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A Message For Former Catholics


By Mary Ann CollinsóA Former Catholic Nun



Leaving the Catholic Church involves more than just understanding doctrinal issues. There are often emotional issues as well. I have had to deal with these issues myself, and I correspond with former Catholics who are currently dealing with them.


Some people see God's truth simply and suddenly, like a light being turned on inside them. They walk out of Catholicism and into Biblical Christianity without looking back, and without emotional turmoil. That is wonderful. It is a precious gift from God.


For many former Catholics, there are difficult emotional issues which we have to deal with. Often our new friends in our new church don't understand them.


Christians often assume that once Catholics understand doctrinal issues and Biblical principles, then that is the end of the matter. But for many of us, it isn't. There can be a lot more involved than just intellectual understanding.


Catholics are used to having priests tell them how to think and what to do. As a result, it can be difficult for former Catholics to learn to pray for themselves, read the Bible for themselves, and take responsibility for their own life. We can overcome this difficulty, but it requires determination, persistence and prayer.


Loyalty, Guilt, and Rejection


Some former Catholics are under emotional pressure to return to the Catholic Church because they don't want to hurt their family members. In addition, the Pope is called "Holy Father" and the Catholic Church is called "Holy Mother Church". As a result, people may feel as if they are betraying their father and their mother if they leave the Catholic Church. Jesus addressed these issues when He said,


"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:37)


Some former Catholics have had to face control, manipulation, intimidation, rejection, and false accusations. If you are going through something like this, then remember that God is faithful and His grace really is sufficient. He will get you through it.


In addition, the experience will give you a new appreciation for the rejection and misunderstanding which Jesus endured for our sakes. He left the love and appreciation of Heaven to come here to earth and be falsely accused, misunderstood, rejected, and mocked, in order to save us. The Apostle Paul said,


"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings". (Philippians 3:10)


You are sharing in the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. This will give you greater love for Him, and more gratitude for what He has done for you. It will enable you to know His heart in a new way. It will also qualify you to receive the blessing of one of the Beatitudes. Jesus said,


"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)


The process of qualifying for that blessing is no fun at all. But if we see the eternal perspective, then we will be able to endure it and to trust God while we are going through it. The Bible says,


"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." (1 Peter 4:12-14)


Try to find an understanding friend or prayer partner to stand with you as you go through this. You can pray together. Your friend or prayer partner can help you keep a biblical perspective when you are under emotional pressure.


If your family is pressuring you to come back to the Catholic Church, then this is probably not a good time to try to share your new-found Biblical faith with them.


Mind Control


The Catholic Church claims that it has the right to control how Catholics think. We were taught to believe whatever we were told and to obey the priests. During Mass, we were told when to stand, when to sit, when to reply to what the priest said, and what to say. This attitude of passive compliance is constantly reinforced.


This is more than just our personal experience. It is official Catholic doctrine. Following are some examples.


According to "The Catholic Encyclopedia," the idea of freedom of religion is wrong. People are not supposed to use their own personal judgment to determine their religious beliefs. (This article is online.) [Note 1]


According to Canon Law (the official laws governing the Roman Catholic Church), Catholics are required to submit their minds and wills to any declaration concerning faith or morals which is made by the Pope or by a church council. They are also required to avoid anything that disagrees with such declarations. And they can be coerced if they don't comply. (You can read these laws online.) [Note 2]


The Catholic Church teaches that only the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (the Pope and the bishops in communion with him) has the right to interpret Scripture. People like us are not allowed to interpret Scripture for ourselves. We have to check it out with Church authorities. (This is online.) [Note 3]


Catholicism teaches that Catholics are supposed to "receive with docility" any directives given to them by Catholic Church authorities. (This is online.) [Note 4]


According to "Webster's Dictionary," "docile" means "disposed to be taught; tractable; as, a docile child". "Tractable" means "capable of being easily led, taught, or controlled; docile."


This sounds like young children who accept without question whatever their parents tell them. In fact, I believe that is precisely what Jesus warned us against when He told us to "Call no man father". (Matthew 23:9)


In contrast, the Bible commends the people of Berea because they "searched the Scriptures daily" in order to "see whether these things were so". (Acts 17:10-11) God wants His people to check things out for themselves, using Scripture as their yardstick.


So how do we overcome this? The Bible gives us the answers.


"The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:1-3, emphasis added)


(If you have a Catholic Bible, try Psalm number 22. The numbering of many of the Psalms is different in Catholic Bibles. Both the chapter numbers and verse numbers are often different. If you have a Catholic Bible, I strongly recommend that you replace it with a Protestant Bible.)


God is able to restore our soul. He can undo the damage which the Catholic Church did to our thinking and our emotions. God is able to change our minds and our emotions so that they will reflect His truth, and agree with His Word (the Bible). We need to agree with God instead of agreeing with the Catholic Church.


God tells all Christians to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. (Romans 12:2) And He always enables us to do what He tells us to do. This renewing of our minds is especially necessary for former Catholics because we have been indoctrinated with unbiblical beliefs and subjected to mind control.


God is willing and able to teach us how to lead righteous lives. The Bible and personal prayer are keys to this. We need to ask God to change our hearts. We can pray, with Scripture, which says,


"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)


"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)


The Bible can correct our thinking and instruct us in how to live righteously. It can enable us to understand whether or not doctrines are biblical. It can equip us to live godly lives. The Apostle Paul said,


"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)


When reading the Bible, it is important to approach it with a spirit of humility, and to ask God to help us understand it. If we are faithful to do this, then our thoughts (and therefore our actions) will line up more and more with God's thoughts and God's ways of doing things. This is a process. It takes time. God is patient with us. We need to be patient with ourselves.


We not only need to read the Bible, we also need to study it. The Apostle Paul says,


"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)


It helps to have a good Study Bible. You can ask your pastor to recommend one. There are also some helpful computer programs.


Fear


Catholicism teaches that there is no salvation apart from the Catholic Church, its sacramental system, the priesthood, and the Pope. This is not Biblical, but it can still be deeply ingrained. Once we learn better, then our minds understand, but it may take time for our gut feelings to catch up with our thinking.


There can be other forms of fear. One man told me that when he was a child in parochial school, the nuns terrorized him. For example, they said that the children would burn in Purgatory for every minute that they talked in class. What kind of picture does that give of God?


There are also official curses. When I was confirmed, the ritual (which was in Latin) included a curse which was supposed to come upon me if I ever left the Catholic Church. The anathemas of the Council of Trent still curse anybody who disagrees with any of the doctrinal statements of the Council of Trent.


The Blood of Jesus is more powerful than any curse. God is able to protect us, and to bless us, whether or not the Catholic Church wants Him to. God is in control--not the Catholic Church. The Bible says,


"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." (Isaiah 54:17)


"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)


"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)


"I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)


Anger


Many former Catholics go through a period of being angry. One reason is a feeling of betrayal. For some former Catholics, it has taken years before they were able to trust again.


In addition, anger is one way of handling fear, rejection, and the pressure to return to the Catholic Church. It can provide emotional strength, and it can help you stand your ground instead of allowing yourself to be controlled and manipulated. However, long-term anger is not spiritually or emotionally healthy.


Jesus told us to forgive people. He said,


"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". (Matthew 6:14-15)


No matter what has been done to us, we cannot afford to become bitter. Bitterness defiles people and it spreads like a spiritual cancer. The Bible says,


"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled". (Hebrews 12:14-15)


It can be difficult to forgive the people who taught us false doctrines and ungodly religious practices. However, you don't have to do it alone. God will help you. Jesus said,


"The things which are impossible with men are possible with God". (Luke 18:27)


If you are willing to forgive, then God will enable you to do it. Ask God to increase your desire to forgive. Ask Him to change your heart and help you forgive.


The Catholic Undertow


There is something which I call the "Catholic undertow". Have you ever been swimming in the ocean, and tried to swim back to shore, but the undertow kept pulling you back out to sea? Well, something similar can happen to people who have left the Catholic Church.


Several things contribute to this, including fear, rejection, inappropriate guilt, and the practical consequences of mind control. Some Catholics encounter "culture shock" when attending another church. Also, no church is perfect. No matter where you go to church, sooner or later somebody will disappoint you or hurt you (and they may not even realize it).


Sometimes people who want you to go back to the Catholic Church will add to the difficulty by putting pressure on you or trying to indoctrinate you with Catholic teachings.


One way to deal with the undertow is to just refuse to give in to it. Stand your ground. Be a bulldog and keep holding on. Pray for God to give you strength and wisdom. Realize that what you are going through is not unusual. There is nothing wrong with you. Many former Catholics go through this kind of thing.


It is not wise to make important decisions when you are under emotional pressure. Applying this principle will give you strength if you are feeling the pressure of the Catholic undertow. Just refuse to make a decision until the emotional pressure passes.


When people get married, sooner or later they will have bad emotions and their level of commitment will be tested. The same kind of thing happens when somebody leaves the Catholic Church and joins a Biblical church.


Our emotions change with the weather, with our health, and with our circumstances. But God's truth doesn't change, and our commitment to Him shouldn't change, either.


You didn't leave the Catholic Church because of feelings. You left because it had practices and doctrines which are contrary to Scripture. You left because you wanted the truth. Well, don't let emotions pull you back. The truth hasn't changed just because your emotions have changed. Hang on. In time your emotions will come around again.


Reinforcing Our Foundations


We former Catholics need to reinforce our Biblical foundations. It is important to read Scripture and to have it become a part of us.


If you have not yet read my online book, "The Spirit of Roman Catholicism," please read it. You can download the book and keep it for future reference. You might want to print it. That will enable you to underline things and make notes in the margins. The book is the first item on my website. (I have some introductory comments, followed by the book.)


http://www.CatholicConcerns.com


If you want to have an actual book, you can print the document and get a spiral binding put on it. (Places like OfficeMax, Kinkos and Staples can do that.) You can also punch holes in it and put it in a binder.


You may want to read "The Gospel According to Rome" by James McCarthy (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1995). It shows that many Catholic practices and doctrines are contrary to Scripture. McCarthy is a former Catholic. His book is easy to read, thoroughly documented from Catholic sources, and compassionate in its presentation.


James McCarthy's video, "Catholicism: Crisis of Faith," was life changing for me. It ministers on far more than just the intellectual level. You can order it by phone from D&K Press (1-800-777-8839). They have it in English and Spanish and they ship all over the world. Their website bookstore is:


http://www.DKPressChristianBooks.com


Emotional Attachment


For years after I left the Catholic Church, I still had loyalty to it and an emotional attachment to it. I found it helpful to read David Yallop's book, "In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I" (London, England: Transworld Publishers, 1994). This book is well written, gripping, and hard to put down.


Vatican insiders asked Yallop to investigate the death of Pope John Paul I because they suspected that he was murdered. Yallop did his homework. He interviewed Vatican insiders and Mafia gangsters. He gives a revealing and disturbing picture of life in the Vatican.


Finding a Good Church


Do you have a good church? If not, then you need to find one. The first thing to do is to pray for God to lead you to the right church. Keep on praying until you find it.


A good church is a place where people believe the Bible, have sound doctrine, and are full of love for God and for one another.


Sound doctrine is important. There are some doctrines which are non-negotiable. If a person doesn't believe them, then he or she is not a Christian. These include the Incarnation (Jesus is both God and man), the Atonement (Jesus died for our sins), and the Resurrection of Jesus.


However, there is far more to Christian life than just sound doctrine. In Revelation 2:1-5, Jesus is speaking to a church where the people rejected false teaching, did good works, and had patience and courage under adversity. However, He rebukes them because they let their love fade. This was such a serious problem that Jesus told them to repent and rekindle their love, or else He would deal with their church.


People have different personalities. So do denominations and pastors and congregations. As a result, individual churches have different personalities. You can find out about a church's doctrine with a phone call to their office, but to get a feel for a church's personality, you will have to visit it a few times.


If you are not comfortable with a church that you try, pray about it. The lack of comfort might indicate that there is a problem. However, it could just be culture shock. Any Protestant church will be different from what we were used to as Catholics.


The primary reason for going to church is to worship God and to learn about His ways and His character through preaching and Bible studies. Hopefully you will also make friends who will enrich your life and encourage you to become a more mature Christian. In order to do that, you will probably need to make the effort to get to know people.


You may not be able to find a church which meets all of your needs and desires. Perhaps you want to have activities with other single Christians, or you have children who need good programs for youth, or you find that the pastor isn't as available as you would like him to be. Perhaps the music is not well done, or it is different from what you are used to. Don't let such things discourage you. Be grateful for what you have.


One way to get things into perspective is to remember our persecuted brothers and sisters in other countries. For example, in Indonesia, Christians are grateful to be able to meet together without being attacked by Muslims. In North Korea, Christians have to meet secretly and quietly. They don't dare worship out loud for fear of being heard by hostile people.


All of us have strengths and weaknesses. So do pastors. So do churches. There are no perfect churches. It is probably a good thing that there aren't, because knowing human nature, if we found one, we would probably make an idol out of it. Not being able to find a perfect church makes us depend on God. And that's good.


Prayers


The following prayers will help set you free from any remaining spiritual or emotional attachments to the Roman Catholic Church.


LOYALTY: Heavenly Father, I renounce every form of false loyalty. My primary loyalty belongs to You and to You alone. I repent for giving the Catholic Church the love, trust, loyalty, and gratitude which I should have given to you. I repent for every way in which I have put other things ahead of You. Please help me put You first all of the time. Please help me see things from Your perspective. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


THE BIBLE: Heavenly Father, I repent for believing in a church which tries to keep people from understanding the Bible for themselves. I renounce everything which has been done to put barriers between people and the Bible. Please help me understand the Bible, trust it, and apply it to my life in practical ways. Please make me hungry for Your truth. Please help me know You, love You and trust You. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


FALSE DOCTRINES: Heavenly Father, I renounce every false doctrine which I have believed. I repent of having believed these unbiblical doctrines. Please uproot them from my heart and from my mind. Please open my eyes to the truth of the Bible and set me free from every false teaching. I renounce pagan philosophy and ungodly mystical experiences. I renounce every belief which is based on them. Please give me a renewed mind and a renewed heart. Please enable me to recognize whether or not teachings are consistent with the Bible and with Your nature and character. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


UNBIBLICAL PRAYERS: Heavenly Father, I renounce the repetition of special verbal formulas. I repent for using them. Please teach me how to trust Your love for me. Please teach me how to share my heart with You like a trusting child. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


IDOLATRY: Heavenly Father, I renounce every form of idolatry. I repent for every way in which I have participated in idolatry. Only You are holy. Only You can save me. Only You are worthy of worship. Please remove all idolatry from my heart, my mind and my life. If I start to do anything idolatrous, please show me and help me repent. Please help me worship You with all of my heart, with all of my mind, with all of my strength, with all of my soul, and with all of my loyalty. Please teach me to worship You in spirit and in truth. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


UNGODLY AUTHORITY: Heavenly Father, I renounce every form of ungodly authority and ungodly power. I repent of every way in which I have abused my authority over someone else. I repent of submitting to ungodly authority. I repent of having been a member of a church whose leaders have a history of using fear, violence, torment, coercion, fraud and deception in order to control and manipulate people. Please show me any ways in which I have participated in these things and help me repent. Please get these things out of my heart and out of my life. Please heal me from any harm I have suffered as a result of having people do these things to me. Please set me free from every form of control and manipulation by the Catholic Church. Please set me free from every ungodly influence. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


RITUALS: Heavenly Father, I repent of trusting in rituals and objects instead of trusting directly in Your love for me. I repent of attributing power to rituals and objects instead of believing in Your power, Your love, and Your faithfulness. I repent of praying to dead people (Mary and the saints). I renounce every form of communication with dead people. Please get these things out of my heart and out of my life. Please set me free from any influence of paganism or the occult. Please set me free from any spiritual or emotional harm which was caused by these things. Please increase my faith in You and help me trust you more. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


OBJECTS: Heavenly Father, I am willing to get rid of any object which is associated with idolatry or other false religious practices. Please make me aware of these objects and help me get rid of them. Please set me free from any form of spiritual or emotional bondage. Please set me free from any influence of false religion. Lord God, You are my protector and my deliverer. Please increase my confidence in Your love for me and Your ability to take good care of me. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


SAINTS: Heavenly Father, I repent of asking saints to pray for me. I repent of trying to communicate with dead people (the saints) and asking them to help me. I repent of honoring them and trusting in them. Help me trust You, the living God. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


MARY: Heavenly Father, I repent of asking Mary to help me. I renounce every form of veneration of Mary. I renounce every special title which the Catholic Church has given to Mary. I repent of anything I have said or done because of apparitions of "Mary". I repent of any way in which I have consecrated myself to Mary. I repent of praying to Mary and singing songs in her honor. I declare that Mary needed a savior like the rest of us. Please forgive me for believing Catholic doctrines which exalt Mary above other people. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


FORGIVING: Heavenly Father, I choose to forgive every person who taught me false doctrines or ungodly religious practices. Please work in my heart so that I will completely forgive these people. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


GIVING THANKS: Heavenly Father, thank You for setting me free from every form of bondage to the Catholic Church. Please help me live according to the freedom which You have given me. Please help me grow into a strong, mature Christian. Please increase my faith in you, my trust in You, and my loyalty to You. Help me trust Your goodness, Your faithfulness, Your love, and Your mercy. I want my life to glorify You. I want to demonstrate Your love and Your character. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Praying Scripture


Many Catholics spend their lives praying written prayers. They have not learned how to pray naturally and spontaneously from their heart.


I have found it helpful to use the Bible as a springboard for personal prayers. That isn't the only way that I pray, but it is something which I often do when reading Scripture. If you are not used to praying spontaneously, Scriptural praying can help you get started.


There are many prayers in the Bible. Have you ever prayed through them, like they were your own? It is one way of having Scripture become a part of us.


It is also a way of knowing that we are praying according to God's will. For example, if God showed the Apostle Paul that Christians need wisdom and revelation, then we know that praying for those things is according to God's will. We can use Paul's prayer as a springboard for our own prayers.


When we pray the Lord's Prayer we are praying according to Scripture. But there are many other Biblical prayers that we can pray. We can appropriate them and make them our own. For example, here is one of Paul's prayers for the Christians in Ephesus:


"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:14-21)


At first, this may look intimidating. Most of this is one long, complicated sentence. However, we can break it down into bite-sized pieces. There are many ways that this passage could be approached. I will just give an example. As you pray, you will find something that is more appropriate for you. Also, every time you come to this passage, you may find new treasures in it, and new ways to pray it. Please take the following as just one possible working example of how this Scripture passage could be prayed.


Father God, thank You for being my Father in Heaven. Thank you for the riches of your glory. Please give me a revelation of Your goodness and Your glory, and the wonderful treasures that are to be found in You. Lord God, please strengthen me with Your might, by Your Holy Spirit, in my inner man. May Jesus Christ dwell in my heart by faith. Lord, I want to be rooted and grounded in Your love. And I can't do that. I can't make it happen. Please make me like a plant whose roots go down deep into Your love. Make Your love my source of strength and protection and nourishment. Make the revelation of Your love be a source of vision and motivation for my life. Use me to minister Your love to other people. Lord God, give me a revelation of Your love. Help me comprehend it. Show me how great and how deep Your love is. Enable me to know the love of Christ which is so great and so pure and so beautiful that it is beyond my understanding. Holy God, thank You that you are able to do far more than anything I can ask or imagine. Thank you for Your great power that is working in me. Lord, may You be glorified. Change my heart and make me someone whose life glorifies You.


As you read the Bible, you will find many prayers. You will also find many other things that are clearly God's will for us, and which can be the basis for prayers.


Some passages can be prayed directly, word for word. One of my favorites is Psalm 139: 23-24:


"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."


I also like to participate in the heavenly worship that was shown to the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation. I love to pray, and to sing, Revelation 5:12. (This text is used in Handel's "Messiah". A wonderful chorus is based on it.)


"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."


Isaiah also had a vision of heavenly worship. I like to join in the prayer of the seraphim, which is given in Isaiah 6:3:


"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."


Conclusion


We former Catholics have habitual ways of thinking which are contrary to Scripture. We also have emotional responses which are rooted in false teachings. With God's help, we can overcome these things. God has enabled His people to overcome everything which exalts itself against the true knowledge of God. The Apostle Paul said,


"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty though God to the pulling down of strong holds:) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)


We may have struggles from time to time. Trials and tribulation are a normal part of life. However, God is able to keep us from falling. (Jude 1:24) We can overcome every obstacle because God is faithful and He loves us.


May the Lord bless you, comfort you, strengthen you, and encourage you. May He make the Bible come alive to you and give you greater understanding of it. And may He give you an ever increasing revelation of how much He loves you.


NOTES


1. "Inquisition" in "The Catholic Encyclopedia,"Volume VIII (8), 1910 (online edition 2002). The statement opposing freedom of religion is in the second paragraph of the article. The Office of the Inquisition is an ecclesiastical institution for suppressing heresy. It is a permanent office with headquarters in Rome (described on pages 1 and 23-24 of my print-out).


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm


For a Protestant perspective on the Inquisition, you can go to the following article. It is on the web site of Bart Brewer, who is a former Catholic priest.


http://mtc.org/~bart/inquis.htm


2. "Code of Canon Law," Latin English edition, New English Translation (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1988), pages 247 and 409, Canons 752, 1311-1312. The 1983 "Code of Canon Law" was translated into English in 1988. It is available online. The following links go to the Index of the book, which has links to the laws. Canon 752 is near the beginning of Book III. Canons 1311-1312 are in the beginning of Book VI.


http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0017.htm

http://digilander.libero.it/gergely/cic_en.htm

http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/canon/


3. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church," Paragraphs 85, 100, 891, and 2051. The "Catechism" summarizes the essential and basic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It was approved by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and the English translation was released in 1994. The latest English edition was printed in 2000. It is available on-line, with a search engine.


http://www.christusrex.org/www2/kerygma/ccc/searchcat.html


4. "Catechism of the Catholic Church," Paragraphs 87, 1310, and 2037.





Faith & Reason Forum would like to thank Mary Ann for allowing us to put her article on this website. Copyright © 2002 by Mary Ann Collins. All rights reserved. Used by permission. www.CatholicConcerns.Com. e-Mail: MaryAnnCollins@Juno.Com.

Feel free to make copies of this article and distribute.


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