We are dawning on the precise two thousandth year of the conception of the Church and Faith that Our Blessed Lord founded, built, and delivered (whether you believe that Church and Faith to be solely invisible or not). I can guarantee you, with as little or as much anecdotal or historical evidence, that there is not one church, one sect, one denomination, one branch, or one cafeteria flavor of Christianity, in the two thousand years of its public revelation, that has and currently receives as much globalized criticism, secular attention, theologically-cynical and over-sensationalized claims, disparaging accusations, and devil-infiltrated contentions and opinions as the Roman Catholic Church. Some of these ridiculous assertions have been planted and used for nearing almost exactly 500 years, i.e. “the Pope is the anti-Christ…the Catholic Church teaches salvation is earned by works…Catholics worship Mary”. However, a more recent and popular claim has trickled its way into our midst. Many have proposed that the Pope, along with the episcopate of the Catholic Church, has been plotting to establish a one-world religion by combining and uniting different aspects and doctrines of religions throughout the world.
About three weeks ago, the Vatican released an interfaith video displaying Pope Francis encouraging people of different faiths to increase their dialogue with each other and to acknowledge that we are “all children of God”. You can watch the video here:
Of course, without hesitation, this video went viral among non-Catholics in the United States and instantaneously regurgitated some of the same-old “disparaging accusations” and “over-sensationalized claims” against the Catholic Church. Lo and behold, I received three private messages and one public from four different non-Catholics, all within two weeks! On a side note, I fully encourage and welcome all and any private and/or public messages that include comments, questions, and/or remarks — rhetorical or genuinely inquisitive. The common theme among all four of these messages alluded to the 50-year old (post Vatican II Council, 1965) anti-Catholic claim that the RCC has been covertly strategizing to develop a globalized plan to mix and blend ideologies and theologies of various world religions, or the religions themselves, into an all-encompassing and encapsulating one-world religion – and thus fulfilling the prophecy of the foretold domination and rule of the anti-Christ and his deception of the entire planet. Remind you, I was an avid supporter of the aforementioned accusations against the Catholic Church, as I spent the vast majority of my life as a revolting and protesting anti-Catholic Confessional Lutheran. Until my recent reversion to the Catholic Church almost two years ago, I was protesting and toting this exact claim for many years.
This video, along with the one-world-religion claim, could supposedly hold concrete credibility and value, based upon its contextual arrangement. As we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, or, deception begets a friendly smile, and theologically, the devil masquerades himself as an angel of light. As trite as those idioms appear, deception is obviously something not to be taken too lightly. This video, encouraging interfaith dialogue, could theoretically be a coercive tactic used to deceive many into the ever so promulgation of the inevitable one-world religion. But let us solely use the evidence in the Life of Christ, as recorded in Scripture (only), to once-and-for-all debunk the ignorance of this meritless and sophomoric claim!
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” – John 4:9,10 NIV*
You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. – John 4:22 NIV*
So when the Samaritans came to him [Jesus], they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. – John 4:40 NIV*
So, what do these passages mean, as it relates to this tract and the claim of the Roman Catholic one-world religion? The Samaritans of Jesus’ day, a sect of Judaism, were not in full communion with ordinary Jews (Jesus was an ordinary Jew at the time). Jews despised Samaritans and even avoided passing through Samaritan territory lest they become contaminated. Saint John the Evangelist even went so far as to include the inspired words “For Jews do not associate with Samaritans” in John 4:9 NIV*. Likewise, the Samaritans did not care too much for the Jews: “And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem” Luke 9:52,53 NIV*. Samaritans were even a racially mixed society with Jewish and pagan ancestry. Hold on to this thought.
Let us look at another part of Scripture, perhaps one of the most notable and widely known throughout the entire world. It transcends creed, culture, language, and race – the Parable of the Good Samaritan. For the sake of effort and space, I will refer you to Luke 10 and encourage you to reread the parable, as you are probably well aware of its contents. You will notice that Our Blessed Lord used three different people in His illustration; a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan, four if you include the man who was attacked. The first two (priest and Levite) are ordinary Jews, just like Jesus was at the time of proclaiming His infamous allegory. In other words, Jesus, the priest, and Levite would all be considered to be belonging to the “true religion” of the time. Whereas the Samaritan, in addition to being a part of a schismatic and heretical sect, was detested and scorned by those belonging to the “true religion” of Judaism. Our loving Savior could have used any type of individual for explaining to the expert of the law, who exactly is “his neighbor”. Why would he dare to imagine using a Samaritan to point out who our neighbors are? Because, as the Holy Father, Pope Francis so beautifully said in Italian, “we are all children of God”. Simply exchange Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, or even Atheist for the Samaritan in the Parable, and you have a modern day perfect composition of a current Good Samaritan parable.
We are to interact with and love our neighbors as ourselves, but only those of the same faith!? No, we are to love and interact with all people, especially those of different faiths. How are we supposed to love our neighbor and spread the Gospel, if we cannot muster the audacity to even exchange words with them?! I will tell you why. Many of us have a tendency, an inclination if you will, to want to remain exclusive in our faith and in our relationship with our Creator, particularly when dealing with individuals who appear to have a relationship with a “different Creator” altogether, or when their religious/doctrinal views do not match ours. Moreover, much of us suffer, some more than others, from the concupiscence of sticking our necks out in gong-resounding boasts of spiritual pride. Claiming, that as we have the full deposit of faith once and forever delivered to the Saints by Jesus Christ Himself, and maintained perpetually by His Church, that we are somehow entitled to this gift, thus empowering us to rightly keep it all for ourselves. And as for those who do not possess this gift of the Good News, they are only entitled to their blasphemous and perverted “paths to God”. Did not Our Blessed Lord commission His Apostles to go and make disciples of all nations?! Let me let you in on a little secret. Many of those “nations” will inherently and initially have people of different faiths, among many other dissimilarities. How do you personally propose to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to foster the Kingdom of God, and to further the Mystical Body of Christ towards eternal life, if you will not have interfaith dialogue, while simultaneously preaching that only the “adopted sons of God through Holy Baptism” are in fact the only legitimate “children of God”?!
I have personally observed (and was a part of at one time) efforts to “proclaim” the Kingdom of God using two destructive methods. One, shoving doctrine down people’s throats, by rapid-firing Bible passages out of self-manifested spiritual pride, and two, literally not confessing or doing anything at all, stemmed from individuals’ seeming self-loathing lukewarmness of a relationship with their Savior. I have detected more antithetical energy geared towards dismembering the unity of the Catholic Church, for the past two thousand years (of which I have been around for 33), with false and naive protestations, than have I witnessed non-Catholics spending their time welcoming non-Christians into their flocks with charitable open arms, preceded by interfaith dialogue. No, the same antipathy towards the Catholic Church that many non-Catholics embrace, is the exact same antipathy that most non-Catholics hold for those of different faiths, inasmuch as it relates to interfaith dialogue and relationships. Therefore, the claim that the Pope along with the Catholic Church is conspiring to establish and maintain a one-world religion (in the way anti-Catholics propose) is nothing but a self-indicative insecurity of not being a part of the Oneness that Jesus prayed for:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23 NIV*
Notice, in this portion of Scripture, Jesus says “so that the world” and “then the world will know”. The ‘world’ in this prayerful context, does not ultimately refer only to future Christians who place their trust in their “Savior”, but rather every single living soul throughout the…world, until the consummation of all things. That includes Wiccans, Atheists, Agnostics, Satanists, Quakers, Lutherans, Baptists, Free Masons, Calvinists, Anglicans, Amish, Mormons etc. Our Blessed Lord did not pray that we would be one in conjoining different religious beliefs into one massive one-world religion. Rather He prayed that His Church would be One as the Father and the Son are one, primarily by sharing the same Holy Spirit as He proceeds from both the Father and the Son in eternal unity. God is One, His Church is One.
How else would we evangelize, proclaim, and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Atheists, Jews, Muslims etc. if we do not implement interfaith dialogue?! Remember and note: dialogue is just that, dialogue! Dialogue does not intrinsically and unavoidably effect condoning and/or approval of another’s faith or teaching on “truth”. Just because you or I interact with someone of a different faith, does not mean that we accept, embrace, and/or confess what they confess and believe religiously. By Jesus interacting with tax collectors, prostitutes, and Samaritans, He obviously did not condone or approve their way of life or beliefs, but rather wanted to heal them. How do you heal the sick if you avoid being around them!?
Jesus Christ wants a one-world religion! He prayed for it! Not the one-world religion of mixing and blending different doctrines from various man-made religions and the Divine One, that several non-Catholics avow the Catholic Church of conspiring. He wants all people of all nations to be His disciples. He does not want any non-Christians to remain non-Christian, “Instead he is patient with [them], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV* Most importantly, Our Blessed Lord “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4 NIV*
Pray for the conversion of souls. Pray for the gifts of the holy virtues of kindness and patience. Pray for the grace to love your enemies. Pray for me, as I pray for you. God love you!