ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Roman Catholicism

Introduction

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.25 billion members worldwide. One of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilisation. It is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, who has supreme power over the Church. Its principal doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church is also distinguished by its celebration of the seven sacraments.

Is Roman Catholicism And Christianity The Same Thing?

 

 

No, Roman Catholicism and Christianity are not the same thing.  Christianity is properly defined by certain doctrines that are revealed in the Bible.  It is not defined by simply saying that as long as you believe in Jesus, you're a Christian.  Mormons believe in Jesus, but their Jesus is a brother of the devil in the pre-existence.  The Jesus of the Jehovah's Witnesses is Michael the Archangel. So, just saying you believe in Jesus doesn't make you a Christian.  This is why the Bible tells us who Jesus really is--God in flesh, creator of the universe.  Likewise, there are essential doctrines; and if any of those essential doctrines are violated, then a church would only appear to be Christian but not really be Christian.  What are those doctrines?  The Bible tells us.  Let's take a look.

  1. There is only one God, and you are to serve no other gods (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10;44:6, 8).
  2. Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14; 8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4).
  3. Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:14).
  4. Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 3:1-2; 5:1-4).
  5. The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9).
  6. God is a Trinity (Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14).
  7. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:25).

So, someone who is a true Christian will believe these things and not violate them.  Roman Catholicism violates two of them (#1 and #4).  First of all, by its practice of promoting Mary (and the Saints) to the level of God-like capabilities, they break the commandment to have no other gods before the true and living God.  In Roman Catholicism, they say that Mary is the mediatrix (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 969); Mary made atonement for the sins of man (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, page 213); Mary is the subject of preaching and worship (Vatican Council II, p. 420); etc.

Also, Catholicism violates the Biblical doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone.  Paul the apostle, for example, tells us in Romans 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness."  But Roman Catholicism denies that and says, " . . . so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments," (CCC, par 2068).  Also, consider this:

"If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema" (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).

So, even though Roman Catholicism claims to be Christian and that it is the one true church, it violates the essentials of the Christian faith.  It goes beyond what is written in God's Word (1 Cor. 4:6).  It denies the sole and true sovereignty of the living God by promoting prayer to and the worship of Mary.  Also, it denies justification by faith alone in Christ alone.  It is not a Christian church.

 

 

*Original Post: www.carm.org

A List Of False Teachings In The Roman Catholic Church

 

 

The Protestant Reformation happened for a reason. Basically, it was to combat the many false teachings that the Roman Catholic Church had adopted through the centuries. When Martin Luther compared Catholicism to Scripture, the result was his nailing the 95 theses to the Wittenberg door. However, instead of reforming the Roman Catholic Church, it resulted in the protesters, the Protestants, whose aim was to get back to the Scriptures.

Following is a summarized paragraph with references found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) of many of the false teachings of Roman Catholicism. How do we know they are false? By comparing Scripture with what is taught.

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The Catholic Church is the one true church (CCC 2105), Infallibility of the Catholic Church, (CCC 2035), Only the Roman Catholic Church has authority to interpret Scripture (CCC 100), The Pope is the head of the church and has the authority of Christ (CCC 2034), The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation (CCC 846), Sacred Tradition equal to scripture (CCC 82), Forgiveness of sins, salvation, is by faith and works (CCC 2036 CCC 2080 2068), Full benefit of Salvation is only through the Roman Catholic Church (Vatican 2, Decree on Ecumenism, 3), Grace can be merited (CCC 2010 CCC 2027), The merit of Mary and the Saints can be applied to Catholics and others (1477), Penance is necessary for salvation (CCC 980), Purgatory (CCC 1031 CCC 1475), Indulgences (CCC 1471 CCC 1478 CCC 1498 CCC 1472), Mary is Mediatrix (CCC 969), Mary brings us the gifts of eternal salvation (CCC 969), Mary delivers souls from death (CCC 966), Prayer to the saints (CCC 2677), The Communion elements become the actual body and blood of Christ (CCC 1374 CCC 1376).

  1. The Catholic church is the one true church
    1.  CCC 2105 "The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is 'the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.' By constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them 'to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live.' The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church. Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies."
  2. Infallibility of the Catholic Church
    1. CCC 2035, "The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed."
  3. Only the Roman Catholic Church has authority to interpret Scripture
    1. CCC 100, "The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him."
  4. The Pope is the head of the church and has the authority of Christ
    1. CCC 2034, "The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are 'authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to them, the faith to be believed and put into practice.' The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teach the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for."
  5. The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation
    1. CCC 846, "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, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."
  6. Sacred Tradition equal to Scripture
    1. CCC 82, ". . .the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence'."
  7. Forgiveness of sins, salvation, is by faith and works
    1. CCC 2036, "The specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the creator, is necessary for salvation."
    2. CCC 2080, "The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law. It is made known to us by divine revelation and by human reason."
    3. CCC 2068, "so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,"
  8. Full benefit of Salvation is only through the Roman Catholic Church
    1. "For it is only through Christ's Catholic Church, which is "the all-embracing means of salvation," that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation," (Vatican 2, Decree on Ecumenism, 3).
  9. Grace can be merited
    1. CCC 2010, "Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselvesand for others the graces needed for our sanctification."
    2. CCC 2027, "Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods."
  10. The merit of Mary and the Saints can be applied to Catholics and others
    1. 1477, "This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission in the unity of the Mystical Body."
  11. Penance is necessary for salvation
    1. CCC 980, “This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn."
  12. Purgatory
    1. CCC 1031, "The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:
    2. CCC 1475, "In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things." In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.
  13. Indulgences
    1. CCC 1471, "The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance. What is an indulgence? 'An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.' 'An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.' The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.'"
    2. CCC 1478, "An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.
    3. CCC 1498, "Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory."
    4. CCC 1472, " . . . On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin . . . "
  14. Mary (there are many false doctrines concerning Mary found in Roman Catholicism, here are a few)     
    1. Mary is Mediatrix, CCC 969, "Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'"
    2. Mary brings us the gifts of eternal salvation, CCC 969, "Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . . "
    3. Mary delivers souls from death, CCC 966, " . . . You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death."
  15. Prayer to the saints
    1. CCC 2677, "By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the 'Mother of Mercy,' the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender 'the hour of our death' wholly to her care."
  16. The Communion elements become the actual body and blood of Christ
    1. CCC 1374, "In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."
    2. CCC 1376, "The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

 

 

*Original Post: www.carm.org

The Gospel For Roman Catholics

 

 

This paper is written in two parts. The first explains and documents the Roman Catholic Church's position on justification. The second part presents the true Gospel in contrast to the Catholic Church's position. If you want to go straight to the Gospel presentation for Catholics, simply scroll down the page.

Because of the great emphasis on Sacred Tradition within the Catholic Church and because so many Roman Catholics appeal to the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, the Word of God is often placed after the Catholic Church itself in relation to authority. Because of this, many Catholics appeal to their works--in combination with the sacrifice of Christ as a means of being justified before God.  The Council of Trent expresses this plainly:

"If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema," (Canon 14, Council of Trent).

Justification is the legal declaration by God upon the sinner where God declares the sinner righteous in His sight. This justification is based completely and solely on the work of Christ on the cross. We cannot earn justification or merit justification in any way. If we could, then Christ died needlessly. "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly," (Galatians 2:21). Because righteousness cannot come through the Law (through our efforts of merit), the Bible declares that we are justified before God by faith.

  • "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Romans 3:28).
  • "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Romans 4:3).
  • "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," (Romans 4:5).
  • "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Romans 5:1).
  • "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God," (Ephesians 2:8).

However, in Roman Catholicism, justification by faith is denied.

"If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified . . . let him be accursed," (Canon 12, Council of Trent).

Which are we to believe? The Roman Catholic Church or God's Word? Furthermore, the RCC states that justification is received not by faith--but by baptism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph, 1992, that " . . . justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith." This means that faith is not the instrument of obtaining justification, instead, it is an ordinance performed by a priest in the Roman Catholic Church.

Furthermore, baptism is only the initial grace along the road of justification. The Roman Catholic is to then maintain his position before God by his efforts.

"No one can MERIT the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can MERIT for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods," (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2027).

The problem here is that the RCC is teaching us to "merit for ourselves and for others all the graces need to attain eternal life." You cannot merit grace. Grace is unmerited favor. Merit is, according to the CCC 2006, " . . . the recompense owed by a community or a society for the action of one of its members, experienced either as beneficial or harmful, deserving reward or punishment . . . " CCC 2006. This means that merit is something owed. By contrast, grace is something not owed.  Therefore, the RCC is teaching contrary to God's Word regarding grace and justification.

The sad result is that in Roman Catholicism justification before God is a process that is maintained by the effort and works of the Roman Catholic. This is a very unfortunate teaching since it puts the unbearable burden of works' righteousness upon the shoulders of the sinner. By contrast, the Bible teaches that justification/salvation is by faith.

  • "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," (Romans 4:5).
  • "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Romans 5:1).
  • "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God," (Ephesians 2:8).

The Gospel for Roman Catholics

The Gospel for Roman Catholics is the same as for anyone else, and it is obtained by grace through faith in believing and trusting in Jesus alone, who is God in flesh, for the forgiveness of sins. Salvation is not found in a true church. Salvation is not found in being good. Salvation is not found in good works. Salvation is not found in a sincere heart. Salvation is not found in making up for past sins by efforts of restoration or penance or indulgences. You can never do enough to please God.

Because God is so infinitely holy and righteous and because we are sinners, we are incapable of pleasing God by anything that we do. In fact, our righteous deeds are considered filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6). You can do nothing to earn forgiveness or keep forgiveness. Salvation before God is not administered to us through an earthly priest in the Catholic church by the sprinkling of water or giving of penance or recitation of formula prayers. Salvation for the Christian is not kept through the effort of the person who hopes and tries and worries about being good enough to stay saved.

Such error can only lead to despair and hopelessness and a desperate and unwarranted dependence on the Roman Catholic Church as the only means by which salvation can be distributed and maintained. In this error, people far too often seek to work their way to Heaven by being good, by doing what the Catholic church teaches them to do, by prayers to Mary, by indulgences, by the Rosary, and by a host of other man-made works. Remember, in the RCC, salvation is through the Church and its sacraments and not through Jesus alone--by faith alone. This is exactly how the cults of Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses work who both teach that true salvation is found only in their church membership and in following the revelation and authority of their church teachers and traditions.

Are you tired of the works' requirement?

In great contrast to the position of the Roman Catholic Church, if you want to be forgiven of your sins, once and for all, then you need to come to Christ (Matthew 11:28). You need to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior (John 1:12; Romans 10:13). You need to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins (John 14:14) and trust in Him alone and in nothing that you can do. Remember, your good deeds have no merit before God (Isa. 64:6). Furthermore, if you have faith, it is because that faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29). If you believe, it is because God has granted that you believe (Philippians 1:29). It is not because you were baptized or have been good or have been sincere. It is all of God. The Lord must receive all the glory for salvation because it completely and totally rests in Him. Salvation rests in Christ alone, and it is received by faith apart from works.

Please read the following Scriptures carefully.

  1. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23).
  2. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," (Romans 6:23).
  3. "And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed," (1 Peter 2:24).
  4. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him," (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  5. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it," (John 14:14).
  6. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29"Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls," (Matthew 11:28-29).
  7. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name," (John 1:12).
  8. "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly," (Galatians 2:21).
  9. "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Romans 3:28).
  10. "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Romans 4:3).
  11. "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," (Romans 4:5).
  12. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life," (1 John 5:13).

A suggested prayer

This suggested prayer is not a formula but a representation of Biblical principles by which you might better understand the true Gospel and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. It is not a formula derived from Sacred Tradition or Stamped with the seal of the Roman Catholic Church's approval.  Its principles are derived from Scripture: we are sinners, God is Holy, we cannot earn salvation, salvation is a free gift, prayer to Christ, Jesus is the only way, receiving Christ, faith, etc. "Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner, and that I have offended you by breaking your Holy Law.  I confess my sins to you, Lord, and ask forgiveness from you and do not ask anyone else to be forgiven of my sins against you. I acknowledge who you are, God in flesh, creator, humble Lord, who bore my sins in Your body on the cross, and I come to you alone and trust you alone by faith that you will forgive me completely of my sins so that I will have eternal life. I ask you, Lord, to come into my heart to be my Lord, to forgive me of my sins. Lord, I trust in you alone, in the work of the cross alone and not in any church, not in any saint, not in Mary, not in any priest but in you alone.  Lord, Jesus, I receive you and come to you and ask you to forgive me and justify me by faith as I trust in you alone.  Thank you."

If you are a Roman Catholic and have trusted in Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins, then welcome to the body of Christ. Welcome to salvation and the free gift of forgiveness in Jesus.

Next, I strongly recommend that you read the Bible regularly, talk to Jesus daily in prayer, and seek to find a church that teaches and focuses on Jesus as Lord, Jesus as Savior, and sticks to the Bible alone.

 

 

*Original Post: www.carm.org

Roman Catholic Beliefs Vs. Christian Beliefs

Roman Catholicism

The bishops, with the pope as their head, rule the universal Church.


God has entrusted revelation to the bishops.


The pope is infallible in his teaching.


Scripture and Tradition together are the Word of God.



Mary is the co-redeemer, for she participated with Christ in the painful act of redemption.


Mary is the co-mediator, to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions.



Initial justification is by means of baptism.


Adults must prepare for justification through faith and good works.



Grace is merited by good works.


Salvation is attained by cooperating with grace through faith, good works, and participation in the sacraments.


No one can know if he will attain to eternal life.




The Roman Catholic Church is necessary for salvation.




Christ's body and blood exist wholly and entirely in every fragment of consecrated bread and wine in every Roman Catholic church around the world.


The sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated in the sacrifice of the Mass.


Each sacrifice of the Mass appeases God's wrath against sin.


The sacrificial work of redemption is continually carried out through the sacrifice of the Mass.

Biblical Teaching

Christ, the head of the body, rules the universal church (Colossians 1:18).


God has entrusted revelation to the saints (Jude 3).


God alone is infallible (Numbers 23:19; Acts 17:11).


Scripture alone is the Word of God (John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Mark 7:1-13).

 


Christ alone is the Redeemer, for He alone suffered and died for sin (1 Peter 1:18,19).


Christ Jesus is the one mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions (1 Timothy 2:5;John 14:13,14; 1 Peter 5:7).


Justification is by faith alone (Romans 3:28).


God justifies ungodly sinners who believe (Romans 4:5). Good works are the result of salvation, not the cause (Ephesians 2:8-10).


Grace is a free gift (Romans 11:6).


Salvation is attained by grace through faith apart from works (Ephesians 2:10).



The believer can know that he has eternal life by the Word of God and the testimony of the Holy Spirit who indwells believers (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16).


There is salvation in no one but the Lord Jesus Christ, “for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).


The bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Christ, and He is bodily present in heaven (1 Corinthians 11:23-25; Hebrews 10:12,13).


The sacrifice of the cross is finished (John 19:30).



The once-for-all sacrifice of the cross fully appeased God's wrath against sin (Hebrews 10:12-18).


The sacrificial work of redemption was finished when Christ gave His life for us on the cross (Ephesians 1:7;Hebrews 1:3).

For further and complete information on Roman Catholicism, please visit WWW.CARM.ORG