My kid goes to St. Ignorantia’s, a very expensive Catholic high school, and she came home telling me that the Emperor Constantine made up the church in 325 AD and that he is the one who decided Jesus was a god. She said the four gospels were all written one or two generations after Jesus and they are full of mythology. They are teaching her to find the historical Jesus, not the Jesus of faith. She claims that the only true gospel is the Q document which is a collection of the authentic sayings of Jesus, who was only a teacher. The Q document has no mention of the crucifixion, the resurrection and the church, so these must obviously be made up by a later generation. Is all this true?
Yours truly ,
Moses “Moe” Dernist
Not all that glitters is gold and not all that claims to be Catholic is Catholic. As it just so happens, I have recently just finished an excellent series of lectures on the Q document and the search for the historical Jesus by Professor E.E. Peters of New York University. Let me begin by explaining what the Q document is. It is a non existent, hypothetical collection of the sayings of Jesus.
A German theologian, Friederich Schleiermacher in 1832, interpreted a statement by the early Christian writer Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (in present day Turkey circa 125AD) "Matthew compiled the sayings of the Lord in a Hebrew" as meaning that Papias was talking about a collection of the sayings of Jesus that was available to the Gospel writers. Developing this idea, other liberal Protestant German theologians proposed the Two-Source Hypothesis, in which both Matthew and Luke used Mark and another source of the sayings of Jesus. In German “source” is “quelle”, hence the Quelle, or Q document. Many modern scholars theorize it existed. No copy has ever been found. However there are about 230 verses common to Matthew and Luke that are not found in Mark. The theory is that they are so closely alike in phrasing and vocabulary that they must come from a common source, written or perhaps unwritten. That source is called “Q.”
This may well be so, but what does it mean? In the hands of the pseudo-scholars who control many formerly Catholic institutions, liberal Protestants, and members of the Jesus seminar, it means that the real Jesus is found in the Q document, not in the Gospels which were products of a later generation who had not actually been eyewitnesses to the events they describe. Thus, the Gospels are full of mistakes and mythology. If we strain out all the mythology of these late documents that pretend to be eyewitness gospels, we can get back to the real Jesus, who was a nice teacher and loved everybody.
Their reason to say that the Gospels must be written years after Jesus is that the Gospels prophesy the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24 Mark 13 Luke21) and everybody knows that there is no such thing as prophecy. This is circular reasoning. There is no such thing as prophecy, therefore the Gospels cannot really be prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Therefore the Gospels must be written after 70 AD. This is idiotic. We have evidence that the Christian community escaped the destruction of Jerusalem precisely because Jesus had prophesied it. In our time we have all sorts of examples of prophetic fulfillment. Fatima comes to mind.
Or how about the following prophecy from
Sr. Marianne de Jesus Torres (17th century, Quito, Ecuador):
"The Church will find itself attacked by waves of a secret sect ... corrupted priests will scandalize the Church ... Moreover, in these unhappy times there will be unbridled luxury which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will lose themselves. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women, and, in this supreme moment of need of the Church, those whom it behooves to speak will fall silent."
“As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Freemasonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church.
"The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of Faith will gradually be extinguished until there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. Added to this will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations. The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed, and despised, for in this Sacrament, the Church of God and even God Himself is scorned and despised since He is represented in His priests.
"The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests.
"This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church, the many good priests, and the Supreme Pastor and Vicar of Christ on Earth, who, a prisoner in the Vatican, will shed secret and bitter tears in the presence of his God and Lord, beseeching light, sanctity, and perfection for all the clergy of the world, of whom he is King and Father."
Our Lord told her: "My Justice will be tried to the limit by the evils and sacrileges of the 20th Century ... I shall punish heresy, blasphemy and impurity." These things were said on Jan 20, 1610 almost exactly 400 years ago last month. Still think there’s no such thing as prophecy?
Continued next week