This is part 2 of debunking bad anti-Catholic arguments, in this case, those coming from the meme below.
Continued from part 1 which you can find here.
1140 AD – The Doctrine of the 7 Sacraments / 1215 AD – Transubstantiation invented
We will treat both of these claims together as they are similar and equally fallacious. Catholics have practiced the Sacraments (Eucharist, Baptism, Anointing of the Sick, etc.) back to the earliest centuries of Christianity and even back to Christ himself. Let’s look at just a few Catholics of many who speak of the Eucharist (transubstantiation) and other Sacraments.
Ask yourself, did these Catholics teach these things before 1140 and 1215 A.D.? Let’s first look at St. Athanasius who writes both about the Eucharist and Transubstantiation. He is writing in 373 A.D.
“After the great and wonderful prayers have been completed [consecration], the bread becomes the body, and the wine the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. … This bread and wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But, after the great prayers and supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine, and thus; His body is confected.”
Wow! That is the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and Transubstantiation in the 4th century. I was never good at Math, but I think that 373 comes before 1215 A.D.
Likewise, John Chrysostom in 387 teaches on both water baptism regeneration and the Eucharist. He also talks about the necessity of priests to confect the Sacraments. Listen to what he says:
“No one can enter into the kingdom of heaven except he be regenerated through water and the Spirit, and he who does not eat the flesh of the Lord and drink his blood is excluded from eternal life, and if all these things are accomplished only by means of those holy hands, I mean the hands of the priest, how will anyone without these, be able to escape the fire of hell, or to win those crowns which are reserved for the victorious?”
The Catholic Church’s Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. talks about the Eucharist, the Priesthood, and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick:
It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer it…… “Concerning the departing, the ancient canonical law is still to be maintained, to wit, that, if any man be at the point of death, he must not be deprived of the last and most indispensable Viaticum [Anointing of the Sick].” (Canon 13)
There are so many quotes we could list like Irenaeus in the 3rd century who talks about transubstantiation and that the Eucharist becomes so (and is on longer common bread) with the prayers of the priest, the invocation. He says: “For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly. (Against Heresies, book IV, chapter 18.5).
1190 AD – Redemption through Indulgences:
This is just uneducated and not worth addressing. Indulgences neither forgive sins or redeem a person. That’s a complete misunderstanding of indulgences, or perhaps, intellectual dishonest.
1534. Jesuit order founded.
There has been many Priestly orders down through the centuries, including Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, and so on. Priestly orders each possess a different charism from teaching and preaching, to serving the poor, to in-depth study and scholarly work, etc. If the argument being made here is that there were no Jesuits in the first century, well this is just silly, because the Church evolves and grows.
By this same logic, all Christians are wrong because they go to churches and the earliest Christians met in homes not churches. You don’t see any churches in the New Testament. Of course, this is illogical.
The Bible also doesn’t mention playing music to God using an organ, praise and worship bands, and many other things. Most anti-Catholics would be in favor of these things even though they were not part of the first century church. For that matter, Scripture doesn’t mention creating a Bible or Christians reading a Bible. So if the argument is that we cannot find things the Catholic Church has developed in the first century, well the people making this argument have a very big problem themselves including with the Bible they use.
The Church should grow and develop over time. As long as something doesn’t contradict to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with developing practices. The Bible alone, faith alone, the Rapture, and other Protestant inventions are not found in ancient history and do contradict the Bible.
1546 AD – Apocrypha is added to the Canon of the Bible.
This is another horrendously researched and fallacious claim. In point of fact, the Catholic Church canonized the Holy Scriptures starting in 382 at the Catholic Council of Rome and finalizing it in 397 at the Council of Carthage. Pope Innocent I ratified the final version of the Biblical Canon once and for all in 401 A.D.. Guess what? The so called Apocrypha books were part of the very first Bible and every Bible after that for over 1000 years. They were even in all Protestant Bibles including the original King James Version.
So it was the Protestant took out seven books not that Catholics added seven books. The seven books in question were in the original Bible as part of a canon and anyone can read the documents with its anathemas by Pope Innocent I.
1854, the Immaculate Conception invented:
This is also false. The Catholic church has believed this long before 1854 and even back to the earliest centuries of the Church. Just as the Council of Nicaea only affirmed and defined the divinity of Christ in 325 because it came under attack, so the same Church only affirmed and defined the Immaculate Conception when it came under attack, but it was believed long before that just as was the divinity of Christ.
Listen to Ambrose, Bishop of Milan in 387 A.D.: “Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a virgin not only undefiled, but a virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin” (Commentary on Psalm 118:22–30).
More could be listed too. So, if they were already talking about the Immaculate Conception of Mary and her sinlessness in the early church, then how could it have been invented 14 centuries or so later?
1965. Mary, not Jesus made the Cornerstone of the Catholic Church:
Another sad and nonsensical claim based on any facts, citations, or evidence. The person who made this name should be ashamed of themselves for presenting such false and ludicrous information. The Catholic Church has always unanimously taught that Christ is the cornerstone and only Christ.
Contrary to this claim in the meme, Vatican II, an official Council of the Catholic Church, states: “Christ Jesus Himself was forever to remain the chief cornerstone and Shepherd of our souls.”
THIS is what the Catholic Church actually teaches and it contradicts what anti-Catholics claim which is why they never cite any sources. If you ask them to support their claims with facts and evidence, quotes and citations, they usually end up resorting to just attacking you with ad hominem attacks or just blinding vomiting phrases like “The Catholic Church is evil and that’s that.”
But facts are facts. Empty claims are just empty claims. As anyone can witness, what anti-Catholics say about the Catholic Church, and what the Catholic Church says in her own teachings from her own mouth are complete and total opposites 99% of the time. The time has come for those who follow God to be more intellectually honest and stop doing such shabby research to prove at any cost what they already believe, as opposed to following the truth wherever it may lead.