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Saturday, July 22, 2017
Date Posted:
7/13/1998

Contents
Introduction (1-6)
The Bible (9-23)
The Pope (24-42)
The Sacraments (43-51)
Confirmation (53-54)
Lord's Supper (55-78)
Priesthood (79-94)
Matrimony (95-97)
SIN (98-107)
Forgiveness (108-122)
Indulgences (123-127)
Penance (128-141)
Purgatory (142-159)
Mariolatry (160-187)
Angels (188-208)
Reformation (210-213)
Patrick (214-228)
Ecumenism (229-240)


Holy Orders And Priesthood (79-94)


A Concise Guide to Bible Christianity and Romanism
Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley


  1. What, according to Rome, is meant by Holy Orders?
  2. What functions does Rome actually claim for her priests?
  3. What special powers does Rome ascribe to her priests?
  4. Does Rome hold that priests irrespective of their morality have these transcendent powers?
  5. Is there any authority in the Scripture for the doctrine of Rome concerning the priesthood?
  6. What is the only mediatorial priesthood recognised in the New Testament?
  7. To what source is the origin of the priestly Orders of Rome traced?
  8. Are the bishops and priests of Rome able to trace their decent in apostolic succession from Peter?
  9. Does the Church of Rome permit priests to marry?
  10. What does the New Testament teach concerning priesthood?
  11. What does the Free Presbyterian Church teach concerning the ministry?
  12. What does the New Testament say concerning the marriage of ministers?
  13. What is the fatal error of the Romanist?
  14. What conclusions must we draw from the teaching of the Scripture concerning the Romish priesthood?
  15. What was the teaching of Vatican II concerning apostolic succession?
  16. What is the view of the Church of Rome on the ministry of the Church of England?

Back to Top 79. What, according to Rome, is meant by Holy Orders?

According to the Church of Rome Holy Orders is a Sacrament 'which gives bishops, priests and inferior clergy to the Church, and enables them to perform their several duties in it'.

Back to Top 80. What functions does Rome actually claim for her priests?

Rome claims that her priests stand between God and the sinner, and Rome declares that there is no access to God but through them. This is seen in the fact that 'they negotiate with God the interests of the sinner's salvation; they interpret for the people the Word of God; they hear their confessions of sin in the room of God and give absolution; they consecrate and offer up the sacrifice for sin which propitiates God; and finally they pronounce as God the absolution that God alone can pronounce.'

Back to Top 81. What special powers does Rome ascribe to her priests?

Liguori, whose works are declared to be altogether free from censure, says: 'The priest has 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 ... What God can do by His omnipotence the priest also can do by saying: "I absolve thee".'

Back to Top 82. Does Rome hold that priests irrespective of their morality have these transcendent powers?

Yes. The Council of Trent declared that 'even those priests who are living in mortal sin exercise the same function of forgiving sins as ministers of Christ', and it pronounced a curse on 'those who say that priests in mortal sin have not the power of binding and loosing'. The Church, in fact, declared in other words that the most immoral man, if a priest, holds the place of the Saviour Himself when he says: 'I absolve thee.'

Back to Top 83. Is there any authority in the Scripture for the doctrine of Rome concerning the priesthood?

No. The apostles were not appointed to be priests and they were never called priests. The offering of sacrifice had no place whatever among their duties. Moreover, by the Sacrifice of the Cross Christ made the end of sacrificing, for after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God.

Back to Top 84. What is the only mediatorial priesthood recognised in the New Testament?

That of Christ Jesus the Great High Priest, Who by one offering has perfected forever those who are sanctified. There is a sense, not the Romish sense, in which all believers are kings and priests unto God. They offer up prayer and praise, not the bloodless sacrifice of the Mass. 'But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthoood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.' I Peter 2:9.

Back to Top 85. To what source is the origin of the priestly Orders of Rome traced?

The many grades and sub-divisions of the Romish priesthood together with their ceremonies and pretensions indicate that the details of the Romish hierarchy were borrowed from paganism. The pagans had their major and minor pontiffs, and at the head of all was the Pontifex Maximus or Sovereign (Greatest) Pontiff. This corresponds exactly with the Roman Catholic hierarchy with its major and minor prelates headed by the Pope who takes that pagan title Pontifex Maximus or Sovereign Pontiff. The Pontifex Maximus among the pagans was both king and priest, supreme in all matters temporal and spiritual. In this a Pope is his exact copy.

Back to Top 86. Are the bishops and priests of Rome able to trace their decent in apostolic succession from Peter?

No. History being the witness they are not able to do so, and even if they were able the line of descent would not be either honourable or credible. Romish historians themselves have testified that among the most impious and ungodly men of Europe from the 9th to the 16th centuries were the popes and cardinals of the Church of Rome - men who claim to be the successors of Peter and through whom the so-called line of apostolic succession runs.

Back to Top 87. Does the Church of Rome permit priests to marry?

The Church of Rome says that 'the clergy may not marry; marriage to them is a pollution'.

Back to Top 88. What does the New Testament teach concerning priesthood?

The New Testament teaches that all believers are kings and priests unto God.

Back to Top 89. What does the Free Presbyterian Church teach concerning the ministry?

The Free Presbyterian Church teaches that the ministry is an office within the church for the preaching of the Word, the administration of the Sacraments, and the care of souls exercised by those who obeying the call of Christ are duly chosen and ordained thereto.

Back to Top 90. What does the New Testament say concerning the marriage of ministers?

The pastoral epistles teach that the ministers may marry. Also we are told that Peter, whom the Church of Rome claims to have been the first Pope, was a married man.

Back to Top 91. What is the fatal error of the Romanist?

He places his trust in the priest and the sacrament instead of placing it in Christ with whom there is no uncertainty. Neither the work nor the Word of Christ can fail, but the work and word of the priest will fail.

Back to Top 92. What conclusions must we draw from the teaching of the Scripture concerning the Romish priesthood?

It is that the priests of Rome are not the depositories of the grace of God: their office is without warrant, their apostolic succession is a fiction, and they themselves are usurpers who have included themselves into the place of Christ. In other words they are Antichrist.

Back to Top 93. What was the teaching of Vatican II concerning apostolic succession?

Vatican II - the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church - stated: '... The divine mission entrusted by Christ to the apostles will last until the end of the world ... for this reason the apostles took care to appoint successors in this hierarchically structured society.' (Chap. 3, para. 20)

Vatican II - the Decree of the Bishop's Pastoral Office in the Church (28th October, 1965) - stated: '... By virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchically communion with the Head and other members of the college a bishop becomes a part of the episcopal body. The Order of Bishops is the successor to the college of the apostles in teaching authority and pastoral rule, or rather in the episcopal Order the apostolic body continues without a break. Together with its Head the Roman Pontiff and never without this Head the episcopal Order is the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, but this power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff.' (Chap. 1, para. 4)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995, para. 865 - states: 'The Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foundation: "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Rev. 21:14). She is indestructible (cf. Matt. 16:18). She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.'

Back to Top 94. What is the view of the Church of Rome on the ministry of the Church of England?

Rome does not recognise the ministry of the Church of England: it holds that the Orders of the Church of England are absolutely null and void, and that the Archbishop of Canterbury himself is only a lay person. Dean Jackson had this comment to make on the Romanist view of the Church of England:

'Their principle exception against our Church and ministry is that our priests in their ordination do not receive the power of sacrificing Christ's Body and Blood in the Sacrament. But their inserting this clause into the form of ordination doth prove their priesthood to be anti-Christian.'

A former Bishop of Edinburgh commented: 'It comes then simply to this: Can we surrender the principles for which the Anglican Church has steadily contended for the last 350 years, or can we hold the doctrines of our Church and with due regard for the ordinary and rational rules by which historical documents are interpreted? Can we reconcile the sense of our historical and authoritative standards of doctrine with the authoritative doctrine of the Church of Rome? The only answer to each question: It is impossible. How then can our Orders be valid in her view? And how can we consistently desire that it should be otherwise?'

Note: Those comments are from Churchmen who in their day remained faithful to the Protestant Reformed Church of England as by Law established. What hypocrisy for Cardinal Hume to take part in the Consecration of Dr. Carey when he holds as infallible truth that the Archbishop's Ministerial Orders are 'utterly null and void'.

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