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Is the Pope a False Prophet?
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Congressman Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has invited me to the House of Representatives to watch Pope Francis address a joint session of Congress. This generous Methodist congressman has invited your traditionalist Roman Catholic columnist and cable TV guy to this grand event. I am going with joy because the pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, and his presence in Congress is historically unique. But within me is fear and trembling over what he might say.

The papacy is an office created personally by Our Lord. Its occupants are direct descendants of St. Peter. Its role and authorities have evolved over the centuries, but the core of its responsibilities has always been the preservation of traditional teachings about faith and morals and safeguarding the sacraments. While the papacy is a monarchy, the teaching authority in the Church is “the bishops under the pope.” This means that a pope intent on change ought to consult with his fellow bishops.

Before the monumental Church changes of the 1960s and 1970s that trivialized the Mass and blurred the distinctions between the clergy and the laity, Popes John XXIII and Paul VI consulted their fellow bishops at Vatican II. The consultations were fractious and belligerent, but both popes got what they wanted: a watering down of liturgical practices and an easing of rules safeguarding the sacraments, so as to make the Church more appealing and accessible to former and to non-adherents.

The result was a disaster. Fewer Catholics went to Mass, confusion about former theological norms reigned, and a general tenor pervaded the faithful that the Church never really meant what it preached. Former Catholics continued to stay away, new Catholics barely showed up, and many traditional faithful became demoralized.

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI attempted to roll this back. They succeeded in part by emphasizing traditional orthodoxy and personal piety to youth. Today, Catholic seminaries throughout the world are filled with young men who are more faithful to traditional practices and beliefs than many of their professors are.

Comes now Pope Francis to use moral relativism to take the Church in two dangerous directions. The first is an assault on the family, and the second is an assault on the free market — two favorite political targets of the left.

In the past month, without consulting his fellow bishops, the pope has weakened the sacrament of matrimony by making annulments easier to obtain. The Church cannot grant divorces because Our Lord used his own words to declare valid marriages indissoluble. But it does grant annulments.

An annulment is a judicial finding that a valid marriage never existed. This generally requires a trial, at which the party seeking the annulment must prove the existence of the marital defect from the beginning.

ORDER IT NOW

Fair annulment trials are costly and time consuming, often taking years from the initial filing to the final appeal. Until now. Last week, Pope Francis arbitrarily ordered the entire process to be completed in 45 days or fewer. For contested matters, a fair trial in 45 days is impossible. So, to meet his deadline, more annulments will be granted administratively, not on the merits.

It gets worse.

The Church has taught for 400 years that abortion is murder. Because the victim of an abortion is always innocent, helpless and uniquely under the control of the mother, abortion removes the participants from access to the sacraments. Until now. Last week, Pope Francis, without consulting his fellow bishops, ordered that any priest may return those who have killed a baby in a womb to the communion of the faithful. He said he did this because he was moved by the anguished cries of mothers contemplating the murder of their babies.

I doubt he will defend these decisions before Congress. He will, instead, assault the free market, which he blames for poverty, pollution and the mass migrations into Europe away from worn-torn areas in the Middle East.

In his papal exhortation on capitalism, Pope Francis spectacularly failed to appreciate the benefits of capitalism to the health, wealth and safety of the poor. Instead, he has reworked the Peronism of his youth to advocate government-mandated redistribution of wealth and to condemn those who work hard, employ others and achieve wealth — even when they give some of that wealth to the Church.

When he is in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City later this week, he should take note of the recent and beautiful \$200 million facelift. It was paid in full by rich Catholic capitalists who employed hardworking artisans and laborers to do the work.

The pope probably also will tell Congress that the world is an inherently unhealthy place because of human work. He will embrace the highly questionable green science of those who want the government to tell us how to live, outside our homes and inside — more Thomas Piketty than St. Thomas Aquinas.

The pope has seriously disappointed those who believe the Roman Catholic Church preserves and teaches the Truth. The Truth is Christ risen and unity with Him. It is not a debate about the minimum wage or air conditioning.

Pope Francis is popular on the world stage, and the crowds love him. But if he fails in his basic duties as the pope, if his concern is more for secular than sacred, if he aids the political agenda of the atheistic left, he is a false prophet leading his flock to a dangerous place, where there is more central planning and less personal liberty.

Copyright 2015 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Catholicism, Pope Francis 
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  1. This Pope tickles ears wishing to be tickled. He is popular with this World which is ominous for him given what Our Lord said. “If your are hated by the world, know that it has hated me first. If the world love you, it is because you are of the world.”

  2. Today, Catholic seminaries throughout the world are filled with young men who are more faithful to traditional practices and beliefs than many of their professors are.

    Oh really? So the the long-running, dire shortage of priests is now suddenly over?

    The first is an assault on the family, and the second is an assault on the free market — two favorite political targets of the left.

    The church never endorsed the “free” market doctrine as such. This was an Enlightenment-era theory that came along many centuries after the dawn of Christianity.

    The Church has taught for 400 years that abortion is murder.

    True. But for even longer, the church has also taught that there are no sins that cannot be forgiven by confession. If this applies to murder proper, I fail to see why it wouldn’t also apply to abortion–provided, of course, that the penitent’s contrition is sincere.

    • Replies: @CuiPertinebit
    , @Leslie
  3. Art says:

    The judge here is way too in love with authority – that is the way judges are – that is their disease.

    Too many priests and bishops have played god with the Catholic faithful for too long – people do not need it. Jesus said something about “casting the first stone.” The Church has been two faced about its homosexuality for a 1000 years.

    Though divorce and abortion are wrong, and should be avoided — they are forgivable. Christianity is a set of ideals – one of the great ideals is forgiveness. The Church’s denying people the benefits of forgiveness is major wrong.

    The Judge here appears to be unable to differentiate between the excesses of greed and actual enterprise that produces good and services. One could hardly call owning a stock for a tenth of second as business – that is not enterprise, it is gluttony and avarice that does no greater good.

    Like Jesus, the Pope likes the goods and services part – but opposes the greedy money manipulation part – god bless him! So do all people of good character.

    p.s. Get smart judge! You are on the wrong side on these issues.

    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
  4. Yevardian says:

    I’d like too read Anatoly Karlin’s take on this. People outside of Eastern Europe know very little about how the Orthodox Church operates since it’s revival.

  5. Mitleser says:

    Why should the Church give a damn about the free market?

    • Replies: @Wally
  6. he is a false prophet leading his flock to a dangerous place, where there is more central planning and less personal liberty.

    I disagree with the claim that there is less personal liberty.

    From the dirty leftwing perspective, a totalitarian government based on democracy will deliver countless undue personal liberties to the organized majority.

    Leftwing devotees refer to their liberties as “rights” or freedom.

    Some leftwing devotees know that a totalitarian government is required to achieve their peculiar rights, and will happily push for totalitarianism.

    The leftwing victim cult is very real in the US and Israel, and very powerful, and very totalitarian.

    To recognize it is to simply see it in plain sight.

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “The papacy is an office created personally by Our Lord” ???? really? when did Jesus say even once the word “pope” ? Why would Jesus have created papacy when he promised to return within the genereration to introduce Kingdom of Heaven? Papacy has nothing to do with either Jesus or Peter. It has always been an office of power which exploits God and religion to its own , far from being pious, advantage.

  8. Lepanto says:

    Is he really criticizing capitalism or the kind of crony capitalism that you have have also criticized?

    He has said: “No actual or established power has the right to deprive peoples of the full exercise of their sovereignty.”

    And: “The new colonialism takes on different faces. At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor.”

    This could almost be Ron Paul.

    • Replies: @Jim Sweeney
  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The papacy is an office created personally by Our Lord.

    I used to think that too. But then I saw the actual process for choosing the pope. It’s not as though a beam of holy light shines down from above, the heavenly choir sings, and one man is lifted up, singled out above all others.

    Instead, the office of the pope is as political as any. Coalitions are formed. Candidates are vetted. And even such considerations as, “Well, maybe if we have a black pope we’ll get more Africans” are put forth.

    What makes more sense? That some supreme god-thing puppeteers 120 bishops to steer them to its chosen man? Or that the pope is a man like any other man, and chosen for political office- like any other man?

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  10. Kat Grey says:

    Pope Frankie is a Jesuit. That says it all.

  11. Buzz Mohawk says: • Website

    I am glad Napolitano, a good Catholic, has written with clear mind about this pontiff’s disingenuous visit to America.

    The Pope’s visit is a carefully planned act of propaganda, pure and simple. By observing his actions and listening to his words, one can easily see that the main purposes of this event are to:

    1) Push for open borders that allow Spanish-speaking Amerindians to populate the United States,

    2) Promote the redistribution of wealth and a socialist society,

    3) Attack the Western World and its standard of living via the misguided promotion of the false hypothesis of anthropogenic climate change.

    This all is a shame, because people of many beliefs and non-belief, including our Tee-Vee “journalists,” are fawning, teary-eyed, over a man who could and should use his powerful position to encourage the goodness in peoples’ hearts, instead of an obvious political agenda.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  12. Tom_R says:

    POPE IS A FALSE PROPHET OF A FRAUDULENT CULT OF A FAKE MESSIAH THAT NEVER EXISTED.

    The Pope is truly a disgrace, given his alienism. But Christianity itself is a hoax as Jews-us never existed.

    See: jesusneverexisted.com

    Over a hundred scholarly texts (many now available online) have been written by various scholars proving that Jesus never existed, but is just a myth. Eg.

    Forgery in Christianity, by Joseph Wheless
    The Christ, by Remsberg.
    The Age of Reason, by founding father Thomas Paine.
    The Christ Myth, by Arthur Drews
    The Forgery of the Old Testament, by Joseph McCabe
    The Jesus Myth, by George Albert Wells
    “Pagan Origins of the Christ myth” by Dr. Jackson

    The Jewish controlled media has been glorifying this evil Pope for being a good puppet and following the orders of his Jewish owners and operators fully in helping them exterminate the white race, such as:

    Pope Francis washes/kisses feet of Black and Muslim invaders from africa.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/17/pope-francis-kisses-feet-women-muslim-maudy-Thursday

    Pope criticizes nations that protect themselves from African invaders:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/17/us-europe-migrants-pope-idUSKBN0OX0XN20150617

    Time to get out of the African/Middle Eastern Jewish controlled cult of Christianity and consider better alternatives such as Deism, atheism, Odinism, and the European religions of our ancestors.

    • Replies: @Karl
    , @ConcernedAmerican
  13. Mitleser says:
    @Anonymous

    The Pope is technically a monarch.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  14. Karl says:
    @Tom_R

    >>>consider better alternatives such as Deism, atheism, Odinism, and the European religions of our ancestors

    Yeah, that worked out really well for them. The Saami, the Druids and the Celts are currently in full control of their indigenous homelands, aren’t they?

    Let’s not forget the glorious benefits of child-sacrifice. Indigenous religions usually feature that.

    • Replies: @Tom_R
  15. AndrewR says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    If I were a iudge I would ban you from copypasting your inane conspiratorial copypadta all over this website. Get some new material.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Anonymous
  16. I’ m surprised that the author attributes the problems of the Catholic Church as an institution to anything but the inevitable flow on effects of the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment and the ability to control fertility combined with increased general prosperity to the Catholic countries like Ireland, Italy and Spain and the Catholics of the Americas and Australia. The authority of priests and their hierarchical superiors was inevitably undermined by their becoming less rather than better educated than their flocks and it increasingly seemed outrageous that they should seek to impose their moral rules on all by the criminal law being made to conform to the dictates of clergy especially when women were offered the chance to control their fertility safely and the male clergy sought to deny them the effective means to achieving that. And that’s without the effect of the the sex abuse scandals and the cover ups.

  17. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Nap, re-read the words of Jesus, and get yourself treated for Pope-derangement syndrome.

  18. Well, Judge, that’s a lot of stone throwing coming from a guy who supposedly abides by the teachings of the man who said “do not judge and you will not be judged.”

    But not to worry, your murderous church that enslaved and flogged countless indigenous people is secure in Bergoglio, he’s had the back of the Catholic fascists since the days of Argentine’s ‘dirty war’

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/01/16/opus-dei-christian-dominion/

    ^ Nothing demonstrates it quite like promoting Pinochet’s military chaplain, you think? Oh, but there’s more –

  19. A clearheaded, well-argued article. Thank you, Judge. The sense in which Jesus created the Papacy has been understood for quite a while. There is, first, the passage in the New Testament where Jesus says, “Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I shall build my Church…” and, second, the claim that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome. “Bishop of Rome” is the first of the Pope’s many titles. As for Judge Napolitano’s praise of the free market, it is supported by a great deal of evidence, theoretical and empirical. You can look it up.

  20. Jim says:

    It’s quite clear from the Pope’s statements that his views are essentially Marxist. This is quite aside from whether one agrees with him or not. He is obviously a Marxist.

  21. nickels says:

    Yes. He is a liberal commie who tries to push immigration of enemies into my country.
    He is the enemy.

  22. rod1963 says:

    Excellent article about a man steeped in Liberation Theology. It is too bad that JPII didn’t excise men like Bergoglio. The guy is like walking malware.

  23. Ken says:

    This is why I love my Church; a Catholic writes an article and the atheist shows up to say there was no Christ, the various Protties foam “where does it say pope in the Bible?” Well the Church has survived 2000 years and a few popes who were a lot worse than Francis. The Catholic Church will survive Francis, Communism, abortion, homosexuality, Bruce/Caitlin Jenner and contraception.

  24. @Ralph Raico

    You’re welcome to believe any papist delusions you like. The grammar of the passage you cite does not support the contention of Jesus appointing Peter as the first pope. Peter was only briefly in Rome – just long enough for Nero to kill him. Funny the first “Bishop of Rome” didn’t live there to oversee the Church at Rome.

    • Replies: @Ken
  25. Wally says: • Website
    @Mitleser

    Because it is a free market that enables donations to The Church.

    State controlled economies mean less money for the people, hence less expendable income; but of course, more for the ruling elites in government.

    That is until it all collapses upon itself, which is what Marxist systems always do.

  26. Wally says: • Website
    @AndrewR

    If I were a medical doctor I would advise you to get your eyes and ears examined, the Pope is doing exactly what Buzz Mohawk says he’s doing.

    Just listen and read what the Pope is actually saying. Read the praise from our radical leftist media. Simple as that.

    Don’t die stupid.

  27. Tom_R says:
    @Karl

    CHRISTIANITY SPREAD BY FRAUD, FORGERY AND FORCE.

    To answer your claim that: “Let’s not forget the glorious benefits of child-sacrifice. Indigenous religions usually feature that.”

    That is simply not true.

    After copying the pagan myth of Mithra, the barbarians who forged the myth of an African/Middle Eastern man on a stick, destroyed libraries and temples, killed Pagans and continue to defame Pagans by saying that they engaged in child sacrifice to keep Christians in their fold.

    In fact, pagan could mean any of the 100’s of different religions, so which “pagan” religion are you referring to? There is no proof that the majority of them did anything as barbaric as the Christians and the Judaists. Do Buddhists kill Children? No, no, no. Some pagans are even vegetarian and do not even kill animals for meat.

    In fact, the person who tried to do child sacrifice is Abraham, who tried to kill his son for Yahweh, the criminal God.

    Christianity claims that God sacrificed his only son Jews-us for our sins.

    So Christianity is the cult of child sacrifice and human sacrifice, not pagans, who are mostly peaceful people.

    See Crimes of Christianity, by Foote, for a list of the crimes of this fraudulent cult.

  28. “The result was a disaster. Fewer Catholics went to Mass, confusion about former theological norms reigned, and a general tenor pervaded the faithful that the Church never really meant what it preached. Former Catholics continued to stay away, new Catholics barely showed up, and many traditional faithful became demoralized.”

    There is no proof of this assertion as far as I am aware . As I hope we all realize correlation does not prove causation. Maybe it would have gotten much worse without reforms. Generally as people become educated they have no time to be dictated to by drunk priests.

  29. Ken says:
    @Quartermaster

    The grammar in what language and in which edition of the bible? Quartermaster took down the entire Catholic Church with one grammar error.

  30. @Seamus Padraig

    The priest shortage is not over, but it is true that vocations are doing much better, and that the young men entering the seminaries are generally far more conservative and almost begin to approach orthodoxy.

    You correctly note that the Church’s social doctrine does not flatly endorse what we would today call Capitalism. The condemnation of usury remains official doctrine, for example. The Church has explicitly condemned Socialism.

    Of course the Church has always taught that all sins may be forgiven. However, the Church has also always regulated what priests are able to hear confessions (not all priests are permitted; the “epigonation” in the Eastern Rite, for example, is bestowed upon priests with the permission to hear confessions), and what sins may be absolved by the simple priest, and which sins are so grave or complex that they must be referred to the bishop or higher authorities. Some sins are reserved even to the Apostolic See – for example, a priest has no jurisdiction to validly absolve someone from a sin that he cooperates in committing (if a priest fornicates, for example, he cannot give the woman absolution). A priest who does such a thing automatically becomes irregular, and absolution for this sin and the regularization of his status can only be attained from the Apostolic See. Abortion has been considered such a serious crime, that parish priests should not have the ability to casually reconcile those who commit them to the Church.

  31. Chiron says:

    “Before the monumental Church changes of the 1960s and 1970s that trivialized the Mass and blurred the distinctions between the clergy and the laity”

    http://forward.com/opinion/159955/converts-who-changed-the-church/

  32. @Ralph Raico

    Whenever heretics attempt to support there errors with Scripture, they always employ proof-texts.

    Notice how this Catholic rips this Catholic pet verse from the context of its original teaching. The tenor of the original verse – in its Biblical context – is that Jesus is emphasizing His true identity as the Messiah to His disciples. The fact that He is the Messiah is the ROCK upon which His Church is built. This is why Jesus goes out of His way to call Simon by His other name here: Petras, which means “small rock.” He’s making a play on words to illustrate the Spiritual truth that God revealed to Simon Peter.

    For confirmation, look elsewhere in Scripture and you will see, in both the OT and the NT, that the Messiah is repeatedly likened unto a cornerstone (the Rock), upon which the Spiritual body of believers form the Church of Christ. Even Peter refers to Christ as the Rock.

    And nowhere in Scripture is Peter ever referred to as the Cornerstone of Christianity. Only Jesus, the Christ. Not Mary. Not Peter. But JESUS.

    You rob Him of His sacred titles at your own peril. You have been warned.

  33. @Unapologetic White Man

    Get your Bible out and read the passage Matthew 16:17-19.

    To whom did Jesus address his words in these verses? Answer: Peter

    Why did Jesus changes Simon’s name to “Peter” which means rock?

    Answer: As other Old Testament men (e.g. Abram, Jacob) were given name changes to signify their role change, so too has Simon had his name changed too. He is taking on a new role as the leader of Christ’s Church on earth.

    The Greek word for “rock” is petra, which has a feminine ending. To give Peter the name “petra” would be to insult him. Therefore the Greek word is Petros, with a masculine ending. Christ is a like a rock for sure, but He isn’t the only rock, and we aren’t talking pebbles.

    To whom did Our Lord give the keys to heaven and the authority that went along with those keys?

    Answer: Peter. Pretty awesome responsibility and power sharing wouldn’t you say?

  34. @Tom_R

    Dear Tom_R:

    Enjoy hell.

    Sincerely,

    Berean Bob

  35. Marian says:

    Aren’t Catholics suppose to hand over a certain percentage of their income to the church? Seems kinda greedy on the church’s part. It’s not like you can go to Catholic run schools, universities, and hospitals for free. In fact Catholic institutions are rather pricey. And how about that Vatican wall? Hypocrisy doesn’t look good on this pope.

  36. Jim Sweeney says: • Website

    The judge is too genteel with this Pope Dope, a communist in ideology and a moron in economics. It is true that he has warmed over Peronism as a basis for his thinking (sic) but he is indeed a commie. I’m an Irish RC from birth, through RC college and was still serving at Mass in my 20s. I don’t attend the abortion now called Mass. It has driven millions of us away and deserves the result it obtained.

    I detest Francisco as he will drown the world with brownies like himself. That is the same “fundamental transformation” sought by Hussein the Muslim in the White House. Overrun the white countries with browns and blacks, keep them working in white slavery and do it all in the name of Jesus and Justice.

    Neat huh? If you buy their bull, you deserve to be their slave.

    • Agree: Intelligent Dasein
  37. Jim Sweeney says: • Website
    @Lepanto

    Your citation re sovereignty is pure BS. t means nothing

  38. Mr Napolitano:

    When you say that Pope Franciscus uses his pupil and position as Bishop of Rome to blast secular issues plagueing humanity (poverty, crony capitalism, absolving of sins of women who have had abortions), are you seriously taking the position that these are not issues that a faith-based morality system cannot utter an opinion, when at the same time you have judges who are supposedly and principally secular in nature, are better entitled to utter opinions? If so, then you Sir are either a hypocrite, a shill, a moral relativist scumbag, or all at once.

    Also, there is only one “Lord”, and that is the “father/creator.” If you had ever read the bible in any non dumbed-down (which you clearly have not or choose to ignore for reasons unknown) version of a copy of a copy of a copy of the original gospel (after all, three of the four canonised gospels are synoptic, meaning they came from the same original text – Peters. The quality of the Latin translation from the original Greek/Aramaic further deteriorated with the creation of the so called “Vulgate,” which nevertheless still changes heavily and outright perverts modern “Christianity” as it was the source-text for the King James bible), you would have quite a different view on many of your “issues” with this “extreme commie Pope” (not your words but ill allow myself to paraphrase you just as you have taken the same liberty).

    Would you only care for any historical accuracy, you might know that until the “almah” (Young lady in hebrew) was three months pregnant, the marriage was not considered binding in the eyes of YHWH, after all, marriage was not a case of conveniance or romance (usually) but of reproduction and dynastic lineage. But even putting that historical nugget aside, you happily cherry pick parts of the bible you like and that support your opinion (more than likely from Old Testament books), like a money-greedy televangelist, and ignore the opposing, more lenient and inclusive views of Yeshua and his messianic council of twelve? Yeshua was living in a time of turmoil, with notable Jewish rebels like Simon Zelotes (yes, Zealot derives from that), Paul et al supporting open rebellion and segregation of the “Gentiles” (non-Semites) against the Romans, whereas others, such as the Messeh/Messios himself wanted to reform his people by supporting a more Graeco-Roman weldumschau, and integrate more and more converts, or “Fishes” as they were referred as, to strengthen his claim as the Messiah (Lord) of the Jews and their rightful “David”/Christos (which translates to King in Greek). His method of ruling his people was one of compassion and reform and equality of all of Abrahams real and “adopted”/”fished” sons and daughters to pursue virtue and livelyhoods under his desposynic order and heritage.

    Now, without delving any deeper into the historical Yeshua vs. the conveniently multi-faceted and concoted hodge-podge myth that the Roman Church decided hundred of years later to be dogma, it is sufficient to note that what you are pushing as the lost authority on the ultimate Truth, was in fact for atleast the past 1600 years a political coup and total perversion of the original message of the Christ. Set in stone over time by misogynist patriarchs, power hungry clergy and feudal lords, hardly anything that is preached today in churches, irrespective of whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Protestant (as i was brought up – with Jewish and Orthodox Grandparents), Mormon or whatever clique or sect takes your fancy – I believe that the only part of any ceremon today originating from the one you call the Lord…is The Lords Prayer, which all by itself negates the whole point of your tirade. It isnt the meek who inherit the earth, nor the powerfull, but the ones who adapt and are able to love one another. Whether fetus or death-row inmate, christian, jew, muslim, buddhist, atheist, mormon or animist, darwinist or creationist…..ALL must adhere to the basic tenet that we are all brothers (in fact, we all have a common genetic ancestral mother as recently as 200 generations ago).
    So quit your squabbles over resources, strive for happiness and spread what little we all have with each other. THAT is/was the message of both Yeshua, and Franciscus. If that makes him a “communist” which I dont personally believe it does, then so be it. At least he is trying to open peoples eyes and make them confront that darkness each and everyone of us has within themselves (im far from perfect, or even necessarily a “good” person).

    You and so many of your narcisistic, one-cause-trumps-all, ignorant kind of people critically missed YOUR opportunity to spread around love, or atleast to learn and appreciate something about another mans quest to do just that.

    I used to read your articles with interest, as you seemed to embrace searching for answers to the underlying problems, not semantics and tangents of them. I must say Im a little disappointed that religion seems to have hit a nerve with you, but I have faith that we can all reform (pun intended)

    Mac

  39. @Minnesota Mary

    Hello Mary,

    I already pointed out that the cited pet proof text does not mean what Catholics say it means, when it is examined in the immediate context of Scripture, and when gauged against the whole counsel of God. The tenor and thread and climax of the teaching is evident when when examined with a Christ-centric faith. Christ-centric! Not Catholic-centric. Not Pope-centric. Not Peter-centric. Not Mary-centric. But Christ-centric!

    You’re getting caught up in Greek spelling typos, as if that changes the context and intent of Christ’s teaching – the climax of which is focused first and foremost on Jesus as the Messiah, and secondly on the fact that His disciples would begin in earnest what Christ would make possible: the Christian Church.

    Context and the totality of Scripture is absolutely necessary for understanding God’s Word. This is one of many fundamental hermeneutical principles required of those who would seriously contend for the Gospel. Catholics do not learn these things, which is why they are so easily led astray by the doctrines of demons.

    Peter was the chief Apostle. He was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to such an extent that even just his shadow could heal a person. He preached the first Christian sermon. He wrote several books of the Bible. God revealed to him that the Gospel was for the gentile pagans as well. He founded Christian churches in various places. These acts and accomplishments are examples of the authority figuratively spoken of by Jesus as “the keys to the Kingdom.”

    Other Apostles did these same things as well. John, James, and others, and especially Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament. It should be fairly obvious that Jesus gave these figurative “keys” to His Apostles, since they were authorized and led by the Holy Spirit to reveal His Gospel to us. The “keys” are now what we find in Scripture, His Holy and Eternal Word. Why else would it have been written, if it was only meant to be usurped and contradicted later on?

    It does not take the Lord hundreds of years to explain the Gospel to us through a bunch of ungodly usurpers over the 1700-year history of Catholic church. He gave us the “keys” through His Word – Holy Scripture – all within the first generation of the Christian Church. The true Christian Church is the spiritual body of those who are in Christ. It is not a hierarchical, blaspheming bureaucracy, not of Mary, not of Popes, not of priests or pederasts, not of rituals, sacraments, and other syncretic, neo-pagan junk with a thin coat of pseudo-Christian varnish.

    There is nothing remotely in the Catholic prooftext that says there is to be a line of hundreds of Popes through the centuries, handing the keys off as if this is some sort of relay race. The Bible is the Holy Word of the Living God, our Eternal Witness through the ages.

    So, according to Scripture, it is Jesus who is the Cornerstone. We are all bricks in the temple of Christ, but He and only He is the Cornerstone.

    The RCC teaches something else entirely, but what it teaches is simply not found in Scripture. Otherwise the RCC would long ago have supplied more than that one single solitary verse ripped out of context to justify its awful existence.

  40. HA says:
    @Tom_R

    “which “pagan” religion are you referring to? There is no proof that the majority…”

    No one said child sacrifice happened in the majority of pagan religions, but happen it did. Sacrificing adults was more common, but again, that happened too. For all of Judaism’s fascination with the story of Isaac, child sacrifice was, as far as I recall, frowned upon.

    You also conveniently omitted Karl’s bigger point, that the Saami, Druids and Celts haven’t done a great job of holding on to their homelands. Don’t think we didn’t notice.

    …destroyed libraries and temples,…

    Some did, but monks in scriptoria throughout what was Christendom went to great efforts to save and preserve and transmit the works of the pagans. They also built the universities and academies as we’ve come to know them. (Say, for what portion of Oxford’s history was it nothing other than a teaching institution for clerics?)

    It’s hard to pull off that kind of thing when you’re the Celts, given that they didn’t really catch the writing bug until the Christians came along.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  41. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @AndrewR

    I suspect that AndrewR meant to reply to the next post after BuzzMohawk’s instead.

  42. Leslie says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    Regarding the issue of abortion; the problem with the pope’s message on abortion is that 1) he did not address it head on while he was here knowing that live babies are being killed to get their tissues, 2) he speaks about offering comfort and forgiveness to women who are have had abortions, but does not emphasize that they must go through the formal reconciliation process and sincerely go forth to “sin no more. ” He does not emphasize that though reconciliation may be possible it is contingent on the woman acknowledging that abortion is a grave sin and must never be repeated.
    While she may be hurting, her baby is dead by her own hands.
    When a woman kills her children we are all shocked and eager to see her behind bars, but if she puts her youngest, most helpless to death, we shrug and move on.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  43. guest says:
    @Tom_R

    The Abraham-Isaac story is about not sacrificing children. If it were the other way around, and Jews murdered their own for a “criminal God,” the story wouldn’t make sense. Or, rather, the story wouldn’t exist.

  44. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The papacy is an office created personally by Our Lord.

    I stopped reading after this. Heck, everybody knows it’s the Dalai Lama. Or is it Sai Baba? Wait, it’s Thomas Monson. Sheesh….. give me a break.

  45. @Unapologetic White Man

    I already pointed out that the cited pet proof text does not mean what Catholics say it means, when it is examined in the immediate context of Scripture, and when gauged against the whole counsel of God … Context and the totality of Scripture is absolutely necessary for understanding God’s Word. This is one of many fundamental hermeneutical principles required of those who would seriously contend for the Gospel.

    Ahhh! I really love it when fundy literalists start hiding behind the skirt of ‘context’.

    It does not take the Lord hundreds of years to explain the Gospel to us through a bunch of ungodly usurpers over the 1700-year history of Catholic church. He gave us the “keys” through His Word – Holy Scripture – all within the first generation of the Christian Church.

    If it were not for those ungodly Greco-Roman “usurpers”, there would have been no canonical bible for you to cite in the first place. There was no official consensus on exactly which books were holy writ until the Synod of Carthage in 397 AD. That’s a bit later than “the first generation of the Christian Church.” (I assume you’re referring here to the life/death/resurrection of Christ in the 1st century AD.)

    In fact, until that time, there were was no agreement on the canonical gospels even. Any number of gospels and writings had been floating around before, claiming the label of ‘Christian’, including the so-called gnostic gospels, such as those of Judas and Thomas the Twin, which seemed to reject the Holy Trinity or even posit the existence of a Platonic demi-urge (a second, “lesser” god).

    To make a long story short: it was the church that sanctioned the bible, not the other way around.

    Peter was the chief Apostle.

    On this issue, your thinking may be closer to the Pope’s than you realize. Rome has traditionally referred to Peter as “the Prince of Apostles” (princeps aspostolorum), emphasizing his primacy among the other twelve. Obviously, they have a special motive for doing this.

  46. @HA

    It’s hard to pull off that kind of thing when you’re the Celts, given that they didn’t really catch the writing bug until the Christians came along.

    Why single out the Celts here? Excluding primitive runes, the same was true of virtually all European pagans (Germans, Slavs, etc.) until conversion. The only exceptions, of course, were the Greeks and the Romans themselves. They had already been civilized for a long time before Christianity came around.

    • Replies: @HA
  47. @Leslie

    He does not emphasize that though reconciliation may be possible it is contingent on the woman acknowledging that abortion is a grave sin and must never be repeated.

    Oh, I realize full and well Francis is no hard-liner on the issue. I was just trying to make the case that forgiveness for abortion (through the standard rite of penitence) is fully compatible with traditional teaching. That is, Humanae Vitae didn’t undo any fundamental doctrine of the faith; it just clarified them further. But it’s perfectly obvious that Francis balks at using the word ‘sin’ describe abortion… and much else.

  48. I am going with joy because the pope is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, and his presence in Congress is historically unique. But within me is fear and trembling over what he might say.

    You are afraid of what the Vicar of Christ might say? I stopped right there.

  49. HA says:
    @Seamus Padraig

    “Why single out the Celts here?”

    Modern day “pagans” tend to favor Celtic and imagery. There are not many Zeus or Jupiter worshippers among them.

    In the wake of the Celtic revival during the 18th and 19th centuries, fraternal and neopagan groups were founded based on ideas about the ancient druids, a movement known as Neo-Druidism. Many popular modern notions about druids have no connection to the druids of the Iron Age and are largely based on much later inventions or misconceptions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid

    Also, the Celts apparently had actual taboos against recording prayers and incantations, even after being exposed to Romans and literacy, whereas Slavic and Norse gods are mysterious primarily because their worshippers were largely illiterate.

  50. Hobo says:

    I know it happened a very long time ago. Still, I wish the Pope would acknowledge that if it hadn’t been for bravery of the US Military, fueled by the strength of capitalism which defeated Hitler’s Nazi’s in WWII, they’d be speaking German in Rome instead of Italian. The Pope should also make note of the size of the walls surrounding the Vatican and also how nearly impossible it is to become a citizen before urging other countries to open their borders to illegal invaders.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Hobo

    Why do yo believe that “they’d be speaking German in Rome instead of Italian”? Was Hitler’s Lebensraum policy directed also to the south of the Alps?

    No temper tantrums, please, in response. Instead, offer a cogent argument.

    • Replies: @Hobo
  52. @Seamus Padraig

    I don’t know how to break it to you, but I am not a “fundie literalist.” Very far from it. In fact, I have been a source of irritation to various members of that group – which is more accurately described as the “Dispensationalist camp” – in that I have taken them to task for the heretical aspects of their unserious theology (i.e., rapture, Jew worship, Israel worship, Christian Zionism, Scofield Bible doctrines, 7 year tribulations, End Times obsessions, etc.). Of course, you had no evidence at all that I was a “fundie literalist,” but this is a familiar Catholic trope. It’s the “you’re a racist” or “you’re an anti-semite” version of Catholic ad hominem, as it’s supposed to shut down argument from the get-go, in lieu of non-fallacious reasoning.

    As for Biblical context being a “skirt” behind which I supposedly “hide,” you demonstrate an appalling lack of understanding of even the most basic principle of Biblical hermeneutics. If responsible and serious study of Holy Scripture is beyond your grasp, so be it. You should probably be aware, however, that Scripture itself advocates my position, and condemns yours. Catholics would do well to forget what “the Church” teaches and concern themselves with what the Holy Scripture teaches. You don’t get to ignore it, even as you pretend to have invented it.

    Which bring us to the tired RCC presumption that the Bible would not exist without them, which is just so much more Catholic presumption. (And I should pause here to inform you that there is not a single Catholic claim with which I am not thoroughly familiar. I’ve heard it all, so you could probably do yourself a favor by not imagining that you’re going to throw something on me that obliterates my position.)

    So, the OT was written by faithful Mosaic-order Jewish men under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (not by Catholics), and the NT was written by faithful Christian men (ethnically, Jews, not Mary worshippers) also under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The first generation of NT churches were guided at first by the oral teachings of the basic tenets of the Gospel, all while the NT Scriptures were gradually being composed according to the necessity of occasion. The writing of the NT canon was completed by 95 or 96 AD.

    The first generations of Christians were guided by the Holy Spirit to recognize the authentic Scriptures, and these books (Gospels, Acts, and Epistles) were meticulously copied from an authoritative source and passed from one local church in one town to the next local church in the next town. Biblical validity was not decided at a council, but by early Christian consensus, as guided by the Holy Spirit throughout the first wave of persecutions committed by the Romans and the Jews. The council you speak of actually included inauthentic books (the Apocrypha, for example), and Christians understand that these do not belong with Scripture.

    Your council – which in any case took place near the very beginning of the RCC (i.e., the Great Falling Away) – merely glommed onto and corrupted the already established Christian consensus. It’s impossible for Catholics to say that “Protestants” only have the Bible because of the RCC, and then to turn around and complain that we don’t include all the books of the Catholic Bible. Obviously, we do not hold to the decisions of your council. Plus which, since the Bible is a blessing of the Holy Spirit, presuming to having invented it still does not authorize the RCC to contravene it. It’s either God’s Word or it isn’t. I know where I stand, and pray that you and many other lost souls will repent one day and stand with God.

    As for Peter…

    I am not “closer to the Pope than I realize,” (and where do you get off presuming to have some insight into what I realize?). I said what the Bible says, and that is all. Peter was the chief Apostle. It means nothing beyond that – BIBLICALLY speaking. Catholics seem to not understand even some very basic things, and go way beyond the clear intent of the Word. Paul, under the Holy Spirit, clearly far and away had and has the most influence over Christianity after Jesus. Not Peter.

    Moreover, if Popes really are successors of a Christian monarchy begun by Peter (which is nowhere remotely taught in Scripture), then one may well wonder why Popes have decreed and allowed that they be worshipped as a God, as a “Vicar of Christ.” When Peter went to meet Cornelius, Cornelius fell down and worshipped Peter. Peter rebuked him, told him to stop it and get up, and emphasized that he, too, was merely a man. This is such a far cry from the presumptuous usurpations of the Popes through the ages, and I’ve never really understood why Catholics can’t seem to realize this, except that the Bible describes them as having a “seared conscience.”

    Christ said that we may evaluate the authenticity of supposed Christians and Christian systems not by their assertions, claims, and poses, but by their actions in regards to objective standard of Scripture. Are they obedient to the Word of God, or do they actively rebel against the clarity of Scripture? If what the RCC says about, say, Mary, is true, one has to wonder why Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude failed to mention even the slightest of it.

    And I could go on and on and on about all of the other neo-pagan, syncretic and superstitious garbage that has accumulated in the RCC dumpster over the past 1600+ years of RCC history. Add to that the Inquisitions, the lording themselves over governments via the intimidation of excommunications or the withholding of “Papal blessing,” the abuses of the confessional, priestly pederasty, the False Decretals to accumulate power, and you have the Whore of Babylon.

    Scripture says: “Come out of her!”

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  53. Marty says:

    The Vatican is a males-only theocracy. It owns a franchise called the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican Bank is closed to the public. The Vatican houses Cardinal Bernard Law, who is wanted for suspicion of hiding pedophilia priests.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  54. @Unapologetic White Man

    Berean Bob, You have taken up a lot of space to explain away what is clear as a bell in the words of Christ to Peter. You are in denial.

    Only Simon, among all the other Apostles was given a name change which signified his status as the “rock” upon which Christ would build His Church. Only Simon Peter was given the keys to the kingdom of heaven with the power to bind and loose on earth which would then be bound and loosed in heaven.

    The other Apostles had power in a general way, but it was to Simon Peter alone that Christ conferred this power in Matthew 16:18-19. Consistently throughout the New Testament, Peter is shown to have had a unique primacy and authority among the twelve Apostles. Paul, immediately after his conversion, did not begin his ministry until he had gone and consulted with Peter. Paul knew who the head of Christ’s Church was. Also since the Roman Emperors targeted Peter and his successor Popes for execution, they certainly knew who the heads of the Church were—the Popes!

    There are over 30,000 Christian denominations that don’t all agree on the interpretations of the Scriptures. You seem to be so sure that you have it all right. Are you infallible?

  55. Hobo says:
    @Anonymous

    It is my view the Spazio Vitale of the Fascist Bottai, would not have coexisted with the Nazi ideology of Lebensraum for very long given the inherent racist aggressiveness of the Germanic Reich. Why would expect a tantrum?

  56. I learned the sad truth the Pope just told Congress about the roots of our endless war state, back in 1990, when I had been part of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, which was a government/industry association for computer professionals. When the Cold War ended, the supposed commitment to liberty by the corporate sponsors was proven to be ephemeral. They only saw that when peace broke out, their war for profits was lost. So all of the biggest started selling their wares to the most dictatorial and violent regimes around the world and lobbying for belligerence through our own politicians. It was a sad wakeup call to Cold War idealists. These guys really hated Reagan and Gorbachev for the rapprochement and dialing back conflict, including nuclear weapons reductions, which was an incredible cognitive dissonance to observe for those who had thought the conflict was entirely one about freedom and human rights. Unfortunately, for the corporate sector, that ideal was never more than window dressing for war windfall profit taking. Now we’re in a catch-22 situation, where the evisceration of peacetime manufacturing, offshored due to corporate greed, has made war manufacturing a much more important part of the economy, upon which many of the remaining well paid jobs depend. If peace is allowed to break out, employment and profitability suffer. Since both political parties are therefore wedded to militarism for profit, beholden to these corporate donors there is no political solution in voting one party or the other. It is important that “War Jesus” idolatry end in all the churches so that God’s truth can be spoken to those in power, in unison from God’s people. Those believing churches who realize that already, can be the salt and light to the others, if we have the courage. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.”

    https://theintercept.com/2015/09/24/pope-decries-shameful-culpable-silence-arms-sales-drenched-innocent-blood/

  57. @Minnesota Mary

    Mary,

    Please point out for me where the Catholic proof-text justifies the Catholic Church. If it is as clear as a bell, then I would like to see what I have missed. 1600+ years of Catholic heresy, blasphemy, doctrines of demons, Inquisitions, priestly pederasty, and all the rest are justified right there in that verse? Where? What words of the verse do that?

    All you’re really doing is asserting what “the Church” teaches, not what Scripture teaches, which is what Catholics do.

    Please do a search for all of the passages that speak of the Cornerstone, the Rock, on which the Christian church is built, in the OT and NT. You will find over and over and over again, that it is Jesus. Not Peter. Not Mary. Not Popes. But Jesus! Peter himself taught this very thing, as does the whole counsel of Scripture. The focal point in your proof-text is what Peter confessed, that Jesus is the Messiah. THAT is the Cornerstone.

    Paul knew who the chief Apostle was. I already confirmed that Peter was the chief Apostle in my earlier reply.

    Paul also confronted Peter to his face about Peter’s being intimidated by the Jews as far as dining with the Gentiles was concerned.

    Paul wrote about two-thirds of the NT, and is the primary dispenser of Christian doctrine and theology after Christ.

    Paul, like Peter and most other Christians of the time, was repeatedly targeted for persecution. He was beat up and left for dead, and he eventually he was beheaded.

    As for whether I am infallible, I think it should be fairly clear that one does not have to be infallible to be able to discern obvious heresy, blasphemy, and rotten fruit.

    Peter told Cornelius rebuked Cornelius for worshipping him. He told Cornelius to stop it, get up, for “I am just a man.” And yet Popes, who claim Peter as their prototype, have drawn blaspheming worship to themselves, century after century after century.

    You can read my earlier reply to “Seamus Padraig” above to address the rest of your error.

    • Replies: @HA
  58. Berean Bob,

    It is obvious to me that you are an anti-Catholic bigot. If you ever have a change of mind and want to give a fair look at the teachings of the Catholic Church I would recommend you read The Catechism of the Catholic Church with your Bible in hand and see what the Church actually teaches and why her teachings are Biblically based.

    It is obvious that you have read only hate literature against the Catholic Church instead of what the Church teaches in her own words. The Catholic Church has survived the assaults of the Devil and his minions for nearly 2,000 years. She will be here till the end of time when Our Lord returns for his Bride.

  59. @Unapologetic White Man

    I don’t know how to break it to you, but I am not a “fundie literalist.” Very far from it. In fact, I have been a source of irritation to various members of that group – which is more accurately described as the “Dispensationalist camp”

    Well, at least you’re not a Hagee-ite. Thank God for small favors.

    Your council – which in any case took place near the very beginning of the RCC (i.e., the Great Falling Away) – merely glommed onto and corrupted the already established Christian consensus.

    You assume that there was some solid consensus. In fact, there were any number of books and ‘gospels’ floating around at the time claiming to derive from some disciple or another which differed from mainline Christianity–sometimes profoundly (e.g., no Holy Trinity). Hence the need for synodic councils to affirm the core doctrines of the faith and to affirm which of these books were canonical and which weren’t. Until then, there was no one Bible. The Greek name for it, biblia, tells us as much. It’s plural and means ‘books’. (The singular was biblion.)

    Paul, under the Holy Spirit, clearly far and away had and has the most influence over Christianity after Jesus. Not Peter.

    At a historical level, I would strongly agree that Paul was a more influential figure among early Christians, perhaps deservedly so. But the fact remains that he was an apostle, not a disciple. He was not designated as the “rock” of the Church by Our Lord, and he was not given the keys to the kingdom.

    … one may well wonder why Popes have decreed and allowed that they be worshipped as a God, as a “Vicar of Christ.”

    A vicar is not a god. Vicar simply means ‘representative’, in this case the representative of Christ. And popes are not worshiped, so it is hardly a wonder that Peter rebuked Cornelius.

  60. @Marty

    The Vatican Bank is closed to the public.

    Oh? And you can walk over to the Fed and get a loan? Heck, as it stands, we can’t even audit it. And they’re the ones who control our money supply! When’s the last time the Vatican Bank bailed out Goldman Sachs or inflated away your social security check?

  61. @Tom_R

    The Age of Reason, by founding father Thomas Paine.

    Thomas Paine later regretted that “The Age of Reason” had been published. On his deathbed he said:

    “I would give worlds, if I had them, that The Age of Reason had not been published. Oh, Lord, help me! Christ, help me! Oh, God, what have I done to suffer so much? But there is no God! If there should be, what will become of me hereafter? Stay with me, for God’s sake. Send even a child to stay with me for it is hell to be alone. If ever the devil had an agent, I have been that one.”

    This doesn’t mean, of course, that he became a believer in Jesus Christ at the last moment, he obviously is confused and anguished and is calling out to God even while he says there is no God. But using The Age of Reason as some sort of proof that Christianity isn’t true isn’t really the best idea, considering Paine’s last words.

    • Replies: @Tom_R
  62. Regarding the papacy and Peter being the first Pope, that is not supported by Bible scripture, it is something the Catholic Church came up with. It was James who was the leader of the church in Jerusalem (the first church), not Peter. (Acts 15:12-21).

    Also, the Bible makes it clear that Paul had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised (Gentiles) and Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (Jews). (Galatians 2:7). Therefore, why would the Catholic Church, which is made up of gentiles, have as their first Pope the Apostle to the Jews? If anything, Paul should have been the first Pope (assuming the Papacy is scriptual, which it isn’t).

    Furthermore, the Bible says that “there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus). (1 Timothy 2:5). Only Jesus Christ is qualified to be the mediator, not the Pope, not Catholic priests, nobody else, only Jesus. In addition, Christians are referred to by Peter himself as a “holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5) and a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). In short, the whole priesthood set up by the Catholic Church is false.

    I like Andrew Napolitano just as I like Pat Buchanan but the Catholic Church has false doctrines in it and I really hope both men are born-again Christians and aren’t relying on the Catholic church to save them.

    • Replies: @Minnesota Mary
  63. @ConcernedAmerican

    I really hope that you give the Catholic Church a fair investigation by reading the writings of the early Christians along with The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Have your Bible handy so you can see that the teachings of the Catholic Church are biblical. The Catechism is heavily foot noted with biblical references that you will want to look up if your are seriously seeking the truth.

    Most people today criticize the teachings of the Catholic Church because they are parroting what they have heard or read by those who despise the Catholic Church. They never bother to really study the Catholic Church and her teachings, often because they are afraid of what they might learn.

    As John Henry Cardinal Newman said, “To be steeped in history is to cease to be Protestant.” He was a former Anglican priest who studied the Catholic Church and converted.

    I also recommend the series of books “Surpised By The Truth” by Patrick Madrid if you are willing to give the Catholic Church a fair investigation. Many others have thought as you have and were truly surprised by the truth they discovered. “Seek and you shall find.”

    • Replies: @ConcernedAmerican
  64. Tom_R says:
    @ConcernedAmerican

    THE FAKE ‘PAINE’S LAST WORDS’ ABOUT A FAKE MESSIAH JEWS-US WHO NEVER EXISTED.

    Your story of “Paine’s last words” wherein Christians allege that he regretted publishing his great work sounds just like another scam by the Jews-us freaks to promote Christianity, the fraudulent cult of a fake African/Middle Eastern negroid messiah who never existed.

    See jesusneverexisted.com

    See the book “Forgery in Christianity.”

    See “Crimes of Christianity” by Foote.

    Christianity is a fake cult spread by fraud, forgery and force. Its proponents are still resorting to fraud and forgery. And in doing so, and telling lies against great scholars like Paine, they are inducing more people to leave this fraudulent African/Middle Eastern cult.

    • Replies: @ConcernedAmerican
  65. “The papacy is an office created personally by Our Lord. Its occupants are direct descendants of St. Peter.”
    These Eytalians will believe anything.

  66. @Mitleser

    And thankfully, the predilection for small boys prevents it from being hereditary, at least since the Borgias.

  67. The Church as instituted by Christ is divine. Her membership is made up of saints and sinners. Where ever you have man, you will find corruption.

    Can anyone show me a church on earth that has no sinners?

  68. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Unapologetic White Man

    Thank you Berean Bob for redirecting the issue at hand. It is and has been a recurring point of contention between my extended RCC family members and I, as they seem to hold a special sense of pride in this heritage and defend it with venomous fervor against me.
    I have been accused of being a “hater” for trying to express the obvious contradictions in scripture which simply do not support the superiority or authority of the Pope and the RCC and in my best estimation, their apostate based faith. I know they are sincere in their belief , and trust that many have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. However, when scripture is presented the mockery and attacks on me and the few other born again believers in our clan commences.
    It hurts to be told that I speak lies and am void of love… I love them, but the Truth I have sought to share concerning the danger of this Pope, in particular, are being misconstrued. Only God can judge what is truly in our hearts and I have never judged them. I do however heed the warnings of God’s word concerning the False Prophet of the End Time Prophecy…
    The scripture you refer to and it’s proper , contextual meaning in regards to Peter and Jesus’ reference to the Rock are exactly what I know to be true as well.
    I will share your comments on my FB page in hopes that they will see that the Papacy- via Peter is deceptive and the cause of great apostasy as we are witnessing the commencement of the New World Order that the RCC seems to be “intimately” associated with. The Mystery Babylon and the great Harlot riding the Beast are at hand.
    In Christ and praying for open eyes and open hearts in America and the world during these End Times…

  69. HA says:
    @Unapologetic White Man

    Did anyone else notice that Minnesota Mary’s refutation of Bob’s “petras” canard was suspiciously thin on content, and thick with handwaving, references to “Greek spelling typos” and an insistence on context that even he admits many Protestants can’t unravel, despite Bob’s fulminations about the “clarity” of Scripture?

    More generally, Scriptures were indeed as clear as Bob claims, why have so many Protestant sects split off into dizzying thousands of offshoots, when they all claim to be focused so devotedly to the same text? This is clarity? This is what Jesus had in mind when he prayed that “they may be one”? I’d be the first to admit that Catholics have acted admirably in keeping all their many factions together, but at least they’ve made some effort. I don’t see much unity at all in the so-called Scriptural clarity crowd , once you get past the Harlot-on-the-Beast commonality (and Sonrise Cowgirl is really surprised that anyone would consider her a “hater” for that kind of thing?) not to mention the odd insistence that Catholic abuse scandals are any worse than the Protestant ones (though admittedly, there’s certainly there’s more money and press converage to be squeezed from suing a diocese than some church that can spawn off some new offshoot like a Hydra head every time a scandal rolls around). Any evidence for that, Bob? Oh well, no matter. If the clarity of Scripture isn’t enough to build your felloship on, lies and half-truths are good enough to keep the conversation going.

    And if even Bob is willing to admit that Peter is the Chief Apostle, is he perhaps willing to consider the Papacy at least in those terms? Or would that get in the way of his scarlet whore shtick, and when push comes to shove, what do you think he is most devoted to? Any guesses?

    Finally, what’s all this non sequitur nonsense from ConcernedAmerican regarding James in Jerusalem? Even Bob admits that Peter was the Chief Apostle. James in Jerusalem is relevant how, exactly? I guess any stick will do, but whatever you may think of the claims of the Papacy, they are based primarily on Peter, not Rome, and if tomorrow the Papacy moves back to Avignon, or Poughkeepsie for that matter, it wouldn’t be something they haven’t been through before.

  70. Last I checked, this is 2015?

    wtf is this crazy talk of prophets and shit? fake or not.

  71. @Unapologetic White Man

    Jesus said “Thou art Peter” or “You are Peter”.
    He didn’t say anywhere “I am Peter”.

  72. And so what should have been the debate whether Bergoglio/Francis is a legitimate pope changed into the never ending debate about the legitimacy of the Catholic Church, to the happiness of all who cannot sleep if they don’t deny its legitimacy.

    Note to (mostly Traditional)Catholics: you are clearly between a rock and a hard place, so it’s useless to air your grievances publicly and expect sympathy from the non-Catholics.

    However there should be light at the end of the tunnel, because more and more people are disappointed by this pope (including bishops and cardinals who understand that he is trying to fiddle the doctrine) and hopefully there will be a schism.

    Also according to church law (or something to that effect) laid down by the late JP II it is forbidden to canvass for votes under pain of excommunication, and those who elected Bergoglio did just that.

  73. @HA

    HA and Berean Bob,

    Since you want to call my explanation of the Greek words rock/stones typos, let’s go back to the language that Jesus and His Apostles spoke—Aramaic. In Aramaic the word for “Rock” is “Kepha or Cephas. Jesus said to Simon, “You are Kepha (Rock) and upon this kepha I will build my Church.” In Aramaic, the identification of Peter as the rock is clear. The Gospel of Matthew was later translated into Greek where the the name “Rock” became “Petros.”

    • Replies: @HA
    , @ConcernedAmerican
  74. @Minnesota Mary

    The Catechism is heavily foot noted with biblical references that you will want to look up if your are seriously seeking the truth.

    I am in no way trying to sound rude but I already know the truth and the truth is Jesus Christ and the Bible, not the false teachings of the Catholic Church.

    Furthermore, the fact that the Catholic Church actually had the audacity to tamper with the 10 Commandments and remove the 2nd Commandment regarding graven images and then split the 10th Commandment into two so that there would be “10” commandments is proof enough that the Catholic Church is a false church.

    And yes, I am familiar with the Catholic Church’s “explanations” regarding this but I’m afraid they don’t hold water. The Catholic Church removed the commandment regarding graven images because the Catholic Church is full of idolatry.

    Also, I could mention things such as the Catholic teaching of “purgatory” which has been a money maker for the Catholic Church, the large number of Popes who have engaged in great sin and vice, particularly sexual immorality, and any number of other things but I suspect that you have undoubtedly heard these things before and regard them as unjustified attacks on the Catholic Church.

    And so, I guess all I can do is suggest, as you did to me, is that you also read the Bible but do so by first setting aside any Catholic teachings and instead simply see and study what the Bible actually says. If you do so, I think you will be the one “surprised by the truth”.

    “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11).

    Whatever you may or may not do, I wish you well.

  75. @HA

    James in Jerusalem is relevant how, exactly?

    Because if Jesus really had given Peter this incredible authority making Peter the first Pope and Peter is the foundation and rock of the church rather than Jesus, then why is Peter shown reporting to James? Why is Paul shown rebuking Peter? (Galatians 2:11-21).

    The Papacy is something that was made up by the Catholic Church and has no basis in scripture.

  76. HA says:
    @Minnesota Mary

    My initial sentence got jumbled around. I hereby resubmit the first few words of my previous post as follows:

    Did anyone else notice that Borean Bob’s reply to Minnesota Mary regarding his “petras” canard was suspiciously thin on content, and thick with handwaving, references to “Greek spelling typos” and an insistence on context that even he admits many of his fellow Protestants don’t follow, despite his insistence regarding the “clarity” of Scripture?

    In other words, he had no real response, other than to ramp up the bile.

    My apologies for the confusion.

    • Replies: @Minnesota Mary
  77. @Tom_R

    And in doing so, and telling lies against great scholars like Paine,

    Why assume the proponents of Christianity are the ones telling the lies? Maybe it’s the atheists and anti-Christians who are the ones lying when they say those weren’t Paine’s last words. One thing for sure, though, Paine is dead and the Christian church still goes on.

    It’s like Voltaire who said he would personally destroy Christianity in 20 years. Well, Voltaire has been dead for centuries and the Christian church still goes on. And it will do so until Jesus calls all of His followers home.

    By the way, Voltaire’s last words were reported to be the following by his physician who said that he cried out in desperation:

    “I am abandoned by God and man! I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months of life. Then I shall go to hell, and you will go with me. Oh, Christ! Oh, Jesus Christ.”

    A nurse who was with Voltaire on his deathbed reportedly said “For all the wealth in Europe, I would not see another nonbeliever die.”

    Of course, I realize that you will think that these last words are also a lie thought up by Christians. But what if they are true and there was no big supposed welcoming “light at the end of the tunnel” for Voltaire just the terror of the knowledge of the approaching reality of hell?

    Maybe it’s Paine and Voltaire and the others you mentioned who don’t know what they are talking about and the Bible that is true.

  78. @ConcernedAmerican

    Just as the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so too has he hardened yours.

    You most definitely have not read the Catechism of the Catholic Church nor bothered to give the Catholic Church a fair investigation.

    The Catholic Church has not altered any of the Commandments. The Christian use of icons, statues, and other sacred images is a way to recall the heavenly realities we are unable to perceive with our physical senses. These images help us lift our minds and hearts to heaven where the saints and angels dwell, and they remind us of the heroes of the Faith who have fought the good fight and won their crowns. Hebrews 12:1 tells us that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. Catholic Churches are a human attempt to give us a glimpse of heaven where those witnesses are praying for us.

    Do you have any pictures of your parents, children, other relatives in your home? Do you worship them? Of course not. They remind you of them, and hopefully remind you to pray for them.

    I spent 12 years attending a non-Catholic, non-denominational Bible Study (Kay Arthur), and in all those years, sticking with Sola Scriptura, I never once found anything in the Bible that made me think the Catholic Church didn’t know how to interpret the Bible. At least I gave the other side a fair investigation, which is more than I can say for you.

    • Replies: @ConcernedAmerican
  79. @HA

    HA, thanks for the clarification.

  80. @Minnesota Mary

    In Aramaic the word for “Rock” is “Kepha or Cephas. Jesus said to Simon, “You are Kepha (Rock) and upon this kepha I will build my Church.” In Aramaic, the identification of Peter as the rock is clear. The Gospel of Matthew was later translated into Greek where the the name “Rock” became “Petros.”

    Neither you nor the Pope or any member of the Catholic Church have the slightest idea what Jesus may or may not have said in Aramaic, none of you were there. God, however, was there and the God-inspired New Testament scriptures were written in Greek. And the Holy Spirit used the words “Petros” and “petra” for a reason. And frankly, the context of those verses is quite clear. Furthermore, for the Catholic Church to put words in Jesus’ mouth to try to justify its made up doctrine regarding Peter and the papacy is dishonest, to say the least.

    • Replies: @Minnesota Mary
  81. @Minnesota Mary

    It’s interesting that you chose to engage in personal attacks but not surprising. The Catholic Church has after all tortured and murdered many millions of people for believing in the Bible rather than “papal authority” so tolerance is clearly not one of the Church’s virtues.

    At this point, in view of the personal attacks, I see no reason to continue this discussion.

  82. @ConcernedAmerican

    Furthermore, the fact that the Catholic Church actually had the audacity to tamper with the 10 Commandments and remove the 2nd Commandment regarding graven images … The Catholic Church removed the commandment regarding graven images because the Catholic Church is full of idolatry.

    That’s false. Although the numbering and grouping of the commandments is slightly different, none of them were excised from the Bible by the RCC. In Catholic bibles, the ban on graven images is part of the First Commandment, rather than the Second (where it is found in some of the Protestant bibles):

    I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.

    – The first commandment according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

    The RCC strictly prohibits the worship of any image, but allows for the veneration of images of Christ, Mary, the Apostles and Saints. You’re free of course to reject the practice of veneration, but you must not conflate it with worship. The latter is for God only, who, by his very nature, cannot be represented by any image anyway.

  83. HA says:

    “Neither you nor the Pope or any member of the Catholic Church have the slightest idea what Jesus may or may not have said in Aramaic, none of you were there. God, however, was there and the God-inspired New Testament scriptures were written in Greek. And the Holy Spirit used the words “Petros” and “petra” for a reason. And frankly, the context of those verses is quite clear”

    Again, it seems that for some “concerned” Christians, the meaning of the Bible is crystal clear, and anyone who suggests otherwise is guilty of vile deceit. But when the Bible says something they don’t like, then all of a sudden, the focus shifts to “context” and how we don’t “have the slightest idea what Jesus may or may not have said in Aramaic”, but we do in Greek (unless of course, as Bob would have it, typos are involved).

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  84. @HA

    Yup. The fundies always play this game of opportunistically going back and forth between literalism and context. When they start losing the argument on one basis, they instantly switch to the other. Watching them oscillate so fast can give you whiplash sometimes!

  85. @ConcernedAmerican

    OK Concerned American. I won’t confuse you anymore with the facts.

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