Papal Preacher Correctly Says All Catholics Responsible for Church's Faults

Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. Jeremiah 7:4

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April 4, 2003 - VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- All Catholics share responsibility for the church's failure to live up to Christ's call that the church be holy and perfect, the preacher of the papal household said. "Christ loved the church and gave himself for her so that she would be 'without stain,' and the church would be without stain if it were not for us," Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa told Pope John Paul II and top Vatican officials. Leading a morning Lenten reflection April 4, Father Cantalamessa focused on the New Testament description of the church as the beloved bride of Christ. If Christ loved the church despite the failures he must have known would be part of her history, the preacher said, "Who are we to find in the weaknesses and miseries of the church a reason not to love her and, in fact, (a reason) to judge her? Do we think Jesus does not know the sins of the church better than we do?" he asked.

Ron Beaulieu's comments:

Where have we heard this before?! Christ loves the church in spite of her faults and defects, but He divorced Israel because of gross apostasy, and even told Jeremiah not to pray for the Jewish church of his day because it conspired/confederated with Godís enemies, Jeremiah 11:9-15.

ďAnd I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.Ē

Jeremiah 3:8
Then in A.D. 70, the Temple and the city of Jerusalem, were destroyed. Men, maidens and little children all perished together, Ezekiel 9. The bad were gathered into the midsts of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 22:17-31, the apostate church, while a faithful remnant escaped to Pella in the land of Perea.

But at least the Catholic leader mentioned above believes in the truth of corporate responsibility for the sins of the church. That is more than most SDA's consent to. However, the principle being advanced is that the church can do anything it jolly well pleases and still be counted by God as His bride. That is exactly what the Jews thought when they spoke of themselves thusly:

Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. Jeremiah 7:4

That did not work with the Hebrew church and it will not work with the Gentile church. It will not work with the professing Seventh-day Adventist church! Only a relatively small remnant will escape from all formally organized churches to form the bride of Jesus Christ, and that includes the professing Seventh-day Adventist church.

Corporate Responsibility


One reason Seventh-day Adventists are corporately responsible as a body for the open apostasy of the church is because they elect their leaders under a hierarchical system of organization. Another reason, as stated by the Catholic preacher in this document, is that the church is considered as THE BODY of Christ.


"The plain straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body [corporately], responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them." Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 269.


"The names of those who sin and refuse to repent should not be retained on the church books, lest the saints be held accountable for their evil deeds. Those who pursue a course of transgression should be visited and labored with, and if they then refuse to repent, they should be separated from church fellowship, in accordance with the rules laid down in the Word of God." {11MR 208.3}

Scripture on Corporate responsibility: Blood of the Prophets

Luke 11:50 Luke 11:49-51 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, Luke 11:50-52 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.

Then, of course, there is the Achan principle.


Because Israel did not repent and even committed unpardonable sin by conspiring and confederating with Godís enemies, and refusing Godís conditions, a true remnant, all true Christians, were gathered out of apostate Israel in the last literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 9 from A.D. 34 and on.

 31And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:

 32For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.

Like Mother Rome, leaders and members of the professing Seventh-day Adventist church think that their church and its members are the bride of Christ no matter what abominations the church commits corporately. SDA's are worse than their Catholic counterparts in that they do not, for the most part, accept corporate responsibility for the abominations of the corporate church. This is evinced by its members often criticizing all and any who sigh and cry for the abominations as being critical and bitter.

Also, gross abominations are often regarded and/or excused by the church and its members as mere faults and defects. Abominations are not mere defects and faults. Only those who sigh and cry for all the abominations in the church will receive the mark (seal) of the Man in Linen, Ezekiel 9:4:

"Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the church.' Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 266-267.

This instruction is based on Ezekiel 9:4, and Ellen White says that Ezekiel 9 will be literally repeated:

"Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling; will YOU hear? Will YOU receive His message? Will YOU be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity. Letter 106, 1909, pp. 2, 3, 5, 7. (To "The churches in Oakland and Berkeley, September 26, 1909.)" E. G. White Manuscript Releases Volume One, p. 260.

What is the Final Prophesied Fate of the Corporate SDA Church Because of its Abominations?

"The gospel makes no compromise with evil. It cannot excuse sin. Secret sins are to be confessed in secret to God; but, for open sin, open confession is required. Desire of Ages, p. 811.  †††

"Jesus sends HIS PEOPLE a message of warning to prepare them for his coming. To the prophet John was made known the closing work in the great plan of man's redemption. He beheld an angel flying 'in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him for the hour of his Judgment is come and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters [Rev. 14:6, 7.].

The angel represented in prophecy as delivering this message,  symbolizes a class of faithful men, who, obedient to the promptings of God's Spirit and the teachings of his word, proclaim this warning to the inhabitants of earth. This message was not to be committed to the religious leaders of the people. They had failed to preserve their connection with God, and had REFUSED THE LIGHT FROM HEAVEN therefore they WERE NOT of the number described by the apostle Paul: 'But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day we are not of the night nor of darkness' [1 Thess. 5:4, 5]. 

The watchmen upon the walls of Zion should be the first to catch the tidings of the Saviour's advent, the first to lift their voices to proclaim him near, the first to warn the people to prepare for his coming. But they were at ease, dreaming of peace and safety, while the people were asleep in their sins. Jesus saw HIS CHURCH, like the barren fig-tree, covered with pretentious leaves, yet destitute of precious fruit. There was a boastful observance of the forms of religion, while the spirit of true humility, penitence and faith--which alone could render the service acceptable to God--was lacking. Instead of the graces of the Spirit, there were manifested pride, formalism, vainglory, selfishness, oppression. A BACKSLIDING CHURCH closed their eyes to the signs of the times. God did nor forsake them, or suffer his faithfulness to fail but they departed from him, and SEPARATED THEMSELVES from his love. As they REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS, his promises were NOT FULFILLED to them."  E.G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy,  vol. 4, pp. 199-200 [The 1884 edition of The Great Controversy, 199, 200].



Ron Beaulieu