Belated Happy Reformation Day!


Here’s a refresher if you’re unsure what the Five Solas are.

It’s as good a time as any to remember the biblical roots of Catholicism. Ever heard of Father Bampfield?

Cannot, or Which Church Believes the Bible?

Which Religion really believes the Bible ? “The Protestant,” you will say, “of course. Is not the whole talk of Protestants about the Bible? Do they not scatter Bibles, as the sower scatters seed? Are there not Bible readers, and Bible sellers, and Bible classes, and Bible Societies, by the hundred ?”

Yes: that is true. But to read the Bible, and talk about it, and sell it, is one thing; to believe it is another. Now when the Bible says a thing, who really believe it, the Protestants or the Catholics?

“A very odd question; why ! I never heard of Catholics believing the Bible. They are never allowed to read it, and the priests burn all they can get.”

Odd or not, will you look quietly into the question with me? I was once a Protestant and am now a Catholic, and it seems to me that Protestants never take the Bible to have a plain, straightforward, common-sense meaning like any other book. Other books mean what they say: the Bible alone, according to Protestants, means one thing and says another. Catholics, on the other hand, do always seem to me to have a common-sense, straightforward meaning for the Bible. Its sayings may be hard to understand and harder to do, but if the Bible says a thing, it is true, and must be believed, however difficult, and done, however unpleasant.

Read the whole thing.

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3 Responses to Belated Happy Reformation Day!

  1. Manny says:

    James Joyce has a great summary of protestantism from the mouth of his character Stephen Dedalus, a Catholic who had lost his faith.

    “[Upon being asked whether he intended to become a Protestant:] I said that I had lost the faith, Stephen answered, but not that I had lost self respect. What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?”

    [A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ch. 5 (1916)]

    ―James Joyce


  2. Sir Mark says:

    I’m Catholic, but this doesn’t hold water. The Protetants make the same accusations at us. Two verses that come immediately to mind:
    “Call no man Father”
    “Your brothers and sisters are outside”


  3. 1. Call no man father.

    Spiritual Fatherhood

    Perhaps the most pointed New Testament reference to the theology of
    the spiritual fatherhood of priests is Paul’s statement, “I do not write
    this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

    For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many
    fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4:14–15).

    Peter followed the same custom, referring to Mark as his son: “She
    who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so
    does my son Mark” (1 Pet. 5:13). The apostles sometimes referred to
    entire churches under their care as their children. Paul writes, “Here
    for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a
    burden, for I seek not what is yours but you; for children ought not to
    lay up for their parents, but parents for their children” (2 Cor.
    12:14); and, “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until
    Christ be formed in you!” (Gal. 4:19).

    John said, “My little children, I am writing this to you so that you
    may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the
    Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1); “No greater joy can I
    have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth” (3 John 4).
    In fact, John also addresses men in his congregations as “fathers” (1
    John 2:13–14).

    By referring to these people as their spiritual sons and spiritual
    children, Peter, Paul, and John imply their own roles as spiritual
    fathers. Since the Bible frequently speaks of this spiritual fatherhood,
    we Catholics acknowledge it and follow the custom of the apostles by
    calling priests “father.”

    Failure to acknowledge this is a failure to recognize and honor a great gift God has bestowed on the Church: the
    spiritual fatherhood of the priesthood.


    2. Your brothers and sisters are outside.

    Different Christian Churches and denominations have different
    traditions of interpretation on the question regarding who the “brothers
    and sisters” of Jesus were:

    Most Protestant Christians – full siblings; younger children of both Mary and Joseph

    Eastern Orthodox Christians – half-siblings; older children of Joseph, a widower, from a previous marriage

    Roman Catholic Christians – cousins; children of close relatives of Mary and/or Joseph

    Which of these three options is historically most accurate cannot
    be determined from the biblical evidence alone; the answer relies on the
    post-biblical traditions of interpretation.


    So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.
    —1 Thessalonians 2:15 (St. Paul)


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