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
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
Thiers & Edward E. Bowen, THE CAMPAIGNS OF NAPOLEON (London:
Rivingtons, 1875), 89, 90.
John Ferrar, AN ECCLESIASTICAL DICTIONARY (London: John Mason,