“Born Again” Catholics
and the Rosary
Oftentimes the issue will arise over a particular
person who attends a local Catholic church and professes
to be "born again." These people staying in such
a religious system have thrown some evangelical Protestants
into confusion regarding Catholicism itself, especially
since we hear of alleged changes within that system. Hopefully,
this article will remove confusion regarding this serious
problem with "born again" Catholics and also
dispel misconceptions regarding present-day Catholicism
through their open and widespread practice of praying the
Regarding "born again" Catholics,
the core question is NOT "Do they exist?" for
certainly there are a few scattered about who have been
truly saved and for a short time still gather with their
past religious acquaintances, as they did before their
salvation and before their final exit!
[We question whether
this could be in light of the absolute essential of repentance
of all sin and gross false teaching. RH]
The real issue regarding such
people, however, is: HOW DID THEY GET SAVED TO BEGIN WITH?
As with the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, if a Catholic
gets saved, it is because he/she heard the true plan of
salvation from some outside source, since these religious
systems all proclaim a gospel (plan of salvation), which
as Paul put it is, "really no gospel at all" (Gal.
1:7). In other words, the one true plan of salvation which
brings eternal life will NEVER be taught in their circles,
though certain terminology might suggest otherwise!
Furthermore, getting "born
again" in the minds of many Catholics occurred at
the point of their infant baptism! In light of their present-day
definition of being "born again" through infant
baptism (Vatican II, Vol. 2, p.561), all Catholics
informed about this teaching, without exception, can confidently
call themselves "born again" and with a clear
conscience! So just as with the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses,
we must define terms with the Catholics as well!
Regarding the Rosary, since
ALL local Catholic churches pray it, several important
points can be made regarding those who claim to be "born
again" Catholics and desire to remain in such a religious
atmosphere. Before we address these point by point, we
must first establish present-day Catholicism's official
stand regarding the Rosary and what in the Rosary we should
Scripturally take issue with, that is, if we are truly "born
Following Is The Position Of Vatican Council II On
contemplative life of religious would be incomplete if
it were not directed in filial love towards her who is
the Mother of the Church and of consecrated souls. This
love for the Virgin will be manifested with the celebration
of her feasts and, in particular, with daily prayer in
her honour, especially the Rosary. The daily recitation
of the Rosary is a centuries-old tradition for religious,
and so it is not out of place to recall the suitability,
beauty and efficacy of this prayer, which proposes for
our meditation the mysteries of the Lord's life' " (Vatican
Council II, Vol. 2, p.251.)
respecting the freedom of the children of God, the Church
has always proposed certain practices of piety to the faithful
with particular solicitude and insistence. Among these
should be mentioned the recitation of the Rosary: 'We now
desire, as a continuation of the thought of our predecessors,
to recommend strongly the recitation of the family Rosary...
There is no doubt that ... the Rosary should be considered
as one of the best and most efficacious prayers in common
that the Christian family is invited to recite. We like
to think, and sincerely hope, that when the family gathering
becomes a time of prayer the Rosary is a frequent and favoured
manner of praying'. In this way, authentic devotion to
Mary, which finds expression in sincere love and generous
imitation of the Blessed Virgin's interior spiritual attitude,
constitutes a special instrument for nourishing loving
communion in the family and for developing conjugal and
family spirituality. For she who is the Mother of Christ
and of the Church is in a special way the Mother of Christian
families, of domestic Churches" (ibid., pp. 865, 866).
To reiterate and capsulize
what you just read, Vatican Council II says:
1. Your contemplative religious
life is incomplete without a love for Mary. This love for
Mary is especially manifested by praying the Rosary. The
Rosary is suitable, beautiful and efficacious, according
to present-day Catholicism (p.251)!
2. An example of a "practice
of piety" is the Rosary. This means all Catholics
show their "authentic devotion to Mary" by reciting
the Rosary. Also, the Rosary is supposed to be "one
of the best and most efficacious prayers" (pp.865,866).
THESE STATEMENTS ARE THE OFFICIAL
POSITION OF PRESENT-DAY CATHOLICISM. To believe otherwise
is to show yourself uninformed regarding this Catholic
prayer and how it is officially viewed from their perspective. If someone tells you something in contradiction
to these things, they are misrepresenting, intentionally
or unintentionally, the importance of the Rosary and present-day
Let's now focus in upon how
the Rosary prayer is ended by quoting the New Catholic
Encyclopedia, Vol. 12, 1967, p.667.
Rosary is begun and terminated in various ways. In the
U.S., it commences with the recitation of an Our Father,
three Hail Marys, and a Glory Be to the Father, and ends
with the recitation of the Hail Holy Queen and the prayer
from the Feast of the Rosary."
The following is the Hail Holy
Queen prayer, that is, the ending of the Rosary:
Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and
our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished
children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning
and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this,
our exile, show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!"
The Hail Holy Queen prayer
-- which proclaims Mary as "our" LIFE, SWEETNESS,
HOPE and MOST GRACIOUS ADVOCATE -- has an official endorsement
from Vatican II. By
calling Mary "our life," present-day Catholicism
is saying indirectly, through the Rosary, that she has
a role in our salvation! According to the Bible, this is "another gospel" (Gal.
1:8,9) and if anyone believes statements like these regarding
Mary, they will not get saved or stay saved!
issue of staying saved, though entirely overlooked by
the "once saved, always saved" evangelicals,
is a very important and relevant issue that needs to
be addressed concerning "born again" Catholics.
Since we must endure to the end to be saved (Matt. 10:22)
and hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at first
to share in Christ (Heb. 3:14), it is crucial for a Catholic
who gets saved to exit from the type of spiritual environment
where doctrine such as this prevails and where other
forms of idolatry are rampant, and to seek out a Bible-preaching
church which centers on Christ alone for salvation.
Also regarding the issues of
staying saved and doctrine, the Apostle John wrote in
2 John 9: "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue
in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever
continues in the teaching has both the Father and the
Son." Hence, it is clear that continuing in the
teaching of Christ -- that which we were in when we were
initially saved -- is essential to continue to have God!
Therefore, to exchange Christ for Mary as our "life," as
taught in the Rosary, and thereby proclaimed by present-day
Catholicism, is spiritually lethal.
Besides the Hail Holy Queen
prayer, there are other reasons why the Rosary should be
rejected and with it, present-day Catholicism! After all,
how could any true Christian system which also endorses
and promotes the Rosary claim of itself the following?
Church is catholic: she promotes the fullness of the faith.
She bears in herself and administers the totality of the
means of salvation .... The sole Church of Christ which
in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, and
apostolic, ... subsists in the Catholic Church, which is
governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in
communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification
and truth are found outside its visible confines" (Catechism
of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, p.230.)
To quote again the same page
of the New Catholic Encyclopedia as cited earlier
regarding the Rosary, we read the following about its "mysteries":
mysteries are divided into three sets of five, namely,
the Joyful Mysteries -- the Annunciation of Christ's Incarnation
to Mary, her visit to Elizabeth, the birth of Christ, His
presentation in the temple, His being found in the temple;
the Sorrowful Mysteries -- the agony of Christ in the garden,
His scourging, His crowning with thorns, the carrying of
the cross, the crucifixion and death of Christ; the Glorious
Mysteries -- the Resurrection of Christ, His Ascension
into heaven, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption
of Mary into heaven, her coronation as Queen of Heaven."
Please note: "the
Assumption of Mary into heaven" and "her coronation
as Queen of Heaven" are complete fabrications without
any Scriptural backing at all! Yet, these together with "the
crucifixion and death of Christ" and "the resurrection
of Christ" comprise the "epitome of the whole Gospel," according to present-day Catholicism!
This is adding to the already perfect Gospel and thereby
making it into something else that no longer has its
ability to produce salvation. This is just like adding
water to gasoline and trying to run your car engine on
that admixture. (Of these 15 "mysteries," over
half involve Mary!)
The following Catholic quote
verifies their view of the Rosary (and the aforementioned
mysteries) as being the "epitome of the whole Gospel":
liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian
prayer, such as the rosary, an 'epitome of the whole Gospel,'
express this devotion to the Virgin Mary" (Catechism
of the Catholic Church, Liguori Publications, p.253.)
In stark contrast to the Rosary
(with its "mysteries") being the "epitome
of the whole Gospel" as Rome put it, the Apostle Paul
clearly outlined an entirely different Gospel, which he
preached -- the one that brings true salvation. Please
note that Paul
never mentioned Mary directly or indirectly! Similarly,
Peter, who was supposedly the first pope, NEVER mentioned
Mary at all in either of his two books of the New Testament.
The following was their gospel:
brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached
to you, which you received and on which you have taken
your stand. By this gospel you are saved,
if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise,
you have believed in vain. For
what I received I passed on to you as of first importance;
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day
according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter,
and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more
than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most
of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and
last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally
born" (1 Cor. 15:1-8).
In view of all this, Rome is
clearly disseminating "another gospel" (Gal.
1:8,9), which has Mary as its "life" and people
allegedly getting "born again" at infant baptism!
Yet all along many are saying Catholicism has changed and
is a religious system that we can embrace and have Christian
unity with. Even well-known contemporary "Protestant" leaders
like Billy Graham, Chuck Colson and Pat Robertson carry
this message. Others like Hank Hanegraaff and Norman Geisler,
who have reputations of being apologists, essentially claim
Finally, what should we think
about "born again" Catholics who personally desire
to remain under such teachings as these? First, we should
view him/her in the same way we would view a person who
is coming from a Mormon background and claims to be Scripturally "born
again" and desires to remain a Mormon -- that is,
their salvation is non-existent!
should ask "born again" Catholics what Bible
verse(s) they base their salvation upon. Ask
him/her if they think they were "born again" at
infant baptism. We should also specifically mention that
the sacraments, good works, church membership and Mary
have absolutely NO role in our salvation. If a "born
again" Catholic disagrees, we should show them from
Scripture what true salvation is. If they reject the
clear teaching of Scripture, their testimony should be
considered as not genuine. Remember, not everyone who
says, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom!
If truly saved, the Holy Spirit,
who is the "Spirit of truth" and who is resident
within one who is "born again," will draw us
to truth as found in the Bible. If an experience, vision,
testimony and/or miracle contradicts the written word of
God on any subject, especially salvation, it should immediately
For a Catholic who is truly
saved to support by their attendance and money, a religious
system that holds people in spiritual darkness and that
points people to Mary and the baby Jesus instead of Jesus
alone, without his mother, is for him/her to share in that "wicked
work" (2 Jn. 11)! The same can be said of Protestants
who tell Catholics to go back to Catholicism or treat modern-day
Catholicism as just another Christian sect!
Tears might even be shed by
one's family when he announces he won't be going back to
the Catholic church. (The same can be said for a Mormon
or Jehovah's Witness who gets saved and changes over truth.)
This means families might become divided, but Jesus clearly
said this would occur and He went on to say our love for
Him must exceed our love for our families or we are "not
worthy" of Him:
you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you,
but division. From now on there will be five in one family
divided against each other, three against two and two against
three. They will be divided, father against son and son
against father, mother against daughter and daughter against
mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law
against mother-in-law" (Lk. 12:51-53).
not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have
come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against
her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law
-- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not
worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more
than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take
his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Mt.
In review, you just read:
1. How present-day Catholicism
places the highest kinds of endorsements on the Rosary
2. The Rosary prayer is not "the
epitome of the Gospel" as claimed by present-day Catholicism,
but in fact, a prayer that exchanges Jesus for Mary by
calling her our life, sweetness, hope and most gracious
advocate, and exalting her to an idolatrous position as "Queen
of Heaven"! These facts make this prayer a spiritual
contaminant and hindrance to the extension of the kingdom
and the truth of the Gospel.
3. For a person claiming to be "born
again" and yet praying this prayer stating Mary is
their "life" would also be suggesting their current
need of salvation which is found in Jesus Christ, who alone
suffered and shed His blood on the cross to obtain full
redemption for us and to save us from the Hell that we
deserve. It is to Him we should look. It is to Him we should
go. Since this is what brought results in Bible days, it
will still work for us today. Paul's message was "repentance
towards God and faith in Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).
This should also be our message.
Let me now end with my personal
version of the real "epitome of the Gospel" in
prayer form which I have entitled, The Hail Holy King prayer:
Hail, Holy King and Lord Jesus,
hail, our life (Col. 3:4), our sweetness (Mt. 11:29)
and our hope (1 Tim. 1:1)! To thee do we cry, poor enslaved
to sin (Jn. 8:34) children of the devil (1 Jn. 3:10)!
Turn then, most gracious advocate (1 Jn. 2:1, KJV), thine
eyes of mercy towards us and forgive us all our sins.
We trust in you alone -- who died on the cross and was
buried but rose again the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-8).
You alone are the only way to the Father (Jn. 14:6),
you alone have the only name in which salvation is found
(Acts 4:12) and you alone are the ONLY mediator between
God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). Our eyes are on you alone to
save us. O clement, O loving, O precious Lord Jesus!
in this article, since infant baptism is not the Biblical
means of the new birth, we can assume that when a Catholic
says that he has been regenerated or “born again,” he is
order for a Catholic to be born again, he would need to
be saved in the way described in Scripture. We
would wonder whether this can be done at all. Especially
since everyone—including Catholics—must repent of their
sins, we would suggest that this involved a renunciation
of all compromising religious associations and all religious