Roman Mass
The teachings of the Church of Rome 2

By Ministry of Hope
June 6  2007

resource: "Alpha the unofficial guide"
by Elizabeth Mc Donald & Dusty Peterson



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ADDING UP TO MASS

Rome is an enormous institution, covering the globe and wielding both spiritual and political power over hundreds of millions people. she is thus unlike any other part of the professing church.

Rome always seems to play a prominent part in any gatherings of the World religions and has been the main force in leading, or encouraging, other churches into joining with these religions.

Rome sees herself as the inalienable head of the resulting World Church / World Religions;

In this study we will cover the "Mass" ceremony of the Roman Catholic Church, for further study on the Roman Catholic Institute; Titles of the Pope; Worshipping Mary etc. go to ... Teaching of Rome.

From time to time reference will be made to the Alpha Course, for reason that also the Roman Catholic church is using the course to add to their church, and the close relationship of the Anglican church to Rome.

For more information on the Alpha Course see also: 
  The Alpha Course  
  The Character of Alpha's Jesus
 
The Dangers of the Alpha Course

In this topic of THE MASS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, we will have a close look at the true meaning of the Roman "MASS" which is totally different from celebrating the Lord's Supper in other churches.

In this study the word anathema occurs several times, meaning according to the dictionary;
1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is to anathema to him.
2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.
4. any imprecation of divine punishment.
5. a curse; execration.

 

Content of The Roman Mass.

Adding up to Mass
The real presence
A Repeated Sacrifice
The Mass Necessary for Salvation
A bloodless Sacrifice
The Origin of a bloodless Sacrifice
Idol Worship
Christ's Mass_
In Conclusion

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 91:
Adding up to Mass

The Roman "Mass" is a very reverent ceremony pertaining to the bread and wine given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples at the 'Last Supper'. It is a pivotal part of Roman Catholic practice, considered vital to salvation. Anyone who goes on from the Alpha Course (since Rome accepted and is using the 'Alpha Course' for 'saving people') into Roman Catholicism would have to observe the Mass. Yet, by Rome's own admission, it differs fundamentally from Communion as performed by others:

"The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has called on the Roman Catholic Church to abandon its practice barring Protestants from taking Communion in its churches... Mgr. Kieran Conry, director of the Catholic Media Office, said 'There are fundamental differences [between Protestant Communion and the Catholic Mass]'. Nicholas Coote, secretary to the Catholic Bishop's Conference for England and Wales, added that his [Carey's] proposals indicated a 'misunderstanding of the Catholic position" (Source; London Daily Telegraph April 27. 1998).

So, what are these 'fundamental differences'? Does the Mass line up with God's Word? When we compare the Roman ceremony with the Bible we find some extraordinary things.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 92-95:
"The real presence"

The teaching of the 'real presence' in the Catholic Mass is known as 'transubstantiation'. This is the doctrine that, with the priest's words in the ceremony of the Mass (or "Eucharist"), the bread and the wine turn into the actual body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Catholic Catechism states that:

"That which was bread and wine before consecration, after consecration is truly the substance of the body and the blood of the Lord...Not only the true body of Christ and all the constituents of a true body, such as bones and sinews, but also Christ whole and entire"

Ever since the Counsel of Trent, Rome has taught that this is a "dogma" - a fundamental truth not open to question - and that anyone who does not agree with this belief is "anathema" (i.e. accursed).

"If anyone denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that he is only therein as in a sign, or in a figure, or virtue; let him be anathema".  [Council of Trent].

This dogma discourages many from testing Rome's doctrine of the Mass against the Holy Bible, but God's command is that we do just that, so...

1) The first problem is this miraculous change is supposed to have originally taken place with Christ still bodily present in the room: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body" (Matthew 26:26). Is it possible that the bread turned into the actual body of the Lord when He was still physically there?

2) Leaving aside the problem that thousands of wafers supposedly all become the "whole and entire" body of the Lord, simultaneously each Sunday morning there is the fundamental difficulty that, according to Scripture, Christ's resurrected body is at the right hand of the Father:

"Who ...when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrew 1:3 and see also Acts 2:3-4b and Acts 7:56).

3) It is certainly important to interpret Scripture literally when the context, or the rest of Scripture, does not call us to do otherwise. For, although figurative Hebrew idioms are very common in Scripture and need to be recognized and understood for what they are, when a passage does not use idioms or poetic language etc, then we must be honest with God and take His words at face value. However, to interpret the phrase "This is My body" - in the context of the verse where it appears - as literally meaning the actual body of the Lord, has some bizarre implications...

This is because elsewhere in Scripture Christ calls Himself, a door (John 10:9), a vine (John 15:5), a stone (Mark 12:10), a light (John 8:12) and so on. If we are insistent that we must use this method of interpreting Christ's words here, then we must also be consistent. It demonstrably makes no sense to interpret these passages literally.

Likewise, in the context, the plain meaning of "This is My body" is "This symbolizes My body" - in the same way that, when the Lord said of John the Baptist, "this is Elijah" he was saying that John symbolized Elijah. (John was not physically the same person as Elijah, as is shown in John 1:21.)

Here is a similar situation. David described some water as being men's "blood" in an incident, recorded in 2Samuel 23:16-17 and 1Chronicles 11:18-19, because it symbolized their blood. His bravest soldiers had put their lives on the line to bless him by bringing him water from a much-loved well on that was in the hands of pagans. they "drew water.... and brought it to David: but David ...said, My God forbid it me,...shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy?"

4) We also have a major problem with interpreting "This is My blood" to mean that the wine literally became blood - because drinking blood is banned by God under both the Old and the New Covenants (see Lev 17:10-14 and Acts 21:25 respectively) and yet everyone at the Passover meal would have drunk of the contents, as Mark confirms:

"And He took the cup, and He had given thanks, He gave it to them: and they all drank of it" (Mark 14:23).

Not only is it unreasonable to believe that the Lord was able to eat His own Body, but He would have been sinning to drink blood or encourage others to do so.

5) Besides, the verse immediately following His statement that "This is My blood" records that Christ said "Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the Kingdom of God." The wine did not turn into blood but remained the "fruit of the vine". 

So, what of the passages in John 6:53 where Christ said: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you"? Surely this is saying that the bread and the wine turn into the flesh and blood of the Savior"? As always, the explanation can be found in the surrounding verses. The rest of the Chapter is actually about having a living faith in the Messiahship of Jesus. Thus the act of "coming" to Christ and "believing on" Him is likened to eating and drinking;

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me [not he that eateth Me] shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst" (John 6:35)

Later in the Chapter it is confirmed that believing on Christ is what gives life - i.e. this is what is meant by eating the bread of life:

" For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world...He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life" (John 6:33-48).

We are to partake of Christ in the same sense that we are to cling to Him and abide in Him: "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me" (John 6:56a). We are to take in the Word of God - i.e. to devour and digest the holy scriptures - hence the way God's Word is likened to bread in Matthew 4:4 and the way Christ's words are said to be life-giving and a source of the spirit in verse 63 of the passage we were looking at.

As for the blood, we are to be like organs transplanted into Christ and thus cleansed inside by His blood. This picture is used many times in the Bible. It is in this sense that we "drink" Christ's blood. If we stop abiding in the Vine and drinking the spiritual sap from it then there will indeed be "no life" in us.

The Lord's Supper is certainly to be taken extremely seriously. But its immense spiritual importance stems not from the bread and the wine, but from the significance that God the Father has given the occasion. Holy Communion is an opportunity for us to express the gravity we attach to His Son's death, not the weight we attach to a piece of bread. The emblems are there simply to help remind us of this pivotal event in history. That is what God cares about.

We have perhaps labored this point, but for a very good reason. Roman Catholics are strongly encouraged to worship the wafer (or "host"). Understandably, they do not need much persuasion since, according to strict teaching, they are in the immediate presence of the Lord Himself. But the 'real presence' is not all that Rome has to say about the Mass.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 95-97:
A Repeated Sacrifice

According to the Word of God, Christ's sacrifice was a once-only affair. On the cross He was able to proclaim "It is finished" , and subsequent  events certainly confirmed it. So do many scriptures, including Hebrew 10:

"We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all... This man... offered one sacrifice for sins forever... For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified... Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Hebrew 10:10,12,14,18).

The passage in Hebrew 9:24-28 is no less unequivocal:

"Heb 9:24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a {mere} copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
Heb 9:25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.
Heb 9:26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Heb 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this {comes} judgment,
Heb 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without {reference to} sin, to those who eagerly await Him".

That is why the bread and the wine are an ongoing memorial or commemoration of what our Lord did for us once on the cross:

"When He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me" (1Corinthians 11:24-25)

The only purpose of an altar is for performing sacrifices. We should be wary of any church that feels the need to keep an altar, because it implies that more sacrifices are needed beyond Christ's once and for all sacrifice on the cross itself. But according to Rome.....

"The sacrifice of the Cross is continued on earth through the Sacrifice of the Mass". [Catholic Catechism].

When asked "What is the Sacrifice of the Mass?", Rome teaches the following:

"In the sacrifice in which Chris is offered under the species of bread and wine in an unbloody manner. The Sacrifice of the altar, then, is no mere empty [sic] commemoration of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice. Christ, the eternal High Priest, in an unbloody way offers himself a most acceptable Victim to the eternal Father, as he did upon the Cross: [Catholic Catechism].

In the same document, Rome also asserts: "The Sacrifice of the Mass is of infinite value, no less than that of the Cross" [Qn 1294]. In the Alpha course Nicky Gumbel goes some way to denying this when he says "in Jesus there was a perfect sacrifice. One, perfect sacrifice. Once and for all. For all time, for all people". But the course doesn't mention the cross here, so unbelievers may not grasp the full truth. Not only was Jesus given to us "once and for all", but so was the sacrifice He made in the cross. This is an important distinction.

Needless to say, it must be an outstanding emotional experience to believe that one is in the physical presence of Christ as He is being sacrificed for one again. A cause for extremely deep and sincere worship:

"The Eucharistic Sacrifice... in which the Sacrifice of the cross is forever perpetuated, is the summit and the source of all worship and Christian life"; and "Christ's faithful are to hold the blessed Eucharist in the highest honor... with great devotion... and should reverence it with the greatest adoration". (Source; The code of Canon Law, The Mass/ Eucharist, Canons 897 and 898 respectively, as quoted in William Webster, Saving Faith, p80)

See also Chapter V of the Council of Trent on the Eucharist, where the faithful of Christ are encouraged to "render in veneration the worship.... which is due to the true God, to this most holy sacrament... for we believe the same God to be present therein".

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 97-98:
The Mass Necessary for Salvation

Now that we have seen from Scripture that the wafer (or "host") does not turn into Christ Himself we are left with a very serious problem - quite aside from the fact that the Roman priest, in implying that Christ needs to be sacrificed again is being profane...

If the Roman Catholics are worshipping something that is NOT the true God than they are inevitably worshipping something else. As we saw in Part One, this is not only detestable to God, because it constitutes idolatry, but it also leaves the worshipper open to demonic forces. Given that Catholics are eating the object of their worship, they are taking into themselves, in a very real way, whatever spiritual entity lies behind the wafer they have been worshipping.

We know that there is a very subtle enemy of God [Satan] who desires to lead God's people away into danger - into his own stronghold. If he could fool them into worshipping something other than God, they would be made vulnerable to demonic attack and thus brought even further into subjection under him. But how to pursuade God's people to do such thing? One very effective way would surely be to invent a counterfeit Communion and convince the people that the wafer was their God, when in actual fact it was the "host" for another spirit altogether.

If the enemy [Satan] did this, he would obviously do everything he could to encourage the people to take part in his invention. He would claim that it was vital to salvation and would urge that it be observed often. Amazingly (and in direct contention with Scripture again) Rome declares the Mass to be vital to salvation:

"The Mass is the same Sacrifice that of the Cross, to continue on earth until the end of time...The Mass, therefore, no less than the Cross, is expiatory [i.e. pays the penalty] for sins" [Catholic Catechism].
(Source; The Question and answer Catholic Catechism, Qn 1277.).

Rome also urges that it be performed often: "Remembering always that in the mystery of the Eucharist Sacrifice the work of redemption is continually being carried out, priest are to celebrate frequently".

"As often as the sacrifice ... is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption carries on" [Vatican II].

The enemy [Satan] would have to threaten anyone who questioned his subterfuge, and would also claim that his Communion had all sorts of temporal benefits aside from spiritual ones. Consider whether Rome's teaching, that the sins of the departed loved one, can be paid for with Masses taken by living relatives, (or 'said' on their behalf) This can't possibly come from God, but instead, is derived from another source:

"If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare  [!] commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory [i.e. atoning] sacrifice; or, that it profits only him who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities, let him be anathema" (Counsel of Trent)

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 99-100:
A bloodless Sacrifice

As if all the above were not bad enough, and despite the enormous Scriptural emphasis on Christ blood which is, after all, what cleanses us from our sins - the Roman Mass constitutes a  bloodless  sacrifice. By claiming the Mass is "expiatory for sins" Rome maintains a continual 'unbloody' repeat-presentation of the once for all blood-drenched sacrifice of Calvary:

"It is the sacrifice in which Christ is offered under the species of brad and wine in an unbloody manner...a true and proper act of sacrifice. Christ ....in an unbloody way offers himself....[Catholic Catechism].

But "without without the shedding of blood there is no remission [of sins]" (Hebrew 9:22a) as Cain found out (Genesis 4:3-7a). An unbloody sacrifice has never been able to cover sin.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 100-101:
The Origin of a bloodless Sacrifice

Interestingly, Babylon had an effective identical ritual. It too represented an 'unbloody sacrifice'. But that is not the only similarity between Rome and Babylon regarding the Roman Mass. Rome insists the wafer, or 'host' be circular, despite there being no indication of this in biblical descriptions of Holy Communion. Babylon's Sun-worship also centered around a circular wafer - i.e. a disk to represent the round sun. Also, like Rome, Babylon's ceremony used a shiny plate in the form of a sun - i.e. with a sun-burst design - to show off the wafer above the altar so that it looked especially impressive and deserving of worship. (Rome's name for this holder is a "monstrance", and everyone present has to reverently bow or kneel before it.)

Babylon's Communion that each communicant fast beforehand - as does Rome. Catholicism claims that such fasting is "indispensable", and yet the original 'Lord's Supper' took place straight after a meal. Babylon had its false trinity, the Egyptian names for which were Isis, Horus and Seb. Unbelievably, Rome's wafers bear the same initials 'IHS'.

Finally consider that Rome teaches regarding the Mass, that the communicant is eating another person (i.e. eating the 'actual body' of the Lord Jesus). The word for someone who eats another is "cannibal" which derives from "Cahna-Bal" meaning priest of Baal. Baal is the name of Babylon's demonic, central god.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 101-103:
Idol-Worship

Chiniquy, a priest in the Catholic Church for many years, had these grave observation to make concerning the 'priestly' part in the Roman ceremony of the Mass:

"To make one's self believe he can convert a piece of bread into GOD requires a supreme effort of the will, and complete annihilation of intelligence, that the state of the soul, after the effort is over, is more like death than life.

"I had really persuaded myself that I had done the most holy and sublime action of my life, when in fact, I had been guilty of the most outrages act of idolatry! My eyes, my hands, and lips, my mouth and my tongue, and all my senses, as well as the faculties of my intelligence, were telling me that what I had seen, touched, eaten, was nothing but a wafer; but the voices of the Pope and his Church were telling me that it was the real body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

"I had persuaded myself that the voices of my senses and intelligence were the voices of Satan, and that the deceitful voice of the Pope was the voice of the God of truth! Every priest of Rome has to come to that strange degree of folly and perversity, every day of his life, to remain a priest of Rome...

" The Egyptians worshipped God under the form of crocodiles and calves; the Greeks made their gods of marble or gold; the Persian made the sun his god; the Hottentots make their gods with whalebone, and go far through storms to worship them. The Church of Rome makes her god out of a piece of bread! Is this not idolatry?".

Thus has Rome "superseded the simple but most precious sacrament of the Supper instituted by our Lord Himself" with a pagan fake. Of all the occasions in which Catholicism is raised in the Alpha Course, never has there been any solitary moment in which the prospective sheep learn about the the truth behind the Roman Mass. There is nothing at all. Hence the Alpha Course graduates with a Catholic upbringing come away from the course imagining that the Roman Mass is a "Christian" belief.

"Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served...and serve ye the LORD" (Joshua 24:14).

"I have written onto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be...an idolater (Corinthians)

(NASB)1 Corinthians 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.)

It may be that some readers, offended by the horrors being exposed here, believe we should only discuss praiseworthy things. We sympathize with this view, but we feel it is dangerous to be ignorant of Rome's ways when other believers are promoting them. After all, when Ezekiel was ignorant of the details of the apostasy in his day he was commanded by the Lord to "Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do there" (Ezekiel 8:5-18) We must (carefully) face up to the truth about Rome's teaching, and explain the shortcomings by comparing it to what the Bible teaches.

Others will claim that we are being 'anti Catholic'. But we are certainly not. we care greatly for these ensnared in error, and those in bondage to false ways. It is Catholicism, i.e. those teachings which are sending its adherents to Hell, that we oppose - not the precious folks entangled in it. In reality, it is those who fail to warn the souls caught up in Rome's idolatry that are the ones being anti-Catholic.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 103:
Christ's Mass

As a postscript to his discussions of the Roman Mass, we perhaps ought to ask about the celebration of Christmas (or Christ's Mass) which Rome has given us. Oddly, it is held on a date which must scholars agree could not possibly be even close to Christ's birthday. Actually, the date of December 25th is one that was central to the Babylonian calendar - thus greatly pre-dating the incarnation of the Person we are told it commemorates! Namely the birth of Christ Jesus. Many features of Christmas are derived not from Christianity but from pagan religious practices. These include the holly and icy, the mistletoe, Midnight Mass, and the yule log ("Yule" is a Babylonian word) Even the decorated tree has its roots, so to speak, in false religion.

"The customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not" (Jeremiah 10:1-4)

[Ahaz] walked ... according to the abominations of the heathen,...And he sacrificed [i.e. offered gifts] ... under every green [i.e. coniferous] tree" (2Kings 16:3-4)

Some Christians are very attached to Christmas and argue that it is harmless. But should a pure bride (us) be flirting with the trappings of foreign gods in front of her wonderful, betrothed husband (the Lord Jesus Christ)? If we are obedient to Him and His Word then the answer is no (Jeremiah 10:2a Thus says the LORD, "Do not learn the way of the nations,).

In Conclusion

What we have learned and seen is a of a very serious nature, many people rather turn away and try to keep the peace, shall I disregard the Roman Catholic believer as a brother or sister in the Lord? Is he or she to be regarded as a idolater or pagan worshipper? Undoubly there are  believers in the Roman church that have a different view about the Cross and the Mass, but the truth is that the Roman Mass stands for its belief and rituals and the meaning of these rituals are very clear and they are not found to be in Scriptures.

Therefore it is as Paul clearly states: not to associate or have company with such a person:

(NASB)(1 Corinthians 5:11) But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

Because they call themselves Christian and are not worshipping the true God and do not believe in the blood, and do not believe that Jesus is the redeemer. These differences are touching the core of our beliefs and the centre of our worship. Yet we are passionate towards those that have been deceived, and are entangled by it. Therefore it is with care and consideration we deal with all these precious people that have never known the the only way to heaven, and may we be the instrument of His love to show them the way, by our deeds, by our lives, and our testimonies, by our love for them.

 

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God Bless.

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