Fake Story on “Third Vatican Council” where Pope Francis calls All Religions Equal.

third vatican council

Pope Francis 1

There is a “fake” story circulating about Pope Francis  on social media and the internet – Over 10,000 shares on Facebook and counting. When I heard it, I wondered why was this not “breaking news”  in the mainstream media  considering the gravity of the “reported” statements but now I know…the story was FAKE!

A link was  innocently posted on Facebook and we all went agog  in utter dismay at the fake announcements and statements falsely attributed to Pope Francis. The writer (who shall remain un-named) called it a “satirical post” with a disclaimer at the bottom – which is basically, as Roger Rosenblatt would say, “an essay that stands on its head and sticks  out its tongue!”

I just wished he picked a different issue to tackle and not one about real people with far-reaching consequences all for traffic purposes and for his “amusement.”

The writer stated that the “Third Vatican Council ” concluded today. To put this in perspective, the last council organized by the Catholic Church was the Second Vatican Council from 1962-1965. The fake story states that Pope Francis convened this council of Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians in the Vatican City six months ago to “finally finish the work of the Second Vatican Council.”  These councils  review traditional Catholic dogmas and doctrines.

Even though, I am “Pentecostal”  I was intrigued because growing up, I attended a great Catholic elementary school  – Holy Child International, Ikot Ekpene. I still vividly remember the sprawling pine-tree lined campus, the chiming of the Angelus and camphor scent that trailed our nuns. When we got scrapes and bruises from playing, we were comforted by heartfelt  tenderness and care despite the scratchy discomfort of their amble bosoms bound and unyielding in stiff, starched grey or white habits.

The fabricator of this chaos, writes that Pope Francis said that, “Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes. The time has come to abandon all intolerance… Even atheists acknowledge the divine. Through acts of love and charity the atheist acknowledges God as well, and redeems his own soul…”

The post continues – “Through humility, soul-searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity… Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.”

Really…fables? Shocking! Wait, there’s more…

He continues by falsely quoting the Pope, stating that, “God is changing and evolving as we are, For God lives in us and in our hearts. When we spread love and kindness in the world, we touch our own divinity and recognize it… In accordance with our new understanding, we will begin to ordain women as cardinals, bishops and priests. In the future, it is my hope that we will have a woman pope one day. Let no door be closed to women that is open to men!”

Where does this guy draw the line? From raising false hope to adding action scenes, he writes that:

“Banging his fist on the podium as his voice loudly echoed through St. Peter’s Basilica,  these words charged on,  “Those who would dare to turn immigrants away, be they legal or undocumented, turn their backs on Christ himself! A racist is not a true Christian. A racist casts aside his humanity to become a beast, a demon! He is the embodiment and personification of evil, a Satan!”

Note the subtle reference to the fallen angel clearly written about in the books of Ezekiel and Revelation as “a Satan” He exchanged the attribute of a living breathing evil being, from a noun to an abstract definition.

With each incorrect statement, this tongue-in-cheek writer, sent traditionalists into fits of confusion and hysteria. It’s like the metaphor of the rodent nibbling at your heels while simultaneously blowing on it to assuage the pain! I was ecstatic about prospect of female priests and calls for inclusion, before I found out it was all lies. Oh! just go ahead and rip my paper heart to shreds!

third vatican council

Here are my thoughts:

While I am all for a more progressive, humane and inclusive church in general, introducing the theory of relativity in religion, is a slippery slope that leads to instability and confusion.
I don’t see Muslims and other religions joining in a Christ-is-Lord-Hallelujah-Kumbaya session anytime soon. They are resolute and definite about Allah, Buddha, Krishna etc. So I was hesitant in believing that the largest church in the world, would consent to completely eroding the very foundation of our faith.

For people who might get confused by this fake and satirical story and wonder what believers stand for, I share some of our beliefs and pray we never have to deal with this kind of embarrassment in our community again.

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”Alexander Hamilton

  • The Cross – was the disgraceful and excruciating crucifixion of Jesus a colossal waste of time? Absolutely not
  • The words of Jesus in John 14:6  – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • The promise of God the father in Malachi 3: 6 – “I am the Lord, I change not.”

The hypothesis  and postulation of the men evolve every other 50 to 100 years with the assault of ‘high thoughts’.  God is love, but He is also Father. He doesn’t consider His son’s suffering and crucifixion irrelevant and inconsequential. Neither will He ignore your pain or tears.  

All He requires that we believe Him and come to Him, as often as we can as children to a loving parent. We also have  been warned in 1 John 4 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world

Pope Francis

Museo Vatican Rome – Centuries of History

With man’s limited wisdom, we have many revisions of doctrines and teachings from religious leaders,  but in the spirit of Love, the truth is that God will never, ever send His children to hell no matter what. A child of God believes in Him. The Church’s mandate is to GO…help more people become God’s children.

“It’s not about right doing…it’s about right believing.” Joseph Prince

Doctrines come and go. That is the assurance we have in the Lord – His constancy, His love and the irrefutable promises of His Word. Read the Bible with a good devotional and find yourself in the scriptures and in His love.

Apologies and Happy New Year to Pope Francis, the Catholic Church and community. In the spirit of generosity, I pray the writer has better essay ideas in the future and makes his intentions very clear upfront.

Essays and Satirical posts are meant to make us think  about serious issues and in some way, the writer of the original post accomplished that, it’s just sad that most people didn’t know that.
Sharing and portraying a satirical story as real can happen to anyone, let’s follow our instincts and double-check our facts, especially with controversial stories or inflammatory information.

Enjoy your Holiday Season and Happy New Year!

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Annang Proverbs – Sage Advice For A Modern World

Annang Proverbs and Wisdom

Annang proverbs

For this post, I went way back home to the Annang tribe of hot-tempered warriors with an affinity to settle disputes with machetes rather than hold a peace conference, but over the years, cooler heads have prevailed. They are also known as incredible story-tellers and often end their sentences with proverbs and wise sayings for both pizzazz and emphasis.

Here are brief historical facts and some sage advice from this ancient tribe, starting with the traditional greeting – Annang, mma! Iya!

A Brief History of the Annang People

Annang ProverbsThe Annangs have a rich oral tradition. History reports that they have their origins in Jewish tribes from Egypt and settled in Ghana before arriving in the Coastal Southeastern Nigeria and Southwestern Cameroon in Africa. The Annang people and their Ibibio and Efik brothers and sisters live in Akwa Ibom State and Cross River State.

From ancient Egypt and through various wars and conquests, the Annang tribe was pushed south into the Sahara Desert. They moved across the desert, and some settled in the Upper West African region about 7500 BC. Remnants of their language according to Waddell can be found among the Egyptians. (Waddell, 1893) Another evidence of their Jewish/Egyptian origin is in their eight-day calendar, circumcision, burial customs and veneration of the dead.

Annang people value the ability to communicate, and the oratory skill using proverbs is revered, especially among the leaders. The American anthropologist, Peter Farb, stated that the name “Annang” among this group means ‘they who speak well.’  A person who has the gift of eloquent speech is often complimented as Akwo Annang.

Annang Proverbs

The Raffia City

The Annangs are known for the power of their charms, expertise in trading, and their renown art. My town – Ikot Ekpene is called “The Raffia City,” and their creativity is displayed in the marketplace through intricate handmade crafts like mats, baskets, gourd stands, bags, masks, hats, etc. This extends to mural paintings, wooden masks, cement sculptures, markets, ceremonies and exceptional food. Living in America, I miss their famous edikaikong and abak soup, made with a variety of fresh vegetable, dried fish, and jumbo crayfish!

Prof. E U Ette has a fascinating book on Annang Heritage but here are some examples of  proverbs that the Annang are famous for with applications for the more complex proverbs:

Unam andiyem idang me ekpe, ase akong udok expo

Translation: The animal who wants to mate with the lion, must die for love. 

Awo isikoppo ikor akunne ntak afon

Translation: No one listens to or takes the advice of someone dressed in tattered clothes.

Ese gwo-gwoob inua ekod atop ntan

Translation: A delicate biting technique is needed when chewing palm fruits covered with sand.

Application: Be open to new ways of doing things. Be sensitive and flexible in different life situations. With wisdom, apply appropriate actions and responses to circumstances and different situations in life.

Ama aborko uruk-ikot, adibabak uduk

Translation: An encounter with a snake, results in fear of ropes.

Application: People are often stuck in very painful experiences from their past.There Confronting issues that we would rather avoid or suppress in our subconscious brings cleansing and freedom. The Bible reminds us the “The truth sets us free.” Don’t let the shackles of the past keep you bound and make you miss out on life. 

Idiok ewa ase akpoi inuen ke anyong

Translation: It is the bad dog that barks at the flying bird

Application: This is about the efficient use of natural talent, time and making the right choices. In his book, Ette E.U. explained that, during the slave trade in the 18th century, village raids were common and watchmen stood with dogs at borders, to alert villagers of approaching raiders. A good dog barked to alert and warn people, but the bad dog backed at harmless things, like birds in the sky.

Se ebot akut adop uyo, akpon akan s’unen akut aso nkpoo 

Translation: What the goat sees and patiently endures in silence is often mightier than what the chicken sees and squeals loudly about.

Application: Goats show us the wisdom of silence. The chicken never seems to have a moment of silence and retrospect. They are continually clucking and screaming. Silence sustains our spirit within. Take time to be quiet, especially when chaos and troubles abound. You’ll be amazed at the rising of quiet revelation.

Itie usoro ama awawak, iwuo ase akponge utere  

Translation: When there are multiple festivals or parties, the vulture gets a headache.

Application: Lovers, simplify your life and be faithful. Be concerned with the principal issues of life and avoid overcrowding and over-extending your life with stuff and activities.

Annang, mma!

Let me know if you think these ancient Annang proverbs are still relevant today in a modern world. Enjoy this video of a modern Ibom dance group 🙂

PS: I have no affiliation with them, but I love that these young women are embracing the culture!

Prompt: Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent.

Credits:
Oral tradition has passed down information about our history from generation to the next, and I also have to acknowledge these listed sources as well.
1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annang
2. Farb, P (1974) Word Play: What Happens when People Talk. New York. Alfred Knopf Publishers ISBN 0-679-73408-2
3. Waddell, H.M. (1893) Thirty-Nine Years in West Africa and the West Indies. London. Frank Cass Ltd.
4. Ette, E. U. (2007) Annang Heritage Preservation Available http://www.annangheritage.org.
5. Excerpts from http://www.bukisa.com/articles/170306_the-history-and-significance-of-the-god-abassi#ixzz1s9taIeLd
6. www.wikipedia.org and Liddell, H.G.; Scott, R.. “Adamas”. A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus Project.