Pope Francis reaches out to ‘Waldensians;’ Catholic theologian wants Pope’s errors corrected

Depiction of Catholic Massacre of the Waldensians of Merindol in 1545


Pope Francis sent a letter to the Methodists as well as the group now called Waldensians:

“May Jesus’ gaze also illumine our relations, so that they are not only formal and correct but fraternal and lively”, says Pope Francis in his letter to the Methodist and Waldensian Churches, on the occasion of the opening of their Synod, underway at Torre Pellice, Turin, from August 20-25, 2017.

“I keep alive in my memory our recent meetings at Turin and Rome, as well as those in Argentina,” the Holy Father wrote. “I am grateful for the beautiful testimonies I have received and for the many faces I cannot forget.

“I hope that these days of sharing and reflection, which are taking place on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, are animated by the joy of putting yourselves before the face of Christ; may His gaze, which is turned to us, be the source of our peace, so that we feel ourselves beloved children of the Father and makes us see others, the world and history in new way.” 08/21/17 https://zenit.org/articles/the-holy-fathers-letter-to-the-methodist-and-waldensian-churches/

The letter has obvious ecumenical tones as Pope Francis continues to try to make the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation a time of reconciliation (watch also Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary). His idea to see “the world and history in new way” essentially means his ecumenical and interfaith way.

Just over two years ago, Pope Francis made a public apology for his church’s murderous persecution of the Waldensians centuries ago:

June 22, 2015

Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the Catholic Church’s persecution of the Waldensian Church, an evangelical movement that began in the 12th century.

Founded by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant in Lyons, France who gave up his riches and preached on evangelical poverty as a way towards perfection. The movement, also known as the “The Poor of Lyons”, was declared heretical in 1184 by Pope Lucius III and by Pope Innocent III in 1215.

The evangelical movement is centered in the Piedmont region of Italy.

The pastor of the Waldensian Temple of Turin, Paolo Ribet, welcomed the Holy Father, referring to him as “our brother Francis.”

While reflecting on theme of brotherhood and unity, the Pope said that ecumenism brings together those who believe in Jesus Christ. He also said that “unity, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit does not mean uniformity.” …

However, differences between faiths have not always been appreciated and instead, seen as a cause for war.

“On the part of the Catholic Church,” he said, “I ask you forgiveness. I ask forgiveness for the non-Christian, even inhuman, attitudes and behaviors that we have shown you in history. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us!”

The Pope went on to express his gratefulness at the good relations that now exist between the Catholic Church and the Waldensian Church, which he said “are more founded upon mutual respect and brotherly love.” …

Greeted with loud applause by those present, the Pope was given a reproduction of the first French Bible printed in 1532 by the pastor of the Waldensian Temple. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-asks-forgiveness-for-persecution-of-evangelical-church

It is good to ask forgiveness if one has repented. And although Pope Francis seems to believe that the Church of Rome was wrong for its murderous persecution, the Bible shows that the religion associated with the seven hills/mountains (Revelation 17) will do it again to those that will not hold to the Mark of the Beast (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

It should be understood that while the modern group that calls itself the Waldensian church considers Pope Francis a spiritual brother, this most definitely was not the position of the early Waldensians.

As far as Pope Francis goes, he is continuing a theme that was laid out in his latest encyclical titled Laudato Si (see also Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

Which is?

Pope Francis is promoting an interfaith and ecumenical movement wherein he states he wants to allow for cultural and other differences. This is similar to what the Church of Rome has sometimes done in the past. For example, in Mexico the “day of the dead” is a big deal as it was part of the pre-Catholic religion/culture there, and it is allowed by the Church of Rome (see All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day). This is also somewhat similar to the compromise Rome made when it adopted the day of the sun-god Mithras’ birthday (December 25th) as a day to claim Jesus was born (see What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?).

Getting back to the early Waldensians, some called Waldensians held Church of God doctrines and some called Waldensians did not.

Here is a tongue-in-cheek report from a Catholic about them and Roman Catholicism:

Alberto warns that Catholics are also unaware that the initials on their hosts, IHS, really stand for the Egyptian gods Isis, Hoeb, and Seb. This was the origin of the Catholic practice of the Eucharist, the central act of worship in Roman Catholicism. ..

As this religious system was forming, many Christians realized the real occult nature of the Catholic Church and rejected it. They fled into the hills and took the true copies of the Scriptures with them. When they were caught, they were given the choice to convert or be killed. This is the origin of such groups as the Waldneses and Anabaptists. (Gonzalez D. Steps of Grace. Dog Ear Publishing, 2010, p. 39)

The above is correct, though if you see the entire book it is clear that the author was intending to be sarcastic.

In 1968, the old Worldwide Church of God reported this about the Waldenses:

Most of the French Waldenses had already joined the Italians in the valleys of the Cottian Alps. More than a century of persecution by the Inquisition destroyed or dispersed the remainder. The valleys, overpopulated, sent colonists to Calabria and Apulia, where about 1380 the chief Waldensian leader dwelt. In the mid-13th century they had already adopted the name of Vallenses (“Vaudois” in French) meaning “people of the valleys,” because, as they said, they “dwelt in a vale of tears.” Later they regarded it as equivalent to Waldenses. Forgotten was the connection with Waldo of this name given them by the world. All but forgotten, too, the name “Church of God”!…

The Waldenses recognized that they were the true successors of the apostolic church. They kept the SABBATH, also the yearly PASSOVER. And each September or October (in God’s seventh month — see Lev. 23), they held at the headquarters church a great “conference.” As many as 700 persons attended from afar. New students were chosen, ministerial assignments were made, AND CROWDS GATHERED DAILY TO LISTEN TO SERMONS. What could this gathering have been but the Feast of Tabernacles! Under the name of Passagini, we have the clearest sort of statement that these people, about 1200, observed the whole Old Testament law, including the Sabbath and FESTIVALS! People called Cathars at Cologne, Germany, kept a fall festival, called “Malilosa”, even before Waldo began to preach. Compare this unexplained name with Hebrew “melilah” (a harvested ear of grain — Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) and the Biblical title “Feast of Ingathering” (Ex. 23:16). How much more we might have known about these Middle Ages’ Feasts of Tabernacles had not the Inquisitors so zealously burned the records! The three-part division of tithes paid the Waldensian Church is significant. Even in the 1500’s the same division continued. “The money given us by the people is carried to the aforesaid general council, and is delivered in the presence of all, and there it is received by the most ancients (the elders), and part thereof is given to those that are wayfaring men, according to their necessities, and part unto the poor” (George Morel, Waldensian elder, quoted by Lennard, “History of the Waldenses”). 1. Compare this practice with Num. 18:21 and Deut. 14:22-25, 28-29. Isn’t it exactly what the Bible commands?… Most authors have ASSUMED the “wayfaring men” were the traveling “barbel.” But THEIR expenses would have been paid from the money given the elders, at EVERY time of year, for the direct conduct of the Work — “first” tithe and offerings. Notice that in Numbers 18:21. What Morel then mentions is a “second” tithe, for those traveling to and from the festivals — wayfaring men; and following it, the “third” to the poor. See the explanation in Deut. 14. Feast goers who had more “second tithe” than they needed shared their excess with those who had need, even as they do today! …

Elsewhere, too, Waldenses were greatly persecuted about 1310-1330, and again about 1375. In the earlier period, one, Echard, martyred many in town after town in Germany. Then, overcome by the truth and himself converted, he began to preach the very gospel he once hated. He too in the end was hunted down and burned. About this time others were martyred, driven into hiding or scattered as far as Hungary and Transylvania by a Bohemian Inquisition. Many disciples of Bohemian teachers were discovered in Saxony and Pomerania about 1390. Waldenses from Picardy fled into Poland. During the century, the SCATTERED groups lost contact with the valleys. Many carnal-minded individuals attended Mass, pretending in every way to be good Catholics while continuing to teach their children what remained of their own doctrine. Cathars in Germany disappeared in this century also. But their tell-tale doctrines reappeared among the late Waldenses, who ceased proper ordination, began to require long periods of probation before baptism, etc. After the Reformation, in every area where such Waldenses had been known previously to exist, numbers of “baptists” suddenly appear. Remember, the original Waldenses before they became corrupted were in no way Protestant. The doctrine of salvation by “faith alone” cannot be found among the original Waldenses. The spirit of Protestantism was utterly foreign to them, as to God’s Church in all ages.” “(LESSON 51 (1968) AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place …” Rev. 12:6).

Here is something from a Catholic source:

The Third Lateran Council took place under Pope Alexander III, Frederick I being emperor. There were 302 bishops present. It condemned the Albigenses and Waldenses (The 21 Ecumenical Councils. Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/library/almanac_14388a.htm 02/12/06).

In 1968 the old WCG also wrote:.

The infamous INQUISITION was then set up to complete the job by eliminating religious objections. Papal bull decreed severe punishment against any person suspected of even sympathizing with “heretics.” Confiscations, imprisonments, burnings and every imaginable form of persecution continued for more than a hundred years. Thousands died. In the city of Montsegur alone, 200 persons were burned in one day…

Gregory IX issued another bull against the Waldenses in 1231. From 1231 to 1233 a general persecution raged in Germany, cutting short the Work in Holland. By 1235, persecution on a large scale began at Milan, original seat of the Lombard Waldenses. The archbishop “razed their school” — apparently the College — but LEFT THE PEOPLE FREE! On the French side of the Alps, killing and burning reached the Valley Louise in 1238. (LESSON 51 (1968) AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place …” Rev. 12:6).

The ancient Waldensians wrote about the Church of Rome which is considered the Waldensian Treatise on Antichrist.

“The treatise has indeed been attributed, and not without probability, to the pen of Peter de Bruys” from around 1120 and was reported by a Frenchman named Perrin and has more officially been called A Treatise concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments (“A Treatise concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments” as shown in Jones, William. The history of the Christian church from the birth of Christ to the xviii. century, Volumes 1-2, 3rd edition. R.W. Pomeroy, 1832. Original from Harvard University, Digitized, Feb 6, 2009 p. 336). Now I doubt that Peter de Bruys wrote it as it contains errors in doctrine and because some of the comments seem to be referring to actions that happened in the 13th and/or 14th centuries (see some items in the paper Persecutions by Church and State). By that time, less and less of the Waldensians held to COG doctrines.

Anyway, here is what was supplied (including some comments from William Jones; and the original punctuation which is not always entirely clear):

“Antichrist is a falsehood, or deceit varnished over with the semblance of truth, and of the righteousness of Christ and his spouse, yet in opposition to the way of truth, righteousness, faith, hope, charity, as well as to moral life. It is not any particular person ordained to any degree, or office, or ministry, but it is a system of falsehood, opposing itself to the truth, covering and adorning itself with a show of beauty and piety, yet very unsuitable to the church of Christ, as by the names, and offices, the Scriptures, and the sacraments, and various other things, may appear. The system of iniquity thus completed with its ministers, great and small, supported by those who are induced to follow it with an evil heart and blind-fold—this is the congregation, which, taken together, comprises what is called Antichrist or Babylon, the fourth beast, the whore, the man of sin, the son of perdition. His ministers are called false prophets, lying teachers, the ministers of darkness, the spirit of error, the apocalyptic whore, the mother of harlots, clouds without water, trees without leaves, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, wandering stars, Balaamites and Egyptians.

“He is termed Antichrist because being disguised under the names of Christ and of his church and faithful members, he oppugns the salvation which Christ wrought out, and which is truly administered in his church—and of which salvation believers participate by faith, hope, and charity. Thus he opposes the truth by the wisdom of this world, by false religion, by counterfeit holiness, by ecclesiastical power, by secular tyranny, and by the riches, honours, dignities, with the pleasures and delicacies of this world. It should therefore be carefully observed, that Antichrist could not come, without a concurrence of all these things, making up a system of hypocrisy and falsehood—these must be, the wise of this world, the religious orders, the pharisees, ministers, and doctors; the secular power, with the people of the world, all mingled together. For although Antichrist was conceived in the times of the apostles, he was then in his infancy, imperfect and unformed, rude, unshapen, and wanting utterance. He then wanted those hypocritical ministers and human ordinances, and the outward show of religious orders which he afterwards obtained. As he was destitute of riches and other endowments necessary to allure to himself ministers for his service, and to enable him to multiply, defend, and protect his adherents, so he also wanted the secular power to force others to forsake the truth and embrace falsehood. But growing up in his members, that is, in his blind and dissembling ministers, and in worldly subjects, he at length arrived at full maturity, when men, whose hearts were set upon this world, blind in the faith, multiplied in the church, and by the union of church and state, got the power of both into their hands.

“Christ never had an enemy like this; so able to pervert the way of truth into falsehood, insomuch that the true church, with her children, is trodden under foot. The worship that belongs alone to God he transfers to Antichrist himself—to the creature, male and female, deceased—to images, carcasses, and relics. The sacrament of the eucharist is converted into an object of adoration, and the worshipping of God alone is prohibited. He robs the Saviour of his merits, and the sufficiency of his grace in justification, regeneration, remission of sins, sanctification, establishment in the faith, and spiritual nourishment; ascribing all these things to his own authority, to a form of words, to his own *works, to the intercession of saints, and to the fire of purgatory. He seduces the people from Christ, drawing off their minds from seeking those blessings in him, by a lively faith in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, and teaching his followers to expect them by the *will and pleasure and works of Antichrist.

He teaches to baptize children into the faith, and attributes to this the work of regeneration; thus confounding the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, with the external rite of baptism, and on this foundation bestows orders, and indeed grounds all his Christianity. He places all religion and holiness in going to mass, and has mingled together all description of ceremonies, Jewish, Heathen, and Christian; and by means thereof, the people are deprived of spiritual food, seduced from the true religion and the commandments of God, and established in vain and presumptuous hopes. All his works are done to be seen of men, that he may glut himself with insatiable avarice; and hence every thing is set to sale. He allows of open sins, without ecclesiastical censure, and even the impenitent are not excommunicated. He does not govern, nor does he maintain his unity by the Holy Spirit, but by means of the secular power, making use of the same to effect spiritual matters.. He hates, and persecutes, and searches after, and plunders, and destroys the members of Christ. These are some of the principal of the works of Antichrist against the truth, but the whole are past numbering or recording.

For more details, see Waldensian Treatise on Antichrist. As far as sacraments go, see Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? As far as purgatory goes, see Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?

Now, apparently the present head of the group calling itself Waldensian has a different view of the Church of Rome than earlier Waldensians did. The truth about the Church of Rome is that it is NOT the true Christian Church of God.

Yet, because of ecumenical compromise, more and more leaders are turning for an improper ‘Babylonian’ relationship with Rome (see Revelation 17)–which the Bible warns against (cf. Revelation 18).

Speaking of compromise, a leading Catholic theologian is concerned about some of Pope Francis’ doctrinal errors and hopes that dealing with them can aid ecumenical unity. The Catholic Herald reported the following:

Leading theologian: change canon law to correct papal errors

Fr Aidan Nichols, a prolific author who has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge as well as the Angelicum in Rome, said that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia had led to an “extremely grave” situation.

Fr Nichols proposed that, given the Pope’s statements on issues including marriage and the moral law, the Church may need “a procedure for calling to order a pope who teaches error”.

The Dominican theologian said that this procedure might be less “conflictual” if it took place during a future pontificate, rather as Pope Honorius was only condemned for error after he had ceased to occupy the chair of Peter.

Fr Nichols was speaking at the annual conference in Cuddesdon of an ecumenical society, the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, to a largely non-Catholic audience.

He said the judicial process would “dissuade popes from any tendency to doctrinal waywardness or simple negligence”, and would answer some “ecumenical anxieties” of Anglicans, Orthodox and others who fear that the pope has carte blanche to impose any teaching. “Indeed, it may be that the present crisis of the Roman magisterium is providentially intended to call attention to the limits of primacy in this regard.” … He has not publicly commented on Amoris Laetitia until now, but was a signatory to a leaked letter from 45 priests and theologians to the College of Cardinals. The letter asked the cardinals to request a clarification from the Pope to rule out heretical and erroneous interpretations of the exhortation. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/08/18/leading-theologian-change-canon-law-to-correct-papal-errors/

There are Catholic leaders who have issues with the current pontiff. As far as Amoris Laetitia goes, we put together a video against some of its errors (watch Pope Francis’ Tolerance of Immorality is Not Biblical). Pope Francis continues to push his anti-biblical ecumenical and interfaith agenda. Some Catholic leaders oppose parts of it, the Bible warns against it, but the Bible also shows that it will come to pass.

Do not be fooled to become part of it. Be separate.

17 “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

4 “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5).

Some items of related interest may include:

Waldensian Treatise on Antichrist These are translated extracts from a likely 13th/14th century paper titled A Treatise concerning Antichrist, Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, and the Sacraments.
The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? A video of related interest is titled: The Past and Future Inquisition.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church.
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day When did “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead” begin? “What about All Soul’s Day”?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
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.
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?

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