Graven Bread: The Papacy, the Apparitions of Mary, and the Worship of the Bread of the Altar
By Timothy F. Kauffman
White Horse Publications, 1994, 207 pages
Most books written by evangelicals that critically examine Roman Catholicism cover the various doctrinal differences in regards to such issues as justification, purgatory, Mary, confession, etc.
In “Graven Bread,” Timothy Kauffman takes a unique approach. The author demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between the papacy, the alleged apparitions of Mary, and the eucharist/consecrated bread wafers and the possible roles they will play in the future.
Popes have enthusiastically endorsed the church-approved Marian apparitions and even several unsanctioned apparitions such as those at Medjugorje, Bosnia. For their part, the Marian apparitions have consistently encouraged loyalty and unwavering devotion to the sitting pope. To complete the triumvirate, both popes and the Marian apparitions have strongly admonished Catholics to worship the consecrated eucharistic bread wafer, which they believe to be the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Many “signs and wonders” have been attributed to the apparitions and to consecrated Jesus wafers.
After convincingly demonstrating the interdependent relationship between the three entities, Kauffman takes an unexpected turn and posits the possibility that the three may someday fill the roles of anti-Christ (the pope), false prophet (Marian apparitions), and the image/mark of the beast (the consecrated wafer) spoken of in Revelation 13. Far fetched? Perhaps so, perhaps not. As Kauffman points out, belief in the consecrated wafer as the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ was THE litmus test by which popes and the Catholic church once rooted out and executed heretics for multiple centuries and the author suggests that submission to belief in the consecrated Jesus wafer could also be the future defining mark referred to in Revelation.
I would recommend this book only to those who are already familiar with Catholic dogma and might be interested in giving a hearing to the author’s end-times hypothesis. Kauffman does an excellent job of examining the interrelationship between the papacy, Marian apparitions, and the eucharist, a tack I’ve never come across previously. Have no fears; this isn’t a Jack Chick-style, conspiratorial hyper-polemic. The author presents his views on the possible roles the papacy, the Marian apparitions, and the eucharist will play in the framework of Revelation 13 strictly as the theory that it is. Personally, I’m of the strong opinion that the pope and the Marian apparitions will play significant roles in the end times.
Used copies of “Graven Bread: The Papacy, the Apparitions of Mary, and the Worship of the Bread of the Altar” are available from Amazon here.