He said that ecumenism brings together those who believe in Jesus Christ. “One of the main fruits, which the Ecumenical Movement has already made it possible to gather in these years, is the discovery of the fraternity that unites all those that believe in Jesus Christ and have been baptized in his name.” Well, a fraternity there certainly is, but it is a devilish fraternity. Note Francis’ emphasis on “belief in Jesus Christ” and baptism. In the first place, mere “belief in Jesus Christ” is not enough for unity! The Bible says, “the devils also believe, and tremble” (Jas. 2:19). They believe in Jesus Christ, but it is intellectual belief, not saving faith; and so they tremble, for their belief will not save them. Millions believe in Christ just as the devils do; and this intellectual belief is sufficient for Satan’s ecumenical movement to flourish, but will not carry one soul to heaven. And in the second place, Francis emphasised baptism because for the Roman Catholic, one is born again by baptism – the damnable heresy of baptismal regeneration. For the Waldensian leaders to accept Francis’ idea of fraternity, they have to accept Rome’s devilish doctrine of baptismal regeneration.
Francis also expressed his hope that the time will come when the communion they were enjoying would “become full and visible communion in truth and in charity”. Let none be in any doubt as to what he meant by these words! For Rome, this “full and visible communion” means only one thing: the gathering in, under the Papacy’s wings, all those who at this time remain outside her visible communion. Ecumenism, for the Papacy, means the eventual absorption of all Protestant and other “churches” into the Roman Catholic “Church”. Nothing else will ever satisfy the Papacy. This is her sole purpose in using the ecumenical movement.
He then said, “Unity, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, does not mean uniformity”. “Unity” a fruit of the Spirit? Read it as often as you like, but you will not see “unity” listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22,23. Francis just added it in – just as popes through the centuries have merrily added to the Word of God, or subtracted from it, as they have seen fit. And they have done this because they believe they can! After all, is he not the “Vicar of Christ” in his own eyes and in the eyes of hundreds of millions?
This “unity does not mean uniformity” refrain, so often heard from ecumenists, is nothing but a subtle trick of Satan, to convince gullible ecumenicals that they can unite with Rome and still retain their own church or denominational distinctives. Rome holds this carrot out on a stick in front of the eyes of “Protestant” ecumenicals, but the fact is that as soon as any other “church” submits to Rome, that “church” becomes part of the Roman fold, and obeys the pope and the cardinals of Rome.
Francis then said: “Reflecting on the history of our relations, we cannot but be saddened in face of the contentions and violence committed in the name of the faith itself, and I ask the Lord that he may give us the grace to recognize ourselves all sinners and to be able to forgive one another.” It is certainly true that we are all sinners, but these words drip with the serpent’s subtlety, for the “contentions and violence committed in the name of the faith” were committed by the Roman Papacy, not by the Waldensians! It was not the Waldensians who massacred Papists through the centuries in all kinds of hideous ways – it was the Papists who massacred the Waldensians. For hundreds of years the popes of Rome urged on the armies of Roman Catholic Europe against the peaceful Waldensians, not the other way round.
Then came his bombshell:
“On the part of the Catholic Church, I ask you forgiveness. I ask forgiveness for the non-Christian, even inhuman, attitudes and behaviours that we have shown you in history. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us!”
In these words we are hearing the hissing of the serpent indeed! This “plea” for forgiveness fooled many, not only the Waldensians but people around the world. It sounded so genuine. And there are many who say to the sceptics, “How could you even question such sincerity? How could you even suggest that such a plea for forgiveness should be rejected?” But let us cut through all the emotional responses and examine this “plea” properly, in the only way it should be examined: in the light of the Bible, God’s Word.
Of course it is true that the Lord Jesus Christ taught His true followers to forgive those who wrong them. But in the first place, only the one who has done the wrong can repent, and ask for forgiveness! The present pope of Rome cannot, therefore, ask for forgiveness for sins committed by his dead predecessors, or by the dead Papist persecutors, the torturers and murderers, of centuries past! It is too late for them, for they are in hell. They cannot now repent, there is no divine forgiveness for them, neither can any man alive today repent on their behalf.
In the second place, only those who have been wronged can forgive those who wrong them. The present Waldensian pastor simply cannot accept, on behalf of the multitudes of murdered Waldensians of the past, the request for forgiveness from the Roman pope! What is this nonsense, some kind of weird necromancy?
Besides, if the pope of Rome was truly sorry for what his “Church” had done to Waldensians in the past, he would not just say, “I’m sorry”; he would resign! He would step down from his position as pope, and forsake the Roman Catholic institution itself! He would be unable to remain within a religious system – let alone continue on as its head – which is “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:6). But instead all he says is, “I’m sorry; please forgive us”; thereby expecting that centuries of Papal torture and bloodshed are now brushed under the carpet.
Thus the lame statement, “please forgive us”, or the equally lame, “we forgive you”, are utterly meaningless and futile gestures in this context.
Francis then went on to express his gratitude at the good relations that now exist between the Roman Catholic institution and the Waldensians, which, he said, “are increasingly founded upon mutual respect and fraternal charity (i.e. “brotherly love”).” To which we say: what a betrayal of their Waldensian forefathers on the part of today’s ecumenical, deceived Waldensians! That good relations should now exist between them, and the false religious system which hounded, persecuted and massacred their forefathers for centuries, is so disgraceful as to be beyond words. That these good relations should actually extend to “mutual respect” and “brotherly love” is hideous. How could the Waldensians betray their history and their doctrines, and “respect” or “love” that which God abhors, and will destroy in His fury? This is the fruit of the devil’s ecumenism, and it reveals that these Waldensians are not true Christians.