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Did God send a prophet?
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Rome to Regain Control of the World
The Elusive Constitution
Lord John Acton, a Roman Catholic, wrote toward the end of the nineteenth century,
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." He was
speaking of the papacy, whom he called "the fiend skulking behind the Crucifix."
"The papacy contrived murder and massacred on the largest and also on the most cruel
and inhuman scale," he wrote, referring to the Inquisition. "They were not only
wholesale assassins, but they made the principle of assassination a law of the
Christian Church and a condition of
Acton—Political Power Corrupts."
Strong words coming from a Roman Catholic, but he was by no means alone in holding these
sentiments. Many Catholics felt this way.
Have things changed in the last 120 years? Does the Vatican now have a constitution
that guarantees freedom of conscience to all, and does it avoid placing absolute power
into the hands of a single individual? If so, then perhaps we can discount Ellen
White's prediction of the Vatican's eventual world supremacy and a revival by it of
the persecutions of the past.
The CIA World Factbook's entry for Vatican City says that the Vatican has
namely the "Apostolic Constitution of 1967 (effective 1 March 1968)." Many web sites out there
say the same, getting their information from the CIA. But we are unable to find such
a constitution anywhere, not even on the Vatican's web site. Where is it, and what does it say?
|CIA Factbook on Vatican Constitution.|
The closest thing we can find to the "Apostolic Constitution of 1967" is the 1967
Apostolic Constitution entitled "The Doctrine of Indulgences." But an ecclesiastical
endorsement of a doctrine that teaches that you can get an early release from purgatory
in exchange for certain works is hardly the type of constitution we are looking for.
Before continuing, we need to take a look at a little more of Ellen White's prediction.
At the time the following was written, Protestants were seeking to enforce Sunday rest, and
were asking for the help of Rome in accomplishing this:
And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she
never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent
III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church.
And had she but the power, she would put them in practice
with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little
know what they are doing when they propose to accept the
aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they
are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome
is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost
supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United
States that the church may employ or control the power of
the state; that religious observances may be enforced by
secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state
is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in
this country is assured.—Great Controversy, p. 581.
"It is the boast of Rome that she never changes." This is acknowledged to be
the case even by the ecumenically minded, who have chosen to put past opposition to the papacy
Roman Catholic practice is not to take back what the Church has said in the past, but
to update teaching and to give new interpretations of doctrine. Hence we cannot
expect that a pope or council will rescind offensive statements made in the
the Pope the Antichrist?"
It is interesting to note to what extent the present
form of American government is a reaction to
the abuses of the papacy of years gone by:
- The U.S. has a constitution that protects the rights of the minority.
- Its government is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
- All public offices are filled through either free elections or appointment by duly elected officials.
- Its government has a separation of powers, so that a single person or entity is not the absolute executive, legislative, and judicial ruler.
- The laws of the U.S. include impeachment proceedings for officials gone awry.
Have the principles of the papacy changed? Does it now have a constitution that protects
the minority? Does its system of government now have a separation of powers,
impeachment proceedings, and free elections? If not, if there have been no changes and
no reforms, what impediment exists to prevent a revival of the abuses of the past?
Just a promise? Can it really be so that in this modern era of civil and religious freedoms
that the head of Vatican City is still an absolute dictator for life, accountable to no one,
unelected by the people?
The very fact that after so many centuries there are still no safeguards in place to
prevent the abuses of the past from occurring again gives us no assurance that
Ellen White's prediction will not take place.
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