Category: Sacraments

Adoration Encounter – Solemnity of All Saints at St. Peter’s Parish – November 1st

Adoration Encounter Nov We shall be like him - Version 2

November 1st – Solemnity of All Saints
Chanted Vespers: from Mundelein Psalter
Lectio Divina and silence
Confession: three priest available
Taize chants: lyrics by St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Paul the Apostle and Canticle of Daniel

Everyone is invited. https://www.facebook.com/encounter.steubenville

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All Saints Frassati 1920’s Party will start at 8:45pm after Adoration at St. Peter’s is finished. https://www.facebook.com/events/246817462136370

“Chosen” 2013 Promo – Steubenville Conferences

You are invited to experience a love that has no limits, no end, no strings attached. Come join over 40,000+ teens at Steubenville Conferences as we discover the reality that nothing can separate us from this love.

Videographer: Keith Major
Video editor: Cory Heimann @Likable Art

lenten fast w/ James Franke

James Franke told me an inspirational story of how he fasted in a way he had never done last Lent. Easter turned out to be a total surprise with God telling him, “James, this Easter is special because you made this Lent special…”

Consider fasting this Holy Week. God wants to woo your heart this season!

Catholic fasting via voluntary penance and redemptive suffering w/ Matthew Leonard

Matthew Leonard and I share about a renewed understanding of fasting when observed through the lens of Catholicism via voluntary penance and redemptive suffering. The son of a Protestant pastor, Matthew served as a missionary in Latin America previous to his conversion to Catholicism in 1998.

After entering the Church, he obtained a Master’s degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and is now is the Executive Director of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (http://bit.ly/nD86jb) and you can follow Matthew on Twitter @MattSLeonard.

Comissioning as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

Today was my first Mass as a commissioned Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in the Diocese of Steubenville. My heart was truly humbled as I distributed the precious Eucharist for the first time.

With Fr. Ray Ryland and my son, Kevin, after my 1st Mass as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion Certificate

Interview on “The Journey Home” with Marcus Grodi

Here’s the archive of my interview on EWTN’s “The Journey Home” with Marcus Grodi that aired tonight. I explained how I got to Russia, met my wife, became an ordained Vineyard pastor and church planter, joined staff at the International House of Prayer Official Page, then finally returned to the Church of my childhood by reading the lives of Catholic saints and mystics mixed with fasting.

Top 10 Misconceptions About The Catholic Church

I have taken ten of the most believed or written about misconceptions about Catholics or the Church and debunked them (with evidence wherever possible). I certainly hope that you all find it interesting and readable.

#10 – Discourage Bible Reading

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Misconception: The Church discourages Bible reading

The very first Christian Bible was produced by the Catholic Church – compiled by Catholic scholars of the 2nd and 3rd century and approved for general Christian use by the Catholic Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397). The very first printed Bible was produced under the auspices of the Catholic Church – printed by the Catholic inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg. And the very first Bible with chapters and numbered verses was produced by the Catholic Church–the work of Stephen Langton, Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury.

At every Mass in the world everyday, the Bible is read aloud by the priest. In the traditional Mass there is one reading from the general body of the Bible (excluding the gospels), and two from the Gospels. In the modern Catholic Mass, there are two readings from the general body of the Bible and one from the Gospels. All Catholic homes have a Bible and the Bible is taught in Catholic schools (as is its perennial tradition).

This myth has come about because Bibles were often locked away in Churches in the past, but that was not to prevent people having access – it was to prevent them being stolen. These were hand written Bibles which were incredibly valuable due to scarcity. Furthermore, people think the Church forbade people from reading the Bible by putting it on the Index of Forbidden Books, but the Bibles placed on the Index were Protestant versions (lacking 7 books) or badly translated versions.

#9 – Idolatry

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Misconception: Catholics worship Mary and are, therefore, committing idolatry

In Catholic theology there are three types of worship – one of which is condemned in the Bible if offered to anyone but God:

1) Latria – this is adoration which is given to God alone – giving this type of worship to anyone else is considered to be a mortal sin and it is the idolatry condemned in the Bible.

2) Hyperdulia – this is a special type of veneration given to Mary the Mother of Jesus – it is only given to her and it is not considered to be idolatory as it is not adoration, merely reverence.

3) Dulia – this is the special type of veneration given only to the saints and angels – it is also not idolatrous as it, too, is a form of reverence.

The distinction was made by the 2nd Council of Nicaea in 787 AD. The council was called to condemn the people who claimed that it was idolatrous to have statues and images of saints. The canons of the Council can be read here.

Just to clarify: “Latria is a Latin term (from the Greek λατρεια) used in Orthodox and Catholic theology to mean adoration, which is the highest form of worship or reverence and is directed only to the Holy Trinity.” – there are lower forms of worship (as is implied here). A Catholic who may kneel in front of a statue while petitioning, isn’t worshipping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a Bible in his hands when praying is worshipping the Bible or praying to it. The images of saints (whether it be in statue form or painting) serves as a reminder of the holiness of the person depicted.

#8 – Non-Christians

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Misconception: Catholics aren’t Christians

In fact, Catholics are the first Christians. When reading over the early Christian writings, you can see clearly that their doctrines and teachings are the same as the Catholic Church today. You hear of Bishops, virgins living in community (nuns), priests, confession, baptism of infants, the Bishop of Rome as head of the Christian religion, and reverence for the saints. Here are some comments by the early Church fatherswho were, in many cases, the apostles of the Biblical apostles:

Bishops: For it will be no light sin for us, if we thrust out those who have offered the gifts of the bishop’s office unblamably and holily. — Pope St Clement, Letter to the Corinthians 1, A.D. 96.

The Papacy: “[From] Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father” (St Ignatius, Letter to the Romans 1:1 [A.D. 110]).

Holy Communion: “This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God’s Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.” — St. Justin Martyr, “First Apology”, A.D. 148-155.

Infant Baptism:Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parentsor other relatives speak for them” (St Hippolytus, The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]).

Confession: “[A filial method of forgiveness], albeit hard and laborious [is] the remission of sins through penance, when the sinner . . . does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord and from seeking medicine, after the manner of him who say, “I said, to the Lord, I will accuse myself of my iniquity.” ” (Origen, Homilies in Leviticus 2:4 — A.D. 248)

From these quotes it is obvious that the practices of the modern Catholic Church are the closest to the practices of the apostles and early Christians. It should also be said that the majority of historians accept that the Catholic Church was the first Christian Church as it is verifiable from ancient texts.

#7 – Totally Infallible

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Misconception: The Pope is infallible in all things

Roman Catholics believe that only under certain circumstances is the pope infallible (that is, he can not make a mistake). The Catholic Church defines three conditions under which the Pope is infallible:

I. The Pope must be making a decree on matters of faith or morals
II. The declaration must be binding on the whole Church
III. The Pope must be speaking with the full authority of the Papacy, and not in a personal capacity.

This means that when the Pope is speaking on matters of science, he can make errors (as we have seen in the past with issues such as Heliocentricity). However, when he is teaching a matter of religion and the other two conditions above are met, Catholics consider that the decree is equal to the Word of God. It can not contradict any previous declarations and it must be believed by all Catholics. Catholics believe that if a person denies any of these solemn decrees, they are committing a mortal sin – the type of sin that sends a person to hell. Here is an example of an infallible decree from the Council of Trent (under Pope Saint Pius V – 16th Century):

If anyone denies 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 says that He is in it only as in a sign, or figure or force, let him be anathema.

The last section of the final sentence “let him be anathema” is a standard phrase that normally appears at the end of an infallible statement. It means “let him be cursed”. The most recent pronouncement that can be seen as falling under Papal Infallibility was when Pope John Paul II declared that women could not become priests.

#6 – Anti-Science

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Misconception: The Catholic Church is opposed to science and rejects evolution

In fact, may great scientific advances have come about through Catholic scholarship and education. The most recent and interesting case is that of Monsignor Georges Lemaître (pictured above, center) a Belgian priest who proposed the Big Bang theory. When he proposed his theory, Einstein rejected it, causing Monsignor Lemaître to write to him: “Your mathis correct, but your physics is abominable.” Eventually Einstein came to accept the theory.

Also, unlike many of the American Protestant or evangelical religions, the Catholic Church does not reject the theory of evolution. Right from the early days of the theory, the Church remained mostly silent on the issue. The first public statements specifically regarding evolution came from Pope Pius XII who said: “The Church does not forbid that…research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter.”

In 2004, a Theological Commission overseen by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) issued this statement: “According to the widely accepted scientific account, the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in an explosion called the ‘Big Bang’ and has been expanding and cooling ever since. […] Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution.”

Catholic Schools all around the world (including the US) teach scientific evolution as part of their science curriculum.

#5 -Indulgences

Orthodox Indulgence

Misconception: Indulgences let you pay to have your sins forgiven

First of all we need to understand what an indulgence is. The Catholic Church teaches that when a person sins, they get two punishments: eternal (hell) and temporal (punishment on earth while alive, or in purgatory after death). To remove the eternal punishment of hell, a person must confess their sins and be forgiven. But the temporal punishment remains. To remove the temporal punishment a person can receive an indulgence. This is a special “blessing” in which the temporal punishment is removed if a person performs a special act such as doing good deeds or reading certain prayers.

In the Middle ages, forgers who were working for disobedient Bishops would write fake indulgences offering the forgiveness of sins (removal of eternal punishment) in exchange for money which was often used for church building. Popes had been long trying to end the abuse but it took at least three centuries for the sale of indulgences to finally end. True indulgences existed from the beginning of Christianity and the Church continues to grant special indulgences today. Wikipedia has an excellent and honest article on the abuse of indulgences from the Middle Ages. You can read it here. Here is a BBC article on a new indulgence granted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.

#4 – Emperor Constantine

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Misconception: Emperor Constantine invented the Catholic Church in 325 AD

In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan, which removed penalties for professing Christianity. At the age of 40 he converted to Christianity and in 325 he convened the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea. Because of the importance of this council, many people believe that Constantine created the Church, but in fact there had been many councils (though not as large) prior to Nicaea and the structure of the Church already existed. Constantine was at the council merely as an observer and the Bishops and representative of the Pope made all of the decisions. Before the council of Nicaea, priestly celibacy was already the norm, baptism of infants was practiced (as were all 7 sacraments), and the structure of priests and Bishops was already 300 years old.

#3 – Priestly Celibacy

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Misconception: Catholic Priests can’t get married

In order to clear this one up, we need to first understand the nature of the Catholic Church. Within the universal Church there are sections (also called churches but not in the sense that they are separate) – the most common one is, of course, the Roman (or Latin) Catholic Church. Then there is the Eastern Catholic Church (not to be confused with the Orthodox which is a different religion). Both of these churches fall under the jurisdiction of the Pope and all believe the same doctrines. There are a lot of differences between the two groups but these are all in matters of style of worship and certain rules. In the Eastern Church, priests are allowed to be married – but a married priest can’t become a Bishop.

It also happens that occasionally in the Latin Church, pastors who convert from other religions such as the Church of England are allowed to become priests even though they are married, so married priests can be found in all parts of the Roman Catholic Church. Pictured above is a Greek Catholic priest and his wife. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof.

#2 – Modified Bible

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Misconception: The Church added books to the Bible

The Catholic version of the Old Testament differs from the Protestant version in that the Catholic edition contains seven more books than Protestant Bibles. These “extra” books are the reason that many people consider the Church to have added to the Bible, but in fact these books were considered the official canon (list of books) by all Christians until the Protestant reformation during which Martin Luther (leader of the revolution) removed them. Interestingly some of these books contain affirmations of Catholic doctrines which Luther rejected. The reason that the Catholic Church uses the Greek edition is because the apostles used it exclusively in their preaching.

Luther decided to use the Jewish Masoretic canon (circa 700 – 1000 AD) instead of the Apostolic canon. The seven books he removed were: Tobit, Judith, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch. While initially wanting to remove at least one book (The Epistle of James, because it contradicts Luther’s teaching that faith alone is needed for salvation [James Chapter 2]) from the New Testament, Luther ultimately decided to keep the Catholic New Testament in full.

Interestingly, Hanukah is mentioned only in 1 and 2 Maccabees, which is not included in either the Jewish or Protestant versions of the Old Testament.

#1 – Medieval Papacy

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Misconception: The Papacy is a medieval invention

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, and from the beginning of Christianity he was considered the head of the Church. This fact is alluded to in many of the early Church documents and even in the Bible itself: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter [Greek for “rock”]; and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Peter was the first Bishop of Rome and he led the Church until his death in 64 AD, at which point St Linus became the second Pope. St Irenaeus mentions him here:

The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate . Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy [2 Timothy 4:21]. To him succeeded Anacletus [third Pope, pictured above]; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement [4th Pope] was allotted the bishopric. — Against the Heresies, 180 AD

St Irenaeus goes on to mention another six Popes and the various tasks they undertook during their reigns – such as the imposition by Pope Linus of the rule that women cover their heads in Church (a rule which, though often ignored, still exists today). – J. Frater

One hundred fifty reasons why I’m Catholic

1. Best One-Sentence Summary: I am convinced that the Catholic Church conforms much more closely to all of the biblical data, offers the only coherent view of the history of Christianity (i.e., Christian, apostolic Tradition), and possesses the most profound and sublime Christian morality, spirituality, social ethic, and philosophy.

2. Alternate: I am a Catholic because I sincerely believe, by virtue of much cumulative evidence, that Catholicism is true, and that the Catholic Church is the visible Church divinely established by our Lord Jesus, against which the gates of hell cannot and will not prevail (Mt 16:18), thereby possessing an authority to which I feel bound in Christian duty to submit.

3. 2nd Alternate: I left Protestantism because it was seriously deficient in its interpretation of the Bible (e.g., “faith alone” and its missing many other “Catholic” doctrines – see evidences below), inconsistently selective in its espousal of various doctrines of Catholic Tradition (e.g., the canon of the Bible), inadequate in its ecclesiology, lacking a sensible view of Christian history (e.g., “Scripture alone”; ignorance or inconsistent understanding of of development of doctrine), compromised morally (e.g., contraception, divorce), and unbiblically schismatic and (in effect, or logical reduction, if not always in actual belief) relativistic.

Disclaimer: I don’t therefore believe that Protestantism is all bad (not by a long shot – indeed, I think it is a pretty good

4. Catholicism isn’t formally divided and sectarian (Jn 17:20-23; Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 1:10-13).

5. Catholic unity makes Christianity and Jesus more believable to the world (Jn 17:23).

6. Catholicism, because of its unified, complete, fully supernatural Christian vision, mitigates against secularization and humanism.

7. Catholicism (institutionally) avoids (and/or has the remedy to) an unbiblical individualism which undermines Christian community (e.g., 1 Cor 12:25-26).

8. Catholicism avoids theological relativism, by means of dogmatic certainty and the centrality of the papacy.

9. Catholicism avoids ecclesiological anarchism – one cannot merely jump to another denomination when some disciplinary measure or censure is called for.

10. Catholicism formally (although, sadly, not always in practice) prevents the theological “pick and choose” state of affairs, which leads to the uncertainties and “every man for himself” confusion within the Protestant system among laypeople.

11. Catholicism rejects the “State Church,” which has led to governments dominating Christianity rather than vice versa, caesaropapism, or a nominal, merely “go through the motions” institutional religion.

12. Protestant State Churches greatly influenced the rise of nationalism, which mitigated against equality of all men and the universal nature of historic Christianity (i.e., catholicism in its literal meaning).

13. Unified Catholic Christendom (before the 16th century) had not been plagued by the tragic, Christian vs. Christian religious wars which in turn led to the “Enlightenment,” in which men rejected the hypocrisy of inter-Christian warfare and decided to become indifferent to religion rather than letting it guide their lives.

14. Catholicism retains (to the fullest extent) the elements of mystery, supernatural, and the sacred in Christianity, thus opposing itself to secularization, where the sphere of the religious in life becomes greatly limited.

15. Protestant individualism led to the privatization of Christianity, whereby it is little respected in societal and political life, leaving the “public square” largely barren of Christian influence.

16. The secular false dichotomy of “church vs. world” has led committed orthodox Christians, by and large, to withdraw from politics, leaving a void filled by pagans, cynics, the unscrupulous, the power-hungry, and the Machiavellian. Catholicism offers a sensible, internally-coherent framework in which to approach the state and civic responsibility.

17. Protestantism leans too much on mere traditions of men. Every denomination stems from one founder’s vision, which contradicts something previously received from apostolic Tradition and passed down. As soon as two or more of these contradict each other, error is necessarily present.

18. Protestant churches (especially evangelicals), are far too often guilty of putting their pastors on too high of a pedestal. In effect, often pastors (at least in some denominational traditions) becomes a “pope,” to varying degrees. Because of this, evangelical congregations often experience a severe crisis and/or split up when a pastor leaves, thus proving that their philosophy is overly man-centered, rather than God-centered (Catholic parishes usually don’t experience such a crisis when a priest departs). Many pastors have far more power in their congregagtions than the pope has over the daily life of any Catholic.

19. Protestantism, due to lack of real authority and dogmatic structure, is tragically prone to accommodation to the spirit of the age, and moral faddism.

20. Catholicism retains apostolic succession, necessary to know what is true Christian apostolic Tradition. It was the criterion of Christian truth used by the early Christians and the Church Fathers.

21. Many Protestants take a dim view towards Christian history in general, especially the years from 313 (Constantine’s conversion) to 1517 (Luther’s arrival). This ignorance and hostility to Catholic Tradition leads to theological relativism, anti-Catholicism, and a constant, unnecessary process of “reinventing the wheel.”

22. Protestantism from its inception was anti-Catholic, and certain factions of it remain so to this day (especially in certain fundamentalist and Baptist and Reformed circles). This is obviously wrong and unbiblical if Catholicism is indeed Christian (if it isn’t, then – logically – neither is Protestantism, which inherited the bulk of its theology from Catholicism). The Catholic Church, on the other hand, is not anti-Protestant.

23. The Catholic Church accepts the authority of the great ecumenical councils (see, e.g., Acts 15) which defined and developed Christian doctrine (much of which Protestantism also accepts).

24. Most Protestants do not have bishops, a Christian office which is biblical (1 Tim 3:1-2) and which has existed from the earliest Christian history and Tradition.

25. Protestantism has no way of settling doctrinal issues definitively. At best, the individual Protestant can only take a head count of how many Protestant scholars, commentators, etc. take such-and-such a view on Doctrine X, Y, or Z. Or (in a more sophisticated fashion), the Protestant can simply accept the authority of some denominational tradition, confession, or creed (which then has to be justified over against the other competing ones). There is no unified Protestant Tradition.

26. Protestantism arose in 1517, and is a “Johnny-come-lately” in the history of Christianity (having introduced many doctrines previously accepted by no Christian group, or very few individuals). Therefore it cannot possibly be the “restoration” of “pure”, “primitive” Christianity, since this is ruled out by the fact of its novelties and absurdly late appearance. Christianity must have historic continuity or it is not Christianity. Protestantism is necessarily a “parasite” of Catholicism: historically and doctrinally speaking.

27. The notion (common among many Protestants) of the “invisible church” is also novel in the history of Christianity and foreign to the Bible (Mt 5:14; 16:18), therefore untrue.

28. When Protestant theologians speak of the teaching of early Christianity (e.g., when refuting “cults”), they say “the Church taught . . .” (as it was then unified), but when they refer to the present they instinctively and inconsistently refrain from such terminology, since universal teaching authority now clearly resides only in the Catholic Church.

29. The Protestant principle of private judgment has created a milieu (especially in Protestant America) in which it is easier for (invariably) man-centered “cults” such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Christian Science arise. The very notion that one can “start” a new, or “the true” Church is Protestant to the core. Though (I want to stress) these cults are not Protestant themselves; nevertheless they tend to proliferate, given the existence of certain false Protestant principles of epistemology and authority.

30. The lack of a definitive teaching authority in Protestant (as with the Catholic magisterium) makes many individual Protestants think that they have a direct line to God, notwithstanding all of Christian Tradition and the history of biblical exegesis (a “Bible, Holy Spirit and me” mentality). Such people are generally under-educated theologically, unteachable, lack humility, and have no business making presumed “infallible” statements about the nature of Christianity.

31. Evangelicalism’s “techniques” of evangelism are often contrived and manipulative, certainly not directly derived from the text of the Bible. Some even resemble brainwashing to a degree. [I speak as a former street and campus and counter-cult evangelist myself, who avoided these techniques then, as I do now]

32. Sadly, too many evangelical Protestant evangelists and pastors present a truncated and abridged, individualistic and ear-tickling gospel, in effect merely “fire insurance” rather than the biblical gospel as proclaimed by the apostles.

33. Evangelicalism often separates profound, life-transforming repentance and radical discipleship from its gospel message. The Lutheran Dietrich Bonhoeffer called this “cheap grace.”

34. The absence of the idea of submission to spiritual authority in Protestantism has leaked over into the civic arena, where the ideas of personal “freedom,” “rights,” and “choice” now dominate to such an extent that civic duty, communitarianism, and discipline are tragically neglected, to the detriment of a healthy society.

35. Catholicism retains the sense of the sacred, the sublime, the holy, and the beautiful in spirituality. The ideas of altar, and “sacred space” are preserved. Many Protestant churches are no more than “meeting halls” or “gymnasiums” or “barn”-type structures. Most Protestants’ homes are more esthetically striking than their churches. Likewise, Protestants (particularly fundamentalists and too many evangelicals) are often “addicted to mediocrity” in their appreciation of art, music, architecture, drama, the imagination, etc.

36. Protestantism has too often neglected the place of liturgy in worship (with notable exceptions such as Anglicanism and Lutheranism). This is the way Christians had always worshiped down through the centuries, and thus can’t be so lightly dismissed.

37. Too many brands of Protestantism tend to oppose matter and spirit, favoring the latter, and sometimes exhibit Gnostic or Docetic strains of thought in this regard.

38. Catholicism upholds in the fullest way the “incarnational principle,” wherein Jesus became flesh and thus raised flesh and matter to new spiritual heights.

39. Some strains of Protestantism (particularly evangelicalism and pentecostalism and especially the Baptists) greatly limit or disbelieve in sacramentalism, which is simply the extension of the incarnational principle and the belief that matter can convey grace. Some sects (e.g., Quakers and the Salvation Army) reject all sacraments.

40. Too many Protestants’ excessive mistrust of the flesh (“carnality”) often leads to (in evangelicalism or fundamentalism) an absurd legalism (no dancing, drinking, card-playing, rock music, etc.).

41. Many Protestants tend to separate life into categories of “spiritual” and “carnal,” as if God is not Lord of all of life. They forget that all non-sinful endeavors are ultimately spiritual.

42. Many Protestant denominations have removed the Eucharist from the center and focus of Christian worship services. Some Protestants observe it only monthly, or even quarterly (the Reformed are notorious for this). This is against the Tradition of the early Church.

43. Most Protestants (Lutherans and high-church Anglicans being the exception) believe in a merely symbolic Eucharist, which is contrary to universal Christian Tradition up to 1517, and the Bible (Mt 26:26-8; Jn 6:47-63; 1 Cor 10:14-22; 11:23-30), which hold to the Real Presence (another instance of the antipathy to matter).

44. Protestantism almost universally denies the sacramentality of marriage, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Mt 19:4-5; 1 Cor 7:14,39; Eph 5:25-33).

45. Protestantism has abolished the priesthood (Mt 18:18) and the sacrament of ordination, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Acts 6:6; 14:22; 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6).

46. Catholicism retains the Pauline notion of the spiritual practicality, prudence, and wisdom of a celibate clergy

47. Protestantism has largely rejected the sacrament of confirmation (Acts 8:18, Heb 6:2-4), contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible.

48. A significant minority of Protestants have denied infant baptism, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Acts 2:38-9; 16:15,33; 18:8; cf. 11:14; 1 Cor 1:16; Col 2:11-12). Protestantism is divided into five major camps on the question of baptism.

49. The majority of Protestants deny baptismal regeneration, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 6:11; Titus 3:5).

50. Protestants have rejected the sacrament of anointing of the sick (Extreme Unction / “Last Rites”), contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Mk 6:13; 1 Cor 12:9,30; Jas 5:14-15).

51. Protestantism denies the indissolubility of sacramental marriage and allows divorce, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Gen 2:24; Mal 2:14-16; Mt 5:32; 19:6,9; Mk
10:11-12; Lk 16:18; Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor 7:10-14,39).

52. Many Protestants deny that procreation is the primary purpose and benefit of marriage (it isn’t part of the vows, as in Catholic matrimony), contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Gen 1:28; 28:3, Ps 107:38; 127:3-5).

53. Protestantism sanctions contraception, in defiance of universal Christian Tradition (Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant) up until 1930 – when the Anglicans first allowed it – and the Bible (Gen 38:8-10; 41:52; Ex 23:25-6; Lev 26:9; Deut 7:14; Ruth 4:13; Lk 1:24-5). Luther and Calvin, e.g., regarded it as murder. Now, only Catholicism retains the ancient Tradition, over against the “anti-child” mentality.

54. Protestantism (mostly its liberal wing, but alarmingly in many other places, too) has accepted abortion as a moral option, contrary to universal Christian Tradition until recently (sometime after 1930), and the Bible (e.g., Ex 20:13; Job 31:15; Ps 139:13-16; Isa 44:2; 49:5; Jer 1:5; 2:34; Lk 1:15,41; Rom 13:9-10).

55. Protestantism (largely liberal denominations, but not exclusively so) allow women pastors (and even bishops, as in Anglicanism), contrary to Christian Tradition (including. traditional Protestant theology) and the Bible (Mt 10:1-4; 1 Tim 2:11-15; 3:1-12; Titus 1:6).

56. Protestantism is, more and more, formally and officially compromising with currently fashionable radical feminism, which denies the roles of men and women, as taught in the Bible (Gen 2:18-23; 1 Cor 11:3-10) and maintained by Christian Tradition (differentiation of roles, but not of equality).

57. Protestantism is also currently denying, with increasing frequency, the headship of the husband in marriage, which is based upon the headship of the Father over the Son (while equal in essence) in the Trinity, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; 1 Pet 3:1-2). This too, is based on a relationship of equality (1 Cor 11:11-12; Gal 3:28; Eph 5:21).

58. Liberal Protestantism (most notably Anglicanism) has even ordained practicing homosexuals as pastors and blessed their “marriages,” or taught that homosexuality is merely an involuntary, “alternate” lifestyle, contrary to formerly universal Christian Tradition, as the Bible clearly teaches (Gen 19:4-25; Rom 1:18-27; 1 Cor 6:9). Catholicism stands firm on traditional sexual morality.

59. Liberal Protestantism, and evangelicalism increasingly, have accepted “higher critical” methods of biblical interpretation which lead to the destruction of the traditional Christian reverence for the Bible, and demote it to the status of largely a human, fallible document, to the detriment of its divine, infallible essence.

60. Much of liberal Protestantism has thrown out many cardinal doctrines of Christianity, such as the incarnation, virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the Trinity, original sin, hell, the existence of the devil, miracles, etc.

61. The founders of Protestantism denied, and Calvinists today deny, the reality of human free will (Luther’s favorite book was his Bondage of the Will). This is contrary to the constant premise of the Bible, Christian Tradition, and common sense.

62. Classical Protestantism had a deficient view of the Fall of Man, thinking that the result was “total depravity.” According to Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Calvinists, man could only do evil of his own volition, and had no free will to do good. He now has a “sin nature.” Catholicism believes that, in a mysterious way, man cooperates with the grace which always originates from God and precedes all good actions. In Catholicism, man’s nature still retains some good, although he has a propensity to sin (“concupiscence”).

63. Classical Protestantism, and Calvinism today, comes perilously close to making God the author of evil. He supposedly wills that men do evil and violate His precepts without having any free will to do so.

64. Accordingly (man having no free will), in classical Protestant and Calvinist thought, God predestines men to hell, although they had no choice or say in the matter all along.

65. Classical Protestantism and Calvinism, teach falsely that Jesus died only for the elect (i.e., those who will make it to heaven).

66. Classical Protestantism (especially Luther), and Calvinism, deny natural theology, and tend to dichotomize reason against God and faith, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Mk 12:28; Lk 10:27; Jn 20:24-9; Acts 1:3; 17:2,17,22-34; 19:8). The best Protestant apologists today simply hearken back to the Catholic heritage of St. Aquinas, St. Augustine, and many other great thinkers.

67. Pentecostal or charismatic Protestantism strongly tend to place much too high an emphasis on spiritual experience, not balancing it properly with reason, the Bible, and Tradition (including the authority of the Church to pronounce on the validity of “private revelations”).

68. Other Protestants (e.g., many Baptists) deny that spiritual gifts such as healing are present in the current age (supposedly they ceased with the apostles). This position is called cessationism.

69. Protestantism has contradictory views of church government, or ecclesiology (episcopal, presbyterian, congregational, or no collective authority at all), thus making widespread discipline, unity and order impossible. Some sects even claim to have “apostles” or “prophets” among them, with all the accompanying abuses of authority resulting therefrom.

70. Some strains of Protestantism (especially evangelicalism and fundamentalism) have an undue fascination for – even obsession with – the “end of the world,” which has led to unbiblical date-setting (Mt 24:30-44; 25:13; Lk 12:39-40) and much human tragedy among those who are taken in by such false prophecies.

71. Over-emphasis on the “imminent end” of the age (where found in Protestantism) has often led to a certain “pie-in-the sky” mentality, to the detriment of social, political, ethical, and economic sensibilities here on earth.

72. Protestant thought has a strong characteristic or tendency of being “dichotomous,” i.e., it separates ideas into more or less exclusive and mutually-hostile camps, when in fact many of the dichotomies are simply complementary contradictory. Protestantism has been described as an “either-or” system, whereas Catholicism takes a “both-and” approach. Examples follow:

73. Protestantism pits the Word (the Bible, preaching) against sacraments.

74. Protestantism sets up inner devotion and piety against liturgy.

75. Protestantism opposes spontaneous worship to form prayers.

76. Protestantism separates the Bible from the Church.

77. Protestantism creates the false dichotomy of Bible vs. Tradition.

78. Protestantism pits Tradition against the Holy Spirit.

79. Protestantism considers (binding) Church authority and individual liberty and conscience contradictory.

80. Some forms of Protestantism (notably Luther and present-day dispensationalists) set up the Old Testament against the New Testament, even though Jesus did not do so (Mt 5:17-19; Mk 7:8-11; Lk 24:27,44; Jn 5:45-47).

81. On equally unbiblical grounds, some Protestants (notably, Lutherans) opposes law to grace.

82. Protestantism creates a false dichotomy between symbolism and sacramental reality (e.g., baptism, Eucharist).

83. Protestantism strongly tends to separate the individual from Christian community (1 Cor 12:14-27).

84. Protestantism pits the veneration of saints against the worship of God. Catholic theology doesn’t permit worship of saints. Rather, saints are revered and honored, not adored, as only God the Creator can be.

85. The anti-historical outlook of many Protestants leads to individuals thinking that the Holy Spirit is speaking to them, but has not, in effect, spoken to the multitudes of Christians for 1500 years before Protestantism began.

86. Flaws in original Protestant thought have led to even worse errors in reaction. E.g., extrinsic justification, devised to assure the predominance of grace, came to prohibit any outward sign of its presence (“faith vs. works,” sola fide). Calvinism, with its overly stern and rigid God, turned men off to such an extent that they became Unitarians (as in New England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries). Many founders of cults of recent origin started out Calvinist (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Way International, etc.). One error begets another more serious and damaging error.

87. Evangelicalism is unbiblically obsessed (in typically American fashion) with celebrities (TV Evangelists).

88. Evangelicalism is infatuated with the false idea that great numbers in a congregation (or rapid growth) are a sign of God’s presence in a special way, and His unique blessing. They forget that Mormonism is also growing by leaps and bounds. God calls us to faithfulness rather than to “success”; obedience, not flattering statistics.

89. Evangelicalism often emphasizes numerical growth rather than individual spiritual growth.

90. Evangelicalism is presently obsessed with self-fulfillment, self-help, and oftentimes, outright selfishness, rather than the traditional Christian stress on suffering, sacrifice, and service. A visit to the average “Christian bookstore” will quickly confirm this.

91. Evangelicalism has a truncated and insufficient view of the place of suffering in the Christian life. Instead, “health-and-wealth” and “name-it-and-claim-it” movements within
pentecostal Protestantism are flourishing, which have a view of possessions and spiritual well-being not in harmony with the Bible and Christian Tradition.

92. Many evangelicals have adopted a worldview which is, in many ways, more capitalist than Christian. Wealth and personal gain is sought more than godliness, and is seen as a proof of God’s favor, as in Puritan, and secularized American thought, over against the Bible and Christian teaching.

93. Evangelicalism is increasingly tolerating leftist political outlooks not in accord with Christian views, especially at its seminaries and colleges.

94. Evangelicalism is increasingly tolerating theological heterodoxy and liberalism, to such an extent that many evangelical leaders are alarmed, and predict a further decay of orthodox standards.

95. “Positive confession” movements in pentecostal evangelicalism have adopted views of God (in effect) as a “cosmic bellhop,” subject to man’s frivolous whims and desires of the moment, thus denying God’s absolute sovereignty and prerogative to turn down any of man’s improper prayer requests (Jas 4:3; 1 Jn 5:14).

96. The above sects usually teach that anyone can be healed who has enough “faith,” contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (e.g., Job, St. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh,” usually considered a disease by most Protestant commentators).

97. Evangelicalism, by its own self-critiques, is badly infected with pragmatism, the false philosophical view that “whatever works is true, or right.” The gospel, especially on television, is often sold in the same way that McDonalds hawks hamburgers. Technology, mass-market and public relations techniques have too often replaced personal pastoral care and social concern for the downtrodden, irreligious, and unchurched masses.

98. Sin, in evangelicalism, is increasingly seen as a psychological failure or a lack of self-esteem, rather than the willful revolt against God that it is.

99. Protestantism, in all essential elements, merely borrows wholesale from Catholic Tradition, or distorts the same. All doctrines upon which Catholics and Protestants agree, are clearly Catholic in origin (Holy Trinity, virgin birth, Jesus’ Resurrection, second coming, canon of the Bible, heaven, hell, etc.). Those where Protestantism differs are usually distortions of Catholic forerunners. For example, Quakerism is a variant of Catholic Quietism. Calvinism is an over-obsession with the Catholic idea of the sovereignty of God, but taken to lengths beyond what Catholicism ever taught (denial of free will, total depravity, double predestination, etc.). Protestant dichotomies such as faith vs. works, come from the nominalism of the late Middle Ages, which was itself a corrupt form of Scholasticism, never dogmatically sanctioned by the Catholic Church. Whatever life or truth is present in each Protestant idea, always is derived from Catholicism, which is the fulfillment of the deepest and best aspirations within Protestantism.

100. One of Protestantism’s foundational principles is sola Scriptura, which is neither biblical (see below), historical (nonexistent until the 16th century), nor logical (it’s self-defeating) idea:

101. The Bible doesn’t contain the whole of Jesus’ teaching, or Christianity, as many Protestants believe (Mk 4:33; 6:34; Lk 24:15-16,25-27; Jn 16:12; 20:30; 21:25; Acts 1:2-3).

102. Sola scriptura is an abuse of the Bible, since it is a use of the Bible contrary to its explicit and implicit testimony about itself and Tradition. An objective reading of the Bible leads one to Tradition and the Catholic Church, rather than the opposite. The Bible is, in fact, undeniably a Christian Tradition itself.

103. The NT was neither written nor received as the Bible at first, but only gradually so (i.e., early Christianity couldn’t have believed in sola Scriptura like current Protestants, unless it referred to the OT alone).

104. Tradition is not a bad word in the Bible. The Greek paradosis refers to something handed on from one to another (good or bad). Good (Christian) Tradition is spoken of in 1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15, 3:6, and Col 2:8. In the latter it is contrasted with traditions of men.

105. Christian Tradition, according to the Bible, can be oral as well as written (2 Thess 2:15; 2 Tim 1:13-14; 2:2). St. Paul makes no qualitative distinction between the two forms.

106. The phrases “word of God” or “word of the Lord” in Acts and the epistles almost always refer to oral preaching, not to the Bible itself. Much of the Bible was originally oral (e.g., Jesus’ entire teaching – He wrote nothing – St. Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, etc.).

107. Contrary to many Protestant claims, Jesus didn’t condemn all tradition any more than St. Paul did. E.g., Mt 15:3,6; Mk 7:8-9,13, where He condemns corrupt Pharisaical tradition only. He says “your tradition.”

108. The Greek paradidomi, or “delivering” Christian, apostolic Tradition occurs in Lk 1:1-2; Rom 6:17; 1 Cor 11:23; 15:3; 2 Pet 2:21; Jude 3. Paralambano, or “receiving” Christian Tradition occurs in 1 Cor 15:1-2; Gal 1:9,12; 1 Thess 2:13.

109. The concepts of “Tradition,” “gospel,” “word of God,” “doctrine,” and “the Faith” are essentially synonymous, and all are predominantly oral. For example, in the Thessalonian epistles alone St. Paul uses 3 of these interchangeably (2 Thess 2:15; 3:6; 1 Thess 2:9,13 (cf. Gal 1:9; Acts 8:14). If Tradition is a dirty word, then so is “gospel” and “word of God”.

110. St. Paul, in 1 Tim 3:15, states that the Church is the ground of truth, as in Catholicism.

111. Protestantism’s chief “proof text” for sola Scriptura, 2 Timothy 3:16, fails, since it says that the Bible is profitable, but not sufficient for learning and righteousness. Catholicism agrees that it is great for these purposes, but not exclusively so, as in Protestantism. Secondly, when St. Paul speaks of “Scripture” here, the NT didn’t yet exist (not definitively for over 300 more years), thus he is referring to the OT only. This would mean that the NT wasn’t necessary for the rule of faith, if sola Scriptura were true, and if it were supposedly alluded to in this verse.

112. The above eleven factors being true, Catholicism maintains that all its Tradition is consistent with the Bible, even where the Bible is mute or merely implicit on a subject. For Catholicism, every doctrine need not be found primarily in the Bible, for this is Protestantism’s principle of sola Scriptura. On the other hand, most Catholic theologians claim that all Catholic doctrines can be found in some fashion in the Bible, in kernel form, or by (usually. extensive) inference, and that the Bible is materially sufficient for salvation, if it was all one had (on a desert island or something).

113. As thoughtful evangelical scholars have pointed out, an unthinking sola Scriptura position (sometimes referred to as solo Scriptura) can turn into “bibliolatry,” almost a worship of the Bible rather than God who is its Author. This mentality is similar to the Muslim view of Revelation, where no human elements whatsoever were involved. Sola Scriptura, rightly understood from a more sophisticated (e.g., Reformed) Protestant perspective, means that the Bible is the final authority in Christianity, not the record of all God has said and done, as many evangelicals believe.

114. Christianity is unavoidably and intrinsically historical. All the events of Jesus’ life (incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, etc.) were historical, as was the preaching of the apostles. Tradition, therefore, of some sort, is unavoidable, contrary to numerous shortsighted Protestant claims. This is true both for matters great (ecclesiology, trinitarianism, justification) and small (church budgets, type of worship music, lengths of sermons, etc.). Every denial of a particular tradition involves a bias (hidden or open) towards one’s own alternate tradition (E.g., if all Church authority is spurned, even individualistic autonomy is a “tradition,” which ought to be defended as a Christian view in some fashion).

115. Sola scriptura literally couldn’t have been true, practically speaking, for most Christians throughout history, since the movable-type printing press only appeared in the mid-15th century. Preaching and oral Tradition, along with things like devotional practices, Christian holidays, church architecture and other sacred art, were the primary carriers of the gospel for 1400 years. For all these centuries, sola Scriptura would have been regarded as an absurd abstraction and impossibility.

116. Protestantism claims that the Catholic Church has “added to the Bible.” The Catholic Church replies that it has merely drawn out the implications of the Bible (development of doctrine), and followed the understanding of the early Church, and that Protestants have “subtracted” from the Bible by ignoring large portions of it which suggest Catholic positions. Each side thinks the other is “unbiblical,” but in different ways.

117. Sola Scriptura is Protestantism’s “Achilles’ Heel.” Merely invoking sola Scriptura is no solution to the problem of authority and certainty as long as multiple interpretations exist. If the Bible were so clear that all Protestants agreed simply by reading it with a willingness to accept and follow its teaching, this would be one thing, but since this isn’t the case by a long shot (the multiplicity of denominations), sola Scriptura is a pipe-dream at best. About all that all Protestants agree on is that Catholicism is wrong, or on doctrines with which they already agree with Catholicism. Of all Protestant ideas, the “clarity” or perspicuity of the Bible is surely one of the most absurd and the most demonstrably false.

118. Put another way, having a Bible does not render one’s private judgment infallible. Interpretation is just as inevitable as tradition, and such individual interpretation is rife with one’s own traditions, and prior theological biases, whether acknowledged or not. The Catholic Church therefore, is absolutely necessary in order for true authority to exist, and to prevent confusion, error, and division.

119. Catholicism doesn’t regard the Bible as obscure, mysterious, and inaccessible, but it is vigilant to protect it from all arbitrary and aberrant exegesis (2 Pet 1:20, 3:16). The best Protestant traditions seek to do the same, but are inadequate and ineffectual since they are divided.

120. Protestantism has a huge problem with the canon of the NT. The disputes and disagreements concerning the exact books which constitute the NT lasted until 397 A.D., when the Council of Carthage spoke with finality, certainly proof that the Bible is not “self-authenticating,” as Protestantism believes. Some sincere, devout, and learned Christians doubted the canonicity of some books which are now in the Bible, and others considered books as Scripture which were not at length included in the canon. St. Athanasius in 367 was the first to list all 27 books in the NT as Scripture.

121. The Council of Carthage, in deciding the canon of the entire Bible in 397, included the so-called “Apocryphal” books, which Protestants kicked out of the Bible (i.e., a late tradition). Prior to the 16th century Christians considered these books Scripture, and they weren’t even separated from the others, as they are today in the Protestant Bibles which include them. Protestantism accepts the authority of this council for the NT, but not the OT, just as it arbitrarily and selectively accepts or denies other conciliar decrees, according to their accord with existing Protestant “dogmas” and biases.

122. Contrary to Protestant anti-Catholic myth, the Catholic Church has always revered the Bible, and hasn’t suppressed it (it protested some Protestant translations, but Protestants have often done the same regarding Catholic versions and even various Protestant ones). This is proven by the laborious care of monks in protecting and copying manuscripts, and the constant translations into vernacular tongues (as opposed to the falsehoods about only Latin Bibles), among other plentiful and indisputable historical evidences. The Bible is a Catholic book, and no matter how much Protestants study it and proclaim it as peculiarly their own, they must acknowledge their undeniable debt to the Catholic Church for having decided the canon, and for preserving the Bible intact for 1400 years. How could the Catholic Church be “against the Bible,” as anti-Catholics say, yet at the same time preserve and revere the Bible profoundly for so many years? The very thought is so absurd as to be self-refuting. If Catholicism is indeed as heinous as anti-Catholics would have us believe, Protestantism ought to put together its own Bible, instead of using the one delivered to them by the Catholic Church, as it obviously could not be trusted.

123. Protestantism denies the Sacrifice of the Mass, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4; Isa 66:18,21; Mal 1:11; Heb 7:24-5; 13:10; Rev 5:1-10; cf. 8:3; 13:8). Catholicism, it must be emphasized, doesn’t believe that Jesus is sacrificed over and over at each Mass; rather, each Mass is a representation of the one Sacrifice at Calvary on the Cross, which transcends space and time, as in Rev 13:8.

124. Many Protestants disbelieve or distort beyond recognition, the development of doctrine, contrary to Christian Tradition and many implicit biblical indications. Whenever the Bible refers to the increasing knowledge and maturity of Christians individually and (particularly) collectively, an idea similar to development is present. Further, many doctrines develop in the Bible before our eyes (“progressive revelation”). Examples: the afterlife, the Trinity, acceptance of Gentiles. And doctrines which Protestantism accepts whole and entire from Catholicism, such as the Trinity and the canon of the Bible, developed in history, in the first three centuries of Christianity. It is foolish to try and deny this. The Church is the “Body” of Christ, and is a living organism, which grows and develops like all living bodies. It is not a statue, simply to be cleaned and polished over time, as many Protestants seem to think.

125. Protestantism separates justification from sanctification, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (e.g., Mt 5:20; 7:20-24; Rom 2:7-13; 1 Cor 6:11; 1 Pet 1:2).

126. Protestantism has a strong tendency of pitting faith against works (sola fide), which is a rejection of Christian Tradition and the explicit teaching of the Bible (Mt 25:31-46; Lk 18:18-25; Jn 6:27-9; Gal 5:6; Eph 2:8-10; Phil 2:12-13; 3:10-14; 1 Thess 1:3; 2 Thess 1:11; Heb 5:9; Jas 1:21-7; 2:14-16). These passages also indicate that salvation is a process, not an instantaneous event, as in Protestantism.

127. Protestantism rejects the Christian Tradition and biblical teaching of merit, or differential reward for our good deeds done in faith (Mt 16:27; Rom 2:6; 1 Cor 3:8-9; 1 Pet 1:17; Rev 22:12).

128. Protestantism’s teaching of extrinsic, imputed, forensic, or external justification contradicts the Christian Tradition and biblical doctrine of infused, actual, internal, transformational justification (which includes sanctification): Ps 51:2-10; 103:12; Jn 1:29; Rom 5:19; 2 Cor 5:17; Heb 1:3; 1 Jn 1:7-9.

129. Many Protestants (especially Presbyterians, Calvinists and Baptists) believe in eternal security, or perseverance of the saints (the belief that one can’t lose his “salvation,” supposedly obtained at one point in time). This is contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible: 1 Cor 9:27; Gal 4:9; 5:1,4; Col 1:22-3; 1 Tim 1:19-20; 4:1; 5:15; Heb 3:12-14; 6:4-6; 10:26,29,39; 12:14-15; 2 Pet 2:15,20-21; Rev 2:4-5.

130. Contrary to Protestant myth and anti-Catholicism, the Catholic Church doesn’t teach that one is saved by works apart from preceding and enabling grace, but that faith and works are inseparable, as in James 1 and 2. This heresy of which Catholicism is often charged, was in fact condemned by the Catholic Church at the Second Council of Orange in 529 A.D. It is known as Pelagianism, the view that man could save himself by his own natural efforts, without the necessary supernatural grace from God. A more moderate view, Semi-Pelagianism, was likewise condemned. To continue to accuse the Catholic Church of this heresy suggests a manifest ignorance of the history of theology, as well as the clear Catholic teaching of the Council of Trent (1545-63), available for all to see. Yet the myth is strangely prevalent.

131. Protestantism has virtually eliminated the practice of confession to a priest (or at least a pastor), contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Mt 16:19; 18:18; Jn 20:23).

132. Protestantism disbelieves in penance, or temporal punishment for (forgiven) sin, over against Christian Tradition and the Bible (e.g., Num 14:19-23; 2 Sam 12:13-14; 1 Cor
11:27-32; Heb 12:6-8).

133. Protestantism has little concept of the Tradition and biblical doctrine of mortifying the flesh, or suffering with Christ: Mt 10:38; 16:24: Rom 8:13,17; 1 Cor 12:24-6; Phil 3:10; 1 Pet 4:1,13.

134. Likewise, Protestantism has lost the Tradition and biblical doctrine of vicarious atonement, or redemptive suffering with Christ, of Christians for the sake of each other: Ex 32:30-32; Num 16:43-8; 25:6-13; 2 Cor 4:10; Col 1:24; 2 Tim 4:6.

135. Protestantism has rejected the Tradition and biblical doctrine of purgatory, as a consequence of its false view of justification and penance, despite sufficient evidence in Scripture: Is 4:4; 6:5-7; Micah 7:8-9; Mal 3:1-4; 2 Maccabees 12:39-45; Mt 5:25-6; 12:32; Lk 16:19-31 (cf. Eph 4:8-10; 1 Pet 3:19-20); 1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 21:27.

136. Protestantism has rejected (largely due to misconceptions and misunderstanding) the Catholic developed doctrine of indulgences, which is, simply, the remission of the temporal punishment for sin (i.e., penance), by the Church (on the grounds of Mt 16:19; 18:18, and Jn 20:23). This is no different than what St. Paul did, concerning an errant brother at the Church of Corinth. He first imposed a penance on him (1 Cor 5:3-5), then remitted part of it (an indulgence: 2 Cor 2:6-11). Just because abuses occurred prior to the Protestant Revolt (admitted and rectified by the Catholic Church), is no reason to toss out yet another biblical doctrine. Yet it is sadly typical of Protestantism to burn down a house rather than to cleanse it, to “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

137. Protestantism has thrown out prayers for the dead, in opposition to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Tobit 12:12; 2 Maccabees 12:39-45; 1 Cor 15:29; 2 Tim 1:16-18; also verses having to do with purgatory, since these prayers are for the saints there).

138. Protestantism rejects, on inadequate grounds, the intercession of the saints for us after death, and the correspondent invocation of the saints for their effectual prayers (Jas 5:16). Christian Tradition and the Bible, on the other hand, have upheld this practice: Dead saints are aware of earthly affairs (Mt 22:30 w/ Lk 15:10 and 1 Cor 15:29; Heb 12:1), appear on earth to interact with men (1 Sam 28:12-15; Mt 17:1-3, 27:50-53; Rev 11:3), and therefore can intercede for us, and likewise be petitioned for their prayers, just as are Christians on earth (2 Maccabees 15:14; Rev 5:8; 6:9-10).

139. Some Protestants disbelieve in guardian angels, despite Christian Tradition and the Bible (Ps 34:7; 91:11; Mt 18:10; Acts 12:15; Heb 1:14).

140. Most Protestants deny angelic intercession, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Rev 1:4; 5:8; 8:3-4).

141. Protestantism rejects Mary’s Immaculate Conception, despite developed Christian Tradition and indications in the Bible: Gen 3:15; Lk 1:28 (“full of grace” Catholics interpret, on linguistic grounds, to mean “without sin”); Mary as a type of the Ark of the Covenant (Lk 1:35 w/ Ex 40:34-8; Lk 1:44 w/ 2 Sam 6:14-16; Lk 1:43 w/ 2 Sam 6:9: God’s Presence requires extraordinary holiness).

142. Protestantism rejects Mary’s Assumption, despite developed Christian Tradition and biblical indications: If Mary was indeed sinless, she would not have to undergo bodily decay at death (Ps 16:10; Gen 3:19). Similar occurrences in the Bible make the Assumption not implausible or “unbiblical” per se (Enoch: Gen 5:24 w/ Heb 11:5; Elijah: 2 Ki 2:11; Paul: 2 Cor 12:2-4; the Protestant doctrine of the “Rapture”: 1 Thess 4:15-17; risen saints: Mt 27:52-3).

143. Many (most?) Protestants deny Mary’s perpetual virginity, despite Christian Tradition (including the unanimous agreement of the Protestant founders (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc.), some Protestant support, and several biblical evidences, too involved to briefly summarize.

144. Protestantism denies Mary’s Spiritual Motherhood of Christians, contrary to Christian Tradition and the Bible (Jn 19:26-7: “Behold thy mother”; Rev 12:1,5,17: Christians described as “her seed.”) Catholics believe that Mary is incomparably more alive and holy than we are, hence, her prayers for us are of great effect (Jas 5:16; Rev 5:8; 6:9-10). But she is our sister with regard to our position of creatures vis-a-vis the Creator, God. Mary never operates apart from the necessary graces from her Son, and always glorifies Him, not herself, as Catholic theology stresses.

145. Protestantism rejects the papacy, despite profound Christian Tradition, and the strong evidence in the Bible of Peter’s preeminence and commission by Jesus as the Rock of His Church. No one denies he was some type of leader among the apostles. The papacy as we now know it is derived from this primacy: Mt 16:18-19; Lk 22:31-2; Jn 21:15-17 are the most direct “papal” passages. Peter’s name appears first in all lists of apostles; even an angel implies he is their leader (Mk 16:7), and he is accepted by the world as such (Acts 2:37-8,41). He works the first miracle of the Church age (Acts 3:6-8), utters the first anathema (Acts 5:2-11), raises the dead (Acts 9:40), first receives the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-48), and his name is mentioned more often than all the other disciples put together (191 times). Much more similar evidence can be found.

146. The Church of Rome and the popes were central to the governance and theological direction and orthodoxy of the Christian Church from the beginning. This is undeniable. All of the historical groups now regarded as heretical by Protestants and Catholics alike were originally judged as such by popes and/or ecumenical councils presided over and ratified by popes.

147. Protestantism, in its desperation to eke out some type of historical continuity apart from the Catholic Church, sometimes attempts to claim a lineage from medieval sects such as the Waldenses, Cathari, and Albigensians

148. Catholic has the most sophisticated and thoughtful Christian socio-economic and political philosophy, a mixture of “progressive” and “conservative” elements distinct from the commonplace political rhetoric and Machiavellianism which typically dominate the political arena. Catholicism has the best view of church in relation to the state and culture as well.

149. Catholicism has the best Christian philosophy and worldview, worked out through centuries of reflection and experience. As in its theological reflection and development, the Catholic Church is ineffably wise and profound, to an extent truly amazing, and indicative of a sure divine stamp. I used to marvel, just before I converted, at how the Catholic Church could be so right about so many things. I was accustomed to thinking, as a good evangelical, that the truth was always a potpourri of ideas from many Protestant denominations and Catholicism and Orthodoxy (selected by myself), and that none “had it all together.” But, alas, the Catholic Church does, after all.

150. Last but by no means least, Catholicism has the most sublime spirituality and devotional spirit, manifested in a thousand different ways, from the monastic ideal, to the heroic celibacy and pure devotion and service to God of the clergy and religious, the Catholic hospitals, the sheer holiness of a Thomas a Kempis or a St. Ignatius Loyola and their great devotional books, countless saints – both canonized and as yet unknown and unsung, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII, the early martyrs, St. Francis of Assisi, the events at Lourdes and Fatima, the dazzling intellect of Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, the wisdom and insight of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, St. John of the Cross, the sanctified wit of a Chesterton or a Muggeridge, elderly women doing the Stations of the Cross or the Rosary, Holy Hour, Benediction, kneeling – the list goes on and on. This devotional spirit is, I humbly submit, unmatched in its scope and deepness, despite many fine counterparts in Protestant and Orthodox spirituality. thing overall), but these are some of the major deficiencies I eventually saw as fatal to the “theory” of Protestantism, over against Catholicism. All Catholics must regard baptized, Nicene, Chalcedonian Protestants as Christians. and (e.g., Mt 19:12, 1 Cor 7:8,27,32-3). rather than (and sometimes earlier groups such as the Montanists or Donatists). However, this endeavor is doomed to failure when one studies closely what these sects believed. They either retain much Catholic teaching anathema to Protestants or hold heretical notions antithetical to Christianity altogether (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox), or both, making this Protestant theory quite dubious at best.

By Dave Armstrong

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2005/09/150-reasons-why-i-am-catholic-revised.html