Ratzinger Blitzkriegs Protestants

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Ratzinger Blitzkriegs Protestants

Pope Benedict’s aggressive move to garner the wayward Anglican daughter of the church back into Rome’s fold is the latest outcome of the Vatican’s strategy to dominate global Christianity.

In a bold move, as swift and as sudden as a blitzkrieg frontal attack, Joseph Ratzinger, the Bavarian pope, has turned the tide against the wayward Protestant daughters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Striking at Anglo-Saxon Protestantism’s leading light, the Anglican Church, the pope took the battle right into Lambeth Palace’s front yard. In one sudden, surprise move, Ratzinger blindsided a weakened and divided Anglican community by offering a free ticket to Rome for all Anglicans who choose to reject the policies of their liberalized hierarchy. As has now been well publicized, the pope has offered membership of the church of Rome to those who choose to convert, with the historic concession that they may keep their Anglican practices and that married clergy may be accepted as priests in a newly established Catholic/Anglican community.

Upon receiving the news, Archbishop John Hepworth, primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, noting that the union of the Christian churches with Rome is a driving force in Benedict xvi’s papacy, declared, “We are profoundly moved by the generosity of … Pope Benedict xvi. … He has dedicated his pontificate to the cause of unity” (Catholic World News, October 21).

This move will continue to create waves within Protestantism’s ranks for many months to come, not to mention the impact it will have on British politics and the Crown itself. Yet, it is but the latest manifestation of powerful biblical prophecies destined for fulfillment in our time.

Herbert W. Armstrong often referred to the reality that Rome would gather back into its fold its daughter churches in the time immediately preceding Christ’s return. The fact that Pope Benedict has made this move now—at this very specific juncture in unfolding world events—simply places it, in tandem with other world events unfolding at the same time, in true prophetic perspective.

Consider this latest move by the Vatican, coupled in timing with several other recent events:

• the progressive, ongoing failure of the global financial system

• the consolidation of the EU power bloc under the Lisbon Treaty

• the proposed imposition of global financial and economic regulation by the EU

• the moves to establish a pan-European military force under Germanic leadership

• the rapidly aggressive rise of Islamic power under Iranian influence

• the German-Russian nexus replacing the Atlantic alliance

• the latest publicized move for East Asian powers to coalesce in an EU-type community

• an appeasing, increasingly isolationist U.S. presidency

Viewed in this context, it is but one more massive sign of the times—the biblical “times of the gentiles” prophesied to be extant immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ to rule this Earth (Luke 21:24).

It’s an amazing sign of the deceptiveness of the human mind that our detractors, many of them having been exposed to Herbert Armstrong’s teachings on inerrant Bible prophecy, will still reject the plain truth of the present-day fulfillment of multiple Bible prophecies that he declared far in advance of their happening. Their emotionally charged denials of the precision and accuracy of Mr. Armstrong’s analyses ignore the cold, hard facts of present-day reality.

It is because of that tremendous foundation of Bible prophecy, built by Christ in over half a century of working through the ministry of Herbert Armstrong, that we are able to bring to you, weekly, and even daily, clear and concise proof of just where this world is headed, and predict events of the immediate future before they happen. One such event we have continually pointed to is the imminence of the Vatican’s move to gather back to Rome its Protestant and Orthodox daughters.

Beside Pope Benedict’s dramatic invitation for Anglicans to return to Rome coming as a shock to many observers in terms of its suddenness, it was also noteworthy for other reasons.

Reporting from Rome, Robert Moynihan observed three unusual phenomena attached to what appears to be a rushed announcement of this invitation to Anglicans by Pope Benedict. “But I must say that today’s press conference was among the strangest I have ever attended at the Vatican,” he wrote in Inside the Vatican magazine.

Why?Because many things either didn’t make sense, or were not explained.For example, the “missing person.”Who was missing?German Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Council for Christian Unity, the man who has been nominally in charge for many years now of the decades-long Catholic-Anglican dialogue.According to all usual protocol, Kasper should have been at this conference, but was not (he is in Cyprus for a few days carrying on a dialogue with the Orthodox).

Did Benedict’s seeming undue haste to make this announcement perhaps have bearing on the reason why the German Cardinal Kasper was in Cyprus? Was it timed to send a signal to the Eastern Orthodox hierarchy that the pope is ready to make similar concessions to the Orthodox community if they capitulate to Rome? After all, Kasper was Johnny on the spot to assess their reaction to this dramatic announcement to then be in a position to report that reaction firsthand to Benedict upon his return to Rome from Nicosia.

The second “oddity” Moynihan observed “was the strange haste to hold this press conference.”

Why do I say “strange haste”?Because the normal time frame for advising all journalists of an upcoming Vatican press conference was not respected.Normally, the Vatican gives a week’s advance notice for a major press conference. (This was confirmed for me today at the press office.)But today’s conference was announced via a cell phone text message from Press Director Father Federico Lombardi, S.J, sent to journalists’ cell phones at only 5 p.m. yesterday—just 18 hours before the event, less than one day.Journalists at the conference said the short notice was unusual for a document, something that was not an obvious emergency, like an accident or an assassination.

The third strange phenomenon was quite intriguing.

Finally, it seemed quite odd that the text of the document that the press conference was held to present was … not presented!The document detailing all aspects of this new initiative was announced, but no copies were given out, and so no one knows yet what it really will say because … it isn’t finished—even though officials as recently as yesterday evening thought that it would be finished for today!Cardinal Levada told journalists that the document wasn’t ready because “some questions of canon law need still to be clarified,” without explaining what those questions are or how long it may take to clarify them.So these are mysteries. …What is going on?Why the evident haste to make this announcement?Why go ahead and hold a press conference about a document before the document is finalized?Is someone is trying to “steal a march” on someone?It would seem so.But who is hurrying, and why?Is it the pope himself?If so, why?

Our own feeling is that these mysteries all have to do with Benedict’s next planned ecumenical move in fulfilling his pilgrimage to garner this world’s various Christian entities back to mother Rome.

Simply look east.

The Anglican community, tremendously weakened by the aggressive penetration of its ranks by rabid feminists, homosexuals and lesbians since the breakdown triggered by the social revolt of the 1960s, was always going to be easier meat for Vatican takeover than Rome’s eastern daughters. The Vatican just had to take the moral high ground and hold it. The great pedophile purge within the priesthood has a lot to do with that strategy.

However, there is another angle that Benedict is working on to woo the Orthodox back to Rome. The strength of tradition and ceremony attached to the eastern rite is an angle that Benedict has been carefully playing to his ecumenical advantage. Chiesa reported on October 20,

The ecumenism of Pope Ratzinger appears increasingly influenced by fidelity to tradition. That’s the way it is with the Lefebvrists. And even more so with the Eastern Orthodox churches.And also attached to the grand tradition are the Orthodox churches which seem to be having more productive encounters with the current pontiff. From October 16-23 in Cyprus, the second round of dialogue—the first was in Ravenna, in 2007—is being held between Catholics and Orthodox on the question of papal primacy, in the light of how it was lived during the first millennium. Today, more than ever, with Joseph Ratzinger as pope, the ecumenical journey seems not a pursuit of modernity, but a return to the terrain of tradition.

That emphasis on tradition was underscored two days before the pope’s most recent dramatic ecumenical announcement by an event of a kind not witnessed in St. Peters for over 40 years.

Again reporting from on the spot, Robert Moynihan observed, “As rain fell in St Peter’s Square, a solemn high mass according to the old rite was celebrated this morning in Latin in St. Peter’s Basilica …. It was the first time a solemn high mass according to the old rite has been celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica since 1969, 40 years ago.” Moynihan noted that “Many low old rite masses have been celebrated in different chapels of the basilica … especially in the past two years since the promulgation on July 7, 2007, of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict’s motu proprio calling for wider celebration of the old mass” (op. cit., October 18).

The celebration of that historic mass—redolent with a symbolism connoting “a return to the terrain of tradition”—would not have been lost on either the Traditional Anglicans nor the Eastern Orthodox, timed as it was to set the scene for the pope’s dramatic announcement two days later.

Now the pope looks east.

Fully seven years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Herbert Armstrong reiterated what he’d maintained for years. In a letter to his supporters he observed, “The uprising against Soviet domination in Poland can easily lead to Poland, and such Eastern European nations as Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and even Greece, joining in a union with Roman Catholic nations in Western Europe. The Eastern Orthodox church could join with the Roman Catholic. The 10 nations of Revelation 17 will be Catholic” (May 20, 1982).

Those nations Herbert Armstrong referred to are already firmly embedded within the EU.

Watch now for Pope Benedict—with many Anglican communities now set to return to the fold—to move to the next stage of his ecumenical project: the drawing in of the Orthodox community to the realm of mother Rome.