Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 7/29/17

Up here in the fading Rust Belt, Catholic parishes are closing or merging faster than you can say, “Hoc est enim corpus meum.” But this week, in order to handle all of the Rust Belt transplants, the diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina opened the new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, which seats 2000 at a cost of $41 million. Keep in mind that the parishioners of the new cathedral, like all Catholics, are obligated to attend mass every single Sunday upon pain of eternal damnation.

Earlier this month, a convocation of U.S. Catholic leaders brainstormed on ways to stanch the church’s membership freefall. This articles details some of the new programs Chicago parishes are going to try in response. But in stark honesty, the Catholic church has nothing to offer people. Its mandatory Sunday mass is boring beyond belief and the church doesn’t preach the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Who needs a religious treadmill? The pope says even atheists can go to Heaven if they are “good” and follow their conscience so who needs all of that liturgical rigmarole? Has anyone ever wondered why the Catholic church now devotes so much energy and resources trying to “evangelize” its own membership, 80% of which don’t bother with obligatory weekly mass? What was it doing all of those years?

Evangelicals should oppose any ecumenism with Rome and its false gospel. Ironically, there are many Catholics, like these converts, who fret over ecumenism diluting their cherished anti-Biblical traditions.

Trump threw his supporter, Newt Gingrich, a bone by appointing his wife as ambassador to the Vatican. Count on Francis to be querying Ambassador Gingrich about Trump’s much ballyhooed Mexican border wall and America’s retreat from environmental protections.

I’m very happy to read any article about Catholics reading the Bible. Catholics were discouraged by their church from reading God’s Word for themselves for centuries. As they read the New Testament, many Catholics will compare Scripture to their church’s teachings and discover “something is radically amiss.”

I’m encouraged by the ongoing efforts of Leonardo De Chirico, Gregg Allison, and others to educate evangelical scholars and leaders about Rome’s false gospel via the Rome Scholars Network and the Reformanda Initiative. Why aren’t similar works being done in the United States? Easy answer. Evangelical leadership in this country is so busy jostling in line for a private meeting and photo op with the pope that they have no time or interest in examining the differences between the Gospel of grace and Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

There’s no end in sight to Francis’ ongoing feud with church conservatives and traditionalists. Will Francis’ next move be to pull the plug on the traditionalists’ idolized Latin Mass as the last article speculates? Stay tuned.

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