St. Paul). If we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, this is incompatible with the belief that we are "saved" by simply choosing Our Lord as our personal Savior.
bulletConsider the verse, "But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38. Of what purpose would St. Peter tell us to do penance for the remission of our sins if we are simply saved and have no need to worry about sin?
bulletConsider the verse, "Lest again, when I come, God humble me among you: and I mourn many of them that sinned before, and have not done penance for the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, that they have committed." 2 Cor 12:21. For what purpose would St. Paul say penance is necessary to make up for our sins if we are simply saved?
bulletConsider the verse, "And God indeed having winked at the times of this ignorance, now declareth unto men, that all should every where do penance." Acts 17:30. Why does Scripture tell us to do penance if we are already saved by accepting Christ?
bulletAnd the verses, "Do penance therefore for this thy wickedness; and pray to God, that perhaps this thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee." Acts 8:22 and "No, I say to you: but unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3 and "And going forth they preached that men should do penance." Mark 6:12. Clearly these verses indicate we are commanded to do more than just believe for our salvation, we must do penance.
bulletAnd the verse, "Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much." James 5:16. Here we see even St. James knows being saved is not a given!
bulletOf what purpose are all the references in Scripture to confession of sins, forgiveness of sins, remission of sins, repentance of sins, doing penance, and "blotting out" sin if they are of no concern to our salvation, and if we are not to worry about cleansing ourselves of them?
bulletConsider the verse, "For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil." 2 Corinthians 5:10. This clearly shows that what we do in life effects how we will be judged. Christ merited our salvation by His death on the cross, but it is NOT guaranteed and CAN be lost if we do not properly accept it and do what Our Lord instructed as mentioned above.
bulletLastly, if we look at the writings of the early Church Fathers, they all refer to terms such as "attaining", "securing" and "affecting" our salvation. Clearly the early Christian Church openly believed and taught this in accordance with points directly above.
 

30. To those who do not believe in the repetition of prayer:

bulletIt is clear that Jesus did not have to do and say all that He did in Scripture; He did it specifically for our instruction. What better example do we have from Our Lord in persevering and repeating our prayers than in this verse? "And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word" Matt 26:44
bulletAlso consider this verse from Scripture, which is self explanatory: "Know ye that the Lord will hear your prayers, if you continue with perseverance in fastings and prayers in the sight of the Lord" Judith 4:11
 

31. New! Examples of writings from the early Church Fathers (the first Christians in the early centuries after the Apostles) showing they were Catholic, not Protestant:

The following quotes are taken from "Fathers in the Faith", the Complete 37 Volume Collection of the Early Church Fathers.

References to the Virgin Mary

bulletEARLY LITURGIES--THE DIVINE LITURGY OF JAMES, THE HOLY APOSTLE AND BROTHER OF THE LORD (1st century): "Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most glorious, blessed Lady, the God-Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary, and all the saints...."
bulletTHE LITURGY OF THE BLESSED APOSTLES. COMPOSED BY ST. ADAEUS AND ST. MARIS (3rd century?): "We offer to Thee this reasonable service for those who have fallen asleep in faith, ... patriarchs, apostles, evangelists, martyrs, ... and every just one made perfect in the faith: especially our all-holy, undefiled, most blessed Lady, Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary," etc. But she, they tell us, was assumed into glory, like Christ Himself, and reigns with Him as "Queen of Angels," etc."
bulletTHE TESTAMENTS OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS, CONCERNING THE PASSING OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (2nd century): "And when the Lord's day came, at the third hour, just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in a cloud, so Christ descended with a multitude of angels, and received the soul of His beloved mother. For there was such splendour and perfume of sweetness, and angels singing the songs of songs, where the Lord says, As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters, that all who were there present fell on their faces, as the apostles fell when Christ transfigured Himself before them on Mount Thabor, and for a whole hour and a half no one was able to rise. But when the light went away, and at the same time with the light itself, the soul of the blessed virgin Mary was taken up into heaven with psalms, and hymns, and songs of songs. And as the cloud went up the whole earth shook, and in one moment all the inhabitants of Jerusalem openly saw the departure of St. Mary.....Then the apostles with great honour laid the body in the tomb, weeping and singing through exceeding love and sweetness. And suddenly there shone round them a light from heaven, and they fell to the ground, and the holy body was taken up by angels into heaven.
....Then the blessed Thomas told them how he was singing mass in India - he still had on his sacerdotal robes. He, not knowing the word of God, had been brought to the Mount of Olivet, and saw the most holy body of the blessed Mary going up into heaven."
bulletA TREATISE ON NATURE AND GRACE, AGAINST PELAGIUS. BY AURELIUS AUGUSTIN, BISHOP OF HIPPO, ADDRESSED TO TIMASIUS AND JACOBUS (A.D. 415): "CH42. THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY MAY HAVE LIVED WITHOUT SIN. NONE OF THE SAINTS BESIDES HER WITHOUT SIN. We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin."


References to Priests, Bishops, and Saying Mass

bulletREGISTER OF THE EPISTLES OF SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, BOOK V,EPISTLE XXI TO CONSTANTINA AUGUSTA (6th century): "Further, a bishop of the city of Salona has been ordained without the knowledge of me and my responsalis, and a thing has been done which never happened under any former princes. When I heard of this, I at once sent word to that prevaricator, who had been irregularly ordained, that he must not presume by any means to celebrate the solemnities of mass..."
bulletDECREES OF FABIAN (3rd century) FROM THE CODEX OF DECREES IN SIXTEEN BOOKS: "II. That an illiterate presbyter may not venture to celebrate mass. The sacrifice is not to be accepted from the hand of a priest who is not competent to discharge the prayers or actions (actiones) and other observances in the mass according to religious usage."
bulletSELECTIONS FROM THE LETTERS OF ST. AMBROSE: MEMORIAL OF SYMMACHUS THE PREFECT OF THE CITY, Epistle XX (4th century): "The day after, which was Sunday, after the lessons and the sermon, when the Catechumens were dismissed, I was teaching the creed to certain candidates in the baptistery of the basilica. There it was reported to me that they had sent decani from the palace, and were putting up hangings, and that part of the people were going there. I, however, remained at my ministrations, and began to celebrate mass."


References to the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist

bulletLEO THE GREAT, LETTER IX, TO DIOSCORUS, BISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA (5th century): "III. The repetition of the Holy Eucharist on the great festivals is not undesirable: "Again, that our usage may coincide at all points, we wish this thing also to be observed, viz. that when any of the greater festivals has brought together a larger congregation than usual, and too great a crowd of the faithful has assembled for one church to hold them all at once, there should be no hesitation about repeating the oblation of the sacrifice..."
bulletLEO THE GREAT, LETTER LIX, TO THE CLERGY AND PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF CONSTANTINOPLE (5th century): II. They are to be rejected who deny the truth of Christ's flesh, a truth repeated by every recipient at the Holy Eucharist. Let such men be rejected by the holy members of Christ's Body, and let not catholic liberty suffer the yoke of the unfaithful to be laid upon it. For they are to be reckoned outside the Divine grace, and outside the mystery of man's salvation, who, denying the nature of our flesh in Christ, gainsay the Gospel and oppose the Creed .....In what density of ignorance, in what utter sloth must they hitherto have lain, not to have learnt from hearing, nor understood from reading, that which in God's Church is so constantly in men's mouths, that even the tongues of infants do not keep silence upon the truth of Christ's Body and Blood at the rite of Holy Communion? For in that mystic distribution of spiritual nourishment, that which is given and taken is of such a kind that receiving the virtue of the celestial food we pass into the flesh of Him, Who became our flesh."
bulletTHE CANONS OF THE 318 HOLY FATHERS ASSEMBLED IN THE CITY OF NICE, IN BITHYNIA, CANONS XVIII (A.D. 325): "It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great Synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them. Furthermore, let not the deacons sit among the presbyters, for that is contrary to canon and order. And if, after this decree, any one shall refuse to obey, let him be deposed from the diaconate."
bulletREGISTER OF THE EPISTLES OF SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT, BOOK IV, EPISTLE XXVII, TO JANUARIUS, BISHOP (6th century): "We therefore desire thee to search out the authors of the charge against him: and, unless he who sent those same letters be prepared to support his charges by canonical and most strict proofs, let him on no account approach the mystery of holy communion."
bulletST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM, (Cateches. Mystagog. v.(1)), (4th century): "When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen."
bulletJOHN OF DAMASCUS: AN EXACT EXPOSITION OF THE ORTHODOX FAITH, BOOK IV, CHAPTER XIII (7th century): "Concerning the holy and immaculate Mysteries of the Lord. With all our strength, therefore, let us beware lest we receive communion from or grant it to heretics; Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, saith the Lord, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest we become partakers in their dishonour and condemnation"


References to the Bishop of Rome and the Lineage of Popes

bulletIRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES -- BOOK III (CHAP. I to CHAP. XIV) (2nd century): "The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric."
bulletLETTERS OF ST. AUGUSTIN, LETTER LIII, TO GENEROSUS, OUR MOST LOVED AND HONOURABLE BROTHER, FORTUNATUS ALYPIUS AND AUGUSTIN SEND GREETING IN THE LORD (A.D. 400): "For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: "Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!" The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telesphorus, Iginus, Anicetus, Pius, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephirinus, Calixtus, Urbanus, Pontianus, Antherus, Fabianus, Cornelius, Lucius, Stephanus, Xystus, Dionysius, Felix, Eutychianus, Gaius, Marcellinus, Marcellus, Eusebius, Miltiades, Sylvester, Marcus, Julius, Liberius, Damasus, and Siricius, whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius.


References to the Catholic Church being the True Church of Christ

bulletA TREATISE CONCERNING THE CORRECTION OF THE DONATISTS, EPISTLE CLXXXV, A LETTER OF AUGUSTIN TO BONIFACE, Ch 10 (5th century): "Let them therefore feel bitter grief for their detestable error of the past, as Peter did for his fear that led him into falsehood, and let them come to the true Church of Christ, that is, to the Catholic Church our mother; let them be in it clergy, let them be bishops unto its profit, as they have been hitherto in enmity against it."
bulletTHE CHURCH HISTORY OF EUSEBIUS, BOOKS III & IV, (3rd to 4th century): "But the splendor of the Catholic and only true Church, which is always the same, grew in magnitude and power, and reflected its piety and simplicity and freedom, and the modesty and purity of its inspired life and philosophy to every nation both of Greeks and of Barbarians."


References to the Sacrament of Penance (Confession)

bulletST. AUGUSTIN, TEN HOMILIES ON THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN (5th century): "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to purge us from all iniquity."
bulletTHE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF GREGORY OF NYSSA, BOOK XI (4th century): "For if the confession of the revered and precious Names of the Holy Trinity is useless, and the customs of the Church unprofitable, and if among these customs is the sign of the cross, prayer, baptism, confession of sins, a ready zeal to keep the commandment, right ordering of character, sobriety of life, regard to justice, the effort not to be excited by passion, or enslaved by pleasure, or to fall short in moral excellence..."
bulletTHE THIRD PART OF THE CONFERENCES OF JOHN CASSIAN, CONFERENCE OF ABBOT PINUFIUS ON THE END OF PENITENCE AND THE MARKS OF SATISFACTION, CHAPTER VIII (4th century): "Of the various fruits of penitence FOR after that grace of baptism which is common to all, and that most precious gift of martyrdom which is gained by being washed in blood, there are many fruits of penitence by which we can succeed in expiating our sins......Moreover by means of confession of sins, their absolution is granted..."
bulletTWO BOOKS OF ST. AMBROSE, BISHOP OF MILAN CONCERNING REPENTANCE, BOOK II, CHAPTER VII (4th century): "Why do you fear to confess your sins to our good Lord? "Set them forth," He says, "that thou mayest be justified." The rewards of justification are set before him who is still guilty of sin, for he is justified who voluntarily confesses his own sin; and lastly, "the just man is his own accuser in the beginning of his speaking." The Lord knows all things, but He waits for your words, not that He may punish, but that He may pardon."
bulletSERMONS ON SELECTED LESSONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, SERMON LXXXV, ON THE WORDS OF THE GOSPEL, JOHN IX. 4 AND 31, "WE MUST WORK THE WORKS OF HIM THAT SENT ME," ETC. AGAINST THE ARIANS (4th century): "Apply yourselves then earnestly to prayer, ye sinners: confess your sins, pray that they may be blotted out, pray that they may be diminished, pray that as ye increase, they may decrease: yet do not despair, and sinners though ye be, pray. For who hath not sinned? Begin with the priests. To the priests it is said, "First offer sacrifices for your own sins, and so for the people." The sacrifices convicted the priests that if any one should call himself righteous and without sin, it might be answered him, "I look not at what thou sayest, but at what thou offerest; thine own victim convicteth thee."
bulletGREGORY NAZIANZEN, ORATION XL, ON THE HOLY LIGHTS AND ON HOLY BAPTISM (4th century): " Do not disdain to confess your sins, knowing how John baptized, that by present shame you may escape from future shame (for this too is a part of the future punishment); and prove that you really hate sin by making a shew of it openly, and triumphing over it as worthy of contempt."
bulletST. AUGUSTIN ON THE PSALMS, PSALM XCV (5th century): "The more therefore thou despairedst of thyself on account of thy iniquities, do thou confess thy sins; for so much greater is the praise of Him who forgiveth, as is the fulness of the penitent's confession more abundant. Let us not therefore imagine that we have receded from the song of praise, in understanding here that confession by which we acknowledge our transgressions: this is even a part of the song of praise; for when we confess our sins, we praise the glory of God."
bulletCONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES, BOOK VII, CONCERNING HYPOCRISY, AND OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS, AND CONFESSION OF SINS (4th century): "XIV. Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy; and whatsoever is pleasing to the Lord, that shalt thou do. By no means forsake the commands of the Lord. But thou shalt observe what things thou hast received from Him, neither adding to them nor taking away from them. "For thou shalt not add unto His words, lest He convict thee, and thou becomest a liar." Thou shalt confess thy sins unto the Lord thy God; and thou shalt not add unto them, that it may be well with thee from the Lord thy God, who willeth not the death of a sinner, but his repentance."


References to Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead

bulletST. AUGUSTIN: THE ENCHIRIDION (ON FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE), CH69, IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE THAT SOME BELIEVERS MAY PASS THROUGH A PURGATORIAL FIRE IN THE FUTURE LIFE (5th century): "And it is not impossible that something of the same kind may take place even after this life. It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful, whether some believers shall pass through a kind of purgatorial fire, and in proportion as they have loved with more or less devotion the goods that perish, be less or more quickly delivered from it. This cannot, however, be the case of any of those of whom it is said, that they "shall not inherit the kingdom of God," unless after suitable repentance their sins be forgiven them. When I say "suitable," I mean that they are not to be unfruitful in almsgiving; for Holy Scripture lays so much stress on this virtue, that our Lord tells us beforehand, that He will ascribe no merit to those on His right hand but that they abound in it, and no defect to those on His left hand but their want of it, when He shall say to the former, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom," and to the latter, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire."
bulletSaint Augustine, ON CARE TO BE HAD FOR THE DEAD [DE CURA PRO MORTUIS] (5th century): "Howbeit it is a question which surpasses the strength of my understanding, after what manner the Martyrs aid them who by them, it is certain, are helped; whether themselves by themselves be present at the same time in so different places, and by so great distance lying apart one from another, either where their Memorials are, or beside their Memorials, wheresoever they are felt to be present: or whether, while they themselves, in a place congruous with their merits, are removed from all converse with mortals, and yet do in a general sort pray for the needs of their suppliants, (like as we pray for the dead, to whom however we are not present, nor know where they be or what they be doing)..."
bulletHOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ON THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, HOMILY XLI, 1 COR. xv. 35, 36 (4th century): "Let us not then be weary in giving aid to the departed, both by offering on their behalf and obtaining prayers for them: for the common Expiation of the world is even before us. Therefore with boldness do we then intreat for the whole world, and name their names with those of martyrs, of confessors, of priests. For in truth one body are we all, though some members are more glorious than others; and it is possible from every source to gather pardon for them, from our prayers, from our gifts in their behalf, from those whose names are named with theirs. Why therefore dost thou grieve? Why mourn, when it is in thy power to gather so much pardon for the departed?"
bulletHOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, HOMILY XXI, ACTS IX. 26, 27 (4th century): "Knowing these things, let us devise what consolations we can for the departed, instead of tears, instead of laments, instead of tombs, our alms, our prayers, our oblations, that both they and we may attain unto the promised blessings, by the grace and loving-kindness of His only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen."


References to St. Peter being Chief of the Apostles

bulletLEO THE GREAT, SERMON LXXXII, ON THE FEAST OF THE APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL (5th century): "III. On the dispersing of the Twelve, St. Peter was sent to Rome. For when the twelve Apostles, after receiving through the Holy Ghost the power of speaking with all tongues, had distributed the world into parts among themselves, and undertaken to instruct it in the Gospel, the most blessed Peter, chief of the Apostolic band, was appointed to the citadel of the Roman empire, that the light of Truth which was being displayed for the salvation of all the nations, might spread itself more effectively throughout the body of the world from the head itself. What nation had not representatives then living in this city; or what peoples did not know what Rome had learnt? Here it was that the tenets of philosophy must be crushed, here that the follies of earthly wisdom must be dispelled, here that the cult of demons must be refuted, here that the blasphemy of all idolatries must be rooted out, here where the most persistent superstition had gathered together all the various errors which had anywhere been devised."
bulletLEO THE GREAT, SERMON III (5th century): "II. From Christ and through S. Peter the priesthood is handed on in perpetuity For the solidity of that faith which was praised in the chief of the Apostles is perpetual: and as that remains which Peter believed in Christ, so that remains which Christ instituted in Peter."
bulletTHE EPISTLES OF ZEPHYRINUS, SECOND EPISTLE, TO THE BISHOPS OF THE PROVINCE OF EGYPT (3rd century): "ZEPHYRINUS, archbishop of the city of Rome, to the most beloved brethren who serve the Lord in Egypt. So great trust have we received from the Lord, the Founder of this holy seat and of the apostolic church, and from the blessed Peter, chief of the apostles, that we may labour with unwearied affection for the universal Church which has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and aid all who serve the Lord, and give help to all who live piously by apostolic authority..."
bulletTHE EPISTLES OF POPE PONTIANUS (3rd century): "and that the blessed Apostle Peter, the chief of the apostles, in whose cause you spend yourselves, may open the gate of that same glory."
bulletTHE EPISTLES OF POPE FABIAN (3rd century): "Whence also the blessed chief of the apostles, Peter, addressing the people at the ordination of Clement..."
bulletHOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN, HOMILY LXXII (JOHN 12, 13 & 14) (4th century): "Again, why did he use these words, not at any other point of time, but only when the chief of the Apostles beckoned? That thou mightest not deem that Peter beckoned to him as being greater, he saith that the thing took place because of the great love (which Jesus bare him)."
bulletTHE SEVEN BOOKS OF AUGUSTIN, BISHOP OF HIPPO, ON BAPTISM, AGAINST THE DONATISTS (BOOK VII) (5th century): "It is well, however, that they so constantly bear in mind that it was possible even for Peter, the chief of the apostles, to have been at one time minded otherwise..."


References to the Authority of St. Peter

bulletLEO THE GREAT, LETTER XIV, TO ANASTASIUS, BISHOP OF THESSALONICA (5th century): "Leo, bishop of the City of Rome, to Anastasius, bishop of Thessalonica. I. Prefatory. If with true reasoning you perceived all that has been committed to you, brother, by the blessed apostle Peter's authority, and what has also been entrusted to you by our favour, and would weigh it fairly, we should be able greatly to rejoice at your zealous discharge of the responsibility imposed on you."
bulletLEO THE GREAT, LETTER CV, (TO PULCHERIA AUGUSTA ABOUT THE SELF-SEEKING OF ANATOLIUS) (5th century): "Leo the bishop to Pulcheria Augusta. III. Only by imitating his predecessor will he regain Leo's confidence: the assent of the bishops is declared null and void. But the bishops' assents, which are opposed to the regulations of the holy canons composed at Nicaea in conjunction with your faithful Grace, we do not recognize, and by the blessed Apostle Peter's authority we absolutely dis-annul in comprehensive terms, in all ecclesiastical cases obeying those laws which the Holy Ghost set forth by the 318 bishops for the pacific observance of all priests in such sort that even if a much greater number were to pass a different decree to theirs, whatever was opposed to their constitution would have to be held in no respect."
bulletRECOGNITIONS OF CLEMENT. BOOK X, CH VI, PETER'S AUTHORITY (1st century): "But I should like that one of you, and not Peter, should answer what I have said; for it is not fitting to take words and instruction at his hand, with questions; but when he gives a deliverance on any subject, that should be held without answering again. And therefore let us keep him as an umpire; so that if at any time our discussion does not come to an issue, he may declare what seems good to him, and so give an undoubted end to doubtful matters. And now therefore I could believe, content with his sole opinion, if he expressed any opinion; and this is what I shall do at last. Yet I wish first to see if it is possible by discussion to find what is sought. My wish therefore is, that Clement should begin first, and should show if there is any good or evil in substance or in actions."