The next Pope

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Ps104_33, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    Given the present geopolitical situation on this globe and the fact that the pope is mainly a political leader, from which nationality should the next pope be? Will he be Italian? Are their any Cardinals of Middle Eastern descent? Just curious.
     
  2. El_Guero

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    Interesting ...
     
  3. music4Him

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    El_Guero The next pope should be interesting? :confused:

    Music4Him :D
     
  4. BobRyan

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    The next Pope should be a Christian.
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    The next pope will still be the head of organisation that holds a billion people in the snare of works salvation :( .

    It makes no difference who he is.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    While I agree that the RCC has been guilty of millions of deaths of the saints in the dark ages and is loaded with error -- one lesson that is clear in history, "It DOES matter who is the Pope at any given point in time".

    They can be anything from very tolerant and passive - to very violent or very "creative" in adding new errors to the inventory already in place.

    The "other thing" to consider is -- how "Active" will JPII be now that he is dead? Will the RCC be hearing "more from him" as they do from Mary after her death?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. TP

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    Greetings,

    I would disagree that the pope is mainly political. I have read almost everything the pope has written as pope. IT is ALL Concerning our relationship to God through Jesus Christ. There are a lot of Opinions on the board that are made by people who have NEVER read anything he wrote. If you want to read something of his to get his entire thought I would suggest: Redemptor Hominis. This was his FIRST papal encyclical, and in this he wanted to set the Tenor for his entire work as Pope. It is about Jesus, the Redeemer of Man. It speaks of Jesus' work of redemption. ALL HIS other works stem from this ONE work, with Jesus as the redeemer front and center. By the way, you can find this in its entirity all over the web.

    peace
     
  8. mioque

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    "I would disagree that the pope is mainly political."
    "
    That's the normal perception if you're an outsider looking in. Most non-baptists also have the perception that most prominent baptist spokesmen are mostly political activists. Either that or con-artists.

    "how "Active" will JPII be now that he is dead?"
    "
    My prediction it will take a decade or so to get him beatified, afterwards we won't here anything of him ever again, with the exception of the occasional reprint of his works and the sometimes a mention in a documentary about the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe.

    Ofcourse I'm very interested in who the next guy is who get's to keep Peter's seat warm.
    Isn't everybody? :D
     
  9. El_Guero

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    Some times people see the prophesy in front of them, but they do not recognize it for what it really is ... Therefore, interesting ...
     
  10. TP

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    Greetings,

    The writings and encyclicals from the this pope will be studied for centuries to come. He was VERY prolific.

    peace
     
  11. Cavsfan2005

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    Saying the Pope is mainly political is like saying the president is mainly theological. Yes, the president does speak of God and the Pope of politics, but they both retain their respective places.
     
  12. DHK

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    Many of us look at John Paul II as a great secular and/or political leader. No other person was able to entertain as many world leaders as he was. He entertained such people as Yasser Arafat, and scores of other world leaders. But as a "Christian" (if he was), he was a failure. Did Arafat get saved? Was the gospel even preached to him? Was he told how to be born again?

    A great political leader, yes; but as a religious leader, a failure.
    DHK
     
  13. Cavsfan2005

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    I seem to recall someone once saying, "Walk softly and carry a big stick." I think that lesson can be applied to religion and witnessing, also. Whoever said the only way to evangilize was to go around Bible-thumping? That, in fact, turns off a lot of people to religion entirely. Whatever happened to lead by example and SHOWING someone how to live the Christian life and not just TELLING.

    And how do you know for sure the Pope never "witnessed" to Arafat in the way you are so adament about? Where you present at all the talks they had? I think it's great the Pope gets to meet so many political leaders and religious leaders. How is he to be an example of Christian love and piety if he never sees them? And Arafat is considered a religious leader, also.
     
  14. DHK

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    Have you ever heard the Pope tell anyone in the world, much less Arafat, how they can be born again? I don't think so!
     
  15. Cavsfan2005

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    I've probably never heard the term "born again" uttered from any Pope because that term is strictly a Protestant invention. No other sect of any religion uses such verbage. The Pope has taught for 26 years how to be Christian and charitable and loving and forgiving and "colorblind". And it seems that Jesus would care more about these character qualities than whether or not we used the correct wording. Being "saved" includes more than acknowledging that Christ died for your sins.
     
  16. D28guy

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    CavsFan,

    You are correct about that. It was the "protestant" the Lord Jesus Christ who said...

    "Do not marvel that I say to you, 'You must be born again'."

    Jesus was a "protestant" of the highest order.

    He protested...with the strongest possible language...against devilish religious leaders who exchanged religious bondage for relationship. Who shackled people with works based false religion when He had come to "set the captives free.". For "whom the Son sets free, is free indeed."

    That form of false religion is still around, only now its seen in one case in its full fruition due to 1700 or so years of adding falsehood upon heresy upon idolatry upon more flasehood.

    Thank God that in the midst of all this mess God still has His people...His remnant people...who are living in the goodness of resurrection life and the freedom of true christian living.

    Walking in the "newness of the Spirit", and not the "oldness of the letter", for "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

    Grace and peace,

    Mike
     
  17. DHK

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    Your statement is absolutely false. The Catholic Church does use the term "born again," as do many other religious groups. Ask a knowledgeable Catholic what it means, and he will tell you. It is not what the Bible teaches. Nevertheless Jesus said:

    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    This is hardly a Protestant invention.
    This is a command of Jesus! Unless you are born again you cannot enter the kingdom of God. Three times in this chapter does Jesus say: "You must be born again." That is not Protestant--It is Christ that demands that you must be born again!!!

    The Catholic Church interprets this passage as being baptized. If the pope believes Catholic doctrine (which I am sure he does), then the Bible says he cannot enter the Kingdom of God, and that automatically makes a ruling on where his eternal destiny is. There is no possible way that this passage has anything to do with baptism whatsoever. That is just plain heresy. Baptism isn't mentioned in the entire chapter of John 3.

    You must be born again! You must be saved. You must put your trust in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and trust him and him only for the forgiveness of your sin.

    John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    To those that received Christ as their Saviour by believing on his name, they became the sons of God. They became born of God, that is, born again. One must actively receive Christ as their Saviour in order to be born again.

    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
    The agency by which we are born again is the Word of God, thus Peter says, "being born again ...by the Word of God." It is the gospel message that is in the Word of God. It is through the gospel and faith in that message that one is born again. Have you put your faith and trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, that he took your place on the cross that you might have forgiveness of sin, and invited him to your heart to save you. This is what it means to be born again. It is to be born into the family God, for we are all born into this world, of the flesh, but we are not all born of the Spirit into God's family. Thus, you must be born again.
    DHK
     
  18. mioque

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    "A great political leader, yes; but as a religious leader, a failure."
    "
    This reminds of the greatest of all Renaissance kings pope Julius II, who was such a lousy religious leader that his actions sparked the Reformation. Compared to him I'd say Karol Wojtyla did o.k. as Catholic religious leaders go, writing an encyclical about Jezus being the Saviour and opposing religious liberalism in his denomination. Many popes did much worse.
     
  19. mioque

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  20. Living4Him

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    Really?

    Well, let's take a look at some of his writings that he sent to Christians everywhere (not to mention world leaders).

    Evangelium vitae(just a few snipets)

    To the Bishops
    Priests and Deacons
    Men and Women religious
    lay Faithful
    and all People of Good Will
    on the Value and Inviolability
    of Human Life

    1995.03.25


    Every individual, precisely by reason of the mystery of the Word of God who was made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), is entrusted to the maternal care of the Church. Therefore every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church's very heart; it cannot but affect her at the core of her faith in the Redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God, and engage her in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel of life in all the world and to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15).

    Today this proclamation is especially pressing because of the extraordinary increase and gravity of threats to the life of individuals and peoples, especially where life is weak and defenceless. In addition to the ancient scourges of poverty, hunger, endemic diseases, violence and war, new threats are emerging on an alarmingly vast scale.

    The Second Vatican Council, in a passage which retains all its relevance today, forcefully condemned a number of crimes and attacks against human life. Thirty years later, taking up the words of the Council and with the same forcefulness I repeat that condemnation in the name of the whole Church, certain that I am interpreting the genuine sentiment of every upright conscience: "Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator".5

    4. Unfortunately, this disturbing state of affairs, far from decreasing, is expanding: with the new prospects opened up by scientific and technological progress there arise new forms of attacks on the dignity of the human being. At the same time a new cultural climate is developing and taking hold, which gives crimes against life a new and-if possible-even more sinister character, giving rise to further grave concern: broad sectors of public opinion justify certain crimes against life in the name of the rights of individual freedom, and on this basis they claim not only exemption from punishment but even authorization by the State, so that these things can be done with total freedom and indeed with the free assistance of health-care systems.

    All this is causing a profound change in the way in which life and relationships between people are considered. The fact that legislation in many countries, perhaps even departing from basic principles of their Constitutions, has determined not to punish these practices against life, and even to make them altogether legal, is both a disturbing symptom and a significant cause of grave moral decline. Choices once unanimously considered criminal and rejected by the common moral sense are gradually becoming socially acceptable. Even certain sectors of the medical profession, which by its calling is directed to the defence and care of human life, are increasingly willing to carry out these acts against the person. In this way the very nature of the medical profession is distorted and contradicted, and the dignity of those who practise it is degraded. In such a cultural and legislative situation, the serious demographic, social and family problems which weigh upon many of the world's peoples and which require responsible and effective attention from national and international bodies, are left open to false and deceptive solutions, opposed to the truth and the good of persons and nations.

    The end result of this is tragic: not only is the fact of the destruction of so many human lives still to be born or in their final stage extremely grave and disturbing, but no less grave and disturbing is the fact that conscience itself, darkened as it were by such widespread conditioning, is finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life.


    "Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die" (Jn 11:26): the gift of eternal life



    37. The life which the Son of God came to give to human beings cannot be reduced to mere existence in time. The life which was always "in him" and which is the "light of men" (Jn 1:4) consists in being begotten of God and sharing in the fullness of his love: "To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn 1:12-13).

    Sometimes Jesus refers to this life which he came to give simply as "life", and he presents being born of God as a necessary condition if man is to attain the end for which God has created him: "Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn 3:3). To give this life is the real object of Jesus' mission: he is the one who "comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world" (Jn 6:33). Thus can he truly say: "He who follows me ... will have the light of life" (Jn 8:12).

    At other times, Jesus speaks of "eternal life". Here the adjective does more than merely evoke a perspective which is beyond time. The life which Jesus promises and gives is "eternal" because it is a full participation in the life of the "Eternal One". Whoever believes in Jesus and enters into communion with him has eternal life (cf. Jn 3:15; 6:40) because he hears from Jesus the only words which reveal and communicate to his existence the fullness of life. These are the "words of eternal life" which Peter acknowledges in his confession of faith: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God" (Jn 6:68-69). Jesus himself, addressing the Father in the great priestly prayer, declares what eternal life consists in: "This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (Jn 17:3). To know God and his Son is to accept the mystery of the loving communion of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit into one's own life, which even now is open to eternal life because it shares in the life of God.

    Here the Christian truth about life becomes most sublime. The dignity of this life is linked not only to its beginning, to the fact that it comes from God, but also to its final end, to its destiny of fellowship with God in knowledge and love of him. In the light of this truth Saint Irenaeus qualifies and completes his praise of man: "the glory of God" is indeed, "man, living man", but "the life of man consists in the vision of God".27


    REDEMPTORIS MISSIO
    On the permanent validity of the Church's missionary mandate

    1990.12.07

    CHAPTER I - JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SAVIOR

    4. In my first encyclical, in which I set forth the program of my Pontificate, I said that "the Church's fundamental function in every age, and particularly in ours, is to direct man's gaze, to point the awareness and experience of the whole of humanity toward the mystery of Christ."4

    The Church's universal mission is born of faith in Jesus Christ, as is stated in our Trinitarian profession of faith: "I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father.... For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man."5 The redemption event brings salvation to all, "for each one is included in the mystery of the redemption and with each one Christ has united himself forever through this mystery."6 It is only in faith that the Church's mission can be understood and only in faith that it finds its basis.

    Nevertheless, also as a result of the changes which have taken place in modern times and the spread of new theological ideas, some people wonder: Is missionary work among non-Christians still relevant? Has it not been replaced by inter-religious dialogue? Is not human development an adequate goal of the Church's mission? Does not respect for conscience and for freedom exclude all efforts at conversion? Is it not possible to attain salvation in any religion? Why then should there be missionary activity?


    "No one comes to the Father, but by me" (Jn 14:6)

    5. If we go back to the beginnings of the Church, we find a clear affirmation that Christ is the one Savior of all, the only one able to reveal God and lead to God. In reply to the Jewish religious authorities who question the apostles about the healing of the lame man, Peter says: "By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well.... And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:10, 12). This statement, which was made to the Sanhedrin, has a universal value, since for all people-Jews and Gentiles alike - salvation can only come from Jesus Christ.

    The universality of this salvation in Christ is asserted throughout the New Testament. St. Paul acknowledges the risen Christ as the Lord. He writes: "Although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth - as indeed there are many 'gods' and many 'lords' - yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist" (1 Cor 8:5-6). One God and one Lord are asserted by way of contrast to the multitude of "gods" and "lords" commonly accepted. Paul reacts against the polytheism of the religious environment of his time and emphasizes what is characteristic of the Christian faith: belief in one God and in one Lord sent by God.

    In the Gospel of St. John, this salvific universality of Christ embraces all the aspects of his mission of grace, truth and revelation: the Word is "the true light that enlightens every man" (Jn 1:9). And again, "no one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known" (Jn 1:18; cf. Mt 11:27). God's revelation becomes definitive and complete through his only-begotten Son: "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom he also created the world" (Heb 1:1-2; cf. Jn 14:6). In this definitive Word of his revelation, God has made himself known in the fullest possible way. He has revealed to mankind who he is. This definitive self-revelation of God is the fundamental reason why the Church is missionary by her very nature. She cannot do other than proclaim the Gospel, that is, the fullness of the truth which God has enabled us to know about himself.

    Christ is the one mediator between God and mankind: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth" (1 Tm 2:5-7; cf. Heb 4:14-16). No one, therefore, can enter into communion with God except through Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit. Christ's one, universal mediation, far from being an obstacle on the journey toward God, is the way established by God himself, a fact of which Christ is fully aware. Although participated forms of mediation of different kinds and degrees are not excluded, they acquire meaning and value only from Christ's own mediation, and they cannot be understood as parallel or complementary to his.

    6. To introduce any sort of separation between the Word and Jesus Christ is contrary to the Christian faith. St. John clearly states that the Word, who "was in the beginning with God," is the very one who "became flesh" (Jn 1:2, 14). Jesus is the Incarnate Word-a single and indivisible person. One cannot separate Jesus from the Christ or speak of a "Jesus of history" who would differ from the "Christ of faith." The Church acknowledges and confesses Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mt 16:16): Christ is none other than Jesus of Nazareth: he is the Word of God made man for the salvation of all. In Christ "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9) and "from his fullness have we all received" (Jn 1:16). The "only Son, who is the bosom of the Father" (Jn 1:18) is "the beloved Son, in whom we have redemption.... For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his Cross" (Col 1:13-14, 19-20). It is precisely this uniqueness of Christ which gives him an absolute and universal significance, whereby, while belonging to history, he remains history's center and goal:7 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Rv 22:13).

    Thus, although it is legitimate and helpful to consider the various aspects of the mystery of Christ, we must never lose sight of its unity. In the process of discovering and appreciating the manifold gifts-especially the spiritual treasures-that God has bestowed on every people, we cannot separate those gifts from Jesus Christ, who is at the center of God's plan of salvation. Just as "by his incarnation the Son of God united himself in some sense with every human being," so too "we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in the Paschal Mystery in a manner known to God."8 God's plan is "to unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth" (Eph 1:10).

    Faith in Christ Is Directed to Man's Freedom

    7. The urgency of missionary activity derives from the radical newness of life brought by Christ and lived by his followers. This new life is a gift from God, and people are asked to accept and develop it, if they wish to realize the fullness of their vocation in conformity to Christ. The whole New Testament is a hymn to the new life of those who believe in Christ and live in his Church. Salvation in Christ, as witnessed to and proclaimed by the Church, is God's self-communication: "It is love which not only creates the good, but also grants participation in the very life of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For he who loves desires to give himself."9

    God offers mankind this newness of life. "Can one reject Christ and everything that he has brought about in the history of mankind? Of course one can. Man is free. He can say 'no' to God. He can say 'no' to Christ. But the fundamental question remains: Is it legitimate to do this? And what would make it legitimate?"10

    8. In the modern world there is a tendency to reduce man to his horizontal dimension alone. But without an openness to the Absolute, what does man become? The answer to this question is found in the experience of every individual, but it is also written in the history of humanity with the blood shed in the name of ideologies or by political regimes which have sought to build a "new humanity" without God.11

    Moreover, the Second Vatican Council replies to those concerned with safeguarding freedom of conscience: "The human person has a right to religious freedom.... All should have such immunity from coercion by individuals, or by groups, or by any human power, that no one should be forced to act against his conscience in religious matters, nor prevented from acting according to his conscience, whether in private or in public, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits."12

    Proclaiming Christ and bearing witness to him, when done in a way that respects consciences, does not violate freedom. Faith demands a free adherence on the part of man, but at the same time faith must also be offered to him, because the "multitudes have the right to know the riches of the mystery of Christ-riches in which we believe that the whole of humanity can find, in unsuspected fullness, everything that it is gropingly searching for concerning God, man and his destiny, life and death, and truth.... This is why the Church keeps her missionary spirit alive, and even wishes to intensify it in the moment of history in which we are living."13 But it must also be stated, again with the Council, that "in accordance with their dignity as persons, equipped with reason and free will and endowed with personal responsibility, all are impelled by their own nature and are bound by a moral obligation to seek truth, above all religious truth. They are further bound to hold to the truth once it is known, and to regulate their whole lives by its demands."14


    You should be careful to "seek out the truth" before you use your broad brush of condemnation.
     

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