17 July 2013

The Vatican Uses Social Media to Disseminate Its Damning, Deceptive Doctrines

Photo: Twitter
The Roman Catholic Church continues to deliver its members into the hands of damning deceptions. In the article, "Vatican offers 'time off purgatory' to followers of Pope Francis tweets," The Guardian reports:
In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering "indulgences" to followers of Pope Francis' tweets.

The church's granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.

The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.
In the Middle Ages, the Reformer Martin Luther condemned indulgences and the sale of the same. This denunciation was not simply because indulgences were being sold "for large sums of money," but because the purchase of them promised remission of one's sins, a concept that finds no basis in Scripture.

In his 95 Theses, Martin Luther said of indulgences:
33. We should be most carefully on our guard against those who say that the papal indulgences are an inestimable divine gift, and that a man is reconciled to God by them.

34. For the grace conveyed by these indulgences relates simply to the penalties of the sacramental "satisfactions" decreed merely by man.

35. It is not in accordance with Christian doctrines to preach and teach that those who buy off souls, or purchase confessional licenses, have no need to repent of their own sins.

36. Any Christian whatsoever, who is truly repentant, enjoys plenary remission from penalty and guilt, and this is given him without letters of indulgence.

The Guardian article continues:
But a senior Vatican official warned web-surfing Catholics that indulgences still required a dose of old-fashioned faith, and that paradise was not just a few mouse clicks away.

"You can't obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine," Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Indulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks – such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate's house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.
Dr. Steve Lawson records Martin Luther's experience with the Sacred Steps in Rome:
Yet worse, it was claimed that the Scala Sancta ("the Holy Stairs"), the very steps that Jesus had descended from Pilate's judgment hall, had been moved to Rome, and that God would forgive the sins of those who crawled up the stairs on their knees, kissing each step. Luther dutifully climbed the stairs in the appointed manner, but when he reached the top, he despaired: "At Rome, I wished to liberate my grandfather from purgatory, and went up the staircase of Pilate, praying a pater noster on each step, for I was convinced that he who prayed thus could redeem his soul. But when I came to the top step, the thought kept coming to me, 'Who knows whether this is true?'" (Steven J. Lawson, The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther, [Reformation Trust: 2013], 7–8)
"Who knows whether this is true?" Indeed. Such is the problem with all religions that teach that man must work his way to Heaven. Yet, Rome continues to teach that man must do many works in order to obtain salvation. These range from the ritualistic re-sacrifice of the Mass to the ridiculous, such as following the tweets of Pope Francis.
But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.

Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican's sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the "rites and pious exercises" of the event on television, radio and through social media.

"That includes following Twitter," said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis' Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. "But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet."

In its decree, the penitentiary said that getting an indulgence would hinge on the beneficiary having previously confessed and being "truly penitent and contrite".
Perhaps the most tragic aspect of this story is that these indulgences promise a quicker exit from Purgatory, which happens to be a fictional, non-existent place. As Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry explains:
The doctrine of purgatory is not a Scriptural concept. We do, however, see much discussion in God’s Word about the only two destinations for those who have died: Heaven and Hell.

Jesus spoke significantly of both, and yet there is never a mention of a third place, an interim location where man undergoes further purification. The concept of purgatory implies that Christ’s work on the cross was incomplete and insufficient to save us from judgement for our sins. We know, however, that the full redemptive work of Christ was accomplished on the cross, just as Christ Himself declared, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

The doctrine of Purgatory teaches that some men must undergo additional purification after death before being able to enter the kingdom of Heaven:
All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 1030, 1031)
This concept, however, runs entirely contrary to the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone and denies the full efficacy of the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ.

No amount of devotion to the Vatican's social media accounts will save a soul, absolve one's sins or lessen one's time in a place that does not exist. In fact, no amount of devotion to the Roman Catholic Church will aid one in achieving these things either. The only way that a man may find forgiveness for his sins is to recognize his utter inability to save himself, and to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in Him alone for salvation.

It is an exhausting and futile thing to attempt to save oneself, but Jesus Christ came to save sinners. Repent, and believe the Gospel.

Further Reading
Roman Catholicism (Christian Research Network)
To Those Who Would Undermine the Headship of Christ: Fall on Your Faces
Pope Francis Does Not Know God
Affirming Sola Scriptura
Rejecting the Papacy


  1. "That includes following Twitter," said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis' Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. "But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet."

    Well of course not. That is just ridiculous.

  2. Thank God that He brought me out of the catholic "church".

  3. "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." ~ Romans 1:22 Geneva Bible


    1. Despeville, do you think someone should ask Dr.Moore about this? And while we're at it, what about all of those who signed the Manhattan Declaration? How can darkness and light exist together?


    2. Pam,

      If you are referring to Russel Moore of SBC I think many did ask him this or similar on his blog, problem is that not many of position and influence in the visible church would do the same. I do not pay attention to what he stands for but I have seen his misguided platitudes toward Romish religion and its false pseudo gospel adding to confusion of many. As far as Manhattan declaration, it is a mixed bag. Many who signed this deplorable document are simply ignorant of the Gospel, many are simply naive and probably many more are reprobates posing to be regenerated by God.


    3. Yes, I was referring to him. There was a post on his blog a few months ago and I noticed you posted there.
      As an ex-catholic, I get it. Why don't they??

  4. Psalm 49:7-8 No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him. For the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever.

  5. Can Catholicism get any wackier? I don't think so. Twitter indulgences?! I wonder what they get if they like the pope on Disgracebook.


  6. all i can say is...good grief charlie brown. but then the catholic church has been forcing their insanity, their false doctrines, and fleecing their flocks for hundreds of years. and he's a jesuit...what can we expect? Can anyone say "Spanish Inquisition"?

    1. Indeed and I think it is very important to remember that Roman Catholic Inquisition was not in Spain only but at least 4 or 5 more countries with many more partially under its nefarious onslaught. This horrific terror of false religion lasted almost SIX HUNDRED YEARS creating untold damage to the cause of The Gospel of The Lord of Glory and in most conservative accounts eighty to a hundred thousand lives of people who were brutally tortured first only to be ruthlessly burned alive at stake in public with their families forced to watch their loved ones blackening in flames. As if that was not enough the families of the victims were expelled from the Roman Church which also meant loosing their jobs, positions, businesses and any prospects of education for their children and frequently confiscation of their property. All of that so many times just for refusal to go to Romish mass something so easily and cavalierly done by so many Evangelicals nowadays.


  7. Sadly there are millions who swallow and follow this damning heretical teaching.

    We must pray for a broken heart for the lost. We must pray that blind eyes and deaf ears be open allowing the truth of the Word to set them free.

  8. By their fruits ye shall know them, the bible says. Look at the fruits of the Catholic church in whichever countries she controls. Ignorance and superstition and serfdom, no encouragement of self-advancement except for the hierarchy. Unfortunately the bible predicts her "deadly wound" will be healed. It looks like it is happening now, and the major Protestant churches have forgotten what "protestant" means. They are as apostate as the Roman church and are making an image to her, exactly as scripture says. The poor sheep in that church are often sincere and honestly seeking God. But the leaders know how evil they are. Yes, prayer for your Catholic friends is very important.


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