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Rome's Challenge

A challenge to Protestants as to why they keep Sunday instead of the Bible Sabbath

Here are a list of quotes from the Catholic Church challenging Protestants to consider why they are keeping Sunday instead of the Bible Sabbath, which is Saturday. The Bible Sabbath is on Saturday and if Protestants say they go by the Bible, and the Bible only, then why do they observe Sunday instead of Saturday? The Catholic Church's challenge is telling Protestant churches that they are actually following the Catholic Church instead of the Bible when they diverge from the Bible on this point.

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"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." C. F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath, November 11, 1895

"Tradition, not Scripture, is the rock on which the church of Jesus Christ is built." Adrien Nampon, Catholic Doctrine, the Council of Trent, p. 157

"The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine law. The pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts a vicegerent of God upon earth." Lucius Ferraris, "Prompta Bibliotheca", Papa, II, Vol. VI, p. 29

"The Sun was a foremost god with heathendom. There is, in truth, something royal, kingly about the sun, making it a fit emblem of Jesus, the Sun of Justice. Hence the church in these countries would seem to have said, to 'Keep that old pagan name [Sunday]. It shall remain consecrated, sanctified.' And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus." William Gildea, Doctor of Divinity, The Catholic World, March, 1894, p. 809

"The retention of the old pagan name of Dies Solis, for Sunday is, in a great measure, owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects - pagan and Christian alike - as the 'venerable' day of the sun."" Arthur P. Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, p. 184

"Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holydays? Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church." Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (1833 approbation), p.58 (Also Manual of Christian Doctrine, ed. by Daniel Ferris [1916 ed.], p.67)

"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and... can be defended only on Catholic principles.... From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." Catholic Press, August 25, 1900

"The Sabbath was Saturday, not Sunday. The Church altered the observance of the Sabbath to the observance of Sunday. Protestants must be rather puzzled by the keeping of Sunday when God distinctly said, 'Keep holy the Sabbath Day.' The word Sunday does not come anywhere in the Bible, so, without knowing it they are obeying the authority of the Catholic Church." Canon Cafferata, The Catechism Explained, p. 89

"Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible." John Cardinal Gibbons, The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893

The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant." The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, p. 4

"All of us believe many things in regard to religion that we do not find in the Bible. For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is the seventh day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the Church outside the Bible." The Catholic Virginian, "To Tell You the Truth," Vol. 22, No. 49 (Oct. 3, 1947)

"... you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify." The Faith of Our Fathers, James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, 88th edition, p. 89. Originally published in 1876

"Deny the authority of the Church and you have no adequate or reasonable explanation or justification for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday in the Third - Protestant Fourth - Commandment of God... The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact." Catholic Record, September 1, 1923

"Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. 'The Day of the Lord' was chosen, not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church's sense of its own power. The day of resurrection, the day of Pentecost, fifty days later, came on the first day of the week. So this would be the new Sabbath. People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become Seventh Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy." Sentinel, Saint Catherine Catholic Church, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995

"If Protestants would follow the Bible, they would worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church." Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter dated February 10, 1920

"The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church." Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, p. 213

"I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says, 'No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.' And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church." Priest Thomas Enright, C.S.S.R., February 18, 1884, The American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic journal in June 1893, p. 173

"Sunday is our mark of authority..... The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact." The Catholic Record, London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.

"It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church." Priest Brady, in an address reported in the Elizabeth, NJ News on March 18, 1903

"Protestants ... accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change... But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that ... in observing Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the pope." Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950

"Of course these two old quotations are exactly correct. The Catholic Church designated Sunday as the day for corporate worship and gets full credit — or blame — for the change." This Rock, The Magazine of Catholic Apologetics and Evangelization, p. 8, June 1997

"Which is the Sabbath day? Saturday is the Sabbath day. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." Rev. Peter Geiermann C.SS.R., The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50

"Must not a sensible Protestant doubt seriously, when he finds that even the Bible is not followed as a rule by his co-religionists? Surely, when he sees them baptize infants, abrogate the Jewish Sabbath, and observe Sunday for which there is no Scriptural authority; when he finds them neglect to wash one another's feet, which is expressly commanded, and eat blood and things strangled, which are expressly prohibited in Scripture. He must doubt, if he think at all. ... Should not the Protestant doubt when he finds that he himself holds tradition as a guide? Yes, if he would but reflect that he has nothing but Catholic tradition for keeping the Sunday holy." Controversial Catechism, Stephen Keenan, New Edition, revised by Rev. George Cormack, published in London by Burns & Oates, Limited - New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benzinger Brothers, 1896, pp. 6-7

"The Church, on the other hand, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third [sic] Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord's Day. The Council of Trent condemns those who deny that the Ten Commandments are binding on Christians." The Catholic Encyclopedia, "Commandments of God", Volume IV, 1908, Robert Appleton Company

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