by Dr. Antonio (Tony) Pezzotta
Catholicism and the Bible
Dr. Anthony P. Pezzotta was born in Bergamo, Italy. He studied fifteen years in Roman Catholic seminaries of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Italy, England, Spain and Germany. He was ordained a Catholic priest on February 11, 1961 in Turin by His Eminence Cardinal Maurilio Fossati, then Archbishop of the diocese. In the Catholic Church, Dr. Pezzotta earned undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Greek, and the equivalent of a Master’s degree in Theology from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. In the Philippines, he was appointed as Director of Schools and Seminaries, as well as a Rector of Local Salesian Communities (1964-1974).
On February 26, 1974, after studying the Scriptures on his own, and through the testimony of Rev. Ernesto Montealegre, a Filipino Baptist pastor, Tony (as he likes to be called) trusted Christ alone as Savior and Lord of his life. Tony left the Catholic church and joined the Santa Cruz Baptist Church, where he was baptized on March 3, 1974. There he met Zita Vitangcol, a Sunday School teacher, whom he later married. God blessed Zita and Tony with three children, Marie, Angela and Daniel.
Tony completed a Master’s degree from Denver Seminary, Denver, Colorado in 1975, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity by Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon in 1991.
In 1975, after finishing their studies, Tony and Zita joined The First Baptist Church of West Los Angeles, where Tony was ordained to the Gospel Ministry on May 16, 1976. In June of the same year, Tony and Zita were appointed by CB International (now WorldVenture) as missionaries to the Philippines where they ministered until June 1999.
In July, 2001, Tony joined the Conservative Baptist Association of Southern California (now Pacific Church Network) where he served a number of years as Director of Ethnic Ministries until his retirement in 2011 because of illness. Tony went to be with the Lord on April 2, 2014.
Tony's book about Catholicism and the Holy Scriptures, TRUTH ENCOUNTER, was first published in 1996 and then reprinted in 2000. The Spanish Version, Encuentro Con La Verdad, was published in 2004. The books are currently out of print, but we hope to see them reprinted in the near future.