ICG’s Mark Armstrong on Pope Francis


In his newsletter today, ICG’s Mark Armstrong had the following about Pope Francis:

Greetings from Tyler,

Except for Easter greetings and the occasional foreign trip, popes ordinarily keep a relatively low profile.  That is certainly not the case with the current pope, who has dubbed himself Francis.  This pope, in addition to numerous statements against wealth and money, seems to be making a break with traditional Catholic positions on a host of subjects.

He’s said atheists can “go to heaven” as long as they follow their consciences and are good people.  He has said basically the same thing in regard to homosexuality and “gay priests” with the now famous quote, “Who am I to judge?”  He’s also exchanging as we’ve said before, it is not his judgment to make.  These judgments were made long before this fellow came along.

It’s true, Catholics have never been encouraged to read or study the Bible, for obvious reasons.  But surely the pope should know what’s in there, wouldn’t you think?  He has also become pen pals with the so called LGBT community in Italy, and said that the church shouldn’t interfere with these people’s “spirituality.”  Much has been made of the fact that this humbly flamboyant pope has not officially changed any doctrines, such as the ones that condemn the behavior of his new acquaintances.  Besides, the Catholic church hid its eyes and covered up crimes of homosexual pedophilia committed  by its priests over a period of decades, paying literally hundreds of millions in legal settlements to prevent the statements of victims from being transcribed into the public record.

But never has a modern pope put out personal opinions that appear to conflict with the church’s official doctrines, until now.  He has also adopted an unorthodox approach to gay marriage and to abortion, saying the church just can’t be railing on against these practices.  If these statements sound out of place and alarming to the casual spectator, imagine how devout Catholics must feel.

Now he’s been named Time’s Man of the Year.  That designation has not always been intended as a great compliment, but this time it seems to be.  Rather than play the part expected, this pope appears to have greater regard for his own opinions and his own personality rather than fulfilling perfunctory duties and Catholic expectations.

Perhaps his statements against the very existence of money should be the most concerning.  He seems to lean toward socialism, maybe communism in his constant derision of the affluent and his great compassion for the poor.  Just what he does want, he hasn’t rightly said.

Several of the matters that Mark Armstrong commented about I have also.  Notice the following links to news posts:

One of my concerns is that since he is so willing to violate certain Roman Catholic traditions, that he or a possible successor could be the final Antichrist of biblical prophecy.  I have long felt that the one who will fill that role will pretend to be Roman Catholic, yet truly not believe it himself.

And as far as wealth issues go, I wonder if Francis may distribute some of the Vatican’s vast wealth (see Will Pope Francis use some of the wealth of the Vatican to support the Beast and lure people to his faith?).  This might draw more people in to him as well as make him more of a darling of certain areas of the press.

Mark Armstrong did not seem to directly mention it, but Francis’ devotion and public encouragement of Marian veneration exceeds his predecessors (Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?).  This, in my view, is setting the world up for the end and to accept signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

He is one to watch as he is either the last pope (though his age seems to be a factor against that) or he is setting the stage for the last pope.

Some items of related interest may include:

Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?

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