Protestants and Catholics alike have a serious problem
By the Morris Family (reprinted with permission)
Protestants have a serious problem, and so do we as Catholics. We have had many discussions about the Protestant concept of Christianity. We have difficulty understanding the logic of Protestantism. During years of formal Catholic education, we were taught a straightforward educational method involving logic and historical perspective and not to base religious decisions on emotions. Protestants seem to have a generic view of Christianity. Historical perspective seems to have not been taught to most Protestants as it was in our education background. Their view is most solely based on reading the Protestant Bible. Many religious decisions seem to be based on emotions. Even the most conservative Protestants don’t seem to realize that Protestantism is a form of liberalism that was instituted by liberals. Since achieving salvation is the most important objective of our lives, we feel it most important to discuss this issue. Therefore, we want to review some history and apply some logical conclusions.
Our Lord and Savior preached the Gospel and established His Church on earth between 30 A.D. and 33 A.D. During His Public Life He established Christianity nurturing it in the hands of His Apostles. He appointed Saint Peter as the head of His Church when He pronounced, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (St. Matthew 16:17-19) The Apostles were given the responsibility to teach what He had taught them to the entire world. (St. Matthew 28:18)
In 1350 A.D., nearly 200 years before Martin Luther, John Wyclif, a Catholic priest, advanced one of the currently fashionable non-Catholic/anti-Catholic ideas. Father John Wyclif taught that the Bible alone is the sufficient rule of Faith. Supporting belief in an inward and practical religion, he denied the divinely established authority of the pope and bishops of the Church; he also denied the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and wrote against the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) and the Doctrine of Indulgences. Eighteen of his propositions were condemned by Pope Gregory XI. Father John Hus, a Catholic priest from Bohemia, (now Czechoslovakia) preached the teachings of Wyclif, circa 1400 A.D. Both Wyclif and Hus were convicted of heresy and their teachings were condemned at the Council of Constance in 1415 A.D. Hus, still living at that time, was formally excommunicated from the Catholic Church. In effect, these two priests gave impetus to the formation of a new religion which would operate in opposition to the Catholic Church. So, the question has to be asked. Does this new man-made religion receive approval in Heaven when it acts in opposition to the Catholic Church? If not, then it is totally illegitimate, spiritually worthless, devoid of grace, and entirely displeasing to Almighty God. (And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”)
Martin Luther, a Catholic Augustinian monk and Doctor of Divinity, well known for his lectures on the Bible, became upset about what he considered abuses or unfairness in the distribution of indulgences. In 1517, he posted his ninety-five theses on the front door of All Saints Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany, which was a Catholic Country then. Posting notices on the door of a church or other public buildings was the common practice of announcing one’s views at that time. These theses, written in Latin, listed what he considered to be abuses. These were eventually translated into German and then into other languages and distributed throughout Europe with the help of the new invention, the printing press. Following two years of lengthy discourses with the pope, and his refusal to obey the papal bull, which he publicly burned, he was formally excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He then published articles denying the supremacy of the pope and monastic vows and, in 1522, with that, he formally started his own religion, the Lutheran Church. In 1525, he attempted marriage with a former nun, Katherine Von Bora, by whom he fathered six children. He completed the writing of his own bible by 1534. He had several politically influential friends, many of whom were German princes, who sided with him and supported him in his religious errors. With this political base support, the new religion of Lutheranism spread throughout Germany. His new religion with its new customized bible, now majorly different from the Catholic Religion, has taken many of its tenets from the excommunicated Father Wyclif’s and Father Hus’s religion and becomes the basis for most future denominations of Protestantism. So, the question has to be asked. Does this new man-made religion receive approval in Heaven when it acts in opposition to the Catholic Church? If not, then it is totally illegitimate, spiritually worthless, devoid of grace, and entirely displeasing to Almighty God. (And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”)
In 1527, Henry VIII, the Catholic king of Catholic England, grew tired of his wife, Catherine of Aragon, because she did not bear him a son, and because he was attracted to her personal maid, Anne Boleyn. He petitioned Pope Clement VII to grant an annulment of his marriage. The pope refused, because this is against the law of God and His Church. In 1529, he dismissed his Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, who, as a cardinal, was the representative of the pope in England. He appointed Sir Thomas More, educated at Oxford University, as his new Lord Chancellor. Thomas More resigned in 1532, because of the king’s argument with the pope. In 1533, Henry secretly “married” Anne and then appointed Thomas Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury. Cranmer formulated new church laws which permitted the formal “marriage” of Henry to Anne. In 1534, the Parliament, under the direction of the king, passed laws which enacted the formal break with the Roman Catholic Church and declared Henry VIII the supreme head of The Church of England. Thomas More was asked to sign the document and to recognize the “marriage” between Henry and Anne. He would not do so, and was beheaded in the same year. We now know him as Saint Thomas More, patron of attorneys. By 1539, the government completed the seizure of all church property. Thousands of Catholic priests, bishops and laymen were murdered. Cranmer proceeded to formulate the new religion of England. He wrote the Book of Common Prayer replacing the Roman Missal used in the Mass, and wrote his own version of the bible, replacing the Catholic Bible. Under the reign of King James I, the bible was rewritten into English verse, following Archbishop Cranmer’s interpretation, between 1603-1611 by scholars at Oxford and Cambridge, all of whom were now solidly non-Catholic. This new version is called The King James Version. To illustrate the incorrectness of the original King James Version, centuries later, the English Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), a convert from Judaism to the Church of England, said, with regard to these non-Catholic translations: “We find abundant errors reducing the text to nonsense or blasphemy, making the scriptures contemptible to the multitude who come to pray and not to scoff.” Modern non-Catholic translators have sided with Disraeli. Thirty-six thousand changes in the revised King James Version have been made. Many of these changes corrected obvious distortions. Unbiased scholars of the sixteenth century detected these distortions without any hesitation. Ordinary people, however, lacking the ability to read the Hebrew and Greek texts, easily fell into the mistaken opinions aimed at them by dishonest and incompetent translators. These actions in England created the establishment of another new religion that would be known as Anglicanism, the Anglican Church in England and the Episcopalian Church in the United States. So, the question has to be asked. Does this new man-made religion, its new laws and decrees, receive approval in Heaven when it acts in opposition to the Catholic Church? If not, then it is totally illegitimate, spiritually worthless, devoid of grace, and entirely displeasing to Almighty God. (And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”)
These examples above represent only two of the first denominations of Protestantism. They lead the way for the many future denominations to follow. John Wesley, 1703-1791, following his ordination in the Church of England, headed for the Georgia Colony in America. His mission was to minister to the settlers and Indians. He also hoped a stint in the wilderness would help him sort out his own confused religious beliefs. He preached a personal form of religion based on individual Faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Georgia was a disaster for Wesley. He alienated the Indians with his starchy high churchmanship. He lost credibility with the settlers by getting into an awkward romantic entanglement with the niece of the chief magistrate of Savannah. Later, he formed what is known today as the Methodist Church. These are just a few examples of men who decided that they had a reason to start their own church. Real reforms had taken place in the Catholic Church, but they took place within the Church. Saint Francis of Assisi was one of those many reformers. Reforms were definitely needed in the Church at times. There were abuses involving indulgences. These and other abuses were settled within the Church at various Church Councils. The Council of Trent settled abuses, including those concerning indulgences, at the time of the Protestant “Reformation” in the 16th century. The Council of Trent spent 25 sessions deliberating between 1545 and 1563.
Protestant reformers, who were originally in the Catholic Church, however left the Catholic Church and worked outside of it, forming their own new religions, writing their own versions of the bible, selecting some tenets of Christianity while rejecting others, selecting some sacraments, while rejecting others, most eliminating the priesthood and any form of religious sacrifice. The protestant emphasis on a personal relationship with God based on personal faith led to the same relationship with the Bible. Each individual has his or her own relationship with God and in turn would interpret the Bible based on his or her own personal individual viewpoint. This all leads to personal rationalization and self-justification. By engaging in this practice, each individual, in effect, creates a new god unto themselves. God created us in His own image and likeness. Protestants, and the various Protestant sects, create unto themselves new gods unto their own image and likeness. The differences between Protestantism and Catholicism are substantial. They are different religions. They embrace opposing doctrines and teachings regarding the form of religious adoration or worship, the Sacrifice of the Mass versus a prayer service, the sacraments, the priesthood, who is authorized to go forth to preach the gospel, female ministers (1 Tim 2:11-14)(1 Cor., 14:34) penance involving confession, mortification, the indissolubility of marriage, marriage after divorce, how one receives Grace, how one receives forgiveness, how one achieves salvation, the virginity of Mary or her perpetual virginity, whether Jesus had brothers and sisters and so on. There are no gray areas in Catholicism. There is no doubt.
Everything is clear-cut and straightforward. Protestantism offers only gray areas and a massive amount of disunity and doubt. “He that is not with me is against me: He that gathereth not with me, scattereth.” (Saint Matthew, 12:30) One of the favorite biblical verses for Protestants is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, as to give his only-begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.” A great deal of misinterpretation is applied to this verse. The problem basically gets down to the definition of the word “believe”. Saying, ”Yea, yea, Lord, I believe.” does not lead to instant salvation, but many Protestants say, “I believe, so I am now saved.” Belief involves more than words. What sense is there is saying that one believes, but then insists on not belonging to the Church that Christ founded, by belonging to a man-made religion that opposes the Church that Christ founded? What kind of belief is that? It is belief in a mere mortal man, not in Christ. “Not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (St. Matthew, 7;21)
In Catholic teaching we are forbidden to attend a Protestant service for the purpose of worshiping God. This would be considered a mortal sin against the First Commandment. This was ingrained into our Catholic education. When we grew up and our parents handed down the teachings of our religion, we were taught that going to a Protestant service would be a sacrilege, a grievous sin against the Holy Ghost, against the First Commandment, which is, “I am the Lord, Thy God, Thou shalt not have strange gods before thee.” We studied the Baltimore Catechism. This and the majority of Catholic teaching is contained there (www.baltimore-cathechism.com).
Q. 1148. How do we offer God false worship? A. We offer God false worship by rejecting the religion He has instituted and following one pleasing to ourselves, with a form of worship He has never authorized, approved or sanctioned.
Q. 1149. Why must we serve God in the form of religion He has instituted and in no other? A. We must serve God in the form of religion He has instituted and in no other, because heaven is not a right, but a promised reward, a free gift of God, which we must merit in the manner He directs and pleases.
So, therefore, worshiping in a Protestant church would be worshiping another god, or offering incense to a false idol, or at the very least, offering false worship, all of which, or any of which are serious offenses against the First Commandment. And, now we are advised to go worship with Protestants as a form of ecumenism? Recently, we sent out a question about a recent form of “ecumenism” being practiced in local “Catholic” churches. We asked former Catholic associates why it is that they invite Protestant ministers, including female ones, and Protestant bishops to stand in their sanctuaries to pray in public in front of their congregations. We asked that since these people are not legitimate ministers of Christianity, is that not quite misleading and an erroneous action. We mentioned a senior family member’s letter about that subject and about worshiping in Protestant buildings.. We received some responses explaining that since Protestants have been baptized, they are fellow Christians and are our brothers in the Church. We were taught this about Protestant children as that pertained to their reception of Baptism, but we were taught that that all ended when they reached the age of discretion at 14. The most detailed response was from a “Senior Priest” in the Diocese. He writes, ”… with due respect to your late and beloved mother, she is wrong in criticizing two popes, several cardinal archbishops and the rest of the teaching Magisterium of the Church for their departing at Vatican II from the post-Reformation ban of worshipping with other Christians. The word “ecumenism” means gathering in one ‘oikos’ – Greek for house – as brother and sister Christians. It does not mean converting them. In fact it would be an unchristian insult to them if we were to attempt to convert them under the guise of worshipping with them. Popes have so worshipped with Protestants and Orthodox often since Vatican II.” This individual lists his credentials: 1. Ordained priest in Rome, December, 1968; 2. Doctorate in sacred theology (Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome); 3. Forty years in pastoral ministry; 4.Thirteen years theology professor in three…. Catholic universities; 5 Twenty-nine years social justice columnist in the…. (The Diocesan newspaper); 6. Seven years director of diocesan Institute for Religious Studies.”
This is one of the popular heresies of this new religion. It is called False Ecumenism. In our Catholic education, we were taught that Catholic Ecumenism is to invite those outside the Catholic Church to come to Mass to pray and observe. They were invited to our house (“oikos”). We were never taught, nor did we ever dream of going to a Protestant or Jewish building of worship for the sake of participation. That would be sacrilege. This heresy of False Ecumenism, in addition to many other reversals in this church, such as the new Protestant service which has removed all reference to the Holy Ghost, Saturday/Sunday Sabbath, thousands of annulments per year; in effect, the elimination of the indissolubility of marriage, changes in matter and form of the sacraments, the changing of the words of consecration, communion in the hand, instant canonization of the departed in the new “Christian Burial Rite”, an implicit denial of the existence of Purgatory, and so on and so on, lead us to believe that this, too, is yet another religion, a new Protestant denomination, definitely totally different from the Catholic Faith in which we were reared. It became a new religion formed by men in opposition to the teachings and Tradition of the Catholic Church with the formal signing of the Vatican II Documents on December 8, 1965. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” (St. Paul to the Galations, 1:8)
A subject such as this is very difficult and challenging to propose. Most are born into their given current religious affiliation and because of family loyalty are faithful to it as if it were solid truth. Actually, Protestants are born into or convert into a religion founded 1500 years after the founding of Christianity by Christ. Their Protestant religion is merely 500 years old, one that is based on religions founded by men in the sixteenth century. Those founders, Luther, Cranmer, Calvin, Wesley and many others, represent the real heritage of their religion, even if their particular church was founded just a few years ago. They believe that they are followers of Christianity because the world says they are and because some of the principles they follow are Christian. In fact, they are only partial Christians, part time Christians, imitation Christians, or pretend Christians, since their religions accept only certain tenets of Christianity, but reject many others. They do not realize that their religions are not approved in heaven, or that their ministers have no authority to preach; that they have no Apostolicity.
They do not realize that their worship is not approved in Heaven, but is actually displeasing to Almighty God. “We offer God false worship by rejecting the religion He has instituted and following one pleasing to ourselves, with a form of worship He has never authorized, approved or sanctioned.” (Baltimore Catechism, Answer to Question 1148.) They think that they belong to a religion founded by Christ, but it was founded by scoundrels and murderers, heretics all, who rebelled from the real Christian religion to start their own religion and their own new church. What a heritage! Because of misleading information, they carry with them many misconceptions based on information received through erroneous indoctrination. This advice that we offer is often met with personal umbrage and resistance. Personal pride is wounded and family honor is at stake. Many have belonged to their particular church for many years. It is the center of their social life. This social entanglement becomes a prevailing trap. Too often emotionalism guides their decisions. Few have the spiritual disposition to listen, study and pray upon this advice. They are spiritually blinded. We have talked with many in these situations.
I, too, was in this situation myself. My parents spent two years trying to educate me about the religious error into which I had fallen. I was a leader in my parish, the Liturgy Committee Chairman, a commentator, a lay distributor, the trainer of the commentators and a diocesan fund raiser. They sent me materials weekly in order to point out the errors and the Protestant, non-Catholic leaning of this new religion. Once it finally dawned on me that they were right, I left immediately.
Our recommendation is to stay away from any religious organization that was not actually founded by Christ Himself. They all lead to trouble and confusion. None have the approval of Heaven. This includes the many so-called Traditional Catholic groups such as The Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), The Society of Saint Pius V (SSPV), ORMC, and so on. None of these operate with legitimate jurisdiction. Any organization that is outside of the traditional ecclesiastical hierarchical structure will lead to trouble. One’s nostalgic euphoria may be soothed there, but spiritual benefit is absent. Stay home, listen to Gregorian Chant, and pray to the Holy Ghost that you may receive the strength to remain faithful and receive the gift of eternal salvation. If you pray for and seek Truth, He will lead you to it by making you part of the Catholic Church through your desire to do so. Study the Baltimore Catechism (www.baltimore-cathechism.com). Do not knock on any rectory door of what is known by the world as a Catholic Church. They are no longer Catholic, but have descended into a new protestant denomination. Seek out a faithful Traditional Catholic for guidance. Be very careful! Protestantism is one of the most devious traps the Devil has ever set. He has many other traps prepared for those seeking Truth. Pray and be strong. If you do this, you will finally have a real, holy, spiritually peaceful Christmas season pleasing to Almighty God and a very bright future.
The family of Dolores Rose Morris, A Traditional Catholic Family, seeking to save souls http://www.patrickpollock.com/101heresiesofbenedictxvitract2.html
The Catholic Religion Proved by the Protestant Bible: http://www.whoistheantichrist.org/catholic-reg.html
Traditional Catholic Adoration employing the Sacrifice of the Mass: Traditional Catholic Latin Mass, Easter Sunday, 1941
I have the video. Fulton J. Sheen commentating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6AOvStZS64
Traditional Roman Catholic Mass, Feast of the Sacred Heart http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enWiFcsBqIE