Catholics may know preacher Jimmy Swaggart from previous accusations of anti-Catholicism directed at him. In 1983, two Atlanta television stations dropped his show after the Atlanta archdiocese complained that the evangelical preacher was slandering priests. The Associated Press reported in 1984 that Swaggart’s show, in addition to being dropped in Atlanta, was also dropped in Boston. In a 1982 article titled “A Letter to My Catholic Friends,” published in Swaggart’s magazine The Evangelist, Swaggart wrote, “I maintain that the Catholic superstructure and organization is not really a Christian organization. Its claims are false.”
More than 20 years later, some things never change. The Evangelist has been printing a series of articles titled “Catholicism: A Modern Babylon.” Jimmy’s wife, Frances Swaggart, writes the series. In the latest installment, which appears in the September issue of the magazine, Mrs. Swaggart writes that the Catholic Church’s hierarchy is “outside the Biblical model,” “Church law is a roadblock to the Cross,” and that Pope Stephen claimed St. Peter descended from Heaven to deliver a handwritten letter. In the letter, St. Peter asks of aid for the Roman people. The article claims Pope Stephen then delivered the letter to the Frankish king Pepin. The supposed letter “from Peter” is included in the article. The article also compares St. Peter’s appearance to “the countless apparitions of Mary and her messages from Heaven that people follow all across the world today! What’s next?—UFOs and messages from aliens?”
In the May issue of The Evangelist, Frances Swaggart writes that “to this day, Mary-worship has not only been condoned by the Catholic Church, it has become one of her most predominantly practiced doctrines.” Attacking the Church’s beliefs in the April issue, Mrs. Swaggart writes, “‘Purgatory’ has undoubtedly provided the Catholic Church with a very effectual means to rake heaping piles of money into its coffers.” We could go on with the many slanderous statements in this series of articles, but there is not enough room to recount them all.
The article in the September issue of The Evangelist appears to be part 15 of an ongoing series about Catholicism. We wonder how people who call themselves Christian can publish anti-Catholic nonsense such as this. Such slander does show that bigotry can come from all sides, but it must never be tolerated.