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Francis Inscribes 21 Coptic Heretics
into the Roman Martyrology

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
My friend Jan was a bit upset to hear the Vatican announcement that Pope Francis will insert 21 Coptic Monophysite “martyrs” into the Roman Martyrology of the Catholic Church. During a audience with “pope” Tawadros II at the Vatican on May 11, 2023, Francis casually dropped this bombshell, calling it nothing more than an “expression of desire for greater Christian unity.”

pope francis tawadrops relics

Francis receives a reliquary with remains of the Coptic heretics from a triumphant 'pope' Tawadros

In his address, Francis had the further audacity to espress his hope that the “prayers of the Coptic martyrs, united with those of the Theotokos [the Mother of God],” would bring the day of full union of “our Churches.” That is to say, he invoked the intercession of the Coptic heretics and dared to affirm their prayers would unite with those of Our Lady. Something preposterous.

Also during the audience, Tawadros gave Francis some remains (supposed “relics”) of the Coptic victims of ISIS, for which Pope Francis expressed his heartfelt gratitude.

I called this action a bombshell, and indeed it is. By including these heretics in the Catholic Church’s official daily prayer, Francis is effectively affirming that there can be salvation outside the bosom of the Holy Catholic Church. He effectively defends the thesis that those who die giving their blood in defense of false sects and religions can be held up as models of holiness for Catholics. In short, this action denies the age-old teaching of the Catholic Church that no unity is possible unless heretics return to the Catholic Church (see here, here , here, here, here and here). It is heretical.

Yet today, 60 years after Vatican II, my friend Jan is only mildly upset, and it would seem that the majority of the Catholic world views it as nothing more than another step in the improvement of relations between the Copts and Catholics. With this, we see how far ecumenism has advanced in its effort since Vatican II to ignore all doctrinal differences in the quest for a false unity.

The path to unity with heretics

The 21 Copts (20 Egyptians and one from Ghana) were beheaded in Libya in 2015 by ISIS militants. A tear-jerking video published by the terrorist organization showed the men praying as they perished, which is offered as proof that they died as martyrs. In fact, this is a play upon emotions and ignores the real doctrinal errors of the Coptic heresy that severed those pour souls from true union with the Catholic Faith.

coptic killed by isis

The violent deaths of the Coptic monophysites makes an emotional appeal

The Copts are Monophysites and thus heretics. This is an old heresy from the Early Church that denies Our Lord Jesus Christ has two natures, a divine nature hypostatically united to a human one. Monophysism holds that Christ has only one nature, the divine nature, which absorbed completely the human nature. So, the monophysites are not in any way “in communion” with the Catholic Church.

Since 1962 when John XXIII invited representatives of Monophysitism to the Vatican II as observers, we have see the Conciliar Popes making concession after concession to this heretical sect (Paul VI l here and here, John Paul II here and here, Benedict XVI here and here).

As we can see, since Vatican II Catholics have been conditioned to accept the notion that doctrinal differences are secondary matters on the path to unity. Why should we be surprised, then, that on Tawadros’ second visit to Rome in May 2023, the progressivist Pope decided to insert the Coptic “martyrs” into the Roman Catholic Martyrology?

Francis following John Paul II

Here, I would like to recall the fury a book by Atila Guimarães published in 1999 raised in the conservative Catholic milieu. Its tile is Quo Vadis, Petre? (Where are you going, Peter?) and it is an exposé of the ecumenical events planned by John Paul II for the Grand Jubilee celebrating the Year 2000. Those events included the establishment of a “common martyrology.”

quo vadis petre

An exposé of the ecumenical events planned by John Paul II for the Year 2000

In it, Atila points out how John Paul II coined the term “common Martyroly” as early as 1994 in his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millenio Adveniente and already indicated its possible introduction at the Great Jubilee of 2000.

JPII repeated the idea in Ut Unum Sint, his 1995 encyclical on ecumenism. Finally, in 1998, his preparatory commission for the Jubilee actually proposed a “Common Martyrology,” meaning a listing of martyrs that would be shared among all the “Christian churches.” In addition to admitting the so-called “saints” of other religions into a “common martyrology,” there were even strong indications that JPII wanted to rehabilitate the heresiarchs Luther, Calvin and Zwingli to place them among the ”saints.”

Admitting that there are saints in other religions is equivalent to saying that there is salvation in those religions. This seems to be a flagrant contradiction with perennial Catholic doctrine, Guimaraes noted. For this reason, he directed this Letter/book to John Paul II asking that he explain the contradiction.

No explanation was forthcoming, but, as I said, the book raised strong protests among Catholics that the good Pope John Paul II could ever propose such a heretical thing as a Common Martyrology. At that time, let me note, almost no one dared to criticize this popular Pope. But JPII was proposing precisely this – and much more, as Atila demonstrated with his known rigor in this Letter/book addressed to the Pope.

TIA asked Malachi Martin in 1999 to proof Quo Vadis, Petre? to point out any possible exaggerations or errors. He did so, and his absolutely amazed and stunned response was this: “How do you know all these things? It is all exactly as you say, but no one ever speaks about it?” When he died he was in communication with us, offering his full support to help circulate and promote the work.

john paul II coptic pope

John Paul II delivers a relic of St. George the Illuminator to Coptic 'pope' Karekin in 2000; below a joint liturgical ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica

JPII Kerekin lilturgy

My good friend Dr. Remi Amelunxen also proofed Quo Vadis, Petre? This dedicated Catholic scholar and scientist was shocked. Admitting the truth of all that was planned, he nonetheless advised us not to go to print. “Your audience (conservative and traditional Catholics) are just not ready to hear these things about John Paul II. You will lose all your support if you print this book.”

We went to press that year and he was partially right. Most Catholics were not ready to hear that John Paul II was planning these scandalous ecumenical events for the Jubilee celebrations. But we did not lose all our support. Instead, eyes began to open and others began to join us in publicly protesting the ecumenical acts of John Paul II.

Sadly, after all this time, what was once shocking is considered normal and commonplace. Today when many Catholics – like my friend Jan – hears about Francis including the Copt victims of ISIS into our Catholic Martyrology, there is little indignation or furor. It is just Francis doing something else to destroy the Catholic Church and her doctrine. All the blame is put on the bad Francis. Yet the groundwork for this Pope’s destruction was already laid by the previous counciliarr Popes. In this action Francis is squarely in continuity with JPII.

To be clear, if Francis can be considered a heretic for doing what John Paul II proposed, the latter should also be qualified as such. I repeat here for the hard of hearing that, indeed, John Paul defended the thesis that “those who die giving their blood in defense of their own ‘religions’ are all true martyrs ” in his papal encyclical Ut Unum Sint. (Apud Quo Vadis, Petre? p. 11)

That is a hard fact for conservatives to swallow. Nonetheless, it is an indisputable fact.

Where does it lead

So, after this first introduction of heretic “martyrs” into the Catholic Martyrology, what will be next? Will the heresiarchs Martin Luther and Calvin be named saints? Will heretics like Jan Hus, Girolamo Savonarola and Giordano Bruno, who were condemned to death for their doctrines, be proposed as candidates for beatification?

As Atila aptly noted in Quo Vadis, Petre? already in 1999, it could well happen that the saints of tomorrow would be those very persons who until today were considered by Catholics as abettors of schism and heresy.


What next? Enrolling Luther as a saint?

Posted May 17, 2023

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