Is Pope Francis Leading the Church to a Schism?

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WSJ: German Catholics have been meeting since last year to consider major changes to church life, including the blessing of same-sex relationships and the ordination of women—moves that many see as essential reforms after the clerical sex-abuse crisis. But the effort has drawn fierce criticism.

Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, leader of the conservative minority of German bishops, has warned that the process could lead to a schism and even “a German national church.” His warnings have been echoed by cardinals and bishops in other countries. “Please join me in praying for the universal Church and the bishops in Germany, that they step back from this radical rupture,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said in May.

The threat of schism is alarming for any religious community but especially for the Catholic Church, whose very name is derived from the ancient Greek word for “universal” and whose core identity is inextricably tied to its global unity under the pope. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, an official handbook of church teaching, defines schism specifically in terms of papal authority, as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church…” Read More …

Opinion: In Revelation 13:1 John introduces the beast empire (revived Rome) of Antichrist with 7 heads (hills/Rome) and 10 horns (kings/power). In Rev. 13:2 four Gentile kingdoms, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome arise with blasphemous names. In Rev. 13:3-4 a false assassination/resurrection (mimicking the slain Christ), and the one who gives authority to the beast – Satan. A second beast, the False Prophet, is introduced in Rev. 13:11 accounting for the satanic trinity 666.

The Beast from the Earth (Rev. 13:11)

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”

The reference to a lamb suggests that he appears to resemble Jesus (high ranking clergy), but the fact that he speaks like a dragon shows him to be an impostor, preaching a Satanic gospel as if it is from Jesus Himself.

This 2nd beast has assumed all power and has demanded that the world should worship the 1st beast. It is this beast who demands every person to receive a mark (Rev. 13:7-8) on their right hand or forehead.

The Vision of the Woman on the Beast (17:3-4)

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.”

From this vantage point, John is able to see the woman previously introduced as the great harlot. She is seen seated on a scarlet-colored beast which is full of the names of blasphemy and which has seven heads and ten horns. The scarlet beast is the same one described in 13:1 where the beast is the revived Roman Empire in its character as the center of the world government of Gentile power in that day. The fact that the woman is riding the beast and is not the beast itself signifies that she represents ecclesiastical power as distinct from the beast which is the political power. Her position, that of riding the beast, indicates on the one hand that she is supported by the political power of the beast, and on the other that she is in a dominant role and at least outwardly controls and directs the beast.

The description of the woman as arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold, precious stones, and pearls is all too familiar to one acquainted with the trappings of ecclesiastical pomp today and especially of high officials in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches.

The most striking aspect of her presentation, however, is that she has a golden cup in her hand described as “full of abomination and filthiness of her fornication.” The Word of God does not spare words in describing the utter filthiness of this adulterous relationship in the sight of God. Few crimes in Scripture are spoken of in more unsparing terms than the crime of spiritual adultery of which this woman (apostate church) is the epitome. As alliance with the world and showy pomp increase, so spiritual truth and purity decline. source.

In Revelation 2, John described the Roman church as Thyatira, meaning continual sacrifice. In the Catholic Church, the Lord is still on the cross, and Catholics believe that the communion wafer becomes His actual body and blood as it’s consumed.

A schism in the Roman church would separate some who are saved (grace through faith – Eph. 2:8-9) and are taken up in the rapture, from those who are unsaved (works) who will go through the tribulation.

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