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“Rick Warren and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy”
by Roger Oakland   
May 28th, 2014

Some who have read the previous four parts to this series dealing with Rick Warren’s interview with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN may still be asking the question: Why would Understand The Times spend so much time and energy on this topic? What is wrong with “America’s Pastor” expressing his support for the Roman Catholic Church and many of their beliefs and practices?

The answer is simple. Bible-believing Christians are called to “contend for the faith”. When a Christian leader publically makes statements or endorsements by saying or doing things that contradict the Bible, the leader needs to be addressed in a public manner so those who have been influenced can be put back on track.

While many professing Christians who embrace full blown ecumenical unity with Rome remain silent and see no harm with the direction Warren is headed, we are compelled to sound the alarm. In the previous four commentaries we have addressed several critical topics indicating Warren is headed down the road to Rome without hesitation. Some of these include:

  • Endorsement of Catholic saints and mystics and their methods
  • Endorsement and praise for Pope Benedict – who Warren calls “our Pope”

Unity with Catholics and other religions for the cause of “religious liberty”

  • The PEACE Plan and the “faith sector” working together with all faiths
  • Warren and his “spiritual director” and the connection with Jean Vanier
  • The New Evangelization delegation from Rome to Saddleback

Now, in this commentary we will address what I consider the most blatant endorsement of Roman Catholicism revealed in his entire interview with EWTN. It was so revealing that even Raymond Arroyo expressed surprise when he asked
Warren to comment on the following topic:

Tell me about your—the little breather you take in the day when you watch television. When we first met, you came up to me afterwards—I can’t believe you watch Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

In response to Arroyo’s comment, Rick Warren expounded:  

I’m an avid fan of EWTN. I make no bones about it. I probably watch it more than any Christian channel. Well, you know what? Because you have more, more, uh, shows that relate to history. And if you don’t understand the roots of our faith, that God had been working for 2,000 years, regardless of what brand of believer you are, God has been working for 2,000 years in His church. And if you don’t have those roots you’re like the cut flower syndrome. Or you’re a tumbleweed. 

Warren’s main reason for watching the Roman Catholic Eternal Word Television Network is to gain a knowledge and understanding of Christian history, then there is no question he is getting a biased one-sided view. While I admit I do not watch EWTN as much as Warren apparently does (and certainly not for the same reasons), I do know that a major part of Christian history dealing with the Reformation and the Counter-reformation is not one of the favorite topics presented. Perhaps a quick review of Fox’s Book of Martyrs would be a good balance for Warren and a reminder what happened to Christians who stood up against the pope of Rome and his Jesuit enforcers in the past for believing the Word of God rather than the word of man.

Notice carefully that Warren not only stated that EWTN was his favorite Christian Television Network he further offered that he had a favorite program he and his wife watch regularly on that network. When I first watched the entire EWTN interview, it was the statement Warren made at this point that became the motivating factor that triggered me to do this series. If Arroyo was shocked by this revelation, the best way to describe my reaction to his response would be astonished and outraged. In Warren’s own words:

One of my favorite shows, which you repeat often is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which I love. And when I’ve had a very stressful day, I’ll come home, I’ve got it taped and Kay and I will both, we’ll listen. We’ll put it on and just sit back, relax and worship. And in the time of reflection, meditation and quietness I find myself renewed and restored. So thank you for continuing to play the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Arroyo responds to Warren’s statement, “Thank Mother Angelica.”  Warren than echoes, “Thank you, Mother Angelica”.

Mother Angelica, as we have previously documented was the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network. Among the programs making up the daily broadcasting schedule is “The Chaplet of Divine Mercy.” A description of this program provides background information:

The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy is a Christian devotion based on the visions of Jesus reported by Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), known as "the Apostle of Mercy." She was a Polish sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and canonized as a Catholic saint in 2000. Faustina stated that she received the prayer through visions and conversations with Jesus, who made specific promises regarding the recitation of the prayers. Her Vatican biography quotes some of these conversations. As a Roman Catholic devotion, the chaplet is often said as a rosary-based prayer with the same set of rosary beads used for reciting the Holy Rosary or the Chaplet of Holy Wounds, in the Roman Catholic Church. As an Anglican devotion, The Divine Mercy Society of the Anglican Church states that the chaplet can also be recited on Anglican prayer beads. The chaplet may also be said without beads, usually by counting prayers on the fingertips, and may be accompanied by the veneration of the Divine Mercy image.

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