May 22, 1934
Pope Pius XI, Rome, Italy
Is the accusation true that Protestants accuse you of? They say you changed the Seventh Day Sabbath to the so-called Christian Sunday: identical with the First Day of the week. If so, when did you make the change and by what authority?
Yours very truly,
J. L. Day (Signed)
THE CATHOLIC EXTENSION MAGAZINE
180 Wabash Ave., Chicago, Illinois
(Under the Blessing of Pope Pius XI)
Dear Mr. Day:
Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts.
(1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.
(2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say this church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide men through life, has the right to change the Laws of the Old Testament; and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say 'Yes', the Church made the change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance the Friday abstinence, the un-married priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulations of Catholic marriages, and a thousand other laws.
(3) We also say that of all the Protestants, the Seventh Day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings. It is always somewhat laughable to see the Protestant Churches, in pulpit and legislature, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in the Bible.
With Best Wishes,
Peter R. Tramer,
(Editor's Note: On the strength of this candid recommendation and his study of the Bible. Mr. Day became a Seventh-day Adventist.)
the Sabbath Change
a continuation from the article Keeping the Sabbath
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"The scripture commands us to hear the Church, Matt. 18:17; Luke 10:16, and to hold fast the traditions of the Apostles, 2Thess. 2:15, but scripture does not in particular mention changing the Sabbath. John speaks of the Lord's day in Rev. 1:10, but he does not tell us what day of the week this was, much less does he tell us that this day was to take the place of the Sabbath ordained in the Tanakh (OT): Luke also speaks of the disciples meeting together to break bread on the first day of the week, Acts 20:7, and Paul, 1Cor. 16:2, orders that on the first day of the week the Corinthians should lay by in store what they designed to bestow in charity on the faithful in Judea: but neither one nor the other tell us that this first day of the week was to be henceforward the day of worship and the "New" Sabbath: so that truly, the best authority we have for this is the testimony and ordinance of the Church." Bishop Richard Challoner, The Catholic Christian Instructed, 1737.
"From this same Catholic Church you have accepted your Sunday, and that Sunday, as the Lord's Day, she had handed down as a tradition: and the entire Protestant world has accepted it as tradition, for you have not an iota of Scripture to establish it. Therefore that which you have accepted as your rule of faith, inadequate as it of course is, as well as your Sunday, you have accepted on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church." D.B. Ray, The Papal Controversy, 1892, p. 179.
"I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says: 'No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.' And lo! - the entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the Catholic Church." T Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb. 18, 1884 (reward never claimed).
"The Catholic Church for over 1000 years, before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. ...The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is therefore to this day acknowledged as the offspring of the Catholic Church. ...without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world." The Catholic Mirror, Sept.23, 1893.
"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the observance of Saturday, a day which we [Catholics] never sanctify." James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 11.
"Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible." James Cardinal Gibbons, Catholic Mirror, Dec. 23, 1893.
"Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the seventh day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the church [Catholic] outside the Bible." Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947.
"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles. ...From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 25, 1900.
"Sunday is founded, not on Scripture, but on tradition, and is distinctly a Catholic institution. As there is no Scripture for the transfer of the day of rest from the last to the first day of the week, Protestants ought to keep their Sabbath on Saturday and thus leave Catholics in full possession of Sunday." Catholic Record, September 17, 1893.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore affirms: "Be sure of it, your Seventh-day Adventist friends are telling you the truth, when they say that it was the Catholic church which changed the day of worship from the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday. ...If Protestantism would follow the Bible, they would worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic church. During the first three centuries practice and tradition had consecrated the Sunday to the worship of God." Letter to Mrs. Ashby, February 10, 1920.
Bertrand Conway says: "If the Bible is the only guide for the Christian. then the Seventh-day Adventist is right in keeping Saturday with the Jew. But the Catholics learn what to believe and do from the divine, infallible authority ...the Catholic Church." Question Box, p. 179.
Father Walter Drum says: "They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? The Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason. ...The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance. ...The author of the Sunday law ...is the Catholic Church." Ecclesiastical Review, February, 1914.
Further insight is provided by Paul’s last visit to Jerusalem. The Apostle was informed by James and the elders that thousands of converted Jews were "all zealous for the Law" (Acts 21:20). The same leaders then pressured Paul to prove to the people that he also "lived in observance of the law" (Acts 21-24), by undergoing a rite of purification at the Temple. In the light of this deep commitment to the observance of the Torah, it is hardly conceivable that the Jerusalem Church would have abrogated one of its chief precepts–Sabbath keeping - and pioneered Sunday worship instead. If Gentiles are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, with Israel as the root of the grafted branches, how can Gentiles expect to live differently from the natural branches of the kingdom in their own olive tree? (see Torah or "the Law" for further insight)
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Part One: the Sabbath
Part Two: In Their Own Words
Part Three: Celebrate Shabbat