ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
A Tribute to Catholicism
Protestants have been foes of the Papacy since their sixteenth century schism with that Church. Still, the objective Christian must accord to it some degree of respect and affection for the following reasons:
The Roman Catholic Church is:
1. the Church of Fellow Christians.
2. the Preserver of the Holy Scriptures.
3. the Bulwark of Orthodox Theology.
4. the Inspirer of Early Christian Saints.
5. the Instrument of World Evangelization.
6. the most Ancient Episcopalian Church.
7. the Proponent of Mystical-Spiritual Worship.
8. the Retainer of Primitive Traditions and Customs.
9. the Employer of a most sacrificial Clergy.
10. the Edifier of the Marital Bond.
Errors of Catholicism
Despite many good features and essential orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic Church displays several grave deficiencies out of keeping with the life, mission, and spirit of Jesus Christ.
Salvation by Human Effort (Autosoterism): merits, works, sacraments, rituals, church membership, baptism, asceticism, penance, etc.
Despotic Authority: monarchial-hierarchical organization, papal infallibility, near-deification of a man as the Vicar and Vicegerent of God.
Worship of Lesser Heavenly Personages (Polytheism): the “Mother of God” title for the Virgin Mary (Mariolatry), veneration of saints and angels.
Magic and Superstition: transubstantiation of bread and wine into flesh and blood, worship of relics, reliance upon blessed artifacts (medallions, holy water, statues) and magical gestures (“blessing” and “crossing” motions). “Hoc est corpus meum” (“This is my body”) became the “hocus pocus” of common magicians.
Infant Baptism: magical “conversion” of a baby before it can understand the meaning of salvation and the need to accept the Christian faith - as a conscious decision and dedication to the faith. This results in a false belief in eternal security through mere membership in an organization. It is “proxy salvation,” which is of no effect.
Credulity: acceptance of creedal statements, uncertain traditions, and outright legends on an equal footing with Scripture.
Double Standard Morality: higher standards for clergy versus laity, special holiness of “saints.”
Asceticism and Self-inflicted Physical Abuse: fasting, self-torture, acts of penance, vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and silence.
Apostolic Succession: false claims of lineal descent and magical transference of spiritual powers from Christ, Peter, and the Apostles; claims of papal succession despite gaps in the papal line, wicked popes, and multiple contenders for the papal office.
Intolerance: claims to being the “True Church,” persecution of other beliefs, conversion by torture, conquest, Crusade, and Inquisition.
Union of Church and State: enforcement of canon law, religious taxation, privileged status of the clergy.
Literary Censorship: book banning, withholding of the Bible from the people, authorization of approved writings only.
Legalism: keeping the letter of the law, praying by rote and rosary, chanted liturgies, reading of prayers.
Commercialism: selling indulgences, candles, and masses, use of gambling and sales efforts to raise money, unfair economic competition by tax-exempt use of assets and properties.
Celibacy: opposition to birth control, imposition of clerical celibacy resulting in sexual abuses and perversions, myth of the “ever-virgin” Mary.
Parochialism: separate school systems, walled monastic communities.
Pomp and Wealth: self-aggrandizing concentration of riches in garments, paraphernalia, edifices, monuments, and vehicles, all entirely foreign to the nature and purpose of the Founder of the Faith.
Cultural Repression: based in depressed, backward countries, maintaining the inferior status of women and a subdued peasantry, draining the wealth of the populace to build rich edifices.
THE EVOLUTION OF CATHOLICISM
312 Christianity becomes Roman, when Constantine is converted.
325 Orthodoxy is defined by a Creed at the Council of Nicæa.
366 Bishop Damasus I claims that Rome is the Primary Seat (Prima Sedes) among all bishoprics; hence the term “the See of Rome” from French sie, a variation of Latin sedes.
380 Church and State are joined when Emperor Theodosius proclaims Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
390 Church over State relationship is established when Theodosius is forced to do penance by Ambrose, Bishop of Milan.
431 Mariolatry is accepted when the title Theotokos, “God-Bearer,” is ascribed to Mary by the Council of Ephesus.
c750 Papal power is assumed on the basis of the so-called “False Decretals.” The most famous of these forged documents is “The Donation of Constantine,” which purports to be a grant made by Constantine to Pope Silvester in gratitude for his conversion. This grant gives the Pope dominion over Rome, over Italy, and over the Provinces. These documents later are proven spurious.
800 Church over State relationship demonstrated when Charlemagne is crowned ruler of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III.
843 Statues are permitted in church sanctuaries, at the end of the iconoclastic controversy.
1054 East-West Schism establishes Rome as the head of Western Christendom, but power in the East is lost.
1059 College of Cardinals assumes the power to elect the Pope.
1077 Church over State is again demonstrated when the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, does penance before Pope Gregory VII in order to have his excommunication lifted.
1095 Papal military power is exercised when Pope Urban II initiates the Crusades.
1209 Monastic life is instituted by the start of the Franciscan Order. Pope Innocent III initiates a Crusade that wipes out many inhabitants of Southern France, where the Albigensian heretics reside.
1215 The Doctrine of Transubstantiation (miraculous transformation of bread into flesh and wine into blood) is declared by the Fourth Lateran Council. Also Annual Confession is enjoined.
1216 The Dominican Order is started.
1232 Papal Inquisition is started by Pope Gregory IX. Religious coercion includes torture, dispossession, and public execution.
1382 Bible reading by laymen is opposed when John Wycliffe promotes translation of the Scripures into English.
1557 The “Index of Forbidden Books” is published.
1563 The Apocryphal Scriptures are accepted and Clerical Celibacy is mandated by the Council of Trent - a reaction against the Protestant Reformation, which excluded the Apocrypha and permitted the clergy to marry.
1633 Religion versus Science is typified by the Inquisition’s condemnation of Galileo the astronomer.
1804 State over Church precedent is set when Napoleon crowns himself Emperor. He takes the crown from the hands of the Pope.
1854 The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, the concept that Mary was born without sin, is proclaimed by Pope Pius IX. Initially the Franciscans are for this doctrine, but the Dominicans are against it.
1870 Papal Infallibility is decreed by the First Vatican Council. The Old Catholic Church breaks with Rome over this doctrine. Garibaldi nationalizes the former Papal States.
1929 The Vatican State is created by Mussolini and Pope Pius XI.
1950 The Doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin, the belief that Mary’s body was taken up to heaven, is proclaimed by Pope Pius XII.
1963 Birth Control by means of contraceptives is condemned by Pope Paul VI.
1965 Protestant innovations are introduced by the Second Vatican Council. These include liturgy in popular language, orientation of the priest toward the people, and promotion of Bible reading.
1966 Protestant worship forms are introduced by Charismatic denominations.
Religious Orders formed in the Nineteenth Century:
1800 Madames of the Sacred Heart, 1802 Christian Brothers, 1809 Sisters of Charity, 1812 Sisters of Loretto, 1816 Oblates, 1817 Marist Brothers, 1835 Pallotines, 1838 Ursulines, 1858 Paulists, 1859 Salesians, 1868 White Fathers, 1891 Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
ROMAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY
Office Title Domain
Pope His Holiness, Holy Father The World, the Vatican
Cardinal His Eminence Sacred College (Curia)
(approx. 70) Territory
Archbishop Most Reverend, Province, Archdiocese
Patriarch, (Bishop next in rank to the Pope
Metropolitan with titular or metropolitan jurisdiction)
Papal Nuncio, His Excellency Highest Emissary
Bishop His Excellency Diocese
Abbot, Abbe Right Reverend Bishop of an Abbey
Dean The Very Reverend, Chapter* or Diocese
(First of Ten) Father District
Provost The Very Rev., Father Dignitary of Chapter*
Archdeacon The Venerable Member of Chapter*
(title of honor)
Papal Ablegate Right Rev. Monsignor Diplomatic Envoy to a
Domestic Prelate Right Rev. Monsignor Permanent Papal Attendant
Protonotary Right Rev. Monsignor Clerk of Papal Curia
Vicar-General Right Rev. Monsignor Admin. Deputy of Bishop
Papal Chamber- Right Rev. Monsignor Honorary Papal Attendant
Prior, Claustral Very Reverend, Father Abbey (Cloister)
Prior, Conventual Very Reverend, Father Abbey (Convent)
Priest, Pastor Father Parish, School, Chapel
Rector Father Asst. Pastor or pro tempore
Deacon (no special title), Father Second Rank or Order
Clerk, Curate The Reverend Assistant Rector or Vicar
Monk Brother (Friar) (Can hold any office)
Subdeacon A Layman
*Chapter: a body of canons (staff) of a cathedral or collegiate church.
EPITHETS OF MARY
“Blessed Virgin” (Worship as a lesser Divinity; Mariolatry)
“Panagia” (“All Holy”)
“Æiparthenos” (“Perpetual Virgin”)
“Theotokos” (“God-Bearer” - title rejected by Nestorius)
“Mater Dei” (“Mother of God”)
“Queen of Heaven” (Divine Spouse of God, cf. Ishtar, Isis, Astarte, etc.)
“Mediatrix” (“Female Mediator,” replacing Christ)
“Redemptrix” (“Female Redeemer,” replacing Christ)
“The Immaculate Conception” (Free from Original Sin and Concupiscence)
“Our Lady Immaculate” (Patron Saint of the United States of America)
Dogma proclaimed by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.
Mary’s pre-existent soul was created free from stain, and she was filled with sanctifying grace at the very moment of her conception.
“Our Lady of Assumption”
Dogma proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950.
The body of Mary was elevated to heaven soon after her death to be united with her soul.
“Our Lady of Fatima”
“Our Lady of Lourdes”
“Our Lady of Guadalupe”
“Notre Dame” (“Our Lady”)
“Mater Dolorosa” (“Sorrowful Mother,” Lam. 1:12, Luke 2:35, John 19:25, cf. the Pieta of Michelangelo)
“Handmaid of the Lord” (Gk. Doule: female slave)
“Miriam,” the name “Mary” in Hebrew; in Latin, “Maria.”
“Vessel” (Mennonite concept that Mary did not impart to Jesus any of her nature; her womb was merely a vessel in which the Holy Spirit created and housed the “celestial flesh” of Christ.)
Ave, Maria, gratia plena, Hail, Mary, full of grace,
Dominus tecum. the Lord is with you.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus, Blessed are you among women,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, And blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus Pray for us sinners
Nunc, et in hora mortis nostræ. Now, and in the hour of our death.
ORISON AD VIRGI PRAYER TO THE VIRGIN
O Sanctissima, O Piissima, O Most Holy One, O Most Venerable One,
Dulcis Virgo Maria, Mater amata, Sweet Virgin Mary, Mother beloved,
Intemerata, Ora pro nobis. Stainless One, Pray for us.
“The Rosary is the perfect prayer to our heavenly Queen.
The Rosary multiplies the power of each Hail Mary.”