News
Featured Image
Pope Francis greets Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb at the Vatican, Nov. 15, 2019.Photo courtesy of Vatican Media

ANALYSIS

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – In the nearly thirty years which have passed since his consecration as a bishop, Pope Francis has established a long track record of belittling and even rejecting the need for conversion to Catholicism, dissuading Protestant friends from joining the Catholic Church.

Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in June 1992, meaning that from that moment on he was bound to be concerned with “the mandate of Christ to preach the Gospel to every creature” which “primarily and immediately concerns them [bishops].”

One of the chief duties of the Pope is to heed the command of Christ to teach the faith and bring converts to the Church: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt 28:19)

However, as bishop, cardinal, and eventually as Pontiff, the Argentine Jesuit displayed a consistent record of rejecting this duty, and instead discouraging converts from joining the Catholic Church.

‘The Church needs us as Anglicans’

Pope Francis has a record of actively belittling the importance of conversion to Catholicism, as evidenced during his days as a cardinal in South America. U.K. Catholic journalist Damian Thompson recently recalled comments made by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to an Anglican prelate in South America.


Indeed, in 2009, Cardinal Bergoglio spoke with the Anglican Bishop of Argentina and former Primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, Bishop Gregory Venables, advising Venables against converting. The conversation was held with reference to Pope Benedict XVI’s formation of the Anglican Ordinariate, through which Anglican clergy could convert to Catholicism.

“He called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the Church needs us as Anglicans,” Venables told the Anglican Communion News Service in 2013, one day after Francis was announced Pope. 

Venables, who described Francis as “a close and personal friend,” confirmed and elaborated his account of Bergoglio’s comments in a subsequent interview he gave to the BBC. Venables stated that his testimony of the conversation was true, although it “had not been meant for publication and had appeared on the Anglican Communion website without his consent.” 

The Anglican prelate added that he believed Bergoglio would assume a “balanced” position as Pope.

‘Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission’

In July 2014, Pentecostal prelate Bishop Tony Palmer died after being involved in a collision with a car. Palmer, like Venables, was a friend of Pope Francis, having met Bergoglio in 2008 in Buenos Aires, when he “sought the then-archbishop’s permission to work with charismatic Catholics in the city.”

Palmer, who married a lapsed Catholic from Italy, developed a deep friendship with Bergoglio in Argentina, coming to call the cardinal “Father Mario” and “my spiritual father.” Yet, as the Boston Globe reported, “when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission.

Cardinal Bergoglio reportedly told Palmer “we need to have bridge-builders,” thus preventing his conversion.

Years later, Palmer notably recorded Pope Francis with his phone at a private meeting they had in the Vatican in early 2014 as the Pope gave a video message to over 3,000 evangelicals at the “Kenneth Copeland Ministries” meeting. In the video, Pope Francis said the pair had been “been friends for years.”


Rome meeting prompted huge ecumenical document with Lutherans

Then in June 2014, Palmer met with the Pope again, this time bringing with him a group of evangelical leaders to the Vatican, whose collective reach was reportedly over 700 million people.

At that meeting, Palmer gave Francis a draft for a “proposed Declaration of Faith in Unity for Mission,” drawn up by evangelicals, which they asked to be signed by the Vatican and the major Protestant churches in Rome in 2017 – for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant revolt and the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

That document, handed to Francis by Palmer, was worked on, before being signed and released by Lutherans and Catholics in 2017, on the eve of the anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting the 95 Theses, which sparked the Protestant revolt. 

It was signed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the USCCB, and also presented to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU).

After Koch assessed the document, the PCPCU joined with the Lutheran World Foundation (LWF), and released an updated version of their 1999 joint document on justification to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s excommunication from the Catholic Church.

Bergoglio ‘is famous for his meetings with Protestants’

However, such revelations did not come as a surprise to Argentine journalist Marcelo González, who wrote about Bergoglio’s record in Argentina upon the announcement of the new Pope in 2013.

González stated: 

He has not missed any occasion for holding acts in which he lent his Cathedral to Protestants, Muslims, Jews, and even to partisan groups in the name of an impossible and unnecessary inter-religious dialogue. He is famous for his meetings with Protestants in the Luna Park arena where, together with preacher of the Pontifical House, Raniero Cantalamessa, he was “blessed” by Protestant ministers, in a common act of worship in which he, in practice, accepted the validity of the “powers” of the TV-pastors.

— Article continues below Petition —
PETITION: Investigate notorious abortionist for possible partial-birth abortions, infanticide
  Show Petition Text
11241 have signed the petition.
Let's get to 12500!
Thank you for signing this petition!
Add your signature:
  Show Petition Text
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.
Keep me updated via email on this petition and related issues.

The Surgi-Center, a Washington, D.C. abortion clinic infamous for offering late, second trimester abortions, and its owner, abortionist Cesare Santangelo, are at the center of a scandal involving possible violations of federal laws against partial-birth abortion and infanticide.

In an exclusive video interview with LifeSiteNews, Lauren Handy, the director of activism at Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), told LifeSiteNew's Editor-in-Chief, John-Henry Westen that, with the help of a whistleblower, her organization rescued and properly buried the remains of about one hundred aborted babies from Santangelo's Surgi-Center.

But, five of the deceased babies were so large and so developed that they suspected the Surgi-Center of engaging in the illegal practices of partial-birth abortion or infanticide (i.e., killing the child after birth) à la Kermit Gosnell.

The shocked pro-lifers then gave the aborted babies to the police and brought the matter to the attention of the D.C. Medical Examiner's office. But, the Medical Examiner's office has refused to take any action, saying they will not perform autopsies on the babies.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the Department of Justice, asking them to launch an investigation into alleged violations of federal law by Santangelo and the D.C. Surgi-Center, under either the Partial Birth Abortion Act (2003) or the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (2002). *Anyone - no matter where you reside - can sign this petition!

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there.

Handy and eight of her fellow pro-life rescuers in PAAU are, themselves, now facing jail-time after being arrested by the FBI for conducting a traditional pro-life sit-in in October, 2020, at the very same abortion center from which the late-term deceased babies (mentioned above) were rescued.

Please note that the two events - the pro-life rescue in 2020 and the gruesome discovery of the five near-to-full-term babies in the Surgi-Center's "bio-medical waste" earlier this year - are almost one-and-a-half years apart.

Thus, Handy believes that their recent arrest is no coincidence...and, moreover, that the FBI is being used to create a smokescreen by arresting her and the other pro-lifers.

At the same time, the D.C. Medical Examiner's office does not seem interested in discovering the truth about the deaths of the five aborted babies and possible illegal partial-birth abortions or infanticide happening at the D.C. Surgi-Center.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the Department of Justice, asking them to launch an investigation into alleged violations of federal law by Santangelo and the D.C. Surgi-Center, under either the Partial Birth Abortion Act (2003) or the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (2002).

The DOJ press release claims that the pro-lifers: "engaged in a conspiracy to create a blockade at the reproductive health care clinic to prevent the clinic from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services."

But, commenting on the arrest, Lauren Handy stated: "Media reports have stated that we ‘invaded’ the abortion center and ‘disrupted’ women from exercising their ‘reproductive rights’. No, that is not what we did."

"We entered the clinic and sought to love the women who were already there for their abortion procedures," Handy said. "We tried to offer them help so they would choose life. We non-violently defended the unborn who were about to be exterminated – the innocent, the most vulnerable, killed in horrific acts of violence and treated as so much trash."

Tireless pro-life activist Dr. Monica Miller, the director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and leader of Red Rose Rescue, told LifeSiteNews that "this is the first time any of them are facing federal charges. That the rescuers were hunted down by FBI agents is unprecedented in the history of pro-life activism."

All of this...possibly...for discovering five near-or-at-term aborted babies at Cesare Santangelo's D.C. Surgi-Center, and for seeking to give justice and dignity to the murdered babies.

The truth now needs to come out!

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the Department of Justice, asking them to launch an investigation into alleged violations of federal law by Santangelo and the D.C. Surgi-Center, under either the Partial Birth Abortion Act (2003) or the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (2002).

Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this urgent petition!

To contribute to the legal defense of Lauren Handy and the other eight members of PAAU, please CLICK on the following link to find out more about their LifeFunder campaign (also operated by LifeSiteNews): https://www.lifefunder.com/victims

Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Pro-life hero raided by FBI speaks about the aborted babies she was trying to honor' - https://rumble.com/vzsslx-exclusive-pro-life-hero-raided-by-fbi-speaks-about-the-aborted-babies-she-w.html

'Pro-lifers arrested in FBI raids, face 11 years in prison for blocking access to late-term abortion mill' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-lifers-raided-charged-and-face-11-years-in-jail-for-blocking-access-to-infamous-dc-abortion-mill/

'BREAKING: Video surfaces of FBI raid, arrest of nonviolent pro-life activists' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-video-surfaces-of-biden-fbi-raid-arrest-of-nonviolent-pro-life-activists/

'Court Docs reveal previously unknown patient death due to negligence at late-term abortion facility' - https://www.operationrescue.org/archives/court-docs-reveal-previously-unknown-patient-death-due-to-negligence-at-late-term-abortion-facility/

**Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot of pro-lifers protesting outside the Surgi-Center abortion facility, in Washington, D.C.

  Hide Petition Text

Papal record of condemning conversion efforts

Indeed, in 2015, Pope Francis continued his pre-papal tradition of pushing confusion on inter-religious aspects, when he told a Lutheran woman asking about receiving Communion with her Catholic husband to “go forward,” guided by individual conscience.

Commenting on these collected events, former Anglican turned Catholic priest Father Dwight Longenecker asked: “does Pope Francis–and for that matter–the rest of the Catholic hierarchy expect, want, desire, encourage, pray for Protestants to convert to Catholicism?”

Referencing a repeated “rejection” towards Protestants looking to convert, Longenecker explained:

It’s simple. Liberal Catholics don’t expect Protestants to convert to Catholicism because they don’t think they need to. It is true that we recognize them [Protestants] as our “separated brethren” and acknowledge their faith and baptism, but we also acknowledge that they are separated. Not only that, when two lines begin to diverge as they continue (unless one of them changes their direction) they do not get closer: they become separated further.

Some months later, while visiting Georgia in October 2016, Francis declared that it is a “very grave sin against ecumenism” for Catholics to try to convert Orthodox Christians. Despite the Orthodox having split from the Catholic Church over 1,000 years ago – arguing that the bishop of Constantinople should be recognized as the supreme pontiff, as well as disagreeing about the nature of the Trinity – Francis said: “We should never proselytize the Orthodox! They are our brothers and sisters, disciples of Jesus Christ.”

He repeated this rejection of the Biblical call to convert nations only days later, when at a meeting with Lutheran pilgrims in the Vatican, he rebuked an 8-year-old girl for her question about converting her friends: “It is not licit that you convince them of your faith; proselytism is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path.”

Francis praised for revealing ‘more shared ground to be discovered’

This long-standing record of rejecting the Scriptural command to convert and baptize the nations has won Pope Francis praise from non-Catholics. Writing in The Way in late 2020, Anglican minister Elizabeth Hoare lauded how “Francis’s attitude has come as a breath of fresh air, offering the possibility of more shared ground to be discovered.”

Noting how Laudato si had provided key, common ground between Catholics and evangelicals, Hoare praised Francis for his disregard of “pomp and ceremony” and “monarchical authority.”

“Francis is thus an ally in the efforts to make the gospel accessible to all,” wrote Hoare. “His informality and spontaneity are attractive to charismatic Protestants, with their more unstructured way of being Church … His call to discard what is no longer useful is heard gladly by Protestant Christians longing for change.”

Pius XI: Catholics must reject ‘false opinion’ that ‘all religions’ are ‘praiseworthy

In contrast to Francis’ record of dissuading conversion, Pope Pius XI, in his 1928 encyclical Mortalium animos, wrote Catholics cannot accept “that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.” 

“Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.”

Pius XI stated: “The union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it.”

Comments

Commenting Guidelines
LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.

12 Comments

    Loading...