Having just returned from a day-long visit with friends, I was notified of the letter which was published in your newspaper on May 16 (‘It is inaccurate to suggest that Popes claim to be God’).
I would like to briefly reply if I may.
It is customary before replying to a letter that you first read the letter.
That is all the more necessary when you are setting out to refute what is stated in the letter.
I quoted in my letter the statements of a number of popes, who according to the teaching of the Roman Catholic church, must all concur on any theological subject, being “infallible”!
Those quotes were claims, whereby it was either directly stated or very definitely implied that the popes claim to be God.
Would Mr O’Cathail care to tell me which of the popes’ claims I quoted were untrue and perhaps explain why he made no reference whatever to them?
As for his quotations from Luther and Erasmus, both men in theses quotations were merely pointing out that mingling amongst those who embraced the gospel in the days of the Reformation there were those who claimed to be followers of the Reformation but who lived quite contrary to all that the Reformers taught from the Bible.
A much better example of this mingling of the devil’s crowd with the people of God and the resultant shame brought upon the cause of Christ by the sinful lives of these counterfeits, may be found in the words of the Saviour as recorded in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.
The parable of the tares and the wheat clearly indicates what is to be expected from the devil whenever good men seek to do a work for God.
As counterfeiters do harm to an economy even so the devil’s counterfeits cause great harm to the cause of TRUTH!
Had Mr O’Cathail cared to have referred further to the Bible he would have seen that this scheme of infiltration by the devil’s agents into the professing Church of Christ goes back to very early times indeed.
Amongst the people God led out of Egypt there was the “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) whose complaining and murmurings so offended God.
They were still unbelievers, having never forsaken the follies of pagan Egypt but adhered to that which God had forbidden and thereby caused many difficulties for Moses.
Mr O’Cathail could also have referred to the difficulties Nehemiah and Ezra encountered from similar infiltrators who were but shams.
Coming to the New Testament era, Mr O’Cathail could have mentioned Judas, who as the servant of the devil infiltrated the Apostolic band.
Then again, he might have referred to the difficulties that the apostles encountered with false ‘Christians’, epitomised by those about whom Jude wrote his epistle in order to warn believers generally in his day that “there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ,” Jude 1:4.
So, Mr O’Cathail, fake Christians are no new phenomenon which emerged with the Reformation.
They are but the emergence of one of the devil’s weapons which he has employed since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
While I have indulged you by answering your slanders against the Reformation, I would have the readers of the News Letter to understand that your comments about Luther and Erasmus, even if they were true, are utterly irrelevant.
Were I the greatest villain in Ireland, my quotations of what the popes claim about themselves would still have to be answered rather than avoided.
I would also have your readers note that I said that to welcome the pope is to endorse his teachings.
To ‘welcome’ means to ‘accept, to approve of’ which Mr O’Cathail would find were he to consult any good English dictionary.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtr), Kilskeey, Co Tyrone