Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

ROMAN CATHOLICISM

When the word Christianity is invoked, most people have an impression that is based on Roman Catholicism. However, Roman Catholicism is inconsistent with the Bible. Catholicism is thus self-contradictory - claiming to be based on the Bible but opposing it in practice. The purpose of this article is to present factual truth, not to hurt Catholics. Moreover, I do not doubt the sincerity of at least some Catholics; I do affirm however, that sincerity is not enough to access God; we ought to approach God on His terms.

Idols

Roman Catholic Teaching:
“We rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets" Roman Catholic Catechism, Pg 328, #1161.

The image is from Chick Tracts.

Biblical teaching:

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…Take diligent heed to your souls, for you saw no form on the day Jehovah spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, that you not act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any statue: male or female figures, the figure of any beast on the earth or the figure of any bird that flies in the heavens, the figure of anything that creeps on the ground or the figure of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth.” – Exodus 20: 4, 5, Deuteronomy 4:15-18

In the medieval ages, the papacy could propagate doctrines at will; today, with people more familiar with the Bible, the RCC has had to come up with excuses to defend some of these teachings:-

1.We're not making idols of false gods, but of the true God. Yeah, but that still violates Deuteronomy 4:15-18. Moses warned the Israelis that they did not see any form of Jehovah. No authentic eye witness-created portrait of Jesus exists.

2.We don't think the idols ARE God; they're just representations of God to help us focus. Hindus say the same thing. The Bible forbids us to make and bow down to images. It does not make the distinction that you've brought up.

3.So if all graven images are bad why do you give dolls to your children and put photos on your computer? This argument is similar to that of the Pharisees who objected to the disciples peeling corn on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1). The whole point of these Biblical passages is not to make/use images in the context of worship and bowing down.

A religious calendar

Roman Catholic teaching:
The RCC does not promote astrology but has a calendar of festivals and times similar to pagan festivals patterned after seasons. [See Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, for a detailed treatment]. Note also the picture of the sun inside St Peter's Basilica, Rome.

Biblical teaching:

Thus says Jehovah: Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be dismayed at the signs of the heavens; for the nations are dismayed at them.” – Jeremiah 10:2

In the Bible, Paul instructs a church which was getting into similar practices:

But now, knowing God, or rather being known by God, how is it that you turn again to the feeble and worthless principles, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years!” – Galatians 4: 9-10

Forgiveness of sins through water

Roman Catholic Teaching:

"The Church does not know of any other means other than Baptism [sprinkling of water by a priest on a baby] that assures entry into eternal beatitude..." (RCC Catechism, Pg. 352, #1257)

“Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God” RCC Catechism Pg 342, #1213

Biblical teaching:

For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no one should boast.” – Ephesians 2: 8, 9

Dipping yourself or someone else in water, or sprinkling water on someone else is a “work”, for which you can take credit. According to the RCC, if a baby is in danger of dying and a priest can’t be got immediately, anyone can baptize the child, and so prevent it from going to hell. The volunteer (or the person who rushed to get water) can now take credit for saving the child! This is in direct contradiction to the clear teaching of the Bible mentioned above.

Sexual Immorality

Roman Catholicism:
Roman Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy, in which they claim to set aside even their basic human desire for sex for the sake of serving God. The reality is different. Abuse by Catholic priests is too common to be dismissed as a case of a "few bad apples". People who otherwise would be normal members of the community are turned into monsters by the Roman Catholic priesthood. The image shows an obelisk at Vatican. The obelisk is an icon of nearly all pagan religions. It symbolizes the male sex organ. Hindus also use obelisks. The Indian name is "lingam". Obelisks were also part of ancient Egyptian religion.

Biblical teaching:
All forms of prostitution and phallic worship are wrong, and marriage is a legitimate and honorable outlet for sexual desire; the demand of celibacy is a doctrine of demons (Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 7:9, 1 Timothy 4:1-3)

Mother and child

Roman Catholicism:
According to the RCC, "Mother" Mary is Mediatrix, Coredemptrix and has the power to grant favors. Notice how Roman Catholic statues often show Jesus as a baby, whereas he is seated on the Fathers's right hand now (Hebrews 1:3) - his infancy is a part of history just as his foetal stage or childhood, but the RCC is obsessed with his infancy! Just like the pagan mother and child concept! The RCC calls Mary "Queen of Heaven" - the same title that pagans used for the goddess Ashtoreth (Jeremiah 7:18).

"Taken up to heaven she (Mary) did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation..." (Roman Catholic Catechism, 274-275, #969)

According to the RCC, Mary is sinless, a perpetual virgin, the mother of God, queen of heaven and co-redemptrix with Jesus Christ (Roman Catholic Catechism articles 491,494,495,508,964,966,968,969)

Biblical teaching:
The Bible mentions Mary as the mother of Jesus. The error of Rome lies in the roles that she gives to these two persons – these roles are more aligned with their roles in paganism than their roles as given in the Bible. In the Bible, Mary is mentioned as merely an ordinary follower of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:14). She is not given any special roles that the RCC assigns to her (Luke 11:27-28). Jesus is our only mediator (1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 9:15) and our redemption is only through him (Colossians 1:14).

Salvation by good works, through the "Church"

Roman Catholicism

SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: "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" (Council of Trent, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24).

A consequence of works-based salvation is asceticism - the belief that you can earn salvation by abstaining from natural pleasures (like good food, sex, etc) or inflicting suffering on oneself. Former Catholic and founder of "In the Straight Street" Herman Hegger narrates in his autobiography how as a monk he was made to whip himself, lie down for other priests to walk on him, and lick the monastery floor.

"Purgatory" is a Roman Catholic invention in connection with works-earned-salvation. When a person dies, he supposedly goes to "purgatory" where he pays "his part" of the penalty for his sins. Moreover, the time of suffering can be reduced if you pay the RCC to say masses on your behalf! Former Catholic Mike Gendron says he knows Catholics who have willed their entire estates to the RCC to have masses said for them to shorten the time that they will spend in purgatory.

"We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull, Unam Sanctum, 1302.)

"The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that NONE of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics [non-Catholic Christians] and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, UNLESS before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, NO ONE, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441).

"How are we to understand [the] affirmation [that] outside the Church there is no salvation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim [one of the richest organizations in the world!] now on earth, is NECESSARY for salvation."  - Catechism of the Catholic Church, copyright 1994, U.S. Catholic Conference, Inc.-Libreria Editrice Vaticana, page 225, article #846.

Biblical Teaching:
The Main Message of the Bible is that salvation is a free gift from God that we receive by repentance and faith alone. This is between the individual and God, with no organization or hierarchy coming in between. Once you experience His love, grace and mercy, you are motivated by love and gratitude to Him to serve Him and do good deeds. Thus, regarding the question of how to reach God, the teaching of the Bible is a contrast with those of all the religions of the world, including Roman Catholicism. Also see: What role do faith and works play in salvation?. Since Roman Catholicism differs from the Bible in this crucial respect, Biblical Christians cannot accept Catholics as true Christians.

Church

Roman Catholicism:

A region whose Catholics worship together is a parish. Ordinary Catholics are called "laity". Above them are deacons, and priests who assist a "parish priest". Many parishes make a diocese, handled by a bishop. Over several bishops is an archbishop. Several archbishops come under a cardinal, and finally, all Cardinals come under the Pope, the Supreme head of the RCC. The Pope lives in a palace in Vatican. 

Biblical Teaching
Not only are the above Catholic structures and positions absent in the Bible, but they contradict the Biblical teaching on church. In the Bible churches are local autonomous units; all leadership positions are within a local church and there is no hierarchy or central authority over different churches.

Magical Food

Roman Catholicism

"If any one shalt deny that the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are truly, really and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist; and say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a figure - let him be accursed! (DAMNED)". – Canon 1, Council of Trent, 1536 (This has been ratified by the recent Vatican II Council, 1963). It is still in effect.

This canon is referring to a small wafer that the participants eat in the Catholic mass (worship service). The priests also eat it, and have wine as well. The RCC teaches that the wafer and wine “truly, really and substantially” get converted to the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

According to the RCC, what is the purpose of the wafer and wine getting converted to Jesus’ body and blood?

  • "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priest, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." RCC Catechism, #1367, p.381
  • "Every time this mystery is celebrated, 'the work of our redemption is carried on'..." (RCC Catechism Pg. 393, #1405)
  • "The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified, so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ." (#1371, p. 382). [Nice way to make money; convince the relatives of the dead to pay priests to have masses said for them]

Biblical Teaching
The Biblical “Lord’s Supper” is completely different from Roman Catholic communion. The Bible teaches that Jesus' sacrificial death is a once-and-for-all done deal 2000 years ago, not something to be continued or repeated.

We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL…But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” – Hebrews 10: 10, 12, 14

Depriving common people of the Bible

Roman Catholic Teaching:

"...against the publication, distribution, reading, and possession of books of the holy Scriptures translated into the vernacular tongue." – Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846)

"We prohibit the laity from having the books of the Old and New Testament, unless it be at most that any one wishes to have, from devotion, a psalter, a breviary for the Divine offices, or the hours of the blessed Mary; but we forbid them in the most express manner to have the above books translated into the vernacular tongue" – The fourteenth canon of the Council at Toulouse

“It is evident, from experience, that the Holy Scriptures when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have produced more harm than benefit…We have deliberated upon the measures proper to be adopted, by our pontifical authority, in order to remedy and abolish the pestilence.” – Pope Pius in the 7th Encyclical letter of 1816

The following information is taken from David Cloud's Way of Life Ministries.

The Council of Trent (1545-1564) placed the Bible on its list of prohibited books, and forbade any person to read the Bible without a license from a Roman Catholic bishop or inquisitor. The Council added these words: "That if any one shall dare to read or keep in his possession that book, without such a license, he shall not receive absolution till he has given it up to his ordinary."

Rome's attempt to keep the Bible from men has continued to recent times. Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) denounced the Bible Society and expressed shock at the circulation of the Scriptures. Pius VII said, "It is evidence from experience, that the holy Scriptures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have, through the temerity of men, produced more harm than benefit." Pope Leo XII called the Protestant Bible the "Gospel of the Devil" in an encyclical letter of 1824. Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) railed "against the publication, distribution, reading, and possession of books of the holy Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue." Pope Leo XII, in January 1850, condemned the Bible Societies and admitted the fact that the distribution of Scripture has "long been condemned by the holy chair."

Today, the RCC allows its followers to read the Bible, but this has more to do with the constraints of being in the Information Age than integrity.

Biblical teaching:-

  • "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." – Matthew 4:4
  • "The entrance of Your words gives light [not pestilence!!]; it gives understanding unto the simple." – Psalm 119:130

Learn more about what the Bible says about itself.

Adulation of human authority

Roman Catholic Teaching:
"For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." (Roman Catholic Catechism #882, p. 254)

"If the Pope should become neglectful of his own salvation, and of that of other men, and so lost to all good that he draw down with himself innumerable people by heaps into hell, and plunge them with himself into eternal torments, yet no mortal may presume to reprehend him, forasmuch as he is judge of all, and is judged of no one." Decreti, pars i. distinct. xl.can.xi.
Roman Catholics also venerate the mortal remains of dead "saints" and address their priests as Fathers.

Biblical teaching:
"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" – Matthew 23:8-9
Roman Catholic priests may retort that the Bible records instances of people addressing others as father (2 Kings 2:12), but such instances were due to special respect on the part of the speaker, not due to a general custom, and so such examples do not justify the Roman practice.

Most Catholics may not be aware that "Holy Father", which is how people address the Pope, is the term Jesus used to address God the Father (John 17:11), and that whereas priests love to be called "Reverend so and so", the Bible says that God's name is reverend (Psalm 111:9)! The Biblical meaning of "saint" is a person who has been set apart for God, in other words, a Christian (see 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1, etc. The "to be" appearing in italics in 1 Corinthians 1:2 is not there in the original).
 
Jesus washed his disciples' feet; the Pope puts out his feet for people to kiss. The contrast between Christ and his supposed "Vicar" couldn't be greater.

Unchristian conduct

The following quotes express Roman Catholic ideology:

...heretics [non-Catholics], of both sexes and of every name, we damn [I thought that only God does this] to perpetual infamy; we declare hostility against them; we account them accursed, and their goods confiscated; nor can they ever enjoy their property, or their children succeed to their inheritance [punishing the children!]; inasmuch as they grievously offend against the Eternal as well as the temporal king [the pope]." source: Pope Honorius, Quinta Compilatio Epistolarum Decretalium Honorii III. P.M. Innocentii Cironii, Juris Utriusque Professoris, Canonici ac Ecclesiae, et Academae Tolosannae Cancellarii, Comp. v. tit. iv. cap. i. p. 200; Tolosae, 1645.
"He is a heretic who does not believe what the Roman hierarchy teaches. --A heretic merits the pains of fire.--By the Gospel, the canons, civil law, and custom, heretics must be burned."--148, 169 Directory for the Inquisitors (As quoted in The American Textbook of Popery, page 379)
A WHOLE CITY MUST BE BURNT ON ACCOUNT OF THE HERETICS WHO LIVE IN IT.--WHOEVER PLEASES MAY SEIZE AND KILL ANY HERETICS.--Directory for the Inquisitors, page 199 (As quoted in The American Textbook of Popery page 380)
"Those convicted of heresy. . .shall be taken in shackles to the head of state or ruler or his special representative, instantly, or at least within fire days, and the latter shall APPLY THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED AGAINST SUCH PERSONS - Pope Innocent IV, Ad Extirpanda, Law 24 

Here is how the Roman Catholic Church put the above ideology into practice:

  • The slaughter of the Waldenses
  • Spanish and other Inquisitions: Former Roman Catholic priest Bernard Fresenborg estimates the total death toll to be 70 million in his book Thirty Years in Hell.
  • The murder of Jan Huss and harassment of those who believed his preaching.
  • Unspeakable atrocities on indigenous peoples of Catholic colonies: South and Central America, Goa.
  • Slander: in order to justify its genocide of Biblical Christians, the RCC has destroyed their writings and attributed wild heresies and immorality to them.
  • It has tried to sabotage justice for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
  • Persecution of non-Catholics continues today wherever the RCC is powerful (Mexico and Latin America).
  • The RCC collaborated with the Nazis in killing Jews and also organized Nazi ratlines - escape routes for Nazi war criminals to South America when the war ended. The RCC is the only organization in the world that refuses to make its WW2 archives public. "No memory of World War II haunts the Vatican more than the silence of Pope Pius XII. during Hitler's murder of 6 million Jews." – NEWSWEEK, April 16, 1973.
  • Roman Catholic agents tried to blow up the English Parliament. Catholic apologists say this was fair because Catholics were being persecuted by King James I. Really? How did Jesus ask us to respond to persecution? Was it right to kill every member of parliament because some of them were bad?
  • The "donation of Constantine" and the Isidorian Decretals are two well known frauds perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church in order to wrongfully acquire wealth and power.
  • The Catholic "Bible" book Judith has been established as fraudulent by historians because of its gross historical and geographical errors (while purporting to be historical). The RCC has no qualms promoting such fraud, not to mention female seduction as a legitimate means to an end (read Judith for the details). As a fraudulent Catholic Bible book, Judith is not unique.
  • Depriving common people of the Bible (see above). The Roman Catholic Church tried unsuccessfully to murder John Wycliffe, who tried to translate the Bible from Latin to English. The Catholic Church burnt William Tyndale alive because he translated the Bible from Greek to English.
  • Massacres in Croatia
  • The slaughter of the Serbs
  • Slaughter of Protestants on Batholomew's Day
  • Vicious antisemitism over the centuries
  • Former nuns recount the officially sanctioned horrors of the nunnery
  • The RCC has always been against progress. While Martin Luther called printing "the last and best gift of Providence", the Catholic Rowland Phillips, in a sermon preached at St.Paul's Cross, London in the year 1535, frightfully remarked, "We must root out printing or printing will root us out." The RCC's harassment of Galileo and Copernicus because their scientific discoveries contradicted Catholic dogma is well known.

It should be obvious that the above evils are not cases of a mistake or the policy of some obscure deviant. It is the official, deliberate policy of the Church. These evils by themselves prove that the Catholic Church does not represent the true God.

Further reading:-

  • George Bourne, The American Textbook of Popery
  • Guenter Lewy, The Catholic Church And Nazi Germany;
  • Carlo Falconi, The Silence of Pius XII.
  • Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast

Conclusion

As you can see, Roman Catholicism is similar to paganism rather than to the Bible. It is therefore not surprising to see Popes joining pagans in worship. What do we do with all this?

  1. For Catholics: Please make a choice between the Bible and Roman Catholicism
  2. For non-Christians: Distinguish between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity. Please don't be prejudiced against the Bible or true Christians because of the evil you have seen in Roman Catholicism.
  3. For Biblical Christians: Ignorance should not be an excuse. God wants us to lovingly point Catholics to the truth.

Links of interest: