The Catholic Church, driven out of France during the French Revolution, is being invited back into French society by President Sarkozy. The Catholic Church is positioning itself to exert control over Europe through the grassroots mechanisms that make up part of the European Union's governance system.
Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News. This is Jonathan Bowen joining you.
In the news this week we find:
• In America and other western countries, the focus has moved away from Russia and toward the pocket book with the collapse of several huge banking institutions due to the mortgage crisis. A chain reaction is now beginning to affect other sectors including the world’s biggest insurance companies. Trillion dollar industries are now jeopardized, and the US government is jumping in with billion dollar bailouts.
• In Israel Shaul Mofaz has conceded defeat to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for control of the Kadima party. Livni will have the task of putting together a new coalition government. If she cannot do this, the country will be set for an election. Arutz Sheva reported, “Many believe there may yet be an early parliamentary election, which polls show Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud would win.” We wait to see what will shape up in Israel over the next few months.
• In the Yemen a car bomb kills 16 at the U.S. embassy. Reuters reported President Bush as stating, “This attack is a reminder that we are at war with extremists who will murder innocent people to achieve their ideological objectives."
• Reuters reported on Iran, “The U.N. nuclear watchdog showed documents and photographs on Tuesday suggesting Iran secretly tried to modify a missile cone to fit a nuclear bomb, diplomats said, and Tehran again dismissed the findings as forged.”
• In Russia on Tuesday, Prime Minister Putin announced a 27 percent increase in military spending. He was quoted by the Interfax news agency as stating, “Nearly 2.4 trillion roubles ($94.12 billion) will be allocated for the needs of national defence and security (in 2009), This is an increase of 27 percent." Preparations for the construction of “many ships” and other weaponry described in Ezekiel 38 appear to be well underway.
However, our attention this week is focused on Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to France and the reception he has received from President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The book of Revelation describes in great detail “the things which must shortly to come to pass” from the days of the Apostle John through to the return of Christ and into the coming kingdom of God on earth. The nation of France is specifically identified in the book of Revelation. Chapter 11:13 describes a great political earthquake affecting one tenth of the “European” city. This was the French Revolution and is described in Revelation 16 in greater detail. In this chapter the 7 judgments of Almighty God are described as symbolic vials or bowls which are poured out upon the earth. They describe in detail the dismemberment of the Holy Roman Empire and the removal of the temporal power of the Papacy over Europe. These judgments came because “they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments” (Rev 16:5-7). The horrendous crimes of the Papacy and its forces throughout Europe brought about its judgment.
Yet, after all this the European phoenix is described as arising out of the ashes in Revelation 17. Here she is depicted as a beast which is ridden by a woman:
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have commit ted fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (v1-2).
Somehow, after the great earthquake of the French Revolution the beast would arise again – and would be ridden or directed by the harlot.
The beast is Europe. The harlot is the false religious system of Catholicism. But how would Catholicism, dethroned during the French Revolution and chased out countries like France regain such a position of prominence as to direct the nations of Europe into making war with the lamb when the Lord Jesus Christ returns?
The Papacy tried twice to marshall the forces of Europe to restore it to power: first under Bismarck in WWI, and then under Mussolini and Hitler during WWII. Both these attempts failed, but the Vatican was restored to a sovereign city-state by the deal it made with Mussolini during his rise to power prior to WWII.
The Re-engineering of the Papacy
Following WWII, the Vatican, once the biggest persecutor of mankind, has been re-engineering its image as a social activist and champion of human rights. Publicity campaigns have been using people Mother Theresa of Calcutta paint the Vatican as the champion of social change and human rights in the world. The Solidarity Movement of Poland also painted the Catholic Church as rooting for the underdog and championing human rights. In fact, “human rights” and “social change” have become the new gospel of the Catholic Church. John Paul II in his speech to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.) on November 18, 1999, stated:
"I renew the wish so often expressed that in the new millennium the United Nations itself may become a more effective instrument of development, solidarity and peace in the world. A strong United Nations Organization would ensure the recognition that there are human rights which transcend the will of individuals and nations."
The Catholic Church has been building its influence in NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations) around the world. USA Today in November 2001 stated:
Since the 1992 Rio Conference on the environment, many diplomats and nongovernmental organizations have noticed increasing activity by the Roman Catholic Church, which has a unique and privileged status at the UN. While the Catholic Church has used its position to speak out for the poor and dispossessed, it has also used its status to create obstacles to policy decisions.
This is the tack the Catholic Church was set upon by John Paul II. In his Papal Encyclical, Sollicitudo rei sociali, he stated:
By virtue of her own evangelical duty the Church feels called to take her stand beside the poor, to discern the justice of their requests, and to help satisfy them, without losing sight of the good of groups in the context of the common good…. In this way, the solidarity which we propose is the path to peace and at the same time to development. For world peace is inconceivable unless the world's leaders come to recognize that interdependence in itself demands the abandonment of the politics of blocs, the sacrifice of all forms of economic, military or political imperialism, and the transformation of mutual distrust into collaboration. This is precisely the act proper to solidarity among individuals and nations….
The goal of peace, so desired by everyone, will certainly be achieved through the putting into effect of social and international justice, but also through the practice of the virtues which favor togetherness, and which teach us to live in unity, so as to build in unity, by giving and receiving, a new society and a better world….
Other nations need to reform certain unjust structures, and in particular their political institutions, in order to replace corrupt, dictatorial and authoritarian forms of government by democratic and participatory ones. This is a process which we hope will spread and grow stronger. For the "health" of a political community - as expressed in the free and responsible participation of all citizens in public affairs, in the rule of law and in respect for the promotion of human rights - is the necessary condition and sure guarantee of the development of "the whole individual and of all people."- John Paul II, December 30th, 1987
The Re-engineering of Europe
While the Vatican has been re-engineering itself as the social conscience of the world. Europe has been re-engineered too.
It is no surprise that the architects of the European Union were Roman Catholics. They built a European structure into which the newly created “catholic church” could comfortably plug itself into. The three architects, Konrad Adenauer, Robert Schuman, and Paul-Henri Spaak were commemorated on a 100 Euro coin minted in 2002.
Robert Schuman was educated by the Jesuits and a member of the Catholic Mouvement Républicain Populaire. He was twice Prime Minister of France, and the 5th President of the European Parliament. He was also a knight of the Order of Pope Pius IX, and was put on the road to beatification by John Paul II in 2004.
Paul-Henri Spaak was a socialist, Prime Minister of Belgium and the 1st President of the European Parliament. He was the politician who said,
“We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he God or the Devil we will receive him.”
Konrad Adenauer was a member of the Catholic Zentrum Party, along with Franz Von Papen, the Papal Chamberlin who formed an alliance between the Zentrum party and the Nazis, and who later negotiated the Nazi Concordant between Pal Nuncio Cardinal Pacelli, (later Pope Pius XII) and Adolf Hitler. Adenauer was the Mayor of Cologne. After WWII Adenauer founded the Christian Democratic Union and later the First Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany after WWII. Adenauer was also sent on the road to beatification in 2004.
This trinity of Catholic politicians began to forge a New Europe on different principles than any other country or state has ever been formed. In fact, according to Jeremy Rifkin, author of The European Dream, the New Europe has been based on post-modernist political theory. Post-modernism has been dealt with by the Bible Magazine before, but now we are seeing it as one of the driving theories behind the ‘new Europe’. Rifkin writes,
“Scholars refer to the political reconfiguration of Europe as “the new medievalism,” a term coined by the late Hedley Bull of Oxford University in an essay he wrote back in 1977…. He thought it “conceivable that sovereign states might disappear and be replaced not by a world government, but by a modern and secular equivalent of the kind of universal political organization that existed in Western Christendom in the Middle Ages.” Bull pointed out that “in the new system no ruler or state was sovereign in the sense of being supreme over a given territory and a given segment of the Christian population; each had to share authority with vassals beneath, and with the Pope and (in Germany and Italy) the Holy Roman Emperor above.” Bull noted that “all authority in mediaeval Christendom was thought to derive ultimately from God”. – Jeremy Rifkin, The European Dream, p228.
So we are looking at a revival of a Holy Roman Empire style of government. The picture is not so much about sovereign states, but a new universal political organization.
Now consider the words of Revelation 17:12-13,
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
This is a description of a system of government that is more about a network of nations who become a powerful entity collectively, but remain powerless if they stay on their own.
Rifkin goes on to state:
“The European Union is the first governing experiment in a world metamorphosing from geographical planes to planetary fields. It does not govern property relationships in territories, but rather manages open-ended and continually changing human activity in global networks…. The polycentric governing style is characterized by continuous dialogue and negotiations between all the players in the many networks that make up its every changing economic, social and political field of influence. The new genre of political leaders is more like a mediator than a military commander. Coordination replaces commands in the new political scheme of things.”
This is pure “high-test” humanism which we are seeing poisoning almost all organizations today. Europe is terminally infected by its doctrine. The doctrine is the frog spirits of the French Revolution described in Revelation 16:13-14:
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
These frog spirits are the doctrines of the French Revolution as discussed in Volume 11, Issue #2 of the Bible Magazine. These doctrines of ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’ originated with the French Revolution, but Revelation tells us they will come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. Russia, Europe and the Vatican will all be croaking the same tune out of the same hymnbook. Their ultimate end will be the gathering of the nations to the battle of Armageddon on the mountains of Israel.
But how will the Catholic Church exercise its influence over this “beast” of Revelation 17?
What is interesting to see is how the governance of the new “Europe” has being forming. Rifkin, in his book on Europe, points out that most traditional governments are molded around the two powers of government and business. This is the model that drives countries such as the USA. However, Europe has developed a third arm in the decision making. Rifkin explains:
“The most remarkable political change of the past three decades has been the growing involvement of the civil society sector in the political process. There are three broad strains in the civil society. First, there are the organizations and activities that promote religion, education, and the arts; providing social services; care for neighborhoods and communities; and foster recreation, sports and play… Second there are the “rights” organizations, whose objectives are much more politically oriented and whose activity is, more often than not, directed beyond national boundaries and toward more universal concerns. Third there are the many organizations that represent the interests of local cultures and ethnic subgroups, whose purpose is to maintain their traditions, rituals and values and represent their group’s interests, both domestically and internationally, to ensure their survival and growth … The new rights-oriented transnational movements also seek to establish universal codes of conduct, not of a technical or professional nature but rather governing human behavior itself.”
The newly engineered Catholic Church has worked its way into all three facets of this third arm in Europe. This is no surprise since it was Catholic architects that re-engineered Europe to fit a re-engineered Catholic Church. Unlike the western world, CSO’s or Civil Society Organizations are becoming part of the decision making process in Europe. Rifkin writes,
The EU has become the first government to formally acknowledge CSO’s as full-fledged partners in public policy networks. The European Union has reorganized the civil society as the “third component” of European Union governance, viewing it as serving “intermediary function between the State, and the Market citizens.” – [p239]
“After a long period of being colonized at the hands of the market and nation-state, the civil society-along with the deeper cultural forces that underlie it – is pushing its central role in the scheme of public life…. Advocates complain that the civil society is not “the third sector,” as many academicians claim, but rather the first sector. [p236]
Put these statements next to John Paul II’s encyclical cited earlier and you begin to see a hand in glove relationship between the “new Europe” and the “new Vatican”.
An article in The Bible Magazine Vol 19, #4, p22 entitled, The Papal Conquest: how the Vatican came to terms with the French Revolution discusses this in greater detail.
The Pope Visits France
So, with this lengthy consideration, let’s return to the Bible in the News this week.
The pope has begun a tour of France where AFP reported,
“At an open-air mass attended by 260,000 people at the historic Invalides esplanade in central Paris, Benedict appealed to young Catholics to shun the false "idols" of the modern world and told them not to be "afraid" of a religious life…. More than 150,000 people were expected to attend an open-air mass given by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday during his pilgrimage to the shrine town of Lourdes, amid heavy security.”
The pontiff’s trip to France takes on greater significance when we take into account the positioning the church been making within the ‘social fabric’ of Europe – the 3rd governing arm of the European Union discussed earlier.
A headline in the Christian Science monitor for September 15th stated, “With pope's visit, Sarkozy challenges French secularism. French politicians don't talk about faith openly. But President Sarkozy wants a more open discussion of the role of religion.” The article went on to state:
Unlike any French president in decades, Mr. Sarkozy sees a more open role for religion in French society. And he seized upon the conservative German pope's four-day trip to directly challenge French secularism, one of the most prized traditions of La République and a strict legal and cultural sanction against bringing matters of church and faith into the public realm.
Secularism, or laïcité (lay-sit-eh), is central to the modern French identity. It's a result of hundreds of years of efforts to remove the influence of the Roman Catholic church from French institutions and reduce its moral authority…
Sarkozy openly argued that while secularism is important, it should not be a hostile force that forbids all talk of God, faith, and transcendence. Sarkozy called for a "positive laïcité (lay-sit-eh)" that allows religion to help forge an ethical society.
It is of course, “ethical society” which will form one of the governing arms of the European Union.
So, Mr. Sarkozy sees a place for the church in French society, a change from a practice dating back 220 years to the French Revolution, and 100 years to the 1909 law separating church and state in France. The article described how Sarkozy has shocked France:
“Last year, Sarkozy went to the Vatican and eloquently argued for a more robust religious dialogue in France, saying that "a person who believes is a person who hopes, and it's in the interests of the Republic that there be many women and men who nourish hope."
The article went on to state,
“Benedict, for his part, called for a "healthy secularism," stating that "it is fundamental to become more aware of the irreplaceable role of religion for the formation of consciences and the contribution which it can bring ...."
Sarkozy also argued that “teachers aren't as important as priests in the transmission of values.”
The visit of the pontiff to France is of great significance as we look for the whore to take the reins atop the beast of Revelation 17. The same article stated of the Vatican’s influence throughout Europe:
“The Catholic church has significant clout inside states like Poland, Spain, and Italy. Germans are proud of the German-born pope, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger.”
The Vatican is looking for more significance is France, and throughout Europe. It is destined for a position of supreme influence guiding and directing the “beast” from its saddle in Rome, “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”
Let us watch the Bible in the News. Let us take hold of the book of Revelation which God gave to Jesus Christ “to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass”. Let us not be seduced into becoming drunk with the humanistic wine of the Harlots fornication in our lives or our communities.
When Europe does make “war with the lamb” those that are with the lamb are “called and chosen and faithful”. We have been called by the word of God, let us be faithful to that call, so that by God’s grace we may be chosen to join him in that day.
Join us next week, for another edition of The Bible in the News, www.bibleinthenews.com.