It’s difficult to log into any form of media this week and not get flooded with stories about Pope Francis’ visit to the US. That shouldn’t be surprising, though: He is, after all, the spiritual leader of some 1.2 billion Catholics, only the fourth pope to visit the States, and one who uses his position of influence to address such prevalent worldly matters such as predatory capitalism, abortion, “climate change,” gay marriage, immigration reform, among others. He is called the “Peoples’ Pope,” and for good cause; his message is one of justice and equality, one that would make a better world for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
While there is inherently nothing wrong with his message of equality, fairness and preserving our planet, as an Orthodox Christian, there’s something not quite right about his message: it aims to set up a utopia of sorts on this earth instead of focusing on the Kingdom not of this world, but that which is to come — the Kingdom of God. His message also seems devoid of Christ and His Gospels, and rather one of elevating himself and his marketability to the progressive, “forward thinking” mentality of today. Taking this in consideration, along with the hidden, yet very sordid history of the Papacy, it’s not a stretch to say that Pope Francis is a fraud. What’s more, it’s also not a stretch to say his disingenuousness is a harbinger of the “lawless one” to come.
“But he’s doing some much good raising awareness for these keys issues, ones that affect all peoples. Isn’t that essentially doing the work of Christ?” you may ask. Social justice is all well and good, I suppose, but the focus needs to always be on Christ and His Gospel — a message of repentance, righteousness, humility, and ultimately, salvation. People have tried — and continue to try — to create earthly paradises where human notions of “justice” and “equality” govern society, with man’s inherent “goodness” being the arbiter of morality, and where “logic” and “rationality” reign supreme. But the result of these so-called utopias is always death, as seen most clearly with Soviet Russia, thus becoming a dystopia. Granted, one should strive to “put first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)” in this life and in the next, but Christ also said, “My Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).” And yet, this world is all that seems to concern Pope Francis.
In his recent address to Pres. Barack Obama at the White House, Pope Francis reiterated his populist stance on the various key issues of today, and even hopes to share “many of the hopes and dreams of the American people.” Such is an understandably likable stance, but where is the message of salvation? If we are “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:12),” then why should a supposed spiritual leader share in the “hopes and dreams” of a country/culture that’s decidedly materialistic, secular and hell-bent on entertainment? He makes no mention of Christ, His Gospels, or salvation in his White House address. I’ll be as bold to say he won’t mention any of those things during his U.S. tour.
And that’s nothing to say of his faithful, ardent support of the hoax that is “climate change” (that’s for another post, I promise!), nor of his staged photo op yesterday, nor of his involvement in Argentina’s “Dirty War,” nor of him “humbly” riding around the US in a Fiat 500L, nor of his lack of mentioning that the White House or Congress funds and arms terrorist groups that kill Christians, but I digress.
While all this may point to that fact that Pope Francis is more of a political figure than a religious one, his emphasis on worldly matters and interest in his own popularity present a ominous foreshadowing of what is to come.
In addition to the long list of heresies the papacy has espoused for more than a millennium (31 heresies by Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus’ and Metropolitan Andrew of Dryinoupolis’ count), it has long sought to become both the head of church and the head of state, both priest and caesar, an absolute monarch. Father Seraphim Rose of Blessed Memory expounds upon this point:
In 1300 there was a jubilee year with the Pope Boniface VIII who seated himself on the throne of Constantine, arrayed himself with sword, crown, and scepter, and shouted aloud, ‘I am Caesar. I am Emperor.’ This is not by accident, because this is an indication of something extremely deep in the whole of modern thought, which is the search for a universal monarch, which is Antichrist.
Father Seraphim isn’t alone in this assessment of the papacy as a foreshadowing of the Antichrist. In fact, Elder Philotheos Zervakos outright states: “Papism is the forerunner the antichrist.”
Such a stance may seem extreme at first (I certainly know it did to me), but consider the Pope — one who spreads a message of utopian idealism rather than of Christ and salvation; one who sees himself as infallible in matters of faith; one who evokes emotional, rockstar-like hysteria wherever he goes; one who is touted as “humble,” even though he makes a big show of his “meek” sports car transportation, and the fact that he lives in a “simple” apartment is worldwide news, the parallels are all too clear.
Now, I myself am not one to interpret the Book of Revelations on my own, but rather rely on the testimony of those much wiser than me, testimony that we need to heed in order to not be deceived.
I encourage you to watch this video, taken from the writings of Father Seraphim Rose. It should give you a better understandings of how the Pope points to the Antichrist:
To clarify, I don’t believe Pope Francis is the Antichrist, nor do I believe Barack Obama is, either, as many a YouTube uploader these days seem to purport. Rather, I believe both of their duplicitous, deceptive natures are traits the lawless one will also display, and unless we are vigilant, will get swept away by their lofty rhetoric, and much to our detriment.
So before you praise Pope Francis as being a hip, connected, relevant, noble and overall honorable humanitarian leader, consider all that was mentioned above, as well as how Christ was killed for His message, whereas Pope Francis receives near-universal adoration. Christ Himself said:
I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept Me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him (John 5:43).
Let us not be lead astray by the media frenzy and #trendyhastags, but rather hold fast to the actual teachings of Christ and His Holy Church, so we may not look to another for earthly “progress,” but that we look to Him for eternal salvation.