John Malone wrote the following at Biblestudy.net: “Smagacz is 58 years old and glad to have left the Roman Catholic Church. He left it 35 years ago. I read an article sent to me that was published on Omaha’s daily newspaper, the Omaha World Herald, that described Smagacz’ one-man “protest” at a Luis Palau “Heartland Festival” in Omaha. The event was said to have attracted 105,000 visitors, a record. I suppose, hyperbole being what it is, the crowd was likely half that size, but still large.
Palau is known among Bible believers to be “soft on Romanism,” and far too ecumenical to be Biblically sound. Many of us consider that ministries like Palau’s yoke themselves with unbelievers, contrary to Bible principles set forth in 2 Corinthians 6:14, and Revelation 18:4. The more skeptical among us – call us jaded – know that men like Palau don’t become prominent in this country without somehow accepting that Roman Catholics are essentially Christian.
Smagacz passed out a tract and his personal testimony. That, along with his sign that read, “Why I left the Catholic Church,” was his “protest.” He said for the most part he was well received. He was harassed by a Roman Catholic priest, but that fellow was made to stop. Most people gladly received his offer of his literature, but some Catholics cared to argue with him about John 6, perhaps the only Scripture a Roman Catholic takes literally, concerning eating the Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood.
Organizers of the Palau event had Smagacz moved off the event grounds. These same organizers arranged for a large Roman Catholic tent on the premises where RC literature was freely passed out, rosaries handed out (or sold, I do not know which), and Roman Catholic (RC) priests were “hearing confessions” throughout both days. The tent with confessions being heard was a requirement by the RCO locally in order to gain their “support.”
Eldon Curtiss, the archbishop of the Omaha Roman Catholic Archdiocese, was invited to open – or close – the “festival” in prayer. [biblestudy.net July 25, 2007 by John Malone]