APOLOGETICS: ANSWERS ABOUT CATHOLICISM


Last updated: July 21, 2014


Confused about Catholicism? Don't be, choose one of the following areas...... .....................

APOLOGETICS:

WEBSTER'S DEFINITION,

1. systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine) 2. a branch of Theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity.



1 PETER 3:15b,'Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope....'



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BLESSED VIRGIN MARY SACRAMENTS FROM JESUS Sheela & her choice PETER & THE PAPACY
HOMOSEXUALITY: IS IT RIGHT? CONTRACEPTION & YOU & GOD Abortion, United States, & the future? Catholics & Captial Punishment. Justification by Faith ALONE?.
Why should you become a Catholic? Did Jesus really forbid DIVORCE? Catholics & the Holocaust. Crusades & false History.

Catholic Apologetics (Defending the ancient Catholic Christian Faith) can be found at the following Catholic Web Sites: Catholic Insight

Catholic Answers


For Roman Catholic Documents (Encyclicals, Councils, etc.) try this link to Catholic Information Center on Internet.


For information regarding the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325 check out this article at Catholic Bishops & Niceae


Are you a non-Catholic Christian who is attracted to the Catholic Church's claims of TRUTH but is still unsure of what to do about returning home to the Catholic Church, then check out, Returning Home.. Also, There is a new ministry run by former Protestants who have "made the leap" over the Tiber River and who have come home to Rome. That is, they have returned to full visible Communion to the Body of Christ, which is the Church. They can be reached at Coming Home Network. Are you willing to listen to those who have left various Prostestant denomenations and became a Catholic Christian? Then go to, Returning Home, Audio stories!




BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

There is perhaps no other topic which divides Catholic Christians from her separated brethren than the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary within the Catholic Christian Church.

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Sheela & her choice, Abortion?

(Sheela is in front of a nice house, raking leaves. After saying goodbye to her daughter Sarah, she turns to you....) "I was fourteen when I found out that I was pregnant with Sarah. I was really really scared. I felf soo alone. Some people today say that I should have had an abortion, but it never occurred to me that I had that choice, just because it wasn't convenient for me. But, I'm no martyr, and I really can't believe I had a choice after I was pregnant. Think about this!"


Before you decide visit the following website for information on the after effects of abortion & post abortion healing, including research on post-abortion issues, resources, & testimonies,After Abortion

Or write to them at, Elliot Institute, P.O. Box 7348, Springfield, Il., 62791-7348

Project Rachel: Is there an abortion in your past? Do you feel a sense of loss? Despair? Alienation and guilt? Do you feel distant from your Church? You don’t have to suffer any longer from the trauma of abortion. Project Rachel offers you hope and healing through private, sensitive and confidential counseling and reconciliation. Call 1-800-367-0702.

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JESUS & THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS.

Catholic Christians live out their Gospel mandate to "put on the new man" Eph. by living out the sacramental life, i.e. Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, & Annointing of the Sick.

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ON THIS ROCK/PETER, I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, MATT. 16:18.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:18: "Blessed are you Simon, son of John. For no mere man has revealed this to you, but my Father from on high. And I for my part declare unto you: You are 'petros' (Rock/Peter) and on this 'petra' (Rock/Peter) I will build my Church."

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HOMOSEXUALITY: IS IT RIGHT WITH GOD?

There is no other religious instituition which has been consistently faithful to both the natural moral law and revealed moral law than the Catholic Christian Church. This is especially seen in the areas of Abortion, Homosexual Sins, Contraception, and other moral acts.

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The Catholic Church's Offical Statement regarding the Jewish (et. al.), Holocaust.

See First Things documentation at The Catholic Church and the Holocaust.



Many people either forget or haven't been told that many non-Jews suffered under Hilter and Nazism. The Jews were only the "Final Solution." First, Hilter went after retarded children and the wounded veterans of WWI. In the end, he annihilated hundred of thousands of Gypsies and Catholic Christians for a total of five million non-Jews or Gentiles. And this was in addition to the six million Jewish victims of Nazism which was a return to paganism and not an Christian ideology. For a well documented report of the suffering of non-Jews go to Hitler & the non-Jews.


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Abortion, United States of American & the Future?

I came across the follow article in FIRST THINGS.
A journal dedicated to reviewing the role of religion in the public square.


I (Rev. Richard John Newhaus, editor) don't think I've ever run an entire piece from another publication, but this is no ordinary piece. The following editorial in the Janurary 26 issue of National Review, reprinted with permission, bids fair to become a classic in the literature of a dispute that, more than any other, will determine the fortunes of the American experiment. See if you don't agree. (First Things, April 1998, Number 82, pp. 64-67)

Dead Reckoning

A quarter century has passed since the Supreme Court struck down the laws of every state in the nation, in the name of a constitutional right to abortion it had just discovered. In Roe v. Wade, the Court prohibited any regulation of abortion in the first trimester, allowed only regulations pertaining to the health of the mother in the second, and mandated that any regulation in the third make an exception for maternal health. In the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, the Court insisted on the broadest definition of health--economic, familial, emotional. Legal scholar Mary Ann Glendon describes the result as the most radical pro-abortion policy in the democratic world. It permits abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason or for no reason. It has licensed the killing of some thirty-five million members of the human family so far.

The abortion regime was born in lies. In Britain (and in California, pre-Roe, the abortion lobby deceptively promoted legal revisions to allow "therapeutic" abortions and then defined every abortion as "therapeutic." The abortion lobby lied about Jane Roe, claiming her pregnancy resulted from a gang rape. It lied about the number of back-alley abortions. Justice Blackmun relied on fictitious history to argue, in Roe, that abortion had never been a common law crime.

The abortion regime is also sustained by lies. Its supporters constantly lie about the radicalism of Roe: even now, most Americans who "agree with Roe v. Wade in polls think that it left third-term abortions illegal and restricted second-term abortions. They have lied about the frequency and "medical necessity" of partial-birth abortions. Then there are the euphemisms: "terminating a pregnancy," abortion "providers," "products of conception." "The fetus is only a potential human being"--as if it might as easily become an elk. "It should be between a woman and her doctor"--the latter an abortionist who has never met the woman before and who has a financial interest in her decision. This movement cannot speak the truth.

Roe's supporters said at the time that the widespread availability of abortion would lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies, hence less child abuse; it has not. They said that fewer women would die would die from back-alley aborion; the post-1940's decline in the number of women who died from abortions, the result of antibiotics, actually slowed after Roe--probably because the total number of abortions rose. They said it would reduce illegitimacy and child poverty, predictions that now seem like grim jokes.

Pro-lifers were, alas, more prescient. They claimed the West had started down the slippery slope of a progressive dealuation of human life. After the unborn would come the elderly and the infirmed--more burdens to others; more obstacles to others' goals; probably better off dead, like "unwanted children." And so now we are debating whether to allow euthanasia, whether to create embryos for experimental purposes, whether to permit the kiling of infants about to leave the womb.

And what greater claim on our protection, after all, does that infant have a moment after birth? He still lacks the attributes of "personhood"—rationality, autonomy, rich interactions—that pro-abortion philosophers consider the preconditions of a right to life. The argument boils down to this assertion: If we want to eliminate you and you cannot stop us, we are justified in doing it. Might makes right. Among intellectuals, infanticide is in the first phase of a movement from the unthinkable to the arguable to the debatable to the acceptable.

Everything abortion touches, it corrupts. It has corrupted family life. In the war between the sexes, abortion tilts the playing field toward predatory males, giving them another excuse for abandoning their offspring: She chose to carry the child; let her pay for her choice. Our law now says, in effect, that fatherhood has no meaning, and we are shocked that some men have learned that lesson too well. It has corrupted the Supreme Court, which has protected the abortion license even while tacitly admitting its lack of constitutional grounding. If the courts can invent such a right, unmoored in the text, tradition, or logic of the Constitution, then they can do almost anything; and so they have done. The law on everything from free speech to biotechnology has been distorted to accommodate abortionism. And abortion has deeply corrupted the practice of medicine, transforming healers into killers.

Most of all, perhaps, it has corrupted liberalism. For all its flaws, liberalism could until the early seventies claim a proud history of standing up for the powerless and downtrodden, of expanding the definition of the community for whom we pledge protection, of resisting the idea that might makes right. The Democratic Party has casually abandoned that legacy. Liberals’ commitment to civil rights, it turns out, ends when the constituency in question can offer neither votes nor revenues.

Abortion-on-demand has, however, also called into being in America a pro-life movement comprising millions of ordinary citizens. Their largely unsung efforts to help pregnant women in distress have prevented countless abortions. And their political witness has helped maintain a pro-life ethic that has stopped millions more. The conversions of conscience have almost all been to the pro-life side—Bernard Nathanson, Nat Hentoff, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. The conversions of convenience have mostly gone the other way, mainly, politicians who wanted to get ahead in the Democratic Party—Jesse Jackson, Dick Gephardt. The fight against abortion has resulted in unprecedented dialogue and cooperation between Catholics and Protestants, first on moral values and now on theological ones. It has helped transform the Republican Party from a preserve of elite WASPs into a populist and conservative party.

True, few politicians of either party—with honorable exceptions like Henry Hyde, Chris Smith, Jesse Helms, Bob Casey, Charles Canady, and Rick Santorum—have provided leadership in the struggle. Not because opposition to abortion is unpopular—throughout the Roe era, 70 percent of the public has supported laws that would prohibit 90 percent of abortions—but because politicians, and even more the consultants and journalists and big-money donors to whom they listen, tend to move in elite circles where accepting abortion is de rigueur and pro-life advocacy at best an offense against good taste. Since everyone they know favors legal abortion, they understandably conclude that everyone does. But there is progress even here. The pro-abortion intellectual front is crumbling. Supporters of the license increasingly concede that what they support is, indeed, the taking of human life. Pro-lifers, their convictions rooted in firmer soil, have not had to make reciprocal concessions.

There can be little doubt that, left to the normal workings of democracy, abortion laws would generally be protective of infants in the womb. The main obstacle on our path to a society where every child is welcomed in life and protected in law, then, remains what it has always been: the Supreme Court. There abortionism is well entrenched; and last year the Court appeared to slam the door on the legal possibility of a congressional override of its decisions on abortion or anything else. By defining a practice at odds with our deep and settled moral convictions as part of the fundamental law of the land, the Supreme Court has created a slow-motion constitutional crisis. This is what comes of courting death.

03/01/2001 - Updated 12:55 AM ET
States eye abortion warnings

By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY

Legislators in at least 11 states are pushing for laws to require abortion providers to tell patients that the procedure could raise their breast cancer risk — a risk discounted by major medical groups.

Mississippi is the only state that currently has a "women's right to know" law requiring abortion providers to warn about a risk of breast cancer. Although Louisiana's and Kansas' "right to know" laws don't specifically mention breast cancer, the informed-consent booklets provided to all women seeking abortions do.

Proponents of the warnings describe themselves as "pro-woman" as well as "pro-life." "I see it not as an abortion issue, but as a women's health issue," says Peter Kinder, a GOP state senator in Missouri. The debate has also spread into the courts, where clinics in North Dakota and New Jersey and a doctor who works at the latter have been sued for not warning patients about breast cancer. A 19-year-old woman who had an abortion two years ago has sued the New Jersey clinic and physician. An abortion protester has sued the North Dakota clinic for false advertising because its literature said the procedure did not increase breast cancer risk.

The lawsuits are believed to be the first of their kind. While some studies suggest abortion increases breast cancer risk, others suggest it doesn't. Such inconsistencies have led the World Health Organization, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society to conclude that induced abortion does not increase breast cancer risk.

Many epidemiologists view a study of 1.5 million Danish women, published in 1997 in The New England Journal of Medicine, as the last word on the subject because of its size and design. That study found no association.

"We put this issue to bed in 1997," says Karen Raschke, a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in Washington, D.C., which is representing the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, N.D. "This issue has been taken care of with scientifically sound data. The fact that it's coming up again is incredible."

But Karen Malec, president of the Coalition for Abortion/Breast Cancer in Palos Heights, Ill., says the medical establishment, which has long held abortion to be safe, is trying to cover up the cancer link.

"This is going to be a public relations fiasco for them," Malec says.

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Catholics & Captial Punishment.

A Position Not, or Not Yet, Mandated



Because of the Oklahoma City bombing and other events, there is a new debate (or a renewed old debate) about the wisdom and morality of capital punishment. Of particular interest are exchanges between such as John DiIulio (against) and Walter Berns (for) in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. One of the major protagonists in the debate writes to ask, "What is the official position of the Catholic Church on capital punishment?" This is what I wrote him in response, and perhaps it will be of wider interest:

"Ah yes, the ‘official’ position on the death penalty. The position of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops is resolutely opposed to its use, full stop. But theirs is not the official position in the sense of binding doctrine. The present state of doctrine is suggested in Evangelium Vitae, the teaching of which has been incorporated also into the Latin text of the Catechism.

"The right of the state in justice to execute criminals is not denied. EV suggests that the only legitimate reason to do that is if there is no other way to protect society. In this connection, the encyclical makes no reference to retributive justice, which has been an important part of the Catholic tradition’s teaching on the death penalty and on punishment more generally. EV does not explicitly deny the claims of retributive justice, but their absence from the argument is undoubtedly significant.

"In addition, the Holy Father is unmistakably clear in stating his judgment that, at least in advanced societies, circumstances very seldom, if ever, justify the use of capital punishment. The proponents of capital punishment can and do make the argument that this is merely the Pope’s prudential judgment regarding contingent circumstances, and therefore not normative teaching. They can and do contend that the death penalty is necessary to protect society. Before EV their position was in the mainstream of magisterial Catholic doctrine, and it is certainly a position that is still permissible and within the bounds of the Church’s teaching.

"What we may be witnessing here is what Cardinal Newman called the development of doctrine. The critical question, I believe, is retributive justice, and the policies that that entails. I do not expect that question to be definitively addressed during this pontificate, but I may be wrong about that.

"So where does all this leave us? A conscientious Catholic who supports the use of the death penalty in anything but the most extraordinary circumstances must give due consideration to the fact that the bishops conference, and most likely his own bishop, strongly disagree. He must give most particular consideration to the fact that the Pope disagrees, and may be declaring as doctrine that ‘extraordinary circumstances’ is defined as circumstances in which there is no other way to protect society. Moreover, such a Catholic must be prepared for the possibility that the Church is moving toward a definitive moral prohibition of capital punishment, in which case wholehearted assent to such teaching is required.

"Can a Catholic with rightly formed conscience support the use of the death penalty? Yes, but reluctantly and in narrowly limited cases. Can a Catholic with rightly formed conscience support the prohibition of the death penalty? Most certainly yes—as a matter of policy and prudential judgment informed by the Church’s teaching but not, or not yet, mandated by the Church’s teaching.

"That at least is my understanding of the state of the question. I hope this is helpful and am following with interest the renewed debate on these matters."
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Why you should become a Catholic!

Matthew 16:

6. CATHOLIC CONVERTS There is now a fine web site devoted exclusively to converts to the Catholic Faith, including information about some of the greatest converts and an index which shows where other information may be found on the web. Conversion stories -- as varied as they are plentiful -- often serve as a means to bring others home. Called "At the Gate of Bliss: Catholic Converts Information Page", you'll find it at http://home.att.net/~wklimon/Converts.htm.
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Did Jesus really forbid DIVORCE?

Matthew 19

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CONTRACEPTION & YOU & GOD


"Brothers, I beg you through the mercy of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God's will, what is good, pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:1-2
To understand the dangers of contraception (physical, spiritual, moral, relational, etc.) go to One More Soul.


To learn more about this Pro-life organization and the dangers of Contraception go to About One More Soul


Another site dedicated to protecting Life is Priests For Life.


Want to listen to a wonderful story of a Protestant woman who became a Catholic Christian because of Contraception? Then go to EWTN and listen to Kimberly Hahn at, Kimberly Hahn story on contraception.

Have you ever heard of Pro-life physicans telling the truth on contraception's abortifacient sideeffect? Then read this note: 2. PRO-LIFE PHYSICIANS ON CONTRACEPTION
Also this month, the American Life League published A Declaration of Life by Pro-Life Physicians which specifically addresses the abortifacient character of contraception. The statement includes a brief history of the birth control movement and a survey of the different pills and how they work. The text is at Pro-Life Physicians The list of signatories is available at: List of signatories.



Check out this recent newspaper article on Contraceptive pills and Breast Cancer!

Birth control pill cancer risk may be underestimated
7:04 p.m. ET (2305 GMT) April 19, 1999

LONDON, April 20 — Researchers may be underestimating women's risks of developing breast cancer after long-term use of the contraceptive pill, a British doctor warned on Tuesday.

A recent overview of about 54 studies into links between the pill and the disease found that the slightly increased risk of getting breast cancer disappeared 10 years after women stopped taking the pill.

But Professor Klim McPherson, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the finding may be misleading because of the time it takes for the disease to develop.

"It's really too early to tell whether the pill, when taken by young women, leads to breast cancer later on,'' he said in a telephone interview.

Most of the studies in the overview had been done in the 1970s and 1980s when pill use by young women before their first pregnancy was not as common as it is today.

The women, who had used the pill for prolonged periods before their first pregnancy, had also not been followed up for 15 or 20 years to determine if the pill led to the disease, which could be crucial in interpreting the risks.

"Concluding no long-term detrimental effect (of the pill) may be premature and may also inhibit new studies of an important possible effect,'' he said in an editorial in The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Women who have their first baby later in life have an increased risk of developing the disease because of their prolonged exposure to oestrogen, a natural female hormone.

"Having a delay in first pregnancy does increase the risk,'' said McPherson. "There is too much complacency about the pill and breast cancer. There is a belief out there which is that there is no effect. My view is that it is premature to say that.''

Studies have shown no detrimental effect on breast cancer of taking the pill after the first pregnancy but much less is known about its long-term effects on younger childless women.

"There is not much evidence about the long-term effects of taking the pill before a first pregnancy and therefore it is premature to infer any effect on breast cancer, good, bad or indifferent,'' he added.



comments@foxnews.com © 1999, News America Digital Publishing, Inc. d/b/a Fox News Online. All rights reserved. Fox News is a registered trademark of 20th Century Fox Film Corp. © Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved

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ARE YOU JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, ALONE?

The "battle cry" for Protestants since the 1550's has been that, "We are Justified by Faith, ALONE!" This position is based upon a verse of Sacred Scripture, from St. Paul's letter to the Romans. For example, in chapter three St. Paul writes in verse twenty-eight: "For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law."

In this key verse, the then Catholic priest, Martin Luther inserted the word "ALONE" whereas the Greek text does not have this word. In fact, the only time the word "Alone" appears with the word "Faith" is in the book of James, 2:24: "See how a person is justified by works and not by faith ALONE." Then James continues in verse 26: "For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

If we follow Martin Luther's translation we seem to come up with a contradiction between Romans 3:28 and James 2:24. A contradiction which was not lost on Luther who then considered the Book of James as an "Epistile of Straw" because it went against the Gospel according to Martin Luther. In fact, Luther had to be persuaded by his friend and advisor Melanchthon (1497--1560) not to delete this work of Scripture from his German translation of the New Testament. He didn't, but he did place the Book of James at the end of the New Testament, out of its traditional order.

So what is going on here? Does Scripture contradict itself? Does the Word of God say in Romans that you are "Justified by Faith ALONE" then in James say that we are justified by works and not by Faith Alone?

While the issue of Justification has taken up whole volumes we do not have that luxury here. About the best way I can explain the Protestant position is by an extreme example I witnessed of the position that we are justified by "Faith Alone." I was told by a Baptist laywoman that she has brought so many people to salvation just by getting them to say "Jesus Christ is Lord." She even told me that she felt impelled, one day, to approach these Japanese tourists who didn't speak a word of English. But by signs and by pointing up to heaven she was able to get them to say, "Jesus Christ is Lord." And once this was done, she went on her way--knowing that they were saved.

While this is an extreme position, it is the logical conclusion of "Faith ALONE" position of Martin Luther. Let us now compare what Scripture has to say about the difference between "Faith ALONE" and "Faith & works."


PROTESTANT FUNDAMENTALIST...................TRADITIONAL SCRIPTURE

Romans 3:21 "But now the righteouseness of God has been manifested apart from the law, though testified to by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.


They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, who God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his blood, to prove his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed, through the forbearance of God--to prove his righteousness in the present time, that he might be righteous and justify the one who has faith in Jesus."



Romans 3:28, "For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law."


Romans 10: 8b "'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.' (that is, the word of faith that we preach). For if you confess with you mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.....for 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

James 2:24, "See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. ....faith without works is dead."

James 2:17, "So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

James 1:22, "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves."

First Corinthians 4:"I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, do not make any judgement before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God."

1 Peter 1:17, "Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one's works, conduct yourselves with reverence/fear during the time of your sojourning...."

Romans 11:20 "That is so. They were broken off because of unbelief, but you are there because of faith. So do not become haughty, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, [perhaps] he will not spare you either. See, then, the kindness and severity of God; severity toward those who fell, but God's kindness to you, provided you remain in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off."

Philippians 2:12, "So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out you salvation with fear and trembling."

Philippians 3:12, "It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may posses it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession."

Matthew 5:20 "For I [Jesus] tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 7:21-22, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mightly deeds in your name?' Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'"

Matthew 12:36-37, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by words you will be condemned."

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 "Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and in which you stand firm. You are being saved by it at this very moment if you hold fast to it as I preached it to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain."

Hebrews 4: 1-2, 13"Therefore, let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened........(13) No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account."


Lets say, for the sake of argument, that St. Paul does teach, "Faith Alone." Then why does he say the following which is also found in Romans:


"In fact, I do all that I do for the sake of the gospel in the hope of having a share in its blessings. You know that while all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, the award goes to one man. In that case, run, so as to win! Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this so as to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable. I do not run like a man who loses sight of the finishing line. I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. What I do is discipline my own body and master it, for fear that having preached to others I myself should be rejected."


Why is St. Paul running as if the "finish line" [heaven] is not here yet? Why is St. Paul afraid of losing his salvation? Does this sound like a man who is assured of his salvation, no matter what?


Early Church Fathers
From a sermon (23A) by Saint Augustine, bishop: "Happy are we if we do the deeds of which we have heard and sung. Our hearing them means having them planted in us, while our doing them shows that the seed has borne fruit.
By saying this, I wish to caution you, dearly beloved, not to enter the Church fruitlessly, satisfied with mere hearing of such mighty blessings and failing to do good works. For we have been saved by his grace, says the Apostle, and not by our works, lest anyone may boast; for it is by his grace that we have been saved.
It is not as if a good life of some sort came first, and that thereupon God showed his love and esteem for it from on high, saying: 'Let us come to the aid of these men and assist them quickly because they are living a good life.'
No, our life was displeasing to him; whatever we did by ourselves was displeasing to him; but what he did in us was not displeasing to him. He will, therefore, condemn what we have done, but he will save what he himself has done in us."
New Catholic Catechism
Paragraph #2017, 'In Brief, ' The grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God. Uniting us by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Spirit make us sharers in his life.
#2018, Like conversion, justification has two aspects. Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, and so accepts forgiveness and righteousness from on high.
#2019, Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man.
Old Testament: Book of the Prophet Jeremiah: "I the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart, To reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:10

The Catholic position regarding Justification is as follows: Yes we are justified by Faith, but not faith alone. Faith that is alive, and not dead (see James above), will "work" itself out in love. What is "love"? Doing what Jesus would have us do! Taking care of the sick, visiting those in prision and hospitals, giving food, drink, clothing to the hungry, thristy, and naked. This is in Scripture, as the judgement in Matthew's Gospel chapter 25, tells us. But what about Romans 3:28 with its, "apart from the works of the law"? St. Paul is here taking about the ceremonial aspects of the Jewish Law: Temple sacrifices for sins, and especially Circumcision! St. Paul was not saying that there is no need for good works, just that Christ Jesus has redeemed us all in His Blood and henceforth there is no need for the Jewish ceremonies.


In short, Martin Luther's passion for the Gospel, blinded him from seeing the true Catholic position. Instead, he saw that when the Catholic Church commends good works to Catholic Christians that she was thereby saying we earn our way into heaven and this is false. The Catholic Church condemns this heresy which is called Pelagianism, after the condemned heretic Pelagius (A.D. 360? to A.D. ?420).


Fortunately, we are living in times of renewed interest in unity of the various Christian churches, Orthodox, Prostestant, and Catholic. Soon, perhaps this Fall, there will be a joint statement regarding Justification by Lutherans and Catholics. This will be an historic announcement since it was this very issue of justification which broke the unity of the Catholic Church into the literally thousands of Protestant denominations which we have today. Hopefully, the Holy Spirit will move all sincere Christians to deepen their Faith and perhaps reunite lost brothers and sisters in one fold, where there is One Body, One Faith, One Baptism, and One Lord, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN!

For more information on Justification please check out these links: The presumption of Election in Protestant thought.


Click here for a more information on obtaining a Plenary Indulgence for the Poor Souls in Purgatory!!


False History re: Crusades!

A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH

Crusades: Truth and Black Legend


Italian Writer Vittorio Messori Joins Debate
ROME, 27 JUL 1999 (ZENIT).

Debate over the nature of the Crusades has not abated in this 900th anniversary year of the first Crusade. At the end of the millennium it might well be exacerbated by lack of understanding between the West and Islam.
According to Italian Catholic writer Vittorio Messori, the Enlightenment cast a "black legend" shadow on the Crusades, and used it as a weapon in its psychological war against the Roman Catholic Church. In an article in "Corriere della Sera," Italy's most important newspaper, Messori wrote, "In order to complete the work of the Reformation, it was 18th century Europe that began the chain of 'Roman infamies' that have become dogma."
"In connection with the Crusades, it was anti-Catholic propaganda that invented the name, just as it invented the term Middle Ages, chosen by 'enlightened' historiography to describe the parenthesis of darkness and fanaticism between the splendors of Antiquity and the Renaissance. It goes without saying that those who attacked Jerusalem 900 years ago would have been very surprised had they been told that they were engaged in what eventually would be known as the 'first Crusade.' For them it was an itinerary, a 'pilgrimage,' a route, a passage. Those same 'armed pilgrims' would have been even more surprised had they foreseen the accusations leveled against them of trying to convert the 'infidel,' of securing commercial routes to the West, of creating European 'colonies' in the Middle East..."
Sadly, Messori said, "the dark invention of the 'Crusade' has ended by instilling a feeling of guilt in the West, including among some members of the Church, who are ignorant of what really happened." In addition, "in the East, the legend has turned against the entire West: we all pay -- and will continue to pay, the consequences of the Islamic masses' desire for revenge, of their call for vengeance against the 'Great Satan,' which, by the way, is not just the United States, but the whole of Christianity, the very one responsible for the 'Crusades.' After all, is it not Westerners themselves who insist on saying that it was a terrible, unforgivable aggression against the pious, devout and meek followers of the Koran?"
"But there is a question we must ask ourselves. In the context of more than a thousand years of Christian-Islamic relations, who has been the victim and who the aggressor?" asked the journalist who interviewed the Pope in "Crossing the Threshold of Hope." When Caliph Omar conquered Jerusalem in 638, the city had been Christian for over three centuries. Soon after, the Prophet's disciples invaded and destroyed the glorious churches of Egypt, first, and then of North Africa, causing the extinction of Christianity in places that had had Bishops like St. Augustine. Later it was the turn of Spain, Sicily and Greece, and the land that would eventually become Turkey, where the communities founded by St. Paul himself were turned into ruins. In 1453, after seven centuries of siege, Constantinople, the second Rome, capitulated and became Islamic. The Islamic threat reached the Balkans but, miraculously, the onslaught was stopped and forced to turn back at Vienna's walls. If the Jerusalem massacre of 1099 is execrated, Mohammed II's action in Otranto [Italy] in 1480 must not be forgotten, a raw example of a bloody funeral procession of sufferings," Messori stated.
Messori concluded by asking a number of questions: "At present, what Moslem country respects the civil rights and freedom of worship of any other than their own? Who is angered by the genocide of Armenians in the past, and of Sudanese Christians at present? According to the devotees of the Koran, is the world not divided between the 'Islamic territory' and the 'war territory' -- all those areas that must be converted to Islam, whether they like it or not?"
The Italian journalist provided his answers to these questions in his final remarks. "A simple review of history, along very general lines, confirms an obvious truth: Christianity is constantly on the defensive when it comes to Moslem aggression; this has been the case from the beginning until now. For example, in Africa at present there is a bloody offensive by the Moslems to convert ethnic groups that the heroic sacrifices of generations of missionaries had succeeded in baptizing. Admittedly, some in the course of history need to ask for forgiveness. But, in this instance, must it be Catholics who ask for forgiveness for actions in self-defense, and for keeping the road open for pilgrimage to Jesus' places, which was the reason for the Crusades?" ZE99072705

Check out this site on the Crusades: Crusades.

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