Pope Francis is causing a great deal of consternation among conservatives in the Catholic church with his reforms. But after several years of biting their tongues, conservatives now feel bold enough to publicly oppose their pope.
Our local Catholic radio station, run by conservatives, recently launched a new show, “The Catholic Connection,” which seeks to counteract the “confusion” and heresy proliferating from Francis’s Vatican.
Yesterday, I listened to the January 15th podcast of the show, in which one of the alternating priest-hosts, Jacek Mazur, spoke at length and quite disparagingly about Martin Luther. Mazur began his comments by noting that, this past October, the Vatican issued a special postage stamp commemorating Martin Luther and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Mazur stated that ecumenism was a good thing, but only if it led Protestants back to the Catholic church. He was appalled that the Vatican was honoring Luther and the Reformation by issuing the stamp as well as by other commemorations.
The priest continued with a 50-minute tirade against Luther, calling him a “heretic” who “caused so much pain and so much division.” He stated the Reformation was actually a “revolution” that “did not come from God.” According to Mazur, Luther led millions astray by teaching that the only thing required for salvation was some kind of nebulous “faith,” allowing his followers to subsequently live like the devil with a clear conscience. He concluded that Protestantism’s many divisions demonstrated the need for an authorized magisterium, but he was mystified by the ecumenical compromise of the current pope and many other prelates, exemplified by the Reformation anniversary stamp.
It was actually refreshing to hear this reactionary, militant priest object so strongly to Martin Luther. Evangelicals and Catholics believe in two entirely different gospels – the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone versus the false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Namby-pamby ecumenists on both sides of the unbridgeable chasm would like to mask vital doctrinal differences in the name of “charity” and “unity,” but the Truth will prevail.
In his discourse, Mazur set up one straw man after another in his attack on Luther, but that’s to be expected from a priest. The Holy Spirit, Almighty God, used Martin Luther and the other Reformers to recover the Gospel of grace that had been buried under centuries of ritual, formalism, and man-made traditions. Praise God for the Reformers and the others who stood upon God’s Word and opposed Rome despite the threat of death!
But here’s the great irony, which obviously hasn’t registered with Mr. Mazur quite yet. He boasts that Catholicism alone has a divinely-led teaching magisterium, comprised of the pope and his bishops, yet Mazur and other like-minded, EWTN-type conservatives are actively opposing Francis in the lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees and other reforms. So why would conservative Catholics boast about their church’s “infallible” teaching authority when so many of them oppose Francis as a heretic? You can’t have it both ways, Mr. Mazur.
If you would like to hear priest Mazur’s diatribe for yourself, click here, and look for the itunes podcast for January 15, 2018, “The Protestant Revolution.” Given Mazur’s militant tone, one can easily imagine him joining in with those Catholics of the 16th century who called for the execution of Luther as a heretic.
Postscript: While traditionalist priests, like Mazur, have no use for ecumenism with Protestant “heretics,” pope Francis and others know they can catch more willing Protestant dupes with honey than vinegar.