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Is the Pope Catholic?

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope John Paul II was undoubtedly one of the greatest men of the twentieth century. He served as the pope, head of the Catholic Church, and the most well known Christian in the world, from 1978 until 2005. I sought out and watched every biopic and documentary of his life. His successor, Pope Benedict, reigned for eight years as the 265th man to hold his office and was by my estimation an admirable man of distinction. Then came Pope Francis.

Christianity is the largest religion in the world. About a third of the people on Earth are Christians, 2.5 billion. Just over half of them are Catholics.

I am not a Catholic but a non-denominational Christian, an Evangelical, one could say. I am certainly not anti-Catholic in any way. Many of my personal friends are Catholics, and some of the most winsome people are Catholics. In particular, you can hardly beat some of their great thinkers and writers, G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, Paul Johnson, William F. Buckley Jr., Russell Kirk, Richard John Neuhaus, Henri Nouwen, Benjamin Wiker, and Robert Sarah. And who didn't love Mother Teresa?

I know that Pope Francis is a sensitive subject for my Catholic friends. So much so, that they might be afraid to read this. I do want to be clear that I cherish Catholics as my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Pachamama

Pachamama

Pagan Idolatry

In October 2019, a 26-year-old Austrian Catholic named Alexander Tschugguel took pagan idols out of a Catholic Church in Rome and threw them in the Tiber. Pope Francis had allowed in his sacred churches the worship of these idols of a pregnant Incan fertility goddess, Pachamama, 'Mother Earth.’ Cardinal Muller called this what it is: idolatrous desecration and satanic sacrilege.

Pope Francis issued a public apology—not for allowing pagan worship in Christian churches but to those who might be offended at the idols being removed and thrown into the river. “I ask forgiveness from those who have been offended by this gesture,” he said. Francis explained that the idols were there because the Church needs to be ‘inclusive.’

An international group of 100 Catholic dignitaries issued a letter calling on Pope Francis to “repent publicly and unambiguously of these objectively grave sins. ” As the letter accurately explains, “the rendering of worship to anyone or anything other than the one true God, the Blessed Trinity, is a violation of the First Commandment. Absolutely all participation in any form of the veneration of idols is condemned by this Commandment.”

Pope Francis as a young man

Pope Francis as a young man

How Did This Man Become the Pope?

Francis is from Argentina, making him the first pope from the Western Hemisphere, and the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere. He accomplished little in his life that would seem to make him a good candidate to lead the Catholic world. He was controversial from the start, and so divisive that he was canned after six years as a Jesuit provincial superior in the 1970s, and booted out of Jesuit housing in 1992. In 2001, Francis was put forward to become a cardinal but rejected because of mental instability. He was under psychiatric care, an odd thing for a man of God.

The Argentine was nominated for the papacy by a secret group of ‘progressive’ Northern European cardinals, known as the St. Gallen Group, which was formed specifically to oppose John Paul II. The group's main agenda was to undo Church teachings on sexuality. Francis was their candidate in 2005 but lost to Benedict. In 2013, their man won.

Environmentalism is like a Watermelon

Environmentalism is like a Watermelon

Environmentalism

Environmentalism is a godless religion. Its adherents deify Nature and worship the Earth, which they pretend is a goddess named Gaia. Pope Francis is an environmentalist.

According to him, the coronavirus pandemic is “certainly nature’s response” to “catastrophes” caused by human beings in advanced civilizations who have altered the climate. Francis presents Nature as having consciousness, which is Animism or Pantheism—both heresies.

The pope declares, "Economic inequality has caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Let us also learn to listen to indigenous peoples, whose age-old wisdom can teach us how to live.” Primitivism.

So COVID-19 is Mother Earth taking revenge on us. Even more ludicrous, Francis said, “Who now remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted?”

Jihad: Holy War against Infidels

Jihad: Holy War against Infidels

Islam

Pope Francis enthusiastically promotes—demands—the mass migration of millions of Muslims into every hamlet and metropolitan area of Europe, formerly known as Christendom. Islam was invented to prove Christianity is wrong. It teaches that Jesus is not the Savior but a nice guy who paved the way for the far greater Mohammed. It teaches that the New Testament is a lie.

Muslims have made war on Jews and Christians non-stop for 1,400 years. They are responsible for the vast majority of terrorism in the world. Christians who live in Muslim lands face fierce persecution, if not extermination. Islam demands that Christianity be extinguished from the Earth. Islam requires that all human beings convert or be executed.

But Francis declares that Islam is a “religion of peace” and that terrorism has no relation to it. He claims, “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” Mohammed murdered many infidels, including the defenseless Jews of Medina, and the Koran teaches jihad by the sword—holy war against all non-Muslims.

Cardinal Robert Sarah believes as I do that, it is insane to bring millions of people into your midst that are sworn to your destruction and the death of your civilization. “If the West continues in this fatal way, there is a great risk that, due to a lack of birth, it will disappear, invaded by foreigners, just as barbarians have invaded Rome." Cardinal Sarah warned that if Europe were to fall, Islam would prevail as the world religion. Whoever wants to see that day come does not love Christ.

Concentration Camp in China

Concentration Camp in China

China

The pope’s right-hand man and fellow Argentine, Bishop Sorondo, declares that China, of all places, is the best example in the world of Catholic social teachings. "Right now, those who are implementing the Church's social doctrine the best are the Chinese."

Christians are intensely persecuted in China. Not to mention the tens of millions of forced abortions, the concentration camps, and the totalitarian denial of even the most basic of individual rights, the massive environmental damage, and the official Atheism of China’s government.

Pope Francis gave the rulers of China, who are utterly hostile to Jesus Christ, the right to name all bishops and priests in that country. He did this via a secret agreement.

Air Pollution in China

Air Pollution in China

Breathing the air in Beijing is like smoking a cigarette

Breathing the air in Beijing is like smoking a cigarette

Marxism

Pope Francis is pretty much a communist. He is widely known for habitually bashing free enterprise, and zealously despises the American economic system, which he has dubbed "savage capitalism."

On the other hand, he speaks with admiration of communists, who, in his imagination, love the poor and therefore are more Christian than Christians. He seems to be unaware of the gulags and totalitarian Nature of Marxism, with its visceral hatred of the Church. He seems not to know that Communism and National Socialism were both secular religions that saw Christianity as a rival to be crushed.

To Francis, economic freedom is nothing more than greed that devastates the environment. He seems ignorant of the fact that Socialist regimes have been by far the most horrible polluters in the history of our fair planet. He sees the world through the eyes of the militant Atheist Karl Marx. It’s all about exploitation, class struggle, and redistribution. Francis embraces the very ideology that in 100 years saw his native Argentina fall from the 14th wealthiest country in the world to 63rd.

George Will calls Francis a “false prophet. ” Will believes that economic freedom and modern civilization have improved the lives of billions of people, not as Francis has said, turned the world into an “immense pile of filth.” The pope’s ideas “would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak,” says Will.

Notably, the men Pope Francis admires most are always socialist tyrants. Evo Morales of Bolivia was "the Holy Father's favorite leader in the Americas." Morales gave Francis a cherished crucifix decorated with a hammer and sickle. Francis loved Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez as champions of Social Justice.

Evo Morales presents Pope Francis a Communist Crucifix

Evo Morales presents Pope Francis a Communist Crucifix

The Green Agenda

The Green Agenda

Globalism & Open Borders

Francis is a Globalist who is big on the United Nations and other international organizations. He vehemently denounces border walls, despite the giant walls that surround the Vatican. He demands open borders for the United States and all the European countries—but not elsewhere in the world.

The Vatican is, of course, in Italy, where, as Robert Royal writes in the Claremont Review of Books, “50% youth unemployment has made utopian schemes for resettling large numbers of mostly poor Middle Eastern and African immigrants deeply unpopular.”

The pope is for unlimited mass migration of people from the Third World into Western Civilization. He even sent $500,000 to assist illegal aliens from Guatemala to breach the U.S. border from Mexico. Nearly all Guatemalans are brought into America by human smuggling operations, a $2.3 billion business that the pope thereby subsidized.

For trying to stop illegal aliens from invading our country, Pope Francis compared President Trump to the mass murderer King Herod. You know, King Herod who slaughtered untold numbers of innocent infants in the hope that the Baby Jesus was among them. Francis failed to grasp that Joseph and Mary fled from Herod—the opposite of illegal aliens, who are running towards President Trump.

As Monica Showalter notes in American Thinker, “A desire to have borders and a legal process of entry into a country that already accepts one million legal immigrants each year is hardly a Herod haven. Illegals come to the U.S. after paying very large smuggling fees to Mexican cartels in order to avail themselves of U.S. welfare benefits and free medical care. U.S. taxpayers are rightly indignant about this harvesting of their hard-earned resources by foreign invaders who can't even respect the most basic of U.S. laws, and whose first act within the U.S. is to break the law, before moving on to break others.”

The pope is just as hard on Italy and its interior minister Salvini, whose crackdown on illegal immigration has made him deeply popular. Salvini has the audacity to want Italy to stay Italian. Incredibly, he thinks it should be up to Italians to decide who they do and do not want to live in their country. For this, Francis compared Salvini to Satan, said he would never meet with him, and that anyone who votes for him is not a Christian.

At the same time, the pope says the Indians of the Amazon do have a right to secure borders. He blasted, “the violation of the rights of indigenous peoples, such as the right to territory, and the demarcation of territories,” and that we must “protect their territories.”

Francis also implies that living in the Stone Age is a superior way of life. And that it was wrong for Christian missionaries, who risked and gave their lives, and suffered untold hardships and disease, to bring the Gospel to jungle tribes. We should have just left them alone in their primitive savagery with their pagan idolatry.

If that were not enough, Pope Francis commands Christians to stop seeking new converts. Apparently not familiar with the Great Commission, he announced, “For Jesus did not choose us and send us forth to become more numerous!”

According to him, the job of a missionary is not to baptize more Christians but to generate “change” and awaken “wonder and compassion.” The pope condemned proselytization — the attempt to bring others into the Christian community. The pontiff's statements made headlines throughout the world.

And here I thought the central theme of Christianity was that it is only through Jesus Christ people can attain everlasting life.

Open Borders

Open Borders

Anti-Western Civilization

Pope Francis is full of invective for Europe and America. What he sees as the ‘sins’ of Western Civilization against the rest of humankind never seem far from his mind. Italian philosopher Marcello Pera believes that what the pope really wants is for Europe to commit suicide, which is why Francis wants "indiscriminate" and "massive" immigration into European states.

“Frankly, I do not get this pope, whatever he says is beyond any rational understanding,” Pera declares. “I ask myself: why does he say it? The answer I can give myself is only one: The Pope does it because he hates the West and aspires to destroy it. As he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition.”

William Kilpatrick asks: “Does Francis consciously desire to destroy the West and Christianity? Or is he simply a well-intentioned do-gooder who doesn’t understand the consequences of his experiments? Whatever the intention, do his policies and programs actually tend toward the destruction of the West and Christianity? I would say, ‘Yes, they do.’”

Christian Graveyard

Christian Graveyard

Progressive Secularism

At every question about how then should we live, Pope Francis appears to favor the godless ‘religion of man’ that serves as the foundation for the false gospel of Secular Humanism over the Eternal Truth of the Gospel. Christian orthodoxy takes a back seat to ‘progressive’ positions on social and political issues. One rarely hears from him about grace, individual salvation, prayer, repentance, penance, or anything supernatural. He seems to preach mercy without remorse, and may not even believe in Hell, or the necessity for forgiveness for individual sins.

Secular Humanism has its mission: To drive Christianity from the public square. It denounces the Christian view of humanity and the world, calls faith in Christ ‘a fable,’ divine truth non-existent, moral law subjective and relative, worship nothing but superstition, and the Church an institution destined and deserving to die. These are the actuating convictions of the ideological allies of Pope Francis.

We can thank Wikileaks for revealing the influence on Francis and his Church of George Soros—an Atheist—and the heretic John Podesta. Soros' Open Society Foundation, it turns out, funds many 'Catholic' heretical organizations. The mission is, infiltrate the Church around the world, including in the Vatican, to subvert the dogmas and doctrines of the Christian faith, and confuse ordinary Christians.

Mr. Podesta, Hillary Clinton's right-hand man whom some say is a Satanist, personally helped launch the Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United to instigate a progressive revolt against the traditional morality of the Catholic Church. The main idea is to push heretical views such as gender equality and abortion-on-demand, as well as open borders and ‘climate change.’

At a minimum, the goal is to persuade the Church to downplay the importance of abortion and sexual morality, and instead to amplify support for government welfare and free medical care. The purpose is to make it so that Catholics will vote for Democrats despite their mockery of Holy Matrimony, transgenderism, and the Stain on the National Soul of America—the American Holocaust—the murder of 60 million babies by their mothers.

Secularism

Secularism

The Notion of Sexual Sin is Old Fashioned

Pope Francis has signaled his disdain for Catholics who remain faithful to the traditions of the Church, and believe in the Holy Bible. He sees them as rigid, close-minded, politically incorrect, and inordinately worried about sexual sin and abortion. Francis pronounced that the Catholic Church was “200 years behind the times.”

Arturo Sosa, the head of the Jesuits, the order that produced Pope Francis, has stated that we cannot be sure what Jesus thought or said about anything, especially marriage, because "no one had a tape recorder" back then. Does this not demonstrate the open mockery of the Word of God?

Today, Francis is firmly under the influence of the heretical German Church, which urges the acceptance of divorce, aims to accept homosexual behaviors, with abortion and euthanasia not far behind.

As R. R. Reno writes in First Things, “This pontificate wants to sideline the two-generations-long battle against the sexual revolution. This will allow church leaders to pivot to more pressing issues, such as fighting climate change, welcoming migrants, and guiding globalization. These priorities allow the Church to align itself with establishment opinion in Europe rather than oppose it, to bring the Church into conformity with elite priorities.”

Queried by a reporter about homosexuals, specifically the rumored escapades of one of his closest collaborators, the pope responded, “Who am I to judge them?” The world heard what it wanted to hear—and made him ‘Person of the Year’ on the cover of the Advocate magazine for people who glorify sodomy.

Francis also remarked recently, “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” What? Those are the “most serious of the evils”?

As Cardinal Gerhard Muller says, again and again, God bless him, "The Church must recover the clarity of true theology and the natural moral law. Spiritual and moral renewal in Christ and not the de-Christianization of the Church or her transformation into an NGO" is necessary now. I think he is saying that the pope is supposed to be the Vicar of Christ, not a representative of the United Nations.

Daniel J. Mahoney, writing in National Review, calls for “fidelity to enduring moral and theological truths, faithful adherence to the full weight of Catholic wisdom, and a firm rejection of a politically correct substitute.”

Cardinal Sarah calls on the Church to “fearlessly witness to the truth about man.”

Cardinal Sarah

Cardinal Sarah

The Francis Effect

The Catholic Church is the body of Christ, a spiritual community. The plan of Pope Francis, it seems to me, is to bring it down to the secular level, the City of Man.

George Neumayr reminds us, “Francis is the first pope to approve of adultery, flirt with proposals to bless gay marriages and cohabitation, tell atheists not to convert, tell Catholics to not breed "like rabbits," praise the Koran, and support a secularized Europe.”

R. R. Reno adds, "It's shameful that Pope Francis and his allies chase after the fickle winds of political and moral fashion, undermining the Church as a visible sign of faith's courage and constancy. The present pontificate has sown confusion, division, and conflict. Francis is advancing a doctrinally suspect revision of Catholicism because he wants to empower those who seek a wide-ranging concordat with the sexual revolution."

Joseph Hippolito writes in FrontPage magazine, “As Christians worldwide celebrated their most significant holiday, and their most recognizable figure delivered a distinctly secular message. On Easter Sunday, the Vatican released a letter Pope Francis wrote to Catholic organizations that the coronavirus pandemic ‘might be a good time to consider a universal basic wage’ that would enable the poor to enjoy ‘the benefits of globalism.’ Francis hoped the pandemic would generate ‘a humanist and ecological conversion.’ Nowhere in his letter did Francis mention Jesus Christ.

“Part of the ‘Francis effect’ is to have exacerbated existing divisions and tensions within the Church, sometimes producing strong opposition to the Holy Father among Catholics themselves. Attendance at the pope’s Wednesday audiences in Saint Peter’s Square and visitors to the Vatican were at record lows compared to his two predecessors,” before the coronavirus hit, writes Robert Royal in his article entitled “Is the Pope Catholic?”

I wish I had thought of that title first.

Comments

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2020:

T ~ I appreciate you coming back by with your additional insights. I wholeheartedly agree with you that "whatever idea mankind comes up with God can use to achieve his will."

As you say, "humankind, is so far removed from the eternal wisdom, mercy, and love of God that trying to fully understand him without the Holy Spirit within you has to be an exercise in futility, and even with the Holy Spirit it has it’s limitations."

Thank you and you are most welcome.

T on May 29, 2020:

Yeah, that is a good question, could denominations be His idea? Kind of makes me laugh when I think about it cause what idea on earth could not be His idea. But I know possession is not what you mean but application.

I look at it this way, whatever idea mankind comes up with God can use to achieve his will.

The Ten Commandments are His idea but He knew when he gave them to us we would not follow them but he uses them to show us we need salvation, his will.

God desires unity but knows we will not follow that so yes, I can imagine as you say, He uses denominations (our idea maybe) as “A way to spread the Kingdom of God far and wide, amongst all sorts of people.”

That makes total sense. But you know what? I’ve resigned myself to the belief that I, humankind, is so far removed from the eternal wisdom, mercy, and love of God that trying to fully understand him without the Holy Spirit within you has to be an exercise in futility, and even with the Holy Spirit it has it’s limitations. When I can’t understand God I know the problem is with me, not with the creator of the universe. One day all things will be made clear and all we can do is pray that when that day comes he will say well done my good and faithful servant.

I’m grateful for one thing of you, your Christian perspective in all your articles have helped me (and others) to better understand many things. Thank you!

No need to reply, just keep writing these awesome articles! You put out more (quality) work in a week than I could do (not so quality) in a year! But I can be witty. People are always telling me to get witti T.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2020:

Eric Dierker ~ All the while growing up I never heard of annihilationism. I was taught that the Lost were tortured in Hell day and night for a zillion years. It always troubled me. Why would God do that?

When I joined an SDA church I learned a different doctrine: The Lost will be burned in Hell alright, but what happens when something is burned? It is burned up. Burned to ashes. That immediately made sense to me the first time it hit my ears. I don't think God is interested in tormenting anybody for a zillion years day and night. In this way of looking at it, it is the Fire that is Eternal - not the punishment.

Speaking of Potter Stewart, I loved his dissent when God, the Bible, and Prayer were banned from public schools, where they had been an integral part for 300 years with no seeming ill effects. Stewart said:

"If religious exercises are held to be an impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed in an artificial and state-created disadvantage. And a refusal to permit religious exercises thus is seen, not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism, or at least, as governmental support of the beliefs of those who think that religious exercises should be conducted only in private."

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 29, 2020:

T ~ Well, I do wonder about denominations. Jesus preached and taught unity among the brethren, which would make seem as if there is something wrong – maybe even sinful – about denominationalism. On the other hand, since God is sovereign, could it be that denominations are His idea? A way to spread the Kingdom of God far and wide, amongst all sorts of people. In other words, emotional Pentecostalism for those who need that sort of thing. A quiet dignified service, such as the Presbyterians do, for those for whom that would be the best fit. In which case, denominations could be like the parts of the Body of Christ that Paul describes—and none should denigrate the other, because each is needed for its special tasks.

To me a cult is David Koresh, or the Moonies, or Jim Jones.

Thank you for coming back to further express your thoughts, and you are welcome. I enjoy the dialogue. I surely do not have all the answers.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 28, 2020:

I had not thought of Annihilationism as a theological notion regarding this area of inquiry. I believe in it, but I have yet to meet a really wicked person. So I am no judge. (seen them on TV;-). I just decided in throwing in real racism, not phony, into the mix of cults. Seems to fit. I reference Potter Stewart's dictum as mentioned here and apply it to racism.

The Pope is Catholic but not catholic. But I think SDA are Protestants, so what do I know.

We got your Sunday and we got your Sabbath. Personally I think Monday is the first day of the week.

T on May 28, 2020:

Well said James.

In a case like SDA and certain televangelists I am amazed at how right they can get it on the basics of salvation while apparently going off the rails on another doctrine. Is that simply a tolerable difference in interpretation between denominations? I guess that determination is subjective. I have found that real cults do have many, perhaps most of the people among them who are people who have good intentions, one might say are good people or want to be good people but are simply being misled and misinformed.

I would have reacted the same as you with that SDA pastor because I know that was not scriptural but it begs the question, if he is an SDA ordained minister just what is going on there? Is that just a local or individual’s problem or the official doctrine of that church? That is the question that has to be answered.

If your Moody church had a new pastor who suddenly announced anyone who doesn’t go to church on Sunday is going to hell would that mean you are attending a cult? Assuming you know the Moody Church’s statement of faith it wouldn’t but would you then leave that church?

Anyway thank you for allowing me to express my point of view and for answering my questions! As you always do.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 28, 2020:

T ~ Thank you for coming back by with your interesting comments. I appreciate you kindly providing that link. I agree with its “three prime examples.” I do not agree with its assessment of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The three main things they believe that may fall out of main stream orthodoxy, as considered by some, I think they are absolutely right about, after much study and prayer. The Sabbath IS Saturday. The diet they follow IS healthier. And I believe Annihilationism is true, although that is the only doctrine with which my church does not agree with my personal views on. Your link can say SDA views are unbiblical and I have seen many try to prove it but they did not convince me of it.

The SDA preacher I mentioned I am certain was wrong. In my couple of years going to that church I had not encountered such declarations before. So I voted with my feet and stopped going there. (It was the only SDA church near my home.) It was HIM who turned me off not the doctrines of the Church or the community of Believers.

I decided to stay out of denominations and their squabbles after that.

I am all for discussion and all against censorship. As Paul says, some people esteem one day over another and some don’t—each man must decide for himself.

As for cults, I remember when that judge famously answered the question, “What is pornography?” He said, “I know it when I see it.”

The Logician from now on on May 25, 2020:

James, the definition of a cult you reference is more the definition of a social or religious cult.

By that definition Christianity itself is a cult

“A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, “

Generally considered? Go to any Islamic country and what will generally mean there? Generally is a relative term.

“with its followers often living in an unconventional manner “

In a world Predominantly without Christ Christians are living in an unconventional manner aren’t they? Certainly are in India.

“under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader."

Is Christ not our authority, our guide our charismatic leader? He does live doesn’t he?

Cults that pretend to be Christian are cults of Christianity and this definition would specifically apply.

Cult of Christianity

The term ‘cult of Christianity‘ is used of a group, church or organization whose central teachings and/or practices are claimed to be biblical or representative of biblical Christianity, but which are in fact unbiblical and not Christian in nature.

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/2765-cult-of-chris...

That site further explains why SDA may also be considered a cult.

“The term can also be applied to groups, organizations or churches whose ‘statement of faith’ or ‘statement of beliefs’ may sound orthodox, but who add aberrant, heterodox, sub-orthodox and/or heretical teachings to such an extend that the essential doctrines of the Christian faith are negatively affected. (Examples: Seventh-day Adventist Church, International Church of Christ)”

Your own example of a SDA pastor preaching that anyone who doesn’t worship on Saturday instead of Sunday is going to hell, if that is a SDA doctrine, would be an example of heterodox.

If we ignore such “minor” heresies just where do you draw the line between a cult and a true Christian Church?

I’m not sure myself as I believe I have said but to ignore that doctrinal differences from actual scripture doctrine exist or are meaningless strikes me as a slippery slope.

It should at least be brought to light and discussed and never be censored (or deleted) for any reason.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 25, 2020:

Eric Dierker ~ Yes, friend, I do see what you mean. Like many words, 'cult' has more than one definition, and some of those are subjective. The first definition in my dictionary is: "A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader."

At least as far as the SDA goes, I see nothing in it that is extreme or false. I do not think SDA members lead unconventional lives. And while Ellen G. White was considered a spiritual leader, she was hardly authoritarian.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 23, 2020:

This is really interesting.

Seems we can use the word "cult" darn near positively. Certainly believing in transfiguration of bread and water is a bit weird. I use weird here to mean different. The number game bothers me. Fools gathered in multitudes are still fools.

I think I won't pass a judgement here unless the aims of the cult piss me off.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 23, 2020:

Eric Dierker ~ I have no problem with the Missouri Synod that I am ware of.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 23, 2020:

T ~ I appreciate that link. According to whomever that is, SDA is a satanic cult. It is shameful to describe other members of the Body of Christ is such a way.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 23, 2020:

Eric Dierker ~ You ask a good question. In no way do I see SDA as a cult. I think they are awesome brothers and sisters in Christ.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 23, 2020:

T ~ My understanding of a cult is that it is a small group of people with weird beliefs. The SDA has 20 million adherents. The Mormons may have 16 million. Jehovah’s witness has what, nine million members. Now, Christian Science has less than 50,000, so there we are closer to cult territory.

The question is whether they are Christians. JWs come in for criticism mostly for writing their own Bible. The Mormons for adding to the Bible. The SDAs use the same Bible as everybody else. SDA are certainly Christian. JWs . . . probably however certainly extreme. Mormons? Hmmm . . . Every one I have met has been a wonderful person. I wrote a Hub on them. It looks heretical to me but I’ll have to let God sort that out.

No , I have never heard of Walter Martin or the Christian Research Institute. But I did just go over to read about them. Interesting. I love the people he chose to debate against.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 22, 2020:

Hmnm, a Luthern following the Missouri Synod and an Episcopal with a concordance with Catholic church are Cults?

They sadly mistake or maybe just make up their own word for cult, with their opine of heresy for not following the cultist aspect of a Pope.

The Logician from now on on May 22, 2020:

Maybe this answers your question “why people think it.”

This is what Catholics say is why. Scroll down to the heading “Seventh Day Adventism”

http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/cults.h...

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 22, 2020:

I looked up the definition of a cult and read about 6 of them. How is SDA a cult? Not who says they are but why people think it. I guess worshipping the charismatic personage of Christ is a cult concept?

The Logician from now on on May 22, 2020:

James, I understand why you would not think SDA is a cult. From what I’ve read in Wikipedia criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church includes observations made about its teachings, structure, and practices or theological disagreements from various individuals and groups. I’m sure you know of evangelical Walter Martin and the Christian Research Institute. They concluded that the Seventh-day Adventist church is a legitimate Christian body with some heterodox doctrines and stated, "They are sound on the great New Testament doctrines including grace and redemption through the vicarious offering of Jesus Christ 'once for all'. However, other scholars such as Calvinist theologian Anthony A. Hoekema, who did not agree with the Adventist view that Jacobus Arminius's theology was in line with Adventism, believed that Adventism was based on a Wesleyan/Arminian stream of theology, and grouped Seventh-day Adventism with Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science in his book The Four Major Cults.

As I showed you in that link I provided earlier (and which was deleted in my comments on Yves’s article) the Roman Catholic Church does appear to count it as a cult.

I do wonder where one draws the line between heterodox doctrines and a cult. It appears that as long as the heterodox doctrines don’t interfere with the gospel message of salvation it is not a cult?

But Is the belief that if you don’t worship on Saturday you are going to hell (salvation by works is it not?) negating sola fide? Isn’t that perversion of grace through faith alone? So wouldn’t that be a cult? It seems to me that all cults are based on works over sola fide. If so is that just a heterodox of Catholicism, a heterodox condemning all Protestants to hell or does it make Catholicism a cult?

I don’t know these answers, that’s why I pose questions which is what I was doing on that other article.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 22, 2020:

KC McGee ~ I appreciate you coming back with your further comments. I can assure I have “read the history on the subject.” I own and have read hundreds of books on Church History. I used 144 books in research for my first book. It is simply false to say “during the Catholic Inquisition approximately 50 million people died for the crime of "heresy." The true number is more like 10,000.

I looked all around the Internet this morning for proof of what you say. All I found were some obscure crazy Christians far out of the mainstream, and mostly, that your myth is propagated by Muslims as a way to throw shame on their rival Christianity. Since you have “done the research,” please tell me the name of reputable historians who assert such an absolutely ridiculous figure.

The godless Left trots out the Inquisition every day in social media to make some kind of moral equivalency between Christianity and Islamic terrorism, or between Christianity and Secular Humanism’s murderous crimes that killed 150 million innocent men, women, and children in the last century. Allow me to set the record straight for you: In 300 years the Inquisition killed less people than did the militantly Atheist Socialist regime of Josef Stalin on any given afternoon.

Lastly, the Inquisition was mostly a political tool used primarily by governments not the Church.

KC McGee from Where I belong on May 21, 2020:

I disagree. if you read the history on the subject you will learn that during the Catholic Inquesition approximately 50 million people died for the crime of "heresy" between 606 AD to the middle of the 19th cenetry. If you study up on this subject you would realiize what I said is not false. There are MANY writings and books on this subject. Please research it for yourself, like I did.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 21, 2020:

T ~ You are quite welcome. It is a small thing. And costs me nothing.

The SDA is no cult. I was part of it for a few years. Our pastor changed and the new guy the first day launched into a tirade from the pulpit about how all people who have died worshiping on Sunday are burning in Hell. I immediately thought of the by far most saintly human being I had ever known, my Baptist Grandmother, who prayed she would not die in bed so she would not be found undressed. And she died in her easy chair at 87, having never been to doctor in her life and cooking with lard, found fully clothed, looking peaceful as can be, with the open Holy Bible in her lap. She died reading God's Word.

She went to church on Sunday.

I never went back.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 21, 2020:

Yves ~ My apologies. God Bless You and Yours.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 21, 2020:

KC McGee ~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your fascinating question. However, to say that the popes were "responsible for the deaths of approximately 50 million people during the darks ages" is false. No institution run my mortal men is without flaws. But during the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church was a boon to the men and women of Europe.

As I wrote in my first book, "Jesus In the World: the First 600 Years," Monks were not only classical scholars, but natural philosophers, engineers, and agriculturalists, as well. They were experts in medicine, painting, and engraving; establishing schools for such subjects all over Europe. Another of their great achievements was to create hospitals, which were the first institutions ever to provide free medical care to all, irrespective of financial circumstances.

Monks thus became the providers of organized health care, and their caregiving practices made monasteries sites of medical training. If anyone wanted to learn about physiology, pathology, and medication, the monasteries were the only place to go. Their studies of herbs and natural remedies from plants are the foundation of the sciences of botany and biology.

Fascinated by agriculture, monks developed new technologies and introduced new crops and new production methods. They also introduced the breeding of cattle and horses to most of Europe, as well as the brewing of beer and the raising of bees. Before the monks, much of Europe, away from the Mediterranean Sea, was an uncultivated wilderness. The monks often deliberately chose the wildest and most inhospitable land to tame and cultivate. “Wherever they came, they converted the wilderness into a cultivated country; they pursued the breeding of cattle and agriculture, labored with their own hands, drained morasses, and cleared away forests. By them, Germany was rendered a fruitful country,” observed one historian.

The moldboard plow, the horse collar, and the system of crop rotation were innovations of the Benedictines. The horse collar “allowed this faster and stronger animal to replace oxen on some farms as the draft animals pulling the plow,” whilst “The introduction of the three-field system increased agricultural yields.”

The development of the moldboard plow made of good quality steel calls our attention to the striking advances in steel production capabilities, in the West, from the Fifth Century onwards. We see an enormous scale of iron and steel manufacturing among the Franks in the following century, among whom the export of weapons, especially swords of exceptional quality that were hard, durable, and yet extremely flexible, would become a major industry.

And that is just for starters. Don't get me going! :-)

Yves on May 20, 2020:

James.... You are mistaken about my feelings, but this is not the place to discuss that.

KC McGee from Where I belong on May 20, 2020:

The part I find difficult to understand is why any man would accept the position of Pope of a church, which under the blessings of Pope's long past, was responsible for the deaths of approximately 50 million people during the darks ages. And at the same time claim the Church is the Kingdom of God on earth.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 20, 2020:

I am very saddened about the bad blood between T and Yves. Based on my interactions with both of them in the past, I would have guessed they would have been fast friends. I am surprised. I will pray that they are reconciled.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 20, 2020:

T ~ I must confess I harbor some suspicions about the validity of the doctrines and dogmas of Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian Scientists. But not the Seventh-Day Adventists. I would hate to see them lumped in with the other three, although I have friends from each group.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 20, 2020:

Yves ~ Thank you and you are welcome. Cardinal Sarah - there is a man I see who has a clear head.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 20, 2020:

T ~ Yes, one hopes it would be obvious to everyone that "Thou Shalt Not Steal" shows that God the Creator certainly believes in private property.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 20, 2020:

Kyson Parks ~ You are welcome. Thank you for coming back by with your illuminating commentary. I appreciate your point of view and I will soften my stance because of it.

Yves on May 19, 2020:

T.... I patiently and specifically addressed all your comments in my SDA hub. Many of them remain, but that is neither here nor there.

Thank you, James, I agree that SDA's have much to offer, particularly in the area of health.

My mind remains unchanged about Pope Francis. In this case, we agree to disagree.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 19, 2020:

T ~ I see now that your question was "I was wondering what makes James decide who is a devout Catholic." I did not catch that the first time around. I probably should not have used the word 'devout' as I can not possibly know how devout any stranger is. Her impassioned and learned response simply struck me as the type of response a devout person would make but a non-devout person probably wouldn't. In other words, she knew what she was talking about not just reacting emotionally as so many do these days.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 19, 2020:

Yves ~ You are most welcome. Thank you for coming back by. I like the SDA and SDA people very much. Technically, I think they are right about the Sabbath, I just do not think it is salvific as many of them do. I think they've got great ideas on diet, too. Their Florida Hospital is awesome. And I have adopted annihilationism from the SDA, the only doctrinal difference I have with my beloved Moody Church.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 19, 2020:

T ~ Devout simply means one is seriously devoted to something, probably one's religion, yes. One great victory by the Devil has been to make the word 'religion' a dirty word. Notice the godless Left exhibits its greatest disdain for ‘organized religion.’ I guess that means religion might be OK as long as its stays disorganized. Of course, what is disorganized is dying, e.g., living creatures disorganize as they die; cancer disorganizes cells to kill them. Notice that all the great Socialists—Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot—also loathed organized religion, because it features a community that challenges the current ideological fads with timeless truths; proves a tough competitor for hearts and minds against the Almighty State; and rebukes men for the evil they do.

The Logician from now on on May 18, 2020:

Kyson, where in the Bible is there a reference to a “characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine:”

Or that it is

“the goods of this world are originally meant for all.”

Do not take that as disagreeing with you, I just would like to know if you know of a scriptural basis for that statement.

Kyson Parks from San Diego, CA on May 18, 2020:

James, thank you for your response. I see no evidence that Francis is a communist. He is critical of capitalism, as have been many past popes, including the ones you have quoted, but that does not make someone a communist. Catholicism has long been critical of both capitalism and communism, and contemporary Catholic social teaching since the second vatican council tends toward social democracy--democracy that has a strongly regulated economy to redistribute wealth on behalf of the poor.

Pope John Paul II: "The Church’s social doctrine adopts a critical attitude towards both liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism.”

Also JP2: "“It is necessary to state once more the characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine: the goods of this world are originally meant for all. The right to private property is valid and necessary, but it does not nullify the value of this principle. Private property, in fact, is under a “social mortgage,” which means that it has an intrinsically social function, based upon and justified precisely by the principle of the universal destination of goods .”

Pope Benedict XVI: ""It is alarming to see hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism."

Benedict again, "“the social doctrine of the Church has unceasingly highlighted the importance of distributive justice and social justice for the market economy…”

Back a little further, Pius XII wrote Rerum Novarum which is critical of socialism, but also critical of capitalism and advocates for the importance of unions, the regulation of the market,

Like other popes before him, Francis has criticized communism several times: "Marxist ideology is wrong" he said in one of his books.

The Logician from now on on May 18, 2020:

You know, you mention devout Catholic. I always wonder what that means. I understand what a devout Christian is, someone who is a disciple of Christ and Is devoted to all his teachings. But the dictionary defines devout as:

committed or devoted to religion or to religious duties or exercises Eg.

a devout Catholic

Does that mean for example a devout catholic accepts and supports the Catholic Church’s edict’s? For example would a devout Catholic write an article praising the Seventh-day Adventist Church and delete comments that assert that the Catholic Church itself condemns Seventh-day Adventist Church as a cult. Would that be considered an act of devotion to their Catholicism, would that person be a devout Catholic while choosing to disagree with the Catholic Church? Or is a devout Catholic someone who can pick and chose what doctrines they deem to devote themselves to? I know many Catholics who are devoted to religious duties or exercises and so consider themselves devout while at the same time publicly disagreeing with various Church edicts or doctrines.

Can you say someone is a devout anything without knowing if they actually agree or disagree with their religion?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2020:

T ~ Thank you for reading my writings. I always look forward to your interesting point of view on whatever the subject might be. Your gracious compliments on this article are well received.

I wholeheartedly agree with you: “as far as I am concerned if anyone understands and accepts in their heart the sacrifice God has provided with his perfect only begotten son who paid the price for our sins and has made Him the lord of their life they are a Christian.”

I have written about the Council of Trent here: https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/...

You write, “the Catholic church's official position is that all Protestants are condemned to hell. “ Indeed the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church [the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ONLY] is necessary for salvation" (846).

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) is an authority for doctrinal statements in the RCC. In 1962, at the opening of Vatican II in Rome, Pope John XXIII affirmed, "I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent."

On July 10, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI said, "one church in Christ . . . subsists in the Catholic Church . . ." He added, Protestant communities "cannot be called 'churches in the proper sense." Since Protestants are not part of "the church" (RCC) according to Trent they are "anathema."

Some appeal to the Unitatis Redintegratio. Section 3 states: “The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect.”

I’m not sure what that means.

You are right about the Peace Sign. As I wrote in my most recent book: “The Peace Sign used by hippies everywhere has an interesting history in Paganism, in which it was known as the ‘sign of despair’ and ‘rune of death’ representing ‘the death of man.’ It is said to date back to Emperor Nero as an ancient and powerful symbol of the Antichrist. A witch says of the peace symbol: “For one to wear or display this symbol is to announce either knowingly or unknowingly that you have rejected Christ.””

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2020:

Yves ~ It is so nice to hear from you; so very good to have a devout Catholic chime in on this. Thank you for reading my piece, and for your thoughtful and insightful commentary.

It could be that the Pope is using ‘humanist' in its original meaning. One has rarely heard that since the Humanist Manifesto was published, along with its stated intention to “replace the rotting corpse of Christianity with a new faith in Man.” And, by extension, the Almighty State.

You write, “As for the Pachamama statue, it simply represents indigenous reverence for life, and is not a symbol of paganism. Nobody was worshiping the statue.” I have read several news reports of bowing to and genuflecting to the wooden idol. I fail to see how such an idol of an Incan Pagan Goddess should be displayed in a Christian Church.

As for the rest of your comments, you make good sense and you make good points. Exactly what I hoping someone would do. Thanks again.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2020:

Kyson Parks ~ Thank you for taking the time to peruse my work here. I appreciate your comments. You said, “of capitalism and free enterprise, Francis's statements on these subjects are not very different than his predecessors.” That was not my impression. I have written quite a bit about the history of the Church. Let me see . . .

The Catholic Church has long seen Socialism/Communism for what it is. All the way back in 1846, Pope Pius IX warned: “Communism is among the darkest designs of men in the clothing of sheep, while inwardly ravening wolves. Their books and pamphlets teach the lessons of sinning and generate a widespread disgusting infection. These works, well-written and filled with deceit and cunning are for the destruction of the Christian people by the lowering of morals and undermining the faith that produces the morals;” the endgame being “morals deteriorated, Christ’s holy religion despised, the majesty of divine worship rejected.”

Pope Leo XIII said in 1878: “Communism is the final plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin. We speak of men who, under various names, are called Socialists, Communists, or nihilists, bound together by the closest ties in wicked confederation. They leave nothing untouched or whole, which by both human and divine laws has been wisely decreed for the health and beauty of life. They refuse obedience to the higher powers … they foul up marriage and the family … they debase the natural union of man and woman, which is held sacred. They weaken the family, the cornerstone of all society. The foundation of this society rests first of all in the indissoluble union of man and wife and is completed in the mutual rights and duties of parents and children. The doctrines of Socialism strive to dissolve this union, marriage, which God himself instituted at the beginning of the very world. … God ordained parental authority over the authority of the state.”

In 1937, Pope Pius XI wrote that “Communism is a Satanic scourge,” “godless,” “by its nature anti-religious,” “a perversity and poison” that is “intrinsically wrong” and a “collectivistic terrorism replete with hate” a “false faith rooted in class warfare,” which “conceals itself in a false messianic idea” hatched “by the powers of darkness” and “at its origin primarily an evil of the spiritual order. From the polluted source the monstrous emanations of the communistic system flow with satanic logic.” He added: “Communism strips Man of his liberty, robs human personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints that check the eruptions of blind impulse." And wrote: “Refusing to human life any sacred or spiritual character … the rejection of any link that binds a woman to the family and the home … she is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children to be thrust instead into collective production. The care of children then devolves upon the collective. Finally, the right to education is denied to parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community."

It doesn't sound like any of those popes would, with a huge grin of delight on his face, accept a hammer and sickle crucifix.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2020:

Eric Dierker ~ Thank you for coming by to read my piece. I am glad you found it to be a good read. I appreciate your thoughtful insights.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2020:

Mr. Happy ~ I apologize that there are a few typos in my response. It would not let me fix them. Consarnit.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2020:

Mr. Happy ~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your thoughtful commentary, especially coming from a Greek Orthodox perspective.

Of course, God is omnipotent. However, he gives us free will. While He knows what we will do, it is we who do it.

I wrote, "So COVID-19 is Mother Earth taking revenge on us." You ask, “How did You jump to this conclusion.” According to Francis, the coronavirus pandemic is “certainly nature’s response” to “catastrophes” caused by human beings in advanced civilizations who have altered the climate. The pope declares, "Economic inequality has caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course,” specifically when speaking of COVID-19.

I wrote, "Pope Francis enthusiastically promotes—demands—the mass migration of millions." To which you ask, “Mind showing some evidence of what You write here, with proper quotes and sources please?” How many sources do you want? You could easily just Google “Pope Francis says to migrate is a human right,” or “Pope slams borders,” or "Pope speaks out against the nation-state.”

Pope Francis when speaking on “massive migration of people from Asia and Africa to Europe and America" says, “They have a human right to migrate.” He has said countries that curb mass immigration stoke hatred and fear and compares them to Nazis. He urges Western countries to accept “ALL who have left their homelands in search of a humanly dignified life.” The pontiff said it is “unthinkable” to try to address the problem of immigration by erecting walls, which is what 65 countries around the world have done or are doing. He says not allowing unlimited immigration into America is “unjust.”

I see you brought out the completely false leftist notion that all religions are equal. It reminds one of the old leftist trope that the USA and USSR were “both at fault” and “equally good or bad.” Here is a fact for you: A Christian is 143 times more likely to be murdered in a Muslim country than a Muslim is in a Western country.

I keep hearing that Americans are afflicted with a mental illness known as ‘Islamophobia,’ described as “an irrational fear of Muslims”—“irrational” meaning “absurd” or “for no good reason.” My question is, since it is irrational, for no good reason, and absurd, why are Americans afflicted with only this particular derangement but not also suffering equally from ‘Hinduphobia’ or ‘Buddhistphobia’ or ‘Confucianphobia’ or even ‘Atheistphobia’?

One famous transvestite European artist has made a career out of mocking Jesus and the Virgin Mary. When asked if he was going to also mock Islam he said no because if he did, “I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

We have all seen joy in the Islamic World after monstrous mass murder has been carried out in America and Europe. From young children to old grandmas ululated and everyone dancing in the streets, so happy at the killing of innocent women and children. Do you ever see such celebrations outside the Muslim World? We are all familiar with the cry of “Allah Akbar” as people are murdered. Do you ever hear a mass murderer shouting, “Jesus is Lord” of “Hare Krishna” or “This one’s for Buddha?”

Muslims have been making war on Christians and Jews for 1400 years non-stop, ever since they swarmed out of Arabia to spread Islam by violence, terror, murder, fear, and subjugation – Jihad it is called. Muslim countries or groups are at war or in a hostile truce with every civilization that Islam abuts, from Nigeria to Xinjiang, right now. Since 2001, there have been more than 25,000 terrorist attacks in the name of Islam but zero in the name of Judaism, Buddhism, or Christianity.

50% of American Muslims believe it should be a criminal offense to insult Mohammed and 12% believe the punishment should be death. 36% of young Muslims in Europe believe that if a Muslim converts to Christianity he should be executed—and 600 million Muslims worldwide agree with them. There is no parallel to this with any other group on Earth.

Just look at the penury, servitude, violence, and mediocrity of Muslim societies worldwide. The Islamic World is an economic and intellectual basket case—the part of the world that progress left behind. Half of young Arabs say they want to leave their native country. Outside of oil, the entire Arab World exports less than Finland.

And Liberals, why doesn’t diversity go both ways? As you clamor for more and more Muslims to be admitted to Europe and America and more and more accommodation for their worldview, do you also clamor for ‘inclusion’ in the 49 Muslim countries in the world? Do you agitate just as loudly that the Muslim countries need to import tens of millions of Christians for ‘diversity’ and give them special rights in Muslim societies?

The Pope’s adoration of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Evo Morales is no secret. Why do you think it inflammatory to simple point it out? It reminds of leftists who are furious if show pictures of unborn babies they have aborted. They are not made about the killings mind you- only about the photographic evidence of it. I am surprised to laugh at Evo Morales being a Socialist/Communist. I gave you a photograph right by his name presenting a thrilled Pope Francis with a crucifix combined with a hammer and sickle. Do only the uneducated, as you call them, know what a hammer and sickle represents? And maybe why a wise person would NEVER combine with the Cross of Christ?

I wrote, “"Francis also implies that living in the Stone Age is a superior way of life." You say, Quote? Source? Otherwise it is just good sensationalism.” There is one quote I provided right next to that statement. He has said MANY times how much Western Civilization can learn from tribes up the Amazon, as if they are wise ones and we are stupid, and that West made a big mistake in trying to ‘tame’ or civilize Stone Age Peoples.

You ask why I did not comment of St. Francis of Assisi. I see no relevance. I did write about him in a different Hub. I wrote: “One of the most important figures in Christian History was Giovanni Bernardone (1181-1226), known as Francis of Assisi. He a playboy and a warrior in his early life. He was fortunate to have been born into an affluent family in Assisi, Italy. His father had nicknamed him Francis; the name by which he is known.

“In 1206, at the age of 25, Francis of Assisi had an epiphany in which Jesus spoke to him, telling him “Francis, as you can see, my church is falling to pieces. Go and rebuild it.” Francis of Assisi gave away his fine wardrobe and began to dress in rags. He took up the life of a beggar and started a new movement in Christian History named after him, the Franciscan Order (16,000 strong today). Francis of Assisi later wrote, “You cannot help the poor without becoming one of them.” Francis of Assisi, who had previously abhorred lepers, now embraced them and tended to their wounds. Leprosy was a common and highly contagious disease in Europe at the time. The disease causes oozing boils to break out, disfiguring its victims and resulting in a putrid odor. Lepers were quarantined in “colonies,” of which there were 20,000 in Europe during the days in Christian History of Francis of Assisi.

“Francis rebuilt a few old churches nearby with money taken from his father. The old man was enraged at his son’s behavior; he beat him up and had him arrested. Francis became street-preacher and soon drew large crowds. He would not accept money, only food. He and his followers were often mocked and beaten. Francis preached to the pope and broke out into a dance. Many in the audience wept and sang. Francis of Assisi altered the Medieval view of nature from that of a threatening menace to something to be loved as a manifestation of God’s creativity. In 1224 Francis of Assisi built the first recorded crèche at the Mount La Verna Church. That same year he became the first known person in Christian History to receive the stigmata. Here is the famous Prayer of St. Francis …” Which I then quoted.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 17, 2020:

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik! It is good to hear from you. Surprises can be good. I am glad you enjoyed my piece and I thank you very much for taking the time to read it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 17, 2020:

Awdur ~ Thank you for reviewing my work. It is very good to see you as my first visitor - just like the old days. Your comments never fail to intrigue but today's are especially brilliant. Allow me to quote you in part: "Pope John Paul II set a high bar for those to follow.... he set a precedent for leadership and compassion, he lived his life in service, following church doctrine. Pope Benedict followed suit.... but this? I don't know what to say. God's word doesn't change.... it doesn't evolve, and for all of ways it has been interpreted, it isn't in my view, open for revision. God's word stands, His instructions do not change." Amen.

JJRBJ

The Logician from now on on May 16, 2020:

James, again you amaze me with your discernment, research and adeptness at sorting out any issue!

Prepare yourself for all sorts of rationalizations of Pope Francis. I for one am interested in seeing how you manage that.

I also have many catholic friends and as far as I am concerned if anyone understands and accepts in their heart the sacrifice God has provided with his perfect only begotten son who paid the price for our sins and has made Him the lord of their life they are a Christian no matter what religion they may be misled to join or even if they have trouble living Christianity as even though one may be "saved" we are still a sinful fallen humanity and will make mistakes.

I would never presume a catholic is not a Christian.

However if you were to ask a catholic what they think of their church's list of excommunicable offenses from the Council of Trent specifically as relating to sola fide and baptism you will get a blank stare. Most do not even know a number of canons assigning automatic excommunication were enacted, which became part of the church's canon law for centuries. Heresies about the sacraments or core church doctrines which had been rejected or re-defined by the Protestants were specified and assigned automatic excommunication for Catholics who held them. These canons still apply today, as evidenced by the fact that the contemporary Catechism of the Catholic Church cites them as authoritative on almost every page.

But my experience has been few Catholics even care about that.

The thing is being a catholic means you should ascribe to the decrees the Council of Trent which means if you are a catholic anyone who believes in sole fide is going to hell (anathema). Anyone who believes you don't need to be baptized to be saved or don't have to have good works to get into heaven is going to hell. In other words the Catholic church's official position is that all Protestants are condemned to hell. There is no room for disagreement, the Church, not God nor Jesus nor any scripture is sending Protestants to hell, only the Catholic Church.

Now tell me, how can there be unity between Catholics and Protestants when only one officially, unambiguously condemns the other to hell?

Aside from that and just as a sideline it makes me sick whenever I see the "peace" symbol displayed which I find is often used by Catholics while they are totally ignorant of it's origin. It is based on Satanic rituals which require new converts to stand in front of a cross naked, turn it upside down and break the arms down. What the symbol in a circle actually represents is a blaspheme of the gospel and expresses the idea that man makes his own peace without God.

Yves on May 16, 2020:

Interesting but inaccurate, my friend. In using the term 'humanist, Pope Francis is likely referring to its original meaning as developed by by Petrarch, and later by Eramus, a catholic priest and social critic, who became known as the the 'Prince of Humanists. His goal, like that of Francis, was to drain the swamp from within.

Archbishop Carlo Vigano is a perpetual cry baby, who has a known habit of skewing facts. For example, he claimed that Francis lifted sanctions that Benedict imposed upon an abusive priest. False. In fact, Benedict did not sanction the abusive priest. After Francis became pope, he removed McCarrick from ministry. Again, Francis is trying to clean the swamp from within. Benedict did not address the matter.

As for the Pachamama statue, it simply represents indigenous reverence for life, and is not a symbol of paganism. Nobody was worshiping the statue. As for Tschugguel stealing the statues, someone else also claimed to steal them as well. And anyway, who does that? Who goes into a church in the dead of night and steals things. That is just plain creepy. For the benefit of our readers, perhaps they should know that Masrshall and Tschugguel have featured machine gun and knives ‘camps. A fun time to be had for all.

Furthermore, when Francis was a Cardinal in Argentina, he was known for his conservatism and was a strong critic of Fernandez. This set him at odds with a powerful family (Nestor Kirchner & wife) who were very left wing. They spread the rumor that Francis was a supporter of the dictator, Videla, even though the accusation was false.

On another note, Pope Francis stated in a Vatican document that 'gender ideology is a move away from nature.' He has never promoted homosexuality and is actually historically conservative on this matter, but he loves gays like he loves everyone else.... the way we're supposed to do.... without judgement.

Does he support the poor? Yes. Do his views seem somewhat socialist in that regard? Yes. All Popes have that view. He is no different. If they had their way, everyone would give to the poor and all poor would be welcome everywhere. Not realistic, but its a catholic dogma as far as I can tell. It does not mean they believe in communism.

Finally, Pope Francis is thoroughly catholic. He is a good and decent man who practices what he preaches. I have many more answers to other statements made in this article, but I'll not hog all the space. For now ;)

Kyson Parks from San Diego, CA on May 16, 2020:

The Catholic church has always been critical of capitalism and free enterprise, Francis's statements on these subjects are not very different than his predecessors.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 16, 2020:

A good read. You made we think of the big C and the little c. After living in a communist country I often wonder of the platitudes given them except I do note often all religious Christian groups Except for Catholics are barred. Strange stuff.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on May 16, 2020:

"How Did This Man Become the Pope?" - God made him Pope because God is omnipotent, right? Or, at least that should be the view from the Christian side, from my Greek Orthodox side.

"Its adherents deify Nature and worship the Earth, which they pretend is a goddess named Gaia." - No. I pray for and to the Element Earth. Just like I do for the Element of Fire, Air and Water. It's not like the Planet Earth is a God. It doesn't work that way. The five Elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Spirit are all living essences. If we lack any one of those, we're dead; any one of us. So, any wise being would pray for these elements. It's like praying for yourself basically.

"So COVID-19 is Mother Earth taking revenge on us." - How did You jump to this conclusion after talking about environmentalism? That's a far jump You did from the previous paragraph to this sentence. Are You an kangaroo? I'm not. Can't jump that far.

"Pope Francis enthusiastically promotes—demands—the mass migration of millions" - Mind showing some evidence of what You write here, with proper quotes and sources please?

"But Francis declares that Islam is a “religion of peace” and that terrorism has no relation to it." - I can go on for quite a while here but I already wrote a piece titled: "Do we have angry religions, or angry people?" It's not the religions which are at fault but the angry people interpreting them and committing violence in the name of these religions. Just think how I can go out now with a megaphone and start killing people screaming that I am doing all the killing for Mr. James A. Watkins. It is exactly like that. So, do we blame You, or me? With your logic, we should blame You for the killings that I do in your name.

"Pope Francis is pretty much a communist." - Haha!! This is a great little claim. It is inflamatory. It is clear. It envokes all the fury, anger and condemnation needed here on this right-wing website, full of religious zelots lmao Too bad it is a statement without any real substance. It just sounds good for the uneducated but certain people as we all know very well: "love the poorely educated - they are easily manipulated (which You do very nicely here - gratz!).

Just because some of us call-out the inefficiencies and problems of capitalism, it doesn't somehow immediately makes us communists but again, comments like this are good for getting uneducated people angry. The problem is, then they get angry and start running us over with their cars like in Charlotesville. So ... I'd be a tad more careful what I instigate, in general. Pope Francis never called to take away private property, destroy democracies and replacing them with one party states but he's a communist, huh?

Evo Morales a socialist tyrant? Are You serious? Haha!! Yes, sadly You are. The first Indigenous President in Latin America was a socialist tyrant because he helped the Native people. Ohh, such a tragedy ... yes, it was a tragedy and the tragedy continues. This is the tragedy: the US is losing its control over Latin America as all the dictators it put-in through coups and revolutions in the 70s and 80s are now gone. That's the real problem for the US Empire.

"Francis also implies that living in the Stone Age is a superior way of life." - Quote? Source? Otherwise it is just good sensationalism on your part but for Hub-pages, it's pure gold. Good stuff! lol

"Frankly, I do not get this pope, whatever he says is beyond any rational understanding," - Faith is not based on Loic and Reason, that might be news to some. Haha!!

You know, I just realized that You talked a lot about this Pope here. As in this is a pretty long article but You say nothing of St. Francis. Was St. Francis also a Communist? How does St. Francis play into this? Try to think on that a little. What are the implications?

Okay, I'm skippping the Satanist stuff ... haha!! You guys ... lol "Lock her up!! Lock her up!! Lock her up!!" - I'm I in? Do I get a pass? lol

"Catholic Church was “200 years behind the times.” - Very true. And guess what history teaches us? If You do not adapt, You join the dinosaurs. That's where 95% of Hub-pages is going to: extinction. Haha!! It'll be nice to look back at though. Like: here are the crazy things people used to say before they died-off like some kind of irrepairable dinosaurs, never really meant for mass distribution lol

“Who am I to judge them?” - Yes indeed. Who the #$%^ is anyone to judge anyone else? Isn't the almighty God supposed to judge us all in the day of judgement? So people can #$%^ right off with their judgements. I claim First Amendment here.

“Part of the ‘Francis effect’ is to have exacerbated existing divisions and tensions - That might be true but he's gained the respect of many, many peoiple such as myself. This was the first Pope in my life (and I'm old enough to have seen a few already) which I can stand behind. He gained my full respect, even as a Greek Orthodox pagan. May the Great Spirit always watch over him and may the Elements protect him.

Alrighty, I had fun. Thanks. Cheers! All the best!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 16, 2020:

Hi James this is new to me I had no idea of this information. I not Catholic but married to one. Pope Francis a Communist that too is new to me. It is something I never once gave a thought to. You certainly surprised me here.

Awdur from Chicago on May 16, 2020:

JJRBJ~ The information you've provided here is shocking to say the least. I feel as if we've transcended to a time in the far distant past.... the men we read about in history books and shake our heads all the while. I am not a Catholic, but let's face it, Pope John Paul II set a high bar for those to follow.... he set a precedent for leadership and compassion, he lived his life in service, following church doctrine. Pope Benedict followed suit.... but this? I don't know what to say. God's word doesn't change.... it doesn't evolve, and for all of ways it has been interpreted, it isn't in my view, open for revision. God's word stands, His instructions do not change.