Skip to comments.Billy Graham: Pope Was 'Evangelist'
Posted on 04/02/2005 6:53:28 PM PST by wagglebee
The Reverend Billy Graham issued the following statement Saturday:
"Pope John Paul II was unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years. His extraordinary gifts, his strong Catholic faith, and his experience of human tyranny and suffering in his native Poland all shaped him, and yet he was respected by men and women from every conceivable background across the world. He was truly one of those rare individuals whose legacy will endure long after he has gone.
"It was my privilege to meet with him at the Vatican on various occasions, and I will always remember his personal warmth to me and his deep interest in our ministry. In his own way, he saw himself as an evangelist, traveling far more than any other Pope to rally the faithful and call non-believers to commitment. He was convinced that the complex problems of our world are ultimately moral and spiritual in nature, and only Christ can set us free from the shackles of sin and greed and violence. His courage and perseverance in the face of advancing age and illness were an inspiration to millions - including me.
"I have been invited to attend the funeral service for Pope John Paul II, but I will not be able to go for health reasons. I have asked a member of my family and one of my long-time associates to represent me at that service. "May his death remind each of us that some day we too must die and enter into God's presence -- and may we each commit ourselves afresh to Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation."
This Catholic thanks Billy Graham for his kind words and prays for him in his time of suffering.
This is the first time I've heard this. If true, it is out of sync with biblical teachings.
I believe he spoke about it in his recent autobiography.
It is about personally, individually saying to Jesus, "I accept the sacrifice you made for me. I accept you as the leader of my life." Living a transformed life is what Jesus wants. And just like you do not become a football player just because you sit in the stands, you must get up and get into the game yourself.
This Baptist truely believes that this Pope felt the same way. That is why he went directly to all the people.
I do not mean to stand up an arguement (in fact I am heading to bed). I think John Paul II would like to add to all the commentary this week that he is not the source of the greatness we celebrate in his life. He was a servant that allowed God to achieve great things through him. This is what I saw in this beloved servant of Christ.
That is "start up an argument". Time for bed.
Can't disagree with a word of what he said.
Fifty years ago, such words from an evangelical leader would have been nigh unthinkable. We've made some progress, in no small thanks to the Holy Father. And Billy Graham.
But John Paul II did his best to make up for lost time. :-)
Let me offer this: On the 500 anniversary of Luther tacking his 99 Thesis on the doors of Wurtinberg Cathedal (please forgive my factual errors, I am writing from memory), the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church of Germany entered into an agreement saying:
1. We are saved by faith alone.
2. Our good works are a sign of our joy for being saved.
3. We are in agreement on what is most important.
I would add to this, being of the Messianic Jewish persuasion, that to inquire too sharply as to the nature of God is to ask the impossible. But, this we can say, God, who in his majesty cannot be fully known to the human mind, manifested himself in the person of his son, Jesus, Yeshua. By this, which is the Good News, we are able to better know him and be assured of his love for us.
He has bridged gaps on both sides...towards both Protestants and Jews...
Given the poor state of catechesis in many American Catholic churches, I am not sure I can totally blame you.
Many a time I have met a Southern Baptist who says "I used to be a Catholic, and then I was saved." I lament their loss from the Church, but it is also clear that in many cases the church they went to was not evangelizing them.
We have a ways to go in cleaning up the mess of the last four decades. Unfortunately our dissenters, unlike yours, tend to stick around. :-)
Probably an oversight by the way, but you no doubt would add Mother Theresa to your list.
Just how old is Billy Graham? Karol led a religious life since he was a teenager when he was called to God. He wasn't leading a life of Christ only for the last 26 years!
As JPII changed attitudes toward Jews, One of the things Billy has done is to spark a re-evaluation among Conservative Protestants of the Catholic Church. The Baptist church I grew up in during the 50's was very anti-Catholic ("whore of Rome" was a term I heard from the pulpit more than once). Today that same church is still very conservatively evangelical, but this kind of talk is no longer heard, and wouldn't be tolerated.
It's helped a lot that JPII frequently speaks openly of Jesus Christ in terms of personal faith (though most of us suffer near-total disconect with the continuing heavy Marian "Mother-of-God" emphasis).
Graham actually entered ministry before the Holy Father as I understand it - Wojtyla was not ordained until 1946 (in fairness, he would have been ordained sooner save that he was dodging Nazis). Graham began preaching in the 30's.
We can say both men devoted pretty much their whole adult lives to Christ. The chief difference is that much of Wojtyla's early ministry was confined to theological education and ministry in the Krakow archdiocese. Graham was not limited by any geographical boundaries.
That's just a reflection of the ecclesial differences between the Catholic and Baptist traditions.
I think Kirkwood was referring to Graham as globe-trotting evangelist, which began around 1948. John Paul's travels didn't begin until almost 30 years later.
Billy Graham , nice to hear him on Larry King and talk about his friendship to our beautiful John Paul 11.Billy Graham ,loved by Catholics.
Billy is a holy man and a great evangelist. A pioneer. God bless him in his struggle; may he and the Holy Father rest together in Heaven...
Dr. graham is 80 something, I believe.
I think I'd have to see exact quotes by Graham to get the full context of anything he may have said about Catholic teachings. I did a bit of googling but the most specific thing I found was this:
Graham:I'm not in disagreement with anything he said there.
The primary way of communicating is to live the life, let people see that you're living what you proclaim.... [comments on his friendship and conversations with Fulton Sheen] I lost a very dear friend, and since that time, the whole relationship between me and my work, and you and your work, and the Roman Catholic Church has changed. They open their arms to welcome us and we have the support of the Catholic Church almost everywhere we go. And I think that we must come to the place where we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, not on what denomination or what church or what group we belong to.