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Papal Progress in Becoming the World’s Moral Authority

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In the first week of July  American pastors Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, respectively, as well as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, met with Pope Francis.

Pastor Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, spoke with members of the international press in St. Peter’s Square, saying, “Protestants, as a people, have a long history of heresy [from Catholicism]. The time for reconciliation is now in order to ensure a full and dogmatic transition into the folds of the Church.”

Moments before meeting with reporters, the entire Protestant delegation, for the first time ever, entered the confessional to take part, individually, in the Sacrament of Penance. “It’s important that we participate in these sacred rituals before asking our congregation to do the same,” Pastor Osteen said, adding that his time in confession was “an immensely moving experience.”

Here is an older corroborating article but maybe not what you want as it is not about the specific post.    http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/pope-francis-meets-us-televangelists-and-first-ever-papal-high-five-follows

Here is an evangelical summit over reconciliation with the Vatican.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA4EPOfic5A

An analysis by Doug Bachelor.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kgxEvIDoGs

Here is a list of articles on  the Vatican Evangelical dialogue  https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=evangelicals+Vatican

Here are more links specific to Warren.   http://www.aleteia.org/en/religion/article/megachurch-pastor-rick-warren-joins-pope-francis-in-support-of-common-mission-5887178068459520

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/rick.warren.on.roman.catholicism.we.have.more.in.common.than.what.divides.us/43942.htm

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=28695

A very good article on the coming Papal meeting in Philadelphia with Catholics and Evangelicals.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/pope-francis-deep-ties-evangelicals

As Protestants around the world are accepting the pope as their ultimate moral authority  many are wondering what, exactly, that means for them. “First and foremost we acknowledge the Pope’s infallibility with regard to universal moral declarations, the authority of Church magistrate, faith, and ex cathedra,” said Father Cliff Brogan, a former Protestant pastor explained. 

The pope is working hard to heal the ongoing crisis in Ireland by uniting Protestants and Catholics under the moral authority of the pope. Said one official, “We are, for the first time, one  people, united under the Bishop of Rome, acting together as the bride and servant of Christ.” 

To ease the way the pope announced on Aug 5 that divorced and remarried couples would be welcome.

Here is the divorce source:  http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-divorced-and-remarried-people-not-excommunica

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis resumed his General Audiences on Wednesday, following the summer holiday. In his catechesis, the pope continued his teaching on the family, reflecting on the situation of those who have divorced and entered into a second union.

Listen to Christopher Wells’ report: 

“The Church knows well,” he said, “that such a situation contradicts the Christian Sacrament.” However, he continued, the Church, as a Mother, always seeks the good and salvation of all her children. The Pope said it is important for the Church to foster a true welcome for these families in our communities. The Church must always show her pastoral care for those in such situations, especially the children.

Pope Francis noted that the Church in recent decades has developed a greater awareness of the need to be welcoming toward the divorced and re-married. He emphasized that they are still part of the Church – they are not excommunicated, and should not be treated as such, but rather must be encouraged, with their families, to participate in the Church’s life: through prayer, listening to the Word of God, the Christian education of their children, and service to the poor. He pointed to the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who called for careful discernment and wise pastoral accompaniment, while recognizing that there are no “simple solutions” to the difficulties wounded families face.

The Church, Pope Francis said, should imitate the Good Shepherd, welcoming all her children as a mother who is willing to give her life for them. “Each one of us can do our part by having the attitude of the Good Shepherd, Who knows every one of His sheep, and excludes no one from His infinite love.” 

(from Vatican Radio)  

In reality it is because God loves sinners that he loathes sin and will strongly correct all those who are not faithful to God’s Word; the keeping of which brings peace.  Infinite love does not coddle sinners, it means powerful correction for all those who do not keep the whole Word of God. 

 Efforts  by the Vatican to become the ultimate moral authority of mainstream Islam and Judaism as a great moral man of peace are also advancing.  While there are certainly extremists in both Islam and Judaism the mainstream of both groups are deeply impressed by and many look to the papacy for moral guidance already.

Pope Invites Muslim, Jewish Leaders to Vatican

Pope: Christians, Jews, Muslims will work together to end …

First ever Jewish, Muslim, Christian prayers at Vatican | New …

Jews, Christians and Muslims meet around their Scriptures …

A big Vatican push for ultimate moral authority over all Abrahamic religions and all other religions as well; as the world’s ultimate moral authority and voice for peace is coming very soon along with the expected Mideast regional war.

 

In an additional effort at ecumenism Pope Francis has joined the Eastern Orthodox in declaring an annual  day of prayer for the creation. 

Below in English is Pope Francis’ letter announcing the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” 

To my Venerable Brothers  Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.  Cardinal Kurt KOCH, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity

Sharing with my beloved brother the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew his concerns for the future of creation (cfr Encylical Letter. Laudato Si, 7-9) and taking up the suggestion by his representative, the Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si on the care of our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September, as the Orthodox Church has done for some time now.   

As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through.  Therefore, first of all we must draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation, always remembering that for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for us, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” (ibid., 216).   The ecological crisis therefore calls us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” (ibid., 217).  Thus, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”(ibid).

The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.  The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers.   We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective.  Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue.

Cardinal Turkson, as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,  I asking you to inform the Justice and Peace Commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences, as well as the national and international Organizations involved in environmental issues about the establishment of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, so that in union with the needs and the local situation , this celebration can be rightly marked with the participation of the entire People of God: priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful.  For this reason, it will be the task of this Dicastery, in collaboration with the Episcopal Conferences to set up relevant initiatives to promote and illustrate this Day, so that this annual celebration becomes a powerful moment of prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate life styles.  

Cardinal Koch, as President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, I’m asking you to make the necessary contacts with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and with the other ecumenical organisations so that this World Day can become the sign of a path along all believers in Christ walk together.  It will also be your Dicastery’s task to take care of the coordination with similar initiatives set up by the World Council of Churches. 

Whilst I look forward to the widest possible cooperation for the best start and development of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, I invoke the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and of St. Francis of Assisi, whose Canticle of the Creatures inspires so many men and women of goodwill to live in praise of the Creator and with respect for creation.  I support this pledge along with my Apostolic Blessing which I impart with all my heart to you, my dear Cardinals, and to all those who collaborate in your ministry.  

From the Vatican, 6th August 2015

 

 

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