Posts Tagged ‘pope francis’

Vatican Recognizes ‘Palestine’ Despite Desecration of Holy Sites


Photo: Associated Press

By Aaron Klein

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JERUSALEM – In a new treaty finalized Wednesday, the Vatican officially recognized the “state of Palestine,” providing the Palestinian Authority with a new victory in its bid to seek unilateral recognition of a state outside the framework of talks with Israel.

The Palestinians’ “state” comprises the territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern sections of Jerusalem, which encompass some of the most important churches and sites in Christianity.

The Vatican move comes despite the PA’s history of holy site desecration, the persecution of Christians and the Palestinians’ failure to ensure freedom of worship in territories under its control.

The Vatican treaty governs the Roman Catholic Church in the Palestinian territories. It uses language that changes a diplomatic recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization to instead recognize the non-existent “state of Palestine.”

The document “aims to enhance the life and activities of the Catholic Church and its recognition at the judicial level,” said Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, the Vatican’s deputy foreign minister, who led its six-person delegation in the talks.  Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

The Berean Call Conference: Israel in the Line of Fire

Evangelicals and Catholics Together and the Rejection of End-Time, Bible-Believing Christians

World Vision Cries “Reform” – But What About Israel and the Emerging Church – The Story Behind the Story

The End of Evangelical Support for Israel? The Jewish State’s International Standing

Evangelicals and Catholics Together and the Rejection of End-Time, Bible-Believing Christians

Letter to the Editor: What Does Lighthouse Trails Believe About Israel?

According to Rome, True Evangelization Not Complete Until A Christian Becomes Catholic

By Roger Oakland


We cannot fully comprehend the meaning of the Eucharist without understanding the term transubstantiation. Catholic author Joan Carroll Cruz provides the following definition:

The word officially approved by the Council of Trent to express the changing of the entire substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. After the Consecration only the appearances, or “accidents” (color, taste, smell, quantity, etc.) of bread and wine remain.1

During the act of consecration (performed by a priest), the bread (wafer) and wine miraculously are transformed into the actual presence of Jesus Christ. While the bread and wine may appear to be still bread and wine following the consecration, a mystical process has occurred, it is believed. Thus, Jesus is supposed to be physically present on the altar and physically eaten when the recipient ingests the consecrated wafer.

The January/February 2000 issue of Envoy Magazine (a bimonthly journal of Catholic apologetics and evangelization) further confirms what I am saying. The purpose for publishing this magazine “is to present the truths of the Catholic Faith in a fresh, contemporary style, featuring today’s top Catholic writers, full color-graphics, and an upbeat innovative format.”2

Located on the front cover of this issue is an illustration that shows the hands of a Catholic priest holding up a consecrated wafer, the sky and clouds in the background. The title on the magazine cover reads: “This Looks Like Bread, Tastes Like Bread, and Feels Like Bread. Is this GOD?” The “O” (which is actually the consecrated wafer) is the conspicuous object on the cover. One article in this issue is written by David Armstrong, who states:

[L]et’s take a look at the actual nature of what occurs in the miracle of transubstantiation. Accidental change occurs when non-essential outward properties (accidents) are changed in some fashion. For example, water can take on the properties of solidity as ice, and of vapor as steam…. In our every day natural experience, a change of substance is always accompanied by a corresponding change of accidents, or outward properties. One example would be the metabolizing of food, which literally changes to become part of our bodies as a result of digestion.

But the Eucharist is a supernatural transformation, in which substantial change occurs without accidental change. Thus, the outward properties of bread and wine continue after consecration, but their essence and substance are replaced by the substance of the true and actual Body and Blood of Christ.3

Pope Francis holds up the Eucharist as he gives Mass

It is important to mention that Armstrong is a convert to Catholicism. He confides that at one time, he did not understand the importance of transubstantiation. However, Armstrong now asks: “How could I … have had such an insufficient understanding of the Holy Eucharist: the central focus of Christian worship?”4

Like many others who have converted to Catholicism, Armstrong was enlightened to the significance of the Eucharist by studying the Church Fathers. He writes:

The evidence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, among the Church Fathers, is the most compelling of any historic Christian doctrine which Protestants now dispute.5

Now Armstrong is convinced that the consecrated wafer and wine is God and that it is the true and actual body and blood of Christ. He concludes:

This is what requires faith, and what causes many to stumble, because it is a miracle of a very sophisticated nature, one that doesn’t lend itself to empirical or scientific “proof.” But, in a sense, it is no more difficult to believe than the changing of water to ice, in which the outward properties change, while the substance (molecular structure) doesn’t. The Eucharist merely involves the opposite scenario: the substance changes while the outward properties don’t.6

The Power of the Priest

According to Catholic documents, Catholic priests have the power to manifest the presence of Jesus on an altar. At the moment of Consecration, the miraculous process known as transubstantiation supposedly occurs. As Joan Carroll Cruz states in her book Eucharistic Miracles:

The wafer of unleavened bread which becomes the Body and Blood of Christ at the moment of Consecration in the Mass. (One large Host for the priest and many small Hosts for the congregation are consecrated at Mass). The word derives from the Latin hostia, or “victim” since in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Jesus Christ offers Himself to God the Father as the victim and propitiation for our sins. (Thus each Mass is the renewal of the one Sacrifice of Calvary).7

To support this view, Catholics claim that transubstantiation was taught by Jesus at the Last Supper. Further, it is also believed it was at this time that Jesus anointed His disciples with this power to transform bread and wine into the actual presence of Christ. In turn, the Catholic Church teaches that this power was then transferred down through the centuries to a select chosen priesthood by apostolic succession and priestly ordination.

David Pearson, another contributing author for Envoy Magazine, explains this scenario in his article “Do Catholics Worship Cookies?” He writes:

[T]he first communicants received the First Communion from the Great High Priest himself. The unblemished Lamb of God, about to be sacrificed for their sins and those of the whole world for all time, fed his twelve Apostles—our first band of bishops—His very body and blood, under the appearance of bread and wine, from His own hand.

That’s what happens today in every Mass. Jesus, God’s perfect Passover lamb, uses the graces of apostolic succession and priestly ordination (the “laying on of hands” in the early Church) to feed every generation on His flesh and blood until He returns in glory.8

Pearson quotes former Protestant, now Catholic Scott Hahn saying, “When Jesus comes again at the end of time, He will not have a single drop more glory than He has right now upon the altars and in the tabernacles of our churches.” Hahn adds:

Today, even though we are thousands of miles from that little hill in Israel, we are there with Jesus in the upper room, and we are there with Jesus in heaven, whenever we go to Mass.9

Scott Hahn on the Power of Priests

Scott Hahn is not only a convert to Catholicism but is also a zealous promoter of the Eucharist. Both he and his wife Kimberly have testified that the Eucharist played a major role in their conversion to the Catholic Church. Hahn, a theology professor at a Catholic University in Steubenville, Ohio, and author of a number of books, also writes a regular column called “Scripture Matters” for Envoy Magazine. In an article titled “The Paternal Order of Priests,” he enthusiastically reminds Catholic priests of the power they have been endowed with. He writes:

As priests of the New Covenant, you are conformed to Christ in a unique and powerful way. Christian tradition speaks of ordination in the most astonishing terms. It is a commonplace of Catholic speech to say that the priest is alter Christus, another Christ. The Catechism tells us further that the priest acts “in the person of Christ” and like Christ, he is a “living image of God the Father.” Through the ministry of ordained priests, the presence of Jesus Christ “is made visible in the community of believers.”10

Elevating the priesthood to a level of godhood, Hahn exalts ordinary sinful men, by saying:

Theologians refer to the ontological change—a change in the man’s very being—that occurs with the sacrament of Holy Orders. Ordination “confers an indelible spiritual character” that is permanent and imprinted … forever.”11

Then comparing this supernatural transformation attributed to priesthood with the transformation that occurs during the consecration of the Host, Hahn states:

The great Cappadocian Father Gregory of Nyssa compared this sacramental change to the transubstantiation that occurs in the Eucharist. “The bread,” he explains, “is at first common bread. But when the sacramental action consecrates it, it is called the Body of Christ … The same power of the word makes the priest worthy of veneration and honor. The new blessing separates him from common, ordinary life. Yesterday he was one of the crowd, one of the people. Now, suddenly he has become a guide, a leader, a teacher of righteousness, an instructor of hidden mysteries. And this he does without any change in body and form. But while he appears to be the man he was before, his invisible soul has really been transformed to a higher condition by some invisible power and grace.”12

Eucharistic Evangelization

Vatican spokesman and Catholic priest Tom Forest says that true evangelization is not complete in a Christian’s life until he or she becomes Catholic. He points out the importance of the sacraments. Catholic sources state that the sacrament of the Eucharist is the most important sacrament. For example, in Eucharistic Miracles, Joan Carroll Cruz, writes:

[The Eucharist is] the Sacrament in which, under the appearances of bread and wine, the Body and Blood of Christ are truly, really and substantially present as the grace-producing food of our souls. More specifically, the consecrated Host and the consecrated “wine,” that is, the Precious Blood.13

Or according to the Catholic Catechism, we read:

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For the blessed Eucharist is contained in the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”14

Further, to make it absolutely clear the Eucharist is at the heart and core of what it means to be a Catholic, the Catechism further notes:

In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.15

According to Catholic teachings, the Eucharist represents Christ as a sacrifice for sins and that during the “sacrifice of the Mass,” Christ is daily being sacrificed for our sins. The Catholic Catechism states:

The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner.16

It should be apparent then that the Eucharistic Jesus present on every Catholic altar is of paramount importance to Catholicism and the Catholic faith. Truly the Eucharistic Jesus is the Jesus of Catholicism. However, this Eucharistic Christ is NOT the Jesus Christ of the Bible.


1. Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. xiii, Imprimatur, Philip M. Hannan, Archbishop of New Orleans, April 25, 1986, p. xxii.
2. Envoy Magazine, “What is Envoy’s Mission?” (, accessed 09/2007).
3. David Armstrong, “Is This God?” (Envoy Magazine, January/February 2000,, accessed 09/2007).
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles, op. cit., p. xxi.
8. David Pearson, “Do Catholics Worship Cookies?” (Envoy, Volume 7.2, 2003), p. 14.
9. Ibid.
10. Scott Hahn, “The Paternal Order of Priests: An Open Letter to Our Catholic Clergy, In a Time of Crisis” (insert in Envoy, Volume 7.2, 2003) in insert.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles, op. cit., p. xxi.
14. Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York, NY: Doubleday, First Image Books edition, Second Edition, April 1995), para. 1324, pp. 368-369.
15. Ibid., para. 1327, p. 369.
16. Ibid., para. 1367, p. 381.

Related Information:
 My Journey Out of Catholicism by David Dombrowski

Rick Warren: Protestants, Catholics Must Unite to Defend Life, Sex, Marriage – ‘We’re on the Same Team’

LTRP Note: This article is posted for research and informational purposes and not as an endorsement for the content.

By Michael Chapman
By CNS News

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who leads the eighth largest church in America, Saddleback Church, and is the author of the hugely popular book The Purpose Driven Life, said that Protestants and Catholics must form a “unity of missions” to defend the sanctity of life, sex, and the family, stressing that, “If you love Jesus, we’re on the same team.”

“We have far more in common than what divides us,” said Pastor Warren in an interview with Catholic News Service. “When you talk about Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, fundamentalists, Catholics, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, on and on, they would all say we believe in the Trinity.”

“We believe in the Bible,” he continued. “We believe in the resurrection; we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. These are the big issues.”

Warren, along with leaders of other faiths and denominations, attended a conference at the Vatican in November – the “Complementarity of Man and Woman” — to discuss and defend the family and marriage as being between one man and one woman, and related topics. He made his comments in the video in December. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

* Please refer to the “Road to Rome” Booklet Tracts for information related to this issue. These booklets can also be read on our blog by just typing in the title into the blog search engine.

The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ


The Conversion of Protestants to Catholicism Through the Eucharist

TV Preachers [Copeland, Robison] Glowingly Describe Meeting with Pope to Tear Down ‘Walls of Division’

Protestants Who Don’t Unite With Catholics are Guilty of “Spiritual Racism” 




2014 LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS YEAR IN REVIEW—Part 1: Top 10 Out-of-House News Stories

2014 review - year summary concept on a vintage slate blackboardAt the end of every year, Lighthouse Trails presents its YEAR IN REVIEW. Over the next few days, we will post a number of different categories with our top most important stories from each category. Our first category this year is our “Top 10 Out-of-House News Stories.”

This is an opportunity to read important articles and news stories, which you may not have had the chance to read earlier in the year when they were first released. Note: Because we are a research ministry, we often post articles for research and informational purposes from outside news sources, but this is not necessarily an endorsement of these particular sources. As we always recommend, use discernment and godly wisdom when visiting any website.

(Numbered in order of date posted—newest at top.)


1. The Daily Beast Writes Feature Article About Jesus Calling – Asks Questions Christian Leaders Ignore and Remain Silent OnThe Daily Beast

2. Bill Gothard Resigns from Institute in Basic Life Principles Under Allegations of Sexual Abuse—Recovering Grace

3. World Vision to Hire Homosexual “Married” CouplesNBC News

4. Black Pastors: Comparing Homosexuality to Civil Rights Fight is ‘Distortion’ of HistoryChristian News Network

5. The End of Evangelical Support for Israel? The Jewish State’s International StandingMiddle East Quarterly

6. Sad News – Courageous and Fireproof Filmmakers Include Contemplatives Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer in New Film on PrayerCCM

7. Seattle Megachurch Mars Hill Dissolves 2 Weeks After Founder Mark Driscoll ResignsAssociated Press

8. Pat Robertson Blasts Ken Ham’s Young Earth Beliefs: ‘Let’s Not Make a Joke of Ourselves’Christian News Network

9. Southern Baptists, Openly ‘Gay Christians’ Break Bread at ConferenceWall Street Journal

10. Russell Moore, Rick Warren to Join ‘Pope Francis’ With Muslims, Buddhists for Interfaith ConferenceChristian News Network

Pope Francis Elected After Supernatural “Signs Says Cardinal—The Role His Jesuit Contemplative Ways Play

According to a news article earlier this year in the UK newspaper The Telegraph, the “surprise election of Pope Francis came about because of a series of supernatural ‘signs,’ one of the leading Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church has claimed.”  The article also stated:

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, who was himself widely tipped as a possible successor to Pope Benedict, said he had personally had two “strong signs” that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was “the chosen one” in the run up to vote.

He said only divine intervention could explain the speed with which the Argentine Cardinal – who did not feature on any of the main lists of likely candidates compiled by Vatican experts – was elected.1

If this is true, that Pope Francis was elected through supernatural means, the question must be posed, from which side did this supernatural, “divine” intervention come? If it is indeed supernatural, it had to be either from God or from Satan (the two opposing forces). Because we know that the Catholic church is a false heretical church that believes salvation is justification through works and not the sole work of Christ on the Cross, that Mary is a co-redeemer who did not sin, and that Jesus Christ is found in the Eucharist and the Catholic Mass, we must conclude that this supernatural intervention that brought Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the station of Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is not from God.

How is this relevant to the evangelical/Protestant church today? As Lighthouse Trails and Understand the Times have reported since Pope Francis began his reign as Pope, evangelical leaders are racing to the Pope’s side like never before in the history of the evangelical/Protestant church. Some of these who are rallying with the Pope are Rick Warren, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, and James Robison, while other Christian leaders, such as Beth Moore, are coming out with statements that are giving strong credibility to the Catholic church.

It is a known fact that Pope Francis is a Jesuit. And as Lighthouse Trails has reported on a number of occasions, he is also a contemplative advocate. See our article Pope Francis – Spiritually “Founded” on a Contemplative Tradition. As research analyst Ray Yungen has documented, the Catholic Church is using contemplative prayer as a means of expanding her borders. Roger Oakland, founder of Understand the Times, has linked the mystical practice of the Eucharist to the Papacy’s New Evangelization program to bring the “lost brethren” back to the “Mother Church.” And as one can see, these efforts are having tremendous results. Ray Yungen states:

I had always been confused as to the real nature of this advance in the Catholic church. Was this just the work of a few mavericks and renegades, or did the church hierarchy sanction this practice? My concerns were affirmed when I read in an interview that the mystical prayer movement not only had the approval of the highest echelons of Catholicism but also was, in fact, the source of its expansion. (A Time of Departing, by Ray Yungen)

For thirteen years, Lighthouse Trails has been warning that when people get involved with contemplative meditation practices, they are putting themselves under demonic influence. In time, the spiritual outlook of contemplatives moves away from the Cross and the Gospel and moves toward panentheism and interspirituality.

How does all this tie together? The cover story in Christianity Today’s December 2014 issue proclaims: “Why Everyone is Flocking to Francis.” CT has its own idea of why “everyone” is drawn to the Pope. But if Lighthouse Trails is correct in our conclusions about contemplative spirituality and its outcome, then what is happening here is a “supernatural” occurrence in the lives of millions of people, both Catholic and non-Catholic, who are finding themselves dramatically affected by this Pope.

While we will not try to speculate what the possible role of this Pope could be in relation to Bible prophecy and the endtimes, we will say this with surety: between the New Age and the Catholic Church, the world is being drawn deeper and deeper into darkness and closer and closer to a false christ whom the Bible says is coming.

In closing, we’ll leave you with these words from Warren B. Smith:

The Catholic Church today [is] linked to the foundational New Age/New Spirituality teaching that God is “in” everyone.
The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the official source for all Roman Catholic doctrine today, states:

“Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ.” (#795)

“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” (#460) (cited from “Another Jesus” Calling by Warren B. Smith)



‘Pope Francis’ Bows Head in ‘Silent Adoration’ Beside Islamic Grand Mufti in Turkey’s Blue Mosque

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

TurkeyISTANBUL, Turkey – In a move that drew some concerns from onlookers worldwide, the Roman Catholic pontiff known as Francis visited Turkey’s Blue Mosque on Saturday, expressing reverence during a moment of prayer observed by the nation’s grand mufti, who led him on a tour of the Islamic facility.

According to reports, Francis took off his shoes, folded his hands and bowed his head, standing silently next to Rahmi Yaran, who serves as the nation’s highest Islamic leader as grand mufti. The two faced Mecca as Yaran prayed with his palms raised.

The Vatican described the gesture as a “moment of silent adoration” during the Roman Catholic leader’s visit to the 17th century Sultan Ahmet mosque. Other descriptions of the visit state that it is meant to show “mutual respect” for each other’s religion. Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI also visited the facility during his tenure.

“May Allah accept it,” Yaran said following the time of prayer. Click here to continue reading.


Will Rick Warren Play a Role In Persuading Some Calvary Chapel Pastors To Follow His Lead Toward Ecumenical Evangelicalism?

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

On November 17-19, 2014, an interreligious conference was hosted at the Vatican to discuss the sanctity of marriage under the definition that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. Beside numerous representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, the conference was attended and addressed by members of the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and Mormon faiths. Also, well-known Christian evangelical leaders from the United States—Pastor Rick Warren and Russel Moore—played a major role and were in attendance.

Rick Warren’s Video Statement

Warren’s comments documented by the proceeding video clip are clear and require no explanation.

The purpose of posting Rick Warren’s video statement is to appeal to Calvary Chapel pastors who have been persuaded by the new leadership at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa that Warren’s ecumenical direction is the “new” and enlightened pathway that Calvary Chapels of the future must choose in order to become relevant for the postmodern era that has reformed sound biblical teaching over the past decade. This is also an appeal to all evangelical pastors who have brought the Purpose Driven movement into their churches.

Further, this proclamation by Rick Warren is very similar to some of the ideas being presented by the “New Calvary Movement” promoted by Brian Brodersen and his cohorts. (Listen to a portion of Brodersen’s September 7, 2014 message titled “Unity in the Spirit”).

Click here to continue reading.

May 2015
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