Catholic priest slaps infant

 

Warning: Many will find this video very upsetting.

I’m not going to add a lot of words to this post. News sources report that the Catholic bishop of Meaux (France) suspended “father” Jacques Lacroix after the priest angrily slapped an infant at a baptism ceremony as caught on this video.

As a student at both Catholic grammar school and high school, I can vividly recall priests, sisters, and brothers treating children with cruelty.

The Lord Jesus Christ loves this priest and desires that he put aside his works religion and trusts in Him as Savior by faith alone, but if that priest had slapped that infant in front of the Lord Jesus Christ…

French priest filmed slapping baby during baptism retires amid condemnation

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A priest and nun trust in Christ by faith alone and come out of Catholicism

From Darkness to Light
By Frank and Joan Testa
Xulon Press, 2012, 173 pages

This book is the testimony of Frank and Joan Testa, a former Roman Catholic priest and nun.

Frank grew up in Newark, New Jersey as part of a Catholic family and states that he “came to know the Lord Jesus as (his) personal Savior” in his early teen years, but that he remained in Catholicism out of ignorance. He determined to become a priest and attended seminary in the U.S. and Europe and was ordained in 1964. He quickly became involved with Catholic social agencies and was drawn to urban activism in several New Jersey cities, often earning the disapproval of his more traditionally-minded superiors. But by reading the Bible and through contact with Christians in the communities he was serving, Frank came to understand that many of the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism are opposed to Scripture. He resigned from the priesthood and left Catholicism in 1977.

Joan grew up with her Catholic family in Newburgh, New York (sixty miles north of NYC) and entered a convent of the Dominican order in 1955, immediately following her high school graduation. She earned college degrees and subsequently taught in Catholic schools in the States and Puerto Rico. She was drawn to studying God’s word and also became involved in community activism in New Jersey, where she became acquainted with Frank on a strictly professional basis. Through the study of God’s Word and the witness of Christian friends, Joan accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior by faith alone in 1978 and left her religious order and the Catholic church.

Although they were both out of Catholicism, Frank and Joan were still involved in urban activism and their paths crossed regularly. A special friendship developed and the two were married in 1980. Together, the couple founded an urban mission church, ministered to addicts through the Teen Challenge program, and became involved in foreign missions. In 1999, they began their “Repent America” ministry, which involved guest-speaking at churches and street preaching all across the U.S.

While I enjoyed this book, I do have a few qualifications. Firstly, Frank says he entered into a “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ as a young teen while reading the book, “God Goes to Murderer’s Row” by “father” M. Raymond, a Trappist monk. I am curious how a person could trust in Jesus Christ by faith alone, and then go through eight years of Catholic seminary and thirteen years as a priest without ever comprehending that Catholicism’s legalistic calculus and ritualism have no connection with the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Perhaps Frank had had a preliminary insight into salvation in Christ as I had as a child in 1967 (see here), although I would not actually accept Jesus as Savior until 1983. Despite the confusion, it appears from his writing that Frank eventually acquired a full understanding of the Gospel and genuinely accepted Christ as his Savior by faith alone.

Secondly, both Frank and Joan are outspoken Pentecostals. I’m a cessationist in regards to the apostolic gifts of the Spirit, so there are several passages in the book that I read with a good amount of skepticism. I generally avoid discussing the apostolic gifts in a general forum such as this because there’s nothing to be gained by debating this topic involving secondary beliefs with my Pentecostal and charismatic brethren, but I do need to point out that in this book, Frank refers to believers who are cessationists in a negative manner.

Despite the above qualifications, I enjoyed this book overall.

The glorification of altar rails and such like*

I grew up during a very tumultuous time for Roman Catholics, during the implementation of the dramatic window dressing changes of Vatican II, and I’d like to share a few memories from that time.

Prior to Vatican II, all Catholic altars had a wooden or carved stone rail around them. The rail signified that the altar, where the priests allegedly changed bread wafers and wine into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ and where surplus consecrated Jesus wafers were stored in the “tabernacle,” was an especially holy area. Just as the “common” Israelites were forbidden from stepping foot on Mt. Sinai or entering into the restricted areas of the Tabernacle and Temple, Catholics were generally not allowed to enter the altar area.

I was an altar boy from fifth through eighth grades and my first couple of years serving were prior to the Vatican II changes. The priests conducted the mass in Latin and the altar boys’ responses were in Latin even though we did not understand one word we were saying. The priests had their backs to the congregation and wooden rails were around the altar. I felt very privileged to be able assist the priests inside the restricted altar area.

Several men officiated as priests at the parish while I was an altar server and all of them struck me as a bit strange compared to my father, uncles, and other adult men I knew, but none more so than “father” Lynch.

The other priests at least made awkward attempts at civility towards us altar boys, but not Lynch. When we entered the church sacristy to prepare for mass, Lynch could barely be bothered to say hello. He never offered a smile. I sensed he had a keen dislike for us (or was he struggling with some other issue?). During the mass liturgy, the priests were required to read passages from the huge altar “missal” (i.e., a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year). Lynch was a short, squat fellow and very near-sighted. He would have us boys stand on one of the lower steps leading up to the altar and he would place the huge, heavy book on our heads, not always gently, which he would then read from. It was very humiliating (and physically uncomfortable) to have to stand in front of the congregation with the heavy book on our heads. Lynch enjoyed demeaning us.

When it came time to distribute the Jesus wafers, the supplicants would kneel down along the altar rail and the priests would place the wafer on each person’s tongue while we altar boys walked backward, next to the priest, placing a round “patten” under the chins of the supplicant in order to catch a possible falling Jesus wafer. Lynch would always distribute communion twice as fast as the other priests and we altar boys had a difficult time keeping our balance as we walked backward and tried to properly position the patten under people’s chins in synch with the pace of the frenetic priest.

Vatican II dramatically changed the rubrics of the mass. The mass liturgy was changed to English and priests turned around and faced the congregation. The altar rails were removed so that the congregants could feel like they were more like participants in the ritual rather than just observers. But despite all the window dressing changes, the core doctrines of Catholicism remained. Catholics continue to be taught the false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Catholic traditionalists deeply resented the changes wrought by Vatican II and still clamor for the mass to be said in Latin, for the priest to face “ad orientem,” toward the altar, and for the reinstallation of altar rails. In Catholicism, the ritual and ceremony, the shell, has always been the focus rather than the Pearl of Great Price, which is salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Priests are not needed. Altars are not needed. Sacrifice for sin was finished for all time by Jesus Christ at Calvary. Place your trust in Jesus as your Savior by faith alone. Jesus Christ removes all rails and barriers between sinners and God, but you must accept Him as your Savior. Won’t you repent of your sin and place your trust in Him?

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” – Matthew 27:50-51

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” – Ephesians 2:13-14

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16

Capture8
Priest Lynch, above, died in 2011. I never witnessed the smile displayed in this photo.

* “and such like” – for you non-Baptists out there, this phrase means “and similar things.”

Only sixty miles away, a predator priest confesses to abusing “probably dozens” of boys

Yesterday morning on my drive into work, I was listening to the news on the car radio and the story far below broke about retired Buffalo Catholic priest, the “Reverend” Norbert F. Orsolits (photo), who admitted to sexually abusing “probably dozens” of teenage boys in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Between 1966 and 2003, the Buffalo diocese reassigned Orsolitis to 12 different locations, no doubt hoping a change of venue would hush the possibility of open scandal while each time exposing a new set of children to this insatiable predator. If Orsolits is admitting to abusing “dozens” of boys, was the actual number somewhere around 50? 75? 100?

Argh! A boy growing up in Catholicism was/is like a mackerel swimming unawares in shark-infested waters.

I’ve heard Catholic apologists make the claim that pedophilia is no more prevalent among priests than other study groups. Yeah, right. Catholic sociologist, A.W. Richard Sipe, who has done extensive work on the subject, suggests that 8-10 percent of priests were/are active pedophile abusers. Sipe concludes that Catholicism’s mandatory rule of celibacy has both attracted and fostered deviancy and that Catholicism as an institution has never seriously addressed the “problem,” but rather, has enabled these serial abusers. Here’s Sipe’s article:

The Celibate Myth: Priests Who Sexually Abuse and the System that Surrounds Them
By A.W. Richard Sipe, Oct 5, 2005

So, what do we have here? Oh, just another story of a pedophile priest. Some may think, “Ho-hum. What else is new?,” but the reality is that each and every one of the thousands of victims is a soul who must live with and sort through the pain of being betrayed by someone they respected and trusted. As I wade through Catholic news on a daily basis, I routinely encounter these stories of priest abuse.

Every soul needs to come out of the Roman Catholic church and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone. All Bible Christians must continue to reach out to Roman Catholics with the Gospel because they do not hear it in their churches. The Catholic church’s rule of celibacy has brought horrendous emotional pain to many of its members, but the church’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit is the broad highway to even worse consequences.

Retired Buffalo-area priest admits sexually abusing ‘dozens’ of boys
http://buffalonews.com/2018/02/27/retired-buffalo-area-priest-admits-sexually-abusing-dozens-of-boys/

At least 19 Buffalo priests publicly linked to sex allegations
http://buffalonews.com/2018/02/28/at-least-19-buffalo-priests-publicly-linked-to-sex-allegations/

Celibacy: God’s black mark on the Roman Catholic church

Yesterday morning, I was listening to the 1/10/18 podcast of “The Catholic Connection” talk radio show (The Station of the Cross, WLOF (Our Lady of Fatima) 101.7 FM, Buffalo, New York) with moderator, Jim Havens, and priest-host, Shannon Collins. The stated purpose of “The Catholic Connection” is to confront the current “confusion” and non-traditional doctrine within the church (e.g., just about everything that comes out of pope Francis’s mouth).

The topic for this particular show was the mandatory rule of celibacy for the priesthood. A few months ago, it was reported that pope Francis had appointed a committee to investigate the possibility of ordaining married men as priests, specifically in areas like the Amazon region of Brasil, where the ratio of church members to priests is about 10,000 to one. In opposition to Francis, Collins cited pope after pope in his argument that celibacy must be continued as an absolute rule with no exceptions. He cited the decline of vocations among Eastern Orthodox churches in the U.S., even though they allow their priests to marry. Collins warned that if an exception is made in the Amazon, it will only be a matter of time before the rule of mandatory celibacy is abolished.

Of course, we know from Scripture that some of the apostles had wives. Yes, apostle Paul encouraged those who had the gift to serve the Lord as a single person, but he did not make celibacy a mandatory rule as does Catholicism. See here.

How did obligatory celibacy get its start in the Catholic church? Some of the motivation was pure economics. In 1018, pope Benedict VIII decreed that children of married priests were barred from inheriting church property. In 1075, pope Gregory VII ruled that clerical celibacy was a requirement of the priesthood. In 1139, pope Innocent II declared the marriages of all priests to be formally annulled, mandating that celibacy be the rule for all Catholic priests going forward.

[pause for effect]

Did you catch that?

The many priests who were married at the time of Innocent’s decree were required to leave their wives and children. Contemplate that for just one moment. What could be crueler?

With God-ordained marriage forbidden to clerics, natural sexual urges were vented in sinful ways. As we know from history, the rule of celibacy was often flouted. Priests, bishops, and popes had their mistresses and it was recorded that 16th century Rome had more prostitutes per capita (six percent of the population) than any city on earth at that time.* Catholic seminaries both attracted and fostered deviancy. Studies report that homosexuality is rife in the Catholic priesthood.** The scandal of pedophile priests has rocked the church for the last twenty years, but it goes without saying that “celibate” clerical predators preyed on victims for centuries prior to the establishment of the free press and journalistic investigations.

But let’s put things in perspective. This matter of mandatory clerical celibacy is a minor one in comparison to Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Jesus Christ did away with the sacerdotal priesthood by His once-for-all sacrifice for sin on Calvary. There is no longer any need for priests and altars. Individuals may receive the free gift of salvation by repenting of their sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. That being said, Catholicism’s rule of celibacy for its clerics has been a source of unimaginable sin, torment, and shame for the millions who have taken the vow over the centuries and for their victims.

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” – 1 Timothy 4:1-5

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife…” – 1 Timothy 3:1-2

*Science and Technology in World History, Vol.3 by David Demming, p.64
**Homosexual clergy in the Catholic Church – https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJnKLwHCnL72vedxjQkDDP1mXWo6uco/wiki/Homosexuality_and_Roman_Catholic_priests.html

Bernard Law meets his Judge

The Vatican just announced the death of cardinal Bernard Law (photo left) at the age of 86 (see article below). Remember him? Law was the archbishop of Boston when the priest pedophile scandal was first widely reported by the press in 2002. Investigations revealed that Law and other members of the Catholic hierarchy had been involved in covering up the widespread abuse and shuffling predatory priests from parish to parish where they were able to continue to prey on countless victims. Two priests with their actual young victims are shown in the photos above next to Law.

Law resigned his position in ignominy in 2002 (although he was predictably never formally charged with a crime) and moved to Rome where “saint” pope John Paul II appointed him Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, a largely ceremonial position with few responsibilities.

Although Catholic apologists have attempted to diffuse the pedophile priest and cover-up scandal ever since, the membership’s confidence in its leadership was shaken to the core. The church’s rule of celibacy both attracted and incubated deviancy on a large scale. The membership not only took notice of the pedophile scandal and cover-up, but they were also very aware that “father” was often of a decidedly effeminate nature.

I firmly believe the Lord marked the Catholic church with this scandal as a sign of its illegitimacy and His judgement against it. No earthly man or group of men can be our spiritual standard. Only the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word can be our standard. The Catholic church claims to revere Scripture, yet pushes it to the side in favor of its traditions and magisterium. The Lord has revealed the error of both with the pedophile priest and cover-up scandal and the Amoris Laetitia controversy in which pope Francis has abrogated “infallible” doctrine by lifting the ban on communion for remarried divorcees.

Pray for Roman Catholics, that they will hear the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and accept Christ as their Savior.

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “’How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” – Romans 10:14-15

Is Bernard Law now in Hell being punished for his terrible sins? I don’t know. Perhaps he forsook works religion on his death bed, repented of his sins, and accepted Christ as his Savior by faith alone. We are all sinners and worthy of eternal punishment. Praise the Lord for salvation in Jesus Christ by faith alone and His perfect righteousness that He imputes to all those who accept Him! Accept Christ!


Cardinal Bernard Law, who left Boston in wake of sex abuse scandal, dies at 86
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/cardinal-bernard-law-who-left-boston-in-wake-of-sex-abuse-scandal-dies-at-86/ar-BBH3coJ?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

“You musn’t take THAT Bible passage literally!”

This morning, I was listening to the 10/29/13 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show, broadcast by The Station of the Cross (101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY), featuring priest-host, Rick Poblocki, and moderator, Mike Denz.

About half-way through the show, Trish from Buffalo called in with a concern about her 14-year-old son. The boy’s religion class had been studying a passage from the Old Testament in which God had commanded the Israelites to kill all the inhabitants, including children, of the pagan Canaanite nations they were invading. The boy was upset by the passage and asked his mother, “How could a God who is all-loving, all-merciful, and all-forgiving wipe out a whole nation,” especially the children? The mother didn’t know how to answer, so she called Rick for advice.

Priest Rick explained that when ancient peoples fought over land, they invoked the help of their deities, just as Israel invoked Yaweh. He said the Israelites attributed to God the command to attack the Canaanites and credited Him for all their victories, but that God DIDN’T ACTUALLY command the attacks. Rick went on to say that the Israelites were looking for a way to justify their aggression, so they attributed it all to the will of God. In closing, Rick stated, “So they put then on the lips of God these commands to destroy even to the point of (murdering children),” because they had mistakenly understood that to be God’s will. Trish thanked Rick for his “wise” counsel.

Believers, see anything wrong with priest Rick’s Old Testament exegesis? Yes, God DID command the Israelites through his prophet, Moses, to wipe out the pagan peoples of Canaan. Yes, even children. God is sovereign. He brings new life into the world and takes life away. 150,000 people die each day in this world; men, women, and children. It’s not pretty but that’s the reality in this fallen world. The pots cannot tell the Potter how to manage the pots. God commanded the Israelites to destroy all the Canaanites because He didn’t want them to be ensnared by pagan idolatry. As we know, the Israelites disobeyed the Lord, spared many of the pagans, and did embrace pagan idolatry. But despite the continual disobedience of Israel and its ongoing dalliance with paganism, the Lord’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ prevailed. Praise God!

Like most Roman Catholic clerics, priest Poblocki has a very low view of Scripture. He stands on the traditions of his church, not on God’s Word. If his church’s man-made traditions and philosophies disagree with Scripture, a priest will choose his church over Scripture every time. Speaking of idolatry, just step inside a Catholic church. And speaking of murder, comparatively “enlightened” Roman Catholic prelates persecuted those outside the church right up into the 20th century. There were the crusades, the inquisitions, pogroms, forced baptisms, and murderous Catholic falangists. How does Rick explain all that to the 14-year-old?

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? – Isaiah 45:9

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” – Matthew 24:35

I had been reading Deuteronomy 20 as part of my daily Scripture reading just yesterday, where God commands the Israelites to exterminate all the Canaanites. Coincidence? Hardly!

Why did God command the extermination / genocide of the Canaanites, women and children included?
https://www.gotquestions.org/Canaanites-extermination.html

Postscript: Old Testament passages that deal with Israel’s fidelity to Yaweh are not dry, useless historical information, but are inspiration for Christians to also remain faithful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to His Gospel. But as we look around evangelicalism today, we sadly see plenty of accommodation, cooperation, compromise, and betrayal when it comes to false teachers and false gospels.

Father Jones and Mrs. Jones?

Thorn
Cardinal Ralph (Richard Chamberlain) and his “friend,” Meggie (Rachel Ward), in 1983’s television mini-series,”The Thorn Birds.”

Pope Francis continues to shake things up in the Catholic church to the chagrin of traditionalists. This week he announced that he’s going to look into the possibility of allowing priests to marry (see stories below).

There appears to have been some prejudice against married clergy for centuries before 1075 when pope Gregory VII officially barred married priests from ministry. It was argued that celibate priests practiced a higher form of spirituality and were able to concentrate on their priestly duties more effectively. Probably even more troubling to the hierarchy were concerns about married priests and church finances. A few decades previous, Pope Benedict VIII issued a ruling prohibiting the children of priests from inheriting property.

But a celibate clergy soon created all kinds of problems for the church. It was once reported that Rome had the highest number of prostitutes per capita among major European cities. Many popes, cardinals, and bishops kept secret (and not so secret) mistresses. Illegitimate sons of the church’s princes were often awarded high offices within the church bureaucracy. Human nature being what it is, “celibate” priests preyed upon married and unmarried women within their parishes. The church’s rule of clerical celibacy also attracted sexual deviates and social misfits. The scandal of clerical pedophilia and the subsequent cover-up by the hierarchy has rocked the church to its foundations over the last twenty years.

But Francis is being pragmatic. The Catholic church has experienced a significant decline in priests in the last fifty years. There were 60,000 priests in the U.S. in 1965 but that number has shrunk to 37,000 in 2015 and many of those men are elderly. Parishes are closing or consolidating because of the shortage of priests (and declining attendance). Now that priests are no longer venerated in Catholic society anywhere near the degree they were fifty years ago, there is little that attracts warm-blooded, young Catholic men to a celibate lifestyle. Conservative Catholics will fight this change just as they are fighting Francis’ “Amoris” encyclical allowing communion to remarrieds. This switch to married clergy will take some time but by floating this balloon we can see that Francis is greasing the skids.

From an evangelical point of view, it’s very clear from God’s Word that a mediating priesthood and sacrifice for sin were done away with by the ministry of Jesus Christ. The Bible also warns against religious leaders who forbid marriage. Roman Catholics claim their church is “Semper eadem,” never changing, but even a casual student of history knows the Catholic church has changed its teachings and disciplines rather frequently.

Thank you, Lord, for freeing me from man-made doctrines and precepts. Thank you for opening my eyes to the glorious “Good News” of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Jesus Christ, the Perfect Priest
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/1611/jesus-christ-the-perfect-priest


Pope Francis: ‘We have to think about’ married priests in Catholic Church
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-we-have-to-think-about-married-priests-in-catholic-church

Pope Francis open to allowing married priests in Catholic Church
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/10/pope-open-allowing-married-priests/98998496/

Sex orgies, prostitution, porn: Allegations shake Catholic Church in Italy
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/03/09/sex-orgies-prostitution-porn-claims-shake-catholic-church-italy/98962674/

Why does the scandal of pedophile priests continue within the Catholic church?

How long ago did reports of the abuse of children by pedophile Catholic priests andPR the subsequent cover-up by the church hierarchy first begin creeping into the news headlines? Thirty years ago? The scandal became full blown in 2002 with the Boston Globe’s detailed reports on the abuse and cover-up in the archdiocese of Boston. After thousands of victims have come forward and after several dioceses and religious orders have declared bankruptcy subsequent to paying out legal settlements, one would have thought that the Roman Catholic church would have enacted comprehensive measures to safeguard its children. As the stories below reveal, that has not been the case. Why not?

Within Catholicism, the all-important clergy – popes, cardinals, bishops, and even parish priests – were always entirely sacrosanct. Consideration for anyone victimized by the clergy was always secondary, if they were acknowledged at all. The reputation of the “holy” church was paramount. It was always thought better to avoid any hint of damaging scandal by transferring sexual predators and deviants rather than defrocking them. The civil authorities, in the rare number of cases they were involved in, could be counted on to cooperate with the church for the “greater good.” This ongoing scandal is only one of several marks of the spiritual corruption of Rome.


Abuse scandals multiply in pope’s backyard of Latin America

Abuse scandals multiply in pope’s backyard of Latin America

Detroit priest removed for abusing girl now works with pregnant teens
http://www.redding.com/news/378803451.xhtml

Priests and ministers: Aren’t they the same thing?

Evangelical churches have their ministers and Roman Catholicism has its priests. ButCATPR aren’t they the same thing, just with different titles?

Evangelical ministers are called to preach the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12. Evangelical pastors are to preach and teach God’s Word and to shepherd the Lord’s flock and be examples of the Lord’s love and faithfulness. Scripture says we’re to respect and submit to our pastors in the Lord but we’re certainly not to put them up on pedestals in the place of Jesus Christ. They’re just sinners saved by grace just like the other believers in the congregation.

Catholic priests on the other hand are ordained by the church hierarchy to administer the sacraments that Catholics believe are required for salvation. The Catholic sacerdotal system is an anti-biblical continuation of the Old Testament, Levitical priesthood. Catholicism teaches its priests change bread wafers and wine into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ to be offered up as a sacrifice for the sins of those who attend mass. Priests forgive sins in confession and administer the last rites to the dying, which Catholics believe absolves the individual of all mortal sin. Priests have the power to bless living and inanimate objects. Catholic parishioners bring their rosaries, statues, scapulars, and other objects to priests for their blessing. It’s believed an object blessed by a priest has powers to ward off evil and effect desirable benefits. The priesthood is central to the Catholic system. There would be no Catholicism without its priests and their powers.

In previous generations, priests were highly revered by the Catholic faithful. It wasn’t unusual for members of the Catholic laity to kiss the hands that changed bread and wine into Jesus. Catholics venerated their priests because they were the gateway to their salvation. Catholicism boldly claims its priests are “alter Christus,” another Christ. The Catholic clergy’s absolute control over the means to salvation was not achieved by happenstance. As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, it devolved from the preaching of saving faith in Jesus Christ into religious ritual, legalism, and the acquisition of worldly wealth, power, and control.

“St. Francis of Assisi used to say, “If I saw an Angel and a priest, I would bend my knee first to the priest and then to the Angel.” Besides, the power of the priest surpasses that of the Blessed Virgin Mary; for, although this Divine Mother can pray for us, and by her prayers obtain whatever she wishes, yet she cannot absolve a Christian from even the smallest sin.” – from “The Dignity and Duties of the Priest” by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Some of the luster has faded from the Catholic priesthood beginning in the 1960s and especially after the pedophile scandals over the last twenty years. The church’s celibacy rule for its clergy often attracted the socially awkward and even psychologically ill. Many Catholics now see their priests as fallible, struggling souls just like them rather than someone to be placed on a pedestal. The majority of Catholics ignore their priests’ commands to attend mass every Sunday and confession at least yearly. Recent surveys show only 50% of Catholics are even aware that their church teaches its priests turn bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ.

The Catholic mass is largely about the consecration of the bread and wine, not about preaching and teaching. The sermon portion of the mass, known as the “homily” (Greek for “speaking with”) is generally very short, usually around seven or eight minutes according to Catholic sources, and is often given by a man who is not inclined to speak before crowds. Even so, the message he preaches is not the Good News of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The priest’s message admonishes mass-goers to be faithful to church teaching, participate in the sacraments, and to keep trying to obey the Ten Commandments to merit salvation. That’s an empty message without hope, for no one can possibly obey the Ten Commandments. Disaffected Catholics often complain they “don’t get anything out of the mass” and they would be right. The Catholic system, completely dependent upon its priests, is facing a looming crisis with religious vocations plummeting. In 1975, there were 59,000 priests in the United States but today there’s only around 40,000.

There is no need for a sacrificial priesthood. Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and mankind. The New Testament makes it explicitly clear that the priestly sacrificial system was completely fulfilled by Jesus Christ and was done away with. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith. Ask the Lord to help you find an evangelical church in your area that preaches and teaches God’s Word without compromise.

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

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” – Hebrews 10:16-18.


 

The Scandal of the Catholic Priesthood
A sermon from John MacArthur
http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-264/the-scandal-of-the-catholic-priesthood