Edited and compiled by Keith Green
INTRODUCTION TO THE CATHOLIC CHRONICLES
A young Catholic believer recently asked me, "What are Protestants still protesting about anyway?" The question caught me off-guard, and at the time I had to answer, "I don't really know . . . nothing, I guess." Well my on-the-spot answer really bothered me, and it started gnawing away at me. What were Martin Luther, the Hugenots, the Anabaptists, the Quakers, and the multitudes of others protesting anyway when they broke away from the Church of Rome? What did they suffer untold persecutions and martyrdoms for? I had to find the answer. . .and when I found it, I knew I had no choice but to share it.
CHRONICLE I: THE HOLY EUCHARIST--EATING THE FLESH OF DEITY
One might wonder why, in a scriptural expose of the doctrines of the Catholic Church, I would choose this subject The Roman Interpretation of the Lord's Supper (more commonly known as "Communion") for the first of the "Catholic Chronicles". Most Protestants (today, Protestants are considered to be members of any church or church-group outside the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches) would expect me to deal with what they might consider the more obvious departures from biblical foundation such as the worship of and prayers to the Virgin Mary, the infallibility of the pope, purgatory and prayers for the dead, the history of the torture and burning of accused "heretics" and such like that and no doubt in future installments we shall look in-depth at each of these.
CHRONICLE II: THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS--JESUS DIES AGAIN
In Chronicle I, we thoroughly examined the doctrine of transubstantiation its history, practice, and real meaning. But we have waited for this second article to answer the question: Why? Why must there be present in the Mass the literal body and blood of Jesus? What purpose does it serve? The answer is found in these startling words: "The sacrifice of the Mass is the same sacrifice of the cross, for there is the same priest, the same victim, and the same offering." ("The Roman Catholic Sacrifice of the Mass" by Bartholomew F. Brewer, Ph.D.) And in the words of Pope Pius IV.
CHRONICLE III: SALVATION ACCORDING TO ROME
". . . the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 6:23) How blessed it is to know Jesus! His love, His mercy, His righteousness, His forgiveness! He has promised to "cast all our sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19) and to separate us from our sins "as far as the east is from the west!" (Ps. 103:12). This is the good news! (That's the literal meaning of the word "gospel" good news!) That is what the true church of our God has the privilege of proclaiming: "liberty to the captives!" (Lk. 4:18). The reason I begin this article on the Roman Catholic view of salvation with such rejoicing in my Saviour, is because I have just finished reading a mountain of official (Roman) church literature on the subject, and I can honestly say, I have never had such joy in my heart of hearts about the finished work of Christ. As I scoured each page and read of penance, confession, venial and mortal sins, indulgences, purgatory, etc.
IV: WHAT DID VATICAN II REALLY CHANGE?
It is obvious by even this brief glimpse into the doctrines of mortal and venial sins, confession, penance, and purgatory, that the Roman Catholic Church has constructed one of the most unbiblical doctrinal systems that has ever been considered "Christian". The fear, anguish, and religious bondage that such a system of "reward and punishment" creates, has tormented millions of lives for centuries, and continues to prey on those who are ignorant of the biblical way of salvation.