Being a former catholic as a child, and then becoming a believer in Jesus in the fact that I realized that I could not save myself, and that baptism, according to Jesus is an outward expression of an inner work of the Holy Spirit and that I needed a Savior, that according to the Bible, that If I confess with my mouth that Jesus is my Savior, I will be saved.
Scripture tells us that no one can be "saved" by works, so I say to my catholic friends, there is never enough that you can do that will give you eternal life. Becasue of your love for what Jesus did on the cross on our behalf, we will serve Him out of a heart of gratitude.
No where in the Bible does it call for a person not to marry. The Bible is clear that some people are given the gift of singleness but it is a gift, not a man made rule that one is to remain free from having a spouse. The Lord said it is not good for man to be alone and that is why he has given marriage.
I believe that if the Catholic Church would wake up and take the Scriptures as truth and stop listening to some man, such as the Pope who, in the eyes of the Lord is capable of error and sin like the rest of us, and trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior, read His inspired Word, and walk as new creatures in Christ, you would witness less of this disgraceful behavior. The people need to wake up, Jesus is coming for a church without wrinkle or spot, and He is cleaning House in the Catholic Schurch like all denominations.
For so many years, Catholics have been duped by the Pope and church leaders to believe a lie, and they will answer for this someday soon. Jesus is alive, no longer on the cross and He is coming back, Praise His name! I would be glad to share with you or anyone who wants to know that it is to have the assurance of eternal life.
Gods blessings, Joe Pasquarell. E-Mail address: JSPAS777@aol.com, I welcome your response.
A first step is to understand the Catholic teaching on grace and works. In homily I expressed it this way:
We are saved by sheer grace. To some people this sounds like a Protestant doctrine. They might have the idea that Martin Luther taught "grace" but the Catholic Church taught "works." That is not true. The doctrine of grace has been part of the Catholic teaching right from the beginning. The Catechism sums up this long tradition in the following words: "Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers in the divine nature and eternal life." (#1996). The Catechism goes on to explain that when we talk about good works or "merit," even then we must give the credit to God. "Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man's collaboration. Man's merit is due to God." (2025) Saved by Grace Alone
Regarding celibacy, here is a helpful article written by a non-Catholic Scholar:
Celibacy for Beginners Yes, It's an Issue, but It's Not the Reason for the Church's Troubles By Philip Jenkins Sunday, March 31, 2002; Page B03 In recent weeks, as cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have appeared regularly in the headlines, the notion of priestly celibacy has become the subject of talk radio and dinner party discussions. But much of the debate has been rooted in myth and misinformation and clouded by the assumption, particularly in this country, that the time has come for the Roman Catholic Church to end this Medieval foolishness anddo away with the practice. In fact, the subject is much more complex. And barring unforeseen circumstances, celibacy is likely to be around in the American Catholic church for a long time to come. The popular view seems to be that celibacy reflects a hatred and contempt for sexuality -- and for women -- and that it turns priests into frustrated loners who express their inner conflicts through sexual assaults on little children. For many reasons, I think these charges are unfair. I belong to a church that does not require celibacy of its clergy and has female priests, namely the Episcopal Church. Yet speaking as a historian, I can understand the reasons another church might require priestly celibacy. And as a consumer of news, I see that celibacy's origins and the church's motivations in requiring it are widely misunderstood. Let's start with what has become a standard misstatement about its genesis: That priests were required to be celibate beginning around 1100, maybe even a little later. We do know that compulsory celibacy was not a practice of the earliest church. We know that Saint Peter had a mother-in-law, that the apostles traveled in the company of their wives, and that some early popes were (without causing scandal) the sons of other popes. Yet beyond these facts, much is in doubt. The notion that mandatory celibacy wasn't imposed until the 12th century, stated as "fact," seems quite damning to the church's insistence on the practice. If true, modern Catholics would be insisting on an innovation that has been around for less than half of the history of Christianity, one that dates to the Middle Ages, a period that enjoys a dreadful reputation in modern thought. Through guilt by association, celibacy seems to be linked in many people's minds with such horrors as witch-burning, the Inquisition and the Crusades. Worst of all, the reasons often cited for the invention of celibacy are not even spiritual, but rather involve land rights. According to a scholarly myth widely held among historians, the church was just trying to ensure that the children of priests could not become legitimate heirs to church land. Literally, according to this story, the modern Catholic Church is keeping alive a survival of feudal times. This pseudo-history is wrong at almost every point. Mandatory celibacy goes much further back than Medieval times, if not quite to the days of the apostles. Priestly celibacy was the usual expectation in the West by late Roman times, say the 4th century, and Medieval statements on the subject were just reasserting discipline that had collapsed temporarily in times of war and social chaos. Of course we can find married priests throughout the Middle Ages, just as we can find priests committing molestation today, but that does not mean that, in either case, they were acting with church approval. In making this point about dates, I am not just nitpicking in the worst academic tradition. I am stressing that priestly celibacy is a product of the very early church. Just how early? It was celibate priests and monks who made the final decisions about which books were going to make up the New Testament, and which would be excluded. If, as most Christians believe, the ideas and practices of the early church carry special authority, then we should certainly rank priestly celibacy among these ancient traditions. So if they were not defending land rights, why did successive popes try to enforce celibacy? Odd as this may seem, the main reason seems to have been the increased frequency of the Eucharist or Mass. Because of the need to focus on spiritual rather than worldly interests, married priests in the 3rd and 4th centuries were supposed to abstain from sex the night before saying Mass. As Mass became a daily ritual, this effectively demanded permanent celibacy. Out of this practical need came a whole theology of self-sacrifice. The idea of celibacy is based less on a fear of sexuality than on a deep respect for its power, and with proper training, a celibate could transform or channel this power into a source of strength. Modern psychologists would later invent the term "sublimation" for this complex process. By giving up the most basic human needs and comforts, the priest was able to devote himself entirely to God and to the people he served. He was meant to treat all the faithful equally, with no need to give special preference to a wife or children. A "father" was meant to be father to all.Of course, changes in society mean that the church no longer needs to prove that its clergy stand above the narrow ties of kin, but other reasons for celibacy remain unchanged. In some ways, the case for celibacy may even be greater today than it was centuries ago. In a society that seems to be so thoroughly aware of sex and sexuality, maybe even obsessed with it, what greater self-sacrifice could there be, what greater rejection of the culture, than the adoption of celibacy? At the same time, not even the Catholic Church claims that clerical celibacy is a strict matter of faith that can never be changed. The church indeed says that some of its teachings can never be softened -- for instance, the prohibition on female priests or the ban on abortion. But it also makes clear that celibacy (like matters of liturgical practice, for example) is a question of internal church discipline, which could be changed if circumstances demanded it. Such a change would not require any embarrassing backtracking on past policies, any kind of reversal of once "infallible" statements. It may come as a surprise that Catholic authorities do allow a little flexibility in the matter of married priests. If, for instance, a priest converts to Catholicism from a church that allows marriage, like the Orthodox, then he may be able to enter the Roman church as a married priest in good standing. Some have done so -- often to the annoyance of mainstream Catholic clergy, who are not granted this same privilege. But now let me ask an outrageous question: Why should the Roman Catholic Church change its stance on celibacy? Much has been said of late about the damage that celibacy inflicts on the modern church and its poor exploited believers. But, like the pseudo-history, may of these contemporary charges are false. Among the harms caused by celibacy, two possibilities come to mind. One, obviously, is the problem of "pedophile priests," who allegedly commit their crimes because of the frustration and immaturity caused directly by celibacy. The reform motto is beautiful in its simplicity, and inspiring in its urgency: End celibacy and save the children! Yet there is no credible evidence to link the two. Many of the same problems also happen in churches and denominations that allow clergy to marry. Based on some excellent studies using large samples of priests, we can say that about 2 or 3 percent of Catholic priests are sexually involved with minors. There is no evidence that the rate for these priests is higher than that for any other non-celibate group. So how does celibacy come into the picture at all? Another issue more plausibly connected with celibacy is the growth of gay subcultures in the American priesthood -- not that having homosexual priests is necessarily bad in itself. But when men with gay inclinations are represented in the priesthood at a rate 10 or 20 times that in the average male population (which studies suggest is the case), this does tend to make the priesthood more of a closed caste separated from the lives of ordinary believers. But ending celibacy now almost certainly would not change the situation, or make the priesthood less gay. Just look at my own Episcopal church, in which clergy have been allowed to marry since the 16th century: The Episcopal clergy has flourishing gay subcultures quite as active as those rumored in theRoman church, only far more public. Ultimately, the Catholic stance on priestly celibacy can change in one of two ways, neither of which seems very likely. The American church could go into schism, declaring its independence from Rome, which nobody is predicting. The only alternative is to wait for Rome and the global church to declare changes from the center, an idea that reformers have prayed for over the years. As the hopeful joke goes, at the Third Vatican Council, the pope will bring his wife; at the Fourth Vatican Council, the pope will bring her husband. Yet today, the chances for that sort of reform seem bleak. There are any number of reasons the Roman Catholic church might want to end mandatory celibacy for its clergy. It might rethink the theology of the whole matter; it might carry out surveys showing that a married priesthood would simply do a better pastoral job of ministering to the faithful. Above all, it might decide that ending celibacy is simply the only way to restore the numbers of the priesthood, and that seems to me an excellent idea -- though as I say, I write as an outsider. But whatever it does, let the church decide its course on celibacy for the right reasons. Let it act according to the logic of its own principles, and not in response to bogus history and convenient mythology. Philip Jenkins is a professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University and the author, most recently, of "The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity" (Oxford).
Regarding the Scriptural basis for celibacy
About the papacy (scriptural basis for primacy, infallibility, etc)
Any comments you have would be welcome. God bless,
Fr. Phil Bloom