|For the Catholic|
Greetings in the name of the Lord. I am a confirmed Roman Catholic, and would like to speak about Catholic doctrines and many people's misunderstandings of Rome.
The Catholic church believes that some traditions are equal to the Word of God or as some would prefer to say, "are part of the Word of God". Let's look at a Catholic source:
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
II. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TRADITION AND SACRED SCRIPTURE
One common source. . .
80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."40 Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".41
. . . two distinct modes of transmission
81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."42
"And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."43
82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."44
Here is another source:
Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, § 97, 1994.
[T]he church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence. Id. at § 82 (emphasis added).
What did Jesus say about this?
Mark 7:13: Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Jesus says tradition can nullify the Word of God. We must be careful to not let any tradition take away from the authority of the Word of God.
What authority is there in the Word of God?
2 Tim 3:
16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
Here's what Peter himself say's:
1 Peter 1:
25: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
My dear catholic brother or sister, if you truly are a believer in Christ, are you willing to believe Christ's own words concerning the power of tradition? Please do not let tradition have more effect or power in your life than God's Word. Traditions will water down the Bible, make it less potent, this is according to Christ, Himself.
If you would like to look more in detail about tradition and the authority of the church click on the link below:
Click here to learn about Church authority
Some may say that Jesus gave all authority to Peter, and that Peter and the popes following him, had authority through Christ to do what they did with traditions. As you can read in the Catholic Catechism above. This is exactly what the Jews did, they turned God's laws into traditions, then Jesus rebuked them for this. The Catholics would have us believe that these men are capable of keeping oral traditions pure and uncorrupted. The Jews failed and the traditions started way back in Moses' day. Here is a Biblical example of men failing to remember the Word of God:
2 Kings 22:
8: And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
9: And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD.
10: And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
11: And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
12: And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying,
13: Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
Men are incapable of keeping in memory any traditions at 100%. We are told the Holy Spirit will bring things into remembrance what Christ has taught us, but that is from Christ not men. Hence the apostles are assured 100% success in writing down the teachings and Words of Christ. We have no assurance that we can trust men to teach men and they remember and keep them. I discuss this more at length here:
How can you be sure what method is correct in finding God?
Did Peter accept any such authority to be the highest representative church authority? Was Peter the "Rock" of the church? Lets read what Peter says about this himself:
1 Peter 2:
6: Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7: Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8: And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Peter, himself, is declaring that Jesus is the "Rock" and those who stumble upon the word are rejecting Christ. Some would say, that Jesus made Peter into a rock as well. This is what Peter says about that:
1 Peter 2:
5: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Peter is declaring that all believers in Christ are stones, and are priests to God. Peter's priesthood is no greater than any other follower of Christ. Because the priesthood is Christ within us. If you read that verse it says "acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." Lets consider the priesthood, what does the Bible say about priests?
12: For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
19: For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
22: By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23: And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Jesus is our High Priest, and we need no other priest to mediate for us. We, being priests, can receive direct mediation through Christ in us, to God.
1 Tim 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
Jesus said Himself:
Math 23:9: And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Rome would have us call their priests "fathers".
We don't need any other person to mediate for us to God. We don't need priests, because Jesus made us all priests, those of us who believe in Him. But the Bible says we are to have ministers:
11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
By becoming a christian, Jesus comes and lives in the spirit of the believer. Making him born again, a priest, and a creature that never existed before.
1 Pet 1:23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
2 Cor 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
So scripture is clear about the role Christ is to be our mediator. We are not to go to others to be our mediator, (although we can ask a person to go to the mediator with us in prayer) not a priest, nor the blessed mother of Jesus: Mary, nor any saint in heaven. Doing so would take away from Christ. It would be a lack of faith in Him. Do you think anyone can do a better job of mediating than Christ? And how would a person in heaven hear our prayers without being God? How could a person in heaven hear thousands of voices at one time without being God? If it were possible, it would be blasphemous to God's power and to His Holy jealousy.
Deut 4:24: For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
2 Cor 11:2: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Deut 32:21: They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities...
Let us be pure and give to God alone our prayers and worship.
We must understand, Mary is blessed above all women, yet she is not God. If we pray to her, God will be jealous. But what of the visions and appearances of Mary?
Heb 13:2: Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
1 John 4:1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God...
2 Corinthians 11:14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Galatians 1:8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
When you read those 4 scriptures together you can see that demons can visit people disguised as an angel or as a person. Here's a story from the Old Testament where a demon pretended to be a dead saint:
1 Sam 28:
3: Now Samuel was dead ... And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
6: And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
7: Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
8: And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
9: And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
10: And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
11: Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
12: And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
13: And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
14: And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
15: And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
There has been much debate about this story, whether it really was Samuel or not. But scripture answers this. Saul was deceived, for he had stopped following God. In verse 7 it says the witch had a familiar spirit, which is a demon.
We learn more about these demonic powers in:
16: ... a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18: And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
We can see that these spirits are not of God, but what they say can seemingly sound like the words of God. The spirit in Acts said: "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation." That phrase could be considered a Godly proclamation, but yet it wasn't, it came from a demon. So it was, with the witch at Endor with Saul. It was a familiar spirit. It is proven here:
1 Chron 10:
13: So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;
That verse ends with the word "it", it was a familiar spirit, it was not Samuel the prophet, this verse tells us so, by saying what "it" is, it is a familiar spirit.
Even if you disagree with this conclusion, Saul was reprimanded for using such a source, as it says in the verse above.
I can give a well documented account of this happening in our modern day. The Mormon church was started by a man having a visitation by a spirit. This spirit gave him the book of Mormon. I have talked to Mormons, that man did not test the spirit to see if it was from God. It said it was from God, but that's is not how you test it.
1 John 4:1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God
You must test the spirit by comparing its message or deeds by scripture or by asking it, if it is a servant of Jesus Christ. But since there are false Christ's as well, you must define who Jesus is or have the spirit do so. If you wish to know the Biblical qualifications of determining the true Christ go to my web page here:
Click here to learn who and what Jesus really was
Since it is known that the Jesus Christ the mormons believe in, is different than the Jesus we christians believe in, we know that the spirit that visited the originator of the Mormon religion was a demon. Now, I have shown that a demon can come in the form of a saint (Samuel to Saul), and we see that demons are still in the business (the Mormon church), so we must believe the scriptures that tell us a demon may come disguised bringing another gospel.
If we put the facts together, we can deduce, that when a vision or appearance of Mary occurs (or any other dead saint), it to could be a demon in disguise. We are not given any proof that these spirits were tested. But like the Mormons we can test the end result.
The Catholic church has changed the meaning of salvation by faith against scripture.
Here is some information about Catholic salvation that I found from different sources:
According to Catholic theology, penance is a sacrament where a person, through a Catholic priest (CCC, par. 987), receives forgiveness of the sins committed after baptism. The penitent person must confess his sins to a priest. The priest pronounces absolution and imposes acts of Penance to be performed.
"Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as 'the second plank (of salvation) after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace" (CCC, par. 1446).
The Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, c. i) declared regarding Penance:
"As a means of regaining grace and justice, penance was at all times necessary for those who had defiled their souls with any mortal sin...
The Council of Trent explicitly condemned the biblical teaching of the imputed righteousness of Christ himself for justification:
If any one saith, that men are just without the justice of Christ, whereby he merited for us to be justified; or that it is by that justice itself that they are formally just, let him be anathema (The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. Found in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1910), Decree on Justification, Chapter VII, Canons X, XXXII).
The Council of Trent condemned the teaching of justification by faith alone stating:
If anyone saith that by faith alone the impious is justified in such wise as to mean that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtaining the grace of Justification...let him be anathema...After this Catholic doctrine on justification which whosoever does not faithfully and firmly accept cannot be justified...(The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. Found in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1910), Decree on Justification, Chapter XVI, Canon IX).
Here is what the Bible says about salvation:
Rom 3:28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are you saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."
Titus 3:5 "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy..."
16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Some would argue that the law forbidden in those verses is referring to Old Testament law. My question then is; why would God replace one law of works for another law of works? That would show that God made mistakes. No, God's New Covenant is through grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said he could not fulfill the law by his own power in Rom 7:8-23.
The Old Testament prophesied how we would be able to fulfill God's law. This was prophesied in:
26: A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27: And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Salvation is a free gift. There is no work to it. And salvation is not easily lost.
John 6:39: And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
There is a list in the Bible of what must be accomplished to lose a place in heaven:
4: For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5: And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6: If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
A christian, in essence, must be very mature in his walk, know scripture, and willingly and knowingly leave Christ.
I discuss losing salvation more in depth here:
We can conclude that visions of Mary and of other saints that speak about works for salvation are not of God. Demons can disguise themselves as saints and bring a "good" message to add to God's Word. A major problem in the catholic church in this area is not from the Vatican, many members of the Catholic church flock to these visions without having Rome approve of it's authenticity. I am by no means saying Rome's method of testing is appropriate. I am saying that these visions must be tested. These traditions of doctrines are demonic. The only case in scripture of dead saints coming as a true vision was when Christ Himself was in Gethsemanee and the dead saints visited Him there. Yes three disciples saw them, but it was a privilege. Moses and Elijah appeared for Christ. They were not there for the disciple's sake, in fact the disciples erred in action upon seeing them. When people were resurrected is a completely different matter. Yes many people came back to life after death by the hand of Jesus, the disciples, and others through the power of God. This is not to be compared to visions of the dead. Those who are dead cannot communicate with the living, and doing so would not work. See why here:
19: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
22: And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23: And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24: And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25: But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
27: Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29: Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30: And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31: And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
I know it is very difficult for some, especially those in the Catholic church, to let go of the saint thing. You must decide that God's Word is greater than the traditions of men, and you must seek God in the method He has provided.
The Vatican teaches that Peter was the bishop of Rome. I have found a webpage which gives 10 scriptural evidences Peter was not in Rome during the time period that the Vatican claims:
I will shorten their points:
1. Peter was commissioned by Christ to be the Apostle to the Jews.
The Bible says: “The gospel of the CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter; For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:" Galatians 2:7-8
Christ commissioned Peter to become chief minister to the CIRCUMCISED, not to uncircumcised Gentiles. The Bible teaches it was Paul, NOT Peter, who was commissioned to be the chief Apostle to the Gentiles. Paul was appointed by Christ to be the Apostle to the Gentiles (2 Timothy 1:11). Peter and Paul also came to an agreement between themselves that Paul would go to the heathen and Peter to the Jews (Galatians 2:9). In fact it was Paul NOT Peter who wrote the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 1:1).
2. The Bible teaches that Paul established the Church at Rome.
"I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established" Romans 1:11
According to the Bible, the Church at Rome had not been ESTABLISHED officially even by 55 or 56 A.D. But Paul says that he longed to establish it. However, the Vatican would have us believe that Peter had done this some twenty years before.
3. Paul specifically told the Gentile Romans that HE had been chosen to be their Apostle, not Peter.
"Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable" Rom 15:15-16
Paul had the direct charge from Christ in this matter. He even further relates in Rom 15:18 that it was Christ who had chosen him "to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed." According to the Bible, PAUL Established the Church at Rome.
4. Paul did not ever attempt to build upon another man’s foundation.
"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, LEST I SHOULD BUILD UPON ANOTHER MAN’S FOUNDATION" Rom 15:20
We find Paul not only wanting to establish the Church at Rome, but he emphatically tells us that his policy was NEVER to build upon another man’s foundation. This makes the belief that Peter had founded the Roman Church some “20 years” before unbelievable.
5. At the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he greets no fewer than 28 different individuals, but he never mentions Peter once! Remember, Paul greeted these people in 55 or 56 A.D. Why didn't he mention Peter? Because, Peter wasn’t there!
6. Some 4 years after Paul wrote Romans, he was taken as a prisoner to Rome in order to stand trial before Caesar. While there the Christians at Rome came to meet him (Acts 28:15). But, there is no mention of Peter. Why? Because Peter was not in Rome!
7. When Paul arrived in Rome he called together the chief Jews (Acts 28:17), and taught them about Christianity (Acts 28:22-23). What is amazing is that these chief Jewish elders claimed they knew very little even about the basic teachings of Christ. All they knew was that ‘‘as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against" (Verse 22). Why is this important? How could the Jewish leaders know so little about the Gospel, if Peter, who was a strong Jew, had been preaching constantly in Rome for 20 years before this time?
8. Paul remained in Rome, in his own hired house for 2 years. During that time he wrote Epistles to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, Philemon, and to the Hebrews. And while Paul mentions others as being in Rome during that period, he nowhere mentions Peter.
9. Four years later (near 65 A.D.), he was again sent back as a prisoner to Rome. This time he had to appear before the throne of Caesar and was sentenced to die. Paul describes these circumstances at length in 2 Timothy. In regard to his trial, notice what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:16 "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men [in Rome] forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge."
This means, if we believe the Vatican, that Peter forsook Paul, for they tell us Peter was at Rome during this time.
10. Before Paul died in 65 AD, he tells us that the only one who was with him was Luke, 2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for ministering.
Though the Vatican says that Peter was in Rome at this time, the Apostle Paul distinctly informs us that Peter was not in Rome in 65 A.D. Paul said: "Only Luke is with me" 2 Timothy 4:11.
Onto other matters, it is also said that Mary was without sin, yet the Bible says otherwise:
Rom 3:23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
Mary herself declared she needed a savior:
46: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Mary is not perfect, nor was she without sin, but she was blessed. She does deserve honor, but not prayer. Prayer is for God alone.
My precious Catholic brother or sister, I do not ask you to leave the Catholic church, only God can do that. But I ask you, are you willing to go against Jesus' words, Peter's words, and Mary's words to believe in Catholic tradition? Do not trust in my words, although I have given many scriptures, but do as these christians did:
Acts 17:11: These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Look up the scriptures, and pray to Jesus.
I am by no means picking on the Catholic church, every denomination has error, and every denomination and church is guilty of having some of it's members run to extremes and create false teachings within it's church. Nor am I laying these errors on this page completely in the Vatican's guilt. There are many within the Catholic church who love Christ and do not go to such extremes discussed here.
Some people claim that the pope is The Anti-christ. This is NOT true, and the Bible tells us so, see here:
The Anti-christ, Whore of Babylon, & more
If you wish to know more about salvation:
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Have you ever heard of a "protestant" purgatory? What does the Bible say about purgatory?
Does the Bible teach a purgatory for believers?
I go into more detail about the Catholic church in some specifics, like purgatory, in my 2nd Catholic page:
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