Friday, October 25, 2013

25 years ago: Ian Paisley "renounces" Pope John Paul II

And as for the Pope, I refuse him, as Christ's enemy, and antichrist, with all his false doctrine. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1532-1556, moments before his execution by burning at the stake, March 21, 1556. Cited by John Foxe in Actes and Monuments (Foxe's Book of Martyrs) (1563).

I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago: On October 11, 1988, Pope John Paul II addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, but was interrupted by Rev. Ian Paisley, MEP from Northern Ireland, who gave the pope the reception he so richly deserved, shouting, "I renounce you as Christ's enemy and antichrist, with all your false doctrine..."

Mr. Paisley was physically attacked and ejected from the House, despite the fact that according to the rules of the Parliament he had every right to protest as he did, and Lord Plumb, President of the European Parliament, had no right to silence him or permit the attacks upon him. Mr. Paisley's protest, which received media coverage around the world, encouraged the Protestant minority populations in countries dominated by Roman Catholicism. The incident offered a glimpse into the future--and past--of a Europe dominated by the Roman Catholic Church, and of that church's tolerance of opposition. It's also worth noting that Mr. Paisley's attitude toward the pope is considerably different from that of Billy Graham, who wrote a glowing foreword in a special issue of Life magazine that was a tribute to John Paul II after his death in 2005.

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