I Was A Priest In Spain (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: KJV
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In 1960, I was a Roman Catholic chaplain in a nun’s convent in Navelgas, a tranquil village in Asturias, Spain.
After an early supper, I usually visited the village priest, an older man, who was companionable and friendly. One night, he showed me a pamphlet entitled “The Gift” (which retakes a passage of the autobiographical writings of the former Canadian priest Charles Chiniquy). I asked permission to borrow it, and read it.
The pamphlet created an intense desire to read the Bible. I wanted to know if there was a real difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles. Hiding my identity, I wrote to the address on the pamphlet, requesting a Bible or a New Testament.
I began to study the New Testament, especially Acts and Hebrews. As I did, a conviction grew that the Roman Catholic Church had deviated from the Bible, that its priesthood had usurped Christ’s place.
The discovery of the Word of God became a thrilling adventure for me. As I continued reading, I felt the cutting reality of Hebrews 4:12 that “THE WORD OF GOD IS QUICK AND POWERFUL.”
Born in Madrid to devout parents in 1929, I studied in the Metropolitan Seminary of Oveido for 12 years. I was ordained on May 30, 1954.
During my four years of theological studies, I had never seriously read the Bible. For me, the Holy Scriptures were only consulted as a reference book in the study of Catholic Dogma. I knew only those parts of the Bible which were included in the Mass and in the texts of the Roman Breviary.
Salvation, the Roman Catholic Church said, depended on absolution of sins by a priest, and whoever refused to confess his mortal sins to a priest was eternally condemned. But I could not find in Acts or in any other New Testament books any statement that this was so. All the sacred writers insisted that man must go directly to God for forgiveness.
On the other hand, in Hebrews I read very clearly that Christ had been offered once for all for the sinner. “Then,” I said, “How dared the Council of Trent declare in 1562 that in the Mass, Christ offers Himself by the hands of the priest in a true and real sacrifice to God?”
I also found that the justification was only by faith, and I reasoned: “If I had not found peace of soul in the Roman Catholic Church, could it be perhaps because I had expected to gain it as a reward for my own efforts?”
In such a manner, I suddenly understood that Jesus Christ asked nothing of me, and I relinquished all my own effort to gain salvation. So Jesus Christ became my only Lord and Savior.
Through the Mission, “De Spaanse Evangelische Zending” in Netherlands, I was put in touch with a former Spanish priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He directed me to the Dutch Foundation, “In De Rechte Straat” (Into the Straight Street), because this Protestant organization had for several years been helping priests who left the Roman Catholic Church.
On May 2, 1961, I arrived in Brussels; later I went to Hilversum, Holland. Then I sent a letter to my Archbishop, telling him: “I have discovered the Word of God, and Jesus Christ has presented Himself to me as my only Lord and Savior. Rome claims that Catholicism is centered in Christ, but in reality has turned its back on Him.”
Afterward, I went to San Jose, Costa Rica, where I received, on November 25, 1963, a Bachelor of Theology in the Latin American Theological Seminary.
Finally, I spent several months in Guatemala, before coming to the United States, where I have been preaching the Gospel since June 1, 1964, to the Spanish speaking people.
My fervent desire is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, longing to carry the Gospel of Grace to the people and tell them what great things the Lord has done for me. What He has done for me, He can do for them … for you!
“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins” (Revelation 18:4). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19a). I invite all who read this tract to give your heart to Jesus Christ as your only, perfect, and all-sufficient Savior and affiliate with a Christ-honoring, Bible teaching fundamental church. Write for further information and literature. —Enrique Fernandez