TURIN, Italy (AP) — Pope Francis asked forgiveness Monday for the Catholic Church's persecution of members of a small evangelical church in Italy whose leader was excommunicated and followers branded as heretics during the Middle Ages.And of course, as Popes before him have done on such occasions, he blamed the persecution on unnamed "Christians" and implicitly denied the truth, that it was the Popes themselves who persecuted dissident Christians down the centuries,
During a speech to a few hundred people in the Waldensian temple of Turin, Francis decried how Christians over history committed atrocious acts of violence in the name of their faith.The article includes a typical bogus history of the Waldensians:
"On the part of the Catholic Church, I ask your forgiveness, I ask it for the non-Christian and even inhuman attitudes and behavior that we have showed you," Francis said somberly from the altar. "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us!"
The Waldensian church was founded in the 12th century by a wealthy merchant from Lyon, France, Pierre Valdo, who gave up his belongings to preach a Gospel of simplicity and poverty that condemned papal excesses. He was excommunicated and his followers persecuted as heretics by Rome.This is a misrepresentation of the history of the Waldenses, who lived in the Valleys of the Alps for centuries before Peter Valdo came along. In fact he probably took his name from the people, which was originally just a term for People of the Valleys. They had a Protestant Christian theology that went back to at least the sixth century including different groups under different names, all actively opposing the theology of the Roman Church. The various groups shared a basic Protestant theology though they were not completely in agreement with one another.
Three of the following links go to copies of the best source on this subject, History of the Ancient Christians Inhabiting the Valley of the Alps: Waldenses, Albigenses and Vaudois (1847) by Jean Paul Perrin. The Recommendatory Letter near the front of the book sketches out the relevant history:
Downloadable from Puritan Downloads:
article on Waldensians
Unfortunately, today's Waldensians are largely apostate from the true faith, which no doubt accounts for their applauding the Pope.