Month: August 2016

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The Trouble with Jerome

Marinus van Reymerswaele, St. Jerome (1541)
Protestants frequently claim that there are only 66 books in the Bible. This isn't the Bible used by early Christians, by Luther, by Calvin, or by the Catholic, Orthodox, or Coptic Churches. So where do they draw support? Strangely, they cite a single fourth century Church Father: St. Jerome. But there's a problem with that approach. Or more accurately: four problems.

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How the Early Church Disproves Protestant Claims About the Eucharist and the Church

Why should we care about the writings of the Church Fathers, or early Church history? Consider the Church of the early 100s. Protestants typically (a) reject the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ, that the Eucharist becomes His Flesh and Blood; and (b) believe that once you are saved, you'll never permanently fall away from the faith. But holding these views would require believing that the very same Symrnaean and Ephesian Christians praised by Christ in 96 A.D. are heretics by 107 A.D.

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Why Care About the Perpetual Virginity of Mary?

Simone Martini, Annunciation Triptych (1333)
Why do Catholics care about the perpetual Virginity of Mary? And does the doctrine make any sense, or does it just reflect an unhealthy disdain for marital sex? After all, why shouldn't a married woman, like St. Mary, engage in sexual relations with her husband? Such relations aren't just not sinful: they're good. So why have Christians from the time of the earliest days of the Church onwards consistently insisted upon Mary's perpetual virginity, even after the birth of Christ?

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