Ivan Foster: I will explain what I mean by Roman Catholic terrorism

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May I comment on each of the points made by your correspondent, Peter McEvoy (July 28).

1. He claims that the term “Roman Catholic” is “used as a derogatory term by some unionists to describe their Catholic neighbours.”

The term “Roman Catholic” was not coined by unionists. Rather, and I quote: “The term ‘Roman Catholic’ appeared in the English language at the beginning of the 17th century to differentiate members of the Catholic Church (in communion with the Pope) from other Christians who use the term ‘Catholic’; comparable terms in other languages already existed.”

Mr McEvoy may never have been to Rome but “Rome” dictates his faith nevertheless!

The term I employed was descriptive, historical, accurate and not derogatory.

Mr McEvoy is off to a bad start and such a beginning is truly indicative of the veracity of the rest of his diatribe.

2. Mr McEvoy asks: “What Rev Foster do you describe as Roman Catholic terrorism? Let me know.”

I’m most happy to inform him.

I mean by the term “Roman Catholic terrorism” that terrorism that has been supported and encouraged by the Roman Catholic community. That terrorism which could never have taken place without Roman Catholic support and succour.

Priests of many ranks have been exposed as having been actually involved in IRA terrorism, even in leadership roles. Roman Catholic property has been used to conceal IRA arms and explosives. Roman Catholic clerics have been documented as offering their blessings to acts of terror.

The record of voting for Sinn Fein over many years in Ireland and particularly over more recent times in Northern Ireland is there for all to see. Their support was very evident even at the height of IRA atrocities.

3. I might ask why young Protestants also went abroad – likely in larger numbers than those of Roman Catholics – at the same time?

I would suggest that such were the social conditions here in Northern Ireland at that time that emigration was attractive to the young of both communities. This emigration was used by the IRA as propaganda to try and justify its unjustifiable terrorism.

Mr McEvoy is engaged in perpetuating that lie!

4. Mr McEvoy says that my biggest lie of all is “that us Catholics were reared to despise all things Protestant”.

Let me just state for Mr McEvoy’s benefit the OFFICIAL position of his church.

His church teaches that it is ‘the one true church founded by Jesus Christ and that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter.’

I repeat some statements from the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church in order to give a flavour of the Protestant and biblical view of the doctrines taught and the position claimed by the Roman Catholic Church.

Article 22. Purgatory

“The Roman doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons, worshipping and adoration (both of images and of relics) and the invocation of saints is a futile thing foolishly conceived and grounded on no evidence of Scripture. On the contrary this teaching is repugnant to the Word of God.”

Article 28. The Lord’s Supper.

“Transubstantiation (the change of the substance of the bread and wine) in the Supper of the Lord cannot be proved from holy Scripture, but is repugnant to the plain teaching of Scripture. It overthrows the nature of a sacrament and has given rise to many superstitions.

The body of Christ is given, taken and eaten in the Supper only in a heavenly and spiritual manner. The means by which the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.

The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not instituted by Christ to be reserved, carried about, lifted up or worshipped.”

Article 31 The one oblation of Christ finished upon the cross.

“The offering of Christ made once is the perfect redemption, propitiation and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. There is no other satisfaction for sin but this alone. Consequently, the sacrifices of masses, in which it was commonly said that the priest offered Christ for the living and dead so as to gain remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.”

These, amongst many other theses, were written to refute the arrogant and erroneous claims of the Roman Catholic church.

To this day, that body arrogantly continues to claim supremacy over all ‘Christians’, asserting that it ALONE is the true Church of Christ.

Here is a despising of all things Protestant that is unequalled.

This arrogance continues to this day.

Here is a quote from the “Guardian” newspaper (not noted as a defender of historic Protestantism).

“Protestant churches yesterday reacted with dismay to a new declaration approved by Pope Benedict XVI insisting they were mere ‘ecclesial communities’ and their ministers effectively phonies with no right to give communion.” 11th July 2007.

Is that not an example of ‘despising’?

If Mr McEvoy is a faithful and devout follower of the Pope’s teaching, then that is his attitude toward Protestantism and its people.

Irrespective of the daily expressions of civility manifested by Roman Catholics toward their Protestant neighbours, and I have personal knowledge of the reality of this having lived the most of my life in an area with a sizeable Roman Catholic majority, the religion of the Protestant is repudiated and indeed hated and this attitude has been expressed by many leaders and organisations supported by Roman Catholics that Protestants and Protestantism should be driven into the sea!

The outworking of that sentiment was evident in places like south Armagh and south Fermanagh.

Here are two quotes from an newspaper article, dated 19th February, 2013. “A former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service has described the IRA’s campaign in some border areas as “ethnic cleansing”.

I welcome recognition of the IRA’s campaign against border Protestants/unionists, which was ethnic cleansing.”

Further reading may be had in an Irish News article: “Unionists react angrily to IRA ‘ethnic cleansing’ border plan” of just over a month ago.

The wishy washy mouthings of ecumenists nor the weasel words of those like Mr McElvoy do not alter these facts.

As for me apologising, that I will do when Mr McEvoy proves to me that the Bible, the religion of true Protestants, is false and the “blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits” taught by the Roman Catholic Church are true.

Ivan Foster. Co Tyrone

Click here for Rev Foster’s response to another critic