Anti-Catholic Whoppers

Most of this is uncontroverted shyte, however, over time I hope to sift through the carnage. Just for fun. And also to stay sharp. In italics.

A Response To The Catholic Doctrine
I had been contemplating for awhile now about writing a modern and thus up-to-date 95 Theses, and I figure it’s as good a time as any when I received recently a barrage of comments defending the Catholic doctrine, and the argument that the Catholic doctrine is acceptable because Scripture doesn’t say that it isn’t true; that is, some of their doctrine can neither be proven or disproven using Scripture.

The following list is just a start, so it’s not 95 theses literally – yet. And, in fact, it may over time grow greater than 95.

BTW, feel free to add to the list. I’ll consider everyone’s input, although it is at my discretion what gets included.

What Scripture doesn’t say:
0. One could also note right off the bat one key thing that Scripture doesn’t say; namely, that Scripture is the only rule by which correct doctrine must be defined. So to expect that Scripture should necessarily speak to every detail of the faith is a piece of hypocritical question-begging. After all, St. Paul commended his people for following tradition (cf. 1 Cor 11:2 & 2 Thess. 2:15). Apparently, St. Paul didn’t nurse at the breast of Anti-Catholicism. Then there’s that whole business about how your forefathers threw out seven books of the Old Testament. If you keep throwing out books that demonstrate Catholic doctrine, how are we supposed to demonstrate our doctrines from the books?

1. That Mary was the Mother of God, rather than merely the mother of the man (that is the flesh) Jesus.
“She exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:42-43) Here we have St. Elizabeth speaking of the pre-born Jesus as her Lord. In what sense can the word “Lord” be here taken other than to mean “God”? Furthermore, the bible clearly teaches that Mary gave birth to Jesus, and that Jesus is God. Basic math. 2+2=4. If a=b and b=c, then a=c. Mary is therefore the Mother of God. Math proves everything.

2. That Mary, the mother of the man Jesus, was without original sin.
First, note the skewering of the faith that necessarily happens when one begins to disgard the Marian dogmas. Mary is only the mother of a man. What damage this does to the doctrine of the single personhood of Jesus! What of his divinity? This is Nestorianism pure and simple. That Mary is without original sin is related to the fact that she is the New Eve. Suffice to say at this point that it was by mediation on St. Luke’s Annunciation texts in light of the Genesis narrative that the Church Fathers declared, “Death through Eve, life through Mary.”

3. That it’s possible for any mortal person after the transgression of Adam to be born without original sin.
“With God all things are possible.” (Mt 19:26)

4. That sinned reigned from Adam’s transgression to all, except Mary, unto Christ.
One tends to feel that the person is here assuming that the Catholic doctrine is that Mary wasn’t saved (newsflash: she was). But it is hard to tell. It also seems to be basically a restatement of #3, which has been adequately answered. But seen as this is also a restatement of #5, I’ll wait until then to answer this one.

5. That when death by sin was passed from Adam upon all men, and therefore all have sinned that all actually means everyone except Mary.
Ah, the long-awaited #5. The referenced Scripture is Romans 5:12. The context is probably indicative that the verse is intending to speak of original sin. And in this context, the Catholic teaching is not that Mary was an exception. All Catholics have been set free of original sin. In most cases, this has occurred through a wiping out of original sin after having contracted it. In one case, this occurred through a wiping out of original sin before it was contracted. All through the merits of the Passion of Christ. This isn’t so much a biblical defense, as clarification of the Catholic doctrine. If this verse is speaking of actual sin, then suffice to say that there are already plenty of exceptions to this verse. For starters, how about Jesus. Okay, okay, so he was God (at least Catholics think so; I am not sure about our interlocutor after his thesis #2). Maybe not the best example. How about babies? No will, no sin. What about the mentally handicapped? Damaged will, no sin. The New Eve? Like the New Adam, no sin.

6. That the dead are able to intercede and pray for us.
OK, this is related to those books your forefathers threw out of the canon of Scripture. But first, a minor quibble. “He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” (Mk 12:27). The “dead” are alive. More alive than you and me. Now to those disgarded books. 2 Mac 15 makes reference to Jeremiah praying for the Jews and their Holy City. But seen as you disregard this book, surely you don’t disregard the Apocalypse. Revelation 5:8 and 8:3 show the saints and angels in Heaven presenting the “prayers of the saints” on earth to the Father.

7. That there is an exception to God’s dislike of repetitious prayers.
What’s that phrase you Protestants love to use? WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? I don’t know. Let’s look to the Scriptures. “Leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words.” (Mt 26:44)

8. That praying via set and repetitious prayers with the use of “prayer beads” is a sacred devotion or acceptable practice.
What’s up with the quotes? Anyway. Check out Psalm 136. “Pretty sure” that’s in your “bible”. That would be a “set and repetitious prayer”. If you would rather, I’ll drop the “prayer beads” and use my “fingers” instead. Are “finger prayers” more “acceptable”?

9. That purgatory exists.
“Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Mt 12:32) Can your sins be forgiven in the “world to come” in Heaven? No. Where then? Catholics call that place “purgatory”. If you don’t like that word, we can agree on a separate naming convention, just between you and me. How about “fjord”? That word has always appealed to me. How about you?

10. That salvation can be obtained after death, even with intercessory prayers.
Salvation cannot be obtained after death. “Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, — or immediate and everlasting damnation.” (CCC 1022)

11. That one person, even the pope appointed through “democratic” election, can be and is the Vicar of Christ.
The wording of this is a bit strange. But I suppose that is in the true spirit of Luther. “Can be and is”? “Even the Pope”? Are you arguing that there are multiple Vicars of Christ? Unlikely. Anyway. Christ is the Rock. Peter is the Rock (Mt. 16:18). Christ is the Shepherd. Peter is the Shepherd (Jn 21:15 ff). What else are we left to conclude, but that Peter has been given the role of acting in Christ’s stead. Doing the math (again!), that would be “one person is the Vicar of Christ.”

12. That there is an exception to calling a man by the spiritual title of Father, or even worse Holy Father, other than God.
“I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (1 Cor 4:15) So far as Catholics know, St. Paul was not God. ‘Nuff said.

13. That priests are sufficient mediators for repentance and by whom we must confess our sins.
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (Jn 20:23) Hanging curve ball over the middle of the plate. As for the part about “sufficient mediators for repentance”, I don’t know what that means. The Holy Spirit leads us to repentance.

14. That there is an exception to Christ being the only mediator between man and God.
Glad we’re in agreement about that. “Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.”” (CCC 1546) This is like playing whack-a-frog.

15. That sacraments are the way to eternal salvation.
“By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men.” (CCC 1741) However, it is he who has won salvation for all men who explicitly states the necessity of both Baptism and Communion for salvation. “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (Jn 3:5) “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (Jn 6:53)

16. That there are any other sacremants apart from baptizing and Holy Communion (also known as Holy Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper).
“Sacrament” (note the spelling) means “mystery”. St. Paul, in saying that the one-flesh union of man and woman refers to Christ and the Church, refers to this as a “mystery”. Using math (!), that would be one “sacrament” besides Baptism and Communion. “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14) That’s two. I could find the other sacraments in Scripture, but this is sufficient to contradict your claim.

17. That Transubstantiation actually occurs from the bread and wine.
a) “Take, eat; this is my body.” (Mt 26:26)
b)”He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” (Jn 6:54-55)
c) “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16)

18. That Holy Communion is anything but done for the remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice at the cross for our sins.
“The liturgical celebration always refers to God’s saving interventions in history. “The economy of Revelation is realized by deeds and words which are intrinsically bound up with each other. . . . [T]he words for their part proclaim the works and bring to light the mystery they contain.” In the Liturgy of the Word the Holy Spirit “recalls” to the assembly all that Christ has done for us. In keeping with the nature of liturgical actions and the ritual traditions of the churches, the celebration “makes a remembrance” of the marvelous works of God in an anamnesis which may be more or less developed. The Holy Spirit who thus awakens the memory of the Church then inspires thanksgiving and praise (doxology).” (CCC 1103)

19. That true believers must repent or obtain permission prior to partaking in Holy Communion.
The “obtain permission” part is poppycock. “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (1 Cor 11:27-28)

20. That it’s acceptable to separate the “blood of Christ” from the “body of Christ” and minister only partial Communion to the faithful.
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor 11:25) Prove to me that this doesn’t imply a sometimes separation of bread and wine.

21. That only ordained priests may minister the sacraments or baptize.
“In case of necessity, any person can baptize.” (CCC 1284) As we have previously seen, St. James explicitly refers to the presbyters as the ministers of the sacrament of the sick (James 5:14). And Christ clearly tells his apostles that they are to “do this in remembrance of me”.

22. That baptizing is anything but full water emersion.
I am sure there are numerous arguments in favor of “full water emersion (sic)”, but it is my guess that you would have a hard time proving them from Scripture alone. There are also numerous arguments from Scripture for Baptism by pouring. And this ain’t even a strictly Catholic thing. My old Presbyterian church baptized babies by pouring. Do PCA-Presbyterians disregard the Scriptures like Catholics? Come on, now. Although, Catholics concede that “baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water (CCC 1239).”

23. That baptizing anyone (i.e. infants) before being of a full age to understand of the need of repentance is acceptable.
Again, talk to those apostate Presbyterians about it. “She was baptized, with her household.” (Acts 16:15)

24. That there is no need to be baptized as an adult when one has been baptized prior to the age of undertstanding sin, repentance and the purpose for Christ’s death on the cross.
“There is…one baptism.” (Eph 4:4-5) Not two. Or more. I personally have been baptized thrice. Make that, one baptism and two baths.

25. That the pope is able to remit the penalty of sin.
If you are referring to anything other than the general capacity of all priests to forgive sins, I have no idea what you are talking about.

26. That priests, bishops, and the pope are spiritually elevated above the common believer.
Are you referring to a trick of levitation. Don’t know about that. Deacons, priests and bishops (note: the Pope is a bishop) have a charism that the lay faithful do not share. But I have charisms that they don’t share. No need to feel cheated, buddy.

27. That the pope has final authority over interpretation or abandonment of Christ’s doctrine or the Gospels.
Again, you are channeling Luther. Strangely worded. “This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.” (CCC 85) So it’s not just the pope, but also the Catholic bishops. So, you’re telling me that a certain sub-group of the Church (i.e., “Peter and the apostles”) were not given the authority to teach the nations (Mt. 28:20). And that authority didn’t get passed on to the people they appointed as heads of the Churches (2 Tim 2:2). OK. But, “no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (2 Pet 1:20). So if it’s not private interpretation and it’s not hierarchical interpretation, who’s left?

28. That the pope may indulge in an effeminate, wanton, and lavish lifestyle — and with God’s money no less.
Are you Dan Brown?

29. That pilgrimages honor and glorify God.
Surely you can show me where in Scripture it says they don’t. And Jews frequently made pilgrimages to the Holy City. Heck, they still do.

30. That the saints are anything but true believers, and must perform miracles prior to “sainthood”.
Oh, true believers. As opposed to those believers that disagree with you (like Presbyterians). Seriously, show me any Catholic document anywhere that claims that saints are “anything but [Christians]”. Miracles are required to prove that they are in heaven. After all, people like you may be going to heaven, but one can never be sure. You say you believe, but how can I know with certainty you are a “true believer”? I can’t, unless you demonstrate to me, once you’re “dead”, that you are, in fact, there. The miracles don’t make them saints. They demonstrate to us that they were saints.

31. That priest’s are married to Christ’s Church.
Priests are married to the Church? That’s news to me. Sure, the language of marriage is appropriate, as they have given their lives away in single-minded devotion to Christ’s bride, but no one intends that to mean that a marriage has actually taken place.

32. That priests must remain unmarried.
The Catholic Church has plenty of married priests. Fit that into your paradigm.

33. That it is God’s commandment that women can’t be priests, bishops, or even pope.
If you don’t acknowledge priests and popes, it seems strange to lament that women cannot be priests and popes. Similarly, Catholics cannot be baptized in motor oil, nor can Communion consist of pizza and beer. The matter of a sacrament (e.g., water, bread, wine, oil etc) is prescribed by Christ and/or his apostles. Same with the sacrament of Holy Orders. The matter, simply, is men. Look at the apostles. Jesus, being God (or so we Catholics believe), was not constrained by the mores of 1st Century Palestinian etiquette, but what is the first thing you note about the apostles. Nary a dame amongst them. And so it goes with their successors. As Jesus did, so we do. Period.

34. That marriage is only between one man and one woman.
Here, you jump the rail further than I thought you would. Take it up with the rest of Christendom, “true believers” though they may not be. Take it up with your inner Luther (or any “Reformer”), who, though he could find no evidence in Scripture to think monogamy binding, would surely have hurled some heavy insults (or derisory laughs) on anyone who would have suggested a marriage between anything other than a man and a woman. “A man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife.” (Gn 2:24)

35. That the use of contraception is a sin.
So believed all Protestants until 1930, so bound were they by the shackles of Roman tradition. Again, take it up with your inner Luther. Contraception had always been viewed as evil based, not on Romish (!) tradition, but based on Scripture. Specifically, “Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he slew him also.” (Gn 38:8-10) The punishment prescribed in Jewish law for failing in your Levirate responsibilities was not death (Dt 25:9), yet Onan was killed by God. Oh, mystery of mysteries, why might this be? Why might Onan have been killed? I simply cannot fathom the depths of the mystery.

36. That sex performed outside of the desire to procreate is a sin.
That’s unadulterated nonsense. The teaching is merely that you cannot willfully close the sexual act to the possibility of life. Show me a Catholic document that says anything about a “desire to procreate” being necessary for every sexual act. See thesis 35.

37. That oral sex is a sin.
It’s not open to life. See thesis 36.

38. That masturbation is a sin.
It’s not open to life. See thesis 37.

39. That homosexuality is a sin.
The homosexual act is not open to life. See thesis 38.
I will say, however, that the disposition towards homosexual acts is not sinful. Only acts can be sinful. Feelings, dispositions et al. cannot be.

40. That it is acceptable for priests and bishops to take the innocence from children.
Written documentation, please.

41. That it is acceptable for priests and bishops, and the pope even, to deny or give pretence that they don’t sin.
JP2 went to daily confession. He was doing a rotten job of “giving pretence (sic)”. Gosh, we’re so bad at everything! It’s a wonder we ever achieved world domination at all.

42. That it’s acceptable for priests, bishops, and the pope to cover up the sins of other priests and bishops who have taken the innocence from children.
Written documentation, please.

43. That it’s acceptable for priests to rape or coerce women into having sex.
Written documentation, please.

44. That repentance, retribution, and reparations are not mandatory for those whom priests, bishops and even the pope deem excused from their sins.
This would seem to be a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Oh, the horror of Romish oppression that insists that forgiveness be accompanied by some attempt at reparation for the sin. Oh, the laxity of Romish effeminate popes that don’t make reparations for sins mandatory. When you decide which angle you want to push, I’ll address your concern.

This demonstrates well the mind of the Anti-Catholic. First, it starts with some questions about the biblicalness of certain Catholic practices. Then, they feel the need to push the envelope and start making Catholic doctrines up out of thin air. And it always ends with cries of protestation about the crimes of Rome against their pelvis. Good times all around.


~ by Rob on June 27, 2006.

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