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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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DEFENDING THE CATHOLIC FAITH

Dealing with Anti-Catholicism

Did the Catholic Church Prohibit Bible Reading?

Scripture & Tradition

Sola Scriptura?

Isolated Verses Misused Against the Church

References to Pagan Rome Used Against the Church

Response to an Anti-Catholic on John 6 & More

Mission of the Church Took Precedence Over the Scriptures

Holy Spirit & Infallibility of the Church

Christianity is Not a Book Religion

Tradition Supplements the Scriptures

Commanded to Keep Traditions

The Issue of Heresy

The Bible is Not Self-Interpretive

The Pope & Bishops, Official Interpreters of Scripture

Catholic Approach to Scripture Fosters Unity in Christ

The Bible Belongs to the Catholic Church

Institution of the Catholic Church by Christ

Church Authority

Infallibility

The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against the Church

Christianity is a New People of God, A Visible Community

Sinners & Christ’s Church

The Church is CATHOLIC

The Church is APOSTOLIC

Peter the First Pope

Baptism

Confirmation

The Real Presence in the Eucharist: Our Inheritance

The Greatest Food of All

A True Bread from Heaven

Jesus Meant What He Said About Eucharist

Only the Real Presence Demands Worthy Reception

Catholic Worship

Confession of Sins

Only Priests Can Offer Absolution

Anointing of the Sick

Bishops & Priests Given Charge over the Sacraments

The Vocation of Holy Orders is a Gift

The Apostles & their Successors

Women Ministers

Marriage is for Life

Divorce & Remarriage is Adultery

Purgatory

Images: Statues & Pictures

Ash Wednesday (Ashes)

Mass Vestments

Holy Water

Relics

Incense

Good Works

Virgin Mary

Angels & Saints

Sources for Catholic Doctrine

Biblical Terrorism

Faith & Works

Jesus the Way

Baptism & Born Again

Priests Forgiving Sins

Confession to a Priest & Petitioning Saints

Priests & Sacrifices

Priests Forbidden to Marry

The Church & Priests

Priests are Often Addressed as Father

Teaching Authority: Is the Pope the Holy Father?

Peter the ROCK of the Church

Is the Roman Catholic Church Christian?

Mass as Sacrifice & Eucharist as Really Jesus

Did Jesus Renounce His Mother?

Mary & Tradition: Offensive to God?

Mary Remained a Perpetual Virgin

Mary is Called the Mother of God

Purgatory, Religious Life (Nuns) & the Pope

53 Responses

  1. Mr. Thompson: Do you know early Christian History? simply put as Christianity grew so did the need of leadership and teachers.

  2. Christians do not need human priests, popes, nor the “mother of God,” since God has no mother.

    FATHER JOE: You do not come to God alone. Your rejection of the ministries is a repudiation of the Church. Christ founded a faith community, a new People of God. You do not have the authority to nullify what Christ has done. Already you have rejected the term “father,” now you do the same for “mother.” Did you grow up in an orphanage? God as God is a perfect Spirit. However, Jesus is the Son of God made man. Mary is the Mother of Jesus who is a divine person with a human and divine nature. The title “Mother of God” defends the identity of Christ. Those who rejected the title seemed to be arguing that Jesus was not God. Do you believe that Jesus is God?

  3. Jesus Christ is our high priest, and the Pastoral Epistles (Timothy I & II, Titus) outline the church offices…

    FATHER JOE: Yes, Christ is the Great High Priest. This is also Catholic teaching.

    …whereby you will not find monks, nuns, cardinals and popes.

    FATHER JOE: Monks and nuns are simply men and women who live in community or as hermits as they seek to grow in the knowledge and love of God. Men and women are free to pursue the religious life. Would you strip them of this choice and freedom? Jews also have dedicated contemplatives. Cardinals were created by the Church to assist with the selection of a new Bishop of Rome, what we call today the Pope. The Scriptures speak of episcopoi (bishops or elders), presbyters (priests) and diakonea (deacons). The structure that we know today emerged during the apostolic period and early Church.

  4. The Catholic church is full of pedophile priests.

    FATHER JOE: One would be too many. In truth, most priests are celibate and faithful to the Lord.

  5. Father Joe:; Sandra really need to read or reread 1 Corinthians 29 through 39, or is she afraid to admit she is violating a command from God?

  6. Well, it wasn’t a dare, but thanks for finally publishing as is, although your comments show you still miss understanding my words, beliefs and how I came to them.

    FATHER JOE: I have tried to be fair with you. Really, I know precisely what you think. It is black-and-white.

    And please know that without love I wouldn’t care about anyone’s eternal whereabouts.

    FATHER JOE: Okay, then please know that it is with tough love that I offer you fraternal correction. But what you offer in return sure sounds bigoted and hateful to me. Thanks for handing me the pitchfork and horns… remember that if the Catholic Church is the house of Satan then that would make me one of the porters. That is a pretty personal assault. Now, where are my strap-on horns? Really, I do not think so.

    I love everyone, therefore when I see an opportunity to help anyone see the truth, I try.

    FATHER JOE: I know something about love too. Good Catholics love Jesus but you will still say that we are not Christians. I would at least grant you some portion of Christianity, even if confused by false teaching and prejudice.

    You seem to be overly defensive which jumps you to conclusions that my motives are otherwise.

    FATHER JOE: As with your opinions, I think your motives are very clear. You have come to a Catholic website to tear down, as best as you are able, the Catholic faith. Instead of an intelligent response, you have taken offense and sought to make yourself appear as the victim. It does not wash. Since you are going, if you are truthful, then again I will say, “Bye.” I will keep you in prayer.

  7. This is just for you, Joe. I suspect you wouldn’t publish it anyway.

    FATHER JOE: If just for me, you are welcome to send me an email for private correspondence. But you seem to be daring me to publish your comment to this public forum, and you apparently want to reprimand me publicly for my moderation. You just cannot get it into your head that this is a site operated by a Catholic priest who places the Christian deposit of faith before anyone’s personally confused ideas, his or yours. You are right though; most Catholics and Christians like me would probably have deleted your comments outright and banned you by now. I tried to give you the benefit of a doubt, but you proved yourself again and again to be uncivil and non-responsive to basic facts.

    It’s not right that you portray people on here dishonestly so that others don’t know what’s really being said.

    FATHER JOE: Your own words have spoken for themselves. It is true that I often add correction or clarification to posted comments. Sometimes I will do this in a separate comment, although as people try to take over this forum, I have adopted the practice of annotating comments as I am doing here. If something is pointedly nasty or there are foul words, I will delete it outright. Some, not you, who comment here cannot say anything without bad language and curses.

    That’s not the idea of how a blog works.

    FATHER JOE: Actually, that seems precisely how many blogs work. No, they do not have to be mean-spirited, but they reflect the ideas or the agenda of the blogger. He might allow or disallow comments, but it is his or her attempt to speak to the world (or at least a small part of it). My blog is banned in Communist China because I have spoken out against forced abortions and the persecution of Christians, Catholic and Protestant. So, as you can see, you are not the only one who dislikes my poor little blog.

    You come across as extremely arrogant and manipulative.

    FATHER JOE:

    I will say it one more time. It is my blog. No one is forced to post comments or to read it. Most importantly, I have no reservations about the Catholic Church being directly instituted by Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God. I believe that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary. I believe that he suffered and died to redeem us from the devil and to offer atonement for sin. I believe that he rose from the dead, showered the Holy Spirit upon the Church and ascended to the Father where he will judge the living and the dead. I believe that there is a heaven and a hell. I further believe that as a sign of his mercy, some souls pass through purgatory or purification as they approach heaven. I believe that he established the apostles as the shepherds over the Church and that their successors lead us still. I believe our Lord gave us the seven sacraments. I believe in the Decalogue, the two-fold commandments of love given by Christ, the Beatitudes, the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc. I believe that the Bible is both the words of men and the inspired Word of God as compiled and interpreted by the Church. I believe in all that the Holy Roman Catholic Church holds to be true.

    This might sound very arrogant, particularly because I have no reservations about my faith. Of course, my faith is not blind but informed. Mine has always been a faith seeking understanding . . . NOT renunciation.

    I remind you for your sake that the Bible tells us we are nothing without love.

    FATHER JOE:

    Yes, I certainly felt your love when you judged my Catholic faith as unchristian, indeed worse, as Satanic. Not!

    Here are your own words to haunt you:

    March 13: “I can agree with intolerance of Catholic teachings because I don’t believe they are from God.”

    March 16: “It’s Satan who brings in the confusion and distracts people from the Truth… Well yes, I guess I do associate anything to do with Catholicism with Satan because that’s who’s influencing it… Thankfully God has given me discernment and I can sense when something is not right which has often kept me from going astray. Anything not of God is of the devil.”

    March 18: “I didn’t state that the Catholic Church is satanic, but I guess saying that it’s influenced by Satan is much the same.”

    March 19: “Catholic teachings which I believe are false, definitely man-made…”

    March 20: “I conclude by reaffirming that Catholic answers are man-made and lead people away from God, not to Him.”

    March 24: “…Catholics are not Christian.”Such charges would condemn all the saints living and dead. It impugns the sacrifices of martyrs and the charity that Catholics offer to the whole world, regardless of creed. But I am confident, that except for a few general themes like love, you really do not understand the Bible, no matter how many times you have read it. I have no problem with discussions with Protestants on issues of faith, as long as matters remain academically honest. Indeed, there may remain real differences of opinion. But you came here to preach your brand of religion, not based on truth but on an abiding bias and hatred of the Catholic faith. Where we would seek to affirm our mutual love of Jesus Christ as sons and daughters of the heavenly Father; you would castigate our Christ as false and make us out to be the spawn of Satan.

    We are also warned to steer clear of those who profess to “know it all,” and those people are warned about falsely teaching.

    FATHER JOE: Then I will probably stay away from any blog that you manufacture in the days ahead. However, I will pray for you.

  8. Joe, you are NOT my father.

    FATHER JOE: I certainly hope not, as I do not know your mother.

    Jesus said to “…call no man father except Father who is in heaven.”

    FATHER JOE: Okay, then what did you call your biological father, “hey you”? Obviously, you know nothing of Hebraic hyperbole and Jewish colloquialisms.

  9. I’m sorry you feel that way. this Tells me you can thump the bible when you chastise others, You can’t practice what you preach its just pure hate. So enjoy your life as I will mine.

    Bye

  10. …Catholics are not Christian. I’m done wasting my time on here.

    FATHER JOE: Bye.

  11. Sandra this is childish. The term we use in the Christian Jewish society is used to show respect if you don’t like Father use Pastor or Reverend in fact Rabbi might also be acceptable he is a teacher and Jesus was also called Rabbi. What if I refused to address you properly such as witch, wrench, who*e you would be unwilling to be civil to me. so put your pride in the desk drawer. I am here to defend my faith and to have a decent conversation to learn from one another.

    I asked you to read 1 Corinthians chapter 12 through 15. in chapter 12 and your answers were good.Paul is telling us that we as human beings in Christ are of the same spiritual body and we are given special talents/gifts. My gifts as I review my life, remember I said I walk a crooked road to salvation, I had a great Mother and Father, as a prodigal son I came back to them more appreciative of their teachings and I miss them but what a gift I had for 63 years in them. I went to war as a nineteen year old I came home a changed person as a witness of man’s inhumanity to man. To this day It is like yesterday it still haunts me but I used that lesson to train others in my Military career and to be blunt I was damn good at it. which then peeked my interest in teaching I received my Bachelors and my Masters while on active duty received my license and the kids I taught were destine to jail, abused, neglected. I taught refugees from countries all over this world and I’m hearing from them . they are in college or they don’t cut themselves no more suicidal thoughts or act.. I only know of one lost soul that went to prison. other gifts. I’m a husband of 43 years a father, a grandfather and a great grandfather. I was an I am damn good at it. these are just some of the gifts given to me. if the one word is offensive its only to accentuate my thought. these are just some of the gifts given to me and I accept others as a gifts as for tongues I still learning proper English on the road and playing my favorite game Golf. I’ll let you and Father savor my understanding .

  12. I’m sorry, Bob, there’s no way I can go against what the Bible says and call any man ‘Father’.

    FATHER JOE: The Bible says nothing of the kind. Obviously, you know nothing of Hebraic hyperbole… call no man teacher… father… in other words, if such conflicts with divine truth or our relationship as sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. But you will not be happy posting here because such prejudiced and false views must be mediated and qualified on this site. You do not respond intelligently to correction, you just get angry that one might put up a fight for Catholicism.

  13. Well, I can’t find my response to Bob about the chapters he asked me to read…

    FATHER JOE: When did you last look? I cannot recall deleting entire posts. It made have remained in moderation for some time due to my review/response policy.

    … nor the part about your continual uncalled for and made-up degredation of me, Joe. Is that your editing?

    FATHER JOE: I did cut out a certain moaning about “poor me” because it was phrased in a way that insulted my priesthood. What do you mean by degradation? Seriously, I have no personal animus against you. However, I do think that you suffer from a certain ignorance of faith and that you are highly prejudiced (bigoted) against Catholicism. Any who would categorize Catholicism as Satanic and thus immediately imply that priests like myself are in the employ of the devil are obviously not going to be given an uncritical welcome on this blog. Bob thinks you have come here to dialogue. You and I know that you have come here because you hate the Church and do not regard her as a legitimate form of Christianity. You came to hit and run. But you fear that you have made matters worse and that your words have been used against you. I would ask you to remember that you are the interloper here. This is a personal teaching site of a Roman Catholic Priest. It is not a free-for-all message board. As I said before, blogs are free and you are certainly at liberty to make your own and say whatever you please. But here, your comments will continue to be moderated.

  14. We have snow here and it is too cold to enjoy the sun, so I’ve been reading your other commontaries, but I keep coming back to this one. I’d like your permission to continue with Sandra to find out what she wants. Should Pat and Shirely jump in I may have to ask you to perform an exorcism on your blog. 🙂

    So, Sandra ,if you read this I caution you to address our host as Father Joe or Pastor. Should I or you speak of untrueths or slander one another than Father Joe has the duty to correct us or restrict us from this site. Mike I suggest you lay off the gaunja and learn how to be a civil and intelligent human being.

    Shall we begin Father?

  15. Since You put it that way. I’ll keep reading and pipe in when I feel the need. I’m talking with My Parish Priest at tonights Mass about becoming a Deacon.

  16. I don’t like what I’ve done to your blog Father and I humbly ask for your forgiveness for what has happen here. I sought you out to learn if my actions of Defending my Faith ,my church and traditions and the clergy was on solid ground to pursue. Look what has happen people are defaming you, I can not allow this to go on. I’ve decided that I want to apply to become a Deacon if the Bishop and my parish will have me.

    May God shine his face upon you, and may Jesus bless you.

    FATHER JOE: You have done nothing wrong. I enjoy reading your comments. With or without you, the critics come.

  17. If you’re not allowing me to voice my opinion anymore, Joe, it would be decent of you to let Bob know that I’m not ignoring him. Please don’t give any false reason though.

    FATHER JOE: Hum, it is Reverend Jenkins to you. Your comments are all here, albeit with appropriate correction and commentary. But I thought you were going elsewhere. Again, this is not a free-for-all message board. Comments are shared on posts or questions are asked. I am a person of integrity. If there is any falsehood then someone else is the source. Any guesses? However, I do reserve the right to censor or delete wrongful incriminations against me, others or the Church.

  18. Joe, you should FEAR for the state of your own soul and NEVER the souls of those who RELY on the Word of Yahweh!

    FATHER JOE: Goodness, another one who refuses to give me the proper title as a pastor. Of course, you seem to reject that a Catholic priest is a pastor of souls… more of the same, the ugly face of prejudice and anti-Catholicism. The priest like the flock he serves is a sinner. I would not deny this. But you post here not for a real discussion. You have come to pillage and destroy.

    You add and subtract truths from Scriptures to deceive the people!

    FATHER JOE: I do nothing of the kind. I would direct all to both the Sacred Scriptures and the universal Catechism. I have nothing of my own. Every priest is called to be a humble servant of the Gospel and the truths revealed by Christ.

    You curse those who do not agree with you and ANNIHILATE them (60 million and all) from the face of the earth for a ‘good cause’ i.e., in the service of the truth (so said that infidel pope called Karl Wojtya who sold his soul to Satan when he gave his ENTIRE self – mind, body, spirit and soul (ears, tongue, mouth, eyes, limbs, hairs, intellect, etc…etc..) to the demon-goddess named ‘Queen of Heaven’.

    FATHER JOE: Hum, are you on drugs? I curse no one. I have no clue what you mean about the annihilation of sixty million. You are a pretty sick dude. Pope John Paul II has not been alive for some years now and he was a saintly man. He served Christ and like our Lord, loved Mary. Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Christ is our King and that makes Mary into the Queen Mother. It makes perfect sense. If you were sane then this attack would constitute true blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. However, you may be too mentally ill to fall under this judgment.

    How much of him did he leave for YAHUSHUAH HAMASHIACH?? Not even an IOTA of a %age!!

    FATHER JOE: Are you starting to babel genuine gibberish? I have no idea what you are trying to say. I suspect you mean “Yahshua HaMashiach” a Hebrew transliteration for Jesus Christ. Does a mother have to ration her love for one child so that she has enough for another? No, love does not work that way. We can love God with our whole heart, mind and soul and still have plenty of love for Mary and others. You need to get help.

    There was NOTHING in him (Karol Wojtyla) that belonged to JESUS the Christ for he surrendered himself 100% to the demon-goddess named ‘Queen of Heaven’ (actually the ‘Queen of Hell’)!! What do you say to that, Joe???

    FATHER JOE: You attack a saintly Pope and deride the Mother of Jesus— how should that make me feel? Upset, yes, but I also feel very sorry for you. There is so much hate and dark deception in your words. You need to see a professional counselor, not just about religion, but about your mental state. Something is seriously wrong with you. I will pray to the Lord for you. That is all I can do.

  19. Sandra: Father Joe is correct that this is his blog and like you I’m just a guest here. I value his input and yes, as I have stated I will defend my Catholic faith, the Priesthood and my love of Christ. There is one thing I must compliment you on, you find applicable verses to our discussion. Yet when you read these verses are you reading the whole chapter for complete understanding? I’d like you to read 1 Corinthians 12 through 15. I read this as a lector during Mass and had to come home and read to ensure the full meaning. it a beautiful and powerful message for the heart. Please read it and give me your understanding like wise I have to reread it to talk with you intelligently.

  20. Pat: you are judging me and father Joe, what does the bible say on judging. If the King James version is the only trust worthy bible why was it written by Priests, theologians and Linguists? Prove yourself to me not Sandra that you are a person of God as far as I know you are jealous of Sandra for her understanding of the bible. I read hatred in your post. How do I know that you are not satan himself, whom I have rejected and fight every day to resist?

  21. Bob, my goal was to put you at ease about your relationship with Jesus. You seem to strive too hard without leaning on Him for help.

    Joe’s perception is controlled by Catholic Religious teachings and he can’t see or hear beyond that. Unless you and I can converse with each other without the interruptions, I will not post on here anymore.

    Praying you find your way through prayer and the truths in the Bible . . . .

    FATHER JOE: There will always be “interruptions” (as you put it) given that this is my blog and I am a Catholic priest. I note that you did not in any way voice disagreement with Pat. That says a lot. If you must, you can start your own blog where I would be perfectly happy to leave you to your own devices. Bye.

  22. Sandra, don’t you see how this wizard of iniquity is twisting your words?

    The papal antichrist owns him and he is using you as a sounding board to push his devilish message.

    He and Bob worship demons and there can be no compromise with Satanists.

    Theirs is a false Christ, Jesus the cookie, an idol to which they bend the knee.

    Only the KJV Bible is trustworthy. All others have been tainted by the papists, even those promoted by other Christians.

  23. Whoa! This is out of control., Father Joe, forgive me if I open mouth and insert foot. Sandra and now Pat, I found this blog to ask questions and to learn more about the faith I practice, Father Joe, the men like him and the sisters(Nuns) who have dedicated their lives to the service of God, Jesus our savior and our Holy Mother Mary. I will defend. There is no reason for verse slinging to prove who is right. Its your mind and your Love of God and Jesus that tells “YOU.” Sandra I will tell you the truth. I don’t read the bible as much as I should. I’m not consumed that the bible is my choice of reading. Ladies I am a sinner and I try not too, but I’ve broken every commandment that God gave to Moses, I play Golf and the words I use to describe my ability to hit the ball would make satan himself blush. I’m like Jimmy Carter I’ve Lusted in my heart, my wife knows this and told me I couldn’t have concubines like King David or like Abram with the permission of Sarah.

    I walk the crookest path to salvation known to human kind. the bible said these men of God could do this why can’t I.( King David and Abram) times have changed and some of the practices of the old and New testament have changed to adapt to society I figure my mortality is 20 years or less. Tonight I go to confession to ask for God’s forgiveness so if it is the will of God through the absolution of the Priest, which he has the authority not to give, then I’m reconciled to God again as much as I try I sin again. I’d like you Ladies to ask yourself what is your goal on this blog? if you want to learn join us in the conversation, if you want to find fault look with in yourselves and your posts to father Joe.

    your true sinner
    Bob

  24. Joe, you are still attempting to belittle me. I do not wish to keep this up with you. I conclude by reaffirming that Catholic answers are man-made and lead people away from God, not to Him. Bob, I hope you and I can still discuss.

    FATHER JOE: I have no issue with Bob. However, I will not allow your false statements on my blog to go unchallenged. You openned yourself up to rebuttal with your attack upon Catholicism as Satanic and man-made. This is not simply a disagreement. You seem utterly clueless to your bigotry against Christ’s Church. I will pray for you.

  25. Yes, you’re right Bob, about our spiritual goals. Thanks for clearing that up.
    I get the impression that you don’t read the Bible very much, is that right? We are told in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”

    FATHER JOE:

    Let’s give the entire selection, “For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). You may not know it but the numbering system is a bit capricious and arbitrary. It is a man-made insertion into the Bible for the sake of order, useful after the invention of the printing press.

    Looking at verses one through four, the context is LITURGICAL prayer in the Church. It can be made for anyone even pagans. This is a correction against those who resisted praying for those outside the faith community. (By the way Sandra, that would include you because you refuse membership in any church.)

    The mission and role of Christ is universal. There is only one God, the Creator of all. Jesus is God come among us to save us. He does so from the human side of the equation, as one of us, taking upon himself the punishment which we had incurred by sin. Just as the Catholic Church still teaches, Jesus is the one Mediator between heaven and earth. There is no other way to the Father. He is the Way and the Truth and the Life. Verses five and six function as a creedal formula in the Church, like a Christian version of the Jewish shema (see Deuteronomy 6:4–5).

    I am glad you read the Bible, but do you understand it?

    And 1 John 2:1, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…”

    FATHER JOE:

    Again you chop off the Scriptures, a symptom of the proof-text approach which distorts God’s Word by removing context. First, the author is not making a statement about the whole Bible, just this particular letter. Second, notice that John presents himself as a father figure, just like our priests, bishops and popes today. He is a SPIRITUAL FATHER, speaking to his “little children.” Third, notice also that the reference to “children” is plural. He is speaking to the particular church-community. People of faith are not supposed to go at it alone.

    Let us look at the text: “My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived” (1 John 2:1-6).

    More than a faith profession, we must change our lives and show by obedience and works that we are sons and daughters of the Father. If we fall short then we know that God is merciful and that Jesus has made satisfaction for all the sins in the world. He has conquered Satan and the war is won. Our response to Christ’s saving work is our own holiness of life and the keeping of the commandments, especially in regard to charity. Imitation of Christ is more than a pretense, but we are gifted by grace with the likeness to Christ.

    Do you fully understand the expiatory nature of Christ’s death? Do you appreciate the pastoral nature of this letter? (It is not unlike the letters of bishops and popes to their flocks today.) The passage is saying that it is not enough to say Jesus is Lord; one must live as if this is the most abiding truth. Failure to live the moral life and to seek repentance illustrates a shallowness of faith.

    No man has authority to intercede for another man.

    FATHER JOE: It is here that anti-Catholics often play games with words. Jesus is our saving Lord. He is the Mediator. This is basic Catholicism 101. But, as human creatures, everything is mediated in secondary ways. What do I mean? Let me give some examples:

    God is the Creator. Your mother and father shared the marital act and you were conceived and later born.

    God gives us life and sustenance. Farmers grow harvests and raise animals for food. That food is processed, possibly cooked, and we now have food and drink. This symbolism is seen in the Eucharist: Grapes to Wine to Blood of Christ; Grain to Wheat to Body of Christ.

    God gave us his inspired Word, the Bible. Human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit composed the Scriptures. The books and letters of Scripture were collected by the Church fathers and the bishops at council determined under the light of the Holy Spirit what constituted the canonical Bible. The Bible is copied again and again so that it might be passed through history and from church to church.

    Christ has offered you salvation. Babies come to the font in the arms of parents and godparents. We are taught about Jesus. We pray in our families and worship at church. People witness to us the truth and we make it our own.

    Jesus offers his Last Supper, establishes a new covenant meal and dies for us on the Cross. The priest acts in the person of Christ at the altar, fulfilling the command at the Lord’s Supper to “do this in remembrance of me.” We come to Calvary and the Cross. Jesus feeds us his body and blood. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

    Jesus took to himself a complete human nature. He also extends himself in his Mystical Body, the Church. Christ is the vine and we are the branches. Christ is the head and we are the body. We are connected. The economy of images changes because of the incarnation. Now something of the divine can be conveyed in creation, itself.

    The mediation of Christ is not compromised by the shepherds that Jesus appointed. The mediation of Christ is not violated because he has made priests into ministers of reconciliation to extend his mercy in the sacrament of penance. The mediation of Christ is not bypassed in the intercessory prayers of Mary and the saints.

    From the day you nursed at your mother’s breast, human beings have interceded for you. Had others not made it possible, you would have no Bible and know nothing of Christ. On every level, God has given us a role to play, not in opposition to him, but as companions on the journey.

    There are many more verses telling us to meditate on God’s word, to store it up in ourselves, that the Holy Spirit will help us to understand it. Having His Word instilled in us is a help to keep us from sin, God will be with us to guard and guide us. We are expected to fill ourselves with God’s Word in order to enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

    FATHER JOE: Okay, good so far.

    That can’t happen if we’re relying on someone else, we need the direct relationship.

    FATHER JOE: And now you ruin it. As I said, our Lord did not intend for you to struggle alone with faith. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus establishes a Church and that fellowship and leadership are essential. The Church is not an optional accessory. We are called to both a personal and a corporate faith in Jesus Christ.

    Also, 1 Tim. 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”
    Note ‘ALL’ scripture. As is. There is no allowance for any man to decide whether there is anything to be added, taken away or changed.

    FATHER JOE:

    Taken as you would understand it, even translations would be forbidden. This is a stance not unlike that of Muslims to the Koran. They insist that only the Arabic version is regarded as inspired or binding. The first letter to Timothy uses a certain level of hyperbole because the early Christians already acknowledged that the Mosaic Law (found in Scripture) no longer bound them regarding certain foods or circumcision.

    Further, when this was written there was no New Testament. Indeed, some parts had yet to be written.

    The letter to Timothy starts off by detailing the qualities to be found in bishops and deacons (see 1 Timothy 3:1-13). And yet, you have spurned any church with such ministries. This illustrates the depths of your hypocrisy.

    As for your citation, you can’t even get that right. It is NOT 1 Timothy but rather 2 Timothy 3:12-17! We read: “In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known [the] sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

    I will allow you ponder how your attitude might constitute persecution of the saints and the Church. Along with over a billion Catholics, we know FROM WHOM we have received the true faith. Just as the Jews were initiated at infancy, parents bring their children to the baptismal font so that FROM INFANCY we might be blanketed in the living Word. We have come to know Christ in the context of the family and the Church, not because of anonymous posters on the internet. Yes, the Bible is inspired. It is God’s saving Word. Both divine positive law and natural law have a role in guiding the steps of our discipleship. Catholic priests, religious, and many of the laity pray the Scriptures throughout the day in the Mass, bible reading and prayer. We saturated our lives with the Scriptures. We can fully live out what you can only quote.

    Verses 16 and 17 emphasize that “because as God’s word the scriptures share his divine authority. It is exercised through those who are ministers of the word” (NAB Footnote).

    Literally, people were not primitive at the times of writing the Bible. Scholars these days are still impressed by ancient writings of all kinds. On the contrary, our languages are slipping now.

    FATHER JOE: Primitive does not mean stupid. In any case, you contradict yourself by your rejection of the early Church fathers. You seem to think that you alone are more enlightened than those who basked in the initial light of the Pentecostal Spirit. Today, you think that you know better than bishops and popes. You are very much mistakened.

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