John Hagee is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. Best known for his End-Time writing, Hagee is committed to bringing evangelical Protestants and Jews together. He is also committed to slandering the Catholic Church.
Hagee is no stranger to the Catholic League—we’ve been tracking his bigotry for some time. But in his latest book, which is a revised and updated account, Jerusalem Countdown, he goes on the attack once again. Though most of his rantings in this book are directed at Muslims, he just can’t help but take another shot at Catholicism. In one chapter, “Centuries of Mistreatment,” he misrepresents the history of the Catholic Church so badly that it would be hard for any anti-Catholic bigot to beat.
Here’s a sample of Hagee’s idea of history:
- “Anti-Semitism in Christianity began with the statements of the early church fathers, including Eusebius, Cyril, Chrysostom, Augustine, Origen, Justin, and Jerome …. This poisonous stream of venom came from the mouths of spiritual leaders to virtually illiterate congregants, sitting benignly in their pews, listening to their pastors. They labeled the Jews as ‘the Christ killers, plague carriers, demons, children of the devil, bloodthirsty pagans who look for an innocent child during the Easter week to drink his blood, money hungry Shylocks, who are deceitful as Judas was relentless.'”
- “The Roman Catholic Church, which was supposed to carry the light of the gospel, plunged the world into the Dark Ages…. The Crusaders were a motley mob of thieves, rapists, robbers, and murderers whose sins had been forgiven by the pope in advance of the Crusade ….The brutal truth is that the Crusades were military campaigns of the Roman Catholic Church to gain control of Jerusalem from the Muslims and to punish the Jews as the alleged Christ killers on the road to and from Jerusalem.”
- “The Spanish Inquisition was perhaps the most cynical plot in the black history of Catholicism, aimed at expropriating the property of wealthy Jews and converts in Spain for the benefit of the royal court and the Roman Catholic Church.”
- “Adolf Hitler attended a Catholic school as a child and heard all the fiery anti-Semitic rantings from Chrysostom to Martin Luther. When Hitler became a global demonic monster, the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII never, ever slightly criticized him. Pope Pius XII, called by historians ‘Hitler’s Pope,’ joined Hitler in the infamous Concordat of Collaboration, which turned the youth of Germany over to Nazism, and the churches became the stage background for the bloodthirsty cry, ‘Pereat Judea’…. In all of his [Hitler’s] years of absolute brutality, he was never denounced or even scolded by Pope Pius XII or any Catholic leader in the world. To those Christians who believe that Jewish hearts will be warmed by the sight of the cross, please be informed—to them it’s an electric chair.”
So there you have it—the history of the Catholic Church as seen through the eyes of one of the most popular and influential evangelical leaders today. If you would like to write him a letter, send it to John Hagee Ministries, P.O. Box 1400, San Antonio, TX 78295-1400.
Just so our members understand how the Catholic League sees things, we do not object to those Protestants who express strong disagreement with the teachings of the Catholic Church. As long as the debate is civil, that is all that matters.
But when someone clearly distorts Catholic teachings, or misrepresents its history, that is a different matter altogether. Tone matters as well, and Hagee’s tone is nothing but derisive.