Interfaith Conference in Kazakhstan: The Pope Denounces War – Except Against Traditional Mass

Interfaith Conference in Kazakhstan: The Pope Denounces War – Except Against Traditional Mass

From The Independent…

Pope Francis told the Russian Orthodox hierarchy and other faith leaders Tuesday that religion must never be used to justify the “evil” of war and that God must never “be held hostage to the human thirst for power.”

Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Francis opened an interfaith conference in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan by challenging delegations to unite in condemning war. He cited a Kazakh poet in warning that “he who permits evil and does not oppose it cannot be regarded as a true believer. At best he is a half-hearted believer.”

In the audience of the 80 imams, patriarchs, rabbis and muftis was Metropolitan Anthony, in charge of foreign relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, which has firmly backed Russia’s invasion. His boss, Patriarch Kirill, was supposed to have participated in the congress but canceled last month.

Kirill has justified Russia’s invasion on spiritual and ideological grounds, calling it a “metaphysical” battle with the West. He has blessed Russian soldiers going into war and invoked the idea that Russians and Ukrainians are one people.

Francis didn’t mention Russia or Ukraine in his remarks, which alongside those of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev opened the gathering of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Taoist and other faith groups aimed at promoting interreligious dialogue and fraternity as a force for peace in the world.

But speaking from Russia’s southern neighbor as the seven-month war rages on, Francis told the faith leaders that they themselves needed to take the lead in promoting a culture of peace, saying it was hypocritical to expect that non-believers would promote peace if religious leaders don’t.

“If the creator, to whom we have devoted our lives, is the author of human life, how can we who call ourselves believers consent to the destruction of that life?” he asked. “Mindful of the wrongs and errors of the past, let us unite our efforts to ensure that the Almighty will never again be held hostage to the human thirst for power.”

Francis then laid down a challenge to all those in the room to commit themselves to resolving disputes through dialogue and negotiation, not with recourse to arms.

“May we never justify violence. May we never allow the sacred to be exploited by the profane. The sacred must never be a prop for power, nor power a prop for the sacred!”

The religious leaders included Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni learning in Cairo, who warmly greeted Francis with a kiss on the cheek when the pope arrived in a wheelchair.

Francis and al-Tayeb signed a joint Christian-Muslim document promoting human fraternity as a force for peace in 2019 — a document that Tokayev cited in his own speech opening the congress.

There had been speculation that Francis could meet with Kirill on the sidelines of the congress after both confirmed their presence earlier this year. The two met for the first time in 2016 in Cuba — the first-ever meeting of a pope and Russian patriarch — and spoke by videoconference in the early weeks of the war.

Francis afterward publicly criticized Kirill’s justification of Ukraine’s invasion and warned that he mustn’t become “Putin’s altar boy.”  Source

Editor writes…

Once accused of having the “mentality of the Crusades”, it would seem not…

However, he’s fine with war within the Church – banishing the Traditional Latin Mass seems to be a priority.

Your thoughts…

Comments (23)

  • westminsterfly

    If ANYONE is holding God hostage to the ‘human thirst for power’ it’s Francis and Roche and their war on the traditional Mass.

    September 14, 2022 at 10:20 am
    • Josephine


      I couldn’t agree more. If this pope would only attend as many Latin Masses as he does interfaith conferences, he’d be a very different kind of pope. A Catholic one, LOL!

      I can’t help thinking it must be a grave sin before Almighty God for a pope to attend such a meeting. If I’m wrong, somebody please tell me why.

      September 14, 2022 at 11:29 am
      • Lily


        I would definitely say that it is a serious sin for any pope to be taking part in these interfaith meetings and that goes for JP II and his launching of the Assisi meetings which continue to this day. It’s one reason why I couldn’t believe he was being canonised, but I think all those fast-track canonisations will be looked at again and overturned in the future. If it’s not a sin to attend these meetings, why not? It’s not as if the pope is using them to push the truths of the faith, that’s not what he’s doing. He’s saying one religion is as good as another. If that’s not a sin when it directly contradicts the words of Jesus himself who said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no-one comes to the Father except by me”, then what is?

        September 14, 2022 at 1:13 pm
      • westminsterfly

        I always understood that interfaith and ecumenical gatherings were strictly forbidden before Vatican II. Wiser times. Something which was forbidden must have been wrong by its nature, and something wrong by its nature, can’t suddenly become right.

        September 14, 2022 at 3:21 pm
      • editor

        Josephine et al,

        There can be absolutely not a shred of doubt that participation in these ecumenical and interfaith events is objectively sinful, for ANY Catholic. When the Popes are leading the way, it means – well… we need to pray very hard indeed for them. Not, I repeat, NOT go about the place canonising them. If I’m wrong, point me in the direction of the most easy-going religion or cult – I’m joining up!

        September 14, 2022 at 4:44 pm
    • Laura


      I agree 100%.

      September 14, 2022 at 7:19 pm
  • Andrew Q

    Francis said…. And I’m at the point where I shrug my shoulders and go “la, la, la, not listening”. He’s an impediment to my faith.

    September 14, 2022 at 12:44 pm
    • Fidelis

      Andrew Q,

      I hope you don’t mean that. It’s an attitude that reminds me of the old army saying “lead, follow or get out of the way!”

      September 14, 2022 at 2:23 pm
  • Lily

    Andrew Q,

    FOOF says that a lot – I disagree. It’s because someone in this case Francis is an impediment to faith that we should be monitoring him and correcting him.

    This video corrects the error that wars and faith are wrong. This is a good talk on the Crusades.

    September 14, 2022 at 1:07 pm
  • Fidelis


    I agree – it’s all too tempting, and easy, to say wake me up when it’s all over, LOL! I know that feeling well! We have to take part in this spiritual battle or answer for it.

    That’s a very good video – he’s to the point and it makes for easy listening. I had known a lot of it before but it’s helpful to be reminded of the main arguments for the Crusades as they are always rolled out to attack the Church when the chance comes along.

    September 14, 2022 at 2:22 pm
  • RCAVictor

    Interfaith Conference….I wonder what Francis will be wearing. Feathers? A red clown nose? And does he have his pot of dirt ready to put on the table…er, altar…?

    Liberte, egalite, fraternite! Long live ze revolution! Long live Taco-mama!

    I think Francis is actually a stimulant to our Faith, not an impediment. The act of rejecting his disgraceful antics and his mealy-mouthed word salads, while clinging to Truth, is a faith-booster for me, as long as I do it respectfully. Which is not exactly a walk in the park…

    St. Alphonsus’ reading for today seems very appropriate regarding this sad individual and his Sherman’s March through Holy Mother Church:

    September 14, 2022 at 2:37 pm
    • Josephine

      RCA Victor,

      I think Francis is actually a stimulant to our Faith, not an impediment.

      That is how it should be because we know that God has prevented him from making any of his errors and stupid opinions binding on the Church. We have the proof, right there, that Christ is keeping his promise to be with his Church until the end of time. That has to strengthen our faith, and nothing Francis says or does should change that.

      September 15, 2022 at 12:00 pm
      • editor


        That is exactly the way we must respond to Francis’ nonsense. That Francis has not attempted to bind us to any of his baloney, not his false ecumenism and interfaith rubbish, nor his indulgent tolerance of various sexual evils, proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Christ has kept His promise to be with His Church until the end of time. That should strengthen our faith not weaken it.

        All Francis has done is add one more bad pope to the history books.

        September 15, 2022 at 4:30 pm
  • Laura

    I wonder if the Pope (and the UK bishops) noticed how the new King Charles III promised to uphold the Protestant religion during the accession to the throne ceremony, the other day.

    There are never any concessions made to the Catholic Church at these ecumenical and interfaith services and meetings – I wonder if they notice that? If that had been a Catholic ceremony, the word “Catholic” would have been taken out, I’m sure of it, but not “Protestant”.

    It’s a pity Catholics, from the Pope down, don’t have the same fervour, and the same belief in their faith that the Protestants do in theirs. They won’t give an inch at these events.

    Having said that, I did get the feeling that King Charles was not too comfortable promising to uphold Protestantism and the Church of Scotland. I wonder if anyone else noticed that, or is it just wishful thinking on my part, LOL! I really don’t think so, TBH.

    September 14, 2022 at 7:19 pm
  • editor

    N O T I C E . . .

    I’ve received an email asking prayers for Crofterlady’s sister, Susan, who has died after a short illness, RIP

    Please, everyone, remember to pray for the repose of Susan’s soul. May she rest in peace.

    Thank you.

    September 14, 2022 at 8:11 pm
    • Josephine

      Praying for the repose of Susan’s soul. RIP.

      September 15, 2022 at 11:57 am
    • Michael 🙏

      Dear Editor
      Be assured of my prayers
      Every blessing
      Michael 🙏

      September 15, 2022 at 6:49 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Prayers assured

    September 15, 2022 at 3:42 pm
  • crofterlady

    Thanks for all the prayers which are much appreciated.

    September 17, 2022 at 9:35 am
    • editor


      I’m sure we are all remembering to pray for your consolation, as well as for the repose of Susan’s soul. May she rest in peace.

      Take care.

      September 17, 2022 at 10:26 am
  • RCAVictor

    More mealy-mouthed gibberish from Francis (you know, the recipient of unknown wads of Red Chinese cash, and preparing himself, obviously, with this latest disgrace, to pocket even more…)

    September 17, 2022 at 3:04 pm
    • Lily

      RCA Victor,

      I call the Pope’s words in that report utterly wicked, especially his uncaring attitude to the upcoming fate of Cardinal Zen who faces trial under that evil regime. What a terrible, terrible, pope.

      September 17, 2022 at 4:51 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Sorry for being a bit late on commenting on Bergoglios new Venture ,but Victor whatever else we think of this Man as far as Catholicism is concerned, and its now Minus Zero. He sure can keep that personal Airplane of His in the Skies . My God but Bergoglio must do more Air Miles than Maverick ,AKA Tom Cruise. And He can sure talk some amount of Garbage .If their was a Nobel Peace Prize for spouting absolute rubbish am sure Bergoglio would even be ahead of Joke Biden. Does anyone know when Bergoglio worked as a Bouncer in Argentina if He ever done a stint of stand up comedian. If He didnt then Hes sure making up for lost time . The Man sure is a Legend. Hes the classic why speak 5 Minutes Garbage when you can speak 5 Hours. And remember this is the same Guy who said a Priests Sermon should be no more than 8 Minutes . Classic .

      September 17, 2022 at 10:06 pm

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