WN: Nearly 500 years after Reformation, Catholic mass celebrated in Geneva’s citadel of Protestantism; WND: American syncretism

St. Pierre Cathedral (photo by Torbjorn Toby Jorgensen)


Ecumenical News reported the following:

Nearly 500 years after Reformation, Catholic mass celebrated in Geneva’s citadel of Protestantism

March 8, 2022

For the first time in almost 500 years, a Roman Catholic mass was celebrated in Geneva’s Protestant St. Pierre Cathedral, with people praying in packed pews. …

Some 1,500 people attended the mass on March 5 at the imposing cathedral in the heart of Geneva’s old town that had been a Catholic church before the 1536 Reformation.

The date marked the first Saturday in Lent, the period in which Christians can fast, reflect and sacrifice for the life of Jesus.

The Reformed pastor Emmanuel Rolland and the Catholic Fr. Pascal Desthieux, who pioneered the idea of the mass at St-Pierre, placed ashes on each other’s foreheads in a longstanding tradition.

“This evening, for the first time in 486 years, a Roman Catholic mass is celebrated at Calvin’s Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Geneva, packed for the occasion,” said Rev. Odair Pedroso Mateus, interim deputy general secretary and director of the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order.

He attended the mass and posted comments on Facebook. Mateus explained that the St. Pierre’s Parish Council issued the invitation “as an act of parish hospitality that reflects the achievements of local ecumenism.” …

The St. Pierre parish council president, Daniel Pilly, said having such a service has “strong symbolism.” https://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/nearly-500-years-after-reformation-catholic-mass-celebrated-in-genevas-citadel-of-protestantism/60985.htm

So, Protestants had Roman Catholics conduct a mass in a church they had, and put ashes on their foreheads like Roman Catholic do during Ash Wednesday, which is the start of something they call Lent.

Of course, neither Ash Wednesday nor Lent were observed by early Christians.

And yes, I agree with Daniel Pilly that having such a service has “strong symbolism.”

It is a symbol that neither scripture nor early Church practices matter much to the participants, but that ecumenical unity is more important than truth.

Jesus said:

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)

Ash Wednesday and Lent observances compromised human traditions and are not part of the biblical truth.

Jesus also said:

8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” (Matthew 15:8-9)

That being said, the Catholics of Rome want Protestants to join them. They even have an office called the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It is currently held by a former Swiss Bishop, now Cardinal, named Kurt Koch. He is supposed to have great insight with the “reformation” churches (meaning the Protestants) and also has held meetings with Eastern Orthodox leaders and others.

Over the past several decades, the Catholics of Rome have held a lot of ecumenical meetings. This includes important ones with the Eastern Orthodox and various Protestants, as well as those involved with the Lutherans and Anglicans. The basis of these meetings is not biblical, though that is not something that is properly admitted.

Before going further, let me state that St. Pierre’s Cathedral reminds me a lot of the Pantheon in Rome.

Pantheon of Rome (photo by Jfabrix101)

The Pantheon was originally a pagan shrine for multiple gods and was turned into a Roman Catholic shrine for multiple “saints.”

The Romans built the Pantheon as a temple in honor of all their gods. The name means of all the gods … Agrippa first built the famous Pantheon in Rome in 27 B.C. (Pantheon. World Book, vol 15. Chicago, 1966: 111).

The Romans were syncretistic–they willingly blended various religions and pagan deities together. That is similar, in certain ways, to the ecumenical and interfaith movements.

Here is a bit more on how and why the Pantheon became acceptable to the Roman Catholics:

In 607 A.D. the Roman Emperor Phocus defeated the Barbarians who were in control of Rome. The Pantheon in Rome, a pagan edifice which had been wrested from the barbarians, was given to pope Boniface IV. Originally … the Pantheon — … dedicated it to the pagan goddess Cybele and to the other Roman deities. This temple became the central place in Rome where the pagans honored and commemorated their gods. With this splendid edifice now falling into the hands of professing Christians, the question was, What should be done with it?

The pagans had dedicated it to Cybele and all their gods. But the Roman bishop now CONSECRATED IT TO THE VIRGIN MARY AND ALL THE SAINTS of both sexes (see “The Mysteries of All Nations”, Grant, p. 120). Thus this pagan building became “holy.” No more did the pagan Romans use this edifice to pray for their dead. It was now the professing Christians who employed the Pantheon in praying for their dead.

This re-dedication of the pagan temple to Mary and others occurred in 610 A.D. Now converted into a Christian shrine, an annual festival was instituted to commemorate the event. The day chosen was May 13.

This May 13 commemoration of the dead saints was known by the name of “All Saints Day.” It continued to be held in May for over two centuries — until 834 A.D. In that year the NAME and the DATE WERE CHANGED.(Marx, Gerhard O. The Origin of Halloween. Plain Truth Magazine, October 1967).

The Pantheon was a pagan symbol of ‘Babylonian’ religious unity.

St. Pierre’s Cathedral, which looks pretty much like a copy of the Pantheon, essentially looks to be serving the same purpose.

As far as the Protestants go, if they had gone far enough to embrace original Christianity, they would not be teaching a lot of what they do today. Instead of seeking unity with Roman, they should embrace what the Bible teaches. For more details, check out the free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.

We continue to see that many Protestants work to have some type of unity with the Church of Rome. Yet, the Bible warns against the type on ecumenical unity that they are working towards. The type of unity that they are working towards is not biblical. It is ‘Babylonian’ (cf. Revelation 17).

Do not think that religious syncretism is limited to Europe. Notice the following from World Net Daily:

Survey: Christian worldview being supplanted by Syncretism

March 8, 2022

A survey stunningly has revealed that many Americans who may think of themselves as Christian actually follow a worldview called Syncretism – “a blending of multiple worldviews in which no single life philosophy is dominant” – and only a sparse 2% of parents of pre-teens actually possess a biblical worldview.

The results come from the American Worldview Inventory 2022 done by George Barna and the Cultural Research Center at Arizona State.

“It seems that most pre-teen parents are unaware – or certainly unfazed – by the contradiction between calling themselves ‘Christian,’ but living in ways that repudiate the teachings of Jesus and the principles in the Bible,” Barna said. …

That leaves those involved with those beliefs with a worldview “that is diverse and often self-contradictory. In fact, despite 67% of the parents of pre-teens claiming to be Christian, the research also revealed that only 2% of them actually possess a biblical worldview,” the center said. https://www.wnd.com/2022/03/survey-christian-worldview-supplanted-syncretism/

Syncretic ‘believers’ are not worshipping God in truth.

As far as unifying with those who will not accept the original and true faith, Christians are warned:

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “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)

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 ‘I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Real Christians will be separate from those that truly will not be set apart by the truth of the Bible (John 17:17). They are NOT supportive of ecumenical compromise or a syncretic faith.

The type of Christian unity that the Bible speaks of will NOT happen until after Jesus returns.

Jesus did NOT come to bring worldwide unity in this age:

51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)

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

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:13)

Those who believe this unity comes prior to Jesus’ return are in error. We are not ‘perfect’ until after He comes (cf. 1 John 1:8). The prophesied unity of faith does not happen prior to Jesus’ return.

The Bible shows that a false ecumenical unity will come (Revelation 13:4-8).

Notice also:

6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord. 7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.” (Zechariah 2:6-7)

Notice that even true believers are warned to get away from this. The next few verses tell about the timing and that God will cause this:

8 For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. 9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.

10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. 11 “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zechariah 2:8-13)

So, the Bible is saying that GOD will bring unity–and that is after Jesus returns.

Also, the Bible also teaches that when Jesus actually returns, He will destroy the unity of nations that are against Him (Revelation 11:15-18, 19:6,19-21).

Thus, no true Christian should endorse the ultimate goal of the reconciliation of the 500th anniversary of what is considered to be the start of the Reformation. These people do not truly believe the Bible and we are to realize that we must remain spiritually-separate from them.

The Continuing Church of God, which is NOT Protestant, traces its history from the apostolic church established in Acts 2 and holds to the original, biblical, doctrines that the early Christians had (see Continuing History of the Church of God).

Many biblical doctrines that early Christians held to are NOT held to by Protestants today. Nor the Church of Rome or the Eastern Orthodox for that matter.

Actually, although they claim otherwise, the Greco-Roman Catholics do NOT embrace many of the teachings of the original catholic Church of God. For documented details and proof, check out the free online book: Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church.

Those interested in the truth can prove this if they are willing.

Some items of possibly related interest to help you do this may include:

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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
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?
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.
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? Here is a link to a related sermon: Eastern Orthodox 40+ Similar Beliefs to the CCOG.
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.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth? Here is a link to a related sermon: The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon. Here is a link to a partially related animation: Sola Scriptura or Tradition?
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? Two related sermons are available Scripture and Traditions and Tradition and Scripture.
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 and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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