Catholics have seven sacraments, and they are not from what scripture gives us, but some truth mixed with falsehood derived from pagan rites and ceremonies: They brought another baptism, confirmation, Eucharist (mass), penance/reconciliation (indulgences), extreme unction (last rights), marriage, and orders (ordination). Although not even formally decreed until the Council of Florence in 1439, the Council of Trent later declared all to be anathema whom do not hold Rome's position that it was Christ Himself who instituted these seven sacraments!(The idea behind the sacraments is that the shedding of Christ's Blood in His death upon the cross is of no value unless it is somehow dispensed and applied "sacramentally" by the Catholic priesthood.)
Although Catholics believe that the first five sacraments are indispensable for salvation (because without any one of them, a mortal sin has been committed), baptism is considered the most important. Catholics believe that a person enters into the spiritual life of the Church through baptism; i.e., baptismal regeneration -- that a person can be saved through baptism (actually,'on the road to salvation,' because Catholics never know exactly when they are saved). They practice infant baptism because they believe baptism erases original sin (cf. John 3:18). Titus 3:5 makes clear that we cannot be saved by works, "Not by works of righteousness..." There are NO sacraments taught in the Bible. Nothing is essential for our salvation other than simple child-like faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour to forgive our sins.
The Mass is not from the Bible, it has pagan origins. In the Roman Catholic mass, the Eucharist or "host" (the round wafer) is a symbol of the sun. The round disc in the crescent moon was a symbol of ancient Babylon, and is found in all the ancient religions. Unknown in the early church, the mass did not become an official doctrine until pronounced by the Lateran Council of 1215 under the direction of Pope Innocent III, and reaffirmed by the Council of Trent. The Church of Rome holds that the mass is a continuation of the sacrifice that Christ made on Calvary -- in effect a re-crucifixion of Christ over and over again in an unbloody manner (cf. Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 1:7). They believe that by this means Christ offers Himself again and again as a sacrifice for sin (cf. Hebrews 7:27; 9:12,25,26; 10:10,12,14,18), and that this sacrifice is just as efficacious to take away sin as was the true sacrifice on Calvary. Catholics thus teach the doctrine of transubstantiation (meaning a change of substance)-- that the bread and wine (at communion) actually become (by the power of the priest!) the body and blood of Christ, which is then worshiped as God Himself! Indeed, the sacrifice of the mass is the central point of Catholic worship, as evidenced by the fact that those abstaining from attending mass are considered to have committed a mortal sin. Of course, holy communion is not taught in the Bible. The Bible teaches the "Lord's supper" which was simply an ordinance that Christ initiated for believers to do in remembrance of Him, no more. There is nothing magical about the Lord's supper. Nothing changes into anything. It is simply a time to remember Christ in an official church manner, Jesus is NOT dying again. The book of Hebrews tells us repeatedly that Jesus died "once" for all.
There have been three major Roman Catholic Councils: Council of Trent (1545-1563), Vatican I (1869-1870), and Vatican II (1962-1965).
The Council of Trent was held in an attempt to destroy the progress of the Protestant Reformation; it approved many superstitious and unbiblical beliefs (all to be believed under the threat of "anathema"):
(a) Denied every doctrine of the Reformation, from Sola Scriptura to "salvation by grace through faith alone";
(b) Pronounced 125 anathemas (i.e., eternal damnation) upon anyone believing what evangelicals believe and preach today;
(c) Equal value and authority of tradition and Scripture (in actuality, tradition is held above Scripture);
(d) Scriptures for the priesthood only (prohibited to anyone in the laity without written permission from one's superior -- to violate this was [and still is in most "Catholic countries" today] considered a mortal sin);
(e) Seven sacraments;
(f) Communion by eating the bread only (not drinking the wine);
(i) The Mass as a propitiatory offering.The last Council, Vatican II, offered no new doctrines nor repudiated any essential teaching of the Roman Church; it referred to Trent dozens and dozens of times, quoted Trent's proclamations as authority, and reaffirmed Trent on every hand.
Some of the Anathemas of Trent:
If any one shall deny that the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; and shall say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a figure, or virtually -- let him be accursed (Canon 1).
If any one shall say that the substance of the bread and wine remains in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, together with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, the outward forms of the bread and wine still remaining, which conversion the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation -- let him be accursed (Canon 2).
If any man shall say that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, even with the open worship of latria, and therefore not to be venerated with any peculiar festal celebrity, nor to be solemnly carried about in processions according to the praiseworthy, and universal rites and customs of the holy Church, and that he is not to be publicly set before the people to be adored, and that his adorers are idolaters -- let him be accursed (Canon 6).
If anyone shall say that the ungodly man is justified by faith only so as to understand that nothing else is required that may cooperate to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is in no wise necessary for him to be prepared and disposed by the motion of his own will ... let him be accursed (Canon 9).
If anyone shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed (Canon 12).
The Catholic Church didn't get to the Council of Trent and its unbiblical and pagan declarations by chance, slowly the church was led into apostasy. Here are some of the steps it took:
AD 310-It brought in the pagan prayers for the dead about 300 years after Christ.
AD about 320-Wax Candles for the pagan ritual of prayers was introduced in church.
AD 321- Pope Constantine passes a law requiring believers to worship on Sunday, the day the pagans worshipped the sun-god.
AD 321 to 364-Sunday worship instituted by the Council of Laodicea.
AD 327-Relic Worship was introduced in church.
AD 375-Veneration of angels and dead saints was introduced in church.
AD 394 -The Mass, as a daily celebration, adopted.
AD 431=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.
AD 500-Priests took on pagan appearance and dress differently from the laity
AD 590-The belief of Eternal Torment was introduced in church.
AD 593-The doctrine of Purgatory was first established by Pope Gregory I.
The Latin language, as the language of prayer and worship in churches, and a form of Western plainchant, was attributed to Pope Gregory I and so took the name of Gregorian chant.
AD 600-The introduction of prayers directed to Mary, or to dead saints. This practice began in the Roman Church during Pope Gregory I
AD 610-The title of pope or universal bishop, was declared given to the bishop of Rome by the emperor Phocas. Gregory 1, then bishop of Rome, refused the title, but his successor, Boniface III, first assumed title "pope."
AD 709-The kissing of the Pope's feet began. It had been a pagan custom to kiss the feet of emperors.
AD 788-Worship of the cross, images and relics was authorized
AD 850-Holy Water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by the priest, was authorized
AD 965-The baptism of bells was instituted by Pope John XIV
AD 995-Canonization of dead saints, first by Pope John XV
AD 998-Fasting on Fridays and during Lent were imposed, some authorities say, began in the year 700.
AD around 1000-The Mass was developed gradually as a sacrifice; attendance made obligatory in the 11th century, some authorities say, began with the liturgy of Pope Gregory I and two versions from beyond the Alps, the Gelasian (originally from Rome) and the ancient Gallican.
AD 1079-The celibacy of the priesthood was decreed by Pope Hildebrand, Boniface VII
AD 1090-The Rosary, or prayer beads was introduced by Peter the Hermit, in the year 1090. Copied from Hindus and Mohammedans
AD 11184-The Inquisition of heretics was instituted by the Council of Verona.
AD 1190-The sale of Indulgences, commonly regarded as a purchase of forgiveness and a permit to indulge in sin and it was the protest against this traffic that brought on the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.
AD 1215-The dogma of Transubstantiation was decreed by Pope Innocent III. By this doctrine the priest pretends to perform a daily miracle by changing a wafer into the body of Christ, and then lays claim to eat Him in the presence of his people during Mass.
AD 1215-Confession of sin to the priest at least once a year was instituted by Pope Innocent III., in the Lateran Council
AD 1220-The adoration of the wafer (Host), was decreed by Pope Honorius
which is plain idolatry.
AD 1229-The Bible forbidden to laymen and placed in the Index of forbidden books by the Council of Valencia
AD 1287-The Scapular was invented by Simon Stock, and English monk
It is a piece of brown cloth, with the picture of the Virgin and supposed to contain supernatural virtue to protect from all dangers those who wear it on naked skin.
AD 1311-Infant Baptism was introduced in church.
AD 1414-The Roman Church forbade the cup to the laity, by instituting the communion of one kind in the Council of Constance
AD 1439-The doctrine of Purgatory was proclaimed as a dogma of faith by Council of Florence
AD 1439-The doctrine of 7 Sacraments affirmed
AD 1808-The Ave Maria, part of the last was completed 50 years afterward and finally approved by Pope Sixtus V, at the end of the 16th century.
AD 1445-The Council of Trent, held in the year 1545, declared that Tradition is of equal authority with the Bible and apocryphal books were added to the Bible also by the Council of Trent.
Now the doctrine of transubstantiation does not date back to the Last Supper as is supposed. It was a controverted topic for many centuries before officially becoming an article of faith, which means that it is essential to salvation according to the Roman Catholic Church. The idea of a corporal presence was vaguely held by some, such as Ambrose, but it was not until 831 A.D. that Paschasius Radbertus, a Benedictine monk, published a treatise openly advocating the doctrine of transubstantiation. Even then, for almost another four hundred years, theological war was waged over this teaching by bishops and people alike until at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 A.D., it was officially defined and canonized as a dogma.
Like many of the beliefs and rites of Romanism, transubstantiation was first practiced by pagan religions. The noted historian Durant said that belief in transubstantiation as practiced by the priests of the Roman Catholic system is "one of the oldest ceremonies of primitive religion." The Story Of Civilization, p. 741
In Egypt priests would consecrate mest cakes which were supposed to be come the flesh of Osiris. Encyclopedia Of Religions, Vol. 2, p. 76. The idea of transubstantiation was also characteristic of the religion of Mithra whose sacraments of cakes and Haoma drink closely parallel the Catholic Eucharistic rite. Ibid...The Christian Church for the first three hundred years remained somewhat pure and faithful to the Word of God, but after the pseudo-conversion of Constantine, who for political expedience declared Christianity the state religion, thousands of pagans were admitted to the church by baptism alone with out true conversion. They brought with them pagan rites which they boldly introduced into the church with Christian terminology, thus corrupting the primitive faith. Even the noted Catholic prelate and theologian, Cardinal Newman, tells us that Constantine introduced many things of pagan origin: "We are told in various ways by Eusebius, that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own...The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on fields, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church." An Essay On The Development Of Christian Doctrine, pp. 359, 360. This unholy alliance also allowed the continuance of the pagan custom of eating and drinking the literal flesh and literal blood of their god. This is actually how transubstantiation entered the professing church.
The Mystery of the Eucharist
Here is a explanation quoting from Roman Catholic sources. The first source to be quoted is from St. Thomas, reprinted in the Catholic book, "Faith of Millions", John O'Brien, Ph.D., LL.D., 268-269, "nihil obstat" by Rev. T. E. Dillon-Censor Librorum and "imprimatur" by John Francis Noll, D.D. -Bishop of Fort Wayne.
" Power of Consecrating: The supreme power of the priestly office is the power of consecrating. 'No act is greater,' says St. Thomas, 'than the consecration of the body of Christ.' In this essential phase of the sacred ministry, the power of the priest is not surpassed by that of the bishop, the archbishop, the cardinal or the pope. Indeed it is equal to that of Jesus Christ. For in this role the priest speaks with the voice and the authority of God Himself. WHEN THE PRIEST PRONOUNCES THE TREMENDOUS WORDS OF CONSECRATION, HE REACHES UP INTO HEAVENS, BRINGS CHRIST DOWN FROM HIS THRONE, AND PLACES HIM UPON OUR ALTAR TO BE OFFERED UP AGAIN AS THE VICTIM FOR THE SINS OF MAN."
"It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. Indeed it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. For, while the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, THE PRIEST BRINGS CHRIST DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND RENDERS HIM PRESENT ON OUR ALTAR AS THE ETERNAL VICTIM FOR THE SINS OF MAN - NOT ONCE BUT A THOUSAND TIMES! THE PRIEST SPEAKS AND LO! CHRIST THE ETERNAL AND OMNIPOTENT GOD, BOWS HIS HEAD IN HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO THE PRIEST'S COMMAND."
"Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vicegerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ; he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially found of applying to the priest is that of 'alter Christus.' FOR THE PRIEST IS AND SHOULD BE ANOTHER CHRIST" (Faith of Millions, John O'Brien, Ph.D., LL.D., 268-269)("nihil obstat" by Rev. T. E. Dillon-Censor Librorum and "imprimatur" by John Francis Noll, D.D. -Bishop of Fort Wayne). Emphasis added.http://www.cuttingedge.org/News/n2248.cfm
Here is more on these 'Seven Sacraments':
The term sacrament derives from the Latin sacramentum, the meaning of which is a thing set apart as holy. The New Testament never isolates certain acts of obedience from others by designating them as sacraments. However, as the early church (late first century and onward) began to drift from the New Testament pattern (cf. 2 Thes. 2:1ff; 1 Tim. 4:1ff; 2 Tim. 4:1ff), certain acts began to be distinguished from others as conveying a special sort of grace. These practices originally had a biblically-based background, but such gradually became perverted by misguided and/or unscrupulous teachers.
By medieval times (from about A.D. 500 to 1500), the Roman Church (deeply steeped in considerable error by this time) had isolated what its clergy called the sacraments. It was not until the 16th century that they were cataloged as seven. These were: Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, the Eucharist, Sacred Orders, Holy Matrimony, and Extreme Unction.
Here is the seven as practiced and held by the Roman Catholic Church:
Baptism is not a magical rite (administered by the sprinkling or pouring of water upon the candidate head) that bestows the grace of pardon (or the removal of original sin), as alleged in Roman theology.
Rather, baptism is exclusively the burial in water, and resurrection therefrom, of a penitent believer. It thus involves a person who has arrived at a responsible level of faith in God and his Son, Jesus Christ (Heb. 11:6; Jn. 8:24), and who is willing to openly confess the same in a public fashion (Rom. 10:9-10). That personal faith leads one to resolve to turn from sin in repentance, as much as is humanly possible (Lk. 13:3,5; Acts 17:31).
These preliminaries result in the sincere person seeking forgiveness from sin, on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus of Nazareth, in yielding to the sacred command to be baptized for the remission of one sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
Baptism is not an outward sign" of an inward grace received already. It is an outward act of obedience leading to pardon, and the obtaining of a clear conscience before God (1 Pet. 3:21).
Confirmation is a ritual that was bequeathed sacramental status in the twelfth century A.D. (by Peter Lombard). It is administered by a Bishop (or sometimes delegated to a priest.) In Roman circles it generally is bestowed at about the age of seven to twelve (somewhere in proximity to the childs first communion).
In Lutheran practice, though not characterized as a sacrament, a similar rite is given to youngsters (in their early teens) who choose to confirm in their hearts the baptism their parents had performed upon them as infants. These rituals are without New Testament authority.
Penance derives from the Latin poena (penalty). It refers to disciplinary procedures imposed by the apostate Church. Penance was codified as a sacrament by the Counil of Trent (A.D. 1545-63; Sess. xiv, 3). It involves the confession of ones sins to a priest, absolution, i.e., forgiveness extended by the cleric, and satisfaction submission to temporal penalty (e.g., a monetary fine or assigned works) exacted in order to effect reconciliation between the offender and the Church. The practice is of human origin and is an affront to the principles of the Christian faith in several particulars.
Holy Eucharist is the expression used in the Roman Catholic environment for what is more commonly referred to as the Lords supper. Eucharist derives from a Greek term which signifies thankful, or to give thanks (cf. eucharisteo, gave thanks Mt. 26:27). The doctrine of the Eucharist involves the idea of transubstantiation, i.e., the notion that when the priest pronounces sacred words, this is my body/blood, the bread and the fruit of the vine are transformed into the literal body and blood of the Savior.
This concept became an article of faith at the Council of Trent in 1551. The member eats only the bread (wafer), but supposedly he receives both elements (flesh and blood) within the bread. This is called communion under one kind. During the Eucharist ceremony, Christ is sacrificed again for sin (hence, the sacrifice of the mass, and, according to the dictum handed down by the Council of Trent, this sacrifice is identical with type of sacrifice that Jesus suffered on the cross. These ideas are contradictory to the plain teaching of the New Testament.
Transubstantiation fails to appreciate the symbolic nature of the Lords supper (a memorial, not an actual physical presence). Communion under one kind specifically ignores the Saviors instruction that all are to drink (see Mt. 26:27 ESV), and the theory of multiple messianic sacrifices stands in opposition to the explicit testimony of Scripture that Christ was offered but once (see Heb. 9:28).
Holy Orders has reference to the special appointment of certain officers in the Church. In Romanism it has to do with the ordination of offices, e.g., bishops/priests, deacons, and sub-deacons. By means of special ceremonies, those being ordained receive a sacred unction (anointing), which transfers to them an essence of such an exalted spiritual nature, that such can never be forfeited. No personal sin can ever make the ordained person unfit to function in this capacity. This mysticism has no parallel in the literature of the New Testament. The hierarchy system of the Roman church was patterned after the governmental structure of pagan Rome.
Holy Matrimony of course, refers to the institution of marriage. The Roman Catholic Church contends that marriage is a church institution, and since they believe that the Catholic church is the true, universal church of Christ, the Roman Church claims marital jurisdiction over all who have been baptized in that communion.
Marriage between Catholics is considered a sacrament (Council of Trent, Sess. xxix, can. 2). Marriage between two non-Catholics is but a mere contract. Contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ (Mt. 5:32; 19:9), the Catholic Church permits no valid cause for divorce.
However, with influence in the right places, and especially if one has sufficient financial resources, an annulment (i.e., a declaration that ones original marriage never was valid) can be effected on almost any basis, and Catholics may remarry following the annulment. Modern clergymen are as adept as were the ancient Pharisees at manipulating divine law for a desired result!
Extreme Unction in the Roman Catholic system is a part of the last rites administered to those who are dying. It involves the application of consecrated oil, by a properly ordained priest, to the eyes, ears, nostrils, lips, hands, and feet of the failing victim. It is alleged to be valid in granting pardon from sin. It is claimed to be grounded in Scripture (Mk. 6:13; Jas. 5:14-15), though these passages have nothing to do with preparation for death. The doctrine of was defined at the Council of Trent.
....over the many centuries ...the Roman Church has had a fluctuating recognition as to what constitutes a genuine sacrament. The number of sacraments has varied from five to twelve. It was not until the session of Trent in 1549 that the number seven became fixed as an article of faith.