The Structure of the Roman Catholic State-Church

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The structure of the Roman Catholic Church is a totalitarian hierarchy.  Its position as the restored Holy Roman Empire is depicted in the Bible.  It must never be forgotten that the Roman Papacy is an absolute, unlimited, tyrannical monarchy—a worldly, secular government.  It has its territorial dominions; it has its advocates, ambassadors, ambitious plans, army, bank, court, detective force, foreign treaties, jurisprudence, laws, legislature, nobles, policy, prison, and taxes, as much as any secular kingdom.  But the Roman Catholic State-Church is also most different from other secular powers.  Her spiritual commerce goes hand in hand with her civil power, claiming infallibility and international recognition.

I.  Introduction

The finger of God that clearly gives the Ten Commandments also gives a clear picture of the bride of the Lamb, the true church.  Additionally, He gives a clear picture of the apostate church.

1. Consistently in the words of Christ Jesus and of the Apostles Paul and Peter, the contrast between the true church and the apostate church is that those of the true church are few in number and those of the apostate church are many.

2. The true church is described in Scripture as the “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars”[1] who was forced “to flee into the wilderness”  The history of the true church is described by the above text.  The apostate church is the woman who is seated upon the beast reigning “over” peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.  (Revelation 17:15)

3. The Scripture meticulously and clearly portrays the little flock, overcome, worn out, yet ever faithful.  The second woman is graphically portrayed as “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls,” [2]

4. Many of those who are the bride of the Lamb have been slain by the woman drunken by the blood of the saints.  The history of the Inquisition shows that this is true.

II.  By comparing Scripture and RCC doctrine, God’s prophetic word unveils the identity of the Roman Catholic Church.

A. Forbidding marriage and eating of certain foods.

1. Scripture – I Timothy 4:1-3

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”

God has left both marrying and fasting to the conscience of His people.  The New Testament teaches that many of the Apostles, the brethren of the Lord, and even Peter had wives.  The Papacy however dares to step in between God and the consciences of men, and to interpose its authority as absolute and imperative.

2. Roman Catholic primary sources

a. Vatican Council II Documents, “For these reasons, based on the mystery of Christ and his mission, celibacy, which at first was recommended to priests, was afterwards in the Latin Church imposed by law on all who were to be promoted to Holy Orders.  This sacred Council approves and confirms this legislation.”[3]

b. Code of Canon Law Canon 1251“Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”[4]

B. The liar, the antichrist

1. Scripture – I John 2:22; Matthew 23:9

a. I John 2:22“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

b. Matthew 23:9“And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, which is in heaven.”

The antichrist in Greek is “antichristos,” which can mean either “against Christ” or “instead of Christ.”  The full sense of the word is understood by combining the two: one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ.  The Pope, in assuming to himself the title of“The Holy Father” and “Vicar of Christ”, thereby fulfills the definition.

2. Roman Catholic sources

a. The Catholic Encyclopedia:  “Father is defined”: “This title is extended to all priests of the English-speaking world, because they are regarded as spiritual fathers.  Holy Father is a title of The Pope alone.  God the Father is the First Person of the Blessed Trinity.”[5]

b. Council of Florence 1438-1445.  “…the Roman Pontiff himself is…the true vicar of Christ, and that he is the head of the entire Church, and the father and teacher of all Christians….”[6]

c. Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) “For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered.”[7]

C. The man of sin and son of perdition

1. Scripture – II Thessalonians 2:3-12[8]

v. 3“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

v. 4“who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The Bible declares that God alone is the Lawgiver (James 4:12), able to save and to destroy.  He is alone the Sovereign, whose office it is to govern souls by His word.  It portrays Him as the author of all sacred rites; it teaches that righteousness and salvation are to be sought in Christ alone.  There is not one of these things that the Pope does not assert to be under his authority.  Scripturally, therefore, the office of the Papacy fulfills the description of “the man of sin.”  True religion is that by which the true God alone is worshipped.  The fact that the Pope receives the kissing of his ring and the genuflections and other acts of worship define him as “the son of perdition.”

2. Roman Catholic sources

a.  v. 3“…the man of sin…”  lit., the one who is subject to no law i.e. lawless.

1. Canon 1404“The First See is judged by no one.”

2. Canon 1405, Sec. 1“It is the right of the Roman Pontiff himself alone to judge in cases mentioned in can. 1401:
1. Those who hold the highest civil office in a state…;  4. Other cases which he has called to his own judgment.”

3. Canon 333, Sec. 3“There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.”

b. v. 4“…he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

1. “The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful…he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such.”[9]

“Infallible teaching authority” is an attribute of God “Sitteth” is “kaqedra” in Greek from which comes “cathedral,” “the bishop’s seat,” and also the expression “ex cathedra,” or from this seat, he claims the divine attribute of infallibility.

2. “The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, ‘supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls.”[10]

3. Vatican Council II Documents,

a.  “…bishops in a resplendent and visible manner, take the place of Christ himself, teacher shepherd and priest, and act as his representatives (in eius persona) …”[11]

b. “The priest offers the Holy Sacrifice in persona Christi; this means more than offering ‘in the name of’ or ‘in the place of’ Christ.  In persona means in specific sacramental identification with ‘the eternal High Priest’…”[12]

c. “All priests share with the bishops the one identical priesthood and ministry of Christ.”[13]

“The mystery of iniquity doth already work,” the Scripture states; and this mystery will continue to work, until the full development of the apostasy, and its final destruction at the Second Advent.

D. The woman, the whore

1.  Revelation 17:4“And the woman was arrayed 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:

Roman Catholic sources

The Catholic EncyclopediaCassock (also soutana) defined: .”..The Holy Father wears a white cassock; bishops wear purple, cardinals red; and other prelates are entitled to wear purple” (p. 95).

2.  Revelation 17:5“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

a. The Barbarian overthrow of the Roman Empire was succeeded by the gradual rise of papal Rome.  A very significant event in this evolution took place in the sixth century.  The wars of the Emperor Justinian, who was living in Constantinople, made it possible for him to hand over his title of Supreme High Priest (Summum Pontifex)  to the bishop of Rome.  This he did in the sixth century.  The exact date given by some is 538 AD.[14]  The bestowal by Justinian of the title of Supreme High Priest together with the office of Universal Oversight of the entire Christian World exalted the Bishop of Rome to become what we know as the Pope.  He was then recognized as Spiritual Head of the restored Roman Empire.  In 800 AD, the work of Charlemagne completed the evolution of the movement by the creation of the “Holy Roman Empire” of medieval and modern times.[15]

b. Rome is also a mystery religion as documented by her own people:

1. John Henry Cardinal Newman, “In the course of the fourth century two movements or developments spread over the face of Christendom, with a rapidity characteristic of the Church; the one ascetic, the other ritual or ceremonial.  We are told in various ways by Eusebius that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own.  It is not necessary to go into a subject which the diligence of Protestant writers have made familiar to most of us.  The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holidays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”[16]

2. St. John Damascene“As the holy Fathers overthrew the temples and shrines of the devils, and raised in their places shrines in the names of Saints and we worship them, so also they overthrew the images of the devils, and in their stead raised images of Christ, and God’s Mother, and the Saints.”[17]

c. Likewise in her Catechism (1994) she documents her own place with the occult:

1. #958“Communion with the dead.  In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead;…our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.”  All such communication is forbidden in Scripture.

2. #2677“By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All Holy One.”  The RCC prays not to the all holy righteous God alone, but to Mary whom she calls “The All Holy One,” also.

3. Revelation 17:6“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…”

a. Lord Acton (English Roman Catholic) “‘The Inquisition is peculiarly the weapon and peculiarly the work of The Popes.  It stands out from all those things in which they co-operated, followed or assented as the distinctive feature of papal Rome.”[18]  (Details re the fulfillment of this verse are given in our paper on Persecution.)

b. The blood of the martyred saints overcame the secular Roman Empire.  In contrast, the restored Roman Empire under the papacy overcame the saints, as Scripture had foretold.  Likewise as stated she was to become “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”[19]  No other kingdom or power has drunken so deeply of this blood as has Papal Rome.  Thus, as streams may be traced to the fountain, and rays of light to the sun, so may these prophecies be traced to the Papacy, and applied only to it.  This is the “the same horn made war with the saints, and p
revailed against them.” [20]

4. Revelation 17:9“And here is the mind which hath wisdom.  The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

The Catholic EncyclopediaRome defined: .”..It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper now is confined….”(pp. 528-529)

5. Revelation 17:18 “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

a. Historical evidence

1. Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum, November 18, 1302“And we are taught by evangelical words that in this power of his [Peter and his successors] are two swords, namely spiritual and temporal….Therefore, each is in the power of the [Roman Catholic] Church, that is, a spiritual and a material sword.  But the latter, indeed, must be exercised for the [Roman Catholic] Church, the former by the [Roman Catholic] Church.  The former (by the hand) of the priest, the latter by the hand of kings and soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest.  For it is necessary that a sword be under a sword and that temporal authority be subject to spiritual power….It is necessary that we confess the more clearly that spiritual power precedes any earthly power both in dignity and nobility, as spiritual matters themselves excel the temporal.”[21]

2. History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century“The Pope, who has been subject from the earliest days of his existence, first to the Roman Emperors, then to the Frank Emperors, and, lastly, to the German Emperors, was now emancipated, and walked, for the first time, their equal, if not, indeed, their master….”[22]

b. The same claims of “Sovereign Emperor” is made in our own times.

1. Canon 1404“The First See is judged by no one.”

2. Canon 1405, Sec. 1“It is the right of the Roman Pontiff himself alone to judge in cases mentioned in can. 1401: 1.  those who hold the highest civil office in a state.”

E. The Holy Roman Empire is portrayed as Babylon fornicating with the kings of the earth.

1. Revelation 18:3

“For all nations have drunk of the wine of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”

2. The relationship of “the woman” to the nations (fornication) is done by “papal representatives.”

a. “Papal representatives ‘receive from the Roman Pontiff the charge of representing him in a fixed way in the various nations or regions of the world’… An apostolic nuncio has the diplomatic rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.”[23]

b. “Church-State Relations: The thrust in this area is toward the development of sound relations with civil governments and collaboration in work for peace and the total good of the whole human family.”[24]

III.  The structure of the Roman Catholic Church is a totalitarian hierarchy.  As such, it is anti-biblical.  The goal of the RCC hierarchy is to restore the Holy Roman Empire, this time increased to be global in scale.

A. The biblical organizational structure of the bride of Christ is simple.

1. All in the church are brothers¾elders and deacons, while they hold positions, are still only brothers within the same body¾and the Master is Jesus Christ the Lord. “For one is your master even Christ and ye are all brethren” (Matthew 23:8);

2. It is the assembled people of God (I Corinthians 11:18).

3. It is the local body or church (Romans 16:5, 23).

4. It is the whole body of believers (Ephesians 1:22-23, 3:10).

5. As Church officers,

a. the term overseer or elder/pastor are used interchangeably (Acts 20, 17, 28, I Peter 5:1-4);

b. the elder (bishop) is to be the husband of one wife, knowing first how to manage his own home, and then God’s church(I Timothy 2-6);

c. the Christian elder is not to lord it over other believers (Matthew 20:25-26).

6. All believers have immediate access to God in Christ Jesus; all share in the royal priesthood.  (I Peter 2:9)

7. All believers are called into obedience to the Lord.  (John 10:27, Galatians 5:1)

B. The RCC clearly documents the structure by which she controls her own household.  Her power structure is central and totally dictatorial.  “She” is a system of men, carefully lined up in order of command, fully arrayed in the costumes to signify rank.

1. The Pope claims absolute authority over the household of the RCC.

a. “As a structured society, the Catholic Church is organized and governed along lines corresponding mainly to the jurisdictions of the Pope and bishops.  The Pope is the supreme head of the Church.  He has primacy of jurisdiction as well as honor over the entire Church….”[25]

b. Canon 749 Sect 1“The Supreme Pontiff, in virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful…he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such.”

c. Canon 333 Sect. 3“There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.”

2. Like the first Roman Empire, modern Rome is similar in power structure, with senate, ambassadors, and a world net of influence.

3. The order of the rank and file under him is as follows:

a. “Subject to the Holy Father and directly responsible to him for the exercise of their ministry of service to people in various jurisdictions or divisions of the Church throughout the world are: resident archbishops and metropolitans (heads of archdioceses), diocesan bishops, vicars and prefects apostolic (heads of vicariates apostolic and prefectures apostolic), certain abbots and prelates, apostolic administrators.  Each of these, within his respective territory and according to the provisions of canon law, has ordinary jurisdiction over pastors (who are responsible for the administration of parishes), priests, Religious and lay persons.”[26]

b. “Also subject to the Holy Father are titular archbishops and bishops, religious orders and congregations of pontifical right, pontifical institutes and faculties, papal nuncios and apostolic delegates.”[27]

c. “Assisting the Pope and acting in his name in the central government and administration of the Church are cardinals and other officials of the Roman Curia.”[28]

d. The RCC hierarchy consists of the Pope, cardinals, patriarchs, major archbishops, archbishops, metropolitans, coadjutor archbishop, Diocesan bishop, coadjutor bishop, episcopal vicar, eparch (bishops of the Eastern Churches), Vicar apostolic, prefect apostolic, apostolic administrator, vicar general.[29]  The average Pastor or Parish priest deals mostly with the last on pecking-order regime, “the vicar general.”

e. The RC nuns and other laity come at the bottom of this mounting power scale.  As they serve “Holy Mother the Church,” they fail to reflect that the hierarchy is all men.

3. The Empire of Rome imposes its rigorous rules on men and on their consciences.  In that domain it claims that the Pope is infallible, it claims that no one can judge him.  The baptized Catholic gives loyal submission of the will and intellect to his teachings, even when they are not claimed to be infallible.

a. “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….”[30]

b. “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 [Roman Catholic] Church.”[31]

c. The Empire of Rome also enforces authority over 838,000 women who are her nuns, 59,500 men whom she calls religious brothers, and 404,500 men whom she calls her priests.

1. For the women called nuns the vow of obedience, alien to biblical thought, compels submissiveness. Canon 601 teaches, “The evangelical counsel of obedience, undertaken in a spirit of faith and love in the following of Christ who was obedient even unto death requires a submission of the will to legitimate superiors, who stand in the place of God when they command according to the proper constitutions.”  Obedience to the Lord commanded in the Bible is turned here in the Catholic world into obedience to one’s local superior “who stands in the place of God.”  Each local superior is accountable in the chain of command finally to the Pope.

2. The RCC goes so far as to declare, “Likewise, Religious are obliged to observe all those prescriptions which episcopal councils or conferences legitimately decree as binding on all.”  And she requires compliance by the same standard; “Religious can be coerced by penalties by the local ordinary [The Bishop] in all matters in which they are subject to him.”  (Canon 1320) Such dictates as these run contrary to the Lord’s command to His servants, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).  It also runs contrary to state law that no foreign power can coerce citizens.

d. The marriage of the baptized Catholic is also subject in conscience to the Empire of Rome.

In Roman Catholicism it is the written fact in her law that she is judge over marriage.  It is declared in her Canon 1671 “Marriage cases of the baptized belong to the ecclesiastical judge by proper right.”  The RCC state church assumes control over marriage and the marriage bed, and dictates to the institution of marriage through local tribunals in each nation.

e. Summary from Peter de Rosa, a Roman Catholic writer, “The dilemma of American Catholics today is simply the dilemma of most Catholics writ large.  They live under two conflicting ideologies.  Patriotism and religion have little in common….In the state, a Catholic rejoices in openness, complete freedom of worship, democracy.  He takes it for granted that freedom leads to a deepening of the truth.  He is used to his leaders having to present themselves for his approval.  he can vote them in, he can vote them out.  He demands press conferences, freedom of information, an unfettered press that is like a second government.

“In the church, a Catholic has to put up with total secrecy and lack of accountability.  There are no choices, no elections.  No bishop or pope is, as far as he is concerned, voted in or out.  He has to accept what he is given.  In the church, there are no press conferences, no checks and balances, no explanations.  The control from the top is absolute.”[32]

C. How the Empire of Rome deals with kings and princes.  See attached chart.

1. She is into every good works scheme everywhere, especially schools & hospitals–things that show well publicly and touch individuals.  Maintains some excellent schools that influence population and leadership.

2. She has representatives in every sort of social action group, commission, advisory boards, etc.

3. More importantly, she calls herself “The Holy See.”

a. She defines what she means by the term “Holy See” rather than “the Vatican.”  On her web page, while commenting on the “the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations,” she states “The term Holy See stands for the central authority of the Church, which transcends, even if it includes, the tiny sovereign State of Vatican City.  Thus, the Holy See represents a world wide community and not only the citizens of Vatican City.”[33]  Distinctly therefore she defines herself simultaneously as “the Holy See” and “the central authority.”  Then she shows the boundaries of this “central authority” to be “a world wide community.”  In a short intense insightful official law, the same RCC authority declares, “The First See is judged by no one.”[34]

b. In all international matters the Holy See calls even the conferences of Bishops to heel. Thus, she demands in her law “whenever the actions or programs entered into by the conferences take on an international aspect it is necessary to consult the apostolic See.”[35]

4. The Pope’s mission is also clearly declared in his official pronouncements.

a. He defines the Church as, “the Church which is a ‘sacrament or sign and instrument…of the unity of the whole human race’”[36] Considering the fact that he the Pope and command structure of the RC Church, are “the central authority,” it is clear that the RCC authority seeks to be “sacrament or sign and instrument…of the unity of the whole human race.”

b. Peter de Rosa confirms the view above, “John Paul sees himself as the great champion of Catholic truth.  It is absolute.  He can no more doubt it in all its ramifications than he can doubt the existence of God.  He feels he has to be harsh to dissidents in order to be kind to the mass of Catholics who have a right to the fullness of truth.  This is why he is prepared to plead for freedom everywhere except in his own church.

“In his travels, John Paul presents the papacy as the champion of truth and the rights of man.  He takes it for granted that popes have never contradicted one another on essentials or deviated from Gospel truth.

.”..these assumptions are false.  Apa
rt from the fact that the tenth- and fifteenth-century papacy was the heresy, the denial of everything Jesus stood for, many popes have made astonishing errors.  They have repeatedly contradicted one another and the Gospel.

“History explodes the myth of a papacy lily-white in the matter of truth.  In an age of barbarism, the Popes led the pack; in an age of enlightenment, they trailed the field.  And their record was worst when, contrary to the Gospel, they tried to impose the [RC] truth by force.”[37]

c. Evangelicals who used to warn of a “one world government” now seem intentrun into the arms of this “central authority.”  They do not recognize who the RCC is nor how she operates in the realm of kings and princes.  For example, “The Gift of Salvation” document begins with the statement, “We give thanks to God that in recent years many Evangelicals and Catholics, ourselves among them, have been able to express a common faith in Christ and so to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.”[38]

5. As a sovereign state and as an empire being restored, she sends ambassadors to nearly every nation in the world, and to the United Nations.  In this capacity, she influences the decisions taken by the civil governments.  Example: Archbishop Renato Martino, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, addressed the Second Committee of the 52nd Session of the UN General Assembly October 16, 1997.  He said, “The launching of the initiatives of the international Financial Institutions in favour of the Heavily Indebted Poorest Countries (HIPC) has brought a renewed attention of the “family of nations” to the external debt crisis….On more than one occasion, the Holy See has encouraged the rapid application of the HIPC initiative, also in the spirit in which many persons wish to celebrate the year 2000, namely, as a Jubilee Year….Among the concrete manifestations of this Jubilee spirit there are those of the remission of debts and the lifting of burdens which affect the poorest, so that they are enabled to take their rightful place, on an equitable footing with others, in the construction of society.  This is the context in which Pope John Paul II has explicitly pointed to the year 2000 as a time in which to appeal for giving ‘…thought, among other things, to reducing substantially, if not cancelling outright, the international debt which seriously threatens the future of many nations….’

“The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in particular, has addressed over the years the Holy See’s concerns on the question of external debt.  It will be launching various initiatives in the coming years, in dialogue with governments and private organizations, aimed at sensitizing public opinion to the issue.”[39]

6. The reality of all this comes together as one looks at the development of the European Union in the last half of the 20th century.

a. “One of the founding fathers of the EU, Jean Monnet, also a devout Roman Catholic, totally rejected the idea that Europe should consist of sovereign nations.  He believed in the Catholic vision that Europe should become a federal superstate, into which all ancient nations should be fused.  [He is speaking of the old Holy Roman Empire, dealt a mortal blow by Napoleon in 1798, but since Vatican Council I in 1870, has been reviving being seen in the last half of the 20th century as the formation of the EU.] ‘Fused’ is a word he used…and is wholly consistent with the language/ of Maastrict.”[40]

b. “While the White Paper on our [British] EEC membership talked of a family of nations which would pool some of their sovereignty where necessary, and never against the will of any nation, the reality of the Treaty of Rome and the Treaty of Maastrict proved very different…Baroness Shirley Williams observed, ‘We will be joined to a Europe in which the Catholic religion will be the dominant faith, and in which the application of the Catholic Social Doctrine will be a major factor in everyday political and economic life.”[41]

c. From Catholic International, September 1998 “European bishops seek wider role”

“Catholic bishops from the European Union (EU) have urged ‘deeper dialogue’ with EU institutions to strengthen the continent’s cultural and spiritual roots.  However, a Catholic official said EU-Church contacts still lacked an ‘institutional framework’ which could allow religious leaders some influence in policy-making.

“Speaking at a mid-June Brussels meeting with EU Commission chairman Jacques Santer, the German head of the Commission of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (COMECE), Bishop Josef Homeyer…said Catholic Church leaders hoped to begin formal annual meetings with EU leaders, as well as setting up joint working groups on specific issues.  He added that the aim would be ‘closer institutional cooperation,’ and a ‘new quality’ in EU attitudes to Christian Churches….COMECE has monitored EU legislation since its foundation in 1980, and has permanent sub-committees on law, bioethics and social affairs.  Among the current initiatives, the commission is to consider Church recommendations this autumn for minority rights and conflict-resolution mechanisms, in a new declaration titled ‘Architecture of Peace.’  A separate ‘Manifest on Europe” linking EU expansion with Christian values, is also expected to be finalized at the 1999 Rome Synod of Bishops.

“Churches were not mentioned in the 1992 Maastrict Treaty, under which EU member-states agreed to closer political and economic links.  However, a brief statement recognizing the ‘status enjoyed by churches and religious associations’ was accepted by EU Foreign Ministers at their June 1997 Amsterdam summit, after prominent theologians had warned that the refusal of EU institutions to acknowledge faith traditions was contributing to a crisis of legitimacy.

“COMECE’s Irish Secretary-General…said [that] the Catholic Church had no wish to ‘play the role of politician or legislator,’ and would always recognize ‘the legitimate autonomy of the political order.’

“Besides COMECE, several Catholic organizations also maintain EU liaison offices in Brussels, including Caritas and the Jesuit-run OCIPE information network” (p. 398).

c. “The Maastrict Treaty confirms European bureaucratic supremacy over more than 70 policy areas, including taxation, monetary policy, education, immigration, judicial policy, …competition…industrial policy…energy, and consumer affairs.”[42]

d. “The Evangelical Alliance notes that Evangelical Christians are perceived by the EU as a ‘sect’, and that any group which does not belong to the majority church (Roman Catholic) is views by many MPs with suspicion….”[43]

Evangelical Times, August 1998, “Growing religious intolerance in Belgium,” The Belgian Chamber of Representatives recently passed a law creating a ‘sect oversight organization’ which will ‘scrutinize’ the 189 religious organizations listed in the Belgian Parliamentary Sect Report published in April 1997…Minority evangelical, Pentecostal and Adventist churches not belonging to the United Protestant Church of Belgium, which is recognized by the state, are targeted in the Belgian Sect Report…This law, which must still be approved by the Senate, has alarmed observers who fear for Belgium’s religious liberty.”

e. “If European federalism triumphs, the EC [European Community] will indeed be
an empire.  It will lack an emperor: but it will have the Pope.  It is difficult not to think that Wojtyla realises this.”  Sunday Telegraph, 25th August 1991

IV. The Holy Spirit, foreseeing all these things, as the Guide and Comforter of the true church, has graciously provided a divine answer for the dangerous, ubiquitous, reviving Holy Roman Empire.  In the Bible, the Spirit of God has portrayed the Church of Rome as wonderful in the eyes of the world¾but lamentable as apostate.  To the believers, He has broken her magic spells, he has lifted her mask, and has written in large letters her title for all to read:  MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT.[44]

The believers of old, such as the Vaudois and the Lollards saw those things clearly and were thereby fortified and equipped.  Likewise, to the Reformers, the office of the papacy was “the man of sin” and the antichrist.  The Roman Empire revived as the so-called “Holy Roman Empire,” they saw as Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18.  These doctrines were embodied in their Confessions of Faith and sealed by the blood of countless martyrs.  Confidently they saw it would most surely be terminated, as the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.”[45]  In the meantime, multitudes are saved from her, “with fear, pulling them out of the fire….”[46]  This is by the Gospel word of truth.  The Lord Christ Jesus, the Exalted Head of the Church, and His Sovereign Spirit give comfort and victory, for “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).  ¨

 

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[1] Revelation 12:1

[2] Revelation 17: 4

[3] Vatican Council II:  The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, No. 63, Presbyterorum Ordinis, Vol. I, Sec. 16, p. 893, 2 vols., Austin Flannery, O.P., Editor (Northport, NY: Costello Publishing Co., 1975) 1981 ed.  Flannery takes all references to Vatican Council II documents from this work.  Throughout this analysis, bolding in any quotation indicates emphasis not in the original text.

[4] Code of Canon Law, Latin-English Ed. (Washington DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1983).  Unless otherwise noted, all references to canon law are taken from this volume.

[5] The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Broderick, ed. (Nashville, TN: Thos. Nelson Inc., 1976) p. 217

[6] The Sources of Catholic Dogma, Tr. by Roy J. Deferrari from Henry Denzinger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum, 13th ed. (St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1957) #694

[7] Catechism of the Catholic Church (San Francisco:1994) #882.  Hereafter referred to as the Catechism.

[8] As to the hindrance to the manifestation of the “man of sin” in v. 7, the testimony of the early fathers from Irenaeus, the disciple of the disciple of St. John, down to Chrysostom and Jerome was that they understood it to be the imperial power ruling and residing at Rome.

[9] Canon 749, Sec. 1

[10] Catechism, #937

[11] No. 28, Lumen Gentium, Sec. 21, Vol. I, p. 374

[12] No. 77, Dominicae cenae, Sec. 8, Vol. II, p. 74

[13] No. 63, Presbyterorum Ordinis, Sec. 7, Vol. I, p. 875

[14] LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Assn., 1978) Vol. I, p. 513

[15] See Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 15

[16] John Henry Cardinal Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, (Garden City, NY:  Image Books, 1960) pp. 352-353

[17] Quoted in Newman, p. 355

[18] Lord Action, Letters to Mary Gladstone, in William Shaw Kerr, A Handbook on the Papacy (Edinburgh:  Marshall Morgan & Scott, 1950) p. 235

[19] Revelation 17:6

[20] Daniel 7:21

[21] Denzinger, #469

[22] J. H. Merle D’Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century (New York:  John B. Alden, Publisher, 1883) p. 6

[23] 1998 Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Almanac (Huntington, IN:  Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1997) p. 168.

[24] Ibid.

[25] 1998 Catholic Almanac, p. 141.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] 1998 Catholic Almanac, pp. 141-142

[30] Vatican Council II Documents, No. 28, Lumen Gentium, 21 Nov. 1964, Vol. I,  Sec. 25, p. 379

[31] Canon 212, Sec. 1

[32] Peter DeRosa, Vicars of Christ:  The Dark Side of the Papacy (New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1988) p. 150

[33] August, 1998 webpage http/www.vaticanva, Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Solicitudo Rei Socialis.

[34] Canon 1404

[35] Canon 459, Para. 2

[36] August, 1998 webpage http/www.vaticanva, Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, Solicitudo Rei Socialis.  In saying this he is referring to Vatican Council II Documents, No. 28, Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Vol. I, Sec. 1, p. 350

[37] de Rosa, p.
151

[38] Christianity Today, December 8, 1997

[39]Catholic International Vol. 9, No. 1, January 1998, p. 33

[40] Adrian Hilton, The Principality and Power of Europe:  Britain and the Emerging Holy European Empire (Rickmansworth, Herts. WD3 5SJ, England:  Dorchester House Publications, 1997) pp. 67-68

[41] Ibid., p. 88

[42] Ibid., p. 92

[43] Ibid., p. 104

[44] Revelation 17:5

[45] II Thessalonians 2:8

[46] Jude 23