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As a Catholic Christian I am often hurt by the contempt with which the Church is written about here at All About God. net.  And yet I know that many Christians would not be able to answer even basic questions about the Biblical-based teaching and practice of the Holy Catholic Church.  So, here is a quiz that I found at Catholic Bible 101.  Can you pass this quiz without looking up the answers before hand?  And if not, then could we all agree to get to know Catholic Christianity before we condemn Catholic Christians?


Take the quiz and find out. 

  1. Pope John Paul II instituted a new set of mysteries to the Rosary called the ______Mysteries.  It is suggested by the Church to say these mysteries on _______ .
  2. The 3rd Glorious Mystery of the Rosary is the ________.
  3. Saul saw Jesus as a bright light on his way to _________.
  4. The first Christian in the New Testament, as well as the first evangelist, was _______.
  5. Paul describes Jesus as the new ______.
  6. The Ark of the Covenant contained three items, according to Paul, including ____, ____, & _____ .
  7. There are at least 3 righteous people mentioned in the Book of Luke, ____, _____, and _____.
  8. According to the Bible, _______ is the prince of the air.
  9. The first murderer in human history was _________.
  10. Adam and Eve's third son was named _______.
  11. Jesus is a priest forever, in the order of _______.
  12. True or False--The Catholic Church added the 7 books of the "apocrypha" to the Bible after the Protestant Reformation. 
  13. True or False--The Bible condemns all tradition.
  14. The Liturgy of the Hours draws mainly from the Biblical book of ______.
  15. __________ was completely forgiven for his sin by God, but still had to endure the death of his child as punishment.
  16. ________ told Mary that a sword would pierce her heart.
  17. Psalm _____ foretells the crucifixion of Jesus and that lots would be cast for his clothes.
  18. Bethlehem means _______of _______.
  19. The prophet _______ foretold that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.
  20. The prophet _______ foretold that Jesus would be  born of a virgin.
  21. The prophet _______ foretold that Jesus would be sold for 30 pieces of silver.
  22. _________chopped off the head of General Holofernes, saving Israel. She is a biblical type of Mary, who crushes the head of the serpent, saving the Church.
  23. ________ was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind.  Just prior to that, ________ asked for and received a double portion of his spirit.
  24. _____ went to the Witch of Endor to get her to conjure up Samuel from the dead.
  25. True or False - Witchcraft, sorcery, and divination are not condemned by the Bible.
  26. ____ & _____ asked Jesus if he should rain fire down on a Samaritan village.
  27. Jesus appeared to his unknowing disciples after the Resurrection on the road to _______ .
  28.  In _____ chapter 6, Jesus told his disciples that if they eat ____and drink ____ they  would abide in him, and he in them.
  29. The angel Gabriel called Mary _____ of _____, rather than by her name.
  30. __________ was an Old Testament Prophet and King, who was a shepherd, was born in Bethlehem, started his Kingship at 30 years of age, and foretold that evil men would cast lots for the Messiah's clothes.
  31. Following the death of King __________in 930 BC,the nation of Israel split into the Northern Kingdom, called ________, and the southern Kingdom, called __________. 
  32. Of the 12 tribes of Israel, ___ were in the northern kingdom, and ____ were in the southern kingdom.
  33. The capital of the northern kingdom was ____________, while the capital of the southern kingdom was __________.
  34. In 722 BC, the northern kingdom was taken captive by __________.
  35. In 587 BC, the southern kingdom was taken captive by __________.
  36. The ________ kingdom eventually returned home after 70 years of exile.
  37. The ________kingdom assimilated with pagan countries and was never heard from again.
  38. Jesus said that a kingdom __________ cannot __________.
  39. According to 2 Maccabees, ________buried the Ark of the Covenant containing the 10 Commandments in a cave on or near Mount ________.
  40. Also according to 2 Maccabees, the long dead prophet _________ appeared to the former high priest Onias and to Judas Maccabees and presented a golden sword to Judas. Onias said the prophet_______much for the people and the holy city.
  41. Straight out of the Bible, the Seven Sorrows of Mary are ________, ________, ________, ________, ________, ________, & ________.
  42. _______ was taken up into heaven in a whirlwind (at the spot on the Jordan River where ________ started his ministry years later),  after giving a double portion of his spirit to his protege, ________.

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Hi, blankkk, My Brother in Christ,

I took some time to really go over your questions and below is my prayerful consideration. Just know that I am in no way an authority on Catholicism or Christianity. I am just a sinner looking to the Lord for my Hope and for my Salvation.

(your words are in bold and my reply is in regular type)

Hi Sharon,
I dont believe in the catholic ways even from the little I do know.

Fair enough. We all don’t have to walk in lock-step, right?

Like taking confession to a man when the bible makes it clear that no one can get to God but by Jesus.

As a Catholic Christian I make my confession of sins to my Priest. A Priest is not just a man, a Priest has received the Sacrament of Holy Orders and that, and only that, gives him authority to hear my confession and forgive me my sins.

From the Sacred Scriptures:

Jesus Christ Granted the Apostles His Authority to Forgive Sins*
John 20:21 - before He grants them the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the apostles, "as the Father sent me, so I send you." As Christ was sent by the Father to forgive sins, so Christ sends the apostles and their successors forgive sins.
John 20:22 - the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord "breathes" divine life into man. When this happens, a significant transformation takes place.
John 20:23 - Jesus says, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained." In order for the apostles to exercise this gift of forgiving sins, the penitents must orally confess their sins to them because the apostles are not mind readers. The text makes this very clear.
Matt. 9:6; Mark 2:10 - Christ forgave sins as a man (not God) to convince us that the "Son of man" has authority to forgive sins on earth.
Luke 5:24 - Luke also points out that Jesus' authority to forgive sins is as a man, not God. The Gospel writers record this to convince us that God has given this authority to men. This authority has been transferred from Christ to the apostles and their successors.
Matt. 18:18 - the apostles are given authority to bind and loose. The authority to bind and loose includes administering and removing the temporal penalties due to sin. The Jews understood this since the birth of the Church.
2 Cor. 5:18 - the ministry of reconciliation was given to the ambassadors of the Church. This ministry of reconciliation refers to the sacrament of reconciliation, also called the sacrament of confession or penance.
James 5:15-16 - in verse 15 we see that sins are forgiven by the priests in the sacrament of the sick. This is another example of man's authority to forgive sins on earth. Then in verse 16, James says “Therefore, confess our sins to one another,” in reference to the men referred to in verse 15, the priests of the Church.
1 Tim. 2:5 - Christ is the only mediator, but He was free to decide how His mediation would be applied to us. The Lord chose to use priests of God to carry out His work of forgiveness.
Lev. 5:4-6; 19:21-22 - even under the Old Covenant, God used priests to forgive and atone for the sins of others.
II. The Necessity and Practice of Orally Confessing Sins
James 5:16 - James clearly teaches us that we must “confess our sins to one another,” not just privately to God. James 5:16 must be read in the context of James 5:14-15, which is referring to the healing power (both physical and spiritual) of the priests of the Church. Hence, when James says “therefore” in verse 16, he must be referring to the men he was writing about in verses 14 and 15 – these men are the ordained priests of the Church, to whom we must confess our sins.
Acts 19:18 - many came to orally confess sins and divulge their sinful practices. Oral confession was the practice of the early Church just as it is today.
Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5 - again, this shows people confessing their sins before others as an historical practice (here to John the Baptist).
1 Tim. 6:12 - this verse also refers to the historical practice of confessing both faith and sins in the presence of many witnesses.
1 John 1:9 - if we confess are sins, God is faithful to us and forgives us and cleanse us. But we must confess our sins to one another.
Num. 5:7 - this shows the historical practice of publicly confessing sins, and making public restitution.
2 Sam. 12:14 - even though the sin is forgiven, there is punishment due for the forgiven sin. David is forgiven but his child was still taken (the consequence of his sin).
Neh. 9:2-3 - the Israelites stood before the assembly and confessed sins publicly and interceded for each other.
• scripture and text from Scripture Catholic {}

Also the worship of ingraven images statues.

This is a popular misconception. Catholic Christians do not worship graven images and statues.
My mother died recently and some days I will look at her picture for the longest time and just cry. But it is not the picture itself that I adore, the photo is just a piece of celluloid, it’s what the picture represents; my mother! In the church I see a statue of Jesus and Mary and I will express my emotions in adoration and prayer but I am not praying to the Statue! any more then I am worshiping a piece of celluloid when I cry over a picture of my mother! who would worship a piece of celluloid or a lump of marble? Catholic Christians don’t worship the statue or the image we worship what the statue or the image represents; my Jesus, my Savior and His beloved Mother.

Also it seems that Jesus mother Mary is more worshiped by the catholic than Jesus Lord.
It may seem that way to some Protestant Christians but an Orthodox Christian or an Anglican Christian might think we neglect Mary! Personally, I suspect that Martin Luther didn’t really care for women but, that is another subject.

Also dont believe that when folks see a crying, bleeding ect statue or image believe that it is from God
You don’t have to believe. This is Christianity not communism. You and I are both free to have our own personal, private beliefs.
From the most recent Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1782 Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters."

because of God saying not to do the image thing.
But, God did the ‘image thing’, didn’t He?

When I was a child and we moved a lot we would stay with a huge catholic family until we found a place to live and I liked each of them. But never learned anything about Jesus. Sweet Mary I did but not Jesus.
I am assuming that this huge Catholic family took you and your family in and gave you a place to stay, and food to eat, etc. until you could find a place to live, is that right? And it sounds like they did this on more than one occasion, is that right? And they were not close relatives or in any way under obligation to let you stay with them right?
If so then I think they taught you A LOT about Jesus!

Also the signing of the upside down cross that one confuses me too.
This one is new to me. I can only say that this is not a Catholic Church doctrine.

I didnt take this test because Pope was mentioned first in line. I have heard that the pope is worshiped by the catholic.
Yeah, a lot of that type of misinformation is floating around.
"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues;” because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God;” because they “say indulgence is a permission to commit sin;” because the Pope “is a Fascist;” because the Church “is the defender of Capitalism.” If the Church taught or believed any one of these things, it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.
Bishop Fulton Sheen.

Dont know if thats true though.

It’s not.

Could you pass a biblical quiz not written by the catholic sharon?

Yup! I could pass a biblical quiz not written by Catholics. Since Catholics are Christians, if you know Christianity and you know your Bible you should do well on this or any other Christian quiz.

I coulsnt either one. But I do believe that what I said to be true. Thank you for posting this about your catholic belief and letting others comment about their belief. i hope to get to read some good debates by you and the debaters here.

Thank you for expressing your beliefs. I love the Christian community and I am eager to share my walk with the Lord and to read about the experiences of others.

Your Sister in Christ Jesus,

John 20:22 - the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. John 20:23 - Jesus says, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

These verses do not give authority to Christians to forgive sins. Jesus was saying that the believer can boldly declare the certainty of a sinner's forgiveness by the Father because of the work of His Son if that sinner has repented and believed the gospel. The believer with certainly can also tell those who do not respond to the message of God's forgiveness through faith in Christ that their sins, as a result, are not forgiven.

If the scripture above were given men authority to forgive sins then the scripture would be contradicting other verses were clearly shown that only God can forgive sins. Jesus breathe on them because the Holy Spirit had not come upon them to abide in them permanently, which happen some 40 days later.

All minister's (in cluding priests) are only men. Priest are not above anyone.

The following is from check out that website and educate your self on your Catholic belief.

Understanding Roman Catholicism by Rick Jones

Confessing Sins to a Priest
Regarding the forgiveness of sins, two critical doctrines must be examined. First, all sins must be confessed to a priest:

"One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience." Pg. 374, #1493
"Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance:" Pg. 365, #1456

"It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. Pg. 357, #1424 (See also Pg. 374, #1493).

Catholicism orders members to confess their sins to a man, but the Bible reveals that those who have been born into God's family can go straight to God's throne to receive forgiveness for their sins:

"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. " Psalm 32:5
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

David confessed his sins to God when he prayed:

"Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me." Psalm 51:2-3

Here is why true Christians have access to God' s throne:

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus..." Hebrews 10:19

Because of the sinless blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross, we have the authority to go straight to the throne of God for forgiveness.

The "first pope's" example

In the book of Acts, a man named Simon came to the alleged first pope, Peter, wanting to buy the power of the Holy Spirit. How did Peter respond to this sin? Did he suggest that Simon make a confession to him right there? No, Peter told him to repent and confess his sin to God and ask God to forgive him. (See Acts 8:18-22).

Can priests forgive sins?

The second part of this doctrine suggests that Catholic priests have the power to forgive sins:

"Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ." Pg. 374, #1495 (See also Pg. 364 #1448)

Here, too, Catholic doctrine opposes God's Word:

"Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" Mark 2:7

Catholicism teaches that the priest is a mediator between God and man. (See Pg. 365, #1456). But the Bible recognizes only one mediator:

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" 1 Timothy 2:5

Once again, the Catechism admits that these are not instructions from God, but traditions of men:

"The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as the second plank [of salvation]..." Pg. 363 #1446

More bondage

"According to the Church's command, 'after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.'" Pg. 365, #1457 (Emphasis author's)

There is that word "bound" again. The Church Fathers created another tradition which keeps people in bondage to the Catholic church.

What a powerful weapon to use against Catholics around the world. In essence, this doctrine says that if you leave the Catholic church, you will not be able to obtain forgiveness for your sins, which means you won't go to heaven.

Please remember, none of this came from God! These are all man-made threats. May God open your spiritual eyes and give you understanding, so that you may see the depth of the bondage this religion holds you in. May God show you that you don't have to be held captive to this religion any longer. Jesus Christ wants to set you free.


Millions of faithful Catholics blindly file into confessional booths, believing that the priest has the power to forgive their sins.

What about you? Where will you go to have your sins forgiven? To a sinful priest, as the man-made traditions of the Catholic church demand?

Or will you go straight to God Almighty, as the Bible teaches?

"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." Psalm 130:1-4
i totally agree with David on all he has said here there is only one mediator JESUS and because of him are sins are gone to those born again . Giving us a personal relationship with our heavenly FATHER . No need for images of any sort or praying to saints or mary . All men are with sin no man can forgive sin none is worthy .
We Catholics think that no Priest is a mediator, only Christ is. Please see my reply below, which I inteded for David, but placed it on the wrong spot...
David, may I jump in just to point out a couple of important points that are missing here, in spite of Sharon's excellent reply, they have not been stated.

According to the RCC, the Sacrament we are discussing is called the Sacrament of RECONCILIATION or PENANCE, not confession as it is popularly called. Catholics believe that no priest, as an individual man, however pious or learned, has the power to forgive sins apart from God. What happens, however, is that the Priest in the confessionary, after having performed the preparation for the Sacrament by reciting the formula of absolution, forgives the sins of the penitent in God's place as though we were confessing to Jesus Himself.

Likewise, we see this at Holy Mass, when the Priest bless the offerings of bread and wine and asks God the Father to accept them and through the Holy Spirit, transform the substance ( NOT the form, therefore, transubstantiation) into the Body and Blood of Christ, as Jesus Himself did at the Last Supper, it is no longer him who is performing the miracle of the Transubstantiation, but Christ himself through the Priest.

The authority for this, is explained in the reply Sharon's given.


Ps. Thanks for telling me about this forum!
Hi there and welcome!

The Sacrament is called reconciliation but the practice is still the same. Go in, kneel down, say your act act of contrition, confess, hear the final prayer of absolution and that is it.

I am not sure why they have changed the name, my understanding was that this Sacrament was always called confession or Reconciliation, but it might be because that is what we ultimately do when we confess: We reconcile with God.

Regarding the Transubstanciation, I was not aware that there was another view. I have always known that the persona Christi was the means by which the transformation can occur. Without Christ not transformation. But isnt the priest an 'alter Christus' as he celebrates the Eucharist? I am confused...

Are you an orthodox? From which country?

Pax Christi!

Hi David,

I posted this reply yesterday, which was meant to you, but I ended up placing it under some-one else's comment. I am re-posting it just to make sure you will read it.

Cheers and God Bless!


David, may I jump in just to point out a couple of important points that are missing here, in spite of Sharon's excellent reply, they have not been stated.

According to the RCC, the Sacrament we are discussing is called the Sacrament of RECONCILIATION or PENANCE, not confession as it is popularly called. Catholics believe that no Priest, as an individual man, however pious or learned, has the power to forgive sins apart from God.

What happens, however, is that the Priest in the confessionary, after having performed the preparation for the Sacrament, by reciting the formula of absolution, forgives the sins of the penitent in God's place as though we were confessing to Jesus Himself.

Likewise, we see this at Holy Mass, when the Priest blesses the offerings of bread and wine and asks God the Father to accept them, and through the Holy Spirit, transform the substance ( NOT the form, therefore, Transubstantiation Miracle) into the Body and Blood of Christ; as Jesus Himself did at the Last Supper. At this point at Mass it is no longer the Priest who is performing the Miracle of the Transubstantiation, but Christ himself through the Priest.

The authority/scriptural evidence for this is explained in the reply Sharon's given above.


Ps. Thanks for telling me about this forum!
Beloved Helen,

I understand that RC’s do not see the priest as “The Mediator,” but a mediator none the less as you will see below from the Cathecism. The problem I have with many practices of the RC is that however well intended they were in their insertion they are not biblically based and rather spring from traditions of men. No matter how well intended such traditions were, they lack scriptural foundation and have done more harm than good, by giving the masses a false practice. Few RC's are well studied as you are, that is not an arrogant statement. The sad fact is that most people do not know why they believe what they believe in all religions of the world. However as well studied as you are, you have been misinformed by practices that only keep you in bondage when Christ’s work came to free you from such bondage of religion by replacing it with Relationship. Protestants have no need for such practices; we do not want people dependent on mere man or church institution. The members of the body of Christ make up the church. We do not teach men to confess to men for the forgiveness of sins, but we do teach them to run to God and that is good to confess our sin to one another as a way to seek accountability and to overcome the sin, but not for forgiveness that only God can offer. No one needs me or a priest; they can come boldly unto the throne of grace.


1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly."54

When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, "for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know."55

You see sis the RCC traditions have created and extra step for which there is no biblical basis for. As I have explained in previous post the verses in the bible that state that we are to confess our sins to one another are not there for an institution to place a burden upon the people of God. Though the priest is understood not to be “The Mediator" between men and God, he is called a mediator between man and Christ as you can clearly see from the Catechism above. We need no such mediator. Christ is God. The second person of the deity and we need no mediator. The veil was ripped at the temple from top to bottom, so we can all go boldly unto the throne of grace.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 7:19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Geneva Study Bible

Unto the throne of grace. The Jewish high priest interceded before the mercy-seat. We may come boldly to the mercy-seat, knowing that our loving Elder Brother is our high priest in the heavens. Hence we may always have confidence when we ask for
grace to help in time of need. The practical lesson of the chapter is that the True Rest promised remains. It was not the Sabbath day, nor was it Canaan. It is the heavenly rest of which these are types. Unbelieving disobedience excluded the Israelites from the typical rest of Canaan. So, too, it will exclude those who have started to enter into the heavenly rest if they refuse to hear Christ through unbelief. The believing Joshua and Caleb entered into Canaan. So, too, the true and faithful believers who follow Christ will enter into the rest above.

>>by reciting the formula of absolution,

This formula is not found in Scripture. It is simply the invention of man. Look at the problems that are created by such practices of man.

From RC website:

What part of the "absolution formula" is required for there to be absolution?
I went to confession today and the priest was in a rush to hear a lot of confessions and mumbled the absolution formula. It was definitely really short, and he didn't say the usual absolution formula. I couldn't really make out what part of the formula he said, but I could have swore that he did say the words "I absolves you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" at the end. But he did not say all of this formula:

God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

1. Was this a valid confession?
2. Should I just assume that he knew what he was doing and not scruple over this?
3. How much of this formula is needed for a valid confession, anyway? EOQ

Now Helen pay attention to the answer of a Catholic to the question above.

“You know, for many, many years, until relatively recently, the absolution was given in Latin, at the same time as the penitent was saying the act of contrition. For all we knew, the priest could have been mumbling the Star Spangled Banner in Latin. Did anyone worry? No. God gave us priests to take care of us, not so that we had the additional burden of monitoring the performance of their duties.

Betsy EOQ

God did not give us priests at all. He actually got rid of the priests and became our eternal priest and gave us: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, Ephesians 4:11

Not one verse in Scripture where God gave us a pope or a priest.

>>Likewise, we see this at Holy Mass, when the Priest bless the offerings of bread and wine and asks God the Father to accept them and through the Holy Spirit, transform the substance (NOT the form, therefore, transubstantiation) into the Body and Blood of Christ, as Jesus Himself did at the Last Supper, it is no longer him who is performing the miracle of the Transubstantiation, but Christ himself through the Priest.

I already dealt with the above in one of the post on this discussion and again the believe in transubstantiation is not biblically grounded.

Sister Helen –

It is obvious to me that you Love God and beloved I can do nothing else but love you for loving my Lord. I know He is happy when He looks down at you. The word says seek me and you will find me. He has brought you to a good network where is not our intentions to bash anyone, specially not our Catholic family, but only the truth can set you free and you are so close to the truth, so close. If you have confessed Christ as your Lord and Savior and the Spirit bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God, by Grace alone through faith than you are a child of God and you are in the truth. However doctrinally the RCC has too many erroneous practices. I pray you are more interested on being biblically correct than associated with a denomination or religion.

Dear David,

Many thanks again for you comments and for the opportunity to debate this with you.

Before I start, I would like to state that there is no short answer to your question because, as I can see from your comment, I am afraid you lack some basic understanding of what Catholicism teaches; therefore I feel that I need to address some fundamental concepts in order to answer you properly.

Before I do so, let me give you some food for thought, quoting a prominent cleric from the RC Church, which; in a way, might be the reason for which Sharon started this discussion community:

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing. (Bishop Fulton Sheen)

What I am trying to say to you is the following: You may remain a protestant for as long as you want, and I am sure Jesus will keep or lead you wherever He wants you to be. However, when it comes to debating the Catholic Church, as a non-Catholic, you will need to ‘forget’ most of what you have been told about Catholicism and seek/understand what this Church really teaches.

Now moving on to your question; whenever someone says “this” or “that” teaching/doctrine of the RC Church is not Biblical; for the sake of discussion, I must to ask them to consider some important points:

1- For almost 400 years Christianity had no published Bible (as I said in reply to another post, the Bible was compiled around 365 AD), in fact, for the next thousand years, until the printing press was invented, there were scant few Bibles available, in a world almost completely illiterate and impoverished. Needless to say that the few lucky one who possessed a Bible were a wealthy, privileged and literate minority.

This surely must prompt any reasonable person to ask themselves: how did the early Christians, especially those living in the first four centuries after Christ, learn the Gospel if there was no Bible?

History tells us that they HAD to rely on the Oral Tradition ( with Capital T) passed on to them by the Apostles and their disciples. This is what the RCC calls Sacred Tradition, which you referred to as man tradition.

2- The RCC proclaims that she is Apostolic ( again, this is historically well documented and proven. I refer you to the oldest document of Christianity, The Didache 50 AD) and, therefore, all her Doctrines are Infallible.

Protestants may find this as a rather arrogant statement. But let us look into why the Universal Church says that.

A- Since the RCC is Apostolic, she proclaims that her Authority comes from Christ. Why does she say that?

Because Christ founded her when he appointed one of the Apostles, Simon Peter or Cephas, as her leader.
Because of Jesus’ promises to the Apostles:

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit comes, he will guide you into ALL TRUTH.” (Jn16:12-13)

“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 behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matt 28:18-20).

Before I go on in giving further evidence, let us stop here to analyze what his last sentence (in Matt 28:20) means:

In the light of the fact that the Apostles are NO longer among us, why would Jesus say: I am with you always, to the end of the age? Sure He, being God, knew that the Apostles, like the rest of us, would expire (die) one day. Because Jesus was referring to the successors of the Apostles, in His infinite and Divine intelligence he was foretelling the history of His Church. One might even argue: “No, what He meant is that the Apostles would go to heaven and them be with Jesus again“. Indeed he said that somewhere else, but not here in this instance. Because if that was the case, He would have said: “I am with you always, until you come to me or something to that effect.

Here we also see Jesus promising the Apostles the necessary wisdom to Teach the Truth:

“This things I have spoken to you, ABIDING with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you… When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he shall give testimony of me. And you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning. ( Jn 14:25-26 ; 15:26-27)

This is where the Catholic and Apostolic Church takes her assurance for her Authority, as well as the comfort for her infallibility. Because if her discernment comes from the Holy Spirit, it is free of error.

Furthermore, Jesus said: As the Father has sent me, I also SEND you. ( Jn 20:21). After giving the Apostles authority and reassurance, Jesus makes it clear that His Church, which He founded upon Cephas, His Rock, is to be no less of a teacher than He Himself was.

Then a Protestant may argue, as you did, that Jesus was giving His authority to the whole body of believers which was to become His Church, not only to the Apostles. Well, this is a misinterpretation of the Scriptures, because the Scriptures themselves state it rather obviously that Jesus was talking to His chosen disciples not to the crowds. Had He meant that the Teaching Authority of the Church was to be given to the whole body of believers, Jesus would have either told it to all faithful or commanded the Apostles to do so. He did neither. Furthermore, we can clearly verify how the Apostles themselves embraced this Teaching Authority given to them in the Scripture themselves ( namely, the Acts and all Apostles and so on). Paul himself clearly states this in one of his letters when he says that some have been placed in the Church as TEACHERS, not all.(1Cor12:28-29).

Before I can move on finally to address your question regarding Confession, I am obliged to suggest that you refer to the writings of the early Christians, especially in the first two centuries, some of which the RC Church refers to as Doctors of the Church. There are numerous documents, some dated even before the Bible was compiled, where you can find reference to the Apostolic Succession going back all they to St Peter.

3- Confessing to a Priest.

Having discussed the issues of Authority as well as Succession, I would like to reiterate that all Priests in the RC Church are anointed in the Spirit and are in their Priestly ministry successors of the Apostles. But why does the Church declare the need for Confession? With what authority?

Because Jesus instituted it Himself, and here is the evidence:

Those whose sins you forgive are forgiven, and he whose sins you retain, are retained (Jn 20:22-23)

Here we see Jesus giving the Apostles AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE sins, just as He had authority to forgive sins or earth given by the Father - in spite the Pharisees’ contempt, because up until that point only God could forgive sins!

Now, clearly Jesus gave the Apostles the authority to forgive sins, but He did not confer to them the ability or the right to read the minds of the sinners. How could we then expect the Apostles to be able to exercise this authority to forgive given unto them, without accepting that the believer would have to verbally express his sins and repentance to the Apostles? Surely, their authority would have been useless if that was not the case.

Lastly, before this gets unbearably long, I would like to close this initial discussion with a thought by P. Madri, a popular Catholic writer:

Jesus Christ arranged things so that the Sacramental forgiveness would come through the ministry of the priest. If someone argues against that he is not so much arguing with the Catholic Church, but with Christ Himself.

Catholics are member of an Apostolic Church, and the Lord said: “Whoever listens to you, listens to me. Whoever rejects you, rejects me. (Lk 10:16). So I better listen!!

Many thanks again!

Pax Christi

Ps. Regarding the comment the Catholic fellow made on the absolution prayer in Latin - and many other examples like this one - I would like you to keep in mind that when a Catholic who doesn’t know her/his Faith well enough to defend or explain it does not make the Faith bad, but him/herself a bad Catholic!

Ps2: Also, could you please elaborate a little bit on the Scriptures that you quoted - Hebrews 4:16 Hebrews 7:19. I am failing to see how they can support your views!

Ps3: The RCC is not against confessing sins to one another. We do it at Mass everyday, when we recite in public a Penitential Prayer:

I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angles an saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
I am curious. Do we have a recorded instance of one of the apostles absolving the sin of a sinner? Right off of the top of my head, I don't recall one. I am reading the Scriptures given here by you and talking about stretching to get what you want, there is some real stretching.

The Holy Spirit has led us into the Truth and that, of course, is Holy Scripture. This is what Martin Luther attempted to get his peers to understand. The Scripture, not man, had the authority. The authority of Scripture is given to us all. By the time Martin Luther came on the scene, the church had nearly lost the Truth. God has restored to us the authority of Scripture.

There is no way the two entities can ever come into agreement since they rest their arguments on different authorities and therefore I think a waste of time.

Please forgive me but your last paragraph to me is way off base. Mary is dead and gone and onto her very wonderful reward in Christ. Mary was a wonderful, wonderful person and joins all the other outstanding characters of faith in history. However, asking her for help is a waste of time. I cannot find anywhere in Scripture where I am told to pray to her or ask her for help.

I am very sorry for any offense. Our salvation is in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. The only way to salvation is faith in Him and available to anyone. Even a Roman Catholic can find salvation through faith in Christ. However, I am afraid that many have faith in the institution which can't save anyone from their sin.

Until the RCC is ready to accept the absolute total authority of Scripture, there will always be division. I wish there was a way for the church to be reconciled but I don't see it. I have little hope that there will ever be complete unity in the church without some direct intervention from God. The human spirit will always lift itself attempting to usurp God.


Thanks for you comment, and I hope I am able to answer you at least to some extend for I am not in the US and it is late and I have little time..

Unfortunately, as said, time is very limited for me just now, but I can reply to your concerns more thourouly another time, but it won't be now, but for now let me address your question:

Do we have a recorded instance of one of the apostles absolving the sin of a sinner?

As a matter of fact I do. Not only one but various. But just a sample to get you even more curious than you already say you are:

In the Congregation, thou shalt CONFESS thy transgressions, and thou shall not betake thyself to prayer with an evil conscience. That is the way of life. ( The Teachings of the Twelve 4:14)

On the Lord’s Day, come together [ …] after CONFESSING your sins that your offerings may be pure. ( The Teachings of the Twelve 14:1).

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and ENTRUSTING US (the Apostles) THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Please note the that in the RCC, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the official name for Confession.

“Ye therefore, who laid the foundation of this sedition, SUBMIT yourselves to the PRESBYTERS (Priests) and RECEIVE correction as so to REPENT, bending the knees of your heart . Learn to be subject of the Presbyters, laying aside the proud and arrogant self confidence of your tongue.” ( Epistole to the Corinthians 57 - Clement of Rome 80AD)

I promise you there is more, but I haven’t got time now…

Finally, I hope you do realize that Catholicism is NOT Sola Scripture but Scripture AND Sacred Tradition. Whether protestants like it or not, whether they agree with it or don’t, this is a fact and won’t change because again the RCC IS Apostolic!

Thus, whenever a Fundamentalist asks me: Where does in the Bible is it? Knowing that they reject Tradition, I have no option but to ask them the very question I asked David right above your reply:

How did the Christians learned the Gospel without the Bible for 4 HUNDRED years? Who taught them?

If this evidence is not good enough for you to accept Sacred Tradition, I am sorry, but it is for one Billion Catholics, not only now but for 2 millennia.

Now, even Peter said that the Bible when in the hands of those destitute of discernment and even common sense, can be their destruction ( 2 Peter 3:14-16). So, beware, for EVEN the DEVIL can quote the Bible.

Regarding Mary, I would to refer you to another reply I have placed here only if I could find it....

But before I go find it, let me just ask you to answer this - not to me, for I already know the answer - but since you are curious, what do you think the Scriptures mean about being DEAD?

After you think about it, I will come back and debate it with you.

Lastly, since you don’t accept the Scriptural evidence given in my reply for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and probably for the Authority of the Apostles. Do you mind clarifying to me how you explain what Jesus said in Jn 20:22-23.

Also, can you Scripturally support your belief in Sola Scriptura? (I hope you are good at Greek).

Thanks much!

Dear Helen,

I know you asked Roy how we would explain John 20:22-2, but much of what you are bringing up I have already touched on in this discussion, which is ok. I understand this discussion is extensive and time is short for all of us. But allow me to copy and paste how we deal with John 20 here:

John 20:22 - the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. 23 - Jesus says, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

In order to understand the word of God correctly one must follow three rules:

1. Interpret the verse according to context.
2. Context

It is extremely important to understand the context in which the verse is being given, if not a verse can be isolated and made to mean anything we want. Also the full counsel of scripture must be kept in mind when interpreting scripture. We must understand that the obscure passages or those that seem to contradict other clear teachings of scripture must be interpret by those verses that are clear.

These verses do not give authority to Christians to forgive sins. Jesus was saying that the believer can boldly declare the certainty of a sinner's forgiveness by the Father because of the work of His Son if that sinner has repented and believed the gospel. The believer with certainly can also tell those who do not respond to the message of God's forgiveness through faith in Christ that their sins, as a result, are not forgiven.

If the scripture above were given men authority to forgive sins then the scripture would be contradicting other verses where it's clearly shown that only God can forgive sins.

John 20:21 (New International Version)

21Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."

Notes from the "People's New Testament"

It is with reference to carrying out that Commission that he speaks in John 20:23. It was in order that they might present the terms of that Commission infallibly to the world that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was imparted, of which there is a foreshadowing in John 20:22. The great end of that Commission was to declare to men repentance and remission of sins (Lu 24:47) in the name of Christ. The following facts are manifest: (1) The Savior gave to his apostles his Commission that they might make known his will. (2) He bade them preach remission of sins (Lu 24:47). (3) He gave them a measure of the Holy Spirit, and bade them wait until endued with power from on high (Lu 24:49). (4) When the Holy Spirit fell, they spoke as it gave them utterance (Ac 2:4). (5) They then declared, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the terms on which sins could be remitted. To anxious sinners they answer, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, 'for the remission of sins' (Ac 2:38). Here, then, they, directed by the Holy Spirit, remit and retain sins by declaring the terms on which Christ will pardon. Thus, also, they do in their preaching recorded through the Acts of the Apostles the very thing that the Savior gave them power to do. This power was not imparted to a hierarchy, nor to any ecclesiastical body, but to the apostles, and was fulfilled by them in declaring to the world the conditions of pardon and condemnation under the Commission of our Lord.

Only God can forgive sins. In Mark 2:1–12 we find that when Jesus saw the paralytic, he said to him, "Your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:5). "Who can forgive sins except God alone?"

That statement shocked the Pharisees for only God can forgive sins.

Now a Catholic will say this about this objection: He performs the miracle of healing precisely to show that "the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (Mark 2:10). So what was once only in heaven is now on earth because Jesus has the authority to forgive.

And I am left to say? What? Jesus is God. He can forgive sins anywhere, but we are not God, nor have we been given such authority.

All ministers’ (including priests) are only men. Priest are not above anyone nor are ministers. We interpret these verses in light of the full counsel of God. The bible does not contradict itself, but interprets itself instead, so verses as the ones in questions are made clear by other verses.

You are using the The Didache: Teachings of the 12 to make your case which is not a canonical literature. Many believe the 12 Apostles wrote it which is highly unlikely as well as the date assigned to it. I do not want to turn this into a technical debate so I will refrain from heading that route, but is unlikely, the work could be a direct result of the first Apostolic Council @ c.50 (Acts 15:28). There is no mention of this document in scripture.

It is difficult for Protestants and Catholics to see eye to eye when our final authority is not the same.

For us is only "sola scriptura" the authority of scripture alone, while the RC is Church tradition and Scripture according to the interpretation of the Pope.



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