From INRI To Propaganda, How They Bastardized The Crucifix

 

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The crucifix has been the greatest symbol of the Christian faith, it was through the passion and death of Christ in the crucifix that he gained our redemption. Because of this single greatest act of God he saved his people from the fires of hell. During the early times of Christianity a lot of believers where martyred because they refused to turn there backs from the cross and worship the gods and goddesses of the pagan world.

Saint Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians equates the crucifix to the power of God,

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

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The Catholic Roman Synod Decree On The Canon Of Sacred Scriptures

Whether they accept it or not Protestants relied on the authority of the Catholic Church to know which scriptures are part of the Canon of Sacred Scriptures, and which are not. If it weren’t for the Catholic Church we would not have our Bibles today.  
In 382 A.D Pope Damasus gathered the bishops in Rome in order to form the Canon of Sacred Scriptures which includes the Old and New Testament.

The following is the decree of the Roman Synod concerning the Canon of Scripture.

                                            

                       Acts of the Roman Synod, 382 A.D

Likewise it has been saud: Now indeed we must treat of the divine Scriptures, what the universal Catholic CHurch accepts and what she ought to shun.

The order of the Old Testament begins here:

Genesis one book, Exodus one book, Leviticus one book, Numbers one book, Deuteronomy one book, Josue Nave one book, Judges one book, Ruth one book, Kings four books, Paralipomenon two books, Psalms one book, Solomon three boks, Proverbs one book, Ecclesiastes one book, Canticle of Cantilcles one book, likewise Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus one book.

The order of the Prophets:

Isaias one book, Jeremias one book, Ginoth, that is with his Lamentations, Ezekiel one book, Daniel one book, Osee one book, Michaes one book, Joel one book, Sophonias one book, Aggeus one book, Zacharias one book, Malachias one book.

The order of history:

Job one book, Tobias one book, Esdras two books,, Machabees two books

Order of the writings of the New Testament:

Gospel according to Matthew one book, Mark one book,

The Espistles of Paul

 To the Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, Thessalonians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews

Catholic Espistles

Apocalypse of John, Acts of the Apostles

Canonical epistles

Epistle of Peter, James, John, Jude

The facts of history regarding the origin of the Canon of Sacred Scriptures cannot be twisted, tainted or revised. The Sacred Scriptures did not fall down from heaven whole and intact nor was it compiled by the aposltes themselves. 

The Catholic Church is solely responsible for compiling the canon of Scriptures in 383 A.D in the Synod of Rome.  During this time no Protestant denomination ever existed yet, thus they cannot claim of having any hand in the formation of the canon of Sacred Scriptures.


Better Be An Atheist, Than A Bad Catholic? Nope! Pope Didn’t Say That!

Once again the media misconstrued the words of Pope Francis and made it appear that he uttered such a scandalous remark. Upon reading the entire context of the Pope’s statement, he clearly is not saying what the media wants us to believe.

From Vatican Radio itself, here is what Pope Francis actually said, in context:

“But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others.

“How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down. And this happens every day, it’s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction.”


Do you see it now what the Pope really is saying? 

A Response To A Humanist U.P Professor: Foundation Of The Church

[To unite the entire empire, Emp. Constantine fused three (3) major religions in Rome to form the Roman Catholicism – Mithraism, Sol Invictus and Christianity.]

The premise of this statement suggests that the origin of Catholicism is not Jesus Christ but rather the outcome of uniting three different religions and Catholicism is distinct from Christianity. Such a claim is not historically accurate, it fact it exposes the gross ignorance and lack of scholarship by the person who uttered this statement. It is impossible that Catholicism is an outcome of uniting three religions because 1. Catholicism and Christianity are one and the same, and 2. Catholicism already exists even before Constantine was born. John Schwarz a Protestant authors admits that Catholicism can trace its origin into the time of St. Peter and Paul;

The Church in Rome [Catholic Church] was by far the most important church in Christendom: it was situated in the ancient imperial capital of the empire; it had the largest congregation of Christians; and its roots went back to Peter and Paul, the two greatest saints of the Church.[1]


Common sense tells us that since the roots of Catholicism can be traced back into the time of St. Peter and Paul then the premise that Catholicism is a fusion of three distinct religions is wrong. How can Catholicism be a product of uniting three different religions if it already exists prior to the allege unification of Constantine? The statement also draws a distinction between Christianity and Catholicism, such a distinction do not exists because Christianity is Catholicism and Catholicism is Christianity, Roman Catholicism traces its history to Jesus Christ.[2] The cause of dichotomy between Catholicism and Christianity is a lack of scholarship and knowledge of history akin to all those who opposes Catholicism.

[321 AD: Emp. Constantine declared (1) Sunday, “the day of the Sun” as the day of worship, and (2) moved the birthday of Jesus Christ from January 6 to December 25, the “Natalis Invictus” on Winter Solstice.]

This is another ploy to convince the readers to believe that Constantine has an internal contribution in shaping Catholicism. In fact Constantine’s only contribution to Catholicism is the Edict of Milan which gave Christians a freedom to exercise their belief in public, made Christianity the state religion. However, Constantine made no contribution in its doctrine and practices. Sunday as the day of worship was universally accepted by Christians even before the birth of Constantine. Philip Schaff a noted historian wrote;

 “Sunday… was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship… Sunday was emphatically the weekly feast of the resurrection of Christ, as the Jewish Sabbath was the feast of creation. It was called the Lords day, and upon it the primitive church assembled to break bread. No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament nor, indeed, [sic.] its observance even enjoined. Yet Christian feeling led to the universal adoption of the day, in imitation of the apostolic precedence. In the second century its observance was universal.”  Encyclopedia of religious knowledge 1891 Ed., vol.4, Schaff- Herzog


It is a baseless claim that it was Constantine who declared Sunday as the day of worship, how can he make such a declaration when Sunday was already universally accepted by Christians as the day of worship centuries prior to his allege declaration? Admittedly there is scarcity of information on how the Birth of Christ fall on December 25 there are a lot of theories surrounding this date, but one this is for sure Constantine has nothing to do with it. Biblical scholar Andrew McGowan stated that “The December 25 feast seems to have existed before 312—before Constantine and his conversion, at least.” 

The earliest record of mentioning Christ’s birth on December 25 is on a fourth century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”[3] A close analysis of historical data will mostly debunk the accusations made by those who opposed the Catholic Church, they do not mind at all digging up the truth for them as long as it will put the Catholic Church in bad faith they will not hesitate to hurl it against the Catholic Church.

[325 AD: Emp Constantine convened the Council of Nicea Four (4) highlights: 1. Easter Sunday was established at the onset of spring 2. redefined the authority of the church, thus given more power 3. established the “Holy Trinity” as three (3) persons in one (1) god, and 4. voted Jesus Christ as god – an apotheosis.]


This is another attempt to discredit the Catholic Church by making the readers think that Constantine was responsible for the decrees and teachings of the Council of Nicea. But first we have to have a brief background about the Council and what is Constantine’s contribution in this great council of the Church. The council was convened due to the confusion that swept through the entire Christendom, a man named Arius started to teach that Jesus Christ is not God and his heretical teaching is spreading like a wild fire. So a council was necessary to settle the dispute and defend the orthodox Christian faith the Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. 

The Council was attended by bishops from all over the world and since the pope was already old and ailing he sent a priest to represent him in the council. Against Arius it was St. Athanasius who defended the orthodoxy of the Christian faith arguing from the Scripture and history that Jesus Christ is God. So, what is the role of Constantine in this council? According to a Christian historial P.C Thomas he wrote that;

for the first few centuries the emperors played a prominent part in summoning and conducting the Councils. In those early years the bishops were poor and they needed the support of the emperor for their transportation and lodging. Furthermore, the emperor considered themselves protectors of the Church and took upon themselves the duty in bringing peace in the Church.[4] 

This is the contribution of Constantine in the Council of Nicea to provide logistical support for the bishops. If we know our history we can easily debunk the allegations against the Church.

References:

[1] John Schwarz, A Handbook Of The Christian Faith, p.153

[2] http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/507284/Roman-Catholicism#toc257667

[3] The Philocalian Calendar

[4] P. C Thomas, General Councils of the Church, Introduction

A Response To “Ang Krus Sa Loob Ng Palasyo: Ang Pakikialam Ng Simbahan Sa Pamahalaan” Written by Nina Jerrica Canon and Perly Bantilan

Weeks ago I was informed by a member of the Catholic Faith Defenders University of Southeastern Philippines chapter about a school publication that assaults the Church on her stand against social issues. The group also asked me if I can make a comment or refute the said publication. I was right away provided a copy of the school published newspaper entitled The Collegiate Headlight[1]for me to read and evaluate. 

Before I proceed in responding to the misleading arguments raised by the other side I would like to share my first impression after I’ve read the said article found within the pages of this school newspaper. To be honest I am quite disappointed with the quality of their work and research skill, their article is grounded more on their subjective understanding of the social issues and their contentions are based on emotions rather than rational reasoning and facts.

Written in bold is quoted from their publication.

The authors of this article without delay immediately made an issue out of the state policy “Separation of the state and the Church” which is written in Article 2 Sec. 6 of the 1987 constitution. The Catholic Church has no problem with this policy because the Church knows that she is not violating this fundamental principle of the law of the land. The authors of the article said;

“Artikulo II pahayag ng mga Simulain at Mga Patakaran ng Estado, Seksyon 6 – Hindi dapat labagin ang pagkakahiwalay ng Simbahan at Estado.”[2]



For those who do not have any background in law they are quick to believe the comments uttered by the authors of this article. They further explained that the provision stated in the constitution means that the separation of the church and the state are absolute.

Ang bawat isa ay may impluwensyang hawak sa kanyang nasasakupan at parehong may malaking papel na ginagampanan sa ating lipunan. Subalit sa kabila ng probisyong nakasad sa ating saligang batas na tuwirang pinaghihiwalay ang tungkulin ng dalawa taliwas naman dito ang nagaganap sa ating bansa.[3]

Notice that they did not quote any jurisprudence or authority in providing an accurate and fair interpretation of the constitution rather they relied on their own understanding of Art. 2 Sec. 6 of the constitution. This only exposes their poor scholarship and lack of research on the subject. They are trying to make us believed that

 1.) Art.2 Sec.6 of the Constitution proposes absolute separation of the church and the state and 

2.) That the Church violates this fundamental policy of the land. The authors of the article failed to educate the readers for reasons only known to them on the real meaning and interpretation of the constitution. 

Article 2 section 6 of the constitution says “The separation of the Church and State shall be inviolable.” So what do you mean by this? To what extent are the two institutions separated? How did the court interpret this provision? This policy was adapted from the from the first amendment of the United States of America, Stephen Carter explained that this policy was intended to protect religion from the control of the state.[4] One of the drafters of the 1987 constitution Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J further explained that;

The non-establishment clause prohibits the state from passing “laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.” The intermediate views are chiefly two: (1) the non-establishment clause prohibits only direct support of institutional religion but support indirectly accruing to churches and church agencies through support given to members; (2) both direct and indirect aid to religion are prohibited but only if it support involves preference of one religion over another or preference of religion over irreligion.[5]

Evidently the drafters of the constitution have a different explanation and interpretation of Art. 2 Sec.6 of the constitution compared with that of the authors of the article published in the school newspaper. As explained by Bernas the separation of the Church and state means that the state should not 

1.) Prefer one religion over another, 

2.) Aid one religion, 

3.) Aid to the propagation of religion and 

4.) directly and indirectly aid to religion if it support involve preference of one religion over another.

This suggests that the separation of the Church and the State are not absolute and its separation lies on how the state should remain neutral over religion this interpretation of one of the drafters of the constitution goes contrary to the understanding of the authors of the article that espouses absolute separation of religion and state. Furthermore another authority that is worth quoting on the subject is Hector S. De Leon a known writer of law books and commentator. He further explained that the separation of the Church and the state means;

The principle simply means that the church is not to interfere in purely political matters or temporal aspects of man’s life and the State, in purely matters of religion and morals, which are the exclusive concern of the other.[6]

Again, there is no mention of absolute separation as what the authors of the article asserted. When it comes to the issue of RH BILL and the promotion of contraception is no longer a “temporal aspect” of man and/or man’s life rather it is already a moral issue. That is why the Church reacted when some godless politicians wanted to promote an immoral act and that is the promotion of artificial contraception. Henceforth it is not the Church who violated a fundamental state policy but the state itself through its lawmakers. Evidently their understanding of Article 2 Section 6 of the Constitution is shallow thus their contention and argument cannot hold water. Who are we to believe? Bernas and De Leon who extensively studied law and wrote books explaining the different laws of our country or two college writers who seem to lack scholarship and credibility? 
 
[1] Official Student publication, University of Southeastern Philippines

[2] Ang Krus sa loob ng Palasyo: Pakikialam ng Simbahan sa pamahalaan, Nina Jerrica E. Canon & Perly T. Bantilan

[3] Ibid.

[4] Stephen L. Carter, The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion, p. 105, 1993

[5] Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines A Commentary, p. 345, 2009

[6] Hector S. De Leon, Textbook on the Philippine Constitution, p.62, 1994