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Archive for the ‘Protestantism’ Category

The subject of whether Protestants and Orthodox are Christians and their religions are part of the Church of Christ comes up frequently on “Catholic” Relevant Radio, youtube, etc.

According to the religion of Vatican 2, which falls in line with  some Protestants, membership in the Church includes all who are baptized and profess Christ while rejecting dogmas of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican 2 religion has gone out of its way to say that the Eastern Orthodox religion is part of the one Church of Christ in the Balamand statement. [1] It also implied that the Lutheran churches are part of the Church of Christ. [2]

Vatican 2 apologists such as Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D., and Patrick Madrid don’t hesitate for a second to say that the Church has never changed a doctrine while in the same breath saying Protestants and Orthodox are Christians but without the fullness of truth.

To the contrary, the great Pope Leo XIII reiterated in Satis Cognitum what the Church has always taught and practiced. Below are the relevant parts.

“4 Jesus Christ did not, in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: ‘I believe in one Church.’ ‘The Church in respect of its unity belongs to the category of things indivisible by nature, though heretics try to divide it into many parts… And so dispersed members, separated one from the other, cannot be united with one and the same head. ‘There is one God, and one Christ; and His Church is one and the faith is one; and one the people, joined together in the solid unity of the body in the bond of concord. This unity cannot be broken, nor the one body divided by the separation of its constituent parts’….

5 So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a hereticthe life of the spirit follows not the amputated member.

9 The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a tertian portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. “There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos)….

The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium….

St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. “No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic” (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88)…

And as souls cannot be perfectly united in charity unless minds agree in faith, he wishes all to hold the same faith: “One Lord, one faith,” and this so perfectly one as to prevent all danger of error: “that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. iv., 14): and this he teaches is to be observed, not for a time only – “but until we all meet in the unity of faith…unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ” (13). But, in what has Christ placed the primary principle, and the means of preserving this unity? In that – “He gave some Apostles – and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (11-12). …

In this wise, all cause for doubting being removed, can it be lawful for anyone to reject any one of those truths without by the very fact falling into heresy? without separating himself from the Church? – without repudiating in one sweeping act the whole of Christian teaching? For such is the nature of faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept some things and reject others…

Pope Pius XI continued with the subject and declared in Mortalium animos:

11. Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors.

For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.

Since the Second Vatican Council, Rome now calls heretics and schismatics Christians or separated brethren, and even denies that they are heretics and schismatics.

For instance, Vatican II states:

The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection…. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.” (Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, Chapter 1, para. 3)

Children born and raised in false churches would be accused of the sin of separation if they come to know or should know better and remain separated. We don’t presume that everybody remains invincibly ignorant. Regardless, only God can read hearts. We don’t presume to know if one is truly guilty or innocent. To say they all “are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian” is a reversal in Church teaching.

We demonstrated that Pope Leo XIII taught exactly the opposite in Satis Cognitum.

Pope Pius XII declared:To be Christian one must be Roman. One must recognize the oneness of Christ’s Church that is governed by one successor of the Prince of the Apostles who is the Bishop of Rome, Christ’s Vicar on earth” (Allocution to the Irish pilgrims of October 8, 1957).

The terms heretics and schismatics are canonical and doctrinal Catholic terminology referring to the baptized some of whom were justified by faith at one time. Non-baptized persons aren’t called heretics and schismatics, but rather infidels, heathens, pagans, etc. We have long standing and official Catholic terminology which the Vatican 2 religion deems inappropriate, inaccurate, and counterfactual.

We might call heretics “Christians” in conventional language, but to claim they have a “right” to the Christian name would make calling them heretics and schismatics wrong and hateful. Yet, Popes have called Protestants and Orthodox heretics in official documents. Just a few examples include Pope Benedict XIV in Ex Quo (On the Euchologion – 1756), Pope Pius VI in Charitas (In the Civil Oath in France – 1791), Pope Gregory XVI in Summo Iugiter Studio (On Mixed Marriages – 1832) and Probe Nostis (On the Propogation of the Faith – 1840), and Pope Pius IX in Omnem Sollicitudinem (On the Greek-Ruthenian Rite – 1874). Pope Leo XIII used it the most in several documents.

Pope Leo XIII also declared in Satis Cognitum: “Therefore if a man does not want to be, or to be called, a heretic, let him not strive to please this or that man… but let him hasten before all things to be in communion with the Roman See.”

 

Footnotes:

[1] The 1993 Balamand Statement approved by John Paul II on May 25, 1995, in Ut Unum Sint, n. 59, declared:

  1. In fact, especially since the panorthodox Conferences and the Second Vatican Council, the re- discovery and the giving again of proper value to the Church as communion, both on the part of Orthodox and of Catholics, has radically altered perspectives and thus attitudes. On each side it is recognized that what Christ has entrusted to his Church – profession of apostolic faith, participation in the same sacraments, above all the one priesthood celebrating the one sacrifice of Christ, the apostolic succession of bishops – cannot be considered the exclusive property of one of our Churches.
  2. It is in this perspective that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity. According to the words of Pope John Paul II, the ecumenical endeavour of the Sister Churches of East and West, grounded in dialogue and prayer, is the search for perfect and total communion which is neither absorption nor fusion but a meeting in truth and love (cf. Slavorum Apostoli, n. 27).

[2]  JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION

by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church Nov. 1, 1999

  1. We give thanks to the Lord for this decisive step forward on the way to overcoming the division of the church. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us further toward that visible unity which is Christ’s will.

John Paul II approved and blessed the Joint Declaration as seen below.

PRESENTATION OF THE JOINT STATEMENT

Edward Cardinal Cassidy

President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

  1. On the Catholic side, the Official Common Statement and the Annex have been approved by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. His Holiness Pope John Paul II has been informed accordingly and has given his blessing for the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, together with the Official Common Statement with its attached Annex on the date and in the place to be decided by the two partners.

 

 

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The Eastern Orthodox and Protestant religions reject papal primacy. In an attempt to discredit the historicity of papal primacy, they misrepresent the Fathers and Saints on the issues leaving out the context, full meaning, and full teaching of each authority. This study will answer, explain, and expound on certain quotes used against papal primacy, plus add quotes to prove papal primacy. The point of this study is to demonstrate how to answer cherry-picked quotes taken out of context and to prove that papal primacy was indeed recognized by the early Church.

One ex-Catholic, now Eastern Orthodox, posted the following quotes with the conclusion reading, “The Patristic witness on this point is so clear we need add nothing more to it –the point is settled – St. Peter did not receive any greater dignity or authority than the other Apostles. Already, the fundamental premise of Roman Catholicism is shaken and the edifice totters –if Peter did not have superior authority, Rome cannot have received it from him either.”

The quotes are in red and I will follow with the Catholic answer, which, by the way, has already been answered many times by many other Catholics.

St. Ambrose of Milan: “He (St. Peter), then, who before was silent, to teach us that we ought not to repeat the words of the impious, this one, I say, when he heard, ‘But who do you say I am,’ immediately, not unmindful of his station, exercised his primacy, that is, the primacy of confession, not of honor; the primacy of belief, not of rank. This, then, is Peter, who has replied for the rest of the Apostles; rather, before the rest of men….” (Saint Ambrose, The Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord, IV.32-V.34.)

Every Catholic agrees with St. Ambrose because Peter was not yet pope when he made his confession. Peter wasn’t acting pope until Pentecost.

St. Ambrose fully believed that Peter became the head and foundation of the whole Church. He wrote: “[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?” (The Faith, 379 A.D.)

“They [the Novatian heretics] have not the succession of Peter, who hold not the chair of Peter, which they rend by wicked schism; and this, too, they do, wickedly denying that sins can be forgiven (by the sacrament of confession) even in the Church, whereas it was said to Peter:  ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shall loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven.'”  (On Penance, 388 A.D.)

“It is to Peter that He says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church’ (Matthew 16:18). Where Peter is, there is the Church. And where the Church, no death is there, but life eternal.” (Commentary on Twelve Psalms of David, 389 A.D.)

St. Cyprian of Carthage: “To all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power…the other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with an equal fellowship both of honor and power…”(On the Unity of the Catholic Church, 4.)

​The above quote is incomplete. St. Cyprian says, “It is on one man that He builds the Church; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles after His resurrection…nevertheless, in order that unity might be clearly shown, He established by his own authority a source for that unity, which takes its beginning from one man alone. Indeed, the other Apostles were that also which Peter was, being endowed with an equal portion of dignity and power; but the origin is ground in unity, so that it may be made clear there is but one Church of Christ. …If someone does not hold fast to this unity of the Church, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he resists and withstands the Church, can he still be confident that he is in the Church…? Most especially must we bishops, who exercise authority in the Church, hold firmly and insist upon this unity, whereby we may demonstrate also that the episcopate itself is one and undivided. Let no one mislead the brotherhood with a lie, let no one corrupt the faith by a faithless perversion of the truth. The episcopate is one, of which each bishop holds his part within the undivided structure.”

In no way does St. Cyprian deny the papacy. Each and every Apostle had apostolic authority over the whole Church. They had jurisdiction over the Church as Peter, which is the equal portion of dignity and power that’s being referred to. The difference with Peter is that he had supreme authority, the final say so to speak, as was demonstrated at the Council of Jerusalem. Peter’s successors maintained full apostolic authority and jurisdiction, hence, the “Apostolic See.” The other sees do not possess jurisdiction over the whole Church.

Another distinction is the power of Orders and the power of Office. A bishop can have one without the other. A layman can possess the jurisdiction of the office of bishop as a bishop-elect but he would not have the power of orders and a consecrated bishop can have the power of orders but not the jurisdiction of an office.

As far as the power of Orders is concerned, all bishops have the same power. The power of the office concerns jurisdiction. The pope has full and supreme jurisdiction. All bishops are subject to the pope.

If we take a look at St. Cyprian’s original letter, we see that Peter’s office carries a certain type of dignity and power unlike any other office in the Church:

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven’… On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep, and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair, and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he deserts the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church, first edition 251 AD.)

St. Cyprian never rejected his original letter.

St. Isidore of Seville: “The other Apostles were made equal with Peter in a fellowship of dignity and power.”(De Ecclesiasticus, II.5, M.P.L., Vol. 83, Col. 781-782.)

Again, each Apostle had the same jurisdiction over the Church as Peter, which is the equal portion of dignity and power that’s being referred to. However, the context of St. Isidore’s writing was about the episcopacy or the power of orders. The other Apostles were made equal in fellowship of dignity and power as Peter as far as being a bishop is concerned. The papal office is another and distinct office in the Church and it can be occupied by a mere layman such as Pope Hadrian V who was never even a priest. St. Isidore wasn’t referring to Peter’s Chair as Pope but rather his rank as bishop.

We can easily prove that St. Isidore recognized papal primacy. His older brother St. Leander was first made Bishop of Seville. He was a close friend of Pope St. Gregory the Great, who sent him the pallium.

The Catholic encyclopedia explains what the pallium is and what it symbolizes http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11427a.htm

Pope St. Gregory used his authority over other bishops and councils. It was clear that he was the head of the Church. His letters also indicate his authority as head of the Church.

It’s true that Pope St. Gregory rejected the title “universal bishop” in the sense that it necessarily meant there are no other bishops. He explained this point in Book 9, Letter 68.

In this very letter, Pope St. Gregory was using his supreme authority as pope to condemn the Bishop of Constantinople.

In Book 3, Letter 30, Pope St. Gregory declares, “Inasmuch as it is manifest that the Apostolic See is, by the ordering of God, set over all Churches, there is, among our manifold cares, special demand for our attention, when our decision is awaited with a view to the consecration of a bishop.  . . . you are to cause him to be consecrated by his own bishops, as ancient usage requires, with the assent of our authority, and the help of the Lord; to the end that through the observance of such custom both the Apostolic See may retain the power belonging to it, and at the same time may not diminish the rights which it has conceded to others.”

In Book 9, Letter 12, Pope St. Gregory declared, “For as to what they say about the Church of Constantinople, who can doubt that it is subject to the Apostolic See, as both the most pious lord the emperor and our brother the bishop of that city continually acknowledge?”

If any bishop denied papal primacy, Pope St. Gregory would have set him straight.

When St. Leander died, his brother St. Isidore became Bishop of Seville. Again, St. Gregory the Great showed his apostolic authority by sending him the pallium, which St. Isidore accepted.

St. Isidore never denied papal primacy. In fact, he recognized it by his actions. Not only that, but all of St. Isidore’s writings are promoted by the popes themselves.

St. Bede: “Although it may seem that this power of loosing and binding was given by the Lord only to Peter, we must nevertheless know without any doubt that it was given to the other Apostles, as Christ Himself testified when, after the triumph of His Passion and Resurrection, He appeared to them and breathed upon them, and said to them all, ‘Receive ye the Holy Spirit: if ye forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven to them; if ye retain the sins of any, they are retained [Jn. 20:22, 23].

​St. Bede’s interpretation of Matt. 16:19 is a different perspective from his contemporaries, but it doesn’t deny Peter’s primacy in authority. Bede is interpreting the binding and loosing in Matt. 16 with the same binding and loosing in Jn. 20, which is about binding and loosing of sins. All priests have the same power as bishops in binding and loosing of sins. However, Bede didn’t hold that priests and bishops have the same authority. He writes, “In my nineteenth year I was admitted to the diaconate, in my thirtieth to the priest, both by the hands of the most reverend Bishop John (St. John of Beverley), and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid.” Bishops ordain priests and consecrate bishops but priests don’t have the power to do either. Thus they have different powers. St. Bede is not denying the authority of Peter as the head of the Church.

St. Cyril of Alexandria: “One therefore is Christ both Son and Lord, not as if a man had attained only such a conjunction with God as consists in a unity of dignity alone or of authority. For it is not equality of dignity which unites natures; for then Peter and John, who were of equal dignity with each other, being both Apostles and holy disciples would have been one, and yet the two are not one….”(St. Cyril, 2nd Epistle to Nestorius.)

St. Cyril is making a point. He’s not denying Peter’s authority as pope. In fact, he made this statement at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD, after he appealed to Pope St. Celestine I to settle the matter against Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople. The result was the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus in 431 AD, which condemned Nestorius. In the Acts of the Council, session 3, it’s declared:

“Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Celestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod.’”

The great council of the East witnesses to the Catholic dogma that Peter and his successors are head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church.”

St. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem (d. 386) is another Eastern Father who tells us that only Peter has the keys and is the chief of the apostles:

[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . . While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . They launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven. …In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis; and at Joppa he raised the beneficent Tabitha from the dead.” (Catechetical Lectures [350 AD] 6:14 and 17:27).

St. John Chrysostom, according the Eastern Orthodox, “has not recognized in the Church any dignity superior to the apostolate in general.”

“Of all spiritual magistratures,” he says, “the greatest is the apostolate. How do we know this? Because the apostle precedes all others. As the consul is the first of civil magistrates, so is the apostle the first of spiritual magistrates. St. Paul himself, when he enumerates these dignities, places at their head the prerogatives of the apostolate. What does he say? ‘And God has set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers.’ Do you observe the summit of these dignities? Do you mark that the apostle is at the apex of the hierarchy–no one before, none above him. For he says: ‘First, apostles.’ And not only is the apostolate the first of all dignities, but also the root and foundation thereof.” (Homily upon the Utility of Reading Holy Scripture; cited in Abbe Guettee, The Papacy.)

[NOTE: Since being an Apostle is the highest rulership in the church, the root and foundation, then there is no office for St. Peter to have higher than the other Apostles –and note that St. Paul says, God set some, that is, a plural number, in the church, first apostles –again a plural number, yet a Papal Petrine primacy demands that the highest rank be singular.]

The argument fails to make proper distinctions. St. John Chrysostom is commenting on I Cor. 12:28-30, which reads,

“And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches. 29. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors? 30. Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing?”

The Bible is giving a general outline of authority and other positions in the Church. St. John Chrysostom is pointing to the fact that the Apostles are higher than all the other parts of the Church. The Apostles are also bishops but the other bishops don’t have the jurisdiction of the Apostles. Again, some bishops have more authority than other bishops because of the power of an office. St. John Chyrsostom is not dealing with the papal office which is about a specific office among the Apostles. He explains Peter’s Office in other writings. For instance,

“Peter, that head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received the revelation not from man but from the Father….this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean the unbroken Rock, the unshaken foundation, the great apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey.” (De Eleemos III, 4, vol II, 298[300], taken from Dom John Chapman)

This is one of many teachings from St. John Chrysostom on papal primacy. To argue that this great saint didn’t recognize papal primacy is absurd.

Whenever we see a quote from a Father or saint about Peter’s relationship with others, pay attention to the context and in what sense he’s referring to.

The following additional quotes support papal primacy.

St. Jerome:

“Not long afterwards the illustrious Anastasius succeeded to the Pontificate. Rome did not merit to possess him long, lest the world’s head should be severed under such a bishop [when Alaric took Rome, AD 410]. Nay, he was taken away, lest he should essay by his prayers to bend the sentence once decided, as the Lord said to Jeremias: ‘Pray not for this people.’ … You say, what has this to do with the illustrious Marcella? She was the cause of the heretic’s condemnation, by producing witnesses’…” (Ep 127, c. x, 958[1093] taken from Dom John Chapman’s Studies on the Early Papacy and originally from the “Dublin Review” (January 1898). Dom John Chapman OSB (25 April 1865 – 7 November 1933)

St. Theodore the Studite to Pope St. Leo III:

“To the most holy and great father of fathers, to our lord Leo, apostolic pope, Theodore, the most humble priest and abbot of the Studion….

Since it is to the great Peter that Christ our God gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven and entrusted the dignity of chief of the flock , it is to Peter, that is to say, his successor, that one ought to submit every innovation which is made in the Catholic Church by those who turn aside from the truth. That is what we humble and lowly monks have learnt from the ancient fathers. Therefore, a new teaching having arisen recently in the midst of our Church here, we believed we ought, first through the medium of one of our fathers, the most holy archimandrite Ephiphanius, and then by this simple letter, to submit it to the angel of your supreme beatitude. There has been held, o Ruler divine of all rulers, a synod of prevaricators, as says the prophet Jeremiah, a council of adulterers. These men have not been content to conspire in favor of the priest who blessed the adulterous marriage and to receive him into communion, but, to merit the name of perfect heretic, have excommunicated in a second synod all those who do not cleave to their error, or rather the Church catholic herself…I borrow now the cry of the coryphaeus of the Apostles, calling Christ to his succor when the waves of the sea were risen up, and I say to your blessedness who are the Representative of Christ, ‘O first shepherd of the Church which is under heaven’, save us now, we perish. Imitate the Christ your master, stretch out your hand to your Church as he stretched out his hand to Peter. Peter began to sink in the waves, while our Church is still once more submerged in the depths of heresy. Emulate, we beg you, the great Pope whose name you bear, and just as he on the appearance of the Eutychian heresy, stood erect spiritually as a lion with his dogmatic letters, so in your turn (I dare to say it because of your name) roar divinely, or rather send forth your thunders against the present heresy. For if they, usurping an authority which does not belong to them, have dared to convene a heretical council, while those who, following ancient custom, have not even the right of convoking an orthodox one without your knowledge, it seems absolutely necessary, we dare to say it to you, that your divine primacy should call together a lawful council, so that the Catholic dogma may drive away heresy and that neither your primacy may be anathematized with all the orthodox by these new voices without authority, nor that wills evilly disposed may find in this adulterous council an excuse for being involved in sin. It is in order to obey your divine authority as chief pastor that we have set forth these things as it befitted our nothingness, we the least members of the Church. For the rest we beg your holiness to count us among your sheep and to enlighten and to strengthen us by your holy prayers… It is of myself, a humble fishermen held in prison, that I write to you this letter, because my father and companion the monk, as well as my brother the Archbishop of Thessaloniki, are imprisoned in other islands. But they say the same things as I, and with me prostrate themselves at the sacred feet of your blessedness” (Patrologia Graeca 99, 1017 – Epistle 1)

The list of quotes could go on and on proving that papal primacy was recognized by the whole Church. Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism doesn’t have a leg to stand on. They are man-made traditions that nullify the Word of God (Mark 7:13).

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The following story was taken from https://www.olrl.org/stories/wizclip.shtml

I’m posting the story here to help spread the truth of Catholicism and make others aware of the seriousness of living correctly. Read it carefully!

THE MYSTERY OF THE WIZARD CLIP

“One of the most wonderful manifestations of God’s benevolence during the struggles of the primitive Church in these United States” – such is the impressive estimate of the learned Jesuit scholar, Father Joseph M. Finotti, concerning the extraordinary but little known spiritual drama which took place some 200 years ago near Martinsburg, West Virginia.

And in fact, in the year 1797, on a farm near the present Middleway, Jefferson County, West Virginia, a Lutheran family was saved from diabolical persecutions by a Catholic priest and then instructed in the Catholic religion by a mysterious, invisible Voice from the other world, that continued for seventeen years to enlighten, guide, and inspire these former Protestants and their Catholic friends to live as fervent and model Christians. Frequently during those years, this mystic Voice, whose “influence was always beneficial,” communicated timely warnings, prophecies, and messages of charity and mercy for many persons, which resulted in numerous conversions.

That such seemingly miraculous phenomena did actually take place has never been questioned by serious historians. According to the scholarly Professor P. J. Mahon, in his Trials and Triumphs of the Catholic Church in America (Chicago, 1907), “no facts are better substantiated.” Non-Catholic authorities also confirm the truth of the events. In 1904, an article in The West Virginia Historical Magazine admitted, “the people there had no doubt of the facts related.” And as recently as 1941, the West Virginia guidebook of the American Guide Series compiled by the Writers’ Program of the Works Project Administration gave nearly a whole page to an objective account of the locally famous Mystery of the Wizard Clip.

We shall now narrate the principal incidents of this fascinating and significant chapter in the early history of the Catholic Church in the United States. This will be, for the most part, in the same words as they are recorded by eyewitnesses and by the children of eyewitnesses in Father J. M. Finotti’s valuable collection of documents entitled The Mystery of the Wizard Clip (Baltimore, 1879, 143p.). Holy Scripture teaches us “it is honorable to reveal and confess the works of God” (Tobias 12:7). And it is our hope and prayer that many American Catholics – and non-Catholics too – may come to share Father Finotti’s conviction that this stirring historical narrative “draws our heart near to God; it teaches lessons of supernatural wisdom; the Finger of God is Here! … Herein lies the beauty of the story.”

Adam Livingston was an honest and industrious Lutheran who owned considerable property in York County, Pennsylvania. Due to mysterious causes, however, his property began to diminish in various ways: his barn burned down, and his horses and cattle died. As these losses continued, Livingston and his family decided to move. Early in the seventeen nineties, therefore, with his second wife and several children, he left Pennsylvania and migrated to the lower end of the lovely Shenandoah Valley, where he settled on a large estate of the triangle formed by Charlestown, Martinsburg, and Winchester, all of which were then in the state of Virginia.

But there too the same mysterious forces continued to afflict the Livingston household. There too the cattle and horses died. Now the very house in which Adam and his wife and children lived seemed to have become haunted: at night, they were kept awake by weird noises, such as loud knocks and rumblings as of galloping horses and wagons. But even in daylight, their furniture would be suddenly banged about and their crockery smashed onto the floor by invisible hands. Chunks of fire rolled out of the beds across the rooms. At times, the heads and legs of chickens and geese were seen to drop off suddenly. But by far the most sensational of these devilish afflictions was the strange persistent clipping and cutting that attacked almost every piece of cloth and leather on the Livingston estate. Sheets, table clothes, shirts, dresses, suits and even leather boots and saddles, whether in use or locked up in closets, were skillfully slit and clipped into crescent-shaped strips by invisible shears! The noise of the scissors clipping merrily away was distinctly heard on many occasions by members of the family.

One old woman in Martinsburg, wishing to satisfy her curiosity, went to visit the Livingstons, but before entering the haunted house, she carefully took off her new silk hat and wrapped it in her large handkerchief, to save it from being clipped. Upon leaving, however, she found her new hat cut into small ribbons! Poor old Mr. Livingston’s mental torture was acute and he turned to the Bible for help against these attacks, which were clearly diabolical. As Father Gallitzin later wrote, “the good old man reading in his Bible that Christ had given to His ministers power over evil spirits, started from his home to Winchester in Virginia, and having, with tears in his eyes, related to his minister the history of his distress, losses and sufferings, begged of him to come to his house and to exercise in his favor the power he had received from Jesus Christ. The parson candidly confessed that he had no such power. The good man. . .therefore rationally concluded that Parson S ____ could not be a minister of Christ …and applied to other persons calling themselves ministers of Christ, some of whom promised relief. They came, prayed and read; but they prayed and read in vain…”

As a result of so many disappointments, Mr. Livingston almost came to the conclusion that Christ no longer had any true ministers on earth. So in desperation he turned to some local conjurers or magicians, one of whom promised to banish the evil spirit if paid a good sum in advance, but refused the job when the shrewd old farmer offered to pay him double that amount – after he succeeded! Three others came very confidently from Winchester, but took to their heels when they saw a large stone whirl around the living room without any support for fifteen minutes!

Then one night, Mr. Livingston had a strange dream. He saw a beautiful Church and in it a “minister dressed in peculiar robes” and he heard a voice say to him, “That is the man who can relieve you.” He decided to search that same morning for the minister dressed in robes. He was directed to the estate of a distinguished Catholic family named McSherry. Late that evening Mrs. McSherry saw Mr. Livingston, whose farm was about four miles away, coming toward her house and she met him at the gate. When he asked to see the priest, she told him there was no priest there then, but that one would “hold church” at a home in Shepherdstown the following Sunday morning.

On the next Sunday, the McSherrys met Mr. Livingston in the Catholic home in Shepherdstown. As soon as the priest, Father Dennis Cahill of Hagerstown, appeared at the altar vested for Mass, the old Lutheran farmer suddenly burst into tears and exclaimed, “That is the very man I saw in my dream – he is the one who will relieve me!” When the Mass was over, going right to the priest, he poured out his sad story and earnestly begged him for help. After much persuasion, Fr. Cahill agreed to visit the haunted house. The priest questioned the whole Livingston family, but they all told him exactly the same story. He therefore consented to say some prayers and to sprinkle the house with Holy Water. And as he was leaving, a sum of money that had lately vanished mysteriously from the farmer’s locked chest was suddenly laid by invisible hands on the doorsill between the priest’s feet!

Now the Livingston home became quiet for several days. But soon the weird noises and dreaded clipping started again. So Father Cahill came a second time and celebrated Holy Mass in the house, after which the various disturbances ceased – for good! The old Lutheran farmer was so deeply grateful for having obtained the relief that had been promised him, that he thereupon decided to accept the Catholic religion with all his family.

It was at this time, in the fall of the year 1797, that a very remarkable young priest was sent by his superiors to investigate these strange happenings at Cliptown: the 27 year old Father Demetrius A. “Smith”, who was born Prince “Mitri” Gallitzin, the son of a German countess and a Russian prince-ambassador of the Empress Catherine the Great. Later, during his forty years of holy and heroic service to God at Loretto, Pa., he was to become famous as the great “Apostle of the Alleghenies.” Here is his testimony: “My view in coming to Virginia and remaining there three months was to investigate those extraordinary facts at Livingston’s, of which I had heard so much … and which I could not prevail upon myself to believe; but I was soon converted to a full belief of them. No lawyer in a court of justice did ever examine or cross-examine witnesses more strictly than I did all those I could procure.” Through the divine power of the True Church of Christ, the evil spirits were banished and in their place appeared a Spirit of Light and Truth whose inspiring spiritual guidance brought about profound changes for the good in the lives of the Livingstons, the McSherrys and their neighbors.

One evening, after he had been a Catholic for several weeks, Mr. Livingston perceived a dazzling light in one corner of his room and in an instant the whole house became filled with almost blinding light. And then the old man began to hear a mysterious Voice, which instructed him in the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist. Often the Voice would come and exclaim, “I want prayers” It would awaken Mr. and Mrs. Livingston at night and tell them to pray hard for perseverance and for sinners. Sometimes it made them pray for three hours; they admitted that it did not seem to be more than a few minutes. And it would suddenly summon the whole family in the evenings with these words: “Come-take your seats!” And then it would instruct them very thoroughly in the various dogmas of the Catholic religion.

It emphasized that although they could not see the person who was speaking to them, they should always obey the visible voice, which was the priest. Some of the young children are reported to have seen the author of the Voice. It revealed to Mr. Livingston that it had once been in the flesh as he was, and that if he persevered he would know who it was before his death. But he must have taken the secret to the grave when he died in 1820. The Voice, having sung three times, very beautifully in Latin and in English the Livingstons naturally thought that their mysterious visitor had perhaps been a priest. And indeed, during the next seventeen years the Voice acted as a wise but strict spiritual director for the Livingston and McSherry families.

Whenever it came – sometimes accompanied by the bright light, it would say, ” In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, three great Names! None greater on earth! None greater in Heaven!” Once it ordered the Livingstons to keep a forty days’ fast with three hours of prayer each day. It also commanded them to keep March 4th each year as a special holy day, in thanksgiving for their conversion. And it was on that day, at the end of the forty days’ fast, that Mr. Livingston heard it sing so beautifully, as also on one All Souls Day. It said the souls in Purgatory were much rejoiced on the day of All Souls on which the whole world was praying for them.

Every night the Voice would join the family in their prayers, saying the Rosary with them and instructing them how to pray well. It also explained the Mass to them and stated that “One Mass was more acceptable to Almighty God than all the sighs and tears of the whole world put together, for it was God, a pure God, offered up to God.” It stressed what a blessing it is for us to have the merciful Mother of God as our Advocate and that she has great power on behalf of poor sinners. And because Mrs. Livingston, who had been a Presbyterian, was somewhat stubborn about honoring the Blessed Virgin, the Voice insisted that in the second part of the Hail Mary they say, “Holy, Holy, Holy Mary, Mother of God…”

Once when one of the Livingston girls went to confession and failed to mention a certain sin through shame, the Voice not only told the whole family that she had not mentioned it, but reminded her of it and pressed her to confess it as soon as possible.

When Mr. Livingston’s son Henry came of age, he refused to do the reaping unless his father paid him regular harvest wages. But very soon he was taken with a pain in his knee, which became so swollen and infected that he was confined to bed for eighteen months. After he had suffered that length of time, the Voice announced that “he had satisfied the Justice of God for his disobedience and disrespect to his father,” and the young man was healed. He must have taken this severe lesson to heart, for it is recorded that he too lived a very holy life henceforth. On the other hand, Father Gallitzin wrote that some of the other Livingston children, “I believe they care very little for the Church.”

It was particularly for the souls suffering in Purgatory that the Voice urged the Livingstons and McSherrys to pray, promising them that these souls, when delivered, would intercede for them at the throne of Almighty God. It told Mr. Livingston that every prayer they said for the poor souls was like a fresh plaster on a sore wound. And it gave them several unforgettable examples of the sufferings of Purgatory.

One day when Mr. Livingston was working in the fields with his sons, all of a sudden he was apparently taken ill, for they saw him turn deathly pale and double up. As they helped him to walk home, he explained that he had just heard a soul in Purgatory screaming for help. And later he often said that he could never forget that shriek – it had been so dreadful!

One night the Voice made the Livingstons get up three times to pray for a certain soul in Purgatory. And when one of the girls began to think that after all the souls could have saved themselves and they deserved their pains and anyhow the whole thing was exaggerated, suddenly they all heard a voice shrieking: “Help! Help!” When asked what kind of help was needed it replied, “Prayers – for we are in excruciating torments. Hand me something – and you will be convinced!” And as soon as a shirt was held up, a whole human hand was burned into it, leaving the spaces between the fingers not scorched. The entire family saw both the flame and the hand. On another occasion, the letters IHS were cleanly burned in deep red colors on a vest. These supernaturally marked objects, as well as some of the clipped cloth, were kept and seen by many persons for over thirty years, although unfortunately they were all eventually lost or destroyed.

The Voice often spoke of the grave troubles that were hanging over the world, and it told Mr. Livingston to inform Mrs. McSherry “she would not live to see it, but her children would – war, pestilence and famine!” It added that those of the family who would remain faithful to God would not suffer from these scourges and that they would know when they were in God’s favor. And as a matter of fact, during the Civil War, none of the eight sons and daughters received the slightest injury, except for one son who died from overexertion in his work in a military hospital.

Mrs. McSherry asked where the soul of her former confessor was, expecting to hear that he was long since in Heaven, as he had been a very holy priest who had died seventeen years before. The Voice replied, “Father F____ is still detained in the scorching flames of Purgatory, on account of some carelessness in the management of some property of orphans he had charge of. He trusted it to someone else, and did not see to it that it was properly attended to.”

Early one morning Mr. Livingston went over to the McSherry estate and told Mrs. McSherry that the Voice had just informed him that her sister, Mrs. Mary Spalding, had died at midnight in Baltimore, that she was in Purgatory “for over-indulgence to her children,” and that Masses should be offered for her soul. Several days later, a letter arrived from Baltimore announcing the death of Mrs. Spalding at the very hour mentioned by the Voice. Mrs. McSherry had eighty Masses said for her sister. And one day when she was walking to the Livingston’s with her husband, the gates were all opened for them to pass through, without anyone touching them. The Voice explained, “Mrs. Mary Spalding had opened them.” Mrs. McSherry had a brother at Georgetown College studying for the priesthood. Through Mr. Livingston, the Voice informed her that her brother had become a blasphemer, who openly stated that he did not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament nor the power to priests to forgive sins. The Voice added that if he died in that state of mind he would open his eyes in the raging flames below among the damned. The Voice commanded his brothers and sisters to go to him, fall upon their knees and say to him, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, why will you not believe that there is a God and that nothing is difficult or impossible to Him. It is as easy for Him to give us His Precious Body and Blood as to give us a cup of cold water.” But he did not return to God and, as the Voice foretold, he died in his sins. He was thrown from a horse and died of a broken neck. This sad event occurred in Kentucky.

The mystic Voice from the other world always placed just as much stress upon living a true Christian life as upon praying for the souls in Purgatory. It strongly recommended hospitality and it often severely warned the Livingstons and the McSherrys against the vanities of the world and especially against fashions. It urged the wealthy McSherrys to set aside all pride and vanity and to humble themselves to the earth as though they were sackcloth and ashes. It informed them that some of their relatives who had been long detained in Purgatory because of their worldliness, very much lamented their children being so worldly and so full of worldly grandeur. It claimed that ruffles and fringes, flounces and tuckers and “modesty pieces” (Lace worn over the bosom) were all inventions of Satan. Our Lord had come meek and lowly, it asserted, and so how could we, sinful worms of the earth, deck and adorn our sinful bodies? It declared that thousands of persons were burning in hell forever because of grievous sins that had resulted from their wishing to follow the fashions of the world. Once when three McSherry girls were fitting on some new dresses and admiring themselves, the large mirror before which they were standing was suddenly shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces! In this connection, it is certainly significant that Father Gallitzin, who was intimately acquainted with the teachings of the Voice, always strongly opposed any ostentation in his parishioners, especially in the dress of the women at church and he frequently preached against such display.

On one occasion, when Mr. Livingston’s family assembled in one room, they saw a man in the midst of them and supposing him to be a beggar, as he was poorly dressed and barefooted, the day being cold, Mr. Livingston offered him clothes and shoes, which he accepted but said they were not needed where he came from. He tarried for some time, instructing them in the Christian doctrine and talking to them. He told them; “Luther and Calvin were in Hell and every soul that was lost through their fault added to their torments.” When he left the house, Mr. Livingston thought to watch him, to see where he went, as they had not seen him when he came in; they saw him go out by the front part of the house and then disappear.

As was only to be expected, these extraordinary events and revelations resulted in the conversion of many friends and relatives of the two favored families. In fact, during one winter fourteen persons are known to have joined the Catholic Church in the region around “Priest’s Place,” as the Livingston property now came to be called. And the Catholics nearby of Maryland and Virginia were inspired to lead better lives, particularly when they saw that the Livingstons and the McSherrys, under the guidance of the mystic Voice, had become ardent lay-apostles of Christ. Mr. Livingston, before his conversion, bore his losses very impatiently, but after his conversion, he never complained.

In January 1800, when the Protestant wife of the somewhat lax Catholic, Mr. Joseph Minghini, fell dangerously ill, at the bidding of the Voice Mrs. McSherry visited and consoled her. After they had repeated an Act of Contrition together, the dying woman seemed to be truly penitent and ready to see a priest. But her husband protested that she had her own preachers and that there was no priest within forty miles. Finally, however, as the Voice had urged and predicted, Father Gallitzin was summoned and he received Mrs. Minghini into the Church. The Voice had also specified that the messenger would meet both Father Cahill and Father Gallitzin, but that the latter was the one intended for the woman, “as being of a milder nature.” A few weeks later, in a letter to Bishop Carroll, Father Gallitzin described the conversion as “miraculous”. When Mrs. McSherry returned home, she dreamed that she saw a little child strike a great rock with a stick, whereupon the stone crumbled to dust. The next morning the Voice informed her through the Livingstons that Mrs. Minghini had died during the night and that her sins had crumbled away, like the rock, as a result of her sincere contrition and the priest’s absolution.

Another striking incident, however, served as a vivid warning against waiting for a deathbed conversion. The Protestant wife of a Catholic man in Winchester being near death and having finally asked for a priest, a messenger was sent to the McSherry’s estate and found the priest there. But when they searched for the priest’s horse, Old Bull, in a small nearby field called Spring Pasture, where it had been seen only a few moments before, no one could find the horse! After considerable searching and delay, one of Mr. McSherry’s horses was saddled and the priest left. Soon afterwards Old Bull was heard neighing and was found in the middle of Spring Pasture to the utter amazement of the thirty persons who had just searched for him in vain. Then Mr. Livingston was told by the Voice that the horse had been there all the time. That it had been made invisible, because the woman put off her conversion until the last moment, that she had died before the priest could reach her – as was subsequently confirmed – and that Almighty God had permitted this as a warning to the living not to depend on a death-bed repentance. The Voice frequently advised the Livingstons to pray for perseverance and that there was but one Church out of which there was no salvation.

One night, in hard rain, a stranger came to Mr. McSherry and asked for a night’s lodging. It was most convenient for Mrs. McSherry to put him in the room where the Priest usually slept and where the Church vestments, etc. were kept. They both knew him to be a Methodist Preacher. After retiring, Mr. & Mrs. McSherry heard someone walking briskly about in that room, somewhat like one heavily booted. They were kept awake the whole night and much disturbed. In the morning, they asked the stranger whether he had not been sick during the night; but he replied, no, he had slept very well. Mr. Livingston meantime, came and told them they had had an unpleasant night, being kept awake. The Voice had told him to tell them; “God had permitted them to be disturbed to punish them for harboring him in a place where sacred things were kept – a minister of the devil.”

In August 1804, Mr. McSherry nearly died of a severe illness. Having had some unpleasant difference with Father Cahill, he had not been to confession and communion for some time. But now the Voice told Mr. Livingston to go to Mr. McSherry and “his dear helpmate,” as it always called his wife (according to Father Gallitzin), and to tell them that Mr. McSherry “should humble himself and go to confession, and touch Christ through the Church and he would be cured.” The apparently dying man immediately sent for Father Cahill and that same night, which his family thought would be his last, he made his confession, received Holy Communion, made his thanksgiving and then fell into a peaceful sleep. The next morning he was up before anyone else and when his family saw him walking around the house, some of them at first thought he was a ghost. Actually, though still pale and emaciated, he was completely cured. And he lived until September 7, 1822.

Mr. Livingston’s second wife, despite the fact that she heard the Voice more frequently than anyone, was never sincerely converted. She herself used to say that she was the Judas of the family, and she constantly tried to falsify whatever the Voice said. One Thursday evening when some meat-soup was left after dinner, she decided to serve it on Friday and she therefore locked it in the cellar. But the next morning she found the pot in which she had left the soup filled with exactly the same quantity of clear water! And the Voice told her that it had done it for “it was more proper to take water than to violate the rules of the Church!” Mrs. Livingston herself told Mrs. McSherry the whole occurrence. She also stated that the Voice had said, “If she would not submit to the rules of the Roman Catholic Church, she would open her eyes in Hell.” The Voice also prophesied that she would die in her own home and room, and so when she became ill she deliberately left the house, in order to prove the Voice wrong, and went to live with a Quaker family, whose daughter happened to be dying. This girl told Mrs. Livingston that she wanted some spiritual help but did not know just what it was she needed. The Voice informed Mrs. Livingston that it was Baptism and urged her to arrange for it. After the girl died without being baptized, the Voice told Mrs. Livingston that this would appear against her on Judgment Day. And when she was near death, she was obliged by circumstances to beg to be taken home, where she died in her own room, just as the Voice had foretold. Everything that the Voice predicted happened accordingly.

One of the Livingston girls, Eve, became a very saintly woman. However, once after joining the Catholic Church, she went to a Protestant meeting and while there, she was moved to tears at the sight of so many persons who did not know anything of the True Church. But the Voice reproved her for going to the meeting, saying that she “had committed a great sin, as the people thought she was affected by what she heard – they did not know her thoughts.” Eve Livingston spent much of her time with the devout old Mrs. McSherry, and after she died “in the odor of sanctity,” the Voice declared, “Her soul did not even pass through Purgatory.”

Mrs. McSherry, “the dear helpmate,” had at least two remarkable mystical experiences. One day she was frightened at seeing a cradle containing her infant son William being rocked violently without anyone touching it. Later the Voice told her through Mr. Livingston, “it was the Devil who was trying to destroy the child, knowing that he would one day be his enemy.” And in fact, that child became the Very Reverend William McSherry, one of the Provincials of the Society of Jesus in the United States.

One Sunday Mrs. McSherry stayed home with a sick child while the rest of the family went to Church. As she was praying for her child in an upstairs room, she suddenly saw a beautiful person standing before her in a light cloud, with one hand up and the other down, and a nail running through each hand, who said to her: “Whatsoever you do for one of My little ones, you do it for Me.” She told no one about this marvelous vision, until the priest informed her that the Voice had described it to Mr. Livingston.

One night the good old farmer and his daughter Charlotte were sitting together. The Voice spoke from a bright light in a corner of the room and told the girl that the Devil had been trying to tempt her all day and would have succeeded, if she had not been holding in her arms all the time a neighbor’s baby; “the innocence of the babe had protected her.”

Of course, in those times as today many persons refused to believe what they heard about these supernatural events. Once when Mr. Livingston wanted to warn some acquaintances about their way of living, the Voice said, “No – they are like Dives: if they will not hear the Church, they will not hear a voice from the dead.” However, soon after his conversion, the former Lutheran went to Baltimore to see Bishop Carroll and the wise and cautious old “Founding Father” of the Catholic Church in the United States, after a thorough examination, declared he thought the man had received his knowledge from above. Nevertheless, the Voice warned Mr. Livingston that many people would not believe these things, that even some priests would laugh and not believe and that when he saw this, he should not try to convince them.

Mr. Livingston seems to have become especially devoted to Father Gallitzin, whom he visited at Conewago near Gettysburg only a year or two after joining the Catholic Church. He is known to have walked there and back, and the Voice told him “that it had been with him the whole way.” It is also said, though without conclusive evidence, that through Mr. Livingston the Voice disclosed to Father Gallitzin some of his future sufferings and advised him how to bear them. In any case it is a significant fact that, according to Father Gallitzin, “Mr. Livingston removed from Virginia to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, about twenty miles from here (Loretta), where he died in the spring of 1820. I had Mass at his house repeatedly. He continued, to the last, very attentive to his duties, but did not receive the rites of the Church in his last sickness, which carried him off too quick to afford any chance of sending for a priest.”

Let us end our story with this wise advice from Father Joseph M. Finotti, S.J.: “The narrative of the Clip is for edification; it draws our heart near to God, it teaches lessons of supernatural wisdom. With uncovered head, then, unsandalled feet, and humble brow we approach the spot and reverently exclaim – The Finger of God is here!”

One of the greatest truths this story confirms is the infallible teaching of the Church that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. Please recall Mrs. Livingston’s statement that the Voice told her, “If she would not submit to rules of the Roman Catholic Church she would open up her eyes in Hell.” The teachings of the Church, as confirmed by the Voice, not only apply to Mrs. Livingston, but to all who wish to be saved. Pray and work for the salvation of souls. Distribute this wondrous story of the Wizard Clip so that many others may benefit from its revelations.

 

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THE FOLLOWING WAS A KIND EMAIL EXCHANGE WITH ONE WHO HOLDS TO THE PROTESTANT BELIEF OF ETERNAL SECURITY.

THE PURPOSE IS TO SHOW HOW TO EXPLAIN AND DEFEND THE CATHOLIC FAITH WHILE EXPOSING A TERRIBLE HERESY.

“YOU STATED” IS DEBBIE’S REPLY.

DEBBIE IS AN AUTHOR AND HAS OWN WEBSITE.

“MY REPLY” OR “MY 2ND REPLY” IS ME RESPONDING BACK.

Hello Debbie,

You stated: Hi, Steve, I did this pretty quickly before work, so forgive any errors, please; and give me the same consideration as to “tone of voice.”

Thank you,
Debbie

MY 2nd REPLY: No problem. Glad to see the fight in you! To be honest, I don’t let any tone or words really bother me. I am enjoying this and it is a very good exercise. So here I go again with 2nd REPLY. If you see me using caps, it is to emphasize not yelling. One young man took me to shouting at him when I used caps. Never do I shout.

You stated: Hi, Steve,

Debbie: Sorry to take so long to answer this email. I spent Saturday with my friend Monica. She was a Catholic but after hearing the gospel from me and others for 14 years, she recently trusted Christ alone for her salvation. She still attends the Catholic church with her mom but no longer believes in things like Purgatory and Canon Law.

MY REPLY: I don’t see you trusting in Christ alone but rather you trust in yourself by your theology in trusting Christ alone. Your theology is totally from a personal interpretation as you have made yourself your own pope. This is classic Protestantism. However, I doubt your friend attends a Catholic Church, but rather a Vatican 2 Church that claims to be a Catholic Church. This is what my books and website are all about. What is and is not the Catholic Church.

Debbie: Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t care what kind of Catholic Church it is, if it’s adding your own merits to your salvation instead of depending wholly on Christ, it’s not Christianity.

2nd REPLY: But you’re not depending wholly on Christ but your own man-made theology. You not only depend on yourself, but you depended on someone else to tell you what the Word of God is since you use the Bible that was put together by men and written by men. You believe in a type of merit and but don’t understand it. Acceptance itself is a merit, but not a strict merit.

You stated: We are not acted upon by God in any way when we choose to accept Christ or reject him. I don’t even believe as some do that the Holy Spirit “comes alongside” us and nudges us in the right direction. God is a gentleman and does not intrude upon our free will. He does not send the “right people” to us when we are unbelievers in answer to our grandma’s prayers either. He is no respecter of persons. He could have raptured each believer home the moment they trusted Christ, but he didn’t; he left us here to do the work of an ambassador and it’s OUR job to get the gospel out.

MY REPLY: If you chose to accept Christ, then you did something ON YOUR OWN which automatically qualifies as a type of merit. There is no getting around it no matter how much you don’t want to admit to this fact. As matter of fact, if you can freely choose to accept Christ, how can you say that you can’t freely choose to reject Christ later? Your position has it that you are free in the beginning but not really free later. You used to love the rosary, but later stopped. Some people love their spouses but later choose to stop loving them. The same goes with many Christians. My best friend used to love Christ but now rejects Him. Some will say that he never really loved Jesus, but I know better. Those who make such claims do so to fit into a theology because it doesn’t work without making such claims.

Debbie: You may consider it to be a merit, but give me one scriptural example that God does. God calls us to make a decision and when we decide to trust Christ, he allows us to spend eternity with him. It doesn’t change the fact that Christ did it all; it just means we agree with God that he did.

2nd REPLY: YOU DECIDED. You didn’t just agree with Him but you ACCEPTED HIM ON YOUR OWN POWER AND FREE WILL. Your decision came from you, not God alone. Merit in the Catholic sense is to be worthy or deserving by, not to earn. Therefore, God considers merit, “and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:38) This implies that if you do take up your cross and follow Christ you are worthy of Him. He is your salvation.

“Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.” (2 Thess. 1:4-5)

Since you believe the Rapture is part of the Gospel and it comes from this writing of Paul then you must believe Paul when he says that one is made worthy of the Kingdom of God by steadfastness and faith in all persecutions and afflictions.

I could many more examples but these 2 suffice.

Debbie: As far as eternal security goes, 2 timothy 2:13 says, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.” Paul is speaking to a believing audience here and telling them that if they stop believing, God will still keep his promise. He cannot deny himself: Believers are sealed into Christ’s body and are a part of him which he won’t deny. From our perspective, it may look as if a believer has lost his salvation for various reasons. God still sees him in Christ and will reward him for his initial belief when the time comes. When a person who’s turned his back on Christ finds himself in heaven, I doubt if he’ll be mad at God for insisting on keeping his promise!

2nd REPLY: Wow. We’ll never see eye-to-eye on this one. But since every Catholic that I know has accepted Christ, then what difference does any of this make? We’re all saved according to your theology.

You stated: I’ve never worried about anyone in history who may have believed the same way I do, before the Reformation or after. There were probably some who didn’t write any books or letters that survived but they’re now in heaven with Christ for believing the words God left for us through Paul.

MY REPLY: The reason I asked this was to prove to you that your position is anti-historical. The fact is your position didn’t exist at all for at least 1,500 years after Christ, which makes it a man-made theology. You won’t find a single book or letter because there aren’t any. Of course, you won’t accept this statement, but it is true. The Catholic Church has always stamped out heresies and done so in public keeping all records. History is very important, but like the Mormons who claim 2 Indian tribes were visited by Jesus without any record whatsoever that those tribes even existed just proves my point. You can’t make a claim without a single bit of evidence to back it up. I’Il finish this topic at the end of this reply.

Debbie: You probably already realize that I don’t give a rip about man-made historical documents. The early institution that became the Roman Catholic Church had a lot of temporal power and I’m sure they controlled the flow of information in the direction they wanted. The RCC realized they could wield more control over the masses with the kingdom gospel of Israel with its laws and rules than they could with the glorious liberty we have in Christ according to Paul’s gospel.

2nd REPLY: I’ll repeat what I said. You have no evidence to back up your theology historically WHICH PROVES IT’S MAN-MADE! By the way, being part of the Catholic Church gives me the glorious liberty in Christ, which doesn’t truly exist apart from the Catholic Church that Christ founded.

You stated: Adding one drop of doctrine from Israel’s scriptures poisons grace with law. At the close of this dispensation, “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel,” wrote Paul in Romans 2:16. He didn’t say, “Peter’s gospel.” He and Peter shook hands in Galatians 2:9 and Peter forever stepped down from the world stage of evangelism and gave the reins to Paul with his new gospel. Peter never goes to another soul with Israel’s good news after that day. If anyone is our “pope,” or “papa” to the body of Christ, it’s Paul, not Peter! (1 Cor. 4:15).

MY REPLY: There is not one drop of truth to your statement! When Paul said “my gospel” it is the same at Peter’s, John’s, James’, and every other Christian throughout history. The reason why he said “my” was because he was speaking to those without the truth.

As for Gal. 2:9, you don’t see shaking hands but rather Peter, James, and John giving authority to Paul and Barnabas.

Debbie: Um, what does “right hand of fellowship” mean to you?

2nd REPLY: It means given the same authority. All bishops have the same authority as bishops.

Peter didn’t step down as you make another claim without any evidence. However, Peter was the one at the Council of Jerusalem and settles the matter after much debate in (Acts 15:7). Barnabas and Paul confirm the truth in verse 12 and then James puts in his two-cents worth. James has to say, “Listen to me” since his words need everybody’s attention unlike Peter’s, who already has everybody’s attention. Peter does not have to say, “listen to me” because they listen and when he spoke, “the assembly kept silence” (Acts 15:12). James then gives his judgment on about how Peter’s words are to be applied.

Debbie: Galatians 2 is in the same time frame as Acts 15. They describe the same meeting. And I take it to mean that Peter’s authority over the kingdom saints was naturally waning, what with their program being set aside, and James was easily able to usurp the power.

2nd REPLY: Not at all and that’s why all of their successors understood it the way I described it. Again, you must know your history!

It is Peter most mentioned in the Book of Acts; over 50 times.

Debbie: But Peter is never mentioned again after Acts 15 when he stepped down from evangelism.

2nd REPLY: Where do you get the idea he stepped down? From where? All of Peter’s and Paul’s successors didn’t say this.
Also, Peter most definitely goes to other souls as he went to many places including Antioch and finally Rome where he was put to death upside down for preaching the Gospel!

Debbie: Those are simply legends. There’s no real evidence he ever went to Rome. He may have traveled around, sure, but he never ever preached the gospel to anyone again. In his letters, he tells his readers to listen to what Paul has to say and explains that we are now under the longsuffering of God (instead of the wrath that was next on the schedule) because of what Paul has to say.

2nd REPLY: Legends? He appointed St Evodius for the See of Antioch. He preached everywhere! In his letters, he tells the Church not to privately interpret Paul as you are doing. His tomb was found directly under the Basilica in Rome!

He was THE pope, and all the other Apostles and priests are “popes” or fathers.

Debbie: He was the head of the little flock kingdom church, yes, but that church has been set aside until God is done with the mystery we’re under today. No succession occurred in the kingdom church after Peter stepped down. The grace age church has no succession of apostles at all. Paul is our apostle (Rom. 11:13).

2nd REPLY: Linus was Peter’s immediate successor and is mentioned in the NT. Clement was Peter’s 3rd successor. History tells us so.

Not only do I confirm this statement, but every early Church Father does the same, including PAUL’S CO-WORKER CLEMENT (Phil 4:3) who became the 4th Pope of Rome.

Debbie: I’d be interested to see some proof that the same Clement left any writings. I seriously doubt it and would not put it past the numerous forgers of the time to publish something in that name just to make it look authentic.

2nd REPLY: He left 2 writings and they were used at Mass in the first and second centuries.

You stated: John Nelson Darby, I guess, divided the scriptures between Israel and the Church and re-discovered the mystery of the rapture. Doesn’t matter to me, though, because I just want to believe what God says in his book, not what men say.

MY REPLY: Darby was a major heretic and didn’t re-discover anything. He invented the rapture and I disprove it as being anti-Scriptural, anti-historical, and illogical in two of my books. You say that you “want to believe what God says in His Book and not what men say,” but the fact is, you believe what men say including what you say. You can’t get around the fact that you are being the final arbiter of truth because it always comes down to your own personal interpretation.

Debbie: A heretick in your estimation maybe. If he preached a gospel of grace through faith alone in Christ then he’s my brother in Christ in mine. The rapture is plainly taught in Paul’s letters (alone). The kingdom saints knew nothing of it and fully expected to go through the tribulation that Christ warned them about in Matthew 24.

We all give the Bible our personal interpretation. You just happen to choose the one the RCC is serving up. In the end, each of us must choose what we believe God is telling us in his word.

2nd REPLY: Ah Ha! You admit that it you’re using your own personal interpretation. You have become your own “pope.” I choose the Catholic Church as Christ gave it the authority, not myself. Since you choose yourself, then you’re trusting in yourself, not in Christ alone.

You stated: Now for those verses:

Eph. 1:13-14. Yes it does mean you can’t lose your salvation. Why else would Paul say, “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession…”? The Holy Spirit is making a promise that he will seal us with himself until Jesus Christ comes to redeem our bodies forever. You do believe the Holy Spirit can keep his promises, right? I don’t see Paul adding any conditions to this in these verses, do you?

MY REPLY: You have made a definition of sealed that doesn’t exist. It means an impression made, or imprint to prove authenticity or to secure something.

This verse can mean both. You have been imprinted and authenticated and I already said in my last email that this verse means, “You’re even guaranteed salvation by the promise of the Holy Spirit by which you’re sealed.”

Where do you get that sealed can’t be broken or taken away? This is the question.

When you can vegetables, you seal in the freshness by sealing it with a top plate and heat. It is good UNTIL you break it.

When you do plumbing, you seal the fixtures, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be broken or removed.

Even the Book of the Apocalypse uses the word showing that it does not imply a forever. “and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while.” (Ap 20:3)

You have already admitted that you have a free will. This means that as long as you remain abiding in Christ through your own free choosing, then you are sealed with the Holy Ghost. However, you can freely choose not to abide and break the seal.

So, yes, the Holy Spirit keeps his promises, He won’t break the seal, but YOU CAN IF YOU FREELY CHOOSE.

You’re entire theology is based on this one verse and you have completely misunderstood the basic understanding of the word sealed.

Debbie: Where do you get that mere man can break God’s seal? And if the Holy Spirit IS the seal of God, how can you break him? I believe we can’t. Believers are God’s “purchased possession.” Past tense: purchased. We’re bought with a price and God will redeem his merchandise.

2nd REPLY: I get it from the passages that I cited. The Holy Spirit doesn’t force salvation on someone who doesn’t want it. I have no problem with a past tense, but the question is the future. If I purchased a dog from the pound, he is mine, too, but he’s not going to live in my home if he runs away and gets lost, nor will he live in my home if he bites me and continues to bite me.

You stated: 1 Cor. 15:1-2. Paul is simply reminding believers of what he preached to them and by what they are saved, the fact that Christ died for our sins and rose again. “If ye keep in memory” just means “if you remember.” Nothing scary here. If they don’t believe that, they’ve believed in vain.

MY REPLY: Sorry, but “if” means “on the condition that” which makes sense of the words believing in vain. In other words, you can believe and be saved, but if you stop believing and holding fast the faith, then your past belief and salvation is of no use to you now. You’re right, nothing scary as long as you love and maintain the faith.

Debbie: “If” can also be used in the sense of a reminder; I. e., “If you’re 18 now, start acting like it!”

2nd REPLY: My dictionary doesn’t give me this in the way that it is used here. Why does Paul use “if” when it is already presumed?

You stated: James 2:24: Not by Faith alone. Here’s a perfect example of Israel’s kingdom gospel. they weren’t and won’t be in the future saved by faith alone like we are. Works played an integral part in their gospel. The Catholic church thinks she’s Israel so works play an integral part in Catholicism’s gospel, but she is sincerely, tragically mistaken.

MY REPLY: Nowhere does the Gospel teach a “Faith Alone.” It comes exclusively from Martin Luther the ex-Catholic. Be that as it may, the Epistle of James was to the Body of Christ as it has always been known as the “Catholic or Universal Letter.” It is true the Catholic Church is the New Israel under the New Covenant but not the Old. I explain this in my book.

Debbie: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:28. Can’t be said plainer than that. Of course, your Council of Trent condemns the plain words of scripture in regard to justification.

2nd REPLY: Deeds of the law are not the same as Works of Love. Romans is speaking about the former not the latter. I have no problem with saying that man is justified by faith, I also would have no problem with saying man is justified by works, but never with alone coming after either faith or works.

Debbie: The Epistle of James is addressed, not to the Body of Christ, but to the “ten tribes which are scattered abroad.” That’s Israel. The epistles of Hebrews thru Revelation were inspired and written for use in the age to come “the tribulation” although they had some relevance to the time they were written, of course. The remnant will need some basic doctrine to navigate the time of Jacob’s trouble, the 70th week of Daniel.

2nd REPLY: James was addressing the Body of Christ. Where do you get that he isn’t? But even if he isn’t then by your interpretation it would still be incorrect.

You stated: 1 John 5:16. As I explained earlier, the “sin unto death” is taking the mark of the beast during the tribulation. That act will spell the end of the hope of salvation for any who take it, for whatever reason. That’s why John says don’t bother to pray for it.

MY REPLY: How can the “sin unto death” be the mark of the beast if he was speaking in the present tense and the mark of the beast is a future event?

Debbie: As I said above, these letters will be present tense to those future believers.

2nd REPLY: Sure, but they aren’t to those living then which would be meaningless to them then.

You stated: There is no sin we can commit today that isn’t already taken care of at the cross.

MY REPLY: Really? What about not accepting Christ? Is that a sin? If so, then He paid for that too…right? Why should we have to accept Christ if He already paid for all sins for all the world? If I follow your logic, everybody should go to heaven even those who take the mark of the beast. Did not Christ die for all sins? Of course, the Catholic Church understands this different than you do.

Debbie: God considers accepting or rejecting Christ a decision, not a sin.

2nd REPLY: You didn’t answer the question. Is not accepting Christ a sin? All decisions that you make are either sins or not.

Debbie: The fact that Christ died for the sins of the world is offered only to those who live in this dispensation of the grace of God. We are saved by believing that. However, God deals differently with the nation of Israel -when her program is in force, which it isn’t right now “in that he will apply that redemption to their account IF they have faith in him and prove that faith by doing the works he requires during the dispensation in which they live. Israel was and will be in the future still working out the curses of Leviticus 26 and so will not be given a free pass. We were never under that specific curse, although God did cast away the Gentile nations when he began dealing with the world through Israel. Now that curse is broken and the middle wall of partition is broken down so that we may be saved by coming directly to God and telling him we believe that his Son, Jesus Christ, paid the penalty for our sins in our stead.

2nd REPLY: You completely avoided my questions…

You stated: There’s no need for repentance or asking forgiveness from God; it’s already forgiven. We should thank him instead. But Israel will come back under law for that final installment of the Leviticus 26 curses. Don’t take the mark is law. In Genesis 3, don’t eat the fruit was law, too. That’s Israel’s earthly law program. We’re under grace.

MY REPLY: What difference does it make if Christ died for all men taking away all sins?

Debbie: That would be covered by my previous answer detailing Israel’s courses of punishment they must endure before being given their promised earthly kingdom.

2nd REPLY: Punishments for what? Didn’t Christ die for all their sins too?

You stated: 1 Cor. 9:27. Paul subdued his body so as not to be disqualified…for a crown or reward at the Bema. Not disqualified for salvation. No one deserves salvation, so how can anyone be disqualified for something they’re not qualified for in the first place…except in Jesus Christ?

MY REPLY: Paul’s words were in Greek “reprobate.” The word is used 8 times in the NT and means becoming apostate or losing faith. Disqualified or rejected is not the accurate translation but are given in translation since it is poetic way of saying being a reprobate will disqualify one from salvation. To answer your question; it is true no one deserves salvation, but when saved which makes one qualified then you can be disqualified or lose salvation. It is that simple.

Debbie: Prove from scripture that Paul believes he can lose his salvation by his actions. He never says it in so many words. Even though he lamented that the good he would do, he didn’t do, he never questioned whether he would be in heaven with Christ. “to live is Christ; to die is gain.”

2nd REPLY: I just proved it. He said it, here. What else do you want?

You stated: Romans 11:22-23. God’s mercy and long-suffering continues so we “continue in his kindness,” but someday that kindness will end and judgment will begin and the day of God’s wrath will come. We’ll be “cut off” by the rapture and any chance to be saved by grace thru faith alone for those left behind will also be cut off.

MY REPLY: We’ll be “cut off” by the rapture??? Sorry, the “cut off” is in reference to those who did not continue in his kindness.

Debbie: This age of grace is God’s kindness to the world. This world will not always continue in God’s kindness. He will stop it with our rapture and then start Israel’s prophetic time clock with all of its attendant wrath and judgment to follow.

2nd REPLY: The Rapture is a man-made myth.

You stated: Hebrews 3:12-14; 6:4-6; 10:26-29. The letter to the Hebrews is to the Hebrews! Jews. Israel when her program resumes following our departure. Israel will need to believe that Jesus is their promised Messiah and that he still lives and intercedes for them as their high priest, and that he’s coming back to deliver them from their enemies. If they want to enter the promised kingdom, they have to remain faithful, never turning back, and keep themselves pure and unspotted from the evil world system of the antichrist. It will be a perilous time for Israel, but it has nothing to do with the Body of Christ saved by grace, for we are “not appointed unto wrath” and “delivered from the wrath to come” by Jesus Christ.

MY REPLY: Your explanation makes no sense. Jews who become partakers of the Holy Ghost, taste salvation, which means they become part of the Body of Christ, could possible lose it, but you cannot lose it? These verses already presume that once anybody Jew or Gentile becomes partakers of the Holy Ghost tasting salvation, they are under God’s grace like everybody else. I fail to see how you think that your interpretation is even logical. In all your replies, you pick and choose what you want the Bible verses to mean and to whom they belong so as to fit into your theology. As a Catholic, I don’t have to do that. It works just fine.

Debbie: Hebrews is a letter to Israel when their program resumes after the rapture. The dispensation of grace will be over and their final installment of punishment will begin. The Body of Christ will have been raptured to heaven and cannot be added to any more; the “fulness of the Gentiles” will have come in. (Rom. 11:25). The Covenant nation of Israel is in view during this time and whether the true Jews qualify for it.

2nd REPLY: You didn’t address my points.

You stated: As a nation, Israel failed her first test, which was Christ’s appearance on earth as their messiah. The tests will just keeping getting harder and harder when their program resumes and now they truly have to prove themselves to God in order for him to accept them as a bride for his Son. (Today, we’re not the Bride of Christ…we’re his Body!)

MY REPLY: Sorry, but the Jews can never under any circumstances be accepted as a bride unless they accept Christ. Once they accept Him they are under grace like everybody else. AND yes, we are the Bride of Christ which makes us His Body, not the other way around. (Eph 5:22-33)

Debbie: Sorry, I don’t agree.

You stated: John 15:6. “If a man does not abide in me, etc.” It was Israel’s responsibility to “abide in Christ” by remaining faithful and doing the required works (sell all; be water baptized, etc.). We’re supernaturally sealed into Christ by the Holy Spirit, so it’s not up to us to abide in him; it’s the Holy Spirit that keeps us sealed into him, no matter what we do.

MY REPLY: Israel that rejects Christ does not and has never abided in Christ. When they accept Him, they also become sealed with the Holy Ghost. By stating, “no matter what we do” you are saying that you have no free will and become something like a puppet or robot of Christ. Again, the Holy Spirit keeps us sealed into Him provided we continue in faith and works which is how we show our love in, through, and to Christ. If we ever choose not to love Christ, then we break or remove that seal. I already explained this above. The Holy Spirit does not force you to love.

Debbie: We have free will but we do not have power that supersedes that of the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t force you to do anything, but he does keep you sealed for all eternity when you truly trust Christ.

2nd REPLY: If he keeps you sealed in the way that you mean it, then you have no free will. You’re just that puppet or robot.

You stated: Two different gospels. One law; the other grace. I’ll take grace, thank you very much! I’ll take the gift of God that doesn’t depend on me, please. Why don’t people realize how fortunate we are to be living in the dispensation of the GRACE of God (Eph. 3:2) and not back in Israel’s program? Beats me!

What about you?

Debbie

MY REPLY: There is no true gospel of law. There was an old covenant of law but it was fulfilled in Christ who gave us the only Gospel of the New Covenant. I’ve taken that gospel of grace. Since I accepted it, then the accepting the gift depended on me to accept it. Grace is a free gift, but you must accept it and continue to accept it every moment of your life. It is not and never has been a one-time act. Israel’s program was fulfilling the Mosaic Laws to the letter.

Christ’s program is to Love Always. This is done by Faith and works.

I show love to my wife by believing, trusting, listening, and doing things for her. Love must be proven by this showing. I could always stop loving my wife if I so chose out of selfishness. Then, I would stop believing, trusting, listening, and doing things for her. People don’t do these things if they hate someone.

If you love Jesus then prove it. He knows your heart but if you don’t continue in faith and works of love, then He knows that you don’t really love Him.

The Catholic Church is the WAY.

Debbie: Good luck with that, Steve.

2nd REPLY: Well, I’ve accepted Christ, so I’m good even by your self-made theology.

Any other way, is another gospel.

This is why history is so important. Without it, you wouldn’t even have the Bible, which by the way, was given and affirmed by the Catholic Church in 380 AD. It was preserved by the Irish monks who copied it.

Debbie: The manuscripts favored by the Catholic Church (and its predecessors) subtly do teach adding works and merit to faith. The true words of God were preserved for us and re-copied by true Christians and are to be found in modern English in the Authorized King James Version. The Reformers recognized that and so do I.

2nd REPLY: You got me laughing here. KJV borrowed from the Catholic Douay. And you’re right, they were copied by true Christians which were those Catholic Irish monks.

Debbie: “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2 Cor. 2:17).

MY REPLY: We are told to hold fast to the faith that was delivered from the beginning and calls to mind the warning of St. Paul, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9)

Debbie: “another gospel, which is not another.” I believe that this means the gospel in question is not another unlike the real one, but is one like it enough that some may fall for it. And that is, Israel’s kingdom gospel, now set aside, which cannot save anyone today because it adds works to faith.

MY REPLY: Christ said, “The path to destruction is a wide one and many are those who take it, but the path to paradise is a narrow one and few who even find it.” We may live in a confusing world but the narrow path can be found for Christ would not have left us without being able to find it.

Debbie: And look how huge the Catholic Church has always been! And how few there are that believe in rightly dividing the scriptures between Israel and the Church today! Seems like I’m on the narrow path.

2nd REPLY: The Catholic Church was huge, not anymore. But even when it was, most all Catholics go to hell anyway because they didn’t and don’t live their Catholic Faith. The path is the faith and you must live it. It is narrow by way of the rest of the world. You’re path is not narrow at all. All you have to do is accept Christ once which comes from your self-made theology. That is as about as wide as it gets.

I submit the Catholic Faith is that path for it is the only faith that can be found throughout the entire history of Christianity.

All the Bible interpretations in the world would mean nothing to me, unless you can show me that they existed (or at least didn’t go against a universal one) in every generation.

Debbie: One constant throughout history is the presence of Satan and his “ministers of righteousness.” It was in his best interest to promote a defunct gospel of salvation at the outset of this grace age to deceive people into thinking they’re on the road to salvation when they’re not.

2ND REPLY: Satan doesn’t have ministers of righteousness, only demons to deceive to which I agree with you on the rest. Anything not Catholic is that deception of Satan. And I repeat, if you can’t show me that gospel of yours throughout history, then I one would have to conclude that it did not come from God but man.

Debbie: I bet he’s going to entice people during the tribulation to come to believe they’re saved by grace through faith in Christ alone when Israel’s gospel of the kingdom with its attendant works is the gospel that saves! I was a Catholic and I know that the popes and priests, as well as the laity, have a long history of the most filthy hedonism imaginable.

2ND REPLY: I agree with you about the most filthy hedonistic popes, priests and laity. Only proves my point. Satan attacks the true Faith

Debbie: I see very little evidence of the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church.

2ND REPLY: This is why my website and books are so important. You aren’t seeing the Catholic Church at all and to which the Holy Spirit doesn’t exist. The real Catholic Church is filled with God, the Holy Spirit. You shouldn’t judge the Judas’ of the Church nor a misrepresentation of the Gospel of Christ.

Debbie: The people are superstitious, use images and idols, and are constantly patting themselves on the back for participating in all the empty rituals the Catholic church has to offer.

2ND REPLY: The Catholic Church has no empty rituals! Christ didn’t give us empty rituals.

Debbie: Pedophilia abounds in unregenerate priests of all ages. I would never, ever go back. Sorry.

2ND REPLY: Again, you judge Christ based on Judas and who would have ever accepted Christ if they judged Him based on Judas? The Catholic Church should not be judged based on the Judas’s of the Faith. I TRULY HOPE YOU WILL COME BACK, BUT NOT THE VATICAN 2 CHURCH. IT’S NOT IT!

If that can’t be done, then you have already subverted your own arguments. It means they are man-made.

Debbie: It’s the RCC that’s man-made. I follow the Bible, rightly divided. (2 Tim. 2:15).

In his grace,
Debbie

2ND REPLY: The Bible is rightly divided by Old and New Testaments only. The RCC is God/man-made since it was Christ who made it by the working of the Holy Ghost.

I truly think that you have missed the points that I’ve made. The Gospel that I have written about is LOVE. It’s all about love and I don’t see that coming from the gospel that you have presented. I don’t even see the love of Christ in the way and reason for which you accept Him. You have already said that you can reject Christ but the Holy Spirit will still bring you to salvation. Where’s the love?

For the Catholic Faith, I love Jesus! I show him my love by obeying Him and all lawful authorities and the commandments. I show Him my love by living out the Catholic Faith no matter how difficult or inconvenient it may be. I show Him my love through Faith and Works; works of Love as the works of mercy. Do you remember the works of mercy when you were a Catholic? By loving Him first and my neighbor second.

I want to go to Heaven because I love God!

This is what the Catholic Church teaches, not just some one-time acceptance of Christ and that’s it, as I would go to Heaven even if I later rejected Him. This doesn’t make any sense.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that of Love of God and then of neighbor. If you love Christ, you will obey Him and all those of lawful authority. You can’t love Christ and be disobedient to His laws while rejecting His teachings and sacraments.

Acceptance of Christ is only as good as your willingness to show Him your love through faith and works.
Sincerely,
Steven

Debbie: Hi, Steve,

It looks like you and I are at pretty much of an impasse what with both of us so entrenched in our opinions.  I’m going to ask for leave to bow out at this point because it’s doing no good to get so bogged down in the different arguments.

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