PopeWatch: Ecumenicalism

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VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Pope Francis has spent quite a bit of effort and energy in an outreach to evangelicals.  To what purpose this is being done is confusing to PopeWatch since the Pope has disclaimed any interest in converting these groups to Catholicism.  Italian evangelicalss have indicated in a recent statement that if the Pope believes he is accomplishing anything by this outreach for Catholicism, he may wish to reassess that belief:

 

ITALIAN EVANGELICALS ON CONTEMPORARY CATHOLICISM

 

Following a round table promoted by the Italian Evangelical Alliance, the Federation of Pentecostal Churches, the Assemblies of God in Italy, the Apostolic Church and the Pentecostal Congregations held in Aversa on July 19, 2014, at the Pentecostal Faculty of Religious Sciences, on the theme: “Contemporary Catholicism: an evangelical perspective” the above cited organizations, following the evangelical opening on the part of evangelical circles and international and national Pentecostals, with regard to the Catholic Church and her present Pontiff, without expressing judgment on the faith of the individual faithful, remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that proclaims herself  to be the mediatrix of salvation and presents other figures as mediators of grace, given that the grace of God comes only through faith in Christ Jesus without works (Ephesians 2:8) and without the intervention of other mediators (1 Timothy 2:5).

Moreover, they remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that assumes the responsibility of adding dogmas (like the Marian ones) to the faith once and forever transmitted to the saints (Jude 3; Apocalypse 22:18).

Finally they remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that has its heart in a political state, a legacy of an “imperial” Church from which it assumed titles and prerogatives. Christian churches must be careful about imitating the “princes of nations” and follow the example of Jesus Who came to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:42 – 45).

Therefore, they maintain that the apparent similarities with the evangelical faith and spirituality from sectors in Catholicism are not, in themselves, reasons to hope for a true change. Considering that irreconcilable and absolutely divergent theological and ethical differences still persist, they maintain they are unable to start and follow-up any initiative or ecumenical opening with regard to the Roman Catholic Church, inviting all evangelicals at the national and international level to exercise sound biblical discernment (1 John 4:1) without giving way to unionist anxieties contrary to Scripture, but rather renewing the commitment to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world.

Aversa (Caserta), July 19, 2014

Over the past half century the Church has wasted quite a bit of time on molehills while ignoring mountains.  Perhaps the molehill most wasteful of the precisious commodity of time has been that molehill labeled Ecumenicalism.

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3 Comments

  1. The statement by Italian Evangelicals on Catholicism is insulting. In quoting 1st John 4:1, they have called the Pope and Bishops false prophets:
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    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”
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    In quoting Apocalypse 22:18, they have declared the Church worthy of receiving a plague:
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    “For I testify together with everyone hearing the Words of the prophecy of this Book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add upon him the plagues having been written in this Book.”
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    They cherry-pick what parts of Scripture appeal to their rebellion against the Body of Christ, and they ignore the other parts that are inconvenient to their man-made theology.
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    They deny that it is the Church which is the Pillar and foundation of truth – 1st Timothy 3:15
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    “But if I delay, that you may know how to behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”
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    They ignore the 2000 years of Sacred Tradition; if they only read what the successors of the Apostles – St Ignatius of Antioch, St Polycarp and others – wrote, then they would realize that the Church was Catholic from the very beginning – 2nd Thessalonians 2:15
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    “So, then, brothers, stand firm and strongly hold the traditions you were taught, whether by word or by our letter.”
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    They deny that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior – John 6:53-56
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    “Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”
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    The deny the power of forgiveness that Jesus gave St Peter, the remaining Apostles and their successors, the Pope, Bishops and Priests of the Church – Matthew 16:19
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    “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And whatever you bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven. And whatever you may loose on the earth shall be, having been loosed in Heaven.”
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    And they clearly ignore the very Marian part of Scripture in Revelation 11:19-12:2
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    “And the temple of God in Heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple, and lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and an earthquake, and a great hail occurred. And a great sign was seen in the heavens, a woman having been clothed with the sun, and the moon was underneath her feet; and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and having a babe in womb. She cries, being in labor, and having been distressed to bear.”
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    The Pope should be shown this statement from the Evangelicals so that he can understand that no amount of ingratiation will every convince them away from their anti-Catholic prejudice (but he stated that he doesn’t want to do this!), and the right thing to do is to rebuke their leaders for heresy, and evangelize their adherents away from such falsehood.

  2. Finally they remain incompatible with the teaching of Scripture a Church that has its heart in a political state, a legacy of an “imperial” Church from which it assumed titles and prerogatives.

    I found this point to be the most interesting, in light of the very public witness by politicians like Nancy Pelosi (in this country) as to how bigger government is better able to carry out Christ’s mission on earth.

  3. Speaking as a former Protestant who once thought that the Catholic Church believed all kinds of crazy things that it does not actually teach–only God could have brought me to a point where I was willing & able to listen to actual faith & practice in the Catholic Church. God will have to open their eyes as well. The Assemblies of God and Penecostals are some of the very groups that are the worst at going overboard to make sure that nothing taking place in their church can be considered political–when the Bible is filled with examples of God’s people being involved in the political realm and speaking on political subjects of their day.

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