Calvin on the papacy—Daniel and Paul foretold that Antichrist would sit in the temple of God (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4); we regard the Roman Pontiff as the leader and standard-bearer of that wicked and abominable kingdom. By placing his seat in the temple of God, it is intimated that his kingdom would not be such as to destroy the name either of Christ or of his Church. Hence, then, it is obvious that we do not at all deny that churches remain under his tyranny; churches, however, which by sacrilegious impiety he has profaned, by cruel domination has oppressed, by evil and deadly doctrines like poisoned potions has corrupted and almost slain; churches where Christ lies half-buried, the gospel is suppressed, piety is put to flight, and the worship of God almost abolished; where, in short, all things are in such disorder as to present the appearance of Babylon rather than the holy city of God (Institutes, II, IV, ii, 12).
LUTHER ON THE POPE—We regard and condemn both the pope and the Turk as the very Antichrist … (Vol. II, p. 181). It is impossible for the tyranny of the popes to continue any longer, for Rome is so tainted with every kind of wickedness that it cannot be any worse unless it becomes hell itself … (II, 220).… His Most Execrable Lordship, the pope … (II, 151). Our doctrine frees all nations from the torture and tyranny of Satan, from sin, from eternal death, from the countless monstrosities of the pope, and from the notoriously heavy burden of conscience (III, 342).—Luther’s Works, ed. by Jaroslav Pelikan, Concordia, 1960.
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES—We beg your eminence to accept the expression of our deeply felt sympathy on the decease of Pope John XXIII, who has contributed so greatly to the new brotherly relationships of the Churches believing in the one Lord. May he rest in peace and his works be fulfilled.—Cable to Cardinal Bea, president of the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, by Dr. FRANKLIN CLARK FRY, chairman of the Council’s Central Committee; Dr. ERNEST A. PAYNE, vice-chairman; and Dr. W. A. VISSER ’T HOOFT, WCC general secretary.
LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION—The hearts of Christians of every confession are united to a degree that is unique for many centuries at the death of the universally esteemed and beloved John XXIII, the Pope of Unity. Thanks to God who gave him to our generation. All of us would have wished for him to live on, throwing open doors of understanding and thawing the antagonisms that have separated Christian brethren. Our prayer is that the warmth of his spirit will not he chilled and the height of his vision will not shrink.—Franklin Clark Fry, president, Lutheran World Federation, the world’s largest Protestant grouping.
A MAN OF WIDE VISION—I feel that Pope John XXIII was a very aggressive and effective leader of his people. He was sincerely interested in the whole matter of world peace. He was a man of wide vision who demonstrated his insight to the critical condition of a world in need.—K. OWEN WHITE, president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
THE DIVINE SPARK—He was the chosen leader of world Catholicism, but his concern for the human spirit transcended all boundaries of belief or geography.… To him the divine spark which unites men would ultimately prove more enduring than the forces which divide.—President JOHN F. KENNEDY.
OUT OF THE KREMLIN—We retain good memories of John XXIII, whose fruitful activities for the maintenance and strengthening of peace earned him wide recognition and won him the respect of peace-loving peoples.—Premier NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV.
MAN OF THE YEAR—He has demonstrated such warmth, simplicity and charm that he has won the hearts of Catholics, Protestants and non-Christians alike.—Time magazine, saluting Pope John as “Man of the Year” in 1962, and as the most popular pontiff of modern times and perhaps ever.
A WORLD SPIRIT—Of all the leaders in the world at this moment, I know of none who so radiates a sense of paternal regard for all God’s children as Pope John XXIII.—ADLAI E. STEVENSON, United States ambassador to the United Nations, in a talk at Notre Dame University.
ABLE ARBITER—The death of Pope John is a loss not only to the Roman Catholic Church, but to a fragmented and anxious world needing meaning and unity in the midst of chaos. Pope John’s churchmanship and diplomacy made it possible for him to be an arbiter among the most divergent points of view.—EUGENE CARSON BLAKE, stated clerk of The United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
A RESURRECTION OF LOVE—The Pope seemed to be struggling to resurrect the message of Christian love from the grave of institutional absolutism where it has long been buried. I hope that the new pope will continue in this wise course. Pope John was more interested in people than in ritual, forms, and ceremonies. He was a kindly and earthy human being who had entered the door of friendship with other churches. I hope this will eventually lead to full religious freedom for those who have differing emphases.—GLENN ARCHER, Protestants and Other Americans United.
DIFFERENCES REMAIN—Although our beliefs differ sharply the Bible teaches us to mourn with those who mourn, so we share the sorrow of our Roman Catholic friends in the loss of their dedicated leader, Pope John XXIII.—ROBERT COOK, president, National Association of Evangelicals.
MORE THAN CHARITY—Pope John’s reform movement within his own church has confronted evangelicals with the prime necessity of reaffirming basic Reformation principles in the context of our modern, scientific-secular age. His vision of amity via conformity to Roman Catholic dogma, however, served only to reinforce the wall of separation between Roman Catholic tradition and classic evangelical Christianity. It will certainly take much more than his admirable spirit of charity to break down that wall.—STUART GARVER, Christ’s Mission.
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