In 1979, a Roman Catholic Mass was conducted as part of the follow-up for new converts at the Milwaukee Billy Graham Crusade. (F.B.F. News Bulletin, May-June 1986).
In September 1979, The Christian Courier of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, published the following report on the Milwaukee Crusade:
"Sister Maureen Hopkins, Director of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Milwaukee Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and a liaison member of the Crusade committee, reported that 120 people have volunteered within the Catholic community to help her with the task of contacting each of the 3,500 inquiries. Sr. Maureen received the names and telephone numbers from the Crusade Committee, based upon the inquirers indication of having a Catholic background on his inquiry card. ... All 3,500 were immediately invited to a Eucharistic celebration which was held on August 16 at St. Theresas Church in Milwaukee. The Mass was attended by more than 400 people. The primary purpose for the Mass was to remind the inquirers that their commitments to Christ should be nurtured within the sacramental framework of the church."
Christianity Today (Sept. 7, 1979), reported that almost a year before the Crusade, Billy Graham had sent a team member to conduct a seminar explaining the crusade enterprise for Milwaukee priests and lay workers.
"It is a tragedy that 3,500 decision cards were turned over to the Roman Catholic Church, but it is a worse tragedy when you realize that it did not just happen. It was planned by the worlds best-known evangelist" (John Ashbrook, New Neutralism II).
In October 1979, Pope John Paul II made his first visit to the United States. On October 11, 1979, Billy Graham appeared on the Phil Donahue show, and in discussing Pope John Paul II's visit to the U.S.A., said,
"I think the American people are looking for a leader, a moral and spiritual leader that believes something. And he (meaning the pope) does. He didn't mince words on a single subject. As a matter of fact, his subject in Boston was really an evangelistic address in which he asked the people to come to Christ, to give their lives to Christ. I said,Thank God, I've got somebody to quote now with some real authority." (The Gospel Standard, Feb. 1986).
Graham said elsewhere:
"The visit of Pope John Paul II to the United States is an event of great significance not only for Roman Catholics, but for all Americans as well as the world. In the short time he has been the Pope, John Paul II has become the moral leader of the world. My prayers and the prayers of countless other Protestants will be with him as he makes his journey" (9/27/79 Religious New Service dispatch; quoted in New Neutralism II, p. 40).
Following Pope John Paul II's visit to America, Graham had this to say, in an interview with The Saturday Evening Post:
"Since his election, Pope John Paul II has emerged as the greatest religious leader of the modern world, and one of the greatest moral and spiritual leaders of this century... The Pope came [to America] as a statesman and a pastor, but I believe he also sees himself coming as an evangelist, forthrightly urging those who have perhaps given little thought to spiritual matters to realize the truth of the Christian message and commit their lives to Christ... The Pope sought to speak to the spiritual hunger of our age in the same way Christians throughout the centuries have spoken to the spiritual yearnings of every age -- by pointing people to Christ... Also, in countless ways many evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics are discovering they share a common bond through their mutual commitment to the Christian faith. " (The Saturday Evening Post, Jan.-Feb. 1980).
In this same article Graham went on to say,
"Recently I learned the word 'Pontiff' (a title by which the Pope is often known) comes from the Latin words which originally meant 'bridge builder.' During his visit to America, Pope John Paul II was indeed a bridge builder, and that is something our divided world desperately needs. In a world which often seems to have lost its way, his voice will continue to remind us of our responsibilities to each other--and to God" (Billy Graham, "The Pilgrim Pope: A Builder of Bridges," The Saturday Evening Post, Jan.-Feb. 1980).
Historically, "pontiff" does not mean bridge - builder, but refers to the papal title of Pontifex Maximus, which was used by the high priests of the ancient heathen religion in the Roman Empire and was adopted by the early popes (Websters Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, 1979). "The title of Supreme Pontiff was reserved in ancient Rome to the emperor, who as head of the principal college of priests in Rome was seen as the bridge or bridge-builder between men and the gods. The title was given to the Pope by Gratian in A.D. 375 " (Our Sunday Visitors Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 758). "Pontiff" in Italian and Latin means "bridge," and clearly points to the Pope's blasphemous claim that he himself is the bridge between man and God.
The Star, June 26, 1979
Time magazine gave Grahams viewpoint on Pope John Paul II 's first visit to the United States:
"No other man in the world today could attract as much attention on moral and spiritual subjects as John Paul. He is articulating what Catholic and Protestant churches have traditionally held, the moral values from the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. The country is responding in a magnificent way. It shows theres a great spiritual hunger. The Pope has reached millions of Protestants. The organized ecumenical movement seems to be on the back burner and ecumenicity is now taking place where Roman Catholics and Protestants share beliefs in matters like the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ" (Billy Graham, Time, October 15, 1979).
On 9th Dec 1979, Catholic Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen died. Sheen was a Catholic traditionalist who upheld Rome's dogmas, and was a staunch enemy of the New Testament faith. Billy Graham called Sheen's death: "a great loss to the nation and both the Catholic and Protestant churches. He broke down walls of prejudice between Catholics and Protestants... I count it a privilege to have known him as a friend for over 35 years. I mourn his death and look forward to our reunion in heaven" (22 Dec 1979 EP News Service).
In the 4/16/92 issue of USA Today, Graham stated that he "expects to spend eternity with God, the great, and the good - including Elvis Presley."
Sheen's hope was in Mary, not in Christ's completed atonement, unless he repented and turned wholly to Christ on his deathbed, there is no reason to believe Sheen will be in heaven. Everyone seems to be headed for heaven according to Graham.
Rome was responsible for promoting Billy Graham to the pinnicle he now sits on. Rome does nothing without wanting something in return. Introducing Pope John Paul II as the greatest moral leader of the world could be Billy Grahams pay-off to Rome. Graham was also instrumental in paving the way for Vatican ties with America, with President Reagan's decision to appoint an ambassador to the Vatican.
The President asked Graham to help the national security adviser, William P. Clark, to gather responses for establishing formal diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Christian "leaders" contacted by Graham were Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Billy Marvin (Executive Secretary of the NAE), David Hubbard (then president of Fuller Seminary), and Gilbert Beers (then editor of Christianity Today). A letter to Dr. Graham sent to Mr. Clark was also obtained and quoted Graham as saying, "If anyone can do it and get away with it, it is Mr. Reagan" (Charisma, May, 1984, pp. 101-102)
The following account is taken from New Neutralism II by John Ashbrook:
A spokesman for Billy Graham confirms that the evangelist played a behind-the-scenes role in President Reagans decision to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican, a newspaper reported yesterday.
Early in 1983, Graham was asked by the president and adviser William Clark to make informal, private inquiries among evangelical Protestant leaders about likely response to such an action, said Donald Baily, media director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis.
A copy of the seven-page letter that the Baptist evangelist sent to Clark was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, which quoted Graham as saying, If anyone can do it and get away with it, it is Mr. Reagan ("Grahams Help on Vatican Ties," Associated Press, Lake County News Herald, Feb. 9, 1984, quoted by Ashbrook).
Billy Graham has been a good investment for the Pope and Rome.