Survey finds Jews, Catholics America’s most-liked religious groups

graphDespite a contentious U.S. election in which religion played a major role, as well as the continuing scourge of religious-inspired terrorism worldwide, a new survey finds that Americans have warming attitudes towards virtually all major religious groups in the country.

The new Pew Research Center survey, released Wednesday, finds that Jews and Catholics get the highest ratings on a “feeling thermometer,” with a mean rating of 67 and 66 respectively on a thermometer that ranges from 0 to 100.

Mainline Protestants were just behind at 65. Evangelical Christians finished at 61, Buddhists 60, Hindus 58, Mormons 54, atheists 50 and Muslims 48. Even the relatively low ratings for atheists and Muslims, however, represent increases over the last such survey in June 2014.   Continue reading

Pope Francis praises German Protestants and Catholics for cooperation

37431230_303As Reformation Year begins, Pope Francis welcomed a high-ranking Protestant delegation from Germany to the Vatican on Monday. The pontiff urged both denominations to put all remaining differences aside.

In a meeting in Rome with Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the chair of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), Pope Francis called for the Reformation’s 500th anniversary to be an opportunity for increased efforts to achieve ecumenism.

“We must, with imploring prayer and all of our strength, strive to overcome the obstacles that still exist,” Pope Francis said.   Continue reading

Christian unity requires learning from each other, pope says

Pope Francis gestures as he stands with Orthodox Metropolitan Gennadios of Italy and Malta and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, the archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Vatican, during an ecumenical evening prayer service to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome Jan. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-UNITY-PRAYER Jan. 25, 2017.
Pope Francis gestures as he stands with Orthodox Metropolitan Gennadios of Italy and Malta and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, the archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Vatican, during an ecumenical evening prayer service to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome Jan. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-UNITY-PRAYER Jan. 25, 2017.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Divided Christians need to recognize the gifts God has given to other communities and learn from them “without waiting for the others to learn first,” Pope Francis said.

Leading an ecumenical evening prayer service Jan. 25 for the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis said Christians must overcome the “temptations of self-absorption that prevent us from perceiving how the Holy Spirit is at work outside our familiar surroundings,” including in the lives of other Christian communities.

The Vatican’s Sistine Chapel Choir and the Anglican Westminster Abbey Choir sang at the service at Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

Pope Francis walked to the tomb of St. Paul, under the basilica’s main altar, and prayed there with Orthodox Metropolitan Gennadios of Italy, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and with Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, the representative of the archbishop of Canterbury.   Continue reading

Unity Week: Cardinal Koch celebrates a “truly ecumenical year”

AP3722910_Articolo(Vatican Radio) As we mark the annual week of prayer for Christian Unity, Catholics have much to celebrate because 2016 was “truly an ecumenical year”. That’s the view of Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who accompanied Pope Francis on all his ecumenical journeys throughout the past year.

The cardinal was reflecting on the theme for this week of prayer which is centred on a verse from St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians: ‘Reconciliation: the love of Christ compels us’. Members of the Council of Christian Churches in Germany were asked to prepare material on this theme which is set in the context of this year’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation.   Continue reading

Christian groups express ‘grave concerns’ about Trump agenda, appointments

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, on September 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri/File Photo   *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-JENNINGS-OPED, originally transmitted on Nov. 15, 2016.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, on September 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-JENNINGS-OPED, originally transmitted on Nov. 15, 2016.

(RNS) The National Council of Churches and several other Christian organizations have released a statement expressing “grave concerns” with President-elect Donald Trump’s policies and picks to lead his Cabinet and other departments.

“We urge President-Elect Donald Trump, who has said he shares our Christian faith, to take seriously his responsibility to bring our nation together and to heed the oath he will take to preserve, protect and defend America,” read the statement, released Friday (Jan. 6).

“He can start this work before the oath of office is taken with his policy agenda and political appointments.”   Continue reading

GC of SDA joins hands with Pope to preach “another Jesus”

download“On Wednesday before the general audience Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions, the international ecumenical association that meets annually in October, each year in a different country, to improve mutual awareness. The conference is made up of the Anglican Communion, the World Baptist Alliance, the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Eastern Orthodox), General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, the International Old Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the World Lutheran Foundation, the Mennonite World Conference, the Moravian Church Worldwide Unity Board, the Patriarchate of Moscow (Eastern Orthodox), the Pentecostals, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Catholic Church), the Reformed Ecumenical Council, the Salvation Army, the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers), the World Convention of Churches of Christ, the World Evangelical Alliance and the World Methodist Council. A representative of the World Council of Churches is also usually present.” –Source

The actual headline to the article was a bit long and may have caused some that read this blog to ignore the content of the article. The title as released by the Vatican was It’s Not My Jesus vs Your Jesus, But Our Jesus, Pope Says to Ecumenical Group.” Hence the title I posted is my way of making it a tad clearer as to what actually going on here. I know many SDA’s riding the fence read this blog and I know some of them have no clue about how their church leaders have joined with the Vatican in a big way. In fact, see my “Roman SDA” doc file compilation on this that since posting it on SDAapostasy.org back in 2006. If you have time to read it all (and it is massive!) you will be very shocked at what the SDA General Conference has stated in writing! Seriously, every SDA needs to see those documents!   Continue reading

The Pope is using Islamic Terrorism to push Ecumenism?!

221677-popefrancis-02“When terrorists or world powers persecute Christian minorities or Christians”, he observed, “they do not ask: ‘Are you Lutheran? Are you Orthodox? Are you Catholic? Are you Reformed? Are you Pentecostal?’ No. ‘You are Christian’. They recognise one only: the Christian. The enemy is not wrong: he recognises where to find Jesus. And this is the ecumenism of blood. Nowadays we are witnesses to this, and I think of the Orthodox brethren beheaded on the beaches of Libya, for example: they are our brothers. They gave witness to Jesus and they died saying, ‘Jesus, help me!’. With His name: they confessed the name of Jesus.” “Therefore, ecumenism in prayer, ecumenism in our journey, and the enemy teaches us the ecumenism of blood.” –Source

The man of sin will stop at nothing to garner more souls into the Babylonian church. The craftiness of his speeches wherein he expertly twists the truth regarding the plight of Christians who die for their faith is appalling to say the least. He is using their deaths as an global call for ecumenicalism. But this shows his card a lot more graphically that even he can surmise.   Continue reading

Is the pope Catholic? Francis dismisses critics of his teachings

thumb-rns-pope-syriaVATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis is firing back at foes of his efforts to make the Catholic Church more open and pastoral in its ministry, telling an interviewer that “they are acting in bad faith to foment divisions.”

The pontiff’s lengthy interview in Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian hierarchy, was published Friday (Nov. 18) and followed days of news coverage of demands by four hard-line cardinals who have grave concerns about Francis’ approach.

The four say that focusing on ministering to people in their particular circumstances is eroding the church’s doctrinal absolutes and that Francis must dispel any ambiguities or face serious consequences.   Continue reading

Jewish-Muslim alliance formed against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

jewishmuslim(RNS) The day after President-elect Donald Trump appointed a man accused of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as his chief strategist, two of the nation’s largest Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups formed an unprecedented partnership to fight bigotry.

The American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America Monday (Nov. 14) launched the new national group: The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council. Though Jewish and Muslim groups have cooperated before, the size and influence of these two particular groups — and the prominence of the people who have joined the council — marks a milestone in Jewish-Muslim relations. 

“Our council is coming at the right time,” said Eftakhar Alam, senior coordinator at ISNA’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.   Continue reading

Francis, Benedict praise Bartholomew I as a brother in faith

pope_francis_and_patriarch_bartholomew_i_in_greece_april_16_2016_credit_losservatore_romano_cna-1In their forewords to a new book about the head of the Eastern Orthodox Church Patriarch Bartholomew I, Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI praised the faith and goodness of the ecumenical patriarch.

“Today, we brothers in the faith and hope that does not disappoint, we are deeply united in the desire that Christians of the East and the West can feel part of the one and only Church,” Pope Francis wrote.

The forewords were contributions to the book Bartholomew, Apostle and Visionary by John Chryssavgis, written in honor of the 25th anniversary of the patriarch’s election as head of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was released Oct. 11.   Continue reading