MORE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE HIERARCHY
In the last chapter we noticed a few dogmas that were added to the Roman Catholic Church. It might be good if, in this chapter, we look at a whole list of them with comment upon only a few. The student should search out and study all of them. Opposition to them by our Baptist ancestors brought them much persecution.
List of Heresies
Several of the Histories list the developments of the Hierarchy. Here we will look at the one contained in Loraine Boettner's book:
SOME ROMAN CATHOLIC HERESIES AND INVENTIONS
and the dates of their adoption over a period of 1650 years.1
1. Prayers for the dead, began about A. D. - 300. 2. Making the Sign of the Cross - 300. 3. Wax candles, about - 320. 4. Veneration of angels and dead saints, and use of images - 375. 5. The Mass, as a daily celebration - 394. 6. Beginning of the exaltation of Mary, the term "Mother of God" first applied to her by the Council of Ephesus - 431. 7. Priests began to dress differently from laymen - 500. 8. Extreme Unction - 526. 9. The doctrine of Purgatory, established by Gregory I - 593.
10. Latin Language, used in prayer and worship, imposed by Gregory I - 600. 11. Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints and angels, about - 600. 12. Title of pope, or universal bishop, given to Boniface III by Emperor Phocus - 607. 13. Kissing the pope's foot, began with pope Constantine - 709. 14. Temporal power of the popes, conferred by Pepin, king of the Franks - 750. 15. Worship of the cross, images and relics, authorized in - 786. 16. Holy water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by a priest - 850. 17. Worship of St. Joseph - 890. 18. College of Cardinals established - 927. 19. Baptism of Bells, instituted by pope John XIII - 965. 20. Canonization of dead saints, first by pope John XV - 995. 21. Fasting on Fridays and during Lent - 998. 22. The Mass, developed gradually as a sacrifice, attendance made
obligatory in the 11th century - 998. 23. Celibacy of the priesthood, decreed by pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand) - 1079. 24.The Rosary, mechanical praying with beads, invented by Peter the Hermit - 1090. 25.The Inquisition, instituted by the Council of Verona - 1184. 26.Sale of Indulgence - 1190. 27.Transubstantiation, proclaimed by pope Innocent III - 1215. 28.Auricular Confession of sins to a priest instead of to God, instituted by Pope Innocent III, in Lateran council - 1215. 29. Adoration of the Wafer (Host), decreed by pope Honorius III - 1220.
30. Bible forbidden to laymen, placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Council of Valencia - 1229. 31. The Scapular, invented by Simon Stock, an English monk - 1251. 32. Cup forbidden to the people at Communion by Council of Constance - 1414. 33. Purgatory proclaimed as a dogma by the Council of Florence - 1439. 34. The doctrine of Seven Sacraments affirmed - 1439. 35. The Ave Maria (part of the last half was completed 50 years later and approved by pope Sixtus V at the end of the 16th century - 1508. 36. Jesuit order founded by Loyola - 1534. 37. Tradition declared of equal authority with the Bible by the Council of Trent - 1545. 38. Apocryphal books added to the Bible by the Council of Trent - 1546. 39. Creed by pope Pius IV imposed as the official creed - 1560. 40. Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, proclaimed by pope Pius IX - 1854. 41. Syllabus of Errors, proclaimed by pope Pius IX, and ratified by the Vatican Council, condemned freedom of religion, conscience, speech, press and scientific discoveries which are disapproved by the Roman Church, asserted the pope's temporal authority over all civil rulers - 1870. 42. Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals, proclaimed by the Vatican council. 43. Public Schools condemned by pope Pius XI - 1930. 44. Assumption of the Virgin Mary (bodily ascension into heaven shortly after her death), proclaimed by pope Pius XII - 1950. 45. Mary proclaimed Mother of the Church, by pope Paul VI - 1965.
Add to these many others: monks, nuns, monasteries, convents - forty days Lent, holy week, Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, All Saints day, Candlemas day, fish day, meat day, incense, holy oil, holy palms, Christopher medals, charms, novenas, and still others.
We will examine only a few of the above, beginning with Extreme Unction. This is one of the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church (Sacrament: A means of Grace). This sacrament (?) consists of a priest anointing a person, near the point of death, with sacred oil. The Unction (holy oil) is placed upon the eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, and hands (the five senses). At each anointing the priest says "By this holy unction, and through his great mercy, may God indulge thee whatsoever sins thou hast committed by sight." And this he does for each of the five senses.
The Catholic Church confirms that this practice was started by the apostle James. They affirm that the priest has the power to absolve the dying person from his sins. At this point let us look at two canons of the Catholic Church as recorded by Dowling. (1) "Whoever shall affirm that extreme unction is not truly and properly a sacrament, instituted by our Christ our blessed Lord, and published by the blessed Apostle James, but only a ceremony received from the fathers or a human invention: Let Him Be Accursed." (2) "Whoever shall affirm, that the sacred unction of the sick does not confer grace, nor forgive sin, nor relieve the sick: but that its power has ceased, as if the gift of healing existed only in past ages: Let Him Be Accursed."2 See also Boettner's book, pages 191-192
Our ancestors, opposing this heresy, found themselves opposed by the power of the State-Church. Truly, the Mother of Harlots, riding upon the scarlet beast is drunk with the blood of the saints (Revelation 17).
Baptism of Bells
This custom was first introduced by pope John XIII, who died in 972. He named the great bell of the Lateran Church at Rome, John the Baptist. Each bell that is sprinkled (baptized), consecrated, is given the name of some saint. This is so the people might believe they are being called to divine service by the saint whose name has been given to the bell. Inscribed upon the consecrated bell is: "I adore the true God; I call the people; I collect the priests, I worship the saints; I teach the festivals; I deplore the dead; I drive away pestilence and devils."3
Can you believe this? Neither did our ancestors and they suffered for it.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that when the priests consecrate the wine and wafer it becomes the actual blood and the actual body of the Lord Jesus Christ. The bread and wine are turned into flesh and blood when the priest says the words in Latin: "Hoc est corpus meus." (This is my body). This is where the expression "Hocus-Pocus" originated. See Babylon: Mystery Religion by Ralph Woodrow, page 129
The Lordís Supper is a symbolic ordinance. The unleavened bread is only a symbol of the Lordís body which was broken for His people. The wine is only a symbol of His blood that was shed for the remission of the sins of many. The following poem shows how silly the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is:
A Roman Miracle (?)
A pretty maid, a Protestant, was to a Catholic wed;
To love all the Bible truths and tales, quite early she'd been bred.
It sorely grieved her husbandís heart that she would not comply
And join the Mother Church of Rome and heretics deny.
So day by day he flattered her, but still she saw no good
Would ever come from bowing down to idols made of wood;
The mass, the host, the miracles, were made but to deceive;
And transubstantiation, too, she'd never dare believe.
He went to see his clergyman and told him his sad tale
"My wife's an unbeliever, sir, you can perhaps, prevail;
For all your Romish miracles my wife has strong aversion,
To really work a miracle may lead to her conversion."
The priest went with the gentleman - he thought to gain a prize.
He said, "I will convert her, sire, and open both her eyes."
So when they came into the house, the husband loudly cried,
"The priest has come to dine with us!" "He's welcome," she replied.
And when, at last, the meal was o'er, the priest at once began
To teach his hostess all about the awful state of man;
The greatness of our Saviour's love, which Christians can't deny
To give Himself a sacrifice and for our sins to die.
"I will return tomorrow, lass, prepare some bread and wine;
The sacramental miracle will stop your soul's decline."
"I'll bake the bread," the lady said. "You may," he did reply.
"And when you've seen this miracle, convinced you'll be, say I."
The priest did come accordingly, the bread and wine did bless.
The lady asked, "Sir, is it changed?" The priest answered, "Yes,
It's changed from common bread and wine to truly flesh and blood;
Begorra, lass, this power of mine has changed it into God!"
So having blessed the bread and wine, to eat they did prepare;
The lady said unto the priest, "I warn you to take care.
For half an ounce of arsenic was mixed right in the batter,
But since you have its nature changed, it cannot really matter."
The priest was struck real dumb - he looked as pale as death.
The bread and wine fell from his hands and he did gasp for breath.
"Bring me my horse!" the priest cried. "This is a cursed home!"
The lady replied, "Begone; tis you who shares the curse of Rome."
The husband, too, he sat surprised, and not a word did say.
At length he spoke, "My dear," said he, "The priest has run away;
To gulp such mummery and tripe, I'm not, for sure, quite able;
I'll go with you and renounce this Roman Catholic Fable."
- Author Unknown Catholic Church Councils
We cannot take the time to comment upon each of these developments. The student should examine each one. Our Baptist ancestors opposed them all. True Baptists oppose them today.
In the development of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, many church councils were called. One of the main purposes of these councils was to examine how the Hierarchy could stamp out what they called heresy. This "heresy" was usually what we believe to be truth. A list of these councils is found in many of the Church Histories. Here we list only those up to the dividing of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy into the Roman and Greek Orthodox churches.
The First: This one was called by Constantine the Great. It was held at Nicea. There were three hundred eighty one bishops present. Points to be discussed were the Arian question, the celebration of Easter, the Meletian schism, the baptism of heretics and the status of the lapsed in the persecution under Licinius. It was here that the Nicene Creed was promulgated. Constantine the Great and Eusebius were very prominent in this council.
The Second: This Council was called by Theodosius the Great. It was held at Constantinople in 381 A.D. It was to confirm the Nicene faith and deal with the Arian controversy. There were one hundred fifty bishops present.
The Third: This Council was called by Theodosius II and Valentian III. It was held at Ephesus in 431 A.D. There were two hundred fifty bishops present. This Council aimed at the Nestorian Controversy. He preached against Mary being called "the Mother of God." He said, "Mary did not give birth to divinity, but to man, the instrument of divinity." He recommended that Mary be called "mother of Christ" instead of "Mother of God." On the very first day of this council Nestorius was condemned and declared deposed from all clerical office.
The Fourth: This Council was held at Chalcedon in 451 A.D. It was called by the emperor Marian. There were 600 Metropolitans (city bishop) present. Eutychianism was condemned. This was a confounding of the human and divine natures. This council decreed the same rights and honors to the bishop of Constantinople as to the bishop of Rome. It was here that the creed of Chalcedon was adopted. That creed promotes Mary worship. In regard to the person of Christ that creed states: "Born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God according to manhood."
The Fifth: This council was called by Justinian. It was held at Constantinople in 553 A.D. There were 165 bishops present. They met to condemn and suppress certain writings. This is known as the Three Chapters Controversy. It was mainly political (as were many of the councils).
The Sixth: It was called by Constantine Pogonatus and met at Constantinople, November 7, 680 A.D. to September 16, 681 A.D. This dealt with the controversy concerning the two wills in Christ (Monothelitism). It also anathematized pope Honorius for heresy.
The Seventh: This Council was called by the infamous Empress Irene. It was held at Nicea in 787 A.D. It was here that both image and saint worship was established. This council determined that ďAs the sacred and life-giving cross is everywhere set up as a symbol, so also should the images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the holy angels, as
well as those saints and other pious and holy men be embodied in the manufacture of sacred vessels, tapestries, vestments, etc., and exhibited on the walls of churches, in the homes, and in all conspicuous places, by the roadside and everywhere," to be revered by all who might see them.4
The Eighth: This last Eastern Council was called by Basilius Maredo and was held at Constantinople in 869 A.D. There was much trouble in the air. Photius the Greek was Partriarch of Constantinople. Nicholas I was pope at Rome. In 863 A.D. these two men had excommunicated each other. Catholicism was without a head. This council was called to settle this difficulty. The difficulty was not repaired and has not been as yet.
Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox
In closing this chapter we give word or two about this 869 division in the hierarchy. When Constantinople repudiated the Roman Religion for what is called "Christianity," he angered the Roman Senate. He removed the seat of the empire to Byzantium, an old city rebuilt and renamed Constantinople. This set about a rival between the bishop of Rome and the bishop of Constantinople as to which was the most powerful. This led to the split.
There are some differences between the two churches. The Greek church rejects sprinkling or pouring for baptism while Rome uses nothing else. The Greek church practices infant communion. Rome used to, but quit. The Greek church gives the wine and bread to both clergy and laity. Rome gives wine only to the priest. The Greek church does not practice celibacy while Rome does. Greeks reject papal infallibility while Rome holds to it. The Greek leader is called Patriarch while the Roman leader is called pope.
Notes on Chapter 11
1 Roman Catholicism, pages 7-9.
2 History of Romanism, pages 524-525.
3 History of Romanism, page 207.
4 The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Volume 8, page 198.
Baptist History Notebook
Baptist History Homepage