Ex-Roman Catholic Priest Speaks

November 3, 2015

False Religion

Below is a small piece of the story of Herman Hegger where he discusses his former faith and the doubts he struggled with on a regular basis.  This piece is the portion of his story describing his departure from the Roman Catholic faith and priesthood  (the whole story can be read in full by clicking HERE).

“With such doubts in my heart I could obviously not remain a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. For me, the living death of the monastery came to an end. I left the life of semblances and shadows for a world of fascinating reality in which I was free to breathe at last. I surrendered my office as professor and left the Roman Catholic Church. I laid aside my priestly cassock, which in tropical Brazil just soaked up the heat, and walked lightly and free in my shirt sleeves. But deep within I still carried the burden of my guilt.

Outwardly I was free, but inwardly I was not at rest, for I had lost sight of God completely. I received much help from an evangelical church in Rio de Janeiro—a local church where the congregation based their faith only on the teachings of the Bible. The sympathy of the people there helped me very much, for they provided me with civilian clothing which I had no money to buy, and food and shelter. I shall always be grateful to them. But most of all the preaching of their minister gripped me. It was completely new to me, to hear such explanations of the Bible. But could I be helped by a non-Catholic preacher?

Certainly, in my seminary training and as a priest I had heard regularly about the alleged false teaching of such churches, but I had never understood what they taught. In Rio de Janeiro I heard the minister explain that a man cannot save himself, or deserve entrance into heaven by any of his own efforts because he is utterly lost and hopeless. With all this I could heartily agree, for I had all too clearly experienced my inability to change myself. In spite of the greatest efforts and every kind of penitence, I had not succeeded in becoming a different kind of person. The preacher went even further and showed that there is only one way to be set free from sin, and that is to be given by God a completely free pardon and a new life. He showed how this experience must be obtained directly from Jesus Christ, who gives it freely and unmistakably to all who hand themselves over to Him in complete trust in His perfect sacrifice.

At first I found this difficult to believe. It was like a fairy story — too good to be true. I could see the beauty of yielding to Christ. It sounded wonderful, and yet at the same time, it seemed too easy, too cheap. As a Catholic I believed that salvation was the hardest battle in life, a matter of struggling for and deserving God’s favor. But now I began to understand the true teaching of the Bible. Yes, salvation is indeed the hardest thing in the world and must be deserved by perfect obedience to all the demands of God’s law, in other words, perfect sinlessness. But the amazing fact is that the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has fulfilled all these demands for us and on our behalf, if we trust Him. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26).

At last the wonderful breakthrough came. My soul opened itself wholly to Christ in completed trust. I could see that it was not the Jews who had crucified Christ — I had done it. My sins were taken by Him. A blinding flash of light illuminated the rubbish heap of my former life.  My soul lay like a bombed-out city before me, and I was filled with anguish at seeing the sin which had permeated my whole being. But, over the rubbish heap I realized and knew that Christ had forgiven me and made me a true Christian. I had become a new creature.

Jesus spoke of the relationship between Himself and true Christians in these words, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:14). I had begun a new life, with all the feeling of close fellowship with God which I had never known in all my days as a Catholic priest. The dead legalism of the Church of Rome was behind and the future was a living personal relationship with our wonderful God.”

Good stuff!  Check out his entire testimony by clicking the link at the top of this page.


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9 Comments on “Ex-Roman Catholic Priest Speaks”

  1. Mark Rowe Says:

    So I have tried to find the monastery. So far from what I can tell he is lying.
    If you have more information like the actual monastery he claims he was tortured in. Please reply.


    • Mark Rowe Says:

      So I have asked every site this is posted on for a source no one can give me one. As far as I can tell this is a fairy tale and will consider it so until someone can point me to this person. This is an outrageous story and it’s sad that Christians would defacto believe this.


      • ChurchSalt Says:

        If you follow the link to the article, the author’s name, address and phone number are given with an invitation to contact him at the very bottom. Also listed are various books he’s written about his journey out of Roman Catholicism. If you are concerned. I would suggest you reach out to him. To me, his journey sounds quite similar to Martin Luther in many respects.


        • Mark Rowe Says:

          Yes I contacted them and they said the author was sick and couldn’t respond but said they had no idea where he got the information from.


      • Mark Rowe Says:

        Mark, we cannot help you. As I wrote earlier, I have never heard of Herman Hegger. The website you gave just below and the link from that website are not a part of our ministry


  2. Eliza Says:

    One more thing about this amazing testimony. We see the power of the Holy Word of God working Christ’s work in the heart of a sinner through the power of the Holy Spirit. We see that God’s work done His way prevails. We see all the more reason to share the glorious gospel of God’s grace through sharing the infallible, inerrant, preserved Word of God with any and all. What a wonderful encouragement. Thank you for sharing this. Amen!


    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hi Eliza,
      I agree, I thought this was great. It’s also interesting to note that, while he was under conviction from the Spirit through the Word, to those around him he probably appeared as every other priest. There is simply no telling how God is working in someone to bring about repentance and faith. This should be an encouragement to us in being diligent in our witness and prayers. Until God gives us spritual x-ray vision, we simply don’t know what’s happeing on the inside of those around us. Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a great day!


  3. Eliza Says:

    Great testimony! God obviously had His hand on this man. What a wonderful example of the grace of God towards sinners. Thank you for sharing this testimony dear brother. Amen!


  4. ingrid Says:

    I can see and hear the angels in heaven jumping for joy over this new convert. Praise the Lord.


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