The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Is the Pope Catholic?

Pope Francis

“Is the Pope Catholic?”

That used to be the go-to rhetorical question to drive home a point that was self-evident and obvious beyond doubt.

But the current Pope has upended that age-old axiom by disregarding centuries of Catholic teachings and doctrine in a head-long rush toward progressivism and inclusivity. Many Catholics who cling to the traditional creeds of Catholicism have wondered out loud if this Pope is, in fact, Catholic.

Pope Francis’s disregard of Church doctrine has not always been overt. Sometimes he merely chooses to muddle the position of the Church in an effort to nudge the laity toward the Left. For instance, until recently, the Pope did not outwardly sanction same-sex marriage, but he has been eager to incorporate those who believe in and practice unbiblical forms of sexual union. In December 2023, he openly endorsed that which Catholic doctrine declares is “objectively disordered”—meaning blatantly sinful. Similarly, he has not openly endorsed transgenderism, but he has emphasized tolerance and inclusivity instead of sounding a clear voice to denounce the degradation of men and women as God’s image bearers.

No one who remains in Him sins continually; no one who sins continually has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin continually, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:6-9)

All of those confusions endorse sin, but Francis has also undermined the message of the Gospel: that without Christ all of us are doomed. He recently said that he hopes Hell is empty—giving credence to the false narrative that God will wink at sin, declining to condemn anyone. There is a reason Jesus spoke more about Hell than Heaven. It is a real place, and the road to that infernal, eternal destination is wider than the narrow Way to Heaven.

But I’m Not Catholic

Many Evangelical Christians are quick to dismiss the shift in Catholic hierarchal teaching, reasoning that since they do not recognize the Pope’s authority, he has no impact on them or their faith. Such an attitude ignores the moral pressure that the Catholic Church has wielded on matters that Evangelical Christians wholeheartedly agree on—and the perception of the unchurched world.

For example, before most Evangelicals became champions of life and human dignity for both the unborn and the aged, Catholic scholars and activists were on the front lines calling on our society to return to a morally sane position. It is not insignificant that the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade were all Catholic jurists—trained to respect life as well as the original intent and text of the Constitution. Catholic institutions have traditionally been, well, much more traditional, and can pull from centuries of Catholic reasoning in advocating moral law.

In addition, many Evangelical Christians simply do not realize that the world at large has no understanding of the doctrinal differences between various denominations, let alone Catholic and Protestant (or Orthodox or Coptic or Armenian) Christianity. This was driven home to me when I began leading pilgrimage groups to Israel. It was obvious that the average Israeli Jew made no distinction between various Christian persuasions and denominations. (Having said that, I have also noted a marked shift in Jewish attitudes toward Evangelical Christians because they have come to realize that Evangelical Christians really do love the Jewish people.)

Certainly there are huge and insurmountable disagreements between Evangelicals and Catholicism. I am in no way advocating for a mushy ecumenicalism. But if the Catholic Church leaves the battlefield on many of the hot-button issues roiling our own society, the momentum will inevitably shift to the Liberals and secularists. On many issues, we have gladly fought alongside our Catholic friends for many years. But if the Pope withdraws Catholic support on those issues, we will be further isolated.

Can the Lord embolden us even as our numbers dwindle? Certainly! Gideon’s experience alone demonstrates that God does not need a great army to attain victory. But as He continues to lower the hedge of protection around America—and much of the rest of the world as well—due to unchecked rebellion and flaunted wickedness (see Romans 1), the pace of degradation only accelerates.

Many prophetic scholars have wondered about the role of the Roman Catholic Pope in the End Times. Some have speculated that he will be a figure in the Antichrist-False Prophet alliance that promotes the final, false one-world religion. Given Pope Francis’s muddled acquiescence to moral relativism and blithe tolerance of that which Scripture decries as sin, the slide into an anything-goes religiosity is accelerating before our eyes.

This combination of unbiblical heresy and apostasy (and, I know, there has been a lot of that in official Catholic doctrines for centuries) is yet another sign that we are in the season of the Lord’s return. When Christ breaks from the heavens, your salvation will not depend on whether you’ve followed the confusing and extra-biblical (which is to say, Pope-defined) progression of Catholic doctrine, but whether you’ve put your trust in Jesus Christ.

The question we will all answer when we stand before the throne is not whether the Pope is Catholic, but whether we are Christians. I pray your answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes!”

And, I pray that Jesus does not say of any of us who claim to follow Him but dabbled with deception, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

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Tim Moore

Colonel Tim Moore serves as the Director and Senior Evangelist of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He leads pilgrimages to Israel and is the host of the television program Christ in Prophecy.

2 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • I’m a Catholic but this is not the first time I’ve started to have real second thoughts about this Pope. There was the episode while he was in Canada when he visited an indigenous tribe – which was certainly OK – but then took part in what was a pagan native ritual in which he submitted to being “smudged” I believe honoring their spirits. This was followed by the incident in which Representative Nancy Pelosi and her husband were refused Holy Communion by their Bishop out in California and then jumped the chain of command and flew to Rome where the Pope granted them the sacrament despite her militant stance on abortion. Like everyone I’ve had doubts about certain doctrines and even our own denomination but never before have I witnessed a Pope who seems to have such disregard for centuries old doctrine and the teachings of Christ. I continue to pray for him.


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