"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries     |   home   |   Catholic -- SDA Similarities
Organizational Structure   |   Organizational Arrangement   |   Organizational Administration   |   Organizational Election   |   Organizational Authority   |   Organizational Power   |   Organizational Practices   |   Organizational Beliefs Regarding the Church   |   Organizational Beliefs In Doctrine   |   Religious Practices   |   Membership  Dilemma


 Pope  and  priests  as  mediators  between  God  and  man

Roman Catholic Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church

     “The liturgy of the Church, however, sees in the priesthood of Aaron and the service of the Levites, as in the institution of the seventy elders, a prefiguring of the ordained ministry of the New Covenant....
     “In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:...Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Chapter Three, Article 6, Section II, # 1541 & 1548. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/orders.html#SACRAMENT).

     “Only to the apostles, and thenceforth to those on whom their successors have imposed hands, is granted the power of the priesthood, in virtue of which they represent the person of Jesus Christ before their people, acting at the same time as representatives of their people before God....
     “The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is made like to the High Priest and possesses the power of performing actions in virtue of Christ's very person....
     “The people, on the other hand, since they in no sense represent the divine Redeemer and are not mediator between themselves and God, can in no way possess the sacerdotal power.”
(Pope Pius XII, in Mediator Dei (on the Sacred Liturgy), Encyclical promulgated on November 20, 1947, #40, 69 & 84. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12MEDIA.HTM).

     “Finally, the priest, in another way, follows the example of Christ. Of Him it is written that He 'passed the whole night in the prayer of God' and 'ever lives to make intercession for us'; and like Him, the priest, is public and official intercessor (mediator) of humanity before God...” (Pope Pius XI, in Ad Catholici Sacerdotii (On the Catholic Priesthood), encyclical promulgated on December 20, 1935, #28. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11CATHO.HTM).

     “We see here that his (Aaron’s) principle responsibility was to act as a mediator, as a link between the holy and profane, between God and man...an incarnation of the people, and the spiritual representative of all Israel....In like manner the minister of the gospel today is the high priest....Today we (SDA ministers) are the high priests....God desires that we who are His high priests today learn the same lesson....What a tremendous responsibility to act as mediators between God and man!(M.S. Nigri, president of the South Brazil Union Conference, in Ministry Magazine (official journal of the Ministerial Association of the Seventh-day Adventist Church), December, 1961, p 27-29).

Church  has  supreme  and  full  authority  over  the  entire  membership

Roman Catholic Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church

     "'The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head.' As such, this college has 'supreme and full authority over the universal Church...’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Profession of Faith, Section Two, Paragraph 4, Section I, #883. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/church4.html#CONSTITUTION).

     "Church documents that prescribe the church's structure and governance confirm that all parts of the church are parts of a single entity.  Next to the Roman Catholic church, the Adventist church is the most centralized of all the major Christian denominations in this country.  The General Conference, as the world wide governing body of the Adventist denomination, is the church's highest legislative, judicial and ecclesiastical authority." (Legal Decision of  Judge William T. Hart of the U.S. District Court, North District of Illinois, East Division, Court Transcript of Derrick Proctor vs the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Case #81 C 4938, Findings of Fact, Section B, Church Objective and Structures, p 22, October 29, 1986).

     "People expect the General Conference to have the last word and to speak for the Church with ultimate [or supreme] authority....The General Conference is the highest [or fullest] authority and the sum of all the parts, not only philosophically, but also (1) organizationally, (2) legislatively, (3) administratively, (4) judicially, (5) in terms of policy and (6) Church standards.” (General Conference President Neal C. Wilson, Commission Report on Role and Function of Denominational Organizations, 140-85GN, p 22-23, April 30, 1985, brackets added to show meaning).

The  clergy  rule  over  the  membership

Roman Catholic Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church

     “In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of the Roman Pontiff...the duties of Christians, [is] that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of bishops, and, above all, of the apostolic see.” (Pope Leo XIII, in Sapientiae Christianae (On Christians as Citizens), Encyclical promulgated on January 10, 1890, #24. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Leo13/l13sapie.htm).

     "Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership is a function of the church’s organizational structure....
     “A twofold task faces the church: (1) train and inspire good leadership, and (2) train and inspire good followership....Leadership will lead in love and understanding, and followership will support the church leadership unfailingly, even though necessarily critical of some decisions of leadership." (Walter R. Beach, past vice-president of the General Conference, in  Adventist Review, October 25, 1979, p 13-14).

The  membership  must  obey  the  clergy

Roman Catholic Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church

     “Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances; or even that they must obey only in those matters which she has decreed by solemn definition as though her other decisions might be presumed to be false or putting forward insufficient motive for truth and honesty. Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord.” (Pope Pius XI, in Casti Connubii (On Christian Marriage), Encyclical promulgated on December 31, 1930, #104. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius11/P11CASTI.HTM).

     “It is our responsibility to study the Scriptures for ourselves, to ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to submit our understandings to those in the church who are able to judge our findings, and then to abide to the decisions of the church...” (Seventh-day Adventist Church Adult Sabbath School Quarterly, Lesson 13, March 28, 1987, p 92, or p 153 in the Teacher’s Edition).

The  spiritual  or  religious  allegiance  of  the  membership  is  to  the  Church

Roman Catholic Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church

     “And in this special context, when We recall that every imaginable artifice was employed, that all the power and vexatious tactics of our adversaries had but one purpose, to alienate both the clergy and people from their allegiance to the hierarchy and to this Apostolic See...” (Pope Pius XI, in Iniquis Afflictisque (On the Persecution of the Church in Mexico), Encyclical promulgated on November 18, 1926, #22.  http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius11/P11INIQU.HTM).

     “There seems ground for fear that in the near future still greater hardships will befall those who refuse to betray their sacred religious allegiance [to the Catholic Church]. For that reason we even now exhort you in the Lord, beloved sons, to be terrified by no menaces or injuries, to be moved by no danger of exile or risk even of life ever to abjure your faith and your fidelity to Mother Church.” (Pope Pius XII, in Orientales Omnes Ecclesias, Encyclical promulgated on December 23, 1945, #62. http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12OMNES.HTM).

     "The General Conference, then is the Seventh-day Adventist church....the embodiment of the Remnant Church as a Christian denomination, in a unified worldwide organization, to which all baptized Seventh-day Adventists owe spiritual [or religious] allegiance..." (Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Opening Brief for Defendants, Civil Case #74-2025 CBR, p 17, brackets added to show meaning).