Winter 2018: 50 Years in the "Church" of Rome Excerpt
Author:
Publish date:
 
 

The Conversion of a Roman Catholic Priest

Chapter 1

My father, Charles Chiniquy, born in Quebec, had studied there for the priesthood. But a few days before making his vows he witnessed a great iniquity in the high quarters of the church. He changed his mind, studied law, and married Reine Perrault. In 1803 he settled in Kamoraska, where I was born on the 30th July, 1809. Four or five years later we emigrated to Murray Bay, which had no school. My mother became my first teacher. Before leaving the seminary, my father had received from one of the Superiors, as a token of his esteem, a beautiful French and Latin Bible. That Bible was the first book, after the A B C, in which I was taught to read. My mother selected interesting chapters which I read every day till I knew many of them by heart.

How many delicious hours I have spent by my mother's side reading to her from the sublime pages of the divine book. Sometimes she interrupted me to see if I understood what I read. When my answers made her sure that I understood it, she used to kiss me and press me on her bosom as an expression of her joy. We were some distance from the Church and on rainy days the roads were very bad. On the Sabbath days the neighboring farmers were accustomed to gather at our house in the evening. Then my parents used to put me up on a large table in the midst of the assembly, and I delivered to those good people the most beautiful parts of the Old and New Testaments. When I tired, my mother, who had a fine voice, sang some of the beautiful French hymns with which her memory was filled. When the weather allowed us to go to church, the farmers would take me into their buggies at the door of the temple, and request of me some chapter of the Gospel. With perfect attention they listened to the voice of the child, whom the Good Master had chosen to give them the bread which comes from heaven. More than once, I remember, when the bell called us to the church, they regretted that they could not hear more. One beautiful day in 1818 my father was writing in his office, my mother was working with her needle, and I was at the door playing.

Suddenly I saw a priest coming near the gate and felt a chill of uneasiness. It was his first visit to our home. The priest was of short stature with an unpleasant appearance. His shoulders were large and he was very corpulent. His hair was long and uncombed, and his double chin seemed to groan under the weight of his flabby cheeks. I hastily ran and whispered to my parents, "Mr. Curate is coming." The sound was hardly out of my lips when the Rev. Courtois was at the door. My father shook hands with him in welcome. The priest was born in France, where he had a narrow escape, having been condemned to death under the bloody administration of Robespierre. He had taken refuge with many other French priests in England, then came to Quebec. Here the bishop had given him charge of the parish at Murray Bay.

His conversation was animated and interesting for the first quarter of an hour. It was a real pleasure to hear him. But all of a sudden, his countenance changed as if a dark cloud had come over his mind, and he stopped talking. My parents had been respectfully reserved as they listened. The silence which followed was exceedingly unpleasant for all the parties, like the heavy hour before a storm. At length the priest, addressing my father, said, "Mr. Chiniquy, is it true that you and your child read the Bible?" ''Yes, sir," was the quick reply, "my little boy and I read the Bible, and what is still better, he has learned by heart a great number of its most interesting chapters. If you will allow it, Mr. Curate, he will give you some of them." "I did not come for that purpose," abruptly replied the priest.

"But do you not know that you are forbidden by the Council of Trent to read the Bible in French?" "It makes very little difference to me whether I read the Bible in French, Greek, or Latin," answered my father, "for I understand these languages equally well." "But are you ignorant of the fact that you cannot allow your child to read the Bible?" replied the priest. "My wife directs her own child in the reading of the Bible, and I cannot see that we commit any sin."

''Mr. Chiniquy," rejoined the priest, "you have gone through a whole course of theology. You know the duties of a curate. You know it is my painful duty to come here, get the Bible from you and burn it."

My grandfather was a fearless Spanish sailor (our original name was Etchiniquia), and there was too much Spanish blood and pride in my father to hear such a sentence with patience in his own house. Quick as lightening he was on his feet. I pressed myself, trembling, near my mother, who trembled also.

At first I feared lest some unfortunate and violent scene should occur, for my father's anger in that moment was really terrible. But I feared more lest the priest should lay his hands on my dear Bible, which was just before him on the table. It was mine, given me the last year as a Christmas gift. Fortunately my father had subdued himself but was pacing the room with his lips pale and trembling, and he was muttering between his teeth.

The priest was closely watching my father, his hands convulsively pressing his heavy cane, and his face evidencing a too wellgrounded terror. It was clear that the ambassador of Rome did not find himself infallibly sure of his position. Since his last words he had remained as silent as a tomb. At last my father suddenly stopped before the priest. "Sir, is that all you have to say here?" ''Yes, sir," said the trembling priest.

"Well, sir," added my father, "you know the door by which you entered my house; please take the same door and go away quickly." The priest went out immediately. I felt inexpressible joy that my Bible was safe. I ran to my father's neck, kissed and thanked him for his victory. And to pay him, in my childish way, I jumped upon the large table and recited, in my best style, the fight between David and Goliath. Of course, in my mind, my father was David and the priest of Rome was the giant whom the little stone from the brook had stricken down. Thou knowest, 0 God, that to that Bible, read on my mother's knees, I owe, by Thy infinite mercy, the knowledge of the truth today; that the Bible had sent, to my young heart and intelligence, rays of light which all the sophisms and dark errors of Rome could never completely extinguish.

Chapter 2
In June, 1818, my parents sent me to an excellent school at St. Thomas. There one of my mother's sisters was the wife of an industrious miller, Stephen Eschenbach. They had no children, and they received me as their own son.

The beautiful village of St. Thomas had already, at that time, a considerable population. Two fine rivers uniting there before fl.owing into the St. Lawrence, supplied the water power for several mills and factories. The school of Mr. Allen Jones was worthy of its wide-spread reputation. As a teacher he deserved and enjoyed the highest respect and confidence of his pupils and their parents. But being a Protestant, the priest was much opposed to him, and every effort was made to induce my relatives to send me to the school under his care.

St. Peter's Square. Note the obelisk and eight-spoked sun wheel forming the shape of the square.Copyright Amazing Discoveries.

Dr. Tache was the leading man of St. Thomas. He had no need of the influence of the priests, and he frequently gave vent to his supreme contempt for them. Once a week there was a meeting in his house of the principal citizens of St. Thomas, where the highest questions of history and religion were freely and warmly discussed; but the premises as well as the conclusions were invariably adverse to the priests and religion of Rome, and too often to every form of Christianity.

Though these meetings were not entirely secret societies, they were secret to a great extent. My friend Cazeault was Dr. Tache's nephew and boarded at his house. He was punctual in telling me the days and hours of the meetings, and I used to go with him to an adjoining room, where we could hear everything without being suspected.

From what I heard and saw in these meetings I most certainly would have been ruined, had not the Word of God, with which my mother had filled my young mind and heart, been my shield and strength. There was also in St. Thomas one of the former monks of Canada, known under the name of Capuchin or Recollets, whom the conquest of Canada by Great Britain had forced to leave their monastery. He was a clockmaker and lived honorably by his trade. Brother Mark, as he was called, was a remarkably well-built man with the most beautiful hands I ever saw. His life was a solitary one, always alone with his sister, who kept his house. Brother Mark spent a couple of hours a day in fishing and I used to meet him often along the banks of the beautiful rivers of St. Thomas. As soon as he found a place where the fish were abundant, he would call me, that I might share in his good luck. I appreciated his attention and repaid him with sincere gratitude.

He often invited me to his solitary but neat little home. His good sister would overwhelm me with attention and love. There was a mixture of timidity and dignity in Brother Mark which I have found in no one else. He was fond of children and gracefully smiled when I showed appreciation for his kindness. But that smile, and any other expression of joy, was very transient. Suddenly it would change, as if some mysterious cloud passed over his heart. He and the other monks of the monastery had been released by the pope from their vows of poverty and obedience. They could become independent and even rise to a respectable position in the world by their honorable efforts. But the pope had been inflexible about their vows of celibacy.

The honest desires of the good monk to live according to the laws of God, with a wife whom heaven might have given him, had become an impossibility -the pope vetoed it. Brother Mark was endowed with such a loving heart! He must have suffered much trying in vain to annihilate the instincts and affections which God Himself had implanted in him. One day I was with a few other young friends near the house of Brother Mark. Suddenly we saw something covered with blood thrown from the window and falling a short distance from us.

At the same instant we heard loud cries coming from the monk's house: "O my God! Have mercy upon me! Save me! I am lost!" Brother Mark's sister rushed out and cried to some men who were passing by: "Come to our help! My poor brother is dying! For God's sake make haste, he is losing all his blood!" I ran to the door, but the lady shut it abruptly saying, "We do not want children here." I had a sincere affection for the good brother. He had been so kind to me! But I had to go back among the crowd which was fast gathering. The singular mystery in which they were trying to wrap the poor monk, filled me with trouble and anxiety.

But that trouble was soon changed into an unspeakable confusion when I heard the convulsive laughing and shameful jokes of the crowd, after the doctor had told the nature of the wound. I was struck with such horror that I fled away; I did not want to know any more of that tragedy. I had already known too much! Poor Brother Mark had ceased to be a man -he had become an eunuch! 0 cruel and godless church of Rome! How many hearts hast thou broken with that celibacy

Dr. Tache was the leading man of St. Thomas. He had no need of the influence of the priests, and he frequently gave vent to his supreme contempt for them. Once a week there was a meeting in his house of the principal citizens of St. Thomas, where the highest questions of history and religion were freely and warmly discussed; but the premises as well as the conclusions were invariably adverse to the priests and religion of Rome, and too often to every form of Christianity. Though these meetings were not entirely secret societies, they were secret to a great extent. My friend Cazeault was Dr. Tache's nephew and boarded at his house. He was punctual in telling me the days and hours of the meetings, and I used to go with him to an adjoining room, where we could hear everything without being suspected.

From what I heard and saw in these meetings I most certainly would have been ruined, had not the Word of God, with which my mother had filled my young mind and heart, been my shield and strength. There was also in St. Thomas one of the former monks of Canada, known under the name of Capuchin or Recollets, whom the conquest of Canada by Great Britain had forced to leave their monastery. He was a clockmaker and lived honorably by his trade. Brother Mark, as he was called, was a remarkably well-built man with the most beautiful hands I ever saw. His life was a solitary one, always alone with his sister, who kept his house. Brother Mark spent a couple of hours a day in fishing and I used to meet him often along the banks of the beautiful rivers of St. Thomas. As soon as he found a place where the fish were abundant, he would call me, that I might share in his good luck. I appreciated his attention and repaid him with sincere gratitude.

He often invited me to his solitary but neat little home. His good sister would overwhelm me with attention and love. There was a mixture of timidity and dignity in Brother Mark which I have found in no one else. He was fond of children and gracefully smiled when I showed appreciation for his kindness. But that smile, and any other expression of joy, was very transient. Suddenly it would change, as if some mysterious cloud passed over his heart. He and the other monks of the monastery had been released by the pope from their vows of poverty and obedience. They could become independent and even rise to a respectable position in the world by their honorable efforts. But the pope had been inflexible about their vows of celibacy. The honest desires of the good monk to live according to the laws of God, with a wife whom heaven might have given him, had become an impossibility -the pope

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Reformation
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements The Evidence of Things Not Seen Recombination of Chromosomes Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Ernst Haeckel's Theories Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Variation and Classification Why So Many Species? Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Tyre and the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Philosophers Talk Music The Beat The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship Can You Feel the Music? Whose Music? The Rave The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship The Ear Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Gaspard De Coligny Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Is Jesus God? Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth The 70-Week Prophecy What Day Did Jesus Die? Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
Prophecy
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon Identifying the Antichrist The Second Beast of Revelation 13 The Final Confederacy The Seven Plagues Walking Through Daniel Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Babylonian Religion Sun Worship Wealth Redistribution The Charismatic Movement Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Sustainability Unity at All Cost? Paganism and Christmas Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts The New Age Movement Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit Paganism in our Culture Secret Societies The History of Tongues The United Nations' Global Government Revival and the "Power of God" Signs and Wonders What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Sabbath
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Testing the Gospel of Thomas Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Gospel Story The Lost Books of the Bible Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Death
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus