Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Anti-Catholicism: The Curse of "Papists"


Example No. 1: (3:156)

Number of book in Bibliography (#3) followed by the page number of the citation.

Example No. 2: (18)

Number of reference not found in Bibliography. Information on source and page number in Footnotes (number 18 in the Footnotes).

Example No. 3: (50:100/4)

Number of book in Bibliography followed by the page number, plus an additional source (usually primary), listed in the Footnotes. The Footnotes (#4) will give the specific section and page numbers from the second source. This format is usually used when directly quoting Protestants such as Luther or Calvin, or the Church Fathers.

Example No. 4: (51:v.4;458)

Number of book in Bibliography followed by the volume number (when the work is more than one volume), and the page number. An additional source may also be cited after a slash, as in Example No. 3.

* * * * *


1. Archbishop Fulton Sheen

This famous television "preacher" once remarked that:

    There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church - which is quite a different thing. (4:335/1)

2. Reinhold Niebuhr, a Lutheran, and one of the most eminent and influential theologians of the twentieth century, decried the undesirable religious state of affairs in the United States:

    The acrimonious relations between Catholics and Protestants in this country are scandalous. If two forms of the Christian faith, though they recognize a common Lord, cannot achieve a little more charity in their relations to each other, they have no right to speak to the world or claim to have any balm for the world's hatreds and mistrusts. The mistrust between Catholics and Protestants has become almost as profound as that between the West and Communism . . . A good deal of Protestantism is little more than anti-Catholicism. (2)

The sad division in the Body of Christ occurred, of course, in the 16th century, and the resulting separation has been the cause of much confusion, acrimony, and ignorance. We shall take a look at anti-Catholicism - in terms of the magnitude of its misinformation - as seen in a few notable and representative examples. In conclusion, an ecumenical appeal for unity will be made, in hopes of encouraging dialogue rather than mutual mistrust.


1. Luther's Own Words

It is, unfortunately, an undeniable fact that Martin Luther is the "father of lies" with respect to an accurate portrayal of Catholicism, and the mountainous mass of anti-Catholic falsehood which persists to this day. He spoke constantly in ways similar to the following invective:

    We must curse the Pope and his kingdom and revile and abuse it, and not close our jaws but preach against it without ceasing. There are some now who say we are capable of nothing else but of damning, scolding and slandering the Pope and his followers . . . Yes, and so it must be. (10: v.4;304-05/3)

Luther referred to Catholics routinely as, for example:

    . . . the devil and his hirelings . . . dirty pig-snouts . . . at the very least, murderers, thieves and persecutors . . . servers of idols . . . kings and rulers of the pig-sty of the earth where the belly, the universal cesspool, reigns supreme. (10:v.4;304-05/4)

The pope, of course, receives the brunt of Luther's incessant attacks:

    Beast . . . Dragon of Hell (5) . . . the devil's filth (6) . . . No words are bad enough to describe the Pope (7) . . . the abomination of desolation (8) . . . poisoner of souls (9) . . . devil incarnate (10) . . . idolater and slave of Satan (11) . . . Rat-King of the monks and nuns (12) . . . (10:v.4;295-98)

Luther (notwithstanding his notorious sarcasm and exaggeration) deliberately spread lies which he either knew to be (or could have easily figured out that they were) falsehoods, such as the ridiculous assertion that Catholics worship the pope as God:

    We will not worship the Pope any longer as has been done heretofore . . . He requires us to worship his public blasphemy in defiance of the law; it is as though he said: I will and command that you adore the devil . . . he will have it that even the soul is damned at his word of command . . . The Pope is the devil. Were I able to slay the devil, why should I not risk my life in doing so? Look not on the Pope as a man; his very worshippers declare that he is no mere man, but partly man and partly God . . . There is none other such in the whole world as he, who exalts himself far above God. (10:v.4;299/13)

Of course, the Catholic Church has never held that the pope (or the Church) has the power to damn anyone - that is God's decision alone. Excommunication means, literally, "an ecclesiastical censure by which one is more or less excluded from communion with the faithful" (8:137). It does "not necessarily mean that a person will not be saved." (2:31)

2. Johann von Dollinger, the great German Church historian (who himself was excommunicated in 1871 for refusal to accept papal infallibility), described Luther's mode of controversy:

    Luther combined undeniably dialectic and rhetorical talent with a degree of unscrupulousness such as is rarely met with in this domain. One of his most ordinary methods was to distort a doctrine or institution into a mere caricature of itself, and then, forgetful of the fact that what he was fighting was a simple creation of his fancy, to launch out into a righteous abuse of it . . . So soon as he touches a theological question, he confuses it, often of set purpose, and as for the reasons of his opponents, they are mutilated and distorted out of all recognition . . . He never displays any of that kindly charity, which, while hating the error, seeks to win over those who err; on the contrary, with him all is abuse and anger, defiance and contemptuous scorn voiced in a tempest of invective, often of a most personal and vulgar kind . . . the virulence of Luther's writings astonished everybody. (10:v.4;92-3, 324/14)

3. Bartholomew Kleindienst, a Saxon Dominican, replied to Luther's misrepresentations, in 1560:

    Some of the leaders of sects are such impudent liars as . . . to persuade the poor people to believe, that we Catholics . . . no longer think anything of Christ, but worship the Saints, not merely as the friends of God but as gods themselves; nay, we look upon the Pope as our God; we wish to gain heaven by means of our works, without God's Grace; we do not believe in Holy Writ; have no proper Bible and should be unable to read it if we had; trust more in holy water than in the blood of Christ . . . Numberless such-like horrible, blasphemous and hitherto unheard-of lies they invent and use against us . . . the chief trick of the sects. (10:v.4;95/15)

4. Hartmann Grisar, author of a six-volume biography of Luther, made these observations of Luther's anti-Catholicism:

    What things were not circulated by Luther, in the stress of his warfare, concerning the history of the Popes and the Church? Here again, some of his statements were not simply errors made in good faith, but, as has been pointed out by Protestant historians, malicious inventions . . . He was careless about the truth where the person of an opponent was concerned. Here it is not always possible to find even a shadow of excuse behind which he can take refuge . . . Far more serious than such misrepresenting of individuals was the injustice he did to the whole ecclesiastical life of the Middle Ages, which he would fain have made out to have entirely fallen away from the true standard of Christian faith and practice. Seen through his new glasses, medieval life was distorted beyond all recognition . . . However desirous we may be of crediting the later Luther with good faith in his distorted views of Catholic practices and doctrines, still he frequently goes so far in this respect as to make it extremely difficult to believe that his misrepresentations were based on mere error or actual conviction. (10:v.4;89,91-2)

III. THE TWO BABYLONS (Alexander Hislop)

Moving ahead three centuries, we will now examine a particularly venomous and well-known book simply teeming with ignorance and falsehood. This "scholarly" work, published in 1858 (16), gives its "thesis" in the Introduction:

    It has been known all along that Popery was baptized Paganism . . . the very Paganism which prevailed in the ancient literal Babylon . . . the chief seat of idolatry under the New Testament . . . The essential character of her system, the grand objects of her worship, her festivals, her doctrine and discipline, her rites and ceremonies, her priesthood . . . have all been derived from ancient Babylon; and finally, that the Pope himself is truly and properly the lineal representative of Belshazzar . . . She must be stripped of the name of a Christian Church altogether. (17)

Hislop interprets a passage in Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine utterly falsely, to the effect that Mary was to be "worshipped as a partaker of the Godhead" (18). Of course, this is absurd, as Mary is a creature in Catholicism - albeit the highest and only sinless one - but still infinitely distinct from the transcendent God and in need of salvation and God's grace just as we all are. She is venerated, but not worshiped, a distinction understood by even the most nominal Catholic.

This book is such a catalogue of error and falsehood that practically any page could be used as an example of folly, but we shall look at only two more here. Hislop feels that

    the real character of the god whom the Papacy has set up for the worship of its deluded devotees . . . is Moloch, the god of barbarity and blood. (19)

The conclusion of this remarkable book illustrates Hislop's prejudice and ignorance and refutes itself:

    Let it be recognized and regarded as the Mystery of Iniquity, yea, as the very synagogue of Satan . . . Popery boasts of being the 'old religion,' . . . It can trace its lineage far beyond the era of Christianity, back over 4000 years, to near the period of the Flood and the building of the Tower of Babel. During all that period its essential elements have been nearly the same. (20)

The Two Babylons is based on a simple false premise, i.e., whenever a practice, custom, or belief of Catholicism has the least similarity with a "counterpart" in paganism, then the Catholic version must be essentially identical with paganism. The book is laced with childish pictures comparing items, supposedly proving their "lineage" and affinity (e.g., the pope's tiara, or crown). This method violates two accepted fallacies of logic: the "genetic" fallacy, in which the source of an idea is opposed rather than the idea itself; and the fallacy of correlation = cause, where similarity "proves" that one view derived from another earlier one (and carries all the same interpretations also).

Furthermore, it betrays a complete noncomprehension of the syncretistic impulse of Catholicism, whereby it affirms all that is good in paganism, or else absorbs and "Christianizes" it. This is merely practical wisdom and genius. For instance, Christmas, as is well known, was celebrated on the same day as a Roman feast, so as to make the people forget the pagan feast. What better way to overcome old customs? Such a lack of intellectual prowess in this book and others like it, leads one to suspect that the authors' blinding prejudice, as to what they think is Catholicism, as Fulton Sheen said, is the predominant motivation behind the writing.

IV. ROMAN CATHOLICISM (Loraine Boettner) (21)

This obscurantist diatribe, the current "Bible" of anti-Catholicism, describes within its pages a religion bearing little resemblance to the one which is known by its title. Catholic apologist Karl Keating, whose book Catholicism and Fundamentalism is an excellent expose of the overwhelming misinformation of anti-Catholicism, as well as a fine apologetic for Catholicism, gives an idea of the scholarly "weight" of this regrettable "tome":

    The main problem . . . is that it suffers from a real lack of intellectual rigor. For example . . . there is no indication that he has made use of any hardheaded apologetic works by Catholics . . . His major sources are people who do not just disagree with Catholicism but who openly oppose it . . . Boettner accepts at face value any claim made by an enemy of the Church . . . In the whole book there are only two dozen footnotes . . . references to Catholic works are usually so vague as to discourage checking . . . The Catholic position . . . has been entirely misstated . . . he must give a parody of the Catholic view, and then he refutes that . . . There are literally hundreds of errors of fact in this book . . . (4:29-31,33)

A few examples of the folly ever-present in this work:

    The feeling of fear and dread of the priest, so characteristic . . . is comparable only to the fear and dread that pagan people have for the witch doctor. (22)

The Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist is the same as "cannibalism." (23) Mary is "a kind of fourth person of the Blessed Trinity." (24)

    It is generally accepted that Romanists, having been to Mass . . . can do about as they please the remainder of the day. (25)

Boettner concurs with another writer that:

    the intellectual and moral level of priests is not nearly as high as, for instance, that of teachers and doctors, and . . . only a minority share any exceptional ability or deep religious feeling. (26)

Boettner cites a book to the effect that young women who enter the convent are taught to hate their parents. (27) If anyone is persuaded by this manner of "reasoning" and the "conclusions" resulting therefrom, it is probably futile to pursue any rebuttal.


The late Keith Green, who died tragically in a plane crash in 1982, was a very popular Christian singer and evangelist (and a big influence on me in many beneficial respects, as he was for many evangelicals). I seriously considered joining his ministry in 1982. Much of his teaching is quite edifying, and his wife Melody has been a major force in the pro-life movement. Regrettably, however, his Catholic Chronicles of 1980-81, fell prey to some of the common misunderstandings of Catholicism. In fairness, it must be mentioned that these tracts were later discontinued by Last Days Ministries, but they no doubt had their effect, and when I read them, I didn't know any better than to accept them.

Green states in the Introduction to the series:

    Nowhere has such departure from scriptural truth been so tolerated, accepted, and made into tradition and pillars of Church doctrine as in the Roman Catholic Church. (28)

In his tract on The Holy Eucharist, Green takes exception to the Real Presence and transubstantiation and shows an appalling ignorance of Church history (a tendency common to virtually all anti-Catholics and, sadly, far too many Protestants in general). He implies that the doctrine was controversial and vague up until it was proclaimed a dogma in 1215. In fact, the Real Presence was universally believed by all Christians of note until Protestantism began. The early Christians were called "cannibals" by the pagans for this very reason. Transubstantiation, a consistent development of the Real Presence, was explicitly stated by Church Fathers Cyril of Jerusalem (d.387), Gregory Nyssa (d.394), John Chrysostom (d.407), Cyril of Alexandria (d.444), and Ambrose (d.397) (7:381-2).

Green cites Tertullian as an historian of the "Middle Ages." Tertullian died around 230 A.D., long before the Middle Ages, by anyone's reckoning. The Eucharist is later said to be prefigured in the worship of Osiris and in Mithraism (Hislop-type fallacious "reasoning" again). The second Chronicle, The Sacrifice of the Mass, (29) is subtitled "Jesus Dies Again." Catholic doctrine has never held that Jesus dies every time a Mass is celebrated (although this is the constant accusation). Rather, as Karl Adam writes, "Christ our high priest sacramentally re-presents the sacrifice which He once offered on Calvary" (1:135). This could have been found out in any basic introduction to Catholicism or Catechism.

The problem is that the anti-Catholics never seem to consult the very works with which they should begin their analysis. They have their own networks of disinformation which facilitate a regurgitation of the same old lies over and over again - the same tactics which Luther himself perfected. Invariably, however, Catholic teaching is much more subtle, fine-tuned and complex than its detractors think. Chronicle III, Salvation According to Rome, (30) ends after shallow arguments, in a self-righteous tone belying the modicum of moderation preceding it:

    The Roman Catholic Church has constructed one of the most unbiblical doctrinal systems that has ever been considered 'Christian.' The fear, anguish and religious bondage that such a system . . . creates, has tormented millions of lives for centuries, and continues to prey on those who are ignorant of the biblical way of salvation . . . Never has something so black and wicked, gotten away with appearing so holy and mysteriously beautiful . . . for so long!

Green recommends Boettner's book (obviously his primary source) to all as "a valuable resource for reference," giving the author's address and highlighting it in a separate "box". It is also quoted from at great length at the end of Chronicle IV, What Did Vatican II Really Change? We have already examined the quality of Boettner's "scholarship."


No survey of anti-Catholicism is complete without reference to Jack Chick and Chick Publications, and its notorious comic booklet "Alberto" (with myriad sequels). Here we pass from ignorance and lack of serious study to outright farce and absurdity. Alberto Rivera claimed to be a Jesuit priest, but has decisively been shown to be a total fraud in evangelical magazines Cornerstone (31) and Christianity Today (32). According to Rivera, the Jesuits assassinated Abraham Lincoln and trained Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin; Hitler was a pawn of the Vatican, which was also behind both World Wars. Billy Graham is a Vatican agent, and the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, Communists and Masons were or are secretly directed by the Jesuits. Oh, and the Jesuits, conspirators that they are, also wrote the Koran! As of April 8, 1989, the date of an article on the subject in the Detroit News (33), nearly half of twenty metropolitan Detroit Christian bookstores carried these magazines. This, more than anything, gives an idea of the magnitude of the problem here dealt with. See my paper, The Real Alberto Rivera (edited, with commentary, by Dave Armstrong, from articles by Protestant Gary Metz).


How does a Catholic respond to the astonishing and widespread displays of credulity, and often sheer malice, such as just recounted? We shall take a look at eight rejoinders:

1. G.K. Chesterton, that eminently intelligent and witty Catholic (a convert from Anglicanism) retorts with amusement:

    The great temptation of the Catholic . . . is the temptation to intellectual pride. It is so obvious that most of his critics are talking without in the least knowing what they are talking about, that he is sometimes a little provoked towards the very un-Christian logic of answering a fool according to his folly. He is a little bit disposed to luxuriate in secret, as it were, over the much greater subtlety and richness of the philosophy he inherits; and only answer a bewildered barbarian so as to bewilder him still more. He is tempted to ironical agreements or even to disguising himself as a dunce. (15:134)

Chesterton makes many interesting points in this regard:

    So many people are at once preoccupied with it and prejudiced against it. It is queer to observe so much ignorance with so little indifference. They love talking about it and they hate hearing about it . . . I fancy there is more than meets the eye in this curious controversial attitude; the desire to ask rhetorical questions and not to ask real questions; the wish to heckle and not to hear. (15:81-2)

    I could not understand why these romancers never took the trouble to find out a few elementary facts about the thing they denounced . . . Boundless freedom reigned; it was not treated as if it were a question of fact at all . . . It puzzled me very much . . . to imagine why people . . . should thus neglect to test their own case, and should draw in this random way on their own imagination . . . I never dreamed that the Roman religion was true; but I knew that its accusers, for some reason or other, were curiously inaccurate. (14:36-8)

    . . . rags and tatters of stale slander and muddleheadedness . . . the official policy of the opposition to the Church . . . When a man really sees the Church, even if he dislikes what he sees, he does not see what he had expected to dislike. Even if he wants to slay it he is no longer able to slander it . . . There drops from him the holy armor of his invincible ignorance; he can never be so stupid again. (14:49-50)

2. Karl Keating responds to the ever-present charge that the Inquisition "disproves" Catholicism:

    One could also refer to the burning of alleged witches, a practice almost unknown in Catholic countries . . . In Britain 30,000 went to the stake for witchcraft; in Protestant Germany the figure was 100,000 (34). Such statistics do not make the Spanish executions right, but they perhaps indicate that severity in punishment was not due to Catholicism as such, but must be attributed to the general character of the times . . . If the Inquisition establishes the falsity of Catholicism, the witch trials establish the falsity of Protestantism. (4:292,298)

3. Georges Tavard discusses a certain form of Protestant condescension:

    One meets Protestants in whose eyes a Catholic is only a Catholic because he is a person who has not taken the trouble to examine Protestantism; and the best way of demolishing this idea is to demonstrate that the Catholic faith is perfectly compatible with a deep and even sympathetic understanding of Protestant doctrines and outlook. Far from being damaged by such contact, Catholic conviction gains from it. (11:1)

4. James Cardinal Gibbons, of Baltimore, gives his strong views in Faith Of Our Fathers, a well-known and influential Catholic apologetic:

    The Catholic Church is persistently misrepresented by the most powerful vehicles of information . . . The Church is misrepresented in so-called Histories like Foxe's Book of Martyrs . . . He has been successfully refuted by Lingard and Gairdner. But, how many have read the fictitious narratives of Foxe, who have never perused a page of Lingard or Gairdner? . . .

    She is the victim of the foulest slanders . . . If it is a sin to bear false testimony against one individual, how can we characterize the crime of those who calumniate 300 million human beings, by attributing to them doctrines and practices which they repudiate and abhor? I do not wonder that the Church is hated by those who learn what she is from her enemies. It is natural for an honest man to loathe an institution whose history he believes to be marked by bloodshed, crime and fraud . . .

    Ask not her enemies what she is, for they are blinded by passion; ask not her ungrateful, renegade children, for you never heard a son speaking well of the mother whom he had abandoned and despised. Study her history in the pages of truth. Examine her creed. Read her authorized catechisms and doctrinal books . . .

    Were a tithe of the accusations which are brought against her true, I would not be attached to her ministry, nor even to her communion, for a single day. I know these charges to be false. The longer I know her, the more I admire and venerate her. Every day she develops before me new spiritual charms. (5:xi-xiv)

5. Louis Bouyer, a convert from Lutheranism, recounts some of the common misunderstandings:

    What would strike Catholic susceptibilities would be . . . the caricature set up for attack . . . the things censured would, as a rule, be equally repugnant to a well-informed Catholic as to a Protestant . . . For example, the worship of saints and the veneration of images are denounced as idolatrous; but it is held that Catholics adore the saints in the same way as God, or instead of God, and that they actually pray to images. Or else exception is taken to Papal infallibility, which is taken to be a kind of omniscience; or to the infallibility of the Church, which is thought to mean some kind of sinlessness in ecclesiastics. A pagan element is attributed to Catholic worship, simply because it is thought that the Church regards the efficacy of liturgical prayer or the rosary as independent of the spirit in which it is said; or else they attribute a magical element to the Catholic belief in the sacraments, on the supposition that they do not require faith, contrition, etc., on the part of the recipient . . .

    These stock accusations . . . all derive from a view of Catholicism held as self-evident, namely, that it is an organization for practising religion by proxy, God, in his absence, being replaced by an all-powerful agency. This ultimately, and nothing else, is the object of attack. (12:18)

6. Sir Arnold Lunn (also a convert) gives some idea of Catholic frustration:

    There is no institution in the modern world of which men know less; there is no institution which they are so ready to caricature . . . Catholics exhibit no surprise when their doctrines are travestied . . . Most Catholics avoid controversy not because they dislike intelligent discussion with a non-Catholic, but because the preliminary spade work which is necessary to clear the ground of debate from the litter of ignorant prejudice exhausts all but the stoutest heart. It is tedious to argue with people who believe that Catholics pay for confessions, and that Catholics worship images . . . What can you do with people who exhibit wild surprise when you tell them that Catholics . . . are depressed, not by modern scepticism, but by modern credulity? (16:125-26)

7. John Henry Cardinal Newman, the most famous, perhaps, of all converts, speaks of:

    . . . the suspicion with which so many Protestants start, in forming their judgment of Catholics, viz. that our Creed is actually set up in inevitable superstition and hypocrisy, as the original sin of Catholicism . . .

    Its system is in no sense dishonest . . . therefore, the upholders and teachers of that system, as such, have a claim to be acquitted in their own persons of that odious imputation. (13:319)


I wouldn't want to leave an impression that all Protestants are anti-Catholic. This is not the case by a long shot. Although the problem is very deep and serious, many notable and noble Protestants have not taken part in this frenzy of hatred of the Ancient Faith. I would like to salute some of these by quoting them, and thus end on a positive note:

1. John Wesley, the great English evangelist and founder of Methodism, wrote a remarkable open letter, dated July 18, 1749, which was published in Dublin, in the context of great inter-faith bitterness. His Letter to a Roman Catholic reads in part as follows:

    Brotherly love is utterly destroyed and each side, looking on the other as monsters, gives way to anger, hatred, malice, to every unkind affection . . . Can nothing be done, even allowing us on both sides to retain our own opinions, for the softening our hearts towards one another, the giving a check to this flood of unkindness? . . . Be our opinions right or be they wrong, these tempers are undeniably wrong . . .

    I think you deserve the tenderest regard I can show . . . How much more, if you are a person fearing God (as without question many of you are) . . .

    Let us resolve, first, not to hurt one another, to do nothing unkind or unfriendly to each other . . . Let us resolve, secondly, God being our helper, to speak nothing harsh or unkind of each other . . . to say all the good we can, both of and to one another . . . Let us, thirdly, resolve to harbour no unkind thought, no unfriendly temper towards each other . . . Let us, fourthly, endeavor to help each other on in whatever we are agreed leads to the Kingdom. So far as we can, let us always rejoice to strengthen each other's hands in God. (3:148-49,155/35)

2. C.S. Lewis, the brilliant Anglican apologist and writer, had many close friends who were Catholic, including the famous fantasy writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, and held many views similar or identical to Catholic teaching, as somewhat of an Anglo-Catholic. In 1953 he wrote this in a letter to a friend who had become a Catholic:

    Though you have taken a way which is not for me I nevertheless can congratulate you - I suppose because your faith and joy are so obviously increased. Naturally, I do not draw from that the same conclusions as you, but . . . I believe we are very near to one another . . . In the present divided state of Christendom, those who are at the heart of each division are all closer to one another than those who are at the fringes . . . Let us by all means pray for one another: it is perhaps the only form of 'work for re-union' which never does anything but good. God bless you. (36)

This sentiment of Lewis's is one which I have also felt strongly both before and after becoming a Catholic.

3. Billy Graham, the premier evangelist of the 20th century, has also been markedly ecumenical and tolerant. The distinguished historian of modern Christianity, Martin Marty, testifies of this quality in the preacher:

    While many fundamentalists and evangelicals kept huddled in sectarian pride, Graham would refuse to come to your town unless there was broad 'church federation' backing. He would not like to be on stage unless the United Methodist bishop or even, he has hoped since 1965, the Catholic bishop was there, too . . . They trusted Christians of many sorts to nurture the Graham converts. (37)

Graham has described Pope John Paul II as "one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of this century." (38) The admiration is apparently mutual. For instance, biographer John Pollock describes Graham's meeting with Cardinal Cushing of Boston:

    The magazine of the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese had been friendly even in 1950. In 1964 Cardinal Cushing issued a statement welcoming Graham, with

    'the prayer of Catholics in the Boston area that God will bless his preaching and crusade, and will lead many to the knowledge of our Lord.'

    . . . Graham reached the Cardinal's house on . . . October 7 . . . For 45 minutes the Cardinal and the evangelist conversed in public. Graham spoke of the 'new day of understanding and dialogue' . . . Cushing said:

      'You've made a great contribution to this ecumenical spirit, because you tossed a banner bearing the fact that Christians agree on more things than they disagree on' . . .

    Cardinal Cushing turned to the reporters, and said, . . .

      'Dr. Graham's crusade has something tremendously needed in our day and age. I only wish we had half a dozen men of his caliber to go forth and do likewise - that is, to preach Christ and Him crucified to the modern world.' (39)

4. Evangelical Countercult Organizations

Most of these hard-working groups dedicated to fighting heresies such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, the Way International, etc., do not regard Catholicism as a cult (i.e., a group denying central Christian doctrines, nevertheless claiming to be Christian, according to the prevailing evangelical criterion). This was true of the late "father" of this movement, Dr. Walter Martin, as well as nearly all the prominent leaders currently (I know something about this personally, having been part of this sub-community of "ministries" as a researcher on Jehovah's Witnesses). For instance, Bob and Gretchen Passantino, directors of Answers in Action, exhibit a refreshing tolerance and understanding of Catholicism:

    We have seen from history that non-Catholics often misunderstand Catholic doctrine and/or ascribe to Catholicism what is not official Church teaching . . . Roman Catholic doctrines are complicated and interdependent . . . Christians today owe the continuity of their faith and the preservation of the gospel and the Scriptures, humanly speaking, to the Roman and Eastern Churches . . . In the Church of Rome . . . there is room for the individual who has a personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ . . . A Christian can join and/or remain in the Catholic Church . . . We must . . . be willing to accept Catholic Christians on the same ground as they are accepted by God - on the basis of their faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Lord. (40)

5. Charles Colson, the highly respected Presbyterian, founder of the ecumenical, influential and highly successful Prison Fellowship, and author of several widely-acclaimed books such as Loving God, Kingdoms In Conflict, and Against the Night, states in the Foreword to Evangelical Catholics (written by Keith Fournier, a Catholic seeking to emphasize the "evangelical" elements fully available within Catholicism):

    The pain and distrust between Catholics and Protestants goes back centuries . . . But at root, those who are called of God, whether Catholic or Protestant, are part of the same Body. What they share is a belief in the basics . . . They also share the same mission: presenting Christ as Savior and Lord to a needy world . . . It's high time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the difference of our confessions and our traditions and make common cause to bring Christian values to bear in our society. When the barbarians are scaling the walls, there is no time for petty quarreling in the camp. (6:v-vi)


1. Rumble, Leslie & Charles M. Carty, Radio Replies, (Preface), Rockford, IL: 1979
2. Niebuhr, Reinhold, Essays in Applied Christianity, NY: Meridian, 1959, pp.220-21.
3. Luther, Martin, Wider den Radschlag der Meintzischen Pfaffery, 1526, beginning.
4. Ibid., Werke, (Works), Weimar ed., 1883, 34,1, pp.83 ff.
5. Lauterbach's Diary, pp.171,64.
6. Tischreden (Table-Talk), Werke, Erlangen ed., 1868, 62, p.439.
7. Werke, Erlangen ed., 60, p.206.
8. Ibid., 60, p.183.
9. Ibid., 60, p.214.
10. Ibid., 62, p.222.
11. Ibid., 57, p.206.
12. Ibid., 60, p.185.
13. Werke, Jena ed., 1558, 7, p.285 / Halle ed. (Walch), 1753, 19, 2438 ff.
14. Dollinger, Johann, Sketch of Luther (in German), 1890, pp.56 ff.
15. Paulus, N., The German Dominicans, (German), 1903, p.276.
16. Hislop, Alexander, The Two Babylons, Neptune, N.J.: 1959, 2nd American ed., 330p.
17. Ibid., pp.2-3.
18. Ibid., p.83.
19. Ibid., p.150.
20. Ibid., pp.282,287.
21. Boettner, Loraine, Roman Catholicism, Philadelphia: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1962, 466p. Over 100,000 copies sold.
22. Ibid., p.53.
23. Ibid., p.176.
24. Ibid., p.151.
25. Ibid., p.184.
26. Ibid., p.59.
27. Ibid., p.323.
28. Last Days Newsletter, November/December 1980, "Introduction to the Catholic Chronicles," p.13.
29. Ibid., pp.23-27.
30. Last Days Newsletter, January/March 1981, pp.10-20.
31. Cornerstone, vol.9, no.53, "The Alberto Story," Gary Metz, pp.29-31.
32. Christianity Today, March 13, 1981, also by Gary Metz.
33. Detroit News, April 8, 1989, p.17A: "Comic Book Series Gets No Laughs From Christian Groups," Kate DeSmet.
34. Walsh, William T., Isabella of Spain, 1930, p.275 / Davies, R. Trevor, The Golden Century of Spain: 1501-1621, 1937, p.14.
35. Wesley, John, Works, vol. 10, pp.80-86.
36. Lewis, C.S., Letters to an American Lady, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1967, pp.11-12.
37. Marty, Martin, "Reflections on Graham by a Former Grump," Christianity Today, November 18, 1988, p.25.
38. News Sun, (Kendallville, Indiana), November 7, 1979.
39. Pollock, John, Billy Graham: The Authorized Biography, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1966, pp.263-4.
40. Passantino, Bob and Gretchen, "From Catacomb to Vatican," Part II, Cornerstone, vol. 13, no. 72, pp.33-4.


{ * = non- Catholic work}

1. Adam, Karl, The Spirit of Catholicism, tr. Justin McCann, rev. ed., Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1954 (orig. 1924).
2. Schreck, Alan, Catholic and Christian, Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1984.
3. Toon, Peter, Protestants and Catholics, Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1983. *
4. Keating, Karl, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988.
5. Gibbons, James Cardinal, The Faith of Our Fathers, NY: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, rev. ed., 1917.
6. Fournier, Keith A., Evangelical Catholics, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990.
7. Ott, Ludwig, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1974.
8. Hardon, John A., Pocket Catholic Dictionary, NY: Doubleday Image, 1980.
10. Grisar, Hartmann, Luther, tr. E.M. Lamond, ed. Luigi Cappadelta, 6 vols., London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1917.
11. Tavard, Georges, Understanding Protestantism, tr. Rachel Attwater, Glen Rock, NJ: Deus/Century Books, 1963.
12. Bouyer, Louis, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, tr. A.V. Littledale, London: Harvill Press, 1956.
13. Newman, John Henry Cardinal, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image, 1956 (orig. 1864).
14. Chesterton, G.K., The Catholic Church and Conversion, NY: Macmillan, 1926.
15. Chesterton, G.K., The Thing, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1929.
16. Lunn, Arnold, Now I See, London: Sheed & Ward, 1944.

Completed by Dave Armstrong on 25 January 1991 / Slight revisions: 9 October 9 1993, 29 January 2000 and 27 January 2002.

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