This is serious question, does the Catholic Church with rules and regulations, approach the position or characteristics of the New Testament Pharisees, in any way.

No. It does not. During Ancient Israel’s sojourn through the desert, God the Father dictated norms and rubrics (very specific detailed ones) to Moses on just how, when, where and in what precise manner He was to be worshipped. God was very detailed about everything, right down to the fabric of the vestments. All of these were to be of the finest materials. These rituals pointed to the One who would be the True Lamb of Sacrifice, Jesus Christ.

Jesus respected the liturgical norms and prescriptions of Ancient Israel; after all, His own Father dictated them. Jesus was to perfectly fulfill them. The night before He died, He established a new Rite, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, commanding the Apostles and their successors (the bishops and priests) to “do this in memory” of Him. The same details applied to sacrificial worship for Ancient Israel to follow (with some modification) were now passed on to the Church, who is the New Israel.

The reason why there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding, misconception and misperception of the Pharisees is that their role has never been quite explained. When Ancient Israel was sent off into exile and the first Temple was pretty much obliterated, the Chosen People lamented over their fate, realizing that they brought the Babylonian captivity on themselves. A group of devout Jewish leaders, called the Pharisees, parshun (separated) decided to build a hedge around the law of Moses so that Israel would not find itself in that situation again. However, they took a rather extreme approach in that they decided that the priestly, Levitical prescriptions that God had mandated to the priests be extended to Ancient Israel as a whole. The purification rituals that God had mandated to be followed by the priests for cultic sacrificial worship were now made mandatory on the people by the Pharisees.

When the exile was over, the Pharisees still kept these practices alive, up to the time of Jesus. Jesus objected to this because the Pharisees, as well-intended as they were, were mandating something that was not proper to the people, only to the priests.

Important clarification-not the Catholic Church as such but many Catholics on this site, who are misinformed. e.g. a question about salvation on another thread, someone was told that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, but the Catechism does not say that. This is what I mean by an adherance to what many Catholics THINK the Catholic Church teaches.
This is a serious problem. Many posts here do not reflect actual Catholic teachings, merely the erroneous (in a lot of cases) views of what some Catholics think their Church teaches.
The inquirer then goes away with decidedly wrong information about the most important things in life.
We should all be sure that what we are telling people is in fact what the Catholic Church teaches, not what we think she teaches.

THESE Catholics who impart erroneous information, remind me of Pharisees.

I agree with you. The Catholic Church is not Pharisaic; but there are individual members of the Catholic Church who rival the Pharisees for their religious legalisms.

I shudder to think of the number of non-Catholics out there who will never consider joining the Catholic Church because of the Pharisee-like attitudes of the Catholics they have known.

If by saying this you are accusing people of pharisaism, then I think you might be on the wrong track. Pharisaism has to do with adhering rigidly to the form of religion without genuine piety, i.e. hypocrisy. While some here may be misinformed to a greater or lesser degree, and may pass that misinformation on, which is truly regrettable, it doesn’t necessarilymake them pharisaical in the least. They are, well…just misinformed.

Poor catechesis, and lack of ongoing spiritual formation is a huge problem in the Church, but it isn’t pharisaism.

Or, perhaps I misunderstood you?


Depends on the POV.

Some here on the CAF treat the “rules and regulations” as (somewhat) Phariseeic, while others see them as “guidelines”; still others see them as “suggestions”.

These videos should answer your question:

God Bless

That is a difficult comment to deal with: the one question you have noted:
The Church does teach “that there is no salvation outside the Church”, because that is the only certainty which she CAN teach. At the same time, she recognizes that G-d is all-powerful, and not “linited” by what the Church teaches. So, she also allows there may be other ways to recieve salvation, which she CANNOT TEACH (because she does not know the mind of G-d).

Start with paragraphs 846, 847, 848.

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