Immaculate Conception

In a discussion from BattleACTS, a challenger brought up several verses regarding the Immaculate Conception and allegedly these verses contradict Catholic teaching on them.  Let us see...

>MA said: And wouldn't it be nice if the 5 times God tells us that ALL HAVE SINNED, simply be believed at face value instead of twisting his holy word and concocting fairy tales about Mary's reproductive cycle!
>1) Romans 3:9
>2) Romans 3:23
>3) Romans 5:12
>4) Galatians 3:22
>5) Hebrews 4:15
sw: Let us look at these verses and see if they REALLY say what he intends them to say...
What then? Do we excel them? No, not so. For we have charged both Jews, and Greeks, that they are all under sin. (DRB)

sw:  Hmmm, "they" are all under sin - is a general statement not one specifically stating Mary.

For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God. (DRB)

sw: This "all" would have to include Jesus - OR - it doesn't mean "all" in the strict sense.  Thus, in a broader sense, speaking of mankind, it does not specifically mean Mary.  More on this in a moment.

Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. (DRB)

sw: Yes, sin entered the world by one man (Adam) and death passed on to all men (includes Mary) in whom (Adam) all have sinned.  Hence, Mary's "sin" is in Adam, not in herself.  See below for more on the definition of the Immaculate Conception.

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe. (DRB)

sw: Yes, again, in complete agreement with Romans 5:12, Mary too is "under sin" because she too inherits the nature of Adam and Eve - the fallen nature of Original Sin.   

For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin. (DRB)

sw: All this verse says is that Jesus was tempted, as we are, in all things - yet Jesus is without sin.  It does not say what our challenger implies.  

sw:  Let me begin with the definition of the Immaculate Conception:
We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

sw: The Immaculate Conception of Mary does not mean that she was spared from the consequence of Original Sin.  I believe she died, just as all of us do, as the CONSEQUENCE of the Original Sin she too inherited.  What she was preserved from was the STAIN of Original Sin!  Thus, since still bearing the CONSEQUENCES of Original Sin, she too NEEDED a redeemer - which she found in her own Son - the Son of God and Man who came to redeem the world, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Domine Non Sum Dignus

Along with other changes being proposed to the English vernacular, the domine non sum dignus is making a comeback too! 

Existing Novus Ordo Latin:
Domine, non sum dignus, 
ut intres sub tectum meum, 
sed tantum dic verbo,
et sanabitur anima mea.

Existing Novus Ordo English:
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
But only say the word
And I shall be healed.

Proposed Novus Ordo English:
Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed.

Scripture (Matthew 8:8) where the Centurion pleads for his servant:

And the centurion making answer, said: 
Lord, I am not worthy 
that thou shouldst enter under my roof: 
but only say the word, 
and my servant shall be healed. (DRB)

The centurion said in reply, 
"Lord, I am not worthy 
to have you enter under my roof; 
only say the word 
and my servant will be healed. (NAB)

So while echoing the words of the centurion - but pleading for our own soul - the new reading matches the Latin and the only change to Scripture is in place of "my servant" we say "my soul" - so the proposed change is (again) a better match to Scripture and the Latin.


Pro Multis

The question of "pro multis" is coming to the forefront again.  What is this exactly and why now?  Well, these are Latin terms which mean, literally, "for many" and there are changes to the Mass being proposed which should be going into effect soon.  So let us move into some more detail.  

In the consecration of the the wine into Christ's blood during the Eucharist - Scripture records this as follows:
Matthew 26:27-28:  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. (NAB)
Mark 14:23-24: Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.   He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. (NAB).
The Latin version (which is the official translation of the Mass) still agrees with the Traditional Latin version - which is in agreement with Scripture!  The Latin at the consecration of the wine into Christ's blood says: 
Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes:  hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei novi et aeterni testamenti, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.  (Current Novus Ordo in Latin)

So, to recap a bit before proceeding, Scripture says "for many" and the official translation of the Mass says "pro multis" which means "for many" - so to say "for many" is an accurate translation of both Scripture AND the official translation of the Mass!

So, why are we talking about this?  Well, in 1970, when Pope Paul VI offered the "Novus Ordo Missae" (New Order of the Mass) as an alternative (he did not promulgate it as a replacement of the Traditional Latin Mass - yet that's what most bishops did) these words, "pro multis," while they remained in the official translation - in most (not all) vernaculars, these words were translated to "for all."  To say "for all" in Latin that would be "omnibus" or "pro omni."  So clearly, the words "pro multis" do NOT mean "for all" they mean "for many."

I've also heard that many priests are objecting to the change to the more literally correct terminology.  One argument I've heard (all along and again just recently) is that the offering of Christ on the Cross was indeed for all - and YES it IS for all!   However, we know that not all will be saved (that would be the heresy of Universal Salvation).   Well, to these fine priests we must remind them - this would be a matter of good catechesis - something THEY are responsible for!  It is their duty to teach the portion of the Flock to which they have been assigned to serve - to understand both the literal words of consecration, which are the Words of Christ, AND the broader catechetical understand that Jesus' Sacrifice is for all men, but since all men are not forgiven - it is proper to say "pro multis" or "for many," just as Scripture says it. 

We must keep in mind that when these words are spoken the subject matter is the forgiveness of sins.  It must also be noted, that when those who translated the vernacular to say "for all" could not stop with just those words!  Had they stopped there, the statement would have become heretical.  Allow me to explain, using only English.  The traditional translation is,
"...for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on for many for the forgiveness of sins." 
If we only changed the words "for many" to "for all" it would then read: 
"...for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on for all for the forgiveness of sins."
The latter statement is heretical because though He did die for all, the forgiveness of sins is not "for all."  If ALL sins were forgiven, then there would be no more sin whatsoever!  Salvation would be accomplished and ALL MEN would be automatically saved.  Again, this would be the heresy of Universal Salvation.  So, in translating "pro multis" to "for all" - the words which followed HAD to be changed as well!  It goes from "for many for the forgiveness sins" to "for all, so that sins MAY be forgiven."  This would seem to be a much harder catechetical lesson for our priests and bishops to teach!  It leaves open that sins MAY NOT be forgiven, even "for many" whereas to say "for many" that sins WILL BE forgiven makes it clear - that those who sincerely repent (the "many") of their sins, their sins are forgiven them. 

The updated translation of the Mass in English has been approved, but has not yet been promulgated, but for the consecration of the precious blood, it now says:
And this is true to the Traditional interpretation as well as to Scripture.  There are some other changes as well, but not on the subject of this article.  This translation, getting the Order of the Mass more in line with Scripture and Tradition, is a good move.  Ever since the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, the altering of the words to "for all" has been a sticking point for many (no pun intended).    Many "Traditionalists" have (wrongly) stated that the changing of those words invalidated the Novus Ordo.  As I mentioned earlier, if they had only changed those words and not the words which followed as well, then they may have had a point regarding validity (for outright heresy would have invalidated the Mass).  Perhaps these changes, which are to take effect soon (I have not heard the exact date as yet) will help heal the rift between some Traditionalists too.

The USCCB site, offers answers of "6 Questions" about this topic too: 

An article somewhat critically written by John Vennari expresses many of the same thoughts and addresses many of the same concerns, and demonstrates the frustration of the Traditionalists, which you can see in the title of the article "Post-Conciliar Vatican Finally Tells the Truth About Pro Multis":

Full text proposed for the English Mass:  

Trail of Blood Misquote

After a participant on the Catholic Debate Forum (CDF) has recently been flaunting the alleged Cardinal Hosius quote found in the Trail of Blood collection of misinformation, I again sought out to find this elusive quote from Cardinal Hosius and the alleged document the quote came from.  I deliberately avoided the numerous Catholic sites already doing a fine job of debunking this horrifically false document - looking for Baptist sources of the same - and I found a Baptist minister, a Dr. Ben Townsend, who painstakingly went through ALL of Cardinal Hosius' works and found the source attributed to the quote of the Anabaptists being persecuted for the last 1200 years to be:  a) a non-existent document in the works of Cardinal Hosius and b) a critical misquote, changing the meaning of the passage entirely!  Yes, Dr. Townsend eventually DID find the citation in another document which contains the reference - but instead of saying "for the last 1200 years" - accurately translated (by a Latin scholar from Oxford) - it says "1200 years ago!"  Dr. Townsend took the ORIGINAL LATIN and had it professionally translated!  He presents the original Latin on his site too, click here for his research.

So, all the while Baptists have been attributing their ability to trace their history at least the past 1200 year of it (prior to the Council of Trent in 1560's) allegedly taking "Baptist" history all the way back to the 4th century to a Catholic Cardinal - and the one who was the Pope's representative at Trent - and it's a non-existent document referenced and a misquote of the actual document!  

Now I find it ironic - Dr. Ben Townsend EXPOSES the ERROR of ToB - and yet he still maintains "I am a Baptist pastor in Northern Michigan. I pastor the Bible Believers Church, an Historic Baptist congregation in Mesick, twenty-five miles south of Traverse City. For your information, an "Historic Baptist" is a church that believes in the tenents (sic) of Baptists churches down through the centuries from Christ." (Source).  So even though he has helped to debunk the myth - he hangs on to the non-historic claim of the Baptists being able to trace their roots all the way through the centuries to Christ.


Bible Verses Defined By Catholic Church

The following are taken from Steve Ray's site:

The Church's Interpretation of Scripture

The Church has officially defined the interpretation for several passages of Scripture, but most people, Catholic or no, don't realize it. When they do know this is the case, even a well-informed Catholic cannot normally tell you which passages were authoritatively interpreted or what those interpretations were. What follows are all the authoratative interpretations of the Church has made of Scripture, taken from Heinrich Denzinger's Sources of Catholic Dogma, nos. 789, 858, 874, 913, 926, 949, 1822. Remember that the word "anathema" does not mean "condemned to hell," it means "formally excommunicated," and is used in explicit statements of what the Church most emphatically does not believe. Remember also that the authoritative interpretations of these passages do not deny the possibility of additional, non-contradictory interpretations. It means only that the referenced passages certainly carry the defined meanings. Some also ask why the Church does not formally define the meaning and interpretation of every line of Scripture. The Church teaches what is necessary for understanding - what She says needs to be said, nor is any teaching more than is needful. Just as it will take an eternity to plumb the infinite depths of God, so would it take an eternity to plumb the depths of His Word. These passages were defined against pernicous heresies. Every heresy is traceable to a mis-understanding of some combinatinon of these passages.
Rom 5:12 - Council of Trent, June 17, 1546, "Decree on Original Sin",  section 2.
If anyone asserts that the transgression of Adam has harmed him alone and not his posterity, and that the sanctity and justice, received from God, which he lost, he has lost for himself alone and not for us also; or that he having been defiled by the sin of disobedience has transfused only death "and the punishments of the body into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul," let him be anathema, since he contradicts the Apostle who says: "By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. [Rom 5:12]" 

Jn 3:5 - Council of Trent, March 3, 1547, "Canons on the Sacrament of Baptism," canon 2.
If anyone shall say that real and natural water is not necessary for baptism, and on that account those words of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit [John 3:5]" are distorted into some sort of metaphor: let him be anathema. 

Mt 26:26 ff; Mk 14:22l; Lk 22:19 ff; 1 Cor 11:23 ff - Council of Trent, October 11, 1551, "The Real Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist", chapter 1
First of all the holy Synod teaches and openly and simply professes that in the nourishing sacrament of the Holy Eucharist after the consecration of the bread and wine our Lord Jesus Christ, true God and man, is truly, really, and substantially [canon 1] contained under the species of those sensible things. For these things are not mutally contradictory, that our Saviour Himself is always seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven according to the natural mode of existing, and yet that in many other places sacramentally He is present to us in His own substance by that manner of existence which, althogh we can scarcely express it in words, yet we can, however, by our understanding illumintated by faith, conceive to be possible to God, and which we ought most steadfastly to believe. For thus all our forefathers, as many as were in the true Church of Christ, who have discussed this most holy sacrament, have most openly professed that our Redeemer instituted this so wonderful a sacrament at the Last Supper, when after the blessing of the bread and wine He testified in clear and definite words that He gave them His own body and His own blood; and those words which are recorded [Matthew 26:26ff; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19ff] by the holy Evangelists, and afterwards repeated by St. Paul [1 Cor 11:23 ff], since they contain within themselves that proper and very clear meaning in which they were understood by the Fathers, it is a most disgraceful thing for some contentious and wicked men to distort into fictitious and imaginary figures of speech, by which the real nature of the flesh and blood of Christ is denied, contrary to the universal sense of the Church, which, recognizing with an ever grateful and recollecting mind this most excellent benefit of Christ, as the pillar and ground of truth [1 Tim 3:15], has detested these falsehoods, devised by impious men, as satanical. 

Jn 20:22 ff - Council of Trent, October 25, 1551, "Canons on the Sacrament of Penance," canon 3
If anyone says that those words of the Lord Savior: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained [John 20:22ff]", are not to be understood of the power of remitting and retaining sins in the sacrament of penance, as the Catholic Church has always understood from the beginning, but, contrary to the institution of this sacrament, distorts them to an authority for preaching the Gospel: let him be anathema. 

James 5:14 - Council of Trent, October 25, 1551, "Canons on Anointing of the Sick," canon 1
If anyone says that anointing of the sick is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ [cf. Mark 6:13], and promulgated by blessed James the Apostle [James 5:14], but is only a rite accepted by the Fathers, or a human fiction: let him be anathema. 

Lk 22:19, 1 Cor 11:24 - Council of Trent, September 17, 1562 "Canons on the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass," canon 2
If anyone says that by these words: "Do this for a commemoration of me [Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24], Christ did not make the apostles priest, or did not ordain that they and other priests might offer His own body and blood: let him be anathema. 

Mt 16:16; Jn 21:15 ff - Vatican I, July 18, 1870 "The Institution of Apostolic Primacy in Blessed Peter," chapter 1
[Against heretics and schismatics]. So we teach and declare that according to the testimonies of the Gospel and the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church of God was promised and was conferred immediately and directly upon the blessed Apostle Peter by Christ the Lord. For the one Simon, to whom He had before said: "Thou shalt be called Cephas [John 1:42]", after he had given forth his confession with those words: "Thou art Christ, Son of the living God [Matthew 16:16], the Lord spoke with these solemn words: "Blessed art thou, Simon bar Jonah; because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I shall give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven [Matthew 16:17ff]." [Against Richerieus etc.] And upon Simon Peter alone Jesus after His resurrection conferred the jurisdicition of the highest pastor and rector over his entire fold, saying: "Feed my lambs," Feed my sheep [John 21:15ff]." To this teaching of Sacred Scriptures, so manifest as it has been always understood by the Catholic Church, are opposed openly the vicious opinions of those who perversely deny that the form of government in His Church was established by Christ the Lord; that to Peter alone, before the other apostles, whether individually or all together; was confided the true and proper primacy of jurisdiction by Christ; or, of those who affirm that the same primacy was not immediately and directly bestowed upon the blessed Peter himself, but upon the Church, and through this Church upon him as the minister of the Church herself. 

Feast of the Assumption

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