Nesbitt might not understand our concern over Mass but it is serious

Last week I read with interest what the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party Mike Nesbitt said concerning the Roman Catholic Mass.

Mr Nesbitt said that he “does not understand the issue over Protestants attending Catholic Mass”.

I wonder does Mr Nesbitt know what the Roman Catholic Church believe when it comes to their teaching on the Mass?

If he did then he would fully understand why Bible believing Protestants are offended at such blasphemous acts taking place.

In the Roman Catholic Catechism the question is asked “Is the holy mass one and the same sacrifice with that of the cross?” (Q279) The answer states, “The holy mass is one and the same sacrifice with that of the cross, inasmuch as Christ, who offered himself, a bleeding victim on the cross to his heavenly father, continues to offer himself in an unbloody manner on the altar, through the ministry of his Priests.”

In other words the Roman Catholic Church teach that in the mass Christ is literally sacrificed again.

Therefore every time the Mass is celebrated Christ is offered as a bleeding sacrifice over and over and over again according to the Catholic Church.

However, the Bible teaches something completely different and here is where Protestants fundamentally disagree with the Catholic Church.

In Heb.10v12 it says concerning the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, ‘But this man (speaking of Christ) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.’

This truth is emphasised again in Heb.10v14 ‘For by one offering Christ hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.’

Then in Heb.10v18 we read, “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

Protestants therefore believe that the Bible teaches that Christ’s sacrifice for sins on the cross was a once and for all never to be repeated sacrifice, that Christ’s work of redemption is complete.

After the Saviour died and rose again from the dead He ascended back up to heaven and is seated at the right hand of His father.

Although Mr Nesbitt might not have an issue or be offended at attending the Mass to many of us it is a very serious issue and grossly offensive.

John Gray, Bethel Free Presbyterian Church, Enniskillen