Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday for Roman Catholics and parishes all across the country modified the ritual in reaction to the pandemic, changed from priests smudging ashes on supplicants’ foreheads to sprinkling ashes on their heads. Some Catholic parishes even offered “ashes to go” in sealed restaurant condiment cups (photo above) so that congregants could apply ashes to their own forehead at home. Ach. Imagine the apostle, Paul, fretting over some silly religious prop such as this. Regarding condiments: I like Rochester meat hot sauce and chopped onion on my hamburger (see here).
Catholics MUST attend mass each and every Sunday under threat of mortal sin and eternal damnation. However, the pandemic has played havoc with this mandatory obligation. At the start of the pandemic, U.S. Catholic bishops granted dispensations, which allegedly allowed their followers to miss Sunday mass without incurring mortal sin, only to rescind and reissue the dispensations like a yo-yo as the virus waned and spiked and waned again. All of this speaks to the arbitrary legalism of Roman Catholicism.
The German Catholic prelates are the church’s progressive vanguard and they will be openly blessing homosexual “marriages” in their churches shortly. Rest assured, they’re already blessing same-sex “marriages” on the QT. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions back in October so this next “reform” will not be such a big stretch
It’s not often that I use the Roman Catholic church as an example, but I’m willing to make an exception in this case. Poland’s Catholic church is in a syncretic, hand-in-glove relationship with the ruling Law and Justice conservative political party. Poland’s younger, urban citizens are generally NOT pleased with this church-state symbiosis and are leaving the Polish Catholic church in droves as a result. American evangelicals should take note.
Catholic archbishop and former papal nuncio to the Unites States, Carlo Viganò, has been a publicly defiant critic of pope Francis since 2018. I placed a library hold on the biography of Viganò that is mentioned in this article. It should be interesting reading.
Immersing a baby underwater once, let alone three times, as was done in this Romanian Orthodox infant baptism ceremony, is absolutely insane. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox teaching that an infant becomes a born-again Christian when they are baptized (baptize means “immerse,” but Catholics only sprinkle infants) is also insane and anti-Biblical.
Brian Houston and his Hillsong music troupe took mega-church, hipsterism to new lows, but Houston’s getting a bit “long in the tooth” for hipster Hillsong. I would have thought a Stephen Furtick clone would have been chosen to replace Houston instead of an equally old Gary Clarke, but perhaps they think an outwardly “mature” leader is appropriate after the Carl Lentz scandal. The hipster mega-church I formerly attended periodically featured Hillsong music videos with the Hillsong emblem clearly visible on the corner of the screen.
A federal judge has denied former IFB celebrity pastor, Jack Schaap’s request that his prison sentence be shortened due to his parents’ failing health. Schaap was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2013 for seducing a female high school student. See my previous post on Schaap here.