Issue Date: March/April 2008
In Pope Benedict`s general audience January 23, his theme was the "necessity" of prayer for Christian unity. His speech was made to highlight a long-held Catholic celebration called the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Observance of the Week of Prayer was started in 1908 by American Anglican Paul Wattson who later converted to Catholicism. In 1916 Pope Benedict XV made it an official annual observance for the entire Catholic Church. Later the World Council of Churches joined the observances along with other organizations that are focused on promoting ecumenism, an effort to bring all the Christian churches and organizations together.
In the speech, the pope emphasized "forcefully the role and importance of prayer, which lies at the very heart of the ecumenical journey." This "ecumenical journey" starts with Christ`s prayer in John 17 "that they all may be one." The "journey" that the pope is talking about does not lead to the unity that Jesus was praying for. It leads to a very subtle deception that Jesus may have had in mind when He also prayed, "keep them from the evil."
Since the pagan beginnings of Roman Catholicism, religious domination was the pope`s main goal. As soon as the Bible believers began to speak out against the superstition and ritual of Rome, they were driven into the caves. For a thousand years, Bibles were outlawed, literacy was limited, and the common man was locked in ignorance. Many who objected were declared heretics and burned at the stake.
The Reformation broke Rome`s iron grip and the printing press gave literacy to the common man. He now could read the Bible for himself. Finally, the popes had to change strategy. Years ago, Ex-Jesuit Alberto Rivera described Rome`s new tactics. When persecution and murder failed to wipe out the Protestants, they shifted to propaganda. The word began to go out that Catholics were really Bible-believing Christians. The appeal for "unity" began. The Week of Prayer for Unity is a classic example.
Bible believers joined Catholics in "peace and justice" issues such as abortion and human rights and stopped witnessing to them. Now the seduction is almost complete. But Jesus said, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4).
From the Reformation to the middle of the 20th century, Bible believers have identified the Vatican with the great whore, the prostitute church of Revelation 17 and 18. In his book, Smokescreens, author Jack Chick details how the behavior of the popes over the centuries overwhelmingly fits this biblical prophecy. The Vatican has seduced kings into submitting to the popes and butchered millions who refused to accept Rome`s false doctrine.
Just recently Pope Benedict restated that there is no true salvation outside the Roman Catholic church. Any churches that do not recognize the "primacy of the pope...cannot be called 'churches` in the proper sense" and so lack the "means of salvation." Therefore, it becomes obvious where the unity of "ecumenism" leads: everyone must bow to the pope.
Soul winners, we must be careful who we pray with and what we pray for. Paul told the Corinthians not to keep company with or eat with idolaters. (See 1 Cor. 5:11.) Many Bible believers are falling for the pope`s seductions. Instead, we need to recognize that the precious Roman Catholics are duped into believing that their "church" will get them out of purgatory when they die. Let`s not allow them to wait til then to discover that this is a lie. We must give them the truth that will set them free from the bondage of the pope`s superstitious rituals.