Roman, But Not Catholic -- By: J. B. Rowell

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 108:432 (Oct 1951)
Article: Roman, But Not Catholic
Author: J. B. Rowell


Roman, But Not Catholic

J. B. Rowell

If any church or denomination has less right than another to the name catholic it is the Roman Church. It is surely an extravagant imprudence for any denomination to claim they are catholic, to the exclusion of all others. And yet this is the very thing the Roman Church dares to arrogate to herself. According to Pope Pius IX, “It is necessary, even in the present day, that the Catholic religion shall be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.”1

“Catholic Truth” is the caption in the volume entitled A Catholic Dictionary where we read, “Truth is one and absolute; the Catholic Church, and she only, has all the truths of religion (not necessarily all yet explicit and declared).” In an authoritative textbook we have this claim by St. Vincent of Lerins (450 A.D.): “We hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all; for this is what is truly and properly catholic.”2 The same textbook affirms: “She is one in her doctrine. No one has ever been able to show that the Roman Church has ceased to teach a single dogma contained in the apostolic writings, or that she ever admitted a doctrinal teaching in contradiction with those writings. Never has she defined an article of faith without having previously proven that the apostles had taught it, either in writing or by word of mouth… Thus, when a few years ago the Church declared as articles of faith the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary

(1854 A.D.) and the infallibility of the Roman pontiff (1870 A.D.), she did not add new articles to her doctrines; they are simply subsequent developments of the truth revealed by Jesus Christ and taught from the beginning by the church.”3

Many a grave error lurks behind supercilious assertion. Again and again the Roman Church presents her misrepresentations and falsehoods with the dogmatism of truth. Her “Explication of Christian Doctrine” is interwoven with subtle fabrication which cannot stand the test of honest investigation. Consider one statement already given above, “Never has she defined an article of faith without having previously proven that the apostles had taught it.” What superlative arrogance is here! Where is the apostolic proof for the sacrifice of the mass, for transubstantiation, for purgatory, for auricular confession, for the two dogmas mentioned above as defined in the 19th century? In all her literature Rome has failed to produce such proof, so that the conclusion must be she is using ostentatious cam...

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