Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 5/18/19

Over the last twenty years, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has largely ignored its pedophile priests and cover-up “problem” despite the reoccurring negative headlines and lawsuits. There were two primary issues at the root of that laissez-faire attitude: 1) Catholicism’s rule of clerical celibacy ensured its institutions continued to attract, indoctrinate, and promote sexual deviants and 2) the foxes were running the henhouse. After last year’s scandal tsunami, polls showed that 37% of U.S. Catholics are considering leaving the church. The U.S. Catholic bishops are now stirring from their slumber and rolling out the big guns with the publication of this book, “Letter to a Suffering Church,” from the church’s media darling, bishop Robert Barron (photo above), which is being given away for only the price of handling and shipping. The purpose of this 122-page book is to try to convince members to stay despite the toxic scandal. I will review this book as soon as it’s published, but I can already guarantee the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, will not be found on any of its pages.

At the Vatican sexual abuse summit this past February, pope Francis promised “concrete action,” yet the bishop of nearby Buffalo, N.Y., Richard Malone, retains his position. Malone was exposed as a serial abuse-enabler in a “60 Minutes” episode last October.

I see Louis Farrakhan was invited to propagate his anti-Semitic hatred at a Catholic church in Chicago. Priest pastor, Michael Pfleger, referred to Farrakhan as a “friend” and a “brother.” Pfleger’s pro-Francis bishop has egg on his face and has been profusely apologizing for his subordinate. Catholic apologists boast of their church’s monolithic unity, but beliefs and attitudes within the church run the gamut from one extreme to the other, but with no genuine Gospel.

Speaking of sensitivity to the Jewish community, Jewish leaders have asked pope Francis to stop referring to his conservative and traditionalist enemies within the church as legalistic “Pharisees.” They feel the pejorative reinforces anti-Jewish attitudes.

There’s been hundreds if not thousands of alleged Marian apparitions all over the world, but the Catholic church officially recognizes only twelve. Pope Francis is giving the green light to church-sanctioned pilgrimages to the alleged apparition site at Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina even though official recognition has not been granted to the apparitions there. Why? Because one-million credulous pilgrims visit there every year without approval, meaning there’s plenty of unrealized money that could be going into the church’s coffers. Medjugorje won’t be officially approved anytime soon because 1) the alleged appearances, which supposedly began in 1981, still continue on a daily basis and 2) some of the sayings attributed to Mary by the six “visionaries” include information that is at odds with official church teaching to some degree. In addition, some of the sayings have also contradicted the local bishop and he’s not happy about it. See one of the Medjugorje “visionaries,” Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo, allegedly interact with the apparition in a recent Catholic-produced short video here. She is either a religious hysteric or under demonic control. Everyone in the crowd is worshiping Mary. No Good News in sight!

According to French investigative journalist, Frédéric Martel, the Vatican and the entire Catholic church hierarchy is a bee hive of homosexuality. See my review here of Martel’s book, “In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy.”

Poland is the last bastion of pre-conciliar, militant Catholicism in Europe. But the revelations about pedophile priests and the cover-up by the hierarchy are making an impact even there.

The LGBTQ militants and their fellow travelers are steadily breaking down barriers within Catholicism.

Oy vey! Yet another Babylon Bee satire about me! 🙂

 

 

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Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 5/11/19

The Roman Catholic dioceses of New York City and Peoria, Illinois have been fighting “beak and talon” over future-saint, Fulton J. Sheen’s cadaver for forty years. Looks like the battle has been resolved. New York’s highest appeals court recently ruled that the body of Sheen must be shipped to Peoria, the diocese of his childhood. The Vatican has been waiting for an end to the legal battle before proclaiming the Catholic apologetics media pioneer, Sheen, a saint in order to avoid any negative publicity over the church’s internal tug-of-war over the corpse.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and pope Francis’ liberalized version of Catholicism won’t happen overnight. Conservatives are still struggling with Francis’ previous “reforms” and another “novelty” could push them over the edge. But make no mistake, female deacons and married priests are definitely on Bergoglio’s radar.

Sad to say, but the ongoing investigations of predatory Catholic priests by multiple states have become page-five news.

I hold very few beliefs in common with conservative Catholics, but I do share their dislike of ecumenism. The reality is that every pope since John XXIII has recognized that it’s easier to get passengers to board their bus with a smiling accommodation here and a compromise there. Dupable ecumenical evangelicals are flattered by the accommodating gestures.

Like many Catholic prelates in 1930s and 1940s Europe, cardinal Aloysius Stepinac supported a murderous fascist regime. In Stepinac’s case, he aligned with the bloody Ustaša, the pro-Nazi, Croatian fascist movement. Francis knows full well that the canonization of pro-fascist Stepinac would be a tinderbox. See my additional thoughts on Stepinac and historical Catholic clerical fascism here.

It’s reported that some Lutherans and Pentecostals will be joining Catholic priests in Rome for this ecumenical course on exorcisms. I contend that ecumenism with Rome is actually the greatest demonic danger.

Last weekend, I posted about the open letter from some conservative Catholic theologians and clerics accusing pope Francis of outright heresy. This past week, both liberal and more-cautious conservative Catholics have been digesting this interesting development. I expect the letter will increasingly embolden those in the conservative camp.

Despite the best efforts of hipster, mega-church pastors, the Bible is sooooooo counter-cultural.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 5/4/19

We’ve been following conservative Catholics’ growing frustration with Francis for three years. The mounting rebellion was relegated to the back burner during the pedophile priests and cover-up scandal tsunami of 2018, but this latest attack “crosses the Rubicon” by accusing the pope of outright heresy, something conservative Catholics were reluctant to do publicly in the past. Will the action of this small group encourage other conservatives to join in speaking of Francis’s innovations as “heresy” rather than using the less confrontational ” doctrinal confusion” label? Neither Francis’s progessivism or cardinal Burke’s traditionalism are to be confused with the Gospel of grace.

Last Thursday was the National Day of Prayer, an annual event which promotes ecumenism and America’s civil religion. Sadly, many believers support this Gospel-compromising activity.

Not to pick solely on Joe Biden, because hypocrisy among politicians is pretty widespread in both political parties, but it’s notable that Catholic-mass-attending Biden supports abortion and also acted as the minister at a same-sex wedding.

Accommodation of error and compromise of the Gospel of grace are rampant in some evangelical churches.

Jesuit priest, Martin, serves as pope Francis’s ice-breaking vanguard in promoting acceptance of homosexual behaviors and same-sex marriages.

The American Catholic church was already in big trouble prior to this latest priest abuse scandal tsunami. The second article provides some amazing details about the sharp decline of Catholicism in Michigan and speaks to the general decline of the RCC throughout the Rust Belt. I don’t condone one word out of pope Francis’s mouth, but it’s these kinds of “death spiral” statistics that are prompting Francis to “bend” doctrine and be less “exclusionary,” to the chagrin of Catholic conservatives.

Though many believers don’t know his name, eighty-six-year-old Geisler has had a disastrous impact on American evangelicalism. His pro-ecumenical views regarding the Roman church directly influenced the accommodating attitude towards Catholicism adopted by many popular contemporary evangelical apologists including William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, and Lee Strobel.

I don’t get it. How can Francis donate money to illegal immigrants when numerous Catholic dioceses across America have declared bankruptcy to circumvent further payments to victims of pedophile priest abusers?

Acts of sacrificial heroism and a Savior who is reaching out to you

By now, most of you have probably heard about Riley Howell (photo above), the 21-year-old student who tackled the gunman at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte this past Tuesday and was fatally shot. His brave response prevented additional deaths.

We rightly admire those who regularly risk their own personal safety to help and protect others – members of the military and first responders like the police, firemen, and EMTs.

And then there are “just plain folks,” like Riley, who react in a split second and choose to run towards the danger rather than away from it. Would I do what Riley did if I were in a similar situation? I hope so.

There is a Savior, Jesus Christ, who saw the plight of men and willingly came down from Heaven, put on flesh, lived a perfect life, and yet took our sin and our punishment so that we could go free. The Bible records some of the pain and agony Jesus endured on our behalf, but we’ll only understand the full depth of that suffering on the other side of glory. But the grave and our sin could not overcome Jesus! His tomb is empty! He defeated sin and death and offers the free gift of eternal life and fellowship with God to all those who repent of their sin and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone.

Every student in that UNCC classroom and their parents salute Riley Howell for his heroism and sacrifice. I shed a few tears thinking about Riley while writing this short post. But there is a Savior, Jesus Christ, who offers everyone eternal life through His sacrifice of perfect love. Won’t you accept Him as your Savior today?

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10 

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 4/27/19

Catholic spokespersons are hoping the Notre Dame fire will rekindle an interest in their religion for many of France’s highly-secularized Catholics. However, whether a Catholic is on the church’s legalistic religious treadmill or spending Sunday mornings in bed, the results are the same. Les résultats sont les mêmes.

Interesting article. The Catholic majority massacred the Protestant Huguenot minority beneath the towers of Notre Dame on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. Pope Gregory XIII had a special medal struck to commemorate the slaughter of the Protestant “heretics.” See here for more information.

Many American Catholics are finding it impossible to remain in the Catholic church in light of the current scandal tsunami. Are evangelical churches reaching out to their disaffected Catholic neighbors with the Gospel of grace?

Because of its unique history, Poland is one of the few remaining (if not the only) “Catholic countries” in Europe where the militant, pre-conciliar brand of Catholicism still flourishes.

The vast majority of American Catholics have only a very shallow understanding of their church’s theology, and their knowledge of Scripture is even less. For them, being Catholic boils down to upbringing and allegiance to family tradition. In the cases of those who are drawn to Catholicism’s liturgical ritualism or who remain despite the scandals, it often boils down to a subjective, “it just feels right,” similar to Mormons’ alleged validation of their religion through a “burning in the bosom.”

Conservative Catholics are appalled by pope Francis’ progressive reforms (i.e., the lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees, the advancement of shared communion with Protestants, the absolute ban on capital punishment, etc.), but their strong belief in papal authority has precluded outright rebellion and schism to this point. Will conservative Catholic gadfly, Steve Bannon, succeed in unifying and mobilizing opposition to Francis?

In this excellent short article, a pastor states some vital truths that are being swept under the rug in the push for ecumenical false “unity.”

I’ve already ordered mine.

 

Notre Dame Fire: the Aftermath

It’s been over one week since the massive fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, and I thought I would follow-up with a few observations and questions:

  • The media coverage of the fire and the aftermath were intense. Note Dame is one of the most famous symbols and tourist destinations in France, Europe, and even the Western world with 14 million visitors annually. Why? What does Notre Dame mean to people that it evokes so much interest and coverage? France is largely a secular nation at this point with Catholic sources reporting that only 7 percent of French Catholics attend mass on Sunday. So why did France’s citizenry get so incredibly worked up over Notre Dame?
  • Sympathy poured into Paris from around the world because of the fire. There were even messages of solidarity from individual “evangelicals” and organizations (see here and here). Why? The salvation system preached at Notre Dame, the same preached at every Catholic church in the world, is a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.
  • French President, Emmanuel Macron, vowed to rebuild Notre Dame in five years. Donations totaling $1 billion were pledged towards the rebuilding project in only a few days. Why? There are serious unfulfilled material needs throughout the entire world, but the Notre Dame fire triggered a huge and immediate outpouring of concern and “generosity” of a proportion rarely seen.
  • We learned that as Notre Dame’s roof burned, church employees and first responders were busy “saving” the “Blessed Sacrament”* reposing in the church’s tabernacle box as well as several purported relics such as Jesus’ alleged crown of thorns, faux shards of the “true cross,” and a three-inch nail claimed to have been used in the crucifixion. Contemplate the misguided souls risking their lives underneath the flaming roof to “save” consecrated bread wafers, which Catholics believe to actually be Jesus.
  • The cause of the Notre Dame fire is still being investigated, but it happened at a time when several Catholic churches in France have been plagued by arson and vandalism.

Once again, I don’t applaud the destruction of property or the endangering of human life, but I certainly don’t have any sad feelings about the conflagration at Notre Dame. Over a span of 800 years, millions of souls attending Notre Dame have been fed a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

The huge outpouring over Notre Dame is actually an interesting statement about the current state of the Catholic church and institutional religion in general. The majority of baptized Catholics no longer pay attention to the rigors and rituals of their works religion, but their membership in the institutional church and its monuments still have some significance for them, if nothing more than serving as sentimental familial and “tribal” identifications/connections.

*The New York Times was derided for misinterpreting reports of the “body of Christ” being saved at Notre Dame as a statue of Jesus rather than the consecrated Jesus wafers. See here. Of course, the Catholic church’s claim that the consecrated bread wafers are actually Jesus is the MUCH MORE serious error.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 4/20/19

Catholics are forbidden to eat meat on Lenten Fridays under threat of mortal sin and eternal damnation, however there are exceptions to the rule. Many of you have read my post about the papal dispensation allowing Venezuelans to eat the meat of Capybara on Lenten Fridays (see here). Now we have the article above which says that Catholics in the diocese of Detroit, Michigan are allowed to eat Muskrat (photo above) on Lenten Fridays due to a papal dispensation dating back to the 1700s. Mmm, Muskrat. One of my favorites! This whole business of forbidding meat, with exemptions here and there, is ludicrous and anti-Scriptural. Catch a video of some Detroiters dining on scrumptious Muskrat here.

The conflagration at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France on Monday evening was undoubtedly the biggest “religious” news story of this past week. The media coverage was massive. I have many observations and questions following this fire, which I will present in a separate post sometime next week.

The Catholic church has been up to its eyeballs in some seriously negative press for the past year, but that has not interfered with its long-term mission to regather the “separated brethren” under its wings. The Protestants mentioned in this particular article are all mainline apostates, but many so-called “evangelical” Protestant pastors and para-church leaders are also cozying up to Rome.

Every year in the week leading up to Easter, Filipino Catholics scourge themselves in a penitential frenzy with a few even allowing themselves to be nailed to wooden crosses. Such practices strike most Western Catholics as overzealous and even hysterical third-world religious piety, but the Catholic church once encouraged this kind of self-mortification in Medieval Europe. See here for an article on the popular Flagellant Movement of the 14th century. But don’t believe for a second that flagellation completely disappeared in the West. Catholic spokespersons confirm that Pope John Paul II whipped himself daily and this practice still persists within monasteries and among traditionalists.

The fact that Buffalo Catholic bishop, Richard Malone, still retains his position six months after being exposed on “60 Minutes” as a serial abuse-enabler is a testament to just how seriously the Catholic church takes this abuse scandal. All talk, no action.

The Catholic media loves to point to historical anti-Catholicism in the United States without ever mentioning the realities that made Protestants extremely suspicious and wary of Catholic immigrants. Countries in Europe and Latin America where Catholicism dominated did not treat Protestants kindly right up into the 20th century, and even longer in some pockets of old-school, pre-conciliar, militant Catholicism.

This guy is definitely a Baptist!

Notre Dame in Paris catches fire

I’m sure most everyone has already seen the news reports about Notre Dame (Our Lady) cathedral in Paris, France catching fire today.

Notre Dame cathedral was completed in 1260 and is probably the second most famous Roman Catholic church in the world, next to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

I hope no one was injured in the massive blaze. I don’t applaud the destruction of property or the endangerment of people’s lives, but I must comment that in 760 years, the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone was NEVER preached inside of Notre Dame, no, not once. What was taught was Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Countless Parisian natives and visitors entered into Notre Dame over the centuries and never heard the Gospel.

People are impressed by grandiose religious structures. Jesus wasn’t (Mark 13:2). Those imposing medieval cathedrals were monuments to the great temporal wealth and power of the Roman church, not to the Gospel of grace. Yes, artisans and peasant laborers worked for one hundred years to create a remarkable building, no denying that, but it was dedicated to a spiritually deadly false gospel.

If you think this post seems rather harsh and inopportune in light of the news, you’re welcome to send in a comment. I’m just saddened that people, including some “evangelicals,” will be distressed by the destruction at Notre Dame today, when millions upon millions of souls have been misled by the false gospel preached within those walls for close to 800 years. THAT is the real tragedy.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 4/13/19

Too close for comfort: Headlines of sexual abuse by predatory Catholic religious are rather abstract for most of us, but this recent headline hit close to home for me. Brother Salvatore Ferro (photo above), a member of the Irish Christian Brothers and a serial abuser, taught at Bishop Kearney High School while I attended there in the early 1970s. Thankfully, I never had any classes with Ferro, but I do vaguely remember him. Other members of the same religious order who taught at Bishop Kearney and have been named as abusers include John Chaney, John Heathwood, Andrew Hewitt, and John Walderman. Postscript: John Chaney? Wait a minute, that name rings a bell. Yup, after doing some googling, I now remember Brother Chaney was one of my teachers. Another close call. I also knew Brother Heathwood, although he preyed upon the girls at Kearney rather than the boys. The name of Brother Hewitt was also vaguely familiar, so I googled him and, yes, he taught at Kearney while I was there, but I was not in one of his classes. While these five men are publicly cited, be assured other predator brothers were also abusing the students at Kearney. It was like shooting ducks in a barrel. The Irish Christian Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2011 because of the numerous abuse claims filed against the religious order.

Capture19    Capture 21_edited  Capture 20

Left to right: Serial abusers, John Chaney, John Heathwood, and Andrew Hewitt

Seriously, what do Catholic “evangelists” have to offer anyone? Become indoctrinated into Catholic legalism, be “good,” and try to merit your way into Heaven? That’s bad news NOT good news, folks.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is trying to blame the pedophile priests scandal on the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s. Absolute nonsense. Catholicism’s mandatory rule of clerical celibacy both attracted and fostered deviancy multiple centuries prior to the 1960s.

Up to this point, we’ve generally only seen headlines of abuse by Catholic priests and brothers, but the whole truth is now coming out.

Catholicism is so enmeshed in superstition. Imagine making a journey to a church in another city to “venerate” a body part of a man who died 160 years ago. John Vianney is the “patron saint” of parish priests.

The recent General Social Survey (GSS) indicates that “evangelicals” make up 22.5 percent of the U.S. population, but only God knows how many souls have genuinely repented and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone. Catholicism continues its steady decline, which will only be exacerbated by the current priest abuse and cover-up scandal tsunami.

There’s certainly lots of internecine in-fighting going on between the conservative and liberal camps of the Catholic church and most of it revolves around pope Francis’ progressive reforms. I’ll make sure to tune in tomorrow night to MSNBC to watch conservative Catholic gadfly, Steve Bannon, criticize his pope.

On a segment aired back on October 28th, CBS’ investigative journalism show, “60 Minutes,” exposed Catholic bishop of Buffalo, N.Y., Richard Malone, as a serial abuse-enabler, yet almost six months later, he still retains his position. Now, the president of St. Bonaventure University, Dennis R. DePerro, is speaking up and calling for Malone to resign. Politics aside, in any other organization, someone like Malone would have been gone long ago, but the cesspool that’s Catholicism is so deep that no one, including pope Francis, is fit to play traffic cop.

Yes, Conagra brands must get with the inclusivist agenda!!! I grew up loving Slim Jims and other savory sausage products. Not a nutritious choice these days, especially with my doctor constantly inquiring about my food selections.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 4/6/19

The bogus “scala sancta” or “holy stairs” in Rome (above photo), which are alleged to be the stairs Jesus climbed to receive his death sentence from Pilate at the governor’s praetorium and were then allegedly transported to Rome in the 4th century, will have their protective wooden coverings removed for one month. Catholic pilgrims will be lining up in droves to earn their indulgences from purgatory by ascending the 25 exposed marble stairs on their knees. It was while climbing these stairs on his knees on a visit to Rome in 1510 when Martin Luther was first moved by the grace of God and initially contemplated the meaning of Romans 1:17; “The just shall live by faith.” Praise God for using the Reformers to recover the Gospel of Grace!

The Catholic church up here in the Rust Belt wasn’t doing well prior to this latest scandal tsunami, with churches closing and parishes consolidating due to declining attendance. The yearlong headlines and television reports of predatory priests (and cardinals) and enabler prelates will certainly exacerbate the exodus. Sadly, there are very few non-ecumenical evangelical churches up here that are reaching out to disaffected Catholics with the Gospel.

There’s a civil war going in some Catholic parishes with conservative laity opposing liberal priests and practices. Who can forget when celebrity priest, Larry Richards, once screamed at some parishioners who were leaving mass early to beat the rush to “Go ahead and leave and NEVER COME BACK!” See here.

In his recent visit to predominantly-Muslim Morocco, pope Francis told the tiny Catholic community that their mission was not to convert their neighbors, but to live “in brotherhood” with other faiths. Why would a Catholic try to convert anyone to their works-righteousness religion when their pope says even “good” atheists can merit Heaven?

Catholics get riled when they’re accused of worshiping Mary. They claim that, technically, they “venerate” Mary rather than worship her. That is Jesuitical sophistry. Catholics pray to Mary and plea for her assistance in helping them to merit their salvation. That’s deification and worship.

The article calls them leggings, but I always thought they were called “yoga pants.” Well, they’re certainly not appropriate for many/most occasions but they seem to be the costume de rigueur for young women these days. Let’s be frank. Whether they admit to it or not, young women are wearing these painted-on pants mostly to draw attention to themselves. But, there’s worse things, Notre Dame Mom, like sacerdotal Catholic priests, the perpetual sacrifice of the Catholic mass, and Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Allusions to sorcery, witchcraft, and the occult permeate Western culture. That stuff is definitely not good, but for some reason many evangelicals give a pass to something just as dangerous; Roman Catholicism and its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit.

No doubt the fictional Corleones were not your typical Italian family, but they were a good illustration of how real life Catholics (including priests and prelates) were/are able to effortlessly juggle their pious works-religion rituals along with their…um…unsavory occupations and/or pastimes.