Catholic Faith Defender

JOHN. 8:32 “et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos”



Posted by catholicfaithdefender on February 27, 2019




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Retrieve from:



Being an Exhaustive Refutation of the Biblical Bloopers, Historical Blunders, Logical Absurdities, Incoherent Nonsense, Outright Fabrications, and Pure Poppycock of the Posts of LES WILCOX


“Good. I’m ready for you Catholics to quit all this accusations without any substantiation. If it was really all that hilarious I would think as an adult you would just ignore it. Must be more serious than hilarious, huh?” LES WILCOX TO PHIL PORVAZNIK — FidoNet Open_Bible 8/14/95

“There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church….As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.” ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN — preface to RADIO REPLIES

“Errors die hard, especially Protestant fictions.” DOM JOHN CHAPMAN — Monk of Downside Abbey

“The committed fundamentalist, who is often a former Catholic, KNOWS the Catholic religion is wrong and thinks he can prove it from the Bible. The first step is to demonstrate to him that much of what he knows simply is not so. Emotional barriers will be overcome later, and they will fall as he realizes he has not been told the whole story.” KARL KEATING — from CATHOLICISM AND FUNDAMENTALISM


In this reply to the posts of Les Wilcox, I will respond to three anti-Catholic posts that have appeared in Open_Bible the past month:


2) Which will you believe? The Holy Scriptures, God’s Unchanging Word or The Human Traditions of Men? by The Conversion Center (for more on this group see chapter 4 of Karl Keating’s book)

3) Are some Roman Catholics Saved? by an ex-priest Rev H. Gregory Adams (for his story see FAR FROM ROME, NEAR TO GOD edited by another ex-priest Richard Bennett)


LW> We ask that you find out for yourself – in the manner that Paul COMMANDS us to: “TEST ALL THINGS – HOLD FAST TO THAT WHICH IS TRUE”.


This will be the theme of this reply. Les reminds us of this command from the apostle to “test all things” (1 Thess 5:21). Unfortunately, not a single charge in these anti-Catholic posts WAS tested and hardly anything in them is true. The name’s Friday and the dates HAVE been changed to protect the innocent. In fact, most of it was just made up out of thin air and/or copied from other anti-Catholic material such as Loraine Boettner’s book ROMAN CATHOLICISM (P&R, 1962). There is not a shred of documentation for the errors, misunderstandings, fabrications, and irrelevancies in these posts.

And Les was complaining to me about no substantiation? Give me a break!


Let’s start with the lists of supposed “inventions.”

First, the author of the post “THE ROMAN ROAD…” has no clue what Catholics mean by DOGMA. For example,

LW> The Roman Catholic Church maintains as irreversible and mandatory doctrine (we will use their term “DOGMA” in the remainder of this writing)

LW> There are a number of DOGMATIC doctrines of the Roman Catholic church that were NOT part of the original church. The Roman Catholic Church continues to make the claim that “the Church has always taught (????????)!” You can fill in the blank with EACH and EVERY dogma listed below.

LW> Look up the scriptures under the dates of certain doctrines.


The author is confusing the terms “dogma” and “doctrine.” For both Catholics and Protestants, “DOCTRINE” simply means “teaching” and is derived from the Greek word -didache- denoting that which is taught (Matt 7:28; 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 1:9) or the act of teaching or instruction (Mark 4:2; Rom 16:17). Doctrine can be true or false (2 Tim 4:1-4; 2 Peter 2:1) though the Scripture stresses “sound doctrine” (1 Tim 4:6; Titus 2:1) taught by the apostles and passed on and guarded by their successors, the Bishops, such as Timothy and Titus (1 Tim 3:2; 4:11-16; 6:20-21; 2 Tim 1:13-14; 2:2) who taught with Christ’s own authority (Mt 10:19-20,40; 16:18-19; 18:17-18; 28:18-20; Lk 10:16; Jn 20:21-23).

The Catholic term “DOGMA” refers to a true doctrine that has been solemnly defined by a Council of Bishops (cf. Acts 15) or a Pope. The actual date of the definition does not mean that is when the dogma was INVENTED but that is when it was solemnly DEFINED. To quote Catholic scholar Ludwig Ott from a standard reference source, FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA (Tan Books, 1974) —

“By DOGMA in the strict sense is understood a truth immediately (formally) revealed by God which has been proposed by the Teaching Authority [or Magisterium] of the Church to be believed as such. The Vatican Council explains:

Fide divina et catholica ea omnia credenta sunt, quae in verbo Dei scripto vel tradito continentur et ab Ecclesia sive solmeni iudicio sive ordinario et universali magisterio tanquam divinitus revelata credenda proponuntur [Denz 1792].

“All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God written or handed down and which are proposed for our belief by the Church either in a solemn definition or in its ordinary and universal authoritative teaching.” (Ott, p. 4)

A good example of this which all Catholics and Protestants accept is the Christological dogma of the two natures (divine and human) in the one Person of Christ defined as orthodox for the whole Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. “Peter has spoken through Leo!” the Bishops exclaimed. Pope Leo’s TOME settled the matter for this Council.

In fact, the first four ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church almost all Bible-believing conservative Protestants accept and receive as teaching the truth handed down to them from Christ and His apostles.

One could say the Church has ALWAYS taught the Trinity even though there have been those who have denied certain aspects of it (e.g. Subordinationists, Arians, Monarchians, Monophysites, Pneumatomakians).

There is a certain DEVELOPMENT of doctrine as Cardinal Newman explained in his classic work on the subject, concerning the nature of God. And there is one true teaching — the DOGMA of the Trinity — but many heretics and many false doctrines on the nature of God and Christ.

Since the author of “THE ROMAN ROAD…” has no idea what a DOGMA is almost everything in the list of “inventions” is completely irrelevant. So I would have the right to throw the whole list out of court from the start. It proves nothing.

However, I will deal with some of it below. And not only are these not dogmas, but most of them are not even DOCTRINES. The author does not know what a doctrine is either.

LW> Before we look at the books of John and Matthew, which the Roman church claims as its authority, I believe that it is important to look at the FACTS of recorded history. Let’s look AT THE RECORD OF HISTORY

The problem is these are hardly “FACTS.” There is not one shred of documentation for these “FACTS” of recorded history. Most of it is completely false. I will document this shortly.

Sorry, Les, I do not count Loraine Boettner as a credible historian. He simply made some of these dates up out of thin air! If you compare his list of “Some Roman Catholic Heresies and Inventions” in his book ROMAN CATHOLICISM (p. 7-9) you will find almost all of these listed below. The dates in Boettner and “THE ROMAN ROAD…” are identical.

This is simply a case of one anti-Catholic copying another anti-Catholic. Neither produces ANY documentation.

These are hardly “facts” but FABRICATIONS of history!

Let’s look at some of these. Remember what the author of “THE ROMAN ROAD…” is claiming — that these are DOGMAS of the Catholic Church. Here are a few….




709 – KISSING THE FEET OF POPE ORDERED (Acts 10:25-26 & Rev 19:10, 22:9)


965 – BAPTISM OF THE BELLS (Ceremony of actually baptising bells

998 – FASTING ON FRIDAYS & DURING LENT (Matt 15:11, I Cor 10:25, I Tim 4:1-8)



1287 – SCAPULAR PROTECTION DECREED (Brown cloth with picture



That last one is what I meant by “hilarious,” Les. I ask Les Wilcox, how dumb does he think Catholics are? A stuffed donkey in Italy is the donkey Christ rode in Jerusalem on? And this he thinks is a DOGMA? Or a doctrine?

Even if the dates are correct, NONE of these are dogmas, NONE of these are doctrines. The author does not know what either one is and apparently Les Wilcox has no clue either since he uploaded this nonsense. The Sign of the Cross, priestly dress, use of Latin, kissing the Pope as a greeting and sign of respect (1 Peter 5:14; Rom 16:16; etc… not worship so your verses hardly apply!), holy water, bell “baptism” (in the sense of blessing not that the bells actually received the Sacrament!), Friday fasting, the Rosary, the Legend of Loretto (spelling above is wrong), the Scapular, the Hail Mary (or Ave Maria), and Donkeys alive or dead or stuffed have nothing to do with Catholic Dogma, Les. Most of these are disciplines or customs of the Church, neither dogmas nor doctrines.

Now let’s look at some of the errors contained in the above.

The date for the use of Latin is way off. Latin was the COMMON (i.e. “vulgar” as in Latin Vulgate) language of the Christian people in the West from at least the 2nd century. All the early Fathers of the West wrote in Latin and it was used in the Liturgy almost immediately and is still the official language of the Church. Paul wrote to Latin-speaking Rome. And it is a beautiful language! But so what? What is the point of this “invention?”

The 1 Tim 4:1-5 passage I have answered a million times here. The “doctrines of demons” was to forbid marriage to EVERYONE and forbid certain foods because they thought these were SINFUL. These were the early Gnostic heretics who denied that Jesus “has come in the flesh” (1 Tim 3:16; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7).

The body is evil so the Incarnation was impossible and the marital union was also evil according to these heretics. In the Catholic Church, marriage is a Sacrament so we hardly forbid it. And we recommend fasting as a discipline (mandatory during Lent) just as the Bible does (following Jesus’ example in the desert — Matt 4).

One anomaly in the dating is the “institution” of the Rosary according to the above was in 1090 (wrongly attributed to Peter the Hermit, see Boettner) while the Hail Mary did not come into being until 1593.

The Rosary prayer originally consisted of the 150 Psalms. And the tradition of the Rosary actually is linked with St. Dominic (1170-1221) who is said to have received it from the Virgin Mary herself to combat the Albigensian heresy. See “The Rosary Dissected” by Terry L. Frazier (THIS ROCK Sept 94), an Evangelical convert to the Catholic faith.

Holy water can hardly be said to be “fabricated” in 850 A.D. since it is clearly found in the Old Testament as in the Jewish rites of purification (Num 5:17; 8:7; ch 19; Exod 30:18-20; Lev 11:28,32,40).

Using holy water and making the Sign of the Cross as Catholics frequently do upon entering a Catholic church reminds us of the waters of Baptism which once flowed over our foreheads — see Born Again: Baptism in the Early Fathers — and signifies that we are not worthy to enter into the Presence of Christ without purification. As Catholics say before Communion, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

Also, there is a contradiction between “THE ROMAN ROAD…” and the list from The Conversion Center —


LW> Fabrication of Holy water……………………….A.D. 1009

Well, which is it? I guess the author thinks he can get away with this since at the bottom of the second list is added —

LW> (The dates are approximate.)

Yeah, approximately in the first or second millennium! They are both way off by hundreds and hundreds of years. Try this….

“It is required then that the water should first be cleansed and sanctified by the priest, that it may wash away by its Baptism the sins of the man who is baptized.” ST. CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE (Letters 70:1 A.D. 258)

“King and Lord…look upon these waters and fill them with the Holy Spirit…that those who are being baptized may be no longer flesh and blood but spiritual.” SERAPION (Euchologion 19 c. A.D. 392)

SOURCE: New Catholic Encyclopedia (Vol 14, p. 825-827) under “Water”

The “Asperges” or ceremony of sprinkling altar, clergy, and people with holy water on Sundays became a custom of the Church in the 800’s under Pope Leo IV. Maybe that is what these lists were talking about? But so what? Holy water is biblical (Num 5:17) so what is the big deal?

The Sign of the Cross was already an old custom in the time of Tertullian who lived from c. 155-250 A.D. —

“At every forward step and movement, when coming in and going out, when putting on our clothes, when putting on our shoes, when bathing, when at table, when lighting the lamps, when reclining, when sitting, in all the ordinary occupations of our daily lives, we furrow our forehead with the Sign.” (De corona or THE CROWN 3:4 A.D. 211)

SOURCE: The Faith of the Early Fathers by William Jurgens (3 volumes)


LW> Making the sign of the Cross……………………A.D. 330

Come on, Les! Make up your mind, 300 or 330? One is from “THE ROMAN ROAD…” and one from The Conversion Center. Has Les bothered to “test all things….” It would not appear so.

To answer each of these “inventions” would require a whole book (see Karl Keating’s CATHOLICISM AND FUNDAMENTALISM), so let’s move on….


LW> Prayers for the dead were instituted…………….A.D. 330

Make up your mind, 300 or 330? Actually it was much earlier. Try Tertullian again —

“We offer sacrifices for the dead on their birthday anniversaries.” [-pro nataliciis annua- or on the anniversary of their death which is their birthday into eternal life] THE CROWN 3:3 A.D. 211

“A woman, after the death of her husband, is bound not less firmly but even more so, not to marry another husband….Indeed, she PRAYS FOR HIS SOUL and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she offers the sacrifice.” Tertullian, MONOGAMY 10:1,4 A.D. 213

“Standing by, I, Abercius, ordered this to be inscribed; truly, I was in my seventy-second year. May everyone who is in accord with this and who understands it PRAY FOR Abercius. Nor indeed, shall any man place another in my tomb.” EPITAPH OF ABERCIUS, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia Salutaris, 180 A.D.

“May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me; he was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me eagerly and found me — may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.” APOSTLE PAUL, c. 67 A.D. 2 Tim 1:16-18 THE IGNATIUS BIBLE-RSV

My Catholic Bible says Onesiphorus is dead. You don’t like that? Okay, how about….

“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” JUDAS MACCABEUS, c. 100 B.C. 2 Macc 12:46

Now if you don’t think this is Scripture, how do you determine what IS Scripture to begin with? You must at least admit this was a custom of the Jews and an early Christian practice, BEFORE 300 A.D.


Anathema was decreed by Paul (Gal 1:8-9). We follow the apostle. Now if you’re talking the Filioque clause “from the Father AND the Son” that subject has been discussed here with our Orthodox friends.


Partially correct. The date is wrong — should be 363 A.D. Canon 60 (though the genuineness is open to doubt) enumerates the canonical books following Athanasius closely although Ruth is attached to Judges and Esther follows immediately. It does not include the Apocalypse (Revelation) among the NT canonical books. See F.F. Bruce THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE (Intervarsity Press, 1988), p. 80, 210.

The Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397,419) as well as the Council of Rome under Pope Damasus (382) accepted the “Apocrypha” or what Catholics call the deuterocanonical books, and these decisions were ratified by the Ecumenical Councils of 2nd Nicaea (787), Florence (1438-43) and finally Trent (1545-63).

Catholics receive their canon, whether OT or NT, on the authority of the original historic Church founded by Christ (Matt 16:18-19). You have no such authority which is why I asked — how can you determine what IS Scripture? Do you have an answer to that, Les?


LW> 593 – PRAYERS TO BE DIRECTED TO MARY ORDERED (Matt 11:28, Luke 1:46, Acts 10:25 & 14:14)

Boettner has — (see his ROMAN CATHOLICISM, p. 7-8)

Veneration of angels and dead saints, and use of images…..375

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

First, they aren’t dead but alive with Christ in heaven (Matt 22:32; Phil 1:23; Rev 5:8; 8:3-4). Angels can pray for us too (see Psalm 103:20-21; 148:1-2). They are “ministering spirits” (Heb 1:7,14; 12:22f; Matt 18:10; Acts 12:11; Rev 5:11).

Second, the dates are way off. 600 A.D. ? Not quite.

“But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels…as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep.” ORIGEN On Prayer 11 A.D. 233

“Aschandius, my father, dearly beloved of my heart, with my sweet mother and my brethren, remember your Pectorius in the peace of the Fish [Christ].” PECTORIUS Epitaph A.D. 250

“Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence the first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy.” ST. CYPRIAN Letters 56(60):5 A.D. 252

“Mother of God, listen to my petitions; do not disregard us in adversity, but rescue us from danger.” Rylands Papyrus 3 A.D. 350

“You say in your book that while we live we are able to pray for each other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard…But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?” ST. JEROME Against Vigilantius 6 A.D. 406

And so on….Cyril of Jerusalem, Hilary of Poitiers, Ephraem of Syria, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Augustine, and Pope Leo the Great all believed we could ask for the prayer of angels, Saints, the Virgin Mary, and all members united in the one Body of Christ.

Prayers cannot be “ORDERED” and your biblical verses are irrelevant.


394 A.D. for the Mass, huh? I exploded that myth in my looooooooong posts to Mick James — see This is My Body: Eucharist in the Early Fathers. The Liturgy has changed little from the time of St. Justin Martyr (c. 100-165 A.D.). See his 1 Apology ch 65-67.


LW> Mary, QUEEN OF HEAVEN (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17 & 25)

LW> Mary, MEDIATRIX (I Tim 2:5, Mt 11:28, Ecc 9:6)

LW> Mary, EVER-VIRGIN (Mt 1:25, Mk 6:3, Jn 2:2-4)

LW> 785 – Mary, CO-REDEMPTRIX (Acts 4:12, Ps 146:5, Heb 7:25)

LW> 788 – Mary, WORSHIP (Romans 1:25,Is 42:8, John 7:10)

LW> 1508 – Mary, MOTHER OF GOD (Mt 12:46-50, Mark 8;19-21, Acts 1:14)

LW> 1864 – Mary, SINLESS (Luke 1:46-47, Romans 3:10-19 & 23)

LW> 1854 – IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF VIRGIN MARY (Romans 3:23 & 5:12, Psalms 51:5)

Now this is what I meant by Incoherent Nonsense in my introduction.

How am I supposed to decipher all of this? First, “WORSHIP” of Mary has never been taught by the Church although there have been abuses in Marian piety and misunderstanding among Catholics. And will you please make up your mind. Was it 431 or 788 where the “worship” of Mary was taught? And was it 1864 or 1854 where the sinlessness of Mary from the moment of conception (Immaculate Conception) was taught?

The Conversion Center has the 788 one as —

LW> Adoration of Mary, the Saints, the Cross, images, relics…A.D. 788

Compared with “THE ROMAN ROAD…”

LW> 788 – WORSHIP OF CROSS, RELICS AND IMAGES AUTHORIZED (Exodus 20:4, Deut 27:15, Psalms 115)

And Loraine Boettner has —

Worship of the cross, images and relics, authorized in……788

The fact is neither “worship” nor “adoration” was taught in 431 or 788. Veneration is the proper Catholic term. We don’t worship wood, relics, or images. We venerate them or give them due respect or honor pointing to the person represented — see my History of Iconoclasm. This was defined and explained at the 2nd Council of Nicaea (787) as follows —

“We decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of the honored and life-giving Cross, the revered and holy images, whether painted or made of mosaic or of other suitable material, are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by public ways; these are the images of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ, and of our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer [Theotokos] and of the revered angels and of any of the saintly holy men. The more frequently they are seen in representational art, the more are those who see them drawn to remember and long for those who serve as models and to pay these images the tribute of salutation and respectful veneration.

“Certainly this is not the full adoration in accordance with our faith, which is properly paid only to the DIVINE nature, but it resembles that given to the figure of the honored and life-giving Cross and also to the Holy Books of the Gospels and to other sacred objects….Indeed, the honor paid to an image traverses it, reaching the model; and he who venerates the image, venerates the person represented in that image.”

(cited in THIS ROCK May 1994)

LW> 1508 – Mary, MOTHER OF GOD (Mt 12:46-50, Mark 8:19-21, Acts 1:14)

Mary declared the “Mother of God” in 1508? You’ve got to be kidding. I have testimony going back more than a thousand years earlier than that date in a debate I had with a rabid anti-Catholic Fundy — see Mary the Mother of God, for Theotokos = “God Bearer” or Mother of God officially proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Even Boettner (p. 7) got that much right. Theotokos was meant to safeguard the deity-humanity of Christ against the Nestorians who denied the title to Mary and also taught Christ was two persons.

As far as the perpetual virginity of Mary is concerned, your date is a bit off. I have another fairly exhaustive debate on that — see The Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady. All the major Protestant Reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Wesley) defended it!

LW> 431 – Mary, QUEEN OF HEAVEN (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17 & 25)

While “Queen of Heaven” was not officially taught in 431 as you erroneously say, the title is found as early as the fourth century in the prayers of Ephraem of Syria and is very popular also among our Eastern Christian brethren, both Catholic and non-Catholic.

The verses in Jeremiah can hardly be used against us unless you wish to condemn the title “King of kings” for Jesus (1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14; 19:16) since it is used of the pagan king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 2:37). Because Jesus is the Davidic King, Jesus elevates His Mother as Queen of Heaven (Rev 12) just as the Queen-Mother was highly exalted and given a prominent place in the OT (1 Kings 2).

Even Martin Luther preached after his break with Rome on the Feast of the Visitation (July 2, 1532) —

“She, the Lady above heaven and earth, must have a heart so humble that she might have no shame in washing the swaddling clothes or preparing a bath for St. John the Baptist, like a servant girl. What humility! It would surely have been more just to have arranged for her a golden coach, pulled by 4,000 horses, and to cry and proclaim as the carriage proceeded: ‘Here passes the woman who is raised FAR ABOVE all women, indeed above the WHOLE human race.'”

Five years later, preaching on the same feast day, Luther said —

“She was not filled with pride by this praise…this immense praise: ‘No woman is like unto thee! Thou art more than an EMPRESS or a QUEEN….blessed above all nobility, wisdom, or saintliness!'”

(LUTHER’S WORKS 36:208; 45:107 as cited in REFUTING THE ATTACK ON MARY by Fr. Mateo available from Catholic Answers)

Heinrich Bullinger, Cranmer’s brother-in-law, Zwingli’s successor said:

“What pre-eminence in the eyes of purity, her saintliness and all her virtues, so that she can hardly be compared with any of the other saints, but should by rights be rather elevated above all of them…”

French Reformed pastor Charles Drelincourt said in the 17th century —

“We do not simply believe that God has favoured the holy and blessed Virgin more than all the Patriarchs and the Prophets, but also that He has exalted her above all Seraphim. The angels can only qualify as servants of the Son of God, the creatures and workmanship of his hands; but the holy Virgin is not only the servant and the creature but also the Mother of this great and living God.”

(from MARY, MOTHER OF ALL CHRISTIANS [p. 89] by Calvinist theologian Max Thurian who later converted to the Catholic faith)

The titles of “Mediatrix” or “Co-Redemptrix” for Mary have not been officially defined so those dates are wrong. They do reflect the Marian piety and devotion of many great Popes, Saints, and Doctors of the Church. For a complete defense of Marian doctrines, get the above booklet from Catholic Answers. And read it carefully.

Let’s continue with the “inventions” list…..

LW> 593 – DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY (Gregory) (I John 1:7-9; 2:1-2, John 5:24, Rom 8:1)

LW> 1439 – PURGATORY DECLARED VALID DOGMA (Matt 25:46, I John 1:7, Luke 23:43)

Purgatory is another whole debate and I will give more on this subject in a later post. Suffice to say, the anti-Catholics you have quoted have no idea what purgatory is about. The dates are approximately correct but must be properly understood. Gregory the Great is usually referred to as the “inventor” of purgatory in 590 A.D. But Augustine certainly believed in the doctrine as early as 400 and we will get to his quotes and what the Bible says later.

The author of “THE ROMAN ROAD…” is completely wrong stating —

LW> As we have shown in the historical outline at the beginning of this writing, there was a period of almost six hundred years where (1) the Apostles, (2) early church fathers or (3) church historians did not know of or write about PURGATORY!

Wrong! Many of the great Fathers and Doctors of the Church wrote on the efficacy of praying for the dead and/or a state of purification after death beginning with Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Lactantius, Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Jerome, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Augustine, as well as Gregory the Great and later Catholic theologians as Anselm, Bernard, Aquinas and Bonaventure supported the doctrine. The Council of Florence (1438) merely defined as dogma what had been previously believed universally in the Church.


LW> Gregory the Great, while Bishop of Rome, in 600 A.D. wrote “I confidently say that whosoever calls himself ‘universal bishop’ or desires to be so called, in his arrogance, is the forerunner of antichrist.”

Oh no! Not the “universal bishop” controversy, again! I answered that quite thoroughly for Mick James and Pedro Vega in the Battle for the Papacy. “UNIVERSAL” in the sense of “ONLY” (that other Bishops weren’t really valid Bishops).

Now let’s move on to more fabrications of history….


The Church never officially sanctioned the “selling of indulgences” although there were abuses in the 16th century. Whatever the date means, this is a caricature of the doctrine. For a biblical defense and explanation of indulgences, see “A Primer on Indulgences” by an Evangelical convert to the Catholic faith, James Akin in THIS ROCK (Nov 1994 issue) from Catholic Answers.

LW> 1229 – BIBLE FORBIDDEN TO LAYMEN (John 5:39, II Tim 3:15-17)

The Bible was never “forbidden” to laymen. Boettner has the same date and adds “forbidden to laymen, placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Council of Valencia….1229.” I have two editions of Boettner’s anti-Catholic book and the later edition corrects this to the Council of Toulouse. There was no Council of Valencia in 1229. And as Karl Keating points out, there never was a Council in Valencia, Spain and the Index of Forbidden Books wasn’t established until 1543! What was “forbidden” were the erroneous versions of the Bible propogated by the Albigenses to support their heresy of Manicheanism. It was a local, temporary matter restricted to southern France. That is all.



These two were quite hilarious and since you gave some quotes below I had to look this up. First, your quotes are as follows

LW> Pope John XXII decreed in 1685, “To believe that our LORD GOD the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed is to be deemed heretical.” Then Pius V stated, “The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in heaven and earth.” Finally, Pope Nicholas I declared, “the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who, BEING GOD, cannot be judged by man.”

LW> Pope Pius X stated, “The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but HE IS JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? IT IS JESUS CHRIST that Speaks. Does the Pope accord a favor or pronounce an anathema? IT IS JESUS CHRIST who pronounces the anathema or accords the favor.”

Now we go to RADIO REPLIES by Fathers Rumble and Carty (volume 2)

2-310. Pope Pius X made the blasphemous claim that he was “Jesus Christ hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who speaks.”

REPLY: A Protestant paper, the “Church Review,” in England, October 3, 1895, charges Cardinal Sarto, Archbishop of Venice, with having uttered those words at Venice. Cardinal Sarto was elected Pope in 1903. But as soon as the charge was made in 1895 that Cardinal Sarto had said those words, inquiries were sent from England to Venice, and Cardinal Sarto produced the manuscipt of his discourse. And this is what he actually did say:

“The Pope REPRESENTS Jesus Christ Himself, and therefore is a loving father. The life of the Pope is a holocaust of love for the human family. His word is love; love, his weapon; love, the answer he gives to all who hate him; love, his flag, that is, the Cross, which signed the greatest triumph on earth and in heaven.”

2-311. Pope Nicholas I. said that the Pope, being God, is judged by no man.

REPLY: Never did Pope Nicholas I. say that the Pope is God. What he does say is this:

“Since those in higher authority are not judged by inferiors, it is evident that the Apostolic See, than which no earthly authority is higher, is judged by none.”

And that is perfectly sound reasoning. Even in civil law, the king is “above the law,” and not subject to his own laws. Hence the legal axiom, “The king can do no wrong.” Italy itself has acknowledged the justice of the Pope’s claim to be independent of all civil jurisdiction, and subject to no earthly authorities.

2-312. In the “Extravagantes” of Pope John XXII, Roman Canon Law says that it is heresy to deny the power of “Our Lord God the Pope.”

REPLY: That remark is attributed, not to Pope John XXII, but to the Canonist Zenzelinus, in his commentary on Title XIV of the “Extravagantes.” But an examination of the original manuscript of Zenzelinus, preserved in the Vatican Library, failed to reveal the words attributed to him; and it has been definitely proved that the reference to God is an interpolation in later copies of his commentary.

Phil P comments — let’s try to debate what Catholics really believe, Les, rather than trying to show we think the Pope is God, okay?



For these two I had to do some checking in the volumes of the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967). Here is what I found —

First, do Catholics have something against science? One might think so from the Galileo case. This was discussed in great detail in a new mag The Catholic Dossier (July/Aug 1995) edited by Ralph McInerny. Here is what Pope John Paul II has to say about science —

“The unity we perceive in creation on the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of the Universe, and the correlative unity for which we strive in our human communities, seem to be reflected and even reinforced in what contemporary science is revealing to us.”

(JPII in “Dynamic Relationship of Theology and Science” in letter to Father George Coyne, S.J. director of the Vatican Observatory cited in “Beam Me Up, Lord?” by Gerard V. Bradley in above mag)

Now was “all science” condemned in 1907 ? Hardly. What was condemned by Pope Pius X was the heresy of Modernism in the decree -Lamentabili sane exitu- (July 3, 1907) which lists 65 condemned propositions containing the errors of Modernism in summary form. In the Encyclical -Pascendi dominici gregis- (Sept 8, 1907) the Pope emphasized the root tendencies and principles of Modernism.

What was condemned included 1) agnosticism, both in natural theology and in the symbolic, nonobjective approach to dogmatic content; and 2) vital immanence, an exclusive immanence of the divine and a consequent natural vital evolution of revelation; and 3) total emancipation of exegesis from dogma and of political-religious movements from ecclesiastical authority.

Modernism as an ideology emerged within the Church around 1900 and sought a revolutionary transmutation of Catholic doctrine through the application of naturalistic evolutionary philosophy and arbitrary historical criticism. It was condemned by the decree -Lamentabili- and the encyclical -Pascendi-, and definitively ended by the Oath against Modernism.

SOURCE: New Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 11 (p. 408ff) on Pius X, volume 9 (p. 991f) on “Modernism,” volume 8 (p. 350) on Lamentabili, volume 10 (p. 1048) on Pascendi. How’s that for substantiation?

Now what about public schools? Were public schools condemned in 1930? Nope, wrong again. Under Pope Pius XI, the Encyclopedia explains —

“The encyclical on Christian education, -Divini illius magistri- (Dec 31, 1929), lays the foundation for a genuinely Christian theory of education, opposes the modern state’s monopoly of schools, and undertakes the demarcation and coordination of the education rights of the family, the Church, and the state.” (NCE volume 11, p. 412)

And now for our final inventions…..

LW> 1215 – DOGMA OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION DECLARED (Luke 22:19-20, John 6:35, I Cor 11:26)

LW> Sacrifice of the Mass…………………………..A.D. 1215

LW> 1215 – CONFESSION OF SINS TO PRIEST ORDERED (Ps 51:1-10, Luke 7:48 & 15:21, I John 1:8-9)

LW> Auricular confession of sins to a priest………….A.D. 1215

The exact technical term “transubstantiation” (from Latin meaning “change of substance”) was sanctioned here but the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist was believed from the earliest centuries of the Church. See This is My Body: Eucharist in the Early Fathers for details (also find the two massive volumes A HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST by the Anglican scholar Darwell Stone).

I had a discussion with David Goforth on Confession. I explained to him what the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) did. It merely reaffirmed the well-established practice while emphasizing the importance of penance. I gave several quotes from the early Fathers like Origen, Cyprian, Athanasius, Basil, Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Theodore of Mopsuestia, John Chrysostom and Pope Leo the Great.

ORIGEN (c. 244 A.D.)

In addition to these [kinds of forgiveness of sins], albeit hard and laborious: the remission of sins THROUGH PENANCE…when he [the sinner] does not shrink from DECLARING HIS SIN TO A PRIEST OF THE LORD AND FROM SEEKING MEDICINE….In this way there is fulfilled that too, which the Apostle James says: “If, then, there is anyone sick, let him call the PRESBYTERS [where we get PRIESTS] of the Church, and let them impose hands upon him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and if he be in SINS, THEY SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM [James 5:14-15; cf. John 20:21-23].” (Hom on Leviticus 2:4)

CYPRIAN (c. 250 A.D.)

Of how much greater faith and salutary fear are they who…CONFESS THEIR SINS TO THE PRIESTS OF GOD in a straightforward manner and in sorrow, making an open declaration of conscience….Indeed, he but sins the more if, thinking that God is like man, he believes that he can escape the punishment of his crime by not openly admitting his crime….I beseech you, brethren, LET EVERYONE WHO HAS SINNED CONFESS HIS SIN while he is still in this world, while his confession is still admissible, WHILE THE SATISFACTION AND REMISSION MADE THROUGH THE PRIEST ARE STILL PLEASING BEFORE THE LORD. (The Lapsed 28)

For a serious scholarly defense of sacramental Confession, please locate the two massive volumes A HISTORY OF PENANCE by Oscar Watkins!


Apostolic Church Tradition IS equal to Scripture (1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15). Mark 7, Matthew 15, and Col 2:8 condemn “traditions of men” that contradicted the written Word of God. You would have to show that a certain Catholic dogma contradicted the Bible, that you are properly understanding the Catholic teaching and properly interpreting the Bible, and explain why we should go against the traditional teaching of the Church defended by so many Saints and Fathers that have come before us. It is clear from these posts you have no clue what Catholics believe so you cannot do this.

Tradition has ALWAYS been normative as a Rule of Faith in the Church. -Sola scriptura- was simply never believed. The Council of Trent (1545-63) and Vatican II merely re-affirmed the constant teaching of the historic Christian Church — that for a doctrine to be true it must be established both from Scripture (at least implicitly) and from Tradition.

From EARLY CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES by eminent Protestant scholar of Church history, J.N.D. Kelly of Oxford (1985) on his chapter TRADITION AND SCRIPTURE (p. 29 – 51)

“Scripture must be interpreted in the light of its fundamental ground-plan, viz. the original revelation itself. For that reason correct exegesis was the PREROGATIVE OF THE CHURCH, where the apostolic tradition or doctrine which was the KEY to Scripture had been kept intact [St. Irenaeus Against Heresies 4:26:5; 4:32:1; 5:20:2].” (38)

“The whole point of [Irenaeus’] teaching was, in fact, that Scripture and the Church’s unwritten tradition are identical in content, BOTH being vehicles of the revelation. If tradition as conveyed in the ‘canon’ [i.e. Creeds and teaching of the Church] is a more trustworthy guide, this is not because it comprises truths other than those revealed in Scripture, but because the TRUE tenor of the apostolic message is there UNAMBIGUOUSLY SET OUT.” (39)

“Like Irenaeus, Tertullian is convinced that Scripture is consonant in all its parts, and that its meaning should be clear if it is read as a whole. But where CONTROVERSY with heretics breaks out, the RIGHT interpretation can be found ONLY where the TRUE Christian faith and discipline have been MAINTAINED, i.e. IN THE CHURCH [Tertullian De praescr 19].” (40)

“[Tertullian] was certainly profoundly convinced [De praescr 15; 19; 37] of the futility of arguing with heretics MERELY on the basis of Scripture. The skill and success with which they twisted its plain meaning made it IMPOSSIBLE to reach any decisive conclusion in that field. He was also satisfied, and made the point even more forcibly than Irenaeus, that the INDISPENSABLE KEY to Scripture belonged EXCLUSIVELY TO THE CHURCH, which in the -regula- [rule of faith] had preserved the apostles’ testimony in its original shape.” (41)

“…the ancient idea that the Church ALONE, in virtue of being the home of the Spirit and having preserved the authentic apostolic testimony in her rule of faith, liturgical action and general witness, possesses the INDISPENSABLE KEY to Scripture, CONTINUED to operate as POWERFULLY [in later centuries] as in the days of Irenaeus and Tertullian.” (47)

“It should be unnecessary to accumulate further evidence. Throughout the WHOLE period Scripture AND tradition ranked as complementary AUTHORITIES, media different in form but coincident in content. To inquire which counted as superior or more ultimate is to pose the question in misleading and anachronistic terms. If Scripture was abundantly sufficient in principle, tradition was recognized as the SUREST CLUE TO ITS INTERPRETATION, for in tradition the Church retained, as a legacy from the apostles which was embedded in all the organs of her institutional life, an UNERRING grasp of the real purport and MEANING of the revelation to which Scripture AND tradition alike bore witness.” (47-48)

“Thus in the end the Christian MUST, like Timothy [1 Tim 6:20], ‘GUARD THE DEPOSIT’, i.e. the revelation enshrined in its completeness in Holy Scripture and CORRECTLY INTERPRETED IN THE CHURCH’S UNERRING TRADITION.” (51)

(end of quote from EARLY CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES by J.N.D. Kelly)

LW> 1870 – PAPAL INFALLIBILITY DECREED (II Thess 2:2-12, Rev 17:1-9; 13:5-8,18)

The date is correct — that is when the dogma was defined — but I gather from your biblical references that you believe the Pope is the “Man of Sin” and/or the Beast of Revelation and the Catholic Church is the “Whore of Babylon.”

Oh dear….. You and Mick James would get along just fine.

That’s it for the so-called Catholic “inventions.” Much error, misunderstanding, and outright fabrication in the posts of Les Wilcox has been exposed. Oh boy, did that take a lot of work! You’re welcome, Joe Didde, William Putnam, Sean Brooks, John McIlroy and my other cheerleaders.

Perhaps later I can respond to the following anti-Catholic accusations, further misunderstandings, and outrageous statements made in the posts of Les Wilcox covering the following topics…..

On the Church, St. Peter and the Rock

LW> History does not give any evidence whatsoever of the presence of Peter in Rome.

On Salvation —

LW> Romanism is a complicated system of salvation by works.

LW> The Roman Catholic church, then CURSES PAUL, THE APOSTLE, for his teachings!

LW> The Roman Catholics are as lost as the poor African or Hindu.

LW> Those who insist that there are saved Roman Catholics either do not know the Bible or do not know Roman Catholicism.

On being “Born Again”

LW> And no Roman Catholic is a born-again believer in Christ.

On Purgatory

LW> Nothing and nobody can condemn to Purgatory or to any other place of condemnation those who through Jesus Christ have been made free from all guilt.

On the Mass

LW> This means, according to Roman teaching, that Jesus suffers the terrible agony of Calvary 200,000 times every day!

On the Sacrament of Penance

LW> Confession to a priest is an inducement to commit more sin.

On calling our priests “Father”

LW> Anyone calling himself a spiritual father is anti-christ.

On Jesus and Mary —

LW> He foresaw that she would become the object of great idolatry, would be given the place of Deity by the Roman Catholic system, and would be assigned names properly given to Deity only.

On the Catholic Church and idolatry —

LW> It has further taken deceit as a manner of common operation!

LW> We have read and investigated EACH and EVERY catechism that is being used by the Roman church. EACH one has this same deceit in its pages.

LW> Clearly the Roman Church is acting in direct opposition to the will of God, plainly stated in many verses of scripture…..

We’ll see what kind of response this gets from Les Wilcox and whether or not he wants me to continue…..

How about some “SUBSTANTIATION” from the Bible and from Catholic sources for the above, Les?

I feel like Mike Tyson because I think I already knocked him out in the first round. But anyway…..

PHIL PORVAZNIK (August 1995)

Posted in Apologetics-Pope, CFD VS INC, CFD VS SDA, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER | Leave a Comment »

Have Popes Really Claimed to be God?

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on February 27, 2019

Have Popes Really Claimed to be God?

Retrieve from:


Quotations (more properly, alleged quotations for the most part, as we’ll see later) showing that popes have claimed to be God or equal to God are a staple of anti-Catholic polemics. I recently ran across such a list, and the results of my investigations are below. I suspect the list as I got it is rather old, as its most recent entry dates only to the late 19th Century. The continuing growth of materials available on the Internet has made it possible to shed some light on the facts behind these “quotations”.

The List

  1. Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) wrote: “We may according to the fullness of our power, dispose of the law and dispense above the law. Those whom the Pope of Rome doth separate, it is not a man that separates them but God. For the Pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man but of the true God.” (1 Book of Gregory 9 Decret. c. 3)
  2. The Lateran Council addressing Pope Julius II in an oration delivered by Marcellus said: “Take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which thou hast given us, for thou art our shepherd, thou art our physician, thou art our governor, thou art our husbandman, thou art finally another God on earth.” (Council Edition. Colm. Agrip. 1618)
  3. Pope Nicholas said of himself: “I am in all and above all, so that God Himself and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do… wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God, what do you make of me but God? Again, if prelates of the Church be called of Constantine for gods, I then being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all gods. Wherefore, no marvel, if it be in my power to dispense with all things, yea with the precepts of Christ.” (Decret. par. Distinct 96 ch. 7 edit. Lugo 1661)
  4. The RC New York catechism states: “The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth… by divine right the Pope has supreme and full power in faith, in morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true vicar, the head of the entire church, the father and teacher of all Christians. He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God himself on earth.”
  5. The title “Lord God the Pope” – these words appeared in the Canon Law of Rome. “To believe that our Lord God the Pope has not the power to decree as he is decreed, is to be deemed heretical.” (The Gloss extravagances of Pope John XXII Cum. Inter, tit XIV Ad Callem Sexti Decretalium, Paris, 1685)

    Father A. Pereira acknowledged: “It is quite certain that Popes have never disapproved or rejected this title “Lord God the Pope” for the passage in the gloss referred to appears in the edition of the Canon Law published in Rome by Gregory XIII.”

  6. Pope Nicholas I declared that “the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who being God, cannot be judged by man.” (Labb IX Dist.: 96 Can 7 Satis Evidentur Decret Gratian Primer Para)
  7. Speaking [in] the name of the Pope (a rhetorical device) Cardinal Manning said: “I acknowledge no civil superior, I am the subject of no prince, and I claim more than this, I claim to be the supreme judge on earth and director of the consciences of men, I am the last supreme judge of what is right and wrong.” (Sermon in the Pro Cathedral, Kensington, Tablet Oct 9, 1864)


Cardinal Manning

I can find no better place to start the responses than with the last-given “quotation” from Cardinal Manning. As we shall see, it is no quotation at all.

Rather than provide my own refutation, I would like to quote an anonymous (as far as I can tell) writer in the New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXIX, Issue 41, 10 October 1901, pp. 1-2. A scanned copy of the original article can be found online here.

The article deals well not only with the (fake) quotation in question, but with the tactics used to prepare the entire list given above. (In fact, I am not sure but that the “misquotations, garbled statements, mistranslations, at least one concocted ‘extract’–all secondhand–and … marvellously complete and comprehensive ignorance of Catholic teaching” to which the author refers are not a response to the exact list we now have.) I commend the second paragraph to your particular attention in this regard.

Dr. Starbuck, an eminent American non-Catholic divine, seriously blames some Protestant controversialists, not for lack of honesty, but for being ‘slovenly and inexcusably ignorant’ in their ‘expositions of Roman Catholic history and doctrine.’ ‘The Pope, like the poor,’ he adds, ‘we have always with us, and whenever we will we can do him evil. Well meditated attacks on him easily take the place of knowledge, of cultivation, of good manners, of deliberation in statement, of justice, of charity, and of all other requirements usually supposed to beseem a minister of the Gospel.’ Recent attacks upon the Pope in Christchurch and Dunedin were based upon misquotations, garbled statements, mistranslations, at least one concocted ‘extract’–all secondhand–and on a marvellously complete and comprehensive ignorance of Catholic teaching, of which our assailants knew as little as Bettesworth did of law–and he knew thereof neither ‘text nor margent.’ Our readers will recollect that the late Cardinal Manning was alleged to have said (among other things)–speaking in the name of the Pope; ‘I acknowledge no civil power… I claim to be the supreme judge and director of the consciences of men’; and again: ‘I am sole last supreme judge of what is right and wrong.’[Footnote 1.] We were referred to the London Tablet of October 9, 1864, for these words. But no Tablet was published on that date. We learned by cable message a few days ago that in a discussion on the subject in Melbourne, the alleged doctrinal utterance of Manning was credited to the Tablet of August 6, 1859, but after a most minute examination of the Tablet of that date we can find no trace whatever of anything at all resembling the words attributed to that distinguished convert. Some weeks ago a writer in the Christchurch Press quoted this alleged Manning extract on the authority of ‘the Rev. Mr. Lilley,’ whom he described as ‘an able, eminent Catholic writer’–confounding a Presbyterian clergyman of that name in Arbroath with the distinguished Catholic layman, Mr. W. S. Lilly. When his statement was corrected, he simply sprang a somersault and gave Mr. Grattan Guinness as the authority for the Cardinal’s speech!

Herein lies one of the difficulties of which Catholics experience in defending the fair fame of their Mother Church against the more noisy and ill-informed class of controversialists. A suspicious-looking ‘extract’ is quoted, with suspicious-looking vagueness, from (say) ‘a Catholic writer,’ or ‘a distinguished Catholic theologian.’ You forthwith make a request for name and chapter and verse. This is sometimes met with angry resentment, sometimes by an airy gibe, sometimes by a general statement to the effect that it is in Suarez (or Saurez, as a Wellington enthusiast called him recently), or Aquinas or Bellarmine or De Lugo or Liguori or some other noted Catholic writer–only that and nothing more, and you are left to toil through the 23 massive volumes of one author, or the 17 of another, or the 10 to 20 of the rest. More rarely there is a show of precise reference, but it is commonly found to be inadequate or deceptive–a mockery, a delusion, and a snare–as if one should refer you to ‘the seventeenth verse of the Bible’; or the ‘authority’ is non-existent, like ‘the Tablet of October 9, 1864.’ In the comparatively rare instances in which detailed references are given, you find that the alleged quotation is conspicuously absent, or that the author’s words have been shamefully garbled or mistranslated, or–as in the case of an ‘extract’ recently attributed (in a Dunedin paper) to St. Thomas Aquinas–that not a line of it was ever written by him. If you persecute your opponents on one reference (as, for instance, the Tablet of October 9, 1864), they fly to another (August 6, 1859). You follow the direction indicated by the new sign-post only to find that you have been again chasing a rainbow. And the upshot of the whole thing is this: you find, in practically every instance, that the ‘quotations’ are secondhand or tenth-hand, that they have been carefully and deliberately lopped and chopped and pruned and twisted and contorted till they more or less seriously misrepresent the views of the authors to whom they are attributed, and you not unnaturally conclude that all these inadequate and misleading references are merely so many ruses–the side-jumps of the hunted roebuck–to delay or prevent the discovery and exposure of those discreditable bits of controversial trickery.

It is reasonable to judge a quotation as you would judge a man–by the company it keeps. And the alleged Manning quotation is in decidedly bad company, among a pack of ‘faked’ and concocted and ‘doctored’ extracts of an altogether disreputable kind. It has, moreover, about it a suspicious and guilty look. It is, for instance, set down as Catholic teaching which it would be heresy to deny. Yet there are portions of that precious extract which it would be heresy to maintain; and they differ vastly from the clear-cut expositions and the sharply defined lines between doctrine and inference–between dogma and opinion–which are to be found in acknowledged works of Manning, such as his Petri Privilegium and his Vatican Council. At first blush, therefore, the alleged extract naturally seemed to us, in all its circumstances, to be a fabrication. We, however, declined in express terms to maintain this theory, and admitted the possibility of its publication as the result of ‘a reporter’s blunder and an editorial oversight.’ Despite the misleading references–which were calculated, if not intended, to baffle inquiry–we have at length succeeded in coming across the original report from which the alleged Manning quotation was taken. The report in question is that of a sermon by the late Cardinal on the Syllabus, and it appears in the London Tablet, volume 34, No. 1539, pages 601-602. Towards the end of his discourse Manning tells his hearers the sort of reply which, he fancies the Pope (Pius IX.) would make to the overtures of the advocates of divorce, godless education, endless devisions [sic] in religion, and ‘the absolute renunciation of the supreme authority of the Christian Church.’ The now notorious ‘Manning quotation’ purports to be a faithful transcript of one sentence taken from this part of the late Cardinal’s discourse. But, as we expected, the extract has been grievously lopped and tortured by the enterprising individual through whose instrumentality it first got floated into polemics. (a) He follows the usual plan of tearing it violently away from its context, (b) He turns the one sentence of the report into three–a small matter in itself, but significant as an indication of the man’s ideas of accuracy of quotation, (c) He takes the three vital clauses in the sentence, and, with the fullest apparent deliberation, completely alters their meaning–one by the substitution of one term for another, the other two by the cool omission of two all-important qualifying words. And (d) he tacks on to the end of the extract, as an integral part thereof, a misquotation from the Bull Unam Sanctam, of which not a trace is to be seen anywhere in the report. And then (e) forth steps the Rev. Mr. Gibb and informs all and sundry that this mutilated quotation is a statement of Catholic doctrine–with the rider that it would be heresy to deny it . Whereas, as a matter of fact, in the unmutilated report (for the accuracy of which, of course, we cannot vouch) the words attributed to Manning are not, nor do they pretend to be, a statement of Catholic doctrine.

The Rev. Mr. Gibb, for instance, makes Cardinal Manning, speaking on behalf of the Pope, say the following words: ‘I acknowledge no civil power.’ Now this statement is (a) absurdly contrary to fact; (b) it is untrue in point of doctrine; and (c) it is nowhere to be found in the report. On the contrary (d), Manning, according to the report (p. 601), said:

The civil Society or civil power was a thing sacred in itself. It came from God. It had God as its author, and it most be treated with great veneration. It ia sustained by authority, obedience, and equality–the three laws of the human family, which b«gan with the first family–namely, the parental authority, the filial obedience, the fraternal equality. These three laws existed in human society. God was the author of them, and when families multiplied and combined into races, nations, and States, these three laws, which were domestic and private in the beginning, assumed the public and recognised character of what they called constitutions and kingdoms, from which came monarchies, empires, and civil order throughout the world. The sovereign authority which governed mankind was derived not from the consent of men, bargaining and bartering, and transacting and compromising together as it were in a market-place, but as derived from God Himself, and immediately given to human society. But the particular form in which society may be cast, and the particular person or prince, be it one or many, who bears the sovereign power, come not immediately from God, but mediately from human society. It was of this that St. Paul spoke [p. 602] when he said: ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers,’ though he was then speaking of a heathen Emperor. ‘For every power is of God. He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and he that resisteth shall receive to himielf damnation. St. Paul says this of the civil society or political order of the world–of the Roman Empire, persecuting and pagan, as it then was.

And yet Manning is made, a little lower down in the very same discourse, to attribute to the Pope the false and un-Catholic statement: ‘I acknowledge no civil power!’

‘I acknowledge no civil Power,’ Manning is made to say, voicing what he conceives to be the opinion of the Pope. But Manning says no such thing. He says ‘I acknowledge no civil Superior [which is quite a different thing], I am the subject of no prince.’ In other words, the Pope, who is the head, in spiritual matters, of 250,000,000 Christians, is, by virtue of his office, free from civil subjection, and will not be the tool or puppet or hired man of any political ruler. And this, in brief, is the substance of his answer to those who call upon him to become the obedient subject and servant of the House of Savoy. ‘You ask me,’ Manning makes him say, ‘to abdicate, to renounce my supreme authority. You tell me I ought to submit to the civil power, that I am the subject of the King of Italy, and from him I am to receive instructions as to the way I should exercise my supreme power.’ The concocted statement as to the repudiation of the civil power by the Pope was set forth by the Rev. Mr. Gibb as Catholic doctrine, and our denial of the truth of his assertion was, at least by implication, denounced as an act of heresy. But, as a matter of fact, there is no question or statement of Catholic doctrine in the words reported as used by Manning, which are, in effect, merely a variant on what so strong a Protestant as Lord Brougham said in the British House of Lords when Pius IX. was an exile at Gaeta: ‘Stripped of that secular dominion [the independent temporal power], he [the Pope] would become the slave, now of one Power, now of another: one day the slave of Spain, another of Austria, another of France…. His temporal power is an European question, not a local or religious one; and the Pope’s authority should be maintained for the sake of the peace and the interests of Europe.’

Cardinal Manning was also represented by the Rev. Mr. Gibb as to putting into the mouth of the Pope the statement that he (the Pope) is ‘the supreme judge and director of the consciences of men,’ and the ‘last supreme judge of what is right and wrong.’ And this, too, is set forth as a Catholic doctrine, which it would be heresy to deny. But (a) the quotation, as given, makes the Pope claim to be absolutely the highest judge in matters of conscience and right and wrong–even the Almighty Himself not being excepted; for there is no limiting or qualifying word or phrase. And this, so far from being ‘Catholic doctrine,’ is rank blasphemy. But (b) the report attributes no such sweeping statement to Manning : it simply makes the Pope claim to be in these matters the supreme or highest judge ‘On Earth.’ It is unnecessary to point out, even to persons of the most meagre understandstanding, what worlds apart is the statement attributed to Manning in the Tablet report, and that which is credited to him by the Rev. Mr. Gibb and his Orange and other ‘authorities.’ The suppression of the two vital words referred to above (‘on earth’) is rendered all the more inexcusable by the fact that, on page 602, 22nd and following lines of the report, the position of the Pope is expressly stated to be, not that of one who is absolutely supreme, but that of the vicar, delegate, and representative of Another, and that his teaching and executive authority is not direct but derived, and is for ‘the Christian society’ which Christ founded ‘on earth.’ (c) We are unable to say whether Manning really used the words ‘supreme judge on earth,’ etc., in the connection given in the report. The terms there given are not happily selected, but we are not concerned, in any case, to defend them. They are by no means couched in the precise and careful language of Manning’s works, and represent, at worst, one of those inexact oratorical statements such as slip with painful frequency from the lips of some of our critics, even when they speak–as the Rev. Mr. Gibb did–with copious notes and plenteous ‘extracts’ at hand. We suppose that even a learned Catholic prelate, speaking–as Manning did, in the fiery midst of a period of anti-papal religious and political storm and fury–may not unreasonably plead, as did the Rev. Mr. Gibb, that ‘in the heat of public utterance,’ he might ‘overstate his case’ and feel called upon to suggest that his audience ‘make a liberal reduction’ for ‘the fervor of the platform.’ But it is not true, as alleged by the Rev. Mr. Gibb, that Manning’s reported words are, or profess to be, statements of ‘Catholic doctrine.’

(d) In addition to the grievous manipulations of the text mentioned above, the extract-rigger on whom the Rev. Mr. Gibb relies with a faith that is so simple and childlike, adds one other word to the ‘Manning extract’ that is not contained in the Tablet report, he subtracts three, and he alters no fewer than six! All this violence, be it noted, is done in one sentence of the report, which (as already stated) is at the same time broken up into three. The addition, subtraction, etc., last mentioned do not materially affect the sense of the extract, but they serve, in their way, to further emphasise the reckless manner in which the Rev. Mr. Gibb’s vaunted ‘authorities’ are prepared to twist quotations to suit their turn. (e) Another curious instance of controversial ‘accuracy and scholarship’ is furnished by the concluding sentence of the Rev. Mr. Gibb’s ‘Manning extract,’ already quoted in a footnote to the present paragraphs.

It runs as follows: ‘Moreover, we declare, affirm, define, and pronounce it to be necessary to salvation to every human being to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.’ This, as already stated, is a mistranslation of the concluding sentence of the Bull Unam Sanctam. It is given, within the same quotation marks, as a portion of the Tablet report of Manning’s utterance. But no such words are found either in that or any other part of the Tablet report. They are simply flung in as a make-weight.

We are sorry for those of the extreme section of our fellow-colonists who have of late thought fit to make apparently concerted attacks upon us in Dunedin, Christchurch, and Wellington. The weapons which they employed were boomerangs which have returned and wounded the throwers. The wholesale scale on which sham and ‘faked’ and garbled and concocted ‘quotations’ have of late been used against Catholics in these countries tends to burn into our minds the conviction that the less educated and more violent class of anti-Catholic controversialists hold themselves to be dispensed from the ordinary obligations of truth and charity. We shall be glad to hear what explanation or defence the Rev. Mr. Gibb’s Orange ‘authorities’ have to make for their mutilation of the report of Manning’s discourse. As a matter of elementary fair-play, the columns of this paper are, of course, open to him or them, or to any responsible persons for such reply as they may desire to make. The vogue which the ‘Manning extract’ has of late acquired in these countries, in the mouths of our more violent assailants, is our apology for dealing with it at what may seem inordinate length. Our Catholic readers and our Catholic exchanges everywhere would do well to pigeonhole these paragraphs. The ‘Manning extract’ has proved itself a highly appreciated addition to the long list of Artful Dodger ‘quotations’ that constitute the chief stock-in-trade of the less instructed assailants of the Old Church. It is sure to go far afield, and, even after it has been fully exposed, it will be heard of again–for a period. It is a way that these ‘quotations’ have. When a branch was lopped off Virgil’s inexhaustible tree, another sprung up in its place :

Uno avulso, non deficit alter
Aureus, et simili frondescit virga metallo.

But pollard-willow or spreading broom or Californian thistle or Virgil’s tree–they all give way at last to the patient chip-chipchop of the polished steel. Prompt and repeated exposure, plus the spread of education and training in exact methods of research will, in time, strew the path of the anti-Catholic quotation rigger with so many thorns and spikes and sharpened nails (with inverted divisors) that there will be very few to travel by it. And the cause of truth and peace and religion will be greatly served thereby.

Footnote 1: The full ‘Manning extract,’ as given by the Rev. Mr. Gibb at an Orange demonstration in Dunedin, is as follows:–‘In the Tablet of the 9th October, 1864, the late Cardinal Manning, speaking in the name of the Pope, is reportod thus: “I acknowledge no civil power. I am the subject of no prince, and I claim more than this: I claim to be the supreme judge, and director of the consciences of men–of the peasants that till the field and of the prince that sits upon the throne, of the household that lives in privacy and the legislator that makes laws for the kingdoms. I am sole last supreme judge of what is right and wrong. Moreover we declare, affirm, define, and pronounce it to be necessary to salvation to every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”’

Footnote 2: [Transcriber’s note: I was unable to locate the footnote marker in the main text.] The Rev. J. P. Lilley, a Presbyterian clergyman of Arbroath, was cited by the Rev Mr. Gibb as evidence in support of the notorious ‘Manning extract’ quoted in another footnote to these paragraphs. But (1) in so far as the Rev. Mr. Lilley is evidence at all in this matter, he is evidence against the Rev. Mr. Gibb, for, on p. 235, of his Principles of Protestantism (T. and J. Clarke, 1898–the same edition to which the Rev. Mr. Gibb refers us) the Arbroath clergyman quotes Manning as follows: ‘Speaking in the name of the Pope, Cardinal Manning said: “I acknowledge no civil superior, I am the subject of no prince; and I claim more than this: I claim to be the supreme judge on earth and director of the consciences of man; I am the last supreme judge of what is right and wrong.”’ (The italics are ours.) Such is Lilley’s quotation in full. The most superficial comparison between this and the extract given by the Rev. Mr Gibb will show how widely different they are, not merely in form, but in meaning. (2) Lilley, at least, did not (as reference to the italicised words will show) garble and alter the meaning of the reported utterances of Manning in the wholesale and shameless fashion that the Rev. Mr. Gibb’s other ‘authorities’ did. But (a) he tore the words from their proper context: (b) he omitted, from the very middle of the extract–and without the smallest indication of such admission–no fewer than thirty three words: (c) he referred this mutilated extract to ‘Sermon, Tablet, October 9, 1864,’ which fell on a Sunday, and no Tablet, as we have shown, was published on that date. The Rev. Mr. Gibb vouched for ‘the accuracy and scholarship’ of the Rev. Mr. Lilley. But it seems clear that the Rev. Mr. Lilley’s ideas of accuracy and scholarship either did not rise to the level of consulting the Tablet or of quoting it correctly. We have found his book fairly swarming in places with inaccuracies. Here is one which occurs a few lines above his version of the ‘Manning extract’: ‘By the constitution of the Church of Rome, the Pope is made the absolute lord of the individual mind and conscience.’ (The italics are ours.) As a matter of fact ‘the constitution of the Church of Rome’ does no such thing. The right of absolute lordship over subjects is correlated by the duty of absolute obedience on their part, and the most elementary acquaintance with Catholic teaching on this subject and on the papal prerogatives would have prevented the ‘accurate’ and ‘scholarly’ Mr. Lilley from making a statement so absurd in itself and so directly opposed to fact.

I note that the erroneous Oct. 9, 1864 date is still attached to the fake quotation, which is one of the points that leads me to think the author of the article above has in mind the very list of allegations that are the topic of this web page. Sadly, the anti-Catholic quotation rigger is still alive and well.

Addendum: Out of curiosity, I went looking for places that use this false quotation. It appears in Charles Chiniquy’s alleged memoirs. More surprisingly, perhaps, Upton Sinclair uses it in his The Profits of Religion an Essay in Economic Interpretation. It shows up in several books written in support of Freemasonry. And, of course, it appears here and there on anti-Catholic websites. It does appear that this quotation is not used as frequently as some of the others on the list.

Pope (St.) Nicholas I, first entry

This alleged quotation is again no quotation at all. It is taken from John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, Vol. 4, and as far as I can tell contains no authentic papal statements whatsoever. Foxe was attempting to show what the list compilers are attempting to show–that the popes have taken upon themselves the place of God. He did this by creating a fictitious speech from a fictitious pope setting out all his claims. The “speech” is a series of quotations from various documents either about the papacy or by popes themselves, interspersed with what Foxe thinks the popes were thinking. It is somewhat easier to follow in his original than it is here; the person who compiled the extract for the list either didn’t notice what Foxe had done, or didn’t care. All the distinctions are gone, along with most of the footnotes.

And if we take apart the pieces of the alleged quotation, what do we find?

“I am in all and above all” are Foxe’s own words, put in the mouth of his speaker.

The next part (“so that God Himself and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory,”) is not from a pope at all–here, Foxe is selecting quotations from other writers speaking about the pope, through the artifice of having his fictional mouthpiece pope speak of them with approval. I can’t find the original reference (Hostensius?), so I can’t provide the missing context, nor even check for accuracy of translation.

Likewise, “and I am able to do almost all that God can do” is not from a pope but from some other document speaking of the papacy. Again, I can’t locate the “Summa casuum fratris Baptista”, so I can’t provide context or check the translation.

We now switch to the part that is quoting actual papal documents (to his [slight] credit, it’s not Foxe’s fault that the distinction was lost–he makes it clear that he’s switching).

“… Wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God, what do you make of me but God?” It’s amazing what an ellipsis will hide. The context of this quote can actually be guessed from Foxe’s reference, a decretal from Pope Gregory on transferring bishops. (Note that this is not the reference given in the list. More on that reference at the end of this section!) There was (and is) a train of thought in the Church that sees a bishop’s relationship to his diocese as analogous to marriage–not the same as, but related to. Gregory is arguing here that he does have the power to move bishops, but only because he acts with divine authority. To top it all off, Gregory never said any of the material quoted at the beginning of this paragraph. That’s Foxe putting words into the mouth of his fictitious pope.

As is this: “Again, if prelates of the Church be called of Constantine for gods, I then being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all gods. Wherefore, no marvel, if it be in my power to dispense with all things, yea with the precepts of Christ.” No pope said that. It’s Foxe’s own commentary on Pope St. Nicholas I’s releasing men from oaths made under pressure while in captivity.

In summary:
Actual papal words quoted: 0.
Words quoted from actual Catholic documents: Few.
Stuff Foxe made up: Most of it.

And, ironically enough, that one reference we’re given in the quotation as it stands in the list? It refers to a passage in Foxe’s book that has dropped entirely out of the quotation as it now stands.

Lord God the Pope?

There’s an excellent web page dealing with this claim. To summarize that page: the original edition of the Extravagantes doesn’t contain that passage at all; it appears (allegedly; I have not seen a copy) in an edition printed 300 years later. The passage in question is in a gloss (commentary), not in the main text itself, so even if it were authentic, it would not have the force of law. And, finally, even if the phrase were in Canon Law, it would have no doctrinal force. Canon Law is not intended to present the teachings of the Church and does not do so definitively, though it sometimes repeats those teachings to give context to the canons. So all we have here is a quotation of unknown provenance, added to the text at a later date, that would prove nothing at all even if it had been authentic.

Fr. Periera was an 18th Century Spanish priest. I have not seen a copy of his work either, and the quotation given from it is originally taken from a highly polemical source. I hope the reader will understand by this point if I do not trust quotations taken from such a source. I do not know why Fr. Periera wrote what he is said to have written, nor in what context. But the opinion of one person, even if accurately related (which I doubt), proves nothing.

This, by the way, is easily the most popular of these quotes on the web. Google returns over 7,000 hits for “lord god the pope”.

Pope St. Nicholas I, second entry

The actual Latin text of this entry read:

Satis evidenter ostenditur a saeculari potestate nec solvi prosus nec ligari pontificem, quem constat a pio principe Constantio Deum appellatum, cum nec posse Deum ab hominibus judicari manifestum est.

I translate that as:

It is shown clearly enough that the pontiff, who was called “God” by the pious prince Constantine, is neither loosened nor bound in any way by secular power, since it is manifest that God cannot be judged by men either.

The phrase “who being God,” as the original quotation in the list gives it, is a bad translation; one must twist the second clause (“quem constat …”) pretty heavily to get that reading. Pope St. Nicholas is simply saying that secular powers cannot control the pope, who has his authority from God. The quotation from Constantine (which I have not been able to locate for further context) is perhaps meant to show that one of the greatest emperors deferred to the power of the Church.

Innocent III

The issue about which Pope Innocent III was writing was again the transferring of bishops from diocese to diocese, discussed under the John Foxe pastiche above. The pope is claiming he has the authority to do this not merely as a man and by human authority, but as God’s representative. In other words, it’s a limited claim, not a universal one. No Catholic should be ashamed of a pope’s claim to govern in ecclesial matters with authority entrusted to him by God. That does not make the Pope God; it does not entitle him to worship; it does not take away his humanity; it says nothing more than does Luke 10:16

Lateran V

The list simply says “the Lateran Council”. There were five of them; the one in question must have been the fifth, which was indeed convoked by Pope Julius II, though he died not long after it began meeting.

The quotation is accurate but incomplete. I no longer have ready access to the book in which I found it (an account of the Council that includes not just a summary of the debates and speeches, but the speeches themselves); fortunately, I still have a copy of the relevant portion of this speech:

Ad te igitur supplex tamquam ad verum principem, protectorem, Petrum et sponsum accedo, quem oro, obsecro et obrestor, si quae corporis sunt, temporanea iura respiciunt, armis curasti, nunc quae ad cuiusque animum pertinent, non armis, sed sanctissimis legibus cura. Id namque lingue facilius agere poteris, quam quae hactenus egisti. Cura, inquam, pater beatissime, ut sponsae tuae forma decorque redeat et pulcritudo. Cura, ut grex tibi commissos optimis ac spiritualibus alimentis alatur et vivat. Cura, ut valetudo haec quae totum terrarum orbem invisat, abicedat. Cura, ut fluctanti naviculae, in alto a diris agitatae ventis salutis portus illuceat. Cura ne fruges cuius es cultor, prae nimia ariditate sicceiact. Cura, ut ovile unum fiat, quod modo est in partes divisum. Cura denique, ut salutem quam dedisti nobis, et vitam et spiritum non amittamus. Tu enim pastor, tu medicus, tu gubernator, tu cultor, tu denique alter Deus in terris.

The quotation given in the list covers only the last two sentences of the above. Here’s how the whole paragraph reads:

Therefore I a beggar come to you as to a true prince, protector, Peter [or Rock], and spouse, whom I pray, I beseech and I [? This word is not in my dictionary; I assume it’s a synonymn for the others], if those things which are of the body they provide for with temporal laws, and guard them with arms, now of those things that pertain in any way to the soul, you tend not with arms, but with the most holy laws. So much you are able to do more easily by the tongue than you have already done with arms. Therefore, most blessed father, take care so that beauty and attractiveness may return to the forms of your spouse. Take care so that the flock entrusted to you may be fed with the best spiritual food, and live. Take care so that good health may watch over the whole world, not depart. Take care so a port of safety may shine upon the wave-tossed boats, tossed about in the deeps by the agitation of fierce winds. Take care lest the crops whose farmer you are wither on account of excessive dryness. Take care, so that the sheepfold may be one, for it is now as if divided in parts. In short, take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which you have given us. For you are our shepherd, you are our physician, you are our governor, you are our farmer, you are in short another God on earth.

In other words … it’s not a compliment. The speaker is chiding Julius for caring too much about other things. He’s not flattering him. He’s reminding him of the responsibilities he has to take care of souls by ruling and guiding the Church justly, a responsibility that belongs to Julius because he has the place of God on earth insofar as God has entrusted the care of souls to him. It’s not flattery. It’s not a call to worship. I don’t imagine that Julius was all that happy to hear it.

The New York Catechism

The only answer I have to make to the alleged quotation from this source is if there is a Catholic “New York Catechism”, I have not been able to find it, nor any information about it. The only references I have been able to find to a document under the name “New York Catechism” talk about something prepared by an Episcopal bishop of New York, in an era when Catholicism was not at all popular. If the quotation is from that book and is authentic, it is most likely simply anti-Catholic propaganda. Absent any indication that there is or ever was something called the “New York Catechism” published under the auspices of any Catholic group, there is no way to assess this claim further, except to note that a claim based on a work that no one knows anything about is most unfirmly based.


Of the seven items in the list:

  • One (#3) is almost entirely the words of John Foxe, and therefore not attributable to a pope or to Catholics at all;
  • One (#7) is a complete distortion of what was originally said;
  • One (#5) is a late addition of unknown origin to a text of no doctrinal weight anyhow;
  • One (#4) is quoted from I-know-not-where, having no useful reference;
  • One (#6) is an egregious mistranslation;
  • One (#1) does not claim that the Pope is God, but simply that he is the representative of God on earth, and thus make no claim to divine prerogatives.
  • And one (#2) is actually a rebuke to the pope (delivered with the utmost respect).

I hope that these responses will at least be of use to Catholics who find themselves challenged by this list, and I hope moreover that open-minded inquirers who came here for whatever reason will discover that, whatever arguments might be brought against Catholicism, honesty will not permit the contents of the list to be among them.

Posted in -Catholic Faith Defenders Program, Apologetics-Pope, CFD VS INC, CFD VS SDA, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER | Leave a Comment »

Images in Seventh Day Adventist Church

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on November 8, 2018

Images in Seventh Day Adventist Church

By: Bro. G-one T. Paisones, CFD/CFLAMP



            Recently I read a post in Facebook from Seventh Day Adventist named Warren G. Besiril Vvald attacking the used of images by the Catholic.  Warren quoted Deuteronomy 27:15 with a picture of two persons holding the statue of Sto. Niño of Cebu.  Some Young CFDs who are mutual friends of Warren answer the allegations; yet there is one Pastor and many of his co-members also supported his (Warren) claims.


            As for my reply; I simply put images of Ellen G. White or the latter’s statue plus the SDA Church which has stained-glass window which shows images on it in the comment section and give emphasize that Exo. 20:4-5; Deut. 27:15 and bunch of verses is not absolute but with exception.  This is also the stand of the Catholic Church regarding such matter.  The teaching of the Catholic Church does not tell us that we Catholics should worship the images as God and the used of images in the structural temple of God is Biblical (Exo. 25:18-22; 2 Cron.3:10-14).  And the Lord God urges us to worship Him in His temple which contains images of angels (2 Cron. 7:15-17; Rom. 9:24).


            Some of the members of the SDA including Warren stressed that unlike Catholic Church; they SDA had not worship such images, hence they are excepted to such prohibition found in the Bible; while one of them (SDA) commented that such images are in the back of their (SDA) church unlike the Roman Catholic Church which contain an images in the front area where the lay people can knell in front of it and according to him that knelling is an act of worship. To refute such arguments; I challenge them to produce a Catholic Teaching or Catholic Book that teaches that the images were worship as God.  One SDA member gives the Catechism of Christian Doctrine in paragraph number 13.  As far as my research this reference was used by the INC-minister to discredit the Catholic Apologist avowal that “we Catholics don’t worship images as God.”  In such book; the original language of it was English; and the book state that “Is the veneration of the saints confined to their persons?”  Clearly it uses the word veneration or simply mean respect or homage due to the person or being that were represented by the image.


             And for the issue of the knelling; I commented that knelling in front of images does not tantamount to worship as we can read in 1 King. 8:6-7, 22-23, 54-55 that Solomon had been kneeling (Living Bible Version) and Solomon was not worshiping said images.


Now the question; is the Seventh Day Adventist Church has images in the church premises?  The answer is both in the negative and in the positive, depending on where SDA churches were talking about.  Below are the Seventh Day Adventist Churches which contain images in its location:


Seventh Day Adventist Church of Camino


Elation Broadcast Lighting For Sacramento Central Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Image result for Inside of the seventh day adventist church image


Forest Lake Seventh Day Adventist Church, Apopka, Florida

City Tabernacle of Seventh-day Adventists – New York City



Paradise Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church
2701 E 8th st.
National City CA 91950




Frederick Seventh-day Adventist Church



SDA Opens New Church for Spanish Community




Dallas First Church of Seventh-Day Adventists

Dallas First Church



Forest Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church

Forest Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church - "Where HOPE is Born"



Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

(Bottom Area of the article)













Posted in -Catholic Faith Defenders Program, Apologetics-Statues, SDA, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER | Leave a Comment »

Rev. Fr. Richmond Nilo at ang Iglesia ni Cristo(Manalo)

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on August 16, 2018

Posted in Felix Manalo, Fr. Richmond Nilo, Iglesia ni Cristo-Manalo, Marks of the True Church, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER, Tunay na Iglesia, Video | Leave a Comment »

CFD (Ryan Mejillano) vs Kinawawang INC (Julius Cutin)

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on November 17, 2012

CFD (Ryan Mejillano) vs Kinawawang INC (Julius Cutin)

Tingnan po naman ninyo ang isa nanamang kinawawang Ministro ng INC-Manalo laban sa ating kapatid na si Bro. Ryan Mejillano ng Catholic Faith Defenders.
This four-part video is the supposed discussion turned debate between CFD Bro. Ryan and Minister Julius Cutin of INC(Manalo), Locale of Mintal, District of Davao. It was initiated by the INC (of Manalo) to trap Bro. Ryan thinking that the latter was just a petty and mediocre Catholic Christian. This happened at the residence of an INC member who was very desiroua few months before to engage Bro. Ryan in a debate with another INC (of Manalo) Minister.

Please notice the difference between a Catholic Christian and Iglesia Ni Cristo (Ni Manalo). Notice how an INC Minister delivers his part, his speeches, how he evades from the main topic that was agreed, how he first use foul words from the start to the end of these four videos.

Enjoy and reflect.

Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.

All Rights Reserves
Video Duplication is for back-up purposes only.
Video Courtesy:


Posted in Apologetics-General, Apologetics-Visayan, Bible, Biblia (Visaya), CFD VS INC, Challenge, Debate, Debater of the Year, Doctrinal Comparison, Frequently Asked Questions, How to Help others become Catholic, Iglesia ni Cristo-Manalo, Larawan (Visaya), Marks of the True Church, Q & A, Rebulto, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER, Tunay na Iglesia, Usa ra ang Tinuod nga Iglesia, When Was The Catholic Church founded? | 1 Comment »


Posted by catholicfaithdefender on November 27, 2009


By: Fr. Abe Arganiosa CRS


Caesarea Philippi, the massive Rock formation before which the Lord Jesus promised St. Peter: “You are a rock and on this rock I will build my Church and the gate of hell shall not prevail against it.”

A neophyte Catholic Apologist named Beltran O.P. informed me the other day that Ang Dating Daan preacher Eli Soriano, who is now hiding somewhere for rape case of a male victim, lost his constant companion in debates and in public fora, Bro. Willy Santiago.
The viewers of ADD programs will easily remember Willy Santiago as the guy who has special talent in opening the Sacred Scriptures and read it for Soriano. It is noticeable that while Soriano was speaking and mentioning a Biblical passage, Bro. Willy was ahead of him in finding the chapter and the verse.
Now, Willy left Soriano due to, according to many in the web world, power struggle. Because as Soriano is getting older and is hampered by so many legal cases the one being groomed to be the successor in Soriano’s throne is his favorite newphew, Daniel Razon. This is allegedly unacceptable to many followers, especially to the trained ministers like Willy because Razon is pre-occupied with many businesses and doesn’t show extraordinary talents on Sacred Scriptures as well as public debates. He stresses that Razon never joined the public fora of ADD wherein Soriano or the ministers answer questions on the spot from the audience. And he never joined them in squaring it off with the pastors of opponent religions in public plazas. In short, Willy claims that Daniel Razon got no balls according to ADD criteria. That is a very drastic revelation… tantamout to pulling off the guy’s pants down. Manny Pacquio will not accept that because that is below the belt. Don’t you think so?
Anyway debating is very important for them. Because the sect prided itself on their claim that Soriano is undefeated in debates and that he can answer all questions. So, if ever the successor cannot perform the same then he will be an impotent duck undeserving of respect and loyalty of their seasoned debaters. So, Razon could be good for Peking Duck menu but they prefer one who debates. Imagine, Willy and the ministers are veteran in the battle of the streets and plazas, and suddenly nepotism is creeping in to take away the glory from them. Interesting indeed. He, he, he…
Now, to aggravate the situation few months ago Willy and his cohorts abandoned Soriano and are now appearing in another TV progam in IBC-13 to reveal, guess what, the erroneous doctrines and unchristian activities of Soriano. How kind of him to do that? But of course, Soriano is fuming mad and as a retaliation he issued a Fatwa… I mean Excommunication in a very Christian form worst than the Anathema Sit of the Council of Trent against the Protestants and heretics. Soriano preferred the Pauline language of: “Giving over to Satan”. It means that he was entrusting Willy and his rebel companions to the devil.
Surely, Willy answered. He satirically responded that Eli Soriano could do that because he is on pact with the devil, otherwise how can he be sure that the devil will accept his entrustment. Very reasonable, isn’t he? How can he turn over to Satan his beloved Willy and companions unless he has direct communication with the Angel of Darkness. Very revealing!
To complicate the matter Soriano made Jane Santiago, Willy’s own wife, to appear on national TV to denounce her husband, narrate her ordeal from the so-called battering hand of Willy and his plans to wrist control of ADD from Soriano. How touching! Family matters when mixed with religion and faith always make a melodramic touch on any story. This one is no exception, even with Eli Soriano as its script writer and director. I am almost tempted to believe that the preferred theme song for the program should be Barbara Streissand’s version of Send In The Clown with some touch of The Days We Were. Ha, ha, ha… Bro. Mars will love that.
Willy insists that his reasons to breakaway is purely doctrinal and not carnal in anyway. He listed a lot of doctrinal reasons but I will only point some of them:
1. Soriano’s command that the members kneel in worship ONLY facing the Sun, according to Willy is unbiblical. Really? Ha, ha, ha… Where did Soriano get that doctrine? Guess who?
2. Soriano’s claim that “MAY PUWIT ANG DIOS” [God has a Butt!]. O no, I already pointed out that there should be no below the belt. These two must be very malicious in their actions. Soriano speaks of Butt… very improper especially when applied to the Most High.
So, better for me to stop here. If you want to check their WORD WAR you can check the You Tubes. And if you want to read Willy’s Blog [at least supportive of him], please check this:

Posted in Apologetics-General, Doctrinal Comparison, Frequently Asked Questions, Old Path (Ang Dating Daan), THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER | Tagged: | 12 Comments »

A Challenge From “Ang Dating Daan Member”

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on August 14, 2009

A Challenge From “Ang Dating Daan Member”



A new comment on the post #33 “Ang Dating Daan: An Old Path Incarnate Again” is waiting for your approval

Author : Bro. Paul (IP: ,
E-mail :
URL    :
Whois  :
It’s been a long time since Bro. Eli Soriano have not encounter any catholic deacon for a live tv  debate . The last one was a deacon (Mr. Victor Villas) from Cebu I think.

Dear CFD if you think that Catholicism doctrines is supported by the Holy Bible then “prove it” by challenging our sensible preachers Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon for a live tv debate, Nationwide so that all people could watch..




G-one Paisones’ Reply:  Bro Raul wala ka talagang alam sa mundo ano???  Para malaman mo hindi po deacon si Mr. Victor Villas at hindi po siya kasapi ng samahang Catholic Faith Defender.  Kahit po si Villas ay isang Catholic Defender, peru hindi siya kasama ng mga CFD.  At hindi po namin kilala o naririnig ang pangalang Victor Villas dito sa Cebu at sa Mindanao.


Tungkol sa debate ni Soriano at Villas, alam nating lahat na tinalo ni Villas si Soriano peru ang mali lang ni Villas ay sa Kampo ni Soriano na e-held ang debate kaya ayon puro kantshaw ang inabot ni Villas.


At tongkol sa iyong iminungkahi na CHALLENGING YOUR SENSIBLE PREACHERS, alam nating lahat na hindi ang Katoliko ang nang-aaliposta sa Dating Daan bagkus Ang Dating Daan pa ang tira ng tira sa Santa Iglesia; kaya ang maipapayo ko sa iyo Bro. Paul na si Soriano dapat ang mag hamon sa mga Catholic Faith Defenders ditto sa Cebu o sa Mindanao.


At tongkol sa iyong maling akala na kaming mga Catholic Faith Defenders ay natatakot makipagharap sa inyo sa isang Public Debate, abay akala mo lang yon….


Bro. Paul para sa kaalaman mo, maraming naghahanap kay Eli Soriano para lang madebate siya, peru hanggang sa ngayon ay nagtatago parin si Soriano sa kanyang lungga.


Halimbawa nalang ni Brother Fernan Pricillas isang CFD at National organizer sa Samahang CFLAMP na pinuntahan si Soriano sa Manila para makaharap niya sa Debate, peru sa TV lang pala pweding makaka-usap si Soriano, ayon umuwi nalamang si Bro. Pricillas sa Leyte.


Gusto mo bang patunayan ko na ang mga Dating Daan ang Natatakot makipag debate sa aming mga Catholic Faith Defenders???  Basahin mo ang mga sumusunod:



“Hinahamon ko si Bro. Paul (IP: , sa isang Public Debate, dito sa Gingoog City”.  Pag hindi haharap si Paul pweding humanap siya ng kapalit para iharap sa akin sa isang Public Debate.


Mag reply ka Bro. Paul within one month, pag hindi ka humarap sa akin sa isang Public Debate, ikaw ay B______.


Posted in Debate, Old Path (Ang Dating Daan), THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER | 2 Comments »


Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 28, 2009


Posted By: Bro.Ryan and Sis. Grace

How do we know which the one true church establishes by the Church?

1. By the marks of the church we mean certain clear signs by which all me can recognize it as the true church founded by Jesus Christ.

2.  It is important that we know which is the church established by Christ, in order that we may obey it, as God commands. Then shall we also be certain what to believe and do in order to be saved.

3. The true Church must be that which Christ personally founded, and the apostles propagated. It must have existed continuously since the time of Christ. It must teach in their entirely all the doctrines commanded by the Divine Founder while He was still on earth; and all its members must profess those fundamental doctrines.

4. The True Church must be a visible organization, discernable and discoverable, evidently existing, with clear marks or signs distinguishing it as the Church of Christ.

The chief marks of the Church:

One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic


1. Christ intended His church to be one; therefore the true Church must be one. (Mark 3:24)


2. Christ intended His Church to be Holy ;( John 17:17-19)


3. Christ intended His Church to be universal, that is Catholic; and therefore the True Church must be Universal Catholic.(Matt.18:19)


4. Christ intended His Church to be propagated by His Apostles. (Matt.16:18)

We Prove that the True Church of Christ-is the Catholic Church Because:

1.Only the Catholic Church possesses the marks of the Church established by Christ. That is, Unity, Holiness, Catholicity and Apostolicity.

2.only the Catholic Church throughout its history gives evidence of miraculous strength, permanence, and unchangeableness in its doctrine.

3. Only the Catholic Church has proved itself indestructible for almost two thousand years.  Against  every variety and number of formidable enemies.

4. Only the Catholic Church suffered from persecution and outside attacks and from schism and heresy within its ranks, yet still lives after 2,000 years.

5. Only the Catholic Church has proved itself an exception to the law of decay and death. It has watched the birth and decay of every government on earth for almost two thousand years. In spite  of corruption and persecution, in spite of the combined forces of error and evil, after every attack the Catholic Church rises as the Bride of Christ, ever fresh and fair.

Posted in How to Help others become Catholic, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER, Usa ra ang Tinuod nga Iglesia, What it Means to be Catholic, When Was The Catholic Church founded? | 1 Comment »


Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 16, 2009


By: Fr. Abe Arganiosa, CRS


In an unexpected gesture Bro. Rodimus apologized on the issue of John 4:5 and John 1:1. Once apology is given the love of Christ urges us to accept it. It is a command of charity then to return love for love and from then on walk in the light of Peace. Let us praise the Lord, not because Bro. Rodimus apologized, but because His truth is setting us free. Truly, His great love is without end.
Here is the apology of Bro. Rodimus and followed by my own posted in his blog comment section:
Friday, March 13, 2009

An apology to all

After much consideration on the facts, I hereby admit that I stand corrected on John 4:5 and John 1:1 as well. The posts have been deleted.
Furthermore, I apologize to Defensores Fidei Foundation especially to Atty. Marwil Llasos, Fr. Abe Arganiosa, and Mr. Cenon Bibe for the things I said about them. I was supposed to exchange information instead I ended up trash talking about yourselves. Please forgive my arrogance and sarcasm. So I therefore take back what I said.
I apologize to my colleagues for I went rogue and acted on my own. You don’t have to be held accountable for my actions.
I’m sorry, everyone.
Fr. Abe, CRS said…
N.B.: I capitalized my message for stressing my points and not for any emotional outburst. He,he,he…
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Rev. Fr. Abe P. Arganiosa, CRS

March 13, 2009 6:26 PM

Posted in Bereans, Debate, Doctrinal Comparison, Frequently Asked Questions, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER, Virgin Mary | 4 Comments »

Apologetics for the Masses – Issue #112 (Sola Scriptura)

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 16, 2009


Topic: Apologetics for the Masses – Issue #112

General Comments

Hey folks,

I’ll be in Fayetteville, TN – St. Anthony’s parish – tomorrow morning to give a couple of talks. If you’re in the south central part of Tennessee or the North Central Alabama area, I’d love to have you come by. The talks start at 9:00 AM.

My travel schedule, combined with some other things that are going on right now, has put me behind in getting these newsletters out the last couple of weeks. The next several weeks, though, should be a little less hectic and the newsletters should be pretty regular.

As always, I have very much appreciated the comments regarding the individual chapters of the book. The comments are being read and are being given due consideration, and a lot of your advice and suggestions will be reflected in the final version.

Again, though, you don’t need to comment about spaces between letters and strange characters appearing in the copy – those are server-to-server email translation problems that I can do nothing about. Neither the spaces, nor the extraneous characters are in the original.


This newsletter contains the second half of chapter 3 – the scriptural perspective on Sola Scriptura. Actually, I might go ahead and make it a separate chapter – to keep each chapter relatively short.

As always, comments and suggestions, and editing of typos, misspelled words, grammatical errors, etc. is welcomed and appreciated.

By the way, as it will be stated in the introductory pages of the book, all scripture quotations, unless otherwise stated, come from the Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) of the Bible.


The Perspective Provided by Scripture

We have seen that the doctrine of Sola Scriptura fails the tests of logic and history, but what about the all–important test of Scripture? What does Scripture say about Sola Scriptura? Does the Bible teach that it is the sole infallible authority for deciding matters related to Christian teaching and practice? In other words, does the Bible teach that it is the sole rule of faith for the Christian?

Well, let’s look and see. First of all, it has to be admitted by all that there is no passage in the Bible which explicitly states that the Bible is the “sole authority” for Christians, or the “sole rule of faith” for Christians. But, are there passages that implicitly state this? Proponents of Sola Scriptura say that indeed there are such Scripture passages, and the first such passage they usually turn to is 2 Tim 3:16–17.

Tim 3:16–17 reads as follows: “All scrip ture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” First, as a Catholic, let me say that I agree 100% with this passage. “Amen,” I say! However, it nowhere says anything about the Bible being the sole rule of faith for the Christian.

There are two main things to note about this passage: 1) It says scripture is “profitable”, it does not say scripture is “all sufficient”; in other words, it does not say that the Bible is the sole rule of faith for Christians…the sole authority in matters of faith and morals for Christians; and, 2) Nowhere do we see the word “alone” in this passage, as in “scripture alone”.
What this passage is saying, and all this passage is saying, is that all of Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teachi ng and correction and so forth. As a Catholic, I agree…I agree with that 100%. With every passage of Scripture, I, as a Catholic, agree.
Scripture is indeed inspired and it is indeed profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. We need to read Scripture. We need to know it. We need to ponder it, soak in it, meditate on it, pray it, and be able to share it. But, this passage still doesn’t say Scripture is the sole rule of faith for Christians. People try to force this scripture verse to say something that it doesn’t actually say.
“But,” someone might say, “this verse says that the scriptures are given so that the man of God may be complete, or, as it says in the King James Version (KJV), that the man of God may be perfect.” And they argue that if the Scriptures make one perfect, then there is no need for anything else.
Ther e are, however, a couple of problems with that interpretation. First of all, it doesn’t say Scripture “alone” makes the man of God complete or perfect. For example, a soldier needs a rifle to be complete, to be made perfect for battle. But, is a rifle the only thing he needs to be complete? No. He needs his helmet, his boots, his fatigues, his backpack, his ammunition, and so on. In other words, he needs his rifle to be complete, to be perfect for battle, but not his rifle alone. Just so the man of God in relation to Scripture. He needs the Scriptures to be complete, to be made perfect, but it does not say Scripture alone.
The other problem with this interpretation is presented by Scripture itself. In James 1:3–4, it says this: ”…for you know that testing of your faith produces steadfastness [patience]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James is telling us that steadfastness, or patience, makes the Christian, the man of God, “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
So, what are the implications here? Well, if we interpret this verse the same way Sola Scriptura adherents interpret 2 Tim 3:16–17, then we have a good case for arguing that patience “alone” is all that is needed for the man of God to be made perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Apparently he doesn’t even need Scripture, as long as he has patience. The Bible says that with patience a Christian is “lacking in nothing.” Again, using the method of interpretation used by Sola Scriptura adherents in 2 Tim 3:16–17, we have a pretty good argument that patience alone is all the man of God needs to be complete, perfect, lacking in nothing. It’s not Sola Scriptura, it’s Sola Patientia – patience alone.
Another big problem with 2 T im 3:16–17, for those who try to use this passage as scriptural support for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, is found in the context of the passage itself. These verses apparently prove too much when interpreted as teaching Sola Scriptura. If you go back just one verse and read 2 Tim 3:15, you’ll see what I mean. In verse 15, Paul says to Timothy, “…and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” The sacred writings that Timothy has known from childhood?! Now, even though Timothy was a relatively young man, few, if any, of the books of the New Testament had been written when Timothy was a child. In other words, the “scripture” being referred to here is the Old Testament.
Paul is clearly talking about the Old Testament here. So, if one wants to interpret this passage as “proving” Sola Scriptura, t hen what they are actually “proving” is that it is the Old Testament scripture “alone” that is able to make the man of God perfect. Sola Old Testament Scriptura. Again, Paul is talking about the O.T. here, not the N.T.! So, it would seem to be saying more than any proponent of Sola Scriptura would want to admit to – instead of Sola Scriptura…instead of the Bible alone – it seems to be saying the Old Testament alone is necessary “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Some have argued that even though when Paul wrote 2 Timothy he was indeed referring to the Old Testament, that his words came to include the New Testament scriptures as well, once the various New Testament books were written down. Well, I would agree with that. I agree that Paul’s words to Timothy are applicable to both Old and New Testament scriptures.
However, that does not solve the problem for those who try to find Sola Scriptura in these verses. Paul saying that all scripture is inspired of God and profitable for teaching and so forth is indeed true of all Scripture – Old and New Testament – even if Paul was referring specifically to the Old Testament scriptures at the time he wrote those words. However, if you interpret this verse as teaching Sola Scriptura, you still have an insurmountable problem. The problem is that a Sola Scriptura interpretation gives the verse one meaning when Paul wrote it, but a completely different and contradictory meaning now. It also makes the New Testament scriptures unnecessary for the early Christians.
According to a Sola Scriptura interpretation of these verses, Paul was telling Timothy that the Old Testament alone was the sole rule of faith – the sole authority in matters of faith and morals – for the Christian. That has to be the interpretation becaus e Paul is clearly referring to the Old Testament in these verses. But in our day, the Sola Scriptura Christian rejects the notion that the Old Testament alone is the sole rule of faith for the Christian. Which means, a Sola Scriptura interpretation of 2 Tim 3:16–17 necessitates a change in doctrine. What was supposedly true for Timothy and other early Christians – Sola Old Testament Scriptura – is no longer true for Christians of our age.
So, for a sola scriptura interpretation of these verses to be true, doctrine needs to have changed. Truth, in essence, needs to have changed. But, does truth change? Ever? Do you know of any other place where Scripture gives us a doctrinal teaching that was supposedly true for the early Christians, but is now false for Christians of our time?
Also, when Paul wrote to Timothy, around 65 A.D. or so, several books of the New Testament had indeed been written. But, these we re not books that Timothy would have known “since childhood.” So, again, Paul’s words to Timothy were not referring to these books of the New Testament that had already been written. But, if you interpret these words as teaching Sola Scriptura, then you in essence have Paul saying that, even though many books of the New Testament were in existence at the time of his letter to Timothy, they were basically unnecessary for the man of God to be made complete, to be equipped for all good works or, as verse 15 says, “to instruct you for salvation.”
In other words, to interpret these verses from 2 Timothy as teaching the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is to basically have Paul telling Timothy that the books of the New Testament, which were in existence at that time, were unnecessary for the man of God to be complete – unnecessary for the man of God to be equipped for every good work. Does that make any sense at all? All the Christian “man of God” of the time needed was the Old Testament?
For all of these reasons just mentioned, I think it is indeed a very reasonable position to reject the notion that 2 Tim 3:16–17 teaches the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
“But,” someone might ask, “what about the Bereans?” Acts 17:11 says, “Now these Jews [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” The King James Version of the Bible says that they “searched” the Scriptures daily.
You know, I keep hearing about these Berean folks from Acts 17. And, every time I hear about them, someone is using them to “prove” Sola Scriptura, to prove that one should go by the Bible alone. They say that the example of the Bereans proves Sola Scriptur a, because the Bereans were searching Scripture to see if what Paul was saying was true. But, again, the problem is that nowhere does this verse say the Bereans went by the Bible alone. In fact, it is well known that Jews, whether in Berea or elsewhere, did not go by the Bible alone – they did not practice Sola Scriptura – they believed in authoritative Scripture and authoritative tradition. Which means Jesus, being a good Jew, didn’t believe in Sola Scriptura. And, as I’ve already mentioned, neither did the early Christians.
What was going on here with the Bereans in Acts 17 was this: Paul was preaching to them about Jesus being the Messiah. And Paul, in his preaching, would quote Scripture verses – from the Old Testament – that he would say pointed to Jesus. Paul would say something along the lines of, “It has been testified somewhere…” and the Bereans would then simply open up their Scripture s to verify what Paul was saying. They were not searching the Scriptures to settle doctrinal disputes, they were searching the Scriptures to see if what Paul told them was actually in the Scriptures!
Plus, the fact that the Bereans: a) Didn’t already know the Scripture verses were there, and b) had to “search” the Scriptures to find the verses Paul was quoting, actually might indicate that they weren’t all that familiar with the Scriptures; which, if they were believers in Sola Scriptura, seems to be a pretty odd thing.
Plus, if this verse is a “proof” of Sola Scriptura then you again have the same problem that I mentioned earlier – the Bereans were Jews and the only scriptures they had were the Old Testament scriptures. So, if Acts 17:11 “proves” Sola Scriptura, then it would be proving Sola Old Testament Scriptura.
Furthermore, the fact tha t the Bereans obviously did not understand the true meaning of the Scriptures until Paul explained it to them, actually works against the Sola Scriptura position. One of the necessary corollaries to a belief in Sola Scriptura is the belief in individual private interpretation of Scripture. That each individual, guided by the Holy Spirit, has the ability to read the Bible for themselves – without answering to any outside authority – in order to come to a correct understanding of the truths necessary for salvation.
Yet, the example of the Bereans shows us that this obviously isn’t the case. The Bereans needed Paul to explain the Scriptures to them. The Bereans, left alone with the Scriptures, obviously had not come to a correct understanding of the truths necessary for salvation. They needed a guide, Paul, to correctly interpret Scripture for them. Which means the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, with its corollary of individual private interpretation of Scripture, obviously isn’t supported by this passage from Acts 17 about the Bereans.
Which means, when all is said and done, two of the predominant Scripture passages used by folks to “prove” Sola Scriptura, upon close and thoughtful examination, actually inflict serious, if not fatal, blows upon that doctrine. These passages clearly do not mean what the Sola Scriptura advocates try to make them mean. Furthermore, there are numerous passages that point to the fact that individual interpretation of Scripture…each person reading and interpreting the Bible on their own to determine for themselves what is and is not correct Christian doctrine and practice…is quite contrary to the Word of God.
The Bible states that fairly directly. If we look at 2 Ptr 1:20, we find the following: “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’ s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. I don’t know if it can be said any more plainly or directly that the principal of private interpretation, one of the foundations the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is built upon, is contrary to the Bible.
Look at Acts chapter 8. Acts 8:27–31, “And he [Philip] rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah…So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And [the Ethiopian] said, ‘How can I, unless some one guides me?’”

< div>“How can I, unless some one guides me?” This was obviously an Ethiopian Jew. He was a very educated man, we know that from that fact that he was one of the Queen’s ministers, and not just any minister, but he was, in essence, the Secretary of the Treasury for the entire kingdom of Ethiopia. He was a man of worship, having come all the way from Ethiopia to worship in Jerusalem – no easy task in those days. Yet, what does the Bible say, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And the response, from this educated man who had come from so far away to worship in Jerusalem? “How can I unless someone guides me?”

And what did Philip say in response? Did he say, “Just pray to the Holy Spirit and He will guide you?” No! Philip got up in the chariot with this man and explained the meaning of Scripture to him. Philip was this man’s guide in reading, interpreting, and understanding Scriptur e.
Scripture is very clear, as we see in Peter’s letter, and the Book of Acts – both with the Ethiopian eunuch and the Bereans – and other places as well, that we must have a guide, an authority, other than the Bible, in order to properly understand the Bible. Having a guide to help us properly interpret Scripture is scriptural. Individual interpretation of Scripture, everybody reading the Bible on their own to decide what is and is not correct doctrine…what is and is not sound moral teaching…is not scriptural. In other words, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, is not scriptural.
And, please don’t take me to say that you cannot, as an individual reading Scripture, come to some knowledge of the truth. You can. As I said earlier, we must read the Bible, study the Bible, meditate on it, soak in it, pray it, live it, and breathe it. As St. Jerome once said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ign orance of Christ.” But, there are very many things in the Bible that are difficult to understand. The Bible itself tells us this. 2 Peter 3:16: “There are some things in them [Paul’s letters] hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.”
Scripture tells us that there are some things, in Scripture, that are difficult to understand, and that these things that are hard to understand are important to our salvation. They are not non–essential matters because, as it says, it is possible to twist these things to our own destruction.
What Peter was saying here in 2 Peter 3:16, is that there were a number of folks out there reading the Scriptures on their own, not paying attention to what Peter or Paul or the other Church leaders were telling them, and these people were misinterpreting things in Paul’s letters, and ot her parts of the Scriptures as well, in such a way that it was leading to their damnation. Peter was, in essence, issuing a warning to those who were relying on their own private fallible interpretations of Scripture. That should be a very scary and sobering passage for anyone who believes they can simply pick up the Bible and read it on their own to make a decision in any and all matters pertaining to the Christian faith.
There is another passage I want to mention on this particular topic of needing a guide to properly interpret Scripture. Listen to what St. John says in one of his letters, 1 John 4:6: “We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” This is a verse that wreaks absolute havoc with the notion of Sola Scriptura.
If you asked someone who believes in the doctrine of Sola Scriptura this qu estion: “How do we know the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error?” What do you think they would say? Would they not say something along the lines of, “You get yourself a good Bible and by reading Scripture, and praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance, you can discern the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.” The problem is, though, that is not a biblical answer.
The Bible says that we discern the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error by listening to someone…to “us”…to John and apparently to his fellow leaders in the Church. It further says that if you know God you will indeed listen to these Church leaders. And, if you are not of God, you won’t listen to them. Does that sound like the early Christians believed in Sola Scriptura?
Another passage which tells us the early Christians did not believe in Sola Scriptura is from Acts 15. At the Council of Jerusalem, whi ch is described in verses 6–29, what do we see? We see that a doctrinal dispute arose in the early Church over whether or not the Gentile converts should be circumcised. Well, what did they do? How did they decide the matter? Did they consult Scripture as they should do if they believed in Sola Scriptura? No. They called a council. The leaders of the Church, in a council, decided the first doctrinal dispute in the early Church. The teaching of Sola Scriptura obviously did not exist in the early Church because if it had, and they had indeed gone solely by Scripture to decide this dispute, what would have happened? Well, they would have seen in Genesis how God required circumcision and they would have come to a completely different conclusion than the one they came to.
We have seen, from Scripture, that the early Christians did not believe in Sola Scriptura. We have seen, from Scripture, that relying upon individual interpretation of Scripture to decide on all matters of the Christian faith, is not scriptural. We have seen, from Scripture, that there are some important things in Scripture that are difficult to understand and that can be twisted to one’s own destruction through private interpretation. We have seen, from Scripture, that having a guide to help us properly interpret Scripture is indeed scriptural. And, we have seen that the passages often relied upon to prove the case for Sola Scriptura, when read in context, actually make the case against Sola Scriptura.
Now, one more thing that I wish to discuss, which further damages the Sola Scriptura argument – the matter of tradition. As I stated earlier, the Jews believed in authoritative Scripture and authoritative tradition. For many non–Catholic Christians, though, the word “tradition” is almost like a curse word. They cringe when they hear that word because they have been mistakenly taught that Cathol ics believe in the “traditions of men.” And, as they rightly say, Jesus condemns the traditions of men in the Gospels.
Jesus does not, however, condemn all tradition. Nowhere does Scripture say such a thing. Jesus condemns the traditions of men, but not even all traditions of men. Specifically, Jesus condemns those traditions of men which negate the Word of God. Traditions, in and of themselves, are not bad things. It’s when they negate the Word of God that Jesus has a problem with them.
Again, tradition, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. If it were, then how could the Word of God tell us this: “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” That’s from 2 Thessalonians 2:15. Traditions! Traditions taught by word of mouth, in other words, oral tradition, and traditions taught by letter – w ritten tradition, also known as “Scripture.” Traditions which they are being told to “stand firm and hold to”. In other words, authoritative traditions.
What else does the Bible say about holding on to traditions? 2 Tim 2:2, “…and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Did Paul say, “What you have read in my writing pass on to others so that they may read it, too?” No! Did he say, “What you have heard from me, entrust to faithful men who will write it down for everyone to read for themselves?” No! He said to entrust it to faithful men who will “teach” others. What we have here is an instance, in Scripture, of Paul commanding the passing on of authoritative oral tradition.
1 Cor 11:2, “I [Paul] commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the tradit ions even as I have delivered them to you.” The Corinthians are being commended by Paul because they maintain the traditions that he passed on to them. Authoritative Scripture and authoritative tradition. Or, as we Catholics say, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
Back to Thessalonians: 1 Thes 2:13, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.” So, they received as the Word of God that which they heard, not simply that which they read in Scripture. In Acts 2:42 we read that the first Christians were “continuing steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine,” or the “Apostles’ teaching”.
That’s what Sacred Tradition is – the Apostles’ doctrine, or the Apostles’ teaching, as given to them by our Lord Jesus Christ. As we clearly just saw in several places in the New Testament, traditions that come from the Apostles – because the Apostles were taught by Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit – are not condemned in Scripture. These traditions, these teachings, are considered, as we saw in 1 Thes 2:13, not the word of men – not the traditions of men – but the Word of God.
One last word about tradition. Every church has one or more “traditions” that are not found in the Bible, whether they want to admit it or not. Which books should be in the Bible? Not in the Bible – Tradition. Sunday as the Sabbath. Not in the Bible – Tradition. Wednesday night church meeting. Not in the Bible – tradition. Altar calls. Not in the Bible – tradition. Sola Scriptura. Not in the Bible – tradition. And this last one is a tradition of men that is contrary to the Word of God.

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To close, I believe I have made a very strong and rational argument – from logic, from history, and from Scripture – for why Catholics believe as we do in regards to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Nowhere in Scripture do we see Sola Scriptura used as an operational principle. Nowhere is anyone instructed to consult the Scriptures to solve a doctrinal dispute between Christians. The one place I’ve mentioned where it is said someone went to the Scriptures, the case of the Bereans, was a case of verification – they were simply verifying that the verses Paul quoted were indeed in the Scriptures – it was not a case of using the Scriptures, and individual interpretation of the Scriptures, in order to solve a doctrinal dispute.
Nowhere does the Bible say that, as individuals, reading the Bible on our own, the Holy Spirit will guide us to an infallible interpretation of any and every passage of Scripture. That verse simpl y does not exist. In fact, as I’ve shown, a number of verses do exist that directly contradict that belief.
Ultimately, under a Sola Scriptura system, any dispute between Christians – on matters of doctrine, on matters of morals, on matters of worship, on matters of anything Christian – comes down to this: My fallible, non–authoritative, non–binding, private interpretation of a particular verse or verses of Scripture vs. your fallible, non–authoritative, non–binding, private interpretation of a particular verse or verses of Scripture.
Actually, the problem is even worse than that, because under a Sola Scriptura system, as I mentioned earlier, we can’t even be sure of what the Scriptures are in the first place. So, it essentially comes down to my fallible, non–authoritative, non–binding, private interpretation of a particular verse or verses of something that I th ink is Scripture, but cannot be infallibly sure about; vs. your fallible, non–authoritative, non–binding, private interpretation of a particular verse or verses of something that you think Scripture is, but cannot be infallibly sure about.

Questions to Ask:

1) Did the leaders of the early Christian Church believe in Sola Scriptura? If, yes, then why did they call a Council (Acts 15) to decide a doctrinal dispute, why didn’t they just consult the Bible to settle the matter?

2) When Paul wrote 2 Tim 3:16–17, was the Old Testament alone sufficient for the man of God to be made complete, or perfect? Yes or no? If, yes, then of what need does the Christian have for the New Testament? If, no, then what books of the New Testament, in addition to the books of the Old Testament, did Timothy know since childhood? And, is it then only these books of the New Testament along with the Old Testament that the Christian of the time needed to be made complete, or perfect?

3) Where in Scripture does it say that each person should read Scripture for themselves, to determine by themselves – without reference to any outside authority – what is and is not correct Christian doctrine and practice?

4) At what point did authority for deciding doctrinal matters pass from the leaders of the early Church (as we see, for example, in Acts 15 and 1 John 4:6) to each individual reading the Bible on their own?

5) Is it scriptural to have an authoritative guide for the proper interpretation of Scripture (see Acts 8, for example)?

6) Did Paul commend the Corinthians and the Thessalonians for keeping the traditions he had passed on to them? Yes or no? If, yes, where does the Bible record that every one of these traditions was subsequently recorded in Scripture?

7) If all of the oral traditions Paul passed on to the Corinthians and the Thessalonians, and which he comman ded Timothy to pass on, were not recorded in Scripture, then where is the Scripture verse that says those traditions should no longer be maintained?

Strategy: Asking questions – “How to be Offensive Without Being Offensive” strategy. Any time someone might dispute a Catholic interpretation of Scripture – “But That’s My Interpretation” strategy.

An example of using both of these at one time: If someone says that 2 Tim 3:16–17 isn’t referring to the Old Testament, you can first ask, “Then what are the scriptures Paul is referring to that Timothy has known ‘since childhood’?” Then, when they ignore your question, no matter how many times you ask it, or they provide some explanation that doesn’t really make any sense given the context of the passage, you can simply say, “Look, that’s my interpretation of this passage. Am I not allowed to interpret Scripture for myself? And, if I am allowed to interpret Scripture for myself, then how can you tell me I’m wrong? By what authority do you say that I’m wrong?”

In Conclusion

I hope all of you have a great week! Remember to pray for the economy to bounce back and to especially keep in prayer those who have been put out of work, and to pray for the conversion of our President.



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