Our family moved to Belfast just seventy years ago this month. It soon became a custom for the family on a Sabbath afternoon to walk from our home in Rugby Avenue, up the Ormeau Road toward its junction with the Saintfield Road. There was a graveyard there where some relatives on my father’s side were buried, and the grave often visited.
On our way up the Ormeau Road, just before its junction with the Ravenhill Road, there was an imposing and ‘brooding’ high stone wall surrounding that which few had ever seen, certainly not the pedestrians walking past!
I can recall vividly my mother indicating to us that it was a part of the Roman Catholic institution and the reports regarding it were very frightening!
That she should know that, indicated that such knowledge was common!
Before anyone says that my mother was merely displaying her Protestant bigotry and prejudice, and seeking to pass it on to me, please read the BBC report I have linked above!
Whatever rumours my mother had heard were VERY TRUE!
The BBC report tells of the misery and suffering a young Roman Catholic boy, John McGuinness, was put through by nuns in the Nazareth Lodge on the Ravenhill Road. It was a part of that Roman Catholic establishment on the adjacent Ormeau Road, surrounded by that ‘brooding high stone wall’ aforementioned. This abuse took place when the boy was seven years old until he was nine, from 1967-69. Mr McGuinness died in 2020, aged 59.
His abuse would have would have taken place over a decade AFTER my mother’s warnings to me!
Mr John McGuinness said “a number of nuns assaulted him and alleged a handyman who worked at the home subjected him to regular sexual assaults in the toilets.” The BBC report states that when they contacted, the Sisters of Nazareth said it had no comment!
Roman Catholicism has a most wicked and depraved reputation arising, from amongst other things, the abuse of children in homes run by it.
Consider these headlines!
This abuse involved a boy in the years 1989 to 1996, a long time after my mother’s truthful report of the reputation that Rome children’s homes had!
Here is another notorious ‘Nazareth Lodge’ report!
This time, “Thousands of children were made to live in fear by violent nuns who physically and sexually abused them at an Aberdeen care home.” So says the report.
Read for yourself, in the following articles, the evil reputation that those staffing these Roman Catholic homes have. I could fill pages with links to reports of a similar kind!
This article in ‘Wikipedia’ commences with this statement.
“Allegations of abuse of children in certain institutions owned, managed, and largely staffed by the Sisters of Mercy, in Ireland, form a sub-set of allegations of child abuse made against Catholic clergy and members of Catholic religious institutes in several countries in the late 20th century. The abusive conduct allegedly perpetrated at institutions run by the Sisters of Mercy ranged from overuse of corporal punishment to emotional abuse, and included some accusations of sexual abuse by lay persons employed at the institutions.”
It would be impossible to quantify the horrific abuse that the Roman Catholic Church, worldwide, is guilty of, and that going back many hundreds of years. One small group of Vatican prelates who chose to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, wrote a book. It offers an inside account of intrigue, immorality, perversion and corruption within the Vatican. All of the authors’ charges are supported by extensive anecdotal evidence.
The title of the book is: “Shroud of Secrecy: The Story of Corruption within the Vatican”. The short promotional description of the book reads as follows:
“The Story of Corruption Within the Vatican Shroud of Secrecy offers an insider’s account of intrigue, sex, and corruption within the Vatican. It is the first treatise of written protest from within the Church since 1517, when Martin Luther posted his historic 95 theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Written by a small group of Vatican prelates who call themselves the Millenari, its publication breaks a code of silence that has allowed impropriety and hypocrisy within the Roman Catholic Church to flourish.”
I have no knowledge of the individuals involved in the producing of this book nor if they ever left the organisation they exposed as utterly wicked and ungodly, but the unchallengeable contemporary records of history substantiate all the claims ever made of Rome’s degeneracy.
Protestants in Ulster
AND YET THOSE PROFESSING TO BE PROTESTANTS HERE IN ULSTER continue to support those denominations – the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland – which constantly engage in the undoing of the Reformation and reuniting with Popery! What a besotted and blinded people there are in this land!
What of the Roman Catholic people??
We must too upbraid the Roman Catholic people! They know better than any the corruptions of their own ‘church’! They don’t need newspaper exposures! It is common knowledge amongst their ranks!
Look at this astounding headline in the ‘Daily Mail’ of 15th May 2023!
French Catholic priests will be forced to wear scannable QR code so the public can identify if they are a sex offender
Part of the article reads:
“Catholic priests in France will be made to wear traffic-light coded identification tags to allow the public to check whether they may have faced sexual abuse charges.
Cards will feature a QR code, scannable by mobile phone, that will flag a red, orange or green light depending on whether its holder had been stripped of clerical status.
The scheme, announced by the Bishop’s Conference of France on Wednesday, will allow easier identification of priests able to lead mass and hear confessions.”
Was there ever a more blatant but perverse acknowledgement of the corruptions of that religious institution? This announcement was made in the wake of earlier revelations the previous year of 11 former or serving French bishops who had been accused of abuse or had failed to report cases.
The sin is there! That is acknowledged by Rome’s ‘wee badges’! But Rome’s way of dealing with it is akin to the labelling of the ingredients of food products, which some may wish to avoid eating!!!
God’s method of highlighting sin
This is far removed from God’s method of highlighting the true character of sin and immorality and how it must be dealt with amongst any who profess His name!
Please consider these passages of Holy Scripture:
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” Galatians 5:19-21.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting,” Galatians 6:7-8.
“A man that is an heretick (the perversions of priests and nuns emphasise their heretical beliefs) after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself,” Titus 3:10-11.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire,” 2 Peter 2:1-22.
“This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”2 Corinthians 13:1-5.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple,” Romans 16:17-18.
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person,” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread,” 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12.
“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds,” 2 John 1:10-11.
Becoming a true Christian
Dear Roman Catholic, should you read these verses, and I sincerely hope that you do, you will see that severing and segregating from those who violate God’s law is not a sin but rather a holy command repeated many times in the New Testament as part of the witness and teaching of the apostles. James, who is called “the Lord’s brother”, by Paul (Galatians 1:19), says this to us: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world,” James 1:27.
None will dispute how vitally important it is for a professing Christian to “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction”. But James places equal importance upon keeping oneself “unspotted from the world.”
One cannot rub shoulders with Rome’s priests and nuns, contribute to the general upkeep of the Roman Catholic Church and endorse and uphold it by one’s presence at its central functions and ceremonies and not be ‘spotted’ and ‘tainted’ with its immorality and crimes against children!the associations of
There is an old saying here in Ulster which is comical in its terminology but presents a deadly serious point, and it is this: “If you lie down with the dogs, you will rise with the fleas!”
That has been applied innumerable times to the behaviour of those whose business, social and political links we disagree! It can also be applied to the religious associations of those we would dear love to see sever such links, without any intent to insult or mock!
Obedience to the exhortation of James necessitates a withdrawal from the Roman Catholic Church by anyone seeking to please God!
The Church of Christ
The Church of Christ is described in Ephesians 4:25-27. “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Can anyone person say that such a description fits the Roman Catholic Church? Whatever it may claim for itself, its scandalously wicked universal behaviour and that for centuries, indicates that far from being that described in Ephesians 4, its is that revealed in Revelation 17:1-7.
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel?”
Even John was caused to wonder and marvel at what he saw. Yet this was a system of great sin, though so dressed as to conceal that sin and set for an appearance of beauty! Is this not the case also with Romanism? We see it today abusing its own children but she is guilty of more than that over the centuries. She has been guilty of shedding the blood of the the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” That just cannot be denied for there are all too many witnesses who have left their testimonies to be read by all and effective denied by none!
No, Romanism is not the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’. Rather it is a counterfeit and fraudulent institution from which those who would get to heaven must flee! A person becomes a Christian by obeying the Word of God, by hastening to hear and heed its message. That Gospel Word is stated clearly for us by Paul as he preached on Mars Hill in Athens.
“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter,” Acts 17:29-32.
Paul repeated this gospel exhortation when testifying before king Agrippa and telling him of his conversion through the Saviour meeting him on the road to Damascus and his early gospel labours.
“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance,” Acts 26:13-20.
“Works meet (the word means ‘worthy or appropriate to’) for repentance”, simply requires the truly repentant to show their genuineness by (1) confessing their sin to the Lord, (2) turning away from it utterly (3) and seeking out the company of true Bible-believers and walking with them.
Those were the actions of the converts on the Day of Pentecost.
On that day Peter ended his wonderful message with these words and please note the response of the penitent hearers.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers,” Acts 2:36-42.
I would ask no more and dare not ask less, than a similar response to God’s Word from you, dear reader.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
27th January 2024