TCE replies: Wednesday, March 16, 2005 5:51 PM
Dear MikeRome's use of force to compel obedience!
further to our acknowledgement of your e-mail we have addressed your accusations and claims:
TCE: You accuse us of being 'angry, hateful ... [of] theology that does not truly reflect the teachings of Our One, True Lord and personal Savior Jesus Christ ... [that we] claim as true a whole arsenal of lies about the Catholic Church ... have ... fed (and swallowed) an erroneous history and doctrinal formulation of the Catholic Church... dishonest ... completely ignore Catholic teaching and expostulate lies about the Church--the bride of Christ.' If you believe all of these things we simply ask you to prove them to be true. You have made a whole 'arsenal' of accusations without one shred of evidence and, if you really believe that 'One look in the index of the Catechism of the Catholic Church would clear-up any of your misconceptions', we challenge you to supply this material and show us how it answers the historical and doctrinal record of Papal Rome. We look forward to your reply on this matter.
Thomas Aquinas, Popes, and bishops, vow to kill 'heretics'?
The Roman Church has never acknowledged that the use of force to compel obedience is wrong in principle, although she has been compelled to abandon the practice in Protestant countries since disgraceful persecutions, such as the Inquisition, are no longer tolerated. Even in those countries that have remained under her control an enlightened public opinion indirectly influenced by Protestantism has been sufficient to bring about a considerable degree of restraint although, in Romanist countries, the Papal Roman Catholic Church clergy continue to be the instigators and leaders of riots against others they still class as 'heretical sects.' In South America, Paul John II instructed his followers to 'resist Protestants in the street' - which led to the burning of Protestant houses and churches! But these statements are not new in his reign:
'In a scorching blast at evangelical Protestant 'sects,' Pope John Paul II accused them yesterday of seducing with 'false mirages' and misleading with 'distorted simplifications.' (THE BOSTON GLOBE, 10/14/91.)
'Alas, Pope John Paul II has disserved himself by speaking ill-chosen words about evangelical Christian denominations. Addressing the Fourth Latin American Conference of Bishops in Santo Domingo, the pontiff portrayed these Protestants as 'voracious wolves' menacing his Catholic flock.' (MIAMI HERALD, 10/16/92)
What kind of 'unity' does Rome really promote?
Thank God that evangelicals have made great inroads among Latin Catholics. But, regardless of attempts by Roman Catholics to deny that they have been taught that Protestants are to be hated or persecuted, the fact is that 'Protestant sects' are charged with heresy wherever the Papal Roman Church holds sway and heresy, by Roman Canon Law, is punishable by death if need be. It is a demonstrable fact that Protestant ministers behind the Iron Curtain, in such countries as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, had more freedom to hold church services and to distribute Christian literature than they had in Spain! Only Islam and the (mis-named!) Orthodox Russian Church can compare with their efforts to victimize others in modern day persecution. The consecration of every Roman Catholic bishop calls for this oath of allegiance to the pope:
'With all my power I will persecute and make war upon all heretics, schismatics and those who rebel against our lord (the pope) and all his successors . . . So help me God and these the holy gospels of God' (Pontificale Romanum Summorum Pontificum. Belgium. Mechlin, p. 133. - cited by Emmett McLoughlin, in American Culture and Catholic Schools, p. 125).
Thomas Aquinas, prominent in the Dominican Order and the most authoritative philosopher and theologian of the Roman Church even to the present day, held that the church had the right to hunt out and kill heretics as a means of maintaining its purity and wrote:
'Though heretics must not be tolerated because they deserve it, we must bear with them, till, by a second admonition, they may be brought back to the faith of the church. But those who, after a second admonition, remain obstinate in their errors, must not only be excommunicated, but they must be delivered to the secular power to be exterminated' (Summa Theologica, Vol. IV, p. 90).
'So far as heretics are concerned, heresy is a sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death' (Vol. II, p. 154).
'If counterfeiters of money or other criminals are justly delivered over to death forthwith by the secular authorities, much more can heretics, after they are convicted of heresy, be not only forthwith excommunicated, but as surely put to death' (Vol. II, Q. 2, Art. 3).
Another quote from Dr. Marianus de Luca, S. J., Professor of Canon Law at the Georgian University in Rome in 1901, and with a personal commendation from pope Leo XIII:
'The Catholic Church has the right and duty to kill heretics because it is by fire and sword that heresy can be extirpated. Mass excommunication is derided by heretics. If they are imprisoned or exiled they corrupt others. The only recourse is to put them to death. Repentance cannot be allowed to save them, just as repentance is not allowed to save civil criminals; for the highest good of the church is the duty of the faith, and this cannot be preserved unless heretics are put to death.' (Institution of Public Ecclesiastical Law)
The official newspaper of the large Roman Catholic diocese of Brooklyn, New York, The Tablet, in its issue of November 5, 1938, declared:
'Heresy is an awful crime . . . and those who start a heresy are more guilty than they who are traitors to the civil government. If the State has the right to punish treason with death, the principle is the same which concedes to the spiritual authority the power of capital punishment over the arch-traitor to truth and Divine revelation. . . . A perfect society has the right to its existence . . . and the power of capital punishment is acknowledged for a perfect society. Now . . . the Roman Catholic Church is a perfect society, and as such has the right and power to take means to safeguard its existence.'
Rome's doctrine of 'the two swords'?
In the following words by a present day American Roman Catholic theologian, Francis J. Connell, with Imprimatur by Cardinal Spellman, even the right of existence is denied to other churches:
'The Catholic Church is the only organization authorized by God to teach religious truth and to conduct public religious worship. Consequently, they (Roman Catholics) hold that any creed which differs from that of the Catholic Church is erroneous, and that any religious organization which is separated from the Catholic Church lacks the approval and the authorization of God. The very existence of any other church is opposed to the command of Christ, that all men should join His one church. From this it follows that, as far as God's law is concerned, no one has a real right to accept any religion save the Catholic Church' (Pamphlet, Freedom of Worship, the Catholic Position).
These are representative samples of the 'tolerance' that can be expected when the Roman Church has things its own way. Compare these to your words about 'unity'! Add to these the more than one hundred anathemas - 'Let him be anathema,' which means, 'Let him be accursed' - pronounced by the Council of Trent, the most authoritative of Roman Catholic councils, upon all who dare to differ with its pronouncements. Such violent, intemperate language in a creed which purports to set forth the basic principles of the Christian system reveals clearly the un-Christian nature of the men who pretend to belong to the 'One True Church'! How do these statements line up alongside the noble sentiments expressed in the American Declaration of Independence:
'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.'
It is embarrassing to read a Roman Catholic mocking democracy and promoting this evil 'theocracy' that is the papacy. Even the most turgid humanistic democracy would struggle to compete with the filth of the Papal Roman Catholic Church.
Massacres resulting from Papal policies?
How has the Papal Roman Catholic Church tried to avoid responsibility for her crimes against humanity? Pope Boniface VIII, in 1302, issued the Unam Sanctam, a document in which he claimed to be the representative of God on earth, and concurrently claimed authority over every nation and government on earth. This decree, which sets forth the doctrine of 'the two swords,' reads as follows:
'In her (the Church) and within her power there are two swords, we are taught in the Gospels, namely, the spiritual sword and the temporal sword . . . the latter to be used for the Church, the former by the Church; the former by the hand of the priest, the latter by the hand of the princes and kings, but at the nod and sufferance of the priest. The one sword must of necessity be subject to the other, the temporal authority to the spiritual. . . . For truth being the witness, the spiritual power has the function of establishing the temporal power and sifting in judgment on it if it should not prove good... but if the supreme power (the papacy) deviate, it cannot be judged by man but only by God alone.' (emphasis added)
The Inquisition - created by Popes to deal with heretics!
This power of control over the 'two swords' is assumed to be inherent in the papal office and superior to all other such powers. Men are to be compelled to submit to the Roman pontiff by the sword of the state, as wielded by kings and soldiers, but at the direction of the priesthood. This is, in fact, the traditional position of the Roman Church, that the actual persecution or execution of those judged by the church to be heretical should be done, not by the church, but by the state at the direction of the church. By such subterfuge the church seeks to escape responsibility for her crimes. The doctrine of 'the two swords' was the basis for the persecution and massacre of thousands of the Waldensians in Italy and France, one of the worst massacres having taken place in France, in 1545, when twenty-one of their towns were burned and the inhabitants plundered, tortured, and murdered in circumstances of the utmost cruelty. Two years later the dying monarch, Francis I, remembering with bitter remorse his ultimatum to the Waldensians that they embrace Papal Roman Catholicism or be destroyed, pleaded with his son that the men who persuaded him to that course and led the massacre be given their just desserts.
Perhaps the most notorious of all massacres was that which was carried out against the Protestants of France, beginning on St. Bartholomew's Day, August 24, 1572, and continuing throughout France for five or six weeks. Some 10,000 'Huguenots,' as the French Protestants were called, were killed in Paris alone, and estimates of the number killed throughout the country run from 40,000 to 60,000. The Standard International Encyclopedia places the number at 50,000. Hundreds of thousands more fled from France to other countries. Many of their descendants eventually made their way to the United States.
When the news of the massacre reached Papal Rome church bells were rung and there was wild rejoicing in the streets. Not long before that time Germany had become Protestant, as had also parts of Switzerland; and the new movement had made such progress in France that nearly a fourth of the population was Protestant and there was a real possibility that if it remained unchecked the whole country might become Protestant. So pleased was the pope, Gregory XIII, to be rid of the Protestants in France that he ordered Te Deums (hymns of praise and thanksgiving) sung in the churches of Papal Rome, and had a medal struck with his own profile on one side and the destroying angel on the other. He also sent cardinal Ursini to convey his felicitations to the queen mother of France, Catherine de Medici, who at the promptings of the Jesuits had organized the plot. Primarily through that massacre France was preserved a Roman Catholic country, and has remained such, nominally at least, to the present day.
Influence of Ignatius Loyola and the Jesuit order?
The Inquisition was created by the Roman Catholic Church to search out, examine, and punish heretics. Its worst excesses took place in Spain, under the inquisitor Torquemada, whose appointment was made by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1483 and confirmed by pope Alexander VI. The Jews too were driven out of Spain by Torquemada. As Columbus set sail from Palos in 1492 for his explorations in the new world he saw other ships in the harbour taking the Jews into exile.
An earlier Spanish king, Ferdinand III of Castile (died, 1252), had so pleased the Roman Church by his vigorous actions against dissenters that he was made a saint in 1671 and the church inserted in the Breviary (book of daily readings and prayers for the priests) these words in praise of him:
'He permitted no heretics to dwell in his kingdom, and with his own hands brought wood to the stake for their burning' (The Stability and Progress of Dogma, by cardinal Lepicier, p. 202; 1910).
The Inquisition also carried on its work with great effectiveness in Italy, where thousands of Protestants were put to death simply because they would not give up their faith and become Roman Catholics. Today Spain, Italy, Portugal, and to some extent France, Quebec, and Latin America, remain the devout children of the Inquisition. That, at any rate, was the method by which whole nations were made, or kept, Roman Catholic. Indeed, when we see the medieval attitude of the hierarchy still manifesting itself in the present day persecutions in some of those countries we are forced to conclude that the Roman Catholic Church is either the most decadent of all anachronisms, or the most dangerous of all survivals from a past that we wish were dead and buried.
The Inquisition was Papal Rome's masterpiece for the control of people and nations, and the tribunal of the Inquisition has never been abolished. Today in Papal Rome it is known as the Congregation of the Holy Office. It is composed of cardinals and prelates, with the pope himself as its head, and its principal work is that of maintaining the doctrines of the Roman Church against errors and heresies. The excesses of the Inquisition are no longer practiced, but the principles which made those excesses possible still are in effect. The late bishop Segura, of Seville, Spain, who was prominent in the persecutions in that country in his reign, said shortly before he died: 'I regret I was not born in the days of the Holy Inquisition.'
Why was Paul John II accused of heresy by other Papists?
For another authoritative voice in Romanism let us listen to that of Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order and held in high honour by the Jesuits who today are the real masters in the Roman Church. Said he:
'It would be greatly advantageous, too, not to permit anyone infected with heresy to continue in the government, particularly the supreme government, of any province or town, or in any judicial or honorary position. Finally, if it could be set forth and made manifest to all, that the moment a man is convicted or held in grave suspicion of heresy lie must not be favoured with honours or wealth but put down from these benefits. And if a few examples could be made, punishing a few with the penalty of their lives, or with the loss of property and exile, so there of could be no mistake about the seriousness of the business of religion, this remedy would be so much more effective....
'It would be advisable that whatever heretical books might be found, on diligent search, in the possession of dealers or individuals, should be burned or removed from all the provinces of the kingdom. The same may be said of books written by heretics, even when not heretical themselves, such as those which treat of grammar or rhetoric or dialectic, which it seems, ought to be cast aside utterly out of hatred toward the heresy of their authors....
'Of all rectors and public professors in universities and academies, and likewise rectors of private schools and schoolteachers as well, and even tutors, it should be required that long before being accepted in their posts they should all be found true Catholics, through examination or secret information, and should be recommended by the testimony of Catholics: and they should swear that they are and will always remain Catholics; and if any such men should be convicted of heresy, they should be severely punished if only on the grounds of perjury' (Obras Completas de San Ignacio de Loyola, edicion Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos. Translated by Dwight Cristoanos; Madrid; 1952; p. 880).
We need not ask ourselves what the Roman Catholic Church would do in the free world if it ever regained its former power. All we need do is to look at what it has done where it has been in power. Even children in parochial schools were taught that the Roman Church has the right to suppress other churches and that it has the right to punish with death anyone who is a traitor to it. And history teaches that when people have the power they usually do what they have a right to do. Before the Reformation the Roman Church was able to quench all opposition in blood and violence. But since that time it has lived under the eyes of an alert and fiercely critical body of writers who have been free to express their opinions without fear of reprisal. But the doctrines concerning the temporal power of the pope, and the right of the Roman Church to use physical force to attain spiritual ends, have never been renounced by any pope or church council. Nor has that church ever repented of or apologized for the crimes that she has committed. An 'infallible' church simply cannot repent.
Rome's 'gospel' is defined by Scripture to be 'accursed'?
How ironic that, in our day, Paul John II is himself accused of heresy by other Papal Roman Catholics (at such sites as http://www.catholicrestoration.org/library/apostasy.htm ) because of his ecumenism and its resultant re-writing (again!) of the Papal Roman Catholic Church faith. Here is a brief summary of part of their accusations under the heading 'The Apostasy of John Paul II':
'Notice that I have not chosen the word heresy, but rather apostasy. John Paul's errors truly constitute an apostasy, and not merely a heresy.
Heresy is to doubt or deny a particular truth of the faith, or perhaps some truths of the faith, e.g., the divinity of Christ, the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, the virgin birth, etc. You are probably familiar with some of the well-known heretics of history: Arius, Luther, Calvin.
Apostasy, on the other hand, is to completely reject the Christian faith. For example, the emperor in the fourth century, Julian, utterly repudiated the faith and became an apostate, embracing the cult of the Roman gods of old. He is known as Julian the Apostate. So why do I use this strong word with John Paul II, who professes to be a Catholic, and who even from time to time says edifying and pious things?
It is because he does not adhere to any of the articles of faith which he professes to believe. He does not adhere to them because for him these sacred truths do not exclude what is opposed to them. What contradicts these truths are not, for him, false.
Why does he not hold them to be false? Because first and above all, John Paul II is an ecumenist, and not a Catholic. An ecumenist is someone who believes that all religions contain a certain measure of the truth, some more, some less, and that they all therefore have a certain value. All religions, for the ecumenist, are true religions. Some are merely better than others.
The most that they give to the Catholic Church is that it has the 'fullness of truth,' whereas the others have only 'partial truth.' But when they talk about the Catholic Church, are they speaking about the Catholic Church which you and I know? No, they are referring to this reformed Catholicism, this new religion of Vatican II, an ugly fake of the true faith.'
Let us see you prove these historical facts to be false!
How does the Word of God define Christian 'unity'?
You write: concerning our claim that 'Roman Catholicism clearly preaches another gospel condemned by Paul (Galatians 1 :6-9)' - 'if you truly know the Bible, you'd know that Paul was referring to the murmuring that was going on in Galatia regarding circumcision. The gospel he was referring to was their (man's) interpretation which ignored the teaching of the Apostles. It has always come down to authority, and that authority is currently located only in the Catholic Church. Paul cleared up the controversy between the Gentiles and Jews with his authority, authority he enjoyed as a bishop in the Catholic Church.'
TCE: You have failed to understand that the inspired apostle Paul goes beyond the point he makes to the Galatians (that they are in error in returning to emphasising law-keeping through circumcision, and thereby rejecting salvation by grace alone). Simply read Galatians 1:6-9:
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel-- 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
Paul warned against the danger of any false gospel. The Greek word for 'gospel' is euangelion and the word stands "the good news" itself. The English word "gospel," i.e. "good message," is the equivalent of euangelion (English, "evangel") and, in the New Testament denotes the "good tidings" of the kingdom of God and of salvation through Christ, to be received by faith, on the basis of His expiatory death, His burial, resurrection, and ascension, e.g., Acts 15:7; 20:24; 1 Pet. 4:17. Apart from those references and those in the gospels of Matthew and Mark, and Revelation 14:6, the noun is confined to Paul's epistles. The apostle uses it of two associated yet distinct things, (a) of the basic facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, e.g., 1 Cor. 15:1-3; (b) of the interpretation of these facts, e.g., Rom. 2:16; Gal. 1:7, 11; 2:2. So Paul was taking the time to warn against any gospel that was contrary to that preached by the apostles, not just the Galatian error. On our pages we have already made it clear that Papal Rome preaches 'a different gospel' and is therefore 'accursed'.
The Bible repeatedly assures us that Christ suffered the full penalty for sin: 'In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace' (Ephesians 1:7; cf. Colossians 1:14). There is nothing left for sinners to pay in order to receive the pardon offered by God's grace. The debt has been paid in full. 'It is finished!' Christ cried in triumph just before He died upon the cross (John 19:30). To suggest otherwise is the most serious heresy.
John the Baptist hailed Christ as 'the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world' (John 1:29). Peter declared that Christ once for all time 'suffered for sins, the just [sinless one] for [us] the unjust, that he might bring us to God' (1 Peter 3:18). Yet Catherine of Siena, Padre Pio, and other such 'suffering saints' are revered and prayed to by millions of Catholics, including the current pope, for having suffered for the sins of others. They are made greater than Christ in the sense that His suffering leaves good Catholics still in purgatory, whereas Padre Pio's suffering supposedly releases multitudes to heaven. Catherine of Siena, who persuaded Gregory XI, seventh of the Avignon popes, to return to Papal Rome, is recognized today as a Catholic saint. She was a staunch supporter of Urban VI, but he is shown on the lists today as an anti-pope! Just before her death, Catherine, who had lengthy trances in which she allegedly saw heaven, purgatory, and hell, received permission from God (so she said) to allow her 'to bear the punishment for all the sins of the world.' Yet Christ's death had already paid the full penalty for sin. Was she excommunicated as a heretic for such blasphemy? No, she was so admired for her 'sacrifice' that the Papal Roman Catholic Church made her a saint. Vatican II declares that believers have always 'carried their crosses to make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others... [to] help their brothers obtain salvation from God... .' Such blasphemy is one of the abominations originated by the Papal Roman Catholic Church - and which she still holds to today. Can there be any greater abomination than teaching that sinners for whom Christ paid the full penalty of sin need yet to 'make expiation for their own sins and the sins of others'?
The major means of escaping suffering in the Roman church is through the repetition of the Mass, but there are many others. The reduction or elimination of suffering in purgatory is also supposedly effected through un-Scriptural money-grubbing 'indulgences.' All of these factors prove that the gospel of Papal Rome is 'another gospel' (Galatians 1:6-9).
You write: Furthermore, the hatred you preach does more to destroy the unity spoken of by Our Lord (Jn. 17:21, Heb. 7:25) than anything I have ever heard preached by any Catholic priest in my 32 years.
TCE: the 'unity' shared by Christians comes through adherence to the Word of God as found only in the Bible. John 17:17-23 emphasises this point:
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Adding to God's Word, as Papal Rome has done since its formation, has brought the church of Rome a false unity with many kinds of deception - as the term of John Paul II has proven again (see previous comments). Hebrews 5-10 quotes such a cascade of facts from the Old Testament that no one should be in any doubt about the basis for Christ's priesthood - yet Rome has tried to usurp His everlasting priesthood (Hebrews 5:6; 6:20; 7:17,21,26; 8:1-4; 9:11,25; 10:11-12,21) by forming a priesthood of false sacraments and confessions! These are the reasons you have never heard 'any Catholic priest in ...32 years' tell anything like the truth.
(Continued on page 291)