Pope Francis is turning out to be one of the most controversial popes in modern history since his election to the papacy on March 13. During the four months he has been on the papal throne, he has made numerous statements that not only suppress the truth of God’s Word, but also oppose the doctrines of the Catholic Church. The day he was elected pope he said he would pray to Mary for the protection of Rome. Later he appeared to contradict himself by saying, “He who doesn’t pray to the Lord, prays to the devil.” Is the pope saying that Catholics who pray to Mary and the saints are praying to the devil? In May, the pope said everyone, even atheists, are redeemed with the Blood of Christ. The pope followed this heresy with another placating statement, saying, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Possibly his most controversial decision was to make the reporting of sex crimes against children illegal.
The Vatican also jumped on the heretical bandwagon last month by offering indulgences, to reduce time in purgatory, to those who follow Pope Francis on Twitter during World Youth Day. As foolish as this sounds to intelligent people, we must wonder if Catholics will ever wake up and realize their religion teaches a false and fatal gospel that leads them on the broad road to destruction? How many more blatantly false teachings must come out of the Vatican before Catholics realize they have been deceived about life’s most critical issue, the salvation of their soul?
Catholics, who believe a purifying fire will purge away their sins, are deluded victims of a fatal fabrication. The diabolical invention of a place for the purification of sins called Purgatory is not only a flagrant denial of the sufficiency of Jesus Christ, but also a blasphemous rejection of His precious blood as the only purification for sin (1 John 1:7).
The concept of Purgatory became a Catholic doctrine around 600 A.D. due to the fanaticism of Pope Gregory the Great. He developed the doctrine through visions of a purifying fire. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Pope Gregory said Catholics “will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames,” and “the pain is more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life.” Centuries later, at the Council of Florence in 1431, Purgatory was pronounced an infallible dogma.
Over the centuries, billions of dollars have been paid to Roman Catholic priests to obtain relief from sufferings in Purgatory’s fire. The Catholic clergy has taught that purchasing indulgences, novenas and Mass cards can shorten the period of suffering in Purgatory. We have heard of Catholics who have willed their entire estates to their religion so that perpetual masses could be offered for them after they die. It is no wonder that the Catholic religion has become the richest institution in the world. The buying and selling of God’s forgiveness has been a very lucrative business for the Vatican.
(Mike Gendron, Proclaiming the Gospel Newsletter, August 2013).