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Dilemmas On this page: | Vicar of Christ Dilemma | Freedom of Conscience Dilemma | Scapular Dilemma | Purgatory Dilemma | Catechism Dilemma | Excommunication Dilemma |


FACT 1: The Pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ on earth (vicarius Filii Dei).


"For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire church has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church..." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994 Edition, #882, page 234.)

FACT 2: Jesus Christ identified His Vicar as the Holy Spirit.


7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16: 7-15)

FACT 3: A vicar is one who acts in the place of, or as if he was another.

The Dilemma

If the Pope is right, then Jesus Christ is wrong and guilty of deception. If Jesus is right, then the Pope is wrong and guilt of deception. Either the Holy Spirit is the true Vicar of Christ, or the Pope is, but not both.
QUESTION: Does the Pope claim to be the Vicar of Christ on earth? Yes No
QUESTION: Does Jesus Christ Himself say that the Holy Spirit shall be His Vicar on earth? Yes No
QUESTION: Who do you believe, Jesus or the Pope?

Your Answer?

QUESTION: Can you see how Rome deceives you on the Vicar of Christ issue? Yes No
QUESTION: How do you resolve this Roman Catholic dilemma? Your Answer?

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FACT 1: Pope Pius IX said in an infallible encyclical that man is not free to choose his religion.

Evidence: Pius IX wrote that the following is an error:

"Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true." (Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851)

Evidence: Pius IX wrote that the following is an error:

"It is no longer expedient that the (Roman) Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the state, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship." (Allocution, 'Nemo vestrum' July 26, 1855. (In short, a declaration that the Roman Catholic Church must be the only state religion.)

Evidence: Pius IX wrote that the following is an error:

"Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own paraticular worship." ("Acerbissimum," September 27, 1852). (In short, a declaration that people do not have freedom of worship, but must submit to Rome.)

FACT 2: Vatican Council II declared that man does have the right to choose his religion.

Evidence: "Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religions matters." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, #1782, page 439)

The Dilemma

QUESTION: When you read contradictory pronouncements from two infallible popes, which should you believe?

Your answer?

QUESTION: How can two infallible popes make infallible statements that directly contradict each other? Your answer?
QUESTION: Does the fact that two 'infallible' popes declared the exact opposite thing regarding your freedom make you wonder if perhaps papal infallibility just might be one more of Rome's self-proclaimed deceptions? Yes No
QUESTION: How shall you resolve this dilemma of contradictory proclamations of Rome? Your Answer?

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FACT 1: The Roman Catholic Church expressly denies that anyone can claim assurance of salvation. In fact, Rome goes so far as to curse and condemn to Hell anyone who believes they have such assurance.


"IF anyone saith that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sin for Christ's sake; or that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema (cursed, damned to hell)." Council of Trent, Cannon XII.

"If anyone saith that a man who is born again and justified is bound of faith to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate (saved) let him be anathema (cursed, damned to hell)." Council of Trent, Cannon XV

"If anyone saith that, after the grace of justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment. . . let him be anathema (cursed, damned to hell)." (Council of Trent, Cannon XXX.)

FACT 2: The Roman Catholic Church expressly declares that any person who wears the brown scapular of "Our Lady of Mount Carmel" reportedly given by Mary to St. Simon Stock, will have assurance of salvation.


It is reported that in the year 1251, an apparition of the "Blessed Virgin Mary" in Cambridge England, gave to a Simon Stock a scapular to wear, along with the promise that "anyone who dies clothed in this sh all not suffer eternal fire; and if wearing it they die, they shall be saved." Later, in the year 1322, Pope John XXII confirmed this assurance of salvation when he proclaimed The Sabatine Privilege, by which those who wore the talisman faithfully, and who prayed to Mary, would be released from purgatory on the first Saturday after their death. [Cruz, Joan Carrol, Prayers and Heavenly Promises Compiled from Approved Sources, Rockford, IL: TAN Books and Publishers, copyright 1990]

"it is credible that St. Simon Stock was assured in a supernatural manner of the special protection of the Blessed Virgin for his whole order and for all who should wear the Carmelite habit, that the Blessed Virgin also promised him to grant special aid, especially in the hour of death, to those who in holy fidelity wore this habit in her honor throughout life, so that they should be preserved from hell. (assured of salvation)." [The Catholic Encylopedia, under "Scapular."]

"There is a decree issued by Pope Paul V in 1613 stating the importance of wearing this scapular: 'It is permitted to preach that the Blessed Virgin will help by her continued assistance and her merits, particularly on Saturdays (see note below), the souls of the members of the Scapular Confraternity who have died in the grace of God, if in life they had worn the scapular.'" [Blessing of the Brown Scapular - January 16, 1997. For details, surf over to ]
NOTE: This reference to Saturday refers to the promise of "Mary" to slip down to Purgatory every Saturday to release all it residents who wore the magical scapular during their sojourn on planet Earth.

"A magnificent assurance of salvation is Our Lady's Brown Scapular. The Blessed Virgin Mary promised that 'whoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.' During the Scapular Anniversary celebration in Rome, Pope Pius XII told a very large audience to wear the brown scapular as a sign of consecration to the immaculate heart of Mary." [The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. For more details, surf over to ]

FACT 3 The Word of God says that you can have assurance of salvation.


Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31)
13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. ( 1John 5:13)
21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)
10Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. (Acts 15:10)
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Roman 10: 9-13)

The Dilemma

There you have it: official Roman Catholic documentation that makes mutually exclusive statements regarding the assurance of salvation. Now the questions.
QUESTION 1: According to the Council of Trent, do you, as a faithful Roman Catholic, have assurance of salvation? (Fact #1) Yes No
QUESTION 2: According to Pope Paul V, Pope Pius XII, the Catholic Encylopedia, and others do you have assurance of salvation if you wear the brown scapular? (Fact #2) Yes No
QUESTION 3: Since it logically impossible for the answer to questions 1+2 above to both be "Yes," which should you believe, and which should you reject? Your Answer?
QUESTION 4: Since it is logically impossible for the answers to questions 1+2 above to both be "Yes," how do you resolve this contradiction? Your Answer?
QUESTION 5: According to the Council of Trent (Fact #1), where will you spend eternity if you believe you have assurance of salvation? (Fact #1) Your Answer?
QUESTION 6: Does God's Word say that you can have assurance of salvation? (Fact #3) Your Answer?
QUESTION 7: In giving you assurance of salvation, what does God's Word require - wearing a brown scapular, or your repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ? Your Answer?
QUESTION 8: Can you see that Rome's teaching that there is no assurance of salvation, and that, contradictorily, you can be assured of salvation by wearing a magic brown cloth, are both contradicted by the Word of God? Your Answer?
QUESTION 9: Which do you prefer - God's simple assurance of His free gift of salvation, or the self-contradictory bondage offered by Rome? Your Answer?
QUESTION 10: How do you resolve this Roman Catholic dilemma? Your Answer?


The Law of Non-Contradiction When considering an issue, the law of non-contradiction says, in effect, that, when there is a single, unambiguous question, there cannot be two or more contradictory answers. The question, of course, is, "Can we have assurance of salvation?" Rome gives two answers - that contradict each other. Go figure!

The Coin Factor-Again! Does it not strike you as interesting how the Roman Catholic Church can categorically deny you assurance of salvation in one place, and then give you that assurance in another place? And please do not miss a subtle but still-evident aspect of this dilemma: that brown scapular costs money! Someone has to buy the materials, assemble the product, distribute it, stock it, advertise it and sell it. Forgiveness (sic., salvation) for money, has a very long history in the Roman Catholic Church. Where it was once overt, the awareness and education of our times have driven it under cover - but it is still there. As with so many of Rome's practices, the coins are never very far away!

In fairness, you can often obtain a free scapular (see note below). This is not an uncommon practice - to give you a freebie to hook you into the system, where you will be bled dry later by dues, donations, 'enrollments', registrations, mass cards and so forth. You may not pay directly for your talisman, but you will indeed pay later.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO ROMAN CATHOLICS who still choose Rome over God: You can now get your very own talisman! For free! Its a special offer. Why bother to buy one from your local Roman Catholic bookstore when you can snag a freebie? Well, someone has to pay for it, but not you. Your salvation will be guaranteed! All you have to do is get one, get a priest to 'invest' you in it, and deny the Council of Trent (a mortal sin by the way). Surf over to Free Talisman to order yours today. Now you can be assured of Heaven. Or can you?

Just an Aside. Indeed! This topic is deserving of further research! Perhaps not too long hence, I shall post another sub-page devoted to it. Perhaps it should be called "Rome's Golden Geese." We can cover such things as indulgences, mass cards, what happens when girls become nuns, the financial implications of a celibate clergy, luxurious clothing and crowns for 'Mary" - lots of things. Check back later.

Tripping on the Underwear. As with any system based on error and deception, Rome trips over her own duplicity again and again. This "scapular dilemma" is but one of dozens at this site that demonstrate that the religion of Rome is really a house of cards. Here we have caught Rome not only contradicting herself, but the Word of God as well.

Tell one lie and you find you must tell another and another to cover the previous ones. Perhaps you have learned in your own experience that keeping track of all those lies is very hard work, very complicated work. Sooner or later one of your lies will fail to support your game plan and the whole thing comes unglued.

Defending Deceit. The only way to keep such a web of deceit hidden from view is to erect an incredibly complex rationale to explain to the fly that the web is really not a web at all, that it really isn't sticky, and that the spider is away on vacation. This is what Rome does to support her labyrinth of lies. This is why, when you ask a simple question of Rome - of her defenders and apologists - you seldom get a simple answer in return. Rather will you receive one or more of the following:

  1. A dump truck load of mostly irrelevant information.
  2. Be told that you don't understand, and should take Rome's word for it.
  3. Be told that the Roman Catholic faith is too complex for a simple explanation.
  4. Be told that what Rome has said is not really what Rome said at all.
  5. Be told that, in fact, the opposite condition is true.
  6. A response that includes a half-dozen or so terms almost no one understands.
  7. An artificial distinction of terms where true synonyms are given different, and wrong meanings.
Catholic Apologist Admits His Faith Too Complex to Explain

Catholic Answers Live, a Roman Catholic apologetic ministry headed by Karl Keating, has now gone on record to admit some uncomfortable facts - facts for which I have been told I was 'wrong,' 'lying about the Church' or spreading heresy. In his August/September 1999 mailing to promote a new Roman Catholic magazine, Keating says:

Catholic Faith Too Complex to Explain

"Even though it makes me uncomfortable to admit it, I feel that the material Catholic Answers currently has to offer is NOT capable of reaching the majority of people who need good information on the (Roman Catholic) faith. Frankly, our material is too 'deep' . . . too intellectual . . . and too scholarly." (Page 3 of Keating's mailing)

Many Catholics Leaving the Roman Catholic Church

"I started Catholic Answers as a way to stop the loss of faith caused by Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestant attacks upon the Catholic faith. I was seeing too many of our fellow Catholics leaving the church. . . ." (Page Two of Keating's mailing)

Most Catholics Don't Believe Roman Catholic Doctrine

"Recent polls show that . . . Only 30% of Catholics in America believe in transubstantiation." (Page Two of Keating's mailing)

Catholics are Not Really Catholics at all

"You see, in the years since I started Catholic Answers, I've been continually dismayed by the fact that most of our fellow Catholics aren't really Catholic. (Emphasis in original) (Page One of Keating's mailing)

There you have it - admission by the leading Roman Catholic apologist that Rome is losing many people to the pure, simple Gospel preached by the fundamentalist, evangelical folks so hated by Rome. Also an admission that even the best of the Roman Catholic apologists find their faith so complex even they, the highly educated 'experts' cannot explain it to the person on the street.

Golly. How surprising then to recall that the simple, mostly unlearned Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ had no trouble at all explaining the Gospel, the Faith given by God, to the person in their streets!
QUESTION: Doesn't it make you wonder - even a little bit - that the Gospel so easily given to ordinary, and mostly uneducated people by equally uneducated Apostles, is now incapable of being explained by the highly educated Roman Catholic apologists? Yes No
Do you think that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has somehow been transformed from a simple, easily grasped thing into the 'gospel' preached by Rome? Yes No
Is it possible that what Rome teaches is not the true Gospel at all? Yes No

When discussing issues with Roman Catholics, insist on keeping things clear, concise and as simple as possible. It will drive Roman Catholic apologists up the wall, but its the only way you can keep on track with any reasonable discussion of spiritual things.

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FACT 1. The Roman Catholic Church says there is a place of suffering and torment named "Purgatory" where one must "expiate," or pay the price for one's own sins.

Evidence: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pages 268-269, Articles 1030-1032.

FACT 2. The Roman Catholic Church says that one's time in Purgatory can be shortened by the performance of her 'sacrifice of the Mass' ritual, by giving money, and other means.

Evidence: "their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorial or purifying punishments. (Denzinger, 464). To this is added the Christian teaching that such 'purgatorial punishments' may be relieved by the offerings of the living faithful, such as Masses, prayers, alms (money) and other acts of piety and devotion." [The Catholic Encyclopedia Revised and Updated Edition Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987, with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat]

FACT 3. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Mass ritual is of 'infinite value.' She then immediately backpedals by placing responsibility for getting out of Purgatory not on the Masses she sells, but on the poor suffering soul itself.

Evidence: "The Sacrifice of the Mass is of infinite value, no less than that of the Cross. However, the merit received depends on a person's dispositions." [Page 259, Article 1294 of The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism, John A. Hardon, S.J., 1981, with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.]

I can not help but wonder if one suffering unquenchable fire would have anything BUT the right 'disposition?" But since no one can ask them, I suppose Rome's rabbit-hole is safe. Or perhaps Rome means the 'disposition' of the person buying the Mass card? That would be interesting - someone's freedom from suffering hinging on the 'disposition' of a living person. But if that living person took the trouble to invest in the first place, one would surmise they had the right 'disposition.' Or would they? Can any of you Roman Catholic surfers answer this one: "Who's "disposition" does the Catholic Catechism speak of: the buyer or the receiver?" Thanks, I'd appreciate an answer.

FACT 4. When a Roman Catholic dies, family, friends and relatives hasten to the rectory to purchase 'Mass Cards.' A 'Mass Card' is a promise that a certain number of Masses will be 'said' for the deceased to get him/her out of Purgatory. There are some options here. You can buy an everyday mass (usually called a 'low' mass), or a special one called a 'high' mass, or a very special one called a 'solemn high' mass. Each type comes with a price tag.(1) Rome gets around the charge of simony by calling the fees for masses "offerings." But just try to get a solemn high mass for free and see what happens! Catholics can bypass the local rectory by going to a 'purgatorial society' where priests give a better deal, price-wise, on their masses for the dead. These societies make a tidy profit selling Mass cards to gullible Roman Catholics. They often send you a box full of them. When you use one, you must then send the fee to the society to pay for the Mass.

Evidence: If you are a practicing Roman Catholic you don't need any; you buy and give 'Mass cards' routinely, and probably have a few boxes of Mass cards on hand for emergencies - and to save you a trip to the rectory.

FACT 5. There are some very rich Roman Catholics, some moderately comfortable ones, and some extremely poor ones. There are Roman Catholics who have lots of family and friends to buy their way out of Purgatory with 'Mass cards,' and Roman Catholics who leave no family or friends at all.

Evidence: Just look around.

FACT 6. Scripture says that salvation - admission to Heaven if you will, cannot be bought and paid for because it is a free gift from God.

Evidence. "For the free gift of eternal salvation is now being offered to everyone; and along with this gift comes the realization that God wants us to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures and to live good, God-fearing lives day after day, looking forward to that wonderful time we've been expecting, when his glory shall be seen--the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:11-13). See also Romans 3:27-28, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8.

The Dilemma

Consider this scenario. Mike and Peter live in the same town, and they die on the same day, with approximately the same amount of "purgatory time" to do. Mike was seventy-two, married, the father of five good Roman Catholic children, and grandfather of eleven. He was the town's major employer, and belonged to the Knights, the St. Vincent DePaul Society, and all the local fraternal organizations. Peter, on the other hand, never married, held only menial jobs, and died at age 92 long after all his few friends had died. Several hundred people attend Mike's wake and funeral, most with "Mass cards" in hand. The only ones present at Peter's wake is the undertaker's staff, and his funeral from the Roman Catholic Church is attended only by the priest, one altar boy, two nuns from the convent, and the handyman - none of whom bothered to buy a "Mass card" for Peter.
QUESTION: Who gets out of Purgatory the fastest? Mike Peter
QUESTION: Is it not a fact, according to Roman Catholic practice and teaching, that the more Masses "said" the faster one gets out of Purgatory? Yes No
QUESTION: Is it not a fact, according to Roman Catholic practice and teaching, that the rich and well-connected have a decided advantage over the poor and friendless? Yes No
QUESTION: Do you believe that God is a respecter of persons, showing much more favor to the rich and well-connected than to the poor? Yes No
QUESTION: Is not the selling and buying of ecclesiastical pardons from Purgatory under the heading of simony- which is clearly a sin? Yes No
QUESTION: Does God's Word say that salvation, the guarantee of Heaven, must be purchased, or that it is a free gift? It is free Must be bought
QUESTION: Can you see how Rome's teaching and practice directly contradict God's own Word? Yes No
QUESTION: How does it make you feel to know that your wealthy Roman Catholic friends will probably exit Purgatory almost immediately, while you will have to stay and suffer - just because they had more money and more family and friends with money for mass cards than you do? Your Answer?
QUESTION: What do you think of a church that keeps you paying and paying to get loved ones out of a place that does not even exist? Your Answer?

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FACT 1: The Roman Catholic Church has different editions of her Catechism of the Catholic Church that include directly contradictory statements.

Evidence: [From the Catholic News Service as reported in The Pilot, October 22, 1999, the official newspaper of the archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts, quoting the Catholic News Service. ] "The Chinese-language "Catechism of the Catholic Church" printed by a Catholic publishing house in China omits a sentence that rejects atheism and seems critical of communism. . . Volume 3 of the Faith Press catechism, issued in August (1999), has two blank lines in the entry. The first two sentences of Paragraph 2425 in the official English version of the catechism read: 'The Church has rejected the totalitarianism and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with communism or socialism.'" This passage was opposed by the Chinese Government, and was therefore deleted for political reasons.

FACT 2: Based on Fact 1, the Roman Catholic Church now opposes atheism in the free world, but tacitly approves it in communist China.

The Dilemma

QUESTION: Does Rome, in her official Catechism, oppose atheism? Yes No
QUESTION: Is it rational, reasonable, logical, or even possible to answer both "Yes" and "No" to the above question? Yes No
QUESTION: Can you see the contradiction between Rome's different editions of the same catechism? Yes No
QUESTION: How can you trust a church that speaks with such a forked tongue? Your answer?
QUESTION: How do you resolve this dilemma? Your answer?

Comments: The law of noncontradiction applies to this dilemma. This law simply says that when a question is asked, two contradictory answers can not both be true. Either Rome opposes atheism or she does not oppose atheism. Thus, when Rome officially opposes atheism in one edition of her catechism, and then removes that opposition from another edition, she violates this basic test of truth. Ask, "Does Rome oppose atheism?" and you will get mutually exclusive, self-contradictory answers depending on which country you ask the question in!

So much for integrity!

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FACT 1: Excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church means that a person or group is expelled from that church and denied its sacraments and privileges, which includes salvation. No excommunicated person can, according to Rome, be saved and go to Heaven. Rather are they condemned to Hell.


"How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is His Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the church, a pilgrim now on earth, it is necessary for salvation: (Catechism of the Catholic Church; #846, Page 224.)

[Mortalium Animous, Pope Pius XI] "... no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. . . if any man not enter (the Roman Catholic Church ) he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation."

FACT 2: An excommunicated person or group is simultaneously anathematized, or cursed and damned to hell.


"In passing this sentence (the anathema) the pontiff (pope) pronounces the formula of anathema which ends with these words: "Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N-- himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors, of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church, in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with satan and his angels and all the reprobate. . . " (The Catholic Encyclopedia, ANATHEMA definition.)

FACT 3: For an excommunication to be lifted, or removed, so that the person or group can be restored to the Roman Catholic Church and regain the lost salvation, that person or group must submit totally, abjectly, and without either doubt or question to the authority of Rome.


[IV Council of Constantinople] "whoever then, shall be found, after these directives of ours, despising any of the articles or decrees which have been promulgated by these popes must be excommunicated until he repents and promises to observe all the decrees in question."

FACT 4: In the year 1054, the Roman Catholic Church formally excommunicated the Eastern Orthodox Church for heresy, for refusing to believe in and accept Papal authority, or the doctrines of purgatory, transubstantiation, and other things. In later years, the Orthodox Church also denied papal infallibility and the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. According to Rome's own definitions of excommunication and anathema, for the past millennium millions of Orthodox believers went to Hell for their supposed heresy.

FACT 5: Pope John Paul II invalidated the excommunication of the Eastern Orthodox Church, even though that church has never renounced its 'heresy', nor confessed acceptance of certain Roman Catholic doctrines, as required by the process of excommunication. Thus did this pope violate Roman Catholic doctrine and the disciplinary regulations of Rome's canon law.


[Pope John Paul II: Ut Unum Sint] "Pope Paul VI solemnly sealed the Council's commitment to ecumenism. Renewing the dialogue of charity with the Churches in communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople (The excommunicated church) and joining the Patriarch in the concrete and profoundly significant gesture which 'condemned to oblivion'; and 'removed from memory and from the midst of the Church' the excommunication of the past."

FACT 6: (Based on Fact #5): Since John Paul II's declaration, Orthodox believers can now go to Heaven, despite their still remaining in heresy.

FACT 7" (Based on Fact #5): Since excommunication is the required action against unrepentant heresy, Pope John Paul II has effectively declared that no heresy now exists. But the heretical views of the Orthodox Church still remain, unchanged. There is a fundamental contradiction here, don't you think?

The Dilemma

QUESTION: For almost a millennium, members of the Orthodox Church have been consigned to Hell by Rome. Now John Paul II says that excommunication has been removed. Does this mean that all those Orthodox people who went to Hell for their heresy will now be released from Hell? Yes No
QUESTION: Since the Roman Catholic Church has changed its mind about the excommunication of the Orthodox Church, is God constrained to follow suit and change HIS mind about sending heretics to Hell? Yes No
QUESTION: Has the Roman Catholic Church re-defined what is, and what is not heresy? Yes No
QUESTION: How can the Roman Catholic Church say that the Orthodox Church is no longer heretical when that church continues to hold contrary doctrinal views - which is, by definition, heresy? Your Answer?
QUESTION: How do you resolve this dilemma? Your answer?

My observations This marked transformation by the Roman Catholic Church regarding the Orthodox Church might find its explanation in John Paul II's strategy to bring all religions under his, and the church's control. Given the acknowledged heretical state of the Orthodox Church (vis-a-vis Rome's declarations and excommunications), the only way JP2 could accomplish his goal would be to re-define heresy itself! This he has done, as a de-facto result of his declaration invalidating the excommunication of the Orthodox Church. Just examine any of JP2's writings on the subject, or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and you may be amazed to find the terms "heresy" and "heretic" are not applied to the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church, churches that were considered heretical for generations.

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