Rome—Where Religion and Politics Meet

Rome—Where Religion and Politics Meet

Getty Images

Throughout its history, the church has always competed with the state for power.

Having grabbed the attention of the whole world by his shock resignation from papal office, the subsequent actions of Joseph Ratzinger give an inkling as to his future influence within the Vatican and in global politics.

On Saturday, Ratzinger summoned Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti to an unscheduled private audience. With the Italian elections looming within days, the pope has already gone public on endorsing Monti’s candidature for election as Italy’s prime minister.

Interestingly, on the same day of his unscheduled meeting with Monti, the pope indicated that the day following the elections, he will have a meeting behind closed doors with a select few cardinals. No doubt the discussion will center around the outcome of the Italian elections and their impact on the future of the European Union.

With indications that the euro crisis is deepening, it is apparent that strong, assertive leadership is going to be required to dig the EU out of its financial hole.

Mario Monti has already described Joseph Ratzinger’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate as amounting to a blueprint for a “new world order.” If Monti is elected prime minister of Italy, and if the September elections in Germany produce a strong, action-oriented chancellor who is similarly attuned to the worth of Ratzinger’s encyclical as the basis for a new world order, then it becomes entirely feasible that they will work, with the support of Roman Catholic EU elites, to bring that order to fruition.

Nothing else has worked to date to turn the European and global financial crisis around.

In his article titled “The Fourth Reich Is Here,” published in our November/December 2011 edition of the Trumpet magazine, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry pointed to an enlighteningly prescient prophecy by Herbert Armstrong:

The financial crises we are now experiencing were forecast by Herbert Armstrong back in 1984. A massive banking crisis in America “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.,” he wrote. “That, in turn, could bring on the Great Tribulation suddenly! And that will lead quickly to the Second Coming of Christ and the end of this world as we know it.”Mr. Armstrong prophesied that a financial crisis could trigger a chain of events leading right up to the return of Jesus Christ. Is this what we are now experiencing?

Whether such a collapse is deliberately engineered or happens by dint of circumstance is beside the point. The reality is that the world is heading for just that—global financial collapse, and many of the sharpest of observers are warning of the imminence of such a scenario.

So where does Rome stand in all of this?

Amid all of the confusing hype that the mainstream media has drummed up surrounding Pope Benedict’s resignation, a few keen observations have been made.

One such, given the effort that popes John Paul ii and Benedict xvi committed to rebuilding the Curia as a body in tune with their Holy Roman imperial vision, comes from Alexander Lee, a research fellow at the universities of Luxembourg and Warwick. He states that “the fact that the church will proceed smoothly to elect a new pontiff during the Lenten period illustrates that the papacy is, for the first time in its history, well-supported by a smoothly-functioning Curia, and grounded in a sense of electoral authority that has finally overcome the instabilities of the past” (History Today, February 13).

Though this view flies in the face of that which the liberal press have sought to foist off on to the public in the wake of the undoubted resistance Benedict has faced from the middle ranks of Catholic hierarchy, it does speak to the strength of this pope’s relationship with the echelon that counts in papal power politics—the Curia.

As to Joseph Ratzinger’s continuing influence on the institution of the papacy itself, Lee comments that “he has shown that the institution of the papacy is alive and kicking, and ready to face the challenges of the 21st century with confidence.”

The main challenge that the papacy faces in terms of its religious and political role is the same that the globe faces universally at present—the survival or otherwise of the global financial and economic system.

Fully three years ago Benedict made his position very clear on this subject. He wants a new system created under the religious vision of Rome. At a meeting with members of the Union of Industrialists and Businesses of Rome, Pope Benedict xvi reinforced his call for a new global financial order. Referring to the ongoing global financial crisis, Benedict “noted how it has ‘sorely tried the economic and productive systems of various countries. Nonetheless, it should be faced with trust because it can be considered as an opportunity for the revision of development models and the reorganization of global finance …’” (Vatican Information Service, March 18, 2010).

In pointing to his conviction that now was the time for a revision of the world’s financial system, in that which he described as “a new time” of “profound reflection,” Benedict used crusading language in his widely publicized encyclical Caritas in Veritate, calling for a new financial and economic order.

In that encyclical, endorsing the application of Catholic social doctrine on the global order, the pope highlighted that “he had encouraged the world of ‘economics and finance to focus on the person, whom Christ revealed in His profoundest dignity. Moreover, while recommending that politics not be subordinate to financial mechanisms, I encouraged the reform and creation of an international juridical and political order (adapted to global structures of economy and finance) in order more effectively to achieve the common good of the human family’” (ibid).

That is pure, unadulterated Catholic social doctrine: the merging of the religion of Rome with a universal social order that dictates juridical, political, economic and financial control. It is the very philosophy that underpinned the institution of the Holy Roman Empire of old. Its outcome is prophesied in your Bible in Revelation 13.

Just one year ago, during the G-20 summit, realizing the vital nature of the matters the G-20 was considering, the Vatican issued a call for a return to the old Holy Roman imperial approach to financial governance.

This move took us one further step toward the fulfillment of the great prophecy for our times penned by the Apostle John under divine inspiration almost 2,000 years ago. That prophecy, contained in the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation, speaks of a time when a great religious institution will hold powerful sway over a northern European empire to the extent of imposing its will on global trade and finance.

With that prophecy in mind, it is extremely interesting to consider the following statement released at the time by the Vatican Information Service (vis): “This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present a note from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace entitled: ‘Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of a global public authority’” (Oct. 24, 2011).

The note was presented by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso.

In relation to the current global financial crisis, vis quoted Cardinal Turkson as stating that the pope and “the Holy See are following these matters with particular concern, constantly calling not just for ‘joint action,’ but for ‘examination of every facet of the problem: social, economic, cultural and spiritual.’ It is in this spirit of discernment that the Holy See, with the note of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, wishes to make a contribution which might be useful to the deliberations of the G-20 meeting.”

The article quoted Bishop Toso as explaining that the aim of the note is to “suggest possible paths to follow, in line with the most recent social Magisterium, for the implementation of financial and monetary policies … that are effective and representative at a global level.”

Certain dissenting voices which were in opposition to the pope’s vision as declared in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate decried the release of this statement. However, one influential Eurocrat fully embraced it—Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Upon its release, Mario Monti was effusive in his endorsement of the pope’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate, claiming that it was a virtual textbook for the operation of a global economy and universal society.

La Stampa reported that as he presented Benedict xvi’s social encyclical in Saint John Lateran, the pope’s cathedral, on Feb. 23, 2010, Monti declared that “The Caritas in Veritate document resembles a technical governing handbook for society in which economy plays a fundamental role, as a natural outcome of ethical reflection, and even has the agreement of those who do not share in the Catholic ethical vision” (Nov. 14, 2011). Monti used that occasion also to publicly declare himself “to be Catholic.”

Mario Monti is a member of the EU splinter organization called “The Spinelli Group.” That group is committed to establishing a federal Europe based on the Catholic social chapter that underpins the pope’s “governing handbook for society.” Endorsement of that Roman imperialist vision marks Monti out as one of those in tune with the European elites who are in the process at this time of carving up Europe into a continent where the many will become the vassals of the few.

Monti was summoned by Pope Benedict to an unscheduled meeting behind closed doors last weekend. Is it possible that their discussion centered on the pope’s will that, should Monti gain the Italian premiership next Sunday, Benedict would be encouraging Monti to lead a crusade for the implementation of the global order as outlined in Caritas in Veritate?

Time will tell. We certainly will not have to wait very long to find out.

One thing is for sure, with every nail that is daily driven into the coffin of the present failed global system, the great prophecies of Revelation 13 and 17 come one step closer to fulfillment!

Read and study our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire for further insight into the current situation in Europe and where it is headed.

Germany: The New Superpower

Are Carnival and Mardi Gras Christian Celebrations?

Revelers partied in the streets all around the world this week celebrating Carnival and Mardi Gras. The so-called Christian festivals drew in thousands of people enchanted by the festive parades, costumes and music.

“It’s one non-stop party. We’ve got women in costumes, men in costumes, kings, queens. It’s the best,” one reveler said.

New Orleans is particularly renown for popularizing Mardi Gras in America. Other countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Germany, Portugal and Italy have embraced these traditions for hundreds of years. These festivals are traditionally seen as the last opportunity to indulge fleshly lusts before the denial that is supposed to accompany Lent, the 40-day period that precedes Easter.

But what is the real meaning and origin behind these so-called Christian festivals? Boasting to be a time of no restraint, these wild festivals often breed nasty sins, and showcase them for the world to see. How can these festivals be Christian at all when the Bible tells Christians to abhor and flee sin? Maybe these festivals aren’t Christian at all.

If you want to know the truth behind these old festivals, read “Uncovering the Origins of Mardi Gras and Other ‘Christian’ Festivals” right here on the Trumpet.com. Don’t take your traditions for granted—prove to yourself whether they are Christian at all or not!

Greek Youth Unemployment Hits 62 Percent

Greek Youth Unemployment Hits 62 Percent

LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/GettyImages

More evidence that Greek society is falling apart

The unemployment rate in Greece has reached 27 percent, according to statistics published February 14, meaning that one in four people who want to work can’t find a job. For young people it is even worse. Youth unemployment has hit 62 percent. Most people ages 15 to 24 in Greece who want to work are unemployed.

The unemployment figures for November 2012, published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, show an economy with huge problems. Greece’s young people can expect to study, graduate, and then be unemployed. Getting a job is the exception, not the rule.

These figures only look at people who are willing and able to work. Those still in education aren’t counted. It doesn’t reflect the number of young people who looked at the job market and decided to stay at school and gain a more advanced degree. Nor does it reflect those who left the country to look for work elsewhere.

The total number unemployed is over 1.3 million. However, this doesn’t include those who have been unemployed for so long that they can no longer receive benefits. According to the Greek Reporter, the true figure could be as high as 2 million.

Between November 2011 and November 2012, one third of a million Greeks lost their jobs. Each day, 887 people joined the ranks of the unemployed. One person lost his or her job less than every two minutes.

“We have 250,000 people every day trying to get to the church to find food,” said former Greek MP Eva Kaili. “We’re talking about young people that cant find a job in Greece, that are trying to leave the country.”

These are huge figures, the type that cause huge social upheaval. These numbers equate to millions of frustrated, hopeless, or even depressed individuals and countless struggling families. European leaders may claim the euozone’s economic crisis has been solved. These numbers prove them wrong.

This record high unemployment threatens the survival of the state. It will force major changes in Europe. For more on where these changes will lead, see Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser’s recent article, “A Job for Europe’s Youth.”

North Korea: Nuclear Detonation Just Our ‘First Response’

On Tuesday, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test. North Korea said the test was merely its “first response” to what it called threats from the United States. It warned it would continue with acts of “greater intensity” if Washington maintained its hostility.

The underground test set off powerful seismic waves. It also shook the geopolitical landscape of Western powers. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the test.

Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general, said: “The test is a clear and grave violation of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said: “North Korea does not and will not benefit from violating international law.”

The timing of the test is significant. It came just hours before President Obama’s State of the Union speech and only days before the birthday of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s dead father. North Korea’s propaganda machines repeatedly link Kim Jong Il to the country’s nuclear ambitions. 2013 also marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

This latest nuclear test adds to a growing list of Pyongyang’s acts of aggression against America.

In 2006 and 2009, North Korea is believed to have tested plutonium devices. Then in 2010, the country revealed a uranium enrichment program, which would give it a second source of bomb-making materials. In January, North Korea said the U.S. is the primary target for its nuclear tests and long-range rocket launches. Its goal is to build a nuclear bomb that can fit onto a missile capable of striking the U.S.

Despite the Western world’s voiced disapproval, North Korea continues toward its goal unhindered. Expect the West to continue rebuking North Korea while failing to act until it is too late.

34 Years of Iran

34 Years of Iran

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

Thirty-four years have passed since the Iranian revolution. Where is Iran today?

The anniversary of the Iranian revolution slipped by on February 10. The day marked 34 years since the shah of Iran was overthrown. His government was replaced with an Islamic republic under Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the uprising. For anyone non-Islamic, February 10 passed without a mention of revolution. The scene on the streets of Iran was entirely different.

Mass rallies occurred across the nation where angry protesters took up the call, “Death to America!” The rallies showed a rare solidarity among the Iranian people that doesn’t reflect the current administration. Political turmoil and friction between Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are ongoing. The political unrest was not enough to stop President Ahmadinejad from giving his customary defiant speech, where he reiterated that Iran is now a “nuclear state.” His speech was met by more frenzied cheering from the masses.

Iran’s statements and actions should give cause for concern. What are the implications for Iran’s future, and how did the West allow it to get to this point? If we look to Iran’s history, we will gain a better understanding of where its steps will take it tomorrow.

During the rally this year, one of the prominent guests was the leader of Yemen’s Hizb al-Haq party, Hassan Zaid. He spent his time praising what he called the “peaceful revolution” of 1979. Let’s take a look at just how peaceful that revolution was.

In September of 1978, martial law was declared by the shah of Iran as riots broke out over his policies that were set to Westernize the nation. Strikes and mass demonstrations started to cripple the nation. In France, Ayatollah Khomeini was stirring the uprising as best he could. He was the unofficial leader of the revolution despite living in exile across the Mediterranean.

In January 1979, the political situation was deteriorating rapidly. The shah and his family were forced into exile. A few days later, the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini triumphantly returned to the thunderous applause of the masses.

In November of that year, Islamic militants overthrew the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Fifty-two Americans were taken hostage. Simultaneously, Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped then shot to death by the same militant groups that helped overthrow the shah. The murder of an American Ambassador and the invasion of sovereign U.S. territory is far from the “peaceful revolution” Iran supposedly experienced. A more accurate description might be a bloody and violent coup that led to the suppression of free speech, the breakdown of a pro-Western government and the manifestation of radical Islamic dictatorships.

The violent founding of the Islamic Republic in April 1979 set the stage for the next 34 years of isolation and radicalization.

Just one year later, violence engulfed the region as the Iran-Iraq War got under way. The war dragged on for eight bloody years and cost the lives of over 1 million people.

In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini died. His successor, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, was appointed the next day. He remains supreme ruler of Iran today. Five months after his election, the United States released $567 million worth of frozen Iranian assets.

It was only a few years later, in 1995, that the U.S. started placing sanctions on Iran due to its continued sponsorship of terrorism, its quest for nuclear arms and its continued attempts to destroy the Middle East peace process. Sanctions have continued to this day, but with little effect. Iran is still the number one state sponsor of terror in the world. Iran is closer than ever to obtaining the nuclear bomb. Iran still strives to incite terror and hatred against Israel at every conceivable opportunity.

Thirty-four years after the revolution, Iran is going strong. The populace still rallies en mass to cheer for the destruction of the West. The authorities work behind the scenes to gain a weapon that will take their terrorist tendencies to a whole new level.

Iran has a violent 34 years behind it. And there is nothing preventing it from continuing on this path. U.S. sanctions won’t stop it. It does not fear military intervention. Iran will continue to push. It will push on until someone stops it. Bible prophecy says that day is coming quickly. Iran is about to pick a fight it will come to regret. Soon it will push at Europe, and Europe will push back, hard. The Trumpet has long forecast this event, and will continue to warn of the impending conflict. With Bible prophecy, we can see far into the future of world events. Interested? Order your free copy of The King of the South today, and see what is in store for the Middle East tomorrow.