Book of Revelation 17.1-2
Rome was famous as the city of seven hills, and several times in chapters 13 and 17 it's talked about as ruling all the peoples of the earth. And there was only one possibility in John's time, and that has to be Rome.
Judgment Of The Great City
And there came out of the seven angels, which had the seven vials, and talked to me saying unto me," Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgement of the great City, that sitteth upon many waters:
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk, with the wine of her fornication.
Book of Revelation 17:1-2
The Book of Revelation, from chapter 17 onwards, presents a series of historical events that lead to the overthrow of the great City of great infamy. The interpretation of Revelation 1-16 has been for the most part determined by facts of history which have already transpired.
And there came out of the seven angels, which had the seven vials, and talked to me saying unto me," Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgement of the great City, that sitteth upon many waters:
Book of Revelation 17:1
The sixth vial brings to the present date. The apostle is shown a vision of what is a City that is supported by many nations, water being a symbol used to express this meaning. It is well known that by crafty and political maneuvering, with all kinds of sin, deceit and unrighteousness, papal Rome obtained and kept her rule over kings and nations.
The judgment and the spiritual fornication, though finding their culmination in papal Rome, are not restricted to it. Instead they comprise the apostate Church, Roman, Greek, Protestant, Methodist, Anglican and other sects, so far as it has been seduced, and given its affections to worldly pomps and idols. The Catholic Church is The Mother of the Harlots, her daughters being the breakaway Christian sects now spread over many nations and waters.
So how exactly did Babylon become equated with Rome? According to Adela Yarbro Collins (PBS Frontline):
Vatican, the Great Whore
"In the prophetic books and the historical books of the Old Testament, Babylon is described primarily as the one who destroyed Jerusalem. And for John, writing after 70, Babylon then becomes a code name for Rome, because it was the second city to destroy the Temple. ... "Babylon" is the most common phrase that John uses to refer to Rome, and at first he introduces that term very briefly and indirectly. And the place where it's elaborated is Chapter 17, the vision of the Great Harlot. Babylon is a city with overtones of imperial might and destructiveness, conqueror of other cities. Then you have the harlot with her golden cup, her purple, or scarlet clothing, her jewels sitting on seven hills. He hints that it's Rome in several ways. One, that she sits on seven hills, and Rome was famous as the city of seven hills, and several times in chapters 13 and 17 it's talked about as ruling all the peoples of the earth. And there was only one possibility in John's time, and that has to be Rome.”
However, Adela Yarbro Collins and PBS Frontline are just beating around the bush and have no desire to implicate the Vatican directly, just as John.
But John had to camouflage both Rome and the Vatican for any direct accusation would have seen the Book of Revelation edited out of the Bible. Moreover, he had to enforce its survival by warning that "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:19)
"In these verses from the Revelation, our sovereign Lord has given His Church important clues as to the identity of the false church, Mystery Babylon the Great. It is upon her the wrath of God is destined to be displayed before the unbelieving world. This ministry wishes to expose the identity of this great whore. The Lord wills the true Church know upon whom His righteous judgment must fall. Once her identity is known, we are certain true believers will separate from her, warning others. The Elect who reside in her will awaken and flee. To that end, we have collected data damning to the Church of Rome, her Papacy and priesthood. It is damning because of its scope in time and place, its depth of depravity, and its fulfillment of prophecy foretold the Apostle John. Our research spans centuries and culminates in modern day current events. Every fact is documented so that the reader may ascertain for himself its veracity. If what we present to the reader is unbiased historical fact and not biased fiction, then the reader has but two choices: either (1) ignore the preponderance of damning evidence and testimony; or (2) believe the overwhelming evidence and testimony pointing to the Church of Rome as that doomed, soon to be damned false church depicted as 'Mother' in Revelation 17 & 18.
Furthermore, if this is so, then her head, the Vicar of Christ, can be none other that the very Antichrist, that Man of Sin, the son of perdition, marked out in Scripture as the head of that false Christian body, who usurps the authority and honor due Christ.” 1
Thus Babylon is the city of Rome but the Great Harlot is none other than the Vatican, undisputed in power and might over all Europe to grant favors and riches, or instill fear and death.
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk, with the wine of her fornication.
Book of Revelation 17:2
There has been an unholy relationship between this false church and the rulers and kingdoms of the earth. She have been a prostitute to the kings of the earth, both ancient and modern. The Vatican has obtained and kept her influence by allurements and delusions, and seduced others to join her abominations allurements of worldly honor and riches, pomp and pride, suited to sensual and worldly minds. The nations have received her spirit and partaken of her sins. Prosperity, power, pomp and splendor now feed the pride and lusts of Christians, whom she had intoxicated with the wine of her fornication.
Over the centuries the Catholic Church fornicated so many countless times with forbidden pleasures that it became a whorehouse of sin, sacrilege and darkness. As time passed it grew obscenely rich through lust for wealth and power, which were obtained by offering all types of favors with wanton abandonment to kings and subjects, rulers and the ruled, the priestly elite and their faithful followers. She is named, from her infamous practices, a mother of harlots; training them up to idolatry and all sorts of wickedness.
The Catholic Church and her daughters are presently spread across the seven seas with whom Christian kings, princes, prime ministers, politicians and faithful followers, past and present, have had intimate intercourse: sale of indulgences, titles, simony, corruption, bribery, decadence, Inquisition, prosecution, property acquisition, Mafia dealings, share trading, currency speculation, corporate ownership, wealth hoarding, diplomatic establishments and the like. Centuries of Church spiritual decay and religious rape has made Christendom become immoral (drunk) with the sins (wine) of papal intercourse with the Evil One (the Dragon.)
We shudder in fear and shake our heads in utter disbelieve that the most vilest empire on Earth is still standing today, a towering testimony to the Prince of Darkness' power and ingenuity that led them to commit the most blasphemous, the most barbaric, the most vilest acts in the name of God. We can only offer historical evidence of popes (the entire clergy will need vast volumes) taken from impeccable sources to prick the conscious of hundreds of millions of its victims. May the Almighty Creator have mercy on all the souls devoured by the Vicars of the Devil, the false prophets who gave them false hope of salvation since the Dark Ages.
Catholic Christianity begun with the satanic alliance between the barbaric, concubine-sired Constantine and Pope Sylvester (Bishop of Rome.) Constantine had by then already murdered Crispus (his son by his first wife) in 326, drowned his second wife in the bath, killed his eleven-year-old nephew, and then his brother-in-law. Both benefited enormously from this unholy alliance between Altar and Throne, the power of the Pulpit aligning with the terror of the Sword, a formidable foe that crushed all opposition.
- The Prince of Carnal Life His Holiness (Sanctitas) Benedict XII throbbed for the sister of the great scholar, Petrarch, who rejected his offer of a cardinal's hat. This lusty pope still managed to bed this pretty lass by bribing her brother, Gerardo. "Petrarch described anonymously, since he did not want to be burned the papal court as 'the shame of mankind, a sink of vice, a sewer where is gathered all the filth of the world. There God is held in contempt, money alone is worshipped and the laws of God and men are trampled under foot. Everything there breathes a lie: the air, the earth, the houses and above all the bedrooms.'"
- His Holiness Benedict IX was eleven years old in October 1032 when he became pope in the footsteps of his father Pope John XIX. His exploits with women brought an early puberty and by the time he was fourteen he had surpassed the exploits of all predecessors. St Peter Damain has this to say: "That wretch, from the beginning of his pontificate to the end of his life, feasted on immorality.” Another observer was more precise: “A demon from hell in the guise of a priest has occupied the Chair of Peter.”
- His Holiness Alexander VI had two peculiarly bad habits. The first was that "he thought nothing of stealing a man's wife, raping her and tossing her into the Tiber.” The second was commissioning cardinals ("Chief of Father") for a handsome fee. This was standard papal practise and we cannot censure enterprise. However, he had a peculiar habit of calling them over for sumptuous meals and poisoning them with arsenic just to increase turnover. Now that is ungentlemanly.
- Stephen VIII had his ears and nose cut off and never had any further public contact, for obvious reasons.
- Leo X (1513-21) became cardinal at the age of thirteen. As a pope he "peddled cardinalities, created new offices sold to the highest bidders, and took the proceeds of the sale of indulgences to pay for his lavish excesses . . .” He is remembered for his appropriate observation: "Let us enjoy the papacy since God has given it to us.”
- It was during the siege of Naples in the 15th. century that venereal disease is said to have made its first appearance. "No class seems to have been exempt from it. Sextus della Rovere, nephew [?] of Sextus IV., one of the wealthiest and most debauched ecclesiastics of the age, was 'rotten from his middle to the soles of his feet.' Even the haughty and majestic Julius II., [1503-13], would not expose his fee to the obeisance of the faithful because they were discolored by syphilis. Leo X., his accomplished and munificent successor, was said to have owed his elevation to the fact that he was in such a depraved state of body as to render necessary a surgical operation in the Consistorium while the election [for pope] was proceeding, the Cardinals selecting the most sickly candidate for the papal tiara.”
- Pope John XXIII did not believe in the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the dead and, probably, even the Almighty Creator. But then we have to be cautious and not pass harsh judgment, without looking at his psychological profile. After all, he was “A former pirate, pope-poisoner (poor Filargi), mass-murderer, mass-fornicator (with preference for nuns), adulterer on a scale unknown outside fables, simoniac par excellence, blackmailer, pimp, master of dirty tricks.” He could always plead innocence by reason of satanic possession.
- Pope Boniface VIII had a colorful history of sexual adventures. "The pope was bisexual, and certainly catholic in his sexual tastes, having kept a married woman and her daughter as his bedfellows, as well as attempting to seduce a number of handsome young men, apparently with a good measure of success. He was quoted as saying that the sex act was 'no more a sin than to rub your hands together.' "
- Beatissimus Pater (Most Blessed Father), Urban VI "one of the most spiteful and vile-tempered of pontiffs" had three passions drink, religion and revenge. The combination of three proved lethal to his foes, who met agonizing deaths in his torture chambers. Pope Alexander V also had three passions food, servants and money. He was excessive in two and astounding in the other, namely servants. He kept more than four hundred of them all female.
- John Gratian, Archpriest of St John and godfather, advised Pope Benedict IX, that he was entitled to pursue his beautiful cousin and even took the trouble to find a suitable successor himself.
- His Holiness Sylvester was no saint. After divorcing his first wife he sired six children by the second. When she became jaded he dumped her and married a third from whom he had two daughters. In between he had another daughter by a concubine. "Childless by his fourth wife, when she died he kept four concubines twelve was his life-long tally and had at least one child by each.”
- Women "Were warned not to enter St John Lateran if they prized their honour.” Our Blessed Father John XII was always on the prowl.
- Sanctissimus dominus noster (Our Most Holy Lord) John XII became pope at sixteen. He invented sins "not known since the beginning of the world, including sleeping with his mother.” He "even toasted the Devil.”
- "No False Prophet ever went to God in a more embarrassing position.” John XII was twenty-four when an enraged husband caught him humping his wife "And gave him the last rites with one hammer blow on the back of his head.” His Holiness Pope Benedict VII also died under similar circumstances.
- Clement VII, elected in 1342, had a knack for making his cronies happy, especially his cardinals, so that "They could afford the handsomest little boys if they were so inclined or the most beautiful ladies-in-waiting.”
- The Most Blessed Father Benedict Gaetani was crowned Pope Boniface VIII in 1294 and was one of the most cruelest, bloodthirsty, sadistic, extravagant, corrupt, greedy, and licentious Vicar of Christ. Only the Devil could have blessed him with such a diabolical character and power. His papal tales of satanic madness are too numerous to quote here. May the quote below testifying to his Dracula-like remains be sufficient to jolt religious prisoners to their senses:
"When, at the completion of the new St Peter's in 1605, his tomb had to be moved, it cracked open. To everyone's consternation, the pontiff's body, after three centuries, was incorrupt. Only his nose and lips had been slightly nibbled away.”
- Another satanic sibling who loved pomp, flesh, and torture far more than anything else was the pet pupil of Satan, Our Most Holy Lord Pope Boniface. The Devil must have been in ecstasy just watching him excel in inflicting the most painful of death on Christian victims, and erotic pleasure on wanton women.
- "Catholic belief and dogma is that if a man is validly elected by the authorized electors, the cardinals, then God automatically confers the plenitude of power directly on the pope-elect.” In 1046 Pope Clement II accompanied the German king Henry III to Italy where they found "three rival popes claiming the papacy" Sylvester III, Benedict IX, and Gregory VI. Benedict's supporters poisoned His Holiness and "Benedict then appeared in Rome and installed himself as pope.” Jean Carrier, one of Benedict's cardinal "elected Bernard Garnier as Benedict XIV, who was thus an antipope countering an already reigning antipope.” Celestine II was "elected in December 1124 but resigned a few days later and is not counted in the official list of popes.” Damascus II died of malaria after 23 days but made the papal list. All duly elected popes no matter how cruel, licentious, young, or idiotic were selected by God!
- Pope Paul IV, who hated Jews, drew up the Bull Cum nimis absurdum "stressed that the Christ-killers, the Jews, were by nature slaves and should be treated as such.” They were enclosed to a particular area called "ghetto," after the Venetian Foundry.
The good news of the Bull: Jews were not slaughtered wholesale. Bad news: Jews to sell their property to Christians at absurdly low prices; barred from commercial activity; had their books burnt; forced to wear yellow hats in public; speak only Italian or Latin; never to employ Christians; never to be addressed as "signor" or "sir," even by beggars; only one synagogue per city; only one entrance per ghetto; all Jews to be locked at night.
This anti-semitism tradition was carried on by Innocent III and the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215. “A succession of popes reinforced the ancient prejudices against Jews, treating them as lepers unworthy of the protection of the law. Pius VII was followed by Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX all good pupils of Paul IV.” Leo XII (1823-9) even forbade vaccination against smallpox during an epidemic.
- During Pope Clement XIV's (1769-74) pontificate "There were four thousand murders in the city.”
- Our Holy Father Pope Innocent VIII issued a Bull in December 1484 that considered the "outpourings of insane old women under torture were accepted as part of the Christian faith.” This set off the greatest genocide in human history. Hundreds of thousands of women were burnt for prolonging the winter, delaying harvest, causing stillborn births in both human and animals, loss of sexual appetite, and so forth.
- Pope Marcellinus (296-304) was executed for offering sacrifices to idols and his headless body lay rotting in the street for twenty-six days before being buried.
- Emperor Constans went to Rome to patch things up with Pope Vitalian (657-72.) He was knifed in his bath on the way back.
- In 823 AD Rome, Theodorus the primicerius and Leo the nomenclator, were murdered in the papal palace. Pope Paschal defended the murderers and anathematized the victims, pronouncing their deaths to be acts of justice.
- Pope Calixtus (199-217) was tossed to his death through a window by a drunken mob.
- His Holiness Pope Sixtus XIII (1585-90) declared with infuriated vigour: "While I live, every criminal must die!"
- The Most Blessed Father Pope Benedict XII loved inflicting pain and turned his palace into a vast torture chamber "With irregular walls off which the screams and shrieks of prisoners bounced back and forth into silence.” Clement VI "pillaged Cesena in 1377, where 4,000 anti-papal rebels were massacred.” Pope Stephen IV (768-72) tore out the eyes of an antipope and was incredibly cruel. He is today venerated as a saint in parts of Sicily.
Popes maimed and were maimed, killed and were killed. Their lives bore no resemblance to the gospels.
- In the early thirteen century the Church showed how it dealt with those who would not surrender to papal dogma during the so-called Albigensian Crusade, which devastated much of France in the process of theological cleansing. At first, it had attempted to reconvert the Albigenes through peaceful means. But when this failed Pope Innocent III ordered an armed Crusade which, within twenty years, wiped out hundreds of thousands of people and left only a few surviving bands of Albigenses hiding out in isolated areas.
- The Inquisition Office was still hunting these unfortunate people till as late as the fourteenth century. Simon de Montfort's massacre of the inhabitants of Beziers during this unholy Crusade demonstrated the cruelty which accused heretics received from the Roman Church as a matter of course. It was on this occasion, when asked how his soldiers could tell a heretic from a Christian, that de Montfort gave his infamous reply: "Slay them all. God knows his own.”
- Pope Alexander was poisoned by his successor Our Most Holy Father John XXIII.
- Pope Sergius III disposed and imprisoned Pope Christopher (who had earlier deposed pope Leo V in 903), subsequently having him strangled to death.
- Pope Boniface VI was involved in the death of Pope Forsus, and in turn was murdered by his successor Stephen VI.
- Pope Boniface VII imprisoned pope Benedict VI in June 974 before strangling him "By order of Crescentius.” He then imprisoned and presumably murdered former pope, John XIV. He in turn was murdered by a "vengeful Roman mob.”
- Gregory I "paid fulsome compliments to the most vicious and brutal rulers of the time Queen Brunichildis of Gaul (Epp., I, 74) and the Emperor Phocas (XIII, 31, 38, and 39) when they promised to help the Church, and shockingly rejoiced in the murders of good men who opposed the Papacy.”
- His Holiness Pope John XII (955-63) "Was a true debauchee (referred to by some sources as an 'incestuous satanist'), partially as a result of his pampered upbringing. John was allegedly fatally stricken (possibly apoplexy) in the midst of an adulterous act; he lingered eight days before expiring.”
- Beatissimus Pater Pope Julius II was tall, handsome, and naturally, a great womanizer. Thus it was no surprise that "on Good Friday 1508 his Master of Ceremonies reported that his Holiness could not allow his foot to be kissed, 'quia totus erat ex morbo gallico ulcerous', 'it was completely riddled with syphilis'.” This was a disease very common among priests, a peculiar clerical health hazard.
- Prostitutes gladly welcomed the clergy with open arms (and legs) since priests always paid premium rates for their sexual services. St Bridget made this remark to Pope Gregory: "The clergy are less priests of God than pimps of the devil.”
- Giovanni de' Medici was an abbot at seven, cardinal at thirteen (the youngest ever) and pope at 37. Our Most Holy Lord Pope Leo X was peculiarly pious and had neither mistresses nor bastards. However, he was a latent homosexual, highly addicted to "those pleasures which cannot, with decency, be mentioned.”
- Benedict IX (1032-44) gets a lot of votes for being the worst pope. “A depraved lecher infinitely more concerned with carnal pleasures than with the business of running the papacy . . . Like Nero, he achieved the extraordinary: Both managed to shock their contemporaries.”
- Our Most Holy Lord Pope John XII "copulated with a long list of ladies, including his father's old flame and his own niece," and ran a harem in the Lateran Palace.
- Pius II acknowledged that Rome was "The only city in the world to be run by bastards" and successive popes made sure history recorded the era as the Golden Age of Bastards. The Most Blessed Father Borgia had ten illegitimate children from pretty Vanozza. Pope Julius II had three while still a cardinal.
- Alexander VI's "eye for pretty woman was said to be infallible, even in old age.” From Giula Farnese, a ravishing 15 year-old beauty married to Orsino Orsini, he sired a daughter, Laura. "That is why Giulia became known throughout Italy as 'the Pope's Whore' and 'the Bride of Christ'.” By offering the pleasures of youth to his Holiness she secured a red hat for her brother, the future Paul III, who was thus nicknamed "The Petticoat Cardinal.” At the age of fifty-eight Alexander VI took another fresh mistress.
- The False Prophet Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) was another Borgia. Our Holy Father was “A debauchee whose spiritual concerns were almost entirely overshadowed by matters of flesh, gold, and aggrandizement.” He made his son Cesare a cardinal at the age of eighteen even though he was not a priest.
- On October 31, 1501 one of the most blasphemous acts in Vatican history took place in the heart of Christendom. "Cesare invited his favourite sister Lucrezia and the pope, the only other male present, to a festival called 'The Joust of the Whores.' Fifty of Rome's finest danced in increasingly scanty attire before finally disporting themselves naked around the pope's table . ..
In a frenzied finale, the whores fell on their knees, scrambling in the rugs for chestnuts which the Borgias threw to them like hogs.”
There were reliable rumors, perhaps for good reason, that His Holiness Pope Alexander VI "preferred an orgy to a high mass.”
Vatican life was never dull or wholly evangelical. There were authoritative tales of drunkenness and sexual orgies, some of which were truly inspired by Beelzebub. For example another Prince of Carnal Life, Pope Alexander VI," was reputed to have had incestuous relations with his daughter, the gorgeous Lucrezzia. If so, and it is not certain, it was a record even for a Renaissance pope to have had sex with three generations of women: his daughter, her mother and her grandmother.”
And St. Bonaventure was absolutely right: "This harlot, he said, makes kings and nations drunk with the wine of her whoredoms. In Rome, he claimed to have found nothing but lust and simony, even in the top ranks of the church. Rome corrupts the prelates, they corrupt their clergy, the clergy corrupt the people.”
It was indeed an ungodly union. Rome, already steeped in a history of lust, blood and barbarism, was indeed a warm womb for the Prince of Darkness. The Evil One repeatedly mounted the insatiable, wanton Vatican Whore and impregnated deep inside her the seed of Satan!
Over the last few decades the Beast has started preying on the most innocent, helpless and vulnerable of all its victims children.
And the centuries-old fornication still goes on and on and on ...
SA Catholics admit to abuse
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa has admitted that about a dozen priests have been accused of sexually abusing children in country. BBC
Irish cardinal regrets abuse
The head of Ireland's Roman Catholic Church has expressed "deep regret" for "Inadequacies" in church responses to allegations of child sex abuse by priests. BBC
HK investigates new child abuse claims
Hong Kong police have said they are investigating new allegations of child sex abuse involving Catholic priests. BBC
US Church agrees child-abuse payout
The Roman Catholic Church in the American state of Rhode Island has agreed to pay more than $13m in compensation to 32 men and women who accused several priests and a nun of child sex abuse. BBC
U.S. Jesuits pay out $7.5 million
The California Province of the Society of Jesus agreed Wednesday to pay a total of $7.5 million to two mentally retarded men who said they were sexually abused for years by Jesuits at a retreat in Northern California, according to sources who participated in the negotiations. LA Times
Catholic priests sorry for NZ abuses
The Roman Catholic Church in New Zealand has delivered an unprecedented public apology to sexual abuse victims. BBC
Record award for church abuse victims
An Australian Roman Catholic order has agreed to pay 3.64m Australian dollars ($2.1m) in compensation to 24 mentally handicapped men who were sexually abused while in its care. BBC
Pope retires sex scandal bishop
Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee who is alleged to have sexually abused a young priest. BBC
US cardinal accused of molesting woman
The head of the largest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States has revealed that he has been accused of sexual misconduct with a teenage schoolgirl. BBC
Polish Archbishop molested students
The Pope has ordered an inquiry into allegations that a Roman Catholic archbishop in his native Poland sexually abused seminarians and priests. BBC
Archdeacon arrested in child porn inquiry
A senior minister in the Church of England has been arrested in connection with child pornography on the internet. BBC
Canadian natives sue churches
Five native Indians in Canada have launched a lawsuit seeking compensation on behalf of thousands of children who suffered abuse at church-run schools in the province of Ontario. BBC
Diocese's shame over past abuse
Catholic parishioners in Wales were told on Sunday their archbishop of 17 years, the Most Reverend John Ward, had decided to ask the Pope to appoint a co-adjutor or parallel archbishop. BBC
Ireland orders priest abuse inquiry
The Irish Government has ordered a state inquiry into allegations that a Roman Catholic priest who committed suicide three years ago sexually abused children. BBC
Eight years jail for sex priest
A Roman Catholic priest has been jailed for a total of eight years at Cardiff crown court for a string of sex offences. BBC
Clergy checks urged to protect children
A committee set up to advise the Catholic Church on how to stop sexual abuse has called for police checks to be carried out on all clergy, staff and volunteers. BBC
Monks deny school sex abuse claims
Monks at the centre of a police report over claims of sexual and physical abuse at a special school in Scotland have denied the allegations. BBC
School apology over sex abuse teacher
A west Belfast school has apologised to pupils who endured "systematic" sexual abuse by a teacher 25 years ago. BBC
Paedophile accusations trouble the church
There was a time when, almost without exception, a priest was regarded as a respected member of the community. BBC
Abuse inquiry at top Catholic school
An investigation is launched into allegations of child abuse at the London Catholic school attended by Prime Minister Tony Blair's two teenage sons. BBC
Clampdown on clergy abusers planned
Clergy who abuse their position of trust to sexually exploit young people could face jail under proposals to be considered by the government. BBC
Sex abuse priest dug up
A body supposed to be that of a French Catholic priest has been exhumed after a judge in Bordeaux accepted that there were doubts over the corpse's identity. BBC
Catholic Church pays nearly $31 million to sex abuse victims
The Roman Catholic Church in the American city of Dallas has agreed to pay record damages totalling nearly thirty-one million dollars to twelve former altar boys who suffered repeated sexual abuse by a priest. BBC
Austrian bishops label cardinal a paedophile
The Catholic church in Austria has released a statement which says the paedophile accusations levelled at the Archbishop of Vienna, Hans Hermann Groer, are "In essence true.” BBC
Girl sexually assaulted by priest after seeking food: witness
Eric Dejaeger on trial for dozens of sexual abuse charges dating to the 1970's and 80s
CBC News Posted: Nov 20, 2013 12:52 PM CT Last Updated: Nov 20, 2013 10:33 PM CT
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has become the latest in the United States to suspend priests amid allegations that they sexually abused children in the past.
A witness testifying at the trial of Eric Dejaeger in Iqaluit told the court on Wednesday that the accused sexually assaulted her after she sought food at the church.
The 41-year-old woman said her family in Igloolik, Nunavut, was sometimes hungry for days at a time between 1978 and 1982, the years when Eric Dejaeger was the priest in the remote community.
The Roman Catholic priest, 66, is on trial for dozens of sexual abuse charges, relating to incidents alleged to have occurred while Dejaeger was in Igloolik.
Some shocking allegations have already been made in court this week, including alleged abuse against young girls, boys and animals.
Web (November 21, 2013)
“The Reformation compelled some attention to morals among the clergy,
and for a time an earnest endeavor was made at purification of the
(Catholic) Church. This was one of the chief labors of the famous
Council of Trent. That council certainly did repress the abuses among
the general clergy, but the law-makers were law-breakers. They could
not touch the Cardinals, Archbishops, or the Pope himself, and thus
little radical change was effected among the chief dignitaries
themselves. In 1849, when the Roman people opened the palace of the
Inquisition, there was found in the library a department
styled, 'Summary of Solicitations,' being a record of cases in which
women had been solicited to acts of criminality by their confessors
in the pontifical state (Italy, and the summary is not brief. To
quote the words of Machiavelli, 'If the papal court were removed to
Switzerland, the simplest and most religious people of Europe would,
in an incredible short time, have become utterly depraved by the
vicious example of the Italian priesthood.' (Discorsi i. 12.) The
ecclesiastics did not confine themselves to licentiousness of
conduct. The clerical writers were charged with a taste for that
lowest practice of debased minds: obscenity, in which particular they
exceed the lay writers.”
William W. Sanger, M. D.,
The History of Prostitution, Eugenics Pub. Co., 1939
“The long line of popes who were libertines before and sometimes
after ascending the throne of Peter suggests that celibacy was not
honoured by the rank and file of the clergy, either. As we noted in
Part One, a list of popes who misbehaved would include, among others,
Benedict V, Sergius III, John X, John XII, Benedict VII, Benedict IX,
Clement V, Clement VI, 'John XXIII', Sixtus IV, Pius II, Innocent
VIII, Alexander VI, Julius II, Paul III, Julius III, Gregory XIII,
Gregory XV, Urban VIII, Innocent X, Alexander VII. When popes had
mistresses of fifteen years of age, were guilty of incest and sexual
perversions of every sort, had innumerable children, were murdered in
the very act of adultery, there can be no doubt that celibacy among
the clergy as a whole was more honoured in the breach than in the
observance. In the old Catholic phrase, why be holier than the pope?”
Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy
“Pope Innocent IV (1243-54), owing to a dispute with Emperor
Frederick II, was forced to leave Rome ... Innocent took the Curia
to Lyons, instead. When Frederick II died, Innocent was able to
return to Rome. Cardinal Hugo, in the pope's name, wrote to the
people of Lyons a letter of gratitude. The document, dated 1250, is
one of the most infamous in papal history.
During our residence in your city, we [the Roman Curia] have been of very charitable assistance to you. On our arrival, we found scarcely three or four purchasable sisters of love, whilst at our departure we leave you, so to say, one brothel that extends from the western to the eastern gate.
In the same century, St Bonaventure, cardinal and general of the Franciscans, likened Rome to the harlot of Apocalypse, thus anticipating Luther by three centuries. This harlot, he said, makes kings and nations drunk with the wine of her whoredoms. In Rome, he claimed to have found nothing but lust and simony, even in the top ranks of the church. Rome corrupts the prelates, they corrupt their clergy, the clergy corrupt the people.”
Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy,
Bantam Press, 1988, p. 118-19
"It can teach us of the most insidious and damaging slavery of all: the control of people through dictating and containing their spirituality.”
The Dark Side of Christian History: Introduction
"The Christian church has left a legacy, a world view, that permeates every aspect of Western society, both secular and religious. It is a legacy that fosters sexism, racism, the intolerance of difference, and the desecration of the natural environment. The Church, throughout much of its history, has demonstrated a disregard for human freedom, dignity, and self-determination. It has attempted to control, contain and confine spirituality, the relationship between an individual and God. As a result, Christianity has helped to create a society in which people are alienated not only from each other but also from the divine.
This Christianity- called "orthodox Christianity" here- is embedded in the belief in a singular, solely masculine, authoritarian God who demands unquestioning obedience and who mercilessly punishes dissent. Orthodox Christians believe that fear is essential to sustain what they perceive to be a divinely ordained hierarchical order in which a celestial God reigns singularly at a pinnacle, far removed from the earth and all humankind.
While orthodox Christianity originally represented but one of many sets of early Christian beliefs, it was these Christians who came to wield political power. By adapting their Christianity to appeal to the Roman government, they won unprecedented authority and privilege. Their church became known as the Church. This newly acquired power enabled them to enforce conformity to their practices. Persecuting those who did not conform, however, required the Church to clarify its own doctrine and ideology, to define exactly what was and was not heresy. In doing so, the Church consistently chose tenets and ideologies that best supported its control over the individual and society.
As it took over leadership in Europe and the Roman Empire collapsed, the Church all but wiped out education, technology, science, medicine, history, art and commerce. The Church amassed enormous wealth as the rest of society languished in the dark ages. When dramatic social changes after the turn of the millennium brought an end to the isolation of the era, the Church fought to maintain its supremacy and control. It rallied an increasingly dissident society against perceived enemies, instigating attacks upon Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Jews. When these crusades failed to subdue dissent, the Church turned its force against European society itself, launching a brutal assault upon southern France and instituting the Inquisition.
The crusades and even the early centuries of the Inquisition did little to teach people a true understanding of orthodox Christianity. It was the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation that accomplished this. Only during the Reformation did the populace of Europe adopt more than a veneer of Christianity. The Reformation terrified people with threats of the devil and witchcraft. The common perception that the physical world was imbued with God's presence and with magic was replaced during the Reformation with a new belief that divine assistance was no longer possible and that the physical world belonged only to the devil. It was a three hundred year holocaust against all who dared believe in divine assistance and magic that finally secured the conversion of Europe to orthodox Christianity.
By convincing people that God was separate from the physical world, orthodox Christianity- perhaps unwittingly- laid the foundation for the modern world, a world believed to be mechanical and determined, a world in which God is at most a remote and impersonal creator. People came to attribute their sense of powerlessness, not so much to their sinful human nature as to their insignificance in such a world. The theories of scientists and philosophers such as Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes and Charles Darwin reinforced orthodox Christian beliefs such as the inevitability of struggle and the necessity for domination. Such beliefs, however, are now proving not only to have serious drawbacks, but also to be scientifically limited.
Orthodox Christianity has also had devastating impact upon humanity's relationship with nature. As people began to believe that God was removed from and disdainful of the physical world, they lost their reverence for nature. Holidays, which had helped people integrate the seasons with their lives, were changed into solemn commemorations of biblical events bearing no connection to the earth's cycles. The perception of time changed so that it no longer seemed related to seasonal cycles. Newtonian science seemed to confirm that the earth was no more than the inevitable result of the mechanistic operation of inanimate components; it confirmed that the earth lacked sanctity.
The dark side of Christian history can help us understand the severing of our connection with the sacred. It can teach us of the most insidious and damaging slavery of all: the control of people through dictating and containing their spirituality. This ignored side of history can illuminate the ideas and beliefs which foster the denigration of human rights, the intolerance of difference, and the desecration of the natural environment. Once recognized, we can prevent such beliefs from ever wreaking such destruction again. When we understand how we have come to be separated from the divine, we can begin to heal not only the scars, but the very alienation itself.”
Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History
Morningstar Books (July 1, 1995) pp. 1-3
"Luke places Jesus's birth in Bethlehem not because it took place there, but because of the words of the prophet Micah: "And you Bethlehem ... from you shall come to me a ruler in Israel" (Micah 5:2). Luke means that Jesus is the new David, the King of the Jews, placed on God's throne to rule over the Promised Land. Simply put, the infancy narratives in the gospels are not historical accounts, nor were they meant to be read as such. They are theological affirmations of Jesus's status as the anointed of God. The descendant of King David. The promised messiah.”
“Look into it," says a Pharisee with the confidence that comes from a lifetime of scrutinizing the scriptures. "You will see: the prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
Jesus does not dispute their claim. "Yes, you all know me," he admits. "And you know where I am from.” Instead, he deflects the matter of his earthly home entirely, choosing instead to emphasize his heavenly origins. "I have not come here on my own; the one who sent me is true. And he, you do not know. But I know him. I am from him. He is the one who sent me" (John 7:1-29).
Such statements are commonplace in John, the last of the four canonized gospels, composed between 100 and 120 C.E. John shows no interest at all in Jesus's physical birth, though even he acknowledges that Jesus was a "Nazarean" (John 18:5-7). In John's view, Jesus is an eternal being, the logos who was with God from the beginning of time, the primal force through whom all creation sprang and without whom nothing came into being (John 1:3).
A similar lack of concern about Jesus's earthly origins can be found in the first gospel, Mark, written just after 70 C.E. Mark's focus is kept squarely on Jesus's ministry; he is uninterested either in Jesus's birth or, perhaps surprisingly, in Jesus's resurrection, as he writes nothing at all about either event.
The early Christian community appears not to have been particularly concerned about any aspect of Jesus's life before the launch of his ministry. Stories about his birth and childhood are conspicuously absent from the earliest written documents. The Q material, which was compiled around 50 C.E., makes no mention of anything that happened before Jesus's baptism by John the Baptist. The letters of Paul, which make up the bulk of the New Testament, are wholly detached from any event in Jesus's life save his crucifixion and resurrection (though Paul does mention the Last Supper).
But as interest in the person of Jesus increased after his death, an urgent need arose among some in the early Christian community to fill in the gaps of Jesus's early years and, in particular, to address the matter of his birth in Nazareth, which seems to have been used by his Jewish detractors to prove that Jesus could not possibly have been the messiah, at least not according to the prophecies. Some kind of creative solution was required to push back against this criticism, some means to get Jesus's parents to Bethlehem so that he could be born in the same city as David.
For Luke, the answer lies in a census. "In those days," he writes," there came a decree from Caesar Augustus that the entire Roman world should be registered. This was the first registration to take place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to his own town to be registered. Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the city of David.” Then, in case his readers may have missed the point, Luke adds," because Joseph belonged to the house and the lineage of David" (Luke 2:1-4).
Luke is right about one thing and one thing only. Ten years after the death of Herod the Great, in the year 6 C.E., when Judea officially became a Roman province, the Syrian governor, Quirinius, did call for a census to be taken of all the people, property, and slaves in Judea, Samaria, and Idumea-not "The entire Roman world," as Luke claims, and definitely not Galilee, where Jesus's family lived (Luke is also wrong to associate Quirinius's census in 6 C.E. with the birth of Jesus, which most scholars place closer to 4 B.C.E., the year given in the gospel of Matthew). However, because the sole purpose of a census was taxation, Roman law assessed an individual's property in the place of residence, not in the place of one's birth. There is nothing written in any Roman document of the time (and the Romans were quite adept at documentation, particularly when it came to taxation) to indicate otherwise. Luke's suggestion that the entire Roman economy would periodically be placed on hold as every Roman subject was forced to uproot himself and his entire family in order to travel great distances to the place of his father's birth, and then wait there patiently, perhaps for months, for an official to take stock of his family and his possessions, which, in any case, he would have left behind in his place of residence, is, in a word, preposterous.
What is important to understand about Luke's infancy narrative is that his readers, still living under Roman dominion, would have known that Luke's account of Quirinius's census was factually inaccurate. Luke himself, writing a little more than a generation after the events he describes, knew that what he was writing was technically false. This is an extremely difficult matter for modern readers of the gospels to grasp, but Luke never meant for his story about Jesus's birth at Bethlehem to be understood as historical fact. Luke would have had no idea what we in the modern world even mean when we say the word "history.” The notion of history as a critical analysis of observable and verifiable events in the past is a product of the modern age; it would have been an altogether foreign concept to the gospel writers for whom history was not a matter of uncovering facts, but of revealing truths.
The readers of Luke's gospel, like most people in the ancient world, did not make a sharp distinction between myth and reality; the two were intimately tied together in their spiritual experience. That is to say, they were less interested in what actually happened than in what it meant. It would have been perfectly normal-indeed, expected-for a writer in the ancient world to tell tales of gods and heroes whose fundamental facts would have been recognized as false but whose underlying message would be seen as true.
Hence, Matthew's equally fanciful account of Jesus's flight into Egypt, ostensibly to escape Herod's massacre of all the sons born in and around Bethlehem in a fruitless search for the baby Jesus, an event for which there exists not a shred of corroborating evidence in any chronicle or history of the time whether Jewish, Christian, or Roman-a remarkable fact considering the many chronicles and narratives written about Herod the Great, who was, after all, the most famous Jew in the whole of the Roman Empire (the King of the Jews, no less!).
As with Luke's account of Quirinius's census, Matthew's account of Herod's massacre was not intended to be read as what we would now consider history, certainly not by his own community, who would surely have remembered an event as unforgettable as the massacre of its own sons. Matthew needs Jesus to come out of Egypt for the same reason he needs him to be born in Bethlehem: to fulfill the scattered prophecies left behind by his ancestors for him and his fellow Jews to decipher, to place Jesus in the footsteps of the kings and prophets who came before him, and, most of all, to answer the challenge made by Jesus's detractors that this simple peasant who died without fulfilling the single most important of the messianic prophecies-the restoration of Israel-was in fact the "Anointed one.”
The problem faced by Matthew and Luke is that there is simply no single, cohesive prophetic narrative concerning the messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures. The passage from the gospel of John quoted above is a perfect example of the general confusion that existed among the Jews when it came to the messianic prophecies. For even as the scribes and teachers of the law confidently proclaim that Jesus could not be the messiah because he is not, as the prophecies demand, from Bethlehem, others in the crowd argue that the Nazarean could not be the messiah because the prophecies say "When the messiah comes, no one will know where he is from" (John 7:27).
The truth is that the prophecies say both things. In fact, were one to take the advice given to the festival crowd by the skeptical Pharisee and "look into it," one would discover a host of contradictory prophecies about the messiah, collected over hundreds of years by dozens of different hands. A great many of these prophecies are not even actually prophecies. Prophets such as Micah, Amos, and Jeremiah, who appear to be predicting the coming of a future salvific character from the line of King David that would one day restore Israel to its former glory, are in fact making veiled criticisms of their current king and the present order, which the prophets imply have fallen short of the Davidic ideal. (There is, however, one thing about which all the prophecies seem to agree: the messiah is a human being, not divine. Belief in a divine messiah would have been anathema to everything Judaism represents, which is why, without exception, every text in the Hebrew Bible dealing with the messiah presents him as performing his messianic functions on earth, not in heaven.) So then, if you wish to fit your preferred messianic candidate into this jumbled prophetic tradition, you must first decide which of the many texts, oral traditions, popular stories, and folktales you want to consider. How you answer that question depends largely on what it is you want to say about your messiah.
Matthew has Jesus flee to Egypt to escape Herod's massacre not because it happened, but because it fulfills the words of the prophet Hosea: "Out of Egypt I have called my son" (Hosea 11:1). The story is not meant to reveal any fact about Jesus; it is meant to reveal this truth: that Jesus is the new Moses, who survived Pharaoh's massacre of the Israelites' sons, and emerged from Egypt with a new law from God (Exodus 1:22).
Luke places Jesus's birth in Bethlehem not because it took place there, but because of the words of the prophet Micah: "And you Bethlehem ... from you shall come to me a ruler in Israel" (Micah 5:2). Luke means that Jesus is the new David, the King of the Jews, placed on God's throne to rule over the Promised Land. Simply put, the infancy narratives in the gospels are not historical accounts, nor were they meant to be read as such. They are theological affirmations of Jesus's status as the anointed of God. The descendant of King David. The promised messiah.
That Jesus-the eternal logos from whom creation sprang, the Christ who sits at the right hand of God-you will find swaddled in a filthy manger in Bethlehem, surrounded by simple shepherds and wise men bearing gifts from the east.
But the real Jesusthe poor Jewish peasant who was born some time between 4 B.C.E. and 6 C.E. in the rough-and-tumble Galilean countrysidelook for him in the crumbling mud and loose brick homes tucked within the windswept hamlet of Nazareth.
Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Random House (2013) pp. 25-33
The Paraclete Shri Mataji “If you are born in England either you will be a Catholic, or a Protestant, or maybe one of these witchcraft people. You believe into anything because you are localized in a place; there has been some identifications because your mother believed into something, because your father believed into something, or you paid for it. And this faith can become such a blinding effect on people that you develop absurd types of groups which call themselves as Christians, Hindus, Muslimswhatever you may sayand are extremely, extremely exclusive, blind, and fanatic. Today one of the problems of the times, of the modern times, is fanaticism. Now this fanaticism has been growing. The more people try to get out of this fanaticism, it grows more.”
The Paraclete Shri Mataji, Being Born Again
Caxton Hall, London, U.K.May 12, 1980
1. Ran Winburn, Lechery in the Church of Rome Exposed [www.iconbusters.com]
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