by Rick Jones
On June 26, 2001, at a Beatification Mass at the Lviv Hippodrome in Lviv, Ukraine, Pope John Paul II "beatified" two Catholics, promoting them to the status of "blessed," one step from "sainthood." This illustrates a diabolical technique Rome repeatedly uses to keep a billion Catholics in bondage to their religion. Here's how it works.
The New Testament clearly teaches that all Christians are saints. (See Acts 9:13,32,41; 26:10; Rom. 8:27; 12:13; 15:25,31; 16:2,15; 1 Cor. 6:1,2; 14:33; 16:1,15. etc.) But while God delights in making things simple, Rome works diligently to make things complicated. For example, here are a few bare-bones basics on becoming a Catholic "saint." Five years after your death, if you were considered "holy," a bishop investigates your life for evidence of "heroic virtue," earning you the title "Servant of God."
Next, a panel of theologians at the Vatican examines your life, as do the cardinals of the "Congregation for the Causes of Saints." Upon their approval, the pope proclaims you "venerable."
Here's where it gets really sticky.
The next step is "beatification." To be "beatified" at least one miracle must have taken place after your death and as a result of a specific petition to you. Catholicism says that if such a miracle occurs, it proves you are in heaven and can intercede on behalf of others (See Rom. 8:26-27).
Still with me
Good. To become a "saint" a second miracle is required, attributed to your intercession, but having occurred after your "beatification." Once you are declared a "saint," people can pray to you because you supposedly have "special powers." Even relics of you have the power to produce a desired effect.
It gets even deeper.
The pope elevates some "saints" to "patron saints," making them even more powerful than regular "saints." His decisions in such matters are supposedly infallible. That's interesting since the current pope recently "beatified" former pope Pius IX (1846-1878), who proclaimed the right of the Catholic church to suppress heresy (rejecting unbiblical Catholic doctrine) by force. Pius IX was also one of the worst anti-Semites ever, openly referring to Jews as "dogs."
Remember Saint Christopher? For hundreds of years, untold millions of Catholics carried idols of him. They prayed to him, trusting that he (and graven images of him) would protect them during their travels. But in 1969 the Catholic church discovered there was little proof that many popular "saints," including Christopher, ever existed. So they dropped him, sort of.
Amazingly, thirty two years after this embarrassing admission, the Catholic religion is still raking in cash selling idols of a non-existent person globally on the internet.
Why don't Catholics challenge these unbiblical traditions? One reason is because the traditions are so complex. Even these steps to "sainthood" are super condensed and ultra simplified. An entire volume would be needed to explain it fully.
Many past war heroes used the tactic, "Divide and conquer." Rome's mantra is "Confuse and conquer." When researching for my book "Understanding Roman Catholicism," I witnessed this tactic repeatedly. While Bible preaching pastors strive to "keep it simple," Rome prefers to "keep it complicated."
To reach these confused and blinded Catholics, we must learn why their foundational doctrines are unbiblical. Then we can cut through all the layers of traditions and help them see that their core doctrines contradict God's Word. Exposing endless traditions without crumbling the foundation is useless. But destroy the foundations, and all the traditions come tumbling down.