The days in which we live seem to be witnessing the attempted conglomeration of old-standing institutions. The liberals want to reinvent our government into a modern democracy/socialist country, and in the religious world there is a push to combine the major “Christian” institutions into one “mother” organization. This is largely led by the Roman Catholic Church and the U.N.’s World Council of Churches. Italics and underlines added for emphasis.
“The animosity and resentments left by the Reformation only began to heal after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, with the start of an ecumenical dialogue aimed at promoting Christian unity.
There are still some doctrinal disputes. But Pope Francis says that while theologians iron out their differences, the two churches can work together on social issues like caring for the poor, migrants and refugees, and combating persecution of Christians.
Jens-Martin Kruse, pastor of the Lutheran Church in Rome, says Francis’ approach has been dubbed “walking ecumenism.”
“We are moving together, this is a new experience that we are together on this walk,” Kruse adds. “Walking together, we find that we have lots of things more in [common than] we thought before.”
That raises the question of whether the Reformation might have been a complete misunderstanding.
“Maybe not a misunderstanding,” says Kruse, “but today, we are at the point where a lot of these topics from Luther are common for Catholics and Lutherans.” (“The Pope Commemorates the Reformation that Split Western Christianity”, https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/10/28/499587801/pope-francis-reaches-out-to-honor-the-man-who-splintered-christianity)
In an interview in Crux, Auxiliary Bishop William Kenney of Birmingham, England — co-chair of the international dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity stated thus:
The consensus of the 1999 document on justification stated, if I’ve understood it correctly, that the reasons for the Catholics condemning the Protestant positions and vice-versa no longer hold, and if ever each Church did hold the position that the other said they did, what is now true is that neither Church no longer holds that position. In other words, the Reformation was all a big misunderstanding! (https://onepeterfive.com/key-ecumenical-bishop-reformation-great-misunderstanding-got-wrong/)
A misunderstanding? Hundreds of thousands suffered and died throughout the hundreds of years of the dark and middle ages, and it was a misunderstanding? The Catholic Church has clearly stated throughout its history that it (and most especially the Pope) is infallible, and cannot change.
No, the Church cannot change its doctrines no matter how badly some theologians may want it to or how loudly they claim it can. The doctrines of the Catholic Church are the deposit of faith revealed by Jesus Christ, taught by the apostles, and handed down in their entirety by the apostles to their successors. Since revealed truth cannot change, and since the deposit of faith is comprised of revealed truth, expressed in Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the deposit of faith cannot change. (https://www.catholic.com/qa/can-the-church-change-its-doctrines)
This is also from the Catholic Answers website:
The Catholic Church’s teaching on papal infallibility is one which is generally misunderstood by those outside the Church. In particular, Fundamentalists and other “Bible Christians” often confuse the charism of papal “infallibility” with “impeccability.” They imagine Catholics believe the pope cannot sin. Others, who avoid this elementary blunder, think the pope relies on some sort of amulet or magical incantation when an infallible definition is due.
Given these common misapprehensions regarding the basic tenets of papal infallibility, it is necessary to explain exactly what infallibility is not. Infallibility is not the absence of sin. Nor is it a charism that belongs only to the pope. Indeed, infallibility also belongs to the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true.
Infallibility belongs in a special way to the pope as head of the bishops (Matt. 16:17–19; John 21:15–17). As Vatican II remarked, it is a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly held irreformable, for they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, an assistance promised to him in blessed Peter.”
The infallibility of the pope is not a doctrine that suddenly appeared in Church teaching; rather, it is a doctrine which was implicit in the early Church.
An infallible pronouncement—whether made by the pope alone or by an ecumenical council—usually is made only when some doctrine has been called into question. Most doctrines have never been doubted by the large majority of Catholics.
The Protestant Reformation called Catholic doctrines into question, that was the whole point of numerous church councils during those days. Would a church council be considered an infallible institution? Would it not be considered as delivering “infallible” doctrine? I believe so. So, if this is all a misunderstanding, then why did the councils, most especially including Trent, condemn every essential belief of Protestantism, and if this was just a misunderstanding on the part of all those cardinals, bishops and popes, how could they have been so ignorant? Here is just a taste of the kind of anathema’s that were hurled against Protestant doctrines from popes and councils:
Council of Trent’s condemnations:
CANON XIX.-If anyone saith, that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor prohibited, but free; or, that the ten commandments nowise appertain to Christians; let him be anathema.
CANON XXIV.-If anyone saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.
CANON X.-If anyone saith, that all Christians have power to administer the word, and all the sacraments; let him be anathema.
CANON III.-If anyone saith, that in the Roman church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism; let him be anathema.
CANON V.-If anyone saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.
CANON I.-If anyone denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.
CANON I.–If anyone saith, that in the Catholic Church Penance is not truly and properly a sacrament, instituted by Christ our Lord for reconciling the faithful unto God, as often as they fall into sin after baptism; let him be anathema.
CANON I.–If anyone saith, that in the mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema.
CANON V.–If anyone saith, that it is an imposture to celebrate masses in honour of the saints, and for obtaining their intercession with God, as the Church intends; let him be anathema.
CANON VII.–If anyone saith, that the ceremonies, vestments, and outward signs, which the Catholic Church makes use of in the celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety, rather than offices of piety; let him be anathema.
CANON VI.–If anyone saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema.
Exsurge Domine, Condemning the Errors of Martin Luther, Pope Leo X – June 15, 1520 — “These errors have, at the suggestion of the human race, been revived and recently propagated among the more frivolous and the illustrious German nation. We grieve the more that this happened there because we and our predecessors have always held this nation in the bosom of our affection. For after the empire had been transferred by the Roman Church from the Greeks to these same Germans, our predecessors and we always took the Church’s advocates and defenders from among them. Indeed it is certain that these Germans, truly germane to the Catholic faith, have always been the bitterest opponents of heresies, as witnessed by those commendable constitutions of the German emperors in behalf of the Church’s independence, freedom, and the expulsion and extermination of all heretics from Germany. Those constitutions formerly issued, and then confirmed by our predecessors, were issued under the greatest penalties even of loss of lands and dominions against anyone sheltering or not expelling them. If they were observed today both we and they would obviously be free of this disturbance. Witness to this is the condemnation and punishment in the Council of Constance of the infidelity of the Hussites and Wyclifites as well as Jerome of Prague. Witness to this is the blood of Germans shed so often in wars against the Bohemians. A final witness is the refutation, rejection, and condemnation no less learned than true and holy of the above errors, or many of them, by the universities of Cologne and Louvain, most devoted and religious cultivators of the Lord’s field. We could allege many other facts too, which we have decided to omit, lest we appear to be composing a history.
No one of sound mind is ignorant how destructive, pernicious, scandalous, and seductive to pious and simple minds these various errors are…
Therefore we, in this above enumeration, important as it is, wish to proceed with great care as is proper, and to cut off the advance of this plague and cancerous disease so it will not spread any further in the Lord’s field as harmful thorn-bushes. We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church.”
Due to disagreement with the Roman establishment by various groups throughout history, the Roman Catholic Church has been a persecuting church throughout her history.
The “Edict of the Emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I” of Feb. 27, AD 380, established Roman Catholicism as the state religion and said, in part…
“We order those who follow this doctrine to receive the title of Catholic Christians, but others we judge to be mad and raving and worthy of incurring the disgrace of heretical teaching, nor are their assemblies to receive the name of churches. They are to be punished not only by Divine retribution but also by our own measures, which we have decided in accordance with Divine inspiration.” (Sidney Z. Ehler, John B. Morrall, trans. And eds., Church and State Through the Centuries (London, 1954), p. 7)
The history of the inquisition and the protestant reformation have largely been forgotten in our times. Here is a brief reminder of the persecution Christians had to endure from the monomaniacal, arrogant Catholic bureaucracy.
Nearly 400 years before the Inquisition would be established by Gregory IX, Pope Nicholas I (858-67) encouraged the King of Bulgaria, a new convert to what he thought was “Christianity”, to force Rome’s religion upon his subjects:
“I glorify you for having maintained your authority by putting to death those wandering sheep who refuse to enter the fold; and… congratulate you upon having opened the kingdom of heaven to the people submitted to your rule. A king need not fear to command massacres, when these will retain his subjects in obedience, or cause them to submit to the faith of Christ; and God will reward him in this world, and in eternal life, for these murders.”
(Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 243 as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 244)
Not satisfied with damning the Protestants theologically (the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent contain more than 100 anathemas against Protestant beliefs), Pope Paul III wanted to destroy them physically. He offered the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V of Spain, “1,100,000 ducats, 12,000 infantry, 500 horses, if he would turn his full force against the heretics.” The Catholic emperor was only too happy to have a reason to bring the rival Protestant princes of Germany into subjection and “to crush Protestantism and give to his realm a unified Catholic Faith that would, he thought, strengthen and facilitate his government.”(Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. VI, p. 453)
Pope Gregory IX (1227-41) declared it the duty of every Catholic “to persecute heretics.” A heretic was anyone who did not give complete allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. Such persons were to be tortured, imprisoned, and slain. Disloyalty to the pope was the same as treason, so closely were state and Church allied. “Of eighty popes in a line from the thirteenth century on,” writes de Rosa, “not one of them disapproved of the theology and apparatus of Inquisition. On the contrary, one after another added his own cruel touches to the workings of this deadly machine.”(Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, pp. 175-76)
“Neither sex, nor age, nor rank, have we spared,” says the leader of the war against the Albigenses; “we have put all alike to the sword.”(Ranke’s History of the Popes, Vol. 1, p. 24)
“Whenever one of the Papal states fell to the armies of the new Italy and the prisons were opened, the prisoner’s conditions were said to be indescribable…for more than six centuries without a break, the papacy was the sworn enemy of elementary justice.”(Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, p. 175)
The following is a sample of facts carefully presented by Halley and still found in copies sold in bookstores today, but which were eliminated from the special Crusade editions:
“[The Albigenses] preached against the immoralities of the [Catholic] priesthood, pilgrimages, worship of saints and images… opposed the claims of the Church of Rome; made great use of the Scriptures… By 1167 they embraced possibly a majority of the population of South France… In 1208 a crusade was ordered by Pope Innocent III; a bloody war of extermination followed, scarcely paralleled in history; town after town was put to the sword and the inhabitants murdered without distinction of age or sex… within 100 years the Albigenses were utterly rooted out.
[Two centuries later] between 1540 and 1570 no fewer than 900,000 Protestants were put to death in the Pope’s war for the extermination of the Waldenses. Think of monks and priests directing, with heartless cruelty and inhuman brutality, the work of torturing and burning alive innocent men and women, and doing it in the Name of Christ, by the direct order of the “Vicar of Christ”!
…on the night of August 24, 1572, 70,000 Huguenots, including most of their leaders, were massacred [St. Bartholomew’s massacre]. Some 200,000 [more] perished as martyrs…[and] 500,000 fled to Protestant countries.”(Henry H. Halley, Pocket Bible Handbook, Chicago, 1944, pp. 608-13)
Did you know that Rome opposed America’s founding?
Popes had openly declared Rome’s opposition to the United States and its freedom-granting constitution from the moment of the nation’s birth. Pius IX did the same. The Catholic World frankly expressed the Roman Catholic view of the U.S. form of government:
“…we do not accept it, or hold it to be any government at all… If the American Republic is to be sustained and preserved, it must be by the rejection of the principle of the Reformation, and the acceptance of the Catholic principle…” (Catholic World, August 1871, p. 755)
In 1864, in Quanta Cura, Pius IX denounced what he called—“that erroneous opinion most pernicious to the Catholic Church, and to the salvation of souls, which was called by our Predecessor, Gregory XIV, the insanity (deliramentum): namely, “that the liberty of conscience and of worship is the peculiar(or unalienable) right of every man, which should be proclaimed by law, and that citizens have the right to… openly and publicly express their ideas, by word of mouth, through the press, or by any other means.”” (R. W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, pp. 721-727 esp. 722)
These false and perverse opinions [of democracy and individual freedom] are so much the more detestable, by as much as they… hinder and banish that salutary influence which the Catholic Church, by the institution and command of her Divine Author, ought freely to exercise, even to the consummation of the world, not only over individual men, but nations, peoples, and sovereigns.” (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864) … YET…
“I come to proclaim… the message of human dignity, with its inalienable human rights… [as] a pilgrim in the cause of justice and peace… as a friend of the poor… who are seeking… the deep meaning of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (Pope John Paul II at Miami, September 10, 1987, in the initial speech of his “Second Patoral Visit” to the U.S.)—(National Catholic News Service, ed., John Paul II, “Building Up the Body of Christ,” Pastoral Visit to the United States, Ignatius Press, 1987, p. 9)
Romanism is synonymous with Despotism.
“Our absolutist system, supported by the Inquisition, the strictest censorship, the suppression of all literature, the privileged exemption of the clergy, and the arbitrary power of bishops, cannot endure any other than absolutist governments…” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), p. 23)
The Concordat between Pius IX and Ecuador of September 16, 1862, established Roman Catholicism as the state religion and forbade other religions. All education was to be “strictly controlled by the Church.” A later law declared that “only Catholics might be regarded as citizens of Ecuador.” (Sidney Z. Ehler, John B. Morrall, trans. and eds., Church and State Through the Centuries, London, 1954, p. 273)
“While the state has some rights, she has them only in virtue and by permission of the superior authority… [of] the Church…” (The Catholic World, July 1870, vol. Xi, p. 439)
“Our absolutist system, supported by the Inquisition, the strictest censorship, the suppression of all literature, the privileged exemption of the clergy, and the arbitrary power of bishops, cannot endure any other than absolutist governments…” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), p. 23)
“No civil government, be it a monarchy, an aristocracy, a democracy… can be a wise, just, efficient, or durable government, governing for the good of the community, without the Catholic Church; and without the papacy there is and can be no Catholic Church.” (Dr. Brownson, highly-regarded nineteenth-century Catholic journalist, Brownson’s Quarterly Review, Jan. 1873, Vol. I, p. 10.)
“There is only one remedy for this evil (over scrupulous conscience), and that remedy is absolute and blind obedience to a prudent director. Choose one, consult him as often as you desire, but do not leave him for another. Then submit punctiliously to his direction. His conscience must be yours for the time being. And if you should err in following him, God will hold him, and not you responsible.” (Explanation of Catholic Morals, 24).
With this in mind, what do Christians have to face should Rome rise in power again?
In 1864, Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors condemned “the whole existing view of the rights of conscience and religious faith and profession.” The syllabus said it was, “a wicked error to admit Protestants to equal political rights with Catholics, or to allow Protestant immigrants the free use of their worship; on the contrary, to coerce and suppress them is a sacred duty, when it has become possible… the Church will, of course, act with the greatest prudence in the use of her temporal and physical power, according to altered circumstances…” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), pp. 14-15)
History shows that while the Catholic Church is not in power, it will act meekly and subversively. When the church has the primacy of the power, then the persecutions begin. Catholics are often quick to state their comforting idea that the Church never changes. This should be regarded as both a promise and a warning to us.
Catholic viewpoint–“The Inquisition is, in its very nature, good, mild, and preservative. It is the universal, indelible character of every ecclesiastical institution; you see it in Rome, and you can see it wherever the true Church has power.” (Comte Le Maistre, 1815, Comte Le Maistre, Letters on the Spanish Inquisition (Boston, 1843), p. 22, as cited in R. W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 82-83)
Even with these facts of history, many well-known Christian leaders still seek unity with the Catholic Church.
“I don’t know anyone more dedicated to the great fundamental doctrines of Christianity than the Catholics.” (W.A. Criswell, former president Southern Baptism Convention, David Beale, Southern Baptist Convention, House on the Sand, pp. 142-43; Dallas Morning News, August 19, 1978)
“I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics.” (Billy Graham, McCall’s, January 1978)
“The BGEA [Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc.] acquired the printing rights [for a special edition] of…the classic Henry H. Halley Bible Commentary entitled, Pocket Bible Handbook… It described [Rome’s] martyrdom of millions… [in its 1962 Billy Graham Crusade Edition] the Graham Association… removed all these pages…” (Citing Halley’s Bible Handbook, Billy Graham Crusade ed., special ed. Printed by permission of Zondervan Publishing House for the Grason Company, cited in Wilson Ewin, Today’s Evangelicals Embracing the World’s Deadliest Cult, Quebec Baptist Missions, 1994, p. 57)
“It’s time for Protestants to go to the shepherd [the pope] and say, ‘What do we have to do to come home?’” (Robert Schuller, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, September 19, 1987, Religion page)
The Bible predicts a coming “harlot” church which will enslave the world and murder God’s people. Here are some of the identifying characteristics of this system:
Revelation 17:1 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: (2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. (3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: (5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”
PIETY–…A “Church of God” and city on seven hills…
“…hence, one understands the central place of Rome in the life of the Church today and the significance of the title, Roman Catholic Church, the Church that is universal, yet focused upon the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. Since the founding of the Church there by St. Peter, Rome has been the center of all Christendom.” (Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1991, p. 842)
“It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.” The Catholic Encyclopedia (Thomas Nelson, 1976), s.v. “Rome.”
ROYALTY–…Colors of Purple and Scarlet…
A cloak with a long train and a hooded shoulder cape… it was purple wool for bishops; for cardinals, it was scarlet watered silk (for Advent, Lent, Good Friday, and the conclave, purple wool); and rose watered silk for Gaudete and Laetare Sundays; and for the pope, it was red velvet for Christmas Matins, red serge at other times.
Cassock (also Soutane)
The close-fitting, ankle-length robe worn by the Catholic clergy as their official garb… The color for bishops and other prelates is purple, for cardinals scarlet…” (Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1991, pp. 175, 178)
POWER … reigns over the kings of the earth …
Innocent III (1198-1216) reigned over Christendom with terror… for close on twenty years, he crowned and deposed sovereigns, put nations under interdict, virtually created the Papal States across central Italy from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic. He had not lost a single battle. In pursuit of his aims, he shed more blood than any other pontiff.” (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, p. 73)
In his desire to put Otho of Saxony on the German throne, Innocent wrote:
“By the authority which God has given us in the person of St. Peter, we declare you king, and we order the people to render you, in this capacity, homage and obedience. We, however, shall expect you to subscribe to all our desires as a return for the imperial crown.” (Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 459)
“One eighteenth century historian counted 95 popes who claimed to have divine power to depose kings and emperors. Historian Walter James wrote that Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) “held all Europe in his net.” (Walter James, The Christian in Politics, Oxford University Press, 1962, p. 47)
Gregory IX (1227-41) thundered that the pope was lord and master of everyone and everything. Historian R.W. Southern declared: “During the whole medieval period there was in Rome a single spiritual and temporal authority [the papacy] exercising powers which in the end exceeded those that had ever lain within the grasp of a Roman emperor.” (R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages, Vol. 2, Pelican History of the Church series, Penguin Books, 1970, pp. 24-25)
RICHES … golden cup(chalice) in her hand…
“The fabulous treasure of Lourdes [France], whose existence was kept secret by the Catholic Church for 120 years, has been unveiled…Rumors have been circulating for decades about a priceless collection of gold chalices, diamond-studded crucifixes [a far cry from the bloodstained cross on which Christ died], silver and precious stones donated by grateful pilgrims.
After an indiscreet remark by their press spokesman this week, church authorities agreed to reveal part of the collection… some floor-to-ceiling cases were opened to reveal 59 solid gold chalices alongside rings, crucifixes, statues and heavy gold brooches, many encrusted with precious stones.
Almost hidden by the other treasures is the “Crown” of Notre Dame de Lourdes, made by a Paris goldsmith in 1876 and studded with diamonds.
Church authorities say they cannot put a value on the collection. “I have no idea,” says Father Pierre-Marie Charriez, director of Patrimony and Sanctuaries. “It is of inestimable value…”
Across the road is a building housing hundreds of [antique] ecclesiastical garments, robes, miters, and sashes—many in heavy gold thread…
“The Church itself is poor,” insists Father Charriez. “The Vatican itself is poor.”” (The European, April 9-12, 1992, p. 1)
“The pectoral cross [suspended by a chain around the neck, and worn over the breast by abbots, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and the pope] should be made of gold and… decorated with gems…” (Robert Broderick, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, 1976, p. 466)
Petrarch, poet laureate of the empire, described the papal court in Avignon scornfully as “the shame of mankind, a sink of vice, a sewer where is gathered all the filth of the world. There God is held in contempt, money alone is worshipped and the laws of God and men are trampled underfoot. Everything there breathes a lie: the air, the earth, the houses and above all, the bedrooms.” Referring to Avignon as “the Babylon of the West,” Petrarch declared:
“Here reign the successors of the poor fisherman of Galilee… loaded with gold and clad in purple, boasting of the spoils of princes and nations. Instead of holy solitude we find a criminal host… instead of soberness, licentious banquets… instead of the bare feet of the apostles… horses decked in gold and fed on gold, soon to be shod with gold, if the Lord does not check this slavish luxury.” (Colman J. Barry, O.S.B., ed., Readings in Church History, vol. 1, From Pentecost to the Protestant Revolt (Newman Press, 1960), pp. 470-71)
At the time of Mexico’s Civil War, the Roman Catholic Church there owned “from one-third to one-half of all the land of the nation [and about one-half of all the property of Mexico City]. Its revenues from tithes, Masses, and the sale of devotional articles such as statues, medals, rosaries, and the like, amounted to between six and eight million dollars annually, while its total revenues reached the astronomical figure of twenty million dollars… This drain on the poor country of Mexico was equal to the operating expenses of the entire United States government during these same years.” (Emmet McLoughlin, An Inquiry into the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (The Citadel Press, 1977), p. 70)
Nino Lo Bello, former Rome correspondent for Business Week, calls the Vatican “the tycoon on the Tiber” because of its incredible wealth and worldwide enterprises. His research indicates that it owns fully one-third of Rome’s real estate and is probably the largest holder of stocks and bonds in the world, to say nothing of its ownership of industries from electronics and plastics to airlines and chemical and engineering firms. (Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire (Trident Press, 1968), p. 186 and jacket)
DRUNKENNESS … drunk with the blood of martyrs …
In his History of the Inquisition, Canon Llorente, who was the Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake. (R. W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 82)
To these three million victims [documented by Llorente] should be added the thousands upon thousands of Jews and Moors deported from their homeland… In just one year, 1481, and just in Seville, the Holy Office [of the Inquisition] burned 2000 persons; the bones and effigies of another 2000… and another 16,000 were condemned to varying sentences. (Emilio Martinez, Recuerdos [Memoirs] de Antano, CLIE, 1909, pp. 105-06)
A leading nineteenth-century Catholic professor of Church history — “Through the influence of Gratian… and unwearied activity of the popes and their legates since 1183, the view of the Church had been…[that]every departure from the teaching of the Church, and every important opposition to any ecclesiastical ordinances, must be punished with death, and the most cruel of deaths, by fire…
Innocent III declared the mere refusal to swear, and the opinion that oaths were unlawful, a heresy worthy of death, and directed that whoever differed in any respect from the common way of life of the multitude should be treated as a heretic.
Both the initiation and carrying out of this new principle must be ascribed to the Popes alone…It was the Pope who compelled bishops and priests to condemn the heterodox to torture, confiscation of their goods, imprisonment, and death, and to enforce the execution of this sentence on the civil authorities, under pain of excommunication.
From 1200 to 1500 the long series of Papal ordinances on the Inquisition, every increasing in severity and cruelty, and their whole policy towards heresy, runs on without a break. It is a rigidly consistent system of legislation; every Pope confirms and improves upon the devices of his predecessor. All is directed to the one end, of completely uprooting every difference of belief…
It was only the absolute dictation of the Popes, and the notion of their infallibility in all questions of Evangelical morality, that made the Christian world…[accept] the Inquisition, which contradicted the simplest principles of Christian justice and love to our neighbor, and would have been rejected with universal horror in the ancient Church.” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), p. 190-93)
PAGANISM … full of names of blasphemy … abominations and filthiness …
W.H.C. Frend, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History, in his classic The Rise of Christianity, pointed out that by the middle of the fifth century the Church “had become the most powerful single factor in the lives of the peoples of the empire. The Virgin and the saints had replaced the [pagan] gods as patrons of cities.” (W. H. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity, Philadelphia, 1984, p. 773)
Pope Leo I (440-61) boasted that St. Peter and St. Paul had “replaced Romulus and Remus as the city’s [Rome’s] protecting patrons.” (H. Chadwick, The Early Church, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1976, p. 243)
During a 1984 visit to New Guinea, Pope John Paul II presided over an outdoor celebration of the “New Mass” for natives. The Mass involved “dancers who pranced to the altar for the offertory procession, throwing up clouds of orange and yellow smoke, a pagan custom to ward off evil spirits… [while] an 18-year-old college student read a passage of Scripture at the papal altar wearing her traditional clothes [nude above the waist].” The New York Times said the Mass was indicative of—
‘The Roman Catholic Church’s efforts to make its services more universal by integrating into its ritual and liturgy elements of the cultures of the peoples to whom Western missionaries brought their religion.’ (The Roman Catholic, June-July 1984, p. 32)
Virginia Barta, president of the Franciscan Sisters in the USA, explains that: “We can be Catholic and at the same time open… to recognize the mystical truth in all religions.” (Chicago Sun Times, Dec. 24, 1989)
The National Catholic Reporter favorably reported on a somewhat recent convention in Brazil:
“One[leader] held a silver scepter of Candomble, the worship of African gods… Another, a Baptist minister, displayed a drawing of the world traversed by a crucifix… Beside him, a voodoo priest from Haiti raised a pot of incense, spreading good energy over the crowd. And a pastor from the United Presbyterian Church read from Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
The celebrants surrounded a Brazilian Catholic brother who lifted up a priest’s stole. Each kissed the colorful band of cloth.” (National Catholic Reporter, October 9, 1992, p. 13)
At another convention, “Priests in Roman collars talked with saffron-robed Buddhist monks, and Rastafarians engaged in animated discussions with turbaned Sikhs… On one night, followers of the neo-pagan Wicca[witchcraft] religion performed a full-moon ritual…” (Los Angeles Times, September 5, 1993, p. A1)
“The Moslems together with us adore the one merciful God.” Lumen Gentium
“It is interesting to note how often our Church has availed herself of practices which were in common use among pagans…Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those pagan creeds; but they are the taking of what was best from paganism, the keeping of symbolical practices which express the religious instinct that is common to all races and times” (Externals of the Catholic Church, 156).
To review the question of the Catholic Church’s historical position on Protestantism, keep in mind that it was established by numerous papal bulls and church councils that Protestants were “heretics” and were worthy of “extirpation”. The church cannot now claim that it was a misunderstanding, for this was the belief heralded by hundreds of bishops and cardinals, and numerous popes throughout the centuries. To say that it was a misunderstanding is to make these ‘illustrious’ churchmen into fools, and specifically contradicts the authoritative position of the infallible church through the centuries, even before Protestantism became a reality. This was the infallible doctrine of that church for most of its history.
“…pronouncements by the Pope on faith or morals are infallible, irreformable, ‘in no way in need of the approval of others, and do not admit of appeal to any other tribunal.’” Also, the same is said of “…the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor [the pope], they exercise the supreme teachings office.” (Austin Flannery, general editor, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Costello Publishing, 1988, Vol. 1, p. 380)
“The burning of the Marian martyrs is an act that the Church of Rome has never repudiated… Never has she repented of her treatment of the Vaudois and the Albigenses… of the wholesale murders of the Spanish Inquisition… of the burning of the English Reformers. We should take note of that fact and let it sink down in our minds. Rome never changes.” (Anglican Bishop J.C. Ryle, 1885)
Even if these were not weighty issues, the fact remains that God has told His people to stay out of the Roman harlot system:
Revelation 18:4 “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. (5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
Aside from her violent and repressive practices, the one thing that should keep all of God’s people far away from her is her penchant for idolatry.
Exodus 20:4 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”
But Rome’s whole system is dependent upon a large variety of images and idols for their worship.
“The first notice,” says Gibbon, “of the use of pictures is in the censure of the Council of Illiberis, three hundred years after the Christian era.” (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 9, pp. 117-118)
“The first introduction of a symbolic worship,” continues the historian, “was in the veneration of the cross and of relics… But a memorial more interesting than the skull or the sandals of a departed worthy, is a faithful copy of his person and features, delineated by the arts of painting or sculpture… By a slow though inevitable progression, the honors of the original were transferred to the copy; the devout Christian prayed before the image of a saint, and the pagan rites of genuflection, luminaries, and incense, again stole into the Catholic Church… The use, and even the worship, of images was firmly established before the end of the sixth century.” (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 9, p. 119)
Writing of the seventh century, we find Gibbon stating that, “the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, and saints, and angels.” (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 9, p. 262)
The Council of Constantinople, A.D. 754, summoned by Constantine Copronymus, condemned the worship, and also the use, of images. The Council of Nice, in Bithynia, A.D. 786, also known as the Second Nicene Council, convoked by the fair but flagitious Irene, the widow and murderess of Leo IV, reversed the sentence of the Council of Constantinople, and restored the worship of images. Leo V condemned these idols to a second exile, but they were recalled by the Empress Theodora, A.D. 842. (Du Pin, Eccles. Hist., Vol. II, Councils of the Church, p. 32; Second Council of Nice, Du Pin, Vol. II, p. 32, 43)
The churches of France, Germany, England and Spain, held a middle course. They condemned the adoration of images, but they adopted the perilous course of tolerating them in their churches as “the memorials of faith and history.” (Mosheim, cent. VIII, part II, ch. III, sec. XIV; Gibbon, vol. IX, p. 171)
“When we give or receive Christmas gifts; or hang green wreaths in our homes and churches, how many of us know that we are probably observing pagan customs…the god, Woden, in Norse Mythology, descends upon the earth yearly between December 25th and January 6th to bless mankind…But pagan though they be, they are beautiful customs. They help inspire us with the spirit of ‘good will to men’, even as the sublime service of our Church reminds us of the ‘peace on earth’ which the babe of Bethlehem came to bestow” (Externals of the Catholic Church, 140).
In equal measure with Rome’s open promotion of idolatry is its disgust concerning the Scriptures.
Following is an excerpt from an address given by the Cardinals to Pope Pius III, and is preserved in the National Library in Paris, Folio No. 1068, Vol. 2, pp. 650-651:
“Of all the advice that we can offer your holiness we must open your eyes well and use all possible force in the matter, namely to permit the reading of the gospel as little as possible in all the countries under your jurisdiction. Let the very little part of the gospel suffice which is usually read in mass, and let no one be permitted to read more. So long as people will be content with the small amount, your interest will prosper; but as soon as the people want to read more, your interest will fail. The Bible is a book, which more than any other, has raised against us the tumults and tempests by which we have almost perished. In fact, if one compares the teaching of the Bible with what takes place in our churches, he will soon find discord, and will realize that our teachings are often different from the Bible, and oftener still, contrary to it.”
Pope Clement XI’s Constitution Unigenitus (1713) denounced the following Jansenist propositions presented by Pasquier Quesnel:
“Christians are to sanctify the Lord’s Day with reading Godly books, more particularly the Holy Scriptures.” Clement’s judgment: “CONDEMNED!”
“To pull the New Testament out of the hands of Christians is to shut the mouth of Christ against them.” “CONDEMNED!”
“To forbid Christians the reading of the Holy Scriptures and especially of the Gospel is to forbid the use of the light by the children of light and to punish them with a kind of excommunication.” “CONDEMNED!”
“It is for the bishops, with whom the apostolic doctrine resides, suitably to instruct the faithful entrusted to them in the correct use of… the New Testament… by giving them translations of the sacred texts which are equipped with necessary and really adequate explanations.” (Austin Flannery, general editor, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Costello Publishing, 1988, Vol. 1, pp. 764-65)
Vatican II acknowledges:
“Tradition that comes from the apostles makes progress… there is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on…
Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. And Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit… Hence, both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal feelings of devotion and reverence…
It is clear, therefore, that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way under the action of the Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.” (Austin Flannery, general editor, Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Costello Publishing, 1988, Vol. 1, pp. 754-756)
The Council of Tarragona of 1234 ruled that:
“No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language, and if anyone possesses them he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days after promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned lest, be he a cleric or a layman, he be suspected until he is cleared of all suspicion.” -D. Lortsch, Historie de la Bible en France, 1910, p.14. See also: The 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Scripture.
The Catholic Mass is regarded as a perpetual re-sacrifice of Christ on every Catholic altar, every day, and that the participants commit the abomination of cannibalism.
The First Apology of Justin
Chapter LXVI.-Of the Eucharist.
“And this food is called among us Eucharistia, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”
Council of Trent (Sess. XXII, can. 1): “If any one saith that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema” (Denzinger, “Enchir.”, 10th ed. 1908, n. 948)
1413: “By the consecration the TRANSUBSTANTIATION of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity [cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651.].” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
But Scripture states that Christ was sacrificed once for all.
Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Hebrews 6:4 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
To re-sacrifice Christ is to shame Him. Not to mention the fact that it is a very arrogant claim, to boast of bringing God down to earth in the form of a wafer of bread upon a priest’s summons.
Romans 10:6 “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”
Previously I provided quotes about Rome’s ties to paganism. It has many practices connected to magic and pagan superstition as well.
“Inquisitors who interrogated accused witches were advised by demonologists first to protect themselves by wearing a sacramental amulet that consisted of salt consecrated on Palm Sunday and blessed herbs, pressed into a disk of blessed wax.” (Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, “The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.,” New York, Facts on File, Inc. (1989), p. 301)
“One of the Catholic Church’s most powerful weapons against the supernatural was holy water. Holy water is a mixture of salt and water that has been blessed by a priest. Witches, vampires, and other nasty evil creatures were considered violently allergic to holy water. During the Medieval and Renaissance periods, holy water was sprinkled on homes to drive away “pestilential vapours” and evil spirits, on farm animals to protect them from bewitchment, and on crops to promote fertility and protect them from witches. Like a sort of milkman, the holy-water carrier came by regularly, ensuring no one was caught short of divine protection. When storms hit, villagers would race to the local church for extra holy water to drive witches away and to protect against lightning.” (Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, “The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft.,” New York: Facts on File, Inc. (1989), pp. 357-8)
“I was reading in my Maryknoll Catholic Dictionary and came across the “consecration of a church”. It reads: “Each permanent church should be consecrated, an act which dedicates it to sacred use. The consecrator is a bishop, usually the bishop of the diocese where the church is located, The highlights of the consecration are the sprinkling of the exterior walls, the tracing of the alphabet on the floor , the anointing of the door posts with chrism, the consecration of at least the main altar, the anointing of the walls at twelve consecration crosses, the celebrating Mass”” [Maryknoll : Catholic Dictionary page 152 © 1965 The Maryknoll Fathers Nihil Obstat Rt. Rev. Msgr. James T. Clark Censor Librorum November 27, 1964 Imprimature +Jerome D. Hannan Bishop of Scranton November 28, 1964]
“The Church of God regulates divine worship for us with wisdom and experience of centuries. Her sacrifice is the first great act of worship. Then there are her ceremonies, rites, and observances; the use of Holy Water, blessed candles, ashes, incense, vestments, her chants, and fasts and feasts, the symbolism of her sacraments. This is the language in which, as a Church, and in union with her children, she speaks to God her adoration, praise and thanksgiving. This is her religion, and we practice it by availing ourselves of these things and by respecting them as pertaining to God” (Explanations of Catholic Morals, 111).
The sad fact of the matter is that from the very beginning, when the “church” was legalized and condoned by the Roman government, it became corrupted by the ancient pagan customs and practices under the auspices of them having been “Christianized” by the church’s authority.
A brilliant military commander, Constantine took control of the empire in the West, while his ally Licinius conquered the East. Together they signed the Edict of Milan in 313, restoring to Christians full rights as citizens. Will Durant, a purely secular historian with no religious axe to grind, comments upon the resultant marriage of Christianity and paganism…
“Paganism survived… in the form of ancient rites and customs condoned, or accepted and transformed, by an often-indulgent Church. An intimate and trustful worship of saints replaced the cult of pagan gods… Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed Mary and Jesus; the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of purification of Isis became the Feast of the Nativity; the Saturnalia were replaced by Christmas celebration… an ancient festival of the dead by All Souls Day, rededicated to Christian heroes; incense, lights, flowers, processions, vestments, hymns which had pleased the people in older cults were domesticated and cleansed in the ritual of the Church… soon people and priests would use the sign of the cross as a magic incantation to expel or drive away demons…[Paganism] passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and captive Rome captured her conqueror. …the world converted to Christianity…” (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization (Simon and Schuster, 1950), Vol. IV, p. 75, vol. III, p. 657)
Referring to developments after Constantine, Peter Brown writes: “Far from being a source of improvement, this alliance [with the state] was a source of ‘greater danger and temptation’ [than persecution had been] … The spread of Christianity in Africa, by indiscriminately filling the churches, had simply washed away the clear moral landmarks that separated the ‘church’ from the ‘world.’” (Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo (University of California Press, 1967), p. 213)
“From the very earliest days of the Church there has been a tradition whereby images of our Lord, His holy Mother, and of saints are displayed in churches for the veneration of the faithful… The practice of placing sacred images in churches so that they be venerated by the faithful is to be maintained.” (Austin Flannery, gen. Ed., Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, rev. ed., Costello Publishing, 1988, vol. 1, pp. 35, 193)
“Their conversion to Christianity [i.e. the idolatrous nations’] was merely nominal. Ignorant of its doctrines, destitute of its spirit, and captivated by its splendid ceremonial, they were scarcely conscious of any change, when they transferred to the saints of the Roman Church the worship they had been accustomed to pay to their Scandinavian deities. The process by which these nations, from being pagan, became Christian, may be adequately likened to the contrivance by which the statue of Jupiter at Rome was converted from the representative of the prince of pagan deities to the representative of the prince of the Christian apostles, namely, by the substitution of the two keys for the thunderbolt.” (J. A. Wylie, History of the Papacy, Ch. III, Rise and Progress of the Temporal Sovereignty)
What would we reasonably expect will happen should the goal of the ecumenicists be accomplished? How could a holy Church remain holy under the authority of a church that compromised with the world from the very beginning?
Let’s quickly examine some observances handed down to us by the Roman Catholic Church. What of Christmas? Surely it is Christian and not pagan…
“CHRISTMAS (the ‘Mass of Christ’) … Clement of Alexandria (about 200 AD) mentions several speculations on the date of Christ’s birth, and condemns them as superstitious… The exact day and year of Christ’s birth have never been satisfactorily settled. When the Fathers of the Church in AD 340 decided upon a date to celebrate the event, they wisely (!) chose the day of the Winter Solstice, which was firmly fixed in the minds of the people, and which was their MOST IMPORTANT FESTIVAL.” The Encyclopedia Britannica (1949, article “Christmas”)
“The roots of Christmas observance go deeply into the folklore of the Druids, Scandinavians, Egyptians and Romans.” Alfred Hottes, Christmas Fact and Fancy
“There are not a few popular observances associated with the Christmas season which have NOTHING TO DO with the Christian religion and the birth of Jesus. Most of these observances are older than Christianity, and some of them–it must be confessed–are NOT OF VERY ELEVATED ORIGIN.” R.J. Campbell, The Story of Christmas
Did the early Christians celebrate Christ’s birth?
Tertullian wrote (says Encyclopedia Britannica) “in a period when a LAX SPIRIT OF CONFORMITY had seized the churches”: about 200 AD–says regarding decorating with evergreens and ceremonial candles–
“Let those who have no Light, light their lamps, let them affix to their posts laurels. YOU [Christians] are the Light of the World, a tree ever green. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple [by heathen wreaths].”
“Christmas was originally a festival of the Winter Solstice. It was customary to hold great feasts in honor of the HEATHEN GODS. The early teachers of Christianity PROHIBITED THESE FESTIVALS as unsuited to the character of Christ. Yet the symbols and customs of the old festivals are adapted to the new, and so we find Christmas patterned with many customs of pagan origin.
“To the mind of the Puritans, Christmas smelled to heaven of idolatry… The Puritans abolished Christmas as a hateful relic of Popery.” The Customs of Mankind.
ln Massachusetts in 1659, a law was passed that- “Whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or in any other way, shall be fined 5 shillings.”
“The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in pagan Rome and pagan Egypt…The festivals of the Roman Church are innumerable, but five of the most important may be singled out for elucidation, viz:
CHRISTMAS, Lady-day, Easter, the Nativity of St. John, and the Feast of the Assumption. Each and all of these can be proved to be Babylonian.
“It is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties that, within the Christian Church, no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance…
“This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half way was very early developed. We find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the pagans to their own superstitions. ‘By us’, he says, ‘the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and the Matronalia are now frequented, gifts are carried to and fro, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar. Oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians.’
“Upright men (continues Hislop) strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts the Apostasy went on till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under pagan superstition…THAT CHRISTMAS WAS ORIGINALLY A PAGAN FESTIVAL IS BEYOND ALL DOUBT.” Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons
The list of corruptions and reasons to reject Rome’s primacy could go on and on, but one final issue to consider is the fact that in order to have “communion” with Rome, one has to “kiss the pope’s ring”, either figuratively or literally. The Pope is considered by the Catholic Church to be the “pontifex maximus” (which was the title of the Roman high priest of paganism), and the “vicar of Christ”. Literally, anti-Christ. Rejection of the primacy of the Pope is rejection of the whole system of Romanism.
Pope Boniface VIII stated: “There is one fold and one shepherd. The authority of that shepherd includes the two swords—the spiritual and the temporal. So much are we taught by the words of the evangelist, ‘Behold, here are two swords,’ namely, in the Church. The Lord did not reply, it is too much, but, it is enough. Certainly He did not deny to Peter the temporal sword; He only commanded him to return it into its scabbard. Both, therefore, belong to the jurisdiction of the Church—the spiritual sword and the secular. The one is to be wielded for the Church—the other by the Church; the one is the sword of the priest—the other is in the hand of the monarch, but at the command and sufferance of the priest. IT behooves the one sword to be under the other—the temporal authority to be subject to the spiritual power.” (Corpus Juris Canonici (Coloniae, 1631), Extravag. Commun., lib. I, tit. VIII, cap. I)
“It is not enough for the people only to know that the Pope is head of the Church… they must also understand that their own faith and religious life flow from him; that in him is the bond which unites Catholics to one another, and the power which strengthens and the light which guides them; that he is the dispenser of spiritual graces, the giver of the benefits of religion, the upholder of justice, and the protector of the oppressed.” (La Civilta Cattolica, 1867, vol. Xii, p. 86)
“Fear, then, our wrath and the thunders of our vengeance; for Jesus Christ has appointed us [the popes] with His own mouth absolute judges of all men; and kings themselves are submitted to our authority.” (Pope Nicholas I (858-67), Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 243 as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power (New York, 1876), p. 369)
In a passage which is included in the Roman Catholic Canon Law, Pope Innocent III declares that the Roman pontiff is “the vice-regent upon earth, not of a mere man, but of very God;” and in a gloss on the passage it is explained that this is because he is the vice-regent of Christ, Who is “very God and very man.” See Decretales Domini Gregorii Papae IX (Decretales of the Lord Pope Gregory IX), liberi, de translatione Episcoporum, (on the transference of Bishops), title 7, chapter 3; Corpus Juris Canonice (2nd Leipzig ed., 1881), col. 99; (Paris, 1612), tom.2, Decretales, col. 205.
Yet, Peter was not the first pope, neither was the original Bishops of Rome invested with the power and glory they hold for Catholics today. Even Catholic apologists have admitted as much…
“…Thus He built His Church upon a single man; and although after His resurrection He assigned equal authority to all the apostles, saying, “As the Father sent Me, so send I you…”, nevertheless in order to bring out the Church’s unity vividly, He so ordered the origin of that unity as to make it begin with a single man. Assuredly, the other apostles were all exactly what Peter was, equipped with an equal share of honor and authority; but a beginning was made from unity, so that the oneness of Christ’s Church might be manifested. If this is the true text, it supports the collegiate conception of the episcopate which Cyprian advocates elsewhere, only adding that St. Peter was the starting-point and symbol of unity. There is no suggestion that he possessed any superiority to, much less jurisdiction over, the other apostles, any more than in the numerous other contexts in which the Church’s unity is traced to him.” Early Church Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly, ‘Development in the Doctrine of the Church,’ p. 205)
“The student tracing the history of the times, particularly of the Arian, Donatist, Pelagian and Christological controversies, cannot fail to be impressed by the skill and persistence with which the Holy See was continually advancing and consolidating its claims. Since its occupant was accepted as the successor of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, it was easy to draw the inference that the unique authority which Rome in fact enjoyed, and which the popes saw concentrated in their persons and their office, was no more than fulfillment of the divine plan.” Early Church Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly, ‘The West and the Roman Primacy,’ p. 417
“The real framers and promoters of the theory of the Roman primacy were the popes themselves. Men like Damasus (366-384), Siricius (384-99), Innocent (402-17), and their successors not only strove to advance it on the practical plane, but sketched out the theology on which it was based, viz. The doctrine that the unique position and authority assigned by Christ to St. Peter belonged equally to the popes who followed him as bishop of Rome. Leo the Great (440-61) was responsible for gathering together and giving final shape to the various elements composing this thesis… His (Leo’s) teaching as expounded in many contexts, involves the following ideas. First, the famous Gospel texts referring to St. Peter should be taken to imply that supreme authority was conferred by our Lord upon the apostle. Second, St. Peter was actually bishop of Rome, and his magisterium was perpetuated in his successors in that see. Thirdly, St. Peter being in this way, as it were, mystically present in the Roman see, the authority of other bishops throughout Christendom does not derive immediately from Christ, but (as in the case of the apostles) is mediated to them through St. Peter, i.e. through the Roman pontiff who in this way represents him, or, to be more precise, is a kind of Petrus redivivus. Fourthly, while their mandate is of course limited to their own dioceses, St. Peter’s magisterium and with it that of his successors, the popes of Rome, is a plenitudo potestatis extending over the entire Church, so that its government rests ultimately with them, and they are its divinely appointed mouthpiece.” Early Church Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelly, ‘The West and the Roman Primacy,’ pp. 418-419
Could the Church survive under the domination of men like these?
The time is not far off [after Constantine] when Peter’s [alleged] successors will be not the servants but the masters of the world. They will dress in purple like Nero and call themselves Pontifex Maximus. They will refer to the Fisherman as “the first pope” and appeal not to the authority of love but to the power invested in him to act as Nero acted.
In defiance of Jesus, Christians will do unto others what was done unto them, and worse will they do. The religion that prided itself on triumphing over persecution by suffering will become the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen…
They will order in Christ’s name all those who disagree with them to be tortured, and sometimes crucified over fire. They will make an alliance between throne and altar; they will insist that the throne is the guardian of the altar and the guarantor of faith.
Their idea will be for the throne (the state) to impose the Christian religion on all its subjects. It will not trouble them that Peter fought against such an alliance and died because of it.” (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, pp. 34-35)
“The whole life of such a man [the pope], from the moment when he is placed on the altar to receive the first homage by the kissing of his feet, will be an unbroken chain of adulations.
Everything is expressly calculated for strengthening him in the belief that between himself and other mortals there is an impassable gulf, and when involved in the cloud and fumes of a perpetual incense, the firmest character must yield at last to a temptation beyond human strength to resist.” (J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Papacy and the Council, (London, 1869), pp. 337-38)
Nicholas I (858-67)—
“It is evident that the popes can neither be bound nor unbound by any earthly power, nor even by that of the apostle[Peter], if he should return upon the earth; since Constantine the Great has recognized that the pontiffs held the place of God upon earth, the divinity not being able to be judged by any living man. We are, then, infallible, and whatever may be our acts, we are not accountable for them but to ourselves.” (Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 243, as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 248)
The World Loves Christmas
“[K]now ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15). Who leads whom? Is not the church of the Lord Jesus Christ supposed to be an example to the world? Is not Christ’s church to be salt and light to the nations? Is it proper for the church to follow the pagan world-system? Christmas did not originate in the Bible or the apostolic church; it is pagan to its very core. The day, the tree, the exchanging of gifts, the mistletoe, the holly berries all originated in the idolatrous pagan festivities surrounding the winter solstice.
The compromised, apostatizing Roman church took what was pagan and attempted to Christianize it. Covenant-breaking, Christ-hating, idol-worshipping, pagan unbelievers love Christmas. Why? Because Christmas is not biblical. Christmas is not of God. It is a lie, and Satan, their master, is the father of lies. Atheists, homosexuals, feminists, wicked politicians, murderers, child molesters, and idolaters all love Christmas. If Christmas were biblical, and if Christmas were commanded to be observed in the Bible, would the world love it so? Absolutely not! The world would hate Christmas. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14). Does the world love the Lord’s day? Of course not. The world hates it.
Does the world love and obey the resurrected King of kings and Lord of lords? No! The world hates Christ. The world does love a plastic or clay baby in a manger. A plastic baby is not very threatening. Christ is no longer a baby. He is the glorified king who sits at the right hand of the Father. “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Cor. 5:16). The Bible teaches that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. 3:19). “Thus saith the LORD: Learn not the way of the heathen. . . for the customs of the peoples are vain” (Jer. 10: 2-3). The apostle Paul has in mind a much broader application than just marriage when he says: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?. . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17).
When the church has something relating to worship and religion in common with the unbelieving pagan world, the church, in that area, is bound together with unbelievers. The church has no business celebrating a pagan holiday with the pagan world. What hypocrisy! What wickedness! Evangelicalism in our day is in a state of serious decline. Church growth, ecumenical fellowship, pragmatism and keeping the peace have taken precedence over doctrinal integrity and pure worship. As a result, modern Evangelicalism is flabby, compromising, impotent and lukewarm. [Schwertley, Brian. The Regulative Principle of Worship and Christmas. Southfield Reformed Presbyterian Church. Southfield, MI.]