Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholicism’
Rick Warren: Protestants, Catholics Must Unite to Defend Life, Sex, Marriage – ‘We’re on the Same Team’
LTRP Note: This article is posted for research and informational purposes and not as an endorsement for the content.
By Michael Chapman
By CNS News
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who leads the eighth largest church in America, Saddleback Church, and is the author of the hugely popular book The Purpose Driven Life, said that Protestants and Catholics must form a “unity of missions” to defend the sanctity of life, sex, and the family, stressing that, “If you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”
“We have far more in common than what divides us,” said Pastor Warren in an interview with Catholic News Service. “When you talk about Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, fundamentalists, Catholics, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, on and on, they would all say we believe in the Trinity.”
“We believe in the Bible,” he continued. “We believe in the resurrection; we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. These are the big issues.”
Warren, along with leaders of other faiths and denominations, attended a conference at the Vatican in November – the “Complementarity of Man and Woman” — to discuss and defend the family and marriage as being between one man and one woman, and related topics. He made his comments in the video in December. Click here to continue reading.
* Please refer to the “Road to Rome” Booklet Tracts for information related to this issue. These booklets can also be read on our blog by just typing in the title into the blog search engine.
LTRP Note: In view of the many occurrences where evangelical leaders are publicly giving a pass to Roman Catholicism, in particular the recent concert with over 30 major Christian musicians who shared the platform with Roman Catholic movie actress and producer Roma Downey—who admits to praying to Mary (see article), this new Booklet by Roger Oakland is essential in understanding the role that the Mary of the Catholic Church plays in end-time deception.
The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ” by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ, click here
As we read through both the Old and New Testament, one thing becomes very apparent—Christianity is all about Jesus Christ and in believing in Him alone for salvation. The Scriptures testify of the true Jesus, who made this clear:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5: 39-40)
The entire Bible leads us to, testifies of, and focuses on, the one and only Savior of the world.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (John 1:45)
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
Adding to God’s Word or perverting His Word has devastating results. To do so, or follow those who do, is very dangerous. In the very last chapter of the Bible, we read this somber warning:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life. (Revelation 22: 18-19)
According to the Bible, if you follow a false christ based on unscriptural sources, you will end up separated from the true Christ and spend eternity in hell.
The Catholic Mary Points to the Eucharistic Christ
An article in Zenit (the primary Catholic news sources) on April 17, 2003 reported that Pope John Paul II had called for Catholics to refocus on the Eucharist and Eucharistic adoration from an encyclical that he had written called “Ecclesia de Eucharistia.” On the very same day, Zenit sent out another news item that was equally important. The title for this article was “Mary Has a Place in Latest Encyclical: Pope Describes Her as a ‘Woman of the Eucharist.’”1
The article began the following way:
The last chapter of John Paul II’s encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” is dedicated to the Virgin Mary—a surprise in a document dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament.2
Then this interesting statement from the pope’s 14th encyclical: “If the Church and the Eucharist* are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist.”3 Laying a foundation for the Catholic Church that is not found anywhere in Scripture, Zenit quoted the pope:
The relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Eucharist is explained by referring to the “Eucharistic faith” that Mary already practiced “even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God’s Word.”4
The article concluded with another weighty statement made by the pope:
Mary is present with the Church and as the Mother of the Church, at each of our celebrations of the Eucharist. . . . Mary Most Holy, in whom the Eucharistic mystery shows itself more than in anyone else, as mystery of light.5
Think about the implications of this statement! According to the Catholic Church, when the ordained priest consecrates the wafer during Mass, not only does “Jesus” appear, but the mother of “Jesus” also shows up. Of course, this contradicts the Bible’s affirmation that only God is omnipresent.
It can be documented that a woman claiming to be the mother of Jesus has been appearing in numerous places all over the world for some time.6 Those who follow the apparitions are very aware of the Mary-Eucharist connection that cannot be ignored.
Peace through Eucharistic Devotion
Throughout the world, the apparition of Mary is emphasizing the importance of the Eucharist. With the increasing number of Marian apparitions, there has been a corresponding increase in Eucharistic adoration.7 This is no surprise to the millions who are devoted to the “Blessed Mother.” Those who follow her messages are aware of an interesting prediction made by Catholic Saint John Bosco in 1862:
[T]here will be chaos in the Church. Tranquility will not return until the Pope succeeds in anchoring the boat of Peter between the twin pillars of Eucharistic devotion and devotion to Our Lady.8
Many believe this prophecy is near fulfillment. For instance, in more recent years, the apparition has encouraged the formation of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration groups. These groups number in the thousands around the world.9 Their sole purpose is to worship, adore, and pray to the Jesus of the Eucharist around the clock, perpetually.
Eucharistic and Marian Era
Of course, Marian apparitions have always stressed the great importance of the Eucharist. In particular, the “Queen of Heaven” has repeatedly stated that the Eucharist, once consecrated by a priest, becomes the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus, and is therefore worthy of worship and adoration. For example, “Mary” focused much attention on her Son’s true presence in the Eucharist in the now famous apparitions to Catherine Laboure at Rue du Bac, Paris in 1830.
Marian theologians consistently agree that the revelations in Paris in 1830 to Catherine Laboure, officially began an era of Mary. That this apparition had a Eucharistic theme is consistent with the increasing number of apparitions that have appeared in the nineteenth, twentieth, and now, twenty-first centuries. In fact, nearly every popular apparition today stresses the importance of the Eucharist. “Mary” emphatically encourages all believers to receive the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible in order to receive the needed graces for salvation. She also stresses the important role that the Eucharistic Jesus will have in the last days.
In conjunction with these messages, many Eucharistic “miracles” have been reported. These miracles include bleeding and pulsating Communion Hosts (wafers), Hosts that do not decompose, Hosts that speak, and Hosts that transform into the image of a man—presumably Jesus. Tests at several apparition sites confirm that the blood emanating from miraculous Hosts is authentic. These miracles are presented as proof by the apparition that Christ is truly present under the appearance of the consecrated Communion wafer.
Our Lady of Fatima Emphasizes the Eucharist
Those who espouse the Marian apparitions are united in their belief that the apparitions have, over the centuries, increasingly pointed to the central importance of the Eucharist. For instance, Thomas W. Petrisko dedicates his book Mother of the Secret to exploring this interesting link between key Marian apparitions and Eucharistic prominence. Below is his summary of the Fatima apparitions:
The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to three shepherd children are most remembered for the incredible signs and secrets given there. Yet it must be said that Heaven truly marked the events with a significant thrust to focus the attention of the faithful on the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. . . . In 1916, one year before the Virgin Mary’s first apparition . . . the children received an apparition of an angel holding a chalice in his left hand. A Host was suspended above the chalice and some drops of blood from the Host fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the angel knelt down beside the children and told them to repeat three times the following prayer: “O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit . . . I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for [sins].”10
The Eucharist Holds Center Stage in Medjugorje
There is undeniably a strong devotion to the Eucharist at the Fatima apparition site. However, the Queen of Heaven’s Eucharistic emphasis at Medjugorje is arguably greater. Our Lady of Medjugorje has time after time told visionaries to worship and adore Jesus in the Eucharist and to frequently partake in Holy Communion. Medjugorje visionary Vicka Ivankovic tells us what the “Blessed Mother” explained to her about Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist:
The Blessed Mother says that during each Mass, Jesus comes in person, in tangible form. We can take Jesus, in physical form, into our body . . . This is our way to accept Jesus into our heart. Jesus comes alive to us through the Eucharist.11
Those who have visited Medjugorje or examined Our Lady’s messages are convinced that the apparition teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life. For instance, the late Father Joseph A. Pelletier., a noted theologian, wrote in his book, The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje, that the central theme of the Medjugorje apparitions is primarily Eucharistic:
As more and more information has come forth, it has become increasingly clear that the Eucharist holds center stage in Medjugorje and that from the very start Our Lady spoke to the six seers about the Eucharist and its importance with more frequency than was suspected. This helps to understand why the parish has placed so much emphasis on the Mass and public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.12
Our Lady of Medjugorje Leads to the Eucharist
Father Rene Laurentin in his book, Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje?, would concur with Pelletier about Medjugorje and the Eucharist. Laurentin writes:
Our Lady of Medjugorje leads to Christ. When she was asked which prayer is the best, she answered: “It is the Mass, and you will never be able to exhaust its greatness. That is why you should be there humbly and prepared.” At Medjugorje the Virgin leads to the Eucharist. The Rosary and the apparition flow into the Mass. Mary has sometimes appeared showing Christ, in his childhood (the first apparition and Christmas 1983) or in his passion. In showing us Christ she continues to say, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)13
The following messages from Our Lady of Medjugorje resonate with the Eucharistic vision of the Catholic Church:
[D]ear children, I am grateful to you in a special way for being here. Unceasingly adore the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I am always present when the faithful are adoring. (March 15, 1984)14
Dear Children! Today I invite you to fall in love with the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Adore Him, little children, in your Parishes and in this way you will be united with the entire world. (September 25, 1995)15
Garabandal Emphasizes the Eucharist
Messages given by the apparition of Mary who appeared in Garabandal, Spain echo those given at Medjugorje:
Many sacrifices must be made. Much penance must be done. We must pay many visits to the Blessed Sacrament, but first of all we must be good. If we do not do this, punishment awaits us.16
In his book, Mother of the Secret, Petrisko writes the following regarding the importance of the Eucharist at Garabandal, Spain:
While the alleged supernatural character and prophetic element of the apparitions at Garabandal are noted, its message is interpreted by many experts as being predominantly Eucharistic. This opinion is enhanced by the fact that the visionaries were photographed receiving upon their tongues invisible and then visible communion Hosts from an angel.17
Ted and Maureen Flynn, in their book, The Thunder of Justice, agree that Garabandal has a predominately Eucharistic theme:
Another remarkable event of Garabandal emphasized the importance of the Eucharist. An angel appeared bearing a golden chalice. The angel asked the children to think of the One whom they were going to receive. He taught them to recite the Confiteor, after which he gave them Holy Communion. He also taught them to say the Anima Christi in thanksgiving. These direct interventions occurred regularly whenever the priest from the neighboring village of Cosio was unable to come to Garabandal. 18
Everywhere Mary Emphasizes the Eucharist
Apparitions from the four corners of the globe express this common and central theme: The Eucharist has the power to transform the world; the Eucharist should be worshipped; Eucharistic adoration will bring peace and unity. Messages originating from such diverse places as Amsterdam, Holland; Akita, Japan; Rome, Italy; Naju, Korea; Bayside, New York; and Budapest, Hungary all convey this common idea. What follows are samplings of the numerous messages from apparitions emphasizing the great importance of the Eucharist:
[O]ur Lady has been appearing in private to Marisa Rossi in Rome. In June 1993 she asked . . . that Her messages … about the Eucharist be made public. Our Lady says: “I am THE MOTHER OF THE EUCHARIST” and she wants to spread a renewed and strong devotion, all over the world, for this great Sacrament.19
During Consecration I suddenly saw a light coming from the chalice . . .
When I went to Holy Communion and returned to my place, the Sacred Host began to move on my tongue and I heard the voice of the Lady say, “You have now met the Lord.”20
You must firmly believe that Jesus is truly present in the Host as Man and God! You must believe that you really meet Him, and, more than that, unite with Him in the Eucharist.21
My Son will always be there in the Eucharist. A duly ordained and consecrated hand of a legal representative, your priest, will always be able to bring to you My Son’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist. . . . He comes to you physically and spiritually.22
Do you say well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist? Then let us pray it together: . . . “Oh Jesus, really present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I offer my body and soul to become one with Your Sacred Heart [w]hich is transubstantiated and sacrificed on altars of the world and giving praise to the Father, pleading for the coming of His Kingdom.23
[I]n these days you will hear of many Eucharistic Phenomena taking place. You will be renewed in your total reverence for my Divine Son in the Blessed Sacrament, and soon the time will come when the Tabernacle is returned to its rightful and proper place in the church.24
I have manifested the images of the Holy Eucharist in various ways so that all my children may understand the importance of the Holy Eucharist. Hurriedly become blazing flames of love, reparation and adoration toward the Lord Who is in the Blessed Sacrament.25
Interestingly enough, in the last example just given, the Mary apparition discloses that she is responsible for making these signs and wonders happen (rather than there being a natural rendering of the host itself). In other words, unusual miracles are performed by this apparition to make it appear that the host is truly the flesh and blood of Jesus.
The Eucharistic Reign of Jesus
The apparition of Mary explains that the culmination of her apparitions will usher in the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus. To Father Gobbi, the head of the Marian Movement of Priests, she proclaims that the Eucharistic Jesus will soon transform humanity!
Today I ask all to throw open the doors to Jesus Christ who is coming. I am the Mother of the Second Advent and the door which is being opened on the new era. This new era will coincide with the greatest triumph of the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus. For this, I invite you, in this extraordinary year, to make flourish everywhere the cult of adoration, of reparation and of love for the Most Holy Eucharist. . . . Let the Eucharist become the center of your prayer, of your life.26
In fact, the coming of the glorious reign of Christ will coincide with the greatest splendor of his Eucharistic reign among you. The Eucharistic Jesus will release all his power of love, which will transform souls, the Church and all humanity.27
The glorious reign of Christ will coincide with the triumph of the Eucharistic reign of Christ. . . . Jesus will be made manifest above all in the mystery of his Eucharistic presence.28
Marian experts agree that the triumph of Mary’s immaculate heart, prophesied at Fatima, will be directly linked to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Father Martin Lucia, writing in the journal, Immaculata, explains that all the Marian apparitions will victoriously culminate in the Eucharistic reign of Jesus:
The message of all the Marian apparitions, both past and present, is that the triumph of the Immaculate** Heart of Mary will culminate in the Eucharistic reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Eucharistic Reign will come through perpetual adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.29
Not surprisingly, Pope John Paul II himself alluded to this consummation of apparitions in his encyclical, Mother of the Redeemer:
The piety of the Christian people has always very rightly sensed a profound link between devotion to the Blessed Virgin and worship of the Eucharist: This is a fact that can be seen in the liturgy of both the West and the East, in the traditions of the religious families, in the modern movements of spirituality, including those for youth, and in the pastoral practice of the Marian shrines. Mary guides the faithful to the Eucharist.30
Of course, the humble Mary of the Bible never once referred to the Eucharist. Nor did she ever instruct Christ’s followers to worship the Eucharist. However, this survey of messages given by the “Mother of the Eucharist” around the world, shows that the apparition that claims to be Mary consistently directs followers to concentrate on Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. And as if to corroborate “Mary’s” messages, at many of these apparition sites, Eucharistic miracles such as bleeding Communion Hosts have occurred.
For example, in Betania, Venezuela, the location of a popular Marian apparition, a bleeding Communion Host was analyzed chemically. The analyzed sample was found to be human blood. Here is a summary of the Betania Eucharistic miracle as recorded in the book, Cenacle Formation Manual and Prayer Book. This book is distributed by the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, and chronicles many Eucharistic miracles:
All the miracles listed occurred several hundred years ago. But the miracle that occurred during Mass in Betania, Venezuela took place on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1991. A Consecrated Host, truly the flesh of Our Lord, began to bleed. A subsequent medical team concluded that the material extruded from the Host was blood of human origin. The local bishop declared it a sign of transubstantiation saying, “God is trying to manifest to us that our faith in the consecrated Host is authentic.”
Many other extraordinary events have occurred in Betania, including numerous alleged apparitions of the Blessed Mother witnessed by several thousand people, multiple physical and spiritual healings, and a mystic named Maria Esperanza who has the gifts of stigmata, bilocation, and levitation during prayer. The bishop himself has witnessed the phenomena and wrote in a pastoral letter that after careful study, he has declared the apparitions authentic and of supernatural character.31
Many more examples could be cited. For instance, in Stich, Germany, a bleeding Host that stained the altar cloth was chemically analyzed at the Polyclinical Institute of the University of Zurich. No one at the institute was made aware of the source of the stains. The stains were analyzed by four different methods of chemical identification and in each case the findings were the same—the stains were human blood.32
Apparitions of Jesus Confirm the Eucharistic Christ
If “Mary’s” apparitions don’t convince the skeptic, and if miracles aren’t enough to persuade the cynic, there is an even stronger validation offered to make any questions or examination with Scripture look sinful at best, or more strongly put, blasphemous. Apparitions of “Jesus” himself are appearing. Yes, apparitions of Jesus have also been reported worldwide, albeit at a much lower frequency, and they too give attention to the “true” presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Listen to this one description that took place in Alberta, Canada:
[A]fter Communion, I could see the Host in the monstrance and then it was quickly covered over. Jesus said: “My dear people, today you celebrate My institution of My Blessed Sacrament by My Presence coming into the bread and wine at the Mass. Believe, My faithful, that I am truly present in the consecrated bread and wine. You have witnessed many miracles of My Real Blood coming forth from the Host as evidence to those unbelievers. I tell you, at every Mass you witness My miracle in the Transubstantiation when the bread and wine are made into My Body and Blood. Take advantage of this time to adore Me in exposition of My Host, for a time is coming when this privilege will be taken away. I recommend to all of you to encourage your priests to have Perpetual Adoration of My Host.”33
Many of the miracles have been proven to be Real Blood by the scientists. Even in the face of reality and technical proof, there are still many who do not believe in My Real Presence. This denial of My Presence is the worst of insults and a disrespect for My Gift of the Eucharist. This is why those same people, who reject My Presence, do not feel it necessary to confess their sins. Those, who teach against My Real Presence, and put down these miracles, are the real blasphemers. . . .Those, who do not love My Blessed Sacrament, are the lukewarm that I will vomit from My mouth.34
Why the Eucharist?
There are many more Eucharistic messages and reported miracles. But the question we must ask is why? Why does the apparition of Mary encourage the faithful to worship and adore the consecrated Host? Her many messages on the Eucharist have spurred the formation of multiplied thousands of Eucharistic prayer groups and perpetual Eucharistic adoration groups throughout the world. Was this her goal? Obviously yes! But might she have a much greater goal in mind?
In my book, Another Jesus: the Eucharist Christ and the New Evangelization, I show how the apparitions of Mary contradict the Scriptures and offer a false gospel. She, or more accurately it, is not the Mary of the Bible, but rather a satanic counterfeit. Therefore, would a demon endeavor to lead the world to worship and trust the true Jesus of the Bible? Or is it more likely that these impostors would direct the people of the world to worship “another Jesus” or a false christ?
Attention to the Eucharistic Christ is being focused upon, not only by popes of the Catholic Church but also from apparitions claiming to be the mother of Jesus. Could their vision of a global move toward the Eucharistic Jesus really occur?
(See appendix below endnotes. To order copies of The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ, click here. )
* The Catholic Church’s doctrine of the Eucharist is based on the concept of transubstantiation, a belief that the Catholic priest has the power to turn a wafer of bread into the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus.
** The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception teaches that Mary was, from the moment of conception, free of any original sin (i.e., that Mary was a sinless woman). This doctrine, of course, contradicts the Bible where it says, “all have sinned” and Mary’s own words when she said, “my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden” (Luke 1:47-48); nor does the Bible depict Mary as a sinless woman, who, if such were the case, would have no need of a Savior.
1. “Mary Has a Place in Latest Encyclical” (Zenit, April 17, 2003, http://www.zenit.org/article-7085?l=english).
6. Jim Tetlow, Messages from Heaven (Fairport, NY: Eternal Productions, 2002, available through Lighthouse Trails).
7. Eucharistic Adoration is the worship and prayer offered by Catholics and others to Jesus in the Eucharist, when kneeling in front of the displayed consecrated Communion Host.
8. “Prophecies of Interest: St. John Bosco” (The American Inquisition, http://web.archive.org/web/20070330163805/http://americaninquisition.blogspot.com/2006/02/prophecies-of-interest-st-john-bosco.html).
9. The Real Presence Association: Churches and Chapels that have Eucharistic Adoration, http://www.therealpresence.org/chap_fr.htm. This web site lists over 7,000 adoration sites in the US alone.
10. Thomas W. Petrisko, Mother of the Secret (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1997), p. 113.
11. Ibid., pp. 185, 186.
12. Fr. Joseph A. Pelletier, The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje (Worchester, MA: Assumption Publications, 1985), p. 205.
13. Rene Laurentin, Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje? (Frederick, MD: Word Among Us Press; First English language edition edition—June 1984), p. 120.
14. Richard J. Beyer, Medjugorje Day By Day (Notre Dame, IN, Ave Maria Press, July 18th meditation, Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje given on March 15, 1984, http://medjugorje.org/msg84.htm).
15. “Our Lady of Medjugorje” (http://medjugorje.org/msg95.htm, Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje, Sept. 25, 1995).
16. “Garabandal – Pines Will Enlighten The World” (http://www.circleofprayer.com/garabandal-messages.html, Message from Our Lady of Garabandal given on October 18, 1961. Error in original quote).
17. Thomas W. Petrisko, Mother of the Secret, op. cit., p. 157.
18. Ted and Maureen Flynn, The Thunder of Justice (Sterling, VA: MaxKol Communications, Inc., 1993), p. 164.
19. “Our Lady is Appearing in Rome,” “Messages of the Mother of the Eucharist” (http://web.archive.org/web/20040727010135/http://members.aol.com/Linden59/EucharisticMiracles.html); Messages to the visionary Marisa Rossi.
20. Josef Kunzli, editor, The Messages of the Lady of All Nations (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1996), p. 110, message given on May 31, 1967.
21. Peter Heintz, A Guide to Apparitions (Sacramento, CA: Gabriel Press, 1995), p. 219, message from Our Lady to visionary Sister Dolores of Budapest, Hungary.
22. “Consecrated Hands,” Our Lady of the Roses, Directives from Heaven (taken from These Last Days, Lowell, MI, #228, http://www.tldm.org/directives/d228.htm), messages from Our Lady of the Roses to Veronica Lueken, November 23, 1974.
23. Teiji Yasuda, O.S.V., English version by John M. Haffert, Akita: The Tears and Message of Mary (Asbury, NJ: 101 Foundation, 1989), pp. 194-195, message from Our Lady of Akita, Japan to Sr. Agnes Sasagawa, July 6, 1973.
24. “Apparitions of Jesus and Mary” (Message given by Our Lady to Cyndi Cain, USA, Sept. 8, 1994, http://web.archive.org/web/20000823193220/http://web.frontier.net/Apparitions/Cain.msgs94.html).
25. “The Story of Naju” (http://www.circleofprayer.com/julia-kim.html), messages from of Our Lady to Julia Kim, Naju, Korea, June 27, 1993.
26. Fr. Don Stefano Gobbi, To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons (St. Francis ME: The National Headquarters of the Marian Movement of Priests in the United States of America, 1998), p. 676, message given to Father Gobbi, February 26, 1991, Brazil.
27. Ibid., p. 640, message given to Father Gobbi, April 12, 1990, Italy.
28. Paul A. Mihalik, The Virgin Mary, Fr. Gobbi and the Year 2000 (Santa Barbara, CA: 1998), p. 29, message to Father Gobbi, given on November 21, 1993, Australia.
29. Father Martin Lucia “Fire From Heaven”(Immaculata, http://www.friendsofchristjesus.com/quotesontheeucharist.htm).
30. Pope John Paul II, “Mother of the Redeemer” (Origins, Volume 16, Washington, DC, March 25, 1987), p. 762.
31. Bryan and Susan Thatcher; Seraphim Michalenko, M.I.C., Cenacle Formation Manual and Prayer Book (Stockbridge, MA: The Association of Marian Helpers, 1999), p. 81.
32. “Betania—I come to reconcile them” (http://web.archive.org/web/20070714101152/http://members.aol.com/bjw1106/marian9.htm).
33. John Leary, Prepare for the Great Tribulation and the Era of Peace (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship Publishing, 1997, Volume VII), pp. 57, 58, message from “Jesus” to John Leary.
34. Ibid., Volume XI, p. 8.
Appendix: The Ultimate Sacrifice
By Roger Oakland
The Catholic Jesus is the Eucharistic Jesus. The Marian apparition’s Jesus is also the Eucharistic Jesus. However, the Eucharistic Jesus is not found in the Bible.
John chapter 1 states that Jesus is the Creator of all things (John 1:1-3). He is eternal (Revelation 1:8). He is sinless. (I John 3:5). He is immutable—unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). In Colossians chapter 1, we read that Jesus, the One who made everything, is the One who redeemed us from our sins (Colossians 1:13-18).
Isn’t it reasonable to ask: how could Jesus, the eternal Creator, be dependent on a Catholic priest to manifest His presence? Nowhere in the Bible does it state that Jesus can be placed and confined in a container made with human hands. Nor is a priest needed to invoke His presence.
Further, the fact that the Eucharistic Jesus is re-sacrificed at each Mass demonstrates another major conflict with the Bible. Once again, in the Book of Hebrews, this is illustrated:
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (Hebrews 9:15-17)
In other words, for the New Testament to be in effect, Jesus had to die “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10), which was the ultimate sacrifice and proof of His divine perfection. To propose a re-enactment of the one offering once made is to denigrate the very will and purpose of the Father and the majesty, power, and absolute perfection of Jesus Christ the Lord. And as Hebrews 10: 11-12 explains, the contrast of the two offerings (man’s versus God’s) is man’s offering can “never take away sins” and God “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever.”
The Catholic Church makes Jesus’ sacrifice like the repeated sacrifices of bulls and goats of the Old Testament that could never take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus has “obtained eternal redemption.” “It is finished” (John 19:30), as Jesus said. The upper room is vacated. The cross is bare. And the tomb is empty. Jesus has been resurrected. Hallelujah! He now dwells in the hearts of those who have trusted and believed on Him. Truly, this is reason for rejoicing!
Jesus said, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). The apostle Paul tells us that Christ dwells in every believer’s heart (Ephesians 3:17). Christians are the temple of God—the Spirit of God dwells in us (I Corinthians 3:16). If ingesting consecrated bread was the true way to receive Christ, it would only bring His presence for a short time. Only while the bread remained in the digestive tract would Christ be in us. The rest of the time He would be absent. Yet, the biblical Jesus tells us, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15:4), and “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
To order copies of The Catholic Mary & Her Eucharistic Christ, click here
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
ISTANBUL, Turkey – In a move that drew some concerns from onlookers worldwide, the Roman Catholic pontiff known as Francis visited Turkey’s Blue Mosque on Saturday, expressing reverence during a moment of prayer observed by the nation’s grand mufti, who led him on a tour of the Islamic facility.
According to reports, Francis took off his shoes, folded his hands and bowed his head, standing silently next to Rahmi Yaran, who serves as the nation’s highest Islamic leader as grand mufti. The two faced Mecca as Yaran prayed with his palms raised.
The Vatican described the gesture as a “moment of silent adoration” during the Roman Catholic leader’s visit to the 17th century Sultan Ahmet mosque. Other descriptions of the visit state that it is meant to show “mutual respect” for each other’s religion. Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI also visited the facility during his tenure.
“May Allah accept it,” Yaran said following the time of prayer. Click here to continue reading.
By L. Putnam
“Pay attention” is the watchword of this book. And “pay attention” is what I would like to challenge the reader to do. Pay attention and awaken to who Ford once was. Pay attention and awaken to who Ford now is. In addition, pay attention to “the hours of our lives, ” and to the “ones who pay attention.” Finally, pay attention to the poets, authors, priests, and contemplatives Ford champions.
Pay Attention to Who Ford Once Was
Many of you, as did I, recall Billy Graham’s familiar radio program “The Hour of Decision.” As a child part of our Sunday afternoon ritual consisted of listening to Billy. I can still hear the ending of the program, “That’s all the address you need, ‘Billy Graham, Minneapolis, Minnesota.'” I can further remember that, now and then, rather than Billy preaching, a young evangelist named Leighton Ford ably proclaimed the gospel in Billy’s place.
Pay Attention to Who Ford Now Is
So imagine my complete shock, when reviewing the Ruth Haley Barton book Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership I read Leighton Ford’s foreword which he was writing, from a Roman Catholic oratory garden, while seated beside a pagan labyrinth.
How did Ford get to such a place as an oratory? Ford tells us, in this book, in his own words. Ford begins, “My work has largely focused on evangelism- ‘making friends for God.’ … But a shift has taken place.” “But now,” Ford relates, “is a time to pay more attention to my own heart, to deepen my own friendship with God, and to walk with others who want to do the same.” Ford also shares, “The deepest longing I have is to come home to my own heart …” (p.10-11)
Ford goes on, “If the first part of my own journey involved longing, the second has encompassed mainly looking –coming to important parts of my soul, bring my real self before the real God, and discovering prayer, as Simone Weil put it, as ‘absolute attention.'” (p.12) To achieve these goals Ford writes, “It has meant exploring other ways: silence, stillness, art and poetry, reading Scripture not by going through great chunks but by meditating on smaller portions, listening carefully to God and my own heart, having a trusted spiritual companion as a friend on the journey.” (p.14)
Pay Attention to the Benedictine Hours
Ford introduces us to “The Benedictine Hours” and to Benedict who became, according to Ford, “a shepherd of souls.” This soul shepherd became “St. Benedict” to whom Catholics now pray and worship. Consider this “Novena to St. Benedict” which begins “Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God’s grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne of God. … I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayer and obtain for me the special grace and favor I earnestly implore (name it). …” (p.20) https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/novena/benedict.htm
Pay Attention to David Steindl-Rast’s Connection to The Benedictine Hours
Ford tells us that his first experience of the hours came at a retreat at the lovely monastery–Mepkin Abbey in the low country of South Carolina. But, it wasn’t just from Mepkin that Ford learned about the hours. It was from a book– The Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey through the Hours of the Day by David Steindl-Rast and Sharon Lebell. Click here to read this entire book review.
LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes. Interesting to note that the announcement was made during an “interreligious Vatican conference on traditional family values,” in which Rick Warren participated. Question to think about: Did Rick Warren play a role in getting the Pope to the US, and will Rick Warren play a role in the Pope’s visit to the US. in 2015? Perhaps the Pope will make a stop at Saddleback. After all, as we reported earlier this year, a delegation of Catholic bishops visited Rick Warren and Saddleback to gain some “wisdom” on how to accelerate the Catholic New Evangelization program using Purpose Driven methods.
By Kathy Matheson
“Pope confirms Philly trip for families conference”
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers of the World Meeting of Families for months were coy when asked if Pope Francis would come to Philadelphia for the massive Roman Catholic-sponsored gathering.
It turns out that when the pontiff finally confirmed his attendance Monday, organizers already had gotten inside information from an unimpeachable source: Francis told Gov. Tom Corbett during a Vatican meeting in March that he would make the journey, his first papal visit to the United States.
“The Holy Father answered our invitation by whispering three words in Tom’s ear: ‘I will come,'” said Susan Corbett, Pennsylvania’s first lady.
Protocol kept them from saying anything publicly until now, she said at a news conference hours after the pope’s statement.
Still, the timing of Francis’ announcement — made during an interreligious Vatican conference on traditional family values — came as a bit of a surprise and set cellphones abuzz in Philadelphia around 3:30 a.m. EST. Organizers had not expected official word until later next year. Click here to continue reading.
By John Foxe
(Author of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs)
John Huss [1372-1415]
John Huss was born at Hussenitz, a village in Bohemia, about the year 1372. His parents gave him the best education their circumstances would admit; and having acquired a tolerable knowledge of the classics at a private school, he transferred to the University of Prague where he soon gave strong proofs of his mental powers and was remarkable for his diligence and application to study.
In 1398 Huss was chosen to be pastor of the Church of Bethlehem in Prague, and dean and rector of the university. In these stations he discharged his duties with great fidelity; and became so conspicuous for his preaching, which was in conformity with the doctrines of Wickliffe, that it was not likely he could long escape the notice of the pope and his adherents, against whom he complained with no small degree of harshness.
The archbishop of Prague, finding the reformists daily increasing, issued a decree to suppress the further spreading of Wickliffe’s writings: but this had an effect quite different to what he expected, for it stimulated the friends of those doctrines to greater zeal and almost the whole university united to propagate them.
Being strongly attached to the doctrines of Wickliffe, Huss opposed the decree of the archbishop, who eventually obtained a bull from the pope which gave him commission to prevent the publishing of Wickliffe’s doctrines in his province. Dr. Huss, with some other members of the university, protested against these proceedings and entered an appeal from the sentence of the archbishop.
When this affair became known to the pope, John Huss was ordered to appear personally at the court of Rome to answer the accusations laid against him of preaching both errors and heresies.
Dr. Huss declined to appear at this trial, after which he was declared obstinate and excommunicated forthwith. From this unjust sentence Huss appealed to a future council, but without success; and, notwithstanding so severe a decree, and an expulsion in consequence from his church in Prague, he retired to Hussenitz, his native place, where he continued to promulgate his new doctrine both from the pulpit and with the pen.
The letters which he wrote at this time were very numerous; and he compiled a treatise in which he maintained that reading the books of Protestants could not be absolutely forbidden. He wrote in defense of Wickliffe’s book on the Trinity; and boldly declared against the vices of the pope, the cardinals, and clergy of those corrupt times. He wrote also many other books, all of which were penned with a strength of argument that greatly facilitated the spreading of his doctrines.
In the month of November, 1414, a general council was assembled at Constance in Germany, in order, as was pretended, for the sole purpose of determining a dispute then pending between three persons who contended for the papacy; but the real motive was to crush the progress of the Reformation.
John Huss was summoned to appear at this council. To encourage him, the emperor sent him a safe-conduct. The civilities, and even reverence, that Huss met with on his journey were beyond imagination. The streets were lined with people, whom respect, rather than curiosity, had brought together. He was ushered into the town with great acclamations and it may be said that he passed through Germany in a kind of triumph.
As soon as Huss arrived at Constance, he immediately took lodgings in a remote part of the city. A short time after his arrival came one Stephen Paletz, who was employed by the clergy at Prague to manage the intended prosecution against him. Paletz was afterwards joined by Michael de Cassis on the part of the court of Rome. These two declared themselves his accusers and drew up a set of articles against him, which they presented to the pope and the prelates of the council.
When it was known that he was in the city, he was immediately arrested and committed prisoner to a chamber in the palace. This violation of common law and justice was particularly noticed by one of Huss’s friends, who invoked the imperial safe-conduct; but the pope replied he never granted any safe-conduct nor was he bound by that of the emperor.
While Huss was in confinement, the council acted the part of inquisitors. They condemned the doctrines of Wickliffe and even ordered his remains to be dug up and burned to ashes; which orders were strictly complied with. In the meantime, the nobility of Bohemia and Poland strongly interceded for Huss; and so far prevailed as to prevent his being condemned unheard, which had been resolved on by the commissioners appointed to try him.
When he was brought before the council, the articles exhibited against him were read: they were upwards of forty in number and chiefly extracted from his writings.
The excellent sentences Huss offered in defense of his doctrines were esteemed as so many expressions of treason and tended to inflame his adversaries. Accordingly, the bishops appointed by the council stripped him of his priestly garments, degraded him, put a paper miter on his head on which was painted devils and this inscription, “A ringleader of heretics.” Which when he saw, he said:
My Lord Jesus Christ, for my sake, did wear a crown of thorns; why should not I then, for His sake, wear this light crown, be it ever so shameful? Truly I will do it and willingly.
When it was set upon his head, the bishop said: “Now we commit your soul unto the devil.”
“But I,” said John Huss, lifting his eyes towards the heaven, “do commend into Your hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, my spirit which You have redeemed.”
When the chain was put about him at the stake, he said with a smiling countenance, “My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake, and why then should I be ashamed of this rusty one?” When the fagots were piled up to his very neck, the duke of Bavaria was so meddlesome as to desire him to retract. “No, (said Huss;) I never preached any doctrine of an evil tendency; and what I taught with my lips I now seal with my blood.”
When the flames were applied to the fagots, our martyr sung a hymn with so loud and cheerful a voice that he was heard through all the cracklings of the combustibles and the noise of the multitude. At length his voice was interrupted by the severity of the flames, which soon closed his existence.
Then, with great diligence, gathering the ashes together, they cast them into the river Rhine, that the least remnant of that man should not be left upon the earth, whose memory, notwithstanding, cannot be abolished out of the minds of the godly, neither by fire, neither by water, neither by any kind of torment. (From chapter 8 of the special Lighthouse Trails edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs)
More and more Protestants are testifying they are being drawn to the Catholic Church, especially through the Eucharist. Some say they have encountered the presence of Christ in a new and exciting way. One such person is Presbyterian pastor Steven Muse. Muse is one of the contributing authors of Mary the Mother of All: Protestant Perspectives and Experiences of Medjugorje.
According to Muse, his visit to Medjugorje was life changing, especially after he encountered the Eucharistic Christ. He states:
The fact remains that never before or since in my life have I had such an encounter with Christ in the Eucharist. I believe this is because I never received the bread and the wine as the Body and Blood of Christ, so what I loved in my heart and believed with my mind were never experienced as real in the here and now of my bodily presence as I encountered him again and again for the entire week. Sometimes this happened twice a day as I received Communion both in the morning at English Mass, and again in the evening at the Croatian Mass, where I did not even understand what they were saying or singing but only prayed the rosary in my own language with the others as if I had been saying “Hail Marys” all my life. What was true was that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were real. And Mary was real.1
While Muse testifies of a real encounter with Christ and then Mary while visiting Medjugorje, Protestant evangelist Benny Hinn made a prediction that Christ will be showing up on stage at his crusades. On March 29, 2000, Hinn made the following statement on his television program:
The Holy Spirit has spoken, He told me He is about to show up. Oh, I gotta tell you this just before we go. I had a word of prophecy from Ruth Heflin, you know who Ruth Heflin is? Ruth prophesied over me back in the seventies. Everything she said has happened. She just sent me a word through my wife and said: The Lord spoke to her audibly and said, that He is going to appear physically in one of our crusades in the next few months. Yeah, She … I’m telling ya she said, the Lord spoke to her audibly and said, tell Benny I’m going to appear physically on the platform in his meetings. Lord, do it in Phoenix, Arizona in the name of Jesus! And in Kenya too, Lord, please, Lord, in fact, do it in every crusade in Jesus’ name.2
For those who have followed the ministry of Benny Hinn, the previous statement should come as no great surprise. Hinn had previously claimed that Jesus materialized to him during a Catholic Mass while he was participating in Communion at a Catholic Church in Amarillo, Texas. Speaking with Paul Crouch on a Trinity Broadcasting Network “Praise the Lord Program” on December 24, 1997, Hinn described this experience:
The next thing I was feeling was actually the form of a body, the shape of a body. And my body … went totally numb.… And God really gave me a revelation that night, that when we partake communion, it’s not just communion, Paul [Crouch]. We are partaking Christ Jesus himself. He did not say, “Take, eat, this represents my body.” He said, “This is my body, broken for you…” When you partake communion, you’re partaking Christ, and that heals your body. When you partake Jesus how can you stay weak? … sick? … And so tonight, as we partake communion, we’re not partaking bread. We’re partaking what He said we would be partaking of: “This is my body.”3
While Benny Hinn would not be considered a Catholic by his followers, the previous statement indicates he has been influenced by the Catholic teaching of the Eucharistic Christ. Hinn’s ministry has had a powerful influence on people all over the world. It will be interesting to see if his acceptance of transubstantiation and the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist will become more and more apparent.
It should be noted, however, that the Catholic Church does not teach that transubstantiation occurs when a Protestant minister does a communion service. On the contrary, the official teaching is that only a Catholic priest has the power to perform this transformation of the bread and wine. So, in Benny Hinn’s case, he cannot perform the sacrament of the Eucharist even if he believes he is doing so. This places Hinn in an incredibly stalemated position, because if our position is correct, then he is in error to believe in transubstantiation; but if he is right about transubstantiation, then he is wrong according to Catholic teaching to think he can perform it. And even if he were to become Catholic, he still could not perform the Eucharist because only the celibate can become priests.
Peter Kreeft’s Catholic Conversion
Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy at Boston College and a regular contributor to several Christian publications, is in wide demand as a speaker at conferences and is the author of over forty books dealing with spirituality, apologetics and philosophy.4 Kreeft, once a Dutch Reformed Protestant, converted to Catholicism and is considered by many to be a leader in the area of Christian apologetics, even by Protestants. One of Kreeft’s books is Ecumenical Jihad. The back cover of this book lists a number of endorsements by well-known evangelical leaders. For example:
Peter Kreeft is one of the premier apologists in America today, witty, incisive and powerful. On the front lines in today’s culture war, Kreeft is one of our most valiant intellectual warriors.5
This racy little book opens up a far-reaching theme. With entertaining insight Kreeft looks into the attitudes, alliances and strategies that today’s state of affairs requires of believers. Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox alike need to ponder Peter Kreeft’s vision of things—preferably in discussion together. What if he is right?6—J. I. Packer
To understand Kreeft’s spiritual journey, it is helpful to examine a number of testimonial statements he made in Ecumenical Jihad. Regarding the role that the Eucharist played in his conversion to Catholicism, he writes:
In my pilgrimage from Dutch Reformed Calvinism to Roman Catholicism, the one Catholic dogma that most drew me in was the Eucharist.7
Now, as a strong promoter of the Catholic Church, Kreeft believes the teaching of transubstantiation and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist has potential for winning other Protestants back to the Mother of All Churches. Although he recognizes the Catholic Church’s view on the Sacrament of the Eucharist was instrumental in bringing about division between Protestants and Catholics in the past, he believes the Eucharist has the potential to now be an evangelistic tool in bringing back the separated brethren to Catholicism. As he states in his book:
No Catholic dogma is so distinctive and so apparently anti-ecumenical as the dogma of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Yet this dogma may be the greatest cause of ecumenism and eventual reunion.7
Predicting that future ecumenism will be fostered by the very factors that once brought about division, Kreeft continues:
I found that this doctrine, which seemed to repel and divide, at the same time attracted and united. The same with Mary: she—who is a point of division between Catholics and Protestants—she may bring the churches together again and heal the tears in her Son’s visible body on earth, she, the very one who seems to divide Catholics from Protestants. The most distinctive Catholic doctrines, especially those concerning the Eucharist and Mary, may prove to be the most unifying and attracting ones.9
Kreeft expresses his heartfelt concern for those Protestants who still refuse to accept the Catholic teaching of the Real Presence of Christ in a wafer. He writes:
When I think how much my Protestant brothers and sisters are missing in not having Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist; when I kneel before the Eucharist and realize I am as truly in Christ’s presence as the apostles were but that my Protestant brothers and sisters don’t know that, don’t believe that—I at first feel a terrible gap between myself and them. What a tremendous thing they are missing!10
As there is even now a move by many Protestant/evangelicals toward Catholicism and the Eucharistic adoration, Kreeft’s longing to see them enter in may be fulfilled.
There are countless other testimonies like Kreeft’s who have had an encounter with the Eucharistic Christ. The New Evangelization program presently underway is definitely showing signs of success. Numerous other testimonies could be presented that confirm a mystical addictive spiritual power that seems to be drawing people to the Eucharistic Christ.
In almost every recorded conversion account, there exists a common denominator. Each person who has converted to the Catholic Church has done so based on profound, powerful, and often gratifying experiences. These people were first drawn by a feeling that they were missing some deeper spiritual encounter, while the Eucharistic experience brought a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
An experience-based Christianity focused on signs and wonders associated with the Eucharistic Christ is clearly influencing many Protestants and evangelicals.
1. Sharon E. Cheston, Mary the Mother of All: Protestant Perspectives and Experiences of Medjugorje (Chicago, IL: Loyola University Press, 1994), section written by Steven Muse, p. 57, emphasis in the original.
2. Benny Hinn with Steve Brock, This is Your Day (700 Club Studios, Virginia Beach, VA, March 29, 2000), television broadcast.
3. Praise The Lord Show (Trinity Broadcasting Network, December 27, 1994).
4. See http://www.peterkreeft.com/about.htm.
5. Peter Kreeft, Ecumenical Jihad ( San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1996), back cover, endorsement by Chuck Colson
6. Ibid., endorsement by J. I. Packer.
7. Ibid., p. 145.
9. Ibid., p. 158.
10. Ibid., p. 159.
To read about more Protestant conversions to Catholicism, read Another Jesus by Roger Oakland.