Pope Francis speaks on his plans to re-establish full communion with the Eastern Orthodox

Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis of Rome


Pope Francis spoke of his meeting with Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew today as well as more about his recent trip to Istanbul:

December 3, 2014

The following is the translation of the Pope’s catechesis:…

Today I would like to share with you some things on my pilgrimage last Friday to Sunday in Turkey. As I requested that it be prepared and supported by prayer, I now invite you to thank the Lord for its realization, in the hope that fruits of dialogue will flow be it in our relations with our Orthodox brothers, be it in those with Muslims, be it in the path to peace among peoples. …

I fraternally thank the Bishops of the Catholic Church in Turkey, the President of the Episcopal Conference, who is very good, for their commitment, as well as the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holiness Bartholomew I, for his cordial welcome. Blessed Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, who both went to Turkey, and Saint John XXIII, who was Papal Delegate in that Nation, protected my pilgrimage from Heaven …

I insisted on the importance that Christians and Muslims be committed together to solidarity, to peace and justice, affirming that every State must assure to its citizens and the religious communities of real freedom of worship.Today before greeting the sick, I was with a group of Christians and Muslims who are at a meeting organized by the dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, under the guidance of Cardinal Tauran, and they also have expressed this desire to continue in this fraternal dialogue among Catholics, Christians and Muslims. … the People of God are called to allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, in a constant attitude of openness, of docility and of obedience. In our path of ecumenical dialogue and also in our unity, of our Catholic Church …

The third and final day, the feast of Saint Andrew, offered the ideal context to consolidate fraternal relations between the Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter, and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Church founded, according to tradition, by the Apostle Andrew, brother of Simon Peter. With His Holiness Bartholomew I, I renewed the mutual commitment to continue on the path towards the re-establishment of full communion between Catholics and Orthodox. Together we signed a Joint Declaration, a further step on this path. It was particularly significant that this act happened at the end of the solemn Liturgy of the Feast of Saint Andrew, which I attended with great joy, and which was followed by the double Blessing imparted by the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Bishop of Rome. Prayer, in fact, is the basis for all fruitful ecumenical dialogue under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who, as I said, is the one that makes unity. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/general-audience-on-the-apostolic-visit-to-turkey

The ecumenical and inter-faith movements are moving ahead, yet they WILL NOT RESULT IN REAL AND LASTING PEACE. Protestants are also part of this and are falling for it (see Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! and Pope Francis speaks of ecumenism to 52,000 Pentecostals and others).

The Bible does not teach that Christians are to ignore biblical reality and pray that they are to be moved by the Holy Spirit into the type of unity that Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew want.

Here is a report from another source about the Vatican and Orthodox:

Pope Francis made news on his trip to Istanbul last weekend by visiting the headquarters of the Patriarch of Constantinople and pledging that in its efforts to achieve full unity with Eastern Orthodoxy the Catholic Church “does not intend to make any demands, other than the profession of a common faith.”  …

The pope also sought to reassure members of Turkey’s Orthodox community that they would not have to renounce their churches, traditions or unique history if full union were to be achieved.

“I want to assure each one of you here that, to reach the desired goal of full unity, the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith,” the pope told leaders.

But full communion between the two faiths, which split between East and West in what’s known as the Great Schism of 1054, is riddled with challenges.  – See more at: http://marksilk.religionnews.com/2014/12/02/pope-seeks-to-heal-catholic-orthodox-schism/#sthash.h13EZ6fS.dpuf

The Eastern Orthodox refer to the split in 1054 as the “great schism.”  The leaders of both faiths essentially excommunicated each other nearly one thousand years ago.  Efforts to bring them together began some time ago, but is now proceeding ahead publicly, though issues remain.

The Bible tells that the ecumenical/inter-faith movement will also end in destruction (Revelation 18 & 19).  This is not something that Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox should want (see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox?).

In Zechariah, the Bible warns against a coming ‘daughter of Babylon’ and shows that proper unity will not happen until after Jesus returns:

10 Look out! Look out! Flee from the land of the north — Yahweh declares- for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven — Yahweh declares. 11 Look out! Make your escape, Zion, now living with the daughter of Babylon!

12 For Yahweh Sabaoth says this, since the Glory commissioned me, about the nations who plundered you, ‘Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye. 13 Now look, I shall wave my hand over them and they will be plundered by those whom they have enslaved.’ Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me! 14 Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion, for now I am coming to live among you -Yahweh declares! 15 And on that day many nations will be converted to Yahweh. Yes, they will become his people, and they will live among you. Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me to you! 16 Yahweh will take possession of Judah, his portion in the Holy Land, and again make Jerusalem his choice. (Zechariah 2:12-16, New Jerusalem Bible-NJB)

The ecumenical and inter-faith movements that the Vatican and the Eastern Orthodox leaders are promoting are clearly condemned by the Bible and should not be encouraged.

The Apostle Paul also taught that true unity of faith would not happen until after Jesus returns:

13 until we all reach unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and form the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself. (Ephesians 4:13, NJB)

Those who believe this unity comes prior to Jesus’ return are in error. Actually, when Jesus returns, He will destroy the unity of nations that are against Him:

11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and voices could be heard shouting in heaven, calling, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ 16 The twenty-four elders, enthroned in the presence of God, prostrated themselves and touched the ground with their foreheads worshipping God 17 with these words, ‘We give thanks to you, Almighty Lord God, He who is, He who was, for assuming your great power and beginning your reign. 18 The nations were in uproar and now the time has come for your retribution, and for the dead to be judged, and for your servants the prophets, for the saints and for those who fear your name, small and great alike, to be rewarded. The time has come to destroy those who are destroying the earth.’ (Revelation 11:15-18, NJB)

19:6 And I heard what seemed to be the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, ‘Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun;… 19 Then I saw the beast, with all the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to fight the Rider and his army. 20 But the beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had worked miracles on the beast’s behalf and by them had deceived those who had accepted branding with the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped his statue. These two were hurled alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. 21 All the rest were killed by the sword of the Rider, which came out of his mouth, and all the birds glutted themselves with their flesh… 20:4 Then I saw thrones, where they took their seats, and on them was conferred the power to give judgement. I saw the souls of all who had been beheaded for having witnessed for Jesus and for having preached God’s word, and those who refused to worship the beast or his statue and would not accept the brandmark on their foreheads or hands; they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 19:6,19-21; 20:4, NJB)

Notice that Jesus will have to destroy world of armies unified against Him. Then He and the saints will reign. That is when there will be proper unity of the faith.  Even the NJB, a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible, concurs.

Catholics, Orthodox, and others need to be concerned about the type of unity Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew are working towards.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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?
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.
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? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2015, 2016, or 2017? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2014 o 2015? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis 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 be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
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?
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?
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 c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

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