Romanism
The teachings of the Church of Rome

By Ministry of Hope
May 6  2007

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



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A truly revealing insight in what the institute of the Roman Catholic church, truly believes and has not changed throughout the ages and will not change in the future.

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 fascinating topic of Rome's teachings and its special relationship to other churches and the Alpha Course, I hope that if the reader will find to have any problems with some parts of this study, that it will not stop them from reading the whole story. I can guarantee that this study will prove to be a rewarding one, for those that have followed the Alpha Course and those that are from the Roman Catholic faith and those that associate with the the church of Rome in any way.

In this opening chapter I will assess the position of Mary in the Roman Catholic (from now on RC) belief system, of course not everyone in the RC church holds to all the teachings of Rome, but as long as the institute holds firm to it's beliefs, you may differ as an individual, but that does not or will ever change where the institute stands  for, it is therefore that I will address the institute rather than the individual believer; however it is my belief that many followers of Rome do not know the danger Rome holds and imposes on its inner circle of power.

The Following instructions about Mary represents firm dogma- i.e. they must be accepted by everyone wishing to be a member of the RC Church - meaning that any treatment of Rome would be very incomplete without a look at Mary. Again, there may be aspects of Rome's teachings on the subject of Mary of which the reader is not currently aware, so please bear with me with this chapter before we move on to other things.

 

Content of the teachings of Rome

About Mary
Mother of God
Mary Co Redeemer
Mary Mediator
Ave Maria
Queen of Heaven

About Idols
Saints and Images 

About the Pope
Completely Yours
Papal Power
Peter's successor
The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven
Binding and Loosing
Apostolic Succession

Titles of the Pope
Supreme Head
Father, Master, Vicar of Christ
Pontiff
Servant of the servants of God

Conclusion
Their Rock

From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 61-62:
Mother of God and sinless blessed Virgin

The first point to note is that Rome refers to Mary as the "Mother of God" and the "perpetual Virgin". Catholicism teaches that Mary was "Immaculately conceived" (i.e. born free from sin) so that she was not subject to death: She is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God....[Vatican II]; "[Mary is] ....the mother of God, ever Virgin [Vatican II].

"She was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life" [Catholic Catechism].

"Preserved free from all guilt of original sin, the Immaculate Virgin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory upon the completion of her earthly sojourn" [Vatican II ].

So strongly does Rome maintain these beliefs that any person not holding to them will, she claims, "incur the wrath of Almighty God". Consider the following copper-bottomed statement from her:

"We pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the heavenly glory. Hence, if anyone which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic faith....It is forbidden to any man to change this. Our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God...[Pius XII]

Unfortunately, we can find no unambiguous support for these teachings in the Bible. Although Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ when He was on the Earth it is not possible for her to have been the "Mother of God", since Father, Son and Holy Spirit all existed before her:

Ps 90:2 "Before the mountains were brought forth or ever You had formed {and} given birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God.
Hab. 1:12 Are not You from everlasting, O Lord my God....?"
John 8:58 Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I AM.
See also Eph. 3:9, Col 1:13-17, John 1:1 etc.

"God has no mother. God has always existed. God Himself is the Creator of all things. Since a mother must exist before her child, if you speak of a "Mother of God" you are thereby putting someone before God. And you are therefore making that person God....Mary would weep to hear anyone so pervert the truth as to call her the mother of her Creator".

"Mary also bore other children and so she was not a perpetual virgin: And he [Josef] knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son". (Matth. 1:25). For some details of her other offspring, see Mark 6:3 and Mark 15:40. (Any readers who feels that it is inappropriate to investigate Rome's teaching on Mary should perhaps consider that John Paul II confirms his belief in all of Rome's Marian dogma's.

Although Mary was righteous and found favor in God's sight, she, like us all was still in need of a Savior: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for all have sinned (Rom 5:12, see also Rom 3:9-12, 19-20,23)" And Mary said, my soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior....(Luke 1:46-47).As additional proof of this, Mary was not exempt from making the required sin offerings after Christ birth (Luke 2:22-24, Lev 12:2-8).

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 62-63:
Mary Co-Redeemer

Scripture not withstanding Rome goes further and claims that Christ Jesus was not our sole Redeemer, but that Mary is actually "co-redemptrix"  with Him:

In 1995 Pope John Paul began a lengthy catechesis on the Blessed Virgin Mary. . . culminating . . . with his instruction on Our Lady's participation in the Sacrifice of Calvary. This active participation of Our Lady at Calvary is called the co-redemption. Already in 1982 and 1985 Pope John Paul II used the term "co-redemptrix" in reference to Our Lady in public addresses. . . Since the time of Pope Benedict XV, this terminology was under review by the holy See [papal office]  the present Pope's usage is a confirmation of this traditional view of Mary's role in salvation history.

Yes Mary was present at Christ's crucifixion. But if we start going down the road described above, then we should have to say that the malefactor on the cross nest to Jesus was also a co-redeemer, due to his active participation in the crucifixion scene. But scripture says no such thing about Mary or anyone else. The Lord Jesus Christ alone was beaten, lashed and crucified. He alone is sinless, and therefore He alone is able to save.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth . . . Neither is there salvation in any other (acts 4:10,12); "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave Himself a ransom for all (1Tim 2:5,6)

God . . . hath in these last days spoken onto us by His Son, whom. . . by Himself purged our sins (Hebr. 1:1-3). See also 1John 2:2; Rom 3:12-25; and John 1:29 and 3:17.

The word redeemer can be found eighteen times in the Bible. In each case the surrounding text confirms that there is only one redeemer. The plural version of the word never occurs.

Luke 1:42-48 shows that God the Father permits Mary to be called blessed for all generations, because He chose her to bear the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a faithful and godly Israelite woman, and hers was a unique role, but other woman in the Scripture are also called blessed (e.g. in Gen. 24:60; Judges 5:24 and Ruth 3:10)

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 63-64:
Mary Mediator

Following on from the teaching that Mary is co-redemptrix, Rome insists that she is also the mediator between us and her Son, the Lord Jesus - and as such is to receive the prayers of the faithful.

Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving role, but by her manifold acts of intercession continues to win for us gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, Mary cares for the brethren of her Son who still journey on earth . . . (the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate (Intercessor), Auxiliatrix (Assistant), Adjutrix (Adjudicator) and Mediatrix (Go-between), [Vatican II] .

Let all the children of the Catholic Church . . . continue to venerate, invoke and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin . . . She presents our petitions in the most efficacious manner. What she asks, she obtains. [Pius IX]

But only a High Priest - a male - can intercede with God on our behalf. The Bible just mentions one mediator between the Father and us: 1John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. See also Rom 8:34; Heb. 7:25-26. There is no mention in the Scripture of our needing to reach the Lord Jesus through prayers to Mary.

How dishonoring it is to Christ to teach that He is lacking in pity and compassion for His people, and that He must be persuaded to that end by His mother! When He was on earth it was never necessary for anyone to persuade Him to be compassionate. Rather when He saw the blind and the lame, the afflicted and hungry, He was moved with compassion for them and lifted them out of their distress.

He had immediate mercy on the wicked but penitent thief on the cross, and there was no need for intercession by Mary, although she was there present. His love for us is as great as when He was on earth; His heart is as tender; and we need no intermediary, neither His mother after the flesh, nor any saint or angel, to entreat Him on our behalf.

Eph 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father 

For us to pray to anyone but God is wrong (Deutr. 18:10-12, Matth. 6:6, Luke 11:2) If people were reaching the true Mary, then she would admonish them for disobeying God. Since this is not happening, who are the people really contacting? And what of the increasingly frequent "Marian Apparitions" occurring around the world? Despite there being no examples of Marian apparitions in the Bible, nor any scriptures prophesying that May would reappear, growing numbers of Catholics believe that the apparitions are images of the true Mary. But the messages being given by this "angel of light" reveal her true identity:

"Each religion is worshiping . . . the same Creator! . . . "All religions are . . . inspired by the Creator". "All  words which have been written in the Holy Books have been written by men in  unity with the Creator!". "One religion. . . is not better than another". " Allah and God are the same spirit"

These teachings are from Babylon (seat of the occult). Indeed the Babylonians too worshipped a woman whose image reappeared after her demise. An example of this is referred to in Acts 19:35  The enemy is easy capable of producing such lying signs and wonders (2Cor. 11:14-15) and Paul warned us to be on our guard against this (Gal. 1:8).

Note, that a large number of people believe in the errors we have cited above. But any reader who imagines that "a billion people all over the world can't all be wrong" , consider this,... the pattern throughout Scripture where it was indeed the majority who were usually wrong. It was often just a tiny remnant that overcame Satan's temptations and deceptions and remained true to God's Word. Among the large number of examples we could list: Only two people (out of the estimated two million escapees from Egypt)  made it to the Promised Land, because the rest did not maintain a living faith in the God of Israel; a very small proportion of the people in Elijah's day stayed true to the Lord; and only an infinitesimal fraction of the exiles from Israel ever returned.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 66-67:
Ave Maria

One of the ways in which Catholics believe they can pray to Mary is by recitation of the "Hail Mary" (or Ave Maria in Latin). The Hail Mary is probably the most popular prayer known by Catholics outside the Mass. It forms part of the rosary. . . It forms part of the rosary. . . In the rosary it serves as a mantra, a repetitive sequence of words, thoughts and rhythms. . .

This contradicts the Lord's express command to us: " But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:... Be not ye therefore Like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.

Incidentally, the " Holy Rosary" (used also by Moslems and others, and composed of a string of beads each of which is "counted off" as the relevant prayer is recited) did not originate with Rome. It is of a pagan origin, having been used for millennia in the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

In the Hindu sacred books, reference is made to it [the Rosary] again and again. Thus, in an account of the death of Sati, the wife of Shiva, we find the rosary introduced: On hearing of this event, Shiva. . . beheld lying the body. . . holding a rosary in her hand. . . The very idea of such a thing is thoroughly Pagan. It supposes that a certain number of prayers must be regularly gone over; it overlooks the great demand which God makes for the heart, and leads those who use them to believe that form and routine are everything, and that '' they must be heard for their much speaking"  [God speaks against it in matt. 6:7]

A Rosary is also to be seen around the neck of the Ephesian goddess Diana ( also known as "the mother of the gods"), the worship of whom Paul thoroughly denounced in Acts:19-28.

In light of all this, that is known by the leaders of all the religions that practice the use of the "rosary", the Roman Catholic church continues to practice the rosary, and hereby we can see that one of the dangers importing pagan practices into the church is, that these pagan faiths, which continue to be practiced, can with time, appear to be "church-like" and "on the right track" to Christians, after they have adopted those practices and think them to be of Christian origin.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 68-72:
Queen of Heaven

Although Mary was respected by the people of her day, Christ Jesus took every opportunity to refute the idea that she was to be "adored", emphasizing instead that all who hear and obey the Lord God are blessed:

A certain woman . . . said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bear Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked. But He said Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it (Luke 11:27b-28).

[NASB] Luke 11:27 While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed."
Luke 11:28 But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."

From the scripture below we can see that there were actually some occasions when Mary was obstructing Jesus ministry, for which He needed to reprove her:

[NASB] Matt 12:46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Matt 12:47 Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." Matt 12:48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" Matt 12:49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! Matt 12:50 "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother."

"Jesus saith unto her [Mary] Woman, what have I to do with thee? (John 2:4)

In fact Jesus. while naturally respectful towards Mary, did not hesitate to correct her wrong thinking concerning His actions - even as a child of twelve: "His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? , , , And He said. . . How is it that ye sought Me? Wist [knew] ye not that I must be about My Father's business?".(Luke 2:48b-49)." Despite all of this, Rome adores her as Queen". . . She was exalted by the Lord as Queen of all . . .[Vatican II].

"From the earliest ages. . .the Catholic Church. . . has addressed prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. . .Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, reigns with a mother's solicitude over the entire world, just as she is crowned in heavenly blessedness with the glory of a Queen". [Pius XII]

There are two passages in Scripture in which reference is made to "veneration to", a "Queen of Heaven" - and such behavior is shown to be an abomination to the Lord:

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?
20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

Jeremiah 44:24 Moreover Jeremiah said unto all the people, and to all the women, Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah that are in the land of Egypt:
25 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
26 Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the LORD, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord GOD liveth.
27 Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them.

Note!  Please read the whole passage (Jeremiah 44:15-27) about Israel rebelling against the Lord by serving the "Queen of Heaven" , whereby the Lord's anger was kindled against the people of Israel and the Lord planned to destroy them to the last one that were serving other gods.

The "Queen of heaven" is the Babylonian goddess, Semiramis ) also known as Ishtar or Easter etc in different countries, plus Astarte - the plural of which is Ashtaroth) who, along with her husband Nimrod (Bel or Baal - plural Baalim) and her child Tammuz, formed the false trinity worshipped by Israel during times of apostasy.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim. And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers. Which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. . (Judges 2:11-14)

"Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, if ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only: and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. . .And they cried unto the Lord, and said. We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth".(1Sam. 7:3 and 12:10)

Note!  The True Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost have various titles (e.g. Jehovah, Adonai, Tree of Life, Lamb of God, Comforter, Spirit of truth etc) and are described in the Scriptures in various ways and forms (e.g. as a Judge, a King, a Shepherd, a High Priest, a burning bush, an angel, a voice from heaven, a smoking furnace and so on) In a similar way, the members of the false trinity were each given various names and 'identities'. When we discover these names and characters. a number of seemingly impenetrable scriptures referring to these 'gods' suddenly make sense

The original name of the son in the false Babylonian trinity was Tammuz. Like Christ, Tammuz died young. hence:

"He said also unto me [Ezekiel], Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north: and, behold, there sat a woman weeping for Tammuz (Ezek. 8:13-14)

(Incidentally, the annual forty days of bewailing, [a form of self-punishment] for the Babylonian god Tammuz, has been adopted into the church, through Rome, and renamed " Lent '')

Rome teaches that Mary " has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth [Pius IX]. But according to God's own Word, the Queen of heaven is an "Idol" and an '' abomination''. It is pertinent to note that the Babylonian goddess, Semiramis, was also called " the Virgin Mother and the Mother of the gods". The "Mary" that Rome worships is not the Mary of the Bible, but the goddess of Babylon. ( This would explain why most images of "Mary" look nothing like the face of a Jewess).

Rome claims that the 'type' of worship given to Mar is different from the 'type' of that God should receive. The Bible, however, does not make a distinction. Any type of worship to anyone other than God is a terrible act in the eyes of our wonderful, holy, jealous Lord (Exodus 20:1-5, Matt. 4:10). In practice, Mary holds the central place in the hearts of many Catholics regardless.

What the scriptures say about Mary is more than sufficient to know,
- she was a sinner like us all,
- she wasn't always helpful to the Lord's ministry,
- she wasn't a perpetual virgin,
- she wasn't co-redemptrix,
- she isn't a mediator, and
- she is not 'Queen of Heaven'.

It is also apparent that, if Mary is meant to be so central to the Christian Faith then this fact would be made very plain in the Bible - instead of her receiving just a few brief mentions. When this observation is put to Catholics, some suggest that the discrepancy is due to parts of the Bible going missing over the years. Patently this is not so. If the Lord God created the scriptures would He not ensure their preservation? Indeed He has promised to do so:

"For ever O Lord, thy Word is settled in Heaven . . .Thy Word is true from the beginning and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever" (Psalm 119:89 and 160); "The law of the Lord is perfect". . .(Psalm 19:7); "The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11).

"The Word of our God shall stand for ever" (Isaiah 40:8), "The Word of God. . . abideth for ever. . The Word of the Lord endureth for ever" (1Peter 1:23-25a)

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 72-75:
Saints and Images

While Mary receives special 'veneration', Rome also encourages the revering of other historical 'saints' and the observance by 'Saint days'. But when Scripture refers to 'saints' it means every one of the Lord's true followers, not just a few deceased ones: "Unto the church of God. . .to them that are sanctified [i.e. made saintly] in Christ Jesus, called to be saints. . ." (1Cor. 1:2). The epistles are addressed to living saints, not dead ones.

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: . . .(Rom.1:7) . . . unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in Achaia" (2Cor. 1:1). . . . to the saints which are at Ephesus. . ."(Eph.1:1.) All the saints salute you.(2Cor 13:13). Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi. . .(Php. 1:1). To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: (Col. 1:2). Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you .(Hebr. 13:24).

Although we should emulate the faithful men and woman of God from past centuries, Rome's reverence goes well beyond that - into idolatry. Astonishingly, many of Rome's saints can be traced back to pagan heroes and heathen 'gods' and have been done to draw pagans into the Roman Catholic Church, it now means that believers are honoring idols.

(Besides men should be drawn into the Church by its dissimilarity to the world, not by its similarity. Rom. 12:2 says "Be ye not conformed to this world". Far from encouraging us to bring pagan things in the church. The Lord blessed those who purge all such things out
(see 2 Ki. 10:26-30;  2 Ki. 11:17-20;  2 Ki. 18:6;  2 Ki. 23:24-25 etc).

Charles Chiniquy, a Catholic priest for many years, reveals the practices of that vast institution in his famous book Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. He had this to say of Rome's saints and the images that have been made of them.

"Were not our prayers to the Virgin and to the saints repeated, almost in the same words, by the [pagan] worshippers who prostrated themselves before the images of their gods, just as we repeated them every day before the images which adorn our churches?". . .

"We knew by history the year in which the magnificent temple consecrated to all the gods, bearing the name of Pantheon, had been build at Rome. We were acquainted with the names of several of the sculptors who had carved the statues of the gods in that heathen temple, at whose feet the idolaters bowed respectfully, and word cannot express the shame we felt on learning that the Roman Catholics of our day, under the very eyes and with the same sanction of the Pope, still prostrates themselves before the SAME IDOLS, in the SAME TEMPLE, and to obtain the SAME FAVORS. . .but instead of calling that one Minerva or Venus, we call it Saint Mary".
 

Though Rome works hard to downplay the nature of her practices regarding statues of Mary and the other departed 'saints', Scripture is very clear:

Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5a Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. . .(see also Deut. 5:7-9; Lev. 19:4; and 1John 5:21.

"They. . . were mingled among the heathen and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare onto them. . .Thus were they defiled with their on works, . . . Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled". (psalm 106:34-40)

Another 'saint' is peculiarly relevant to this chapter. His name was Maximilian Kolbe and, in a World War II concentration camp, he sacrificed his life for a man he didn't know. Unfortunately there is an rather important fact about Kolbe that would be known by almost all of his Catholic hearers - but completely unknown by virtually all Protestants. . .

The reason Kolbe was made into a Roman 'saint' was not primarily because he died in an other man's place; others have done the same. His 'sainthood' was conferred because he was possibly the most ardent Mariolator (Mary worshipper) in Roman history. He: formed the "Militia of Mary Immaculate" with the aim of "bringing all men to love Mary Immaculate", built a city in Poland called "the City of the Immaculate" for the sole purpose of promoting Mariolatry; set up a similar base in Japan for the same purpose; published monthly reviews and daily newspapers extolling Mariolatry; and created a seminary to "prepare priests for. . .every task in the name of the Immaculate and with her help". He believed Mary is the "spouse of the Holy Trinity" and that she, not Christ, will "crush the serpent's head". He even took the name 'Mary' as his middle name. He is today often known as "Apostle of Mary".

So what lay behind his sacrifice in WWII? Was it love for a fellow Pole in severe trouble? Kolbe himself admitted that everything he did was actually for the sake of Mary and to help "spread her cult". "He regarded himself as no more than an instrument of her will". And she asked him to be a martyr.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 76:
Completely Yours

"Completely Yours"; Perhaps more so than any previous Roman Poe, John Paul II dedicated his pontification to Mary. His often repeated prayer "totus tuus Maria" , means I am completely yours Mary. It was also his practice to consecrate each place visited to the 'Blessed Virgin', In 1983, at Fatima, he consecrated the world  to the 'Immaculate heart of Mary'. On the 8th of October 2000 he also consecrated the 'humanity of the New Millennium' to her. As we have seen, though, this 'Mary' is not the mother of Christ but a Babylonian 'goddess'. so, to whom did John Paul II actually 'consecrate' the world?. . .

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 77:
Papal Power

Some of the titles claimed by the Roman Pope are 'the Vicar of Christ upon earth', 'Supreme Head', 'Sovereign Pontiff', and 'His Holiness'. These are all very grand titles, suggestive of a mighty and magnificent office - and that is indeed what we find in papal statements regarding the extent of Papal power

Pope Boniface VIII asserted that "Every human creature is subject to the Roman Pontiff,- this we declare, say, declare, define and pronounce to be altogether necessary to salvation":, and Pope Innocent III says "Every cleric must obey the Pope, even if what he commands is evil; for no-one may judge the Pope". Rome's assertions go further still:

"All the faithful of Christ must believe that the holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff possesses the primacy over the whole world, . . .This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation" [Vatican II].

"As Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme, and universal power over the Church. And he can always exercise this power freely" [Vatican II]

The Pope of Rome would have tremendous rule and control over anyone who was to move from the Alpha Course into the Roman Catholic system of beliefs.

(Since Rome has accepted the Alpha Course, special written for their use by Nicky Gumbel. How is it that Rome and Protestants can have the same material to evangelize and bring people to Christ? We have seen the Roman system of beliefs , and in accepting the Alpha course for their use makes the Course highly questionable. Since Rome cannot and will not change their teaching, then the protestant must have changed their teachings. And is so, it has become a diluted dangerous course, not teaching the way of the Bible, but the way of men, leading people to an emerging church, away from Christ, leading them into the hands of the enemy.

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

So how do these 'papal' claims stand up to examination by the light of God's Word? And what are the implications?

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 77-80:
Peter's successor?

It would probably be helpful to start this topic by examining Matthew 16:15-19 upon which the whole papal position depends, and then move on to examine what God's Word says about some of the other papal titles;

Matthew 16:15-18. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Rome claims that, by saying to Peter: "upon this rock I will build my church", the Lord Jesus made him both the head of the Church and its foundation. Furthermore, Catholicism teaches that Rome later became Peter's bishopric, so it follows that all subsequent bishops of Rome inherited this commission. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia;

"It is Peter who is the rock of the Church . . . Here then Christ teaches plainly that in the future the . . .Church will be build on Peter. . . Peter is to be to the Church what the foundation is in regard to a house. . .what is not joined to that foundation is no part of the Church;. . .He is to be the principle of unity, of stability, and of increase. . .by possessing authority over it".

Thus does Rome insist that Peter is the 'rock' on which Christ's church will be built. However, even a cursory study of this passage shows that Rome's claims are problematic:

Firstly, Christ doesn't say "upon YOU I will build my Church", so verse 18 is not as conclusive as Rome would wish. When Christ talks of "this rock", He is referring to "it" of the previous verse where He says "flesh and blood hath not revealed it". What is this :it:? It is that He, the "Son of man", the man who was soon to be crucified, to die, and to rise again, is (as Peter had just testified) "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God". It is this central fact that was going to be the basic truth, the "rock", on which Christ's church was going to be build. This is a truth that God reveals to all believers (1John 5:20) - Peter was merely rewarded with a change of name that reflected the truth he had just uttered.

The previous point is heavily reinforced when we look at the word "rock" as it appears in Scripture. The word translated 'Peter' is 'Petros' (masculine) in Greek , meaning 'pebble' or 'stone'; whole the word translated 'rock' is 'petra' (feminine). Though the two sound similar, their meanings are quite different. Rome tries to argue the Aramaic word is the same in both instances. But if that is the case, why is the same Greek word not used in both instances in the Bible? Rome is adamant that the Aramaic word for "Peter" (i.e. "Cephas") means "Rock", but God has already dealt with this misconception in John 1:42...

"And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone".

The Lord is making a play on words, as often happens in scripture. He was not identifying, but contrasting, Peter with the immovable Rock - i.e. Himself. As the wise man built his house upon the solid rock, not the shifting sand of the foolish man (Matt. 7:24-27), so it would be folly to build the Christian Church on a pebble which is movable and easy overturned - just as, in fact, Peter unfortunately proved to be so soon after this event (see Matt. 16:21-23). The Word of God makes it abundantly clear that Christ is the rock; "For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?  Psalm 18:31.

Note !  The Hebrew name for "Jesus" is "Yeshua" meaning "salvation". There are numerous places in Scripture that speak of this "Rock of salvation" (i.e. Psalm 89:26Psalm 95:1;  and Isaiah 17:10, including:

"Truly my soul waiteth upon God: From Him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation;... In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God" (Psalm 62:1-2 and 6-7). (See also Deutr 32:4Romans 9:33 and Psalm 18:2a,46).

While the true Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets" (i.e. the Bible), Peter was just one of many involved. The chief corner stone of the Church, and the foundation for the life of each believer, is the Lord Jesus Christ alone: "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1Cor. 3:11)

"Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation... a precious corner stone, a sure foundation..." (Isaiah 28:16) "Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:20)

In fact, in his epistle, Peter himself reiterates this truth when he quotes God the Father proclaiming: "Behold. I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth in Him shall not be confounded (Peter 2:6)

The wonderful revelation that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" was not limited to Peter alone, but is given by God's Holy Spirit to every person who believes in the Lord Jesus:

1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (see also John 16:13-14)

Also interesting is the following verse 1John 5:21 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols", And this is precisely what Roman Catholics are being forced to make of their Pope.

"The roman pontiff alone is rightly called universal... all princes shall kiss the foot of the pope alone... the name applied to him [papa / father] belongs to him alone...he can be judged by no-one". note !

"It is not enough for the people only to know that the Pope is the head of the Church... they must also understand that their own faith and religious life flow from him; that in him is the bond which unites Catholics to one another, and the power which strengthens and the light which guides them, that he is the dispenser of spiritual graces, the giver of the benefits of religion"

note !
Dictatus pupae
[Rules of the Pope] points 2,9,11,19. drawn up by the papal government during the pontificate of Gregory VII (1073-1085), quoted in Perry, Paden and Von Laue, Sources of the Western Tradition, Second Edition, Volume 1: From Ancient Times to the Enlightenment, Houghton Mifflin Company 1991), p237

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 81-82:
The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

So how are we to understand Christ's statement to Peter that "I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 16:19)? Well? what are the keys, and are they only ever in the possession of one man? Are they, as Rome claims, the keys of "legislative and judicial authority"?

Rome says the following: "In [verse 19] He promises to bestow on Peter the keys of the Kingdom...In all countries the key is the symbol of authority. Thus, Christ's words are a promise that He will confer on Peter supreme power to govern the Church. Peter is to be His vice-regent, to rule in His place, Further,...this power is granted in its fullest measure".

But the keys do not necessarily mean authority; they are simply a means of access. (If a parent gives a child a key to the front door, it does not mean the parent is giving the child ruler ship over the house.) If we look up "key" in Scripture, we find that the "keys" in view are the truths about God and His Kingdom. Luke 11:52 explains: "Woe unto to you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered." So Christ is promising to teach Peter the knowledge required for Peter to be able to "enter in" to the Kingdom of Heaven. Below is the true background to Rome's interpretation.

long before the Christian era began, the person who held the highest place in the pagan priesthood had the role of explaining the Mysteries to the initiated. In the Babylonian language (Chaldea), the title of this person was "Peter" meaning "the interpreter". He was the Grand Interpreter, which when translated, is "Peter-Roma". Because if his role in unlocking the Mysteries, he was decorated with two keys...

Thus we already have a pagan "Peter" with keys (which explains why many pagan counties knew of the keys of "Peter-Roma" from antiquity). By renaming Simon, Christ was mocking this pagan religion and showing that anyone who comes to Christ in truth can have the keys of knowledge:

"For God giveth to a man that is good in His sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy (Eccl. 2:26a)

"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" (Ephesians 1:17) - (See also 1Corinthians 2:14 and 1Timothy 2:2-8).

Note that Peter himself confirms this, especially in his second epistle verses (2Peter 1:2-8)

Like the Babylonian god Janus, the Roman Pope is said to be the 'god of the hinge' who can open and close Heaven. (It is also worthy of note that the word 'Cardinal' means 'hinge'.) If we compare Isaiah 22:22 with Revelation 3:7 we see that it is Christ who is the way and Christ who is the door, not some mortal man. It is, therefore, Christ who holds the keys to Heaven.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide"; page 82-83:
Binding and Loosing

So what about the final element of Matthew 16:19, where the Lord says "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven"? Rome is forced to admit that this does not prove that Peter was given special powers because, just two chapters later, Christ makes the identical promise to all His other disciples (Matthew 18:18) and John 20:23)

Rome believes, the 'power of the keys' or the 'power to bind and loose' is actually the power to bind and loose souls in Heaven, although this is not stated in these verses. When considering this verse we need to remember that we cannot take God's place or tell Him what to do (Daniel 4:35; Psalm 24:1 etc) and that all Bible verses must be held in tension with all others-including ones like the following:

"Thine, O Lord [Jehovah], is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the Heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord... Thou reignest over all...(1Chronicles 29:11-12).

So what does the 'binding' passage mean? Plainly we need to look a little deeper. Careful observers will note that the Lord does not say the entity which is bound or loosed on earth "shall consequently be" bound or loosed in Heaven and, according to the Greek scholars, the relevant words are in the passive voice of the future perfect tense, so any "binding or loosing" done by the apostles on earth could only be declaratory of what already been bound or loosed in Heaven.

Christ immediately preceding words about the "keys" of Heaven, and the preceding three verses of Matthew 18 occurrence above (where a believer adamantly refuses to repent for a trespass, and must therefore be expelled from the Church), both strongly suggest another meaning for the "binding" passage altogether...

That is, if we are adhering to God's instructions then we need not hesitate to carry out His ordinances - typically in relation to church discipline - physically, since such discipline "shall be" the case spiritually already. In the example above, God had already 'bound' the unrepentant trespasser's spirit from His presence, so believers could confidently do likewise on earth.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide" page 83-84:
Apostolic Succession (original; other points)

Rome points to Peter's ministry as being unique and therefore indicative of a chief, or Pope-like, place within the church. While Peter had a distinguished place among the apostles, so did others. Besides, he and they completed their work and died. As with so many Roman Catholic terms, we won't find the phrase "Apostolic Succession" in Scripture.

Although there can still be apostles (in the sense of 'messengers' of God around today), we are taught there were only twelve of the specially equipped and specially commissioned apostles who finished the Bible and founded the Church (Ephesians 2:20) That there are only twelve is proved by the fact that the twelve foundation stones of the "heavenly Jerusalem" are named after them (Revelations 21:14). In other words, even if one insists that Peter was a 'special' foundation stone, this is still a very long way from proving there is a Peter-like office today - and further yet from proving that the Bishop of Rome is the person meant to fulfill any such role.

But there are serious problems with the idea that Peter was a Pope. Finally, he was married (Matt 8:14) despite Rom's prohibition, made law in 386 AD, of this stat for her priests and Popes.

(Indeed we are warned in 1Timothy 4:1-3 that "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats" - both of which Rome does - are indicative of "departure from the faith" and "giving heed to seducing spirits". It does not take much imagination to recognize the array of dreadful sins that are encouraged by 'forbidding to marry' - especially forbidding someone in a position of authority, trust and power! Observers therefore consider it a shame that people like Nicky Gumbel, "when describing singleness as "very high calling indeed").

There is no evidence that Peter was ever a Bishop of Rome - indeed there is no credible evidence that Peter even visited Rome.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide" page 84
 Supreme Head

We turn now to look at just a few of the Roman Pope's other titles to see whether they are corroborated by the Word of God;

"The pope, therefore, as Vicar of Christ, is the visible head of Christ's Kingdom on earth, the Church, of which Christ Himself is the invisible head".

Scripture states that there is only one head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no hint anywhere of the necessity for the Church to have an earthly or 'visible' head. (If the Pope of Rome really held such a powerful spiritual position, why does he need an earthly army of body - guards? See Psalm 118:6 If the Pope is part of the Church then he is part of the body of Christ, and he is subject to Christ in exactly the same way that every other member of the body is. (See 1Corintians 12:12-27)

"Grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From Whom the whole body is fitly joined together" Ephesians 4:15-16a.

"All power is given unto Me [Jesus] in Heaven and in earth" Matthew 28:22-23a; See also 5:23b-24a; Colossians 1:18a.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide" page 85-86:
Father, Master, Vicar of Christ

The word 'pope' derives from the 'papa' meaning 'Father', so we should consider the following 'problem passage':

"Call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father, Which is in Heaven" Matthew 23:9.

Whatever arguments people employ to justify ignoring this verse, Christ's words stand. He categorically commanded us not to look to any man as a spiritual Father but God Himself. Yet Rome does just this. Even if there were no other such passages, the above is sufficient clear not to be misunderstood. But scriptures like Matthew 6:9, Romans 1:7, 1Thessalonians 3:13, are similar unequivocal. Rome's rejection of this command to call no-one on earth 'father' in this religious sense is simply disobedience to the Lord God. It is no accident that, while Rome is happy to dedicate churches to Mar and various saints, God the Father is rarely given such an honor.

Likewise, consider this assertion of the 'Catholic Truth Society': "The Pope is the spiritual Father of all Christians", and that of Pope Gregory VII: "Does anyone doubt that the priests of Christ are to be considered as fathers and masters of kings and princes and of all believers?". We are very definitely told in Matthew 23:10-12 that we have only one spiritual Master, the Lord Jesus Christ: "Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ" Matthew 23:8, see also John 13:13-14.

the Lord Jesus Christ is God: "...and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23b). See also John 1:1 and John 10:30. Rome calls their Pope 'Vicar of Christ' which means 'a substitute for ' or 'in place of' Christ. Truly, Roman Catholics have allowed Christ to be replaced by mere man. Indeed, when they use the term 'Lord' they seldom referring to the Lord Jesus, but to their Pope.

"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" John 5:43.

The only place in Scripture where anyone is said to be 'in the place of God' is in reference to the anti Christ;

"Let no man deceive you by any means... that man of sin... the son of perdition;...opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ;so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God' (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 and Revelation 17:8-11).

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide" page 86-88:
Pontiff

Pontiff means 'bridge' or 'priest'. Other titles of this kind claimed by the Roman Pope are 'Sovereign Pontiff' meaning 'kingly priest' and 'Summus Pontifex' or Pontifex Maximus' meaning 'supreme' or 'high priest'

It is an error running throughout Roman Catholicism that substantial elements of the symbolic (and / or prophetic) religious and political system which God ordained for Israel as recorded in the Old Testament still apply to His People in the post-resurrection Body of believers. The Word of God makes clear that the ceremonial law and these physical trappings were a prefigure or "shadow" of heavenly things (Hebrew 8:5) and that they pointed to Christ (e.g. Romans 5:14; Hebrew 9:9-12; Hebrew 10:1). Jesus Christ was the "Lamb" of God who was sacrificed on the "altar" of the Earth and is our "High Priest":

"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus (Hebrew 3:1).

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession..."(Hebrew 4:14-15 and see also Hebrew 6:20b and Hebrew 7:26-8:1.)

As we have seen that the position of High Priest is already filled by our glorious , eternal Savior. God's People no longer need a mortal High Priest.

As the Pope also is called Sovereign Pontiff  and, in keeping with this title, wears the papal tiara (a jewel-encrusted triple crown) at various Catholic ceremonies. But the Early Church knew , since Christ's death, it was wrong to perpetuate the physical pattern given to Israel; these things don't appear at all under the "better" New Covenant. Indeed, it is only Christ who can hold these two great offices of High Priest and King and it would be to deny Christ to claim that there is another ruler over the Kingdom of God. It is Christ, the Son of King David, who is our promised King:

"Where is He that is born King of the Jews:" Matthew 2:2; "Behold, thy King cometh unto to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass", Matthew 21:5; "Christ the King of Israel" Mark 15:32.

In contrast to the true Church, whose head is Christ Himself, the false Babylonian church has always had a mortal man 'at the top' ever since Nimrod's day. Amazingly, one of the titles of this position in the false church was "Pontifex Maximus" - precisely the title which the Pope claims for himself and which was taken from the Roman Emperors who preceded Constantine:

The title 'pontiff'....which literally means 'bridge builder' (pons, bridge, and facio, make), comes not from the Bible, but from pagan Rome, where the emperor, as the high priest of the heather religion, and in that sense professing to be the bridge or connecting link between this life and the next, was called 'Pontifex Maximus' The title was therefore lifted from paganism and applied to the head of the Roman Catholic Church".

It is interesting to note that, just as the Pontiff today is happy to indulge any religion provided it acknowledges him as its head, so each Roman Emperor was happy to indulge any religion in his day that accepted him as head. In both cases it denies Christ His rightful position. It can be seen, the, that Rome's claims above are completely mistaken, contradicting the explicit teachings (and warnings) of the Word of God.

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide" page 88:
Servant of the servants of God

There is a tiny minority within the Roman Institution who yet claim that the Pope is just a figurehead, emphasizing that he is also called Cerves servorum Dei (i.e. servant of the servants of God). However that is certainly not consistent with the teachings given by Tome throughout her history, nor does it reflect the way the Pope or the Roman Church actually acts. And however much recent Popes may appear to have been more open to compromise over the issue than their predecessors, the following is quite plain:

"Pope John Paul II said yesterday that... he would not accept a symbolic papacy without teeth and that Rome would have to hold the primary place among Christians. He also said a pope should have authority to make infallible declarations  regarding the basic elements of faith".

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From; Alpha - "the un official guide" page 90:
"Their Rock"

To conclude this study, let us consider the following from Hislop's incomparable study on the Roman Church:

"In the countries where the Babylonian system was most thoroughly developed, we find the Sovereign Pontiff of the Babylonian god invested with the very attributes now ascribed to the Pope. Is the Pope called 'God upon the earth,' the Vice-God'  and 'Vicar of Jesus Christ'? The King in Egypt, who was Sovereign Pontiff, was, says Wilkerson, regarded with the highest reverence as 'THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DIVINITY ON EARTH'".

"Is the Pope 'infallible', and does the church of Rome, in consequence, boast that it has always been 'unchanged and unchangeable' ? The same was the case with the Chaldean Pontiff, and the system over which he presided. The Sovereign Pontiff, says the writer just quoted, was believed to be 'INCAPABLE OF ERROR',... Does the Pope receive the adoration of the Cardinals? The king of Babylon, as Sovereign Pontiff, was adored in like manner... Is the Pope addressed by the title of 'Your holiness'? So also was the Pagan Pontiff of Rome".

How dangerous is it to put a man at the head, rather than our truly infallible Mediator, Shepherd and King the Lord Jesus Christ. Men can be deceived. And, if we build a man-made church hierarchy, all Satan needs to do is take the leaders into error and the entirety of the obedient church would follow. Suffice it to say that the rock on which Roman Catholicism is built is in the form of sand. As Deuteronomy 32:31 puts it, "their rock is not as our rock".

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