The following heresies are deviations from the true gospel of God. They were adopted and perpetuated by the Roman Catholic Church in the course of 1600 years. In reality, the Romanists are the heretics of past ages instead of the people they have murdered because they would not conform to these heresies.
These dates mentioned below are in many cases approximate. Many of these heresies had been current in the church years before, but only when they were officially adopted by a Church Council and proclaimed by the Pope as dogma of faith did they become binding on Catholics. At the Reformation in the 16th Century these heresies were repudiated as having no part in the religion of Jesus as taught in the New Testament.
(1) Of all the human inventions taught and practiced by the Roman Catholic Church, which are contrary to the Bible, the most ancient are the prayers for the dead and the sign of the cross. Both of these began over 300 years after Christ.
(2) Wax candles were introduced in churches about 320 A.D.
(3) Veneration of angels and dead saints began about 375 A.D.
(4) The Mass as a daily celebration was adopted in 394 A.D.
(5) The worship of Mary the mother of Jesus and the use of the term Mother of God, as applied to her, originated in the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D.
(6) Priests began to dress differently from the laity in 500 A.D.
(7) The doctrine of Purgatory was first established by Gregory in 593 A.D.
(8) The Latin language as the language of prayer and worship in churches was also imposed by Pope Gregory I in the year 600 A.D.
(9) The Bible teaches that we pray to God alone (John 16:23-26). In the primitive church prayers were never directed to Mary or to dead saints. This practice began in the Roman Church about 600 years after Christ.
(10) The Papacy is of pagan origin. The title of pope, or universal bishop, was first given to the bishop of Rome by the wicked emperor Phocas in the year 610 A.D. Jesus did not appoint Peter to the headship of the apostles and He did expressly forbid any such notion (Luke 22:24-26; Eph. 1:22, 23; Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 3:11).
(11) The kissing of the Pope’s feet began in the year 709 A.D. It had been a pagan custom to kiss the feet of emperors. The Word of God forbids such practices (Acts 10:25, 26; Rev. 19:10, 22:9).
(12) The temporal power of the popes began in the year 750 A.D. Jesus expressly forbid such a thing and He Himself refused worldly kingship (Matt. 4:8,9; 20:25, 26; John 18:36).
(13) Worship of the cross, images and relics was authorized in 788 A.D. Such practice is called idolatry in the Bible, and is severely condemned (Ex. 20:2-6; Deut. 27:15; Psalms 115; Rom. 2:22; 1 Cor. 8).
(14) Holy Water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by the priest, was authorized in the year 850 A.D.
(15) The veneration of St. Joseph began in the year 890 A.D.
(16) The baptism of bells was instituted by Pope John XIV in 965 A.D.
(17) Canonization of dead saints, first by Pope John XV in 995 A.D. Every believer and follower of Christ is called saint in the Bible (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2).
(18) Fasting on Fridays and during Lent was imposed in the year 998 A.D. by popes said to be interested in the fishing industry. See Matt. 15:10; 1 Cor. 10:25; 1 Tim. 4:1-8; Col. 2:14-17; Rom. 14:1-23.
(19) The Mass was developed gradually as a sacrifice, and attendance made obligatory in the 11th Century after Christ. The gospel teaches that the sacrifice of Christ was offered once and for all, and is not to be repeated, but only commemorated in the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11; Heb. 7:27; 9:26-28; 10:10-14).
(20) The celibacy of the priesthood was decreed by Pope Hildebrand and Boniface VII in the year 1079 A.D. Jesus imposed no such rule, nor did any of the apostles. On the contrary, St. Peter was a married man (Matt. 8:14-15) and St. Paul says that bishops were to have a wife and children (1 Tim. 3:2-5, 12; Titus 1).
(21) The rosary, or prayer beads, was introduced by Peter the Hermit in the year 1090 A.D. This practice was copied from Hindus and Mohammedans. The counting of prayers is a pagan practice and is expressly condemned by Christ (Matt. 6:5-13).
(22) The inquisition of heretics was instituted by the Council of Verona in the year 1184 A.D. Jesus never taught the use of force to spread his religion (Matt. 5 and 10).
(23) The sale of indulgences, commonly regarded as a purchase of forgiveness and a permit to indulge in sin, began in the year 1190 A.D. The Christian religion as taught in the gospel, condemns such a traffic, and it was the protest against this traffic that brought on the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century.
(24) The dogma of transubstantiation was decreed by Pope Innocent III in the year 1215 A.D. By this doctrine the priest pretends to perform a daily miracle by changing a wafer into the body of Christ, and then he pretends to eat Him alive in the presence of his people during Mass. The gospel condemns such absurdities, for the Holy Communion is simply a memorial of the sacrifice of Christ (Luke 22:19, 20; John 6:35; 1 Cor. 11:26).
(25) Confession of sins to the priest at least once a year was instituted by Pope Innocent III in the Lateran Council, in the year 1215 A.D. The gospel commands us to confess our sins direct to God (Psalms 51; Isa. 1:18; Luke 7:48; 15:21; 1 John 1:8,9).
(26) The adoration of the wafer, (host) was invented by Pope Honorius in 1220 A.D. So the Roman Church worships a god made by hands. This is plain idolatry and absolutely contrary to the spirit of the gospel (John 4:24).
(27) The Bible was forbidden to laymen and placed in the Index of forbidden books by the Council of Toledo in 1229 A.D. Jesus and the apostles commanded that the Scriptures should be read by all (John 5:39; 1 Tim. 3:15-16).
(28) The scapular was invented by Simon Stock, an English monk, in 1287 A.D. It is a piece of brown cloth, with the picture of the Virgin and supposed to contain supernatural virtue to protect those who wear it on the naked skin from all dangers. This is fetishism.
(29) The Roman Church forbad the cup to the laity in the Council of Constance in 1414 A.D. The gospel commands all Christians to celebrate Holy Communion with bread and wine (Matt. 26:27; 1 Cor. 11:26-29).
(30) The doctrine of purgatory was proclaimed as a dogma of faith by the Council of Florence in 1439 A.D. There is not one word in the Bible that would teach the purgatory of priests. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sins (1 John 1:7-9; 2:1, 2; John 5:24; Rom. 8:10; Rev. 1:5; Eph. 1:7).
(31) The doctrine of Seven Sacraments was affirmed in 1439 A.D. The gospel says that Christ instituted only two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 28:19, 20; 26:26-28).
(32) The Ave Maria, or the addition of part of the last half, was made in 1508 A.D. It was completed so years afterward and finally approved by Pope Sixtus V, at the end of the 16th Century.
(33) The Council of Trent, held in the year 1545 A.D., declared that tradition is of equal authority with the Bible. By tradition is meant human teachings. The Pharisees believed the same way, and Jesus bitterly condemned them, for by human traditions they nullified the commandments of God (Mark 7:7-13; Col. 2:8; Rev. 22:18).
(34) Six apocryphal books were added to the Bible by the Council of Trent in 1546 A.D. This is contrary to the Bible (Rev. 22:18,19).
(35) The creed of Pope Pius IV, was imposed as the official creed of Catholics in 1560 A.D. True Christians will retain the Holy Scriptures as their creed. Hence, their creed is 1,500 years older than the creed of Roman Catholics. (See Gal. 1:8; Rev. 22:18, 19; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:15-17.)
(36) The immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in the year 1854 A.D. The gospel states that all men, with the sole exception of Christ, are sinners. Mary herself had need of a Savior (Rom. 3:23; 5:12; Psalms 51:5; Luke 1:30, 46-47).
(37) In the year 1870 A.D. Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of papal infallibility.
(38) Pope Pius X, in the year 1907 condemned, together with “modernism,” all the discoveries of modern science which were not approved by the church. Pius IX had done the same thing in the syllabus of 1864 A.D.
(39) In the year 1930 Pius XI condemned the public schools.
(40) In the year 1931 the same Pope Pius XI reaffirmed the doctrine that diary is “the Mother of God.” This doctrine was first invented by the Council of Ephesus in the year 431 A.D. This is a heresy which is contrary to Mary’s own words (Luke 1:46-49).
What will be the next invention of the Roman Church? Catholics say their church never changes, yet it has done nothing but invent new doctrines which are contrary to the Bible, and has practiced rites and ceremonies taken wholly from paganism. At least 95% of the rites and ceremonies of the Roman Church are of pagan origin.
Cardinal Newman, in his book (Page 359) “The Development of the Christian Religion” admits that “Temples, incense, oil lamps, votive offerings, holy water, holidays and seasons of devotions, processions, blessings of fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure (of priests, monks, and nuns), images are all of pagan origin.” Let any honest heart find Scripture for the above practices and see for himself that Romanism is not scriptural. The above chronological list of human inventions disproves the claim of the priests of the Roman Church that their religion was taught by Christ and that the popes have been the faithful custodians of that religion.