I’ve mentioned several times that I like to listen to Catholic talk radio every work day just to stay current with what’s going on within Catholicism, but it’s often frustrating because of the blatant contradictions and anti-Biblical errors. As just one example, priest hosts often boast about their absolute support of religious freedom, as if that was always Catholic teaching. But in actuality, it wasn’t all that long ago when popes formally condemned separation of church and state and religious freedom. Such hypocrisy!
Yesterday, I was listening to the 1/8/18 podcast of “The Catholic Current,” a new show on the local Catholic talk radio station (The Station of the Cross, WLOF (Our Lady of Fatima) 101.7 FM, Buffalo, New York). The show used to be named, “Calling All Catholics,” but they changed the name and format to deal with all the “confusion” that’s currently being propagated within the church (mainly by pope Francis).
Anyway, this particular show’s topic was immigration. Unlike pope Francis, who is a liberal champion of political and religious refugees and immigrants, priest-host, David Nix, advised a much more cautious approach, more in line with President Trump. He cited media information, which showed that a large percentage of the Muslim population in various countries were in favor of Sharia Law. He stated that the religious fundamentalism of many of the immigrants was incompatible with Western society and its principles of separation of church and state and religious freedom.
At the 37:00 mark, Matthew, a Catholic listener from Buffalo, N.Y., called into the show with an objection. He commented that while the Catholic church currently presents itself as a champion of religious freedom, popes as late as the closing years of the 19th century condemned separation of church and state and religious freedom. Matthew cited an encyclical from pope Leo XIII, although he didn’t provide any details (leave that to me below). So Matthew’s argument was that it was somewhat hypocritical for Nix to criticize Muslims for their opposition to Western freedoms when Catholic popes propagated the very same beliefs only one-hundred years ago.
It should be noted that pope Pius IX condemned separation of church and state and freedom of religion in his “Syllabus of Errors” encyclical of 1864 (see here) as did pope Leo XIII in his “Testem benevolentiae nostrae” (Witness to Our Goodwill) encyclical of 1899, which specifically condemned the “heresy of Americanism” (see here).
In response, priest David surprisingly conceded that Matthew was correct and that “250 popes”* were wrong about the symbiosis of church and state and the denial of religious freedom.
Wow! A priest who actually admits that pope after “infallible” pope was wrong about such fundamental spiritual and moral issues!
Of course, this begs the question, if 250 infallible popes were wrong about the doctrines of church-state symbiosis and religious intolerance, what else were they wrong about?
*Catholic apologists contend they can trace their alleged unbroken line of papal successors back to the apostle Peter. Francis is claimed to be the 266th pope. The official list of popes has been amended several times over the centuries and is fraught with conjecture and error. At one point in history, three different popes ruled concurrently, all claiming to be the legitimate pontiff. Other popes condemned and excommunicated previous popes.