Just a few months ago the very suggestion that I would voluntarily withdraw my communion with Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, which has been my earthly spiritual home and family for all of my 63 years, would have been horrifying. Now, with the signing of our Declaration, I have excommunicated myself, and we are just waiting for the Bishop to have done all he has to do in order to confirm our excommunication. So what has changed? Why do I feel peace when I should be completely shattered?
It is very simple. Like so many others I have watched with increasing sadness and horror the happenings in the Roman Catholic Church. I was not surprised, I have always had a very down to earth view of the clergy, and have known some that were quite simply saintly, and others who were a theological or moral nightmare, and sadly some who had lost their faith but continued to practice as priests to the spiritual detriment of their long-suffering parishioners.
Firstly, to clear up any misunderstanding, it is not the moral depravity rampant in the clergy that has caused me withdraw from the institutional church. I know that some people, including one bishop, seem to think that this is the case, but it is not. And that is not because I am in any way ignorant of what goes on. Even a quick look at the web, including the excellent LifeSiteNews, can leave one in no doubt that the abomination of active homosexualism is common from seminarians to cardinals. And I know of that fact personally; two of my very close relatives whom I love, were both sexually molested by a religious brother whilst they were in junior seminary in the 1960’s. The man who did this is now dead. I have also known, or at least met, priests who were having heterosexual sex, homosexual sex, and one who was propositioning vulnerable adult men (I reported him and he was removed from active ministry, and he is also now dead). Being in such a morally depraved Church is a reason for deep sorrow, desperate prayer, and doing all one can do to change the situation, by action within the Church, and when that doesn’t work, as it hasn’t, then bringing it to light, for God works through States and Civil authorities to purify his people, as He did by use of the Babylonians in the Old Testament.
No. The simple reason for my action is that I cannot, in all conscience, do otherwise. The teaching of the Church has fallen into heresy. Both heresy against the Truths of Faith as contained in the Holy Bible, and ‘heresy’ against the Traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. I am only concerned here with the heresies against the Truths of Faith, and the way that Pope Francis is preaching directly against Christ’s words. Words that cannot be changed, and if it were I that were to do so, I would be rightfully be condemned as a heretic, so why is not Francis Bergoglio?
One very simple example. Francis has said several times that: God is too merciful to punish people for ever / send people to hell / evil people just cease to exist. Christ says in contrast: they will be thrust into hell / into the fire where the worm does not die, and the fire will never be quenched / ‘He will say to those on His left: “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels”’. Can both views be true, Christ’s and Francis’? Jesus, Son of God, is Truth itself. Francis has preached heresy time and time again, and this is well covered by the recently published “open letter to the Bishops” by clergy and scholars (some of which such as the Dominicans are very definitely both clergy and scholars), so I don’t need to go into details of the rest of the Pope’s heresies here.
If it were just the Pope saying such things the matter could be cleared up. Either by the Pope becoming truly converted and refuting his former heretical statements, or by the Bishops convicting him of his heresy and thereby removing him from the papacy. However, neither of the above would solve the deep-seated problem in the present Roman Catholic Church. That of false teaching. Yes, much of the false teaching emanates from Francis, but not all. Its roots go back much further, and in a sense Francis Bergoglio is just a product of his time.
I was fortunate; my mother, a well-versed lover of catechetics, taught me to love Christ, to love the Truths of Faith, and to zealously defend both. My job, as a Hospital doctor then consultant, whilst at home I was a carer and companion to my chronically ill mother, gave me no time to be closely involved in church organisations. This meant that until her death in 2002 and my car accident in 2004 which ended my medical career, I did not know quite how infested with modernism the Catholic Church had become.
When I then studied theology at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham (England) in 2005 I was shocked when the priest who taught Scripture at Wonersh Seminary stated that Christ hadn’t walked on the water. Instead, Christ was walking on the beach and the Apostles were confused – but that it all had happened in order that the Holy Spirit would get the Evangelists to write a falsity to make a certain point in the Gospels! We, the students, being conservative laity, rose up to protest loudly. Pointing out that Scripture is true, and that Christ being God, it would be simple for Him to walk on the water, rather than the complicated machinations suggested by this heretical priest lecturer. I later learned just how common is this clerical disbelief of Gospel miracles. When priests do not believe that Jesus Christ was able to walk on the water, or perform the miracle at the feeding of the multitudes (as Pope Francis has suggested), it begs the question, do they actually believe the miracle of the Resurrection? For if Jesus could not even manage to walk on water, how would he be able to rise from the dead? And if there was no Resurrection, then the Christian religion is false! But as we know, it is not false, Jesus did rise from the dead, he did heal and perform the other miracles; because Jesus Christ is God, and God is omnipotent.
Francis Bergoglio is a Jesuit, and his religious formation is as a Jesuit. The Jesuits put much importance on learning, both religious and secular; but they are also known for being ‘Jesuitical’, a term invented just for them, describing the twisting of truth to fit the desired end. That type of thinking is dangerous as it can lead people off the straight but narrow way, to the easy and broad way that leads to loss of faith and finally to hell. We are not called to be scholars, but to love and worship God; the ‘better part’ like Mary of Bethany, to walk with Christ the Way of the Cross, to die with Him so that we will live with Him. Theology is very simple, just follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as laid out in the Holy Bible.
Christ will lead His Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church both come directly from the early Christians who were called Catholics – i.e. the ‘universal’ Church. In that way the Orthodox Oriental Catholics and the Roman Catholics are like the children of the original Catholic Church. (The term Roman Catholic is actually a contradiction in terms – ‘Roman Universal’!) The later branches of the Western Church – Lutherans, Puritans, Baptists etc, etc, are in that way the grandchildren of the original Catholic Church. As in a human family not all branches follow closely the original beliefs of earlier generations, but all can look back to the original Catholic Church to see how the flock/family should be responding to its founder – Jesus Christ.
How will Christ lead His Flock to its heavenly home? I really do not know! Maybe I will live to see the Shepherd at work, but all I am called to do is to trust Him that He is God, and that He will unite and lead all his remnant to the heavenly Jerusalem. Maybe, hopefully, before I die Christ will have renewed the Church and I will be once more in full communion with it. But it may be that God the Father wills instead that, like His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, I must die like Him outside the City Walls. And if this is the case - then all I can say is: 'Thy Will be done'.