Evangelist Billy Graham once branded an “ally of Rome” by Paisley, dies

Posted By: February 22, 2018

Marie Louise McConville.Irish News. Belfast. Thursday, February 22, 2018

Billy Graham, who has died at the age of 99, was once branded “an ally of Rome” by former DUP leader Ian Paisley.

Although the founder of the Free Presbyterian Church toured America and formed strong links with some US Baptist churches, he criticized the evangelist for his efforts to meet and work with members of Catholic clergy.

Mr. Graham had been suffering from cancer, pneumonia and a number of other illnesses.

In a 1972 article, Mr. Paisley claimed Dr. Graham had “departed completely from the Reformation viewpoint concerning the Church of Rome.”

“He looks upon that Church as a Christian Church, and when Roman Catholics profess conversion at his campaigns, he directs them back to the Roman Catholic Church.”

When Mr. Paisley passed away in September 2014, Mr. Graham’s son Franklin – president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – described the unionist leader as “a powerful politician and a towering figure in the Northern Irish peace process.”

“But most importantly, he was a preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.

“While I was preaching in Belfast, Ireland in 2008, he invited me to his office. He was a man of deep conviction and great boldness. His leadership will be greatly missed.”

Spokesman Mark DeMoss said Mr. Graham died at his home in North Carolina on Wednesday morning.