Past Popes taught destructive heresies
Roman Catholics would be wise to take heed to what the Apostles Peter and Paul wrote concerning the future of the church. Peter warned, "There will also be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who brought them" (2 Peter 2:1). Paul likewise issued this warning: "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears" (Acts 20:29-31).
In spite of these warnings the Roman Catholic Church elevates the authority of its popes to be equal to the authority of God, thus making the church easy prey for the deceptive schemes of the devil. It declares that all of its popes are infallible. This means, they cannot err in matters of faith and morals. The source of their infallibility is said to be the Holy Spirit, who protects the supreme teacher of the church from error and therefore from misleading the people of God. We know that Peter, who Roman Catholics declare was their first pope, was not infallible. He erred when he was "not straightforward about the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:14).
As we examine the writings of Roman Catholic popes throughout history, it is obvious the Holy Spirit, who inspired the writers of the New Testament, is not the spirit who protects popes from error. Popes have denied God and His word by naming other ways of salvation. The lack of discernment of Roman Catholics is evidenced by their staunch and unbending loyalty to popes who reject the words of the one and only Savior. Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Most Roman Catholic popes have even denied the words of Peter, who they consider the original pope. Peter wrote: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Let us examine the other names popes have offered as the way of salvation:
Salvation Only Through Mary
The foundation of all our confidence is found in the Virgin Mary. God has committed to her the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will: that we obtain everything through Mary. Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation! Pope Pius IX
For, since it is the will of Divine Providence that we should have the God-Man through Mary, there is no other way for us to receive Christ except from her hands. Pope Pius X
He will not taste death forever who, in his dying moments, has recourse to the Blessed Virgin Mary. What will it cost you to save us? Has not Jesus placed in your hands all the treasures of His grace and mercy? You sit crowned as Queen at the right hand of your Son: your dominion reaches as far as the heavens, and to you are subject the earth and all creatures dwelling thereon. Your dominion reaches even down into the abyss of Hell, and you alone O Mary, save us from the hands of Satan. Pope Pius XI
Nothing comes to us except through the mediation of Mary, for such is the will of God. O Virgin Most Holy, no one abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; no one O Mother of God, attains salvation except through thee! Every one of the multitudes, therefore, whom the evil of calamitous circumstances has stolen away from Catholic unity, must be born again to Christ by that same Mother whom God has endowed with a never-failing fertility to bring forth a holy people. Pope Leo XIII
Mary, not one of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I, too, be saved! Pope Benedict XV
Salvation Only Through The Catholic Church
Outside this Church there is no salvation and no remission of sins. Pope Boniface VIII
We believe with our hearts and confess with our lips but one Church, not that of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, outside of which we believe that no one is saved. Pope Innocent III
He who is separated from the Catholic Church will not have life. He who is separated from the body of the Catholic Church, however praiseworthy his conduct may seem otherwise, will never enjoy eternal life, and the wrath of God remains on him by reason of the crime of which he is guilty in living separated from Christ…. All those who are separated from the holy universal Church will not be saved. Pope Gregory XVI
It must be held as a matter of faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved, that the Church is the only Ark of Salvation, and that whoever does not enter it will perish in the Flood. It is a sin to believe that there is salvation outside the Catholic Church! You must indeed see to it that the faithful have fixed firmly in their minds the absolute necessity of the Catholic faith for attaining salvation. Protestantism is the Great Revolt against God. Pope Pius IX
Those outside the Church do not possess the Holy Ghost. The Catholic Church alone is the Body of Christ... and if separated from the Body of Christ he is not one of His members, nor is he fed by His Spirit. Pope Paul VI
No one, even if he pours out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved unless he remains within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. Pope Eugene IV
Salvation Only Through Popes
We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. Pope Boniface VIII
Into this fold of Jesus Christ no man may enter unless he be led by the Sovereign Pontiff, and only if they be united to him can men be saved. Pope John XXIII
Those who are obstinate toward the authority of the Church and the Roman Pontiff... cannot obtain eternal salvation. Pope Pius IX
To summarize, Roman Pontiffs throughout history have shut off the kingdom of heaven from men by proclaiming a false gospel. These destructive heresies have sent millions to their graves with a false hope. One day they will come before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment and realize they were deceived about life's most important decision-whom will I trust for eternal life. They were duped into trusting men rather than obeying God's Word. "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man" (Psalm 118:8). "Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation" (Psalm 146:3). "Cursed is the one who trusts in man... but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord" (Jeremiah 17:5-7).
There is good news for the one billion Catholics who follow the pope today. They can still repent from these destructive heresies of their church and believe the glorious Gospel of grace. By turning from the teachings and traditions of fallible men to the imperishable seed, the living and abiding Word of God, they can know the truth and be set free from the bondage of deception. May God give them the grace to do so! As the Apostle Paul prayed, so I also pray, that their love and loyalty to God will grow stronger than their love and loyalty to their popes. "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment" (Phil 1:9). May they test all things and hold fast to what is good (1 Thes. 5:21).
All pope quotes are found in The Apostolic Digest, Sacred Heart Press, Irving, TX, 1987.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005