"In recent years, [Billy] Graham has made an extraordinary ecumenical effort to send people to the churches where they live out their way of life with Christ rather than trying to bring them into his organization or any particular church."
This praise for Graham is from the lips of none other than Roman Catholic priest Ed Vilkauskas, director of evangelization for the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.
The statement was made prior to the most recent Billy Graham Crusade held in Charlotte the last week of September. Quoted in the local Catholic News & Herald, Vilkauskas urged area Catholics to attend the services and volunteer to follow up those who respond to Graham's altar calls. Local Bishop William G. Curlin also endorsed Catholic participation in the Crusade lauding Graham for having "publicly voiced his admiration for the pope."
The News and Herald notes that: "Thousands of people have joined or renewed the Catholic faith as a direct result of their attending past Crusades." A list of the Charlotte churches where counselor training is being held includes St. Gabriel Catholic Church.
This latest "Crusade" is one more piece of evidence that Graham has been the major twentieth century pied piper leading the evangelical world back to Rome.
Today, at the near end of his ministry, the path he took is increasingly clear. Paul's admonition to the Galatians in chapter 5 verse 7 seems appropriate: "Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"
When Graham began in the late 1940s, he is quoted as saying, "The three gravest menaces faced by orthodox Christianity are Communism, Roman Catholicism, and Mohammedanism." At that time he was a small-time tent evangelist holding meetings in Los Angeles.
Suddenly a host of news reporters appeared at his meetings. When he asked why they were there, he was told that he had been "kissed by William Randolph Hearst" who had telegraphed the editors of his nation-wide newspaper chain to "puff Graham."
Banner headlines began attracting thousands to his meetings. At the same time, American Catholic leaders such as Cardinal Cushing and Bishop Fulton Sheen began mentioning Graham favorably in the Catholic media.
In the subsequent 40 years, Graham became known as the national pastor, with open doors to presidents, business magnates, and religious leaders including the pope.
Hundreds of thousands of born-again Christians trace their salvation to Graham's Crusades, radio and TV broadcasts, books and magazines. There is no question that heaven's population will be much enlarged because of his powerful gospel message.
So how did this mixture occur? Why the power brokers of the world anointed Graham in the first place is not clearly recorded, but if they did conspire to use him to further ecumenism the results of their "kiss" have been spectacular.
Priest Vilkauskas issued a strong appeal for volunteers in his parish to join telephone committees, deliver letters of welcome, provide hospitality efforts and assistance to the thousands who will be "coming down the road back home" during the Crusade.
Can Graham be ignorant that "home to Rome" is back to a false Christ, a wafer god named Jesus, and where a pagan goddess has elbowed Jesus aside in the hearts of the people?
Jack Chick concludes in his book Smokescreens: "Yes, beloved, Billy Graham, as much as I love him and hate to say it, I believe was cleverly used as a smokescreen and as a pied piper for the whore of Revelation."