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Christ removes all barriers to catholicity of His church through faith

JeffLogan's picture

Thinking about Christ and how He breaks down all barriers and spoils all principalities and powers which prevent true universality, true catholicity, of His body, the church...

Has anyone ever considered that a living faith is not achieved by adding our works to our faith but rather, that faith is a gift from God which being quickened by the Holy Spirit produces obedience (good works)? (The keyword here is "quickened". It would serve you well to consult your Strong's Concordance.)

Think about this verse and tell me what it means:

    And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. -Acts 5:32 (KJV)

But first, before you answer, tell me what this means to demonstrate your wisdom:

    "Love means never having to say you're sorry." (Love Story, The movie.)

Does it mean...

    1) Love does nothing to warrant an apology

    2) Love takes no account of injury

    3) Other (explain)

Now answer the verse in question:

    And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. -Acts 5:32 (KJV)

Does it mean...

    1) God only gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him

    2) God gives His Holy Spirit to men so they might obey Him

    3) Other (explain)

This is a discovery exercise and not a theological debate. Opinions are welcomed but scriptural support would be even better. Be sure to interpret your scriptures so we can understand how you are using them. Commentaries may be insightful but a paraphrase in your own words would be appreciated and would demonstrate you understand your subject matter.

JeffLogan's picture

It is quite the contrary. DM

It is quite the contrary.

(This post addresses a question concerning an earlier post and is not directly related to the topic at hand.)

DM writes - But I wonder why the Catholic Mirror would be disavowing Sunday Worship when Sunday has ALWAYS been a holy day of obligation in the Catholic Church? Is there something you ommitted?

You have assumed that since the Catholic Mirror did not see a change of the Sabbath to Sunday in scripture that they are disavowing Sunday Worship. Quite the contrary. What was popularly taught back then (19th Century) was that Jesus changed the Sabbath to Sunday and it could be proved from scripture. However, this was a Protestant ploy to steal the authority for the change away from the Catholic church. The Catholics, feeling robbed, fired back.

According to the church fathers, the change of Sabbath to Sunday is a mark of the Catholic Church's ecclesiastical authority.

Things Catholics Are Asked About

    ...Some non-Catholics object to Purgatory because there is no specific mention of it in Scripture. There is no specific mention of the word Sunday in Scripture. The Sabbath is mentioned, but Sabbath means Saturday. Yet Christians of almost all denominations worship on Sunday, not Saturday. The Jews observe Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday. The fact is that the Church was in existence for several centuries before the Bible was given to the world. The Church made the Bible, the Bible did not make the Church.
    Now the Church which gave us the Bible, instituted, by God's authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday.

    Source: Things Catholics Are Asked About, Martin J. Scott, S.J., Litt.D., p. 136 [Chapter XIX, "Purgatory"], Copyright 1927 by P. J. Kenedy & Sons, New York. Text of Things Catholics Are Asked About online.

Extracts from a lecture delivered by Father Enright at Harlan, Iowa, December 15, 1889. Reported by the Harlan American.

    “My brethren, look about you upon the various wrangling sects and denominations. Show me one that claims or possesses the power to make laws binding on the conscience. There is but one on the face of the earth—the Catholic Church—that has the power upon the conscience, binding before God, binding under pain of hell fire. Take, for instance, the day we celebrate—Sunday. What right have the Protestant churches to observe that day? None whatever. You say it is to obey the commandment, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." But Sunday is not the Sabbath according to the Bible and the record of time. Everyone knows that Sunday is the first day of the week, while Saturday is the seventh day, and the Sabbath, the day consecrated as a day of rest. It is so recognized in all civilized nations. I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who will furnish any proof from the Bible that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. If any person in this city will show me any scripture for it, I will tomorrow evening publicly acknowledge it and thank him for it. It was the Holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the first day of the week. And it not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the Council of Laodicea, A. D. 364 anathematized those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labor on the seventh day under the penalty of anathema.

    Source: The Holland, Michigan, Evening Sentinel, Friday, June 11th, 1976, page 7, quoting the Industrial American, of Harlan, Iowa, December 19, 1889.

Summa Theologica

    In the New Law the observance of the Lord's day (Sunday) took the place of the observance of the Sabbath (Saturday), not by virtue of the precept (of God) but by the institution of the Church and the custom (Tradition) of Christian people.

    Source: St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica - SS Q[122] A[4] Reply to Objection 4.

The American Catholic Quarterly Review

    [pg. 139]
    Strange as it may seem, the State, in passing laws for the due sanctification of Sunday, is unwittingly acknowledging the authority of the Catholic Church, and carrying out more or less faithfully its prescriptions.
    The Sunday, as a day of the week set apart for the obligatory public worship of Almighty God, to be sanctified by a suspension of all servile labor, trade, and worldly avocations and by exercises of devotion, is purely a creation of the Catholic Church.
    It is not the Jewish Sabbath; it is, in fact, entirely distinct from it, and not governed by the enactments of the Mosaic law. It is part and parcel of the system of the Catholic Church, as absolutely as Christian marriage is or any other of her sacraments, her festivals and fasts, her days of joy and mourning, her indulgences and her jubilees.

    [pg. 149]
    The Catholic Church created the Sunday and made the very regulations which have come down on the statute-books, and she still constantly, from her pulpits, her catechists' chairs, and the confessional, calls on her faithful to obey them, to sanctify the day, and refrain from all that desecrates it.

    [pg. 152]
    The state, in referring to the Sunday laws, does it as a religious duty, acknowledging the Divine supremacy, and enforcing laws made known through the instrumentality of the Church.

    Source: The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. VIII, No. 29, January 1883, The Observance of Sunday and Civil Laws for its Enforcement, John Gilmary Shea, LL.D., published in Philadelphia by Hardy and Mahony Publishers and Proprietors, pages 139, 149, 152.

Pope John Paul II

    63. Christ came to accomplish a new "exodus", to restore freedom to the oppressed. He performed many healings on the Sabbath (cf. Mt 12:9-14 and parallels), certainly not to violate the Lord's Day, but to reveal its full meaning: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mk 2:27). Opposing the excessively legalistic interpretation of some of his contemporaries, and developing the true meaning of the biblical Sabbath, Jesus, as "Lord of the Sabbath" (Mk 2:28), restores to the Sabbath observance its liberating character, carefully safeguarding the rights of God and the rights of man. This is why Christians, called as they are to proclaim the liberation won by the blood of Christ, felt that they had the authority to transfer the meaning of the Sabbath to the day of the Resurrection.

    Source: Pope John Paul II, Dies Domini.


Here are some other resources which help us understand the contest which existed in those days.

The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine

    A Convert's Catechism

    Q. Which is the Sabbath day?
    A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
    Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
    A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
    Q. Why did the Catholic Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
    A. The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her.
    Q. What does the Third Commandment command?
    A. The Third Commandment commands us to sanctify Sunday as the Lord's Day.

    Source: The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, by Reverend Peter Geiermann, C.S.R., Copyright 1910 by Joseph Gummersbach, blessed by Pope Pius X on the 25th of January 1910 via Cardinal Merry Del Val, published by B. Herder Book Co, 15 and 17 South Broadway, St. Louis, Mo., and London, W. C. 33 Queen Square, in 1937, Twelfth Edition, page 50.

Controversial Catechism

    Keenan's Catechism

    [pg. 53]
    Q. When Protestants do profane work upon Saturday, or the seventh day of the week, do they follow the Scripture as their only rule of faith?
    A. On the contrary, they have only the authority of tradition for this practice. In profaning Saturday, they violate one of God's commandments, which he has never clearly abrogated; "Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day."
    Q. Is the observance of Sunday, as the day of rest, a matter clearly laid down in Scripture?
    A. It certainly is not; and yet all Protestants consider the observance of this particular day as essentially necessary to salvation. To say, we observe the Sunday, because Christ rose from the dead on that day, is to say, that we should rest on Thursday, because Christ ascended to heaven on that day, and rested in reality from the work of redemption.

    [ pg. 54]
    Q. What do you conclude from all this?
    A. That Protestants have no Scripture for the measure of their day of rest; that they abolish the observance of Saturday without warrant of Scripture; that they substitute Sunday in its place without scriptural authority; consequently, that for all this, they have only traditional authority. Yet Protestants would look upon a man who would do profane work after five o'clock on Sunday, or keep the Saturday, and profane the first day, as a victim of perdition. Hence we must conclude, that the Scripture, which does not teach these things clearly, does not contain all necessary truths; and, consequently, cannot be the only rule of faith.

    [ pg. 108]
    Q. Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?
    A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her - she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.

    Source: Controversial Catechism, by the Rev. Stephen Keenan, Second Edition revised and enlarged, published in 1849 by John Doyle, 22 Leith Street, Edinburgh, & J. Chalmers, Castle Street, Dundee, and in 1851 by C. Dolman, 13 South Hanover Street, Edinburgh; and 61, New Bond Street, London, pages 53, 54, and 108.
    A Doctrinal Catechism, by Rev. Stephen Keenan, Imprimatur by John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, Third American Edition, Copyright 1876 by T. W. Strong, published by P. J. Kenedy, pages 352-355, 174.

Plain Talk About The Protestantism Of Today

    It is worth its while to remember that this observance of the [Sunday] Sabbath, — in which, after all, the only Protestant worship consists, — not only has no foundation in the Bible, but it is in flagrant contradiction with its letter, which commands rest on the [7th day] Sabbath, which is Saturday. It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of JESUS CHRIST, has transferred this rest to the Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of the Lord. Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Roman Catholic] Church.

    Source: Plain Talk About The Protestantism Of Today, from the French of Monsignor Louis Gaston de Segur, Boston: Patrick Donahoe, 1868, Imprimatur Joannes Josephus, Episcopus Boston, pg. 225.

BTW, the Catholic Mirror echoed the same sentiments in their articles.

The Catholic Mirror

    Before closing this series of articles, we beg to call the attention of our readers once more to our caption, introductory of each; viz., 1st—The Christian Sabbath, the genuine offspring of the union of the Holy Spirit with the Catholic Church His spouse. 2nd—The claim of Protestantism to any part therein proved to be groundless, self-contradictory, and suicidal.

    The first proposition needs little proof. The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. We say by virtue of her divine mission, because He who called Himself the "Lord of the Sabbath," endowed her with His own power to teach, "he that heareth you, heareth Me;" commanded all who believe in Him to hear her, under penalty of being placed with "heathen and publican;" and promised to be with her to the end of the world. She holds her charter as teacher from Him — a charter as infallible as perpetual. The Protestant world at its birth found the Christian Sabbath too strongly entrenched to run counter to its existence; it was therefore placed under the necessity of acquiescing in the arrangement, thus implying the Church's right to change the day, for over three hundred years. The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day, the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world.

    Let us now, however, take a glance at our second proposition, with the Bible alone as the teacher and guide in faith and morals. This teacher most emphatically forbids any change in the day for paramount reasons. The command calls for a "perpetual covenant." The day commanded to be kept by the teacher has never once been kept, thereby developing an apostasy from an assumedly fixed principle, as self-contradictory, self-stultifying, and consequently as suicidal as it is within the power of language to express. Nor are the limits of demoralization yet reached. Far from it. Their pretense for leaving the bosom of the Catholic Church was for apostasy from the truth as taught in the written word. They adopted the written word as their sole teacher, which they had no sooner done than they abandoned it promptly, as these articles have abundantly proved; and by a perversity as willful as erroneous, they accept the teaching of the Catholic Church in direct opposition to the plain, unvaried, and constant teaching of their sole teacher in the most essential doctrine of their religion, thereby emphasizing the situation in what may be aptly designated "a mockery, a delusion, and a snare."

It is recorded that the Archbishop of Reggio came into the council of Trent with substantially the following argument to the party who held for Scripture alone

    "The Protestants claim to stand upon the written word only. They profess to hold the Scripture alone as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition. Now the Protestants claim, that they stand upon the written word only, is not true. Their profession of holding the Scripture alone as the standard of faith, is false. PROOF: The written word explicitly enjoins the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They do not observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they do truly hold the scripture alone as their standard, they would be observing the seventh day as is enjoined in the Scripture throughout. Yet they not only reject the observance of the Sabbath enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted and do practice the observance of Sunday, for which they have only the tradition of the Church. Consequently the claim of 'Scripture alone as the standard,' fails; and the doctrine of 'Scripture and tradition' as essential, is fully established, the Protestants themselves being judges."

    [The Archbishop of Reggio (Gaspar [Ricciulli] de Fosso) made his speech at the last opening session of Trent, (17th Session) reconvened under a new pope (Pius IV), on the 18th of January, 1562 after having been suspended in 1552. — J. H. Holtzman, Canon and Tradition, published in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in 1859, page 263, and Archbishop of Reggio's address in the 17th session of the Council of Trent, Jan. 18, 1562, in Mansi SC, Vol. 33, cols. 529, 530. Latin.]

    There was no getting around this, for the Protestants' own statement of faith — the Augsburg Confession, 1530 — had clearly admitted that "the observation of the Lord's day" had been appointed by "the Church" only.

      Article XXVIII: Of Ecclesiastical Power. 33. They refer to the Sabbath-day as having been changed into the Lord's Day, contrary to the Decalog, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath-day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!

    The argument was hailed in the council as of Inspiration only; the party for "Scripture alone," surrendered; and the council at once unanimously condemned Protestantism and the whole Reformation as only an unwarranted revolt from the communion and authority of the Catholic Church; and proceeded, April 8, 1546, "to the promulgation of two decrees, the first of which, enacts under anathema, that Scripture and tradition are to be received and venerated equally, and that the deutero-canonical [the apocryphal] books are part of the canon of Scripture. The second decree declares the Vulgate to be the sole authentic and standard Latin version, and gives it such authority as to supersede the original texts; forbids the interpretation of Scripture contrary to the sense received by the Church, 'or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers,'" etc. (See the proceedings of the Council; Augsburg Confession; and Encyclopaedia Britannica, article "Trent, Council of.")

Are you beginning to get a sense of how important Sunday keeping is to establish both tradition and the authority of the Catholic Church? If you wanted to strengthen your argument against Sola Scriptura and for Scripture and Tradition I would pursue this same course. The Protestant cannot refute this argument. As the Catholic Mirror stated; their position is "groundless, self-contradictory, and suicidal." They can give no answer for why they observe Sunday from their pretended position of Sola Scriptura.

Note: Thanks to Michael Scheifler for consolidating these quotations on BibleLight.Net at Bible Light. I have randomly verified some but not all quotations.

“The path of true piety is so plain as to require
but little political direction.” --George Washington,
re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in U.S. Constitution.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV