| The unholy arrogance of |
the Roman Catholic hierarchy
According to John, at his last meal with his disciples, Jesus gave his followers this important instruction:
In early 2012, the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S.A. embarked on a campaign to invite the huge number of members who had left the church over the years to "come home". This invitation is based in large part on their false claim that the almost 2000 year history of the Roman Catholic Church has been one, long, happy and holy picnic. Here's a brief excerpt of them making these patently dishonest claims of theirs at their www.Catholicscomehome.org site:
For several years now, I have been puzzled as to why so many otherwise well-informed Roman Catholics seem incapable of appreciating how contrary to the teaching and example of Jesus the behavior of their church has been over the centuries, and how false their claim is to faithfully represent Jesus. But then it occurred to me, as I watched the news of a Nazi war criminal being extradited from the U.S.A., where he had been living for years, back to Europe to stand trial at long last for horrible crimes against humanity. This man had children who were crying out against their father's extradition. To them this man was a wonderful father. His war crimes meant nothing to them. I see the same phenomenon happening with Roman Catholics. Although a few of them may be able to view the actual history of their church objectively, for a great many others, the only way that most Catholics can view their popes and bishops is as "Holy Fathers" and "successors of the apostles".
But how can Roman Catholics insist on viewing their church as truthfully representing the teaching and example of Jesus Christ when - instead of setting an example of loving others, it has a many centuries' old record of doing the very opposite, i.e. of promoting contempt for all kinds of people ?
Is that kind of behavior that Jesus intended when he said that the trademark of his followers would be the way they loved one another ?
These are the instructions which Jesus left for those who would take over the leadership of his new movement after his impending departure :
"They (the lawfully established clergy of his time) preach but do not practice. They pile up back-breaking burdens and lay them on other men's shoulders -- yet they themselves will not so much as raise a finger to move them. Their whole lives are planned with an eye to effect. They increase the size of their prayer books and lengthen the tassels of their robes; they love seats of honor at public functions and front places and to have men call them "rabbi" or "teacher".
As for yourselves, don't you ever be called "rabbi" -- you only have one teacher, and all of you are brother of one another. And don't call any human being "father" -- for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. And you must not let people call you "leaders" -- for you have only one leader, the Anointed One (Christ). The only "superior" among you is the one who serves the others. For, every man who promotes himself will be humbled, and every man who learns to be humble will find promotion.
But alas for you, you scribes and Pharisees, play actors (hypocrites) that you are! You lock the doors of the kingdom of Heaven in men's faces. You will not go inside yourselves, and neither will you allow others to enter." (Matt. Ch. 23)
( See CatholicArrogance.Org/CallNoManFatherFather.html )
When you are an organization with power like the Catholic Church's, you can even overrule the dictionary when it comes to the meaning of words. When the word "bigotry" is used in conjunction with the Catholic church, it doesn't mean believing or promoting lies about that institution. It means "knowing and publishing the truth about that institution". When it comes to the Catholic Church, the rules that apply to everyone else don't apply. Most Roman Catholics seem to believe that official representatives of their church have some kind of divine right to get away, not just with murder, but with mass-murder. And anyone who says otherwise they label "an anti-Catholic bigot".
As the author of this web site, I welcome any effort by any Catholic apologist to prove even the smallest detail of my work wrong. I do make mistakes on occasion. But they are honest mistakes, which I am happy to correct when solid evidence is presented to prove that something I have published was inaccurate. Every such correction makes this site that much more powerful. But more often than not, all that Catholic apologists have to say in response to charges of Catholic criminality or sinfulness is either "you're an anti-Catholic bigot" (because you don't believe what Catholics believe ), and / or "what you say is wrong" ( because I, or other Catholic apologists, say otherwise), without any evidence to prove their case.
"Sixtus IV was the first pope to license the brothels of Rome; they brought him in thirty thousand ducats a year (roughly the yearly income of 30 common laborers). He also gained considerably from a tax imposed on priests who kept a mistress. Another source of income was granting privileges to rich men 'to enable them to solace certain matrons in the absence of their husbands.'
It was in the area of indulgences that Sixtus showed a touch of genius. He was the first pontiff to decide that they (indulgences) could be applied to the dead. Even he was overwhelmed by their popularity. Here was an infinite source of revenue that even his greediest predecessors had not dreamed of. It was breathtaking in its implications: the pope, creature of flesh and blood, had power over the regions of the dead. Souls in torment for their misdemeanours could be released by his word, provided their pious relatives dipped into.their pockets. And which of them wouldn't if they had a spark of Christian decency? Widows and widowers, bereaved parents spent their all trying to get their loved ones out of Purgatory, painted in ever more lurid colours.
Praying for the dead was one thing, paying for them another. Simple folk were led to believe that the pope, or those who came to their village and sold the pope's pardon, guaranteed their dead would go to heaven on the wings of indulgences. The potential for abuse was considerable. The sale of relics from the tenth century had been bad enough. . . Martyr's bones, like oil, were not a renewable commodity, but indulgences were limitless and could be priced to suit every pocket. Nothing was required of the donor or recipient, not love or compassion or prayer or repentance - only money. No practice was ever more irreligious than this. The pope grew rich in the measure that the poor were duped.
Purgatory had no justification, whether in Scripture or in logic. Its real basis was papal avarice. An Englishman, Simon Fish, in A Supplicacyion for the Beggars, written in the year 1529, was to point that out irrefutably:
'There is not one word spoken of it in all holy Scripture, and also if the Pope with his pardons may for money deliver one soul hence, he may deliver him as well without money: if he may deliver one, he may deliver a thousand: if he may deliver a thousand, he may deliver them all; and so destroy purgatory: and then he is a cruel tyrant, without all charity, if he keep them there in prison and in pain, 'till men will give him money.'
In 1478, Sixtus IV published a Bull that did even more harm to the church. He sanctioned the Inquisition in Castile. It spread, literally, like fire. In 1482, two thousand heretics were burned in Andalusia alone.
Of Sixtus it was said that he . . . 'embodied the utmost possible concentration of human wickedness'. In Bishop Creighton's words, 'he lowered the moral tone of (all of) Europe.' " (This is just one of many instances of the Catholic Church telling its millions of followers that Christ chooses the vilest of human beings to be his "vicars" on earth. See much more at http://CatholicArrogance.Org/PopesvsChrist.html :)
Imagine yourself as the Catholic parent of an altar boy son being told that you can't know anything about the past record of a new priest being assigned to your parish? Although Catholic parents never even dreamed of asking such questions in the past, they take it for granted now. Yet, even now, most Catholics wouldn't dream of asking the church as a whole "how have you behaved in the past, in other times and in other places?" If only Catholics did ask such questions, they would find what I have found, namely a long record of scandals that would make them think twice before swallowing whole all of this church's claims.
What do YOU think Jesus would say about
What do YOU think Jesus would say about
|Here's a photo of John, using a banner of mine, in his protest|
in front of the Papal Nunciature (or "Embassy") in Washington, D.C.
and then one of me, promoting one of my web sites:
in front of the National Catholic Shrine