Pope Francis: God redeemed everyone, ‘not just Catholics’

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Pope Francis waves to the crowd in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday (March 19) at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

Pope Francis waves to the crowd in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday (March 19) at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

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(RNS) In remarks that may prompt a theological debate about the nature of salvation, Pope Francis declared that God “has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!”

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  • Billysees

    Beautiful words and easily recognizable truth coming from Pope Francis.

    It’s thrilling to hear these things.

  • Dean

    Wow. If he says women can be priests and priests and gay people can be married, I’ll come home to Rome!

  • Rev Robert M Hundley

    Pope Francis came to head the church at a time in which there were many prisons & dead-ends. From the moment he became Pope he has opened the church in love toward others. Yes, there are some who are not yet where they want to be, but the feeling I have is that the Holy Catholic is again the church universal in Love & Care. Pax, RMH

  • Paige

    “To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”
    Pope Francis said these words almost at the exact same time a devout Muslim was beheading a British soldier in Woolwich in the middle of the street in broad daylight, and who then bragged about the murder citing from the Koran chapters 2, 9, 22. There is one ideology on this planet that mandates killing: Islam. Everyday around the world, Christians are slaughtered in the name of Allah. Will the Pope address this?

  • gilhcan

    I just hope he has plenty of protection, trusty protection, so he doesn’t end up like John Paul I. To prove all deaths are natural, autopsies must be required of all hierarchy, even popes.

    Now, Francis needs to call another council to dissolve the monarchy of the papacy and its curia and settle for consultation with national churches in which parishioners select their own clergy and the lay people and clergy of each diocese select their own bishop.

  • gilhcan

    That and a lot more changes. But the changes should be determined by a representative council of lay people and clergy of all dioceses working up through national councils who follow the will of the people of God!

  • gilhcan

    I hope you’re wrong. We already went through that with the Crusades and the “Holy” Inquisition. However, affirming the take-over of U.S. nuns by bishops appointed by lackey William Levada, formerly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, acting for the tyrannical Benedict, falls into the same category. We cannot wait much longer for Francis to show his true hand that he is in charge, not the curia. However, the idea of a monarch pope making absolute decisions is also wrong. The church needs to “democratize.”

  • Bluetree

    Islam does not condone murder, nor does it demand it, psychopaths who claim to do so in the name of Islam do. To condemn a way of being wholesale because of a gang of lunatics and possessed creatures, who are a feature within every culture is plain wrong.

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  • mike wee

    thats why they are all leaving catholicism as now they can go straight to the father bypassing jesus christ – vatican has betrayed God

  • mike wee

    francis, thats not a good way to extend olive leaves, or gaining friends from haters, you gave them empty promises – please do read the bible, you may have forgotten the most important message of christ, repent

  • Paige

    I cannot compare church governance decisions to the evil of Islamic jihad aspirations. I realize you’re applying the Pope’s words to your personal agenda, which you have every right to do, but I hope it’s not at the expense of facing the dangers of the well-estabished core institutions of Islamic jurisprudence that we see clearly manifested in the jihadists who attacked and killed British soldiers in the name of Allah.

  • Paige

    If you read the Koran and study the Hadiths, you will understand that Islam does indeed condone, mandate, justify, and command killing for Allah. I realize that bumper stickers tell us the “Islam is a religion of peace” but “peace” according to Islamic law is achieved when everyone has submitted to Islam and Sharia rule. There is no place for non-believers (non-Muslims) in the eyes of devout Muslims, Islamic scholars and imams.

    After murdering the British soldier yesterday, the bloody-handed jihadi very calmly requested to be filmed. He proceeded to explain that there are “many many suras (chapters) in the Koran” that he had followed. He quoted several of the hundreds of verses that command killing as a way to remove obstacles (non-Muslims) blocking the propagation of Islam.

    I do not condemn all Muslims. That would be wrong. Fortunately, there are Muslims who listen to their heart more than the mandates of their religion, in line with what Pope Francis also confirmed: “…doing good is not a matter of faith: It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because he has made us in his image and likeness.”

    I condemn the violent Koran and Hadith verses and the 1400 year history of Islamic violence.

    I condemn the lack of curiosity and often outright denial re: the true nature of Islam that leads otherwise intelligent people to carelessly categorize as mentally disordered the methodical, thoughtful, obedient, devout followers of Mohammed. Applying a Western understanding of religion and standards of decency as a means for good, to Islam, is a fatal mistake.

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  • Linda Ryan

    Jesus said far more about care for the poor and marginalized, love and looking for the kingdom of God around you than he did repentance. The most important message of Christ is that God loves us and wants us to learn to live together in peace and equality. He also said “let those who have ears hear.” They still aren’t listening, especially when repentance is the only message they preach.

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  • Joe W

    What the scripture in Mark says is that they perform these works in His Name – — And anyone who is not against us is for us….. I doubt an atheist or Muslim would perform these works in His Name and would say his is for Christ. What about where men are knocking on the door of heaven and say that they performed all these works…and Jesus said, go away I never knew you. They never did it with a heart of faith. I could see Francis using this as examples of opening the doors to all Christian faiths that follow Christ, but I do not understand His position as explained by the media at least.

  • David Thompson

    God “has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!”

    Can you exchange your blood redemption for something more valuable, like a piece of artwork from the Vatican? Not all of us would agree that we need or want a blood sacrifice to represent anything to do with us. I will take a million Vatican euro coins and renounce my redemption gleefully.


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  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Sorry,Linda,but I’m going to have to strongly disagreed with you on this.From my perspective,both this pope and yourself are propagating sloppy exegesis at best,and gross heresy at worst! Now,I realize that sound,careful,meticulous Scriptural study has fallen out of favor in recent years,replaced by feelgood”kumbaya can’t-we-all-just-get-along”pop pseudo-theology,but there are still those of us who,like the great Apostle Paul,won’t hesitate to…”Declare unto you ALL the counsel of God”…(Acts 20:27,KJV).Arguably,THE most important verse in Scripture could be said to be John 3:16;coupled with John 3:3,5 and the Shema,that is literally the WHOLE counsel of God,Linda.No mocking,derisive,God-hating unbeliever will EVER set foot in either the existing or coming Kingdom Of God outside of these criteria;Jesus was VERY clear on that,and frankly,it is highly irresponsible,if not outright blasphemous for this pope to imply otherwise!! “Good deeds”,as wonderful as they are,DO NOT redeem lost,hell-bound sinners,that is not what Scripture teaches;ONLY the Shed Blood of Our Savior does that,and only faith and trust in HIM secures that redemption!! NO ONE is redeemed simply by reason of their existence,AND only the Blood-bought,Born Again sons and daughters of God are His children;the so-called”universal fatherhood of God”implied by this pope is NOT taught by Our Savior,or anywhere in the Word of God! Get a clue,people;knock the dust off your Bibles-NOW!!!

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  • Chris

    There is a mindset among many that the Church must become more like our governments in how they make decisions. I understand there is great good in democracy, but I think it is unnecessary for this to happen in order for the Church to change for the better. If those in the Church who have been called to serve and lead will be faithful (as I see in Pope Francis) then we should trust them to make changes as well.

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  • Vic

    What changes are you talking about? What Pope Francis was talking about has been a basic Catholic belief for ages. Christ died to free all of humanity from sin (redemption). Whether or not those people accept Jesus and go to heaven (salvation) is different. This is not news.

  • Vic

    This is not what Francis said. Francis said that all men and women were redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice. This does not mean that they will go to heaven. Redemption is simply the freeing of humanity from sin. Nowhere does Francis say that you can enter heaven without faith. Redemption and salvation are two completely different things.

  • Vic

    You’re the one that needs to get a clue. Nowhere in this homily does Francis say that non-believers will go to heaven. Perhaps you should get your dictionary and look up what redemption actually is. All it means to be redeemed is that you are free from slavery to sin. That’s right. All Francis is saying here is that when Christ died he freed everyone from sin, including non-believers. No where does he say that non-believers will go to heaven.

  • Celeste

    If you had actually read the Koran or the Old Testament, you might feel differently. Just as any radical Muslim might find justification for killing [because of their own individual, twisted interpretation of what it says in the Koran], so any Jew or Christian can find justification for killing people who do not believe as they do. This was called the “ban” or “herem.” Check out Deut 7:1ff; 20: 1, for more information. Leviticus also has references to this practice as well.

    And, when you get ready to condemn some extremists of the Muslim faith, don’t forget the Ku Klux Klan considered themselves to be Christians.

  • Celeste

    Where did you get your theology degree because your “so called” exegesis is more than a little sloppy and needs a good tweeking. [I did receive my undergrad and graduate degrees in theology from an accredited Catholic University].

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  • Amen!

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  • Lucas


    Jesus (who is both God and man) laid the groundwork for salvation by stating: “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).

    The Catholic Church with its sacramental system (e.g., baptism, eucharist, confession, et. al. – all referenced by Jesus in scripture) is the straight and narrow to heaven (the later two sacraments sustain your faith until death) . As the Vatican stated a Christian who KNOWINGLY rejects salvation through the Catholic Church cannot be saved (unless they repent through confession).

    For those of you who are not truly saved, pray that God the Holy Trinity give you, through the Holy Spirit, the free gift of faith so that you may be born again (have the first parents’ original sin removed and your personal sin freely forgiven) by repenting of all your sins, believing that Jesus died for your sins, is all God and all man, is the second person of the Holy Trinity, that God is three persons – one God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and that Jesus rose from the dead and is coming back to judge the living and the dead.

    Also pick up and read the Bible and read a Catholic catechism and pray that the Holy Spirit guide you to an understanding of the mysteries of God, including salvation through the Catholic Church. Once you come to faith, call up a Catholic church and indicate you want to become a new Christian and be baptized; and then go to Church on all Sundays and holy days and be modest in your attire in and outside Church and avoid sin and occasions of sin. Remember the Church is full of saved sinners (and at times, as in our present times, many unsaved sinners who lack true faith). Also, pray for God’s continued grace throughout your life, especially in moments of doubt and temptation.

    Those who do not accept the innocent blood atonement of the Jesus on the Cross for their sins cannot be saved and will be judged by God the Father, instead, for all the sins they ever committed and be sent to hell. Those who reject the mercy of the Son (Jesus) choose hell because failure to accept this mercy leads to continued hatred of God and all the myriad of wicked sins that flow from this rejection of God. The reason for this negative outcome is that without being born again (having original and personal sin removed through faith and baptism) we are born in rebellion against God from our conception/birth and we need this rebellious nature removed before we can enter heaven (hence, the need to be born [again] through the water and spirit). Otherwise, those who lack faith and are unbaptized will hate God and choose hell over heaven WILLINGLY.

    However, unless you are convicted by God through the Holy Spirit (the third person of God) and then admit you are a weak sinner in need of Jesus for salvation, you will be blind, depth and dumb to the reality and gravity of your personal sin and the need for God in your life to overcome these sins. Therefore, please pray that God give you a repentant and contrite heart and that He open your minds to the reality of His existence. Because of our frail sin nature from birth, God understands our weakness for sin and this is why Jesus said He did not come to judge sinners, but rather to save them from their own condemnation before God.

  • Celeste

    Linda is correct…

    Between the Old and New Testaments, there are more than 2,000 references to caring for the poor. This instruction from God to humans is given more than any other instruction.

    Also, in the Gospel of John, the very last instruction Jesus gives to his disciples before he is taken for crucifixion is to “love one another as I have loved you.”

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  • Paige

    Celeste – I invite you to take the Koran challenge: Read it. From cover to cover. Killing in the name of Allah is not due to ‘individual, twisted’ interpretations. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    The KKK may consider themselves Christian, but they’re not following Christian doctrines.

  • The_L

    Technically, while Christianity has existed since the 1st century, the form that we call Roman Catholicism only dates back to the Council of Nicaea (hence the name of the NICENE Creed). I’m pretty sure that the world didn’t begin in CE 325! 😉 Before that point, there wasn’t any kind of church hierarchy or a definitive “New Testament;” Christianity was about as disorganized as the joke “religion” Pastafarianism!

    Please study Church history some more. It’s a fascinating topic that can only help your faith mature! 🙂

  • The_L

    I can’t believe that a pope is saying many of the things I’ve heard from Francis already–in a good way! He may finally bring the RCC higher-ups out of the 17th century and into the 21st.

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  • barb pelle

    Thank you Linda, Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is within us… when we seriously meditate upon this scripture of the kingdom we come to understand another scripture that says those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying…Jesus the Christ has redeemed all mankind…

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  • Kim

    The Malachi prophesy fullfilled. Ratzinger was “the last pope” on the list.
    CHeck it out and see what you think.
    We now have a true servant walking side by side w/ Jesus the Christ.
    Thanks be to God!

  • max

    I like this new pope. I am a lost catholic and I might just come back into the faith
    Based on this improved view. The Kingdom of God open for all not just Carholics. What a concept, Jesus didn’t just save Catholics maybe because
    there were no Catholics when he died on the cross.

  • BibleProphecy

    The BIBlE defines the antichrist in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17.
    Only the BIBLE can translate itself so you have to know some definitions in prophecy to determine the antichrist.

    1. Antichrist= ANTI= actually means: Strongs Concordance – instead of because of; in the replace of, or substitution [ref: Strongs Exhaustive Concordance]. 473 anti {an-tee’} a primary particle; opposite, i.e. instead or because of (rarely in
    addition to):–for, in the room of. Often used in composition to denote contrast, requital, SUBSTITUTION, correspondence, etc..

    2. Women= CHURCH; the bride to the bridegroom, the ten virgin parable, woman weeping for tammuz in Ezekiel 8, Zion as lonesome comely women, Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
    24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a WOMAN (Yahweh’s Church) clothed with the SUN (Gospel), and the MOON (Old Testament) under her feet , and upon her head a crown of TWELVE STARS (Twelve Tribes & Twelve Apostles):

    3. Beast= Nation or kingdom
    Daniel 7 has 4 beast referred to 4 nations or kingdoms, Winged lion is Babylon, Bear is Medo-Persia, 4 headed leopard as Greece, and indescribable beast with 10 horns as Roman Empire. So when you see beast in Daniel and Revelation Yahshua is talking about earthly kingdoms or Nations. Just like today the Eagle is USA, today’s bear is Russia, and the rooster is France and etc…
    Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
    So when you think of the beast of the bible than the bible is telling you it is a nation and now you are scratching your head…lol
    Even in Daniel 7 the 10 horns are the 10 kingdoms or nations that came out of the separation of the Roman Empire in 476 AD and when God described the antichrist as a little horn than he is saying it is a little nation or kingdom that comes out of the 10 horns, so a beast and little horn are the same. The bible tells us the antichrist was here before the three horns were ripped out, which is historically the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths and that this king would be diverse from the others kings or 10 horns.
    Daniel 7:20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and BEFORE whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
    23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
    24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

    So Revelation 17 describes the Antichrist as THE GREAT WHORE:
    Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of THE GREAT WHORE that sitteth upon many waters:
    2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
    3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

    So if God’s church is a woman when he describes the antichrist as a great whore, than DUUUH, the antichrist is a FALSE CHURCH! It sits on a beast than it is a both church and nation, so the only church that has been around since christ that was given civil power to Pope Vigilius in 538 and in 1929 became a nation with the Lateran Treaty and now has 180 ambassadors and a seat in the UN is THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Plus The Seven heads of the beast is the Seven hills which it sits on.
    Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
    Rome has always been known as the city of seven hills just google it yourself. The bible says its a 1. false church 2. nation that sits on seven hills and comes up out of the roman empire or the 10 horns of Daniels 4th beast.
    Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up AMONG them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

    There is no other church that is a nation and also sits on seven hills so if you think about the antichrist or beast as someone in the future only then think again, the bible clearly states it has been around since Christ in the following passages
    2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7, 10- 3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 7. For the mystery of lawlessness is ALREADY AT WORK; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that PERISH; BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved.
    1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesses not that Yahshua is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, where of ye have heard that it should come; and even NOW ALREADY IS IT IN THE WORLD.
    Daniel 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up AMONG them another LITTLE HORN, BEFORE whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up BEFORE which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words.
    I John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, EVEN NOW are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
    19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

    Look at Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, THE MOTHER Of HARLOTS, And Abominations Of The Earth.
    The MOTHER OF HARLOTS or a church that has other churches following it or has its mark, because Jesus told us:
    John 14:15 “If you love Me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
    John 14:21 He who has MY COMMANDMENTS AND KEEPS THEM, it is he who loves Me.
    John 15:10 If you KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
    I John 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and DOES NOT KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, IS A LIAR, and the TRUTH (Salvation) is NOT in him.
    Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.
    TITUS 1:16 They PROFESS that they know Yahweh; but in WORKS they DENY him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
    1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested , that he might destroy the works of the devil.
    1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth SIN transgresseth also the LAW: for SIN is the TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.
    Matthew 5:17-19
    17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
    18. For verily I say unto you, TILL heaven and earth PASS, ONE JOT or one tittle shall in NO WISE PASS from the LAW, till all be fulfilled.
    19. Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Then everyone who follows the first day of the week as the Sabbath or Lords day is is changing Gods law just as Daniel 7:25 said the antichrist would and those who follow are harlots of the mother. The antichrist would change TIMES and LAWS,
    Laws= Just look at any Catholic Catechism and their 10 commandments are missing the 2nd commandment of NO GRAVEN IMAGES, and every Catholic Church has statues of Mary and they break the 1st commandment by praying to Mary, The 10th commandment is split in two to make the 9th and 10th commandment in the catechism books. Most churches ignore the true 4th commandment on resting on the 7th day instead of the first.
    TIMES= 7th day Sabbath to first days of the week
    Pagan sun god new year in gregorian pagan named January instead of springtime new year of God set by the moon in Exodus 12 the month of Abib.
    PURE Pagan adopted holidays instead of Yahweh’s Holy Days.
    Holidays like X-mas which is the sun god Tammuz birthday who also was immaculately conceived by semmarius who said she was impregnated by the sun rays of her dead husband Nimrod who was the sun god.
    Pagan Adopted Easter the goddess of fertility who turned a egg laying bird into a egg laying rabbit because of its fertility and the priest of Easter would impregnate virgins on altars and next year when the babies were 3 months old they would slaughter them and paint eggs with the blood of the babies. Easter is set in the past and today by the suns equinox, where Gods first month and new year is set by the moon only and green barley in Jerusalem and sets the holy days.
    The holy days are set as law in Leviticus 23 and prophetic days that God’s son Jesus or Yahshua would fulfill and which he has fulfilled half of them and when he returns will fulfill the rest.

    Antichrist would speak pompously and blasphemies, and the BIBLE defines blasphemy as exalting yourself as god and man forgiving sins:
    Matthew 9:2-3; 2. and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; THY SINS BE FORGIVEN THEE.
    3. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, THIS MAN BLASPHEMY.
    2 Thessalonians 2:4 (antichrist) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
    Now we all know the Catholics view the Pope as Jesus in the flesh to look at the Pope is to look at Jesus and the Priest forgive sins in the confessionals. The Catholic Church is the only church that does this.

    The Number of a Man is 666:
    Revelation 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the NUMBER OF A MAN; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
    Title of the Pope; VICARIUS FILII DEI = Substitute son of God, the Vicar of Christ – Substitute Christ; Roman Numerals=
    Vicarius= 112
    FILII…..= 53
    DEI…….= 501
    TOTAL.= 666
    I know you can do this with other names but it does fit the Catholic Church

    I can go on and on giving more Identifiers but it is important only the BIBLE can identify the Antichrist.

  • Ann Guzylak

    Just to quickly address the previous comment about priests and marriage: A married man can become a priest, but an unmarried man who becomes a priest first cannot then get married. That is a fact.

    One of the conditions has been met. The other two are divine law that no one can change except God.

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  • I’m glad you love the Scriptures, but you really need to prove the Catholic Church denies our Lord Jesus Christ come in the flesh. This is the very core of every Catholic doctrine. Look into some real Catholic Church teachings. Please grab a catechism. They can be found used for change online, or new for a few dollars. Just search for the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is free online as well.

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