Rome and the Jesuits Goal for America


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We were discussing Babylon and I believe it is referred to in the Scripture as an actual physical place and representative of all false religion. The article below is from Don Koenig's website the Prophetic Years. I still agree that the RCC is the Harlot that rides the Beast in Revelation and without a doubt is centered in Rome. However, the actual city of Babylon could still be rebuilt and is not necessarily associated directly with the RCC.

The Rebuilding of Babylon by Don Koenig

Scripture says Babylon will be completely destroyed and no one will ever live there again. It will be a place for creatures of the night. This prophecy has never been fulfilled. People have lived there and are still living there today. The complete prophetic fulfillment apparently is still in the future.

According to Bible prophecy the city of Babylon is destroyed near the end of the age just before the return of Jesus Christ. Many scholars question whether Babylon in prophecy is actually a physical place or if it should just represent the religious or economic systems of the world. Today it would appear to many that spiritual Babylon is in Rome and economic Babylon is New York City. Nevertheless, Bible prophecy is quite clear that there will be an actual Babylon on the plains of Shinar (Iraq) in the end times. This city will become the headquarters for the end time world system led by the Beast Antichrist and his Kingdom that will rule the world. Scholars question how this poor insignificant place can someday become the Babylon that is expressed in the book of Revelation. The likely answer is oil, the Antichrist, and Satan.

The city of Babylon still exists at the same location as the ancient city of Babylon and it is located in south Iraq. Saddam Hussein had been quietly rebuilding the ancient ruins of Babylon for decades. Saddam had even had his name engraved on the stones of some of the buildings along with Nebuchadnezzar. The gulf wars did disrupt the rebuilding of Babylon. There was damage done to the ancient ruins in the gulf war so the United States and other nations recently pledged to develop Babylon into a international world center and possibly a theme park based on her ancient wonders.

The only thing that is holding up the rebuilding of Babylon Iraq from emerging into a world class tourist center for the rich and famous is stability in Iraq and development of their oil. Some now think that Iraq has larger oil reserves than Saudi Arabia and by 2020-2030 Iraq could be world's leading oil producer.

Where all false religion started it will all end

Babylon was where all organized false religions of the world got started and it is where they will end. There soon will be a world war between the forces of the pseudo-Christian West and the radical Islamic nations. The war against terrorism that we are now seeing is only the warm up.

The Western forces will eventually be led by the emerging Beast out of Europe mentioned in Daniel and the book of Revelation. The West will defeat the Islamic nations and/or convince Islam to join the pluralistic world church. Under a peace agreement the city of Jerusalem will become an international religious center for 42 months. When the 42 months are up the Antichrist will stop all customary religious worship, enter the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and claim to be above anything called God. He will demand to be worshiped by all. He will then move his headquarters to Babylon and those that support him will war against all those that will not bow their knee to him.

He will find Babylon Iraq to be an ideal spot because Allah has the same characteristics of Satan. He will be readily accepted by Muslims when he becomes known, although he will not identify with Allah of Islam. He will claim to be above anything called God. The worldwide power base of Islam and the Roman Catholic Church will be the foundations for the worship of Himself but he will soon turn on all religion that confess that God is in heaven. From that power base he will bring in a new political and economic system. Soon after, his supporters will seek to kill all who confess Jesus/Jehovah as Lord.

As his crusade against the God of Heaven develops and prospers this city will become the center of world government and religion. Riches of all the nations will pour into Babylon. It will again become a great city in a very short time. Zechariah 5:7-11 tells us that in these end times wickedness will be brought to a house built for it on the plains of Shinar (this is located in Iraq). Many other great cities of the world may not even exist at this point due to prior wars that brought this leader into power.

Some wonder how Babylon can become a seaport to fulfill the prophecies of Babylon in Revelation? Although the prophecy mentions merchants it is not really necessary for this city to become an actual seaport to fulfill the prophecies about Babylon. Even if it were necessary, the Babylonian Empire once sat on three seas and two major rivers. It again could become a place of trading by sea either through conquest or by natural or supernatural earth upheavals. (Christians need to realize that the theory that the earth only changes very gradually is not true. The Bible and archaeology record catastrophic earth changes. Some examples in the Bible are the flood, Joshua's long day, and the shadow moving backward on the sundial in the time of King Hezekiah. The prophetic scriptures certainly indicate that there will be massive earth upheavals during this end time tribulation period.)

Purchased With Blood

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Also in Daniel chapter 2, he sees when interpreting the dream: Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces” Daniel 2:34. The ten toes represent the final stage of the Roman Empire. There is a progression from Babylon, to Medes/Persians, then to Greece, finally to Rome. The 10 toes, then the little horn that rises from this empire, are the final form of human government before Christ sets up His rule and reign in Jerusalem.

I was thinking also about the passage in Revelation 17 where it talks about the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus, which has to include some of the apostles killed by Rome. Well, what about Christ's crucifixion? Obviously, Jesus was the Lamb of God who was slain for the sins of the world. That was the plan from before the foundation of the world was lain. But God had to use some instrumentality to carry out the death of Christ. But does that still mean that Rome gets a free pass? Do they have some retribution coming their way for the murder of the Son of God? Has Rome ever received any kind of cataclysmic event for that crime? Or, is it all part of the plan to put in the minds of the 10 Kings to “eat her flesh and burn her with fire?“
The Ten Great Roman Persecutions, or simply just the Ten Persecutions, refers to the martyrdom of Christians by ten Roman emperors from Nero up until Diocletian’s Great Persecution ended around 313 AD. According to the Roman historian Tacitus, Nero had Christians covered in wild beast skins and torn to death by dogs. There were many other cruel methods Christians were tortured and martyred, from crucifixion to being burnt alive. The Ten Persecutions includes the Apostolic Age as well as the time period covered by the letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. Because of the many tribulations the Christians endured during this time, this letter is full of commendation. Cruel methods of torture and killing, such as the rack, would also later be employed during the Inquisition. Simply discussing Protestantism could get one labeled a heretic, as was the case with Jane Bohorquia of Seville, who was racked and killed while still weak from giving birth.

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Been quite busy these last few days and just popping in right now.

I appreciate you also Everlasting Life! I don't mean to be argumentative but I am obviously firmly in the Rome is Mystery Babylon camp. Discussion of ideas is what the forum is for. Iron sharpens iron.

Oh, no worries. I just threw those transcripts out there to show where my thinking was on Babylon. :)

Yes, iron sharpons iron and I appreciate all that's been shared here.

I love that we all can have a nice discussion and with prophecy there is a certain amount of 'we'll see when we get there' aspects as pieces come together more clearly.

At any rate, the OP has me praying even more for those in the RCC and for God's continued grace and mercy for His church and our world!

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Some wonder how Babylon can become a seaport to fulfill the prophecies of Babylon in Revelation?

It looks like there's building happening to create this.

Whether this fulfills prophecy or not, they are certainly looking to set themselves up to make significant financial gains between this port and the major transportation infrastructure being planned throughout their land:

.....Located on the coast of Al-Faw in Iraq’s southern province of Basra which lies in the northern Persian Gulf, the port seeks to offer an alternative to traditional transit routes, including the Suez Canal. After Iraqi newspapers began promoting the Grand Faw Port as a substitute passage, it caused alarm in countries like Egypt, which derives significant financial benefits from the transit of goods through the Suez.

The project has faced long delays due to financial difficulties and other issues. However, in 2020, Baghdad signed a $2.625 billion contract with South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction to build the first phase of the port within four years.

Since then, the Iraqi Ministry of Transport has been working in cooperation with the private sector to accelerate the completion of the project, recognizing its strategic and economic importance to Iraq. The port is expected to begin operations in 2024 and to be fully completed by 2025, according to the ministry.

The Grand Faw Port is reportedly designed to include 50 berths (17 km long, 25 million containers/yr), 20 non-containerized berths (5 km, 50 million tons/yr) 20 berths for general goods (5 km), a car berth (400,000 cars/yr), 6 oil export berths (230,000 bpd), and tanks for oil product imports (300,000 cubic meters).

With 99 berths, Grand Faw will be West Asia’s largest port, surpassing Jebel Ali Port in the UAE, which has only 67 container berths.....


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It looks like there's building happening to create this.

Whether this fulfills prophecy or not, they are certainly looking to set themselves up to make significant financial gains between this port and the major transportation infrastructure being planned throughout their land:

.....Located on the coast of Al-Faw in Iraq’s southern province of Basra which lies in the northern Persian Gulf, the port seeks to offer an alternative to traditional transit routes, including the Suez Canal. After Iraqi newspapers began promoting the Grand Faw Port as a substitute passage, it caused alarm in countries like Egypt, which derives significant financial benefits from the transit of goods through the Suez.

The project has faced long delays due to financial difficulties and other issues. However, in 2020, Baghdad signed a $2.625 billion contract with South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction to build the first phase of the port within four years.

Since then, the Iraqi Ministry of Transport has been working in cooperation with the private sector to accelerate the completion of the project, recognizing its strategic and economic importance to Iraq. The port is expected to begin operations in 2024 and to be fully completed by 2025, according to the ministry.

The Grand Faw Port is reportedly designed to include 50 berths (17 km long, 25 million containers/yr), 20 non-containerized berths (5 km, 50 million tons/yr) 20 berths for general goods (5 km), a car berth (400,000 cars/yr), 6 oil export berths (230,000 bpd), and tanks for oil product imports (300,000 cubic meters).
With 99 berths, Grand Faw will be West Asia’s largest port, surpassing Jebel Ali Port in the UAE, which has only 67 container berths.....
That is very interesting - thanks for sharing! Yes, I agree with you that iron does indeed sharpen iron. It is nice to have a place where we can share our opinions. I have said this before but most of what we "argue" about are concerning things where Revelation does not give us all the details so we are trying to "fill in the blanks" as they say. We really can't be dogmatic about many of our own predictions. It really doesn't matter as we won't be here to experience what will actually occur. Perhaps we will have a front row seat to the Tribulation show after the Rapture? Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!


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Jan Markell talks to Mike Gendron for the hour. Why are evangelicals rushing to Rome to unite with the Vatican? Is this not the woman who rides the Beast in Revelation? Knowing the things Pope Francis believes, why is he even celebrated in Rome and around the world? Gendron has a chapter in the Terry James’ book Trajectory, found in our online store. Surely the Vatican plays a role in the coming one-world religion.


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This is an excerpt of Dave Hunt's classic book "A Woman Rides the Beast". The whole book was well researched and is a very good read. I found it online in a pdf format and what is included below is the 5th chapter entitled "Mystery Babylon". A whole lot more information can be gleaned from reading the entire book but this chapter by itself is still worth the read. It was written in 1994 so some of the references (Saddam Hussein) are about 30 years old.

Mystery, Babylon

Why "mystery"? That Babylon, an ancient city whose ruins have been covered by the desert sands for at least 2300 years, should be mentioned so prominently in prophecies pertaining to the last days does indeed seem an enigma. It is popularly taught that the woman represents ancient Babylon revived. The fact that Iraq's sadistic ruler, Saddam Hussein, began its reconstruction some years ago is therefore seen as contributing to the fulfillment of this vision.

Ancient Babylon, however, even if it again becomes an inhabited and functioning city, could not possibly be the Babylon to which the writing on the woman's forehead refers. Saddam's rebuilt Babylon simply doesn't meet the criteria John sets forth. Those criteria, which we will be examining in detail, establish the woman's identity-and, as we shall see, she is not ancient Babylon.

Saddam imagines himself to be a modern Nebuchadnezzar, perhaps even the reincarnation of that emperor of ancient Babylon. What Saddam admires most about Nebuchadnezzar is that he destroyed Jerusalem and killed or carried away captive Israel's inhabitants into Babylon, leaving the land of Israel desolate. As the new Nebuchadnezzar, he dreams of wreaking the same destruction upon today's Israelis, whom he sees as his chief enemies. Of course, Babylon itself was then conquered by the Medes and Persians. For that depredation Saddam views Iran (the successor of ancient Persia) as his other great enemy and fought an eight-year war against her.

Saddam has proudly imprinted his name on every brick being used in the reconstruction of ancient Babylon. As much hated as feared by his own people, one day Saddam will be deposed, as eventually happens to all tyrants. It would not be surprising if the Iraqis, in order to erase the last vestige of Saddam's loathsome memory, thereafter bulldozed the proud structures he has erected at the site of ancient Babylon. Whether that happens or not, there is no way that this city, rebuilt after lying in ruins for more than 2000 years, could be mistaken for the Babylon which is the major subject of Revelation chapters 17 and 18.

The Babel Connection

There is, of course, a connection to ancient Babylon. The name on the woman's forehead establishes that fact. What could that name mean in the world of the "last days" just prior to the second coming of Christ? Obviously it must refer to a dominant feature common to all four world empires-a major element of the first empire, Babylon, which is still dominant in the fourth empire, Rome.

A paramount feature common to all was the unity between throne and altar, between prince and priest. "Separation of church and state" was as yet unheard of; in fact, the opposite was true. The pagan priests-astrologers, magicians, sorcerers, soothsayers-were the emperor's close advisers and often the hidden influence controlling the empire. Thus a principle characteristic of this woman, who is both a city and a spiritual entity, will be her adulterous relationships with secular governments.

The unity of church and state persisted from the days of Babylon until beyond the ascendancy of Rome, the fourth world empire in Daniel's vision. As we have seen, Roman emperors, like other ancient rulers, headed the pagan priesthood and were worshiped as gods. Inasmuch as religion was the dominant factor in every empire, we do well to take a closer look at the religion of Babylon.

Tower to Heaven

Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon was built around the ruins of the Tower of Babel, which was erected shortly after the flood by the descendants of Noah under the leadership of Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-10; Micah 5:6). Its original purpose was clearly stated by its builders: "Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth" (Genesis 11:4).

The city was a political/civil union of earth's inhabitants at that time. The tower was clearly a religious enterprise, the means of reaching heaven. Babel thus represents the unity of state and church, involving the entire world in the attempt to elevate man to God's level. That this would be accomplished through a tower built by human genius and energy obviously represents man's religion of self-effort. Inasmuch as the entire world was united in this effort, we have the first example of world government and world religion joined as one. As man began in this unity, so he must end in it as well; such is the clear message on the woman's forehead.

The tower was the obsession of the city's inhabitants, the purpose of life that both united and enslaved. Thus religion dominated the partnership of church and state. That such will be the case in the new world order of Antichrist, at least for a time, is clearly depicted by the fact that the woman rides the beast.

Babel's tower stood in stark contrast to the way of salvation which God had consistently declared from Abel onward. The rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden had separated man from God by sin. No reconciliation to God and no entrance into heaven was possible apart from the full payment of sin's penalty. For man, a finite creature, payment of the infinite penalty demanded by God's infinite justice was impossible. One day, in mercy and grace, God Himself would come as a sinless, perfect man to die for the sins of the world in payment of the full penalty demanded by His own justice. He would be "the Lamb of God" (John 1:29,36), the only acceptable sacrifice. In anticipation of the coming Messiah, animals were to be sacrificed as types of that Holy One who would "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26).

The only interim approach to God that He approved had been stated clearly (Exodus 20:24- 26). Animal sacrifices were to be offered upon an altar of earth. If the ground was too rocky to scrape sufficient earth together, the altar could be made of stones heaped up, but not carved or fashioned in any way by tools. Nor was it to be elevated so that one approached the altar by steps.

No human effort could play any part in man's salvation. It must be a gift from God, unmerited and unearned. Human pride, however, has always resisted God's grace. We see the clear violation of God's Word continuing today in the ornate cathedrals and gilded, elevated altars of both Protestants and Catholics as well as in the rituals and good works which man foolishly imagines will help to make him acceptable to God. It all began with Babel.

A Pattern Followed by Rome

The city and tower of Babel set the pattern of the unholy alliance between civil government and a religion of self-effort and ritual which continued for thousands of years and was exemplified both in pagan Rome and in "Christian" Rome following Constantine's "conversion." The "separation of church and state" is a concept of recent origin, largely since the Protestant Reformation, and one which the Roman Catholic Church, as the religious continuation of the Roman Empire, has consistently and even viciously opposed. Dr. Brownson, highly regarded nineteenth-century Catholic journalist, expressed Catholicism's position in the Brownson Quarterly journal:

"No civil government, be it a monarchy, an aristocracy, a democracy. .. can be a wise, just, efficient, or durable government, governing for the good of the community, without the Catholic Church; and without the papacy there is and can be no Catholic Church".1

The Vatican has consistently fought every democratic advance from absolute monarchies toward government by the people, beginning with England's Magna Carta (June 15, 1215), "the mother of European Constitutions." That vital document was denounced immediately by Pope Innocent III (1198-1216), who "pronounced it null and void and excommunicated the English barons who obtained it"2 and absolved the king of his oath to the barons.3 Encouraged by the pope, King John brought in foreign mercenaries to fight the barons, bringing great destruction upon the country. Subsequent popes did all in their power to help John's successor, Henry III, overturn the Magna Carta, impoverishing the country with papal taxes (salaries to the numerous imported Italian priests were three times the crown's annual revenue). Nevertheless, the barons finally prevailed.

Pope Leo XII reproved Louis XVIII for granting the "liberal" French Constitution, while Pope Gregory XVI denounced the Belgian Constitution of 1832. His outrageous encyclical, Mirari vos, of August 15, 1832 (which was later confirmed by Pope Pius IX in his 1864 Syllabus Errorum), condemned freedom of conscience as "an insane folly" and freedom of the press as "a pestiferous error, which cannot be sufficiently detested."4 He reasserted the right of the Church to use force and like countless popes before him demanded that civil authorities promptly imprison any non-Catholics who dared to preach and practice their faith. One eminent historian of the nineteenth century, commenting upon the Vatican's denunciation of the Bavarian and Austrian constitutions, paraphrased its attitude thus:

"Our absolutist system, supported by the Inquisition, the strictest censorship, the suppression of all literature, the privileged exemption of the clergy, and arbitrary power of bishops, cannot endure any other than absolutist governments ..."5

The history of Latin America has fully demonstrated the accuracy of that appraisal. In Catholic countries the popes' hatred of freedom and their partnership with oppressive regimes which they often succeeded in manipulating to their own ends is a matter of historical record. Whatever her true motives, history bears full witness to the fact that whenever she has been able to do so, the Roman Catholic Church has suppressed and openly condemned such basic human rights as freedom of the press, speech, religion, and even conscience.

Prior to the revolution led by Benito Juarez in 1861, Roman Catholicism had dominated the lives of the Mexican people and controlled the government for 350 years. It was the state religion and no other was allowed. As one author has stated after an exhaustive investigation of the records:

"The oppression by Spain and the oppression by the Church of Rome were so intermeshed as to be indistinguishable by the people. The [Roman Catholic] hierarchy supported the Spanish regime and excommunicated, through its New World Inquisition, anyone resisting the power of the state.... The government in turn enforced Church laws and, as the "secular arm," functioned as disciplinarian and even as executioner for the Church".6

Consequences of a State Religion

After Napoleon III's French army defeated Juarez and installed Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico, the latter saw that there could be no return to the old totalitarian ways. Pope Pius IX was outraged and wrote indignantly to Maximilian demanding that "the Catholic religion must, above all things, continue to be the glory and the mainstay of the Mexican nation, to the exclusion of every other dissenting worship," that "instruction, whether public or private, should be directed and watched over by the [Roman Catholic] ecclesiastical authority," and that the Church must not be "subject to the arbitrary rule of the civil government."7

The poverty and instability that has plagued Latin America resulted from the union between church and state and the power over government which Rome, having enjoyed in Europe for centuries, brought to the new world in the name of Christ. The Roman clergy were like little gods lording it over the natives, who became their servants. The revolutions in Latin American countries have been in large measure created by the contrast between the poverty of the people and the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church and the evil dictatorships it supported. Liberation Theology was spawned in Latin America by radical Catholic priests and nuns whose aroused consciences could no longer justify the oppression of the masses by both Church and state.

Scores of other examples could be given but must be deferred until later. The point is that the roots of the unholy alliance between church and state, with the church in dominance, go back to Babel. Nimrod founded the first world empire; church and state were one. Such is the ideal empire which Roman Catholicism has always striven with all its might to establish and maintain whenever possible. As The Catholic World stated at the time of Vatican I:

"While the state has some rights, she has them only in virtue and by permission of the superior authority ... [of] the Church ...".8

The antipathy of Roman Catholicism to basic human freedoms later created unholy alliances with the totalitarian governments of Hitler and Mussolini, who were praised by the pope and other Church leaders as men chosen by God. Catholics were forbidden to oppose Mussolini and were urged to support him. The Church virtually put the Fascist dictator in office (as it would Hitler a few years later). In exchange, Mussolini (in the 1929 Concordat with the Vatican) made Roman Catholicism once again the official state religion, and any criticism of it was made a penal offense. The Church was granted other favors, including a vast sum in cash and bonds.

Roots of a Modern Delusion

Satan's promise to Eve that she could become one of the gods became the foundation of pagan religion worldwide. To achieve that goal man would have to assert himself and labor mightily. Thus was born the religion of self-effort. In fact, works instead of grace has always been and still is religion, of which Roman Catholicism is a prime example. The rising Tower of Babel seemed to give credence to the grandiose delusion that man could reach heaven by his own efforts. Nimrod was very likely the first emperor to be deified, and thus was a forerunner of Antichrist.

Babel (and the city of Babylon later constructed around her ruins) was the cradle of the belief in a "higher destiny" for all mankind. Later that dream would be limited to special races, such as the Aryans, a claim which Hitler's Nazism would pursue to the destruction of 6 million Jews. Echoing the serpent's lie, Hitler would say, "Man is becoming God.... We need free men who feel and know that God is in themselves." The Jews, however, were not men at all in Hitler's estimation, but Untermenschen (subhumans), whom he determined to exterminate for the good of the Aryan race.

Hitler's theory of the "purity of blood," which he sought to maintain through extermination of the Jews (unopposed by the Vatican), had its roots in ancient occultism involving a mythical Nordic Garden of Eden in the far North known as Hyperborea. There an Aryan race of god-men had allegedly been spawned by gods visiting earth. Nietzsche, whose writings heavily influenced Hitler, began his key work, Anti-Christ, with the sentence, "Let us see ourselves for what we are. We are Hyperboreans [gods] all." It was the lie of the serpent from the Garden of Eden once again.

Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Peter Viereck finds the roots of the Nazi dream of a master race of god-men ruling the world not only in Hegel and Nietzsche but in Wagner and a host of romantic writers who all echoed the serpent's lie to Eve. The following excerpt is from the 1940 conclusion of Viereck's remarkable book Meta-Politics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind-an ending which the original publisher refused to include as being too extreme, but which hindsight now reveals was amazingly accurate:

"Mein Kampf was a best-seller long before the German people, voting uncoerced in the free Reichstag election of September 1930, increased the Nazi seats from 12 to 107 and made them the biggest party in Germany. By then, Hitler had said in Mein Kampf (to pick a typical threat at random): "If at the start [of World War I] we had held under poison twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew subverters of our people ... then the sacrifice of a million Germans at the front would not have been in vain.... The timely elimination of 12,000 bums...." The German enigma is: just what kind of behavior could those millions of proHitler voters, from 1930 on, expect of the monster-mentality that composes such "held under" threats? ... his book is no classified secret document ... millions of Germans own it ... a few must have browsed in it. These few must have included some of the cheering public and also some influential dignitaries with access to press, radio, and other means of warning the public.... Some day the same Germans, now cheering Hitler's strut into Paris, will say. .. "We did not know what went on...” and when that day of know-nothing comes, there will be laughter in hell."9

Adolf Hitler, Chosen by God?

Surely Mein Kampf must also have been known to many of the 30 million Roman Catholics in Germany as well as to the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church both there and in Rome. Yet the Church hierarchy praised Hitler, sometimes in the most extravagant terms. Pope Pius XI told Vice-Chancellor Fritz von Papen, himself a leading Catholic, "how pleased he was that the German Government now had at its head a man uncompromisingly opposed to Communism...."10 No word of reproof against the evil that Hitler had loosed upon Germany.

Bishop Berning published a book stressing the link between Catholicism and patriotism and sent a copy to Hitler "as a token of my devotion." Monsignor Hartz praised Hitler for having saved Germany from "the poison of Liberalism ... [and] the pest of Communism." Catholic publicist Franz Taeschner praised "the Fuehrer, gifted with genius" and declared that he had "been sent by providence in order to achieve the fulfillment of Catholic social ideas."11

Most German Catholics were in a state of euphoria after the 1933 concordat between Hitler and the Vatican was signed. Catholic young men were ordered "to raise their right arm in salute, and to display the swastika flag.... The Catholic Youth organization, Neudeutsche Jugend... called for the full and close cooperation between the totalitarian state and the totalitarian Church." The German bishops together pledged their solidarity with National Socialism. Addressing a gathering of Catholic youth in the Cathedral of Trier, Bishop Bornewasser declared, "With raised heads and firm step we have entered the new Reich and we are prepared to serve it with all the might of our body and soul."12

Bishop Vogt of Aachen in a congratulatory telegram promised Hitler that "diocese and Bishop will gladly participate in the building of the new Reich." Cardinal Faulhaber, in a handwritten note to Hitler, expressed the wish "coming from the bottom of our heart: May God preserve the Reich Chancellor for our people." A picture appeared in a German-American paper showing Vicar General Steinmann leading Catholic youth organizations in a parade past Hitler and returning the Fuehrer's raised arm salute. Replying to the criticism from outraged American Catholics, Steinmann declared that "German Catholics did indeed regard the government of Adolph Hitler as the God-given authority ' and that someday the world would "gratefully acknowledge that Germany ... erected a bulwark against Bolshevism...."13 What of Mein Kampf and the evil of Nazism?

University of Massachusetts Associate Professor of Government Guenter Lewy fled his native Germany as a boy of fifteen in 1939. He returned in 1960 to spend years researching official files. Lewy writes in The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany:

"Pius XI in 1933 called the Chancellor of the German Reich [Hitler] the first statesman who, together with the Pope, had clearly recognized the Bolshevik danger... . Bishop Landersdorfer praised "the harmonious collaboration of Church and State [though the Nazis had already imprisoned many priests and nuns for `political' reasons]."
On March 29 [1936], 45,453,691 Germans, or 99 per cent of those entitled to vote, went to the polls. Of these, 44,461,278, or 98.8 per cent of those voting, voiced their approval of Hitler's leadership. [The Catholic vote approving Hitler was virtually unanimous.]
A joint pastoral letter [from all the German bishops] was read from the pulpits ... January 3, 1937 [stating that] "the German bishops consider it their duty to support the head of the German Reich by all those means which the Church has at its disposal.... We must mobilize all the spiritual and moral forces of the Church in order to strengthen confidence in the Fuehrer."14

By this time no one could have been ignorant of Hitler's ruthlessness and of his real goals. Yet Catholic leaders (like most Protestant clergy) in Germany continued to heap praise upon their fellow Catholic. Two books on Reich and Kirche, published with ecclesiastical permission, called "deepening the understanding [of] the great work of German renewal to which the Fuehrer has summoned us" the "biggest spiritual task of contemporary German Catholicism." Karl Adam, world-renowned Catholic theologian, argued that National Socialism and Catholicism, far from being in conflict, "belonged together as nature and grace" and that in Adolf Hitler Germany had found at last "a true people's chancellor." 15

A minority of brave men (both Catholics and Protestants) opposed Hitler, some openly, others in secret plots. A few voices were raised in public protest. One belonged to a priest, a Fr. Muckermann, who dared to express his amazement and consternation that

' ...despite the inhuman brutalities perpetrated in the concentration camps ... despite the personal insults against individual princes of the Church, against the Holy Father and the entire Church ... the bishops find words of appreciation for what (next to Bolshevism) is their worst enemy...." 15

Answer to an Enigma

The enigma of Germany remains the enigma of Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Haiti, Yugoslavia, South Africa, and the entire world of our day. On the other hand, it is not an enigma at all if one accepts the testimony of Scripture. We find the answer in Babel-a tower which has never ceased to be under construction. Only the location and outward form change from time to time, but the perverted ambition, impossible dream that it is, remains steadfast.

The end result-the judgment of God that will come upon mankind-is foretold clearly in biblical prophecy. Make no mistake: We are hastening to that day. In the meantime, the woman who rides the beast, whose name is MYSTERY, BABYLON, has a key role to play. As a result she will taste God's judgment before the rest of the world knows its full and awesome power as well.

In his important analysis in 1940, Viereck warned that Nazism was a religion that had infected Germany's youth. It was pagan worship of nature, yet its claim to be "Christian" deceived millions (as is happening in the United States today by the same means). That perversion surfaced in the twisted thinking of Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, who admired Christ "as one of a long line of Aryan heroes, ranging from Wotan and Siegfried to Wagner and Hitler."116 The "shell game switch" was echoed by Dr. Ley, head of the Nazi Labor Front: "Our faith ... is National Socialism...!”17 Hans Kerrl, Nazi Minister of Church Affairs, furthered the lie that was embraced by the majority of both Catholics and Protestants: "True Christianity is represented by the Party ... the Fuehrer is the herald of a new revelation…”18

New? Vierech called Nazism a "new paganism." Actually, only the veneer was new, but underneath it was still Babel. John's vision of the woman on the beast makes that fact abundantly clear.

Religion of Self-Effort

God confounded the language of Babel's builders into numerous tongues so they couldn't understand one another and thus were scattered. But the proud religion of self-effort leading to deification of a master race persisted, evidenced by the ruins of similar towers, called ziggurats, found throughout that area of the world. None of the towers, however, attained great height with that day's primitive technology. Heaven was still beyond man's reach. So the ziggurats became occultic altars of every perversion. On their pinnacles astrology began, with the worship of heavenly bodies believed to have mystical power to control the destinies of men.

Far from dying out, Babel's religion of self-effort was institutionalized in Babylon and throughout its vast empire. This is paganism, the perennial world religion that persists to this day. It lives on not only among primitive peoples who worship nature spirits, but flourishes among university professors who attribute similar intelligence to nature's "forces."

Paganism has been characterized worldwide throughout the centuries by mysterious rituals celebrated around ornately carved and decorated altars atop structures such as the pyramids that one finds from Egypt to Central and South America. Though warned of God through His prophets against this evil, Israel also succumbed to pagan seduction. This corruption of the truth He had taught them eventually brought God's judgment upon His chosen people.

The Old Testament has many references to "high places" that were constructed in Israel. Violating the prohibition against "going up by steps" to God's altar, they became the centers of Jewish idolatry (Leviticus 26:30; Numbers 22:41; etc.). At times of repentance and revival these "high places," with their idols, were destroyed by godly kings and priests, but Israel never rid itself of this evil. Both Orthodox and Catholics and even some Protestants have embraced the same corruption by their stately structures, elevated and gilded altars, and ornate vestments and intricate liturgies, which presumably please God and help open the doors to heaven.

The bricks and mortar which were involved remind us that Babel was not only a religious and political enterprise but that it engaged the most advanced technology/science of its day. Today's science still represents an attempt to elevate man to godhood by conquering space, the atom, disease, and eventually death. 1

Babel/Babylon Is Alive and Well

At Babel, God scattered mankind and confounded their language so they could not communicate their evil designs to one another. On Mars Hill in Athens Paul declared that God separated races and nations so they could concentrate upon seeking Him (Acts 17:26,27). The consensus of opinion today is that we need just the opposite: The solution to mankind's ills will come about through unscrambling the languages and uniting all nations in scientific enterprises which will ultimately turn planet Earth into a paradise once again.

Such was the declaration of a recent Lockheed Corporation ad in Scientific American featuring an illustration of the ancient Tower of Babel. Touting Lockheed's technological accomplishments, the ad boasted that its scientific advancements were "undoing the Babel effect" by bringing mankind together and making it possible for all to speak one language. In other words, Lockheed was countering God, the One responsible for what it called "the Babel effect."

The Tower of Babel fills the official poster for the 12-nation United Europe (whose new currency depicts a woman riding a beast). Circling above the unfinished tower are 12 stars. Unlike those on the American flag, however, these are upside down, thus forming the pentagram of classic occultism. The pentagram, with its two "horns" pointing upward and its "beard" downward, is also known as the Goat of Mendes, or Baphomet, a symbol of Satan.

International Business Machines has also used an artist's depiction of the Tower of Babel in some of its ads, with modern high-rise buildings protruding from the half-finished structure. Why this nostalgic return to what most people today dismiss as a myth? There seems to be an innate sympathy with Babel, a recognition that modern man is carrying on where Babel left off and is pursuing the same ambition of achieving immortality by human effort.

God scattered the builders of Babel, but today's determination is the opposite: to unite all nations into one new world order. God confounded the languages, but today's technology is aimed at breaking down every language barrier. Soon there will be phones on the market which will allow English spoken into the receiver in Los Angeles to come out the other end in Tokyo as Japanese.

Dare we suggest that something is wrong? Why not encourage and enjoy what intellect and talent can accomplish? Even God acknowledged the limitless bounds of human capabilities when He said, "Whatever they imagine they will be able to perform."

God, however, had already declared that "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Genesis 8:21). Thus human ingenuity, as God foresaw, would create ever-increasing evil until the very survival of mankind would hang in the balance. Surely today's threats to survival have all come from scientific genius. Honesty would also force us to admit that the rise of urbanization, even in ancient times, has contributed to the escalating tide of evil that threatens to engulf our world today.

John's vision indicates that Babel/Babylon will be very much alive in the last days. Emblazoned across the forehead of the woman riding the beast are the words "MYSTERY, BABYLON." That she represents revived paganism is clear. Most interesting of all, however, is the fact that she embodies paganized Christianity. The woman represents a worldwide religious system which is based in Rome and claims to be Christian but which has its roots in Babel and Babylon. That conclusion will become unassailable as we examine further the vision John received.


Well-Known Member
Thanks SkyRider, that was very interesting to read. I have no doubt that "Mystery Babylon" represents false religion or paganism and as we have discussed ad nauseam one of history's chief purveyors of false religion has been the RCC and they will continue in this endeavor until they are destroyed in the Tribulation. In Christ's name this vile institution suppresses anyone who doesn't conform to their false theology. Power and money drive their ambition.


Well-Known Member
I might put some more of it on here. It is interesting stuff. I read that book years ago, after first being freed by the Lord from the Roman Catholic religion. If nothing else - it may not sway anyone from their revived Babylon theory - it shows to Catholics who may be looking in just how abhorrent that false religion is.


Well-Known Member
A City on Seven Hills

A woman rides the beast, and that woman is a city built on seven hills that reigns over the kings of the earth! Was ever in all of history such a statement made? John immediately equates the readers' acceptance of this revelation with "wisdom." We dare not pass over such a disclosure casually. It merits our careful and prayerful attention.

Here is no mystical or allegorical language but an unambiguous statement in plain words: "The woman ... is that great city." There is no justification for seeking some other hidden meaning. Yet books have been written and sermons preached insisting that "Mystery Babylon" is the United States. That is clearly not the case, for the United States is a country, not a city. One might justifiably refer to the United States as Sodom, considering the honor now given to homosexuals, but it is definitely not the Babylon that John sees in this vision. The woman is a city.

Furthermore, she is a city built on seven hills. That specification eliminates ancient Babylon. Only one city has for more than 2000 years been known as the city on seven hills. That city is Rome. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined."1

There are, of course, other cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, that were also built on seven hills. Therefore, John provides at least seven more characteristics to limit the identification to Rome alone. We will examine each one in detail in subsequent chapters. However, as a preview of where we are going, we will list them now and discuss each one briefly. As we shall see, there is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome, and more specifically, Vatican City.

Even Catholic apologist Karl Keating admits that Rome has long been known as Babylon. Keating claims that Peter's statement "The church here in Babylon ... sends you her greeting" (from 1 Peter 5:13) proves that Peter was writing from Rome. He explains further:

"Babylon is a code word for Rome. It is used that way six times in the last book of the Bible [four of the six are in chapters 17 and 18] and in extrabiblical works such as Sibylling Oracles (5, 159f.), the Apocalypse of Baruch (ii, 1), and 4 Esdras (3:1).

Eusebius Pamphilius, writing about 303, noted that "it is said that Peter's first epistle ... was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon."2

As for "Mystery," that name imprinted on the woman's forehead is the perfect designation for Vatican City. Mystery is at the very heart of Roman Catholicism, from the words "Mysterium fide" pronounced at the alleged transformation of the bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ to the enigmatic apparitions of Mary around the world. Every sacrament, from baptism to extreme unction, manifests the mysterious power which the faithful must believe the priests wield, but for which there is no visible evidence. Rome's new Catechism explains that liturgy "aims to initiate souls into the mystery of Christ (It is 'mystagogy.')" and that all of the Church's liturgy is "mystery."3

Who Is the Whore?

The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a "whore" (Revelation 17:1), that earthly kings "have committed fornication" with her (verse 2), and that "all the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (verse 3). Why would a city be called a whore and be accused of having committed fornication with kings? Such an indictment would never be made of London or Moscow or Paris-or any other ordinary city. It wouldn't make sense.

Fornication and adultery are used in the Bible in both the physical and the spiritual sense. Of Jerusalem God said, "How is the faithful city become a harlot!" (Isaiah 1:21). Israel, whom God had set apart from all other peoples to be holy for His purposes, had entered into unholy, adulterous alliances with the idol-worshiping nations about her. She had "committed adultery with stones and with stocks [idols]" (Jeremiah 3:9); "and with their idols have they committed adultery" (Ezekiel 23:37). The entire chapter of Ezekiel 16 explains Israel's spiritual adultery in detail, both with heathen nations and with their false gods, as do many other passages.

There is no way that a city could engage in literal, fleshly fornication. Thus we can only conclude that John, like the prophets in the Old Testament, is using the term in its spiritual sense. The city, therefore, must claim a spiritual relationship with God. Otherwise such an allegation would be meaningless.

Though it is built on seven hills, there would be no reason to accuse Rio de Janeiro of spiritual fornication. It makes no claim of having a special relationship with God. And though Jerusalem has that relationship, it cannot be the woman riding on the beast, for it is not built on seven hills. Nor does it meet the other criteria by which this woman is to be identified.

Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City. She claims to have been the worldwide headquarters of Christianity since its beginning and maintains that claim to this day. Her pope enthroned in Rome claims to be the exclusive representative of God, the vicar of Christ. Rome is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and in that too she is unique.

Numerous churches, of course, are headquartered in cities, but only one city is the headquarters of a church The Mormon Church, for example, is headquartered in Salt Lake City, but there is much more to Salt Lake City than the Mormon Church. Not so with Vatican City. It is the heartbeat of the Roman Catholic Church and nothing else. She is a spiritual entity that could very well be accused of spiritual fornication if she did not remain true to Christ.

In Bed with the Rulers

Not only does Rome's pope call himself the vicar of Christ, but the Church he heads claims to be the one true Church and the bride of Christ. Christ's bride, whose hope is to join her Bridegroom in heaven, is to have no earthly ambitions. Yet the Vatican is obsessed with earthly enterprise, as history proves; and in furtherance of these goals, it has been, exactly as John foresaw in his vision, engaged in adulterous relationships with the kings of the earth. That fact is acknowledged even by Catholic historians.

Christ said to His disciples, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). The Catholic Church, however, is very much of this world. Her popes have built an unrivaled worldwide empire of property, wealth, and influence. Nor is empirebuilding an abandoned feature of the past. We have already seen that Vatican II clearly states that the Roman Catholic Church today still ceaselessly seeks to bring under its control all mankind and all their goods.

Popes have long claimed dominion over the world and its peoples. Pope Gregory XI's papal bull of 1372 (In Coena Domini) claimed papal dominion over the entire Christian world, secular and religious, and excommunicated all who failed to obey the popes and to pay them taxes. In Coena was confirmed by subsequent popes and in 1568 Pope Pius V swore that it was to remain an eternal law.

Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) claimed that all undiscovered lands belonged to the Roman Pontiff, for him to dispose of as he pleased in the name of Christ as His vicar. King John II of Portugal was convinced that in his Bull Romanus Pontifex the pope had granted all that Columbus discovered exclusively to him and his country. Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain, however, thought the pope had given the same lands to them. In May 1493 the Spanish-born Alexander VI issued three bulls to settle the dispute.

In the name of Christ, who had no place on this earth that He called his own, this incredibly evil Borgia pope, claiming to own the world, drew a north-south line down the global map of that day, giving everything on the east to Portugal and on the west to Spain. Thus by papal grant, "out of the plenitude of apostolic power," Africa went to Portugal and the Americas to Spain. When Portugal "succeeded in reaching India and Malaya, they secured the confirmation of these discoveries from the Papacy...." There was a condition, of course: "to the intent to bring the inhabitants ... to profess the Catholic Faith."4 It was largely Central and South America which, as a consequence of this unholy alliance between church and state, had Roman Catholicism forced upon them by the sword and remain Catholic to this day. North America (with the exception of Quebec and Louisiana) was spared the dominance of Roman Catholicism because it was settled largely by Protestants.

Nor have the descendants of Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas forgotten that Roman Catholic priests, backed by the secular sword, gave their ancestors the choice of conversion (which often meant slavery) or death. They made such an outcry when John Paul II in a recent visit to Latin America proposed elevating Junipero Serra (a major eighteenth-century enforcer of Catholicism among the Indians) to sainthood that the pope was forced to hold the ceremony in secret.

Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world; otherwise my servants would fight." The popes, however, have fought with armies and navies in the name of Christ to build a huge kingdom which is very much of this world. And to amass their earthly empire they have repeatedly engaged in spiritual fornication with emperors, kings, and princes. Claiming to be the bride of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church has been in bed with godless rulers down through history, and these adulterous relationships continue to this day. This spiritual fornication will be documented in detail later.

Rome Equals Vatican

Some may object that it is Rome, and not that small part of it known as Vatican City, which is built on seven hills, and that the Vatican can hardly be called a "great city." Though both objections are true, the words "Vatican" and "Rome" are universally used interchangeably. Just as one would refer to Washington and mean the government that runs the United States, so one refers to Rome and means the hierarchy that rules the Roman Catholic Church.

Take for example a placard carried by a demonstrator outside the November 15-18, 1993, meeting in Washington D.C. of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Protesting any deviation from the pope's wishes, it read: "ROME'S WAY OR THE HIGHWAY."5 Obviously by "Rome" it meant the Vatican. Such is the common usage. So closely are Catholicism and Rome linked that the Catholic Church is known as the Roman Catholic Church, or simply the Roman Church.

Moreover, for more than a thousand years the Roman Catholic Church exercised both religious and civil control over the entire city of Rome and its surroundings. Pope Innocent III (1198- 1216) abolished the secular Roman Senate and placed the administration of Rome directly under his command. The Roman Senate that had governed the city under the Caesars had been known as the Curia Romana (Roman Curia). That name, according to the Pocket Catholic Dictionary, is now the designation of "the whole ensemble of administrative and judicial offices through which the Pope directs the operations of the Catholic Church."6

The popes' authority even extended to large territories outside Rome acquired in the eighth century. At that time, with the help of a deliberately fraudulent document manufactured for the popes known as The Donation of Constantine, Pope Stephen III convinced Pepin, king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, that territories recently taken by the Lombards from the Byzantines actually had been given to the papacy by the Emperor Constantine. Pepin routed the Lombards and handed to the pope the keys to some 20 cities (Ravenna, Ancona, Bologna, Ferrara, lesi, Gubbio, etc.) and the huge chunk of land joining them along the Adriatic coast.

Dated 30 March 315, The Donation declared that Constantine had given these lands, along with Rome and the Lateran Palace, to the popes in perpetuity. In 1440 this document was proven to be a forgery by Lorenzo Valla, a papal aide, and is so recognized by historians today. Yet allegedly infallible popes continued for centuries to assert that The Donation was genuine and on that basis to justify their pomp, power, and possessions. That fraud is still perpetuated by an inscription in the baptistry of Rome's St. John Lateran, which has never been corrected.

Thus, the Papal States were literally stolen by the popes from their rightful owners. The papacy controlled and taxed these territories and derived great wealth from them until 1848. At that time the pope, along with the rulers of most of the other divided territories of Italy, was forced to grant his rebellious subjects a constitution. In September 1860, over his raging protests, Pius IX lost all of the papal states to the new, finally United Kingdom of Italy, which left him, at the time of the First Vatican Council in 1870, still in control of Rome and its surroundings.

The point is that, exactly as John foresaw in his vision, a spiritual entity that claimed a special relationship with Christ and with God became identified with a city that was built on seven hills. That "woman" committed spiritual fornication with earthly rulers and eventually reigned over them. The Roman Catholic Church has been continuously identified with that city. As "The most definitive Catholic encyclopedia since Vatican II" declares:

"... hence, one understands the central place of Rome in the life of the Church today and the significance of the title, Roman Catholic Church, the Church that is universal, yet focused upon the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. Since the founding of the Church there by St. Peter, Rome has been the center of all Christendom"7

Wealth from Ill-Gotten Gain

The incredible wealth of this woman caught John's attention next. She was dressed "in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication" (Revelation 17:4). The colors of purple and scarlet once again identify the woman with both pagan and Christian Rome. These were the colors of the Roman caesars with which the soldiers mockingly robed Christ as "King" (see Matthew 27:28 and John 19:2,5), which the Vatican took to itself. The woman's colors are literally still the colors of the Catholic clergy! The same Catholic Encyclopedia quoted above states:

Cappa Magna A cloak with a long train and a hooded shoulder cape ... [it] was purple wool for bishops; for cardinals, it was scarlet watered silk (for Advent, Lent, Good Friday, and the conclave, purple wool); and rose watered silk for Gaudete and Laetare Sundays; and for the pope, it was red velvet for Christmas Matins, red serge at other times.

Cassock (also Soutane) The close-fitting, ankle-length robe worn by the Catholic clergy as their official garb.... The color for bishops and other prelates is purple, for cardinals scarlet ....8

The "golden cup [chalice] in her hand" again identifies the woman with the Roman Catholic Church. Broderick's edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia declares of the chalice: "[It is] the most important of the sacred vessels.... [It] may be of gold or silver, and if the latter, then the inside must be surfaced with gold."9 The Roman Catholic Church possesses many thousands of solid gold chalices kept in its churches around the world. Even the bloodstained cross of Christ has been turned to gold and studded with gems in reflection of Rome's great wealth. The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "The pectoral cross [suspended by a chain around the neck and worn over the breast by abbots, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and the pope] should be made of gold and ... decorated with gems..."10

Rome has practiced evil to gather her wealth, for the "golden cup" is filled with "abominations and filthiness." Much of the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church was acquired through the confiscation of the property of the pitiful victims of the Inquisitions. Even the dead were exhumed to face trial and property was taken from their heirs by the Church. One historian writes:

"The punishments of the Inquisition did not cease when the victim was burned to ashes, or immured for life in the Inquisition dungeons. His relatives were reduced to beggary by the law that all his possessions were forfeited. The system offered unlimited opportunities for loot...

This source of gain largely accounts for the revolting practice of what has been called "corpse-trials.”… That the practice of confiscating the property of condemned heretics was productive of many acts of extortion, rapacity and corruption will be doubted by no one who has any knowledge either of human nature or of the historical documents.... no man was safe whose wealth might arouse cupidity, or whose independence might provoke revenge."11

Most of Rome's wealth has been acquired through the sale of salvation. Untold billions of dollars have been paid to her by those who thought they were purchasing heaven on the installment plan for themselves or loved ones. The practice continues to this day-blatantly where Catholicism is in control, less obviously here in the United States. No greater deception or abomination could be perpetrated. When Cardinal Cajetan, sixteenth-century Dominican scholar, complained about the sale of dispensations and indulgences, the Church hierarchy was indignant and accused him of wanting "to turn Rome into an uninhabited desert, to reduce the Papacy to impotence, to deprive the pope ... of the pecuniary resources indispensable for the discharge of his office."12

In addition to such perversions of the gospel which have led hundreds of millions astray, there are the further abominations of corrupt banking practices, laundering of drug money, trading in counterfeit securities, and dealings with the Mafia (fully documented in police and court records), which the Vatican and her representatives around the world have long employed. Nino Lo Bello, former Business Week correspondent in Rome and Rome bureau chief for New York Journal of Commerce, writes that the Vatican is so closely allied with the Mafia in Italy that "many people ... believe that Sicily ... is nothing more than a Vatican holding."13

The Roman Catholic Church is by far the wealthiest institution on earth. Yes, one hears from Rome periodic pleas for money-persuasive appeals claiming that the Vatican cannot maintain itself on its limited budget and needs monetary assistance. Such pleas are unconscionable ploys. The value of innumerable sculptures by such masters as Michelangelo, paintings by the world's greatest artists, and countless other art treasures and ancient documents which Rome possesses (not only at the Vatican but in cathedrals around the world) is beyond calculation. At the World Synod of Bishops in Rome, England's Cardinal Heenan proposed that the Church sell some of these superfluous treasures and give the proceeds to the poor. His suggestion was not well-received.

Christ and His disciples lived in poverty. He told His followers not to lay up treasure on this earth but in heaven. The Roman Catholic Church has disobeyed that command and has accumulated a plethora of riches without equal, of which "the Roman Pontiff is the supreme administrator and steward....”14 There is no church, no city which is a spiritual entity, no religious institution past or present which even comes close to possessing the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church. A recent newspaper article described only a fraction of that treasure at one location:

"The fabulous treasure of Lourdes [France], whose existence was kept secret by the Catholic Church for 120 years, has been unveiled.... Rumours have been circulating for decades about a priceless collection of gold chalices, diamondstudded crucifixes [a far cry from the bloodstained cross on which Christ died], silver and precious stones donated by grateful pilgrims.

After an indiscreet remark by their press spokesman this week, church authorities agreed to reveal part of the collection ... [some] floor-to-ceiling cases were opened to reveal 59 solid gold chalices alongside rings, crucifixes, statues and heavy gold brooches, many encrusted with precious stones.

Almost hidden by the other treasures is the "Crown" of Notre Dame de Lourdes, made by a Paris goldsmith in 1876 and studded with diamonds.

Church authorities say they cannot put a value on the collection. "I have no idea," says Father Pierre-Marie Charriez, director of Patrimony and Sanctuaries. "It is of inestimable value.”…

Across the road is a building housing hundreds of [antique] ecclesiastical garments, robes, mitres and sashes-many in heavy gold thread....

"The Church itself is poor,"15 insists Father Charriez. "The Vatican itself is poor." [The treasure described here is only part of that which is kept in one location, the small town of Lourdes, France!]"

The Mother of Harlots and Abominations

The more deeply one probes into the history of the Roman Catholic Church and its current practices, the more impressed one becomes with the amazing accuracy of the vision John received centuries before it would all be lamentable reality. John's attention is drawn to the inscription boldly emblazoned upon the woman's forehead: "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5). Sadly enough, the Roman Catholic Church fits the description "mother of harlots and abominations" as precisely as she fits the others. Much of the cause can be traced to the unbiblical demand that her priests be celibates.

The great apostle Paul was a celibate and recommended that life to others who wanted to devote themselves fully to serving Christ. He did not, however, make it a condition for church leadership as the Catholic Church has done, thereby imposing an unnatural burden upon all clergy that very few could bear. On the contrary, he wrote that a bishop should be "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2) and set the same requirement for elders (Titus 1:5,6).

Peter, whom the Catholics erroneously claim was the first pope was married. So were at least some of the other apostles. This fact was not the chance result of their having been married before Christ called them, but it was accepted as an ongoing norm. Paul himself argued that he had the right to marry like the rest: "Have we not power [Greek exousia, the right or privilege or authority] to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles and as the brethren [half-brothers, sons of Mary and Joseph] of the Lord, and as Cephas [Peter]?" (1 Corinthians 9:5).

The Roman Catholic Church, however, has insisted upon celibacy even though many popes, among them Sergius III (904-11), John X (914-28), John XII (955-63), Benedict V (964), Innocent VIII (1484-92), Urban VIII (1623-44), and Innocent X (1644-55), as well as millions of cardinals, bishops, archbishops, monks, and priests throughout history, have repeatedly violated such vows. Not only has celibacy made sinners of the clergy who engage in fornication, but it makes harlots out of those with whom they secretly cohabit. Rome is indeed "the mother of harlots"! Her identification as such is unmistakable. No other city, church, or institution in the history of the world is her rival in this particular evil.

History is replete with sayings that mocked the church's false claim to celibacy and revealed the truth: "The holiest hermit has his whore" and "Rome has more prostitutes than any other city because she has the most celibates" are examples. Pius II declared that Rome was "the only city run by bastards" [sons of popes and cardinals]. Catholic historian and former Jesuit Peter de Rosa writes:

"Popes had mistresses of fifteen years of age, were guilty of incest and sexual perversions of every sort, had innumerable children, were murdered in the very act of adultery [by jealous husbands who found them in bed with their wives].... In the old Catholic phrase, why be holier than the pope?"16

As for abominations, even Catholic historians admit that among the popes were some of the most degenerate and unconscionable ogres in all of history. Their numerous outrageous crimes, many of which are almost beyond belief, have been recited by many historians from preserved documents that reveal the depths of papal depravity, some of which we will cover in later chapters. To call any of these men "His Holiness, Vicar of Christ" makes a mockery of holiness and of Christ. Yet the name of each one of these unbelievably wicked popesmass murderers, fornicators, robbers, warmongers, some guilty of the massacre of thousands-is emblazoned in honor on the Church's official list of popes. These abominations that John foresaw not only occurred in the past but continue to this very day, as we shall see.

Drunk with the Martyrs' Blood

John next notices that the woman is drunk-and not with an alcoholic beverage. She is drunk with "the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. ..” (Revelation 17:6). The picture is a horrible one. It is not merely her hands that are red with this blood, but she is drunk with it! The slaughter of innocents who, for conscience' sake, would not yield to her totalitarian demands has so refreshed and exhilarated her that she reels in ecstasy.

One thinks immediately of the Inquisitions (Roman, Medieval, and Spanish) which for centuries held Europe in their terrible grip. In his History of the Inquisition, Canon Llorente, who was the Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake.17 A Catholic historian comments upon events leading up to the suppression of the Spanish Inquisition in 1809:

"When Napoleon conquered Spain in 1808, a Polish officer in his army, Colonel Lemanouski, reported that the Dominicans [in charge of the Inquisition] blockaded themselves in their monastery in Madrid. When Lemanouski's troops forced an entry, the inquisitors denied the existence of any torture chambers. The soldiers searched the monastery and discovered them under the floors. The chambers were full of prisoners, all naked, many insane. The French troops, used to cruelty and blood, could not stomach the sight. They emptied the torture chambers, laid gunpowder to the monastery and blew the place up."18

To wring out confessions from these poor creatures, the Roman Catholic Church devised ingenious tortures so excruciating and barbarous that one is sickened by their recital. Church historian Bishop William Shaw Kerr writes:

"The most ghastly abomination of all was the system of torture. The accounts of its cold-blooded operations make one shudder at the capacity of human beings for cruelty. And it was decreed and regulated by the popes who claim to represent Christ on earth....

Careful notes were taken not only of all that was confessed by the victim, but of his shrieks, cries, lamentations, broken interjections and appeals for mercy. The most moving things in the literature of the Inquisition are not the accounts of their sufferings left by the victims but the sober memoranda kept by the officers of the tribunals. We are distressed and horrified just because there is no intention to shock us."19

The remnants of some of the chambers of horror remain in Europe and may be visited today. They stand as memorials to the zealous outworking of Roman Catholic dogmas which remain in force today, and to a Church which claims to be infallible and to this day justifies such barbarism. They are also memorials to the astonishing accuracy of John's vision in Revelation 17. In a book published in Spain in 1909, Emelio Martinez writes:

"To these three million victims [documented by Llorente] should be added the thousands upon thousands of Jews and Moors deported from their homeland.... In just one year, 1481, and just in Seville, the Holy Office [of the Inquisition] burned 2000 persons; the bones and effigies of another 2000 ... and another 16,000 were condemned to varying sentences."20

Peter de Rosa acknowledges that his own Catholic Church "was responsible for persecuting Jews, for the Inquisition, for slaughtering heretics by the thousand, for reintroducing torture into Europe as part of the judicial process." Yet the Roman Catholic Church has never officially admitted that these practices were evil, nor has she apologized to the world or to any of the victims or their descendants. Nor could Pope John Paul II apologize today because "the doctrines responsible for those terrible things still underpin his position."21 Rome has not changed at heart no matter what sweet words she speaks when it serves her purpose.

More Blood Than the Pagans

Pagan Rome made sport of throwing to the lions, burning and otherwise killing thousands of Christians and not a few Jews. Yet "Christian" Rome slaughtered many times that number of both Christians and Jews. Beside those victims of the Inquisition, there were Huguenots, Albigenses, Waldenses, and other Christians who were massacred, tortured, and burned at the stake by the hundreds of thousands simply because they refused to align themselves with the Roman Catholic Church and its corruption and heretical dogmas and practices. Out of conscience they tried to follow the teachings of Christ and the apostles independent of Rome, and for that crime they were maligned, hunted, imprisoned, tortured, and slain.

Why would Rome ever apologize for or even admit this holocaust? No one calls her to account today. Protestants have now forgotten the hundreds of thousands of people burned at the stake for embracing the simple gospel of Christ and refusing to bow to papal authority. Amazingly, Protestants are now embracing Rome as Christian while she insists that the "separated brethren" be reconciled to her on her unchangeable terms!

Many evangelical leaders are intent upon working with Roman Catholics to evangelize the world by the year 2000. They don't want to hear any "negative" reminders of the millions of people tortured and slain by the Church to which they now pay homage, or the fact that Rome has a false gospel of sacramental works.

"Christian" Rome slaughtered Jews by the thousands-far more than pagan Rome ever did. The land of Israel was seen as belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, not to the Jews. In 1096 Pope Urban II inspired the first crusade to retake Jerusalem from the Muslims. With the cross on their shields and armor, the Crusaders massacred Jews across Europe on their way to the Holy Land. Almost their first act upon taking Jerusalem "for Holy Mother Church" was to herd all of the Jews into the synagogue and set it ablaze. These facts of history cannot be swept under the carpet of ecumenical togetherness as though they never happened.

Nor can the Vatican escape considerable responsibility for the Nazi Holocaust, which was thoroughly known to Pius XII in spite of his complete silence throughout the war on that most important of subjects.22 The involvement of Catholicism in the Holocaust will be examined later. Had the pope protested, as representatives of Jewish organizations and the Allied Powers begged him to do, he would have condemned his own church. The facts are inescapable:

"In 1936, Bishop Berning of Osnabruch had talked with the Fuehrer for over an hour. Hitler assured his lordship there was no fundamental difference between National Socialism and the Catholic Church. Had not the church, he argued, looked on Jews as parasites and shut them in ghettos?

"I am only doing," he boasted, "what the church has done for fifteen hundred years, only more effectively." Being a Catholic himself, he told Berning, he "admired and wanted to promote Christianity."23

There is, of course, another reason why the Roman Catholic Church has neither apologized for nor repented of these crimes. How could she? The execution of heretics (including Jews) was decreed by "infallible" popes. The Catholic Church herself claims to be infallible, and thus her doctrines could not be wrong.

Reigning over the Kings of the Earth

Finally, the angel reveals to John that the woman "is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:18). Is there such a city? Yes, and again only one: Vatican City. Popes crowned and deposed kings and emperors, exacting obedience by threatening them with excommunication. At the time of the First Vatican Council in 1869, J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, Professor of Church History in Munich, warned that Pope Pius IX would force the Council to make an infallible dogma out of "that pet theory of the Popes-that they could force kings and magistrates, by excommunication and its consequences, to carry out their sentences of confiscation, imprisonment, and death.... " He reminded his fellow Roman Catholics of some of the evil consequences of papal political authority:

"When, for instance, [Pope] Martin IV placed King Pedro of Aragon under excommunication and interdict ... then promised indulgences for all their sins to those who fought with him and [tyrant] Charles [I of Naples] against Pedro, and finally declared his kingdom forfeit ... which cost the two kings of France and Aragon their life, and the French the loss of an army....

Pope Clement IV, in 1265, after selling millions of South Italians to Charles of Anjou for a yearly tribute of eight hundred ounces of gold, declared that he would be excommunicated if the first payment was deferred beyond the appointed term, and that for the second neglect the whole nation would incur interdict...."24

Though John Paul II lacks the power to enforce such brutal claims today, his Church still retains the dogmas which authorize him to do so. And the practical effects of his power are no less than those of his predecessors, though exercised quietly behind the scenes. The Vatican is the only city which exchanges ambassadors with nations, and she does so with every major country on earth. Ambassadors come to the Vatican from every major country, including the United States, not out of mere courtesy but because the pope is the most powerful ruler on earth today. Even President Clinton journeyed to Denver in August 1993 to greet the pope. He addressed him as "Holy Father" and "Your Holiness."

Yes, ambassadors of nations come to Washington D.C, to Paris, or to London, but only because the national government has its capital there. Nor does Washington, Paris, London, or any other city send ambassadors to other countries. Only Vatican City does so. Unlike any other city on earth, the Vatican is acknowledged as a sovereign state in its own right, separate and distinct from the nation of Italy surrounding it. There is no other city in history of which this has been true, and such is still the case today.

Only of the Vatican could it be said that a city reigns over the kings of the earth. The phrase "the worldwide influence of Washington" means the influence not of that city but of the United States, which has its capital there. When one speaks, however, of the influence of the Vatican around the world, that is exactly what is meant-the city and the worldwide power of Roman Catholicism and its leader the pope. Vatican City is absolutely unique.

Forget a Rebuilt Babylon

Some suggest that the Vatican will move to Babylon in Iraq when it is rebuilt. But why should it? The Vatican has been fulfilling John's vision from its location in Rome for the past 15 centuries. Moreover, we have shown the connection to ancient Babylon which the Vatican has maintained down through history in the paganized Christianity it has promulgated. As for ancient Babylon itself, it wasn't even in existence during the past 2300 years to "reign over the kings of the earth." Babylon lay in ruins while pagan Rome and later Catholic Rome, the new Babylon, was indeed reigning over kings.

One eighteenth-century historian counted 95 popes who claimed to have divine power to depose kings and emperors. Historian Walter James wrote that Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) "held all Europe in his net."25 Gregory IX (1227-41) thundered that the pope was lord and master of everyone and everything. Historian R. W. Southern declared: "During the whole medieval period there was in Rome a single spiritual and temporal authority [the papacy] exercising powers which in the end exceeded those that had ever lain within the grasp of a Roman emperor."26

That the popes reigned over kings is an undisputed fact of history that we will more fully document later. That in so doing horrible abominations were committed, as John foresaw, is also indisputable. Pope Nicholas I (858-67) declared: "We [popes] alone have the power to bind and to loose, to absolve Nero and to condemn him; and Christians cannot, under penalty of excommunication, execute other judgment than ours, which alone is infallible." In commanding one king to destroy another, Nicholas wrote:

"We order you, in the name of religion, to invade his states, burn his cities, and massacre his people...."27

The qualifying information which John gives us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for identifying this woman, who is a city, is specific, conclusive, and irrefutable. There is no city upon earth, past or present, which meets all of these criteria except Catholic Rome and now Vatican City. Thai inescapable conclusion will become increasingly clear as we proceed to uncover the facts.


Well-Known Member
SkyRider, thanks again for another interesting post. I need to get a copy of this book and read it myself. The atrocities the RCC have committed throughout history provide overwhelming evidence of their antichrist nature. No doubt they would do the same exact thing today as they did yesterday given the right opportunity. The Tribulation might give them that opportunity,


Well-Known Member
Fraud and Fabricated History

The Roman Catholic pope has often been the most powerful religious and political figure on earth. This is true today, even though the pope no longer has at his disposal the armies and navies of past Roman pontiffs. The papacy is crucial to Roman Catholicism, which is destined to play a vital role in the last days prior to Christ's second coming. Therefore we must take time to understand the papacy in relation to both the Church and the world. How did the papal office arise? What is its significance today?

The Vatican's constituency of 980 million followers is at least three times the number of citizens in any Western democracy and is exceeded only by the population of China. Even more important, these 980 million people are scattered throughout the world, many of them holding high political, military, and commercial positions in non-Catholic countries. Moreover, the pope has thousands of secret agents worldwide. They include Jesuits, the Knights of Columbus, Knights of Malta, Opus Dei, and others. The Vatican's Intelligence Service and its field resources are second to none.

Politically the pope's power is exercised mostly behind the scenes, at times in cooperation with and at other times in opposition to the CIA, British Intelligence, Israeli Mossad, and other intelligence services. Remember, the pope's 980 million subjects are bound to him by religious ties, which are far stronger than any political loyalties could ever be. No secular government can compete with the motivational power of religious belief.

The typical Roman Catholic, though he may disagree with his church on such issues as homosexuality, abortion, extramarital sex, contraceptives, and the necessity for confession, nevertheless believes that, when it comes time for him to die, Rome holds his only hope. The pope as Christ's Vicar gives a visible reality and practical expression to that hope. The extraordinary position of the pope in relation to members of the Church was expressed succinctly in Rome's La Civilta Cattolica, which a papal brief described in the mid-nineteenth century as "the purest journalistic organ of true Church doctrine"2 :

"It is not enough for the people only to know that the Pope is the head of the Church ... they must also understand that their own faith and religious life flow from him; that in him is the bond which unites Catholics to one another, and the power which strengthens and the light which guides them; that he is the dispenser of spiritual graces, the giver of the benefits of religion, the upholder of justice, and the protector of the oppressed."3

Similar words have been spoken by the followers of Joseph Smith, Sun Myung Moon, and other cult leaders. The pope is "another Christ" and "God on earth" to his followers, and, as Vatican II says, he can be judged by neither man nor tribunal.4

Check Your Mind at the Door

The pope, and therefore the Church through him as its head, both claim to be infallible. Ordinary Catholics must not question anything the pope or Church have to say concerning faith and morals. The councils and catechisms have for centuries declared the need for such total submission and still insist upon it today. The Catholic World reminded all Roman Catholics in the United States at the time of the First Vatican Council:

"Each individual must receive the faith and law from the Church ... with unquestioning submission and obedience of the intellect and the will.... We have no right to ask reasons of the Church, any more than of Almighty God.... We are to take with unquestioning docility whatever instruction the Church gives us."5

Here we have as clear a denial of individual moral responsibility as can be found in any cult. The same requirement of unthinking submission is demanded in Vatican II. The Code of Canon Law likewise reasserts the same rule:

"The Christian faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound by Christian obedience to follow what the sacred pastors, as representatives of Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or determine as leaders of the Church."6

When it comes to faith and morals and the way of salvation, Catholics must check their minds at the door and accept whatever the Church says. They can't even study the Bible for themselves because only the Magisterium can interpret it. Obviously, this prohibition against freedom of conscience is related to the total suppression of basic human rights for all mankind everywhere, which is the unchanging goal of Roman Catholicism.

To understand Roman Catholicism, one must ignore the public posturing and public-relations motivated profile offered by the Catholic Church. The face that Rome shows to the world varies from country to country depending upon the control it has and what it can affect. Instead, we must look to Catholicism's official doctrines, which never change.

Vatican II is thought by most Catholics and non-Catholics to have liberalized Catholicism. In fact, it reaffirmed the canons and decrees of previous key councils: "This sacred council accepts loyally the venerable faith of our ancestors ... and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea, of the Council of Florence, and of the Council of Trent."7 The Council of Trent denounced the Reformation and damned evangelicals' beliefs with more than 100 anathemas. All of these condemnations of the gospel of God's grace are endorsed and reaffirmed by Vatican II. As for the pope, Vatican II clearly states:

"The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office [not the holiness of his life], when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful ... he proclaims in an absolute decision a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. For that reason his definitions are rightly said to be irreformable ... in no way in need of the approval of others, and do not admit of appeal to any other tribunal. ...

The faithful, for their part, are obliged to submit to their bishops' decision, made in the name of Christ, in matters of faith and morals, and to adhere to it with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind. This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and that one sincerely adheres to decisions made by him, conformably with his manifest mind and intention ...."8

"Obliged to submit to their bishops' decision, .... submission of the will and intellect must be given " ... ! That gives Rome incredible power over devout Catholics. That every Catholic does not obey is not the point; the point is that such wording is the unchangeable teaching and intent of the Church, not only for its members but for all mankind.

While many Catholics rebel against certain Church doctrines, they remain nominally attached to the Church, though they may only attend on Christmas or Easter. When it comes, however, to their hope of someday being released from purgatory and getting to heaven, no Catholic can question the Church or he would cease to be under its protection and thus be damned. Vatican II clearly says:

"This holy Council teaches ... that the Church ... is necessary for salvation.... Hence, they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it."9

Remember that Hitler and Mussolini remained Catholics to the end and were never excommunicated from the Church. So did thousands of the worst Nazi war criminals, whom the Vatican smuggled out of Europe into safe havens in South America. Such archcriminals are honored with Catholic funerals and, like Mafia members, die with the assurance that their Church will continue to say Masses in order to get them out of purgatory and eventually into heaven. It is an insurance policy that very few allow to lapse completely.

"Impeccability" Versus "Infallibility'

The required blind faith in the pronouncements of the pope and the clergy seems to make sense because the Roman Church is the largest and oldest. Surely so many billions of religious people couldn't be wrong for the past 1500 years! Faith is also bolstered by the assurance that the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church, the one which alone can be traced back to the original apostles, and that its papal authority comes directly from Christ through Peter by a long and unbroken line of apostolic succession.

As proof, the Church provides a list of its popes (thus far 263) all the way back to Peter. Few Catholics know that popes quarreled and fought with one another, excommunicated one another, and sometimes even killed each other. It is difficult to find even a few among the popes after the fifth century who exhibited the basic Christian virtues. Their lives as recorded in the Catholic Encyclopedia read like an unbelievable soap opera of lust, madness, mayhem, and murder. Nevertheless, all of these master criminals, poisoners, adulterers, and mass murderers are considered to have been infallible when they spoke ex cathedra-that is, made dogmatic pronouncements upon faith and morals to the whole church.

Catholic apologists argue that there is a difference between impeccability in character and conduct, which the popes certainly did not have, and infallibility in faith and morals, which every Catholic must believe they had.10 What folly to believe that a man who in his life denies the faith and is habitually immoral is nevertheless infallible when he speaks of faith and morals!

Knowledgeable Catholics readily admit that many popes were incredibly evil. But that fact, it is argued, simply proves they were human and allows one to disagree with them in good conscience. To the Catholic it makes good sense that, in spite of the undeniable wickedness of her clergy, the Roman Catholic Church must be mankind's only hope. After all, it was established by Christ Himself, who made Peter the first pope. That is supposedly proved by the Scripture "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18), which we will deal with in detail later.

The Unknown Dogma

Contrary to what Roman Catholics are taught, the papal office did not originate with Peter. It was centuries before the Bishop of Rome attempted to dominate the rest of the Church, and many centuries more before this primacy was generally accepted. Leo the Great's letter to Flavian in 449 was not accepted until the Council of Chalcedon had approved it. "[Pope] Leo himself acknowledged that his treatise could not become a rule of faith till it was confirmed by the bishops."11

There were eight councils of the Church before the schism in 1054 split it into Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, when the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated each other. None of these eight councils was called by the Bishop of Rome, but by the emperor, who also put his stamp of approval upon their decrees. As for papal authority, one Catholic historian reminds us:

"Pope Pelagius (556-60) talks of heretics separating themselves from the Apostolic Sees, that is, Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria plus Constantinople. In all the early writings of the hierarchy there is no mention of a special role for the Bishop of Rome, nor yet the special name of `Pope.' . . . Of the eighty or so heresies in the first six centuries, not one refers to the authority of the Bishop of Rome, not one is settled by the Bishop of Rome.... No one attacks the [supreme] authority of the Roman pontiff, because no one has heard of it." 12

The Easter Synod of 680 called by Pope Agatho was the first ecclesiastical body that asserted the primacy of Rome over the rest of the Church, but this was not an ecumenical council of the entire Church, so its decision was not generally accepted. As Catholic historian Peter de Rosa points out:

" ... not one of the early Fathers of the church saw in the Bible any reference to papal jurisdiction over the church. On the contrary, they take it for granted that bishops, especially metropolitans, have the full right to govern and administer their own territory without interference from anyone. The Eastern church never accepted papal supremacy; Rome's attempt to impose it led to the schism.

... one looks in vain in the first millennium for a single doctrine or piece of legislation imposed by Rome alone on the rest of the church. The only general laws came out of Councils such as Nicaea. In any case, how could the Bishop of Rome have exercised universal jurisdiction in those early centuries when there was no [Roman] Curia, when other bishops brooked no interference in their dioceses from anyone, when Rome issued no dispensations and demanded no tribute or taxation, when all bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome, had the power to bind and loose, when no bishop or church or individual was censured by Rome?

Further, for centuries, the Bishop of Rome was chosen by the local citizens: clergy and laity. If he had jurisdiction over the universal church, would not the rest of the world want a say in his appointment? When he was believed to have [universal] supremacy the rest of the church did demand a say in his election. This came about only in the Middle Ages."13

From Calvary to Regal Pontiff

It requires ingenious interpolation to derive from the simple statement "On this rock I will build my church" a Petrine office, apostolic succession, papal infallibility, and all the pomp, ceremony, and power surrounding the pope today. As one Catholic writer rather sarcastically points out: “. . . it required [great] skill to take statements made by a poor Carpenter to an equally poor fisherman and apply them to a regal pontiff who was soon to be called Lord of the World."14

Yet such is the only biblical foundation upon which the entire superstructure of the Roman Catholic Church has been built. It includes an infallible papacy, apostolic succession, an intricate hierarchy of priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals et al, the magisterium of bishops which alone can interpret the Bible, the requirement that for his alleged infallibility the pope must speak ex cathedra to the entire Church on matters of faith or morals, etc. etc. That none of these concepts is even remotely suggested, much less specifically stated, either in Matthew 16:18 or elsewhere in Scripture is dismissed by Catholic apologists, who then look to "tradition" for support. There they enter a maze of deceit and actual fraud.

It took centuries of developing ingenious arguments to finally arrive at the theory that the Christ who had "nowhere to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20), who lived in poverty and was crucified naked, was to be represented by a regal pontiff who possessed more than one palace containing in excess of 1100 rooms each, was waited upon day and night by scores of servants, and wore the finest gold-embroidered silk robes! That Christ passed on to Peter such pomp and luxuries, which neither of them knew, is both ludicrous and blasphemous.

The glories and powers enjoyed by popes are not even remotely related to Peter's life of purity and poverty. This fisherman-apostle said, "Silver and gold have I none" (Acts 3:6). Nor were papal luxuries and pompous claims of authority over kings and kingdoms known in the Church until centuries later as ambitious popes gradually extended and solidified their authority and control over earthly rulers. Popes began to call themselves by such titles as "supreme ruler of the world" and "king of kings." Others claiming to be "God on earth," even the "redeemer" who "hung on the cross as Christ did," asserted that "Jesus put the popes on the same level as God."15 Peter would have denounced such pretentious fraud as blasphemy.

Rome had been the capital of the empire before Constantine moved his palace to the East, and it continued to be regarded as the capital of the western half of the empire. With the Emperor Constantine installed in the city of Constantinople (Istanbul today), the pope developed near absolute power, not only as the head of the Church but as the emperor of the West.

When the empire later fell, it was the papacy which gave the fragmented remains its continuity. Thomas Hobbes would say, "The papacy is no other than the ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof."

W.H.C. Frend, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History, in his classic The Rise of Christianity, points out that by the middle of the fifth century the Church "had become the most powerful single factor in the lives of the peoples of the empire. The Virgin and the saints had replaced the [pagan] gods as patrons of cities."16 Pope Leo 1(440-61) boasted that St. Peter and St. Paul had "replaced Romulus and Remus as the city's [Rome's] protecting patrons."17 Frend writes that "Christian Rome was the legitimate successor of pagan Rome ... Christ had triumphed [and] Rome was ready to extend its sway to the heavens themselves."18

Shameless Revision of History

Such was the ambition of most of those who were scrambling onto the alleged throne of Peter and at times warring with one another to gain it. Using the name of Christ and piously making the sign of the cross, they labored mightily to satisfy their lust for power and pleasure and wealth. No justification for making themselves the absolute and infallible rulers over the Church, much less the world, could be found in the writings of the early Fathers and certainly not in Scripture. Therefore the popes had to find other support. The means they chose was to rewrite history by manufacturing allegedly historical documents. The first of these bold forgeries was The Donation of Constantine, which we have already mentioned. It was followed by pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, which were early papal decrees allegedly compiled by Archbishop Isidore (560-636) but actually fabricated in the ninth century. These frauds became the foundation for much "tradition" still relied upon today.

Catholic historian J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger writes that prior "to the time of the Isidorian Decretals no serious attempt was made anywhere to introduce the neo-Roman theory of infallibility. The popes did not dream of laying claim to such a privilege."19 He goes on to explain that these fraudulent Decretals would -

"gradually, but surely, change the whole constitution and government of the Church. It would be difficult to find in all history a second instance of so successful and yet so clumsy a forgery. For three centuries past [he wrote in 1869] it [the fabrication] has been exposed, yet the principles it introduced and brought into practice have taken such deep root in the soil of the Church, and have so grown into her life, that the exposure of the fraud has produced no result in shaking the dominant system."20

The Isidorian Decretals involved about a hundred concocted decrees allegedly promulgated by the earliest popes, along with counterfeit writings of supposed Church authorities and synods. These fabrications were just what Nicholas I (858-67) needed to justify his claims that the popes "held the place of God on earth" with absolute authority over kings, including even the right to "command massacres" of those who opposed them-all in the name of Christ.

The popes who followed Nicholas were only too happy to emulate his ways, and each of them used his predecessors' actions to justify his own, thus building an ever-larger case for infallibility, but upon a fraudulent foundation. Writing in the nineteenth century, Church historian R.W. Thompson, himself a Catholic, comments:

"Such times as these were adapted to the practice of any kind of imposture and fraud which the popes and clergy considered necessary to strengthen the authority of the papacy.... the personal interest [and] ambition of Innocent III led him to preserve all these forgeries with care, so that ... the "pious fraud" might become sanctified by time. .. The result he hoped and sought for has been accomplished....

[These] false Decretals, which are now universally considered to have been bold and unblushing forgeries ... constitute the cornerstone of that enormous system of wrong and usurpation which has since been built up by the papacy, to revive which Pope Pius IX has now put forth his Encyclical and Syllabus [of Errors] ....21

Devout Catholics would be shocked to learn that much of the "apostolic tradition" they have been told supports Roman Catholicism (and is to be regarded upon the same level as Scripture) was actually a deliberately manufactured fraud. The doctrines built upon these forgeries became so interwoven into Catholicism that even after the hoax was exposed the popes were reluctant to make the necessary corrections. Pope after infallible pope endorsed the counterfeit. To make a clean break from centuries of accumulated lies would tear apart the very fabric of Roman Catholicism.

Pope Pius IX relied upon the fraud, though it had already been exposed for three centuries, to build his case for pressuring the bishops to make papal infallibility an official dogma at Vatican I. But the testimony of history conclusively refutes both apostolic succession and papal infallibility.
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Well-Known Member
------------------------------- A WOMAN -------------------------------
"This is the sole Church of Christ which in the creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it.... The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." -Vatican II
--------------------------- RIDES THE BEAST ---------------------------

These are all "Holy Fathers"???


Unbroken Line of Apostolic Succession?

The claim that the popes are the successors of the apostle Peter is the cornerstone of Roman Catholicism, without which that Church would lose its uniqueness and could not function. We must therefore spend further time to examine this claim carefully. Is there actually an unbroken line of 262 popes succeeding Peter?

For apostolic succession to occur, each pope must choose his own successor and personally lay hands on him and ordain him. This was the procedure when Paul and Barnabas were sent forth by the church at Antioch on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:3). Timothy's appointment to the ministry was also by the elders laying hands upon him (1 Timothy 4:14), as did Paul when he imparted a special spiritual gift to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:6). This biblical procedure, however, has never been followed with regard to successors of the bishops of Rome or the popes. A pope's successor is chosen not by him, but after his death by others; and it has most often been done in the most ungodly manner, as we shall see.

Furthermore, there is no record that Peter was ever Bishop of Rome, and therefore no Bishop of Rome could possibly be his successor. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (178-200), provided a list of the first 12 Bishops of Rome. Linus was the first. Peter's name does not appear. Eusebius of Caesaria, the Father of church history, never mentions Peter as Bishop of Rome. He simply says that Peter came to Rome "about the end of his days" and was crucified there. Paul, in writing his epistle to the Romans, greets many people by name, but not Peter. That would be a strange omission if Peter had been living in Rome, and especially if he were its bishop!

Missing Links in the "Unbroken Line"

The Vatican puts out an official list of the popes, arbitrarily beginning with Peter and continuing to the present. There have been several such lists which were apparently considered accurate at one time but subsequently had to be revised-and now conflict with each other. The earliest lists come from Liber Pontificalis (Book of Popes), presumably first composed under Pope Hormisdus (514-23), yet even the Catholic Encyclopedia casts doubt upon its authenticity, and most scholars today agree that it mixed fact with fiction. Who the actual Bishops of Rome were cannot be known with any certainty at this late date. Even the New Catholic Encyclopedia, published by the Catholic University of America, acknowledges this fact:

"But it must be frankly admitted that bias or deficiencies in the sources make it impossible to determine in certain cases whether the claimants were popes or antipopes."2

The simple truth is that the Roman Catholic Church itself, with all of its archives, cannot verify an accurate and complete list of the popes. The alleged "unbroken line of succession back to Peter" is therefore a mere fiction. Anyone who takes the time to seriously attempt a verification of its accuracy will conclude that the Church has fabricated an official list of popes in order to justify the papacy and its pretensions. Nor was the Bishop of Rome considered to be the pope of the universal Church until about a thousand years after Pentecost!

Apostolic Succession?

For centuries the citizens of Rome considered it their right to elect the Bishop of Rome. This custom is proof that the Bishop of Rome had jurisdiction only over that territory, for if he had had jurisdiction over the whole Church, then all of the Church would have been involved in choosing him, as it is today. When at times the right to elect their own Bishop was denied them, the citizens of Rome revolted and forced their will upon the local civil and religious authorities. How could such pressure by mob violence be called apostolic succession by the direction of the Holy Spirit?

Feuds were carried on between powerful families (Colonna, Orsini, Annibaldi, Conti, Caetani, et al), who fought wars for the papacy for centuries. For example, Boniface VIII, a Caetani, had to battle the Colonna to remain in power. At the height of his success he had all of Western Christendom coming to Rome for the great Jubilee in 1300. But in 1303 he was seized by emissaries of Philip the Fair of France, and Rome fell into French possession. As a consequence, the papacy was moved to France, and from 1309-77 the popes were French and resided at Avignon. Such political maneuverings could hardly constitute apostolic succession!

Popes were both installed and deposed by imperial armies or Roman mobs. Some were murdered. More than one pope was executed by a jealous husband who found him in bed with his wife-hardly apostolic succession. Money and/or violence most often determined who would be "Peter's successor." No wonder that in the Concordat of Worms (between Pope Calixtus II and the Emperor Henry V, September 23, 1122) the pope was made to swear that the election of bishops and abbots would take place "without simony and without any violence,"3 which all too often decided Church affairs.

At times there were several rivals each claiming to have been legally voted in by a legitimate council. One of the earliest examples of multiple popes was created by the simultaneous election by rival factions of Popes Ursinus and Damasus. The former's followers managed, after much violence, to install him as pope. Later, after a bloody three-day battle, Damasus, with the backing of the emperor, emerged the victor and continued as vicar of Christ for 18 years (36684). So "apostolic succession" by an "unbroken line from Peter" operated by armed force? Really?

Ironically, Damasus was the first who, in 382, used the phrase "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church" to claim supreme spiritual authority. Bloody, wealthy, powerful, and exceedingly corrupt, Damasus surrounded himself with luxuries that would have made an emperor blush. There is no way to justify any connection between him and Christ, yet he remains one link in that chain of alleged unbroken succession back to Peter.

Violence, Intrigue, and Simony

Stephen VII (896-7), who exhumed Pope Formosus and condemned the corpse for heresy at a mock trial, was soon thereafter strangled by zealots who opposed him. His party promptly elected a Cardinal Sergius to be pope, but he was chased out of Rome by a rival faction which had elected Romanus as its "vicar of Christ." Of the strange manner in which popes followed one another in an "unbroken line of apostolic succession from Peter," one historian writes:

"Over the next twelve months four more popes scrambled onto the bloodstained [papal] throne, maintained themselves precariously for a few weeks-or even days before being hurled themselves into their graves. Seven popes and an anti-pope had appeared in a little over six years when ... Cardinal Sergius reappeared after seven years' exile, backed now by the swords of a feudal lord who saw a means thereby of gaining entry into Rome. The reigning pope [Leo V, 903] found his grave, the slaughters in the city reached a climax, and then Cardinal Sergius emerged as Pope Sergius [III, 904-11], sole survivor of the claimants and now supreme pontiff."4

Attempting to establish stability in selecting popes, in 1059 Nicholas 11(1059-61) "defined the role of the cardinals in the [papal] electoral process. During the Third Lateran Council in 1179, Alexander III (1159-8 1) restricted papal elections to the cardinals."5 It was hardly an improvement. As one nineteenth century historian pointed out,

"Few papal elections, if any, have been other than simoniacal [bought off for money] .... The invention of the Sacred College [of cardinals] has been, on the whole, perhaps the most fertile source of corruption in the Church. Many cardinals went to Rome for the conclave with their bankers."6

Much insight into such corruption comes from the diaries of John Burchard. Master of Ceremonies at the conclave that elected Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI [ 1492-1503]), Burchard concludes that only five votes were not bought in that election.

"The young cardinal Giovanni de' Medici, who had refused to sell his vote, thought it prudent to leave Rome immediately."7

In those days a cardinal's hat sold for a king's ransom, so it took a fortune to enter the polluted stream of "apostolic succession." Money flowed in from all over Europe to back favorite candidates. Borgia bought the papacy with "villas, towns and abbeys ... [and] four mule-loads of silver to his greatest rival, Cardinal Sforza, to induce him to step down." Peter de Rosa remarks facetiously:

"It is instructive to see, by way of Burchard’s diaries, how the Holy Spirit goes about choosing St. Peter’s successor."8

Sex and Succession

Some popes were put in office by their mistresses; six by a mother-and-daughter pair of prostitutes. Theodora of Rome (wife of a powerful Roman Senator) was most successful at this strategy. She manipulated Roman politics by exploiting the fact that her daughter, Marozia, was the mistress of Pope Sergius III. Known as "the mistress of Rome," Marozia did not hesitate at murder to accomplish her ambitions. Theodora herself was mistress to two ecclesiastics whom she maneuvered in quick succession, after Sergius's death, onto "Peter's throne"-popes Anastasius III (911-13) and Lando (913-14). Falling in love with a priest from Ravena, she maneuvered him also onto the papal throne.

That prostitutes determined who would be pope could hardly be "apostolic succession"! Of this remarkable mother and daughter, Edward Gibbon wrote in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

"The influence of two prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora, was founded on their wealth and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues. The most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre.... The bastard son, the grandson, and the great grandson of Marozia - a rare genealogy - were seated in the Chair of St. Peter."9

Alberic, another of Marozia's sons, with his armed thugs, literally controlled Rome. He made the Roman leaders swear to elect his son (Marozia's grandson), Octavian, not only as his successor to the Imperial throne but, upon the death of the pope, to that supreme religious office as well. And so it happened that Octavian called himself Pope John XII, while at the same time retaining the name Octavian as prince. Thus both the civil and ecclesiastical thrones were joined in one man.

John XII (955-63) was obsessed with illicit sex even more than he was with power. Though he had many regular mistresses, they were not enough. It was no longer safe for any woman to come into St. Peters! Bishop Liudprand of Cremona, papal observer and chronicler of that time, tells that the pope "was so blindly in love with [one mistress] that he made her governor of several cities; and even gave to her the golden crosses and cups of St. Peter himself." Roman mobs that had supported him and cared nothing about his amorous affairs were angered by the loss of properties which Romans had looked upon as part of their heritage.

Surrounded by mobs who were now eager to remove him, and besieged by the new King of Italy with his armies from without, Octavian abandoned his position as civil ruler but would not give up the even more lucrative and influential papacy, though he made no pretense of being a religious man, much less a true Christian. The papacy still had the power to crown emperors, so the pope summoned Otto, King of Germany and Europe's most powerful monarch, to Rome to be crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Otto came in haste with his army to the aid of the besieged pontiff.

After his coronation by John XII, Otto attempted to lecture the young pope about his dissolute life. John XII pretended to heed the advice. But after Otto and his armies had left, the pope, unwilling to abandon his sexual exploits, offered the Imperial crown to Berenger, the very enemy whose armies had plundered northern Italy and because of whose threats he had appealed to Otto.

Tempted by the prize that was now dangled in front of him, Berenger nevertheless declined, knowing that his forces were no match for Otto's army. The frantic pope then appealed to everyone from Saracens to Huns to rescue him from the man he had just crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and with whom he had sworn to revive the ancient partnership between crown and papacy that had once worked so well between Leo III and Charlemagne!

Papal Musical Chairs

When Otto returned with his army to settle accounts, John XII fled from Rome to Tivoli with what Vatican treasures he could carry. Otto opened a synod to decide John's fate. Bishop Liudprand presided in the emperor's name and recorded the proceedings. Witnesses were called and the crimes of the pope established, from fornication with numerous women who were named, to blinding Benedict, his spiritual father, to the murder of a Cardinal John, to toasting Satan at St. Peter's altar. But before Otto could execute justice, Pope John XII was killed by a husband who found the unrepentant pontiff bedded with his wife. Yet John XII is on the official Roman Catholic list of popes, each known as "His holiness, Vicar of Christ."

Not long after Otto's death in Germany, the papacy fell under the control of a powerful family of warlords in the Alban hills. The leader of the clan, Gregory of Tusculum, through wealth and the power of the sword succeeded in placing two of his three sons and a grandson (one succeeding the other) on the supposed throne of St. Peter. The Alberics of Tusculum could eventually boast of 40 cardinals, 3 antipopes, and 13 popes issuing from that one family. It would be a mockery to say that the wealth and power that produced this remarkable familial network of popes had anything to do with apostolic succession.

Of this period, Church historian von Dollinger, himself a devout Catholic, writes:

"... the Roman Church was enslaved and degraded, while the Apostolic See became the prey and the plaything of rival factions of the nobles, and for a long time of ambitious and profligate women. It was only renovated for a brief interval (997-1003) in the persons of Gregory V and Silvester II, by the influence of the Saxon emperor.

Then the Papacy sank back into utter confusion and moral impotence; the Tuscan Counts made it hereditary in their family; again and again dissolute boys, like John XII [age 16 when he became Pope] and Benedict IX [at age 11], occupied and disgraced the Apostolic throne, which was now bought and sold like a piece of merchandise, and at last three Popes fought for the tiara, until the Emperor Henry III put an end to the scandal by elevating a German bishop to the See of Rome."10

Chased by mobs from Rome in 1045, Pope Benedict IX (1032-44; 1045; 1047-8) fled to the protection of his uncle, Count Gregory, whose army controlled the hill country of Tusculum. In his absence, John, Bishop of the Sabine Hills, entered Rome and installed himself as pope under the name Sylvester III (1045). He occupied the "throne of Peter" a mere three months until Benedict stormed back with more swords than Sylvester could summon and ruled as pope once again. Yet both of these men are on the official Vatican list of those considered worthy of the titles "His Holiness" and "Vicar of Christ."

Tiring of the burdens of his office and eager to devote himself entirely to his favorite lover, Benedict sold the papacy for 1500 pounds of gold to his godfather, Giovanni Gratiano, archpriest of St. John's Church at the Latin Gate. Giovanni took over the papacy in May 1045 under the name of Pope Gregory VI (1045-6). With fresh resolve, Benedict returned to Rome in 1047 and set himself up as pope once again. So did Sylvester III. Now there were three popes, each ruling over that portion of Rome which his private army controlled, each claiming to be the vicar of Christ and possessor of the keys of heaven by virtue of apostolic succession.

Growing weary of the charade, the disillusioned and angry Roman citizens appealed to Emperor Henry III. He marched into Rome with his army and presided over a synod that deposed all three "popes" and installed the emperor's choice. He called himself Clement II (1046-7). But Benedict was not so easily dispatched. As soon as the Imperial army withdrew, he returned to Rome and managed by force of arms to rule as pope for another eight months (1047- 8), until Henry returned and chased him back to the Alban hills for the last time.

One would think the Roman Catholic Church would be ashamed of such fiascos and blot out the memory of evil popes and their fraudulent and often violent means of gaining and losing and recovering the papal throne. Yet in spite of such godless rivalry and in spite of the fact that their papacies overlapped (at times all three claimed to be pope), each of these adversarial claimants to Peter's throne is found on the Vatican's official list of popes today. (For further history of the popes see Appendix_D.)


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------------------------------- A WOMAN -------------------------------
It is beyond question that he [the pope] can err even in matters touching the faith. He does this when he teaches heresy by his own judgment or decretal. In truth, many Roman Pontiffs were heretics. -Pope Adrian VI, 15231
--------------------------- RIDES THE BEAST --------------------------

Infallible Heretics

The great importance of the papacy warrants yet further investigation as to its legitimacy. Vital is the claim that the popes are infallible when they speak on morals and dogma to the entire Church. If they are not infallible, the Roman Catholic Church has lost its unique leadership and apostolic authority. Yet popes themselves (Adrian VI quoted on the facing page and others) have denied that they or any other popes were infallible. Why not believe them?

Pope Adrian VI's declaration goes even further. If many popes have been heretics, then we have another reason why there cannot be an unbroken line of "apostolic succession back to Peter." Besides proving that a person is not infallible, espousing heresy is a mortal sin in Roman Catholic theology. Its immediate consequence, so says the official Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law (a codification of the canons and decrees of the Church councils) is instant and automatic excommunication.2 A heretic has denied the faith and placed himself outside the Church.

A heretical pope is therefore no longer even a member of the Church, much less its head. Consequently, a heretic, though pope, could not possibly provide a channel of apostolic authority to a successor. Yet the list of popes contains numerous heretics who were denounced as such by councils and by other popes.

No wonder the theories of apostolic succession and papal infallibility were not proposed until many centuries after Peter's death! It was as the popes grasped after more power, and began to command monarchs and entire nations, that they needed to justify their arrogant and oppressive imperialism. Already they claimed to be "God on earth" and the vicars of Christ, but that was not enough. They necessarily began to assert infallibility as well.

The Roots of Infallibility

Kings and emperors had once claimed to be gods, but their luster faded as they fought among themselves and their subjects began to chafe for more freedom. What was needed was an infallible representation of deity on earth to whom the civil rulers could look to settle their disputes. The popes began to fill that need, and by the thirteenth century they had established themselves as the supreme authority all across Europe. A leading nineteenth-century Catholic historian wrote that this authoritarianism encouraged despotism:

"... the Catholic Church [developed] a hostile and suspicious attitude towards the principles of political, intellectual, and religious freedom and independence of judgment ... [so that the] ideal of the Church [became] a universal empire ... of force and oppression, where the spiritual authority is aided by the secular arm in summarily suppressing every movement it dislikes.

... we could not, therefore, avoid bringing forward a very dark side of the history of the Papacy."3

Much of the "dark side of the history of the Papacy" involving that "empire of force and oppression" resulted from the popes' claim to infallibility. People eagerly embraced the idea in spite of the popes' wickedness. After all, the pagan gods stole one another's wives and lived riotously, so why not the popes? But the idea that a pope could be thought infallible even while blatantly contradicting himself was remarkable. Yet that fraud was maintained.

Such was the case, for example, when Pope Clement XI (1700-21) confirmed King Philip V of Spain and then shortly thereafter King Charles III of Germany, both with the same titles and privileges, including the highly prized Bull of the Crusade. As a result, Charles went to war with Philip to claim the crown which the pope seemingly had given him. Clement even confirmed two different candidates, one proposed by each sovereign, for the same bishopric.

One would think that such blatant contradictions would be proof enough that the pope was not infallible. Yet the bishops arguing the case for Charles III, according to a contemporary observer, "did allege the Pope's infallibility, and that every Christian is obliged in conscience to follow the last declaration of the Pope, and blindly to obey it, without inquiring into the reasons that did move the Pope to it."4 Such is the illogical and unbiblical but absolute and infallible papal authority which had long been claimed by the popes and which became official Roman Catholic dogma at Vatican I. That Council was coerced by Pius IX (1846-78) even to make submission to the pope a requirement of salvation:

"If anyone therefore shall say that blessed Peter the Apostle was not appointed the prince of all the apostles and the visible head of the whole church militant or that the same directly and immediately received from our Lord Jesus Christ a primacy of honor only and not of true and proper jurisdiction [over the whole church], let him be anathema [excommunicated and thus damned]!"

Nearly 300 years earlier, in 1591, the Jesuit Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, whose loyalty to the pope was absolute, had declared that whatever the Roman Pontiff commanded must be believed and obeyed no matter how evil or ludicrous. Of course, he could show neither biblical, logical, nor traditional support for such an extreme view, a view which did away with the individual moral accountability to God so clearly taught in Scripture and recognized in every conscience.

Peter Olivi, a Franciscan priest, made one of the earliest attempts to establish papal infallibility. His motive was primarily selfish. Pope Nicholas III (1277-80) had favored the Franciscans by declaring that "communal renunciation of property was a possible way to salvation."5 (Roman Catholicism had long taught salvation by works, as it teaches even today.)

Desiring to make the pope's decision in favor of himself and his fellow Franciscans unassailable, Olivi proposed that such papal pronouncements were infallible. A pope could live the most wicked life, murdering rivals, plundering cities, massacring their inhabitants (as many popes did), and denying Christ daily in abominable deeds. Yet if and when he made a pronouncement to the Church on faith and morals, he would be under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to such an extent that whatever he said would be infallible.

Olivi's astonishing proposal was a radical departure from Church tradition. Until then few popes had dared to look upon themselves as infallible, though the temptation to the human ego to embrace such folly is especially great for those who are so highly revered and venerated. Catholic theologian Hans Kung writes:

"With regard to the origin of the Roman Doctrine of infallibility:... [it] did not slowly "develop" or "unfold," but rather was created in one stroke in the late 1200s [by] an eccentric Franciscan, Peter Olivi (d. 1298), repeatedly accused of heresy. At first no one took Olivi's notion seriously.... The medieval canonists ... had never claimed that the Church needed an infallible head to preserve its faith.... [And] the modern critical attack on the principles of infallibility has the backing of Scripture and the body of Catholic tradition.6

"A Work of the Devil"

Olivi's theory was soon denounced by a pontiff, who would take awful vengeance upon the Franciscans. Pope John XXII (1316-34) had his own selfish reasons for denying papal infallibility. Had the Franciscans not been the champions of it, John might have accepted the idea as useful for his own purposes. However, he hated the Franciscans for taking vows of poverty that condemned his own lavish lifestyle. He had amassed a huge fortune "by duping the poor, by selling livings, indulgences and dispensations."7 Angrily, John XXII condemned as heresy both the Franciscan way of life and Nicholas III's commendation thereof.

To justify contradicting another pope, John produced his Bull Qui quorundam (1324), a dogmatic assertion of doctrine made to the entire Church and thus infallible by today's rules. In it John XXII reviled the doctrine of papal infallibility as "the work of the devil."

Though often offered as an example of the consummate heretic, John XXII continued in the "holy office" for 18 wicked years, and his name remains today unashamedly displayed on the Vatican's official list of the vicars of Christ. This pope is described by one Catholic historian as "full of avarice, more worldly than a pimp, and with a laugh that crackled with unimprovable malice."8 Yet he is an essential link in the alleged apostolic succession back to Peter upon which John Paul II's legitimacy depends today.

Papal Heretics' Heretic

John XXII's predecessor, Clement V, had given away all of the Church's wealth to his relatives, leaving a bare treasury. That condition the new pope went about to cure with a vengeance. He sold everything for a price, including absolution from sin and eternal salvation. Thus, the golden chalice held by the woman riding the beast was refilled with filthy lucre gained by abominable means exactly as the apostle John foresaw in his remarkable vision.

John XXII published a list of crimes and gross sins, together with the individual price for which he, as vicar of Christ, head of the one true Church, would absolve transgressors from each of them. The list left nothing out, from murder and piracy to incest, adultery, and sodomy. The wealthier one was, the more one could sin; the more Catholics sinned, the richer the Church became.

Much of the wealth thus acquired was spent to further John XXII's passion for wars. One of his contemporaries wrote: "The blood he shed would have incarnadined the waters of Lake Constance [an extremely large lake], and the bodies of the slain would have bridged it from shore to shore."9

John XXII's pet doctrine was like that of many who are popular on Christian radio and TV today: that Christ and His apostles had been men of great wealth. So he declared in a papal bull, Cum inter nonnullos (1323). To deny this dogma was heresy punishable by death. John demanded that secular rulers burn at the stake Franciscans who had taken vows of poverty. Those who refused to do so were excommunicated. During his pontificate he handed over 114 Franciscans to the Inquisition to be consumed by the flames for the heresy of purposely living in poverty as Christ had. Thus it became official Roman Catholic dogma that Christ and His disciples were men of considerable wealth, and that all Christians ought to be so-a dogma repudiated by other popes.

Such papal heretics and their condemnations of one another are part of the history of the popes, a history which Catholics must honestly face. And Protestants as well, those who admire John Paul II, must realize that the position he holds and the special authority he claims come to him through a long line of criminals and heretics whom he and his Church still honor as past vicars of Christ.

The Holy Heretic

Millions of Catholics from whom the historical truth has been hidden have looked upon John XXII as an exceptionally holy man. Was he not favored above all popes by "Our Lady of Mount Carmel" with one of her rare personal appearances? John swore that the "Virgin Mary" appeared to him to present the Great Promise: that she would personally go into purgatory the Saturday after their death and take to heaven all those who, having met certain other conditions, died wearing her brown scapular. In reliance upon this special Sabbatine [Saturday] Privilege, which was confirmed by other popes, untold millions of Roman Catholics have since worn (and still wear today) the brown scapular of "Our Lady of Mount Carmel" as their ticket to heaven.

John XXII was eventually denounced as a heretic by Emperor Louis of Bavaria, who deposed him and appointed another pope in his place. But the emperor's purging of the papacy turned embarrassing when, shortly after the new pope took office, his wife appeared on the scene. The emperor quickly decided that John XXII wasn't so bad after all. For, as de Rosa sarcastically remarks, although John, like most of the other popes, had illegitimate children, at least he "had never committed the sin of matrimony." Such sarcasm, though it comes from a Catholic historian, may seem unfair at first but is in fact fully warranted. Today's Code of Canon Law, Canon 1394, refers to marriage as a "scandal" for a priest, whereas it has no such harsh words for sins of which priests are frequently guilty even today, such as child molestation, keeping a mistress, homosexuality, etc.

Reinstated as pope, John XXII's heretical pronouncements became so outrageous that only his death saved him from removal again from the papacy. Yet he remains on that long list of alleged successors of Peter through whom Pope John Paul II received his authority.

In 896 Stephan VII (896-7) had the corpse of the previous Pope Formosus (891-6) exhumed eight months after burial. Dressed in its former papal vestments and propped on a throne in the council chamber, the cadaver was "tried" and found guilty of having crowned as emperor one of Charlemagne's many illegitimate descendants. In fact, there have been a number of popes who were themselves the illegitimate sons of previous popes. They were thus illicit claimants to the alleged throne of Peter and therefore hardly capable of passing on to their successors apostolic authority.

Having been condemned by Pope Stephan VII, the former Pope Formosus's corpse was stripped, the three fingers of benediction on the right hand were hacked off, and the remains thrown to the mob outside, who dragged it through the streets and threw it into the Tiber. Fishermen gave it a decent burial. Pope Stephan VII then declared all of Formosus's ordinations invalid, creating a most serious problem which haunts the Roman Catholic Church to this day.

Formosus had ordained many priests and bishops, who in turn ordained multitudes of others, who also did the same. Thus an open and insoluble question remains concerning which priests, bishops, et al, down to the present time may be in the line of those ordained by Formosus and are therefore without genuine apostolic authority. And what of those who were ordained by the many other heretical popes? And what of the fact that Formosus, too, remains on that official Vatican list of vicars of Christ, as does the pope who exhumed his body and denounced him posthumously?

Pope Sergius III agreed with Stephan VII in pronouncing all ordinations by heretical popes invalid - which, of course, is only logical in view of the automatic excommunication which we have already noted accompanies heresy. In Cum ex Apostolatus officio, Pope Paul IV declared "by the plenitude of papal power" that all of the acts of heretical popes were null and void. That infallible declaration leaves "apostolic succession" in ruins.

Councils Above Popes

A former unscrupulous Roman official, Vigilius, as pope (537-55) became an even more tragic figure. He changed his mind on doctrine each time the emperor demanded it. Vigilius was finally declared a heretic and excommunicated by the Fifth General Council (553), called at Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian. (No one doubted that a council's authority was above that of a pope.)

Exiled by the emperor, Vigilius confessed his errors and pleaded that he had been deceived by the devil. Yet the reign of this man on Peter's alleged throne was among the longest of any of the popes. More than one pope was condemned as a heretic by a Church council. The Council of Constance [ 1414-18] deposed three popes who each claimed to be the one true vicar of Christ and had each "excommunicated" the other two. (See Appendix D.)

Pope Honorius (625-38) was condemned as a heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council (678- 87). For centuries each new pope taking office was required to swear by an oath that Honorius had been a heretic and that the council had acted properly in condemning him. Yet he too remains on the official list of Peter's successors!

The action of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, affirmed by subsequent popes, was considered proof for centuries that popes were not infallible
. Yet a strong-willed despot, Pope Pius IX, through threats and manipulation, would engineer an affirmation of papal infallibility by the First Vatican Council in 1870.

Contradictions, Contradictions

Two persons holding opposite opinions can't both be right. Yet popes have almost made a business of contradicting one another on key issues. Agapetus (535-6) burned the anathema which Boniface II (530-2) had solemnly issued against Dioscorus (530). The latter is shown as an antipope, but Agapetus, who sided with him, is shown as a true pope. Adrian 11 (867-72) said civil marriages were valid; Pius VII (1800-23) declared them invalid. Both men are shown as legitimate popes. Nicholas V (1447-55) voided all of Eugenius IV's (1431-47) "documents, processes, decrees, and censures against the Council [of Basle] ... to be regarded as having never existed,"10 yet both remain on the official list of popes today.

On July 21, 1773, Pope Clement XIV issued a decree suppressing the Jesuits, only to have it reversed by a decree restoring them, issued by Pope Pius VII on August 7, 1814. Eugenius IV condemned Joan of Arc (1412-31) to be burned as a witch and heretic, but she was beatified by Pius X (1903-14) in 1909 and canonized by Benedict XV (1914-22) in 1920. Today inside Paris's Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the most popular images is that of Saint Joan of Arc, France's "national heroine," with a profusion of candles always burning before it. How could an "infallible pope" condemn a saint to death as a witch and heretic? Yet Eugene IV remains on the list of allegedly infallible "successors of Peter."

History conclusively denies both apostolic succession and papal infallibility. And in fact many popes denied the latter also, among them Vigilius (537-55), Clement IV (1265-8), Gregory XI (1370-8), Adrian VI (1522-3), Paul IV (1555-9) and even Innocent III (1198-1216), who ruled Europe with an iron hand. Then why was Pope Pius IX so determined to immortalize this obvious fraud as official dogma?

There was a very special reason: Infallibility was the final desperate prop which Pius IX hoped would support the collapsing structure of Roman Catholic domination over the governments of the world and their citizens. To establish that dogma once for all, he convened the First Vatican Council December 8. 1869.

Purchased With Blood

Well-Known Member
The Jesuits are also big proponents of the evolution hoax and they talk about aliens a lot. If the Pope is still here after the rapture, the alleged Vicar of Christ, the media will say it could not have possibly been a rapture, it was the aliens. Only the "right-wing extremists" were taken away. The media is already trying to paint premillenial believers as extremists. This article below is from 2005 but there have been more recent Jesuit directors of the Vatican Observatory who have repeated similar ideals. From CBS news:

Vatican Chief: Design Not Science

The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

"Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

Read more at:


Well-Known Member
The Jesuits are also big proponents of the evolution hoax and they talk about aliens a lot. If the Pope is still here after the rapture, the alleged Vicar of Christ, the media will say it could not have possibly been a rapture, it was the aliens. Only the "right-wing extremists" were taken away. The media is already trying to paint premillenial believers as extremists. This article below is from 2005 but there have been more recent Jesuit directors of the Vatican Observatory who have repeated similar ideals. From CBS news:

Vatican Chief: Design Not Science

The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

"Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

Read more at:
The Jesuits obviously do not read the Bible or they would have a different opinion on evolution verses creationism. Perhaps there really is evolution as it seems the Jesuits must have surely evolved from apes. They certainly have maintained an ape mentality.

Romans 1:18-20:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.


Well-Known Member
------------------------------- A WOMAN -------------------------------

Upon her forehead was a name written ... MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS.... -Revelation 17:5

The history of celibacy makes for reading so black.... A large part [of it] is the story of the degradation of women.... Ivo of Chartres (1040-1115) tells of whole convents with inmates who were nuns only in name ... [but] were really prostitutes. Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ

The recent disclosures of widespread sexual misconduct on the part of certain members of the Roman Catholic clergy come as no surprise to most of us who were once priests or nuns. -Ex-nun Patricia Nolan Savas in USA Today1

--------------------------- RIDES THE BEAST ---------------------------

Unholy Mother

Let there be no misunderstanding: We are not suggesting that Catholic popes, priests, and nuns are inherently more prone to promiscuity than the rest of mankind. Our hearts are all the same. Many of these tragic individuals no doubt began with high moral and spiritual aspirations and in that spirit set out upon what they sincerely intended to be a life of purity and devotion to Christ. It was the system of hierarchical privilege, power, and authority over the laity which perverted and destroyed them.

That system, as we have seen, gathered momentum through the centuries by the lust and greed of popes whose natural propensity for evil (innate in us all) found occasion through the unusual opportunities afforded by their office. To enhance their power they issued a host of false documents which purported to be the writings of early Church Fathers and decrees of early synods. One self-serving theme of these forgeries was the claim that the popes had inherited "innocence and sanctity from Peter" and could not be judged by any man. Von Dollinger writes:

"A saying ascribed to Constantine, at the Council of Nice, in a legend recorded by Rufinus, was amplified till it was fashioned into a perfect mine of high-flying pretensions. Constantine, according to this fable, when the written accusations of the bishops against each other were laid before him, burned them, saying ... that the bishops were gods, and no man could dare to judge them." 2

If one is on the level of the gods, what privileges could not one claim? Gods are above the law. No wonder, then, that the popes began to declare openly that they had power over kings and kingdoms and all persons, and power to behave like tyrants. The added pretense of infallibility only made matters worse.

Each priest and nun, by association, shares (though to a lesser extent) this same corrupting absolutism and elevation above laypersons. Add to this pretended Godlike authority the unnatural rule of celibacy (an intolerable burden which only a small minority of persons could possibly bear) and the stage is set for all manner of evil. A sincere Catholic historian writes:

"The fact is that priestly celibacy has hardly ever worked. In the view of some historians, it has probably done more harm to morals than any other institution in the West, including prostitution....

The proof of the harm done by celibacy comes not from bigoted anti-Catholic sources; on the contrary, it includes papal and conciliar documents and letters of reforming saints. They all point in one direction: far from being a candle in a naughty world, priestly celibacy has been more often than not a stain on the name of Christianity." 3

Celibacy's Roots and Fruits

One must understand that mandatory celibacy is not taught in the Bible, nor was it practiced by the apostles. This teaching developed as an integral part of the evolving papal system and gradually became essential to it. The concern was not morality, for celibacy proved to be a veritable cornucopia of evil. In fact, the rule of celibacy was not the prohibition of sex but of marriage. Pope Alexander 11 (1061-73), for example, refused to discipline a priest who had committed adultery with his father's second wife because he hadn't committed the sin of matrimony. That was the great evil which had to be eliminated for the priesthood to be totally devoted to the Church.

All down through history not only priests and prelates but popes as well had their mistresses and visited prostitutes. Many were homosexuals. No member of the clergy was ever excommunicated for having sex, but thousands have been put out of the priesthood for the scandal of getting married. Why then the strict insistence upon celibacy, even to the present day, if it really doesn't mean abstinence from sex? It is because the rule of celibacy has a very practical and lucrative result for the Church: It leaves priests and especially bishops and popes without families to whom to bequeath property and thereby impoverish the Church. The clergy must have no heirs.

Pope Gregory VII, bemoaning the difficulty in stamping out marriage among priests, declared: "The Church cannot escape from the clutches of the laity unless priests first escape from the clutches of their wives." Here is another vital reason for celibacy: to create a priesthood without the encumbrance (and loving loyalties) of wives and children. Thus fornication and adultery, though forbidden in theory, were preferable to a marriage relationship. Nineteenth-century historian R.W. Thompson explains:

"It was considered absolutely necessary to the perfect working of the papal system that there should be organized a compact body of ecclesiastics, destitute of all those generous sympathies which grow alone out of the family relation, that they might be the better fitted to do the work of the popes..." 4

Though married men in those early days were allowed to enter the priesthood, they were required to live celibate lives. Pope Leo I (440-61) decreed that married clergy were to treat their wives "as sisters." Few if any Catholics realize that as late as the reign of Pope Gregory VII (1073-85) it was accepted for priests to be married and supposedly live in celibacy with their wives.

Such a requirement was both unnatural and unrealistic. Who could keep such a rule? All over Italy the clerics openly had large families and no discipline was enacted against them. After all, many of the popes had large families as well and sometimes made no secret of it. De Rosa comments:

"This theological confusion in an age of depravity led the clergy, in fifth-century Rome in particular, to become a byword for everything that was gross and perverted.... When Pope Sixtus 111(432-40) was put on trial for seducing a nun, he ably defended himself by quoting Christ's words, "Let him who is without fault among you throw the first stone."

... roving monks were proving to be a social menace ... there were long periods when many monasteries were nothing but houses of ill repute.... The second Council of Tours in the year 567 ... publicly admitted there was hardly a cleric anywhere without his wife or mistress...." 5

A System Made for Prostitution

For centuries the priesthood was largely hereditary. Most priests were the sons of other priests and bishops. More than one pope was the illegitimate son of a previous and supposedly celibate pope. For example, Pope Sylverius (536-7) was fathered by Pope Hormisdas (514-23), and John XI (931-5) by Sergius III (904-11) of his favorite mistress, Marozia, to whom we referred earlier.

Among the other bastards who ruled the Church were Popes Boniface 1(418-22), Gelasius (492-6), Agapitus (535-6), and Theodore (642-9). There were more. Adrian IV (1154-9) was the son of a priest. No wonder Pope Pius 11 (1458-64) said Rome was "the only city run by bastards." Pius himself admitted to fathering at least two illegitimate children, by different women, one of them married at the time. The rule of celibacy literally created prostitutes, making Rome the "Mother of Harlots," as the apostle John foresaw.

In his fiery sermons, Savonarola of Florence, Italy (soon to be martyred), called Rome "a harlot ready to sell her favors for coin"6 and accused the priests of bringing "spiritual death upon all ... their piety consists in spending their nights with harlots." He cried, "One thousand, ten thousand, fourteen thousand harlots are few for Rome, for there both men and women are made harlots."7

Pope Alexander VI threatened to "lay an interdict upon Florence" if it did not silence Savonarola. The city rulers obeyed for fear that as a result of the interdict all "the Florentine merchants in Rome would be thrown into jail."8 The pope wanted Savonarola brought to Rome for trial as a heretic, but the Signory of Florence wanted to execute him themselves. After signing confessions that had been wrung out of them by the cruelest of torture, Savonarola and two comrade friars were hanged and burned to ashes.9 Yet this man who preached against the Church leaders' immorality and was slain by Roman Catholics is now celebrated by the Vatican as "a giant of our faith, martyred May 23, 1498."10 What revision of history!

Visiting Germany in the eighth century, St. Boniface found that none of the clergy honored their vows of celibacy. He wrote to Pope Zachary (741-52): "Young men who spent their youth in rape and adultery were rising in the ranks of the clergy. They were spending their nights in bed with four or five women, then getting up in the morning ... to celebrate mass." Bishop Rathurio complained that if he excommunicated unchaste priests "there would be none left to administer the sacraments, except boys. If he excluded bastards, as canon law demanded, not even boys [would be left]."11

Even idealists became unprincipled rogues because the priesthood was one of the surest and fastest ways to wealth and power and afforded unique opportunities for the most profligate pleasure. Today's pope, John Paul II, in his recent encyclical, Veritatis Splendor (Splendor of Truth), soundly condemns promiscuity. One might respect such a treatise if he would admit that his predecessors in the papacy have been some of the worst offenders; that the clergy, because they can't marry, have been more prone to illicit relationships than the laity; and that promiscuity is still widespread among the Roman Catholic clergy. Otherwise Splendor of Truth has a hollow sound.

Vicars of Christ?

John XII (955-64), to whom we referred earlier, became pope at age 16, ran a harem in the Lateran Palace, and lived a life of evil that passes imagination, even toasting the devil in front of St. Peter's altar. Spiritual leader of the Church for eight years, John XII slept with his mother and any other woman he could get his hands on. Women were warned not to venture into St. John Lateran church. Of this man Liutprand wrote in his journal:

"Pope John is the enemy of all things.... the palace of the Lateran, that once sheltered saints and is now a harlot's brothel, will never forget his union with his father's wench, the sister of the other concubine Stephania....

Women ... fear to come and pray at the thresholds of the holy apostles, for they have heard how John a little time ago took women pilgrims by force to his bed, wives, widows and virgins alike...."12

St. Peter Damian's eleventh-century record of the incredible evils caused by the pledge of celibacy made such scandalous reading that the pope with whom he shared it preserved it in the papal archives. In fact, it "proves that profligacy among the clergy of the time was universal. After six centuries of strenuous efforts to impose celibacy, the clergy were a menace to the wives and young women of the parishes to which they were sent." 13

Pope Innocent IV (1243-54), forced to leave Rome by Emperor Frederick II, took refuge along with his Curia in Lyons, France. Upon the pope's return to Rome after Frederick's death, Cardinal Hugo wrote a letter thanking the people of Lyons. He reminded them that they also owed a debt to the pope and his court. His remarks provide a glimpse of the shameless depravity of the papal court:

"During our residence in your city, we [the Roman Curia] have been of very charitable assistance to you. On sisters of love, whilst at our departure we leave you, so to say, one brothel that extends from the western to the eastern gate."14

The Enforcement of Celibacy

Celibacy was hardly known in England before it was at last enforced by Innocent IV in about 1250. Most priests there were married, a practice long accepted by the Church. But Rome determined that it had to end all familial devotion for priests and nuns; their loyalty must now be given solely to Mother Church and the Pope. R.W. Thompson explains why celibacy was forced upon England:

"The celibacy of the Roman clergy has been, since its introduction, considered one of the most effective means of establishing the supremacy of the popes; and for this purpose the attempt was made to introduce it into England, after the Norman conquest."15

Pope Honorius II (1124-30) sent Cardinal John of Crema to England to see that his decree against marriage for clergy was carried out. The cardinal gathered the senior clerics and chided them vigorously for their evil ways, declaring that "'twas a horrible crime to rise from the side of a harlot, and then to handle the consecrated body of Christ." The clergy whom he had lectured, however, surprised him in his room later that night in bed with one of the local prostitutes.16 At least he wasn't married.

In the thirteenth-century St. Bonaventure, cardinal and general of the Franciscans, had said that Rome was just like the harlot of the Apocalypse, exactly as John foresaw and as Luther would see to his sorrow three centuries later. Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) did not hesitate to have both a mother and daughter as his mistresses together. It was Luther's visit to Rome which completed his growing disillusionment with his Church.

By the fourteenth century the Church had lost all credibility as an example of Christlike living. Cynicism was rampant. It was no secret that Pope John XXII (1316-34) had a son who was raised to cardinal. Like Luther, England's John Colet had been shocked at the brazen ungodliness of the pope and cardinals when he visited Rome. From his pulpit in London's St. Paul's Cathedral, of which he was the dean, Colet thundered his disapproval:

"Oh, the abominable impiety of those miserable priests, of whom this age contains a great multitude, who fear not to rush from the bosom of some foul harlot into the temple of the Church, to the altars of Christ, to the mysteries of God!" 17

Life in the Papal Court

For years it had been a common saying that "Rome has more prostitutes than any city in the world because it has the most celibates." Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84) turned that fact into a source of considerable profit by charging Rome's numerous brothels with a Church tax. Then he gathered more wealth still by charging a tax on mistresses kept by priests. Will Durant reports:

"There were 6800 registered prostitutes in Rome in 1490, not counting clandestine practitioners, in a population of some 90,000. In Venice, the census of 1509 reported 11,654 prostitutes in a population of some 300,000. An enterprising printer published a "Catalogue of all the principal and most honored courtesans of Venice, their names, addresses, and fees."18

Upon becoming Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503), Rodrigo Borgia, who had committed his first murder at age 12, cried triumphantly, "I am Pope, Pontiff, Vicar of Christ!" Gibbon calls him "the Tiberius of Christian Rome." Though he scarcely pretended to be a Christian, he was, like all the popes, deeply devoted to Mary. Of him a leading Florentine scholar wrote:

"His manner of living was dissolute. He knew neither me nor sincerity. neither faith nor religion. Moreover, he was possessed by an insatiable greed, an overwhelming ambition and a burning passion for the advancement of his many children who, in order to carry out his iniquitous decrees, did not scruple to employ the most heinous means."19

Like his predecessor, Pope Innocent VIII (1484-92), Borgia as a fond father admitted who his children were, baptized them personally, gave them the best education, and proudly officiated at their weddings in the Vatican, which were attended by Rome's leading families. Alexander VI had ten known illegitimate children, four of them (including the notorious Cesare and Lucrezia) by Vannozza Catanei, his favorite mistress. When Vannozza faded, Borgia, then 58, took newlymarried, 15-year-old Giulia Farnese. She obtained a cardinal's red hat for her brother (thereafter known as "the Petticoat Cardinal"), who later became Pope Paul III (1534-49) and convened the Council of Trent to counter the Reformation.

The Record in Art and Architecture

Papal promiscuity has been immortalized in the very structures and statuary of the Vatican, St. Peter's, and other of Rome's most famous churches and basilicas. The magnificent Sistine Chapel, for example, was built by and named after Sixtus IV, who taxed others for keeping a mistress but paid none for his own. Here the cardinals meet to elect the next pope. Sixty-five feet above them the huge ceiling bears the incredible artwork of Michelangelo.

Admiring visitors are not aware that this, the world's greatest work of art, was commissioned by Julius 11(1503-13), who bought the papacy with a fortune and didn't even pretend to be religious, much less a Christian. A notorious womanizer who sired a number of bastards, Julius was so eaten up with syphilis that he couldn't expose his foot to be kissed. The Sistine Chapel thus stands as one of Rome's many monuments to the fact that the church which owns and proudly displays it is, as John foresaw, the "Mother of Harlots."

Known as "the most important church dedicated to Mary in Western Christendom," Santa Maria Maggiore is the fruit of the combined efforts of a number of promiscuous popes. Sixtus III (432-40), another notorious womanizer, built the main structure. The "golden wood ceiling over the nave was commissioned by the Borgia Pope Alexander VI [1492-1503],"20 who paid for it with gold from America received as a gift from Spain's Ferdinand and Isabella, to whom he had given the new world. Borgia's unbelievable wickedness, including his devotion to torture, his mistresses, and his illegitimate children, have been mentioned briefly. He "launched the first censorship of printed books ... the Index, which [lasted] over four hundred years."21

Inside St. Peter's basilica, the burial monument of Pope Paul III (1534-49) is adorned with reclining female figures. One figure, representing Justice, was naked for 300 years until Pius IX had clothes painted on her. She was modeled after Paul III's sister, Giulia, a mistress of Alexander VI. Thus is immortalized the promiscuity of "celibate" popes.

Today's Unbiblical Tolerance

The gross immorality among Roman Catholic clergy is not confined to the past but continues on a grand scale to this day. Such wickedness was rare and a cause for excommunicating the offending party in the days of the apostles. The faithful were not even to associate with fornicators (1 Corinthians 5:8,9) who claimed to be Christians, so the world would know that such conduct was condemned by the church and all disciples of Christ. Of a sexually profligate man at Corinth, Paul wrote to the church: "Therefore put away from among yourselves [excommunicate] that wicked person" (verse 13).

Yet popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests without number have been habitual fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, and mass-murderers-ruthless and depraved villains who pursued their degenerate lifestyles immune from discipline. Far from being excommunicated, such popes remain proudly displayed on the list of past "vicars of Christ." Today a priest who engages in sexual misconduct is rarely expelled from the priesthood or excommunicated from the Church. Instead, he is reassigned elsewhere and perhaps given psychological counseling. Priests pronounced cured by such treatment centers (for example, Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, New Mexico) have been reassigned to parishes only to abuse more victims.22

While Rome officially condemns fornication, thousands of its priests engage in sex outside of marriage. A national Catholic newspaper recently reported: "Seven French women ... companions of priests who. .. are forced to `live clandestinely, for a lifetime, the love they share with a priest' [and who] represent thousands of women in similar relationships ... arrived at the Vatican August 20. [They] asked the pope to. .. look into the reality faced by `thousands of priests' companions who live in the shadows, often with the approval of church superiors, and by the children who ... are raised by their mothers alone or are abandoned."23

The fraud and hypocrisy persist. Ex-nun Patricia Nolan Savas, author of Gus: A Nun's Story, writes:

"During my ten years as Sister Augusta ... I witnessed situations that ranged from compromising to aberrant. ... In theory, we were forbidden by the Rule to ever touch another person, male or female. "Particular friendships," considered serious violations of the vow of chastity, were to be avoided at all costs. And the cost of imposed asexuality and corporeal denial was always high and often tragic.

With the exception of a few select eunuchs, many of the priests and nuns I knew eventually rejected that intolerable burden and either abandoned the religious life altogether or formed liaisons with their fellow clerics or with outsiders.

There were the valiant ones who continued in their sincere attempts to murder the flesh and often fell victim to serious psychogenic disorders. Some still remain seriously damaged in mind and body, sequestered in institutions referred to as "retreats" or other such euphemisms. A tragic number became alcoholics and quietly drank themselves to death.

A major cause of this appalling waste of lives? Celibacy -a virtuous state when freely entered into but an overwhelming millstone when imposed as dogma on the entire clergy, as it was by the Roman Catholic Church nine centuries ago."24

Early in 1994, "Terence German, 51 [former Jesuit priest], filed a $120-million lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against the Church, Pope John Paul II, and Cardinal John O'Connor." He accused them "of turning a blind eye to his repeated reports of other priests' sexual misconduct and misuse of church funds." German's formal complaint explains that -

"he gave up all of his "worldly goods" when he took his vows in 1964 in exchange for a promise that the church would care for him until his death. The underlying assumption was that he would "live a life guided by the established principles" of the Roman Catholic Church....

The church-by acquiescing to pervasive sexual and financial misconduct-broke its part of the established principals.... The Church wasn't enforcing its own rules, so [I wasn't] able to live according to the Church's rules ... with people stealing and in sexual alliances with small boys."25

Today's "celibate" fornicators, pedophiles, and perverts are almost always quietly transferred. In their new parishes they continue to celebrate Mass and to perform priestly functions. Should they commit the much more serious sin of marrying, however, they are forbidden ever to function as priests again.

Exposed at Last

Twentieth-century misconduct by the Roman Catholic clergy, covered up for decades, is now being exposed. Increasing numbers of victims are coming forward to sue the Church. An estimated billion dollars has been paid by the Church so far in the United States in out-of-court settlements. The Santa Fe, New Mexico, Archdiocese is on the brink of bankruptcy due to nearly 50 lawsuits against which it is now defending itself. "More than 45 priests are believed to have [sexually] abused some 200 people over a 30-year period."26 Nor is Santa Fe the only area where the Church faces such lawsuits. In 1994 the Archdiocese of Chicago expects to pay out more than the 2.8 million dollars it had paid for settlements in 1993. The problem is widespread.

The Franciscan boy's seminary in Santa Barbara, California, has just been shut down because of the sexual involvement of the majority of its priests with students. Across the United States women who have brought paternity suits are being paid child support by the Church "in return for their agreement to maintain silence about the fatherhood."27 In the Santa Fe Archdiocese cases, the 12 insurance companies which held liability coverage, including Lloyds of London, have refused to pay claims. They argue that "they should not have to pay out because diocesan officials continued to give parish assignments to priests with a history of sexual abuse."28

Organizations such as ten-year-old "Good Tidings," which helps priests and women who are sexually involved, have sprung up around the world. Good Tidings, headquartered in Canadensis, Pennsylvania, has branches in Canada, Australia, and England. It is "developing ties with similar organizations in other countries, hoping to create a federation that can present a united front to the Church of Rome, which has dismissed sexual liaisons between priests and women as merely an American problem." Many priests "develop patterns of repeated involvement with women." Some of the priests' lovers consider themselves married, "in heart if not legally," and some relationships amount to "common-law marriage...." But "when the responsibility of a. child comes, the priest is gone."29

Brazen Hypocrisy

The Church's insistence upon the unnatural and unworkable rule of celibacy has led to a priesthood of hypocrites who profess one thing and live another. According to National Catholic Reporter, about " 10 percent of priests report a sexual approach from a priest while they were in training.... Spiritual directors, novice masters, seminary professors often introduce sexual contact into the context of their spiritual office."30

Bishops from western Canada visiting Rome in September 1993 asked the pope in a series of meetings to "grant an exception on cultural grounds and allow married priests among the Inuit and Dene peoples of northern Canada." The pope was polite but unbending. Fifteen centuries of "infallibility" can't be changed that easily.31

St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota, was the scene during August 12 and 13, 1993, of a groundbreaking conference on "Sexual Trauma and the Church" sponsored by two Benedictines, Abbot Timothy Kelly and Br. Dietrich Reinhart, President of St. John's University. Protestants were involved as well. Dominated by the search for psychological rather than spiritual solutions, participants included psychologists and psychiatrists such as Jesuit Fr. James Gill, psychiatrist and editor of Human Development.

Conferees noted that accurate numbers of sexual-abuse cases are not available because of the widespread suppression of such information by the Church. One canon lawyer, Fr. Thomas Doyle, coauthor of the 1985 Doyle-Moulton-Peterson report on abuse in the clergy, estimated that in 1990 about 3000 of the 50,000 priests in America were "currently involved sexually with minors." It is estimated that "four times as many priests involve themselves sexually with adult women and twice the number of priests involve themselves with adult men as those involved with children."32 The situation is out of hand, as it has been for centuries. Of his fellow clergymen, William Hogan wrote after leaving the priesthood in the early nineteenth century:

"I am sorry to say, from my knowledge of them, since my infancy to the present moment, that there is not a more corrupt, licentious body of men in the world."33

At Vatican II Paul VI used the dogma of papal infallibility to take out of the Council's hands critical issues such as celibacy and birth control, upon which he pronounced his own opinions. He demanded that all priests renew their vow of celibacy on Holy Thursday in 1970. Rome can't possibly reverse itself on celibacy without admitting that its infallible popes and councils have been wrong on this point. out of touch with the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit for centuries, while Protestants have been right all along.

Rome's hypocrisy is monumental
. She continues to lecture the rest of the world on high moral standards and to pose as the arbiter and paragon of virtue, while tens of thousands of her clergy violate the very morals she proclaims. Consider the 179 pages of Veritatis Splendor, produced by John Paul II over six years and published late in 1993. This weighty theological treatise condemns contraception, illicit sex, and homosexuality as "intrinsically evil." Conspicuous by its absence, however, is any admission that a high percentage of the Roman Catholic clergy practice all three.

Sad Proof of Failure

Catholic theologian Hans Kung echoes the belief of the majority of Roman Catholics when he calls John Paul II's entire pontificate too "hard line" on sexual morality and suggests that such harshness, rather than preventing sexual misconduct, has actually contributed to it. Kung, who continues under a cloud of Vatican disapproval, calls Veritatis Splendor (which church leaders hailed as "a call to holiness"), "the testimony of his [John Paul II's] failure. Wojtyla's point of view, after having been voiced in hundreds of speeches all over the world, has fallen on deaf ears. This is the crowning fiasco of his 15-year-old pontificate."34

In his 120-million-dollar lawsuit against the Church, former Jesuit priest Terence German, a Vatican troubleshooter from 1978 to 1981 at Rome's Jesuit headquarters, claims that "the pope turned a deaf ear to his complaints of sexual improprieties." And when the facts could no longer be denied, the pope tried to say that such things were only occurring in the United States. "But that's hogwash," says German. "It's going on right in Rome, and he knows it."35

Chicago's Joseph Cardinal Bernardin boasts that Veritatis Splendor "reaffirms the moral vision that has sustained the Catholic community since the time of Christ."36 Can he really be that ignorant of both the history and current condition of his Church?

Rome is beyond question that city which is the "Mother of Harlots" of Revelation 17, having created them around the world and down through history literally by the millions. No other city on earth even comes close to rivaling her in this regard.


Well-Known Member
------------------------------- A WOMAN -------------------------------

I saw the woman ... and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. -Revelation 17:1

The man who enters [a fourth-century church] is bound to see drunkards, misers, tricksters, gamblers, adulterers, fornicators, people wearing amulets, assiduous clients of sorcerers, astrologers.... He must be warned that the same crowds that press into the churches on Christian festivals, also fill the theatres on pagan holidays. -St. Augustine1

--------------------------- RIDES THE BEAST ---------------------------

An Incredible Metamorphosis

That a gorgeously clad woman should be holding the reins astride such a terrifying, world devouring beast was just cause for astonishment
. John appears, however, to have been dumbfounded by more than that fact-indeed, by the woman herself ("when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration [amazement]"). Why? Was it because the woman was a religious figure? Hardly.

That religion should wield great authority was a universal fact of John's day. Church and state were one, with religion playing the dominant role. If the woman merely represented pagan world religion, John would hardly have been surprised. What could there have been about this woman that astonished him? Had he known her before and was shocked by the unbelievable transformation?

Beneath the luxurious attire, the priceless jewelry, the heavy cosmetics, and the shamelessly impudent stare there was a haunting familiarity. It couldn't be possible! How had Christ's chaste bride become this brazen whore? What diabolical mutation had transformed that small, despised flock of humble followers of the Lamb into this notorious prostitute toasting Satan with the blood of the martyrs in a golden chalice! How could the church, hated and persecuted by the world, as Christ had said she would be - how could she have become this powerful worldwide institution that reigned over the kings of the earth?

John was staggered. What he was being shown seemed impossible: that those who belonged to Christ would find themselves in a false church, a whore. There would be no possibility of reforming her from within. The cry would come from the Lord Himself in heaven, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins" (Revelation 18:4).

History authenticates John's vision. It has become quite clear that the world religion under Antichrist will not be atheism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, or even New Age. It will be Christianity, but in a paganized form - exactly what it became under the leadership of Constantine and his successors, the popes. The coming world religion will have its headquarters in Rome.

The Persecuted Early Church

For more than two centuries, as Tertullian said, the blood of the martyrs was the seed of a heavenly-minded church without earthly ambition, a church whose members had increased to about 10 percent of the Roman Empire. The church that Christ had established seemed to thrive under persecution. Mistreatment by the world kept her pure, detached from earthly desires, and longing to be with Christ in heaven. Christians were radically different from pagans; they were misfits, despised and blamed for every disaster because their refusal to worship the idols had presumably brought down the wrath of the gods. Early in the third century Tertullian wrote:

"If the Tiber reaches the walls, if the Nile does not rise to the fields, if the sky doesn't move or the earth does, if there is famine, if there is plague, the cry is at once: "The Christians to the lions!"2

A successful Roman lawyer and convert to Christianity from Stoicism, Tertullian was one of the church's first and most prominent theologians and apologists. He openly attacked every facet of pagan culture and religion. Needling the pagans who debated him, Tertullian declared: "Day by day you groan over the ever-increasing number of Christians. Your constant cry is that your state is beset by us, that Christians are everywhere."3 An early church leader described Christians with these words:

"But while they dwell in Greek or barbarian cities according as each man's lot has been cast and follow the customs of the land in clothing and food, and other matters of daily life, yet the condition of citizenship which they exhibit is wonderful, and admittedly strange.

They live in countries of their own, but simply as sojourners ... enduring the lot of foreigners....

They exist in the flesh, but they live not after the flesh. They spend their existence upon earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the established laws, and in their own lives they surpass the laws. They love all men and are persecuted by all."4

The persecutions of the third century were far more severe than the earlier ones. Clement reported "roastings, impalings and beheadings" of Christians in Alexandria before he fled that city around 203.5 Persecutions came in waves, punctuated by periods of relative tolerance and tranquility. The totalitarian system of the Caesars made the pagan view of the emperor as deity (he had absolute control over life and death) seem all the more credible. Loyalty to the traditional pagan cults, headed by the emperor as Pontifex Maximus, was a form of patriotism. The Christian rejection of the pagan gods and emperor worship was seen as treason and fueled popular hatred against this "unpatriotic" minority.

Aroused by the fact that "the heathen temples began to be forsaken and the Christian churches thronged,"6 the Emperor Decius, around A.D. 250, martyred thousands of people, including the bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Jerusalem as well as a number of the emperor's own soldiers who refused to sacrifice to idols.7 "Not a town, not a village of the Empire escaped," historian Philip Hughes informs us, then adds significantly, "but the emperor's intention was not so much the massacre of Christians as their conversion to the old religion ... [through] long drawn-out trials ... repeated interrogations and the extensive use of torture in the hope of gradually breaking down the resistance."8 Chadwick further explains:

"[Decius required] that everyone should possess a certificate (libellus) that he had sacrificed to the gods before special commissioners.... They [the certificates] were a deliberate attempt to catch people, and were the gravest attack hitherto suffered by the Church.

Especially among property-owners the number of apostates [those denying their faith to save their lives and possessions] was immense ...."9

It sounds like a foretaste of what it will be like when the Roman Empire is revived under Antichrist. Following a brief respite, the persecution directed by Emperor Valerian (253-60) forbade all Christian worship and specifically focused on the execution of church leaders. Among ordinary Christians as well, the martyrs were innumerable. The worst, however, was yet to come.

The Great Persecution, as it came to be called, began in 303 under the Emperor Diocletian and his co-emperor, Galerius. All Bibles had to be surrendered to the authorities, all churches were to be destroyed, all Christian worship was forbidden, all clergy were to be imprisoned, and all citizens of the empire were to sacrifice to the pagan gods on pain of death. In many places it was a bloodbath. For example, in Phrygia, "where the whole population was Christian, a whole town was wiped out." 10

Setting the Stage for Apostasy

At the height of the most devastating persecution, deliverance came from an astonishing direction in the form of a new emperor, Constantine. A brilliant military commander, he took control of the empire in the West, while his ally, Licinius, conquered the East. Together they signed the Edict of Milan in 313, restoring to Christians full rights as citizens. Freedom at last from persecution seemed like a gift from God. Unfortunately, it set the stage for an apostasy that would envelop Christendom for more than a millennium. Christ's bride had been wedded to paganism. No wonder John was shocked!

The only Christianity John knew was the "little flock" (Luke 12:32) of those who, hated by the world, were following in Christ's path of rejection and suffering. The Lord had promised: "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you..." (John 15:19,20). And so, it happened.

That this despised little band, persecuted by the world for its holiness and fidelity to Christ, could ever metamorphose into an evil institution sitting astride the very seat of worldly power and ruling over earthly kings and kingdoms seemed impossible to John, but there she was in that vision of the future.

With the at-first-reluctant but increasingly enthusiastic consent and participation of the bishops, the church entered upon an apostasy which led to Roman Catholicism and has lasted until the present time. In fact, it is now gaining momentum for God's final judgment upon the great whore. Will Durant, a purely secular historian with no religious axe to grind, comments upon the marriage of Christianity and paganism that came about through Constantine's pretended "conversion" and assumption of church leadership:

"Paganism survived ... in the form of ancient rites and customs condoned, or accepted and transformed, by an often-indulgent Church. An intimate and trustful worship of saints replaced the cult of pagan gods.... Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed Mary and Jesus; the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of purification of Isis became the Feast of the Nativity; the Saturnalia were replaced by Christmas celebration ... an ancient festival of the dead by All Souls Day, rededicated to Christian heroes; incense, lights, flowers, processions, vestments, hymns which had pleased the people in older cults were domesticated and cleansed in the ritual of the Church ... soon people and priests would use the sign of the cross as a magic incantation to expel or drive away demons.... [Paganism] passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and captive Rome captured her conqueror. ... the world converted Christianity...."11

From Persecuted to Persecutor

Referring to developments after Constantine, Peter Brown writes: "Far from being a source of improvement, this alliance [with the state] was a source of `greater danger and temptation' [than persecution had been].... The spread of Christianity in Africa, by indiscriminately filling the churches, had simply washed away the clear moral landmarks that separated the `church' from the `world."' 12 Political considerations began to subtly influence Christian life and doctrine (just as today), because what was best for the state loomed large in ecclesiastical affairs and the emperor was now in charge of both. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the popes would assume the emperor's role and the marriage with the world would be complete.

In its new role as the favored (and eventually official) religion of the empire, "Christianity" became polluted by its avid pursuit of secular power
. The purity and spiritual power of the early church had been so awesome that unbelievers dared not join it (Acts 5:13). In contrast, what the Church would become after Constantine has been described eloquently by Peter de Rosa:

"The time is not far off [after Constantine] when Peter's [alleged] successors will be not the servants but the masters of the world. They will dress in purple like Nero and call themselves Pontifex Maximus. They will refer to the Fisherman as "the first pope" and appeal not to the authority of love but to the power invested in him to act as Nero acted.

In defiance of Jesus, Christians will do unto others what was done unto them, and worse will they do. The religion that prided itself on triumphing over persecution by suffering will become the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen....

They will order in Christ’s name all those who disagree with them to be tortured, and sometimes crucified over fire
. They will make an alliance between throne and altar; they will insist that the throne is the guardian of the altar and the guarantor of faith.

Their idea will be for the throne (the state) to impose the Christian religion on all its subjects. It will not trouble them that Peter fought against such an alliance and died because of it."13

From being persecuted, the Church became the chief persecutor, not only of religious faith but, as we have seen, of any form of freedom of conscience. Hasler explains how the metamorphosis occurred: "Once Christianity became the state religion, deviations from orthodoxy threatened both the unity of the empire and of the Church. And it was the emperor who had the greatest interest in settling doctrinal disputes. He convened ecumenical councils and largely dictated their results."14 The popes, however, had the trump card - the keys to heaven - and used it to intimidate kings and emperors into becoming the secular arm which did their bidding, especially the executions during the Inquisitions.

In 1864, Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors condemned "the whole existing view of the rights of conscience and religious faith and profession." The Syllabus said it was "a wicked error to admit Protestants to equal political rights with Catholics, or to allow Protestant immigrants the free use of their worship; on the contrary, to coerce and suppress them is a sacred duty, when it has become possible ... the Church will, of course, act with the greatest prudence in the use of her temporal and physical power, according to altered circumstances.... "15

The Bible was the most dangerous Book in the world and had to be kept from the common people. The clergy would give them selected readings and tell them what it meant. The Protestant view that anyone could read and understand the Bible would destroy Catholicism. Pope Clement XI's Constitution Unigenitus (1713) denounced the following Jansenist propositions presented by Pasquier Quesnel:

"Christians are to sanctify the Lord's Day with reading godly books, more particularly the Holy Scriptures." Clement's judgment: "CONDEMNED!"

"To pull the New Testament out of the hands of Christians is to shut the mouth of Christ against them." "CONDEMNED!"

"To forbid Christians the reading of the Holy Scriptures and especially of the Gospel is to forbid the use of the light by the children of light and to punish them with a kind of excommunication." "CONDEMNED!"

Freedom-Roman Style

The Vatican can't enforce its edicts today in the totalitarian manner it once employed
. So it professes to stand for freedom of religion and conscience because it wants such rights for its own people where Catholics are in the minority. Vatican II has an entire section titled "Declaration on Religious Liberty" which contains such statements as "the human person has a right to religious freedom."16 What it promotes, however, is freedom from government interference or discrimination in religion. The dishonest impression is given that Rome advocates full freedom of religion. There is no mention of, much less repentance for, the millions of people who were martyred and massacred century after century simply because they would not accept the Roman Catholic interpretation of the Bible.

Nor does Vatican II concede genuine freedom of conscience. Yes, it says everyone is free to pursue truth. But it declares that truth exists only within the Roman Catholic Church. Nor does the Council point to the Bible, God's Word, as the source of truth, to be read and understood by all. As in the Middle Ages, the Church alone can interpret the Bible. She alone has the sacraments and is the means of salvation. The Church possesses the truth and is its guardian and sole dispenser for all time. Therefore, for all the talk about freedom of religion and conscience in this section of Vatican II, there is no true freedom because this same document makes it clear that the truth can only be known and the soul saved by complete and blind submission to Rome. Consider the following from this section on "Religious Liberty":

"We believe that this one true religion continues to exist in the Catholic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it among all men....

So while the religious freedom which men demand in fulfilling their obligation to worship God has to do with freedom from coercion in civil society, it leaves intact the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ....

Throughout the ages she [the Roman Catholic Church] has preserved and handed on the doctrine which she has received from her Master and the apostles.... in forming their consciences the faithful must pay careful attention to the sacred and certain teaching of the Church. For the Catholic Church is by the will of Christ the teacher of truth. It is her duty to proclaim and teach with authority the truth which is Christ and, at the same time, to declare and confirm by her authority the principles of the moral order which spring from human nature itself.

So while in theory there is freedom of conscience, in fact there is not. One is free to pursue truth, but truth exists not in the Bible in a form which the conscience can recognize and is available to all mankind, but resides only within the Roman Catholic Church, and her prelates alone can recognize it and dispense it. No one may judge her "truth" by conscience or God's Word, but her dogmas must be accepted blindly because she is the one true Church founded by Christ upon Peter, and her popes are Peter's successors.

Antichrist will himself acknowledge this fantastic claim (the woman will ride the beast), but with no more sincerity than did Constantine. It will be a ploy to use the Church to his own ends until finally he puts his image in the temple and demands that all people worship him as god. At that point the beast will turn upon the woman and devour her (Revelation 17:16).

Shepherds Deceiving the Sheep

Remember, it was the totalitarian papal system which, first of all, destroyed those men who became part of it, and then through them destroyed the Church. The shepherds became corrupted with the lust for power and then corrupted all of the clergy, who in turn corrupted the people. Cardinal Sadolet said of Clement VII, whom he knew intimately, that before his election he studied the Bible constantly, but afterward his character deteriorated and his pontificate was "a series of mistakes, a perpetual dodging to evade the Council which he hated and feared." Before he became pope, Paul IV favored Church reformation, but afterward he avidly pursued his own selfish interests and the advancement and enrichment of his nephews. A contemporary described Pius IV before his pontificate as "humane, tolerant, beneficent, gentle and unselfish," but just the reverse as pope. He "abandoned himself to vulgar sensuality and lusts, ate and drank immoderately, became imperious and crafty," and even stopped attending "Divine service in the chapel." So it was with Innocent X, Alexander VII, and a host of others. 17

With his usual clarity, de Rosa provides further insight.

"In the tenth century, for all its adolescent, adulterous and murderous popes, the papacy was a local phenomenon. The head of a powerful Roman family put his cherished teenaged son on the throne; the lad made hay for a few frantic months or years and was ambushed by members of a rival family whose hour had come. But since the eleventh century Gregory VII had put his stamp upon the papacy. It had grown in stature and prestige; it was able to control the entire church, from the simplest country curate to the most powerful archbishop. What emerged was the most appalling corruption that Christianity has ever seen or is likely to see. It began at the top. The papacy was auctioned off in conclave to the highest bidder, irrespective of a candidate's worth."18

Von Dollinger extended the blame to the entire Curia:

"When the Cardinals said, in the letter they addressed to their Pope, Gregory XII, in 1408, that there was no soundness in the Church from the sole of the foot to the crown of the head, they should have added, if they wished to tell the whole truth, "It is we and our colleagues, and your predecessors, it is the Curia, who have gone on saturating the body of the Church with moral poison - and therefore is it now so sorely diseased."19

St. Bonaventure declared that in Rome "Church dignities were bought and sold, there did the princes and rulers of the Church assemble, dishonoring God by their incontinence, adherents of Satan, and plunderers of the flock of Christ.... the prelates, corrupted by Rome, infect the clergy with their vices; and the clergy, by their evil example of avarice and profligacy, poison and lead to perdition the whole Christian people." Others "called the Curia the utterly corrupt `carnal Church.' ..." Those who still had some hope for a reformation of the Church, writes von Dollinger, "predicted a great renewal and purification through a holy Pope, the Papa Angelicus, long looked for, but never willing to appear."20

Petrarch, close observer for many years of the Roman Curia, came to the conclusion that Rome was the fulfillment of John's vision in Revelation 17. She was "the Apocalyptic woman drunken with blood, the seducer of Christians, and plague of the human race." Von Dollinger says that Petrarch's descriptions of the papacy and the Curia "are so frightful that one would suppose them the exaggerations of hatred, were they not confirmed by all his contemporaries.... Augustinian monk of Florence, Luigi Marsigli, [said] the Papal Court no longer ruled through hypocrisy-so openly did it flaunt its vices-but only through the dread inspired by its interdicts and excommunications."21

The popes had loaded St. Bonaventure with honors. As a cardinal and General of his Order, he was bound by the closest ties to Rome. Yet in his Commentary on the Apocalypse he declares that Rome was "the harlot who makes kings and nations drunk with the wine of her whoredoms." Dante, too, applied to the popes the apocalyptic prophecy of the harlot on the seven hills who is drunk with the blood of men and seduces princes and peoples.22

It was a metamorphosis that John found hard to believe could ever occur - but it has been fulfilled exactly as Christ revealed it.

Some Contrasts to Ponder

The Church holds a position for the average Catholic that is entirely different from the relationship between an evangelical and whatever denomination to which he or she may belong. For the evangelical, Christianity involves a personal relationship between the believer and God and Jesus Christ. Many Protestants lack that personal relationship and thus are not real Christians. The lack of that personal relationship, however, is not because they have been taught to look to a Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian or some other denominational church for salvation; at least that is not generally the teaching of any Protestant church.

In contrast, a Mormon is taught that salvation comes by belonging to and remaining in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The same is true of a Jehovah's Witness, a Christian Scientist, or a member of most other cults, whether "Christian" or Hindu or Buddhist. Rome, too, decrees that the individual can only receive "the merits and graces of Christ" through the Church. The essential personal relationship with Christ apart from any institution, and the accompanying assurance of being with Him the moment one dies, is denied to individual Catholics. Their hope is in the Church: They hope that its continued efforts even after their death will eventually bring them to heaven.

While the Bible teaches submission to Church leaders, it also insists that this submission go only as far as the leaders are following Christ Himself. Paul wrote, "Follow me as I follow Christ" (from 1 Corinthians 11:1). He didn't suggest that all Christians must follow him because of his high office, but only as he was true to Christ and His Word. Obviously, to make that judgment the individual must know Christ and His Word for himself.

Paul says that each believer, and not just a special clergy class, is free to present God's truth to the church, and that when leaders speak to the church those who hear them are to judge for themselves the validity of what is said (1 Corinthians 14:29-32). In contrast, Catholicism's Code of Canon Law says, "The First See (papacy) is judged by no one."23 Vatican II declares that pronouncements by the pope on faith or morals are infallible, irreformable, "in no way in need of the approval of others, and do not admit of appeal to any other tribunal."24 The same is said of "the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor [the pope], they exercise the supreme teaching office "25

John says that all true believers have the anointing of the Holy Spirit and thus must not follow anyone blindly (1 John 2:20-27), but must discern whether a doctrine is biblical by following the leading of God through His Word and the Holy Spirit. How else could each of us judge whether those who preach and teach are presenting God's truth, as Paul says we must? In Catholicism, however, it is explicitly declared that no one may come to his or her own personal opinion concerning biblical truth but must accept whatever the Church hierarchy teaches.

Great Responsibility, Great Privilege

As we have already seen from the language of Matthew 28:19,20 ("teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"), several conclusions are inescapable:

1) An unbroken chain of command flows from our Lord through successive generations of disciples down through history to Christians today;

2) every ordinary Christian is to obey every applicable command that Christ gave His original disciples and to do what He trained and commanded them to do, including preaching the gospel in all the world and making disciples;

3) each Christian has been given by the Lord the same privileges, responsibilities, authority, and power which the original twelve received. How else could each generation of new disciples obey every command Christ had given the original twelve?

The early Christians followed these instructions. Not even the knowledge that they would be killed deterred them. After the death of Stephen the Christians were scattered, and we are told that everywhere they went they preached the gospel (Acts 8:4). We must do the same. Each individual Christian is a full-fledged successor of the apostles, called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry on the task of representing Christ and bringing His gospel to the world. Charged with the Great Commission to preach the gospel to "every creature," each disciple at every moment in history is a soldier of the cross and an ambassador of the King of kings. What an awesome responsibility-but what a great privilege!

Unfortunately, many Christians are unwilling to take this responsibility. They want to leave it to a special class of professionals, many of whom are only too eager to lord it over the flock. Every Christian has the authority to resist the devil and see him flee, to "bind and loose" as Christ empowered His first disciples, and to be His ambassador to mankind.

In the metamorphosis in the centuries following Constantine, the Roman hierarchy claimed for itself the exclusive right to do what Christ had intended to be the task of all His disciples.

Vital Distinctions

Christ made a clear distinction between Caesar and God: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17). This is foundational. The Catholic Church wedded God to Caesar. Church and state became one, with the Church in control and the state doing its bidding. That situation is still much the same in Catholic countries today.

Christ made a clear distinction between His kingdom, which is not of this world, and the kingdoms of this world (John 18:36). In disobedience to the Christ whom they claim to represent, the popes have built a kingdom which is very much of this world, yet they claim it is God's kingdom. And they have done it in unholy alliance with secular rulers.

Christ made a clear distinction between His Church, which He has called out of the world, and the world itself (John 17:18-20). John declared, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15).

The distinctions that Christ made must be adhered to by those who belong to Him: "If a man love me, he will keep my words.... He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings" (John 14:23,24); "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).