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Sick Ecumenism or Dereliction?

Lyle J. Arnold, Jr.

Two articles about the Mormon cult were recently featured in The Catholic Voice, the Oakland (CA) diocesan paper (March 8, 2010). The lead article describes the speech of Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to an audience of 22,700 at the Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on February 23.

 Card. George speaks to Mormons

Mormons applaud Card. George at their University
His panegyric gushed with flattering and effusive prattle about the “good works” of the followers of this bizarre creed. So much so, in fact, that he received a standing ovation from the primarily Mormon crowd. His dictum emphasized the common ground to be found between Catholics and Mormons. The two religions have stood "side by side" in the battle against various modern evils, he stated. (1)

On the "gay" issue, he stated that those who "have gay people in their families, as I do ... have to be there for them and love them." The article ended with his golden recollections of being asked to serve as a guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Said he, "It was a tremendous feeling of awe and power and great satisfaction."

The second article recapped some facts about the history of the sect, its massive growth since the 19th century, and its beliefs. The latter stands in uncompromising opposition to Catholicism. In spite of this, the article ends with a line of mawkishness that matches Card. George's. Fr. James Massa, executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the USCCB said:

"Mormons insist on being recognized as part of the Christian family. In fact, they see themselves as that portion of Christ's household that has benefited from a purer and subsequent revelation that not only confirms what is attested to in the New Testament but fully elucidates its saving Contents for modern-day believers."

One must ask not how "they see themselves," but how God sees them. In the first place, one should note that the Mormon creed singled out the Roman Catholic Church specifically as being “most abominable above all other churches.” (3)

Further, how does God view what Fr. Massa describes as the "subsequent revelation that not only confirms what is attested to in the New Testament but fully elucidates its saving contents." Let us examine this "revelation."

The 'revelation' of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith meditating

Smith receiving inspiration to write the Mormon book
In New York in the early 19th century, Moroni, the son of a Nephite general turned angel, paid a visit to a 22-year-old illiterate treasure hunter named Joseph Smith. Moroni gave his permission for Smith to dig up some hidden golden plates, hitherto guarded by a "white salamander," which turned into a spirit (the salamander is a mythical figure long familiar to occultists.) (4)

One Mormon historian, Michael Quinn, in fact, was excommunicated for his painstaking work documenting Smith's involvement with the occult. (5) The ‘angel’ Moroni presented Smith with some magic spectacles called the Urim and Thummin, which enabled him to decipher the hieroglyphics. This esoteric language was ‘reformed Egyptian’ (unknown to professional linguists.) (6)

Since Smith could not write, he hired others to do the job. Among them was Oliver Cowdery, an unemployed school teacher.

Using some magic glasses Cowdery sat under a blanket and dictated from the plates The Book of Mormon, believed by Mormons to be the true history of our continent from 600 BC to 421 AD. We are informed by their teaching:
  • That Christ preached to the American Indians after His ascension and founded a church among them for the Western hemisphere...
  • That Smith re-established the church of Christ which had been wiped out in the Americas and had apostatized elsewhere... (and) that the Mormon church is the only true Christian religion.
From the golden tablets we also learn that North and South America were peopled by Jews, who came by ship from Palestine. Eventually they split into two nations, the Lamanites and the Nephites. Christ appeared to the Nephites, chose 12 Indian apostles and set up a church which was a counterpart of the Church he had established in Jerusalem. The Lamanites killed off the Nephites, and Moroni buried the plates that recounted the history of the race.

The plates and the goggles have conveniently vanished, though a farmer named Martin Harris testified in court that he saw the plates "with the eyes of faith ... though at the time they were covered over with a cloth." (7)

According to Brigham Young, the second president of the Latter Day Saint movement, Jesus was a polygamist and Mary and Martha were two of his wives. Mormon theology also teaches that the god of this world is a man (probably Adam), a physical being and a polygamist. Further, God did not create matter, which existed eternally; rather, He "organized" it. There is not one God but many gods, and Mormons can become gods of other planets when they die. (Cf. Gen. 3: 5 You shall be as Gods.)

The Book of Mormon contains, verbatim, lengthy statements from the New Testament. William Whalen, author of a work on Mormonism, tells us:

"It abounds in anachronisms, contradictions, and stock Campbellite answers to the theological questions of the early 19th century. At times its hindsight prophecy becomes entangled in such statements as ‘the son of God shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem.' Shakespearean students will be surprised to find the phrase ‘the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns' appearing in a passage written 2200 years before the Bard. …

“It [the Mormon cult] is obviously neither Catholic nor Protestant, and their flourishing religion is a curious mixture of paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Sweden Borgianism, Spiritism, and Campbellism." (8)

Mormonism is impossibly at odds with the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, history, philology, theology and common sense.

Benedict greeting Francis George

George and Benedict: the same spirit of ecumenism
In view of that, why are Catholic Prelates and priests defending the ridiculous cult? A Latin phrase aptly convicts Card. George and Fr. Massa for their action: Tacent, satis laudant [Silence is praise enough]. Their silence about the egregious errors of Mormonism is baffling.

The faithful Catholic must ask this Prince of the Church and priest: Why instead of fulfilling their ecclesiastical office as teachers, are they confusing and deceiving the faithful? Why are they gratuitously plugging this cultic nonsensical jumble and playing the role of sycophant to infidels. One must wonder whether their words stem from a sick ecumenism or downright dereliction…

Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Is. 5: 20). May Our Lady of Fatima soon put a stop to this disgusting heresy of Progressivism, which seeks to make a farcical caricature of the Bride of Christ.

1. "Cardinal: Catholics, Mormons mutual defenders of religious freedom"; Catholic News Service
2. "Mormon history began in 1830 under founder Joseph Smith." CNS
3. "Mormon Stumpers," Catholic Answers, n.6, quote by Bruce R. McConkie.
4. William J. Whalen, Separated Brethren – A Survey of Non-Catholic Christian Denominations in the United States, Milwaukee: Bruce Pub. Co., 1958.
5. "New Evidence Linking Magic to Mormonism," San Francisco Chronicle, May 11,1985.
6. Time, August 4, 1997, p. 57.
7. Whalen, Separated Brethren, p. 160.
8. Ibid., p. 157
Posted on April 7, 2010

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