What Francis Said at the Joint Ecumenical Prayer Service
Joint Commemoration of the Reformation in Sweden
A joint ecumenical prayer service was held in the Lutheran cathedral in Lund, Sweden. When the pope of Rome arrived at the cathedral, he was welcomed by the primate of the Swedish Roman Catholic “Church”, and by the Roman Catholic bishop of Stockholm. These two men accompanied him in procession to the main altar (an altar? in a Lutheran place of worship? Yes, they retained those from Rome too). The procession also included representatives of the Lutheran World Federation. There were hymns and readings, then a sermon was preached by the general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, Martin Junge. And after the sermon, Francis gave a homily.
He began by speaking of the desire for “unity”. Then he said, “As Catholics and Lutherans, we have undertaken a common journey of reconciliation. Now, in the context of the commemoration of the Reformation of 1517, we have a new opportunity to accept a common path”. He called it a “common path”, but this was deliberately deceptive. In truth, he is leading Lutherans up the proverbial garden path: a nice, rose-scented garden path, paved with good intentions, bordered by cardinals, bishops and priests all smiling broadly and encouraging the Lutherans to keep right on up the garden path, which culminates at the “Welcome” mat at the Vatican’s door.
When he spoke of this “common path”, Francis went on to say that it was “one that has taken shape over the past fifty years in the ecumenical dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. Nor can we be resigned to the division and distance that our separation has created between us. We have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.” This does not apply to Lutheranism, but when “division and distance” is created by truth separating from error, then that always is, and always must be, a permanent division. The divisions which came into being at the Reformation do not need mending, because to mend them implies that they should never have happened; whereas there were blessings which flowed from the Reformation which were the greatest the world had ever known, in the form of an open Bible in the languages of the people, eventual freedom of religion in many places, the weakening of Papal power, the eventual spread of the Gospel via missionary labours to the ends of the earth, not to mention all kinds of temporal blessings as well.
As for failing to “understand one another” because of “controversies and disagreements”, tragically the Lutherans, having never truly broken with all things Papal in the first place, eventually came to question what the separation was all about anyway, and to wish it had never happened.
Francis then said that “our division distanced us from the primordial intuition of God’s people, who naturally yearn to be one, and that it was perpetuated historically by the powerful of the world rather than the faithful people.” Oh, he was sly, this Jesuit pope. Always the appeal to the “yearning to be one”, which is the ecumenical movement’s false interpretation of Jn. 17:21: “That they all may be one”. But in the first place, this prayer of the Lord Jesus has been fulfilled through the years, in that each and every true Christian is one with every other true Christian. And in the second place, no true Christian yearns for “unity” with false “christians” – and Roman Catholics are false “christians”.
Then something came out of Francis’ mouth which revealed what was really happening: he said, giving a quotation from a document of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity, 17 June 2013, “With this new look at the past, we do not claim to realize an impracticable correction of what took place, but ‘to tell that history differently’”.
To tell the history of the Reformation differently: this is what Rome desires to do. And this means, of course, nothing less than to revise history! To ignore the facts and to make it appear to be something other than what it really was. And so it has come to pass that the Protestant Reformation is seen as simply a gigantic misunderstanding, a big mistake that should never have happened, a failure on both sides to “understand each other”. Books will be written to reflect this Jesuit-inspired revisionist view of history, lectures will be delivered, university courses will be altered so as to tell this history differently.
“Certainly,” Francis went on, “our separation has been an immense source of suffering and misunderstanding, yet it has also led us to recognize honestly that without [Jesus] we can do nothing; in this way it has enabled us to understand better some aspects of our faith.”
Certainly, Rome experienced suffering as a result of the Reformation. As for the Reformation being an immense source of misunderstanding, we ask: to whom? Both sides knew why it occurred. This was Jesuit subtlety on Francis’ part, trying to get everyone to feel that it was all the result of some big misunderstanding, and therefore could have been avoided.
So then, which “aspects of our faith” was Francis referring to, which he said the Reformation caused them to understand better? Here is his answer:
First, he said, “With gratitude we acknowledge that the Reformation helped give greater centrality to sacred Scripture in the Church’s life.” Oh, this man was jesuitically subtle! The Reformation produced no such “improvement” in the Roman Catholic institution! Rome did all it could to destroy all copies of the Bible which were printed, and even hunted down and burned to death the translators of it whenever it could catch them. Its Jesuits controlled the counter-Reformation, and moved the Papist Council of Trent to declare against sacred Scripture, and to uphold Roman Catholic tradition as equal to Scripture. It condemned Bible societies for printing the Bible in various languages. It forbade its own people from reading the Bible, except under the guidance of its own “interpreters”. What a lie this was from Francis’ lying mouth!
He went on, “Through shared hearing of the word of God in the Scriptures, important steps forward have been taken in the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation, whose fiftieth anniversary we are presently celebrating.” It would have been lost on most Lutherans assembled to hear him, but note the careful way in which the Roman pope expressed himself. He spoke of the “hearing of the word of God in the Scriptures”. For Rome, the written Scriptures are not all there is to “the word of God”! For Rome, “the word of God” consists of the Bible, and the traditions of Rome! Therefore, according to the pope, one may hear the word of God in the Scriptures – but not only in them. Although we do not venerate Luther as so many Protestants do, this is one aspect of his teaching where he would have been utterly at variance with Rome.
Second, Francis said, “The spiritual experience of Martin Luther challenges us to remember that apart from God we can do nothing. ‘How can I get a propitious God?’ This is the question that haunted Luther. In effect, the question of a just relationship with God is the decisive question for our lives. As we know, Luther encountered that propitious God in the Good News of Jesus, incarnate, dead and risen. With the concept ‘by grace alone’, he reminds us that God always takes the initiative, prior to any human response, even as he seeks to awaken that response. The doctrine of justification thus expresses the essence of human existence before God.”
At this point Francis almost sounds like a Protestant! – talking of Luther’s search for a personal relationship with God, and of his teaching on grace and justification. But we must never forget that the Jesuit priest will readily become a Protestant to the Protestants, a Lutheran to the Lutherans, etc. Francis was thus simply following this Jesuit tactic to the letter. It would have fooled multitudes of Lutherans and other ignorant “Protestants”. The hated Martin Luther – condemned by the pope as an arch-heretic and devil – now praised by a Jesuit pope for the “reminder” he gave to the “Church”! As if the true Church ever loses the doctrine of grace alone, or of justification! Any “church” denying (or forgetting!) these truths is simply not a true Christian church! Within the Roman Catholic religion the truth about grace, and about justification by faith, was not and is not taught, because it was not in the past, and is not now, a true church! In essence the pope was trying to convince the world that he was saying, “Thank you, Martin Luther. You did us a great favour. You reminded us of what we had forgotten. We condemned you, hurled anathemas at you, called you all kinds of names – but thank you for what you did.” It is easy to see through such lies from the pope’s mouth: he does not hate Luther any less than his predecessors did. It was all nothing but empty words, a brazen lie because (as the Jesuits say) the end justifies the means – and the end is the gathering of the Lutheran institution into the embrace of “Mother Rome”. For the Jesuits, any lie is worth that gain.
We have lived to see the day when a pope of Rome, the very Antichrist of Scripture, would praise Martin Luther the Reformer, publicly expressing gratitude for some aspects of his teaching (even though at heart he feels no such gratitude whatsoever). These are extraordinary times indeed. Times of great deception.