In this and successive articles, the Shepherd will prove that Catholicism and Islam are not only cults, but one and the same cult.
Friend or Foe?
What might these old foes have to marry. At first glance, the two faiths appear to be irreconcilable, but under close inspection, there is not much to differentiate between them. These latent similarities may be in some ways trivial, however stripped bare of the religiosity and façade, the common denominator is totalitarianism . You see, those who proclaim to be vessels guided by the divine are suspiciously consumed by very earthly ambitions.
The Vatican has shown that it will not allow anything as paltry as doctrine and ritual to undo potential gains for Mother Church. Back in 1986, Pope John II felt the urge to arrange a World Day of Prayer for Peace (ongoing till 2011) - bringing together 160 religious leaders to petition a deity of little or no commonality. Among these were Muslim clerics, Rabbis, Fire worshippers, Zoroastrians, African animists, Hindu's, etc.
The Popes have never much bothered with Christ's announcement: 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me. ' But, then again, they are making this up as they go along.
The ties that bind run deep, so it's no wonder Rome has reached out to Islam for ecumenical dialogue. A 1994 Vatican publication, Recognize the Spiritual Bonds Which Unite Us: 16 Years of Christian-Muslim Dialogue is one such overture. In Brussels, 1985, Pope John II sounded:
"Christians and Moslems, we meet one another in faith in the one God ... [and] strive to put into practice ... the teaching of our respective holy books." .
More noise aired to a Catholic audience in Turkey (John Paul II):
"I wonder if it is now urgent, precisely today when Christians and Muslims have entered a new period of history, to recognize and develop the spiritual bonds that unite us."
Personal Choice usurped
If you happen to be shopping for a new religion, there are now many varieties to choose from, each catering to a range of personality types. Among these, Islam is perhaps the fastest growing and second only to wider Christianity in number. Islam offers to the world, a sort of men's club; combining the maximum benefits of gangsterism with the maximum benefits of religious license.
The Catholic church has for now, changed her tactics. Not forgetting that the Catholic church has lost much of it's power in recent history to the reformation and the rise of secularism. Islam is also excellent for ones self esteem and overall self-worth.
On profession of the creed shahada - there is no God but Allah and Mohammed his prophet, one is instantly and officially declared superior and set apart by Allah from undesirables; its effects are immediately felt.
Additionally one attends a Mosque every week, where this exalted status above various underlings is hailed vehemently by microphone and spitting hatred spewed energetically in tandem.
The Catholic church proclaims to be the one true church, apart from which there is no salvation. The Convert's Catechism reads:
I recognize the Holy Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church as the mother and teacher of all...and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Christ. ...This same Catholic Faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess... until the last breath of life.... '
If by way of fortune, one is born into a Muslim family, then there is no appeal, by your first breath your religion and identity is sealed.
You may also be one of the millions of babies baptized into Catholicism each year. The process of conversion is regulated by Mother church by what it deems to be sacraments. The first sacrament is Baptism.
our Lord Jesus Christ...merited for us justification by His...[death upon] the cross...[but] the instrumental cause [of justification] is the sacrament of baptism...without which no man was ever justified...(p. 33). If anyone says that baptism...is not necessary for salvation...or denies that infants newly born...are to be baptized...for the remission of sins...let him be anathema (eternally damned) (pp. 53,20); For by baptism we put on Christ and are made in Him an entirely new creature, receiving full and complete remission of all sins....(p. 90).
Hence we have the incremental propagation of a faith by the unction of a delivered fetus. The tactic - get them young, with the mind in its infancy and most malleable state, the toll of parental programming and indoctrination churns another zealot. (End Part 1)