Sat 25th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 24th Oct 2014 at 18:39pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

Pope at Assisi: People still seeking faith are ‘pilgrims of truth’ too

By on Thursday, 27 October 2011

Religious leaders gathered at the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Religious leaders gathered at the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Benedict XVI told 300 religious leaders at Assisi today that people who are suspicious of religion cannot be blamed for questioning God’s existence when they see believers use religion to justify violence.

At the historic gathering in the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, the Pope said: “All their struggling and questioning is, in part, an appeal to believers to purify their faith so that God, the true God, becomes accessible.”

Marking the 25th anniversary of the first Assisi interfaith gathering for peace, hosted by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1986, Pope Benedict brought together the religious leaders and – for the first time – several philosophers who describe themselves as humanists or seekers who do not identify with any single religion.

After a train ride of almost two hours from the Vatican, Pope Benedict and his guests arrived in Assisi and were driven to the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels for the morning gathering focused on “testimonies for peace”.

Entering the basilica before the Pope, the delegates created an unusually colourful congregation. They wore white, black or crimson robes or business suits; on their heads were skullcaps, turbans, scarves or veils.

The Pope condemned the use of religion to excuse violence and the use of violence to impose a religion, as well as the growing violence resulting from “the loss of humanity” that comes from denying the existence of God and of objective moral standards.

“As a Christian, I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame,” Pope Benedict said.

Christian leaders, like all religious leaders, he said, must work constantly to help their followers purify their faith and be “an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans”.

But a lack of religion isn’t the answer to world peace, he said.

The Nazi death camps clearly proved that “the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria [for judging right and wrong] and leads him to violence,” the Pope said.

On the other hand, he said, those who have not found faith, but are seeking, also are “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”.

“These people are seeking the truth, they are seeking the true God, whose image is frequently concealed in the religions because of the ways in which they are often practised. Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God,” he said.

“They challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others,” the Pope said.

Sitting to the Pope’s right were Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to his left were Rabbi David Rosen, representing the chief rabbinate of Israel, and Wande Abimbola, president of a Nigerian institute that promotes the study of the culture and traditional religion of the Yoruba people. He chanted a poem, shaking a rattle made of an animal tusk.

Eleven of the Pope’s guests spoke before Pope Benedict did.

Patriarch Bartholomew said the 25 years since Blessed John Paul II’s Assisi gathering have included the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States and the Arab Spring democracy movement “which has not put an end to tensions between communities”.

“The place of religions in the changes under way remains ambiguous,” the patriarch said, echoing the concerns of many Christians that more radical followers of Islam may not protect the rights of Christian minorities in the countries that have thrown off dictatorships.

“We must oppose the deformation of the message and symbols of religion by perpetrators of violence,” said the Orthodox spiritual leader.

Dr Williams told the participants they must help the world see how much wisdom religions have to offer “in the struggle against the foolishness of a world still obsessed with fear and suspicion, still in love with the idea of a security based on defensive hostility, and still capable of tolerating or ignoring massive loss of life among the poorest through war and disease”.

The Rev Olav Fykse Tveit, a Lutheran minister and secretary-general of the World Council of Churches, urged the leaders to do more to assist and guide their young people, who can be the source of new energy for change – like with the Arab Spring – or can express their frustrations through violence.

He also pleaded with all the religious leaders present to pray and work for peace in Jerusalem, a city sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims and a symbol of ongoing tensions among people of different faiths.

A Hindu representative from India, Shrivatsa Goswami, said the leaders needed to ask themselves why interreligious dialogue has not had a greater impact on the world situation in the last 25 years.

“Are we missing the inward part of the journey?” he asked. “Dialogue will be a futile exercise unless we undertake it with humility, forbearance, and the desire to respect the ‘other’,” whether or not they return that respect, he said.

Hasyim Muzadi, general secretary of the Indonesia-based International Conference of Islamic Scholars, could not attend, but sent a speech. He said people of different faiths must work together to build on something they all share: “a hope for the creation of human harmony, justice, prosperity and an improved standard of human life”.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Instead of apologising for what HE considers past failings in the Church, Pope Benedict should, to use his own words, “acknowledge with great shame” two things: first of all his culpability in organsising this blasphemous gathering at Assisi and secondly his total failure to deal with the chaos, the lack of discipline, the widespread apostasy within the Catholic Church – after 30 years at the CDF he cannot claim ignorance or “diplomacy”  He should have entered the papacy, having accept ited, with gloves off, ready to clear out the dissenters and apostates running the show in the Vatican and in every diocese around the world.

    The Pope cannot possibly apologise for events in history that he neither fully understands from a distant perspective, nor for which he holds any responsibility. He IS, however, fully responsible for the apostasy which has engulfed the Church, and  Pope Benedict needs to deal with that – by getting rid of all dissenting/apostate bishops and priests – before he is called to give an account of his stewardship. The very fact that so many Catholics today are praising or at least finding excuses for this shocking debacle, will come back to  haunt him at his judgement.

  • Brian A Cook

    Thank you, your holiness.

  • Joan

    What are you thanking the Pope for?

  • Anonymous

    For wise words and for being such a great Pope.

  • John

    Dialogue will be a futile exercise no matter what attitude accompanies it, because of 2 reasons: 1.It is not conversion: the conversion commanded by Our Lord. 2. As practiced by the disoriented useful idiots of Freemasonry, and the Masons themselves, who have occupied and paralyzed the Church since VII, “dialogue” consists of the Catholic Church making concessions and surrendering her Sacred Deposit of Faith to heretics and nonbelievers, piece by piece, until there is nothing left but clergy celebrating clown masses. There is nothing given in return by these so-called “dialogue partners.” It is a pathetic sham.

    No, Your Holiness, their inability to find God is because you and your predecessors have failed in your duty to convert them, just as you have failed in your duty to preserve that which you were charged with handing on. You have only allowed the continued decay of the Faith, and this disgrace, along with such lunacies as the beatification of JPII, provides ample proof.

  • Paul

    If you cant see why he is thanking the Pope then you are really blind!!sorry for you

  • Anonymous

    When it is reported of Pope Benedict XVI as saying: “All their struggling and questioning is, in part, an appeal to believers to purify their faith so that God, the true God, becomes accessible.”, it makes it sound as if faith comes from within the human mind, and that it is within the power of mankind to purify that faith.

    Faith is the adherence of the intellect to the truth revealed by the Word of God.  This truth comes from outside and is not produced in the mind of man, and it cannot be purified by man.  The best that these delegates can achieve is to abandon their current belief sets and to pray to the Holy Ghost to give them the gift of faith so that they, too, can accept the Word of God and get themselves baptised so that they become members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    What a golden opportunity the Pope has to win more souls for Christ while he is at Assisi.

    Let us pray that he will seize the opportunity.

  • SS1

    Truth comes from outside, yes, but the desire to know God is implanted within us. Our immortal souls are made to know and love God and the struggle to know the truth is ultimately the struggle to know God.

  • SS1

    Was Our Lord culpable when people walked away because they could not accept His teaching? Was he responsible for their apostasy? Or course not. Similarly, Pope Benedict is not to blame for the fact that millions of people have preferred the way of the world to the love of God. All he can do, which he does, is to keep preaching the Gospel and teaching the truth.

    Your characteristic anger and lack of charity towards the Pope are depressing and un-Christian.

  • Anonymous

    Where’s the blasphemy?
    The long-held Catholic oecumenical proscriptions were obeyed – including all mandatory restrictions set by Pius XI [and reverberated in Verbum Domini] were applied – there was no joint prayer – no scandal or apostasy.

    Honestly if the reincarnation of St Pius X returned to the Papal throne you’d still complain it wasn’t Pius V!!!

    Yes there are many many dissenters, renegades and apostates in the Church, clerical and lay, in high and low positions, of a diverse moral probity and socio-cultural persuasion…

    …but the problem is Editrix CT – you don’t get the whole picture – none of us do; but His Holiness has further details and information made available to Him.

    Sometimes you can’t excise the darnel without damaging the wheat – risking all the lives of the faithful.

    Yes you want His Holiness to wield the gleaming sword and decapitate all those who prowl the world seeking to despoil and corrupt – but it doesn’t work like that…

    I’m sure you have plenty of files on certain clerics which would make our blood boil and our hair turn white but if you eradicate them from the system with no-one to replace them you end up with a power vacuum where the real opportunists and procedurality experts and machiavellian mobsters form a hostile takeover – all the ones you know are a faithless ‘bad lot’ but you can’t prove it!

    I’ve told you numerous times before – His Holiness is playing the long game – he’s in this for the long-haul and can’t risk performing all manner of things only for hostile reactionism and dissociated enemies to unite against a common grief and  reverse everything in the next few conclaves…

    Give him a break – he’s done more in six years than we could have ever thought possible – given us more chance to return to grace than his predecessor did in twenty-six…

    Now for the umpteenth time I beg you – fight your real enemies and quit being part of the problem by griping about the Pope. We are not worthy of such a man – and you should cherish his appointment as Bishop of Rome.

  • Maitreya

    Why was the Pope sat apart from the other World religious leaders of equally high status? Was he ill that day and frightened of passing on an infection to the other World religious dignitaries? Having brought together such a huge gathering of World influencing great men, dedicated to the promotion of World Peace so desperately needed in such a deeply troubled World at this time, it is a sorry example to the World’s people that they represent, that even THEY could not come together in Peace to PRAY to our universal GOD of ALL in a joint Prayer Ceremony! It could have manifested something GREAT into the World, and they foolishly let the opportunity to UNITE as ONE WITH GOD slip away. A crime against GOD and all of Humanity! UNIVERSAL LOVE and PRAYER speaks the same language and is recognised in all hearts regardless of colour, creed or nation! I pray, that when they meet up together again at an interfaith gathering, that they too will come together as ONE with GOD and do their duty to GOD and MAN.
    I give to each and every heart universally my eternal love and blessings.
    Maitreya

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the Pope’s expression of shame at the use of force in the name of God would take away the right of self-defence, as opposed to perpetrating an act of aggression, e.g. for a ‘Christian’ nation to defend itself against an aggressive ‘Muslim’ nation (or, dare I say it, vice versa). I put the words Christian and Muslim in inverted commas because I suspect that many acts of aggression perpetrated by so-called ‘Christian’ nations did not reflect the Christian faith: religion can be a cloak for purely worldly aims. I would also allow for that possibility in ‘Muslim’ nations.

  • Brian A Cook

    Thank you.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    SS1, forget the nasty personal remarks – they wash over me.

    Anger? Watch this short ten minute video clip of Bishop Fellay demolishing all this ecumenical baloney and see if you can keep a straight face.  I couldn’t.  Haven’t laughed as much in a while. His analogy with planes is brilliant.
    http://gloria.tv/?media=121012

  • Mr Grumpy

    ‘The Pope cannot possibly apologise for events in history that he neither fully understands from a distant perspective, nor for which he holds any responsibility.’

    He didn’t, he expressed shame. If it was revealed that one of my parents had committed some terrible crime I could not meaningfully apologise but I surely would feel shame. Yes, no, EditorCT?

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    The very idea that any Catholic, let alone a pope – should be ashamed of the Bride of Christ is truly horrifying.

  • Mr Grumpy

    I am not ashamed of the Bride of Christ, I am ashamed of some of the things that have been done in Her name.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Can you post a list of other religious groups who have expressed shame and  apologised for things that individuals have done in THEIR name?

  • Veritatim

    My Friend, it seems as if your mind as with most other people I see on these forums has become like an unhinged train on the same track as the true faith. You parallel it but yet you do not see it. If you think that what the Pope is doing at Assisi now and what has been done in the past is not a blasphemy or apostasy. Then you should look at the writing of other Holy Fathers:

    I bring you the words of Pope Pius XI ” Assured that there exist few men who are entirely devoid of the religious sense, they seem to ground on this belief a hope that all nations, while differing indeed in religious matters, may yet without great difficulty be brought to fraternal agreement on certain points of doctrine which will form a common basis of spiritual life. With this object, congresses, meetings and addresses are arranged, attended by a large concourse of hearers, where all without distinction, unbelievers of every kind as well as Christians, even those who unhappily reject Christ and denied His divine nature or mission, are invited to join in the discussion. Now, such efforts can meet with no kind of approval amongst Catholics. They presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, insomuch as all give expression, under various forms,to that innate sense which leads men to God to the obedient acknowledgement of his rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error; they distort the true idea of religion, and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and aethesim. To favour this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God.” These words are from the encyclical Mortalium Animos.

    If as you say his holiness is playing the long game and has all the information not to mention the full picture available to him. What is the long game? And what would be the eventual fruit of this long game?

    You say “Now for the umpteenth time I beg you – fight your real enemies”  - Who are these enemies? The Catholic Church has many enemies some without and some within, Editor CT, you are spot on the mark when you say “He IS, however, fully responsible” – Shouldn’t the Pope be routing out the enemies of the church from within before he goes and organises this meeting?
    If you are indeed a Priest as hinted by your name, then as a mere respectful layman I put to you, that it is your duty to teach the truth and not to admonish people like Editor CT trying to tell people the truth!

  • Mr Grumpy

    So if others are shameless it’s OK for Catholics to be no better? You might want to stop digging at this point, EditorCT.

  • Brian A Cook

    My sentiments exactly. 

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbZaf2R2r-Q Bellator

    Smoke of Satan in Assisi.

  • Anonymous

    You haven’t read what Pius XI wrote have you?
    Like EditorCT – all too often the antagonistic read things peripherally – presuming they justify their position.
    It doesn’t!

    “WITH THIS OBJECT…”

    His Holiness had neither that objective nor an intention towards that objective ; which is why I myself mentioned the restrictions being upheld. he scrupulously adhered to the proscriptions on oecumenical meetings [which is a damn sight more than ANY oecumenical activity you'll see on this fair isle - especially in the nightmare days of Cormacism on the south coast]

    If She truly wishes to do her job; EditorCT should be going after the real enemies of the Church – NOT creating scandal by inventing false Papal heteropraxis where none exists…

    If she wants to hound +Vin [or anyone else on Conference who conspires] to the very gates of hell for his anti-life policies and scandals – that’s fine by me…but leave the Pope alone!

    Not a priest:Just a surname.

  • Anonymous

    Sod the other religious groups

    We’re the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – we stand by our repentant and absolved neighbour – and we express regret, sorrow AND shame for the way our limitations have led us to fail in the service of the inerrant Mystical Body of Christ

    i.e. EditorCT – shove it!

  • http://twitter.com/PJTPOOAM Thomas Poovathinkal

    MAKING GOD, THE TRUE ONE, ACCESSIBLE IS THE KEY.

    WHAT IS IS THE USE OF GOD OUT THERE WHO CANNOT BE EXPERIENCED AND TESTED?

    IF WE CANNOT TEST HIM WE CANNOT FIND OUT HIS WORTH. SUCH A GOD COULD VERY WELL BE A FALSE GOD MADE BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS WHO ARE ONLY POLITICIANS. HENCE QUESTIONING  GOD AND TESTING HIM IS VERY IMPORTANT TO FIND OUT AND IDENTIFY  THE TRUE GOD AMONG SO MANY:
    KRISHNA THE GOD OF HINDUS, JESUS THE GOD OF CHRISTIANS,
    THE GOD OF MUSLIMS AND MAY BE MANY  MORE.

  • http://twitter.com/PJTPOOAM Thomas Poovathinkal

    FOR BEING OPEN-MINDED, FOR SEEKING COMMON GROUND FOR ALL HUMANITY AND  DESIRING

    THE WELFARE OF ALL, WE THANK THIS GREAT POPE.

  • http://twitter.com/PJTPOOAM Thomas Poovathinkal

    GOD HAS MADE A MISTAKE BY NOT PREDETERMINING THIS LADY AS THE FIRST COUNSELLOR

    OF OUR GREAT POPE!

  • http://twitter.com/PJTPOOAM Thomas Poovathinkal

    PEOPLE SEEKING THE TRUTH END UP IN GOOD FAITH. HERE-FROM NO GOING BEYOND.

    IF ORGANIZED RELIGIONS ENCOURAGE THEIR FOLLOWERS TO SEEK THE TRUTH, ALL OF THEM

    EXCEPT ONE WILL END UP AS ZEROES.

    THE TIME TO SEEK THE TRUTH IS ONE’S YOUTH WHEN ONE IS NOT BOUND. ONCE YOUTH IS PAST

    ONE’S CHANCE IS LOST.

  • Anonymous

    The word humbug comes to mind when I read about the happenings and comments about the event at Assisi.
    It only increases peoples sense of belief in relatavism and is a cause of great scandal. St. Francis would not have approved I am sure. he wanted tp pray and do penance which is what we should be doing.
    The pope is undoing the great good that he has done so far to teach the truths of  THE FAITH but it looks as if he wants to please everybody but pleasing the few in high places of other religions and not his own people.
    Why are they not all at home looking after their own flocks instead of swanning around on the world stage. 
    Why doensn’t Pope Benedict get on with the true consecration of Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary in the way Our Lady asked at Fatima?

  • Seg810

    Fr z read some theology did the grace of God not exist from the beginning?

  • Tselby

    Wow! ‘this blasphemous gathering’?!  How is this so?  He cannot do more than be a Christian, unless to you being Catholic is a definition of greater import.  One cannot be a quiet Christian, or one that is inactive, or not reaching out to all.  After all, ‘Catholic’ means, in the broadest sense, ‘universal’.  Well done, Holy Father, and thank you for dragging us all into the 21st Century!

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t realize this was the SSPX Herald…

  • Anonymous

    “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?”

    SSPX are today’s Pharisees, only concerned with a show of ritual pomp and precision (they’re like a military marching band), with an aristocratic sneer, and not at all with a “heart as contrite as the dust.” No apologies from them, to be sure.

    Having said that, you have to remember that self-deprecation is a sign of real confidence and status, subtly indicating that the speaker has no need to prop up his authority. You remember subtlety, right? Note also the positioning in the photo op. Benedict is clearly in charge here, with the other Christian denominations at one side, and the tribal religions on the other, and Benedict set apart in the center. The leader. Co-opting secularism as “an appeal to believers to purify their faith” is a nice move, as well.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a key in the middle-left area of your keyboard, it has “CAPS LOCK” written on it. Pic: http://s3files.core77.com/blog/images/no-caps.jpg

  • Rtarasiak

    Definition
    of ECUMENICAL

    1

    : worldwide or general in extent,
    influence, or application

    2

    a: of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of
    churches b: promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity
    or cooperation

    — ec·u·men·i·cal·ly -k(ə-)lēadverb

     

    What
    Is Wrong With “Ecumenical”?

    By
    Dr. Opal L. Reddin

    If we are to converse meaningfully
    about the subject of ecumenism, we must define our terms so we can know we are
    talking about the same thing. We need definitions for the following: ecumenism;
    ecumenical; modern ecumenical organization; ecumenical movement.

    Ecumenical Can Be a Good, Useful Term

    Ecumenical derives from the Greek
    term oikoumene; it is of course a good word, used 15 times in the New
    Testament; it always means either the inhabited world or earth or inhabitants
    of the world (Cf. Mt. 24; Lk. 2:1; 4:5; 21:26; Ac. 11:28; 17:6, 31; 19:27;
    24:5; Rom. 10:18; Heb. 1:6; 2:5; Rev. 3:10; 12:9; 16:14). Webster’s Dictionary
    has: ecumenical: the inhabited world; worldwide in extent or influence.

    Any activity that encompasses the
    world or involves the inhabitants of the world can be described as ecumenical.
    Of course, the prime example is the spread of the Gospel to the whole world,
    according to the Great Commission of our Lord. The First Century Church so
    evangelized their world that Paul could write to the saints in Rome that the
    Gospel had gone to the ends of the oikoumene (Rom. 10:18). The term can
    also be used in a secular sense with no undesirable implications, such as an
    ecumenical conference on world hunger.

    When
    Ecumenical Becomes a Dangerous Term

    Ecumenical
    becomes a dangerous term when it is combined with movement and applied to
    churches and Christians. Webster defines ecumenical movement as a planned
    bringing together of all Christians into visible unity; most ecumenical
    organizations define the ecumenical movement as a means to show the world all
    Christians are in unity.

    The claim is made that this is to
    answer Jesus prayer in John 17:22. While Webster does not have be concerned about the
    definition of Christian and unity, we do! The fact is that the current
    ecumenical movement always brings
    together some who are true to the doctrines of the Word of God with some who
    are not. There is no Christian unity where there is not unity in the faith once
    for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

    The
    True Body of Christ IS In Unity

    In His prayer Jesus specified the
    kind of persons who can be in unity as He is in unity with the Father (John.
    17:22b). He made clear the desired unity would be a spiritual unity (17:5;
    10:30), unity in Truth (17:17), and in agape Love (17:23,26). The fact that
    seems to be commonly overlooked is that Jesus’ prayer HAS ALREADY been answered
    and continues to be answered until He claims His Bride.

    The world sees hundreds of
    denominations; God sees the One Church, the Body of Christ, which includes some
    from many denominations. The only way to be in the true Church is to be placed
    into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit in regeneration: …the Body is one
    .. . .all the members are one . . .for by one Spirit we were all baptized into
    one Body (1 Cor. 12:12-13). You are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).

    Jesus prayer WAS answered as Acts 2
    records. The disciples were in the unity of the Spirit since all were filled with
    the Holy Spirit (2:4, they were in unity of Truth as they continued steadfastly
    in the apostles’ doctrine (2:42), and they were in unity of Love (2:43- 44).

    The original unity of the Church was
    gradually broken by heretical teachers and their followers as recorded, for
    example, in Jesus’ letters to the seven churches (Rev. 2-3). Jesus warned five
    of the churches He would be leaving their midst if they did not repent. Would
    an ecumenical conference have helped them? It would only have ensconced them
    more deeply in their backsliding. The ONLY way the whole Body of Christ can
    again have visible unity before the world is for all to be of the same doctrine
    and experience as that first church.

    The
    Wrong Kind of Unity

    The modern
    ecumenical movement is promoted generally by the World Council of Churches and
    the Roman Catholic Church. It gets most of its momentum from the Roman Catholic
    Pontifical Council on Ecumenism. Their PURPOSE was verbalized succinctly at Vatican II.

    Speaking of dialogue with separated
    brethren, the following plan was recorded: The results will be that, little by
    little, as the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome, all
    Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into the
    UNITY OF THE ONE AND ONLY CHURCH (Documents of Vatican II by Flannery, p. 456).

    The World Council of Churches has
    contributed to the breaking down of doctrinal standards for many denominations
    and has promoted the ecumenical movement; however the WCC is now drawing closer
    and closer to the Catholics because the Roman Church has AUTHORITY, vested in
    an infallible pope.

    When Nehemiah was leading God’s
    people in the rebuilding of the walls, his archenemies Sanballat, Tobiah, and
    Geshem saw the Jews’ success. When they could not stop the people of God, they
    tried another ruse. They sent an invitation to Nehemiah inviting him to
    dialogue in the plain of Ono. Nehemiah said, “Ono? Oh, no! I am doing a
    great work so that I cannot come down” He knew their PURPOSE was evil; he
    stayed the course and was successful (Neh. 6:1-15).

    Pentecostal denominations in
    general, and the Assemblies of God in particular, have experienced great
    success as defined scripturally. Now the Sanballats and Tobiahs want to
    dialogue. The ecumenical movement is led by a Church that admittedly plans to
    bring all other churches under its control.

    For example, Father Ray Ryland, a
    professor of theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH, works with Coming Home Network, an organization whose purpose is to draw in separated brethren. In an
    article in THIS ROCK, March 2000, he explains how Catholics are to carry out
    Vatican II’s ecumenical agenda, both covertly and overtly. He writes, “The
    goal of Catholic ecumenism is to restore unity to the separated traditions by
    bringing them within the unity of the Catholic Church.”

    What
    About “Celebrate Jesus 2000″?

    Coincidentally, Franciscan
    University is administering an ecumenical event for June 22-25, 2000, called
    “Celebrate Jesus 2000.” It is sponsored by the North American Renewal
    Service Committee (NARSC), an ecumenical organization bringing together many
    Charismatics, Third Wavers, and Pentecostals from many denominations.

    It is essential that we remember the
    Roman Catholic priests who participate have an agenda. If they were not loyal
    to the pope in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint (That They May Be One), they
    would not remain priests. Pope John Paul II is not a Charismatic, but he is
    willing to “tolerate and use” those who speak in tongues to
    accomplish his nefarious purpose. Let the sheep be warned, and let true
    shepherds be alert.

    The
    Assemblies of God Has Spoken

    The General Council of the Assemblies of God RE-EMPHASIZED a
    bylaw of long standing in their biennial meeting in St. Louis in 1995. Article
    IX, Section 11, states: “The General Council of the Assemblies of God
    disapproves of ministers or churches participating in any of the modern
    ecumenical organizations on a local, national, or international level in such a
    manner as to promote the ecumenical movement because:

    ·        
    We believe
    the basis of doctrinal fellowship of said movement to be so broad that it
    includes people who reject the inspiration of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the
    universality of sin, the substitutionary atonement, and other cardinal
    teachings that we understand to be essential to biblical Christianity.

    ·        
    We believe
    the emphases of the ecumenical movement to be at variance with what we hold to
    be biblical priorities, frequently displacing the urgency of individual
    salvation with social concerns.

    ·        
    We believe
    that the combination of many religious organizations into a world superchurch
    will culminate in the religious Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18.”

    By definition, NARSC is a modern
    ecumenical organization and Celebrate Jesus 2000″ is an ecumenical
    conference. “Celebrate Jesus 2000″ covers the ecumenical agenda under
    the umbrella of common Charismatic experience. However, spiritual experience
    ALONE can never be the basis for unity. Unity must be based on sound DOCTRINE.
    “If anyone comes with another doctrine, do not receive him….for he who
    greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 10,11).

    Peter was a Spirit-filled
    Pentecostal when he began to side with the Judaizers in their legalistic
    heresy; Paul rebuked him publicly for his hypocrisy (Galatians 2:11-16). Roman
    Catholic dogma promotes the same kind of legalism Paul anathematized. Peter
    repented; thus good fellowship was preserved in the unity of the faith (Acts 15:
    7-11; 1 John 1:7).

    What
    Would Jesus Do? What Would Paul Do?

    If Jesus had been ecumenical, He
    would have lovingly dialogued with the Jewish leaders who loved God (as they
    defined God) and were totally engrossed in doing good, just as are the leaders
    of the ecumenical movement today. He would have practiced reconciliation with
    all who named the name of Jehovah, and He could have escaped the Cross.

    Just one problem: where would we be
    if He had? If Paul had been ecumenical, he would never have rebuked Peter or
    pronounced God’s anathema on those who preached “another gospel”! In
    fact, he would not have been arrested and sent to Nero if he had only practiced
    reconciliation with all who claimed to be Christians. If Paul were alive today,
    he would again rebuke those teaching wrong doctrine regardless of

    their
    spiritual experiences.

    The fact that some Catholics speak in tongues proves nothing except that if the glossolalia is genuinely
    given by the Holy Spirit, then He will lead them away from error to Truth. When
    they insist on the biblical doctrine of salvation through Christ’s finished
    work of Calvary, with absolutely no necessity for the RCC sacraments, they will
    be excommunicated if they do not leave of their own accord. Mormons also speak
    in tongues. How long before we unite with them? Their doctrines are not much
    farther away from orthodoxy than are those of the RCC.

    Hasn’t
    the RC Church Changed Its Doctrines?

    Anyone can by reading the latest
    Catholic Catechism (1995) see that all the heretical teachings of past
    centuries, plus some new ones, are there: the placing of ultimate authority in
    CHURCH TRADITION and the Papacy rather than in the 66 canonical books of the
    Holy Bible; the sacramentalism of the
    Church as necessary to salvation;
    Transubstantiation, i.e., the receiving of grace by partaking of the Eucharist
    which is claimed to be the real body and real blood of Jesus; Mariolatry with
    prayers made to Mary everywhere as if she is omnipresent; Purgatory which most
    must endure before going to be with the Lord; and Indulgences for future sin.

    Check this book out of your library
    and read it for yourself. Roman Catholic theology presents another Gospel (Gal.
    1:1-9) and another Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4). The hypocrisy of the leaders in the
    Catholic Charismatic movement is seen in bold relief by the fact that they deny
    the Eucharist (the Lord’s
    Supper or Communion) even to those they wish to unite
    with at ecumenical celebrations. I sent an e-mail to the Franciscan University
    connection asking, Will there be a celebration of the Eucharist at Celebrate
    Jesus 2000′? I received a reply, Yes, for the Roman Catholics in their one
    separate morning meeting.

    I then asked, “Why cannot the
    others participate if all are celebrating the same Jesus?” I received no
    reply to that. The correct answer would be, they are not celebrating the same
    Jesus. They celebrate a Jesus Who must die daily; they crucify Him afresh in
    each Mass. True Christian faith rests in the Lord Jesus Christ Who said,
    “It is finished!” and arose to prove it.

    Ecumenism
    Cannot Change God’s TRUTH

    There is a line of cleavage forming
    in Christendom. Reverend James Bridges, General Treasurer of the Assemblies of
    God, stated to a meeting of leading A/G educators:

    There are many putting down
    denominations today, but I would rather have the multiple denominations which
    have emerged out of the Reformation, than be held in the bondage of a Roman
    colossus that continues to keep its devotees in superstition, ignorance and
    spiritual darkness. Beware the ecumenical movement afloat today lest when the
    new garb is removed it shows itself to be the same old bondage (personal file).

    NOW is the time to pray and to
    speak; if we are silent, we can lose our doctrinal integrity. Our Lord is
    Truth, a Person; the Bible is Truth, a book. The Holy Spirit brings them
    together in our genuine experience! The current ecumenical movement is antithetical
    to our Lord’s commission to preach the Gospel to every creature.

    We know too much and have been given
    too much to think of surrendering to the spirit of ecumenicalism. The eternal
    destiny of millions of people rests in our hands; if we are not true their
    blood will be on our hands. History will record your decision. What legacy will
    you bequeath to your children and their children? We must be true at any cost!

     

  • Rtarasiak

    What
    Is Wrong With “Ecumenical”?

    By
    Dr. Opal L. Reddin

    If we are to converse meaningfully
    about the subject of ecumenism, we must define our terms so we can know we are
    talking about the same thing. We need definitions for the following: ecumenism;
    ecumenical; modern ecumenical organization; ecumenical movement.

    Ecumenical Can Be a Good, Useful Term

    Ecumenical derives from the Greek
    term oikoumene; it is of course a good word, used 15 times in the New
    Testament; it always means either the inhabited world or earth or inhabitants
    of the world (Cf. Mt. 24; Lk. 2:1; 4:5; 21:26; Ac. 11:28; 17:6, 31; 19:27;
    24:5; Rom. 10:18; Heb. 1:6; 2:5; Rev. 3:10; 12:9; 16:14). Webster’s Dictionary
    has: ecumenical: the inhabited world; worldwide in extent or influence.

    Any activity that encompasses the
    world or involves the inhabitants of the world can be described as ecumenical.
    Of course, the prime example is the spread of the Gospel to the whole world,
    according to the Great Commission of our Lord. The First Century Church so
    evangelized their world that Paul could write to the saints in Rome that the
    Gospel had gone to the ends of the oikoumene (Rom. 10:18). The term can
    also be used in a secular sense with no undesirable implications, such as an
    ecumenical conference on world hunger.

    When
    Ecumenical Becomes a Dangerous Term

    Ecumenical
    becomes a dangerous term when it is combined with movement and applied to
    churches and Christians. Webster defines ecumenical movement as a planned
    bringing together of all Christians into visible unity; most ecumenical
    organizations define the ecumenical movement as a means to show the world all
    Christians are in unity.

    The claim is made that this is to
    answer Jesus prayer in John 17:22. While Webster does not have be concerned about the
    definition of Christian and unity, we do! The fact is that the current
    ecumenical movement always brings
    together some who are true to the doctrines of the Word of God with some who
    are not. There is no Christian unity where there is not unity in the faith once
    for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

    The
    True Body of Christ IS In Unity

    In His prayer Jesus specified the
    kind of persons who can be in unity as He is in unity with the Father (John.
    17:22b). He made clear the desired unity would be a spiritual unity (17:5;
    10:30), unity in Truth (17:17), and in agape Love (17:23,26). The fact that
    seems to be commonly overlooked is that Jesus’ prayer HAS ALREADY been answered
    and continues to be answered until He claims His Bride.

    The world sees hundreds of
    denominations; God sees the One Church, the Body of Christ, which includes some
    from many denominations. The only way to be in the true Church is to be placed
    into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit in regeneration: …the Body is one
    .. . .all the members are one . . .for by one Spirit we were all baptized into
    one Body (1 Cor. 12:12-13). You are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).

    Jesus prayer WAS answered as Acts 2
    records. The disciples were in the unity of the Spirit since all were filled with
    the Holy Spirit (2:4, they were in unity of Truth as they continued steadfastly
    in the apostles’ doctrine (2:42), and they were in unity of Love (2:43- 44).

    The original unity of the Church was
    gradually broken by heretical teachers and their followers as recorded, for
    example, in Jesus’ letters to the seven churches (Rev. 2-3). Jesus warned five
    of the churches He would be leaving their midst if they did not repent. Would
    an ecumenical conference have helped them? It would only have ensconced them
    more deeply in their backsliding. The ONLY way the whole Body of Christ can
    again have visible unity before the world is for all to be of the same doctrine
    and experience as that first church.

    The
    Wrong Kind of Unity

    The modern
    ecumenical movement is promoted generally by the World Council of Churches and
    the Roman Catholic Church. It gets most of its momentum from the Roman Catholic
    Pontifical Council on Ecumenism. Their PURPOSE was verbalized succinctly at Vatican II.

    Speaking of dialogue with separated
    brethren, the following plan was recorded: The results will be that, little by
    little, as the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome, all
    Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into the
    UNITY OF THE ONE AND ONLY CHURCH (Documents of Vatican II by Flannery, p. 456).

    The World Council of Churches has
    contributed to the breaking down of doctrinal standards for many denominations
    and has promoted the ecumenical movement; however the WCC is now drawing closer
    and closer to the Catholics because the Roman Church has AUTHORITY, vested in
    an infallible pope.

    When Nehemiah was leading God’s
    people in the rebuilding of the walls, his archenemies Sanballat, Tobiah, and
    Geshem saw the Jews’ success. When they could not stop the people of God, they
    tried another ruse. They sent an invitation to Nehemiah inviting him to
    dialogue in the plain of Ono. Nehemiah said, “Ono? Oh, no! I am doing a
    great work so that I cannot come down” He knew their PURPOSE was evil; he
    stayed the course and was successful (Neh. 6:1-15).

    Pentecostal denominations in
    general, and the Assemblies of God in particular, have experienced great
    success as defined scripturally. Now the Sanballats and Tobiahs want to
    dialogue. The ecumenical movement is led by a Church that admittedly plans to
    bring all other churches under its control.

    For example, Father Ray Ryland, a
    professor of theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH, works with Coming Home Network, an organization whose purpose is to draw in separated brethren. In an
    article in THIS ROCK, March 2000, he explains how Catholics are to carry out
    Vatican II’s ecumenical agenda, both covertly and overtly. He writes, “The
    goal of Catholic ecumenism is to restore unity to the separated traditions by
    bringing them within the unity of the Catholic Church.”

    What
    About “Celebrate Jesus 2000″?

    Coincidentally, Franciscan
    University is administering an ecumenical event for June 22-25, 2000, called
    “Celebrate Jesus 2000.” It is sponsored by the North American Renewal
    Service Committee (NARSC), an ecumenical organization bringing together many
    Charismatics, Third Wavers, and Pentecostals from many denominations.

    It is essential that we remember the
    Roman Catholic priests who participate have an agenda. If they were not loyal
    to the pope in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint (That They May Be One), they
    would not remain priests. Pope John Paul II is not a Charismatic, but he is
    willing to “tolerate and use” those who speak in tongues to
    accomplish his nefarious purpose. Let the sheep be warned, and let true
    shepherds be alert.

    What
    Would Jesus Do? What Would Paul Do?

    If Jesus had been ecumenical, He
    would have lovingly dialogued with the Jewish leaders who loved God (as they
    defined God) and were totally engrossed in doing good, just as are the leaders
    of the ecumenical movement today. He would have practiced reconciliation with
    all who named the name of Jehovah, and He could have escaped the Cross.

    Just one problem: where would we be
    if He had? If Paul had been ecumenical, he would never have rebuked Peter or
    pronounced God’s anathema on those who preached “another gospel”! In
    fact, he would not have been arrested and sent to Nero if he had only practiced
    reconciliation with all who claimed to be Christians. If Paul were alive today,
    he would again rebuke those teaching wrong doctrine regardless of

    their
    spiritual experiences.

    The fact that some Catholics speak in tongues proves nothing except that if the glossolalia is genuinely
    given by the Holy Spirit, then He will lead them away from error to Truth. When
    they insist on the biblical doctrine of salvation through Christ’s finished
    work of Calvary, with absolutely no necessity for the RCC sacraments, they will
    be excommunicated if they do not leave of their own accord. Mormons also speak
    in tongues. How long before we unite with them? Their doctrines are not much
    farther away from orthodoxy than are those of the RCC.

    Hasn’t
    the RC Church Changed Its Doctrines?

    Anyone can by reading the latest
    Catholic Catechism (1995) see that all the heretical teachings of past
    centuries, plus some new ones, are there: the placing of ultimate authority in
    CHURCH TRADITION and the Papacy rather than in the 66 canonical books of the
    Holy Bible; the sacramentalism of the
    Church as necessary to salvation;
    Transubstantiation, i.e., the receiving of grace by partaking of the Eucharist
    which is claimed to be the real body and real blood of Jesus; Mariolatry with
    prayers made to Mary everywhere as if she is omnipresent; Purgatory which most
    must endure before going to be with the Lord; and Indulgences for future sin.

    Check this book out of your library
    and read it for yourself. Roman Catholic theology presents another Gospel (Gal.
    1:1-9) and another Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4). The hypocrisy of the leaders in the
    Catholic Charismatic movement is seen in bold relief by the fact that they deny
    the Eucharist (the Lord’s
    Supper or Communion) even to those they wish to unite
    with at ecumenical celebrations. I sent an e-mail to the Franciscan University
    connection asking, Will there be a celebration of the Eucharist at Celebrate
    Jesus 2000′? I received a reply, Yes, for the Roman Catholics in their one
    separate morning meeting.

    I then asked, “Why cannot the
    others participate if all are celebrating the same Jesus?” I received no
    reply to that. The correct answer would be, they are not celebrating the same
    Jesus. They celebrate a Jesus Who must die daily; they crucify Him afresh in
    each Mass. True Christian faith rests in the Lord Jesus Christ Who said,
    “It is finished!” and arose to prove it.

    Ecumenism
    Cannot Change God’s TRUTH

    There is a line of cleavage forming
    in Christendom. Reverend James Bridges, General Treasurer of the Assemblies of
    God, stated to a meeting of leading A/G educators:

    There are many putting down
    denominations today, but I would rather have the multiple denominations which
    have emerged out of the Reformation, than be held in the bondage of a Roman
    colossus that continues to keep its devotees in superstition, ignorance and
    spiritual darkness. Beware the ecumenical movement afloat today lest when the
    new garb is removed it shows itself to be the same old bondage (personal file).

    NOW is the time to pray and to
    speak; if we are silent, we can lose our doctrinal integrity. Our Lord is
    Truth, a Person; the Bible is Truth, a book. The Holy Spirit brings them
    together in our genuine experience! The current ecumenical movement is antithetical
    to our Lord’s commission to preach the Gospel to every creature.

    We know too much and have been given
    too much to think of surrendering to the spirit of ecumenicalism. The eternal
    destiny of millions of people rests in our hands; if we are not true their
    blood will be on our hands. History will record your decision. What legacy will
    you bequeath to your children and their children? We must be true at any cost!

     

  • Parasum

    I then asked, “Why cannot the others participate if all are celebrating the same Jesus?” I received no
    reply to that.

    ## Because people like you are heretics and schismatics, is why.

    “The correct answer would be, they are not celebrating the same Jesus. They celebrate a Jesus Who must die daily; they crucify Him afresh in each Mass.

    ## That is a lie, and underlines the foolishness of sharing the Body of Christ with those reject His Church. To quote St, Polycarp of Smyrna, speaking to the heretic Marcion: “I recognise you – you are the first-born of Satan.” St. John, in his first letter, forbids Christians even to say “Godspeed” to heretics, never mind to eat with them.  And that is in the NT.