Billy Graham warmly eulogized by Roman Catholic leaders. Is there anything strange about that?

Yesterday, I posted a few thoughts on Billy Graham. See here. This morning, I scanned the internet and I was not surprised to find many glowing articles from Catholic sources eulogizing Graham, including the ones far below.

Bible Christians uphold the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Rome propagates a different gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. The two gospels are not the same. They are, in fact, opposed to each other. But Billy Graham completely dismissed doctrinal distinctives and embraced Roman Catholicism with its false gospel as a Christian entity. He invited local Catholic bishops to participate in his crusades and directed Catholics who came forward at his altar calls to go back to their Catholic churches.

“Billy Graham risked a great deal with his core evangelical constituency when he began building bridges with Catholics” – from “How Billy Graham shaped American Catholicism,” below.

The Catholic hierarchy’s praise and approval of Billy Graham, especially for his ecumenical efforts, should be a red flag for Bible Christians who continue to honor Billy Graham. The Lord, Jesus Christ, and His apostles did not receive the approbation of the Jewish and pagan works-religionists of Palestine and the Roman Empire, neither did they seek it. But in today’s topsy-turvy world, ecumenism with Rome is viewed by many as a good thing, and those who object are ignored or even criticized. Can anyone imagine Catholic bishops of yore weeping at the gravesides of John Knox, Charles Spurgeon, or Martyn Lloyd-Jones as they will be doing at the graveside of their friend and ally, Billy Graham? Was the Catholic press full of accolades for Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones when they died? No? Then what has changed?

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10

Billy Graham and Catholic priest, John Oetgen, president of Belmont Abbey Monastery in North Carolina, are pictured in 1967 after the popular evangelist was invited for a talk and to receive a degree from Belmont College. Graham called the gathering “a time when Protestants and Catholics could meet together and greet each other as brothers, whereas 10 years ago they could not.”

13 thoughts on “Billy Graham warmly eulogized by Roman Catholic leaders. Is there anything strange about that?

    1. John R. Rice was very good friends with Graham and even a mentor. When Graham turned to ecumenism with Rome, Rice was shocked and arranged a face-to-face meeting, but he could not dissuade him and so broke ties in 1957. Rice was heartbroken by Graham’s compromise and betrayal of the Gospel. I don’t think I’m overreaching to say dark spiritual forces were at work in turning Graham down that road. As someone who came out of Roman Catholicism and accepted Christ, it was so disappointing and frustrating to have evangelicalism’s “greatest” evangelist embracing Rome and its false gospel.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. The story of how Graham split from Rice and the other Baptist fundamentalists and headed into ecumenism is told in snippets here and there but it would make a fascinating ( and sad) 400-page book all by itself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That would make for an interesting read; I have a feeling a biblical and critical biography of Graham is still something in the future but I know it would also receive some pushback since he’s a darling to many Evangelicals

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I listened to the audio of J Mac say some very critical things of Graham after his Robert Schuller interview, but other than that, you’re right, it’s a hot potato. The only people who publish anything critical of Graham’s ecumenism that I’ve seen are indy fundy Baptists and objective scholarship isn’t always a strong point.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, there’s a penchant for conspiracy theories. I’ve noticed that some IFB pastors still promote Chick Publication literature. But yes, I do appreciate that some groups are still warning about ecumenism with Rome and Graham’s example. However, I think they neutralize their witness by also dabbling in extremist stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Good to hear the truth of Billy Graham’s complete compromise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his latter years being told. So many of our elderly brothers and sisters had had conversions personally or knew of loved ones saved through a Graham crusade in Australia, however things seemed to drastically change in those years when he encouraged the RCs to return again to their false religion and go on compromising and living in the darkness…that’s not a conversion nor being truly born again! My husband also says he’s seen things about him being a free mason, not sure of that claim…but sometimes a compromise leads to further if you’re already on the slippery slope and wide road. I pray and hope Franklin, his son, is a genuine preacher of the true Gospel and not a compromiser!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cassey! Yes, I’m grateful that many genuinely came to Christ through the Graham crusades, but he also compromised the Gospel by embracing Rome and its false gospel and many have followed his lead. Unfortunately, Franklin Graham endorses ecumenism with Rome just like his father.


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