If you needed any evidence the Catholic Church is the beast of Revelation here it comes!
In his latest ecumenical endeavor calling for all Christians to unite Pope Francis became the first Pope to visit a Waldensian Church.
“On the part of the Catholic Church, I ask your forgiveness, I ask it for the non-Christian and even inhuman attitudes and behavior that we have showed you,” said Pope Francis.
He added: “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us!”
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 center of the Waldensian Church, which has only about 30,000 followers worldwide.
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.
Some 1,700 Waldensians were killed in 1655 by Catholic forces commanded by the Duke of Savoy.
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.
Amazingly, Prior to the Pope’s remarks, Pastor Eugenio Bernardini, the pastor of the Waldensian community in Turin, welcomed Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and Adventists represented in the gathering!
Many Protestants view the Waldensians Christians among guardians of primitive Christianity during the great pagan apostasy of the dark ages.
Sheltered in the remote French and Italian Alps before the era of the printing press the Waldensians copied large sections of Scripture by hand and also had their children commit entire Gospels to memory.
Many believe their experience mirrors the prophecy in Revelation 12:14 – 16 “But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.”
The Catholic Church often sent a flood of soldiers into the mountains to exterminate the Waldensians but were turned back by the rugged terrain.
The Waldensians eventually joined the Protestant Reformation.