“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”
America is to cause the earth to worship the first beast, the Papacy, whose deadly wound was healed. How can such a move be advanced by the United States, “the land of the free and the home of the brave”? One subtle step at a time. In a move by the Trump Administration, Evangelical Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is holding a series of meetings calling on religious groups and leaders around the world to join them in a discussion on religious freedom.
Press Trust of India reported: “The Trump Administration has convened a major international meeting to discuss challenges to religious freedom, identify concrete means to address persecution of and discrimination against religious groups, and promote greater respect for religious freedom for all. The three-day conference from 24 July — Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom — would be addressed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a media release said on Thursday. The ministerial would be attended by government officials, representatives of international organisations, religious leaders, rights advocates and members of civil society groups from around the world, it said.” Crux reports: “The Secretary of State then said he thinks the pope and the Catholic Church can “play a central role” in promoting religious freedom.”
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
Can the Vatican play a central role in religious liberty? Yes, but only according to their terms. Their definition of religious liberty means state enforced power in the observance of their ecclesiastical laws. “In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church’s holy days as legal holidays.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2188)
“Who must propose legislation in favor of the family? Christians must, and to do so they must move.” (Cardinal Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for Families, May 2012)
“Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy.”
(John Paul II, Dies Domini, 1998)
“From what has been said it follows that it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, or writing, or of worship…for liberty is to be regarded as legitimate in so far only as it affords greater facility for doing good, but no farther.” (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, Libertas, 42, June 20, 1888) ”
Does the above sound like religious freedom? Freedom is only freedom if you choose the good. If you fail to choose their definition of good, that liberty is to be revoked. It is truly freedom for faithful Catholics if they are to be the central figure of what religious liberty truly means.
“The supreme duty of Catholics is to obey the Pope, and seek in every way, and especially by means of the ballot, to render the Catholic policy effective in this country.” (Catholic World, Vol. XI, No. 64, 1870.)
“Many non-Catholics fear us as a political organisation, and are afraid that the Catholic Church will dominate and rule; we are working quietly, seriously and I may say effectively, to that end.” (The Catholic magazine The Missionary, June, 1909, p. 69.)
“Brian Hook, a top aide to Pompeo, said in a recent interview with Crux, a news site focused on Catholicism, that the administration “decided to convene a ministerial on religious freedom because we don’t think that enough attention has been given to the persecution of Christian minorities around the world…”
TRUE REGIME OF BRUTALITY FORGOTTEN
He further stated “The regime in Iran today… has made the “persecution of religious minorities a hallmark of its brutality,..” but perhaps they forget that the Catholic church persecuted religious minorities when “power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13:7)
He continued by saying that “The Vatican is a very important partner and we discussed how the prospective that they provide for religious minorities.”
To represent the Vatican, Archbishop Gallagher from the Vatican attended the ministerial conference. The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, while seemingly endorsing religious liberty, has made “claim that all Muslims were “potentially complicit” in acts of terrorism collectively.” He further stated to a church crowd that the “threat to America” was caused by “people who deeply believe that Islam is the way.” He continued, “They abhor Christians,… [And] will continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.” In these statements, it becomes evident that it is not religious liberty Pompeo stands for, but like the Catholics, religious freedom for the world as it pertains to Christians when they are a persecuted minority.
HISTORY WILL BE REPEATED
Pompeo initiated the international conference to bring attention to persecution of the minority of Christians around the world. This may sound good, but we must remember that during the time of Roman Emperor Constantine, he issued an edict of tolerance for both pagan and Christian peoples, and made large strides to protect Christians, setting them up high in the Roman Imperial administration. According to Eusebius, he made them his advisors and fought the scourge of persecution that seemed set against them throughout the empire. But Christianity Today reports of this event regarding the issuing of the Edict of Milan: “This required a guarantee of full religious freedom to the Christians, setting them on a par with those who followed other religions. It marks the Roman Empire’s final abandonment of the policies of persecution of Christians. The age of the martyrs was at an end. The transition to the eroa of the “Christian Empire” had begun.”
“Moreover, he made the priests of God his counselors, and deemed it incumbent on him to honor the God who had appeared to him with all devotion. And after this, being fortified by well-grounded hopes in Him, he hastened to quench the threatening fire of tyranny.” (Eusebius: Church History; Life of Constantine, Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. I)
What seemed like a great awakening and a decision in favor of the Christian church in the Roman Empire was, in fact, going to plunge them into the cruelest and vilest apostasy. Departing from the gospel of Christ, they endorsed the political arm of the state, becoming the actors and perpetrators of the worst, most hostile, religious tyranny the world has ever witnessed. It seemed as though Constantine was doing marvelously for the church; defending them and exempting them and their lands from paying taxes (Which Trump is similarly doing). But Donald Trump is going through the same prophetic line as Constantine, and the results will prove to be the turning point of the church indeed. No longer the undermined and persecuted, they shall prosper and flourish into fierce persecutors, exercising the power of the state. Receiving both honors to shape policies in the land, and having their institutions supported by state favors and exemptions, the Evangelical Protestant churches shall soon manifest whither their feet are tending.