Catholics/Original Scriptures


QUESTION: Hi. I have a Catholic friend who tells me that they have a Catholic Cemetery that is separate from the Protestant Cemetery. I asked him why that was, and he didn't have an answer!  Maybe you could?

Especially when the bible says, that God is no respecter of persons.

Romans 2: 11 for there is no respect of persons with God.

James 2: 1 My brethren,hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

James 2: 9 but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.

1 Peter 1: 17 And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each manís work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear:

Now if God isn't a respecter of persons, why does the Catholic church show respect of Catholics over Protestants...?

Mr B.

ANSWER: Protestants are denied ecclesiastical in a Catholic cemetery because adherents to Protestant sects are considered heretics (Codex Iuris Canonici 1240[1917]).  A heretic is one who denies at least one dogma of the true Christian Faith.  Protestants deny many dogmata.

Moreover, you have to very careful about using "translations" of the Bible.  That is why the Church in the past wisely suppressed many of them, which were grossly inaccurate.  If you want to understand accurately the meaning of the New Testament, you must take the time to study it in Greek.  Otherwise, you are reading, to use St. Paul's phrase, "through a glass in a dark manner."

The phrase "respecter of persons" does not at all mean what you erroneously seem to think.  The Greek word in question, prosopolemtes, has, of course nothing to do with Protestants and Catholics, as we now call them.  Until the early 16th century, there were no "Protestants."

A prosopolemtes is one who acts differently toward different people BECAUSE OF THEIR STATION IN LIFE.  Our Lord was frequently described in this way in Scripture because it did not matter to Him whether one was a poor man or a wealthy Pharisee.  Therefore, He is quoted in Scripture often as praising the poor man and denouncing the Pharisee.  On matters of faith and morals, to the contrary, He was an open "disrespecter" of persons, condemning outright the unjust, the un-humble, and the hypocrite.

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QUESTION: Sir, if one has to learn Greek, to understand the scriptures, you have just taken the simplicity of following Christ, and raised the bar way too high for way too many.

This was never in Gods intention.  He gave us His word, and He also gave us the enablement to receive His Spirit, that can and does enlighten the word to ones understanding.

Jesus said, the Spirit would take of His and open it unto us. He also had John write..

1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that would lead you astray.
 27 And as for you, the anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any one teach you; but as his anointing teacheth you; concerning all things,  and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you,  ye abide in him.

And Jesus had Paul write...

1 Corinthians 2: 9 but as it is written,  Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him.
 10  But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
 11 For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.
 12 But we received, not the spirit of the  world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God.
 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which manís wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words .

And Jesus had John write, again.....

John 14: 25 These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you.
 26 But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.

And again......

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the  Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you.
 8 And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
 9 of sin, because they believe not on me;
 10 of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more;
 11 of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged.
 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.
 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.
 15 All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you.  

You, dear sir, you have taken the need of the Holy Spirit to help teach the believers the Spiritual Truth of the letter/scriptures, which reveals the reality of Christ, and are making them depend on learning Greek to interpret and understand the letter of scripture. The flesh profits nothing, it is as grass. And your analogy is through works of the flesh, you will understand? The Letter kills, the Spirit of the Letter is Life.

Sincerely In Christ, and HE in me.

Mr B.

Of course, you can get the sufficient generality of Christian teachings through a "translation," but you yourself are going beyond that, trying interpret in minute detail words whose meaning you obviously don't understand, as exemplified by your misunderstanding of the translation "respecter of persons."  The fact of the matter is that, for whatever reason, Christ saw to it that the original Scriptures were circulated in Greek.

Even many Protestant presses make the original Scriptures available for you in that language, together with interpretive resources.  If you are as committed to the Bible as you say you are and want to probe in minute detail its meaning, you should want to put in the extra effort to understand Christ's meaning much better in the original version in which He gave the Bible to the world.  If you had done that, you would have understood the correct meaning of "respecter of persons."


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Fr. Michael


A traditional Catholic priest, who provides forthright answers to questions FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF TRADITIONAL CATHOLICISM (not the New Order) on topics pertaining to TRADITIONAL Roman Catholicism, including theology, the Bible, Church history, the Latin language, liturgy (especially the Traditional Latin Mass), and music (especially Gregorian chant), and current events in the Catholic Church.

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