Should the existence of covid-19 end the existence of free markets? Many powerful people say yes. They are using the outbreak as a pretext to radically transform the global economy.
The World Economic Forum is calling for a “great reset” in the wake of the epidemic. Instead of free markets, this globalist group says the world should implement wealth taxes, government regulations and massive infrastructure spending programs. Having shut down the global economy, they want to now convert it into a socialist system.
The World Economic Forum and many other institutions are seeking help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis has been one of the world’s most prominent socialist activists. His latest encyclical, published Oct. 4, 2020, is Fratelli Tutti (All Brothers). In it, he attacks free-markets, saying they are based on “magic theories.” Yet, the World Economic Forum praised Fratelli Tutti as a “prescription for resetting the global economy.”
“Aside from the different ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident,” Francis wrote. “For all our hyper-connectivity, we witnessed a fragmentation that made it more difficult to resolve problems that affect us all. Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality.”
This sounds good, but what is Pope Francis actually prescribing to resolve problems that affect us all? He is prescribing more powerful central authorities.
This is alarming. You do not have to know much about Roman Catholic history to see that Pope Francis’s economic, governmental and religious influence and manipulations are restoring the Holy Roman Empire.
On Dec. 8, 2020, Francis established what he calls the Council for Inclusive Capitalism With the Vatican. Many have said this real-life organization seems like something out of a conspiracy-theory forum. It is led by the pope and Cardinal Peter Turkson, and includes numerous leaders from Fortune 500 companies with 200 million employees in 163 countries and $2.1 trillion in market capitalization—more money than the gross domestic product of Italy. It is led by a core group of 27 leaders it calls the Guardians for Inclusive Capitalism, which include the chairmen and chief executives of Allianz, Bank of America, BP, Dupont, Johnson & Johnson, Mastercard, Merck and Visa.
The stated goal of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism With the Vatican is “to build a fairer, more inclusive, and sustainable economic foundation for the world” by altering government, social and political laws and regulations.
The guardians will meet annually with Francis and Turkson to receive guidance on how to reform capitalism. “An economic system that is fair, trustworthy, and capable of addressing the most profound challenges facing humanity and our planet is urgently needed,” the pope told the guardians in a press release. “You have taken up the challenge by seeking ways to make capitalism become a more inclusive instrument for integral human well-being.”
Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild is the founder and managing partner for the Council for Inclusive Capitalism With the Vatican and a member of the United States Democratic Party. She married Sir Evelyn Robert de Rothschild, a British financier, a year after being introduced to him at a 1998 Bilderberg Conference in Scotland. The couple is close friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who invited them to honeymoon at the White House. Although not Catholic herself, she agrees with certain principles of Catholic Social Doctrine and wants to establish a “third way” between capitalism and communism. She is an outspoken critic of both Donald Trump and Barack Obama, whom she regards as a left-wing radical.
And she says covid-19 “changes capitalism forever.”
She is right—especially if the Vatican and its super-rich, super-powerful “guardians” succeed.
Like the Clintons and Rothschilds, Pope Francis espouses an economic philosophy sometimes called state capitalism, but which used to be called corporatism. While pure socialism is direct government control of resources (and people), corporatism permits people to engage in private enterprise but manages them heavily through corporations. These corporations group people together according to their natural interests and social functions so they can regulate their behavior.
The basic premise of Catholic corporatism (as described by Pope Leo xiii in an 1891 encyclical) is that the goal of equality is actually a cruel illusion; people are happiest when placed in a hierarchy guided by the Roman Catholic Church. Competition is spiritually demeaning; therefore, business, labor and the state must work together in corporations that control quotas, prices, wages, individual behavior and the entire economy. And corporations are controlled by Catholic elites. Abuses of this massive concentration of power are supposed to be prevented by Catholicism itself.
“It is no easy matter to define the relative rights and mutual duties of the rich and of the poor, of capital and of labor,” Leo wrote. “[T]he ancient workingmen’s guilds were abolished in the last century, and no other protective organization took their place. Public institutions and the laws set aside the ancient religion.”
This system is a 21st-century version of medieval feudalism, in which employees play the role of serfs, corporate elites play to role of lords, and the Catholic Church plays the role it played in the Middle Ages. Corporate guardians regulate wages, prices and quotas, but under the overall guidance of the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development and the pope.
Catholic Corporatism in Action
Before the Second World War, fascist dictators like Francisco Franco of Spain, Benito Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany ran openly corporatist economies with the blessing of the pope. And after the Second World War, Latin American Catholic dictators like Juan Perón of Argentina and Augusto Pinochet of Chile did the same thing. In fact, one of the primary criticisms of the current pope is that he failed to stand up to the Catholic military junta that ruled his Argentine homeland in the 1970s.
Uki Goñi is an Argentine author whose research focuses on the Vatican’s role in helping Nazi criminals escape to Argentina. In a 2015 editorial for the New York Times titled “The Peronist Roots of Pope Francis’ Politics,” he wrote that one cannot understand Francis without acknowledging that his worldview was shaped in Perón’s Argentina. That is why Pope Francis often warns about the “excesses of capitalism” while expressing sympathy for communism and socialism. He believes in the Catholic socialism that Perón oversaw in Argentina.
Now that Perón and Pinochet are dead, many influential Catholic leaders are pointing to an unlikely nation as the best implementer of Catholic social doctrine: Communist China.
China is an atheist state, controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, with a rocky relationship with the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, has praised the regime as extraordinary. “Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the church are the Chinese,” he said. “You cannot think that the China of today is the China of John Paul ii or Cold War Russia” (Catholic Herald, Feb. 6, 2018).
Many other Catholic officials share Sorondo’s opinions on Communist China.
Before he was defrocked for sexually abusing children, Cardinal Theodor McCarrick made several “unofficial” diplomatic missions to China as part of a Vatican strategy to reestablish diplomatic relations with the Chinese Communist Party. After his last visit to China in 2016, he suggested that the similarities between the beliefs of Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping could be “a special gift for the world.” In an interview with the Global Times, McCarrick said, “A lot of things that China worries about, [Pope Francis] worries about, about the care of poor, older people, children, our civilization and especially the ecology. I see a lot of things happening that would really open many doors because President Xi and his government are concerned about things that Pope Francis is concerned about” (Feb. 25, 2016).
Though McCarrick is now out of the clergy, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin has taken advantage of the groundwork he laid. The goal was to negotiate a concordat with China that gives the atheist regime a direct role in appointing Catholic bishops. Only a few archconservative cardinals have spoken out against this deal. This is because ever since China’s economic liberalization reforms in the 1970s, the state has become a mixed economy that uses parts of both Communist and capitalist theory. The regime allows private enterprise but manages it in a way similar to what Pope Leo xiii described in his ecumenical.
So if you want to know what the world will look like after Pope Francis’s great reset, and you do not know what it was like in Perónist Argentina—just look at life right now in Communist China.
United States of Europe
If he wants to defeat free-market capitalism, Pope Francis needs to defeat its primary defender, the United States of America. That is a herculean task. It will require help not only from his Guardians for Inclusive Capitalism, Communist China and Catholic U.S. President Joe Biden, but also from Catholic nations in Europe and Latin America. Governments there must follow the example of the world’s “best implementer of Catholic social doctrine.”
The pope has already begun exploiting coronavirus government reactions to make this happen.
In April 2020, Francis warned that the future of the European Union itself depends on its coronavirus response. “Today, the EU finds itself faced with an epochal challenge, on which not only its future but also that of the entire world will depend,” he said in St. Peter’s Basilica during his annual Easter speech. “Let us not miss the opportunity to demonstrate, once again, solidarity, even by resorting to innovative solutions.” He then called on the EU to unite in its response to the covid-19 pandemic, just as it united after World War ii, when the “Continent rose, thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity, which allowed it to overcome the rivalries of the past.”
Francis doubled down on this message in his October ecumenical.
In Fratelli Tutti‘s first chapter, “Dark Clouds Over a Closed World,” he noted that there was once a “dream of a united Europe, capable of acknowledging its shared roots and rejoicing in its rich diversity.” There “was also a growing desire for integration in Latin America,” his home continent. But he lamented that these unification projects were “showing signs of a certain regression” because “conflicts thought long buried are breaking out anew, while instances of a myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism are on the rise.”
To overcome this “nationalism,” Francis called for international unity—especially in Europe and Latin America.
This is not the first time Francis has advocated for a federal Europe. He received the famed Charlemagne Prize on May 6, 2016, for “exceptional work performed in the service of European unity.” A year later, he delivered a speech to the leaders of 27 EU member states, warning that the EU risks “dying” unless its leaders band together against populism. Now he hopes coronavirus will prompt leaders to take him seriously.
Could this happen? Although brands like Visa and Mastercard and diseases like coronavirus are new, the church-state European empire is ancient!
Over two millennia, the Roman Catholic Church has partnered with various European nations to form and re-form the Holy Roman Empire (request our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy for a detailed explanation of this history). While Vatican officials are currently pointing to atheist China as the “best implementer of Catholic social doctrine,” both history and Bible prophecy show that a new European empire will soon claim this title.
Lady of Kingdoms
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 nations and 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.” The Council for Inclusive Capitalism, the China Concordat, and the pope’s intervention in European politics are all part of the effort to resurrect the Holy Roman Empire.
Bible prophecy describes a great church in the end time that holds significant political influence with “the kings of the earth.” This church has extraordinary power over a union of 10 nations (or groups of nations) described in symbolic terms as a “beast” (Revelation 17). This description can only apply to one church in modern history, a political church that intervenes in the affairs of nations and considers itself mother to all, a church aligned with the Holy Roman Empire.
Herbert W. Armstrong explained in his booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? (free upon request) that the 10 nations in Revelation 17 are 10 European nations tenuously bound together by the ideological glue of Roman Catholicism. The religious entity referred to in Revelation 17 is headquartered in the seven-hilled city of Rome.
Many prophecies reveal what this church will do in the time ahead. Revelation 18:3 says, “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Notice, these merchants do business in all nations. This means that even though this great false church exercises extraordinary power over a group of European nations, its economic influence encircles the globe—from Asia to the Americas.
In Isaiah 47, God calls this same church the “daughter of the Chaldeans” and the “lady of kingdoms.” “Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms. I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke” (verses 5-6).
God will deliver “my 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.
Bible prophecy forecast thousands of years ago that the pope would wage war against America, and the current pope’s crusade against free-market capitalism is rallying many nations against the United States.
Yet Scripture also reveals that because this “daughter of Babylon” shows no mercy to the people under her control, God will personally take vengeance on her, laying her in the dust (verses 9-15).
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He asks, “[W]hy will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11).
Great calamities like natural disasters, disease pandemics and economic besiegement by foreign powers are a wake-up call from God, alerting people to the desperate need to repent of their many sins!