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Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholicism’

McCarrick

Pope Francis embraces then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick during a 2015 visit to the U.S. McCarrick resigned the cardinalate in 2018 before being defrocked.
Jonathan Newton/AP

“The Catholic Church is facing its most serious crisis in 500 years,” wrote Massimo Faggioli in his October 2018 article in Foreign Affairs titled “The Catholic Church’s Biggest Crisis Since the Reformation.”

These are striking words, especially when one considers the publication where the article appeared as well as the author. Foreign Affairs in the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which is without a doubt among the most prestigious and influential foreign policy organizations in the world. It’s membership role reads like a Who’s Who of the rich and famous.

To give you some idea of just how high-powered the CFR’s membership is, here are just a few of the well known names listed on the CFR’s membership page: Condoleezza Rice (former US Secretary of State,, Bill Clinton (form US President), Chelsea Clinton (daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton), Henry Kissinger (former US Secretary of State), Janet Yellen (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Colin Powell (former US general and Secretary of State), Jerome Powell (current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Peggy Noonan (former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush and noted conservative columnist for the Wall Street Journal), George Soros (globalist trouble-maker), Warren Beatty (actor), Elliott Abrams (convicted felon and regime change specialist in the Trump Administration), Stephen G. Breyer (current US Supreme Court justice).

One could go on, but by now it should be clear to the ready that the CFR is no ordinary club. It is among the premier organizations of the globalist elite. Given the status of CFR’s membership, it’s worth paying attention to the articles published in Foreign Affairs, if for no other reason than it’s reflection of what high-level movers and shakers are thinking and talking about.

Among the highlights in Faggioli’s article:

  • “The new wave of sexual abuse revelations in 2018 was disturbing not only because it exposed the persistence of abuse but also because it implicated high level church officials in the abuse and its cover-up.” For example, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, among those implicated in 2018 for his sexual abuse of seminarians, was one of the leaders in the Church’s response to the 2002 sex abuse crisis.
  • Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó wrote an open letter in August 2018 stating that Pope Francis was well aware of McCarrick’s history of abuse but chose to ignore it.
  • Viganó’s letter was openly critical of the “pro-gay ideology” and “homosexual networks” among the Catholic clergy.
  • The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has fueled the current sexual abuse crisis by resisting reform, in much the same way the church’s resistance to reform in the 16th century fueled the Reformation.
  • The uproar created by the sexual abuse scandals has brought to the surface a rift in the church between the conservative-traditionalists and the liberal-progressives
  • This rift could, but likely will not in the short-term, result in a Church schism, with the two camps splitting into separate churches.
  • Former White House Strategist Steve Bannon, conservative-traditionalist Catholic and critic of Pope Francis, is put forth as an example of the split. Bannon, Faggioli notes, has set up the Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy to further conservative thought in the church.

Faggioli’s article, though fairly neutral in tone, can reasonably be seen as an expression of concern by the globalist movers and shakers at the CFR. This should come as no surprise. For, in the opinion of this author, the Roman Church-State is the oldest, wealthiest, and important globalist institution of them all. To the degree that the Roman Church-State is discredited, to that same degree doubt is cast on the entire globalist program favored by the members of the CFR.

A hint of this can been seen in a paragraph from Faggioli’s article that reads,

The Protestant Reformation was the beginning of a process of political nationalization, where the faithful became subjects not only of the church, but also of nations. The rise of the nation state marked the decline of the Roman Catholic political doctrine that held the church’s (specifically the pope’s) legitimacy supreme over that of imperial rulers…

Like the Reformation, which led to the religious breakup of the Holy Roman Empire of Charles V, today’s crisis has geopolitical dimensions.

In this, Faggioli shows that he is keenly aware, in a way many contemporary Protestant’s are not, that the current conflict between Globalism and Nationalism is simply another expression of the conflict between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The globalist New World Order is the geo-political expression of Romanism, whereas those who advocate for national independence (national sovereignty is the more common term) are arguing for the Christian, Biblical system of international relations known as the Westphalian World Order.

Just and Roman Catholicism and Christianity are incompatible, so too are the Romanist New World Order and the Christian Westphalian World Order.

By publishing this Faggioli’s article, the globalists at the CFT are, in the opinion of this author, expressing their concern that, if the Roman Curia can’t put out the fire sparked by the 2018 wave of sexual abuse scandals, the entire globalist program will be put in jeopardy.

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More Than These_2

“It is my firm conviction that the pro-life movement has been a convenient, effective tool in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church leadership in their drive to desensitize the average Christian to Rome’s heresy, idolatry, and blasphemy.”

    – Pastor Ralph Ovadal

Last week’s post, devoted to a discussion of the movie Unplanned, was intended as a warning to Christians. Far from being the Christian film many have touted it to be, Unplanned would be better described as an effective recruitment tool for the Roman Church-State.

Although the movie was financed, at least in part, by Evangelical money, and presented to Evangelicals as a Christian movie, the screen play and the directing were done by two Roman Catholics. But more concerning is the central figure in the movie, Abby Johnson, who, having been raised Baptist, converted to Roman Catholicism after she was asked to leave her Episcopal Church upon leaving Planned Parenthood and becoming pro-life.

In that post on Unplananed, this reviewer quoted at some length from a book titled More Than These by Pastor Ralph Ovadal. When I cited the book, I was under the assumption that I had reviewed it some time ago. But to my surprise, after checking to confirm whether this was so, I found out that no such review had been posted on this blog. What is worse, a search of the internet revealed that, apparently, no review of the remarkable book has been written by anyone else either.

This post is intended as a partial remedy to this sorry state of affairs.

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KTS_Night

Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

This past week I had the privilege of recording a podcast interview with two new friends and brothers in Christ, Tim Shaughnessy and Carlos Montijo, the hosts of the Semper Reformanda Radio
podcast.

The subject of our interview was a book I wrote – unbelievably for me to think this, ten years ago – titled Imagining a Vain Thing: The Decline and Fall of Knox Seminary. As the title states, the subject of the book is about the events that transformed Knox Theological Seminary (KTS) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a school founded by D. James Kennedy and subject to the session of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (CRPC), from a school noted for its fidelity to Scripture to an institution that speaks forth quite a different message.

In the book, I recounted the events in some detail. Here, I’ll give you the short version, which runs something like this: Contrary to Dr. Kennedy’s best judgment, in 2002 the school hired Dr. Warren Gage to teach Old Testament and head the schools new Culture and Christianity program. Dr. Gage, who had recently taken his Ph.D from the Roman Catholic University of Dallas, had a distinctly unreformed view of hermeneutics and typology, ideas which he had expressed very clearly in his doctoral dissertation. Further, Dr. Gage carried these ideas over into this teaching at KTS. Although the school officially backed Gage’s distinctive, and Roman Catholic influenced, teaching, there was an undercurrent of resistance.

In May 2007, a graduate of the school approached Dr. R. Fowler White with her concerns about Gage, prompting an investigation by Dr. White into Gage’s teaching. The report resulting from White’s investigation concluded, correctly I must emphasize, that 1) Gage taught, contrary to the Westminster Confession of Faith, that individual passages of Scripture have more than on meaning, and 2) he regularly disparaged logic and systematic theology in the classroom.

As a result of the report’s findings, the Executive Committee of the KTS Board of Directors wanted to terminate Gage’s employment at the school.  This was the correct decision, which it had stuck, likely would have saved KTS.  Unfortunately, the full board voted to suspend Gage with full pay rather than to fire him.  During his time away from the school, Gage was supposed to “contemplate his willingness to subordinate himself fully to the doctrinal standards of the Seminary and the P.C.A.,” according to a letter written by R.C. Sproul, Interim Chairman of the Board of Knox Seminary, to the Session of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

But instead of taking time to think about, and repent of, his many glaring theological errors, Gage, a trained lawyer with many years of practice to his credit,  used this opportunity to overturn his suspension by making appeal to the Session of CRPC.  Gage’s five years at the school had allowed him to insinuate himself into the KTS community, and, with the help of his supporters, not only was he able to have his suspension reversed, but, quite remarkably, was able to oust all those who had opposed him, both on the Board of Directors and among the faculty 

After the remarkable events in the fall of 2007, Dr. Gage went on to teach at KTS through the 2013-2014 academic year, retiring from the school in the spring of 2014. One ironic twist to the story is that during this nearly seven year period, Gage went on to serve as Dean of Faculty at the school that had once very nearly fired him.  

In addition to the book and the 2014 Trinity Review I wrote at the time Gage retired, I have on occasion published blog posts on KTS (see here, here and here). But until last week’s interview, admittedly it’s been a while since I’ve publically commented on, or privately thought much about, KTS. Yet after talking to Carlos and Tim, I realized that there are some aspects of my time at KTS that are worth reviewing. Specifically, I believe there are important general lessons that Christians can take from my experience at seminary and the larger events that upended KTS back in 2007. I’d like to take this occasion to set them forth.

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Billy Graham

The body of Rev. Billy Graham, who died February 21 at age 99, lies in the Capitol Rotunda as President Donald Trump, officials and dignitaries pay tribute to America’s most famous evangelist, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in Washington.  (J. Scott Applewhite / The Associated Press) 

In the second year of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, became king…And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like his father David (2 Kings 14:1, 3).

Judge not, lest you be judged! How many times have Christians had that verse flung in their face when discussing some point of doctrine, usually with an unbeliever. This verse, wielded as if some all conquering shut down argument, seems to be the only passage of Scripture that many people know.

Now if Jesus actually meant what these people seem to think he meant – that all judgment of every sort by anyone is always wrong – ironically they also condemn themselves, for by speaking as they do they are judging Christians and telling them they are wrong to find fault with the words or actions of another.

But Jesus did not mean to condemn all judgment. He intended to condemn unrighteous judgment, that is to say, judgment by the wrong standard. This can be seen elsewhere in Scripture where Christ told his followers to “judge with righteous judgment.”

Further, in writing to Timothy the Apostle Paul advised his younger colleague that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for,” among other things, “reproof [and] for correction.” That is to say, Scripture is to be used to judge the actions and the words of men.

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