Joel Osteen Meets with Pope Francis at Vatican: ‘He’s Made the Church More Inclusive’

Joel OsteenROME — Megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen was among a group of political and religious leaders who met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday.

According to reports, Osteen was part of a delegation organized by the International Foundation in an effort to encourage interfaith relations and ecumenicism. Utah Senator Mike Lee (R), a Mormon, Gayle Beebe, the president of the interdenominational Westmont College in California, and Pastor Tim Timmons, founder of South Coast Community Church also in California, were among those who who greeted the pope, along with Osteen.

“I just felt very honored and very humbled,” Osteen told local television station Click 2 Houston. “It was amazing. And even to go back into that part of the Vatican—there’s so much history there, the place that they took us through. You feel that deep respect and reverence for God.”

The Lakewood leader also met with other Vatican staff during his visit, including Cardinal Pietro Paroli, Secretary of State for the Vatican, and had dinner with an unspecified staff member.

Osteen attended mass in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday prior to the meeting in the midst of a crowd of 100,000 people.

“Afterward, [the pope] spent an hour and a half going through the crowd with the Popemobile, greeting people,” he recalled to the Houston Chronicle. “It was very heartwarming to see him caring for people.”

Osteen told reporters that he believed the pope’s message and focus is one of unity.

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“I love the fact that’s he’s made the Church more inclusive,” he said. “Not trying to make it smaller, but to try to make it larger—to take everybody in. So, that just resonates with me.”

But others have expressed sadness about Osteen’s recent meeting at the Vatican, stating that ecumenicism is far from biblical.

“Joel Osteen has joined the rank of all other popular ministries in bowing his knee to the anti-Christ system, and those that blindly follow his leadership will be the first ones in line with their hand out to be marked by the beast,” Pastor Mark Herridge Sr. of Pentecostal Lighthouse Church in Livingston, Texas told Christian News Network.

“Any Protestant ministry that links up with the pope and Catholicism is betraying the sacrifice of millions of faithful Christians that have died at the hands of this brutal, dictatorial and oppressive religion that has never represented the Church of the Living God as outlined in New Testament teaching,” he said.

Amy Spreeman of Stand Up for the Truth said that it is important that Christians take note of these developments.

“You might be saying to your evangelical self, ‘Who cares what Joel Osteen does, or what the pope does, or what a Mormon senator does? These things surely don’t apply to my faith, do they?'” she wrote. “[P]erhaps it’s time to stop focusing on those audacious dreams and life tips and start paying attention to your Bible and to those pesky news headlines that threaten to wake us from our slumber. ”

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  • David A.

    The true church is already inclusive. Anyone can become part of it at anytime. By faith, confession, and repentance take self off the throne and recognize Jesus Christ as Lord. Sadly, most want at best to share the throne with Jesus, if not keeping self in charge.

  • In Moses day the same thing happened at Kadesh Barnea – Israel went into paganism after marrying into pagans. Israel paid the price for it as well. We are at the end period. As when Israel joined with Imperial Rome to destroy Jesus Christ. Think about it.

  • This is bogus

    Osteen is unknowingly making a deal with the devil..

    • Mary Waterton

      Unknowingly??? Joel Osteen is a false prophet. He is meeting with the other false prophet of the Roman Catholic Church because they both worship the same idol … money.


  • It is much better not to Judge for the Lord weighs the attitude of the heart. Nobody knows his attitude of going there. How about if you are wrong? 1corinthian:9:19-23

    19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

    • Evang. Terri

      At Simeone…Joel Osteen isn’t a baby in the Word. He’s just ignorant of the fact that he is playing with the enemy. Just because he has a title doesn’t mean He understands the Bible. You state ” Nobody knows his attitude of going there.” Just by hearing what he told the reporter should clearly tell you he didn’t go to win the Pope and his cronies over for Christ.


  • WorldGoneCrazy

    Please read “The OSTEENification of American Christianity.” Osteen tortures Scripture. When he says he wants to be more inclusive, he means he wants to include the wolves with the sheep. Pray for his soul and for the souls of those who follow him.

    • Mary Waterton

      Ever notice that there is no cross either inside or outside the Lakewood Church in Houston where Joel is pastor? That’s because they don’t want to offend anyone with the cross. What does that tell you?

      • WorldGoneCrazy

        Amen, Mary!

    • SF Irish

      You sound as if you’re crazy. Christianity does not teach us to turn against one another.

  • Evang. Terri

    Amen at WorldGone Crazy!!…

  • ewell

    Wow. The overall responses to this resonate more hatred than the loving act of two people who teach the Love and Grace of our Savior Jesus. Two leaders coming together to to share and learn from each other is why they are in the position they are in… and that did not happen on their own…God had a hand in that for sure…

    • SF Irish

      Finally. A true Christian. Your heart speaks volumes. Thank you

  • Dottie Kuck

    I find your comments to be garbage and totally un-Christian. Jesus would weep at your judgmental self. You are not the type of Christian’s I believe the New Testament describes. You are in fact the opposite. So shamefully!

    • lamb420

      “Judgemental”? NO!!!…. Discerning, YES! Olsteen is a slimmy phony.

      • danny

        Joel Osteen WAS phoney, but he has been touched and awakened by Lord Jesus!

        • vogelgesang

          if indeed this took place where are the statements from Joel Osteen ? clarifying his position vis a vis of the catholic church and what they believe? what is the doctrinal statement for his domination ?

  • Deacon Raymond Moon Sr.

    I would agree that Osteen doesn’t preach the gospel of Jesus. However, your assessment of the Church of Rome is patently false. One would do well to read the early Church Fathers to see exactly how they worshipped, how they saw Eucharist as the real body and blood of Jesus, and how they saw the Apostolic succession of the Bishops.

    • Andrea Boggan

      I suggest you practice what you preach. You are ignorant of history, and you wouldn’t know the Living Forefather if he bit you on the ass…

  • Andrea Boggan

    Matthew 19:21-23 “Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Gospel of Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”Matthew 15:1-13 That Which Defiles
    Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
    Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus, you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
    “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely manmade rules.”
    Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
    Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
    He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
    The Gospel of Philip “In a vision an apostolic person saw people who were locked up in a house of fire, bound with fire, and thrown into fire on account of preaching false faith. It was said, “They might have saved their souls, but they did not want to, so they got this place of punishment called the outer darkness.”