Church of Ireland using Roman Catholic hermit to inspire aspiring ministers

Proverbs 13:20: “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

The above headline is certainly not a collection of words we had ever been expecting to put together, yet here we are.

Many legacy Protestant churches use many different ways to promote links with Rome in an attempt to blur any remaining, faded lines between them and the blasphemous Papacy.

You can very simply promote joint services with them, such as St Patrick’s Parish Church in Ballymoney, County Antrim and their minister Rev Andrew Sweeney, you can have your culinary skills (a most important sign of a faithful minister) spoken of warmly, a la Canon David Skuce, or you can be appointed leader of the most prominent ecumenical organisation in Northern Ireland, such as Presbyterian minister Rev Alex Wimberly of the Corrymeela Community.

There are other tactics which are employed, but the Church of Ireland Diocese of Armagh is using a most bizarre way to show it has handed itself over to mean Romish compromise.

On their website, they are quoting a man who was a Roman Catholic hermit as a means of motivating those who have an interest in entering the ministry in the Church of Ireland.

This outrageous apostasy is present on their website by first visiting the ‘Ministry’ section and then clicking on to the page, ‘Fellowship of Vocation’.

On this page, after explaining the process by which they choose ministers to go forward for official training, the writer of the text on the website then quotes Charles de Foucauld (pictured, top) by means of inspiring would-be ministers to pursue a career in the, supposedly, Christian ministry. You can see it for yourself in the series of three screenshots, below.

Beneath the quote, would-be ministers are invited to contact a Rev Bill Adair, who is apparently the Diocesan Director of Ordinands. He is also the minister of St Columba’s Parish Church in Portadown, County Armagh, but whether he is behind the message or not we cannot be sure.

Regardless, what we can be sure of is that it is outrageous to be quoting a Mary worshipping, Christ denying Romanist priest as some sort of inspiration to go into the ministry.

Charles de Foucauld was a priest who joined the Trappist order, an offshoot of the Cistercians, living from 1858 to 1916.

He is exalted and lifted up by the Roman Catholic Church and is in the process of being ‘sainted’ by them.

His beatification process saw him re-titled as the “Blessed ‘Father’ Charles de Foucauld” by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

Surely all of that would automatically preclude him from being considered an admirable example to follow by any true believer, yet here we have the Church of Ireland seeking to use him as a means of inspiring aspiring ministers.

This is but typical of the mean ecumenical compromise which has permeated virtually every aspect of the Church of Ireland.

It is also somewhat duplicitous to name Charles de Foucauld (though, as you may have noticed, they have spelled his name incorrectly) as the man behind the quote they share without giving any background as to who he is.

This is a common trick we have seen employed by numerous compromisers seeking to gently promote an individual who any true believer ought to reject outright.

It would be highly likely that 99% of people had never heard tell of this hermit who is exalted by Rome, but the writer just plonks his name in there, knowing rightly people won’t know who he is and hoping nobody bothers to check.

What is wrong with using a quote from any number of Protestant reformers or preachers?

There is Luther, Calvin, Knox, you could cite George Whitefield, CH Spurgeon, the Wesleys, John Wycliffe, DL Moody, the list goes on.

All of these men are far better known (and a much better example) than a French Romanist hermit who buried himself away in the north African countryside as some sort of mistaken attempt at devotion to God.

Or, better still, how about using a quote from God’s Word to inspire aspiring ministers?

Matthew 9:36-38 would be pretty apt, given the subject matter. It says: “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

They could also use Romans 10:13-15, which says: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

These are wonderful passages from God’s inerrant and inspired Word, but they just don’t cut it for the Church of Ireland Diocese of Armagh, who favour Papist deceivers over the Almighty.

Indeed, the very notion of the ascetic lifestyle adopted by Charles de Foucauld is unscriptural.

Nowhere in the Bible are we told to deliberately cause ourselves pain.

We cannot do anything to earn our salvation, Titus 3:5 reminds us that our salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done” and Ephesians 2:9 states clearly that salvation is “not of works”.

Of course, a desire to live a holy and sanctified life is a key sign of being a child of God, but such self-mortification is not a sign of holiness and sanctification.

1 Timothy 6:17 shows us that God “giveth us richly all things to enjoy”.

1 Timothy 4:1-4 clearly condemns two of the chief superstitions and practices of the Romanist religion, the forced celibacy of its priests and the forbidding of eating certain meats at certain times. They are, in fact, described as “doctrines of devils”.

The passage says: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving”.

It is wholly misguided of the Church of Ireland Diocese of Armagh to be recommending a devotee of Rome as an inspiration to men (and, contrary to God’s Word, see 1 Timothy 2:12, women) interested in entering the ministry.

We would call on the Church of Ireland Diocese of Armagh to remove this at once and indeed apologise for a quote from a man who upheld the false, pagan religion of Rome being used to encourage men into its ministry.

Rome denies that Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary was all-sufficient, it denies that we are saved by faith alone, it claims the blasphemous Pope is God on earth, it claims we can pray to Mary to gain favour with God, it practices the blasphemous mass where they sacrifice Jesus again and again, it venerates idols and statues and it teaches of a fictional holding cell between heaven and hell they call purgatory.

These teachings of Rome are all diametrically opposed to the clear words of Scripture and have the effect of corrupting true religion and sound doctrine to the point where it bears no resemblance to the Word of God.

The Church of Ireland’s own supposedly governing principles, the 39 Articles, has strong words on many false Romish doctrines, yet its ministers repeatedly and determinedly ignore them and the Bible in their efforts to cuddle up with Rome.

Article 22 covers a number of these false teachings of Rome. It says: “The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.”

Articles 28 and 31 have further strong words of condemnation of Romish deceit.

Article 28 speaks of the Lord’s Supper, warning against its pollution into the mass ceremony of Rome.

“Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

“The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.”

Article 31 speaks of the all-availing once for all sacrifice of Christ at Calvary.

It says: “The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.”

Oh that the Church of Ireland today would consider the practices of Rome to be “blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits”.

Instead, a man who adhered to all the blasphemies listed above is held up as somebody admirable to the church’s future clergy.

May God move in revival once more in our land, and may we dedicate ourselves to prayer that it might come to pass.

2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

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