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Non-Catholics Section: Is Your Religion True?

Rtrn. to Non-Catholics Sctn. | More ?'s | Comment or ? | Printable Flier

white bird (with branch)

Non-Catholics Section: Challenge

Is Your Religion True?

Sources: Various

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How Could Your Non-Catholic 'Christian' Religion Be True?

* Where was your 'church' when...? (click here)

* Is your faith biblical? (click here)

* Who founded your 'church'? (click here)

* If your 'church' is true, why does it ultimately trace back to a heretic? How much you do really know about the 'founder' of your 'church'? If it is Luther, did you know that he has been considered "unbalanced", that he confessed to being "fervent in impurity", that he broke solemn vows to God, that he had discussions with the devil; that the devil approved of his doctrine? 

* Where are your ancient bibles? Show us your first century bible manuscript. Show one from the year 500 or 600 or 700... Why is it you have none that the Catholic Church didn't produce?

* Why does your current version of the bible trace back to the Catholic Church if your 'church' is the true one?

* If you have no ancient bible manuscript, can you at least show an ancient record of having had one? If nothing is more important to you than Scripture, surely you would be able to show your 'church' had at least seen an ancient bible!

* If Scripture is so important to you, at least show us your ancient artwork. Remember that, historically, few persons could have ever read the bible so you would have needed to teach them via artwork. If you cannot show us your ancient artwork, what about your ancient literacy programs? Surely, if the bible is necessary for salvation, and your 'church' was there, you must have had some means to teach those persons (most of the populace!) about the bible? Remember, illustrations were the 'bible of the poor' in early Christianity. So, where exactly are your ancient illustrations? Why is it your 'church' has none, but the Catholic Church has many?

* Where are your relics of the apostles? Why is it the Catholic Church has them and your 'church' doesn't?

* Where are your relics of your ancient martyrs? Why is it the Catholic Church has them and your 'church' doesn't? In fact, simply name one specific martyr of your 'church' from the first century. Where exactly was your 'church' when our saints were being martyred right and left - for centuries - cruelly, brutally martyred ("the city was hitherto drunk with the blood of Christians")? Where exactly were you?

* Where are the ruins of your ancient churches? Show us your oldest 'church' building. Why do none of your 'worship' spaces date back more than a few hundred years?

* Why does your 'church' not follow the oral traditions that St. Paul indicated (see 2 Thes. 2:15)? Do you even know what they are?

* Why does your 'church' tolerate divorce, homosexuality, contraception, women 'ministers', etc., even though Scripture explicitly condemns this? How is it that your 'church' feels excused from Jesus' laws? That it has the power to change them?

* Where are all your miracles? Jesus said that his followers would work miracles (cf. Mk. 16:17), so show us historical accounts of these miracles in your 'church' throughout the past 2,000 years. The Catholic Church's history records countless, marvelous miracles. Where is your consistent history of miracles and the documentation to back it up?

* If your 'church' is the true one, produce some documents dating from A.D. 33 to A.D. 1500 if you can. 

* If your 'church' is the true one, why are all your Protestant heroes fallen away / disobedient Catholics - Luther, Wyclif, etc.?

* Since Christ is head of only one Church - a Church He Himself founded on St. Peter (Mt. 16:18), the Catholic Church - that means He is not head of yours. How, then could your 'church', be true?

* Since Christ commissioned Peter to tend to his sheep (Jn. 21:15-17), and you admit you are not one of Peter's sheep, you admit you are not one of Christ's!

* "How can you claim to be the one true church when you're not even one church?"

* How can you claim to be the true 'church' when you can't even agree on doctrine and you have no infallible authority to settle the matter?

* If your 'church' is true, show us your line of succession back from the apostolic days. As Tertullian said around 200 A.D.:

"[L]et them show the origins of their Churches, let them unroll the order of their bishops, running down in succession from the beginning, so that their first bishop shall have for author and predecessor some one of the Apostles or of the apostolic men who continued steadfast with the Apostles. For this is the way in which the apostolic Churches transmit their lists: like the Church of the Smyrnaeans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John; like the Church of the Romans where Clement was ordained by Peter. In just this same way the other Churches display those whom they have as sprouts from the apostolic seed, having been established in the episcopate by the Apostles. Let the heretics invent something like it. After their blasphemies, what could be unlawful for them? But even if they should contrive it, they will accomplish nothing; for their doctrine itself when compared with that of the Apostles, will show by its own diversity and contrariety that it has for its author neither an Apostle nor an apostolic man. The Apostles would not have differed among themselves in teaching, nor would an apostolic man have taught contrary to the Apostles, unless those who were taught by the apostles then preached otherwise. Therefore, they will be challenged to meet this test even by those Churches which are of much later date - for they are being established daily - and whose founder is not from among the Apostles nor from among the apostolic men; for those which agree in the same faith are reckoned as apostolic on account of the blood ties with their doctrine. Then let all heresies prove how they regard themselves as apostolic, when they are challenged by our Churches to meet either test. But in fact they are not apostolic, nor can they prove themselves to be what they are not. Neither are they received in peace in communion by the Churches which are in any way apostolic, since on account of their diverse beliefs they are in no way apostolic." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 200 A.D.]

Remember further that Apostolic succession of bishops has always been considered a criterion of truth. As the Catechism of the Council of Trent states, "That all, therefore, might know which was the Catholic Church, the Fathers, guided by the Spirit of God, added to the Creed the word Apostolic. For the Holy Ghost, who presides over the Church, governs her by no other ministers than those of Apostolic succession. This Spirit, first imparted to the Apostles, has by the infinite goodness of God always continued in the [Catholic] Church." Where is your apostolic succession?

* If your 'church' is true, show us some of your ancient teachings and how you are still teaching the same doctrine. And, one must "not only prove from antiquity, but must prove each succeeding century and decade that yours existed and taught the same thing."

* What is your 'church's' creed? Is it definable? Does it not trouble you that for the first hundreds or more years of Christianity Christians never heard of this creed?

* Why is it you disparage the Catholic Church's past, when your 'church' doesn't even have a past (at least not dating from Christ)?

* "What does your 'church' have that it did not receive from the Catholic Church?" From the Catholic Church, you got the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity...

* "Since Pentecost, we know the Apostles thought and acted in harmony, but you say you have the Holy Spirit yet are splintered into 30,000+ denominations - how can that be?"

* How can your religion be true when it teaches differently than the Apostles taught? Does it not trouble you that those who lived closest to the Apostles (and who would best understand what they taught) confirm Catholic doctrine?

* If your 'church' claims to be true, show us ancient documentation regarding your first and second and third century persecutions. The Catholic Church can show you plenty, and scripture says to expect persecution (see Jn. 15:20). If all the Apostles were martyred (although St. John survived his attempted martyrdom), why were not any of your 'church' members also persecuted / martyred?

* If your 'church' claims to be true, where are your virgins? Christ and St. Paul both praised celibacy (cf. Mt. 19:12, 1 Cor. 7:8, 1 Cor. 7:32-38) and scripture shows that the virgins are the ones that closely follow Christ in heaven (Rv. 14:3-5), so where are your virgins? "What a glory it is for the Catholic Church, that she alone has the gift of this holy state of virginity, which is the source of every other sacrifice, because nothing but the love of God could inspire a human heart to vow virginity!" (Dom Gueranger)

* If your 'church' is true, why is it that even the Catholic Church's enemies attest to her and not to you? For example, why is it that that Satan worshipers seek to steal consecrated hosts from a Catholic Mass and not bread wafers from a Protestant service? Why is it that Jews who hate the Church will at least admit there was a Catholic Church in the second century, but they cannot point to any other 'Christian' assemblies of any significance which still exist? Why were the ancient heretics all former Catholics? If your religion was true, they should have been break offs from yours, not the Catholic Church! Heresies are biblical, so your 'church', if it is true, should have some record of being affected by ancient heresies!

* Why is it that until the 'Reformation', any historical document referencing "the Church" (outside the limited area of the Orthodox) undoubtedly refers to the Catholic Church? Why is it that - even today - historical textbooks refer to the Catholic Church as "the Church"? Certainly publishers of such books are generally not friends of the Catholic Church! Where exactly was your 'church'?

* If your 'church' was the true Church, why are there more Catholics than all other 'Christian' religions combined? Also, kindly explain why your 'church' has perhaps thousands or even hundreds of thousands (or even more) members and how the Catholic Church lays claim to a billion or so members. Trace how yours spread over time and why you couldn't convert even close to as many people as the Catholic Church has. Be sure to explain why you couldn't convert more people especially considering that your doctrines generally appear more "pleasant" (e.g. little is required, salvation is 'guaranteed', divorce may be tolerated, etc.), whereas Catholic doctrines are more demanding (e.g. much is required, salvation is not guaranteed and must be worked for, divorce is not tolerated, etc.). And let's not forget that various countries which had been Catholic "were taken by Muslims by force".

* If your 'church' was the true Church, why is it that your 'church' has not always existed?

* If your 'church' was the true Church, why is it that your 'church' only exists in limited areas?

* If your 'church' was the true Church, why is it that when your 'church' goes to 'evangelize' in other countries, you find that Catholics are already there?

* If yourself or a loved one became possessed by Satan (yes, it really is biblical and it really does happen!), why is it that you would probably (at least at some point) end up going to the Catholic Church for help? It is because you know that Christ gave the Church the power to perform exorcisms? Or would it be, like so many others, that you discovered that others were simply ineffective at driving out Satan, where as the Catholic Church has a proven record of success?

* Speaking of Satan, why is it that your non-Catholic 'church' makes light of Catholics' use of holy water, when the devil himself hates it? 

* How can your 'church' be true when it is wholly incapable of unity in doctrine?

* How can your 'church' be true when it teaches things so contrary to Scripture?

"Jesus Christ says: 'Hear the Church' (Cf. Mt. 18:17). 'No,' says Protestantism, 'do not hear the Church; protest against her with all your might.' Jesus Christ says: 'If any one will not hear the Church, look upon him as a heathen and a publican' (Mt. 18:17). 'No,' says Protestantism, 'if any one does not hear the Church, look upon him as an Apostle, as an ambassador of God.' Jesus Christ says: 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against my Church' (Mt. 16:18). 'No,' says Protestantism, 'it is false; the gates of hell have prevailed against the Church for a thousand years and more.' Jesus Christ has declared St. Peter, and every successor to St. Peter - the Pope - to be his Vicar on earth (Mt. 16:18, Jn. 21:15-17). 'No,' says Protestantism, 'the pope is the Antichrist.' Jesus Christ says: 'My yoke is sweet, and my burden is light' (Mt. 11:30). 'No,' said Luther and Calvin; 'it is impossible to keep the commandments.' Jesus Christ says: 'If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.' (Mt. 19:17) 'No,' said Luther and Calvin, 'faith alone, without good works, is sufficient to enter life everlasting.' Jesus Christ says: 'Unless you do penance, you shall all likewise perish' (Lk. 13:3). 'No,' says Protestantism, 'fasting and other works of penance are not necessary in satisfaction for sin.' Jesus Christ says: 'This is my body' (Mt. 26:26, Mk. 14:22, Lk. 22:19, Jn. 6:55). 'No,' said Calvin, 'this is only the figure of Christ's body; it will become his body as soon as you receive it.' Jesus Christ says: 'I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another, committeth adultery, and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery' (Mt. 19:9). 'No,' says Protestantism to a married man, 'you may put away your wife, get a divorce, and marry another.' Jesus Christ says to every man: 'Thou shalt not steal' (Mt. 19:18). 'No,' said Luther to secular princes, 'I give you the right to appropriate to yourselves the property of the Roman Catholic Church.' The Holy Ghost says in Holy Scripture: 'Man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love or hatred' (Eccl. 9:1). 'Who can say, My heart is clean, I am pure from sin?' (Prov. 20:9); and, 'Work out your salvation with fear and trembling' (Philip. 2:12). 'No,' said Luther and Calvin, 'but whosoever believes in Jesus Christ is in the state of grace.' St. Paul says: 'If I should have faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing' (1 Cor. 13:2). 'No,' said Luther and Calvin, 'faith alone is sufficient to save us.' St. Peter says that in the Epistles of St. Paul there are many things 'hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as also the other Scriptures, to their own perdition' (2 Pt. 3:16). 'No,' says Protestantism, 'the Scriptures are very plain and easy to understand.' St. James says: 'Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord' (Jms. 5:14). 'No,' says Protestantism, 'that is a vain and useless ceremony.' Being thus impious enough to make liars of Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and the Apostles, need we wonder if they continually slander Catholics, telling and believing worse absurdities about them than the heathens did?" (Muller)

* Why is it that you reject the Catholic Church based on what you've learned from bad or apostate Catholics (e.g. Luther and his cohorts), rather than from good Catholics? Would you go to a 'divorced' person to learn the truth about their spouse? Would you really expect them to give you an unbiased account? Would it not be wiser to corroborate what you have heard from one who was not an enemy of the Church?

* If the so-called 'Reformation' was such a good thing, why did it "let loose every passion"? Why were so many killed? Why has it resulted in the secularization of society? Why did it result in the destruction of centuries of Christian treasures?

* If the so-called "Reformation" was good, why is it that "Protestantism has done more harm to the Christian faith than bad Catholics ever did"?

* If Protestantism is true, why is it that Protestants have often been on the (bloody!) offensive against the Catholic Church? Does this seem like true Christianity?

* If Protestantism is true, why is it "actually based on the denial of religious truth" rather than being a positive set of doctrines? (Even its very name indicates this fact - Protestant)

* In Protestantism, how can any conflicts ever be resolved considering that you recognize no authority? And if you did recognize one, it would only be right to ask "By whose authority?" 

* Why is it that you can go anywhere and find a catechism with the Catholic Church's teachings and not yours? Where can one find your 'church's' teachings? Are these teachings comprehensive and available in their entirety to the whole world? And, they have been available since what year? And there have been no changes since the beginning? 

* Why is it that "Protestantism seems to be based on the premise that there is no real truth"?

* Why is it that Protestantism often essentially "throws out" so much of the Old Testament (except for some comforting psalms and such)? Do you not consider that it was written by the Holy Spirit - by the unchangeable God! That it was a prelude to - and is necessary to interpreting - the New Testament?

* Why is it that Protestantism pays little attention to Satan, despite the fact that the Bible says that the struggle is with evil spirits (Eph. 6:12), that the devil is prowling around looking for someone to devour (1 Pt. 5:8), that the whole world is under power of the evil one (1 Jn. 5:19), and that the devil wages war against those who keep the commandments and bear witness to Jesus (Rv. 12:17)? Further, "How would you ever know if you were in the hands of the ancient enemy - seeing as you author your own faith?" 

* Since Scripture says that "those who belong to Christ (Jesus) have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:24), why does Protestantism not practice - or seem to reject (or openly reject) - mortification?

* Why is it that Protestants "live in the 'Great Now'" - why is it that all which is old seems to get ignored? Is it because the Catholic Church has a glorious past (including the overcoming of incredible obstacles, enemies, attacks, combats, etc.), and your 'church' simply has no past (at least no more than a few hundred years)? 

* Why is it that Protestants often fail to often contemplate the sufferings of Christ, despite St. Paul's admission that "I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2)?

* How is it that your Protestant 'church' can claim to be the true one when it is clear that as a result of Protestantism, the sanctity of marriage has been so greatly harmed? In fact, your whole 'church' may have started in defiance of the Catholic Church's rejection of divorce (e.g. Anglicans)!

* Why is it that Protestants often prefer to argue against their opponent rather than arguing the facts?

* Why is it that Protestants so often appeal to emotion rather than to reason in their arguments?

* Why is it that non-Catholics who call themselves 'Christians' wouldn't even know about Baptism - or even Jesus Christ - if it wasn't for the Catholic Church? How can your 'church' be the only true one if it had to learn any truths that it does know from the Catholic Church?

* If your 'church' is true and the Catholic Church is false, why is it that you use the Catholic Church's calendar? Why do you accept the Catholic dating system of A.D. and B.C.? Why is it you celebrate Easter on the date established by the Catholic Church? And Christmas on December 25? Remember that the setting of Easter dates was controversial, so surely if your 'church' was around, you should be able to prove it and show how you have come to set the Easter date.

* Why is it that some Protestants recite the Apostles' Creed, despite the fact that it references "the holy Catholic Church"?

* Does it not trouble you to base your religion on the Bible - a practice that is not Biblical or historical? In fact, it is clear that "the Bible can be twisted to say anything"!

* If Protestantism is true, why is it that so many Protestants reject hell or explain it away? The bible couldn't be any clearer that there is an eternal hell! Do you suppose that "unpleasant truths" will just disappear if they are rejected? Or do you imagine that one's disbelief will actually cause a truth presented by Jesus to be untrue?

* How can your 'church' be true if it didn't exist continually, and visibly since Christ? How then do you argue that persons could have been saved throughout history if your supposedly 'true church' wasn't even in existence for part (most!) of that time?

* How can your 'church' be the true one when all non-Catholics who call themselves 'Christian' are, ultimately, break offs from the Catholic Church?

* If your 'church' is true, where have your leaders been shown to fight for the integrity of the faith? We can show you document upon document of our popes doing this for thousands of years!

* If your faith existed from the first century, show us all your anathemas dating from then. We can see heresies creeping up even in biblical times, so you surely should have some records of anathemas, as is biblical.

* Why is it your 'church', if it is true, uses a bible that rejects books that weren't rejected by Christ or the Apostles (the deuterocanonical books)? If Christ and the Apostles used them, why do you consider them unacceptable? 

* Why does your 'church', if it is true, use a bible that has evident mistranslations? For example, it is commonly known that Luther added the word "only" to Romans 3:28 to support his newly created "faith alone" doctrine. And, even if your 'church' does not use such a bible now, why has it used one in the past, if it is the true church? "Add nothing to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver." (Prov. 30:6)

* What, exactly, is it that makes you think your 'church' is God's? Did He establish it or was it founded by men? Does He guide it and promise it will be there forever? What exactly do you base your claim on? And, how can this be supported with actual evidence, and not mere opinion?

* If your 'church' is the true Church, why do your 'pastors' teach different doctrines? Why is it that Christ has one flock, yet you "have many flocks, many shepherds!" Why is it that Scripture speaks of unity and a single faith, whereas you have disagreement and a variety of doctrines? And further, why is it that you call your leaders 'pastors'? Where did you get this term? Did you know it is Latin for shepherd? Since when did your 'church' take on Latin? Everyone knows that the use and preservation of Latin is due to the Catholic Church! "During the ages of faith, the Church (which is the only source of all true progress), succeeded in giving one common language to all the nations that were in union with her. For centuries, the Latin language was the bond of union between civilized countries. However distant these might be from one another, there was this link of connexion between them; it was the medium of communication for political negotiations, for the spread of science, or for friendly epistolary correspondence. No one was a stranger, in any part of the west, or even beyond it, who could speak this language. The great heresy of the sixteenth century robbed us of this as of so many other blessings; it dismembered that Europe which the Church had united, not only by her faith, but by her language." (Dom Gueranger)

* If your 'church' was the true Church, where exactly were you all those centuries? Remember that "the mission of Christ is to save that which had perished: that is to say, not some nations or peoples, but the whole human race, without distinction of time or place." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896) If your 'church' was the true Church, its absence for so many years is wholly unexplainable and indefensible. 

* If you attempt to claim that your religion has existed since Christ, you would certainly have records of meetings with kings and emperors over the last 2,000 years. Why can you not produce such records? Why is it that they had never heard of you?

* If you attempt to claim that your religion has existed since Christ, kindly explain where you were when it was Catholics fighting the enemies of Christendom. Show us where your battles happened, show us remnants of your ancient armor... Of course, we know, you can't - because your Protestant 'church' wasn't there. In fact, the entire Christian religion would have been taken over if not for the defense of it by Catholics. So you owe the Catholic Church not only for your knowledge of Christ, for the Bible, but also for the survival of Christianity and for the fact that many of your ancestors were free from Muslim domination. Remember that they brutally, savagely, conquered, slaughtered, and taunted Christians. They "took over lands, forced conversions, and laid waste all that came across their path." And again we ask, where were you?

* If your 'church' existed in the earliest centuries, why have you no record of communications with (or against) the Catholic Church for these early years? You must know that "there is no chance that both totally ignored each other."

* If your 'church' has existed since Christ, where were you when the dating system was changed by the Catholic Church to the A.D./B.C. system? Did you approve of it or protest it? What do your records say? Or, are there no records? Where, again we ask, were you?

* If your 'church' has existed since Christ, where were you when the Catholic Church coined the term "Trinity"? Do you use this term now? If so, why do you allow the Catholic Church to determine the most important things - such as the Holy Trinity & the divinity of Christ - if you claim yours is the 'true church'?

* If your religion was the true one, why are your teachings opposed to those of the earliest Christians - those who learned from the Apostles?

* Why do you accuse the Catholic Church of a "great apostasy" when it is you that has changed the faith? The earliest Christians accepted the full bible, the Holy Eucharist, the hierarchical priesthood, the primacy of the pope...

* How can you accuse the Catholic Church of a "great apostasy" when she is the only one who still opposes abortion, contraception, female 'priests', homosexuality...? Why is it that your 'church' used to hold the biblical view on such topics, but has since relaxed its position on some or all of these issues? Do you deny that God is unchanging?

* Why do you accuse the Catholic Church of a "great apostasy" when Christ says that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church? (see Mt. 16:18) Do you imagine that Christ was wrong? That He didn't live up to His promise? Is this not blasphemous?!

* Why is it that you consider your 'church' to be the true one when Christ said he will build His Church on Peter, when He said that he will give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, that what Peter holds bound on earth is held bound in heaven? Do you imagine that Christ built many churches? That there are many sets of keys to heaven? 

* Why is it that you consider your 'church' to be the true one when you cannot rightfully reject any other sect of Protestantism - if they can interpret for themselves like you can, what gives you the power to say you are right and they are wrong?

* Considering that the Bible says to "... tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector" (Mt. 18:17), it is clear that there is only one body that is "the church". By what stretch of the imagination do you believe this is referring to your 'church' - which didn't even exist when Scripture was written?

* If you criticize the Catholic Church for "bad behavior", how exactly is it that you excuse Luther's very bad behavior?

Martin Luther: "I burn with a thousand flames in my unsubdued flesh: I feel myself carried on with a rage towards women that approaches madness. I, who ought to be fervent in spirit, am only fervent in impurity." (Table Talk)

"Luther also exempted himself from a literal interpretation of the commandment against lying, for he publicly averred that it was perfectly acceptable to 'tell a good thumping lie' if it benefited Christianity" (Crocker) 

Luther wanted the Ten Commandments to be removed "out of sight and heart". He called them "stupid" and said that, "If we allow them - the Commandments - any influence in our conscience, they become the cloak of all evil, heresies and blasphemies." (Comm. ad Galat., P. 310)

"Luther advised that bigamy was preferable to divorce. In a similar spirit, he advised a venereal German prince that, given the example of the patriarchs in the Old Testament, bigamy was acceptable for a Christian, and the prince could pursue it, but Luther told the prince to keep his advice quiet. He also advised, in writing, that, contrary to Catholic teaching, marriage was not a sacrament, and an impotent could by all rights allow another man to sleep with his wife." (Crocker) 

Martin Luther: "Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders." (Martin Luther, as quoted by Crocker)

"Luther overthrew a system of belief developed over fifteen centuries on the basis of his personal interpretation of Romans 3:28: 'For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.' St. Paul was arguing against those who wished to impose upon Christians the ceremonial laws of the Jews, as is made clear from the next verse in which he asks: 'Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles also?' By no possible stretch of the imagination can the Greek words be translated 'by faith alone,' and so Luther added the 'alone' on his own authority." (Davies)

"Luther hid for a year in a castle in Wartburg, Germany, where he lost himself in massive bouts of eating and drinking, pausing occasionally to wrestle with the devil in a paroxysm of delusion, engaging him in battle by f*** [intestinal gas]. He also translated the Bible into German, rewriting passages so that they expounded Lutheran doctrine - for instance by adding the world 'alone' after the word 'faith' in Romans 3:28. His daily prayers were rather unique as well. In Luther's words, 'I am unable to pray without at the same time cursing. If I am prompted to say: 'hallowed be Thy name,' I must add: 'cursed, damned, outraged by the name of the papists.' If I am prompted to say: 'Thy Kingdom come,' I must perforce add: 'cursed, damned, destroyed be the papacy.'" (Crocker) [Note: For reasons of propriety, we have substituted asterisks for actual text above.]

"Read Luther's work against 'the Mass and the Ordination of Priests' where he tells of his famous disputation with the 'Father of Lies' who accosted him at 'midnight' and spoke to him with a 'deep, powerful voice', causing 'the sweat to break forth' from his brow and his 'heart to tremble and beat.' In that celebrated conference of which he was an unexceptionable witness and about which he never entertained the slightest doubt, he says plainly and unmistakingly that 'the devil spoke against the Mass, and Mary and the Saints' and that, moreover, Satan gave him the most unqualified approval of his doctrine on justification by faith alone.' Who now, we ask in all sincerity, can be found, except those appallingly blind to truth, to accept such a man, approved by the enemy of souls, as a spiritual teacher and entrust to his guidance their eternal welfare?" (Msgr. O'Hare)

"Martin Luther, was originally a servant of the Church, though not out of a sense of fidelity or spiritual calling. He became a monk to escape and affront his abusive parents - both of whom beat him severely. Luther's father was not a Catholic, but an occultist who believed in darker Germanic witches, hobgoblins, and demons. These would also haunt the imagination of Martin Luther who had visions, which he believed to be actual physical occurrences, of the devil hurling 's***' [a bowel movement] at him and his hurling it back. Indeed, in one of his many anal combats with the devil - in which Luther would challenge the devil to 'lick' his posterior - Luther thought the best tactic might be to 'throw him into my anus, where he belongs.' ... [I]t is not surprising that...Luther conducted his business while defecating. His 'thunderbolt' idea that faith alone was sufficient for salvation came, in his own words, as 'knowledge the Holy Spirit gave me on the privy in the tower.' But Luther had brains, was ordained a priest, and became of doctor of theology. Initially, he was so thoroughly in favor of the papacy that he professed his desire to be 'the most brutal murderer' on the pope's behalf and 'to kill all who even by a syllable refused submission to the pope'. Of course, this was while he was also disregarding the guidance of his confessor, the rules of his monastery, and traditional Catholic teaching in his excessive forms of penance and refusal to believe that he had been absolved of sin. Luther was prone to panic attacks. He could not look upon a crucifix. He tried to avoid performing a Mass or being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. His life was one continual terror of damnation." (Crocker) [Note: For reasons of propriety, we have substituted asterisks for actual text above.]

"Having sparked a revolution, Luther now became a reactionary, penning his finest work - Against the Murdering, Thieving Hordes of Peasants - as well as other insightful books of social instruction. Luther commanded the noblemen who were gathering troops for a counterthrust to 'brandish their swords, to free, save, help and pity the poor people forced to join the peasants - but the wicked, smite, stab and slay all you can.' A prince he wrote, can now 'win heaven more easily by bloodshed than by prayer'. ... The peasants' ears, he wrote, 'must be unbuttoned with bullets, till their heads jump off their shoulders... He who will not hear God's word when it is spoken with kindness must listen to the headsman when he comes with his axe.' ... More than 130,000 of the peasantry - let alone people of other classes - died in two years of civil war (1524 to 1526). That is sixty five times the number of deaths the Spanish Inquisition claimed in its first ten - and by far its worst - years. According to the historian William Manchester, the number of German dead doubles to more than a quarter of a million if one includes the years 1523 and 1527. Fifty thousand peasants were refugees. Tens of thousands of other Germans counted the costs in their ruined cities, towns, and countryside - or in those maimed, tortured, and wounded by the peasants and their subduers. True terror was to be found less in the inquisitorial courts of Spain than wherever Protestant reformers did their work." (Crocker)

This is the person you are following?! (Note that all Protestants ultimately owe their 'church' to Martin Luther.) You really think this man is an ambassador of God?!

* Given the person and doctrine of Martin Luther, is it really so surprising what tragedies have occurred as a result of his uprising? Yet you glory that Protestantism is "true Christianity"? What do you claim are Protestantism's main contributions to society? Do you not realize that its true contributions include bloodshed, loss of faith, relativization of truth [Protestantism has had "a corrosive effect on the very idea of religious truth" (Crocker)], the loss of precious Christian treasures, and the secularization of society?

"Since Luther's break with the Church the main Protestant contribution to civilization had been the bloodiest peasant uprising in the history of Europe (1524-1526), devastating Germany." (Crocker)

"Protestants dislodged the pope as a serious force in European politics, established the irrelevance of religion to power, ushered in four centuries of skepticism, and marginalized Christianity to an increasingly narrow and personalized sphere. The Age of Faith was over." (Crocker)

"Luther was right about one thing: His sundering of Christendom had opened Pandora's box, and out flew endless phantasmagoric Protestant sects - a process continuing today. If Protestants wanted primitive Christianity, they succeeded at least in reestablishing the chaos of the early centuries of the Church when innumerable heresies contested with Rome and the apostolic faith. In Protestant countries, the one brake against a repetition of German's peasants' war was the forceful intervention of the state. Princes who seized Church lands and the spoils of the monasteries designed the new Protestant settlement of the state controlled churches. Thus it happened in the Scandinavian countries, in the Protestant areas of Germany, and eventually in England." (Crocker) 

"Luther and Calvin had called this Holy Church the harlot of Babylon; and yet she had, at that very time, such children as Teresa of Spain, and Philip Neri of Rome, to offer to the admiration of mankind. But Protestantism cared little or nothing for piety or charity; its great object was the throwing off the yoke of restraint. Under pretence of religious liberty, it persecuted them that adhered to the truth faith; it forced itself by violence where it could not enter by seduction; but it never aimed at or thought of leading men to love their God. The result was that wheresoever it imposed its errors, devotedness was at an end - we mean that devotedness which leads man to make sacrifices for God or for his neighbor." (Dom Gueranger) 

"Until Luther, all believers accepted the sacrament of penance - of making restitution: either by a fine with an indulgence, or by fasting and prayer, or by accepting service in the Crusades, or so on. It has been a keystone of Christendom, a discipline that had made even mighty monarchs perform pilgrimages on their knees. It had been one of the greatest motivating factors of the public piety of the Middle Ages, making it the Age of Faith. Its spirit was compellingly captured by Shakespeare in his play Henry V, when the king pleads with God to remember his works - not his faith alone - on behalf of the Church before the battle of Agincourt... But with Luther, a murderer could raise his bloodstained hands to heaven and say, 'Thank God I'm a Christian.' If the murderer was one of the 'elect' - for Luther believed in predestination - he was assuredly saved. The murderer, in any event, was not responsible for his actions, because Luther, unlike the Catholic Church, denied that man had free will. These ideas of Luther were, as history would show, extremely dangerous." (Crocker)

"Bossuet wanted to make it easy for Protestants to return to the Catholic faith. He conceded Catholic faults but showed how minor they were when compared to the theological chaos of Protestantism. In fact, he wrote a four-volume treatise - History of the Variations of Protestant Churches - that brought scholarly objectivity and rhetorical demolition to the Protestant sects. He readily admitted the religious sincerity of the Reformers, just as readily shot to pieces their arguments, and illustrated how they had ruined Europe with war and set loose an intellectual virus that led to atheism. He also wanted to illustrate how Protestants could in good conscience reconcile themselves to the Church - the one Church whose teachings had remained unaltered for sixteen hundred years. By restoring her unity, they would restore Christian strength. It was a tour de force, which could not be gainsaid, though many Protestants tried. All it lacked was what the Reformers had - pikes and guns and leaders who could direct them in a personally enriching nationalist cause. Instead, the pikes and guns would soon be in the hands of the enemy Bossuet predicted. The French Catholic Church would face atheism-in-arms." (Crocker) 

"Protestantism was established and rooted by the shedding of torrents of blood; and yet Protestants count it as a great crime that, here and there, the children of the true Church made an armed resistance against them. The heresy of the sixteenth century was the cruel and untiring persecutor of men, whose only crime was their adhesion to the old faith - the faith that had civilized the world. The so-called Reformation proclaimed liberty in matters of religion, and massacred Catholics who exercised this liberty, and prayed and believed as their ancestors had done for long ages before Luther and Calvin were born. A Catholic who gives heretics credit for sincerity when they talk about religious toleration, proves that he knows nothing of either the past or the present. There is a fatal instinct in error, which leads it to hate the Truth; and the true Church, by its unchangeableness, is a perpetual reproach to them that refuse to be her children. Heresy starts with an attempt to annihilate them that remain faithful; when it has grown tired of open persecution it vents its spleen in insults and calumnies; and when these do not produce the desired effect, hypocrisy comes in with its assurances of friendly forbearance. The History of Protestant Europe, during the last three centuries, confirms these statements" (Dom Gueranger, 19th century A.D.) 

* While Luther took issue with the Catholic Church over certain abuses, an honest assessment of the fruits of Catholicism vs. the fruits of Protestantism shows the Catholic Church to be the true benefactor of humanity, whereas Protestantism has carried a train of evils. "By their fruits you will know them... A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them." (Mt. 7:16, 18-20)

"Wherever the [Catholic] Church was listened to she changed the lives of all men for the better." (Curran)

"It may be said in all truth that the [Catholic] Church, like Christ, goes through the centuries doing good to all." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris", 1937)

"Indeed, in all ages the Catholic clergy has distinguished itself in every field of human knowledge; in fact, in certain centuries it so took the lead in the field of learning that the word 'cleric' became synonymous with 'learned.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935)

"The Church, truly, to our great benefit, has carefully preserved the monuments of ancient wisdom; has opened everywhere homes of science, and has urged on intellectual progress by fostering most diligently the arts by which the culture of our age is so much advanced." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888)

"The Church...carries civilization with it, wheresoever it goes, for it carries with it the true notion of God and of the supernatural end of man. Barbarism recedes; pagan institutions, how ancient soever they may be, are forced to give way. Even Greece and Rome laid down their own laws to adopt those of the Christian code - the code which was based on the Gospel." (Dom Gueranger)

"[T]he Church, whilst directly and immediately aiming at the salvation of souls and the beatitude which is to be attained in heaven, is yet, even in the order of temporal things, the fountain of blessings so numerous and great that they could not have been greater or more numerous had the original purpose of her institution been the pursuit of happiness during the life which is spent on earth." (Pope Leo XIII, "Longinqua", 1895)

"The Catholic Church, that imperishable handiwork of our all-merciful God, has for her immediate and natural purpose the saving of souls and securing our happiness in heaven. Yet, in regard to things temporal, she is the source of benefits as manifold and great as if the chief end of her existence were to ensure the prospering of our earthly life. And, indeed, wherever the Church has set her foot she has straightway changed the face of things, and has attempered the moral tone of the people with a new civilization and with virtues before unknown. All nations which have yielded to her sway have become eminent by their gentleness, their sense of justice, and the glory of their high deeds." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)

"So powerful, so conspicuous, in this respect is the influence of the Church that experience abundantly testifies how savage customs are no longer possible in any land where she has once set her foot; but that gentleness speedily takes the place of cruelty, and the light of truth quickly dispels the darkness of barbarism. Nor has the Church been less lavish in the benefits she has conferred on civilized nations in every age, either by resisting the tyranny of the wicked, or by protecting the innocent and helpless from injury, or, finally, by using her influence in the support of any form of government which commended itself to the citizens at home, because of its justice, or was feared by their enemies without, because of its power." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888)

"The Church, moreover, intervenes directly in behalf of the poor, by setting on foot and maintaining many associations which she knows to be efficient for the relief of poverty. Herein, again, she has always succeeded so well as to have even extorted the praise of her enemies... The common Mother of rich and poor has aroused everywhere the heroism of charity, and has established congregations of religious and many other useful institutions for help and mercy, so that hardly any kind of suffering could exist which was not afforded relief. At the present day many there are who, like the heathen of old, seek to blame and condemn the Church for such eminent charity. They would substitute in its stead a system of relief organized by the State. But no human expedients will ever make up for the devotedness and self-sacrifice of Christian charity. Charity, as a virtue, pertains to the Church; for virtue it is not, unless it be drawn from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ; and whosoever turns his back on the Church cannot be near to Christ." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891)

"Again, if We consider the achievements of the see of Rome, what can be more wicked than to deny how much and how well the Roman bishops have served civilized society at large? For Our predecessors, to provide for the peoples' good, encountered struggles of every kind, endured to the utmost burdensome toils, and never hesitated to expose themselves to most dangerous trials. With eyes fixed on heaven, they neither bowed down their head before the threats of the wicked, nor allowed themselves to be led by flattery or bribes into unworthy compliance. This apostolic chair it was that gathered and held together the crumbling remains of the old order of things; this was the kindly light by whose help the culture of Christian times shone far and wide; this was an anchor of safety in the fierce storms by which the human race has been convulsed; this was the sacred bond of union that linked together nations distant in region and differing in character; in short, this was a common center from which was sought instruction in faith and religion, no less than guidance and advice for the maintenance of peace and the functions of practical life. In very truth it is the glory of the supreme Pontiffs that they steadfastly set themselves up as a wall and a bulwark to save human society from falling back into its former superstition and barbarism." (Pope Leo XIII, "Inscrutabili Dei Consilio", 1878)

"It must consequently be acknowledged that the Church has deserved exceedingly well of all nations by her ever watchful care in guarding the sanctity and the indissolubility of marriage. Again, no small amount of gratitude is owing to her for having, during the last hundred years, openly denounced the wicked laws which have grievously offended on this particular subject; as well as for her having branded with anathema the baneful heresy obtaining among Protestants touching divorce and separation; also, for having in many ways condemned the habitual dissolution of marriage among the Greeks; for having declared invalid all marriages contracted upon the understanding that they may be at some future time dissolved; and, lastly, for having, from the earliest times, repudiated the imperial laws which disastrously favored divorce. As often, indeed, as the supreme pontiffs have resisted the most powerful among rulers, in their threatening demands that divorces carried out by them should be confirmed by the Church, so often must we account them to have been contending for the safety, not only of religion, but also of the human race. For this reason all generations of men will admire the proofs of unbending courage which are to be found in the decrees of Nicholas I against Lothair; of Urban II and Paschal II against Philip I of France; of Celestine III and Innocent III against Alphonsus of Leon and Philip II of France; of Clement VII and Paul III against Henry VIII; and, lastly, of Pius VII, that holy and courageous pontiff, against Napoleon I" (Pope Leo XIII, "Arcanum", 1880)

"There was once a time when States were governed by the philosophy of the Gospel. Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions, and morals of the people, permeating all ranks and relations of civil society. Then, too, the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, established firmly in befitting dignity, flourished everywhere, by the favor of princes and the legitimate protection of magistrates; and Church and State were happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices. The State, constituted in this wise, bore fruits important beyond all expectation, whose remembrance is still, and always will be, in renown, witnessed to as they are by countless proofs which can never be blotted out or ever obscured by any craft of any enemies. Christian Europe has subdued barbarous nations, and changed them from a savage to a civilized condition, from superstition to true worship. It victoriously rolled back the tide of Mohammedan conquest; retained the headship of civilization; stood forth in the front rank as the leader and teacher of all, in every branch of national culture; bestowed on the world the gift of true and many-sided liberty; and most wisely founded very numerous institutions for the solace of human suffering. And if we inquire how it was able to bring about so altered a condition of things, the answer is - beyond all question - in large measure, through [the Catholic] religion, under whose auspices so many great undertakings were set on foot, through whose aid they were brought to completion." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)

"Now, who would make bold to deny that the Church, by spreading the Gospel throughout the nations, has brought the light of truth amongst people utterly savage and steeped in foul superstition, and has quickened them alike to recognize the Divine Author of nature and duly to respect themselves? Further, who will deny that the Church has done away with the curse of slavery and restored men to the original dignity of their noble nature; and - by uplifting the standard of redemption in all quarters of the globe, by introducing, or shielding under her protection, the sciences and arts, by founding and taking into her keeping excellent charitable institutions which provide relief for ills of every kind - has throughout the world, in private or in public life, civilized the human race, freed it from degradation, and with all care trained it to a way of living such as befits the dignity and the hopes of man? And if any one of sound mind compare the age in which We live, so hostile to religion and to the Church of Christ, with those happy times when the Church was revered as a mother by the nations, beyond all question he will see that our epoch is rushing wildly along the straight road to destruction; while in those times which most abounded in excellent institutions, peaceful life, wealth, and prosperity the people showed themselves most obedient to the Church's rule and laws. Therefore, if the many blessings We have mentioned, due to the agency and saving help of the Church, are the true and worthy outcome of civilization, the Church of Christ, far from being alien to or neglectful of progress, has a just claim to all men's praise as its nurse, its mistress, and its mother." (Pope Leo XIII, "Inscrutabili Dei Consilio", 1878)

"It is often said - by Catholics as well as Protestants - that the Church of the Renaissance was crying out for reform with its abuse of indulgences, its sale of Church offices, the laughable mass market for false relics, the nepotism that appointed children as cardinals, the low standard of morality and education for much of the clergy, and so on. All that might be true, but it is also possible to exaggerate the Church's corruption and to neglect to mention its unchanging orthodoxy, its care for the sick and the poor, its leadership of Europe, its restraint on government power, and its patronage of the arts and learning." (Crocker) 

"Most of all, as we see with Luther, we need to remember that it was not the Catholic Church of the Renaissance that freely forgave adultery and murder, let alone a hundred times, merely on the grounds that the sinner was a professed Christian. Whatever the shameful traffic in indulgences to raise money for the Church, at a minimum even the purchaser of an indulgence had to confess these crimes against man and God to a priest. The indulgence only relieved him of the otherwise obligatory penance." (Crocker) 

While certain abuses have occurred in the Catholic Church, such abuses cannot be a justification for the overthrow of the Church any more than Judas' betrayal of Jesus justifies apostasy from Jesus. Further, it may be argued that the rebellion against the Catholic Church had less to do with abuses but was rather motivated by greed and the desire to do whatever one wanted (e.g. to throw off the restraint of authority) - those who fought the Church often despoiled her of her possessions and pursued sinful lifestyles (even Erasmus considered that the revolt had 'but two objects at heart,' 'money and women'). Why is it Protestants complain about how Catholics have acted, but ignore how Protestants have acted? Why is it that they complain about some bloodshed in her past, but not see the great bloodshed that the Protestant Rebellion is responsible for? When condemning the Catholic Church for certain abuses of her members, why not (1) compare her many outstanding fruits throughout the ages with the many bitter fruits of Protestantism, and (2) compare her fruits to what would have occurred without her.

* Does it not trouble you that the Protestant Revolt essentially places the theology of a single, unbalanced man like Luther against many centuries of Christian teaching? Do you really believe that all those Christians for hundreds of years misunderstood what Christ taught - even those who knew the apostles? Those who were martyred? All those highly intellectual and spiritual persons over many hundreds of years? But now, suddenly, Luther grasped what "true Christianity" was? How could Christ allow so many generations - in fact, most of Christianity - to remain in the dark? How could Christ allow this even despite His promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church (cf. Mt. 16:18)? Why would Christ pick a troubled man like Luther to correct this supposed error? And how do you suppose Luther acquired this knowledge? Does it not trouble you that Luther admits he had discussions with the devil? Do you really consider Luther to be infallible? Did you know that Luther himself had misgivings about his actions?

"Luther's advocates might, if their eyes are not filmed, read with profit the following words which their master penned when he had genuine misgivings at the outset of his apostasy. 'How many times,' he writes, 'have I not asked myself with bitterness the same question which the Papists put me: Art thou alone wise? Darest thou imagine that all mankind have been in error for so long a series of years? I am not so bold as to assert that I have been guided in this affair by God. How will it be, if, after all, it is thou thyself who art wrong, and art thou involving in error so many souls who will then be eternally damned?' (Latin Works, Weim. ed., 8, p. 411 seq.).'" (Msgr. O'Hare) (emphasis added) 

In conclusion, we ask you to consider (1) whether your 'church' really could be true, and (2) what the consequences might be of adhering to a false 'church'. To this end, please:

* Look critically at how your 'church' was formed and by who (it really does matter!)

* Consider carefully how it is impossible for a true religion to be invented by mere men. Clearly, the true Church must begin with Christ.

* Look critically and objectively at the entire history of your 'church' (do not just consider documents put forward by your denomination).

* Look critically at the basic tenets of your faith. Consider how well they compare with biblical instructions, as well as what evil consequences they may lead to. Consider whether all members of your 'church' assent to these tenets and whether they have always held the same tenets or if they have changed over time.

* Using Scripture, carefully consider which looks more like Christ's church. Is your 'church' unified? Is it under one shepherd? 

* Compare the historical evidence against your 'church - do your 'church's' teachings agree with those of Apostolic times? Do you have merely claims that your 'church' existed since the time of the apostles or do you have concrete proof?

* Consider your views on the role of the Catholic Church throughout history as well as her claim to be the one true Church. How can it be that she apostatized in light of Christ's promise (Mt. 16:18)? How is it that she can prove that her doctrines trace back to apostolic times if she has apostatized? How can you say she has apostatized but you still accept her Bible, her doctrines (e.g. the Trinity), her holidays (e.g. Easter, Christmas)? Why can she show you ancient bibles, ancient churches, ancient documents, accounts of ancient martyrdoms, relics of the apostles...? Why is it that she has the martyrs, the miracles, the virgins? If you have been told evil things about the Catholic Church, who have you learned them from? Do you know what the Church's explanation is? Do you hold the mistakes of certain persons against the Church as a whole? If so, then where do you put the blame for Judas' betrayal, Peter's denial, the other apostles' abandonment of Jesus - on the individuals or on Jesus' Church? 

Do not be surprised if "the more you honestly and objectively examine your non-Catholic faith, the more you become convinced that it's false." Remember, you have a duty get all the facts and that those who reject the one and only Church established by Christ are rejecting Christ himself (cf. Lk. 10:16). Truly, the Catholic Church "is not just one church among others - it is the one and only TRUE church among many false 'churches'."

"The Catholic Church was recognized by the whole Christian world as the true Church of God for fifteen consecutive centuries. No man can halt at the end of those 1,500 years and say that the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ without embarrassing himself seriously." (Catholic Convert, Former Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli) 

"The Catholic Church herself is an historic fact. Like a great mountain-range she bestrides the history of the past two thousand years. Whatever may be the attitude adopted towards her, it is impossible to escape her." (Pope Pius XII)

"Christ, speaking of the mystical edifice, mentions only one Church, which he calls His own - 'I will build my church;' any other Church except this one, since it has not been founded by Christ, cannot be the true Church." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

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As many faithful Catholics already know, the majestic Latin language – the 'official language' of the Catholic Church – promotes unity, helps safeguard the purity of doctrine, connects us with our Catholic ancestors, allows us to pray in "one voice", and even ties back to the inscription on the Cross which was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Latin language is still used today in the precious treasure that is the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass, in 'everyday speech' (much of English is derived from Latin), in mottos, in specialized fields, and in educational endeavors. It has been shown that the study of Latin brings many benefits. "And, Latin is truly the language of heaven!"

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