Being Misunderstood by Non-Catholics Started in the Second Century

December 30, 2011

As a Protestant I was taught that during the Early Church pagans accused the Christians of being cannibals in reference to Communion. It seemed like a huge distortion of the truth regarding  communion and eating a cracker and drinking a bit of grape juice. But I figured it must have been because they heard that Jesus said, “This is My Body, eat it and …This is My Blood, drink it….”

Now, as a Catholic, and because of the teaching of transsubstantiation, with the bread and wine becoming the real presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus, the misunderstanding is not as hard to fathom. But the depth of error, in the 2nd Century, of the author Minucius Felix’s Octavius is amazing. Compared to this, Protestant errors about the Catholic Faith seem minor.

Sometime between 150-270 A.D.the reference in Minucius Felix’s Octavius

Now the story about the initiation of young novices is as much to be detested as it is well known. An infant covered over with meal, that it may deceive the unwary, is placed before him who is to be stained with their rites: this infant is slain by the young pupil, who has been urged on as if to harmless blows on the surface of the meal, with dark and secret wounds. Thirstily – O horror! they lick up its blood; eagerly they divide its limbs. By this victim they are pledged together; with this consciousness of wickedness they are covenanted to mutual silence.

The Roman critic appears to have gotten the details of the Nativity and the Eucharist all mixed together. Which is itself significant. The Nativity story involves a journey to Bethlehem (which means “House of Bread” in Hebrew, and “House of Meat” in Arabic), and placing Jesus in a manger, that is, a food trough. Jesus’ Flesh is the Bread upon which Christians feed. So the Romans were inadvertently right in seeing a connection to the two, even if they screwed the details up badly.

Conclusion

An English Lutheran put it simply:

“If what you believe and teach concerning the Supper of the Lord, couldn’t be misinterpreted by some people as sounding like cannibalism, then your understanding and/or teaching of the Supper is deficient.”

The early Christians believed something about the Eucharist that sounded like cannibalism to outsiders. If we don’t believe that today, we’ve lost their faith. And when Jesus’ Jewish critics accused Him of teaching that He was going to give us His Flesh to eat, He didn’t deny it, but reinforced their point.


Did the Catholic Church Rely on Forged Documents for Dogmas?

December 29, 2011

Travis:  You are assuming that the Catholic Church is true and wouldn’t ever lie about their doctrines or dogmas. Yet, papal infallibility first arises in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. I will gladly take God-Breathed Scripture over a Catholic Church that has, many times, used fake documents to “prove” their teachings.

Bread From Heaven: I am providing an article written by Steven O’Reilly originally published in This Rock magazine by Catholic Answers.

The False Decretals

by Steven O’Reilly

Anti-Catholic apologists often charge that Catholic doctrines regarding the primacy and infallibility of the bishop of Rome are founded upon a set of documents forged in the ninth century, known as the “False Decretals” or the “Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals,” which purport to be written by early popes. It is alleged that Roman bishops relied on these forgeries to establish their authority and that without these forgeries popes never could have “become” infallible.

Dave Hunt devotes a whole chapter of A Woman Rides the Beast to Rome’s “Fraud and Fabricated History.” According to Hunt, the popes “labored mightily to satisfy their lust for power and pleasure and wealth.” Not being able to find justification for these powers in Scripture or the Church Fathers, rewrite history by manufacturing allegedly historical documents.” Another anti-Catholic apologist, William Webster, says in The Church of Rome and the Bar of History that Rome was the “first to use” the False Decretals and that they “completely revolutionized the primitive government of the Church.” Similar claims regarding the False Decretals are made by former Catholic and ex-priest Peter de Rosa in Vicars of Christ.

Anti-Catholic apologists argue that the False Decretals provided the scriptural and historical precedents upon which papal doctrines are founded. Examples from the False Decretals suffice to illustrate how they appear to support the anti-Catholic argument. The so-called First Epistle of Zephyrinus applies the words “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19) to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. Bishops are said to be judged by the pope “and by no other.” The equally fraudulent First Epistle of Pope Callistus calls the Roman Church the “mother of all Churches” and “head” of the Church and declares that anything done contrary to the Roman Church “cannot on any account be permitted to be held valid.”

J. H. Ignaz von Dollinger, the nineteenth-century historian who defected from the Church after the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility, says it is “with perfect consistency that Pseudo-Isidore makes his early popes say: ‘The Roman Church remains to the end free from the stain of heresy.”‘ Dollinger claims that prior to the False Decretals “no serious attempt was made anywhere to introduce the neo-Roman theory of infallibility” and that “the popes did not dream of laying claim to such a privilege.” Upon such forged letters, or so the anti-Catholic alleges, the papacy is built.

That the False Decretals contain material that supports papal claims does not prove that the bishops of Rome played any part in their manufacture. Forgers often mix actual events, widely-known facts, and personalities into their work in order to improve a document’s credibility. One cannot presume the subject matter of a forged document easily or necessarily reveals the identity or the agenda of its true author. The spurious “Arabic Canons” of Nicaea, which call the pope the “head and prince of all patriarchs,” are more explicitly pro-primacy than are the genuine canons of the council of Nicaea. These spurious canons were written not in the West but in the East. If this fact had not been known widely, anti-Catholic apologists might have added the Arabic Canons to their list of alleged Roman forgeries.

By Webster’s reckoning, the False Decretals were written in 845. Pope Nicholas I (858-867), the first pope to quote them, did not begin his reign until thirteen years and three pontificates later. These facts suggest the False Decretals had been in circulation and had obtained credibility before Nicholas I used them. If they had been intended to advance Roman claims of authority, one would expect that they would have made their Roman debut centuries earlier than they did. Regardless, the long-held opinion of scholars, including Dollinger—who is the main source for Hunt, Webster, and De Rosa on this matter—is that the False Decretals were written in France, not Rome.

More devastating to the anti-Catholic apologist’s argument is that Dollinger admits that the goal of the forger was not the extension of papal authority. Rather, he says, “The immediate object of the compiler of this forgery was to protect bishops against their metropolitans and other authorities, so as to secure absolute impunity and the exclusion of all influence of the secular power.” Dollinger asserts this object was to be gained through “an immense extension of the papal power.”

In essence, he argues that Roman primacy and infallibility were created by the forger to be the means by which his real goal—the protection of local bishops—could be achieved. But this argument is unreasonable. The concocting of such a grand, elaborate, and “new” theory of papal powers to achieve the relatively modest end of protecting local bishops would create more difficulties for a forged document’s credibility than it could hope to solve. What seems more probable is that the forger appealed to an authority his audience already knew and accepted and by means of this acceptance hoped to advance his agenda. Such an appeal would not be the first time a forger had attempted to use the prestige and authority of the Roman see to his advantage. For example, the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III (680), examined heretical letters said to have been written by Pope Vigilius, but it rejected them as frauds. The more serious accusation is that the forgeries brought about a “revolution” in the government of the Church. While the anti-Catholic charge appears damning at first glance, it must be remembered the Roman claims were well-established before the False Decretals were penned in the ninth century. Roman bishops long had applied verses of Scripture to their office. For example, papal legates at the Council of Ephesus (431) refer to the pope as the successor of Peter and as having the powers to bind and loose (Matt. 16:19), while Pope Hormisdas, in 517, applies Matthew 16:18—where Peter is declared “rock”—to the Apostolic See. Although the False Decretals describe the Roman Church as “head,” numerous genuine documents that predate these forgeries explicitly declare as much. The records of the ecumenical councils of Ephesus, Chalcedon (451), Constantinople III, and Nicaea II (787) contain many references to the pope or the Apostolic See as “father,” “head of all Churches,” “archbishop of all the Churches,” “spiritual mother,” “sacred head,” and so forth.

It was no ninth-century innovation to claim that anything done against the will of the Apostolic See was invalid. Fifth-century historians Sozomen and Socrates, in separate histories of the fourth-century Church, record in similar words that “an ecclesiastical canon commands that the Churches shall not make any ordinances against the opinion of the bishop of Rome.” Peter Chrysologus, bishop of Ravenna, declares in his Letter to Eutyches (449) that cases of faith cannot be tried “without the consent of the bishop of Rome.” At the Council of Chalcedon, papal legates—without opposition—declare the holding of a council without the pope’s authority to be a “thing which had never taken place nor can take place.” The Council of Ephesus declares itself “compelled” by the canons and by the decision of Pope Celestine to depose the heretic Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. The pope was recognized in both East and West as having the authority to hear appeals from bishops, to depose them, and to restore them to their sees, as proved by the course of history and by the canons of the Council of Sardica (343).

While infallibility may be inferred from some of the genuine documents cited, more explicit affirmations of it may be found in other places. For example, in 517 the Eastern bishops assented to and signed the formula of Pope Hormisdas, which states in part: “The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, ‘Thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt 16:18], should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied.”

In a letter from Pope Agatho, accepted by Constantinople III, the Pope says the Roman Church “has never erred,” has never yielded to “heretical innovations,” and “remains undefiled unto the end.” Agatho links this claim directly to the “divine promise” found in Luke 22:32, where the Lord prays that Peter’s faith would never fail. Declarations that the Apostolic See “has been kept unsullied” are claims of papal infallibility.

In short, there is no reason to suspect the papacy to be the forgery factory conjured up in the minds of anti-Catholic apologists. If many, including popes, presumed the veracity of the False Decretals for a time, it was because the documents in many respects corresponded to the already long-accepted reality of the primacy and infallibility of the popes. Furthermore, no doctrinal error may be inferred from the fact that False Decretals were quoted by popes, since papal infallibility applies to definitions on faith and morals, not to judgments about the authenticity of documents. The important point is that none of the forgeries served as the basis for a single doctrine regarding the papacy. The doctrines came first, the forgeries long centuries later.


• Steven O’Reilly freelances from Snellville, Georgia.

© This Rock, Catholic Answers, P.O. Box 17490, San Diego, CA 92177, (619) 541-1131.


Protest-ant Beliefs vs. Catholic Church

December 27, 2011

Kerrin says,Catholic Salvation is:Through the Roman Catholic Church

Bread From Heaven: Yes, this is very true but only because Jesus founded the Church to bring the Gospel to every Generation until the end of Time. Without Jesus there would be no salvation through the Catholic Church or any other way.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: Merited by doing good works

Bread From Heaven:Absolutely WRONG. We cannot in any way merit salvation by our good works. Aside from our works making our faith perfect as James says, our works and sufferings etc are not for the purpose of saving ourselves but to make reparation for the temporal consequences of our sin. To purify our souls from attachment to sin. And what is not completed in this earthly life is completed by the grace of God in Purgatory. So that we may be Holy as He is Holy. (I Peter 1:16)For a full understanding of the Catholic teaching on purification see also my post–>Where is the Biblical Evidence for Purgatory?
Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: By faith PLUS the law, sacraments, and good works
Bread From Heaven: Well this is just what scripture says:
Law:

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Sacraments:Baptism

John 3:5 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Eucharist:

John 6:54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life (see John 6:26–65)

Confession:

John 20:21 …I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins [c]have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

Good works

James 2:14-26 faith without works is dead.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: Attained by man

Bread From Heaven: Absolutely WRONG.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is:A process from Baptism through purgatory

Bread From Heaven: Salvation is through Jesus Christ. But we cannot enter into the Holy Presence of God until we are purified. Baptism is the first purification from all sin, eternal and temporal. Confession is a further absolution of the eternal consequences of sin, the sacraments give grace to strengthen our souls to stay the course and Purgatory finishes the purification of our souls, so that we will be Holy as He is Holy.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: Never assured in this life

Bread From Heaven: As long as we live we are able to fall from grace through mortal sin. But we always have hope and if we should fall into mortal sin we can avail ourselves of confession. As long as we are not in mortal sin we are sure of salvation. But Protestants, pretend to assurance of salvation with their once saved always save tradition. However, because all know of Christians who have committed adultery or some other mortal sin, they will say that the truth of the matter is:
Once saved Always saved IF saved. So they contend that those who fall were never saved in the first place. Therefore, no one really knows that they are saved for sure. They may be pretty sure they may assert that they are sure, but the reality is that until they die they too retain the ability to sin mortally. There are some sects who contend that once saved always saved NO MATTER HOW MUCH ONE SINS OR THE GRAVITY OF SIN.

This theology is rejected by the majority of Protestants. They may say, “Once saved always saved” but in the back of their mind they are adding, “If saved.” This why they are constantly judging each other; trying to determine is so and so is a REAL Christian.

Kerrin says, Catholic:Sins are expiated by suffering in purgatory

Bread From Heaven: Not entirely true.As I have said earlier. Jesus paid the full price for the Eternal Consequences of Sin but we must make reparation for the temporal consequences of sin. Where is the Biblical Evidence for Purgatory?

Kerrin says:Mary and all the saints are also glorified

Bread From Heaven: As heroic examples of Faith for us to follow. They are not glorified in the same sense as Our Lord or worshiped.

Kerrin says, Catholic Salvation is: This work continues with daily sacrifices

Bread From Heaven:This is a misunderstanding of what we celebrate at mass. Do we have daily sacrifices? Yes. Are these daily sacrifices a continuing of the daily sacrifices of the Old Testament priests? NO. We do call the mass a sacrifice but not because it is a NEW sacrifice. Not because it is ANOTHER sacrifice. But, at our mass a great mystery takes place. At every Catholic Mass the curtain of time is pulled back and we enter in to that ONE SACRIFICE that our precious Lord made on the cross 2000 years ago. We re-present the ETERNAL SACRIFICE of Jesus Christ. It happened once in Time but since it is eternal we are able to bring that sacrifice into the present by following the command of God the Son to “Do this in Remembrance of Me.” –>Sacrifice of the Mass


WISHING YOU BLESSED AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 23, 2011


Did Jesus Dishonor His Mother?

December 23, 2011

HDavis Something this important should have at least some scriptual example or support.

Bread From heaven:
Only if one believes in Sola Scriptura which we do not since it is not found anywhere is Scripture. I have no idea why Protestants who profess to believe nothing EXCEPT what can be found in scripture believe in Sola Scriptura when it CANNOT be found in Scripture. This is very strange.

HDavis We are instructed to pray to god no one else.


Bread From heaven:
Where????

HDavis On earth we pray for each other as we are in the flesh and need prayer.


Bread From heaven:
Where are prayers for one another alive, in the body of Christ limited ONLY to those who are living on Earth in Time? That is your bias. It is not in Scripture.

HDavis On earth Jesus all but ignored his mother’s request at the marriage feast at Cana.”What is that to me and you women? My time has not come.
His mother said to the servants, Whatever He may say to you,do it.”


Bread From heaven:
I am amazed by your assertion that Jesus ignored His mother’s request. He absolutely did as she requested. He, in obedience to the commandment, honored His mother. She trusted in His answer to her request. The phrase, “What is that to me and you, woman.” is a Hebrew idiom. The use of woman is generally a sign of respect in this ancient culture unlike in our own. But, because sons did not usually address their mothers in this way, even though respectful, we see it as a direct allusion to Eve and the promise in

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”


What is that to me and you
had a flexible meaning depending upon context. It could mean a disagreement and rejection of another. But it could also mean,the free consent of one party to the request of another party, with our without a sense of reluctance. The way Protestants typically interpret this passage would entail Jesus the God/Man dishonoring his mother in direct disobedience to the commandment to honor your father and mother. Protestants never think of this. They do not mean to have Jesus sin in such a way. But that is what happens when you try to interpret scripture out of context of the culture and history of the Church.

HDavis Mary is standing “outside”with His ‘brothers and sisters’ at a gathering Jesus was teaching and Jesus said ‘Who is my mother?… Whoever does the will of God is my mother.’


Bread From heaven:
Surely Mary did the will of God. Again, Jesus did not in any way dishonor His mother here even though Protestants want to see Him being dismissive of her in order to bolster their claim that Catholics honor Mary too much. He did, however, want to emphasize that obedience makes one a part of His intimate family.

HDavis In His kingdom there are no special believers as she like all other believers with no power or authority except that which has been given by man!


Bread From heaven:
All the Grace that Mary possesses was given her, not by man but by God. And there certainly is a hierarchy of honor in the Body of Christ. We see Jesus, taking Peter, James, and John with him and leaving the other disciples. These were His inner circle. Mary was chosen above all women to bear and mother the God/Man Jesus. This was a high honor.

HDavisBut on the other hand,the apostles had power to heal,raise the dead,help and guide the church until the New Testament was completed.But,we are not told to pray to them in heaven!We are not told they intercede for us in any scripture.We are told the Holy Spirit does intercede for us.Romans 8: 26-7


Bread From heaven:

John 20:30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 21: 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.


Deuterocanonicals: 7 Books Deleted by Martin Luther

December 21, 2011

Question: Where did the seven extra books Catholics have in their Bible come from?

Bread From Heaven: The Jews did have these books in the Greek version of the OT. That is why we have them in our Bibles. The Church simply adopted the Greek OT as it was received. Later, the Jews disowned these 7 books claiming they could not find them in Hebrew anymore so they were suspect. But, the fact is that the Jews translated into Greek, several centuries earlier, what was known at the time as the Jewish Scriptures (OT). This Greek translation is the Septuagint. The passage below in Wisdom was one of these scriptures used by the evangelists to make Jewish converts to Christianity. The book of Wisdom is attributed to Solomon. Also Scholars affirm that most of Jesus’ OT quotations come from the Septuagint OT and fewer come from the Hebrew OT. Therefore, if the Septuagint was good enough for Jesus it was good enough for the Church.

Wisdom 2:12Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.

13 He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD.14 To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, 15 Because his life is not like other men’s, and different are his ways.16He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father.

17 Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. 18 With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. 19 With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. 20Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” 21 These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them,

Matthew 27:41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Canon of Scripture-For info on why idea that NT Quotation=OT Scripture proves too much.
Five Myths About the 7 Books

Who Decided Which Books Should be in the Bible?

When did Catholics add books to the Bible?


The Sin of Presumption Opposed to Hope

December 18, 2011

Sonya: The sin of presumption…I have not read this on your post but I understand Catholics believe it’s a sin to “know” your going to heaven. How does this compare to John telling us “these things have I written unto you…that ye may know that ye have eternal life” along with Jesus telling his disciples he was going to build a place for them (would it be wrong for the disciples to take Jesus at his word?).

Bread From Heaven: Not in a general way. But for a person to presume he was Heaven-bound absolutely is certainly not humble but presumptuous/arrogant. It is the vice opposed to the virtue of HOPE. And we know that “Faith, Hope and Love abide…

Hope is a cardinal virtue. On one extreme is the vice of despair. But on the opposite extreme is presumption. We are to have hope and to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.”If one is sure he is going to Heaven he does not have hope he has assurance and neither will he “work out..salvation with fear and trembling” b/c he thinks it is a done deal.

There are thousands of verses warning believers and Jews not to “harden their hearts” “fall away”” apostasize” etc. To believe that God was making empty threats like a lax parent is demeaning. Since we possess free-will we are always capable of sinning egregiously and so lose salvation.

Sonya: Also the thief on the cross…Today though shalt be with me in paradise…

Bread From Heaven:Jesus made this promise. Don’t know what you mean exactly by this point. But, I will point out that the thief did not go to Heaven on that day b/c Jesus did not go to Heaven that day either.

Click–>Thief on the Cross Did Not Go to Purgatory

Here is the pertinent part of that post:

SARAH: Another verse; Luke 23:43TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE” Jesus does not go on to say after a couple hundred years of purification. JESUS states, “today”. Is Jesus capable of lying? misquoting the truth? Or is the son of God simply mistaken?

BFHU:I understand why you ask these questions. You are convinced that your interpretation of these verses leaves no other possibility than to believe that Jesus was a liar or at least not omniscient if Catholic theology is accepted. But, there are some other possibilities, after all. First of all, Jesus did not go to Heaven that very Friday as we find out when Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, on Sunday, that He has not ascended to the Father yet. Therefore, Jesus and the thief did not go directly to Heaven on Friday.

The possibility is that the Greek should be read: “I tell you today, you will be with Me in Paradise” rather than “I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise”. There are no commas in the Greek. Both are legitimate interpretations but the second one doesn’t line up with scripture.

Another possibility is that “paradise” referred to the happy part of the Sheol/Abraham’s bosom where Jesus did go to preach to the dead and lead the captives free. And the Good Thief accompanied Him there, which would have been just as good news as being told he was going to Heaven

Sonya: Paul seemed to know…to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Was he sinning when he wrote this scripture?

Bread From Heaven: This is an inaccurate quote of the verse, perpetuated among Protestants unwittingly, in support of their rejection of Purgatory. Here is what the scripture actually says:

2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

The verse, in context, just doesn’t mean that a soul is either in the body or in the presence of God. It is not particularly doctrinal but expressing St. Paul’s preference to be with the Lord. St. Paul says, he would be willing (he would rather) to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. The way it is usually quoted by Protestants makes it sound much more absolute than it is. Paul is not making a doctrinal statement as it is used by Protestants. I can say, “My flight leaves at 8AM and arrives in New York at 3:00PM. This in no way implies that there are no layovers in Denver or somewhere else on the way.

Paul did not have assurance of Salvation in the sense Calvinism teaches. He only had hope of Salvation. And earlier in this section he uses words like “might” and “may” to describe his hope.

1 Corinthians 9:27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.



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