Saturday, November 28, 2015

Original Founder of ACTS

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed,
Rest in peace.
Amen

A Tribute to the Original Founder of A.C.T.S.
Founded in 1966

Francis Marks founded the Arizona Catholic Truth Society in 1966 to promote the Catholic Truth in the Diocese of Phoenix. This was largely in response to the changes that were taking place since the recently consumated Second Vatican Council. The New Order of the Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) was not yet released by Pope Paul VI, but there was an "attitude" of change errupting, at least in his local parish (which I will leave unnamed here).
A story that was related to me involved a parish gathering to discuss the education in the "Catholic" school, run by the parish. Francis asked something about "Guardian Angels," and the priest responded, "And Frank, would you have us next teaching them about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?" Needless to say, that was the last parish meeting the Marks family attended. 

The Marks began attending the Ukranian Catholic Church (an Eastern Rite in union with Rome), and did so for many years - in fact my wife and I were married in the Ukranian Catholic Church in Phoenix (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

Francis was very instrumental in my conversion. We used to sit across from each other at his kitchen table and debate, and sometimes (actually, more often than not) the debate would get quite heated. I am not one who backs down easily from a position I am holding, I will defend it till I am absolutely proven wrong. I had the audacity to tell Francis HE was wrong! (Any family members, or others who knew Francis that are reading this,knows what that results in!) Let's just say I raised Francis' blood pressure a notch or two on many occasions. Well, for seven years I fought the Church. I raised about every question I, as a Protestant (Lutheran upbringing) could think of, but Francis always had an answer. I can honestly say that I don't recall even once that he said, "I'm not sure, let me get back to you on that one." He always could answer or knew exactly where to look for a source to support him.

My biggest stumbling block was Mary. I couldn't see the Catholic side of how she has been and is used in the Church. I had heard of the Memorare, (a prayer to Mary asking her help, and that anyone who sought her assistance, it would be granted - click here to see the whole prayer). I didn't know how to pray the Memorare, so I just made up my own version. I said, "Mary, if you are what the Catholic Church says you are, and your role is what they say it is, show me somehow." Keep in mind, I am still a Protestant at this time, so I followed up that prayer real quickly with: "Jesus, if I have offended you in any way by praying to Mary, then please forgive me." I then went to sleep, and didn't really give the prayer another thought.

Well, about a week later (by this time I had all but forgotten about the prayer to Mary) I woke up in the middle of the night, actually about 2am. I couldn't get to sleep. So I went into the living room and turned on the TV. The movie, Song of Bernadette came on. I had never seen it before. Well, I was mesmerized. Mind you, this is a rather LONG movie and I had to be up for work by 6am, but I could not stop watching this movie. It is the story of Our Lady of Lourdes - and as I was watching, I was thinking about how the Lord has performed GREAT miracles that are even recorded in secular media (Fatima too), and were confirmed by secular officials (doctors verifying miraculous or "unexplainable" cures). These things were happening through the Catholic Church and through Mary! Well, about another week went by, I kept thinking about this movie and the miracles - and how I had heard of these things even before becoming involved with Catholics. It was remarkable, you just don't hear about such things happening in Protestantism. Then it hit me! THIS was my answer from Mary! I had asked to be shown, and she found a way to show me!
Within a day or two of this revelation, I went back to Francis and met with him in our "usual spot." I had not told him about the events of the last couple weeks (my prayer, the movie, the revelation) I told him that I wanted to convert. Well, he about fell out of his chair! After several weeks of counselling with his priest, I was accepted into the Roman Catholic Church on July 1, 1988. Francis was my Godfather/sponsor.

To challenge my convictions I began "debating" local Protestant apologists on Bible Foundation BBS (bulletin board system - the precursor to Internet. This is where I ran into James White for the first time. \ (One of my thoughts back then was, "if I made a mistake in becoming a Catholic, James White should be able to show me why it is wrong and 'pull me out.'" Well, that never happened. In fact, I was now finding that every question that James threw at me, I could find an answer for - or - I could ask my Godfather, Francis, and he had the answer.
I became so involved with apologetics that in 1989, I was forming an email list and my own BBS (a subboard on the All Nite Cafe BBS in Phoenix, run by Mike Middleton) devoted to Catholic Apologetics. I needed a good name for the list and Francis said, "how about Acts?" He explained it was the acronym he started back in the 60's and I loved it, so ACTS was reborn in the electronic medium. Shortly after ACTS' new beginning, I attained an "echo number" through CIN (Mike and Sharon Mollerus) and ACTS became a nationwide "echo" and the 'A' was changed from "Arizona" to "American." Since that time we've branched out into online debates on the Internet, more email lists and the #CathApol IRC live chat channel.

Francis on the radio.
Francis Marks
I am eternally grateful to Francis, my Godfather, father-in-law, and good friend. Francis passed on on May 6, 1995. As you can probably figure out from the picture to the right, he was into HAM radio a lot, I hope he's still communicating on this new plane - helping others, as he was always willing to do while he walked this earth. The picture on top is Francis and his wife Mary, whom all in the family would agree, is a saint in her own right.

Lord, grant him eternal peace.

Happy New Year!

You might think it strange to have such a sign welcoming in the New Year, but this is exactly what we find in the Gospel readings for the First Sunday in Advent - which marks the New Year, liturgically speaking.

Gospel - Matthew 24:37-44 (Ordinary Rite)

Jesus said to his disciples:  “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.  They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.  So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.

Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.

Therefore, stay awake!  For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.   Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.  So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Gospel - Luke 21. 25-33 (Extraordinary Rite)

Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke.
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves: men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand." And He spoke to them a similitude: "See the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh; so you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."

In both the new and old lectionaries this week the Gospel message is for the End Times, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.   Advent is the season of expectation, anticipation of the Coming of the Lord.  As we prepare to celebrate the Season of Christmas (which begins with the Christ Mass), Advent is a time of preparation and penance.  Are YOU ready for the coming of the Lord?  The Church uses this Sunday to remind us not only of the First Coming, 2000 years ago, but also the Second Coming, for which no one knows the hour.

In all the hustle and bustle of the secular observation of Christmas - let us not lose sight of the fact that Christmas is not here yet.  Christmas begins with the Christ Mass, which we celebrate on Christmas Day, December 25.  Christmas then lasts at least until Epiphany, January 6th.  These days are known as "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  I say "at least" because traditionally, Christmastide lasts all the way through Candlemas - which is February 2nd (though often the celebration of Candlemas is moved to the nearest Sunday).  Candlemas is the celebration of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin - not that she needed purification, but she needed to comply with Jewish Law, which she did to avoid scandal and sin.  During this Mass the Preface for Christmas is read, and this is the last reference to Christmas and the Nativity for the rest of the liturgical year.  The bottom line is, Christmas does not END on Christmas Day, it just BEGINS!  Leave your lights up and on through Epiphany at least, if not all the way to Candlemas!

One final reminder...   Advent is NOT the Season of Christmas - it's ADVENT!  While "the world" is into Santa Claus (which in proper perspective, is not "bad" - more on that later), we Christians are to be in a period of PREPARATION.  It is a time of reflection and penance, preparing our souls for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ - the Second Coming, that is.  We "use" the anticipation of the Christ Mass as a reminder of the Second Coming, which is why the readings for this week are on the End Times.  Take time to pray and meditate upon the state of your soul - and prepare yourself for "that day" which you cannot know precisely the day or hour of.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Squanto - Catholic Hero of Thanksgiving


This short video by Dr. Taylor Marshall explains, in brief, how Squanto saved the Pilgrims - and Squanto was a Catholic too!  

Thanksgiving Day in the USA is not a Catholic holiday, but maybe it should be!  The Pilgrims were not Catholic, but Squanto was - and he saved the day in showing them how to plant and gather corn and other survival methods - without which the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock would most certainly have perished.

So, I wish you all a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving, and take a moment this Thursday to recognize the hero of the first Thanksgiving celebration.

This Sunday starts Advent!  Come Lord Jesus!

Feast of Christ the King

What About the Feast of Christ the King? 
In my last entry on the Last Sunday After Pentecost, I did not mention the Feast of Christ the King.  In the "Ordinary Rite" or "Novus Ordo" the Last Sunday of the year is the Feast of Christ the King.  I typically participate in the Extraordinary Rite.  This feast is relatively new in the liturgical year, first being promulgated by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and per his encyclical quas primus, it is to be on the last Sunday of October - as it still is where the "Extraordinary Rite" or the "Traditional Latin Mass."  It was started in an answer to perhaps an over emphasis on nationalism - the Church wishing to remind the faithful that Jesus Christ is our King.  The feast was moved in 1970, coinciding with several Protestant celebrations (Anglicans, Lutherans and others using the "Revised Common Lectionary"). 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

End of the Year

It's the end of the liturgical year, the Last Sunday After Pentecost, or the Last Sunday in Ordinal Time.  (I don't use the term "ordinary" because though it comes from the same root word, it has quite a different connotation in common usage).  For the end of the year we teach upon the end of the world - reminding us all that the Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory.  It also speaks to the coming tribulations which will precede His Second Coming.  As lightning comes out of the east and is seen even in the west, so also shall be the coming of the Son of Man.

The Last Sunday After Pentecost
(Readings from the Traditional or Extraordinary lectionary).

INTROIT
Jeremias 29: 11, 12, 14

The Lord saith: I think thoughts of peace, and not of affliction: you shall call upon Me, and I will hear you; and I will bring back your captivity from all places. -- (Ps. 84. 2). Lord, Thou hast blessd Thy land: Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . -- The Lord saith: I think thoughts of peace . . .
 
COLLECT - Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the wills of Thy faithful people, that they more earnestly seeking the fruit of divine service, may receive more abundantly healing gifts from Thy tender mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .
 
EPISTLE
Colossians 1: 9-14

Brethren, We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to the power of His glory, in all patience and long suffering with joy; giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through the His Blood, the remission of sins.
GRADUAL
Psalms. 43: 8- 9

Thou hast delivered us, O Lord, from them that afflict us: and hast put them to shame that hate us. V.: In God we will glory all the day: and in Thy Name we will give praise for ever. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Psalm 129:1, 2). From the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my prayer. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
Matthew  24:15-35
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: When you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place; (he that readeth, let him understand:) then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains; and he that is on the house-top, let him not come down to take anything out of his house; and he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child and that give suck, in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the Sabbath: for there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been found from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be: and unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say to you: Lo, here is Christ, or there; do not believe him; for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold I have told it to you beforehand. If therefore they shall say to you: Behold His is in the desert, go ye not out; Behold He is in the closets, believe it not. For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even in the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. And He shall send His angels with a trumpet and a loud voice, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them. And from the fig tree learn a parable: when the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh at the doors. Amen I say to you that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.

OFFERTORY
Psalms 129:1, 2

From the depths I have cried out to Thee, O Lord; Lord, hear my prayer: from the depths I have cried out to Thee, O Lord.
 
SECRET - Be gracious, O Lord, to our humble entreaties; and receiving the offerings and prayers of Thy people, turn the hearts of all of us to Thee: that freed from greed of earthly things, we may pass on to heavenly desires. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .
 
PREFACE (Preface of the Most Holy Trinity) - It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, art one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out, with one voice saying:
 
COMMUNION
Mark 11: 24
Amen I say to you, whatsoever you ask when you pray, believe that you shall receive and it shall be done to you.
 
POST COMMUNION - Grant unto us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that through these Sacraments which we have received, whatsoever in our minds is corrupt, may be cured by the gift of their healing power. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost . . .

Monday, November 16, 2015

Questions for Catholics - Part 7 - The Mass and Call No Man Father

In Prasch's final entry he states:
Jacob Prasch
But I have one final question for my Roman Catholic friends. And I assure you I have many friends, I am not speaking antagonistically or with hostility to any Catholic people. I'm only asking you these questions which I’d like you to answer, I invite you to answer. Engage with me, there’s one more I’d like to ask you.
I hope he's sincere and is really asking for engagement.  If there are any questions he feels I have not answered, or answered fully, I hope he does not hesitate to engage the discussion.
I am told that the doctrine of the mass says Jesus must die and again and again and again sacramentally. The same sacrifice that took place on Calvary happens in the mass: He dies sacramentally. He has to die again, again, and again. Remembering that the Lord’s Supper – communion, the Eucharist as Catholics would define it – comes from the Jewish Passover which is a memorial, you remember something already happened, the Roman Church rather says, “No, it continues to happen sacramentally.”
I'm reading from the epistle to the Hebrews 7:27, Christ…
who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. Why is there daily mass when it says we don't need a daily Mass? The Old Testament sacrifices that took place daily with the priests in the temple were symbols of what the Messiah would do. Given the fact that He came and did it, we don't need it anymore according to the epistle to the Hebrews.
The epistle to the Hebrews 9:12
and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He……that is, Christ…
…entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  If it’s “eternal” it means it’s forever and ever without end, without beginning as such – it’s eternal. He did it once and for all for all eternity. Why is there a mass?
Chapter 10 of Hebrews, verse 12…
but He……that is, Christ…
… having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, One sacrifice for sins for all time. Verse 14…
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  If something is perfection, by definition it cannot be improved upon. How can you improve upon perfection?
Given the fact that Rome claims Peter was the first pope, can it be explained why, in his epistle in 1 Peter 3:18, St. Peter says Christ diedonce to bear the sins? Once – perfection – for all eternity! We don’t need a priest to do it again and again like in the Old Testament, the Priest has come. It’s a good question.
Well, it's a good question from one who is ignorant of Catholic teaching.  Prasch is actually pretty close to the answer, but seems to have "missed it by that much."  The Mass is not a new offering, over and over again, it is a re-presentation of the same Sacrifice of Christ.  God is timeless, as are acts of God.  When Jesus was crucified on the Cross, that One Sacrifice is for all time and the Mass "taps into" that eternal Sacrifice.  The Mass does not re-crucify Christ, that one act was done - but at the same time is an eternal act.  Jesus Himself commanded that we "do this" every time we partake in the Eucharist (1 Cor. 11:25 and Luke 22:19).  To not use the ceremony (the Mass) which He Himself instituted would be contrary to His command.  Again, this is not the imperfect sacrifices of the Old Testament priests, but the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  When the New Testament priests offer this Sacrifice, it is not by their own authority, but in "alter christus," it is through Jesus Christ Himself, operating through the priest, that He, Jesus, offers the same Sacrifice for us in the Mass.  Again, it's not a new or repeated sacrifice, it is the same Sacrifice that we "tap into" through the Mystery of Faith.

It truly takes Faith to accept this Mystery too, as Jesus Christ hides Himself under the appearance of bread and wine, but the reality of Faith is that it is no longer bread and wine, though the accidents (those things we sense) still appear to be bread and wine, the substance (that which it really is) is the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  If you lack the faith to accept this, then pray to Jesus that He gives you sufficient faith to accept Him at His Word.  

Why do we need the Mass?  Because Jesus told us how we are to remember and celebrate His suffering and victory.  To not "do this" would be to disobey Him.  That's why we need the Mass.
A famous priest who was a Catholic theologian, the author of eight books, on a video admitted he didn't have the answer. Understand something: What astounded me coming from a Catholic background on my mother’s side was that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for teaching as precepts of God the inventions of men. (Mt. 15:9; Mk. 7:7)
The last thing Jesus said in the Apocalypse is don’t add to the Bible. (Rev. 22:18-19) In his First epistle to the Corinthians 4:6 St. Paul said, “Learn not to exceed what is written”. Moses says don’t add to it, (Dt. 4:2) Jesus said if you do you’ll be condemned to hell. 
Before changing the subject, Prasch presented the above warnings not to add to or change the Scriptures.  I'd like to know who this "famous priest" is and see the context of that video, but the context from the Scriptures he refers to do not really say what he presents them as saying.  Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7 speak to Isaiah's prophesy of the Pharisees and scribes because they rejected God's word for the sake of their korban tradition, specifically the precept to honor your father and mother was over-ruled by a korban which allowed for sons to circumvent the obligation to care for one's parents by consecrating to God that which would have been used to support them in their old age.  Revelation 22:18-19 speaks specifically to the Book of Revelation, not to "the Bible" which had not been put together as a book nor in the form of the "canon" we're familiar with now (that would not happen for nearly 400 years).  Deuteronomy 4:2 speaks to Mosaic Law, which I am quite certain Mr. Prasch does not fully adhere to, and if he does not then to use this passage is quite hypocritical.  Jesus, contrary to what Mr. Prasch said, quotes Old Testament Scripture several times and then says, "but I say..." so does Prasch accuse Jesus of the same thing he accuses Catholics?  

In short, the inconsistency and inaccuracy of Prasch's arguments are exposed.  
Find me indulgences, purgatory, or the mass in the New Testament. Penance? Whose sins you shall forgive? That was talking about leading people to Christ. Show me one place in the book of Acts where the early Christians went to confession to a priest. Or a better question, show me a priest.
It could be said that each of Prasch's challenges can be covered in Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18 - the Church was given the authority to bind or loose whatsoever she chooses.  As for indulgences, these are specifically under the authority just mentioned, but there are examples in Scripture:
In the Old Testament, Judah Maccabee finds the bodies of soldiers who died wearing superstitious amulets during one of the Lord’s battles. Judah and his men "turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out" (2 Macc. 12:42) (qtd on Catholic Answers).
Prasch's first objection will likely be that 2 Maccabees is from the Deuterocanonicals (he may call that the Apocrypha, which is not an accurate name as apocrypha means "hidden" and those books were never hidden).  The point is, however, that the books of the Maccabees reflect what the Jews thought, believed and practiced.  Scripture also refers to sins being forgiven in both this world and the next:
32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.  (Matt. 12:32).
Being relieved of sin "in the world to come" is an indulgence, it is scriptural.

As for Purgatory, there are several scriptural references, including the two just previously mentioned.  We also have Rev. 21:27 (nothing impure can enter Heaven),  1 Cor. 3:13 (our works will be tested, as by fire) and St. Peter makes the same analogy in 1 Peter 1:7 as well as Zechariah 13:9 and Proverbs 17:3-13.  References to indulgences and Purgatory are clearly there for those who are not blind to see them.

As for the Mass, please Mr. Prasch!  The central point of the Mass is the Eucharist and that is straight out of Scripture.  The rest of the Mass, if you study it even minimally, comes from Scripture too.  The structure actually has Jewish roots, as our religion really isn't a new religion, it is a completion of the Jewish faith.
There is no such thing as a priest in the New Testament because we are all called priests by Peter. (1 Peter 2:5,9) St. Peter said we are all priests with Christ as the High Priest. There is no “priest”, the word is “presbyter” where you get the word “Presbyterian”. It meant the elders of a congregation. There was no priesthood other than the priesthood of all Christians.  
Actually, the English word "priest" comes from the Greek word "presbyter," which Prasch admits is part of the New Testament, in fact is mentioned several times throughout.  One of the responsibilities of the "elder," if you wish, was to perform the Sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist with his congregation.  St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of St. John the Apostle, wrote of the distinctions between the authority of the bishops as separate from the authority of presbyters and deacons.

Yes, we are all called to a priesthood of believers, but what does that really mean, especially to the non-Catholic?  We are all called to offer up our own sacrifices too.  When we suffer, we can offer up those sufferings in union with the suffering of our Lord on the Cross.  Out of our abundance, we can offer up a portion to the needy.  If we don't have an abundance of money, we can always offer up prayers for those in need - especially for those who cann0t petition for themselves, the ones in most need of His mercy. 
Jesus said call no man your father as a religious title. In Matthew 23, St. Matthew quotes Jesus As saying, “Call no man your father”. (Mt. 23:9) Jesus forbade us to call the pope a “holy father” or to call the priest “our father”. He forbade it as a religious title. “Call no man your father”. There’s no priest, He said don’t even call somebody that, One is your Father who is in heaven.
Nathan, who also authors on this blog, wrote an article on "Call No Man Father" in response to this same challenge back in 2013.  John Salza in his Apologetics 101 series has the following (2 minute) video:
The bottom line here is Prasch, as well as other assumably well-meaning Protestants who also often take this passage out of context, misses the point.  The point is not to be like the Pharisees.  In the verse just previous, Matthew 23:8 tells us not to call anyone "rabbi" or "teacher," yet 
With sincerity I've asked these questions. Who do I believe, Mary or the Vatican? Who do I believe, St. Paul or the Vatican? Who do I believe, St. Peter or the Vatican? Who do I believe, St. Matthew or the Vatican? Who do I believe, Jesus Christ or the Vatican? I had to make a decision, so do you. Whom will you believe?
And with all sincerity, your questions have all been answered.  Do we believe Mary or the Vatican?  We believe both.  Mary points us to Christ, and so does the Vatican.  The same is true of the other questions.  To decide not to to believe Catholicism is to not believe in what Jesus Christ taught us.  After His Resurrection, He spent another 40 days with the Apostles, our first bishops, teaching them how His Church was to be run.  As He commands them to do as He did - as He was sent, He also sends them. (John 20:21).  This means that they too had to go out and select more bishops, and those bishops were to select others - and it is in that succession of bishops that we find His True Church.  Outside of that succession you do not have the fullness of His Truth.  His desire is that we be one, just He and the Father are one, (John 17:20-21).  Yes, you have made a decision - but your journey is not at its end.  As the Prodigal Son did, it's time for you to come home.

I do hope you will engage this discussion, as there is so much more that can be said on each topic.  It has also not gone un-noticed by me that you have been recovering from a severe illness while I've been writing these responses.  You have been in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you fully recover.  When you are well enough, do look me up.

AMDG,
Scott Windsor<<<
Scott Windsor
Part 6 - Doctrine of Demons?
Back to Indices Page

Saturday, November 07, 2015

The End of the Year is Coming!

Last year I put together the following little video to commemorate the end of the liturgical year...


I am considering doing one for this year too... what would you change?

Tough Questions?

At the CathApol Blog we do not shy away from the "tough questions" as a quick perusal of our postings will show.  We don't believe any valid and respectfully asked question should go unanswered.  If you have a specific question or challenge for us, please feel free to use this posting to post a question or two.  We'll prepare a response in a separate, on-topic posting.

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Monday, November 02, 2015

Slavery Document 1866 Instruction of the Holy Office

If you've been around apologetics much at all you're probably familiar with the argument some dissidents and anti-Catholics like to throw out there - that is the "Instruction of the Holy Office" supposedly signed by Pope Pius IX in June of 1866.  I've searched long and hard for this actual document - and about the only thing I can find is quotes from dissidents and anti-Catholics - and not one single source with full context.   It truly seems like one of those "repeat a lie often enough people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself" types of things.  Why is it that this ONLY turns up on anti-Catholic and dissident sites?  Why can you not find the context, anywhere?  I'm quite open to discussing and even debating this topic - but let's have a valid source first, shall we?  I challenge anyone to present the primary source document, with context, so we can do just that - discuss and debate this matter.

Until we have some valid documentation, I would suggest we ignore sites merely pushing an anti-Catholic or dissident agenda.

Here's the quote you will often see, and even though an alleged primary source is cited (Instruction of the Holy Office of June, 1866) there is NO link pointing to the actual primary source.
Slavery itself, considered as such in it essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery, and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons. It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given.
Many of those sites which cite/quote this "source" also make a point to say "Signed by Pope Pius IX himself."   But did he sign any such thing?  Does any such document really exist?  Or, is this a lie which has been foisted upon us for so long and no one really questioned the veracity of the claim?

Addendum:
After publishing the above, I did come across a site which has more context - and the context puts a bit of a different light upon the topic on the Kings College site:       
1866 Instruction of the Holy Office in Response to questions form the Vicar Apostolic of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia
... slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons.
            For the sort of ownership which a slave-owner has over a slave is understood as nothing other than the perpetual right of disposing of the work of a slave for one's own benefit - services which it is right for one human being to provide for another.
            From this it follows that it is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or donated, provided that in this sale, purchase, exchange or gift, the due conditions are strictly observed which the approved authors likewise describe and explain.
            Among these conditions the most important ones are that the purchaser should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty, and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue or Catholic faith of the slave who is to be transferred to another's possession. 
So, there's a bit more context, perhaps - but still not the whole document.  It is interesting to note that this document is not supporting the sort of slave trade that most Americans think about, for those "traded" in America were unjustly deprived of their freedom.