Quick Facts On Catholicism

Quick Facts On Catholicism

(“The priesthood EVOLVED” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. XII, p. 406, 415)

The following sources are taken directly from official Catholic publications, which prove conclusively, not only how Rome evolved over many centuries, but how much of what she teaches as being dogma wasn’t always so:

“The Apostolic Fathers also abstain from any mention of a Christian priesthood” (Catholic Dictionary, p. 692).

“One is forced to admit that the gradual corruption of Christianity begun very early” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. XII, p. 414).

“It is true that St. Peter, St. John, call [all] Christians priests” (Question Box, p. 305).

“At the end of the second, or beginning of the third century, the term ‘priest’ was in common use” (Catholic Dictionary, p. 693).

“In the Roman Church the change had taken place apparently when, in the course of the third or fourth century, priests became the ordinary ministers of baptism” (Legislation on the Sacraments, p. 16).

“Writers of the fourth century were prone to describe many practices [The Lenten Fast of Forty Days] as Apostolic institutions which certainly had no claim to be so regarded” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. III, p. 484).

“Some parts of the governmental system of the Catholic Church are of divine origin, and many of them are human institutions” (Externals of the Catholic Church, pg. 19.)

“The word hierarchy first occurs in the work of a Pseudo-Dionysius [a Greek writer of the fifth century] on Celestial and Ecclesiastical Hierarchies. The signification was gradually modified until it came to be what it is at present. A hierarchy now signifies a body of officials disposed organically in ranks and orders, each subordinate to the one above it” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 402.)

“At the end of the fifth century the Roman Church was completely organised” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. IX, pg. 61.)

Archbishops appear end of forth century (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. IV, pg. 44.)

“There was no uniform type of creed before the Council of Nicea, 325AD” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. I, pg 630.)

“There was no written liturgy in the first three centuries” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 523.)

“The first mention of Crucifixes are in the sixth century” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VII, pg. 667.)

“The word Mass (missa) first established itself as the general designation for the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the West after the time of Gregory the Great [600ad], the early church having used the expression ‘breaking of bread'” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. X, pg. 6.)

“In the beginning Mass [called the supper] was celebrated only once a week, then three or four times, and finally in the fifth or sixth century, ever day” (Legislation on the Sacraments in the New Code of Canon Law, pg. 87.)

“It [the mass] is the holiest thing that can be done on earth” (Prayer Book for Children, pg. 10.)

“In the middle Ages and in modern times various sects have repudiated infant baptism. It is difficult to give strict proof from Scripture in favour of it” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 61.)

“Our present convenient compendiums-the Missal, the Breviary, and so on-were formed only at the end of a long evolution. In the first period there was no books except the Bible from which lessons we read and psalms were sung. Nothing was written because nothing was fixed” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. IX, pg. 296.)

“Eusebius of Caesarea, the Father of Church History must be counted among the enemies of icons. In several places in his history he shows his dislike for them. They are a “heathen custom;” he wrote many arguments to persuade Constantine’s sister, Constantia not to keep a statue of our Lord” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VII, pg. 669.)

“To avoid even the appearance of idolatry no statues were placed in the early churches” (Short History of the Catholic Church, pg. 65.)

“The use of beads among pagans is undoubtedly of greater antiquity than their Christian use” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. II, pg. 362.)

“When we give or receive Christmas gifts; or hang green wreaths in our homes and churches, how many of us know that we are probably observing pagan customs….god, Woden, in Norse Mythology, descends upon the earth yearly between December 25 and January 6 to bless mankind…But pagan though they be, they are beautiful customs. They help us to inspire us with the spirit of good will to men, even as the sublime service of our Church reminds us of the peace on earth with the babe in Bethlehem came to bestow” (Externals of the Catholic Church, pg. 140.)

“To the believers in the fetish the killing of those guilty of witchcraft is a judicial act; it is not murder but execution” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI, pg. 57.)

“The Mass, moreover, wards off calamities, scourges, evils of all sorts, as well as the spiritual miseries which God would have justly inflicted on us, if the Eucharistic sacrificed hand not appeased His anger” (Eucharistic Law and Practise, pg. 25.)

“It is interesting to note how often our Church has availed herself if practises which were in common use among pagans…Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those pagan creeds; but they are the taking of what was best from paganism, the keeping of symbolic practises which express the religious instinct that is common to all races and times” (Externals of the Catholic Church, pg. 156.)

“Father Bernardine de Bustis relates that a hawk darted upon a bird which had been taught to say Ave Maria [Hail Mary]; the bird said Ave Maria, and the hawk died. By this Our Lord wishes to show us, that if an irrational bird was saved from destruction by invoking Mary, how much more surely will he be prevented from falling into the power of evil spirits, who is mindful to invoke Mary in his temptations” (Glories of Mary, pg. 96.)

“Not long after his return to Assisi, whilst Francis was praying before an ancient crucifix in the forsaken wayside chapel of St. Damian’s below the town, he heard a voice saying: ‘Go Francis, and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin'” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI, pg. 222.)

“The great servant of God, Brother Bernard of Corlien, a Capuchin, did not know how to read, and his fellow religious wished to teach him. He went to ask for advice from the crucifix, and Jesus answered him from the cross: ‘What necessity for books or reading! I am your book – a book in which you can always read the love I have borne you'” (Devotion of the Holy Rosary, pg. 96.)

“Do not expect, wrote the humble Pontiff, to find our envoys gifted with brilliant eloquence, nor even with a thorough knowledge of the Scripture” (Pope Agatho, in Darras, Vol, II, pg. 277.)

“It may also be said, without exaggeration, that the greater part of Catholics neglect reading edifying books” (Devotion of the Holy Rosary, pg. 44.)

“It was by constantly saying the Rosary that she [St. Margaret] was introduced into this happy country of the interior life – a country overflowing with milk and honey. Here she learned more of God in one moment than by reading all the books in the world; she spoke to God, and God spoke to her, in a manner inexplicable” (Devotion to the Holy Rosary, pgs. 102, 103.)

“On one occasion at Naples in 1273, after he [St. Thomas] had completed his treatise on the Eucharist, three of the brethren saw him lifted in ecstasy, and they heard a voice proceeding from the crucifix on the altar, saying, “Thou hast written well of me Thomas; what reward wilt thou have?” Thomas replied, ‘None other than Thyself, Lord.’ Similar declaration are said to have been made at Orvieto and at Paris” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. XIX, pg. 665.)

“An epidemic now broke out a Trent; a bishop and general of the Franciscans died of it; the alarm was so great that ten or twelve bishops abandoned the council and went home. The Legate deemed it expedient to transfer the assembly to Bologna, and this view was adopted by the majority of the bishops, a minority being chiefly those who were devoted to the emperor, voted for remaining at Trent” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 806.)

The Councils of Basle and Ferrara also suffered terrible plagues (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI, pg. 112.)

“There was need of a revision which is not yet complete, ranging over all that has been handed down from the Middle Ages under the style and title of the Fathers, the Councils, the Roman and other official archives. In all these departmentsforgery and interpolation as well as ignorance had wrought mischief on a great scale” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. XII, pg. 769.)

“Previously to the third century, infants were not baptised except in case of necessity” (Short History of the Catholic Church, pg. 31.)

“In the Middle Ages and in modern times various sects have repudiated infant baptism. It is difficult to give strict proof from Scripture in favour of it” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 61.)

St. Bridget of Sweden said of an alleged vision of Mary: “The truth is, that I was conceived without original sin” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 941.)

Cardinal Manning on the Vatican Council voting to make the pope infallible: “Next, practically, it was mischievous beyond measure, the divisions and contentions of Gallicanism and Ultramontanism have been a scandal and a shame to us. Protestants and unbelievers have been kept from the truth by our intestine controversies, especially on a point so high and so intimately connected with the whole doctrinal authority of the Church. Again, morally, the division and contention on this point, supposed to be open, has generated more alienation, bitterness and animosity between Pastors and people, and what is worse, between Pastor and Pastor, than any other in our day. Our internal contest proclaimed by Protestant newspaper, and worse than all, by Catholics also, have been a reproach to us before the whole world” (The Vatican Council, by Cardinal Manning, pg. 41, 42.)

Bishop Purcell made the following and honest statement, before his church affirmed the complete opposite: “Appeals were lodged before the Bishop of Rome, though he was not believed to be infallible. Neither is he now. No enlightened Catholic holds to the Pope’s infallibility to be an article of faith, I do not; and none of my brethren that I know of, do” (O. C. Lambert, Catholicism Against Itself, pg. 185.)

“But a priest might happen to share in a sin committed by his subjects, e.g. by knowledge of a woman who is his subject”…If however, he were to absolve her it would be valid” (Summa Thologica, Part III.)

King Henry VIII was truly a man of his day, for debauchery was rampant, including pope Julius III having a son and daughter (Von Ranke’s, History of the Popes, Vol, I, pg. 165.)

“The charge of cruelty is also easy to meet. All repressive measures cause suffering or inconvenience of some sort; it is their nature. But they are not therefore cruel. The father who chastises his guilty son is just and may be tenderhearted. Cruelty only comes in where the punishment exceeds the requirements of the case. Opponents say: Precisely; the rigors of the Inquisition violated all humane feelings. We answer; They offend the feelings of later ages in which there is less regard for purity of faith, but they did not antagonize the feelings of their own time when heresy was looked on as more malignant than treason…Toleration came in only when faith went out; lenient measures were resorted to only where the power to apply more severe measures was wanting” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VII, pg. 262.)

“From the eleventh century to the fifteenth extended that marvellous period of European development in which the Church poured out her treasures with a free hand” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 183.)

“Gregory IX cannot be accused of injustice, but he will ever be remembered as the pope who established the Inquisition as a permanent tribunal and did his utmost to enforce everywhere the death penalty for heresy” (The Inquisition, pg. 132.)

“This due punishment was death by fire for the obstinate and imprisonment for life for the penitents” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI, pg. 797.)

“Do you defend the cruelty of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216), in ordering the Crusade against the Albigenses, and mercilessly demanding that they be put to death? “Yes, we do defend his policy, for the laws he enacted were not all excessive compared with the strict Roman laws, or even with the practice then in vogue in France and Germany. Many pseudo-Jewish converts (Moronos) who after popular uprisings against their usury and extortion, had accepted Baptism merely as an alternative to death” (Question Box, pg. 197.)

“If fact, we see in the Crusades one of the most beautiful movement that piety, faith and devotedness to a sacred cause have ever inspired” (History of the Catholic Church, by Brother Gustavus, pg. 101.)

“The burning of heretics was first decreed in the eleventh century. The synod of Verona (1184) imposed on bishops the duty to search out heretics in their dioceses and to hand them over to the secular power. Other synods and the fourth Lateran Council (1215), under Pope Innocent III, repeated and enforced this decree, especially the synod of Tolouse (1229) which established inquisitors in every parish. Everyone was bound to denounce heretics, the names of witnesses were kept secret; after 1243, when Innocent IV sanctioned the laws of Emperor Frederick II and of Louis IX against heretics, torture was applied in trials; the guiltily persons were delivered up to civil authorities and actually burnt at the stake…The present pope, Pius X (1909) has decreed the establishment in every diocese of a board of censors and of a vigilance committee whose functions are to find out and report on writings and persons tainted with the heresy of Modernism” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VII, pg. 260.)

“We ought not to blame Innocent III for taking severe measures because one hundred years of preaching and persuasion had utterly failed, and those disturbers were becoming stronger every year” (Question Box, pg. 232.)

“To restrain and bring back her rebellious sons the Church uses both her spiritual power and the secular power at her command” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VII, pg. 261.)

“It would of course be a monstrous anachronism were we to attribute a belief in Papal Infallibility to the Ante-Nicene Fathers” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 674.)

“Wherefore resting on plain testimonies of the Sacred Writings, and adhering to the plain and expressed decrees, both of our predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs, and the General Councils, we renew the definition of the Oecumenical Council of Florence, in virtue of which all the faithful of Christ must believe that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff is the successor of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and is true Vicar of Christ, and head of the Whole Church, and the Father and Teacher of all Christians, and that full power was given to him by Blessed Peter to rule, feed, and govern the Universal Church by Jesus Christ Our Lord, as is also contained in the Acts of the General Councils, and in the Sacred Canons. Hence we teach and declare that by the appointment of Our Lord, the Roman Church possesses a superiority of ordinary power over all other Churches and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of whatever rite or dignity, both pastors and faithful, both individually and collectively, are bound by their duty of hierarchical subordination, and true obedience, to submit not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that pertain to the discipline and government throughout the world; so that the Church of Christ may be one flock, under the one supreme pastor, through the preservation of unity both of communion and of profession of the same faith with the Roman Pontiff. This is the teaching of Catholic truth from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and of salvation”(Teaching of the Catholic Church, Decrees of Council of Trent, quoted in 143, 144 and Dogmatic Decrees of the Council of Trent, 159-60.)

“Then follow some principles and conclusions concerning the spiritual and the secular power: (1) Under the control of the Church are two swords, that is two powers, the expression referring to the medieval theory of the two swords, the spiritual and the secular. This is substantiated by the customary reference to the swords of the Apostles at the arrest of Christ (Luke xxii, 38; Matt. Xxvi, 52). (2) Both swords are in the power of the Church; the spiritual is wielded in the Church by the hand of the clergy; the secular is to be employed for the Church by the hand of this civil authority but under the direction of the spiritual power. (3) The one sword must be subordinate to the other: the earthly power must submit to the spiritual authority, as this has precedence of the secular on account of its greatness and sublimity; for the spiritual power has the right to establish and guide the secular power, and also to judge it when it does not act rightly. When, however, the earthly power goes astray, it is judged by the spiritual power; a lower spiritual power is judged by the higher, the highest spiritual power is judged by God. (4) This authority, although granted to man, and exercised by man, is not a human authority, but rather a divine one, granted to Peter by Divine commission and confirmed in him and his successors. Consequently, whoever opposes this power ordained of God opposes the law of God and seems like a Manichaean, to accept two principles. Now, therefore, we declare, say, determine and pronounce that for every human creature it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman Pontiff” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. XV, pg. 126.)

“The Saxons of Westphalia, Hanover, and Oldenburg were coerced by Charlemagne, who harried them with perpetual war till they submitted, into the reception of Christianity. This was the commencement of the system, too common through the Middle Ages, by which unbelievers were scared by the threatened loss of life, or goods into embracing, or at least professing, the religion of Christ. There is reason to believe that the treatment of the Saxons was a considerable factor in the anti-Christian ferocity which from this time till their tardy conversion two centuries later possessed their sea-roving neighbours of Scandinavia, and brought innumerable miseries, wrongs, and losses on this innocent English and Irish populations” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 589.)

“The Teutonic Knights, uniting themselves to the Order of the Sword founded in 1202, carried on from 1237 a long and cruel war against the natives of East Prussia. These last had been found intractable and ferocious, and their rejection over and over again of the teaching of the missionaries was held to justify proceeding against them by way of a subjugation of Prussia, over which the Teutonic order then claimed to exercise sovereign rights. Prussians who were willing to become Christians were declared free men and enjoyed all private rights, but those who chose to remain in unbelief were made slaves to the conquerors” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 591.)

“The ascendancy of the Catholic Franks over the other barbarian peoples put an end to Arianism. Clovis who was called ‘A second Constantine’ and, ‘The Most Christian King,’ destroyed the Arian Visigoths in Gaul, and forced the Bergundians to become Catholics” (Short History of the Catholic Church, pg. 75.)

“The period of the Crusade marks a turning point in the history of indulgences for they were given more and more freely from that time onwards. In the first place it was to be noted that indulgences were given for wars analogous to the Crusades. For example, at the Council of Siena in 1425, a plenary indulgence was offered to those who took arms against the Hussites; while war against the Waldenses, Albigenses, Moors and Turks were stimulated by the same means” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 442.)

“Innocent proclaimed a Crusade or holy war, with indulgences against the Albigensian heretics, and requested Philip II, the king of France, to put himself at its head” (Catholic Dictionary, pg. 18.)

“He [Constantine] most certainly cannot be acquitted of grasping ambition. Where the policy of the State required, he could be cruel. Even after his conversion he caused the execution of his brother-in-law Licinius, and of the latter’s son, as well as of Crispus his own son by his first marriage, and his wife Fausta” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol, IV, pg. 300.)

“The election of St. Damasus gave occasion to grave disorders and even battles in the streets of Rome…Civil rulers had often to intervene to maintain order” (Constitutions of the Catholic Church in the New Code of Canon Law, by Ayrenhac, pg. 28.)

“Heresy was first called a capital crime by Theodosius [382AD]” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VII, pg. 260.)

“But how are we to explain the silence of the New Testament and Clement of Rome on the existence of the monarchical bishop?…The natural explanation of St. Paul’s silence, which would apply with even greater force to the sparce reference in Acts to the organization of the local churches, is that at the time St. Paul wrote monarchical bishops had not been appointed” (Westminster Version of the New Testament, Vol. III, Appendix II, pg. 240.)

“The burning of heretics was first decreed in the eleventh century” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. VII, pg. 260.)

Innocent III first coined the term “Vicar of Christ” (1198-1216) and Nicholas III “Vicar of God” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. XV, pg. 403.)

The Triple Tiara came into use in the fourteenth century (Catholic Encyclopaedia,Vol. XIV, pg. 715.)

“Hence from all that we have hitherto said, it is clear, beloved son, that we cannot approve the opinions which some comprise under the head of Americanism” (Pope Leo XIII, Great Encyclical Letters, pg. 452.)

“The basis of these opinions is that, to make converts, the Church should adapt herself to our advanced civilisations and relax her ancient rigor as regards not only the rule of life but also the deposit of faith [in comes Vatican II], and should pass over or minimise certain points of doctrine, or even give them a meaning which the church has never had [deceive them]. What makes the new opinions more dangerous is the pretext of those who follow them that in mattes of faith and of Christian life each one should be free to follow his own bent in the spirit of the large measure of civil liberty recognised in these days” (Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol. XIV, pg. 537.)

Special thanks must be given to O. C. Lambert’s book, Catholicism Against Itself, Vol. 1.