Tuesday, November 15, 2011


A repost from Atty. Marwil Llasos, O.P.


Our Lady of Victories, pray for the triumph of the Holy Catholic Church

Marwil N. Llasos, O.P.

ARMANDO ANG is the author of the anti-Catholic book “The Dark Side of Catholicism” which is already on its third edition. The phenomenal sales of Ang’s Catholic-bashing book proves that indeed anti-Catholicism sells even in our predominantly Catholic country. By the way, Ang also authored “The Dark Side of Unorthodox Protestantism” – as if there’s such a thing as “orthodox” Protestantism given the division in the Protestant world. I was looking for “The Dark Side of Islam” but I couldn’t find one that is authored by Armando Ang. I wonder why Ang does not write a book exposing the “dark side” of Islam. Perhaps in the future and I am really looking forward to have a copy of that much-awaited book.
To be fair, Armando Ang must also write “The Bright Side of Catholicism” if he is sincere and honest in what he claimed that “[i]t is incumbent on every believer to know the truth and the truth shall make us free”[1] (citing John 8:32). But I don’t see it forthcoming for Ang to publish a book showing the “bright” side of Catholicism. The anti-Catholic that he is, Ang has already made up his mind that“[t]here are many teachings of the early Catholic Church that have been contaminated by new doctrines that serve no salvation value.”[2] Like all anti-Catholic polemicists, Ang has already betrayed his bias and prejudice against the Catholic Church that he would no longer consider evidence and arguments contrary to his firmly held views.
Ang's anti-Catholic bestseller is deceiving the unwary
A friend, fellow Catholic apologist and Marian devotee sent me a copy of the 2005 updated edition of Armando Ang’s The Dark Side of Catholicism. I will refer to that book in my critique of Ang’s allegations, accusations, claims and arguments.
I noticed that Ang’s book is a pastiche of anti-Catholic polemical writings of Loraine Boettner, Dave Hunt, James McCarthy, James White and of course, Jack Chick – and a host of other anti-Catholic authors. And so what else is new?
Ang’s book is a regurgitated thrash. It merely rehashes old, worn out and long debunked attacks against the Catholic Church. Ang adds up his own lies and deceptions to the growing list of false accusations against the Church. From whom could these accusations come from if not from the “accuser of the brethren”? (Rev. 12:10). Like his father the devil (Jn. 8:44), Ang passes off his lies as Gospel truth. The Bible categorically states, “Do shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand into the wicked to be an unrighteous witness” (Exo. 23:1, unless otherwise indicated, the Scripture citations herein are from the King James Version, Ang’s favorite translation).
I make it of record that I look forward to personally debating Armando Ang. I prefer that such eyeball to eyeball confrontation be held in his own congregation. I intend to cross-examine him on the contents of his book. I will be glad to require him to prove each and every single allegation of his. If what Armando Ang is saying is true, he will accept this challenge.
For the meantime, I will run a series of articles debunking Ang’s false accusations and brazen lies. Since I am a Mariologist, I will concentrate on The Dark Side of Catholicism’s first two chapters on the Virgin Mary (Chapter 1) and the Marian Cults (Chapter II). I did the same to Dr. Anthony Pezzotta’s “Truth Encounter” where I debunked his attacks on Mary in chapter 11 and 12 of his discredited book.
I wish to draw my reader’s attention to Armando Ang’sdeceptive styleHe employs this style countless times in his book. I will just cite one example for now.
The unscholarly style of Armando Ang
In page 13 of Armando Ang’s The Dark Side of Catholicism,one can find this assertion –
“As early as the 5th century Pope Leo the Great (440-461) wrote that Mary gave birth to Jesus without detriment to her virginity. Pope Alexander III (1159-1181) reiterated it by declaring that “Mary conceived without detriment to her virginity, gave birth to the Son without pain, and departed hence without being subject to corruption.” (Kauffman, 38-39) This was confirmed by the apparition at Agreda, Spain in the early 1600s that went on to explain “that the twelve stars on the crown serve as evidence of her virtue and also refers to the twelve tribes of Israel as revealed in the book of Revelation.” This was reiterated again by the appearance of the apparition in 1989 at San Nicolas, Argentina. (Ibid., 44) But in an apparition to Annie Kirkwood who wrote down the Virgin Mary's message in her book, Mary's Message of Hope, claims that Mary told her that she “had several children in addition to Jesus.” (Steiger, 31)
The readers will note that Armando Ang does not cite the primary sources of his allegation. He passes on second hand information. This reveals the level of Armando Ang’s scholarship, or the lack of it.
Armando Ang makes it appear that he is quoting Pope Alexander III. But when you check the citation, Ang is not quoting the exact papal document. Instead he is quoting from Kauffman, allegedly from pages 38-39 of his book. The problem is, we do not know which book of Kauffman is being cited. In Ang’s References and Suggested Readings found at pages 421-424 of his book, he lists “Kauffman, Timothy F.” as his reference. However, Kauffman has two books listed, both published in 1982, Graven Bread and Quite Contrary.The reader of The Dark Side of Catholicism will have to guess which of the two Kauffman’s books Armando Ang is citing for his chopped quotation. Since these books are not readily available, the reader cannot easily check the veracity of Ang’s attribution.
The problem is even more compounded when Armando Ang alleges that the Pope’s declaration was “confirmed by the apparition at Agreda, Spain in the early 1600s that went on to explain ‘that the twelve stars on the crown serve as evidence of her virtue and also refers to the twelve tribes of Israel as revealed in the book of Revelation.’ ” Ang certainly does not know what he is talking about. There has been no apparition by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Agreda, Spain. Instead, a visionary named Mary of Agreda received locutions from the Blessed Mother and these are published in a four-volume work “City of God” (the owner of this blog owns Mary of Agreda’s four-volume work from TAN Books). Ang’s statements are often inaccurate and unreliable. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that Ang’s quotation does not provide any reference to Mary of Agreda’s book. Instead, he refers his readers, again, to Kauffman.
Armando Ang is incorrigible. He once again cited Kauffman in claiming that the “apparition” at Agreda was “reiterated again by the appearance of the apparition (sic) in 1989 at San Nicolas, Argentina.” Ang’s source? Kauffman! So much for the “scholarship” of Armando Ang.
Annie Kirkwood: Ang's "prophetess" is no Catholic
Armando Ang and Annie Kirkwood
Here is the ultimate bombshell to blast whatever remains of Armando Ang’s pretense of scholarship and credibility.
Armando Ang, after mentioning the “apparitions” where Mary underscored her perpetual virginity, pitted these “apparitions” to another “apparition” that claims the contrary – the “apparition” toAnnie Kirkwood:
Annie Kirkwood's book: Mary's Message of Hope. I doubt it very much if Armando Ang has actually read it

But in an apparition to Annie Kirkwood who wrote down the Virgin Mary's message in her book, Mary's Message of Hope claims that Mary told her that she “had several children in addition to Jesus.” (Steiger, 31)
In attacking the perpetual virginity of Mary, Armando Ang does not hesitate to use questionable and disreputable sources such as Annie Kirkwood. The purpose of Armando Ang is plain to see. He wants to make it appear that the “apparitions” of the Blessed Virgin Mary contradict each other when it comes to the issue of her perpetual virginity. Thus, Ang pitted the “apparitions” at Agreda and Argentina with the apparitions to Annie Kirkwood.
The author of The Dark Side of Catholicism is absolutely ignorant about what he is writing about. Again, he is merely passing off second hand information. His quote that Mary told Annie that she had “several children in addition to Jesus” is actually taken from Brad and Sherry Hansen Steiger’s book “Mother Mary Speaks to Us” (1996). I wonder if Armando Ang was able to read any of Annie Kirkwood’s writings in the original.
Byron Kirkwood: The husband "prophetess" and compiler of her "messages"
Contrary to the false claim of Armando Ang, there was no apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Annie Kirkwood. Annie Kirkwood claimed that “Mary” communicates to her “strongly” through the mind and she “hears” internally what “Mary” says.[3] As claimed by Annie Kirkwood herself, she received no apparitions but mere interior locutions. Obviously, Armando Ang does not know the difference as he keeps on mentioning “apparitions” in his book. His intention is clear: to pit one “apparition” against the other and discredit the perpetual virginity of Mary.
By mentioning the “apparition” to Annie Kirkwood alongside with those at Agreda and Argentina, Armando Ang clearly wants to portray the “apparition” to Annie Kirkwood as Catholic. But Ang is clearly deceiving his readers by not divulging a crucial fact: Anna Kirkwood is not Catholic![4] The messages Annie Kirkwood has been allegedly receiving from the Virgin Mary are not accepted by the Catholic Church. Thus, it is not legitimate or proper for Ang to pit this “apparition” from the others. The messages of the “Mary” given to Annie Kirkwood are downrightly absurd, inane and heretical. For a critique of Annie Kirkwood’s messages, please see:
Another book of Annie Kirkwood: Mary's Message to the World
Annie Kirkwood’s “Mary” teaches the heresy of “indifferentism” – that all religions are the same and it doesn’t matter what religious faith one holds. Kirkwood’s “Mary” states that “[t]he religious and cultural differences between peoples are outer and not as important as they think.”[5] Armando Ang leaves out that fact.
The “Jesus” of Annie Kirkwood’s “Mary” is a different Jesus. Far from being “meek and humble,” Annie Kirkwood’s “Jesus” is described by his mother “Mary” as “[a]lthough he seldom lost his temper, when he did, his eyes would come dark and menacing.”[6]Does Ang accept this description of Jesus? He doesn’t say.
Furthermore, Armando Ang’s Annie Kirkwood believes in UFOs. According to her, “Mary” predicted that “[t]here will be increased UFO activity.”[7] She went on to say that the “coming storms and tremors of unheard of size will perhaps make believers of you. The other signs of UFO activity and supernatural events will call attentively to our plea to man.”[8] Ang for sure does not believe in UFOs – but why does he believe Annie Kirkwood’s “Mary” when she claimed to have “had several children in addition to Jesus”?
The reason is plain and simple. Because Anne Kirkwood’s “Mary” provided Ang with ammunition to demolish Mary’s perpetual virginity. Deceived and deceiving, Armando Ang doesn’t have any qualm in keeping crucial information away from his readers. Ang is definitely not concerned with truth at all. What he wants to do is to attack the church by any means, fair or foul.
Using Annie Kirkwood’s messages to discredit Mary’s perpetual virginity indicates how far Armando Ang can go to attack the dogma. What Ang does not realize is that his reliance on Annie Kirkwood backfires on him.
As an Evangelical, I am sure that Armando Ang believes that the so-called “brothers and sisters” of Jesus Christ mentioned in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-56 are His siblings. In these verses, the names of the “brothers” of Jesus are named JamesJoses (Joseph), Judasand Simon. But what does Annie Kirkwood’s “Mary” say the names of her children are? Except for James,[9] the names of the other children of “Mary” are David and Daniel,[10] Elizabeth,[11] Jacob,[12]Ruth[13] and Mary Martha.[14] What does Armando Ang say about it?Nothing. He leaves out this relevant information because he doesn’t want his readers to know about it. Armando Ang happily accepts Annie Kirkwood’s Mary’s claim that she has several children in addition to Jesus. But, Armando Ang keeps mum when this same “Mary” names her children differently from what the Bible says. Isn’t it double standard? Isn’t that dishonesty? Isn’t that deception? What is left of Armando Ang’s credibility? Zero. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
For the Spanish translation of this article, please see:

[1] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: Al Publishing, 2005) flyleaf.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Annie Kirkwood, Mary’s Message to the World (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1991) p. viii. The owner of this blog has a copy of this book.
[4] Ibid., p. ix.
[5] Ibid., p. xiii.
[6] Ibid., 65.
[7] Ibid., p. 10.
[8] Ibid., p. 32.
[9] Ibid., p. 62, 67.
[10] Ibid., p. 68.
[11] Ibid., p. 69.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid., p. 70.
[14] Ibid.

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