Rome's Geopolitical Goal
Rev. Angus Stewart
(Slightly modified from a series of articles in the
(1) Papal Absolutism
The key to understanding the political pretensions of
the church of Rome lies in her understanding of herself as the
one, holy, catholic and apostolic church headed by the pope who is not
only the "Successor of Peter the Prince of the Apostles" and the
"Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church" but also the "Vicar of Christ"
and the "Holy Father." Is not the Triune God the absolute sovereign of
the universe? Has not Christ been invested with all authority in heaven
and in earth (Matt. 28:18) as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev.
19:16)? Therefore the pope, as the supreme representative of Almighty
God and Jesus Christ, exercises this divine authority—the "plenitude of
papal power." Thus Leo XIII in his 1894 encyclical The Reunion of
Christendom (and referring to himself using the pontifical and
capitalised "We") stated, "We … hold upon this earth the place of
The papal bull, Eger Cui Levia (c. 1246)
Whoever seeks to evade the authority of the vicar
of Christ ... thereby impairs the authority of Christ Himself. The
King of kings has established us on earth as His universal
representative and has conferred full power on us; by giving
to the prince of the apostles and to us the power of binding and
loosing on earth not only all men whatsoever, but also all things
whatsoever ... The power of temporal government cannot be
exercised outside the church, since there is no power constituted by
God outside her ... They are lacking in perspicacity and incapable
of investigating the origin of things who imagine that the apostolic
see received from Constantine the sovereignty of the empire, whereas
it had it previously, as is known, by nature and potentially. Our
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, true man and true God ... constituted
to the benefit of the holy see a monarchy not only pontifical
but royal; he committed to the blessed Peter and his
successors the reins of the empire both earthly and celestial,
as is indicated by the plurality of the keys. Vicar of Christ [i.e.,
the pope] has received the power to exercise his jurisdiction by
the one over the earth for temporal things, by the other in
heaven for spiritual things.1
The sixteenth-century Council of Trent proclaimed the
pope’s temporal authority, perhaps even more emphatically,
The pope is … not responsible to any earthly
tribunal or power. He is the judge of all, can be judged by no one,
kings, priests, or people. He is free from all laws, and cannot
incur any sentence or penalty for any crime ... He is all in all,
and above all, so that God and the pope, the Vicar of God, are but
one ... He hath all power on earth, purgatory, heaven, and hell, to
bind, loose, command, permit, dispense, do, and undo. Therefore it
is declared to stand upon necessity of salvation for every human
creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. All temporal power is
his; the dominion, jurisdiction, and government of the whole earth
is his by divine right.2
The Dogmatic Decrees of Vatican I (1870) declared
that "all the faithful must believe that the holy Apostolic See and the
Roman Pontiff possesses the primacy over the whole world."3
As F. V. N. Painter put it, "The Roman Church is now
working out its destiny. It is the purpose of the Papacy to secure
Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
Boniface VIII’s Unam Sanctam (1302) is
probably the most famous statement of papal absolutism. Boniface claims
that the visible, institute church of Rome alone possesses "one Lord,
one faith, one baptism," for it is the church built on Peter (appealing
to Rome’s self-serving interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19).5
Rome is "that seamless shirt of the Lord which was not rent" and "the
single ark of Noah which prefigures the one Church." Just as there is
"one fold" so there is "one shepherd," the pope (John 10:10). The papal
bull concludes, "we declare, say, define and pronounce it to be
altogether necessary for salvation for every human creature be subject
to the Roman pontiff." Boniface invalidates the whole Eastern Orthodox
Church (called here "the Greeks"), for it did not submit to his office,
and, by extension, all Protestants.
Building upon these lofty ecclesiastical claims and
turning to what are clearly political and civil matters, Unam Sanctam
appropriates Jeremiah 1:9 to the pope: "And to the Church, and the
Church’s power, Jeremiah’s prophecy, i, 9, applies: See I have set thee
this day over the nations and the kingdoms to pluck up and to break
down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." If Rome and a
civil power differ, the pope judges the state but the state may not
judge the pope. Here Boniface applies I Corinthians 2:15 to the pontiff:
"He which is spiritual judges all things but he himself is judged by no
man." He also cites Romans 13:1, not in support of the civil authorities
but of Rome’s political dominion: "Whoever, therefore, resists this
power ordained by God, resists God’s ordinance." The pontiff’s
outrageous Scripture-twisting, staggering claims and overweening vanity
are simply breathtaking!
Boniface brings in another piece of
politically-motivated exegesis: the two-swords theory:
… in this Church and within her power are two
swords … the spiritual sword and the temporal sword. For when the
Apostle said, Lo here— that is in the Church—are two swords the Lord
did not reply to the Apostles, It is too much, but It is enough
[Luke 22:38]. For, certainly, he who denies that the temporal sword
is in Peter's power, listens badly to the Lord's words Put up thy
sword into its sheath. Matthew xxvi, 52. Therefore, both are in the
power of the Church, namely, the spiritual sword and the temporal
sword,—the latter to be used for the Church, the former by the
Church; the former by the hand of the priest, the latter by the hand
of princes and kings, but at the nod and instance of the priest. The
one sword must of necessity be subject to the other, and the
temporal power to the spiritual power.
Boniface VIII also played a part in the development
of the papal tiara. By the middle of the Middle Ages, the popes wore a
crown to symbolise their temporal power over the Papal States (754-1870)
in central Italy. Boniface VIII added a second crown to show that his
authority was superior to any temporal authority. Soon after, a third
crown was added, as a sign of the pope’s authority over all secular
monarchs. At the pope’s coronation the three crowns were placed upon his
head with these words, symbolizing his triple power: "Receive the tiara
adorned with three crowns and know that thou art Father of princes and
kings, Ruler of the world, Vicar of our Saviour Jesus Christ on earth."
Albert Lévitt states,
The "triple tiara" with which the pope is crowned
at his coronation has not only a symbolic but also a practical
political significance. It represents the threefold nature of the
pope. He is (1) the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church;
and (2) he is a temporal ruler, free and independent of every other
temporal, secular ruler upon earth; and (3) he is the supreme
temporal ruler who reigns over all other temporal rulers, states,
and nations by divine command. Thus it is that all spiritual powers
and all temporal powers are brought together in one person, an
absolute monarch of the entire world, the Vicar of Christ, the
Bishop of Rome, the sovereign of the state of Vatican City.6
Others claim the triple tiara signifies the pope’s
authority as "Universal Pastor" (top), "Universal Ecclesiastical
Jurisdiction" (middle) and the "Temporal Power" (bottom) or his
sovereignty over the celestial, human and terrestrial worlds or his rule
over the church militant on earth, the church suffering in purgatory and
the church triumphant in heaven. However, more recently it is suggested
that the three crowns symbolise the pope as teacher, lawmaker and judge
or as priest, prophet and king.
At the end of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)
and in keeping with its more liberal and modernizing spirit, Pope Paul
VI (1963-1978) descended the steps of the papal throne in St Peter’s
Basilica and laid the tiara on the altar. His successors, John Paul I
(the September Pope) and John Paul II (1978-2005) were inaugurated
without a coronation ceremony, with the latter declaring, "This is not
the time to return to a ceremony and an object [i.e., the triple tiara]
considered, wrongly, to be a symbol of the temporal power of the Popes."
Pope Benedict XVI (2005-) even removed the tiara from his Coat of Arms,
replacing it with a mitre. However, the symbolism of the tiara is still
in use in the Holy See’s coat of arms and, just like in other kingdoms
of this world, Rome retains the papal crown as a symbol of the pope’s
This relatively recent setting aside of the papal
coronation ceremony is one of the most visible instances of
aggiornamento, an Italian word meaning "updating." In today’s
modern, democratic, liberal, secular world, the papacy faces great
challenges. It is widely regarded as an outdated, traditionalist,
male-dominated, monarchical, religious institution. Whereas in the
nineteenth century, Rome was publicly and loudly opposing "progressive"
ideas like capitalism; democracy; the separation of church and state;
freedom of religion, worship, speech and press; higher criticism of the
Bible; ecumenism; and the salvation of unevangelized heathen; etc.—most
famously, in Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors (1864)—now it has
either muted its criticisms or done an about-face. Traditional papal
theocratic claims to universal political sovereignty are especially
offensive to the humanistic spirit of the age, and the Roman hierarchy
feels them to be counterproductive, so they are either dropped or
Outside pressures have also resulted in internal
divisions within Roman Catholicism. Alongside of, and much more serious
than, for example, the centuries-old divisions between the various
monastic orders (Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, etc.)
have arisen liberal theologians (especially in N. America and Europe),
like Hans Kung, and liberation theologians (especially in Latin
America), like Leonardo Boff.7 Such men and such theologies
have gained a significant number of followers. International Roman
Catholic movement, "We are Church" (founded in 1996) advocates
progressive ideas like the effective discipline of paedophile priests,
married male priests, women priests, greater involvement of the laity,
greater theological freedom, etc. Humanistic, western Roman Catholics
want a Roman Catholicism with less clerical authority and fewer
absolutes. Conferences of bishops complain about the centralization of
power in Rome. Many third-world clergy resent Rome’s western-style
theology and ideology, and want a greater openness to syncretism.
Malachi Martin (1921-1999), Roman Catholic priest and former Jesuit,
wrote in his own lively and dramatic way of the "superforce" or
"anti-Church" within the hierarchy working for the overthrow of
The Roman Catholic Church in the twenty-first century
is a "broad" church, with the "faithful" now ranging from staunch
advocates of the sixteenth-century, Counter-Reformation Council of Trent
(with a few even maintaining a geocentric universe!) all the way to
western humanists who still reckon themselves "good" Roman Catholics,
despite disregarding all church teachings that they find inconvenient.9
How strong these various factions are within Roman Catholicism is very
hard to say, and it would require great foresight to judge how Rome will
continue to adapt to the spirit of the age. But rash would be the
analyst who would write of Rome’s impending demise or of the end of her
political influence and desires.
Quoted in Henry T. Hudson, Papal Power: Its Origins and
Development (USA: Evangelical Press, 1981), p. 38; italics mine.
This papal bull is usually attributed to Innocent IV, though there are
some who doubt this.
Cf. John W. Robbins, Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and
Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church (USA: The Trinity
Foundation, 1999), p. 131.
3 Quoted in Philip
Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (New York: Harper & Brothers,
1877), vol. 2, p. 262.
4 F. V. N.
Luther on Education (Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society,
1889), p. 34.
All quotations from Unam Sanctum are taken from Schaff, The
Creeds of Christendom, vol. 2, pp. 605-607.
Albert Lévitt, Vaticanism: The Political Principles of the Roman
Catholic Church (New York: Vantage Press, 1960), p. 41. Lévitt
continues, "In a country where a papal state does not, or cannot, exist,
the Roman Catholic Church says that the state should be by divine law a
‘Catholic state.’ In a ‘Catholic state’ the temporal sovereign of that
state acknowledges that the Roman Catholic religion is the only true
religion, that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church, that
the pope is that spiritual head of that state, that the temporal head of
that state should be, and is, a communicant in the Roman Catholic
Church, and that the temporal head of that state owes his political
allegiance to the pope in all matters that come within the meaning and
functioning of ‘faith and morals’" (pp. 41-42).
Jesuit Thomas J. Reese states, "The relationship between theologians and
the papacy is worse today than at any time since the Reformation. The
number of theologians investigated, silenced, or removed from office is
at an all-time high, even exceeding the numbers during the Modernist
crisis at the beginning of [the twentieth] century. The rhetoric used by
theologians in response to Vatican actions has been bitter and biting.
The chasm between the two appears to be getting wider, not narrower" (Inside
the Vatican [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996], p.
E.g., Malachi Martin, The Keys of This Blood: The Struggle for World
Dominion Between Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the
Capitalist West (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990).
9 As Robert L. Reymond puts it, "... within Roman Catholicism today
may be found Tridentine conservatives, crypto-Lutherans, moderate
liberals, and outright syncretists, with Rome’s over-all drift being
toward total religious pluralism" (The Reformation’s Conflict with
Rome [Christian Focus Publications: 2001], p. 140).
(2) Vatican II’s Declaration on
Declaration on Religious Freedom
According to Pope Paul VI (1963-1978), the
Declaration on Religious Freedom, produced at Roman Catholicism’s
Vatican II (1962-1965), is "one of the major texts of the Council."1
American Jesuit, John Courtney Murray goes further: "the document is a
significant event in the history of the Church" (p. 673).2
Of all the 16 documents of Vatican II, the Declaration on Religious
Freedom is the one which most clearly evinces the spirit of
"updating" (Italian: aggiornamento)—Rome’s "opening its windows"
The very first line of the Declaration on
Religious Freedom indicates that Vatican II was well aware of, and
seeking to respond to, the modern political climate: "A sense of the
dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more
deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man" (p. 675). Chapter 1
begins with a ringing affirmation that has all the hallmarks of an echo
from the United Nations: "This Vatican Synod declares that the human
person has a right to religious freedom" (p. 678). This decree came over
400 years too late to save English Bible translator, William Tyndale,
from burning at the stake at the behest of the Roman Catholic Church. So
much for his "right to religious freedom."
Rome’s Declaration on Religious Freedom
requires the civil magistrate to act justly and without partiality on
account of religion: "government is to see to it that the equality of
citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common
welfare, is never violated for religious reasons whether openly or
covertly" (p. 685). A Roman Catholic editorial footnote at this point
observes, "This statement about equality before the law has an accent
of newness in official Catholic statements" (p. 685, n. 18; italics
mine). John Courtney Murray states,
A long-standing ambiguity has finally been
cleared up. The Church does not deal with the secular order in terms
of a double standard—freedom for the Church when Catholics are in a
minority, privilege for the Church and intolerance for others when
Catholics are a majority (p. 673).
What Murray euphemistically calls an "ambiguity" is
actually Rome’s historic theory and practice—she pleads for equality in
a state in which she is in a minority, but claims supremacy in a state
in which she is in a majority.4 Murray’s adjective
"long-standing" is more accurate; just ask the French Huguenots.
Later, the Declaration on Religious Freedom
It is one of the major tenets of Catholic
doctrine that man’s response to God in faith must be free. Therefore
no one is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his
own will. This doctrine is contained in the Word of God and it was
constantly proclaimed by the Fathers of the Church (p. 689).
What utter disingenuousness! First, free or unforced
faith is declared to be Roman Catholic teaching, even a "major tenet,"
while no indication is given of this being a 180-degree turn. In fact,
given Rome’s claim that she is unchangeable, the unwary might think that
this was always her position. Second, what about the Protestant martyrs
who were tortured in an attempt to make them recant and confess Roman
dogma! What about the pagans in central and eastern Europe in the Dark
Ages who were forced to submit to baptism at the edge of a sword!5
Third, in support of free or unforced faith, Rome (rightly) appeals to
the Bible and the (early) Fathers. But the real issue is Rome’s theology
and practice from the Middle Ages onwards, until modern, humanistic
states no longer permitted her coercing of "heretics" and pagans.
The Declaration on Religious Freedom becomes
even more duplicitous:
The Church … recognizes, and gives support to,
the principle of religious freedom … Throughout the ages, the Church
has kept safe and handed on the doctrine received from the Master
and from the apostles. In the life of the People of God as it has
made its pilgrim way through the vicissitudes of human history,
there have at times appeared ways of acting which were less in
accord with the spirit of the gospel and even opposed to it.
Nevertheless, the doctrine of the Church that no one is to be
coerced into faith has always stood firm (pp. 692-693).
An unsuspecting reader might think from this that the
Roman Church "has always stood firm" on "the principle of religious
freedom" and that "throughout the ages" this doctrine has been "kept
safe," "handed on," "recognized" and "supported" by her! The part of the
quotation above which suggests some contrition ("there have at times
appeared ways of acting which were less in accord with the spirit of the
gospel and even opposed to it") requires closer examination. First, no
examples or specifics are given as to the denial of religious freedom,
never mind any indication of the horror of Rome’s terrible persecution
of the people of God. Second, such things were apparently not frequent
("at times"). Third, the possibility of an excuse is raised, because the
saints were passing "through the vicissitudes of human history." Fourth,
whatever wrong was done was performed by "the People of God" (i.e.,
members of the Roman Church) but not by the Church of Rome
itself—Rome’s standard way of merely appearing to confess sins
while still maintaining its claim to infallibility.
"Development" of Roman Catholic Political Doctrine
John Courtney Murray’s remarks on the development of
Rome’s political doctrine in her Declaration on Religious Freedom
bear quoting at some length:
It was, of course, the most controversial
document of the whole Council, largely because it raised with sharp
emphasis the issue that lay continually below the surface of all the
conciliar debates—the issue of the development of doctrine. The
notion of development, not the notion of religious freedom, was the
real sticking-point for many of those who opposed the Declaration
even to the end. The course of the development between the
Syllabus of Errors (1864) and [the Declaration on Religious
Freedom] (1965) still remains to be explained by theologians.
But the Council formally sanctioned the validity of the development
itself; and this was a doctrinal event of high importance for
theological thought in many other areas (p. 673).
We should note, first, that Vatican II and all its 16
documents were designed to promote aggiornamento or "updating" in
the Roman Church. Second, because Rome’s historic political theory was
the aspect of its theology most out of step with the modern, democratic,
liberal world, and therefore in greatest need of "updating," the
Declaration on Religious Freedom "was, of course, the most
controversial document of the whole Council" (p. 673; italics mine).
Murray states, "The debate was full and free and vigorous, if at times
confused and emotional" (p. 672). Third, the controversy was not so much
whether people should have religious freedom (though there were
differences as to the model of religious freedom), but how this could be
reconciled with earlier Roman Catholic teaching and practice. Fourth,
the council decided that the idea of the development of doctrine was the
best way of accounting for the changes. The Declaration on Religious
Freedom "intends to develop the doctrine of recent Popes" on
religious freedom (p. 677), but it wisely does not mention here the
(contradictory) teaching of earlier popes or the traditional Roman
Catholic position. Fifth, the problem is that no one can explain how the
"new things" of Vatican II "are in harmony with the things that are old"
(p. 676), that is, how Rome’s opposition to democracy, the separation of
church and state, religious freedom, etc., turned (or "developed") into
endorsing what look like their opposites! As Murray delightfully
understates it, "The course of the development between the Syllabus
of Errors (1864) and [the Declaration on Religious Freedom]
(1965) still remains to be explained by theologians" (p. 673;
italics mine)! They certainly have their work cut out for them:
Here are a few of Pius IX's own words stating in
a positive way some of the principles of [his Syllabus of Errors]:
15. No man is free to embrace and profess that religion which he
believes to be true, guided by the light of reason ... 23. The Roman
Pontiffs and Ecumenical Councils have never exceeded the limits of
their power, or usurped the rights of Princes, much less committed
errors in defining matters of faith and morals. 24. The [Roman]
Church has the power of employing force and of exercising direct and
indirect temporal power. 34. The doctrine which equalled the Roman
Pontiff to an absolute Prince, acting in the universal [Roman]
Church is not a doctrine which merely prevailed in the Middle Ages.
54. Kings and Princes are not only not exempt from jurisdiction of
the [Roman] Church, but are subordinate to the Church in litigated
questions of jurisdiction. 55. The [Roman] Church ought to be in
union with the State, and the State with the [Roman] Church ... 77.
It is necessary even in the present day that the [Roman] Catholic
religion shall be held as the only religion of the State, to the
exclusion of all other forms of worship. 80. The Roman Pontiff
cannot and ought not reconcile himself to, or agree with, progress,
Liberalism, and Modern Civilization.6
Also one has to ask, What fellowship or communion or
concord or agreement is there between the political theory of Vatican
Declaration on Religious Freedom (1965) and that of Boniface
Unam Sanctum (1302)? One of Boniface’s "two swords" (the temporal
one) appears to have been sheathed. The triple tiara, in which he marked
an important development, seems to have been laid aside. Boniface’s
"biblical exegesis" and arguments have been "updated," such that they
are now practically stood on their head.
All these changes and yet Rome boasts that she is
unchangeable (semper eadem)! All this "updating" (or "reforms"),
yet Rome is, by her own definition, unreformable!7
How, despite all these contradictions in her political doctrine—as well
as in other areas of dogma—Rome still maintains that she is infallible,
it would take a canon lawyer to work out!8
Yet all this does not spell the end of Rome’s
political influence and desires. Much more remains to be said on this
score. Machiavelli, that most wily of Italian political theorists, is
the de facto (though no de jure) patron saint of that
most resilient of Italian religious (and political) institutions: the
holy Roman Catholic Church.
Quoted in Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The Documents of Vatican
II (USA: The America Press, 1966), p. 674. Henceforward, pages in
parenthesis refer to this book.
By "Church," Roman Catholic authors mean the Roman Catholic Church; by
"Catholic," they mean Roman Catholic.
The Roman Catholic Church in America in general and John Courtney Murray
(1904-1967) in particular were the staunchest advocates of liberalising
Rome’s political theory. It is also significant that John Courtney
Murray belonged to the Jesuits, probably the most left-wing Roman
Cf., e.g., the relatively recent treaty and concordat between the Holy
See and Italy (1929), with Benito Mussolini acting as the Italian king’s
plenipotentiary, and the concordat between the Holy See and Spain
(1953), in Appendices II and III in Albert Lévitt, Vaticanism: The
Political Principles of the Roman Catholic Church (New York:
Vantage Press, 1960), pp. 116-141, 142-155. In the very first article,
the treaty with Italy states, "Italy recognises and reaffirms … [that]
the Roman Catholic Apostolic religion is the sole religion of the State"
(p. 117). Likewise, article 1 of the concordat with Spain declares, "The
Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion continues to be the only
religion of the Spanish nation, and shall enjoy the rights and
prerogatives that correspond to it in keeping with Divine law and Canon
Law." Article 2 begins, "The Spanish State recognises the Catholic
Church as a perfect society …" (p. 143). In two later articles in this
concordat, Spain promises, "The State shall take care that in the
institutions and services which form public opinion, and more
particularly in radio and television programmes, a proper place shall be
given to the exposition and defence of religious truth by priest and
religious, by agreement of the respective Ordinary" (pp. 152-153), and
"The State shall endeavour to give financial aid, as far as possible, to
the training houses of religious Orders and Congregations, especially to
those of a missionary character" (p. 153). Amongst the privileges
granted the Church of Rome in the 1929 Italian accords are the
following: "All cardinals shall enjoy in Italy the honours due to
Princes of the blood" (p. 123); "The use of the [Roman Catholic]
ecclesiastical or religious habit by … [unauthorised persons] shall be
prohibited and punished by the same penalties and punishments as those
provided in the case of abuse of military uniform" (p. 137);
"Instruction in Christian doctrine according to the form accepted by
Catholic tradition is regarded by Italy as the foundation and crown of
public instruction. She therefore agrees that the religious teaching now
given in the public elementary schools shall be further developed in the
secondary schools according to a program to be settled between the Holy
See and the State" (pp. 139-140).
In Vatican II’s Declaration of the Relationship of the Church to
Non-Christian Religions (1965), the church of the Inquisition now
declares, that she "repudiates all persecutions against any man" (p.
John W. Robbins, Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and
Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church (USA: The Trinity
Foundation, 1999), pp. 143-144.
Robert Zins declares, "The Roman Catholic religion is an enigma in many
ways and utterly maddening in its remarkable ability to speak out of
both sides of its mouth. On the one side, there is an almost radical
insistence on the unchanging dogmas of the ‘Mother Church.’ But
on the other side, there is an outright contradiction and rapid
departure from days gone by." Zins goes on to contrast "the
doctrines of Rome" with "the Roman propensity to expand and mature
doctrine," that is, to "deny the old in favor of the new" (Romanism:
The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
[USA: White Horse Publications, 1994], p. 197; italics his).
The Roman Church headed by the pope claims to be infallible in its
teaching on "faith and morals." Albert Lévitt complains of the practical
difficulties involved in identifying Rome’s infallible statements,
because the Vatican (deliberately?) does not clearly define or delimit
them: "I have been unable to find, in Roman Catholic writings, an
inclusive, or even a partially satisfactory, definition of the phrase
‘faith and morals.’ The phrase usually occurs in connection with a
discussion of the dogma of the ‘infallibility of the pope.’ It is
constantly declared that the pope is ‘infallible’ only when he speaks ex
cathedra in matters of ‘faith and morals,’ but the subject matter
concerning which his pronouncements are ‘infallible’ is not delimited or
defined" (Vaticanism, p. 46).
"Which expressions of papal authority are to be distinguished as ex
cathedra?"—G. C. Berkouwer describes this as a "difficult question
to answer." Strikingly, he immediately refers to Boniface VIII’s Unam
Sanctam (1302) as a particularly important example. Even in the
1950s, Berkouwer could write, "There are prominent [Roman Catholic]
theologians who no longer accept the doctrine [of Unam Sanctam
and, indeed, other papal pronouncements] that the temporal and the
spiritual sword are at the disposal of the [Roman] church." Berkouwer
even adds, "It has been publicly stated [by leading Roman Catholics],
'This doctrine is not correct and is at present accepted by no one'" (Recent
Developments in Roman Catholic Thought [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
1958], pp. 13-14).
(3) Rome’s Political Positions Today
Images from Rome’s Political History
The Roman Church’s rise in, and exercise of,
political power through the ages has been detailed in many books. For
our purposes, though, we shall just mention some of the most outstanding
instances and images, before moving on to Rome’s current policies.
- Pope Leo I’s saving the city of Rome from Attila the Hun by his
last-ditch mediation (452).
- the Donation of Constantine, a forged Roman imperial edict
(c. 752-767), granting Pope Sylvester I (314-335) and his successors
dominion over lands in Judea, Greece, Asia, Thrace and Africa, as well
as the city of Rome, Italy and the entire Western Roman Empire, thus
justifying the Papal States (754-1870).
- Pope Leo III’s crowning of Charlemagne on Christmas Day (800).
- Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV standing for three days bare-headed in
the snow doing penance before Pope Gregory VII in the castle at
- the crusades—the nine main ones against the Muslims in the Middle
East (1095-1272) and others against the pagans in the Baltic, the
Mongols in the east, the Ottomans in the Balkans, etc.
- the only English pope, Pope Adrian IV’s giving Ireland to the
Norman King of England, Henry II, in order to gain "Peter’s
pence" from the Irish (1155).
- Pope Innocent III’s excommunicating King John of England (1209),
placing the country under an interdict (1207-1213) and threatening
England with a crusade led by Philip Augustus of France (1213).
- the inquisition, classified by historians as the Medieval
Inquisition (1184-1230s), the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834), the
Portuguese Inquisition (1536-1821) and the Roman Inquisition
- papal bulls (1481, 1493 and 1506) dividing newly discovered lands
to the west and south between Spain and Portugal.
- the papal deposition of King Henry VIII (1535) and Queen Elizabeth
I (1570) and the absolving of all allegiance owed them by their
- the persecution of the Waldensians (around the Alpine regions),
Lollards (England), Hussites (Bohemia) and Protestants (Europe and
around the world).
- the Counter-Reformation (1560-1648), which was especially
"successful" under the Roman Catholic Austrian Habsburgs in central
and eastern Europe.
- the rise in political power of the Jesuits; their suppression
in Portugal, France, the Two Sicilies, Parma and the Spanish Empire by
1767; and their subsequent restoration.1
- papal compromise with Hitler and Mussolini around World War II
(1939-1945), including the genocide perpetrated by the Roman Catholic
Ushtasi in Croatia and the Vatican "ratlines" through which they
smuggled war-criminals out of Europe, often to S. America.2
Nineteenth-century English Roman Catholic historian,
Lord Acton’s dictum, "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts
absolutely," is well-known. What is not so well-known is that he was
referring to the power of popes and kings (in that order). The
above list merely points to, and is far from exhaustive in dealing with,
Rome’s pride, greed, lies, intrigue, manipulation, torture, war,
genocide, abuse of the keys of the kingdom and persecution of God’s
Rome’s Political Positions Today
Rome’s "updating" (Italian: aggiornamento) of
her declared political policy—a euphemistic "development" according to
her apologists; "contradiction" would be more accurate—should not be
seen as ending her political activities or aspirations. Jesuit Thomas J.
Reese summarises some of the Vatican’s political positions and gives
examples of its power:
Papal teachings on birth control and abortion
have demographic and environmental effects that are widely condemned
by those supporting population control and "reproductive freedom,"
and widely endorsed by conservatives espousing "family values."
Vatican diplomats successfully opposed the inclusion of abortion
rights language in a UN document at the 1994 Cairo conference on
population and development. Papal opposition to the Persian Gulf war
angered some and pleased others. Vatican opposition to economic
sanctions against Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Cuba has gone against
American foreign policy goals. Vatican views on arms control, Third
World debt, capitalism, religious freedom, and refugees are an
integral part of the international discourse in which the Catholic
church is a unique participant. The impact of papal actions on the
world has led practically every nation except China and Vietnam to
exchange ambassadors with the Holy See. Catholic and non-Catholic
nations alike believe it is in their self-interest to have
representation in the Vatican. And when popes speak at the United
Nations, it is an event of major international importance.4
The Church of Rome loudly proclaims the sanctity of
human life and human rights, as if everyone is ignorant of its long,
bloody history (cf. Rev. 17:6).
The Vatican is opposed to birth control and abortion.5
Yet current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and
other Roman Catholic politicians in the US and elsewhere, who promote
abortion are allowed to come to the mass and are not effectively
At the other end of earthly, human life, the Roman
Church opposes euthanasia and suicide, yet it is (basically) against
capital punishment (contrast Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:4).6
Concerning the origin of life, Rome believes theistic
evolution and so does not support teaching creationism or even
intelligent design as an alternative to evolutionism in state schools.
In Roman Catholic schools, evolution is taught in science classes and
theistic evolution in religion classes.7 Rome has not only
embraced Galileo’s heliocentrism—another about turn—but also Darwin’s
theory of single-cell organisms becoming apes becoming humans. Billions
of years after the "big bang" and evolution from the first life forms, a
pre-human became a man when the Creator immediately created his soul and
he became able to think of God. One can easily imagine the sort of fancy
footwork required to "fit" this with the opening chapters of Genesis and
the rest of the Bible—akin to that in Boniface VIII’s Unam Sanctam
(1302) which argues for papal, political primacy from the Bible!8
The Holy See is against homosexuality, though
supposedly celibate Roman Catholic priests are, to say the least, in a
profession where sodomy and paedophilia have long been among the
highest.9 Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, passed a raft
of pro-homosexual legislation, all the while preparing himself for
conversion to Rome after he left office. He was received in the Roman
Church without any word of penitence. Despite initial, loud opposition
to new civil laws giving homosexuals the right of adopting children in
the UK, the largest Roman Catholic adoption agency in England and Wales
has now decided to allow homosexuals to adopt.
Rome’s political philosophy is (broadly speaking)
right-wing on moral or bio-ethical issues (e.g., on abortion, in-vitro
fertilization, euthanasia, suicide, embryonic stem cell research and
sodomy, though not on capital punishment and teaching creationism in the
schools) but left-wing on labour, economic, environmental and "peace"
The Vatican calls for the right of all workers to a
minimum wage and to organize in trade unions.10 Rome supports
debt relief for poor nations, affordable housing for all and the welfare
It is important to note that the Holy See is
extremely socialist, advocating a radical redistribution of wealth
within countries and between countries by confiscatory taxation.12
However, it gives very little of its own wealth (e.g., its vast hordes
of art, its lands or fine buildings) to the poor.
The Vatican is strongly opposed to the right of
individual citizens to keep and bear firearms.
The Roman Church declares its support for refugees.13
For instance, 30% of the (legal) refugees admitted in the US during the
fiscal year that ended 30 September, 2008, came through the American
Roman Catholic Migration and Refugee Services. The Holy See also defends
illegal Mexican immigrants in the US, gaining thereby a greater Roman
Catholic presence in the world’s most powerful nation.
The Vatican is increasingly vocal (and politically
correct) on "green" issues.
The Roman Church supports arms control, and hopes
for, and works towards, a day when there will be no more war.14
It is against the Iraq War. One would never think from this that Rome
herself started dozens of wars and that the likes of Julius II, the
warrior pope, sat on the papal throne (1503-1513).
Rome’s Social Teaching
Rome’s political philosophy flows from her social
teaching. Building upon the ideas of Aristotle (a Greek philosopher) and
Aquinas (a medieval theologian), and stated officially, for example, in
such papal encyclicals as Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (Of New
Things, 1891) and Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno (In the
Fortieth Year [after Rerum Novarum], 1931), Roman Catholic
social teaching has been instrumental in the formation of Christian
Democratic parties in Roman Catholic countries in Europe and Latin
Roman Catholic social teaching may be summarised very
briefly under a statement of its three key terms. First is the principle
of "solidarity," the essential unity of all human beings, irrespective
of race, colour, nationality, class, gender, etc.16 Second,
there is "subsidiary,"
according to which "a community of a higher order
should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower
order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should
support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with
the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the
Third, the "common good" is the welfare of all, which
includes the maintenance of human rights, a more equal distribution of
wealth and social justice. If you ask, "Who is to decide what the common
good is in a particular instance?" or "What is that organization in
which the common good is most truly obtained, solidarity most faithfully
expressed and subsidiarity best exemplified?" the answer would
undoubtedly take one back to the "Holy Father" (the pope) and the
"perfect society" (the one, holy, catholic, apostolic and Roman church).18
Thus, for example, Benedict XVI's first social
encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth),
stresses human solidarity and subsidiarity in the quest for the common
good. This 2009 encyclical was signed on 29
June and published on 7 July, the day before the G8 summit in Italy began (8-10 July).
It calls for "a reform of the United Nations" "so that the
concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth"
(section 67; italics mine).
Listen carefully as the Roman
pope and church set forth the scope and power of the new global
"political, juridical and economic order" it desires and promotes:
To manage the global economy; to revive
economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the
present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to
bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and
peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to
regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of
a true world political authority, as my predecessor
Blessed John XXIII [1958-1963] indicated some years ago. Such an
authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe
consistently the principles of subsidiarity and
solidarity, to seek to establish the common good
[i.e., Rome's social teaching], and to make a commitment to
securing authentic integral human development inspired by the
values of charity in truth [i.e., this papal encyclical].
Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally
recognized and to be vested with the effective power
to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for
rights. Obviously it would have to have the authority to
ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties ...
(section 67; italics mine).
In other words, the pope is seeking, what is in
effect, the kingdom of Antichrist (Rev. 13; 17; 18) to bring in and
enforce Rome's social teaching!
The suppression of the Jesuits in the Spanish Empire at this time
explains the name San Francisco in California, because this mission
field was given to the Franciscans and not the out-of-favour Jesuits
(cf. Hughes Oliphant Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures
in the Worship of the Christian Church, vol. 5 [Grand Rapids:
Eerdmans, 1999], pp. 356-357).
This is denied by Roman Catholic apologists. See, however, e.g., Dave
Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1994),
pp. 264-326; John W. Robbins, Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The
Economic and Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church (USA:
The Trinity Foundation, 1999), pp. 161-173.
29: "As for the false church, she ascribes more power and authority
to herself and her ordinances than to the Word of God, and will not
submit herself to the yoke of Christ … she relieth more upon men than
upon Christ; and persecutes those, who live holily according to the Word
of God, and rebuke her for her errors, covetousness, and idolatry. [The
true and the false church] are easily known and distinguished from each
Thomas J. Reese, Inside the Vatican (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1996), pp. 3-4.
These are two key factors in the modern "culture of death," a term
popularised by John Paul II (1978-2005).
To state Rome’s position more precisely, it holds that the death penalty
should be avoided unless it is the only way to defend society from the
offender in question, and that, given today’s penal system, such a
situation requiring an execution is either rare or non-existent. Two
advantages of this fine distinction is that it enables apologists to
argue that they do not disagree with Thomas Aquinas (Rome’s number 1
theologian) and that the execution of Protestants and others in the past
and future may be justified.
Rome claims that the Bible is inerrant when dealing with salvation, but
not when it speaks on scientific or historical matters. As well as
denying Scripture’s infallibility, Rome also denies its canonicity
(Rome’s approval makes their 73—not 66—books canonical), sufficiency
(Rome’s tradition is necessary), perspicuity (the Roman magisterium
alone can interpret it aright) and authority (the Bible yields to
"science," Roman teaching, etc., where they clash with it).
Cf., e.g., the Ryan Report (published 20 May, 2009) on the sexual,
physical and emotional abuse of children, especially boys, in the
Republic of Ireland from 1936 onwards by religious officials of the Rome
From this and subsequent paragraphs, it will be evident that Roman
Catholic political theory necessitates and supports big government and
state interventionism: the "nanny state" (cf. Robbins, Ecclesiastical
Megalomania, pp. 81-94).
Luther complained about the latter (redistribution of wealth) in his
day: Rome took money from the Germans south across the Alps to the city
on the Tiber!
The bedraggled Huguenot refugees, who left France for Geneva, the
Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, America, etc., because of Roman Catholic
persecution, received little support from the Holy See.
Cf. the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
(1965), in Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The Documents of Vatican II
(USA: The America Press, 1966), pp. 289-297.
Examples of Christian democratic parties include the German Christian
Democratic Union (led by Konrad Adenauer, 1950-1966), the Christian
Democrat Party of Chile (the most influential Christian democrat party
in S. American history), the Christian Democratic People’s Party of
Switzerland and Fine Gael in the Republic of Ireland. In many countries,
the Roman Catholic ethos of the Christian democratic parties has been
diluted by secularisation.
It is no accident that the Soviet bloc’s first independent trade union,
Solidarity, co-founded by Lech Wałesa in Roman Catholic Poland, was so
Catechism of the Catholic Church (USA: Doubleday, 1995),
1883 (pp. 512-513), quoting from Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno
For further discussion and a critique of Rome’s teaching on
"solidarity," "subsidiary" and the "common good," see Robbins,
Ecclesiastical Megalomania, pp. 151-160.
(4) Rome’s Political Power Today
The logical place to begin a discussion of the
political power of the Roman Catholic Church today is, of course, the
Vatican, a sovereign city-state within the city of Rome. Established in
1929, the Vatican City is the world’s smallest state, both by area
(108.7 acres) and population (c. 800). Its citizenry is 100% Roman
Catholic, its highest functionaries are Roman clergy and its
non-hereditary, elected monarch is the pope. Jesuit Thomas J. Reese
mentions several other remarkable features of this unique state.
The … Vatican City is a sovereign state
recognized under international law ... As ruler of Vatican City the
pope is the last absolute monarch in Europe, with supreme
legislative, judicial, and executive authority. He also controls all
the assets of the Vatican, since this is a state economy without
private property other than personal possessions of the employees
and residents ... its purpose is to provide an internationally
recognized territory where the Holy See can operate in total
freedom, without political interference.1
The Holy See claims the oldest continuous diplomatic
service in the world, going back at least as far as the Council of Nicea
(325). It also possesses one of the world’s most capable diplomatic
Nuncios [i.e., papal ambassadors] … speak for the
pope to local governments and local churches. As professional
diplomats who know their business, they are given high grades by
their secular counterparts because of their training, experience,
and extensive contacts in the country. While most embassies have few
contacts outside government circles, nunciatures through contacts
with the local church have sources of information unavailable to
most embassies many times their size. The newsgathering potential of
these contacts would be the envy of CNN or the CIA. This is one
reason governments find it valuable to have embassies to the Holy
See. "If you want to know what’s going on in Mozambique" or other
countries, Ambassador Flynn [America’s official representative to
the Holy See, 1993-1997] reports, "there’s any one of a thousand
Catholic workers that are in there administering to the poor, out in
the villages, out in the boondocks, out in the grassroots, and they
report back to the Vatican. I can have conversations with
the Vatican, and the Vatican can tell me what’s going on there or in
Rome’s political power rests upon her nominal
membership of about one billion, some one-sixth of the earth’s
population, making it the largest multinational organization in the
world. Many voters and powerful people around the world are Roman
Catholics. All of them are under the authority of the "Holy Father" and
"Vicar of Christ," owing (but not always giving) the pope complete
... the "subjects" of the state of Vatican City …
live in every part of the world. Every person who has been baptized
in the Roman Catholic Church, and who has not left the Church or
been excommunicated by the Church, is a subject of the state of
Vatican City. These subjects owe to the sovereign of the state of
Vatican City absolute, complete and unquestioning spiritual and
political allegiance no matter where they may be living and no
matter what the laws of the nation within which they are living may
Although many are not aware of it, Rome has
significant political influence in the United States. For example, Roman
Catholic social teaching, enshrined in Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum
(1891) and Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno (1931), as well as liberal
Protestantism’s social gospel, facilitated the election and subsequent
re-elections of the longest-serving U.S. President, Democrat Franklin
Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945), and the implementation of the New Deal,
which promoted government interventionism, state redistribution of
wealth and trade unionism.4
Although formal diplomatic relations between America
and the Holy See only began in 1984, since then the U.S. has called upon
Vatican ambassadors for help on various occasions.
The Vatican has … been secretly used to convey
messages to governments that the United States has poor relations
with, such as Iraq, Iran, and Libya. The nuncio in Iran visited the
American captives at the U.S. embassy, and the nuncio in Iraq helped
in getting two American prisoners released in 1995.5
Today, Roman Catholicism accounts for a higher
percentage of the population of the United States than ever before and
is, in fact, the largest church in the world’s most powerful nation.6
This would have gratified John Ireland (1838-1918), Archbishop of Saint
Paul, Minnesota, who famously declared,
Let me state, as I conceive it, the work which,
in God's providence, the Catholics of the United States are called
to do within the coming century. It is twofold: to make
America Catholic, and to solve for the Church universal the
all-absorbing problems with which religion is confronted in the
present age ... The work defines the measure of the responsibility
... The work is to make America Catholic ... The Church is
triumphing in America, Catholic truth will travel on the wings of
American influence, and encircle the universe.7
Republican George W. Bush is probably the most openly
pro-Rome U.S. President in history.8 He repeatedly referred
to John Paul II as a great spiritual and moral leader. The 43rd
President even hosted the eighty-first birthday party of the 265th pope,
Benedict XVI, in the White House (16 April, 2008).
Presidential hopeful, Democratic Senator Barack Obama
significantly chose for his running mate Senator Joe Biden, an
Irish-American Roman Catholic. The number 1 and the number 3 most
liberal politicians in the 100-member Senate subsequently won the 2008
election and about half of the Roman Catholic vote.9 Some
Roman Catholics voted against Obama on the basis of their church’s
right-wing bio-ethics; others—much to the disgust of their staunch
pro-life co-religionists—voted for Obama because of the broad agreement
between his left-wing socio-economic ideology and that of their church
or because of the liberal media hype, etc. American Roman Catholics,
always amongst the most "progressive" in global Romanism, are both
increasingly left-wing and increasingly divided. This would not have
been so gratifying to Archbishop John Ireland.
The name changes from the European Economic Community
(EEC, 1957) to the European Community (EC, 1979) and the European Union
(EU, 1992) are significant, reflecting progressively greater integration
towards a European superstate.10 Adrian Hilton points out,
The [EU, as it is now called] started under the
inspiration of [Roman] Catholic politicians—such as [Konrad]
Adenauer of Germany, Paul-Henri Spaak [of Belgium], Jean Monnet and
Robert Schuman [both of France]. They were all Christian Democrats.
They were all deeply influenced by Catholic social teaching.11
Robert Schuman, the "Father of Europe," was an
especially devout Roman Catholic, strongly influenced by the writings of
Pius XII, Thomas Aquinas and Jacques Maritain. He, Adenauer, and Alcide
de Gasperi (founder of the Italian Christian Democratic Party), three of
the pioneers of European unification, are in the process of being made
into "saints" by the Vatican as a reward for founding the new Europe on
Roman Catholic principles. The European Union’s "single market," "social
chapter" and "subsidiarity" are concepts of the Vatican’s social
teaching. Rome is a strong advocate of increasing European integration
(as are the liberal Protestant churches), though it is not keen on the
possible inclusion of (Islamic) Turkey.
But Rome is not having everything its own way in the
increasingly secular European Union. Despite John Paul II’s placing
Europe in Mary’s hands and urging that the final draft of the European
Constitution (2004) should explicitly recognize the Christian roots of
the continent, the Vatican’s representatives failed to secure any
mention of Europe’s "Christian [i.e., Roman Catholic] heritage"—one of
the papacy’s cherished goals.12
In 2004, the European Parliament refused to ratify
Rocco Buttiglione, a Roman Catholic and an Italian Christian Democrat
politician, as a European Commissioner because he held that
homosexuality is a sin. Since then the European Parliament has called
for the compulsory recognition of same-sex unions across the whole of
the EU. The European Union funds stem cell research and it is increasing
its funding of abortion.
Rome claims that John Paul II, the Polish pope, was
instrumental in bringing down communism in eastern Europe, by being the
spiritual inspiration behind its downfall.13
But whether this is so or not, he was disappointed in his hope that Poles
and other Roman Catholics would emerge from behind the iron curtain to
revitalise Romanism in western Europe. Secularisation proceeds from the
Atlantic to the Urals. In part through the scandal of paedophile (i.e.,
homosexual) priests, Roman Catholic vocations are well down in Europe.14
Even in the Republic of Ireland, a very Roman Catholic country, and
despite much pressure from the hierarchy, in a national referendum (24
November, 1995) a (narrow) majority voted to repeal the constitutional
prohibition of divorce.
The League of Nations (1919) was formed after, and in
response to, World War I (1914-1918), as an international governing body
designed to prevent war through disarmament, collective security,
negotiation and diplomacy. The United Nations (1945) was founded as its
more powerful successor after World War II (1939-1945), which the League
of Nations had been unable to stop.
"From the very beginning," writes Thomas Reese, "the
papacy has … been a strong supporter of the United Nations, despite its
problems, as the best hope for peace."15
Rome repeatedly calls for the strengthening of its powers and even
appeals for one world government as the most effective way of ending all
war. Vatican II’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern
World (1965) issues this impassioned plea, for what will be, in
effect, the global kingdom of Antichrist in whose day war (Matt. 24:6-7)
will come to an end (cf. I Thess. 5:3; Rev. 13:3-4, 8, 12, 14-17):
It is our clear duty, then, to strain every
muscle as we work for the time when all war can be completely
outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires
the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as
such by all, and endowed with effective power to safeguard on the
behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights.
But before this hoped-for authority can be set up, the highest
existing international centers must devote themselves vigorously to
the pursuit of better means for obtaining common security. Peace
must be born of mutual trust between nations rather than imposed on
them through fear of one another’s weapons.16
Rome’s Way Forward
Power is a notoriously difficult thing to measure and
this perhaps especially applies to the political power of the Church of
Rome, which is centrally an ecclesiastical institution. A brief,
outsider’s sketch like this can never do justice to such a big subject.
Nevertheless, it is more or less clear that Rome has significant
geopolitical power though, to say the least, not all is going its way.
However, popes think in terms not of years but of centuries, as it is
Today, the Church of Rome is numerically stronger
than it has ever been but more doctrinally divided than at any time.
Beyond the biblical framework of predictive prophecy, no one knows what
the future holds except the sovereign God. But we can consider where the
Vatican wants to go from its current labours and policy statements. As
it casts about for a "winning combination" to restore its fortunes in an
aggressively secular and pluralist world, the major factors in Rome’s
push for greater religious and political power are false ecumenism (with
other Christian churches and communities) and syncretism (with pagan
religions). The Holy See desires one world religion with the pope at the
summit of the earthly kingdom of god/man.
Thomas J. Reese, Inside the Vatican (Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1996), p. 16.
Inside the Vatican, pp. 266-267.
Albert Lévitt, Vaticanism: The Political Principles of the Roman
Catholic Church (Vantage Press: New York, 1960), p. 23.
Cf. John W. Robbins, Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and
Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church (USA: The Trinity
Foundation, 1999), pp. 46-47, 81-84, etc. Roman Catholic priest,
socialist and radio personality, "Father" Charles Coughlin of Oak Royal,
Detroit, famously proclaimed, "The New Deal is Christ’s deal!" When,
however, Roosevelt "rehabilitated rather than expropriated the banks,"
Coughlin announced, "I am in favor of
a New Deal," for even more radical left-wing policies (David M.
Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and
War, 1929-1945 [New York: Oxford University Press, 1999], pp.
Inside the Vatican, p. 267.
There is a Roman Catholic majority in the U.S. Supreme Court. The top
governorship in America, that of California, is held by Roman Catholic
Republican, bodybuilder and movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Quoted in Lévitt, Vaticanism, p. 12; italics mine.
Roman priest and apostate from Lutheranism, Richard John Neuhaus
(1936-2009), a leading instigator (along with Charles Colson) of
Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT), tutored George W. Bush in
Roman Catholic social teaching and helped build the political coalition
which saw Bush win two presidential elections.
Results from the various exit polls vary.
The Treaty of Rome (1957), the founding treaty of the EEC (now the EU),
focused on economic co-operation, but it also called for "an ever closer
union" to "eliminate the barriers which divide Europe."
Adrian Hilton, The Principality and Power of Europe (England:
Dorchester House Publications, 1997), p. 18.
John Paul II’s Ecclesia in Europa (2003) is a statement of key
contemporary Roman Catholic theology and political theory applied to
modern Europe. This "Apostolic Exhortation" presents Christ (through His
vicar, the pope, as the head of the Roman Church, of course) as the hope
of Europe and closes with a prayer to Mary, "Mother of hope and
consolation," to whom is entrusted "the future of the Church in Europe
and the future of all the women and men of this continent."
This boast of the papacy has led to increased restrictions on Roman
Catholics in China, for the communist rulers fear that Romanism may
destabilise their regime.
Over 90% of the sexual abuse victims are teenage boys rather than girls
Inside the Vatican, p. 272.
Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The Documents of Vatican II (USA: The
America Press, 1966), pp. 295-296.
(5) Rome’s False Ecumenism with
Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism
Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism (1964)
The most official, systematic and widely accessible
statement of the Roman Catholic Church’s false ecumenism is Vatican II’s
Decree on Ecumenism (1964). The Latin name of this decree,
Unitatis Redintegratio, is revealing, for it means Restoration of
Unity. The unity the Roman Church wishes to see restored is that
original oneness which it claims all professing Christians and churches
had with the "Mother Church" (Rome) and the "Holy Father" (the pope).1
This will also serve Rome’s geopolitical goal with all the world united
in the one, holy, catholic and Roman religion.
As Unitatis Redintegratio itself declares,
Roman Catholic ecumenism can have only one outcome:
The result will be that, little by little, as the
obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion are overcome, all
Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the
Eucharist, into that unity of the one and only Church which Christ
bestowed on His Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe,
dwells in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and
we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time (p.
Lest anyone within or without the Roman Church think
that Rome’s ecumenism implies any openness to the truth of God’s Word or
to forsaking its false doctrines, the Decree on Ecumenism
states, "Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false
conciliatory approach which harms the purity of Catholic doctrine and
obscures its assured genuine meaning" (p. 354).
In case Roman Catholic laity notice that this
statement is particularly addressed to their clergy and theologians (and
that this might provide them with a loophole), the "faithful" are told,
Their ecumenical activity must not be other than
fully and sincerely Catholic, that is, loyal to the truth we have
received from the apostles and the Fathers, and in harmony with the
faith which the Catholic Church has always professed, and at the
same time tending toward that fullness with which our Lord wants His
body to be endowed in the course of time (p. 365).
For Roman Catholics, ecumenism—efforts to bring all
professing Christians into the papal fold—must be a priority. This is
the first line of the Decree on Ecumenism: "Promoting the
restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the chief concerns
of [Vatican II]" (p. 341). Similarly, at the end of Unitatis
Redintegratio, the council "urgently desires that the initiatives of
the sons of the Catholic Church, joined with those of the separated
brethren go forward … [in] the holy task of reconciling all Christians
in the unity of the one and only Church" (pp. 365-366). This is the
"full and perfect unity which God lovingly desires" (p. 350) and the
"divine summons" (p. 342)—that all return to the papal embrace.
"The seamless robe of Christ" (p. 355), a historic
image of the church’s unity, is appealed to and "rifts" in the church
are said to be "damnable" (p. 345). All this must, of course, be read
from Rome’s perspective that Christ builds the church on the pope, the
successor of Peter. John XXIII’s prayer for the success of Vatican II
includes this petition that all non-Catholics return to the Rome:
We pray also for those sheep who are not now of
the one fold of Jesus Christ [i.e., not in the Roman Church], that
even as they glory in the name of Christian, they may come at last
to unity under the governance of the one Shepherd [i.e., the pope]
In its introduction (pp. 341-342), the Decree on
Ecumenism alludes to the World Council of Churches (cf. p. 342, n.
5) and other ecumenical efforts involving liberal Protestants and the
Eastern Orthodox: "among our separated brethren … there increases from
day to day a movement … for restoration of unity among all Christians."
Amongst "divided Christians," there is "remorse over their divisions and
a longing for unity." Rome attributes this to "the grace of the Holy
Spirit," rather than to apostasy, its proper source. The Vatican "gladly
notes all these factors" (p. 342) because it understands that all the
roads of false ecumenism ultimately lead to Rome.
For Rome, of all the various Christian bodies, the
Eastern Orthodox Churches occupy a "special position." They are treated
before, and given more space than, the Protestant churches in the
Decree on Ecumenism. The decree emphasises that Rome and
Constantinople (the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch who ranks as
primus inter pares, first among equals, in the Eastern Orthodox
communion) have a lot in common. Apostolic succession (viewed as the
succession of bishops, in uninterrupted lines, back to the original
twelve apostles), priesthood, eucharist, true sacraments, liturgy,
spiritual tradition, jurisprudence, veneration of Mary (mariolatry),
prayers to saints, etc., are all mentioned (pp. 357-361). Rome
magnanimously acknowledges that the seven ecumenical councils (325-787)
were all held in or not far from Constantinople (p. 357) and that
monasticism originated in the East, adding that "Catholics are strongly
urged to avail themselves more often of these spiritual riches of the
Eastern Fathers" (p. 359).
Both Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy are well aware of
their disagreements but these are not specifically brought up.3
Instead, historical and cultural factors are mentioned as occasioning
and/or maintaining the differences (pp. 357-358, 360). Unitatis
Redintegratio advocates "legitimate variety" and reckons that their
"various theological formulations are often to be considered as
complementary rather than conflicting" (p. 360).
Vatican II hopes to use the Eastern Catholic
Churches to provide a bridge to the Eastern Orthodox Churches.4
The Decree on Eastern Catholic Churches (1964) states,
The Eastern [Catholic] Churches in communion with
the Apostolic See of Rome have a special role to play in promoting
the unity of all Christians, particularly Easterners, according to
the principles of this sacred Synod’s Decree on Ecumenism (p. 383).
Since the agreement between Rome and Eastern
Orthodoxy is "very close," Vatican II reckons that "given suitable
circumstances and the approval of Church authority, some worship in
common is not merely possible but is recommended" (p. 359).
It is the Council’s urgent desire that every
effort should henceforth be made toward the gradual realization of
this goal [of full communion between Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy] in
the various organizations and living activities of the Church,
especially by prayer and by fraternal dialogue on points of doctrine
and the more pressing pastoral problems of our time (p. 361).
This would certainly add to the size, prestige and
power of the Vatican, for there are at present between 225 and 300
million Eastern Orthodox church members, found especially in eastern
Europe and Russia, as well as (increasingly) worldwide. However, more
needs to be done, for to this day both churches claim to be the one,
holy, catholic and apostolic church and each denies the other’s right to
that name. Rome expects this unification to be "gradual" (p. 361).
For Rome, "the Anglican Communion occupies a special
place" (p. 356) among those churches that separated from it at the
Reformation. The reason is obvious. Anglicanism’s compromised
Reformation left it with a hierarchical structure (referred to as "the
historic episcopate" in ecumenical circles) and an unhealthy advocacy of
early church tradition. The Church of England even considers itself a
via media or middle way between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
Anglicanism’s high-church sacramentalism (prominent especially in its
Anglo-Catholic wing) facilitates its restoration to Rome which sees the
church largely in terms of hierarchy, sacraments, liturgy, etc.5
Moreover, the Anglican Communion is the third largest communion in the
world (behind Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy) with about 80 million members,
making it quite a prize for the papacy.6
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission
(ARCIC), which arose out of the Joint Preparatory Commission (1967-68),
has been discussing ordination, the doctrine of salvation, the
eucharist, Rome’s teaching authority, the role of Mary, etc., on and off
for about four decades. In approving the statements from ARCIC’s First
Phase (1970-1981), "The Church of England has effectively ratified the
doctrine of the Council of Trent [1545-1563] on Scripture and Tradition,
and on the Lord’s Supper, and it has accepted in principle the primacy
of the pope."7
Since then, ARCIC has continued its labours to bring
Canterbury back to Rome. In 2007, ARCIC issued Growing Together in
Unity and Mission which declared,
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the
ministry of the Bishop of Rome as universal primate is in accordance
with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of
maintaining it in unity and truth … We urge Anglicans and Roman
Catholics to explore together how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome
might be offered and received in order to assist our Communions to
grow towards full, ecclesial communion.8
Queen Elizabeth II, Supreme Governor of the Church of
England and Defender of the Faith, and various Archbishops of Canterbury
have visited the pope many times. In 2008, Archbishop of Canterbury
Rowan Williams became the first (symbolic) head of the worldwide
Anglican Communion to visit the Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes in
southwest France. There he took part in an international mass
celebrating the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary to
Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant.
Ironically, ecumenical relations between Anglicanism
and Romanism have slowed, not because of opposition from orthodox
Anglicans but because Anglicanism is too liberal for Romanism,
especially concerning the ordination of women and homosexuality. John
Paul II (1978-2005) suspended official talks between the Roman Catholic
Church and the Anglican Communion due to the consecration of Gene
Robinson, a practising homosexual, as a bishop in the Episcopal Church
in the United States.9
We do not know the future (only God does), so we do
not know if and when Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism will join with
Rome and submit to the pope. But this is the earnest desire and stated
goal of the Vatican, something for which it is working very hard. Such a
union would bring the first, second and third largest Christian
communions under the "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church." With
current population figures, this would take Rome from one-sixth to
one-fifth of the world’s population and it would greatly strengthen her
hand in eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Next, we shall consider Rome’s false ecumenism with
Protestants, those closer to us and with whom we are more familiar. The
Antichristian kingdom and the return of Jesus Christ are drawing near!
Thus the Decree on Ecumenism states that all the other
groups "separated from full communion with the [Roman] Catholic Church"
(Walter M. Abbot [gen. ed.], The Documents of Vatican II
[USA: The America Press, 1966], p. 345). Henceforward, pages in
parentheses refer to this book.
2 By "Church,"
Roman Catholic authors mean the Roman Catholic Church; by "Catholic,"
they mean Roman Catholic.
These would include the filioque clause on the procession of the
Spirit, the role of the papacy, the lawfulness of married clergy, the
dating of Easter, etc. The western and eastern churches had been
drifting apart for centuries before 1054, the date usually assigned to
the Great Schism when Leo IX’s representative, Cardinal Humbert, and
Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, excommunicated each
other. Over nine hundred years later, the excommunications were
rescinded by Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople when
they met at Vatican II (1965).
The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous churches in full communion
with the pope which preserve the liturgical, theological and devotional
traditions of the various eastern churches with which they are
Over the years, a lot of Anglican members and clergy (especially those
in the high-church wing) have apostatised and joined the Church of Rome,
including John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who was made a Roman cardinal
(1879), and, in 1900, Mabel Tolkien and her young son, John Ronald Reuel
(1892-1973), whose writings include The Hobbit and The Lord of
Interestingly, the 18 million Anglicans in Nigeria outnumber all their
co-religionists in the whole of Europe and N. America. There are about 9
million Anglicans in the Church of Uganda.
David N. Samuel, The Church in Crisis (Reading, England: The
Church of England [Continuing], 2004), p. 129.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams approves of sodomy and his view
of Scripture descends to the lowest depths of liberalism: God is "a
spastic child who can communicate nothing but his presence and his
inarticulate wanting," and John’s Apocalypse is filled with "madness and
vengefulness" (cf. Samuel, The Church in Crisis, pp. 131,
141-144). Rowan Williams was in New York on September 11, 2001, the day
of the Islamic terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade
Center. Holding the free-will heresy, the Archbishop remarked that God
is "useless" at such times, for Williams' idol does not decree and
govern human actions. Apostate churches and church leaders are far and
away the most blind and deaf of fallen mankind (Isa. 42:19-20); they
have been "bewitched" (Gal. 3:1).
(6) Rome’s False Ecumenism with
Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism (1964) is the
Roman Catholic Church’s blueprint for restoring all professing
Christians—especially the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants—to
the papal fold. This will also serve Rome’s geopolitical goal: one
world, one religion, one pope.
Early Protestant Ecumenism and the Edinburgh
The ecumenical movement in the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries involved Protestants with various backgrounds
(Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Baptist, Anglican, Methodist,
Reformed, Lutheran, etc.) who were typically either Arminian or
modernist (or both). Creedal subscription was lax. Few cared much for
their church’s historic teaching, whether true or false. Besides, the
common wisdom—both then and now!—was that doctrine divides whereas
The service that especially united them and led to
further false ecumenism was missions. According to many scholars, the
Edinburgh Missionary Conference or the World Missionary Conference, held
in the Assembly Hall of the United Free Church of Scotland (14-23 June,
1910), was especially important in this regard.1
The spirit of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference is
captured by this catchy slogan: "The Evangelization of the World in this
Generation," itself the title of the conference chairman’s best-known
book (published in 1900). But this spirit was hardly the Holy Spirit. A
century after the World Missionary Conference, the world has not been
evangelised, but man-centred Arminianism is very much to the fore and
apostasy and false ecumenism continue apace.
The Edinburgh Missionary Conference decided to
establish a Continuation Committee, through which the International
Missionary Council (IMC) was established in 1921. The IMC furthered
ecumenism and was closely related to the World Council of Churches (WCC;
founded in 1948) until it became the Division of (later Commission on)
World Mission and Evangelism (1961) of the WCC.
One man sums up this unification of the missionary
movement and the ecumenical movement: John R. Mott, an American
Methodist layman and leader of the Student Volunteer Movement for
Foreign Missions, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and the
World Student Christian Federation.2 Mott chaired the World
Missionary Conference and was intimately involved in the formation of
the World Council of Churches in 1948, which elected him as its first
No Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox missionary
organizations were invited to the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, but
there was an Anglo-Catholic (and even a women missionary) presence.
Moreover, "aspirations repeatedly surfaced" at its meetings "for the
inclusion of Roman Catholic and [Eastern] Orthodox" in ecumenical
The World Council of Churches and other ecumenists
will celebrate the centenary of the 1910 World Missionary Conference at
"Edinburgh 2010." Meetings will be held throughout the world with the
main venue being, as in 1910, the Assembly Hall, Edinburgh (2-6 June,
2010). John Mott would be delighted that the participants in 2010 will
be drawn from the whole range of Christian traditions, including Roman
Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal and even Seventh Day Adventist.
The organisers assure us that "Edinburgh 2010" will "show a better
gender and age balance" than the conference of 1910. Political
correctness (not biblical correctness) is very important for false
Roman Catholic Principles of Ecumenism
Many liberal Protestants foolishly hope that in their
ecumenical relations with Rome that both sides will make concessions and
meet somewhere in the middle. After all, this was and is a major part of
ecumenical relations between doctrinally indifferent Protestants. Surely
in their dialogue with the Roman Church, there will also be give and
There is also the issue of momentum. Why stop with
ecumenical relations merely between Protestants? If one can compromise
with other Protestants for the sake of missionary labours or greater
numbers and political power, why not sacrifice the truth for greater
communion with Rome? If Protestants can reject God’s sovereign grace for
Amyraldianism and Arminianism; and can accept evolutionism, higher
criticism and political correctness; and can play down their
denominational distinctives for ecumenism with other liberal
Protestants, why should not they compromise with the Roman Church?5
And may not Rome, grateful for their approach, be open to finding some
mutually acceptable middle ground?
Such naïve Protestants should carefully read Vatican
II’s Decree on Ecumenism (1964).6 Its section on
Rome’s principles of ecumenism is clear (pp. 343-350). Jesus’ prayer for
His church’s oneness (John 17:21) (p. 343) is perverted into unity under
Peter (i.e., "Peter’s successor," the pope), upon whom Christ builds His
church and to whom He gave the keys of the kingdom and "entrusted all
His sheep" (p. 344). All who are "separated from full communion with the
Catholic Church" (p. 345) must return to the pope and the hierarchy of
the "bishops" (p. 344) with their false sacraments—especially baptismal
regeneration (p. 345) and Rome’s blasphemous "Eucharist" (p. 343).7
"Common Ground" is Roman Ground!
In its section on the churches of the Reformation
(pp. 361-365), Unitatis Redintegratio seeks to establish common
ground and build bridges—to use the ecumenical (and political) buzz
words.8 With a striking use of "spin," its opening sentence
declares that the Reformation churches "are bound
to the Catholic Church by a special affinity and close relationship
in view of the long span of earlier centuries when the Christian people
lived in ecclesiastical communion [with Rome]" (p. 361; italics mine).
Yet the Reformation was a breaking of bonds with a false church in order
to serve Jesus Christ!
Reformed truths are likewise stood on their head.
Protestants who confess Christ as "the sole Mediator" are thereby led to
Rome! "Inspired by longing for union with Christ, they feel compelled to
search for unity [i.e., with the pope] ever more ardently" (p. 362).9
The Protestant "love, veneration, and near cult [sic!] of the sacred
Scriptures" (p. 362) can be used by Rome in ecumenical dialogue, for
"the sacred utterances are precious instruments … for attaining … unity"
with the Vatican (p. 363). The fact that Rome has added to, and horribly
adulterated, the two sacraments Christ has given us does not deter the
Decree on Ecumenism from urging them as a starting point for
"dialogue … concerning the true meaning of the Lord’s Supper, the other
sacraments, and the Church’s worship and ministry" (p. 364). Even
elements of the "ancient common liturgy" in Protestant worship (p. 364)
may be urged as reasons to return to the idolatry from which God
graciously delivered us.
Why should this be? Unitatis Redintegratio
answers, "the Catholic Church has been endowed with all
divinely revealed truth and with all the means of grace" (p. 348;
italics mine) and the Holy Spirit uses the "separated churches" as
"means of salvation" because they "derive their efficacy from the very
fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church" (p. 346).
According to Vatican II,
the written word of God; the life of grace;
faith, hope, and charity, along with other interior gifts of the
Holy Spirit and visible elements … which come from Christ and lead
back to Him, belong by right to the one Church of Christ
[i.e., Rome] (pp. 345-346; italics mine).
Rome’s arrogance is unbounded. Those "who believe in
Christ and have been properly baptized are brought into a certain,
though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church" (p. 345). All the
grace received by Protestants comes through the Roman Church and our
baptisms (if Rome reckons them "proper") unite us to the papacy.10
What a pronouncement! Better be anathematised by Rome than a recipient
of its "blessings!"
Robert Zins sums it up,
Rome has unilaterally declared itself to be the
judge of whether one’s religion does or does not have the necessary
elements to qualify as a Christian religion. This absorption by
decree does two things. First, it attempts to legitimize Rome since
Rome is making the proclamation as though it were the official judge
in the matter! Secondly, it minimizes the opposition to
insignificance should anyone disagree.11
Like its fiery persecutions, though in a different
yet no less deadly way, Rome’s false ecumenism is slaying millions.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Council of
Churches (WCC), an international ecumenical grouping of about 350
churches, denominations and church fellowships, encompasses over 560
million people in more than 120 countries.12 Its ranks
include Eastern Orthodoxy, the Anglican Communion and many Protestant
denominations but not the Roman Catholic Church. Yet Rome has worked
closely with the WCC for more than three decades and sends observers to
all major WCC conferences and assemblies. The Vatican also nominates
twelve full members to the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission.13
The headquarters of another liberal, ecumenical body
are also located in Geneva: the World Alliance of Reformed Churches
(WARC), consisting of 75 million people in 107 countries. Over 45% of
the 214 denominations in the WARC also belong to its neighbour, the WCC.
Both the WCC and the WARC work with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for
Promoting Christian Unity.14 St. Pierre’s Cathedral in Geneva
has been used frequently for their false ecumenical services, as if to
spit in John Calvin’s face.15 Calvin’s Geneva is now the seat
of apostate Reformed churches as they fraternise with the See of Rome!16
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), consisting of
140 member church bodies in 78 countries and representing 66.7 million
of the world’s 70.2 million Lutherans, is headquartered in Geneva, like
the WCC and the WARC.17 In 1999, the LWF and the Roman
Catholic Church issued the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of
Justification. Jesuit Francis A. Sullivan calls this the "most striking
fruit of [thirty-five] years of patient [ecumenical] dialogue" since
Vatican II.18 Luther would have turned in his grave at this
denial of justification by faith alone! To use his own terminology, in
denying the truth of justification, these Lutherans declared themselves
fallen churches and fellowshipped with a fallen church, the Roman whore.
In 2006, the members of the World Methodist Council,
comprising 76 member denominations in 132 countries and representing
about 75 million people, met in Seoul, South Korea, and voted
unanimously to adopt the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Joint Declaration
on the Doctrine of Justification.19
But it is not just the World Council of Churches and
global ecumenical bodies of the Reformed, Lutherans and Methodists,
etc., who are fraternizing with Rome. Many Protestant denominations and
parachurch organizations are also engaged in this spiritual fornication.
If Rome were to be successful in bringing all the Protestants (with the
Eastern Orthodox and the Anglicans) back into the papal fold, this would
further Rome’s geopolitical goal, for it would place one-third of
mankind under the sway of the Vatican.20
We need to look next at the methods (or weapons) of
Rome’s false ecumenism with Protestants.
The meeting place was ideal, since the United Free Church was
basically non-confessional, for at its formation (1900) it incorporated
into its constitution the Declaratory Acts (1879 and 1892 respectively)
of the two denominations which formed it: the United Presbyterian Church
and the Free Church. Thus the United Free Church constitution,
proceeding on the basis of a universal love of God (common grace), a
desire of God to save everybody (free offer) and the existence of the
image of God in all men, overthrew the doctrines of grace (sovereign
predestination, particular atonement, total depravity and irresistible
grace) as taught in the Westminster Standards, and allowed for
liberty of opinion "on such points in the Standards not entering into
the substance of the faith," specifically mentioning six-day creation.
(For the two Declaratory Acts, see Ian Hamilton, The Erosion of
Calvinist Orthodoxy: Seceders and Subscription in Scottish
[Great Britain: Rutherford House, 1990], pp. 192-195.) As N. R. Needham
puts it, the United Free Church’s "liberal Evangelicalism" blended "a
moderate higher criticism, an acceptance of the findings of contemporary
science, and a commitment to evangelism and missions." Ecumenical
discussions with the Church of Scotland had begun the year before the
Edinburgh Missionary Conference and when the two parties were united
(1929) only a tiny minority (about 14,000) of the United Free Church
remained outside. The United Free Church Continuing (the "Continuing"
was dropped in 1934) was the first Scottish Presbyterian church to
ordain a woman minister (1935) and the first British Presbyterian church
to elect a female moderator (1960) (contrast I Tim. 2:11-14). The United
Free Church is a member of the apostate World Council of Churches
("United Free Church," in Nigel M. de S. Cameron [org. ed.],
Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology [USA: IVP, 1993],
The seed for the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions
(established in 1888) was planted in 1886 at a conference in Mount
Hermon, Massachusetts, with D. L. Moody as the principal speaker.
Mott was highly esteemed around the world and was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize (1946). Jesus said, "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak
well of you" (Luke 6:26).
Cf. D. F. Wright, "World Missionary Conference," in Dictionary of
Scottish Church History and Theology, p. 894.
Contrast Proverbs 23:23: "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom,
and instruction, and understanding."
This decree (Latin: Unitatis Redintegratio, Restoration of
Unity) is found in Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The Documents of
Vatican II (USA: The America Press, 1966). Henceforward, pages in
parentheses refer to this book.
By "Church," Roman Catholic authors mean the Roman Catholic Church; by
"Catholic," they mean Roman Catholic.
Rome has a certain reluctance to refer simply to the Reformation, even
Decree on Ecumenism. Instead, it uses torturous circumlocutions:
"a series of happenings commonly referred to as the Reformation" (p.
356) and "the very serious crisis that began in the West at the end of
the Middle Ages, or during later times" (p. 361). Historically, Rome
spoke of "the so-called
Calvin rightly states the exact opposite: "it behoved us to withdraw
from [Rome] that we might come to Christ" (Institutes 4.2.6).
This easily leads to a re-interpretation of the famous dictum, "Outside
of the Church of Rome, there is no salvation," for Protestants are in
the Church of Rome though they may not know it.
Robert Zins, Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the
Gospel of Jesus Christ! (USA: White Horse Publications, 1994), p.
The World Council of Churches’ building, the Ecumenical Centre, is also
home to several other ecumenical organizations including the World
Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World
Student Christian Federation, the Conference of European Churches (CEC),
Action by Churches Together (ACT) and the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund
(ECLOF). Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has its headquarters in Geneva,
though not in the WCC’s Ecumenical Centre.
If Rome were to become a member of the WCC, it would only be the most
powerful church in a very large ecumenical body. Thus Rome sees it as
serving its ecclesiastical and political interests not to join the WCC
but to remain as the WCC’s most important dialogue partner.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is a very busy
body, engaging in international theological dialogue not only with the
Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion, the World Council of
Churches and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, but also with the
Lutheran World Federation, the World Methodist Council, the Baptist
World Alliance, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), various
Pentecostal groups, etc.
A golden calf has been erected in Bethel!
Commenting on Jeremiah 32:39, Calvin declared, "But as it is
necessary for us to separate from the Papists if we wish to follow God,
it is better a hundred times to separate from them than to be united
together, and thus to form an ungodly and wicked union against God.
Agreement or union is, indeed, singularly a good thing, because there is
nothing better or more desirable than peace. But we must ever bear in
mind, that in order that men may happily unite together, obedience to
God’s Word must be the beginning. The bond, then, of lawful concord
among us is this—that we obey God from first to last; for accursed is
every union where there is no regard to God and to his Word."
It is striking that Calvin’s Geneva, the centre of the Reformation,
which proclaimed the spiritual kingdom of God, has become not only the
centre of apostate Protestantism but also a centre for the carnal,
political kingdom of man apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. There the
Geneva Conventions were formulated (1864, 1906, 1929, 1949), requiring
decent treatment of non-combatants and prisoners of war. Geneva was the
seat of the League of Nations (1919-1946) and is the European
headquarters of the United Nations (UN), as well as five of the UN’s
sixteen specialized agencies: the World Health Organization (WHO), the
International Labour Organization (ILO), the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),
plus three other UN agencies: the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights (UNHCHR), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). Many other inter-governmental
organizations, such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research
(CERN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), are also based in Geneva.
The world headquarters of non-governmental organizations based in Geneva
include the Red Cross/Red Crescent; the Boy Scouts; various bodies
dealing with airports, roads, cancer, heart disease, AIDs, etc.; as well
as the International Baccalaureate program and the World Wide Web
Francis A. Sullivan, From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the
Episcopacy in the Early Church (New York/ Mahwah, NJ: Newman Press,
2001), p. 236.
All around the world, Methodists were among the first to play the harlot
with Rome. The reasons are obvious: their lack of a creed (to help moor
them to any doctrinal formula) and their free-willism (for Rome is
Semi-Pelagian), as well as John Wesley’s high churchism.
Cf. the on-line "World
Fact Book" of the CIA.
(7) Rome's Ecumenical Methods with
Having considered Rome’s false ecumenism with Eastern
Orthodoxy, Anglicanism and Protestantism, as well as the principles of
Roman ecumenism, it remains to examine the methods of its ecumenism. For
this, the prime source is, once again, the Decree of Ecumenism
(1964), produced by Rome’s last "ecumenical" council, Vatican II
(1962-1965).1 Some examples shall also be given of the use of
these methods (or weapons) in the slaughter of careless, apostatising
Protestants. Remember too that Rome’s labours to bring all of
Christendom—indeed those of all religions—under its sway also serve its
geopolitical goal to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth with its
headquarters in the Vatican.
Change of Names
To those not unaware of Rome’s persecuting past, the
most striking of the various "helps, pathways and methods" (p. 342) of
Rome’s ecumenism is the new terminology used for Protestants. Dropping
all references to "heretics" or "dogs" and ignoring the dozens of
anathemas hurled by the Council of Trent (1545-1563), Unitatis
Redintegratio refers to Protestants as our "brothers" or "brethren"
(pp. 345, 346, 354) or, more frequently, our "separated brethren" (e.g.,
pp. 342, 346, 347, 348, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 365).2
This change in nomenclature is an important step in Rome’s
(Italian for "updating") and has been eagerly received by liberal
Protestants. However, Robert Zins’ warning is appropriate:
This new terminology [of "separated brethren"] is
a change, but for the Christian, it is also dreadful and dangerous.
It appears that Rome wants to label Christians as brothers in hopes
of lending credibility to Romanism. It also appears that Rome wishes
to hide or minimize the eternal chasm which separates Rome from the
gospel of Christ! Christians need to reject such manipulative
language and stick to their faith that Christianity and Romanism are
absolutely contradictory ... For Rome to call Christians separated
brethren is similar to Mormons or Hindus calling Christians
separated brethren. We say, "No thank you!"3
Even Martin Luther has been re-evaluated by the
modern Roman Church. He is no longer a "wild boar" ravaging the Lord’s
"vineyard" (as in Leo X’s famous, 1520 bull Exsurge Domine); he
is a "prophet of the [Roman] Catholic Church" with many fine things to
say.4 His breaking with Rome was a "tragedy."
Change of Style
Whereas those who broke with the papacy used to be
viewed and treated by Rome with contempt and mistrust, now the "[Roman]
Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers" (p.
345). The order of the day is "mutual respect" (p. 359) and "mutual
esteem" (p. 362). According to the Decree of Ecumenism, "every
effort [must be made] to eliminate words, judgments, and actions which
do not respond to the condition of separated brethren with truth and
fairness and so make mutual relations between them more difficult" (p.
In Rome’s ecumenical endeavours, it realises that if it wants to have
friends, it must show itself friendly (Prov. 18:24). This ploy was
enough for Ahab to deceive naïve Jehoshaphat (II Chron. 18:1-3). The
affability of a priest was a large factor in a formerly Reformed friend
of mine "re-evaluating" the mass.
With this Unitatis Redintegratio "facelift,"
not only has the old style of dealing with Protestants changed, but even
Reformed language has been misappropriated, further to wrong-foot the
unwary. Now Rome talks about undertaking "with vigor the task … of
reform" (p. 347) and even the need for "continual reformation" (p. 350)!6
Yet Rome’s historic doctrine is that she is unreformable, semper
eadem (always the same), whereas the Reformed position is semper
reformada (always reforming).
Moreover, the Decree of Ecumenism makes a
confession of sin (of sorts): "at times, men of both sides were to
blame" (p. 345) and "in humble prayer, we beg pardon of God and of our
separated brethren, just as we forgive those who trespass against us"
(p. 351). However, "both sides" are said to have sinned and the specific
sins, such as Rome’s heretical doctrines and persecution of Christ’s
church, are not mentioned. Significantly, it is only "men of both
sides" who have trespassed and not the Roman Church itself.
These are all changes in style and tone, but not in
substance, for there is no reformation of Rome’s doctrines, sacraments,
discipline, government or worship. But in our age of tolerance,
"niceness" is seen as of great value, while biblical truth is little
In keeping with Rome’s re-evaluation of, and new
approach to, (liberal) Protestantism, comes a spirit of cooperation
(within limits). Unitatis Redintegratio recommends "common
prayer, where this is permitted" by the Roman hierarchy (pp. 347, 352)
and even "common worship" (p. 352), though only "after due regard has
been given to all the circumstances of time, place, and personage" and
with Roman episcopal authority (pp. 352-353).
Vatican II appreciates the opportunity that
"missionary work, in the same territories as other Christians," provides
for its false ecumenism (pp. 353-354). Many are the Protestant
missionaries who have been seduced by Rome’s wiles while labouring in
far-off lands: "Should we not cooperate with Roman Catholics in order to
face the common enemy of pagan religion?" This was also the ploy that
fooled Jehoshaphat and saw the true church (Judah) teaming up with the
false church (Israel) to fight against the pagans (Syria) in II
The Decree of Ecumenism puts a lot of hope in
"cooperation in social matters" (p. 354) for the "common good" (p. 347),
a key concept in Rome’s social teaching. The decree advises to "start"
with "discussions concerning the application of the gospel to moral
questions" (p. 365). "Social cooperation" between Roman Catholics and
Protestants will show "how the road to the unity of Christians may be
made smooth" (p. 355)—a "unity" under the pope’s "Petrine office" (pp.
Here one thinks of the co-belligerency of
evangelicals and Romanists in the culture wars with secular humanists in
the political realm over, for example, abortion, euthanasia and sodomy.8
It was out of this milieu, and with these concerns, that Evangelicals
and Catholics Together (ECT) was spawned. Among the prominent
evangelical signers of both ECT I, "The Christian Mission in the Third
Millennium" (29 March, 1994),9 and ECT II, "The Gift of
Salvation" (12 November, 1997), are Chuck Colson, Bill Bright, Os
Guinness, Richard Mouw, Mark Noll and J. I. Packer.
Underlying all of these activities, and looming large
in Unitatis Redintegratio (e.g., pp. 347, 353, 358, 361, 362,
363, 364), as well as in all Roman Catholic ecumenical directives and
dealings, is dialogue. This deserves highlighting. Twenty-first century
Romanism does not use interdicts or the stake against the recalcitrant.
Nor are preaching or debates its favoured methods. Worldly-wise Rome
copies the means most favoured for conflict resolution in the modern
political realm: dialogue.
The Decree of Ecumenism recommends that Roman
Catholics take the initiative, "making the first approaches" towards
their "separated brethren" (p. 348). Present at Vatican II were some
eighty observers invited from Eastern Orthodox and "mainline" Protestant
churches. Included were "Mr. Pentecost," David du Plessis (1905-1987),
one of the leading founders of the charismatic movement, and
neo-orthodox theologian, Karl Barth (1886-1968). Protestant ecumenist,
Samuel McCrea Cavert enthuses that Paul VI joined with "Protestant and
[Eastern] Orthodox participants in a service for prayer for unity in
Rome during the last week of the Council" (p. 368). The Roman laity and
clergy that have followed the instruction and example of Vatican II have
discovered that many Protestants are so ignorant of the gospel and of
Roman Catholicism that their advances have been welcomed.
Unitatis Redintegratio emphasises not only the
role of grass-roots Roman Catholics and the priests (pp. 348, 349-350)
but also that of Rome’s bishops and theologians in dialogue. The priests
and these "heavier guns" must especially be trained in "theological and
historical studies" (p. 350) and "other branches of knowledge" (p. 353).
This includes "study" in the "distinctive doctrines" of various
Protestant churches, "as well as of their own history, spiritual and
liturgical life, their religious psychology and cultural background," so
that the Roman apologist is "truly competent" and can engage in
theological "dialogue" with those of a particular Protestant tradition
on "an equal footing" (p. 353).
Dr. Eduardo J. Echeverria is the sort of man
envisaged by Vatican II’s Decree of Ecumenism. He gained his PhD
in philosophy from Abraham Kuyper’s Free University, Amsterdam, and is
well-read in the thought of Herman Bavinck (1854-1921), former Professor
of Theology at that institution. Invited by John Bolt, Echeverria spoke
on "The God of Philosophy and of the Holy Scripture: Herman Bavinck and
John Paul II" as part of the conference, "A Pearl and a Leaven: Herman
Bavinck for the Twenty-First Century," at the Christian Reformed
Church's Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan (18-20
The way of Rome’s ecumenical dialogue is carefully
stated. There may be "variety" "in the theological elaborations of
revealed truth" (p. 349) and "terminology" should be used which is
easily understood by the "separated brethren" (p. 354). The
"formulation" may be modified but Rome’s dogmas must be preserved (p.
350). Moreover, it is "highly important" that the clergy present Rome’s
theology, especially as it concerns said "separated brethren,"
sensitively and "not polemically" (p. 353). One wonders what that
bellicose, papal controversialist Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
would have made of this!
The "prudent ecumenical action" (p. 357) advocated by
the Decree of Ecumenism is to be characterised by "prudence,"
"patience" and "vigilance" (p. 348). It is to be under the "skilful
promotion and prudent guidance" of "bishops everywhere in the world" (p.
350), so that "all the Catholic faithful … participate skilfully in the
work of ecumenism" (p. 347) and all the clergy have "mastered" their
ecumenically sensitive theology (p. 353). Clearly, Rome reckons that
"prudence" is the key to its ecumenical dialogue continuing with greater
speed and success.
Despite setbacks, Rome is making progress in its
false ecumenism through dialogue on every continent with leaders and
members of Christian bodies (at varying speeds): Eastern Orthodox,
Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist, Waldensian,
Pentecostal and Charismatic, as well as with cultists and others. Key to
this is the establishment of common ground. For example, with
Pentecostals and Charismatics, Rome’s commitment to ongoing revelation,
miracles and mystical experiences is stressed.
This is not to deny that there are some Roman
Catholics who take the more traditional approach to converting
Protestants. Two examples are Scott Hahn, a former minister in the
Presbyterian Church in America who (with his wife) wrote Rome Sweet
Home (1993), and Robert Sungenis, author (or editor) of Not by
(1997), attacking sola fide (faith alone); Not by Scripture
Alone (1997), attacking sola Scriptura (Scripture alone); and
Not by Bread Alone (2000) advocating the mass.10 In
our day, Rome’s polemics have slain their thousands, but its false
ecumenism has slain its tens of thousands.
Rome sees all this as one of "the signs of the times"
(p. 347). In this it is right, but not in the way it thinks. Rome’s
false ecumenism is not included in the spread of the gospel (Matt.
24:14); it is part of the rearing up of the abomination of desolation
(v. 15). Apostasy features prominently in the signs of the times (e.g.,
vv. 4-5, 11-12, 24). Increasing unity between (liberal) Protestants and
Rome is not the fruit of God’s grace but the mark of His judgment. God
sends "strong delusion" upon those who receive "not the love of the
truth" so "that they should believe a lie" (II Thess. 2:10-11),
including the lie that is the Church of Rome.
Rome has high expectations that more and more
Protestants will come under its sway: "it is our hope that the
ecumenical spirit and mutual esteem will gradually increase among all
men" (p. 362) and "we confidently look to the future" (p. 365).
Moreover, Rome anticipates not only further progress in its false
ecumenism but also success from its interfaith dialogue with pagan
religions, thus further strengthening its hand as a geopolitical power.
Increasing Roman Catholic membership would bring with
it greater representation and influence in national and
inter-governmental bodies (e.g., US, G8, G20, EU, UN). The kingdom of
man (Dan. 2), which is the kingdom of the beast (Dan. 7), is drawing
nearer. The good news is that Christ will destroy it and give the
everlasting kingdom to the saints (vv. 13-14, 22, 27)!
This decree (Latin: Unitatis Redintegratio, Restoration
of Unity) is found in Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The Documents
of Vatican II (USA: The America Press, 1966). Henceforward, pages in
parentheses refer to this book.
"The Good Pope," John XXIII (1958-1963), is especially noted for
referring to non-Catholics as "our separated brethren."
Robert Zins, Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the
Gospel of Jesus Christ! (USA: White Horse Publications, 1994), pp.
Yet Leo XIII's encyclical Militantis
describes Protestantism as the "Lutheran rebellion, whose evil virus
goes wandering about in almost all nations." What about the
"infallibility" of the pope? Pius X's 1910
encyclical Editae Saepe (on Charles Borromeo) is even worse in
its attack on the Reformers: "Then those proud and rebellious men
came on the scene who are 'enemies of the cross of Christ ... Their god
is the belly ... they mind the things of earth' [Phil. 3:18-19]. These
men were not concerned with correcting morals, but only with denying
dogmas. Thus they increased the chaos. They dropped the reins of law,
and unbridled licentiousness ran wild. They despised the authoritative
guidance of the church and pandered to the whims of the dissolute
princes and people. They tried to destroy the Church's doctrine,
constitution and discipline. They were similar to those sinners who were
warned long ago: 'Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil' [Isa.
5:20]. They called this rebellious riot and perversion of faith and
morals a reformation, and themselves reformers. In reality, they were
corrupters. In undermining the strength of Europe through wars and
dissensions, they paved the way for those modern rebellions and
apostasy. This modern warfare has united and renewed in one attack the
three kinds of attack which have up until now been separated, namely,
the bloody conflicts of the first ages, the internal pests of heresies,
and finally, in the name of evangelical liberty, the vicious corruption
and perversion of discipline such as was unknown, perhaps, even in
This message is not being heeded, e.g., in the southern Mexican states
of Chiapas and Oaxaca, where Evangelicals are being persecuted by Roman
In his "A Response," Protestant ecumenist, Samuel McCrea Cavert,
foolishly sees this as "especially gratifying" (p. 368).
For more, listen to an eight-sermon series, "Jehoshaphat,
the Ecumenical King" (II Chron. 17-20; II Kings 3).
Co-belligerency with Roman Catholics against humanists proceeds on the
fallacy that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Cf. Kevin Reed, Making Shipwreck of the Faith: Evangelicals and Roman
Catholics Together (Dallas, TX: Protestant Heritage Press, 1995).
10 Sungenis is a geocentrist who has persistently been charged
with anti-Semitism, one element in his conflict with his bishop.
(8) Rome's Syncretism with Pagan
Declaration on the Relationship of the Church
to Non-Christian Religions (1965)
Given the Roman Church’s false ecumenism with the
Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans and Protestants, it is no surprise that it
is engaged in syncretism with pagan religions.1 After all,
Jehoshaphat’s false ecumenism with the apostate Northern Kingdom (II
Chron. 18; 20:31-37) led him into syncretism with pagan Edom (II
Kings 3). Rome has always been syncretistic to some degree. Witness its
compromises in the conversion of the barbarians in Northern and Eastern
Europe or the acceptance of pagan elements in its missionary work in
Asia (where a Jesuit, Francis Xavier, even went too far for the pope),
Central and South America, and Africa. In God’s just judgment, those who
are willing to sell the truth of His Word in exchange for worldly,
economic or political gain find it hard to stop.2 With
apostate churches, like Rome, things are far worse than we imagine; just
read Ezekiel 8.
Vatican II (1962-1965) gives modern Rome’s creedal
position on both its false ecumenism (the Decree of Ecumenism
) and syncretism (the Declaration on the Relationship of the
Church to Non-Christian Religions ).3 The latter is
the shortest of Vatican II’s 16 documents and is named Nostra Aetate
in Latin (In Our Age).
The Declaration on the Relationship of the Church
to Non-Christian Religions deliberately and explicitly emphasises,
and "gives primary consideration" to (p. 660), "common" ground (pp. 660,
663, 665) between Roman Catholicism and pagan religions. After a
somewhat philosophical introduction, which seeks to find some lowest
common denominator in man’s humanity and religiosity, and a paragraph
outlining the evolutionary idea of the development of religion (pp.
660-661), Nostra Aetate turns to various religions, starting with
those "farthest" from Christianity before coming to those "nearest" to
it (pp. 661-667).4
Hinduism, Buddhism and Other Religions
Despite its 330 million gods, holy cows, animal
sacrifices and caste system, the Declaration on the Relationship of
the Church to Non-Christian Religions finds in Hinduism, the
religion of some 1 billion people, many of whom are in India, "a certain
perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things
and over the events of human life" (p. 661):
… in Hinduism men contemplate the divine mystery
and express it through an unspent fruitfulness of myths and through
searching philosophical inquiry. They seek release from the anguish
of our condition through ascetical practices or deep meditation or a
loving, trusting flight toward God (pp. 661-662).
Like Hinduism, out of which it arose, atheistic
Buddhism teaches reincarnation. On this religion, found predominately in
East Asia and numbering about 400 million followers, Nostra Aetate
Buddhism in its multiple forms acknowledges the
radical insufficiency of this shifting world. It teaches a path by
which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a
state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their
own efforts or by higher assistance (p. 662).
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual
leader of Tibetan Buddhism, is a frequent visitor to the Vatican, for
dialogue with the pope on promoting global religious peace.
Sikhism, Jainism, African religions and native
American religions are included in this catch-all statement dealing with
smaller, less well-known religions: "Likewise, other religions to be
found everywhere strive variously to answer the restless searchings of
the human heart by proposing ‘ways,’ which consist of teachings, rules
of life, and sacred ceremonies" (p. 662).
Rome believes that there are things which are "true
and holy in these religions" and in their "ways of conduct and of life,"
for they "often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men"
The world’s 1.5 billion or so Muslims are mostly in
Islamic countries and provinces centred in, and spread out from, the
Middle East, with wars and conflicts on many of their borders with
non-Muslims. Rome states,
Upon the Moslems, too, the Church looks with
esteem. They adore one God, living and enduring, merciful and
all-powerful, Maker of heaven and earth and Speaker to men. They
strive to submit wholeheartedly even to His inscrutable decrees,
just as did Abraham, with whom the Islamic faith is pleased to
associate itself. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they
revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin mother; at
times they call on her, too, with devotion. In addition they await
the day of judgment when God will give each man his due after
raising him up. Consequently, they prize the moral life, and give
worship to God especially through prayer, almsgiving, and fasting
Yet, just to take one example, Pope Urban II declared
full remission of all sin for all who would die travelling to, or
fighting in, the first crusade (1095)!6
What an about-face in Rome's
views of Islam from the days of the crusades or even a century ago!
Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
(1964) is even more explicit: "along with us,
[the Muslims] adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will
judge mankind" (p. 35). Speaking to Muslims in
Casablanca in Morocco, John Paul II affirmed, "We believe in the same
God, the one and only God, the living God, the God who creates worlds
and brings creatures to their perfection" (8 August, 1985).7
When in Turkey (28 November – 1 December, 2006), Benedict XVI, unpopular
with many Roman Catholics for being "too conservative," declared that
Christians and Muslims praise the same God.8
What! Islam believes in and worships the same God as
Christianity! Even though it denounces the Trinity as blasphemy, rejects
the Deity of the Son of God, denies Christ's
crucifixion and atonement on the cross, and decries the inspired
Scriptures as hopelessly corrupt! A few
centuries before, irate Roman Catholics would have called for the
burning of John Paul II and Benedict XVI at the stake for this, and
Vatican II would have been denounced as an assembly of heretics!
The Declaration on the Relationship of the Church
to Non-Christian Religions reserves its longest treatment for
Judaism, a religion with some 12-25 million followers (pp. 663-667).
Abraham, Moses, the prophets, Christ, the apostles and "most of the
early disciples" were Jews; the Old Testament is used by both Jews and
Christians; and "the Jews still remain most dear to God" (p. 664). In
Our Age continues,
Since the spiritual patrimony common to
Christians and Jews is so great, this sacred Synod wishes to foster
and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the
fruit above all of biblical and theological studies, and of
brotherly dialogues (p. 665).
The Jews' role in the crucifixion of Christ and Rome's
historic anti-Semitism are explained away in a politically correct way
"Mother" Teresa of Calcutta
A prime example of Rome's
syncretism is seen in "Mother" Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997),
darling of Roman Catholics and liberal Protestants, who is being
fast-tracked for canonization as a Roman Catholic "saint."
"Mother" Teresa declared: "If in coming face to
face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We
become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better [Roman] Catholic, a
better whatever we are ... What God is in your mind you must
"Mother" Teresa also participated in a "Summit
for Peace" in Assisi, Italy, in November, 1986. This blasphemous
prayer meeting was arranged by Pope John Paul II and was attended by
leaders of pagan religions, including Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic,
Shinto, Sikh and North American Indian—all of whom united in prayers
for world peace.9
"Outside the [Roman] Church There Is No Salvation"?
What then of the famous formula, taken by Rome historically in a
self-serving sense: "outside
the [Roman] Church there is no salvation"? Robert Zins lists various
proclamations by popes and Roman councils
from AD 585 to 1950, stating Rome's
For instance, the Council of Florence (1438) declared,
It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that
those not living within the [Roman] Catholic Church, not only
pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become
participants in eternal life, but will depart
‘into everlasting fire which was prepared for
the devil and his angels’
However, in Vatican II's
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964),
"outside the [Roman]
Church there is no salvation" is taken to mean "Whosoever … knowing that
the [Roman] Catholic Church was made necessary by God through Jesus
Christ, would refuse to enter her or to remain in her could not be
saved" (pp. 32-33).
This does not exclude Jews or Muslims (pp. 34-35),
for they are also included in "the plan of salvation" (p. 35). Moreover,
"good" people can be saved in any religion or none.
Those also can attain to everlasting salvation
who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ
or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by
their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the
dictates of their conscience (p. 35).
Keith A. Mathison sums it up well:
The papal bulls Unam Sanctam (1302) and
Cantate Domine (1441) expressly state that there is absolutely
no possibility of salvation for any man outside of visible union
with the Roman Catholic church and subjection to the bishop of Rome.
The decrees of Vatican II (1962-65), however, expressly allow for
the possibility of salvation, not only for non-Roman Catholic
Christians, but also for Jews, Muslims, pagans and even those
without an "explicit knowledge of God."12
The Holy See has clearly given up its historic view
of all other religions (and churches!) as false and idolatrous, for now
people can be saved in them! Another U-turn, euphemistically called
aggiornamento (Italian for
Rome still sees itself as the church ordained by Christ upon
Peter, possessing "the
very fullness of grace and truth,"
as the Decree of Ecumenism puts it (p. 346). But—and
this is the key point—whatever
measure of grace and truth is in the other religions (or churches) leads
back to Rome as the apex and fulfilment of all religion, for it is
Christ's one, holy,
catholic and apostolic church.
In its evaluation of pagan religions, as throughout
its theology, Rome is opposed to God's
Word. All religions are false and idolatrous that do not worship the
Triune God of the Bible revealed in the cross of the Son of God (first
commandment) as He has laid down in the Holy Scriptures (second
commandment). Those who follow pagan religions are idolaters. In fact,
they are serving demons, as both the Old Testament (Lev. 17:7; Deut.
32:17; II Chron. 11:15; Ps. 106:37) and the New (I Cor. 10:20-21; Rev.
9:20) repeatedly declare.14
The Holy See rejects
the scriptural position against paganism because it is thoroughly
riddled with higher criticism of the Bible, evolutionism and humanism;
and it is pagan and idolatrous itself. Furthermore, the spirit of the
ungodly world wants and promotes syncretism (and ecumenism). Syncretism
is seen as the way of promoting world peace. This is evident from the
policies and work of many national governments, the United Nations and
various non-governmental bodies, such as the Tony Blair Faith Foundation
This is the purpose too with modern compendia of the texts of various
Consider, for example, the annual interfaith
congress "The Future of God," inspired by the Vatican and the UN and
held in October 2003 in Fátima, Portugal, the scene of alleged Marian
appearances. The Portugal News (1 November, 2003) reported,
One of the principle speakers, the [Roman
Catholic] Jesuit theologian Father Jacques Dupuis, was insistent
that the religions of the world must unite. "The religion of the
future will be a general converging of religions in a universal
Christ that will satisfy all," he said. The Belgium-born theologian
argued: "The other religious traditions in the world are part of
God’s plan for humanity, and the Holy Spirit is operating and
present in Buddhist, Hindu, and other sacred writings of Christian
and non-Christian faiths as well." In an impassioned plea he said:
"The universality of God’s kingdom permits this, and this is nothing
more than a diversified form of sharing in the same mystery of
salvation. In the end, it is hoped that the Christian will become a
better Christian and each Hindu a better Hindu." An official
statement put out by the Congress called for a non-proselytising
approach by all religions. "What is needed is that each religion be
true to its faith integrally and treat each religion on the same
footing of equality with no inferior or superiority complexes." It
emphasized that the secret to peace amongst all religions is
admitting that contradictions exist between creeds but to
concentrate on what unites them, as opposed to what separates them.17
Goal and Methods of Rome’s Syncretism
The goal of Rome’s syncretism (like the goal of its
false ecumenism) is the absorption and assimilation of all religions
(and churches) into one worldwide religion (and church)—itself! The
methods of its syncretism mirror those of its false ecumenism: honeyed
words and common social activities: "… prudently and lovingly, through
dialogue and collaboration … acknowledge, preserve and promote the
spiritual and moral goods found among these men, as well as the values
in their society and culture" (pp. 662-663) and "make common cause of
safeguarding and fostering social justice, moral values, peace, and
freedom" (p. 663). Rome’s number 1 means of syncretism is, of course,
dialogue (pp. 662, 665)! If evolutionism reckons that everything has
come (eventually) through time and chance, Rome reckons
everything will come its way (eventually) through time and dialogue.
With all the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and
Protestant churches and others under Rome's
wing through false ecumenism and all the pagans under its umbrella
through syncretism, the pope would have the whole world in his hands.
We will conclude by
considering Rome’s credentials and gospel as it seeks world dominion.
False ecumenism is illegitimate communion between groups claiming
to be Christian; syncretism is illegitimate communion between those
claiming to be Christian and pagans.
Apostate Protestants and the World Council of Churches are also
engaged in both false ecumenism and syncretism with paganism for the
Both documents are found it Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The
Documents of Vatican II [USA: The America Press, 1966], p. 345).
Henceforward, pages in parentheses refer to this book. By "Church,"
Roman Catholic authors mean the Roman Catholic Church; by "Catholic,"
they mean Roman Catholic.
Rome works the other way, from those religions "nearest" to it to
those "farthest" from it, in two shorter treatments of this subject:
Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964) (pp.
34-35) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (USA: Doubleday,
1995), pp. 242-243.
Rome’s syncretism with Islam (like all syncretism) is a two-edged
sword. Rome sees it as a way to win Muslims to itself, while devout
Muslims seek to use it to draw Roman Catholics to Islamic Unitarianism
(cf. Malachi Martin, The Keys of This
Blood: The Struggle for World Dominion Between Pope John Paul II,
Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Capitalist West
[New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990], p. 285).
Koran teaches that Allah will bring all those dying in jihad against the
infidels straight to paradise where they will be surrounded by many
virgins with big eyes.
RC Committee for Other Faiths, "Other Faiths: What Does the Church
Teach?" (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1986), p. 27.
There is, of course, a sense in which Roman Catholics and pagans
do worship the same god: their father below (John 8:44).
Robert Zins, Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel
of Jesus Christ! (USA: White Horse Publications, 1994), pp. 202-205.
Quoted in Zins,
Romanism, p. 203.
Keith A. Mathison,
The Shape of Sola Scriptura (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2001), p. 135,
states, "The two doctrines [of Unam Sanctam, on the one hand, and
Vatican II, on the other] are in direct and complete contradiction with
each other, and no amount of explanation can hide that plain fact."
Logically, "they cannot both be true" and "the second cannot be
seriously considered a 'development' of the first" (Sola Scriptura,
p. 135, n. 25). This a prime example of what Mathison, following Heiko
Oberman, calls Rome's recent doctrine of "Tradition III:" "Rather than
Scripture (and/or tradition), [the] single source of revelation is the
present Roman Magisterium" (p. 134).
For a modern, irenic critique of inclusivism (similar to what I am
calling syncretism), see Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson
(eds.), Faith Comes by Hearing: A Response to Inclusivism
(Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2008).
The website of the TBFF carries endorsements for the inter-faith
work of Tony Blair (Roman Catholic convert and former prime minister of
the UK) from, amongst others, Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury),
Nicky Gumbel (Alpha Course) and Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life). The
TBFF is helping to set up Abraham House in central London, where members
of the three "Abrahamic faiths," Judaism, Christianity and Islam, can
"discover what they share," "tackle their differences" and "work for a
more peaceful and just world."
For instance, World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of
Sacred Texts (USA: Paragon House, 1995), which contains citations
from the books of over twenty different religions, states its purpose:
"One guiding principle behind
World Scripture is that all religions are connected to the same
Ultimate Reality and lead people toward a common goal" (p. 33), which
is, as the preface puts it, "peace on earth" (p. xiv). As one would
expect, the advisors and contributors include Roman Catholics.
(9) Rome’s Goal of World Dominion
Malachi Martin in his entertaining, though somewhat
long-winded, The Keys of This Blood (1990) claims, "we are all
involved in an all-out, no-holds-barred, three-way global competition."1
The three contenders to establish the first ever one-world system of
government are the communist Soviet Union, led by Mikhail Gorbachev; the
democratic capitalists of the West, led by the US president; and the
Roman Catholic Church, led by John Paul II. The "new world government"
with its "legislative, executive and judiciary authority and control,"
Roman priest Martin reckoned, "will be introduced and installed in our
midst by the end of this final decade of the second millennium."2
Former Jesuit Martin was wrong: wrong about dates
(the end of the 1990s has come and gone) and wrong about the main
competitors, especially the Soviet Union. By late 1991, the USSR had
broken up and Gorbachev had resigned. The nations of the old Soviet bloc
are no longer under totalitarian communism, and even China’s communism,
since the late 1970s,
has engaged in major market reforms and
taken some steps towards pluralism. The West,
including the European Union (EU) and the United States, has, however,
taken several steps towards its former adversary:
socialism, big government and limitation of free speech (through
Today, it is widely expected that China and India
(with their huge populations and fast economic growth) and the expanding
EU will be major players on the world stage in the days ahead.3
The rise in the number (and zeal) of Muslims, the world’s dependence on
oil from the Middle East and Iran’s efforts to obtain the nuclear bomb
give the Islamic nations a more significant role in world affairs.4
Globalisation continues apace. Increased global
travel and improved global communications have led to the idea of the
world as a "global village." Many of the world’s current problems are
seen as global in dimension needing a global solution by the global
community: global warming, global pandemics (e.g., bird flu, swine flu),
global recession, global Islamic terrorism, etc. More and more, intergovernmental bodies, like the G8, the G20, the EU
and the UN, are seen as mankind’s best hope, and many want their powers
increased. At his very first press conference as the first president of
the EU, former Belgian prime minister, Herman Van Rompuy (referring to
the recent G20 Conference), "hailed 2009 as 'the first year of global
governance,' and went on to describe the Copenhagen Climate Summit as
'another step toward the global management of our planet.'"5
Malachi Martin was right, though, in his central
contention. The Roman church—the oldest, the largest and (possibly) the
wealthiest institution in the world—cannot be left out of the equation.
Its goal is world dominion, and the pope "is by definition the world’s
first fully fledged geopolitical leader."6
John Paul II insisted,
… the hard, intractable problems of the
world—hunger, violation of human dignity and human rights, war and
violence, economic oppression, political persecution—any and all of
these can be solved only by acceptance and implementation of the
message of Christ’s revelation announced by the papacy and the Roman
All the various players seeking to influence or
control the world want a world of peace and prosperity. They differ as
to the nature of this peace and how to achieve it.
For instance, communism has an eschatology or view of
the end times and an accompanying calling. By means of both violent and
peaceful revolutions, communism seeks the establishment of an
egalitarian, classless society throughout the world based on common
ownership of property and control of the means of production.
Islam believes in, and works towards, the day when
the "house of war" (all the non-Islamic world)
will be brought into the "house of peace" (the
Islamic world), under Allah and sharia
The means to achieve this end is jihad
(struggle or striving): "jihad of the tongue"
(Islamic mission), "jihad of the womb" (very
high Islamic birth rates) and "jihad of the sword
[or bomb]" (Islamic terrorism).
It has been said that the more radical Muslims differ from the more
moderate ones in that the former (unlike the latter) believe that the
world will soon be Islamic and that this can be hastened by
Roman Catholicism confesses itself to be
one, holy, catholic and apostolic church headed by the pope, the
"Successor of Peter the Prince of the Apostles," the "Supreme Pontiff of
the Universal Church," the "Vicar of Christ" and the "Holy Father." As
such, it is no wonder that John Paul II, in pursuance of world dominion,
as God’s vicegerent on earth, pledged "himself; his personal persona;
the age-old Petrine office he [embodied]; and his entire Church
Universal, both as an institutional organization unparalleled in the
world and as a body of believers united by a bond of mystical
John Paul II’s "ambition went very far," continues Martin, for the
pontiff, viewing himself "as the servant of God," believes that
the papacy will "slowly prepare all men and women, in their earthly
condition, for eternal salvation in the Heaven of God’s glory."10
The pope is not just some harmless, old man.
The biblical position is that Christ’s kingdom is not
of this world and does not come with observation (Luke 17:20-21; John
18:36-37; Rom. 14:17); the church is a "remnant" (Micah 4:6-7; Luke
12:32; I Cor. 1:27-29); and God’s gracious purposes are completed in
this age not with the Christianisation of the world but with the
conversion of the last member of Christ’s elect body (II Peter 3:9).
Christ’s promise that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5) is
fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth after His bodily return.
In this series, we have already considered the
antiquity, size and geographical spread of the Roman Catholic Church, as
well as its political history, positions and power. Now we need to look
at Rome’s "gospel" as a means to furthering its religious and political
The pope claims to be the "father" of every human
being, whether he or she be a Roman Catholic or of some other religion
or none. In turn, every person on the globe is a son or daughter of the
pope—including Joseph Stalin, whom the pope called, "My son, Joseph"11—for
Christ has entrusted the world to the care of the man in the Vatican.
Since all are the children of God, all are the children of the pope
(from the Latin papa, meaning father). Therefore, the pope has
everyone’s best interests at heart.
Being the children of God, all men, head for head,
are, necessarily, in the image of God, for children bear the image of
their father.12 Thus Rome emphatically denies that man is
totally depraved, and it boasts in man’s free will. Salvation is by the
will, works and merit of the sinner. Not surprisingly, in Rome’s
theology, God loves everyone (common grace) and wants to save everyone
(free offer). In keeping with all this, Christ died on the cross for all
Usefulness of Rome’s Gospel
Rome’s false gospel serves it well in its false
ecumenism with the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, liberal Protestants,
Charismatics, cultists, etc., for all these groups are Arminian,
Semi-Pelagian or Pelagian. They all believe that all men are sons of God
in the image of God possessing free will. They all hold to a universal
love of God, a universal atonement, and universal grace. The papal
church realises this and uses it to its advantage, for instance, in
Vatican II’s Decree of Ecumenism (1964), which begins by
declaring that God loves everybody and Christ died for everybody.14
Rome’s gospel is likewise invaluable in its
syncretism with those of pagan religions. God’s love for all head for
head (common grace and the free offer), no matter what they believe or
how they live, is taught early and repeatedly in the Declaration on
the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (1965)
(pp. 661, 664, 667). Moreover, God "is the Father of all" and all are in
"God’s image" (p. 667). This Vatican II document is based upon Rome’s
historic position on natural theology and natural religion, that without
the biblical revelation—merely through creation, providence and
conscience—man can know, serve and please God.
The Holy See’s false gospel not only promotes its
false ecumenism with professing Christians and syncretism with those of
pagan religions; it also serves to reach out to the humanists. Rome’s
common-grace, free-offer and Arminian theology is a very inoffensive
perversion of the gospel of Christ, for it tells unbelieving man that he
is God’s image-bearer and son, the recipient of God’s love and grace and
that his salvation depends on his use of free will to accept Christ’s
death for him. In keeping with this man-centred gospel is Rome’s
advocacy of humanistic ideas of human rights and dignity (pp. 355, 667),
plus its firm belief in evolutionism.
Roman Catholicism is a wonderfully attractive
religion for the carnal man (whether liberal Protestant, pagan or
humanist, etc.): its tradition, its buildings, its wealth, its
pageantry. It appeals to the senses with its "smells and bells." It is
also extremely broad and elastic, for Rome has a way of making Christian
doctrine and the Ten Commandments almost completely unrestrictive. Roman
religion can be as hard as you want (with lots of scope for works and
merit) or as easy as you want (with your money, the priests and the
church doing it all for you). It has just enough of God’s Word to salve
consciences but not enough to bother people unduly. Roman Catholicism,
as Jaroslav Pelikan puts it, "seeks to give everyone as much
Christianity as his present situation permits him to bear."15
On the basis of her tradition but contrary to the
Bible, Rome teaches Mary's
immaculate conception (1854) and assumption into heaven (1950). Roman
Catholics claim that Mary is the patroness of at least 63 countries,
though usually under a specific title or apparition. The Holy See puts a
great deal of hope in Mary's
power—as Mother of God,
Queen of Heaven and the one to whom Christ and the pope have entrusted
the world—to unite the
world under the papacy.
idolatrous view of Mary helps her in false ecumenism with the Eastern
Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox, as well as with some Anglicans,
Lutherans and Methodists. It is of service in her syncretism with pagan
religions because many of them also engage in goddess worship. It is
even of use in Rome's
dialogue with Muslims, for Islam holds that Mary is the virgin mother of
Jesus and the most righteous Muslim woman. Mary is the only woman
mentioned by name in the Koran and the nineteenth sura of the Koran is
named after her. Mary, as the feminine side of Roman Catholicism, helps
Rome with New Agers and women generally.
What do the many apparitions of Mary around the world
All the religions are basically the same and must
come together for peace. Offering an ecumenical [and syncretistic]
gospel that can be "accepted by Catholic, Protestant, Moslem or
Jew," "Mary" declares: "Everyone worships God in his own way with
peace in our hearts." So says Our Lady of Medjuggorje in Southern
Bosnia-Herzegovina, where visionaries claim the Virgin has been
appearing daily for the past 13 years.16
American Roman Catholic Bishop and radio and
television personality, Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)
reckoned it remarkable that
… "our Lady" had the foresight to appear in the
Portuguese village of Fatima (named after Muhammad’s daughter during
the Muslim occupation) and thus became known as "Our Lady of
Fatima." It is a fact that when a statue of "Our Lady of Fatima" is
carried through Muslim areas of Africa, India, and elsewhere,
Muslims turn out by the hundreds of thousands to worship her. In two
days an estimated 500,000 came to give their respects to their idol
in Bombay, India.17
So what does the future hold? Before the triumphant
return of Jesus Christ, the worldwide kingdom of Antichrist will be
established (Rev. 13; 17; 18). The final Antichristian kingdom will have
traits like those of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, the Medo-Persian Empire,
Alexander the Great’s Greece and the Roman Empire (Rev. 13:1-2; cf. Dan.
7). All will be required to worship the beast (Antichrist), including
the (apostate) visible church (Rev. 13:11-18; II Thess. 2:3-4).18
Given the age, size, wealth and power of the Holy
See; its history of political alliances and intrigue; and its policies
and success in false ecumenism and syncretism; it is in a unique
position to unite all churches and religions in the worship of the
beast. No serious contender for this role is evident in our day. Also,
Rome’s theology and worship is a "good fit," for it is a peculiar
amalgam of "Christianity" (II Thess. 2:3-4; I John 2:18-19; 4:1-6) and
humanism ("the number of the beast is the number of … man;" Rev.
Certainly, papal Rome bas been central in "Babylon
the Great, the Mother of Harlots" (Rev. 17) and the false prophet (Rev.
13:11-18) in the history of the New Testament church age. Yet when we
speak of the days ahead, we must remain open to correction, for we do
not know how long it is before Christ returns (though it is drawing
nearer) and it is God’s prerogative alone to know the future. Moreover,
the precise interplay between the political and religious aspects of
Antichrist may well be complex.
If this analysis is correct, we would expect Rome to
become more and more the leader of apostate Christendom and paganism,
until eventually it assimilates all religions to itself—apart from the
worship of those written in the Lamb’s book of life! Rome will doubtless
experience ups and downs and will respond to changing world events from
time to time and from situation to situation as it deems will best gain
This would mean too that Rome’s religious and
geopolitical goal is also its destiny, according to God’s
eternal decree. But just when the Babylonian harlot and the false
prophet are at their most powerful, they will be destroyed according to
the just judgment of the Almighty (Rev. 17:16-17; 19:20).
In the typical Antichristian Roman Empire of the
past, all roads led to Rome. In the Antichristian Roman Church of the
present, all churches and religions lead to Rome. In the Antichristian
kingdom of the future, Rome will lead all churches and religions to the
But do not fear! Hold fast to the truth of God’s
Word! Beware of all false doctrine and worship from whatever source. By
God’s grace, guard against even the beginning of apostasy. The Lord
Jesus will soon return with His mighty angels to take vengeance on
Antichrist and the false church and all who obey not the gospel. Christ
shall forever be admired in all who believe and all our tears will be
wiped away (II Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 21:4)!
Malachi Martin, The Keys of This Blood: The Struggle for World
Dominion Between Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990), p. 15.
Martin, The Keys of This Blood, p. 16.
China’s rate of growth has been especially high, though India is
catching up. One of the great fears of the West is China’s rising
influence in poor and/or developing countries (especially in sub-Saharan
Conspiracy theorists would include the Masons, the Illuminati, the
Bilderberg Group and a
Jewish cabal as plotting to take over the world.
Daniel Hannan, The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to
America (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), p. 57.
Martin, The Keys of This Blood, p. 143.
Martin, The Keys of This Blood, p. 74.
Here there is a parallel between Islam’s eschatology and
postmillennial theonomy, which sees the whole world being Christianised
and all of society under Old Testament law.
Martin, The Keys of This Blood, p. 17.
Martin, The Keys of This Blood, p. 25; italics mine.
Martin, The Keys of This Blood, p. 132.
E.g., Rome’s common-grace, free-offer and Arminian theology runs
through the whole of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (USA:
Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The Documents of Vatican II
(USA: The America Press, 1966), p. 343. Henceforward, pages in
parenthesis refer to this book.
Jaroslav Pelikan, The Riddle of Roman Catholicism (USA:
Abingdon Press, 1959), p. 230. On the same page, Pelikan quotes Adolf
Harnack with approval: "The raison
d’etre of the [Roman] catholic church is quite incontestable.
Anyone who takes men as they are, and as they will remain for many
generations to come, cannot doubt the justifiability of this world-wide
institution. This church goes right on nourishing saints, and at the
same time it teaches the rest of its children ‘to hurl their spears and
honor the gods,’ that is, to take religion as the masses have always
taken it and as the masses require it. What more do you want?"
Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast (Eugene, OR: Harvest
House, 1994), p. 454.
Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, p. 458. For other material
on Mary’s role promoting the one world religion of Antichrist, see pp.
435, 439, 441, 453ff.
For more, see the exposition of the relevant parts of Revelation
in Herman Hoeksema, Behold
He Cometh (USA: RFPA, 1969).
Cf. Albert Lévitt,
Vaticanism: The Political Principles of the Roman Catholic Church
(New York: Vantage Press, 1960), p. 23; Thomas J. Reese, Inside the
Vatican (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), p. 272.