Zenit is carrying details of the Lenten meditations being delivered this week to the Pope by Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, former Archbishop of Bologna. According to Zenit, Biffi told his listeners: "The Antichrist presents himself as pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist." This apparent attack on ecumenism comes as in an unprecedented move, the Orthodox have been given their own chapel in the Catholic Cathedral in Trier. The chapel will be used for both Catholic Byzantine and Orthodox services, a move which will get some Orthodox jumping up and down. Richard Owen is reporting on the Antichrist from Rome. That Pope Benedict XVI should have chosen Biffi, once himself considered possible papabile, for his Lenten meditations is of itself interesting. Biffi has in the past made quite clear what his views are about the dangers of the modern era. But that Biffi should then go straight in with a talk straight out of the Book of Revelation gives a fascinating insight into the present mindset of senior in Rome. This picture, by Durer, shows Christ and the Antichrist. Biffi also said in his meditation to the Pope and other Vatican clerics: 'He will convoke an ecumenical council and will seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions, granting something to each one. The masses will follow him, with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants.'
Biffi was quoting the Russian mystic Soloviev, about whom he delivered a lecture in 2000. Soloviev, he said, also prophesied that 'days will come in Christianity in which they will try to reduce the salvific event to a mere series of values. He described how in his 'Tale of the Antichrist, Soloviev's last work before he died in 1900, he foresaw that a small group of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants would resist and say to the Antichrist: 'You give us everything, except what interests us, Jesus Christ.' Biffi said: 'Today, in fact, we run the risk of having a Christianity which puts aside Jesus with his cross and resurrection.' Biffi, who is 78, also said that if Christians 'limited themselves to speaking of shared values they would be more accepted on television programs and in social groups. But in this way, they will have renounced Jesus, the overwhelming reality of the resurrection.' He said this was the danger that Christians face in our days ... 'the Son of God cannot be reduced to a series of good projects sanctioned by the prevailing worldly mentality.'
Read the entire article on Ruth Glendhill's blog "The Articles of Faith" (new window will open).