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Pope's Apology






The Catholic Church
In Crisis

June 2002


The suppressed child abuse scandal within its priesthood has propelled the Catholic Church to unprecedented media notoriety. U.S. News & World Report (April 22, 2002) front cover header reads, "The Church Mess: Priest vs. Prosecutors." The Time Magazine (April 1, 2002) cover in large type questions, "Can the Catholic Church Save Itself?"

The implications of this question are staggering. Is the self-proclaimed "Rock" of Christianity, with a professed unbroken lineage dating back to the Apostle Peter, about to shatter? Can it be that the church that claimed to reign as the Kingdom of God over all the earth, crowning and uncrowning kings for centuries, is about to be dethroned? What happened?

One of the signs of the end-time is everything that is hidden will be revealed. I Corinthians 4:5 Our "world" (Greek, cosmos, social order) is coming to an end. 2 Peter 3 Under the judgment of the Lord it is disintegrating. The corrupt systems must go. Then the people will find their legitimate desires fulfilled in God's true Kingdom. Zephaniah 3:8,9; Haggai 2:7 To the extent that churches have been involved in the evil practices of this "present evil world," they will come under this judgment of God.

The corruption and evil in the governmental, financial and religious elements of our world or social order are being exposed. Presidents have been impeached. Corrupt practices of corporate giants like ENRON are television-screened worldwide. Nothing is too sacred. Church leaders have not been spared.

No church has played a greater role in government and world power politics than the Vatican. Time Magazine has observed that heads of state compete to meet with the Pope. Pope John Paul has been hailed as the moral conscience of our time. He readily addresses the evils of our social order and offers criticism that implicates not only religious and social institutions, but also governments. Now the Pope and his church are being judged by the bar of world opinion.

Why the Long Delay?

Catholic children were raised to revere priests. When abused by a priest, many were so emotionally stunned they remained silent for years. When some did speak up and their parents complained, they were given hush money. The bishop then transferred the offending priest to another parish where he usually continued his abusive practices and the cover-up cycle continued. Time Magazine observed, "When Cardinals are created, they take a vow before the Pope to 'keep in confidence anything that if revealed, would cause a scandal or harm to the church.'"

The cover-up has been going on for at least fifty years. How much longer? Decades or centuries-no one knows, but we are now living in a time where the hidden things must be exposed. Time Magazine estimates 2,000 priests are currently accused. The New York Times quoted one attorney who says "he fields between 100 and 200 calls a day from survivors [former victims], about half of whom are breaking their silence for the first time."

Thousands of young lives have been hurt, permanently scarred or ruined. A recent poll revealed that 66% of Catholics in New Jersey believe the Pope was aware of child abuse by priests. What a scandal! But the cover-up is the greater scandal. This cover-up by the Pope and his Cardinals is devastating to the Vatican's claim to be the actual Kingdom of God on earth, headed by the Pope who professes to be the vicar of God-God's representative on earth. How hollow this claim becomes with the realization that God's so-called spokesman on earth was aware of the prolonged child abuse cover-up by Cardinals and Bishops-his chosen princes of his professed Kingdom of God on earth.

Well, don't other churches claim to be the Kingdom of God? True, some Protestant churches teach that they are the spiritual Kingdom of God. But the Roman Catholic Church claims to be both the spiritual and civil Kingdom of God on earth with the Pope ruling as God over the earth. What other church like the Vatican claims to be a church-state government exchanging ambassadors with other nations?

"The Holy Roman Empire"

This claim goes back to the 4th century, but it was fully solidified in AD 800 when the French King Charlemagne formally presented Papacy with the Papal States and the reign of the "Holy Roman Empire" began. Far from being "holy," its history was written in blood.

All the Protestant Reformation leaders felt this transfer of power from Pagan Rome to Papal Rome was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation: "And the beast which I saw [generally accepted as Antichrist]...the dragon [civil Rome] gave him [Antichrist] his power and his seat and great authority." Revelation 13:2 The following is a capsulation of this supreme sovereignty of Papacy.1

The pontiff...trod on the necks of Kings, made and unmade sovereigns, disposed of states and kingdoms, and, as the great high-priest and vicegerent of the Almighty on earth, established an authority as lord paramount, and reigned over heads of other sovereigns...

The Reformation leaders believed Papacy as the Man of Sin fulfilled sitting "in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:4 A standard Roman Catholic authority will speak for itself.2

The Pope is of such dignity and highness that he is not simply a man but, as it were, God, and the vicar [representative] of God...the Pope's excellence in power are not only above heaven, terrestrial and infernal things, but he is also above angels...He is of such great dignity and power that he occupies one and the same tribunal with Christ...The Pope is, as it were, God on earth...the Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, declare or interpret the divine law.

As the centuries progressed, the Popes became more and more articulate in their presumptuous claims. "The Pope holds the place of the true God," declared Pope Innocent III (AD 1198-1216). The Lateran Council (AD 1123) acclaimed the Pope as "Prince of the Universe." St.(?) Bernard (AD 1090-1153 ) wrote that "none except God is like the Pope, either in heaven or on earth." And Pope Nicholas (AD 858-867) boasted, "What can you make me but God?" Ferrar's (Roman Catholic) AN ECCLESIASTICAL DICTIONARY states, "The Pope, is as it were, God on earth." No wonder the Revelator wrote, "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies...And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God...." Rev. 13:5,6

All the Protestant Reformation leaders, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Knox, Wesley, etc., clearly identified the church-state system of Papacy as the Man of Sin and Antichrist. In the New Testament the Greek word for "Antichrist" means "instead of Christ" or "in the place of Christ," not "against Christ." A church that aligns itself with the state in an attempt to represent God and His Kingdom on earth is Antichrist. Even if the Papacy was the most moral of institutions--it would still be Antichrist.

The Pope as the representative of Papacy even claims to be in the place of Christ. Look up "Vicar of Christ" in a Catholic encyclopedia or any secular dictionary. WEBSTER'S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY defines "vicar" as "any person who acts in place of another," and "Vicar of Christ" as "the Pope regarded as earthly representative of Christ."

We are not against the legitimate rights of the Catholic Church or individuals in the Catholic Church. In this land of religious freedom, all have the right to worship as long as church and state are separate. But we do feel that any church-state system, no matter how noble its ideals, will eventually cause serious problems. We have seen this happen during the 20th century when the Vatican signed a concordant with both Mussolini and Hitler. The Vatican is still countering accusations of complacency during the Holocaust.

Please read the online e-booklet: "Can We Identify Antichrist?" The book of Revelation shows Antichrist will yet play out an end-time scenario.


1 Adolphe Thiers & Edward E. Bowen, THE CAMPAIGNS OF NAPOLEON (London: Rivingtons, 1875), 89, 90.

2 John Ferrar, AN ECCLESIASTICAL DICTIONARY (London: John Mason, 1858).