Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/16/21

Female Catholics are already being utilized as “lectors” (photo above) and “eucharistic ministers” here in the United States, but Francis standardized the practices worldwide via official modifications to Canon Law. This is a preliminary step to women eventually being ordained as Catholic deacons. Missing in all of this inclusive posturing is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

As the EWTN Catholic media conglomerate veers increasingly towards the religious-political far-right, it’s shedding supporters of progressive pope Francis and propagators of “wokeness.”

Behind the veil of serenity that’s presented to the credulous membership, Catholic priests, prelates, and laity fiercely battle amongst themselves over the “authenticity” of various alleged Marian apparitions. It’s all a deception.

Catholics and liberal Lutherans under the umbrella of the Lutheran World Federation have been striving for unity since the publication of the nebulous “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” in 1999.

Roman Catholicism teaches Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and even atheists are able to merit Heaven if they are “good” and “follow they light they are given,” so there is zero motivation for Catholics to proselytize anyone to their false religion.

Gospel Christians aren’t concerned about the salvation of theoretical aliens when there are so many unsaved souls right here on Planet Earth, including Roman Catholics. When this priest speaks of “redemption,” he’s referring to Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Roman Catholic news sources are boasting that Catholics are disproportionately represented in Congress as well as on the bench of the SCOTUS. President-elect Joe Biden is also a Roman Catholic. This would have been a serious concern one-hundred years ago, when the Vatican still propagated militant Catholicism in league with authoritarian civil governments, but the threat of Catholic hegemony and authoritarianism is no longer a serious consideration. Catholic prelates can’t even get their membership to attend obligatory mass on Sunday (pre-COVID) let alone “take over” the country.

The conflation of faith and politics/nationalism has always been a temptation for American evangelicals, going back to the Puritan immigrants in the early 1600s, but Jerry Falwell Sr. and his Moral Majority took it to a whole ‘nother level beginning in the early-1980s. The nadir of this religious-political-nationalist mindset was the protest in Washington D.C. on January 6th, which culminated in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol Building. There are great spiritual dangers that come with mixing the Gospel and politics. Many unbelievers in this country now wrongly assume that Gospel Christianity equates to Trump-ism, MAGA-ism, and pandemic-denial-ism.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/9/21

The big news this past week was obviously the assault on the U.S. Capitol building. Following the violence, I noticed that several of the news reports, including the article above, referred to the mayhem as a “sacrilege” and a “desecration” of the Capitol building. In American civil religion, certain government buildings and monuments are revered as religious temples. I’m very grateful for our democracy and I gladly offer proper respect, but man-made government/political institutions are not “sacred” or “holy.” For more on American civil religion, see here.

While on our last visit to Martinshöhe, Germany (pop. 1768) in 2016 to see our grandson, my wife and I took a walk around the village and noticed that the vast majority of houses had an inscription above the door written in chalk: 20*C+M+B+16. I had no idea no what the inscription meant, but subsequently found out.

The letters are an abbreviation of the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless this house.” The “*” represents the star of Bethlehem. The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “16” at the end (changes with each new year) mark the new year.

Catholics in Germany and other European countries mark their doors with this inscription at the Feast of the Epiphany (first week of January). Most German Catholics don’t bother attending mass on Sundays, but they zealously continue to mark their front door, superstitiously believing it will protect their home.

Protestant literature of the 19th century included many “convent escape narratives,” which presented first-hand accounts of abuse within Catholic convents by former-nuns. Catholic spokespersons of that era dismissed the books as sensationalistic fantasy and “Protestant porn,” but investigative journalism over the last twenty years has vindicated the allegations of widespread abuse among the “celibate” Catholic clergy.

German Catholic prelates are the vanguard of progressive Catholicism. This past October, Pope Francis shocked Catholic conservatives when underhandedly announced his support for same-sex civil unions via statements in a documentary. The Germans will continue to push the envelope even farther.

Great to see many are turning to God’s Word because of the C-19 pandemic.

Evangelical pastor and scholar, Leonardo De Chirico, presents interesting and informative articles examining Roman Catholicism at the beginning of each month.

I’m offering the above article, not because I’m in agreement with it, but because it recalls a controversy the first year I began this blog. Back in 2015, Larycia Hawkins, a professor at Wheaton College, sparked an uproar by expressing solidarity with Muslims and advocating Universalism. Hawkins was subsequently fired. I love Muslims, but they need Jesus Christ just like every lost religionist. Schools like Wheaton are drifting into theological liberalism.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 1/2/21

This article states that 25,000 people – primarily women – were executed as witches in Catholic-controlled regions of Germany between the 15th and 18th centuries. While the victims were charged with the crime of “witchcraft,” many of the souls were Protestants whose only “crime” was that they had left the Catholic church.

Roman Catholics are normally obligated to attend mass every Sunday under threat of eternal damnation, although pre-pandemic statistics showed that only 30% complied. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck last March, the U.S. Catholic bishops unilaterally issued dispensations, allowing members to miss weekly mass without incurring a mortal sin. When cases of C-19 declined during the summer, some bishops rescinded their dispensations, only to reinstate them again at the onset of the current surge. After ten months of not receiving the obligatory sacraments and not getting struck by lightning, how many of the remaining mass-goers will say, “I’m done”?

Pandemic-denial is still rife within evangelicalism despite hospital emergency, ICU, and morgue units being stretched beyond capacity all across the nation. I get it. Many deniers bought into the notion (propagated from pulpits by some pastors) that the COVID-19 pandemic is a demonic hoax designed to shut down churches. All of these deniers need to step away from conspiracy-mongering web sites and spend a day at their local hospital’s pulmonary ICU.

The Roman Catholic hierarchy officially discourages these types of church-sharing and communion-sharing ecumenical events, but liberal Catholic priests continue to instigate/participate and liberal prelates turn a blind eye.

The Falkirk Center at Liberty University is a “think tank” created in 2019 by Jerry Falwell Jr. in partnership with political activist, Charlie Kirk, to “renew and defend God-given freedoms and Christian principles throughout American politics and culture.” The center propagates Falwellian Christian nationalism and religious-political ecumenism rather than the Gospel and I don’t blame the student body president and vice president and the 400 students who are calling for it to be shut down now that Falwell Jr. is gone.

A couple of weeks ago, Pat Robertson claimed he had a message from God telling him Joe Biden’s presidential victory was going to be overturned. He’s since reversed himself and now acknowledges Biden as the president-elect and suggests that President Trump lives in an “alternate reality” by still believing he won. Robertson’s followers also live in an alternate reality by continuing to believe the CBN founder has the gift of prophecy.

Another one? Francis is another person who needs to step away from his laptop. Just kidding. I’m confident the “holy father’s” Instagram account is being hacked.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/26/20

While I certainly don’t endorse the above article from a liberal Catholic periodical, it includes some interesting information. The “Jericho March” was an ecumenical event held in Washington D.C. on Saturday, December 12. The purpose of the event was for like-minded, politically-conservative “Christians” of all denominational stripes to demonstrate their support for President Trump and to protest alleged voter fraud in the recent presidential election. (As so often happens with Christian Nationalists, a message or event described in the Old Testament and meant only for ancient Israel, in this case the marches around Jericho referred to in Joshua 6, is misappropriated and misapplied. Apostle Paul did not stage any Jericho Marches.) On the day of the event, there were separate “Jericho marches” around the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the Department of Justice buildings, followed by a collective “Let the Church ROAR!” rally at the National Mall with evangelical ecumenist, author, and radio-host, Eric Metaxas, as the emcee. The featured Roman Catholic speakers included Fr. Greg Bramlage, Sr. Deirdre Byrne, Dr. Taylor Marshall, Fr. Frank Pavone, Bishop Joseph Strickland, and Archbishop Carlo Vigano. As priest Bramlage said a prayer of exorcism over Washington D.C. and “blessed” a painting of documented abuse-enabler, pope John Paul II, in the act of worshiping Mary, a gift intended for First Lady Melania Trump, Metaxas bowed his head and raised his hand in supplication (see above photo). However, when Bramlage was finished, Metaxas uttered some very awkward qualifying remarks. “Wow, wow, wow, wow. That is some weird Catholic stuff. I don’t know if I believe in that, but this is an ecumenical gathering. If you believe in Jesus, I am all in,” sputtered Metaxas. This is what happens when compromising Christians sell their souls to temporal politics and ecumenism with Rome. You can witness Metaxas’ shameful and embarrassing equivocations for yourself at the end of the 6-minute YouTube video, here.

Along with Lourdes in France, Fatima, Portugal is the site of the most famous of the alleged Marian apparitions. I may have to read and rebut this book down the road.

His inauguration is still four weeks away, but conservative American Catholic prelates are furiously scratching their heads and wondering how to respond to Joe Biden’s pro-abortion, pro-LGBT, progressive brand of Roman Catholicism. Expect these “conservative RC prelates vs. Joe Biden” stories to be ongoing for the next four years.

I was not an admirer of Ravi Zacharias due to his casual support of ecumenism with Rome, but I’m sorry for his family and for the disrepute he brought upon the Gospel.

A couple of generations ago, Christian publishers regularly published testimonials of former Roman Catholics who had trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone, left the RCC, and joined an evangelical church. These days, those very same publishers eagerly publish books by Catholic authors. At Amazon, you’ll find many recent books from Catholic publishers written by alleged “ex-evangelicals,” like the one above, who describe “crossing the Tiber” and eagerly acquiescing to the chains of Rome. Many more souls leave Catholicism for Christ than the inverse (5 to 1, see here), but evangelicals have been conditioned to disapprove of such testimonials as “divisive” and “sectarian.”

Catholics continue to wrestle with the embarrassing circumstance that in 2011 their church canonized an abuse-enabler, pope John Paul II, a fact documented in the Vatican’s recent report on disgraced ex-cardinal, Ted McCarrick.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/19/20

The good news is that the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine were shipped to hospitals across the country this past week. The bad news is that 50% of Americans who self-identify as “evangelical” insist they won’t get vaccinated. [Sigh]

In his recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers), pope Francis specifically cites Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb five times and unabashedly recognizes Muslims as co-believers in the true God. What the pope and Catholicism propagates is not Christianity.

I know I have beaten this same drum in previous weekend roundups, but it’s difficult to overlook continuing news reports on how COVID-19 is accelerating the decline of the American Catholic church.

Speaking of ongoing drumbeats, conservative American Catholic prelates and priests will continue to grapple with the blatant incongruity of president-elect Joe Biden’s brand of progressive Catholicism (i.e., pro-abortion, pro-LGBT agenda).

In an attempt to stay within the boundaries of Scripture, Catholics insist that they do not technically “worship” Mary, but rather accord to her “hyperdulia veneration.” Objective observers would not be able distinguish between worship and Catholicism’s hyperdulia and Roman Catholics are not able to demarcate where the one ends and the other begins.

Pope Francis doesn’t declare his progressive reforms by fiat. He craftily brings them in through the back door as he did with the lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees via a footnote in his 2016 Amoris Laetitia apostolic exhortation and with his approval of same-sex civil unions via off-the-cuff remarks in a recent docu-bio. Like-minded liberal prelates and priests then implement the reforms in their dioceses and parishes. Be assured that liberal priests are already “blessing” same-sex “marriages” on the QT.

Pat Robertson’s collected failed prophecies would fill a notebook, but somehow that makes no difference to his credulous followers.

Jerry Jr. brought disrepute upon the Gospel on many levels.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/12/20

American Catholic prelates continue to publicly spar over whether president-elect and abortion supporter, Joe Biden, should be allowed the Jesus wafer at mass. Archbishop Charles Chaput (photo left), former head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, declared this past week that Biden should be barred from receiving communion, in opposition to cardinal Wilton Gregory (photo right) of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., who has already declared that he won’t deny Biden the Jesus wafer. Missing in all of this Catholic internecine squabbling is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

When I was a young Catholic grammar school student back in the 1960s, the nuns extolled the nation of Ireland as one of the last bastions of devout Catholic nationalism. Ireland has since slid into secularism leaving Poland as the only remaining outpost of militant Catholic nationalism in Europe. But that’s quickly changing as young Poles are souring on the Polish Catholic church’s symbiotic relationship with the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) Party-ruled government.

Catholics are still buzzing about the recent publication of the Vatican’s McCarrick Report, which directly implicated “saint” pope John Paul II in the cover-up of sexual abuse by former-cardinal, Ted McCarrick. What to do when a beloved “saint” is revealed to have been an enabler of predatory sexual abusers of children and young men?

One of Roman Catholicism’s constant drum beats since Vatican II has been the regathering of the Protestant “separated brethren.”

I was totally unaware that in 1564, a small number of Protestant Huguenots fleeing persecution in Catholic France, crossed the Atlantic and attempted to establish a settlement near modern-day Jacksonville, Florida. Below is a bird’s-eye photo from my Google Earth app of the replica of the Huguenots’ Fort Caroline, which is thirteen-miles from Jacksonville city center.

Wow! I was also totally unaware that the Mayflower Pilgrims had a connection to John Smyth and the first English Baptists!

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is increasingly making inroads into the “evangelical” church.

In addition to promoting Catholic-Muslim “solidarity,” progressive pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers), trashes capitalism.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 12/05/20

The Roman Catholic church shamelessly fast-tracks popular and “strategic” candidates in its canonization process. Carlo Acutis (photo above) was a young English-Italian computer enthusiast who enjoyed documenting “eucharistic miracles” before succumbing to leukemia in 2006 at the age of fifteen. Acutis was “beatified” in October 2020, the last step before canonization. The RCC is unblushingly leveraging Acutis as a connection to today’s digitally-obsessed youth.

Roman Catholic parishes in the Rust Belt were already in big trouble with plummeting attendance partially due to the never-ending pedophile priests and cover-up scandal, but the C-19 pandemic will be the death knell of many parishes.

I once posted about American Catholic priest, Leonard Feeney, and his notorious defiance of Catholicism’s drift into modernism and universalism (see here). This review of a personal account of Feeney’s splinter community grabbed my attention and I downloaded the book. Review to follow in a month or two.

Speaking of Catholic universalism, Leonardo De Chirico does a nice job in this article of examining Catholicism’s blatant “wide is the way,” universalist message included in pope Francis’ latest encyclical. What do ecumenically-minded evangelicals think about Catholicism’s doctrine that everyone in the world is “God’s child” and is able to merit salvation, whether they are a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or atheist?

These Pure Flix films purposely aim for the LCCD – lowest common (c)hristian denominator – meaning Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses could probably “Amen” most of the contents without reservation.

Back in 2004, then-cardinal, Ted McCarrick (since relieved of his office due to multiple cases of sexual abuse), ruled that it would not be prudent to refuse the Jesus wafer to Catholic politicians like John Kerry who supported abortion. Cardinal Wilton Gregory has likewise publicly declared that he will continue the “McCarrick Doctrine” by allowing the Jesus wafer to president-elect and abortion-supporter, Joe Biden, to the chagrin of conservative prelates.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. The Catholic diocese of nearby-Buffalo filed for bankruptcy last February in order to shield its assets from abuse survivors and the New York State Attorney General recently sued the diocese for the systematic cover-up of abuse by predator priests during the tenures of past bishops Edward U. Kmiec (2004-2012) and Richard J. Malone (2012-2019). There’s zero doubt that the bishops who preceded Kmiec were also involved in the systematic cover-up of abuse.

Watch for more of these symbolic interfaith “joint houses of worship” to be built.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/28/20

The fallout from the 2020 Presidential Election continues as Catholic prelates grapple with the reality of a Joe Biden presidency. After initially congratulating Biden, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), archbishop Jose Gomez (photo left), later announced the formation of a working group/task force to study the “problems” created by a Catholic president who supports abortion “rights” and LGBT social engineering. Some conservative bishops are openly calling for Biden to be barred from receiving the “Jesus wafer” communion.

While this story made tongue-in-cheek headlines across the globe, I imagine the incident will ultimately be attributed to hackers.

Catholics are still buzzing about the recent Vatican report acknowledging “saint” pope John Paul II’s enablement of pedophile predator, cardinal Ted McCarrick. Has the RCC ever rescinded sainthood for an individual after they were found to have been “seriously flawed”? Don’t hold your breath. JPII will continue to be “venerated” as if nothing happened. Well, we’re all seriously flawed and these revelations about JPII expose the fallacy of the RC’s canonization process and its false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. As we’ve seen from the scandalous headlines over the past twenty years, popes, prelates, and priests are unable themselves to jump through the legalistic religious hoops to merit Heaven that they prescribe to their followers.

Rumors are flying about the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine/s, with some Christian alarmists saying the vaccine is the “mark of the beast.” Some Catholic bishops have already warned their followers not to get vaccinated because they claim the vaccines were developed using cells collected through abortions. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has countered the accusations with a memo stating that at least two of the vaccines are ethically sound.

Interesting to see the State of New York join with the victims of abuse in suing the RC Diocese of Buffalo for the decades of enablement and cover-up with regards to its predatory pedophile priests.

Back in December 2019, Bethel Redding church and many associated New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) churches made headlines by praying for days for the resurrection of Olive Heiligenthal, the two-year-old daughter of one of Bethel’s singers who had died from complications from a head injury. Olive was not resurrected. Rather than question the monstrous theology of Bethel pastor, Bill Johnston, credulous members continue to drink the Bethel/NAR Kool-Aid.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/21/20

I know most of you have had your fill of politics, but this week’s news feeds were dominated by stories of politically-conservative-minded Christians and Catholics grappling with Joe Biden’s apparent presidential victory.

Pastor Robert Jeffress (photo above) of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, an outspoken supporter of President Trump and the Republican Party and one of the leading torch-bearers of Falwellian Christian nationalism, has thrown in the towel and recognized Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. President Trump still has not conceded, eighteen-days after the election. Will he eventually concede or is this standoff leading to an unprecedented constitutional crisis?

This conservative Catholic parish priest in this story has warned all of the administrators and teachers of the parish’s school that they will be collecting unemployment checks if they continue to post pro-Biden remarks on the school’s Facebook account.

Cardinal Burke has been one of progressive pope Francis’s fiercest critics and now he also has to contend with a progressive Catholic in the White House.

While conservative American Catholic priests and prelates are wringing their hands over Joe Biden’s victory, their progressive pope is celebrating in the Vatican.

Last week, the Vatican released its report on the church’s mishandling of ex-cardinal and serial abuser, Ted McCarrick. “Saint” John Paul II was directly implicated in the cover-up. This shakes the “faith” of Catholics throughout the world, but especially in Poland where Karol Wojtyla is revered as semi-deity.

Homosexuality is rampant amongst Catholic priests and prelates. Credible sources put the percentage at 30% to 40%. The vast majority of pedophile priests’ victims, around 80%, were male children.

The LA County administration and the media jumped the gun by labeling three cases of COVID-19 at Grace Community Church as an “outbreak.” But as C-19 re-surges across the nation, GCC continues to defy county public health safety mandates and the legal battles continue.

I’m a bit late with this one, but on November 11th we celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth in 1620. The Pilgrims were separatists persecuted by the Church of England who came to America in search of religious freedom and would later be absorbed by the Puritans, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630. The Pilgrims celebrated the first “Thanksgiving” following their harvest in 1621.

The Presbyterian Church USA denomination is in the process of hammering out an ecumenical accord with the Roman Catholic church. The PCUSA “went liberal” way back in the 1920s and 1930s.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 11/14/20

The two big news items this past week were (1) the 2020 Presidential Election results apparently indicating a victory for Joe Biden and (2) President Trump’s continuing refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory, claiming voting fraud in key swing states.

There’s little doubt that progressive pope Francis and Joe Biden will see eye-to-eye on many, many social, economic, and political issues.

My, how things have changed. When John F. Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election, becoming the very first U.S. Catholic president, many Protestants feared Vatican involvement in American political affairs. But Catholic hegemony was already on the wane at that time and JFK’s public and private priorities turned out not to include religion. In our post-modern era, few give Biden’s nominal Catholicism (he supports abortion rights and the LGBT agenda) a second thought.

Early exit polls had 75% of self-described “evangelical” voters casting their ballots for Trump. In contrast, the exit polls showed the Catholic vote was almost evenly split; 50% for Trump and 49% for Biden.

Whoops! These charlatans claim the gift of prophecy, but goofed on the election results. Their credulous followers should take note, but most won’t.

Some same-sex-attracted Catholics have been suppressing their urges according to the dictates of their church. But they’re now scratching their heads and saying, “Huh?,” over pope Francis’ doctrine-bending allowance for same-sex civil unions.

We already knew “saint” pope John Paul II was well-aware of the allegations that Ted McCarrick was a serial abuser decades prior to promoting him to the office of cardinal in 2001, but now we have the Vatican’s official admission. In addition to McCarrick, JPII also covered-up for notorious abuser, Mexican priest, Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ order. Many victims were abused and traumatized because of “saint” JPII’s enablement of predators.

Constantly sporting black leather jackets, ripped skinny jeans, and $200 swag haircuts, Lentz was one of the trailblazers of the newfangled, relevant, hipster pastor, sans orthodox doctrinal teaching.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spike at alarming rates and hospitals across the nation are stretched beyond their limits, Pastor John MacArthur still holds to the position that the pandemic is a demonic hoax.