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Supremacy of Catholic Church – and Pope – irrelevant to other Christians

07/13/2007 4:38 am 112 comments

By Roland S. Martin
Creators Syndicate
Non-Catholics who are up in arms of the proclamation by Pope Benedict XVI that the only true church in the world is that of Catholicism shouldn’t even bother with getting upset. Just chalk it up to an old man trying to get a little attention.

For him to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ shows that he is wholly ignorant of the Scriptures that I have known all my life.

Sorry, let me take that back. I’ve really only known the Bible for the last 13 of my 38 years. That’s because those first 25 years were spent as a die hard Catholic.

That’s right, I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. One of the first meetings to build the church I was raised in – Our Lady Star of the Sea in Houston, Texas – took place in my grandparent’s living room. Many of my Saturdays and Sundays were spent serving as an altar boy, Catholic Youth Organization leader, dedicated student of Catechism, and a constant recitation of the Holy Rosary.

And the reality is that we were never really encouraged to study the Scriptures. The standard practice was for all of us to read the same pamphlets passed out by the church, recite the readings from the New and Old Testaments, listen to the Scripture chosen for us in the Gospel, and hear a normally bland homily.

That isn’t always the case at some Catholic churches. If you visit St. Sabina in Chicago, Father Michael Pfleger will surely have your soul jumping with his strong sermons and willingness to engage the community to get involved in direct action.

Yet as I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty was a wasted experience as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ.

And that’s why Pope Benedict XVI is meaningless, along with his decision to re-state the primacy of the Catholic Church. This week, the pope released a document correcting interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, which some say modernized the church. But for hard liners like Pope Benedict XVI, the liberals went too far in some of their declarations.

But what ticked folks off is his assertion in the 16-page document by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the only denominations that can call themselves a true church is if they can trace their roots back to Jesus Christ’s original apostles. He even suggested they suffer from defects.

This is nothing but a naked attempt by Pope Benedict XVI to attempt to “own” Jesus by virtue of the Catholic Church considering the apostle Peter as their leader. He refuses to acknowledge the reality that Jesus didn’t consider a church to be most important. What was? The Great Commission.

The Bible records in Matthew 28:16 that he called his 11 disciples (the other, Judas, hung himself after betraying Jesus) to Mount Galilee and decreed, “”All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (New International Version).

It doesn’t matter what Pope Benedict XVI has to say, or for that matter, any other religious leader. A Christian believes in Jesus Christ and what He had to say, and not a man of God. This is not an attempt to completely dismiss religious leaders, but is further evidence of what happens when ego is more important than the work of Christ.

John 14:6 says, “”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Nowhere there does it say that Peter, Pope Benedict XVI or anyone else can supplant Jesus as the leader of the church.

It is these kinds of missives by Pope Benedict XVI that do nothing to support or build the community of faith. All it does is divide.

Protestant leaders, don’t buy into the foolishness. Let Pope Benedict XVI keep running off at the mouth and making pointless declarations. If you keep bringing good news to the poor, setting the captives free, and assisting those who seek to know Jesus, then you’ll make more headway in doing the work of Jesus than any 16-page document will.

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  • Clive

    I totally agree with you and could not have said it better. I think the pope is still trying to find his niche to follow in some kind of tradition left by the former pope who was seen as being much more charismatic and was much more visible as a public figure. My prayer is he will humble himself and pray, allowing God to work in his heart.

    He may be allowing pride to direct his actions and what he says. Love thy neighbour as thyself, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Division is the last thing the world needs more of today.

    Love is what we do, all people no matter what race, Jews or Gentiles, let’s pray for the pope.

  • Brian Barrier

    I especially like your last paragraph. It says it all and gets right to the heart of the matter. The Roman Catholic Church has been approached by the World Council of Churches numerous times for more dialog and numerous times has been reticent to retreat from the view that Pope Benedict XVI has voiced. Perhaps we will yet see a document from a future leader of the Roman Catholic Church that decries, at least in part, this particularly un-Christian attitude. That is my hope.

  • Brian Fabian

    Mr. Martin,
    I’m sorry you feel this way; it sounds to me that you and many other people left the Catholic Church before you really understood what the Mass that you attended was all about. The entire Mass can be found in the Bible, the entire Mass from the start to the end comes from the Bible including the part at Holy communion were in the Gospel John (Chapter 6 Vs 53 Jesus tells us to eat and drink his blood. If you follow the Mass, Daily readings and Morning and Evening Prayer you will have read more of the Bible then you probably thought. Again I’m sorry you left the Church and I hope to see you back some day

    Brian Fabian

  • http://cnn Brian C

    Thank you that was the most appropriate response to the pope’s comment I can think of. It is biblically sound and non combative. I pray that your message reaches the masses. No pun intended.

  • Oskar Boehme

    From an agnostic who was raised in the Salvation Army, I say, right on, brother. The self importance of the Pope and the leaders of “the one and true church” are so at odds with the bible that it’s hard to understand how they can call themselves religious at all. It is most certainly not Christ-like.

    It’s these sorts of pseudo-righteous nobs, of ANY religion, that are the causes of the WORST of our societies ills, IMHO.

    Thanks for saying in a public forum what I’ve been itching to say myself.


  • Eric Sova

    As a life-long Roman Catholic, who has also spent countless hours of study in Church History, Scripture and Theology, I am sorry that you have so grossly misinterpreted Pope Benedict’s letter to the Catholic theologians who HAVE greatly distorted the teachings of Vatican II. I am also sorry that you believe your childhood practicing Catholicism was a “wasted experience”. It makes my heart sad to know that somewhere along the line the HUMAN side of the Church has failed you, thus opening the door to this belief of wastefulness. The Roman Catholic Church is holistically centered on Christ. Always has and always will be. Everything that happens within the Church is focused on Jesus Christ. As you will remember from your “endless” studies of the Catechism, the Church has always taught one to Know, Love and Serve the Lord Jesus Christ. It is unfortunate that for many years, especially after Vatican II, many members (both laity and ordained) of the Catholic Faith lost sight of this fact. That is the failure of the human side of the Church not the doctrinal as taught by the Magisterium. So called Catholic theologians have for years distorted the truth of Vatican II and the teachings of the Church for their own gain, comfort or political views. That is not the way of the Church. As you would most likely agree, many Protestant theologians have distorted the teachings of Christ for their gain as well. This is not the way of the Protestant belief in Christ, but it does happen. The one thing that I would encourage all of us to do, is to take a step back before responding to something on pure emotion, and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our responses to the Christian unity dialog. Without this guidance our responses and statements do nothing to build the overall Christian Church, rather they continue to build the walls. Mr. Martin, please know that I will pray for you.

  • Gregory Bleers

    I resent your propogating the falsehood that the Pope denies that the Catholic Church is the only true church in the world and the only one that provides salvation. That was never said. What was said was the following:

    According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery[19] cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense

    There is nothing about salvation or not being churches. It only states that they are not churches according to Catholic doctrine. The church continues to conduct dialogues with Protestant churches as well as Muslim and Jewish leaders. They even published a multi-denominational, multi-faith study of each verse of the Bible with commentary from Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and secular authorities on each passage. If you are interested in Scripture, it is a fascinating read.

    Please be more careful with your accusations in the future.

    All the best,

    Gregory Bleers

  • Ron Larson

    Dear Roland,
    Oh dear brother! Preach it! I too was stunned by Benedicts’s false presumptions. We obviously don’t need to go into the litany of doctrinal heresies,and the abuses that this “movement” has created. However, I am confident, by the lack of fruit that Jesus would speak Woe to you, to the vast majority, and I mean vast majorities of leaders within Roman Cathloicism. This is the same man, who wants to reinstate the Latin Mass. While this is only my opinion, I bleieve we as born again believers, must confront this falsehood, in our pulpits, in neighborhoods, on TV on radio, and call those within this group to Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. But we must also understand, if the Body of Christ around the world confronts this anciebnt heresy, taht it will fulfill Jesus’ promise, that if the hate Me, they will also hote you. This isssue comes up, and the Body of Christ usually voices itself, but we often quickly return to a tacit accpetance, and make comments like, Well, we don’t want to be tooo, judgmental. Nonsense, we condemn and judge sin, and unrighteouseness wherever it is displyed. we confront falsehood and defend the sufficiency of Jesus Christ,and the PRIESTHOOD of all believers. WE defend a loving God, who distributes His gifts as He pleases. And yes my friend, we go into all the world, with the message of God’s love for humanity displayed in sending his only begotten Son. We fight against mere formalism ,and ritualism, and faslehoods that leave people dead in their sin and trespasses. We love one another to demsonstrate the power of His shed blood to reconcile us to God and to ourselves. Ron Larson, Duluth, MN 218-348-8152. May God bless you sir, as he gives you wisdom and encouragement, to use the paltform He has given you to boldly proclaim His worth.

  • Dolemite92

    no one brings the vitriol quite like a former Catholic. It sounds like you made the right personal decision to leave since you’re obviously more comfortable as a scripture-quoting Protestant. Interesting that you propse to know Jesus’ mind when you claim the Great Commision is the most important. I thought the claim to know precisely what Jesus wanted from his followers is what had Bendict in hot water with you.

    The catholic church is rich with tradition that is grounded in theology/philosophy. History shows us that the church existed before the bible was assembled. Your retrat to verse alone (solo scriptura) is radical and reflects indoctrination that is equal or greater to that which you received as a younger person.

    so when you grew up as a catholic, it was time wasted. Now you’re enlightened? Please.

  • some_wisdom

    Mr. Roland,

    Though you were raised a Catholic, I am afraid you may have missed a few essential teachings along the way, likely resulting in your defect from the Church.

    First and foremost, the Catholic Church DOES encourage study of the Scriptures. However, what she does not encourage is individuals thinking that they can each come to the fullness of truth about God through their own individual, conflicting interpretations. If God intended Scripture to be the sole rule of faith, then first of all He would have said so, and second, He would not be leading honest and open individuals to drastically different conclusions on every fundamental issue in the Book. Although Scripture claims to be “profitable” (2 Tim 3:15-17), it never claims to be solely sufficient. Instead, Scripture clearly states that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth:

    1Tim 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth (NIV).

    But to which church is this passage referring? Any open-minded person can clearly see from history and a study of the early Church Fathers (the first bishops appointed by the apostles such as Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome) that the Church was overtly Catholic. From praying for the dead and venerating the saints to confession of sins and appointing successions of bishops, the early Church demonstrates her Catholicity.

    The true Church not only possess Scripture but also possess apostolic Tradition passed down from Christ to His apostles and to their successors (2 Thes 2:15; 2 Tim 2:2). I am afraid in your citing of the passage for the Great Commission you have glazed over a crucial part: “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” “Everything” that Christ taught the apostles is not recorded in Scripture (John 20:30; 21:25). Furthermore, the individual books of Scripture were not even canonized until the end of the fourth century (by none other than the Fathers of the Catholic Church). Prior to this local council decision, the individual books of the New Testament were debated, and at that point, several books that were initially thought to be inspired were excluded (such as Shepherd of Hermas and the Apocalypse of Peter).

    As to the supremacy of the Pope, one again merely needs to read Scripture to see the supremacy of Peter, and then trace the succession of Peter to the present day.
    Christ changes Simon’s name to Peter (Rock), and then says that on this Rock he will build His Church. He then gives Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and tells him that whatever he binds or looses on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven. Without going into great detail, the words for “binding” and “loosing” were rabbinical words understood by the Jewish leaders to have meant the authority to declare truth from error, and giving someone the “keys” back then was seen as a transmission of authority to that person, such as today when a person is given the “key” to the city. Peter was given the keys to the city of God.

    The Catholic Church does not claim that only through her can people explicitly be saved; however, she does claim, as she always has, that she possesses the fullness of God’s divine truth. She has all seven sacraments instituted by Christ and can trace her unbroken line of successors back to the apostles themselves. And she is clear that those who through no fault of their own have not become a member of Christ’s visible Catholic Church CAN still be saved.

    In conclusion, I do hope that you further research the Church, which you left and now deride and eventually one day return to her. Though individual members of the Church are still human and prone to sin, she, nevertheless, continues to possess the fullness of God’s divine truth. Just as God chose Judas to be among His twelve disciples, so the weeds will continue to grow with the wheat until the day of judgment (Mat 13:24-30). I admire your desire to serve Christ, and I pray that you would do so in a spirit of humility and unity with the visible Church that He left us.

    P.S. I am a convert as well; however, unlike you, I was raised in many different Protestant denominations, each of which taught essentially different fundamental truths from the same Scriptures. I converted to the Catholic faith after years of study of Scripture and the history of Christian teachings.

  • Joe in Indiana

    “Yet as I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty was a wasted experience as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ.”

    Its a shame that we lost you because it seems that you left before understanding your own faith. The Catholic identity is the Eucharist which is Christ. Sure Mass would be boring if you never had a relationship with Jesus. But I guess some rather be entertained with music and homilies.

    You don’t accept the church anymore but you accept the Scriptures that they compiled? You trusted their authority for your Scriptures then but you don’t accept their authority today? Does that make any sense?

    Your brother in Christ,

  • Jim

    Interesting article, but the pope never said non-catholics won’t find salvation. He simply issued a statement that the church has always believed. I was a protestant for much of my life, and am now a Catholic. This does not mean I find any other religion to be unintelligent or un-saved. It simply means that’s what I believe. If the pope didn’t believe this, he wouldn’t be pope. The bible says the pilar and foundation of truth is the church, and without the church, we wouldn’t know the infallible cannon of the bible. If the church were fallible, so would the cannon of scripture. How else would we know which were to be added and which weren’t. When I studied this, and the teachings and writings of the Christians of the first centuries, I joined the Catholic Church. I found it to be true. Don’t all churches believe they are true? If not, what’s the point? And if a church is not honest with its beliefs, how is proper dialogue possible?
    I didn’t want to be Catholic, but I am because I did a lot of study into the history of Christianity. I, like the pope, do not say other churches are damned or evil. I just believe mine is true, like you do yours. No need to blow this out of proportion.
    God bless,

  • Ben Brinkman

    The only reason you learned nothing about the Scriptures in your first 25 years is because you were a lousy Catholic or a moron. Or both as I suspect. THey read the entire Bible every three years in the Church. If you listened at Mass you might know that. Pope Benedict is irrelevant? You are relevant? What a joke. I suspect manyu more millions of people aropund the world listen to the Pontiff and are aware of the Pontiff than a second rate hack journalist.

    And you talk about divisive? You insult the leader of a Church who is revered by millions, or even billions and you call him divisive?

  • You are ignorant of Catholic teaching

    Go read Matthew 16:18. Not only did Jesus establish a earthly Church, he even — GASP — appointed a man to head it (i.e., the pope). Your attempts to dismiss the papacy by picking out unrelated verses is so comical and pathetic, and has been tried by thousands upon thousands of anti-Catholics before you. Go back and read the early Church fathers. The only conclusion an honest person could possibly arrive at is that Peter’s primacy was clearly established and accepted from the very beginning.

    One last note: why do you accept a particular canon of Scripture? How do you know, for instance, that St. John’s gospel is even inspired? Oh yeah, that’s right – the Catholic Church, which you so revile, said so when it assembled and compiled the Bible! OOPS!

  • Paednoch

    Ahhhhh! Fianally….african amercians can be bigots too!! Yippee….when do you get your KKK uniform…whats that saying? If you cant beat em…join em…That nasty old Catholic church..producing villians like Mother Theresa….YUCK!!!. I had no Idea that the KKK has opened up its ranks to African Americans. WOw what a diverse organization. Anti-Catholicism is the remaining predjudice. Bravo..or should I say…GLoria in excelsis DEO!!! Now if we could just shut down 2/3rd of All Catholic Charity on this planet…those dern Catholics would only have the real Christians doubled in taking care of the poor….Oh Rats I forgot the hundreds of thousands of Hospitals that Catholic nuns opened right here in the “bigot Free” U.S. of A!

  • Rich Nolan

    Mr Martin… I think you missed the point…

    And as a side note… there are lots of Protestant denominations that feel that they too are “the only way”…. what ALL Christians need to do is spend more time on what they have in common than what makes them different….

    - Rich Nolan

  • Jeff

    Mr. Martin’s attack on the Pope was shrill and theologically juvenile. This theology is shallow and void of any Church history or authentic biblical exegesis. Christ truly did establish only one true Church built upon his chosen Apostles. The Great Commission was given to those he had chose. In scripture the Church is called the bride of Christ… hence, there is only one bride because Christ is not a polygamist. The Church from the beginning is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. So Martin’s cheap grace, all churches are fine tirade against the chosen visible head of the Church is typical of a heretic. Christ wills unity… that is to be found in the Church that he built upon Peter — the Rock. The most vicious anti-Catholics are fallen way Catholics who really were never faithful Catholics to begin with. I would recommed reading the earliest Church Fathers and what they had to say. When folks read what the early Christians believed and how they worshipped, they come to the realization that the Church from the beginning is the same Holy Catholic Church that exists today and will exist until Christ comes in Glory.

  • Tom Seaver

    I would ask that you read Matthew 16:18. Here Christ says to Peter: “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” In Mark 6:30, the twelve original disciples of Jesus are called “apostles”, and Revelation 21:14 refers to the twelve Apostles. After Judas’ betrayal, the remaining Apostles appointed his successor, Matthias. This is outlined in Acts 1:20-26. In Acts 1:20, it makes reference to Judas as episkopos or bishop. Thus is outlined apostolic succession. The importance of bishops is detailed in Ephesians 2:19-20: So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.” The importance of bishops is also found in the writings of St. Irenaeus. He states: “But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time,-a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles,-that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, “Dost thou know me? “”I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.” Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, “A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth. Then, again, the Church in Ephesus, founded by Paul, and having John remaining among them permanently until the times of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles.” So the Apostles, given the mandate from Christ in Matthew 28:16, go forth to teach Christ’s teachings. That is why the teachings of the bishops and their successors are important. The statement by Pope Benedict deals with the corruption of the churches of man and his efforts at bringing God’s children back to His teachings as found in His church. If you spent some time reading the underlying documents of Catholicism, instead of bashing it, perhaps you might have a better understanding of it. I guess it is easier to attack that which you do not know than to attempt to understand it. My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Ken Lehmann

    Hey Roland,

    I am incredibly offended by your article about the Pope. If Jesus didn’t agree with the Pope’s comments, what do you think he would have said in response? Did you ask yourself this before you wrote your article? I’m sure he would not have bashed him through liberal commentary, the way that you did.

    Ken Lehmann

    PS- just curious… what do you think of the Muslim religion where you are either with them, or against them? Do you write Muslim bashing articles too? Or do you you just detest Catholics?

  • Rick Mathews

    Christians that go around attacking other Christians are meaningless. Just like you.

  • Stephen

    I couldn’t possibly agree with you more on your response to the current Pope’s declaration of Catholic primacy! I’m sorry (but not surprised), however, to hear that your experience with the Catholic church left you wanting. I’m a Catholic, 33 year old, progressive liberal, husband and father (not listed in order of importance) who is constantly frustrated this church. I find solace in the Eucharist, in the ritual, in the community…but have often been disappointed in the latter. God bless you for such an outstandingly honest and realistic take on the Pope’s most recent divisive act.

  • jswranch

    Brother Roland,
    After spending some time in the Word and prayer, I have decided to let you know how you have wronged me (MT 18:15) and my church in this article through misrepresentation.

    Here are some highlights:
    -That BXVI said, “The only true church in the world is that of Catholicism.”

    However, neither Vatican II nor BXVI ever said this. You are putting words in his mouth.

    -”Only the Cathlic Church can provide true salvation to believers”

    Again, this is no where in the document. In reality, you have been saved as much as I have, according to the Catholic Church. What the Catholic position would support is that your community of Christians (PresbyBapGelicals) is missing some of the truth God has given us, such as the 7 books of the bible you have thrown out because Luther didn’t think they belonged.

    - I could go on with a laundry list of errors from your editorial, but will stop here and ask you to recant your errors and to post the CDF’s document on yor blog so that readers can make up their own minds on the accuracy of your article.

    I can only hope your recommendation for others not to actually read the document was not an attempt on your part to hide your misrepresentations.

    May Jesus Christ lead us into all truth.
    John W.
    Colorado Springs

  • Randy

    Hi Roland,

    My name is Randy and I’m 38 years old who is married with 4 great kids(one is watching me type this :) and living in Canada. I had read your CNN article and it had intrigued me, so I wanted to contact you regarding it.

    Roland I’m sure what your particular experience had been in the Catholic Church, but I wanted to challenge :) some of the information in the article, and leave you with some thoughts.

    You mentioned that you had been a very devout Catholic earlier in your life, but unfortunately had not known Scriptures. This is unfortunately true for many Catholics, as it was for me. However, I would like to say that although yours and mine were not uncommon, it was not by any means what the Church teaches. In Catechism it does say that ‘Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.’ So, maybe our parents simply didn’t develop the habit in us, maybe it was the Priest, or our failure to make time,etc. Only God knows the real reasons, but it is definitely not what the Church teaches.

    Another very important point is the authority of the Bible, or rather how the Bible has authority. We know that the New Testament has 4 Gospels and not 40, but the only way we know this is that the Catholic Church had **Canonized Scripture in late 4th century(you bet, check it out for yourself). If not for the Church, the Bible would be malleable, changeable, and could be rewritten without authority, which is what the Jehovah’s Witnesses have done to some extent. It doesn’t seem logical to me, for if we don’t accept the Church that had been God’s instrument to write down, preserve and authoritatively protect Scriptures for 1400 years from being altered, then how can we accept the truth of Scriptures? The 2 are inseparable, as they depend on one another, like the Chicken and the Egg scenario. :D

    My third point is that Scripture confirms Pope Benedict’s comments. Yep, that’s right, Scripture confirms Pope Benedicts comments!(I kid you not Roland) Check out 1 Tim 3.15 which states that the ‘Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth’. Now as you said in your article Christ Himself said he was ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’, so if we don’t accept this Truth of Scriptures and the foundation of the New Testament, are we not rejecting Christ who is Truth?

    Mother Teresa was a devout Catholic, she also believed in Christ and His Church. This doesn’t mean that Protestants are all doomed to hell, only that Christ Himself established only 1 Church, with 1 set of teachings and not countless different ones with various contradictions, all claiming guidance from the Holy Spirit.

    Doesn’t it make more sense that, although not perfect, 1 Church, with 1 set of teachings makes more Biblical sense?

    Best regards and Blessing to you and your family,

    Randy D’Agostini
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

  • Cheryl Bynum

    Thank you, Mr. Martin. You verbalized what my head knew, but what my heart could not admit. I have tried for years to break away from the death grip this organization has had on me. You have helped me finally to be set free. Praise God!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ben

    I agree with Jim. Even though I’ve been a protestant for all of my life, I have no beef with the Catholic Church. I have to humbly agree, as Martin Luther did, that without the Catholic Church, there would be no bible. I don’t necessarily agree with them, but I do believe they are brothers in Christ, as worthy as heaven as us Protestants. As a Protestant, I don’t try to hide my roots. All Christian denominations are, historically, an offshoot of Catholicism. I just believe we removed some of the errors. But Christ will not dismiss the Catholics from heaven, I believe, for they follow what they believe is original Christian truth. Just as we Protestants believe we do. I believe we started Protestantism due to some bad judgements on the Catholics part, but there were also misunderstandings, and still are. The Catholic Church has always believed (since before any other denominations existed) that they are the true church. As do we all believe we are. I Find it curious that we all accept Christmas, Easter, and the New Testament books, despite the fact that they are all historically a factual Catholic creation. I believe Christ helped this to be, as I believe Christ helped the reformation to be. We’re all Christians, so if one denomiation believes they have authority over us, I say to that….FINE. That’s what we all believe…that we have the truth. But the fact of the matter is that Catholics and Protestants love Jesus with all their hearts, and if they believe what their religion teaches, they’ll believe they possess the truth. As long as we believe we have the truth…whether we are Catholic or Protestant, why wouldn’t Jesus love us for following him in what we believe is truth. To be a leader of a Church following Christ (i.e. the Pope), to say that anything else is anything other than true would seem strange, and almost a fence-riding position. As Jim said…lets not blow this out of proportion, but why can’t we see the one thing we all have in common…JESUS IS LORD.

  • Joshua Mora

    Mr. Martin, very interesting. Obviously, you have not done your homework. What Pope Benedict stated is what have stated. You tried to disagree with him, but you actually proved his point. Christ prayed that we all be one, as He and the Father are One. Obviously, he established A CHURCH. There is no doubt about that. If that were not the case, then why have all the Epistles and Letters? All of those were written to maintain unity in The Church that had been established under the leadership of PETER! Thus, that means that Christ did establish A CHURCH (that is what the Epistles and the Letters talk about. Also, read Revelation.). And you are correct, Christ gave ALL authority to the APOSTLES!, not the common people, not the Pharisees, not the Saducees, not his disciples, but rather the APOSTLES. And you are correct in that Jesus told them that “I am the way…,” but then He gave Peter the “keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.” Not to you, not to me, not to John, not to Matthew, not to Luke, but He established One of them as the leader of the apostles.

    Thus, as you well said, He (Christ) gave ALL authority to the APOSTLES but, more importantly, the KEYS to PETER, not to any one other person on this Earth, not even to His Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. And, He (Christ) said He would be with His Church until the end of times. Did he say churches? And He prayed that we all would be one. He knew what was coming due to Satan. Are we one now?

    Thus, did he give you, me or Mary Magdalene, or His mother Mary, or anyone else the power to forgive sins. Wow! That’s a pretty big deal buddy. If that weren’t true, then why did the apostles bother choosing a successor (wow, did I use the word successor?) to Judas? Did they not choose Matthias as the successor?

    Does the Church own Christ? No, quite the opposite, Christ OWNS HIS Church! He said so. His Church can not and must not, nor will Christ allow it (the Holy Spirit) to compromise anything on this Earth.

    Can any other church trace its roots back to the time of Christ? Can other church prove it was not started by a man, but most importantly, out of rebellion of some kind?

    Then, with Martin Luther, process began to the point that the Church was divided into what, over 30,000 denominations today. Is that what Christ desires? That is not even what Luther wanted! Christ sent the Holy Spirit to guide His apostles and His Church. Many of these denominations claim the Spirit, but would the Spirit allow Christ’s Church to be divided? How can the Holy Spirit allow Christ’s Church to be divided? Even Christ told Satan that a house divided unto itself can not stand. It appears that Satan is winning again. Any time that anyone interprets the Bible in his own way, and does not follow the Church Fathers, or the Church, has created a new bible and his own church. As the Pope stated, not that they can not have salvation, but they have strayed from what Christ established. And, in truth, we don’t know the consequences of this division, do we?

    Mr. Martin, I am a 48 year old man with a Ph.D., yet I follow the teachings of Christ’s Church faithfully. Why? Because I want my salvation, but most importantly, as an educated man, I can not and will not fall into the sin of arrogance and pride. I know my field well, but I leave the field of religion and spirituality to the Church, which has 2000 years of experience behind it, and I will not allow Satan or my pride allow me to follow my ways or how my conscience (in my sinfulness) wants me to go. I have to rely on the Truth that Christ gave His Church, and the fact that He would be with it until the end of time. Irenaeus, in 110 a.d. stated that where the Church is, there is the Catholic Church.

    Sure, there have been horrible and evil times within the Church, because we are human. Even you can’t state that you don’t have some horrible, dark sins hiding within your being. We can’t but do that because we are human and WE ALL are going to sin every day of our lives. Protestant pastors and Catholic priests are going to do horrible, sinful things, because it is within or fallen nature (thanks to Adam and Eve) to commit corrupt, disordered, unnatural, evil, etc., things. But, that does not mean that Christ will not protect His Church from error. He promised that. Even with our sinfulness, Christ promised that He would be with His Church. Yet, we have Christ’s forgiveness to help us to arise again each time we sin.

    Look at the world today, each day more and more “religions” are catering to what people want, and pastors are saying what their “parishoners” want to hear. They are making up their own “truth,” which is getting farther and farther away from what the Bible or what Christ taught. Is that or can that be salvation?

    To finish off, as you said, “If you keep bringing good news to the poor, setting captives free and assisting those who seek to know Jesus….,” how many people are really doing that? Do people even know what it even means to be “setting captives free?” How many people (both Catholic and Protestant) are assisting those who seek to know Jesus? How do we get to know Jesus? Can you truly answer that question? What does it mean to get to know Jesus? What is the “work of Jesus?

    I seriously doubt most Protestants can answer that question, as many Catholics would be pressured to do as well.

    But, I can tell you that THE CHURCH keeps trying to bring to people to the precious Body and Blood of Christ each day of the year, for Christ said that “unless you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood” you can have eternal life.

    Thus, only ONE CHURCH continues to preach the TRUTH, and not even you can be sure that you are ‘saved,’ because the Bible clearly teaches that only those “who do the will of my Father will inherit eternal life.” And, each will “be judged according to his works.” Yes, Christ died for all of us, our sins are wiped away, but now, what are you (all of us) going to do with that? How are you going to bring that faith to life and live it?

    Your article lacks much, and it’s just another fallen away Catholic who has strayed away to those “wolves in lambs clothing.”

    I know most Catholics won’t answer you because they (we) don’t have to. We know where we stand, and we know the TRUTH and we pray that Christ will unify His Church again.

    I did, mainly because I work in a protestant school and I am living the hypocrisy, falseness and, most importantly, hatred of those who purport to be Christian. And, unless you are “saved” or follow their way, they will have nothing do with you. I have witnessed how un-Christlike people can be, especially from people who say they are “saved.”

    You really need to read your history and read and understand why the Church is the One, True, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and why there can only be One Church. That is all Christ established.

    In fact, your article reeks of division and hatred (Calling what the Vicar of Christ says “foolishness?” That is, in fact, calling the Holy Spirit foolish, for the Holy Spirit continues to guide Christ’s Holy Church today.) We all must be careful what we say, for we will all be held accountable on the Day of Judgement for what we do and say, and I would rather follow what the leader of Christ’s Church has to say. For, it does matter what Pope Benedict says (or what a true believer of Christ who is a religious leader, be him Protestant, Jewish or Catholic), for what else do we have to go on? Certainly, not another “religion” that is against what Rev. Smith down the street said, who was opposed to what Rev. Johnson said over there, who was opposed to what Rev. Brown said down there, who was opposed to something Rev. Duran said at his church, and so they all started a new church. Where does it stop? So, who holds the truth? How do I know.

    But, I do know. I would rather go with the Church has taught for 2000 years and where salvation originally was and where it continues to be. And, certainly not what a disgruntled writer for CNN has to say, especially when you get paid. Judas????

  • Rusty

    I *chose* the Catholic Church, coming from a Protestant background. So, in many ways, you and I are opposites. I simply don’t gather what the big deal is about this latest document by the CDF. It is simply restating what the Catholic Church has taught about itself. You do know that there are reasons Protestants protest, right? Why you took it upon yourself to insult Catholics in the process is beyond me, other than to give a little “pay back” to any perceived wrong in this document. Where were you seven years ago after Dominus Iesus was released? Or when Pope John Paul II wrote similarly in Ut Unum Sint in the 90′s? Perhaps you are bitter or angry or both. But this document is not about the Pope. Nor was it written by the Pope. It is a reflection of Catholic teaching for almost two thousand years – that the Catholic Church is the fullness of what Christ promised when he said, “Hell will not prevail against my Church.” Disagree, but do so intelligently and with all the charity you feel is lacking in this document.

  • Dan Bastone

    Nice try Roland.
    The pope is unifying the church and doing what is needed to get it in line.
    Your remarks smell of fear, but that’s not surprising. For years the church has been weakened by slander and attacks especially so in this country from the press and the media in general.
    That’s the kind of attack that you have just participated in.
    While I understand your logic it just doesn’t hold up. The truth is the outcome of the Second Vatican Council did go too far, and that is the cold truth and it also is the underlying reason you found a reason to leave the church.
    History will bear a resurgence of the church as secular forces continue to erode morality and the human condition. People will seek out the truth and find it in the Gospel. Those who belong will belong.

  • Fr. Antonio Morales

    Bom Dia, I am Fr. Morales from Brasil and I am 28 years old and been a priest for 3 years! The Pope is stressing our Catholic Identiy but at the same time he is open to interreligious dialogue and Ecumenical Dialogue! America is a too political correct country! The Second Vatical Council Document still reaffirms that “Non-Catholics” Non-Christians are still saved through Grace! Read the Document before denouncing the Pope! Also here in Brasil we have many Protestants attack the Catholic Church but we are still open to dialogue! Nothing to get mad at or pissed of! Also check out our website in Brazil We are a Catholic Charismatic Community in Brazil evangelizing others! Viva Bento!!!! Viva Bento!!! Also Ralph the Catholic Church is Worldwide!

  • Fr. Marcos Antonio

    Bom dia Ralph I am from Brazil in Rio de Janeiro! You really need to study Catholic Apologetics go to and! Also Pope Benedict is stressing our Catholic Identiy why being all Politically Correct? We should all promote Interreligous Dialogue and Ecumenism! The CAtholic Church is YOung and ALive!

  • Susan F.

    Thank you so much for saying what needed to be said. I, too, am a fallen Catholic who was immersed in the religion for 12 years. Such arrogance! So utterly irrelevant. I agree that it should be just totally ignored.

  • Christopher

    Exactly! Thank you for a very well stated article and for articulating my exact thoughts on this recent pontificating. It is amazing to me how long this has been going on – for millennia. Even before Luther and other reformers, the Apostle Paul was combating this same kind of “Jesus-plus” Christianity in the epistle to the Galatians. Isn’t it ironic, or maybe just sad, that it’s Peter who Paul has to oppose in Antioch for falling in with the “Jesus-plus” faction?

    Anyway, thank God that he allows His Truth to be proclaimed, even through all the noise.

  • Chris DeGroot

    Please re-read Mathew 28:16. It says “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

    This is eaxctly what the church does teaching people teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded. You choose not to listen, apparently beleiving it is better to read the book and make up your own mind about what you want to beleive.

    Please keep reading scripture. If you read it enough you will come to know that the Church is the Body of Christ – you cannot seperate the two.

  • Latisha


    I’m glad someone said it, and got straight to the point. I couldn’t agree more with you on this stance Who does the “pope” think he is? I care about the “pope” about as much as an atheist cares about going to hell.

    Mr. Martin you are such a talented journalist and someone I truly admire. I am a recent graduate of Prairie View A&M University (B.A Communications) and I have the attention of starting at Texas Southern University to obtain my Masters in Journalism at the Tavis Smiley school of Communications.

    I currently reside in Houston (NW), and am trying to figure just how to get my foot in the door in world of media. Thank you for all your contributions as a Black journalist.

    God Bless (the God of all that is, not just the one “catholics” think they own)

  • Latisha

    Okay, I see some mistakes in my previous post, forgive me it’s 8 in the morning.

  • kay

    I find it sad that your substantiation for your conclusion is your subjective (more emotional than rational) childhood experience. There was no attempt to refer to either Scripture or the document you are trying to criticize and assess this matter fairly. I expected more from CNN.

    Bringing good news to the poor, setting the captives free and assisting those who seek to know Jesus are not mutually exclusive with preserving the unity and orthodoxy of believers. Please don’t confuse the debate.

  • Chris

    I do feel very sorry that you left the one True Church. Protestants sadly believe that they can have Jesus while ignoring the Church he set up 2,000 years ago. It doesn’t work that way, the Bible no where supports that view, and it is an invitation to anarchy. In fact, there are some 35,000 protestant denominations (and growing) because the root of protestantism is the subjective view of the believer is King. But that view is in fact anti-scriptural.

    I pray for your soul and pray you come back to Jesus’ Church.

  • Brian

    Non-Catholics stay calm now; you can just tune out the pope

    I found the topic of your recent article interesting and timely. I teach ethnic studies at a very diverse high school and most of my students want to learn more about different Christian churches and about their own faiths (this includes a vast number of non-Christians) as part of the class. I have had a lot of discussions this summer trying to learn more about this topic so I can add it to the curriculum for this upcoming school year.

    However, I was disappointed in your article. Not because I agree or disagree but because it is very short on insight, research, and does not promote higher-level thought. The article is about something the Pope supposedly said, yet there is not a single quote from him in the article. I wonder if you even know what he said or if you are writing about information you got second hand. Maybe you could have started the article with information and background instead of bashing the Catholic Church. Does any Christian faith promote the bashing of another Christian faith? Also, Christianity should involve intelligent discussion not, as your article does, encourage leaders to ignore (which looks a lot like the word “ignorance”) each other. Christians should learn more about their faith and take seriously those who disagree. It will only strengthen an individual’s relationship and understanding of Jesus Christ. And, even make the person better prepared to guide non-believers to Jesus. Don’t encourage Protestant leaders to ignore the Pope but encourage them to engage other churches, including the Catholic Church. Jesus tells us to choose, to have a free will, to decide for ourselves, not to blindly obey. He knows that this process will lead us to Him, the Truth. This can, and needs, to be done without evoking anger.

    You mention ‘defects’ in your article. We would both probably agree that the Catholic Church may have the market cornered on defects but I think we also may agree that no Christian Church is perfect, that it is a process. I believe one of the skillfully hidden (even though the church you grew up in was much more obvious) defects of many churches is that they do not encourage their members to think, to consider other views hoping that examination and real dialogue will only strengthen their own. Instead, most Christian Churches covertly encourage their members to accept the views of the preacher and/or elders as their own. Few churches ask their followers to read the Gospels and examine/research the texts for themselves. The people may read the Bible, but are told to take someone else’s understanding of It just like you were told to do growing up but the presentation is better. The Pope isn’t the only one who may need to re-examine John 14:6.

    The released document you are referring to is actual nearly identical to the statements made by the Second Vatican Council. Maybe the Pope is releasing these statements in order to spur discussion instead of ignoring the Second Vatican Council. The word “salvation” is only mentioned twice in this part of the release. The second sentence from the following excerpt contradicts one of the opening statements in your article regarding the Pope’s attitude toward salvation.

    “It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

    The Vatican’s recent statements and the Second Vatican Council do claim that the Catholic Church is the Church of Christ and emphasis the importance of all Christians worshipping together. But they are very clear that “all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.”

    Your column was anti-Catholic (could you at least capitalize the Pope in your title), written without an understanding of the material, and counter-productive in encouraging Christians to engage in dialogue. Does Jesus not want us to talk to each other about our faith? In some places of the world, after 2000 years of humans learning about the words of Jesus, Christian children, Protestant and Catholic, still beat and kill each other because of their faith. This doesn’t even bring up the religious violence in much of the world, including America, between Christians and people of other religions. How can you tell Protestant leaders to stymie dialogue, to ignore and “tune out” the Pope?

  • Glen Clark

    I can not disagree with you more. I am a recovering evangelical Baptist who agrees with the Pope. Divisionism in the body of Christ (the church) is the work of the devil. Christianity is at war with the devil and must stand strong, together. There is only one banner that we can all unit under, that banner is the one church, the church built upon the rock, Peter. The Catholic church. I have spent my life listening to ever more fiery and angry Baptist preachers picking verses one by one out of the Bible, explaining what each word meant in the original Greek or Hebrew totally missing the voice of God and replacing it with their ever increasing secular hatred and end of days gloom and doom. Does Jesus not say in Mark that many will come and say “I preached in your name” but I will know them not. One united Christendom, one true church (and that ain’t Southern Baptist baby).

  • Dan

    You seem to forget the one quote from the Bible that affirms the Popes authority. It is from Matthew, chapter 16

    “18″: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Seing as the Pope and Roman Catholic Church are the direct legacy of Peter, this is true.

  • Ron Pereira

    Mr. Martin,

    I wonder if you would be open to discussing this topic publicly via a podcast or webcast with someone like Jimmy Akin (jimmyakin dot org), Tim Staples, or Karl Keating? They work for a Catholic apostolate called Catholic Answers.

    I am sure they would be happy to discuss this topic with you in a civil manner. Please email me if you are interested. If you are interested I will reach out to the guys at Catholic Answers (catholic dot com) to see if they are also interested. I can almost guarantee they would be.

    If I don’t hear from you I will assume you are not interested in publicly defending your position.

    Finally, in case anyone is interested in reading the actual document Mr. Martin is referencing you can find it at:

    Peace in Christ,
    Ron Pereira
    CatholicReply dot com

  • D Martin

    This is from a converted Catholic who was brought up in protestant churches. Interesting that the truth and richness that I found in the Catholic church appears to be what drove Roland Martin away. The Catholic church is a Church (capital C), the protestant church is a church (little c)…or gathering place, as in ‘where ever, two or more are gathered, I will be’ kind of church. Or you might say: He comes to them…Protestant, and we go to Him…Catholic. With humility we should all be kneeling before Him.

    The Catholic Church was a Church for 300 + years before there was scripture. We can be thankful to this Church for even having the written word to this day.

  • D Martin

    This is from a converted Catholic who was brought up in protestant churches. Interesting that the truth and richness that I found in the Catholic church appears to be what drove Roland Martin away. The Catholic church is a Church (capital C), the protestant church is a church (little c)…or gathering place, as in ‘where ever, two or more are gathered, I will be’ kind of church. Or you might say: He comes to them…Protestant, and we go to Him…Catholic. With humility we should all be kneeling before Him.

    The Catholic Church was a Church for 300 + years before there was scripture. We can be thankful to this Church for even having the written word to this day.

  • Jeff Johnson

    That essay was a badly written piece of shit.

    May God Damn you.

  • Brian Barrier

    I appreciated the comment by Christopher who referred to Paul. It is clear from the writings of Paul that there was tension in Christianity over apostolic succession and “form” over “function” – both issues that Paul directly addressed in ways that would lead to confrontations with Petrine traditions.

    Those who come here speaking about Timothy and Titus should know from reading those books that the tensions took a different turn when Christianity decided that it should try to legitimize itself in the face of the broader world community – or risk extinction. Part of the reason why churches became “stratified” during that time is that they gave in to the organizational structures of the day to keep from being destroyed. This allowed the Petrine traditions of strong closed communion to flourish more than the Pauline traditions of a more open sort. We see this carried over in the orthodox teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with their reliance on Petrine traditions as their primary focus.

    There is room for “both and” in the world today and I think that the American Catholic Church is beginning to realize this, to name one branch of Roman Catholicism that has been very progressive in its development. Structure and openness can coexist if churches will let them coexist. The appointment of Pope Benedict XVI has shown that the Roman Catholic Church has entered a phase of renewed focus on structure and orthodoxy, likely because of the growing influence of the more conservative African Catholic Church. Fearing schism within the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope has issued statements meant to unify through appeals to tradition and orthodoxy.

    Mr. Martin has clearly recognized this trend but did not go into the background as much that created it. Should we fault him for it? I do not think so. The reason I do not think so is that intelligent readers should bring to his article a certain knowledge of Biblical historical context as well as present-day context. If they do not have this before they judge the article, they should seek to gain a better and wider understanding of the Biblical roots of the conflict at hand as well as the way this conflict is manifesting itself within and without the Roman Catholic Church today.

    Negative knee-jerk reactions to the article just give more credence to the idea that we have a long way to go as members of the Body of Christ.

  • Michael

    Dear Mr. Martin,

    I commend you for your interest in issues of religious dialogue that you expressed in your July 13, 2007 Commentary: Pope’s Comments Irrelevant to Non-Catholics . Our time is a time when the world needs greater religious literacy and awareness to deepen and grow that dialogue in truth. This new millennium will be a period of religious sophistication and renewal or will likely not be at all (to paraphrase the prediction of Karl Rahner).

    Having been raised as a Catholic in Chicago (attending the best Catholic schools the city has to offer), I’m not surprised that you are no longer a Catholic as I too effectively left the Catholic Church at the culmination of my Catholic formal education. So, I can understand your point of view.

    Thankfully, I like so many people under 40, and even more so under 30, I have rediscovered Catholicism in its fullness. I say “fullness” because I now recognized that what I was taught and what I grew up understanding Catholicism to be was a fragmented picture which became a false distorted caricature of the face of truth. To understand how and why this happened is to be a student of history and beyond the scope of this letter, but needless to say, it happened and so now hundreds of thousands have left Catholicism discarded their inheritance mistaking it for garbage.

    You are right to say that we were not taught or encouraged to read Sacred Scripture as Catholics, but few know that Catholicism teaches that ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ! There has always been a distinction between the Catholic Faith in it’s integrity and what may or may not be taught in a particular church or by a particular priest, religious or lay teacher.

    Ironically, this very weekend that you published your commentary, The National Catholic Bible Conference is being held in Chicago at Dominican University.

    You probably don’t know that a quiet awakening is taking place among the grassroots of the Catholic laity here in America and in fact, America is really leading the world in this area. The most sophisticated bible study available today is changing people’s lives. It is actually based on a rediscover of the way that the bible was taught from the very earliest days of Christianity using the narrative in full and the discoveries of biblical scholarship.

    So why am I telling you all this?

    Because what is happening on the ground today is an unprecedented phenomena in the history of Protestant and Catholic relations (with the possible exception of the Oxford Movement of the 1800′s). What is happening? Every day more and more Protestant ministers & pastors are converting to Catholicism unlike ever before.

    So many in fact that there is an international ministry (founded by an ex-protestant minister) to help give fellowship and transition these ministers who walk away from the security of an income and job to become Catholic. These men and women are laying down their lives to become Catholic. What you will find in speaking with some of them is an authenticity of the faith being lived out.

    One pentecostal minister, Alex Jones, not only converted to Catholicism but his whole congregation also converted with him!

    I wouldn’t expect you to “be in the know” about this (CNN isn’t reporting on it), but considering that we are in the middle of an unprecedented historical phenomena, the point of your commentary (that the statement is irrelevant to non-Catholics) couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Which brings us to my invitation to you.

    I invite you to take another look at what is happening in the Catholic Church and to dialogue with one of these men who have converted to listen to his story and learn about his study of Sacred Scripture – Alex Jones.

    You can reach him at (313) 237-4694 – he is now a deacon working for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

    I’ve had the good fortune to meet him and be ministered by him on retreat. He is a gifted man with great integrity. Any one would be enriched to speak to him.

    Of course, you can feel free to e-mail me too. I’m an attorney working in Chicago.

    In Christ,


  • Craig Kelso

    Mr. Martin,

    While I do not agree with WHAT you’ve written, THANK YOU for writing it.

    Your views are held now probably by a majority of Catholics in one form or another.

    As you hinted, you’re a product of Post Conciliar Catholic education.

    Your views compose the apple closest the modern Catholic tree, and are reason enough for the Holy Father to continue his catechetical work in order to prevent the kind of shock and outrage you’ve displayed (OH NO, THE POPE IS CATHOLIC!).

    Despite your protestations, the Holy Father has done nothing other than reaffirm ancient Catholic teaching.

    Again, THANK YOU for unintentionally splashing water on our papist faces.

    Pax tecum,

    +Craig Kelso

  • Kevin

    Galatians 3:28
    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

  • Matthew

    I am sorry that you left the church. For someone who was Catholic for 25 years, you seem to have missed the whole point. So yes, you are right. Your time was “wasted”, but do not despair. Christ founded one church. This church has four marks. It is ONE, it is HOLY, it is CATHOLIC, and it is APOSTOLIC. Do you know what the word “Catholic” means? It means universal. Christ founded one church for EVERYONE. Because this church is for everyone, for all of time, it must be universal. It must be Catholic. I disagree with your claim that the church discourages people from reading the bible. The church encourages that we all read the scripture, in fact we read the scriptures during the Mass. What the church cautions is, drawing our own conclusions from the scripture. You can get 10 people together and read the same scripture passage, and you can get 10 different interpretations as to what that passage means. If everyone draws their own conclusions, or even completely misunderstands that passage, and everyone walks is a different direction, that is not unity. Chirst wanted unity, centered around him, in one church. Because you and I are not experts on scripture, or its interpretation, we have to be careful that we do not misunderstand what the scripture is saying. The church is the expert on scripture, because the churchis guided by the Holy Spirit. People draw their own conclusions too often. This is why we have so many christian denominations. If we all agree theologically on what the scripture said and meant, why would we need thousands of different denominations? Part of being Catholic is unity. Unity in one church, worshiping one God, reading one word. You made the following quote…..” Yet as I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty much was a wasted experience, as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ.” Sir, do you know what the Eucharist is? The holy Mass and the entire church is completely centered on Christ. Christ is the center of the church. How could you miss that after 25 years? You made another comment…”Nowhere does it say that Peter, Pope Benedict XVI or anyone else can supplant Jesus as the leader of the church.” Again, you misunderstand. The Pope is not the head of the church, Jesus is the head of the church. The Pope is the successer of St. Peter, the first Pope. It is clear that you do not know anything about the Catholic church, or what it teaches. I encourage you to set your own ego aside and do some research. Walk the walk. Get the facts. Go talk to a priest. Challenge him and ask him questions. Get answers to your questions. You may not like all the answers you get, but if you don’t understand something, ask and get some clarification. I challenge you to set aside your divisive accusations and seek out some knowledge. If you want to know what the Catholic church teaches and believes, there is only one place to go….the Catholic church. I am sure a priest would love to clear up some misunderstandings In the end, you will do what you think is right and make your own choices, but I am willing to bet that most of what you know about the Catholic Faith is misunderstood.

  • Bryan

    Latisha said: “Okay, I see some mistakes in my previous post, forgive me it’s 8 in the morning.”

    Its ok, I’ll correct them for you:
    “Mr. Martin you are such a talented journalist and someone I truly admire.”
    Should Read:
    Mr. Martin, you are such a no-talent whack job who sold his soul to get famous and sell books. I truly admire you for supporting the likes of Barack Obama who supports the slaughter of so many Black babies through the God send of abortion. But hey, at least you’re famous, right?

    You can thank me later.

  • William Albrecht

    Who is this guy? I read a few comments and emails that there was some Anti-Catholic fool at CNN running his mouth. Maybe we should report this to CNN. It’s not so sad that there’s an ANTI-CATHOLIC at CNN, what’s sad is that this guy is a complete fool who lacks any knowledge of the Scriptures or Church history. Just listen to his meaningless rants. Sad.

  • Noel Nelson

    To all the other denominations that are upset with the Pope saying the Catholic church is the one true church, I say, prove that it isin’t. Study the early church fathers and see what they have to say about it. PROVE THE POPE WRONG!

  • kev

    A friend emailed me your article at CNN after reading my blog entry on this recent headline. It is good to hear other’s insight into this issue.

    It is not so much what this current Pope has to say, but more so what that church believes. That school of thought about the Catholic Church being the true church and the Pope as their leader is well documented in their history of existence. And since the Pope’s declarations are infallible… there is no changing this issue.

    Thank you for your opinion. I grew up Catholic like you, but now I have been a true Christian for 13 years too.

  • Sabbath keepers

    Those arrogant Apostles…

    This letter is certainly food for thought:
    Those who are up in arms of the proclamation by the Apostles that the only true faith in the world is that which they taught should…

  • Fr. Fred

    Mr. Martin,

    How could you NOT have heard the Scriptures at a Catholic Mass? On any given day, there are readings from the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Mass ALWAYS has a reading from the Gospel. The prayers of the Mass are ALL taken from Scripture or paraphrases of Scripture.

    You either weren’t going to Mass on Sunday, or you didn’t pay any attention during the Mass.

    I’m sorry that when you were a rebellious young man of 25 that instead of looking more deeply into the faith of you birth, you chose rebellion. I encourage you to re-examine the faith of your fathers, and come back to the Catholic Church.

    Thanks be to God that your foolish rebellion did not lead you to abandon the Bible. I pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire you to truly examine the Scriptures as a entire book. God’s word is living and effective. Don’t try to kill it by cutting it up into tiny pieces to suit your rebellious heart.

    God bless you,
    Fr. Fred Jaruzalski

  • Jimmy_C

    The Popes proclamation did not change a thing about my faith or my church. I just wish protestants had the cool hats the pope and cardinals wear.

  • Eulala Santiago

    Dear Roland

    I am a Afro-Brazilian Catholic, LAtisha I think you need to have a reality Check THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS WORLDWIDE! St. Ignatius of Antioch said in 110 AD “Where there is the Catholic Church there is Jesus Christ”! I am member of Sisters of MAry and I am currently a Missionary in China! I teach at a University in Beijing!

    Pope Benedict is stressing Our Catholic Identity! He is not damning all to hell! Even Catholics are not perfect! That is when God calls us to Conversion! The Catholic Church here in Brazil is becoming more Conservative and throughout the World! H

    He is calling all Catholics to Unity! And plus without the Catholic Church there would be no NEw Testament! It was CAtholic Monks that copied the Entire Bible word for word before the printing press was invented!

    The Second Vatican Council (Pope Benedict was there as Cardinal Ratzinger) stressed Dialogue with Christians and other Religions!

    The Pope also wrote a letter to China stressing the Unity of Catholics in China! There are so many Conversions to the Catholic Church here! PRaise God! Quite being politically Correct

    As an Afro-Brazilian CAtholic why do Blacks here in America think they can bash others when they themselves were oppressed!

  • Carlos

    Why is it that when the Pope states that he actually believes in the Church that he leads, in a thoroughly scholarly and polite manner, he is called names and denounced as a bigot, but when evangelicals and other fundamentalist Protestants call Catholics “unsaved”, “damned”, “idolaters”, etc. such behavior is supposed to be acceptable and even expected? Mr. Martin’s comments exemplify this double standard. He says that what the pope said is irrelevant. In that case Mr. Martin should not even have commented! But comment he did, and he did it by putting words in the pope’s mouth and by deriding him in a truly unChristian manner.

    It is not Protestants who should lose patience, but Catholics. For more than forty years we Catholics have extended to Protestants courtesy, patience, love and dialogue. What have we gotten in return? Hordes of Protestant evangelical missionaries invading Catholic countries in order to save us poor, ignorant, unBiblical “pagans” from our “idolatrous” faith. The fact is, no one can beat the Evangelical Protestant capacity for insulting and denigrating other faiths. In contrast, can any religious institution in the world even equal the charitable works of the Catholic Church? Can any evangelical society show forth as many heroic martyrs as the Catholic Church?

    By the way, there is no such thing as a devout Catholic who doesn’t know his Bible. Even in the medieval ages, cathedrals were lavishly decorated with scenes from the Bible so that the mostly illiterate faithful could know something of the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. By stating that he didn’t know his Bible while still a Catholic, Mr. Martin only proves that he was never a devout Catholic in the first place.

  • Kevin

    Please, please, please –actually read the document (which was not by the Pope) before one comments on it–and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to know what the Church really teaches.

    To give just one example: you write “For him to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ” –

    yet the document says that other Christian churches and communities are

    “deprived neither of significance
    nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of
    Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation”\

    “It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we
    believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance
    nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of
    Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation,
    whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has
    been entrusted to the Catholic Church” (from the Document)

    The document is seeking to clarify questions that were put to them
    –so it is more of a document that is directed not to other Christians
    primarily but to theologians who were asking these questions –to
    restate the Churches teaching. It is not meant as a slap in the face
    of other Christians but simply replying to questions that were raised

    Praised be Jesus Christ!
    Kevin (former Baptist who came into full communion with the Catholic Church in 1989)

  • Regina

    Why do Protestants say such bad things about Catholics and why are your supporters clapping that you denigrated a moral and good man? The Catholic Church is such a liberating, wonderful Church. How can you guys totally miss this? I’m so glad I am Catholic. I feel so blessed to have been born Catholic.

    Your commentary seemed to me to be based in fear.

    The Pope did not say only Catholics are saved. In fact, in this document he says quite the opposite. Did you read it? Or maybe your didn’t understand what it said? I understand it. It’s intellectual Catholic theology. You may need to read it twice but I encourage you to do so because you’re very wrong.

  • Sara Sidle

    How very very small and juvenile you make yourself sound… “The Pope just needs attention”…. I mean did you even think before you posted that? Considering you butchered what the Documents said. You make this long rambling post trying to sound so profound I guess, and nothing you post is true. Next time you want to write a post try reading the Documents first and try understanding just exactly what they are saying! Oh and just a clue here! your trashing of The Catholic Church is way pathetic also!

  • An appropriate response – Brian T.

    Mr. Martin..

    I read your editorial in the Indianapolis Star. I, like you, was disappointed with the recent release of the news from the Vatican. This was especially concerning to me AS a Catholic. However, I felt that your allegations were a bit misguided. You failed to address decades of similar action by members of Protestant denominations. While in college, I was witness to a number of individuals who were misguided by well-meaning, yet under-educated, self-proclaimed “theologians” who openly preached that Catholic individuals would be, in-fact, going to hell for their beliefs. This included Mother Theresa and other saintly persons who have walked this Earth giving their lives to service of Jesus and His Church. I was especially hurt when these folks would knock on my own residence hall room door to announce that I would be going to hell unless I repent and join their Protestant Church. Fortunately and appropriately so, these students were soon asked to refrain from hassling other students.

    As a person who now works in higher education, I continue to see Protestant driven organizations draw a divide between Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, etc. Thus, I was especially disappointed to see the report on the release from the Vatican. In the twelve years of Catholic school that I attended, and the 27 years I have practiced Catholicism on this Earth, I have NEVER heard a Catholic teach that other Christians were not full members of the Church. In fact, you will never hear a Catholic say that they have become “saved” and claim a spot for themselves in Heaven. Only Jesus knows who fully knows Him. And clearly it is in the Bible that a person who would stand on the street corner and claim their value over another, whether for rights into Heaven or any other Grace of God, truly does not know Jesus in the manner in which He would want.

    I believe that Jesus Himself is quite disappointed with how the Church He established Himself and left in the care of his apostles, has become divided as it has. The blame falls on ALL Christians and the ability to reunite the Church in the model of Christ in their hands as well.

    I will offer this point in support of my Catholic faith, however. At no point do I ever feel more united with Christ than when I an open to Him as I share in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Just as He did at the Last Supper, He continues to offer Himself as our only source of Salvation. I am a sinner and pray that Jesus receives me with mercy when I am judged. I pray for that same mercy for each and every human, Christian or otherwise.

    Best wishes.

  • Shane

    Satan got what he wanted when we started to division amoung us followers. Read the the first ” Fathers of the Church” And you will understand.

  • Steve Adelman

    You are a foolish man, not only ignorant but full of arrogance and pride. By your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.

  • Stu

    As with many protestants who are reacting to this document, I’m not sure Mr. Martin even read it aside from the headlines in the paper.

  • Julie G

    I had to laugh! Why are you saying that the non catholics are “up in arms” over what the Pope says? You don’t have to warn the protestant ministers, “don’t buy into the foolishness”. There are many protestant ministers who are fine, loving, spiritual leaders and quite capable of understanding the bible even from our Catholic perspective.

    From what I’m reading in your article and now these blogs, it appears that those who seem “up in arms” are baptized catholics who, like you, for whatever reason, have fallen away from the Catholic Church.

    Don’t blame “the church” for your not being encouraged to “study the scriptures”. Had you been interested enough, you would have. Did you have to be encouraged to become a journalist? Or did you find through your studying, reading and learning the path which led to your career.

    I understand that you currently are in the process of working on your masters degree in Christian Communications. Communication is the key word! How can you say the Pope is “doing nothing to support or build the community of faith” when your article communicates to all that YOU are the one who is angry about what Catholic Christians believe. If you no longer follow the catholic faith, don’t you wonder why it even troubles you? I feel that the Holy Spirit must have great plans for you. In the silence of your meditations, He knows what truly is in the human heart. You are blessed with much talent, so you will listen, and He will bring you home.

  • no

    roland, you are remarkably ignorant.

  • Maury

    Dear Mr. Roland,

    First, I wouldn’t trivialize the Pope, considering his word commands more respect than any leader in the world. Secondly, I wouldn’t brush Jesus Christ aside either, considering he’s your saviour, and it’s his word you live by. This is where I’m confused… You live by Jesus’ word, yet you chastise his foundation of the church through his best apostle and friend, Peter. This tells me that you either think that Jesus was wrong and you are right, Peter was wrong and you are right, or… you are Jesus manifested in Roland Martin and everything you say is right. You cannot deny that the Catholic church was founded and spread forth by Jesus and Peter, respectively. Can you? Then why have Christians strayed so far from this truth? Perhaps your commentary is a blatant inner denial of the fact that you should still be a Catholic! Perhaps instead of giving up on your religion, you should have worked harder to make it better. If your saviour does indeed return to take his most sincere sheep off to salvation land – don’t be surprised if he passes up the quitters.

    On a side note, I enjoy how your commentaries spark debate and draw attention to what some would consider ‘uneventful’ situations, but a complementary view to accompany your thoughts would add more validity to your work. For instance, my initial thought when reading your commentary is that you are arrogant and one-sided. I doubt this is how you are in real life. You are just trying to spark controversy. I would think that the art of writing a well-rounded, yet critical commentary is the key to engaging an even larger audience. Are there any jobs open?

    Thank you for your time.


  • Tommy

    So you couldn’t find Christ in the Catholic church? Guess you didn’t want to. The readings at each mass (if you bothered to listen) are scripture. If there was any wasted experience while you were a Catholic, it was you who wasted it.

  • Ed

    Mr. Martin can’t simply disagree with Pope Benedict but has to attribute bad faith to him. That’s too bad for Mr. Martin. He doesn’t sound like he ever made much of an attempt to understand the Catholic faith and left the church without really without informing himself much about it.

    The Church doesn’t hide its doctrines about scripture and salvation and if Mr. Martin wants to act in good faith and not condemn the Pope and the Church before understanding them he can easily consult Church teaching.

  • Sue Cunningham

    I just read your article for CNN. What Catholic Church did you belong to. The Catholic Church is all about Scripture. They gave us the Scripture. They want us to know the Scripture. We use the whole of the Scripture, not just our favorites. Most protestant churches using the same lectionary that the Catholic Church so painstakingly gave us so all Scripture would be known. Read the beautiful Catechism of the Catholic Church so you can truly see what the Church teaches. Watch the next few years. This pope will be bringing more people into and back into the Church then what any previous pope has done. God Bless Pope Benedict XVI.

  • Max

    Mr. Martin,

    I just chalk your post up to a man trying to get a little attention for his book.

    If your experience with the Catholic Church was ‘wasted’, that is your fault not the fault of the Catholic Church. The Church doesn’t exist to amuse you. I hope you found a ‘church’ that does a good job of entertaining you for an hour every Sunday since that seems to be of paramount importance to you.

    I’ll take the Eucharist over the Protestant “I just wanna” prayers and self-indulgence praise music they peddle every Sunday.

  • Carson Weber


    You really slept through Mass those 25 years as a Catholic? Let’s see here… if you go to Mass every day for 3 years, nearly the entire Bible will be given to you, free of charge. This is the way the faithful have received Sacred Scripture throughout those centuries where 99% of the population was illiterate and too poor to afford a hand-copied Bible (before the printing press).

    Visit and you’ll be encouraged to study the Scriptures, and you’ll realize just how the Catholic Church is wholly and entirely Biblical.

  • L.C. Porrello

    I find your comments ignorant & arrogant. Why do I say you are ignorant?
    Apart from your logically fallacious reasoning (see “false dilemma”), you seems to know as little about the Bible as you do of Catholicism. You reveal this when you laud the Bible & slam the Catholic Church. Your attitude is oxymoronic since it is that same Church that gave you your “Bible” (Google “Council of Carthage 397”). In other words, you don’t understand the history of your primary source. Why do I say you are arrogant? You have no credentials & yet you attack the credibility of one of the most influential theologians of the 20th & 21st centuries–who also is the leader of a billion Christians. What is worse is that while you reject legitimate Apostolic authority, you yourself presume to pontificate about what in scripture really counts. While you emphatically reject the idea that God & the Pope might have a unique relationship, you, a “talk show host,” eagerly embrace the idea that God talks especially to you—to the exclusion of what He might say to the Pope, the heir of Peter ( That quality of hubris, not Papal teaching, is what shattered & continues to divide Christendom.

  • David Anthony Domet

    What’s wrong Roland, you can’t stand the truth?

  • Joe

    Mr. Martin,

    I am an Orthodox Christian, not Roman Catholic, and I do not agree with the CDF document. However, it is a document that simply restates Roman Catholic ecclesiology. There is nothing new in it. Everything in it can be found in the documents of Vatican II. Could it be that the resentment you feel toward your former church is too much for you and you can’t write objectively? I think so. I question whether you have even read the document.

    This comment is also for the handful of responses written by your fanclub members. Both your article and their responses reveal the typical arrogance and ignorance of modern American protestant Christians. Instead of trying to really understand what the CDF document was saying, you simply trash it because you “know better.” Meanwhile, you demonstrate total inability to read and interpret the Scriptures while also being totally ignorant of Church history. Of course, you are a journalist, so perhaps this should be expected. I don’t think that I’ve read one news story about this CDF document that was accurate. But, since when was truth in reporting ever important to journalists?

    So, I stand up for my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters who have the right to practice their faith without having it besmirched by juvenile commentary. Of course, it is the Orthodox Church that is the true Church of Christ. However, I thank God for the elements of grace and sanctification that are also found in protestant and Roman Catholic Christianity.

  • joye

    I know that other people will comment with more charity, tact, and helpfulness, but meanwhile:
    CAN YOU READ??????
    Either you didn’t read the document, didn’t understand it, or you are lying about its contents deliberately!
    I pray that it’s the second!

    I’m a former Protestant, raised in a Protestant Church, and taught to read the Bible myself from an early age. You know what? It made me hate God, because I didn’t understand the context of what I read. I thought God was a horrible, vengeful being because of what I read in the Old Testament.

    Thank God that later I met Christians who could show me the true love of God. I became an avid reader and that’s how I found the Catholic Church, by researching and not relying on my own limited understanding of someone’s translation of the scriptures. The Scriptures are extremely important but even the Devil can quote them.

    Christ’s bride is the Church. If you denigrate her, you denigrate Him.

  • Irenaeus

    One can in good conscience and good faith criticize Catholicism or this or any pope, but your ‘commentary’ was simply ad hominem invective with no substance or merit. The pope feels the need for attention? When he’s the leader of the largest Christian body on earth and people *already* hang on his every word? The pope doesn’t know the Scriptures? He can read them in about 12 languages ancient and modern. (He also seems to know the pasages about sexuality better than you, I’d add. So much for Scripture on those issues, huh?)

    There are serious things to be said about the recent Vatican documents, but instead, you ranted, showing yourself to be another ignorant talking head with a baby face in a shiny suit.

  • Ruben Soto

    Christ’s Catholic Church and our Pope who speaks for her actually claim less authority than that of Roland Martin’s Protestantism. The Pope only delivers Christ’s mail. He does not presume to edit it.

  • Mike Petrik

    Yikes, it really is hard to believe that CNN would publish such rubbish. But there is little I can add to the commentary above, other than, Roland, your tie is way too fat for a proper American.

  • Patrick Coffin

    Dear Roland:

    It’s amazing how often ex-Catholics inadvertently reveal their ignorance of the historical and scriptural (yes, scriptural) foundations of the Catholic faith, while blasting away like guilty children at a misunderstood father. You say, “Just chalk it up to an old man trying to get a little attention” That’s rich, isn’t it, considering your goal here?

    Where to start with your errors?

    “…only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ”

    Pope Benedict never says this. Not once. I know it’s hard to grasp nuance and make key distinctions, but you’d have more credibility if you read the thing you rage against.

    “…those first 25 years were spent as a die hard Catholic.”

    Die hard maybe, sir, but properly catechized? Fuggedahbout it!

    “…as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ.”

    Sorry to hear that. But why chuck the whole thing because of your very limited anecdotal experience? St. Paul called the Church “the Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12–20) as well as the bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 24-32.) FYI, Ignatius of Antioch gave the nickname “Catholic” (katholikos, Greek for universal) in the year 110 AD in reference to the community Jesus founded on Peter, per Matthew 16.

    “But for hard liners like Pope Benedict XVI, the liberals went too far in some of their declarations.”

    Spoken like a true blue CNN employee. For orthodox Christians within the Church who have had to put up with all kinds of nonsense since Vatican II, you don’t need to be a hardliner. You only need eyes.

    “But what ticked folks off is his assertion in the 16-page document by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the only denominations that can call themselves a true church is if they can trace their roots back to Jesus Christ’s original apostles. He even suggested they suffer from defects.”

    That’s correct. “Defect” (he also uses wound) it is very appropriate to describe ecclesial bodies that believe in Jesus yet reject the profound (and biblically clear) teaching of his Real Presence in the Eucharist. You know so much about the Scriptures, Roland — it’s odd that you missed John 6:35-71, Mt 26:26 1 Cor 11:23-29, and elsewhere. ALL the early (post-apostolic) Christians believed this, and still do today. Ex-Catholics talk incessantly about “not being fed” while in fact the were fed Bread from Heaven and didn’t know it. Sad!

    “…a naked attempt by Pope Benedict XVI to attempt to “own” Jesus by virtue of the Catholic Church considering the apostle Peter as their leader. He refuses to acknowledge the reality that Jesus didn’t consider a church to be most important. What was? The Great Commission.”

    Oh really? What was our Lord taking about when He said to Peter, “Simon, you are now Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18)? Was he deluded when He then said, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven” with the power to bind and loose? In Mk 16:7, why was the angel sent first to Peter to announce the Resurrection? Why did the risen Lord Himself appear first to Peter in Luke 24:34? If Jesus didn’t specially authorize Peter to spear-head the “great commission” of Matthew 28, why was Peter given authority to head the meeting which elected Judas’s successor Matthias? (Acts 1:13-26), or lead the rest of the Apostles in the preaching on Pentecost? (Acts 2:14) Was it just luck that Peter received the first “Pentecostal” converts (Acts 241) or performed the first miracle after Pentecost? (Acts 3:6-7)or inflict the first punishment? (Acts 5:1-11) Was it just random that Peter was the one who excommunicated Simon Magnus, the first heretic? (Acts 8:21) Did the will of Jesus have nothing to do with the fact that Peter received the first revelation to admit Gentiles in to the Church against the opinion of the Judaizers? (Acts 10:44-46) Did Peter merely jump up and arrogantly lead the very first Church council in Jerusalem? (Acts 15:7) If Peter wasn’t give a particular mission from Jesus unlike the other Apostles, isn’t it odd that Peter’s name always heads the lists of Apostles in the New Testament? (Mt 1:1-4; Mk 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13), and that he so frequently spoke for the Apostles? (Mt 18:21; Mk 8:29; Lk 8:45, 12:41: John 6:69). A bit bizarre, don’t you think, that Peter is mentioned 195 times in the New Testament — more than all the other combined — unless Jesus had some special job for Peter, as He promised he would? (Lk 22:32).

    “It doesn’t matter what Pope Benedict XVI has to say, or for that matter, any other religious leader. A Christian believes in Jesus Christ and what He had to say, and not a man of God. This is not an attempt to completely dismiss religious leaders, but is further evidence of what happens when ego is more important than the work of Christ.”

    Oh dear. We’re supposed to believe what YOU say about what Jesus Christ had to say, aren’t we? It boils down to which “man” or group of men and women (ie which Church) is authorized by Christ himself to authentically teach and preach in His name.

    “John 14:6 says, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ Nowhere there does it say that Peter, Pope Benedict XVI or anyone else can supplant Jesus as the leader of the church.”

    And nowhere does Benedict XVI say (or imply or suggest or hint) that he himself or Peter or anyone else “supplants Jesus as leader of the Church.” See above encouragement to actually read the document. Please — I don’t like sinfully laughing at an otherwise smart man saying stupid things.

    “It is these kinds of missives by Pope Benedict XVI that do nothing to support or build the community of faith. All it does is divide.”

    Well, I admit, that IS a clever bumper sticker idea. But “unity” based on conflicting claims about Jesus, or outright theological bunk, is not unity worth striving for. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” St. Paul said so clearly in Eph 4:5). Put less gracefully, Jesus is a monogamist (one Bride) not polygamist (an estimated 28,000 Protestant bodies, with new ones splitting off each week). The Pope is merely restating 2000 years of Christian teaching on the nature of the Church and her one Savior. Roland, where were you last month? All faithful Catholics believed then everything Benedict affirms now!

    “Let Pope Benedict XVI keep running off at the mouth and making pointless declarations.”

    Speaking of ego, seldom are displays of rebellious pride so refreshingly rich, so naked in their “I’m Just So Damn Smart” pose! On a serious and sincere note, I pray one day you come to regret giving into the bitterness and bigotry characteristic of so many fallen away Catholics who find “The Truth” elsewhere. We all know that facts are no match for a mind made up. But a fresh look at the claims of the Church from whose patient bosom you were baptized would at least make you a more effective anti-Catholic zealot than your disappointingly sixth-grade level misunderstandings show.

    Come back to Christ’s original Bride, Roland. No, she’s not the lunch lady who doesn’t care what you eat. She’s your spiritual mother. I’d take a bountiful hearth and home over a shiny cafeteria any day.

  • Charley

    I’m glad you are confident in your beliefs. Although, from the comments thus far, it seems that many others are just as confident in their opposing beliefs.
    Currently, I’m a non-denominational Christian. Instead of just believing what I want to be true, I’m actually researching the history behind every denomination in what I hope is an intellectually honest fashion. I’m also trying to choose a denomination based on every verse of scripture (old and new Testament), not just those that fit my particular beliefs. I’d rather be scared by the truth, then find comfort in a lie.

    Choosing a denomination is not like buying a car. You don’t test drive a few and pick one that fits your needs. Religion is about finding objective truth; the idea that there are certain things we can discover about God regardless of our personal feelings on the subject. After all, I’m not God, so I have no say in what is, and what is not, required of me. If my search determines that Catholicism is the one, then I have to become a Catholic.

    The Pope is simply stating what every Pope before him has stated. He also has an argument about why he is correct. All that I ask is that you rebut the argument and stay away from ad hominem attacks. Discourse based on reason and intellectual honesty helps persons like myself determine truth. Simply acting like your beliefs are superior does not.

  • JoeCatholic

    Mr. Martin:

    Like others who have posted, I really question whether or not you read what the CDF document stated. In addition, it seems you got the nebulous “Spirit of Vatican II” education as did many others in the Post Conciliar Church. Still, one would expect a Journalist who works for CNN to do a better job of reporting. For the record, I will not question your motive but I hope after reading all of the posts on your blog that you will have the intellectual honesty to amend your original blog.
    With respect to Pope Benedict and the recent CDF statement I would like to note the following. First, in this of as Pope Benedict calls it “the dictatorship of relativism” it is refreshing for someone to state there are objective and transcendent truths. The last century has shown that moral relativism has resulted in Western society heading the way of the Roman Empire (our culture is decaying from within). Second, the document clearly states in an honest and charitable way the Catholic Church’s Doctrine about the nature of the Church. Thus, authentic dialogue can take place between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church and between the Catholic Church and the various Protestant Christian Communities. Third, the fact that the Pope is clearly outlining a “Catholic identity” will help the Catholic Church weather the storms of “militant secular humanism” and “militant Islam”.

    The reaction from Protestants about what the Pope says is somewhat puzzling. As I stated earlier, it appears that some folks did not read what was said. The fact that the Catholic Church clearly defined what it believes about itself (Oh the Horror of an institution stating something so dogmatically) in this age of “moral relativism” and “your truth, my truth, there truth”, hence no truth is as I stated earlier is refreshing and much needed in the Catholic Church today. Now, it is not as the Catholic Church is the only one to state what it believes about itself relative to other Christian Traditions. Please consider the following examples which occurred on CNN:
    Larry King had a discussion in 2000 discussing Pope JPII’s trip to Israel. One of the panelists was R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (which with some 16 million members is the largest evangelical fellowship of Protestant Christians in the U.S.) and in response to a question about how does the Southern Baptist Convention view the Catholic Church and the Pope, A. Mohler Jr. responded (quote taken from CNN transcripts) as follows:
    MOHLER: Well, I think the word “cult” is now basically useless in our common vocabulary, especially as applied in this sense. A cult means a small group. A cult, in our common cultural language, talks about some kind of psychological control. I’ll prefer to speak as a theologian. And as an evangelical, I believe that the Roman church is a false church and it teaches a false gospel. And indeed, I believe that the pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office.

    On the same show, Bob Jones, a strict Calvinist, who hold to the Westminster Confession as written in the 16th century referred to a question by Larry King relating to the Pope and the Anti-Christ and stated (quote taken from CNN Transcripts) as follows:

    BOB JONES III, PRESIDENT, BOB JONES UNIVERSITY: Yes, but you know, the Westminster Confession of Faith, which is supposed to be believed by all Presbyterians that have embraced the Westminster Confession — it is their doctrinal basis. Article six of the Westminster Confession calls the pope an antichrist. This — there’s a long tradition for this.

    Now, I don’t remember CNN or the main stream media addressing this at all (hmm, do I smell liberal bias against the Catholic Church?). On the other hand, I don’t think most Catholics gave it a second thought (and for the record, no Catholics strapped bombs to ourselves and blew up Baptist Churches or Calvinist Churches, or employed Car Bombs to attack the Baptist seminary in Louisville, KY where A. Mohler teaches or Bob Jones University). In fact, I don’t think there was any condemnation from any Catholic Bishop or Official response to A. Mohler or B. Jones about anything. They stated what they believed about the Catholic Church and that was it, which was there right under the first amendment. Of course, I don’t agree with them one bit, which is my right.

    With respect to what Pope Benedict stated, it relates to how the Catholic Church understands the Church. The Catholic Church’s understanding of the Church (i.e. its ecclesiology) is linked to its Theology about God. The Holy Trinity reveals the nature of God, which is God is a God of perfect communion and love and relationship. The Father eternally generates the Son and the Son returns of the love of the Father and the bond of love is the Holy Spirit. The second person of the Trinity, Christ, became incarnate (i.e. Christ has a fully human and divine nature) and founded a Church (Mt 16) which St. Paul describes as the pillar and foundation of Truth (1 Tim 3: 15). The Church is described by St. Paul as the body of Christ (1 Cor 12: 12-14), the Bride of Christ (Eph 5: 26-27) and by St. Peter as the People of God (1 Pet 2: 9-10). Since Christ has one Body, and One Bride, and one people, and since God is a God of perfect communion (Holy Trinity), the Church then is ontologically also one.

    Hence, the Catholic Church’s doctrine of the nature of the Church is tied to its theology of God, and its theology (Christology) about Christ and thus the Church is “Christ’s” instrument for salvation for all people.

    The Churches faith comes from Christ, to the Apostles, down to us today via apostolic succession. Thus, from the Catholic perspective, to be Church proper, requires Apostolic Succession, which leads to valid Holy Orders (Bishops, etc) an thus a valid Holy Eucharist. As St. Ignatius (107 AD) indicated “where there is the Eucharist there is Christ” and hence the Church. In addition, the Catholic Church sees that Christ appointed St. Peter with a special role in the early Church (Mt 16), which is also indicated in two other Petrine texts found in St. Luke and St. John’s Gospel, where Christ tells St. Peter that he prayed especially for him to strengthen his brethren, and for St. Peter to “feed Christ’s Lambs”, respectively. As a result, the Church of Rome and its Bishop has a Primacy among the Churches.

    History supports this claim. For example, St. Clement of Rome, 3rd successor from St. Peter, wrote a letter to the Church in Corinth in circa 90 AD to address a schism that had occurred in that Church. St. Ignatius of Antioch, in around 107 AD wrote of the Church of Rome indicating that it “Presides in Love” among the Churches. In 144 AD, the first named Gnostic Heretic, Marcion, came from the Eastern Roman empire to Rome and stated that the Church should not use the Old Testament, and adopt only St. Luke’s Gospel and certain epistles of St. Paul. When he was told that this not part of the Apostolic Tradition, Marcion hardened his position and he eventually would be excommunicated by the Church of Rome in 144 AD when St. Pius I was Bishop of Rome. Please note, had Marcion’s view won out, the New Testament would not look like it does todaySt. Irenaeus of Lyon, in 170AD, wrote against the Gnostic heretics and stated that because the Church of Rome can trace its origins back to St.’s Peter and Paul,, that it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority. In addition, it is an historical fact that the Catholic Church (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) determined the biblical canon in the late 4th century at the Council/Synod of Rome in 382 (Pope Damasus and St. Jerome active in that Synod) and the Councils of Carthage and Hippo (393 and 397) where St. Augustine was involved.

    The Catholic Church recognizes that the Eastern Orthodox have Apostolic Succession and thus valid Bishops and Eucharist, as well as the other Sacraments, and thus are proper Churches. The Orthodox Churches welcomed the document as they see themselves in representing exactly what the Catholic Church sees regarding the Church (see Russian Orthodox response to CDF statement). For the record, they view the Protestant Christian Communities the same way as the Catholic Church. With respect to the Protestant traditions, because they have not maintained proper ecclesial structures, which means no Apostolic succession, and thus no valid Holy Eucharist hence not a Proper Church in the sense of the Catholic and Orthodox Church.

    However, what the document “did not” say is that Protestants are not Christian. From the Catholic perspective, what makes one a Christian is Baptism in the Holy Trinity and belief in Christ’s divinity and his paschal mystery (passion, death and resurrection). In addition, the Catholic Church states that elements of sanctification (and Catholic doctrine would recognize two valid Sacraments, Baptism and Marriage in the Protestant Traditions) and that “many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church….Christ Spirit uses these ecclesial communities as mans of salvation” (Catechism of Catholic Church para. 819). I can vouch for this as I work with RCIA programs that help welcome Protestant Christians into Full Communion with the Catholic Church. So, since the Catholic Church “Does not re-baptize” Protestant Christians that use the Trinitarian Formula and have orthodox Trinitarian Theology and Christology, I think the facts indicate that the Catholic Church did not say Protestants are not Christian or that Protestants were going to hell.

    I think if you actually did some research, you perhaps would see that the Catholic Churches understanding of the Church is theologically more grounded in the theology of the Trinity and Christ as well as Sacred Scripture and Tradition than the Protestant understanding of the Church. However, it is also true that the Catholic Churches view of non-Catholic Christians is much more charitable than how many Protestant Christians view the Catholic Church as noted by the references to the A. Mohler of the Southern Baptist Convention and B. Jones who is a Calvinist holding to the Westminster Confessions (which Presbyterians and Reformed Churches hold as their doctrinal basis).

    Pax Domine

  • Jonathan Carpenter

    It is a shame that in showing his disagreement with the Catholic Church, Mr . Martin sounds more like someone who has read too many Jack Chick Tracts than the level headed progressive he normally is. It also shows that the worst Anti-Catholics are former Catholics with their own axes to grind.

  • A Casual Observer

    What a pathetic, uninformed, poorly researched diatribe Roland…

    And Latisha honey… here’s a bit of advice as you head into journalism & communications – when

    you’re gonna fawn, praise and otherwise kiss someones ass with the hope that they will “hook you

    up” try using the art of being subltle. That’s something Brother Roland never learned.

  • Bede

    Thank you, Roland, for your helpful assessment of what this all means. This is what I am planning to say about the matter in my sermon this Sunday evening, which I wrote before I read your comments.

    “The pope says that our holy orders have no value: true. We deny the whole idea of ‘holy orders’, as having no basis in the New Testament.

    “The pope says that we have broken with a succession of popes who date back to St Peter: true. Our forefathers broke with the succession of popes; but even if the papacy dated back to Peter – which we do not admit – we would still maintain that a mere succession of men counts for nothing. We deny absolutely the idea of apostolic succession, except for a succession in the apostolic truth. We follow Christ, and we find his will for us in his word, and there alone.

    “The pope says that we have ‘no sacramental priesthood’: true. We deny that there is any such thing as a Christian priest. Our high priest is in heaven, and we need no other.”

  • Mike Petrik

    Ah, glad to see you took my advice on your necktie, Roland. Much better. Just be careful not to tie it too tight — you really do need a bit more oxygen up there, big fella.

  • Lisa

    It’s a real shame you did not take the time to fully understand the Catholic Church before you adandoned her…. I’ll pray for you. You sound like you could use it….

  • Pastor Billy

    Roland you’ve been a naughty man. Some Chesterton is in order,

    I find it very difficult to take some of the
    Protestant propositions even seriously. What is any man who has
    been in the real outer world, for instance, to make of the
    everlasting cry that Catholic traditions are condemned by the
    Bible? It indicates a jumble of topsy-turvy tests and tail-foremost
    arguments, of which I never could at any time see the sense. The
    ordinary sensible sceptic or pagan is standing in the street (in the
    supreme character of the man in the street) and he sees a
    procession go by of the priests of some strange cult, carrying their
    object of worship under a canopy, some of them wearing high
    head-dresses and carrying symbolical staffs, others carrying
    scrolls and sacred records, others carrying sacred images and
    lighted candles before them, others sacred relics in caskets or
    cases, and so on. I can understand the spectator saying, “This is all
    hocus-pocus”; I can even understand him, in moments of irritation,
    breaking up the procession, throwing down the images, tearing up
    the scrolls, dancing on the priests and anything else that might
    express that general view. I can understand his saying, “Your
    croziers are bosh, your candles are bosh, your statues and scrolls
    and relics and all the rest of it are bosh.” But in what conceivable
    frame of mind does he rush in to select one particular scroll of the
    scriptures of this one particular group (a scroll which had always
    belonged to them and been a part of their hocus-pocus, if it was
    hocus-pocus); why in the world should the man in the street say
    that one particular scroll was not bosh, but was the one and only
    truth by which all the other things were to be condemned? Why
    should it not be as superstitious to worship the scrolls as the
    statues, of that one particular procession? Why should it not be as
    reasonable to preserve the statues as the scrolls, by the tenets of
    that particular creed? To say to the priests, “Your statues and
    scrolls are condemned by our common sense,” is sensible. To say,
    “Your statues are condemned by your scrolls, and we are going to
    worship one part of your procession and wreck the rest,” is not
    sensible from any standpoint, least of all that of the man in the



    Nihil Obstat: Arthur J. Scanlan, S.T.D.
    Censor Librorum.

    Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal Hayes
    +Archbishop, New York.

    New York, September 16, 1926.

    Being a fallen away Catholic or a former Catholic if you prefer Roland doesn’t make you an expert of sorts. Your pride is surely diminished merely by examining all these well presented blog replies wake up soon.

  • Terry


    Fuss up. Deep down in that subconsciousness you feel guilty………..those “protestant scriptures” you have been reading in the recent few years have been telling you “Catholic Church is the One True Church of Jesus Christ”. You are just trembling, confused and hence all the errors you made in your “glorious CNN article”.

    Did you take time to call Dr. Alex Jones? He is Afro American like you. Only difference, he found the Truth in Catholic Church when he was a Protestant Minister of a Protestant Congregation!!! Don’t be embarrassed. Call him before the judgement day. Some one had already provided you with his phone number. You still got time.

    Repent, repent before facing the One True God, Lord Jesus. Bring your wife and family …. you have a big
    responsibility as “much is given, much is expected”. You will be always welcome back to Catholic Church. We catholics are loving compassionate christians. We are praying for you.

  • Julie G


    I bet you wrote your sermon at 3:45 am too. Maybe you better get more sleep so you can think straighter!

  • Shayla Goldman

    Dear Mr. Roland,

    You are an embarrassing to the African AMerican COmmunity. I am Catholic and a Catholic APologists! I fell in Love with Jesus in the Catholic Church! I am studying in Japan and the Catholic Church is Worldwide!

  • Roland

    Sorry, Julie. I wrote it in the middle of the day and was thinking clear as a bell!

  • Jonathan Carpenter

    Mr. Martin said:

    “Sorry, Julie. I wrote it in the middle of the day and was thinking clear as a bell! ”

    The thinking of someone who obviously has read too many Jack Chick tracts. Really disappointing!

  • rich

    No wonder you misunderstand Scripture originally written in foreign languages, in foreign cultures over 2000 years ago.
    You can’t understand a simple document in our time.

  • Roland


    Not a chance. My relationship with Christ is stronger today than it ever has. I won’t be returning to Catholocism. If it works for you, great. But it’s not for me.

  • Joe Ramirez

    Dear Mr. Roland,

    “Not a chance. My relationship with Christ is stronger today than it ever has. I won’t be returning to Catholocism. If it works for you, great. But it’s not for me. ”

    I am from Brazil and I read your works and articles but what is it that Christ is not in the Catholic Church? St. Ignatius of Antioch said “Where there is Jesus Christ there is the Catholic Church” 110 A.D.

    Also I read the writings of the Mystic St. Catherine Emmerich who had apparitions of the lives of Jesus and MAry and has been approved as Private Revelation. Yes Catholics will be peresecuted but God is Good!

    We are seeing the Awesome Power of the Holy SPirit in the CAtholic Church in Brazil and around the World! I am studying to be an Benedictine Monk here in Brazil!

    We will pray for you, not trying to convert you as a but living a life of Holiness! Also what about the Eucharist “His real Body and Blood” not Symbolic but really JEsus Himself!

    The Catholic Church is worldwide we Have Japanese and Chinese Sisters working in Sao Paulo and ministering to us!

  • Julie G

    Oh Roland,

    It’s not a matter of how it’s “working for us” it’s how we are “working with God.”
    God CHOSE YOU. He knows you better than you know yourself. Since you have a good relationship with God, work with Him, listen to Him AND ASK HIM to show you the truth (just in case you might be wrong or possibly mislead.) You weren’t baptized a Catholic by accident. He knew your family before you did.

  • Jakob

    This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title Supremacy of Catholic Church – and Pope – irrelevant to other Christians. Thanks for informative article

  • Lady M. Quinten

    Dear Roland,

    It is Christ that we find in the Eucharist, I am a Young Black Catholic but I love JEsus and the Catholic Church it was the true Church that Christ founded.

    Also Joe Ramirez I too read the Writings of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, Catholic Mystic who had apparitions of the lives of Jesus , MAry and the Saints! God bless the Catholic Church!

    Also I am attending World Youth Day 2008 Sydney! We Young Catholics are going to Change the World for Christ!

  • Maria Ong

    Dear Roland,

    I, too, was brought up in the Catholic Church. I went to Catholic schools until part of my college years. But the way Catholicism became a tradition to most Filipinos, I wasn’t really able to grasp the fullness of the faith uintil seven years ago. Until then I was a non practicing Christian most of my adult life, not even bringing my husband and children to the faith.

    Seven years ago, God healed me of cancer and I began to know and see Him in the faith I was born in, The Roman Catholic Church. Every mass I now attend brings tears to my eyes and I relate to Jesus with a love that is unequal to none. I became active in my search for His wisdom and enlightenment , that I now possess a kind of joy and peace that nothing in this world can ever give.

    I asked myself early on in my renewal if any other christian group could have given me the fervour and thirst for God. I know of many Catholics who have turned born-again, saying that they found a more personal relationship with Him. I say, no. I say I have the fullness of the sacraments and I say, I know Him now beacuse I allowed Him to come into my heart. I am complete in the Catholic Church because I don’t question its teachings and I obey what is expected of me because I love Jesus and I love His Church.

    I don’t claim to know much about the scholarly things that the wealth of the Catholic Church has. But I know that if I say I am Catholic, then the Pope is the Supreme Word here on earth on anything that pertains to my faith.

    So I would politely ask you to please be more respectful of a man who represents a legion of followers for Jesus. And may I ask you to be more humble in your pronouncements about what you know about the Bible and Jesus’ mandate. There are so many people who know much but are spending their wisdom and knowledge in bringing people to the truth. Don’t advocate something I think until now you are not finding. For there is love, peace and joy. Those are the fruits. I pray you find them too.

    I am happy to inform you that the Catholic Church, also here in the Phils., is now supported by a vast number of laity people who are evangelizing and building communities. These charismatic communities have more substance than your thousands of churches. We teach one doctrine, we follow one leader, and we obey what the Bible says. We don’t make our own interpretations.

    I am happy to be able to say these things. For as loud and arrogant some protestants can be, Catholics have defenders too. We don’t attack but we have the responsibility to defend our faith.

    God bless you.


  • Daniel

    I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding Supremacy of Catholic Church – and Pope – irrelevant to other Christians, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong :)

  • Daniel

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Supremacy of Catholic Church – and Pope – irrelevant to other Christians, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  • Joel Miller

    So I read your article, in which you accused the Pope of simply wanting attention.

    I sent you an email pointing out the inappropriateness of the tone you took in this article.

    I received no response until today.

    Did I receive a carefully considered, thoughtful response?

    No. The response was merely an advertisement for a tv program you will be on, which you presumably sent to every email address you’ve received emails from.

    Who wants attention?

  • can_I_rent_a_clue

    Dear Mr. Martin:

    I do hope you and your family are well. The concept of the Catholic church being the “One True Church” TM goes back many centuries if not 2000 years. It is a basic belief of the Catholic Church and that is why the Pope spoke on it. The Pope is an extremely intelligent man and has written some wonderful material about Christian faith. I am not Catholic and would not become one but more out of personal experience, hard to explain, then disagreement.

    Some of the most wonderful individuals I know are Catholic and extremely faithful. John Paul 2 held to the same view this Pope does. As for his age I dont really know what that has to do with it. Now I did chuckle about the hat comment. I do wish you the very best.

  • Spider

    I look at the Catholic Church as being no more and no less perfect than than any other church or person. Weren’t the Southern Baptists the one who lynched blacks? I prefer to look at the good a religion does and not the bad.

  • Spider

    Dr Roland –

    The Catholic Church has many, many faults. Like many other religions. There is a movie coming out about the Mormons and how they murdered a bunch of people (I forget the details).

    Isn’t the KKK a Christian based organization?

    Didn’t the Baptists hang many blacks in the South?

    I for one know of many, many good things the Catholic Church has done. My Italian (most Italians are Catholic) wife recently went to a shiva. The widower gave my wife a hug and said he had such fond feelings for Italians because they helped many Jews escape the Nazis.

    My great aunt opened a convent in Rome in 1936 and hid Jews from the Nazis.

    I realize your web page says nothing about being fair and objective.

    Good thing!


  • Tran

    Mr. Roland:

    I’m not offended by your writing and accusation; however, I will say a prayer for you tonight in hope that you will find your way back to Christ who is truly presence in the Catholic Church. Let me remind you that there is ONE truth.


  • Roland


    JESUS is the truth. NOT the Catholic Church.

  • Larcik-ce
  • hananim_vb
  • Hanging Around Catholics

    I totally agree with nobody. Mr. Roland, I love him because I’ve seen him on TV a lot and he always made very strong, yet very persuasive points. The Pope, on the other hand, is always making a statement. But he usually or almost never not presenting a way, discussing how to achieve anything like that. Mr Roland, I often argues with his points so many times in my minds. With the pope, don’t bother, he is the KING of a religion, and KING is not bounded to talk reasons with people like me, given that I am a Catholic. My voice can never be heard as an equal man to him, given Pope Benedict XVI is also a 100% man just like me – NEVER because POPE is being elevated to NON-HUMAN status, I think.

    In Encyclical God Is Hope by Benedict XIV, the pope set it out clearly: it is not the church responsibility to bring out the most justice society as possible, that functions is left to the State. Some of the pope’s claims, are infact our deepest dreams and wishes, but once again, Mr Roland is right again: CAN’T JUST TALK.

    I am a catholic for 40 years, and still hanging around listening to both side being a Catholics. I do hope for one day, not all Christians but all people around the world are living happy together and not running discourse even on a simple conversation exchanging ideas and opinions about what is good for us all.

    Catholics, most of us are somewhat becoming too aggressive in letting people know that they have sins. But, none of us is free of sins – that is including the POPE. And therefore, he can be founded wrong so many times, even when he is the pope. Just as Jesus is 100% made of man, the divinity of his teachings can grow on each of us. I think sometime, Jesus’s divinity is clearly NOT ON THE SIDE of the Pope’s wisdom and action, and likewise for all of us.

    We are “sacret” in whatever we do, acknowledging what we know is good and what we don’t know can be harmful and wrong.

    So knowing both wrong/right aspects of each action, we can clean ourself of the bad consequences and improving the good sides of it.

  • Hanging Around Catholics

    There is no one Absolute Truth. The Pope, on his trip to Africa, set out a moral standard. But, just setting such a standard like NO-CONDOMs is usually just a DREAM, not a practical solution. We are living in a real world, real time, and even setting the standard, we have to strive ourselves to achieve that. Once again, the Pope said in Encyclical God is Love: It is not the Church responsibility bring the most justice society as possible. So, their standard is serving mostly as a moral guidance not a practical solution. By not offering a solution, the church does not get involve in helping people from dying because of their actions, their willingness to contract AIDs, etc. All of that require to much resources, man power, and who knows: the Church doesn’t have that capacity to do that.

    Any of us love to think that I am free of sins. But, no-one can ever be free of sins, that is including Jesus. His actions, his words bring out violent reactions of people to himself, to his deciples. His words, we are fighting to our deaths sometimes just to find out the meanings of some of the verses. Is that what ABSOLUTE TRUTH means in our life? I don’t think so.

    With his death on the Cross, what Jesus did is so clever. He aligned everybody, every action along the line of its goods, and its bads by knowledge: THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY DID.

    So, KNOWING is helping us bring out greater meanings in our lives ??

    KNOWING or NOT KNOWING is GOD’s power and that by evolving ourself along the truth benefits of his teachings, we are closer to better meanings, better life, greater goodness, and God’s divinity is growing on us just like that: YOUR KINGDOM COME.

    I think it is also about time that we all should acknowledge that the BIBLE is part of GOD’s teachings, but NOT ALL OF GOD’s TEACHINGs. People who don’t know anything about the Bible still know how to build happiness in their life and KNOWING how to build their life around HAPPINESS. Once again, that is GOD’s power: and that is the signature of HEAVEN.

    FOREVER LASTING LIFE, Pope Benedict XVI’s teaches in Encyclical Spe Salvi: Forever lasting life is the moment that you are filled with meanings in this life and maybe more. We all acknowledge that the good aspects of our deeds help to bring out happiness for us individually and together. Knowing that we do good things bring meaning to our lives. But, knowing that we are doing bad things also bring greater meaning to our lives. That we can continue to know how to clean ourself of bad consequences of our actions and thoughts.

    The Catholic Church, is usually very good in claiming their good sides. But, they’ve been performing poorly in acknowledging their bad sides, and therefore on the CONTINUING VERSE of losing respects from once a DIE HARD CATHOLIC like Mr Roland, and losing respect even from an individual still claiming being a Catholic just like me. They’ve lost repects in many parts of the world and therefore, their words don’t carry a lot of meanings nowadays even in the European Countries where Catholics used to be state religion.

    Why ? BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW. And everyday counting forwards, they know better and know more because the world knowledge is chaning at very fast rate.

    I had to agree with Mr Roland because I know that the Church is not being honest about so many things that they did wrong and never seems to mention it. We all agree that the Church is not perfect and that they only confess directly to GOD. But by not telling us the wrong aspects of their actions, they are the only one left in fixing the problems and they are not usually good at that.



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