(Giuseppe Zacchello)

I was born in Venice on March 22nd, 1917. When I was ten years old, I was sent to a Roman Catholic seminary in Piacenza, where, after twelve years of study, I was ordained a priest on October 22, 1939

I was born in Venice on March 22nd, 1917. When I was ten years old, I was sent to a Roman Catholic seminary in Piacenza, where, after twelve years of study, I was ordained a priest on October 22, 1939. Two months later, Cardinal R. Rossi, my superior, sent me to Chicago to pastor the new Italian parish of Cabrini. So I worked as a priest in Chicago for four years and later in New York. I never wondered if my sermons and teachings were consistent with the Bible. My only concern and ambition was to please the Pope.

One Sunday in February 1944, when I turned on the radio, I accidentally came across a Protestant service broadcast. The pastor was delivering the sermon. I actually wanted to change channels because I wasn't allowed to listen to Protestant sermons. But the interest was stronger, and so I kept listening.

The Bible text I heard on the radio shook my whole theology: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" (Acts 16,31:XNUMX). So having certainty of salvation was not a sin against the Holy Spirit!

The Lord corrects me

I haven't converted yet, but suddenly I was full of doubts about the Roman Catholic religion. And suddenly I was more interested in what the Bible taught than what the dogmas and decrees of the Pope say.

Every day, poor people came to church and gave me between $ 5 and $ 30 to perform a twenty-minute ceremony - mass - promising that it would free the souls of their dead family members from purgatory. But every time I stood in front of the altar and raised my eyes to the great crucifix, I felt as if Christ was rebuking me and making me realize: You are stealing from these poor, hard-working people by making false promises from them. What you teach contradicts God's word. A person who has believed in Christ does not come to a place of torment after death, for it is written:  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord



from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, let them rest from their toil; but their works follow them " (Revelation 14,13:XNUMX). The sacrifice of the cross need not be repeated because it is complete. The work of salvation was done forever on the cross, and God confirmed it by raising Christ from the dead.

"For with a single sacrifice he has perfected forever those who are sanctified" (Hebrews 10,14:XNUMX).

This thought also suddenly stood before me: If we priests and the Pope supposedly have the opportunity and power to free souls from purgatory through masses and indulgences, why do we wait with the act of rescue until they give us money for it? Would someone who could save a dog from the fire do so only after receiving five dollars from the dog owner?

I could no longer look at Christ crucified above the altar. When I preached that the Pope was Christ's representative and successor of Peter, the infallible rock on which the Church of Christ was built, I heard this voice again: You saw the Pope in Rome - his great, magnificent palace, his garden, and the people who kiss his feet. Do you really think that he represents Christ? Jesus Christ came to serve the people. He washed the feet of his disciples and had no place to lay his head (Gospel of Matthew 8,20:XNUMX). And look at him on the cross!

Do you really believe that God built his church on a man? The Bible clearly states that Christ's representative on earth is the Holy Spirit and not a man (Gospel of John 14, verses 16-17 and 26). If the Roman Catholic Church is built on one man, it is not the Church of Christ.

God's word is enough

I was still preaching that the Bible was insufficient as a foundation of faith and that in order to understand it we needed the tradition and dogmas of the Church. But again the voice rose within me: What you preach is contrary to the Bible. What you preach doesn't make sense. If Christians need the Pope to understand the Bible, what do they need to understand the Pope? God condemns church tradition because everyone can understand what they need to know for their salvation. "But these are written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through faith you may have life in his name" (Gospel of John 20,31: XNUMX). 2