You are on page 1of 39

The Catholic Church (Study Outline)

(Revelation 18:4) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. What Is Catholicism? Who founded the Catholic Church? (Jesus or Rome) Was Peter the first Pope? Catholic Theology vs. The Bible. Should we venerate and pray to Mary? The Catholic road to salvation. (grace and good works) The Roman road to salvation. (grace through faith)

What Is Catholicism?
(5 minute summary) The Catholic Church also known as the Roman Catholic Church because of where it originated has over one billion members worldwide. The Church is led by the Pope, who is elected by a council of Cardinals. The stated mission of the church is: To preach the gospel of Christ through out the world; To administer the sacraments and To exercise charity toward the needy. The Catholic Church claims to be the one true church that Christ himself founded and left to his apostles headed by The apostle Peter. Catholic tradition states that the apostle Peter was first bishop or Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Roman

Catholic dogma teaches that Peter started the succession from whom all Popes including the current Pope Francis originate from. Roman Catholic doctrine holds that the words of the Pope (when he claims to be speaking for God) are infallible. This is because Roman Catholicism states that the Pope is the Vicar of God; meaning that he represents God to the people on earth. The name Catholic is derived from the Greek word Katholikos which simply means universal or general. The name Catholic became widely used in the 2nd century.

Who Founded The Catholic Church?

(5 minute summary)
According to Catholic tradition, the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ in Matt. 16:13-20. Jesus commends Peter for his confession of faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. He then says that upon this Rock He will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Catholicism states that the Day of Pentecost sparked the beginning of the Church with Peter being its first bishop or Pope of Rome. They claim that Peter later consecrated Linus to succeed him as the next bishop of Rome. This began the line of

succession that has lead to the current Pope Francis. In our next section we will examine this passage of scripture to see if the scriptures indeed show that Jesus gave Peter the keys to His kingdom and appointed him the leader of His church. There is another person who is claimed to be the founder and first leader and Pope of the Catholic Church. In 312 AD, Constantines launched a military attack against his enemy Emperor Maxentius, with the goal of taking over the Roman Empire. It was during this battle when he apparently saw a sign of the cross in the heavens saying, In this sign Conquer. Being emboldened by this sign he won the battleand owned Rome. In 313 AD he issued the edict of toleration that was supposed to have stopped the persecution and killing of Christians that was started by Emperor Nero.

Constantine not only legalized Christianity but also appointed himself as the Pontifex Maximus (supreme leader) of this new state sanctioned Christian Church.
This is the reason why many say that Constantine was the first leader of the Catholic Church not only because it was during his time that Christianity became an accepted form of worship, but because he appointed himself as the head of the Christian Church of Rome.

The phrase Catholic Church was first found in a letter of St. Ignatius in the year 110.

Was Peter the first Pope?

(10 minutes)
As earlier stated Catholicism states that Peter was the first Pope of Rome. They point to Matthew 16:13-20 as a scriptural proof text for their claim. Let us see if this passage of scripture does indeed valid their claim that Peter was the first Pope of Rome. In the first instance it should be pointed out that Jesus did not say that Peter was the rock upon which He would build His church. The name Peter in Greek is Petros which means little stone or pebble. The Greek word that Jesus used was Petra which means rock. Throughout the bible Jesus is called the Rock upon which our hope of salvation

stands. (Ps.18:2; 31 & 46; Ps. 62:2,6 & 7; Ps. 89:26 and Ps.95:1) Jesus was telling Peter and His disciples that Peters revelation of Jesus being the Christ is the foundation upon which He is going to build his church. One only has to read the next three verses of this passage of scripture to see that Peter could not possibly be the Rock upon which Jesus said He would build His church. 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You! 23 But He turned

and said to Peter, Get behind Me,

Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.
Does it make sense to believe that Jesus would give Peter the keys to His kingdom and say that Peter is the foundation upon which He is going to build His church; and then say to him get behind me Satan! because he misspoke? The answer obviously is NO!!! (Secondly) The keys to the kingdom

were not only given to Peter, but also to all of His disciples. What Jesus was
saying that anyone who acknowledges Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, would like Peter have access to the kingdom of heaven.

John 15:12-14 12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:6 6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Jesus is the Key to the kingdom of heaven and NO ONE will enter into the kingdom of heaven unless they go through Him. Again Jesus made this point clear in John 10:7-9.

7 Then Jesus said to them again, Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

(Thirdly) The bible also makes it clear that Peter did not establish the church in Rome. In fact Peter NEVER had a ministry in Rome. He and the apostle John were chosen to preach the gospel to the Jews. (Gal. 2:7-8) It was the apostle Paul and Barnabas who were chosen by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel to the gentiles. (Acts 13:1-3).
Further more there is strong evidence to suggest that it was Pauls fellow workers

Aquila and Priscilla that founded the

original Church of Rome that met in their house. (Acts 19:1-4 and Romans

(Fourthly) There is also another problem

with the Catholic claim that Peter was the first Pope of Rome and that is that Peter had a wife. (Matt. 8:14-15) Catholics will

say that the practice of celibacy was instituted after the time of Peter. Even if that was the case the question still remains: Why did the RCC command their priests to be celibate?
The apostle Paul says that a Pastor, Bishop or Deacon is to be the husband of one wife. (1 Timothy 3:1-12 & Titus 1:6) Lastly to end all controversy on the matter:

Who does the Bible say is the Head of Christs church? (Colossians 1:15-18)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. The clearly states that Jesus and not Peter as claimed by the Catholic Church is the head of the Church.

Catholic Theology vs. The Bible

(10 Minutes)
Next we are going to look at Catholic Theology, which include their catechisms, dogma, councils and traditions; verses the Bible. I have chosen to point out some of the lesser known CCCs and decrees by the Council of Trent and 2nd Vatican Council.

Interpretation of Scripture
CCC states that: "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in

this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ," The RC Council of Trent decreed that: " one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, -wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold," That is to say that ONLY the RCC can interpret the bible and thus tell the people what it says and thus tell them what they should believe. Foxes Book of martyrs

tells the story of those like William Tyndale and John Huss, who were executed by the RCC for challenging the spiritual authority of the RCC and its interpretation of scripture as well as for preaching that salvation comes through faith alone by grace alone. Tyndale was also executed for the additional crime of translated the bible into English and distributing them to the people.

Biblical Response
In John 16:12-13 Jesus speaking to His disciples says: 12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth,

has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own
authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 2 Peter 2:20 says: 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they

were moved by the Holy Spirit.

You can become a god

CCC says that: The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into

communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The onlybegotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."

Biblical Response
This is the original lie that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. This is the central teaching of the Mormon church, that man can become God, because God was once a man. The RCC say that man can become God or a god because the Son of God became a man.

In Isaiah 44:6-8 God puts an end to this belief. 6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. 7 And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them. 8 Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.

CCC states that: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." Pope Francis has taken this one step further by stating that even atheists can be saved by good works. This is part of the RCCs ecumenical movement to unite all the religions of the world under the umbrella of the RCC.

Biblical Response
1 John 5:10-12 states that He who has

the Son has life and He that doesnt

have the Son does not have life. Both Islam and Atheism deny that Jesus Christ is the Saviour and the Son of the living God.

The 2nd Vatican Council states that: "The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. Gods holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated (atoned for). This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation (atonement) must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments."

Biblical Response
Hebrews 9:11-12 says: 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 10:10 says: 10 . we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

By making this claim the RCC are nullifying Christs work on the cross. Jesus dying declaration on the cross was It is finished. (John 19:30)

The Catholic Mass and Transubstantiation

Lastly we will look at what the 2nd Vatican Council had to say about the Mass and the Eucharist.

The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: The victim is one and the same: the
same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different. In this divine sacrifice which

is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.

The RCC is saying that the Eucharist (the communion wafer) becomes the body of Christ through some mystical ceremony that is performed by the priest. If that is not bad enough they also say that the Eucharist is being sacrificed just like Christ was sacrificed on the cross during this ceremony. Lastly they are saying that this Eucharist that represents Christ needs to be sacrificed on a regular basis. Lastly they are saying that the bloodless sacrifice of the Eucharist is equal to the blood sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Biblical Response
Hebrews 10:29 says:

29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy

who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace
Romans 6:4-6 says: 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they

crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. It is VERY clear that there is no biblical justification for this idolatrous and blasphemous practice that idolizes a wafer and makes a mockery of the

death of Christ. The bible says that Christs on the cross was full and eternal payment for our sins.

Should we Venerate and pray to Mary?

(10 Minutes) The veneration of the Virgin Mary is a core tenant of the Roman Catholic faith. Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the current Pope Francis have all publicly professed their devotion to the Virgin Mary. Let us look at some CCCs and 2 Vatican Council decrees about the Virgin Mary. Mary is the Mother of God. (Divine Motherhood)

Mary was a perpetual virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ her ONLY born child. (Perpetual Virginity) Mary was sinless when she gave birth to Christ and remained sinless until the day of her death. (Immaculate Conception) Mary was taken up to heaven (The Assumption), so that her body would not see corruption in the grave, just like her Son Jesus. Prayers are to be offered to Mary. Mary has the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress and Mediatrix (female mediator). Mary delivers souls from death. Mary gives the gift of eternal life. Mary is to be worshiped. Mary is 2nd only to Jesus. Mary sits at the right hand of Christ.

Mary is our advocate before Christ. No one can come to Christ except through her. Mary through Christs sacrifice has made atonement for our sins. Mary is the all holy one. Mary is the 2nd Eve. By giving her this title the Catholic Church are equating Mary with Christ who was the 2nd Adam who came to redeem us from the original sin that was committed by the first Adam. (1 Cor. 15:45)

The Biblical Response

The first point to be made is that NO WHERE in the bible is Mary referred to as the Virgin Mary, The Mother of God, Advocate, Mediatrix or any of the other titles that the RCC has bestowed upon her.

Jesus NEVER referred to Mary as being His Mother. This point is proven by the following verses. John 2:1-5 1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus said to her, Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come. 5 His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it. Here we see the ONLY time that Mary comes to Jesus to make a special request. This is the passage of scripture that the RCC uses to prove that Mary is the Advocate and Mediatrix which are titles

given to Christ. However, a closer review of these verses proves that she is neither of these things. Firstly John refers to Mary as being the mother of Christ; not the Virgin Mary or Mother of God. Secondly in verse 4 Jesus refers to her as Woman and not mother as you would expect Him to do since she gave birth to Him. Thirdly and most importantly when we read the rest of verse 4 we see that Jesus pushes back on Marys request. This doesnt say too much about Marys influence over her Jesus. Mark 3:32-35 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You. 33 But He answered them,

saying, Who is My mother, or My brothers? 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother. In this passage of scripture Jesus is told that His mother and brothers were outside looking for Him. Jesus responds by asking a VERY thought provoking question: Who is My mother? If Jesus viewed Mary as being His mother, why ask the question. This passage of scripture also proves that Mary had other children. The crowd would not say that His brothers were seeking Him if He didnt have any brother. In Matthew 13:54-58 the people in His hometown say that He has brothers but that He also has sisters. They even go a step further by

naming them. This completely dispels the claim that Mary was a perpetual virgin.

John 19:25-27 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His

mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, Woman, behold your son!
27 Then He said to the disciple, Behold your mother! And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home. Again we see Jesus referring to Mary as Woman rather than mother. The apostles referred to Mary as the mother of Jesus only to confirm the fact that she was the woman that God used to bring His Son

Jesus into the world. NO WHERE in scripture do we see any of the disciples venerating Mary because she gave birth to Jesus. Lastly let look at Luke 2:22-24 22 Now when the days of her

purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought

Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), 24 and

to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of
turtledoves or two young pigeons. These verses clearly show that Mary gave birth to Jesus in a sinful state. If she had Immaculately conceived Jesus as the RCC claims then why did she have to offer the

sacrifice after giving birth to Jesus according to the Law of Moses? The Last time that Mary is mentioned is (Acts 1:14) that says that Mary was among the disciples in the upper room awaiting the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This verse also establishes the fact that after the resurrection of Jesus she was not elevated to an exalted position among His followers. The fact that she is never mentioned in scripture again also proves this.

The Catholic road to salvation

(5 minutes) Catholic Church Catechisms and the 2nd Vatican Council state that a person is saved by the following: Membership in the RCC. Baptism. Penance (making restitution for your sins as prescribed by a priest). Completing the sacraments. Acts of Charity. Keeping the 10 Commandments. Forsaking worldly riches. Seeking God to the best of your ability.

The RCC feels so strongly about its belief that a person cannot be saved by faith alone through Grace alone that in the Council of Trent said that such person should be accursed. "If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema." (Canon 14).

The Roman road to salvation

(5 minutes) What does the bible have to say in response to this? Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. Romans 3:27-28 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law

Romans 9:30-32 (Righteousness is obtained by faith) 30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. In all the passages of scripture we have read we are clearly told that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ and not by works or keeping the 10 commandments. (Romans 10:9-13) tells us what we need

to do in order to obtain salvation from

the penalty of sin and to receive the gift of eternal life.

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.