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Pope Francis attacks 'diseases' of Vatican in Curia address
Dec. 22, 2014 - Pope Francis delivered a surprising message to the Curia - the Vatican leadership. Instead of a simple Christmas greeting,
he listed a number of "diseases" they need to eliminate in order for the church to be healthy. He spoke against the "disease of feeling immortal or
indispensable," the "pathology of power," the loss of compassion," a variety of organizational mistakes, and in a reference to the child-abuse
scandals, the "disease of closeness."
- Source: CNN
'Hip' church gives biblical Christians new label: 'Hater'
Dec. 18, 2014 - Writer Jim Fletcher points out that a growing number of young millennial pastors, are challenging traditional
evangelicals "to basically get out of the way, because their time is past."
Witness Mr. Jonathan Merritt. I consider Merritt – son of former president of the Southern Baptist Convention Dr. James Merritt –
to be a leading change agent within evangelicalism, in the broader attempt to move evangelicals to center-left perspectives.
One example is Merritt's approval of Rob Bell, who lost his standing with mainstream Christianity when he questioned whether or not
hell was real. He then moved into the orb of the Oprah Winfrey Network. Commenting on the affair, Merritt said that Bell did well, “by quietly
bidding his haters adieu, leaving his church and attaining even more success.”
- Source: Jim Fletcher - WND
Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns
Dec. 16, 2014 - In a new video, megachurch leader and author Rick Warren calls for “an ecumenical vision for Catholics and Protestants to
work together to defend the sanctity of life, sex and marriage."
Apologist Matt Slick from Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) warns that there are major differences between Protestants and Catholics.
“Though it’s technically correct to say that Catholics believe in salvation through Jesus Christ, they reject justification by
faith in Christ alone. Instead, it teaches that good works of various kinds are necessary for salvation.”
He also points to serious non-biblical teaching about Mary and "offering of money for the sins of the dead.”
- Source: Christian News
Pope Francis: Christian Persecution, Prohibition of Worship Signs of the End Times
Nov. 29, 2014 - Preaching on Jesus' Olivet Discourse in Luke 21, Pope Francis said that Christian persecution and the cultural fear of public expressions of faith are signs of the end times.
"Worship is prohibited – this is at the center of the end of time." Once we "reach the fullness of this pagan attitude truly the Son of Man will come in a cloud with great power and glory."
- Source: Christian Post
- Editor's Note: The Catholic Church does not believe in the Rapture or the thousand year Millennium, but they do believe that things will get much worse before His return. See our blog:
Understanding the Future
Pope Francis in Turkey to boost faith ties
Nov. 28, 2014 -
Pope Francis is in Turkey on a three-day trip aimed at promoting religious dialogue, only the fourth visit by a pope to the Muslim-majority nation.
- Source: BBC
- Profile: Pope Francis - BBC
Pope Francis Irritating Conservative Catholics in US
Nov. 3, 2014 - Rev. Paul Sullins, a sociology professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., said that
many conservative Catholics in America are unhappy with some of Pope Francis' statements.
"Their feeling is, 'We're out here on the front lines in the culture wars — fighting abortion, gay marriage," he said. "It seemed
Benedict had our back, and Francis doesn't.''
- Source: NewsMax
Is Gospel Amnesia Creating a Third Great Schism?
Oct. 31, 2014 - The book Deep Church Rising: The Third Schism and the Recovery of Christian Orthodoxy,
by Andrew Walker and Robin Parry explores a third great schism in the Christian church. Many people are not aware of the
controversy because it is not a division along denominational lines, but between those in any denomination who view the
essence of Christianity in different ways.
On one side stand those who affirm a broadly supernaturalist Christian orthodoxy embodied in the Nicene and Chalcedonian Creeds.
And on the other, you find those who can at best recite the creeds with their fingers crossed.
Those who adhere to the ancient creeds see them as careful, time-honored distillations of what the Bible teaches about the
Trinity and the supernatural nature of Christ. The other side is influenced by modernism and postmodern thinking, and are
skeptical of supernatural claims. They doubt the idea of objective truth. To them Jesus is the greatest of teachers and examples,
but not a miracle-worker.
The authors of the book are concerned about a widespread loss of the gospel within the Christian community. They liken the situation
to the early-20th-century's debate over liberalism. J. Gresham Machen made the case that the choice between orthodox Christianity and
Liberalism wasn’t between different branches of Christianity, but rather between two wholly different religions.
- Source: Derek Rishmawy - Christianity Today
Catholic bishops reject welcome to gays in sign of split
Oct. 18, 2014 - The synod of Catholic bishops rejected the wording of a proposed statement that would have welcomed
the "gifts and qualities" of gay Catholics. It would also have advised pastors to "avoid any language or behavior" that could discriminate
against divorced Catholics. The decision was a set-back for Pope Francis, who has projected a more tolerant tone.
Last year, the pope made waves when, in response to a question about whether gays could be good Christians,
he asked, "Who am I to judge?"
On the other hand, the bishops praised conjugal love — love within the bounds of traditional marriage — calling it "one of the
most beautiful of all miracles and the most common."
- Source: USA Today
Pope Francis Wants To Know What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage - Christianity Today
Pope Denounces Perversion of Religion for Violence
Sept. 21, 2014 - Albania is the first majority Muslim nation Pope Francis has visited since the Islamic State crackdown on Christians in Iraq.
He commended them for thier interreligious harmony, and called their Christian-Muslim coexistence was an "inspiring example" for the world. He said,
"This is especially the case in these times in which authentic religious spirit is being perverted by extremist groups, and where religious differences
are being distorted."
- Source: NewsMax
- Editor's Note: The need for world peace could be the basis of a prophesied "United Religions" that compromises the distinctive
aspects of all religions in order to avoid violence.
- 9/24/14 -
'No God Condones This Terror;' Obama Calls on Global Leaders at UN to Help Defeat ISIS, Stop Danger of Religious Extremism - Chrisian Post
Pope Francis: World's Many Conflicts Amount to WW III
Sept. 14, 2014 - Speaking at a war memorial in Italy, where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried, Pope Francis said
"War is madness."
"Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,"
However, last month the Pope said that it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to
stop "unjust aggression" by Islamic State militants.
- Source: NewsMax
Pope Says Communists Are Closet Christians
July 2, 2014 -
Pope Francis, whose criticisms of unbridled capitalism have prompted some to label him a Marxist, said in an interview published on Sunday that communists
had stolen the flag of Christianity.
- Source: NewsMax
Islamic prayers to be held at the Vatican
Jun. 8, 2014 -
For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in
peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders will be involved in the prayer meeting.
- Source: AlArabiya.net
Pope leads Israeli-Palestinian peace prayer - Al Jazeera
- Pope Francis peace plea at Israel-Palestinian prayer meeting - BBC
Berlin prayer house unites Jews, Christians, Muslims
Jun 8, 2014 - A fundraising event will be held in Berlin this week to build an multii-faith building on the site of St. Peter's Square in the center
Not a church, nor a synagogue, or a mosque as such, but a bit of all three, the center known currently as a “House of Prayer and Learning” will be unlike
any other religious venue in the world, its initiators say.
Christians, Muslims and Jews, will some day all be praying under the same roof.
- Source:Times of Israel
Pope Francis Gets Involved In Middle East Peace Process
Jun. 6, 2014 - Pope Francis will host an "intense prayer session" this Sunday with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
He told reporters that he is not getting involved in the stalled peace process, but observers say the prayer meeting is a bold move. Daniel Petri at the Catholic
University of America in Washington, said that his previous accomplishments make him “the world’s best politician.”
The pope is already seen as a maker of miracles by many of his followers. His prayer vigil for peace in Syria on Sept. 7, 2013 was followed by an agreement
a week later that prevented U.S. air strikes over the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.
- Source: Voice of America
Pope Francis throws farewell curveball: Peace prayer summit in Rome
May 28, 2014 - Ending His historic three-day visit to the Holy Land, Pope Francis did something that his predecessors never did.
Pope Francis took the unexpected step of calling for a prayer meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, leaving people on both sides of the divide
abuzz with the potential implications.
Leaders from Israel and the Palestinians accepted the invitation to continue the pursuit of peace with the Pope in Rome.
- Source: Haaretz
How the pope triumphed over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - Times of Israel
After meeting Peres, Pope set to speak with prime minister
May 26, 2014 - Yesterday Pope Francis visited the Yad Vashem holocaust museum. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and
former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau were in attendance when he spoke there. He asked God to “grant us the grace to be ashamed of what we men have done,”
adding that the Nazi genocide was a “massive idolatry” that must never happen again.
Today the Pope is scheduled to visit the Temple Mount and the Western (Wailing) Wall. He will also meet with Netanyahu.
- Source: Jerusalem Post
Pope Extends Dramatic Vatican Summit Invitation to Israeli, Palestinian Leaders - NewsMax
Pope calls Muslims 'brothers' at Dome of the Rock - Yahoo
In Bethlehem speech, Pope Francis calls for end to conflict
May 25, 2014 - Pope Francis is visiting the Holy Land for the first time since becoming the leader of the Catholic Church. His first stop was in Jordan
where he called for peace in Syria. Next, he travelled to Bethlehem by helicopter and held a mass at the Church of the Nativity.
The pope made several endorsements of Palestinian national aspirations. He referred to the “state of Palestine” in a speech alongside Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas, and stopped for a prayer alongside Israel’s security barrier in Bethlehem.
The Pope called the tension between Israel and the Palestinians a "situation which has become increasingly unacceptable.”
He will now visit Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and several holy sites in Jerusalem — including the Temple Mount,
the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
- Source: JTA
Pope Extends Dramatic Vatican Summit Invitation to Israeli - NewsMax
Great Expectations: Can Pope Francis Bring Peace to the Middle East? - NBC
Pope prays at Israel's West Bank separation barrier - BBC
Netanyahu to Pope: Israel committed to maintaining ‘status quo’ at holy sites - Times of Israel
Pope Will 'Recognize Palestine, Call to End Occupation'
May 21, 2014 - Pope Francis will begin his trip to Israel in Bethlehem. Palestinian Authority and Arab Christians are claiming that the Pope
will be sending a political message meant to "recognize Palestine" and "oppose the occupation." He plans to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and then visit a
Palestinian refugee camp.
- Source: Israel National News
- Pope: Holy Land Trip Is 'Strictly Religious' - ABC
- Pope to lay wreath on Herzl's tomb, righting a historical wrong - Israel Hayom
- Vatican Says Pope Will Demand 'Sovereign Palestine' - Israel National News
Rabbi, Muslim join pope’s delegation in Holy Land
May 15, 2014 - When Pope Francis visits the Holy Land he will bring with him a rabbi and a Muslim leader from his home country, Argentina.
Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Omar Abboud, a leader of
Argentina’s Islamic community, are on the official delegation for the May 24-26 trip to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel.
This is the first time an official papal delegation has included members of other faiths.
- Source: Times of Israel
Pope Francis to World: Redistribute The Wealth
May 10, 2014 - Yesterday Pope Francis addressed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other U.N. leaders gathered in Rome with a call for
world leaders to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.
The comments were in keeping with the Pope’s previous critiques of income inequality at the World Economic Forum in January and in a private March
meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.
- Source: Time
Pope Francis should stick to doctrine, stay away from economic 'redistribution' - By appearing to sanction what amounts to forced redistribution, Francis
grievously exceeded his authority and became what amounts to a robe-wearing politician. - John Moody - Fox
Vatican declares Popes John Paul II and John XXIII saints
Apr. 27, 2014 - In the Vatican Pope Francis presided over the ceremony that declared Popes John Paul II and John XXIII saints. Pope Emeritus
Benedict, who stepped down as pope last year, was also present. This was the first time in history that two popes were canonized at the same time. According
to analysts, Pope Francis is trying to balance the conservative legacy of John Paul with the reforming zeal of John.
At the climax of the service, Pope Francis said in Latin: "We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II to be saints and we enroll them among the
saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church."
- Source: BBC
Pope Francis makes history with dual canonization of Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II - Fox
- Popes John XXIII and John Paul II Become Saints in Historic Dual Canonization
- Pope John Paul II - BBC
- John XXIII - the 'Good Pope' - BBC
Papal Canonizations a Lesson in Subtle Art of Catholic Politics - Pope Francis promotes unity by recognizing
leaders from two different wings of the Church. - Ashley McGuire - NewsMax
- Read our notes about the origins of the priesthood and the papacy - Rejoicing in Revelation
- The Roman Empire and the First Pope - Not against Catholics! - Ron's Blog
Pope Francis tops Fortune's 'World's Greatest Leaders' list, but no Obama
Mar. 21, 2014 - Pope Francis was chosen for the number 1 spot because he has begun to clean up vatican scandans.
He also has "set a striking new tone through his personal example of modesty and inclusiveness — this
is what a great leader does,” the magazine said about the Pontiff.
Recently Pope Francis was also named Time's "Person of the Year."
- Source: Today
Pope Francis' popularity rivals that of John Paul II among American Catholics, survey finds
Mar. 6, 2014 - A new Pew survey reports that Pope Francis is one of the most popular pontiffs of the modern era among American Catholics.
And the percentage who view him very favorably is close to rivaling the percentage who felt the same about Pope John Paul II in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Source: Fox
Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions - CNN
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