Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 3/18/23

The big news this past week was that the 2019-2023 German Catholic Synodale Weg (Synodal Path), a reform initiative by progressive German RC clerics and laypersons, came to an end. At last week’s final meeting, the participating bishops approved the blessing of same-sex unions, the normalisation of lay people preaching, a guideline of “concrete improvements for intersex and transgender faithful,” and requests to reexamine the Catholic church’s stance on clerical celibacy and on women’s ordination. Liberal RC priests all over the world have already been blessing S&G weddings on the Q.T., including here in the USA. Pope Francis has been keeping a close eye on the Synodale Weg. While he is favorable towards some of the reforms, he must also keep the lid on conservative schism. Missing in this ideological tug-of-war is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

The conservative Catholic website, The Pillar, broke the news in August 2021 that many RC priests were using the S&G hookup app, Grindr. Notable Catholic sociologist, Richard Sipe, estimated that 30-40% of RC priests were S&G-ites.

I had assumed, as did many others, that pope Francis was going to lift the mandatory celibacy rule for newly-ordained priests in the Amazon region at the 2019 Vatican Amazon Synod, but that didn’t happen. However, Bergoglio is inching closer and closer. Read the Book of Hebrews. The sacerdotal priesthood and ongoing sacrifice for sin were eliminated by Jesus Christ.

Pope John Paul II approved the 1992 RC Catechism, which states that “homosexual acts (are) acts of grave depravity…(and are) intrinsically disordered” – CCC 2357. Pope Francis and his point man, Jesuit James Martin, have been chipping away at the RCC’s reluctance to embrace practicing S&G-ites. Perhaps Francis’ successor will be more amenable to transgenderism?

Yes, Francis has been greasing the skids towards lifting the ban on non-abortifacient contraceptives.

Evangelicals readily reference the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Watchtower Society as false churches. There are 17 million and 9 million members in those two institutions respectively, totaling 26 million souls. That total number is only 2% of the 1.4 billion souls who follow Rome’s false gospel. Why is evangelicalism so focused on the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but not on the multitudes of lost souls in RC-ism with its false gospel?

There was speculation several months ago, but this past Monday the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa, California made it official by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The diocese of Albany, New York then filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The two dioceses became the 28th and 29th U.S. dioceses respectively to file for bankruptcy since 2004. Catholic dioceses use bankruptcy to shield assets from survivors of priest sexual abuse and cover-up. The Albany diocese’ bankruptcy amounts to a “quadfecta of corruption” spanning from one end of the New York State Thruway to the other. The dioceses of Upstate New York’s four largest cities – Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany – have all declared bankruptcy because of priest abuse.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 3/11/23

In recent roundups, we’ve noted that U.S. Catholics are normally barred from eating meat on Lenten Fridays under threat of eternal damnation. However, because St. Patrick’s Day (next Friday, March 17th) falls on a Lenten Friday this year, many U.S. Catholic bishops have formally granted dispensations, “allowing” the Catholics in their dioceses to eat corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day without incurring mortal sin. The author of this article reached out to all 176 Latin Rite territorial Catholic dioceses in the U.S., inquiring if a corned beef dispensation had been granted. As of March 3rd, 80 bishops said Yes to a dispensation; 25 are offering a “commutation,” requiring Catholics in their diocese to substitute some other penance if they plan to eat meat on March 17; 32 said No, and 39 had not responded. When I initially began preparing the draft for this weekend’s update, I could not find any evidence of Rochester bishop, Salvatore Matano, granting a dispensation as this article indicated. However, on Thursday I did come across a very brief article from a local secular news source (see here). As of Thursday morning, neither the diocesan website or the official diocesan media outlet noted the dispensation. Why am I making such a huge deal out of this Lenten Friday mandatory meat abstention vs. St. Patrick’s Day corned beef showdown? Because it’s a vivid example of the arbitrary legalism of Roman Catholicism. None of this cringeworthy legalistic wrangling has anything to do with the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

A newly published book, “Maxima Culpa” (Most Grievous Fault – not yet published in the U.S.) by Dutch journalist, Ekke Overbeek, has created a firestorm in Catholic Poland. Overbeek presents credible evidence that Karol Wojtyła aka pope John Paul II enabled pedophile priests while he was archbishop of Krakow between 1964–1978. “The book says John Paul not only knew about child abuse in his archdiocese but also helped to cover it up by transferring priests involved from one parish to another, including at least two who were eventually convicted of abuse of minors and served jail time.” Following his death in 2005, Wojtyła was put on the fast track for canonization and was proclaimed a “saint” in 2011. On Thursday, the Polish parliament predictably passed a knee-jerk resolution condemning the book and an associated television documentary. These allegations are a serious problem for the Roman Catholic church and its claims for the papacy and canonization. Stay tuned for more updates.

The film, “Jesus Revolution,” presents the birth of the Jesus Movement (“…a counterculture Christian youth revolution that emerged in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s” – Got Questions), focusing on Chuck Smith, Lonnie Frisbee, and Greg Laurie. I have a lot of reservations about the Jesus Movement and don’t intend on seeing the movie. The Catholic writer of this article advises, “As a Catholic, one can appreciate how God can work through other faith movements, but it should bring us to a point of praying that such adherents will one day know the fullness of the truth contained in the Catholic Church and to receive the promise of John 6, of eating Christ’s body and blood.” The alleged “fullness of the truth” the writer refers to includes meriting salvation and hundreds of other RC heresies.

This coming Monday, March 13th, marks ten years since cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the papacy in 2013. The above article presents a good summary of the bitter conflict between Francis and his progressive allies and conservative Catholic clerics over the last decade. There’s no sign of the genuine Gospel on either side of this ideological tug-of-war.

The trademark of Francis’ papacy is “synodality.” What does that mean? Francis and his progressive allies use the term to describe “the process of fraternal collaboration and discernment in understanding and implementing the mission of the church.” Catholic conservatives grumble that “synodality” is code speak for Francis’ doctrine-bending reforms.

This is sobering.

“Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” (published in 1563) was a heart-wrenching account of the bloody persecution of believers in Catholic-controlled England and Scotland in the 16th century. Johnnie Moore’s “The New Book of Christian Martyrs” purports to be an “update” of “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs,” however, stories of Catholic “martyrs” are intermixed in this book with stories of Protestant martyrs. It’s regrettable that anyone is persecuted or killed for their religious beliefs, but Roman Catholicism propagates a false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Catholics killed for their religion are no more “martyrs” for the genuine Gospel than Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses killed because of their religious affiliation. Shame on Johnnie Moore (and Rome-friendly organizations like “Voice of the Martyrs”) for muddying the Gospel.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 3/4/23

Tradition has it that in 866 A.D., pope Nicholas I made Friday abstinence from meat a universal rule of the Roman Catholic church under threat of eternal damnation. In 1966, pope Paul VI gave national bishoprics the option of limiting the mandatory abstinence to Lenten Fridays and the U.S. bishops took advantage. However, Canadian bishops chose to continue the Friday meat abstention year round. In colonial times, when the biological sciences were still in their early stages, crafty clerics of various regions argued that such water-friendly animals as beaver in Quebec, muskrat in Michigan, and capybara in Venezuela were “more fish than mammals” and obtained dispensations for their respective followers to eat the meat of those animals on Fridays. These dispensations continue today as a historic witness to the RCC’s arbitrary and irrational legalism. Question: When a Canadian Catholic crosses the Peace Bridge into Buffalo, New York on a non-Lenten Friday and eats a plate of chicken wings, did they commit a mortal sin?

Jesuit priest, Thomas Reese, caused a stir among Catholics this past January with the article above, in which he acknowledged that Thomas Aquinas’ theory of transubstantiation based on ancient aristotelian physics was no longer credible or believable. A 2019 Pew Research study revealed 70% of Catholics don’t believe in transubstantiation. Better, argues Reese, to chalk up the alleged “real presence” as simply “a mystery” and leave it at that. The RCC’s literalist interpretations of John 6 and the Last Supper accounts are abysmal and heretical eisegesis. The Lord’s Supper elements are symbolic of Christ’s death. Period. The key to salvation is belief/trust in Jesus as Savior by faith alone, not eating him.

This Catholic writer cites Fulton J. Sheen as “the greatest evangelist in the history of the United States.” However, Sheen did not teach the “evangel” (good news). He propagated the RCC’s bad news false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Sheen was on the fast track to being canonized as a “saint,” but the process was put on abrupt hold in December 2019 when it was discovered he may have enabled pedophile priest abusers while he was bishop of Rochester in the 1960s.

Pope Francis continues to tighten the screws on the Latin mass with the intent of eventually eliminating it. The Latin mass is the bastion of conservative and traditionalist Catholics. There’s so much internecine infighting among Catholics over liturgical “trees” while they entirely miss the genuine Gospel “forest” of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Catholics were still buzzing this past week about the FBI-Richmond, VA office memo targeting rad-trad Catholics. I appreciate this article for pointing out two specific Catholic rad-trad groups that I wasn’t aware of: the New Columbia Movement and the Tradition, Family, Property group. Catholicism had strong ties to European Fascism back in the 1920s thru 1940s (more on that in next Wednesday’s post) and rad-trad Catholics believe they can establish Catholic fascism in the United States.

In the Feb. 11 round-up, I reported that progressive cardinal, Robert McElroy, Catholic bishop of San Diego and ideological ally of pope Francis, stated in the liberal Jesuit magazine, America, that “the moral integrity (legitimacy) of gay sex is an open question.” Conservative Catholic prelates were whipped into a frenzy and Thomas Paprocki, bishop of Springfield, Illinois, boldly penned a response implying the cardinal was a heretic. Folks, that’s a huge no-no according to “proper” hierarchical protocols. Will this public tug-of-war over S&G affirmation lead to Catholic schism as with the un-United Methodists or can Bergoglio and his allies skillfully overcome conservative opposition as the pope did with his discrete lifting of the ban on sacraments for remarried divorcees via his Amoris Laetitia encyclical?

Politically conservative-minded evangelicals and Catholics began banding together during the Clinton administration as “co-belligerents” in opposition to advancing secularism and discovered an “ecumenism of the trenches,” as arch-ecumenist, Charles Colson, coined it. The genuine Gospel was betrayed in the interests of political and “moral” conservatism. This “Social Conservatism for the Common Good: A Protestant Engagement with Robert P. George” mentioned in the article above is the latest “hot book” by the neo-Colsonists arguing for the advancement of the evangelical-Catholic political-religious alliance. If I bought this book, could I stand reading about the betrayal of the Gospel by these intellectual Judases? Well, I did order it and will review it down the proverbial road.

I realize there’s some disagreement among believers on this issue, but I believe the Scriptures clearly teach the church offices of pastor and elder are limited to men. See the relevant CARM article here and the Got Questions article here. Rick Warren and Saddleback are unorthodox in several aspects, most significant for me is Warren’s wholesale acceptance of the RCC as a legitimate Christian entity. Warren has even held seminars at multiple RC dioceses across the country advising the local bishop and priests on how to grow their parishes.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 2/25/23

  • One-year anniversary of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which commenced on February 24, 2022. I don’t usually comment on temporal national politics or international geopolitics, but I wanted to remind people that prior to the invasion, some American Christians got sucked into the bizarre “rehabilitation” of Putin propagated by far-right pundits and were hailing the Russian dictator as the defender of “Christian morality” in Europe. How many people have been killed, injured, or displaced by Putin’s invasion in the past twelve months? How many billions of dollars of infrastructure have been destroyed by this alleged “Christian crusader”?

Conservative Catholic clerics and laypersons are not pleased that pope Francis is instructing priests to absolve everyone who comes to confession. The confessional and priestly absolution are un-Biblical. Only God can forgive sins.

Catholic writers self-servingly present the anti-Catholicism of 19th century America in a vacuum, never acknowledging that the bias was a reaction in large part to the persecution of Protestants in Catholic-controlled countries. Popes formally condemned freedom of religion and democratic forms of government into the early-20th century.

Why would Catholic parents care about their children’s religious beliefs when their pope, prelates, and priests tell them all religionists – Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and even atheists – can merit Heaven?

The Roman Catholic church gives lip service to “grace” and “faith,” but it all boils down to salvation by works as this Catholic article unabashedly and unapologetically points out.

According to RC doctrine, a Catholic who eats meat on a Lenten Friday commits mortal sin. Last roundup, we learned that the Catholic archbishop of Washington D.C. announced he was granting a dispensation to Catholics in his diocese to be able to eat corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, which happens to fall on a Lenten Friday this year. Other bishops are following suit, including the bishop of nearby Syracuse, Douglas Lucia. Will the bishop of Rochester, Salvatore Matano, also grant a dispensation? If a Rochester Catholic drives 90 miles to Syracuse on St. Patrick’s Day for a corned beef and cabbage restaurant dinner, will they be covered by Lucia’s dispensation or will they still be under Matano’s jurisdiction and thereby incur mortal sin?

President Joe Biden made sure to get his ashes on Ash Wednesday while in Poland. A self-described “devout Catholic,” Biden is also a passionate supporter of the ongoing abortion genocide.

  • The Asbury Revival – 8 Crucial Questions We Need to Ask

Last weekend, I posted an article, which described how Catholic clerics in Kentucky were enamored with the Asbury Revival, a big red flag. This week, Catholic archbishop of NYC, cardinal Timothy Dolan, also put his stamp of approval on the Asbury Revival (see here). Todd Friel of Wretched Radio has put together the 11-minute video below which asks some solid questions about this alleged revival.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 2/18/23

  • Un-snowy ROC

November and December were relatively mild here in Rochester. January was frigid, but February has been another mild month. We’ve accumulated only 21″ of snow so far this Winter compared to our normal seasonal average of 100,” and Spring is only 30-days away.

A leaked FBI document from the bureau’s Richmond office suggested keeping tabs on local Catholic radical traditionalists. The agency has since distanced itself from the memo. I don’t doubt that some Catholic rad-trads are plotting violence after reading a couple of Catholic wacko rad-trad books (see here and here).

To date, 28 U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to shield assets from the claims of survivors of priest sexual abuse and diocesan cover-up.

Spain and Portugal were once known as bastions of Roman Catholicism in Western Europe, but the priest abuse scandals there are having an effect on already sparse church attendance.

There may still be some churches within the Church of England where the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone is still preached and the Bible is still reverenced as God’s Holy Word, but I’m guessing they’re few and far between.

From the article above, this current Asbury revival strikes me as an ecumenical “Jesus hug fest” based on emotionalism and religious ecstacism rather than revival according to the genuine Gospel and the tenets of God’s Holy Word. Many Catholics are comfortably participating in this “revival,” a huge 🚩. One Catholic deacon openly pondered how to “make this happen in our church.”

The “He Gets Us” ad campaign that seeks to appeal to Generation Z and younger Millennials by portraying Jesus as “an immigrant, a refugee, a radical, an activist for women’s rights and a bulwark against racial injustice and political corruption” is funded by the pro-ecumenism Green family of Hobby Lobby, among others (including Roman Catholic contributors). The impression I get is that the “He Gets Us” Jesus is an ecumencal Jesus who is long on worldly “justice” and short on doctrinal truths, like eternal punishment for sin and the need to be saved by the Savior. See the Got Questions article on “He Gets Us’ here.

Buffalo Bill, Damar Hamlin, garnered national attention when he collapsed on the playing field due to cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game on January 2nd. The incident prompted a bit of a revival atmosphere across the country and especially here in Western New York (see relevant article here). Damar caught some shade after he appeared at the Super Bowl wearing a jacket with a “ghastly crucified Jesus in flannel lettering on the back of his coat and a gaudy depiction of his face on the front.” In response to the backlash, Damar stated, “It was never my intention to hurt or disrespect anyone.”

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 2/11/23

Taking its cue from pagan mother-goddess worship, the Roman Catholic church elevated Mary to semi-deity as Advocate and Mediatrix (and unofficially as Co-Redemptrix). Paintings and sculptures of Mary holding the helpless baby Jesus abound in RC-ism. The chameleon-like, syncretic nature of the RCC is revealed as depictions of Mary and baby Jesus are adapted according to the predominant ethnic and racial characteristics of the locale/region where they are displayed. Truth is truth. Mary and Jesus were Jews/Semites and Mary was a sinner saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Mary was human and is not semi-divine.

The Roman Catholic church mandates that all Catholics must abstain from meat on Lenten Fridays under threat of mortal sin and eternal damnation. But what happens when an irresistible force (St. Patrick’s Day corned beef) meets an immovable object (Lenten Fridays meat abstention)? Looking ahead, we see that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Lenten Friday this year. The notion of St. Patty’s Day without corned beef and cabbage is unthinkable for many (especially Irish) Catholics, so some U.S. bishops will be issuing “dispensations,” allowing Catholics in their diocese to indulge in corned beef without incurring mortal sin. This is all arbitrary nonsense. The New Testament warns against religious leaders who “require abstinence from foods” (1 Tim. 4:3).

Catholic conservatives are emboldened by the recent death of their beloved pope-emeritus, Benedict XVI, and have ratcheted up their criticisms of progressive pope Francis.

On his recent return trip from Africa, pope Francis once again criticized civil laws against homosexuality and exhorted the RCC to “accompany” aka “affirm” practicing S&G-ites. This greasing of the skids by Bergoglio for eventual full-acceptance of practicing S&G-ites is getting to be a weekly occurrence. In the meantime, Robert McElroy, bishop of San Diego and recently appointed a cardinal by pope Francis, asserted that “the moral integrity (legitimacy) of gay sex is an open question,” to the consternation of RC conservatives.

After affirming practicing S&G-ites at a recent pastors’ conference, Andy Stanley has announced he will be hosting a conference for parents of LGBT-identified kids in September. Stanley is determined to lead the charge within “big tent evangelicalism” against the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. The ensuing tug-of-war over this “issue” is eventually going to rip the “evangelical church” in two.

I’m seeing news that American Gospel: Spirit & Fire (AG3) will be released later this Spring. This third installment will critically examine Bethel Church in Redding, CA and the entire New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. See the short trailer here and the extended 15-minute trailer here. I appreciate these American Gospel discernment docs, but I wonder when AG director, Brandon Kimber, is going to examine the largest heretical church in the U.S. and the world, the RCC. One shortcoming of the two previous AG docs was that the unorthodox were not always clearly delineated from the orthodox.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 2/4/23

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops initiated its two-year, nationwide Eucharistic Revival in June 2022 to encourage heightened reverence and worship of the consecrated Jesus wafer among American Catholics. The revival is a reaction to a 2019 Pew Research study which revealed that 70% of U.S. Catholics don’t believe in “transubstantiation,” the teaching that priests change bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. Imagine sitting in a church pew and worshiping a bread wafer like in the photo above. So many grievous errors taught by the RCC.

The RCC mandates that all 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide must attend Sunday mass under threat of mortal sin. Nigeria has the highest proportion of Catholics who are compliant mass-attendees at 94 percent. U.S. Catholics are way down the list at only 17 percent. Catholicism is doing well in Nigeria and other “third-world” countries because of its many similarities to pagan shamanism. It’s tragic when anyone is persecuted for their religious beliefs, but Rome-friendly, evangelical para-church organizations muddy the Gospel by identifying persecuted RC priests and nuns in Nigeria and elsewhere as Christians.

Pope Paul VI drew a line in the sand with his 1968 Humanae Vitae encyclical by declaring use of all forms of artificial contraception, including non-abortifacients, a mortal sin. The reality is 98 percent of Catholic women use artificial birth control as cited by Catholic sources. Paul VI and his successors lost credibility in the eyes of many Catholic married couples who did not want and/or could not support a large brood of children.

It would be comically ironic if souls were not at stake, for the fact that Catholicism, with its extensive array of blessed sacramental jujus – rosary beads, holy water, statues, scapulars, palm fronds, medals, candles, crucifixes, holy cards, the sign of the cross, etc. – is opposed to new age crystals.

In last weekend’s update, I observed that pope Francis’ recent statement condemning laws prohibiting homosexuality was the latest in a systematic strategy to move the RCC closer to full acceptance of practicing S&G-ites. The Catholic and secular media had the same reaction this past week.

I’ve featured MANY news snippets about the German Catholic Der Synodale Weg (Synodal Path) reform initiative since it launched in 2019. There is a possibility that liberal/progressive German Catholics will break away from the RCC at the conclusion of the initiative later this year.

Pro-abortionists are targeting Catholic churches for their perceived anti-abortion stance, although a 2022 Associated Press poll revealed 63% of Catholic adults believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. In addition to pro-abortionists, radical atheists are also targeting Catholic churches and churches in general.

I’ve never been to Israel, but I imagine many people naively visit there with high expectations, only to be confronted by alleged sites that are thoroughly catholicized and touristized. That said, I don’t condone violence.

I was pleased to see the Reformanda Initiative guys will be coming to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky for a three-day Reformanda Initiative Conference later this month. Events like this are sorely needed at American evangelical seminaries where undiscerning ecumenism with Rome and its false gospel is often the standard paradigm these days.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/28/23

Nancy Pelosi was barred from receiving the Jesus wafer by the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco because of her support of abortion, but she still considers herself a devout Catholic. After an attacker seriously injured her husband at their SF home last October, Pelosi called in Catholic priests to “exorcise the evil spirits,” but who was going to exorcise the priests’ false gospel? Catholicism is a syncretization of pagan superstition and pseudo-(c)hristianity.

I would never recommend anyone attend a Roman Catholic mass, where its claimed that priests transform bread wafers and wine unto the actual body and blood of Christ, and the Jesus elements are then offered up as a sacrifice for sins. However, if you were to attend a mass you might be surprised that the sermon (aka homily) is usually only around 10 minutes long with the rest of the time devoted to the rote liturgy. Homiletics are not a focus in Catholic seminary. Priests, from my subjective experience, are generally not good public speakers. The homily message is usually connected to the short snippet of the gospel passage that was previously read, whereby the priest will exhort the congregants to live morally upright lives in pursuit of their salvation. There’s no mention of the genuine Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

German cardinal, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has emerged as progressive pope Francis’ most vocal conservative critic. Müller compares Francis’ secret 2018 Vatican-Beijing accord, in which Bergoglio granted the Chinese communist government the power to select puppet bishops from its quisling Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, to a deal with Adolf Hitler. Actually, pope Pius XII did sign a deal with Hitler as historian David I. Kertzer discovered from documents in the previously sealed Vatican archives (see here).

Roman Catholic seminaries and rectories are magnets and hot-house incubators of deviancy and debauchery. Catholic and secular sources have estimated 30-40% of Catholic priests are homosexual. 80% of the victims of priest sexual abuse cases that have been documented since the 1950s were male.

We probably won’t see the official full-acceptance of practicing S&G-ites by the RCC during Francis’ tenure, but the pope is strategically getting all the ducks lined up in a row.

The German Catholic Synodale Weg (Synodal Path), a four-year progressive reform initiative steered by liberal clerics and laypersons, concludes this year. Some conservatives anticipate a schismatic split. Reforms being proposed include women’s ordination, married priests, lay participation in selection of bishops, and the blessing of same-sex unions and revision of the catechism currently disallowing homosexual practice.

Matthew Clark was Catholic bishop of Rochester, N.Y. from 1979 to 2012. Clark was a Vatican II progressive and looked the other way when liberal priests offered Jesus wafers to non-Catholic attendees at wedding and funeral masses. In a March 2020 bankruptcy court deposition, Clark admitted the diocese kept secret archives of pedophile priests and that priests accused of sexual abuse were allowed to continue to “serve,” sometimes moved from parish to parish.

“Progressive” evangelical pastors, like Andy Stanley, are advocating for full-acceptance of practicing S&G-ites. Yes, this “inclusive and affirming” mindset is creeping into evangelical churches.

For a thorough evaluation of Stanley’s latest heresy, see here.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/21/23

Conservative Catholic cardinal, George Pell (above photo, right), died on January 10th. He was at one time considered the third most powerful prelate in the Vatican hierarchy in his role as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy between 2014 and 2019. Pell was embroiled in accusations that he covered-up for priest predators in Australia and that he also sexually abused underage boys himself. He spent 13 months in prison, but was released in 2020 on a legal technicality. Shortly following his death, it was revealed that Pell had been the author of a memo which categorized progressive pope Francis’ pontificate as “a disaster in many or most respects; a catastrophe.” This sentiment is shared by many conservative Catholic clerics.

Last Sunday, pope Francis announced an ecumenical prayer vigil that will take place in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 30, 2023, as part of the RCC’s ongoing Synod on Synodality. Said Francis, “Starting now, I invite our brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to participate in this gathering of the People of God. We thank the Lord who faithfully and patiently guides his people toward full communion.” Pope Francis also highlighted the RCC’s annual “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,” which began this past Wednesday, Jan. 18. For Catholics, “full communion” and “Christian unity” mean submission to papal authority and to the RCC’s sacramental-merit salvation system.

After years of planning, fundamentalist Catholic, Mel Gibson, will soon begin filming the sequel to his 2004 film, “The Passion of the Christ.” In “The Passion…,” Gibson portrayed Mary in accordance with Catholic doctrine as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix (see here). Evangelicals enthusiastically and misguidedly patronized “The Passion…” Gibson is a “sedevacantist” Catholic, meaning he believes all popes who came after Pius XII (d. 1958) are not legitimate because they supported the liberal reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

210 U.S. Congressional Representatives voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require immediate medical attention for babies who are born alive after an attempt was made to abort them.

COVID-19 obviously played a huge role in the decline in church attendance.

This past Monday, Americans celebrated Martin Luther King Day. In the 1950s and 60s, racism and bigotry were deeply ingrained and institutionalized in American society, yes, even in many Gospel churches, and needed to be confronted. Kudos to Martin Luther King for standing up to racism. That said, the liberal Baptist minister preached a social gospel that proclaimed all people are God’s children. King was a modernist who believed much of the Bible was mythical. Any time MLK entered the pulpit, there was no mention of the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. For more on MLK’s particular beliefs on God and the Bible, including several revealing quotes, see here.

Being a former independent, fundamentalist Baptist, I’m looking forward to reading Jinger Duggar Vuolo’s upcoming “Becoming Free Indeed: My Story of Disentangling Faith from Fear” (Jan. 31) in which she describes distancing herself from her family’s deep ties to IFB-ism and Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles. The Duggars were also involved in Doug Phillips’ now-defunct Vision Forum. See Jinger’s short video intro to her story here. I’m one of those people Jinger describes who stepped away from God (for 23 years, although He never left me) after coming out of IFB-ism.

81 YO singer-songwriter, David Crosby, formerly of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young), died this past Wednesday. Crosby often stated that he didn’t believe in God, however, he did a lot of “whistling past the graveyard,” especially towards the end of his life. The gentleman did protest too much, methinks. I have a post about Crosby coming up shortly.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/14/23

I was surprised to see the above article in the Christian Post about St. Luke’s Episcopal church in my hometown, Rochester, New York. The church (photo above) was established in 1817 by a group of residents that included Revolutionary War veteran, land speculator, and city founder, Nathaniel Rochester. The church structure that stands today was built between 1824 and 1825, making it not only the oldest church building in Rochester, but also the oldest public building. Sadly, the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, has not been preached at St. Luke’s for generations.

A 2020 Pew Research study revealed 70% of American Roman Catholics don’t believe in transubstantiation. The U.S. Catholic bishops sought to rectify that by initiating the three-year Eucharistic Revival that’s currently underway, The conservative priest-author of the article above suggests four steps that he insists would do more to restore proper piety towards the Jesus wafer than a costly eucharistic revival campaign: 1) return the tabernacle to the center of every RC church, 2) abolish communion in the hand, 3) eliminate extraordinary ministers of the holy eucharist, and 4) require that reception of holy communion be once again in a kneeling posture. The RCC wrangles over proper Jesus wafer etiquette, but overlooks the Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

The lifting of restrictions on abortifacient mifepristone is intended to counter recent state measures banning or limiting abortions.

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983 at the age of 27, I walked away from the un-Scriptural tenets of the RCC, which included my infant baptism. Baptism is not salvific as the RCC teaches. After I was saved, I disposed of my 1956 infant baptism certificate.

What path will conservative Catholic prelates take to counter progressive pope Francis now that their symbolic champion, Benedict XVI, has died? There is much speculation in the Catholic media after Francis privately grilled archbishop, George Gänswein, Benedict’s right-hand man, for his recently-published book that takes critical jabs at the pope. Catholic apologists boast about unity under the authority of the papacy while conservative Catholic prelates eagerly anticipate the end of progressive pope Francis’ tenure.

I don’t agree with several of Jack Hayford’s teachings on secondary doctrinal beliefs, but I note his passing because Roger McGuinn of the Byrds attended the Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California after he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior in 1977.

Western New York, has been GALVANIZED by the circumstances involving Buffalo Bills player, #3, Damar Hamlin, after he suffered cardiac arrest on the playing field during a Monday Night Football game on January 2nd. Millions have been following along as Hamlin has made fantastic progress in his recovery. Throughout this ordeal, there have been MANY references to God and to prayer by many Western New Yorkers. I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed so many references to God and prayer in the context of a challenging event. It takes an incident like this to “rock people’s boats” and get them thinking about God and mortality. Certainly, short-term, passionate prayers to a nebulous “god” don’t equate to genuine salvation in Jesus Christ. A month from now many Western New Yorkers won’t give God and prayer a second thought. In the meantime, I pray the Lord uses this circumstance to soften hearts and lead souls to salvation in Jesus Christ.