Two days after Donald Trump was elected to be America’s 45th president, Roman Catholic Archbishop José Horacio Gómez delivered an emotional homily at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California.
“In the past couple days since the election, we have children in our schools who are scared,” he said. “They think the government is going to come and deport their parents any day now. Right now, all across this city, and in cities all across this country, there are children who are going to bed scared. There are men and women who can’t sleep because they are trying to figure out what to do next. Trying to figure what to do when the government comes to take them away from their kids and their loved ones.”
This homily was a response to President-elect Trump’s pledge to reverse President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration and to resume enforcement of existing immigration laws passed by Congress.
Archbishop Gómez ignored the details of Mr. Trump’s deportation plan—such as his pledge to keep families intact—and insisted that the government was coming to take parents “away from their kids.” He concluded his homily with a pledge of unconditional support for illegal immigrants in the United States.
“Tonight, we promise our brothers and sisters who are undocumented: We will never leave you alone,” he stated. “In good times and in bad, we are with you. You are family. We are brothers and sisters.”
This pledge was well received by bishops across America, judging by the fact that they elected Archbishop Gómez to be vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops only five days later.
In an interview with Crux magazine, Gómez, a Mexican-born Hispanic, said his election was a statement about the status of the U.S. Hispanic ministry. “It’s more and more clear how important Hispanics are,” he said. “Already, something like 40 percent of all Catholics in the country are Hispanic, and they’re 50 percent of our youth” (Nov. 15, 2016).
The archbishop vowed to use his new position to advocate for the rights of illegal immigrants. His homilies are filled with rhetoric that sounds loving, but at the same time, he is encouraging even more Latin Americans to break U.S. law and illegally enter the country in hopes of receiving sanctuary in a Catholic cathedral.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops penned a letter to Mr. Trump, putting him on notice that the Catholic Church is committed to resettling immigrants throughout the nation. Gómez’s election is one sign that Catholic bishops are gearing up to fight the Trump administration and to sustain the flow of illegal immigrants into the country.
Why does the Catholic Church support illegal immigration into the United States? And what will happen when the Vatican’s hierarchy clashes with the president? Remarkably, the Bible reveals the answers to these questions.
Archbishop Gómez and the members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are not the only Catholic leaders concerned about Donald Trump’s election.
The leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, tried to influence the results of the presidential election last February, when journalists asked his opinion of Trump’s proposals to halt illegal immigration. “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the pope replied. “This is not in the gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”
The pope may not have explicitly told Catholics which name to put on their ballot, but he said nothing about one candidate while rejecting the other as un-Christian. He also revealed his preferred policy for the American border: Keep it open.
Why is a pope who supposedly shies away from giving political advice so bold about America’s border policy?
After Mr. Trump’s election, the pope offered more commentary. “I don’t make judgments on people and on political men,” he told an Italian journalist in an interview published Nov. 11, 2016. “I only want to understand the sufferings that their way of proceeding causes the poor and excluded.”
In truth, Pope Francis isn’t averse to politics at all. The Vatican never has been. Meddling in national politics is considered a Catholic religious duty!
Vatican watcher Austen Ivereigh wrote in Crux magazine on November 15, “The Florida Strait and the U.S.-Mexican border are to Francis what the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall were to [Pope] John Paul ii.”
According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, most Catholic officials residing with Francis behind the 39-footwall around the Vatican backed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as a “lesser evil.” While these officials agreed that a Clinton presidency would have been a major setback for the Catholic position on abortion and homosexual “marriage,” they considered Trump “unelectable” due to his “aggressive chauvinism.”
These Catholic leaders viewed the Republican nominee as a “white” bulwark against a demographic invasion of Latin American immigrants, of which Pope Francis of Argentina is the supreme protector.
San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy stated that mass deportations of illegal immigrants could remove 10 percent of Catholic parishioners from U.S. churches. This figure is likely based on the hypothetical situation that every one of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country will be deported—instead of just the 2 to 3 million Mr. Trump has pledged to deport. But it shows how important the influx of Catholic migrants is to the future of the U.S. Catholic Church.
Why does the Catholic Church care so much about American border penetrability? Not so much because the migrants are poor, but because they are Catholic.
Pew research data shows that there are 67 million self-identified Catholics in the U.S., roughly 21 percent of the population. Many of those probably haven’t been to mass in a while. And for every new Catholic convert, six Catholics leave the church. About half of these former Catholics give up on religion altogether, while the other half join a Protestant denomination. The reason the Catholics aren’t plummeting as a percentage of the U.S. population is that foreign-born Catholics are replacing native-born Catholics.
Without illegal immigration, the Roman Catholic Church would be a shrinking, aging organization with diminishing influence in the United States. Immigrants moving into the country give Catholic leaders enormous influence they wouldn’t otherwise have.
According to a paper by the Vienna Institute of Demography, Catholicism would overtake Protestantism to become the largest religion in the United States by the middle of the century if immigration doubled. This explains why so many bishops are willing to support a political party that advocates the slaughter of unborn babies in an attempt to stop Donald Trump from tightening border control.
Despite opposition from Pope Francis and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Donald Trump still managed to garner 52 percent of the Catholic vote. In particular, he gained the support of a majority of white Irish Catholics in the Midwest, even as he lost Hispanic Catholics in the Southwest. This ecclesiastical divide highlights a challenge for Pope Francis: He has a problem with native-born Midwestern American Catholics.
Many of Mr. Trump’s Catholic supporters voted for him because of his campaign promises to support religious freedom and appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. According to Corriere della Sera, however, many Vatican insiders view Trump’s victory as evidence that the U.S. has become “angry and radicalized.” They seem to agree with Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, who views the deportation policies of the Trump administration as “formal cooperation with an intrinsic evil—not unlike driving someone to an abortion clinic” (Crux, July 26, 2016).
The fact that so many American Catholics were willing to vote for Trump prompted Massimo Faggioli, a professor of religious studies at Villanova University, to write about the rise of the Americanist Catholic Church. “We are witnessing the return of what church history students will remember as ‘Americanism,’ when in 1899 Pope Leo xiii accused the U.S. church of being too adaptive of American political culture,” he wrote.
“The issue of the balance between a universal (Catholic) interpretation of Catholicism and its necessary local-national embodiment is a returning question that every Catholic in the world has to face, consciously or unconsciously. But in this historical moment, in light of the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, it seems to me that deep at the heart of the future of the church in the United States is the fundamental choice between being a Roman Catholic Church in America or being an Americanist Catholic Church” (La Croix International, Nov. 14, 2016; emphasis added).
After the rise of the countercultural movement in the 1960s, many socially conservative Catholics and Protestants put aside their differences to form a “moral majority” capable of striking a blow against the radical left. Now, after 50 years of cooperation, many socially conservative Catholics find they agree with Republicans on political issues more than with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
If this conservative Evangelical-Catholic coalition could manifest itself in the form of a living human being, that would be Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence. As a self-described “born again, evangelical Catholic,” he began blending his Catholicism with Evangelical Protestantism while still in college.
So, as Mr. Trump promises to halt the flow of illegal immigrants into the nation, his vice-president is drawing native-born Catholics into a political coalition opposed to many tenets of the Vatican’s political vision.
All this poses an enormous headache for Pope Francis, who considers himself pastor of the universal church!
“Donald Trump is an alien, if not an enemy, for papal Rome,” wrote political columnist Massimo Franco in the Globalist. “His values and geopolitical vision are just the opposite of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s [Pope Francis’s]. In a way, he is considered a kind of anti-pope. What is worrying, in the Holy See’s vision, is that the new U.S. president might become a model of conservatism, perhaps even of a reactionary mood, within the Catholic world itself. He could exacerbate a growing difficulty of Francis’s church to be heard in Western public opinion” (Nov. 17, 2016).
Among other disagreements between Donald Trump and Pope Francis are Trump’s dismissal of global warming as a Chinese conspiracy theory, his pledge to raise tariffs on imports, his condemnation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and his hostility to the Castro regime in Cuba. In the words of London-based Catholic journalist Austen Ivereigh, “Assuming he goes through with these pledges, Trump next year will slam a truck directly into Pope Francis’s geopolitical objectives in the Americas, and redefine the U.S. church’s public priorities for a generation” (Crux, Nov. 15, 2016).
To defend his “geopolitical objectives,” the pope elevated three U.S. archbishops to the office of cardinal on November 19. Many expected Archbishop Charles Chaput to be made a cardinal after he supported Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court ruled it was legal to do so. Yet Pope Francis sidelined Chaput in favor of three anti-Republican, pro-immigration prelates: Blase Cupich of Chicago, Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis.
The most unexpected of these appointments was Archbishop Tobin. This man rose to national prominence due to his role in opposing Mike Pence on a measure to ban Syrian refugees from Indiana in 2015, when Pence was the governor of the state. Supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Tobin resettled a Syrian family in his diocese in direct defiance of Governor Pence’s directive to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attack.
“In one fell swoop, therefore, Francis has reshaped the character of the most senior level of the American hierarchy,” Vatican expert John Allen Jr. wrote about the announcement of these appointments in October. “The outlook, while certainly defending church teaching on matters such as abortion and euthanasia, is more inclined to see them as part of a spectrum that also includes immigration, the death penalty, the environment, concern for the poor, and so on” (ibid, Oct. 9, 2016).
Another way Pope Francis is looking to counter Trump’s agenda is by encouraging heightened collegial ties between the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Latin American Episcopal Council.
Ties between these two councils have been steadily growing since the days of Pope John Paul ii, whose 1999 exhortation “Ecclesia in America” put a high priority on inter-American political integration. A recent meeting called by Pope Francis in Bogotá, Colombia, brought together 15 cardinals and 120 bishops to celebrate the pope’s Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy on the American Continent. The interesting thing about this synod was the unusually large delegation of North American cardinals and bishops who attended.
Vatican watchers are predicting that Francis may start inviting U.S. prelates to Latin American synods more often in a bid to fight the isolationism of a Trump administration by treating the Americas as a single entity, a seamless web.
The Vatican has been a tireless advocate of both European and Latin American political unity for centuries. The current pope’s feelings on national borders were revealed in his 2013 apostolic exhortation.
“Migrants present a particular challenge for me, since I am the pastor of a church without frontiers, a church which considers herself mother to all,” Francis wrote in Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel). “For this reason, I exhort all countries to a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of local identity, will prove capable of creating new forms of cultural synthesis.”
In many ways, Donald Trump and Jorge Bergoglio are emerging as leaders of rival power blocs. Mr. Trump is positioning himself as the leader of a rebellion against transnational elites. Pope Francis is calling for a new global institution with the political authority to end both poverty and climate change.
“The 21st century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tend to prevail over the political,” the pope wrote in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si (Be Praised). “Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.”
As America and Britain begin to rebel against the notion of such a globalist political authority, transnational organizations like the European Union and the Union of South American Nations are looking to the Vatican for leadership. Will the day come when the Anglo-American people have economic sanctions levied against them because of their refusal to submit to the dictates of a Vatican-dominated power bloc?
The Bible actually has some strong things to say about a false church wielding great political and economic power in the time before Jesus Christ’s return. In Revelation 13, this church is depicted as looking like a lamb but speaking as a dragon. In Revelation 17 and 18, this church is labeled “Babylon the Great” and prophesied to rule a vast empire from a city with seven hills. In corresponding Old Testament prophecies in Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 27, this empire is called Tyre, the most powerful trading center of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Based on these scriptures, educator Herbert W. Armstrong long predicted that the Roman Catholic Church would gain influence over a vast transcontinental alliance, including 10 European kings and a network of Latin American vassal states. With its left arm, this Vatican-dominated conglomerate will reach southward and eastward into the Middle East to conquer the Holy City, Jerusalem. Then with its right arm, this “Holy” Roman Empire will reach southward and westward across the Atlantic to take control of Latin America and to besiege the United States.
These prophecies may or may not be fulfilled during the papacy of Jorge Bergoglio, who has stated that he feels his pontificate may be brief. Nevertheless, this pope has been influential in reshaping the College of Cardinals into a governing body opposed to principles of national sovereignty and free-market capitalism.
While the majority of U.S. Catholics are more loyal to America than to Vatican City, the fact remains that God is allowing many nation-destroying curses to afflict the United States because its people have rebelled against His law.
Even many Catholics don’t grasp that Vatican City is more than the headquarters of a religion; it is a nation-state participating in political machinations involving empires.
As British political economist Rodney Atkinson wrote to the late Trumpet writer Ron Fraser in 2013, “Imperial politics rather than the religion of the Roman Catholic Church have been its critical characteristic.”
In 1898, Pope Leo xiii wrote an encyclical, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae (Witness to Our Goodwill), that declared “Americanism” to be heresy. In particular, he condemned American ideals of individualism and separation of church from state to be heretical fallacies.
While many think the Roman Catholic Church has abandoned these beliefs, the chairman of the Pope’s Council of Cardinal Advisers delivered a lecture in Washington,
After Maradiaga’s lecture, an assistant professor of theology at St. John’s University spoke on how true Catholics don’t view themselves as individuals but as members of a community, just as they view God as a trinitarian being.
When such statements are analyzed alongside Bible prophecy, it becomes increasingly clear why these developments should deeply concern everyone in America—regardless of their religion. Most people are asleep to the danger, but a clash of civilizations is coming between Anglo-America and a Vatican-dominated empire. The policies being espoused by the Trump administration—and deeply American principles much, much older—are completely at odds with the globalist vision of the Roman Catholic Church.
It is important to recognize that Pope Francis and the College of Cardinals are actively working to establish a new system of world government. The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t believe the Kingdom of God is a literal kingdom to be established on Earth by Jesus Christ at His Second Coming. The Catholic Church’s position is that the Kingdom of God is a modern-day church, ruled by the vicar of Christ.
Biblical prophecy describes a church existing in the end time that holds significant political influence with “the kings of the earth.” It will have particular power over a political-military union of nations described in symbolic terminology as a “beast” (Revelation 17). This description can only apply to one church in modern history—a church that meddles in the affairs of nations and considers itself mother to all—a church that has repeatedly aligned with a political empire in order to exercise its power.
Many prophecies reveal what this church will do in the time just ahead of us. In Isaiah 47, for example, God calls this church the “daughter of Babylon” and the “lady of kingdoms.” Verse 6 of this chapter prophesies that God will deliver His people—speaking of the modern-day nations descended from ancient Israel, more specifically the United States and Britain—over to this “lady of kingdoms” because of their many sins.
The current antagonism between the incoming Trump administration and the Vatican is a warning sign that America is soon to be attacked by a transnational alliance dominated by Germany and the Vatican.
These same prophecies reveal just how devastating this attack will be. In fact, Scripture reveals that because this “daughter of Babylon” shows no mercy to the people under her dominion, God says He will personally take vengeance on her, laying her in the dust.
Based on these scriptures, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in the October 1951 Plain Truth: “For, believe it or not, the United States of Europe—a Winston Churchill dream, an idea sponsored, aided, abetted and financed by the United States, is the very idea the pope will seize on—all ready-made, wrapped and labeled ‘made in U.S.A.’—ready to hand over to him! And in promoting this utopian idea, gullible, trusting America and Britain are creating the Frankenstein that shall destroy them!”
God tells us how we can be protected from this unparalleled disaster. The book of Ezekiel was written specifically for this end time. (Request a free copy of our Ezekiel booklet.)
“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:10-11).There is only one way that God will protect us. Our people must turn, turn, turn from our evil ways.
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. “Why will ye die, O house of Israel?” What a terrifying question!
Even if the nations of Israel reject God’s warning, He is still going to make them the chief nations of the wonderful World Tomorrow. That will happen after they have experienced the worst suffering ever.
It is a matter of life-and-death importance that everyone who hears this message sit up, pay attention and take note of the seriousness of the times.