BILLY GRAHAM and ROME


Updated and enlarged February 1, 2006 (first published February 17, 1997) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org) -

This article is excerpted from the book Evangelicals and Rome, copyright 1999, 2001, Way of Life Literature, Port Huron, Michigan.




"It is one thing to invite unconverted Roman Catholics to a gospel meeting to hear the gospel preached, but it is quite another matter to go to a meeting where Roman Catholics, and Roman Catholic priests that are still firmly in Rome, are preaching from the platform." --Christian News, June 26, 1988

Nothing more plainly evidences the bankruptcy of New Evangelicalism than its flirtations with Rome, and in this report we intend to trace this sad and serious matter.

Some do not believe we should deal with negative matters such as this. They do not believe we should name names and publicly expose the compromises of Christian leaders. But we must.

First, we must preach messages of this nature as a matter of obedience. The Lord Jesus Christ rebuked false teachers publicly (Matthew 23), and the apostles followed in His footsteps. They rebuked and warned of false teachers and compromisers by name. Paul even rebuked Peter publicly for his compromise of the truth (Gal. 2:9-14), then described the scene in an epistle for all of the churches to see. In the Pastoral Epistles alone, eight men are mentioned publicly for their errors (1 Tim. 1:19-20, 2 Tim. 1:15, 2:17, 4:10, 4:14-16). We are commanded to “preach the word ... reprove, rebuke, exhort...” (2 Tim. 4:2). Thus, reproving error is a matter of obedience.

Second, we must preach messages of this nature because of concern for the gospel. Ecumenical relationships between evangelicals and Catholics is a matter that pertains to the gospel. This is not a minor issue. Rome preaches a sacramental gospel that is cursed of God and that leads people to hell. The Council of Trent, reaffirmed by Vatican II, proclaimed, “If anyone shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed” (Canon 12). Rome is thus an avowed enemy of the New Testament faith.

Those who fellowship with Romanism put a stamp of approval--unwittingly, perhaps, but just as surely--upon the false gospel preached by their Roman Catholic friends.

When Billy Graham includes Catholics in his evangelistic crusades and sends inquirers to Catholic churches, those looking on are made to think that Roman Catholicism must be true Christianity. When evangelical leaders fellowship with Rome, a climate is created whereby it is very difficult to preach that Catholics need to be saved and leave their false “church.” Ecumenical evangelicals break down the walls between truth and error and muddy the waters of gospel work.

Ecumenical relationships are an exceedingly serious matter with eternally destructive consequences.

HAS ROME CHANGED?

Some claim that Rome has changed and we can no longer say it is heretical. While the declarations of the Vatican II council of the 1960s did bring changes to the Catholic Church, it did not change its foundational dogmas. Not only did Vatican II uphold Rome’s false teachings, it actually strengthened them.

The 2,400 bishops attending Vatican II reaffirmed such Roman heresies as salvation through the sacraments, papal supremacy, the Roman priesthood, the mass as a re-sacrifice of Christ, Catholic tradition on equal par with Scriptures, Mary as the Queen of Heaven and co-redemptress with Christ, auricular confession (confession of one’s sins into the ear of a priest), pilgrimages to “holy shrines,” purgatory, and prayers to and for the dead.

All of these were reaffirmed by the Vatican II Council, the latest, most authoritative statement of Catholic teaching. Pope John XXIII, at the opening of Vatican II, stated, “The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously.” Thus, Vatican II did not change the doctrinal foundation of Romanism.

There are Catholics today who claim they don't believe Rome's heresies, but this does not change the fact that Rome holds them. If one does not believe official Catholic dogma, he should leave the Catholic Church.

In Part 5 of these articles on “Billy Graham and Rome” we have included some quotations from Vatican II that reaffirm Rome’s false doctrines.

The fact is that the Catholic Church does teach the vilest of heresies, and God commands that the Christian separate from such things. When evangelical leaders fellowship with Romanism, they are acting in direct disobedience to the Word of God.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:5).

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:6-8).

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Cor. 11:3-4).

EVANGELICAL CATHOLICS

Some who acknowledge that Rome as an institution hasn’t changed, believe there is a “renewal” occurring within the Catholic Church that is bringing Catholics into an “evangelical” experience and faith. The 1991 book
Evangelical Catholics by Keith Fournier (foreword by Charles Colson) puts forth this thinking. Fournier contends that he is truly Catholic and truly evangelical, and Colson, who is an “evangelical,” seconds that. Both men are as confused as they could possibly be. The term “evangelical Catholic” turns language on its head and denies the historical definition of both terms.

Further, when examined, this evangelical Catholic phenomenon is nothing more than a clever ruse.

To illustrate this we quote from an interview Dennis Costella of the Fundamental Evangelistic Association had with Keith Fournier at Notre Dame ‘88, a large charismatic Catholic conference. When Costella asked about Catholics who are using D. James Kennedy’s Evangelism Explosion materials, Fournier replied:

“...some of the early planning of our program had a lot to do with a Catholic parish that had James Kennedy’s program ... The gospel is the gospel and everybody knows what the basic gospel truth is ... denominational differences [are] in the follow-up ... there were a couple of things in James Kennedy’s process that we as Catholics couldn’t accept because it wasn’t Catholic teaching. FOR EXAMPLE, TOO OBVIOUS WAS THE TOTAL ASSURANCE OF SALVATION ... AND THE OTHER ONE IS SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE. FOR CATHOLICS WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH AND ALSO THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST. We don’t earn our salvation but we believe that there are acts of obedience and cooperation in God’s Spirit that are tied up with salvation” (Interview by Dennis Costella with Keith Fournier and Chris Noble, 1988 National Conference on the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church, Friday-Sunday, May 27-29, 1988, Notre Dame Campus, South Bend, Indiana).

Do you see the tremendous deception in this? Fournier says the gospel is the gospel, implying that we are all preaching the same basic gospel, yet he goes on to deny the very heart of the gospel which is salvation through the grace of Christ ALONE by faith ALONE. He would call this difference merely a matter of “interpretation” or perhaps an issue of semantics, but that is not the case. To add any kind of works to Christ’s grace is a matter of heresy and blasphemy, and brings God’s curse upon anyone who preaches it (Gal. 1:8-10). Fournier claims that he believes in salvation by God’s grace, but by adding works and sacraments to grace he corrupts grace. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6).

Fournier says “we are saved by faith AND ALSO through obedience to Christ,” yet he claims he doesn’t believe in earning salvation. This is Jesuit sophistry at its diabolic best.

When I find a man who is steadfast in the type of deception that Fournier spouts, I will not argue with him nor will I put up with him. I will obey God and reject him and separate from him. “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition REJECT; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself” (Titus 3:10-11). Note that God does not instruct us to debate heretics endlessly. After the first and second admonition, they are to be rejected.

There is no excuse for today’s evangelical leaders to be deceived by this kind of duplicity. If a man is not doctrinally strong enough to see through Rome’s deceptions, he is not qualified to be a Christian leader (Titus 1:9-11). Today’s evangelical leaders have impressive scholarly qualifications, but they have little spiritual discernment. The latter cannot be obtained from an institution of higher learning. It comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit to obedient, regenerated saints. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matt. 11:25).

WHAT EVANGELICALISM WAS A GENERATION AGO

Evangelicalism of our day is a different creature from that of the 1940s and earlier. Fifty years ago the term “evangelical” was a word which referred to firm, Bible-believing Christianity. Though the term “evangelical,” like fundamentalism, has never had an established definition and always incorporated a wide latitude of belief, as a rule it traditionally described Protestants who believed the Bible without reservation, who preached the new birth, and who were stridently opposed to Rome. Generally speaking (and certainly in contrast to the mushy Evangelicalism of today), the Evangelicals of North America of bygone generations were militant soldiers for Christ.

Some trace the term “evangelical” to the English revivals of the Wesleys and Whitefield. Others trace it to the earliest days of the Protestant Reformation. In either case, Evangelicalism of old was dogmatic and militant. It was old-fashioned Protestanism. Luther was excommunicated by the Pope; John Wesley was barred from Anglican churches. All of the Protestant denominations once identified Rome as the Revelation 17 whore of Babylon. Anyone familiar with the old Lutheran and Methodist and Presbyterian creeds knows this. Though we Baptists don’t see eye to eye with them on many important points, those men stood militantly for what they believed to be the truth. Not only did old-line evangelicals define what they believed the Bible taught,
they defined it in contradiction to error. They were boldly militant for the truth as they saw it. This is exactly what today’s New Evangelical is not.

Consider examples of this from the old Methodist
Articles of Religion:

“Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. ... The Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshiped.”

“...the sacrifice of Masses in the which it is commonly said that the priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable, and dangerous deceit.”

David Otis Fuller, speaking of evangelical soldiers of bygone days, said,

“Each man possessed the same fierce conviction—that all truth is absolute, never relative. For these men, truth was never a nose of wax to be twisted to suit their system of dialectics or deceptive casuistry. Two times two made four. In mathematics, their supreme authority was the multiplication table; in theology, their absolute authority was the Bible” (D.O. Fuller, Preface, Valiant for the Truth, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1961, pp. ix,x).

An example is the late evangelist James Stewart. He was used in a mighty way in revivals in Eastern Europe before the fall of the Iron Curtain and his published sermons were characterized by uncompromising declaration of Bible truth. Not only did he preach the gospel and the positive truths of the Word of God, but he preached
against error and compromise. In sermons such as “Potpourri Evangelism,” Stewart witnessed mightily against modern ecumenical evangelism. Consider a quotation from that sermon, first preached in the 1940s and ‘50s:

We must be more afraid of flattery from the camp of the enemy than persecution. Read the pages of Church history. Persecution never did the Church of God any harm, but compromise with the world has always robbed it of the power of its purity. ...

‘Potpourri Evangelism’ consists of two features: mixed evangelistic campaigns and mixed Christianity. By mixed evangelistic campaigns I mean the alliance of Modernistic and Evangelical churches together in an evangelistic effort. ...

When religion gets up a revival, it must have from five to twenty churches of heterogeneous creeds and sectarian bodies to go into a great union effort; it must have a mammoth choir with great musical instruments, and many preachers and multiplied committees, and each committee headed by some banker, judge, mayor, or millionaire’s wife. It signs cards as a substitute for the broken-hearted cry of scriptural repentance. It must count its converts by the hundreds in a few days’ meeting. It must apologize for natural depravity. ...

Human religion’s enterprises have an atmosphere of earthliness about them. It despises the day of small things and scorns little humble people and lonely ways. It is eager to jump to the height of prosperity. Its music has no pathos in it, its laughter lacks divine cheerfulness, its worship lacks supernatural love, its prayers bring down no huge answers, it works no miracles, calls forth no criticism from the world, and has no light of eternity in its eyes.
It is a poor, sickly thing, born of the union of the heart of the world with the head of Christian theology—a mongrel, bastard thing with a backslidden church for its mother and the world for its father. Oh, my dear brother and sister, never forget that this unnatural monster will be destroyed at the coming-again of our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ (James Stewart, Evangelism, Asheville, NC: Gospel Projects, pp. 25-28).

How popular would James Stewart be in evangelical circles today?

Baptist C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) is another example of what “evangelical” meant in generations past. Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s ministry was characterized by faithfulness to the truth, holiness of life, a gospel of pure grace, and unhesitating exposure of error. Though maligned and misunderstood, Spurgeon did not draw back from separating from the Baptist Union because of the false doctrine that was being countenanced therein. He also stood unhesitatingly against Roman Catholicism. Consider this excerpt from one of Spurgeon’s sermons:

“It is impossible but that the Church of Rome must spread, when we who are the watchdogs of the fold are silent, and others are gently and smoothly turfing the road, and making it as soft and smooth as possible, that converts may travel down to the nethermost hell of Popery. We want John Knox back again. Do not talk to me of mild and gentle men, of soft manners and squeamish words, we want the fiery Knox, and even though his vehemence should ‘ding our pulpits into blads,’ it were well if he did but rouse our hearts to action” (C.H. Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 10, pgs. 322-3).

When was the last time you read something like that in
Christianity Today magazine! Old Spurgeon hit the nail on the head. Sadly, today’s evangelicalism is indeed in the business of turfing the road of Roman Catholicism to make it smooth for those traveling thereon to Hell.

Many other examples could be given to show that evangelicalism of past generations involved the boldest contention for the faith. Evangelical warriors of a bygone age did not fail to label Rome that “Mother of Harlots,” and would have considered it unthinkable to have fellowship with Romanism.

THE NEW EVANGELICALISM

During the first half of the Twentieth Century, evangelicalism in America was identified with fundamentalism. Many historians make this connection, including Mark Ellingsen (
The Evangelical Movement) and George Marsden (Reforming Fundamentalism). Marsden says, “There was not a practical distinction between fundamentalist and evangelical: the words were interchangeable” (p. 48). When the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) was formed in 1942, for example, participants included such staunch Fundamentalist leaders as Bob Jones, Sr., John R. Rice, Charles Woodbridge, Harry Ironside, David Otis Fuller, and R.G. Lee.

By the mid-1950s, though, a clear break between separatist fundamentalists and non-separatist evangelicals occurred. This was occasioned largely by the ecumenical evangelism of Billy Graham. Most of the stronger men dropped out of the NAE. The terms
evangelicalism and fundamentalism began “to refer to two different movements” (William Martin, A Prophet with Honor, p. 224).

The sons of evangelical-fundamentalist preachers determined to create a “New Evangelicalism.” They would not be fighters; they would be diplomats, positive rather than militant, infiltrators rather than separatists. They would not be restricted by a separationist mentality.

The term “New Evangelicalism” defined a new type of evangelicalism to distinguish it from those who had heretofore born that label. Thus, in the very name “New Evangelicalism” is the witness that Evangelicalism of old, regardless of any weaknesses (and there were many), was biblically dogmatic and militant. The term “New Evangelicalism” was possibly coined by the late Harold Ockenga (1905-1985), probably the most influential Evangelical leader of the 1940s. He was the pastor of Park Street Church (Congregational) in Boston, founder of the National Association of Evangelicals, co-founder and one-time president of Fuller Theological Seminary, first president of the World Evangelical Fellowship, president of Gordon College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a director of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and chairman of the board and one-time editor of
Christianity Today. In the foreword to Harold Lindsell’s book The Battle for the Bible, Ockenga stated the philosophy of New Evangelicalism:

“Neo-evangelicalism was born in 1948 in connection with a convocation address which I gave in the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism, this address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory. The ringing call for a REPUDIATION OF SEPARATISM and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many Evangelicals. ... It differed from fundamentalism in its repudiation of separatism and its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day. It had a new emphasis upon the application of the gospel to the sociological, political, and economic areas of life.”

Ockenga may or may not have coined the term “New Evangelicalism,” but it is certain that the movement itself was not “born” with his convocation address.
He did not create the movement; he merely labeled and described the new mood of positivism and non-militancy that was quickly permeating his generation. Ockenga and the new generation of Evangelicals, Billy Graham figuring most prominently, determined to abandon a militant Bible stance. Instead, they would pursue dialogue, intellectualism, and appeasement. They determined to stay within apostate denominations to attempt to change things from within rather than practice biblical separation. The New Evangelical would dialogue with those who teach error rather than proclaim the Word of God boldly and without compromise. The New Evangelical would meet the proud humanist and the haughty liberal on their own turf with human scholarship rather than follow the humble path of being counted a fool for Christ’s sake by standing humbly and simply upon the Bible. New Evangelical leaders also determined to start a “rethinking process” whereby the old paths were to be continually reassessed in light of new goals, methods, and ideology.

Dr. Charles Woodbridge, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in its early days, a founding member of the National Association of Evangelicals, and a friend of men such as Harold Ockenga and Carl Henry, rejected the New Evangelicalism and spent the rest of his life warning of its dangers. In his 1969 book,
The New Evangelicalism, he traced the downward path of New Evangelical compromise:

“The New Evangelicalism is a theological and moral compromise of the deadliest sort. It is an insidious attack upon the Word of God. ... The New Evangelicalism advocates TOLERATION of error. It is following the downward path of ACCOMMODATION to error, COOPERATION with error, CONTAMINATION by error, and ultimate CAPITULATION to error!” (Woodbridge, The New Evangelicalism, pp. 9,15).

Each passing decade witnesses more plainly to the truth of Dr. Woodbridge’s observations. Toleration of error leads to accommodation, cooperation, contamination, and capitulation.

In 1958, William Ashbrook wrote
Evangelicalism: The New Neutralism, which began with the following warning:

“This is the age of ‘isms,’ some good, mostly bad! One of the youngest members of Christendom’s fold is called The New Evangelicalism. It might more properly be labeled The New Neutralism. This new ‘Evangelicalism’ boasts too much pride, and has imbibed too much of the world’s culture to share the reproach of fundamentalism. It still has enough faith and too much understanding of the Bible to appear in the togs of modernism. IT SEEKS NEUTRAL GROUND, being neither fish nor fowl, neither right nor left, neither for nor against—it stands between! ...

Bible-believing Christians would do well to beware of the New Evangelicalism for four valid reasons. First, it is a movement BORN OF COMPROMISE. Second, it is a movement NURTURED IN PRIDE OF INTELLECT. Third, it is a movement GROWING ON APPEASEMENT OF EVIL; and finally it is a movement DOOMED BY THE JUDGMENT OF GOD’S HOLY WORD.”

In A History of Fundamentalism in America, Dr. George Dollar observes:

“It has become a favorite pastime of new-evangelical writers, who know so little of historic Fundamentalism, to call it offensive names, as if to bury it by opprobrium. THE REAL DANGER IS NOT STRONG FUNDAMENTALISM BUT A SOFT AND EFFEMINATE CHRISTIANITY--EXOTIC BUT COWARDLY. It is sad that these men would not heed the warning of W.B Riley about the menace of ‘middle-of-the-roadism’” (Dollar, A History of Fundamentalism in America, 1973, p. 208).

God says, “Walk ye in the old paths,” but the New Evangelical reassesses the old paths. God says, “Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set,” but the New Evangelical has removed them one by one. God says, “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,” but the New Evangelical reasons that such fellowship is necessary. God says, “A little leaven leaventh the whole lump,” but the New Evangelical thinks he can reform the already leavened lump. God says, “Evil communications corrupt good manners,” but the New Evangelical thinks good manners can uplift evil communications. God says, “I resist the proud but give grace to the humble,” but the New Evangelical thinks the way to reach the world is by meeting them on their own proud territory, matching them scholarly degree with degree.

NEW EVANGELICAL PHILOSOPHY HAS PERMEATED EVANGELICALISM


The New Evangelical leaven spread rapidly. New Evangelical philosophy has been adopted by such well-known Christian leaders as Bill Bright, Harold Lindsell, John R.W. Stott, Luis Palau, E.V. Hill, Leighton Ford, Charles Stanley, Bill Hybels, Warren Wiersbe, Chuck Colson, Donald McGavran, Tony Campolo, Arthur Glasser, D. James Kennedy, David Hocking, Charles Swindoll, and a host of other men. New Evangelicalism was popularized through pleasant personalities and broadcast through powerful print, radio, and television media. Christianity Today was founded in 1956 to voice the new philosophy. Through publishing houses such as InterVarsity Press, Zondervan, Tyndale House Publishers, Moody Press, and Thomas Nelson—to name a few—New Evangelical thinking was broadcast across the world. New Evangelicalism became the working principle of large interdenominational organizations such as the National Association of Evangelicals, National Religious Broadcasters, Youth for Christ, Campus Crusade for Christ, Back to the Bible, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, World Vision, Operation Mobilization, the Evangelical Foreign Mission Association, World Evangelical Fellowship, the National Sunday School Association, etc. It was spread through educational institutions such as Fuller Theological Seminary, Wheaton College, Gordon-Conwell, BIOLA, and Moody Bible Institute. Countless conferences have been organized to promote New Evangelicalism. Two of the largest and most influential were Amsterdam ‘83 and Amsterdam ‘86 which were sponsored by Billy Graham Ministries and were attended by thousands of preachers from across the world.

Because of the tremendous influence of these men and organizations, New Evangelical thought has swept the globe. Today it is no exaggeration to say that almost without exception those who call themselves Evangelicals are New Evangelicals; the terms have become synonymous. Old-line evangelicals, with rare exceptions, have either aligned with the Fundamentalist movement or have adopted New Evangelicalism.

The Evangelical movement today
is the New Evangelical movement. For all practical purposes, they are the same.

“Part of the current confusion regarding New Evangelicalism stems from the fact that there is now little difference between evangelicalism and New Evangelicalism. The principles of the original New Evangelicalism have become so universally accepted by those who refer to themselves as evangelicals that any distinctions which might have been made years ago are all but lost. It is no doubt true to state that ‘Ockenga’s designation of the new movement as “New or Neo-Evangelical” was abbreviated to “Evangelical.” ... Thus today we speak of this branch of conservative Christianity simply as the Evangelical movement’” (Ernest Pickering, The Tragedy of Compromise, p. 96).

NEW EVANGELICALISM IS NOT A DENOMINATION OR A GROUP. IT IS A SPIRIT OF DISOBEDIENCE. IT IS A MOOD OF COMPROMISE. It is a rejection of many of the negative aspects of New Testament Christianity. IT IS AN ATTITUDE OF POSITIVISM. Old-line Presbyterians can be New Evangelical. Old-line Methodists can be New Evangelical. Fundamental Bible churches can be New Evangelical. INDEPENDENT FUNDAMENTAL BAPTISTS CAN BE NEW EVANGELICAL. Many are, in fact, and the number appears to be growing rapidly. Beware, friends. Don’t be deceived by the label. Examine the content, and avoid that which is contrary to the Word of God. Call it what you please, an attitude of positive-only neutrality is not New Testament Christianity.

THE LAST DAYS TO BE CHARACTERIZED BY APOSTASY

The fact that the wall between truth and error is being torn down in one generation, though grievous, should not surprise us. Did the apostles not foretell of apostasy, compromise, spiritual decline, doctrinal confusion, religious duplicity? Note passages such as Matthew 24; 2 Thessalonians 2; 1 Timothy 4; 2 Timothy 3-4; 2 Peter 2-3; Jude; and Revelation 13 and 17. These prophecies paint a picture of the course of the church age, and it is one of deepening religious apostasy and a false unity which will grow throughout the age and will come into full blossom just prior to Christ’s return.

This is exactly what has happened during the past 1900 years of church history, yet this present generation has witnessed a tremendous increase in the pace of the apostasy. Not only are the Protestant denominations moving back toward the Roman fold, but those who had never before affiliated with Rome are beginning to associate with her.

EVANGELICALISM AND ROME

Nothing better illustrates the downfall of evangelicalism than its increasingly close relationship with Roman Catholicism. The evangelical warriors of past generations considered Rome the Mother of Harlots. This doesn’t mean old-time evangelicals hated Roman Catholics. Far from it. It was their love for souls that motivated them to preach the gospel to Catholics that some might be saved and plucked as brands from the fire.

Roman Catholicism, as noted earlier, has changed since the 1800s, but it has not changed its basic heretical nature. The changes have been cosmetic with the design of furthering its treacherous ecumenical goals.

It is impossible to conceive of Charles Haddon Spurgeon calling the blasphemous Pope of Rome a “great evangelist” as Billy Graham has said of John Paul II. It would be impossible to picture evangelist James A. Stewart inviting a Catholic bishop to stand with him on a platform to “bless” those coming forward at a gospel service, yet this is exactly what Billy Graham did in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1963.

Today’s New Evangelicals are indeed a different brand from those of bygone days. Rome hasn't changed, but evangelicalism certainly has.

___________________________________________



Billy Graham is evangelicalism's foremost personality in this latter half of the twentieth century. Harold Ockenga said that Graham “on the mass level is the spokesman of the convictions and ideals of the New Evangelicalism” (John Ashbrook,
New Neutralism II: Exposing the Gray of Compromise). An article in Christianity Today for Oct. 5, 1992, entitled “Can Evangelicalism Survive Its Success?” noted: “It would be difficult to overestimate Billy Graham's importance in the last 50 years of evangelicalism. ... Graham personally embodied most of the characteristics of resurgent evangelicalism. ... de-emphasizing doctrinal and denominational differences that often divided Christians. ... For evangelicalism, Billy Graham has meant the reconstitution of a Christian fellowship transcending confessional lines--a grassroots ecumenism that regards denominational divisions as irrelevant rather than pernicious.”

Thus, Ockenga and
Christianity Today admit that when we look at Billy Graham, we are looking at New Evangelicalism, and the fact is that for almost fifty years Graham has cooperated with Rome.

Let me pause and reply to
the charge that those who warn of Graham’s compromise hate him. Those who are opposed to biblical separation have often charged us with this, but it is slanderous and untrue. By no means do we hate Dr. Graham. I grew up in a Southern Baptist home and always loved to hear Billy Graham preach on the radio and television during my youth. I still get a thrill when I hear his voice. I have often prayed for the man, and I have often asked the Lord why a man who has preached the gospel to so many people would so compromise the gospel to refuse to identify and avoid false teachers. Dr. Graham’s preaching was partially instrumental in the salvation of my wife and her mother. They heard Graham on television in Alaska in the early 1960s, were stirred to seek the Lord, found a little Baptist church, and were led to Christ by the pastor of that church. I stand before the Lord tonight as I write this. He knows that I do not hate Billy Graham. I am brokenhearted over his compromise. I have shed many tears over the confusion that has been wrought by his unscriptural methodology, and I refuse to keep my mouth shut when the very gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake. It is better to obey God than man, my dear friends. This is serious business. Paul did not hesitate to rebuke Peter publicly for his compromise and hypocrisy because he was confusing the gospel in the minds of the observers (Galatians 2:11-14). I realize that I am not Paul, but God has told me to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3), and that is what I intend to do.

When Graham first began his evangelistic ministry, he preached against Modernism, Catholicism, and Communism; but he soon dropped the negative content of his preaching and adopted a tolerant, neutral, positive approach to the ministry. In so doing, he rejected the Bible, because the Bible is not a tolerant, neutral, positive-only type of Book.

When Did Graham’s Compromise Begin?

Billy Graham’s compromise and disobedience began very early in his ministry. He was born in 1918 into a Presbyterian home. He claims that he was saved under the preaching of Baptist evangelist Mordecai Ham in 1934. He graduated from high school in May 1936 and attended Bob Jones College (which later became Bob Jones University) in the fall. He switched to Florida Bible Institute after only one semester, because he did not like the strict discipline. He notes in his biography that “one thing that thrilled me [about Florida Bible Institute] was the diversity of viewpoints we were exposed to in the classroom, a wondrous blend of ecumenical and evangelical thought that was really ahead of its time” (Graham,
Just As I Am, p. 46). It was during his time in Florida that Graham felt the call to preach. In late 1938, he was baptized by immersion into a Baptist church; and in early 1939, he was ordained to preach by a Southern Baptist congregation. Graham graduated from the Florida Bible Institute in May 1940, and started at Wheaton College that September, graduating from there in 1943. Graham pastored the Western Springs Baptist Church during the last year at Wheaton and for about a year after his graduation. In May 1944, he began preaching for the newly formed Chicagoland Youth for Christ, and in January 1945, he was appointed the first full-time evangelist for Youth for Christ International. He was president of Northwestern Schools (founded by W.B. Riley) from December 1947 to February 1952, though he continued to travel and preach for Youth for Christ and then independently. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was formed in 1950 and the Hour of Decision radio broadcasts began that same year. Graham conducted his first citywide crusade in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in September 1947. His October 1948 crusade in Augusta, Georgia, marked the beginning of an openly ecumenical program. It was the first one that was sponsored by the city ministerial association. The Graham organization began demanding broad denominational support for his crusades. During Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles crusade, his ministry began to receive national press coverage. Graham’s final rift with most Fundamentalist leaders did not occur until 1957, though. This was brought about by the open sponsorship of the liberal Protestant Church Council in New York City. The Graham crusade committee in New York included 120 Modernists who denied the infallibility of Scripture. The wife of Modernist Norman Vincent Peale headed up the women’s prayer groups for the Crusade. Modernists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., sat on the platform and led in prayer. In the National Observer, Dec. 30, 1963, King said the virgin birth of Christ was “a mythological story” created by the early Christians. In Ebony magazine, January 1961, King said: “I do not believe in hell as a place of a literal burning fire.”



The compromise began much earlier than 1957, though. As early as 1944, Billy Graham was befriended by one of the most influential Catholic leaders in America, Fulton Sheen. When Sheen died in December 1979, Graham testified that he had “known him as a friend for over 35 years” (Religious News Service, Dec. 11, 1979). Fulton Sheen was a faithful son of Rome. In his book Treasure in Clay, Sheen said that one of his spiritual secrets was to offer Mass every Saturday “in honor of the Blessed Mother to solicit her protection of my priesthood.” Sheen devoted an entire chapter of his biography to Mary, “The Woman I Love.” He said, “When I was ordained, I took a resolution to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist every Saturday to the Blessed Mother ... All this makes me very certain that when I go before the Judgment Seat of Christ, He will say to me in His Mercy: ‘I heard My Mother speak of you.’ During my life I have made about thirty pilgrimages to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and about ten to her shrine in Fatima” (Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay, p. 317).

In his autobiography, Graham describes the first meeting with Sheen, though he doesn’t give the exact date. He says he was traveling on a train from Washington to New York and was just drifting off to sleep when Sheen knocked on the sleeping compartment and asked to “come in for a chat and a prayer” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 692). Graham says: “We talked about our ministries and our common commitment to evangelism, and I told him how grateful I was for his ministry and his focus on Christ. … We talked further and we prayed; and by the time he left, I felt as if I had known him all my life.” Thus, Graham claims now that he accepted Fulton Sheen’s sacramental gospel as the truth even in those days. There is a serious problem with this, though. There was a deception in this. While Graham was meeting with Fulton Sheen and befriending him as a fellow evangelist, Graham was assuring Fundamentalist leaders, such as Bob Jones Sr. and John R. Rice, that he was opposed to Catholicism and that he was a separatist and a Fundamentalist. It is obvious, though, that Billy Graham was never committed to that in his heart.

When Graham met Sheen in 1944, it was three years before his first citywide crusade. Graham had started preaching for Youth for Christ in 1944 and was an unknown young man. Why would a Catholic leader as famous as Fulton Sheen go out of his way to befriend an insignificant young fundamental Baptist preacher like Billy Graham? Graham was only eight years out of high school at the time.

Boston’s Archbishop Richard Cushing also “exercised a special influence over Billy Graham beginning in 1950. Cushing printed ‘BRAVO BILLY’ on the front of his diocesan paper during the January 1950 campaign. In an interview in 1991, Graham referred to this as one of the highlights of his ministry:

“Another significant thing happened in the early ‘50s in Boston. Cardinal Cushing, in his magazine, The Pilot, put ‘BRAVO BILLY’ on the front cover. That made news all over the country. He and I became close, wonderful friends. That was my first real coming to grips with the whole Protestant/Catholic situation. I began to realize that there were Christians everywhere. They might be called modernists, Catholics, or whatever, but they were Christians” (Bookstore Journal, Nov. 1991).

By the end of 1950, Graham had formed a permanent team of staff members who arranged his meetings. Willis Haymaker was the front man who would go into cities and set up the organizational structure necessary to operate the crusades. One of his duties even in those early days was as follows
: “He would also call on the local Catholic bishop or other clerics to acquaint them with Crusade plans and invite them to the meetings; they would usually appoint a priest to attend and report back. This was years before Vatican II’s openness to Protestants, but WE WERE CONCERNED TO LET THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS SEE THAT MY GOAL WAS NOT TO GET PEOPLE TO LEAVE THEIR CHURCH; rather, I wanted them to commit their lives to Christ” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 163).

In his 1997 autobiography, Graham acknowledged that he began to draw close to Rome very early in his ministry:

“At that time [March 1950], Protestantism in New England was weak, due in part to theological differences within some denominations, the influence of Unitarian ideas in other denominations, and the strength of the Roman Catholic Church. In spite of all that, a number of Roman Catholic priests and Unitarian clergy, together with some of their parishioners, came to the meetings along with those from Evangelical churches. With my limited Evangelical background, this was a further expansion of my own ecumenical outlook. I now began to make friends among people from many different backgrounds and to develop a spiritual love for their clergy” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 167).

Need I remind my readers that the Catholic and Unitarian and Modernist “clergy” that Graham learned to love in the late 1940s and early 1950s were men who denied the very faith that Graham claimed to believe. The Catholic clergy that Graham loved denied that salvation is through the grace of Christ alone by faith alone without works or sacraments; and they denied, further, that the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice. The Modernist clergy that Graham loved denied that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and questioned or openly denied the virgin birth, miracles, vicarious atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Unitarian clergy that Dr. Graham loved were men who denied the Godhead and blood atonement of Jesus Christ and who scoffed at the infallibility of the Holy Bible. Why did Graham not rather love those who were in danger of being deceived by these wicked false teachers? Why did he not rather love God’s Word enough to stand against its enemies? Why did he not rather love the Christ of the Bible enough to reject those who had rejected Christ? Graham’s love was motivated in the wrong direction. He loved the false shepherds, but he did not love the sheep that were led to eternal ruin by these shepherds.

It is obvious that false teachers like Fulton Sheen and Richard Cushing had a strong influence on the young evangelist.
He was also influenced by theological Modernists. In a lecture to the Union Theological Seminary in February 1954, Graham testified that in 1953 he had locked himself into a room in New York City for an entire day with Jesse Bader and John Sutherland Bonnell, that he might ask them questions and receive their counsel. By this action, Graham was actually locking himself into a room with the Devil, because these men were certainly the Devil’s ministers (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Thirty years later, Graham admitted to the Religious News Service that Bader was one of his “very close advisers and friends” (Christian News, March 31, 1986). Bader and Bonnell were both rank liberals who denied many doctrines of the New Testament faith. Bader was secretary of the radical National Council of Churches. In an article in Look magazine (March 23, 1954), Bonnell stated that he and most other Presbyterian ministers did not believe in the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Christ, the inspiration of Scripture, a literal heaven and hell, and other doctrines.

God warned Graham to mark and avoid those who teach contrary to apostolic truth (Rom. 16:17). He warned him that error is like a canker (2 Tim. 2:16-18) and like a leaven (Gal. 5:9), that “evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33), but he ignored the warning.

By 1950, Billy Graham had so fallen under the power of Catholicism that he turned to it for solace during an illness. During his 1950 New England campaign, Graham fell sick for several days in Hartford, Connecticut. Executive Secretary Gerald Beavan “stayed at his bedside and read to him from Bishop Fulton Sheen’s
Peace of Soul” (Wilson Ewin, The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham into the Roman Catholic Church). We have seen that Sheen was a great lover of Mary and was certain of God’s mercy only because of his devotion to Mary. Why would a young fundamental Baptist preacher turn to the writings of such a man for comfort?

Graham’s began holding citywide meetings in 1948. As early as 1950 there were rumors that Graham was cooperating with Catholics.

In 1950 Dr. Robert Ketcham of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches came across a newspaper article indicating that Graham expected Catholics and Jews to cooperate in a revival in Oregon and another which reported that Graham had turned over decision cards to Roman Catholic churches. Ketcham promptly sent a letter of inquiry to Billy himself. His letter brought him a strong rebuke from Graham’s executive secretary, Jerry Beavan. Part of Beavan’s reply was as follows:

‘For example, you asked if Billy Graham had invited Roman Catholics and Jews to cooperate in the evangelistic meetings. SUCH A THOUGHT, EVEN IF THE REPORTER DID SUGGEST IT AS HAVING COME FROM MR. GRAHAM, SEEMS RIDICULOUS TO ME. SURELY YOU MUST KNOW THAT IT IS NOT TRUE. ... FURTHER, THAT YOU SHOULD GIVE ANY CREDENCE TO THE IDEA THAT MR. GRAHAM WOULD EVER TURN OVER ANY DECISION CARDS TO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SEEMS INCONCEIVABLE’ (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II).

Graham was soon openly doing what Mr. Beavan labeled “ridiculous” and “inconceivable.” On Sept. 6, 1952, reporter William McElwain, writing for the Pittsburgh
Sun-Telegraph, remarked on Graham’s ecumenical activities with Rome:

Graham stressed that his crusade in Pittsburgh would be interdenominational. He said that he hopes to hear Bishop Fulton J. Sheen at one of the Masses at St. Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow. Graham said, ‘Many of the people who have reached a decision for Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic church and we have received commendations from Catholic publications for the revived interest in their church following one of our campaigns. This happened both in Boston and Washington. After all, one of our prime purposes is to help the churches in a community.’

It doesn’t sound to me that Dr. Ketcham’s aforesaid questions were ridiculous. Graham publicly admitted he was already turning seekers over to the Catholic Church in the early 1950s. In an interview with the Religious News Service in 1986, the 67-year-old Billy Graham admitted that his ministry was deliberately ecumenical even in the early days (Christian News, March 31, 1986).

Since then, Graham has moved ever closer into fellowship with Roman Catholicism and Modernism. As John Ashbrook, author of
New Neutralism II: Exposing the Gray of Compromise, notes, “Compromise takes a man farther than he intends to go.” The Bible warns that “evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33).

How have Graham’s ecumenical relationships affected him? The January 1978, issue of
McCall’s magazine contained an interview with Graham by James Michael Beam. Graham admitted his change in thinking:

“I am far more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than I once was. My contact with Catholic, Lutheran and other leaders—people far removed from my own Southern Baptist tradition—has helped me, hopefully, to move in the right direction. I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics, for instance. They believe in the Virgin Birth, and so do I. They believe in the Resurrection of Jesus and the coming judgment of God, and so do I. We only differ on some matters of later church tradition.”

This is strange talk. The errors of the Roman Catholic Church are not mere matters of “later church tradition.” Roman Catholicism is the utter perversion of the gospel and of the New Testament church by the intermingling of biblical truth with paganism and Judaism. Rome’s false sacramental gospel of grace plus works requires that we label it cursed of God (Gal. 1:6-10); but Dr. Graham long ago determined to look upon Roman Catholicism as true Christianity, and he has led multitudes astray by that decision.

Graham Was Warned Many Times

Some of my readers have asked if I have personally warned Billy Graham about his disobedience. The answer is no, I have not. I have no means of doing so. All of Graham’s correspondence is filtered through his massive organization. I do not have the ear of Billy Graham. I don’t need to warn Graham, though. That has been done repeatedly by men who have had the opportunity to do so. We need to state emphatically that Dr. Billy Graham has been warned many times for his disobedience to God’s Word. In the early days of his compromise, Graham was warned repeatedly by prominent Christian leaders such as Bob Jones, Sr., John R. Rice, Robert Shuler, G. Archer Weniger, James Bennet, Carl McIntire, Bryce Augsburger, Charles Woodbridge, and Robert Ketcham.

It must be remembered that Billy Graham was plainly identified as a Fundamentalist when he began preaching. As already noted, he attended the staunch Fundamentalist Bob Jones College and counted himself one of Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.’s preacher boys. Graham associate Cliff Barrows was a Bob Jones graduate. Graham interviewed Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., on his Hour of Decision radio broadcast in December 1951, and concluded by saying:

“It’s wonderful in these days of secular and materialistic education to see a great University that stands for the gospel of Jesus Christ, not only old-fashioned Americanism that we so desperately need today, but is injecting into our society your men and women that take their stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Billy Graham, radio broadcast, Bob Jones University, Dec. 1951).

Graham, who has been called “Mr. Facing Both Ways,” was already moving in a completely different direction from Bob Jones even as he was uttering this effusive praise. Graham was also on the Cooperating Board of Dr. John R. Rice’s
The Sword of the Lord. From December 1947 to 1952, Graham was also president of Northwestern Schools (founded by famous Fundamentalist leader William Bell Riley) and was editor of that school’s Fundamentalist publication, The Pilot, the masthead of which boldly proclaimed a “militant stand against Modernism in every form.” During his early years, Graham was awarded honorary doctorates from Northwestern and Bob Jones.

Consider some of the men who personally pleaded with Graham to turn from his unscriptural path:

James Bennet was a prominent New York attorney and Bible teacher who knew Graham from the time he graduated from Wheaton. He encouraged Graham during the early years of his ministry, but when Graham began openly yoking together with Modernists and Catholics, Bennet attempted to turn him from this error. He met with Graham in New York City before the 1954 crusade and pleaded with him not to proceed with his ecumenical plans. When Graham refused to obey the Word of God, Bennet resigned from the campaign invitation committee and wrote a public warning about the direction Graham was pursuing (James E. Bennet, “The Billy Graham New York Crusade: Why I Cannot Support It,” A Ministry of Disobedience, Collingswood, NJ: Christian Beacon Press, May-September 1957).

James Bennet lovingly warned Billy Graham.

Dr. John R. Rice, editor of the influential Sword of the Lord weekly Fundamental Baptist paper, also supported Graham during his early years. In fact, Graham was on the Cooperating Board of the Sword. Dr. Rice was a very loving and gracious Christian gentleman, and he pleaded with the young Billy Graham to turn from his ecumenical adventures. In her biography of John Rice, Viola Walden, who was Rice’s faithful secretary for 46 years, testified that Dr. Rice greatly loved Graham and repeatedly tried to reason with him (Walden, John R. Rice, pp. 164-167). Graham and Rice met in Scotland in 1955, and Graham assured the elder evangelist:

“I have promised God I will never have on my committee working in an active way in any of my campaigns men who do not believe in the virgin birth of Christ, who do not believe in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, who do not believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible—these men will never be on my committee. I have promised God” (Graham, cited by Pastor Roland Rasmussen, Reasons Why I Cannot Support Billy Graham, chapel message delivered at Bob Jones University, Feb. 15, 1966).

As it became obvious that Graham was not following his own counsel but was pursuing the ecumenical course, Rice met with him again and urged him to obey the Bible: Dr. Rice referred to this occasion in an article a couple of years later: “I visited Dr. Graham in his own home in Montreat, North Carolina, by his invitation, and we talked earnestly on such matters” (John Rice,
Sword of the Lord, June 20, 1958).

Graham, of course, did not listen, and John Rice publicly disassociated himself and the
Sword from the young evangelist in 1957. Viola Walden notes that far from having a mean attitude toward Graham, Dr. Rice “prayed regularly [for Graham] even long after denouncing his compromise” and “rejoiced over the many saved in Dr. Graham’s crusades” (Walden, pp. 166,167).

John R. Rice lovingly warned Billy Graham.

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., first met Billy Graham when the elder evangelist came to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a gospel meeting during Graham’s senior year in high school. Billy’s father, Frank, was impressed with Jones and wanted his son to attend Bob Jones College in Tennessee. (The school moved to Greenville, South Carolina, in 1946, and the name was changed to Bob Jones University.) Billy did attend Bob Jones the fall after he graduated from high school (1936), but he did not fit in well with the strict disciplinary atmosphere and he soon moved on to the Florida Bible Institute and then to Wheaton in 1940 (from whence he graduated—with a degree in anthropology!). Dr. Bob Jones supported Graham during his early years, and Graham even wrote to Jones to say that he got his evangelistic burden at Bob Jones College and he wanted to be called one of Dr. Jones’s “preacher boys” (Bob Jones, Sr., letter to a supporter, March 6, 1957). As Graham began to launch out on his career of yoking together with false teachers, Dr. Jones corresponded with him and reproved him for his compromise. At first, Graham claimed that he had no intention of working with Modernists or Catholics. On June 3, 1952, Graham told Jones, “The modernists do not support us anywhere.” It was not long, though, before Graham openly practiced what he privately denied. His 1957 New York Crusade included 120 Modernists on the committee.

Bob Jones, Sr. lovingly warned Billy Graham.

Dr. Charles Woodbridge was another prominent Christian leader who attempted to correct Billy Graham. Woodbridge was a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and a member of the National Association of Evangelicals before he rejected the New Evangelicalism that was taking over in that day and separated himself from this false philosophy. Woodbridge was a highly educated Presbyterian, with an MA from Princeton, a Ph.D. from Duke, and further studies at Berlin and Marburg Universities in Germany and the Sorbonne in Paris. In his classic book The New Evangelicalism, Woodbridge relates a visit that Graham made to his home in 1958:

“Dr. Graham came to my home in Altadena, California, in 1958 to chat with me about these things. We talked for two hours. I pointed out to him Romans 16:17. I did my best to persuade him to come out from among unbelievers, so far as the conduct of his campaigns was concerned. But to no avail” (Woodbridge, The New Evangelicalism, 1970, p. 44).

Charles Woodbridge lovingly warned Billy Graham.

Jack Wyrtzen, founder of Word of Life, also warned Graham. The following testimony is from a pastor who witnessed one of the meetings in which Fundamentalist leaders tried to correct Billy Graham:

“In 1957, I sat in a meeting where Jack Wyrtzen and Dr. Woodbridge spoke face to face with Billy Graham about his compromise and the direction he was heading away from Fundamentalism. Billy Graham was at Word of Life Inn for two days of meetings near Schroon Lake, New York. That fall was the ‘great New York Crusade.’ It was following that meeting that both Dr. Woodbridge and Jack Wyrtzen stopped all support and fellowship with Billy Graham. Dr. Wyrtzen spoke to the staff of WOL regarding his reasons for pulling away from Graham. I was a young Christian at the time (saved at Word of Life on June 24, 1956, at 19 years of age.) It was the next year that Dr. Woodbridge broke fellowship with Dr. Graham for the same reasons” (E-mail dated Feb. 27, 1999, from Pastor Bob Welch, D.Min, Collegegate Baptist Church, Anchorage, Alaska).

Jack Wyrtzen lovingly warned Billy Graham. (Later, Wyrtzen would travel the ecumenical path himself.)

Dr. Robert Ketcham was the leader of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches in 1950 when he saw some news clippings stating that Graham was working with Jews and Catholics in his meetings and was turning decision cards over to Catholic parishes. Ketcham wrote immediately to Graham and asked if the reports were true. The reply from Graham’s executive secretary, Jerry Beavan, included the following:

‘For example, you asked if Billy Graham had invited Roman Catholics and Jews to cooperate in the evangelistic meetings. SUCH A THOUGHT, EVEN IF THE REPORTER DID SUGGEST IT AS HAVING COME FROM MR. GRAHAM, SEEMS RIDICULOUS TO ME. SURELY YOU MUST KNOW THAT IT IS NOT TRUE. ... FURTHER, THAT YOU SHOULD GIVE ANY CREDENCE TO THE IDEA THAT MR. GRAHAM WOULD EVER TURN OVER ANY DECISION CARDS TO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SEEMS INCONCEIVABLE’ (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II).

It was not long until Beavan’s reply was proven a deception. Graham
was intent upon working with Modernistic and Catholic and Jewish leaders, and he was intending to turn decision cards over to the same. The point here, though, is that Dr. Ketcham approached Billy Graham directly about this matter.

Robert Ketcham lovingly warned Billy Graham.

Another Christian leader who warned Graham was the late
Wilson Ewin, longtime missionary to Roman Catholic-dominated Quebec. Graham cannot say that Ewin did not understand Roman Catholicism or Catholic evangelism. Unlike Graham, who travels from place to place and preaches largely in formal, organized settings, then returns to the seclusion of his hotel suite, Ewin lived among Roman Catholics and worked with them as a pastor and evangelist day by day, month by month, decade after decade. He dedicated his book You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ to “the salvation of dear Roman Catholics whom I love and for whom our Saviour died and shed His Blood.”

“For twenty years, I have watched the crusades and ministry of Dr. Billy Graham. In fact, Ruth [Ewin’s wife] and I sang in the choir and were counselors in one of the Graham crusades. Many letters were written to Billy expressing grave concern about his illicit affair with the Roman Catholic system. I even visited his evangelistic headquarters in Minneapolis to alert the Graham Organization about its overt compromise with Roman Catholicism. Graham has indeed allowed the truth to fall into the street through his ecumenical ministry” (Wilson Ewin, prayer letter announcing his book The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham into the Roman Catholic Church, January 1993).

Wilson Ewin lovingly warned Billy Graham.

These are only a few of the men who have attempted to reprove Graham for his error. In fact, Graham mentions these warnings in his biography.

“Much more painful to me, however, was the opposition from some of the leading fundamentalists. Most of them I knew personally, and even if I did not agree with them on every detail, I greatly admired them and respected their commitment to Christ. Many also had been among our strongest supporters in the early years of our public ministry. Their criticisms hurt immensely, nor could I shrug them off as the objections of people who rejected the basic tenets of the Christian faith or who opposed evangelism of any type” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 302).

Graham goes on to call the criticism “harsh.” He also claims that the men who criticised him demonstrated “a lack of love,” but the disobedient always say that no matter how tender and loving the rebukes are. They always confuse correction with persecution. It is human nature to do that, and it raises a smokescreen to hide the real issues. Reproof is never an easy thing to receive (nor to give!), and it always seems to be unloving to those who refuse to accept it. Further, one can always find some fault in the reprover, because he or she is also a sinner. Proverbs teaches that one’s attitude toward biblical reproof exposes the condition of the heart.

“He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth” (Prov. 10:17).

“The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getting understanding” (Prov. 16:32).

Billy Graham does not have a good attitude toward biblical reproof. He has refused to turn from the path of plain disobedience, and he slanders those who have loved him and God’s Word enough to attempt to correct him.

Billy Graham was warned. He has had many opportunities to repent. Sadly, he has clung steadfastly to the course of disobedience to God’s Word.

A Year by Year Survey of Graham’s Relationship with Rome

We will look now at the history of Graham’s love affair with Rome. No other man in this generation is more responsible than Billy Graham for breaking down the walls between truth and error.

1950

As noted already, by 1950 Billy Graham had so fallen under the power of Catholicism that he turned to it for solace during an illness. During his 1950 New England campaign, Graham fell sick for several days in Hartford, Connecticut. Executive Secretary Gerald Beavan “stayed at his bedside and read to him from Bishop Fulton Sheen’s
Peace of Soul” (Wilson Ewin, The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham into the Roman Catholic Church). We have seen that Graham met Sheen about five years before this. Sheen was a great lover of Mary and was certain of God’s mercy only because of his devotion to Mary.

Boston’s Archbishop Richard Cushing also “exercised a special influence over Billy Graham beginning in 1950. Cushing printed ‘BRAVO BILLY’ on the front of his diocesan paper during the January 1950 campaign. In an interview in 1991, Graham referred to this as one of the highlights of his ministry:

“Another significant thing happened in the early ‘50s in Boston. Cardinal Cushing, in his magazine, The Pilot, put ‘Bravo Billy’ on the front cover. That made news all over the country. He and I became close, wonderful friends. That was my first real coming to grips with the whole Protestant/Catholic situation. I began to realize that there were Christians everywhere. They might be called modernists, Catholics, or whatever, but they were Christians” (Bookstore Journal, Nov. 1991).

In his 1997 autobiography,
Just As I Am, Graham acknowledged that he began to draw close to Rome in the early 1950s:

“At that time [March 1950], Protestantism in New England was weak, due in part to theological differences within some denominations, the influence of Unitarian ideas in other denominations, and the strength of the Roman Catholic Church. In spite of all that, a number of Roman Catholic priests and Unitarian clergy, together with some of their parishioners, came to the meetings along with those from Evangelical churches. With my limited Evangelical background, this was a further expansion of my own ecumenical outlook. I now began to make friends among people from many different backgrounds and to develop a spiritual love for their clergy” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 167).

By the end of 1950, Graham had formed a permanent team of staff members who arranged his meetings. Willis Haymaker was the front man who would go into cities and set up the organizational structure necessary to operate the crusades. One of his duties even in those early days was as follows
: “He would also call on the local Catholic bishop or other clerics to acquaint them with Crusade plans and invite them to the meetings; they would usually appoint a priest to attend and report back. This was years before Vatican II’s openness to Protestants, but WE WERE CONCERNED TO LET THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS SEE THAT MY GOAL WAS NOT TO GET PEOPLE TO LEAVE THEIR CHURCH; rather, I wanted them to commit their lives to Christ” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 163).

1952

On September 6, 1952, reporter William McElwain, writing for the
Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, remarked on Graham’s ecumenical activities with Rome:

“Graham stressed that his crusade in Pittsburgh would be interdenominational. He said that he hopes to hear Bishop Fulton J. Sheen at one of the Masses at St. Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow. [As already noted, Sheen was a staunch Romanist and a great lover of the Catholic Mary.] Graham said, ‘MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE REACHED A DECISION ON CHRIST AT OUR MEETINGS HAVE JOINED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH and we have received commendations from Catholic publications for the revived interest in their church following one of our campaigns. This happened both in Boston and Washington. After all, one of our prime purposes is to help the churches in a community. If, after we move on, the local churches do not feel the effects of these meetings in increased membership and attendance, then our crusades would have to be considered a failure.’”

1955

On December 29, 1955, Billy Graham met in his hotel suite with James Bennet and Jack Wyrtzen. (They were urging him not to pursue the path of ecumenical compromise.) He confirmed his intention of sending converts back to the Roman Catholic Church (Wilson Ewin,
Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990’s).

1956

A rally banquet was held on September 17, 1956, at the Hotel Commodore, New York City, attended by 1,100 people. Graham was guest of honor and main speaker. Graham stated that he wanted Jews, Catholics, and Protestants to attend his meetings and then go back to their own churches. This statement was confirmed by the
New York Evening Journal on Sept. 18, 1956, as follows:

Graham said: ‘THEN WE’LL SEND THEM TO THEIR OWN CHURCHES—ROMAN CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT OR JEWISH. We hope this way to see the forces of crime at least lose a skirmish. The rest will be up to God’ (Billy Graham, Church League of America).

Protestant Church Life, the official organ of the Protestant Council, confirmed this statement in its issue of September 29, 1956: “Referring to the Billy Graham New York Crusade scheduled for May, 1957, Dr. Graham said: ‘We’re coming to New York not to clean it up, but to get people to dedicate themselves to God and to send them on to their own churches--Catholic, Protestant or Jewish ... The rest is up to God.” This is also cited in William Martin, A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story, p. 223.

1957

In the May 6, 1957, issue of
Newsweek, Graham stated:

“I have many friends among Catholic priests, and a number of New York Catholic leaders have written me stating that they believe New York needs a spiritual awakening, and have promised me their prayers and interest even though they could not officially support the meetings. The Catholic Church has always been as friendly and as tolerant as their church law will allow them toward our crusades.”

In an interview with the
San Francisco News of Sept. 21, 1957, Graham team member Walter Smyth admitted that seekers at the San Francisco crusade were referred to Catholic churches. He said, “EVEN IF THE PENITENTS ARE NON-PROTESTANT, THEY ARE REFERRED TO THE CHURCH OF THEIR CHOICE. ... San Francisco is a heavily concentrated Roman Catholic City.” When Smyth later denied this, the paper stood by its report, and when Graham arrived in town, the paper asked the evangelist himself whether inquirers were sent to Catholic churches. His answer appeared in the Nov. 11, 1957, issue: “ANYONE WHO MAKES A DECISION AT OUR MEETINGS IS SEEN LATER AND REFERRED TO A LOCAL CLERGYMAN, PROTESTANT, CATHOLIC OR JEWISH.”

James E. Bennet was a prominent New York attorney and Bible teacher. He resigned from the crusade committee for Graham’s New York Crusade when he saw that Graham was committed to working with Modernists and false teachers. In his summary of Graham’s 1957 New York Crusade, “Final Analysis—A Ministry of Disobedience,” Bennet gave this interesting bit of information:

Furthermore, a friend of mine (a minister of a church on Long Island) went into the inquiry room as an inquirer, and when the counselor asked him what church, he said, ‘To be saved, must I have a church?’ The counselor answered, ‘Yes, you must have a church.’ ‘Can I have a Catholic Church?’ ‘Certainly, if you want to,’ said the counselor. So he gave the name of a Catholic Church in his own locality. Two days later the priest of that church called him up; said he had the card, and would be glad to interview him as a prospective member of that church. I could cite many instances which came to my personal notice. It was one of the most sinful acts of the whole crusade, and will continue to cause inestimable damage. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES, SYNAGOGUES, MODERNISTIC, LIBERAL AND OTHER FORMS OF UNBELIEVING CHURCHES (Letter from G. Archer Weniger to Mr. Walter Smyth, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Dec. 20, 1957).

1958

The Graham organization and the co-operating churches in the San Francisco Crusade appointed Dr. Charles Farrah to follow up the “converts” and to report on the same. His findings were announced December 16. According to the
Oakland Tribune, of the roughly 1,300 Catholics who came forward, PRACTICALLY ALL REMAINED CATHOLIC, CONTINUED TO PRAY TO MARY, GO TO MASS, AND CONFESS TO A PRIEST (Oakland Tribune, Wed., Dec. 17, 1958, cited by G. Archer Weniger, The Blu-Print). No wonder the Catholic Church supports Graham crusades.

1960

In a report in
Newsweek magazine in October 1960, Graham admitted that he would not lead Catholics out of their denomination: “Despite their probable Roman Catholic background, some 50 percent of Spanish-speaking New Yorkers have no current church affiliation of any kind, according to Protestant churchmen. Dr. Graham made it clear that he and his fellow crusaders have no intention of doing any proselyting. He emphasized: ‘The important thing to us is that these people are unchurched. We want them to accept Christ and they can do that whether they think of themselves as Catholics or Protestants’” (Newsweek, October 17, 1960).

1961

The Bible warns that
“evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33), and Graham’s close affiliation with heretics over the years has certainly corrupted his doctrinal discernment. In a 1961 interview with the Lutheran Standard of the liberal American Lutheran Church, Graham testified that all of his children except the youngest were baptized as infants. (Graham grew up as a Presbyterian and joined a Southern Baptist church after he started his evangelistic career; his wife, Ruth, remained a Presbyterian). Graham then made the following amazing statement:

“I have some difficulty in accepting the indiscriminate baptism of infants without a careful regard as to whether the parents have any intention of fulfilling the promise they make. But I DO BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING HAPPENS AT THE BAPTISM OF AN INFANT, particularly if the parents are Christians and teach their children Christian Truths from childhood. We cannot fully understand the miracles of God, but I BELIEVE THAT A MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN IN THESE CHILDREN SO THAT THEY ARE REGENERATED, THAT IS, MADE CHRISTIAN, THROUGH INFANT BAPTISM. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me” (Graham, interview with Wilfred Bockelman, associate editor of the Lutheran Standard, American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Standard, October 10, 1961).

1962

Graham conducted crusades in Latin America in 1962. He notes that they had to “move with great caution” because of divisions and controversies between Protestants and Catholics in that part of the world. In his 1997 autobiography, he refers to that division as the fault of both Catholics and Protestants.

“Nor was the fault always on the Catholic side, I knew. Often Latin American Protestants were guilty of intolerance, negative preaching, and inflammatory language. I had no intention of adding fuel to the fire. In fact, whenever possible during our trip south (as well as on other tours), I tried to meet with local Catholic leaders, to the occasional consternation of some of our hosts. My goal, I always made clear, was not to preach against Catholic beliefs or to proselytize people who were already committed to Christ within the Catholic Church” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 357).

The charge Graham makes against Latin American Protestants of “intolerance, negative preaching, and inflammatory language” could easily be made against the Lord Jesus Christ and against the Lord’s Apostles. Christ’s sermon against the Pharisees in Matthew 23 sounds very intolerant and negative, as does Paul’s sermon against the Galatian heretics in Galatians chapter 1. Bible preachers who are faithful to the Word of God are always intolerant of error. “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:128).

The Roman Catholic bishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, stood beside Graham during his 1962 crusade in that city, and blessed those who came forward at the invitation. Graham said this illustrated that “something tremendous, an awakening of reform and revival within Christianity” was happening (
Daily Journal, International Falls, Minnesota, October 29, 1963, cited by the New York Times, Nov. 9, 1963).

The man who paved the way for Graham to visit Latin America was Ken Strachan, whose father founded the Latin America Mission. Strachan was a dedicated ecumenist who shared Graham’s view “that there needed to be a coming together in some way and some form between Catholics and Protestants” (
Just As I Am, p. 357).

By 1962 the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association edited the
Halley Bible Commentary (subtitled the Pocket Bible Handbook) to remove references to Rome’s murderous Inquisition (Wilson Ewin, Today’s Evangelicals Embracing the World’s Deadliest Cult, p. 57). The BGEA organization acquired the printing rights of the book but was not supposed to change it. Pastor Jimmy Robbins of Cowpens, South Carolina, told me that Henry Halley’s widow was upset at the way the Graham organization changed her husband’s work by removing pages 676 to 705 which had described the martyrdom of millions through the papal Inquisition.

1963

Upon the death of Pope John XXIII in 1963, Graham made this amazing remark from Bonn, Germany: “I admire Pope John tremendously. I felt he brought a new era to the world. It is my hope that the Cardinals elect a new Pope who will follow the same line as John. It would be a great tragedy if they chose a man who reacted against John, who re-erected the walls” (
Michigan City News-Dispatch, June 2, 1963).

In 1963, Graham spoke at a Park Sheraton Hotel breakfast that was held to support his New York World’s Fair pavilion. The
New York Times of October 25 reported that he spoke on increasing cooperation between Protestants and Roman Catholics, and said if Pope Paul asked him to go out and preach the gospel, he would do it (Wilson Ewin, Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990’s). The problem with such a statement is that it confuses people and fails to make any distinction between false gospels and the true gospel. Pope Paul did not preach the true gospel of the grace of Christ. He preached Rome’s sacramental grace-works gospel. Why, then, does Graham say he would preach the gospel if asked by Pope Paul? What gospel would he preach under such circumstances? Pope Paul’s gospel, or the Bible gospel? Graham pretends that they are the same, and herein lies the great error and wickedness of ecumenical evangelism.

It was also in 1963 that Graham first spoke at a Roman Catholic institution. It was the Belmont Abbey College. Four years later he was awarded an honorary degree by this institution (
The Gastonia Gazette, Nov. 22, 1967). The priest who invited Graham, Cuthbert Allen, Executive Vice-President of the college, noted that Graham was scheduled to speak at other Catholic colleges that year. In the New York Times for October 25, 1963, Graham acknowledged that he had preaching engagements scheduled at five Roman Catholic institutions. Priest Cuthbert Allen made the following interesting observation of Graham’s ministry:

I am the one who, being acquainted with Billy Graham, invited him to speak to the Fathers, the Nuns, students and invited guests, and I am pleased to reply to your inquiries.

Billy Graham gave an inspiring and a theologically sound address that may have been given by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen or any other Catholic preacher.
I have followed Billy Graham’s career and I must emphasize that he has been more Catholic than otherwise, and I say this not in a partisan manner but as a matter of fact.

Knowing the tremendous influence of Billy Graham among Protestants and now the realization and acknowledgment among Catholics of his devout and sincere appeal to the teachings of Christ ...
I WOULD STATE THAT HE COULD BRING CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS TOGETHER IN A HEALTHY ECUMENICAL SPIRIT.

I was the first Catholic to invite Billy Graham; I know he will speak at three other Catholic universities next month; I believe he will be invited to more Catholic colleges in the future than Protestant colleges.

So I am well pleased, then, to answer your question:
BILLY GRAHAM IS PREACHING A MORAL AND EVANGELICAL THEOLOGY MOST ACCEPTABLE TO CATHOLICS (Letter of May 19, 1965, from Cuthbert E. Allen to Mr. Julius C. Taylor, reprinted in The Christian News, October 1, 1984).

1964

In 1964, Graham spent forty-five minutes with Richard Cardinal Cushing, Catholic Archbishop of Boston. Cushing gave unqualified support for Graham. The Cleveland
Plain Dealer for October 8, 1964, reported Cushing’s words:

“I am 100% for the evangelist. I have never known a religious crusade that was more effective than Dr. Graham’s. I have never heard the slightest criticism of anything he has ever said from a Catholic source.”

(AT LEFT: GRAHAM WITH CARDINAL CUSHING)

Graham returned the favor by saying: “I feel much closer to Roman Catholic tradition than to some of the more liberal Protestants” (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II). This type of statement is popular ecumenical jargon, but it does not mean anything. What does it mean to feel closer to Catholic tradition than to liberal Protestantism? Both are unscriptural. Both must therefore be rejected! It is not an either-or situation. The Bible believing Christian is taught by the Word of God to reject all forms of error (Psalm 119:128; 1 Timothy 1:3).

1966

In May 1966, Graham made this statement: “I find myself closer to the Catholics than the radical Protestants. I think the Roman Catholic Church today is going through a second Reformation” (Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, May 24, 1966).

In July 1966, Graham held a crusade in London, England. Before leaving London, Graham met with the apostolic delegate from the Vatican (Graham interview with Edward B. Fiske,
New York Times, July 17, 1966).

In October 1966, Graham was honorary chairman of the “World Congress on Evangelism” in Berlin, Germany. The congress was funded by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Observers included representatives from the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches. Paulist priest John B. Sheerin, special correspondent for the Religious News Service and editor of the
Catholic World, spoke of Graham’s powers of compromise:

“The delegates had come from all over the world and from disparate backgrounds and theologies which were reflected in their diverse and dissonant interpretations of the Bible. Only the Holy Spirit, working through Billy Graham as the human instrument, could have welded together so quickly so many men of different creeds. The spirit of Pope John hovered over the council. Billy Graham was physically, palpably and inescapably present at the Congress speaking admirably and holding together forces that would unquestionably have exploded in all directions save for his presence.”

A month after the Berlin Congress, the
Toronto Daily Star of November 19, 1966, quoted a priest, William Manseau, one of the Catholic observers at the Berlin World Congress on Evangelism: “Father Manseau noted approvingly that a Catholic publication in England recently suggested that some day the Catholic Church may canonize the Baptist evangelist, making him ‘St. Billy’” (M.L. Moser, Jr., Ecumenicalism Under the Spotlight).

1967

On Nov. 21, 1967, an honorary degree was conferred on Graham by the Catholic priests who operate Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina, during an Institute for Ecumenical Dialogue. The
Gastonia Gazette reported:

In this decade of the 20th century, ‘in the midst of our generation,’ the world is experiencing a ‘final shaking,’ evangelist Billy Graham told an audience of 1700 Protestants and Catholics at Belmont Abbey College Tuesday night...

After receiving the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters (D.H.L.) from the Abbey,
Graham noted the significance of the occasion—‘a time when Protestants and Catholics could meet together and greet each other as brothers, whereas 10 years ago they could not,’ he said.

The evangelist’s first sermon at a Catholic institution was at the Abbey, in 1963, and his return Tuesday was the climax to this week’s Institute for Ecumenical Dialogue,
a program sponsored in part by the Abbey and designed to promote understanding among Catholic and Protestant clergymen of the Gaston-Mecklenburg area.

Graham, freshly returned from his Japanese Crusade, said he ‘knew of no greater honor a North Carolina preacher, reared just a few miles from here, could have than to be presented with this degree. I’m not sure but what this could start me being called “Father Graham,”’ he facetiously added.

In a serious tone, Graham said we are living in a ‘critical and crucial period in a busy world. And, I want to speak especially to the students tonight.’ Many students from Belmont Abbey and Sacred Heart College turned out to hear the Southern Baptist evangelist...

‘There are five definite things which will not be shaken, and will serve as mountains on which to hold,’ Graham said. ...

‘Finally, the way of salvation has not changed. I know how the ending of the book will be.
THE GOSPEL THAT BUILT THIS SCHOOL AND THE GOSPEL THAT BRINGS ME HERE TONIGHT IS STILL THE WAY TO SALVATION’ (“Belmont Abbey Confers Honorary Degree,”, Paul Smith, Gazette staff reporter, The Gastonia Gazette, Gastonia, North Carolina, Nov. 22, 1967).

This is simply amazing. Does Billy Graham really believe that the sacramental grace-works gospel that built Belmont Abbey is the way of salvation? If so, why does Graham preach that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone without works or sacraments? Why does he remain a Baptist rather than joining the Catholic Church? On the other hand, if Graham does not believe Rome’s gospel is true, why did he say what he does? Why does he fellowship with Rome? The evangelist tries to have it both ways, but it is impossible. This is why Graham has been called “Mr. Facing Both Ways”!

1969

Graham’s 1969 crusade in New Zealand pleased Modernistic, Jewish, and Catholic leaders. Writing on March 8, 1969, the Moderator Elect of the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand, Modernist O.T. Baragwanath, stated:

This is the greatest ecumenical occasion that New Zealand has ever known. Thousands of ordinary Christian people have been studying and praying with those of other traditions for many months. This friendship is not going to disappear. There is a completely new atmosphere between the Churches. Roman Catholic and Jewish leaders, though not participating in the crusade, attended the opening session of the school of evangelism and listened with evident respect to a quiet and scholarly address by Mr. Graham” (Winston G. Broadbent, Roman Catholicism and Billy Graham, p. 6).

The June 19, 1969, issue of the
New York Times contained a half-page article on Graham follow-up techniques:

After inquirers are dealt with by ‘counselors’ and cards on each are filled out, a ‘Co-Labor Corps’ sits at long tables until midnight each night counting and sorting the cards and licking envelopes that will go out in the morning mail to ministers of about 1,000 churches. The ‘Corps’ sifts through maps and phone books, finding the church nearest the addresses on the cards, regardless of whether or not they are liberal, conservative, Protestant, Catholic or Jewish (Billy Graham, The Church League of America, pp. 67-68).

The United States Congress of Evangelism was held in Minneapolis, Sept. 8-13, 1969. Billy Graham was the sponsor and Roman Catholics were included in the program. A priest, John J. Okeefe, led the Thursday morning devotions (
The Baptist Bulletin, Nov. 1969).

1970

The Graham-sponsored Euro 70 was a technological marvel. Graham’s messages were broadcast to venues across Europe by means of closed-circuit television. As always, one of the products of the crusade was ecumenical unity. The chairman of one of the Norwegian relay sites testified, “There has been a marked closing of ranks of all Christian associations in the towns and surrounding areas” (John Pollock,
Billy Graham, p. 80). A professor at a Roman Catholic divinity school in Zagreb, Yugolavia, said Euro 70 awoke the hope “in many hearts that ecumenism in our region will not remain just an empty word.”

From 1970 to 1972 Jesuit priest Charles Dullea, Superior of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, researched the message and methodology of Billy Graham’s crusades for a doctoral dissertation written for the Gregorian University in Rome. Dullea was granted interviews with Graham and with his staff and was allowed to study the follow-up at crusades in New York and Los Angeles. Dullea’s doctoral dissertation was published in 1973 in a book entitled
A Catholic Looks at Billy Graham. I have a copy of this in my library.

Dullea’s description of the follow-up at Graham crusades is fascinating, and he made an amazing discovery:
When Catholic churches do not actively participate in Graham crusades “there is no follow-up on Roman Catholics” (p. 47). Dullea writes:

“In the follow-up room in Shea Stadium in June 1970 I saw a thick packet of decision cards designated ‘No follow-up.’ These were ‘Catholic and Cultists.’ ... There is no follow-up on these cases. They are simply dropped. I was told that the percentage of Catholic decisions for Christ reached almost 20% of the whole” (Dullea, A Catholic Looks at Billy Graham, Paulist Press, 1973, p. 47).

This unconscionable practice was the result of Graham’s incredible ecumenical zeal. Apparently, he would rather have no follow-up of Catholic inquirers than risk offending Catholic leaders by sending the names of inquirers to non-Catholic churches for follow-up. (Dullea’s treatise was read in manuscript form by Dr. Robert Ferm of the Graham Evangelistic Association prior to publication.)



1971

Graham brought the concluding message at the 29th annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, April 22, 1971, in Los Angeles, California. He described the prayer groups which were formed the last time he had gone to New York City: “Some of them were Jewish, some were Roman Catholic, in fact hundreds were Roman Catholic, meeting to pray” (Graham, cited by D.A. Waite, What’s Wrong with the N.A.E.? - 1971). Donald Waite remarks, “If [these were] true Jews and true Roman Catholics, thus unsaved, how in the world could they pray and get through to God without coming through the blood of Calvary’s cross and personal faith in Jesus Christ? Such ecumenicity on Graham’s part is serious indeed.”

1972

In January 1972, an article appeared in the Catholic magazine
Homiletic & Pastoral Review by the aforementioned Charles W. Dullea, Superior of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. Entitled “A Catholic Looks at Billy Graham,” this article explains why the Vatican supports Graham.


The Catholic will hear no slighting of his Church’s teaching authority, nor of Papal or Episcopal Prerogatives, no word against the Mass or sacraments or Catholic practices. Graham has no time for that ... THE CATHOLIC, IN MY OPINION WILL HEAR LITTLE, IF ANYTHING, HE CANNOT AGREE WITH.”

In June 1972, Billy Graham was honorary chairman of Campus Crusade’s International Student Congress on Evangelism known as Explo ‘72, in Dallas, Texas. Roman Catholic parishes participated. Mr. Paul Eshelman, director for Explo ‘72 said, “Roman Catholics have been involved in arrangements. ... Sisters helped with advance registrations; young men studying for the priesthood worked in Explo’s Dallas office.”

Catholic literature distributed at the congress read in part, “True Catholics believe that under the appearance of bread and wine, achieved at the consecration of the Mass, the very real body of Christ is present in the tabernacle of their Churches” (
Logos, May-June 1972).

On April 21, 1972, Billy Graham was awarded the International Franciscan Award by the Catholic Franciscan friars for “his contribution to true ecumenism” and “his sincere and authentic evangelism” (
Minneapolis Star, April 22, 1972, quoted by the F.E.A. News & Views, Jul.-Aug. 1972). In acknowledging the award, Graham said: “While I am not worthy to touch the shoe laces of St. Francis [a Roman Catholic ‘saint’ who believed in salvation by works], yet this same Christ that called Francis in the 13th century also called me to be one of His servants in the 20th century” (The Gospel Standard, Feb. 1986).

At the Greenville, Missouri, crusade with Billy Graham associate Ralph Bell, a local Roman Catholic priest was on the platform to read the Scripture (D.A. Waite,
What’s Wrong with the N.A.E. - 1972?, report on the 30th annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals, April 11-13, 1972, St. Louis, Missouri).

At the Charlotte, North Carolina, crusade, “the monks of Belmont Abbey sent their ‘felicitations, good wishes and, more important, fervent prayers. ... We accept you as a friend, brother and alumnus” (John Pollock,
Billy Graham, p. 129).

When Graham was invited in 1972 to conduct a crusade in Central Italy, “he learned from a very high source that the Vatican did not object” and that “his attitude was deeply appreciated” (Pollock, p. 130).

Billy Graham associate evangelist Ralph Bell conducted a crusade in Papua, New Guinea, in 1972, “strongly supported by the Roman Catholic archbishop as well as by all Protestant churches” (Pollock, p. 152). This Billy Graham Evangelistic Crusade ecumenical venture paved the way for a seminar in June 1976 that included Roman Catholics (Ibid.). One of the chief goals of Graham crusades is the promotion of ecumenical unity, and probably no other organization has had more influence in this realm.

Graham visited Ireland in 1972. He did not conduct a crusade in Ulster (Northern Ireland), but he visited Belfast and met with Catholic and Protestant church leaders. He had a private meeting in Armagh at the palace of Cardinal Conway, head of the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland. Protestant leaders were also present. Graham spoke to students at Queen’s University under the sponsorship of both Catholic and Protestant chaplains (Graham,
Just As I Am, p. 429). In Dublin, in the Irish Republic, he met with “clergy from all denominations” at Milltown Park, the headquarters for the Jesuits.

1973

Graham was one of the leaders of the ecumenical Key ‘73 evangelistic crusade held across North America, and was involved in the decision to invite Catholics into the program. “Opening his ecumenical North American Key 73 Crusade, Graham commented on a biography of Pope John XXIII. Speaking of the book’s presentation of the Pope’s devotion to Mary and the saints, the evangelist called this ‘a classic in devotion’” (Wilson Ewin, The Chilling Significance of Pope John Paul’s October 22, 1996 Address: The One World Church, Quebec Baptist Mission, 1996, p. 14).

In Milwaukee on October 21, 1973, Graham said, “This past week I preached in a great Catholic Cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend of mind who was a Catholic [publisher James Strohn Copley], and they had several bishops and archbishops to participate, and as I sat there going through
the funeral Mass that was a very beautiful thing and certainly straight and clear in the gospel, I believe, there was a wonderful little priest that would tell me when to stand and when to kneel and what to do.” (Billy Graham, Church League of America, p. 84).

Billy Graham says that the Catholic Mass is clear about the gospel. Does he really think that a priest re-sacrificing Christ is the gospel? The Catholic Mass is not a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross; it is an alleged re-offering of that sacrifice. The Vatican II Council reaffirmed that the Mass is “a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated” and that through the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass Christ offers “himself to the Father for the world’s salvation through the ministry of priests” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Introduction, C 1,2, p. 108). This is not the gospel that Paul and the Apostles preached. They preached that Christ was “once offered to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28). The biblical gospel is that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3,4). The Bible gospel says Christ was sacrificed
once, was buried once, and was resurrected once, and that one offering takes care of the believer’s sin. There is absolutely no instruction in the New Testament for the formation of a special priesthood in the churches (every believer is a priest, 1 Peter 2:5,9) or for the offering of a sacrifice. There is no need. Christ, our High Priest, has done that for us. In the Roman Catholic Church, Christ hangs on the cross perpetually in their crucifix. The Pope’s staff has a carving of Christ hanging on the cross. The symbolism of the crucifix is derived from Rome’s heretical view of the gospel. Instead of an empty cross depicting a once-for-all, completed sacrifice, they have a perpetually crucified Christ depicting their doctrine of the Mass.

At the end of October 1973, Graham held a crusade in St. Louis, Missouri. Catholic Archbishop John T. Byre said in the
St. Louis Review, the Catholic Archdiocesan weekly: “St. Louis is fortunate to have the presence of the Rev. Billy Graham. During a Graham crusade, the participants are asked to make a decision for Christ. In Catholic circles this is referred to as a ‘commitment to Christ.’ Catholics have little reason to disagree with Dr. Graham as far as the theology of his crusade is concerned. He makes a determined effort to keep them non-sectarian and THUS AVOIDS THE MORE CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES OF THE SACRAMENTS AND THE CHURCH. Some 50 nuns served as counselors and others sang regularly in the choir” (Wilson Ewin, Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990s).

1974

In August 1974, Graham chaired the influential International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, Switzerland. Bishop A. Jack Dain, chairman of the Congress Planning Committee, publicly acknowledged that “this Congress would have been impossible without Billy Graham.” Though all participants were supposed to be Evangelicals, they came from every sort of compromised and apostate denomination: Church of England, Free Methodist, Church of South India, etc., including many connected with the radical World Council of Churches. In addition, it was announced that five administrators of the World Council of Churches and three Roman Catholic priests had been invited to attend (
F.E.A. News & Views, Jul.-Aug. 1974). The ecumenical spirit of the Lausanne congress was expressed in the Lausanne Covenant, which claimed that “a new missionary era has dawned” and that “a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ’s church will be more clearly exhibited.” This promotes the false idea of a universal “church” composed of all denominations.

1976

In March 1976, Graham appeared with Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin before the U.S. Congress to say “every man, woman and child on earth has the right to a nutritionally adequate diet” (
Chicago Sun-Times, March 29, 1976).

In September 1976, it was reported that the St. Madelaine Sophie Catholic parish of High Springs, Florida, purchased and refurbished a drive-in theater, and were under contract with Billy Graham’s World Wide Pictures to show religious films. Proceeds went to build up Roman Catholicism through the parish building fund (BFT #565, Hayes Minnick, Orlando, Florida).

In October 1976, Graham was quoted in the
Southern Cross, a Catholic paper: “I think that Protestants, in reaction to the Catholic position, have made far too little of Mary. Mary was the most remarkable and most blessed of all women” (Minnick). By not condemning the Catholic heresies surrounding Mary, Graham plays right into the hands of the Catholic Church.

1977

During Graham’s crusade in Asheville, South Carolina, in early 1977, one of the overflow halls was St. Laurence Catholic Church.

Graham held a crusade on the campus of Roman Catholic Notre Dame University in May 1977. He said, “I have no qarrel with the Catholic Church” (William Martin,
Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story, p. 223). Christianity Today gave this report:

“Would Billy Graham conduct a crusade at the Vatican? If a place were made available and Christian leaders in Rome wanted him to, he might. No campaign in Catholicism’s capital is on the evangelist’s calendar now, but his five-day crusade last month on the Notre Dame University Campus proved he is not afraid to go deep into Roman Catholic territory. It also showed that many elements in the once hostile Catholic community are now receptive to Graham’s type of ministry. Graham’s sermons were of the type that audiences around the world have heard, with only a few more references to such Catholics as Bishop Fulton Sheen and Mother Teresa of Calcutta” (Christianity Today, June 3, 1977).

The invitation Graham gave at Notre Dame played right into the hands of the Catholic hierarchy. He said to the crowd, “Many of you want to come tonight and reconfirm your confirmation. You want to reconfirm the decision that you made when you joined the church” (Wilson Ewin,
The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham). His goal apparently is to make better Catholics of his listeners. It is no wonder that Graham is praised by Catholic leaders. A preacher who truly loves Roman Catholics will tell them plainly that Rome’s gospel is false and that the sacraments have absolutely nothing to do with biblical salvation.

In November 1977, Graham held a crusade in Manila, the Philippines.
Christianity Today editor Harold Lindsell quoted the Graham team: “We didn’t know what to expect when we came here because the Protestant population in the Philippines is very small. But during the crusade we have seen some of the greatest unity among churches that we’ve ever experienced, and we have received marvelous support from the Catholic Church” (Christianity Today, Dec. 30, 1977).

1978

For Graham’s Milwaukee crusade in August 1978, Roman Catholic Archbishop Rembert Weakland sent a letter to priests throughout his archdiocese telling them they could support the meetings. These gave Graham “some of the most loyal support,” not only in attendance but also as campaign workers. Christianity Today, September 7, reported, “Graham had these Catholic ... churchgoers in mind during his sermons ... At each meeting he repeated a recent statement attributed to Pope John Paul II, ‘The priority of the Church ought to be to evangelize those who have already been baptized.’ He followed this statement at the concluding service on Sunday with, ‘Perhaps many people need to come and reconfirm their confirmation’” (Ewin). To “reconfirm their confirmation” is not the gospel and is not biblical salvation. The Catholic Church teaches that salvation is a process that begins at baptism, is strengthened through confirmation, and is fed by the other sacraments throughout one’s life. For a Catholic to reconfirm his confirmation would mean he continues to trust in the Catholic sacraments for his eternal salvation, rather than repenting of those dead man-made works and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

In October 1978, Graham held a crusade in Catholic Poland. It was an occasion for unprecedented ecumenical alliances. The
Chicago Sun-Times for October 7, 1978, gave this report on his arrival in Warsaw: “American evangelist Billy Graham was welcomed Friday by the Roman Catholic Church, which is opening its doors for the first time to his Crusade for Christ. ‘We are happy that you will preach in several cities in Catholic churches, where the overwhelming majority of listeners will be Catholics,’ Bishop Wladyslaw Miziolek told Graham at Okecie Airport. Bishop Miziolek is chairman of the Committee on Ecumenism of the Polish Catholic Church.”

Bishop Miziolek welcomed Graham at the airport and brought greetings from the head of the Catholic Church in Poland, Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski. Graham replied that this adventure represented a new spirit of cooperation that was a constructive example for Christians in other nations (John Pollock, Billy Graham, p. 308).

Roman Catholic authorities allowed Graham to preach in their cathedrals. Four of the rallies were held in Catholic churches, with priests participating on the platform with Graham. Masses were conducted immediately before and after the rallies. In his remarks at Catholic churches, Graham praised the greatness of Pope Paul VI (
Christianity Today, Nov. 3, 1978). Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, soon to be Pope John Paul II, offered his 700-year-old St. Anne’s Church in Cracow. Wojtyla had intended to meet Graham for tea, but as it turned out, just before Graham’s arrival in Poland, Wojtyla was unexpectedly called away to the conclave in Rome to meet with the College of Cardinals, and a few days later he was elected Pope. Wojtyla’s plane was at the end of the runway, ready to take off for Rome, as Graham’s plane touched down in Warsaw.

While in Poland Graham visited the Marian shrine of Jasna Gora (featuring an icon of the Black Madonna) in Czestochowa. A picture in
Decision magazine for February 1979, shows Graham welcoming pilgrims to the shrine. In the minds of his Catholic observers, this ill-advised visit put Graham’s stamp of approval upon the idolatrous Catholic Mary veneration which is featured at this influential shrine. During his years as a child and, later, as a Catholic leader in Poland, Pope John Paul II visited this shrine frequently to venerate Mary and to pray to her. These blasphemous and heretical practices have no authority in the Word of God. In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, the Pope testifies that his personal devotion to Mary was developed at Marian sites “in my town, then in the shrine of Kalwaria, and finally at Jasna Gora” (p. 220). The Pope has “Totus Tuus” (All Yours) embroidered on his papal garments, designating his “abandonment to Mary” (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 215). After the Pope was shot during an assassination attempt in May 1981, he attributed his subsequent recovery to Mary, and it was at shrines such as Jasna Gora and Fatima that he has expressed his thankfulness to the “Queen of Heaven.”

In an interview with
McCall’s Magazine, Graham said: I’ve found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics ... we differ on some matters of later church tradition” (McCalls, January 1978).

1979

In May 1979, Graham held a crusade in Australia. Reporter Alan Nichols made the following observation in
Christianity Today:

“Prior to the crusade, there had been a controversy over Roman Catholic involvement ... when the crusade executive committee announced that inquirers would be referred to participating Catholic churches. ... Finally, a compromise was reached: any Catholic inquirers would be directed to nondenominational nurture groups where they would be encouraged to make up their own minds about church membership” (Christianity Today, June 29, 1979).

Note that the Graham team wanted to deliver inquirers over to the Catholic churches as is their normal mode of operation elsewhere, but they were somewhat stymied in this instance by some protests. It is possible that inquirers were turned over to individual Catholic counselors. A report in the Church Scene for March 8, 1979, stated that Graham was training Roman Catholics in follow-up techniques so that R.C. inquirers at the crusade may be referred to them” (reprinted in Evangelical Action, April-May 1979, p. 4).

At the Milwaukee Billy Graham Crusade in 1979, a Roman Catholic Mass was conducted as part of the follow-up for new converts (F.B.F. News Bulletin, May-June 1986).

In September 1979,
The Christian Courier of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, published the following report on the Milwaukee Crusade:

“Sister Maureen Hopkins, Director of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Milwaukee Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and a liaison member of the Crusade committee, reported that 120 people have volunteered within the Catholic community to help her with the task of contacting each of the 3,500 inquiries. Sr. Maureen received the names and telephone numbers from the Crusade Committee, based upon the inquirer’s indication of having a Catholic background on his inquiry card. ... All 3,500 were immediately invited to a Eucharistic celebration which was held on August 16 at St. Theresa’s Church in Milwaukee. The Mass was attended by more than 400 people. The primary purpose for the Mass was to remind the inquirers that their commitments to Christ should be nurtured within the sacramental framework of the church.”

Christianity Today for Sept. 7, 1979, pointed out that almost a year before the Crusade, Graham had sent a team member to conduct a seminar explaining the crusade enterprise for Milwaukee priests and lay workers. “It is a tragedy that 3,500 decision cards were turned over to the Roman Catholic Church, but it is a worse tragedy when you realize that it did not ‘just happen.’ It was planned by the world’s best-known evangelist” (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II).

In October 1979, Pope John Paul II made his first visit to the United States.
Time magazine gave Graham’s startling viewpoint on this:

“No other man in the world today could attract as much attention on moral and spiritual subjects as John Paul. He is articulating what Catholic and Protestant churches have traditionally held, the moral values from the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. The country is responding in a magnificent way. It shows there’s a great spiritual hunger. The Pope has reached millions of Protestants. The organized ecumenical movement seems to be on the back burner and ecumenicity is now taking place where Roman Catholics and Protestants share beliefs in matters like the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ” (Billy Graham, Time, October 15, 1979).

Graham appeared on the Phil Donahue show on October 11, 1979, and in discussing Pope Paul II’s visit to the U.S.A., said: “I think
the American people are looking for a leader, a moral and spiritual leader that believes something. And the Pope does. He didn’t mince words on a single subject. As a matter of fact, his subject in Boston was really an evangelistic address in which he asked the people to come to Christ, to give their lives to Christ. I said, ‘Thank God, I’ve got somebody to quote now with some real authority’” (The Gospel Standard, Feb. 1986).

On December 9, 1979, popular Catholic Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen died. Sheen upheld Rome’s heretical dogmas. [See note under year 1950.] He was a staunch enemy of the New Testament faith. When questioned about Sheen’s death, Graham called it “a great loss to the nation and both the Catholic and Protestant churches. He broke down walls of prejudice between Catholics and Protestants ... I count it a privilege to have known him as a friend for over 35 years. I mourn his death and look forward to our reunion in heaven” (
Religious News Service, Dec. 11, 1979). As noted under the comments for the year 1950, Sheen’s hope was in Mary, not in Christ’s completed atonement. Unless he repented and turned wholly to Christ on his deathbed, we have no biblical cause to believe Sheen will be in Heaven.

1980

In an interview that appeared in the Jan.-Feb. 1980, issue of the Saturday Evening Post, Graham made the following comments about the Catholic Pope:

“Since his election, Pope John Paul II has emerged as the greatest religious leader of the modern world, and one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of this century. ... The Pope came [to America] as a statesman and a pastor, but I believe he also sees himself coming as an evangelist, forthrightly urging those who have perhaps given little thought to spiritual matters to realize the truth of the Christian message and commit their lives to Christ. ... The Pope sought to speak to the spiritual hunger of our age in the same way Christians throughout the centuries have spoken to the spiritual yearnings of every age—by pointing people to Christ. ... Also, in countless ways many evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics are discovering they share a common bond through their mutual commitment to the Christian faith. … Recently I learned that the word ‘pontiff,’ (a title by which the Pope is often known) comes from the Latin words which originally meant ‘bridge builder.’ During his visit to America, Pope John Paul II was indeed a bridge builder, and that is something our divided world desperately needs. In a world which often seems to have lost its way, his voice will continue to remind us of our responsibilities to each other—and to God” (Billy Graham, “The Pilgrim Pope: A Builder of Bridges,” The Saturday Evening Post, Jan.-Feb. 1980).

Historically, “pontiff” refers to the papal title of
Pontifex Maximus, which was used by the high priests of ancient heathen religion in the Roman Empire and was adopted by the early popes (Webster’s Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, 1979). “The title of Supreme Pontiff was reserved in ancient Rome to the emperor, who as head of the principal college of priests in Rome was seen as the bridge or bridge-builder between men and the gods. The title was given to the Pope by Gratian in A.D. 375…” (Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 758). The word “pontiff” in Latin and Italian means “bridge.” On the map of Rome that I purchased when I toured the Vatican several years ago, the word “pontiff” is used to describe the bridges over the river Tiber that flows through Rome. The term “pontiff” points to the Pope’s blasphemous claim to be a bridge between man and God.

1981

On January 13, 1981, Graham had his first audience with a Roman Pope. Graham gave the following account of his historic meeting with John Paul II: “I spent about a half-hour with the Pope in very private, intimate conversation. He was extremely warm and interested in our work. We discussed the Christian faith, both our agreements and some of our differences. When I was at the Vatican, I spoke at a vesper service at the North American College, which is a seminary for students from North America. I understand I was the first Protestant to speak there. It was a very inspirational and Christocentric service, with much contemporary music” (Christianity Today, July 17, 1981). Graham gave the Pope a wooden carving of a shepherd with his sheep, thus symbolically fortifying the false papal claim to be the shepherd of all Christians.

In July 1981, Graham’s Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization held a four-day American Festival of Evangelism in Kansas City, Missouri. Multitudes of Roman Catholics were among the 8,000 who attended. Wilson Ewin gives the following report on the ecumenical aspects of that meeting:

Any doubts regarding the Committee’s true attitude toward Roman Catholicism and the needs of its people were dispelled by facts emanating from this 1981 Missouri Festival.

Instead of presenting the need of Roman Catholics for evangelism and how to do this, the meetings stressed unity and cooperation with Roman Catholicism. The festival emphasized that Lausanne Committee participants no longer believe in the evangelism of Roman Catholics. Instead, they believe in Roman Catholicism’s own evangelization to produce Roman Catholics for the strengthening of the papacy. This was shown through the fact that several Roman Catholic workshops were included in the Festival. EVANGELICALS WERE SHOWN HOW TO BECOME AND HOW TO MAKE GOOD ROMAN CATHOLICS.

Reporting on the work by Roman Catholics at the Festival, the American Catholic Charismatics’ own
New Covenant magazine, October 1981, stated, ‘Fr. Glenn C. Smith, evangelization officer for the diocese of Rockford, Illinois, told how Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Cary, Illinois, grew from 1,000 to 6,000 members in 10 years because of persistent efforts. Every Easter some 100 joined the church ... Fr. Kenneth Boyack, a Paulist priest from Greensville, South Carolina, said that plans to organize evangelism offices in dioceses and evangelism committees in parishes should provide a much greater number of converts by 1990.’

... the Lausanne Committee’s American Festival placed a stamp of absolute acceptance upon authentic, medieval and historic Roman Catholicism. By association and official participation in the Kansas City Festival,
150 RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HAVE PROCLAIMED THEIR WILLINGNESS TO COOPERATE WITH AND ACCEPT ROMAN CATHOLICISM (Wilson Ewin, Charismatic Control).

1982

Graham prepared for the spring 1982 New England campaign in heavily Catholic territory by a visit to Boston’s Cardinal Medeiros. The Cardinal called the March meeting “a discussion of mutual interest and concerns.” This was followed by a strategy consultation on May 25. The Cardinal said, “I was delighted to receive Dr. Graham and a few of his colleagues into my home for dinner” (
The Pilot, May 28, 1982). Reporting on this, Priest Conley, Coordinator of Communications for the Archdiocese stated, “The Crusade’s purpose is not proselytizing—or sheep stealing ... 100 PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS AND LAITY ARE BEING TRAINED TO FACILITATE THE FULL RECONCILIATION TO THE CHURCH [OF ROME] of those men and women who will have been moved by Dr. Graham’s preaching” (The Pilot, May 11, 1982).

“Each step of the campaign saw the evangelist engaged in consultation with the bishop of the individual state. Following the crusade, meetings took place between the Graham Association and Catholic clergy. PEOPLE WHO CAME FORWARD DURING THE CAMPAIGN WERE THEN TRANSFERRED BACK TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. One such occasion took place at Pope John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass. on the evening of June 9, 1982. Over 2,100 inquiries were given to priests and nuns” (Wilson Ewin, Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990s).

In May 1982, Graham made a six-day trip to the Soviet Union. He admitted that he had sought advice of Vatican officials on the most effective approach in dealing with the Soviets during his trip (
Arkansas Democrat, May 24, 1982).

In August 1982, Graham held a crusade in Spokane, Washington. The Sept. 2, 1983, issue of
The Florida Catholic notes the large Catholic response: “When the time came [the altar call], more than 1,700 Catholics rededicated themselves. And in Milwaukee, where the archbishop also allowed Catholic participation, more than 4,000 Catholics responded.” All of these people were turned over to Catholic parishes.

1983

In 1983, Graham held a crusade in Orlando, Florida. More than 600 names of those who came forward during the altar call were given by the Graham team to Roman Catholic churches for follow-up. This was reported in
The Florida Catholic, a publication of the Roman Catholic Church. I have this periodical before me as I write:

“About 180,000 persons attended the Crusade and some 600 of the Catholics who attended went forward for Dr. Graham’s altar call and were counseled about their commitment to the Lord. ... Although the Orlando diocese was not a sponsor of the eight-day event, some 150 Catholic people and educators rallied to an April 20 meeting at St. James Cathedral offering their services in the follow-up. Names of Catholics who had made decisions for Christ were provided at that meeting by Rick Marshall of the Graham organization” (The Florida Catholic, Sept. 2, 1982).

1983 was also the year for Amsterdam ’83, Graham’s first meeting for itinerant evangelists. It was thoroughly ecumenical. Speaking at this meeting, Graham noted: “Those who came here were from over thirty religious denominations, including Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox, Pentecostal, and many other groups, including the Vatican and a very high level delegation from the Orthodox Churches of the Soviet Union, including two Metropolitans” (
Foundation, Vol. IV, Iss. IV, 1983).


It was also in 1983 that Graham counseled American President Ronald Reagan to pursue formal diplomatic ties with the Vatican. The following account is taken from New Neutralism II by John Ashbrook:

A spokesman for Billy Graham confirms that the evangelist played a behind-the-scenes role in President Reagan’s decision to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Early in 1983, Graham was asked by the president and adviser William Clark to make informal, private inquiries among evangelical Protestant leaders about likely response to such an action, said Donald Baily, media director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis.

A copy of the seven-page letter that the Baptist evangelist sent to Clark was obtained by the
Chicago Sun-Times, which quoted Graham as saying, ‘If anyone can do it and get away with it, it is Mr. Reagan’ (“Graham’s Help on Vatican Ties,” Associated Press, Lake County News Herald, Feb. 9, 1984, quoted by Ashbrook).

1984

October 14-21, 1984, found Graham conducting a crusade in Vancouver, British Columbia. David Cline of Bringhouse United Church, a vice-chairman of the organizing committee of the Graham Crusade, stated the policy regarding Catholic inquirers:
“If Catholics step forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes” (Vancouver Sun, October 5, 1984).

Catholic Archbishop James Carney asked his priests and congregations to offer prayers for Graham’s ministry in Vancouver. Priest Vincent Hawkswell of Holy Rosary Cathedral reminded his congregation that Billy Graham’s visit to Vancouver is important (
The Sun, October 9, 1984).

Billy Graham came to Vancouver less than a month after the Pope had been there; thus, he had a wonderful opportunity to expose the Pope’s false gospel. Instead, Graham used Vancouver as a forum to endorse the Pope. Graham reported that during his trip to Russia he had been awakened early one morning by his son, Franklin, to hear the Pope’s message given at Vancouver. Billy Graham was quoted as saying, “I’ll tell you—that was just about as straight an evangelical address as I’ve ever heard. It was tremendous. Of course, I’m a great admirer of his. He gives moral guidance in a world that seems to have lost its way” (
Foundation, Vol. V, Issue 5, 1984).

In 1983, Pastor Randal Gilmore wrote to the Graham organization and received the following answers to questions in regard to a showing of Graham film
The Prodigal in his town:

Q. What do you intend to do with unchurched people who make a decision?

A. We will refer them back to the local committee. They in turn will refer them to a Bible-teaching church. They, of course, will not be referred to a church like the ‘Church of Scientology.’

Q. What about Roman Catholics who get saved? What will you do then?

A. We will tell the Father.

Q. Will you direct them into another church?

A. Definitely not!

Q. You mentioned the ‘Church of Scientology’ as an example of a church that does not teach the Bible. Do you consider the Roman Catholic Church to be a Bible-teaching church?

Q. Our philosophy is this: A new believer is like a live chick, and a live chick will not go to a dead hen.

Q. Are you trying to say your organization believes the Roman Catholic Church is a dead hen?

A. NOT AT ALL. A DEAD HEN COULD BE A FUNDAMENTAL CHURCH THAT TEACHES YOU HAVE TO WEAR YOUR HAIR A CERTAIN LENGTH. THAT’S WORKS SALVATION (Baptist Bulletin, June 1984).

Ecumenists are tolerant, positive, and non-judgmental toward almost everyone and everything except the dreaded Fundamentalist. The Graham organization calls good evil and evil good. The Roman Catholic Church, which teaches a works salvation (under the guise of an unscriptural definition and doctrine of “grace”), is considered a safe place to send a new Christian. On the other hand, the Fundamentalist church, which teaches that salvation is solely by the grace of Christ through faith, is considered dangerous, because it preaches that believers are under obligation to obey God’s Word (including 1 Corinthians 11), not in order to be saved but because we are saved (Ephesians 2:8-10)!

In May 1984, Graham pointed to Mother Teresa as a hero model for American youth (
Calvary Contender, Nov. 15, 1985).


1985

Graham preached in Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches in Romania Sept. 7-17, 1985. “His evangelistic association in Minneapolis said the invitation was extended on behalf of the fourteen religious denominations that are officially recognized by the Romanian government, and was signed by Metropolitan Antonie of Transylvania, chairman of the External Affairs Department of the Romanian Orthodox Church” (
The Christian News, Sept. 2, 1985).

After leaving Romania, Graham preached in Hungary.
Christianity Today, Nov. 22, 1985, noted that leaders from many denominations sat on the platform with Graham. In Budapest Cardinal Laszlo Lekai, primate of the Roman Catholic Church, was seated on the platform. In Pecs, Catholic Bishop Jozsef Cserhati co-hosted Graham and introduced him to the crowd. Weeks earlier, he had sent letters to be read in all the Catholic churches in the area, urging parishioners to attend the Graham rally. Catholic and Protestant clergy worked together, and both Catholic and Protestant choirs sang at the meeting. Graham’s visit was sponsored jointly by the Baptist Union and an alliance that included Seventh-day Adventists, Pentecostals, and Methodists. The meetings were said to be the most ecumenical ones ever held in Hungary (National Christian Council Review, National Christian Council of India, May 1986).

It was also in 1985 that the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association and Tyndale House Publishers jointly published a book containing a chapter by Billy Graham. The book
What Christians Can Learn from One Another about Evangelizing Adults called for greater cooperation between Protestants and Catholics in so-called evangelism, and included articles by Cardinal Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Robert Schuller, Bill Bright, Jack Wyrtzen, and others.

1987

In his Denver, Colorado, crusade of 1987, Graham had the full backing of the regional Catholic hierarchy, trained dozens of Catholics as “counselors,” and sent to local Catholic churches the names of hundreds of those who had responded to the altar calls each night.

“Roman Catholic Archbishop James V. Casey of Denver, before his sudden death in mid-March, pledged cooperation with the crusade and said Catholics were ‘free to take part in it.’... My concern is that when you make a commitment to Christ, especially when you are an adult, you need support from the Christian community. Of course, I want people to be able to find that support among the believers in our Catholic community’” (
Moody Monthly, May 1986).

A Catholic nun, Macrina Scott, director of the Catholic Biblical School in Denver, “says she trained about 80 counselors and Bible teachers to assist Billy Graham’s Rocky Mountain Crusade” (
Christian Beacon, July, 1987).

Further, a Catholic priest, Donald Willette of St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church, was a supervisor of the 6,600 trained counselors. Thus, Catholic support for Graham’s Denver crusade was significant and the resulting dividends were handsome: Willette reported that from one service alone 500 cards of individuals were referred to St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Englewood,a suburb of Denver (Wilson Ewin,
Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990’s).

What did the Catholic churches do with the hundreds of people who were referred to them? According to the July 25, 1987, issue of Denver’s largest daily newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, “Catholics were waiting to help Catholics express their new and renewed faith in their mother church.”

Catholic leaders have learned that they have nothing to fear from Billy Graham’s crusades. They use the Graham crusades to retrieve non-practicing Catholics and even to gain proselytes to Romanism. Graham’s call to “receive Christ,” or “make the step of faith,” or “come to Christ tonight,” is general enough to allow Catholic leaders to insert their sacramental gospel into it, and the fact that Graham is working with the Catholic churches and never sounds any warnings about Romanism gives people the idea that he accepts their theology. Catholic priests simply teach the inquirers that they are born again at baptism and repeatedly renewed in Christ through all sorts of religious activities--the mass, family duties, the rosary, even coming forward at evangelistic rallies. If anyone doubts that this is what is happening at Graham’s crusades, consider another report from the 1987 Denver Crusade:

“The 5,000 Rocky Mountain Billy Graham Crusade choir softly sang the evangelical classic ‘Just As I Am’ as a counselor called for help from the Rev. Donald Willette. Hundreds streamed forward Monday in response to Graham’s call to become Christians or to rededicate their lives to the faith. One Roman Catholic worshiper walked the aisle but had trouble expressing his feelings. [Catholic priest] Willette, a supervisor among the 6,600 trained crusade counselors, was standing about 30 yards from the evangelist’s pulpit, waiting to help out in just this situation. ‘Catholics have trouble with the expression “Born again,”‘ Willette said, moments before the Tuesday service. ‘I try to help people understand what this experience means, in light of the teaching of the church’” (“Counselors Help Brethren Heed Graham Call,”
Rocky Mountain News, July 25, 1987).

According to this and hundreds of other reports which could be cited, Graham allows Roman Catholic laymen and priests to stand before his pulpit and to reinterpret what he has preached “in light of the teaching of the church,” meaning the Catholic Church. What could be more foolish and wicked?

When the crusade is completed, the Catholic churches have reaped immense benefits, not only because of those who return to the Roman fold but because of the increased acceptance they have gained in the eyes of the community by Graham’s endorsement.

1988

In Aug. 1988, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association co-sponsored A National Festival of Evangelism called Congress ‘88 in Chicago, Illinois. The congress was cosponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, was a plenary speaker.

The Congress ‘88 Committee refused an application by the Bible Baptist Church of Nashua, New Hampshire, to display books and literature for the evangelism of Roman Catholics. Their letter states, “In view of the fact that Congress ‘88 is supported by both Protestant denominations and the National Catholic Evangelization Association, it would be inconsistent with our goals to single out one of our supporting groups to be a target for evangelism. Since we are working together with Roman Catholics who believe in evangelism, we do not feel that we can grant your request to exhibit at Congress ‘88” (Wilson Ewin,
Evangelism: The Trojan Horse of the 1990’s).

The Nov. 18, 1988, issue of
Christianity Today featured articles praising Graham on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Kenneth Kantzer observed, “And today Roman Catholics usually make up the largest single denominational group attending his citywide crusades.” Martin Marty, a modernist in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, said: “Graham would refuse to come to your town unless there was broad church federation backing. He would not like to be on stage unless the United Methodist bishop or even, he has hoped since 1965, the Catholic bishop was there.”

1989

In 1989, Billy Graham went to London for his Mission ‘89 Crusade. British Cardinal Basil Hume made the following statement:

“We are, as the Catholic Church in this country, working as closely as we can with Billy Graham in his Mission ‘89 ... The view I take is that I believe the grace of God is at work in the Mission and, if it helps people return to their own churches, then that is good” (
Foundation, Nov.-Dec. 1989).

Michael Seed, Ecumenical Advisor to Cardinal Hume, wrote about recruiting Catholics to take part in the Billy Graham Group Leaders Training Courses:

“The idea behind this is that those who come forward for counseling during a Mission evening in June, if they are Roman Catholic, will be directed to a Roman Catholic ‘nurture-group’ under Roman Catholic counselors in their home area. If certain people present themselves for counseling at a Mission and have no church roots at all then they are asked ‘which church brought you’ and are asked to contact that church. ...

“The Cardinal has already sent greeting to Dr. Graham and will be meeting Dr. Graham before the Mission. We know Dr. Graham to be a truly ecumenical evangelist.”

In July, 1989, Seed wrote the following:

“Dr. Graham called on Cardinal Hume the day before his Mission on June 13th and the Cardinal attended with myself the Mission at Earls Court on Monday, June 26th.

“Some 2100 Catholics ‘went forward’ at Missions evenings in London which was excellent--from nearly all our Parishes in Westminster. ... Billy Graham has helped our Church greatly and many have ‘renewed’ their faith under his great ministry” (Ashbrook).

Roman Catholic Northern Ireland singer Dana appeared with Graham at London’s Wembley Stadium (
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jul. 10, 1989).

In September 1989, Graham held a crusade in Little Rock, Arkansas, “supported by the usual mixed crowd of Southern Baptists, charismatics, and liberals. The Roman Catholic Archbishop is fully cooperating, training personal workers, and expects at least 600 referrals to the Catholic Church” (
Baptist Challenge, Aug. 1989).

1990

“Billy Graham spent January 8-13, 1990 for meetings with a number of Vatican officials. Included was a private meeting with Pope John Paul II. Reporting on this the Boston Archdiocese stated that ‘Dr. Graham said it is particularly evident in the Pope’s speeches that his attitudes and decisions are based on his great personal spiritual life ... He bases His work and messages and vision on biblical principles.’ A Religious News Service photograph showed Graham presenting the Pope with a handmade quilt from a place near his home in North Carolina. Using the phrase ‘bridge builder’ from his close friend, Cardinal Cushing, Graham referred to Pope John Paul II as ‘indeed a bridge builder, and that is something our divided world desperately needs’“ (Ewin,
The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham).

This was Graham’s second audience with a Roman pontiff.

In Apr. 1990, Graham held a crusade in Albany, New York. The following is a description which appeared in a Catholic publication:

“About 20,000 persons are busy making ready for Billy Graham’s 1990 Capitol District Crusade, including representatives from 18 Protestant denominations in the area and a delegation of top Catholic officials appointed by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard.

“The Graham Crusade, scheduled for Apr. 22-29 at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, comes in response to a request made by Bishop Hubbard and other religious leaders, who three years ago formally invited the world renowned evangelist to preach here. ‘There are nine Catholics on the SO-person executive committee set up to direct the Crusade. ... Diocesan officials view the Graham Crusade as a tool for evangelization,’ explained an executive committee member, Rev. James Kane, director of the diocesan ecumenical commission....

“As for the specific dogmatic content of Mr. Graham’s sermons, Father Kane said, ‘there is nothing that the Catholic should feel uncomfortable with or be leery of.’ He said the evangelist’s emphasis on the Gospel and on the importance of the individual’s personal relationship with Christ is consistent with Catholic teaching.

“‘However,’ he added, ‘we would, of course, emphasize the importance of the Eucharist and the Mass, the sacraments, and the importance of the structure and organization of the Church and its bishops and the Pope’“ (
The Evangelist, Roman Catholic Diocese paper of Albany, New York, quoted in Foundation, Jan.-Feb. 1990).

Wilson Ewin’s prayer letter for Jul. 6, 1992, reported this regarding Graham’s June 1990, crusade in Catholic Quebec: Rick Marshall, mission director and a member of the Minneapolis-based staff, said in an interview, “It is being made clear to all staff and volunteers there is to be no proselytizing” (
The Gazette, Montreal, Mar. 17, 1990). Jesuit priest Charles Dullea said, “It is interesting to note that there is no follow-up on Roman Catholics” (A Catholic Looks at Billy Graham, p. 47).

1991

From Sept. 22-29, 1991, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association held a crusade in St. Louis, Missouri, co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Graham associate Ralph Bell was the speaker. Priest Vincent A. Heier, director of the Archdiocesan Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and a member of the crusade executive committee, “stressed that although the effort is ecumenical, people who attend the crusade and are interested in the Catholic faith will be directed to Catholics. ‘Billy Graham has always been very ecumenical ... Billy Graham has not necessarily pushed people into one denomination or another but he’s tried to encourage whatever denominations that want to cooperate’.”

In a letter to priests in the archdiocese encouraging them to attend upcoming seminars, Catholic Archbishop John L. May noted that “Catholics will be needed to receive those who approach seeking out information on the Catholic Church during the actual crusade” (
Australian Beacon, May 1991).

The Detroit Free Press for Sept. 29, 1991, quoted Graham as saying, “The Roman Catholics know that I’m not against them, and in my thinking, rightly or wrongly, I represent all the churches.”

1992

In Apr. 1992, Graham paid a five-day visit to Communist North Korea under the auspices of the government-sanctioned Korean Christian Federation and the Korean Catholic Association, and preached in a Protestant church and a Catholic church. He delivered a message from the Pope to communist President Kim, and Kim entrusted him with a return message for the Pope (Christianity Today, May 18, 1992).

Regarding the Graham crusade in Philadelphia in June 1992, Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, archbishop of Philadelphia, sent out a letter with the following comments:

“As Catholics, in union with our Holy Father, the Pope, we are completely committed to our Church’s ecumenical work. ... The Archdiocese ... has developed an understanding with the Greater Philadelphia Billy Graham Crusade [June 24-28] that is fully in accord with Catholic ecumenical principles.”

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the archdiocese sent forty trained counselors for the Crusade. After each crusade session, Catholics coming forward were linked up with Catholic counselors and referred to the Catholic Church (
Calvary Contender, Jul. 1, 1992).

In Sept. 1992, Graham was scheduled to hold a crusade in Portland, Oregon. According to Christians Evangelizing Catholics, 10,000 counselors were expected to attend classes, and Roman Catholic churches set a goal to supply 6,000 of these. Those who respond to the altar call will be directed to Catholic parishes (
Catholic Sentinel, April 24, 1992, cited in Christians Evangelizing Catholics, June 1992).

1993

In March 1993, Billy Graham traveled to the Vatican and met with a Roman Catholic Pope. This was at least the third time that he met with John Paul II. Graham said, “I’m always impressed by the Pope’s warmth and friendship...” He said the Pope showed a special interest in his crusade in Essen, Germany; and well he should, given the number of converts Graham crusades refer Romeward” (
Calvary Contender, April 15, 1993).

Graham’s June 1993 crusade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brought together 1,050 churches representing 65 denominations. The crusade chairman was Episcopalian Fred Fetterolf. There were six Catholics on the executive committee.

The Catholic Church took an active part in the Graham crusade in Columbus, Ohio (
Columbus Dispatch, Sept. 19, 1993).

1994

Graham’s June 1994 crusade in Cleveland, Ohio, featured an alliance between Catholic and Protestant churches and secular rock stations, two of which were co-sponsors of the crusade (Calvary Contender, Sept. 15, 1994). Of the 1,005 churches that participated, more than 100 were Catholic. More than 60% of the Catholic churches in the area were involved with the Graham crusade. Catholic Bishop Pilla conducted a Mass at St. John’s Cathedral “to welcome back the fallen-away and the freshly recruited from the Graham Crusade.”

In December 1994, Graham praised Pope John Paul II to
Time magazine: “He’ll go down in history as the greatest of our modern Popes. He’s been the strong conscience of the whole Christian world” (Paul Gray, “Empire of the Spirit,” Time, Dec. 26, 1994, p. 54).

1995

Graham’s October 1995 crusade in Sacramento, California, brought together 38 Catholic parishes and 303 Protestant churches. The Catholic parishes also provided counselors. Graham paid tribute to Pope John Paul II on opening night. “Thank God that he has the voice to speak out courageously on the moral issues of our day” (
Christianity Today, Dec. 11, 1995).

1996

Graham’s June 1996 crusade in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, brought the participation of 119 Catholic parishes and 269 Lutheran congregations (
Christianity Today, July 15, 1996). This represented 53 percent of the Catholic parishes. This is a dramatic change from the 1973 Minneapolis crusade, when no Catholic churches and only a few Lutheran churches participated. Archbishop Harry Flynn, head of the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, urged priests to become involved in the crusade “in an effort to reach alienated Catholics” (Morphew Clark, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jan. 13, 1996). Priest Robert Schwartz of the St. John Neumann Catholic parish told reporters that about 60 members of his parish had been trained to counsel those who came forward during the crusade. Some of the training sessions, both for Protestant and Catholic counselors, were held at his parish. He said that some were apprehensive when they first arrived, but the ecumenical activity broke down those apprehensions: “They have to tell me how strange it is to be in a Catholic church and how hard it was to come inside. The good thing is they are there, sitting there in a Catholic church” (St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 12, 1996). He further said: “I haven’t heard anything I would disagree with, but there are some things I would add, such as a social justice component, the Eucharist and liturgy, the importance of sacraments—those kinds of things.”

Former Minnesota governor Al Quie, who was the chairman for the 1996 Graham crusade in Minneapolis, said Catholics had been “very involved in recent crusades in Miami, Cleveland and other cities.”

Graham’s 1996 Carolinas Crusade involved “Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other denominations on the committee” (Graeme Keith, crusade chairman,
Charlotte Observer, March 1, 1996).

1997

In a January 1997 interview with Larry King, Graham said that he has wonderful fellowship with Rome, is comfortable with the Vatican, and agrees with the Pope on almost everything.

KING: What do you think of the other [churches] ... like Mormonism? Catholicism? Other faiths within the Christian concept?

GRAHAM: Oh, I think I have a wonderful fellowship with all of them. For example ...

KING: You’re comfortable with Salt Lake City. You’re comfortable with the Vatican?

GRAHAM: I am very comfortable with the Vatican. I have been to see the Pope several times. In fact, the night — the day that he was inaugurated, made Pope, I was preaching in his cathedral in Krakow. I was his guest ... [and] when he was over here ... in Columbia, South Carolina ... he invited me on the platform to speak with him. I would give one talk, and he would give the other ... but I was two-thirds of the way to China...

KING: You like this Pope?

GRAHAM: I like him very much. ... He and I agree on almost everything.

The March-April 1997 issue of Promise Keepers
New Man magazine contained an interview with Graham. (This magazine no longer officially represents Promise Keepers, but it did at that time.) Following is his statement on Catholicism:

“Early on in my life, I didn’t know much about Catholics. But through the years I have made many friends within the Roman Catholic Church. In fact,
when we hold a crusade in a city now, nearly all the Roman Catholic churches support it. And when we went to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., for the crusade [last year], we saw St. Paul, which is largely Catholic, and Minneapolis, which is largely Lutheran, both supporting the crusade. That wouldn’t have happened 25 years ago” (“Billy Graham in His Own Words: What the Evangelist Has Learned from a Lifetime of Ministry to the World,” New Man, March-April 1997, pp. 32, 33).

In a May 30, 1997, interview, Graham told David Frost:
“I feel I belong to all the churches. I’M EQUALLY AT HOME IN AN ANGLICAN OR BAPTIST OR A BRETHREN ASSEMBLY OR A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. ... Today we have almost 100 percent Catholic support in this country. That was not true twenty years ago. And the bishops and archbishops and the Pope are our friends” (David Frost, Billy Graham in Conversation, pp. 68, 143). Oviously, Dr. Billy Graham does not think Rome’s doctrinal heresies are a serious problem. He did not get such an attitude from the Bible, though. When the Apostle Paul wrote to the preacher Timothy, he instructed him not to allow ANY OTHER DOCTRINE (1 Tim. 1:3). In contrast to this, Rome has added many doctrines that the Apostles did not teach. Timothy was warned about false teachers by name and was told that false teaching is wrong and dangerous and must be avoided (2 Tim. 2:16-18).

Graham went even farther in his interview with self-esteem guru Robert Schuller in May 1997:

SCHULLER: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?

GRAHAM: Well, Christianity and being a true believer--you know, I think there’s the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ. And I don’t think that we’re going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God’s purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that’s what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for His name, WHETHER THEY COME FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD, OR THE BUDDHIST WORLD, OR THE CHRISTIAN WORLD OR THE NON-BELIEVING WORLD, THEY ARE MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN CALLED BY GOD. THEY MAY NOT EVEN KNOW THE NAME OF JESUS but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.

SCHULLER: What, what I hear you saying that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?

GRAHAM: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that THEY HAVE NEVER SEEN A BIBLE OR HEARD ABOUT A BIBLE, AND NEVER HEARD OF JESUS, BUT THEY’VE BELIEVED IN THEIR HEARTS THAT THERE WAS A GOD, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.

SCHULLER: [trips over his tongue for a moment, his face beaming, then says] I I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.

GRAHAM: There is. There definitely is (Television interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller, broadcast in southern California on Saturday, May 31, 1997).

SCHULLER: You knew ... Fulton Sheen. You knew these men. Your comments on both of these men [Fulton Sheen and Norman V. Peale].

GRAHAM: The primary way of communicating is to live the life, let people see that you’re living what you proclaim.... [comments on his friendship and conversations with Fulton Sheen] I lost a very dear friend, and since that time, the whole relationship between me and my work, and you and your work, and the Roman Catholic Church has changed. They open their arms to welcome us and we have the support of the Catholic Church almost everywhere we go. And I think that we must come to the place where we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, not on what denomination or what church or what group we belong to (Television interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller, broadcast in southern California on Sunday, June 8, 1997).

The Roman Catholic Church, joining 49 other denominations, played an important role in Graham’s June 1997 crusade in San Antonio, Texas. Graham praised the cooperation of Hispanics and Catholics, including an early endorsement from Archbishop Patrick Flores, the top Catholic official in Texas. “Flores met with Graham and taped radio spots in English and Spanish encouraging Catholics to attend the crusade to help bring them to a closer commitment to their faith” (
Christianity Today, May 19, 1997, p. 51). Graham said: “The Devil has separated us, and a crusade like this is used of God to bring people of all denominations together” (Calvary Contender, June 1, 1997). To be Scriptural, Graham should have said: “God has separated Bible-believing Christians from false-gospel systems such as Roman Catholicism, and a crusade like this is used of the Devil to bring people of all denominations together.” The Houston Chronicle noted that the Roman Catholic Church participated in every aspect of the Graham crusade: “As a Christian leader, Billy Graham has earned a respect that so transcends theological differences that Baptists, Catholics and Presbyterians come together for planning, meetings and training sessions months in advance to prepare for a Graham crusade” (Houston Chronicle, March 30, 1997).

When Mother Teresa died in September 1997, Graham called her a saint. He ignored the fact that she worshipped the wafer of the Catholic Mass as Jesus Christ and taught her patients to pray to their pagan gods. (See Part XII, “Was Mother Teresa a True Christian?”)

“It was my privilege to be with her on several occasions. The first time was at the Home of Dying Destitutes in Calcutta. I had a wonderful hour of fellowship in the Lord with her just at sunset, and I will never forget the sounds, the smells and the strange beauty of that place. When she walked into the room to greet me, I felt that I was, indeed, meeting a saint” (Graham, cited by David Briggs, “Mother Teresa Hailed as Saint,” Associated Press, Sept. 6, 1997).

In his 1997 autobiography,
Just As I Am, Graham said his goal was not to lead people out of Roman Catholicism:

MY GOAL, I ALWAYS MADE CLEAR, WAS NOT TO PREACH AGAINST CATHOLIC BELIEFS OR TO PROSELYTIZE PEOPLE who were already committed to Christ within the Catholic Church. Rather, it was to proclaim the gospel to all those who had never truly committed their lives to Christ” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 357).



1998

The June 1998 Billy Graham crusade in Ottawa, Ontario, witnessed the highest proportion of Catholic churches that have ever participated in a Graham crusade. Forty-six of the 56 English-speaking parishes participated (Bob Harvey, “Billy Graham’s Catholic crusaders,”
Ottawa Citizen, May 5, 1998, p. A1). Archbishop Marcel Gervais was on the platform with Graham during the meetings. Gervais said: “This will be a good, positive ecumenical experience that will convince people we can work with other churches.” Rosemary Gauthier, one of the Catholics who served on the general committee for the Graham crusade, said, “We hope a lot of Catholics will re-commit themselves and return to the church during the Mission.” Seven hundred and fifty Catholics were trained as counselors.

The Graham crusade in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was called Festival ‘98.
Christianity Today reported, “The neutral university location of Festival ‘98 and ecumenical appeal of the Grahams [Franklin joined his father in this crusade] attracted an ethnic cross-section that churches in New Mexico struggle to achieve. The crusade also helped to break down barriers between Protestant and Catholic churches, which historically have not worked together. ‘The Catholic diocese here had been very much in favour and even wrote a letter to every one of their parishes recommending that they get involved,’ says festival director Herb McCarthy. ‘If we’re really honest, the things that divide us are small in comparison to the things we hold in common’” (Christianity Today, June 15, 1998).

1999

Graham’s crusade in Indianapolis, Indiana, in June 1999 won the endorsement of Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, who encouraged Catholic parishes to participate (
The Indianapolis Star, June 3, 1999).

Billy Graham conducted a crusade in St. Louis, Missouri, in October 1999. In an interview with the press, Graham said that baptism is not his concern and not his business. The following is his statement:

“Baptism is very important because Jesus taught that we are to believe and to be baptized. But that is up to the individual and the church that they feel led to go to. The churches have different teachings on that. I know that in the Lutheran or the Episcopal or Catholic Church it is a very strong point, and in the Baptist church. But there are some churches that would not insist on baptism. So, I give them the freedom to teach what they want. I am not a professor. I am not a theologian. I’m a simple proclaimer. … I’m announcing the news that God loves you and that you can be forgiven of your sins. And you can go to heaven. My job from God is not to do all these other things. … I am not a pastor of a church. That’s not my responsibility.
My responsibility is to preach the Gospel to everyone and let them choose their own church, whether it is Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox or whatever it is” (Billy Graham, interview with Patricia Rice, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 10, 1999).

This is an amazing statement and shows how openly disobedient Dr. Graham is to the Bible. He pretends that any baptism is acceptable--infant baptism, baptismal regeneration. Even no baptism is acceptable to Graham. He simply doesn’t care what happens to those who respond to his message. It’s not his business, he says. God does not require him to be concerned with baptism or “all these other things,” he says.

This is absolute nonsense. Where in the Bible has God told Billy Graham that he is at liberty to preach the Gospel but not to be concerned with baptism and other aspects of biblical obedience? This is not what Jesus Christ told the Apostles, and it is not what the Apostles told the first churches. The exact same passages that command the Gospel to be preached command the baptism of believers and the training of believers. Consider the following passage:

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).

This is the Great Commission that Jesus Christ has given. The Gospel is to be preached AND believers are to be baptized AND discipled. Billy Graham has no authority to divide the Great Commission so that he ignores two-thirds of it.

Furthermore, the Gospel itself requires that baptism be practiced biblically. False baptisms corrupt the very Gospel. Graham mentioned, for example, that Catholic baptism is acceptable to him. The following statements from the New Catholic Catechism explain what the Roman Catholic Church believes about baptism:

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. ... The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are ‘reborn of water and the Spirit.’ God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism...” (
New Catholic Catechism, 1992, # 1257).

“By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin” (
New Catholic Catechism, 1992, # 1263).

“Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte ‘a new creature,’ an adopted son of God, who has become a ‘partaker of the divine nature,’ member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit” (
New Catholic Catechism, 1992, # 1265).

This is what Rome believes about baptism. Is this what Billy Graham also believes? Does he believe salvation is bound to the sacrament of baptism? Does he believe that baptism purifies sin and makes the person a new creature and imparts the Holy Spirit? If Billy Graham believes what Rome teaches about baptism, he should be honest and join the Catholic Church.

On the other hand, if he doesn’t believe what Rome teaches, if he believes what the Southern Baptist Convention teaches about baptism (he is an ordained Southern Baptist preacher), he should condemn Rome’s doctrine as heresy and should warn his converts to have nothing to do with Roman Catholicism. Following is what the Southern Baptist Convention teaches about baptism:

“Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience SYMBOLIZING the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead” (
Baptist Faith and Message, Southern Baptist Convention, May 1963).

There can be no neutral ground here. Rome teaches that baptism is a sacrament or channel or grace and that it purifies sins and makes a new creature in Christ. Baptists teach that sin is purified through faith in Jesus Christ alone and that baptism merely SYMBOLIZES and TESTIFIES TO the salvation the believer has already received through faith in Christ. Rome teaches that salvation comes from Christ to the sinner through the mediation of the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Baptists teach that salvation comes directly from Christ to the sinner. Baptist churches have no sacraments or channels of grace. They have the simple ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper to symbolize and memorialize the full salvation the believers already possess in Christ.

The difference between Roman Catholic doctrine and Baptist doctrine is the difference between heaven and hell. The Apostle Paul said there is only one true Gospel, and those who change the Gospel are cursed of God (Galatians 1). Rome and the Baptists teach different gospels. One or the other is cursed, and the ecumenical philosophy cannot change these solemn facts.

In the St. Louis interview, Graham also said that the Catholic Jesuits who came to St. Louis centuries ago were “doing evangelism.”

“That’s the responsibility that Jesus left us, to go to all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. That’s evangelism. That is what the Jesuits did when they came to St. Louis. They were doing evangelism” (Graham, ibid.).

Again, Graham says nothing about the false sacramental, works-faith gospel the Jesuits were proclaiming. What confusion! The Apostles spent much of their time warning about false gospels (i.e., 2 Cor. 11:1-4; Galatians 1; Colossians 2; 2 John; Jude), but Billy Graham warns about nothing and pretends that all who preach the “gospel” are preaching the same true gospel.

In an interview with the Associated Press in December 1999, Billy Graham said he would pick Pope John Paul II as the “man of the century.” According to Graham, the pope “has brought the greatest impact of any pope in the last 200 years.” Graham further said: “I admire his courage, determination, intellectual abilities and his understanding of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox differences, and the attempt at some form of reconciliation” (Associated Press, December 17, 1999). Sadly, Graham had no warning about the false gospel that John Paul II preaches and whereby multitudes are led astray to eternal damnation.

2000

Graham’s close relationship with Rome was evidenced at Amsterdam 2000, the third international conference for evangelists sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. More than 10,000 delegates from 209 nations gathered together from July 29 to August 6, 2000. The first Graham Amsterdam conference for evangelists was held in 1983, and the second, in 1986. Graham himself was unable to attend this year’s conference due to ill health, but there are three hundred other speakers, including Franklin Graham, Billy Kim of Korea, Ravi Zacharias, Chuck Colson, Luis Palau, Bill Bright, J.I. Packer, John Stott, and George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The sub-title of the conference was “unity in diversity,” emphasizing its ecumenical thrust. No man in this generation has done more than Billy Graham to break down the walls of separation between true and false churches.

Every ecumenical conference has a built-in contradiction. Ecumenists like to think that they care for doctrinal truth, but at the same time they don’t want to make doctrine a cause for separation and division. That is biblically impossible. According to the Scripture, two cannot walk together unless they are agreed (Amos 3:3), yet the ecumenists believe they can do exactly that. This is what we find at Amsterdam 2000. On the one hand, the conference leaders and speakers profess that they care deeply for doctrinal truth. For example, a
Christianity Today report on the conference posted on August 1 stated that “theology and doctrinal training has dominated the first two days of the conference.” A group of theologians (headed up by J.I. Packer and Timothy George of the Beeson Divinity School) are drawing up a doctrinal statement which is to be released at the end of the meeting. In his messages, Packer told the evangelists, “We need to tell the whole truth. Some things we don’t take as seriously as we should. . . . There is a danger of reducing the gospel to the minimum.” Yet this very same J.I. Packer is at the forefront of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together movement which calls for fellowship with the heretical Roman Catholic Church. When Packer’s friend Thomas Howard (they had co-authored a book together) joined the Roman Catholic Church in 1985, Packer made the following statement in an interview with Christianity Today: “I don’t think becoming a Catholic is anything like the tragedy of a person becoming a liberal ... Catholics are among the most loyal and virile brothers evangelicals can find these days” (Christianity Today, May 17, 1985). Packer endorsed Chuck Colson’s 1992 book, The Body, which urges Evangelicals to join forces with Catholics and Charismatics and which looks upon the Catholic Church as a part of the body of Christ. Packer was a signer of the 1994 “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” statement. In a December 12, 1995, Christianity Today interview about this, Packer said differences about salvation and the church should not hinder Evangelicals and Roman Catholics from joint action to “re-Christianize the North American milieu.” Of his participation with Evangelicals and Catholics Together he concluded, “I remain glad to endorse it.” At a meeting in Dublin, Ireland, on July 31, 1998, Packer referred to Pope John Paul II as “a fine Christian man” (Take Heed Ministries, Belfast, Northern Ireland, March 1999). How can the pope be a fine Christian man when he is committed to a false gospel that is cursed of God, when he refers to himself as “the sweet Christ on earth,” and when he prays to Mary as the Queen of Heaven and co-redemptress with Christ?

What confusion!

John Stott, an Anglican leader in England, is another example of this confusion. He told the conference that “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” and he lamented that “there is growth without depth” and “superficiality is everywhere.” At the same time, he said, “We evangelicals tend to be overly dogmatic.” This is the impossible and contradictory ecumenical position. It is impossible to take Bible doctrine seriously without being dogmatic. Like Packer, Stott is at the forefront of the Evangelical-Catholic movement. “Speaking to the 2000 Evangelicals attending the 2nd National Evangelical Anglican Congress in England, [April] 1977, Stott said: ‘The visible unity of all professing Christians should be our goal ... and Evangelicals should join others in the Church of England in working toward full communion with the Roman Catholic Church’” (Arthur Johnston,
Battle for World Evangelism, p. 328). Christianity Today for July 8, 1977, confirmed this statement. From 1977 to 1984, Stott was a key participant in the Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue In Mission. One of Stott’s co-workers, Michael Harper (formerly assistant curate at All Souls Church where Stott is pastor), wrote the 1977 book, Three Sisters, which contends that the “Three Sisters”—Evangeline (the Evangelicals), Charisma (the Charismatics), and Roma (the Roman Catholic Church)—should be reconciled. When Pope John Paul II visited England in 1982 and was invited to participate in an ecumenical service in the Canterbury Cathedral, John Stott said, “It seemed entirely right that the united service should include a recitation of the Apostles’ Creed, and so a reaffirmation of our common baptismal faith” (Malcolm Watts, “The Crumbling of Evangelicalism,” Sword & Trowel, 1987).

Stott told reporters in Amsterdam that there are many things Christians should not be dogmatic about, including “baptism, church governance, spiritual gifts, and whether damned souls will be punished consciously for all eternity or eventually annihilated.” The Bible speaks plainly on all of these subjects, but Stott thinks we should not make an issue of these doctrines in order to have a broad fellowship. This is open disobedience to the Bible. Paul told Timothy to keep the truth “without spot” (1 Tim. 6:13). That means even the details are important. Either doctrine is important, or it is not. If it is important, it must be held with conviction and dogmatism and it must be defended against false doctrine. A preacher must make a choice. Either he will limit his doctrine or he will limit his fellowship. He cannot believe and stand for the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) while enjoying broad-based fellowship in this apostate hour. If he intends to have broad fellowship, he must necessarily limit his concern for doctrine.

George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, is another example of the ecumenical confusion at Amsterdam 2000. Carey is the head of the Anglican and Episcopal churches, and as such he is in close fellowship with every sort of heresy and moral abomination. There are thousands of homosexual Anglicans, many of whom boldly march in public to demand their “rights.” There are many homosexual “clergy” within the Anglican denominations. Many Anglican clergy deny and question the virgin birth, vicarious atonement, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Carey has no business speaking to a group of evangelists who claim to be faithful to the Bible, yet he was one of the key speakers at Amsterdam. It is not surprising that Carey said that he recognizes “all Trinitarian bodies of Christ are legitimate expressions of Christ’s body.” That means that he believes the Roman Catholic Church is a true church of Jesus Christ. He went on to say that Evangelicals and Catholics, “have so much in common,” and he encouraged ecumenical dialogue. To the contrary, the Apostle Paul said that all who preach a false gospel are cursed of God (Galatians 1), and this is true regardless of whether or not they believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.

The ecumenical philosophy says that doctrine should not cause divisions, but that is an absolute impossibility. Doctrine is supposed to divide. The pure Christian faith was delivered by inspiration through the Apostles and is recorded in the New Testament Scriptures. It is called “the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), and God’s people are told to pass it on to the next generation (2 Tim. 2:2) and to earnestly contend for it until Jesus returns (Matthew 28:18-20; Jude 3). Timothy was instructed not to allow “any other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3). That is an extremely narrow and dogmatic view of doctrinal correctness, but that is precisely how doctrine is presented in the Bible. When doctrine is treated this seriously, though, it certainly causes divisions between those who hold opposing doctrinal views.

The ecumenical position which puts unity ahead of doctrine is unscriptural disobedience, yet this is what the Billy Graham conference is promoting throughout the world.

DECEPTION ABOUT UNITY WITH ROME: We have seen that since the 1950s, Billy Graham has worked closely with the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, his close relationship with Catholic Cardinal Fulton Sheen goes back to 1944 and his relationship with Boston’s Archbishop Richard Cushing, back to 1950. At Amsterdam 2000, though, the Roman Catholic connection has been kept low key because many of the evangelists from Hispanic and other Catholic-dominated countries know that Rome is a false church. When Catholic Archbishop Adrianus Johanus of Utrecht welcomed the delegates to Amsterdam, a statement was given to those listening to the Spanish translation of the conference that Johanus’ beliefs did not represent those of Billy Graham or his Association. This warning was not given to the general audience listening in English without translation. Thus, the conference leaders were attempting to make the Spanish-speaking evangelists think that the Catholic leader was not acceptable to them, that he was only invited out of courtesy and was not necessarily considered to be a sound Christian man. If Graham were honest, though, he would have admitted to the Spanish-speaking evangelists that he loves Rome and has long worked hand and hand with her, that he has often praised Catholic leaders such as the pope and the various archbishops, and that he has treated these wolves in sheep’s clothing as sincere brethren in Christ.

This type of duplicity has long been practiced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. They have tried to hide their close relationship with Rome from the average evangelical supporter. This was especially true from 1950 to 1980. Only since the 1980s has Graham has been more forthright in interviews to admit his love for Rome.

2001

While spending a day at Wheaton College in July 2001, doing research in the college library and the Billy Graham Library, I made a tour of the Billy Graham Museum. Graham has preached the gospel to more people than any other single man in history, yet he has also done more to confuse the gospel and to break down the walls of separation between true churches and false than any other man. It is very sad matter and a very great confusion to the cause of Jesus Christ.

I expected to see Graham’s ecumenical exploits featured at the museum, and I was not disappointed. Among the photo displays was one of a smiling Graham visiting a smiling Pope John Paul II, another of Graham with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and yet another of Graham with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Graham has never warned the world that the pope of Rome preaches a false gospel that will bring eternal damnation to those who follow it. Through his close and non-critical relationship with Rome and by turning over thousands of his converts to Catholic churches, Dr. Graham has left observers with the impression that Roman Catholicism is a friend of the truth. We have documented this extensively in our book
Evangelicals and Rome.

It is not really surprising, then, that the Billy Graham Museum honors the first Roman pope as a great evangelist. This is in the Rotunda of Witnesses which is at the beginning of the tour. It is a circular room containing nine 20-foot tall banners or tapestries depicting various alleged fathers of evangelism. Museum literature says, “Each banner bears an individual witness selected from Christian history and was chosen on the merit of its revelation of Christ as Lord and Savior.” The banners begin with the Apostle Paul and end with Oswald Chambers. Two of the men featured in this evangelistic hall of fame are Gregory the Great and Francis of Assisi. Both of these, of course, are Roman Catholics who preached a false sacramental gospel of faith-works.

Gregory VII, or Gregory the Great (540-604), was “the first of the proper popes” and with him began “the development of the absolute papacy” (Schaff’s
History of the Christian Church, I, p. 15). Gregory held to the standard Catholic heresies such as infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, prayers to Mary, veneration of relics, etc. It was Gregory who sent Augustin (or Austin) to England to convert the Anglo Saxons from their apostolic Christianity to the unscriptural Roman Catholic faith. Gregory also persecuted the faithful Donatists in Africa. (See A History of the Donatists by David Benedict, 1875, and A History of the English Baptists by Joseph Ivimey, 1811; electronic editions of these are contained are in the Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM Library, available from Way of Life Literature.)

Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) is one of Rome’s “saints.” He was the founder of the Franciscans, that Catholic order of monks who, together with the Dominicans, brutally persecuted Bible believers during the Dark Ages. The pope to whom Francis pledged his allegiance was Innocent III, the very father of the wretched and bloody inquisition. While Innocent III sent out his henchmen to hunt out and torment the “heretical” Waldenses, Francis of Assisi was his loyal subject. Before his death, in fact, Francis raised up an army of spiritually blind papal loyalists. By the time of his death, the order of Franciscan monks had grown to roughly 5,000.

It was not Rome and its popes and saints who evangelized the world during the Dark Ages. Rome’s “missionaries” did not preach the gospel of the free grace of Jesus Christ; they offered a false promise of salvation through baptism and sacraments and indulgences and the intercession of the saints; they planted Catholicism at the point of a sword. It was persecuted Bible-believing groups such as the ancient Waldenses who carried the torch of gospel truth during the Dark Ages. At incredible cost they sent missionaries to every corner of Europe and even to England from their homes in the mountains in northern Italy and France. (See our book
Rome and the Bible for details.)

It is sad and frightful that the Billy Graham Center and Wheaton College have chosen to honor false teachers instead of the true evangelists.

2004

The Billy Graham organization preparing for the November crusade in Los Angeles promised the Roman Catholic archdiocese that Catholics will not be “proselytized.” A letter from Cardinal Roger Mahony, dated October 6, 2004, and posted at the archdiocese web site, states: “When the Crusade was held in other locations, many Catholics responded to Dr. Graham’s message and came forward for Christ. Crusade officials expect the same for the Los Angeles area. These officials have assured me that, IN KEEPING WITH DR. GRAHAM’S BELIEF AND POLICY, THERE WILL BE NO PROSELYTIZING, AND THAT ANYONE IDENTIFYING HIM OR HERSELF AS CATHOLIC WILL BE REFERRED TO US for reintegration into the life of the Catholic Church. We must be ready to welcome them.”

Roman Catholic actor Jim Caviezel was featured on the platform at the second night of the Billy Graham Los Angeles Crusade, which lasted from Nov. 18-21. Caviezel starred as “Jesus” in Mel Gibson’s
The Passion of the Christ. He says he prayed to St. Genesius of Arles and St. Anthony of Padua for help in his acting career. He has visited Medjugorje to witness the site where Mary allegedly appeared to six young people. Caviezel said, “This film is something that I believe was made by Mary for her Son.” Caviezel prayed the Rosary to Mary every day during the filming. Is it that Graham believes Caviezel’s gospel, or is it that Caviezel believes Graham’s gospel, or is it that the biblical truth that two must be agreed before they walk together is no longer in force today? What confusion and open disobedience!

On November 14 Billy Graham accepted the Prince of Peace Award from the Prince of Peace Foundation. He donated the $500,000 prize to the Los Angeles evangelistic crusade that ran from Nov. 18-21. Graham is the fourth recipient, after Anwar Sadat of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan, and Mother Teresa. The award was presented by Harald Bredesen, founder and chairman of the foundation. In his acceptance speech, Graham said: “I remember we were in Calcutta ... we went to see Mother Teresa and when we got there at her House of Charity, she was holding a dying man in her arm and she could[n’t] see us right then but about 15 or 20 minutes later she came in and she was so gracious and so spiritual that I felt like kneeling down in her presence. I was so overwhelmed” (“Billy Graham Is Honored with the Prince of Peace Prize,” Assist News Service, Nov. 18). Mother Teresa preached a false gospel and did not even make an effort to win Hindus to Catholicism, merely encouraging them, instead, to trust in their Hindu gods.

2005

On
Larry King Live aired April 2, 2005, Billy Graham said the late Pope John Paul II was “the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world in the last 100 years.” When Larry King asked, “There is no question in your mind that he is with God now?” Graham replied: “Oh, no. There may be a question about my own, but I don’t think Cardinal Wojtyla, or the Pope--I think he’s with the Lord, because he believed. He believed in the cross. That was his focus throughout his ministry, the cross, no matter if you were talking to him from personal issue or an ethical problem, he felt that there was the answer to all of our problems, the cross and the resurrection. And he was a strong believer.”

This is a most amazing statement by the man who is considered the world’s foremost evangelist and the most prominent voice of evangelical Christianity. Graham expresses less than certainty about his own salvation but complete certainty about the Pope’s, even though he preached a false gospel of grace mixed with works and sacraments and put his trust in Mary as his intercessor. Graham should know that John Paul II did not believe in the cross in any scriptural sense. Rather he believed in the cross PLUS baptism PLUS the mass PLUS confession to a priest PLUS the saints, and above all PLUS Mary. The late Pope believed that the doctrine of salvation by grace alone through Christ alone by faith alone is heresy (the anathemas of the Council of Trent against the gospel of grace alone have never been rescinded). He believed that the sacraments are a necessary part of salvation, beginning with baptism, whereby one is born again, continuing in Confirmation, whereby one receives the Holy Spirit. Speaking at the confirmation of 800 young people at Turin, Italy, Sept. 2, 1988, Pope John Paul II said: “Jesus comes close to us; he enters our history precisely by means of these concrete, visible sacramental signs. ... Confirmation is your personal Pentecost. Today you receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, who on the day of Pentecost was sent by the risen Lord upon the Apostles. Every baptized person as a believer needs to receive the moment and mystery of Pentecost; it completes and perfects the gift of Baptism” (
L’osservatore Romano, N. 38, Sept. 19, 1988, p. 16). Nine days later, speaking in Harare, John Paul II said to the crowd gathered in Borrowdale Park: “You have thus become a new people, reborn in the Sacrament of Baptism, nourished by the Holy Eucharist, living in loving communion with God and with one another with the Successor of Peter and the Catholic Church throughout the world” (Ibid., p. 2).

The Word of God plainly condemns Rome’s grace plus works gospel: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Gal. 1:6).

Billy Graham has two children that are preachers and that are walking in his ecumenical footsteps: his daughter Anne Graham Lotz, who Billy once called “the best preacher in the family” (
Christianity Today, April 5, 1999), and his son Franklin. Anne echoed her father’s opinion when she told the press on April 9 that she is certain that Pope John Paul II is in heaven. In an April 5, 2005, appearance on Hannity & Colmes on the Fox News television network, Franklin Graham said the Pope preached the same gospel as he does. Anne Graham represented her father at the Pope’s funeral, and Franklin attended the coronation of the new Pope, Benedict XVI. Speaking on Larry King Live on April 2, Billy Graham said: “I don’t have the physical strength to go, and I have been invited. I was invited about six or seven months ago by the Vatican ahead of time. And they’ve asked that I come. So I’m asking my daughter, Anne Lotz, to go. ... And then my son, Franklin, will be going to the enthronement of the new Pope.”

__________________________

These are not isolated facts, but exemplify Graham’s philosophy and methodology through the years. For half a century Graham has turned inquirers over to Catholic churches, has accepted honorary degrees from Catholic schools, has flattered the Popes with amazing accolades, and has visited Pope John Paul II to seek his counsel. In the Evangelical world, Billy Graham has no equal in the building up of Roman Catholicism. More than any other one man Billy Graham has paved the way for the widespread acceptance of a Catholic Pope by Protestants and Baptists. His groundbreaking but unscriptural ecumenical evangelism has downplayed doctrine and exalted experiential religious unity.

Billy Graham has had opportunity to preach to more people than any other man in this generation, perhaps in history. When he stands before God, he will give account for the souls of those who were deceived by his false ecumenical message and were thereby turned to false gospels such as Rome’s.

The alarm must be raised against associating with error and against following disobedient Christian leaders who are involved in these activities. The error of New Evangelicalism is not so much what it teaches that is wrong, but what it refuses to preach and the illicit fellowship in which it is involved.
If we don’t lift a voice against compromise of this magnitude, surely we must be branded as traitors. Brethren, “Keep thee far from a false matter” (2 Kings 10:10).



VATICAN II REAFFIRMS CATHOLIC HERESIES

While the declarations of the Catholic Vatican II council of the 1960s did bring changes to the Catholic Church, it did not change its foundational dogmas. Not only did Vatican II uphold Rome’s false dogmas, it actually strengthened them.

The more than 2,400 bishops attending Vatican II reaffirmed such Roman heresies as papal supremacy, the Roman priesthood, the mass as a re-sacrifice of Christ, the sacramental gospel, Catholic tradition on equal par with Scripture, Mary as the Queen of Heaven and co-redemptress with Christ, auricular confession, pilgrimages to “holy shrines,” purgatory, and prayers to and for the dead.

All of these Roman dogmas are reaffirmed in
Vatican Council II--The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents. This book is published by the Roman Catholic Church and contains the Imprimature: Walter P. Kellenberg, D,D., Bishop of Rockville Centre, Aug. 12, 1975. “Imprimature” is the official Catholic stamp of approval and means “let it be printed.”

Consider some quotes from the Vatican II documents:

The Mass a Re-sacrifice of Christ

“Hence the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, is at the same time and inseparably: a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated; a memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, who said ‘do this in memory of me’ (Lk. 22:19) … In the Mass, therefore, the sacrifice and sacred meal belong to the same mystery—so much so that they are linked by the closest bond. For in the sacrifice of the Mass Our Lord is immolated when ‘he begins to be present sacramentally as the spiritual food of the faithful under the appearances of bread and wine.’ … For in it Christ perpetuates in an unbloody manner the sacrifice offered on the cross, offering himself to the Father for the world’s salvation through the ministry of priests” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Introduction, C 1,2, p. 108).

Christ Present in the Elements of the Mass

“In this sacrament Christ is present in a unique way, whole and entire, God and man, substantially and permanently. This presence of Christ under the species ‘is called real, not in an exclusive sense, as if the other kinds of presence were not real, but par excellence” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Chap. 1, E, p. 114).

“In the celebration of Mass there is proclaimed the wonderful mystery of the real presence of Christ our Lord under the eucharistic species. The Second Vatican Council and other magisterial pronouncements of the Church have confirmed this truth in the same sense and the same words as those in which the Council of Trent defined it as an article of faith. ... Christ becomes present through an essential change in the elements” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, General Instruction on the Roman Missal, foreword, 3, p. 154).

The Mass Is a Part of Salvation

“As often as the sacrifice of the cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch is sacrificed’ (1 Cor. 5:7) is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter 1, 3, p. 324).

The Mass the Center of Christian life

“The celebration of the Mass ... is the centre of the whole Christian life for the universal Church, the local Church and for each and every one of the faithful. For therein is the culminating action whereby God sanctifies the world in Christ and men worship the Father as they adore him through Christ the Son of God” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, General Instruction on the Roman Missal, chap. 1, 1, p. 159).

Christ Is to Be Worshipped in the Wafer

“The reservation of the sacred species for the sick ... led to the praiseworthy custom of adoring the heavenly food which is preserved in churches. This practice of adoration has a valid and firm foundation, especially since belief in the real presence of the Lord has as its natural consequence the external and public manifestation of that belief” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Chap. 3, I A, p. 131).

“The faithful should therefore strive to worship Christ our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. ... Pastors [priests] should exhort them to this, and set them a good example. ... The place in a church or oratory where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle [place where the consecrated wafer is kept and worshiped between Masses] should be truly prominent. It ought to be suitable for private prayer so that the faithful may easily and fruitfully, by private devotion also, continue to honour our Lord in this sacrament” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Chap. 3, I B, p. 132).

“Devotion, both private and public, towards the sacrament of the altar even outside Mass ... is highly recommended by the Church, since the eucharistic sacrifice is the source and summit of the whole Christian life” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Chap. 3, III, p. 134).

“All the faithful ought to show to this most holy sacrament the worship which is due to the true God, as has always been the custom of the Catholic Church. Nor is it to be adored any the less because it was instituted by Christ to be eaten. For even in the reserved sacrament he is to be adored because he is substantially present there through that conversion of bread and wine which, as the Council of Trent tells us, is most aptly named transubstantiation” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Intro., C 6, pp. 109,10).

“It is necessary to instruct the faithful that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Saviour and that the same worship and adoration given to God is owed to him present under the sacramental signs” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on Facilitating Sacramental Eucharistic Communion in Particular Circumstances, Piety and Reverence Towards the Sacrament, p. 221).

The Wafer to Be Carried in Processions

“In processions in which the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly carried through the streets to the singing of hymns, especially on the feast of Corpus Christi, the Christian people give public witness to their faith and devotion towards this sacrament” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, Chap. 3, III, p. 134).

Masses for the Dead

“Holy Mother Church is extremely concerned for the faithful departed. She has decided to intercede for them to the fullest extent in every Mass and abrogates every special privilege in this matter” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, V, Indulgences not Attached to Things and Places, Norms, 20, p. 87).

“The Church offers the Paschal Sacrifice [the Mass] for the Dead so that ... the dead may be helped by the prayers and the living may be consoled by hope” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, General Instruction on the Roman Missal, VIII, Masses for the Dead, 335, p. 197).

Mass Must be Performed in Strict Accordance with Catholic Tradition

“To safeguard the success of these celebrations and to obtain a greater spiritual efficaciousness ... attention must be given to the form. ... The texts of the Mass should be taken from the missal or from approved supplements. Every change ... is arbitrary and therefore rejected ... The furnishings of the altar (cross, altar cloth, candles, missal, purificator, corporal, hand towel and communion plate), the sacred vessels (chalice, paten, pyx), the vestments (amice, alb, cincture, stole and chasuble) should be, in number, form and quality, as desired by present legislation. ... The ritual gestures and the ceremonies of the celebrant, as well as the attitude of the participants should be those prescribed for the normal eucharistic celebration” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Instruction on Masses for Special Groups, 11a,b, p. 146).

The Wine Can Be Taken Only on Special Occasions

“First, they should be reminded that, according to the Catholic faith, Christ is received whole and entire in a complete sacrament even when people communicate under one kind only [take only the wafer without the juice]. And they are not thereby deprived of any grace necessary for salvation ... With the bishop’s approval and after due instruction the following persons may receive Communion from the chalice ... [there follows 14 groups of persons who are permitted to partake of the juice during special Masses performed at weddings, baptisms, ordinations, and certain retreats]” (Vatican II, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, General Instruction on the Roman Missal, IV, 241, 242, pp. 181-182)

Catholic Traditions on Equal Par with Scripture

“Sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal ... Thus it comes about that the Church does not draw her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Hence, both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal feelings of devotion and reverence” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Chap. 2, 9, p. 682).

Salvation Is through the Sacraments and the Church

“Just as Christ was sent by the Father so also he sent the apostles ... that they might preach the gospel to every creature and proclaim that the Son of God by his death and resurrection had freed us from the power of Satan and from death, and brought us into the Kingdom of his Father. But he also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical [ritualistic] life revolves. Thus by Baptism men are grafted into the paschal mystery of Christ. ... They receive the spirit of adoption as sons” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Chap. 1, I, 5,6, pp. 23-24).

“In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his passion and glorification. Through baptism we are formed in the likeness of Christ: ‘For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body’ (1 Cor. 12:13). In this sacred rite fellowship in Christ’s death and resurrection is symbolized and is brought about” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chap. 1, 7, p. 327).

“For it is the liturgy through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, ‘the work of our redemption is accomplished,’ and it is through the liturgy, especially, that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Introduction, para. 2).

Salvation Distributed by the Pope

“For ‘God’s only-begotten Son ... has won a treasure for the militant Church ... he has entrusted it to blessed Peter, the key-bearer of heaven, and to his successors who are Christ’s vicars on earth, so that they may distribute it to the faithful for their salvation. They may apply it with mercy for reasonable causes to all who have repented for and have confessed their sins. At times they may remit completely, and at other times only partially, the temporal punishment due to sin in a general as well as in special ways (insofar as they judge it to be fitting in the sight of the Lord). The merits of the Blessed Mother of God and of all the elect ... are known to add further to this treasury’” (ellipsis are in the original) (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, Chap. 4, 7, p. 80).

Salvation through the Catholic Church

“For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fulness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God” (Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 1, 3, p. 415).

“This holy Council first of all turns its attention to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself on scripture and tradition, it teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:5), and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, II, 14, p. 336).

Salvation by Good Works

“From the most ancient times in the Church good works were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners, particularly the works which human weakness finds hard. Because the sufferings of the martyrs for the faith and for God’s law were thought to be very valuable, penitents used to turn to the martyrs to be helped by their merits to obtain a more speedy reconciliation from the bishops. Indeed, the prayers and good works of holy people were regarded as of such great value that it could be asserted that the penitent was washed, cleansed and redeemed with the help of the entire Christian people” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, chap. 3, 6, pp. 78,79).

Salvation through Baptism

“By the sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is properly conferred in the way the Lord determined and received with the proper dispositions of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life” (Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 3, II, 22, p. 427).

Salvation Is through Indulgences and Ritual

“By means of indulgences those members of the Church who are enduring their purification are united more speedily to the members who are in heaven ... holy Mother Church again recommends the practice of indulgences to the faithful. ... The remission of punishment by distribution from the Church’s treasury is incorporated into it. The Church recommends its faithful not to abandon or neglect the holy traditions of those who have gone before. They should be welcomed in a religious spirit as a precious treasure of the Catholic family and esteemed as such. ... The Church reminds them constantly of the things which should be given preference because they are necessary or at least better and more efficacious helps in the task of winning salvation” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, chap. 4, 10,11, p. 82).

Salvation Can Be Achieved through Non-Christian Religions

“The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Moslems. These profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day... Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 2, 16, p. 338).

Salvation Grace Is Not Free but Must Be Earned

“All children of the Church should nevertheless remember that their exalted condition results, not from their own merits, but from the grace of Christ. If they fail to respond in thought, word and deed to that grace, not only shall they not be saved, but they shall be the more severely judged” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 2, 14, p. 337).

The Catholic Church the Only True Church

“This is the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care. ... This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 1, 8, p. 329).

“For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fulness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God” (Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 1, 3, p. 415).

The Pope Is the Supreme Head of the Church

“The college or body of bishops has for all that no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head, whose primatial authority, let it be added, over all, whether pastors or faithful, remains in its integrity. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 3, 22, p. 344).

The Pope Is the Infallible Teacher

“The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful—who confirms his brethren in the faith (cf. Lk. 22:32)—he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. For that very reason his definitions are rightly said to be irreformable by their very nature and not by reason of the assent of the Church... as a consequence they are in no way in need of the approval of others, and do not admit of appeal to any other tribunal. For in such a case the Roman Pontiff does not utter a pronouncement as a private person, but rather does he expound and defend the teaching of the Catholic faith as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the Church’s charism of infallibility is present in a singular way” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 3, 25, p. 349).

“This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and sincere assent be given to decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 3, 25, p. 348).

Mary the Sinless Mother of God, Perpetual Virgin, Bodily Assumed into Heaven as Queen over All

“Joined to Christ the head and in communion with all his saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ... Because of the gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth... The Immaculate Virgin preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Apoc. 19:16) and conqueror of sin and death” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, I, 52,53; II, 59, pp. 378,381- 382).

Mary Is Co-Redemptress with Christ

“Rightly, therefore, the Fathers see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience. For as St. Irenaeus says, she being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert with him in their preaching ... ‘death through Eve, life through Mary.’ This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, II, 56, pp. 380-381).

Mary Intercedes for Men from Heaven and Aids in Their Salvation

“Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, II, 62, pp. 382-383).

Mary to Be Venerated

“Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son, as the most holy mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ: she is rightly honoured by a special cult in the Church. ... The sacred synod teaches this Catholic doctrine advisedly and at the same time admonishes all the sons of the Church that the cult, especially the liturgical cult, of the Blessed Virgin, be generously fostered, and that the practices and exercises of devotion towards her, recommended by the teaching authority of the Church in the course of centuries be highly esteemed, and that those decrees, which were given in the early days regarding the cult images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints, be religiously observed” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, IV, The Cult of the Blessed Virgin in the Church, 66,67, pp. 384-385).

Intercessions of and Prayers to Dead Saints

“The ‘treasury of the Church’ ... is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ’s merits have before God. ... This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission the Father entrusted to them. In this way they attained their own salvation and at the same time cooperated in saving their brothers in the unity of the Mystical Body. ... The union of the living with their brethren who have fallen asleep in Christ is not broken. ... Now that they are welcomed in their own country and at home with the Lord, through him, with him and in him they intercede unremittingly with the Father on our behalf, offering the merit they acquired on earth through Christ Jesus. ... Their brotherly care is the greatest help to our weakness” (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, chap. 2, 5, pp. 76,77).

“In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honoured with great respect the memory of the dead ... she has always venerated them, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy angels, with a special love, and has asked piously for the help of their intercession. ... When, then, we celebrate the eucharistic sacrifice [the Mass] we are most closely united to the worship of the heavenly Church; when in the fellowship of communion we honour and remember the glorious Mary ever virgin, St. Joseph, the holy apostles and martyrs and all the saints” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, I, 52,53; II, 59, pp. 375,377).

“Holy Mother Church is extremely concerned for the faithful departed. She has decided to intercede for them to the fullest extent in every Mass and abrogates every special privilege in this matter” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, V, Norms, 20, p. 87).

Purgatory Necessary to Purge Sin

“The doctrine of purgatory clearly demonstrates that even when the guilt of sin has been taken away, punishment for it or the consequences of it may remain to be expiated or cleansed. They often are. In fact, in purgatory the souls of those who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, chap. 1, 3, p. 75).

Priests Have Special Powers to Bestow Spiritual Blessing

“However, the Lord also appointed certain men as ministers, in order that they might be united in one body in which ‘all the members have not the same function’ (Rom. 12:4). These men were to hold in the community of the faithful the sacred power of Order, that of offering sacrifice and forgiving sins, and were to exercise the priestly office publicly on behalf of men in the name of Christ” (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, chap. 1, 2, p. 776).

“Priests, while being taken from amongst men and appointed for men in the things that appertain to God that they may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins, live with the rest of men as with brothers” (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, chap. 1, 3, p. 778).

“The purpose then for which priests are consecrated by God through the ministry of the bishop is that they should be made sharers in a special way in Christ’s priesthood and, by carrying out sacred functions, act as his ministers who through his Spirit continually exercises his priestly function for our benefit in the liturgy. By Baptism priests introduce men into the People of God; by the sacrament of Penance they reconcile sinners with God and the Church; by the Anointing of the sick they relieve those who are ill; and especially by the celebration of Mass they offer Christ’s sacrifice sacramentally” (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, chap. 2, I, 5, p. 781).

Catholic Priests Share Christ’s Identical Priesthood

“All priests share with the bishops the one identical priesthood and ministry of Christ” (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, chap. 2, II, 7, p. 786).

Church Has Power to Grant Indulgences; Those Who Say Church Has no Such Power Are Cursed

“Indulgences are ... the taking away of the temporal punishment due to sins when their guilt has already been forgiven. ... in granting an indulgence the Church uses its power as minister of Christ’s Redemption. ... It teaches and commands that the usage of indulgences—a usage most beneficial to Christians and approved by the authority of the Sacred Councils—should be kept in the Church; and it condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to grant them. ... By means of indulgences those members of the Church who are enduring their purification are united more speedily to the members who are in heaven in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, IV, 8, 10, pp. 80-82).

Rituals and Superstitious Practices Encouraged

“The faithful who use with devotion an object of piety (crucifix, cross, Rosary, scapular or medal) after it has been duly blessed by any priest, can gain a partial indulgence. But if this object of piety is blessed by the Pope or any bishop, the faithful who use it with devotion can also gain a plenary indulgence on the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul. ... When one of the faithful is in danger of death and no priest in available to administer the sacraments to him with the apostolic blessing ... holy Mother Church still grants a plenary indulgence to be gained at the moment of death, on condition that they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. The practice of using a crucifix or cross while gaining this plenary indulgence is praiseworthy” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, V, Norms, 17,18, p. 86).

Confession and Penance Aid in Conversion

“The sacrament of Penance restores and strengthens in members of the Church who have sinned the fundamental gift of ... conversion to the kingdom of Christ, which is first received in Baptism. ... Those who approach this sacrament receive from God’s mercy the pardon of their offences and at the same time they are reconciled to the Church which they have wounded by their sins. The Religious should likewise hold in high esteem the frequent use of this sacrament ... desiring closer union with God, should endeavour to receive the sacrament of penance frequently, that is, twice a month ... To ensure legitimate liberty, all women religious and novices may make their confession validly and licitly to any priest approved for hearing confessions in the locality” (Decree on Confession for Religious, pp. 611,612).

Celibacy Imposed

“For these reasons, based on the mystery of Christ and his mission, celibacy, which at first was recommended to priests, was afterwards in the Latin Church imposed by law on all who were to be promoted to holy Orders. This sacred Council approves and confirms this legislation so far as it concerns those destined for the priesthood, and feels confident in the Spirit that the gift of celibacy, so appropriate to the priesthood of the New Testament, is liberally granted by the Father” (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, chap. 3, II, 16, p. 802).

COUNCIL OF TRENT REAFFIRMED

The Council of Trent was a Catholic council held from 1545 to 1563 in an attempt to destroy the progress of the Protestant Reformation. This council denied every Reformation doctrine, including Scripture alone and grace alone. Trent hurled 125 anathemas (eternal damnation) against Bible-believing Christians, including these:

FOURTH SESSION: DECREE CONCERNING THE CANONICAL SCRIPTURES: “If anyone does not accept as sacred and canonical the aforesaid books in their entirety and with all their parts [the 66 books of the Bible plus 12 apocryphal books, being two of Paralipomenon, two of Esdras, Tobias, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Sophonias, two of Macabees], as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate Edition, and knowingly and deliberately rejects the aforesaid traditions, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.”

SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: “If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12).

SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: “If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 24).

SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: “If anyone says that the Catholic doctrine of justification as set forth by the holy council in the present decree, derogates in some respect from the glory of God or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, and does not rather illustrate the truth of our faith and no less the glory of God and of Christ Jesus, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 33).

SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM: “If anyone says that in the Roman Church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on Baptism, Canon 3).

SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM: “If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on Baptism, Canon 5).

SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM: “If anyone says that children, because they have not the act of believing, are not after having received baptism to be numbered among the faithful, and that for this reason are to be rebaptized when they have reached the years of discretion; or that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be baptized in the faith of the Church alone, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on Baptism, Canon 13).

SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON CONFIRMATON: “If anyone says that the confirmation of those baptized is an empty ceremony and not a true and proper sacrament; or that of old it was nothing more than a sort of instruction, whereby those approaching adolescence gave an account of their faith to the Church, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on Confirmation, Canon 1).

THIRTEENTH SESSION, CANONS ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST: “If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ, but says that He is in it only as in a sign, or figure or force, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon 1).

THIRTEENTH SESSION, CANONS ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST: “If anyone says that Christ received in the Eucharist is received spiritually only and not also sacramentally and really, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Canon 8).

FOURTEENTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: “If anyone says that in the Catholic Church penance is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ the Lord for reconciling the faithful of God as often as they fall into sin after baptism, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 1).

FOURTEENTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: “If anyone denies that sacramental confession was instituted by divine law or is necessary to salvation; or says that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Catholic Church has always observed from the beginning and still observes, is at variance with the institution and command of Christ and is a human contrivance, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 7).

FOURTEENTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: “If anyone says that the confession of all sins as it is observed in the Church is impossible and is a human tradition to be abolished by pious people; or that each and all of the faithful of Christ or either sex are not bound thereto once a year in accordance with the constitution of the great Lateran Council, and that for this reason the faithful of Christ are to be persuaded not to confess during Lent, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 8).

FOURTEENTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: “If anyone says that God always pardons the whole penalty together with the guilt and that the satisfaction of penitents is nothing else than the faith by which they perceive that Christ has satisfied for them, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 8).

TWENTY-SECOND SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS: “If anyone says that in the Mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God; or that to be offered is nothing else than that Christ is given to us to eat, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 1).

TWENTY-SECOND SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS: “If anyone says that by those words, Do this for a commemoration of me, Christ did not institute the Apostles priests; or did not ordain that they and other priests should offer His own body and blood, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 2).

TWENTY-SECOND SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS: “If anyone says that the sacrifice of the Mass is one only of praise and thanksgiving; or that it is a mere commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross but not a propitiatory one; or that it profits him only who receives, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 3).

TWENTY-SECOND SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS: “If anyone says that it is a deception to celebrate Masses in honor of the saints and in order to obtain their intercession with God, as the Church intends, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 5).

TWENTY-THIRD SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER: “If anyone says that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood, or that there is no power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord and of forgiving and retaining sins, but only the office and bare ministry of preaching the gospel; or that those who do not preach are not priests at all, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 1).

TWENTY-THIRD SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER: “If anyone says that the bishops who are chosen by the authority of the Roman pontiff are not true and legitimate bishops, but merely human deception, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Canons on the Sacrifice of the Mass, Canon 8).

TWENTY-FIFTH SESSION, DECREE ON PURGATORY: “Since the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has, following the sacred writings and the ancient tradition of the Fathers, taught in sacred councils and very recently in this ecumenical council that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful and chiefly by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar, the holy council commands the bishops that they strive diligently to the end that the sound doctrine of purgatory, transmitted by the Fathers and sacred councils, be believed and maintained by the faithful of Christ, and be everywhere taught and preached.”

TWENTY-FIFTH SESSION, ON THE INVOCATION, VENERATION, AND RELICS OF SAINTS, AND ON SACRED IMAGES: “The holy council commands all bishops and others who hold the office of teaching and have charge of the cura animarum, that in accordance with the usage of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, received from the primitive times of the Christian religion, and with the unanimous teaching of the holy Fathers and the decrees of sacred councils, they above all instruct the faithful diligently in matters relating to intercession and invocation of the saints, the veneration of relics, and the legitimate use of images, teaching them that the saints who reign together with Christ offer up their prayers to God for men, that it is good and beneficial suppliantly to invoke them and to have recourse to their prayers, assistance and support in order to obtain favors from God through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who alone is our redeemer and savior; and that they think impiously who deny that the saints who enjoy eternal happiness in heaven are to be invoked, or who assert that they do not pray for men, or that our invocation of them to pray for each of us individually is idolatry, or that it is opposed to the word of God and inconsistent with the honor of the one mediator of God and men, Jesus Christ, or that it is foolish to pray vocally or mentally to those who reign in heaven.”

Pope Pius IV (1559-1565) issued a summary of the decisions of the council under the title “Pope Pius’s Creed.” We will quote part of this creed, which has ever since been regarded as an authoritative summary of the Catholic faith:

“I profess also, that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the new law ... namely, baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, and that they confer grace. ...

“I profess likewise, that in the Mass is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that, in the most holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, there is truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ...

“I constantly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful.

“Likewise, that the saints reigning together with Christ, are to be honoured and invocated; that they offer prayers to God for us; and that their relics are to be venerated.

“I most firmly assert, that the images of Christ, and of the mother of God, ever virgin, and also of the other saints, are to be had and retained; and that one honour and veneration are to be given to them.

“I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.

“I acknowledge the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman church, the mother and mistress of all churches. And I promise to swear true obedience to the Roman bishop, the successor of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, and vicar of Jesus Christ.

“I also profess, and undoubtedly receive all other things delivered, defined, and declared, by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent.
And likewise, I also condemn, reject, and anathematize, all things contrary thereto, and all heresies whatsoever condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the church.

“This true Catholic faith, out of which none can be saved...” (Miller’s Church History, pp. 1081-1082).

These proclamations and anathemas were fleshed out in the murderous persecutions vented upon true Christians by Rome, and Trent has never been annulled. Vatican II referred to Trent dozens and dozens of times, quoted Trent’s proclamations as authoritative, and reaffirmed Trent on every hand. The New Catholic Catechism cites Trent no less than 99 times. That is my own count. There is not the slightest hint that the proclamations of the Council of Trent have been abrogated by Rome. At the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII stated, “I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent.” Every Cardinal, Bishop and priest who became a member of the Council also signed that document (Wilson Ewin,
You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ, Quebec Baptist Mission, 1990 edition, p. 41).

Consider a few examples of how Vatican II looked upon Trent:

“The dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council of Trent [remain] intact...” (
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, p. 37).

“Therefore, following in the footsteps of the Council of Trent and of Vatican I, this present Council wishes to set forth authentic doctrine of divine revelation” (
Constitution on Divine Revelation, p. 678).

“[Christ] is substantially present there through that conversion of bread and wine which, as the Council of Trent tells us, is most aptly named transubstantiation” (
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, p. 110).

“For under this form (leaving intact the principles of the Council of Trent, by which under either species or kind there is received the true sacrament and Christ whole and entire), the sign of the eucharistic banquet appears more perfectly” (
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, p. 124).

“The Roman Missal, promulgated by our predecessor St. Pius V in the Year of our Lord 1570 by decree of the Council of Trent, is universally acknowledged to be among the most useful of the many fruits which that Council brought forth for the good of the Church of Christ” (
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, p. 138).

“When issuing decrees that the Order of the Mass should be revised, the Second Vatican Council ruled, among other things, that certain rites were to be restored to the vigour which they had in the days of the holy Fathers. These are the very words used by St. Pius V in his Apostolic Constitution
Quo primum whereby he promulgated the Tridentine Missal of 1570 [Trent]. The employment of the very same words indicates that the two Missals, though separated in time by four centuries, are nevertheless inspired by and embody one and the same tradition. ... In those troubled days St. Pius V was unwilling to make any changes in the rites except minor ones; he was intent on preserving more recent tradition, because at that time attacks were being made on the doctrine that the Mass is a sacrifice present under the eucharistic species” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, p. 155).

“In this way the liturgical norms of the Council of Trent have in many respects been fulfilled and perfected by those of the Second Vatican Council” (
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, p. 159).

This sacred council accepts loyally the venerable faith of our ancestors in the living communion which exists between us and our brothers who are in the glory of heaven or who are yet being purified after their death; and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea, of the Council of Florence, and of the Council of Trent” (Constitution on the Church, p. 377).

“The sacrament of baptism cannot be repeated ... and therefore to baptize again conditionally is not allowed unless there is prudent doubt of the fact, or of the validity, of a baptism already administered (Council of Trent, Session 7, Can. 4)” (
Decree on Ecumenism, p. 445).

“The Fathers of the Council,
continuing the work begun by the Council of Trent, confidently entrust to superiors and professors in seminaries the duty of training Christ’s future priests in the spirit of that renewal promoted by the Council itself” (Decree on the Training of Priests, p. 654).

HAS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, THEN, CHANGED?

You have read for yourself the solemn proclamations of Rome’s official Vatican II Council. These are proclamations made by the Pope and the college of bishops, and according to Catholic teaching, there is no higher authority than “the Church’s dogma and interpretation of Scripture.” Of course, we realize there are Catholics do not believe these teachings, but where shall we go to find the official teachings of Catholicism? To the Vatican itself, of course. To say that the Vatican doesn’t know Catholic doctrine is like saying Hitler didn’t know Nazism.

Though some dramatic changes were made during and since the Vatican II Council, the Roman Catholic Church remains the same blasphemous, unscriptural institution it always has been. It is not possible to believe the previously quoted Vatican II pronouncements and think otherwise. Yet, the lie that Catholicism is becoming more evangelical, more biblical, and more spiritual continues to be propagated with blind perseverance. It is this lie that is being used to encourage the ecumenical fellowship between Catholics and Protestants. The same lie is a clever tool for persuading Catholics to stay in the Roman Church when they are converted or when they begin doubting Catholic doctrines.

Since it is plain that the Roman Catholic Church continues to uphold doctrines that are blasphemous and contrary to the Word of God, it is therefore inexcusable for Billy Graham and other evangelicals to affiliate with it or to speak of it in a positive fashion. The Word of God commands us to separate from those who teach error.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:5).

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:6-8).

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Cor. 11:3-4).