Protestant Schadenfreude

I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.
MARTIN LUTHER

Whenever someone tells me that they do not believe in organized religion, I point out to them that the alternative is disorganized religion. You do not have to imagine disorganized religion because it exists among the countless thousands of Protestant denominations and sects determining for themselves what doctrines will demand their allegiance. This do-it-yourself Christianity is a mutilated Christianity in much the same way that Bruce Jenner is a mutilated man. But our separated Protestant brethren have a killer argument that mutes these criticisms. They can take their children to church without fear that their offspring will be molested and raped by their clergy.

I have been on both sides of the Protestant-Catholic debate. As a former Calvinist, I castigated not only Catholics but even Protestant evangelicals who found common cause with those papists. If you had told me in those days that I would become one of those papists, I would have laughed. Yet, I am a Roman Catholic today.

To be a Protestant, you have to believe that Christ fumbled the ball for 1500 years until Martin Luther nailed his theses to that door in Wittenberg. Most Protestants live in a certain time warp of the mind where the first century somehow dovetails into modern times with no centuries in between. This willful ignorance is so profound that most Protestants can’t even tell you the history of their own denominations much less the history of Christianity. My own journey into Calvinism began as an attempt to remedy this ignorance. But I only went back to Luther. Before Luther, I saw Christianity as a pure thing defiled by the centuries of Catholic heresies.

Protestants can’t agree on anything except that the Church of Rome is not the true faith of Jesus Christ. This true faith is to be found in the morass and religious anarchy of Protestantism. In desperation, “non-denominational” churches have sprung up that are devoid of anything religious except some feel good praise band singing with some feel good preaching about Jesus dying to give you a Mercedes-Benz.

With Pope Francis and his heresies, Protestantism looks almost credible again. At least Baptists aren’t denying the existence of Hell and the divinity of Jesus Christ. The reality is that this current pontificate is not Catholic but Protestant as Francis has seen fit to embrace all religions except his own. The fact is that Pope Francis has more in common with Martin Luther now than Pope Saint Pius X. If Luther were alive today, he would have little problem rescinding his antipapal statements regarding this pope.

The Roman Catholic Church is in an awful state, and this is a delight to many Protestants. It is also comfort to those Catholics who have schismed into Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy like Mike Pence, Sean Hannity, and Rod Dreher. Nevermind that the errors of Francis are to be found among the schismatic churches. Divorce and remarriage are common in both Protestant and Orthodox churches. The liberal and modernist doctrines of Francis and the Jesuits can be found in Protestant mainline denominations. And the Episcopal Church has openly gay clergy in civil unions and marriages.

Leaving the Catholic Church is like leaving a cheating wife to go marry a stripper and a prostitute. What makes it even sadder is the wife has not cheated. Catholicism still endures. The faithful have not lost the One True Faith. It is simply obscured by the Antichurch.

The Antichurch is not the true Church, but the church of the Devil. Its head is not Simon Peter but Simon Magus. From the very beginning, bad guys have tried to corrupt the faith from within. The wheat and the weeds both grow in the same field, and it is hard to distinguish between them. But there is a key difference.

When I became Catholic, I told my wife that the Catholic Church has something that Protestants don’t have. Catholics have saints. There are some decent Protestants like the late Billy Graham who I think was a fine and honorable man. But he is not on the same level of a Saint Maximilian Kolbe or Saint Teresa of Calcutta. That sort of sanctity is only achieved by regular reception of the sacraments and time spent in the Real Presence and recourse to the Blessed Mother. Those things are what make faithful Catholics remain faithful to a Church filled with heretics, sodomites, and pedophiles.

It is easy to gloat at the filth and corruption of the Antichurch occupying the same space as the Roman Catholic Church. But this only forces me to ask one question of those gleeful Protestants. Where is your sanctity? Where are your saints? Where are your martyrs? Where is your Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Dominic? The best Protestants can do is claim Saint Paul except Saint Paul was a Catholic.

There are no Protestant saints. If being better than a bunch of pedophile priests is all that is required for sanctity, we can go ahead and canonize Pablo Escobar and the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang. But we are not called to be merely better than the worst. We are called to something much more than that. And Protestantism cannot provide this.

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