Mike Gendron has many anti-Catholic tracts and articles out. In this one he alleges that we Catholics do not believe in and preach the same Jesus Christ of the New Testament. But…is this true, or just more of his propaganda by which he deceives people…and makes his living?
What follows is my analysis and refutation of this particular tract from his site.
It can be found at this link and it will be in italics to separate it from my responses..
|Is the Jesus of the Roman Catholic
Church the biblical Jesus? Knowing and believing the real Jesus is critical because
Jesus said, "If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you
will indeed die in your sins" (John 8:24). A different
Jesus is preached by many deceivers (2 Corinthians
11:3-4) who deny His finished work of redemption.
As John Martignoni often says, Catholics have no problem at all with what those verses say, though we might take issue with Gendron’s personal interpretation of them. In this case, as he so often does, he is inferring in that last line that this is what the Catholic Church does, but by the end of this article you’ll see that that is anything but the case.
The Mormons preach Jesus is the brother of Lucifer and was a man who became God. The Jehovah Witnesses preach Jesus was not God but claim he was Michael the arch angel.
This of course is irrelevant to his topic here. Catholics too recognize these two positions as heretical errors. What this actually is, is Gendron seeking to make the Catholic faith guilty by association, when in fact no such authentic association exists. The Catholic Church condemned the Arian heresy in its day and continues to refute it in its modern revival by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Church has also condemned the errors of Mormonism and does not accept their Baptisms as Christian, citing that although they baptize using a Trinitarian formula, their definition of the Trinity is not at all in accord with the authentic Christian doctrine.
Roman Catholicism preaches a Jesus that was unable to purge all sin or pay the complete penalty for sin.
Here is where Gendron begins his attack on Catholic doctrine, but let’s see if this is really a true statement. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches it this way. (Quoted Catholic documents will be bolded for emphasis.)
Christ's death is the unique and definitive sacrifice
613 Christ's death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world",439 and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the "blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins".440
614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices.441 First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience.442
615 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous."443 By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who "makes himself an offering for sin", when "he bore the sin of many", and who "shall make many to be accounted righteous", for "he shall bear their iniquities".444 Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father.445
616 It is love "to the end"446 that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life.447 Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died."448 No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.
617 The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ's sacrifice as "the source of eternal salvation"449 and teaches that "his most holy Passion on the wood of the cross merited justification for us."450 And the Church venerates his cross as she sings: "Hail, O Cross, our only hope."451
618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the "one mediator between God and men".452 But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, "the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery" is offered to all men.453 He calls his disciples to "take up [their] cross and follow [him]",454 for "Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps."455 In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries.456 This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.457
Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.458Scripture references from its footnotes
439 Jn 1:29; cf. 8:34-36; 1 Cor 5:7; 1 Pet 1:19.
440 Mt 26:28; cf. Ex 24:8; Lev 16:15-16; 1 Cor 11:25.
441 Cf. Heb 10:10.
442 Cf. Jn 10:17-18; 15:13; Heb 9:14; 1 Jn 4:10.
443 Rom 5:19.
444 Isa 53:10-12.
446 Jn 13:1.
447 Cf. Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2, 25.
448 2 Cor 5:14.
449 Heb 5:9.
452 1 Tim 2:5.
454 Mt 16:24.
455 1 Pet 2:21.
456 Cf Mk 10:39; Jn 21:18-19; Col 1:24.
457 Cf. Lk 2:35.
The Biblical Jesus assures Christians they have been saved from condemnation. "Now that we have been justified by His blood, it is all the more certain that we shall be saved by Him from God's wrath" (Roman 5:9). The one time, perfect and all sufficient sacrifice of Jesus completely satisfied the wrath of God (1 John 2:2).
Ah, but is this true based on the above citation of authentic Catholic teaching? We Catholics certainly agree with what the two cited verses above say, but let’s look at the context of Gendron’s 2nd citation for context, okay?
 and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.  And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He who says "I know him" but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him;  but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him:  he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
So…it would seem that Mr. Gendron has a problem with his theology vs what the New Testament actually says. He will say that we Catholics practice a works based salvation, which is not true, but we are obedient to the context of his cited passage in 1st John 2 as anyone can plainly see.
Roman Catholicism denies this fundamental teaching and deceives its people into believing that the sacrifice of the Mass satisfied God's wrath not only for the sins of the living but also for the sins of the dead (Canon 3, Council of Trent).
Let’s have a look at his citation for its context. First. Gendron does his readers a disservice in his citation in that the Canon he referenced is actually in Chapter 9, and it states…
CANON III.--If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.
What he’s doing here is deceiving you by alleging something that the Church does not actually teach. This Canon is not saying that the Mass is the only sacrifice, or that it replaces the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary and again, you can see that from my citation of the Catechism above. Further from the Catechism…
1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611609 2 Macc 12:46.
610 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274):DS 856.
611 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41,5:PG 61,361; cf. Job 1:5.
Now, we Catholics readily profess that the Mass is a miraculous re-presentation of that same timeless sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, but that’s not the point here (and if you want to see more on that then see my article The Eucharist IS Scriptural).
Catholics are cursed with anathema by their church if they claim they are saved from God's wrath, (Canon 30, Council of Trent).
Again, let’s go find the actual Canon for context.
CANON XXX.-If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema.
Here again, Gendron misrepresents what the Church is saying here. Notice how he phrases it. Yet look at what the catechism teaches us.
2822 Our Father "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."95 He "is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish."96 His commandment is "that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."97 This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will.
2823 "He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ . . . to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will."98 We ask insistently for this loving plan to be fully realized on earth as it is already in heaven.
2824 In Christ, and through his human will, the will of the Father has been perfectly fulfilled once for all. Jesus said on entering into this world: "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God."99 Only Jesus can say: "I always do what is pleasing to him."100 In the prayer of his agony, he consents totally to this will: "not my will, but yours be done."101 For this reason Jesus "gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father."102 "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."103
95 1 Tim 2:3-4.
96 2 Pet 3:9; cf. Mt 18:14.
97 Jn 13:34; cf. 1 Jn 3; 4; Lk 10:25-37.
98 Eph 1:9-11.
99 Heb 10:7; Ps 40:7.
100 Jn 8:29.
101 Lk 22:42; cf. Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38.
102 Gal 1:4.
103 Heb 10:10.
Catholics know Jesus only as a "gate opener" to heaven. For Catholics to go through the gates of heaven they must save themselves through the Mass and sacraments.
Yet is this true based upon my citations of authentic Catholic teaching? No…it is not.
The Jesus of the Bible expiates sin. "Through His blood, God made Him the means of the expiation for all who believe" (Roman 3:25). Yet the Catholic Church teaches Catholics must expiate their own sins. "This may be done through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments of purifying punishments" (Vatican Council II).
Now, as usual, my first question to you all as my Catholic brothers and sisters is, "Is this true?" Has Mr Gendron accurately stated the doctrines of the Catholic Church and its councils? It's easy to check. I just copied his quote, "This may be done through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments of purifying punishments" which he attributes to Vatican Council II, yet I searched through every document from Vatican II on the Vatican's own site and got not one single hit in any of them. See for yourselves by doing the same at The Holy See - Archive - Documents of the II Vatican Council I also searched the Catechism for it, and again...not a single hit. So...one wonders just where Gendron took his quote from.
After much digging, using my hardcopy of the Vatican II documents, (and discovering that our "buddies" at CARM also use this quote in an article on Purgatory) I did finally find this quote In Pope Paul VI's INDULGENTIARUM DOCTRINA on the Vatican website. However, as we all know context is everything, right? So look here at what the section of the document actually says, and notice what it is actually talking about, okay?
So...does the church teach what Gendron (and CARM) allege they do?The Jesus of the Bible is the only mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:15), yet the Roman Catholic Church offers Mary as the mediator. Pope Pius IX proclaimed that "God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will: that we obtain everything through Mary."
In fact, have you ever encountered a Christian who would not be able to agree with this as stated in its context? The fact is that it correctly states what the Bible teaches; that all sin has a price (See Romans 6:23)
This is a common attack that has no merit because it’s not based on fact. Look again at what the Catechism specifically says about who is our mediator.
In communion with the holy Mother of God
2673 In prayer the Holy Spirit unites us to the person of the only Son, in his glorified humanity, through which and in which our filial prayer unites us in the Church with the Mother of Jesus.27
2674 Mary gave her consent in faith at the Annunciation and maintained it without hesitation at the foot of the Cross. Ever since, her motherhood has extended to the brothers and sisters of her Son "who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties."28 Jesus, the only mediator, is the way of our prayer; Mary, his mother and ours, is wholly transparent to him: she "shows the way" (hodigitria), and is herself "the Sign" of the way, according to the traditional iconography of East and West.
2675 Beginning with Mary's unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries. In countless hymns and antiphons expressing this prayer, two movements usually alternate with one another: the first "magnifies" the Lord for the "great things" he did for his lowly servant and through her for all human beings29 the second entrusts the supplications and praises of the children of God to the Mother of Jesus, because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the Son of God espoused.
So, did Mr. Gendron tell the truth about Catholic teaching on our mediator? Furthermore, look at the context from which he takes his citation.
The foundation of all Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through Mary.
The fact is that this encyclical has nothing at all to do with our mediator and nowhere even mentions it. It is merely speaking of the Biblical fact that all we have received from God in Christ’s Incarnation came to us through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Furthermore, although there has been some discussion of Mary as “Mediatrix of all graces”, that is not a teaching of the Catholic Church. Some folks need to get clear on the fact that though many things may be discussed,, it does not mean that they are Catholic beliefs or ever will be. As John Martignoni has said, Catholics have no problem with people arguing against what we believe, but they need to make sure that it’s actually something we do believe.
The Jesus of the Bible claimed He was the only way to the heavenly Father (John 14:6). Vatican II denies this by stating, "the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst who are the Moslems."
Vatican II actually denies no such thing, and you’ll notice that Gendron does not offer a citation for his allegation. His quote is sort of from the Catechism, but as always, let’s have a look at this in its context. Fact is, Gendron can’t even get his quote right, because the word “Moslems” is nowhere found in it, nor is there any such word as he spelled it. Adherents to Islam are called Muslims.
The Church and non-Christians
839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325
The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329
840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.
841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330
842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:
All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332
844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:
Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333
845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.334
325 LG 16.The key phrase here, (that Gendron does not want people to see, lest they fail to damn the Catholic Church!) is these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.
326 Cf. NA 4.
327 Roman Missal, Good Friday 13:General Intercessions,VI.
328 Rom 9:4-5.
329 Rom 11:29.
330 LG 16; cf. NA 3.
331 NA 1.
332 LG 16; cf. NA 2; EN 53.
333 LG 16; cf. Rom 1:21, 25.
It’s important to read what’s actually there, not what one might wish was there. It is a fact, that the Muslims do indeed profess what the Church states here. Whether, upon closer scrutiny we Catholics agree with their doctrines is another matter altogether.
So why does the Roman Catholic Church hide the real Jesus from its followers? Because the real Jesus sets people free! In contrast, the Roman Catholic Church maintains control of its people through legalistic rituals, sacraments and threats of anathema's. The biblical Jesus saves believers from the bondage of sin, deception and religion.
Yet I have shown that this is not the case at all many times over here on my blog. For instance, Who REALLY Preaches "A Different Gospel"?
The better question might be, “Why do so many people pay Mike Gendron’s salary in order to be fed his inaccurate and often specious anti-Catholic propaganda instead of doing what his “ministry” is called and really “Proclaiming the Gospel?