Saturday, 12 November 2016

IS THE POPE THE "ANTI-CHRIST"?

Here in Northern Ireland we have become used to fundamentalist Protestants like the late Reverend Ian Paisley saying that The Vatican was "the whore of Babylon" and the pope was the anti-christ.

Paisley


A few years ago a friend of mine said:

"Maybe the anti-Christ is not a person. Maybe it is an institution or organisation".

This made me think and it made me ask if the Roman Catholic Church (as an institution) was the anti-Christ - and not just one man, the pope.



Personally I like Pope Francis and in my mind he is a far better pope that his predecessor - Joe Ratzinger - Pope Benedict - who in my opinion, and the opinion of others, had a very disturbing looking face and set of eyes.



But what is the anti-Christ. It is basically a Christian (or un-Christian) concept based on the interpretation of a number of passages in the New Testament. The term anti-Christ occurs five times in the Letters of Saint John and the term The Beast occurs in the Book of Revelation.

Personally I take the rather simpler and non scary movie view that anti-Christ is anything that is opposed to or against the teachings and spirit of Jesus Christ - just as Christian is either a person, or view or practice that is in keeping with the teachings and spirit of Jesus Christ. I take this view from my reading of a verse in the Gospel of Saint Luke when Jesus says: "Whoever is not with me opposes me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters".

From this I think we can ask if the Church of Rome is "with" Jesus and does it gather with him or instead does it scatter?

I can see very little resemblance between the Roman Catholic Church as it exists today and the church founded by Jesus and continued by the disciples in the first few hundred years of Christianity.

The early church was a community based church - where ALL its members worshipped in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem (as Jews) and then met in each other's homes for a Eucharist that they simply called: "The Breaking of the Bread".



There were no popes, no cardinals, no archbishops, no monsignors and canons, no parish priests and curates.

As the community grew the whole community elected from among their own number some "servants" who facilitated the community and its activities. Over time these "servants" were called "presbyters" (elders or ministers) and deacons. These early church servants were both MALE and FEMALE and while the elders concentrated on preaching the message of Jesus the deacons looked after those in need - especially widows and orphans.

The TWELVE APOSTLES who died out reasonably quickly were NOT elders or deacons in individual communities - rather they had the roving mission of founding and supporting existing and new Christian communities.

In spite of what Rome says Saint Peter was NEVER the "Bishop of Rome" and Rome's contention that his bones are buried below Basilica of St Peter is nothing but wishful thinking.

Over time the early office of "elder" developed into the office of "episcopus" or "overseer". He or she, was if you like the senior or presiding elder. But they were never Lord Bishops. That term developed initially when the Bishop of Rome sold his soul to the Emperor Constantine and later still when the heads of wealthy families wanted total control of a district and wanted to be the temporal and spiritual superior of all others in the area. 

In itself there was nothing wrong with the pastoral development of bishop (presiding elder) presbyter (elder) and deacon. The rot set in when these people, ignoring the message of Christ, began to see themselves as MASTERS and not SERVANTS of the community.  

   




44 comments:

  1. Absolute claptrap. Some people, Pat, would say that that YOU have "a very disturbing looking face and set of eyes"!!!

    Picking poor Benedict in one of his less photogenic moments is simply pathetic.

    Your attempts to identify the Church as the antichrist are every bit as stupid, sad and immature, as Paisley and co's nonsense since the reformation.

    Wise up, Pat. You better things to say/offer than this boring nonsense.

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  2. Mulhall's is a sad case who has been left to his own devices - adrift - neither here nor there.

    It's a sad case because the Reds don't seem to want him OR else he doesn't want the Reds?

    It's also sad because +Treanor seems to have no regard for him by sending him back to intensive parish work in a place which is challenging.

    We don't know exactly who is responsible for this man's welfare. Clearly he's not happy within himself.

    Fr Rice - Redemptorist has said he has no comment to make - which is strange as he was mentioned by another person here as someone who could throw light on the Mulhall situation. Fr Rice didn't say that the question was silly but rather - no comment. This means that he'd prefer not to comment.
    We must make our own minds up.

    While Treanor goes merrily along in his own way, we should ask why the Reds have dropped or are dropping Mulhall.

    Mulhall's boss is Fr Baragry of course but he's ably assisted by the two Clonard men Fr Callaghan and Nasty Noel as his advisors.

    Amazing that two men who are Mulhall's bosses (Nasty Noel and Ciarán) are able to sleep in their beds and only a mile from Tuff Lodge!  Contented too. Their main worry, according to the papers,  being their greenhouse!!

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  3. Pat, why did all of that nonsense above not deter you from the priesthood earlier? Surely if it was so true you would have left.
    Catch a grip

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    1. Well, in my early days I was as indoctrinated as many are.

      When I started living priesthood the scales gradually fell frim my eyes.

      So eventually I realised that it is the basics and essentials that matter and not the accidentals.

      So now it is God, Jesus, faith, spirituality (not religion), love, service, discipleship etc.

      I have come to see that The Emperor has No Clothes.

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    2. By the way, I have also come to see that the COI, Presbyterians, Methodists etc are just as bad in many ways as the RCs.

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    3. Maybe you are not wearing any clothes either, Pat?

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    4. As the good Pope John said to some ladies he overheard comparing him unfavorably to his majestic predecessor, "The Conclave, you know, is not a beauty contest."

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    5. The references to the emperor not wearing any clothes put King Puck's picture in a whole new light!

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  4. Bishop Pat,

    Seriously?

    "Joe Ratzinger - Pope Benedict - who in my opinion, and the opinion of others, had a very disturbing looking face and set of eyes."

    Is that the best you have to offer today? Come on Pat, you're better than that.

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    1. Maybe? But are the eyes not the windows of the soul?

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    2. 11:11 I suppose you think Fr Brendan Smyth had a beautiful face and lovely eyes? :-)

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    3. Pope Benedict was not as popular as his predecessor nor his successor, but still a most spiritual man which I respected, like Pat I always thought him not to have the charisma or looks that most other Popes that I can remember had.

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    4. Wasent Ratzi head of the vatican SS. - congregation for the faith-says it all

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    5. 11:20 I note your smile - thanks! I think that you make the point for me - the face does nothing really to reveal the beauty or [as in Smyth's case] the beast of the person beneath.

      Pat - to answer your question, on balance, no I don't agree with the proverb. Mind you, I have also seen a version of the quote you used as - "The eyes are the window the soul and the mouth its door". Maybe then what comes out of our mouth [or from our keyboard] also reveals our soul?? What do you think, Pat?

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    6. He did some dreadful things to some fine theologians. There has been no freedom of speech in the Church since 1978. The only way to get to be a bishop was to say women and married priests are bad together with birth control is bad. A lot of the best brains have left and all the bishops are yes men incapable of creative thoughts.The church had been run like the Soviet Union. We are in dire straits and I cannot see a way out. Priests have to rigidly follow the script or they are disciplined and moved. If you drive out the intelligentsia, you destroy the church. They really want robots.

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  5. "When Jesus family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind"

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  6. Can't see the connection here with this post and our new Parish Priest ... but anyway

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    1. If that "really" is directed at me then please feel free to explain

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  7. The catholic religion like a lot of religions has its flaws, but it's not all bad, but some articles you write are completely of the pan, ludicrous, and just downright silly, It show someone who is desperate for attention at any cost, Kinda sad, I think

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    1. Is the question about whether or not the pope is the anti Christ not a valid question?

      Surely there are no questions that cannot be asked?

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  8. Pat. As a regular contributor and a supporter of yours I have to say I think you might be losing the plot!!

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  9. "Pope Benedict - who in my opinion, and the opinion of others, had a very disturbing looking face and set of eyes."

    I quite agree with your endorsement of physiognomy, based as it is on sound scientific principles, despite its unpopularity since the 1800s. Using this method, we could have a piercing look around Larne and quickly realise that 57% of the populace are of a criminal disposition, and we could then lock them up without all this tedious nonsense of court hearings and whatnot.

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  10. The Anti Christ is any one or any institution that goes against what Christ himself taught and therefore undervalues the person or persons claimed to be served in the name of the Gospel. This can be a conscious choice or done through willful omission-Simples

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  11. http://catholicozarks.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-whore-of-babylon.html

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  12. Yesterday Pope Francis did an extraordinary thing. He went out across Rome to join a gathering of seven priests no longer in ministry together with their women and children.

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    1. It was good but why should it be extraordinary?

      Should every Christian not do things like that ???

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    2. Might be hard for an ordinary bishop. One I knew only got round to visiting certain priests when it was clear they were dying, a chance to pick up something witty to say at the funeral.

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    3. Some bishops treat married former priests like vermin and anti-Christs. All the lovely talk about mercy they're spouting this year makes me laugh...bunch of sanctimonius pharisees...they should start in their own backyard.

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    4. 20.26 Sadly some laity can be bitter too

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  13. The pope could be seen as mildly antichrist in the sense that Jesus made Peter the rock and defined that as the power to bind and loose. It was an admin power. There is nothing in the Bible that any bishop is more of a teacher or God mouthpiece than anybody else. The power given to Peter was given to the rest of the apostles. Each bishop is the vicar of Christ and head of the Church in his diocese or whatever but there is no overall head. The Catholic Church has gone too far with the papacy. Pope Francis knows the truth for Hans Kung has sent him a copy of can we save the Catholic Church which argues for the restoration of a truly Catholic doctrine of the papacy. Francis is still enabling a view of the bishop of Rome that is heretical nonsense and based on lies and which has caused so much religious division. He is still taking advantage of an office that he does not morally possess.

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    1. But the Apostles were NOT bishops - with the exception of John in Antioch.

      They were APOSTLES.

      Their ministry was not to ONE church but to all the churches.

      If the Apostles were not bishops how can the bishops be called "the successors of the Apostles?

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    2. St. James - bishop of Jerusalem - died 62 a.d.
      What then was St. Peter?

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  14. You have to be commended Pat for shining light on the darkness. Keep shouting in the wilderness. Indeed the emporer has no clothes! My experience is that fear prevents true vision, however you demonstrate love that enables your eyes to be open and freedom to follow. Thankyou for your witness as inspiration.

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  15. Pat, me and my friend love your blog. We would love to come to the Oratory. Are we allowed? When do you celebrate Mass? Do we need to pay to attend?
    Kind Regards,
    Pauline

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    1. Pauline we have Mass every Sunday at 12 noon - absolutely open to ALL.

      Of course there is no charge.

      Mass is FREE :-)

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  16. Aren't most of our priests over 65 or thereabouts.
    No wonder franky went out to visit theses married priests
    Were they excommunicated ?
    I hope he brings them back into ministery soon

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    1. Yes wouldn't it be nice to see that priests share in the human condition with all its struggles and difficulties if they too were allowed to marry and have families. Jesus Christ in His person reveals the humanity of God. We still find that hard to accept. We always emphasise His divinity, whether consciously or unconsciously.I think the heresy of the denial of Christ's humanity was called appolinarianism?? In the Gospels Jesus keeps referring to himself as the Son of Man..the full impact of what he's really saying seems lost in that phrase...he's saying that he is a man, a son of Adam...one of us..that sounds too scandalous to many of us still.
      It's as if we have to elevate the glory of the priest by downplaying his humanity. A married clergy would be far more a sign of the Lord's presence in ordinary, suffering, everyday humanity. People could relate to that kind of man. Some priests are wonderful celibates and really give of themselves in that happy state. Others however end up disgruntled, odd, aloof, addicted, curmudgeonly...maybe a caring intimate human support could have humanised them.

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  17. Replies
    1. 20.57 and Sean
      Would seem to be idyllic - how could a curate, e.g. look after a wife, children and their education and upkeep on a probably maximum £20,000 income?

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  18. Many a dad earn less, what planet are you on
    If wife not working they get tax credits it's called real life

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  19. You, 20.57 may have a point.
    A married man does not have to pay his wife!
    £5,200 plus stamps leaves at maximum £14,800!
    It probably costs very little more to heat a family house than a one occupant house - check with any pensioner!
    Same with electric and cooking costs!
    Et. Etc. Etc.
    Could be done, - know nothing about children's allowances!
    Nothing is easy!

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