Remember Gerry Matatics? He was the one-time PCA pastor who made a name for himself by converting to Catholicism. Matatics used to agree with the Westminster Confession that the Pope was “that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God” (WCF 25.6).
That, however, was back in the bad old days when Matatics was still a Presbyterian minister. That was long before he began his spiritual pilgrimage—before he made his way across the Tiber to the true church.
But having converted to Roman Catholicism, Matatics has gone all the way from believing that the Pope is the Antichrist to believing that the Pope is…the Antichrist.
Well, maybe not all of them. But John XXIII, Paul VI, John-Paul II, and Benedict XVI—for starters.
I don’t know what he thinks of Pius XII, who got the ball rolling on higher criticism.
He cites 2 Thes 2 as a prooftext for this dubious distinction—which just so happens to be a prooftext supplied by the Westminster Divines as well.
Citing the “prophetic” words of the late Archbishop Sheen, this is how Matatics describes the present state of the Catholic Church:
“Satan will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”
His high calling is now to save the papacy from the Pope.
Such is the strange odyssey of Gerry Matatics, who converted to a mirage, a simulacrum of “authentic” Catholicism, buried beneath the edifice of Vatican II.
Our Mission, and Archbishop Sheen's Prophecy
The mission of this apostolate, Biblical Foundations International, is two-fold:
1) To demonstrate the Biblical foundations of the Catholic Faith, in order to vindicate authentic Catholicism, not Protestantism, as the real "Bible-believing Christianity," and to expose the varieties of Protestantism as man-made frauds.
2) To equally expose the "neo-Catholicism" that has taken over the structures of the Catholic establishment since the Second Vatican Council as being a counterfeit Catholicism, whose radical departures from traditional Catholic teaching, worship, and life have over the last forty years (a biblical "generation") successfully robbed millions of Catholics of the faith of their fathers.
This second aspect of our apostolate is no less Biblically based than the first. Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us in Sacred Scripture of a spiritual seduction in the last days involving the appearance of "the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place" (St. Matthew 24:15) -- i.e., something abominable or abhorrent (in the eyes of God) that would make the Church desolate (again, in the eyes of God; outwardly, the Church might seem to be as populated as ever) placed right in the very heart of the Church. In this same passage our Lord also warned that false teaching would be so pervasive and potent, this counterfeit Catholicism so cunning and clever, that, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived (St. Matthew 24:4, 11, 22, 24). The result of these two factors -- the abomination of desolation, the near-universal acceptance of pseudo-Catholic doctrine -- would be, according to Our Lord Himself, that, when He does finally return, He will hardly find anyone still holding to the true Faith (St. Luke 18:8). St. Paul likewise speaks of these same two factors when he speaks of the unprecedented apostasy of the last days prior to the return of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:3-11), which will successfully claim the souls of all those who do not love the truth above every other consideration (verses 10-11).
Many neo-Catholics of our day dismiss this as "extreme traditionalism," but they forget (or perhaps, in their "extreme ignorance," never knew) that, for example, the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, for whom many of them profess a great reverence, predicted the same thing, long before the current crisis:
"He [Satan] will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. . . .But the twentieth century will join the counterchurch because it claims to be infallible when its visible head speaks ex cathedra" (Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill,1948, pp. 24-25, emphasis mine).