February 2011 – The Roman Catholic Church
By Dr. David M. Berman
When Bible Christians write about the Catholic Church there is often a sense of anger in their words. I have read many articles that contained comments that seemed to me to simply be rants against Catholics. I assume that the authors of these articles have a reason for writing however I am often left wondering what that reason is. Are they trying to get Catholics to see what the Bible says, or are they simply ranting? I think it best to simply sate the facts.
In this article I want to simply focus on a few main points that I think must be seriously contemplated by anyone who is Catholic. My purpose in writing this is twofold. 1) I hope Catholics will at least contemplate what is written here. 2) I hope that Christians will use this article to express truth to their Catholic friends and family.
This is not an article that is designed to be mean or to say that Catholics have never done anything good. In fact on the pro life issue Catholics put many Bible Christians to shame concerning efforts made to end this hideous practice. Catholic people have also been involved with many charities that help people. However this article is not about good works. It is about truth.
Let me start by presenting the single most important doctrine of the Catholic Church; Ecclesiology (or what is called the teaching of what the church is). Again, this is the single most important doctrine on the Catholic Church. I say this because everything in Catholic teachings comes from the root belief that The Roman Catholic Church is perfect in its declaration of Doctrine. Therefore it is the Church and not the Bible that is the final authority to Catholics on matters of faith and morals.
This is the position of the Pope. The reason it is his position is because that is the position of Catholic Church dogma. The Reformation was founded in the dispute between those who believe the Bible is the word of God and the final authority and those who do not. This is the real question: Is the Catholic Church the final authority? For the sake of discussion let’s assume that The Catholic Church is the final authority. Also we must then understand that the Catholic Church emphatically declares that the Pope has the right to speak “Ex Cathedra.” This means that when the Pope speaks officially, he is exercising his position as the “Vicar of Christ” and in that capacity his official words are the very will of God declared. This is a position that must be examined in light of history. With this assumption in mind let’s look at some things that Catholic Church has said and done.
1) “Every Cleric must obey the Pope even if he commands what is evil, for no one may judge the Pope” –Pope Innocent lll
2) “We teach and define that it is dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontif, when he speaks Ex Cathedra , that is when he defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals, is possessive of that infallibility” – Pius – 1870, Vatican council l, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Chapter4
3) Disobedience to the Pope became the epitome of heresy. Those guilty of it immediately lost normal human rights and were summarily put to death. –Pope Pius V. To remain an eternal law in Christendom in the “Coena Domini Bull.”
4) The Church’s teachings are irreformable – Vatican ll
5) The “Saint Bartholomew massacre” was ordered in 1572 by the Pope. As French Catholic soldier and Catholic clergy murdered 100,000 French Huguenots (protestant Calvinists), the blood of men, women, and children flowed. When news of the Massacre reached the Vatican there was celebration. The Pope commissioned Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural of the Massacre. That can still be seen hanging in the Vatican.
6) The inquisition was instituted by Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) in Rome. Pope Gregory IX established furthered the establishment of the Inquisition, in 1233. The most brutal, ungodly, tortures were instituted. Jews were treated with contempt and forced to convert of be expelled (or killed). The most gross violations of decency were committed by the Catholic Church under the order of the Pope and Catholic Church structure and authority.
I could go on about these and other examples however my point is not to dredge up the disgusting history of the Catholic Church. My point concerns “Ex Cathedra.” Many Catholics would say that was then, and that the Catholic Church has changed. No doubt that the Catholic Church is not doing what they have done in history however that is not the point. The point is this; The Catholic Church claims the Pope is infallible and so either the Pope heard from God or he did not. If he heard from God and killed all those people, tortured, and maimed so many, then we need to understand why so it will not happen again. We do not want God to command the Catholics to kill us. If on the other hand the Pope did not hear from God in establishing the Inquisition, (and other atrocities) the Pope is not infallible. This would mean millions of Catholics are following a system that is a lie. I think it is safe to say that God did not establish the demonic practices of the inquisition, did not command the Pope to murder 100.000 French Calvinists, and did not order the Pope to see to it that people would earn salvation by killing people. Therefore the only conclusion we can come to is that the Papal infallible system is a lie.
How can the Catholic Church expect its followers to believe that they are following the perfect leader (when Ex Cathedra) if the Popes have been proven to be not only fallible but often guilty of murder, torture, and a whole host of sin?
1) Pope Innocent V Ordered King Edward ll to “submit those men to torture.”
2) Pope Eugenius IV Declared that all Jews should not be allowed to serve in any public office, and must not be allowed to build any more synagogues.
3) Pope Innocent VIII promised remission of sins for all who would slay a heretic.
4) 1205 Pope Innocent III wrote to the archbishops of Sens and Paris that “The Jews, by their own guilt, are consigned to perpetual servitude because they crucified the Lord…As slaves rejected by God, in whose death they wickedly conspire, they shall by the effect of this very action, recognize themselves as the slaves of those whom Christ’s death set free.”
5) 1215 The Fourth Lateran Council barred Jews from holding public office. Jews were ordered to wear distinctive clothing to set them apart from Christians. We all know how Hitler used that thinking in forcing the Jews to wear a Jewish star so all Germans would know who they were.
If you are Catholic and reading this there is a chance that you are getting upset at me, perhaps accusing me of Catholic bashing. In fact I am not doing any such thing. I am simply expressing logic. Either you believe that God wanted non Catholics tortured, murdered, and pillaged, and wanted Jews persecuted or you do not. If you do not, you must conclude the Popes were wrong. If they were wrong, then they are fallible in giving specific direction and you’re whole religious system crumbles. Just what else are they wrong about?
This is important because Catholicism has its foundation of the authority on the Church rather than the authority of the Bible. The great Apostle Paul said;
2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”
The Bible is the Authority:
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”
I could go over every Catholic Doctrine from communication with dead “saints” to the expression of ascribing power to statues. I could explain from the Bible why almost every Catholic doctrine is unbiblical. However if you believe the Catholic Church is above the Bible like the current Pope says (and every other Pope before him), then you will not care. If however you are being honest with yourself, you must admit that the doctrine of Papal infallibility and the history of the Catholic Church leave no doubt. The Catholic Church is a lie that does not lead people to truth, but rather leads to following a false gospel and a history ripe with murder, torture, and persecution on every level. The fact is that no man is infallible in any way shape or form. Whether we are speaking of the Catholic Church or any other organization.
Another obvious problem is the massive child abuse by Catholic Priests. I want to be fair about this. Any large organization could have bad people in it that would do very bad things. That is not an automatic indictment of an organization. In this case however it clearly is. The Catholic Church is not simply charged with a few peoples violation the trust of children and their families. The Catholic Church is guilty of a systemic child abuse problem. This is no isolated incident. Furthermore, not only did this happen on an inconceivable level, it was facilitated by those in charge including “Cardinals” who according the Catholic Church also have great power given to them by the authority of the Church. They covered up these horrible offences against children and move those they knew to be child molesters to other perishes allowing them to further commit their savage acts. Do you really believe the Catholic Church is run by infallible Popes? Do you really believe that the Cardinals and priests are the ones that absolve you from sin? We must go back to the Bible, it is the final authority. I hope your eyes are opened, you turn away from the lie, and turn back to the truth which truly is infallible; The Bible!