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Catholic World News News Feature

Antichrist is an ecumenist, Vatican preacher warns March 01, 2007

Excesses of ecumenism and a tendency to downplay the Cross of Christ reflect the spirit of the Antichrist, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi warned Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia.

In a meditation preached during the Lenten Retreat for Vatican leaders this week, the outspoken Italian cardinal cited the vision of the Russian philosopher Vladimir Soloviev. “The Antichrist presents himself as a pacifist, ecologist, and ecumenist,” he said.

Cardinal Biffi decried the tendency of some Catholics to promote vague spiritual goals, rather than stressing the centrality of Christ’s Sacrifice. “Today,” he said, “we run the risk of having a Christianity that puts aside Jesus, the Cross, and the Resurrection.” He warned against the temptation to faith in Christ to “a mere set of values.”

Recalling Soloviev’s portrait of the Antichrist, the preacher said that the Antichrist waters down the truths of the faith, making concessions to satisfy every interest, and steadily gaining popularity. “The crowds follow him,” the cardinal said, “except for little groups of Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants.”

This lingering remnant, Cardinal Biffi said, levels the charge against the Antichrist: “You have given us everything except the one thing that we want: Jesus Christ.”

(The cardinal’s meditations are being preached during private sessions in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the apostolic palace. But Vatican Radio provided a summary of his talk.)

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