Paganism and the Priesthood
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Summary: The Church needs leaders, and Scripture is clear about the nature of godly leadership. Unfortunately, Catholicism has chosen pagan practices over Biblical truth when it comes to the priesthood.
 
This article is part of a series. We recommend that you first read: Paganism and Catholicism.
 

Leaders are a very important component of the Church. However, Catholicism has chosen pagan examples to follow regarding the establishment and power of its priests. This has resulted in beliefs and traditions that contradict the Bible and God's plan for His people.

Power of the Priests

Catholic priests are considered to be very powerful. In fact, according to St. Alphonsus Liguori, priests are given the power to forgive sins, and God must obey their judgment decisions:

Jesus has died to institute the priesthood. It was not necessary for the Redeemer to die in order to save the world; a drop of his blood, a single tear, or prayer, was sufficient to procure salvation for all; for such a prayer, being of infinite value, should be sufficient to save not one but a thousand worlds. But to institute the priesthood, the death of Jesus Christ has been necessary. Had he not died, where should we find the victim that the priests of the New Law now offer? a victim altogether holy and immaculate, capable of giving to God an honor worthy of God. As has been already said, all the lives of men and angels are not capable of giving to God an infinite honor like that which a priest offers to him by a single Mass...

The priest has the power of the keys, or the power of delivering sinners from Hell, of making them worthy of Paradise, and of changing them from the slaves of Satan into the children of God. And God Himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priests, and either not to pardon or to pardon....

Were the Redeemer to descend into a church, and sit in a confessional to administer the sacrament of penance, and a priest to sit in another confessional, Jesus would say over each penitent, "Ego te absolve," the priest would likewise say over each of his penitents, "Ego te absolve," and the penitents of each would be equally absolved...

Thus the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the creator of his Creator, since by saying the words of consecration, he creates, as it were, Jesus in the sacrament, by giving him a sacramental existence, and produces him as a victim to be offered to the eternal Father...

Let the priest," says St. Laurence Justinian, "approach the altar as another Christ.”i

During the 14th session of the Council of Trent (November 25, 1551), it was decreed that Christ, "when about to ascend from earth to heaven, left behind Him priests, His own vicars, as rulers and judges, to whom all the mortal sins into which the faithful of Christ may have fallen should be brought in order that they may, in virtue of the power of the keys, pronounce the sentence of remission or retention of sins."ii

The Bible tells us that only God can save us (Psalm 80:19, Isaiah 45:22, Acts 4:12), and He offers forgiveness through Christ alone (Matthew 9:6, John 10:9, Acts 5:31, Ephesians 4:32).

Claiming the power to forgive sins and claiming to be God are two instances of blasphemy. Daniel 7 predicted that Papacy would utter great things against God, and this is exactly what is happening.

Celibacy

Another mark of the Catholic priesthood is celibacy. Unfortunately, this is another practice that ignores God's words to His people and instead follows paganism.

Historian Alexander Hislop tells us that celibacy originated in worship to the goddess Semiramis:

Strange though it may seem, yet the voice of antiquity assigns to that abandoned queen [the goddess Semiramis] the invention of clerical celibacy, and that in the most stringent form...When the Pope appropriated to himself so much that was peculiar to the worship of that goddess, from the very same source, also, he introduced into the priesthood under his authority the binding obligation of celibacy. The introduction of such a principle into the Christian Church had been distinctly predicted as one grand mark of apostasy.iii

The prediction Hislop refers to here is 1 Timothy 4:1-3: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." God created marriage as a gift for His people. The forced avoidance of marriage does not please Him.

The Tonsure

Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carlo_Crivelli_052.jpg

Celibate priests receive the tonsure when they are ordained. The tonsure is a "sacred rite instituted by the Church by which a baptized and confirmed Christian is received into the clerical order by the shearing of his hair."iv

Nowhere in the Bible are we told that leaders should shave part of their heads. However, the tonsure is connected to Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, the first-century Gnostic Simon Magus, and, even before him, the Babylonian worship of Bacchus and Egyptian worship of Osiris.v Read more about the tonsure

Biblical Leadership

Scriptures give us plenty of information about the right attitude, actions, and ordinations of Church leaders. Peter even calls all of God's people "a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9-10). To learn more, check out these passages:
Isaiah 3:13
John 13:1-17; 21:15-17
Romans 2:6-8
1 Timothy 3
Titus 1:6-8
1 Peter 5:1-4

Read about the pagan origins of Catholic mass

 


 

i. St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Dignities and Duties of the Priest (1927).

ii. Rev. H. J. Schroeder (trans.), "Fourteenth Session: Sacrament of Penance," The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent (Rockford, IL: TAN Books 1978): 92.

iii. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons (Cosimo, Inc., 2007): 219-220.

iv. Kevin Knight, "Tonsure," New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

v. Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons (Cosimo, Inc., 2007): 221.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article and website are not intended to accuse individuals. There are many priests and faithful believers in Roman Catholicism who serve God to the best of their ability and are seen by God as His children. The information contained herein is directed only towards the Roman Catholic religio-political system that has reigned in varying degrees of power for nearly two millennia. Under the influence of its successive popes, bishops, and cardinals, this system has established an increasing number of doctrines and statements that clearly go against Scripture.
 
It is our sincere desire to lay the clear Word of God before you, the truth-seeking reader, so you may decide for yourself what is truth and what is error. If you find herein anything contrary to the Word of God, you need not accept it. But if you desire to seek for Truth as for hidden treasure, and find herein something of that quality, we encourage you to make all haste to accept that Truth which is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.
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