John Hagee has issued a statement rejecting the mounting attempts by Democrats and liberals to paint him as anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic. In particular, he is taking on the claim that he was talking about the Catholic Church when he spoke of the “great whore” of Revelations.
According to Hagee, he was “referring to the apostate church, namely those Christians who embrace the false cult system of Jew-hatred and anti-Semitism.”
Here’s the full statement:
Statement of Pastor John Hagee
in response to allegations of anti-Catholicism
I have always had great love for Catholic people and great respect for the Catholic Church. My wife comes from a Catholic family and millions of my viewers are Catholics. I am shocked and saddened to learn of the mischaracterization of my views on Catholics that has spread while I spent the weekend celebrating the 50th anniversary of my entry into the ministry with family and friends.
Throughout my career I have been a strong critic of Christian anti-Semitism. But any fair review of my record will demonstrate that I have consistently criticized all Christians – Protestant and Catholic alike – for the sin of anti-Semitism. In fact I rarely address this topic without castigating the founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, for the horrendous anti-Semitism he spouted towards the end of his career. It is a bitter irony that in my zeal to hold my fellow Christians accountable for our past anti-Semitism, I now find myself compared to an anti-Semite.
I’ve learned that some have accused me of referring to the Catholic Church as the “great whore” of Revelations. This is a serious misinterpretation of my words. When I refer to the “great whore,” I am referring to the apostate church, namely those Christians who embrace the false cult system of Jew-hatred and anti-Semitism. When I condemn anti-Semitic Christians – Protestant and Catholics alike – for being apostates, I am in no way referring to those Protestants and Catholics who have rejected this sinful belief. On the contrary, I have repeatedly praised the “righteous works” of Catholics such as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict in rejecting anti-Semitism and taking historic steps to reconcile with the Jewish people.
To call me “anti-Catholic” makes about as much sense as calling me “anti-Protestant.” I am, most assuredly, neither.