Rome's Greatest Blunder


Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

And every Old Testament priest standeth

daily ministering and offering oftentimes the 

same scrifices, which can never tke away sins:

But this Man, after He had offered one

sacrifice for sins for ever sat down on the right

hand of God

For by one offering He hath perfected for ever

them that are sanctified 

Hebrews 10:12, 12 and 14

Of the many Roman Catholic doctrines which we Bible-believing Protestants reject, which woudl you consider to be the most unscriptural and destructive?  The Papacy? The Insufficency of the Bible  as a Rule of Faith? Mariolatry? The Immaculate Conception? The Celibacy of the Priests? The Rosary? Prayers for the Dead? Prayers to Dead Saints? The Sacrifice of the Mass? The Confessional/ Absolution? Indulgence? Purgatory? Which is Rome's greatest blunder? 

   Many of our readers may disagree with us and my be right but in this writer's judgment the Sacrifice of the Mass is Rome's greatest bluncer, the most far-reaching of her heresies, and the most detrimental in its effects. 



In 1551 A.D., the Council of Trent decreed that the Sacrifice of the Mass is  "the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christus under the appearance of bread and wine. It is a propitiatory sacrifice, atoning for our sins, and the sins of the living and of the dead in Christ, for whom it is offered" (Sess 22, Chaps 1, 3; Can. 1, 3)

    The "Attwater"Catholic Dictionary (1961), Macmillan Company), alss the mass "A sacrament... in which, under the appearances of bread and wine, the body and blood of Christ are truly, really and substantially { in substance}  present, as the grace-producint food for our souls"

    The older Catholic Dictionary 1884 Catholic Publication Society, states that upon consecration by the priest "the substance of bread and wine ceases to be , for it is changed into Christ's body and blood"

    Saint Joseph's Daily Missal 1959 John P Daleiden Co. says: "In the name of the whole Church the priest offers to God the bread and wine, mixed with a few drops of water, which will be changed into the Body and Blood of Christ" P. 6. Again: "Speaking throught His priest our Blessed Lord changes the bread and wine into His own Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity"

     This doctrine is called the Real Presence i.e. of Christ, in what appears to the bread and wine.

    So important  is the Sacrifice of the Mass to Roman Catholic doctrine, that the Church ruled, also at the Council of Trent:

     "If any one shall deny that the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity or our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore the whole Christ, are truly, really and substantially contained in the Sacrament fo the Holy Eucharist, let him be anathema (accursed) (Conc. Tridl, Sess 13, de Euchar, Can 1)

     This is the teaching of the Church of Rome, so important to her system of doctrine that she commands men to accept it, and

pronounces a curse upon any who deny it validity


    The supposed changing of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ is called Transubstantiation; the actual substance is said to be changed. 

     Essentially , the argument for substantiation runs thus: Christ said, This is My body; this is My blood, and that's that. Thus , upon their consecration by the priest, what was bread and wine actually becomes our Lord's body and blood, so that now they only appear to the bread and wine, but are flesh and blood. 

    It is strange indeed that Rome does not teach that the seven kine of Genesis 41:26 actually were seven years, or that the ten horns of Daniel 7:24 actually are ten kinges, or that Judah actually was a lion's whelp" Genesis 49:9, or that Christ actually was a door (John 10:9), or a vine John 15:1 or that Hagar actually was Mount Sinai Galatian 4:25, or that the great beasts of Daniel 7:17 actually are kings. Rome acknowledges that all these passages employ symbolic language; that the beasts of Daniel 7;17 represent kings, etc, and the arguments of her theologians that the grammar is  different are as weak as cotton thread. 

   The phraseology used in the above passages is identical with that used by our Lord in Matthew 26:26-28, when He said, "This is My body...this is My blood". Yet Rome would teach us that in this case the language is different, so that she, the Church, can offer her devotees the remission of their sins at the Mass. 

    As we observe the bread and wine, after their consecration by the priest, we say "This is bread and wine" We smell it; it smells like bread and wine. We taste it and can only conclude that it is bread and wine. We have it chemically analyzed and the verdict comes back: "Bread and wine" It is not, then, an assault upon our God-given reason to insist that what looks like, smells like, tastes like, and is laboratory-proven to be bread and wine, actually is the flesh and blood of Christ? Is it not wholly unjust on Rome's part to curse us to everlasting perdition because we cannot agree that these elements are anything but bread nd wine (assuming that Rome has the authority to thus curse us)?

     In seeking to explain transsubstantiation, Rome's greatest theologians have always been embarrassed by the multiplied absurdities involved. Not the least of these is the direct implication tht the actual body and blood or our Lord Jesus Christ are (1) swallowed nd digeted in the stomachs (2) of millions of people at the same time, (3) scattered over the wide areas of the world, and ( 4) some of them, at least, insincere and impious. To those who will reasonably consider any segment of the above implication, the observance of the Mass must appear a monstrous absurdity of superstition, rather than an act of intelligent faith, for the so-called "miracle"of the Mass is unlike any miracle of Scripture. It is not merely above human reason; it is contrary to it. The miracles of Scripture are all supernatural; not one is contranatural"

    But if all the above is an assault on our God-given reason, what shall we say of the fact that Rome drives her interpretation of the"is" of Matthew 26;26,28 to such lengts that she teaches that at the "last supper"our Lord offered His disciples His own body and blood to eat and drink------while sitting with them "in the flesh", His blood coursing through His veins! 

    It is most evident that the twelve interpreted His words symbolically for, with their minds already filled with many questions about His death, how could they have been so ready to believe something so grotesque and utterly contrary to reason and observation as that Christ. Himself sitting at the table before their eyes, yet offered them His own body and blood to eat and drink? Indeed, by eating and drinking without hesitation they testified that they understood Christ's words as we do, i.e., that the bread and wine represented His body and blood, which were soon to be offered in death for them. And mark well, they ate and drank only; they did not adore the elements, as Rome teaches her devotees to do. 

    But are we expected to believe all this? Yes , says Rome, or perish. This is what the Church of Rome calls faith---a blind, superstitious assent to whatever she teaches, however contrary to the clear Word of God or to simple common sense----and this subjugation by the Church of the minds and hearts of those whom the Son would make free is what we protest against. Hear the divinely imspired words of St. Paul on this subject: "I will pray with the spirit, and I will Pray with the understanding also, I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also" ( I Corinthians 14:15)

    And hear his earnest prayer for believers; "That the God or our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of WISDOM and REVELATION in the KNOWLEDGE of Him, the eyes of your UNDERSTANDING being enlightened....."Ephesians 1:17-18)


   Witness his "great conflict: for the saints, tha they might enjoy: THE FULL ASSURANCE OF UNDERSTANDING ( Colossians 2:2)

    God does not expect of us a blind superstitious faith, but an intelligent faith in what He has said in His Word.




    From all the above it is clear that Rome knows nothing of a finished, all sufficient redemption, of or entering into the "rest"that this blessed truth affords ( Hebrews 4:10). All the sophisticated arguments of Rome's theologians as to the "completeness"of Christ's death at Calvary remain wholly unconvincing so long as, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, Christ dies for sin repeatedly, almost continuously, as He is "immolated"(slain) by her priests upon her "altars," and His actual body and blood are offered in the Sacrifice of the Mass. 

    The "Perpetual Sacrifice, as Rome calls the Mass, explains in large part the presence of crucifixes all over the world, wherever the Church of Rome holds sway. Christ must be seen dying all the time. It also explains the "bleeding heart", and the fact that the fourteen "stations of the cross"end in anything but triumph, for the last "station"depicts the Lord's burial.

     the Church of rome does not deny the resurrection of Christ, or His ascension to the Father 's right hand. How could she? Her own translations of the Bible contain these truths. But she casts these blessed facts into the shade as she keeps placing before her devotees a dying Savior and claims to be offering His body and blood in a perpetual sacrifice. 

    is not this an affront to our blessed Lord, Who is now exalted in heaven, offering a full and free salvation to sinners everywhere through the merits won at Calvary? And must it not remind thoughtful believers in the Word of God of His condemnation of those who "crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:6)?  And, at the very least , is it not a denial of the Spirit-inspired words of the Apostle Paul in II Corinthians 5:16? We quote this passage from the Roman Catholic Confraternity Edition because this is even clearer than the Authorized Version:

      "So that henceforth we know no one according to the flesh. Ane even though we have known Christ  according to the flesh, yet now we know Him so no longer"

  One sad result of Rome's doctrine of the "Perpetual Sacrifice"is that she can offer her followers neither peace for the present, nor assurance for the future. She can offer only prayer, a measure of hope, and mjuch anxiety and fear, for the Church of Rome teaches that no man can die with all his sins paid for and put away. Indeed, even the most devout Roman Catholics are told that they must go through the fires of Purgatory before they can be accepted by God. Thus masses must be "said"for them (at a price), not only through life, but even after death, and for years on end. 

    Roman Catholics are not told the blessed truth that so thrilled the Apostle Paul, when he wrote;



       Since Roman Catholics are taught that even at death their sins are not yet completely atoned for, the Church of Rome leaves them in the very same mental condition as the lost souls referred to in Hebrews 2:15: "Who through fear of death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage" And after they are gone their loved ones still pay for masses, high or low, whichever they can afford, or wish to bring, by which it is hoped that the sufferings of their departed ones in Purgatory may be shortened.

    This article is the result of the writer's contemplation of the death of Pope Paul VI. It was orginally written in longhand a few days after the death of this renowned prelate. 

    Should it not speak to us ll, that according to the doctrines of the Church he represented, even he could not die in the joy of complete justification by the work of Christ at Calvary? As he neared death he could not rest in the finished work of Christ, as believers are told they may do in Hebrews 4:10. Indeed, masses must still be said for even him-----masses at which teh body and blood of Christ will again and again and yet again be offered in sacrifice, while he suffers the fires of Purgatory. Thus Rome denies even her popes the joy of the consciousness of sins forgiven through Christ. They, like all Roman Catholics, must go through life until death, still praying: "Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the houd or our death". Indeed, Roman Catholics use their Rosary beads to count their "Hail Marys, being given to believe that there is some merit in the frequent repetion of their prayers. Oh that they might learn the difference between praying and saying prayers! 





The Roman Catholic priesthood and its sacrifices are not based upon the writings  of St Peter, regarded at the first pope, and certainly not upon the Epistles of Pau, the divinely-appointed apostle for this present "dispensation of the Grace of God" Rather they are an adaptation of the Mosaic system with its many priests, its tabernacle, its altar and its repeated sacrifices.

The Epistle to the Hebrews has much to say about all this, and offers something  "better"-----much better. 

Concerning Israel's high priests the writer of the epistle says:

"And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death" Hebrews 7:23

  "For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity..."(verse 28).

       While for every high priest there were also 'many" other priests, this part of the Epistle to the Hebrews places most emphasis upon the high priest because he was the one----the only one---- who could enter the Holiest Place and represent the people before God.

   "But into the second ( the Holiest Place) went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was NOT yet made manifest..."Hebrews 9:7-8.

      But God has now abolished this entire priesthood, and believers in this present dispensation of Grace have one---only---one Priest, A Priest of an entirely different order than that  of the Levitical priesthood----or of the Roman Catholic priesthood. He is called "a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec"Hebrews 5:6

      Melchisedec appears in the record of Scripture in Genesis 14, long before there was an Israel. Indeed he appeared, nt to Abraham (Abram's covenant name), but to Abram, "while yet in uncircumcision"and while, for very speacial reasons we read nothing of Melchisedec's parents of genaelogy, it is evident beyound the shadow of  a doubt that His priesthood could not have pertained in any way to Israel, for it antedated Israel's priesthood by hundreds of years. 

    Just as Paul, in writing to the Gentiles, so often goes back to Abraham, the father of believers, to illustrate justification by faith alone, so the writer to these Hebrews, now "partakers of the heavenly calling"goes back to Melchisedec, to show them that they now have a "better"High Priest in Christ, their ascended Lord. 

   In comparing these tow priesthoods, the writer by divine inspiration says:

   "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood ( for under it the people received the law), what furhter need was there that ANOTHER PRIEST should arise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 

"For THE PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED,  there is made of neccesity a change also of the law ( Hebrews 7:11,12)

  "And it is yet far more evident, for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth ANOTHER PRIEST, 

  "Who is made , not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life

   "For there is verily a disannuling of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 

   "For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh to God  ( Hebrews 7: 15, 16, 18, 19)

     "For such an High priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.

    "Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then fr the people's: for this he did ONCE, when He offered up Himself. 

    "For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the Word fo the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son (a Priest), Who is consecrated for evermore Hebrews 7:26-28)

    "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but INTO HEAVEN ITSELF, now to appear in the presence of God for us"( Hebrews 9:24)

     And mark well, this Priest does not pray to God for us ( John 16:26-27), but rather has opened the way to the Father for us so that we may pray to the Father directly in Christ's Name. 

     What 'strong consolation"this affords the simplest believer in Christ!  Hear the writer to the Hebrews exclaim:

           " Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into the WITHIN THE VEIL;

           "WHITHER THE FORERUMMER IS FOR US ENTERED, even Jesus, made an High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:19-20) 

     Thus, this High Priest is our Forerunner, leading us into the very presence of God as we pray. He does not pray to the Father instead of our doing so. Rather, His intercessions are added to our prayers. 

     "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the haevens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession"

     "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need

(Hebrews 4:14,16)

     It should be observed that in this passage God takes us from the "mercy seat"of the Levitical tabernacle to the "throne of grace "  haeven itself, and rather than finding "mercy", as erring Israel did once each year at the mercy seat, we not only "obtain mercy"but also find grace to help" And when? In time of need! God invites us to come boldly, at our convenience and as often as we with to obtain mercy, and to find grace to help. How blessed. 

  Before leaving this line of thought we should consider one more passage, to see how through the blood of Christ a way has been opened to us into the presence of God, and has been dedicated to our use: 

    "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh"

     "Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith...."Hebrews 10:19-22

    The old dead way, with all its ceremonies and rituals, failed to gain for men and entrance into God's presence, but the new and living way has brought us in! How blessed to contemplate that this new and living way has been "consecrated"to our use. God would have us use it! 

    Those who deny the present priesthood of Christ for the members of His Body sometimes argue: Why would we need a 

priest to bring us into God's presence? In Christ we are already there, seated in the heavenlies at God's right hand Ephesians 2:4-6

    This is true in Christ. But the Scriptures are always careful to distinguish between our position and our condition, our standing and our state. We too rejoice  in our position before God in Christ "accepted in the Beloved One", and this is most eternally important to us. But is it not equally true that experientiallly we must occupy, or enter into that position again and again, by faith? Let us never forget that the same epistle that has so much to say about our position at God's right hand in Christ, also speaks of our access to God through Christ! 

    "For THROUGH HIM we both have ACCESS by one Spirit unto the Father" Ephesians 2:18, Cf: Romans 5:2. 

  Finally let us turn from the manifold priesthood of the Church of Rome to her many sacrifices----and what God says about them in His Word. 

    Here again the Scriptures give us both the negative side and the positive. Our salvation is purchased for us, not by many sacrifices, but by the ONE sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, in which He "offered Himself without spot to God " Hebrews 9:14 

   Concerning the sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament, we find such phraseology as "every year", "year by year continually"often, daily, etc, and these expressions are always found on the negative side. Let us see:

   But into the second ( the Holiest Place) went the high priest alone, once EVERY YEAR, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

   The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest was NOT yet made manifest...." (Hebrews 9:7-8)

        Those who are familiar with the Scriptures regarding Israel's Annual Day of Atonement will recall  that it was an occasion on which the people of Israel were to "afflict their souls'because of their many sins. This explains the writers statement in the following passage: 

      "But in those sacrifices there is a REMEMBRANCE AGAIN MADE OF SINS EVERY YEAR" (Hebrews 10:3)

    On de Day of Atonement there was actually "a remembrance of sins". But our sins having been imputed to Christ, and His righteousness to us, we ahve no Day of Atonement. 

     " For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands.... but into heaven itself, not to appear in the presence of


     It should be remembered, however, that neither Israel's annual sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, nor her daily sacrifices ever availed to "take away" their sins.


      "For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image (substance) of the ghings, CAN NEVER, WITH THOSE SACRIFICES WHICH THEY OFFERED YEAR BY YEAR CONTINUALLY, MAKE THE COMERS THEREUNTO PERFECT (Heb 10:1)


    Ah, but now let us consider the positive side, the glorious all-sufficiency of the sacrifice offered once and for all by the Lord

Jesus Christ at Calvary.. 

    He needeth not daily, as those high priests to offer up sacrifice....for this He did ONCE when He offered up Himself ( Heb 7:27)

    Neither by the blood of goats and calves but by His own blood, He entered in ONCE into the Holy Place, HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US" (Heb 9:12)

     "Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the Holy Place every year with blood of others; 

      For then must He often have suffered since the foundation ot the world. But now ONCE, in the end of the world, hath He appeared TO PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF"

     "And a sit is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; 

    "So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many...."( Hebrews 9: 25-28).


    "For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image (substance) of the things, can never, with 

those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect"

    "For then WOULD THEY NOT HAVE CEASED TO BE OFFERED? Because the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins" (Heb 10: 1-2)

   ".....we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ ONCE FOR ALL. 

    "And every priest standeth daily ministring and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

    "But this Man, after He had offered ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS forever sat down on the right hand of God"


    Here by at leat a seven-fold argument the writer of Hebrews presses the glorious truth home: once, once, once, one sacrifice, one offering!  And this one sacrifice has "perfected forever" ( i.e., judicially) those to whom its offering is applied. 

     This all agrees with what we find in I Timothy 2: 5-7: "For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I Paul am ordained a preacher, and an apostle ( I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity"

     How utterly and completely this all refutes Rome's arguments for her vast priesthood and her many sacrifices!  Surely all the many passages of Scripture we have advanced in this article leave no room for doubt as to God's  condemnation of her popular Sacrifice of the Mass. How sad that millions of sincerely religious people are still left in doubt as to their eternal destiny, when they could be rejoicing in an accomplished redemption and then, in doing "good works" from a right motive: not to gain anything from God, but out of sincere love and gratitude for all He has done for us. 

     To those who have still not seen these truths we cite one more passage in the hope that they will believe and rejoice  in "peace with God"

      "Christ was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 

     "Therefore, being justified BY FAITH, we have PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ( Romans 4: 25 -5:1)

                                                         God loves you, Christ died for you; believe and be saved.