The ‘German Shepherd’: Pope Shows His Teeth

The ‘German Shepherd’: Pope Shows His Teeth

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Silencing dissenting priests, clamping down on errant nuns—Pope Benedict XVI is pointing the way forward for the Roman Catholic Church.

Recent muscular moves by the Vatican are more deeply significant than you probably realize.

In April Pope Benedict xvi finished the seventh year of his papacy with several bold, polarizing actions that point to the Roman Catholic Church’s future direction.

When he became pope in 2005, the German-born Joseph Ratzinger was expected by liberals and conservatives alike to be a tough authoritarian. After all, he was the church’s chief doctrinal enforcer, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was the “Panzerkardinal”—“God’s Rottweiler.”

Then came seven years of what many perceived as a relatively quiet papacy. Now, though, perceptions are beginning to revert back. In increasingly obvious ways, Benedict’s Rome is snuffing out dissent, stamping out liberalism and enforcing its brand of conservative Catholicism. Headlines are becoming common about the reemergence of the “real Ratzinger” and the “Return of the Rottweiler.”

Last month, during his “Holy Thursday” homily, the pope publicly rebuked a prominent group of hundreds of dissident priests and deacons in heavily Catholic Austria. These church leaders have openly supported women’s ordination and opposed priestly celibacy, and Benedict has had enough. The Vatican also announced it was investigating a handful of Irish priests for their liberal views. One priest was banished to a monastery; others are being censored; another who has been openly critical of the church’s mishandling of child sex abuse scandals is no longer allowed to print articles.

Two weeks ago, the Vatican released a stingingly corrective “doctrinal assessment” of the organization representing most of America’s 57,000 nuns. It accused that group, the Leadership Conference for Women Religious (lcwr), of “corporate dissent” and corruption by “radical feminism”; it condemned the group for drifting from Catholic teaching on homosexual marriage, abortion, women’s ordination and other issues. Now, the lcwr will essentially be on probation for up to five years as conservative bishops scrutinize its practices, supervise its meetings and investigate its ties to various politically active groups.

Predictably, in a libertine world deeply hostile to authority, such moves generate a lot of backlash. (Especially among independent-minded Americans: They called the crackdown on nuns heart-breaking, stunning, mind-boggling.) The pope doesn’t care. He is making his stand and daring people to challenge him. Stepping out and castigating his critics for being out of step.

Meanwhile—in fact, on the very same day it cracked down on the lcwr—the Vatican revealed it is about to strike a deal with a fringe group of disassociated ultra-traditionalist Catholics that could bring them back into communion with Rome. This controversial group, Society of St. Pius X, broke away two decades ago out of opposition to changes in the church that followed the Second Vatican Council—and the pope wants them back.

The simultaneous clampdown on liberal American nuns and embrace of ultra-conservatives is a telling sign. As the National Catholic Reporter wrote, In tandem with Benedict’s 2009 decision to welcome traditionalist Anglicans, it’s tempting to conclude that his policy amounts to accommodating dissent on the right and squelching it on the left” (emphasis added).

Looking at these events, the ncr drew this conclusion: “The ‘German Shepherd,’ it would seem, still has some bite.”

On one level, anyone sickened or angered by the world’s deplorable moral decline would find such conviction admirable. However, this is not just anyone, or any organization. This is the pope. This is the Universal Church. With a billion believers and nearly two millennia of portentous history behind it.

In recent years Rome has labored to strengthen and fulfill its fundamental missionary purpose: to bring other churches’ teachings in line with Roman Catholicism; specifically, to get them to acknowledge and unite under the authority of the pope. Benedict xvi is focused on reviving the historic imperative of the church’s universality.

To better understand the significance of Rome’s recent assertiveness, one must view it in the context of the church’s historical attempts to establish its universality. This is a church with global ambition. And frankly, those periods where it has most aggressively exercised its influence have been some of mankind’s darkest.

However, even looking just at this history only provides a partial view. To really see what is taking place, one must also look through the lens of biblical prophecy.

The Roman Catholic Church holds a monumental place in the Bible’s narrative of end-time events. It is described as ascending to once again attain a position of influence such as it has had at several points in its past, uniting with world leaders, summoning armies under the banner of the cross, using its spiritual clout to steer the political and military might of nations into helping it accomplish its goals. Scripture actually portrays this church as a woman sitting on “many waters,” signifying a globalist reign.

It also, shockingly, depicts the church as a beast—but with a twist. It will not appear as a beast: It looks like a lamb—innocent, just and righteous in the eyes of most people. It projects itself as being like the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. This, however, is the worst possible deception: It speaks like a dragon (Revelation 13:11)—and it is what comes out of the mouth that reveals the true nature of the heart.

You need to prove these prophecies—and believe them. They expose what is truly happening on today’s world scene. They show God’s view of the Catholic Church and other major players on the political and religious stage, and reveal how He is shaping events to fulfill His purposes.

Please read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation. Its dramatic and riveting explanation of the Bible’s prophecies of the Roman Catholic Church will astound you!

The Vatican’s recent muscularity is only the beginning. Watch closely: This thing is going to grow. Believe it or not, it threatens to shake the world!

Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously defined “apostolic succession” as the belief in the transfer of authority from the Apostle Peter to the pope; in actuality this authority is believed to have been given to all the church’s bishops, not merely the Bishop of Rome.

German Finance Minister to Be Next Head of Eurogroup?

German Finance Minister to Be Next Head of Eurogroup?

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Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers, says he “fully supports” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble taking his job after he steps down at the end of the month.

His successor should be someone who knows the eurozone’s issues and can listen to others, he said at a debate in Hamburg on April 30. Schäuble has “superb qualifications” and “would be the perfect match,” said Juncker.

“Some diplomats have expressed concerns his appointment would be too strong a signal that Germany is running the single currency,” writes the EU Observer.

The Observer writes that if Schäuble did take the job, Germany would have to relinquish control of the eurozone bailout fund. Klaus Regling is currently head of the European Financial Stability Facility and wants to stay on as it morphs into the European Stability Mechanism. The Observer believes that Spain and France would force Germany to give up this position.

However, Germany is running the euro. As Robert Morley points out in his latest column, only Germany can bail out Europe. That gives it huge power. It won’t necessarily use this power for overt power grabs, but it is running the show. If Germany wants to control both posts, it will get its way.

Death will be the only retirement for many

One quarter of middle-class Americans have so little savings (and investments) that they don’t think they will be able to retire until they are 80 years old, according to a new report.

That presents a pretty big problem: The average American life expectancy is 78!

CNNMoney reports:

It sounds depressing, but for many it’s a necessity. On average, Americans have only saved a mere 7 percent of the retirement nest egg they were hoping to build, according to Wells Fargo’s latest retirement survey that polled 1,500 middle-class Americans.While respondents (whose ages ranged from 20 to 80) had median savings of only $25,000, their median retirement savings goal was $350,000. And 30 percent of people in their 60s—right around the traditional retirement age of 65—that were surveyed had saved less than $25,000 for retirement.

This is a disaster waiting to happen—in so many different ways.

$350,000 will probably not provide much of an income in retirement. At the current 2 percent yield of 10-year government treasury bonds, you will only earn $7,000 per year! And that is before taxes.

People need to adjust to the new reality! In today’s inflationary—Federal Reserve money-printing—environment, you will need a lot more than $350,000 to retire comfortably.

So what will many of these people have to do? Many are probably planning on heavily relying on Social Security. This too is a doomed strategy. The Social Security fund has no money in it and is now paying out more than it is taking in. The government has spent the Social Security money. And the government is close to going broke too.

As economic analyst Mike Shedlock says in his blog on the subject, it’s “crazy … to expect Social Security to take care of all your retirement needs.”

So how are these people going to live their retirements?

They won’t.

As cnn points out, almost one third of people in their 60s have saved less than $25,000 for retirement! These people will never be able to retire. They will work to feed themselves until they die.

It is great to work past 65 if you can and choose to. However, the problem is that many of these people will not be physically and mentally able to work even if they wanted to.

The burden on taxpayers in America is going to grow exponentially. Eighty million baby boomers are now beginning to retire. It is an unstoppable wave of retirees that is about to slam into America’s already fragile economy. And it is hitting at a time when the economy—and America’s indebted government—can least afford it.

Read “80,000,000 Retirees” to see what the baby boomer generation means for the future of America.

Spain Officially Back in Recession

Spain announced on Monday that, for the second time in three years, its economy has fallen into a recession.

The National Statistics Institute said the economy shrank 0.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, unemployment has climbed to more than 24 percent, with youth unemployment soaring at 50 percent.

At the same time, property prices are plunging at a staggering 7.2 percent annual rate.

Standard & Poor’s rating agency recently downgraded Spanish debt by two full notches, and borrowing rates have surged above 6 percent for the Spanish government. With the economy officially in shambles, rioting is now becoming common.

Spain looks to be on the fast track to crisis, following in the footsteps of Greece. At this juncture in the ongoing euro crisis, any bailout is essentially a German move. Other national economies are too strained to contribute their share. To understand how Spain’s deteriorating economy could become a landmark catalyst to Germany’s rise, read “Will Germany Ride to Europe’s Rescue?

Merkel Dumps Sarkozy for Monti

Merkel Dumps Sarkozy for Monti

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Germany’s chancellor has aligned with Italy’s prime minister. This will strengthen ties between Berlin and Rome.

Last week reports emerged of an alliance between Italy and Germany. This is a harbinger of that final axis that will dominate the European Union from here on.

Presseurop observed: “Angela Merkel doesn’t want to be left alone in the turmoil of the [economic] crisis. With her long-time partner Nicolas Sarkozy on the way out after the first round of French elections, the chancellor is already looking for another ally, and Mario Monti seems to be her choice. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert has revealed that Merkel and Monti’s staff have already met to plan a series of joint German-Italian initiatives to promote economic stimulus measures to be discussed at the European Council in June, La Stampa reports” (April 26; emphasis added throughout).

Readers of the Trumpet would know that we have long expected the weakening of the Franco-German alliance and its ultimate replacement with an Italo-German alliance. This is the “holy” Roman connection with Germany that will inspire the prophesied final rise of the ultimate 10-nation combine set to rule Europe—in reality the seventh and final rise of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Merkel-Monti connection is the resurrection of the historic old Chaldean/Assyrian axis in modern clothes. That “series of joint German-Italian initiatives to promote economic stimulus measures to be discussed at the European Council in June” are but the beginning of a powerful influence that will be exerted soon on the global economy from Rome and Berlin (Revelation 13:16-17).

Watch now for the growing nexus between Berlin and Rome.

Watch for Europe’s chief central banker, Mario Draghi, to play a linchpin role in these “joint German-Italian … economic stimulus measures” that will soon flow from this partnership between Berlin and Rome. Draghi may well give a hint concerning those measures when he comments this Thursday at the upcoming European Central Bank governing council meeting in Madrid.

As we have said before, watch the two Marios—Monti and Draghi—and watch closely for Merkel to be increasingly influenced by Rome in her political and economic outlook. The chancellor has already done a U-turn on economic policy, agreeing now to toe Rome’s line. As Presseurop reported, “Merkel’s fiscal discipline creed came under fire yesterday as ecb chairman Mario Draghi declared that fiscal consolidation cannot be achieved through cuts and taxes alone, and requires ‘structural measures to favor economic growth.’ … ‘While waiting for the French election verdict Merkel paid heed to Draghi, finally coming to a formal acknowledgment that ‘we need growth, to be sustained through structural reforms’’” (ibid). That is a real policy reversal from Merkel’s previously publicly declared stance.

Over time, Sarkozy reverted to being Merkel’s EU lap-dog. Watch now for Merkel to fill a similar role, paying obeisance to Rome.

EU to Sue Britain Over Immigration Law

EU to Sue Britain Over Immigration Law

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The European Commission says Britain’s immigration laws violate EU law and has said that unless Britain changes them within two months, the European Union will sue. Legal experts say it is impossible for the government to meet this deadline.

The Commission’s “reasoned opinion” states that the UK is violating the EU’s Free Movement Directive in four areas. Initially, the EU said Britain breached the directive in 80 ways, but most of those have been resolved.

Two of the areas left relate to family members of EU citizens. The directive requires that a non-EU family member be allowed to travel visa-free with his relative who holds an EU residence card. Britain does not allow this as it says that not all resident cards from EU nations are secure enough.

The other issue relates to the Commission wanting Britain to allow family members of EU citizens to be able to apply for UK residency. As the Financial Times explains it, “This would entitle, for instance, an Afghan national in London to apply for residence in Britain on the basis of their Italian brother living in Rome.”

The directive allows the UK to require EU citizens who want to move to Britain to have medical insurance. However, Britain won’t let them count the UK’s National Health Service as insurance. The Commission claims this is illegal.

Its final grievance is that the UK treats immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria differently to immigrants from other EU nations.

Britain said it would appeal against the Commission’s opinion.

Immigration policy and control of national borders are at the heart of a nation’s sovereignty. The fact that the EU is able to boss Britain around on this, with Britain’s only response being to appeal, shows how much power Britain has given up to Europe.