"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Friday, June 24, 2011

Out of Frustration, a Catholic Priest Converted to Iglesia ni Cristo of Manalo

Former Catholic Priest Theophilus Darku
Note:  The word "Iglesia ni Cristo" is the Tagalog for "Church of Christ."  It cannot stand-alone in its English translation because of a possible violation of Patented and Registered Trademarks.  According to the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, this church's name is registered as "Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)" [formerly known as Iglesia ni Kristo (INK)].  And it shall be known that Felix M. Ysagun who also changed his name to Felix Y. Manalo signed its registration as "its founder".

Much to the rejoicing of the Iglesia ni Cristo, a certain “catholic” priest was said to had been converted to the cult of Felix Manalo—the Iglesia ni Cristo in the early 70s after he was enraged against his own local bishop in his native land in Ghana, Africa. His said conversion was published in Pasugo March-April 1979.

Fr. Theophilus Darku was a priest from Ghana as he claimed. The story of his name says all the truth about his family’s deep Christian faith received from courageous Catholic Missionary priests who converted much of the Africans to Christianity—not a single of any Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo braved that risky missionary task that Catholics did to proclaim the Gospel to all walks of life-- even to Africans. (Today Catholics in Ghana is 15.1% of the total population and no local Ghanaian has been registered to be INC member).

Like Felix Manalo Ysagun, his name Theophilus was given him by the Church -- a name he kept using for the rest of his life when his "search" was over, finding himself within the cult owned and founded by Felix Manalo, in the Philippines in 1914.

Now that he converted to the Iglesia of Manalo, I would like to rephrase his life story according to how INC teachings view the Catholic Church and Catholics in general.

His father died being BURNING in HELL because he died a Catholic while his mother REMAINED in the DARKNESS pagan religion even in her old age because she vowed to remain a Catholic, probably desiring to die in as a devout Catholic. In other words, his parents hated salvation for wilfully wanting to breathe their last breath in the Catholic Church. He has five brothers who were even unsaved for remaining in the Pagan Religion of the Catholic Church.

But Fr. Theophilus lived a life FULL OF LIES for having that desire to be a Pagan Priest when he was still a little boy in 1942, Twenty-eight years after Felix Manalo founded his “true church”-- the Iglesia ni Cristo. Out of that burning desire to become a pagan priest, he studied Philosophy in 1948 and Theology in 1950. In 1953 he received the priestly ordination handed to him from the Apostles most probably through Archbishop William Thomas Porter, S.M.A. who served Cape Cost and whole of Ghana from April 25, 1933 to May 19, 1959.

As ordained pagan Catholic Priest, he must have known his VOWS such as CHASTITY, POVERTY and OBEDIENCE -- chastity which is a teaching of the devil. And since he is under his bishop, he should be aware of his vows humbly ABIDING to his bishop as successors of the Apostles and will remained CHASTE like JESUS CHRIST, "for the sake of the Kingodom". If one of these vows is broken, a Catholic priest could face canonical sanctions (see How to Become a Catholic Priest). Just as a military man could face military inquiry when one decides to disobey his superiors or decide on his own without his commander-in-chief approval. Priestly vows of Obedience almost similarly functions like that.

In 1954 he was assigned as Assistant Pastor in charge of 36 outlying towns and villages then it became 72 without salary like INC Ministers who received abundance.

In 1958 he transferred to another mission assignment again without salary, having 60 towns and villages. Aside from his burdensome pagan priestly duties, he was the Manager of Catholic Schools, a position his bishop gave him perhaps due to his dedication to his priestly ministry and the lack of priests in his Diocese.

In 1960 he was appointed as Chaplain to a Teacher Training College. In 1965 he was allowed by his bishop to travel to Rome (Vatican), Amsterdam, England then travelled to the rest of the Italian states, Switzerland, Germany, France, Holland and England, countries DOMINATED by pagans Catholics and children of the devil for being Catholics and Protestants.

In 1966 his bishop ASKED him if he wanted to travel to the USA and STUDY there. He was SENT by his BISHOP but first his bishop asked his consent if he’s WILLING to accept his offer. In 1968 he landed in Indiana University taking up Business Administration, a good learning for a priest running a parish where he got his Master Degree.

In 1970 HE (by himself alone) DECIDED to join the Dominican Missionaries, without consulting his bishop who had generously offered him the same favor before coming to the USA for his studies. And because he DID NOT CONSULT his BISHOP’s approval, the Dominican Superiors refused to let him join them in their community.

And because his wishes and hidden personal motives in joining the Dominicans was not disapproved by his local bishop, he in turn QESTIONED his Bishop’s authority over his decision in 1971 and accused him of “LYING” when in fact HE was the one who LIED to his BISHOP by not consulting him his plans for the "betterment" of Ghana.  And since his wishes were not met he DISOBEYED his local BISHOP. His disobedience caused his priestly vows to crumble until he broken the remaining two vows—CELIBACY and POVERTY.

His little frustrations grew into HATRED then he became DEFIANT against his own bishop, his ministry, the Church and Jesus Christ?

There is no doubt that his priestly vocation was genuine but his intention to join the Dominicans was a bit questionable.  He could pledge obedience to the Dominical Superiors if he can't give that same favor to his local bishop.
In ordinary process for accepting a candidate to a Religious Community such as the Dominicans, the local Dominican Superior should write a letter of intent to the Local Bishop of Cape Town, Ghana since he's a professed Catholic priest under the supervision of a Local Bishop approved by the Pope.  The local Bishop's RECOMMENDATION and APPROVAL should be sent to the Provincial Superior of the Dominicans in the US.  Normally, the details of the letter should remained confidential to the candidate. And as a priest, he should have remained "OBEDIENT" to his bishop even against his own wishes because that's what his VOWS meant for.  Perhaps his local bishop was too honest to the Dominican community that he mentioned Fr. Theophilus was a menace in his diocese. 
In 1973, by his OWN DECISION, he relinquished his priestly vocation and joined other ex-Catholic priests, having the same feathers flocked together; sharing their own bitterness that ultimately led them out of the priesthood—of their own choosing.

“In the midst of all disappointments” he said, he decided he would not join to any church anymore until he ended his search through reading the Bible (of which he was expected to do when he was yet a Catholic Priest), attended Sunday worship to non-Catholic churches he can divert his frustrations and anger against his local bishop and the Catholic Church as a whole.

In 1976, a casual Filipina female friend suggested him to go to the “Orient to have a meaningful life.” He was told that he spend a 20 meaningless Catholic priestly life and now that he had broken his vow of celibacy, the “Orient” is the best place for him to satisfy his carnal desires and make a “meaningful life” the Catholic Church failed to give him.

Then his casual Filipina female friend gave her a Filipina penpal working as a Domestic Worker in Hongkong which eventually became his wife.

The Twist of his FALSE priestly belief

In 1978, he was then married to a Filipina. Just in case that she has to immigrate to the US, he changed job. In April 27, 1978, he met his brother Raul Nepumoceno, an Iglesia ni Cristo member whom he had switched job. He introduced himself as an “ex-Catholic priest” and that “ I just clung to my Jesus—my God and all.” Then his INC brother Raul retorted: jesus [sic] is not God.

As a former priest for 20 years, this was all he knew about Jesus Christ and about the Church and so he answered the INC member:

“Look here, this is what I have been taught in the Catholic Church and this is what everybody believes in the Catholic Church.”

His INC brother outwitted him by saying, “The minister of my church can prove to you from the bible that Jesus is not God but a mediator.”

As a former priest for 20 years, he told his INC brother Raul:

“I could also prove from the bible that Jesus is God.”

And so the next meetings made him give up on Jesus Christ—the Lord and Redeemer of mankind, the only begotten by God, who was the LOGOS made FLESH and made his dwelling among us (John 1). That although he is GOD, he didn’t deem equality with God, something we humans should understand (Philippians 2).

This former priest who lost the battle of pride and hatred, relinquished his

  1. vow of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience 
  2. gave up his apostolic priestly ministry, 
  3. abandoned the Catholic Church established by Jesus Christ which he promised “the gates of Hades WILL NOT prevail (Matthew 16). 
  4. Then the last search, he finally had GIVEN UP JESUS CHRIST for Felix Manalo and his INC Corporation.
Favorably, HE SHOULD NOT BE a Catholic priest in anyway. It’s a shame that he studied Philosophy and Theology in the Catholic Church and yet, none of those years he learned anything about Jesus Christ and his Church? How could he ever FOOLED himself of being a “Catholic priest” and yet learned NOTHING?

It a BIG FAVOR to the UNIVERSAL CHURCH of CHRIST that he left the priesthood.  So it’s God’s grace that he should leave the priesthood and leave the Catholic Church for Christ said “the gates of HADES WILL NOT prevail" and Theophilus own lies should not prevail against HIS CHURCH. If the Church kept him to his ministry, perhaps his distorted understanding of Catholicism must have misled many souls to erroneous teachings. Praise God, he made a way out that he should leave…

The rest of his story is read below, (emphasis mine)
After the worship service I went to see Bro. Rizalino Santos who was going to give me proofs that Jesus Christ is not god. At first I thought I could easily refute his arguments with two verses from the Bible to show that Jesus is God—Isaiah 9:6 and John 1:14. However, he took the wind out of my sails when right at the start he quoted I Cor. 4:6, which admonishes not to go beyond what is written. How I admire the calmness and dedication of Bro. Santos that day. I was convinced that Jesus Christ is not God . he proved it beyond doubt and I was ready to get up and leave, when he said, “Now let me show you who Jesus Christ really is, from the bible.” I was really amazed. My treasured verse, Isaiah 9:6, couldn’t prove the divinity of Christ. I, therefore, asked Bro. Santos if I could get his notes on all the proofs that Jesus is not God. He told me he would going to Oakland for a ministerial class that Tuesday, and if I was willing, he would pick me up for the class. I agreed wholeheartedly. After the class, he suggested that he come to my Apartment on Saturdays for Bible study on Doctrines. I told him it was alright to me.

Later, out of pride I said to myself “If Christ is not God, so what? I am not going to attend any church again. I can stay home and just read my bible and stay close to my God.” I told myself I would attend one last doctrinal lesson and that would be final.

Before that, however while reading God’s message, the magazine of the Church of Christ, I was struck by John 10:9—cited in one of the articles—wherein Jesus says, I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.. Then I asked my self, how does one enter? (The answer to this was revealed to me later in that last class which I promised my self to attend.) Then I found a stronger power in my old text—in Matt. 18:20 "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.", Could this possibly happen in the gathering of the Church of Christ? More curious now, I became wager to be in the gathering.

It was during this class that I met Bro. Fernando Ibarra, who, with untiring efforts, kindled my interest in the Church of Christ and continued persistently with many calls inviting me to attend diff. functions and worship services here and there. I can truly say that Bro. Ibarra, ahs [sic] been instrumental in my conversion to the Church of Christ. We used to chat on the power of Christ that I find in the gathering together of the members. At times when I didn’t want anybody bother me, Bro. Ibarra would insist on picking me up for a worship service, a church dedication, or a baptismal service somewhere. I am grateful that God has used him as the instrument for me to see the great light I read about in Isaiah 9:2. 
On the 26th of Aug. 1978, I was baptized in Redwood City. It was a real happy day for me, to realize how all my sins were forgiven and that the Good Lord had turned a new leaf for me. 
As soon as I got to my apartment I phoned my cousin who was studying at the Christian Theoligical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. I told him with a shout, “Hey! I have found the light.” He asked, “Where?” I said, “In this Church of Christ.” He said, “Don’t deceive yourself, all churches are made for money.” I said, “Not this one. You have to see it for yourself.” Then he asked whether the church has any literature. I said there is the magazine called PASUGO or GOD’S MESSAGE. He said, “Send it over a thorough perusal.” So, I mailed him the PASUGO issues from Jan. to July. Anyway he has promised to come in Dec. to see the Church for himself. I then called my youngest brother who is studying in Indiana State University and told him about the good news. He is also coming in Dec. this year to see for himself. I then wrote to my girlfriend Jeannie telling her I have found the true light and that my search is over. I even gave her the address of Bro. Pastor palacios in Hongkong. She went immediately and I got a postcard from her saying that they have started the Bible Study sessions. I called another friend telling that I have found the light. She said, “You have now fallen from grace to grass.” I said, “It is the other way ground. You are still in the grass and I have gone up now. I know because it is in the bible, always—come to the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

Now I thank the Almighty for leading me in these last days to the true light. In my heart I feel sad for my friends who embraced the Catholic faith but, because of pride, fail to make a true search for the light. I have compassion for the other people in my country who will embrace this light with joy and enthusiasm, but now have no one to bring this to them. I am sure that it’s God will that they should be saved too, and a way will be provided by the Almighty himself. No one knows his designs. 
For my brothers and sisters in the Church of Christ I say, hold fast to your membership because “” (I pet. 5:8). As I said, there is sufficient power in the gathering together(Mt. 18:20). Stay with the Church always, for Christ is coming. We are in the last days, you know! [That Church mentioned in 1 Peter 5:8 is the CATHOLIC CHURCH not the INC of Felix Manalo-CD2000] 
Now I wish and pray that more people will be called by God and given to Christ to be saved. Outside the body of Christ—the church of Christ, there is no salvation—the bible says it clearly. Be saved and enjoy eternal bliss. This is coming from a former Catholic Priest. I was a priest for twenty years and I know what I am saying. It’s all in the bible—the inspired book of God. Outside the bible, its all human talk—not for your good but for your goods. [True enough. Outside the true Church of Christ, there is no salvation. The INC of Felix Manalo is OUTSIDE the Church so there is NO salvation in there. -CD2000] 
Source: ReadmeINC
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What is the FAKE church according to PASUGO?
“Ang tunay na Iglesia ni Cristo ay iisa lamang, ito ang Iglesiang itinayo ni Cristo. Kung mayroon mang nagsisibangon ngayong mga Iglesia at sasabihing sila man ay INK rin ang mga ito ay hindi tunay kundi huwad lamang!" -Pasugo May 1968, p. 7

And what is the True Church according to PASUGO?
“Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo." -Pasugo April 1966, p. 46

Today, out of the Total Population of 21,029,853, the Catholic Populaton in Ghana is 5,257,463 (15.1%) and it's still growing. (Source: CIA Library)

How many were converted to the INC in Ghana since his supposed conversion?

That was more than 30 years ago. 

But today, no local Ghanaian has been registered member of the Iglesia ni Cristo, so far.  Theophilus Darku's conversion to the "true church" had no effect in Ghana.  The message of the "true Last Messenger from the East" was not believed. The people of Ghana still considered the Catholic Church as the only Church founded by Jesus Christ because they believe Jesus  Christ never lied when he said "the gates of Hades will NOT prevail" against HIS CHURCH!  In fact, the Catholic Church members is still growing steadily in that country and the whole continent. 

2 comments:

  1. Pax!

    I just want to clarify po kuya if the story of a nun converted to INC-M is a valid nun of RVM and SFCC...

    Is she has a conflict with the superiors before she leave the Faith?

    http://studyiglesianicristo.com/Converts/convert-story-05.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why not interview the ex-priest personally? just for the church to know if there are blunders from the church's teachings... and share it here so that others may know how to defend those criticisms... just a brotherly advice.

    ReplyDelete

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