Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 19, 1958

Cardinal Stritch And His Amputated Arm

Paul Foutz, Odessa, Texas

All the various wire services reported in our daily papers on April 28 that Cardinal Samuel Stritch, recently archbishop of Chicago who had just arrived in Rome to accept a high post in the Roman Catholic church, had undergone surgery for the amputation of his right arm. This drastic surgery was necessary due to a blood clot and gangrene in the affected member. What is so amazing about this story is that the Roman church ever allowed it to happen. This operation was necessary because this condition in the cardinal's arm could not be corrected and yet he was in the "holy city," the capitol of Catholicism, and the very shadow of the Vatican where Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII), supposedly and successor of the apostle Peter, said by them to be "prince of the Apostles" rules millions of his people while claiming to exercise all the powers of the papal throne. No church in existence, down through the years and even today, has made more claims as to its miraculous powers to heal the diseased and afflicted. We hear constantly of the thousands of people who are "healed" at such places as Lourdes, France, and after their pilgrimages to such "sacred" spots they leave their crutches and canes. But, if there is such abundant evidence of miraculous cures in Lourdes, why not in Rome, and if such healing is available to the unimportant and unknown, why is such not possible for Cardinal Stritch? I am sure the Roman Catholic church would not say it is because of a lack of faith on his part. All of this religious group would say he is one of their most devout and faithful Catholics. Then it must be due to a lack of healing power on the part of the Roman church — all of the ruling class in Rome, from Pius XII on down through all the hierarchy. This affliction of Mr. Stritch afforded the Roman church one of its greatest opportunities to demonstrate the power it claims to possess to miraculously heal the afflicted, and this is a good time to test the power and ability of those who claim they possess the power and ability of the apostles. We can easily see whether or not they are liars. (Rev. 2:2.)

I am bold to affirm that all the ruling class in the Roman church, including the pope, cannot heal miraculously a briar scratch on the most devout and faithful member they have, including Cardinal Stritch. If they can, then let them demonstrate. After all, the issue and question of miraculous healing comes, primarily, not within the realm of discussion but demonstration. If I said I could jump over a six foot fence people would not be impressed by my discussion what I had done in Tennessee or California or what I claimed I was able to do. I would only have to be taken to a six foot fence and told to jump. That would prove my claims as to my ability and power. Any claim to power that is not capable of demonstration is false and fraudulent and should be exposed. The Roman church, with its so-called successors to the apostles, claiming to possess their miraculous powers, has failed to demonstrate the power they claim to possess on one of their most loyal and faithful servants. So all of their claims are as "sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal." They have been put to the test and found to be liars in their claims. Their loud boasting as to their power is simply "lying wonders" (2 Thess. 2:1-12) by which the gullible are deceived.

But now that Cardinal Stritch has lost his arm, why not this mighty and powerful church, boasting of its miraculous power to heal the afflicted, restore this missing limb? This would really be a "sign" about which there could be no question nor quibble. This would not be some internal malady about which there might be some question or doubt. This would be outward and open for all to see and such a demonstration of miraculous power, characteristic of the first century, would cause thousands to accept the Roman Catholic faith and become members of the Roman church. Multitudes would be convinced that God was with them and confirming their message by the demonstration of divine power. Will they do it? Can they do it? Will they even try? Certainly not, and the ruling class know why they will not. They can no more restore the missing limb than they could heal and restore the cardinal to health and prevent the amputation of his arm. Of course some of them might say (as I have had members of some of the Holiness churches to say) that such an act would be impossible since it would be an act of "creation" and only God can do that. Some of them have denied that such acts of "creation", as restoring missing limbs, were ever performed in New Testament time. But such passages as Matt. 15 prove conclusively that in the miraculous age the "maimed" were healed (vs. 30), and were made whole (vs. 31). But who were the maimed? What is conveyed in that term? It included those with missing limbs such as hands, feet, arms, etc. Jesus said (Matt. 18:8) "If thy hand or thy foot offend thee (causeth thee to stumble) cut them off, and cast them from thee: It is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed (i.e., with ONE hand or foot) rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." Mt. 5:30 says "thy right hand" and speaks of the loss of "one member." So Cardinal Stritch is "maimed' in the scriptural connotation of the term and if the Roman church possessed the powers they claim to possess and that which characterized the miraculous age they could heal or make whole the maimed.

So Cardinal Stritch, as he moves, with his one arm, along the halls and corridors of the Vatican, within easy access of the "papal chair" and the so-called successor of Peter, claimed by this church to be the "prince of the apostles," is convincing and living proof of all the false claims of the Roman church as to her miraculous powers. This man is a demonstration of how powerless is all her ruling class including the pope. It is a tragedy that all the world cannot see and realize this.