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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pope Francis: ‘Bring All Religions Together,’ Concept Of One Denomination Raises Concerns


Pope Francis recently delivered a powerful message to ring in the new year at St. Peter’s Basilica’s Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace. In his message, which served as an introductory for this year’s theme, he discussed the positive aspects of unity among religions and cultures.

He urged all religions to come together and join in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. The powerful message was quite befitting for this year’s theme, “No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters.”

“All of us are called (by God) to be free, all are called to be sons and daughters, and each, according to his or her own responsibilities, is called to combat modern forms of enslavement. From every people, culture and religion, let us join our forces.”

However, the notion of bringing all religions together seems like a positive concept that would undoubtedly make the world a better place. But, unfortunately from a realistic perspective, there are definitely doubts. 

Due to the various beliefs of different denominations, some feel freedom and peace cannot work with religious ideology, dogma, or a theocracy because science and religion are in conflict with one another. He  also cites the complexity of the relationship between science and religion, which is often as controversial as the separation of church and state. Then, there are others who have rendered “coming together” as forming one denomination.

The ongoing argument about the concept and misconception of “one denomination” has sparked quite a debate. Although some agree with Pope Francis’ views, many argued that theoretically it could never happen, and “peace on earth” is an impossible feat. 

For example, many readers could not even fathom Muslims taking on the beliefs of any other religion or culture, let alone agree with the idea of anti-slavery.

Here are some of the responses to Pope Francis’ perspective of bringing all religions together.

“I am always wary of what the Pope has to say. Since waaaaay back when the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath day from the seventh day to the first day to demonstrate their strength, their agenda has been suspect. We are a thinking people. Think.”
“There will never be peace in the world unfortunately. People give each other the finger in traffic and you think people will stop and make peace?”
“how would you feel if someone suggested that al people become a different religion…like say Buddhism…how would you like that?”
“The pope may convince Catholics, some Protestants, and even a few Muslim clerics in a venue for justice, but Muslims in general will never agree to anti-slavery, at least not in practice, else they’d have to edit their book. Regardless, when religious bodies “join forces” in religious exercises, prayers, etc., there’s often a vain attempt to intermingle light and darkness, good and evil, but the scriptures are clear that we are not to be unevenly yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). A church that incorporates wolves into the flock will soon be devoured.”
“We cannot possibly become one religion. We can all want the best for the betterment state of our country, but becoming one religion is not doing it. The Muslims, Hamas and Jihadists, don’t think so!”

However, there are some believers who feel the void between faith and science will close one day. But, what would that signify? In the book of Revelations, the bible speaks of one world religion near the end of time. So, although the sentiment is a relatively positive notion, many find the concept of peace on earth quite disconcerting.

Do you agree or disagree with Pope Francis’ concept of bringing all religions together? Share your thoughts.


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