Tract 22h
Catholicism Speaks about the Bible Sabbath and Sunday
- Supplement to Lesson 22

The Roman Catholic Church--its leaders, its priests, its scholars, its writers and its teachers--here unite to tell us the truth about the Bible Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) and the Sunday (the first day of the week).

"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance 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 Sydney, Australia, August 1900.

"Is there no express commandment for the observance of the first day of the week as a Sabbath, instead of the seventh day?
"None whatever. Neither Christ nor His apostles nor the first Christians celebrated [observed] the first day of the week, instead of the seventh as the Sabbath." --New York Weekly Tribune [Roman Catholic], May 24, 1900.

"Some non-Catholics object to Purgatory because there is no specific mention of it in Scripture. There is no specific mention of the word Sunday in Scripture [either]. The Sabbath is mentioned, but Sabbath means [a keeping of] Saturday. Yet the Christians of almost all denominations worship on Sunday not on Saturday. The Jews observe Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday."--Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics are Asked About, 1927, p. 236 [Scott (1865-1954) was a Jesuit theologian and one of the foremost Catholic defenders of his time].

"Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the church has no good reasons for its Sunday theory, and ought logically to keep Saturday as the Sabbath." --John Gilmary Shea, "The Observance of Sunday and Civil Laws for its Enforcement," in The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Jan. 1883, p. 152 [Shea (1824-1892), a Catholic priest, wrote an important history of American Catholicism].

"Ques. --Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept [command holidays]?
"Ans. --Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modem religionists agree with her.--She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority."--Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1846 edition, p. 176 [Keenan was a Scottish priest, whose catechism has been widely used in Roman Catholic schools and academies].

"Ques. --Which is the Sabbath day?
"Ans. --Saturday is the Sabbath day.
"Ques. --Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
"Ans. --We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." --Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1957 edition, p. 50 [Geiermann (1870-1929) received the "apostolic blessing" of pope Pius X on this book, January 26, 1910].

"Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may search 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."--James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, 92nd ed., rev., p. 89 [Cardinal Gibbons (1834-1921) was archbishop of Baltimore. This book was the most famous Catholic book in America a hundred years ago].

"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 at Elizabeth, N.J. on March 17, 1903, reported in the Elizabeth, N.J. News of March 18, 1903.

"Reason and common 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."--The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893 [The Mirror is a Baltimore Roman Catholic weekly newspaper].

"For ages all Christian nations looked to the Catholic Church, and, as we have seen, the various states enforced by law her ordinances as to worship and cessation of labor on Sunday. Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the Church, has no good reason for its Sunday theory, and ought logically, to keep Saturday as the Sabbath. The State in passing laws for the due Sanctification of Sunday, is unwittingly acknowledging the authority of the Catholic Church, and carrying out more or less faithfully its prescription. The Sunday as a day of the week set apart for the obligatory public worship of Almighty God is purely a creation of the Catholic Church."--John Gilmary Shea, in The American Catholic Quarterly Review, January 1883, p. 139 [Shea (1824-1892) was an important Catholic historian, of his time].

"Ques. --How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
"Ans. --By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of [by observing it]; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church."--Priest Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, p. 58 [In 1833, Tuberville received a papal approbation--a special Vatican approval--on this book].


"1 - Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments?

"I answer yes.

"2. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day--Saturday --for Sunday, the first day?

"I answer yes.

"3. Did Christ change the day?

"I answer no! no!

"Faithfully yours, J. Cardinal Gibbons"--autographed letter photostat [Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore was the leading advocate of Catholicism in America at the end of the last century].

"Some theologians have held that God [in the Bible] likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His [Catholic] Church the power to set aside whatever day or days, she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days, as holy days."--Vincent J. Kelly, Forbidden Sunday and Feast Day Occupations, 1943, p. 2 [Kelly, a Catholic priest, prepared this at Catholic University of America].

"The pope has authority and has often exercised it, to dispense with the commands of Christ . . . The pope's will stands for reason. He can dispense above the law, and of wrong make right, by correcting and changing laws."--from Pope Nicholas' time.

"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 accepting the Bible, in observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope."--Our Sunday Visitor, Feb. 5, 1950 [One of the largest U.S. Roman Catholic magazines].

"Ques. --What Bible authority is there for changing the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week? Who gave the Pope the authority to change a command of God?
"Ans. --It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest [from the Bible Sabbath] to the Sunday. Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church."--Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, 1868, p. 213 [L.G. Segur (1820-1881) was a French Catholic prelate and apologist, and later a diplomatic and judicial official at Rome.]

"The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under veil of flesh."--The Catholic National, July, 1895.

[When the pope is crowned, he is reminded that he is] "the father of princes, and kings, and the Supreme Judge of the Universe, and on earth the Vicar of Jesus Christ our Savior, and the Governor of the world." --Ferraris, Ecclesiastical Dictionary, art. "Pope" [Lucius Ferraris (d. before 1763) was an Italian Catholic canonist of the Franciscan order and consultor of the Holy Office in Rome].

"Ques. --By what authority did the Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
"Ans. --The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her." --Peter F. Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1923 edition, p. 59 [Priest Geiermann (1870-1929) was a well-known Catholic writer].

"The judicial authority will even include the power to forgive sins."--The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 12, p. 265, art. "Pope."

"Thou art the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman, finally thou art another god on earth."--Christopher Marcellus, in the fourth session of The Fifth Lateran Council, 1512, an address to the pope. Labbe and Cossart, History of the Councils, vol. 24, col. 109 [Marcellus (d. 1527) was a Catholic priest and archbishop of Corcyra. In appreciation of his many kindnesses, he was declared to be "noble lord of Venice"].

"The Catholic Church . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday." --The Catholic Mirror, September 23, 1893 [The Mirror, a Baltimore -based Catholic weekly, was the official organ for Cardinal Gibbons].

"Ques. --When Protestants do profane work [regular employment] upon Saturday, or the seventh day of the week, do they follow the Scripture as their only rule of faith--do they find this permission clearly laid down in the Sacred Volume?
"Ans. --On the contrary, they have only the authority of [Catholic] tradition for this practice. In profaning Saturday, they violate one of God's commandments, which He has never abrogated,--'Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.'
"Ques. --Is the observance of Sunday, as the day of rest, a matter clearly laid down in Scripture?
"Ans. --It certainly is not; and yet all Protestants consider the observance of this particular day as essentially necessary to salvation. To say, we observe the Sunday, because Christ rose from the dead on that day is to say we act without warrant of Scripture; and we might as well [incorrectly] say, that we should rest on Thursday because Christ ascended to heaven on that day."--Priest Steven Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, pp. 252, 254 [The catechism of this Scottish priest is widely used in Catholic schools to instruct children into their beliefs].

"Scripture and Tradition are called the remote rule of faith, because the Catholic does not base his faith directly on these sources. The proximate rule of faith is for him the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which alone has received from God the authority to interpret infallibly the doctrines He has revealed, whether these be contained in Scripture or in Tradition . . .
"If we consulted the Bible only, we should still have to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is, Saturday."--John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies, 1936 edition, vol. 1, p. 51 [J.J. Laux (1878-1939) was a Catholic priest, teacher, and author of many Catholic histories as well as biographies of their saints].

"Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible and divine Tradition contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed truths.
"Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, TRADITION is to us more clear and safe. "[full caps, theirs]--Joseph F. Di Bruno, Catholic Belief, 1884 ed., p. 45 [Di Bruno was an Italian Catholic cleric].

"Some of the truths that have been handed down to us by tradition and are not recorded in the Sacred Scriptures, are the following: That there are just seven sacraments; that there is a purgatory; that, in the new law, Sunday should be kept holy instead of the Sabbath; that infants should be baptized, and that there are precisely seventy-two books in the Bible [66 that are inspired, plus 6 apocryphal] "--Francis J. Butler, Holy Family Catechism, No. 3, p. 63 [Butler (1859 - ?) was a Catholic priest of Boston and an author of a series of catechisms].

"It is worthwhile to remember that this observance of Sunday--in which after all, the only Protestant worship consists--not only has no foundation in the Bible, but it is in flagrant contradiction with its letter, which commands rest on the Sabbath, which is Saturday. It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest to the Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an 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 [L.G. Segur (1820-1881), a French prelate, later was appointed as a diplomatic and judicial official in Rome].

"All the names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the pope."--Robert Cardinal Bellarmine, De Conciliorum Auctoritate--On the Authority of the Councils), Bk. 2, chap. 17 [Bellarmine (1542-1621), a professor and rector at the Gregorian University in Rome, is generally considered to have been one of the outstanding Jesuit instructors in the history of this organization].

On April 30, 1922, in the Vatican throne room, a throng of cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, boys, and girls, who had all fallen on their knees in reverence of the one before them, were addressed from the throne by Pope Pius XI, who said: "You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on the earth, the Vicar of Christ, which means I am God on the earth."--Pope Pius Xl, quoted in The Bulwark, October, 1922, p. 104 [Pius Xl (1857-1939) was pope from 1922-1939, and was the one who signed the Treaty of the Lateran with Mussolini in 1929, whereby Vatican City was established. He consistently backed Mussolini's policies and government until he met with military reverses] . . .

"The Pope can modify [change] the Divine Law."--Lucius Ferraris, Ecclesiastical Dictionary [Ferraris (d. before 1763) was an Italian Catholic official of the Franciscan order, highly placed in the Church].

"We define that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff holds the primacy over the whole world."--Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, vol. 13, col. 1167, on "The Council at Trent."

"The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God. He is the divine monarch and supreme emperor, and king of kings. Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions."--Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, vol. 6, art. "Papa II" [Ferraris (d. prior to 1763) was an Italian Catholic canonist and consultor to the Holy Office in Rome].

"We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty."--Pope Leo XIII, in an encyclical letter dated June 20, 1894, The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, p. 304 [Leo XIII (1810-1903) was pope from 1878 until his death. He was one of the most forceful popes of the nineteenth century]

Not the Creator of the universe, in Genesis 2:1-3,--but the Catholic Church "can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days [!]"--S. C. Mosna, Storia della Domenica, pp. 366-367 [This is a recent work of the twentieth century (1969), prepared by the author under the direction of the leading Jesuit university in the world--the Gregorian, in Rome].

"If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should 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 following Catholic tract was originally published in The Catholic Mirror (the magazine of Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore), on September 2, 1893. In it, a contrast is made between the Biblical faith and practice of the Hebrews, the Seventh-day Adventists, and the other Protestant churches, in order to ridicule the usual Protestant position in regard to Sunday:
"The Israelite respects the authority of the Old Testament only, but the Adventist who is a Christian, accepts the New Testament on the same ground as the Old, viz.: an inspired record also. He finds that the Bible, his teacher is consistent in both parts; that the Redeemer, during His mortal life, never kept any other day than Saturday. The Gospels plainly evince to him this fact; while in the pages of the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles and the Apocalypse [Revelation], not the vestige of an act canceling the Saturday arrangement [seventh-day Sabbathkeeping] can be found.
"The Protestant world at its birth [as he thinks, at the time of the Sixteenth Century Reformation] found the Christian Sabbath too strongly entrenched to run counter to its existence [to oppose Sundaykeeping]; it [Protestantism] was therefore planted under the necessity of acquiescing in the arrangement, thus implying the Church's right to change the day . . . The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is therefore to this day the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church, as Spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world."--The Christian Sabbath, 2nd ed., The Catholic Mirror, 1893, p. 31.

"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 changed [the day] from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the Church outside the Bible."-- "To Tell You The Truth," The Catholic Virginian, 22, October 3, 1947, p. 9.

"Protestants often deride the authority of Church tradition, and claim to be directed by the Bible only; yet they, too, have been guided by customs of the ancient Church, which find no warrant in the Bible, but rest on Church tradition only! A striking instance of this is the following:--The first positive command in the Decalogue is to 'Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy,' . . . But the Sabbath Day, the observance of which God commanded, was our Saturday. Yet who among either Catholics or Protestants, except a sect or two, ever keep that commandment now? None. Why is this? The Bible, which Protestants claim to obey exclusively, gives no authorization for the substitution of the first day of the week for the seventh. On what authority, therefore, have they done so? Plainly on the authority of that very Catholic Church which they abandoned, and whose traditions they condemn."--John L. Stoddard, Rebuilding a Lost Faith, p. 80 [Stoddard (1850-1931) was an agnostic writer most of his life, who later was converted to Catholicism].

"A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."--Peter Geiermann, CSSR, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1957 edition, p. 50 [Geiermann (1870-1929) received a papal approbation from the Vatican on his book on January 25, 1910].

"Q. What is the Third Commandment? [the fourth in Protestant Bibles, because the Catholic Church took out the Second Commandment--Exodus 20:4-6]
"A. The Third Commandment is: Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
"Q. Which is the Sabbath day?
"A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
"Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
"A. The Catholic Church, after changing the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day of the week, to Sunday, the first day, made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept as the Lord's Day."--Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 4, p. 153.

"Ques. --What do we conclude from all this?
"Ans. --That Protestants have no Scripture for the measure of their day of rest,--that they abolish the observance of Saturday without warrant of Scripture,--that they substitute Sunday in its place without Scriptural authority,--consequently, that for all this, they have only traditional authority. Yet Protestants would look upon a man who would . . . keep the Saturday and profane the first day, as a victim of perdition. Hence we must conclude [from the Protestant belief of our teachings], that the Scripture, which does not teach these things clearly, does not contain all necessary truths, and, consequently, cannot be the only rule of faith."--Stephan Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, pp. 334-335 [Keenan was a Scottish Catholic priest, whose catechism is much used in Roman Catholic schools to instruct children and youth].

"We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy instead of Saturday as we have for every other article of our creed; namely, the authority of 'the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth' (1 Timothy 3:15); whereas you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God's word, and the [Catholic] Church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it [the Catholic Church], denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often 'makes the commandments of God of none effect' [quoting Matt. 15:6]."--The Brotherhood at St. Paul, The Clifton Tracts, Vol. 4, tract 4, p. 15 [Roman Catholic].

"The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. 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 [This is the political weekly newspaper at the Cleveland Catholic Diocese].

"By what authority did the [Catholic] Church change the observance of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday?
"The Protestant world has been, from its infancy in the sixteenth century, in thorough accord with the Catholic Church, in keeping 'holy' not Saturday, but Sunday . . . If however, on the other hand, the latter [the Catholics] furnish arguments, incontrovertible by the great mass of Protestants, . . . [they] appealing to their common teacher, the Bible, the great body of Protestants, so far from clamoring, as they do with vigorous pertinacity for the strict keeping of Sunday, have no other resource left than the admission that they have been teaching and practicing what is Scripturally false for over three centuries, by adopting the teaching and practice of what they have always pretended to believe an apostate church, contrary to every warrant and teaching of Sacred Scripture. To add to the intensity of this Scriptural and unpardonable blunder, it involves one of the most positive and emphatic commands of God to His servant, man: 'Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.' "--The Christian Sabbath [a tract for Protestants], 2nd ed., The Catholic Mirror, 1893, pp. 6-7.

"Now the [Catholic] Church . . . instituted, by God's authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory . . . We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday."--Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About, 1927, p.236 [Jesuit theologian and writer].

"Ques. --(a) The Bible says, 'The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord,' and we read in your literature that it is the only Bible Sabbath there is. Will you please explain how the Sunday observance originated? (b) Do you think the Seventh-day Adventists keep the right day?
Ans. --"If you follow the Bible alone there can be no question that you are obliged to keep Saturday holy, since that is the day especially prescribed by Almighty God to be kept holy to the Lord. In keeping Sunday, non-Catholics are simply following the practise of the Catholic Church for 1800 years, a tradition, and not a Bible ordinance. What we would like to know is: Since they deny the authority of the Church, on what grounds can they base their faith of keeping Sunday. Those who keep Saturday, like the Seventh-day Adventists, unquestionably have them by the hip in this practise. And they cannot give them any sufficient answer which would satisfy an unprejudiced mind. With the Catholics there is no difficulty about the matter. For, since we deny that the Bible is the sole rule of faith, we can fall back upon the constant practise and tradition of the Church."--Francis George Lentz, The Question Box. 1900, p. 98-99 [Lentz, who died in 1917, was an Illinois Catholic priest].

"The [Catholic] Church, by the power our Lord gave her, changed the observance of Saturday to Sunday."--The Catholic canon, H. Cafferata, The Catechism Simply Explained, 1932 edition, p.80.

"The Catholic Church has decreed for many centuries that Christians observe this day of rest on Sunday."--Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher), section 251, dated May 15, 1961 [John XXIII was pope from 1958 to 1963].

"The Church, . . . after changing the day of rest from Sabbath, or the seventh day of the week, to the first, made the Third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord's Day."--The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 4, p. 153 [The Sabbath commandment is the fourth commandment (Ex. 20:8-11), but is reckoned as the third by Roman Catholics, because they dropped the second (that forbade image worship), and then split the tenth into two to make up the full number].

"The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday . . . But the Protestant says: 'How can I receive the teachings of an apostate Church?' How, we ask, have you managed to receive her teaching all your life, in direct opposition to your recognized teacher, the Bible, on the Sabbath question?"--The Christian Sabbath, 2nd ed., published by the Catholic Mirror of Baltimore, 1893, pp. 29-31. [The journal of James Cardinal Gibbons].

"If you follow the Bible alone there can be no question that you are obliged to keep Saturday holy, since that is the day especially prescribed by Almighty God to be kept holy to the Lord."--Priest F.G. Lentz, The Question Box, 1900, p. 98 [Lentz (d. 1917) was a Catholic priest and writer, based in the Illinois area].

The following statement comes from a tract written to the Protestants of England, by John Milner (1752-1826), the English Vicar Apostolic of the Roman Catholic Church. The entire tract is an appeal for Protestants to return fully to the Church of Rome:
"The first precept in the Bible, is that of sanctifying the seventh day: 'God blessed the SEVENTH DAY, and sanctified it.' Gen. 2:3. This precept was confirmed by God, in the Ten Commandments: 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy'. 'The SEVENTH DAY is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.' [Ex. 20:8-11]. On the other hand, Christ declares that he is 'not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it.' Matt. 5:17. He himself observed the [Seventh-day] Sabbath: 'And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.' Lk. 4:16. His disciples likewise observed it, after His death: 'They rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment.' Lk. 23:56.
"Yet, with all this weight of Scripture authority for keeping the Sabbath, or seventh day holy, Protestants, of all denominations, make this a profane day and transfer the obligation of it to the first day of the week, or the Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing this? None at all, but the unwritten Word, or Tradition of the Catholic church, which declares that the apostles made the change in honor of Christ's resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Ghost, on that day of the week."--John Milner, The End of Religious Controversy, in a Friendly Correspondence Between a Religious Society of Protestants, and a Roman Catholic Divine, "Letter 11, To James Brown, Esq," 1897, p. 89.

"Ques. --What Bible authority is there for changing the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week? Who gave the Pope the authority to change a command of God?
"Ans. --If the Bible is the only guide for the Christian, then the Seventh-day Adventist is right, in observing the Saturday with the Jew . . . Is it not strange that those who make the Bible their only teacher, should inconsistently follow in this matter the tradition of the Catholic Church?"--Bertrand Conway, The Question Box, 1903 ed., pp. 254-255; 1915 ed., p. 179 [Conway (1872-1959) was a Paulist father in the Catholic Church].

"The Adventists are the only body of Christians with the Bible as their teacher, who can find no warrant in its pages for the change of day from the seventh to the first . . . Reason and common 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."--Catholic Mirror, September 2 and December 23, 1893 [The Catholic Mirror, a Baltimore journal was at this time the official organ of Cardinal Gibbons].

"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 ho! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church."--Priest Thomas Enright, CSSR, President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Mo., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, and printed in the Hartford Kansas Weekly Call, February 22, 1884, and the American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic journal in June 1893, page 173.

"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act . . . AND THE ACT IS A MARK of her ecclesiastical power."--from the office of Cardinal Gibbons, through Chancellor H.F. Thomas, November 11, 1895.

  Back to Lesson 22 Additional Information