29 March 2010

Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland statement on the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.

While we recognise the civil and religious rights of all, we cannot welcome or agree with the visit of the Pope to this country.

The Pope claims himself to be the vicar of Christ on earth, a title which assumes supreme and universal supremacy both in honour and jurisdiction over all - church, state, the world.  Any who would welcome him are in danger of appearing to acknowledge his primacy and universal supremacy in all of these matters.

We take this opportunity to call on all the people of our land to examine the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, especially on the matter of eternal salvation, and to see that the teaching of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church is at total variance with the Biblical  message that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

We therefore call on all the citizens of the United Kingdom, and especially members of the Loyal Orange Institution, to demonstrate their opposition to the Pope's visit to England and Scotland, and to oppose any future invitation to visit Northern Ireland.  At the same time, we call on all members of the Loyal Orange Institution to refrain from any uncharitable acts or sentiments against our Roman Catholic fellow countrymen.  Furthermore, we urge all members of the Institution to examine their own relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, to make sure that they have a saving faith in Him.

Finally, we encourage all our members to pray for a visitation to our land, not by the vicar of Christ, the holy father, as the Pope claims himself to be, but by the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, that both Protestant and Roman Catholic, as well as others from whatever background, may be brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and man.