Francis seemingly suggests reducing power of the papacy: an ecumenical move?

Pope Francis


Pope Francis made an unusual announcement today:

October 17, 2015

Pope Francis has called for a “healthy decentralization” of power in the Catholic Church, including a greater role for the laity, more decision-making authority for bishops’ conferences and even changes in the papacy.

Frances made his comments Saturday during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops, which meets occasionally and advises the pope on various issues.

Francis said it is “necessary and urgent to think about a conversion of the papacy,” a possibility that was first addressed by the late Pope John Paul II in 1995. He did not explain what kind of changes he has in mind.

Various parts of what he said will sound good to some Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and certain Protestants. I believe that this is an ecumenical move.


COGwriter Outside the Administrative Office of the Patriarch of Constantinople

When I was in Istanbul in May 2008, I visited the offices of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who was then, and is now, Patriarch Bartholomew.  One of his people told me that when Pope Benedict XVI visited there, a papal representative of Benedict XVI told Patriarch Bartholomew) that Rome would change all doctrines necessary to attain full unity with the Orthodox, if the Orthodox would accept papal authority.   The representative told me that while Patriarch Bartholomew was interested in ecumenical unity, that the subject of papal supremacy vs. primacy was the major sticking point to unity.

While the Eastern Orthodox accept that the ‘see of Rome’ has a certain primacy, they do not accept that this means it is to have supremacy over all the Greco-Roman churches.  Certain modern Protestant leaders seem to have a similar view.

By indicating that the powers of the papacy need to be diminished and local bishops/leaders get more power/influence, this would seem to have been an announcement by Pope Francis to show how serious he is about addressing what seems to be the biggest issue in the type of ecumenical unity he wants.

Of course, Pope Francis can push for this and gain some ecumenical unity.  A unity that leads to the type of system that the Bible warns of throughout the books of Daniel 7 & 11 and Revelation 13:1-18, 14:12, 18:4 and Zechariah 2:6-7.

The idea of ecumenical unity is not new.  Notice something that happened decades ago according to the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

Now, by the way, let me interrupt right there and say the last time I was in Jerusalem, the Patriarch of the Eastern Church at Jerusalem came to see me in my hotel suite. And he gave me what he considered the highest prize he could give, which was the cross of Constantine — Constantine the Great — which dates back to 325 AD, 325 years after Christ. And Constantine is the one you know who called the Nicene Council, and who practically dictated a lot of the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Constantine was the ruler of the empire at Constantinople, and Constantinople was named after him. …

And I was the 129th person to receive that award since 325 AD. So they consider it a very high honor because very few have ever received it. Anyway, I asked the Patriarch of the Eastern Church… He is the Patriarch at Jerusalem. He considers he’s probably the highest man in the church, but I think generally the one at Athens is considered the highest. Nevertheless I asked him, “Do you think that there will be an Ecumenical movement so that the Eastern and the Roman Church will go together and be rejoined?” And the answer was, “We are praying for it.” (Armstrong HW. United States of EUROPE IS COMING! Sermon, November 27, 1982)

The leaders in Athens consider that they have high authority, whereas the Patriarch of Constantinople is often considered to have the highest authority within the Eastern Orthodox churches (Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has by far the greatest number of members and could be considered to have the most authority in that sense).

COGwriter has been one of the few non-Roman, non-Orthodox sites to warn against the coming unity for years.

Bartholomew, the ‘Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,’ has encouraged Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical dialogue and has stated that to finalize this will take an Ecumenical Council or “synod”:

Patriarch of Constantinople’s new encyclical defends Catholic-Orthodox dialogue

Istanbul, Turkey, Feb 20, 2010 / 06:14 pm (CNA).- Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople’s newest encyclical encourages dialogue between the Orthodox Church and other Christian churches and laments those who are “unacceptably fanatical” in challenging such dialogue…“They disseminate false rumors that union between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches is imminent, while they know well that the differences discussed in these theological dialogues remain numerous and require lengthy debate; moreover, union is not decided by theological commissions but by Church Synods,” Bartholomew wrote. (Patriarch of Constantinople’s new encyclical defends Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. February 20, 2010. viewed 11/22/11).

Now I actually agree with the Orthodox Patriarch that the Orthodox will likely need to have a church synod for unity.  But what he did not mention is that Orthodox prophets have expected such a meeting to take place and result in unity. According to an Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine, prophet the final (the Orthodox recognize seven previous ones) ecumenical synod council satisfies what “heretics” want:

Saint Neilos the Myrrh-Gusher (died 1592): During that time the Eighth and last Ecumenical Synod will take place, which will satisfy the contentions of the heretics…(Tzima Otto, p. 111).

By satisfying “heretics”, clearly this council compromises and changes the religion, which will be called “Catholic.”  If heretics are truly heretics, should their complaints be satisfied?

It was announced that the Eastern Orthodox have called for such an Ecumenical Council in 2016 (Afanasieva D, Heneghan T. Orthodox Patriarchs urge peace in Ukraine, agree on council! (Ecumenical News, March 10, 2014.; see Orthodox agree to eighth ecumenical council: If Orthodox prophecy is correct on it, this council marks a major step towards the end!). We are getting closer to the time of the end.

Now there are other possible meetings/synods that could accomplish this goal of unity. Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew, for example, have called for a meeting in Nicea in 2025 to commemorate the 1700 year anniversary of Emperor Constantine’s first Council of Nicea in 325 which helped change/define some of the doctrines and practices of the Roman and Orthodox Catholics in the fourth century (other councils did as well). Some details about the 325 and 2025 meetings are in the news post titled Ecumenical meeting in Nicea planned for 2025: What happened in 325 and what could happen in/by 2025?

Notice something that a Catholic monsignor priest, Charles Pope, wrote:

No pope, no council, no Synod, and no priest in any confessional has any right or capacity to set aside Divine Law. (Pope C. The Church Cannot Change Her Doctrine on Marriage and Divorce. Concerns for the Upcoming Synod. May 4, 2014.

But the synod that the Orthodox have called for will require doctrinal compromise and will not fully embrace Divine Law.  Perhaps Pope Francis’ statements today will encourage more to support his vision of ecumenical unity.

The Bible warns about a future leader who “he shall think himself able to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25, Douay-Rheims).

If an antipope convened/attended an ecumenical synod that satisfied heretics, would he not also be supportive of changing laws? Many Catholic prophecies warn about an antipope who will arise and who could be the final Antichrist.

One Catholic nun told of a time when some agreement would deceive many:

Jeanne le Royer (died 1798):  One day I heard a voice which said, ‘The new Constitution will appear to many other than what it really is.  They will bless it as a gift from heaven; whereas it is really a gift from {haydes} and permitted by God in His just wrath.  It will only be by its effects that people will be led to recognize the Dragon who wanted to destroy all and devour all (Dupont Y. Catholic Prophecies, p. 53).

Whether this is a reference to some type of power agreement with the Beast (Revelation 17:12-13) or an ecumenical council (cf. Revelation 13:1-4), notice that it is expected to be satanic (Satan is the Dragon, per Revelation 12:9).

A Catholic prophecy shows that after its church is changed (reformed below), the Orthodox will come back:

Roger Bacon (died 1294): There shall arise a…priest to reform the Church.  The Greeks will return (to the Church)…there will be one fold, one shepherd (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times, p. 149).

All (Catholic or otherwise) should be careful, compare their teachings with the Bible, pray to God, and not accept doctrines that are unbiblical for the sake of this coming ecumenical unity.

Pope Francis is quite ecumenical. Notice the following report about what happened when he first became pontiff:

Unlike his predecessors, he doesn’t sign his name “Pope Francis,” ending his official correspondence simply “Francis.”…

Even on Day One, Francis didn’t acknowledge he was pope…And bishop of Rome is the title he has emphasized repeatedly ever since — not vicar of Christ, or any of his other official titles.

“I do think there is something about trying to reduce the awesomeness, the grandeur and majesty of the papacy,” said John Allen Jr., Vatican columnist for the National Catholic Reporter…

In his March 20 audience with religious leaders, Francis sent an important signal about his view of the papacy and its relationship with other Christians. He addressed the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, as “my brother” — a fraternal nod to a church that split from Rome 1,000 years ago and has remained separated in part over disputes about the primacy of the pope.

To make that message abundantly clear, Francis’ chair was on the ground — the same level as all the other religious leaders — and not on a raised platform. (Winfield N. Pope Francis seems reluctant to be pope, preferring title bishop of Rome in hint of priorities. Fox/AP, March 27, 2013.

This is the type of behavior I believe that many of the Orthodox wanted to see–but others see these moves as dangerous ploys. And while humility is a good thing, this may have other ramifications as may the statements that Pope Francis made today.

While he looks like a lamb to many (cf. Revelation 13:11), it needs to be pointed out that Pope Francis does have a different plan for it than God does. Pope Francis is promoting world unity through human efforts as opposed to proclaiming that only the Kingdom of God will be able to deliver.

Some items of 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?
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? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
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?
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? A YouTube video is available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
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?
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?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
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? As far as some changes affecting Protestantism and Pope Francis, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
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.
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? 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”? Watch also the video Anti-Pope Francis?

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