Category Archives: Rome

The Mass and Occasional Hearing

Calvin on being present for the Mass (from The Unlawful Rites of the Ungodly) and the sin of occasional hearing:

Come now and consider with me, in regard to a pretended observance of the Mass, with what kind of conscience you can be present at the performance of its mysteries. Immediately on your entrance, the altar offers itself to your view, differing little from a common table, but proclaiming, by its very name, that it is to be used for sacrificing ! This itself assuredly is not free from blasphemy. You see the Priest coming forward, who boasts that, by the anointing of four fingers, he has been appointed mediator between God and man, who, carrying off from the faithful of the Church, and from -the Supper itself, that promise in which Christ gives his Body and Blood to his servants, to be eaten under the symbols of Bread and Wine, arrogates it to himself and his fellow slayers, who dishonour his heavenly Supper by giving it the name of Mass, in which it is completely inverted and deformed. The people stand by, persuaded that every one of these things is Divine ; you stand among them pretending to be similarly affected. When the impostor has gone up to the altar, he begins the play with acts partly motionary, partly stationary, and with those magical mutterings by which he thinks himself, or, at least, would have others to think—he is to call Christ down from heaven, by which he devotes Him when called down to Sacrifice, and by which he procures the reconciliation of God with the human race, as if he had been substituted in the place of a dead Christ ! These acts you see received by the whole multitude, with the same veneration as those above-mentioned ; you shape your features to imitate them, when they ought visibly to have expressed the utmost abhorrence !

Will it still be denied to me that he who listens to the Mass with a semblance of Religion, every time these acts are perpetrated, professes before men to be a partner in sacrilege, whatever his mind may inwardly declare to God ? At last, behold the Idol (puny, indeed, in bodily appearance, and white in colour, but by far the foulest and most pestiferous of all Idols !) lifted up to affect the minds of the beholders with Superstition. While all prostrate themselves in stupid amazement, you, turning toward the Idol with an expression of veneration, prostrate yourself also. What effrontery must ours be, if we deny that any one of the things delivered in Scripture against Idolatry is applicable to the Idolatry here detected and proved ! What ! is this Idol in any respect different from that which the Second Commandment of the Law forbids us to worship ? But if it is not, why should the worship of it be regarded as less a sin than the worship of the Statue at Babylon ? And yet the three Israelites, to whom we above referred, shuddered more at the idea of offering- such worship than of suffering death in its most excruciating form. If the Lord declares the impurity of the vulgar superstitions of the Gentiles to be such that they are not to be touched, how can it be lawful to keep rolling about in such a sink of pollution and sacrilege as here manifestly exists ? Taking the single expression which gives the essence of all the invectives which the Apostle had uttered against Idolatry—that we could not at once be partakers at the table of Christ and the table of demons—who can deny its applicability to the Mass? Its altar is erected by overthrowing the Table of Christ, and its feast is prepared by plundering, lacerating, defiling the meats prepared for the Table of Christ. In the Mass Christ is traduced, his death is mocked, an execrable idol is substituted for God—shall we hesitate, then, to call it the table of demons? Or shall we not rather, in order justly to designate its monstrous impiety, try, if possible, to devise some new term still more expressive of detestation? Indeed, I exceedingly wonder how men, not utterly blind, can hesitate for a
moment to apply the name ” Table of Demons” to the Mass, seeing they plainly behold in the erection and the arrangement of it the tricks, engines, and troops of devils all combined.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/christians-visiting-churches-which-preach-a-false-gospel.95345/, Comment 3

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The Tycoon on the Tiber

Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “Prophets and Profits XIII:”

This writer foresees the day, perhaps a thousand years from now, when the Vatican will cease functioning as a religious institution and take up, on a full-time basis, the duties of a large-scale business corporation. The transition will not be as difficult to effectuate as one might suspect. For just as Catholicism will decline and eventually withdraw from the ranks of the major religions, so, too, will Church money find its way into nearly every area of the free world’s economy. Then, at last, the tycoon on the Tiber will shed the mantle of piety; then, at last, the Vatican will expose the full extent of its financial interests.

Read more: http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/14/

No One is Justified in Keeping

(Except for the Vatican, of course):

“Private property does not constitute for anyone an absolute and unconditional right. No one is justified in keeping for his exclusive use what he does not need, when others lack necessities”

~Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “Prophets and Profits XIII,” http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/14/

Everything is Forbidden and Possible

Roma-villa

“In the Vatican everything is forbidden, and everything is possible.”

(Vatican saying)

~Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “Prophets and Profits XIII,” http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/14/

 

Coded Messages

Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “The Vatican’s Expenses XI:”

Unknown to most people, even regular listeners to Vatican Radio, is the fact that during the early morning hours of each day the office of the Vatican’s secretary of state broadcasts messages—some of them in code—to priests, nuncios, apostolic delegates, and cardinals in all parts of the world. Each Church dignitary knows about what time to expect special announcements pertaining to his region. He also receives coded signals from the Vatican to remind him of the “date” he has with his receiver.

In contrast with other stations, Vatican Radio often communicates private messages that will not be understood by anyone but the papal representative for whom they are intended. One might, for instance, hear something like this: “Father Tizio, with reference to the information in your letter of the eighth of September, re the peasant woman who sees visions of the Virgin Mary, we have considered your suggestion, but suggest that ad captandum vulgus. . . .”

Several years ago, when N.B.C. correspondent Irving R. Levine visited the station and was told that there was such a daily transmission to the United States, he asked in jest, “Is that when Cardinal Spellman gets his orders from the Vatican?”

The staff member who was acting as Levine’s guide replied with a grin, “No, sir, it’s just the other way around!”

Read more: http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/12/

An Opening to the Left

Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “The Vatican in Politics X:”

The Vatican’s role during this period merits review. If the Vatican had not wanted its Christian Democratic party to work with the left-wing, Marxist politicians, then there would never have been an “opening to the left” in Italian politics; as members of a Catholic party, the democristiani were obliged to maintain their Vatican- approved principles, but the first law of all successful politicians is to retain a position of power. The apertura a sinistra became possible, thanks to a change of climate within the Vatican itself. Much of the change was attributable to Pope John XXIII, whose policies were in strong contrast to the stiffly anti-Communist ones of his predecessor, Pius XII.

Read more: http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/11/

It Alternately Poses

Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “The Vatican in Politics X:”

The Vatican does not directly control the Christian Democrats, who are popularly known among the Italian people as democristiani, and also as i preti—literally, the priests. It does not give instructions to its men—but it doesn’t have to. It does not express opinions on given political issues—but the party leadership is always aware of the Vatican’s views. Ostensibly, Italy’s is a secular government, but the rules of conduct are formulated by the Vatican. For this reason, the Vatican has allowed only trusted practicing Catholics who will do the Church’s bidding to rise to the top political jobs in Italy.

One might ask whether the success of the Vatican in Italian politics can be attributed to the merging of its secular and spiritual qualities. The answer is indeed in the affirmative. The Vatican alternately poses as a church and as a political force, depending upon which pose will prove more advantageous at the moment. At the lower levels, through the local congregations, the Church presents itself as a religious organization and wins support by religious appeals to its followers; often these appeals influence voters. At the higher levels the Church becomes increasingly a political organization and, indirectly, exerts a controlling influence over the affairs of the Italian state. The Church’s chief instrument has been the democristi-ani, an army of faithful Christian Democratic politicians that has obviated the Vatican’s need for maintaining powerful lobbies. Italy’s postwar political history is intimately tied to i preti, under whom Italy has been carefully guided to its present position in the world of nations.

Read more: http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/11/

No More Sinful Than The Collecting Of Coins

Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “There’s No Business Like Vatican Business VIII:”

The foregoing details provide an uncomfortably sharp realization that the Vatican and its men have indeed carved a niche for their firm in the world of big business.

This is no small accomplishment. After years of soul- searching, it has been decided, infallibly, that the accumulation of money is no more reprehensible, no more sinful, than the collecting of coins. True, the Vatican pays ad perpetuum lip service to poverty. But it doesn’t practice it.

Read more: http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/9/

In Swiss Vaults

Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “There’s No Business Like Vatican Business VIII:”

Vatican banking, however, is not confined to Italy. Funds managed by the Vatican’s Prefecture of Economic Affairs are deposited in numerous non-Italian banks. Some are in America, and many are in Switzerland, where the Vatican maintains its funds in numbered accounts. Nobody really knows how much money the Vatican has in Swiss vaults. But it is known that one reason why the Vatican likes to bank in Switzerland is because the Swiss franc can provide protection against inflation and devaluation of money in other countries. Since 1945, there have been more than 170 currency devaluations all over the world—twelve of them in Brazil alone. Unlike the American dollar or the British pound, which have substantially less than 50 percent backing in gold reserves, the Swiss franc is guaranteed up to 130 percent by gold. So, because Switzerland’s money is “hard money,” the Vatican holds the francs and exchanges them for the legal tender of another country when needed.

The Vatican also uses its Swiss accounts to maintain its anonymity when gaining control of foreign corporations. Swiss banks, unlike American banks, can act as stockbrokers; they hold large numbers of shares belonging to clients but not in the clients’ names. The Vatican, like any other depositor, can have a Swiss bank buy shares in a company in the bank’s name and can thus obtain control of the company in full anonymity. The “Gnomes of Zurich”*—a pet name pinned on Swiss banking officials by the British—point out, however, that the total number of shares their banks hold in U.S. companies is less than 1 percent of America’s outstanding stock. Any speculation about how much the Vatican may have silently invested in the U.S. economy, at least at the corporation level, must take this figure into account.

Read more: http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/9/

*this reminds me of Harry Potter’s goblins of Gringott’s

Full and Absolute Power

Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “The Lateran Treaty V:”

Lord paramount of the Holy See, the pope is first among his bishops, all of whom come under his direct jurisdiction; in theory he has full and absolute power over the Roman Catholic Church. Every decree requires his approval. He can obey or ignore precedent. He can set aside tradition; he can write (or rewrite) constitutions; he can change discipline without consultation; he can proclaim dogmas on his own. Although on important matters the pope is supposed to seek counsel and advice from the College of Cardinals, he is empowered to make up his own mind and take action. On theological questions, the pope invariably consults with his bishops and cardinals, but, on matters of high policy, he may evolve a course of action without any previous consultations, as did Pope John when, without calling in the Curia cardinals for their views, he decided to go ahead with the Ecumenical Council.

The pope has executive as well as legislative and judiciary powers. He can be judged by no man, and there is no appeal from his decisions. In this respect his position is tantamount to that of a sovereign who cannot be brought to court. Acting in his executive capacity, the pope may (1) approve or sanction or suppress religious orders, (2) grant indulgences, (3) beatify or canonize saints, (4) appoint bishops, (5) erect, administer, alter, or suppress bishoprics, (6) assign an auxiliary bishop to one who is incapacitated, (7) found and legislate for papal universities, (8) issue liturgical books, (9) administer the temporal goods of ecclesiastical foundations, (10) erect and govern missions dependent on the Holy See.

As a legislator, the pope may (1) call, preside over, and adjourn ecumenical councils, (2) regulate holy days and Catholic feasts, (3) introduce new rites and abrogate old ones, (4) issue ex cathedra decretals on belief, (5) introduce, alter, or suppress Church laws on any subject, (6) defend doctrine against heresies, (7) define fast days and periods of fasting. Also liberally defined are the pope’s judicial duties. He may (1) relax vows and oaths for members of the religious who want to return to secular life, (2) give matrimonial dispensations, (3) act as a court, (4) establish rules of judicial procedure, (5) establish censures or punishments, (6) organize courts for hearing cases, (7) organize courts or appoint synodal judges for the diocese of Rome.

Read more: http://www.jamesjpn.net/roman-catholicism/the-vatican-empire/6/