1/22/2014 11:14:48 AM
Pope Francis Prays for the Dead
Pope Francis visited a cemetery in Rome last Friday in observance of the Roman Catholic holiday All Saints' Day to pray for the dead and bless the graves of the departed. He celebrated the blasphemous representation of the Eucharistic Christ during mass and ask the dead saints to pray for those who remain alive. "The saints who stand before the face of the Lord, pray for us, for this our city, and for the whole world, that everywhere the peace of Christ may shine brightly," he said. "He is our peace and eternal life."
Francis also offered a prayer himself for the dead, which was followed by a "blessing of the graves." Francis had visited the tomb of John Paul II the day before, located inside St. Peter's Basilica, and prayed silently. He also went to pay his respects to John XXIII and St. Pius X. On Saturday, Francis visited the Vatican Grotto, where a number of other popes are buried, and engaged in a private time of prayer for his predecessors. He is expected to observe mass today in memory of the Catholic bishops and cardinals that have died over the past year.
Mike Gendron was interviewed by the Christian News Network and said, "Prayers for the dead are useless and unbiblical because it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment" (Hebrews 11:27). "In other words, when people die they are immediately transferred to Heaven or Hell." "The determining factor is their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ at the moment of death," he continued. "Was He their merciful Savior who forgave their sins, or a righteous Judge who condemned them to the eternal lake of fire?" Gendron said that for this same reason, attempting to bless a grave is pointless and unavailing, and stated that the Pope has no power to bless anyone. Gendron noted that there have been concerning practices surrounding All Saints' Day for hundreds of years, and that these practices were among the factors that sparked the Protestant Reformation. "The Catholic Church has been venerating the relics (bone fragments) of saints on All Saints' Day for over 500 years," he explained. "This is why Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis on the door of the Castle Church on Oct. 31, the day before All Saints' Day. He knew Catholics would be seeking indulgences for the dead by going into the church to venerate over 1900 relics." "God's word says, 'No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him, for the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever,'" Gendron added, pointing to Psalm 49:7-8. See the entire article here.