Agree to dis­agree

Malta Independent - - LETTERS -

The first ma­jor step to­wards church unity on an in­ter­na­tional level started in the be­gin­ning of the 1900s, but Vat­i­can II was the real drive of the ec­u­meni­cal move­ment, with the pil­grim Pope Paul VI and his his­tory-mak­ing trip to Turkey and the meet­ing with the Pa­tri­arch of Greek Or­tho­dox Church, Athenago­ras I, in July 1967.

One can af­firm that re­li­gious unity has gained mo­men­tum over the last four decades, first with the globe-trot­ting Pope John Paul II who was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing to­gether and meet­ing with catholic and non-catholic re­li­gious en­ti­ties, then with the un­re­lent­ing drive of Pope Emer­i­tus Bene­dict XVI and the present Pope Fran­cis who have been the cat­alytic force in crown­ing their most priced ob­jec­tive by ca­pit­u­lat­ing to their fold most of the Protes­tant de­nom­i­na­tions, pri­mar­ily the Luther­ans, which by a joint declaration called Con­flict to Com­mu­nion will be signed next year.

There has not been much give and take in this agree­ment. The Ro­man church has not given away one iota of her teach­ing while the Luther­ans can re­tain much of their her­itage and tra­di­tions as long as they recog­nise the ab­so­lute au­thor­ity of the Ro­man Pon­tiff.

The sum­mit of the World Al­liance of Re­li­gions for Peace held In South Korea had the slo­gan We Are One.

Lead­ers of Catholic and nonCatholic re­li­gions such as Or­tho­dox, Angli­cans, Luther­ans and Methodists and oth­ers in­clud­ing Jews, Mus­lims, Bud­dhists, Sikh, Baha’i and Hin­dus signed a declaration for the unity of re­li­gious agree­ment. Their po­lit­i­cal coun­ter­parts also signed the declaration.

The theme be­ing ‘all re­li­gions must unite un­der God as one’, can two walk to­gether un­less they agree?

“Whoso­ever de­ni­eth the Son, the same hath not the Fa­ther” – 1 John 2:23.

The Bud­dhists deny the per­sonal God, so it has noth­ing to with Je­sus. So do other re­li­gions rep­re­sented in that con­fer­ence: Ju­daism, Is­lam and Hindu who deny the di­vin­ity of Je­sus ex­cept those re­li­gions that give lip ser­vice such as the Catholics and the Protes­tants.

This con­fer­ence is rem­i­nis­cent of an an­cient ac­count of a gath­er­ing about 4,500 years ago that wanted to cre­ate an al­liance of power and re­li­gion as one to spite and do away with the crea­ture God. Gen­e­sis 11.

Satan is the au­thor of con­fu­sion and de­cep­tion and through hu­man machi­na­tions is, and has al­ways been, con­triv­ing a hos­tile plan to sup­press the only truth, the in­spired word of God – the Bi­ble.

His­tory teaches that when man by im­po­si­tion and con­quest tried to bring about one world re­li­gion and gov­ern­ment, it re­sulted in vi­o­lence, de­struc­tion and blood­baths.

What is to be the out­come of those who do not want to form part of this con­glom­er­ate of con­fu­sion? Will the In­qui­si­tion be re­vived?

Francesco Mer­cieca Fgura

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