Incredibly, Traettino actually referred to the Waldensians towards the close of his speech. He said: “I am happy to conclude these reflections with a thought of Francis of Assisi, whom I’m sure you love very much, evidently, because you chose the name Francis. But I want to tell you that Evangelicals also love Francis very much, even from the historical point of view. If I think of the Waldensians, for instance: who have a sensibility which is – let’s say – profoundly Franciscan…” True Evangelicals would not uphold Francis of Assisi as a model Christian in any sense. The man was a Papist through and through. As for the Waldensians, today large numbers of them are ecumenical themselves; but to speak of the Waldensians of old as having a sensibility that was “profoundly Franciscan” is utter drivel. There was a world of difference between them and Franciscanism. Large numbers of them were true Christians, who paid the ultimate price for their adherence to the Lord Jesus Christ. Francis of Assisi, on the other hand, was a Papist, and a very strange man besides.
Traettino continued to pour fawning praise on Francis’ head: “A great and unexpected gift [he meant Francis’ visit to the Pentecostal gathering], unthinkable a short time ago. You will be able to read it in the eyes of the children and the elderly, of young people and of families. We love you very much! And there is something you must know: there is for your person, also among us Evangelicals, so much affection, and so many of us pray for you every day: also every day they pray for you. After all, it is easy to love you very much.” It is true a papal visit to a Pentecostal gathering was unthinkable not that long ago; but who has changed to make it possible? Has the Papacy changed? No – it is the same as it has always been. It is not the Papacy that has changed, it is the Pentecostals! Oh, and notice, too, how they are increasingly referring to themselves, and being referred to by others, as “Evangelicals”. Since when have Pentecostals, with their unbiblical doctrines relating to the Holy Spirit and the all-sufficiency of Scripture (among others), been true Evangelicals? It is just another sign of the confusion of the times, the deliberate blurring of labels to merge everyone together.
And why is it so “easy” to love Francis, as Traettino claimed? What marks of being a true Christian have ever been displayed by Francis? None. Indeed it is impossible for him to display any, for he is not a true Christian. And when Pentecostals pray for him, as Traettino says they do, what do they pray for? How can they justify praying for a man as a brother who himself prays to Mary, worships idols, worships a piece of bread as Christ, believes in salvation by works, and blasphemously claims to take the place of Christ on earth? This all just shows, once again, that they are Francis’ spiritual brethren, yes – but they are not brethren in Christ.
Was Traettino done? Oh no, he wasn’t done. He had more to belch out about his “dearest Francis”: “Several of us even believe that your election as Bishop of Rome was wrought by the Holy Spirit.” This statement is heretical, and diabolically evil. On the one hand, the Word of God says of the Papal Antichrist (every Papal Antichrist, the long dynasty of Roman popes): “whose coming is after the working of Satan” (2 Thess. 2:9); on the other hand, Giovanni Traettino says of the same man that his election was wrought by the Holy Spirit. Which statement is truth? That of the divinely inspired Word of the living God, or that of a mortal, fallible, foolish man? On the one hand, a mere man, Giovanni Traettino, says the election of Francis was the work of the Holy Spirit; on the other hand, contradicting this man’s evil statement, the Word of God says, “every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist” (1 Jn. 4:3). No pope of Rome truly confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; for not only do they deny it by their false doctrines, but also, although “they profess that they know God”, the truth is that “in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Tit. 1:16).