Errors of the Roman Catholic Church

Part 1

by Keith Piper

The Roman Catholic Church believes many false doctrines that are contrary to the Bible, and were unknown to the early Church, such as:

  1. Human Tradition is Elevated to Or Above the Word of God (1545 AD)
  2. Wrong Gospel, Wrong Message of Salvation
  3. Confession of Sins to Priest to Obtain Absolution of Sins
  4. Penance
  5. Priests
  6. Celibacy of Priests and Nuns (1079 AD)
  7. Confirmation
  8. Extreme Unction (526 AD)
  9. Infant Baptism (370 AD)
  10. Transubstantiation (1215 AD)
  11. Adoration of the Host (Wafer Bread) (1220 AD)
  12. The Mass (394 AD)
  13. Other Mediators Between God and Man
  14. Prayers to Saints (375 AD)
  15. Purgatory (593 AD)
  16. Papal Infallibility (1870 AD)
  17. Indulgences (1190 AD)
  18. Idolatry = Making Images (786 AD)
  19. Mary Veneration (431 AD)
  20. Catholic Attitudes to the Bible (1229 AD)
  21. Peter as the Rock
  22. 15 Apocrypha Books Added to the Old Testament Bible (1546 AD)
  23. Names of Blasphemy (350 AD)
  24. Rosary Prayer Beads (1090 AD)
  25. Low Moral Standards
  26. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary
  27. Crossing Oneself (300 AD)
  28. Was Peter the First Pope?
  29. Roman Catholic Lies, Immorality, Corruption
  30. The Inquisition, Torture, Massacres, Murders, Wars (1184 AD)
  31. 15 Evidences that the Roman Catholic Church is Mystery Babylon the Great, the Whore of Revelation 17
  32. Who Gave Us the Bible? God or the Roman Catholic Church?
  33. They Turn People Away From Christ to Honor Twelve Other Things


The Roman Catholic Church has developed many doctrines which cannot be remotely proven from the Bible. For example, the Assumption of Mary.

Question: Did God leave important teachings out of the Bible? Is God forgetful?

The Roman Catholic Church cannot clearly and easily show its history before 320 AD, when the Roman Emperor Constantine professed conversion, amalgamated pagans and Christians, and declared himself to be the head or pontiff of the Universal (Catholic) Church.

The early Church never had many of the doctrines that the Roman Catholic Church now has.

"If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20)

Question: What are some errors of the Roman Catholic Church?

ERROR 1: Human Tradition Is Elevated to Or Above the Word of God (1545 AD)

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy or vain deceit, after the tradition of man, .... and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

Jesus charges the Pharisees for exalting tradition above the Word of God in the same way that the Roman Catholic Church does:

  • "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" 
    (Matthew 15:3)
  • "Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites." (Matthew 15:6-7)
  • "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9)
  • "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind." (Matthew 15:3, 6-7, 9, 14)

I challenge Catholics to test their doctrines by God's Word. The Church does not give birth to the Word of God, but the Word of God gives birth to the Church. "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth." (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23)

The Word of God saves us, and we then become part of a local Church. This has always been the case. "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48) Roman Catholicism quotes Church traditions as the authority as to why they add unbiblical doctrines.

ERROR 2: Wrong Gospel, Wrong Message of Salvation

Catholics, since childhood are taught that to get to heaven one must keep the sacraments, the mass, and do good works. This is different from the Bible's definition of the Gospel.

Question: What is the Gospel?

Answer: "I declare unto you the Gospel ... how that Christ died for our sins ... that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the scriptures ..." 
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The Gospel message saves us: "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believes ..." (Romans 1:16)

Therefore the Gospel is that: Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again. We are saved when we believe this message, receiving Christ as our Savior. This means that we must trust Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross as being the full payment for all our sins.

Paul strongly warns against preaching or believing "another Gospel" in Galatians 1:6-9. "So say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED." (Galatians 1:9)

Question: What is this OTHER FALSE Gospel?

Answer: Any idea saying that we can earn salvation by our good works.

  • "Knowing that a man is NOT justified by the WORKS of the law, but by the FAITH of Jesus Christ,
  • Even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH OF CHRIST, and NOT by the WORKS OF THE LAW:
  • For by the WORKS of the law shall NO FLESH be justified." Galatians 2:16.

Note that three times we are told that we are not saved by keeping the WORKS of the law.

Other verses that say the same thing are as follows:

  • Ephesians 2:8-10
  • Galatians 3:2, 10, 11, 26, 5:4 
  • Philippians 3:9
  • Romans 3:20, 28, 4:5 11:6 
  • Titus 3:5

The Bible says that NO AMOUNT of good works can save us.

Several problems exist for those who trust their works to save them:

  • They never know if they've done enough good works to make it into heaven: they never know for sure of going to heaven. The Pope doesn't know for sure. So how can he help you to become sure of eternal life.
  • They are saying that Christ's death on the cross was not good enough to save them and it was a waste of time.
  • "If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21)
  • They are rejecting Christ from being their Savior.
  • They are grouping themselves with every other false religion whose one thing in common is trusting their own works, or merits, or law-keeping to get them into heaven.

Ephesians 2:8-10 states that we are not saved by our works, but that after we have received Christ as our Savior, we will show good works. Paul says:

"Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ." Philippians 3:9.

To teach the all-sufficiency of the saving work of Christ would undermine the entire structure of Catholicism. People are told that if they leave the Roman Catholic Church, they'll surely go to hell. People are kept in bondage of fear of missing salvation if they leave the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic "Gospel" leaves Christ out. It teaches people that if they perform well enough such things as : attending mass, partaking of sacraments, praying to Mary (saying the "Hail Mary"), confessing sins to a priest, doing good works etc, they may eventually pass through the fires of purgatory after hundreds of years to then enter heaven.

Do you have real salvation in Christ, or are you trusting in keeping the Catholic Church rules to save you?

Many times I have asked Catholics how they were saved. They reply "That's personal, I don't need to tell you." I say: "Then that proves that you are not saved and that if you died now, you would surely go to hell, because Romans 10:11 says "Whosoever believeth on Him SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED." If you were really saved you would be happy to tell me how Jesus saved you.

ERROR 3: Confession of Sins to Priest to Obtain Absolution of Sins

Catholic Canon law 870 and 888 state that a priest has power to forgive sins, and confession to a priest at least once a year is necessary unto salvation.

Early church writes such as Chrysostom (350 AD), and Basil (350 AD) wrote strongly about confessing sins to God only.

The Bible gives these examples of confessing sins to God only:

  • When Simon of Samaria sinned after being baptized he was told to pray to God for forgiveness. (Acts 8:22)
  • The apostles never heard confessions, but said in Acts 10:43 that: "through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins."
  • Peter never forgave the sins of Cornelius. (Acts 10:44-48)
  • Paul never forgave the sins of the Philippian jailer. (Acts 16:30-34)
  • Only God can forgive sins. "Who can forgive sins but God only." (Mark 2:5-11)
  • When Peter sinned by denying Christ, he confessed to God and was forgiven. When Judas sinned by betraying Christ, he confessed to some priests and then committed suicide. (Matthew 27:3-5)

Question: What about James 5:16 "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that ye may be healed."

Answer: This confession contributes to a restoration of health, because the sickness has come on the patient as a punishment for some sins that he committed.

See 1 Corinthians 11:29-31. If we are sick, and are conscious that we have hurt any person, we should make confession to them. The reason is "that ye may be healed." This verse in no way proves that if we confess our sins to a priest, that the priest has power to declare such sins to be forgiven because:

  • This confession is not to be made by a person in health to obtain salvation, but by a sick person that he may be healed.
  • This verse commands mutual confession, meaning that the priest should also confess his sins to the people.
  • No mention is made of confession to a priest, or any minister of religion.
  • This confession is for faults where one has injured another. Nothing is said about confessing sins to those we have not injured such as a priest.
  • There is no mention here of absolution, by a priest or any person.
  • Only He (God) whose law has been violated can pardon or forgive an offence. No third person can forgive a sin between two people.
  • Catholic "auricular confession" is so evil because:
    • it gives so much power to the priesthood to suppose that they can absolve sins.
    • it pollutes the mind by keeping impure thoughts in the mind long enough to make confession and to state them in words.
    • it gives a man such power over a female to suppose that it is required by religion that all sins passing in her mind should be disclosed to him. The very things that a seducer would like to know are the thoughts of his intended victim. Virtue would be safe nowhere. This practice has greatly corrupted community morals as seen by so many Catholic priests being sued for sexual abuse of women and children.

Question: But doesn't John 20:23 say that a priest has power to forgive sins "Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained?"

Answer: The meaning is, not that man can forgive sins (because only God can), but that they were to declare on what terms and conditions, to what characters, and to what attitude of mind, God would forgive sins.

God was saying that people might have assurance of forgiveness who would comply with those terms. Those who did not comply should not be forgiven, and their sins should be retained.

Jesus here is giving the apostles (and by extension all Christians) the privilege of announcing heavens terms on how a person can receive forgiveness of sins. If a person believes in Jesus, then a Christian has the right to announce his forgiveness. If a person rejects Jesus Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross as the full payment for his sins, then a Christian can announce that persons sins are not forgiven.

Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man, not a priest, not Mary, and not the saints. "There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)

ERROR 4: Penance

Catholicism believes that a priest has the power to forgive or retain sins and impose penance as a means of testing the genuineness of the person's confession, and of making a satisfaction to God for that sin.

Answer: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31)

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

We only confess our sins to God. No mention is made of penance here or anywhere. No good works that we do by penance will ever satisfy God, but sinners can be accepted and forgiven only on the ground of Christ's sacrifice, through which alone the justice and wrath of God against sin have been satisfied. (Romans 3:24-28)

"He is the propitiation for our sins ..." (1 John 2:2)

Penance is performing outward acts such as repeating prayers, like the "Hail Mary" or the "Rosary", as a payment for sin and to satisfy God. Roman Catholicism bases penance on Ezekiel 18:30, Luke 13:5 and Acts 2:38 where they incorrectly translate "repentance" (metanoeo = to turn, repent, to change one's mind) as "penance".

ERROR 5: Priests

A Roman Catholic priest is one who acts in the place of Christ, supposedly making believers into Christians by "baptizing" them. He converts the bread into Christ's flesh in the mass, and he forgives sins in the confessional.

In the Bible, all ministers are called elders, bishops or pastors, all referring to the one office, but there is no office of "priest". Christ is our Great High Priest, the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), so there is no need for other priests to mediate for us. Peter never called himself a priest, but did call himself a "fellow elder". 
(1 Peter 5:1)

In Acts, there is no reference anywhere to a sacrificing priesthood. In Revelation 1:6 ("hath made us kings and priests unto God"), and in 1 Peter 2:5, 9 ("ye are a holy priesthood", "ye are a royal priesthood"), all believers are priests and have direct access to God through Christ. We don't offer an atoning sacrifice because only Christ did this on the cross. The only sacrifices we offer to God are prayers (Ephesians 6:18), praise and money (Hebrews 13:15, 16), and ourselves in service to God (Romans 12:1). This Biblical truth of the priesthood of all believers was rediscovered in the Protestant Reformation of the 1500's.

A pastor's real job is to preach the gospel, teach the Word of God and pray, not to hear confession, or change bread to flesh etc. Peter in 1 Peter 5 when he instructed fellow preachers, made no mention of any Roman Catholic priest's practices of today.

ERROR 6: Celibacy of Priests and Nuns (1079 AD)

Forbidding of priests and nuns to marry was introduced in 1079 and has led to much immorality. What does the Bible say?

1. "A Bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife." (1 Timothy 3:2)

2. "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and Cephas?" (1 Corinthians 9:5)

3. Peter was married, because Jesus healed His mother in law. (Matthew 8:14 and Luke 4:38)

4. "It is not good that the man should be alone." Genesis 2:18.

5. "To avoid fornication, let EVERY man have his own wife, and let EVERY woman have her own husband." (1 Corinthians 7:2)

6. a) "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,

b) giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

c) Speaking lies in hypocrisy;

d) having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

e) their FORBIDDING TO MARRY, and commanding to abstain from meats." (1 Timothy 4:1-3) This is God's description of the Catholic Church by their forbidding priests and nuns from marrying.

The Catholic church, in support of celibacy quotes Matthew 19:11-12.

1 Corinthians 7:8, 32-34. These passages say it is permissible to be celibate if one so chooses, but it is never to be commanded. Priestly celibacy has caused so much sexual immorality between priests, women and boys, as priests sexually proposition women for fornication and boys for homosexual relations.

ERROR 7: Confirmation

Catholic Confirmation is supposed to be the conferring of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. One false doctrine leads to another false doctrine. The false unbiblical doctrines of infant sprinkling and salvation by works lead to the false doctrine of Confirmation.

Confirmation of children is not in the Bible. Look for yourself. Laying on of hands is used to set apart men for a ministry:

  • "When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them" (7 men of honest report) (Acts 6:6)
  • "And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away." (Acts 13:3) They laid hands on Paul and Barnabas as they sent them off on their first missionary journey.
  • "Lay hands suddenly on no man." (1 Timothy 5:22) Don't ordain pastors suddenly.
  • "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." (1 Timothy 4:14)
  • "doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands ..." (Hebrews 6:2)

Nowhere in the New Testament does a preacher lay hands on 8 year old children, who are unsaved.

ERROR 8: Extreme Unction (526 AD)

This sacrament states that "At the end of life, sin can be totally undone and man is prepared for immediate entrance into everlasting glory." This idea is found NOWHERE in the Bible. This will not get a dying person into heaven. His only hope is to receive Jesus Christ as his own Savior, trusting Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross as the full payment for all his sin.

Mark 6:13 is the Catholic defense for this error, yet this verse says nothing about dying people, but only about demonized and sick people being healed. When Pope Pius XII died in 1958, his personal physician was dismissed for telling of his frightful and terrifying fear of death and hell.

Question: If the Pope is not even sure of heaven, how can he help Catholics get to heaven?

Answer: Keeping the sacraments is a net that traps Catholics into believing that they will get to heaven by good works. The sacrament system enslaves a person's mind to the Roman Catholic church from the cradle to the grave.

Nobody was ever saved in the Bible by keeping the sacraments. Catholic children are trapped into the sacrament system around age seven or eight years old, when they have neither the knowledge of the Bible nor the maturity to test it with the Word of God.

Question: How can Catholics escape the trap of the sacraments?

Answer: By calling on Jesus Christ to be their only Savior, and by basing their life on the Word of God.

ERROR 9: Infant Baptism (370 AD)

The Catholic infant "baptism" is NOT Bible baptism because:

  • Baptism in the New Testament Greek means "immerse, dip, fully whelm" as one may check in Strong's Concordance dictionary. "Baptizo" in Greek means "immerse"; "Ramtizo" in Greek means "sprinkle." Catholic sprinkling is not Biblical immersion.
  • No Baby was ever sprinkled in the Bible. Check it.

Question: "What doth hinder me to be baptized?"

Answer: If you believe with all your heart you may. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Acts 8:36-37)

Question: How can a baby believe this?

3. Baptism means nothing unless a person has received Jesus Christ as their Savior. It is always saved first, then baptized. Never does anyone get baptized in order to be saved. "Baptism is the answer of a good conscience towards God." (1 Peter 3:21)

Question: How can a baby show a good conscience towards God?

Answer: He can't. Baptism is something that each person must decide to do himself to publicly show that he is trusting Christ's death to pay for his sins, burial of the old lifestyle, and resurrection with Christ to a new way of life. Romans 6:1-5. Sprinkling does not picture Christ's death, burial and resurrection.

4. Baptism does not save a person, as the Catholic church claims. Only Christ's blood can cleanse us from sin. If we can get saved by baptism, then Christ's death was a waste of time. (Galatians 2:21)

5. The repentant thief on the cross was not sprinkled by water, yet he was saved by trusting Christ alone to save Him, not his good works.

"... we receive the due reward of our deeds: ...Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:41-43)

Notice that he was promised eternal life, and not able to lose it, yet the Catholic Church says that you cannot be sure of eternal life and that you can lose it.

6. Ananias who was not a Catholic priest, but just a layman baptized Paul. (Acts 17-19). This shows that baptism by a non-catholic is valid.

7. Children under the age of accountability go to heaven at death. "children ... of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-10; Matthew 19:14) "I (David) shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:22-23)

Question: Doesn't John 3:5 say "Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God?"

Answer: It does not say "born of water baptism", but "born of water." What is meant by water? It is the water of the Word of God, because the Word of God produces conviction of sin and shows a person's need of Christ.

Paul says "With the washing of water by the word." (Ephesians 5:26)

Peter says: "being born again, ... by the Word of God." (1 Peter 1:23)

James says: "of his own will begat He us with the Word of truth." (James 1:18)

Peter says: "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost ...?" (Acts 10:47)

Cornelius' household here were saved before being baptized, thus proving that baptism does NOT save. It is only by calling on Christ to save us. (Romans 10:13)

ERROR 10: Transubstantiation (1215 AD)

Definition: The whole substance of the bread and wine is converted into the actual and real entire body and blood of Christ.

Answer: Radbertus first made up this doctrine in the 9th century. Catholics support this by a literal view of Matthew 26:26-29. "Take eat; this is my body. For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

Consider these reasons why the bread and wine were symbols of Christ's body and blood, to be partaken in for remembrance purposes only, and that there was no material conversion of the bread to the body, nor of the wine to the blood of Christ.

1. Jesus, after saying "this is my blood" in Matthew 26:28 also said "I will not drink henceforth of this FRUIT OF THIS VINE" in Matthew 26:29, showing that the grape juice was STILL WINE and had not been changed to blood.

2. Jesus often referred to Himself in symbols, yet why equate Him with the symbol in these Scriptures?

John 10:7 "I am the door." Did Jesus mean He was literally wooden? No.

John 14:6 "I am the way." Did Jesus mean He was literally a road? No.

John 15:5 "I am the vine." Did Jesus mean He was literally a tree? No.

John 8:12 "I am the light." Did Jesus mean He was literally a torch or a sun? No.

John 6:48 "I am the bread of life." Did Jesus mean He was literally a loaf of dough? No.

John 6:63 states clearly that Jesus was speaking spiritually, not literally: "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."

Luke 22:19 states clearly that the Lord's supper is for remembrance purposes: "This do in remembrance of me." This is a metaphor, where one thing is said to be another thing because of it's similarity. A metaphor is a figurative use of terms without indicating their figurative nature, for example, he shall eat his words.

3. The bread and wine did not become Christ's body and blood because:

  1. Christ was still present with them. Christ would have had 2 bodies, one which died on the cross and one which did not.
  2. To drink blood was forbidden in Acts 15:20, 29 "We write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from BLOOD."

In Deuteronomy 12:16, "Only ye shall not eat the blood."

4. The tense of the Greek verbs "EAT" in John 6:50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58 is in the AORIST tense showing a ONCE-FOR-ALL, point action, that is NOT CONTINUAL. The Biblical Lord's supper is to be a repeated event, and therefore has no saving merit. Roman Catholics are commanded to believe in transubstantiation because it was stated at the Council of Trent (11 October 1551) that this doctrine was essential for salvation. They pronounced curses on anyone who would deny it.

Paul the Apostle, in contrast, pronounced a double curse on anyone who preached a gospel different from the all sufficiency of Christ's death, burial and resurrection to save us from our sins. Therefore in Galatians 1:6-9 Paul puts a double curse on this "other gospel" of transubstantiation for salvation.

5. Before Christ ascended to heaven, He promised to come to us during the Church Age, NOT in the sacrifice of the MASS, but by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18 as Comforter): "He shall give you another Comforter ... even the Spirit of truth ... I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU." Note: Christ will return to earth a second time visibly in glory. This is what is meant by 1 Corinthians 11:26 "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death TILL HE COME."

Note: This means that Christ does not come literally and visibly as the wafer in the mass, but to the air as in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

6. At the Council of Constance in 1415 it was agreed to withhold the cup from the congregation lest the wine be spilt. However this contradicts 1 Corinthians 11:25-29 where ALL Corinthian believers drank of the wine:

"Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup unworthily." (v.27) Drinking the cup is mentioned six times in five verses. Transubstantiation is not a mystery, but an absurdity; not a difficulty but a contradiction.

Question: How then do we eat His flesh and drink His blood?


John 6:63. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

John 1:14. "And the Word was made flesh."

John 5:24. "He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life."

The scribes who knew Jeremiah 31:31-34, "I will put my law in their inward parts", and Jeremiah 15:16, "Thy words were found and I DID EAT THEM; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart", understood the idea of receiving God's Word into one's inner being.

Peter got the message, while others planned to desert Jesus:

"Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life." (John 6:68)

"Being born again ... by the WORD of God." (1 Peter 1:23-25) Peter knew that Jesus was speaking about the WORD of God, and not about literal flesh and blood.

Question: If this doctrine of transubstantiation only arose in the 9th century, and if it is so necessary to Roman Catholic salvation, what happened to those who lived before the 9th century not believing this doctrine? Did they all go to hell?

Question: What about the thief on the cross who repented and never took the wafer? Did he go to hell? No! Jesus said he went to paradise.

ERROR 11: Adoration of the Host (Wafer Bread) (1220 AD)

Catholic doctrine requires Catholics to bow down to and worship the wafer bread as God. "There shall arise false prophets ... if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect ... wherefore if they shall say unto you, ... behold, He is in the SECRET CHAMBERS; BELIEVE IT NOT." Matthew 24:24, 26.

The Catholic priest does and says precisely this. He says that the bread is Christ and puts the bread into the monstrance, a secret chamber. Christ says, BELIEVE IT NOT!

ERROR 12: The Mass (394 AD)

Definition: At every mass, Christ is sacrificed again.

Catholic doctrine says: "In the mass, no less than on Calvary, Jesus really offers His life to His heavenly Father."

Question: Must Christ be continually sacrificed in the mass, or was His blood sacrifice on the cross 100% sufficient to pay for all our sins for ever?

Answer: Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross IS 100% SUFFICIENT to pay for our sins, for the following reasons:

1. In John 19:30 Jesus said, "IT IS FINISHED", which in the Greek is "tetelestai" meaning "to make an end, to accomplish, to complete something, not merely to end it, but to bring it to perfection or its intended goal." It means that the whole work of salvation, the purpose for which Christ came into the world, has been accomplished on the cross. Nothing more can be added to it. This is why we cannot save ourselves by our good works, or religious rituals, as it is adding to Christ's finished work on the cross.

The mass really says that Christ's death on the cross is not good enough to pay fully for all our sins or to save us. The mass says that we get to God apart from Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross.

The mass says that Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross was a waste of time, as Galatians 2:21 states: "if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

2. When Christ died, the veil in the Jewish temple was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). This veil separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. The Holy of Holies was entered once a year by the High Priest on the day of atonement (Exodus 26:31).

The tearing of this veil (60 ft high, 30 ft wide, 1 ft thick) was a type of Christ's human body, torn on the cross. This showed that a "new and living way" was opened for all believers into the very presence of God. No other sacrifice and no other priesthood was needed, just Christ's High Priesthood. "2Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the BLOOD OF JESUS, by a NEW AND LIVING way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, HIS FLESH." Hebrews 10:19,20. We can now enter into the holiest presence of God without priestly sacrifices.

3. The New covenant which operates now in the Church Age states: "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is 3"NO MORE OFFERING FOR SIN." (Hebrews 10:17-18) The Catholic priest "offering Christ weekly" contradicts this clear statement that there is "NO MORE OFFERING FOR SIN" needed.

4. Christ's sacrifice is clearly stated as ONCE FOR ALL, not to be repeated. "We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ 4ONCE FOR ALL." (Hebrews 10:10)

"But this man after He had offered 5ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS FOR EVER, sat down on the right hand of God." (Hebrews 10:12)

"By 6ONE OFFERING He has perfected FOREVER them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:14

Not just is Christ's sacrifice the one and only sacrifice for sins forever, but no more offering is needed: "Now where remission of these is, there is 7NO MORE OFFERING FOR SIN." (Hebrews 10:18)

8"Nor yet that He should OFFER HIMSELF OFTEN...9For then must He OFTEN have suffered since the foundation of the world : but now 10ONCE in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (Hebrews 9:25-26)

"So Christ was 11ONCE offered to bear the sins of many." (Hebrews 9:28)

"For Christ also has [12] ONCE suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." (1 Peter 3:18)

5. Catholic priests performing the "mass resacrifice" is a waste of time and of no value in taking away sins. "Who 13needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice first for his own sins, and then for the people's : for this He did [14] ONCE, when He offered up Himself. (Hebrews 7:27)

"and every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, WHICH 15 CAN NEVER TAKE AWAY SINS." (Hebrews 10:11)

It is only by this one sacrifice of Christ on the cross that people can be saved. The continual sacrifice of the mass is not needed and opposes the Bible.

a) Notice that there are 15 statements that clearly teach the 100% sufficiency of Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross.

b). Each clearly says that Christ's sacrifice is ONCE for all.

c). No more sacrifice is required.

d). Priests sacrifices can never take away sins.

The mass is a sacrifice without blood. Yet the Bible says that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission." (of sin). We do not need to sacrifice Christ again. His sacrifice 2,000 years ago is sufficient.

f). Confession is also called "RECONCILIATION."

Christ alone on the cross "made reconciliation for the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17)

"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 
(1 Corinthians 5:19)

"For if, when we were enemies, WE WERE RECONCILED to God by the death of His Son." Romans 5:10.

"God, who HAS RECONCILED us to Himself, by JESUS CHRIST." (2 Corinthians 5:18)

"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet NOW HATH HE RECONCILED." 
(Colossians 1:21)

Notice that the Biblical reconciliation is:

1. Past tense.

2. By Jesus Christ, not by a Catholic priest.

3. We already possess reconciliation, we don't get it at confession.

ERROR 13: Other Mediators Between God and Man

We have Christ as our Great High Priest who gives us full access to God's throne of grace. We do not need a human priest, nor Mary, nor dead saints to intercede for us. "Seeing then that we HAVE a GREAT HIGH PRIEST ... JESUS CHRIST the Son of God ... Let us therefore COME BOLDLY unto the Throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14, 16)

The Catholic priest, not only makes Christ's death on the cross a waste of time, but he also takes Christ's place as intermediary between man and God, when he says that you can't be saved unless you come to mass performed by him. They call him "Vicar" meaning "in the place of". "For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and man. The man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)

Catholicism calls Mary a "Mediatrix".

Jesus is falsely portrayed as being ANGRY with people.

Mary is falsely portrayed as being MERCIFUL, and as Jesus' mother, is seen as uniquely able to pacify Jesus Christ's supposed anger towards people.

The Bible says that there is ONE MEDIATOR who is Jesus Christ and no one else. Jesus Christ is the merciful and faithful High Priest, and because He has suffered earthly temptations, He is well able to comfort us in earthly temptations. (Hebrews 2:17-18)

Question: Where does it say that Jesus is angry with Christians?

Answer: Nowhere. "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness." (Hebrews 8:12)

ERROR 14: Prayers to Saints (375 AD)

The Bible states that all true believers are "saints."

"To the saints which are at Ephesus." (Ephesians 1:1)

"To all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi." (Philippians 1:1)

"Praying to saints" is a Catholic device to stop people from praying to God and turns people away from developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Once again, this false doctrine teaches that dead saints are more approachable and helpful than is Jesus Christ.

Question: Do you see that a constant theme of Catholicism is to turn people away from Jesus Christ? It turns people instead to Mary, saints, a wafer, a priest, traditions, Popes, etc.

Why? What have they got against Jesus Christ? In fact, prayers to saints are:

  • Contrary to the Bible which says "After this manner pray ye: "Our Father". (Matthew 6:9)
  • Contacting the dead is forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:10-11.
  • "There shall not be found among you any one that ... is a necromancer."
  • A necromancer is one who seeks to contact the dead. Much of what is attributed to saints is false. For example, St. Philomena was proclaimed a saint by Leo XII, and Pope Gregory XVI blessed one of her images. Rome later admitted that she never existed and in 1961 struck her off the list of saints.
  • There is no Bible example of praying to saints, nor is there any Bible example of them having power to answer prayer. We pray to God the Father with Jesus as our only intercessor. Once again, "There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 2:5)

ERROR 15: Purgatory (593 AD)

Purgatory is an imaginary half-way place between heaven and hell, where unforgiven sin is purged away. This is a great evil because:

  • It deceives Catholic people into a false sense of security that they may be lukewarm and easily avoid hell.
  • It denies that Christ's blood sacrifice on the cross is sufficient to pay for all our sins. It says that Christ did not die for all our sins, so we must be punished for them in purgatory.
  • It denies the Biblical doctrine of true salvation in Christ and certainly of eternal life, forcing a person to work for their salvation.

Answer: The Bible states clearly that Christ purged our sins on the cross.1"When He had by Himself PURGED OUR SINS." Hebrews 1:3, and 2"There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1 and John 5:24)

Why didn't the Apostles discuss purgatory?

Did God and the Apostles forget to tell us something important? No. When a believer dies he is immediately present with Christ. 3"To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8. There is no mention here of having to spend time in purgatory. 4Jesus in Luke 16:19-31 reveals that there is a great gulf between paradise and hell. People cannot pass from one to the other.

Catholics defend purgatory by quoting 2 Maccabees 12:40-46 where a "sin offering" is offered for dead soldiers who had committed the sin of idolatry. This not only contradicts the Bible, but also contradicts Catholic teaching, because idolatry is a mortal sin that would confine a person to hell. The Book of Maccabees has never been regarded as inspired by Jews or Christians.

For the Roman Catholic, purgatory teaching is:

1. A terrifying prospect of entering a place of unspeakable torture. Millions of Catholics live and die in great fear of death, to spend an unknown number of years in purgatory. Christ came to "deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:15. Roman Catholicism is a religion of fear.

a) Fear of purgatory.

b) Fear of the priest.

c) Fear of the confessional.

d) Fear of death.

e) Fear of consequences of missing mass.

f) Fear of the discipline of penance.

g) Fear of the righteous judgment of an angry God.

2. A great money raiser

Suffering in purgatory may be shortened by gifts of money, masses, prayers by the priests, etc.

Question: If the Pope or priest, really has the power to shorten or stop the suffering of souls in purgatory, why does he not, if he is a good man, render that service freely and willingly as a service to humanity?

Purgatory is a "gigantic fraud" and a "colossal racket", because it deprives the poor of their last pennies and extorts large funds from the rich in exchange for NOTHING.

Question: Mr. priest, how do you know when to stop saying masses, or if you've said too many? How do you know when the person is out of purgatory?

Question: Mr. priest and Pope, when you die, where do you hope to go?

Answer: I don't know.

This message of purgatory offers NOTHING to a sad and perishing world.

Problem: The purgatory doctrine represents God as a respecter of persons. Because of money, a rich man can pay more for prayers and masses, than can a poor man. The rich man therefore passes more speedily through purgatory and into heaven than the poor man. The Bible teaches that entrance into heaven is not based on one's wealth, but on one's response to receiving Jesus Christ as Savior alone. Compare death for a believing Protestant which is the joy of promotion to heaven.

ERROR 16: Papal Infallibility (1870 AD)

Definition: When a Pope is speaking in his official position on any issue of faith or morals, he is speaking infallibly, meaning without error.

Answer: The apostles never regarded any man to be infallible, only the Word of God is regarded as without error.

If Peter was Pope, which the Bible says he was not, then he made mistakes as in Galatians 2:11-14 when he was deceived by Judaizers. "But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed."

The following events from history show the error of Papal infallibility.

1. Pope John XII, in the "Liber Pontificalis" the Catholic publication discussing the lives of the Popes, said that "He spent his entire life in adultery."

2. Popes Innocent III, Gregory XI, Clement IV, Hadrian VI, and Paul IV all disagreed with Papal infallibility.

3. Pope Stephen VI (896) had the dead Pope Formosus (891-6) tried, questioned, fingers hacked off, dragged through Rome and thrown in the Tiber river.

4. Pope Hadrian II (867) declared civil marriage to be valid, but Pope Pius VII (1800-23) declared it to be invalid.

5. Pope Eugene IV (1431) had Joan of Arc burned alive as a witch, but later Pope Benedict IV in 1919 declared her to be a saint.

6. Pope Pius XI in 1929 endorsed Fascism and called Mussolini "a man sent by God." However, before World War II, he warned people against Mussolini.

7. The Vatican advised the German Catholic Party to vote for Nazi candidates. In 1933, the Vatican and Hitler signed a concordat, where the Catholic church swore allegiance to the Nazi government. Later on Pope Pius XI condemned Hitler.

How can a supposedly infallible man make so many errors of judgment, and even contradict other so-called infallible Popes? Surely this disproves Papal infallibility to any honest, open-minded person.

ERROR 17: Indulgences (1190 AD)

Definition: A person after confessing his sins to a priest, in order to be free from the punishment still due for his sins, requires the church to pray for his rehabilitation. The person must do penance works such as fasting, making pilgrimages, giving money, making prayers or inflicting pain on oneself, as a penalty for sins committed.

Historically, people found it easier to pay money to the Roman Catholic church than to pray for long hours. The Roman Catholic church preferred money because the Pope ran out of cash in building St Peters Basilica in Rome. So the Roman Catholic church issued the person with an official statement that he had received release from the penalties through the payment of money. This document was called an indulgence. They could be bought for friends and relatives who had died and passed into purgatory, thus shortening the time that they would have to spend there.

Martin Luther objected to Tetzel, a Catholic indulgence seller, who publicly announced to people that if they put a coin in a box, a dead relative's soul would immediately pop out of purgatory. His advertising slogan was: "As the coin in you pop, a soul from purgatory doth hop."

Answer: Obviously, this teaching cannot be found in the Bible. After Word War II, the Archbishop of Winnipeg asked mothers who had sons killed in the war, to pay $40 to have masses said on behalf of their sons to guarantee their salvation and entrance to heaven. This practice is still observed in many parts of the world, and accounts for the great wealth of the Catholic church as seen in the big cathedrals it builds.

What Bible verses forbid indulgence selling?

1. Jesus warns against this practice in Matthew 23:14, a verse that Catholics have cut out of modern Bible versions. "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."

The Pharisees of Jesus' day, as well as Catholic priests of today, tell widows that their dead husband has gone to purgatory. They ask her if she wants him to go to heaven. If yes, she will have to pay the priest to say a mass to pray for his soul to leave purgatory. Widows don't usually have much money, so he tells her to sell her house to pay for it. This is how widows houses are devoured by priests who for a pretense make long prayers.

2. The Israelites were forbidden to give money for the dead. "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him." Psalm 49:7. No gift of money can save another person; only the blood of Christ can.

3. Peter says: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold ... but with the precious blood of Christ" ... (1 Peter 1:18-19) Nobody is redeemed with indulgence money.

4. Simon the sorcerer offered the apostles money so that anyone that he laid hands on would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter rebuked him strongly in Acts 8:20-23 saying: "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the GIFT OF GOD may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness ..." Salvation is the gift of God that each of us must claim freely for ourselves when we call on Christ to be our Savior. No baptism, Eucharist, confessional to a priest, penance, extreme unction, or paying money can save us, only faith in Christ's precious saving blood to pay for our sins.

ERROR 18: Idolatry = Making Images (786 AD)

The Catholic Council of Trent declares that: "It is lawful to have images in the church and to give honor and worship to them ... Images are put in churches that they may be worshipped." The Oxford dictionary defines an idol as: "An image used as an object of worship. A person or thing that is the object of excessive devotion." An Idolater is a devoted admirer of idols.

Answer: What does the Bible say about images and idols?

1. Exodus 20:4-5.

a) Thou shalt not MAKE unto thee ANY graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

b) Thou shalt not BOW DOWN thyself to them.

c) Nor SERVE them.

If you make any graven image you have broken this commandment, whether you worship it or not.

Question 1: Do Catholics MAKE graven images? Yes.

Question 2: Do Catholics KNEEL down to statues of Mary or Jesus? Yes.

Question 3: Do Catholics SERVE Mary? Yes, as in "Legion of Mary."

2. Leviticus 26:1.

a) "You shall make you NO IDOLS nor GRAVEN IMAGE.

b) Neither rear you up a STANDING IMAGE.

c) Neither shall ye set up any IMAGE OF STONE in your land to bow down unto it."

Question 4: Do Catholics rear up STANDING IMAGES? Yes.

Question 5: Do Catholics set up any IMAGE OF STONE? Yes.

Continued in Part 2

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