By Heather Clark on January 9, 2016218 Comments
ROME — In his first-ever video declaring his “prayer intentions,” the Roman Catholic leader Jorge Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis, called for dialogue and collaboration among those of the various world religions on Tuesday, asserting that they are simply “seeking or meeting God in different ways.”
“Most of the planet’s inhabitants declare themselves believers,” he states in the production released on the Feast of Epiphany. “This should lead to dialogue among religions. We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently.”
The video then features clips of those from different world religions declaring belief in their various deities.
“I have confidence in Buddha,” a female lama announces.
“I believe in God,” a rabbi affirms.
“I believe in Jesus Christ,” a priest states.
“I believe in Allah,” an Islamic leader declares.
Francis contends that all the religions of the world simply represent mankind’s diversity in seeking God. He says that despite the differing beliefs, everyone is a child of the same God.
“Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways,” he states. “In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God.”
The video then provides footage of the pontiff meeting with and embracing those of various religions, including Buddhists, Islamists and Orthodox Jews. It again cuts to representatives of the world’s religions, who now declare the same statement: “I believe in love.”
“I hope you will spread my prayer request this month: that sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce fruits of peace and justice,” Francis states. “I have confidence in your prayers.”
But not everyone is supportive of the Vatican’s call for unity and common ground. Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries of Plano, Texas told Christian News Network that the pontiff’s assertions that all mankind is “seeking or meeting God in different ways,” and that all are children of the same God, are flawed.
“Tragically, those who do not know the Bible or who refuse to submit to it as the supreme authority for truth, will be deceived by the pope’s latest pronouncement,” he stated. “The pope’s assertion that all mankind meets with/seeks after the same God, just in different ways, is false according to the word of God. No one seeks for (the true) God (Rom. 3:11), but there are many who seek after false gods of their own imagination or false gods of their religious traditions. The only way to meet with the true God is His way, through the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).”
“The word of God reveals that the human race is made up of people who are either children of God or children of the devil (1 John 3:10),” Gendron explained. “The Lord Jesus soundly rebuked the religious leaders of His day for refusing to believe the truth of His Word (John 8:440-43). Jesus told them that their father was the devil, who is the father of lies (John 8:44).”
“This remains true today,” he continued. “The god of this world has created a variety of religions to blind all of his children from the light of the Gospel and the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4).”
Gedron said that in one sense—although not deliberately—Francis is correct as all are children of the darkness by nature, but man only becomes a child of God when he is reborn in Christ.
“Everyone is a child of the ‘god of this world’ until they exchange their religion for a relationship with the one true God through Jesus Christ,” he outlined. “Those who receive Jesus by believing in His name become children of God (John 1:12-13).”
Gendron, a former Roman Catholic, also opined that the pontiff’s ecumenicism is fulfilling prophesy about the formulation of a one world religion.
“As the pope continues to accelerate his ecumenical agenda to rebuild the religious tower of Babel, he will be fulfilling Bible prophecy. All the religions of the world already share a ‘works-righteousness’ salvation and they all are already united by a common spiritual bond,” he said.
“As we see the prophetic one-world religion forming, we know the children of the true God will have no part of it because they have been sanctified by the truth and sealed with the Holy Spirit (2 Thes. 2:13),” Gendron stated.
Category: False Prophet
Pope Francis’ Calls for Collaboration With World’s Religions, Those Who ‘Meet God in Different Ways’
By Heather Clark on January 9, 2016218 Comments
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7714
False Prophet Alert: Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Michael Day | The Independent | Dec 26, 2015, 10.48 AM IST
In July, Francis signalled a more progressive attitude on sexuality as well.
In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.
Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.
“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7690
ROME — Sometimes it’s better to just stay silent rather than call attention to obvious flaws. That could certainly be considered the case when it comes to Rome’s readiness—or seeming lack thereof—ahead of the Vatican’s Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy that kicks off Dec. 8 with the opening of the holy year doors of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Not only is the city a veritable construction site with most Jubilee projects barely underway or slated for completion into the new year, but security forces admit there is no way they can possibly protect pilgrims from becoming prey for terrorists.
The previous Jubilee, under Pope John Paul II in 2000, coincided with the millennium celebrations, and the city took more than seven years to prepare. The church’s event this year follows one of the worst terrorist attacks in Europe, and the city has less than a month to somehow beef up its security enough to detect and deter any threat of attack. The gathering is expected to draw 25 million Catholic pilgrims over 12 months, during which they will have thrice-weekly opportunities to hear Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square, which has been described as something like rounding up sheep for a cull.
Since the Paris attacks, many hotels and tour groups have reported cancellations.
“We are preparing for a Jubilee in the time of ISIS,” Italy’s security czar, Franco Gabrielli, who has been given the daunting task of managing security for the event in Rome in the absence of a mayor, said at a press conference laying out the 128-page dossier of plans Friday. “We even have 2,000 extra men dedicated to security.”
Those 2,000 won’t be on duty all at once—“unless there is an event”—and include counterterrorism officials, undercover cops, and snipers who will be atop Rome’s churches during Jubilee-related events. Gabrielli says most of the city of Rome will also be a “no-fly-zone” zone for the entire year, blocking major air traffic from the city’s main airports along with drones and ultra-lite aircraft—the latter two categories, he says, are subject to being shot down if they are spotted.
He also says there will be “special patrols in the periphery of the city based on demographic concerns,” which is a not-so-subtle way of saying they are paying attention to areas where ethnic groups tend to live. Those areas include the city’s refugee centers, mosques, and squat houses. And there will be extra checks at airports and ports, though not if it interferes with the Schengen rules under which Europeans can travel unhindered, he says, making it unclear what extra checks will be in place.
But for all the security that is being touted, there’s much concern that it just won’t be enough. At the press conference Friday, the Jubilee security panel had to defend its readiness to such an extent that it sounded like they were trying to convince themselves, not the press, they are ready. After warning against reporting rumors and false alarms without “an extra check for validity,” they addressed questions like whether or not the Rome cops’ bulletproof vests are too old to be effective. (Apparently they are good for a full 10 years.) They were also held to the fire on whether or not the type of surveillance it would take to thwart an attack ought to already be in place by now to be effective and whether they had anyone under surveillance at the moment, after Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told RAI3 news earlier that authorities are actively searching for five jihadis whose names were given to them by the FBI. The Jubilee security team seemed caught unaware of the news.
One of the reasons that the country lags behind is that Italy, along with many other European nations, has had to tighten its budget over the last several years. At Rome’s Fiumicino airport, there are 40 percent fewer security personnel than there were for the last Jubilee, said Alessandro Di Battista, a member of parliament for the FiveStar movement, adding that “many of them aren’t even able to hit a moving target.”
It’s little wonder that the FBI warned Italian authorities (and Americans) last week that St. Peter’s Square is a high-priority terrorism target “to be avoided,” along with the Duomo and La Scala opera house in Milan. In an email alert sent to all U.S. citizens in Italy, the U.S. embassy in Rome warned of potential attacks on those popular sites along with “general venues such as churches, synagogues, restaurants, theatres, and hotels in both cities are possible targets as well.
“Terrorist groups may possibly utilize similar methods used in the recent Paris attacks,” the warning read. “The Italian authorities are aware of these threats.”
Not exactly a thumbs-up review for travel to Italy.
“It’s absurd to say that all Muslims are terrorists. But it is undeniable that all terrorists come from that context.”
What makes matters worse is a palpable sense of paranoia around the country that starts at the top. A La Stampa correspondent told The Daily Beat that on the island of Sicily, a woman was hauled into the police station for playing Arabic music loud in her car. Muslim-run businesses have reported a drop in business and racist graffiti on the walls.
On Thursday, Gabrielli stopped short of a blatant accusation when he asked the Islamic community in Italy to “take a position” on this month’s terrorist attacks. “It’s absurd to say that all Muslims are terrorists,” he said on camera to an Italian journalist. “But it is undeniable that all terrorists come from that context.” When pressed by the reporter whether all Muslims should be under surveillance, he first said Italy just didn’t have the manpower for that, before tempering his comments. “That would be discriminatory,” he said smiling slyly. “It can’t be done.”
Since the Paris attacks last week, there have been dozens of false alarms, including eight emergency calls in Rome on Thursday alone, which included the discovery of left baggage at Fiumicino, a forgotten suitcase at a bar near the Vatican, and no less than five suspect packages in the city’s subways, which caused police to stop the entire system four different times. On Friday, more abandoned packages were found in the city’s underground, prompting some to joke about why no one has noticed all the garbage before. A mentally ill man apparently waved a rifle at Rome’s San Giovanni hospital, which caused the U.S. embassy to send out another alert with the subject, “Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Armed Individual in Central Rome,” which is not exactly the kind of thing one likes to see in their inbox.
So nervous are the citizens that many are calling on the Vatican to cancel the Jubilee entirely. After all, the Vatican has been in the terrorists’ sights for quite some time. As The Daily Beast reported in October 2014, the ISIS propaganda magazine Dabiq put a picture of the black jihadi flag flying over St. Peter’s Square on its cover under the headline “The Failed Crusade.” “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market,” according to the Dabiq article accompanying the cover photos. “Every Muslim should get out of his house, find a crusader and kill him… And the Islamic State will remain until its banner flies over Rome.”
Making matters even more delicate, last week Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said the Holy See supports military action against ISIS. “The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm,” Parolin said, quoting an old church teaching, and calling to mind the Crusades for some. “For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.”
For Francis, who long ago sold off the papal armored cars (and who refuses to wear a bulletproof vest because, as his spokesman said recently, what’s the point when he rides in an open-top vehicle), the show must go on. “Please, no security doors on the church,” he said at his general audience Wednesday, which had noticeably fewer faithful in the square and noticeably tighter security. “The church must be open.”
Other Vatican officials have said that a Jubilee is just what the world needs right now to give people hope. “Canceling the Jubilee would be totally mistaken,” said Italian Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco. “There absolutely must not be panic among the people, who must regard Rome, the pilgrimage to the Holy Door, with the usual serenity.”
Good luck with that.
In the meantime, the pontiff is planning to visit Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic on an increasingly risky five-day trip that starts Nov. 25. After that, he returns to Rome to kick off the Jubilee, which, quite hopefully, goes off without a bang.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7623
False Prophet Alert
John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor November 17, 2015
Next month Pope Francis will celebrate his 79th birthday, and by all accounts he remains remarkably vigorous. A brief mini-drama in October about an alleged brain tumor turned out to be fantasy, and both in Rome and on the road he keeps up a pace that would devastate most ordinary mortals.
There’s no reason to believe his papacy is nearing an end, and every reason to think it’s full steam ahead.
On the other hand, Francis has dropped hints that his might be a relatively brief run, and he’s also spoken approvingly about the example set by Pope Benedict XVI in resigning. Given his capacity for surprise, it’s entirely possible he’ll blindside the world with a decision to step aside just when it’s least expected.
No matter how things play out, it’s never too early to have an eye on what might come next – in part because it speaks to the future of the Church, and, in part because, let’s face it, such speculation is just fun.
Over the weekend, we got an intriguing X-ray of where things might stand should a transition in the papacy suddenly beckon. It came in a Vatican statement confirming the 12 prelates elected at the recent Synod of Bishops on the family to the “Ordinary Council,” meaning the body that will oversee synod operations until the next general assembly.
Versions of these names had already been reported, but the Vatican delayed making them official until Pope Francis decided on three additional figures to add by personal appointment.
The 12 prelates elected by the synod are:
• Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria
• Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban, South Africa
• Cardinal Oscar Rodriguzez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras
• Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
• Cardinal George Pell of Australia, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy
• Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
• Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India
• Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines
• Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, United Kingdom
• Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship
• Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, United States
• Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy
The three prelates named by Francis are:
• Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq
• Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, Spain
• Archbishop Sérgio da Rocha of Brasília, Brazil
To begin, it’s important to stipulate that elections to a synod council are an inexact measure of who might get a look in a papal conclave.
For one thing, they’re drawn from prelates who actually took part in the synod, and on any given occasion several papabili, meaning papal contenders, aren’t in the mix. (This time, for instance, the most serious American contender last time around, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, wasn’t in the synod.) For another, all the bishops in a synod vote for the council, but the electors in a papal ballot are exclusively cardinals.
Also, election to the council sometimes can be more a measure of the unique dynamics of a synod rather than an overall index of someone’s standing.
One could read the support for Pell, for instance, partly as a reaction to the controversy that erupted over a letter to the pope he helped organize at the beginning of the synod expressing concern over its procedures. It would be a way for prelates to say that whatever echo the affair had in the media, it didn’t alter the regard in which they hold Pell.
Similarly, some of the votes drawn by Chaput may have been a “thank you” for his labors in hosting the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia just before the synod began.
That said, elections to a synod council are still significant, largely because they’re about the only time that possible future popes face an open ballot among their fellow prelates.
So, what did we learn?
For one thing, the next conclave may struggle to find consensus.
Of the 12 elected prelates, six (Schönborn, Rodriguez, Gracias, Tagle, Nichols, and Forte) were associated with reform positions during the synods on the family, while five (Napier, Pell, Ouellet, Sarah, and Chaput) were seen as strong conservative voices. Turkson profiled more or less as non-aligned, with a foot in each camp.
The results are probably honest in reflecting sentiment inside the synod, but they also present a picture of a divided body of bishops.
In that light, a key question is which of these prelates might be positioned to attract cross-over support.
From the progressive side, the 70-year-old Schönborn could be such a figure.
He’s a Dominican who for much of his career was seen as a strong John Paul II/Benedict XVI bishop, and still has plenty of friends and admirers in more conservative Catholic circles. Among the most cosmopolitan figures in the College of Cardinals, Schönborn also draws good reviews for his personal graciousness and intellectual firepower.
As the synod rolled on, Schönborn was sort of its E.F. Hutton – when he talked, people listened, because they knew his utterances would be interesting.
From the conservative camp, the 71-year-old Ouellet remains a compelling personality.
Despite aligning with the opposition to Communion for the divorced and remarried, Ouellet avoided being drawn into the public fireworks surrounding the synod. He’s seen as a figure of deep personal humility and integrity, and as the Vatican’s prime mover in the naming of bishops for the past five years, he’s got a wide network of friends in high places.
Conservatives might prefer to consolidate around an African candidate, although it’s an open question whether either Sarah or Napier would have enough traction.
Sarah, for instance, might come off as a touch extreme — during the synod, he referred to both gender ideology and ISIS as “apocalyptic beasts” — and cardinals who head dioceses might also wonder whether, at 15 years and counting, he’s been in Rome too long to be in touch with life in the trenches.
As a result, it may be that the most compelling candidates from the developing world, as measured by the synod elections, are Turkson of Ghana and Tagle of the Philippines.
Both are relatively young, with Turkson at 67 and Tagle at 58, yet both are well-seasoned in major leadership roles. Both are articulate, charismatic, and likely would have strong support among those committed to continuity with Pope Francis.
Of the two, Turkson may have a better shot at backing across party lines. He’s the public face of Francis’ press on climate change, for example, but he’s also something of a hawk on Islamic extremism. (In 2012, Turkson stirred controversy at a different synod of bishops by playing an alarmist Youtube video warning of a Muslim takeover in Europe.)
At the moment, all this is no more than an amusing parlor game, for the obvious reason that there’s no conclave in the offing. The dynamics can, and almost certainly will, change between now and whenever that happens.
Yet the synod elections nevertheless offer a reminder of one key insight about a papal succession.
In the abstract, one can sit down and design a profile of a perfect pope, and heading into the next conclave many cardinals and pundits alike will doubtless do exactly that. In the end, however, it boils down to who’s realistically on offer — and for now, these 12 prelates certainly fit that bill.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7605
8:00AM EDT 9/30/2015 Michael Snyder
Have you heard of “the global goals”? If you haven’t heard of them by now, rest assured that you will be hearing plenty about them in the days ahead.
On September 25th, the United Nations launched a set of 17 ambitious goals that it plans to achieve over the next 15 years. A new website to promote this plan has been established, and you can find it right here. The formal name of this new plan is “the 2030 Agenda”, but those behind it decided that they needed something catchier when promoting these ideas to the general population. The U.N. has stated that these new “global goals” represent a “new universal Agenda” for humanity. Virtually every nation on the planet has willingly signed on to this new agenda, and you are expected to participate whether you like it or not.
Some of the biggest stars in the entire world have been recruited to promote “the global goals”.
If you live in New York City, you are probably aware of the “Global Citizen Festival” that was held in Central Park on Saturday where some of the biggest names in the music industry promoted these new “global goals”. The following is how the New York Daily News described the gathering:
“It was a party with a purpose.
“A star-studded jamboree and an impassioned plea to end poverty rocked the Great Lawn in Central Park as more than 60,000 fans gathered Saturday for the fourth-annual Global Citizen Festival.
“The feel-good event, timed to coincide with the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, featured performances by Beyoncé, Pearl Jam, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.”
And it wasn’t just the entertainment industry that was promoting this new U.N. plan for a united world. Pope Francis traveled to New York to give the address that kicked off the conference where this new agenda was unveiled:
“Pope Francis gave his backing to the new development agenda in an address to the U.N. General Assembly before the summit to adopt the 17-point plan opened, calling it “an important sign of hope” at a very troubled time in the Middle East and Africa.
“When Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen struck his gavel to approve the development road map, leaders and diplomats from the 193 U.N. member states stood and applauded loudly.
“Then, the summit immediately turned to the real business of the three-day meeting — implementation of the goals, which is expected to cost $3.5 trillion to $5 trillion every year until 2030.”
OK, so where will the trillions of dollars that are needed to implement these new “global goals” come from?
Let me give you a hint – they are not going to come from the poor nations.
When you read over these “global goals”, many of them sound quite good. After all, who wouldn’t want to “end hunger”? I know that I would like to “end hunger” if I could.
The key is to look behind the language and understand what is really being said. And what is really being said is that the elite want to take their dream of a one world system to the next level.
The following list comes from Truthstream Media, and I think that it does a very good job of translating these new “global goals” into language that we can all understand …
• Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
• Translation: Centralized banks, IMF, World Bank, Fed to control all finances, digital one world currency in a cashless society
• Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
• Translation: GMO
• Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
• Translation: Mass vaccination, Codex Alimentarius
• Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
• Translation: U.N. propaganda, brainwashing through compulsory education from cradle to grave
• Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
• Translation: Population control through forced “Family Planning”
• Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
• Translation: Privatize all water sources, don’t forget to add fluoride
• Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
• Translation: Smart grid with smart meters on everything, peak pricing
• Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
• Translation: TPP, free trade zones that favor megacorporate interests
• Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
• Translation: Toll roads, push public transit, remove free travel, environmental restrictions
• Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
• Translation: Even more regional government bureaucracy like a mutant octopus
• Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
• Translation: Big brother big data surveillance state
• Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
• Translation: Forced austerity
• Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
• Translation: Cap and Trade, carbon taxes/credits, footprint taxes
• Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
• Translation: Environmental restrictions, control all oceans including mineral rights from ocean floors
• Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
• Translation: More environmental restrictions, more controlling resources and mineral rights
• Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
• Translation: U.N. “peacekeeping” missions (ex 1, ex 2), the International Court of (blind) Justice, force people together via fake refugee crises and then mediate with more “U.N. peacekeeping” when tension breaks out to gain more control over a region, remove 2nd Amendment in USA
• Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
• Translation: Remove national sovereignty worldwide, promote globalism under the “authority” and bloated, Orwellian bureaucracy of the U.N.
If you doubt any of this, you can find the official document for this new U.N. agenda right here. The more you dig into the details, the more you realize just how insidious these “global goals” really are.
The elite want a one world government, a one world economic system and a one world religion. But they are not going to achieve these things by conquest. Rather, they want everyone to sign up for these new systems willingly.
The “global goals” are a template for a united world. To many, the “utopia” that the elite are promising sounds quite promising. But for those that know what time it is, this call for a “united world” is very, very chilling.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7512