(Jonathan) It deeply saddens me to see someone converting away from the Christian faith to Roman Catholicism. Did you not read revelations, if not please read Revelations 17! It warned you of the woman riding a beast on the seven hills. If you studied theology, you would know a woman represents a church, and a beast a nation. There is only one "woman riding a beast" on Earth. There is only one Church-Nation on Earth, and it just so happens to reside on the seven hills of Rome!
If you studied theology, you would know a woman represents a church, and a beast a nation. There is only one "woman riding a beast" on Earth. There is only one Church-Nation on Earth, and it just so happens to reside on the seven hills of Rome!
Read Revelations 17 please. The seven hilled city of Rome is so clearly labeled as the seat of the Nation-Church that is the woman riding a beast.
(Cristoiglesia) I have not converted from the Christian faith but have come into the fullness of truth which is His Church. I am no longer in protest of His Church and the scales on my eyes that prevented me from enduring the sound doctrine of the Church are no more. I have come to the true home of every Christian who seeks Him in Spirit and in truth.
Of course I have read and taught Revelation 17. There is a really big problem with your assumptions. The Vatican is not on any one of those seven hills but is, in fact to the West on the other side of the Tiber River on Vatican Hill. So, taking your assumption at face value Rome would be represented as a city of seven hills. If it was Rome then it would most likely be speaking of Pagan Rome than Christian Rome. But, It could also be Jerusalem from the description. Certainly the seven hills do not in any way refer to the Church. Then, of course, assuming that this is speaking of the Church then such a supposition makes Jesus into a liar who said that His Church would never fall into apostasy. Such a supposition says that the Church did indeed and the gates of hell did prevail against His Church. I assure you , it did not.
(Jonathan) Keep in mind also, there are two definitions of blasphemy:
#1: Claiming to be holy. (the pope's title is Holy Father, the title of God himself)
#2: Claiming the power to forgive sins. (the Pope still claims the power to forgive sins, and still issues indulgences) I tell you verily, only Jesus the sole intercessor, can forgive sins. Even a priest like yourself knows of confession, where a priest says "I absolve you of your sins".
(Cristoiglesia) Jesus disagrees with your unbiblical assumption.
#1 The Pope is not Holy based on any personal attributes but because his office was instituted by Christ. It is the office that is Holy and not the person holding the office although that person possesses a special charism that gives him guidance by the Holy Spirit to lead the Church on earth which in turn, he has all authority of Christ on earth.
#2. All priests have the authority to forgive sins and this is the normative way established by Jesus. 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.
Nowhere does the Bible say that Jesus is the sole intercessor. Instead it says that He is the sole mediator.
(Jonathan) “The bible has so clearly laid out that it is blasphemy to pray to anyone except God or Jesus (because Jesus IS God in the flesh).”
(Cristoiglesia) I assume you are speaking of the Christian practice of praying for each other and especially asking the saints in the Church Triumphant to pray for us. (The word ”pray” in this usage should be defined as “ask”) This practice is entirely biblical….
First of all it is disingenuous to state that the practice of praying for each other has no biblical foundation, 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.
(Jonathan)The devil himself could not have made a more obstructive church, one which tells believers it is WRONG to pray directly to God, when that is the SOLE reason Jesus died for us, so we could pray DIRECTLY to him (Jesus is God) for forgiveness! God wants a relationship with you and all the flock!
(Cristoiglesia) The Church that Jesus founded is the closest thing to heaven that humanity can behold. The Mass is heaven on earth. The Church has NEVER taught that wrong or that one cannot pray directly to God. That is hateful nonsense. But, that is not the sole reason that Jesus died as Christians both Catholic and Protestant will attest. He died to atone for our sins and provided the Sacrament of Reconciliation for that purpose. Catholic Christians have the closest possible relationship with Jesus. We obey Him and eat His Body and drink His Blood just as He told us to do and He literally and Spiritually
Lives within us. We are His tabernacle. We are obedient to the only authority He left on earth. He prayed His last prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane that we all be one in His Church as He and the Father are one and Catholic Christians are one in His Church and in His will. God bless!