I just acquired a book published by Most Holy Family Monastery in Fillmore, New York, bearing the humble and diplomatic title "Outside The Catholic Church There is Absolutely No Salvation." Its author, one Brother Peter Dimond, offers an excellent example of the way fanatical Romanists shoot themselves in the foot. Before I go on, my readers must understand that the Vatican system is dependent on the presupposition that, when Jesus created the church, He desired and intended _everything_ that the Catholic church would do and command _throughout_ all the future history to follow. On this view, _every_ currently-existing feature of Catholicism that can truly claim approval on Catholic terms, is _exactly_ what Jesus wanted all along. Of course, there are pray-in-Latin-and-eat-fish Catholics who discount _recent_ Popes, and Brother Dimond appears to be one of these; but even they still attribute Scripture-equivalent authority to decrees uttered _centuries_ after the Apostolic era. Everybody still with me?
In Chapter 29, Brother Dimond cites the Apostle Paul in Galatians 1:8: "But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema." This quote is given to justify Dimond's adherence to a body of commands whose composition extended MORE THAN A MILLENIUM BEYOND THE LIFETIME OF THE APOSTLE PAUL. For Dimond's use of Galatians to make any sense, one of the following _must_ be true:
1) Paul actually continued in earthly life right up through the latest point in time when Dimond would agree that the Vatican still was on message, and really wrote Galatians no earlier than the early 20th century.
2) God specially and secretly told Paul everything that the Roman church _would_ decree ex-cathedra in future times; Paul included the future Papal commands in a separate appendix which only church leaders got to see; but _this_ was what Paul _really_ meant by "that which we have preached to you."
3) Paul had the use ot a time machine, so he went into the future to find out what future Popes would decree; then he proceeded the same way as in the previous alternative.
If none of those three possibilities is true (bets, anyone?), then we cannot escape the conclusion that when Paul wrote Galatians 1:8, he intended to say and did say that ALL OF THE NECESSARY ESSENTIALS OF THE GOSPEL WERE CONTAINED IN MESSAGES WHICH HAD ALREADY BEEN SHARED as of the time when Paul was writing. Thus, Dimond is refuting himself by quoting Paul. Dimond wants us to agree that doctrines uttered long _after_ Paul's lifetime are _necessary_ for our relationship with Jesus, yet Paul is saying exactly the opposite.
I certainly do not mean that _nothing_ written or spoken after the completion of the Bible can have _any_ merit; but I do say that nothing written or spoken after the completion of the Bible CAN HAVE EQUAL AUTHORITY as the Bible. Peter Dimond is not satisfied to argue that post-Biblical writings can have _some_ value; if that were all he said, I would concede him the point. He wants us to believe that post-Biblical doctrines are _necessary_ for us; and by trying to "prove" his case with a Scripture that _contradicts_ his case, all he proves is his own intellectual bankruptcy.