By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. This month we are going to study the papal trip to the United States and the United Nations in April, 2008 in light of prophecy. This was one of the most significant prophetic events in recent times. It was the first visit of Benedict XVI to the U.S. as pope, but it was nevertheless a very important one to the Vatican. Many Americans, not just Catholics, appreciate the pope and the Church very much. Prophecy tells us that the deadly wound would be healed and that all the world will wonder after the beast. The Papal speech at the UN is therefore enormously significant. Revelation 13:8 also says that “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him…” How can a human being receive so much praise and respect that people actually worship him? How can a mere human being command so much authority that he is able to speak powerfully to the whole world at the United Nations? These are questions we will explore in this sermon.
These are serious times, my friends. As prophetic movements rapidly bring you to your final test of character, and the world to an enormous crisis, we can see that the issues are developing on many fronts. Don’t think that because we presently have a relative time of peace in the United States and in other western countries, that you don’t have to be concerned. The scripture says that “when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” 1Thess 5:3. There is coming a time of surprising and sudden chaos. We must watch the signs of the times and work to win souls to the truth through the last message of salvation.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Daniel Chapter 8:25. “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
In great anticipation the crowd at Andrews Air Force base near Washington DC awaited the papal charter plane, an Alitalia flight, as it made its final approach and landing. The crowd cheered as Pope Benedict XVI made his way down the steps to the tarmac and was greeted by President Bush and other political and priestly dignitaries. The Associated Press on April 14, wrote that no president has ever “given a visiting leader the honor of picking him up at the airport.” But this was such an important moment for the President and Mrs. Bush and their daughter Jenna that they took an unprecedented drive out to meet the plane. In an interview with EWTN the president explained his reasons for meeting the Pope at the airport. “One, he speaks for millions,” he said. “Two, he doesn’t come as a politician; he comes as a man of faith; and Three, I so subscribe to his notion that there’s right and wrong in life, that moral relativism undermines the capacity to have hopeful and free societies. I want to honor his convictions, as well,” he said.”
Imagine that! Other men of faith have come to see the President, but I don’t recall that he ever went to meet them at the airport. President Bush thinks that the Pope did not come as a politician, yet he knows that the Pope speaks for millions – 65 million of them. America has the third largest Catholic population in the world. This papal visit clearly involves politics – global politics – and Rome is angling for more power. President Bush knows that the Pope speaks for millions of Catholics who vote in America. And this is very important right now.
Popes always travel to promote their political agenda, disguised as religious faith. By visiting America, Benedict is increasing the public perception of Rome as a moral voice in politics as well as culture. The papal visit is all about building a stronger foundation to bring morality and religion into American and world politics. The President and the Pope met for political reasons, make no mistake about it. By the extravaganza at the White House and the high profile visits to Washington and New York, Benedict is making a political statement in seemingly innocuous religious garb. On one hand he is trying to raise the popularity of Rome and its moral voice, which on the other hand will reduce opposition to Rome’s involvement in U.S. politics.
Catholic News Service on April 9, 2008 quoted Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, a leading U.S. cardinal saying that the Pope will not address partisan political issues, but [will] ‘heighten people’s awareness’ about what is right and wrong…” and to “create a higher level of virtue in this country through the choices we make in November… The Pope will prod them to a deeper moral judgment…” he said.
For the president to say that this visit is not political is a misstatement of the most deceptive kind. Yes, Pope Benedict comes as a representative of faith, specifically the Catholic faith, but it is the influence of that same Catholic faith that he wants to infuse into American politics. His goal is not to just influence the election, but to restructure American politics, and President Bush is a very useful ally.
Great Controversy, page 573 says; ”In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World.” Page 565 also tells us that “The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground upon every side.”
And Rome is gaining a substantial influence. She is not slack to take advantage of her opportunities. And the United States gave Rome a huge opportunity. The Knights of Columbus, a Roman catholic secret society for promoting Rome in the United States, commissioned a poll conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion which reported that 58 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the pope, and that 65% have a favorable view of the Catholic Church. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said that “American people have a very balanced view of Benedict and the Church. And they are very open to hearing his views on matters of how they might live their faith and put it into action in their daily lives.”
If people are more ready to listen to the pope and his message about how to live their lives, could that include Sunday worship, and eventually, Sunday laws?
“Not only did the Pope’s visit appear to raise the public opinion of the Church,” wrote the Catholic News Service, May 9, “but additionally, half of the people interviewed stated that they are more likely to lead a moral life and make family a bigger part of their lives.
Regarding the poll results, Anderson stated that Americans “responded very positively to the message of faith, hope and love that the Holy Father delivered throughout his visit. It is now up to all of us in the Catholic community to walk through the door he has opened for us, and work together to build a civilization of love.”
What door has Benedict opened? What is the real agenda behind Rome’s efforts to increase its popularity?
Let me read on from Great Controversy, page 573. “And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority.”
So, according to prophecy, the behind-the-scenes reason for all the popularity of Rome in protestant America is to get a Sunday law passed. How can it be that protestants who so clearly understood historically that the papacy was the antichrist be so willing to open the door for papal supremacy?
I’ll read on. “It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them on to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them.”
Notice that the Protestants are just as loyal to tradition as is Rome. What is the protestant tradition that harmonizes with Rome? The churches have a hard time uniting their doctrines. In fact, there is only one doctrine on which the ecumenical churches can effectively unite – and that is Sunday observance.
President Bush wants to “honor his convictions.” Why would the president want to honor the convictions of the pope? President Bush is obviously courting the Catholic vote. For a political leader to say that he is going to honor the convictions of the reigning pope is placing papal authority on a higher level than presidential authority. President Bush subscribes to the “notion that there’s right and wrong in life, that moral relativism undermines the capacity to have hopeful and free societies.” He is speaking directly to Roman Catholic leaders when he uses words mirroring Benedict’s own statements. He is speaking to Roman Catholic leaders because he wants them to encourage their members and followers, both Catholic and non-Catholic to support the political positions he wants to uphold. This is all about politics. It is all about increasing Roman Catholic political power in the United States of America. It is all about bringing Rome’s moral agenda into the public square in American politics.
But President Bush knows that the papal trip is political. Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the main Catholic TV Network in the United States is located at the John Paul II Cultural Center. They started their papal trip coverage by interviewing President Bush, who actually explained the political aspect of the influence of the pope by suggesting that “Pope Benedict’s words provided support for politicians in difficult situations. The President said, “I want to remind [the] Holy Father how important his voice is in making [it] easier for politicians like me to be able to stand and defend our positions…” So on one hand the President says that the Pope is not coming as a politician, while on the other he explained the importance of the pope’s political voice. This is classic double speak.
As you probably remember, the President met with the Pope in Rome in June of 2007 and gave him a “Moses walking stick,” with the Ten Commandments carved on it. In February of 2006 Laura Bush also had a private meeting with Benedict in Rome. The Bush family is not unfamiliar with Benedict XVI. No doubt they see Rome’s influence in America as very important to the political and religious future of America. President Bush knows that he has to keep the strong support of the Catholic vote in the Republican Party camp, in order to succeed in keeping alive the Republican agenda. So he has to speak their language and work closely with them.
Catholic News Agency (CNA), on April 14 wrote that “Pope Benedict’s visit to the White House on Wednesday will be only the second time a pope has visited the home of the President of the United States, the Associated Press reports…” (The first was 29 years ago on October 6, 1979) “The White House arrival ceremony for the Pope will feature the anthems of the United States and the Holy See, a 21-gun salute, and the U.S. Army Drum and Fife Corps. Both men will deliver remarks before they meet in the Oval Office… The expected welcoming ceremony crowd of 12,000 will be the largest ever at the White House, exceeding in number the 7,000 people who came to greet Queen Elizabeth II last spring.
This is incredible my friends. Why would such a massive official welcome be appropriate for the Pope? America was founded on the Protestant principle of separation of church and state. Yet, now we see the ever-increasing efforts of American leaders to pander to the papal influence. They know how strong the papal voice now is in America, and they have to respect it. More than that, they revere it.
CNA said that “the President also described himself as a ‘believer in the value of human life.’” This is another political statement that speaks directly to the Catholic leaders. President Bush wants papal support, but it is more than papal support for the Republican Party. No doubt President Bush and his advisers are also concerned for the papal support abroad, particularly in dealing with Islam. He may not understand Revelation 13:8, which says“…All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him…,” but he has to be aware that Rome has a powerful future.
CNA went on to say; “Since President Dwight Eisenhower’s meeting in Rome with Pope John XXIII, every U.S. president has met with the pope at least once. Pope Benedict’s visit will mark President Bush’s fifth meeting with a pontiff, a new record.”
So now President Bush holds the record for the number of times he has visited a pope as a sitting president. And though they don’t agree on some things, they are far more in alignment than most people realize. And there is more in this papal visit than many can imagine. The EWTN interviewer asked President Bush what he saw when he looked into the eyes of the Pope. President Bush answered with one and only one word. Would you like to know what that one word was? “God” he said.
When the President says that he sees “God” in the eyes of the Pope, we have come to a very important prophetic moment. The United States is seriously compromised with Rome. The Pope is not God, but President Bush thinks of him as God. To many people he is like God. Since when does a Methodist think of the Pope as God? Someone might argue that he is not referring to the Pope as God, but that he sees that the pope represents God. Either way, America is seriously compromised. Either way, Rome has a powerful advantage.
But the President is not the only one that sees God in the eyes of the pope. Most Catholics see him in a similar way. Emblazoned on the front page of the The National Catholic Register on April 27, 2008 next to the face of Benedict were the words, “Thy Kingdom Come,” a reference to God and His Kingdom in the Lord’s Prayer, (Matt 6:10, Luke 11:2) with a subtitle “What Benedict Wrought,” again a scriptural illusion to God (Numbers 23:23).
The Pope and the President know that as goes the United States, so goes the world. God’s people know from prophecy that in the last days, it is America that leads the world in Sunday laws and the persecution of God’s people. Listen to this passage in Maranatha, page 214. “As America, the land of religious liberty shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example. Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Though she leads out, yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world.”
Please understand something here. When foreign dignitaries come to visit the President of the United States, they don’t get a welcome at the airport. They don’t get a 12,000 person welcome at the White House. They don’t get a 21 gun salute. They don’t get anthems sung to them by choirs at state events. Normally they have to find their own way to the White House. They have to wait until the President is ready to see them. They are treated as inferior dignitaries to the President of the most powerful nation on earth. But not so with the Pope. He comes to the U.S. as a higher authority, and President Bush made that clear in everything he did. In the excessive respect that he showed toward the Pope, in the open and public fawning over his presence, in the enormous expense of the festivities, and in his simple statement that in the eyes of Benedict XVI, the President sees God, we catch a glimpse of the fulfillment of a powerful prophecy in scripture.
Revelation 13:3, 4. “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the Beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him.”
If ever a Bible prophecy is being compellingly fulfilled in our day, it is this one. Yet some who claim to be God’s people don’t believe it. They are willing to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that it isn’t happening. The deadly wound is very close to being completely healed. Notice who gives Rome its power? It is the dragon, or Satan. And by worshipping the beast of Rome, the world will worship Satan. This prophecy cannot be fulfilled in regard to the Sunday law, unless there has been this pattern of papal profile and popularity. These things don’t happen overnight. Perhaps President Bush doesn’t know about the statement in the book Maranatha, but he is certainly aware that by increasing his public support for Rome, he is strengthening his political power at home and abroad. But more powerfully, President Bush sees his relationship to the Pope as an inspiration for his leadership, especially in moral issues. To have papal support for his political power is the crown jewel of his presidency. If for some unforeseen reason, President Bush would have the excuse to declare martial law and remain in power after January 20, 2009 he could very well have papal support.
Behind the scenes there has been something going on that is truly revolutionary. Over the last four years, Keep the Faith Ministry has documented the revolutionary changes to the Constitution of the United States by the Bush Administration in its “war on terror.” The administration was able to disrupt the balance of power among the three branches of government, freeze assets of target individuals and organizations so they cannot legally buy or sell, detain suspects indefinitely without access to lawyers, allegations and court proceedings; implement presumption of guilt of terrorist detainees; torture them in secret prisons, use unconstitutional surveillance on American and non-American citizens, relieve certain detainees of the right of habeas corpus, and much more. Most of it has been tacitly agreed to by Congress and the American public, if not outright supported.
But now we can also see an amazing revolution at another level. There has been a very quiet and often secret development of papal influence in American politics. In an astonishing article on April 14, 2008, one day before the papal visit to the United States, the Religious News Service, raised a powerful question. “Is George Bush Leading America’s First Truly Catholic Presidency?
Daniel Burke wrote “Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI’s election three years ago, President Bush huddled with a small circle of advisers and speechwriters in the Oval Office. As talk briefly turned to religion, the President mentioned reading one of the new pontiff’s books about faith and culture in Western Europe. Save one other soul, Bush was the only non-Catholic in the room, and it did not go unnoticed. Even the President laughed at the thought.
“I used to say that there are more Catholics on President Bush’s speechwriting team than any Notre Dame starting lineup in the past half-century,” said former Bush scribe William McGurn, a Catholic who was part of the meeting.” Keep in mind that Notre Dame is a Catholic University, and virtually all its football players are likely to be Catholic.
The article continued; “The 2005 West Wing meeting was just one indicator of how a Methodist president has surrounded himself with Roman Catholic intellectuals, speechwriters, professors, priests, bishops and politicians. These Catholics — and thus Catholic social teaching — have for the past eight years been shaping Bush’s speeches, policies and legacy to a degree perhaps unprecedented in U.S. history. “In fact, with all due respect to John F. Kennedy, the nation’s first and only Catholic president, some have begun to call the Bush White House the first truly Catholic presidency.” Imagine that my friends. This is a Catholic writing this.
“Bush has placed Catholics in prominent roles in the federal government and relied on Catholic tradition to make a public case for everything from the faith-based initiative to anti-abortion legislation. He has wedded Catholic intellectualism with evangelical political savvy to forge a powerful electoral coalition.” Notice what kind of coalition; an electoral coalition. That has to do with voting someone into office. That has to do with the politics. Bush is working very hard to garner the Catholic vote for the Republican Party. This will inevitably lead to further increases in Rome’s power and strengthen her hand in the United States. No doubt he has made some recommendations along this line to the presumptive Republican nominee for president, John McCain.
I’ll continue with the article. “’There is an awareness in the White House that the rich Catholic intellectual tradition is a resource for making the links between Christian faith, religiously grounded moral judgments and public policy,’ said the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic priest and editor of the journal First Things. Known to the president as “Father Richard,” he has tutored Bush in the church’s social doctrines for nearly a decade…
“Now, as the President prepares to welcome Benedict to the White House on Wednesday (April 16), many in Bush’s Catholic inner circle say the pope will find in the President a kindred spirit. Bush may, in fact, be more influenced by the Vatican and his Catholic advisers than he is by his solidly evangelical base.
“’I don’t think there’s any question about it,’ said Sen. Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and a devout Catholic. ‘That’s why I called him the first Catholic president; he’s certainly much more Catholic than Kennedy.’
“Recently, others have expressed similar sentiments. Michael Gerson, another former top Bush speechwriter, says the key to understanding Bush’s domestic policy is to see it through the lens of Rome. John DiIulio, Bush’s first director of faith-based initiatives, called the president a ‘closet Catholic’ — only half in jest. And Paul Weyrich, an architect of the religious right, sees in Bush shades of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who joined the Catholic Church last year. ‘I think he is a secret believer,’ Weyrich said…
“But even when he has taken actions opposed by the Vatican, such as waging the Iraq War, Bush has shown deference to church teachings, according to Catholics in his intellectual inner sanctum. White House adviser Leonard Leo, who heads Catholic outreach for the Republican National Committee, said Bush ‘has engaged in dialogue with Catholics and shared perspectives with Catholics in a way I think is fairly unique in American politics.” When the Presidential – Papal relationship is described as unique, my friends, we are to understand that it is a relationship that has perhaps gone beyond all previous presidents in opening the door for papal power in America…
“A New York priest who has befriended the President said Bush respects the way Catholicism starts at the foundation — that the papacy is willed by God and the pope is Peter’s successor…“
“Bush and his administration have had no… qualms about their Catholic connections, and at times seemed to brandish them for political purposes. Even before he got to the White House, Bush and his political guru Karl Rove invited Catholic intellectuals to Texas to tutor the candidate on Catholic social teachings.
“In January 2001, Bush’s first public outing as president in the nation’s capital was a dinner with Washington’s then-archbishop, Theodore McCarrick. A few months later, Rove solicited White House adviser Deal Hudson to find a priest to bless his White House office.
My friends, this is shocking! Now we learn that at the beginning of his presidency, President Bush asked a priest to bless his White House office. What does that mean? It means that in spite of the fact that he is a Methodist by profession, President Bush dedicated his presidency to Rome. In practicality it means that the president was dedicating his presidency to advancing Catholic influence and teaching in America. No wonder he has been so solicitous of Rome’s agenda with illegal immigration, stem cell research, abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and a host of other issues as well. No wonder he gave the Pope such a warm and publically adoring welcome. No wonder President Bush opened the White House to the Pope for only the second time in history. No wonder the President sees God in the eyes of the Pope. The Roman Curia must love this. The Jesuits must feel great satisfaction in their success in bringing Rome into the Center of American politics. How can any future president downgrade this powerful coalition between the White House and the Vatican, even if he wanted to?
The RNS article continued; “’There was a very self-conscious awareness that religious conservatives had brought Bush into the White House and that (the administration) wanted to do what they had been mandated to do,’ said Hudson. To conservative Catholics, that meant holding the line against gay marriage, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research, working to limit abortions in the U.S. and abroad while nominating judges who would uphold efforts to outlaw it. To make the case, Bush often borrowed Pope John Paul II’s mantra of promoting a ‘culture of life.’ ‘He really deserves an `A’ in that area. It’s been extremely difficult and he’s done a good job,’ said White House adviser and Princeton University professor Robert P. George.
“Leo and other Catholics say the approximately 300 judges Bush has seated on the federal bench — most notably Catholics John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court — may yet be his greatest legacy…
My friends, this article reveals what has been going on behind the scenes in a largely unknown development that Rome has been secretly working on for a long, long time, and which has now come out in the open. It is a terrific description of the near absolute subjugation of the American administration to Rome. Remember Rome destroys many by her policy of peace. Rome has skillfully used President Bush to advance her agenda during his eight years in office all in the name of peace and love. While not all of President Bush’s decisions and policies are consistent with Catholic Church teaching, the leaders know that in President Bush they have a man they can manipulate to advance much of their agenda. And there is little chance that it will be reversed.
On April 16, the day after Benedict arrived in Washington DC there was a welcoming ceremony at the White House. In his welcome speech President Bush said, “In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism.” These words mirror Benedicts own.”
When President Bush mirrors the Pope’s message, he is showing his respect for papal teaching. Since President Bush has strongly supported Rome’s agenda throughout his presidency, and since most of his speech writers have been Roman Catholic, it should be no surprise that these men are now saying the same thing. I don’t remember President Bush speaking in such terms for other leaders. Even those whom he might consider to be on the same level, he does not treat with such respect. He did not speak of Vladimer Putin that way, nor Angela Merkel. I don’t think he has ever told any other national leader of any other country that we need their message. In other words, President Bush speaks of the Pope as a higher authority than he – even in the United States over which he presides. This is significant. Revelation 13:8 says, “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.” If this prophecy is true, and if America leads the way, and pressures all the nations to worship the beast (vs. 15), the United States will have to treat the papacy as a superior entity. This prophecy could not be fulfilled unless the Pope is elevated above any other nation or potentate on earth, including the President of the United States. And notice that it is happening willingly. President Bush added: “In a world where some evoke the name of God to justify acts of terror and murder and hate, we need your message that God is love.”
In a seamless exposition of papal philosophy, Pope Benedict responded by saying that he was coming as a “friend” to the United States. Among other things, he said, “…I trust that my presence will… strengthen the resolve of Catholics to contribute ever more responsibly to the life of this nation, of which they are proud to be citizens. From the dawn of the Republic, America’s quest for freedom has been guided by the conviction that the principles governing political and social life are intimately linked to a moral order based on the dominion of God the Creator… ”[Freedom] also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate…” and that the “conviction of President Washington, expressed in his Farewell address, that religion and morality represent “indispensable supports” of political prosperity.”
As you can see his message was a ringing challenge to American Catholics to renew their commitment to influence the moral order in American politics. Benedict did not avoid an oblique reference to one of the main reasons why the U. S. Constitution came to be – a response to the Roman Catholic inquisition. He said “Historically, not only Catholics, but all believers have found here (in America) the freedom to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their conscience…” Freedom from Roman Catholic and state oppression in old Europe was a key reason why America was founded in the first place. Every key principle of the Bill of Rights is a response to the inquisition, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of public and private assembly, the principles of law and justice, etc.
Benedict emphasizes only that on which Rome can gain advantage, the moral basis of American law. Rome is working to co-opt that moral foundation and strengthen her own influence and power. In fact, though most people don’t realize it, Benedict wants the United States to harmonize it’s moral foundation with Rome’s definitions. He says, “The church, for her part, wishes to contribute to building a world ever more worthy of the human person… Democracy can only flourish, as your founding fathers realized, when political leaders and those whom they represent are guided by truth.” Of course he means Catholic teaching. He envisions a world where the “God-given dignity and rights of every man, woman and child are cherished, protected and effectively advanced.”
This nice sounding speech continues to agitate the public debate over abortion and gay marriage, rest and worship, science and religion, in short Rome’s open agenda. In spite of President Bush’s denial, the papal visit was patently designed to build strong support for Rome’s political agenda and its influence in U.S. politics. Benedict did it very skillfully. Both men are saying the same things. Rome’s finest hour is near.
But is Rome’s activity all out on the surface where it can be seen? When John Paul II met with President Jimmy Carter at the White House back in 1979, “President Carter,” said the National Catholic Register on April 6, 2008, “had been writing secret letters and had correspondence with the Pope about bringing down communism. They were doing what President Reagan got credit for later on. While there isn’t likely secret correspondence between Pope Benedict XVI and President George W. Bush,” said the Register, the White House is looking forward to the meeting… The President and the Pope will continue discussions they began during President Bush’s trip to the Vatican in June, 2007 on the importance of faith and reason in reaching shared goals.”
What does that mean? Could that mean that the President and the Pope are secretly talking about how to coordinate their efforts to accomplish Rome’s religious goals in the United States? That would be a very serious matter, which could include discussions about restoring and protecting Sunday as a national day of rest. Like the secret efforts back in the late 1970s, the truth may only be revealed many years later, when the goals have been achieved. If the Pope and the President met on U.S. soil privately, and without fanfare or publicity, there would be great suspicion concerning the contents of their discussion. But with all the high profile events, the secret discussion between the Pope and the President was masked as a relatively small aspect of the papal visit and creates very little concern. After all, the Pope isn’t outwardly coming mainly for this purpose. He has other important reasons for being in the United States, namely an address at the United Nations. The same is true when President Bush does a trip through Europe and visits the Vatican as one of many stops. It’s private or secret discussions are seemingly a small part of the trip and generates little concern.
But President Bush and Pope Benedict did meet in private on April 16. Though the details are essentially secret, their joint statement following their discussion describes the “moral and religious considerations to which both parties are committed: Respect of the dignity of the human person, the defense and promotion of life, matrimony and the family; the education of future generations; human rights and religious freedom; sustainable development [etc]…” All of these issues are very important to Rome, for they are part of her agenda to increase her power, and ultimately in the name of her religion. Through them she is building a cooperative relationship between state and church and blurring the line that separates them. The Pope and the President also considered “Latin America with reference among other matters, to immigrants, and the need for a coordinated policy regarding immigration, especially their humane treatment and the well being of their families.” Why would the President and the Pope, the leader of another nation state talk about coordinating their interests concerning domestic U.S. policy? A coordinated policy regarding immigration could mean really anything. The thing that is not said is that Rome wants more Latin American Catholics in the United States who will vote their convictions.
In speaking to the bishops that evening at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Benedict told them that they “are also called to participate in the exchange of ideas in the public square, helping to shape cultural attitudes. ‘Yours,’ he said, ‘is a respected voice that has much to offer to the discussion of the pressing social and moral questions of the day.’” Bishops are responsible to speak openly on behalf of Catholic moral teaching in America. They are to be politically involved.
Prior to the speech at the National Shrine, Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave some remarks. Among the priorities for the next few years, he mentioned the importance of passing on the faith through the observance of Sunday. Here is what he said, “The Episcopal Conference has recently identified the strengthening of marriage and of family life as one of five priorities for our common attention in the next several years. The other four are protecting the life and dignity of the human person at every stage of life’s journey; handing on the faith in the context of sacramental practice and the observance of Sunday worship; fostering vocations to ordained priesthood and consecrated life; and profiting from the cultural diversity of the church here, especially from the gifts of Hispanic Catholics.”
My friends, please notice that Sunday observance is one of the main priorities of the Catholic leaders of the United States. On the surface he is speaking about Roman Catholics and their need to hand on their faith through “sacramental practice and the observance of Sunday worship.” But keep in mind that Rome is leading the other churches. Remember that the backdrop to this is that Rome is developing the ecumenical movement in such a way that all churches can harmonize with her.
In other areas as well, the churches follow Rome’s lead. For example, Rome began talking about protecting the environment several years ago, and now the National Association of Evangelicals and the Southern Baptists and perhaps others have taken up the mantra to protect the creation (or the environment). There are other examples as well, in which non-Catholic churches have taken up Rome’s agenda. Rome knows that if she elevates Sunday observance for Catholics and in Catholic churches, the other churches will succeed in doing the same and in following her lead.
President Bush held a state dinner at tax-payer expense in honor of Benedict’s 81st birthday, but in which Benedict was not even a guest. Instead he went to a prayer meeting with the bishops, which suggests the papal view of its own superiority over the United States.
In spite of the fact that Benedict did not attend the state dinner quite a number of prominent guests did attend – over 250 of them. All five Roman Catholic Supreme Court justices attended the dinner as did “presumptive Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the Associated Press on April 16, 2008. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama were not invited. Perhaps it was because they were neither Catholic nor Republican. But the dinner did include the House minority leader, John Boehner, Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Ken Hackett, the President of Catholic Relief Services, Tommy Lasorda, the former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and George Weigel, Pope John Paul II’s biographer.
While in the United States, Pope Benedict XVI held masses in Washington DC and New York for nearly 100,000 people. The people were shouting and screaming like he was a superhero at some points in his visit. This enthusiasm is strengthening the power of the pope in influencing millions in her favor. Benedict also met with five abuse victims, spoke to leaders in Roman Catholic higher education, met privately with a group of non-Christian religious leaders, visited a synagogue and ground zero in New York, and met with ecumenical Christian leaders – all very strategic or symbolic. But one of the key reasons for visiting the U.S. was to attend and speak at the United Nations at the request of the General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon.
The papal visit to the United Nations is very significant because the Vatican holds a special status. While the papacy is a “permanent observer,” which sounds like Rome is not involved in the political aspects of the UN, the truth is quite the opposite. Rome’s permanent observer status carries with it, “the right of reply and the right: to participate in general debate, to issue communications and to co-sponsor draft resolutions,” said the National Catholic Register, April 6, 2008. So the Vatican can in fact, be very involved in UN politics. The Register, quoting Austin Ruse, President of The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, pointed out that the “The Holy See is the oldest continuous government in the world and maintains diplomatic relations with most of the nations in the world.” This means that it’s involvement in the UN is especially significant.
Being a religious government too, with its members scattered throughout virtually all the nations of world, the papacy has a power at the UN that is different from most nations because Rome can influence the politics of those nations to a certain extent, which would affect its stature and political influence at the UN. So in effect, Rome can work the geopolitical situation from two angles, from within the nations themselves, and through the supranational UN organization. This is the same way that Rome works in the United States, Europe and other nations of the world. She works closely with government leaders while at the same time working directly with the population to accomplish her goals. Rome wants to control the whole world. So, an invitation to speak to the United Nations is vital to papal goals and is a powerful opportunity to talk to world leaders all at once. No other church even comes close to this kind of position and power. No other church can speak so powerfully to virtually all the nations of the world assembled together about moral things. Since the sixth century, popes have always had this view. And since 1798, Rome has continually worked toward achieving it again. Great Controversy 565 says that “the Roman Church is far reaching in her plans…” The papal kingdom, this time, will not merely be Europe, but the whole world.
The speech at the United Nations is very interesting. Benedict speaks of the United Nations as working toward “common ends… a moral centre where all the nations of the world feel at home…” and that through the United Nations “issues and conflicts concerning the world community can be subject to common regulation.”
Remember, my friends, prophecy tells us that Rome is working for a universal Sunday law or regulation. Revelation 13 tells us that “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.” The United Nations is an essential element to bring this about. Rome’s moral status at this global organization was on full display as he powerfully argued for an organization that would protect human rights.
Benedict spoke of the sacred nature of human life, preservation of the environment, and the tension between science and ethics. But highlighting his speech was his argument that the “responsibility to protect” is the moral basis for any government to rule over its people. He argued that the United Nations also has the “responsibility to protect” the weakest people of the world and to provide human rights and dignity to all. The United Nations,” he said, “is called to support inter-religious dialogue, and that the United Nations can “draw fruit from the willingness of believers to place their experiences at the service of the common good.” He argued for a United Nations that will centralize power and rule the world with Rome’s moral agenda.
The National Catholic Register quoted one prominent woman who said that she “believes that various portions of the speech were meant to be understood for what was between the lines. The “duty to protect” could be understood, she explained, as referring to the situation in Darfur, Somalia, or for what happened in Rawanda in 1994.”
But the “duty to protect” could also mean much more from a prophetic standpoint. Prophecy tells us that Rome is seeking to enforce her own religion, particularly her Sunday on the whole world. Though Benedict is seeking protection of Christianity in Europe, where secularism is predominant, and also in some Islamic countries, he has a larger goal in mind – Benedict wants to become the global power broker. Benedict knows that other Christian faiths will also benefit by his call for religious freedom, but he also knows that virtually all of them will unite with Rome in this common interest. He also knows that they will eventually unite with him in promoting Sunday laws when the time comes for the people of the earth to clamor for religious solutions to the serious problems they face. They will come back to this principle of the “common good,” and enact laws requiring all people to break the law of God and reverence Sunday as a day of rest and worship for the sake of the social order. For now, he is speaking in a way that unites religions and urges ecumenical development. But the time will come, when that ecumenical development will be mature, and unity will involve Sunday laws to “protect” society.
One rather shocking development involves Sabbath keepers. When Benedict visited the Park East Synagogue in New York, Rabbi Arthur Schneier said, “Your Holiness, a heartfelt Shalom!” The term “Your Holiness” is a formal reference to the Pope as God, or perhaps as God in the Pope. To refer to someone as holy in this way is blasphemy. And for a Sabbath-keeper, no less, to say this must make Satan rejoice. He went on to say; “The sun is shining and the heavens are rejoicing on this day. How good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in peace and unity.” Since when are popes and rabbis brothers?
At an ecumenical prayer service with other Christians that evening, Benedict spoke powerfully in favor of a need for unity among Christians. “Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices,” he said, “are sometimes changed within communities by so-called ‘prophetic actions’ that are [not consistent with] scripture and tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of ‘local options.’ Somewhere in this process… communion with the church in every age – is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the gospel.
In essence, Benedict was saying that Christian churches must act together with Rome, the only church with a connection to the church in all ages, not as independent denominations. When Rome calls for the protection of the environment, so should they. When Rome calls for the protection of the unborn, so should they. When Rome calls for a Sunday law, so should they.
Participants at the service included 250 national and local protestant and orthodox church leaders; the Pope personally greeted fifteen leaders including the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Demetrios of America, and the president of the National Council of Churches, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), and Bernice King, youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr. She is an elder at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Also among the group was Pat Robertson, the famous televangelist, former leader and founder of the Christian Coalition and the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
When Benedict left JFK airport in New York for Rome on April 20, several very important people were on hand to bid him farewell. One of them was Vice-President Dick Cheney who has also worked very well with Rome. (For a copy of our sermon that showed this very strong connection, ask for our CD titled Architects of a New America.).
In his farewell speech Dick Cheney, speaking of American people, said; “You have met a people of resonating faith who affirm that our nation was founded under God, who seek His purposes and bow to His will.” What does that mean to bow to God’s will? Would that mean God’s will as defined by Rome and apostate protestants? Cheney went on to say that back when Benedict was ordained 57 years ago, “you might have found it hard to imagine then that you would stand before all humanity as a teacher, a statesman, and the shepherd of more than a billion souls. That is what God has called you to do… Your presence has honored our country.”
My friends, Dick Cheney may not realize it, but he is speaking prophetically. 57 years ago, it would have been unthinkable for a pope to have such an open door to visit the United States, let alone speak in such a powerful way to the whole world through the United Nations. Today it is a different world than it was in 1951. Now Rome is on the ascendency and is manipulating the United States and no doubt the United Nations.
We have come to the time, my friends, when we must take heed to the warnings found in the word of God. We are living in the most prophetically significant times. Jesus the one who died for you, is warning you that time is running out and that you are to make yourself ready. You cannot sleep through this. You have to be wide awake or you will be caught up in the deception. Make truth your passion. Make Christ who is the truth, your life controller. You cannot overcome unless He lives in you and controls you. You cannot succeed in the coming conflict unless He has given you the victory. And while you are at it find other souls who long for truth and light and bring them present truth as it is in Jesus.
We hope you have received a rich blessing from this month’s message. Your prayers and gifts mean much to us. Thank you for your support. The song you have just heard is Done Made My Vow, sung by The Three Angels Chorale. It is recorded on a CD with other beautiful hymns called On Our Journey Home. If you would like to have a copy of the CD, just send $16 post paid to U.S. addresses to cover the cost, and we will send you one. Please mention the On Our Journey Home CD. Our international listeners should inquire the additional cost of shipping.
The following is our monthly Prophetic Intelligence Briefing, a feature that brings you current events in light of prophecy especially for those who love the appearing of Jesus Christ. We can see the signs of the times telling us that we are nearing the world’s great crisis. May the Lord find us faithful.
Our first item this month: John McCain as President Would Surround Himself with Catholic Counselors and Spiritual Advisors.
On December 14, 2007, the Catholic News Agency reported that U.S. presidential candidate John McCain held a conference call with Catholic leaders from around the country. They asked him questions on pro-life issues and immigration. Sen. McCain’s consistent pro-life voting record appeals to Catholics. “John McCain also mentioned who he would look to for advice on pro-life issues. “I would surround myself with people, in particular with [Roman Catholics such as] Sam Brownback (Republican Senator from Kansas) and Frank Keating (former governor of Oklahoma), people who will provide me with the moral and spiritual guidance on this issue and other issues…”
What other issues? Senator McCain has also been courting Catholics around the country. CNA also reported on April 1, 2008 that before the Florida primary, McCain devoted ten staffers to the campaign’s outreach to Florida Catholics. The staffers contacted about 500,000 Catholics statewide.“ That is a lot of calls; half-a-million of them. He did a similar thing in Iowa and New Hampshire as well. “In each place,” wrote CNA, “the Catholic vote really provided the edge.”
In an interesting twist, on February 27, 2008 John Hagee, an evangelical televangelist, endorsed Senator McCain which angered the president of the Catholic League. Bill Donohue said in a statement today,” wrote the Washington Post on February 28, “that Hagee has written extensively in negative ways about the Catholic Church, ‘calling it ‘The Great Whore,’ and ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’ Senator Obama has repudiated the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, another bigot. McCain should follow suit and retract his embrace of Hagee,” Donohue said. Catholics United, a national online group, accused McCain of selling out, reported the Post, “’By receiving the endorsement of an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church, McCain once again demonstrates that he is willing to sell out his principles for a chance to win the presidency.”
As you can see, Roman Catholics squeezed McCain pretty hard. Please note that anyone that subscribes to the Bible teaching that the Roman Catholic Church is the whore of Revelation 17 or an apostate church is considered to be a bigot. What do you think John McCain did, in order not to lose Catholic support? Fox news quoted McCain; “I don’t have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions,” he said.
John Hagee also learned a good lesson about politics in America. If you are going to have influence, you can’t say certain things about the Roman Catholic Church. Apparently he got so much criticism, that he invited a number of Roman Catholics to join him for lunch in Washington DC, among them, former Bush adviser and editor of the Roman Catholic political magazine Crisis, Deal Hudson. The lunch proved to be the “crucial turning point,” according to CNA, for on May 12, Hagee issued a letter to the Catholic League to “clarify his views” and “advance greater unity between Catholics and Evangelicals.” “I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful,” he wrote. “After engaging in constructive dialogue with Catholic friends and leaders, I now have an improved understanding of the Catholic Church, its relation to the Jewish faith and the history of anti-Catholicism.
I wonder what history he is referring to? The time is coming, my friends, when anyone who has taken the Bible position concerning the beast and whore of Revelation, will be pressured, cajoled, or “dialogued” into an “improved understanding” of Rome. Please note that Rome has so much popular traction in the United States that anyone that is aspiring to be in the public eye, will have to make his peace with Rome. “Bill Donohue replied to Hagee’s letter in a Tuesday statement, saying Hagee “has pledged to provide a more complete and balanced portrayal going forward that will not reinforce mischaracterizations of the Catholic Church.”
Again we see that the next president, if it is John McCain, will, like President Bush surround himself with Roman Catholic influence to guide him in office.
Next: Congressional Sabbath Keeper Welcomes the Pope
Among the 12,000 guests (13,500, according to the National Catholic Register) at the official state welcome for Benedict XVI on the South lawn of the White House, was one who claims to be a Seventh-day Adventist who is a democratic member of the House of Representatives from Texas.
Sheila Jackson-Lee listened to the welcoming message and then issued a press release. “I welcome His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his first visit to the United States” said Jackson-Lee. “Along with millions of Americans, I am truly honored to hear his message of peace, hope, justice and goodwill to all…” How is it that she calls the pope “His Holiness?” Does she think that he is somehow holy? These are terms describing him as having divine attributes and power.
I’ll read on from her website. “I fully understand the importance of the Catholic faith. Houston has a flourishing Catholic community in which I have worked very closely with on issues such as immigration, healthcare and interfaith relations… Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.” Imagine that! A Seventh-day Adventist attending a Roman Catholic mass? How can that be?
“As a woman of faith, again, I welcome Pope Benedict XVI on behalf of my constituents to the United States,” she said. “As the Catholic faith continues to spread around the world and in Houston, I am committed to graciously working along side my constituents as well as world religious leaders of all different religious backgrounds to continue growing in faith and to strengthen our world.” Keep in mind this is the same person that eulogized the dead John Paul II in 2005 as having moved into a more abundant life and that she was continuing to pray for the dead pope.
Apparently Ms. Jackson-Lee is also someone that sees the pope as God and is very involved in the ecumenical aspects of Rome’s agenda. Moreover, she is obviously fond of opportunities to adulate the pope. How is it that a Seventh-day Adventist could make this kind of statement? Does she think that this will help her improve her political ambitions with her constituents? While it may strengthen her constituent base, it does not strengthen her reputation with the God of Heaven. Commendably, the Adventist Congressman from Maryland, Roscoe Bartlett said nothing on his website about the papal visit.
Next: Uribe Says Intercession of Virgin Mary Prevented War in South America.
Bogota, March 24, 2008 CNA reported that “The Colombian daily “El Tiempo” revealed on Holy Saturday that a crisis that could have ended in open conflict between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela was averted by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe confiding the situation to the intercession of Mary under three different titles by which she is the countries’ patroness.
“The crisis between Colombia and its southern (Ecuador) and northeastern (Venezuela) neighbors started on March 1, when Uribe ordered a military raid into Ecuador’s territory against a rebel camp used by Marxist guerrillas to launch terrorist strikes. The raid targeted and killed the No. 2 FARC rebel leader, Raul Reyes.
“In response, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa cut all diplomatic relationships with Colombia, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Correa’s political ally, ordered a massive military surge to the Colombian border as well…
El Tiempo revealed that on March 5… President Uribe called for a Rosary to pray for the end of tensions. The Rosary, prayed at the Presidential Palace’s chapel, was dedicated, upon Uribe’s request, to the three Marian patronesses of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Uribe invited all officials at the Presidential Palace to the Rosary.
El Tiempo wrote, “the prayer was more than effective…” Two days later, the presidents of the three countries shook hands together during the Group of Rio summit.
So Mary is the one that gets the credit for reducing tensions in Latin America. No doubt this helps the Colombian people to more faithfully pray the Rosary when they have troubles, and increases their loyalty to the church.
Next: UN Chief an Ecumenist.
The Christian Post, on October 31, 2007 reported that “the United Nations and the World Council of Churches reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate at a meeting… at the UN headquarters in New York. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon expressed “deep appreciation for the work of the WCC,” especially in the areas of democracy and human rights, according to the global church body.
“The WCC, which represents more than 560 million Christians, met with the UN secretary-general on Monday at the beginning of the WCC’s United Nations Advocacy Week, Oct 29-Nov 2.
“As the UN faces the 21st century…” Said WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia, “the WCC strongly believes multilateralism is the only way to respond to the challenges of today.”
“The meeting was attended by some 80 church leaders, policy and advocacy officers of churches and ecumenical organizations from all over the world.
“Earlier in October the UN head also met with Christian leaders in a historic event that brought together evangelical leaders from around the world. Ban was invited to speak about the UN Millennium Development Goals and had highlighted the common social concerns of the United Nations and the evangelical community.”
Next: Andrews University Hosts Jesuit Trained Lecturers
On Monday, April 14, 2008, just one day before Benedict XVI arrived in the United States, Andrews University hosted two Jesuit trained priests at its Tenth Swallen Mission Lectureship. Their purpose was to instruct seminarians in missions. The advertisement for the event, said that the “Guest speakers are Dr. Roger Schroeder and Dr. Stephen Bevans, both professors of missiology at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. Both men have degrees from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, the Jesuit university that was established by Ignatius Loyola. One of the lectures, of all things, was titled “Jesus the Universal Savior: Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists in Mission.” The seminar went from 9am until 9pm.
There are a number of questions that are raised concerning this event.
1. Why would a Seventh-day Adventist seminary use Roman Catholic lecturers to instruct young impressionable seminarians in Catholic thinking concerning missions, when it is the Adventist mission to call men and women out of Rome and into God’s message?
2. How can an entity of God’s last church on earth invite those whom the Bible declares to be part of the apostate system and representatives of anti-Christ teach for even a day in God’s institution?
3. J. N. Andrews did not bother to seek the counsel of Roman Catholics when he went abroad to win souls for the kingdom, why should God’s church?
4. Why would the seminary place the cup of the wine of Babylon before the seminary students?
5. God’s church has been given tremendous and advanced light concerning missions in the writings of Ellen White, why would the seminary need to supplement them with Jesuit trained lecturers teaching Roman Catholic ideas of mission?
6. Would not bringing Roman Catholic professors to speak to Adventist students soften them up and make them more open to the ecumenical movement, and perhaps moot their evangelistic voice?
7. Are Adventists at Andrews seminary still protestants, or is the seminary paying homage to the first beast of Revelation 13 out of its own initiative?
My friends, it is time to weep between the porch and the alter, and to sigh and cry for the abominations that are done in God’s church. This is another blow to the great principles for which the Seventh-day Adventist Church was raised to promote. An number of good letters were written by concerned leaders, but Dr. Fortin, Dean of the seminary wrote in his response that “The Swallen Mission Lectureship was established about 15 years ago to facilitate inter-religious dialogue about Christian mission.” Besides sounding rather ecumenical in nature, the Swallen Lectureship would still be very unwise to provide air time to false ideas of mission promoted by Roman Catholic professors.
Dr. Fortin also admitted that “we have some Seminary professors with degrees from Catholic institutions.” This in itself is a tragedy and cannot be used as an excuse to bring in Roman Catholic professors to teach seminary students in an Adventist institution. He also stated “we see our invitation to them to be speakers at this Lectureship as an opportunity to witness to them and to let them know what we believe and do.” Though Dr. Fortin admits that he doesn’t “expect conversions to happen from these contacts,” he still justifies the lectureship on the basis that they might.
It has never been a good idea to bring in those that believe in doctrines that are part of the wine of Babylon and hope that by giving them a chance to share their ideas with seminary students, that somehow in the process, they will see the light and change their thinking or even abandon their own teachings. If that should happen, it would be a witness to the intervention of God. But the danger is in what will be infused in the student’s minds in the process of winning the lecturers. It may well “open doors of influence that will have an impact for eternity” perhaps in the opposite way that Dr. Fortin thinks.
Unfortunately, our time has run out. It has been a great pleasure to spend this time with you. I hope you have been encouraged to live for Jesus for we are near the end. Thank you for your prayers and support. And until next time, may God bless and keep you and your family in His loving and protecting care. Keep the faith!