Understand the Times with Roger Oakland
During the late 1990s, while evangelical Protestants and Catholics were making progress joining hands and disregarding differences (Chuck Colson’s “Evangelicals & Catholics Together”1), I discovered strong evidence of an underlying Catholic agenda to entice all those who were not Catholic to become Catholic.
The pope’s declaration at the Eucharistic Congress in June of 2000 and the Knights of Columbus booklet promoting the Eucharist as the heart of what Catholics mean by evangelization, reminded me of a statement made by Catholic priest Tom Forest in 1990. I had come across this quote while doing research for my book, New Wine and the Babylonian Vine. Forest speaking to an exclusively Catholic group, explained:
Our job is to make people as richly and as fully Christian as we can make them by bringing them into the Catholic Church. So evangelization is never fully successful, it’s only partial, until the convert is made a member of Christ’s body by being led into the [Catholic] church.
No, you don’t just invite someone to become a Christian. You invite them to become Catholics … Why would this be so important? First of all, there are seven sacraments, and the Catholic Church has all seven. On our altars we have the body of Christ; we drink the blood of Christ. Jesus is alive on our altars … We become one with Christ in the Eucharist…
As Catholics we have Mary, and that Mom of ours, Queen of Paradise, is praying for us till she sees us in glory. As Catholics we have the papacy, a history of popes from Peter to John Paul II … we have the rock upon which Christ did build His Church. Now as Catholics–now I love this one–we have purgatory. Thank God! I’m one of those people who would never get to the Beatific Vision without it. It’s the only way to go….
So as Catholics … our job is to use the remaining decade evangelizing everyone we can in the Catholic Church, into the body of Christ and into the third millennium of Catholic history.2
A clear picture was being painted–a missionary vision focusing on the Eucharist was a topic of extreme significance. (From Another Jesus, 2nd ed., pp. 29-30 – to understand the meaning of the Catholic Eucharist and the Pope’s new evangelization plan, please read this important book.)
1. Evangelicals & Catholics Together, co-authored by Charles Colson and signed by many evangelical leaders. (Can be viewed at: http://www.leaderu.com/ect/ectmenu.html).
2. “Roman Catholic Doubletalk at Indianapolis ’90,” Foundation, July-August 1990, excerpts from talk by Fr. Tom Forest to the Roman Catholic Saturday morning training session.
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