Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/16/19

I somehow missed the brouhaha several weeks ago over John MacArthur (photo left) advising errant teacher, Beth Moore (photo right), to “Go home.” Lauren and Becca at Tulips & Honey brought me up to speed regarding the controversy (see here). Hipster, seeker-friendly, mega-church evangelicalism is so open to the false teaching propagated by Moore and the other TBNers. Among her other aberrant teachings, Beth Moore embraces Roman Catholicism with its false gospel as a Christian entity.

Rapper Kanye West’s conversion (genuine or not) has been joyously reported on by Christian media sources and bloggers. However, tomorrow Kanye will be appearing with Joel Osteen on the platform of Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. That’s disturbing news. Millions of Kanye’s fans who are curious about the rapper’s conversion, whether genuine or not, will be deceived into thinking that Osteen’s “Live Your Best Life Now” prosperity false gospel is Christianity.

Several weeks ago, Italian journalist, Eugenio Scalfari, reported that, in private conversation, his friend, pope Francis, denied Jesus Christ’s divinity. Now, Scalfari states that Francis also denied Christ’s physical resurrection. If you know anything about liberal Jesuitism, none of this is surprising.

Catholics believe…er, well, they’re suppose to believe…that their priests actually transform bread wafers into Jesus Christ (i.e. transubstantiation). Surplus Jesus wafers are then locked up in a tabernacle near the altar to be worshiped until they’re distributed to shut-ins, etc. Catholics are sorely grieved when Jesus wafers are “desecrated” as happened at this Texas church where thieves stole the tabernacle. Catholics worship the temporal/physical but are blind to the spiritual truth of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Conservative and traditionalist Catholics continue to fume over pope Francis’ accommodation of Pachamama fertility goddess idols at the recent Amazon synod at the Vatican. But what was their reaction when their beloved “saint” pope John Paul II kissed a Quran (photo below) at an inter-religious meeting in 1999?

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It’s quite ironic that the bishop sent by the Vatican to investigate Buffalo’s bishop, Richard Malone, for abuse cover-up, has now himself been accused of sexually abusing a former altar boy! The abuse problem is deep in the bone marrow of Catholicism’s mandatory clerical celibacy.

In the interview with arch-conservative cardinal, James Burke, and in his follow-up commentary, Catholic journalist, Ross Douthat, wrings his hands over the impossible Catch-22 dilemma for conservative Catholics: What to do when the current alleged “Vicar of Christ” is a doctrine-bending heretic?

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/9/19

The brouhaha over the “Pachamama incident” at the recent Amazon Synod at the Vatican continues to divide progressive and conservative Catholics although I really don’t understand why conservative Catholics are so incensed. The syncretism of paganism and Catholicism can be traced all the way back to the days of Emperor Constantine (see “Constantine versus Christ: The Triumph of Ideology” by Alistair Kee, among other books).

I try very hard not to comment on politics in my posts, but President Trump’s appointment this week of “televangelist,” Paula White, to an official position in the administration is obviously meant to please the president’s “evangelical” supporters. But what Paula White preaches is the false prosperity gospel and not the Gospel of grace.

Guy Fawkes Night was celebrated in the U.K. this past Tuesday, November 5th to commemorate the foiling of the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Fawkes and his fellow Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the British Parliament with barrels of gunpowder as part of an effort to reestablish Roman Catholic dominance over the country. However, the plot was uncovered and Fawkes and the other Catholic saboteurs were executed. I doubt few of this week’s celebrants were aware of the history of the English Reformation. Rather, the evening was just an excuse to gather together, tip a few pints, and watch a bonfire. Interestingly, English colonists brought Guy Fawkes Night to America and renamed it “Pope Night,” but General George Washington put an end to the festivities during the American Revolutionary War in deference to the struggling new nation’s French-Catholic allies.

For my first couple of years as an altar boy, the Catholic mass liturgy was said in Latin. I had to learn to phonetically mouth the Latin responses without one iota of understanding of what they meant. Few in the pews understood the words either. Dumb? Certainly, but tradition, once in place, isn’t easily changed without a fight. The Second Vatican Council finally did change the mass liturgy from Latin to the vernacular and conservative Catholics have been kicking and screaming ever since. But whether the mass is said in Latin or English doesn’t change the fact that the ritual propagates the anti-Biblical doctrines of the alleged transformation of Jesus Christ into bread wafers and wine, the perpetual sacrifice of Christ, and the supposed conferral of sin-cleansing grace upon the congregants.

The vast majority of Roman Catholics are nominal members and generally don’t adhere to their church’s rules or understand and believe in its doctrines. Other recent surveys have revealed few Catholics attend obligatory Sunday mass, few believe in “transubstantiation,” the alleged changing of Jesus into bread wafers and wine, and hardly any go to mandatory annual confession. I imagine many Catholics who cohabitate attempt to justify their behavior with the rationale, “Well, at least I don’t abuse altar boys like the priests and bishops.”

We pray that Kanye West genuinely repented of his sin and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/2/19

Today, Catholics all around the world are observing All Souls’ Day by praying for dead relatives and friends who they suspect may be in purgatory. In Europe, Catholics will be making pilgrimages to cemeteries to pray over the graves of their loved ones and will leave behind flowers and lit candles. The notion of purgatory and praying for dead souls is based on a passage in the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees (12:39-45) and ancient pagan traditions. An intermediate state of purification like purgatory is essential to a works-righteousness salvation system since it’s quite evident to most practitioners that they are flawed. But the Savior, Jesus Christ, is able to cleanse all those who trust in Him by faith alone of ALL sin (1 John 1:7). For more on the anti-Biblical doctrine of purgatory, see here.

The Vatican’s Amazon Synod has concluded as expected with the bishops okaying the ordination of married men as priests in the Amazon region. The practice of ordaining married men will certainly be adopted in other areas where priests are also in short supply like the United States. Conservative Catholics strongly object to the lifting of mandatory clerical celibacy because it makes their religion look capricious. There is also the deep-rooted notion in Catholicism that sex is “dirty” and that celibate priests and nuns are “holier” than the married laity. In keeping with pope Francis’ progressive agenda, the synod also recognized the need to formally define “ecological sins.” However, it was agreed that the possible ordination of women as deacons needs more “consensus building.” That issue was put on the backburner for now. As the last article point out, Francis is using these synods to pragmatically bend/soften doctrine in an effort to make the church more appealing.

Last week, we saw that some conservative Catholics objected to Amazonian Pachamama fertility goddess statues being included in the Amazon Synod ceremonies. They stole the idols and dumped them in the Tiber River. The Rome police fished the objects out of the river and returned them to the Vatican. Pope Francis issued an apology for the theft and “desecration” of the idols.

Catholic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, was recently denied communion at mass while on a campaign stop because he supports abortion. The second article points out the hypocrisy of scandal-plagued Catholic priests and prelates.

Christian bloggers have been commenting on rapper Kanye West’s professed conversion for a couple of weeks. Hopefully, Kanye genuinely accepted Christ and the Lord uses him to lead others to salvation in Jesus. However, we’ve seen the “faith” of other high-profile celebrity “converts” eventually crash and burn (see my post on Bob Dylan’s “Christian phase” here), so let’s keep our focus on Jesus rather than on celebrities.

Seniors are definitely not made to feel welcome at hipster, seeker-friendly mega-churches.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/26/19

I somehow missed this news report from back in July about how LGBT radicals vandalized the Reformation Wall monument in Geneva, Switzerland with the requisite colors of the LGBT rainbow. LGBT activists will not rest until Gospel Christians deny/ignore the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. As a side note, the men who are memorialized by the monument – John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Bèze, and John Knox – would have strongly objected to being glorified in such a fashion.

Liberal Catholic prelates are using the current three-week-long Amazon synod at the Vatican to push their progressive reforms. The synod has featured some “interfaith” events promoting the syncretism of Catholicism and indigenous Amazon paganism that included pope Francis blessing statues of naked “Pachamama” Amazon fertility goddesses (see photo below). Some conservative Catholics, offended by the accommodations to the pagan idols, absconded with them and then unceremoniously dumped them into the Tiber River. Hmm, the Vatican is already home to thousands of idolatrous and blasphemous statues and paintings including many naked characters. What’s a few more? Can anyone imagine Jesus Christ or even the apostle Paul “blessing” pagan idols?

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Pope Francis “blessing” Pachamama fertility goddess idol

The U.S. Catholic bishops were counting on Hispanic Catholics to pick up the slack as non-Hispanic Catholics increasingly abandoned the church, but newly-released statistics show that Hispanics are also stepping off the legalistic religious treadmill.

The Vatican’s finances are once again under scrutiny. Expect this latest financial scandal to mushroom.

As pope Francis and his progressive allies pragmatically institute their liberal reforms in an effort to make the Catholic church more “relevant,” they bend Catholic doctrine to suit their agenda. Catholic conservatives, heretofore passionate defenders of the papacy, are caught in a dilemma from which they cannot extricate themselves.

Besides many other important doctrinal differences, Gospel Christians and Roman Catholics are irreconcilably opposed in regards to the doctrine of justification. Catholics claim souls are justified by sacramental grace and subjective sanctification, i.e., actually becoming intrinsically “good enough” to merit Heaven. Gospel Christians proclaim the Biblical teaching that souls are justified only by the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, imputed to them at the moment they accept Christ as their Savior by faith alone. Despite the accommodations and compromises of modernist mainline “Protestant” denominations, the Reformation continues. Unfortunately, Christians who attend “seeker-friendly” McMega churches hear very little (or nothing at all) about the Reformation or comparative theology.

Secular society is elevating ludicrousness to new extremes.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/19/19

Vain repetition of prayer and praying to a false semi-deity have now entered the digital age with the Vatican introducing the eRosary (see photo above). The wrist device and associated smartphone app keep track of how often a Catholic user prays the rosary to Mary. The full rosary “devotional” consists of 150 vain repetitions of the “Hail Mary” prayer and 15 vain repetitions of the “Our Father” prayer along with a few other associated prayers. A determined Catholic can “get through” the full string of rosary beads in about 30 minutes. The RCC grants a “plenary indulgence” to Catholics who recite at least five decades (50 “Hail Mary”s) of the rosary “in a church, a public oratory, a family group, a religious community, or pious association.” A plenary (full) indulgence expiates all temporal punishment that remains after confession of sins to a priest that otherwise would have to be satisfied in purgatory. Saying the rosary privately at home only earns a partial indulgence. This new eRosary is meant to appeal to young Catholics. All of the above is anti-Biblical on multiple levels. Thanks to Cassie for bringing this story to my attention.

At the Catholic church’s three-week Amazonian synod that’s currently underway, progressives have floated proposals for an “inculturated mass” with indigenous rituals, married priests, and female deacons. Progressive prelates, with the support of pope Francis, are using this regional synod to introduce reforms meant eventually for the entire church. Conservatives are grinding their teeth over this tradition-bending synod.

John Henry Newman was a 19th-century Anglican priest who famously “converted” to Roman Catholicism in 1845. Rome has been leveraging Newman as a “come on” to nominal Protestants ever since.

The local Rochester Catholic diocese declared bankruptcy back in early-September in order to limit payouts to victims of priest sexual abuse. The diocese is now in the middle of its annual Catholic Ministries Appeal fundraising campaign and has assured potential donors that none of the contributions will be used to pay off victims of priest abuse. However, in a private meeting with abuse survivors on October 10th, bishop Matano and his staff indicated CMA funds could possibly be used to compensate former victims. So, which is it?

I recently stumbled across this new book, “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” by Catholic Answers apologist, Karlo Broussard. I think I may have to begin a series refuting this book, point-by-point.

Poland is one of the few countries in Europe where Catholic church-state symbiosis is still in effect. In Poland, if you’re not Catholic, you’re not considered a “true” Pole by a large segment of the population.

We believers can do better than this!

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/12/19

Italian journalist, Eugenio Scalfari (photo left), once again reports that his friend, pope Francis, has said something controversial. This time, Scalfari claims that Francis stated in private conversation his belief that “Jesus Christ was not divine.” The Vatican of course denies everything, but Francis’ reported statements denying Jesus’ divinity actually align quite well with progressive Jesuit theology.

Francis continues to stack the deck to ensure the college of cardinals elects a like-minded progressive as his successor.

I’ve been collecting news stories for the weekend roundup for several years and periodically see articles from Catholic sources claiming that William Shakespeare was a crypto-Catholic. I seriously wonder why Catholics even bother debating this kind of historical minutiae when their church is currently nostril-deep in scandal and anti-Francis conservatives flirt with schism?

These 1700 priest pedophiles freely walk the streets of American neighborhoods largely because the Catholic hierarchy covered up for them.

Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) was a Polish Catholic nun and mystic who claimed to receive direct revelations from apparitions of Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul II declared fellow-Pole, Kowalska, a saint in 2000. Kowalska’s vain repetitive “divine mercy chaplet” prayer recitation and the painted image of Kowalska’s divine mercy vision have gained an army of devotees since her canonization. Catholic mysticism appeals to seekers of religious/psychological euphoria and has been making rapid inroads into evangelicalism thanks to compromising Judas ecumenists.

The American Catholic church always relied on baptizing the newborn children of members to perpetuate itself. The only serious evangelization done by Catholics was those other-era newspapers ads from the Knights of Columbus. But now, with membership dwindling dramatically, the RCC has been seriously considering evangelization. But pope Francis says even “good” atheists can merit Heaven, so why would anyone want to get hooked up with all of that dreary liturgical rigmarole?

I always thought that Lord Baltimore, a Roman Catholic, had named Maryland after the “blessed virgin Mary,” but come to find out he named the colony after Roman Catholic, Henrietta Maria (1609-1669), wife of Catholic-sympathizer, King Charles I, and queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Our large church is very big on small groups, but my wife and I, two very square pegs, did not fit in with that structure.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 10/5/19

In last weekend’s roundup, I included a couple of news articles that reported on conservative Catholic bishop, Charles Chaput’s public criticism of James Martin, progressive Catholicism’s crusader for full acceptance of practicing LGBTers in the church. Pope Francis reacted to Chaput’s criticism by immediately squeezing a meeting with Martin into his busy schedule to let everyone know the LGBT champion has his full support (photo above).

This coming week, Catholic bishops will meet at the Vatican to discuss challenges in the vast Amazon region of South America. One of the problems is the shortage of priests. Only 15% of Amazon communities are able to have weekly mass because of the priest shortage. There’s a very strong possibility that the bishops will approve the ordination of married men in the region to the priesthood, which will serve as a prelude to eliminating the clerical celibacy rule elsewhere. Conservative and traditionalist Catholics are aghast at the possibility of the end of mandatory clerical celibacy and the synod’s decision will give them one more reason to oppose pope Francis. Keep in mind that both the Catholic priesthood and the mass are antithetical to the Gospel of grace.

Instead of telling lost people about the Gospel of grace, Jeffress riles up political conservatives, even suggesting that they consider civil war in reaction to the possible impeachment of Donald Trump.

Have you ever seen a movie in which one of the characters was on the verge of dying and someone shouts, “Somebody get a priest!” The Roman church teaches that its sacrament of the anointing of the sick (aka “last rites” aka “extreme unction”) helps – but doesn’t guarantee – a dying person to merit Heaven. I need to write a post about this alleged sacrament in the future.

Gandhi is revered as one of the greatest figures of the 20th century for promoting civil rights, peace, and human cooperation. But let’s keep in mind that Gandhi was a committed Hindu who propagated his religion’s false gospel. There is no true peace outside of Jesus Christ.

Almost one year after “60 Minutes” outed Buffalo’s Catholic bishop, Richard Malone, as a serial abuse-enabler, the Vatican FINALLY announced it’s launching an investigation. This article in the Buffalo newspaper says the “investigation” appears to more of a sham than a genuine inquiry. What would the results have been if the city of Chicago had appointed Al Capone to investigate organized crime?

The passage being referred to is 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Mega-millionaire, Joyce Meyer, leads millions astray with her false prosperity gospel.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 9/28/19

This, friends, is breathtaking! The headline and accompanying photo above say it all. Gospel Christians have always been aware of the Biblically-prophesied, one-world, false religious system that would arise at the end times, however, even just sixty-years ago, the possibility seemed to be extremely remote. This generation of believers is witnessing the laying of the cornerstone of that system. And, no surprise, pope Francis is the prime mover.

Jesuit priest, James Martin, is progressive Catholicism’s crusader for full acceptance of the gay lifestyle within the RCC. Elderly conservative Catholic archbishop, Charles Chaput, protests that Martin’s pro-LGBT campaign can’t be reconciled with the Bible or with Catholic “sacred tradition,” but those “inconveniences” won’t stop Martin or his progressive allies. I rarely draw same-issue comparisons between the RCC and evangelical churches, but we can expect to see some “evangelical” churches caving to LGBT pressure in the future.

Francis walks a tightrope with conservative Catholics wishing for a return to preconcilior militantism while progressive German Catholic prelates flirt with throwing all the rules out the window.

After having not regularly attended mass for about a decade, I returned around 1979 or 1980, to this parish in Henrietta N.Y., in order to establish our two young boys in the Catholic religion. The “fly-in-the-ointment” was that I was also reading the New Testament at that time. The Holy Spirit revealed to me from God’s Word that the Catholic mass and many other of Catholicism’s doctrines were incompatible with Scripture. I stopped attending mass after only a few months and finally repented of my sin and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983.

In this article, the writer, an unbeliever, reprimands American evangelicals for shifting their focus from the Gospel to temporal concerns. It’s especially shameful when unbelievers have to remind us of what our mission is.

The Catholic diocese of Rochester declared bankruptcy on 9/12/19 in order to minimize payouts to victims of pedophile priests. Rochester was the first domino to fall. How many of the other seven dioceses in the state will follow?

Irate Buffalo Catholics have launched an advertising campaign asking their fellow pew-sitters to withhold contributions to the RCC until the Buffalo bishop, Richard Malone, an outed serial abuse-enabler, is ousted. These frustrated Catholics need to trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone and leave the corrupt RCC.

How does prosperity-gospeler, Osteen, explain tragedy and suffering entering into the lives of his fellow Houstonians after they’ve been so faithful in contributing their “seed faith” money to his Lakewood church?

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 9/21/19

Before we start with another roundup of weekly news, I thought it might be a good idea to ponder a bit about why I do this. Most of the stories I present every Saturday focus on the Catholic church. You might ask yourself, “Why should Gospel Christians be concerned about what’s going on within Catholicism?” Well, there’s two reasons: 1) Evangelical churches are being increasingly sucked into ecumenical compromise with Rome. If your pastor is standing strong against ecumenical accommodation and compromise with Rome, know that your church is in the dwindling minority. 2) I don’t dwell on eschatology, but I do share with the Reformers the belief that the Roman church led by the Roman “pontiff” (Latin, means “bridge builder”) will play a significant role in the end times as foretold in the Bible in Revelation, chapters 17 and 18. I also believe that the prostitute daughters of “Babylon the great” mentioned in Revelation 17:5 refers to the compromised, so-called “evangelical” churches that align with Rome. So, Gospel Christian, that’s why what happens inside the RCC is important to you. Of course, the roundup is also presented with Roman Catholics in mind, who will definitely not get this perspective on the news from their church’s lecterns.

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In last weekend’s roundup, I wrote that I anticipated a very strong reaction from conservative Catholics to pope Francis’ September 10th in-flight press conference remarks that he doesn’t desire that they secede from the RCC, but that he is “not afraid” of schism, either. I wasn’t disappointed. Of course, the conservatives accuse the pope of causing schism with his doctrine-bending reforms.

The two articles above are examples of how the moderate and liberal camps of the RCC reacted to Francis’ broaching of possible schism as well. It’s quite extraordinary times we live in when Catholics, including the pope, are openly discussing schism as a potentiality. However, we must keep in mind that the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone is not preached in ANY of Catholicism’s ideologies.

While the pope denies concern about conservative Catholic rebellion, his liberal allies in Germany are pushing their progressive agenda even too quickly for Francis.

The investigative journalism television show, “60 Minutes,” outed Buffalo Catholic bishop, Richard Malone, as a serial abuse-enabler way back in October 2018 and a new poll reveals that just about every Catholic in Buffalo wants him out. This is theater of the absolute absurd. The Catholic laity should ponder the fact that the very priests and prelates who admonish them to merit their salvation do not themselves lead lives worthy of Heaven. Come out of Catholicism and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone.

Which is more dangerous to a young, unwary soul? A Harry Potter book or a book extolling Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit?

To be a Catholic godparent of a baptized infant, a candidate is supposed to faithfully follow the church’s rules and regulations. Such an individual is becoming increasingly rare these days. See my post on the Catholic godparent sham here.

Some obligatory humor from the Babylon Bee after the serious news.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 9/14/19

Due to the mounting lawsuits filed by former victims of priest sexual abuse, the Catholic diocese of Rochester, N.Y. (where I live) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this past Thursday. Fifty-nine claims have been filed in Rochester in the last month under the state’s 2019 Child Victim Act and another 100-200 are expected before the legal window closes in August 2020. The Rochester diocese is using bankruptcy protection to shield its financial assets from survivors of priest abuse. To date, nineteen other U.S. Catholic dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection because of priest sexual abuse. Expect many more to follow. Roman Catholicism is absolutely corrupt on multiple levels including its apostate false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

As members fall away elsewhere, the Catholic church is growing in Africa. As this article explains, unwitting new African converts are attracted to the church’s social welfare programs.

On his plane trip to Africa two weeks ago, pope Francis stated that he felt “honored” to be “attacked” by conservative American Catholics. On his return trip to the Vatican this past week, the pope remarked that while he doesn’t desire that church conservatives break away into schism, he’s not fearful of that increasingly possible development. Wow! We live in extraordinary times with the progressive pope addressing the growing rebellion against him, including the possibility of schism.

This past week, conservative Catholics reacted to pope Francis’ remark that he felt “honored” to be “attacked” by them. Next weekend, we’ll see how they react to Francis’ broaching the subject of the potential schism of conservative Catholics.

What must it take for pope Francis to fire the Catholic bishop of nearby Buffalo who was outed eleven-months ago on national television as a serial abuse-enabler? Francis talks about reform, but the foxes in the henhouse still watch out for their fellow foxes.

There have been statues and paintings of Mary allegedly weeping for centuries. This one occurred in a Greek Orthodox church. These phenomena are either outright frauds, the result of natural causes, or manifestations of demonic activity. Thanks to our sister at “I Once Was Lost” for the heads up!

This article from a Catholic media source discourages the use of crystals, but the church’s sacramentals (medals, statues, holy water, and other jujus) and Catholic mysticism predispose the membership to dabble in New Age practices.

Man-buns and girly spandex skinny jeans on men are de rigueur at hipster mega-churches. Well, okay, man-buns are yesterday’s news and have been replaced by one-hundred-dollar swag haircut$.