Francisco, my introduction

Hello everyone,

My name is Francisco Figueroa, a faithful and practicing Catholic layman and, with Ron’s permission, I’m going to write a series of posts with apologetics nature for the most part.

The purpose of the series of posts is to give answers to common misunderstandings of our faith from our separated brothers and sisters, also giving answers to non-Christians, or agnostics, atheists and even fellow Catholics.

I’ll be giving responses to questions or objections regarding our faith to the best of my knowledge and capacity, but always being faithful to the Catholic Church Magisterium. You should always go and learn from the official Catholic resources such as the Catechism, Papal Bulls, Encyclicals, Apostolic letters, etc. along with the Bible for more in depth information. What I’m writing here are my particular responses and insights defending the faith based on my knowledge of those teachings but if you find something that does not coordinate with Church’s official teaching, needless to say, go for the official teaching and let me know what those errors may be.

Now, the Bible can be interpreted to say practically anything. I have encountered people who claim that the Bible supports drunkenness, homosexuality, abortion, communism, etc., etc., and they actually bring the Bible passages that supposedly “support” those claims. These are the reasons why there are many separate beliefs in the world, each with their own particular interpretations of the Bible. But in order to avoid this problem, Jesus who is God (John 1:1) (1:14), established a Church (Matt 16:18-19), gave authority to some of His disciples (the Apostles) (John 20:21) (Matt 28:19) in order to continue the ministry that God the Father has sent His Son to accomplish on this earth.

The Bible itself teaches:

[Ephesians 3]

{3:10} so that the manifold wisdom of God may become well-known to the principalities and powers in the heavens, through the Church

St. Paul also teaches that the Church is “the Pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

This is the reason why Bible “alone” is not an option.  Yes, we need to constantly read the Bible as an infallible source of truth, but we need guidance from someone authorized who understands the meaning of the Word of God because we can misinterpret it.

Suppose that everyone were able to interpret the Constitution on their own way and not have an authority such as the Congress to decide questions, then there be chaos and many divisions. Jesus did not leave us on our own, as sheep without shepherd (Matt 9:36) to interpret who He is or what His teachings are, for before declaring the institution of His Church, many people had the wrong conclusions of who Jesus was: “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”. They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Mat 16:13-14). Not quite right. Now, can I go and declare myself to be an authorized member of the Congress? No. So is with Jesus’ Church. Someone authorized must give me that authorization in order for me to be an ordained priest or a Bishop, and this authorization is being passed along since Jesus passed this authority (which was given to Him by the Father) to His Apostles (Matt 28:28) (John 20:21). This is what we call Apostolic Succession.

St. Peter warned us:

[2 Peter 1]

{1:20} Understand this first: that every prophecy of Scripture does not result from one’s own interpretation.

{1:21} For prophecy was not conveyed by human will at any time. Instead, holy men were speaking about God while inspired by the Holy Spirit.

[2 Peter 3]

{3:16} just as he [St. Paul] also spoke in all of his epistles about these things. In these, there are certain things which are difficult to understand, which the unlearned and the unsteady distort, as they also do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

{3:17} But since you, brothers, know these things beforehand, be cautious, lest by being drawn into the error of the foolish, you may fall away from your own steadfastness.

Regarding the question/objection and answer posts, each response stands on its own and are subject to additional information from time to time as new insights come along with time (though I have already studied and revised them already – but the Church also develops) so I may come back and give more information in future articles to the same topics in order to understand our faith even better. Also, keep in mind that Church’s teaching is vast, ample and developing (doctrine does not change but develops) so do not assume that my responses are “all” there is (though I’ll try to make them the most comprehensive I can), there are many ways to respond the same or similar questions and there can be more information and many insights that can go along the same response.

The enemies of God’s Church sows weed while Jesus’ people are sleeping (Matt 13:24-25). So it is a call for us to be awake! thus giving a response honoring our Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope that is in us; but with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15) and defend our Church when the enemy approaches trying to sow weeds.

Another thing that I would like to point out is that in order to give response to our separated brothers and sisters of the Christian Faith in particular, I’ll be giving such responses more likely from their own versions of the Bibles (such as the New International Version or King James Bible as well if necessary), so that we go from our common ground and if there is a clear mistranslation of a particular Bible, I’ll also go to reliable neutral sources such as Hebrew Bibles, Greek Bibles and so forth so that we all see a honest search for truth here, not a biased or unsound approach.

I will post my first question/response article soon.

Francisco.

[UPDATE:] I’m not taking over this blog, Ron continues to post here.

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4 Responses to Francisco, my introduction

  1. Ron Conte says:

    Thanks, Francisco. Welcome.

  2. Mark P. says:

    Probably the most prevalent Biblical error among Catholics today is the concept of limited inerrancy. Because of the placement of a couple of commas and the arrangements of words (“. . .for the sake of our salvation. . .”) they bend and twist these words of Dei Verbum and insist that the Bible is inerrant only in faith and morals. As if nearly 2000 years of traditional teaching on the Bible was suddenly changed because of punctuation and grammar nuances. They will claim for instance, that the literal parting of the Red Sea is not important for salvation. Or that Joshua did not take Jericho, or that Jesus did not actually multiply the loaves and fishes. Much of it has to do with disbelief in the supernatural. The New American Bible footnotes read by Catholics over the last 40 years didn’t help either.

  3. John says:

    Great post, Francisco. Good talking points to bring up to Protestant friends.

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