12/14/2007

My Reformation Theory

I have a theory...and that's all it is mind you, that one reason so many modern post reformation n-Cs reject the sacraments like the Eucharist, Confession, etc is because early on, the reformers realized that once the renegade priests who left the church with them had all died off, they would be left without anyone who could even remotely claim to validly celebrate and administer these sacraments and since most of their laity came from the Catholic faith they would soon recognize the deficiency because their clergy no longer maintained any semblance of apostolic succession and could not consecrate the Eucharist or absolve sins in confession, and that might well cripple the infant reformation faith communities. In order to handle that these leaders began to construct the errant interpretations that we see today that deny the sacraments. It's the only logical tactic that will keep people who knew and loved the Eucharist and the solace of Confession from turning back to the Catholic faith to have them validly available.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.
(The peace of the Lord be always with you all.)
Blackie

12/10/2007

Who REALLY Preaches "A Different Gospel"?

It is my own opinion that the majority of non-Catholic salvation messages actually present a different and deficient gospel than that of the New Testament, the early church and the Catholic Church for the last 2,000 years.

I believe that the essential "way of salvation" verses that are used in a great many non-Catholic evangelistic messages have
been ripped from the pages of the Word of God and bandied about in the last 500 years to further a different and oversimplified deficient Gospel that anyone who sits down and reads the New Testament for themselves without some non-Catholic preacher breathing down their neck every Sunday and Wednesday will soon discover is not the same Gospel of salvation.

I have read the Word of God many times and that is why I am a Catholic. The salvation message of the Catholic Church is in line with the teachings of the New Testament, and I believe that the salvation message of the majority of
non-Catholics is some different gospel, condemned by St. Paul and leads to something that I have dubbed "Christianity Lite".

This is the result of much internet discussion with a variety of non-Catholics which spawned the following post here on Apocalypsis.
How Is A Catholic Saved?
Read your New Testament from cover to cover and see what the teachings are concerning salvation and then compare the various non-Catholic "ways" and "plans" of salvation with what you have read and see if the Holy Spirit does not show you the deficiencies and differences between the two.

They stop far short of what the New Testament Gospel is while the teachings of the Catholic Church are in fact right in line with it.
I would suggest that the context of the New Testament does not teach the Reformed doctrine and that (as I have stated before) their's is a different and deficient gospel.

If no works are involved in our salvation, then how do you explain the Gospel message preached on the day of Pentecost (under the influence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit no less!) in Acts 2:37-38.
[37] Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"
[38] And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


How do you explain the message delivered to St. Paul himself (especially since you assert that it is his teachings that convince you of the reformed position) in Acts 22:16
[16] And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'

Obviously, from the message there, baptism is key to salvation and does indeed wash away and forgive sins. The reformed teachings contradict this in spite of the plain sense of the scriptures.

If our works have no merit with regard to our salvation, why then does Our Lord plainly tell us that we will be judged and either welcomed into the Kingdom of God or cast into hell based upon them in Matthew 25: 31-46
[31] "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
[32] Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
[33] and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
[34] Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
[35] for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
[36] I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
[37] Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
[38] And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
[39] And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
[40] And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'
[41] Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
[42] for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
[43] I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
[44] Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'
[45] Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'
[46] And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
The Gospel today is (and should be!) the same as that preached by the apostles in the New Testament. (See Acts 2:37-38 and 22:16 as well as John 3:5) If what is preached is not the same then that (IMO) would qualify as "a different gospel".

I, like many many Catholics, have heard and seen allegations that ours is a different gospel, but having read the Word of God carefully and prayerfully many times over many years, and comparing the messages of those who make those allegations to the salvation message of the Catholic Church alongside the New Testament, I have found that just the opposite is true.

If, as I suspect, you have read the New Testament all the way through, (more than likely many times over) you can understand what I mean when I say that the Gospel of salvation is actually the topic throughout and I submit that it is the
Gospel that is preached by the Catholic Church that accurately aligns with that and not the one of the reformers or their modern step children.
Galatians 1:[8] But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.
[9] As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

Blackie

10/31/2007

The Origins of Halloween

The Origins of Halloween

The All American Holiday (From the tract by Grotto Press)


The Date.

Pope Gregory III (d 741) moved All saints Day from May 13th to November 1st to coincide with the dedication of a new cathedral. Of course the evening vigil was celebrated on October 31st hence All Hallows Eve or Hallowe'en.

The Dead

In 997 St. Odillo of Cluny, S. France, added a feast of All Souls. (faithful departed in heaven and purgatory) However, the Irish wondered about those in hell. They thought that the damned might cause trouble if they weren't remembered. So, at least in Ireland, ALL the dead were remembered even though "All Damned Day" was never allowed in the church calendar.

The Costumes

In the 14th and 15th centuries the French started "The Dance Macabre" which was an artistic reminder of their own mortality at a time when the Bubonic Plague was sweeping their country. (Europe lost half her population.) To do this dance, held on All Soul's day, November 2nd, they dressed up in ghoulish costumes. In North America in the 1700s, the French and Irish settlers began to intermarry thus the two costumes were blended.

Trick or Treat

During the 1500s through the 1700s in Protestant England, Catholics were persecuted and many martyred. (It was a capitol offense for a priest to say Mass.)

One of their attempted uprisings against their oppressors backfired when Guy Fawkes, the man guarding the gunpowder, meant to blow up King James I, was captured and hanged.

So November 5th became a great celebration for the Protestants in England (to this day). During that period, bands of revelers would visit Catholics in the dead of night, dressed up in masks, demanding beer and cakes for their celebration. Thus "trick or treat".

Witches and Jack-O-Lanterns


In the late 1800s the greeting card industry tried introducing "The Halloween Card" and since Halloween was already creepy, why not add witches? Also in the 1800s, ill-informed folklorists thought that Halloween was druidic and pagan in origin. Since pagans had used lamps made of turnips (not pumpkins) in their harvest festival, these were added too.

Conclusion

So enjoy being an American, have fun at Halloween but remember its origins; it was a time to remember saints and loved ones, faithful souls who died. Obviously as Christians we stand against witchcraft ("There shall not be found among you any one who...practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD ." Deuteronomy 18:10-12) but we can still have wholesome fun and yet teach our children the real meaning of Halloween.

9/20/2007

Catholic Confession

In my opinion the passages are clear as in this case.

John 20:21-23 is so important.
"21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained."

My thinking is that if our Lord had not intended to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation a means of grace unto salvation, then why in the world would He have made this statement and given both this power and command to the presbyters of His church?

James 5:16 & 1st John 1:9 also offer us more insight into this doctrine.

James 5: 14 Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.

1st John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.

All these passages expressly speak of confession of sins and so I have to ask, then just how will those outside the Catholic Church explain the obvious link between these passages.

Here is a further outline for study on this sacrament courtesy of John Martignoni and his Bible Christian Society
Quote:
Confession

A. Confess your sins to men
~ Leviticus 5:5-6 (“All scripture…”: 2 Tim 3:16)
(Law is a shadow: Hebrews 10:1)
~ 1 John 1:9
~ James 5:16

B. Can men forgive sins?
~ Only God has the power to forgive sins but He exercises this power through men.
~ Mark 2:7
~ Matthew 9:1-8
When the crowds saw it, they were afraid , and the glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
- Matthew 9:8


To me, the scriptures are clear, and I can't help but praise and thank God for His wisdom and mercy that (knowing the weaknesses of mankind) equipped His church with the means to help His children overcome our weaknesses and sins.

9/17/2007

How Is A Catholic Saved?

Repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38 & 22:16 and John 3:1-21) and then following Christ, (John 14:15, Matthew 10:38, 16:24, & 25:31-46, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 and Revelation 3:5) which is a lifelong journey and not the oversimplified "plan of salvation" as presented by some non-Catholic communities.

8/31/2007

Infallibility & How The Apostles Taught the Study of Sacred Tradition.

Quote:
Originally Asserted by a Non-Catholic:
Any church arrogant enough to claim infallibility is elevating it's self above God and is blasphemy! There are other "churches" that claim to be infallible, how shall I know which one is lying and which one is telling the truth?

I will answer this for you, by reading the bible for myself and letting the Holy Ghost interpret it for me as He does.
BTW any church claiming infallability is a false church.
A rant without any support from the Word of God.

And yet Christ Himself promised that assurance of infallibility to His church when He said. 18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.Matthew 16.

So then you claim this infallibility for yourself? That is precisely what this statement does, while denying what Our Lord promised to His church and actually attempting to usurp that authority and promise of assurance for yourself. I wouldn't do that. So then you are telling us that you are never wrong? Yet I have already proved you wrong several times in this discussion alone.

By this statement you have logically condemned yourself.
Quote:
Originally Asserted by non-Catholic
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I love this verse! I don't suppose that you've noticed here that St. Paul does not say to St. Timothy. "Study the Bible", or "Study the scriptures", and so based on what this verse says (and the context nowhere changes this...) then sacred Tradition is included in what Paul is telling Timothy to study. In this he would be following the apostles.

Example: (I asked you to look all this up and apparently you dismissed my request, so now I'm going to show you why that was so important.)

Look at these verses from the letter of St. Jude, the next to last book in the New Testament. (You do accept Jude as inspired canon of scripture, right?)

Jude Chapter 1:9: But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you."

Where is that found in the Old Testament? Please show me chapter and verse.

Jude Chapter 1:14: It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, 15: to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

Where is that in the Old Testament please? Again, I need chapter and verse?


Jude Chapter 1:9: But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you."....Jude Chapter 1:14: It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, 15: to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

2nd Timothy Chapter 3:8: As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith;

The first 1st is quoting The Assumption of Moses. Not the Old Testament, yet the apostle Jude quotes it as a fact of belief.

The 2nd is quoting The Book of Enoch. Not the Old Testament, yet the apostle Jude quotes it as a fact of belief.

The 3rd is quoting the Book of Jannes and Jambres and not the Old Testament. (Go ahead and look...their names are nowhere found in the OT!), yet here again...St. Paul refers to something as fact that is not stated in the inspired canon. So then... he is clearly telling Timothy to study both scripture and traditional sources, since that is clearly shown here as apostolic practice.

So much for the idea that the apostles taught Sola Scriptura.
Quote:
Originally Asserted by non-Catholic
You see it all the time. People don't agree on everything, even within any church, including your catholic church. At the same time, if you go to the same source of truth (the bible) and study it though the Holy Spirit, you can understand no matter who you are.
If this were actually true then all faithful believers would hold the exact same doctrines and beliefs...but that is not so among n-Cs, though with in the Catholic Church one single authority is acknowledged and there is indeed one authoritative and knowledgeable source of doctrinal interpretation.

Your comments that some Catholics might dissent or disagree does not indict that infallible authority in faith and morals but instead indicts the consciences of those who dissent or oppose those teachings.

8/27/2007

The Case For Infant Baptism


I noticed in someone's forum profile that they asserted that only adults are baptized in the Bible.

The imperative is the fact that Jewish babies were circumcised on the 8th day by the command of God and since Paul & Peter both compare baptism to circumcision, that we see the type and example. The fact that the parents had the child circumcised as an entrance into their faith and professed their faith on behalf of the child while accepting the responsibility of seeing that they were raised in their faith, carries over into Christianity. It's as scriptural as "Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." The more relevant passages are those that show that entire households were baptized, which implies that people of all ages were included. If God commanded that babies be brought into the faith in the OT, why would that logical and family oriented practice cease with the coming of the Messiah? ALL Christianity is about family...that's about as NT as it gets.

If you think that one has to make a profession of faith to enter the Kingdom of God, but then don't believe that baptism is crucial for salvation, there is something scripturally wrong with your belief...yet the NT is almost adamant about that.

I do not believe that "
only adults are baptized in the Bible" is accurate, and here is a good article that explains why.

Quote:
Infant Baptism (Link)

Fundamentalists often criticize the Catholic Church’s practice of baptizing infants. According to them, baptism is for adults and older children, because it is to be administered only after one has undergone a "born again" experience—that is, after one has "accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior." At the instant of acceptance, when he is "born again," the adult becomes a Christian, and his salvation is assured forever. Baptism follows, though it has no actual salvific value. In fact, one who dies before being baptized, but after "being saved," goes to heaven anyway.

As Fundamentalists see it, baptism is not a sacrament (in the true sense of the word), but an ordinance. It does not in any way convey the grace it symbolizes; rather, it is merely a public manifestation of the person’s conversion. Since only an adult or older child can be converted, baptism is inappropriate for infants or for children who have not yet reached the age of reason (generally considered to be age seven). Most Fundamentalists say that during the years before they reach the age of reason infants and young children are automatically saved. Only once a person reaches the age of reason does he need to "accept Jesus" in order to reach heaven.

Since the New Testament era, the Catholic Church has always understood baptism differently, teaching that it is a sacrament which accomplishes several things, the first of which is the remission of sin, both original sin and actual sin—only original sin in the case of infants and young children, since they are incapable of actual sin; and both original and actual sin in the case of older persons.

Peter explained what happens at baptism when he said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). But he did not restrict this teaching to adults. He added, "For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (2:39). We also read: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name" (Acts 22:16). These commands are universal, not restricted to adults. Further, these commands make clear the necessary connection between baptism and salvation, a
connection explicitly stated in 1 Peter 3:21: "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Some apparently feel that the early church did not baptize infants, but that can be disproved by reading the historical citations if the following article. Early Teachings of Infant Baptism (Fathers *) and from the very early account of the martyrdom of Polycarp (a disciple and friend of St. John as well as bishop of the Church in Smyrna) in which Polycarp plainly says the following when the proconsul tries to get him to deny Christ because of his old age. He shows that he was infant baptized.

Quote:
CHAPTER 9 (LINK) 9:1 But to Polycarp, as he entered the arena, there came a voice from heaven, saying, Be strong, and play the man, O Polycarp. And the speaker no man saw; but the voice those of our people who were present heard. And when he was brought in there was a great tumult, when men heard that Polycarp was apprehended.
9:2 Then, when he had been brought in, the proconsul asked him if he was Polycarp. And when he confessed, he would have persuaded him to deny, saying, Have respect unto thine age, and other things like these, as is their custom to say: Swear by the fortunes of Caesar; Repent; Say, Away with the Atheists. But Polycarp, when he had looked with a grave face at all the multitude of lawless heathen in the arena, having beckoned unto them with his hand, sighed, and looking up unto heaven, said, Away with the Atheists!
9:3 And when the proconsul pressed him, and said, Swear, and I will release thee, revile Christ; Polycarp said, Eighty and six years have I served him, and in nothing hath he wronged me; and how, then, can I blaspheme my King, who saved me?

8/22/2007

Response to Hard Questions to Ask Good Catholics (By Mike Gendron)

Mike Gendron is a professional anti-Catholic preacher.
Understand that he now makes his living with this propaganda.

Look at the list of stuff he comes off with.

Where do you go to find the truth about life's most critical issues?


Answer: In the pillar and ground of the truth according to the New Testament. The Catholic Church.

1st Timothy 3:15: if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

Did you know there is only one way to be saved?
Answer: Of course!

Acts 2 37: Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"
38: And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39: For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him." and Acts 22:16: And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'

Did you know those who distort the Gospel are condemned?
Answer: Certainly! But in "carefully studying to show ourselves approved unto God", we do not find the modern post reformation churches preaching the same gospel as the New Testament.

Galatians 1:6: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel --
7: not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.
9: As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

Did you know that Jesus put an end to the ordained priesthood?
Answer: Really? Then why does St. Paul make statements like, "24: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church," (Colossians 1) and why then does the disciple of St. John, Ignatius of Antioch write the following?
Quote:
CHAP. VIII.--LET NOTHING BE DONE WITHOUT THE BISHOP. (LINK)

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution(17) of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either

See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Christ Jesus does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles. Do ye also reverence the deacons, as those that carry out[through their office] the appointment of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.(2) even as where Christ is, there does all the heavenly host stand by, waiting upon Him as the Chief Captain of the Lord's might, and the Governor of every intelligent nature. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize, or to offer, or to present sacrifice, or to celebrate a love-feast.(1) But that which seems good to him, is also well-pleasing to God, that everything ye do may be secure and valid.
Do you really believe Catholic priests have the power to call the Lord Jesus down from heaven every day?

Answer: Yes indeed. By the authority and command of Our Lord Jesus Christ both at the last supper and in John 6 the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ is made present.

In fact, St. Paul speaks of his own teaching concerning this is 1st Corinthians 10 & 11.

1st Corinthians 10:15: I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say.
16: 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?
17: Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. and 11:23: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,
24: and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
25: In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
26: For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
27: 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.
28: Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29: For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.
30: That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.


Why do Catholic priests continue to offer Jesus as a sacrificial victim when He said "It is finished" (John 19:30)?

Answer:By the very command of Christ Himself. See the passages on the Eucharist above. Does not the sacrifice of Christ transcend time and space in all directions in order to apply to those all the way back to creation and forward until the end of time?

The fact is that here you have misrepresented the Catholic teaching in that the Eucharist is not a re-sacrifice, but a re-presentation of that sacrifice. The New Testament is clear that every time we celebrate the Eucharist the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is made present again.

What better way to confront a sinful world with the sacrifice of Christ. The Eucharist is not only scripturally sound, but more so than "altar calls" and "a sinner's prayer", or "accepting Christ as your personal Lord and savior", none of which are in the Word of God.

Did you know Jesus has already obtained redemption for believers?

Answer: Of course! Here you misrepresent Catholic belief and show that you either
  1. Don't understand Catholic teaching.
  2. or, deliberately intend to indict Catholic belief by misrepresentation.
It's impossible to tell which. The fact is that his quotes are out of context and that any honest person who took the time to read all the Catechism has to say on this would see the inaccuracy of his remarks. (Also at this point, an honest person, might very well begin to question Gendron as a good source.)

Why do you call Jesus the Savior when you have to save yourself?

Answer: Produce an authentic Catholic teaching to this effect. You can't...because there is no such thing.

There are, however, passages like Matthew 25:31-46, which teach the critical importance of a believer's good works at his judgment.

31: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32: Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
33: and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
34: Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35: for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36: I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
37: Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
38: And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
39: And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
40: And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'

41: Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
42: for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43: I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
44: Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'
45: Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'
46: And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


Why do you believe a place caller Purgatory can purify your sins?

Answer: Because it's in the Word of God.

Biblical and Jewish Traditional Beliefs About Purgatory


Why do you pray to Mary?

Answer: Because she is the first believer and demonstrated a ministry of intercession with her Son even from the very beginning of His public ministry in John 2. Because we believe in the Communion of Saints, a scriptural teaching in the New Testament. and here is a link to an MP3 Bible study on this topic.

Why aren't these Catholic traditions found in the 1st century Church?

Answer: * Priests offering sacrifices for sins
See Ignatius of Antioch's letter quoted above.
* Indulgences remitting sin's punishment
John 20:21-23, and Matthew 16:18 and 18:18
* Church leaders forbidden to marry
Well, gee. What did the Lord Himself say? Answering this allegation.
* Infallible men
Matthew 16:18 and 28:19-20. 1st Timothy 3:15

Did you Know that whenever you believe a doctrine, you must also for sake that which opposes it?

Answer: Indeed! And I'm quite alright with that.

Which Jesus will you trust?

Answer: The real one. The one who founded a church to carry on His mission and ministry on Earth, but nowhere commissioned any writings to replace the sole authority that He Himself exercises through His Church by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

From the very moment that you embrace the belief that the Bible is the sole authority for all Christian belief and practice you have already erred into "another gospel", and all further teachings based upon that fundamental error are then subject to error because of that basis. This Sola Scriptura is not a Biblical doctrine at all so then the question turns back on it's author.

Answer: "Which Jesus will you trust?"

8/11/2007

The Deuterocanonical Books of the Catholic Bible

From my friend Wolseley:
And while we're on the subject of "extra-canonical books", here's a good question, posed to me by many Protestants: "If the books of the Apocrypha are supposed to be canonical, then why didn't Jesus ever quote from them?"

And the answer is, He did...and so did the Apostles:

Matthew 6:12, 14-15---"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your heavenly father forgive your transgressions."
Sirach 28:2---"Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven."

Luke 1:17 (describing John the Baptist)---"He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers towards children and the disobediant to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord."
Sirach 48:10---"You are destined, it is written, in time to come, to put an end to wrath before the day of the Lord, to turn back the hearts of fathers towards their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob."

Luke 1:28, 1:42---"And coming to her, he said, 'Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you!'.....Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."
Judith 13:18---"Then Uzziah said to her: 'Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women of the earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

Luke 1:52---"He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones, but lifted up the lowly."
Sirach 10:14---"The thrones of the arrogant God overturns, and establishes the lowly in their stead."

Luke 12:19-20---"I shall say to myself, 'Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!' But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'"
Sirach 11:19---"When he says: 'I have found rest, now I will feast on my possessions,' he does not know how long it will be till he dies and leaves them to others."

Luke 18:22---"When Jesus heard this, he said to him, 'There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.'"
Sirach 29:11---"Dispose of your treasure as the Most High commands, for that will profit you more than the gold."

John 3:12---"If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?"
Wisdom 9:16---"Scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?"

John 5:18---"For this reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but he also called God his own Father, making himself equal to God."
Wisdom 2:16---"He 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."

John 10:29---"My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand."
Wisdom 3:1---"But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them."

Paul and James allude to them as well:

Romans 2:11---"There is no partiality with God."
Sirach 35:12---"For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites."

Romans 9:21---"Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for a noble purpose andanother fo an ignoble one?"
Wisdom 15:7---"For truly the potter, laboriously working the soft earth, molds for our service each several article: both the vessels that serve for clean purposes, and their opposites, all alike; as to what shall be the use of each vessel of eiother class, the worker in clay is the judge."

Romans 11:24---"For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?"
Wisdom 9:13---"For what man knows God's counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?"

1 Thessalonians 2:16---"(The enemies of Christ persecute us), trying to prevent us from speaking to the Gentiles that they may be saved, thus constantly filling up the measure of their sins. But the wrath of God has finally begun to come upon them."
2 Maccabees 6:14---"Thus, in dealing with other nations, the Lord patiently waits until they reach the full measure of their sins before he punishes them; but with us he has decided to deal differently"

James 1:13---"No one experiencing temptation should say, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one."
Sirach 15:11-12---"Say not: 'It was God's doing that I fell away'; for what he hates he does not do. Say not: 'It was he who set me astray'; for he has no need of wicked man."

James 5:2-3---"Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver hav corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire."
Judith 16:17---'The Lord Almighty will requite them; in the day of judgement he will punish them: he will send fire and worms into their flesh, and they shall burn and suffer forever."

Now, of course, you may say that these don't sound like exact quotes, and you'd be right; but there are thousands of allusions in the New Testament from the Old, both Deuterocanon and not, which are not exact quotes. Romans 11:34, for example, also has an allusion to Job 15:8, but ironically the allusion to Wisdom 9:13 is closer in actual wording to it than Job is. And, of course, if you want to get into loose allusions, we could expand the above list to ten times the size it is. Then there are also the cases of outright error in some New Testament quotes, such as Matthew 27:9, in which Matthew quotes "the prophet Jeremiah", when the allusion is actually found nowhere in Jeremiah but rather in Zecheriah 11:12-13.

There is also the case of some Old Testament books not being quoted by Jesus in the New Testament: He didn't quote from Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, or the Song of Solomon. And yet they are still considered to be canonical Scripture even though He did not reference them.


From my friend Randy Carson:

New Testament References to Deuterocanonical Books

Matthew 6:14-15
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Sirach 28:2
Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.

+++

Luke 6:31
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Tobit 4:15
Do to no one what you yourself dislike. Do not drink wine till you become drunk, nor let drunkenness accompany you on your way.

+++

Matthew 27:41-43
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. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' "

Wisdom 2:15-18
15 Because his life is not like other men's, and different are his ways. 16 He 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 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. 20 Let 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, 22 And they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls' reward.

+++

Luke 14:13
13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

Tobit 4:7
"Give alms from your possessions. Do not turn your face away from any of the poor, and God's face will not be turned away from you.

+++

John 10:22
22 Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,

1 Maccabees 4:59
Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary every year for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month Chislev.

+++

Romans 9:20
20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "

Wisdom 12:12
12 For who can say to you, "What have you done?" or who can oppose your decree? Or when peoples perish, who can challenge you, their maker; or who can come into your presence as vindicator of unjust men?

Romans 9:21
21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Wisdom 15:7
For truly the potter, laboriously working the soft earth, molds for our service each several article: Both the vessels that serve for clean purposes and their opposites, all alike; As to what shall be the use of each vessel of either class the worker in clay is the judge.

+++

Romans 9:22
22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?

Wisdom 12:20
20 For these were enemies of your servants, doomed to death; yet, while you punished them with such solicitude and pleading, granting time and opportunity to abandon wickedness,

+++

Romans 11:34
34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"

Wisdom 9:13
For what man knows God's counsel, or who can conceive what our LORD intends?

+++

2 Corinthians 9:7
7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Sirach 35:9
Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.

+++

Hebrews 1:3
3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Wisdom 7:26
For she is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness.

+++

Hebrews 11:35
35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.

2 Maccabees 7:7
Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them."

Tradition? No way!

I love those who come along and make statements like this. As if tradition has no place in Christianity. Which is simply not true.

Here's a really good example. Jude 9: But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you."

Find this for me in the Old Testament.

Also, Jude 14: It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads,
15: to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

Find this for me in the Old Testament.

Remember that this is an apostle writing this and we know that this is inspired by the Holy Spirit. If what he is quoting is from God then where is it in the Old Testament?

If it's from a source other than the Old Testament, then what does the fact that the apostle quoted it into scripture tell you about that source?

Verse 9 is from The Assumption of Moses.
Verses 14 & 15 are from The Book of Enoch.

Both are traditional Jewish writings.

Tradition is bad? Better tell St. Jude
.

Ask your average n-C where they can get the names of the two guys who resisted Moses in the Old Testament. St. Paul names them in 2nd Timothy 3:8. "Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith."

Just where exactly did the Jewish scholar St. Paul get those names from to include in his Holy Spirit inspired epistle? They're not named in the canonical books of the OT.

Looks to me like another apostle used Jewish traditional non-canonical sources to teach.
From another Protestant commentator, Matthew Henry:
Quote:
In one sense we must all be ever learning, that is, growing in knowledge, following on to know the Lord, pressing forward; but these were skeptics, giddy and unstable, who were forward to imbibe every new notion, under pretense of advancement in knowledge, but never came to a right understanding of the truth as it is in Jesus. 3. He foretells the certain stop that should be put to their progress (2Ti_3:8, 2Ti_3:9), comparing them to the Egyptian magicians who withstood Moses, and who are here named, Jannes and Jambres; though the names are not to be met with in the story of the Old Testament, yet they are found in some old Jewish writers.

In fact,

Just having a set list of what books are canonical for scripture is a tradition in itself.

8/09/2007

Do Catholics Read the Bible?

How often do you read your Bible?
Daily. 238 47.50%
More than 4 times a week. 170 33.93%
Before I attend Mass. 47 9.38%
I have my own personal Bible (Specify version) 172 34.33%
I sometimes carry a Bible to church. 46 9.18%
I own several Bibles. (List please) 236 47.11%
I am a convert or revert to the Catholic Faith 139 27.74%
I am a "cradle Catholic". 151 30.14%
I am "the other" kind of Catholic 8 1.60%
I really need to read the Bible more 121 24.15%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 501.
The Posts that discuss this poll can be found at Catholic Answers Forums.

8/06/2007

The Intercession & Communion of Saints

Have you noticed Hebrews 12:1? And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us:

Now I have never seen the "witnesses" (Fans) of any race that just sat stoically by, have you? How much more so would the saints in heaven intercede for us in our own races knowing of the eternal consequences of it?

Now if the New Testament says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses as we run our race for the Lord, just what do we think those folks are doing? Ever been to a race? No one sits there stoically, do they?

To me this passage makes it pretty clear that the faithful departed are not only aware of what we do (This of course by the will and power of God!), but they are actively interceding for us the way that race fans do.

I find it even harder to grasp how any soul that has won through so far as heaven or purgatory (knowing the struggles and spiritual warfare that all the "church militant" endures) would not be busily interceding for those of us running our race that has such eternal consequences. That just doesn't sound like any of the faithful believers that I have ever heard of.

These witnesses can see the race.

How much more would the saints in heaven intercede (Oh look! Evidence for the intercession of Saints!) for those of us still running our races, especially since that race has such eternal consequences?

Here's a link to a great Bible study on
the Communion of Saints. Here's the basic notes.
Well worth it.

As to the charge of necromancy:
It's not necromancy, you need to understand the Communion of Saints.

If our dead brothers and sisters are not aware of us then why does Hebrews 12:1 say that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses in our race for the Kingdom of God?

Romans 8:38: For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39: nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To non-Catholics who might disagree:
So you never ask anyone else to pray for you?

When you "got saved", did anyone else pray along with and for you? By your thinking that was wrong since all you needed was to pray for yourself.

Yet what does the Word of God say? I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: (1st Timothy 2:1)

The saints pray in Heaven:
Revelation 5:8 And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints:

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God. 4 And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel.

7/28/2007

Iconoclasm: Or: Catholics Worship Graven Images NOT

View Poll Results: Allegation of Catholic Idolatry
I agree: Catholics worship Mary, the saints and statues 6 3.85%
That is completely wrong and here's why. 150 96.15%
Voters: 156.


Okay let's try this again...

Welcome!
A graven image according to the context of the 1st commandment is anything that a person would construct in order to give it the worship that is due only to God. Now, that said, it could also include anything that we choose to make more important than God in our lives, such as money, career, or power. The Catechism of the Catholic Church gets into it more here: http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/comm1.html#GRAVEN so you can peruse that at your convenience.

Islam forbids the display of ANY images (It's called Iconoclasm, this forbidding) and the iconoclastic heresies that have arisen in Christianity were the result of Islamic influence in about the 800's. you can find that history here at New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07620a.htm

Read the graven image part of the first commandment here:
Exodus 20:1-5

"1 And the Lord spoke all these words: 2 I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:"

It is clear that the prohibition is not iconoclastic as you preach, but based upon the intent of the one making and using the image. Since NO CATHOLIC EVER kneels down before any image to worship it we are not idolators at all. We are not stupid enough to confuse a mass of rock, plaster, metal, or any other created thing with the almighty and ever living God of the Universe

New Advent entry on Iconoclasm.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07620a.htm


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

IV. "YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF A GRAVEN IMAGE . . ."



2129 The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. Deuteronomy explains: "Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure...."[66] It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed himself to Israel. "He is the all," but at the same time "he is greater than all his works."[67] He is "the author of beauty."[68]

2130 Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.[69]

2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons - of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new "economy" of images. 2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."[70] The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:
Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.[71]

If the making of images is wrong as the Moslems and these misgiuded iconoclasts say then how do they account for God COMMANDING the making of images to adorn the top of the Ark of the Covenant and the brass serpent that Moses lifted up to save the Israelites that had sinned and which in fact is mentioned in the NT as a type of the lifting up of Christ for our sins? The temple of Solomon is described as having been adorned with all manner of images yet God was pleased to be present there and did not condemn them for it.


7/15/2007

The "Boettner List": Fact or Fiction?

By: Wolseley

Anyone is free to reproduce the following material in any form, as long as the author is given full credit for the material reproduced.

"ROMANISM" REVISITED: A FACTUAL AND HISTORICAL REFUTATION OF THE THE "BOETTNER LIST"

(Copyright 2003 by Wayne A. Ariss; all rights reserved.)

In the years since the Internet became a worldwide communications tool, many types of "bulletin board" have become popular. These are a type of forum where a topic is introduced, and others may "post" replies to the topic by typing their thoughts into the bulletin board's online system, and clicking on the "reply to topic" button on their computer screen. Their reply will then appear below the previous post, often with highlighted quotations from preceding posts, and the discussion will progress, sometimes with dozens of people joining in.

Some of these bulletin boards, naturally, are Christian discussion boards, where Christians and others can discuss topics such as theology, eschatology, doctrine, current events, and so on, from various Christian perspectives. Inevitably, the old dichotomies between Catholics and Protestants will make their appearance in these discussions, and the doctrinal positions from both sides will be endlessly debated. On boards of a generic Christian nature, or on boards that are of a primarily Protestant makeup, Catholics and Catholic doctrine will often take quite a pounding from non-Catholics---but I can attest from personal experience that the major differences have little to do with what Catholics actually teach and believe, but misunderstandings, misrepresentations, and old canards which sometimes go all the way back to the 16th century.

Having spent years now discussing topics on these Internet bulletin boards, I have seen various claims and charges leveled at the Catholic Church, sometimes over and over again. One of the most common sources for this material consists of a familiar "laundry list" of charges against Catholicism, which I have seen posted literally dozens of times---either in part or in whole---usually verbatim, and tossed out as "proof" of the errors of Catholicism. Although the author of this list is not often identified, anyone familiar with the material will immediately recognize it as the work of one of the 20th century's premier anti-Catholic screedists, Loraine Boettner.

Boettner was born in Missouri in 1901, and graduated with a Master's degree in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1929. He held a variety of teaching positions around the country, and was an eminent and well-respected Reformed theologian; he died in 1990. Boettner wrote several books, including The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, Studies in Theology, The Millennium, Immortality, and A Harmony of the Gospels. Unfortunately, what he seems to be the most remembered for was his 1962 book Roman Catholicism, published by the Reformed and Presbyterian Publishing Company of Philipsburg, New Jersey.

On pages 7, 8, and 9 of Roman Catholicism, Boettner included a "list" of claims against the Catholic Church---the very same "list" that is repeatedly posted, verbatim, on the Internet by those who disagree with Catholicism and who wish to point out its "errors". Subtitled "Some Roman Catholic Heresies and Inventions, and the dates of their adoption over a period of 1650 years", the grouping contains 44 items running from 300 AD to 1950 AD, with the addition of one item from 1965 in subsequent printings. Thus we have the source of the infamous "Boettner List", as it is sometimes known.

For each item, Boettner first spells out the "heresy" or "invention" he claims the Church concocted, which is then followed by the date when it supposedly appeared. My purpose in this treatise is to refute each one of the items on Boettner's list, both by correcting Boettner when he misrepresents the material in his item, and by providing primary source documents---or of materials which quote the primary source documents---that give the actual date of the practice in question, and thereby illustrating that the practices Boettner condemns actually existed in the Church much earlier than he claims. They were not "invented" at very late dates---indeed, many of them existed from the Patristic Era, or at least much earlier than Boettner would have us believe.

This is not meant to be an all-encompassing treatise, nor is it meant to be a deep scholarly endeavor. It is merely meant to highlight the wild inaccuracies in Boettner's chronology, and let the reader decide for him or herself whether a man who manages to miss the mark so many times has any credibility in other areas as well. I do not present this as a condemnation of Boettner, or of his Reformed theological works or viewpoints; I am concerned with Roman Catholicism alone, and the claims which he makes against the Catholic Church which he provides early on in the book. Whatever the merits of his other works may be, I hope to show that in Roman Catholicism, Boettner truly has little to say with any factual credibility.

I have employed a variety of sources, making heavy use of the old Catholic Encyclopedia; but not all of my sources are Catholic, and all of the works I have used contain further cites from other works in which the material may be found. It remains only for the reader to locate the references I have provided to corroborate my sources and to do his own research to prove, or attempt to disprove, my findings.

1. Prayers for the dead, began about....300 AD.

The first Scriptural mention of prayers for the dead occurs in the Deuterocanonical book of 2 Maccabees, chapter 12, verses 39 through 46, in which Judas Maccabeus and his men pray for their fallen comrades, that God may forgive the sins of the dead men. 2 Maccabees was written sometime after 124 BC [1], which makes Boettner's date more than 400 years off.

Examples of Christians offering supplication for the dead are found in grave scripts such as the Epitaph of Abercius, the Bishop of Hierapolis, written in 180 AD. On this grave marker, Abercius asks all who may read his marker to pray for him [2].

Other examples can be found in the works of the Christian apologist Tertullian, who lived approximately from 155 AD to 250 AD. In his work The Crown (211 AD), Tertullian mentions Christians offering sacrifices for the dead on the anniversary of their deaths [3], and makes a similar reference in his work Monogamy (213 AD), where he mentions widows offering prayers and sacrifices for their deceased husbands [4].

In even the very latest of these two examples, Boettner is still nearly a hundred years off.

[1] Introduction notes to the book of 2 Maccabees, New American Bible. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1969; pg 546.

[2] William Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 1. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1970, pg 78.

[3] Jurgens, pg 151.

[4] Jurgens, pg 158.

2. Making the sign of the cross....300.

Again we go back to Tertullian's The Crown of 211 AD: "In all the occupations of our daily lives, we furrow our foreheads with the Sign" [5]. This makes Boettner's date 89 years off.

[5] Jurgens, pg 151.

3. Wax candles, about....320.

The extant Roman record of the execution of Cyprian of Carthage (Acta Proconsularia) indicates that his funeral included the use of candles and torches; this occurred in September of 258, more than 60 years before Boettner's date [6].

[6] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, "Candles". New York: Encyclopedia Press, Inc., 1907; pg 246.

Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, "Cyprian of Carthage", pg 588.

Patrick Hamell, Handbook of Patrology. New York: Alba House, 1968; pg 75.

4. Veneration of angels and saints, and use of images....375.

The veneration (or respect) paid to angels can be found in the First Apology of Justin Martyr (148 AD). In Chapter VI, he states that "the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him...we worship and adore" [7].

Likewise, Athenagoras of Athens wrote in Chapter X of the Supplication For the Christians (c.177 AD): "Nor is our teaching in what relates to the divine nature confined to these points [the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit]; but we recognize also a multitude of angels and ministers" [8]. It will be noted in both these examples that Boettner is off by approximately 200 years.

The earliest reference to veneration of the saints can be found in The Martyrdom of Polycarp, a document dating from around 155 AD: "Christ we adore, because He is the Son of God. To the martyrs, on the other hand, we offer the love which is due to disciples and ministers of the Lord, on account of their unsurpassable devotion to their King and Lord" [9]. This again makes Boettner's date 200 years off.

Insofar as images go, both Exodus 25:18 and Numbers 21:8 mention images being constructed at God's command. Boettner apparently gets his date of 375 AD from Basil the Great, who writes in his treatise The Holy Spirit from that same year that honor paid to an image is honor paid to God Himself [10]. Basil appears to be merely offering a definition of the use of images, however, since images go as far back as the late 2nd century; archaeological discoveries have revealed paintings on the walls of Roman catacombs depicting Christ, the saints, and scenes from Scripture, which gradually developed into frescoes, then mosaics, and finally bas-relief and statues [11]. Eusebius, who lived from 263 to 340 AD, described a statue he had personally seen, depicting Christ healing the woman of Caesarea Philippi (History of the Church, VII, xviii; 300-325 AD). All of these examples place Boettner anywhere from 50 to 200 years off the mark.

[7] http://www.ccel.org/fathers/2/

[8] ibid.

[9] Maxwell Staniforth, Early Christian Writings. New York: Penguin Books, 1968; pg 131.

Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1960; pp 318-319.

[10] Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers. Volume 2, pg 18.

[11] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, "Catacombs", pp 422-424.

Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, "Images", pp 665-668.

5. The Mass, as a daily celebration....394.

The Mass, in the earliest years of the Church, appears to have been celebrated on Sunday only, but it was gradually extended to a daily celebration by the time of Augustine (d.430 AD). This, however, was by no means universal, being confined to specific geographical areas until the end of the 500's AD. In some places, priests began to celebrate multiple daily Masses, until Pope Alexander II (d.1073) decreed that priests should content themselves with one or at the most two Masses, one being a requiem Mass, and then only if necessary [12]. What remains unclear is why Boettner felt this to be something sinister, to be labeled a heresy or an invention.

[12] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2; "Bination", pp 568-569.

6. Beginning of the exaltation of Mary, the term "Mother of God" first applied to her by the Council of Ephesus....431.

The Third Ecumenical Council, held at Ephesus in 431 AD, did indeed declare that Mary was the Mother of God. However, Mary bore this title long before Ephesus; Ignatius of Antioch states in his Epistle to the Ephesians (110 AD): "For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God's plan" [13]. Irenaeus of Lyons writes in Against Heresies (180-199 AD), "The Virgin Mary...being obedient to His word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God" [14]. Finally Ephraim the Syrian (d.373 AD) composed a hymn with the words "This Virgin became a Mother while preserving her virginity....and the handmaid and work of His wisdom became the Mother of God" [15]. In these three examples, Boettner is off by 321 years, 232 years, and 58 years, respectively.

[13] Jurgens, Vol. 1. pg 18.

[14] ibid., pg 101.

[15] ibid., pg 312.

7. Priests began to dress differently than laymen....500.

Boettner here is half right. In the 6th century the manner of dress between clergy and laity was different; however, it wasn't the clergy that changed and began dressing differently, it was the laity.

In the early years of the Church, clergy dressed no differently from the people around them, and indeed, priests were chastised for dressing in any manner that brought attention to themselves (letter of Pope Celestine to the bishops of Gaul, 428 AD; Council of Gangra, 340 AD). This seems to have remained the case up until the 500's AD.

By then, the Western Roman Empire had collapsed, and the influx of northern Germanic tribesmen that came into Italy had begun to mix with the native Roman population. The clergy retained the common manner of dress that Romans had always worn---the long tunic and a toga or cloak; the laypeople, however, began to quickly adopt the style of dress of the Germans, being a short tunic, breeches, and a mantle.

A local council in Portugal in 572 and another in Germany in 742 mention clerical attire, but only insofar that clerics should be seemly attired and decently covered. The first actual indication of specific clerical dress comes in 875 AD, when Pope John VIII instructs the Archbishops of York and Canterbury to make sure that their clergy was wearing specific ecclesiastical attire. Universal enactments regarding clerical attire came in 1215, 1589, 1624, and finally 1725, when Pope Benedict XIII decreed that a cleric wearing lay garments was an infraction of the most serious order [16]. Boettner is thus off by a margin of 375 years in the earliest example.

[16] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4; "Costume, Clerical". pp 419-420.

8. Extreme Unction....526.

Extreme Unction (or the Anointing of the Sick) is mentioned in the Epistle of James, 5:13-15, written sometime between 60 and 100 AD. In light of this fact, how Boettner came up with the idea that the Catholic Church "invented" it in 526 AD is a total mystery.

9. The doctrine of Purgatory, established by Gregory I....593.

The concept of sins being remitted after death is found in the Deuterocanonical book of 2 Maccabees, 12:38-46, which was probably written about 124 BC. This in itself makes Boettner more than 700 years off the mark, but the Catholic concept of Purgatory still pre-dates Boettner's claim by hundreds of years; for further examples, see #1 of this list under "Prayers for the dead".

10. Latin language, used in prayer and worship, imposed by Gregory I....600.

Latin was, of course, the language of the ruling culture in Western Europe at the time of Christianity's inception, being the Roman Empire. As early as 180 AD, the Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs mentions that the Gospels and Epistles of Paul had been translated into Latin, and pagan Romans such as Arnobius dismissed such translations as being of a trivial, common, and vulgar form of Latin [17].

The de facto "official" language of the Church appears to have been Greek up until the 3rd century, when official Papal documents began appearing in Latin. This was probably due to the overwhelming majority of Christians being located in the eastern, or Greek-speaking, half of the Empire. Paul, for example, in the 16th chapter of Romans, greets more than twenty people by name, and only six of the names are Latin, the remainder being Greek. However, Latin began to slowly gain more usage, especially in the Roman provinces of Africa, and moving northward. By the 4th century, Jerome had translated the Scriptures into Latin, and the liturgy was being celebrated almost exclusively in Latin in the western parts of the Empire [18].

Although there is no exact date when Latin took precedence in the western Church, virtually all authorities agree that it was during the period from the early 3rd to late 4th centuries. That, along with the lack of evidence of a definitive decree from Gregory I stipulating the use of Latin in his liturgical reforms after 590, places Boettner in a chronological error of several hundred years.

[17] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 9; "Latin, Ecclesiastical", pg 20.

[18] Peter Stravinskas, Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia; "Latin". Huntington, IN: OSV Publishing, Inc., 1991, pp 575-576.

11. Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints and angels, about....600.

The most complete ancient prayer which was addressed to Mary asked for her intercession in times of difficulty and danger; entitled Sub Tuum Praesidium, or "Under Your Protection", it dates from approximately 250 AD, making Boettner's date approximately 350 years off [19]. Besides this, Marian devotions flourished after the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD, nearly 200 years before Boettner's date [20].

For prayers directed to saints and angels, see Number 4 above.

[19] Mark Miravalle, Introduction to Mary. Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Co., 1993, pg 27.

[20] ibid., pg 28.

12. Title of Pope, or universal bishop, given to Boniface III by emperor Phocas....607.

Boettner apparently wishes to give the impression that the office of Pope was invented by the Byzantine Emperor Phocas in 607, and conferred upon Boniface. The actual facts are not so simplistic.

To begin with, the title of the Bishop of Rome---Pontifex Maximus---is a term meaning "bridge-builder", which the Popes inherited from governmental functionaries of the pagan Romans. "Pope" is merely a derivation of a Latin word meaning "father"; and use of that term for various clerics is also found in both the Orthodox and Coptic churches.

Tertullian, writing in his treatise Modesty (written in 220 AD), cites a quote from "a pontiff---sovereign, of course---that is, a bishop of bishops" [21]. This places use and understanding of the term 387 years before Boettner's claim. Two other instances of the term in the definition of a patriarch are found applied to the Bishop of Carthage in 250 AD [22], and to the Bishop of Alexandria in 320 AD [23]. However, the Bishop of Rome was always held to be Head of the entire Church, (as attested to by Ignatius, Hermas, Dionysius, Hegesippus, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, and others).

Shortly before Boniface III was elected, a dispute had arisen about the way that Cyriacus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, was using the term "ecumenical patriarch"; the manner in which Cyriacus was employing the title seemed to minimize the proper office of the Pope as universal head of the Church.

Once Boniface had been elected Pope, Emperor Phocas issued a decree---aimed directly at Cyriacus---which stipulated that the See of Rome was the head see of all the churches, and that the title "Universal Bishop" belonged only to the Bishop of Rome [24]. There was imperial precedent for this action, since Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD) had issued a similar acknowledgment some eighty years before [25].

The wrangling over jurisdiction between Rome and Constantinople would continue for another 400 years, and would eventually contribute to the final East-West schism in 1054 AD; but the examples provided here more than dispose of Boettner's claim that the title of Pope was "invented" by the Byzantine Emperor in 607 AD.

[21] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 159.

[22] ibid., pg 227.

[23] ibid., pg 277.

[24] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2; "Boniface III". pg 600.

J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pg 68.

[25] ibid.

13. Kissing the pope's foot, began with pope Constantine....709.

This is a practice which was absorbed from the Roman emperors; Roman court officials kissed the Emperor's foot as a sign of respect for the head of the Empire. In like manner, kissing the foot of the Pope is a sign of respect for the head of the Christian Church, not the man himself---or, as Pope Innocent III described it, it is an act of "reverence due to the Supreme Pontiff as the Vicar of Him Whose feet were kissed by the woman who was a sinner".

Boettner is incorrect to say that the practice began with Pope Constantine, since there is at least one earlier extant example of Emperor Justin kissing the foot of Pope John I (523-526 AD) some 180 years before [26].

[26] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8; "Kiss", pg 665.

14. Temporal power of the popes, conferred by Pepin, king of the Franks....750.

During the years 741 through 747, the Frankish kingdoms that had been the domain of Charles Martel were in a state of rapid change and upheaval. By 750, Pepin the Short was in a position to take charge of the kingdom and establish stability. However, having been educated by Christian monks, and being well acquainted with St. Boniface, Pepin sought advice from Pope Zacharias as to whether he should take charge of the kingdom or not.

Pope Zacharias replied that since Pepin held de facto power over the Franks, it was better, indeed, that he should take charge of the kingdom. This confirmation disposed of the last Merovingian claimant to the throne (Childeric III), and Pepin was crowned king and anointed as such (by Boniface, acting as the Pope's representative) the next year as Soissons [27].

In light of this examination of Frankish history, it can be seen that Boettner essentially has his facts reversed: Pepin didn't confer temporal power on the Pope; rather, the Pope confirmed the temporal power of Pepin.

[27] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 11; "Pepin the Short", pp 662-663.

Kelly, pg 90.

15. Worship of the cross, images and relics, authorized in....786.

Boettner appears to get this date from the 2nd Council of Nicaea, even though he is off by one year (the council actually took place in 787). The council stipulated that the Cross should receive an "adoration of honor" [28}. However, the veneration of the Cross is mentioned as far back as 380 AD, in documents such as the Peregrinatio Etheriae, making Boettner's claim 400 years off the mark [29].

Veneration of the relics of saints is mentioned much earlier than Boettner's claim; The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, written in 155 AD, mentions that the bones of Polycarp, "more precious than costly gems and finer than gold", were carefully gathered up after his execution, and put "in a suitable place" [30].

For more on veneration of images, see Number 4 above.

[28] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4; "Cross", pg 524.

[29] ibid., pg 530.

[30] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 31.

16. Holy water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by a priest....850.

The Apostolic Constitutions, a document dating back to the 5th century, attributes the use of holy water to the Apostle St. Matthew; likewise, two more ancient documents called the Pontifical of Serapion of Thmuis and the Testamentum Domini contain liturgical formulas for the blessing of both oil and water at Mass.

The Council of Constantinople in 691 AD makes mention of the blessing of holy water at each church at the beginning of each lunar month. In any event, Boettner is off by anywhere from 400 to 159 years, depending on the source cited [31].

[31] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7; "Holy Water", pp 432-433.

17. Worship of St. Joseph....890.

All Catholic saints are "worshiped", of course, but only in the sense of dulia, or veneration, and not latria, the actual worship given only to God. In the case of St. Joseph, he was venerated by the Copts as early as the start of the 300's AD; and an oratory was dedicated to him in a basilica erected by St. Helena around the same general time [32]. The apocryphal work The History of Joseph was widespread in the East from the 4th to the 7th centuries, although his cult was not widespread in the West until the 15th century, when his feast was introduced into the Roman calendar in 1479 [33].

In either event, Boettner has missed the mark by a margin of approximately 600 years in both directions.

[32] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, "Joseph"; pg 505.

[33] John J. Delaney, Dictionary of Saints. New York: Doubleday, 1980, pg 330.

18. College of Cardinals established....927.

At the Council of Rome, held in 499 AD, Pope Symmachus divided the City into various parochial units, each under the control of a priest known as a cardinale. Pope John VIII published a constitution between 873 and 882 which specifically mentions these cardinal priests, or presbyteri cardinales [34]. The office gradually developed into what we now have, meaning the body of higher clerics who meet to elect the next Pontiff upon the death of the reigning Pope; the actual term collegium comes into general use after 1150 AD [35]. The College of Cardinals was never so much an establishment as it was a development; but in any case, Boettner has again erred by anywhere from 200 to 500 years in either direction.

[34] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, "Cardinal", pg 333.

[35] ibid., pg 340.

Baptism of bells, instituted by pope John XIII....965.

The phrase "baptism" of bells has been in use for hundreds of years, but it was a "pop" usage, which was never instituted by the Church. The actual practice involved the blessing of the bell and application of holy water, the same way that the Church blesses any object which is devoted to the service of God, i.e., an altar, a church, sacred vessels, vestments, vehicles, etc. In no way is the blessing of a bell (or any other object) the same thing as the Sacrament of Baptism, in which a new child of Christ is washed clean of original sin.

The blessing of bells is mentioned in documents dating at least as far back as Egbert, Archbishop of York, in the mid-700's AD; thus we see that Boettner is about 200 years off [36].

[36] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, "Bells", pp 420-421.

20. Canonization of dead saints, first by pope John XV....995.

Since veneration of Christian martyrs is mentioned by Eusebius, Augustine, Cyprian, and Cyril of Alexandria (see also Number 4 above), not to mention the religious celebration of the day of St. Polycarp's martyrdom (155 AD), the veneration of saints has been around since the earliest days of the Church. Usually the bishop of a specific diocese would promulgate the veneration of a local martyr; when this veneration was confirmed by the Pope, it then became universal [37].

The specific instance mentioned by Boettner here, however, was the canonization of St. Ulrich, the Bishop of Augsburg (890-973). Pope John XV announced the canonization---much in the same way that any local bishop might---at a synod held at the Lateran Palace on 31 January 993, and also published the same in a bull to the German and French bishops dated 3 February [38].

This is the first time that a Pope solemnly canonized a saint, so Boettner is half right; however, it is not the first instance of a saint being recognized as officially canonized, as we have seen, although this is clearly what Boettner meant to imply. The striking part is that even when Boettner is partially correct, he still can't seem to get his dates right, since he states this event took place in 995, when it was actually 993, making him two years off the mark.

[37] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, "Beatification and Canonization", pp 364-365.

[38] ibid., Vol. 8, "John XV", pg 428.

21. Fasting on Fridays and during Lent....998.

Fasting on Fridays is mentioned as far back as the Didache (140 AD) [39], thus rendering Boettner more than 800 years off the mark. As for the Lenten fast, Athanasius, writing in his Festal Letters of 331 AD, stated that the faithful should fast for 40 days during Lent [40]. This makes Boettner 667 years off the mark. Canon 69 of the Apostolic Canons, which pre-date 341 AD, admonishes bishops, clergy, and laity to fast during Lent; Canon 56 of the Trullan Synod of 692 AD contains similar regulations [41]. Here Boettner is anywhere from 657 years to 306 years off.

[39] Maxwell Staniforth (trans.), Early Christian Writings. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1968, pg 194.

[40] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 9, "Lent", pg 152.

[41] ibid., Vol. 5, "Fast", pg 791.

22. The Mass, developed gradually as a sacrifice, attendance made obligatory in the 11th century.

The Didache, written somewhere around 140 AD, mentions that Christians should assemble on the Lord's Day for the Eucharist, but that they should confess their sins beforehand, so that their "sacrifice may be a pure one" [42]; this sacrificial language is echoed layer by both Ignatius and Irenaeus. Thus, Boettner's "gradual development" occurred, rather precipitously, within 50 years of the death of the Apostle John, and not over a course of ten centuries as he implies.

As for obligatory attendance at Mass, the Council of Elvira in 300 AD decreed temporary excommunication as a corrective measure for anyone who missed Mass three weeks in a row [43], 700 years before Boettner's date.

[42] Staniforth, Early Christian Writings, pg 197.

[43] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 14, "Sunday", pg 335.

23. Celibacy of the priesthood, decreed by pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand)....1079.

Celibacy, of course, is mentioned as an ideal by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 7, although not as a mandatory injunction. Several early Fathers, including Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, and Epiphanius appear to have viewed the practice favorably as well; but it was the local Council of Elvira in Spain (295-302 AD) where celibacy was first imposed on bishops, priests, and deacons. The practice was held as the ideal for clergy, but was adopted---or imposed---piecemeal in various locations until it was decreed Church-wide for all clergy by the 1st Lateran Council in 1123 [44]. Boettner is thus off by 700 years in the first instance and 40 years in the second.

In the case of Gregory VII, he did indeed seek to strengthen the practice of clerical celibacy, but it was in two Lenten synods in 1074 and 1075, not in 1079 as Boettner asserts [45]. The second of these synods forbade married priests from saying Mass and laypeople from attending Masses celebrated by married priests [46]. Boettner is thus still off the mark by a margin of four to five years.

[44] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, "Celibacy", pp 483-486.

[45] Kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes, pg 155.

[46] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pg 486.

24. The Rosary, mechanical praying with beads, invented by Peter the Hermit....1090.

The Rosary had a long and slow development, going back to knots tied in cords and holes drilled in pieces of wood, both dating from the 300's AD. The current prayer, and system of a crucifix and 59 beads, appears to be the result of the devotion as it was practiced in the 12th century; in this state of evolution, it was popularized by St. Dominic Guzman (1170-1221) and later by Alan de Rupe, around 1470 [47].

Peter the Hermit was one of the popular promoters of the 1st Crusade. Along with Walter the Penniless, he helped organize volunteers for the Crusade in 1096, and died in 1115, but there is no body of evidence indicating that he "invented" the Rosary devotion as it is presently known [48].

[47] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13, "Rosary", pp 184-186.

Matthew Bunson, Encyclopedia of Catholic History. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 1995; "Rosary", pg 733.

25. The Inquisition, instituted by the Council of Verona....1184.

Although there were both ecclesiastical and secular investigative bodies and tribunals which dealt with various heresies throughout the first 1200 years of Christian history [49], the actual first Papal Inquisition was established by Gregory IX in 1233 to investigate the Waldensian and Albigensian heresies; this was under the auspices of the Pope, as distinguished from episcopal bodies under the control of diocesan bishops [50].

Boettner is off by nearly 50 years for the establishment of the Papal Inquisition, and he is likewise inaccurate in calling the convocation at Verona in 1184 a "council"; more properly, it was a synod, and while severe measures were pronounced against the Cathari, Waldensians, and Arnoldists, the synod was a cooperative measure between Pope Lucius III and Emperor Frederick I, rather than an established Inquisition of later years [51].

[49] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 8, "Inquisition", pp 26-30.

[50] Stravinskas, OSV's Catholic Encyclopedia, "Inquisition", pg 512.

Kelly, Dictionary of Popes, pg 190.

[51] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 9, "Lucius III", pg 412.

26. Sale of Indulgences....1190.

Indulgences, or the remission (through the ministry of the Church) of temporal punishment due for forgiven sins, was bestowed upon the Apostles by Christ in John 20:23, and was thereafter mentioned by Tertullian (Ad Martyres, c.200 AD), St. Cyprian (Letter to His Clergy, 250 AD), and St. Basil (Letter to Amphilochius), 374 AD), as well as the Councils of Ancyra (314 AD), Laodicea (320 AD), Nicaea (325 AD), and Arles (320 AD) [52]. The abuse of indulgences has popped up from time to time throughout Church history, and has been condemned by the Church. The English Council of Clovesho in 747 AD sternly rebuked those who tried to hire penitents to perform austerities for them by means of proxy, with the indulgence thus gained supposedly going to the client of the penitent [53].

Boettner neglects to specify where he gets his date of 1190, which he apparently pulls out of the air at random; even later in his own book (pages 262-267) he blithely skips over this specific date. He is, however, in the general ballpark---the 12th century was about the time that indulgence "sales" gained popularity. Pope Urban II granted a plenary indulgence to all participants of the 1st Crusade (1095), and after this, "sales" came into prominence, the monies thus gained being used for such projects as building churches, roads, and bridges, care for the poor and the ill, or education of the young. William of Auvergne, the Bishop of Paris (1228-1249) justified these actions as acts of Christian charity [54].

[52] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, "Indulgences", pg 785.

[53] ibid., pg 786.

[54] H.R. Loyn, editor, The Middle Ages: A Concise Encyclopedia. London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd., 1989; pg 1

27. Transubstantiation, proclaimed by pope Innocent III....1215.

As a concept, transubstantiation can be traced back at least to Tertullian, who states "He took bread, offered it to His disciples and made it into His body by saying, 'This is My body'" (Against Marcion 212 AD); likewise Cyril of Jerusalem says "Once at Cana in Galilee by a mere nod He changed water into wine; should it now be incredible that He changes wine into blood?" (Catechetical Lectures [Mystagogic], 350 AD) [55].

As a term, transubstantiation was first used by the theologians Magister Roland about 1150, Stephen of Tournai about 1160, and Peter Comestor about 1170 [56]; this terminology was then used by the 1st Lateran Council in 1215, which is apparently where Boettner got his date from. As can be seen, however, Boettner is off by anywhere from 865 to 1003 years in the first instance, and anywhere from 45 to 65 years in the second.

[55] Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, pp 381-382.

[56] ibid., pg 379.

28. Auricular confession of sins to a priest instead of to God, instituted by pope Innocent III, in Lateran Council....1215.

Cyprian of Carthage, in The Lapsed (251 AD) speaks of penitents "making confession of their crime", and of "having their conscience purged in the ceremony and at the hand of the priest" [57]. Likewise, Ambrose, in Penance (387-390 AD) writes "Christ granted [the power of penance] to the Apostles and from the Apostles it has been transmitted to the office of priests" [58]. From this, it can be seen that Innocent III certainly did not "institute" the practice of auricular confession to a priest; in fact, it existed 964 years before Boettner's claim.

[57] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 218.

[58] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vil. 11, "Penance", pg 620.

29. Adoration of the wafer (Host), decreed by pope Honorius III....1220.

The implication here, of course, is that Catholics worship a piece of bread. Catholics do not worship bread, they worship Jesus Christ, Whose flesh and blood the bread has beome. The fact that Christians considered the bread and wine to be transformed into the flesh and blood of Christ can be found as far back as Ignatius of Antioch, who wrote in his Epistle to the Romans (110 AD), "I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the Bread of God, which is the Flesh of Jesus Christ...and for drink I desire His Blood" [59].

As for the practice of perpetual adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, the first recorded instance took place in 1226, although the practice did not become widespread until the 15th century [60]. From these examples it seems that Boettner erred more than 1000 years one way and about 200 years the other way.

[59] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 22.

[60] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, "Adoration", pg 153.

30. Bible forbidden to laymen, placed on the Index of Forbidden books by the Council of Valencia....1229.

The Index of Forbidden Books was a gradual development. The first general listing of proscribed books was under Pope Paul III in 1542. The Inquisition had an expanded list by 1559, which was intended to be world-wide, and was also the first list to bear the title "Index". The "Index Tridentinus" was issued by the Council of Trent in 1564, and in 1571, Pope Pius V established a specific Congregation of the Index, which remained in effect until 1917 [61]. Since the earliest date for the formation of the Index is 1542, it would be rather difficult to place the Bible (or any other book, for that matter) on it in 1229, which is more than 300 years before the Index existed. This is Boettner's first blunder.

The 1962 edition of Boettner's tome opines that this proscription of the Bible took place at the Council of Valencia; however, as Karl Keating points out, there has never been a Catholic church council held in Valencia, Spain---neither local, regional, nor ecumenical. This is Boettner's second blunder [62]. Keating likewise explains that even if there had been a council in Valencia, it couldn't have been held in 1229, since in 1229, Valencia was under the control of the Muslims, who were extremely unlikely to allow a Christian church council to be held in their territory; a quick check of any encyclopedia or historical atlas will bear this out [63]. This is Boettner's third blunder, and as may be seen, his chronology has completely missed the mark along with both his history and his geography.

[61] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, "Censorship of Books", pg 521.

Stravinskas, OSV's Catholic Encyclopedia, "Index of Forbidden Books", pg 507.

[62] Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988; pg 45.

[63] The Columbia-Viking Desk Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, "Valencia". New York: Viking Press, 1953; pg 1310.

Hammond Illustrated Family Atlas, Vol. 2; Map, "Europe, c.1200 AD". Glen Cove, NY: Bobley Publishing Corporation, 1969; pg H-15.

31. The Scapular, invented by Simon Stock, and English monk....1251.

Boettner finally has something right. The brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is, according to pious tradition, based on a vision had by Simon Stock in Cambridge, England, on July 16, 1251. In the vision, the Virgin Mary gave Simon a scapular, with the explanation that it was a "badge of her confraternity" [64].

Scapulars have always been associated with "third orders", in which lay people affiliate themselves with one religious order or another, pledging themselves to live good Christian lives; so what Boettner found so awful about this remains a mystery.

However, Simon Stock's vision falls into the category of "private revelation", which means that even when approved by the Church, it is not a required belief of any Catholic by any means, remaining entirely the option of the individual believer. The so-called "scapular promise" given to Simon Stock is likewise nothing more than private revelation, and is certainly not a doctrine, much less a dogma, of the Church.

[64] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13, "Scapular", pg 511.

32. Cup forbidden to the people at communion by Council of Constance....1414.

Instances of Holy Communion under the auspices of bread alone can be found as far back as the Council of Laodicea in the 4th century and the 2nd Council of Trullo in the 7th, both of which specified Communion under the species of bread alone during all fast days in Lent; this makes Boettner about 1000 years off in the earliest example [65]. After this, the gradual removal of the Sacred Blood from laypeople was introduced, apparently for a variety of reasons; one of them was the Church's desire to reinforce the Church's authority against heretics and the Reformers, who rejected the idea that Communion could be received under only one species. This idea they enforced on their own, apart from the authority of the Church [66]. Another reason was to prevent spillage of the Sacred Blood, and another was to abolish the practice of self-communication by means of intinction [67].

Constance did indeed impose restricting the Sacred Blood from laymen (not in 1414 as Boettner asserts, but a year later in 1415, at the 13th session of the council), but this was a reiteration of previous rulings, including the councils above, the monastic rule of Columbanus (in which the Blood was restricted from novices), and the Council of Lambeth in 1281. It was by no means a new, novel introduction [68].

[65] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, "Communion", pg 177.

[66] ibid., pg 175.

[67] ibid., pg 178.

[68] ibid., pp 177-178.

33. Purgatory proclaimed as a dogma by the Council of Florence....1439.

As was mentioned in #1 and #9 of this list, the concept of Purgatory pre-dates the Catholic Church, and the doctrine has been around since the 2nd century; the assembled bishops at Florence merely defined the existing doctrine; they did not invent it.

34. The doctrine of the seven sacraments affirmed....1439.

Seven sacraments are mentioned by Peter Lombard (who died in 1164) in the fourth Book of Sentences; seven are likewise numbered by Otto of Bamberg in 1139; the Council of London in 1237; and the Council of Lyons in 1274, all of which pre-date Florence [69]. Boettner is thus off by 300 years in his claim of when the seven sacraments were affirmed.

[69] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 13, "Sacraments", pp 299-300.

35. The Ave Maria (part of the last half was completed 50 years later and approved by pope Sixtus V at the end of the 16th century)....1508.

If Boettner is asserting that the "Hail Mary" prayer was invented in 1508, that is nonsense, since the first part of the Hail Mary is found in Scripture; Luke 1:28 finds Gabriel saluting Mary with "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you", followed by Luke 1:42, in which Elizabeth continues, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb". The prayer remained thus until the 15th century, when the words "Jesus Christ, amen" came into common usage.

The prayer as we now know it first appears in the "Calendar of Shepherds", which was published in France in 1493; a book written by Girolamo Savonarola in 1495 also contains the entire prayer as we know it, minus the word "us" [70]. Thus, Boettner is off by 15 years for the "first half" of his chronology for the end of the prayer, and by 65 years for the "second half".

[70] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, "Hail Mary", pp 111-112.

36. Jesuit order founded by Loyola....1534.

Ignatius Loyola did indeed found the Society of Jesus in 1534, although the Society did not receive Papal approbation until 1540. Why Boettner seems to feel that the Jesuit Order (as opposed to the Benedictines, Dominicans, Passionists, Franciscans, etc., whom he never mentions) is a "heresy" or an "invention" is puzzling, especially in light of the fact that his own Calvinist denomination did not exist prior to 1536.

37. Tradition declared of equal authority with the Bible by the Council of Trent....1545.

None other than the Apostle Paul warned about the importance of Tradition, or the oral teachings of the Apostles (1 Corinthians 11:2, 2 Thessalonians 3:6); and he equated Tradition with written Scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Trent re-confirmed the authority and equality of Apostolic Tradition with Scripture in the face of the Reformation, which denied the inspiration and authority of Tradition---along with every doctrine it contained which the Reformers disagreed with. The view of the early Christians, however, is borne out in texts such as these:

"What if the Apostles had not in fact left writings to us? Would it not be necessary to follow the order of tradition, which was handed down to those to whom they entrusted the churches?" (Irenaeus of Lyons; Against Heresies, 3,4,1; 180 AD) [71].

"The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession from the Apostles, and remains in the churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as the truth which is in no way at variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition." (Origen; Fundamental Doctrines, 1, Preface, 2; 220 AD) [72].

"Of the dogmas and kerygmas preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety both are of the same force." (Basil the Great; The Holy Spirit, 27,66; 375 AD) [73].

"It is needful also to make use of Tradition; for not everything can be gotten from Sacred Scripture. The holy Apostles handed down some things in the Scriptures, other things in Tradition." (Epiphanius of Salamis; Against All Heresies, 61,6; 374 AD) [74].

These examples could be multiplied, but these few more than suffice to render Boettner's idea that Trent "added" Tradition to the Church's Deposit totally null; he again off by 1,365 years in the case of Irenaeus, and 1,171 years in the case of Epiphanius.

[71] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 91.

[72] ibid., pg 190.

[73] Jurgens, Vol. 2, pp 18-19.

[74] ibid., pg 73.

38. Apocryphal books added to the Bible by the Council of Trent....1546.

Canon 36 from the Council of Hippo (October 8, 393) lists the following Old Testament books:

"Sunt autem canonicae Scripturae: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronominum, Iesu Nave (Joshua), Iudicum (Judges), Ruth, Regnorum libri quator (1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings), Paralipomenon libri duo (1 & 2 Chronicles), Iob, Psalterium Davidicum, Salomonis libri quinque (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, Sirach), Duodecim libri prophetarum (the twelve minor prophets---Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi). Esaias, Ieremias (comprising the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Baruch), Daniel, Ezechiel, Tobias, Iudith, Hester, Hesdrae libri duo (Ezra and Nehemiah), Machabaeorum libri duo" [75].

(Bolding mine for emphasis of the disputed books.)

Likewise, Augustine in Christian Instruction (2,8,13; 397 AD), lists the following:

"The whole canon of the Scriptures...is contained in these books: the five of Moses, namely, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; and one book of Jesus Nave (Joshua), one of Judges; one little book is called Ruth...the the four of Kingdoms (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings); and the two of Paralipomenon (1 & 2 Chronicles)...Job and Tobias and Esther and Judith and the two books of Maccabees; and the two of Esdras (Ezra and Nehemiah)...the Psalms of David...Proverbs, Canticle of Canticles, and Ecclesiastes...Wisdom...Ecclesiasticus (Sirach)...the individual books of the twelve (minor) prophets...Isaias, Jeremias (including both Lamentations and Baruch), Daniel, and Ezechiel. With these forty-four books the authority of the Old Testament is concluded" [76].

(Bolding mine for emphasis of the disputed books.)

Again, these examples could be multiplied by examining the texts of the Decree of Damasus (382 AD), the 3rd and 4th Councils of Carthage (397 AD and 418 AD), and the Council of Florence in 1441 AD. Since the extant texts of these documents include the seven Deuterocanonical books within their lists of canonical Scriptures, it remains a mystery as to how the Council of Trent could have added them to the Bible (1,164 years later, in the earliest example) as Boettner claims.

[75] Mario Romero, Unabridged Christianity. Goleta, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1999; pg 16.

[76] Jurgens, Vol. 3, pg 53.


39. Creed of pope Pius IV imposed as the official creed....1560.

There are three creeds used in the Catholic Church: the Apostle's Creed, dating at least as far back as Tertullian; the Nicene Creed, formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD; and the Athanasian Creed, dating from the 4th century. The "Creed of Pius IV" however, was not a creed, but a profession of adherence to Catholic doctrine that all ecclesiastical office holders had to swear allegiance to. Contained in Pius' bull Injunctum nobis, issued November 13, 1565 (not 1560 as Boettner erroneously claims), it contained a long list of doctrines, such as belief in seven sacraments, purgatory, the sacrifice of the Mass, obedience to the Roman Pontiff, acceptance of the Holy Scriptures, and so on, that any candidate for an office in the Church had to proclaim his belief in and adherence to [77]. As such, Boettner's implication that Pius IV "invented a new creed" is baseless.

[77] Bunson, Encyclopedia of Catholic History, "Pius IV, Creed of", pp 667-668.

40. Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, proclaimed by pope Pius IX....1854.

The Immaculate Conception of Mary (meaning the doctrine that she was conceived free from stain of original sin) goes back at least to St. Ephraim of Nisbis, who wrote in 370 AD that Mary was "immune from all stain...no spot...nor any taint" could be found in her [78]. Various other Patristic Fathers also described Mary in like terms---St. Ambrose said she was "free from all stain of sin"; Severus of Antioch said she was "pure from all taint"; Sophronius of Jerusalem called her "pre-purified"; Andrew of Crete called her the "pure and Immaculate Virgin"; and Theognastes of Constantinople said she was "conceived by a sanctifying action" [79].

Pius IX officially defined this existing doctrine and declared it to be a dogma in his bull Ineffabilis Deus in 1854 [80]---but as with many things Boettner misinterprets, Pius did not invent the Immaculate Conception; it existed as a concept more than 1400 years before 1854.

[78] Mark Miravalle, Introduction to Mary. Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1993; pg 40.

[79] ibid., pg 40.

[80] ibid., pg 41.

41. Syllabus of Errors, proclaimed by pope Pius IX, and ratified by the Vatican Council; condemned freedom of religion, conscience, speech, press, and scientific discoveries which are disapproved by the Roman Church; asserted the pope's temporal authority over all civil rulers....1864.

The Syllabus of Pius IX ignited a firestorm when it was issued in 1864---condemned by Germany's Bismarck and Italy's Victor Emmanuel, forbidden to be published in Russia and France. Many saw it as the Pope's declaration of war against the modern state [81].

However, Pius' document is merely a list of viewpoints which, insofar as Catholic teaching is concerned, are erroneous. Among them are the contention that there is no God (#1); that the existance of Jesus Christ is a myth (#7); that all religions are equally legitimate (#16); that the Church has no right to possess property (#26); that bishops may not publish letters to their congregations without the permission of the state (#28); that the state may intrude on the governance of the Church, up to and including the specification of how the sacraments may be administered (#44); that the Church has no right to establish schools; that even seminaries must be subject to the state (#46 and 47); and that the state has the right not only to appoint and depose bishops, but to prevent them from communicating with the Vatican (#49 and 51) [82].

A careful reading of the Syllabus does not reveal a condemnation of freedom of religion or conscience, but rather an assertion that Catholics have the right to freedom of religion and conscience free from interference by the secular state. There appears to be little or no mention of freedom of speech or press, outside of condemning the viewpoint that the state has the right to interfere in the communication of individual Catholics, both lay and clerical, with the Holy See. There is likewise no specific condemnation by the Pope concerning scientific discoveries, as Boettner asserts; but rather a refutation of the wholesale idea that the Church "impedes the true progress of science" (#12). Further, far from asserting the Pope's rights over temporal rulers, the Syllabus repeatedly asserts the right of the Pope to be free from the interference of the secular state in matters pertaining to the governance of the Church.

In short, Boettner created a monster of his own imagination in what he perceives the Syllabus to contain, while conveniently ignoring the stipulations upheld by Pius IX that call for the protection of not only the individual rights of Catholics, but of all Christians---the same rights which would prove to be especially important in the century which followed the issuance of the Syllabus---a century which saw the flourishing of atheism, Communism, Nazism, and secular humanism.

[81] Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 14; "Syllabus", pg 368.

42. Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals, proclaimed by the Vatican Council....1870.

The concept of Papal infallibility has been around for a long time. The letter of Pope Clement I to the church in Corinth in approximately 80 AD issues instructions to that church, and Clement makes it clear that he is to be obeyed [83]; likewise, Irenaeus in Against Heresies (180 AD) states that all churches must conform to the church of Rome and be in agreement with it [84]. Augustine, in Against the Pelagians (420 AD) quotes a letter from Pope Innocent I, and declares, "Rome's reply has come; the matter is closed" [85].

As a last example, Peter Chrysologus, the Archbishop of Ravenna, wrote to Eutyches in 449 AD, "We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the Most Blessed Pope of the City of Rome; for Blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it. For we, by reason of our pursuit of peace and faith, cannot try causes on the faith without the consent of the Bishop of the City of Rome" [86]. These examples more than suffice to show that the 1st Vatican Council merely defined the doctrine of Papal infallibility; as a concept it pre-dated the council by nearly 1800 years, and was not "invented" in 1870, despite what Boettner tries to imply.

[83] Jurgens, Vol. 1, pg 12.

[84] ibid., pg 90.

[85] ibid., Vol. 3, pg 142.

[86] ibid., pg 268.

43. Public schools condemned by pope Pius XI....1930.

Boettner is apparently referring to a document issued by the Catechetical Office of the Holy See on January 12, 1935 (not 1930, as he stipulates), entitled "Provido Sane Consilio: On Better Care for Catechetical Teaching". The document nowhere condemns public schools, but merely insists on the right of Catholic students in public schools to receive proper catchetical instruction from the Church, as a safeguard against academic instruction hostile to the Catholic Faith.

For example, #12 of the document states that "in some nations, the very right of the Church to direct the Christian education of children is called into question or even denied by reason of political policy"; #15 states that this interference is exacerbated by "the fact that ravening wolves have come into the world, not sparing the flock; likewise, pseudo-teachers given to atheism and the new paganism have made their appearance, giving expression to clever falsehoods and sheer nonsense by writings and by other means cunningly attempting to destroy the Catholic belief in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the divine work of the Church" [87].

Clearly the purpose of the Pope, as evidenced by the issuance of this instructional letter, is not the condemnation of public schools, but a concern that Catholic students, whatever their educational disposition, are allowed access to proper religious instruction under the legitimate supervision of the Church---a right that was being denied even then in countries like Nazi Germany. Boettner has not only misinterpreted the purpose of the letter, but he is also off by five years concerning the date of its issuance.

[87] http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CATTEACH.HTM.

44. Assumption of the Virgin Mary (bodily ascention into heaven shortly after her death), proclaimed by pope Pius XII.....1950.

As with the cases of the Immaculate Conception and Papal infallibility, Boettner tries to give the impression that the Assumption of Mary is something that the Vatican "invented" in recent years. While the Assumption was admittedly a gradual development within the belief of the Church, the fact is that the concept pre-dates its definition by better than 1300 years.

The first explicit reference to this doctrine is from Gregory of Tours (d.593), who states in his letter Libri miraculorum that Mary's body was borne to heaven after her death; other references come from Germain of Constantinople, Andrew of Crete, and John Damascene, who mentions in his Second Homily on the Dormition of Mary (c.745 AD) that three days after Mary's death, her coffin was opened, to reveal empty grave wrappings, but no trace of her body [88]. Although all of these references date from the 8th century, liturgical feasts in honor of the Assumption began to appear in Christian churches in Syria and Egypt during the 6th century; in Gaul in the 7th century; in Rome by the 8th century; and were universally celebrated by the whole of East and West by the 13th century [89].

[88] Romero, pg 282.

[89] Miravalle, pp 52-53.

45. Mary proclaimed Mother of the Church, by pope Paul VI.....1965.

This was an addendum to Boettner's original book, as the first publication date for Roman Catholicism was 1962; however, Boettner remains off in his dates, since the proclamation of Mary as Mother of the Church was issued by Pope Paul VI not in 1965, but on November 21, 1964: "Therefore, for the glory of the Blessed Virgin and our consolation, we declare most holy Mary Mother of the Church, that is of the whole Christian people" [90].

As with most of the other items in Boettner's list, the subject of Mary's title as Mother of the Church in neither anything new nor terribly controversial; the earliest reference to Mary as "Virgin Mother of the Church" can be found in a work by Berengaud of Treves (d.1125) in which he says "By the Woman (Revelation 12:1), we may understand Blessed Mary, for she is Mother of the Church for having engendered the one who is head of the Church" [91]. Rupert of Deutz (d.1135) in his Canticum Canticorum refers to Mary as the "Mother of Churches"; and Denis the Carthusian (d.1471) refers to Mary as "Mother of the whole Church" [92].

Further references to Mary under this title can be found in the writings of St. Antoninus of Florence, St. Lawrence, St. Peter Canasius, Matthias Scheeben, and St. John Bosco. As can be clearly seen, Mary was being referred to as "Mother of the Church" 840 years before Boettner's implication that Pope Paul VI "invented" the title.

[90] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference/Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997; pg 251.

[91] Leon Suprenant, Jr., "Mary, Mother of the Church". Catholics United For the Faith, http://www.cuf.org/member/motherofthechurch.pdf.

[92] ibid.

The forty-five "heresies and inventions" that Loraine Boettner lists at the beginning of Roman Catholicism did, indeed, develop over the course of Church history; but as we have seen, none of them are "heretical"; and neither were they "invented" at some point in time---and Boettner is a dismal failure at pinning down the correct dates of the development of these doctrines. As I stated at the beginning, I will leave it up to the individual reader to decide for themselves whether a man who is so grossly erroneous in the fixing of simple historical dates (leaving aside all of his other errors) can be trusted to to be correct in instructing his readers whether a Catholic doctrine is a heresy, and invention, or not.

Perhaps Karl Keating put it best in his assessment of Boettner's magnum opus: "No effort is made to give sources for his charges, and little effort is made to say what the significance of the 'inventions' might be. That task is left to innuendo. What Boettner implies is that any belief or practice not found in the pages of the New Testament in plain words must be spurious and must have been instituted for some nefarious purpose" [93].

I believe that Boettner himself had a "nefarious purpose" in creating the infamous "list" on pages 7, 8, and 9 of his book: to discredit, malign, and denigrate the Catholic Church, at all costs---even if he had to prefabricate the charges against her. The sad thing is that so many good and sincere Christians, Protestant and Catholic alike, have been taken in by his falsehoods. With God's kindness and grace, perhaps those who read this paper of mine will be helped to see that the only "inventions" to be found in Boettner's book are the ones he concocted and wrote down himself.

[93] Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, pg 47.