The Apple Of God's Eye

February 1, 2011

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…)

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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!

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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.

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.

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“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]

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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?

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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