new-Pope Francis Calls for “Full Communion” Between the Churches in an Ecumenical Meeting During his Visit to Slovakia

On Sunday, September 12, 2021, Pope Francis flew to Slovakia and met with representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches of Slovakia. This is an association of the World Council of Churches made up of Evangelical, Orthodox, Baptist, Methodist and Reformed Churches. Roman Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists are considered “associate members” and hold an observer status within the Ecumenical Council of Churches of Slovakia. [1]

The meeting was held at the Vatican Apostolic Nunciature, also known as the diplomatic mission of the Holy See in Slovakia and included representatives of the different churches. In his address to the ecumenical gathering, Pope Francis expresses that everyone must be “a seed of unity and a leaven of fraternity.” The Pope also openly called for “full communion” between the different churches. Pope Francis said:

“As witnesses of a Christianity still marked by unity and zeal for the preaching of the Gospel, may they help us to persevere on our journey by fostering our fraternal communion in the name of Jesus. For that matter, how can we hope that Europe will rediscover its Christian roots when we ourselves are not rooted in full communion? How can we dream of a Europe free of ideologies if we lack the courage to put the freedom of Christ before the needs of individual groups of believers? It is hard to expect Europe to be increasingly influenced and enriched by the Gospel if we are untroubled by the fact that on this continent we are not yet fully united and are unconcerned for one another.” [2]

Interfaith relationships will eventually lead us to full communion with Rome. The Pope’s vision is that of a united “Christian” (Catholic) Europe and a united world. Pope Francis’ call for “full communion” is part of the universal brotherhood he is trying to create. He is urging the churches to embrace his encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, which attempts to overcome all religious differences. It is a call to bring Catholics and Protestants into full communion. But it goes further. The Pope’s universal brotherhood affirms all religions, including the non-Christian belief systems of atheism and nature worship, and elevates Krishna, Buddha, Muhammad, Gaia (Mother Earth), and witch doctors to the same level as Jesus. All belief systems are holy and all contain the truth is the message of the Pope. The Pope then went on to say that churches must work together with “concrete” actions to overcome “prejudice and misunderstanding”:

“Unity is not attained so much by good intentions and agreement about some shared value, but by doing something concrete, together, for those who bring us closest to the Lord. Who are they? They are the poor, for in them Jesus is present (cf. Mt 25:40). Sharing in works of charity can open up broader horizons and help us to make greater progress in overcoming prejudice and misunderstanding.” [2]

The Pope has a new agenda for the churches. He wants them to work together on Catholic social teaching and liberal causes and this will help us overcome our “prejudice and misunderstanding.” Make no mistake, these ecumenical gestures by the Pope are designed to change our feelings towards Rome. It is an invitation from Rome to Protestants to end the protest. Inspiration says that apostate Protestants will be the ones who will yield and compromise the faith so that the deadly wound can be healed:

Here the great crisis is coming upon the world. The Sctures teach that popery is to regain its lost supremacy, and that the fires of persecution will be rekindled through the time serving concessions of the so-called Protestant world. In this time of peril we can stand only as we have the truth and the power of God” (1888 Materials, p. 901).

Pope Francis ended his message to the ecumenical group by lamenting that Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox have not yet fully entered into “Eucharistic” unity:

“May the gift of God be present on the table of all, so that, even though we are not yet able to share the same Eucharistic meal, we can welcome Jesus together by serving him in the poor. It will be a sign more eloquent than a multitude of words, and will help civil society to understand, especially in these troubled times, that only by being on the side of the weakest can we all, together, survive the present pandemic.” [2]

Eucharistic unity is incompatible, with or without a pandemic. Protestant and Catholic belief systems are not the same when it comes to biblical truth, including the bread and wine. But despite this obstacle, tragically many churches, including Seventh-day Adventists in Italy are accepting the grave error of participating in Eucharistic unity with Rome. [3] Have we forgotten what the prophet has written?

“There is as great a difference in our faith and that of nominal professors, as the heavens are higher than the earth” (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 2, p. 300).

Since Eucharistic unity is part of the Pope’s plan for the churches, this is something that will continue to be embraced by the different faiths as they work for peace, brotherhood, solidarity and Eucharistic unity – sharing the same bread and wine. But God says:

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

God’s word doesn’t predict a peaceful utopia. It predicts war, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, distress of nations with perplexities and the Roman abomination that will bring the final desolation. Are these signs evident in our world today? Absolutely! Not even one is missing. Then, says Jesus, “When ye shall see all these things, know that I am near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33).

The return of Christ, therefore, is imminent. And when He comes, then, and only then, will there be true peace and unity based on the principles of His Word. The “former things will pass away” (Revelation 21:4). And until that momentous day comes, we can have peace in our hearts. It is a taste of the heavenly peace and rest that awaits the people of God. May Christ hasten His coming!