'Replies from Roman Catholics'

Mike Martin - 23

23rd August, 2003

(Continued from page 279)

Polycarp mentions Ignatius approvingly - and this supports the claims of Papal Rome?


You writeYou brought up mention of the epistle of Polycarp (a disciple and friend of the apostle John) in your e-mail, but I'm surprised that you would, because in chapter 9 of that epistle, Polycarp mentions Ignatius, with whom he was a good friend, as being of the same faith as Paul and the other apostles.  In chapter 13, Polycarp tells his readers that by reading the epistles of Ignatius 'ye may be greatly profited; for they treat of faith and patience, and all things that tend to edification in our Lord.'

TCE:  Again, we quote the passage in question - THE EPISTLE OF POLYCARP TO THE PHILIPPIANS  (CHAPTER 13 - CONCERNING THE TRANSMISSION OF EPISTLES):

Both you and Ignatius wrote to me, that if any one went [from this] into Syria, he should carry your letter with him; which request I will attend to if I find a fitting opportunity, either personally, or through some other acting for me, that your desire may be fulfilled.  The Epistles of Ignatius written by him to us, and all the rest [of his Epistles] which we have by us, we have sent to you, as you requested.  They are subjoined to this Epistle, and by them
ye may be greatly profited; for they treat of faith and patience, and all things that tend to edification in our Lord.  Any more certain information you may have obtained respecting both Ignatius himself, and those that were with him, have the goodness to make known to us.

Presumably you made this comment believing that Polycarp agreed with the faith of Ignatius and that both were in agreement with modern Papal Roman Catholic dogma and to try and combat the statement by Frend:

The Gospels and epistles were circulating in Asia, Syria, and Alexandria (less certainly in Rome), and being read and discussed in the Christian synagogues there by about 100.  In Polycarp's short letter there is an astonishing amount of direct and indirect quotation from the New Testament:  Matthew, Luke, and John, Acts, the letters to the Galatians, Thessalonians, Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Romans, the Pastorals, 1 Peter particularly, and 1 and 2 John are all used ...

We have also shown that your claims for the Eucharist - with one single exception (and the error of transubstantiation) - are not in agreement with the overall writings of the Early Church Fathers who were mainly in agreement with Biblical teachings with occasional aberrations.  No theologian of note would ever build doctrine solely on the post-apostolic writings, and considerable caution is required in the use of these writings.  As has been proven by the two examples here (Justin Martyr's apparent support of 'transubstantiation' and Clement's belief in the 'Phoenix bird') some post-apostolic beliefs, particularly on minor issues, are un-Scriptural.  Such formulations, which were often the product of philosophical speculation, have ultimately been rejected by the church.  This should come as no surprise, for several reasons.  Although the Fathers used the Septuagint and the available New Testament writings extensively in teaching, evangelism, and exhortation, they did not direct much effort at comprehensive scriptural analysis and
exegesisOrigen made  monumental efforts to exegete from his own perspective during the third century but his philosophical meandering seriously flawed his efforts.  To any who might claim that we are biased against the quote from Justin Martyr that seems to support the Roman Eucharist we need simply point out that Origen was dis-fellowshipped by Papal Rome as a heretic because of their objections to his work (his doctrine of the soul was plainly errant and he was prone to speculative philosophical theology -  through the urging of Emperor Justinian the Council of Constantinople declared his 'Universalism' heretical).  Are we to accept only the Church Fathers who agree with us?  You seem to think not.  Clearly the writers of the ante-Nicene period were not inspired, never mind uniform in their intellectual gifts or academic background.  Some, such as Hermas, produced long, ponderous works, which, although respected in their own time, ultimately failed to have any impact on the church's understanding of its faith.  Many post-apostolic works were not doctrinal treatises, but simply letters or homilies to discipline and build up the flock.  Clement's 'First Letter' has some excellent Biblical teaching - but betrays his mind as a product of his time.  How could he easily check out an 'urban legend' of his time?  It is so much easier for us to check out what we believe today but, sadly, many still refuse to do so and would rather believe the myths and legends of their organisation.  This is why we repeat again and again - only the Bible is infallible and can be proven to be so as we endeavour to show in these pages.

It would be unreasonable to expect the Church Father's works to bear the entire weight of apostolic teaching and subsequent doctrinal development.  The principal value of post-apostolic literature is rather that it documents Christian life and thought in the first few centuries.  It is in this role that we may utilize it, not to
form doctrines, but rather to confirm that teaching now declared to be Biblical and apostolic is in fact Biblical and apostolic.  Much skepticism exists today about the historical value of the Gospels and early Christian writings - a cynicism that does not extend to other historical writing of this period.  Such a perspective no doubt arises from the potential impact of Christianity's teaching on one's own life.  Enormous implications are inescapable once the conclusion is drawn that God intervened in human history in the person of Jesus Christ.  Some would prefer to change history rather than change their minds.

For those who accept the evidence of history, honest scholarship dictates that careful attention be paid to the literary and cultural context of the writings of the church fathers.  Every effort should be made to avoid approaching such a study with predetermined conclusions
.  Just as one can prove virtually anything by reading meaning into the Bible, so can one twist early Christian literature to yield conclusions at variance with the truth.  We would encourage anyone interested in the development of the Christian faith to read these works for himself and draw careful conclusions.  Anything that does not agree in their entirety with the Bible is sure to lead to some confusion and even deception.  This body of literature contains some beautifully written prose and elegantly crafted defences of a new and growing religion.  For these reasons alone, such an effort would be time well spent, apart from any benefit it might confer as an apologetic for contemporary Christian thought. 

Studies of this literature shows that it is impossible for any honest student of the post-apostolic era to construct a broad-based defence of the teachings advanced by the Papal Roman Catholic Church.  There is an absolute dearth of support in patristic literature for Papal Rome's doctrines. 
If we reasonably assume that the Church Fathers touched upon the elements of their faith that they judged to be important, their cumulative silence on key Papal teachings is devastating.  There is no evidence that the early church understood itself to be a Papal organization on earth.  There is no knowledge of the Roman doctrine of salvation or of 'purgatory' or 'indulgences'.  But Hell was a frightening reality, threatening the pagan and motivating the believer to keep the faith.  Martyrs died victoriously, confident of immediate conscious bliss in the presence of their Lord.  And above all, in the Church Fathers we see Jesus - fully God and fully man, bodily risen, and coming again in full, visible glory as the only mediator between God and men and not one single, solitary mention of Mary as Mediatrix or any 'ix' whatsoever!  One can only conclude that the teachings of the popes represent a new religious tradition rather than a continuation of the true gospel carried on by the Fathers.

The peculiar doctrines of Papal Rome can be traced back to deviant forms of Christianity in preceding centuries - for 'there is nothing new under the sun' (
Ecclesiastes 1:9).  While there is no single heretical movement in the first few centuries that entirely resembles Papal Rome today, one can discern in various unorthodox movements the building blocks of modern-day Papal errors.  From the earliest days of apostolic evangelism there were those who, while nominally acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, rejected the salvation that He freely provided by grace through faith.  The Ebionites, a Jewish-Christian sect that arose from the legalistic Jewish opposition to Paul, was one such group.  They foreshadowed the popes by emphasizing obedience to the law and hoping by their asceticism to be worthy of God's acceptance.  Contemporary Papists continue to struggle under the unbearably heavy burden of adhering not only to every dictate of the laws the popes have added to the Ten Commandments, but to the ever-changing 'truth' promulgated by the organization to which they have submitted in the guise of the latest 'Pope' John Paul II and his heretical (from every viewpoint!) ecumenical band-wagon.

Papal Rome could be charged with being a
Gnostic religion, although Papal theology contains little of Gnosticism's primary dogmas, such as its dualistic world-view, according to which flesh is evil and spirit is inherently good.  Yet there are numerous Papal beliefs with which the Gnostics would have been comfortable.  Their docetic view (the belief that Jesus' physical body was an illusion, as was his crucifixion; that is, Jesus only seemed to have a physical body and to physically die, but in reality he was incorporeal, a pure spirit, and hence could not physically die) of Christ's sacrifice on the cross and subsequent resurrection, while not grounded in the conviction that the flesh is evil, nevertheless is quite similar to some Gnostic speculation.  The greatest similarity between the popes and the Gnostics, however, is that their relationship to God is predicated on special knowledge.  The Gnostics separated themselves from the lost masses of humanity by virtue of their 'higher knowledge' of God and the spiritual realm.  This explains their name, for the Greek word gnosis means 'knowledge.'  Knowledge - exclusive, privileged knowledge - is likewise at the heart of the Roman gospel as we can see by examining their 'unique' doctrines, e.g.  the Mass (performed for centuries in Latin to keep the masses in the dark about the true nature of this un-Scriptural insult to God).

For the Christian, accurate knowledge of God is important and comes only through the Bible for, as  we can easily prove, the 'traditions' of Papal Rome are ludicrously contradictory and often totally pagan in origin.  Full intellectual comprehension is impossible without the personal, spiritual intimacy that comes about only by vigorously pursuing holy living under the guidance and empowerment of the Spirit, indwelling the heart of the believer.  The distance from the mind to the heart is long indeed for those whose spirit has not been made alive by regeneration so it is foolish to try and glibly reject criticism of - not one or two, or 'a few' - popes who have proved to a man (or occasionally a woman!) that they are utterly and completely distant from the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Papal gospel emphasizes comprehension of God through 'popes' and 'priesthoods' who alone have the
gnosis  garnered through 'mother church' - yet who have contradicted and confused the truth for 'the mess of potage' that has been Papal Rome for their entire history.

Having searched the Early Church Fathers for the clear references to a 'Roman' Eucharist you claim, we find only one which might be construed to support 'transubstantiation' - a doctrine utterly lacking in the Bible.  How can the Roman Mass, called a
propitiatory sacrifice in which 'Christ offers himself [perpetually] for the salvation of the entire world...  [and] the work of our redemption is accomplished' be the same as the sacrifice described in the Bible as having paid the full penalty for sin upon the cross and on which basis the resurrected Christ 'entered in once into the holy place [heaven], having obtained eternal redemption for us' (Hebrews 9:12).  There He is seated at the Father's right hand, our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), representing those He has redeemed, where 'he ever liveth [dies no more] to make intercession for them':

Who needeth not daily, as those [Old Testament] high priests, to offer up sacrifice.., for this he did once, when he offered up himself [on the cross] (Hebrews 7:27).

The Bible states clearly that this was a 'once for all' sacrifice - so how can Papal Roman Catholics believe that the Mass can repeatedly sacrifice this same Christ?

We have briefly described the difference between the Eucharist and the simple Biblical memorial meal instigated by the Lord Jesus Christ and leave Papal Roman Catholics to vainly try and answer the plethora of questions raised.


Do the Church Fathers' beliefs support Rome or 'Fundamentalist' beliefs?


You write:  As you can see, there is quite a lot of evidence that the Catholic Church was alive and well from the earliest beginnings of the Christian faith.  And I would like to note that many of the writings I have of the Apostolic Fathers are in a book edited by Protestants who had little love for the Catholic Church.  The book I have was first printed in the 1800's, at a time when Protestants admitted truthfully that the origin of the Church was Catholic, and before the time of Fundamentalism, which tries to revise History to say otherwise.  I would also note that of the early Christian writings, there are none that bear even the slightest resemblance to the beliefs of Fundamentalists of today.  There is absolutely no proof of Fundamentalist beliefs existing before the 16th century.

TCE:  You have misunderstood the problem.  It is easy to show that the apostolic faith existed, even in early Rome, but it was the 'Catholic' (Universal!) faith of the apostles, not that of the Papal Roman Catholic teachings of 324 A.D. onwards, which existed in the first three centuries of the Christian Era, although many of the bishops of Papal Rome (who you would wish to call 'popes') held clear heretical beliefs.  Again, the difference between Catholic and Papal Roman Catholic needs to be understood before any credence could be warranted for supposed quotes from Protestants of 'the 1800's' - even if you supplied any - which you haven't!  'Fundamentalists' have never been afraid of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers because our faith is based on the Bible, but it is a fact that the early Church Fathers had already begun to lose sight of the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the error of nomianism is clearly detectable in their writings.  Again, this displays the danger of employing uninspired writings as any sort of basis for beliefs.  The fact that these great men - who often suffered torture and death for their beliefs - could so quickly lose sight of vital truths from such as the Letters to the Romans and the Galatians makes the importance of every Christian knowing the Word of God for himself even more clear.  Unlike Luther, and others of his era, we gained our faith straight from the Bible and did not suffer from having our minds messed up by Roman 'priesthood' training.  Luther suffered to the end of his days from the errors which he could not entirely shake off and the contemporary Lutheran church exhibits similar problems  - but is still much nearer the truth than Papal Rome has been for 1700 years despite making the mistake of re-aligning itself with the papacy (ref.  the recent Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican, 'Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification'). 


Salvation from the Perspective of the Early Church Fathers


The disputes between Papal Catholicism and Protestantism, as well as amidst the various Protestant traditions themselves, should, if nothing else, cause one to wonder what the earliest Christian communities thought on any subject being contested
.  What did those who learned their faith directly from the preaching of the Apostles themselves say regarding man's salvation? For this, of course, we turn to the writings of these Early Church Fathers.  The earliest Fathers were conversant with the apostles themselves, and therefore were unparalleled in their position to receive extensively accurate instruction in Christian Faith.  One such person was an Eastern (Greek) Father, Polycarp of Smyrna (A.D.  69-156).  Irenaeus of Lyons (A.D.  130-200) had this to say about Polycarp: 

'But Polycarp also was not only instructed by the apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also by the apostles in Asia appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried on earth a very long time ... having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down……' (Against Heresies 3:3; ~A.D.  191).

What exactly did these first Christians believe and teach with regard to salvation? It is important to note that these Christian teachers of antiquity were not attempting to define precise theological points of doctrine; they were more concerned with general concepts, instructions, and admonitions for living the Christian faith in a time of often intense persecution.  Therefore we won't find the early Fathers engaged in dissecting a particular Pauline phrase in order to understand the Christian concept of justification.  Moreover, such an approach would be foreign to the early Church since it can lead to misconceptions:  'Those who are particular about words, and devote their time to them, miss the point of the whole picture' (Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, Bk.  II, Christian.  1, A.D.  150-215). 

Nonetheless, the Fathers of the Church had written on related matters concerning salvation, such as the role of faith and grace, the role of obedience, righteousness, baptism, etc.  From these we can at least partly ascertain the mind and thought of the early Christian communities concerning salvation.
  A common mistake often made is to misrepresent the Fathers by choosing selective quotations that bolster one's own personal beliefs, discarding those that do not.  Thanks to the ease with which the Fathers material can now be obtained it is possible for anyone who desires to check out their material to do so.

The Papal Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation depends ultimately upon ourselves, earned by obedience to the law of the church (for example, regular attendance at mass, rosary prayers, fasting, the wearing of medals, crucifixes or scapulars, etc.).  In this system God forgives only those who try to atone for their sins through fruits of penance.  This whole system exists because Christ's sacrifice on the cross is regarded as insufficient.  The Papal Roman Catholic doctrine of justification (how a man becomes justified or perfectly righteous before God) reflects Romanism's complicated system of salvation by works:

Full Menu

Topics discussed on pages responding to Roman Catholics
Section 8-25:

Do TCE write out of 'hatred of the Catholic Church'?

'Two sides to every story' - or the truth versus the lies?

Scandalous behaviour of 'just a few popes'?

Luther was far from perfect - but Salvation is not based on him or his doctrines!

Luther struggled to leave all of Rome's corrupt doctrines

Hagiography - a sure mark of 'religion' and religiosity

Don't check out the facts when your mind is made up?

Are the scandals of Papal Rome acceptable?

Why does Rome persecute those following the Bible alone?

Have there really been only 'a few scandalous popes'?

Has Rome really 'survived 20 centuries'?

The blasphemy of Mariolatry

Matthew 23 describes the clergy of Rome!

'Some popes were great sinners … Luther … was far more scandalous'

Luther taught that good works were to be avoided/performing them was a mortal sin 


'Luther's' Protestant society much more immoral than Papal Rome?!

Luther threw out seven entire books of the Bible

Luther added the word 'alone' to Romans 3:28?

Protestants still use Luther's canon of the Bible instead of the rightful Catholic one

Protestant-Fundamentalism began a hundred years ago? - I

Protestant-Fundamentalism began a hundred years ago? - II

Who have conflicting beliefs and no unity of doctrine - 'Protestants' or Roman Catholics?

Catholics were just about the only Christians around until the Reformation - did Rome kill millions?

Were other heresies around before the Reformation?


The Papal Doctrine of 'The Two Swords'

The 'first' Protestants persecuted Roman Catholics?

Who really massacred millions?

Who really began the witch-hunts!

Witchcraft was one excuse used to persecute 'heretics' such as the Anabaptists

Oliver Cromwell:  Lord Protector of England (1599-1658)

Can anyone claim that Rome is even slightly Biblical?


How did we actually get the Bible?

Can Rome logically deny Sola Scriptura?

Did the apostles consult Scripture or the Holy Spirit?

Does 'Tradition' - 'oral teachings' of the apostles - have a place?

Passages in Scripture point to the importance of Tradition?

No Christian faith is more closely aligned with the Bible than Catholicism?

Baptism is necessary for salvation?

Keeping 'The Commandments' is essential for salvation?

'Once Saved Always Saved' means you can wilfully sin?

The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is Biblical?

The Bible is not the sole authority in matters of faith?

Catholicism was present from New Testament times?

The Roman Catholic Church has perverted the doctrine of justification by confounding it with the doctrine of sanctification.  Biblically speaking, after a man is justified before God, he begins a lifelong process of sanctification where he grows in holiness and obedience to God's law.  Justification is the basis, the starting point, for sanctification (Romans 6).  Justification removes the guilt of sin and restores the sinner to God's household as a child of God.  Sanctification removes sinful habits and makes the sinner more and more like Christ.  Justification takes place outside of the sinner in the tribunal of God.  Sanctification takes place in the inner life of man.  Justification takes place once and for all.  Sanctification is a continuous process which is never complete in this life.

Examination of key Papal Roman Catholic doctrines show that all too often the traditions and teachings of men have been substituted for true Biblical doctrine.  Many Papal Roman Catholic leaders and laymen are doing charitable deeds for which they are to be commended.  Although not all Papal Roman Catholic dogma is false - recognition of the divinity of Christ and the nature of the Triune God are notable examples -  the Papal Roman Catholic Church has departed from God's Word in so many crucial areas that to accept and remain under her teaching is to gamble with the eternal future of your soul.  There is no salvation for those who accept Papal doctrines of justification and sanctification and wilfully partake in the God-dishonouring doctrines of Papal Rome. 

That the Papal Roman Catholic Church does
not believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone by the finished atonement of Jesus Christ alone is evident in the following indisputable facts: 

JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE ALONE WAS DENIED BY TRENT

At the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the declarations of which are still in force, the Papal Roman Catholic Church formally condemned the Biblical doctrine of faith alone and grace alone.  Consider the following declarations of Trent:

'If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA' (Sixth Session,
Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12).

'If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA' (Sixth Session,
Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24).

JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE ALONE - DENIED BY VATICAN II

In its most formal and authoritative statements since Trent, Papal Rome has continued to deny that salvation is by grace alone through Christ's atonement alone through faith alone without works or sacraments.  Consider the following statements of the authoritative Vatican II Council of the mid-1960s, called by Pope John Paul XXIII and attended by more than 2,400 Catholic bishops: 

'For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, 'the work of our redemption is accomplished,' and it is through the liturgy, especially, that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church' (Vatican II,
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Introduction, para.  2).

'As often as the sacrifice of the cross by which 'Christ our Pasch is sacrificed' (
1 Corinthians.  5:7) is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out' (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 1, 3, p.  324).

'... [Christ] also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical [ritualistic] life revolves.  Thus by Baptism men are grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ.  ...  They receive the spirit of adoption as sons' (Vatican II,
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Chap.  1, I, 5,6, pp.  23-24).

'
From the most ancient times in the Church good works were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners, particularly the works which human weakness finds hard.  Because the sufferings of the martyrs for the faith and for God's law were thought to be very valuable, penitents used to turn to the martyrs to be helped by their merits to obtain a more speedy reconciliation from the bishops.  Indeed, the prayers and good works of holy people were regarded as of such great value that it could be asserted that the penitent was washed, cleansed and redeemed with the help of the entire Christian people' (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, chap.  3, 6, pp.  78,79).

The colossal error high-lighted in red speaks volumes for the level of ignorance of Scripture that exists in Papal Rome!

PAPAL ROME DENIES SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE IN ITS DEFINITION OF JUSTIFICATION

Papal Rome's gospel is a confused combination of faith plus works, grace plus sacraments, Christ plus the church.  It redefines grace to include works.  It confuses justification with sanctification.  It confuses imputation with impartation.  It views justification not as a once-for-all legal declaration whereby the sinner is declared righteous before God and is granted eternal life as the unmerited gift of God, but as a process whereby the sinner is gradually saved through participation in the sacraments.  There is no eternal security in the Roman gospel because salvation allegedly depends partially upon a man's works.  According to Papal Roman Catholic theology, Christ purchased salvation and gave it to the Catholic Church to be distributed to men through its sacraments.  This is not only a false gospel, it is a blasphemous usurpation of Christ's position as only Lord and Saviour and Mediator.  The authoritative Addis and Arnold Catholic Dictionary, with the Imprimature (ecclesiastical authorization for printing) of E.  Morrough Bernard, 1950, says justification 'consists, not in the mere remission of sins, but in the sanctification and renewal of the inner man by the voluntary reception of God's grace and gifts.'  This dictionary plainly states that the Papal Roman Catholic doctrine of justification is contrary to that of the Reformation, noting that 'the Council of Trent was at pains to define most clearly and explicitly the Catholic tradition on the matter, placing it in sharp opposition to the contrary tenets of the Reformers.'  Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia, published in 1991, defines justification as 'the process by which a sinner is made righteous, pure and holy before God. ... Justification in the Catholic Tradition comes about by means of faith in Christ, and in a life of good works lived in response to God's invitation to believe.  ...  That works are clearly required in the New Testament for union with Christ is seen in the many parables such as the Good Samaritan, Lazarus and Dives, and others' (emphasis added). 


PAPAL ROME DENIES SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE IN A MULTITUDE OF OTHER WAYS


Not only in most authoritative declarations and not only by its definition of justification, but in dozens of other ways, Papal Rome denies the once-for-all sufficiency of Christ's atonement, His sole mediatorship, and the doctrine of salvation through faith alone by grace alone without works. 

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMAL REGENERATION.  The New Catholic Catechism (1994) dogmatically declares:  'The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are 'reborn of water and the Spirit.' God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism...' (1257). 

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF THE MASS, by claiming that in the mass 'the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated' and 'the work of our redemption is carried out' (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy). 

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF THE SACRAMENTS:  'The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.  ...  The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Saviour' (New Catholic Catechism, 1129). 
Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY, claiming that 'the doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed' (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy).
 
Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF CONFESSION :  'One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience' (New Catholic Catechism, 1493).  'Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church' (New Catholic Catechism, 1497).  'The sacrament of Penance restores and strengthens in members of the Church who have sinned the fundamental gift of ...  conversion to the kingdom of Christ, which is first received in Baptism' (Vatican II, Decree on Confession for Religious).

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF THE PAPACY:  'For 'God's only-begotten Son ... has won a treasure for the militant Church ...  he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ's vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation'' (ellipsis are in the original) (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, Chap.  4, 7, p.  80).  (emphasis in red added)

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ
BY ITS PRIESTHOOD:  'The purpose then for which priests are consecrated by God through the ministry of the bishop is that they should be made sharers in a special way in Christ's priesthood and, by carrying out sacred functions, act as his ministers who through his Spirit continually exercises his priestly function for our benefit in the liturgy.  By Baptism priests introduce men into the People of God; by the sacrament of Penance they reconcile sinners with God and the Church; by the Anointing of the sick they relieve those who are ill; and especially by the celebration of Mass they offer Christ's sacrifice sacramentally' (Vatican II, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, chap.  2, I, 5, p. 781).

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF MARY:  'In a wholly singular way she co-operated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the Saviour's work of restoring supernatural life to souls.  For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace' (New Catholic Catechism, 968).  '... Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us gifts of eternal salvation.  ...  Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix' (New Catholic Catechism, 969).

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF THE SAINTS:  'Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin' (New Catholic Catechism, 1475).
 
Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone and the sole Mediatorship of Christ
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF FORGIVENESS THROUGH THE CHURCH:  'There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive.  ...  Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin' (New Catholic Catechism, 982). 

Papal Rome denies justification by grace alone
BY ITS DOCTRINE OF INDULGENCES:  'An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.  ...  Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead' (New Catholic Catechism, 1471). (emphasis in red added)

Indulgences are such a clear indication of the Biblical illiteracy and greed of Papal Rome that even young school-children, learning of these horrendous false doctrines in history lessons, reject this evil religion.
 

CONCLUSION


Papal Rome has not changed its doctrinal position or its claims to be the one, true, holy, apostolic church.  It is engaged, rather, in a clever ploy.  It is using the ecumenical movement to bring the separated sons home to the
papa (which is the meaning of the term pope) and, sadly, it is have considerable success.  The amazing fact is that Papal Rome has not hidden its goal in ecumenical relations.  Consider the following statement from Vatican II:

'The term 'ecumenical movement' indicates the initiatives and activities encouraged and organized, according to the various needs of the [Roman] Church and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity.  ...  The results will be that, little by little, as the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome,
all Christians will be gathered in a common celebration of the eucharist, into the unity of the one and only church, which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning.  The unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose' (emphasis in red added) (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, chap.  1, 4, p. 416).

Those who claim to be Evangelical Catholics and who claim to believe that salvation is by grace alone are deceiving themselves and others by remaining in the Papal Roman Catholic Church which explicitly denies what they claim to believe. 
God's curse is upon those who preach a false gospel and Papal Rome certainly falls under that curse.  The Bible warns that those who affiliate with error become partakers with that error: 

'And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues' (Revelation 18:4).

'Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables' (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

As we have proved, there are some errors in the writings of the Church Fathers, but too many try and read into - or force out - meanings that are not there.  It is painfully easy to refute Papal Roman Catholic teachings from the Bible alone - and to show from the church history that the distinctive Papal doctrines are not in Scripture and were often added hundreds of years after Constantine took Christianity under his wing in 324 A.D.  The Papal Roman Catholic Church has simply not always been what it is today but has reached its present state as the result of a long, slow process of development through the centuries as new doctrines, rituals, and customs have been slowly added.

(Continued on page 281)

Topics discussed on pages responding to Roman Catholics
Section 8-25:

Peter is always listed as the first apostle in all the gospels?

Jesus didn't say that Peter would be perfect in behavior - only in his teaching?

Early Christians prove the Papal view of the Eucharist is correct?

Claims of 'cannibalism' prove the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?!

A letter to Clement proves that the Corinthians appealed to a Bishop and did not consult Scripture?

An Ignatius letter proves Papal Rome's 'presidency'?

Ignatius tells us that the Eucharist is truly the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ?

Justin also emphasizes the fact that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?

Irenaeus supports the Roman Catholic view of the Papacy and the listing of the Bishops of Rome?

Polycarp mentions Ignatius approvingly - and this supports the claims of Papal Rome?

Do the Church Fathers' beliefs support Rome or 'Fundamentalist' beliefs?

Salvation from the Perspective of the Early Church Fathers

JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE ALONE WAS DENIED BY TRENT

JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE ALONE - DENIED BY VATICAN II

PAPAL ROME DENIES SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE IN ITS DEFINITION OF JUSTIFICATION

PAPAL ROME DENIES SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE IN A MULTITUDE OF OTHER WAYS

Papal Roman Catholic HERESIES


If the Catholic Church were really a tool of Satan, then its exorcism rite would go against the words of Jesus?

Satan was jealous of Padre Pio and 'attacks' by Satan and evil spirits prove he was used by God?

If the Catholic Church is a tool of Satan, why does Satan harass holy Catholics?

Do Catholics check their minds in at the door?

Should we point out Papal anti-democratic behaviour - as well as the heretical nature of some 'Protestant' pastors? 

Papists believe that each 'Protestant' has the right to interpret the Bible personally so that millions of 'views' exist?

Protestants don't have Christian unity while 'one billion Catholics' have 'one set of doctrine'?

'Protestant' arguments have little power against Catholics who know the Bible and History?

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