Rome in the News, May 2018

Some recent Rome and eschatology-related headlines:

All of Chile’s 34 bishops RESIGN over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal after crisis meeting with the Pope

Archbishop steps down after he’s found guilty of covering up the sexual abuse of altar boys at the hands of paedophile priest

Catholic priest is among those facing charges after albino is murdered and chopped into pieces so his body parts can be used in ‘magical potions’ in Malawi

Pope Francis in the Wilderness

‘Heretic’ in the Vatican

Church in revolt at pope’s ‘blessing’ of Islam’s expansion in Europe

Pope Francis: My Wish Is for Buddhists and Catholics to Grow ‘Increasingly Closer’

The Catholic Church’s Looming Fight Over Same-Sex Blessings

Vatican Newspaper Under Pope Francis Praises Karl Marx the Founder of Communism

The Vatican denies agreeing deal with Saudi Arabia to build churches for Christians living in the Muslim country

Vatican Denies Signing Accord with Saudi Arabia to Build Churches

Vatican: The Catholic Church Cannot Ever Ordain Women Priests

After Alfie Evans, Vatican Issues ‘Charter of the Rights of the Incurable Child’

‘It’s a MIRACLE’ Catholic Church launch probe after Virgin Mary statue starts WEEPING

‘No other religion would be made fun of in this way’: Christian fury at Met Gala’s ‘blasphemous’ Catholic theme as Rihanna goes dressed as the Pope and Katy Perry wears angel’s wings

Heavenly! Jenna Bush Hager plays up to the Met Gala’s Catholic theme in red lace with scarlet eye make-up – as she attends her first major event since the death of her grandmother Barbara

Katy Perry’s “soul overhaul” leads her to the Vatican to promote Transcendental Meditation

Trans People Urged to Become Priests in Church of England Drive ‘to Honour LGBT+ People’

EU Unveils Plans for ‘Drastic’ Funding Cuts to Patriotic Eastern Nations

The Double Sense of Scripture

John Cassian on how the “abomination of desolation” could be applied to Antichrist:

“Wherefore on those passages which are brought forward with a  clear explanation we also can constantly lay down the meaning and boldly state our own opinions. But those which the Holy Spirit,  reserving for our meditation and exercise, has inserted in holy Scripture with veiled meaning, wishing some of them to be gathered from various proofs and conjectures, ought to be step by step and carefully brought together, so that their assertions and proofs may be arranged by the discretion of the man who is arguing or supporting them. For sometimes when a difference of opinion is expressed on one and the same subject, either view may be considered reasonable and be held without injury to the faith either firmly, or doubtfully, i.e., in such a way that neither is full belief nor absolute rejection accorded to it, and the second view need not interfere with the former, if neither of them is found to be opposed to the faith: as in this case: where Elias came in the person of John, and is again to be the precursor of the Lord’s Advent: and in the  matter of the Abomination of desolation which stood in the holy place, by means of that idol of Jupiter which, as we read, was placed in the temple in Jerusalem, and which is again to stand in the Church through the coming of Antichrist, and all those things which follow in the gospel, which we take as having been fulfilled before the captivity of Jerusalem and still to be fulfilled at the end of this world. In which matters neither view is opposed to the other, nor does the first interpretation interfere with the second.”

~THE WORKS OF JOHN CASSIAN, THE FIRST PART OF THE  CONFERENCES OF JOHN CASSIAN, THE SECOND CONFERENCE OF ABBOT SERENUS, ON PRINCIPALITIES, CHAPTER 4; Schaff (Ages Software), qtd. in Rand Windburn, “The Abomination of Desolation: Past, Present or Future? Matthew 24:1-15 Examined,” page 41, online at http://www.iconbusters.com/iconbusters/htm/catalogue/abomination_of_desolation.pdf

The Triple Tiara

Albert Lévitt:

The “triple tiara” with which the pope is crowned at his coronation has not only a symbolic but also a practical political significance. It represents the threefold nature of the pope. He is (1) the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church; and (2) he is a temporal ruler, free and independent of every other temporal, secular ruler upon earth; and (3) he is the supreme temporal ruler who reigns over all other temporal rulers, states, and nations by divine command. Thus it is that all spiritual powers and all temporal powers are brought together in one person, an absolute monarch of the entire world, the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, the sovereign of the state of Vatican City.6

6 Albert Lévitt, Vaticanism: The Political Principles of the Roman Catholic Church (New York: Vantage Press, 1960), p. 41. Lévitt continues, “In a country where a papal state does not, or cannot, exist, the Roman Catholic Church says that the state should be by divine law a ‘Catholic state.’ In a ‘Catholic state’ the temporal sovereign of that state acknowledges that the Roman Catholic religion is the only true religion, that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church, that the pope is that spiritual head of that state, that the temporal head of that state should be, and is, a communicant in the Roman Catholic Church, and that the temporal head of that state owes his political allegiance to the pope in all matters that come within the meaning and functioning of ‘faith and morals’” (pp. 41-42).

Source: http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/romeandpolitics.htm#1

Never Ordained of Christ

Philip Melancthon:

“Furthermore, private masses, vows, the single life of priests,  numbering up of sins to the priest, as well as many other things are used for God’s true service and worship though they are but mere ordinances of men. Although the supper of the Lord was truly instituted by Christ, yet the private mass is a wicked profanation of the Lord’s supper: for in the canon, what a corruption is contained in this where it is said that Christ is offered, and that the work itself is a sacrifice, which redeemeth the quick and the dead? These things were never ordained of Christ; yea manifold ways they are repugnant to the gospel. Christ willeth not himself to be offered up of priests, neither can the work of the offerer, or of the receiver, by any means be a sacrifice. This is manifest idolatry, and overthroweth the true doctrine of faith, and the true use of the sacraments. By faith in Christ we are justified, and not by any work of the priests.

~THE COPY OF PHILIP MELANCTHON’S FRUITFUL EPISTLE,  SENT TO KING HENRY, AGAINST THE CRUEL ACT OF THE SIX ARTICLES, Foxe, Vol. 3, (Ages Software), qtd. in Rand Windburn, “The Abomination of Desolation: Past, Present or Future? Matthew 24:1-15 Examined,” page 31, online at http://www.iconbusters.com/iconbusters/htm/catalogue/abomination_of_desolation.pdf

The Global Kingdom of Antichrist

“From the very beginning,” writes Thomas Reese, “the papacy has … been a strong supporter of the United Nations, despite its problems, as the best hope for peace.”15 Rome repeatedly calls for the strengthening of its powers and even appeals for one world government as the most effective way of ending all war. Vatican II’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (1965) issues this impassioned plea, for what will be, in effect, the global kingdom of Antichrist in whose day war (Matt. 24:6-7) will come to an end (cf. I Thess. 5:3; Rev. 13:3-4, 8, 12, 14-17):

It is our clear duty, then, to strain every muscle as we work for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all, and endowed with effective power to safeguard on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights. But before this hoped-for authority can be set up, the highest existing international centers must devote themselves vigorously to the pursuit of better means for obtaining common security. Peace must be born of mutual trust between nations rather than imposed on them through fear of one another’s weapons.16

15 Reese, Inside the Vatican, p. 272.

16 Walter M. Abbot (gen. ed.), The Documents of Vatican II (USA: The America Press, 1966), pp. 295-296.

Source: http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/romeandpolitics.htm#4

The Abomination of Self-Deification

Huss:

“The papacy is the abomination of self-deification in the holy place. Woe then is me, if I do not preach of that abomination, if I do not weep over it, write about it.”

~Lessons From the Reformation, Alonzo Jones, Chapter 15, The Reformation and the Papacy, (Ages Software), qtd. in Rand Windburn, “The Abomination of Desolation: Past, Present or Future? Matthew 24:1-15 Examined,” page 29, online at http://www.iconbusters.com/iconbusters/htm/catalogue/abomination_of_desolation.pdf

Deeply Influenced by Catholic Social Teaching

Adrian Hilton:

The [EU, as it is now called] started under the inspiration of [Roman] Catholic politicians—such as [Konrad] Adenauer of Germany, Paul-Henri Spaak [of Belgium], Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman [both of France]. They were all Christian Democrats. They were all deeply influenced by Catholic social teaching.

~Adrian Hilton, The Principality and Power of Europe (England: Dorchester House Publications, 1997), p. 18.

Source: http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/romeandpolitics.htm#4

 

The New Spiritual Temple

Martin Luther:

“St. Paul prophesied all this, when in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, he calls him: ‘The man of sin and the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.’

But that the Papists want to turn this passage from themselves and say, ‘Christ and Paul are speaking of the temple of Jerusalem, that Antichrist shall sit and rule there,’ amounts to nothing. For Christ says here, that Jerusalem together with the temple shall have an end, and after its destruction it shall never be rebuilt. Therefore since Paul is pointing to the time after the Jewish kingdom, and the destruction of the material temple, it cannot be understood otherwise than of the new spiritual temple, which as he says himself, we are. There, Paul says, the Pope shall sit and be honored, not above God, but above everything that is called God, for the name of God does indeed remain the highest honor, therefore he cannot exalt himself above the true God, but above that which is called God and is worshipped; that is, he is exalted against his preaching and honor, higher than the true God, as is apparent in that so many princes and the world are clinging to him and regard his command higher and greater than the command of God. If any man eats meat contrary to his command or goes out of the impure calling of the priest, monk, or nun, into married life, as God has commanded, or according to the institution of Christ takes the sacrament in both forms; that is the greatest sin. They regard much less stealing, adultery and all open vice against the command of God, and no one is even allowed to punish them for it. Yea, that they themselves defame the Word of God, persecute and kill the Christians, they esteem as the highest service of God, as it is also the highest service they can do for their god, the Pope. Is not this exalting and honoring Antichrist against God, so that if anyone speaks or does anything against this, if he gets into their hands, he must immediately die? I think now that enough has been pictured forth and explained concerning this abomination.”

~Sermons of Martin Luther, Vol. 1, Sermons on Gospel Texts, The Signs on the Day of Judgment, (Ages Software), qtd. in Rand Windburn, “The Abomination of Desolation: Past, Present or Future? Matthew 24:1-15 Examined,” page 21, online at http://www.iconbusters.com/iconbusters/htm/catalogue/abomination_of_desolation.pdf

Make America Catholic

John Ireland (1838-1918), Archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota:

Let me state, as I conceive it, the work which, in God’s providence, the Catholics of the United States are called to do within the coming century. It is twofold: to make America Catholic, and to solve for the Church universal the all-absorbing problems with which religion is confronted in the present age … The work defines the measure of the responsibility … The work is to make America Catholic … The Church is triumphing in America, Catholic truth will travel on the wings of American influence, and encircle the universe.

~Quoted in Lévitt, Vaticanism, p. 12

Source: http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/romeandpolitics.htm#4

 

Three States of the Church in Revelation

Dumbarton UMC - stained glass detail (balance scale)

Wilhelmus à Brakel:

These three states are prophesied in Revelation and presented under three symbols, namely:

  1. Seals, representing the church under the heathen emperors.
  2. Trumpets, representing the church under the Antichrist:
  3. Vials, showing the decreasing of the Antichrist and the plagues over him, while the church increases as much as the Antichrist decreases, sometimes the one, sometimes the other winning in the battle, with respect to the external.

Not to be Ignored: Rev. Wilhelmus a Brakel’s Commentary on Revelation (McCarter Providential Enterprises LLC: 2016), page 81.