Why conservative Evangelicals should not become Catholic

Most Evangelicals will be confused by the headline. Of course Evangelicals shouldn’t become Catholic — for a long list of doctrinal reasons. If that’s your perspective I ask you to bear with me and accept the possibility that those doctrinal reasons don’t convince everybody, and, in fact, that some people find the Catholic arguments quite compelling.

Those are the people I’m addressing. So, all you Evangelicals out there who are considering the Catholic Church, please take a minute and listen to somebody who’s been through it. Yes, there are some pretty good doctrinal reasons to become Catholic. At least I used to think so, and many people still do. But with the wisdom of hindsight, I would like to ask you to consider that the practical, everyday mediocrity of the Catholic Church is the more important issue.

Evangelicals and Catholics measure churches by a completely different set of standards. Your average Evangelical might leave a church because he’s “not getting fed,” or because the Sunday School program is better somewhere else. There are reasons to criticize that kind of approach, but there are good reasons to admire it as well. It’s pretty practical. It realizes that the life of faith is like a muscle that has to be exercised.

Sometimes an Evangelical will leave a church and say that it was “dead.” It’s not just the lack of happy clappy songs or the predominance of old people. The “deadness” of the church may be a result of the content and style of the sermons, or it may refer to the education program. But in general it’s an assessment of how well the church makes the gospel compelling. How much it makes you want to live the Christian life.

Evangelicals have their standards like anybody else, but they have a fondness for results.

When I decided to enter the Catholic Church back in 1999, I knew what I was getting into. I knew the sermons would be tepid. I knew the educational program would be trite. I knew my kids wouldn’t be getting the same kind of faith-building discipleship they might receive at the local Awanas club. Yet despite urgent warnings from friends, I decided the doctrinal issues were more important.

I was wrong.

And I eventually lost all interest in Catholicism and, generally, in religion.

But I’m not out to ruin anybody’s faith. Rather, I’d like to help people who are happy in their faith to stay that way by avoiding the train wreck that is modern Catholicism. So if you’re an Evangelical who’s been taken by some of the fine-sounding apologetic arguments, please listen up.

You’ve probably heard the stories of happy converts. I ask you to stop and think critically about that for a moment. Might there be some confirmation bias going on?

How many people are going to say that they spent lots of time and energy fussing over the doctrine, finally converted and now … oops — it didn’t really work out that well.

It’s not a very compelling story.

And among those few who might want to tell that story, what publishing company is going to sponsor the project? There’s a market for “stories of ten people who found what they were looking for,” but maybe not so much for a collection of essays about people who converted to Catholicism and now wish they hadn’t. They’re out there, believe me. But how many magazines or blogs cover that topic?

The internet is full of convert stories, and lots of Catholics want you to believe that life is so much fuller and richer on that side of the Tiber. In fact, it is for some people. That’s great and I’m very happy for them. May their tribe increase.

But there is another story to be told.

It really does take a village

Parents can’t be everywhere at once. The fact that the neighbors might also be watching helps children to behave. More than that, the village has to support what the parents are saying. If everything the parents say around the dinner table is contradicted by the culture, the kids will eventually decide that their parents are out of touch … and maybe a little crazy.

When I was in high school my band teacher told me something that contradicted something my father said. I mentioned that, and the band teacher (an old Italian guy) immediately said, “That’s right. Listen to your father.”

That’s the way it should be. The culture should be supporting parents. Unfortunately it’s not that way today, and most of the culture undermines parents.

It’s very hard to limit those negative influences. But one place a parent has a clear choice is in what church to attend, and it’s important that what the kids hear on Sunday reinforces what they hear at home.

While there may be limited exceptions, you’re not going to get that support in the Catholic Church! It’s not that they say the wrong things. At least not most of the time. It’s that on the extremely rare occasion when any kind of practical topic is even addressed in the church, it’s done in such a milquetoast way that nobody even notices. And the pastor is so doggone boring that the kids zone out. Even in those very rare occasions where the priest is a good preacher and says all the right things, there’s no support structure surrounding the message. It’s just the silly guy in the robe talking. And Mom and Dad pay him to say that stuff!

Contrast that with a good Evangelical church. The whole structure supports families. Not just the sermons, but Sunday School and youth groups and activities and the volunteers who lead these things. A parent who wants their child to hear a conservative, “family values” message — in a context that will actually do some good — is almost certainly going to do better at an Evangelican church than at the Catholic parish.

So my first message to the Evangelical who is interested in Catholicism is to put a little perspective in your measurements. What’s more important to you — being in the “right” church, from some bookish, doctrinal perspective, or being in a church that helps your kids grow up with the values you want?

Maciel

Since you won’t find the support you want in the parish, conservative Catholics have to look for it somewhere else. And, fortunately, there are such groups in the Catholic Church, although they can be hard to find. One of them is Opus Dei. Another is … (cue eerie music) … Regnum Christi. (Add horror show sound effect.)

Of course you’ve heard of the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Fr. Marcial Maciel was one of the abusers. He was also the force behind the Legion of Christ and its lay affiliate, Regnum Christi.

These groups are mind-control cults designed to support the late Fr. Maciel in his delusions of sainthood. They’re also incredibly effective organizations that do cool stuff, support good family values and help familes raise decent kids.

Bizarre is hardly the word for it.

Fr. Maciel was a favorite of John Paul II, and it’s pretty astonishing how many high muckety mucks and influential people were deceived by this fraud. The late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus famously wagged an accusing finger at anybody who dared credit the negative stories.

Catholics like to make fun of the anarchy that seems endemic to Protestantism. All these denominations teaching all these different things. What a mess. Who’s in charge?


Well …. Who’s in charge of the Catholic Church? The pope and, apparently, just about everybody at the Vatican was deceived by Maciel. For all their organization and oversight and such, how come nobody knew about this guy? Maciel’s life shows that all those Catholic claims about the bishops and the hierarchy and the Holy Spirit guiding the church and such don’t amount to much, practically speaking.

And Maciel isn’t the only creep, and Regnum Christi isn’t the only cult. There’s Miles Christi and the fringe characters who obsess on Garabandal and Medjugorje, just to name a few.

Sure, Protestants argue about baptism and the rapture and can get into some weird obsessions about the end times. From a strictly doctrinal perspective, Catholicism might look like a haven of stability and sanity. But that’s only if you look at it the way they want you to look at it. Catholics are just as fractured and confused — just over different things. And some of those things are really, really creepy.

So please imagine that you’re holding an old-fashioned scale, like the one Lady Justice has. On the one side, put “Protestants are fractured on doctrinal issues.” On the other side put the abuse crisis and all the associated bad management. Now hold it at arms’ length and see which way it’s leaning.

The Sissiness of it All

I’m going to lose some friends on this one, but I bought some extras to cover my losses, so it should be okay.

The Catholic Church is not a welcoming place for men. I know that doesn’t sound right, because all we hear about in the press is how the Catholic Church is a male-dominated institution. It’s not. In the least.

Yes, men are nominally in charge, although in most cases it’s the women who fill the pews and run the parishes. But that’s not really what I’m talking about. The problem isn’t that woman run the ministries. The problem is that Catholicism is culturally effeminate, and without some kind of strenuous intervention it will alienate men and make boys think that religion is for sissies.

There are lots of reasons for this, and some very interesting things have been written on the topic it you want to pursue it. Just to give you a tidbit, women, like Catholics, are more contemplative and emotional while men, like Protestants, are more interested in practical issues and getting something done.

Yes, I know that’s a broad generalization, but I’m talking in broad generalities. Call me a Neanderthal if it makes you feel better. And I’m not going to try to convince you in this short article. I just want to plant the seed in your mind and let you stew on the thought for a while, because as soon as you let the concept rattle around in your brain it will become so horribly obvious that you won’t be able to miss it. It will start to leap out at you and you’ll wonder how you didn’t see it before.

Right along with this problem is the feeling you’ll get about every other week at mass when they’re reading that horrible “translation” they use. You’ll feel like you’ve been poked in the eye with a sharp stick, because the American bishops have allowed some committee to mangle and neuter the Bible. They’re so intent on keeping patriarchy out of the readings that they’ll stoop to the most God-awful translations imaginable to avoid it.

And then you’ve got to reckon with John Paul II, the alleged hero of conservatives, who piles on the anti-male agenda. He went completely off the rails with a somewhat ridiculous attempt to undermine the biblical and traditional teachings about male headship. (I’m not kidding. Look it up. And as a general review of whether JPII was a conservative, read David Palm’s article, Catholic Confusion at the Very Top)

I don’t like writing about this topic because calling the church “effeminate” makes it sound like there’s something wrong with femininity. There absolutely is not. That’s why “sissiness” is the better word.

So be warned. If you’re a conservative Evangelical, you probably agree with the biblical teaching that the father is the head of the home. That belief will be undermined and attacked in ways you can hardly imagine at your local Catholic Church.

Once again, put your issues on the scales and see what’s more important to you — an allegedly infallible Magisterium, or a church that completely misunderstands the biblical teachings on fatherhood.

Music and Liturgy

While I’ve got you thinking about the lousy translation of the Bible used at mass, don’t think that’s the end of it. They not only mangle the passages they do read, they make “controversial” readings optional. Yep, that’s right. If somebody doesn’t want to hear the “offensive” parts of Ephesians 5, they just don’t read it.

There’s reverence for you. And a great example for the kids, right?

When you hear “The Word of the Lord,” you’re trained to say, “Thanks be to God.” But if it bothers you, well … never mind. I guess that wasn’t God after all.

Of course the neutering isn’t limited to the text of the Bible. They also change hymns and Christmas carols to avoid offending the feminists. And the other songs they sing …. It’s hard to describe them, but I’ll give it my best shot.

If you imagine what you’d get from group of scared, neurotic, musical bunny rabbits in velour, turtle-neck sweaters, drinking sherry and composing little ditties on one of those really old synthesizers, that’s about what you can expect for music in the Catholic Church.

I have a musically talented friend who approached me after mass one day with a pained expression on his face. He said, “You know, sometimes I look around the church and I ask myself, ‘Is everybody here insane?'”

The apologists like to portray the Catholic Church as an old, wise institution that takes the long view and isn’t swayed by passing fads. Don’t believe a word of it. Fads rule.

Take out those scales again. What’s more important to you, being in the “correct” church, or being in a church that lives up to its alleged standards?

The Magisterium as Professor Trelawney

A couple times I’ve alluded to the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the church. Just to be clear, the Catholic Church teaches that the decrees of an ecumenical council are infallible when they address faith or morals, and that the pope is infallible when he addresses the entire church on faith or morals.

It’s a pretty complicated issue, with lots of historical twists and turns. For example, not all of the decrees of the Council of Constance are considered infallible because the pope only approved some of them. You won’t be surprised to read that he didn’t approve the decrees that said a council can overrule a pope, which, if you think about it, is somewhat like that Star Trek episode where Kirk tells the android Norman that everything Harry Mudd says is a lie, and then Mudd says “I’m lying.”

Anyway, the allegedly infallible stuff is a small part of what the church does. Most of the rest is from the local bishop or a local council. That stuff is reliably lame, and when it addresses a political issue, reliably left of center. Except, of course, on abortion and same-sex marriage.

If you want to do a little homework on this, go find Robert Bork’s response (in an old issue of First Things) to the bishops’ recent position on the death penalty. It’s quite instructive.

The overall impression you get, after listening to these guys for a while, is that the folks who make up this mystical “Magisterium” are a bunch of barely competent old guys with limited talent who are always making silly pronouncements on things they don’t quite understand, but you’re supposed to believe that when they meet in ecumenical council … abracazam … they prophesy.

It reminds me of Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter books. She spends most of her time acting like a complete loon, but a couple times she goes into a trance and genuinely blurts out a real prediction.

Take out your scales again, friends. On the left, put the doctrinal certainty you might get if you believed that the Magisterium had actually ruled on something infallibly, and on the right put the day to day reality that most of what they say and do is pedestrian at best.

Word and Sacrament

The trump card for many Catholics is that they “have the Eucharist.” And you don’t.

In Catholic theology, the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and believers receive all kinds of “graces” when they partake.

The longer I’ve been Catholic the more I’ve realized that this is the old hammer and nail problem. You know the saying, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.”

The mass is repetitive and boring. The music is trite. The translation of the Bible is sophomoric. The preaching is weak. Their only unique selling proposition is a collection of specially ordained priests who can say the words and transform bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.

Since that’s their only real claim to fame, that’s often the default message. “Okay, all this other stuff may be true. You have better preaching. You have Sunday School. You have a congregation of people who love the Lord and live like they mean it. But we have the Eucharist, and the Eucharist is Jesus, and that’s all there is to it.”

This article is for people who are tempted by Catholic apologetics, so let’s assume for the sake of argument that Catholic theology is correct on this point. How do we put this issue on the scales?

I’ve seen and felt the practical impact of good preaching, and if you’re an Evangelical, you have too.

Have you ever seen the practical impact of good sacraments?

Okay, maybe a few of you have, maybe a little. Maybe you’ve seen someone deepen their prayer life by praying in front of the Eucharist. But how big of an impact is it?

Everything about the sacraments is this hidden stuff that you’re just supposed to believe. There’s no evidence. There’s no clear effect. There’s just words and promises that don’t seem to have any reality behind them.

I’ve seen word without sacrament, and I’ve seen sacrament without word, and I think I can see a pretty profound difference. Word without sacrament works. Hearts are touched and lives are changed.

Sacrament without word isn’t very impressive. Which leads me to believe that of the two, the word is more important.

Obedience is what matters

Conservative Protestants have more in common with conservative Catholics than either have with the liberals in the pew next to them. That’s because conservatives believe in the idea of being discipled. They recognize a standard above and outisde of themselves, and they’re willing to be changed to conform to it.

In Protestant churches that means obedience to the Bible. In Catholic churches it means obedience to the Magisterium. What seems to make all the difference is the willingness to be transformed.

No, that’s not quite it. It’s the joy in being a disciple. The yoke is easy and light because it’s accepted gladly.

That’s what’s going to make the difference in your faith. Doctrine won’t. Abstract notions of the “right” church won’t. What’s going to matter to you in the long haul is being somewhere that encourages and supports you in your decision to take that yoke upon you.

I don’t think you’re going to get that encouragement or support in the Catholic Church. I know that I did not.

The final appeal

Most Catholics will chafe and argue with a lot of what I’ve said, but some will say, “Okay, all that may be true. So come and help us! We need people like you.”

There’s an appeal to that. If you’re an Evangelical, you like a good mission. You might think you’ll be able to bring some life to the frozen chosen.

Don’t fall for it. The Catholic Church isn’t what you’re used to. There aren’t adult Sunday School classes you can teach. You will have little or no outlet for your gifts and few opportunities to serve. Except soup kitchens and things. And I’m not knocking soup kitchens in any way, but it hardly answers the promise of the “we need people like you” talk.

They’ll just draft you to teach 5th grade CCD, and you’ll be fielding questions from kids who want to know if it’s a sin to wear a rosary. You’ll have doctrinal questions for the pastor and he won’t have any idea what you’re talking about. You’ll have a hard time finding like-minded souls.

If you’re single, if you have enormous patience and if you believe that you’re called to this sort of mind-numbing sacrifice, … well, okay. Don’t forget that I warned you, but if that’s what you want.

Think of this the way you would think of a mission trip into hostile territory. You can sacrifice your own life on some crazy idea, but don’t think about bringing a wife or kids along with you.

They won’t be eaten by cannibals. They’ll be lulled into spiritual torpor. They’ll get accustomed to thinking that the Bible is really boring, only to be read out of duty, and practically irrelevant. They’ll think that their chief moral obligation in life is to feed the homeless.

Or, perhaps worse, they’ll get caught up in weird Catholic devotions that will make you feel like an alien in your own home. They’ll actually believe Catholic rhetoric, and you’ll be grinding your teeth and pulling out your hair.

64 Responses to Why conservative Evangelicals should not become Catholic

  1. rachel29 says:

    Thanks for writing this. I’ve been Catholic for almost 10 yrs. I’m starting to regret it. I thought I was all alone. I too just wanted all the fractious Protestant bickering to stop. It was driving me nuts. And I wanted more emphasis on Communion (Eucharist). But it’s just as much a fractious mess in Catholicism.

    I told my husband that its like being in a dining room two tables are there, everyone has eaten and left. One table (the Protestant one) is a mess. Looking at it makes one groan at how long it would take to clean up. The second table has the tablecloth spread out over its mess. At first one doesn’t notice that anything is wrong. It looks beautiful and ready to be set for dinner. As one draws closer, one notices that the cloth is covering something. As the cloth is lifted one sees a mess very much the same as the first table.

    Thanks for writing this and helping know that I’m not alone.

    Peace,
    Rachel

  2. one should convert to Catholicism because, despite its “issues”, you believe it to be the true Church established by Christ…and for no other reason….So ask yourself that?…After reading this article…one wonders if you could find the good in anything….”Have you ever seen the practical impact of good sacraments?” No wonder you have such a negative outlook….Sounds like you had little faith….Eucharist…Confession…Established by Christ Himself!!!….revealed by the Spirit in scripture!!!…Believing in those alone are a greater experience than preaching any day…If what the Catholic Church claims is true(such as the true presence of Christ)…it is no small matter to regard His Church as simply another option….it requires serious consideration…Are you so sure in yourself that you would risk possibly misleading souls in such a serious matter?

  3. Jan says:

    “Could we not say to God: Here is someone with whom I cannot get on. She belongs to you. You made her. If you do not will her to be the way she is, at least you allow her to be that way. Dear God, I want to put up with her the way that you put up with me. Would we not find our heart a little lighter, more at ease, more patient?” (The Great Church Year, 379)

    • Patricia says:

      Amen!!!!! To everything you are saying. I’m a new convert to the Catholic Church and having a little problem getting use to parish life. I have joined groups and gone to functions but people seem disconnected from new people. It’s a small town in the bootheel of Missouri. I’m a little taken back by this and its making it harder to fit in. But I believe Jesus meant what he said when introducing the Eucharist. That is why I am there.

  4. Jan says:

    +
    Jesus is really, truly present at each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Even if the homily is boring, even if the music isn’t to our liking, Jesus comes to us in utmost humility under the appearance of bread and wine – He, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, gives us His entire self, body, blood, soul and divinity and allows us sinners to consume Himself who IS Goodness, Beauty, Truth, Love. I am writing this for myself, as I often complain about the above (boring homilies, sappy music, etc.). Woe is me to lose sight of the greatest miracle in the world that takes place at each Catholic Mass and Orthodox Liturgy!

  5. Don Draper says:

    The Catholic Church parish changes every time the priest does, and in ours, that’s every two years. We go from big programs for all ages to nothing for almost three years, to good programs for all ages now. . . to “what will get in August if he leaves?” So OUR parish IS faddish—everything reflects the personality of the priest. A real pity. I will say, though, I went to a parish with a more dynamic involved priest (like our current one) when we had a foreign one who didn’t understand the evangelical situation—that they tug, pull, and steal from other churches. . .

    We have the Eucharist and the Saints. We NEED to have programming that keeps everyone growing, too. I’m a former Evangelical. I went to a conservative, non-demonstrative Church. So I wasn’t used to bells and whistles. What I was used to, was people with Bible knowledge, and that is greatly lacking in the Catholic Church, as is knowledge of the Catechism. I go to two churches for the most personal growth. . .

    • Jan says:

      +
      So Don – why not follow the lead of people like Dr. Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, Steve Ray, Alex Jones, etc. and help your fellow Catholics learn to love and delve into the Scriptures?

  6. Tom says:

    WOW! Another unhappy customer searching for meaning and truth but lacking in FAITH! This gentleman never took off his Protestant Glasses upon entering the Catholic Church. He scrutinized it from the outside looking in. I think he just wanted to try things on for size and if it didn’t fit he could jump ship. The following comment proves my point– ” When I decided to enter the Catholic Church back in 1999, I knew what I was getting into. I knew the sermons would be tepid. I knew the educational program would be trite. I knew my kids wouldn’t be getting the same kind of faith-building discipleship they might receive at the local Awanas club. Yet despite urgent warnings from friends, I decided the doctrinal issues were more important.”
    You gotta be kidding, did someone twist his arm? Look, with all due respect to this gentleman, in my opinion, he will continue to church shop until he recognizes the authority of the Catholic Church established by Christ. The bible calls the Catholic Church, “The pillar and bullwark of truth.” The Catholic Church is a world wide church with a 2000 year history. I think we are entitled to make some mistakes along the way. There is nothing “Mediocre” about Christ’s church that has persisted for 2000 years under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I imagine it’s more manageable to coordinate a protestant church where the pastor is the Pope, so to speak, and he gets a nice paycheck to interpet the bible as he see fit; espically those Mega Churches! However, the gentleman made some valid points about what is lacking in the Catholic Church–ie, Homilies lacking in passion and content, and bible studies/RCIA programs administered by unqualified teachers. There is a lot of work to do.
    Many Evangelicals bring a beautiful spirit and passion with them when they enter the church! Thank God for them and I welcome them home! As Catholics, we need to help them understand the richness and beauty of the Catholicism. It’s time to unite and not divide–the devil already does a good job at that. Can you imagine if St. Peter and the other Apostles departed from our Lord after hearing the Bread of Life discourse? Jesus turned to them and said, “Will you leave me too? I would love to address his comment about losing interest, “And I eventually lost all interest.” Also, his understanding of the sacraments, “Have you ever seen the practical impact of good sacraments? Yup! Try reverts who have returned to the church after 20 or 30 years of jumping back and forth between different denominations because they felt they weren’t being, “feed in the Catholic Church.” The Eucharist is routinely cited as the reason for their return. I guess crackers and juice didn’t satisfy the hunger in their heart!

    I wonder if the author had the opportunity to meet a faithful Catholic on fire for the Jesus Christ during his time in the church? If your still on this site, respond to my post and this faithful Catholic, on fire Jesus Christ, would love to talk to you about what we have in common–A desire to serve our Lord and his church! God bless and may the peace of Christ be with you!

    • Jan says:

      Great post Tom!

      • pam says:

        thank you ive been twisting in the wind as ive been in a mega church womens bible study and its awesome but it begs the qustion should i be going here on sunday as well ? wow ive been in anxiety central ever since ive entertained that thought because greg laurie is a knowlegeable and dynamic pastor help

  7. I enjoyed this article, and I agree with a number of your points, even though I am quite a liberal Christian. I have found an Episcopal parish that I love a lot, which I feel is the “village” you talk about to help raise my children, where I feel the music and liturgy are inspiring, where I find joy in my call to discipleship, and where I find engaging discussion of the Word. I converted to Catholicism at age 17 and have hemmed and hawed about whether that was a mistake for many years. I have tried to “make a difference.” And like you said, something that tipped the scale in a major way was having children. It’s one thing to stick around in spite of being completely miserable because I believe in the Eucharist “and that’s just it.” It’s another entirely to look at my young, beautiful, innocent children, and see a future of boredom and misery for them, resulting in rejection of religion altogether.

    So, thanks, brother.

    • Patricia says:

      If you really believe what the Catholic Church teaches then how can you go anywhere else?

      • dontconvert says:

        Patricia, that is precisely the attitude I am trying to address in this post. The assumption of your question is that doctrine trumps all — or, perhaps, that “being the true church” trumps all — and that all other considerations have to bow to that one.

        I don’t believe that’s right. Even if the Catholic Church is the One, True Church, and even if everything in the catechism is 100% true, and even if Jesus is only present in the Catholic Eucharist … if the practical reality of Catholic parish life is so awful that it ends up killing people’s faith, they’re better off somewhere else.

        • mochagypsy says:

          The problem with doctrine is when it fails to measure up against the Word of God. If your church or personal view of doctrine does not follow with what the Word says, you need to conform your mind to the Word, hang all who disagree with it. The one, true Church isn’t found in adherence to Catholic traditions, Protestant doctrines, or Eastern Orthodox rites, it’s found in those people who daily devote themselves to the careful, prayerful study of God’s Holy Word, washing and renewing their minds in its commandments. Obedience to the Word is the very best way to show you believe in it.

        • Nate Jusko says:

          “I don’t believe that’s right. Even if Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and even if everything He says is 100% true, and even if He is the only means of salvation…if the practical reality of Christianity is so awful that it ends up killing people’s faith, they’re better off somewhere else.”

          Please tell me this article was intended as satire? Please tell me that you see the ridiculousness in the statement above and how close you are to actually thinking that based on your current train of thought?

          If you, as a Christian, are not putting Truth (y’know…that whole “veritas” thing) above all else…and instead are looking for more of a practical approach to Christian philosophy in your day-to-day life, I seriously second-guess your true faith. Christianity is not a practical faith, it is not a reasonable faith, but it is True. If your priorities seek practicality and reason above Truth, then you’re lost no matter what denomination you stumble into.

  8. John 6:54 says:

    Obedience to the Magisterium is obedience to the Bible and it is obedience to Christ. After reading this I don’t think the author will be satisfied with anything; Catholic or Protestant. This is just a rant with some valid points and some way off criticisms. Not every parish in the Catholic world is the same, some are way better than others, some are way more faithful than others. Its a big world. The Pope can’t control it all he can only teach and when he teach’s on faith and morals its is the Gospel. The Catholic Church is the body of Christ. Step outside yourself for a moment and what you want and ask what Christ wants.

    Does he want thousands of denominations that teach everything under the sun? Or did he want ONE?

    Did he give keys to His Church to all the apostles or did he give them to Peter?

    The Catholic Church has lots of problems and because of the size of the Church they appear to dwarf Protestant problems. But if you are really honest all the answers are available within the Catholic Church because Christ is there and always has been. The question is will you humble yourself and list to them, and for them, or will you just whine because you can only see the human aspects of the church which are not perfect. Or will you wise up and look to the divine aspects of the church, if you do that you will see Christ.

    God is calling you to come home and to stay home, but he will not force you.

  9. Edmund Jacoutot says:

    I am not an Evangelical wishing to “relocate” elsewhere. I am however a Catholic and have been ever since I was baptized over 80 years ago. I was raised in a tepid Catholic family – my parents were young who struggled to raise 4 children and had little time for “practicing” their faith. During all these years observing mostly in passing the non-Catholic Christian world I have observed almost nothing to recommend it over the Faith I inherited. And too, though I would willingly admit it if it were true, have I almost never met within my environment non-Catholics of any persuasion who were exempliary Followers of Christ. Religiongof any kind barely penetrates the space we inhabit in our modern culture.

    I have – I admit – gone often to church hoping only to hear good music, an uplifting sermon, revel in the solemn beauty found there in ways no where else. But my gaze – my heart – and I’m sure my Soul found a place where I knew God was – and He was the One I hoped to be near.

    In the 80 years I have been aware – I have seen a great deal and the gentleman giving us his observations here insist he never found anything like it in the Catholic Church. I have no just reason to call him wrong – but I want to address his judgement and say that I wonder if we both exist on the same planet? He asks some of you to “re-consider” any decision on the subject you may be making. Exercising the same right – I ask those to re-consider – yes – but question carefully the reasons he gives.

  10. Brenda Clarice says:

    This is such a childish rant…you give NO good arguments at all. It’s not the Catholic church or any church’s fault that you are an agnostic, that’s your fault. Your article is full of generalities, meaningless rants and inaccuracies, You wrote “You will have little or no outlet for your gifts and few opportunities to serve. Except soup kitchens and things” The Catholic church is one of the largest if not the largest charitable organization on planet earth. There are PLENTY opportunities to serve and use your gifts.

  11. mochagypsy says:

    I was born Baptist and converted to Catholicism almost four years ago. Mainly because I appreciate it’s rich history as the original organized Church (succession of Popes since St. Peter, etc.) and to provide (what I believed) a sound and nurturing spiritual foundation for my future family (if I’m blessed to have one). Though I cannot say that I fully regret converting, I quickly noticed that the Catholic Church lacks a true community outside of the 45 minute Mass. The Evangelical Churches, on the other hand, reaches out to support people in a practical way and have activities for adults and children almost every day of the week! It gives an opportunity for people to grow, have a feeling of belonging, and remain faithful to God’s path in everyday life. I would complain to my Catholic friends about this difference. It really does take a village to grow a community in Christ… You really hit the nail in the head there! There are too many negative forces attacking us out there to invest our spiritual energy in anything less. I will most likely return to the Evangelical Church very soon.

  12. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Obedience to the Magisterium is obedience to the Bible and it is obedience to Christ.

    I’m sorry but that’s an utter crock, and I say this as someone who worshipped as a Catholic for most of my life before seeing Catholicism for the cesspool of apostasy and institutionalized immoralalitly that it is.

    I can offer three examples but those will be plenty. The first is the Church’s accomodationist, appeasement-oriented attitude toward Islam, which reflects the encyclical Nostra Aetate from Vatican II. Since JPII’s tenure, the Vatican has been silent about the persecution of Christians by Muslims and about the “culture of death” that promotes genocide even among Palestinian children!

    The second is the revisionist, abolitionist attitude toward capital punishment, which not only contradicts Scripture (Genesis 9:5-6) but everything taught by Catholic Tradition from Augustine and Aquinas until JPII.

    The third is the clerical sex-abuse crisis. Sorry, but until Catholic leaders and apologists realize that crisis for what it is — a systemic collapse on the level of Greek tragedy that took too many innocent lives with it — they will never understand it, let alone attempt to resolve it.

    • Alray says:

      Joseph, The worst are evangelicals and ‘*j*’e’*’w’*i*s*h communities on abuses. Evangelicals – 25%,’*j*’e*w’*i’s*h – 50%, Catholic abuses only comprises of 1.5%.

      Billy Graham’s Grandson: Evangelicals ‘Worse’ Than Catholics on Sex Abuse

      http://www.religionnews.com/2013/09/26/billy-grahams-grandson-evangelicals-worse-catholic-church-sex-abuse/

      The Protestant Pedophilia-Sex Abuse Pattern

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/09/28/906089/-The-Protestant-Pedophilia-Sex-Abuse-Pattern

      Catholic Witch Hunt – The false sexual abuse claims (May 10, 2013) by Dorothy Rabinowitz.

      http://live.wsj.com/video/opinion-a-catholic-witch-hunt/5AD7E6C3-39E9-418F-9968-D0DE2148A297.html

      http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024037472

      It is evangelicals / protestants and ‘*j*e*w*s that are the worst and the ones who never faced any accountability and scrutiny at all. All of them were protected by the mainstream (‘j’e’*w) media, and the focus is always on the Catholic Church, hmm… I wonder why?? – Because that is their age old enemy if you know history!! And they just want to shame and siphon money on them in any way that they can!! Those warrants of arrests are just their side shows!! If they are so focused on this issue, then they should issue it on BBC and the JImmy Saville’s in the UK, but of course they won’t, it will always be on the Catholic church!!

      On Christians in the MidEast, Both muslims and *I*s*r*a*e*l*i*s are complicit on the suppression of Palestinian Christians, it is *I*s*r*a*e*l*i*s* and their lobbies’ influence of US / UK Foreign Policy that are driving this madness.

      • Joseph D'Hippolito says:

        First of all, do you think a holy, righteous God gives a flying fig about whether Catholic priests aren’t as bad as Protestant ministers or Jewish rabbis when it comes to clerical sex-abuse — or vice versa? Anyone who claims to have divine authority and behaves in such a way drags God’s name through the mud — and will be judged severely by God.

        Second, your argument reflects the idea that Catholicism should be judged by a lower standard because it’s “God’s Church.” On the contrary, if it is “God’s Church,” then it should be judged by a higher standard. Jesus Himself said that much will be required from those who have received much. If being the “one true Church” that proclaims the “fullness of the Gospel” isn’t receiving much, then what is?

        I also suggest that you read 1 Samuel 2:12-36 to see how God reacts to those who misuse the authority He gave them for their own purposes.

        Moreover, the fact that some groups will want to exploit the clerical sex-abuse crisis for their own agendas doesn’t mean the crisis isn’t serious. In 1049, St. Peter Damian wrote an illustrated treatise — “Liber Gomorrahianus,” or “The Book of Gommorah” — that indicted priests having concubines and priests having sex with young males. Peter Damian confronted Pope Leo IX with this information. At first, Leo was insensed. But the Curia persuaded him to soft-pedal the problem.

        Finally, your comments about Jews and Israelis are nothing but the same vile stereotyping that has pervaded Catholicism — indeed all of Christianity — for centuries. Israel is the most democratic country in the Middle East. Arabs who live there have far more freedom than do Arabs in nations that want to destroy it. This doesn’t mean that Israeli policy toward Palestinians is perfect. Far from it. But I would like to know how you would change the situation, given that Israel has been the target of Arab-Muslim obliterationist fantasies since its inception.

  13. Nick says:

    I’m very sorry you feel this way and had a negative experience in a Catholic Church.

    As a Catholic, I have to say that I’ve found the church extremely compelling. At my parish, we’re challenged every week to live out the teachings of Jesus and find it an honor to serve the poor. Our church is full of great Sunday school classes, youth groups and outreach programs. There certainly is no right way to worship, it’s different for everyone; but as Christians alike, we all believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and for that, no one way is better than another – more importantly, we all have reason to celebrate!

    You talk about “selling points” and “claims to fame” of the Catholic Church – I’m not sure where you’ve been worshiping, but this certainly is not a universal objective of the church. The only objective of the church is to spread the word of God, and we don’t see the Eucharist as a “claim to fame.”

    As a man, I have to vehemently disagree with your statement that “the Catholic Church is not a welcoming place for men.” That is your opinion and simply not true. Again, I’m very sorry you had that experience, but with over 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, there are certainly millions of men who are finding the church very welcoming.

    My prayer for you is that you can express a more pro-Jesus and a less anti-Catholic message. Your judgments on the Catholic Church are extensive, but I would urge you to refrain from any generalizations about the Catholic church – I’m sure you’d like the same as applied to Evangelicals as a whole or any other Christian denomination. We’re all on the same team – we all seek to know God better. Catholics aren’t perfect, no one is – but we’re all brothers and sisters in the Lord’s eye and let’s find peace and joy by sharing in his good word!

  14. Carol says:

    One huge reason Evangelicals should join the Catholic Church — Matthew 26:26-29 … The Real Presence … If Jesus meant what he said elsewhere – then was He lying in Matthew 26? Why would anyone believe John 3:16 and not Matthew 26::26-29?

    Jesus spoke Truth through out or He lied through out — you can’t have it both ways and not be branded a hypocrite — Matthew 7:21 — believe it ALL or don’t believe any of it. You don’t get to pick and choose. The Bible is not a buffet, it’s a complete sit down meal.

  15. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Carol, you offer a false choice. We know Jesus cannot lie but that doesn’t mean church authorities can’t misunderstand, misinterpret or misconstrue His words. You talk about the Last Supper. Jesus established the meaning for that in John 6, after He fed thousands. John 6:30-65 does not refer to transubstantiation but rather the opposite. Jesus was speaking metaphorically about Himself being “the bread of life,” just as he metaphorically referred to Himself as a “good shepherd” and as a “sheepgate” elsewhere in John’s Gospel. The tip-off is verse 63: “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.” He used those words to refer to His own resurrection. Therefore, He could not have meant the literal “eating and drinking” of His flesh and blood the way the crowd thought — and, essentially, the way Catholics think today.

    For that matter, go back to John 4, Jesus’ conversation with a Samaritan woman. Thoughout that conversation Jesus metaphorically refers to “living water” which cannot be drawn from a well. The woman plainly thought Jesus was talking about literal water — just as the crowd in John 6 thought he referred to literal bread, flesh and blood.

    If John is a reasonably intelligent writer and his portrayal of Jesus is reasonably consistent — even if you take divine inspiration out of the equation. — then He can’t speak metaphorically in John 4 and literally in John 6. The passages are too similar in style to allow for that.

    As someone who once worshipped as a Catholic, Carol, I dare say that Catholics are the ones who “pick and choose” because they allow their Magisterium to do their thinking for them!

    • Hamsa says:

      It will be very sad, when Jesus returns soon, to find out that it is you who has (willfully) misunderstood.

      • Joseph DHippolito says:

        Hamsa, when Jesus returns, He will call those who belong to Him because of their fidelity to Him and His Father, not because they belong to any particular denomination — least of all, one that dragged His Name through the mud for centuries and effectively substituted itself for Him. If you think that a holy, righteous God plays favorites or will ignore what Catholics do merely because they are Catholic, then you are more than sorely mistaken. You are tremendously ignorant about the nature, character and integrity of God.

        • HJ says:

          Joseph, I am perplexed by your comparison. In John 4 he obviously continues explaining himself to the women but doesn’t do so to the many that leave in John 6. Also there are protestant denominations that believe he wasn’t speaking metaphorically here as well.

    • Alray says:

      THE EUCHARIST
      IN SCRIPTURE, TRADITION AND FROM THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS

      Scripture

      I. Old Testament
      a. Foreshadowing of the Eucharistic Sacrifice
      b. Foreshadowing of the Requirement to Consume the Sacrifice

      II. New Testament
      a. Jesus Promises His Real Presence in the Eucharist
      b. Jesus Institutes the Eucharist / More Proofs of the Real Presence
      c. Jesus’ Passion is Connected to the Passover Sacrifice Where the Lamb Must be Eaten
      d. Eucharist Makes Present Jesus’ One Eternal Sacrifice; Not Just a Symbolic Memorial
      e. Jesus in Glory Perpetually Offers the Father His Sacrifice on our Behalf
      f. The Book of Revelation and the Holy Mass

      Tradition / Church Fathers

      I. Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist
      II. The Bread and Wine Become Jesus’ Body and Blood

      Scripture

      I. Old Testament

      (a). Foreshadowing of the Eucharistic Sacrifice

      Gen. 14:18 – this is the first time that the word “priest” is used in Old Testament. Melchizedek is both a priest and a king and he offers a bread and wine sacrifice to God.

      Psalm 76:2 – Melchizedek is the king of Salem. Salem is the future Jeru-salem where Jesus, the eternal priest and king, established his new Kingdom and the Eucharistic sacrifice which He offered under the appearance of bread and wine.

      Psalm 110:4 – this is the prophecy that Jesus will be the eternal priest and king in the same manner as this mysterious priest Melchizedek. This prophecy requires us to look for an eternal bread and wine sacrifice in the future. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Catholic Church.

      Malachi 1:11 – this is a prophecy of a pure offering that will be offered in every place from the rising of the sun to its setting. Thus, there will be only one sacrifice, but it will be offered in many places around the world. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Catholic Church in the Masses around the world, where the sacrifice of Christ which transcends time and space is offered for our salvation. If this prophecy is not fulfilled by the Catholic Church, then Malachi is a false prophet.

      Exodus 12:14,17,24; cf. 24:8 – we see that the feast of the paschal lamb is a perpetual ordinance. It lasts forever. But it had not yet been fulfilled.

      Exodus 29:38-39 – God commands the Israelites to “offer” (poieseis) the lambs upon the altar. The word “offer” is the same verb Jesus would use to institute the Eucharistic offering of Himself.

      Lev. 19:22 – the priests of the old covenant would make atonement for sins with the guilt offering of an animal which had to be consumed. Jesus, the High Priest of the New Covenant, has atoned for our sins by His one sacrifice, and He also must be consumed.

      Jer. 33:18 – God promises that His earthly kingdom will consist of a sacrificial priesthood forever. This promise has been fulfilled by the priests of the Catholic Church, who sacramentally offer the sacrifice of Christ from the rising of the sun to its setting in every Mass around the world.

      Zech. 9:15-16 – this is a prophecy that the sons of Zion, which is the site of the establishment of the Eucharistic sacrifice, shall drink blood like wine and be saved. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the priests of the Catholic Church.

      2 Chron. 26:18 – only validly consecrated priests will be able to offer the sacrifice to God. The Catholic priests of the New Covenant trace their sacrificial priesthood to Christ.

      (b). Foreshadowing of the Requirement to Consume the Sacrifice

      Gen. 22:9-13 – God saved Abraham’s first-born son on Mount Moriah with a substitute sacrifice which had to be consumed. This foreshadowed the real sacrifice of Israel’s true first-born son (Jesus) who must be consumed.

      Exodus 12:5 – the paschal lamb that was sacrificed and eaten had to be without blemish. Luke 23:4,14; John 18:38 – Jesus is the true paschal Lamb without blemish.

      Exodus 12:7,22-23 – the blood of the lamb had to be sprinkled on the two door posts. This paschal sacrifice foreshadows the true Lamb of sacrifice and the two posts of His cross on which His blood was sprinkled.

      Exodus 12:8,11 – the paschal lamb had to be eaten by the faithful in order for God to “pass over” the house and spare their first-born sons. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, must also be eaten by the faithful in order for God to forgive their sins.

      Exodus 12:43-45; Ezek. 44:9 – no one outside the “family of God” shall eat the lamb. Non-Catholics should not partake of the Eucharist until they are in full communion with the Church.

      Exodus 12:49 – no uncircumcised person shall eat of the lamb. Baptism is the new circumcision for Catholics, and thus one must be baptized in order to partake of the Lamb.

      Exodus 12:47; Num. 9:12 – the paschal lamb’s bones could not be broken. John 19:33 – none of Jesus’ bones were broken.

      Exodus 16:4-36; Neh 9:15 – God gave His people bread from heaven to sustain them on their journey to the promised land. This foreshadows the true bread from heaven which God gives to us at Mass to sustain us on our journey to heaven.

      Exodus 24:9-11 – the Mosaic covenant was consummated with a meal in the presence of God. The New and eternal Covenant is consummated with the Eucharistic meal – the body and blood of Jesus Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.

      Exodus 29:33 – God commands that they shall eat those things with which atonement was made. Jesus is the true Lamb of atonement and must now be eaten.

      Lev. 7:15 – the Aaronic sacrifices absolutely had to be eaten in order to restore communion with God. These sacrifices all foreshadow the one eternal sacrifice which must also be eaten to restore communion with God. This is the Eucharist (from the Greek word “eukaristia” which means “thanksgiving”).

      Lev. 17:11,14 – in the Old Testament, we see that the life of the flesh is the blood which could never be drunk. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ’s blood is the source of new life, and now must be drunk.

      Gen. 9:4-5; Deut.12:16,23-24 – in these verses we see other prohibitions on drinking blood, yet Jesus commands us to drink His blood because it is the true source of life.

      2 Kings 4:43 – this passage foreshadows the multiplication of the loaves and the true bread from heaven which is Jesus Christ.

      2 Chron. 30:15-17; 35:1,6,11,13; Ezra 6:20-21; Ezek. 6:20-21- the lamb was killed, roasted and eaten to atone for sin and restore communion with God. This foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our sin and who must now be consumed for our salvation.

      Neh. 9:15 – God gave the Israelites bread from heaven for their hunger, which foreshadows the true heavenly bread who is Jesus.

      Psalm 78:24-25; 105:40 – the raining of manna and the bread from angels foreshadows the true bread from heaven, Jesus Christ.

      Isaiah 53:7 – this verse foreshadows the true Lamb of God who was slain for our sins and who must be consumed.

      Wis. 16:20 – this foreshadows the true bread from heaven which will be suited to every taste. All will be welcome to partake of this heavenly bread, which is Jesus Christ.

      Sir. 24:21 – God says those who eat Him will hunger for more, and those who drink Him will thirst for more.

      Ezek. 2:8-10; 3:1-3 – God orders Ezekiel to open his mouth and eat the scroll which is the Word of God. This foreshadows the true Word of God, Jesus Christ, who must be consumed.

      Zech. 12:10 – this foreshadows the true first-born Son who was pierced for the sins of the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem.

      Zech. 13:1 – on the day of piercing, a fountain (of blood and water) will cleanse the sins of those in the new House of David.

      II. New Testament

      (a). Jesus Promises His Real Presence in the Eucharist
      John 6:4,11-14 – on the eve of the Passover, Jesus performs the miracle of multiplying the loaves. This was prophesied in the Old Testament (e.g., 2 Kings4:43), and foreshadows the infinite heavenly bread which is Him.

      Matt. 14:19, 15:36; Mark 6:41, 8:6; Luke 9:16 – these passages are additional accounts of the multiplication miracles. This points to the Eucharist.

      Matt. 16:12 – in this verse, Jesus explains His metaphorical use of the term “bread.” In John 6, He eliminates any metaphorical possibilities.

      John 6:4 – Jesus is in Capernaum on the eve of Passover, and the lambs are gathered to be slaughtered and eaten. Look what He says.

      John 6:35,41,48,51 – Jesus says four times “I AM the bread from heaven.” It is He, Himself, the eternal bread from heaven.

      John 6:27,31,49 – there is a parallel between the manna in the desert which was physically consumed, and this “new” bread which must be consumed.

      John 6:51-52- then Jesus says that the bread He is referring to is His flesh. The Jews take Him literally and immediately question such a teaching. How can this man give us His flesh to eat?

      John 6:53 – 58 – Jesus does not correct their literal interpretation. Instead, Jesus eliminates any metaphorical interpretations by swearing an oath and being even more literal about eating His flesh. In fact, Jesus says four times we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Catholics thus believe that Jesus makes present His body and blood in the sacrifice of the Mass. Protestants, if they are not going to become Catholic, can only argue that Jesus was somehow speaking symbolically.

      John 6:23-53 – however, a symbolic interpretation is not plausible. Throughout these verses, the Greek text uses the word “phago” nine times. “Phago” literally means “to eat” or “physically consume.” Like the Protestants of our day, the disciples take issue with Jesus’ literal usage of “eat.” So Jesus does what?

      John 6:54, 56, 57, 58 – He uses an even more literal verb, translated as “trogo,” which means to gnaw or chew or crunch. He increases the literalness and drives his message home. Jesus will literally give us His flesh and blood to eat. The word “trogo” is only used two other times in the New Testament (in Matt. 24:38 and John 13:18) and it always means to literally gnaw or chew meat. While “phago” might also have a spiritual application, “trogo” is never used metaphorically in Greek.
      So Protestants cannot find one verse in Scripture where “trogo” is used symbolically, and yet this must be their argument if they are going to deny the Catholic understanding of Jesus’ words. Moreover, the Jews already knew Jesus was speaking literally even before Jesus used the word “trogo” when they said “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” (John 6:52).

      John 6:55 – to clarify further, Jesus says “For My Flesh is food indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed.” This phrase can only be understood as being responsive to those who do not believe that Jesus’ flesh is food indeed, and His blood is drink indeed. Further, Jesus uses the word which is translated as “sarx.” “Sarx” means flesh (not “soma” which means body). See, for example, John 1:13,14; 3:6; 8:15; 17:2; Matt. 16:17; 19:5; 24:22; 26:41; Mark 10:8; 13:20; 14:38; and Luke 3:6; 24:39 which provides other examples in Scripture where “sarx” means flesh. It is always literal.

      John 6:55 – further, the phrases “real” food and “real” drink use the word “alethes.” “Alethes” means “really” or “truly,” and would only be used if there were doubts concerning the reality of Jesus’ flesh and blood as being food and drink. Thus, Jesus is emphasizing the miracle of His body and blood being actual food and drink.

      John 6:60 – as are many anti-Catholics today, Jesus’ disciples are scandalized by these words. They even ask, “Who can ‘listen’ to it (much less understand it)?” To the unillumined mind, it seems grotesque.

      John 6:61-63 – Jesus acknowledges their disgust. Jesus’ use of the phrase “the spirit gives life” means the disciples need supernatural faith, not logic, to understand His words.

      John 3:6 – Jesus often used the comparison of “spirit versus flesh” to teach about the necessity of possessing supernatural faith versus a natural understanding. In Mark 14:38 Jesus also uses the “spirit/flesh” comparison. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We must go beyond the natural to understand the supernatural. In 1 Cor. 2:14,3:3; Rom 8:5; and Gal. 5:17, Paul also uses the “spirit/flesh” comparison to teach that unspiritual people are not receiving the gift of faith. They are still “in the flesh.”

      John 6:63 – Protestants often argue that Jesus’ use of the phrase “the spirit gives life” shows that Jesus was only speaking symbolically. However, Protestants must explain why there is not one place in Scripture where “spirit” means “symbolic.” As we have seen, the use of “spirit” relates to supernatural faith. What words are spirit and life? The words that we must eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood, or we have no life in us.

      John 6:66-67 – many disciples leave Jesus, rejecting this literal interpretation that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. At this point, these disciples really thought Jesus had lost His mind. If they were wrong about the literal interpretation, why wouldn’t Jesus, the Great Teacher, have corrected them? Why didn’t Jesus say, “Hey, come back here, I was only speaking symbolically!”? Because they understood correctly.

      Mark 4:34 – Jesus always explained to His disciples the real meanings of His teachings. He never would have let them go away with a false impression, most especially in regard to a question about eternal salvation.

      John 6:37 – Jesus says He would not drive those away from Him. They understood Him correctly but would not believe.

      John 3:5,11; Matt. 16:11-12 – here are some examples of Jesus correcting wrong impressions of His teaching. In the Eucharistic discourse, Jesus does not correct the scandalized disciples.

      John 6:64,70 – Jesus ties the disbelief in the Real Presence of His Body and Blood in the Eucharist to Judas’ betrayal. Those who don’t believe in this miracle betray Him.

      Psalm 27:2; Isa. 9:20; 49:26; Mic. 3:3; 2 Sam. 23:17; Rev. 16:6; 17:6, 16 – to further dispense with the Protestant claim that Jesus was only speaking symbolically, these verses demonstrate that symbolically eating body and blood is always used in a negative context of a physical assault. It always means “destroying an enemy,” not becoming intimately close with him. Thus, if Jesus were speaking symbolically in John 6:51-58, He would be saying to us, “He who reviles or assaults me has eternal life.” This, of course, is absurd.

      John 10:7 – Protestants point out that Jesus did speak metaphorically about Himself in other places in Scripture. For example, here Jesus says, “I am the door.” But in this case, no one asked Jesus if He was literally made of wood. They understood him metaphorically.

      John 15:1,5 – here is another example, where Jesus says, “I am the vine.” Again, no one asked Jesus if He was literally a vine. In John 6, Jesus’ disciples did ask about His literal speech (that this bread was His flesh which must be eaten). He confirmed that His flesh and blood were food and drink indeed. Many disciples understood Him and left Him.

      Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18 – Jesus says He will not drink of the “fruit of the vine” until He drinks it new in the kingdom. Some Protestants try to use this verse (because Jesus said “fruit of the vine”) to prove the wine cannot be His blood. But the Greek word for fruit is “genneema” which literally means “that which is generated from the vine.” In John 15:1,5 Jesus says “I am the vine.” So “fruit of the vine” can also mean Jesus’ blood. In 1 Cor. 11:26-27, Paul also used “bread” and “the body of the Lord” interchangeably in the same sentence. Also, see Matt. 3:7;12:34;23:33 for examples were “genneema” means “birth” or “generation.”

      Rom. 14:14-18; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; 1 Tim. 4:3 – Protestants often argue that drinking blood and eating certain sacrificed meats were prohibited in the New Testament, so Jesus would have never commanded us to consume His body and blood. But these verses prove them wrong, showing that Paul taught all foods, even meat offered to idols, strangled, or with blood, could be consumed by the Christian if it didn’t bother the brother’s conscience and were consumed with thanksgiving to God.

      Matt. 18:2-5 – Jesus says we must become like children, or we will not enter the kingdom of God. We must believe Jesus’ words with child-like faith. Because Jesus says this bread is His flesh, we believe by faith, even though it surpasses our understanding.

      Luke 1:37 – with God, nothing is impossible. If we can believe in the incredible reality of the Incarnation, we can certainly believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. God coming to us in elements He created is an extension of the awesome mystery of the Incarnation.

      (b). Jesus Institutes the Eucharist / More Proofs of the Real Presence
      Matt. 26:26-28; Mark. 14:22,24; Luke 22;19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 – Jesus says, this IS my body and blood. Jesus does not say, this is a symbol of my body and blood.

      Matt. 26:26; Mark. 14:22; Luke 22:19-20 – the Greek phrase is “Touto estin to soma mou.” This phraseology means “this is actually” or “this is really” my body and blood.

      1 Cor. 11:24 – the same translation is used by Paul – “touto mou estin to soma.” The statement is “this is really” my body and blood. Nowhere in Scripture does God ever declare something without making it so.

      Matt. 26:26; Mark. 14:22; Luke 22:19 – to deny the 2,000 year-old Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, Protestants must argue that Jesus was really saying “this represents (not is) my body and blood.” However, Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke, had over 30 words for “represent,” but Jesus did not use any of them. He used the Aramaic word for “estin” which means “is.”

      Matt. 26:28; Mark. 14:24; Luke 22:20 – Jesus’ use of “poured out” in reference to His blood also emphasizes the reality of its presence.

      Exodus 24:8 – Jesus emphasizes the reality of His actual blood being present by using Moses’ statement “blood of the covenant.”

      1 Cor. 10:16 – Paul asks the question, “the cup of blessing and the bread of which we partake, is it not an actual participation in Christ’s body and blood?” Is Paul really asking because He, the divinely inspired writer, does not understand? No, of course not. Paul’s questions are obviously rhetorical. This IS the actual body and blood. Further, the Greek word “koinonia” describes an actual, not symbolic participation in the body and blood.

      1 Cor. 10:18 – in this verse, Paul is saying we are what we eat. We are not partners with a symbol. We are partners of the one actual body.

      1 Cor. 11:23 – Paul does not explain what he has actually received directly from Christ, except in the case when he teaches about the Eucharist. Here, Paul emphasizes the importance of the Eucharist by telling us he received directly from Jesus instructions on the Eucharist which is the source and summit of the Christian faith.

      1 Cor. 11:27-29 – in these verses, Paul says that eating or drinking in an unworthy manner is the equivalent of profaning (literally, murdering) the body and blood of the Lord. If this is just a symbol, we cannot be guilty of actually profaning (murdering) it. We cannot murder a symbol. Either Paul, the divinely inspired apostle of God, is imposing an unjust penalty, or the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ.

      1 Cor. 11:30 – this verse alludes to the consequences of receiving the Eucharist unworthily. Receiving the actual body and blood of Jesus in mortal sin results in actual physical consequences to our bodies.

      1 Cor. 11:27-30 – thus, if we partake of the Eucharist unworthily, we are guilty of literally murdering the body of Christ, and risking physical consequences to our bodies. This is overwhelming evidence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. These are unjust penalties if the Eucharist is just a symbol.

      Acts 2:42 – from the Church’s inception, apostolic tradition included celebrating the Eucharist (the “breaking of the bread”) to fulfill Jesus’ command “do this in remembrance of me.”
      Acts 20:28 – Paul charges the Church elders to “feed” the Church of the Lord, that is, with the flesh and blood of Christ.

      Matt. 6:11; Luke 11:3 – in the Our Father, we ask God to give us this day our daily bread, that is the bread of life, Jesus Christ.

      Matt. 12:39 – Jesus says no “sign” will be given except the “sign of the prophet Jonah.” While Protestants focus only on the “sign” of the Eucharist, this verse demonstrates that a sign can be followed by the reality (here, Jesus’ resurrection, which is intimately connected to the Eucharist).

      Matt. 19:6 – Jesus says a husband and wife become one flesh which is consummated in the life giving union of the marital act. This union of marital love which reflects Christ’s union with the Church is physical, not just spiritual. Thus, when Paul says we are a part of Christ’s body (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23,30-31; Col. 1:18,24), he means that our union with Christ is physical, not just spiritual. But our union with Christ can only be physical if He is actually giving us something physical, that is Himself, which is His body and blood to consume (otherwise it is a mere spiritual union).

      Luke 14:15 – blessed is he who eats this bread in the kingdom of God, on earth and in heaven.

      Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24-25 – Jesus commands the apostles to “do this,” that is, offer the Eucharistic sacrifice, in remembrance of Him.

      Luke 24:26-35 – in the Emmaus road story, Jesus gives a homily on the Scriptures and then follows it with the celebration of the Eucharist. This is the Holy Mass, and the Church has followed this order of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist for 2,000 years.

      Luke 24:30-31,35 – Jesus is known only in the breaking of bread. Luke is emphasizing that we only receive the fullness of Jesus by celebrating the Eucharistic feast of His body and blood, which is only offered in its fullness by the Catholic Church.

      John 1:14 – literally, this verse teaches that the Word was made flesh and “pitched His tabernacle” among us. The Eucharist, which is the Incarnate Word of God under the appearance of bread, is stored in the tabernacles of Catholic churches around the world.

      John 21:15,17 – Jesus charges Peter to “feed” His sheep, that is, with the Word of God through preaching and the Eucharist.

      Acts 9:4-5; 22:8; 26:14-15 – Jesus asks Saul, “Why are you persecuting me?” when Saul was persecuting the Church. Jesus and the Church are one body (Bridegroom and Bride), and we are one with Jesus through His flesh and blood (the Eucharist).

      1 Cor. 12:13 – we “drink” of one Spirit in the Eucharist by consuming the blood of Christ eternally offered to the Father.

      Heb. 10:25,29 – these verses allude to the reality that failing to meet together to celebrate the Eucharist is mortal sin. It is profaning the body and blood of the Lord.

      Heb. 12:22-23 – the Eucharistic liturgy brings about full union with angels in festal gathering, the just spirits, and God Himself, which takes place in the assembly or “ecclesia” (the Church).

      Heb. 12:24 – we couldn’t come to Jesus’ sprinkled blood if it were no longer offered by Jesus to the Father and made present for us.

      2 Pet. 1:4 – we partake of His divine nature, most notably through the Eucharist – a sacred family bond where we become one.

      Rev. 2:7; 22:14 – we are invited to eat of the tree of life, which is the resurrected flesh of Jesus which, before, hung on the tree.

      (c). Jesus’ Passion is Connected to the Passover Sacrifice where the Lamb Must Be Eaten
      Matt. 26:2; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7 – Jesus’ passion is clearly identified with the Passover sacrifice (where lambs were slain and eaten).

      John 1:29,36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19 – Jesus is described as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Lamb must be sacrificed and eaten.

      Luke 23:4,14; John 18:38; 19:4,6 – under the Old Covenant, the lambs were examined on Nisan 14 to ensure that they had no blemish. The Gospel writers also emphasize that Jesus the Lamb was examined on Nisan 14 and no fault was found in him. He is the true Passover Lamb which must be eaten.

      Heb. 9:14 – Jesus offering Himself “without blemish” refers to the unblemished lamb in Exodus 12:5 which had to be consumed.

      Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25 – Jesus is celebrating the Passover seder meal with the apostles which requires them to drink four cups of wine. But Jesus only presents the first three cups. He stops at the Third Cup (called “Cup of Blessing” – that is why Paul in 1 Cor. 10:16 uses the phrase “Cup of Blessing” to refer to the Eucharist – he ties the seder meal to the Eucharistic sacrifice). But Jesus conspicuously tells his apostles that He is omitting the Fourth Cup called the “Cup of Consummation.” The Gospel writers point this critical omission of the seder meal out to us to demonstrate that the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacrifice on the cross are one and the same sacrifice, and the sacrifice would not be completed until Jesus drank the Fourth Cup on the cross.

      Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26 – they sung the great Hallel, which traditionally followed the Third Cup of the seder meal, but did not drink the Fourth Cup of Consummation. The Passover sacrifice had begun, but was not yet finished. It continued in the Garden of Gethsemane and was consummated on the cross.

      Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 18:11 – our Lord acknowledges He has one more cup to drink. This is the Cup of Consummation which he will drink on the cross.

      Psalm 116:13 – this passage references this cup of salvation. Jesus will offer this Cup as both Priest and Victim. This is the final cup of the New Testament Passover.

      Luke 22:44 – after the Eucharist, Jesus sweats blood in the garden of Gethsemane. This shows that His sacrifice began in the Upper Room and connects the Passion to the seder meal where the lamb must not only be sacrificed, but consumed.

      Matt. 27:34; Mark 15:23 – Jesus, in his Passion, refuses to even drink an opiate. The writers point this out to emphasize that the final cup will be drunk on the cross, after the Paschal Lamb’s sacrifice is completed.

      John 19:23 – this verse describes the “chiton” garment Jesus wore when He offered Himself on the cross. These were worn by the Old Testament priests to offer sacrifices. See Exodus 28:4; Lev. 16:4.

      John 19:29; cf. Matt. 27:48; Mark 15:36; – Jesus is provided wine (the Fourth Cup) on a hyssop branch which was used to sprinkle the lambs’ blood in Exodus 12:22. This ties Jesus’ sacrifice to the Passover lambs which had to be consumed in the seder meal which was ceremonially completed by drinking the Cup of Consummation. Then in John 19:30, Jesus says, “It is consummated.” The sacrifice began in the upper room and was completed on the cross. God’s love for humanity is made manifest.

      Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; John 19:14 – the Gospel writers confirm Jesus’ death at the sixth hour, just when the Passover lambs were sacrificed. Again, this ties Jesus’ death to the death of the Passover lambs. Like the Old Covenant, in the New Covenant, the Passover Lamb must be eaten.

      1 Cor. 5:7 – Paul tells us that the Lamb has been sacrificed. But what do we need to do? Some Protestants say we just need to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior.

      1 Cor. 5:8 – But Paul says that we need to celebrate the Eucharistic feast. This means that we need to eat the Lamb. We need to restore communion with God.

      Heb. 13:15 – “sacrifice of praise” or “toda” refers to the thanksgiving offerings of Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30 which had to be eaten.

      1 Cor. 10:16 – Paul’s use of the phrase “the cup of blessing” refers to the Third Cup of the seder meal. This demonstrates that the seder meal is tied to Christ’s Eucharistic sacrifice.

      John 19:34-35 – John conspicuously draws attention here. The blood (Eucharist) and water (baptism) make the fountain that cleanses sin as prophesied in Zech 13:1. Just like the birth of the first bride came from the rib of the first Adam, the birth of the second bride (the Church) came from the rib of the second Adam (Jesus). Gen. 2:22.

      John 7:38 – out of His Heart shall flow rivers of living water, the Spirit. Consequently, Catholics devote themselves to Jesus’ Sacred Heart.

      Matt. 2:1, Luke 2:4-7 – Jesus the bread of life was born in a feeding trough in the city of Bethlehem, which means “house of bread.”

      Luke 2: 7,12 – Jesus was born in a “manger” (which means “to eat”). This symbolism reveals that Jesus took on flesh and was born to be food for the salvation of the world.

      (d). The Eucharist Makes Present Jesus’ One Eternal Sacrifice; it’s Not Just a Symbolic Memorial
      Gen. 14:18 – remember that Melchizedek’s bread and wine offering foreshadowed the sacramental re-presentation of Jesus’ offering.

      Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 – the translation of Jesus’ words of consecration is “touto poieite tan eman anamnasin.” Jesus literally said “offer this as my memorial sacrifice.” The word “poiein” (do) refers to offering a sacrifice (see, e.g., Exodus 29:38-39, where God uses the same word – poieseis – regarding the sacrifice of the lambs on the altar). The word “anamnesis” (remembrance) also refers to a sacrifice which is really or actually made present in time by the power of God, as it reminds God of the actual event (see, e.g., Heb. 10:3; Num. 10:10). It is not just a memorial of a past event, but a past event made present in time.

      In other words, the “sacrifice” is the “memorial” or “reminder.” If the Eucharist weren’t a sacrifice, Luke would have used the word “mnemosunon” (which is the word used to describe a nonsacrificial memorial. See, for example, Matt. 26:13; Mark 14:9; and especially Acts 10:4). So there are two memorials, one sacrificial (which Jesus instituted), and one non-sacrificial.

      Lev. 24:7 – the word “memorial” in Hebrew in the sacrificial sense is “azkarah” which means to actually make present (see Lev. 2:2,9,16;5:12;6:5; Num.5:26 where “azkarah” refers to sacrifices that are currently offered and thus present in time). Jesus’ instruction to offer the bread and wine (which He changed into His body and blood) as a “memorial offering” demonstrates that the offering of His body and blood is made present in time over and over again.

      Num. 10:10 – in this verse, “remembrance” refers to a sacrifice, not just a symbolic memorial. So Jesus’ command to offer the memorial “in remembrance” of Him demonstrates that the memorial offering is indeed a sacrifice currently offered. It is a re-presentation of the actual sacrifice made present in time. It is as if the curtain of history is drawn and Calvary is made present to us.

      Mal. 1:10-11 – Jesus’ command to his apostles to offer His memorial sacrifice of bread and wine which becomes His body and blood fulfills the prophecy that God would reject the Jewish sacrifices and receive a pure sacrifice offered in every place. This pure sacrifice of Christ is sacramentally re-presented from the rising of the sun to its setting in every place, as Malachi prophesied.

      Heb. 9:23 – in this verse, the author writes that the Old Testament sacrifices were only copies of the heavenly things, but now heaven has better “sacrifices” than these. Why is the heavenly sacrifice called “sacrifices,” in the plural? Jesus died once. This is because, while Christ’s sacrifice is transcendent in heaven, it touches down on earth and is sacramentally re-presented over and over again from the rising of the sun to its setting around the world by the priests of Christ’s Church. This is because all moments to God are present in their immediacy, and when we offer the memorial sacrifice to God, we ask God to make the sacrifice that is eternally present to Him also present to us. Jesus’ sacrifice also transcends time and space because it was the sacrifice of God Himself.

      Heb. 9:23 – the Eucharistic sacrifice also fulfills Jer. 33:18 that His kingdom will consist of a sacrificial priesthood forever, and fulfills Zech. 9:15 that the sons of Zion shall drink blood like wine and be saved.

      Heb. 13:15 – this “sacrifice of praise” refers to the actual sacrifice or “toda” offering of Christ who, like the Old Testament toda offerings, now must be consumed. See, for example, Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30 which also refer to the “sacrifice of praise” in connection with animals who had to be eaten after they were sacrificed.

      1 Peter 2:5-6 – Peter says that we as priests offer “sacrifices” to God through Jesus, and he connects these sacrifices to Zion where the Eucharist was established. These sacrifices refer to the one eternal Eucharistic sacrifice of Christ offered in every place around the world.

      Rom. 12:1 – some Protestants argue that the Eucharist is not really the sacrifice of Christ, but a symbolic offering, because the Lord’s blood is not shed (Heb. 9:22). However, Paul instructs us to present ourselves as a “living sacrifice” to God. This verse demonstrates that not all sacrifices are bloody and result in death (for example, see the wave offerings of Aaron in Num. 8:11,13,15,21 which were unbloody sacrifices). The Eucharistic sacrifice is unbloody and lifegiving, the supreme and sacramental wave offering of Christ, mysteriously presented in a sacramental way, but nevertheless the one actual and eternal sacrifice of Christ. Moreover, our bodies cannot be a holy sacrifice unless they are united with Christ’s sacrifice made present on the altar of the Holy Mass.

      1 Cor. 10:16 – “the cup of blessing” or Third cup makes present the actual paschal sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb who was slain.

      1 Cor. 10:18 – Paul indicates that what is eaten from the altar has been sacrificed, and we become partners with victim. What Catholic priests offer from the altar has indeed been sacrificed, our Lord Jesus, the paschal Lamb.

      1 Cor. 10:20 – Paul further compares the sacrifices of pagans to the Eucharistic sacrifice – both are sacrifices, but one is offered to God. This proves that the memorial offering of Christ is a sacrifice.
      1 Cor. 11:26 – Paul teaches that as often as you eat the bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death. This means that celebrating the Eucharist is proclaiming the Gospel.

      1 Cor. 10:21 – Paul’s usage of the phrase “table of the Lord” in celebrating the Eucharist is further evidence that the Eucharist is indeed a sacrifice. The Jews always understood the phrase “table of the Lord” to refer to an altar of sacrifice. See, for example, Lev. 24:6, Ezek. 41:22; 44:16 and Malachi 1:7,12, where the phrase “table of the Lord” in these verses always refers to an altar of sacrifice.
      Heb. 13:10,15 – this earthly altar is used in the Mass to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice of praise to God through our eternal Priest, Jesus Christ.

      (e). Jesus in Glory Perpetually Offers the Father His Sacrifice on Our Behalf
      Rev. 1 to 22 – Jesus is described as the “Lamb” 28 times in the book of Revelation. This is because Jesus emphasizes His sacrifice in heaven and in His Holy Catholic Church.

      Rev. 1:13 – Jesus is clothed in heaven with a long robe and golden girdle like the Old Testament priests who offered animal sacrifices. See Exodus 28:4.

      Rev. 2:17 – the spiritual manna, our Lord’s glorious body and blood, is emphasized in the heavenly feast.

      Rev. 3:20 – as Priest and Paschal Lamb, our Lord shares the Eucharistic meal with us to seal His New Covenant. Through the covenant of his body and blood, we are restored to the Father and become partakers of the divine nature.

      Rev. 5:6 – this verse tells us that Jesus in His glory still looks like a lamb who was slain. Also, Jesus is “standing” as though a Lamb who was slain. Lambs that are slain lie down. This odd depiction shows Jesus stands at the Altar as our eternal priest in forever offering Himself to the Father for our salvation.

      Rev. 7:14 – the blood of the Lamb is eternally offered in heaven with the washing of the robes to make them white.

      Rev. 14:1, Heb. 12:22 – Zion is the city where Jesus established the Eucharist and which was miraculously preserved after the destruction of Jerusalem. See also Psalms 2:6 and 132:13. It represents the union of heaven and earth, of divinity and humanity. This is why those who enter into the Eucharistic celebration on earth enter into the presence of innumerable angels, the souls of the just made perfect, Jesus the Mediator of the Covenant and His sprinkled blood, and God the Judge of all.

      Rev. 19:13 – in all His glory, Jesus’ sacrifice is eternally present as He presents Himself to the Father clothed in a robe dipped in blood. Jesus’ sacrifice is the focus in heaven and in the Mass. When the Father beholds His Son, He beholds His sacrifice for humanity.

      Rev. 19:9 – we are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb where we become one with Him by consuming His body and blood. This is the nuptial union of divinity and humanity.

      Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 8:1; 9:11,25; 10:19,22 – Jesus is repeatedly described as “High Priest.” But in order to be a priest, “it is necessary for [Jesus] to have something to offer.” Heb. 8:3. This is the offering of the eternal sacrifice of His body and blood to the Father.

      Heb. 2:18 – although His suffering is past tense, His expiation of our sins is present tense because His offering is continual. Therefore, He is able (present tense) to help those who are tempted.

      Heb. 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:15,17 – these verses show that Jesus restores the father-son priesthood after Melchizedek. Jesus is the new priest and King of Jerusalem and feeds the new children of Abraham with His body and blood. This means that His eternal sacrifice is offered in the same manner as the bread and wine offered by Melchizedek in Gen. 14:18. But the bread and wine that Jesus offers is different, just as the Passover Lamb of the New Covenant is different. The bread and wine become His body and blood by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

      Heb. 4:3 – God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world. This means that God’s works, including Christ’s sacrifice (the single act that secured the redemption of our souls and bodies), are forever present in eternity. Jesus’ suffering is over and done with (because suffering was earthly and temporal), but His sacrifice is eternal, because His priesthood is eternal (His victimized state was only temporal).

      Heb. 4:14 – Jesus the Sacrifice passes through the heavens by the glory cloud of God, just like the sacrifices of Solomon were taken up into heaven by the glory cloud of God in 2 Chron. 7:1. See also Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; and Acts 1:10.

      Heb. 7:24 – Jesus holds His priesthood is forever because He continues forever, so His sacrificial offering is forever. He continues to offer His body and blood to us because He is forever our High Priest.

      Heb. 8:2 – Jesus is a minister in the sanctuary offering up (present tense) His eternal sacrifice to the Father which is perfected in heaven. This is the same sanctuary that we enter with confidence by the blood of Jesus as written in Heb. 10:19. See also Heb. 12:22-24.

      Heb. 8:3 – as High Priest, it is necessary for Jesus to have something to offer. What is Jesus offering in heaven? As eternal Priest, He offers the eternal sacrifice of His body and blood.

      Heb. 8:6; 9:15; cf. Heb. 12:22-24; 13:20-21 – the covenant Jesus mediates (present tense) is better than the Old covenant. The covenant He mediates is the covenant of His body and blood which He offers in the Eucharist. See Matt. 26:26-28; Mark. 14:22,24; Luke 22;19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 – which is the only time Jesus uses the word “covenant” (which is the offering of His body and blood).

      Heb. 9:12 – Jesus enters into heaven, the Holy Place, taking His own blood. How can this be? He wasn’t bleeding after the resurrection. This is because He enters into the heavenly sanctuary to mediate the covenant of His body and blood by eternally offering it to the Father. This offering is made present to us in the same manner as Melchizedek’s offering, under the appearance of bread and wine.

      Heb. 9:14 – the blood of Christ offered in heaven purifies (present tense) our consciences from dead works to serve the living God. Christ’s offering is ongoing.

      Heb. 9:22 – blood is indeed required for the remission of sin. Jesus’ blood was shed once, but it is continually offered to the Father. This is why Jesus takes His blood, which was shed once and for all, into heaven. Heb. 9:12.

      Heb. 9:23 – Jesus’ sacrifice, which is presented eternally to the Father in heaven, is described as “sacrifices” (in the plural) in the context of its re-presentation on earth (the author first writes about the earthly sacrifices of animals, and then the earthly offerings of Jesus Christ’s eternal sacrifice).

      Heb. 9:26 – Jesus’ once and for all appearance into heaven to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself shows that Jesus’ presence in heaven and His sacrifice are inseparable. This also shows that “once for all,” which refers to Jesus’ appearance in heaven, means perpetual (it does not, and cannot mean, “over and done with” because Jesus is in heaven for eternity). “Once for all” also refers to Jesus’ suffering and death (Heb. 7:27; 9:12,26;10:10-14). But “once for all” never refers to Jesus’ sacrifice, which is eternally presented to the Father. This sacrifice is the Mal. 1:11 pure offering made present in every place from the rising of the sun to its setting in the Eucharist offered in the same manner as the Melchizedek offering.

      Heb. 10:19 – we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus on earth in the Eucharistic liturgy, which is the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus’ offering is presented to God in Heb. 8:2.

      Heb. 10:22 – our hearts and bodies are (not were) washed clean by the action of Jesus’ perpetual priesthood in heaven.

      Heb. 13:10 – the author writes that we have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. This altar is the heavenly altar at which Jesus presides as Priest before the Father, eternally offering His body and blood on our behalf. See. Mal. 1:7,12; Lev. 24:7; Ez. 41:22; 44:16; Rev. 5:6; 6:9; 9:13; 11:1; 16:7.

      Heb. 13:20-21 – Jesus died once, but His blood of the eternal covenant is eternally offered to equip us (present tense) with everything good that we may do God’s will.

      Heb. 13:8 – this is because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. While His suffering was temporal (because bodily pain is temporal), Jesus and His sacrifice are eternal (because redemption, salvation, and the mediation of the New covenant are eternal).

      Heb. 13:15 – the letter concludes with an instruction to continually offer up, through Christ, a sacrifice of praise to God. The phrase “sacrifice of praise” refers to the “toda” animal sacrifices that had to be consumed. See, for example, Lev. 7:12-15; 22:29-30.

      1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 20:6 – we are a royal priesthood in Jesus, and offer His sacrifice to the Father on earth as He does in heaven.

      1 John 1:7 – the blood of Jesus cleanses us (present tense) from all sin. His blood cannot currently cleanse us unless it is currently offered for us.

      (f). The Book of Revelation and the Holy Mass

      The Book of Revelation shows us glimpses of the heavenly liturgy – Jesus Christ’s once and for all sacrifice eternally present in heaven. This is why the Church has always incorporated the elements that John saw in the heavenly liturgy into her earthly liturgy, for they are one and the same liturgical action of Jesus Christ our High Priest.

      Rev. 1:6, 20:6 – heaven’s identification of the priesthood of the faithful is the same as the Church’s identification on earth.

      Rev. 1:10 – John witnesses the heavenly liturgy on Sunday, the Lord’s day, which is a Catholic holy day of obligation for attending Mass on earth.

      Rev. 1:12, 2:5 – there are lampstands or Menorahs in heaven. These have always been used in the Holy Mass of the Church on earth.

      Rev. 1:13 – Jesus is clothed as High Priest. Our priests also clothe themselves as “alter Christuses” (other Christs) in offering His sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 1:13, 4:4, 6:11, 7:9, 15:6, 19:13-14 – priests wear special vestments in heaven. Our priests also wear special vestments in celebrating the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 2:5,16,21; 3:3; 16:11 – there is a penitential rite in heaven which is also part of the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 2:17 – there is manna in heaven given to the faithful. This is the same as the Eucharistic manna given to the faithful at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 4:4, 5:14; 11:16, 14:3, 19:4 – there are priests (“presbyteroi”) in heaven. Priests offer sacrifice. Our earthly priests participate with the heavenly priests in offering Jesus’ eternal sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 4:8 – heaven’s liturgical chant “Holy, Holy, Holy” is the same that is used in the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 4:8-11, 5:9-14, 7:10-12, 18:1-8 – the various antiphonal chants in the heavenly liturgy are similar to those used at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 5:1 – there is a book or scroll of God’s word in heaven. This is reflected in the Liturgy of the Word at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 5:6 and throughout – heaven’s description of Jesus as the “Lamb” is the same as the description of Jesus as the Lamb of God in the Eucharistic liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 5:8, 6:9-11, 8:3-4 – heaven’s emphasis on the intercession of the saints is the same as the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 5:8, 8:3-4 – there is incense in heaven which has always been part of the liturgy of the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 5:14; 7:12; 19:4 – heaven’s concluding liturgical prayer “Amen” is the same as is used at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 6:9 – the martyrs who are seen under the heavenly altar is similar to the Church’s tradition of keeping relics of saints under the earthly altars.

      Rev. 7:3, 14:1, 22:4 – there is the sign of the cross (“tau”) in heaven. This sign is used during the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 7:9; 14:6 – the catholicity or universality of heaven as God’s family is the essence of the Catholic faith on earth.

      Rev. 8:1 – the silent contemplation in heaven is similar to our silent contemplation at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 8:3, 11:1, 14:18, 16:7 – there is an altar in heaven. But no altar is needed unless a sacrifice is being offered in heaven. This is the same sacrifice that is offered on the altars used in the Holy Masses on earth.

      Rev. 11:12 – the phrase “come up here” is similar to the priest’s charge to “lift up your hearts” at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 12:1-6, 13-17 – heaven’s emphasis on the Blessed Virgin Mary is the same as the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 12:7 – heaven’s emphasis on the Archangel Michael’s intercession is the same as the concluding prayers at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 14:4 – there are consecrated celibates in heaven, as there are with our Catholic priests and religious on earth.

      Rev. 15:7, 16:1-4,8,10,12,17; 21:9 – there are chalices (or bowls) in the heavenly liturgy. This is like the chalices used to offer Christ’s sacrifice in the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 15:3-4 – there is the recitation of the “Gloria” in heaven. This is also recited at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 15:5 – there is a tent or tabernacle in heaven. Tabernacles are used to store the Eucharist at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 17, 19:9 – the consummation of the Lamb at heaven’s marriage supper is the same as the Lamb’s supper in the Holy Mass on earth.

      Rev. 19:1,3,4,6 – there is the recitation of the “Alleluia” in heaven. This is also recited at the Holy Mass on earth.

      Tradition / Church Fathers

      I. Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist

      “They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to Smyrnaeans, 7,1 (c. A.D. 110).
      “For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (c. A.D. 110-165).

      “[T]he bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood…” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18,4 (c. A.D. 200).

      “He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood, from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body, from which he gives increase to our bodies.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:2,2 (c. A.D. 200).

      “But what consistency is there in those who hold that the bread over which thanks have been given is the Body of their Lord, and the cup His Blood, if they do not acknowledge that He is the Son of the Creator of the world…” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, IV:18, 2 (c. A.D. 200).

      “For the blood of the grape–that is, the Word–desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation. And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord’s immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh. Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both–of the water and of the Word–is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul.” Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 2 (ante A.D. 202).

      “Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, ‘This is my body,’ that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body…He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: ‘I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,’ which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting light, as He always did, upon the ancient prophecies, He declared plainly enough what He meant by the bread, when He called the bread His own body. He likewise, when mentioning the cup and making the new testament to be sealed ‘in His blood,’ affirms the reality of His body. For no blood can belong to a body which is not a body of flesh. If any sort of body were presented to our view, which is not one of flesh, not being fleshly, it would not possess blood. Thus, from the evidence of the flesh, we get a proof of the body, and a proof of the flesh from the evidence of the blood.” Tertullian, Against Marcion, 40 (A.D. 212).

      “For because Christ bore us all, in that He also bore our sins, we see that in the water is understood the people, but in the wine is showed the blood of Christ…Thus, therefore, in consecrating the cup of the Lord, water alone cannot be offered, even as wine alone cannot be offered. For if any one offer wine only, the blood of Christ is dissociated from us; but if the water be alone, the people are dissociated from Christ; but when both are mingled, and are joined with one another by a close union, there is completed a spiritual and heavenly sacrament. Thus the cup of the Lord is not indeed water alone, nor wine alone, unless each be mingled with the other; just as, on the other hand, the body of the Lord cannot be flour alone or water alone, unless both should be united and joined together and compacted in the mass of one bread; in which very sacrament our people are shown to be made one, so that in like manner as many grains, collected, and ground, and mixed together into one mass, make one bread; so in Christ, who is the heavenly bread, we may know that there is one body, with which our number is joined and united.” Cyprian, To Caeilius, Epistle 62(63):13 (A.D. 253).

      “Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man’s heart, to make his face to shine with oil, ‘strengthen thou thine heart,’ by partaking thereof as spiritual, and “make the face of thy soul to shine.”” Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:8 (c. A.D. 350).

      “For as to what we say concerning the reality of Christ’s nature within us, unless we have been taught by Him, our words are foolish and impious. For He says Himself, My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us. Is not this true? Yet they who affirm that Christ Jesus is not truly God are welcome to find it false. He therefore Himself is in us through the flesh and we in Him, whilst together with Him our own selves are in God.” Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 8:14 (inter A.D. 356-359).

      “Let us then in everything believe God, and gainsay Him in nothing, though what is said seem to be contrary to our thoughts and senses, but let His word be of higher authority than both reasonings and sight. Thus let us do in the mysteries also, not looking at the things set before us, but keeping in mind His sayings. For His word cannot deceive, but our senses are easily beguiled. That hath never failed, but this in most things goeth wrong. Since then the word saith, ‘This is my body,’ let us both be persuaded and believe, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ hath given nothing sensible, but though in things sensible yet all to be perceived by the mind. So also in baptism, the gift is bestowed by a sensible thing, that is, by water; but that which is done is perceived by the mind, the birth, I mean, and the renewal. For if thou hadst been incorporeal, He would have delivered thee the incorporeal gifts bare; but because the soul hath been locked up in a body, He delivers thee the things that the mind perceives, in things sensible. How many now say, I would wish to see His form, the mark, His clothes, His shoes. Lo! Thou seest Him, Thou touchest Him, thou eatest Him. And thou indeed desirest to see His clothes, but He giveth Himself to thee not to see only, but also to touch and eat and receive within thee.” John Chrysostom, Gospel of Matthew, Homily 82 (A.D. 370).

      “It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy body and blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, ‘He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.’ And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord’s day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint.” Basil, To Patrician Caesaria, Epistle 93 (A.D. 372).

      “You will see the Levites bringing the loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers and invocations have not yet been made, it is mere bread and a mere cup. But when the great and wonderous prayers have been recited, then the bread becomes the body and the cup the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ…When the great prayers and holy supplications are sent up, the Word descends on the bread and the cup, and it becomes His body.” Athanasius, Sermon to the Newly Baptized, PG 26, 1325 (ante A.D. 373).

      “…if a person sees bread he also, in a kind of way, looks on a human body, for by the bread being within it the bread becomes it, so also, in that other case, the body into which God entered, by partaking of the nourishment of bread, was, in a certain measure, the same with it; that nourishment, as we have said, changing itself into the nature of the body. For that which is peculiar to all flesh is acknowledged also in the case of that flesh, namely, that that Body too was maintained by bread; which Body also by the indwelling of God the Word was transmuted to the dignity of Godhead. Rightly, then, do we believe that now also the bread which is consecrated by the Word of God is changed into the Body of God the Word. For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh. Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle, ‘is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer'; not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, ‘This is My Body.’” Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

      “ Seeing, too, that all flesh is nourished by what is moist (for without this combination our earthly part would not continue to live), just as we support by food which is firm and solid the solid part of our body, in like manner we supplement the moist part from the kindred element; and this, when within us, by its faculty of being transmitted, is changed to blood, and especially if through the wine it receives the faculty of being transmuted into heat. Since, then, that God-containing flesh partook for its substance and support of this particular nourishment also, and since the God who was manifested infused Himself into perishable humanity for this purpose, viz. that by this communion with Deity mankind might at the same time be deified, for this end it is that, by dispensation of His grace, He disseminates Himself in every believer through that flesh, whose substance comes from bread and wine, blending Himself with the bodies of believers, to secure that, by this union with the immortal, man, too, may be a sharer in incorruption. He gives these gifts by virtue of the benediction through which He trans-elements the natural quality of these visible things to that immortal thing.” Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism, 37 (post A.D. 383).

      “Perhaps you will say, ‘I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?’ And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed…The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: ‘This is My Body.’ Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks.” Ambrose, On the Mysteries, 9:50 (A.D. 390-391).

      “‘And was carried in His Own Hands: ‘how carried in His Own Hands’? Because when He commended His Own Body and Blood, He took into His Hands that which the faithful know; and in a manner carried Himself, when He said, ‘This is My Body.'” Augustine, On the Psalms, 33:1,10 (A.D. 392-418).

      “Dearly-beloved, utter this confession with all your heart and reject the wicked lies of heretics, that your fasting and almsgiving may not be polluted by any contagion with error: for then is our offering of the sacrifice clean and oar gifts of mercy holy, when those who perform them understand that which they do. For when the Lord says, “unless ye have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man, and drunk His blood, ye will not have life in you,’ you ought so to be partakers at the Holy Table, as to have no doubt whatever concerning the reality of Christ’s Body and Blood. For that is taken in the mouth which is believed in Faith, and it is vain for them to respond Amend who dispute that which is taken.” Pope Leo the Great, Sermon, 91:3 (ante A.D. 461).

      “The body which is born of the holy Virgin is in truth body united with divinity, not that the body which was received up into the heavens descends, but that the bread itself and the wine are changed into God’s body and blood. But if you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it was through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord took on Himself flesh that subsisted in Him and was born of the holy Mother of God through the Spirit. And we know nothing further save that the Word of God is true and energizes and is omnipotent, but the manner of this cannot be searched out. But one can put it well thus, that just as in nature the bread by the eating and the wine and the water by the drinking are changed into the body and blood of the eater and drinker, and do not become a different body from the former one, so the bread of the table and the wine and water are supernaturally changed by the invocation and presence of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, and are not two but one and the same.” John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

      “Wherefore to those who partake worthily with faith, it is for the remission of sins and for life everlasting and for the safeguarding of soul and body; but to those who partake unworthily without faith, it is for chastisement and punishment, just as also the death of the Lord became to those who believe life and incorruption for the enjoyment of eternal blessedness, while to those who do not believe and to the murderers of the Lord it is for everlasting chastisement and punishment. The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, ‘This is My body,’ not, this is a figure of My body: and ‘My blood,’ not, a figure of My blood. And on a previous occasion He had said to the Jews, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. And again, He that eateth Me, shall live.” John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4:13 (A.D. 743).

      II. The Bread and Wine Become Jesus’ Body and Blood

      “For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 66 (A.D. 110-165).

      “He acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as his own blood, from which he bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of creation) he affirmed to be his own body, from which he gives increase to our bodies.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, V:2,2 (c. A.D. 200).

      “Then, having taken the bread and given it to His disciples, He made it His own body, by saying, ‘This is my body,’ that is, the figure of my body. A figure, however, there could not have been, unless there were first a veritable body. An empty thing, or phantom, is incapable of a figure. If, however, (as Marcion might say,) He pretended the bread was His body, because He lacked the truth of bodily substance, it follows that He must have given bread for us. It would contribute very well to the support of Marcion’s theory of a phantom body, that bread should have been crucified! But why call His body bread, and not rather (some other edible thing, say) a melon, which Marcion must have had in lieu of a heart! He did not understand how ancient was this figure of the body of Christ, who said Himself by Jeremiah: ‘I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter, and I knew not that they devised a device against me, saying, Let us cast the tree upon His bread,’ which means, of course, the cross upon His body. And thus, casting lig

      • extremeplunder says:

        I was quite impressed with your lengthy, well thought out, response until I decided to look up your reference verses. I’m not going to go nearly as in-depth on this as you did, but I do have a couple points you should keep in mind:

        1. Context is the most important thing when using a verse as a reference. Just because an Old Testament Scripture uses the word “wine” or “sacrifice” doesn’t mean it is related to what you want it to. Here’s what I’m talking about:
        “Psalm 110:4 – this is the prophecy that Jesus will be the eternal priest and king in the same manner as this mysterious priest Melchizedek. This prophecy requires us to look for an eternal bread and wine sacrifice in the future. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Catholic Church.”
        Psalm 110:4- “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””
        Where does this talk about bread or a sacrifice? Yes, it does make a comparison to Melchizedek, who one of the only things mentioned about him in scripture includes bread and wine, but in context of this passage, this is saying that Jesus will be a high priest, just how Melchizedek was a high priest.

        Perhaps you don’t agree with me. Here’s another example:
        “Exodus 29:33 – God commands that they shall eat those things with which atonement was made. Jesus is the true Lamb of atonement and must now be eaten.”

        Let’s see what the surrounding verses have to say:
        Exodus 29:31-34- “31 “Take the ram for the ordination and cook the meat in a sacred place. 32 At the entrance to the tent of meeting, Aaron and his sons are to eat the meat of the ram and the bread that is in the basket. 33 They are to eat these offerings by which atonement was made for their ordination and consecration. But no one else may eat them, because they are sacred. 34 And if any of the meat of the ordination ram or any bread is left over till morning, burn it up. It must not be eaten, because it is sacred.”

        This says that only Aaron and his sons may eat the sacrifice. So if you are asserting that we must eat the Eucharist because Aaron ate the ram, I would like to counter-assert that you are forbidden to eat the Eucharist because the Israelite people were forbidden to eat the ram due to it being sacred. If they were not allowed to eat the sacred ram how much more should you not be allowed to eat the supremely sacred Body of Christ? Your argument, with this verse, says that only the Catholic Priests should partake.

        I’m not necessarily saying this is the case, or that I heartily disagree with you. I just want to help you make more sound stances when you decide to show some facts.

        2. You have a solid list of quotes from early church fathers. Where this is probably great evidence in a Catholic debate, the protestants generally do not revere these writings as much as their Christian counterparts. Before you go accusing heresies or shouting about our thick-headed unbelief in the undeniable history of the one true church, let me explain why some prefer to stick to scripture.

        One problem of the early church was that they did not have the Bible as we have today. Some churches had copies of letters, but it took some time before any churches had the complete set. Even with the letters that did exist, only a few people could read. The early church knew the general idea of Jesus, but were less certain on most of the doctrinal issues that we know today. There were many ideas being thrown out about what to do or what it means. There grew a central unity of the global church, but it was still run by man. Men fall short. Men lie. Men do not always know the truth. It’s not a bad thing. Just because the church isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that it can’t be holy. But on the other hand, just because it’s holy doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

        The general protestant view is that the church is not perfect. This means that anything written by any church father must pass through the discernment of the scriptures. If there is any contradiction, the father must be the one in the wrong, or at least not explaining his idea clearly. The Roman Catholic view is that the church is perfect and that anything approved by the Church cannot be undone.

        A quick point, John, the apostle whom Jesus loved, died around A.D. 100. He was the longest-living of the twelve apostles. Most of the Tradition that you reference is dated around A.D. 200-450. With the average life span being somewhere around 50-70 years, I’m sure I don’t need to go into detail to explain that 100-350 years is plenty of time to get a bad idea.

        In short, if you are going to argue something on a protestant website, you will be much more effective if you show clear, solid, contextual examples in the Bible, which is accepted as the True Word of GOD, as opposed to saying what the Roman Catholic Church has taught since it’s early days.

        I enjoyed your comment, keep the Faith.

  16. oi vey! but you protest so much… i kinda think you’ll be back. Godspeed!

    • Earnest G says:

      I don’t.

    • Hamsa says:

      This isn’t a ‘real’ article, but simply a plant by evangelicals. They do this thing all the time – call it lying for Jesus – to convince people to get ‘saved.’ (Or to not leave their churches).

      • Joseph DHippolito says:

        Really, Hamsa? How do you know that? What evidence do you have?
        You know, in your responses on this thread, you don’t bother to offer any specific. All you offer are generalities. If you know so much about the Catholic Church, then why don’t you offer better arguments? Or are you one of those self-satisfied Catholics who look upon Protestants and Eastern Orthodox with contempt? (They run amok in blogdom, and they have their Protestant and Eastern Orthodox counterparts who look upon Catholics with contempt).

  17. Finally Home says:

    Maybe it’s just me but one of the reasons I left the evangelicals was because of the “community.” I like going to church, saying hello and goodbye and being on my way. No one gets into your business under the guise of holding you accountable for little things. No one ostracized me here. No one criticized me here.

    • Plunderer says:

      I am sorry you feel this way, however, where is the determination and motivation for growth if you care content with the status quo? I totally agree with you that some churches are overly obsessed with pointing out problems, but conversely, there is love in showing common members areas for improvement. If I am doing something wrong, or not being as truly committed as I should be, I want to be called out. I want the awakening of my spiritual indifference.

      There is a balance between ostracizing and caring and any good church home will know the proper balance.

      Speaking in generalizations, Catholics seem to lean more towards indifference and tolerance towards the devotion of fellow members whereas more evangelical churches seem to push for improvement, genuinely caring about the growth of all.

  18. brians says:

    I’ve had this conversation a bazillion times. You’re blind to 20 centuries of forest for one half-century of trees. The renewal is underway, liturgically and culturally. Check out the guys, 35 and under, coming out of the seminaries right now. Once the gray-ponytail baby boomer priests all finally croak, we’ll have our Church back. The current bishops may be spineless eunuchs, but the next generation simply isn’t. We may have to parish-shop like protestants for another decade, but the remnant exists. The future belongs to those that show up, and modernist, progressivist Catholicism is already dead. While you may not realize it yet, so is protestantism. 1,500 years from now, seminarians will be sitting around, drinking Guinness, arguing in Latin about which heresiarch came first, Luther or Photius. Error is divided. Truth is One.

  19. dontconvert says:

    @brians, I’ve heard those same sorts of comments for decades. It’s great for lifting the spirits of traditionalist Catholics, but the reality is far different. Have you noticed that it’s always about the future? The renewal is coming. Just hang on a little longer. The next generation of priests will be better. etc. etc.

    It hasn’t happened, it’s not happening, and it’s not likely to happen. And even if it does, people need to deal with reality — not with hopes and dreams about the future. The reality is that the current Roman Catholic Church is a mess, and taking your family into it is a mistake.

  20. brians says:

    You’re wrong. It’s happening. You gave up too early. Come & have a seat at my parish. You’ll get good, ole’fashioned fire & brimstone. You’ll see regular joes in flannel with head-covered wives and 8 kids. You’ll see faithful CCD instructors, reverent liturgy, and genuine “evangelical” community. You’ll see monks in brown robes, and nuns in their habits. You’ll hear jaw-dropping sacred music. Right now.

  21. brians says:

    You’re right – it’s a mess. But the battle is to be joined inside, not outside.

  22. brians says:

    You can’t reform from the outside. That was Luther’s misstep, and Satan’s victory. His victory is always temporary, though. We know who wins in the end. Hosea’s bride was a serial adultress, and so was the nation of Israel herself. The Church may be too – the typology rings true, anyway – but her groom has promised to present her spotless before the Father.

    • Joseph D'Hippolito says:

      brians, you can’t reform from the inside, either. The prelates worship their power too much. As far as your typology goes, the Church must repent of its institutional arrogance, sense of entitlement, monarchistic trappings and lust for power and influence before the Groom presents her as “spotless before the Father.” Without repentance, the Church is just another stubborn whore.

      • brians says:

        Reform can only come from the inside. The Church is clearly in need of repentance, including some items you mention, but “monarchistic trappings” (I would call it liturgical reverence and majesty:) are hardly sinful in and of themselves, particularly in the ecclesial body which draws it’s authority from the authority of the King of Creation, the incarnate Word.

        Remember C.S. Lewis’ “Meditation in a Toolshed?” Once you step into the beam of light, rather than looking at it from the side, you see it very differently. Step back into that beam & have a look. Like I said, reform is happening now. I’m watching it unfold.

        Besides, to whom shall we go? The only other alternatives are, and can only be, endless division or an ever increasing relativism.

  23. Joseph DHippolito says:

    brians, let me give you examples of “monarchistic trappngs:” The title of “monsignior,” medieval pomp, the excessive deference given to the hierarchy, the bishops’ fundamental isolation from the laity and lower clergy, the mere fact that the Catholic Church essentially has classes (laity, lower clergy, hierarchy), and the Vatican’s view of itself as a political power broker. Can you argue that Jesus intended any of this?

  24. brians says:

    Monsignior means “my lord.” Maybe one here is a lack of understanding of the etymology of the word “lord.” Here you go:

    lord (n.) mid-13c., laverd, loverd, from Old English hlaford “master of a household, ruler, superior,” also “God” (translating Latin Dominus, though Old English drihten was used more often), earlier hlafweard, literally “one who guards the loaves,” from hlaf “bread, loaf” (see loaf (n.)) + weard “keeper, guardian” (see ward (n.)). Cf. lady, and Old English hlafæta “household servant,” literally “loaf-eater.”

    We’re hardly calling an aged priest Dominus. We’re calling him hlaford, master of a household, or keeper of the loaves. It’s a title of honor, along the lines of pater familias. I can’t claim, of course, that there haven’t been institution-wide abuses of title and position. It shouldn’t come as a shock that there are sinners in the hierarchy. In fact, considering the corrupting nature of power, we should expect the hierarchy of a powerful institution to be at least slightly more corrupt than the general laity. That’s why the Church is so much more effective when it doesn’t have political clout to hang on to, and it’s why the renewal is happening while the Church’s power and influence are on the decline.

    Yes, hierarchical isolation from the laity is a problem that needs addressed, but again, you’re expecting the bride to be spotless before the groom presents her as such. You’re looking at the Church, and assuming Jesus looked at the Church, through the goggles and assumptions of democracy, but the Church was never a democratic institution. In fact, ecclesial democracy is nowhere to be found, even as a possibility, in the Scriptures or other ancient Church documents. Democracy, is, and only can be, the subjection of the minority. But what if (and this is normally the case) the minority is right, and the masses are wrong?

    Now that politics have come up: the Vatican sends ambassadors to prevent interventions or wars by proxy that will result in the slaughter of it’s own people, and that’s a probem? Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria…Can you argue that Jesus has been pleased with the last decade of U.S. intervention in the middle east? The Church has every right and responsibility to peacably plead and negotiate for the lives of it’s own.

    One of the things that convinced me of the claims of the Church is that it, and it only, assumes “all authority on earth.” If all authority in heaven and earth is given to the Son, then all authority on earth is given to His body. An institution that doesn’t claim all authority – over the sacraments, over affairs of state, over what happens in my checking account and in my bedroom, just like Jesus does, just like the Scriptures do, simply can’t be the true Church.

    • Joseph D'Hippolito says:

      Brians, here’s my response to your last post:

      1. Regarding the title “monsignior,” I suggest you read Matthew 23: 8-10. The issue isn’t titles per se but the attitiude one has toward those holding them. Jesus is telling people not to give the type of honor that God deserves to men. For centuries, Catholics have been excessively deferential to clergy merely because of their office; the fact that many lay people were slow to condemn the clerical sex-abuse crisis reflects that. Of course, Catholics aren’t the only offenders (just look at the popular evangelical pastors who cultivate followings) nor the worst (just look at the cults of personality surrounding Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Castro, Khomeini, etc.). But Catholics have needed to look at their “shepherds” more circumspectly.

      2. “You’re expecting the bride to be spotless before the groom presents her as such. You’re looking at the Church, and assuming Jesus looked at the Church, through the goggles and assumptions of democracy, but the Church was never a democratic institution.”

      No and no. I expect the Church to practice what it preaches. Yes, the Church has had scoundrels in its leadership for centuries. It’s also true that the Church has no effective internal mechanisms to hold bishops accountable. John Zmirak makes the point here:

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/can-catholics-criticize-the-un/

      This isn’t a matter of the Church being a “democratic” institution. It’s a matter of moral consistency. For example, clercal sex-abuse is not a new thing. Just do some research on “papal pornocracy,” “St. Peter Damian” and ‘Liber Gommorahianus’.”

      A holy, righteous God doesn’t look too kindly on those who claim authority in His name yet act radically contrary to that authority. Read Ezekiel 34 and 1 Samuel 2:12-36, for starters.

      Jesus said that you will know them by their fruits. Bill Parcells, I believe, put it just as bluntly: You are what your record says you are. The Pharisees demonstrate that intricate theology is no substitute for morality.

      3. “The Vatican sends ambassadors to prevent interventions or wars by proxy that will result in the slaughter of it’s own people, and that’s a probem?”

      Then why doesn’t the Vatican demand in no uncertain terms that Muslim leaders hold their charges morally accountable for persecuting “it’s own people”??

      http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-Vatican-and-Islam-315582

      4. “Can you argue that Jesus has been pleased with the last decade of U.S. intervention in the Middle East?”

      May I remind you that such intervention destroyed two brutal, totalitarian regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. May I also remind you that Pope John Paul II opposed the 1991 invasion of Iraq to extricate Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. That invasion had UN approval. Had the world listened to the late pope, Kuwait would have been annexed as an Iraqi province and Saddam would have been emboldened to attack Saudi Arabia — thus resulting in a war that would have cost far more lives.

      Besides, can you argue that Jesus would be pleased with His Vicar kissing a document that denies His divine nature and salvific mission? Can you argue that Jesus would be pleased with the general atttitude of appeasement that the Vatican has toward Islam — an attitude that has cost far more Christian lives than anything the U.S. has done or failed to do?

      http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=12951

      5. “If all authority in heaven and earth is given to the Son, then all authority on earth is given to His body. An institution that doesn’t claim all authority – over the sacraments, over affairs of state, over what happens in my checking account and in my bedroom, just like Jesus does, just like the Scriptures do, simply can’t be the true Church.”

      That is the role of the Holy Spirit and the individual conscience formed by the Spirit through constant prayer and study of Scripture, not any human institution that takes God’s name in vain (and the Catholic Church certainly isn’t the only religious institution that does that)..

      At this point, I should say we probably won’t be able to convince each other of the other’s views. You view the Church as a fundamentally benevolent institution that perfectly reflects the mind of Christ. I view the Church as a fundamentally malevolent institution that long ago sacrificed its spiritual patrimony on the altar of power, wealth, secular prestige, political influence and institutional arrogance — and I say that as somebody who was baptized as a Catholic, graduated from a Catholic high school, worshipped as a Catholic for the vast majority of his life and took God seriously from childhood.

      But now, I could no more be a Catholic than I could be a Muslim or a Communist.

      Nevertheless, I wish you well in your spiritual endeavors and I certainly bear no ill will toward you.

      One final piece of advice: Avoid Mark Shea’s blog like the plague. He truly is a malevolent, obsessive bully whose Catholicism is skin deep when it comes to moral behavior.

      • brians says:

        Like I said, the Church forces a choice, and at least your position is consistent. It’s either good or evil, but it’s certainly not just another denomination. I don’t think it’s a human institution: it would’ve imploded centuries ago if it was. Protestants have saved the Bible from the hands of those dirty Catholics only to rip it into 40,000 pieces. Personal judgement in matters of faith is the beginning of disintegration, and 500 years later, here we are.

        I respectfully suggest that you may be just the type of fellow who, as I mentioned earlier, is blinded to 20 centuries of forest for 60 years of trees. It was a nasty 60 years, and there are some millstone rewards coming to many in the hierarchy. Chesterton would say you’re too close to see it for what it is. Considering the hurt that many Church leaders have inflicted on faithful laypersons, I understand how you’ve arrived at the conclusion you have, but Truth is still one, and can’t be divided.

        I hold the same animus toward Calvinism, fair or not, thanks to the decades of torment over whether I am one of the elect for whom Jesus died, and over God’s eternal decree, before the foundation of the world, of the destination of my soul. What I’m thankful for, though, even in the Puritan context, is being taught the fear of the Lord, and the love for & memorization of the written Word. Similarly to you, though, I couldn’t turn back to the shallowness and division of protestantism any more than I could be a Muslim, republican, or democrat:)

        I don’t have an opinion, one way or the other, on Shea. I hope whatever it is the two of you have against each other is settled and forgiven one day.

  25. rachel29 says:

    It’s interesting, I was the first one to reply to this thread, and I must have clicked something that had all future replies come to my inbox. And what is funny, in such a tragically sad kind of way, is that the current argument is what has completely trashed my interest in organized Christianity. ( I wad an Evangelical Protestant from my ‘salvation’ experience at a Billy Graham crusade until 12 years ago when I started investigating the Catholic church and then became Catholic 10 yrs ago. So, I am not on either side of this fence. I am actually exhausted by all of the fighting. Truly exhausted. So I pulled away. I have spent my time reading the New Testament, and have also started reading through the Old Testament (as both a Protestant and a Catholic, I only knew parts of it and decided I needed to remedy that.

    You are both missing the point. Do you remember that St. Paul said that if “you have not love you are an empty resounding gong?” There is no love here, in these replies…only judgement, self righteousness and contempt. That is not of Christ, no matter what you want to think. He quoted the Old Testament when he said to the Pharisees who loved arguing about who was right and who was wrong, “Think on what the scriptures say when it says, ‘I desire MERCY not sacrifice.” There is no mercy here. Where is “love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you”? And last, and this is where all of organized Christianity is dropping off a cliff, what about this: Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, EVEN AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, that you also love one another. By THIS all men will know that you are MY disciples, if you have love for one another. As just someone stopping by this post and reading through the replies, I would think there go Christians battling it out again, no better than the rest of the world.

    No wonder the Pew Research group has shown a steady exodus of parishioners from both Protestant and Catholic churches. People who love the Lord and genuinely want to follow Him are just fed up with crap. God knows I am. I am sure nothing I have said will stop any of you here on this thread from continuing to go after each other. I just wanted to let you know that this isn’t a closed system and the others are watching, be careful the example you set.

    In all honesty, I wish you both peace. Maybe you should realize neither one of you is going to change the other one’s mind. What did St. Augustine say, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

    Peace,
    Rachel

  26. dontconvert says:

    “I am actually exhausted by all of the fighting.” Rachel, I totally know how you feel.

    Before I became Catholic I spent many, many years trying to understand it all and decide if I really wanted to take the plunge. The fighting was exhausting.

    The real message of the original post in this thread is that there are far larger issues to consider than all the geeky theological crap that people argue about on the internet. It’s one thing to talk about “the one, true church,” and to argue about who was at fault in such and so dispute 500 years ago.

    It’s another thing entirely to take your impressionable young children into the pitiably mediocre Roman Catholic Church. If your real goal is a life of faith, hope and charity, the RCC is probably not your best bet.

    • brians says:

      dontconvert,
      No, that wasn’t the point of your original post. Your point was that one shouldn’t convert to Catholicism, and should remain in division and doctrinal error for assumed cultural benefits. A preposterous position in the first place, but made more so by the reality of evangelical church life. My daughters are more statistically at risk of sexual abuse by protestant clergy than my sons are of Catholic clergy. Evangelicals not only can’t agree on anything, but many think they don’t even have to agree on anything. Again, the 3 options are: Catholicism, endless division, or relativism. Rachel has unwittingly fallen into relativism, and dontconvert just flows from one to the other as it suits his purpose. Jesus is either 1)who He says He is, or 2) not who He says He is, the Catholic Church forces us into the same choice. At least Joseph’s position is consistent.

    • Nate Jusko says:

      Yeah…who cares about all that “geek theological crap” like hermeneutics, eschatology, and soteriology (I mean, they only have to deal with what actually happens to your everlasting soul) what really matters is whether or not your “church” fulfills you in the here and now (oh, and whether or not they have a good kids’ program, coffee bar, and music performance).

      This message brought to you by the Church of America (a Disney company)!

      • Joseph D'Hippolito says:

        Nate, neither hermeneutics nor eschatology nor soteriology can save people from sin. Only the blood of Christ can do that because Jesus was the only acceptable sacrifice in God’s eyes for human sin. If you think theology has the kind of power you think it does, then let me remind you that the Pharisees were the leading theologians of their day. Not only did they reject Jesus as Messiah, they conspired to kill Him because He was a threat to their power.

        “…what really matters is whether or not your “church” fulfills you in the here and now (oh, and whether or not they have a good kids’ program, coffee bar, and music performance)…”

        No, Nate, what really matters is whether your church has intellectual and moral credibility. Catholicism has neither. The bishops don’t even defend the faith they claim to uphold!

        Your snotty, self-satisfied remarks reflect the attitude of the majority of Catholics concerning evangelical Protestantism (and, yes, I know that evangelicals have similar attitudes about Catholics). Such people think they’re “better” because their worship is “better” or their “theology” is “more intellectual.” Well, neither worship nor theology will get you to Heaven. Only embracing Christ’s sacrifice as your own will.

  27. brians says:

    Rachel, I don’t doubt your sincerity or the legitimacy of your weariness, but still, you’re arguing from a position of relativism, which is hardly what Augustine had in mind. Remember, for him, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, submission to bishops, presbyters, and deacons, and the authority of priests to absolve sin were all givens, and essentials – any honest reading of his writings makes this obvious. Those who reject these items simply can’t be called orthodox Christians. Christians, maybe in a nebulous, spritiualized, unincarnated sense, but not orthodox Christians. I don’t think Joseph would say that he hates me, and I certainly wouldn’t say that about him. The fact is, Jesus Christ is Lord of heaven and earth. Before Abraham was, Jesus is. Jesus breathed His authority into the apostles, who passed it to others by the laying on of hands. This isn’t extra-biblical. It’s there, in the undisputed New Testament. The authority of the Church on earth is the authority of Jesus. If you’re not in submission to the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, you’re not in full submission to Jesus.

  28. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    “I suppose you’re on the same page Falwell was: ‘Blow them all away in the name of the Lord!'”

    First, I never said in any of the links I posted that Muslims should be nuked to smithereens. The fact that you even insinuate that is utterly disingenuous and smacks of ad hominem attack.

    Again, the Catholic hierarchy is not in full submission to Jesus and hasn’t been for centuries. The hierarchy will pay a profoundly heavy price for that. See Ezekiel 34 and 1 Samuel 2:12-36.

    Adam, “once saved, always saved” doesn’t mean you can do whatever you please and not suffer any consequences, either in this life or in the next. None of the authors of the epistles even suggests that, let along Christ Himself. I have found that those who “abide in Christ” and listen to the Holy Spirit, which is a deposit of the salvation to come, will be saved. Sanctification is a process that continues throughout a Christian’s life.

    Interestingly, my experience is quite the opposite from yours. You find yourself living a much more holy life and having a real relationship with Jesus in the Catholic Church. I had to leave the church to find such a relationship. To each, his own….

  29. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Adam, if you want an answer to the “once saved, always saved” proposition, I suggest you read 1 Corinthians 3. In the context of the controversy surrounding personalities, St. Paul talks about how each man’s work will be divinely evaluated. Even if an individual’s work is nothing but “wood, hay and stubble” that will burn, the individual will still be saved “as one escaping through the flames.” Granted, that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement; nevertheless, the individual is saved.

    brians, one more thing: More than a millennium ago, St. John Chrysostom said the following:
    “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
    If that was true then, it’s certainly true now.

  30. replying to mochagypsy re: “the word”
    um… where in “the word” does it say anything remotely like that..?
    matter of fact, what DOES the Bible call “the pillar and foundation of the truth”?
    the CHURCH! :-)))
    1 Tim. 3:15

  31. Ian Dunn says:

    This reply concerns the original text. I, too, am a convert to the Catholic faith from a strongly evangelical Baptist background. For almost all of my life (20 years) I have attended Baptist churches. Most of them preached the Gospel with uncompromising fervency while a few others were more lax. The results of my experience in Catholicism have been nothing like what is described above. The sermons are gentle but not wishy-washy. They always convey a solid truth. The repetition of the Mass is not boring, but on the contrary, strengthens its effect on my faith and is a source of our unity as the Church. As for the Bible translations, the modern ones are somewhat easier to read, but I typically use the Douay-Rheims version. It is much older and is not subject to the dumbing down of today’s translations. It could be compared to the KJV. I have found that the devotions and prayers of Catholicism have a spiritual impact that is strikingly absent from other churches. The music of the Novus Ordo is good but one cannot forget the purity of the older, classic Catholic hymns that are more likely to be heard at the Tridentine Mass. Also, my parish has an abundance of opportunities to serve God and probably many others do as well. While the abuse scandal that has recently plagued the Church is certainly nothing over which to rejoice, I feel the need to point out the difference between the actions of the Church and the actions of those within the Church who don’t live up to its moral standards. Concerning Fr. Maciel, I have little knowledge of the subject and therefore cannot speak extensively about it. A person can have a founded understanding of God and sound teaching, but still commit evil acts. Once again, I state that I know almost nothing of that particular case, but I would say that just because a person sins against his faith does not mean that everything that he taught in his lifetime is necessarily false. On the topic of the Magisterium, they are an indispensable guide in our understanding of the faith. They, along with Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, are the compass that keeps us moving in the right direction. The Bible is not irrelevant but is understood in its proper context and role in the Church. The practices of Lectio Divina are a wonderful way to engage God’s Word. Though members and leaders of the Church may have varying political leanings, it is important to remember that the goal is to stand for moral truth, regardless of what party in politics holds to that truth. The standards of which remain unrivaled in other denominations. The Eucharist is an essential dogma. I would not be Catholic if I didn’t believe in it, but the point of this comment is to point out that we also have much else. Yes, I was originally convinced by doctrine. And yes, Catholic apologetics played a strong role. However, what I received upon entering the Church extended far beyond intellectual knowledge in that I found a faith that truly changes the lives of those who fully practice it. Everything from crossing myself at the baptismal font, to the daily readings of Scripture, to the inspiring lives of saints play a part in forming my spiritual life. A theme in many of the comments seems to be a choice between doctrinal truth and practical application. I don’t have to worry about choosing between the two because I know that I have both. I have both Sacrament and Word.

  32. MS3104 says:

    It seems to me that you were attending a “Church of Nice” where very little “true” Catholicism was taking place. I am a Cradle Catholic and left the church for a period of 7 years but returned because of my longing for the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist and the sacraments. Sure I missed the contemporary music, but have grown to love the traditional hymns again. The purpose of the Mass is not to entertain, it is to help save your soul.

    I have started attending a traditional Latin mass on Sundays that has helped to progress my love of the church even further then before. The sermons are direct, non apologetic and often times hit home where it hurts. I find that now when I attend mass where the post Vatican II format is used, I am not as “fed”

  33. Mind numbing? I left evangelicals because of the politics, instability, inconsistency of teachings and all out hypocrisy. I also couldn’t coldly condemn people to hell or harass people drinking coffee in peace. Then there was the whole taking advantage of the vulnerable to win souls and line the church pockets with new believer tithes. At the end of the day, evangelicals are more concerned with how everyone else isn’t like them and the Catholics focus on our commonalities. Neither one is perfect but isn’t the point to get to Jesus and God any way you can?

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