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3. ROME-Eternal vs Modern
9. I AM~THAT I AM
10. Eastern Orthodox
12. REFERENCE BOOKS
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DEFENDING TRADITION ~ (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
It has been said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss things; small minds discuss people”. The ideas great minds often discuss relate to religion, politics, and history, the very subjects most people are afraid to discuss openly and honestly. How can we ever hope to know the mind of God if we are silent on matters that concern Him? God's thoughts and His ways are incomprehensible, and yet our Lord commanded us to be perfect as God. (Matthew 5:43-44) How is that even possible? How do we search into the infinite mind of God? Unless we search into these matters, we'll remain in darkness, and we'll never know. But we need help. (Jeremiah 10:23) "man cannot direct his own footsteps." This is vertical thinking, where we look to God to direct our thoughts and steps. The tendency for most is to think horizontally, i.e., relying too much on our own thinking ability or the thoughts of other people. Because we were created by God, the course of wisdom would be to consider His thoughts and guidance in this life. Unfortunately, few do.
The realms of the Catholic faith and tradition are vast, universal and infinite, as are the depths of God's mind. "Who can know the mind of God?" (Romans 11:33-34) If we cower in fear due to peer pressure to talk about these things, we remain in darkness. Where are those brave soldiers of Christ?
Welcome to 'trad~apologia', where you will find some of the greatest treasures of God's thoughts.
'Apologetics’ comes from the Greek word apologia, which means ‘to make a defense’ ; to 'guard' and offer a reason for what one believes. Remaining silent when the truth is being attacked from every angle today is not "defending the truth". The apostle Paul demonstrated how to defend the truth.
Paul went out of his way to present powerful reasonings to defend Christ and His Church. He didn't cower under "peer pressure" and remain silent, or think "you believe your way and I'll believe my way". We are free to believe "God's thoughts" only. He created us and HE has that right to expect us to follow Him to truth. Paul had to be thrown off his high horses when he thought his beliefs were right as a Pharisee. Did Paul resist it? No, he humbled himself and took time to learn "the truth" from the other apostles. Paul had to be brave since most of his friends and family were still Jews. But when he finally "saw the light" of truth, he developed the skill of defending the truth, thus apologetics. He began by writing letters. Then he braved public resistance and spoke out "orally", publicly, just like Jesus and the other apostles. It would be centuries before Paul's epistles would be compiled and translated into Latin, the common language in the Roman Empire. In fact, most Christians never saw a copy of the these writings until after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century. So, how did Catholics "Christians" learn the truth?
Paul once again tells us at Romans 10:14, "... how shall they hear, without a preacher?" The Bible does not preach, teach, or interpret itself. So how does one learn apostolic teachings? Paul provides the answer. 1 Corinthians 11:1 "Follow his example". Paul didn't interpret or try to explain what he learned from Peter and the other apostles. Paul merely transmitted the truth "orally" and let the truth defend itself. There is a lot of information on this site, but if you truly want to have a basic knowledge of the truth of traditional Catholicism, I promise the read is worth your time. These are not my words.
All Catholics (Christians) learned "the truth" from the Paraclete (John 14:26) the Holy Ghost, the humble third person of the Divine Trinity, Eternal God, who proceeded from the Father and the Son, the same Holy Ghost (Spirit) who quietly moved to and fro over the waters of earth in the beginning, the same Spirit who silently overshadowed Mary planting the seed of Jesus within her, and the Holy Ghost who came upon Mary, the apostles, and the disciples in Jerusalem on Pentecost 33 A.D. revealing to them the deep truths Christ revealed to them while HE was on earth. The apostles did not yet fully comprehend Christ teachings until the Holy Ghost came upon them. After they received the Holy Ghost, they began to pass on the fulness of the teachings to the bishops (from the Greek~epískopos "overseers") and priests (from the Greek~presbúteros "elders" or "fathers") of the Church. In turn, these bishops and priests passed on the traditions and teachings of the Holy Ghost in every nation on earth. This is what Jesus meant at John 14:12, "He, (Holy Ghost) would do works greater then He did", after Jesus was crucified (a truth we often overlook)
The Holy Ghost (Spirit) continued to animate and build the Church up by appointing teachers and successors to Peter. (Ephesians 4:11-13) "He (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost) gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and others as evangelists, still others as pastors and doctors;" to teach His disciples. When Jesus instructed Peter to "Feed my sheep" at John 21:15) Jesus knew it would be the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, who would follow through with Peter to see to it that St Peter's successors, (260 Popes~papas) would also transmit the teachings of the one Church, the one faith, and the one truth. (Ephesians 4:4) To assist them, the Holy Trinity appointed "doctors" of the Church, countless bishops and priests, evangelizers, saints, and theologians to guide the Church. All Catholics (Christians) are commanded to evangelize, share the gospel, defend the truth.
St Jerome in 382 A.D. was summoned by St Damasus (37th Pope) to translate (not interpret) the entire canon text, both the Old and New Testaments from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into Latin Vulgate (common language in the Roman Empire). Jerome's Latin Vulgate was the only complete translation until the 15th century when Gutenberg printed Jerome's Bible. Until then, no lay Catholic owned a Bible. They learned the gospel from their bishops and priests.
What's curious and interesting is that after Bibles were printed and became available to individual Catholics, they discovered that the things they read in scripture was exactly as their bishops and priests taught them for centuries. How do we know? The Mass never changed, the churches and cathedrals they help build were covered with carvings, statues, paintings, mosaics and stained glass all portraying Old and New Testament stories, and implicit traditions handed down by bishops and priests, such as the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Trinity, etc. How could they have known of these things unless they were taught, and then compared the teachings to what they then read in their own Bibles? That was proof the oral teachings of the priests was handed down through the centuries just as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost arranged.
One of the first things Protestants did in the 16th~17th centuries was to delete seven books of the Old Testament from canon scripture, called the [DEUTEROCANONICAL BOOKS], (click on the highlighted words). Protestants also deleted and verses and words in the New Testament. Why? Because these books contained verses contrary to Martin Luther's "new" theology. Luther also added verses to also conform to his "new" doctrines. More on this later. However, was is certain is that anyone who does this is in direct violation of Deuteronomy 4:2. "You shall not add to ... or take away from...scripture". Jerome's translation into Latin contained only the original 73 books, including the Deuterocanonical books. Catholics continue to use Jerome's Latin Vulgate Bible (unchanged) into English, called the "Douay-Rheims" version, by Bishop Challoner in line with St Jerome's Latin Vulgate from 382 A.D. What's alarming is that the "Novus Ordo modern Church in Rome" went back to the Protestant "New Revised" version and turned their back on the Douay Rheims version. (See page 3)
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Apologists don't have to defend the truth. The truth defends and protects itself against heresies. The truth will prevail every time. (Matthew 16:18) However, the Church must defend and protect itself from heresies that threaten to enter into the Church. This is why Christ and the apostles and the successors to Peter spoke out against heresies. We will examine some of the deadly heresies that the Church dealt, including Arianism, Gnosticism, Pelagianism, etc. Perhaps the greatest threat to the Church is and has always been apathy, "lukewarmness". (Apocalypse 3:16)
The gospels, such as Matthew 24, speak clearly of the very things that have occurred since the turn of the last century; "World Wars", famines, pandemics, countless natural disasters like earthquakes all over the world, an abomination of desolation within the Church itself brought on by modernism and atheistic communism spread to the world since the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Many wonder, “Are we living in the time of the end, the 'LAST DAYS'” Jesus spoke about in these gospels, and in Apocalypse, and many other scriptures. Jesus clearly spoke about "end times".
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(John 17:3) "Now this is eternal life: that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." To understand what is happening in the world around us, we need to first become acquainted with God and His purpose for mankind, "Seek" answers.(Matt.7:7), and do not become apathetic or "lazy" seeking truth. (Ecclesiasticus 18:27) "Seek while it can be found" while there is time. (Isaias 55:6)
This website is not intended to be a catechism of Church teachings or a commentary on scripture, although it contains scriptural commentary of great theologians and Church Fathers. Rather, think of this website as a "depository" of information gleaned from many sources over many years of "seeking" to find answers from actual teachings of the Church. (2 Thessalonians 2:14) What you find within are like "breadcrumbs" designed to help you on a journey discovering for yourself answers to many questions. What you find may challenge your present position and even disturb you. You may have to let go of preconceived notions based on what you've been lead to believe by others, even by those who claim to be priests of the Church today, particularly since the crisis in the Catholic Church of the Second Vatican Council. The evidence of this crisis is manifest on every level, from conflicting teachings on matters of faith to the moral decay we've seen within the Church of Rome itself, and this has spilled over to society in general. “As the Church goes, so goes the nation and the whole world.” ― John Paul II 1978. Evil did not overcome the Church (Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail) but the Church, including the Popes since Vatican II have stopped trying to prevent the evil from entering Rome. (More on page 3)
On Page 3 there is more about the Second Vatican Council, Vatican II, and what happened after Pope Pius XII died in 1958 and John XXIII was selected to replace Pius XII and who convened Vatican II in 1962-65. Much will be discussed about how the 16 documents of "Vatican II" led to "ecumenism" and a whole "new" Mass in 1969 by Paul VI in his encyclical document, "MISSALE ROMANUM ON NEW ROMAN MISSAL". Paul VI required the entire Church of Rome adopt his new "Novus Ordo Missae".
Many bishops and priests within the post-Vatican II Church in Rome were disturbed by the new "Novus Ordo Mass" replacing the original traditional Latin Mass (TLM) Christ instituted at the last supper. And in 1970, Archbishop Lefebvre, for one, decided to form a new society to maintain the traditional Latin Mass and to train new priests to continue tradition. He called this new organization, SSPX, Society of St Pius X. Other groups also decided to form groups to maintain the Latin Mass and form new priests to cling to tradition as well. Although these various groups, often referred to as "traditional Catholics" arrived at different conclusions about Papal magisterium in Rome after Vatican II, they all agreed on the absolute need to maintain the Traditional Latin Mass and tradition.
(More on page 3)
In the illustration in this picture, Jesus is seen coming with a sword like a soldier in battle. Why? A soldier doesn't go into battle just to defend himself; he must also carry a sharp-edged sword to cut into the heart of the enemy; into false teachings of the enemies of truth. This "sword of the spirit" includes the teachings of Christ revealed by His Holy Church with St Peter as His first chief apostle and Vicar (representative) and first Father of the Church, (papa or "Pope") when Jesus announced He was giving Peter the keys of the kingdom, giving Peter all authority in heaven and on earth after Jesus ascended to heaven. Jesus then commanded Peter, "if you love me", "Feed my sheep". As bishop (overseer), Peter was to see to it that all Jesus disciples were "Fed" or taught all Christ commands. (John 21:17) St Peter and his successors were given full "AUTHORITY" on earth by Christ to govern, not only the Church, by to be chief monarchs of the nations under God. Jesus said He would be with them until the end of time. (Matt. 28:20) When Jesus ascended to heaven, He sat on His throne as "Sovereign" of heaven and earth, to rule all the heavenly creation of saints and angels, and over the universal "Catholic" Church on earth. He also promised to send "another Paraclete, the Holy Ghost", the third person of the blessed Trinity, to teach, to comfort and guide the Church after Pentecost.
Catholics are the Church militant, fighting "against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." Ephesians 6:15
Click on the picture below - the suit of armour to fight this battle.
Jesus taught in plain words so all could easily understand. However, what He taught had deep meanings requiring the help of the Holy Ghost and His Church to fully understand His teachings. Therefore, we must listen to the Church on what it has taught in matters of faith and morals, pray and meditate on the teachings of His Church to gain eternal salvation. John 17:3. He said we must not give up seeking, knocking and asking for His help to find the truth. This is why He sent forth his apostles, disciples, saints and Holy Fathers to preach and teach His flock. (Click on the pictures)
The Chief Apostle St Peter Began the Great Preaching Work Christ Commanded
"You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it: keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."
What you read and see on this site come from two sources;
1.) Canon scripture; i.e., the 1582 Douay–Rheims Bible, translated directly from St Jerome's original Latin Vulgate of the 4th Century, re-affirmed by the Council of Trent, including all 73 books; and,
2.) Church tradition; both written and oral apostolic teachings. More on this throughout the site.
Why the Douay-Rheims? (click on picture below; it's well worth the time to read the small booklet)
Tradition - Scripture - the Church
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, (orally) or by our epistle. (written)" 2 Thessalonians 2:14
Jesus sent forth His followers as apostles, as prophets, evangelists and doctors of His Church; for perfecting them all to become saints. (Ephesians 4:11-13) The Church has always taught that "tradition" includes both written (ancient scrolls & writings of apostles) and "oral" teachings of the apostles (preaching and teaching publicly). The written epistles of the apostles weren't distributed to all the Churches in the first few centuries. When Peter and Paul wrote letters to the early Churches; i.e., congregations or parishes, there were no copies to pass around. The way the faithful learned what the the apostles taught was by word of mouth. Few had access to any actual writings. After Peter and Paul wrote their epistles, they would go into public places and "speak" orally what they were "inspired" to write. It took centuries for even bishops and priests to have something to read. Even then, all they had were handwritten copies of Jerome's Latin translations. And this is also how Jesus taught; He preached publicly and taught His apostles privately; Mark 13:31, Mark 3:14, 16:15, Luke 10:16, Luke 24:47. Jesus didn't ask His apostles to write down His words out and then read from a book or scroll; not in Hebrew, Greek or Latin.
Eventually, Jerome's Latin Vulgate canon text of 382 A.D. was meticulously copied by scribes and monks in the centuries that followed under direction of Church Fathers; faithful Popes after the 4th century. Copies were passed on to bishops and priests. There was no need for every Christian to have a copy of these scriptures in their homes since few could even read, much less read Latin, outside of the priests and bishops. Latin was spoken by Jesus Himself as well as the apostles. Think about it; what do the letter inscribed by Pilate above Jesus head on the crucifix? "INRI", Latin letters for "Jesus, King of the Jews". Latin was also the language of the original Mass administered by Peter and the other apostles after Pentecost after the Lord's Supper. Because the Mass was formed in Latin, a dead language, it has never changed through the ages. The Latin Mass is still administered in the "traditional" Roman Catholic Churches around the world.
Think about it; for 15 centuries (Gutenberg printing press was invented 1455), how were Christians taught and guided without a Bible to read? As Christ promised, He gave some as priests, bishops and Holy Fathers; i.e., successors to Peter, Popes, to teach and serve the sacraments (the Mass) to the faithful in His Church. Centuries later, when Catholic families acquired their own copies of the Bible centuries after the printing press made enough, they discovered for themselves that what the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church taught them was, in fact, in full harmony with the original scriptures St Jerome compiled in 382 A.D. The only deviations from the original scriptures came at the hands of Protestants; i.e., Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Smith, and others. The Protestants eliminated all of the seven deuterocanonical books that were included in original canon scriptures.
Protestants also claim to believe "only" what's in scripture; i.e., "sola scriptura". If that's the case, which scriptures are they referring to; the original scriptures finally compiled and translated into Latin by Jerome in the 4th including the 7 deuterocanonical books or the new Protestant translations without these 7 books. Although Protestants recite the "apostles creed" many of them fail to grasp the fact that it was composed in part and adopted at the First Council of Nicaea (325) and revised with additions by the First Council of Constantinople (381) whence it was called the "Nicene Creed", not literally composed by the apostles but during the Council of Nicaea excerpts from apostolic tradition was incorporated into one creed the Church has been using since the 4th century. Again, this is called "tradition", not 'sola scriptura'. Within the creed has reference to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; the Trinity, but is the word "trinity" in scripture? No. Are the words "immaculate conception" of Mary written in scripture by the apostles? No, but in the creed it mentions "born of the virgin Mary". Protestants recite "I believe in the holy Catholic Church" yet they are no part of the very Church mentioned in the "Apostles Creed". The creed also contains the words, "... He (Jesus) descended into hell". Jesus actually descended into a part of hell (the place of the dead) where His faithful followers rested to be resurrected upon His coming, such as David, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc. Catholic Church tradition (oral and written by apostles and Fathers of the Church) teach that Jesus actually descended into "limbo" where these souls waited for the messiah Jesus to come. Catholic tradition also teaches about "purgatory". So, these words highlighted in blue are not included within canon scripture compiled in the 4th century, yet for 2000 years Catholics and yes, even Protestants utter some of these words in the creed they recite. So here is the order of tradition.
Tradition - Scripture - the Church
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