The Roman Catholic Church: Its Evils, and Why It Must Be Rejected
An Exposition of the Heresies and Innovations of Rome
and Anathemas and Condemnations Under Which She Falls
ABOVE LEFT: Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) wearing one of the Papal triple-tiaras, symbolizing
his authority over heaven, earth, and the underworld, which each Pope receives with the
words: “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns, and know that thou art the
Father of Princes and Kings, the Ruler of the World; the Vicar of Our Savior Jesus
ABOVE RIGHT: Pope Paul VI, born aloft on his throne as he arrives at the Vatican to open a session of the “20th Ecumenical Council”, Vatican II.
“The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God...Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions...As to papal authority, the Pope is as it were God on earth, Sole sovereign of all the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having a plentitude of unbroken power, entrusted by the omnipotent God to govern the earthly and heavenly kingdoms...The Pope is of so great authority and power, that he is able to modify, declare, or interpret even Divine laws.”
- Summary of the Papal definitions concerning the office of the Pope; From a Papally-endorsed encyclopedia, Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica, Juridica, Moralis, Theologica, Ascetica, Polemica, Rubristica, Historica (“Handy Canonical, Juridical, Moral, Theological, Ascetical, Polemical, Rubrical, Historical Library”), vol. 5, “Papa (Pope)” article 2 [see also J. P. Migne, 1858 edition, column 1823, Latin] (#1, 13, 18, & 30).
ABOVE: A detail of the current official seal of Pope John Paul II, including the
triple-tiara symbolizing his supposed three kingdoms (heaven, earth, and the underworld)
and the keys of the kingdom of heaven, supposedly entrusted to the Roman Pontiffs.
“The Pope is...the man on earth who represents the Son of God, who ‘takes the place’ of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.”-Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 3
1. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Pope is “Christ on Earth” and all that follows from this: the claims of the Popes to Universal Sovereignty, Authority, and Doctrinal Infallibility
A. The Audacious Papal Claims
“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” – Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, or “Reunion of Christendom” (June 20, 1894)
“... Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one Body and one Head, not two Heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar [Substitute] of Christ.... Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John “there is one sheepfold and one shepherd”... Thus is accomplished the prophecy of Jeremias...: “Behold today I have placed you over nations, and over kingdoms and the rest”... This authority, however, is not human but rather Divine, granted to Peter by a Divine word..., the Lord saying to Peter himself, “Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven” etc., (Mt 16:19). Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God (Rom 13:2)....Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” – Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, November 18, 1302
“The pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who speaks. Does the pope accord a favour or pronounce an anathema? It is Jesus Christ who accords the favour or pronounces that anathema. So that when the pope speaks we have no business to examine.” – Pope ‘St.’ Pius X (interview quoted in the July 13, 1895 issue of “The Catholic National (Catholique Nationale)”, Paris, France, Benziger Brothers Publishing.).
“Therefore,... we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks from his throne (ex cathedra), that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses... infallibility... Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. So then, should anyone... have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.” – Papal ‘Ecumenical Council’ Vatican I, Decree of the Council (1870)
The audacious and blasphemous claims, such as those above, constitute reason #1 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
B. A Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Claims Concerning the Pope
“There is no one superior to God, or even like to Him, among all the beings that exist, nor is there any one in the Church greater than the bishop... Let all things therefore be done by you with good order in Christ. Let the laity be subject to the deacons; the deacons to the presbyters; the presbyters to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as He is to the Father.” – St. Ignatius of Antioch (+107 A.D.), Epistle to the Smyrneans
“To Pope Honorius, the heretic, anathema!” – 6th Ecumenical Council (681 A.D.), Session 16
“...this Synod by a vote of piety condemned those who taught their laities outright the heretical doctrine of a single will and of a single energy inherent in our one Lord and God Jesus Christ, among whom we cite by name Theodore the Bishop of Faran, Cyrus (the Patriarch) of Alexandria, Honorius Pope of Rome,... rejecting and anathematizing them, on the ground that its authors were enemies of the truth, and snorting and raving, had uttered blasphemous things against God and made unrighteousness the highest object of their study and meditation.” - 6th Ecumenical Council, reassembled at Trullo (692 A.D.), Canon 1.
2. The Addition of the Filioque to the Creed and the False Roman Catholic Theology of the Trinity, Especially the Dual Origin of the Holy Spirit from the Father and from the Son
“We declare that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, not as from two principles (principiis), but from one cause, not by two spirations (spirationibus) but by a single spiration... this is the unchangeable and true understanding of the orthodox Fathers and Doctors, Latin as well as Greek... we... condemn and reprobate those who presume to deny that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, as well as those who with rash boldness presume to affirm that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two principles (principiis) and not as from one.” – 2nd (Papal) ‘Ecumenical’ Council of Lyons (1274 A.D.), Decree for the Greeks
“... what the Holy Fathers and Doctors say, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son, tends to this understanding that by this is meant that the Son is also, according to the Greeks the cause, and according to the Latins the principle, of subsistence of the Holy Spirit, as is also the Father... We define also that the explication in the expression Filioque, [effected] in order to clarify the truth at a time of pressing need, was added to the Creed licitly and reasonably”. – (Papal) ‘Ecumenical’ Council of Ferrara-Florence (1439 A.D.), Decree for the Greeks
The Papacy contradicts the teaching of the Lord in the Gospel and of the ancient Church that the Father is the sole cause of the Holy Spirit, introducing instead the Son as cause as well as the Father; consequently, she has added this doctrine to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, contrary to the prohibition of this by the Ecumenical Councils. The doctrinal innovation implies either that the Holy Spirit is compound and posterior in time to the Father and Son, or that the Father and the Son are not real or distinct persons, as will be shown in the rebuttal of papal claims below. For this cause she comes under the anathemas laid by the Apostles and Fathers on all who introduce another Gospel or heresy. Her addition to the Creed or “Symbol of Faith”, even if it were doctrinally orthodox, would still subject her to the anathema of the Church, which prohibited this explicitly. We shall discuss and prove this as well in the following document. This is reason #2 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
A. Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Theological Claims Concerning the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and the Holy Trinity, Especially With Regard to the Origin of the Holy Spirit
“The Fathers defined everything perfectly; he who goes against this Symbol is anathema; no one adds, no one takes away” – 4th Ecumenical Council, gathered at Chalcedon (451 A.D.), Acta Concilia, II:1
“Nevertheless, even if we did not cite all these and other innovations of the Church of Rome, the mere citing of their addition of the Filioque to the Nicene Creed would be enough to subject them to a thousand anathemas. This innovation blasphemes the Holy Spirit, or more accurately, the entire Holy Trinity.” – St. Photios the Great, Pre-Conciliar Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs (867 A.D.)
“The Father is the sole Cause within the superessential Godhead.” – St. Dionysius the Areopagite (+119 A.D.), On the Divine Names 2.5 (PG 3:641D)
“All that the Father has is the Son’s except the being a cause” – St. Gregory the Theologian, who wrote the Creed (+4th Century A.D.)(P.G. 36, 252A)
“The Son is not called a Cause (in the Holy Trinity)...the Father is the single Cause of the Son and of the Spirit, of One by generation and of the Other by procession (ekporeusis) – but... the Latter is sent forth (proienai) through the Son, and in this way is shown the conjunction of essence and Their existing together unchangeable...” – St. Maximos the Confessor (+ 7th Century A.D.), Letter to Marinos of Cyprus (P.G. 91, 136A-B)
“All the terms, then, that are appropriate to the Father, such as Cause, Source, Begetter, are to be ascribed to the Father alone... And we speak also of the Spirit of the Son, not as though proceeding from Him, but as proceeding through Him from the Father. For the Father alone is a Cause.” “We speak of the Son neither as a Cause (aition) nor Father, but we speak of Him, both as being from the Father and as the Son of the Father. And we speak likewise of the Holy Spirit as being from the Father, and call Him the Spirit of the Father. We do not speak of the Spirit as being from the Son, but yet we call Him the Spirit of the Son (ek tou hyiou de to pneuma ou legomen, pneuma de hyiou onomazomen)... for we confess that the Spirit is manifested and imparted to us through the Son.” – St. John of Damascus (+ 8th century A.D.), The Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book I, Ch. 12 & 8
3. The Roman Catholic Church Teaches that God is simply an Energy with Three parts, rather than One Divine Being in Three real Persons, and That Divine Grace, the Divine Energies, is Something Created
According to the Holy Fathers, every kind of being has its own proper energy or power or activity whereby it exists and does what it does. However, the Papacy ever seeking to improve upon the Apostolic Faith of the Ancient Church, has decided that “God is pure act” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 1:6:2) and “action... is the divine essence itself” (S.T., 1:25:1), so that God is an energy or activity, not a being who acts or energizes. We will speak more on this, in greater detail, in our article. This being so, the Papacy has decided that God has no energies or activities, since the sole divine activity is Himself, and there is no such thing as an energy of an energy or activity of an activity. Therefore, the communion we have with God through the divine energies, the participation in the divine life, the power of God of which we communicate, such as grace or its gifts, all are not really divine, but are only created forms (cf. the Platonic ideas) relatively similar to one or another aspect of the divine energy (which is God’s being) which are infused into us. Consequently, we have no communion with God, no contact whatsoever; we only know and commune with limited created likenesses of one or more aspects of God, who is not only unknowable in His essence, but absolutely unknowable and without any contact with the world. We will speak more on this in our article.
Thomas Aquinas says that “grace is nothing other than a certain participated likeness or similtude of the divine nature” (S.T. 3:62:1); “grace is created...a new creature...a certain participated similitude of the Divine nature... God bestows upon creatures certain forms (cf. Platonic forms or ideas) and powers, which are the principles of acts, in order that they may of themselves be inclined to these movements, and thus the movements whereby they are moved by God become natural and easy to creatures... He infuses into such as He moves towards the acquisition of supernatural good... certain forms or supernatural qualities, whereby they may be moved by Him sweetly and promptly to acquire eternal good; and thus the gift of grace is a quality... Grace, as a quality, is said to act upon the soul, not after the manner of an efficient cause, but after the manner of a formal cause, as the form of whiteness makes a thing white, and that of justice makes someone just...not being the substantial form, but an accidental form of the soul.” (S.T. 3:62:2). - Thomas Aquinas (13th Century A.D.), Summa Theologica (Papally-endorsed official theologian of Roman Catholicism)
This blasphemy constitutes reason #3 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
A. Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Claims Concerning God as a Tripartite Energy and Grace as Something Created
“And if He is an Activity, He will be effected, but will not effect and will cease to exist as soon as He has been effected, for this is the nature of an Activity. How is it then that He acts and says such and such things, and defines, and is grieved, and is angered, and has all the qualities which belong clearly to one that moves, and not to a movement?” – St. Gregory the Theologian, 32nd Oration, 5th Theological Oration in NPNF Series 2
“The Holy Spirit is not, then, of the nature of things corporeal, for He sheds incorporeal grace on corporeal things; nor, again, is He of the nature of invisible creatures, for they receive His sanctification, and through Him are superior to the other works of the universe... He is not sanctified but sanctifies; for every creature is sanctified, but the Holy Spirit sanctifies. In which matter, though the word is used in common, there is a difference in the nature. For both the man who receives and God Who gives sanctity are called holy, as we read: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” Now sanctification and corruption cannot share the same nature, and *therefore the grace of the Holy Spirit and the created cannot be of one nature (i.e., grace is uncreated).* Since, then, the whole invisible creation..., with the exception of the Trinity, does not impart but acquires the grace of the Spirit, and does not share in it but receives it, the whole commonalty of creation is to be separated from association with the Holy Spirit (and His grace)... Who, then, can dare to say that the Holy Spirit is separated from the Father and the Son, since through Him we attain to the image and likeness of God, and through Him, as the Apostle Peter says, are partakers of the Divine nature?” – St. Ambrose of Milan (+4th Century A.D.), On the Holy Spirit
“And so, when the Lord appointed His servants the apostles, that we might recognize that *the created was one thing and the grace of the Spirit another*, He appointed them to different regions, because all could not be everywhere at once. But He gave the Holy Spirit to all, to shed upon the Apostles though separated the gift of indivisible grace...Who, then, can doubt that that (grace) is divine which is shed upon many at once and is not seen...?...*[B]elieve that that which is shed abroad cannot be common to the created but peculiar to the Godhead*... [T]he grace of God the Father is the same as that of the Holy Spirit, and that without any division or loss it is divided to the hearts of each. That, then, which is shed abroad of the Holy Spirit is neither severed, nor comprehended in any circumscribed parts, nor divided.” – St. Ambrose of Milan (+4th Century A.D.), On the Holy Spirit
4. Her Doctrine of Purgatory and the Papal Treasury of Merits
“Therefore after this life, there are some not yet loosed from sins, who can be loosed therefrom; and these also have charity, without which sins cannot be loosed... Hence they will not be consigned to everlasting death, since “he that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever”: nor will they obtain glory without being cleansed, because nothing unclean shall obtain it, as stated in the last chapter of the Apocalypse. Therefore some kind of cleansing remains after this life.” “...there is a Purgatory after this life. For if the debt of punishment is not paid in full after the stain of sin has been washed away by contrition, nor again are venial sins always removed when mortal sins are remitted, and if justice demands that sin be set in order by due punishment, it follows that one who after contrition for his fault and after being absolved, dies before making due satisfaction, is punished after this life.” “Whosoever is another’s debtor, is freed from his indebtedness by paying the debt. And, since the obligation incurred by guilt is nothing else than the debt of punishment, a person is freed from that obligation by undergoing the punishment which he owed.” – Thomas Aquinas (13th century A.D.), Summa Theologica, Appendix on Purgatory
“For their sakes you must make sure that they understand and believe that Christ left the inexhaustible treasury of his merits to the Church, that this treasure was enriched with the merits of the Blessed Virgin and all the saints, and that the distribution of these riches to men is in the hands of Him whom Christ made the visible head for Himself of the invisible Church. Accordingly it is left to the Pope to apply these merits now more amply, now less amply, to the living in the form of absolution, to the departed after the manner of suffrage.” – Pope Leo XII, Charitate Christi, Or Extending Jubilee to the Entire Church (December 25, 1825)
The Papacy teaches that God does not and cannot overlook or forgive past sins even for someone who has repented, and, therefore, even the pious must be fully punished for all their sins in a purgatory prior to receiving the heavenly blessedness due to them. For, she says, even if the sin no longer exists to give further offense, the debt of punishment created by it remains to be paid. Therefore, she devised a place of temporary punishment for all those souls who loved God, repented of their sins, and were worthy of heaven, but had failed to finish suffering their due debts of punishment for each sin in this life.
However, being the substitute of God and the managing head of the Church, the Pope finds it possible for himself to ‘shuffle the accounts’ for those who obtain his favor, so that he can apply someone else’s surplus of suffering and good deeds to the sinner’s debt of suffering, so that favored souls can circumvent payment in purgatory.
On the other hand, the Holy Scriptures and ancient Church teach that God does indeed overlook and truly forgive sins to the repentant (“for if Thou shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, Who should stand?” [Ps. 130:3 LXX]), so as to forego punishment of every offense. Consequently, she never found the need to invent a purgatory for saved but not fully punished souls as the Papacy has (nor has she invented any ‘treasury of merits’ to redistribute). These and other aspects of Purgatory will be examined and refuted in this document below with reference to the apostolic and sacred tradition as well as by the sound argumentation of later saints.
This is reason #4 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
A. Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Claims Concerning Purgatory and the Papal Treasury of Merits
“But thou mayest, perhaps,...want to know for what reason the hierarch beseeches the supremely divine Goodness, for the remission of the faults committed by the man fallen asleep, and his most glorious inheritance amongst godly men of the same rank. For, if everyone shall receive, by the divine justice, equivalents for what he has done in the present life, whether it be good or different, and the man fallen asleep has finished his own activities in this present life, from what prayer offered by the hierarch will he be transferred to another inheritance, than that due to and equivalent for his life here? Now, well do I know, following the Scriptures, that... each one shall receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Yea, the sure traditions of the Scriptures teach us that the prayers, even of the just, avail only for those who are worthy of pious prayers.... Now with reference to the prayer mentioned, which the hierarch prays over the man fallen asleep, we think it necessary to mention the tradition which has come down to us from our inspired instructors. The holy hierarch... has learned then, from the God-transmitted Oracles, that to those who have passed their life piously, the most bright and divine life is given in return, according to their due, by the most just balances, the Divine Love towards man overlooking, through its goodness, the stains which have come to them through human infirmity, since no one, as the Oracles say, is pure from blemish. Now the hierarch knew these things to have been promised by the infallible Scriptures; and he asks, that these things may come to pass, and that the righteous returns be given to those who have lived piously....” – St. Dionysius the Areopagite (+119 A.D.), To Timothy, On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchies, Ch. VII
“You have made a certain astonishing division, saying that every sin must be understood under two aspects: (1) the offense itself which is made to God, and (2) the punishment which follows it. Of these two aspects, (you teach) the offense to God, indeed, can be remitted after repentance and turning away from evil, but the liability to punishment must exist in every case; so that on the basis of this idea, it is essential that those released from sins should all the same be subject to punishment for them. But we allow ourselves to say that such a stating of the question contradicts clear and commonly-known truths: if we do not see that a king, after he has granted an amnesty and pardon, subjects the guilty to yet more punishment, then all the more God, among Whose many characteristics love of mankind is an especially outstanding one, even though he does punish a man after a sin that he has committed, still, after He has forgiven him He immediately delivers him from punishment also. And this is natural. For if the offense to God leads to punishment, then when the guilt is forgiven and reconciliation has occurred, the very consequence of the guilt - the punishment - of necessity comes to an end.” - St. Mark of Ephesus, 2nd Oration Against Purgatorial Fire Given in Reply to the Latins At Florence
5. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Church does not yet know the truth & Her Faith may be changed (by the Pope)
“Therefore the Apostles, handing on what they themselves had received, warn the faithful to hold fast to the traditions which they have learned either by word of mouth or by letter (see 2 Thess. 2:15), and to fight in defense of the faith handed on once and for all (see Jud. 3)... This tradition which comes from the Apostles ***develops*** in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words... through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities... For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfilment in her.” – Papal ‘Ecumenical Council’ Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation – Dei Verbum, Ch. II - Handing on Divine Revelation (Nov. 18, 1965)
“[T]here has never been a wish on the part of the Church to cut clean between doctrine revealed and doctrine not revealed; first indeed, because she actually cannot do so at any given moment, but is illuminated from time to time... Accordingly, the act of faith, as we consider, must now be partly explicit, partly implicit; viz. “I believe whatever ever has been and whatever shall be defined as revelation by the Church who is the origin of revelation”; or again, “I believe in the Church’s teaching, whether explicit or implicit, “...”It required time for Christians to enter into the full truth, so as always on all points to think and act aright.” - Cardinal John Henry Newman, (officially-designated Vatican Spokesman of Pope Pius IX in England), “Letter to Mr. Pusey” (March 23rd, 1867)
Although a number of Roman Catholic apologists seek to deny it (it is not a good selling point with converts), the teaching of “Development of Dogma” is undeniably endorsed by Pope Pius IX and Vatican I, declared as official doctrine by Vatican II, and taught in the latest Catechism of the Catholic Church: the Church, “the ground and pillar of truth” [1 Tim. 3:15], has not yet really come to know the truth, nor can it, but the truth can only be gradually revealed over the centuries through the inspired oracle of the Popes. This is the tacit admission by the Roman Catholic Church (R.C.C.) that the early Church and even the R.C.C. of more recent ages was not Roman Catholic in its doctrine, yet, nevertheless, it is still supposedly absolutely necessary to our salvation to be subject to the Roman Pontiff and believe today what the Holy Apostles, Fathers, and countless myriads of the faithful, clergy, and Popes did not believe and teach. In fact, this latter-day ‘revelation’ only serves to confirm what has long been said about the Papacy, that its sole goal is the subduing of the world to Roman rule and that even the revision or abolition of the Apostolic doctrines is justified in its eyes in order to achieve this goal. For more on this see the article below.
This is reason #5 why no Christian can have any communion with or participation in Roman Catholicism.
A. Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Claims Concerning Development of Dogma and its Alterability by the Pope
“It is disastrous to suppose that the Church does not know God as He really is;... for if She declined one iota from perfection, such would be a blot on Her unblemished Faith, destroying the beauty of the whole with that single wrinkle. A thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake any detail belonging to the Church’s ancient Tradition which has been upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should admire and whose faith we should imitate.” – St. John of Damascus (+7th century A.D.), Defense of the Divine Icons, I:2.
“Why does the Apostle Paul say “Though we”? why not rather “though I”? He means, “though PETER, though Andrew, though John, in a word, though the whole company of apostles, preach unto you other than we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”... He does not say, “If any man deliver to you another message than that you have received, let him be blessed, praised, welcomed,”-no; but “let him be accursed,” [anathema] i.e., separated, segregated, excluded, lest the dire contagion of a single sheep contaminate the guiltless flock of Christ by his poisonous intermixture with them... That elect vessel, that
teacher of the Gentiles, that trumpet of the apostles, that preacher whose commission was to the whole earth, that man who was caught up to heaven, cries and cries again in his Epistles to all, always, in all places, “If any man preach any new doctrine, let him be accursed.” – St. Vincent of Lerins (+5th century A.D.), Commonitory, 22
““Shun profane novelties,” St. Paul says. He does not say shun “antiquity.” But he plainly points to what ought to follow by the rule of contrary. For if novelty is to be shunned, antiquity is to be held fast; if novelty is profane, antiquity is sacred... For thou mayest hear some of these same (new) ‘doctors’ say, “Come, O silly wretches, who go by the name of Catholics, come and learn the true faith, which no one but ourselves is acquainted with, which same has lain hid these many ages, but has recently been revealed and made manifest.”...“Keep the deposit.” What is “The deposit”? That which has been entrusted to thee, not that which thou hast thyself devised: a matter not of wit, but of learning; not of private adoption, but of public tradition; a matter brought to thee, not put forth by thee, wherein thou art bound to be not an author but a keeper, not a teacher but a disciple, not a leader but a follower....But some one will say, perhaps, ‘Shall there, then, be no progress in Christ’s Church?’ Certainly... progress, but yet only in its own kind; that is to say, in the same doctrine, in the same sense, and in the same meaning.”” – St. Vincent of Lerins (+5th century A.D.), Commonitory, 53
“This being the case, he is the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and the Catholic Faith above every thing, ABOVE THE AUTHORITY, ABOVE THE REGARD, ABOVE THE GENIUS, ABOVE THE ELOQUENCE, ABOVE THE PHILOSOPHY, OF EVERY MAN WHATSOEVER; who sets light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believe that, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient time; but that whatsoever new and unheard-of doctrine he shall find to have been furtively introduced by some one or another, besides that of all, or contrary to that of all the saints, this, he will understand, does not pertain to religion, but is permitted as a trial, being instructed especially by the words of the blessed Apostle Paul, who writes thus in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, “There must needs be heresies, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you:” as though he should say, This is the reason why the authors of Heresies are not forthwith rooted up by God, namely, that they who are approved may be made manifest, that is, that it may be apparent of each individual, how tenacious and faithful and steadfast he is in his love of the Catholic faith.” – St. Vincent of Lerins (+5th century A.D.), Commonitory, 20
6. The Roman Catholic Church Teaches the Holy Spirit Has Inspired and Works in All Religions and that There Can Be Salvation Without True Faith in Jesus Christ
“The various religions arose precisely from this primordial human openness to God. At their origins we often find founders who, with the help of God’s Spirit, achieved a deeper religious experience. Handed on to others, this experience took form in the doctrines, rites and precepts of the various religions.... the Holy Spirit... is mysteriously present in the heart of every person... We experienced an eloquent manifestation of this truth at the World Day of Prayer for Peace on 27 October 1986 in Assisi, and on other similar occasions of great spiritual intensity. The Holy Spirit is... present in other religions... Normally, ‘it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Saviour’...” – Pope John Paul II, Address at General Audience of September 9, 1998: “Seeds of Truth Are Found in Other Religions”, Publisher: the Vatican’s official press organ, L’Osservatore Romano (September 16, 1998)
“‘THE HEBREW AND ISLAMIC PEOPLES [who deny Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Holy Spirit], AND CHRISTIANS... these [are] three expressions of an identical monotheism... we are all sons of the same Father, and..., therefore, we are all brothers’ ‘Although the Church is the new People of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected..., as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. “Christians who yield to anti-Judaism [i.e., opposition to Judaism; e.g., believing one must be a Christian to be saved] offend God and the Church itself’ ‘God of our fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your name to the nations... these children of yours... we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant.” – Selected statements from Pope John Paul II
Ecumenism, the name for universalist unbelief and Freemasonry in religious garb, has rapidly taken over the Vatican since the days of Pope John XXIII, and the Vatican has become one of the main promoters in ‘Christian’ circles of this heresy. To be in communion with the Vatican, which has accepted this heresy, even while continuing, paradoxically, to hold to its former dogmas, means to partake in its denial of Christ and union with His unbelieving enemies.
This is reason # 6 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
A. Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Claims Concerning the Salvific or Divinely-Inspired Nature of Other Religions and Their Ecumenism
“Everyone who denieth the Son, neither doth he have the Father” [1 Jn. 2:23] “This is the antichrist, the one denying the Father and the Son” [1 Jn. 2:22]. God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. The one having the Son hath the life; the one not having the Son of God hath not the life. [ 1 Jn. 5:11,12] – St. John the Apostle, Theologian, and Prophet, declaring that those who do not accept the Son of God do not have eternal life or God the Father either, 1st General Epistle of St. John
“I said therefore to you that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye do not come to believe that I AM, ye shall die in your sins.” [Jn. 8:24] – Our Lord Jesus Christ, speaking to the Jews concerning His divinity, which, if they do not accept, they will not have salvation, The Holy Gospel According to St. John
“The Jews answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If ye were children of Abraham, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill Me, a Man Who hath spoken the truth to you, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. Ye are doing the works of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We have not been born of fornication; we have one Father, God.” Then Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, ye would love Me; for I came forth out of God and am come; for neither have I come of Myself, but that One sent Me forth. Why do ye not understand My speech? Because ye are not able to hear My word. Ye are of your father, the devil, and the desires of your father ye wish to do. That one was a manslayer from the beginning, and hath not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he may speak the lie, he speaketh out of the things which are his own; for he is a liar and the father of it. And because I speak the truth, ye believe Me not. Which of you reproveth Me concerning sin? But if I speak truth, why do ye not believe Me? The one who is of God heareth the words of God; on this account ye hear not, because ye are not of God.” [Jn. 8:39-47] – Our Lord Jesus Christ, telling the Jews they are not sons of Abraham, not sons of God, and not of God, because they reject His words, The Holy Gospel According to St. John
8. The Papacy’s abomination of marriage, in prohibiting married men to minister at the alter
During the episcopacy of Pope Benedict VIII (1012-1024 A.D.), decrees were issued against married presbyters (priests), including the permission for secular rulers to enslave the children of those presbyters. In 1054 A.D., Pope ‘St.’ Leo IX anathematized the Patriarch of Constantinople and his followers because they permitted married presbyters to minister at the altar. (The Orthodox response was the application of Canon IV of Gangra [see below] to the Pope and his followers.) At the Lenten Synod of 1074, Pope ‘St.’ Gregory VII decreed the mysteries of married clergy invalid and demanded that they cease from liturgizing. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, in 1089 Pope Urban II decreed at the Council of Melfi:
“We expel from every sacred order those who from the subdiaconate upward wish to have leisure for wives, and we decree that they be without office and benefice of the Church. But, if warned by the bishop, they fail to correct themselves, we give permission to princes that they may subject their women to servitude.” [quoted in: Somerville, Robert, in collaboration with Stephen Kuttner, Pope Urban II, the Collectio Britannica, and the Council ofMelfi (1089), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996; p. 261]
Pope Innocent II declared at the Synod of Clermont (1130 A.D.) the impossibility of the Church ordaining married men to minister at the alter since they “lie in the conjugal bed and live in impurity” [quoted in: Ranke-Heinemann, Ute, Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, New York, Doubleday, 1990; p. 110]. Although the Papacy no longer has the political influence to accomplish such punishments, the same attitude prevails at Rome today as then. Exceptional cases, wherein the candidate for holy orders is allowed to be ordained after signing a contract whereby he and his wife agree to celibacy, are only granted as special Papal dispensations to this ecclesiastical law, and as such these exceptions do not remove the offense. Moreover, according to Canon 13 of the 6th Ecumenical Council (692 A.D.), those who even only discriminate in this more ‘moderate’ way against married clergy are still subject to deposition or excommunication. For further information on this subject see the article below.
Therefore, this is reason #8 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
A. Abomination of Clerical Marriage and Forced Clerical Celibacy in the Roman Church
B. Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Clams Concerning Her Abomination of Married Clergy
“If anyone discriminate against a married presbyter, on the ground that he ought not to partake of the offering when that Presbyter is conducting the Liturgy, let him be
anathema.” – Council of Gangra (340 A.D.), Canon IV
9. Her Denigrating and Dehumanizing Pseudo-Glorification of the Theotokos
“We define that... The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception... preserved from all stain of original sin... If anyone shall dare to think... otherwise than has been defined by us let him know that he certainly has abandoned the divine and Catholic Church... Mary, the most holy Mother of God, by virtue of the foreseen merits of Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, was never subject to original sin, but was completely preserved from the original taint, and hence she was redeemed in a manner more sublime... Mary... was never subject to the curse and was, together with her Son, the only partaker of perpetual benediction... to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely... the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light.” – Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854), decreeing the Immaculate Conception as dogma
The Papacy teaches that the Virgin Mary’s nature was never fallen, never had any kind of corruption, bodily or spiritual, as is the lot of Adam and his descendents, but was always united perfectly to God, incapable of sin, and divinized (at least in a Roman Catholic sense [cf. ‘created grace’ above]). But if this is so, then the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God-Incarnate) never did any meritous act or engaged in any spiritual struggle for Christ whatsoever – so that she was ‘virtuous’ by necessity – she had no choice – so that the Christian moral greatness of the Theotokos is done away with. So too, her love for us on which account she most fervently intercedes for us is diminished or passes away entirely, for how can she feel compassion, who never knew anything of what we suffer or struggle with, morally or physically, who never knew what it is to struggle with sin or temptation? So, in fact, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception does not glorify Mary, but deprives her of all her glory and that compassion for which she is especially dear to Christians – intending to exalt her, it insults her. Moreover, if she was always absolutely incorrupt or immortal, then how could Christ receive a mortal body from her? If she had a body never having any possibility of passion or temptation, then how did our Savior receive one from her in which He suffered, felt what is natural and blameless, and was tempted? If her nature never received the ability to sin or even be tempted, then did she not have a nature lacking free will, and so our Savior lacked this too? For the teaching says not simply that she had these things suppressed in Her by irresistible grace, but that her nature was preserved from it, that is, it never received it at all. So this false glorification of the most holy Theotokos actually leads to a denial of Christ’s real humanity and coessentiality with us and, thus, His redemption of our nature. These and many other problems and questions arise from this newly-invented ‘revelation’ concerning the Theotokos. Finally, the ‘dogma’ is contrary to the whole patristic tradition as we shall show in the following article.
This is reason #9 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
A. Rebuttal of Roman Catholic Claims Concerning the Virgin Mary the Theotokos and Her Conception
“Just when those who slandered the immaculate life of the Most Holy Virgin had been censured, as well as those who denied Her Ever-Virginity, those who denied Her dignity as the Mother of God, and those who disdained Her icons – then, when the glory of the Mother of God had illuminated the whole universe, there appeared a teaching which seemingly highly exalted the Virgin Mary, but in reality denied all her virtues. This teaching is called that of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, and it was accepted by the followers of the papal throne of Rome. The teaching is... the Mother of God at Her very Conception was preserved from original sin and, by the grace of God, was placed in a state where it was impossible for her to have personal sins... The teaching of the complete sinlessness of the Mother of God (1) does not correspond to Sacred Scripture, where there is repeatedly mentioned t e sinlessness of the “One Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5)... “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22)...But concerning the rest of men it is said, “Who is pure of defilement? No one who has lived a single day of his life on earth” (Job 14:4)...
(2) This teaching contradicts also Sacred Tradition, which is contained in numerous Patristic writings where there is mentioned the exalted sanctity of the Virgin Mary from Her very birth, as well as Her cleansing by the Holy Spirit at Her conception of Christ, but not at Her own conception by Anna.... However, even then, as Sts. Basil the Great and John Chrysostom speak of this, She was not placed in the state of being unable to sin, but continued to take care of Her salvation and overcame all temptations (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on John, Homily 85; St. Basil the Great, Epistle 160)
(3) The teaching that the Mother of God was purified before Her birth, so that from Her might be born the Pure Christ, is meaningless; because if the Pure Christ could be born only if the Virgin might be born pure, it would be necessary that Her parents also should be pure of original sin, and they again would have to be born of purified parents, and going further in this way, one would have to come to the conclusion that Christ could not have become incarnate unless all His ancestors in the flesh, right up to Adam inclusive, had been purified beforehand of original sin. But then there would not have been any need for the very Incarnation of Christ, since Christ came down to earth in order to annihilate sin.
(4) The teaching that the Mother of God was preserved from original sin, as likewise the teaching that She was preserved by God’s grace from personal sins, makes God unmerciful and unjust because if God could preserve Mary from sin and purify Her before Her birth, then why does He not purify other men before their birth, but rather leaves them in sin? It follows likewise that God saves men apart from their will, predetermining certain ones before their birth to salvation.
(5) This teaching, which seemingly has the aim of exalting the Mother of God, in reality completely denies all Her virtues. After all, if Mary, even in the womb of Her mother, when She could not even desire anything either good or evil, was preserved by God’s grace from every impurity, and then by that grace was preserved from sin even after Her birth, then in what does Her merit consist? If She could have been placed in the state of being unable to sin, and did not sin, then for what did God glorify Her? If She, without any effort, and without having any kind of impulses to sin, remained pure, then why is She crowned more than everyone else? There is no victory without an adversary.
The righteousness and sanctity of the Virgin Mary were manifested in the fact that She, being “human with passions like us,” so loved God and gave Herself over to Him, that by Her purity She was exalted high above the rest of the human race. For this, having been foreknown and fore-chosen, She was vouchsafed to be purified by the Holy Spirit Who came upon Her, and to conceive of Him the very Savior of the world. The teaching of the grace-given sinlessness of the Virgin Mary denies Her victory over temptations; from a victor who is worthy to be crowned with crowns of glory, this makes Her a blind instrument of God’s Providence.
It is not an exaltation and greater glory, but a belittlement of Her, this “gift” which was given Her by Pope Pius IX and all the rest who think they can glorify the Mother of God by seeking out new truths. – St. John Maximovitch (+1966), The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God, Ch. VI.
10. Papal official endorsement of murder, torture, and enslavement – even absolving in advance the rapine of pro-Papal invaders
“We grant to you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as other kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property... and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery.” – Pope Nicholas V, Dum Diversas (1452/54)
“The... ruler... is hereby ordered to force all captured heretics to confess and accuse their accomplices by torture..., just as thieves and robbers are forced to accuse their accomplices, and to confess their crimes; for heretics are true thieves, murderers of souls, and robbers of the sacraments of God.” – Pope Innocent IV, Ad Extirpanda (1252)
“...Secular authorities, whatever office they may hold, shall be admonished and induced and if necessary compelled by ecclesiastical censure, that as they wish to be esteemed and numbered among the faithful, so for the defense of the faith they ought publicly to take an oath that they will strive in good faith and to the best of their ability to exterminate in the territories subject to their jurisdiction all heretics pointed out by the Church; so that whenever anyone shall have assumed authority, whether spiritual or temporal, let him be bound to confirm this decree by oath. But if a temporal ruler, after having been requested and admonished by the Church, should neglect to cleanse his territory of this heretical foulness, let him be excommunicated by the metropolitan and the other bishops of the province. If he refuses to make satisfaction within a year, let the matter be made known to the supreme pontiff, that he may declare the ruler’s vassals absolved from their allegiance and may offer the territory to be ruled by Catholics, who on the extermination of the heretics may possess it without hindrance and preserve it in the purity of faith... Catholics who have girded themselves with the cross for the extermination of the heretics, shall enjoy the indulgences and privileges granted to those who go in defense of the Holy Land....” – Pope Innocent III & the Fourth Lateran Council (c.1215), Canon 3.
All immorality and all murder is abominable; however, the Papacy goes one step further and makes it, not just the private crimes of this or that pope, but a part of their official canon law (even if today they do not attempt to apply it for ecumenical tactical reasons). Thus it became the official (false) teaching of the Catholic Church through that alleged instrument of divine revelation, the Pope, and so it finds a place on this site concerning the official errors of the Papacy that prevent Christians from having communion with her. These and other official endorsements of crimes against humanity will be discussed in the following article.
This constitutes reason # 10 why no Christian can be associated with Roman Catholicism.
A. Papal Crimes and Roman Catholic Crimes Endorsed by the Popes
“The thief cometh not, except that he might steal, and slay, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep.” [Jn. 10:10-11] - Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Holy Gospel According to St. John, describing the character of true and false spiritual shepherds.
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