"...and all the world wondered after the beast" Revelation 13:3

Ex Jesuit Priest Alberto Rivera states... "The main underlying Roman Catholic purpose is to infiltrate, and penetrate all the areas of life, were the Roman Catholic Church can have control with excess in a One World Government. ...this have been in preparation especially since the formation of the Jesuit order in 1541 to infiltrate absolutely every area of society so as to take over the world politically and religiously. The two main doctrines of Catholicism that define this are... The doctrine of the Apostolic succession, which is actually the Papacy. And the  doctrine of temporal power which is secular government.  The office of Pope illustrates this easily... The Pope is the head of the Church as well as the head of the State of Rome."

The only hope for this western world is an alliance between the Roman Catholic church which is the most commonly, influential, controlling, unifying, element, in Europe and the western orthodox church. ...The only hope for the western world lies then in a united Europe under the control of the Pope. -Charles Malik former president general assembly of the united nations. Ambassador to the U.S. from Lebanon.

Not only is it prophetically of the Beast of Revelation to look for this "One World Church" It is also totally against the Word of God to do as the Popeis doing...

2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
2 John 1:9-10, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:"

Vatican II strategy of creating a universal Celebration service

Orthodox and Anglicans Join Pope  

Religious schools put faith in unity

Top leaders learn from each other  

Unity is returning to the divided Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

A New Love Affair: Protestant Leaders Court The Beast

Theologians Urge a Broader Image of God for 21st Century 

Pentecostals say they can learn from the Roman Catholic Church  

Lenten fasting, prayer looks to worldwide revival  







A New Love Affair: Protestant Leaders Court The Beast  


Pentecostals to visit Rome

Posting Ten Commandments in our schools  

Ten Commandments come out of closet 

Discourse of Pope at ecumenical service in Cairo Cathedral  


Pope begins Middle East Pilgrimages  

Pope Makes Plea for Inter-Religious Dialogue in Egypt  


Gov't: Vatican meddling with PA peace talks  

Arafat, Pope to sign bilateral pact today  

Top theologian revises Biblical prohibitions  


John Paul treats the world as his parish

Pope Calls For Religious Unity At Jordan Mass  


The Haste of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together Movement

A CALL TO PARTICIPATE in the BIRTH of the United Religions Initiative  

United Religions Initiative

The Coming United Religions 

The Church of Ireland Enters the New Millennium to Unite with Rome Under the Pope  

Vatican II strategy of creating a universal Celebration service

"The World Council of Churches, in its implementation of the Vatican II strategy of creating a universal Celebration service to form the conscience in harmony with the `sacred and certain teaching of the Catholic Church' sees as absolutely crucial an `indispensable continuation' of the liturgical celebration in all dimensions of life.  Clearly, liturgical celebration is conceived as being the molder and shaper, the conditioner, of ALL DIMENSIONS OF HUMAN LIFE. This is all very interesting in light of Rome's's's policy of Integralism. `Integralism means that all human life would be integrated, as John Paul conceives, into a `perfect society' in which laity worked under
the direction of priests and bishops to achieve the `truth' of a life lived in faith' (People of God, The Struggle for World Catholicism p.29)

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Orthodox and Anglicans Join Pope

ROME (AP) - The spiritual leader of the Anglican church and a representative of the Orthodox patriarch in Istanbul helped Pope John Paul II open a symbolic door today in a ceremony that figured high in the pontiff's cherished dream of healing divisions among Christians.

The Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, and the Metropolitan Athanasios knelt in silent prayer just behind the pontiff after helping him push open the Holy Door of St. Paul's Outside the Walls Basilica. Athanasios was representing the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the head of the Orthodox church. Only one cushion for kneeling was provided - for the pope - but the Anglican and Orthodox representatives also got down on their knees, in a gesture of unity. After opening the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica on Christmas Eve to usher in the Vatican's Holy Year, the pope had opened the special doors of two other basilicas that pilgrims visit during Holy Years to gain indulgences. As part of his goal of working toward Christian unity in the new millennium, John Paul invited representatives of other Christian denominations to join him at the last of Rome's main basilicas, St. Paul's. ``Unity! Thank you!'' the pope shouted, after reading his homily. Many non-Catholic representatives also attended, some of them taking the role of deacons or as readers of religious texts. ``We know we are brothers still divided, but we have placed ourselves with decisive conviction on the path that leads to full unity,'' the pope told participants, who included Lutherans and Pentecostals. ``We ask pardon of Christ for all that which in the history of the church prejudiced his design of unity,'' the pope said. Among those accepting the pope's invitation today was a representative of the Orthodox patriach in Moscow. The patriarch himself in the past has snubbed a chance for a groundbreaking meeting with the pope, a reflections of tensions between Catholics and Orthodox following the breakup of the Soviet Union. The Orthodox have accused the Vatican of aggressively trying to win souls in the former Communist countries. Disputes over church property that had been seized by the Communists also have hurt Orthodox-Catholic relations. By FRANCES D'EMILIO Associated Press Writer Tuesday January 18 10:24 AM ET

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Religious schools put faith in unity

Six disparate religious groups have struck an unusual alliance to push Ontario to fund their schools. Christian evangelicals, Jews, Sikhs, Muslims, Armenian Orthodox and Seventh-day Adventists have formed the Coalition for Justice in Education Funding. The group is urging Ottawa to comply with a recent United Nations finding that Ontario discriminates by funding Catholic schools and not the schools of other faiths. By international agreement, Canada must respond by Feb. 3 to the U.N.'s Human Rights Committee, which said that, ``if a state chooses to provide public funding to religious schools (as required by the constitution for Roman Catholic schools), it should make this funding available without discrimination.'' But the issue is tricky, because education is funded provincially and Queen's Park has said it will not fund schools other than the public and Catholic schools required under the British North America Act. The alliance is meeting with federal and provincial officials to twist Ontario's arm, although a spokesperson for Education Minister Janet Ecker told The Star the province hasn't changed its stand. ``We're committed to providing an excellent public education system, open to all students regardless of religion or cultural background,'' Linda Nicholson said. But the schools hope Ottawa will pressure Queen's Park to change its mind and fund all religious schools, as do British Columbia and Alberta. ``You tell me the last time a multi-faith coalition got together to take on the government - it's wonderful,'' said Keith Landy, chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress' Ontario region. The coalition represents about 95 per cent of 46,000 students who attend independent religious schools in Ontario. -By Louise Brown Toronto Star Education Reporter

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  Top leaders learn from each other

Twenty-eight leaders of conservative Protestant denominations spent two days together last month praying, worshiping, and speaking frankly, but lovingly, about their differences.

...The unprecedented meeting, in Dallas, involved only the top-level leaders, from charismatic to fundamentalist, some of whom had never met before. They listened to one another's point
of view and built trust, Kevin Mannoia, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, told Religion Today.

..."It wasn't a pretty picture he painted. Basically, based on his input, it is evident that the church is not as effective as it ought to be in reaching the lost and reaching our culture -- and in being the church," Mannoia said. The distinction between the church and secular society "is not as clear as it ought to be."

...The leaders sought insights from each other in a "wonderful environment of openness and casual informality," Mannoia said. Leaders of struggling denominations asked frankly how to
recapture their vision, and leaders of more vibrant groups asked how to keep from "becoming what you've become."

...They were "vulnerable" with one another, Mannoia said. There was "honesty, transparency, and openness," and no dissention, he said.

...At various times, the leaders knelt in circles of four or five to pray, and stood together in worship, Mannoia said.

..."It was really wonderful to look around to see people from different traditions and groups in a tight circle of chairs praying for one another. It was powerful," he said. At lunch, individuals leaned over tables toward each other "really learning about one another."

...When leaders "of that caliber and level of godliness" are brought together, "God can be doing some powerful things," Mannoia said. More such meetings are planned.

...The NAE, which represents 49 conservative denominations in the United States, has been criticized for ineffective leadership. Some denominational leaders hesitated to accept Mannoia's
invitation to the Dallas meeting, but came and were pleased with the results, Mannoia said. The meeting was about "church leaders who need to feel they are together in the mission of Kingdom

...Mannoia, in his mid-40s, took over the NAE last year. He is a bishop with the Free Methodist Church of North America and a former church planter and pastor. The group's annual convention
takes place March 6-10 in Washington, D.C. -by the Editors of ReligionToday January 18, 2000

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Unity is returning to the divided Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. 

Bitter feelings began abating in September, when Archbishop Demetrios took over the 1.5 million-member church, replacing the beleaguered Archbishop Spyridon, Ecumenical News International said. Demetrios, 71, is a consensus-builder and has urged church members to look to the future rather than dwell on recent problems, ENI said.
...Spyridon was criticized for much of his three-year tenure as too autocratic, at odds with American democratic traditions. Some opponents had considered forming a Greek Orthodox church in the United States independent of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, to which the archdiocese belongs. That idea ended with Spyridon's departure.
...Americans "don't like boring, stagnant situations," Demetrios said. The church continues to use the Greek language in its liturgy although many members are several generations removed from their Greek immigrant ancestors. Rigidity about liturgical issues cannot be imposed, but "it would be wrong to get rid of Greek entirely," Demetrios said. Also, a strong role for the laity in local congregations is fine as long as lay leaders remain "ecclesiastically sound," he said. -by the Editors of ReligionToday  January 13, 2000

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A New Love Affair: Protestant Leaders Court The Beast

Theologians Urge a Broader Image of God for 21st Century   


By William McCall   

Associated Press Writer

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - What is God's place in the 21st century?


Two of the world's most prominent theologians say God's image is going to have to change for all faiths if religion is to survive. "We can't enter the 21st century with the idea of God we learned in Sunday school," Diana Eck, author and comparative religion professor at Harvard, said Friday as a two-day conference called "God at 2000" began. Eck is the director of The Pluralism Project, an effort to study the growth of faiths in the United States, including Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. She said Christians, in particular, have isolated themselves from other religions when other faiths have much to teach them.  She noted that there are now more Muslims in the United States than Presbyterians. "None of us owns the universe of faith," she said.  "I'm convinced it's time for all of our theisms to be recognized." Eck joined Marcus Borg, a best-selling religious author, to open the conference at Oregon State University, where Borg teaches. Although Europeans are losing their religion, Americans are holding on to their spiritual beliefs.  A recent Gallup poll found that 95 percent of all Americans say they believe in God, compared with 35 percent of the population in England, and lower numbers in other European countries. Borg said his study of religious history and culture have shown most faiths share a common image of God, despite their many different intrepretations of a divine presence in the world. Borg, raised as a Lutheran before turning to the Episcopal church, said the God he grew up with was an image of a stern lawgiver and judge who required obedience within a system of rewards and punishments - a "monarchial model" of God that has turned many people away from the Christian faith. "I find it literally incredible that the God of the whole universe has chosen to be known by one religious tradition," Borg said. He said all the great religions of the world, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, suggest that God is an encompassing spirit who is part of everyday life. He described this not as pantheism but as "panentheism," which suggests that God is not only transcedent and beyond human experience, but also immanent, or dwelling within all of us. Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun and author, drew a standing ovation at the end of her talk about God as a genderless concept. She pointed out that science and the globalization of culture, environmentalism and feminism all took her away from traditional teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and made her realize that God is an innate part of everything. Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu was to wrap up the conference today. AP-ES-02-12-00 0521 EST

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Pentecostals say they can learn from the Roman Catholic Church

Black Pentecostals say they can learn from the Roman Catholic
Church. Leaders of 27 denominations, members of the Joint College
of African-American Pentecostal Bishops, will travel to Rome this
week to visit the Vatican and perhaps meet with the pope, the
Chicago Tribune said. The bishops said it is time to recover some
of the ancient traditions practiced by the Catholic Church.
..."I think we can learn from each other," Larry Trotter of the
Sweet Holy Spirit Full Gospel Baptist Church in Chicago said. "We
come with a fervor and fire they may be missing, but they come
with order and structure we may be missing." The bishops will
attend a three-day seminar at the Pontifical North American
College, a seminary for U.S. Catholics, and will attend a general
audience and a healing Mass with the pope, the Tribune said. They
also might have a short personal visit with the pontiff.
...Pentecostalism is one of the fastest-growing segments of
Christianity. Pentecostals believe that God, through the Holy
Spirit, empowers Christians with spiritual gifts, including
prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues.
..."The shock to me was that these Pentecostals -- these
charismatic, tongue-speaking people -- all wanted to go to the
Vatican," J. Delano Ellis of Cleveland said. He is a friend of
Cleveland Catholic Bishop Anthony Pilla, who helped arrange the
trip. "We are part of the body of Christ, and we want to grow
closer to other parts of the body of Christ. It's time to build
some bridges and tear down some walls," Ellis said.

Last week's televised do-it-yourself suicide video is
"appalling," the leader of the Christian Medical & Dental Society
(see link #1 below) said. The video, based on Derek Humphrey's
best-selling book, Final Exit, aired Feb. 2 and 4 on a
public-access cable channel in Eugene and Springfield, Ore.
...The broadcast is "the next step for a state that has equated
killing with caring," Dr. David Stephens, executive director of
the CM&DS, said. The national organization represents 15,000
doctors and ethicists. In the video, Humphrey lists three lethal
drugs and tells where to find them without a doctor's
prescription. He said his Euthanasia Research and Guidance
Organization has sold hundreds of copies of the video.
...Terminally ill people have a desire to live that fluctuates
more than 30% over 12 hours, Stephens said, citing a recent
study. He said he hoped the video "didn't catch anyone at a bad
time of day." Those who attempt suicide are depressed or in
physical pain, and medical professionals should "answer that cry
with pain management, proper medical treatment, and counseling,"
he said. "Derek Humphrey's media stunt teaches viewers to
eliminate themselves, not the pain."
...Even some right-to-die advocates criticized the presentation.
"I think it's reckless," Barbara Coombs Lee, executive director
of the Portland-based Compassion in Dying Federation, said. "It
can give people the means to act on impulsiveness."

The Christian community in the Holy Land is dwindling and in
danger of becoming extinct, a group says. A Christian exodus from
the Holy Land took place in the past century, the Holy Land
Christian Ecumenical Foundation says. Christians in the early
1900s comprised 20% of the population in the territories that are
now Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, but dwindled to 2% as people
have fled from violence and sought economic opportunities
elsewhere, the Boston Globe said. For example, there are 10,000
Christians living in Ramallah, a West Bank city, but there are
70,000 members of the American Ramallah Federation, a group of
...There is a "real possibility that Christians are becoming
extinct in the Holy Land," the foundation said. Its goal is to
inform U.S. Catholic and Protestant churches about the situation.
"We hope American Christians will see how important it is to
maintain a Christian presence in the land where the faith began,"
Emil Salayta of the Jerusalem Latin Patriarchate for the Catholic
Church said.
...Most Americans are not aware that there are Palestinian
Christians, he said. "We have to explain that our Christian
community, which traces its roots back to the time of Jesus 2,000
years ago, is in jeopardy." -ReligionToday

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Lenten fasting, prayer looks to worldwide revival

The world is getting smaller for evangelical Christians as they
pray together and share information and resources.

...Evangelicals from every part of the world will fast and pray
with a common purpose for 40 days this Lent. That's the goal of
an ambitious worldwide movement called PrayWorld! 2000.

...The idea is to "unite churches in every country," Ben
Jennings, international coordinator of PrayWorld! 2000 (see link
#1 below), told Religion Today.

...Christians in each nation are being informed about the Lenten
prayers through an extensive network of missions leaders,
Jennings said. Evangelistic parachurch groups that have a
worldwide focus, such as the AD2000 and Beyond Movement, the
World Evangelical Fellowship, and the Lausanne Committee for
World Evangelization, also are helping.

...Jennings works under the auspices of Campus Crusade for
Christ, whose founder, Bill Bright, increasingly has used the
ministry's considerable resources to popularize prayer and

...Individuals will pray using a 40-day calendar (see link #2
below), available on the PrayWorld! 2000 website, that lists
daily topics and Bible verses. It has been published in English
and is being translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog,
French, and Hindi.

...Those who observe the Lenten vigil will beseech God for
"lasting global revival." They also will ask for redemption from
sin's power, purity of heart, freedom from pride, an outpouring
of the Holy Spirit, a passion for worship, and restoration of
families. Dates are Wednesday March 8, through Palm Sunday, April

...The goal is "everybody praying the same thing at the same
time," Jennings said. "We hope to see 60 million people or more
uniting during the season of Lent." He hopes the whole
evangelical world eventually will be praying "strategically and
simultaneously, in saturation prayer" for fulfillment of the
Great Commission, Jesus Christ's mandate that His disciples go
throughout the world preaching the Gospel and discipling people.

...The united prayer is intended to undergird everyone who is
involved in evangelism and to ask God to bless their efforts,
Jennings said. "The purpose is to see the power of God released."

...National "prayer committees," or networks of praying
Christians, exist in some countries and are being formed in
others, Jennings said. Leaders are sought in each country to
organize Christians so that people in every ethnic and linguistic
group are prayed for regularly.

...A new worldwide evangelical group called the Great Commission
Roundtable, formed last year, promises to be "a wonderful
development," Jennings said. It will "provide an umbrella" under
which all evangelical agencies learn about each other,
synchronize their efforts, and share resources, he said. Bertil
Ekstrom of Brazil is director of the group. -ReligionToday (Jan.26 2000)

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Says Dean of Orthodox Institute of Theological Studies in Paris

PARIS, JAN 24 (ZENIT).- The Orthodox Church has lagged behind the
Catholic in relating to the modern world and in ecumenism, according to
an Orthodox theologian in Paris.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper "Avvenire," Fr. Boris
Bolrinskoy asked how the Orthodox could "relate the modern world and its
progress with the ecclesial tradition of the Christian East... without
sacrificing the essentials."

Fr. Bolrinskoy, Dean of the St. Sergius Theological Institute of Paris,
noted that "These problems, which Catholics addressed in Vatican Council
II, the Orthodox discuss, perhaps, in less explicit terms within the
local Churches." But, he added, "we have a very lively youth
organization that is a great element of hope for the future."

"For the Orthodox, as for all Christians during this symbolic year, we
celebrate the event that reminds us in a special way of the incarnation
of Christ 2,000 years ago, even if the date is not exact. But we also
come together to evaluate the past and reflect on the future of
Orthodoxy, as well as that of the Church in general. I think this is far
more important," Fr. Bolrinskoy said.

As to the ecumenical component that John Paul II has introduced in the
celebrations, the Russian Orthodox scholar said that "this is an
initiative of notable weight that makes me very happy. Let's hope all
Christians will participate in it. The Pope is dedicating all his energy
to a new coming together among the Christian Churches, including the

However, the Orthodox see themselves involved in a different way,
according to the theologian. "Among the Orthodox, there is no will or
impulse to unity. There are some churches that are more determined than
others, because of the force of historical and geographical
circumstances and the wounds of the past that are difficult to forget.
This is a reality that cannot be ignored."

There is much to be done if unity is eventually to be achieved. "To
begin with, we must meet and mutually forgive one another for the wounds
we have inflicted on one another in the past. The Orthodox often nurse
the feeling, whether rightly or wrongly, that Catholics proselytize
everywhere. Today the atmosphere is pervaded by negative prejudices, to
which are added memories of a very painful past for the Orthodox Church,
such as the Crusades, proselytism in the East, parallel hierarchies, and
other such things. Given all of this, some Churches are very rigid. We
need to meet without preconceived ideas, leaving our positions to one
side, and free of instrumental intentions. But, to carry this out, we
must be Christians full of love and determined to be saints," Bolrinskoy

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Evaluation of Relations Among Christians Following Ceremony at St.

VATICAN CITY, JAN 20 (ZENIT).- When John Paul II, Orthodox Metropolitan
Athanasius of the Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople, and George
Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury and President of the Anglican Communion,
opened the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on
January 18 in Rome, the dialogue toward the unity of Christians made its
most decisive step since Vatican Council II.

At the end of his address during the meeting, the Pope could not contain
his emotion. In face of the imposing presence of Orthodox
representatives, John Paul II could not but recall his unforgettable
trip to Bucharest last May, the first by a Pontiff to Orthodox land. In
total candidness the Pope cried out: "Unidade, unidade!"

Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue
Virtually all Orthodox Churches attended the ceremony at St Paul's --
from the Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople to that of Moscow,
including the historic Sees of Alexandria, Antioch, Serbia, Romania and

At the end of the event, Bishop Eleuterio Fortino, assistant secretary
of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, made an
evaluation of the current state of the dialogue between Catholics and
Orthodox over Vatican Radio. "Theological dialogue has run into a number
of difficulties beginning in 1990, that is, since the fall of the
communist regimes, particularly with the reorganization of the Oriental
Churches in Eastern Europe, especially Romania and Ukraine. Practical
problems emerged, such as property and the use of places of worship that
belonged to the Greek-Catholic Church (faithful to Rome but of Byzantine
rite). These temples were confiscated by the communist regime and given
to the Orthodox Churches. A meeting of a Commission of Catholics and
Orthodox has been scheduled from July 9-19 in Baltimore to discuss this
problem. It is hoped that important steps will be taken at this

Catholic-Protestant Dialogue
In addition to Anglicans, the Protestant world was represented by the
World Lutheran Federation, the World Methodist Council, and the Church
of Christ's Disciples. The Lutheran delegation, led by the president of
the World Federation, was the most numerous. Fr. Matthias Turk, who is
responsible for relations with Lutherans in the Pontifical Council for
Promoting Christian Unity, said: "Last year we had important successes,
especially with the signing of the Joint Declaration on 'Justification,'
which resulted from a theological investigation that lasted over 30
years. Many theologians worked tirelessly at the national level to reach
this objective, especially in the United States and Germany. The signing
of the document in Augsburg implied a decisive stimulus to continue the
dialogue at the pastoral, theological, and ecclesial levels. Moreover,
last December a private audience took place between the Holy Father and
the president of the World Lutheran Federation -- a decisive step for
our relations. We are all convinced that we must reinforce this dialogue
and continue it intensely, because it has a great future."

Catholic-Anglican Dialogue
In regard to the dialogue with Anglicans, Fr. Timothy Gallighan, who is
in charge if this sector in the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity,
said that "over the past year, the most outstanding event was, perhaps,
the publication of a new report by the Anglo-Catholic Commission,
entitled 'The Gift of Authority.' " In this document Anglicans
recognized the irreplaceable role played by the Bishop of Rome for the
communion of all Christian Churches. Thus, the two main obstacles to
dialogue are the internal crisis in the Anglican Church itself --
religious practice has practically disappeared -- and the recent
decision to ordain women priests.

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Historic Ecumenical Meeting at Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

VATICAN CITY, JAN 18 (ZENIT).- A decisive step was taken today on the
road to Christians unity with the ecumenical rite of the opening of the
fourth Jubilee Holy Door in Rome.

The ceremony took place at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls,
where, 40 years ago, John XXIII convoked Vatican Council II.

Today, 22 leaders of other Christian Churches, as well as the World
Council of Churches, a community embracing 337 Christian denominations,
accompanied John Paul II during the ceremony. All were united by their
faith in Christ, the one Savior, and by one baptism.

The drama of the event reached its height at instant of the opening of
the bronze Holy Door. As sunlight poured into the basilica, the people
gathered inside could make out three figures in the doorway: the
silhouettes of Pope John Paul II, Orthodox Metropolitan Athanasius of
the Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople, and George Carey,
Archbishop of Canterbury and president of the Anglican Communion. The
faithful broke out into applause. Everyone seemed aware of the
privileged moment they were experiencing on the road of ecumenical

All passed in turn through the Holy Door: representatives of the
Catholic Church and of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Anglicans,
Lutherans, Methodists, Pentecostals all went up to the place of the
Gospel. The procession symbolized the centuries-old road that Christians
have followed in pursuit of unity, the Word of God, the very source from
which all confessions drink.

The liturgy included three readings: one from St. Paul, one from Russian
theologian Gregor Florovsky, and a third from Lutheran martyr Dietrich
Bonhoffer, who died at the hands of the Nazis. The readings stressed the
need to find unity in the body of the Church through the link of peace.

"We know we are brothers and that we are still divided, but we have
directed ourselves with decisive conviction on the path that leads to
full unity of the Body of Christ," the Pope said during the homily.
"This unity can find vital force in the experience of the Holy Year."

"During this year of grace, the awareness must grow in each one of us of
our own responsibility in the fractures that mark the history of the
Mystical Body of Christ. This awareness is indispensable to progress
toward that goal that the Council call as 'unitatis reintegratio,' that
is, the re-composition of our unity," the Holy Father exhorted.

John Paul II said that the ecumenical commitment must be an imperative
for the Christian conscience in the year 2000. It must be both a
personal as well as collective commitment on which the very future of
evangelization depends. "The wish that comes from my heart becomes a
profound supplication before the throne of the Eternal: that in the not
too distant future, Christians, finally reconciled, can return to walk
together as one people, in obedience to the Father's plan."

At the end of the homily, John Paul II could no longer contain his
emotion. The presence of the Orthodox representatives reminded him of
his May visit to Rumania, the first time that a Bishop of Rome visited
an Orthodox land. Putting his papers aside, he cried in Rumanian,
"Unitade, Unitade! [Unity]" And he explained: "This cry that I heard in
Bucharest during my visit, I am hearing now as a very strong echo.
'Unitade, Unitade!' the people cried who were gathered for the
Eucharistic celebration: all Christians, Catholics, Orthodox,
Protestants, and Evangelicals -- all cried together: 'Unitade, Unitade.'
Thank you for this cry, for this consoling cry of our brothers and

After a few moments of silence the Pope concluded: "Perhaps we can leave
this Basilica crying like them, 'Unità, Unitad, Unité, Unity!' "

Following the ceremony, John Paul II invited all the participants of the
different Churches to dine with him in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Paul
Outside the Walls. At the end of the meeting, the Holy Father spoke to
thank each of the Churches present individually for their significant
gesture of coming to Rome to participate in the opening of the Holy

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Receives Finnish Ecumenical Delegation

VATICAN CITY, JAN 17 (ZENIT).- This morning, on the eve of the Week of
Prayer for Christian Unity, which the Pope will inaugurate tomorrow
morning with the opening of the Holy Door of the Roman Basilica of St.
Paul Outside the Walls, John Paul II received an ecumenical delegation
of Christian Churches of Finland in the Vatican.

When greeting the delegation, the Pope said it was a "particularly
significant" visit, as it is taking place precisely in the year of the
Great Jubilee in which Christians want to celebrate the second
millennium of the Savior's birth more united.

"Your visit is based on the promising initiatives that have brought
Orthodox, Lutheran and Catholic Christians closer in recent times. It
encourages me to pursue the path towards unity which the Successor of
the Apostle Peter must be the first to take," stated the Holy Father.

The Pontiff then referred to what will be the second largest ecumenical
meeting in history, after the opening of Ecumenical Vatican Council II,
that is, tomorrow's opening of the Holy Door of St. Paul's Basilica. On
this occasion the Pope will push open the Door with the help of two
representatives from other Christian Churches. "As we pass through the
Holy Door, may we take another step closer to the unity in Christ which
Peter and Paul proclaimed, and which the Lord himself so clearly wills,"
the Pope said.

Finally, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude to the members of the
Finnish Christian delegation for their support of the dialogue among

Lutheran Bishop Ikka Kantola of Turku, one of the Pope's guests,
commented after the meeting, "We need patience, and we must continue to
carry forward an increasingly profound dialogue; we need to get to know
each another better and better. We Christians must not forget that we
have a mission to fulfill in the world; only if we are united will we be
able to fulfill it in a credible and effective way."

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Opening of Holy Door of St. Paul Outside the Walls

VATICAN CITY, JAN 14 (ZENIT).- Today Cardinal Roger Etchegaray presented
the details of the opening of the Holy Door in St. Paul Outside the
Walls. "It will be the most characteristic event of this Jubilee,"
stated the president of the Central Committee for the Jubilee. The
ceremony will take place on January 18, the first day of Christian Unity

The most significant characteristic of this event, the Cardinal
explained, is the fact that "the Pope will not be the only one to
symbolically push open the Holy Door, but will do so along with a
representative of the Eastern Churches and one from the Reformed

For Cardinal Etchegaray, ecumenism is a "crucial" challenge, "for
evangelical witness in the world... The ecumenical door can only be
crossed on one's knees, because only prayer can open and support the way
toward visible unity in the Church."

Bishop Crescenzio Sepe, secretary of the Vatican Committee for the
Jubilee, disclosed that the meeting at St. Paul Outside-the-Walls "will
be the greatest concentration of Christian Churches since the one that
took place during the Vatican II Ecumenical Council." There will be 22
delegations of Christian Churches participating in the opening of the
Holy Door, in addition to the World Council of Churches, which embraces
337 Churches, from over 100 countries throughout the world and the
greater part of Christian traditions.

The choice of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, is not
accidental. On January 25, 1959, John XXIII convoked Vatican Council II
in this Basilica, as Bishop Piero Marini, Pontifical Master of
Ceremonies, recalled in his meeting with the international press.

The only significant absence will be that of the World Reformed
Alliance, which differs with the Church on the matter of indulgences.
But, according to German Bishop Walter Kasper, secretary of the
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the absence does not
mean a rupture, as the Reformed Alliance itself collaborated with the
Catholic Church in the preparation of a guide for the Jubilee pilgrim,
as well as in other projects. "We must respect the convictions and
difficulties of our brothers and they must respect ours; respect is the
basis of ecumenism," Bishop Kasper said.

The ecumenical meeting includes a meditation on Biblical readings, as
well as passages from Protestant and Orthodox authors, among whom is
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, killed by the Nazis in 1945.

Although the meeting is for prayer, at the end, all the representatives
of the different Churches will be invited by John Paul II to a festive
dinner. Bishop Kasper said that over the last few months progress has
been made at the heart of the different Christian Churches in reflecting
on the Petrine primacy, in other words, on the Pope's role as Peter's
successor, which at times has been an element of division among the
Christian denominations. Bishop Kasper clarified that, following the
proposal made by John Paul II in the encyclical "Ut Unum Sint" on
ecumenism, "a dialogue began with Lutherans and Anglicans. There have
been several congresses and conferences, including at the academic
level, in which the matter is being studied."

In fact, the German Bishop added, "the January 18 ceremony is a new form
of ecumenical exercise of the Pope's authority."

Cardinal Etchegaray recalled that the Pope is "obstinately and
realistically determined" to pursue ecumenism, "one of the strongest
demands of the Jubilee." Indeed, this meeting could be the moment to
prepare for the much desired pan-Christian meeting that the Holy Father
mentions in "Tertio Millennio Adveniente."

Two additional very important Jubilee ecumenical meetings were confirmed
during the press conference: a commemoration in the Colosseum of the
witnesses to the faith in this century (on May 7) and an ecumenical
prayer vigil of prayer at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, in keeping
with the intentions of Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople (on
August 5).

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VATICAN CITY, JAN 10, 2000 (VIS) - This morning in the Sala Regia, Pope
John Paul II gave his annual address to members of the diplomatic corps
accredited to the Holy See. He highlighted the lights and shadows of the
year that has just ended and, through the dean of the diplomatic corps,
Giovanni Galassi of the Republic of San Marino, received collective
greetings from all the ambassadors.

   He began his speech: "The Vicar of Christ strongly desires to offer to
the peoples whom you represent his prayerful good wishes for this Year 2000
which so many have welcomed in 'jubilation'. Christians have entered into
the Great Jubilee by commemorating the coming of Christ into time and human

   The Pope affirmed that "the century just ended has seen remarkable
advances in science which have considerably improved people's life and
health. ... Information technology has made the world smaller and brought
us closer to one another. ... But one question can be asked: was this
century also the century of 'brotherhood'?"

   Looking back, he recalled "bloody wars which have decimated millions of
people and provoked massive exoduses, shameful genocides, ... the arms
race, ... terrorism and ethnic conflicts."

   "The life sciences and biotechnology continue to find new fields of
application, yet they also raise the problem of the limits imposed by the
need to safeguard people's dignity, responsibility and safety.

   "Globalization, which has profoundly transformed economic systems by
creating unexpected possibilities of growth, has also resulted in many
people being relegated to the side of the road: Unemployment in the more
developed countries and extreme poverty in too many countries of the
southern hemisphere continue to hold millions of women and men back from
progress and prosperity."

   He continued: "For this reason it seems to me that the century now
beginning ought to be the century of solidarity. We know one thing today
more than in the past: We will never be happy and at peace without one
another, much less if some are against others."

   The Pope highlighted that "the men and women of the 21st century will be
called to a more developed sense of responsibility. ... This also supposes
that we must renounce idols such as prosperity at any price, material
wealth as the only value, science as the sole explanation of reality. ...
It also supposes that God will have His rightful place in people's lives:
the first place."

   "Such solidarity calls for certain precise commitments. Some of these are
quite urgent:" The sharing of technology and prosperity, respect for human
rights, the prevention of conflicts and calm dialogue between cultures and

   "In recent years there has been much talk of a 'new world order'. The
persevering action of far-sighted diplomats, and of multilateral diplomacy
in particular, has resulted in a number of praiseworthy initiatives aimed
at the building of an authentic 'community of nations'. At present, for
example, the Middle East peace process is continuing; the Chinese people
are speaking to one another; the two Koreas are in dialogue; certain
African countries are attempting to arrange meetings between rival
factions; the government and armed groups in Colombia are trying to remain
in contact. All this demonstrates a real desire to build a world based on
brotherhood. ... Regrettably, however, we must also acknowledge that the
errors of the past are all too often being repeated: I am thinking of
reactions based on group identity, of persecutions inflicted for religious
reasons, of the frequent and at times rash recourse to war, of social
inequalities, of the gap between the rich and the poor countries, of the
exclusive trust in profit alone, to cite only some typical traits of the
century just ended. At the beginning of the year 2000, what do we see?"

   "Africa, shackled by ethnic conflicts which hold entire peoples hostage,
impeding their economic and social progress and often condemning them to a
situation of mere survival.

   "The Middle East, constantly poised between war and peace, when we know
that only the rule of law and justice will make it possible for all the
peoples of the region, without distinction, to live together and to be free
of endemic dangers.

   "Asia, a continent of immense human and material resources, gathers in a
precarious balance peoples of venerable and economically highly developed
cultures and others who are becoming increasingly impoverished."

   "America, an immense continent where one year ago I had the joy of
promulgating the Apostolic Exhortation 'Ecclesia in America,' inviting the
peoples of the continent to an ever-renewed personal and communal
conversion, in respect for the dignity of the person and love for the
outcast, for the sake of promoting a culture of life.

   "North America, where economic and political concerns are often
considered paramount, is home to many poor people, despite its manifold

   "Latin America, which, with a few exceptions, has seen encouraging
advances towards democracy, remains dangerously crippled by alarming social
inequalities, the drug trade, corruption and, in some cases, movements of
armed struggle.

   "Europe, following the failure of the ideologies, is finally on the way
towards unity; it is struggling to meet the two-fold challenge of
reconciliation and the democratic integration of former enemies. Europe has
not been spared terrible forms of violence, as the recent Balkan crisis and
the conflicts of recent weeks in the Caucasus have shown. The Bishops of
the continent recently met in synodal assembly, ... and called everyone to
a greater European consciousness."

   The Holy Father affirmed that, "in a world structured around sovereign
but 'de facto' unequal States, it is indispensable, for stability,
understanding and cooperation between peoples, that international relations
be increasingly imbued with and shaped by the rule of law. Surely what is
lacking is not new texts or juridical instruments; it is quite simply the
political will to apply without discrimination those already in existence."

   The Holy Father said that he was addressing the diplomats "as one who has
himself been a fellow-traveller of several generations of the century just
ended." He had shared the "ordeals of my native people as the darkest hours
experienced by Europe.  Twenty-one years ago, when I became the Successor
of the Apostle Peter, I felt myself charged with a universal fatherhood."

   "Today, in addressing you who represent practically all the peoples of
the earth, I would like to share with each one something personal: at the
opening of the doors of a new millennium, the Pope began to think that
people might finally learn to draw lessons from the past. Indeed, I ask
everyone, in God's name, to save humanity from further wars, to respect
human life and the family, to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor,
to realize that we are all responsible for one another."

   The Pope concluded with the words: "Life takes shape in our daily
choices. Political leaders, since they have the role of administering the
'res publica', can by their personal choices and their programmes of action
guide whole societies either towards life or towards death. For this reason
believers, and the faithful of the Catholic Church in particular, consider
it their duty to take an active part in the public life of the societies to
which they belong."

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A New Love Affair: Protestant Leaders Court The Beast
Thursday, 28-Oct-1999 22:05:09
    941202060: writes:

    In this decade, strange things have been developing. Rome is no longer regarded by Protestantism as a false church preaching a false gospel. Protestantism no longer regards the system of Roman Catholicism as the antichrist. How did such a situation develop you may ask? To put it simply, Protestantism has departed from the Word of God just like their Mother Church did many centuries ago. Protestantism has undergone a metamorphosis. They have changed. In casting off their shield of truth in the Holy Scriptures, their spiritual eyesight has been distorted so that now they find themselves more in line with Catholicism than ever before. The general consensus is "we really don't differ as much as we once imagined." So, now Protestantism has joined forces with Catholicism. It's not a unity based on a foundation of Scriptural truth - no, not by a longshot. It's merely a superficial unity based on combating common societal enemies. This unity will never result in a full communion. In other words, not all of Protestantism will be totally absorbed into Catholicism. But, the unity will be solid enough for the combined weight of both camps to finally push forth their agenda of their worldview. In this, Catholicism will realize her hopes of both undoing the Reformation and the reinstitution of her former supremacy even in a grander scale than what once was. On 10/31/99, the Lutheran Church, whose ancestry is in the great reformer who dared stand up to the pope, Martin Luther, will sign an agreement with the Catholic Church. For all intents and purposes, THE REFORMATION WILL AT THAT MOMENT BE OFFICIALLY OVERTURNED! But, of course, prior to this event, things have been building towards this end in Protestantism. Many Protestant leaders respected as bright lights began courting Rome in the recent past. Let's look at some of them.

    1.)Pat Robertson - televangelist of the 700 Club and founder of the Christian Coalition. Pat Robertson said, at a meeting with the Pope in New York City in 1995: "We all admire the Holy Father tremendously. We all want to build bridges with the Catholic Church."

    2.)Bill Bright - head of Campus Crusade For Christ actually participated in a Papal Mass in New York City in 1995 at the Pope's visit. Pat Robertson was with him also participating in the mass.

    3.)Chuck Colson - of Prison Fellowship Ministries also participated with Robertson and Bright at the same gathering.

    4.)Don Argue, president, National Association of Evangelicals also present at the same event with Robertson, Bright, and Colson.

    5.)James Dobson - Christian psychologist and radio speaker on the renowned Focus on the Family has also been flirting with Rome. In the late 1980s Dobson helped form the Religious Alliance Against Pornography which included Roman Catholic priests and bishops. The 1986 meeting was held in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Dobson praised the unity which was present at that meeting and stated that "there has been great camaraderie among the top leaders of virtually all religious groups" in the U.S. (Focus on the Family, January 1987) Dobson's ecumenical flirtations have not gone unrewarded. The Catholic Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, bestowed an honorary doctorate upon him as a statement of their support for Focus on the Family (Evangelical Catholics, p. 200).

    6.)Jerry Falwell - Founder of the Moral Majority and renowned televangelist of the Old Time Gospel Hour. He is also seen frequently on "Geraldo" with other pundits discussing politics, morals, etc. But Jerry has also been flirting with Rome. He is an avid ecumenist and greatly admires Pope John Paul II and makes no bones about working together with the Catholic Church in accomplishing certain societal goals.
    In the March 1985 issue of Falwell’s Fundamentalist Journal, Ed Dobson, then vice-president of student affairs at Liberty Baptist College, made this amazing statement: "Extremists who declare that the Papacy is of anti-Christ ... are insensitive to others and lack the love of Christ." Jerry has indeed been charmed by Rome.

    7.)Billy Graham - world renowned preacher. Billy has also slipped Rome-ward. But there was a time when Billy Graham was not so warm toward the Catholic Church. In the 1950's, Catholic bishops ordered priests to warn their parishioners against attending Graham's crusades for fear they would be proselytized into Protestant churches or tempted to switch on their own. In 1960, Graham led a movement of evangelical leaders to stop John F. Kennedy from winning the presidency, reflecting a wide-spread fear among Protestants that the pope's hand would be on his shoulder. "Catholics were a hard sell for Billy. There were people on his team saying he ought not to be trucking with Catholics," said William Martin, author of Graham's 1981 biography, A Prophet With Honor. " But, oh, have things changed in a relatively short time! Now Billy courts Rome. A Religious News Service photograph showed Graham presenting the Pope with a handmade quilt from a place near his home in North Carolina. Using the phrase ‘bridge builder’ from his close friend, Cardinal Cushing, Graham referred to Pope John Paul II as ‘indeed a bridge builder, and that is something our divided world desperately needs’" (Ewin, The Assimilation of Evangelist Billy Graham). Notice the phrase "bridge builder". Ring a bell? Sound familiar? Remember "Pontifex Maximus"??? Yes, Billy has stepped onto the enchanted ground and has been charmed by the Pope! In March 1993, Billy Graham traveled to the Vatican and met with a Roman Catholic Pope. This was at least the third time that he met with John Paul II. Graham said, "I’m always impressed by the Pope’s warmth and friendship..." He said the Pope showed a special interest in his crusade in Essen, Germany; and well he should, given the number of converts Graham crusades refer Romeward" (Calvary Contender, April 15, 1993). There's much, much more that can be added about Billy Graham's relationship with the Pope and the Catholic Church, but, you get the idea.

    8.)Robert Schuller - Televangelist for Hour of Power - preacher of Possibility Thinking - also charmed by the Pope. In 1987, Schuller said, to his congregation at his Crystal Cathedral: "It’s time for Protestants to go to the shepherd [Pope] and say ‘what do we have to do to come home?’" (Calvary Contender, Nov. 15, 1987).

    Mind you. I've only listed 8 Protestant leaders. A whole host of others can be added including Jack Van Impe and others plus the many that signed the ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) Document. While these guys may have good intentions and speak out against our societal ills and are advocating many necessary reforms, the true Bible-believing christian cannot unite with these guys that are playing with Rome. Did these guys forget the very graphic and vivid history of horrendous attrocities committed against the ancestors of our modern Protestant leaders??? How is it possible that a church who has been recognized as a false church that preaches a false gospel all of a sudden be recognized as a true christian church exalting the gospel of Jesus??? You know what the answer is? It's called prophecy! Revelation 17 talks about the "great whore" located in Rome being in league with her daughters who have reconciled with their "Mother". There's also someone else who has written much more recently and with an uncanny prophetic insight as to what we are witnessing today. This person's name is Ellen White. She's not held in much esteem by the Beast and her daughters - but then again, can you blame them, for her insights expose their sin and hypocrisy. Here's a little something that she wrote a little over 100 years ago:

    "Protestants have tampered with and patronized popery; they have made compromises and concessions which papists themselves are surprised to see and fail to understand. Men are closing their eyes to the real character of Romanism and the dangers to be apprehended from her supremacy. The people need to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty."

    "The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience."(The Great Controversy, pp 580, 588)

    And this is exactly what the plan is shaping up to be. Catholics and Protestants are uniting with Protestants leading the courtship. They are uniting in an effort to reform society. The reformation of society is indeed needful, but not at the expense of truth. This coalition of Catholics and Protestants are laboring for the tearing down of the separation of church and state. They are succeeding. And as society continues to deterioriate, the stronger this coalition will become until finally, through a grass-roots effort and in response to mounting trouble and the deception of lying spirits, they will succeed in uniting church and state and imposing religious legislation among which will be the exaltation of the Papal sabbath which Protestants tenaciously cling to despite the fact that it's sorely lacking in Scriptural authority. Protestantism is courting the Beast. The whole world, through the combined influence of the Beast, apostate Protestantism, and the deceptions of satanic lying spirits, will end up worshiping the Beast. Time is growing short. These things are happening before our very eyes. While there's still time, we must use it in preparation - to know Him, abide in Him, that we may be able to stand when the storm bursts.

    "The Scripture Cannot Be Broken"


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An "Ecumenical Letter" and a Meeting for Next Year

PRAGUE, FEB 7 (ZENIT).- The effort to close the gap between Christian
faiths, hearkening to Jesus' prayer "that they may be one," took another
step forward in a congress in Prague. Protestants, Orthodox, and
Catholics met for three days of discussions, agreeing to issue a joint
"ecumenical letter" to the world.

After three days of sessions at the annual meeting of the Joint
Committee of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CEBC) and of
the Conference of European Churches (CEC), an ecumenical prayer service
held at Prague's Bethlehem chapel concluded the event with the hopes
that Christians will unite in a closer visible union. The latter
organization includes Christians from various denominations, both
Protestants and Orthodox.

At the conclusion of the event, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop of
Prague, and Ecumenical Metropolitan Jeremie from the Ecumenical
Patriarchy of Paris, representative for the Conference of European
Churches, issued a joint statement stating that they, "are aware of
their responsibility to serve the process of reconciliation among the
churches towards visible unity, to join together
in a witness of proclamation of the Gospel in Europe, and to seek ways
of co-operation in social and cultural life."

This cooperation, according to the statement, will show itself in two
projects. The first will be a European Ecumenical encounter that will be
held in Greece, in April 2001. This event will bring together 200
representatives from Christian Churches. Preparation are already
underway under the direction of Catholic Bishop Virgil Bercea from
Romania and Rev. Rohrandt from Germany.

The second project planned is the " 'Charta Oecumenica' for the
co-operation among the churches in Europe" that will make up the basis
for study sessions for the numerous local churches and will be
officially signed next year in Greece. The document is meant as an aid
for dialogue promoting unity while avoiding syncretism.

During the gathering Christians will also analyze their relations with
Islam, which is growing in numbers in Europe. A continued dialogue is

During the same encounter Bishop Karl Lehmann, President of the German
Bishops Conference, and Metropolitan Daniel from Romania took ample time
to dialogue over who will face up to the Church's visible unity and what
will it contribute to the unity of Europe.

According the message, "On the way to achieving the European unity, the
visible unity of the churches has much to offer through ever closer
forms of co-operation between themselves"

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Hope that Protestants and Catholics can "Learn From Each Other"

ROME, FEB 7 (ZENIT).- A surprising group of Jubilee pilgrims is coming
to Rome this week: African American Pentecostal Bishops. The Protestant
leaders are coming to visit the Vatican and take part in a three-day
seminar at the Pontifical North American College. They say that they
want to recover some of the ancient traditions preserved by the Catholic

"I think we can learn from each other," Larry Trotter of the Sweet Holy
Spirit Full Gospel Baptist Church in Chicago said. "We come with a
fervor and fire they may be missing, but they come
with order and structure we may be missing."

The Bishops plan to attend Wednesday's general audience, as well as the
closing Mass for the Jubilee of the Sick, presided by the Holy Father,
according to the Chicago Tribune. They also hope to have a private
audience with the Pope, but this is not yet confirmed.

Pentecostalism is the fastest-growing branch of Protestantism. It is
best known for the "gifts of the Spirit," such as speaking in tongues,
healing, and prophecy, which many of its members exhibit during
services. In this, it greatly resembles the Catholic Renewal in the
Spirit movement.

"The shock to me was that these Pentecostals -- these charismatic,
tongue-speaking people -- all wanted to go to the Vatican," J. Delano
Ellis of Cleveland said. He is a friend of Cleveland Catholic Bishop
Anthony Pilla, who helped arrange the trip. "We are part of the body of
Christ, and we want to grow closer to other parts of the body of Christ.
It's time to build some bridges and tear down some walls," Ellis said.

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Posting Ten Commandments in our schools 

C U R R E N T N E W S S U M M A R Y by the Editors of ReligionToday February 1, 2000 Posting "Thou Shall Not Kill" in Colorado schoolrooms may prevent another massacre, a state legislator says. Sen. John Andrews of Golden has proposed a bill to post the Ten Commandments in the state's schools, and Gov. Bill Owens said he will sign it if passed, The Washington Times said.
..."Since Columbine, we're dealing with a new level of concern that value-free education is failing," Andrews said. Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott, a Christian student who was murdered at Columbine, is supporting the bill. He said an increase in teen violence and pregnancies, and lower Scholastic Aptitude Test scores are related to a lack of religious instruction in public schools.
...The bill requires students to take a moment daily to reflect on their privileges as citizens in a free nation under God, the Times said. "Our argument is that an educated young person cannot be ignorant of the fact that this country was founded on the principles embodied by the Ten Commandments," Andrews said.
...Other states have passed similar measures. Seven Tennessee school districts allow the Commandments to be posted, and efforts are under way in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The Indiana Senate voted 38-9 last week in favor of a bill allowing the Commandments to be posted in a display of historical documents.

A federal appeals court upheld a multimillion dollar award against abortion protesters. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said the protests against a Dallas abortionist led by Operation Rescue director Flip Benham and three others went too far, The Dallas Morning News said. The court lowered damages by about $2 million to $11.4 million, because it said the original jury awarded duplicated damages.
...Abortionist Norman Tompkins and his wife, Carolyn, "lived in genuine fear for their lives for an extended period of time,"
forcing them to move their practice, the court ruled.
Demonstrators picketed Tompkins' clinic for 10 months in 1992, with some calling him a "murderer" and "tool of Satan," witnesses said. The Tompkinses won a multimillion dollar award, which has been supported on appeal twice. Norman Tompkins died last year.

Chinese officials are using "arrests, violence, and blackmail"
against Catholics, news reports say. The government is carrying out a campaign against the underground Catholic Church, which refuses to work with the state-sanctioned Catholic Church, which denies the pope's authority, Reuters said. There are an estimated 
4 million Catholics in the state church, the Catholic Patriotic Association, and 8 million in the underground church.
...The government is trying to force Catholics loyal to the Vatican to join the state church, Fides, a Vatican news agency, said. Priests have been arrested and held in detention until they agree to join the church. Those who do not agree are not heard from again, Fides said. At least two priests and a bishop have reported been missing since September, and six bishops have disappeared in the past three years. At least 15 churches were destroyed last year.

Israel might share Jerusalem with the Palestinians. Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, aid to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, said the city's boundaries could be expanded to the east to allow Palestinians a presence in the city, CNN said. "I don't want to commit," he said, but then referred to a proposal by former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kolleck that suggested that the two peoples could share the city. Israel captured Arab east Jerusalem, which Palestinians say is there rightful capital, in 1967. The government has long promised never to divide the city again.

Hundreds of U.S. Catholic priests have died of AIDS since the 
1980s, a newspaper's review of death certificates and survey of priests nationwide indicates. The rate of AIDS-related deaths among the nation's 46,000 priests is four times that of the general population, The Kansas City Star said.
...Sixty percent of priests surveyed nationwide said they knew at least one priest who died of an AIDS-related illness, the Star said, and 30% said they knew a priest who has AIDS. Confidential surveys were sent to 3,000 priests and 801, about 27%, responded, the newspaper said. About 75% said their orientation is heterosexual, 15% homosexual, and 5% bisexual. Church law requires priests to be celibate.
...Priests who contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are quietly cared for by the Church, the Star said. Most of those surveyed said the Church treated HIV-infected clergy with compassion and respect. Many choose to keep their condition a secret.
...Vatican and U.S. Catholic officials declined to comment on the findings, referring inquiries to local bishops. "Much as we would regret it, it shows that human nature is human nature," Bishop Raymond Boland of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said.
...Clergy in several Protestant denominations have died of AIDS, the report said. Southern Baptist, United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Church of Christ, and Episcopal Church spokesmen said ministers in their churches have died of the disease, but most said they could name only a handful of individuals affected.
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Ten Commandments come out of closet

© 2000

Indiana legislators have approved a bill that permits public schools, courts, and public facilities to post the Ten Commandments. The bill permits places of accommodation to position the Ten Commandments in displays featuring other "historical" documents, and states that the Commandments may be raised "as part of an exhibit displaying other documents of historical significance that formed and influenced the United States' legal or governmental system."

Supporters of the bill say that school officials who place the Commandments next to documents, such as the Magna Carta or the Bill of Rights, need not fear repercussions from civil libertarians. State representatives voted overwhelmingly (91-7) in favor of the bill. The state Senate has passed a companion measure and the governor is expected to sign the legislation into law. South Dakota is weighing a similar House measure.

State Rep. Jerry Denbo read the Ten Commandments on the House floor prior to the vote in the Indiana House. "If any of you think these are bad principles," he stated, "vote no on the bill." Well said! Of course, no one can argue that the Commandments are harmful to students. Nevertheless, there is a persistent effort by civil libertarians to prevent the Commandments from positively impacting the lives of public school students. Rep. Duane Cheney, a Democrat and one of the seven to vote against the bill, sided with the American Civil Liberties Union and its state chapter, by stating there were different versions of the Ten Commandments and it would be difficult to determine which version was posted. Supporters of the bill say it does not matter which version (they are virtually identical) is posted.

In Colorado, the "America's Moral Heritage Act" would sanction daily silent prayer in schools and the posting of the sacred document "in every public school classroom and in the main entryway of every public school." That bill has already been approved by a state senate committee. The state of Georgia is also considering a bill that would discontinue funding to those schools that refuse to post the Ten Commandments. In Kentucky late last year, thousands of students and parents rallied with a "Restore the Law, Restore the Glory" assembly, calling on lawmakers to allow the Commandments to return to public schools. Currently, six schools have positioned the Commandments on their walls, but the legislature has yet to vote on a law. Other bills addressing the Ten Commandments await decisions in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Last year, the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives led the charge in passing the Ten Commandments Defense Act that authorizes states to authorize the display of the Commandments in public places.

After years of successfully eliminating our nation's Christian heritage from the halls of state education, families finally have reason to be optimistic regarding the return of a semblance of biblical morality in the schools. Religious families have, for years, contended that, while religious principles were purged from school curricula, dangerous secular philosophies were touted. Author M. Stanton Evans, writing in "The Theme Is Freedom," said, "It is considered perfectly proper for children from religious homes to be taught the precepts of Darwinian-Huxleyan evolution, extreme environmentalism, the value-free 'alternative lifestyle' view of homosexuality and sexual conduct generally, and other neopaganism in their school work. It is asserted that such teaching is nonreligious, but, as we have seen, this is an impossibility. By such instruction, axioms about the origin of the world and the meaning of human existence are imparted, even as the competing axioms of traditional faith are banished. Children may be taught the precepts of neopagan nature worship; they may not be taught the precepts of the Bible."

Thankfully, it finally appears that the Ten Commandments may be making a much-needed return to the public schools as a first step toward rebuilding a moral climate that has been lacking since the Supreme Court cast the Bible out of the classroom in its 1961 Engel v. Vitale decision.

Most sincere people of faith believe this is long overdue.
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February 25, 2000

Your Holiness Pope Shenouda, Your Beatitude Patriarch Stephanos,

Distinguished Representative of His Holiness Petros,

Bishops and Dignitaries of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities of

1. With the blessing of Saint Paul, which leads us directly to the heart
of the mystery of Trinitarian communion, I greet all of you with deep
affection and in the bonds of love which unite us in the Lord.

It is for me a great joy to be a pilgrim in the country which gave
hospitality and protection to our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Family;
as it is written in the Gospel of Saint Matthew: "Joseph rose and took
the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained
there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had
spoken by the prophet, 'Out of Egypt have I called my son'" (Mt

Egypt has been home to the Church from the beginning. Founded upon the
apostolic preaching and authority of Saint Mark, the Church of
Alexandria soon became one of the leading communities in the early
Christian world. Venerable bishops like Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril
bore witness to faith in the Triune God and in Jesus Christ, true God
and true man, as defined by the first Ecumenical Councils. It was in the
desert of Egypt that monastic life originated, in both its solitary and
communal forms, under the spiritual fatherhood of Saint Anthony and
Saint Pachomius. Thanks to them and to the great impact of their
spiritual writings, monastic life became part of our common heritage.
During recent decades that same monastic charism has flourished anew,
and it irradiates a vital spiritual message far beyond the borders of

2. Today we give thanks to God that we are ever more aware of our common
heritage, in faith and in the richness of sacramental life. We also have
in common that filial veneration of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, for
which the Coptic and all the Eastern Churches are renowned. And "when we
speak about a common heritage, we must acknowledge as part of it, not
only the institutions, rites, means of salvation and the traditions
which all the communities have preserved and by which they have been
shaped, but first and foremost this reality of holiness" (Encyclical
Letter Ut Unum Sint, 84). For faithfully guarding and preaching this
heritage, the Church in Egypt has undergone heavy sacrifices and
continues to do so. How many martyrs appear in the venerable Martyrology
of the Coptic Church, which dates back to the terrible persecutions of
the years 283-284! They gave glory to God in Egypt, through their
unfaltering witness unto death!

3. From the beginning, this common apostolic tradition and heritage has
been transmitted and explained in various forms which take account of
the specific cultural character of peoples. As far back as the fifth
century however, theological and non-theological factors, combined with
a lack of fraternal love and understanding, led to painful divisions in
the one Church of Christ. Mistrust and hostility arose between
Christians, in contradiction with the fervent desire of our Lord Jesus
Christ who prayed "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21).

Now, in the course of the twentieth century, the Holy Spirit has brought
the Christian Churches and communities closer together in a movement of
reconciliation. I recall with gratitude the meeting between Pope Paul VI
and His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in 1973, and the Common
Christological Declaration which they signed on that occasion. I give
thanks for all those who contributed to that important achievement,
especially the Pro Oriente Foundation in Vienna and the International
Joint Commission between the Roman Catholic and the Coptic Orthodox
Church. Please God, this International Joint Commission, and the Joint
International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman
Catholic and the Orthodox Church will soon function normally once more,
especially in view of certain fundamental ecclesiological questions
needing clarification.

4. I repeat what I wrote in my Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, that
whatever relates to the unity of all Christian communities clearly forms
part of the concerns of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome (cf. No. 95).
I therefore wish to renew the invitation to all "Church leaders and
their theologians to engage with me in a patient and fraternal dialogue
on this subject, a dialogue in which, leaving useless controversies
behind, we could listen to one another, keeping before us only the will
of Christ for his Church" (No. 96). With regard to the ministry of the
Bishop of Rome, I ask the Holy Spirit to shine his light upon us,
enlightening all the Pastors and theologians of our Churches, that we
may seek together the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a
service of love recognized by all concerned (cf. Homily, 6 December
1987, 3; Ut Unum Sint, 95). Dear Brothers, there is no time to lose in
this regard!

5. Our communion in the one Lord Jesus Christ, in the one Holy Spirit
and in one baptism already represents a deep and fundamental reality.
This communion enables us to bear common witness to our faith in a whole
range of ways, and indeed it demands that we cooperate in bringing the
light of Christ to a world in need of salvation. This common witness is
all the more important at the beginning of a new century and a new
millennium which present enormous challenges to the human family. For
this reason too, there is no time to lose!

As a basic condition for this common witness, we must avoid anything
which might lead, once again, to distrust and discord. We have agreed to
avoid any form of proselytism, or methods and attitudes opposed to the
exigencies of Christian love and what should characterize the
relationship between Churches (cf. Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI
and Pope Shenouda III, 1973). And we recall that true charity, rooted in
total fidelity to the one Lord Jesus Christ and in mutual respect for
each one's ecclesial traditions and sacramental practices, is an
essential element of this search for perfect communion (ibid.).

We do not know each other sufficiently: let us therefore find ways to
meet! Let us seek viable forms of spiritual communion, such as joint
prayer and fasting, or mutual exchanges and hospitality between
monasteries. Let us find forms of practical cooperation, especially in
response to the spiritual thirst of so many people today, for the relief
of their distress, in the education of the young, in securing humane
conditions of life, in promoting mutual respect, justice and peace, and
in advancing religious freedom as a fundamental human right.

6. At the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on 18th
January, I opened the Holy Door of the Basilica of St.
Paul-outside-the-Walls and crossed its threshold together with
representatives of many Churches and Ecclesial Communities. Together
with me, His Excellency Amba Bishoi of the Coptic Church, and
representatives of the Orthodox Church and of the Lutheran Church raised
the Book of the Gospels to the four cardinal points. This was a deeply
symbolic expression of our common mission in the new millennium:
together we have to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the
saving message of life, love and hope for the world. During that same
liturgy, the Apostles Creed was proclaimed by three representatives of
different Churches and Ecclesial Communities - the first part was
proclaimed by the representative of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of
Alexandria. Afterwards, we offered one another the sign of peace, and
for me that joyful moment was a foreshadowing and a foretaste of the
full communion which we are striving to achieve among all Christ's
followers. May the Spirit of God soon grant us the complete and visible
unity for which we yearn!

7. I entrust this hope to the powerful intercession of the Theotokos,
the Archetype of the Church. She is the all pure, all beautiful, all
holy creature, able to "be the Church" as no other creature can ever be.
Sustained by her maternal presence, we shall have the courage to admit
our faults and hesitations, and seek the reconciliation which will
enable us to "walk in love, as Christ loved us" (cf. Eph 5:2). Venerable
Brothers, may the third Christian millennium be the millennium of our
full unity in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Official Text)

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In Wake of School Violence, Need Moral Guide for Students

CHICAGO, FEB 27 (ZENIT).- According to a New York Times Report, schools
across the country are looking for loopholes in the law in order to
permit posting the Ten Commandments. In the wake of the Denver
shootings, administrators are desperate to try to give the students some
sort of moral foundation.

There are no studies saying that youth who read the Ten Commandments are
less likely to have problems or carry out acts of violence. But
lawmakers feel that it certainly couldn't hurt. The Decalogue was chosen
for this effort because it represents the common moral principles of all
people in a well-recognized form.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed such postings some twenty years
ago. As a result, lawmakers in several states are proposing a display of
"historical" documents, like the Magna Carta, the Declaration of
Independence, and the Ten Commandments. Such measures are pending in
Illinois, South Dakota, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi,
Missouri, and Oklahoma.

The ACLU, which typically opposes such measures, is adopting a
"wait-and-see" tactic. If the Ten Commandments are posted in such a way
that they have no religious significance, no protest would be made. If
there is a hint of such value, it is probable that they would read it as
being contrary to the First Amendment and sue.

Other schools, such as in Scottsburg, Indiana, have gotten around the
Supreme Court ban by posting lists of "common precepts," many of which
sound a lot like the Ten Commandments. When the ACLU threatened a
lawsuit, the school district removed references to God, but marked each
precept with a photo of a penny, marked "In God We Trust."

Rob Hooker, the superintendent of schools in Scottsburg, said the code
was posted "to remind our students how a virtuous and civil school
community ought to behave... There's no common code anymore. You look at
what's on TV and it's all about lying and stealing and cheating. What do
kids have to look to?"

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Pope Begins Middle East Pilgrimages

Associated Press Online - February 23, 2000 14:00


Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope John Paul II begins his millennium pilgrimages to Biblical sites with a visit to Egypt on Thursday that he hopes will help improve the often strained relations between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East. The three-day trip - the first by a Roman Catholic pontiff to Egypt - will include meetings with one of Egypt's top Muslim clerics and the pope of the ancient Coptic Orthodox church, the region's largest Christian community. On the religious side, John Paul will stop at the foot of Mount Sinai, where the Bible says Moses received the Ten Commandments. John Paul intends to pray at the spot where tradition says God spoke to Moses from a burning bush. The frail, 79-year-old pope set an ambitious program for the start of Christianity's third millennium, a series of tours of sites linked to what he calls "the history of salvation." He will visit the Holy Land on March 20-26. The tour was to have begun with a controversial stop in Ur, an ancient city believed to be the birthplace of Abraham, in present-day Iraq. Despite John Paul's disclaimer that no political significance should be attached to any of the trips, the U.S. government was wary such a visit could reinforce Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But the Iraq trip fell through in December when Baghdad balked. John Paul made what he called a "spiritual pilgrimage" to Ur on Wednesday, in a ceremony that included prayers, Biblical readings and film of the desert site. "This will be the first leg of that pilgrimage to sites linked to the history of salvation that I will continue tomorrow leaving for Egypt and Mount Sinai," John Paul said. The pope appeared in fair form on the eve of the trip. He held an open-air general audience in St. Peter's Square, wearing a red cape over his white robes on a springlike morning, before moving inside to honor Abraham, as "our father in faith." John Paul's voice was clear but his hands trembled, a symptom of Parkinson's disease. John Paul has previously visited such Muslim countries as Morocco, Tunisia and Indonesia, but the Egyptian trip is seen at the Vatican as particularly important because of Egypt's role in the Middle East. Upon arriving in Cairo at the start of the 90th foreign tour of his papacy, John Paul will hold talks with President Hosni Mubarak. It will be their fourth meeting since Mubarak assumed the presidency following the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat. John Paul will then pay separate courtesy calls to Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi and Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III, who had been banished by Sadat to a desert monastery. Sadat accused Shenouda of encouraging religious strife. The Coptic Orthodox church, which counts some 6 million faithful in Egypt, is the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East and traces its origin to the apostle St. Mark in the first century. Copts often complain they are unfairly treated by the Muslim majority, and deadly clashes broke out at the start of the year between members of the two religions. The Vatican's missionary news service Fides quoted Tantawi as stressing the importance of dialogue. "The pope is an intelligent and wise man who defends peace, love and moral values," Tantawi said of John Paul.

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"To Promote Violence and Conflict in the Name of Religion is a Terrible

VATICAN CITY, FEB 24 (ZENIT).- John Paul II began his visit to Egypt as
a pilgrim in Moses' footsteps with a heartfelt appeal that "all the
peoples of this unique area of the world will see their rights respected
and their legitimate aspirations fulfilled."

The Holy Father's words were preceded by sincere praise for the politics
of this country, led by Hosni Mubarak, whom the Pope congratulated for
his commitment to peace in this nation, as well as for his role in the
promotion of peace in the Middle East.

The first welcome of a Pope to Egypt was characterized by a denunciation
of all forms of religious fundamentalism. "To do harm, to promote
violence and conflict in the name of religion is a terrible
contradiction and a great offence against God. But past and present
history give us many examples of such a misuse of religion."

Egypt, which is overwhelmingly Muslim, received the Bishop of Rome in a
climate of festivity. He was welcomed at the airport by the highest
civilian and religious authorities of the country. Among them was
President Hosni Mubarak; the highest Muslim authority Grand Imam of the
Al-Azhar Mosque and University, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi; Coptic Orthodox
Pope of Alexandria Shenouda III; and Coptic Catholic Patriarch Stephanos
II Ghattas.

The welcoming ceremony took place in Cairo's international airport,
where the Pope's plane landed just after 2 p.m. local time. This visit
broke with tradition a bit, because the official meeting with President
Mubarak took place not in the presidential palace, but in the airport's
presidential pavilion.

This is Karol Wojtyla's second visit to Egypt. His first was in 1963,
when he traveled to Cairo with a group of participants in Vatican
Council II.

"We must all work to strengthen the growing commitment to
inter-religious dialogue, a great sign of hope for the peoples of the
world," the Holy Father said as he began his fifth trip to an Arab
country. He emphasized his words by recalling the tradition of peaceful
coexistence among different religions for which Egypt is noted. "This is
the land of a 5000-year old civilization known throughout the world for
its monuments and for its knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. This
is the land where different cultures met and mingled, making Egypt
famous for its wisdom and learning."

In this hinge between Africa and Asia, on the banks of the great river
Nile, one of the most ancient civilizations of mankind was born and
developed. Its history includes decisive stages in the story of
salvation: the call of the chosen people out of slavery, the revelation
of God's name, the gift of the Covenant and of the Law, and the Holy
Family's flight. Moreover, 1000 years ago, the "advent of Islam brought
splendors of art and learning that have had determining influence on the
Arab world and Africa," the Holy Father said.

In Egypt, differences "of religion were never barriers, but a form of
mutual enrichment in the service of the one national community." In
fact, the "people of Egypt have for centuries pursued the ideal of
national unity." To stress this idea, the Pope quoted the words of
Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III, who in the 80s was exiled by the
regime in power: "'Egypt is not the native land in which we live, but
the native land which lives in us.' "

Christianity has also made a decisive contribution to this millenarian
history. The Church of Alexandria, founded by the evangelist Mark, has
generated great theologians, such as Clement, St. Athanasius, St. Cyril
and Origen. The memory of St. Catherine is also very much alive. Egypt
has also been marked by saints like Anthony and Pacomius, who made it
"the birthplace of monasticism, which has played an essential part in
preserving the spiritual and cultural traditions of the Church."

Given the above, the Holy Father went on to say, "The unity and harmony
of the nation are a precious value that all citizens should cherish, and
which political and religious leaders must continually promote in
justice and respect for the rights of all."

"As-salám 'aláikum," John Paul II said in bidding farewell. "Peace be
with you." And he added: "This is my greeting to you all. This is the
prayer I offer up for Egypt and all her people. May the Most High God
bless your land with harmony, peace and prosperity."

In the afternoon, Pope John Paul II, the Successor of St. Peter, met
with Pope Shenouda III, the Successor of St. Mark, first Bishop of
Alexandria. The Pope's next visit was to the highest Sunni Muslim
authority in the world, Imam Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of Al-Azhar.
Tomorrow morning the Holy Father will preside at a Mass for Egyptian
Catholics in Cairo's Sports Palace. In the afternoon, he will attend an
ecumenical meeting in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Egypt. And finally on
Saturday, one of his cherished dreams will come true: he will go to
Sinai, visit St. Catherine's Monastery, where he will commemorate God's
revelation of his name to Moses and the handing of the Ten Commandments.


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Next Wednesday John Paul II Will Meditate on Abraham's Journey

VATICAN CITY, FEB 16 (ZENIT).- John Paul II will go to Iraq. Although
because of the difficult situation this country is experiencing, the
Holy Father is unable to go in person to Ur of the Chaldeans, the
birthplace of Abraham, father of all believers, during today's general
audience the Pontiff announced that in any event, he will undertake a
"spiritual" pilgrimage to that land.

The Meaning of Pilgrimage
The Holy Father referred to his Letter published last June in which he
expressed his desire to undertake a journey to "the lands that are
marked in a special way by God's interventions in the history of
salvation." In this context. John Paul II wished to travel to present
day Tal al Muqayyar, in southern Iraq, Abraham's place of origin. Karol
Wojtyla hoped " 'to follow Abraham's footsteps,' to rediscover the
tracks of God's loving presence alongside humanity, and to relive the
faith experience of the one St. Paul will describe as father of all
those who believe, circumcised or not"

"With his faith translated into concrete and at times even dramatic
choices, such as abandoning the security of his own land or sacrificing
his only son Isaac, Abraham obtained that righteousness which made him a
friend of God, fully accepting the divine plan for himself and for his
descendants and becoming the founder of a multitude of believers," the
Pope said.

"In Abraham's Footsteps"
"Walking 'in Abraham's footsteps,'  we learn to value concretely the
demands of an authentically faithful attitude, and we hope in the
dynamism of the divine initiative, which has its final end in Christ,"
explained the Holy Father. "Aware of their own inseparable ties with the
ancient people of the Covenant, Christians recognize Abraham as 'Father
in Faith' par excellence, and they are happy to imitate his example by
walking 'in his footsteps.' "

These were the reasons that led the Pope to express his desire to
undertake this pilgrimage to Iraq. The reasons have nothing to do with
the political claims attributed by British and American diplomats to the
pontifical decision. Representatives from these two countries exerted
pressure on the Vatican in an attempt to convince the Holy Father to
abandon the whole idea. However, in the end, it was Saddam Hussein
himself who announced officially the impossibility of the papal visit.
The aerial restrictions imposed by the international community, which do
not allow Iraq's authorities to guarantee the Pope's security, an
official statement from Baghdad stated.

The Pontiff's trip to Ur was initially scheduled for last December, and
later postponed until the end of January. Before it was cancelled, Iraqi
intellectuals expressed their opposition to the Pontiff's pilgrimage, in
spite of the fact that papal envoys had traveled to Baghdad, under
difficult circumstances, to begin studying the logistics of the

Faced with this complex situation, John Paul II decided to undertake a
spiritual pilgrimage to Abraham's land. During today's general audience,
he invited Christians to accompany him in this "special celebration
dedicated to Abraham, Father of all believers." Two days later, the Holy
Father will travel to Egypt to continue this adventure of the spirit by
visiting Mount Sinai.

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Gov't: Vatican meddling with PA peace talks
By Judy Siegel and News Agencies

JERUSALEM (February 16) - The government yesterday accused the Vatican of interfering in the peace talks with the Palestinians by signing an accord with the PLO that cautioned Israel to refrain from unilateral decisions affecting Jerusalem. "The agreement... is an interference in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and we regret this," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the agreement, which denounced "unilateral decisions" on Jerusalem as "morally and legally unacceptable." The ministry said that the representative of the Holy See in Israel had been called for an "urgent meeting" today with Director-General Eytan Bentsur to discuss the matter. The agreement was the most significant development in the Palestine Liberation Organization's relations with the Vatican since official ties were established in 1994. It came ahead of next month's historic visit here by the pope. In signing the agreement yesterday, the Vatican joined the Palestinians in strongly condemning Israel's hold over all of Jerusalem as "morally and legally unacceptable." The two sides also signed an agreement that called for an internationally guaranteed statute to preserve "the proper identity and sacred character" of the city. The text did not mention Israel, which considers Jerusalem its indivisible capital and has repeatedly ignored previous Vatican calls for such a statute. The Vatican's stance underscored the difficulties Pope John Paul II may face on his March 20-26 tour of Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. Such strong wording in the bilateral agreement appeared to take Israel by surprise. "We express our dismay," said Zvi Tal, spokesman of the Israeli Embassy to the Holy See. Tal said that while the Vatican's stance was known, yesterday's action amounted to interference in ongoing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He also said the Palestinians appeared to breach an agreement with Israel, limiting the types of further agreements they could make. The accord covers the Vatican's relations with the PLO and the status of churches and the freedom of worship in the Palestinian territories. It was signed on the same day that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat met with Pope John Paul II and sprang a last-minute invitation - accepted by the pope - to add another Palestinian city, Jericho, to his itinerary. He is also scheduled to visit Bethlehem and a Palestinian refugee camp. The preamble of the basic agreement declares that an "equitable solution" for Jerusalem based on international resolutions is "fundamental for a just and lasting peace." It says that "unilateral decisions and actions altering the specific character and status of Jerusalem are morally and legally unacceptable." The Vatican, like many states, has never recognized Israel's occupation of the eastern section of the city. The final status of Jerusalem is to be decided in talks between Israelis and the Palestinians, acknowledged as one of the most difficult points in the entire peace process. During a 1998 visit to Israel, the Vatican's foreign minister caused a stir when he called the Israeli presence in east Jerusalem an "illegal occupation." Pope Paul VI visited Jerusalem, but that was in 1964 when the eastern side, containing the major Christian, Moslem, and Jewish shrines, was in Jordanian hands. The frail 79-year-old pope appeared in good form as he welcomed Arafat into private talks, their ninth meeting at the Vatican. As photographers snapped, the two were speaking in English about the pope's upcoming trip when Arafat announced the pope had also agreed to visit Jericho. Later asked when the additional stop had been decided, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said "about 15 minutes ago." A formal communique issued by the Vatican said the pope repeated the Holy See's "solidarity" with the Palestinian people "[which] is still waiting to see [its] legitimate aspirations realized." Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is coordinating the largest-ever medical support for a visiting dignitary in the country's history in preparation for the pope's arrival next month. The effort, said Dr. Michael Dor, the head of the ministry's community medicine department and who is heading the effort, is bigger than for any US president who visited the country. "The pontiff is an elderly man with medical problems," said Dor, whose specialty is family medicine. "We also prepared for the visit of Boris Yeltsin, who is ailing, but his was only a one-day tour." It is known that the pope suffers from Parkinson's disease. Dor said he has spoken to the pope's personal physician and received "all the necessary medical information." He added that the pope will be accompanied throughout his six-day visit by two physicians from Rome, as well as one or two Israeli doctors specializing in intensive care and paramedics from Magen David Adom. Wherever the pope is during his pilgrimage, nearby hospitals will be on alert. Security officials have compared notes with counterparts in Spain and in South America, where John Paul previously visited. According to Vatican protocol, the pope always stays overnight at the home of the Vatican ambassador of the country he is visiting, not at a hotel.  Dor's Palestinian counterparts have been cooperating in preparing for the medical arrangements, but not the Jordanians, he said. The Palestinians have appointed a cardiologist of their own to accompany the pope during his visit to Bethlehem and other areas under their jurisdiction. Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yehuda Wilk said yesterday that 17,695 police officers will be responsible for securing the pope - and the tens of thousands of pilgrims expected with him - throughout the country and the Palestinian Authority areas. Israeli police will also oversee security on the Temple Mount when the pope visits there on March 26. The pope will spend a full day in Bethlehem and a half-day in Nazareth. Police surveillance cameras will be set up in Bethlehem and Nazareth and monitored in Jerusalem. Wilk mapped out the papal itinerary, which begins on March 21 when the pope and his entourage arrive from a day in Jordan. It includes a day in Jerusalem meeting with President Ezer Weizman, the chief rabbis, and a visit to Yad Vashem. He will travel to the Christian holy site of Korazim on Lake Kinneret, to Nazareth, and spend a day-and-a-half in Jerusalem's Old City, visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Around 54,000 Christian pilgrims and 2,000 members of the press are expected to arrive for the visit. In Jerusalem's Old City, the pope will have to abandon his "popemobile," the car with a transparent bulletproof shield he uses on trips abroad, because it is too big for its alleyways. He'll instead use an armored vehicle of the General Security Service. A tent for 6,000 people is to be set up in the Old City to accommodate the expected crowd during a March 24 outdoor mass.

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Arafat, Pope to sign bilateral pact today
By Lamia Lahoud

JERUSALEM (February 15) - Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is to meet with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican today and sign an accord to normalize relations between the PA and Roman Catholic churches in Jerusalem. Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Ahmed Qurei told The Jerusalem Post that the agreement indicates a recognition by the Catholic Church of Palestinian claims to the city. He said the PA was lobbying international support for its claim to east Jerusalem. Emile Jarjoui, the PLO official who led talks with the Vatican, added that the agreement would "regulate the relationship between the Palestinian Authority and the Catholic churches in Jerusalem. The agreement would also state the Vatican's position regarding Jerusalem, the peace process, and Palestinian rights." The Vatican has called Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem illegal and does not recognize Israeli sovereignty there. Arafat will also pay an official visit to the Italian government as part of his diplomatic campaign to gather support for Palestinian positions in the final status talks. Arafat has been lobbying for his idea of sharing undivided Jerusalem, and creating Vatican-style sovereignty in the Old City, his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said . PA officials concede privately that Israel would only accept the idea if it would keep the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. The PA hopes to get the Vatican's backing for the idea. So far the Vatican and the international community have supported internationalizing the Old City, an idea which both Israel and the PA reject, Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath said. However, Qurei said, should Israel and the PA fail to reach an agreement on sharing Jerusalem, the PA would agree to create an international city in the Old City, as stated in UN Resolution 181. Shaath said the PA was waiting for Israel to come with some suggestion of sharing Jerusalem to the final status talks, but so far Israeli negotiators have not addressed the subject.

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Top theologian revises Biblical prohibitions



A LEADING Church of England theologian has called for a revision of the Christian stance against homosexuality, prostitution and drugs.

John Elford, Canon Theologian of Liverpool Cathedral, argues that the widespread belief that the Bible prohibits active homosexual relationships is a false combination of prejudice and ignorance. In a book to be published next month, he calls for the decriminalisation of prostitution and drugs, and mounts an attack on the Pope and other conservatives who defend traditional moral certainties.

The book, The Ethics of Uncertainty, will add to the controversy over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion. Dr Elford, Pro-Rector Emeritus of Liverpool's Hope University, argues that the Bible does not take a view on homosexuality and notes that Jesus, who lived a celibate lifestyle with 12 male Apostles, never mentions the subject.

Passages in Leviticus, Genesis, Romans and Corinthians generally used to support the anti-homosexual view have been misinterpreted, he says. "A central one in the Book of Genesis seems to attribute the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to homosexual acts, but it is more likely that the object of condemnation is the homosexual rape of divine messengers," he writes. "The one in Romans is more clearly directed against homosexual lust in connection with the main topic of discussion at that point, which is idolatry."

He says his view is more widespread than many realise. "Bishops and others who ordain clergy often do so in the tacit knowledge that those they are ordaining are homosexual, practising or otherwise."

Dr Elford urges the decriminalisation of prostitution, which he says was part of some ancient religious cultic practices. Prostitution can help to mitigate offences such as child abuse and rape, he argues, adding that prostitutes are vulnerable people who suffer from economic exploitation.

On drugs, he questions whether all hard and soft drugs should not be legalised to bring addicts out of their "shadowy underworld" so that they could be cared for. "We must put that righteousness aside and begin afresh," Dr Elford says.

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VATICAN CITY, MAR 25, 2000 (VIS) - At 6 p.m. today Pope John Paul
participated in an ecumenical encounter at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
of Jerusalem. He told the patriarchs, archbishops and bishops present that
"it is a source of great joy to know that the heads of Christian
communities in the Holy City of Jerusalem meet frequently to deal with
matters of common interest to the faithful."

   "Need I say," he asked, "that I am greatly encouraged by this evening's
meeting? It confirms that we have set out on the path to knowing one
another better, with the desire to overcome the mistrust and rivalry
inherited from the past. Here in Jerusalem, ... (Christ's) words ring out
with special resonance, particularly the words He spoke on the night before
He died: 'that they may all be one;... so that the world may believe that
you have sent me'."

   The Holy Father, recalling the meeting between Pope Paul VI and the
Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I, said that "in the intervening years we
have learned that the road to unity is a difficult one. This should not
discourage us. We must be patient and persevering, and continue to move
ahead without wavering."

   Turning to the presence of the different Churches and Communities in
Jerusalem, John Paul II observed that "the variety and beauty of your
liturgical rites, and of your spiritual, theological and canonical
traditions and institutions, testifies to the richness of the divinely
revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church, as it has
developed down the centuries in the East and in the West. There exists a
legitimate diversity which in no way is opposed to the unity of the Body of
Christ, but rather enhances the splendor of the Church. ... None of this
wealth must be lost in the fuller unity to which we aspire."

   "Fraternal cooperation among the Christians of this Holy City is no mere
option," affirmed the Holy Father. "Only in a spirit of mutual respect and
support can the Christian presence flourish here in a community alive with
its traditions and confident in facing the social, cultural and political
challenges of an evolving situation. Only by being reconciled among
themselves can Christians play their full part in making Jerusalem the City
of Peace for all peoples. In the Holy Land, where Christians live side by
side with the followers of Judaism and Islam, where there are almost daily
tensions and conflicts, it is essential to overcome the scandalous
impression given by our disagreements and arguments. In this City it should
be eminently possible for Christians, Jews and Muslims to live together in
brotherhood and freedom, in dignity, justice and peace."

   He closed by recalling that it has been his intention "to give a clearly
ecumenical dimension to the Catholic Church's celebration of the Jubilee
Year 2000. ... This is a providential time for us to turn to the Lord in
order to ask forgiveness for the wounds which the members of our Churches
have inflicted upon one another down the years" and "to engage in an ever
more fruitful theological dialogue."

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C U R R E N T   F E A T U R E   S T O R Y
              by the Editors of ReligionToday

March 24, 2000

John Paul treats the world as his parish

Pope John Paul II once again has captured the world's attention -
this time taking a personal pilgrimage, replete with political
overtones, to the land where Jesus walked.

...The trip is groundbreaking in its ecumenical spirit. John Paul
is trying to bring together Eastern and Western Christian
churches as he visits sacred Christian sites; is visiting
Judaism's holiest place, the Western Wall, and paying respect at
the Holocaust memorial; and speaking to Palestinians about

...The pontiff says he wants to help in the complicated dialogue
among Jews, Muslims, and Christians, who coexist warily. The goal
is lasting peace and justice, he said.

...The pope made a three-day trip to Egypt earlier this year,
including a visit to Mount Sinai. He met with leaders of the
Coptic Church and the Sunni Muslims.

..."To see the pope say Mass at the site of the Sermon on the
Mount, this will renew me," said Luis Tijerino, 20, a Nicaraguan
studying for the priesthood.

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Pope Calls For Religious Unity At Jordan Mass

AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) -- Some 50,000 Christians filled a sports stadium in Amman Tuesday to celebrate Mass with Pope John Paul II, who called for unity in Jordan's tiny Christian community. Christians, who make up about three percent of the total 4.5 million population, joined Muslims in receiving the Pope warmly on the first leg of his week-long pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The Pope told Christians it was "clear that the future lies in unity and solidarity." He called for the "strengthening of the bond ... between the Christians and other great religions which flourish here." In addition to encouraging the faithful, the promotion of interfaith dialogue is one of the goals of the Pope's visit. On Thursday he will participate in a meeting on peace with Christians, Muslims and Jews. "May the resources of the church ... set unity and love as their supreme goal," he told the crowds in a faint and shaky voice in his 25-minute homily. The 79-year-old Pontiff is believed to be suffering from Parkinson's Disease. For some 2,000 children - ages eight and nine -- the papal Mass was also the occasion of their first communion. The two-and-a-half-hour service was dedicated to Jordan's patron saint, John the Baptist. Later Tuesday, the Pope is scheduled to visit Wadi al Kharar, the site on the Jordan River Jordanian Christians and theologians believe was the place of Jesus' baptism. The site is the subject of what has been called "friendly cross-border rivalry," as Palestinian Christians claim the true site is on the west bank of the river. To play it fair, the Pope will later this week visit the second site, which is in an area under shared Israeli-Palestinian control. Pope John Paul had his first glimpse of the biblical promised land on Monday, as did Moses thousands of years earlier, from the top of Mount Nebo. At the start of his historical pilgrimage Monday, he called for peace in the region, saying there were "grave and urgent issues of justice, of the rights of people and nations, which have to be resolved for the good of all concerned and as a condition for lasting peace." While in Jordan it has not been particularly difficult for the Pope to maintain his often stated intention of keeping the journey a spiritual one. It will be much more tricky once he crosses the Jordan into the politically-charged atmosphere of Israel and the PA self-rule areas Tuesday afternoon. He will visit Christian site and meet political leaders during the next five days in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Galilee and Nazareth, as well as celebrate several services, the largest a Mass for 100,000 in Korazin, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Israeli officials have called on the PA to honor the Pope's wishes and keep politics out of the visit. There are a number of potential sensitive stops along his route, among them the former refugee camp of Dehaishe near Bethlehem. Palestinians hope the Pope will use the opportunity of a visit there to attack Israel and support demands for the "right of return" for Palestinians who fled their homes after Israel became a state. Many on both sides are also hoping the Pope will back their claims to Jerusalem. The city's future is one of the most explosive issues to be decided in a permanent negotiated settlement, due to be finalized by September. When he first announced his intentions to visit in a papal letter issued last June, the Pope said the trip "would be an exclusively religious pilgrimage in its nature and purpose, and I would be saddened if anyone were to attach other meanings to this plan of mine." (© 2000, Conservative News Service) (Post date: March 21, 2000)

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Interview with Evangelical Leader Manfred Kock

BERLIN, MAR 15 (ZENIT-AVVENIRE).- "Words worthy of the greatest respect
and gratitude," was the reaction of the German Evangelical Church (EKD)
to John Paul II's "mea culpa" last Sunday. The EKD represents 28 million
German Protestants and, at the international level, is one of the most
important manifestations of the Reformation. Rev. Manfred Kock, its
leader, had a substantially positive reaction to the act.

-- Reverend Kock, this is the first time a Pope had pronounced such a
broad admission of guilt. What is your first impression?

-- Manfred Kock: The Roman Catholic Church and John Paul II deserve
gratitude and respect for the way in which they have addressed the
faults of the past. The gesture is important because, up until now, many
of us had the impression that the Catholic Church had problems
recognizing its past errors.

-- John Paul II explicitly mentions the "sins against the unity of the
body of Christ." Do you think the Pope's words make the unity among
Christians easier?

-- Manfred Kock: Certainly, without a doubt it can be said that unity
can be favored by his words. But in order to make rapid progress, from
our point of view it will also be necessary that the Pope' words have
concrete effects on the affirmations pronounced by the Catholic Church
over the centuries in relation to us, and that, in our view, do not help
on the road to unity.

-- In recent statements you stated that the German Evangelical Church
might recognize the Pope in the future as "a unitary figure symbolic of
Christianity." Do you see this recognition as being closer?

-- Manfred Kock: In order to take this step, time must go by. The
differences that affect the respective ecclesial conceptions and the
differences over the Pope's infallibility, differences that I already
mentioned at the time, have not been overcome yet.

-- The impression is given, however, that the "mea culpa" pronounced by
the Pope not only affects Catholics, but the whole of Christianity. In
this connection, John Paul II would already have carried out on this
occasion the function of "symbolic unitary figure." What is your

-- Manfred Kock: I think that above all the Pope spoke for Catholics In
any event, it is true that, until the advent of the Reformation, we had
a common history. Because of this, at least up until that time, the
Protestant Churches are also involved in the admission of fault made by
John Paul II. However, I do not believe that one can see in this a first
action of the Pontiff as symbolic unitary figure.

-- Do you think the Protestant Church will pronounce a similar admission
of faults?

-- Manfred Kock: In past decades, the German Protestant Church already
acknowledged its own fault with reference to particular historical
events: the errors of Protestant Christians in relation to racism; its
relation with Jews; and past faults with Czechs and Poles. Once this is
clarified, we must acknowledge that these admissions are not, in fact,
the end of our examination of the past.

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The Haste of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together Movement
Evangelicals and Catholics Together
By Dr. Brian Green

Working towards a common mission in the third millennium is the objective given by the ECT. There has been much expectancy in many quarters, as we near the new millennium, emanating especially from the Vatican, with the Pope speaking of the coming "springtime of world missions". The year 2000 AD has long been a target date in Rome's mind for evangelism.

The aim is to convert as many people as possible to Roman Catholicism by December 25, 2000 AD, when it is planned that the incumbent Pope will make a worldwide satellite telecast to a potential audience of five billion people.

It is more than significant, then, to find Evangelicals and Catholics together with an identical purpose.

Again our question must be: Which Gospel is to be preached in order to attract people to genuine faith in Jesus Christ in order that they may experience forgiveness of sins?

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A CALL TO PARTICIPATE in the BIRTH of the United Religions Initiative

Prepare for the birth with 72 Hours of Interfaith Prayer,
Practice and Ceremony June 23 - 25, 2000

You are invited to join with people on every continent to participate in the birth of the URI.

Building on the profound impact of 72 Hours of Peacebuilding Dec. 31 - Jan. 2, 2000, the URI is calling
people to support the birth of the URI with 72 hours of prayer, practice and ceremony. The 72 hour period from June
23-25 is an opportunity to welcome the URI with your prayers, meditation and signing ceremonies in locales
around the world. Join with others to offer blessings on the new organization, invoking its potential to be an
active hope in the world. Invite people to affirm the URI's purpose and acclaim its birth by signing the opening line
of the Preamble to the Charter (see newsletter insert). Signatures from individuals, groups and organiza-tions will
allow people all over the world to be a part of the Global Signing Ceremony June 26 and serve to help sustain the
spirit of the URI.


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United Religions Initiative SM

< < (Notice the SOLAR WHEEL!)

URI Update

The URI Update is the quarterly newsletter for the United Religions Initiative which offers news of the URI around the world to a growing global community.

Current Edition:

URI Update - No.7, Spring 2000
(to open this file you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Previous Editions:

URI Update - No.6, Fall 1999
(to open this file you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)

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The Coming United Religions
Bishop of California

For more than 100 years, visionaries have been dreaming of
a day when the world's religions could work together for
peace. "That day is coming -soon!" writes Bishop William E.
Swing. He and others in the United Religions Initiative
(URI) have already held consultations with numerous
religious and spiritual leaders during global summits,
regional conferences, and interviews. The 1998 Summit
endorsed an innovative draft of the United Religions
Charter, and the group is planning to inaugurate the UR in
the year 2000. Meanwhile, URI is reaching across the planet
to gather insights and support from people, young and old,
of every faith.


"May the Initiative described in this book succeed for the
sake of all believers!" The Most Reverend Desmond M. Tutu,
Archbishop Emeritus

Why a United Religions now?

* On the threshold of the first global civilization, we
face crises in which people of all faiths play significant
roles - for good or ill.

* Nations have been working for peace through the UN for
more than 50 years, but religions do not yet have a daily,
global forum for dialogue, conflict resolution, and
cooperative action.

* With the approaching millennium come rising expectations
of a new spiritual paradigm, beyond the clash of beliefs,
where believers respect the differences as well as the
wisdom in other faiths.

* As emerging "global ethic," initiated at the 1993
Parliament of the World's Religions, invites the consensus
of religions and spiritual traditions, but also needs a
permanent forum for its expression.

William E. Swing, Episcopal Bishop of California, has been
a primary catalyst for the creation of a United Religions
since 1993. Part One is his story building on the work and
vision of many others for more than 100 years.

Part Two of this book reflects the work of many others. It
includes the 1998 drafts of the Charter, organizational
design, and action agendas such as the 72 Hours for Peace
project at the New Year, and opportunities for reader
feedback and participation.

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The Church of Ireland Enters the New Millennium to Unite with Rome Under the Pope

This Apostate Ecumenism must be resisted in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and for His sake we must protest at all cost. His we are, and Him alone we serve.
Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster

THE VISIT OF DR CAREY, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Church of Ireland's Seminar "Into The New Millennium," on 18th March 2000, clearly identifies the Church of Ireland with the continuing Anglican apostasy with the Roman Catholic Church. This apostasy will enter a further stage in Toronto on 14th May when all the Primates of the Anglican communion worldwide, including Archbishop Eames representing the Church of Ireland, will meet with the Vatican Presidents for a full week to take forward the recent Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission's (ARClC) agreement that the Pope should "exercise" the role of "Universal Primate" (paragraph 60-62).


The ARClC document, an Agreed Statement entitled "The Gift of Authority," states: "There is no turning back in our journey towards full ecclesial communion" (paragraph 58). In preparation for "the exercise of Universal Primacy by the Bishop of Rome", the Anglican Provinces, including the Church of Ireland, were asked by the Lambeth Conference in 1988 to study the issue of the role of the Papacy as a "universal ministry in the service of Christian unity" (Gift of Authority paragraph 53). The same document also reveals that the Lambeth Conference 1998 resolved "to strengthen the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates Meeting". This was done in order to enforce their apostasy with the Church of Rome.

With this mandate in place Drs Carey and Eames are now leading the Anglican Communion and the Church of Ireland, contrary to the Holy Scriptures, into a New Millennium of "visible and organic" union with the Church of Rome.


Since Vatican II, the Church of Rome has restructured its organisation of authority to facilitate union with Rome at international, regional and local level (Gift Of Authority paragraph 54). The Explanatory Note accompanying the Pope's apostolic letter "Ad Tuendam Fidem" (a document published on the 28th May 1998 to protect the Roman Catholic Faith) reveals that this restructuring reaffirms the ultimate authority of the Pope over the College of Bishops on all matters of faith and morals.

They cannot exercise their "supreme and full power over all the church without the consent of the Roman Pontiff' (Ad Tuendam Fidem paragraph 4). In the same apostolic letter, the required Profession of Faith states, "1 also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitely proposed by the church regarding teaching on faith and morals".


Rome has not conceded anything relating to doctrine or authority. The authority of the Pope is confirmed on all matters of faith and morals. Furthermore, the same Explanatory Note states, "all those doctrines of divine and catholic faith, which the church proposes as divinely and formally revealed, as such are irreformable" (Ad Tuendam Fidem paragraph 5). The same document (Ad Tuendam Fidem) includes an oath of fidelity, which requires an oath from all those representing the Roman Catholic Church as follows, "In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I SHALL HOLD FAST TO THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH IN ITS ENTIRETY. With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the Faith, declare or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish."


Drs Carey and Eames are involved irrevocably, according to the Agreement, (Gift of Authority paragraph 58) in a servile submission of the Anglicans to the Pope. Protestants cannot embrace Union with Rome on these authoritarian and unscriptural terms. The religious liberty established at great cost by the Protestant Reformers is being surrendered in the name of a false and unscriptural ecumenism, which is a blatant misrepresentation of the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, "That they all may be one' (John 17:21).

The conclusion in the present ARClC document "that Anglicans be open to and desire a recovery and re-reception" (paragraph 62) of a universal primacy of the Bishop of Rome, who enunciates such blatant authoritarianism, is for Protestants a shocking and unacceptable departure from the position of the Reformers. The clear objective of the agreement is to reinstate the Pope as the Head of the Universal Church, and thus puts in jeopardy the guarantee of a Protestant Monarchy, Her Majesty the Queen being the Titular Head of the Church of England. The ramifications of this horrific apostasy will shake the Throne and subvert the Protestant religion by law established.


The Church of Ireland must now resolve (i) to abandon the policy of "union with Rome by stages" and (ii) to destroy the satanic structures it has fabricated in collusion with Canterbury and Rome to forward the reversal of the Reformation.

We, the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, call upon the Anglican Communion, including the Church of Ireland, to turn back. The Episcopalian Churches are on the brink of perpetrating the greatest betrayal ever of (i) our Lord Jesus Christ as the One Head and Sole King of the Church, (ii) the Word of God as the Sole Rule of Faith and Practice, (iii) the Protestant Reformed Faith, and (iv) the Protestant Monarchy.

This Apostate Ecumenism must be resisted in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and for His sake we must protest at all cost. His we are, and Him alone we serve.

Please forward all communications to:

The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster
P.O. Box 160
BT27 4FP


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