Go read! Leonardo De Chirico


“ ‘Pray for me.’ The audience of this prayer request was a group of Muslim leaders, worshippers of Allah, bound to the authority of the Koran, denying the Triune nature of God and the divinity of Jesus Christ, following a work-based religion. The Pope went beyond diplomatic politeness or even the cordial, inter-religious tone of the conversation. He addressed these Muslims by asking for their prayers, using language that is ordinarily used among fellow Christians. “

“Pray for me” – A reflection by Leonardo de Chirico

Old Waldensian Paths


Psalm 36:1

1 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.


History brief – The Geneva Bible

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The Geneva Bible

“Their next publication was The Geneva Bible translated by William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, Lawrence Humphrey, Miles Coverdale (former Bishop of Exeter), Christopher Goodman and Thomas Sampson. It is based on the Great Bible for the Old Testament and on Whittingham’s revision of William Tyndale’s (1534) edition of the New Testament.  The scholars who produced the Geneva Bible had access to the best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts including Theodore Beza’s Codex.  The Geneva Bible was the first English Bible to be illustrated, annotated and divided into verses. Italics denoted which words were added to clarify the text. There were more than 140 editions of the Geneva Bible between 1560 and 1644. It was the Geneva Bible that those on the Mayflower took to America in 1620. Its printing in Geneva was overseen and financed by wealthy merchant, from Exeter, John Bodley, who was the father of Thomas Bodley who set up the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The printer was Rowland Hall. Bodley named his printing works back in London ‘The Halfe Eagle and Keye’ after the arms of Geneva and borrowed its motto ‘Post tenebras lux’ (“After darkness, I hope for Light” from Job 17.12).”
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Old Waldensian Paths

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Waldensian Confessions of Faith – the faith of “heretics”

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"LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS"

“LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS”

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Therefore we humbly entreat all the Evangelical and Protestant Churches, notwithstanding our poverty and lowness, to look upon us as true members of the mystical body of Christ, suffering for his name’s sake, and to continue unto us the help of their prayers to God, and all other effects of their charity, as we have heretofore abundantly experienced, for which we return them our most humble thanks, entreating the Lord with all our heart to be their rewarder, and to pour upon them the most precious blessings of grace and glory, both in this life and in that which is to come. Amen.

Source: Waldensian Confession (1655)

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Waldensian Confession of 1120

Source: Old Waldensian Paths.

1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles’ creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.

2. We believe that there is one God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)

4. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.

5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself….”

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Waldensian Confession (A. D. 1655)

Source: CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministries)

A brief confession of faith of the Reformed Churches of Piedmont

[Italy, capitol Turin – literally “at the foot of the mountains”]

Published with their Manifesto on the occasion of the frightful massacres of the year 1655.

Having understood that our adversaries, not contented to have most cruelly persecuted us, and robbed us of all our goods and estates, have yet an intention to render us odious to the world by spreading abroad many false reports, and so not only to defame our persons, but likewise to asperse with most shameful calumnies that holy and wholesome doctrine which we profess, we feel obliged, for the better information of those whose minds may perhaps be preoccupied by sinister opinions, to make a short declaration of our faith, such as we have heretofore professed as conformable to the Word of God; and so every one may see the falsity of those their calumnies, and also how unjustly we are hated and persecuted for a doctrine so innocent.

I. That there is one only God, who is a spiritual essence, eternal, infinite, all-wise, all merciful, and all-just, in one word, all-perfect; and that there are three persons in that one only and simple essence: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

II. That this God manifested himself to men by his works of Creation and Providence, as also by his Word revealed unto us, first by oracles in divers manners, and afterwards by those written books which are called the Holy Scripture…

…And for a more ample declaration of our faith we do here reiterate the same protestation which we caused to be printed in 1603, that is to say, that we do agree in sound doctrine with all the Reformed Churches of France, Great Britain, the Low Countries, Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and others, as it is set forth by them in their confessions; as also in the Confession of Augsburg, as it was explained by the author, promising to persevere constantly therein with the help of God, both in life and death, and being ready to subscribe to that eternal truth of God with our own blood, even as our ancestors have done from the days of the Apostles, and especially in these latter ages.

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The 1603 document referred to above can be found here:

Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: Volume 4, 1600–1693, James T. Dennison Jr., REFORMATION HERITAGE BOOKS Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Source: [PDF File] of “Waldensian Confession (1603)”

A Declaration of the Waldenses of the Valleys of Meane, and of Maties and of the Marquisate of Saluzzo, presented in the year 1603, to the Duke of Savoy. Whereas our predecessors from all time, and from father to son, have been instructed in the doctrine and religion which we have always openly professed from our childhood and in which we have instructed our families, as we have learned from our fathers, and which (while the king [of France] held the Marquisate of Saluzzo), we were permitted to profess without any disturbance no less than our brothers in the Valleys of Lucerne, who, by a treaty expressly made with their sovereign prince, have rejoiced with us in securing its continuation: and because His Highness, incited instead by persons of evil intentions than by his own will, has resolved to disturb us and to that end has brought forth an edict against us: that all the world may know that it is not for any crime which we have committed, either against the person of our prince, or to rebel against the laws, or that we have been guilty of murders, of thefts, etc.; that we have been tormented in that way, spoiled of our goods, and the possessions of our houses, etc. We declare that we are certain and persuaded that the doctrine and religion practiced by the Reformed Churches of France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland, Geneva, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and other kingdoms, nations and dominions, of which we have before made open profession under the obedience of our princes and principal sovereigns, is the only doctrine and religion ordained of God, which alone is able to render us acceptable to God and to lead us to salvation. We have resolved to hold it at the peril of our lives, goods, and honor, and to continue in it up to the last breath of our life. And if anyone believes that we are in error, we very humbly beseech him that he show us our errors; we offer to renounce it without delay and to follow whatever would be shown to be more excellent, desiring nothing more than to render the obedience to God that we owe to Him, as poor creatures, and by this means obtain from Him true and eternal happiness. But if by violence, they wish to constrain us to abandon the way of salvation, to follow the errors and false doctrines invented by men, we choose rather to suffer the loss of our houses, goods, and lives, begging most humbly His Highness, whom we recognize as our lawful Prince and Sovereign, that he not permit us to be persecuted without cause, but rather that he allow us to continue all the rest of our life, and our children and posterity after us, in the same obedience which we have before inviolably rendered as his true and faithful subjects. Since we request nothing else of him except the rendering whatever we ought according to the express commandment of God, we may also be allowed to give to God the service which is due to Him and which is required of us by His Word. And meanwhile in the midst of our calamities and banishment, we pray the Reformed churches to recognize us as true members of theirs, always ready to seal with our own blood, if God calls us to, the confession of faith which has been published, which we hold in every way agreeing with the doctrine of the holy apostles, wishing to live and die in it. And if for so doing we are persecuted, we return thanks to God, who has granted us the honor of suffering for Him, committing the outcome of our affairs and the justice of our cause into the hands of the providence of God, who will deliver us when and by the means which shall please Him. Most humbly praying that as He holds the hearts of kings and princes in His hand, He will be pleased to bend the heart of His Highness to have pity on us, who have never offended him, and have resolved not ever to offend him, that he may acknowledge us, he may recognize us to be most faithful subjects, than those who persuade him to persecute us severely, and for ourselves, that He will be pleased to strengthen us amid these temptations and give us constancy and patience to persevere in the profession of the truth until the end of our life and that of our posterity after us. Amen.

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How Rome views the Waldensians’ faith,

despite the ecumenical efforts of Francis I

Source: New Advent encyclopedia

An heretical sect which appeared in the second half of the twelfth century and, in a considerably modified form, has survived to the present day. 

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Resources

Brief history of the Waldensians

Timeline

Waldensian Confession of Faith / WALDESIAN CONFESSIONS

Statutes of the movement "Old Waldensian Paths" STATUTES - (EXTRACT) (Revision 7 July 2013)

Waldensian Tours (June 30 - July 9, 2016) "The Waldensian Valleys of Piedmont"

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Apologizing for mass murder

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POPE FRANCIS WALDENSIAN
Pope Francis shakes hands with Eugenio Bernardini, the Moderator of the Waldensian Church, during the first ever visit of a pope to the Waldensian evangelical church, in Turin, northern Italy, Monday, June 22, 2015. (L’ Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

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(Disclaimer: only a glimpse of the history of relations between the papacy and Waldensian Christians can be gleaned from these excerpts. Sitting popes came against them over a very long period of time. See J.A. Wylie’s History of the Waldenses, available in several formats.)

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A recent Papal apology

Pope Francis Asks Forgiveness For Catholic Church’s Persecution Of Waldensians

This HUFF POST RELIGION article by Philip Pullella (REUTERS) majors on Francis’ personality and the probable motive behind this apology – the push for “Christian” unity.

“Pope Francis asked forgiveness on Monday for the Roman Catholic Church’s ‘non-Christian and inhumane’ treatment in the past of the Waldensians, a tiny Protestant movement the Vatican tried to exterminate in the 15th century.

“Francis made his plea during the first ever visit by a pope to a Waldensian temple on the second day of a trip to Italy’s northern Piedmont region, the centre of the Waldensian Church, which has only about 30,000 followers worldwide.

“While the movement is miniscule compared to the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church, the gesture is part of Francis’ drive to promote Christian unity and it has taken on added significance ahead of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017.

“‘On behalf of the Catholic Church, I ask forgiveness for the un-Christian and even inhumane positions and actions taken against you historically,’ he said. ‘In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us!’

“The Waldensians, who now live mostly in Italy and Latin America, were founded by Peter Waldo in France in the late 12th century. He gave up his wealth and preached poverty but as the movement grew it came into increasing theological conflict with the papacy.

“The movement, an early precursor of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, was branded as heretical and in 1487 Pope Innocent VIII ordered its extermination.”

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"LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS"
Waldensian motto “Light Shines In Darkness”

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How faithful Waldensians view his apology

Pope meets the Waldensian Church

On July 3, 2015, the website of the group of Christians named “Sentieri Antichi Valdesi” (“Old Waldensian Paths”) published an analysis of the Pope’s apology and his reception in a Waldensian temple. 

“We believe that ‘hugs’ and forgiveness in this context, has little meaning. This is because the Catholicism represented by the current pope and the version of faith represented by the current ‘Waldensian’ moderator has very little to do with the actual Catholics and Waldensians who were in conflict. They may consider themselves their successors, and true ‘representatives’ but, in our view, they are not. Instead, they are an ‘evolution’, not necessarily for the best.

“Pope Bergoglio is a typical representative, in his own way, of post-modernist relativism. The lips which kiss the Waldensian Bible belong to the same pope who kisses statues of the Madonna and honour John Bosco, a staunch opponent of the Waldensians. These lips also pray in mosques and Buddhist temples. The pope seems to ‘value’ without discernment each form of religiosity, pretending to keep them all together, in the name of an unspecified spirituality. Undoubtedly, to the ‘ecumenical’ modern relativist this is pleasing. It avoids the question of truth arising. Everything is resolved in a sentimental ‘love’ without discernment.

“All this certainly has its own logic, but is it something we want to subscribe to? The same applies to the modern ‘Waldensians’. While the Waldensian Church is formally the same institution as it was, modern Waldensians, despite their claims, have little in common with their historic predecessors who drafted their confession of faith and joined the Reformation in Geneva. Although formally subscribing to this, the modern Waldensians leaders continually contradict it or believe they have ‘moved on’ from it. They are not children of the the Reformation, but children of Enlightenment rationalism and higher biblical criticism, which sought to undermine the authority of the Bible (so that it would not longer be considered the Word of God). They have sold out to the myth of ‘progress’. They are enthusiastic supporters of any ideology that is fashionable. Undoubtedly, they speak about ‘love’, but it is love without discernment or defined in a very questionable way. Above all, this love is devoid of the moral criteria established by God in His law, which is relativised.

“What, then, do we think of this meeting of the pope and the modern Waldensians? We consider it essentially mystifying, a ‘reconciliation’ acted out ​​by people and institutions with which, as Christians, we do not identify with and which do not represent us.”

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An older Papal apology

Pope Asks Forgiveness for Errors Of the Church Over 2,000 Years

The New York Times article by Alessandra Stanley (2000) shows the complexity of formal apologies for past sins in the thinking of the Catholic hierarchy; reveals the probable motivation for them; highlights crimes against the Jewish people; and, reveals the RCC’s belief that there is a need for mutual forgiveness. I believe that leveling a reproach in the context of any apology undercuts the value of the apology. 

“The public act of repentance, solemnly woven into the liturgy of Sunday Mass inside St. Peter’s Basilica, was an unprecedented moment in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, one that the ailing 79-year-old pope pushed forward over the doubts of even many of his own cardinals and bishops. He has said repeatedly that the new evangelization he is calling for in the third millennium can take place only after what he has described as a church-wide ‘purification of memory.'”

“The pope, broadening a process of reconciliation that began in the 1960’s during the Second Vatican Council, has issued apologies before, notably regretting in a 1998 document the failure of many Catholics to help Jews during the Holocaust. [At the time,] That document, ‘We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah,’ disappointed many leading Jewish groups, which complained that the pope did not go far enough in apologizing for the silence of church leaders, including the wartime pope, Pius XII.”

“The pope also mentioned the persecution of Catholics by other faiths. ‘As we ask forgiveness for our sins, we also forgive the sins committed by others against us,’ he said.”

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The Official view 

MEMORY AND RECONCILIATION: THE CHURCH AND THE FAULTS OF THE PAST

Except for these excerpts, I didn’t read this document. The topic was studied, and the document written, at the direction of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.

PRELIMINARY NOTE

The study of the topic “The Church and the Faults of the Past” was proposed to the International Theological Commission by its President, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in view of the celebration of the Jubilee Year 2000. A sub-commission was established to prepare this study; it was composed of Rev. Christopher BEGG, Msgr. Bruno FORTE (President), Rev. Sebastian KAROTEMPREL, S.D.B., Msgr. Roland MINNERATH, Rev. Thomas NORRIS, Rev. Rafael SALAZAR CARDENAS, M.Sp.S., and Msgr. Anton STRUKELJ. The general discussion of this theme took place in numerous meetings of the sub-commission and during the plenary sessions of the International Theological Commission held in Rome from 1998 to 1999. The present text was approved in forma specifica by the International Theological Commission, by written vote, and was then submitted to the President, Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who gave his approval for its publication.

CONCLUSION

At the conclusion of this reflection, it is appropriate to stress yet again that in every form of repentance for the wrongs of the past, and in each specific gesture connected with it, the Church addresses herself in the first place to God and seeks to give glory to him and to his mercy. Precisely in this way she is able to celebrate the dignity of the human person called to the fullness of life in faithful covenant with the living God: “The glory of God is man fully alive; but the life of man is the vision of God.” By such actions, the Church also gives witness to her trust in the power of the truth that makes us free (cf. Jn 8:32). Her “request for pardon must not be understood as an expression of false humility or as a denial of her 2,000-year history, which is certainly rich in merit in the areas of charity, culture, and holiness. Instead she responds to a necessary requirement of the truth, which, in addition to the positive aspects, recognizes the human limitations and weaknesses of the various generations of Christ’s disciples.” Recognition of the Truth is a source of reconciliation and peace because, as the Holy Father also states, “Love of the truth, sought with humility, is one of the great values capable of reuniting the men of today through the various cultures.” Because of her responsibility to Truth, the Church “cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without encouraging her children to purify themselves, through repentance, of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency and slowness to act. Acknowledging the weaknesses of the past is an act of honesty and courage…” It opens a new tomorrow for everyone.

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