Catholic radio host won’t answer question about pope Francis in forthright manner

Part of my daily routine at work is to listen to one hour of Catholic talk radio. While I wouldn’t recommend that activity to someone who has recently accepted Christ and come out of Roman Catholicism, I do it to stay abreast of what’s going on in the RCC and to pick up material for this blog.

I used to listen to a local Catholic talk show broadcast out of Buffalo, but after they changed formats and experimented for a couple of months with material that was very critical of pope Francis, they did an abrupt about-face and returned to uncontroversial (and very boring) topics. I then switched to the “Called to Communion” show on EWTN radio with host, David Anders (photo above), who attempts to proselytize Protestants and lapsed Catholics. I’d been listening to Anders for over eight weeks and hadn’t once heard him address the controversies surrounding pope Francis…until just now.

I was listening to the 5/22/18 podcast of “Called to Communion” and at the 42:31 mark, Nancy from Rockingham, North Carolina called in with a concern. She cited the recent news reports that the German Catholic bishops were debating the acceptability of intercommunion with Protestants, always a forbidden practice according to official Catholic teaching. But rather than issue a ruling on the argument, pope Francis directed the German bishops to work out a solution for themselves. Nancy then asked Anders…

“If the Holy Father lets the German people, for example, bishops, decide about spouses that are non-Catholic receiving the eucharist, what does that say or do to people who are attracted to the Catholic church by (its) authoritative teaching?”

Ah! Wonderful question! Nancy has put her finger on the very essence of the recent controversies over Catholicism’s claims to papal infallibility and the inability of the pope to lead the church into doctrinal error in light of Francis’ heterodoxy. I had been patiently waiting for this question for eight weeks! How would Anders respond?

For the next 6 minutes and 34 seconds, Dr. Anders danced around Nancy’s question. He said popes only speak definitively and dogmatically on issues of faith and morals when they speak ex cathedra – from the chair of Peter – and that Catholics are not bound to follow the pope when he is not speaking ex cathedra. This is sheer obfuscation. Popes have issued thousands of bulls, decrees, letters, and encyclicals over the centuries (240 encyclicals in the last 150 years alone) and Catholics were always obliged to obey their pontiff. Papal infallibility wasn’t defined until 1870. Did Catholics feel free to ignore the pope’s declarations and commands prior to 1870? Nonsense. Advising Catholics to obey the pope only if he speaks ex cathedra is conservative Catholics’ way of dealing with Francis’ heterodoxy without openly calling for schism and rebellion.

Dr. Anders, Nancy from Rockingham, North Carolina contacted you with an extremely important question, but when she hung up the phone she was no clearer about the answer than prior to her call. But why would anyone be surprised by Anders’ circumspection? You’ll never catch a low-level marketing executive publicly badmouthing his company’s CEO.

Postscript: Given the entire 1500-year history of the Catholic church, Catholic theologians can only agree on the infallibility of three papal decrees: The Immaculate Conception of Mary (1854), Papal Infallibility (1870), and the Assumption of Mary (1950). What is the use of having allegedly infallible popes if they almost never speak infallibly? It’s all a ruse.

9 thoughts on “Catholic radio host won’t answer question about pope Francis in forthright manner

  1. Oh boy, brother that must have been a heart breaking thing for you to listen to. I pray for you daily, but I’m going to add prayer for your poor heart having to listen to these things. I’m reading Jeremiah in my daily readings, and when I hear the turmoil he went through trying to call his people to repentance it brings me in mind of you and your ministry here. I’m going to be praying for Nancy as well, she reminds me a little bit of Mary Ann Collins in that book you recommended. Perhaps these questions will eventually lead Nancy to a true faith in Christ alone, and salvation by Gods grace alone! I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you, to know the truth and see so many lost and hurting within the RCC. Keep fighting the good fight, dear brother, you’re doing great work here! You are running this race well! Is there anyone else, or anything else I can pray with you for?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, sister, for your very kind encouragement! I am VERY grateful for your prayers. As you know from your own experiences, the Lord brings us through different circumstances so we are able to offer our unique testimonies to the unsaved and believers. I look back and see how the Lord prepared me to do this work, as imperfect as it is and I am. I appreciate your empathetic insight and discernment; that’s from the Lord. Most believers today will not acknowledge the need to reach out to Catholics with the Gospel and many even oppose such efforts. It can be a lonely ministry, but the upside is that it trains me to seek the approval of the Lord rather than that of people. Thank you and bless you for your prayers for Nancy! There are many Catholics like her who see their spiritual foundation crumbling with Francis’ changes and may be open to the Gospel as a result. Lord bless you, dear sister, as you continue to serve Him through your ministries. I will continue to pray for you and your family. It’s a spiritual battle all around us and demonic powers will concentrate on anyone who gives out the Gospel and exposes the compromise and betrayal within the church.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, sister! Yes, Catholicism boasts that it alone has a divinely-guided teaching office, yet it hesitates to exercise that office lest it be caught in a contradiction like the condemnation of Galileo.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I’m glad the 64,000 dollar question was asked in the show! I was kind of wondering when it would be brought up and when you would blog about it. Sounds like this May 22nd episode was more like “called to confusion” than “Called to Communion.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: called to confusion

      Excellent! Yes, that poor woman was more confused than before she called. Francis is forcing these conservative Catholic apologists to constantly twist into pretzels. It’s an amazing thing for one such as myself to behold. Called to communion? Which communion? That of Francis and the progressives or that of conservatives like Anders?

      Liked by 2 people

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