Its Great to be Catholic: Response to excatholic4christ

Capture


 

Tom, aka excatholic4christ, wrote an article a few months ago titled: 10 Really “Uncool” Things About Being Catholic (link at bottom of page). Tom, in his spirit of anti-Catholic bias and ignorance of true Christianity, labeled several of these 10 things unbiblical and all of them “uncool”. I want to take a look at each accusation.

1. Confession.

Tom  says: “Going into a dark box and confessing sins to a priest is unscriptural. No man can forgive sins. The Catholic confessional box was often used by predatory priests to initially lure their victims. Priests were required to probe older children and young adults with embarrassing questions about sexuality to ensure they gave a full, ‘good’ confession.”

First, all priests were required to ask embarrassing questions? Required? I think not. Prove it. Yes, there have been repulsive, perverted men that have entered the priesthood of Jesus Christ who have been sexually immoral. But this is a small percentage that cannot be perceived as the whole.

The sacrament of Confession is an ancient practice dating back to the Apostles. The Early Church testifies for the practice of Confession. See here:

https://www.catholic.com/tract/confession

Furthermore, just as God used His priests to forgive sin in the Old Testament, He does the same in the New Testament.

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’” (John 20:21-23)

Having been raised from the dead, our Lord was here commissioning his apostles to carry on with his work just before he was to ascend to heaven. “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” What did the Father send Jesus to do? All Christians agree he sent Christ to be the one true mediator between God and men. As such, Christ was to MISERERE-CONFESSIONinfallibly proclaim the Gospel (cf. Luke 4:16-21), reign supreme as King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 19:16); and especially, he was to redeem the world through the forgiveness of sins (cf. I Peter 2:21-25, Mark 2:5-10).

One instance of God using a man to forgive sin is in 2 Corinthians 2:10. Paul speaks:

“And to whom you have pardoned anything, I also.  For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ.”

St. Paul made use of his power to forgive sins in Christ’s name, despite being a sinner himself. Just because a man is a sinner does not negate the fact that he has God given power. St. Peter was a sinful man, and yet he was able to preach and baptize people in Christ’s name. How is the power to forgive sin any different?

It should also be noted that the Apostles were given spiritual authority by Christ in Matthew 18:18:

“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

This authority was passed down by the Apostles to their successors, from bishop to bishop, from bishop to priest. It is the Catholic Church who can trace her lineage all the way back to the Apostles, as the power to forgive sins are passed down to the Church’s priests. This is why Catholics confess their sins to their priest; their priest received the same power over sins as the Apostles.

As the Apostles were men who were given power to forgive sin, how would they have known what sins to forgive? The only way for them to know would be that the penitent tell them their sins. That is why Catholic confess their sins to a priest. Priests are (often) not mind readers. How else would they know what to “bind and loose”?

It seems very clear that Confession is very biblical.

2. The Rosary 

Tom says: “God’s Word forbids prayer to any entity other than to Him. It also forbids multiple rote prayers.”

The verb “to pray” means “to ask”. It originally held this meaning in old English, and was used in phrases such as “I pray thee, do tell…”. It is originally just another word phrase for “ask”. The usage began to change meaning during the Protestant Revolt. The head of the Church of England did not warm up to the practice of prayer to the saints, and the term became solely associated with prayer to God. As the English monarchy took over many churches and universities of England, this Protestant word usage became the norm among non-Catholics. Catholics however, did not take to the new meaning, and from then till now “prayer to the saints” has strictly meant asking for saintly intercession.

This explanation shows that not all prayer is worship, as it depends on the manner of such, and the definitional term used.

Secondly, the bible exhorts Christians to constantly pray for one another, and it does not restrict the Christians of Heaven to do so.

“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” (Romans 15:30)

By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints: And for me, that speech may be given me, that I may open my mouth with confidence, to make known the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:18-19)

You helping withal in prayer for us: that for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf.” (2 Corinthians 1:11)

And perhaps the most explicit passage on intercession for one another:

“I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in therr sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Asking the saints in Heaven to pray and intercede for us to God is the same exact concept as asking other Christians on earth to pray for us.

As for repetitive prayer, the Bible nowhere condemns such. In Matthew 6:7, Jesus said “do not heap up ‘empty phrases’ (Gr. – battalagesete,  which means to stammer, babble, prate, or to repeat the same things over and over mindlessly) as the Gentiles do…” We have to remember that the main idea of prayer and sacrifice among the pagans was to appease the gods so that you could go on with your own life. You had to be careful to “take care of” all of the gods by mentioning them, and saying all the right words, lest you bring a curse upon yourself.

Later in Matthew 6, Jesus gave us a prayer to recite! The Our Father! Notice the emphasis on living the words of the prayer! This is a prayer to be recited, but they are neither “empty phrases” nor “vain repetitions.”

Mark 14:32-39:

“And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.’ And the took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.’ And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this chalice from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.’ And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptiation; the spirit indeed is weilling, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again, he came and found them sleeping… And he came a third time, and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping…?’”

Our Lord was here praying for hours and saying “the same words.” Is this “vain repetition?” No. Tom, you do not recognize the difference between repetition and vain repetition.

3. Popes

Tom claims that there are no popes in the Bible. I’m sorry that you are to ignorant to realize that St. Peter was the first pope. Christ appointed him the head of the Church on earth when He gave Him the keys to the kingdom, and reaffirmed this by telling Peter to feed Christ’s sheep. If you cannot see that Christ left His Church in Peter’s hands, then you need to study the concept further.

4. Saints

Tom says: “The New Testament refers to saints as all those who have accepted Christ as Savior, not a super-holy class of people as Rome invented.”

Catholics believe that all who are in the state of sanctifying grace are saints. Catholic merely refer to the saints in Heaven as “saints”, and call the Church Militant on earth “Christians”.

Also, to enter Heaven, one must be holy.  St. Paul even says that without holiness, “no man shall see God.” (Hebrews 12:14) Not sure why you say “super-holy” class of people Rome invented. Rome didn’t “invent” holiness as needed for salvation, and Rome did not invent any people. The saints are as real as you and I.

5. Relics

Tom says: “Nowhere in the New Testament are believers instructed to venerate physical objects.”

No Tom, the Scriptures do not explicitly say: Venerate relics. But then again, the Bible is not the sole rule of faith.

“One of the most moving accounts of the veneration of relics is that of the very body of Christ itself. Rather than leaving his body on the cross, to be taken down and disposed of by the Romans (as was the customary practice), Joseph of Arimathea courageously interceded with Pilate for Christ’s body (Mark 15:43, John 19:38). He donated his own, newly hewn tomb as Christ’s resting place (Matt. 27:60). Nicodemus came and donated over a hundred pounds of spices to wrap inside Jesus’ grave clothes (John 19:39), that amount of spices being used only for the most honored dead. And after he was buried, the women went to reverently visit the tomb (Matt. 28:1) and to further anoint Christ’s body with spices even though it had already been sealed inside the tomb (Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1). These acts of reverence were more than just the usual courtesy shown to the remains of the dead; they were special respect shown to the body of a most holy man—in this case, the holiest man who has ever lived, for he was God Incarnate. 

“Keep in mind what the Church says about relics. It doesn’t say there is some magical power in them. There is nothing in the relic itself, whether a bone of the apostle Peter or water from Lourdes, that has any curative ability. The Church just says that relics may be the occasion of God’s miracles, and in this the Church follows Scripture.

“The use of the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life: “So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet” (2 Kgs. 13:20-21). This is an unequivocal biblical example of a miracle being performed by God through contact with the relics of a saint!

“Similar are the cases of the woman cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ’s cloak (Matt. 9:20-22) and the sick who were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them (Acts 5:14-16). “And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:11-12).

“If these aren’t examples of the use of relics, what are? In the case of Elisha, a Lazarus-like return from the dead was brought about through the prophet’s bones. In the New Testament cases, physical things (the cloak, the shadow, handkerchiefs and aprons) were used to effect cures. There is a perfect congruity between present-day Catholic practice and ancient practice. If you reject all Catholic relics today as frauds, you should also reject these biblical accounts as frauds.” (1)

6. Processions

Tom writes: “As priests parade a large bread wafer alleged to be the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus in a sunburst container called a monstrance, the Catholic faithful bow down and worship it. This is unmitigated idolatry.”

Hmmm…last I checked, Christ told us that we are to eat His flesh to have eternal life. He gave us His flesh to eat under the appearance of bread.

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” (John 6:51-52)

“And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to monstrancehis disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

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? For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10:16)

7. Blessings

Tom says: “Priests and bishops are alleged to have been ordained with the ability to endow people and objects with powerful blessings.”

…is this strange to you at all? Just like the prophets of the Old Testament giving their blessing to others? This charge against blessings seems to be the dumbest yet.

8. Music

Tom says: “Gaudy liturgical ritual with its accompanying music defined “religion” for most older generation Catholics.”

This one seems to be more of an opinion than an actual accusation. Not sure what get’s Tom’s goat about music.

9. Guilt

Tom says: “Yup, God’s Word says we are all sinners, but Catholics can never find spiritual peace in Christ because they’re on a religious treadmill and no matter how much they do or how good they try to be, it will never be enough.”

We are all sinners, and we do not know at the present if we will die in the state of grace. What if I am in the state of grace at one time, and then commit murder? Should I have nothing to worry about? Your argument is nonsense.

10. A Sense of Humor 

Tom says: “I went through twelve years of Catholic education and I can attest to the fact that MANY priests, nuns, and brothers did NOT have a sense of humor. Often those troubled souls were cold and hurtful.”

Some people are kind and cheerful, others are not. It is not like all Catholics are hapless zombies. I have been Catholic all 15 years of my life, and the majority of  Catholics I have met are fun, happy people. Most of my friends are Catholic. They take their Christianity seriously. You just view everything through an anti-Catholic lens. How about taking those anti-Catholic shades off now and take a long look at Truth?

— Patrick E. Devens

 


(1) https://www.catholic.com/tract/relics

via 10 Really “Uncool” Things About Being Catholic — excatholic4christ

Repentance: Must We Turn From Sin? Response to Lee Poskey

Repentance poster

Blogger Lee Poskey ( https://leeposkey.wordpress.com/ ) recently published an article condemning the notion that repentance, turning away from sin, was necessary for salvation. The original article link is at the bottom.

Lee wrote:

“The salvation statement in the screenshot above is a false gospel. Why? Because it teaches that repentance of sins, (turning from sins) is a component of receiving salvation.”

(My own emphasis added)

The part of the screenshot containing ‘repentance’ that Lee is condemning is below.

Capture

I do not wish to discuss the matter of faith in salvation, just touch on repentance.

According to Lee, a person can attain salvation without turning away from sin. Does this mean I can purposely continue sinning all through my life, then go to Heaven after I die? I need not make any changes in my life after becoming Christian; I can continue in my sinful ways and still expect to enter the pearly gates after I die? Sounds a bit illogical.

No one thinks that they will be rescued from a sinking ship if they remain onboard. Why should someone expect to enter Heaven if they do not turn away from sin? After His interaction with Mary Magdalene (John 8:11), why did Christ tell her to go and sin no more? In Revelation 21:27, John writes, speaking of Heaven, “nothing unclean shall enter it.” How can someone stay in the way of sin, and still enter eternal life?

No, in order to enter into eternal life we must stay clear of sin and keep God’s commandments. Turning from sin is not an option — its a requirement.

— Patrick E. Devens

 


Source: What do you do with this?

Mary the Goddess? Response to Spaniardviii

mary66

In September of 2016, Spaniardviii published (Part 1) Mary: A goddess In Disguise (link at bottom of page), an article summarizes the usual heretical claims Protestants make against the Mother of God.

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, he says:

966 ‘Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.’

“I’m sorry but the Mary of the Bible was stained with original sin (Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God), (Luke 1:49-47 46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,). Only Jesus Christ was free from all stain of original sin (1 John 3:5 You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins, and there is no sin in Him.

“For all have sinned, and have fallen short of the glory of God.”

Is this a rule with absolutely no exceptions? Everyone has sinned? Well, no “Christian” would say that Christ sinned. He is a major exception. What of children below the age of reason, those who do not know what sin is? Have they voluntarily sinned? Have aborted babies sinned? Have the mentally retarded sinned, even though they cannot comprehend sin itself? There seems to be many exceptions to what Paul is saying. It appears that there are exceptions to this rule. The only point here is that, with all obvious exceptions to “all have sinned”, one cannot conclusively say that it is impossible for Mary to be free of sin.

The Immaculate Conception does not mean that Mary did not need Christ as her Savior. All men, after the Fall needed Christ as their Savior, including Mary, as she says in Luke 1:47.

Catholic Apologist Tim Staples explains:

“Not a few Protestants are surprised to discover the Catholic Church actually agrees that Mary was ‘saved.’ Indeed, Mary needed a savior! However, Mary was ‘saved’ from sin in a most sublime manner. She was given the grace to be ‘saved’ completely from sin so that she never committed even the slightest transgression. Protestants tend to emphasize God’s ‘salvation’ almost exclusively to the forgiveness of sins actually committed. However, Sacred Scripture indicates that salvation can also refer to man being protected from sinning before the fact:

‘Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever.’ (Jude 24-25)

“Six hundred years ago, the great Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus explained that falling into sin could be likened to a man approaching unaware a deep ditch. If he falls into the ditch, he needs someone to lower a rope and save him. But if someone were to warn him of the danger ahead, preventing the man from falling into the ditch at all, he would be saved from falling in the first place. Likewise, Mary was saved from sin by receiving the grace to be preserved from it. But she was still saved.” (1)

Spaniard goes on to say:

“The Catholic Church is trying to exalt a created creature of God to the same status of Jesus Christ the creator. Now they claim that Mary was taken up to heaven the same way Jesus was taken up to the Father but there is no evidence in scripture to support this outrageous claim (Acts 1:9-11 9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.’) I’m sorry but Mary does not have the same qualities as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the creator of heaven and earth.”

Actually, no my friend. Catholics do not claim that Mary was taken to Heaven the same way as Christ. Christ ascended into Heaven through His own power. Mary was assumed into Heaven by Christ’s power, not her own. You are correct, Mary is not almighty like God the creator of Heaven and earth.

Spaniard continues:

“Mary was not and is not exalted by the Lord as Queen of heaven. Jesus Christ was and is exalted at the right hand of God the Father (Mark 16:19 Then after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.) The title “Queen of Heaven” (pagan goddess) is actually a demonic title as seen in Jeremiah 7:18 which says, ‘The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke Me to anger.’ The Lord has nothing to do with demonic titles.”

Again, Tim Staples explains:

 “But the truth is: this text has absolutely nothing to do with the Blessed Mother as Queen of Heaven for at least three reasons:

“1. Jeremiah here condemns the adoration of the Mesopotamian goddess Astarte (see Raymond Brown, S.S., Joseph Fitzmeyer, S.J., Roland E. Murphy, editors, The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1968, p. 310).  She is in no way related to Mary. In fact, “she” did not and does not exist in reality. Mary, on the other hand, was a real historical person who was—and is—a queen by virtue of the fact that her son was—and is—the king.

“2.  Jeremiah condemned offering sacrifice to “the queen of heaven.” In Scripture, we have many examples of the proper way we should honor great members of the kingdom of God. We give “double honor” to “elders who rule well” in the Church (1 Tim. 5:17). St. Paul tells us we should “esteem very highly” those who are “over [us] in the Lord” (1 Thess. 5:12-13). We sing praises to great members of the family of God who have gone before us (Psalm 45:17). We bow down to them with reverence (1 Kings 2:19). We carry out the work of the Lord in their names (Matt. 10:40-42, DRV), and more. But there is one thing we ought never to do: offer sacrifice to them. Offering sacrifice is tantamount to the adoration that is due God alone. And this is precisely what Jeremiah was condemning. The Catholic Church does not teach—and has never taught—that we should adore Mary (see CCC 2110-2114; Lumen Gentium 66-67; CCC 971). Catholics offer sacrifice exclusively to God.

“3.   To the Evangelical and Fundamentalist, the mere fact that worshipping someone called “queen of heaven” is condemned in Jeremiah 7 eliminates the possibility of Mary being the true Queen of Heaven and Earth. This simply does not follow. The existence of a counterfeit queen does not mean there can’t be an authentic one. This reasoning followed to its logical end would lead to abandoning the entire Christian Faith! We could not have a Bible because Hinduism, Islam, and many other false religions have “holy books.” We could not call Jesus Son of God because Zeus and Hera had Apollo, Isis and Osiris had Horus, etc. The fact that there was a false “queen of heaven” worshipped in ancient Mesopotamia does not negate the reality of the true queen who is honored as such in the kingdom of God.” (2)

Spaniard concludes with:

“The doctrine of the Catholic Church has replaced Jesus Christ as the only true God to be worshiped for Mary, as their new god. The Catholic Church is paganism repackaged with Christian terminology.”

Um, no, sorry. No true Catholic worships Christ’s mother. Catholics worship the Trinity, in case you didn’t know.

— Patrick E. Devens


Source: (Part 1) Mary: A goddess In Disguise

(1) https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/hail-mary-conceived-without-sin

(2) https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/is-there-a-queen-in-the-kingdom-of-heaven

 

Is God Omnipresent or Not?

Transubstantiation. Among the many problems with this doctrine is that Jesus Christ – the Son of God, God in the flesh – has a human body, and although it is a glorified body it cannot be in multiple places simultaneously. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is Omnipresent for He is Spirit, but Jesus cannot be at the same time at the right hand of the Father, waiting until His enemies be made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12-14), and present on every Catholic altar in the world. You will say, But this is a Mystery, Maria, but I must answer that the Lord Who is the Truth desires truth in our innermost being (Psalm 51:6). chalcedon451, you realize, don’t you, that men and women have been killed for refusing to worship ‘the Host’?”

( Original post: https://pilgrimsprogressrevisted.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/answering-chalcedon451-of-all-along-the-watchtower-on-the-church-of-rome/ )

Maria, a gentle iconoclast ( https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/22263041 ), published a reply to chacedon451 ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/36089350 ), that included the excerpt from above.

It is appalling that a “Christian” would deny that Christ can be present at multiple places at once. Such a belief seems to put limitations on God, something that is alien to the Bible.

Revelation 19:6 says:

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of great thunders, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord our God the Almighty hath reigned.”

God is Almighty, that is, Omnipotent. He can do anything. This alone should show that Christ, as God, can be in multiple places at once. Indeed, Christ says clearly that “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Now, there are things God is unable to do, such as lying (Titus 1:2). But lying is an imperfection, something that God cannot do because He is perfect. Not being able to lie is not a handicap, because lying is sinful. Sin is an imperfection, and therefore God cannot “sin”, because sin is evil, the absence of good. God is by no means limited in power by not being able to sin.

Can Christ be present in multiple places at once? Christ teaches that he can. In Matthew 18:20, Christ says that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, He is present among them. Certainly there are simultaneously many people worldwide gathered in Jesus’ name, correct? Can He not be with them all at once?

In Matthew 28:20, Christ says to His Apostles: “…behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

How can Christ be with His Apostles after He ascended into Heaven? Could Christ perhaps be able to be in several places at once??

1Corinthians 15:6 says that Jesus, after His resurrection, appeared to 500 of his brethren at the same time. Were all these people in the same exact place? Maybe, maybe not.

It cannot be said that Christ cannot be in multiple places at the same time. That is a human attempt to diminish the power of the Almighty God.

— Patrick Devens


 

 

 

Educating excatholic4christ on Atheists

There is a Protestant blogger on wordpress named Tom,  ( https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/ ) who is a convert to “Christianity” from Catholicism. Before criticizing him, I will commend him for his efforts against Catholicism. He is extremely cunning and crafty in the way he misrepresents and distorts the Catholic Church’s doctrine.

For instance, Tom has a knack for talking about some um…”fake news”, if you will, saying that Pope Francis teaches that atheists can get to heaven by being “good”.

In his article Catholicism’s Feast of the Ascension and why it makes absolutely no sense Tom says:

“But who can blame the 65% of American Catholics who won’t be attending obligatory mass on Thursday when their pope fallaciously claims even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good”?”

Tom writes in his article Dead bones religion:

“Many Catholics legitimately ask themselves, “Why bother?,” when their pope teaches that even atheists can merit Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good.” ”

I am not sure if Tom is confusing Francis’ homily on redemption with salvation.

Vatican Radio says in an article  ( http://en.radiovaticana.va/storico/2013/05/22/pope_at_mass_culture_of_encounter_is_the_foundation_of_peace/en1-694445 ) :

“(Vatican Radio) “Doing good” is a principle that unites all humanity, beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions, and creates the “culture of encounter” that is the foundation of peace: this is what Pope said at Mass this morning at the Domus Santae Martae, in the presence of employees of the Governorate of Vatican City. Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, concelebrated at the Mass.

Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:

“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”

“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”

This was the final prayer of Pope Francis:

“Today is [the feast of] Santa Rita, Patron Saint of impossible things – but this seems impossible: let us ask of her this grace, this grace that all, all, all people would do good and that we would encounter one another in this work, which is a work of creation, like the creation of the Father. A work of the family, because we are all children of God, all of us, all of us! And God loves us, all of us! May Santa Rita grant us this grace, which seems almost impossible. Amen.” “

Tom, redemption is by no means the same as salvation. Christ’s Redemption made is possible for humanity to enter Heaven. The Redemption did not “save” everyone in the sense that everyone is in Heaven, and this is not what Francis said.

The thing I have to discredit Tom for is that when discussing the topic with me, he never cited where Francis supposedly made this claim. One cannot create a truth when there is none. Thank you.

— Pat

The Legacy of the True (?) Historical Patrick: Catholic Thinker Commentary

This is my take on an article that claims to reveal the legacy of the true Saint Patrick of Ireland. When I noticed some errors on the life of my patron saint, I couldn’t help resist responding. All dark quotations are from original article.

(Original article: https://pilgrimsprogressrevisted.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/the-legacy-of-the-true-historical-patrick-by-richard-bennett/ )

“Catholicism now, and to some extent even in Patrick’s time, looks to sacraments as necessary for salvation. Patrick saw himself only as a sinner saved by grace in Christ Jesus. Patrick’s message is that salvation is totally in Christ alone–a message utterly diverse from that of Roman Catholicism then and now.”

First I wish to state that Catholics teach that we are saved by Christ’s grace alone also. We taught this before any Protestant sect was created. While their have been clerical abuses in teaching, that does not mean that the official teaching of the Church changed. A sacrament, by definition, is the way Christ’s grace is given to a person.

“A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” (Baltimore catechism No. 3 – Lesson 13 – Question 574)

Now, we can spend all day arguing how exactly God communicates grace to us, as I am sure we disagree on some points, but the sacraments communicate Christ’s grace. They are instituted by Christ. To say that the Catholic Church does not trust in its salvation through Christ is extremely laughable, when one realizes what sacraments truly are.

Interestingly, in his Confessio, St. Patrick states:

“All of us deserved this slavery because we had turned away from God, and did not keep His commandments. We had not been obedient to our priests, who were encouraging us to do those things necessary for salvation.” (St. Patrick’s Confessio [1])

Patrick saw it necessary to not only have faith, but also keep the commandments. Patrick also says that he deserved slavery because he hadn’t listened to the priests, who instructed people in the way of salvation. Gee, seems like Patrick was different from Protestants today! He said he should have listened to the priests. Why would there be priests if St. Patrick was a Christian so unlike the Roman Catholic Church?

Furthermore, Patrick cites distributing several sacraments while in Ireland:

“…those thousands of my children whom I have baptized into the Lord” (St. Patrick’s Confessio [14])

“He has given me so many graces, so many people have been reborn for eternal life in God and afterwards confirmed and some have been ordained as clergy throughout the land…” (St. Patrick’s Confessio [37])

Patrick also speaks about religious orders of men and women, the same types of orders and vows Catholic religious undergo today:

“How come the sons and daughters of Irish kings are becoming monks and virgins consecrated to Christ?” (St. Patrick’s Confessio [41])

Patrick speaks of an altar also; why would he do this if he was nothing like a Catholic?

“They laid gifts on the altar from their jewelry and were shocked at me when I returned these to them.” (St. Patrick’s Confessio [49])

These are just a few questionable things that a person so unlike the Roman Catholics of today said. It makes you think that the writer of the original post tried to make Patrick fit the image he had in mind.

“Patrick, the Christian Evangelist, being about 30 years old and together with some brothers in the Lord, set out for Ireland. He arrived in or about the year 405. This fact of history is authentic and verified. For example, Marcus, an Irish Bishop, who lived at the beginning of the ninth century, states that Patrick came to Ireland in the year 405 AD and Nennius, who lived about the same time, repeats the statement. This date is of great importance because many centuries later there was an attempt made to confuse Patrick with Palladius, who had been sent out by Pope Celestine as a missionary to Ireland. When news of Patrick’s Christian success had reached Rome, Pope Celestine then sent Palladius as a bishop to bring the churches under the control of the Papacy. It was in 432, at least 27 years after Patrick’s commission from God, that Palladius from Rome came on the scene. When Palladius did come to Ireland, it was to an Ireland that had many Christian churches and that did not accept his message of subservience to the Bishop of Rome. In actual fact, Palladius was greatly discouraged by his lack of success. To quote from the historian Philip Schaff, ‘Palladius was so discouraged that he soon abandoned the field, with his assistants, for north Britain, where he died among the Picts….The Roman mission of Palladius failed; the independent mission of Patrick succeeded. He is the true Apostle of Ireland, and has impressed his memory in indelible characters upon the Irish race at home and abroad.’ “

It should be noted that dates in St. Patrick’s life cannot be placed with certainty. The entry for 431 AD Chronicle of Prosper of Aquitaine says:

Palladius, having been ordained by Pope Celestine, is sent as first bishop to the Irish believing in Christ

Many historians believe that Palladius was on Ireland slightly before or at the same time as Patrick. But one cannot conclusively determine the exact date. But this quote above is not “many centuries later” as the author suggests that it was following centuries that Pallagius was confused with Patrick.

Pallagius is said to have exited Ireland the same year of his arrival, not due to the Christian people not accepting his message, but because he was banished by the king of Leinster.

“Darkness covered Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. The Dark Ages had begun and the Roman Church, having gained rulership through intrigue and persecution, now held most of Europe in her iron grip. Even so, in those dark centuries, the Irish missionaries continued to spread the true Gospel, seed which for centuries to come would bear much good fruit all across Europe.”

Who exactly did the Church persecute during the 9th and 10th centuries?? And why were these ages called “Dark”? I speak about the accomplishments of the “Dark” Ages here: https://whysoseriousdotcom.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/the-dark-ages-a-historical-misnomer/

It seems like Mr. Bennett did not take in everything that St. Patrick’s Confession actually had to say, but attempted to make the character of Saint Patrick fit his own agenda. What a pity.

 


 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

(Lorica of Saint Patrick)

 

 

 

 

Response to Pilgrim’s Progress on Sola Fide and Good Works

“Patrick, you must know that we teach Sola Gratia as well as Sola Fide and so you can’t say that Sola Fide is deficient because it doesn’t contain or seems to ignore Sola Gratia: again, they must be taken as a whole and not separated except for the purpose of explanation.” – “Answering The Catholic Thinker on Faith Alone (Sola Fide) and works”

I believe that Sola Fide is deficient in the fact that it focuses solely on faith (hence the phrase “faith alone”) instead of the necessity of faith and good works. Don’t get me wrong, Catholics are not forgetting about the important factor of faith. Without faith in Christ, no man can be saved. My point is that you cannot treat good works as unnecessary or merely optional. That is to say that a Christian can go through life believing in Christ, but obeying Christ, that is performing good works is not necessary. That person will still go to Heaven for not obeying Christ’s commands. How strange does that sound? If you have faith in Christ, then you would make the choice to obey His commands, and regard them as necessary, not unneeded.

“Genuine Bible-believing Christians (Protestants and Evangelicals) aren’t antinomians, which is the implication of your post. Yes, there are some who live as though one can sin all they like since they once “made a decision for Christ,” but that is not what the Bible teaches and what we hold. Genuine Christians aren’t lawless and don’t promote lawlessness. Christians understand Paul and James together, that is, that good works demonstrate that we have saving faith – living Faith – for as you note, even the demons know that God exists.” – “Answering The Catholic Thinker on Faith Alone (Sola Fide) and works”

I didn’t mean to paint non-Catholic Christians as lawless individuals, but was talking about how they view works as unnecessary, and the implications of such. Good works are faith in action, which makes it just as necessary as belief itself. Faith and works are two sides of one coin.

“Again, Martin Luther did not invent Faith Alone. The Bible teaches it, and it was taught by Patristics such as Clement of Rome, Irenaeus of Lyons, and John Chrysostom:

‘Similarly we also, who by His will have been called in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, or our own wisdom or understanding or godliness, nor by such deeds as we have done in holiness of heart, but by that faith through which Almighty God has justified all men since the beginning of time. Glory be to Him, forever and ever, Amen.’ – St. Clement of Rome (? – ~101 AD) (Letter to the Corinthians,  par. 32)

‘Human beings can be saved from the ancient wound of the serpent in no other way than by believing in him who, when he was raised up from the earth on the tree of martyrdom in the likeness of sinful flesh, drew all things to himself and gave life to the dead.’ – St. Irenaeus (130 – 202 AD) (Against the Heresies, IV, 2, 7)

‘They said that he who adhered to faith alone was cursed; but he, Paul, shows that he who adhered to faith alone is blessed.’- St. John Chrysostom (347 – 407 AD) (Homily on Galatians 3)” – “Answering The Catholic Thinker on Faith Alone (Sola Fide) and works”

The passage from Clement is merely dealing with the reason for performing good works. Before your excerpt the text reads:

“All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will.”

Clement was speaking about the reason behind performing works; is it for our own gratification or performing God’s will. Because while preaching that we are justified by faith, Clement at the same time says that the people of Juda were made great through the “operation of His will”. Notice that nowhere did Clement teach faith alone. He merely said that we are not justified of our own doing,; we need to cooperate with God’s grace, the operation of the Divine will.

Irenaeus speaks about being brought out of the wound of the serpent (sin) by belief in Christ. To be saved we must believe in Christ, but that is not to say that works are not necessary. Works do not cause salvation, but are necessary for it to happen. We must obey God’s commands in addition to placing our faith in Him.

I cannot comment on the Chrysostom quote because I couldn’t find the excerpt in his 3rd homily on Galatians. That is not to say that you made it up, but that I cannot find it. The main message from Chrysostom’s homily is that we are not saved by the works of the Law, and that the Law is unneeded now. He spoke of the importance of faith and the needlessness of the Old Law, but I couldn’t find “faith alone”. This is the link I used:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/23103.htm

God bless,

Patrick E. Devens