Does “hearing,” necessarily mean Understanding? By Patrick Miron

Does “hearing,” necessarily mean Understanding?

By Patrick Miron

 Certainly the gift of hearing, so often taken for granted, by many of us is seldom contemplated. But there is my friends a different; far more critically important type of hearing that Christianity, not only seldom considers, but do so at the risk of their very salvation, which many hold as an “accomplished facts” based on very human; but not God inspired or approved teachings.

 It is often assumed and even taught that everyone can read and UNDERSTAND the bible. Obviously this can’t be true, or there would not be thousands of different Christian-faiths, based on their own limited and differing understandings of it. God, withholds right understanding as a penalty for accepting beliefs other than what He Ordained through the only Church founded, guided, protected and led by Him. Today’s Catholic Church. And yes this is historically and biblically provable. So friends, the fact that we CAN hear; does not mean that we ALSO understand correctly.

 2nd. Peter 1: 16-21  You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 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.”

 2nd. Peter 3: 14-17 “Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability

 Are you aware friend of the “One Infallible Rule for right understanding of the Bible”Allow me to share it with you. [caps are used for emphasis, NOT shouting here]


Can, May or DOES


Verse, passage or teaching

Have the Power or Authority


Make Void; invalidate or override


Verse, passage or teaching

 Were this even the slightest possibility [ITS NOT], it would render the bible as worthless to teach or learn ones faith.

 Here are but a few Bible teachings on Hearing

 Mt. 13: 15“For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”

 Mt. 13: 16-17“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.  For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them. 

 Mk. 4: 23-25“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said to them: Take heed what you hear. In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured to you again, and more shall be given to you. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, that also which he hath shall be taken away from him.”

 Lk. 8: 8-10“ And other some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, he cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him what this parable might be. To whom he said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand.”

 Lk. 14:34-35“Salt is good. But if the salt shall lose its savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither profitable for the land nor for the dunghill, but shall be cast out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

 Acts 2:14“But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you, and with your ears receive my word”

 Acts 7:51“You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also”

 Acts 28:26-27“Saying: Go to this people, and say to them: With the ear you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive. For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears have they heard heavily, and their eyes they have shut; lest perhaps they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them”

 Matthew 28: 26-20 And the eleven disciples [apostles: see Mt. 10:1-3]  went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.  Go therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded [means: taught, ordained, mandated & commanded]you:and behold I am with youall days, even to the consummation of the world.”

 Pray about it. If your understanding, for whatever reason does not alligh with CC teaching; your Soul is at risk.

God Bless you, Patrick Miron

“Do it anyway” rebloged from the RADICAL Life

The Radical Life
Do it anyway


People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have…and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

– from Mother Teresa’s wall

 Deep down, we usually know what the right thing to do is. But if we simply don’t want to do it, we won’t have any trouble coming up with an endless list of lame excuses to justify not doing it. In fact, some of the excuses may even seem like really good ones.

Do the right thing anyway. It will make all the difference.


By Matthew Warner

Why MUST all Salvation flow through the Catholic Church? by Patrick Miron

“These forums are filled with hardcore Catholics. I saw a thread on here asking whether or not all Protestants go to hell or not.

 Not “all catholics” feel the same way! THAT SAID; I wonder if this person was not only sincere but seeking a better understanding of the Catholic position of: ALL SALVATION FLOWS THROUGH THE CC?

 Some believe this teaching to mean that One must be a member in good-standing of the Catholic Church in order to be saved: And yes there was a time when this was articulated and believed; and YES again; ALL SALVATION must flow THROUGH the CC, as it is the ONLY Christian Church founded by God; not by mortal men….

 However there a more unlighted view [permitted as long as the basic doctrine remains un-changed; that indicates that this MIGHT BE possible for those outside of the CC membership:

 These forums are filled with hardcore Catholics. I saw a thread on here asking whether or not all Protestants go to hell or not. 

  Not “all catholics” feel the same way! THAT SAID; I wonder if this person was not only sincere but seeking a better understanding of the Catholic position of: ALL SALVATION FLOWS THROUGH THE CC?

 Some believe this teaching to mean that One must be a member in good-standing of the Catholic Church in order to be saved: And yes there was a time when this was articulated and believed; and YES again; ALL SALVATION must flow THROUGH the CC, as it is the ONLY Christian Church founded by God; not by mortal men….

 However there a more unlighted view [permitted as long as the basic doctrine remains un-changed; that indicates that this MIGHT BE possible for those outside of the CC membership:

 Catechism of the CC

 The Church is catholic: she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is “missionary of her very nature” (AG 2).

Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

 MY NOTE: This does NOT mean we hold the same faith beliefs in total; nor are we literally members of the “same One Church.”…. it’s Through the CC ….

 “The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.”

 The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains: “For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.”

 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? [B][COLOR=”blue”]Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: 

 Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it

 And YES I’m an OLD TIME LATIN CATHOLIC: All Catholics are morally obligated to accept this teaching! BUT some still hang on to their version of “one” truth.

 God Bless,


“Seven Steps to Personal Holiness” by Mother Theresa of Calcuta

7 Steps to a Holyness – by Mother Teresa

When we are stressed or feel overly burdened in life it’s usually because we’ve gotten our priorities out of order. Here are 7 of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes that will help. When read in this order, they are guaranteed to bring order and peace back to your life. Give them a try.

Step 1: Slow down.

“I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.”

Step 2: Make some room.

“If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that.”

Step 3: Open your eyes.

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Step 4: Put great love into the small things.

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

Step 5: Do not tire.

“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”

Step 6: Remember – it’s faithfulness, not success.

“God doesn’t ask that we succeed in everything, but that we are faithful. However beautiful our work may be, let us not become attached to it. Always remain prepared to give it up, without losing your peace.”

Step 7: Leave the rest to Jesus.

“Be humble and you will never be disturbed. It is very difficult in practice because we all want to see the result of our work. Leave it to Jesus.”

– Radical tip: Give yourself 5 minutes each morning to re-read these again. It will change your life.


a Five “Sola’s” Discussion by Patrick Miron

From your post: [This is an un-going discussion with a well informed Protestant Blogger who is explaining there position vrs our Catholic Understanding, on the “Five Sola’s”

 “How, then, does the Messiah, the God-Man, tell us that we are saved?

“Jesus said to Him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (Jn. 14:6)”

 The disagreement between Protestants and Catholics/Orthodox arise in the realm of sacraments, meritorious works and the role of Mary and the saints (who, to my understanding, form a sort of repository or treasury of faith and works the Christian today can access and benefit from). Let us consider each separately.

 The word “sacrament” is defined as a sacred act or ceremony. Most Protestant denominations engage in only two sacraments, Baptism and Communion/Eucharist, neither of which are understood to confer grace in and of themselves. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, by contrast, defines the sacraments as: [ONLY Baptism is valid and what about Marriage?’

 “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.” (1131)

 In other words, to a Protestant, grace already exists in the life of the Christian by virtue of His belief and the sacraments are the outward signs or rites of that inward reality. The Catholic Church teaches that the sacraments (of which there are seven – Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony) are avenues (instituted” by Christ) through which grace is deposited into the Christian. We may think of Protestants as having an abstract idea of grace while Catholics have a material one, as in comparing a painting of a table to the actual table itself.

 MY RESPONSE [QUITE-a bit late due to my recent travels and limited computer access along my route”] … I am fascinated  by this series and in particular your understanding of the Sacraments and how, if I am understanding you, they have little if any “real” effect on humanities POSSIBLE salvation. I think “Granted” would be a more clear term of what takes place than is the term, “deposited”.

 In order not to belabor the “Catholic Position” on the Soli’s or to defuse or lessen the impact of your teachings, as well as addressing my current temporary time demands, I’ll sort of lump all of your post up to this point in this one personal reply and explanation.

 I’ll attempt to do so by using the example of the Sacraments correctly understood, biblically grounded and God approved and rightly explained., and at the same time by asking and tying in a single; but critical to ones’ own salvation, perplexing question.

 The Question that must be asked and answered is:

Can anyone actually be a “follower of Christ” without: Actually knowing [and and therefore Morally obligating themselves to fully accepting] what Christ Himself, as a Perfect and unerring God has taught, instituted and Ordained? NO! They cannot. The fact that so many attempt to do so is a Grave Error that ONLY God can, and certainly will Judge the merits of.

 Allow me my friend to further address this  question before responding to the issue of the Seven Catholic Sacraments, as these issues are tightly intertwined and have great relevancy to this question both as a legitimate question and its “right response.”

 Here is a site you may wish to check out. It is the comments of a Protestant on the topic of OSAS; which seems to underscore much Protestant thinking?

 My favorite “Faith Book” next to the bible is one authored by the late Archbishop of New York; Fulton J. Sheen whose cause is being studied for possible declaration of Sainthood. It’s entitled “Life of Christ”, and I try to read it annually.

 Here from my “today’s meditation” is a very timely quote: “When Herod saw how the astrologers had tricked him he fell into a passion [fury], and gave orders for the massacre of all male- children in Bethlehem and its neighborhood, of the age of two or less, corresponding with the time he had ascertained from the astrologers. [Mt. 2:16]

 “Herod will forever be the model of those who make inquiries about religion, but who never act rightly on the knowledge they receive. Like train announcers they know all the stations, but never travel. Head knowledge is worthless, unless accompanied by submission of the will and right action.” END. …Surely your aware of Devine Providence in action?

 In a previous response I provided biblical evidence that God; both Yahweh – God and Christ always, with unfailing consistency demanded that we must hold as a singular truth a belief in only One God [that we now know is Triune], always and everywhere and only that One God’s Own Teaching, Commands and ordinances; and that for reasons only God Himself fully understands, only one “church” a term Jesus himself instituted in FORMING His One Catholic Church. [Beyond the logic of “only one” bearing the weight of common logic as the only place to find God’s singular teaching-truths having weight of merit.] … In the Old Testament Times in was the Hebrew nation /”The Jews”; and in New testament / Under a New Covenant in the Blood of Christ Himself it rest with the Only Church, taught, founded, and protected by both the Holy Spirit and Jesus Himself. [Mt. 10: 1-7; and again in Mt 28: 16-20 as well as John 14:16-17; John 17:15-19 and John 20:19-23] It is a FACT that the NT alone has more than 100 references to “only One Church.”

 Gen.26: 5 “because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” ….

 Exod.19: 5 “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine”

 Deut.4: 30 “When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice, Deut.8: 20 “Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your GodDeut.11: 13 “And if you will obey my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods which you have not known“.

 Deut.13: 4You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him, and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and cleave to him. 18 if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all his commandments which I command you this day, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God. Deut.15: 5 if only you will obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment which I command you this day. Deut.17: 12 “The man who acts presumptuously, by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or the judge, that man shall die; so you shall purge the evil from Israel.”


 John.3: 36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.

 Acts.5: 29 “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 32 “And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

 Rom.2: 8 “but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury“.

 2Thes.1: 8 “inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who

do not [FULLY] obey the gospel [SINGULAR] of our Lord Jesus”

 Heb.5: 9 “and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him”

 Heb.13: 17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you

 1Pet.4: 17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

 1John.5: 2 “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.

 Deut.32: 4 “The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he”

 Ps.110: 4 “The LORD has sworn and will notchange his mind, “You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchiz’edek.”

 Mal.3: 6 “For I the LORD do not change…

 Heb.7: 12 “For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 21 Those who formerly became priests took their office without an oath, but this one was addressed with an oath, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, `Thou art a priest for ever.'”

 The overriding issue and “TEST” then becomes total and complete obedience to the Mind, Heart, Will and Demands [mandates, teachings and commands] of our “Just and Unchanging” God, if one is to merit salvation which can only happen in accord to what God / Christ Himself Ordained, instituted, guides, protects teaches and demands. Something which I think we have agreement?

 The term “Protestant” stems from the words “to PROTEST!.” Protest what? Why the Bible itself; the only set of Faith beliefs taught, acceptable and protected by God Himself, and there-by and therefore; God Himself. …Either thee Bible IS Inspired and unfailing in its truths; or it is completely worthless to learn, teach or share God necessary Faith.

 The Basic premise of the many Protestant Faiths rest on the following [seemingly indisputable facts]. 1. God either was wrong in His teachings 2. God did not keep His promises of infallibility [Mt. 16:15-19 and John 20:19-23]on ALL matters Necessary for Faith beliefs acceptable to God as well as ALL Moral issues granted to Peter; the Apostles [Mt. 18:18] and through them to the CC [Mt. 28: 1-16-20] 3. The “church” must have for more than 1,500 YEARS taught incorrectly, or at least incompletely 4. That somewhere hidden in the bible is Gods authorization and approval of personal interpretations with the consequent development of ones own Faith beliefs being completely OK with God. ALL of which presume to either demand a position of  “I“ “know More” or at least “know better” than Christ only Founded Church and Christ Himself [noting that Protestants frequently put “words into the mouth of Christ” in order to alter and in there views “correctly clarify” NOT Christ words; but what Christ actually meant when He said them.] Which would seem to deny that God really is and “must absolutely be“, “Perfect” and unable to lie or deceive? Or that God ordained from the beginning only One set of Faith beliefs as being acceptable to Him. PLEASE feel free to point out what I’m missing here.

 Deut.4: 2 “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it; that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.} … Prov.30: 6 “Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” … Rev.22: 18” I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,”  Wis.12: 10 “But judging them little by little thou gavest

them a chance to repent, though thou wast not unaware that their origin was evil and their wickedness inborn, [BY CHOICE] and that their way of thinking wouldnever change”  Ps.15: 4

“In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change“ .. Hos.4: 7 “The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I willchange their glory into shame”

 Mark 9:7 “And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

 Proverbs 30:5-6  Every word of God is tested;he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Add nothing to his words, lest he reprimand you, and you be proved a liar.

 1 Samuel 15:22-23 “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, 

As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

 Mark 8:34-38 “And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

 Now lets discuss the Seven Sacraments. First lets show a BIBLICAL foundation for each of them.

 Each of the seven  Sacraments were instituted by Christ. Four explicitly and three, implicitly. So LET’S REVIEW THE BIBLICAL FACTS.

 1. Baptism; explicitly: John 3:5 “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

 2. Confirmation: explicitly: John 20:19-22 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” hen he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

 3. Confession / Reconciliation / Penance: explicitly John 20:19- 23 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

 4. Eucharist: The Real Presence: explicitly

 Matthew 26: 26-28

And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.


MARK 14: 22-24

And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it.  And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many


Luke 22: 19-21

And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.


Paul 1 Cor.11: 23-29

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.  And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.  For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: [to be worthy of the privilege]  and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself


John from Chapter 6: 47-57

Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life. I am the bread of life.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me, and I in him.


5. Marriage: implicitly  John 2: 1-9 “On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom … This was the first miracle that Jesus did and one of the few not somehow related to essential elements of our personal salvation. Theologians have attributed the raising of Marriage to a sacramental level as one of the goals and effects of this act.

 This is further augmented by Mark 10: 1-9 “ And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them. And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away.” But Jesus said to them, “For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.’ `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

 6. Holy Orders/The catholic priesthood implicitly

The evidence begins when Jesus gives the Keys to the kingdom of heaven to Peter in Mt. 16:15-19 and is extended to the others in Mt. 18:18. The precise instant though is in John 20:21-22 “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Here Jesus transfers His actual Powers and Authority as God to His new CC. And Formally Ordains the catholic Priesthood.

 Matt. 10: 1-6 “ And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, [6] but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matt. 10: 16 ““Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.  Matt.10: 40 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him whosent me.” Matt. 28: 16-20 “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him.. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

 7. The “Last Rites” the final anointing implicit     Matt. 10:1”And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity”

 James 5: 13-15 Is any one among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

 Isa.45: 9 “Woe to him who strives with his Maker, an earthen vessel with thepotter!

Does the clay say to him who fashions it, `What are you making’? or `Your work has no handles’?”

 Isa.29: 16 ” You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay; that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

 Isa.64: 8 “Yet, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou art ourpotter; we are all the work of thy hand.”

 This my friend is WHY the CC holds to Seven Sacraments; each “Instituted” by Christ Himself. Either explicitly as are Baptism, Reconciliation /Confession of sin, The Most Holy Eucharist and Conformation, and implicitly with the authority handed on to the Church by Christ; founded on Sacred Tradition and the bible in “implicit manner.” …

Marriage, Holy Orders and the Last Rites,  Mt. 16:15-19; Mt. 28: 16-20 Mt. 10: 1-8 and the Transfer of God’s OWN POWERS and authority to the Apostles in Both John 17:15-19 and again in John 20:19-23.

 Now to the Sacraments; Grace and it’s necessity in mans salvation.

 Grace is a “free gift from God” granted in the type, amount to whom HE CHOOSES. [I’ll explain Mary’s Role later]. This Catholics Understand as a Dogma of our Faith [which means that it simply cannot be in error or God is a liar]. While most forms of Grace are initiated By God’s Will ALONE; God ordains, permits, desires and Wills that “sacramental grace” be made “always conditionally-available to His humanity” and that man not only cooperates in this form of grace; but actually causes its application reality by: 1. Proper administration of His priest and 2. the willing desires of the  recipient  who MUST conform to ALL of the conditions prescribed by the Church for proper and full access to these Graces. It is a infusion of Grace by and from God caused [enacted] by human will and compliance to Church commands.

 One of the conditions Christ demands for our personal salvation is total and complete obedience to ALL that He makes possible and Commands. Because We emulate God [Gen. 1:26-27] by being the ONLY Created things to have similar to God, a mind, intellect, FREEWILL [each a “spiritual entity” similar to God Himself],  all permanently attached to our infinite souls; and because of the effects on our souls and freewill imputed by “Original Sin” we have a “Natural Tendency” to sin. Grace, in all of its forms is God’s way through His Love for us, to be enabled IF we cooperate and to the degree that we freely choose to cooperate with God to in a sense, block or alter these sinful inclinations, and thus enable us to remain open to God’s desire and ability to provide us with the graces necessary for our salvation. It is incomprehensible that God DOES allow, even encourage man to access further graces, through the SACRAMENTS including the GREATEST grace available to humanity; [In merit, quantity and Spiritual value], the Most holy Eucharist; the very gift from God the Father; of God the Son By God the Holy Spirit… God Himself. This is precisely why Christ WORDS in John 6: 51-55 have such urgency, Power and Authority and everlasting relevance.

 [51] “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. [52] If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. [53] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? [54] Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. [55] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. [56] For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. [57] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him ” [DR Bible]. … And this IS exactly what takes place in Catholic Holy Communion.

 That God allows mere mortals to be able to have such a HUGE effect on there own salvation which can only be understood by recognizing how and WHY made as He did; and then grasp dimly how much God Loves us and desires that we attain our salvation by our actions and choices. This is also HIGHLY indicative that Salvation is as the CC teaches and proclaims; A PROCESS; not any single act.

 While God can [COULD IF HE CHOOSE TO DO SO] cause salvation; to do so would contradict both His Devine Will and humanities “freewill.” Thus this is an impossibility, a complete Moral and Theological impossibility. God limits Himself to Permit us to Freely choose by total and complete Obedience to His Will and teachings and does NOT coheres or command/demand anyone’s salvation. It is we, us who decide by our actions on either heaven or hell and God confirms OUR OWN choices.

 Have you ever pondered why we Catholics insist on “leaving Christ Corpus on His Cross” and Protestants have removed it? The Theological implications are profound. This act leads naturally to a GREAT vacuum of misunderstanding “where Protestants devise there own suitable salvation needs and Catholics stick to what the bible says, and implies and Sacred Tradition in forming our conditional salvation understanding.”

 Protestants seem to confuse what God COULD DO and WHAT GOD ACTUALLY CHOOSE TO DO.  Our “Omnipotent God” who is CAPABLE of doing any good thing speaks ONLY to Gods ability; NOT to His Divine and Perfect Will which HAS TOO factor in His necessary Devine Justice. The fatal error is mixing what God can do and what God in Devine Justice Wills and has Chosen to do. It really is a “facts versus fiction” comparison.

 Discussing this topic is “a bit dicey” for Catholics because we accept BOTH “the Crucifix” and “The Cross” as completely valid and legitimate signs and evidence of Christ Love for His Created humanity. And “The Church” has no official teaching on this issue that I am aware of, but does command that every Catholic Church have a predominate crucifix visible to all, and further [sadly not adhered too everywhere] every “main altar is to have a “crucifix” visible to the presiding priest during celebration of the Mass.

 For me PERSONALLY the choice of Catholics for the Crucifix and Protestants for a cross is a clear testimony our theologically differing positions relating to our salvation. WHY and HOW this is thus require investigation and discussion.

 While different Protestant Faiths hold differing views [of what can only be a single truth]; the “common ground” seems to be that Christ somehow does all that is necessary for one’s salvation so long as “we believe”, are Baptized and in a “personal relationship” [undefined] with Christ. Everything is somehow magically taken care of for us. Christ has “done everything necessary.” “All” we have to do is accept the benefits is the common Protestant understanding.

 This position would be far more difficult to hold [IMO] were there a more clear understanding of Christ still suffering. The truth and the facts are that CHRIST does continue to suffer from our sins, neglect, denial, rejection at many levels, everyday. And THAT is a primary reason we keep Christ on the Cross. Knowing full well “that Christ [human nature] can and did die only once.” But ever mindful that Christ was in addition to effecting humanities “Redemption” through the Cross [and thus Once Again making heaven a POSSIBILITY…but not effecting anyone’s salvation by or through this Supreme Act alone, ones Salvation ] Jesus is demonstrating for us that Salvation “Comes at a VERY HIGH PRICE.” If Christ “had to die” then we too would in a sense “HAVE TO die with Him.” BECAUSE Christ paid a great price so to MUST WE pay a “great price.” Thus Salvation is a Process NOT the result of any single act on our part.

 The idea that Christ / God would do ALL “of the heavy work” and demand ONLY acknowledging Him as “our God and Savior” in return “to be saved” is shallow thinking, not biblically grounded, and at best recent [a few hundred years] of theological wishful thinking.

 Rom.6: 2-10 “How can we who died to sin still live in it? For he who has died is [means must and ought to be] freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, [conditionally]  but the life he lives he lives to God.”

 Take Up your Cross and Follow Me

 Phil.2: 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross Luke.9 :23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Mark.8: 34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Luke.9: 23 And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke.14: 7 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.Matt.5: 19 “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “ Matt.19: 17 “… If you would enter life, keep [all of] the commandments.”

 Matt. 20: 22-23 “ But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” [WHAT CUP?…  Mark.14: 36 “And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; removethis cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” …] They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

 Because God choose through Devine Providence this “same cup” for ALL of His Apostles [Martyrs all except John whom they attempted to boil alive but failed in killing him] we ought to be able to see that God EXPECTS a lot more from us than “only” acknowledging Him as Our God. Phil.2: 12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” Heb.6: 10 “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.” Rev.2: 23 “and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.” 1 Peter 1: 17 “Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, “

 Lev.19:22 “And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the LORD for his sin which he has committed; and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.” but is what is held as still being valid by most Protestants: …THIS IS THE OLD AND NOW DELETED COVENANT 2Cor.3: 6, 14 “who has made us [the Apostles and through them the CC] competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life.  …But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away… Heb. 8:7 “For if that firstcovenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second.”

Heb.8: 8, 13 ” For he finds fault with them when he says: “The days will come, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

 1Pet.4: 13 ” But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’ssufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed… 1Pet.5: 1, 9  “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.” .. Phil.1: 29 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but alsosuffer for his sake, “ ..

2Thes.1: 5 “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you aresuffering “

 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 John 5:16-17 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, [also] there is sin not leading to death.

 John 20:21-23 “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” . And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. . If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”  [How do you reconcile this with Sola Scriptura?]

 Heb.5 Verses 1 to 6  “For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.”   John.15: 16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

 Now to address briefly a few of your other issues. If my memory serves I addressed Mary and the Saints in a previous response. If you’d like more information please let me know.

Mary is ONLY by God’s benevolence “the dispenser” of ALL graces. God alone determines who, what type, when, and how much grace is to be offered. Once offered and accepted THEN Mary distributes God’s grace.

 Grace takes many forms as it is in accord to God’s Plan essential for our salvation. With the exception of “Sacramental Grace” God ALONE determines who is offered grace, in what form, in what amounts, and on what basis and time-frame. BUT Grace always acts IN US THROUGH GOD to lead us to Him. Grace does NOT “pre-exist” in anyone. What is your biblical foundation for this position?

 Rom.5:1-2 “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.Eph.2: 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God”

 Please check out these sites for the catholic position on Salvations needs

 May Our God continue to Bless and guide you , love and prayers, Pat

A short, but Critial to salvation Teaching by Patrick Miron

“The New Testament is hidden in the Old; while the Old Testament is revealed in the New.”

Saint Augustine

 Is their a teaching-significance in this statement?

 Malachi 3” 6-7 For I am the Lord, and I change not: and you the sons of Jacob are not consumed.  For from the days of your fathers you have departed from my ordinances, and have not kept them: Return to me, and I will return to you, saith the Lord of hosts. And you have said: Wherein shall we return?

 God will send “a Messiah” [a Savior]

 Isaiah 9: 6-9 For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel”

Matthew 16:18-19…And I [God] say to thee: That thou art Peter; and [You] upon this rock I will build my church, [Singular] 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 upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

Luke 1: 26-36“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’ s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God

“Just One” OneGod; OneFaith and One Chosen people / church

 Exodus 6:7-8And I will take you to myself for my people, I will be your God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the work prison of the Egyptians. And brought you into the land, concerning which I lifted up my hand to give it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and I will give it you to possess, I am the Lord.”

 2nd Cor.6: 16-18And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

John 10:16“And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd”

 Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [Singular]built upon the foundation of the apostlesand prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; [Singular] in whom you also are built into it  [Singular] for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

Eph. 4: 1-7 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body [Which means One church]and one Spirit, [One understanding]just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, [Meaning only One set of beliefs] one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

So it is evident that God is consistent as well as  fair In choosing just “one chosen people”, and just one chosen church, having done so both in the Old and New Testaments, and under the past and current Covenant times, before and after the introduction of Faith through Grace into the salvation equation. Eph. 2:8

 Isaiah 55: 6-11Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgiveFor my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it”

Hebrews 4: 11-12Let us hasten therefore to enter into that rest; lest any man fall into the same example of unbelief.  For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

 Jerimiah 11:3-4” And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: Cursed is the man that shall not hearken to the words of this covenant, Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying: Hear ye my voice, and do all things that I command you: and you shall be my people, and I will be your God

Acts 5: 29 & 32“But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men. And we are witnesses of these things and the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to all that obey him”

Hebrews 13:7 “Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversatio


Is the Story of Creation FACT OR FICTION? BY jIMMY AKINS


Is God telling us fictions about the past?

by Jimmy Akin Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:57 PM Comments (10)

Wouldn’t it be great if scientists invented a device that would let us look into the past and see it with our own eyes? Guess what! They have!

Wouldn’t it be great if scientists invented a device that enabled us to have a clear window into the past–so that we wouldn’t just have to read about the past in books?

Instead, with the new device–let’s call it a Time Window–we could actually see events occurring in the past in real time, with our own eyes?

That would be wicked awesome, wouldn’t it?

The exciting news is that scientists have invented this device!

That’s right! The Time Window is real!

What’s more, they invented it just over 400 years ago, so they’ve had the chance to mature the technology to the point that now it’s really, really good.

For comparison, imagine how good an iPhone would be today if Steve Jobs had invented the first one 400 years ago.

The only problem is that they missed a great marketing opportunity.

Instead of calling it the Time Window ™ they gave it a much more boring name . . . the telescope.

How the Time Window Works

The reason that the Time Window–er, telescope–lets us look into the past and see it with our own eyes is that it takes time for light to reach our eyes. The speed of light is not infinite.

Technically, this means that any time you see anything, you are technically witnessing something that happened in the past.

Since light travels so fast, however, if you see someone across the room pick up an iPhone, that happened only the tiniest fraction of a second ago. In fact, you started seeing it while it was still happening. That’s not long enough ago to make it an exciting glimpse into history.

But things get more interesting when you take a telescope at point it at something really distant.

By Jove!

For example, back in 1609, Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope at the planet Jove–er, Jupiter–and discovered that by it there were several moons.

Now the thing is, depending on where Earth and Jupiter are in their orbits, Jupiter is between 33 and 54 light minutes away from Earth.

Let’s just say it’s an average of 44 light minutes away for the sake of simplicity.

That means, it takes 44 minutes for the light from Jupiter to reach an astronomer on Earth.

So when Ga

lileo looked at Jupiter through his telescopes and saw its moons, he was seeing where those moons were 44 minutes ago.

He was viewing actual history that occurred 44 minutes in the past!


Party Like It’s 1879!

The same thing keeps happening when you look further out.

Back in 2008, scientists used one of their spiffy modern telescopes to capture the light in this image . . .

This is an image of the solar system HR 8799.

It’s got a single star in the middle, and we can see that it has at least three planets orbiting it.

What’s more, it’s 129 light years away from Earth.

That means that this image, which was taken in 2008, is of events taking place in 1879.

This is an image of where those planets were in the year that the apparition at Knock, Ireland took place, that the California Constitution was ratified, and that Thomas Edison unveiled incandescent light to the public.

It’s an image of things happening in that year.

Now let’s look really far into the past . . .

An Earth-Shattering Ka-Boom

Also in 2008, astronomers captured an image of a supernova known as SN 2008D.

Here’s a time-lapse image of the supernova happening, both in x-rays and visible light. Take a moment and watch it:

Hoo-eee! It blowed up real good! (Particularly in x-rays.)

Now here’s the thing: SD 2008D is in the galaxy NGC 2770, which is in the constellation Lynx.

It’s also 88,000,000 (88 million) light years away.

That means that when you’re watching the supernova explode in the images above, You Are Watching an Event That Took Place 88 Million Years in the Past.

That’s right. Dinosaurs were roaming the earth when this event took place. It was the middle of the Cretaceous Era.

So What’s This Have to Do with God?

Historically, many people have thought that the universe was only a few thousand years old, based on the most common understanding of Genesis.

Modern science has suggested that it is much, much older.

If the above picture reveals an event that took place 88,000,000 years ago, then the view that the universe is only a few thousand years old can’t be right.

So what alternatives does we have in resolving this situation?

Here are three . . .

Option 1: We’re Really, Really Wrong

One option would be to say that we are really–desperately–wrong in our understanding of science today.

Either light doesn’t travel at the speed we think it does or SN 2008D isn’t as far away as we think it is–or something.

This cannot be ruled out on theoretical grounds. The best scientific thought of the day has turned out to be really, really wrong before.

But how likely is this?

At this point we seem to have very, very good evidence about the age and dimensions of the cosmos, about how fast light travels and how far away things like supernovas are.

Option 2: God Is Showing Us Fictions

Another option would be to say that, when the world began a few thousand years ago, God created light already en route from what appeared to be more distant galaxies.

If that’s the case, then any event we see that appears to be happening more than a few thousand light years away is a fiction.

Beyond a certain point, we’re watching God’s Imaginary Astronomy Show.

Mixed in with God’s Real Astronomy Show that’s taking place closer to home.

That doesn’t seem consistent with God’s Truthfulness.

At a minimum, an advocate of this view would need to provide an explanation for why God would do this, why it wouldn’t be inconsistent with his Truthfulness.

Some have tried to mount such an explanation by saying that God created the world with an “appearance of age,” the same way that he created Adam and Eve as full-grown adults rather than babies.

That is the way Genesis seems to depict the creation of our first parents, since they are both apparently created on Day 6 of the creation week in Genesis 1, and since they are married as soon as Eve is created in the second creation narrative in Genesis 2.

If you think that God used evolution to make the bodies of the first humans (of course, he made their souls directly and immediately) then this issue doesn’t arise–at least not in the same way.

But what if you think that God literally created an adult Adam out of earth and an adult Eve out of Adam’s side? Does that provide much support for the “appearance of age” explanation of distant astronomical events?

I have never thought so.

It’s always seemed to me that, if God were to directly create the first humans as adults, there would be a very good reason for that–namely: Babies Cannot Take Care of Themselves.

Without the presence of other humans–or near-humans–to take care of our first parents, they would need to be adults (or at least teens). Either that, or God would have to run his own, direct daycare service, and Genesis doesn’t suggest that he did.

So I can see a reason why God would make the first humans as adults. That’s because of the incapacity to care for themselves that human infants have.

But that doesn’t give us any reason why God would need to plant false dinosaur bones in the ground or false astronomical images in the sky, let alone mix them up with real ones.

He could have just let God’s Real Astronomy Show play in the sky each night.

The sky wouldn’t have had quite as much stuff in it each night, but it would all have been true stuff.

Option 3: God’s Word in the Heavens and in the Bible Is True

The best approach would seem to be the classic one of saying that God’s word in nature and God’s word in the Bible are both true.

They have to be understood in harmony with each other.

Thus if we have good evidence from God’s word in nature that the universe is quite old then that helps shed light on the meaning of God’s word in the Scriptures.

This is the approach taken by the Catholic Church.

Concerning the creation narrative in Genesis 1, John Paul II stated:

Above all, ths text has a religious and theological importance. It doesn’t contain significant elements from the point of view of the natural sciences. Research on the origin and development of the individual species in nature does not find in this description any definitive norm or positive contributions of substantial interest [General Audience, Jan. 29, 1986].

And the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

283 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man.

These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers.

With Solomon they can say: “It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.


337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine “work”, concluded by the “rest” of the seventh day.

On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation, permitting us to “recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God.”

Having said that, I’m looking forward to seeing more events from distant history–with my own eyes–through the amazing Time Window! (Er, telescope.)

What Now?

If you like the information I’ve presented here, you should join my Secret Information Club.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Secret Information Club is a free service that I operate by email.

I send out information on a variety of fascinating topics connected with the Catholic faith.

In fact, the very first thing you’ll get if you sign up is information about what Pope Benedict said about the book of Revelation.



The Light of Faith & the Eucharist #44 by Pope Francis

Lumen Fidei

The Light of Faith & the Eucharist

 #44. The sacramental character of faith finds its highest expression in the Eucharist.The Eucharist is a precious nourishment for faith: an encounter with Christ truly present in the supreme act of his love, the life-giving gift of himself. In the Eucharist we find the intersection of faith’s two dimensions. On the one hand, there is the dimension of history: the Eucharist is an act of remembrance, a making present of the mystery in which the past, as an event of death and resurrection, demonstrates its ability to open up a future, to foreshadow ultimate fulfilment. The liturgy reminds us of this by its repetition of the word hodie, the “today” of the mysteries of salvation. On the other hand, we also find the dimension which leads from the visible world to the invisible. In the Eucharist we learn to see the heights and depths of reality. The bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ, who becomes present in his passover to the Father: this movement draws us, body and soul, into the movement of all creation towards its fulfilment in God.

 Pope Francis

June 29, 2013

Prayer Advise worth knowing

Prayer Quotes worth knowing


“All that is necessary for evil to attempt us is for man to do nothing”

                                                                                     Edmond Burke


“Those who pray WILL BE SAVED,

  Those who do not will be damned!”

                    Saint Alphonsus Liguori 


“Prayer is the KEY that opens the heart of God”
                                                  Saint Padre Pio


“Prayer is the LIFE of the Soul”

            Father Bill Casey CPM


“Prayer is ALSO allowing God to speak to your mind and heart in silence” 

 Father Bill Casey CPM


“The Key to finding TRUE “Joy”


J= Jesus first in everything

O= Others next

Y= Yourself always last”

                   Mother Theresa of Calcutta


“Prayer is to our Soul as Rain is to the soil”

                              Father Bill Casey CPM


To “live well” is to “pray well”

                         Saint Augustine

History of the CC; long but worth the effort to read

Catholic Church beginnings


According to the scriptural account in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Christian Church began with the Ascension of Christ, 40 days after Easter. From this point on, Christ‘s mission was carried out on Earth by his disciples and Apostles.

 After his death and resurrection, Christ appeared to his disciples proclaiming that he had conquered death and that none need fear death so long as they believed in him. Later, Christ issued the Great Commission by which the disciples of Christ would spread the word of God to all the nations. [Mt. 28: 19-20]  He would continue to teach and prepare the disciples for his Ascension and for the arrival of the Holy Spirit.

 In the tradition of the Catholic Church, Christ commanded Peter to lead his Church, giving him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, [Mt. 16:19] and promised him that whatever he will bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever he looses on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 A week after Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, prompting them to proclaim the Gospels to the people of Jerusalem, who had witnessed the crucifixion of Christ. This beginning of their public ministry is known as Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit not only assisted the disciples in reaching the people, but also enabled them to speak in languages they did not know. [Jn. 20:20-23]

 After the Ascension, the book of Acts records the activities of the Apostles, including Paul of Tarsus who became a disciple of Christ while on the road to Damascus. Each of the disciples traveled to different parts of the Roman Empire in spreading the gospel to all nations. Apostles but also numerous Christians, soldiers, merchants, preachers traveled to northern Africa, Asia Minor, Arabia, Greece, and other places to found the first Christian communities, and over 40 were established by the year 100.

 The Catholic Church believes it came fully into being on the day of Pentecost when, according to scriptural accounts, the apostles received the Holy Spirit and emerged from hiding following the death and resurrection of Jesus to preach and spread his message.

 The Christian community in Jerusalem, where Jesus, many of the twelve Apostles and many eye-witnesses originally lived, had a special position among Christian communities. It experienced conflict and persecution especially in the years 32-33 and 62-63 highlighted by the stoning of Saint Stephen and the Apostle James.  The destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 ended the pre-eminence of Jerusalem and with the consequent dispersion of Jews and Christians from this city, Early Christianity grew apart from Judaism and established itself as a predominantly gentile religion. Antioch became the first Gentile Christian community with stature

 In or around the year 50, the apostles convened the first Church council, the Council of Jerusalem, to reconcile doctrinal differences among the competing factions within the Church. At the Council of Jerusalem in 50 it was confirmed that gentiles could be accepted as Christians. [Acts 15: 1-4 done by Peter]

 The Church of Rome was already flourishing, when, from Corinth the Apostle Paul sent his letter to the Roman Community in the Winter of 57-58 According to the tradition of the Catholic Church, Rome would become the See of Peter, and the center of his ministry.

 At first, Christians continued to worship alongside Jewish believers, but within twenty years of Jesus’s death, Sunday was being regarded as the primary day of worship.

 Growing tensions soon led to a starker separation that was virtually complete by the time Christians refused to join in the Bar Khokba Jewish revolt of 132, however some groups of Christians retained elements of Jewish practice.Church leadership by bishops priests and deacons originated in the New Testament period.. Christianity also differed from other Roman religions in that it set out its beliefs in a clearly defined ay. From as early as the first century, the Church of Rome was recognized as a doctrinal authority because it was believed that the Apostles Peter and Paul had led the Church there.

 The Christian church was fragmented in its early days. Although competing forms of Christianity emerged early and persisted into the fifth century, there was broad doctrinal unity within the mainstream churches.

 From the year 100 onward, teachers like Ignatius of Antioch and Irenaeus defined Catholic teaching in stark opposition to heresies such as Gnosticism.The Roman Church retained the practice of meeting in ecumenical councils to ensure that any internal doctrinal differences were quickly resolved. Partially as a response to the Gnostic teaching, in the 2nd century, Irenaeus created the first known document describing apostolic succession.

 In the first few centuries of its existence, the Church formed its teachings and traditions into a systematic whole under the influence of theological apologists such as Pope Clement I, Justin Martyr and Augustine of Hippo.


In the first centuries of its existence, the Church defined and formed its teachings and traditions into a systematic whole under the influence of theological apologists such as Pope Clement I, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and Augustine of Hippo. Since early Christians refused to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods or to defer to Roman rulers as gods, they were subject to persecution, with varied levels depending upon the policies of the incumbent emperor. The earliest recorded orders of persecution were under Emperor Nero’s rule in the first century, and by the mid-third century it had extended throughout the empire, culminating in the great persecution of Diocletian and Galerius in early fourth century. This was considered a final attempt to eliminate Christianity. In spite of these persecutions, evangelization efforts persisted, leading to the Edict of Milan which legalized Christianity in 313. By 380, Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire.

 From Constantine to Gregory

Council of Nicaea

In 325, the First Council of Nicaea was convened in response to the Arian challenge concerning the trinitarian nature of God. The council formulated the Nicene Creed as a basic statement of Christian belief and divided the church into geographical and administrative areas called dioceses. Although Rome was one of three dioceses whose primacy was officially sanctioned by this council, it had certain qualities that destined it for particular prominence. It was considered the see of Peter and Paul, it was located in the capital of the empire, church scholars were desirous of obtaining the Roman bishop’s support in doctrinal disputes, and it was wealthy and known for supporting other churches around the world. Most of following ecumenical councils sought the approval of the Bishop of Rome, whose delegates usually presided them or were headed by the Pope himself.


Emperor Constantine I established the rights of the Church in the year 315

During the papacy of Pope Sylvester I, Emperor Constantine I commissioned the first Basilica of St. Peter, as well as the Lateran Palace, a papal residence, and several other sites of lasting importance to Christianity. Many standard Christian practices had been established by the end of Constantine’s life including the observation of Sunday as the official day of worship, the use of the altar as the focal point of each church, the sign of the cross, and the liturgical calendar.

 During the following decades a series of ecumenical christological councils codified critical elements of the Church’s theology. The Council of Rome in 382 officially recognized the Biblical canon, listing the accepted books of the Old and New Testament, and in 391 the Vulgate Latin translation of the Bible was made. The Council of Ephesus in 431 clarified the nature of Jesus’ incarnation, declaring that he was both fully man and fully God. Two decades later, the Council of Chalcedon solidified Roman papal primacy which added to continuing breakdown in relations between Rome and Constantinople, the see of the Eastern Church. Also sparked were the Monophysite disagreements over the precise nature of the incarnation of Jesus which led to the first of the various Oriental Orthodox Churches breaking away from the Catholic Church.

 Middle Ages Early Middle Ages

Further information: Byzantine Papacy, Middle Ages, and Christian monasticism

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the Catholic faith competed with Arianism for the conversion of the barbarian tribes. The 496 conversion of Clovis I, pagan king of the Franks, saw the beginning of a steady rise of the faith in the West.

Saint Benedict, father of Western monasticism and author of Rule of St Benedict. Detail from fresco by Fra Angelico, c. 1437–46.

 In 530, Saint Benedict wrote his Rule of St Benedict as a practical guide for monastic community life. Its message spread to monasteries throughout Europe. Monasteries became major conduits of civilization, preserving craft and artistic skills while maintaining intellectual culture within their schools, scriptoria and libraries. They functioned as agricultural, economic and production centers as well as a focus for spiritual life.

 During this period the Visigoths and Lombards moved away from Arianism for Catholicism. Pope Gregory the Great played a notable role in these conversions and dramatically reformed the ecclesiastical structures and administration which then launched renewed missionary efforts. Missionaries such as Augustine of Canterbury, who was sent from Rome to begin the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, and, coming the other way in the Hiberno-Scottish mission, Saints Colombanus, Boniface, Willibrord, Ansgar and many others took Christianity into northern Europe and spread Catholicism among the Germanic, and Slavic peoples, and reached the Vikings and other Scandinavians in later centuries. The Synod of Whitby of 664, though not as decisive as sometimes claimed, was an important moment in the reintegration of the Celtic Church of the British Isles into the Roman hierarchy, after having been effectively cut off from contact with Rome by the pagan invaders.

 In the early 700s, Byzantine iconoclasm became a major source of conflict between the Eastern and Western parts of the Church. Byzantine emperors forbade the creation and veneration of religious images, as violations of the Ten Commandments. Other major religions in the East such as Judaism and Islam had similar prohibitions. Pope Gregory III vehemently disagreed  A new Empress Irene siding with the pope, called for an Ecumenical Council In 787, the fathers of the Second Council of Nicaea “warmly received the papal delegates and his message” , At the conclusion, 300 bishops, who were led by the representatives of Pope Hadrian I.  “adopted the Pope’s teaching” , in favor of icons.

 With the coronation of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III in 800, his new title as Patricius Romanorum, and the handing over of the keys to the Tomb of Saint Peter, the papacy had acquired a new protector in the West. This freed the pontiffs to some degree from the power of the emperor in Constantinople but also led to a schism, because the emperors and patriarchs of Constantinople interpreted themselves as the true descendants of the Roman Empire dating back to the beginnings of the Church. Pope Nicholas I had refused to recognize Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople ,who in turn had attacked the pope as a heretic, because he kept the filioque in the creed, which referred to the Holy Spirit emanating from God the Father and the Son. The papacy was strengthened through this new alliance, which in the long term created a new problem for the Popes, when in the Investiture Controversy succeeding emperors sought to appoint bishops and even future popes. After the disintegration of the Charlemagne empire and repeated incursions of Islamic forces into Italy, the papacy, without any protection, entered a phase of major weakness.

 High Middle Ages

Saint Thomas Aquinas carrying the whole Church with his theology

 The Cluniac reform of monasteries that began in 910 placed abbots under the direct control of the pope rather than the secular control of feudal lords, thus eliminating a major source of corruption. This sparked a great monastic renewal. Monasteries, convents and cathedrals still operated virtually all schools and libraries, and often functioned as credit establishments promoting economic growth. After 1100, some older cathedral schools split into lower grammar schools and higher schools for advanced learning. First in Bologna, then at Paris and Oxford, many of these higher schools developed into universities and became the direct ancestors of modern Western institutions of learning. It was here where notable theologians worked to explain the connection between human experience and faith.


The most notable of these theologians, Thomas Aquinas, produced Summa Theologica, a key intellectual achievement in its synthesis of Aristotelian thought and the Gospel. Monastic contributions to western society included the teaching of metallurgy, the introduction of new crops, the invention of musical notation and the creation and preservation of literature.

 During the 11th century, the East–West schism permanently divided Christianity. It arose over a dispute on whether Constantinople or Rome held jurisdiction over the church in Sicily and led to mutual excommunications in 1054. The Western (Latin) branch of Christianity has since become known as the Catholic Church, while the Eastern (Greek) branch became known as the Orthodox Church. The Second Council of Lyon (1274) and the Council of Florence (1439) both failed to heal the schism. Some Eastern churches have since reunited with the Catholic Church, and others claim never to have been out of communion with the pope. Officially, the two churches remain in schism, although excommunications were mutually lifted in 1965.

 The 11th century saw the Investiture Controversy between Emperor and Pope over the right to make church appointments, the first major phase of the struggle between Church and state in medieval Europe. The Papacy were the initial victors, but as Italians divided between Guelphs and Ghibellines in factions that were often passed down through families or states until the end of the Middle Ages, the dispute gradually weakened the Papacy, not least by drawing it into politics. The Church also attempted to control, or exact a price for, most marriages among the great by prohibiting, in 1059, marriages involving consanguinity (blood kin) and affinity (kin by marriage) to the seventh degree of relationship. Under these rules, almost all great marriages required a dispensation. The rules were relaxed to the fourth degree in 1215 (now only the first degree is prohibited by the Church – a man cannot marry his stepdaughter, for example).

 Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade in 1095 when he received an appeal from Byzantine emperorAlexius I to help ward off a Turkish invasion. Urban further believed that a Crusade might help bring about reconciliation with Eastern Christianity. Fueled by reports of Muslim atrocities against Christians, the series of military campaigns known as the Crusades began in 1096. They were intended to return the Holy Land to Christian control. The goal was not permanently realized, and episodes of brutality committed by the armies of both sides left a legacy of mutual distrust between Muslims and Western and Eastern Christians. The sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade left Eastern Christians embittered, despite the fact that Pope Innocent III had expressly forbidden any such attack. In 2001, Pope John Paul II apologized to the Orthodox Christians for the sins of Catholics including the sacking of Constantinople in 1204.

 Two new orders of architecture emerged from the Church of this era. The earlier Romanesque style combined massive walls, rounded arches and ceilings of masonry. To compensate for the absence of large windows, interiors were brightly painted with scenes from the Bible and the lives of the saints. Later, the Basilique Saint-Denis marked a new trend in cathedral building when it utilized Gothic architecture. This style, with its large windows and high, pointed arches, improved lighting and geometric harmony in a manner that was intended to direct the worshiper’s mind to God who “orders all things”. In other developments, the 12th century saw the founding of eight new monastic orders, many of them functioning as Military Knights of the Crusades. Cistercian monk Bernard of Clairvaux exerted great influence over the new orders and produced reforms to ensure purity of purpose. His influence led Pope Alexander III to begin reforms that would lead to the establishment of canon law. In the following century, new mendicant orders were founded by Francis of Assisi and Dominic de Guzmán which brought consecrated religious life into urban settings.

 12th century France witnessed the widespread growth of Catharism, a dualistic belief in extreme asceticism which taught that all matter was evil, accepted suicide and denied the value of Church sacraments. After a papal legate was murdered by the Cathars in 1208, Pope Innocent III declared the Albigensian Crusade. Abuses committed during the crusade caused Innocent III to informally institute the first papal inquisition to prevent future aberrational practices and to root out the remaining Cathars. Formalized under Gregory IX, this Medieval inquisition executed an average of three people per year for heresy at its height. Over time, other inquisitions were launched by the Church or secular rulers to prosecute heretics, to respond to the threat of Moorish invasion or for political purposes. The accused were encouraged to recant their heresy and those who did not could be punished by penance, fines, imprisonment, torture or execution by burning. King Philip IV of France created an inquisition for his suppression of the Knights Templar during the 14th century. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella formed another in 1480, originally to deal with distrusted ex-Jewish and ex-Muslim converts. Over a 350-year period, this Spanish Inquisition executed between 3,000 and 4,000 people, representing around two percent of those accused. The inquisition played a major role in the final expulsion of Islam from the kingdoms of Sicily and Spain. In 1482, Pope Sixtus IV condemned its excesses but Ferdinand ignored his protests.

 Historians note that for centuries Protestant propaganda and popular literature exaggerated the horrors of these inquisitions. According to Edward Norman, this view “identified the entire Catholic Church … with [the] occasional excesses” wrought by secular rulers. While one percent of those tried in the inquisitions received death penalties, scholars agree that they were “more enlightened” and considered to be rather lenient when compared to secular courts.


Part of a series on the
Catholic Ecumenical Councils






Nicaea I  Constantinople I
Ephesus  Chalcedon
Constantinople II
Constantinople III  Nicaea II
Constantinople IV


Middle Ages


Lateran I  Lateran II
Lateran III  Lateran IV
Lyon I  Lyon II  Vienne




Constance  Basel  Lateran V




Trent  Vatican I  Vatican II


Catholicism Portal


  A growing sense of church-state conflicts marked the 14th century. To escape instability in Rome, Clement V in 1309 became the first of seven popes to reside in the fortified city of Avignon in southern France[100] during a period known as the Avignon Papacy. The papacy returned to Rome in 1378 at the urging of Catherine of Siena and others who felt the See of Peter should be in the Roman church.

 With the death of Pope Gregory XI later that year, the papal election was disputed between supporters of Italian and French-backed candidates leading to the Western schism. For 38 years, separate claimants to the papal throne sat in Rome and Avignon. Efforts at resolution further complicated the issue when a third compromise pope was elected in 1409. The matter was finally resolved in 1417 at the Council of Constance where the cardinals called upon all three claimants to the papal throne to resign, and held a new election naming Martin V pope.

 Renaissance and reforms

Discoveries and Missionaries

Through the late 15th and early 16th centuries, European missionaries and explorers spread Catholicism to the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Pope Alexander VI, in the papal bullInter caetera, awarded colonial rights over most of the newly discovered lands to Spain and Portugal.[104] Under the patronato system, state authorities controlled clerical appointments and no direct contact was allowed with the Vatican.[105] On December 1511, the Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos openly rebuked the Spanish authorities governing Hispaniola for their mistreatment of the American natives, telling them “… you are in mortal sin … for the cruelty and tyranny you use in dealing with these innocent people”.[106][107][108]King Ferdinand enacted the Laws of Burgos and Valladolid in response. Enforcement was lax, and while some blame the Church for not doing enough to liberate the Indians, others point to the Church as the only voice raised on behalf of indigenous peoples.[109] The issue resulted in a crisis of conscience in 16th-century Spain.[107][108] An outpouring of self-criticism and philosophical reflection among Catholic theologians, most notably Francisco de Vitoria, led to debate on the nature of human rights[108] and the birth of modern international law.

 In 1521, through the leadership and preaching of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, the first Catholics were baptized in what became the first Christian nation in Southeast Asia, the Philippines.[112] The following year, Franciscan missionaries arrived in what is now Mexico, and sought to convert the Indians and to provide for their well-being by establishing schools and hospitals. They taught the Indians better farming methods, and easier ways of weaving and making pottery. Because some people questioned whether the Indians were truly human and deserved baptism, Pope Paul III in the papal bull Veritas Ipsa or Sublimis Deus (1537) confirmed that the Indians were deserving people.[113][114] Afterward, the conversion effort gained momentum.[115] Over the next 150 years, the missions expanded into southwestern North America.[116] The native people were legally defined as children, and priests took on a paternalistic role, often enforced with corporal punishment.[117] Elsewhere, in India, Portuguese missionaries and the Spanish Jesuit Francis Xavier evangelized among non-Christians and a Christian community which claimed to have been established by Thomas the Apostle.[118]

 Renaissance Church

In Europe, the Renaissance marked a period of renewed interest in ancient and classical learning. It also brought a re-examination of accepted beliefs. Cathedrals and churches had long served as picture books and art galleries for millions of the uneducated. The stained glass windows, frescoes, statues, paintings and panels retold the stories of the saints and of biblical characters. The Church sponsored great Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, who created some of the world’s most famous artworks.[119] The acceptance of humanism had its effects on the Church, which embraced it as well. In 1509, a well known scholar of the age, Erasmus, wrote The Praise of Folly, a work which captured a widely held unease about corruption in the Church.[120] The Papacy itself was questioned by councilarism expressed in the councils of Constance and the Basel. Real reforms during these ecumenical councils and the Fifth Lateran Council were attempted several times but thwarted. They were seen as necessary but did not succeed in large measure because of internal feuds within the Church, [121] ongoing conflicts with the Ottoman Empire andSaracenes[121] and the simony and nepotism practiced in the Renaissance Church of the 15th and early 16th centuries.[122] As a result, rich, powerful and worldly men like Roderigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) were able to win election to the papacy.

 Reformation wars

The Fifth Lateran Council issued some but only minor reforms in March of 1517. A few months later, October 17, 1517, Martin Luther issued his Ninety-Five Theses in a letter to several bishops, hoping to spark debate.[124][125] His theses protested key points of Catholic doctrine as well as the sale of indulgences.[124][125]Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, and others further criticized Catholic teachings. These challenges, supported by powerful political forces in the region, developed into the Protestant Reformation.[44][126] In Germany, the reformation led to war between the Protestant Schmalkaldic League and the Catholic Emperor Charles V. The first nine-year war ended in 1555 but continued tensions produced a far graver conflict, the Thirty Years’ War, which broke out in 1618.[127] In France, a series of conflicts termed the French Wars of Religion was fought from 1562 to 1598 between the Huguenots and the forces of the French Catholic League. A series of popes sided with and became financial supporters of the Catholic League.[128] This ended under Pope Clement VIII, who hesitantly accepted King Henry IV’s 1598 Edict of Nantes, which granted civil and religious toleration to Protestants.


The English Reformation was ostensibly based on Henry VIII‘s desire for annulment of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, and was initially more of a political, and later a theological dispute.[129] The Acts of Supremacy made the English monarch head of the English church thereby establishing the Church of England. Then, beginning in 1536, some 825 monasteries throughout England, Wales and Ireland were dissolved and Catholic churches were confiscated.[130][131] When he died in 1547 all monasteries, friaries, convents of nuns and shrines were destroyed or desolved.[131][132]Mary I of England reunited the Church of England with Rome and, against the advice of the Spanish ambassador, persecuted Protestants during the Marian Persecutions.[133][134] After some provocation, the following monarch, Elizabeth I enforced the Act of Supremacy. This prevented Catholics from becoming members of professions, holding public office, voting or educating their children.[133][135]Executions of Catholics under Elizabeth I, who reigned much longer, then surpassed the Marian persecutions[133] and persisted under subsequent English monarchs.[136]Penal laws were also enacted in Ireland[137] but were less effective than in England.[133][138] In part because the Irish people associated Catholicism with nationhood and national identity, they resisted persistent English efforts to eliminate the Catholic Church.

 Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch, in his book The Reformation, A History noted that through all the slaughter of the Reformation era emerged the valuable concept of religious toleration and an improved Catholic Church[139] which responded to doctrinal challenges and abuses highlighted by the Reformation at the Council of Trent (1545–1563). The council became the driving-force of the Counter-Reformation, and reaffirmed central Catholic doctrines such as transubstantiation, and the requirement for love and hope as well as faith to attain salvation.[140] It also reformed many other areas of importance to the Church, most importantly by improving the education of the clergy and consolidating the central jurisdiction of the Roman Curia.[13][140][141] The criticisms of the Reformation were among factors that sparked new religious orders including the Theatines, Barnabites and Jesuits, some of which became the great missionary orders of later years.[142] Spiritual renewal and reform were inspired by many new saints like Teresa of Avila, Francis de Sales and Philip Neri whose writings spawned distinct schools of spirituality within the Church (Oratorians, Carmelites, Salesian), etc.[143] Improvement to the education of the laity was another positive effect of the era, with a proliferation of secondary schools reinvigorating higher studies such as history, philosophy and theology.[144] To popularize Counter-Reformation teachings, the Church encouraged the Baroque style in art, music and architecture. Baroque religious expression was stirring and emotional, created to stimulate religious fervor.

 Elsewhere, Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier introduced Christianity to Japan, and by the end of the 16th century tens of thousands of Japanese followed Roman Catholicism. Church growth came to a halt in 1597 under the Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu who, in an effort to isolate the country from foreign influences, launched a severe persecution of Christians.[146] Japanese were forbidden to leave the country and Europeans were forbidden to enter. Despite this, a minority Christian population survived into the 19th century.

 Baroque, Enlightenment and revolutions

The Council of Trent generated a revival of religious life and Marian devotions in the Roman Catholic Church. During the Reformation, the Church had defended its Marian beliefs against Protestant views. At the same time, the Catholic world was engaged in ongoing Ottoman Wars in Europe against Turkey which were fought and won under the auspices of the Virgin Mary. The victory at Battle of Lepanto (1571) was accredited to her “and signified the beginning of a strong resurgence of Marian devotions, focusing especially on Mary, the Queen of Heaven and Earth and her powerful role as mediatrix of many graces”. [148] The Colloquium Marianum, a elite group, and the Sodality of Our Lady based their activities on a virtuous life, free of cardinal sins.

Pope Paul V and Gregory XV ruled in 1617 and 1622 to be inadmissible to state, that he virgin was conceived non-immaculate.[clarification needed] Alexander VII declared in 1661, that the soul of Mary was free from original sin. Pope Clement XI ordered the feast of the Immaculata for the whole Church in 1708. The feast of the Rosary was introduced in 1716, the feast of the Seven Sorrows in 1727. The Angelus prayer was strongly supported by Pope Benedict XIII in 1724 and by Pope Benedict XIV in 1742. [149] Popular Marian piety was even more colourful and varied than ever before: Numerous Marian pilgrimages, Marian Salve devotions, new Marian litanies, Marian theatre plays, Marian hymns, Marian processions. Marian fraternities, today mostly defunct, had millions of members. [150]

After centuries of French opposition, Pope Innocent XI was beatified by Pius XII in 1956

The Enlightenment constituted a new challenge of the Church. Unlike the Protestant Reformation, which questioned certain Christian doctrines, the enlightenment questioned Christianity as a whole. Generally, it elevated human reason above divine revelation and down-graded religious authorities such as the papacy based on it.[151] Politically the Ottoman Empire continued as a major threat, advancing all the way to the city of Vienna. Parallel the Church attempted to fend of Gallicanism and Councilarism, ideologies which threatened the papacy and structure of the Church.

 Toward the latter part of the 17th century, BlessedPope Innocent XI viewed the increasing Turkish attacks against Europe, which were supported by France, as the major threat for the Church. He built a PolishAustrian coalition for the Turkish defeat at Vienna in 1683. Scholars have called him a saintly pope because he reformed abuses by the Church, including simony, nepotism and the lavish papal expenditures that had caused him to inherit a papal debt of 50,000,000 scudi. By eliminating certain honorary posts and introducing new fiscal policies, Innocent XI was able to regain control of the church’s finances[153] . In France, the Church battled Jansenism and Gallicanism, which supported Councilarism, and rejected papal primacy, demanding special concessions for the Church in France. This weakened the Church’s ability to respond to gallicanist thinkers such as Denis Diderot, who challenged fundamental doctrines of the Church.

 In 1685 gallicanist King Louis XIV of France issued the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, ending a century of religious toleration.. France forced Catholic theologians to support councilarism and deny Papal infallibility. The king threatened Pope Innocent XI with a general council and a military take-over of the Papal state. [155] The absolute French State used Gallicanism to gain control of virtually all major Church appointments as well as many of the Church’s properties.[153][156] State authority over the Church became popular in other countries as well. In Belgium and Germany, Gallicanism appeared in the form of Febronianism, which rejected papal pregoratives in an equal fashion.  Emperor Joseph II of Austria (1780-1790) practiced Josephinism by regulating Church life, appointments and massive confiscation of Church properties.

 Church in America

In the Americas, the Church expanded its missions but, until the 19th century, had to work under the Spanish and Portuguese governments and military.  Junípero Serra, the Franciscan priest in charge of this effort, founded a series of missions which became important economic, political, and religious institutions. These missions brought grain, cattle and a new way of living to the Indian tribes of California. Overland routes were established from New Mexico that resulted in the colonization of San Francisco in 1776 and Los Angeles in 1781. However, by bringing Western civilization to the area, these missions and the Spanish government have been held responsible for wiping out nearly a third of the native population, primarily through disease. Only in the 19th century, after the breakdown of most Spanish and Portuguese colonies, was the Vatican able to take charge of Catholic missionary activities through its Propaganda Fide organization.

 period the Church faced colonial abuses from the Portuguese and Spanish governments. In South America, the Jesuits protected native peoples from enslavement by establishing semi-independent settlements called reductions. Pope Gregory XVI, challenging Spanish and Portuguese sovereignty, appointed his own candidates as bishops in the colonies, condemned slavery and the slave trade in 1839 (papal bull In Supremo Apostolatus), and approved the ordination of native clergy in spite of government racism.

 India and China

India has a tradition that St. Thomas sailed there to spread the Christian faith. He is said to have landed at a small village, at that time a port, named Palayoor, near Guruvayoor, which was a priestly community at that time. He left Palayoor in AD 52 for southern Kerala State, where he established the Ezharappallikal, or “Seven and Half Churches”. These churches are at Kodungallur, Kollam, Niranam, Nilackal (Chayal), Kokkamangalam, Kottakkayal (Paravoor), Palayoor (Chattukulangara) and Thiruvithamcode Arappally(Travancore) – the half church.

 Francis Xavier (1502-1552) had begun to introduce Christianity to India. Roberto de Nobili (1577-1656), a TuscanJesuitmissionary to Southern India followed in his path. He pioneered (inculturation), adopting many Brahmin customs which were not, in his opinion, contrary to Christianity. He lived like a Brahmin, learned Sanskrit, and presented Christianity as a part of Indian beliefs, not identical with the controversial Portuguese culture of the colonialists. He permitted the use of all customs, which in his view did not directly contradict Christian teachings. By 1640 there were 40 000 Christians in Madura alone. In 1632, Pope Gregory XV gave permission for this approach. But strong anti-Jesuit sentiments in Portugal, France even in Rome resulted in a reversal, which signalled the end of the successful Catholic missions in India.  On September 12, 1744, Benedict XIV forbade the so called Malabar rites in India, with the result, that leading Indian casts who wanted to adhere to their traditional cultures, turned away from the Catholic Church. . Christianity started in the southern part of India from A.D 52 onwards, when St. Thomas came to India.[citation needed]

 The JesuitMatteo Ricci (1552-1610) Adam Schall von Bell and other Jesuits had successfully introduced Christianity to China via inculturation. Ricci and Schall were appointed by the Chinese Emperor in Peking to be court mathematicians court astronomer and even Mandarin. The first Catholic Church was built in Peking in  The emperor granted freedom of religion to Catholics. Ricci had adopted the Catholic faith to Chinese thinking, permitting among others the veneration of the dead. The Vatican disagreed and forbade any adaptation in the so-called Chinese Rites controversy in 1692 and 1742. The Bull Ex Quo Singulari of Pope Benedict XIV from July 11, 1742 repeated verbatim the bull of Clement XI and stressed the purity of Christian teachings and traditions, which must be uphold against all heresies. This bull virtually destroyed the Jesuit goal , to Christianize the influential upper classes in China.  The Vatican policy was the death of the missions in China.  Afterwards The Church experienced missionary setbacks in 1721 when the Chinese Rites controversy led the Kangxi Emperor to outlaw Christian missions . The Chinese emperor felt duped and refused to permit any alteration of the existing Christian practices. He told the visiting papal delegate:

 You destroyed your religion. You put in misery all Europeans living here in China. You desecrated the honour of all those, who died long ago.

 In 1939 Pope Pius XII, within weeks of his coronation, radically reverted the 250 year old Vatican policy and permitted the veneration of dead family members. The Church began to flourish again with twenty new arch-dioceses, seventy-nine dioceses and thirty-eight apostolic prefects, but only until 1949, when the Communist revolution took over the country.


Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal, “The Expulsion of the Jesuits” by Louis-Michel van Loo, 1766.

 Throughout the inculturation controversy, the very existence of Jesuits were under attack in Portugal, Spain,France, and the Kingdom of Sicily. The inculturation controversy and the Jesuit support for the native Indians in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina added fuel to growing criticism of the order, which seemed to symbolize the strength and independence of the Church. Defending the rights of native peoples in South America, hindered the efforts of European powers, espcecially Spain and Portugal to maintain absolute rule over their domains. Portugal’s Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal was the main enemy of the Jesuits. Pope Benedict XIV attempted to keep the Jesuits in existence without any changes: Sint ut sunt aut not sint, They must be the way they are or they will not be,. He went far to mollify Portuguese pride, even allowing the local Cardinal to wear a papal tiara and have his seminarians dressed like cardinals  In 1773, European rulers united to force Pope Clement XIV to dissolve the order. Several decades later Pius VII restored the Jesuits in the 1814 papal bull Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum.

 French Revolution

The anti-clericalism of the French Revolution. saw direct attacks on the wealth of the Church and associated grievances led to the wholesale nationalisation of church property and attempts to establish a state-run church. Large numbers of priests refused to take an oath of compliance to the National Assembly, leading to the Church being outlawed and replaced by a new religion of the worship of “Reason”. In this period, all monasteries were destroyed, 30,000 priests were exiled and hundreds more were killed. When Pope Pius VI sided against the revolution in the First Coalition, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Italy. The 82 year old pope was taken as a prisoner to France in February 1799 and died in Valence August 29 1799 after six months of captivity. To win popular support for his rule, Napoleon re-established the Catholic Church in France through the Concordat of 1801. All over Europe, the end of the Napoleonic wars signaled by the Congress of Vienna, brought Catholic revival, renewed enthusiasm, and new respect for the papacy following the depredations of the previous era.


By the close of the 19th century, new technologies and superior weaponry had allowed European powers to gain control of most of the African interior. The new rulers introduced a cash economy which required African people to become literate, and so created a great demand for schools. At the time, the only possibility open to Africans for a western education was through Christian missionaries. Catholic missionaries followed colonial governments into Africa, and built schools, monasteries and churches.

 Industrial age

First Vatican Council

Before the council, in 1854 Pope Pius IX with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic Bishops, whom he had consulted between 1851–1853, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Eight years earlier, in 1846, the Pope had granted the unanimous wish of the bishops from the United States, and declared the Immaculata the patron of the USA.

 During First Vatican Council, some 108 council fathers requested to add the words “Immaculate Virgin” to the Hail Mary. Some fathers requested, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception to be included in the Creed of the Church, which was opposed by Pius IX  Many French Catholics wished the dogmatization of Papal infallibility and the assumption of Mary by the ecumenical council.  During Vatican One, nine mariological petitions favoured a possible assumption dogma, which however was strongly opposed by some council fathers, especially from Germany. In 1870, the First Vatican Council affirmed the doctrine of papal infallibility when exercised in specifically defined pronouncements. Controversy over this and other issues resulted in a very small breakaway movement called the Old Catholic Church.[185]

 Social teachings

The Church was slow to react to the growing industrialization and impoverishment of workers, trying first to remediate the situation with increased charity. In 1891 Pope Leo XIII issued Rerum Novarum in which the Church defined the dignity and rights of industrial workers.

 The Industrial Revolution brought many concerns about the deteriorating working and living conditions of urban workers. Influenced by the German Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler, in 1891 Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Rerum Novarum, which set in context Catholic social teaching in terms that rejected socialism but advocated the regulation of working conditions. Rerum Novarum argued for the establishment of a living wage and the right of workers to form trade unions.

 Quadragesimo Anno was issued by Pope Pius XI, on 15 May 1931, 40 years after Rerum Novarum. Unlike Leo, who addressed the mainly condition of workers, Pius XI concentrated on the ethical implications of the social and economic order. He called for the reconstruction of the social order based on the principle of solidarity and subsidiarity.  He noted major dangers for human freedom and dignity, arising from unrestrained capitalism and totalitarian communism.

 The social teachings of Pope Pius XII repeat these teachings, and apply them in greater detail not only to workers and owners of capital, but also to other professions such as politicians,educators, house-wives, farmersbookkeepers, international organizations, and all aspects of life including the military. Going beyond Pius XI, he also defined social teachings in the areas of medicine, psychology, sport, TV,science, law and education. There is virtually no social issue, which Pius XII did not address and relate to the Christian faith.  He was called “the Pope of Technology, for his willingness and ability to examine the social implications of technological advances. The dominant concern was the continued rights and dignity of the individual. With the beginning of the space age at the end of his pontificate, Pius XII explored the social implications of space exploration and satellites on the social fabric of humanity asking for a new sense of community and solidarity in light of existing papal teachings on subsidiarity.


Popes have always highlighted the inner link between the Virgin Mary as Mother of God and the full acceptance of Jesus Christ as Son of God. Since the 19th century, they were highly important for the development of mariology to explain the veneration of Mary through their decisions not only in the area of Marian beliefs (Mariology) but also Marian practices and devotions. Before the 19th century, Popes promulgated Marian veneration by authorizing new Marian feast days, prayers, initiatives, the acceptance and support of Marian congregations. Since the 19th century, Popes begin to use encyclicals more frequently. Thus Leo XIII, the Rosary Pope issued eleven Marian encyclicals. Recent Popes promulgated the veneration of the Blessed Virgin with two dogmas, Pius IX the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and the Assumption of Mary in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. Pius XII also promulgated the new feast Queenship of Mary celebrating Mary as Queen of Heaven and he introduced the first ever Marian year in 1954, a second one was proclaimed by John Paul II. Pius IX, Pius XI and Pius XII facilitated the veneration of Marian apparitions such as in Lourdes and Fátima. Later Popes such from John XXIII to Benedict XVI promoted the visit to Marian shrines (Benedict XVI in 2007 and 2008). The Second Vatican Council highlighted the importance of Marian veneration in Lumen Gentium. During the Council, Paul VI proclaimed Mary to be the Mother of the Church.

 Anti-Clericalism and persecutions

In Latin America, a succession of anti-clerical regimes came to power beginning in the 1830s. The confiscation of Church properties and restrictions on people’s religious freedoms generally accompanied secularist, and later, Marxist-leaning, governmental reforms. One such regime emerged in Mexico in 1860. Church properties were confiscated and basic civil and political rights were denied to religious orders and the clergy. More severe laws called Calles Law during the rule of atheistPlutarco Elías Calles eventually led to the “worst guerilla war in Latin American History”, the Cristero War.Between 1926 and 1934, over 3,000 priests were exiled or assassinated. In an effort to prove that “God would not defend the Church”, Calles ordered “hideous desecration of churches … there were parodies of (church) services, nuns were raped and any priests captured … were shot …”.Calles was eventually deposed and despite the persecution, the Church in Mexico continued to grow. A 2000 census reported that 88 percent of Mexicans identify as Catholic.

 In 1954, under the regime of General Juan Perón, Argentina saw extensive destruction of churches, denunciations of clergy and confiscation of Catholic schools as Perón attempted to extend state control over national institutions. Cuba, under atheist Fidel Castro, succeeded in reducing the Church’s ability to work by deporting the archbishop and 150 Spanish priests, discriminating against Catholics in public life and education and refusing to accept them as members of the Communist Party.The subsequent flight of 300,000 people from the island also helped to diminish the Church there.

 Persecution of the Catholic Church took place in the 20th century in Mexico, Spain and the Soviet Union. Pius XI called this the Terrible Triangle[202] The ” harsh persecution short of total annihilation of the clergy, monks, and nuns and other people associated with the Church, , began in 1918 and continued well into the Thirties. The Civil War in Spain started in 1936, during which thousands of churches were destroyed, thirteen bishops and some 6,832 clergy and religious Spaniards were assassinated. After the massive Church persecutions in Mexico, Spain and the Soviet Union, Pius XI defined communism as the main adversary of the Catholic Church in his encyclical Divini Redemptoris issued on March 19, 1937.  He blamed Western powers and media for a conspiracy of silence on the persecutions carried out by Communist, Socialist and Fascist forces.

 World War II

On 20 July 1933, the Vatican signed the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany, partly in an attempt to protect the Church from persecution which had already begun in Bavaria. When this agreement failed to do so, Pope Pius XI issued the 1937 encyclical Mit brennender Sorge.[207] Drafted by the future Pope Pius XII[208] and read from the pulpits of all German Catholic churches, it condemned Nazi ideology and has been characterized by some scholars as the “first great official public document to dare to confront and criticize Nazism” and “one of the greatest such condemnations ever issued by the Vatican.” The “infuriated” Nazis retaliated by initiating a “long series” of persecution of Catholic clergy and other measures. Pius XI later warned a group of pilgrims that antisemitism is incompatible with Christianity. When Dutch bishops protested against the wartime deportation of Jews, the Nazis responded by increasing deportations rounding up 92 converts including Edith Stein who were then deported and murdered. “The brutality of the retaliation made an enormous impression on Pius XII.” In Poland, the Nazis murdered over 2,500 monks and priests and even more were imprisoned. In the Soviet Union an even more severe persecution occurred. After the war, historians such as David Kertzer accused the Church of encouraging centuries of antisemitism, and Pope Pius XII of not doing enough to stop Nazi atrocities. Prominent members of the Jewish community contradicted the criticisms of Pius and spoke highly of his efforts to protect Jews; The Israeli historian Pinchas Lapide interviewed war survivors and concluded that Pius XII “was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands”. Some historians dispute this estimate while others consider Pinchas Lapide’s work to be “the definitive work by a Jewish scholar” on the holocaust. Even so, in 2000 Pope John Paul II on behalf of all people, apologized to Jews for causing “the children of God to suffer”. This papal apology, one of many issued by Pope John Paul II for past human and Church failings throughout history, was especially significant because John Paul II emphasized Church guilt for, and the Second Vatican Council’s condemnation of, anti-Semitism. The papal letter We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, urged Catholics to repent “of past errors and infidelities” and “renew the awareness of the Hebrew roots of their faith.”

 Post-Industrial age

Second Vatican Council

The Catholic Church engaged in a comprehensive process of reform following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). Intended as a continuation of Vatican I, under Pope John XXIII the council developed into an engine of modernisation. It was tasked with making the historical teachings of the Church clear to a modern world, and made pronouncements on topics including the nature of the church, the mission of the laity and religious freedom. The council approved a revision of the liturgy and permitted the Latin liturgical rites to use vernacular languages as well as Latin during mass and other sacraments. Efforts by the Church to improve Christian unity became a priority. In addition to finding common ground on certain issues with Protestant churches, the Catholic Church has discussed the possibility of unity with the Eastern Orthodox Church.


Changes to old rites and ceremonies following Vatican II produced a variety of responses. Some stopped going to church, while others tried to preserve the old liturgy with the help of sympathetic priests. These formed the basis of today’s Traditionalist Catholic groups, which believe that the reforms of Vatican II have gone too far. Liberal Catholics form another dissenting group who feel that the Vatican II reforms did not go far enough. The liberal views of theologians such as Hans Küng and Charles Curran, led to Church withdrawal of their authorization to teach as Catholics. According to Professor Thomas Bokenkotter, most Catholics “accepted the changes more or less gracefully.” In 2007, Benedict XVI reinstated the old mass as an option, to be celebrated upon request by the faithful.

 A new Codex Juris CanoniciCanon Law called for by John XXIII, was promulgated by Pope John Paul II on January 25, 1983. It includes numerous reforms and alterations in Church law and Church discipline for the Latin Church. It replaced the 1917 version issued by Benedict XV.



Liberation theology

 In the 1960s, growing social awareness and politicization in the Latin American Church gave birth to liberation theology. The Peruvian priest, Gustavo Gutiérrez, became it primary proponentand, in 1979, the bishops’ conference in Mexico officially declared the Latin American Church’s “preferential option for the poor”. Archbishop Óscar Romero, a supporter of the movement, became the region’s most famous contemporary martyr in 1980, when he was murdered while saying mass by forces allied with the government. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI (as Cardinal Ratzinger) denounced the movement. The Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff was twice ordered to cease publishing and teaching. While Pope John Paul II was criticized for his severity in dealing with proponents of the movement, he maintained that the Church, in its efforts to champion the poor, should not do so by resorting to violence or partisan politics. The movement is still alive in Latin America today, though the Church now faces the challenge of Pentecostal revival in much of the region.

 Sexuality and gender issues

The sexual revolution of the 1960s brought challenging issues for the Church. Pope Paul VI‘s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s traditional view of marriage and marital relations and asserted a continued proscription of artificial birth control. In addition, the encyclical reaffirmed the sanctity of life from conception to natural death and asserted a continued condemnation of both abortion and euthanasia as grave sins which were equivalent to murder.

 Efforts to lead the Church to consider the ordination of women led Pope John Paul II to issue two documents to explain Church teaching. Mulieris Dignitatem was issued in 1988 to clarify women’s equally important and complementary role in the work of the Church. Then in 1994, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis explained that the Church extends ordination only to men in order to follow the example of Jesus, who chose only men for this specific duty.

 Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal

Major lawsuits emerged in 2001 claiming that priests had sexually abused minors. Some priests resigned, others were defrocked and jailed, and there were financial settlements with many victims. In the US, where the vast majority of sex abuse cases occurred, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a comprehensive study that found that four percent of all priests who served in the US from 1950 to 2002 had faced some sort of accusation of sexual misconduct.

 Catholicism today

 Benedict XVI

With the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the Church has so far seen largely a continuation of the policies of his predecessor, John Paul II, with some notable exceptions: Benedict decentralized beatifications and reverted the decision of his predecessor regarding papal elections. In 2007, he set a Church record by approving the beatification of 498 Spanish Martyrs. His first encyclical Deus Caritas Est discussed love and sex in continued opposition to several other views on sexuality. 

Roman Catholic attempts to improve ecumenical relations with the Eastern Orthodox Churches have been complicated by disputes over both doctrine and the recent history of the Orthodox Eastern Catholic Churches, involving the return of expropriatiated properties of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which the Orthodox Church took over after World War II at the request of Josef Stalin.