Friday, July 31, 2009

Bishop issues warning over 'copycat' church - Text Of Statement

Bishop Ceaser Mazzolari, the Catholic Bishop of Rumbek, in the Southern Sudan, has issued an urgent warning Christians in the region to avoid a breakaway church that is "confusing the minds and hearts of our Christian Faithful."

Bishop Rumbek writes: I am clearly and strongly alerting you, dear Christians, that people who call themselves 'The Reformed Catholic Church' in all truth, are no longer acceptable members of the Catholic Church and you should not follow them. Rather, you should avoid them and their influence on your lives as Christians. They will, indeed, lead you away from the truth and the true faith.

The members of the Reformed Catholic Church have, in fact, abandoned obedience not only to the Pope, but also obedience to the state of priestly celibacy and they are not paying obedience to all of the ten commandments of God, as the Catholic Church teaches them.

In appearance, these false teachers claim to follow the teachings of the Vatican II Council, but that also is not true. They have chosen a stray path away from the Catholic Church, and they are confusing people. These teachers are merely imitating the external ceremonies of the Church and some of its practices, but theirs is a false religion, not the Catholic faith that we know.

The followers of the Reformed Catholic Church are perfect 'copy cats'. Namely, they imitate the prayers, readings and external ceremonies of the Catholic services in such a way that simple people think that they are attending a Catholic Mass or Catholic prayer service. But these rituals are only empty external rites and confusing imitations. Be advised that these are false practices, not Catholic practices. Do not attend such services or you will only become confused.

Their teachings will often criticize the doctrine of the Catholic Church as old and out of date and they will put down the leaders of the church as unable to understand the changing times. That also is false, not the truth to be sought.

These Reformed Catholics will appeal to the struggle of the people as something which the traditional Catholic Church is not able to cope with or resolve. This idea also is entirely false, because the church has been very close to the people and its leaders to obtain peace (CPA) and the needed reconciliation.

In the end, they will try to make simple people become dissatisfied with their traditional Catholic church so that they will join their reformed church, which however is NOT the Catholic Church. In that imitation church any misled person will find him or herself alone and lost in total confusion. Therefore, seek the truth.

Let us be frank and make you aware that these Reformed Catholics are looking for dissatisfied church goers in order to make them victims of confusion and division by sharing their own personal dissatisfaction and emptiness as unfaithful members of their original Christian Church.

Avoid them and their harmful influence! They will misguide you to become bitter with your church as they are bitter, and to disobey the laws of the Church, which they already do, and to loose your precious gift of faith. Loosing your faith, you have lost the most valuable gift that God has ever given you.

My brothers and sisters, if you out of fear or weakness allow them to win you over to their side, you will soon find yourselves alone, empty and even more dissatisfied. They will have taught you not to listen to the truth, but only to falsehood and you will be in total darkness and confusion. We today call you to Seek the Truth and the Truth is only found in Christ and in the Church which He founded.

In all reality, the fake face and the falsehood of the members of the Reformed Catholic Church personifies them as the devil roaming around in our days, trying to lead people astray from the faith. In some way, they are also persecuting the Church and the Christian faithful. Today in 2009, the words of St Peter have to be listened to once again: 'the Devil, like a roaring lion, is moving about seeking someone to devour,? and so St. Peter says 'resist steadfastly in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same suffering,' (2 Peter 5:8-9). Let us make our own the words of St. Peter in our days.

Once again, today, the words of St Paul to Timothy also are coming true, and I address them to you, the Christians of Southern Sudan, 'for the time will come (and it has indeed come) when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but, following their own desires and never-satisfied curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth, and will be diverted to false teaching,' (2 Timothy 4:3-5). And so St Paul cries out, and I repeat his words to you, 'but you be self-possessed in all circumstances. Put up with hardship. Perform the work of evangelists. Fulfill your ministry,' (2 Timothy 4: 3-5).

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