Hundreds of Evangelicals to Share Word of God With Catholics at Massive Fátima Event

Stoyan Zaimov
The Christian Post

Hundreds of  Portuguese evangelicals are reportedly planning to engage with Roman Catholics at the massive Fátima two-day event, where Pope Francis is set to canonize two shepherd children who 100 years ago claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary.

Evangelical Focus reported on Friday that Francis is visiting the famous Marian sanctuary near Lisbon on May 12 and 13, which has become one of the most important Catholic sites of the 20th century.

Some evangelicals are using the opportunity to speak with Catholics at the event marking 100 years since the sighting to “support the people going to Fátima in their needs, be they physical, emotional or spiritual,” said António Calaim, pastor and president of the Portuguese Evangelical Alliance.

Calaim explained that hundreds of evangelicals, mostly young believers from several churches, will be engaging in dialogue with pilgrims, tackling topics about God and the Bible, even if they disagree with Catholics about teachings concerning the Virgin Mary.

“These people heading towards Fátima these days deserve our consideration,” the pastor told Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The pastor explained where evangelicals and Catholics disagree:

“We do not agree with the idolatry of Mary, the worship of the saints and images, and the leadership of the Church in the whole world under one man,” he said, referring to the pope.

He added that evangelicals do not believe the apparitions claimed by the shepherds to be a real fact.

Still, Calaim insisted that the point of the engagement will not be to confront Catholics, but  “to give a hug and share the Word of God” with the people present there.

BBC News said that more than a million pilgrims are expected to attend the Pope Francis event at Fátima, with many believing that the visions of Mary, the first recounted on May 13, 1917, reveal truth to help mankind.

The Guardian recounted the story behind the Fátima, stating that “the children being canonized, brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who were nine and seven at the time of the apparitions, died of influenza two years later.”

“Their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, who became the main raconteur of their tale, is on track for beatification, the first step toward becoming a saint. Her case couldn’t begin until after her death in 2005,” it added.

The children, who were grazing sheep at the time, claimed to have seen half a dozen visions of the Virgin Mary, in which she revealed to them “apocalyptic messages foreshadowing the second world war, hell, the rise and fall of communism and the death of a pope.”

The pontiff sent a message to Portuguese Catholics, asking them to “whisper into the ears of each one of them, and assure them that her Immaculate Heart is a refuge and a path leading them to God.”

Francis noted that the logo of the event is “with Mary, I come as pilgrim in hope and in peace.”

With terror concerns high in Europe following a number of Islamic radical attacks in recent years, BBC noted that Portugal has deployed 6,000 police and emergency workers at the site, and have erected concrete blocks on approach roads to stop any “ramming” attacks with a vehicle.


Pope Condemns US for using “Mother” in MOAB. Popery is MOAB: Mother Of All Blasphemers; Mother Of Abominations Blasphemies; Mother Of All Beasts

Andrew & Hilkary Henriques
Saved to Serve

As the representative of what many claim to be the “Mother” church, Pope Francis has publicly decried the United States’ biggest non-nuclear bomb being called a mother (Mother of All Bombs or MOAB). He further stated that a deadly weapon should in no wise be labeled “mother.” He then designates what a mother is, “‘I was ashamed when I heard the name…’ A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother. What is happening?’”[1]

Indeed the church Pope Francis sits at the head of is a mother and is verified in scripture—but not as the mother of Christendom, but the mother of harlots—the mother of apostate churches. “…I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” Revelation 17:3-5.

“Protestant church leaders have expressed their disappointment at a document issued by the Vatican which reaffirms the Catholic stance on other churches. The Dominus Iesus declaration, which has been written by a close aide of Pope John Paul II, says that the Roman Catholic church is the ‘mother’ of all Christian denominations and that it is incorrect to refer to the Church of England and other Protestant churches as ‘sister’ organisations on a par with Rome.” [2]

It is unmistakable what power these verses bring to view based on the varied specifications.  According to verse 5 of Revelation 17, Roman Catholicism is not only the mother of harlots, but is also a MOAB of its own—Mother Of Abominations Blasphemies, or simply Mother Of All Blasphemers. This is an accurate representation of this entity considering the anti-Biblical, clearly pagan rituals, idolatry, belief systems and observances that can be described in no other way but as abominations and blasphemies. Revelation 17 is not the only scripture that delineates Roman Catholicism as a blasphemous and abominable power; in fact, every time this power is described in scripture, these identifying marks are highlighted so there can be no ambiguity as to who this power represents. Riding upon a scarlet colored beast, this power could also be classified as the Mother Of All Beasts (MOAB), as she is seen in control over the beasts of the earth(riding upon, holding the reins and directing); which beasts represent nations or kingdoms (Daniel 7:17 and 23).

Bible prophecy foretells a time in which Roman Catholicism will again wield the control she once had over the nations and will lead the nations to enforce her decrees and sustain her abominable and blasphemous institutions beginning in America (see Revelation 13:11-18). In Pope Francis’ statement concerning the use of the word “mother” to describe a bomb, he states that mothers give life, and that the “mother of all bombs” gives death.  Interestingly, it will be the “mother” church that gives life to the image of the beast and causes it speak and then destroy, not only liberties, but life itself.  Just notice the dichotomy: in giving life to the image, it causes those who do not worship the image to be killed. “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:15 (emphasis supplied).  Oh yes, the Papacy is a “life-giving” mother, but it is at the same time a destroying/murderous mother, a deadly killing machine, just as it has ever been since the days of its reign from 538-1798; truly a MOAB. 

Pope Francis has not a few times publicly criticized the actions and policies of Donald Trump; and neither has Mr. Trump been silent about his disagreement with Pope Francis. However, Pope Francis did send a congenial congratulatory message to Mr. Trump after his election as president, extending the “olive branch,” albeit for the self-serving motive of having greater influence over US politics. The two leaders are set to meet May 24 at the Vatican, the “mother’s” house. It has been just over 100 days since Donald Trump was inaugurated and already he is meeting with Pope Francis on his very first foreign trip as US President; and one purpose of the meeting is to fight “extremism.” This first meeting will likely set the stage for future encounters and greater cooperation moving forward to fight “common enemies.” While many journalists and others are expecting awkward and heated exchanges based on their history of pubic antagonism towards one another, prophecy foretells that the Papacy will dictate to the civil leaders of America (and other nations) to have Papal laws and principles carried out, and she will be successful in achieving this end. It must be remembered that before Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he was a sworn, high ranking Jesuit. He has never renounced his oath and allegiance to that organization. It is the purpose and practice of Jesuits to not only destroy Protestantism and reestablish Popery, but also, under various disguises to work “their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations.” [3]

The time is not far distant when the “Mother Of All Beasts,” the “Mother Of Abominations Blasphemies, Roman Catholicism, will control the nations and religions by uniting them in a one-world system to fight what she defines as “extremism” and other world evils such as climate change, immorality and poverty.  Those who oppose and refuse to join this grand movement, will be targeted and detonated on by this MOAB and her allies. How shall we stand?   


3 White, Ellen.  The Great Controversy (1911), page 235

Pope Francis offers to act as mediator in Venezuelan conflict


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday welcomed an offer by Pope Francis for Vatican mediation in the crisis-torn country but opposition leaders rebuffed the overture.
The pope’s call for a “negotiated solution” came in response to waves of protests by Venezuelans demanding new elections to pull the country out of a downward spiral.
At least 28 people have died in protests since they began April, and hundreds have been arrested.
“Dramatic news on the worsening of the situation in Venezuela keeps coming in with numerous deaths, injuries and prisoners,” the pontiff said before a crowd of 70,000 attending weekly prayers in Saint Peter’s Square.
“United in sorrow with the families of the victims… I issue a sincere appeal to the government and all sectors of Venezuelan society to avoid all forms of violence henceforward,” said the pontiff.
Urging respect for human rights, Francis said the Vatican was willing to act as a mediator under “clear conditions”.
Maduro responded on his weekly program on state VTV television, pointing a finger of blame at the opposition.
“If I say dialogue, they flee in horror. They don’t want dialogue.  Yesterday they lashed out at Pope Francis. I respect what Pope Francis is saying,” Maduro said.
He charged that the protests were an attempt to plunge the country into chaos, take over power and “impose a counter revolution on Venezuela”.
“There are no words for what they have done since April,” he said.
The opposition walked away from talks in December, accusing the government of failing to fulfill promises to set up a timetable for elections and free political prisoners.
Julio Borges, president of the opposition controlled National Assembly, said on Sunday he would send a document to Pope Francis reaffirming the opposition’s demands centered on general elections.
“The pope says some very interesting things. In the first place that, if there are no guarantees, there is no possibility of moving forward here,” he said.
Saturday, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said dialogue might be nice, but not involving Spanish ex prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The former PM, who took part in an earlier mediating team, was not neutral, according to Capriles.
Eight Latin American governments — Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay — backed the pontiff’s proposal in a joint statement released Sunday by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sunday, a day before Workers’ Day, Maduro increased the minimum monthly wage by 60 percent to the equivalent of 90 dollars at the official exchange rate; or 15 at the black market rate.
Venezuela suffers from one of the world’s highest rates of inflation — forecast by the IMF to come in at 720 percent this year.

Alongside Catholic leaders, President Trump signs executive order on religious liberty, health care

Michael O’Loughlin
America Magazine

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that instructs the Internal Revenue Service not to enforce a rule that bars churches from engaging in partisan politics and addresses concerns from some Catholic organizations about rules in the Affordable Care Act regarding contraception coverage.

Before the signing ceremony at the White House rose garden, Mr. Trump was scheduled to meet in the Oval Office with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C. They were also at the signing ceremony, along with other Catholic leaders, including Joe Cella, head of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast and an early supporter of Mr. Trump, and members of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The meeting and signing ceremony marked the National Day of Prayer.

Mr. Trump offered remarks during the ceremony, thanking religious leaders for joining him in the Rose Garden.

“It is a beautiful thing to see these three faith leaders from three very different faith traditions come together and lift up our nation in prayer,” Mr. Trump said. “Not only are we a nation of faith, we are a nation of tolerance.”

Mr. Trump said his executive order was meant to “defend the freedom of religion and speech in America.”

“No Americans should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith,” he said.

The president said he was directing the Justice Department “to develop new rules to ensure these religious protections are afforded to all Americans,” noting dozens of lawsuits brought against the Obama administration by various religious entities. He specifically called out “the attacks against the Little Sisters of the Poor,” whom he described as “incredible nuns who care for the sick, the elderly and the forgotten.”

He invited members of the religious order to join him at the podium. “I want you to know that your long ordeal will soon be over,” he said.

“With this executive order we are ending attacks on your religious liberty,” he said.

The White House said the executive order addresses concern from some Catholic organizations over certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act that they say compel them to violate their religious beliefs.

For years, the Little Sisters of the Poor and other Catholic groups have battled the federal government over a provision of the health care law that requires employers to provide insurance plans that cover contraception.

In May 2016, the Supreme Court sent combined cases against the contraceptive mandate back to the lower courts, which cleared the slate from their previous court rulings when five appeals courts had ruled in favor of the contraceptive mandate and one ruled against it.

The Supreme Court justices, at the time, expressed hope that both sides might be able to work out a compromise, which has not happened.

But on Thursday, the head of the religious order thanked the president.

“Nearly one year ago today the Supreme Court protected our ability to serve the elderly poor while remaining true to our faith,” Mother Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, said in a statement released by Becket, the law firm representing the Little Sisters. “Today we are grateful for the President’s order and look forward to the agencies giving us an exemption so that we can continue caring for the elderly poor and dying as if they were Christ himself without the fear of government punishment.”

The exact content of the executive orders remains a mystery. A Becket spokesperson told America after the signing ceremony that the organization had not yet received the final version of the orders.

Richard Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who follows religious liberty cases closely, said it appears doubtful that the executive orders will change much, at least in terms of the law.

“Americans who embrace our constitutional tradition of respecting religious liberty and the role of religious believers in public life will welcome, naturally, the Executive Order‘s declaration that the Administration is committed to protecting religious liberty,” Mr. Garnett wrote in an email to America. “In terms of specifics, however, the Order does very little and does not address a number of pressing and important questions.”

“And while it is a good thing—and long overdue—that the Administration apparently intends to craft a more reasonable and inclusive religious exemption from the contraception-coverage mandate, such regulatory relief was already probably on its way, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decisions,” he continued.

Mr. Trump’s executive order also directs the I.R.S. not to investigate churches and other houses of worship that endorse candidates or engage in partisan political activity, which under current rules puts in jeopardy their tax-exempt status.

“We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced anymore. We will never, ever stand for religious discrimination,” Mr. Trump said. “This financial threat against the faith community is over.”

Since 1954, only one church has lost its tax-exempt status under the Johnson Amendment, The New York Times reported.

“With respect to the enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, it is already the case that the relevant agencies and officials are highly deferential to churches and religious leaders, especially when it comes to what’s said in the context of sermons and homilies,” Mr. Garnett said.

The ceremony included three prayers, including one from Cardinal Wuerl. “Grant us to persevere in works of your mercy, conduct ourselves always in the way of salvation always free to walk in your light,” he said, touching on the theme of religious freedom. “We ask you now on this National Day of Prayer, bless us, bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.” He also prayed for the Trump administration, asking God that it have “respect for virtue and morality.”

Later in the ceremony, in a somewhat awkward juxtaposition, Cardinal Wuerl stood next to Mr. Trump as the president announced optimism that the House of Representatives would pass a new healthcare bill later today. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed opposition to current proposals that could strip millions of Americans of health insurance.

Mr. Trump campaigned on overturning the rule known as the Johnson Amendment, a promise endorsed by several high-profile evangelical leaders. Catholic leaders have not issued a strong statement either way.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops regularly reminds Catholic parishes, dioceses and nonprofits that they are barred from endorsing candidates or engaging in overt political activity, including earlier this month, when it published the 44-page document, “Political Activity and Lobbying Guidelines for Catholic Organizations.”

While the document is driven primarily by concerns about the I.R.S., canon law forbids priests from holding public office, a rule dating back to a time when a Catholic priest served as a U.S. representative from Massachusetts. Some canon lawyers interpret church law to be even broader, preventing clergy from engaging in politics altogether.

Meanwhile, some legal scholars say they are unsure if the executive order will survive court challenges.

Earlier this year, The Nation reported on a leaked draft of a proposed religious liberty executive order that was far more sweeping, which would have allowed individuals and businesses to cite religious objections as reason not to serve L.G.B.T. people. Thursday’s executive order is far less reaching, leading to disappointment from some religious liberty advocates.

“Grateful for Executive Order’s affirmation of the need to protect religious freedom. Much, much more needed, especially from Congress,” Russell Moore, head of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in a tweet on Thursday.

But the L.G.B.T.-rights group GLAD said it remains concerned about the scope of the executive order.

“We are far too familiar with attempts to use ‘religious liberty’ to justify circumventing nondiscrimination protections,” the group tweeted Thursday. “Trump’s order today promises to broaden church political power, and allow further restrictions on access to contraceptive care. Be vigilant.”

“We strongly encourage the president to see his campaign promise through to completion and to ensure that all Americans—no matter where they live or what their occupation is—enjoy the freedom to peacefully live and work consistent with their convictions without fear of government punishment,” Gregory Baylor, a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement released Wednesday night.

Last night, Mr. Trump dined with several high-profile evangelical leaders in the White House. The president also announced that his first foreign trip would include stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and “then to a place that my cardinals love very much, Rome.” Mr. Trump is expected to meet Pope Francis on May 24.

Material from the Catholic News Service was used in this report. This article has been updated.

CORRECTION, May 4, 2 p.m.: The original version of this story stated that President Trump signed two executive orders. He signed one, addressing two different areas of law related to religious liberty. 

Donald Trump hoping to use first foreign trip to unite religions against extremism

Ruth Sherlock
The Telegraph

Donald Trump will travel to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican later this month on a mission to unite three of the world’s most prominent religions against intolerance, terrorism and Iran.

Speaking from the Rose Garden during an event dedicated to religious liberties, Mr Trump said he would use the trip – his first foreign foray since becoming president – to build cooperation between Muslims, Christians and Jews for fighting terrorism.

“Our task is not to dictate to others how to live,” Mr Trump said.  “But to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the war-ravaged Middle East.” Continue reading

Religious Freedom: Trump targeting IRS rule on churches


After promising to “utterly destroy” the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates, President Trump is planning to sign an executive order asking the IRS to use “maximum enforcement discretion” over the regulation. Though some consider this a first step for religious freedom, others believe it to be “very weak tea.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump is seeking to further weaken enforcement of an IRS rule barring churches and tax-exempt groups from endorsing political candidates, in a long-anticipated executive order on religious freedom that has disappointed some of his supporters.

As he marks the National Day of Prayer at the White House Thursday, Trump is planning to sign an executive order asking the IRS to use “maximum enforcement discretion” over the regulation, known as Johnson Amendment, which applies to churches and nonprofits. Continue reading

Trump to visit the Vatican on first foreign trip as president


President Donald Trump will travel to Saudi Arabia, followed by Israel and the Vatican, in his first foreign trip later this month. The Vatican visit will include a meeting with the Pope, according to a senior administration official.

Trump cast the trip as “historic” and a way to promote religious tolerance in remarks at an executive-order signing in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. The visit to Saudi Arabia, he said, will include a “truly historic gathering in Saudi Arabia with leaders from all across the Muslim world.” Continue reading

Pope urges Vatican communications to go digital amid ongoing reform

Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic News Agency via CRUX

Pope Francis told the members of the Secretariat for Communications to make use of “the media that the new digital cultural context makes available to our contemporaries,” and he added that this reform must be done “with intelligence, meekness, but also…” the pope said “with a bit of ‘violence.”

ROME – Pope Francis told the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, which is holding their first plenary assembly this week, that given a growing digital culture throughout the world, new media must become a primary platform for spreading the Gospel.

“Studying new ways and means to communicate the Gospel of mercy to all people, in the heart of different cultures, through the media that the new digital cultural context makes available to our contemporaries” is something that is “very much in my heart,” Pope Francis said May 4. Continue reading

Trump to meet Pope Francis on May 24


The Vatican confirmed on Thursday what has long been rumored, which is that President Donald Trump will indeed meet Pope Francis when he comes to Italy in late May for a G7 summit. The encounter between Francis and Trump is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, at 8:30 am Rome time, which will be 2:30 am on the East Coast of the United States.

ROME – The Vatican confirmed on Thursday what has long been rumored, which is that President Donald Trump will indeed meet Pope Francis when he comes to Italy for a G7 summit in late May.

The long-anticipated tête-à-tête between Francis and Trump will take place on Wednesday, May 24, at 8:30 am Rome time, meaning 2:30 am on the East Coast of the United States, in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

In keeping with the Vatican’s diplomatic protocol, Trump will then meet Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, as well as British Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, in effect the Vatican’s Foreign Minister.

Though the timing is coincidental, the announcement comes on the same day that news broke Trump is poised to sign an executive order on religious freedom, the gist of which is to ease a long-standing codicil of American law, known as the “Johnson Amendment,” banning religious groups from directly endorsing a political candidate.

The Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty directs the IRS to provide “regulatory relief” to faith-based organizations that are tax-exempt, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday night.

The order also directs federal agencies to exempt some religious groups from providing birth control to employees and staff, as required under President Barack Obama’s “Affordable Care Act,” also known as Obamacare.

Objections to that contraception mandate have been a staple of Catholic criticism of the Obama administration, and triggered a lawsuit that involves, among other groups, the religious order the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Candidate Trump vowed to eliminate the contraception mandate, though recently the U.S. Justice Department signaled its intention to continue litigating the issue by requesting more time to file a brief in a case involving East Texas Baptist University.

Although the brief Vatican statement confirming the president’s meeting with the pope did not go into detail, it’s widely expected that the two men may discuss a wide range of issues where they have apparent differences, including immigration, poverty relief, and the effort to combat climate change.

Famously, when Pope Francis was asked a question in February 2016 about candidate Trump’s pledge to build a barrier along the US/Mexico border to deter immigration, he responded that a candidate who upholds such a position is “not a Christian,” because the Christian instinct is to build bridges rather than walls.

On the other hand, Francis and Trump could also find areas of agreement, including religious freedom. When the pontiff visited the United States in September 2015, he made an impromptu visit to a community of the Little Sisters of the Poor in a clear sign of support for their position in the litigation over the contraception mandates.

In general, neither the Vatican nor visiting heads of state ever outline an agenda for an encounter with the pope. In keeping with the tradition of his predecessors, Francis takes the position that such meetings are private, and the details of the conversation are not divulged.

The May 24 encounter will be the first opportunity to gauge how Trump wishes to engage the pope and his team, since, to date, he has yet to name a new envoy to the Vatican.

Though theoretically he could still do so in the roughly three weeks between now and the meeting, given the backlog of appointees awaiting Senate review, it’s unlikely a new ambassador will be in place before Trump arrives.

“There Is No Future Without Fraternity” (The Pope’s Message to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences)


Here is a translation of the unabridged text of Pope Francis’ message to Professor Margaret Archer, President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, on the occasion of the Dicastery’s Plenary Session on the theme: “Towards a Participatory Society: New Roads to Social and Cultural Integration” (Casina Pius IV, April 28-May 2, 2017).

Distinguished Lady


President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

On the occasion of the Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which has as its theme Towards a Participatory Society: New Roads to Social and Cultural Integration, I express my grateful greeting, to you Professor, to H.E. Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Soronodo and to each one of the participants. Continue reading