“ ‘Pray for me.’ The audience of this prayer request was a group of Muslim leaders, worshippers of Allah, bound to the authority of the Koran, denying the Triune nature of God and the divinity of Jesus Christ, following a work-based religion. The Pope went beyond diplomatic politeness or even the cordial, inter-religious tone of the conversation. He addressed these Muslims by asking for their prayers, using language that is ordinarily used among fellow Christians. “
“Pray for me” – A reflection by Leonardo de Chirico
Old Waldensian Paths
1 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
In all its theological force and devotional ramifications, Mariology is an inescapable, all-embracing, and fundamental tenet of Roman Catholic theology and practice. Moreover, it is a deeply troubling development because it is impossible to see a linear and coherent connection between this Marian devotion and the more sobering account of what the Bible actually says about Mary.
Leonardo De Chirico
138. Marian Prayers As Shapers of Roman Catholic Theology and Practice
The “Uncertain Teaching” of Pope Francis
March 1st, 2017
Yes or No. This is the only way a Pope (or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for Catholic doctrine) can answer a question posed by a cardinal or group of cardinals if and when they inquire about the correct interpretation or application of Catholic teaching. Yes or No was the expected answer that never came to a letter written to the Pope by four cardinals in September 2016 pleading with him for clarity regarding the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The letter asked the Pope five short questions about the exact meaning of some statements contained in the document on whether or not divorced individuals living in new relationships can have access to the Eucharist. Given that different bishops around the world are giving different answers (some saying Yes, others No), the four cardinals addressed the Pope himself hoping to receive an authoritative and univocal interpretation of the matter.
So far no answer has come, and the Pope has made it known that no answer will ever come. The Pope’s silence is causing perplexity and some worries in many Catholic circles. Is Catholic teaching becoming subject to many shades of grey? The incident also gives an opportunity to reflect on the Pope’s whole approach to the stability of doctrine. Is this absence of Yes or No only to be limited to this specific case, or is it a feature of an overall theological vision that lacks rigid reference points?…
Finish reading here
LEONARDO DE CHIRICO
Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Roman Catholicism
As the Pope commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, what he has in mind is an altogether different kind of reformation, i.e. a reformation that will make his church more catholic and more Roman, doubtfully more evangelical.
LEONARDO DE CHIRICO
What Kind of “Reformation” Does Pope Francis Have in Mind?
Leonardo De Chirico (1967) planted and pastored a Reformed Baptist church in Ferrara (northern Italy) from 1997 to 2009. Since 2009 he has been involved in a church planting project in Rome and is now pastor of the church Breccia di Roma…
19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
De Chirico’s article “What Do You Think About Pope Francis?” is really helpful. In it he states that it is “vitally important for evangelicals to know who Pope Francis really is.” If you read only this excerpt, you will be wiser.
“It comes as no surprise then that the first saint that Pope Francis proclaimed in 2013 was Pierre Favre (1506-1546), a French first generation Jesuit with a ‘smiling face’ who more than others tried to look like a Protestant in order to drive people back to the Roman Church.
Pierre Favre (Peter Faber), Co-founder of the Company of Jesus
“Furthermore, the Jesuit side of Pope Francis is clear enough given his published (and never retracted) opinion that Luther and Calvin destroyed man, poisoned society, and ruined the church! In his 1985 lecture on the history of the Jesuit order, he gave severe evaluations of Luther (a ‘heretic’), and especially of Calvin (a ‘heretic’ and ‘schismatic’) bringing about the ‘Calvinist squalor’ in society, in the church, and in man’s heart. According to that lecture, Protestantism lies at the root of all evils in the modern West. The fact that this lecture was republished unchanged in 2013 in Spanish and translated in 2014 into Italian with his permission, but without a mitigating word of explanation, indicates that this assessment still lingers in the Pope’s heart and mind. He recently added a harsh comment on the Puritans, falsely associating them with a bigoted and merciless form of Christianity. This friendly Pope to Evangelicals is a Jesuit whose entire mission of order is to defend the Roman Church against Protestantism. Certainly Francis is a smiling Jesuit, but the anti-Protestant still beats in his heart.”
Leonardo De Chirico
What Do You Think About Pope Francis?
Some evangelical leaders pray with Pope Francis in May 2015