Self-Appointed Preacher Disrupts Holy Mass

News: US News
by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  •  May 31, 2023   

Interrupts a Houston parish, calls the Rosary a 'heresy'

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HOUSTON (ChurchMilitant) - A self-proclaimed preacher interrupted a Catholic Mass to spout rhetoric against the Mother of God and the Rosary. 

Ryan Foley disrupted Mass at Houston's Church of the Annunciation on May 20. He posted a clip of the incident on his TikTok account. It shows two ushers escorting him out of the church against his will while Foley shouted, "The Rosary is heresy. Mother Mary is nothing; it's about knowing Jesus Christ."

While in the vestibule right before being forced outside, he yelled, "You cannot exalt Mary."

History of Disruption

Foley, typically seen roaming around Nevada, recently made his way to Texas to further his anti-Catholic preaching. In another video, he revealed his misguided thoughts regarding Catholics.

Ryan Foley's clip of the incident at Assumption

"The reason it's so important to understand that Catholics are going to Hell is because it is a completely false religion," Foley stated. 

"Everything they're teaching, they hide it in this: We both believe Jesus Christ is Our Lord and Savior, but we miss the fact that they're worshiping false gods," he continued. "As we were walking out of the service, they began to say 'Hail Mary, Hail Mary' over us, which was weird."

Foley, who claims in another video to have received a divine vision, has a history of disrupting public spaces to rant.

He has been documented preaching in various locations, including a Subway restaurant, a shopping mall, a fitness center, a Target store and a casino in Reno, Nevada.

Deleted TikTok Account

Foley apparently deleted one of his TikTok accounts and opened a new one. 

An article from January on Foley's preaching in a gym provides a link to a former TikTok account that no longer exists. Another article from January on his anti-porn videos provides the same non-functioning link.

His new account is currently active. The first video, posted on April 13, shows him preaching at a casino in Reno, Nevada.

However, older videos not available on his current account have been circulated by others on social media.

Jesus found me; I found Jesus. I realized that porn was in between me and God.

In one of these videos, Foley discussed overcoming his pornography addiction. He detailed how he quit watching pornography when he found himself drawn to what he categorized as "weird categories" such as "transgenders having sex with chicks."

"I was watching transgenders having sex with transgenders and then dudes," he added. "Just like Ted Bundy, eventually the porn wasn't enough for Ted Bundy. He started actually doing the acts. And I started doing the acts." He expressed remorse and stated he had changed his ways. "Jesus found me; I found Jesus. I realized that porn was in between me and God," he asserted.

But as the video is a testimony to his overcoming sin by grace — something he vehemently preaches about while correctly condemning a host of sins — it remains unclear why he deleted the old account or never re-posted this particular video to his new one.

Involvement of Law

On his new account, Foley talked about law enforcement coming to his own place of worship after he harassed parishioners at Annunciation Church.

"Today, I had two detectives show up at my house church with the Catholics as who they're working with, and apparently the Catholics — the overseers of Houston, Texas — are trying to get in touch with the FBI to shut down what I have going on, essentially not permitting me to go in to Catholic churches anymore," he said.

"I suppose that's understandable when you come combating one of the devil's doctrines," Foley added before launching into a tirade against the Rosary.

But his unwelcome anti-Catholic preaching in Catholic churches might have violated federal law, which prohibits disrupting a person's free exercise of religion. This is covered in 18 U.S.C. § 247 under the title "Damage to religious property; obstruction of persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs (emphasis added). 

And as Foley has undoubtedly read, the New Testament is clear about one's duty to obey human authority and just laws. 

For example, Peter teaches one must obey human authority: "Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling; Or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good" (1 Peter 2:13–14). 

Attacking the Rosary

Foley offers typical run-of-the-mill antics against the Rosary. He spuriously argues Jesus condemned all repetition in prayer. For example, one gospel states: "And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard" (Matthew 6:7). But in the King James Bible, which Foley undoubtedly uses, "speak not much" is instead "use not vain repetitions." 

But Our Lord is not condemning repetition as such. He Himself repeated some prayers, as evidenced during His agony in the garden. "And leaving them, he went again: and he prayed the third time, saying the selfsame word" (Matthew 26:44).

The reason Catholics outside of church were praying "Hail Mary," as Foley mentioned, was because they were repeating the words of the archangel Gabriel as recorded in the Gospel of Luke: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee" (Luke 1:28).

Foley further claimed, "What are you actually doing when you pray the Rosary? Summoning evil spirits." Why he thinks demons are summoned when one prays to God by repeating and meditating on His own message as found in Scripture is anybody's guess.

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