Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 22, 1958

Non-Catholic Marriages

J. Lee Hines, Garland, Texas

Some of us have been shouting from the housetop, for years, that the Roman Catholic Church considers non-Catholic marriages without divine sanction; but this has been declared to be blasphemous, and even some Protestants and not a few members of the Lord's churches, join in the chorus. Here comes from Italy a recent story: "Mrs. Loriana Bellandi stands by sickbed of her husband, Mario, and holds their child . . . . the Bishop 'defamed' them." Here is produced a picture of Mrs. Bellandi holding her child by the bedside of Mr. Bellandi. Next there is a picture of "Msgr. Pietro Fiordelli, bishop of Prato, Italy" blessing a group of persons Saturday after being convicted on charges of defaming an Italian couple who had refused a church wedding.

Mrs. Bellandi is a Catholic and Mr. Bellandi is a Communist, — they had a civil ceremony, and because of this the bishop called them, "public sinners," which to us means Adulterers. The Bellandi's brought suit in the civil court against bishop Pietro Fiordelli in Florence and the court found the bishop guilty of "defamation." This decision displeased Pope Pius and to show his displeasure, he cancels his anniversary rites, on account of "the present condition of bitterness, sadness and outrage" over the conviction of a bishop in an Italian court. The AP continues: "It demonstrated dramatically the Pope's and the Roman Catholic Church's concern over the conviction Saturday (March 1, 1958) by a Florence court of the bishop Prato." Of course civil marriages are legal in Italy, and have been since the United States and Italy signed a treaty on Religious Freedom.

Italy is trying to become free from Roman Catholic domination in civil affairs; but the Vatican State through her head is continually insulting the rest of us, charging our grandparents with living in adultery "Public sinners" and their children as illegitimate; yet it is very difficult to get the American people to see this. The Roman Catholic Church, today, is composed of unbaptized people, who were brought into this world, because the parents feared to practice birth control, so this brood of little fellows were separated from the rest of the children by sending them off to Catholic schools, where they could be fed Roman Catholic food under the threat of excommunication and the punishment in the penal fire of Hell unless the knee bows and the tongue confesses sin and crime.

Italy is being shaken by Communism — which it seems to me will in the near future destroy Papal Rome.

The United States is being shaken at its very foundation, by the Roman Catholic religion. Catholics control the Radio, TV, newspapers, not a few magazines. Its poison is being injected into the political parties; the army and navy along with the air force is being colored with this religious hue. Why, even in baseball, basketball. boxing and other sports, you see the sign of the cross and the thing is being brought into some churches of Christ, for instance there is a cross shining from the top of the Skillman Avenue church of Christ building, Dallas.

Yes, Roman Catholics claim that no marriage is acceptable to God except those sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, and every Catholic married to a non-Catholic by any other than a Catholic, is living in adultery. This couple "are public sinners." I challenge them to deny this in open debate.