Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Pope, the Antichrist, and Fu Manchu

The Pope is the Antichrist!

This is a perennial favorite. A sample:

Tony Alamo's Antichrist Literature and Photo Gallery
  • "The Pope's Secrets
  • "The Fugitive Pope
  • "Click here to watch: Documentary of investigation into allegations that a secret church directive, issued by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI, is being used to silence the victims of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests....
Regarded as pulp fiction, this is pretty good stuff: Dastardly doings, secret directives: all very Fu Manchu.

The problem is, people really believe it.

I don't think it helps that the Pope dresses funny. Naturally enough. The Catholic church is about 2,000 years old, and has a dress code for priests and bishops. The robes that the Pope, other bishops, and priests wear were designed during the declining centuries of the Roman Empire. The dress code could be changed, but there's something to be said for a uniform that's the same in Arkansas, Kenya, and Japan.

The church is flexible, though. When the previous Pope was traveling in Africa, he came off the plane in one country, wearing his standard robes, with an animal skin on his shoulders. Leopard, I think.

I learned that this was a symbol of authority in that area. The Catholic church is like that, accommodating local cultures: like when my ancestors were allowed to drag an evergreen inside and decorate it for Christmas.
Where Was I? Oh, Yeah: the Antichrist
As a Catholic, I know about the Antichrist, and it's not the Pope.

I'm pretty sure this won't change the mind of any 'true believers.' For those who are interested, this a very short take on the Catholic take on the topic:
"ANTICHRIST: The 'deceitful one' referred to in the New Testament, associated with the 'mystery of iniquity' which will precede the second coming of Christ, through which people will be led away from the truth to follow a false 'messianism,' by which man glorifies himself and human achievement in place of God and his Messiah come in the flesh, in whom the kingdom will be fulfilled (675-677)."
Enough of that.

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You may not have heard about Tony Alamo and the attention his ministry's been getting lately. Here's some of what the news has had to say: And, no: despite his being called an "evangelist," I don't think that most evangelicals are like Tony Alamo.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.