NEW BOOKLET TRACT: A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church by Ann Marie is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 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 A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church, click here.
By Ann Marie
Pope Francis is trying to pull Protestants into the Catholic Church. As you will see, several things are helping him accomplish this.
Ecumenism seems plausible because Catholics use words in a way that outsiders don’t understand. Because Protestants don’t understand what Catholics really mean, they think they have a lot of things in common, when in reality, they don’t. For example, let’s look at the word “grace.” According to the Bible, salvation cannot be earned. It only comes from the grace of God. The apostle Paul says:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. (Titus 3:5)
However, according to Catholic doctrine, if people do good works, and they fulfill certain specified requirements, then they can merit a “divine reward” from God.1 This is a doctrine of earning spiritual blessings by doing good works. In addition, the liturgical ritual for baptizing infants includes a prayer asking God to give grace to the water in the baptismal font (the water used to sprinkle the infant).2 For Catholics, “grace” is something that can even be given to inanimate objects such as water.
Here is another example of how Protestants can think they understand Catholicism, when they really don’t. A Catholic priest wrote to me saying that the Catholic Church teaches we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. However, he failed to mention something. According to official Catholic doctrine, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ—PLUS being baptized, going to Mass on Sundays, receiving communion at least once a year, going to confession at least once a year, believing the official doctrines of the Catholic Church, and dying in “a state of grace.” (In America, Mass on Saturdays can be substituted for Mass on Sundays.)
Pope Francis claims that Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God. We do not! Christians and Jews worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Bible tells us to love and forgive. Muslims worship a very different “god,” and the Koran tells Muslims to kill “infidels” if they refuse to convert to Islam.
In June 2014, Pope Francis invited Muslims and Jews to the Vatican for an interfaith service for Catholics, Muslims, and Jews. This is the first time in history that Islamic prayers have been held at the Vatican.3
When listening to Pope Francis or reading his statements, please remember— he is a Jesuit; and Jesuits believe it is morally right to engage in “mental reservations.” This is the practice of saying something with the deliberate intention of deceiving people, but doing it in a way that avoids technically telling a lie. One form this can take is to add more words in your mind that are never spoken, but taken together with those said out loud, the total statement would technically be true.4
Jesuits and Mind Control
The Jesuits practice a form of mind control. It violates a person’s ability to think independently and to follow one’s own conscience. In addition, this can be used to pressure people to obey orders to do bad things. This approach can be seen in the following three rules from the “Spiritual Exercises” of Saint Ignatius Loyola. (He was the founder of the Jesuits.) The “Spiritual Exercises” are divided into sections of four “weeks,” followed by sections of four kinds of rules. These are from the last section of rules titled “Rules for Thinking with the Church.” Ignatius Loyola taught his followers:
Rule 1: Putting aside all private judgment, we should keep our minds prepared and ready to obey promptly and in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord, our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.
Rule 9: [T]o praise all the precepts of the Church, holding ourselves ready at all times to find reasons for their defense, and never offending against them.
Rule 13: If we wish to be sure that we are right in all things, we should always be ready to accept this principle: I will believe that the white that I see is black, if the hierarchical Church so defines it. For, I believe that between the Bridegroom, Christ our Lord, and the Bride, His Church, there is but one spirit, which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls, for the same Spirit and Lord, who gave us the Ten Commandments, guides and governs our Holy Mother Church.5 (emphasis added)
In addition to these Jesuit teachings, the Catholic Church itself promotes mind control. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the idea of freedom of religion is wrong. Religious belief is said to be “outside the realm of free private judgment,” which means that people are not supposed to use their own personal judgment to determine their religious beliefs.6
According to Canon Law (the official laws governing the Roman Catholic Church), Catholics are required to submit their minds and wills to any declaration concerning faith or morals which is made by the Pope or by a church council. They are also required to avoid anything that disagrees with such declarations.7
The Catholic Church teaches that only the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (the Pope and the bishops in communion with him) has the right to interpret Scripture. People are not allowed to interpret Scripture for themselves. They are supposed to rely entirely on Catholic Church authorities.8 Catholics are supposed to “receive with docility” any directives given to them by Catholic Church authorities.9
A Spirit of Control
The Catholic Church has a strong spirit of control. However, it does not always show it overtly. There is an old saying that when it is in the minority, then it is as meek as a lamb; when it is equal in power with other denominations or religions, then it is sly as a fox; and when it is in power, then it becomes as fierce as a tiger.
Two examples of this are the claim to be infallible and the claim to be able to consign people to hell. I’ll discuss infallibility here, while information about anathemas and consigning people to hell are found in the appendix.
According to the official teaching of the Catholic Church, Catholic men and women are not allowed to believe what they read in the Bible without first checking it out with the Catholic Church. They are required to find out how the bishops of the Church interpret a passage, and they are to accept what the bishops teach “with docility” as if it came from Jesus Christ Himself. They are not allowed to use their own judgment or follow their own conscience. They are required to believe whatever the bishops teach without questioning it.*10
The Catholic Church also teaches that when the bishops officially teach doctrine relating to faith and morals, then God supernaturally prevents them from making any errors. This is called “infallibility.” It applies to official councils, such as the Second Vatican Council. It also applies to other teachings, as long as the bishops and the Pope are in agreement about them.11
In addition to all this, the Pope is said to be infallible whenever he makes an official decree on matters of faith and morals. According to Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for the Pope to teach false doctrine. Catholics are expected to obey the Pope without question even when he is not making an “infallible” statement about doctrine. They are expected to submit their wills and minds to the Pope without question.12
The “Early Fathers,” and the theologians and canon lawyers of the Middle Ages, never taught that the bishops or the Pope were infallible. This is demonstrated by the fact that in 680 A.D., the Sixth Ecumenical Council condemned a pope as a heretic. It was not until the fourteenth century that the theory of infallibility began to emerge. With the development of this theory came a change in the interpretation of some biblical passages.13
My Experience with Mind Control
I understand such things because I used to be a nun in a convent where we were subjected to some forms of mind control. Our personal identities were taken away from us, and we were given new names. We were cut off from our families. We were not allowed to have any kind of emotional attachment to any person or even to an animal. We had to keep silence, which prevented us from communicating with the other nuns.
We had no free time. Everything was scheduled. We had several services a day to sing the Divine Office (Vespers, etc.). Plus we went to Mass every day. We also had scheduled prayer time in the evening, when there was a strict code of silence. All of our other time was spent doing chores.
In the convent, we owned absolutely nothing. I wore my eyeglasses, but they could have taken them if they wanted to.
Christians are supposed to put on the mind of Christ. We do that through prayer and reading the Bible. In contrast, in the convent, we were taught to put on the mind of the Pope and of the founder of our religious order and also of our mother superior. They were our guides rather than the Bible. We were led by them instead of being led by the Holy Spirit.
In effect, our superiors were our conscience and our brains. We were not allowed to think independently or have our own opinions about things, much less communicate about any questions we might have. We were not to ask questions—just obey.
When I left the convent, the nun responsible for getting me out of there whisked me away in such a fashion that the other nuns never saw me leave. I recall noticing that nuns would disappear from time to time but didn’t understand what that meant until it happened to me.
The nun took me to the bus station and got me a ticket to go back home, which was in another state. While she was at the bus station, she called my parents. I thanked God that my parents were home at that time. They weren’t out of town or away visiting friends. I didn’t have enough money to take a cab from the bus station to the house, and I didn’t have a key to the house. If my mother and dad had not been there, I would have landed helplessly at the mercy of strangers.
When I got home, it was strange talking to people again, and it took me a while to get used to it. It was strange hugging my family because I wasn’t used to touching people.
For months afterward, I always kept my head covered. I always wore a scarf. In the convent, we always kept our heads covered, except when we went to bed at night. It took me months to be able to have my head uncovered without feeling guilty about it. After that, it took many more months before I was able to put on lipstick, and when I did it, I felt guilty.
I got a job as a temporary secretary as I had been a secretary before going into the convent. One day, a man called my boss on the phone, and my boss asked me who it was. I told him I didn’t know, so he told me to ask the caller who he was. I wasn’t able to do that. For years, as a secretary, I had routinely asked callers who they were, but being in the convent, I could not be assertive enough to ask a question like that. Therefore, my boss had to teach me how to do it.
I have some friends who are former nuns. They also went through strange experiences while making the adjustment to normal life. One of them had a woman mentor her. The woman taught her how to ride a bus, how to shop, how to handle money, how to fix her hair, and how to do other things that people take for granted. She had lost all of those skills while she was in the convent.
One friend of mine who is a former nun was trained to whip herself. It took a lot of training to get her to think that it was the right thing to do. But because she trusted and obeyed her superiors, she came to believe it was a good thing. However, she didn’t actually put this into practice because Vatican II came along, and the convent changed its policy; but she was trained for it and was prepared to do it.
Leaving the Catholic Church
Eventually I left the Catholic Church and became an evangelical Christian. It took me a long time to do that, with a lot of Bible study and prayer. Even after I was fully persuaded that Catholicism taught things contrary to Scripture, it was difficult to leave because of the degree of mind control to which I had been subjected.
Getting out of the Catholic Church was one thing, but getting Catholicism out of me was another matter. It was a long, slow, difficult, and painful process because of the level of mind control I had gone through, but I wanted the truth—no matter what it cost me to learn it. Truth is precious, and the Lord Jesus Christ is truth incarnate. He says,
I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
I was called “Sister Ann Marie” when I was in the convent. I am using that name in this booklet because I want to avoid being harassed.
According to the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, when the Catholic Church anathematizes someone, the Pope ritually puts curses on them. There is a solemn written ritual for doing this. The Catholic Encyclopedia article describes the ritual in detail, including extensive quotations from it. (You can read the articles of the Catholic Encyclopedia online.)14
In pronouncing the anathema, the Pope wears special vestments. He is assisted by twelve priests who are holding lighted candles. Calling on the name of God, the Pope pronounces a solemn ecclesiastical curse. He ends by pronouncing sentence and declaring that the anathematized person is condemned to hell with Satan. The priests reply, “Fiat!” (Let it be done!) and throw down their candles.
As we will see, the Catholic Church considers heresy (disagreement with Catholic doctrine) to be a crime. The Council of Trent, and other Church councils, declare that any person who disagrees with even one of their doctrinal statements is thereby anathematized.
When the Pope pronounces an anathema, he is said to be passing sentence on a criminal. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the anathema ritual is deliberately calculated to terrify the “criminal” and cause him to repent (in other words, to unconditionally submit to the Catholic Church).
For those whose crime is heresy, repentance means renouncing everything they have ever said or done which conflicts with Catholic doctrine. In other words, they have to renounce their own conscience and discernment and the conclusions they reached in their best efforts to understand biblical principles. And they have to submit their minds and wills unconditionally to every official doctrinal declaration of the Catholic Church. As we will see, Canon Law says this unquestioning submission of the mind and will is required.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, a person’s religious belief is “outside the realm of free private judgment.” This is consistent with the spirit behind anathematizing people.15
The new Code of Canon Law was published by the authority of Pope John Paul II in 1983. It claims to be inspired by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and to put its reforms in concrete form. According to Canon 752, whenever the Pope or the college of bishops makes a declaration concerning faith or morals, “the Christian faithful” are required to submit their intellect and will to it. Furthermore, they are required to avoid anything which disagrees with it.16
So it is against Roman Catholic Canon Law for “the Christian faithful” to doubt or deny or dispute any Catholic doctrine. If something is against the law, then any person who does it commits a crime, which makes him a criminal. Canon Law has punishments for such criminals.
According to Canon 1311, the Catholic Church has the right to coerce “the Christian faithful” who do things contrary to Canon Law. Canon 1312 says that penal sanctions can include depriving people of spiritual goods (such as the sacraments) and temporal goods (things which people need for life on this earth). During the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church penalized Protestants by depriving them of their property, their freedom, and even their lives.17
The Catholic Church has never renounced its past practice of killing people it considered to be heretics. On the contrary, the Office (or Congregation) of the Inquisition still exists. It is part of the Roman Curia (the group of men who govern the Catholic Church). In 1965, its name was changed to “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” It was headed by Cardinal Ratzinger until he became Pope Benedict in 2005.18
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (i.e., that Mary was entirely sinless from birth). After defining the dogma, the Pope said that if any person dares to disagree with what the Pope has declared, then he or she shipwrecks their faith and is cut off from the Church. The Pope declared that such people are “condemned.” He said that if any person says, or writes, or in any other way outwardly expresses “errors” in his or her thinking, then that person becomes subject to punishment.19
The Pope’s reference to punishment is significant because a man had been executed for heresy 28 years before this papal bull was issued. In 1826, a Spanish schoolmaster was hanged because he substituted the phrase “Praise be to God” in place of “Ave Maria” (“Hail Mary”) during school prayers.20
On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII issued a papal bull defining the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. He ended by saying that it is forbidden for any person to oppose his declaration or to say things contrary to it. The Pope further declared that any person who attempts to do so thereby incurs the wrath of God and the wrath of the Apostles Peter and Paul.21
Although this papal bull doesn’t openly threaten punishment, it still implies the possibility of some form of punishment. The difference in tone between the bull of 1854 and the bull of 1950 reflects the decrease in power of the Catholic Church. In 1854, a man had recently been executed for heresy. In 1950, the political power of the Roman Catholic Church had decreased. By 1950, the kind of language which was used in the 1854 bull would not have created a good image for the Catholic Church in our modern day.
The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Pope has the power and the authority to damn people to hell. The anathema ritual demonstrates this belief. Many Catholics deny this, saying that only God can condemn people to hell. But look at the ritual of the anathema, as described in the Catholic Encyclopedia. And look at the following solemn declaration of excommunication, which was pronounced by Pope Innocent III:
We excommunicate, anathematize, curse and damn him.22
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*This contradicts what the Bible says about being a good Berean and testing all things (see Acts 17:10-11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:20), and it nullifies the idea that the Scriptures (particularly the Gospel) were intended to be understood by the common man (see Isaiah 35:8 and Habakkuk 2:2).
1. John A. Hardon, Pocket Catholic Dictionary (“merit”), p. 295. Hardon is a Catholic priest with a doctorate in theology.
2. The Rites of the Catholic Church, Volume 1, pp. 394-407 as cited by James G. McCarthy in The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God, p. 22.
3. Christopher Agee, “The Pope Just Invited Islam Into The Vatican, Christians Aghast” (Western Journalism, June 6, 2014, http://www.westernjournalism.com/pope-francis-host-islamic-prayer-vatican).
4. “Mental Reservation,” Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. X, 1911. The Catholic Encyclopedia is available online: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10195b.htm.
5. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, translated by Anthony Mottola, Ph.D., introduction by Robert W. Gleason, S.J. (New York, NY: Image Books, 2014), pp. 139-141.
6. “Inquisition,” Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, 1910. The statement opposing freedom of religion is in the second paragraph of the article: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm.
7. Code of Canon Law, Canons 752, 1311-1312 (Latin English edition, New English Translation) (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1988), pp. 247, 409. The 1983 Code of Canon Law was translated into English in 1988.
8. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 85, 100, 891, 2051. The Catechism summarizes the essential and basic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It comes in numerous editions and languages. Because it has numbered paragraphs, statements can be accurately located in spite of the variety of editions.
9. Ibid., Paragraphs 87, 1310, 2037.
10. Ibid., paragraphs 85, 87, 100, 862, 891, 939, 2034, 2037, 2041, and 2050.
11. Ibid., paragraphs 890, 891, 939, 2033, 2034, and 2049.
12. Ibid., paragraphs 892, 2037, and 2050.
13. William Webster, The Church of Rome at the Bar of History (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1995), pp. 34-55.
14 “Anathema,” Catholic Encyclopedia (1913 edition), Vol. 1. The ritual is described in detail, with a lengthy quotation; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01455e.htm.
15. “Inquisition,” Catholic Encyclopedia,” Vol. VIII, 1910; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm.
16. Code of Canon Law, Latin English edition, New English Translation (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1988), p. 247, Canon 752. The 1983 “Code of Canon Law” was translated into English in 1988.
17. Ibid., p. 409, Canons 1311 and 1312. These canons are in the beginning of Book VI.
18. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dxcdf.html
19. Ineffabilis Deus (“Apostolic Constitution on the Immaculate Conception”). This encyclical of Pope Pius IX was issued on December 8, 1854. Near the end of this papal bull, there is a section titled “The Definition.” The statements I described are in the last paragraph of that section; http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm.
20. Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity (New York: Simon & Schuster, a Touchstone Book, 1995), p. 308. Paul Johnson is a prominent historian and a Catholic.
21. Munificentissimus Deus (“Defining the Dogma of the Assumption”), paragraph 47. Encyclical of Pope Pius XII issued November 1, 1950; http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12MUNIF.htm.
22. Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity, p. 199.
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