Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began this past Thursday, February 24th, has obviously dwarfed all other news headlines this week. See my previous op-ed here. Russian forces have now laid siege to the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv.
American Roman Catholics are queueing up for a traveling exhibit of alleged relics (photo below), including purported shards of Jesus’ cross, a fragment of the crown of thorns, a piece of Mary’s veil, etc., etc. Catholics believe they will receive healings and blessings by touching or being near the relics. All of these objects attributed to Jesus and Mary are bogus. They are jujus, fetishes, talismans, and religious rabbits feet. This is as idolatrous as lining up to see a palm reader or necromancer. Catholicism is all about institutional religion and the physical/material. Catholics are encouraged to venerate and worship these bogus relics, but they never hear the genuine Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone from their churches’ pulpits.
- Does the Catholic Church really want to alienate thousands over baptism wording?
- Invalid baptisms in Arizona point to something very wrong in the Catholic Church
- Like in Arizona, botched baptisms roiled Michigan church
Last week, I posted about Catholic priest, Andres Arango, of the diocese of Phoenix, Arizona who, it was determined, had “invalidly” baptized thousands of people over three decades by using the wrong pronoun in the baptismal incantation. See here. There’s been a lot of negative reaction from incredulous Catholics, like the writers of the first two articles above, who strongly doubt that salvation hinges on a pronoun. The third article follows-up with “invalid” priest, Matthew Hood (see my relevant 2020 post here), and the largely unsuccessful efforts to contact all those who Hood had “invalidly” baptized. What happens to them? This is an inane, legalistic rabbit hole that RC-ism has no answer for.
Catholicism runs according to its liturgical calendar. Seasonal holy days and feast days are its lifeblood. Sadly, evangelicalism is becoming more “Catholicized” as seasonal religious observances, like upcoming Lent, are seeping into worship services.
Pope Francis has set in place a long-range plan restricting the Latin mass with the goal of its eventual elimination. The Latin mass is a bastion of Catholic conservatism. Bishop Austin Vetter of Helena, Montana has become the target of angry conservative Catholics, nationwide, for jumping ahead and completely banning the Latin mass in his diocese.
Catholics make long and expensive pilgrimages to Lourdes, France, Fatima, Portugal, and other designated “holy shrines” in search of healings and blessings. As COVID-19 abates, the shrine at Lourdes is reopening. Lourdes, with a population of 14,000, has more hotel rooms than any other city in France, except for Paris, to accommodate the credulous pilgrims. See my review of a critical examination of the Lourdes hoax here.