ANTI-CATHOLIC ASSERTION: Catholics think they can buy their way into heaven and the Church exploits them in this regard.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 23:14: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows' houses, and for a PRETENSE make long prayer; therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."
SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 1:18,19: ". . . not redeemed with corruptible things, as SILVER AND GOLD . . . But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
CATHOLIC OBSERVATION: Donations are made to all churches, and yet, give something to a Catholic Church, and the bigot will quote these verses and decry the Church's greed and corruption. It is a double standard. Stipends are often given priests for saying Mass intentions; however, such is a gift and the Masses would be offered all the same even without them. Monies collected for the pamphlet rack, for religious items, or for votive candles go back into replenishing supplies. Compare the large homes and life-style of many ministers to the poverty of most priests! This in itself exposes the lie. The Church universal has many resources, but much of it is in terms of buildings, artifacts, and precious works of art. She maintains these things for the good of the Church and for the enrichment of human civilization.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 23:9: "And call no MAN your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."
SCRIPTURE: John 8:41: ". . . we have one Father, even God."
CATHOLIC OBSERVATION: I wonder what such a fellow called his male parent, "Hey you"? He knows nothing of Hebraic Hyperbole and the ways in which Jews used language for emphasis. He readily dismisses the spiritual role of a priest as a father of souls and as a confessor. This one critic went so far as to say that unless the priest can repudiate this stand Scripturally, according to his own terms, have no more to do with him. Here is where I want to make my brief corrective. The meaning of the verse is to place no trust and fatherhood over that of Almighty God. It should be noted that even St. Paul refers to his role as a spiritual fatherhood. The title of affection given to priests simply continues this apostolic tradition.
SCRIPTURE: Revelation 18:4: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive her plagues."
CATHOLIC OBSERVATION: The Catholic faith is verified by a careful and honest reading of Scripture. The deposit of faith is guarded by the Church and certain doctrines develop over time, but nothing new is invented. The verse in question could more easily be applied to non-Catholic churches, particularly those which espouse a doctrine of hate and ignorance against others.
SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 1:19-21: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, unto the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Know this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any PRIVATE interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
SCRIPTURE: Galatians 1:6-8: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach another gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be ACCURSED."
CATHOLIC OBSERVATION: The fracturing of Christianity invalidates the interpretation that certain Fundamentalists give to these bible passages. The Holy Spirit does indeed protect the teaching authority instituted by Christ to insure that we continue to walk in Christ's ways. Otherwise, all would be an ocean of confusion. The Church has a two thousand year legacy; Jesus did not abandon the Church until some "John Doe" came about in the present to reinvent it. The condemnation, the anathema of God, comes down upon those who attack and deride the ancient Catholic Christian People of God.
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Revised on April 30, 1998.