Papal Trip to Geneva Marks ‘New Spring’ In Ecumenism, Catholic Church’s Commitment to Christian Unity

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Pope Francis’ one-day pilgrimage to Geneva will mark another major ecumenical moment in his papacy.

While he will celebrate Mass for the nation’s Catholics and meet with Vatican diplomatic staff working at U.N. agencies there, the trip’s major focus is highlighting the Catholic Church’s commitment to seeking Christian unity and recognizing the unique contribution of the World Council of Churches.

Of his 22 apostolic trips abroad, the upcoming June 21 pilgrimage will be his second that’s so intently focused on ecumenism.

In 2016, he traveled to Lund, Sweden, for a joint commemoration with the Lutheran World Federation marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation begun by Martin Luther.

This time, Pope Francis heads to Geneva — where John Calvin led the reformation in the 16th-century — to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the World Council of Churches.

The WCC is a fellowship of 350 member-churches, representing Protestant communities and most of the Orthodox churches in the world. In total, these member churches represent 500 million Christians worldwide, making it the broadest coalition in the ecumenical movement. More on CatholicPhilly

Protestantism shall give the hand of fellowship to the Roman power. Then there will be a law against the Sabbath of God's creation, and then it is that God will do His “strange work” in the earth.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:910 (1886). LDE 130.1

How the Roman church can clear herself from the charge of idolatry we cannot see.... And this is the religion which Protestants are beginning to look upon with so much favor, and which will eventually be united with Protestantism. This union will not, however, be effected by a change in Catholicism, for Rome never changes. She claims infallibility. It is Protestantism that will change. The adoption of liberal ideas on its part will bring it where it can clasp the hand of Catholicism.—The Review and Herald, June 1, 1886. LDE 130.2

The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin, and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 7:975 (1891). LDE 130.3

Romanism in the Old World, and apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.—The Great Controversy, 616 (1911). LDE 130.4


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