Angels and The Pope


This is a new thread a continuation of a sub-topic started in Q for Mormons (NDM) Gates of Hell.

So the question originally posed is “What if the Angel Moroni appeared to the Pope, would the RC’s be reading the Book of Mormon and building temples?”

Not surprisingly, Karin and Majick275 said that the question was out of order because that would never happen. And I think they are trying to tell me that the Pope would not have any new doctrine to teach because everything has already been revealed. Correct me if I mis-stated,

So know I have to ask what, exactly is new doctrine. Back when birth control started to become widely available, everyone soon recognized that there was a moral aspect to the whole issue and even now many Christian churches are not in agreement. Both the Catholic and Mormon churches came out and disapproved of birth control and, uh, other more gruesome practices.

Was this new doctrine or not? The Mormons would say yes, there’s precious little about it in the Bible, the Catholics could make a good case for saying no, there is that Onan guy who was smitten for “spilling his seed” and besides, God is a creator. What did he tell Adam & Eve? Go forth and multiply! So maybe this is not new.

Majick275, Karin, did I get it right?


i’m not sure what you are saying.

Catholic Church is very much accepting of doctrinal development.
To your example (I think) be fruitful and multiply ALONG with two become one flesh and all of the other marriage scriptures COMBINED give us the doctrine that is the basis for no ARTIFICIAL birth control. (NFP is okay according to the catechism)
We see that is a consistent position. (believe it or not contraception and abortion have BOTH been around for a LONG time) a Mormon example would be word of wisdom. Originally it was “optional” but recomended and later became “required”. It includes coffee and tea prohibitions but Coke has been a “grey area”. I think the LDS position on the WoW can be classed as doctrinally consistent even though practice has “evolved”.

NEW doctrine would like ETERNAL marriage or blacks can’t have the priesthood. Or more specifically the great apostasy theory that priesthood authority has been absent from th earth for over a thousand years and young man in new york has to restore it. There is no Catholic equivalent because we don’t believe in an open canon.

There is also CHANGING doctrine. that would occur in catholic terms if the church said artificial birth control is okay and then 50 years later said no it’s not. In mormon terms it might be categorized as blacks and the priesthood or polygamy where a change from the past was made and then later reversed. (not just the PRACTICE but the supporting doctrine)

Are you confused? cuz I don’t think I’m explaining this well.



If we or an angle from heaven should declare to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be anathema. Gal 1:8


THis is turning out to be very interesting, to me at least.

Majick275, I appreciate your three categories, they’re good definitions, but when I think too hard about them, they all start running together.

As for Changing doctrine, there’s quite a lot of it in the Catholic Bible. The Law of Moses was done away. The Messiah did come. The gospel was preached to the Gentiles. There’s no more animal sacrifices or Jubilees.

Also, I am not really sure about the difference between Developing and New doctrine. I’m okay with your Word o’ Wisdom example but I think that eternal marriage is consistent as are restrictions on the priesthood according to geneaology. Of course, the risk with using examples is that we get side tracked by them. I don’t want to re-argue Thou Shalt Not Kill and the Battle of Jerihico.

My point is that until we understand God perfectly, we need to keep in touch.

DosDog, that was an interesting fact on birth control, I’ve never heard that before. But as to your first point I must say, “Huh?” The Bible is a collection of personal revelation. By the prophets and apostles. Okay, there’s some history and poetry too but I can’t separate the two.


Tretise on Sprits -by Fr. William G. Most
What kind of Spirit is at work when someone receives a vision, a revelation, or a more routine favor? To determine this is called the discernment of spirits. It is of great importance to find the right answer. It is evident that there can be three sources: good spirit, evil spirit, auto-suggestion

causes of error in revelations
Faulty interpretation of visions by the recipient- Joan of Arc in prison had a revelation that she would be delivered by a great victory–it was her martyrdom, which she did not suspect.
Human action may mingle with the divine action-St. Catherine Labouré foretold many events correctly, but failed on others
A true revelation may later be altered involuntarily by the recipient-This happens especially with intellectual locutions which need to be translated into words
Secretaries may alter without intending to do so-accuracy of the text is disputed in the works of Mary of Agreda

Causes of False Revelations
Pure bad faith, fakery
Overactive imagination.
Illusion in thinking one remembers things that never happened.
The Devil may give false visions or revelations-Magdalen of the Cross , it all came true–ecstasies, levitation, prophecies, simulated stigmata. At door of death she confessed. Exorcism was needed.
Predictions by falsifiers.-there was an epidemic of prophecy especially on “the great Pope and the great King” inspired by the 17th century commentary on the Apocalypse

degree of certainty or probability is possible?
When God so wills, OT prophets, for they furnished certain signs of their mission
we must work by exclusion-hypnotism, somnambulism, telepathy, thought-reading,
Inquiries to be made about the alleged recipient
What are the natural qualities or defects, physical, intellectual, and moral
what books he has read, what information he may have picked up from other more learned persons.
What virtues does the person have?
watch out for the work of satan–he may really promote good things for a while, provided that in the long run he gains.
Humility is a major key
Has the person claimed revelations before?
Has the recipient suffered great trials before or after the revelation-Extraordinary graces are very likely to bring great trials, as St. Teresa of Avila remarked,
Has the recipient been fearful of deception, open to Superiors or Director, and never desired revelations?
It is probably good to employ the testimony of expert psychologists as to ecstatic states etc
Is there a revelation of the vices and sins of others? This does not always prove a revelation is false, but calls for careful checking
Is the information useful for salvation of souls? If it is merely to satisfy curiosity it is unlikely to be of divine origin.
Is all in accord with the dignity and gravity of the Divine Majesty? Some alleged revelations descend into vulgar speech
Are there sentiments or peace of disquiet?
Revelations to direct princes or clergy are suspect

  1. Signs of the spirit of God: fits with teaching of Church; serious; gives light to the soul, docility, discretion: no hurriedness or exaggerations; humble thoughts; confidence in God, rightness of intention, patience in suffering, self-denial, sincerity and simplicity in conduct, no attachments not even to the gifts, great desire to imitate Christ in all things (a very strong sign), gentleness, kindness;
  2. Signs of the evil spirit: (the opposite of the above–spirit of falseness or lie, suggestion of useless things, curious things, impertinent things, darkness, restlessness in the soul, a bold, obstinate spirit, many indiscretions, pride, lack of hope, disobedience, vanity, self-satisfaction, impatience, rebellion of the passions, hypocrisy, pretense, attachment to earthly things, forgetfulness of Christ and of imitating him, a false charity including bitter zeal, indiscretion


I accept that my communication may be lacking

right BUT nochanges after Jesus Christ. That is the difference spoken of in Pauls letter tot eh Hebrews. Jesus is God and thus when he came and deliverd the gospel personally then that is the point where we had a perfect message. (not a perfect understanding but a perfect message) so after the Apostles (whom Christ personally called to go out and deliver his message to the world) gave us his messge THEN the canon closed.

fair enough. I was trying to use the examples illustratively and not authoratatively. So for this let’s stick with WoW as an example of developing doctrine. That at least gives us a point of common understanding. (although LDS scripture specifically calls eternal marriage a NEW covenant)

I completely agree. That is why the Catholic position is all in favor of personal revelation. What is applicable here from Hebrews is that we don’t need the Old Testament style High Priest or prophet to ask God and tell us anymore. Jesus fulfilled that role once and for all so that NOW we can each and everyone us go to God. Remember the OT Israelites didn’t want to speak to/with God. they ASKED for Moses to speak on their behalf. Hebrews shows us the difference between the OT mode of High Priest who goes in “behind the veil” on our behalf and the NT mode of (because of Jesus) the veil is rent and we can go directly to God. The Catholic eucharist embodies this as we directly participate in the once and for all sacrifice due to the real presence. Christ is NOT repeatedly sacrificed, He did it ONCE for ALL but we participate on a recurring basis so that we can gain the sacramental grace. Revelation works this way as well. We can pray directly to God and receive our own answers. We will know their truth by comparing them with Sacred Scripture and
Sacred Tradition so that we gain the benfit of the magisterium which Christ bestowed upon his church.

When God says tell this to the world in the OT it’s public. When Jesus speaks it’s public. When the Apostles say this is what Jesus gave to us it’s public. Once Jesus message was delivered. Public revelation was complete and now all we need is private revelation (okay we also need faith, scripture, sacraments, etc.) to build our UNDERSTANDING of the perfect message from Christ.


Majick275, I must say that although I think it’s possibly not right, the “closed revelation” concept, the way you explain it, does hang together. Also your explanation of public vs. private revelation, that’s a pretty good one I wasn’t aware of. This is why I post to these forum, to learn. Really, Karin, I’m not trying to convert you!.

So now, can we return to the Pope? Maybe this is where we can use the ideas discussed previously about changing/developing doctrine. I am not so sure about what the papal infallability is about. From what you’ve said, I think the role of the Mormon prophet (prophet, seer and revelator) and the Pope are different. Also some things Karin said about his role as the Holy Father. I need to know more and maybe you can compare his role to the role of the Mormon prophet. In practice, the Mormon prophet doesn’t really reveal very much new stuff either and mostly encourages and corrects.


My point was the Pope would not hear or listen to moroni since we know he was not god’s angel or anything coming from God. Hence we would not be reading the BoM as that would be giving in to Satan


Okay, Papal infallibility only applies when the pope is speaking in his official capacity as pope and only on matters of faith and morals. This usually happens in conjunction with the college of cardinals and thus you have a similar “effect” as that of LDS prophet and quorum of twelve. collectively it is the “magisterium”…the teaching authority of the church that this represents. Please refer to the CA homepage for better descriptions of these specifics.


He is the bishop of Rome, the head of state for the vatican and the leader (first among equals) of the Catholic church. Think president of the church but not “prophet, seer and revelator”. He is actually “elected” by the college of cardinals in a process modeled from the Bible in selecting Apostles. This is to ensure the guidance of the Holy Spirit. LOTS of encourage and correct from the Pope. He is the “vicar of Christ” and thus acts as “steward” of the church until Christ comes again., Once again CA homepage gives some excellent concise descriptions of these things.


Okay, I can appreciate both you and DosDog are very concerned about counterfeits. Point taken. But do you think such a thing is possible? For a real-to-goodness Catholic angel to come to the Pope or even you (maybe faithful posters to are rewarded in heaven)?


I need some more clarification. In this case, it’s similar to the Prophet & Quorom of the 12 but then you say the prophet & Pope are different. If it’s the prophet, seer and revelator that’s the only difference, then it sounds like the only difference is that the Pope does not claim divine authority over the church.


Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium [collective sense of the faithful] knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church. Christian faith cannot accept ‘revelations’ that claim to surpass or correct the revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such ‘revelations’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 67).



no. The Pope as vicar of Christ does exercise "divnine authority"to lead the church.The prophet, seer and revelator is the biggest, most noticeable difference. The pope is guided by the Holy Spirit, he works in conjunction with the cardinals and is always bound to existing scripture and tradition (apostolic) as the context by which we measure truth. He can clarify and encourage and guide us in better understanding the existing message of Christ but he gives no new message.

look here:


Okay, I am beginning to understand now. Those links from Majick275 and dosdog are especially helpful. Now that I understand where you’re coming from, I should go back and re-read some entries, they are starting to make more sense to me now. Like I said before, it hangs together all pretty well and makes sense once you accept the premise. And the premise might not be something that can be argued, perhaps it’s just a matter of faith. ANyway, I’ll be going through all the readings for a while and thinking about them so I might not post for a couple of days. Consider your work done for now, thank you!


very good. I would add this link as well:

This speaks to doctrinal development and such.
Good reading and may the Lord bless your efforts.:slight_smile:

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