THOUSANDS OF WINDOW PLACARDS IN CHICAGO PROCLAIM THAT CATHOLICISM AND PROTESTANTISM ARE SEPARATE RELIGIONS

By Thomas Williamson

 


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Reproduced below is a window placard that is a familiar sight in Hispanic neighborhoods of Chicago. The householders who place these signs in their front windows are stating that they are Catholics, and that they do not want to receive any literature from Protestants, since they regard the Protestant faith as a false, deluded religion that is quite distinct and different from their own faith.

These thousands of placards in the city of Chicago demonstrate that Catholics do not believe their own propaganda, which has been swallowed by so many evangelical Protestant leaders, about how Catholics should be regarded as one in the faith with Protestants.

"The Catholic Church has changed," it is said. "Catholic priests are now preaching the true gospel of salvation by faith alone to their people. If so, why do the Catholic priests dread the thought that their people will receive at their front doors a Protestant gospel tract containing that simple Biblical message of salvation by faith?

The Evangelical-Catholic Accord of 1994, signed by Charles Colson and other respected leaders, agreed that Catholics are to be regarded as Christians and that there is no need to evangelize them, since they are of the same faith as we are. If so, why is Chicago in 1997 still plastered with these signs that boldly proclaim that Catholics are not of the same faith that we are?

Clearly, this wonderful, brotherly acceptance between Catholics and Evangelicals is a one-way street. We accept them as brothers and participate in ecumenical projects with them, while they reject us and teach their people that we are heretics.

This charming custom of the anti-Protestant placards was originated in Mexico City in November, 1944 in response to a call issued by Archbishop Luis Maria Martinez, calling upon all good Catholics to defend the faith against the menace of Protestantism. In 1988 Protestant missionary John Pendleton reported that many of these placards had appeared in the city of Zacatecas, Mexico. He was dismayed when I wrote to him to inform him that Chicago was filled with such placards also, most of them in Spanish. (There is also an English version, which reads "We are Catholics, no literature of other religions needed." Obviously, they feel that evangelical Christianity is another religion. Chuck Colson, are you listening?)

Here is a translation of the most commonly used Spanish placard: "This home is Catholic. We do not accept Protestant propaganda nor that of the other sects. Long live Christ the King! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of God!"

"Long live Christ the King" was the battle cry of the Cristero rebels of 1926-1929, who fought to overthrow the Mexican government in a terrible revolt that claimed as many as 80,000 lives. The rebels, who were simple, landless peasants motivated by a deep Catholic faith, were led by their priests as they burned schools, murdered teachers, and blew up a passenger train on the Guadalajara route. The Vatican and Catholic hierarchy do not appear to have endorsed the rebellion. However, American Catholics lobbied the U.S. government to intervene on the side of the rebels, a request that President Calvin Coolidge refused.

The Virgin of Guadalupe, who is pictured on the placard, refers to the alleged appearance of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, a poverty-stricken Indian peasant, in 1531. Devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe is so strong in Mexico that it is said that in Mexico today, God is a woman.

Of the thousands of apparitions of the Virgin Mary over the last 1900 years, the Catholic Church has officially authenticated only seven such appearances, including that of the Virgin of Guadalupe. But did she really appear?

The Bible answer to that question is that the Blessed Virgin Mary could not have possibly appeared to Juan Diego or anyone else. According to Ecclesiastes 9:6, the dead no longer have any portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.

The term for contact with the dead is necromancy, and it is forbidden in the Bible, Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, Deuteronomy 18:11-12, Isaiah 8:19. Since the Catholics, by their own admission, claim to have made contact with the Virgin Mary on at least seven occasions (not to mention the numerous messages from dead saints,) this may give us all the more reason to agree with our Catholic friends that their religion and ours are totally different. They claim contact with the dead, and we do not.

In light of the ubiquitous anti-Protestant placards of Chicago, it is time for those of us who have recognized the Catholics as Christians, and have participated with them in ecumenical "evangelistic" projects, to admit that we have been duped. It is wishful thinking for us to pretend that we are one in the spirit when the Catholics themselves loudly insist that it is not true, and that our evangelical gospel literature is something to be avoided like the plague.

Maybe someday the Catholic Church will change. Perhaps the placards rejecting the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ will come down, and the priests will dismantle their system of daily masses in which they supplement what they regard as the insufficient sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. It hasn't happened yet - at least, not in Chicago.

 

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