Waldenses and the Pope
Earlier this year, Pope Francis became the first pope to visit a Waldensian church. On June 22, he visited Turin, Italy, and spoke in the church there. He even kissed the Bible which was banned and burned by his infamous predecessors. For 600 years, the Roman Catholic Church hounded and slaughtered Waldenses in their home territory in the Cottian Alps in northwest Italy, in France, and elsewhere. This is a fact of history that was documented by Waldensian pastors who were on the receiving end of the Inquisition. For many years I collected these histories, and we eventually published them in the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library. As late as 1690, Waldenses were being killed for their faith at the hands of Roman armies, and they did not receive full religious liberty in Italy until 1848. Since then, they have apostatized. In 1947, the Waldenses built the Agape ecumenical center, and beginning in the early 1980s, it hosted “ecumenical conferences for homosexuals” (You Are My Witnesses: The Waldenses across 800 Years, p. 303). In 1975, the Waldenses in Italy merged with the liberal Methodists and joined the World Council of Churches, which promotes unity among all churches and religions. In 2003, David Brown, Brian Snider, and I visited the Waldensian Museum in Torre Pellice, not far from Turin, and the woman in charge told us that she doesn’t believe in heaven or hell. She said that heaven is a metaphor. When asked how a person can be saved, she replied that “the main task we have is to live our life and when we are dead, God will think about us. Just try to be faithful to your vocation that God calls you to do.”
(Friday Church News Notes, December 18, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
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