Category: False Prophet

U.N. brings back image of 3rd pagan god

Restoration of goddess of ‘extra-marital relations’ follows images of Athena, arch of Baal

Published: 13 hours ago

Bob Unruh

Experts in Israel are expressing concern that the United Nations’ goal is warping toward the promotion of idolatry after word was released that the organization is playing a key role in the image of a third pagan god – the goddess of “extra-marital relations.”

First it was part of the re-creation of the Roman triumphal arch that once welcomed travelers to the Temple of Baal.

Then it was the re-creation of a statue of the goddess Athena which once stood in Palmyra.

U.N. officials, and funding, have been insiders on each of those projects.

Joe Kovacs, author of “Shocked By The Bible 2,” says the whole sad spectacle is part of an old story.

“The promotion of pagan gods is certainly nothing new, and it again shows we’re all living in what I call ‘Opposite World,’” he explained. “It’s a world where most people do the very opposite action of what God has instructed. Our Creator tells us to have no other gods but Him, but folks do the opposite, honoring false gods.

“The Bible says Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, built shrines to pagan gods such as Molech, a pagan god to whom people would burn their children alive in fires. It’s just sickening. Even God-fearing Christians today don’t realize they’re doing the very opposite of God’s instructions when they decorate trees with silver and gold and stand them up in their homes and churches every December. God personally says in the tenth chapter of Jeremiah not to do that precise heathen custom, and yet people have been tricked into decorating trees with all sorts of silver tinsel, gold garland and hanging ornaments, and they have no scriptural basis for it. For those interested in eternal life, we need to wake up and start obeying the instructions of our Maker, and stop all this pagan worthlessness.”

Temple of Baal, Palmyra, Syria, prior to its destruction by ISIS

Now Breaking Israel News confirms a third project is nearing completion, and it again has a theme of pagan gods, a point that has experts concerned.

BIN reported, “A UNESCO-funded project reproduced a statue of a lion, the third project of its kind the organization has supported, leading at least one rabbi to conclude that the real goal of the political organization is to promote an agenda that has always stood as Israel’s nemesis: idolatry.”

The report explains the third project is the Lion of al-Lat, an 11-foot-tall statue that was in the temple of “pre-Islamic goddess al-Lat in Palmyra, Syria,” which was damaged by ISIS.

The 15-ton statue later was moved to the National Museum of Damascus for reconstruction.

The report explains, “Part of the reconstruction of the lion statue was performed using high-intensity laser projection equipment adapted for large-scale 3-D printing in stone by the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) in Oxford. Much of the Lion project was underwritten by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) through its Heritage Emergency Fund and by the European Union.”

There are several trains of thought regarding al-Lat.

“It has been conjectured that al-Lat was the pre-Islamic consort of the Arabian god Allah. Another theory is that al-Lat was used as a title for the goddesses Asherah and Athirat. It is believed al-Lat was the continuation of the earlier Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar Inanna; the goddess of sex and, in particular, extra-marital relations,” BIN said.

Rabbi Daniel Assur, of the Sanhedrin, which recently was reassembled in Israel, told BIN of the alarming sequence of events.

“The entire mission of the organization is to blur the differences between the nations in order to bring them all under one roof and one authority in a New World Order,” he said. “The truth is, as the Bible says, there are 70 distinct nations. The U.N. believes they can create nations out of thin air. Once they do that, they can say that there are many gods, even ones you can create by 3-D printing.”

He pointed out the U.N.’s long-standing and dominant anti-Israel bias. After all, it has voted to condemn the state of Israel more than all of the human rights offenders around the globe combined.

“Because Israel stands as proof of what a nation is and the concept of one God, the U.N. has a vendetta against Israel and is irrationally biased against us,” Rabbi Assur explained to BIN.

“They have a messianic vision of a unified government that will fix the world without God and without the Torah. This has always been the goal of idolatry, beginning with Egypt and continuing with the attempts of Rome and Greece to spread paganism across the world. Now we are seeing its modern manifestation.”

He warned, “The New World Order promotes that everything is one, genders are all the same, there are no borders between nations. They believe everything is one, except God.”

It was in December when it was learned the United Arab Emirates, the Italian mission to the United Nations and the Institute for Digital Archeology had re-created a statue of Athena.

She was also known as “Athena Promachos,” a war goddess, and the re-created statue features her holding a spear. The exhibit, titled “The Spirit In the Stone,” was being hosted at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The globalist organizations earlier honored the reconstructed “Arch of Baal,” which was taken on a world tour, including being placed outside the G7 meeting of the world’s industrialized nations.

“Most people today don’t realize how much of a hold ancient pagan beliefs, practices and images still have on their lives,” said Joseph Farah, author of “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age.” “In fact, pagan values and traditions have never left us. Even Jews and Christians are impacted by them. And they are not innocent because the gods of paganism are actually demons, according to the Bible. It’s not something to be played with.

“The question confronting us right now is: Why would the United Nations be involved in resurrecting these occult images and icons of the past? Do they not understand what this represents – the false gods of child sacrifice and all kinds of abominations and perversions?”

Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn, best known for his New York Times bestseller “The Harbinger,” earlier explained he believes this strange revival in the promotion of pagan gods has deep theological significance.

He noted Athena was associated with the Semitic mother goddess Asherah, whose shrines God commands to be destroyed in Deuteronomy 12. Cahn also claimed the goddess was sometimes merged with Ashtoreth, the consort of Baal in some traditions. Thus, there is a relationship between the new statue being displayed at the U.N. and the sinister arch which was displayed all over the world

“The reappearance of the gods is an amazing phenomenon,” he said. “Not long ago, the image of the Hindu god of destruction, Kali, appeared on the Empire State building. Then the Arch of the Temple of the god Baal was built in New York City. Recently, a massive idol of the god Shiva was displayed on the Washington Mall along with that of a seven-headed dragon. And now the idol of Athena appears in the United Nations.

“The mystery of ‘The Paradigm’ and ‘The Harbinger’ is that what transpired in the last days of ancient Israel before its judgment is now manifesting before our eyes. We are replaying an ancient judgment cycle. One of the manifestations that took place in ancient Israel before its destruction was the appearance throughout the land of the gods, their idols, their altars, their images. That the images of the gods are now manifesting throughout America is an ominous sign. We are replaying the judgment drama.

“When Israel turned away from God, it turned to false gods and idols. So when a nation that has once known God turns away from Him, it always turns to other gods. It may not call them gods or idols, but the reality is the same. America was founded on the word of God. And inasmuch as it followed the ways of God, it has been blessed above any other nation in the modern world. But inasmuch as it has turned from its God and His ways, it has turned to other gods and idols. And unless it turns back, unless it sees revival, it will progress to judgment.”

WND also recently reported that an event called the Catharsis on the Mall featured elements of devil worship on the National Mall in Washington.

There appeared representations of “Lord Shiva Natarja,” a Hindu god appearing as a dragon and representing Satan.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8941

Pope Francis Demotes Jesus Christ to Third, and Claims Mary as the Source of Our Hope

By  Nate Brown 05/31/2016

Pope Francis, the Jesuit, now claims that mother mary is the source of our hope, and not Jesus Christ.

The absolute blasphemy sustained in this statement should make every catholic repent and turn to the truth; The Bible, rather than the doctrine of lies, the catholic church.

According to the catholic doctrine, Jesus Christ is third on the list of whom grants us hope. Mary, the mother church, and then Jesus Christ.

“Thus, this is “our hope: we are not orphans, we have mothers”: first of all Mary. And then the Church, who is Mother “when she follows the same path of Jesus and Mary: the path of obedience, the path of suffering, and when her approach is to constantly learn the way of the Lord”.

The blasphemy protruding out of the pope’s mouth should shake the catholic church and turn it towards that of life, which is obtained only through a relationship with Jesus Christ, and not through a church; but rather a personal relationship with The Messiah.

Scripture clearly references Jesus Christ as the hope of our lives, not the church. This statement means that the pope is either; lacking knowledge regarding scripture, or it’s a deliberate plan to build the synagog of satan.

This statement is not the only time the pope has attacked Jesus Christ and nor will it be the last, however not too long ago the pope was also caught singing to lucifer rather than Jesus Christ.

It’s all in the twist. The pope continually twists scriptures to meet his narrative rather than that of Christ. Which clearly should show that the pope has an agenda to bring about the antichrist.

The position and title that Pope Francis has bestowed on Mary is, by his own words, equal or greater than that of the 2nd part of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. And though he has yet to use the words, he has effectually already placed her status firmly at the Godhead level.
Interesting thing, in the book of Revelation and speaking of the Roman Catholic Church, the apostle John writes this about that ‘holy mother church’:

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”Revelation 17:4-6
And that’s what God thinks of the “holy Roman Mother Church”.

The following is the transcript from the pope’s “Morning Meditation from hell

Two women and mothers — Mary and the Church — bring Christ to a third woman, who resembles the first two but is “little”: our soul. The Pope reaffirmed, with these wholly female images, that without the motherhood of Mary and the Church we would not have Christ. “We are not orphans”, he recalled during the Mass celebrated in the chapel at Santa Marta.

Francis highlighted right away that “the Church, in the liturgy, leads us twice, for two days, one after the other, to Calvary”: in fact, “yesterday she made us contemplate the Cross of Jesus, and today his Mother at the Cross” (Jn 19:25-27). In particular, “yesterday she had us speak a word: glorious”. A word which refers to the “Cross of the Lord, because it brings life, it brings us glory”. But “today the strongest word of the liturgy is: Mother”. The Cross is glorious; the Mother humble, gentle”, the Mother whom the liturgy celebrates today as Our Lady of Sorrows.

Meditating on the Mother leads us directly to Jesus as son. Referring to the day’s Reading (Heb 5:7-9), the Pontiff pointed out that “in the passage from the Letter to the Hebrews, Paul emphasizes three strong words, speaking of Jesus the Son: he learned, he obeyed and he suffered”. Jesus, in essence “learned obedience and suffered”. Thus, “it is the opposite of what had befallen our father Adam, who had not learned what the Lord commanded, who had neither suffered nor obeyed”. Moreover, the Pope stated, “this passage from the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us of another passage from the Letter to the Philippians: “although he was in the form of God, he did not consider it an inalienable right; he renounced it, he humbled himself and took the form of a servant. This”, Pope Francis continued, “is the glory of the Cross of Jesus” who “came to the world to learn to be a man and, being man, to walk with men. He came to the world in obedience and he obeyed”. But “this obedience was learned through suffering”.

“Adam left Paradise with a promise”, he proceeded, “which went on throughout many centuries. Today, with this obedience, with this self-denial, this humbling of Jesus, that promise has become hope”. And “the People of God journey with confident hope”.

Mary too, “the Mother, the New Eve, as Paul himself called her, follows this path of her son: she learned, she suffered and she obeyed”. She “became ‘Mother’. We could say that she is the ‘anointed Mother’, the Pontiff affirmed, and the same is true for the Church.

Thus, this is “our hope: we are not orphans, we have mothers”: first of all Mary. And then the Church, who is Mother “when she follows the same path of Jesus and Mary: the path of obedience, the path of suffering, and when her approach is to constantly learn the way of the Lord”.

“These two women — Mary and the Church — carry on the hope which is Christ, they give us Christ, they generate Christ in us”, the Bishop of Rome emphasized. Thus “without Mary, Jesus Christ would not have been; without the Church, we cannot go forward”. They are “two women and two mothers”.

“Mary”, Francis explained, “remained steadfast at the Cross, she was bonded with the son because she had accepted him and she knew, more or less, that a sword awaited her: Simon had told her so”. Mary is “the steadfast Mother”, he continued, “who gives us certainty on this path of learning, of suffering and of obedience”. And Mother Church is also “steadfast when she adores Jesus Christ and she guides us, teaches us, shelters us, helps us on this path of obedience, of suffering, of learning this wisdom of God”.

Moreover, the Pontiff again affirmed, “our soul also takes part in this, when it opens itself to Mary and to the Church: according to monk and abbot, Isaac of Stella, our soul is also female and likewise resembles Mary and the Church”. Thus “today, looking at the Cross, this woman — steadfastly following her son, suffering in order to learn obedience — we see the Church and we see our Mother”. But “we also see our little soul”, which will never be lost if it too continues to be a woman close to those two great women who accompany us in life: Mary and the Church”.

Francis concluded by recalling that “as our fathers left Paradise with a promise, today we are able to go forward with hope: the hope we are given by Mary, steadfast at the Cross, and our hierarchical Holy Mother Church”.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8868

Pagan Goddess of War Statue Unveiled at United Nations

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz November 28, 2017 , 1:30 pm

“For he built again the high places which Chizkiyahu his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal.” II Kings 21:3 (The Israel Bible™)

The same multinational group that recreated the Palmyra Victory Arch and sent it on a world tour has now recreated a statue of Athena, the Greek goddess of war, for an exhibit in the United Nations, an organization that claims to be working towards world peace but which one rabbi likens to modern-day paganism.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially inaugurated the Digital Archaeology Exhibition, “The Spirit in the Stone”, at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City last Thursday. The UAE, the Italian mission to the UN, and the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) cooperated in re-creating a statue of the Greek goddess Athena for the exhibit.

The original Athena statue stood in Palmyra, Syria, until it was destroyed by ISIS in 2015. The UAE announcement described the goddess as “synonymous with reason, refuge and the rule of law, all of the same values on which that historic institution was built,” but the statue depicts Athena in her classic pose grasping a spear, belying her prominent role as the Greek goddess of war.

It is also believed that the Greek goddess Athena was based on the earlier Mesopotamian goddess Ashera and was later incorporated into early Islam as al-Lāt, worshipped in Saudi Arabia as the consort of Allah mentioned in the Koran. This would be consistent with the statue’s history at the site in Palmyra, which was used as a temple by the Mesopotamians, Romans, and Muslims in succession.

Rabbi Elad Dokow, the head rabbi and lecturer at Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology, was not surprised that the United Nations would feature a display of pagan symbols.

“There is currently an unmistakeable rise of paganism and idol worship in the world, more than any other religion, and it is naive to believe this display is disconnected from this phenomenon,” Rabbi Dokow told Breaking Israel News. “Paganism creates the ability for each man to create his own truth, as opposed to Judaism and Christianity, which state that there is an objective truth man must abide by. The UN, like paganism, is a place of subjective reality created by a vote.”

“What we are seeing in the world today is that every place Christianity grows weak, paganism and idolatry grow stronger, and where Christianity disappears, horrible things happen.”

Though an initiative bringing together the Muslim-majority UAE with Italy to recreate a Greek pagan idol seems incongruous, just such a union was described in Jewish prophecy, first alluded to in Psalms.

For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant; The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moav, and the Hagrites. Psalms 83:6-7

The first century Jewish sage Jonathan ben Uzziel described how this Biblical alliance between Ishmael and Esau would reappear in war at the End of Days.

“Great ships full of weapons will depart as a large fleet from Roman Italy and will join up with a legion that will depart from Constantine [this is Ishmael]. They will harm the inhabitants of other lands, and subjugate the descendants of Eber [a reference to Israel].”

The UAE has worked with the IDA in the past. Their first collaboration, the 3-D printed Arch of Palmyra, was prominently featured in the UN exhibit as a full-size projection onto a screen. The original Arch of Palmyra was a Roman victory arch that stood for 1,800 years in front of the temple to the pagan god Ba’al in Palmyra until, like the statue of Athena, it was destroyed by ISIS.

Ba’al was the form of idol worship frequently mentioned in the Bible as accompanying the worship of the female false goddess, Ashera.

They rejected all the commandments of Hashem their God; they made molten idols for themselves—two calves—and they made a sacred post [Ashera] and they bowed down to all the host of heaven, and they worshiped Baal. II Kings 17:16

The reproduction of the Arch was first presented in April last year at London’s Trafalgar Square for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Week. The unveiling coincided with the most important pagan holiday of the year, Beltane, ushering in a 13-day period known in the occult as “the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast”, which was traditionally celebrated with child sacrifice and bisexual orgies.

Similar to the current display of Athena at the UN, the Palmyra Arch was also displayed at events associated with a world government. It was the centerpiece of the World Government Summit in Dubai last February, and appeared in Sarona, Italy in June, its display intentionally coinciding with the the G7 Summit of world leaders.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8866

The Devil is in the Details….

November 20, 2017 / lamarzulli

Hip Hop star Jay-Z has blasted traditional Christian values in an epic rant where he claims to be part of an exclusive club of “smart people” who worships “our true lord; Satan.”The billionaire rapper has also claimed that “God created Lucifer to be the bearer of truth and light,” and that “Jesus never existed” but was merely a “tool created by smart people to control dumb people.”During a backstage tirade at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Friday, Jay-Z pointed around the room saying, “ya’ll being played.” “There ain’t no Jesus.”Ya’ll slaves to a fake religion.”Do you think I got where I am praying to a guy that don’t exist?”No. I found the guys who invented that guy and I joined the club.”Then I worked my way to the top.”I earned my new form of humanity and maturity when I fully embraced my older brother, Satan.”

Commentary & Analysis by L. A. Marzulli

The Devil is in the details and Jay – Z is letting us know all about them with great specificity.

For those of us who have been following the Satanic underpinnings of both the movie and music industry, Jay-Z ‘s rant is very telling.  Here’s what he stated recently. Judge for yourself…

During a backstage tirade at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Friday, Jay-Z pointed around the room saying, “ya’ll being played.” “There ain’t no Jesus.”Ya’ll slaves to a fake religion.”Do you think I got where I am praying to a guy that don’t exist?”No. I found the guys who invented that guy and I joined the club.”Then I worked my way to the top.”I earned my new form of humanity and maturity when I fully embraced my older brother, Satan.”

There are others who are part of the Satanic Cabal. Think of Katy Perry who held her hands up proudly displaying the Baphomet sign while flicking her tongue out like a snake. She was also wearing “devil-horns” while ACDC played, We’re on the Highway to Hell! (Look at her eyes and haughty expression)Who could forget Perry riding a BEAST during her “performance” at the Super Bowl.

Then there’s Lady Ga-Ga who recently stated that she wanted out as she realized who it was that made her famous. Why would anyone dress like this?

Madonna, whose openly satanic display in her shows knows no bounds. Here she is at yet another Super Bowl half time show. (Makes you wonder who hires these people?)

Think about it—and I realize that some of you will disagree with this. These half-time show are nothing short of a full-blown occult spectacle and they are being pumped into our homes.

(Caution – Pray up before watching this!!!! If you watch it all!!!)

One of my great frustrations is that the church, for the most part, has blinders on when it comes to exposing this. Most pastors won’t discuss it, thus their congregations sit in ignorance, while the enemy laughs and continues with his agenda.
Pray for Jay-Z and the rest of the crew but shout out a warning to those who will listen. End times? Business as Usual? How far this is from the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show singing: I want to hold your hand?
Expose and crush the works of darkness. Realize this. (This is not to imply that Jay-Z and the other “singers,” who are mentioned in this post, participate in any of these activities or rituals…)
1.       There are dark forces at work throughout the music and movie industry. Some of this is coming out now!
2.       There is connection to Pedophilia.
3.       Human sacrifice is part of it. (Not all participate in this)
4.       The satanic connection reaches to the highest echelons in the governments of the world. (Think Bohemian Grove)
5.       Human trafficking is directly connected to it.
6.       Where do we think all the missing children go?
7.       The Satanic underpinnings are everywhere as there is a coven in the town where you are right now and they are part of the underground.
8.       Think of all the movies that promulgate the worship of Satan, either directly or indirectly. Rosemary’s baby

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8848

Pope Francis Gathering World Leaders For Global Peace Conference At Vatican To Save World From Nuclear Disaster

Russia is sending a top nuclear expert, and NATO’s deputy secretary general, Rose Gottemoeller, is scheduled to speak. China and North Korea have been invited, but organisers said they do not know if the countries would send representatives as they do not have diplomatic relations.

 

by Geoffrey Grider November 9, 2017

The Pope is gathering officials and peaceniks as he tries to save the world from nuclear disaster amid the West’s standoff with North Korea. The “holyman” will address a conference at the Vatican tomorrow to try to temper the war of words between Donald Trump and despotic Kim Jong-un.

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:5 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Pope Francis likes to act like a king more than he likes being a pope, and it’s no wonder. Revelation says that the beast of the ‘whore of Babylon’ will indeed be a global king, albeit for only a short time. 

The US President, currently on a tour of Asia, said this week that the North Korean regime should “never underestimate” America’s military might by continuing in its drive for a vast nuclear arsenal. Among those attending the meeting are UN and NATO officials — as well as 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Monsignor Silvano Tomasi, a conference organiser, admitted foreign policy analysts believe it is “pie in the sky” to think it could have an impact. But he added: “I think it’s very important to alert public opinion that the presence in the world of thousands of atomic bombs doesn’t guarantee the security of anyone.”

Pope urges mediation to end North Korea crisis:

In July, 122 countries approved a new UN treaty calling for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons — but none of the nuclear powers and no NATO members signed on.

George Lopez, who advised the UN Security Council on North Korea sanctions, said the Vatican conference “draws attention to and underscores the treaty and the Nobel prize, and says, ‘This is serious stuff’.”

Praising Pope Francis, he added that he is “keeping the issue alive and adding a new dimension”.

The United States is set to be represented at the conference by its deputy ambassador to the Holy See.  New ambassador Calista Gingrich hasn’t presented her credentials yet and can’t participate in official Vatican events.

Russia is sending a top nuclear expert, and NATO’s deputy secretary general, Rose Gottemoeller, is scheduled to speak. China and North Korea have been invited, but organisers said they do not know if the countries would send representatives as they do not have diplomatic relations.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8822

Ex-bishops’ doctrine chief says darkness coming to light under Francis

Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, a former chief of staff for the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine and a current member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, has written Pope Francis to say the pontiff is causing “chronic confusion,” appointing bishops who “scandalize” the faithful, and prompting ordinary Catholics to “lose confidence in their supreme shepherd.”

A former chief of staff for the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, and a current member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, has written Pope Francis to say that his pontificate “has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness,” which, one day, will have to be corrected.

While expressing loyalty to Francis as the “Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock,” Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy nevertheless charges that the pope is:

  • Fostering “chronic confusion.”
  • “Demeaning” the importance of doctrine.
  • Appointing bishops who “scandalize” believers with dubious “teaching and pastoral practice.”
  • Giving prelates who object the impression they’ll be “marginalized or worse” if they speak out.
  • Causing faithful Catholics to “lose confidence in their supreme shepherd.”

“In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew itself, and so continue to grow in holiness,” Weinandy wrote in the letter, which is dated July 31, the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the pope’s Jesuit order.

While covering some of the same ground, Weinandy distanced himself from a recent “filial correction” of Pope Francis issued by a group of scholars and theologians over what signatories described as “heretical positions” that they claimed the pope has “effectively upheld.”

Weinandy said he was not invited to sign the letter, had only “heard rumors” of it, and would not have signed if asked.

“I don’t think it was theologically helpful, or presented in an effective manner,” he said.

Although the concerns in Weinandy’s letter are broadly familiar, his background affords him a degree of prominence.

He served as Executive Director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2005 until 2013. Among other things, Weinandy played a key role in a controversial March 2011 bishops’ review of Fordham theologian Elizabeth Johnson, which led to a finding that her book Quest for the Living God “does not accord with authentic Catholic teaching on essential points.”

In 2014, Weinandy was named to the International Theological Commission, the main advisory body to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by Francis, who also gave him the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal in recognition of service to the Church in 2013.

In comments to Crux, Weinandy insisted that he did not write his letter in any official capacity, and he alone is responsible for it.

“I don’t think anyone can, or should, associate my letter with the USCCB or the American bishops,” he said. “Neither was involved in my writing the letter, and its publication will be news to them.”

After receiving a brief reply in mid-October from Italian Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the “substitute” or number two official in the Secretariat of State, dated Sept. 7 and confirming that Weinandy’s letter had been placed before the pope, Weinandy provided the text to Crux and other media outlets.

In the three-page missive, Weinandy makes five basic points.

First, he tells Francis that in his document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, “your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching.”

“To teach with such an intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth,” Weinandy wrote.

Weinandy also complains that Francis seems “to censor and even mock” those with traditional positions on marriage, styling them as “Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism.”

“This kind of calumny is alien to the Petrine ministry,” he said.

Second, Weinandy objects that Francis too often portrays doctrine as “dead and bookish,” and accuses those concerned with upholding doctrine of turning it into an “ideology.”

“But it is precisely Christian doctrine … that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures them they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel,” he wrote.

Third, Weinandy charges, faithful Catholics are “disconcerted” by the appointment of bishops “who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief, but who support and even defend them.”

Faithful Catholics are also demoralized, Weinandy said, when Francis seems “silent” in the face of the “teaching and pastoral practice” of those bishops, whom he does not name, saying such Catholics “are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd.”

Fourth, Weinandy asserts, the kind of decentralization being pushed by Francis undercuts the Church’s unity.

“Encouraging a form of ‘synodality’ that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church can only lead to more theological and pastoral confusion,” he said.

Finally, Weinandy tells Francis he’s stifling legitimate criticism.

“Bishops are quick learners,” he wrote, “and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it,” claiming that many bishops don’t speak out publicly for fear they will be “marginalized or worse.”

In an interview with Crux, Weinandy said his decision to write the letter was not easy, and resulted from what he regards as a moment of inspiration.

It came last May, he said, when he was in Rome for a meeting of the International Theological Commission. He said he spent two different sessions in prayer at St. Peter’s Eucharistic Chapel, struggling to decide if he should speak up. In the middle of a sleepless night, he said, he basically gave God an ultimatum.

“If you want me to write something, you have to give me a clear sign,” Weinandy recalls saying. “Tomorrow morning, I’m going to Saint Mary Major’s to pray, and then I am going to Saint John Lateran.  After that, I’m coming back to Saint Peter’s to have lunch with a seminary friend of mine.”

“During that interval, I must meet someone that I know but have not seen in a very long time, and would never expect to see in Rome at this time.  That person cannot be from the United States, Canada or Great Britain.  Moreover, that person has to say to me, ‘Keep up the good writing’.”

Sure enough, Weinandy said, exactly that happened the next day, in a chance meeting with an archbishop he’d known a long time ago but not seen for over twenty years, who congratulated him for a book on the Incarnation and then said the right words, “Keep up the good writing.”

“There was no longer any doubt in my mind that Jesus wanted me to write something,” Weinandy said.  “I also think it significant that it was an Archbishop that Jesus used.  I considered it an apostolic mandate.”

Weinandy is aware that might sound a little pretentious, but says it’s important to illustrate his motives.

“I wanted to assure myself that if I wrote something, it was not simply because I had concerns, concerns that may be unfounded.  If I did write something, I wanted it to be of help to Pope Francis, to the Church, and to the faithful,” he said.

“So, in a sense, I wanted to gain God’s approval, and not simply rely on myself,” Weinandy said. “I feel the story shows that I’m attempting to be helpful.”

Despite what Weinandy told Francis about a fear of reprisals, he said he’s not alarmed about possible fallout for himself.

“I am more concerned about the good that my letter might do,” he said.

As to why he chose to go public, Weinandy said “the letter expresses the concerns of many more people than just me, ordinary people who’ve come to me with their questions and apprehensions,” and “I wanted them to know that I listened.”

Weinandy also said he has no plans to promote his criticism of Francis beyond the letter.

“I have done what I believe God wanted me to do,” he said.

It remains to be seen if Weinandy’s letter will trigger a similar reaction as the “filial correction.” In that case, critics suggested the theologians were overstepping their bounds.

Italian philosophy professor Rocco Buttiglione, who was a close friend and adviser of St. Pope John Paul II, charged the theologians were trying to stand as “judges over the pope,” while theologian Robert Fastiggi and author Dawn Eden Goldstein argued that the authors of the correction violated a 1990 Vatican document titled Donum Veritatis on the proper role of Catholic theologians, which says they should make reservations known only “in an evangelical spirit and a profound desire to resolve the difficulties.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8808

Pope Francis has abolished hell, purgatory, heaven: papal confidant

October 27, 2017 (Sandro Magister) — In the important newspaper “la Repubblica” of which he is the founder, Eugenio Scalfari, an undisputed authority of Italian secular thought, last October 9 returned to speaking in the following terms about what he sees as a “revolution” of this pontificate, in comments by Francis that are derived from his frequents conversations with him:

“Pope Francis has abolished the places where souls were supposed to go after death: hell, purgatory, heaven. The idea he holds is that souls dominated by evil and unrepentant cease to exist, while those that have been redeemed from evil will be taken up into beatitude, contemplating God.”

Observing immediately afterward:

“The universal judgment that is in the tradition of the Church therefore becomes devoid of meaning. It remains a simple pretext that has given rise to splendid paintings in the history of art. Nothing other than this.”

It is seriously doubtful that Pope Francis really wants to get rid of the “last things” in the terms described by Scalfari.

There is in his preaching, however, something that tends toward a practical overshadowing of the final judgment and of the opposite destinies of blessed and damned.

On Wednesday, October 11, at the general audience in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis said that such a judgment is not to be feared, because “at the end of our history there is the merciful Jesus,” and therefore “everything will be saved. Everything.”

In the text distributed to the journalists accredited to the Holy See, this last word, “everything,” was emphasized in boldface.

At another general audience a few months ago, on Wednesday, August 23, Francis gave for the end of history an image that is entirely and only comforting: that of “an immense tent, where God will welcome all mankind so as to dwell with them definitively.”

An image that is not his own but is taken from chapter 21 of Revelation, but from which Francis was careful not to cite the following words of Jesus:

“The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

And again, in commenting during the Angelus of Sunday, October 15 on the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22: 1-14) that was read at all the Masses on that day, Francis carefully avoided citing the most unsettling parts.

Both that in which “the king became indignant, sent his troops, had those murderers killed and their city burned.”

And that in which, having seen “one man who was not wearing the wedding garment,” the king ordered his servants: “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the darkness; there shall be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth.”

On the previous Sunday, October 8, another parable, that of the murderous vine dressers (Matthew 21:33-43), had undergone the same selective treatment.

In commenting on the parable during the Angelus, the pope left out what the owner of the vineyard does to those farmers who killed the servants and finally the son: “He will put those wretches to a miserable death.” Much less did he cite the concluding words of Jesus, referring to himself as the “cornerstone”: “He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one, it will crush him.”

Instead, Pope Francis insisted on defending God from the accusation of being vindictive, almost as if wanting to mitigate the excesses of “justice” detected in the parable:

“It is here that the great news of Christianity is found: a God who, in spite of being disappointed by our mistakes and our sins, does not go back on his word, does not stop, and above all does not avenge himself! Brothers and sisters, God does not avenge himself! God loves, he does not avenge himself, he waits for us to forgive us, to embrace us.”

In the homily for the feast of Pentecost, last June 4, Francis argued, as he often does, against “those who judge.” And in citing the words of the risen Jesus to the apostles and implicitly to their successors in the Church (John 20:22-23), he intentionally cut them off halfway through:

“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven.”

Omitting the following:

“Those you do not forgive, they will not be forgiven.”

And the fact that the truncation was deliberate is proven by its repititon. Because Francis had made the exact same deletion of the words of Jesus on the previous April 23, at the Regina Coeli of the first Sunday after Easter.

Last May 12 as well, while visiting Fatima, Francis showed that he wanted to set Jesus free from his reputation as an inflexible judge at the end of time. And to do this he warned against the following false image of Mary:

“A Mary of our own making: one who restrains the arm of a vengeful God; one sweeter than Jesus the ruthless judge.”

It must be added that the liberty with which Pope Francis cuts and stitches up the words of Sacred Scripture does not concern only the universal judgment. Deafening, for example, is the silence in which he has always shrouded Jesus’ condemnation of adultery (Matthew 19:2-11 and parallel passages).

In a surprising coincidence, this condemnation was contained in the Gospel passage that was read in all the churches of the world precisely on the Sunday of the beginning of the second session of the synod of bishops on the family, October 4, 2015. But neither in the homily nor at the Angelus on that day did Pope Francis make the slightest reference to it.

Nor did he make any reference to it at the Angelus of Sunday February 12, 2017, when that condemnation was once again read in all the churches.

Not only that. The words of Jesus against adultery also do not appear in the two hundred pages of the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

Just as no appearance is made in it by the terrible words of condemnation of homosexuality written by the apostle Paul in the first chapter of the Letter to the Romans.

A first chapter that was also read – another coincidence – at the weekday Masses of the second week of the synod of 2015. To tell the truth, those words are not included in the missal. But in any case, neither the pope nor anyone else ever cited them while discussions were being held at the synod about changing the paradigms of judgment on homosexuality:

“Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romani 1, 26-32).

Moreover, at times Pope Francis even takes the liberty of rewriting the words of Sacred Scripture as he sees fit.

For example, in the morning homily at Santa Marta on September 4, 2014, at a certain point the pope attributed to Saint Paul these “scandalous” words: “I boast only of my sins.” And he concluded by inviting the faithful present to “boast” of their own sins, in that they have been forgiven from the cross by Jesus.

But in none of Paul’s letters can such an expression be found. The apostle instead says of himself: “If it is necessary to boast, I will boast of my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 11:30), after having listed all the hardships of his life – the imprisonments, the floggings, the shipwrecks.

Or: “About myself I will not boast, except of my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 12:5). Or again: “He said to me: ‘My grace is enough for you; strength is in fact made fully manifest in weakness.’ I will therefore gladly boast of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9), with more references to the outrages, persecutions, anguish he has suffered.

Coming back to the final judgment, Pope Benedict XVI also acknowledged that “in the modern era, the idea of the Last Judgement has faded into the background.”

But in the encyclical “Spe Salvi,” which he wrote entirely on his own, he forcefully reaffirmed that the last judgment is “the decisive image of hope.” It is an image that “evokes responsibility,” because “grace does not cancel out justice,” but on the contrary “the question of justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favour of faith in eternal life,” because “with the impossibility that the injustice of history should be the final word does the necessity for Christ’s return and for new life become fully convincing.”

And again:

“Grace does not make wrong into right. It is not a sponge which wipes everything away, so that whatever someone has done on earth ends up being of equal value. Dostoevsky was right to protest against this kind of Heaven and this kind of grace in his novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov.’ Evildoers, in the end, do not sit at table at the eternal banquet beside their victims without distinction, as though nothing had happened.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8801

MOST IMPORTANT POST: Why Most Christian Churches Refuse To Preach The Truth About The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ

Go to your average mega-church where thousands will gather on a Sunday, and you will hear happy, upbeat messages about how God has a “wonderful plan” for your life. What you will not hear is that when Jesus returns at the Second Coming, He stomps His enemies the same way you stomp grapes, with the literal blood of the fallen staining His white robes.

 

by Geoffrey Grider October 8, 2017

When you remove Bible doctrine for the Christian in the Church Age, you are left with little more than fairy tales and fables.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Revelation 19:11 (KJV)

In America today, there are roughly 300,000 churches claiming to represent Jesus Christ, that’s an average of 6,000 churches per state. That’s a lot of churches. So why are so many professing Christians ignorant about the main theme of the Bible? Because there is not one in a thousand that preaches Bible doctrine, and not one in ten thousand that believes the book of Revelation is a road map of the future.

What is the main theme of the Bible, you ask? From cover to cover, the main theme of the Bible is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign as King over all the nations, literally, physically and visibly. I will pause here for a moment as you struggle to collect your thoughts, your mind reeling from trying to process this “strange teaching” that your pastor never touches on in your church.

When Paul commanded Timothy to study the word like a “workman”, and to learn to “rightly divide” the truth of scripture, he was giving us a template for proper Bible study. Making necessary divisions like between Old Testament – New Testament, Jews – Christians – Gentiles, etc, takes away the confusion and seeming contradictions present when casually studying from a high level. Paul also says that in the end times, Bible doctrine will thrown out the window, leaving the average Christian in the dark about the future.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 2:3,4 (KJV)

When you remove Bible doctrine for the Christian in the Church Age, you are left with little more than fairy tales and fables. Joel Osteen has famously stated that the reason he refuses to preach on Hell and the coming judgment is because “most Christians are beaten down enough”. Hmm, I guess Joel knows better what a Christian needs than God does, because God commands us to study about the things that are about to come upon all the earth.

Paul says that in the end times Christians will “not endure sound doctrine” and so it is. The main reason they “won’t endure” it is because most preachers won’t preach it. So with that introduction, let’s get to today’s lesson on why pastors refuse to preach the truth about the Second Coming of Jesus. I have boiled it down to easy to read bullet points for those of you who are easily exhausted by actual Bible study.

The Top 5 Reasons Pastors Refuse To Preach On The Truth Of The Second Coming:

  1. THE RETURNING JESUS IS REPULSIVE TO THE LAODICEAN CHRISTIAN: Go to your average mega-church where thousands will gather on a Sunday, and you will hear happy, upbeat messages about how God has a “wonderful plan” for your life. What you will not hear is that when Jesus returns at the Second Coming, He stomps His enemies the same way you stomp grapes, with the literal blood of the fallen staining His white robes. Not only that, His eyes are gleaming while He does it.  This imagery does not fit well with Laodicean slop like The Power Of I Am, and The Purpose Driven Life. But the Bible clearly and plainly teaches that the returning Jesus is coming to claim His Kingdom, and anyone who gets in the way will be flattened instantly. “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” Revelation 19:13 (KJV)
  2. THE DAY OF THE LORD IS FILLED WITH TERROR AND DARKNESS: Your average Laodicean pastor hardly ever mentions the Second Coming, but when they do, it’s usually something along of the lines of this. “One fine day, Jesus will return and the world will live in peace and harmony, and there will be no more social injustice and everyone will be happy”. What he doesn’t tell you is that the Day Jesus comes back, the world is thrown into terrifying darkness, and that Jesus has come to rule this world as a military dictator. Joel has this to say about that Day – “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.” Joel 1:15 (KJV). John has this to say about the military dictatorship – “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” Revelation 19:15 (KJV). And I could give you dozens of verses more, from both Testaments, proving what I say is true.
  3. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT ‘BRINGING IN THE KINGDOM’: Have you ever sat in church and listened to the pastor waxed eloquently about “bringing in the kingdom”, and that we must all “work together” to establish God’s kingdom here on Earth? They do that so they can justify building programs, staff expansions, new locations and all the rest. People who are fooled into thinking they are “bringing in the kingdom” are willing to give large sums of money and provide free labor. Those two things are exactly why pastors preach like that. But the Bible says nothing about anyone bringing in the Kingdom except for Jesus Christ at the Second Coming. The only kingdom that humans are creating is the kingdom of Antichrist that will oppose Jesus when He returns. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:10 (KJV).
  4. JERUSALEM AS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD IS ABHORRENT TO MOST PASTORS: Because most pastors and preachers in America today are not Bible believers, they spiritualize and make metaphor out of clear and plain Bible teaching. Scripture absolutely teaches a literal, visible and physical rule of the returned Jesus, who is now King of Kings, over all the nations of the Earth, and on His Throne in Jerusalem. Let me put it to you more plainly. When Jesus returns, people will be able to travel to Israel and see with their eyes Jesus ruling in righteousness from the actual land mass called Israel. This will take place for one thousand literal, actual calendar years. Don’t believe it? Then you don’t believe the Bible. Isaiah says: “For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.” Isaiah 66:18-20 (KJV). Zechariah says: “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” Zechariah 14:9 (KJV). John says: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6 (KJV).
  5. THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS TOO UNPLEASANT TO CONSIDER: Ask the average Laodicean Christian about the book of Revelation, and more often than not you will hear them say that it’s a “symbolic book” that contains “confusing and dark” references to things that “no one can really understand”. The average Christian pastor, from any denomination, feels the same way, too. Now I’ll grant you that, like a Swiss watch, there are a lot of “moving parts” in the book of Revelation. It’s complex for sure, but far from being “unknowable”. But the real reason why Christians turn away from Revelation is not that it “cannot be understood”, but rather that what it contains is too repulsive to contemplate. Revelation shows us the collapse of the professing Christian church into apostasy in chapter 3, the rapture of the Church in chapter 4, Jesus releasing Antichrist in chapter 6, and from there we see virtually unlimited death, destruction and terrifying judgments. So bad in fact that men’s hearts “failing them for fear”. Christians tell me all the time that, while they are looking forward to seeing Jesus, they don’t want the Rapture to take place before they can get married and have kids. So pastors don’t preach on the Pretrib Rapture because they want their flock focusing on things of Earth like building programs and fundraisers. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Luke 21:25,26 (KJV).

Now you know why your church doesn’t preach Bible doctrine and why your pastor is deceiving you with fluff stories and fairy tales. Because the truth is too terrible to contemplate, and it’s bad for business. Now, if you’ve decided you actually like Bible doctrine and want to know more about what your pastor is hiding from you, click here to read our Bible Doctrine library.

It will help you to be ready for what comes next.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8757

Conservative Catholics Accuse Pope Francis Of Heresy As Theological Split In Catholic Church Grows Wider

In a 25-page letter delivered to Pope Francis last month and provided Saturday to The Associated Press, the 62 signatories issued a “filial correction” to the pope — a measure they said hadn’t been employed since the 14th century. The letter accused Pope Francis of propagating seven heretical positions concerning marriage, moral life and the sacraments with his 2016 document “The Joy of Love” and subsequent “acts, words and omissions.”

by Geoffrey Grider September 24, 2017

Several dozen tradition-minded Roman Catholic theologians, priests and academics have formally accused Pope Francis of spreading heresy with his 2016 opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:13-15 (KJV)

In a 25-page letter delivered to Pope Francis last month and provided Saturday to The Associated Press, the 62 signatories issued a “filial correction” to the pope — a measure they said hadn’t been employed since the 14th century.

The letter accused Pope Francis of propagating seven heretical positions concerning marriage, moral life and the sacraments with his 2016 document “The Joy of Love” and subsequent “acts, words and omissions.”

The initiative follows another formal act by four tradition-minded cardinals who wrote Francis last year asking him to clarify a series of questions, or “dubbia,” they had about his 2016 text.

Pope Francis hasn’t responded to either initiative. The Vatican spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment late Saturday.

None of the signatories of the new letter is a cardinal, and the highest-ranking churchman listed is actually someone whose organization has no legal standing in the Catholic Church: Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the breakaway Society of St. Pius X. Several other signatories are well-known admirers of the old Latin Mass which Fellay’s followers celebrate.

But organizers said the initiative was nevertheless significant and a sign of the concern among a certain contingent of academics and pastors over Francis’ positions, which they said posed a danger to the faithful.

“There is a role for theologians and philosophers to explain to people the church’s teaching, to correct misunderstandings,” said Joseph Shaw, a spokesman for the initiative, signatory of the correction and senior research fellow in moral philosophy at Oxford University.

When it was released in April 2016, “The Joy of Love” immediately sparked controversy because it opened the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion. Church teaching holds that unless these Catholics obtain an annulment — a church decree that their first marriage was invalid — they cannot receive the sacraments, since they are seen as committing adultery.

Francis didn’t create a church-wide pass for these Catholics, but suggested — in vague terms and strategically placed footnotes — that bishops and priests could do so on a case-by-case basis after accompanying them on a spiritual journey of discernment. Subsequent comments and writings have made clear he intended such wiggle room, part of his belief that God’s mercy extends in particular to sinners and that the Eucharist isn’t a prize for the perfect but nourishment for the weak.

Shaw said none of the four cardinals involved in the initial “dubbia” letter, nor any other cardinal, was involved in the “filial correction.”

Organizers said the last time such a correction was issued was to Pope John XXII in 1333 for errors which he later recanted

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8731

Pew: Reformation theology waning among Protestants

September 7 2017 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Five hundred years after the start of the Protestant Reformation, a majority of U.S. Protestants reportedly reject the Reformation doctrines of sola fide (the belief men and women are saved by faith alone) and sola scriptura (the belief scripture is the only infallible guide for faith and practice).

That’s the finding of the Pew Research Center, which also found a majority of western European Protestants reject sola fide and that theological differences between Protestants and Catholics seem to be narrowing in many cases.

“The result of the survey … in America and Europe is not particularly surprising,” said Paige Patterson, a participant during the 1990s in a five-year theological dialogue between eight Southern Baptist leaders and eight representatives of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Although such surveys have little relevance on the vitality of faith and are often skewed in various ways, there is a sense in which both groups surveyed are correct. Certainly, Catholicism and Protestantism are more alike than any other expressions of religion in the world in their confidence that the Bible is in some sense the Word of God, that Jesus of Nazareth is the center of the Christian faith, in their confidence in the doctrine of the Trinity … and in their general concept of sin defined as rebellion against God,” Patterson told Baptist Press (BP) in written comments.

“On the other hand, the survey also demonstrates the extent of biblical illiteracy,” said Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Regarding salvation, two separate Pew surveys conducted in the U.S. and Europe and released Aug. 31 found:

    • Less than half (46%) of U.S. Protestants hold the Reformation doctrine that faith alone is needed to attain salvation. More than half (52%) espouse the historically Catholic doctrine that good deeds and faith are required to get into heaven.
    • A full 81 percent of U.S. Catholics say good deeds and faith are required to get into heaven. Just 17 percent of Catholics say salvation comes by faith alone.
    • In Europe, 29 percent of Protestants and 26 percent of Catholics espouse belief in salvation by faith alone.

Contrary to the majority of Protestants in the U.S. and Europe, the Augsburg Confession of Faith – a classic 1530 Lutheran confession of faith – stated, “Men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith.”

In contrast, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that while “no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification,” humans can “merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for … the attainment of eternal life.”

Concerning the authority of scripture, Pew found:

    • Just 46 percent of U.S. Protestants believe the Bible provides all religious guidance Christians need. More than half (52%) say believers need guidance from church teachings and traditions as well.
    • Three-quarters (75%) of U.S. Catholics say Christians need guidance from church traditions and teachings in addition to the Bible. Just 21 percent of Catholics say the Bible provides all needed religious guidance.

Protestants traditionally have believed, as stated in the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith, “The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture.”

In contrast, the Catholic Church holds according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the church “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy scriptures alone. Both scripture and tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.”

Only 30 percent of U.S. Protestants believe in both sola fide and sola scriptura, according to Pew.

In the western European survey, most Catholics and most Protestants in every nation said they believe the two Christian groups are more theologically similar than different.

“The poll,” Patterson said, “is a source of challenge to Baptists to be sure that we prepare our people adequately in the doctrinal commitments that we have.”

The European surveys were conducted via telephone April 11-Aug. 2, with 24,599 respondents from 15 countries. The U.S. survey of 5,198 panelists was conducted online May 30-Aug. 9

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8716