No better course could be adopted in order to discover the real nature of Rome's Anti christianity than to examine a text book which is a 'must' for her priests in preparation for their priesthood.
Such a textbook is 'Dignity and Duties of the Priest or Selva'. (A collection of Materials for Ecclesiastical Retreats. Rule of Life and Spiritual Rules) by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
Just how high Alphonsus is reckoned in the scale of precedence of Roman saints can be seen from the 'Notice' which appears in the preface to the volume. It concludes with this eulogy 'LIVE JESUS, MARY, JOSEPH AND ALPHONSUS!'
JESUS DIED TO INSTITUTE THE ROMAN PRIESTHOOD
'Jesus has died to institute the priesthood. It was not necessary for the Redeemer to die in order to save the world; a drop of his blood, a single tear, or prayer, was sufficient to procure salvation for all; for such a prayer, being of infinite value, should be sufficient to save not one but a thousand worlds. But to institute the priesthood, the death of Jesus Christ has been necessary. Had he not died, where should we find the victim that the priests of the New Law now offer? A victim altogether holy and immaculate, capable of giving to God an honour worthy of God. As had been already said, all the lives of men and angels are not capable of giving to God an infinite honour like that which a priest offers to him by a Single Mass.'
The above statement is a hideous blasphemy. 'Christ died for the ungodly.'
'God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things by whom also He made the worlds.
Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.'
'But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.'
The purpose of the Blood shedding on the Cross was not to institute the massing priesthood of Rome but to purchase the redemption of the people of God.
Any system which holds such an unscriptural view as Rome does of the Work of the Cross is plainly not a Christian system at all but is part of the system of Satan and Antichrist.
THE ROMAN PRIEST GREATER THAN KINGS
"The kings of the earth glory in honouring priests: 'it is a mark of a good prince,' said Pope St. Marcellinus, 'to honour the priests of God.' 'They willingly,' says Peter de Blois, 'bend their knee before the priest of God; they kiss his hands, and with bowed down head receive his benediction.' 'The sacerdotal dignity,' says St. Chrysostom, 'effaces the royal dignity; hence the king inclines his head under the hand of the priest to receive his blessing'."
THE ROMAN PRIEST EQUAL TO CHRIST
"Were the Redeemer to descend into a church, and sit in a confessional to administer the sacrament of penance, and a priest to sit in another confessional, Jesus would say over each penitent, 'Ego te absolvo,' the priest would likewise say over each of his penitents, 'Ego te absolvo,' and the penitents of each would equally be absolved."
THE ROMAN PRIEST GREATER THAN GOD
"Thus the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the creator of his Creator, since by saying the words of the consecration, he creates, as it were, Jesus in the sacrament, by giving him a sacramental existence, and produces him as a victim to be offered to the eternal Father. As in creating the world it was sufficient for God to have said, Let it be made, and it was created. He spake, and they were made, so it is sufficient for the priest to say, 'Hoc est corpus meum,' and behold the bread is no longer bread, but the body of Jesus Christ. 'The power of the priest,' says St. Bernardine of Sienna, 'is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world'."
"With regard to the mystic body of Christ, that is, all the faithful, the priest has the power of the keys, or the power of delivering sinners from hell, of making them worthy of paradise, and of changing them from the slaves of Satan into the children of God. And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priests, and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse or give absolution, provided the penitent is capable of it."
THE TESTIMONY OF THE HISTORIC CHRISTIAN FAITH
The testimony of the historic Christian faith against the apostacy of the Papacy is made crystal clear in the great foundation creeds of the Churches of the Reformation.
Episcopalian, Church of England
"Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions."
"The offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifice of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits."
"There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God."
Of the Lord's Supper
"In this sacrament Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead; but only a commemoration of that one offering up of himself, by himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same, so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ's one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect."
John Wesley's comment on the term 'man of sin' in II Thessalonians 2:3.
"However, in many respects, the Pope has an indisputable claim to those titles. He is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled, the son of perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers, destroyed innumerable souls, and will himself perish everlastingly. He it is that opposeth himself to the emperor; once his rightful sovereign; and that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. Commanding angels, and putting kings under his feet, both of whom are called gods in scripture; claiming the highest power, the highest honour; suffering himself, not once only, to be styled God or vice God. Indeed no less is implied in his ordinary title, 'Most Holy Lord', or, 'Most Holy Father', so that he sitteth enthroned in the temple of God. Mentioned Rev. 11:1. Declaring himself that he is God claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone."
"The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifice of masses, in the which it is commonly said that the priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit."
"The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order, or government of the Church is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof, but is no other than Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God: whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming."
"There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but it (he) is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God, whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of His coming."
A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES
What John Huss wrote 1373 1415 A.D.
An epistle of John Huss unto the people of Prague, reads: "The more circumspect you ought to be, for that Anti Christ laboureth the more to trouble you. Death shall swallow up many, but of the elect children of God the kingdom of God draweth near. Know ye, well beloved, that AntiChrist being stirred up against you deviseth divers persecutions."
Acts & Monuments, iii pp. 497 8
What Lord Cobham said 1417 A.D.
Lord Cobham, that famous man of God, lived just a century before Luther. When brought before King Henry V and admonished to submit himself to the Pope, as an obedient child, this was his answer:
"As touching the Pope and his spirituality, I owe them neither suit nor service, forasmuch as I know him by the Scriptures to be the great AntiChrist, the son of perdition, the open adversary of God, and an abomination standing in the holy place."
What the British Reformers taught
All the English Reformers, including Tyndale, Latimer, Cranmer, Bradford and Jewell, held the Pope of Rome to be the Man of Sin. So did John Knox in Scotland, and he sounded out his testimony on this subject as with a trumpet. Knox declared: "The Pope is the head of the kirk AntiChrist" Knox further declared: "As for the Roman Church, as it is now corrupted, I have more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan and the head thereof, called the Pope, to be the Man of Sin of whom the Apostle speaketh, than that I doubt that Jesus Christ suffered by the procurement of the visible Church of Jerusalem."
What Bishop Ridley wrote 1557 A.D.
Bishop Ridley, who was burnt under Queen Mary, then declared: "The See of Rome is the seat of Satan, and the bishop of the same, that maintaineth the abominations thereof, is Anti Christ himself indeed: and for the same causes this See at this day is the same that St. John calls, in his Revelation, Babylon, or the whole of Babylon, and spiritual Sodom and Egypt, the mother of fornications and abominations on earth."
On December 1, 1520, Luther, published two tracts in answer to the Bull, one of which was entitled 'Martin Luther against the Execrable Bull of Anti Christ'. In its conclusion he admonishes the Pope and his Cardinals no longer to persevere in madness, "no longer to act the undoubted part of the Anti Christ of the Scriptures."
What Melanchthon wrote 1530 A.D.
Melanchthon was clear in his convictions that Rome is the Babylon of the Apocalypse, and the Pope the Man of Sin. In his disputation on marriage, referring to the 1st Epistle to Timothy, he says: "Since it is most certain that the Pontiffs and monks have forbidden marriage, it is most manifest, and without any doubt true, that the Roman Pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is the very Anti Christ."
What Calvin wrote 1530 A.D.
Calvin wrote: "The arrogance of Anti Christ of which Paul speaks, is that he, as God, sitteth in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God. For where is the incomparable majesty of God after mortal man has been exalted to such a height that his laws take precedence of God's eternal decrees? I deny him to be the Vicar of Christ who, in furiously persecuting the Gospel, demonstrates by his conduct that he is AntiChrist; I deny him to be the successor of Peter who is doing his utmost to demolish every edifice that Peter built."
What William Tyndale wrote 1536 A.D.
Tyndale wrote: "Though the Bishop of Rome and his sects give Christ these names (His rightful names), yet in that they rob Him of the effect and take the signification of His names unto themselves, and make of Him but a hypocrite, as they themselves be, they be the right Anti Christs, and deny both the Father and the Son; for they deny the witness that the Father bore unto His Son, and deprive the Son of all the power and glory that His Father gave Him."
What John Knox preached 1547 A.D.
Knox, at St. Andrew's in 1547 A.D., launched the Reformation in Scotland with a sermon on Daniel 7, teaching that the Little Horn was identical with the Man of Sin and Anti Christ, and signified the Roman Papacy. The people, on hearing this sermon, cried out: "If this is true have been miserably deceived." Who but the Holy Spirit gave Knox that mighty, two edged sword?
What Archbishop Cranmer said 1509 1556 A.D.
Cranmer, at his trial, declared: "And forasmuch as my hand offence writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished therefor; for, may I come to the fire, it shall first be burned; and as for the Pope, I refuse him as Christ's enemy, and Anti Christ, with all his false doctrines.
On uttering this, Cranmer was pulled down from the stage and led to the fire.
What John Bradford said 1510 1555 A.D.
Bradford declared: "Anti Christ, which now by the will of God doth rage for the trial of our faith, doth nothing else but procure us a ready horse to bring us to heaven."
Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and Bradford were burned for their testimony against the Papal Anti Christ, just as Huss and Jerome and Cobham had been before. Thousands of martyrdoms have sealed this testimony, and on this testimony rests the foundation of that work, it is to reject the foundation of the noblest and divinest work which has been wrought in this world since the day of Pentecost.
The Translators of our Bible 1611 A.D.
The Translators of our Bible in 1611, in their preface, declare that in writing in defence of the Truth, which "had given such a blow unto that Man of Sin as will not be healed", in common with the Reformers, they regarded the dynasty of Popes as the Anti Christ of Scripture.
ROME DOES NOT CHANGE
Uninformed people conditioned by the ecumenical double-talk of the Church Unity advocates, have come to believe that Rome is changing. This is proclaimed continually from the platforms of the World Council Churches. Evidently their strategy is that if they repeat this lie over and over again, unwary, ill taught and unthinking Protestants will believe it. Alas, many have fallen poor dupes to this pernicious propaganda.
The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church have, however, made no secret of the fact that their Church will not change, and that union will be on their terms and on their terms only.
Preaching at a service in St. Aidan's Methodist Church, Eastbourne, on Sunday evening, 29th January, 1967, the Roman Catholic Apostolic Delegate to Great Britain, Archbishop Igino Cardinale told a congregation of Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists that it was no secret that the Roman Catholic Church claimed to be the ONE TRUE CHURCH and envisaged reunion ONLY AS TAKING PLACE WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF ITS OWN COMMUNION!
Cardinal Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster, recently declared: "Ecumenism does not mean pretending that all denominations are equally true; it does not mean that the Catholic Church has nothing more than other churches. The ultimate object of ecumenism is to unite all Christians under the Vicar of Christ the Pope."
Cardinal Bea, head of the Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity states:-
"No Catholic of education will believe that the (Vatican) Council can or would change even a single dogma. The Supreme Pontiff and the Council have a duty, inherent in their ecclesiastical authority, to preserve whole and entire the doctrine passed to them by tradition, and no love for the separated brethren can induce us to lay even the lightest hand on the sacred deposit of the faith."
Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton, on his return from the final session of the Vatican Council states, that the Church of Rome had not changed its doctrine 'one iota'. The aim and object of the Church of Rome is the conversion of Britain to Roman Catholicism. The same bishop has declared that "our aim is the conversion of every man, woman and child in England to the Roman Catholic religion, and we must fulfil our charter."
In a detailed analysis of the ecumenical council's lasting effects, Pope Paul VI said, "its teachings have brought about no liberation or break from the church's traditional dogmas, but rather their confirmation and development."
The Pope, Paul VI, addressing a general audience on the opening day of a week of world wide prayer for unity, candidly acknowledged the difficulties posed by the supreme role which (R) Catholic doctrine gives the Pope. He quietly reiterated that he was the authentic representative of Christ on earth "But," continues the Pope with reference to unity, "it must not take place at the cost of the integrity of the Catholic faith and of our Church discipline, nor must it be guided by an easy criticism of our own things and by an equally easy willingness to copy other people's things, good and respectable as they may be."
Is any further proof required to Christians to show that Rome will not change her erroneous doctrines and unscriptural beliefs?