25 November, 2009

Catholic teaching discussed with "Sagittarius"

(Sagitarius) All of my answers have been taken directly from your Catechism. They are 100% true about the Catholic Church and thus I have not lied.

(Cristoiglesia) Well, let us see if you understand or applied the Catechism correctly…..

(Sagitarius) - The Catholics believe in purgatory - Other Christians believe this is not Biblical, there is no halfway point, only heaven or hell.

(Cristoiglesia) Of course Purgatory is a doctrine of the Church. Where you err and bear false witness is when you suggest that Catholic teaching is that Purgatory is a “halfway point”. Here is some information you need to know about purgatory:

There is a common Protestant misunderstanding of purgatory. At least one protestant minister, John Wesley, spoke of perfectionism in this life, possible but rare. He is one of the few to proclaim that one can be sanctified in this life and he left the Moravian Church over this issue after a rebuke by Count Zinzendorf for this teaching.

People in purgatory are already justified by receiving the supernatural eternal life into our souls through Baptism making us a part of the Body of Christ. Those in purgatory have accepted Christ by faith and have not rejected Him by unrepentant mortal sin. It is a place where one is purified by fire (Mal 3:2). Imagine the joy of being in purgatory and knowing that you are there because you have passed judgment and are assured of being in the presence of God in heaven. Purgatory is not an eternal destination, there are only two, heaven or hell.

We should not think of purgatory as some kind of legal punishment for past sins as it would be under the old law. Those in purgatory are already new creatures changed by Christ’s grace, they are the adopted children and part of God’s family in purgatory one receives final discipline and cleansing preparing one for the perfection of heaven. Catholics believe that sanctification is a process and is not completed when one comes to belief. So purgatory is not a suggestion that Christ’s atonement is insufficient but that we have not yet completed our sanctification through the grace of Christ.

Cleansing or sanctification is a gradual process and we must endure to the end to be saved.

(Mat 10:22 DRB) And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.

(Mat 24:13 DRB) But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.

(Mar 13:13 DRB) And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake. But he that shall endure unto the end, he shall be saved.

Catholic soteriology recognizes that for some of us the process was not completed at death or that we died with unrepentant sin.

(Heb 9:27 DRB) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment:

The judgment is our eternal destiny and for those whose name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, heaven is assured. But we know that one must be free of sin to be in God’s presence.

(1Ti 6:14 DRB) That thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,

It may be that one is not prepared to be in our Lord’s presence as we may still be with spiritual shortcomings or temporal effects of forgiven sins on our soul making it necessary for some form of purification to enter heaven in God’s presence. Since this is a process of purgation it is called purgatory and it is in keeping with prophecy of the prophet Habakkuk who said that only that which is holy may enter heaven.

(Hab 1:13 DRB) Thy eyes are too pure to behold evil, and thou canst not look on iniquity. Why lookest thou upon them that do unjust things, and holdest thy peace when the wicked devoureth the man that is more just than himself?

St. Paul also taught of a process of purgation which may involve suffering on the soul of Christians and in his first letter to the Corinthian Church he describes the process of purgation after death.

(1Co 3:10 DRB) According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation: and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

(1Co 3:11 DRB) For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus.

(1Co 3:12 DRB) Now, if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble:

(1Co 3:13 DRB) Every man's work shall be manifest. For the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire. And the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is.

(1Co 3:14 DRB) If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

(1Co 3:15 DRB) If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.

St. Paul speaks metaphorically that the results of sin that remain on one’s soul is like “wood, hay and straw” and are burned away in the process of final purification to be received in the presence of the Lord. St. Paul also speaks of one’s works as “gold, silver and precious stones” which are refined and retained.

This passage reminds me of what Christ said in the following indicating that some sins may be forgiven after death.

(Mat 12:32 DRB) And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

Purgatory is also related to the parable of the unforgiving servant which is as follows…

(Mat 18:32 DRB) Then his lord called him: and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me:

(Mat 18:33 DRB) Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?

(Mat 18:34 DRB) And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt.

After telling the parable Christ emphasizes His message lest it be misunderstood with this warning……..

(Mat 18:35 DRB) So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

Christ was warning us of the danger of a hard heart or anger making us unwilling to forgive others. We should acknowledge that these are the signs and example of a defective soul in need of purgation so that he that is imperfect may be in the presence of God and dwell in glory. (See CCC 1030-1032)

As you can see Purgatory has a great deal of biblical support to come to the sound theological conclusion that Purgatory is a necessary part of God’s salvific plan. It is a process rather than a halfway point and those going through purgation are already judged worthy of heaven and are being prepared to enter God’s presence. So, by your misunderstanding and erroneous assumptions you are indeed guilty of bearing false witness.

(Sagittarius) - That during the Holy Eucharist the wafer and wine are literally turned into the body and blood of Christ (a continuing sacrifice) - Other Christians say this is not Biblical. The one sacrifice of Christ was sufficient.

(Cristoiglesia) Catholic Christian would agree that one sacrifice is sufficient for the atonement of mankind and that is why the Eucharist is a continuation of that one sacrifice and not a re-sacrifice as you suggest. See John Chapter 6 to see if the Eucharist is biblical or not and read the colloquy of our Lord at Capernaum.

Catholics see the Scriptures written about the Eucharist as literal teaching by Jesus and have interpreted Jesus’ words as literal since before the NT Scriptures were written as recorded in Scripture. Catholics find no reason to interpret Jesus’ teaching to be anything but literal from a hermeneutical, historical or theological perspective.

Some Protestants, on the other hand, are very much like the proto-Protestants who were former disciples and left Jesus after His teaching in John 6, about the commandment to eat His Body and drink His Blood. They remain in the carnal sense and deny the miracle of the Eucharist. They believe that instead of being present at the one sacrifice of Christ, that what Jesus instituted is a symbolic ordinance instead.

So, what we are speaking of is two totally different practices. The first identical to what the apostles taught and put into practice which is the real presence and the second a modernist interpretation of a man Ulrich Zwingli which is a symbolic ordinance. The first is actually Christ on the Cross where the worshippers are at the foot of the cross; the second is just a remembering of what Christ did as recorded in the Bible. When a Catholic Christian remembers Christ’s sacrifice it is from being there, when a Protestant remembers Christ’s sacrifice it is recalling what is written in Scriptures about the event. Certainly, one should be able to understand the level of passion one would have after being at the foot of the cross compared to the level of one just remembering what is written in a book. So even though some do not take it lightly, even though they do not believe, it cannot be the same passion for an exercise or ordinance in supposed obedience, as the Protestant act can be described; to the Catholic practice of being present with the living corporeal Christ at the cross and eating His real body and Blood as He commanded.

You are bearing false witness by suggesting that Christ’s one sacrifice is not sufficient in Catholic teaching. The opposite is true.

(Sagittarius) - That priests are the direct route to God and sins can be forgiven by them - Other Christians believe this is not Biblical, only the Lord can forgive sin.

(Cristoiglesia) Again you misunderstand Catholic teaching because it is Christ who forgives as the priest acts in persona Cristi. Actually, going directly to God for forgiveness is not biblical.

Christ instituted the sacraments purposefully. The sacrament called reconciliation or penance is what we call our actions when we go to confession. Going to confession and confessing to a priest is the normative way of reconciling oneself back into God's family when we have committed a mortal sin. It is the biblical way corresponding to Jesus' teaching as recorded by the apostle John in John 20: 22-23. What we learn from John is the authority given to the priests is not only to forgive sins but also to retain sins. Jesus commanded the authority to be used. It is the duty given by Jesus for the priest to measure the contrition of the penitent and act accordingly.

However, one must repent and pray sincerely to God as an act of contrition before one enters the confessional. The priest represents Jesus by acting in persona Christi and for the entire family of God represented by the Church militant who is harmed by the sin of another. No sin is private but all sin affects others. Jesus described this relationship as a vine with Him as the vine and we as the branches (John 15:5). If one member of the branch is sick then all
the branches are affected and suffer as a result. Because of our familial relationship with each other Jesus created a means of confession so that all those affected in His family are represented by the priest as is God. The acts of sin and forgiveness are not private matters.

Here you are guilty of bearing false witness by suggesting that the Church teaches that anyone but Jesus forgives sin.

(Sagittarius) - The sins are divided into mortal and venial sin - Other Christians believe this is not Biblical. All sin is equal in God's eyes.

(Cristoiglesia) It seems that you are one of those rare Protestants that believe that all sins are equal in the eyes of God. They truly believe that the Bible teaches that a child being jealous of another’s toy is the same as one murdering another. Such teaching is not supported in the Scriptures. Here is what the Bible says:
Luke 12:47 (KJV) And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
1 John 5:16 (KJV) If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: andthere is a sin not unto death. (See also Lev 5:17 and Luke 23:34)
John 19:11 (KJV) Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

(Sagittarius) - Catholics worship/pray to Mary - This is not Christian, no one but the Lord is worthy of worship.

(Cristoiglesia)Catholics would agree with you that worshipping anything or anyone but God is not a Christian teaching. That is why the Church teaches against idolatry. This is from the Catechism:


2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."44 Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.46

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."47

When we “pray” to the blessed mother of God, the word pray should be understood in the archaic sense of simply “ask”.

We are instructed in Scripture to have a prayer life for others as it is part of God’s commandment to love one another.

(2Co 5:8 DRB) But we are confident and have a good will to be absent rather from the body and to be present with the Lord.

The Catholic Church does not teach that it is absolutely necessary for one to ask for the intercession of saints for salvation. The Church does teach that prayer to God is necessary for salvation for all believers. For a Catholic it would be wrong to ignore the liturgical worship offered to God at feast days for the saints and the prayers asking for their intercession.

The Communion of Saints is a dogma of the ancient Church and is recorded in the apostles Creed. It simply states that the faithful because of their relationship with Christ are alive even after the death of their flesh and worship with us. To us the Church is made up of the Church militant who represents all those believers living out their hope in the flesh.

(Phi 2:12 DRB) Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but much more now in my absence) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.

(Phi 2:13 DRB) For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will.

It consists of the Church Suffering who are those who are temporarily in need of further purgation from sin so that they may enjoy the presence of God.

(2Ma 12:46 DRB) It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

Lastly, the Communion of the Saints consists of those who have won the race:

(Phi 3:14 DRB) I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

Their immortal souls are in heaven in God’s presence:

(Rev 5:8 DRB) 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.

The universal stream connecting all of God’s creation is His love, which we take on in our baptism into our journey towards sanctification. This is not an emotional but a desire placed in us by the Spirit of God that endures as a desire for those other than ourselves and this love extends even to our enemies. This is truly a love that comes only from God and is a foreign concept and nonsense to those who have not received God’s salvific grace. This desire within our souls does not end with the death of our flesh but continues into eternity where the saints through their intercession in prayer encourage us in our race and assist us to endure unto our union with God.

I think that some people of faith, who do not understand the Communion of Saints, somehow believe that asking saints to pray for us is detracting from our love or our trust in God. In truth it is impossible, if we truly love as God commands and has given us the grace to understand, not to pray to those whom we love and in turn we expect them to return that same love to us by praying for us and presenting our prayers to God. You may want to Google “Communion of Saints” for a more complete understanding of the Church militant, suffering and triumphant.

So, here again you have misunderstood Catholic teaching and in doing so you were bearing false witness.

(Sagittarius) - They believe in the immaculate conception, that Mary was free from original sin - Other Christians believe this is not Biblical, Mary was a sinner just like everyone else and needed to be saved by Christ.

(Cristoiglesia) Praise God that your position on the sinlessness of the blessed mother of God is a minority position among Christians because such a belief is a direct attack on the divinity of our Lord.

We are all born with original sin which was caused by our original parents bringing sin and death into the world. We have inherited that sin nature from the original fall from grace.

As was prophesied in the Old Testament a virgin will bear a son called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14). That Son is to become the Lamb of God and a replacement for the Paschal Lamb of Passover which is emblematic of Christ as the feast of the New Covenant. This prophecy is important in that it illustrates the necessity of the perfect sacrifice. Not one of a perfection of the flesh as the Paschal Lamb refers but the perfection of the soul which requires a divine nature as no human alone could fulfill the perfection required by the Father but only the God-man in Jesus. Being fully God, He could not dwell and be nurtured in a vessel containing sin nor could the Lamb of God inherit the original sin of our original parents. So, out of necessity and in preparation to the blessed mother’s obedience she was saved by Christ at her conception. The blessed mother was in such a state of grace before conceiving and nurturing the unborn Jesus that she is described as being “full of Grace”. Of course being full of God’s grace leaves no room for sin.

Now keep in mind that some may argue that Jesus does not qualify as a type of the Paschal Lamb because the Paschal Lamb was required to be without any physical blemish. Certainly, the wounds of Jesus by His scourging left Him as anything but a physically unblemished sacrifice. It is significant to acknowledge that the Paschal Lamb of the Passover saved one from physical death while Jesus being emblematic saves one from the death of the soul into sin. Therefore, the Lamb of God had the perfection of the soul necessary to atone for sin which causes spiritual death.

Furthermore, while the obedience of the Israelites at Passover instituted a special kinship of the people as the family of God so too does the new kingdom instituted by Christ’s atoning sacrifice institute a new kinship or Covenant signified by the fact that we are to eat the Lamb in all its Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity just as the Israelites had to eat the Lamb to be saved. Just like them it could not be a symbolic Lamb but its real flesh consumed; so too are we to partake of the reality of the feast provided by our Lord.

People may argue that it is not possible for Christ to save the blessed mother at her conception as the atoning sacrifice on the Cross has not yet occurred; this same argument by critics of the Eucharist argue similarly. But the fact is that God dwells outside of time where everything is in the eternal present without future or past. In the Scriptures according to St. Johns account of Jesus’ Colloquy at Capernaum in chapter 6 he said, “do this in remembrance of me” as translated into English but this is often a misunderstanding as to what Jesus was really saying because in English “remembrance means to recall a past event which is an approximation of the Greek meaning since there is no corresponding English equivalent. . However, the Koine Greek word used was “anamnesis” which has in its meaning an expectation of a miracle which transcends time and place. So what was truly being conveyed by Jesus’ words recorded by St. John is that the disciples truly ate the sacrificed flesh and drank the spilt Blood of our Lord just as we do today sharing in that one sacrifice presented by our Lord and shared by the entire Church in all its glorious manifestations. Therefore His atoning sacrifice provides for all humanity past, present and future.

Here you are bearing false witness because you state that Catholic teaching denies that the blessed mother of God needed a Savior. The Catholic teaching is the opposite of what you surmise.

(Sagittarius) - That Mary ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of God - not Biblical. I havent been able to find anything in the Bible about her death or assumption.

(Cristoiglesia) This is simply stating that she serves God in her role of the mother of all humanity in giving our prayers to God and encouraging us to endure in our faith. It would not be meant as literal but would be in reference to the role she was given by Jesus from the cross. The Assumption is not in the Bible for several reasons first of which is that the New Testament books are about the teachings and acts of Jesus; as well as the formation and building of the Church through apostolic succession. Secondly, she was most likely assumed into heaven after the books were written. Thirdly, not all that Jesus taught is recorded in Scriptures; also not all things that happened to the followers of Jesus are recorded.
Not being recorded in Scriptures does not relate to it not being true.

(Sagittarius) - Catholics view the church tradition as equal to the Bible - Christians see the Bible as the only source of God's teachings.

(Cristoiglesia) Praise God very few Christians believe in Sola Scriptura which is a heresy that has spawned tens of thousands of schisms among Protestant Christians. Such surely is a doctrine from the depths of hell. To Catholics the Bible is the fruit of the Church as we wrote the New Testament and through the authority given by Christ to His Church we canonized the Christian Bible. The Bible itself states that is not the complete teachings of Jesus but contains only a small amount of His teaching. The fullness of His teaching is contained in the Church and maintained through apostolic succession.

The approach to authority is very different in the ancient Church than in the modernist Protestant church. The Catholic Church follows the “Word of God alone” while the Protestant ecclesiastical groups follow Sola Scriptura which states that only God’s written word is authoritative. The latter is a sixteenth century man made doctrine designed to destroy the unity of the Church and fragments the entire body of Christ by exponentially increasing schisms caused by accepting only part of God’s word by the Protestants. Sola Scriptura is not a doctrine for a better understanding of the Logos but instead is designed to circumvent the legitimate authority of the Church given by Christ.

It is the belief of the ancient Church that is the Magisterium of the Church that has the authority given by Christ to expound on, recognize and guard the Word of God. The Word of God is not only the written Scriptures but all that is handed to the Church by the Holy Spirit. In so doing and carrying out her responsibility the Church is the true servant of the Word.

God’s people have never been Sola Scriptura advocates. In Jesus’ day the orthodox Jews were not, nor were Jesus or the apostles. The continuation Sola Verbum Dei is a theological continuation of God’s Word from the Old Covenant to the New. The only ones who believed in anything resembling Sola Scriptura were the Sadducees who were the theological liberals of their day. We know that the first century Christians did not believe in Sola Scriptura by the teaching of St. Paul in Holy writ:

(2Th 2:15 DRB) (2:14) Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

The Church teaches that the Word of God is the Logos:

(Joh 1:1 DRB) In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God.

(Joh 1:2 DRB) The same was in the beginning with God.

(Joh 1:3 DRB) All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.

(Joh 1:4 DRB) In him was life: and the life was the light of men.

So the question among Christians should not be what is the Word but instead how is the Word revealed to man. To the Protestant the Word is only revealed in written form called Sola Scriptura. To the Catholic Christian the word has a much broader meaning and is revealed to man in more than a written form where men were inspired to reveal God’s Word. Catholics believe that inspiration is not only personal as with the biblical writers but is also revealed to and through the Church such as in the Ecumenical Councils and through the authority exercised through the Church to recognize, guard, interpret and teach the Word. The Church throughout history has faithfully exercised her authority to guard the word of God against the attacks of heresies, such as Sola Scriptura.

(Sagittarius) - Catholics have sacraments: baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage, orders, reconseliation, and the euchrist - This is not so with other Christian faiths.

(Cristoiglesia) Most Christian groups do have Sacraments. The Sacraments are the means by which our Lord provides grace and it is sad that some refuse this grace that our Lord provides.

(Sagittarius) You may choose to believe in unbiblical doctrine which is man-made but I do not. And for the record, I am not Protestant so you can stop the hatred right there. I am born again. I take my teachings directly from the Bible - and it is not a sin to tell the truth about the Catholic religion as I understand it.

(Cristoiglesia) There is not a single Catholic doctrine that is in conflict with biblical teaching. But because of your statement I am compelled to remind you that you are obedient to a man-made sect whose teachings and doctrines are entirely man-made. As opposed to Protestants like you, the “man” that made Catholic doctrines is the God/man Jesus and yes you are a Protestant opposing the Church created by Jesus and the disciples. No one has said that it is a sin to tell the truth but it is a sin to lie about others beliefs and make a straw man to attack as you have done. The fact, whether true or not, that it is the Catholic faith, as “you understand it”;does NOT remove your act as being less than sinful. You were still bearing false witness against the only Church Jesus and the disciples founded. If I hated you as you said there would have been no sense in my rebuking you for your sinfulness, would it?
The truth is I did so out of love instead.

(Sagittarius) All sin is mortal but for the grace of God through Jesus Christ. I need no more than that. My soul is ready for judgment and I dont fear the day I meet the Lord in person because I have made peace with Him and I try as far as I'm able to live a life that is pleasing to Him - and when I mess up I ask for forgiveness directly. I have a personal relationship with Him - do you?

(Cristoiglesia) I have shown you that the Bible teaches that not all sin is mortal. If you are saying that you are living a life pleasing to God and as evidence of that you try to be a good person. We can never be good enough. At least you recognize the need for repentance.

I have the most intimate of personal relationships with our Lord. I obey all of His commandments and have become a part of His Church rejecting the doctrines of men contained in Protestantism. I am in His will because He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest that we all be one in His Church as He and the Father are one. I receive the Eucharist that He commanded which are His truly real and substantial Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord. One cannot have a more personal relationship than this. Thanks for asking.

(Sagittarius) I have honestly tried not to judge, but I have been a part of the Catholic Church but I left when I started doing my own Bible study and realised that what you teach is not what the Bible teaches. You teach everyone to fear God, and to pray to saints who do not deserve worship. God is the only one worthy of praise and worship.

(Cristoiglesia) I am sorry but it is hard to understand how one could have been a part of the Catholic Church and yet not learn anything about Catholic teaching. If you had indeed been a part of the Church we would not be having this discussion and you would not be involved in bearing false witness against the Church unless you are telling me that you are doing so intentionally. Yes we do teach that we are to fear God as that is what God’s word says for us to teach so that one can gain knowledge. Here is what the Bible says:

Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

To ask another to pray for you is not worship or praising another.

(Sagittarius) You have judged me because you made an assumption about my faith - I am not protestant. And I ask you very nicely now to stop preaching to me about your doctrines that have no Biblical basis. If that's what you believe then fine - but I have not lied and I have not sinned in telling people the truth about your beliefs and doctrines.

(Cristoiglesia) There are two kinds of Christians. The first kind of Christian were the Catholic Christians that follow the Church founded by Jesus and the disciples that contain all of Christ’s promises to humanity about His Church. The second kind are the Protestants who are described in the Bible as those unable to endure sound doctrine and gather around them teachers that satisfy their itching ears. You are obviously not Catholic and are certainly Protestant. We have no doctrines that are not in harmony with Scriptures. As I have shown you, what you have been saying about Catholic teaching is NOT true.

(Sagittarius) I was raised Catholic. I went to mass and confession and I was confirmed. I learnt the Catechism. And then I started reading the Bible. Jesus never told anyone to eat His flesh or to drink His blood both are abhorrent to the faith and laws. He means to accept Him as the Lord and to have him in your heart.

(Cristoiglesia) I guess you have never read John 6. Here is my commentary on the colloquy of Jesus at the Synagogue in Capernaum”

Certainly the Eucharist is food for the believer if one is to believe Jesus’ in His colloquy at Capernaum. It is food for endurance till eternal life. It provides the grace necessary to complete the race. Jesus compares it to the manna that was eaten in the desert to sustain the Israelites. But Jesus is speaking of the New Covenant requiring a new sustenance which is His Body and Blood. In making this comparison He says that real bread comes from the father just as He and then says that He is the bread of life. If one eats this bread they will live forever. The disciples listening to Him began to realize that Jesus was not speaking metaphorically but literally and then we come to the following verse:

(Joh 6:52 DRB) (6:53) The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat

Then Jesus said in unambiguous literal language:

(Joh 6:53 DRB) (6:54) Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you: except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

The following verse indicates the purpose of eating His body and drinking His blood. It is so that we can “abidete” or in other words remains in Him by the Grace bestowed by the act of receiving His Body and His Blood. But the Eucharist benefits us even more in that it augments our union with Christ as the principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist is an intimate union with Christ.

(Joh 6:56 DRB) (6:57) He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him.

An additional benefit of the Eucharist is that it is impossible to unite to Christ without the cleansing of past sins and preserving us from future sins through His grace. This is part of the sanctification process where we grow in our faith in him which separates us further from the risk of mortal sin. Additionally, the Eucharist participation renews, strengthens and deepens ones incorporation into the Church which is achieved through Baptism. It joins us to the entire Church Militant, Suffering and Triumphant.

This is what St. Ignatius said about the Eucharist at the end of the first century, “ the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes live forever in Jesus Christ.”

One may ask the question does God’s spiritual work always require a physical channel. “Always” is a very dangerous position to take when speaking of God as God can as our sovereign creator do things however he wishes. So this is really not a matter of “always” but instead, did God use the physical channel of Jesus transforming simple bread and wine into His body and Blood to bestow the Grace of eternal life.

I was reading another apologist’s commentary some time ago and He related how some Protestants get an almost Docetist view when it comes to the Eucharist. They have no problem believing something to be spiritual but when it comes to mixing spirit and matter they seem to experience intellectual and theological mind block. This is the usual excuse for not believing in Sacraments because a spiritual reality is being conveyed by means of matter. They may even believe that this is a violation of the divine plan. Matter instead of being used is to be avoided which would explain why some have difficulties understanding the incarnation. Many believe that it would be much easier if God did not dirty himself with matter. The Eucharist proves that God loves matter because He comes to us under the appearance of bread and wine. In doing so there is no contradiction in Christ being physically and sacramentally present.

One may question how can Christ be present in the Eucharist and be also in heaven and that is a fair question. First of all, in my explanation let me make it clear that how Christ performs this miracle is a great mystery that we accept on faith through our spirit to His. If we look at the account of the last supper we see Jesus present in two ways. He is present at the table in a natural way and is present also in a sacramental way which is no different than the Eucharistic experience today and through the history of the Church. How this is done while being a mystery is not impossibility just because it cannot be understood fully with our reason. We can all accept as Christians that God is everywhere and that He is present in a spiritual sense when we are gathered together. This is no greater a mystery than him reigning in heaven in His glorified body and on earth in His natural body. If he can create the universe from nothing can he not make bread and wine into His Body and Blood? These things may be beyond our understanding but certainly not beyond God’s abilities.

For those who do not believe in the real presence there are the difficulties of the following verses:

(1Co 11:26 DRB) For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.

(1Co 11:27 DRB) Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.

(1Co 11:28 DRB) But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice.

(1Co 11:29 DRB) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

(1Co 11:30 DRB) Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you: and many sleep.

People who refuse to believe in the real presence believe that this represents a metaphor. But, if it is a mere metaphor, how can one be “guilty of the body and Blood” when one receives unworthily? As one scholar put it “Plain and simple reason seem to tell us that the presence of Christ’s body is necessary for an offense committed against it.” (Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman, Lectures on the Real Presence) It would seem reasonable that one cannot be guilty of Christ’s body and Blood if it is not present in the Sacrament. Other scholars said ” No one is guilty of homicide if he merely does damage to the statue or picture of a man without touching the man in person.” (Rumble and Carty, Eucharist Quizzes to a Street Preacher) The question might be asked in light of St. Paul’s teaching, can one be theologically satisfied in the meaningless belief in a Real Absence than the fuller meaning of a Real Presence.

(Sagittarius) I do not hate you or your faith. I simply believe that you have lost some of the truth in your way to Christ. The Catholic Church is not the one Church of Christ. Christianity is His church. His family and brethren. In believing in and loving Christ I am a part of His church. I repeat, I have not lied about the Catholic Church. I showed you extracts of your own Catechism that proved the truth of my statements. I merely showed how they were different from my and other Christian beliefs.

(Cristoiglesia) Thanks for your opinion but it would be more believable if it was backed by more than straw man arguments and had some basis in fact. Show me where Jesus founded any other Church than the Catholic Church. You can not because there was no other. In the first century the Church was defined as those who gather around the bishop. Your man-made sect does not match that description. As I have shown you, you have inferred into the Catechism beliefs that are not shared by Catholics and that are not Catholic teaching.

(Sagittarius) You are being unreasonable in not even taking the time to think about it and taking Catholic dogma as fact without Biblical support.

(Cristoiglesia) I spent 50 years of my life before becoming a Catholic Christian comparing the Bible, Protestant and Catholic teaching. I never wanted to be Catholic but it was impossible to deny that the Church had the fullness of Christ’s teaching and the veracity and scholarship of doctrine. There is absolutely no conflict between Catholic doctrine and the Bible.

(Sagittarius) Your Church has made it so that people actually believe that a personal relationship with Christ is impossible without a priest intervening.

(Cristoiglesia) Nonsense

(Sagittarius) Praying for the dead and transubstantiation is not Biblical.

(Cristoiglesia) I have shown you Scriptural support for both. You may disagree but to claim that there is not biblical support is blatantly dishonest/

(Sagittarius) I have not sinned in telling people about the Catholic beliefs. Anyone can see the same from reading the Catechism. And then read the Bible and you'll see the difference.

(Cristoiglesia) Bearing false witness is a sin to God. I have read the Catechism and the Bible and can find absolutely no disagreement. The only reason you do is because you assume Catholic teaching that does not exist.

(Sagittarius) I'm not saying Catholics aren't devoted to Christ or that its false. Im saying I prefer to take my teaching from the words of God

(Cristoiglesia) If only you practiced what you preached we would not be having this discussion and you would be a Catholic Christian. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


  1. As far as I can see, the writer has been blind and close-minded. Church doctrine is more important to him than the word of God and he refuses to even see what is in the Catechism right in front of him because it doesn't suit him to.
    Catholicism is a false religion and is leading people further and further away from a personal relationship with Christ and from feeling the Holy spirit in their lives.

  2. Certainly the discussion shows that one was blinded to the truth. When shown how his/her comments disagreed with the Catechism he/she refuses to accept the truth that he/she is bearing false witness and committing a mortal sin. It was not my intent to embarrass another by confronting them with their errors but instead to save them from further sin of bearing false witness against Christ's Church and his faithful.

    Nowhere does Church doctrine disagree with God's Word but instead it is the fullness of truth that Jesus promised to His Church. Certainly for some of those not blessed by His grace it is difficult to endure sound doctrine. It is truly arrogant and bigoted to accuse one who is a priest of disregarding the teaching of the Church and may I say apologetically quite ignorant.

    Perhaps the straw man he/she constructed is a false religion as it certainly does not resemble the teaching of the Church but the true Church the Catholic Church is truly, just as Scriptures describes the pillar and foundation of the truth. As for the "personal relationship" spoken of Catholic Christians have the most personal of relationships with Christ as we receive the truly real and substantial Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity that Protestants do not even desire, even though He commanded all Christians to receive, and reject the grace that Christ bestows through His Sacraments. This person goes to a man-made sect that teaches the doctrines of men and lectures one obedient to Christ's own Church about a personal relationship when in protest of the only authority Christ left on earth. Who is more likely to have an indwelling of the Holy Spirit; is one who is disobedient to His Church and indeed in protest of it or one that is faithful, obedient and serving it as a shepherd of the flock? I believe that reason would point one towards the latter. God bless!

  3. Anonymous10 May, 2010

    And every catholic who believes that they are actually eating the body of Christ and drinking His blood are completely ignoring the commands of the Bible which forbid the consumption of blood - they flout the authority of Christ creating for themselves a hierarchy of priest when Christ Himself called all His followers priests in their own rights with Jesus as the High priest. You catholics who believe the Pope to be holy when he is a sinner like any human being, you believe the Pope to be Jesus incarnate? How much more blasphemous can you get?

    You catholics who seem to think that priests can forgive sin? Very few of you ever have a personal relationship with God simply because you preach that all communication with him must go through an intermediary in the form of priest. You teach things that have no biblical reference, you include books in the Bible that are not true texts and you teach things that are in fact contrary to the Bible. The Catholic church has twisted and destroyed the word of God until what remains is a faltering religion which merely empowers the rich and keeps down the poor.

    I have never heard of a protestant church excommunicating a member simply because they broke a rule? The catholic church likes to threaten people with this if they so much as question catholic doctrine. And a catholic priest can be called the worst of all simply because his congregation trust him to give them the true facts and to encourage them in their walk with God when in actual fact what really happens is that you separate them from Christ.

  4. “And every catholic who believes that they are actually eating the body of Christ and drinking His blood are completely ignoring the commands of the Bible which forbid the consumption of blood”

    Perhaps you have never read John 6 where Jesus says that unless we eat His Body and drink His blood we have no eternal life. The Mosaic Commandment of the Old Covenant against the consumption of blood does no apply under the New Covenant which was instituted by Jesus when He said, “It is finished” from the cross meaning the Old Covenant is finished. You are correct however in that this is why the disciples left Him in Capernaum because they recognized that Jesus was speaking that they must really and truly eat His Body and Drink His Blood for eternal life. As Jesus said after they left, His words must be understood by the Spirit in anamnesis and not with their carnal senses. Jesus was saying that just like the Israelites had to eat the Paschal lamb and use the blood on their doorposts that it is the Body and Blood of the Lamb of God that saves mankind and it must be consumed for one to be saved as well.

    “ - they flout the authority of Christ creating for themselves a hierarchy of priest when Christ Himself called all His followers priests in their own rights with Jesus as the High priest.”

    Certainly, Jesus established the priesthood of all believers and said that all are sent to spread the Gospel to mankind. The Catholic Church recognizes this fact and reminds each of the Catholic faithful of this obligation at the end of each Mass. Just as certainly Jesus established the apostolic leadership of the Church giving them all authority on earth and to be the shepherds of His flock. They are the sacerdotal priesthood to offer the sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments of Christ. Yes, Jesus is the high priest.

    “You catholics who believe the Pope to be holy when he is a sinner like any human being, you believe the Pope to be Jesus incarnate? How much more blasphemous can you get?”

    We know that the office the Pope holds is Holy since it is established by Christ but not the Pope personally. You are correct that the Pope is a sinner as this is the normative human condition. There is no Catholic teaching that suggest that the Pope is Jesus incarnate. It would be blasphemous to say these things and that is why the Church does not teach these things.

    “You catholics who seem to think that priests can forgive sin?”

    Of course, why would we doubt Christ’s teaching and His authority to give this authority to the priests.

    John 20: 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.


  5. “Very few of you ever have a personal relationship with God simply because you preach that all communication with him must go through an intermediary in the form of priest.”

    We have the most personal of relationships with the Lord in that we are obedient to His commandment to eat His truly, real and substantial Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. We also have a communal relationship with His through His Church. The Bible speaks only once about a personal relationship but speaks often of a communal relationship with our Lord through His Church.

    “You teach things that have no biblical reference,”

    Well of course the Church preceded the Bible by 400 years and prospered by oral teaching through apostolic succession. The Church does not follow the heresy of Sola Scriptura but instead the biblical teaching of St. Paul that says to hold fast to both the oral and the written traditions. That being said, I know of no Catholic doctrines that are contradictory to Scriptures and contend that such a premise would be impossible.

    “you include books in the Bible that are not true texts and you teach things that are in fact contrary to the Bible.”

    That may be your opinion but your opinion does not matter because you have no authority to make such a proclamation. Only Christ’s Church was given that authority. Jesus said that the Church has the power to bind and to loose and used that authority to choose the Canon of Scripture. The Church teaches noting that is contrary to the Bible. That would be impossible since the Bible states that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth”.

    “The Catholic church has twisted and destroyed the word of God until what remains is a faltering religion which merely empowers the rich and keeps down the poor.”

    No, the Church teaches the fullness of truth from the written and the oral Word of God.

    “I have never heard of a protestant church excommunicating a member simply because they broke a rule?”

    No, the Church excommunicates people you refuse to repent of sin and not a rule.

    “The catholic church likes to threaten people with this if they so much as question catholic doctrine.”

    No, this is a lie.

    “And a catholic priest can be called the worst of all simply because his congregation trust him to give them the true facts and to encourage them in their walk with God when in actual fact what really happens is that you separate them from Christ.”

    No, just the opposite of your opinion is true. God Bless!

    In Christ
    Fr. Joseph