The Apple Of God's Eye

April 25, 2011

How Rome Counterfeited God’s Holy Days

pacinst.com

There are millions of  professing Christians in the world today — everyone of them, in greater or lesser degree, practicing the pagan mysteries of ancient Babylon!

How could the world believe that its hundreds of competitive sects and denominations are the one true Church of God? — and believe that its heathen customs and holidays supersede the authority of the Bible?

What Is the “Mystery of Babylon”?

Admittedly the customs of the Protestant world came from the Roman Catholic Church; but how did Rome fall heir to the “Mystery of Babylon?” Here is the answer!

In Revelation 17:5, an angel reveals to the apostle John, in symbol, the professing Christian world of today. Notice what kind of world it is! It is dominated by a “Mother Church” — symbolized by a fallen woman — whose name is “a mystery, ‘BABYLON THE GREAT, the Mother of the Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth.'”

That is her real name! She is named after the city Babylon! But why is this great church not called the mystery of “Nineveh,” or the mystery of “Sidon,” or “Athens,” or “Thebes”? — all famous cities of the ancient world in which competitive pagan mystery religions were located. Why is it called specifically the mystery of “Babylon”? How did the “Babylonian mysteries- migrate to Rome? And what were the customs or mysteries that specifically distinguished the city of Babylon from the other centers of mystery cults?

First, notice what a “mystery” is. A mystery is secret knowledge revealed only to an inner circle, not to outsiders in general. Paul speaks of the teaching of the true Church as a Mystery. “Now to the one able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent through the times of ages, but now is manifested,” he wrote in Rom. 16:25-26. This mystery includes the knowledge God has revealed in the Bible. But the Bible is written in such a way that the world, which is carnally minded, cannot understand it. It is a mystery to the world!

Those who constitute the true Church of God are also called the “mystery of God” in Revelation 10:7. (more…)

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April 23, 2011

Catholics Have It Wrong On Jesus’ Time In The Grave

Editors Comment: This is a great article about the fallacy of the Catholic Church’s timing of how long Christ was really in the grave, to suit their doctrinal errors. It is from the Trumpet.com, and written by columnist Stephen Flurry. Check it out .

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newcreationperson.wordpress.com

It is commonly assumed that Jesus was crucified on a Friday afternoon and then rose from the dead a day and a half later around sunrise on Sunday morning. But if Jesus died on Friday and vacated His tomb at dawn on Sunday, how does that amount to three days and three nights, the time frame Christ established as proof of His Messiahship?

That’s the intriguing question posed by USA Today last week. Sadly, the article attempted to explain away the sure prophecy of Christ by holding up weak arguments presented by biblical scholars. One “expert” actually reasoned that Jesus didn’t intend for His words in Matthew 12:40 to be a “precise” measure of time!

Even Pope Benedict xvi, the article informs, wrestles with the three-day time frame in his book about Christ’s last days. According to the pope, “There is no direct scriptural testimony pointing to the ‘third day.’”

No scriptural testimony? When the Pharisees asked Christ for a sign as proof of His Messiahship, being in the grave three full days and three full nights was the one and only sign Jesus gave. He meant what He said. In another passage, He even referred to the daylight portion of a day as including 12 hours (John 11:9).

So when Jesus said three days and three nights, He meant 72 hours—no more, no less. That is the plain testimony of Scripture.

When it comes to the Easter sunrise service, however, there is no scriptural testimony to observe that man-made holiday. The word “Easter” appears once in the Bible—in Acts 12:4—and only in the King James Version. Hastings Bible Dictionary and other translations of the Bible correctly render this word, pascha—as it is translated in every other instance it appears in the Bible—as Passover. The Bible says that Jesus Christ was crucified on Passover (Matthew 26:2). (more…)

Thousands Of Priests ‘In Illicit Relationships’

Filed under: Catholic Church — melchia @ 4:25 pm

atheistictemple.blogspot.com

Thousands of Catholic priests are in illicit relationships with both men and women in contravention of the Vatican’s teachings on celibacy and homosexuality, a new book by an investigative journalist
has claimed.

Carmelo Abbate spent months undercover documenting a “hidden world” in which heterosexual priests have children with women who can never be their wives, and gay priests of many different nationalities visit nightclubs in Rome and pay for sex with escorts. His book, Sex and the Vatican: A secret journey in the reign of the chaste, was published in Italian yesterday. … “The purpose of the book is not to shame Catholic clergy, it is to expose the hypocrisy and double standards of the church,” Mr. Abbate, an award-winning investigative reporter, told the Daily Telegraph.

“There are priests with children but the kids cannot talk to their fathers in public for fear of their situation being discovered. There is a culture of omerta (silence) in which the church pretends not to know about any of this. If the authorities do find out, they just cover it up so as to avoid any scandal.” …

He cited research which suggests that as many as a third of Catholic priests in the United States are gay and a quarter are in heterosexual relationships with women. Similar statistics have been reported in Germany and Austria. …

February 12, 2011

What Did Christ Look Like In The Flesh?

pressthat.wordpress.com

The debate on what Jesus Christ looked like in the flesh has many contradictions. The Bible does not give an exact description of Jesus, but a simple study of the Bible shows that Christ could not have looked as modern pictures or movies represent Him.

As a human being, Jesus Christ was a Jew (Heb. 7:14) and looked like a normal Jewish man of His time. He was also a carpenter, working outdoors. That means He was tanned in the summer and wind-burnt in the winter, with a healthy, weathered look about Him. Since carpenters at the time of Christ were also familiar with stone masonry, Christ would have been muscular enough to carry and place large stones in homes and buildings. He was definitely not weak and feminine looking like modern pictures depict Him.

Bible description of Christ

The only Biblical description of Jesus Christ in the flesh is given as this: “[H]e hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isa. 53:2). In other words, Christ had no distinguishing features or handsomeness that made Him stand out in a crowd. He even used this fact to His own advantage many times. He was able to escape harm by blending safely into a mass of other Jews on more than one occasion. Remember also, Judas had to point Him out to the authorities with a kiss (Matt. 26:48-50).

It is also important to recognize that the Jews of Christ’s day considered it a great shame for a man to have long hair (1 Cor. 11:14). So Christ would never have looked like the pampered, long-haired, easy-to-point-out man modern pictures make Him appear to be.

Other than these conclusions, we have no more information about his actual physical countenance. In fact, anything else is a matter of speculation and uncertainty. The New Testament is likely silent on these points because it is more important to center attention on the message, rather than the messenger.

Idolatrous image of Christ

Still, there is a general “standardized appearance of Christ that is largely accepted today. The image of a fully-bearded Jesus with long hair did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. Earlier images were much more varied. Beliefs that certain images are historically authentic, or have acquired an authoritative status from church tradition, remain powerful in both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. The Shroud of Turin is now the best-known example, though the Image of Edessa and the Veil of Veronica were better known in medieval times.” (Wikipedia)

The modern depiction of Christ is wrong, of course, but that hasn’t deterred Christianity at large from  using that false image in an idolatrous way through pictures, on crosses, etc. But God wants us to think of Jesus Christ as He actually is today. The Bible states:

“His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters” (Rev. 1:14-15).

As the living Son of God, Jesus Christ’s face shines with fiery brilliance. His spirit body burns like molten brass. We could not look into His face and not be harmed by the experience. All false representations of Christ through crucifixes, pictures and statues fail miserably to represent Him as He truly is. They are wholly false and must be discarded if true Christians are to worship God in spirit and in truth.

Pope Pius XII Is No Saint: History Reveals A Narrow Spirit And Heart While Millions Died

ivarfjeld.wordpress.com

“Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), reigned as the 260th pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City, from March 2, 1939 until his death in 1958. Some historians view the record of his long papacy and wartime predicament sympathetically; others view his actions (or inactions) critically, if not harshly. The interpretations of non historians vary even more widely, with some (John Cornwell, Hitler’s Pope) accusing him of pursuing personal power at the expense of the Jews, while others (Ronald Rychlak, Hitler, the War, and the Pope) argue he did everything in his power to help them. (Freelibrary.com)

In We Remember, a 1998 statement on the church’s role in the Holocaust, the Vatican claimed that Pius saved “hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives.” It was an absurd statement.

“Pope Pius XII, prior to his pontificate, successfully negotiated the Reich Concordat with Adolf Hitler in 1933, effectively destroying all political opposition to the fledgling Nazi movement in Germany. According to cabinet meeting minutes from July 14, 1933, Hitler considered the German-Vatican pact a “great achievement”—particularly “in the developing struggle against international Jewry.” (The Unapologetic Pope)

Since the death of Pope Pius XII i on October 9, 1958, there has been a concerted effort by the Vatican and Jesuits to diminish the overwhelming evidence of racial hatred, inaction and evil by this Roman Pontiff, particularly to the Holy Inquisition undertaken during his reign against the Jews.

In the 1960′s, it was the Jesuit sponsored work Three Popes and the Jews (1967), by Panchas. E. Lapide that attempted to portray the grand illusion and claims that Pope Pius XII never met Hitler once, in direct contradiction to the testimony of those closest to Pius for most of his life since Munich and his rise to Pontiff. (more…)

February 1, 2011

Catholic Church: Arrogant, Corrupt, Secretive And Evil

Filed under: Catholic Church — melchia @ 7:31 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Editors Comment: Pope Benedict was drawn directly into the massive sex scandal involving his church after it was claimed that a paedophile cleric was able to continue offending after the pontiff, then Archbishop of Munich, decided to send him for therapy, rather than report him to police. According to the Times Online, not long after this priest was accused of the sexual abuse of  three boys in 1979, he was offered a new home in Munich by Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. Ratzinger wanted Father Peter Hullermann to undergo psychotherapy. A psychiatrist concluded that Hullermann was untreatable, however.

So what happened? Believe it or not, Huth’s warning was ignored and this deviant priest was allowed to return to pastoral work in a local state school where he again abused boys. Of course he was again convicted of the sexual abuse of minors. But even that was not the end of his time in the church. He continued working with altar boys, and he was still working as a priest right up to 2010, when he was suspended from a Bavarian tourist resort for breaching a church order in 2008 to avoid any involvement with children.

Priests in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico and in the Pope’s former diocese in Germany have been accused of mistreating children. In the Netherlands, a spokesman for the Dutch church said that more than 1,100 allegations of paedophilia committed by clergy since 1950 have emerged this month. The Swiss Catholic Church is examining at least nine “serious” cases of suspected sexual abuse or harassment during the past six years. They are among 60 reported cases of sexual impropriety by Swiss priests or lay Catholics over the past 15 years.

The Rev Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Georgetown University and the author of Inside the Vatican warned that the sex abuse scandal will only worsen, with thousands more cases likely to emerge across Europe. Similar claims have come from Canada and America (The Telegraph).

This unholy saga raises serious questions about the Catholic Church, which seems more intent on the protection of  the entity as a whole, rather than on the welfare of those it serves. Read the shocking article below to find out more on this subject.

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Arrogant, corrupt, secretive – the Catholic church failed to tackle evil

The Guardian, March 21, 2010

telegraph.co.uk

The cover-up of child sexual abuse by the Catholic church is not about sex and it is not about Catholicism. It is not, as Pope Benedict rightly argued in yesterday’s distressingly bland pastoral letter, about priestly celibacy. It is about power.

The urge to prey on children is not confined to the supposedly celibate clergy and exists in all walks of life. We know that it can become systemic in state and voluntary, as well as in religious, institutions. We know that all kinds of organisations – from banks to political movements – can generate a culture of perverted loyalty in which otherwise decent people will collude in crimes “for the greater good”.

In none of these respects is the Catholic church unique. What makes it different – and what gives this crisis its depth – is the church’s power. It had the authority, indeed the majesty, to compel victims and their families to collude in their own abuse and to keep hideous crimes secret for decades. It is that system of authority that is at the heart of the corruption. And that is why Benedict’s pastoral letter, for all its expressions of “shame and remorse”, is unable to deal with the central issue. The only adequate response to the crisis is a fundamental questioning of the closed, hierarchical power system of which the pope himself is the apex and the embodiment. It was never remotely likely that Benedict would be able to understand those questions, let alone answer them.

It is this contradiction that explains why the church has been trying, and failing, to put the abuse crisis behind it for well over a decade now. There is something symbolically apt, for example, about the way the grotesque figure of the dead paedophile, Father Brendan Smyth, has returned to threaten the position of the head of the Irish church, Cardinal Sean Brady.

Smyth emerged as a public figure in 1994, when he was convicted in Belfast after almost half a century of child abuse. He almost destroyed the reputation of Brady’s predecessor, Cahal Daly. He even contributed to the fall of Albert Reynolds’s government in 1994. It makes a kind of grim sense that his horrific career, and the failure of the church to take any real steps to stop him, has re-emerged to haunt another cardinal. (more…)

Pope Benedict Guilty Of Hiding Sex Abuse Crimes

What does it take to have a priest excommunicated for sins? What do reasonable people need to conclude about the worldwide organization of the Catholic Church before refusing to send them any more money, or walking away? How horrible must be the transgression before people realize that the Pope of this church has absolute power and authority, and that he knows exactly what goes on. Few realize that the Catholic church has some of the best intelligence operations in the world. For the pope not to realize what is going on within his own church is simply not believable.

While then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was involved in a 1980 decision to transfer Hullermann to Munich for therapy, Ratzinger’s then-deputy took responsibility for a subsequent decision to let the priest return to pastoral duties. Hullermann was convicted of sexual abuse in 1986. However, the New York Times reported that Ratzinger was copied in on a memo stating Hullermann would be returned to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment. (Source)

“In another case, documents show the Vatican office responsible for disciplining priests, while headed by Ratzinger, halted a church trial of a Milwaukee priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys from 1950-1975. Of the 3,000 cases the Vatican has received since 2001, only 20 percent have gone to a full canonical trial, the Vatican’s chief prosecutor Monsignor Charles Scicluna said. Disciplinary sanctions were imposed in 60 percent, such as priests being ordered to live a retired life of prayer and not celebrate Mass publicly; in only 10 percent were the accused priests defrocked. (more…)

February 16, 2010

Is The Catholic Church the Original Church Of God?

blogs.reuters.com

Jesus Christ did not found many denominations! Christ said, “I will build my Church.” He did built it! One Church, commissioned to preach and to publish His Gospel — the very Message He brought from God — to all the world!

But what do we find today? Hundreds of different and disagreeing sects, all founded by men, each professing to teach the truth, yet contradicting and disagreeing with all the others — a modern religious Babylon!

But what is a “sect”? According to Webster, it is “a group that has broken away from the established Church.” Who established the Church? — Christ! Today’s host of sects or denominations have broken away from that established parent Church — they teach different doctrines and observe different practices!

The religious sects of Jesus’ day were the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, the Samaritans. They had broken away from the true parent Old Testament Church established by God through Moses. Jesus joined none of them. On the contrary, He called His disciples out of them! The Greek word “ecclesia,” translated “Church” in English, has the meaning of “called-out ones.” (more…)

February 13, 2010

Was Pope Pious XII Really Pious?

Editors Comment: Some claim vigorously that Pope Pious XII saved thousands of Jewish lives in secret at great personal cost. But in 1948 the new state of Israel, eager for international recognition, gave the Vatican leverage to get Israeli diplomats and politicians to quote extravagant figures for the Jews rescued by Pius XII. There is a thoroughly discredited statement of Pinchas Lapide, who estimated that Pius ‘was instrumental in saving at least 700,000 but probably as many as 860,000 Jews from certain death at Nazi hands. More here – Concordatwatch.eu. This despite it being generally acknowledged that “with few exceptions, he intervened actively only to save baptized Jews”. [Arthur Hertzberg, “The Catholic-Jewish dispute that won’t go away”, Reform Judaism, November 1999].

Indeed, to soften the blow of this man’s actions many decades later reveals that most don’t understand how the Catholic Church thinks. The big picture reveals a church with leaders that have sanctioned two thousand years of official Church anti-semitism which had fueled the pogroms and the Holocaust, as well as the the murder of millions of lives during the Middle Ages.

Rather than Biblical admonition and guidance, the Roman Catholic church circumvents the sayings of Christ when convenient, showing that it cares first and foremost about its own interests. Not only have there never been pious leaders in the Catholic church, there is STILL none pious at the helm.

Read the article below from the Trumpet.com to understand the subject more deeply.

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From the March 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Hitler’s pope is one step closer to sainthood. In December 2009, Pope Benedict xvi issued a decree proclaiming the “heroic virtues” of the 20th century’s most controversial pope. Prior to World War ii, the cardinal who later became Pope Pius xii successfully negotiated the Reich Concordat with Adolf Hitler in 1933, which effectively removed all political opposition to the growing Nazi movement in Germany.

During the war, Pius turned a blind eye to Hitler’s barbarous campaign to exterminate Jews. In October 1943, Hitler’s SS troops entered Rome’s old ghetto and rounded up more than a thousand Italian Jews to be transported to death camps. Before their deportation, these Jews were held captive for two days in a building located less than half a mile from the Vatican. Pope Pius was one of the first to be made aware of the Jewish arrests. Yet he did nothing to prevent them from boarding cattle cars bound for Auschwitz.

Even after the war was over, Pius intervened personally to help Nazi criminals go “underground” in order to escape punishment.

Today, Pope Benedict has placed Pius on the fast track to sainthood. By issuing a decree on his virtues, Benedict moved him closer to beatification, which is the first major step toward sainthood. But this should not in any way be seen as a “hostile act” toward Jews, said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi a few days after the pope’s move.

The Jews, of course, disagree, especially since the decree was made several weeks before the pontiff visited Rome’s synagogue. Jewish organizations and historians have led an effort over recent years to stop the beatification process—to no avail. (more…)

November 20, 2009

Catholic Church: Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned!

clericalwhispers.blogspot.com

The child abuse crisis in the Catholic church has been the subject of considerable attention, law suits and two major research projects. In 2004, the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People released a study titled, A Report On The Crisis In The Catholic Church In The United States.”

In addition, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York published empirical data on the nature and scope of the abuse problem in dioceses and religious orders across the country in its report: “The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and deacons in the United States 1950-2002, was also released in 2004.

Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican

According to this article in the Guardian.co.uk, the Vatican lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was “busy cleaning its own house” and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger. Defiantly, it said that the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that “available research” showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.

Yet, of all the world religions, Roman Catholicism has been hardest hit by sex abuse scandals. In the US, churches have paid more than $2bn in compensation to victims.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common. He also added that sexual abuse was far more likely to be committed by family members, babysitters, friends, relatives or neighbours, and male children were quite often guilty of sexual molestation of other children.”

Now that may be so, but many see this as nothing less than a damage control counter-attack — a feeble attempt to distance itself from controversy by pointing the finger at other faiths. It’s not working. The Vatican must be held to account, something it has been unwilling to do so far. It has not opened its files, changed its procedures worldwide, and openly reported ALL suspected abusers to civil authorities.

Sex abuse report pays special attention to homosexual priests

Looking further into the subject, I perused CatholicNews.com where it stated that when the bishops’ National Review Board issued its report on the causes and context of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, it paid particular attention to a long-controversial issue — the ordination of homosexually oriented men.

A four-page section of the report is titled, “Special Issues Relating to Sexual Orientation, which states that “81 percent of the reported victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy were boys, showing that the crisis was characterized by homosexual behavior. In light of that, it said, the current crisis cannot be addressed without consideration of issues related to homosexuality.

While the board found a homosexual dimension in the preponderant abuse of young males by Catholic clergy, one of the John Jay researchers (Louis Schlesinger) who specializes in issues of sexual anti-social behavior said the board was correct only in part. He said the real problem is in the disorder of pedophilia, adult sexual attraction to young people, not in the person’s sexual orientation as such. “Some married men prefer adolescent males,” he said, repeating “married men” to emphasize the heterosexual character of their adult relationship.

Gay subculture in Catholic church?

The National Review Board said that, “In the 1970s and 1980s, in particular, there developed at certain seminaries a ‘gay subculture,’ and at these seminaries, according to several witnesses, homosexual liaisons occurred among students or between students and teachers. Such subcultures existed or exist in certain dioceses or (religious) orders as well.”

The board said it believes a failure to take disciplinary action against that conduct “contributed to an atmosphere in which sexual abuse of adolescent boys by priests was more likely.”

Noting the current debate going on in the church over the acceptability of ordaining homosexually oriented men, the board said it spoke with some bishops who do not accept homosexual candidates and others who do.

Are homosexuals more inclined to molest in a chaste lifestyle?

The Review Board stated further: “For those bishops who choose to ordain homosexuals, there appears to be a need for additional scrutiny and perhaps additional or specialized formation to help them with the challenge of chaste celibacy.” The board quoted one of the bishops it interviewed: “Training for celibacy is different if someone is homosexually oriented or heterosexually oriented. The occasions of sin are different. The danger flags are different.”

So why hire those who have inclinations opposite those that the Bible teaches? Is homosexuality not deemed a sin in the Bible? In both the Old and New Testaments, male and female homosexual acts are denounced as abominable, unnatural, vile perversions. Please read Genesis 19:1-13, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Judges 19:22-24, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Timothy 1:9-10. In no scriptural reference is homosexuality approved!

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul speaks of a people who “deliberately forfeited the truth of God and accepted a lie…. Their women exchanged the normal practices of sexual intercourse for something which is abnormal and unnatural. Similarly the men, turning from natural intercourse with women, were swept into lustful passions for one another…receiving, of course, in their own personalities the consequences of sexual perversity” (Romans 1:25-27, Phillips translation).

I Tim. 3:1-4 says: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous…disobedient to parents, un-thankful, unholy, without natural affection…lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…. From such turn away” (I Timothy 3:1-4). God wants us to avoid unnatural and unholy things—especially those that destroy families. The Catholic church merely condones such destruction by hiring those of homosexual inclination.

God, therefore, commands us to avoid the serious sin of homosexuality—and the Catholic church which says it is the true church of God-should then follow that admonition, should it not? That is, IF it was the true church of God.

So now the question posed was, “Are homosexual men more inclined to molest in a chaste lifestyle?” First, the use of sex within marriage between a man and a woman is the only God-ordained pure expression of romantic love. Many people will disagree, but homosexual thoughts are perverted – God says so. Think about it: Why would a wise Creator God design humans to be attracted to a member of their own gender? He wouldn’t. The Genesis account shows that our first parents, Adam and Eve, had a natural attraction for one another. And any good high school anatomy class supports the fact that a man and woman are compatible physically and can produce offspring. It was God’s original intent and purpose for man and woman to be sexual partners—not man with man or woman with woman.

Anyone can be tempted by a fleeting thought to commit a wrong sexual act. That is a temptation. But it becomes a sin if it is given in to and allowed to stay in the mind. Homosexuality is a lust (of the flesh), just like adultery or any other sexual sin. And allowing lusts to continue in your mind is dangerous, because thoughts usually lead to actions.

Jesus Christ taught that it is a sin even to look at someone else in lust (Matthew 5:28). Lingering thoughts or fantasies about illicit sex (in a chaste lifestyle while around young boys) can develop warped feelings or desires and cultivate evil practices that are nearly impossible to break.

The Catholic church admits that the abusers were homosexuals, and it admits it hires them. Do their thoughts about men (or young boys) merely go away while being priests? A chaste lifestyle is unbiblical and merely leads to temptation and wrong sexual thoughts. God says to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5).

Will the Catholic church accept blame?

While the Catholic church says child abuse is unacceptable, its actions and statements do not convey anything resembling repentance. In fact, the forthcoming statements more closely show defiance. Another CatholiccNews.com article featuring a 90-minute program broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network says that sex abuse stems from a crisis of faith and morality. Sounds great, but then it is said that: “This is a societal problem, not a Catholic problem,and the work of the National Review Board provides “a model for everyone else to do a self-examination of their own institution.”

So why try to shift the blame? Does it matter if the problem exists elsewhere? Is this not like a thief telling the judge at sentencing that he is a thief because others are also thieves? Can a murderer blame other murderers for his actions? Clean your own house and don’t worry about others! You are supposed to be (though I dispute this) the true church of God. This abuse is happening in YOUR house. Who cares, as board member William R. Burleigh emphasized, “Things do not happen in the church that are not part of general society.” Does that make it right, or less of a crime? It sounds more like the feeble excuse a seven year old child makes in blaming his sibling for his own actions.

How many priests abuse children?

A study done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York shows about 4 percent of U.S. priests ministering from 1950 to 2002 were accused of sex abuse with a minor. The 4,392 clergymen — almost all priests — were accused of abusing 10,667 people, with 75 percent of the incidents taking place between 1960 and 1984. During the same time frame there were 109,694 priests, it said.

The sex-abuse related costs totaled $573 million, with $219 million covered by insurance companies. The study noted, however, that the overall dollar figure is much higher than reported; 14 percent of the dioceses and religious communities did not provide financial data and the total did not include settlements made after 2002, such as the $85 million agreed to by the Boston Archdiocese.

FindLaw.com says the shocking and most telling of all was the statistic as to the percentage of abusers who were ever incarcerated — only 2% (3% were prosecuted and convicted but apparently, of those, a third either will not serve time, or have yet to serve time). I believe that it is primarily because the Church simply transferred the offending priests rather than report them to authorities. It made them a conspirator. That is why they have had such big judgments levied against them and why they have been advised by their own legal counsel to make such huge settlements. It shows a pattern.

Though the Catholic church likes to point fingers elsewhere to divert attention, other religions and institutions didn’t cover the problem and therefore receive front page news, by simply moving pedophile priests around the country for decades. They also didn’t threaten the victims with hell if they complained. This tells us the Church dramatically failed in its obligations to the public good. And it also tells us that one current “remedy” for abuse that the Church is still putting forward — more self-policing — will never work.

The United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops says that priests are not more likely to be child molesters than others simply because they are celibate, and that celibacy does not distort ones’ sexuality or attract a larger proportion of men with sexual problems. It states, “In fact, the sexual difficulties and inner psychological problems that give rise to child sexual abuse are largely in place long before a person enters into the formation process for a celibate priesthood.

So here we have the shift of blame again. It is NOT a celibate lifestyle (without the contact required of humans by male and female) that is to blame, but it definitely is thoughts previously harboured by men entering into the priesthood. So say the experts and so says the Catholic church. Proof enough?

While no mainstream researcher would suggest that there is any link between homosexuality and true pedophilia, that is, sexual attraction of an adult to prepubescent minors, the Bible says otherwise. It tells us that homosexual thoughts are “lusts of the flesh,” or the senses [Eph. 2:3].

Citing statistics that say most adults in society who sexually molest minors are not homosexually oriented is a cop out. The rejoinder to this is the fact that most victims of priests are young males, and this to me is not open to misinterpretation. A significant number of priests who sexually molest minors are involved with post-pubescent adolescent males, about 14 to 17 years of age.

The United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops will even admit that it appears to be true that many in this sub-population of priest child-molesters are homosexually oriented, but it then offers the lame excuse that “theirs is a particular kind of homosexuality, which one might call “regressed” or “stunted.” It downplays the significance of the problem by saying that homosexual men are emotionally stuck in adolescence themselves, and so are at risk for being sexually active with teenage males. The issue is therefore not so much homosexuality but rather their stunted emotional development.”

So therefore the problem is not that the church ordains homosexuals, but rather “regressed or stunted homosexuals?” That is, those who should not be blamed because of their own terrible childhood. Sounds like a large dash of liberalism to me. let’s give rights to the perpetrators because they themselves are victims. So therefore the solution, then, is not to ban all homosexuals from ordained ministry, but rather to screen out regressed homosexuals before ordination.

I can tell you this – a self policing of such sorts will never work. The sociologist and Catholic priest Andrew Greeley predicted long ago that the number of victims was probably on the order of 100,000. Decades ago, psychologist Richard Sipe, an expert on the issue predicted that as much as 6-8 % of priests sexually abused minors. Why are the numbers deemed so high? FindLaw.com says psychologists estimate that only a fraction of childhood sexual abuse victims ever come forward, anywhere from 5-35%. But let’s pity the poor regressed homosexuals, right?

ReligiousTolerance.org states: “Even if, as one researcher estimates, six percent of priests sexually abuse youth or children, then that still leaves an average of almost 19 priests out of every 20 who are non-abusive.”

Such language to me sounds pathetically weak. 1 in 20 is an astonishing figure! AllAboutReligion.com estimates there to be 400,000 Catholic Priests, worldwide. At six percent, that’s 24,000 pedophile priests that are molesting children — in the supposed true church of God.

Conclusion

While the Catholic church has recently taken some steps to tackle the problem, it also has gone into defensive mode and in my opinion, has not been repentant. Changes seem forced, purely because its sordid past has been revealed. This is proven by not accepting 100% blame and by the decades long cover-up.

In moral panics, as in wars, truth is often the first victim. Here we have the supposed church of God lying and breaking the ten commandments. We’ve witnessed a large number of priests – supposedly people of God – undertaking a crime so heinous, Jesus Christ would be aghast. In the true church of God, no cover up would be allowed. No such crime would be tolerated, and beyond the minimum time of proving the facts, accused priests should be removed from duty. The situation would be immediately remedied, as Christ loved children and God the Father is all about family. Yet this pope, and past popes, have known about the allegations for decades.

By taking upon itself to operate in a private sphere untouched by concerns with the public good, the Church by its own actions increased the number of crimes, pushed the numbers of victims to stratospheric heights and destroyed its own credibility on social and faith issues. My point – this is not the true church of God, as led by Jesus Christ as the head. By their fruits you shall know them….

October 25, 2009

Vatican Announcement: The Reformation Is Dead!

graspingthecross.wordpress.com

graspingthecross.wordpress.com

In a move with potentially sweeping implications, the Vatican has announced the creation of new ecclesiastical structures to absorb disaffected Anglicans wishing to become Catholics. The structures will allow those Anglicans to hold onto their distinctive spiritual practices, including the ordination of married former Anglican clergy as Catholic priests.

The Traditional Anglican Communion—a group of around 400,000 conservative Anglican churches that broke away from the Anglican Communion in 1990 to protest the liberalism creeping into that organization—has announced that the process toward full unity with Rome “will begin at once.” It is unhappy with liberals in the Anglican Communion who have allowed the ordination of women as priests and bishops, the ordination of openly gay clergy and bishops, and the blessing of same-sex unions.

According to the Vatican, former Anglican clergy who are married may serve as priests in the new ordinariates, but they may not be ordained as bishops. The details will be presented in a new apostolic constitution from Pope Benedict XVI, expected to be issued shortly and which will amend the church’s Code of Canon Law.

The new structure to absorb these Anglican “daughter” churches is very interesting, and required the apostolic constitution [creating a new structure] as a  recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. The fact that the Catholic Church—with the pope’s personal involvement—is making such major concessions to Anglicans shows just how much it wants the Anglicans back under its control.

Still, and probably shockingly to many, it happened. The Vatican note described the new “personal ordinariates” as separate dioceses, presided over by a bishop and with their own priests, seminarians, and faithful. This of course, is also similar to the canonical status of “personal prelature,” currently held by only one Catholic group: Opus Dei.

Though appearing to happen suddenly, such an invitation to disgruntled Anglican conservatives has long been in the works, with unity dialogues going back fourty years. The Vatican was careful not to have it seen as poaching, with Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s top ecumenical official, stating during  a Vatican news conference, “We are not fishing in the Anglican lake.” Yet out of respect for freedom of religion, the Catholic church has a responsibility to respond when someone knocks on its door.”

The bigger implication of course is that Protestantism will be absorbed into the ‘mother’ church—and despite the new legal framework, or apostolic constitution – will eventually be totally abolished. John Broadhurst, bishop of Fulham and chairman of the group Forward in Faith, formed to oppose the ordination of women bishops, said that up to 1,000 clergymen in England alone could move to Catholicism. Entire parishes or dioceses could make the switch.

A Deceptive Attack

This apostolic constitution represents a swift and brilliant (divide and conquer) attack on the Church of England—orchestrated by the pope himself—that will leave it mortally wounded. The Catholic Church deliberately kept its plan secret from the Church of England for as long as possible. Usually proposals like these are debated for months ahead of time, but Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the most senior bishop in the Church of England, only found out about them two weeks ago. The press conference regarding the constitution was announced less than 24 hours before it took place—the Vatican usually announces such conferences several days in advance.

Britain’s Times newspaper declared that “Rome has parked its tanks on the archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn.” And little wonder, as this is a mortal blow to a shrinking and increasingly irrelevant Anglican church. The Vatican has added a potent spice to the integration soup by changing the power balance in the Church of England.  Catholics already outnumber Anglicans in their respective regular church services. With this switch, Catholicism would become by far the most dominant religion in Britain by marginalizing the Anglican Church’s role in British life. Anglicans will then have most of what they desired – a church full of liberals and modernizers, who aren’t really sure if God exists, but who attend church only a few times a year. It is a death knell of the Reformation, pure and simple.

Contrarily, the stage is being set for the greatest revolution in religion the world has witnessed. The final short-lived triumph of Catholicism, as recorded in literally dozens of Bible prophecies, is almost upon us as we see reconciliation of the Orthodox Schism of 1054 that divided the churches in the East, and the restoration to the Roman Communion of all Protestantism which developed from 1517 onward.

How can we know all this? It is prophesied in the Bible.

October 7, 2009

Catholic Sex Abuse: A Fraternity Of Sin, A Brotherhood Of Shame

1At this point, any stories about Catholic priests and sex abuses probably cause an immediately disconnect with readers because of the sheer volume of news stories that have been published. This is especially so since 2003’s landmark settlement against the Boston Archdiocese.

It’s interesting also how every time a sex scandal comes up, two varying points of opinion rear their head: those who say the Catholic church is rife with sexual scandal and those who say it is no worse there than any other sector of society.

Recently, news broke about Bishop Raymond Lahey and another sex scandal. Lahey, the 69-year-old bishop for the Antigonish diocese, is charged with the possession and importation of child pornography.

Yes, this is the same Bishop Raymond Lahey that negotiated a $15-million out-of-court settlement for sex abuse victims in his Antigonish diocese.

Now it is found that a Catholic priest said he warned an archbishop about allegations Raymond Lahey had shown pornography to a young man in the 1980s.

“Father Kevin Molloy says he was told of the allegations by Shane Earle, then 16, in Portugal Cove, N.L. in 1989.

“I never had any further details except the boys saw pornographic material in Father Lahey’s house,” Molloy told CTV News in Florida, where he now lives. “That’s the only thing I had to go on.”

Molloy said he soon brought up the allegations with then-Archbishop Alphonsus Penney, and assumed the Church would deal with the matter. He never heard about it again. “What we’re dealing with today gives every indication that nothing happened, nobody followed up,” he told the Globe and Mail. “I don’t know if it was that nobody believed me at the time, but here we are 20-odd years later dealing with the same issues.” (CTV News, 2009)

Archbishop Anthony Mancini, who was appointed apostolic administrator of the Antigonish diocese after Lahey’s resignation, said there’s no simple solution to preventing priests from sinning.

Here’s an incredible quote from him that makes the head spin:

‘So is it gonna happen again? Yeah, of course it’s gonna happen again … all we can do is try to prevent and try to make sure that we put up all the safeguards that we can possibly put up.’—Archbishop Anthony Mancini

“You think, and many people think, that all we got to do is throw more money at it, throw more structure at it, throw more psychiatrists at it, and at the end of it all, we’re going to come up with this wonderful, perfect structure. And you know what? That’s never going to happen.”

Then, he simply asked the parishioners to pray for Lahey and not to lose faith, asking them to get together and share what they have in their hearts.” THAT is a statement relying on human faith, rather than the faith of God. This man does not understand that God says what is in our hearts (minds) is evil (Jer. 17:9). Where is a plea for God’s help in such a statement?

Now, isolated cases, though frustrating, can happen, but it is not so with the Catholic church. Over several decades in the 20th century, priests and lay members of religious orders had sexually abused minors on a scale such that the accusations eventually reached into the thousands. This happened not just in the US, but also in Ireland, Canada, Italy and Australia.

A major aggravating factor was the actions of Catholic bishops in responding to allegations of clerical abuse. It was revealed that some bishops had facilitated compensation payments to victims on condition that the allegations remain secret. In addition, rather than being dismissed, the accused were often instructed to undergo psychological counseling and, on completion of counseling, reassigned to other parishes where, in some cases, they continued to abuse minors.

Supposedly both ecclesiastical and civil authorities had implemented procedures to prevent sexual abuse of minors by clergy and to report and punish it if and when it occurs. But when listening to Archbishop Anthony Mancini, nothing more can be done. The question is, has enough been done?

Church should be above conduct of society

While any sex abuse is atrocious, inside or outside a church, it is particularly heinous with a member of the clergy supposedly representing God. There is a huge measure od respect and trust with the public who believe these men represent God. ANY church suffering from such an outbreak, and then merely defending it by saying it is no worse than society fails to understand that it lacks the Holy Spirit of God.

In June 2002 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Dallas and approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter created a National Review Board, which was assigned responsibility to commission a descriptive study, with the full cooperation of the dioceses/eparchies, of the nature and scope of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.The National Review Board engaged the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct a study analyzing allegations of sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses in United States.

The John Jay report indicated that some 11,000 allegations had been made against 4,392 priests in the USA. This number constituted approximately 4% of the 110,000 priests who had served during the period covered by the survey (1950-2002). The report found that, over the 52-year period covered by the study, “the problem was indeed widespread and affected more than 95 percent of the dioceses and approximately 60 percent of religious communities” (1) A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States” National Review Board. February 27, 2004. (2) “John Jay Study Reveals Extent of Abuse Problem)

“Catholic authorities have constantly railed against abortion rights, against same-sex marriage, birth control, stem cell research and fertility treatments. They cite the word of God as their authority. By definition, anyone who disagrees with them is not only wrong, but immoral and a sinner. Yet there is strong evidence that those same clerical authorities were aware of abuse allegations against priests and clerics. Rather than cleaning up the mess, they covered it up. That meant many offenders were moved around and protected by senior Church authorities, often to repeat their abuses in other parishes. That the Church evidently knew that and did so little to stop it suggests hypocrisy on a global scale. (ChronicleHerald.ca).

On July 19, 2008,  Pope Benedict XVI made a full apology for child sex abuse by priests and clergymen in Australia, in front of  3,400 people. He called for compensation and demanded punishment for those guilty of the “evil”:

“Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering. … Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.”

Notice that here is the highest authority of the Catholic church, and in this serious apology, made not ONE mention of the name of God or His power, but rather said the evil should be brought to justice, implying the justice of man rather than God.

Philip Jenkins, Professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University asserts that his “research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination—or indeed, than non-clergy.

However, this study clearly misses an important point, namely that if the Catholic church supposedly is the true church of God, it should have a dramatically lower level of crime than the outside world. Why? BECAUSE of the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God. Merely stating that statistics are about the same inside the church and outside of it clearly proves that God does NOT reside in that church. Yes, all men sin, but with Christ leading His Church, that type of conduct with God’s ministry should be almost non-existant, rather than rampant. Paul describes their conduct this way:

Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God….by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth…(II Cor. 6:3-7).

In the Catholic Church, priests and bishops are the ultimate authority figures, their word and deeds held in utmost respect. To doubt the priest is to doubt the holy Church and the authority of God.

In the wake of these latest allegations, what’s left of that power? What authority has any priest in that church to preach about morality or ethics when the brotherhood that goes back 2,000 years has now been cast as a fraternity of sin and a brotherhood of shame?

July 23, 2009

Simon Magus: The Real "Peter" Of False Christianity!

Simon was the Samaritan sorcerer who professed conversion to Christianity and sought to buy an apostleship. The Bible records this historic event in Acts 8:9-24.

In spite of Peter’s stinging rebuke (verses 20-23), Simon presented himself as an apostle. He invented a new religion by blending his own version of the doctrine of grace with elements of the old Babylonian mysteries and attaching Christ’s name to it. This false religion swept the world and became the visible “Christian” church — incredible as that may seem.

There are veiled references to Simon’s false Christianity in the New Testament. Jude 4, for example, is rather pointed against Simon’s principal doctrine — the heresy that one does not have to obey God’s laws after conversion. John, the apostle who completed the Bible, placed great emphasis on Christians keeping God’s commandments (I John 2:3-6).

Persecution against God’s Church

Much of the early persecution against God’s true Church came as a result of Simon Magus. Acts 8 is the earliest record of the true Church/false church conflict that was to rage through the centuries. Let’s first get an overview of this chapter.

“And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:1-4).

The chapter opens with the final comments related to the stoning of Stephen. Acts 8:1 shows that Saul (or Paul) consented to Stephen’s death. Verses 3 and 4 show that Paul led the Jewish persecution against the Church, personally imprisoning many men and women. Rather than stop the preaching of the Gospel, this action advanced it to other localities (verse 4).

Now verse 5 begins Simon Magus’ history. “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:5-8).

Luke gives us an incredible amount of detail concerning Philip’s activities in Samaria. He performed many miracles there, causing much joy among the people because they were heavily oppressed with demons (verse7).

“But there was a certain man, called Simon which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God” (Acts 8:9-10).

Verses 8 and 9 reflect an extraordinary encounter with a man professing conversion to Christianity. Luke gives more detail about this man than he does concerning some of the other ten apostles not mentioned in the book of Acts. Why?

That man was one of the greatest religious figures in Samaria at that time. He is know in secular history as Simon Magus. The surname “ magus” reveals that he was a member of the priestly caste of ancient Persia, or in other words, a pagan priest. (See any encyclopedia or dictionary ).

Simon Magus Exposed

So Simon was nothing more than a priest of the Babylonian mystery religion, who used used sorcery and magic to bewitch the people of Samaria. He actually believed he was “some great one,” because the whole population of Samaria believed him and worshipped him as the “great power of God.” He had been doing this for so long, they believed that he was God in the flesh. “And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries” (Acts 8:11).

But Philip’s preaching also had great impact on the people of Samaria. Many believed and were baptized by him. Even Simon was impressed: “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done” (Acts 8:12-13).

So great was Philip’s success in Samaria, that news soon reached Jerusalem. “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy [Spirit]: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy [Spirit]” (Acts 8:14-17). The news from Samaria was so exciting that the chief apostle, Peter, went to observe the events. He also took the apostle John with him.

Peter’s Prophecy

When Peter and John arrived in Samaria, they had to complete the work that Philip started. Even though most of Samaria believed Philip and were baptized, the Holy Spirit had not been given to any of them (v. 16). Peter and John prayed for God to give the Samaritans the Holy Spirit.

Simon, ever watchful, noticed this powerful demonstration of the giving of the Holy Spirit. Although he had been a highly respected magus, Simon continued to be impressed by the remarkable powers of the apostles and their ability to heal and to manifest miracles. When he saw Peter and John baptizing people by the laying on of hands, he asked that he might be taught the power of transferring the Holy Spirit to others. Eagerly, Simon offered to pay the apostles a fee to teach him how to manifest the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:9–24).

However Peter severely rebuked him for trying to buy his way into God’s Church. “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:21-23).

Peter recognized that Simon’s heart was not right with God and that he had plainly revealed his true intentions. It is evident he was never converted because he tried to buy access to God’s Spirit and the office of an apostle because he was obsessed with the idea of power.

Looking at verse 23 a little closer, we see that Peter revealed what this man would do in the future to God’s Church.

“For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” Lange’s Commentary says of verse 23, “Peter’s words, literally mean: ‘I regard you as a man whose influence will be like that of bitter gall [poison] and a bond of unrighteousness [lawlessness], or as a man who has reached such a state’” (vol. 9, p. 148).

Peter not only understood the twisted thinking of this man’s mind, he knew that Simon was to become a great adversary of God’s true Church. Simon did not repent of his grave sin.

“Then answered Simon and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me” (Acts 8:24). He only asked Peter to intercede for him, for forgiveness. But he never actually repented and “after this incident, appears no more in the book of Acts. Later literature shows him reappearing in Rome in the time of Claudius in a new movement of his own, curiously combining Christian and pagan elements, and in which he figures as a god” (p. 927, New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language).

The book of Acts was written about around a.d. 62, and Luke took great pains to record much about Simon Magus for us, because of the man’s fame and danger and the damage he had done to the true Church of God. Even the letters of Paul reflected much of this trouble. Luke showed that Simon Magus was not part of the Christian Church, and recorded the prophecy that Simon Magus was to become the founder of Mystery, Babylon the Great—the great false church of Revelation 17. Simon formed a unique league with the government in Rome, which proved to be very deadly for many of God’s true people throughout history.

Interestingly, the term “simony” to describe the ecclesiastical crime of paying for offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church has come down through the ages.

“The intertwining of temporal with spiritual authority in the Middle Ages caused endless problems with accusations of simony. Secular rulers wanted to employ the educated and centrally organized clergy in their administrations and often treated their spiritual positions as adjuncts to the secular administrative roles. Canon Law also outlawed as simony some acts that did not involve the sale of offices, but the sale of spiritual authority: the sale of tithes, the taking of a fee for confession, absolution, marriage or burial, and the concealment of one in mortal sin or the reconcilement of an impenitent for the sake of gain. Just what was or was not simony was strenuously litigated: as one commentator notes, the widespread practice of simony is best evidenced by the number of reported ecclesiastical decisions as to what is or is not simony.” (Wikipedia)

Simony was a serious moral problem of the Roman Catholic Church, the very same church whose “Peter” is the Simon Magus of biblical history.

Additional information about Simon Magus can be found in these reference works:

  • The eleventh edition of the “Encyclopaedia Britannica”
  • Schaff’s “History of the Church”
  • Hastings’ “Dictionary of the Apostolic Church”
  • Hastings’ “Dictionary of the Bible”
  • “Dictionary of Christian Biography”
  • The “Encyclopaedia Biblica.”

July 18, 2009

May 26, 2009

The Truth About Sunday Observance

Why do most observe Sunday as their day of rest? Not because they can prove that they should from the Bible!

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday.”

That’s a quote which came from Catholic James Cardinal Gibbons in The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 ed.).

A Catholic study course states: “If we followed the Bible only, we would keep holy the Saturday … Well, did Christ change the day? … We have no record that He did … The Church … transferred the obligation from Saturday to Sunday” (Father Smith Instructs Jackson).

The Catholic church makes no secret that it is responsible for replacing Sabbath keeping with Sunday observance.

And the Protestants? At the time of the Reformation they protested against many teachings of the Catholic church. But few protested against Sunday observance. One of those who did was named Carlstadt. So striking were his writings on the subject that Martin Luther admitted in his book Against the Celestial Prophets: “Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath — that is to say, Saturday — must be kept holy.”

But Luther did not want to go to that extent in rocking the ecclesiastical boat of his time. His reasoning, as found in his Larger Catechism, was that “to avoid the unnecessary disturbance which an innovation would occasion, it [the day of worship] should continue to be Sunday” (Shaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article “Sunday”).

Martin Luther did not take issue with Sunday observance. The Protestant reformers as a whole accepted the Catholic position on Sunday. This is the real reason Protestants observe Sunday today!

When was Sunday substituted?

It didn’t happen all at once. It was gradual. “For some time it [Sunday] was observed conjointly with the Sabbath, verbal and ritual relics of such observance still remaining in our liturgical books and customs. But as Jewish habits [an admission that the early true Church kept some of the same customs as the Jews] became disused [On whose authority? God’s? No, man’s!] by the gentile [pagan-influenced] churches, this practice [Sabbath keeping] was generally, though slowly, discontinued” (Blunt’s Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical Theology, article “Sunday”).

Even while the original apostles were alive it was necessary to warn of “certain men … crept in unnoticed” (Jude 4) who were trying to introduce pagan ideas into the Church. Worshiping on the day of the sun was but one of those ideas. Multitudes in the world were being deceived by an expanding counterfeit “Christianity” based on the ancient Babylonian mystery religion.

In the early years of the Church many fraudulent epistles were circulated, masquerading as apostolic letters. Notice how a letter written to gentiles shortly after the turn of the century and attributed to one Ignatius reveals that they, gentiles, were keeping the Sabbath:

“Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner … But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body [a deliberate attempt to water down God’s Sabbath law] … And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day [Sunday] as a festival … the queen and chief of all the days of the week.”

Both days were being kept, but observance of Sunday was being emphasized by Ignatius.

Not all early Catholics, however, favored Sunday observance. Around 230, Catholic Origen wrote to fellow Catholics of the gentile churches in Egypt:

“But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that of which the apostle speaks, ‘There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism’ [Hebrews 4:9], that is, the observance of the Sabbath by the people of God? [Notice how this man understood his native Greek tongue!] Leaving the Jewish observances of the Sabbath, let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from. If, therefore, you cease from all secular works, and execute nothing worldly, but give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction … this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath” (Origen’s Opera, Book 2, p. 358).

Council of Laodicea prohibited Sabbath keeping

In 321 the Roman government issued an edict making Sunday a civil day of rest. The paganized, counterfeit “Christian” religion, which was becoming the empire’s dominant religion, supported the edict.

Sabbath keepers were forced to flee the confines of the western Roman Empire. Only in the east did Sabbath keepers remain. Eventually, however, Sabbath keeping was to be stamped out of the eastern Roman Empire as well.

About 365 the Council of Laodicea was called to settle, among other matters, the Sabbath question! One of its most famous canons was the 29th: “Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found Judaizing, let them be anathema from Christ” (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. XIV, p. 148).

The force of the Roman state had already been utilized in 325, after the Council of Nicaea, to confiscate the property and to destroy the lives of any who obeyed God’s command to keep the Passover. So the heavy hand of the state fell upon any who would be faithful in resting on the Sabbath and worshiping God as commanded in the Bible.

Why give such a command if there were no true Christians observing the Sabbath at that time?

Although Sabbath keeping was absolutely prohibited by this council, yet the whole Greek world still continued to attend church services on the Sabbath and work the remainder of the day! Saturday then was observed much as Sunday is observed now!

Public worship on the Sabbath was far from expelled in the churches of the east even four centuries after Christ.

Gregory, Bishop of Nyassa, a representative of the eastern churches, about 10 years after the Council at Laodicea, dared to tell the world: “With what eyes can you behold the Lord’s day, when you despise the Sabbath? Do you not perceive that they are sisters, and that in slighting the one, you affront the other?”

Sunday finally made a rest day

Observance of Sunday as a day of total rest was not strictly enforced for almost two centuries more. We even find Jerome, the translator of the Latin Vulgate Bible, working after the Sunday services several years following the enactments at Laodicea.

But Augustine, around 400, declared: “The holy doctors of the church [not the Bible, but men] have decreed that all the glory of the Jewish Sabbath is transferred to it [Sunday]. Let us therefore keep the Lord’s day as the ancients were commanded to do the Sabbath” (Sabbath Laws, p. 284).

It was the Roman church that sanctioned the Roman Sunday as a rest day, and not merely a secular holiday. It was that church that transferred the law of the Sabbath to Sunday. Another 600 years passed before the last recorded semblance of public worship on the Sabbath was completely extirpated from the eastern churches.

Meanwhile Pope Gregory of Rome, who reigned from 590 to 604, anathematized “those who taught that it was not lawful to do work on the day of the Sabbath” (History of the Popes, vol. II, p. 378).

That stamped the Sabbath out of the churches of the British Isles and the Continent where, according to Webster’s Rest Days, “The Celts kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious services on Sunday” (A. Bellesheim, History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1887-1890, i, 86).

That’s the record of history!

Source: The Good News, August 1983

May 20, 2009

Is The Miracle Of Fatima A Hoax?

Roman Catholics claim that a supernatural event occurred in 1917 in which the “Virgin Mary” appeared repeatedly to 3 little children in Fatima, Portugal.  Supposedly, the Virgin Mary gave a message to the 3 little children.  The Message of Fatima consists of an alleged number of precise predictions, requests, warnings and promises concerning the Faith and the world which were conveyed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children–Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco–in a series of apparitions at Fatima, Portugal from May to October 1917.

While I have no reason to doubt that the children experienced a vision, it is the source of this apparition I question. The Bible warns that people will witness miracles and supernatural phenomena which will mislead them (Matt. 24:24; Rev. 13:13). We also find a biblical example of this kind of false miracle in I Samuel 28:7-20. King Saul believed the dead prophet Samuel appeared, giving him a message; but it was really an evil spirit impersonating Samuel!

The Message of the Virgin of Fatima is nothing more than the invention of the Roman Catholic Church, counter to what the Bible really says. It does nothing but further their own pagan traditions. No cosmic miracle happened, despite  the testimonies of people who THOUGHT they saw one. Catholics adherents tend to see things others do not. What they actually saw in 1917 was an astronomical event which occurs repeatedly every 11 years. The Vatican used the event to dupe the ignorant masses who thought they had seen a “miracle” of nature.

The Catholic Church thrives on biblical ignorance. Most people do not question the “traditions” and “claims” of the Vatican, they just blindly believe it’s structured, non-spirit based doctrines. But religion without the Bible is participation without faith, a sort of make-believe spiritual game where deceivement is easy to panhandle. How else do we explain the unbiblical error of Mary appearing from heaven? The Bible reveals that the righteous dead remain in their graves until the resurrection at Christ’s return (see I Corinthians 15:22-23, 50-54; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Hebrews 11:39-40). Mary is still awaiting the resurrection and cannot appear to anyone. Not only are Catholics praying to mere human being while ignoring their only intercessor – Jesus Christ – but they are praying in foolish idolatry to nothing more than a pile of dust.

So despite the incessant baying of critics, I can say without hesitation that the message and miracle of Fatima is a lie and a hoax contrary to the Word of God! Roman Catholicism has it’s origins in a heathen Babylonian religion which worshipped the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 44:19,25). Participate at your own risk.

May 6, 2009

The Inquisition: A Study in Absolute Catholic Power

Editors Comment: I found this article, written by Arthur Maricle, Ph.D. at mtc.org. It has many points I believe are correct and easily provable about the Catholic Church. The author is right in saying there is a distinction between those who believe their Bible and those who allow men to be their final authority. That is exactly why there have been persecutions over the year. Don’t let the docile nature of this false church over the last century fool you. If she could, she would still be at her violent and forceful conversion game. Read this article, as it outlines irrefutable points in the history of the Catholic Church.

—————————————————————————————————

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” [Revelation 17:6]

www.filmforno.com

Those who classify themselves as Christians can be divided into 2 broad groups: those who have chosen to allow the Bible to be their final authority and those who have chosen to allow men to be their final authority. For sake of simplicity, I shall refer to the first group as “Bible believing Christians.” The latter group has always been best represented by Roman Catholicism, by far its largest, most powerful, and most influential component. The Roman Catholic hierarchy has always boldly stated that it is not dependent upon Scripture alone, but also accepts tradition as another pillar of truth — and where a conflict exists, tradition receives the greater acceptance. Being its own arbiter of what is to be accepted as truth, it accepts no authority as being higher than itself. This explains why the Catholic belief system has been constantly evolving over the centuries.

This also explains why a fierce antagonism has always existed between Bible believing Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Rome’s frequent spiritual innovations excites the passions of Bible believers, who react adversely to religious modifications that are at odds with the eternal, changeless Word of God. Harboring a supreme confidence in the Book, a trust which reflects their trust in the Holy Spirit who authored the Scriptures, the Bible believers boldly challenge the suppositions of the Catholic hierarchy. In the course of this spiritual warfare, Catholic people are frequently converted from trust in Rome’s complex religious system to a childlike faith in the Saviour and a simple reliance on His Word. Many such converts ultimately leave the Church of Rome to join local, New Testament churches. Frequently in history, the trickle of individuals who were making this remarkable transformation turned into a flood. Such ruptures cannot go unchecked by the Catholic hierarchy. As with any bureaucracy, its primary interest is its own protection and propagation.

The nature of its response to the inroads made by spiritual challengers is dictated by its cultural surroundings. The more Catholic the culture, the more severe the response. In past centuries, when Rome’s ecclesiastical power was virtually absolute throughout Europe, the intensity of the attacks by the papists upon their spiritual enemies could be equally absolute. Ignoring the injunction of II Corinthians 10:4 (“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…”), Catholicism built its own philosophical system to justify the use of carnal (fleshly, human, physical) means to achieve spiritual ends.

Having divorced herself from Biblical absolutes, Catholicism adopted a theology in which she sees herself as the church founded upon the Apostle Peter by Jesus Christ, and alone empowered to bring salvation to the world. Further, she believes herself assigned the daunting task of bringing Christ’s kingdom to fruition on earth. With those dogmas forming her philosophical foundation, she seeks her power in the political sphere as well as the religious realm. To whatever degree she achieves political power, to that degree she feels compelled to use her secular influence as a weapon against her spiritual adversaries. Thus, down through the centuries, we see that in those countries in which Catholicism had achieved absolute power, the pope’s followers have not hesitated to brutally subdue the enemies of “the Church”. Although Jews, Moslems, pagans, and others have felt the wrath of Rome, her special fury has always been reserved for her bitterest and most effective challengers — Bible believing Christians. Only as the political climate changed in recent centuries did the Catholic hierarchy see it expedient to change tactics and appear to be more tolerant. Yet, to this day we see persecution continuing in those places on the globe dominated by Catholicism. The degree of the persecution is determined by the degree of control.

To what lengths is the Catholic hierarchy prepared to go in its drive to repress opposition and achieve its goal of instituting the kingdom of Christ on earth? To find the answer, one must look to the pages of history.

When the Roman Catholic Church was founded by the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., it immediately achieved expansive influence at all levels of the imperial government. As Bible believing Christians separated themselves from the Church of Rome, which they saw as apostate, they represented a formidable potential threat to the official new imperial religion. Persecution in varying degrees of severity was instituted over the centuries following.

By the 11th century, in their zeal to establish Christ’s kingdom, the Roman popes (“pope” is an ecclesiastical office that is the very antithesis of the New Testament ideal of a local church pastor) began utilizing a new tool — the Crusades. At first, the Crusades had as their object the conquering of Jerusalem and the “Holy Land”. Along the crusaders’ paths, thousands of innocent civilians (especially Jews) were raped, robbed, and slaughtered. In time, however, the crusade concept was altered to crush spiritual opposition within Europe itself. In other words, armies were raised with the intent of massacring whole communities of Bible believing Christians. One such group of Bible believing Christians were known as the Albigenses.

[Pope] Innocent III believed that Bible believing dissidents were worse than infidels (Saracens, Moslems, and Turks), for they threatened the unity of … Europe. So Innocent III sponsored 4 “crusades” to exterminate the Albigenses. Innocent (what a name!) called upon Louis VII to do his killing for him, and he also enjoined Raymond VI to assist him.

The Cistercian order of Catholic monks were then commissioned to preach all over France, Flanders, and Germany for the purpose of raising an army sufficient to kill the Bible believers. All who volunteered to take part in these mass murders were promised that they would receive the same reward as those who had sallied forth against the Moslems (i.e., forgiveness of sins and eternal life).

The Albigenses were referred to in Pope Innocent’s Sunday morning messages as “servants of the old serpent”. Innocent promised the killers a heavenly kingdom if they took up their swords against unarmed populaces.

In July of 1209 A.D. an army of orthodox Catholics attacked Beziers and murdered 60,000 unarmed civilians, killing men, women, and children. The whole city was sacked, and when someone complained that Catholics were being killed as well as “heretics”, the papal legates told them to go on killing and not to worry about it for “the Lord knows His own.”

At Minerve, 14,000 Christians were put to death in the flames, and ears, noses, and lips of the “heretics” were cut off by the “faithful.”A

This is but one example from the long and sordid history of Catholic atrocities committed against their bitter enemies, the Bible believing Christians. Much worse treatment of Bible believers was forthcoming during that stage of bloody Catholic history known as the Inquisition.

It is vital, though, that we here define what is meant by the term “heretic”. According to Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary, this is a heretic: “One who holds or advocates controversial opinions, esp. one who publicly opposes the officially accepted dogma of the Roman Catholic, Church.” Or, as one author has put it, “Heresy, to a Catholic, is anti-Catholic truth found in the Bible.”B Another summarized the official stance as this: “Every citizen in the empire was required to be a Roman Catholic. Failure to give wholehearted allegiance to the pope was considered treason against the state punishable by death.”C

From 1200 to 1500 the long series of Papal ordinances on the Inquisition, ever increasing in severity and cruelty, and their whole policy towards heresy, runs on without a break. It is a rigidly consistent system of legislation: every Pope confirms and improves upon the devices of his predecessor. All is directed to the one end, of completely uprooting every difference of belief… The Inquisition … contradicted the simplest principles of Christian justice and love to our neighbor, and would have been rejected with universal horror in the ancient Church.D

Pope Alexander IV established the Office of the Inquisition within Italy in 1254. The first inquisitor was Dominic, a Spaniard who was the founder of the Dominican order of monks.

The Inquisition was purely and uniquely a Catholic institution; it was founded far the express purpose of exterminating every human being in Europe who differed from Roman Catholic beliefs and practices. It spread out from France, Milan, Geneva, Aragon, and Sardinia to Poland (14th century) and then to Bohemia and Rome (1543). It was not abolished in Spain until 1820.E

The Inquisition was a terrifying fact of life to those who lived in areas where it was in force. That domain would eventually include not only much of Europe, but also the far-flung colonies of Europe’s Catholic powers.

The Inquisition, led by the Dominicans and the Jesuits, was usually early on the scene following each territorial acquisition of the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the 16th and 17th centuries. The methods used, which all too often were similar to those used by Serra in California or the Nazi-backed Ustashis in Croatia, sowed the seeds of reaction and aversion that have proved to be a barrier for true missionaries ever since.

Albert Close writes of the Jesuit mission to Indonesia in 1559 that “conversion was wonderfully shortened by the cooperation of the colonial governors whose militia offered’ the natives the choice of the musket ball or of baptism.”

Everywhere it existed, the “Holy Office” of the Inquisition spread its tentacles of fear.

When an inquisitor arrived in an area he called for reports of anyone suspected of heresy, sometimes offering rewards to spies who would report suspected heretics. Those suspected were imprisoned to await trials. The trials were held in secret and the inquisitor acted as judge, prosecutor, and jury. The accused had no lawyer. It was often simpler to confess to heresy than to defend oneself, especially since torture was often employed until the accused was ready to confess.

Because church and state had not been kept separate, the church powers could call upon the government to use its power against the convicted heretics. Anyone who fell back into heresy after repentance was turned over by the Inquisition to the regular government to be put to death. Most of those condemned to death were burned at the stake, but some were beaten to death or drowned.

The Inquisition was called the sanctum officium (Holy Office) because the church considered its work so praiseworthy.F

Even after the death of a victim, his punishment was not ended. The property of condemned heretics was confiscated, leaving his family in poverty.

It is important here to emphasize Rome’s role in the brutality of the Inquisition. Roman Catholic apologists are quick to point out that it was the state that put heretics to death. This is an alibi meant to excuse the Vatican’s role in the atrocities. However, Dollinger, the leading 19th century Catholic historian, stated: “The binding force of the laws against heretics lay not in the authority of secular princes, but in the sovereign dominion of life and death over all Christians claimed by the Popes as God’s representatives on earth, as [Pope] Innocent III expressly states it.”G

In other words, the secular arm of the state acted only as it was pressured to do so by the popes. Even kings who hesitated to commit genocide on their own populaces were spurred into action by their fear of papal excommunication or subversive Catholic activities within their kingdoms.

Dollinger continues: “It was the Popes who compelled bishops and priests to condemn the heterodox to torture, confiscation of their goods, imprisonment, and death, and to enforce the execution of this sentence on the civil authorities, under pain of excommunication,”H

Will Durant informs us that in 1521 Leo X issued the bull Honestis which “ordered the excommunication of any officials, and the suspension of religious services in any community, that refused to execute, without examination or revision, the sentences of the inquisitors.” Consider Clement V’s rebuke of King Edward II: “We hear that you forbid torture as contrary to the laws of your land. But no state law can override canon law, our law. Therefore I command you at once to submit those men to torture.I

The methods used by the Inquisition ranged from the barbaric to the bizarre.

When the inquisitors swept into a town an “Edict of Faith” was issued requiring everyone to reveal any heresy of which they had knowledge. Those who concealed a heretic came under the curse of the Church and the inquisitors’ wrath. Informants would approach the inquisitors’ lodgings under cover of night and were rewarded for information. No one arrested was ever acquitted.

Torture was considered to be essential because the church felt duty-bound to identify from the lips of the victims themselves any deviance from sound doctrine. Presumably, the more excruciating the torture, the more likely that the truth could be wrung from reluctant lips. The inquisitors were determined that it was “better for a hundred innocent people to die than for one heretic to go free”.

“Heretics” were committed to the flames because the popes believed the Bible forbade Christians to shed blood. The victims of the Inquisition exceeded by hundreds of thousands the number of Christians and Jews who had suffered under pagan Roman emperors.J

This wanton slaughter of innocent people was justified by Catholic theologians such as “Saint”. Thomas Aquinas, who said, “If forgers and other malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for putting to death one convicted of heresy.” In 1815, Comte Le Maistre defended the Inquisition by advocating: “The Inquisition is, in its very nature, good, mild, and preservative. It is the universal, indelible character of every ecclesiastical Catholic Theologians, nstitution; you see it in Rome, and you can see it wherever the true Church has power.”K Such a viewpoint could only be expressed by one so brainwashed as to think that the cruel, torturous deaths of dissidents to Catholicism is preferable to the survival and propagation of those who would challenge the Vatican’s authority.

Yet, not all Romanists have been comfortable with the totalitarian nature of their “church”. Even Jean Antoine Llorente, secretary to the Spanish Inquisition from 1790-92, was to admit: “The horrid conduct of this Holy Office weakened the power and diminished the population of Spain by arresting the progress of arts, sciences, industry, and commerce, and by compelling multitudes of families to abandon the kingdom; by instigating the expulsion of the Jews and the Moors, and by immolating on its flaming shambles more than 300,000 victims.”L Historian Will Durant stated, “Compared with the persecution of heresy in Europe from 1227 to 1492, the persecution of Christians by Romans in the first 3 centuries after Christ was a mild and humane procedure. Making every allowance required by an historian and permitted to a Christian, we must rank the Inquisition, along with the wars and persecutions of our time, as among the darkest blots on the record of mankind, revealing a ferocity unknown in any beast.”M

Catholic apologists attempt to downplay the significance of the Inquisition, saying that relatively few people were ever directly affected. While controversy rages around the number of victims that can be claimed by the Inquisition, conservative estimates easily place the count in the millions. This does not include the equally vast numbers of human beings slaughtered in the various wars and other conflicts instigated over the centuries by Vatican political intrigues. Nor does it take it account the Holocaust wrought upon the Jews by the Nazis, led by Roman Catholics who used their own religious history to justify their modern excesses. As one secular history explains, “As the Germans instituted a bureaucracy of organized murder, so too did Torquemada, the first Grand Inquisitor, a worthy of predecessor of Heydrich and Eichmann.”N

Because her basic doctrinal premises remain in place, Rome can yet again rise up against her spiritual enemies at some future date when she again wields exclusive ecclesiastical control of a region. In fact, the “Holy Office” of the Inquisition still exists within the Vatican (known today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), awaiting the day in which it can stamp out “heresy”. As recently as 1938, a popular Catholic weekly declared:

Heresy is an awful crime against God, and those who start a heresy are more guilty than they who are traitors to the civil government. If the state has a right to punish treason with death, the principle is the same that concedes to the spiritual authority the power of life and death over the archtraitor.O

The Inquisition proved how Catholicism will react when it has possession of absolute power. Is it any wonder that in the 1880s, Dr. H. Grattan Guinness preached the following:

I see the great Apostasy, I see the desolation of Christendom, I see the smoking ruins, I see the reign of monsters; I see those vice-gods, that Gregory VII, that Innocent III, that Boniface Vlll, that Alexander Vl, that Gregory XIII, that Pius IX; I see their long succession, I hear their insufferable blasphemies, I see their abominable lives; I see them worshipped by blinded generations, bestowing hollow benedictions, bartering away worthless promises of heaven; I see their liveried slaves, their shaven priests, their celibate confessors; I see the infamous confessional, the ruined women, the murdered innocents; I hear the lying absolutions, the dying groans; I hear the cries of the victims; I hear the anathemas, the curses, the thunders of the interdicts; I see the racks, the dungeons, the stakes; I see that inhuman Inquisition, those fires of Smithfield, those butcheries of St. Bartholomew, that Spanish Armada, those unspeakable dragonnades, that endless train of wars, that dreadful multitude of massacres. I see it all, and in the name of the ruin it has brought in the Church and in the world, in the name of the truth it has denied, the temple it has defiled, the God it has blasphemed, the souls it has destroyed; in the name of the millions it has deluded, the millions it has slaughtered, the millions it has damned; with holy confessors, with noble reformers, with innumerable martyrs, with the saints of ages, I denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and soul and essence of antichrist.”P

Footnotes:

A Peter S. Ruckman, Ph.D.; The History of the New Testament Church (Bible Believers Bookstore; Pensacola, Florida; 1989)
B Ibid.
C Dave Hunt; A Woman Rides the Beast (Harvest House Publishers; Eugene, Oregon; 1994)
D J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger; The Pope and the Council (London, 1869); as cited in Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast
E Peter S. Ruckman, Ph.D.; op cit.
F Laura l-licks, editor; The Modern Age: The History of the World in Christian Perspective, Vol. 11 (A Beka Books Publications; Pensacola, Florida; 1981)
G J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger; op cit.
H Ibid.
I Dave Hunt; op cit.; quotations from Will Durant; The Story of Civilization, Vol. V (Simon and Schuster, 1950); and ibid., Vol. 4
J Dave Hunt; op cit.
K Comte Le Maistre, letters on the Spanish Inquisition, as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power (New York, 1876); as cited in Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast
L Jean Antoine Llorentine, History of the Inquistion; as cited in R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power (New York, 1876); as cited in Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast
M Will Durant; The Story of Civilization, Vol. IV (Simon and Schuster, 1950); as cited in Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast
N Ward Rutherford; Genocide: The Jews in Europe 1939-45 (Ballantyne Books, Inc.; New York, New York; 1973)
O The Tablet, November 5, 1938; as cited in Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast
P H. Grattan Guinness, D.D., Romanism and the Reformation; Focus Christian Ministries; Lewes, Sussex; as cited in Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome?

April 19, 2009

Miss Sister 2008: Beauty Contest For Nuns?

An Italian priest who had planned an online “pageant” for nuns in 2008 had to suspend the project, saying he was misinterpreted and had no intention of putting sisters on a beauty catwalk. Could it be because his superiors were somewhat upset over the whole thing? 

“The local bishop did not understand me,” Father Antonio Rungi said. 

Rungi’s idea appeared in newspapers around the world after he wrote of a contest for nuns on his blog, called by some “Sister Italy 2008.”

Rungi says it wasn’t about anything physical, but something more complete, though he admits there’s nothing against saying that nuns can’t be beautiful.

Rungi’s concept for the contest, in which nuns would vote for themselves on his blog, would include attributes such as their spirituality, social awareness, charity and other qualities, showing “the interior beauty” of a nun.

Rungi thought a beauty contest would give nuns more visibility within the Catholic Church and fight the stereotype that they are all old and dour. Instead, he received a lot of calls of support but also many sharp emails by people who attacked him for wanting to create a Miss Italy-style event.

“Some of them were really nasty,” he said.

Here’s a tip for the priest. Religion has to do  with inward beauty yes, that of the spiritual kind. But voting for yourself as a nun has nothing to do with humility and actually promotes selfishness. Kind of makes it somewhat hard to find a worthwile winner, don’t you think?

Source: (Reuters)

March 31, 2009

Did The Catholic Church Change The 10 Commandments?

150Did the Catholic church change the ten commandments?

This is an important question, and the answer is clear when we are guided by God’s Word. There is no doubt as to the NUMBER of the Commandments. There are ten (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:4).

It is their CONTENT which is of vital concern. It was not until the fourth century A.D. that this confusion even began to exist. It was then that Augustine (Catholic bishop of Hippo in North Africa) devised a new way of presenting the Ten Commandments in order to allow the use of images and statues in religious worship. He dropped the Second Commandment altogether, divided the Tenth into two “commandments,” and then renumbered his revised list of ten.

Dropping the Second Commandment makes it appear that there is only one commandment against idolatry. But, there are two kinds of idolatry — and two distinct commandments prohibit these two major sins:

  1. The First Commandment forbids worship of anything in the place of God (Ex. 20:3).
  2. The Second Commandment is altogether different and forbids bowing down to, serving, or otherwise using statues in the worship of God (Ex. 20:4-6). The latter is the one Catholics do not like, for obvious reasons.

The following from the Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol. 4, p. 153 also confirms the deletion of the second Commandment and the change of the fourth.

“The church, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh day of the week to the first made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day.”

As mentioned before, in order to retain the correct number of commandments, Augustine made two “commandments” out of the Tenth (Ex. 20:17). According to Augustine’s mistaken idea, the Ninth Commandment is: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,” and the Tenth is: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.”

But notice how a New Testament servant of God was inspired to quote five of the Commandments — including the Tenth. Paul wrote: “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Rom. 13:9, RAV).

Unlike Augustine, Paul made no distinction between coveting a neighbor’s wife and a neighbor’s house. Paul elsewhere wrote, “For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said,

‘You shall not covet'” (Rom. 7:7, RAV). Clearly, only one principle is involved, and only one commandment governs it.

Below is the official Catechism of the Catholic Church for comparison – Vatican.va

Exodus 20 2-17 Deuteronomy 5:6-21 A Traditional Catechetical Formula
I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out
of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage.
I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out
of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage.
1. I am the LORD your God:
you shall not have
strange Gods before me.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth;
you shall not bow down to them or serve them;
for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children to the third and the fourth
generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those
who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall have no other gods before me
. . .
You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain;
for the LORD will not hold him guiltless
who takes his name in vain.
You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain
. . .
2. You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work;
but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God;
in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son,
or your daughter, your manservant,
or your maidservant or your cattle,
or the sojourner who is within your gates;
for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
and rested the seventh day;
therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
Observe the sabbath day,
to keep it holy
. . .
3. Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.
Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be long in the land
which the LORD your God gives you.
Honor your father and your mother
. . .
4. Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not kill. You shall not kill. 5. You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery. Neither shall you commit adultery. 6. You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal. Neither shall you steal. 7. You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor.
Neither shall you bear false witness
against your neighbor.
8. You shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
or his manservant, or his maidservant,
or his ox, or his ass,
or anything that is your neighbor’s.
Neither shall you covet
your neighbor’s wife . . .You shall not desire . . .
anything that is your neighbor’s.
9. You shall not covet
your neighbor’s wife.10. You shall not covet
your neighbor’s goods.

Fourth commandment also changed

Notice also that the Catholic church has changed the fourth commandment to suit her Sabbath breaking. In 1562 the Archbishop declared that tradition now stood above scripture.

“The authority of the Church is illustrated most clearly by the scriptures, for on one hand she recommends them, declares them to be divine, and offers them to us to be read, and on the other hand, the legal precepts in the scriptures taught by the Lord have ceased by virtue of the same authority. The Sabbath, the most glorious day in the law, has been changed into the Lord’s day. These and other similar matters have not ceased by virtue of Christ’s teaching (for He says that He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it), but they have been changed by the authority of the Church.” — Gaspare de Posso Archbishop of Reggio, Council of Trent.

Most denominations falsely believe the fourth commandment refers to Sunday. The Catholic church however, the same one who changed this commandment in the first place, amazingly acknowledges this fact. Many of her official writings point to the fact that she changed the Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday.

Here are some revealing Catholic source quotes which show the incredible audacity of this  un-christian church:

  • “Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” — James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 edition), p. 72-73 (16th Edition, p 111; 88th Edition, p. 89).
  • “For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.” — Catholic Virginian, October 3, 1947, p. 9, article “To Tell You the Truth.”
  • “The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. ‘The day of the Lord’ was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the (Catholic) Church’s sense of its own power…People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” — St. Catherine Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.
  • “Question – Which is the Sabbath day? Answer – Saturday is the Sabbath day. Question – Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer – We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” — Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50, 3rd edition, 1957.
  • “It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” — Priest Brady, in an address reported in The News, Elizabeth, New Jersey, March 18, 1903.
  • “They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.” — Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914.
  • “It was the Catholic church which…has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” — Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
  • “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” — father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802.

Change led to death of innocent people

Yes, the Catholic church brags about her authority being above the Bible. This brazen change led to the torture and death of between 50 and 150 million Christians accused of being heretics for 1260 years called the dark ages.

The following two quotes reveal who the Catholic church refers to as heretics

  • “He is a heretic who does not believe what the Roman Hierarchy teaches.” — The American Textbook of Popery, p 164 (quoting from the “Directory for the Inquisitors”).
  • “Heretics (those who are not members of the Catholic Church or who do not hold to Catholic doctrine) worship a God who is a liar, and a Christ who is a liar.” — St. Augustine, (quoted in “Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Graca”, by Fr. J. P. Migne, Paris: 1866, 42:207).

The following quotes prove why they tortured and murdered innocent people.

  • “The church may by divine right confiscate the property of heretics, imprison their person, and condemn them to flames. In our age, the right to inflict the severest penalties, even death, belongs to the church. There is no graver offense than heresy, therefore it must be rooted out.” — Public Eccliastical, Vol. 2, p.142.
  • “A heretic merits the pains of fire…By the Gospel, the canons, civil law, and custom, heretics must be burned.” — The American Textbook of Popery, p 164 (quoting from the “Directory for the Inquisitors”).
  • “When confronted with heresy, she (Catholic Church) does not content herself with persuasion, arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture.” — The Rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, H.M.A. Baudrillart, quoted in The CathoClic Church, The Renassance, and Protestantism, p 182-183.

Obviously, the Catholic church today does not officially follow this practice anymore, but she has the same doctrines that led to the murder of innocent people. She has not rejected that which she firmly believes in. Yes, a modern pope has made a concillatory public apology, but it was not sweeping in depth, and neither was it genuine.  And it did not acknowledge the MURDER of innocent people, only a general wrong comitted.

We have to realize that the Bible says we are to judge by fruits. NO CHURCH  can commit murder and at the same time have Christ as its Head. The commandments forbid it.

So the changing of two commandments (without scriptural guidance) show that her false popish heads have acted on mere human carnal impulses, rather than spiritual guidance through Jesus Christ. A final quote saying Catholics should follow the Pope even if he were Satan himself supports the notion that we have here the worst type of idolatry portrayed as a Christian church, giving us commands contrary to the Bible:

“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.” — St. Catherine of Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 5: “The Book of Obedience”, Chapter 1: “There is No Salvation Without Personal Submission to the Pope”).

Please try to find the command this person speaks of. Such mockery of scripture is an affront to anyone who seriously studies the Bible. So gross is the audacity of the Romish church, her popish head puts himself in place of God:

“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of human flesh.” — Catholic National, July 1895.

We should not sugarcoat this quote in any way. Its author does not, why should you? It means exactly what it says!

Conclusion

None of this post has to do with any animosity against those who are Catholics. They are simply misled and unaware of the facts because they are not spoken of or taught. But historical records do not lie.

It is the entire system of worship – the ancient pagan mystery religion – that I am against. To anyone sincerely seeking truth, this should be abundantly clear. The commandments are willfully changed and broken. Her doctrines willingly go against the written word of God. it couldn’t be plainer, yet millions upon millions on this earth are confused. This merely reinforces the scripture in revelation 12:9, where God says:

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world….

Note carefully what it says.  Don’t just gloss over this verse or spiritualize it away. Your Bible says it‘s the majority of the earth’s inhabitants who are deceived.  Now ask yourself this question: Are you one of the many who are deceived?

March 20, 2009

Will Rome Take Over Jerusalem?

The Vatican’s Hidden Jerusalem Agenda

March 16, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com

By Ron Fraser

This magazine has been watching Joseph Ratzinger for a long time. As we have watched, we have followed his course from chief confidante of the late Pope John Paul ii to his enthronement as pope and then on throughout the past four years of his controversial papacy.

As we have watched this leading religious figure, we have monitored his involvement in a clandestine project of the Vatican that was documented in Bible prophecy almost 2,000 years ago and which remained a mystery until fully exposed within the last two decades.

Now, as Benedict xvi prepares for his upcoming visit to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan this May—a tour incorporating his first visit to Israel since being elected pope—it is crucial that the Vatican agenda for the city of Jerusalem be publicized.

Back in the mid-1990s, a statement made by Pope John Paul ii during an interview in his native Poland, broadcast in Italian over a Polish radio station, was noted by one of our Italian associates. She sent us a transcript of the interview, which included one particularly startling reference made by the pope regarding the Vatican’s ultimate goal of transferring its headquarters from Rome to Jerusalem.

What was unusual about this admission of John Paul ii is that the Vatican’s intentions to possess Jerusalem are seldom publicized and little commented on. In fact, an air of secrecy—something that the Vatican has a history of creating over various of its affairs over the centuries—has surrounded this project since the failure of the Crusades, the most obvious of the overt and now very historical attempts by the Vatican to seize control of the Holy City. Those attempts have a long history with strong attachments to the German nation, right up to the past two world wars, and beyond to our present day.

As far back as the eighth century a.d., emissaries were sent to Jerusalem by Emperor Charlemagne to negotiate an agreement with the Muslim Caliph Haroun al-Raschid. The result was that Jerusalem became a protectorate of the Holy Roman Empire.

Historical records indicate that such a protectorate was limited to the oversight of the welfare of Christians, the care and protection of designated holy sites, and the properties of the Roman Catholic Church in Jerusalem. The fact that the caliph would be a financial beneficiary to this enterprise was a given. Muslim support of the Kaiser’s army in World War i, and again of the Nazi regime in World War ii, was the end result of a long historical nexus between the Muslims and Germany.

From the time of the Charlemagne/Haroun pact, through the attempt by Kaiser Wilhelm to seize Jerusalem in World War i to this day, elements within Germany have historically viewed themselves as protectors of the Roman Catholic Church. From the time of the failure of the great crusades, German elites have worked to find ways and means of seizing the plum job of protector of Jerusalem.

Recently, courtesy of the actions of Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany has aggressively stepped up its diplomacy in the Middle East. This action comes in advance of the upcoming visit by a German pontiff, Josef Ratzinger, under his adopted papal name Benedict xvi, to Jerusalem. Both Vatican and German diplomacy in Israel are linked to a common end: possession of the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as most of the eastern half of the city. The Jews are the pawns in this grand game of international diplomacy, the Palestinians the all-too-willing grunts on the ground eager to facilitate the division of Jerusalem and the annihilation of the State of Israel in the process.

The Vatican already has a significant presence in Jerusalem by virtue of free access to its holy sites over which Rome has legal jurisdiction, under Israeli law, including both its institutions and assets in Jerusalem. The consolidation of these arrangements came by virtue of a bilateral agreement termed “The Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See and the State of Israel,” which the Israeli government signed with the Vatican on Dec. 30, 1993. The terms of this agreement, composed in secret, were subsequently legislated by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. What remains largely unknown is the secret deal done by current Israeli President Shimon Peres and the leftist peacenik, former Meretz party member Yossi Beilin, known widely as “Peres’s poodle.”

Six months after the signing of the bilateral agreement between Israel and the Vatican, on June 15, 1994, the Israeli government inked a further agreement with the Vatican endorsing the Roman Catholic Church’s participation in negotiations to determine the future of Jerusalem. This was followed in February 1996 by Secretary General of the Vatican Serge Sebastian announcing that Rome recognizes Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem. The Vatican had thus revealed its hand. From here Rome was to go on to actively work through its proxies in the “peace process” to exploit Palestinian claims as a means of splitting the city of Jerusalem asunder, seizing the Old City and possessing East Jerusalem. This involved the management of Palestinian aggression as part of the process, regardless of the suffering and loss of life that it would inevitably incur. This would in fact be a vital part of the initiative to take East Jerusalem by force in the event of the failure of diplomatic means. The same tactic had been instigated by Germany and Rome in the Balkan Peninsula to achieve a desired result with implicit UN agreement, with the Serbs becoming the pariah in the world’s view. This time, it’s the Jews who are being pilloried, in particular since the Gaza incursion, in the lead-up to a similar result as that in Kosovo: the seizure of iconic territory to be placed under the influence of Berlin and Rome with the willing acquiescence of the United Nations.

Journalist Joel Bainerman, a well-known commentator on Israeli affairs, claims, “The end goal of the Vatican is to seize control of the Old City of Jerusalem out of the clutches of the State of Israel. To that end they have a secret agreement with Israel which obliges Israel to respect the ‘extraterritorial’ claim to their physical presence in the city. In short, we have accepted the Vatican’s rights to have little Vatican sovereign embassies throughout our eternal capital of Jerusalem. That same Vatican has committed itself, in public and in a written agreement, to ensure that the Palestinians have sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem.”

Yet, beyond the proof of the hidden agenda of the Vatican exposed by commentators, there is the “more sure word of prophecy,” which we have well documented in our publications, that forecasts the coming of an individual who will be the spiritual head of a great religio/political institution centered in Europe, spreading its tentacles “toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (Daniel 8:9).

Believe it or not, your Bible prophesies the hidden agenda of the Vatican! The press and media remain fixated on what they believe are the faltering mistakes of a pope out of touch with reality—witness the imbroglio over Benedict’s Regensburg speech and the latest kerfuffle regarding the lifting of the excommunication of the four Lefebvrist bishops, including the Holocaust-minimizing Richard Williamson. Such diversions are but a smokescreen for those whom Lenin famously called “useful idiots” to keep them diverted from following the scent on the track to the ultimate Vatican story, the coming takeover of Jerusalem by Rome!

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