Saturday 10th October 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Debunking The Sola Scripture Myth

February 8, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


Part 1

“I am convinced by the Scriptures!” shouted Martin Luther, as he unleashed his revolution against the Church of Rome. A great many people followed him to make a new church, officially based upon the Scriptures alone, with neither Popes nor councils. But people did not read the fine print in Luther’s revolt: “I am convinced by the Scriptures . . . as I interpret them.”
Officially, Sacred Scripture was to be open to all Christians and consequently no teaching Magisterium was necessary or even allowed: Each and every Christian became able to read the sacred text and interpret it correctly. The Holy Spirit would make sure of that, we’re told. No Popes, councils, or bishops are needed to teach you the truth to be believed. For many, it did sound interesting in the beginning, but what was the result?
Calvin disagreed with Luther, and Zwingli disagreed with both. And the splitting and sub-splitting went on. Every Dick, Tom, and Harry came up with a different interpretation of this or that Bible teaching. Since then, thousands of different denominations appeared, holding different views on every other aspect of Jesus’ teachings.
For example: People calling themselves Christians believe infant Baptism is not valid — Bible in hand. Others say it is — also quoting the same Book. Some believe that only Baptism of immersion is valid. Others disagree. Some say that Jesus is in the Eucharist figuratively only; some say He is there by means of impanation, others say of companation; others say that we should receive the Eucharist — whatever the meaning they may give to it — while others consider it optional or altogether unnecessary.
Some say that matrimony is indissoluble; others say it is soluble and remarriage is allowed, while others don’t mind being polygamous.
Some say that the Devil it is a real spirit; others say it is a figurative way of describing our evil tendencies, while others say it is a myth. Some say that there is a Trinity of persons in God; others say the Trinity is a pagan concept, while others are not too sure. Some say that the human soul has a spiritual nature distinct from the body, while others say that it does not.
Some say that we are created by God, while others say we evolved from apes; others say that both apes and men evolved from another species, while others say that we are stardust, coming from outer space.
Some say that Jesus Christ is divine; others say he was a human person inspired by God to do good things, while others squeeze something in between and say that he was divine but was not aware of it . . . as if God could forget who He is.
Some believe in predestination; others deny it. Some believe in an eternal Hell; others don’t. Some believe souls are judged immediately after death, others say only at the Final Judgment, others say we should not be judgmental.
Some say that only Christianity has the fullness of the truth — whatever their denomination may be — while others say that one can be saved in any religion, Christian or non-Christian — except Roman Catholicism, of course.
For some, priesthood is reserved to men only, but for others women should be priests and bishops too, even the head of the church.
Some Christians say abortion is murder; others say it is murder only after three weeks, others say after six weeks, others say 10 weeks, others say 20, others say till birth — others defend partial-birth abortion! And do not forget those who defend the killing of children born with serious health defects.
Euthanasia: For some it is murder; for others it is an act of mercy and for others a human right. Homosexuality: For some it is a perversion of nature that cries out to God for vengeance; for others a consequence of a genetic dysfunction; and for others an alternative way to express one’s sexuality.
For some, homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity and for others priests of any “Christian church” can be practicing homosexuals. We should not be judgmental.
Should I go on? Is it not evident that the individual interpretation of Scripture has brought about a cacophony of beliefs and moral choices? If a member of a given Christian congregation does not agree with his pastor’s interpretation of a certain Bible verse, he walks out and forms his own little church, and Christ is expected to accept it. In the end the World Council of Churches comes up as a kind of parliament of religions, or a supermarket of religions, where members can pick and choose from Jesus’ teachings what they like and leave behind what they don’t like. . . .
What has this chaotic situation got to do with Jesus Christ? He who said to let your words be yes, yes; no, no? He who does not gathers together with me, scatters abroad? He who is not with me, is against me: He who breaks one commandment violates the whole law? That not all those who say, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who do the will of my father who is in Heaven shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
Christianity is not self-made according to one’s individual choices or preferences, but by obedience to the will of the Father, as we say in the Lord’s Prayer — thy will be done. We do not say my will be done!
But after martin Luther’s revolution, every Tom, Dick, and Harriet picks up a Bible and becomes a pope, or a popess — and an infallible one at that, of course, since everyone can interpret Scripture without error. The Holy Spirit is supposed to guide everyone in his Bible reading, regardless of the multiple contradictions.
Do you know what I call this? I call it popery. Yes, that’s what real popery is, when you see petty popes popping up like popcorn in plenty of popular parodied preachers’ pulpits.
What happened to the unity in one Lord, one faith, one Baptism (Eph. 4:5) in the one Church of Christ, which is the ground and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)?
Sola Scriptura is not Christianity: It is a recipe for a relativism!
Luther himself admitted that his revolution has produced a doctrinal chaos, but he was much too proud to admit he had been wrong.
“There are as many sects and beliefs as there are heads. This fellow will have nothing to do with Baptism; another denies the Sacrament [Eucharist]. A third believes that there is another world between this and the Last Day. Some teach that Christ is not God; some say this, some say that. There is no rustic [peasant] so rude [simple, ignorant] but that, if he dreams or fancies anything it must be a whisper of the Holy Spirit, and he himself a prophet” (Grisar, Luther IV, pp. 386-407; Weimar, XVIII, 547, De Wett, III, 61).

Religious Indifference

In his masterpiece Le Christianisme et les Temps Presents, published in 1907, the then eminent French apologist Msgr. Bougoud quoted a letter from Luther to Zwingli, in which he wrote: “If the world lasts longer, it will be necessary to receive once again the decrees of the Councils in order to preserve the unity of the faith against the many interpretations of Scripture that abound these days” (quoted in vol. IV [7], p. 289, Editions Poussielgue, Paris).
But this cacophony has serious consequences: When everything becomes relative to the individual interpretation, to the individual choice or preference; when truth and error, good and evil, order and disorder depend entirely upon the individual personal interpretation, preference or whim, what is the result? Religious indifference.
Sola Scriptura made Christianity become meaningless as an objective message. The sentence in the Lord’s prayer, “Thy will be done” became “My will be done.”
It is no longer Christianity; it is religious relativism. It is just biblical make-believe.
Next article: Sola Scriptura is unscriptural.

+    +    +

(Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International [HLI], president of the Sacred Heart Institute and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. His web site is:

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Leading African cardinal critiques Vatican spokesman Fr. Rosica

ROME, October 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, a leading cardinal on the organizing committee for the Synod on the Family, issued a pointed critique on Twitter of a controversial report on the Synod by the Vatican’s…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput: Synod’s working text risks ‘compromise’ with sin

ROME, October 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Fresh off of the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput gave a strong intervention at the Vatican’s family synod this week, warning that the meeting’s working text risks “compromise” with sin. The…Continue Reading

Canadian Catholic Schools Defy Archbishop on Transgender Policy

DMONTON, Alberta, Canada, October 8, 2015 ( – A Catholic school district in Canada is planning to approve a transgender policy contrary to its archbishop’s guidelines. The Edmonton Catholic school district in Alberta wants to push through a radical transgender…Continue Reading

Synod Showdown Report—October 5, 2015

We’re just out of the first press briefing of the Synod 2015, and things have pretty much picked up where they ended last year. The lead story, if you want to say there’s a lead to this, was a question…Continue Reading

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in…Continue Reading

Someone is Lying About the Pope’s Meeting with Kim Davis

Papal spokesman Father Thomas Rosica flatly denies Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C. which stands in flat contradiction to Davis’s claims. In Roscia’s telling Davis was part of a large number of people as…Continue Reading

Top Universities Defend Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

Some of America’s top universities have signed a letter urging states not to support legislation that would ban the sale of aborted babies for research. The letter comes after ten videos surfaced exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business, along with…Continue Reading

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading

Putin defends Russia’s ban on youth-focused gay propaganda: ‘I believe we should leave kids in peace’

MOSCOW, September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2013, Russia passed an amendment to the country’s Child Protection Law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” which also safeguards children from being adopted by homosexuals. Western governments, led by the…Continue Reading

EXPOSED: The billionaire Planned Parenthood donor who wants his donations kept very, very secret

Sept. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Three weeks after I left my job at the clinic, Planned Parenthood took me to court. I am always asked, “Why would they take you to court? Did they have something to hide?” Well, yes.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Brought Back Into Roman Curia By Pope Francis

Raymond Cardinal Burke has been re-appointed to Congregation for the Causes of Saints from which he had been removed in December of 2013.


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 5

(Vatican Radio) Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, director of the Holy See Press Office, brought three prelates as guests on Friday to the daily media briefing on the progress of the Synod on the Family taking place at Vatican City. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manilla, Philippines and Archbishops Joseph E. of Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, Spain, were present.   Cardinal Tagle told the Friday press briefing that he was…Continue Reading

Synod bishops looking for more autonomy, new insight, fresh language

(Vatican Radio) At the Synod of Bishops on the Family on Friday morning, participants presented the results of their small language group work that has been going on behind closed doors for the past couple of days. Each group has been discussing the first section of the Synod’s working document, or Instrumentum Laboris, focused on the challenges facing family life today. Who exactly are those rows of men with their red and purple hats, sitting…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: why do good things happen to bad people?


(Vatican Radio) God does not abandon the righteous, while those who sow evil are like strangers, whose names heaven remembers not. This is the lesson Pope Francis drew from the readings of the day at Mass Thursday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. A courageous young mother with a husband and three children – and a tumor – “one of the ugly ones” – that keeps her nailed to…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 4

(Vatican Radio) On Thursday Oct. 8 Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana, said that the world needs to be patient with Africa when it comes to dealing with issues like homosexuality. “Give countries time to deal with issues from our own cultural perspectives,” he said. He added that the dignity and rights of all God’s son and daughters need to be upheld. The Synod Fathers continued to work in groups on Thursday. Archbishop Edoardo Menchelli…Continue Reading

“What Is Transgenderism?”

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For all of the previous Culture of Life 101 articles on homosexuality, e-mail him at + + + “We psychiatrists should work to discourage those adults who seek surgical sex reassignment” — “sex-change”…Continue Reading

War Party Targets Putin And Assad

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Having established a base on the Syrian coast, Vladimir Putin began air strikes on ISIS and other rebel forces seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad. A longtime ally of Syria, Russia wants to preserve its toehold on the Mediterranean, help Assad repel the threat, and keep the Islamic terrorists out of Damascus.…Continue Reading

Biblical Types Of Our Lady

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY A previous article looked at the role of Mary as the New Eve, and now we will look at some biblical types of our Lady, and see how the early Church fathers saw different types and prophecies concerning Mary in the Old Testament, that is, that particular incidents or artifacts pointed…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “What is Transgenderism?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For all of the previous Culture of Life 101 articles on homosexuality, e-mail him at + + + While those fortunate few who still possess a lingering sense of reality cringed at the bizarre…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says . . . Pope’s Words And Meetings Support Conscientious Objection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Liberty Counsel issued the following statement on October 2: Mat Staver, county clerk Kim Davis’ attorney, is the chairman of Liberty Counsel: + + + Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope’s own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Part 2 As baptized Christians, as we saw last week, each member of the lay faithful participates in the life and work of Jesus Christ and thus in His threefold office of priest, prophet, and king. As expressed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): “The whole People of God participates in these three offices of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. We recently celebrated the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. But aren’t there other groupings of angels and what are they? — A.C., Florida. A. Based on the writings of Saints Dionysius, Gregory the Great, and Thomas Aquinas, the Church has taught that there are nine choirs of angels. Beginning at the highest level, they are Seraphim,…Continue Reading

Choose To Serve Rather Than To Be Served

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the Gospel reading today our Lord tells us that He came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. This is our hope for eternal salvation and, obviously, it is our hope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis In Philadelphia . . . Religious Liberty Transcends Places Of Worship

PHILADELPHIA (ZENIT) — Here is a Vatican translation of the address Pope Francis gave September 26 in Philadelphia, at a meeting with immigrants on the theme of religious freedom. ZENIT’s transcription and translation of his few off-the-cuff remarks are found in brackets. The Holy Father was in Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families. ZENIT provided the text. All…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Pope Francis’ Visit Leaves Us Blessed And Strengthened

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The chair under me is rolling from starboard to port and back as I write to you this week because I do so aboard the USS San Antonio at sea. In my ministry here I am following through on something Pope Francis has asked of all of us: I am seeking souls at the periphery.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant…Continue Reading