There is to be a meeting of major world religious leaders in Rome tomorrow:
Geneva – The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, says he hopes his upcoming audience in Rome with Pope Benedict XVI will advance Christian unity.
“It is important that we speak honestly in this meeting about the challenges we have,” Tveit said of the 4 December meeting at the Vatican…
The WCC groups 349 churches, principally Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member but has members on some WCC committees.
These include the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission, which seeks to advance the unity of the Church. Benedict, then German theology professor Joseph Ratzinger, was a member of that commission in the early 1970s.
Tveit’s visit takes place shortly after the Vatican’s chief unity official, Cardinal Kurt Koch, was reported as saying there is a crisis of ecumenism because of two “profoundly different mentalities” that shape the way Catholics and Protestants describe the nature of the Church.
“The churches and ecclesial communities born of the [Reformation] have renounced the original objective of ecumenism as visible unity and have substituted it with the concept of mutual recognition as churches,” the London-based Catholic weekly, The Tablet, reported Koch as saying…
The Vatican official said Protestants see the goal of ecumenism as the “reconciled diversity” of many churches rather than the reconstitution of visible unity, while accepting diversity, in one Church as Catholics teach.
Benedict, before becoming Pope, was the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In that role he reaped criticism for a 2000 statement, Dominus Iesus, which said Protestant denominations are not “churches in the proper sense”. http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2010-12/world-churches-leader-meet-pope-rome
It appears that the basic WCC “Protestant” position is that since they are willing to consider that the Catholics share a type of faith with them, that the Church of Rome should accept that there churches are valid.
It appears that the Vatican’s basic position is that they are willing to talk about certain areas of mutual interest, and perhaps modify some positions, but that the Church of Rome expects the Protestants must come under papal authority in order to be considered as valid churches.
Cardinal Kurt Koch’s statements may betray some of the frustration that he and Pope Benedict XVI have apparently been having regarding the Protestant groups.
So, while humanly speaking, this seems to be an impasse, there are a few points that I would like to bring out.
First of all, while there has been a decline of active Catholic and Protestant members in Europe, it seems more likely that the Protestants are becoming more quickly relegated on the political sidelines of Europe than the Vatican. This gives Protestant leaders more reasons to compromise than Rome has.
Secondly, ignoring the UK and certain parts of Northern Europe, Europe still shows much more Roman Catholic, than Protestant, influence in its cathedrals and other religious buildings.
Thirdly, even though it has problems with its earliest “succession lists”, there is no doubt that the Church of Rome has had a list of bishops since the middle of the second century. This historical fact, despite the fact that even the Church of Rome admits several of them were corrupt, will be a factor in favor of the Vatican position for many.
Fourthly, the Church of Rome has more of history of outward “signs and wonders”, such as Fatima (Portugal) and Lourdes (France) to cite only two such examples, than do the Protestant faiths. I have repeatedly spoken with people who believe that Catholic-approved apparitions, “incorruptibles”, stigmatics, etc. are simply so obvious that this should be accepted as proof of Rome’s supremacy.
And why is that last item important?
Because the fourth, and perhaps most important reason, is that the Bible is clear that signs and lying wonders will be instrumental in bringing about a false ecumenical unity (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). A unity that will be disastrous, not only for Protestants who will go along with it, but for Catholics that do as well.
And I should add that this in not just my opinion. In addition to various scriptures which warn of ecumenical plans, economic pressures, and persecutions (Daniel 11:36-38; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Matthew 24:; Revelation 13; Revelation 17-18), even certain Catholic clergy are aware some of the dangers posed by the ecumenical movement. Notice, for one example, the following:
Priest Paul Kramer (21st century): The problem there is that ecumenism is the greatest threat to the Church. Ecumenism was created by the greatest, most mortal enemies of the Church for the purpose of destroying the Church. Ecumenism is the greatest obstacle to unity, and yet we are told that we must promote ecumenism for the sake of unity…
So what unity will ecumenism bring? It will not bring unity in Christ, but what Pope Saint Pius X warned about in his 1910 encyclical Notre Charge Apostolique when he warned about the coming one-world religion. This is the great danger to the Faith and the life of the Christian that Cardinal Ratzinger was speaking about. This is the Great Apostasy that Bishop Cosme do Amaral was speaking about, referring to the loss of Faith. (Kramer P. What are the missing contents of the third secret? Fatima Crusader, 95, Summer 2010, pp. 39,42-43)
The current ecumenical movement is probably the greatest single threat to the world as it is prophesied to succeed (Revelation 13:3-4), but eventually its two top leaders (and no, I do not believe the current pontiff is one of them) will be destroyed by Christ (Revelation 19:19-20).
Also notice the following related to the two-horned beast in Revelation 13 as well as the “lying wonders”:
Priest E. Sylvester Berry (published 1920): The two horns denote a twofold authority – spiritual and temporal. As indicated by the resemblance to a lamb, the prophet will probably set himself up in Rome as a sort of anti-pope…Antichrist will establish himself in Jerusalem…with his ‘lying wonders’… (Berry ES. The Apocalypse of St. John, 1920. Quoted in Culleton RG. The Reign of Antichrist. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL), pp. 199-200).
The idea that lying wonders involving an antipope is clearly in the Catholic literature. And as that is consistent with sacred scripture, it appears that it is highly possible that an ecumenical compromising antipope who performs great signs (Revelation 13:11-14) and is involved with lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9) will be the clinching factor for the coming ecumenical unity that the Bible, Church of God writers, and Church of Rome writers have long warned about.
Speaking of Church of God writers, here are some quotes from the Arroyo Grande, California book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect about an antipope/antichrist:
The final Antichrist would also appear to be the one warned about as the antipope in various Catholic and Orthodox writings. Also, notice the following:
Priest Herman Kramer (20th century): “This false prophet possibly…usurps the papal supremacy…His assumed spiritual authority and supremacy over the Church would make him resemble the Bishop of Rome…He would be Pontifex Maximus, a title of pagan emperors, having spiritual and temporal authority. Assuming authority without having it makes him the False Prophet…Though he poses as a lamb, his doctrines betray him…His principles and dogmas to be accepted…it will comprise emperor-worship…with the persecution of true believers.”
Priest A. Maas (20th century): “Nearly all commentators find Antichrist mentioned in the Apocalypse… many scholars identify Antichrist with the beast which had “two horns, like a lamb” and spoke “as a dragon”… the Abbot really believes that Antichrist will overthrow the Pope and usurp his See…”
Helen Tzima Otto (2000): “The anti-pope – Episcopal of the Beast, alias the false prophet…”
Furthermore, notice that the commentators of the Rheims New Testament seem to agree with my assessment:
Antichrist, if he ever were of or in the Church, shall be an Apostate and a renegade out of the Church, and he shall usurp upon it by tyranny, and by challenging worship, religion, and government thereof, so that himself shall be adored in all the Churches of the world which he list to leave standing for his honor. And this is to sit in the temple or against the Temple of God, as some interpret. If any Pope did ever this, or shall do, then let the Adversaries call him Antichrist.
Thus, from biblical and other perspectives, it appears that the false prophet/final Antichrist may be a future demon-influenced “pope.”
The final Antichrist is likely to be one who changes, though he does not clearly seem to be changing, the “Catholic” religion. It seems that this is the individual who has been warned against in both biblical and private Catholic prophecies.
Pope Benedict XVI is Not the Antichrist.
There is one point that should be made clear at this stage. When this book is referring to the future that occurs starting with the fulfillment of the deal that begins the seven years of Daniel 9:27 and the future “Catholic” religion, it is not saying that all who are now Catholics are currently supportive of the final religion of the final Beast.
To the contrary, I believe that most Catholics, if they truly understood it, would oppose it, as well as other changes they have adopted to alter the original faith. Actually, that was my original motivation for this book. After a visit to Vatican City a few years back, I prayed about how I could help warn Catholics (then I later added everyone else) about those “things which must shortly take place” (Revelation 1:1).
I also want to make it clear that I do not believe that Pope Benedict XVI is the final prophesied Antichrist any more than Martin Luther was.
As far as Kurt Koch goes, I will simply state that I have believed for sometime that he might become or support the final Antichrist, antipope (see Kurt Koch Made a Cardinal: Might He Become the Antichrist?). Or if not, if he lives long enough, he will need to oppose him. But as a general rule, ecumenical leaders tend to support, not oppose, other ecumenical leaders.
So while dialogue, and perhaps some agreements, will come out of tomorrow’s meeting in Rome, ultimately I am convinced that signs and lying wonders, combined with history (and economic, political, and social pressure/persecution) will result in a dangerous form of ecumenism.
More details can be found in the following:
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster?
2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect This is a link related to a book by Bob Thiel (COGwriter). This also has YouTube videos. This book documents and explains hundreds of prophecies. And since it was published, many have already started to come to pass.
2012 y el surgimiento de la secta secreta 2012 libro del Dr. Thiel en Español.
2012 und das Auftreten der geheimen Sekte (German Edition) 2012 Buch von Dr. Thiel in deutscher Sprache.
2012 e o Surgimento da Seita Secreta (Portuguese Edition) 2012 livro do Dr. Thiel em Português. Este livro documenta e explica centenas de profecias. E desde que foi publicado pela primeira vez, pelo menos 14 já começaram a acontecer.