Pope Francis does not have an Adventist brother

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis

When one group of Christians needs to lie about another group of Christians in order to look good and promote their cause, what does that say about them?

The commandment not to lie is part of the same set of 10 that contains the commandment to keep the Sabbath.  Yet some Sabbath keepers are more than willing to tell lies about the Catholic Church to promote their agenda.

Documented here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

There is now a video out by an expelled Adventist pastor called “Pope Francis Brother is a Seventh Day Adventist for more than 50 years: Jorge Mario Bergoglio

The video has been copied (again, Ellen White sets the bar on plagiarism matters) by various people, including this “SharingMyFaith” who has also posted a photo of the Bergoglio family on his/her (now defunct) blog with the caption “Jorge Mario Bergogli (Pope Francis) with his SDA brother (right)” (Internet Archive link here)

I have noticed search engine results over the last week referring to my blog … the search queries were about Pope Francis’ brother, whom some have claimed is/was an Adventist, and to whom the Pope said that he would ensure that a Sunday law persecuting Adventists would be approved.  I wasn’t going to waste my time, but Teresa Beem has done the hard work gathering data and debunking the “facts” on her blog, so I’ll join in.

Visit Teresa’s blog post here.

Teresa said on Facebook (and cited here):

I just got off the phone with the General Conference and they said their phone has been ringing off the hook. This video is a total hoax from beginning to end. The woman at the GC said there is no “El Evangelio Eternal Television” associated with the SDA church. They have no Pastor Hugo R. Gambetta as a pastor.

The story is ridiculous! ALL information given is absolutely erroneous. The pope had two younger brothers who were deceased at the time of his becoming pope. None of his siblings were ever SDA. The pope said none of what the pastor is claiming. This is disgusting. STOP LYING about the Catholics!!

The Adventist News Network has said on Facebook:

A rumor circulating that Pope Francis has a brother who is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is untrue. Please disregard a widely distributed YouTube sermon in which Hugo Gambetta makes these claims. Church leaders from South America, who are familiar with the situation, have confirmed that Gambetta is a former Seventh-day Adventist minister.

Gambetta used to be an Adventist pastor until he was kicked out.  Similar to the notoriously dishonest Jan Marcussen.  Gambetta, however, has other moral claims against him aside from this dishonest propaganda.

Note that Gambetta is no longer Adventist, and the Adventist media has rejected his claims.  Not all Adventists are dishonest, but even within mainstream Adventism, this trend is strong, and significant portions of Adventist doctrine rely on false information about the Catholic Church.

Exodus 20:16 – Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Deuteronomy 5:20 – Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

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    • Judy MacDonnell on July 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    As an Adventist, I too was fooled by this hoax initially. It just goes to show that we should “prove all things” and not believe everything which comes our way. Let’s be fair here. Adventists don’t start or want to believe lies. We respect all people and are as disgusted as anyone about this particular hoax. We have been fooled, by whoever started it – a malicious person most likely NOT an Adventist, whose aim was to fool Adventists!

    1. It was most likely a Sabbath keeper of sorts who came up with the hoax. The origins trace to that ex-SDA pastor, who is technically not an Adventist. I haven’t seen evidence that traces it further back than that.

        • Francisco DeCastro on August 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm

        I COMPLETELY disagree. I doubt it was a sabbath keeper who started this hoax. Especially because the ex pastor is no longer an adventist. It is like claiming the Catholic Church for being wrong, if an ex-catholic priest does something wrong. Does that even make sense? He is not from the SDA church, NOR is he representing the SDA church. I believe catholic brothers should actually see what is behind all this.

        Catholics are actually claiming that a sabbath keeper or an adventist that did this hoax with evidence shows the opposite. Since the only evidence is that the person that might have done this, was expelled from the SDA church, then in my conclusion, this hoax was done by someone who is against, or hates, or is trying to get revenge, the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Does that not make more sense??

        1. While it is always possible that this was done to embarrass the Adventists, I think it’s more likely to be one of their kind, because it fits their paranoia about Sunday laws. The “evidence” that there is going to be a Sunday law that persecutes Adventism is no more credible than this. However, such a ridiculous claim that was so easily exposed and rejected may have been designed that way to embarrass Adventism. So yes, it could go either way. It would be interesting to find out.

            • Christopher Currin on August 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm

            It was still the Adventist type that made a huge to-do about this, using it to their advantage without checking the facts. Adventists and ex-Adventists who spread this and who still believe it remain guilty.

    • Fredrica Sotolia on August 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Much ado about nothing. Seems like no one got hurt. Much they way tens of million were hurt/killed during the 1260 years of inquisition, soon to return to a planet near you.

    1. Tens of millions is inaccurate, but a frequently used number by anti-Catholics. Both the above and the myths perpetuated about the inquisitions are falsehoods designed to make the Catholic Church look bad. Yet Adventist hospitals have performed more abortions than the all the inquisitions put together. In fact, one single Adventist abortionist has performed 250 000 abortions over a 12-year period – many more than the total killed by the inquisitions over their entire period of operation. And that Adventist abortionist, Edward Allred, has been honoured by an Adventist university by establishing a centre called “Edward C. Allred Center for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship“.

      See here for more accurate discussion on the inquisitions.
      The Inquisition … Catholic Answers
      Dave Hunt and the Spanish Inquisition … by Phil Porvaznik

      Yes, even with the more accurate figures, and taking into account that the inquisitions were more lenient than secular government, and that it is debatable whether or not we should judge the inquisitions’ actions using 21st century standards, there were indeed, at this time and others, Catholics who did/do bad things. Just as there are Adventists who did/do bad things. The point is not counting crimes. If it was, Adventism has a greater death toll in a 12-year period than Catholicism has in 2000 years. The presence of sinners in a group does not take away the legitimacy of that group’s teachings. Remember that Jesus chose 12 Apostles. Of the original 12, one betrayed him, one denied him three times, and nine abandoned him. Were we to judge Jesus’ claim to authenticity according to these criteria, he’d fail along with Catholicism and Adventism.

        • Kevin on August 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

        This is ridiculous, Adventist hospitals making abortions?! Even if they do so, you as well as anyone knows, that Adventists are firm on their opinion against abortion, and me having friends and family that have worked there know very well of that.
        You on the other had are turning to a catholic website to talk about how many people died even if 5000 people died,(which any history book that I have read would disagree), this is still a massacre, and also we are not talking about just killing, many people were tortured, and we have no way of knowing because most documentation is lost.

        1. While many Adventists are pro-life, the Adventist denomination is not firm on this, and certainly Adventists hospitals seem to do as they please. Certainly the official Adventist guidelines on abortion simply say it “not condoned” and that the church “does not serve as conscience for individuals”.

          “Any history book” often means the usual anti-Catholic drivel, so I’m not terrible concerned about that reference outdoing the research of the historians cited in those articles. While torture is not a moral way of treating anyone, and the death penalty is probably not necessary in modern times, the society at the time did not see things this way, and the various inquisitions had lower torture and death penalty rates than civil courts did – they were more lenient. Yes, morally wrong actions took place, but anti-Catholics blow them out of proportion. And certainly “most documentation is lost” is not a valid support for any argument. Enough exists to show that anti-Catholics have been just as dishonest as inquisition torturers were nasty. And, of course, as I said above, neither the Adventist abortion mills nor the inquisitions prove either religion to be wrong. Sinners exist in all places. What it does show, however, is that Adventism is hypocritical when it claims to keep all 10 Commandments – it focuses on one and ignores its own hospitals and universities when they infringe on another.

      • magdalena chabrier on August 17, 2013 at 3:29 am

      The allegations of Pastor Gambieta that the Pope has a Seventh Day Adventist brother also fooled me. I thought he was lying because if it was true he would of given us the Pope’s brother’s name and pictures. I knew he was lying. May the Lord have mercy on his soul. Happy Sabbath.

    • Joe Cipriani on August 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    The remark “Not all Adventists are dishonest,…” is a very biased and misleading statement. Not typical of most Catholics that I know. As for the claims that Adventists lie about the Catholic Church doctrines is in itself a lie. The fundamental difference between Catholic and Adventism is the role of scripture.

    The Catholic Church religion claims sinful man has authority over the Bible and can therefore change it.

    The Adventist faith believes the Bible as the inspired word of God has authority over sinful men and cannot be changed.

    Go to this link on the Vatican website to see side-by-side the Ten Commandments according to Catholic doctrine.


    1. The Catholic Church religion claims sinful man has authority over the Bible and can therefore change it.

      I don’t need to go further than this statement of yours to show an example of a gross misrepresentation of Catholic teaching. I.e. a lie. Perhaps you don’t know it’s untrue, but it’s untrue nonetheless.

      I’ve seen that link, yes. The summary corresponds very well with the biblical texts they are based on on the left.

    • Joe Cipriani on August 15, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I have a challenge for you.

    Take it first in prayer and then be at least intellectual honest with yourself.

    I grew up Roman Catholic. I know what I was taught. I also know what the Catholic Catechism teaches. I have read it cover to cover and compared it to the Bible. Check out the link I posted on Vatican Website. It will take you to the page comparing the Ten Commandment of the Bible to the Catholic Formula.

    Then go to articles 2129, 2130, and 2131 of the full Catechism.

    Article 2129 – Truthfully cites Deuteronomy where God descended on Mt Horeb in no shape or form.

    Article 2130 – Truthfully cites the fact that God instructed the making of images like the bronze serpent and cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant

    THEN read the commandment of the Bible (Exodus 20:4-6) where God defines idolatry. The making of an image is NOT idolatry. It only becomes idolatry when you combine making the image with bowing down or serving it.

    THEN read Article 2131. I will save you the time. Here it is word for word.

    Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons – of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new “economy” of images.

    Notice that it cites human authority to justify the veneration of icons.
    If that is not putting man over the Bible – what is?

    Deut. 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

    And if that does not convince you – go ask your priest. I have spoken to the Catholic Bishop in our area. I asked him a simple question. Does the Church have authority over the Bible. His response was not only yes – but insisted it was the Catholic Church who gave us the Bible. Funny the Old Testament was written by Hebrews before Christ was born. But hey – who am I to say.

    You are free to believe what you want – but at least be honest like the Catholic leaders I have met who readily admit to these facts and even boast about.

    1. You’ve already made it clear with your previous statement that you don’t know what Catholicism teaches. You’ve spoken to the wrong people. That’s the case with the majority of people who leave the Catholic Church – they misunderstand it, and are led astray by others who think they know but don’t.

      For discussion of the legitimate use of statues and icons, see the following:
      Did you hear the one about Catholics worshiping statues? … by Patrick Madrid
      The use of statues, pictures, and other icons in worship … my blog

      What you don’t realise is that the Catholic Church believes the Bible. What you and most other anti-Catholics do is forget that it’s a case of us following one interpretation of the Bible, and you following another, not a case of us changing the Bible to suit ourselves.

        • Kevin on August 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

        But what if your interpretation is clearly against the bible? the other gentleman’s reply clearly showed HOW THE CATECHISM tells something that goes against the bible. It is not a case of talking to the wrong person. It is not a case of interpretation. Its your faith system. It disagrees with the bible because it tells that the church has power to alter or interpret the bible anyway they want to.
        And the fact that you are getting another man’s interpretation on the subject just reinforces the case that your doctrine is malleable and not based on the bible because it changes all the time. Because for thousands of years Catholics have venerated idols and told to do so.

        1. I disagree. One person’s interpretation of the Bible does not always make sense to another person, even to the point that it may seem to contradict the Bible. It doesn’t mean that that is the case – it remains a matter of interpretation.

          It disagrees with the bible because it tells that the church has power to alter or interpret the bible anyway they want to.

          It was the Church which separated the books of the Bible from the other books circulating at the time, and it was the Church that came up with the final list we have today. That is the power the Church has. Not to alter anything. The Church has the power to interpret the Bible – for Protestants, it’s every man for himself, and there is no authority to turn to when two people disagree on an interpretation.

          Catholics to not worship statues. Veneration is another matter, and I’ve seen many Adventists venerate the Bible. Did they worship it? No. Catholic practice is biblical.

  1. This is a detailed look at Adventism and its official position on abortion. Nasty stuff.

    SDA General Conference Abortion Decision 1970 -1971

    • Brittany on October 2, 2013 at 10:21 am

    You can’t disregard the entire SDA church because of one ill-minded pastor. “When one group of Christians has to lie about another group of Christians.” It wasn’t a group of Christians…it was a person

    1. The problem is that this is not an uncommon problem. This sort of thing is preached from many Adventist pulpits, written in books and websites, and passed on by Adventists. Right from the writings of Ellen White down until today, misinformation about the Catholic Church has played a prominent role in the Adventist community. Yes, in this case it was one person, but there are many, many others, and he is just the tip of the iceberg. Adventism, as a whole, is far more dishonest about Catholicism than many other anti-Catholic groups are, and it’s entrenched in Adventist theology, unlike many other anti-Catholic groups. Most anti-Catholic groups could abandon their anti-Catholic attitudes and remain what they are. Adventism has anti-Catholicism as such a significant part of its foundation that Adventism would cease to exist without it.

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