I hope everyone had a good week and is enjoying a nice weekend. Here’s some news items that came across my desk this past week plus some free commentary thrown in for good measure.
- Priest ‘bewildered’ at Pope’s advice that pastors stay out of people’s moral lives
- Pope rejects conflict with ‘ultraconservative’ Catholics in new interview
- Pope vows he won’t be slowed down by ‘ultra-conservatives’
- Communion For All, Even For Protestants
The pope and Catholic conservatives continue to battle. Neither side will “win” this conflict but Francis is definitely steering the Catholic church toward a more inclusive, ecumenical, pragmatic model. Conservatives resent the watering down of Catholic doctrine but when your church teaches even atheists will go to Heaven if they follow their consciences and are “good,” it’s time to realize the jig is up.
Easy for him to say. There’s some Catholic doctrine that’s not only unscriptural but it’s also downright nonsensical. The Catholic hierarchy teaches the use of any contraceptives (including non-abortifacients) is a mortal sin but research shows 98% of Catholic women of child-bearing age have used contraceptives.
Here in America we’re having “Together 2016” ecumenifest next week while in Europe they already had “Together for Europe 2016.” Truth and doctrine are thrown under the bus as everyone embraces each other in the name of Christ. Neither evangelicals or Catholics who need to hear the Truth benefit from these betrayals of the Gospel.
On the other hand, many evangelicals remain faithful to the Gospel of grace. I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again; why don’t we have anything like the Rome Scholars Network and the Reformanda Initiative here in the United States?
- Catholics pack into basilica for ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ Mass, saints’ relics
- 10 Things You Should Know about Catholics and the American Founding
- The murderous history of Bible translations
The relics of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher concluded their tour of America on July 5th in Washington, D.C. Catholics believe they receive blessings by venerating the remains or personal belongings of dead saints. Tour promoters billed More and Fisher as champions of religious freedom but the Catholic church was notorious for suppressing Protestant groups in countries where it was dominant right up into the mid-20th-century. In parts of rural Latin America, the persecution continues. In the second article, the author touts Catholic tolerance in comparison to Protestant intolerance in Colonial America but, once again, the religious despotism of the Catholic church in Catholic countries is never mentioned. The third article provides some examples of how the Catholic church dealt with those who dared to translate the Latin Bible into the vernacular.
Catholics don’t apologize for elevating Mary to a status that rivals and, in some cases, even surpasses that of Jesus Christ. Every blood-bought believer should read the prayer below written to Mary by a pope:
“Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother. Mary, we adore and praise the peerless richness of the sublime gifts with which God has filled you above every other mere creature from the moment of conception until the day on which, after your assumption into Heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe. O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our hearts with your heavenly perfume! O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell! O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cries which rise up from every heart in this year dedicated to you. Then tenderly, O Mary, cover our aching wound. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and the oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatred, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity, protect the holy Church. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that all are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family. Receive, O sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us on that day, happy with you, that we may repeat before your throne that hymn which is sung today around your altars. You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are glory, O Mary. You are the joy, you are the honor of our people!” – pope Pius XII
Catholic friend, religion never saved a single person. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches the Gospel without compromise.