Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #21

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018). Some might counsel, “Give apologetics debates a rest on this particular weekend, with many believers celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.” It is precisely because of Jesus Christ and His genuine Good News! that I continue with this series today.

capture30

Claim #21: I am a Catholic because of the personality of the church’s saints

In this slightly-longer-than-one-page chapter, Kreeft appeals to the alleged holy and winsome character of Roman Catholicism’s canonized saints as a “proof” of the RCC’s authenticity as the “one true church.” States Kreeft, “Saints are books to be read. What do you read in them? The same thing you read in the Bible: Jesus. Saints are little Christs…You understand Jesus a little better every time you meet a saint. And you understand the saints better when you know and love Jesus better” (pp.73 -74). Among the nine allegedly exemplary saints Kreeft mentions are Thomas More, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Teresa of Ávila, and Thérèse of Lisieux.

Response

The canonization of allegedly über-holy people to sainthood after they are deceased is a Roman Catholic invention found nowhere in the Bible. In contrast, God’s Word proclaims every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone is a “saint” (Greek: hagios: “consecrated one”).

“To all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 1:7

Salvation is not by sacramental grace and attempting to be a holy person by obeying the Ten Commandments as Catholicism teaches. Can’t be done. We are all sinners. No one can possibly merit Heaven. The Good News! proclaimed in the New Testament is that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Only after we have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, can we follow Him as Lord.

Nowhere in the Bible do we find genuine believers praying to dead people as Catholics are taught to pray to interceding and mediating saints. Jesus Christ is the ONLY Mediator.

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5

Certain Roman Catholic saints are either officially designated as patrons of an occupation or a cause or are adopted as patron saints by popular consensus. The long list of Catholic patron saints is a thinly-veiled appropriation of ancient Rome’s pantheon of patron gods. See my relevant post here.

Kreeft appeals to the holy and winsome character of nine saints, so let’s take a brief look at the four I previously mentioned.

Thomas More served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain beginning in 1529 until King Henry VIII severed ties with the Vatican in 1532. In his capacity as Lord High Chancellor, More oversaw the inquisition and persecution of Protestants. History records that at least six Protestants were burned at the stake for heresy at More’s direction. Hundreds more were threatened or tortured.

In obedience to Vatican II teaching, Mother Teresa didn’t try to convert Hindus and Muslims in her care, but encouraged them to be “better” Hindus and Muslims:

In an interview with Christian News a nun who worked with Mother Teresa was asked the following in regards to the Hindus they worked with, “These people are waiting to die. What are you telling them to prepare them for death and eternity?” She replied candidly, “We tell them to pray to their Bhagwan, to their gods.” – from The Myth Of Mother Teresa by Tim Challies

It’s very regrettable that many undiscerning evangelical pastors also cite Mother Teresa as an “exemplary Christian.” See my myth-busting post on Mother Teresa here.

Teresa of Ávila was a Spanish “mystic” nun who experienced ecstatic trances and claimed to levitate and to receive regular visitations from Jesus Christ. Teresa was both anorexic* and bulimic, using food deprivation as self-mortifying “sanctification.” She ingested twigs of olive trees to induce vomiting.

Thérèse of Lisieux was also an anorexic given to extreme asceticism and self-mortification/self-harm. Both Teresa of Ávila and Thérèse of Lisieux were psychologically ill, religious hysterics.

Upon closer examination, none of these four people were exemplary and none believed in the genuine Good News of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

In regards to a few other popular “saints,” we know Ignatius Loyola founded the Jesuits specifically to counter by whatever means possible the glorious Gospel preached by the Reformers. Loyola’s fellow Jesuit, Francis Xavier, initiated the torturous Goa Inquisition in India. “Saint” Junipero Serra oversaw the Inquisition in what would become California. How many other Catholic canonized “saints” participated in the bloody and torturous Inquisition?

Objective examinations of Catholic “saints” reveal they were not “little Christs.” Many were zealous persecutors who authorized violence against non-conformists, non-Catholics, and Protestant believers while others were mentally-ill ascetics.

At the end of the chapter, Kreeft chides Protestants for being “afraid” and “embarrassed” with regards to RC-ism’s “saints.” Utter nonsense. I have absolutely nothing to be afraid or embarrassed about when it comes to RC-ism’s fraudulent and blasphemous saintology.

*Anorexia mirabilis is the term used by medical historians for the anorexia/eating disorder affecting Catholic nuns and religious women in the Middle Ages.

Next week: Claim #22: I am a Catholic because only the Catholic Church is marked out by the four marks

18 thoughts on “Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #21

  1. Wow! Kreeft is so deluded and leading many astray. I was aware of some of the information you posted about Roman Catholicism’s so-called “saints” but not all. A pastor from my former church quoted Teresa of Avila in one of his sermons not too long ago. This particular pastor is fond of quoting Roman Catholics in his sermons and on social media. And I know he’s just one of many that does this. It still boggles my mind and disturbs me to read what Kreeft and Catholics believe knowing the ecumenical position of Protest pastors. Billy calls these pastors “the Professionals”. Thanks Tom for an excellent post. I pray some ecumenical pastor will stumble upon it, be convicted and speak out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cathy! Believers need only go one degree below the fraudulent veneer to see RC-ism is a cup full of abominations. The vaunted “saints” are an excellent example of Rome’s untruthful pretenses. It sickens me when evangelical pastors extol Rome’s saints.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reading this makes me think of my own research with Mother Teresa and it made me very disturb of what she believed and how she view others; its so problmatic and this needs to be brought up to counter Kreeft’s 21st argument that the lives of Saints compel him to be Catholic; at this point halfway through the book this is turning out to be more a work of simplistic propaganda rather than a historically rich nuanced argument for Roman Catholicism. Its also sad to learn about Anorexia mirabilis from this post…bad theology have consequences

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We know from this book and his other writings that Kreeft heartily endorses Mother Teresa’s (and the RCC’s) Universalism, but that “should be” a serious problem for Rome-friendly evangelicals. Yes, Kreeft’s hagiographical view of the Catholic saints is easy to refute, but this unnuanced myopic mindset is so widespread within RC-ism. We’ve discussed him before, but Thomas More should be the LAST historical figure used to symbolize religious freedom with his zealous persecution of Protestants, but the RCC amazingly leaps right over that chapter of his life as f it did not take place. The irrationality is startling. All of these “mystic” nun saints who are so highly revered were mentally-disturbed religious hysterics, encouraged to practice penitential self-mortification/self-harm by bad Catholic theology as you said.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen to your comment. I didn’t comment about Thomas Moore but that is another ironic Protestant-Catholic point too. Didn’t know he killed Protestants and I learned that from your post.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s