Site Contents © 2013 Monsterwax
© 2013 Monsterwax
Hello, I'm a Catholic. You guys are wrong!
On the Eucharist
If Jesus said "Do this in remembrance of Me," why would He establish an "empty" sacrament? The Eucharist is Christ's Body and Blood. It is not a "representation" of it or anything less than His actual Body and Blood. Jesus lost many disciples when he stated that they would have to eat His Body and drink His Blood. He did not "call back" these disciples stating "I was just speaking figuratively." He let them leave. If He had been speaking figuratively, He would have called them back.
Here is an example where the Catholic Church rightly takes these passages literally while non-Catholic Christian denominations take it figuratively because it would be too hard of a doctrine to accept otherwise just as it was for the disciples who left Christ.
Another point to be made is the frequency of communion in non-Catholic Christian churches versus Catholic ones. Did Jesus say "Do this in remembrance of Me every Sunday or once a month?" No. Mass is held every day in almost every Catholic congregation in the world. How did non-Catholics decide that this sacrament should only be performed on Sundays or every other Sunday or once a month or whatever?
Though it is not "forbidden" for the clergy to marry in the Christian religion, it is strongly recommended that one does not marry, if one is to be a priest or minister. I have read how Protestant minister's families have interfered in their religious duties. A Catholic priest does not have these concerns and can give God's work first priority.
Nothing impure can enter into the Kingdom of God (Revelations 21:27).
Every person will have to pay for their sins to "the very last penny" (Luke 12:59).
I'll use somewhat of a parable to explain purgatory. God is just per Scripture (John 5:30), correct? Now, let's say you have one man who leads a saintly life and another who leads a sinful life, but sincerely repents of his sins on his death bed. According to Protestants, both these men go straight to heaven after death. Is this just? I would have to answer in the negative. According to Catholic belief, the saintly man would go straight to heaven whereas the repentant man would have to be cleansed through temporal (not eternal) punishment for his sins before entering heaven. Where is this done? He can't be sent to hell because hell is eternal per Scripture (Matthew 25:46; Mark 3:29). There has to be a middle ground so to speak. This "middle" ground is purgatory. We must suffer for our sins just as Christ suffered for them (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:5-7). If this suffering is not in this life, it has to be in the next.
Protestants say that since purgatory is not mentioned in the Holy Bible, it doesn't exist. But the Holy Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible either yet almost all mainstream Protestant denominations believe in it. Unfortunately, the King James version of the Bible mistakenly omits the Books of Maccabees. These books were decided by the Church Fathers to be inspired of God. The Twelve Apostles used the Septuagint (Greek) canon - almost every single quote from the Old Testament that is cited in the New is from the Septuagint - this canon INCLUDES the First and Second Books of Maccabees (as well as five others). It is clear that praying for the dead to release them from the reparation of their sins is good according to the first Biblical verse quoted at the top of this page.
With repentance comes reparation for sins such as "sackcloth and ashes" (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13).
Why did God give St. Paul the pain of the stigmata (Galatians 6:17) if there is no reparation for sins? Why did St. Paul pray for a DEAD friend (Onesiphorus), if there is no Purgatory (2 Timothy 1:16-18)?
Consider this - not even King David escaped punishment for his sins even though they were forgiven (2 Samuel 12:13-14).
AUTHORITY - Should the Bible be the final authority of Christianity or the Church? Well, Christ stated that the Church, NOT Scripture should be the final authority: "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matthew 18:17) Christ did NOT state to refer to or consult Scripture for disputes and correction. He said to go to the Church as It is the final authority in Christianity. In addition, St. Paul states that the Church, NOT Scripture is "THE pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15) Since the Church alone is mentioned as THE pillar of truth, then It alone has the right to discern the truth and interpret Scripture. For if individuals could correctly interpret Scripture, then all interpretations would be EXACTLY THE SAME as there can only be ONE spiritual truth for the plural of the word "truth" NEVER appears in Scripture. The Church is Christ's bride (Ephesians 5:29) and has no spot, wrinkle or blemish (Ephesians 5:27). Christ also stated that the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church (Matthew 16:18) so how can the Church commit error? Individual clergy may commit sins, even popes commit sins because in the Church there are both weeds and wheat (Matthew 13:30).
ORGANIZATION - Is the Church to be a loose conglomerate of believers or is it to be organized and structured? Scripture CLEARLY established "offices" and a "hierarchy" among Christians. The offices of "bishop, priest (presbyter) and deacon" are mentioned in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1,8; Titus 1:7). What else is this but "organization?" Or should we believe that any believer can "claim" to be a bishop, priest, deacon or even "apostle?" The word "office" is specifically used in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1) to describe these positions. Webster defines "office" as "A special duty, trust, charge, or position, conferred by authority or God and for a public purpose; a position of trust or authority." And the office of "apostle" is to be continued (Acts 1:20-26) to the present day. Not all believers are "equal" nor have the same gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Ephesians 4:11). Is the Church a "visible, earthly" entity? Yes, for Christ would not direct us to the Church for disputes if it were not here on Earth (Matthew 18:17). Nor would "fear" encompass the whole Church if it were a mystical, invisible and heavenly entity (Acts 5:11). The Church is definitely here on earth for the actions described in Acts definitely take place on earth and the term used is "the whole Church" (Acts 15:22).
HEAD OF THE CHURCH - Is there to be a visible "head" of the Church here on earth? Well, as I established under the heading of "Organization," not all believers are to have the same authority or equality within the Church. Did the Apostles have the EXACT SAME authority amongst themselves. NO, they did not. For it was St. Peter alone that was the "rock" upon which Christ established His Church (Matthew 16:18). And it was St. Peter alone that was given the task of "feeding" Christ's sheep (John 21:15-17). Scripture clearly points out St. Peter as Christ's representative on earth. Christ did not ask the other Eleven to feed and tend His sheep. If you read The Acts Of The Apostles, it is clear that St. Peter leads the Apostles. Therefore, since the Apostles are to be replaced as they die (Acts 1:20-26), then it follows that whoever succeed(s) St. Peter is leader of the Church. There is only to be one shepherd of the Church (John 10:16). For the Apostles did not argue amongst themselves whether there was a "greatest" at all, but who amongst them was THE greatest (Mark 9:34; Luke 9:46).
ONE CHURCH - Is there to be only one Church or many? According to Scripture, Christ wanted us to be one (John 17:22-23). We are all as a Church to be of one mind and to think the same (Philippians 2:2; Romans 15:5). There is only to be one "faith" (Ephesians 4:3-6), not many. For the Church is Christ's Body and Christ only had one Body, not many. Also, since the Church is Christ's Bride (Ephesians 5:29), can Christ be married to more than one wife (the sin of polygamy)? NO, Christ can only have one wife (i.e., one Church, not many).
In conclusion, Scripture is pretty straightforward about the Church's role in salvation, Its authority and Its organization. It's all a matter of deductive reasoning, correct interpretation and pure logic.
I will begin by paraphrasing St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Is it better to honor Mary too much or too little? If one is a sin - which would be more forgivable in the eyes of God? St. Bernard thought it better to be guilty of honoring her too much as Christ will forgive a person for honoring His Mother (if it were indeed a sin which it is not).
Below is the prayer "Sub Tuum Praesidium" from the 4th century. As one can see from it, the early Christians who were being persecuted by the Romans put their trust in the Mother of God as well as God Himself. Why shouldn't we today? The most popular Marian prayer among Catholics today is the "Hail Mary." Most of this prayer is taken directly from Scripture (see Luke 1:28 and 42). Is it a sin to recite Scripture? The rest of the prayer only asks for Mary to pray for us as sinners. Is that a sin?
In addition, Jesus Christ performed His first public miracle at the "intercession" of His mother. Why would that change now that she has joined Him in Heaven?
THE PERPETUAL VIRGINITY OF MARY
"Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband." - St. Augustine of Hippo (early 5th century)
Does the word "till (until)" in the following passage mean a cessation of Mary's virginity after the birth of Christ?:
"And (Joseph) knew her not TILL she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus." (Matthew 1:25)
If it is true that Mary's virginity ceased after the birth of Christ, then using this same "flawed" logic, Christ's reign will end at some point according to the following passage:
"For he must reign, TILL he hath put all enemies under his feet." (1 Corinthians 15:25)
However, this cannot be true as the following passage contradicts that one when using THIS logic:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER." (Revelation 11:15)
So "till (until)" cannot mean that the state of Mary's virginity stopped for if that were so Christ's reign would also end.
According to history and the writings in the catacombs, the early Christians called Mary "the Virgin Mary" or "the Blessed Virgin" or "the Virgin." Why would the early Christians continue to call her a "virgin" if she was no longer so? A person does NOT continue to state "my unmarried brother" after that brother has married.
In addition, Ezekiel 44:2 states that the "gate" in which the Lord passes is closed further for others. Does this not apply to the Blessed Virgin Mary's womb through which Christ passed during His birth? ALL of the initial Protestant Reformers (Zwingli, Luther and Calvin) all interpreted this to mean that Mary's virginity continued AFTER the birth of Christ.
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10) Obviously, this is a prophetic reference to Jesus Christ (i.e., "piercing" as described in John 19:37). And it is definitely stated in this Scriptural passage that he is an "only son" yet He is also "firstborn." The two do NOT contradict each other as certain "Bible" Christians claim. Firstborn means just that "the first to be born." It does not preclude "the only to be born" also.
If Mary is the daughter of the Father (Luke 1:28), is the mother of Christ (Acts 1:14), then is she not the spiritual bride of the Holy Spirit as that is Who made her with child (Matthew 1:18)? For Jesus certainly was NOT illegitimate, for Scripture states Jesus Christ was "made under the law" (Galatians 4:4). Yet St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary were not married when Christ was conceived ("made") (Luke 1:27). Consequently, the Holy Spirit must be the "spiritual" husband of Mary, otherwise Christ would have been illegitimate. If the Holy Spirit is the "spiritual" husband of Mary, then would she not be essentially committing adultery if she and St. Joseph were to have sex? Therefore, both Mary and St. Joseph must have remained chaste during their marriage. For they had to raise and serve Jesus (God) as their son and it is better to remain chaste when one is to serve the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32). Scripture states it is best to remain chaste (1 Corinthians 7:1) and to live as if one does not have a spouse (1 Corinthians 7:29). This is exactly what both the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph did. They were called by God while in "the state of virginity" and that is the state in which they remained (1 Corinthians 7:20).
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2). How can Mary who was "espoused" to one husband (St. Joseph) also remain a "chaste virgin" (as she did according to Catholic teaching) if she actually had sex with St. Joseph as non-Catholic Christians teach?
THE MOTHER OF GOD
"If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, such a one is a stranger to the Godhead." - St. Gregory Nazianzen (390 A.D.)
"And so you say, O heretic, whoever you may be, who deny that God was born of the Virgin, that Mary the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ ought not to be called Theotokos, i.e., Mother of God, but Christotokos, i.e., only the Mother of Christ, not of God. For no one, you say, brings forth what is anterior in time. And of this utterly foolish argument whereby you think that the birth of God can be understood by carnal minds, and fancy that the mystery of His Majesty can be accounted for by human reasoning...." - St. John Cassian (5th century A.D.)
This is a very appropriate title for the Blessed Virgin Mary. For in Luke 1:43, St. Elizabeth calls her this EXACT TITLE: "And whence is this to me, that the MOTHER OF MY LORD should come to me?" Lord is with a capital "L" meaning "God." So why do non-Catholic Christians not accept this as a proper title for Mary when the title comes from Scripture Itself? For if Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:1) and the Son of God is God also (Hebrews 1:8) and Mary is Jesus's mother (Acts 1:14), then ergo: Mary is the Mother of God.
Since Mary is the mother of Jesus (John 2:1-3; Acts 1:14), how did Jesus honor His mother as per the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12)? Here's how - He made her Queen of Heaven, He created her without sin, He made her our mother (John 19:27), He made her mother of the Church and He made her the mediatrix of all graces. Would you do anything less for your own mother if it were possible?
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION AND THE SINLESSNESS OF MARY
"The Blessed Virgin never committed any actual sin, not even a venial one. Otherwise she would not have been a Mother worthy of Jesus Christ; for the ignominy of the Mother would also have been that of the Son, for He would have had a sinner for His Mother." - St. Thomas Aquinas (1274 A.D.)
If Mary is "blessed among women," does that not mean that she is greater than any woman that is born, had been born, or will be born? If this is so, why would she not be free from original sin? If she is greater than Eve and Eve was created without original sin, then why wouldn't Mary ALSO be conceived (created) without original sin? Where does Scripture state that every grace has to be given while on this earth? Mary was given grace as the Mother of God before she was even born (prevenient grace). YES, God is her Savior (Luke 1:47) - He saved her from every sin, including original sin.
Let us examine the phrase "full of grace" as it is applies to Mary (Luke 1:28). For the Greek word used in this passage is "kecharitomene" which means not just "highly favoured one" (as commonly interpreted in Protestant versions of the Bible), but "completely, perfectly, enduringly endowed with grace." Thus, the word "full" means that Mary cannot encompass any more of God's graces. If God cannot give her anymore graces than she already has, then He must have given her every grace possible. Is it even possible for Mary to sin after receiving all of these graces from God? Conceivably, no.
Scripture also states that angels are superior to men (Luke 20:36; Hebrews 2:7; 2 Peter 2:11) so why would a superior being (St. Gabriel) "hail" (salute, honor or praise) Mary (a "supposed" inferior being)? If this honor is given to Mary as Scripture states, then Mary must be greater than the angels.
Who else can the following passage be speaking of except Mary? The woman in this passage is "spotless" (i.e., immaculate; without sin): "Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee." (Song of Solomon 4:7)
What Christian would not give the grace of sinlessness to his/her mother if he/she had the power to do so?
What Christian would not bring his/her mother into Heaven, body and soul, if he/she had the power to do so?
These Marian doctrines are NOT "non-Scriptural" as non-Catholic Christians seem to believe. Jesus Christ was only fulfilling the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:12) to "honor" His mother by giving her these unique graces and privileges. To say Christ did not give these graces to His mother when it was possible for Him to do so, is to accuse Him of a sin of omission against the Fourth Commandment. Therefore, since Christ did not sin (Hebrews 4:15), Mary has to be sinless and was assumed into Heaven for God Himself would not disobey one of His own commandments.
And, to this day, Christ continues to obey His own commandment by allowing Mary to be our mediatrix, the dispenser of His graces and to share in His omniscience to hear the millions of daily prayers addressed to her.
People ask people to "pray for me" all the time. Why not ask the Virgin Mary or any other saint to "pray for you?" Just because they are no longer "of this world" does not mean they don't "talk" to God. The saints in heaven are not "separated" by death from the community of the Church (Romans 8:38-39) as we are ALL one Body in Christ (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12) and Christ "abolished death" (2 Timothy 1:10). Therefore, the saints in Heaven can pray for us just as anyone here on Earth can. In fact, better, as they are presently with God. The Virgin Mary asking God to help you should "carry more weight" so to speak than having your best friend on this earth praying for you. True or not? In fact, Christ's first public miracle was performed upon the "intercession" of His own mother (John 2:2-11).
In regards to the use of the relics of the saints, this is deeply rooted in Scripture (Acts 19:11-12).
In modern translations of Holy Scripture, St. Paul asks us to imitate him as he imitates Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) Are we not to imitate all of the saints in their holiness?
Below is a prayer to St. Joseph that dates back to 50 A.D. - long before the last Apostle had died and less than 20 years after the death of Christ. If the early Christians asked the saints to intercede for them and it was "wrong," why is there no "documentation" from the Apostles "reprimanding" them? Surely, the Apostles would have corrected the early Church had It been in err.
What is wrong with papal infallibilty? It says right in Scripture that the Holy Spirit guides the Church Christ founded. By not having faith in the Pope to correct, reprove and instruct, you may as well be saying you don't have faith in the Holy Spirit.
Throughout the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter is clearly the leader of the Christian community (Acts 1:15, 5:1-10). And again, he is listed first among the Apostles in the New Testament (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-14). Before St. Peter was crucified, he appointed St. Linus as his successor. Why should this practice not be carried on to the present day? There is an unbroken line of Popes from St. Peter down to the present-day Pope. The Papacy is the oldest institution in the Western World. How could it have survived 2000 years without the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
St. Hegessipus in the 2nd century of the Church had already compiled a list of the popes, listing the current one at the time (Pope Anacletus) as the eleventh successor to St. Peter.
No Salvation Out side the Church
Some people claim that the Second Vatican Council reversed previous Church teaching that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. The Catholic position on "no salvation outside the Church" has not changed. What Vatican II sought to do is clarify the meaning more precisely, as I will now briefly attempt to do.
If Jesus is God, and He left us the Catholic Church as His instrument of salvation on earth, then we cannot of ourselves create some other means of salvation than the one God gave us. In other words, we can't say to God: "Thanks for your plan, but I'll do it my own way." What Vatican II had to say on the subject was that some have a saving communion with the Church even if they don't have an intellectual understanding of such. In other words, they are members of the Church, albeit in an imperfect way, but are not within the visible confines of the Church.
Vatican II said that if a person is, through no fault of their own, ignorant of the fact that the Catholic Church is the true Church, such a person may attain salvation although they are in an impoverished situation. A person who knows the Catholic Church is true and refuses to embrace the Catholic faith would be accountable for the refusal of God's plan of salvation.
In short, God doesn't hold us accountable for what we are innocently ignorant of. He will hold us accountable if we know and refuse, or purposely choose to deny, the light given us and remain in ignorance.
You certainly cover a lot of territory (too much for me to cover in this limited space!) So rather than bore you with an opposing response to each claim, let me make just one point: We're not Chick Publications.
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