THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN UPHEAVAL
Papal resignation linked to inquiry into Vatican gay officials, says paper ("Pope Benedict has said he will stand down at the end of this month; the first pope to resign voluntarily since Celestine V more than seven centuries ago. Since announcing his departure he has twice apparently referred to machinations inside the Vatican, saying that divisions 'mar the face of the church', and warned against 'the temptations of power'".)
Vatican dismisses reports linking pope's resignation to gay conclave discovery ("The Vatican has attacked reports in the Italian media linking Pope Benedict XVI's resignation to the alleged discovery of a network of gay prelates as attempts to influence the cardinals in their choice of a new pontiff".)
This is the "Church" with which moralizing American Protestants identify (and SDA Church leaders have established cordial, and to a deplorable extent fraternal, relations - there is spiritual contamination by association.) How can anyone professing to be a Bible Christian believe that this was ever the Church of Jesus Christ!? The Apostle Paul provides the answer in the prophecy of 2 Thess. 2:8-12. It is deadly dangerous to neglect to study, or be superficial in the study, of God's Truth revealed in the Bible. Babylon the Great (Rome and her harlot daughters born of ecumenism) quote the Bible, but they do so under the influence of the Great Deceiver (Cf. And he cried mightily . . .; Be ye not unequally yoked . . .)
The Catholic church's pope-driven peace won't last for long ("Pope Benedict's resignation has brought about a brief truce in the civil war that rages through the Catholic church worldwide, but hostilities will resume as soon as his successor is chosen. In the US, in France, in Germany, Austria, Australia and, increasingly, in England, the church is split between liberals who believe in democracy (and that they are the majority) and conservatives who believe in autocracy, providing they get to choose the bishops" - Prophecy predicts that the conservatives will prevail; and they are certainly prevailing in the United States; Cf. Yet it would be a mistake . . .)
The pope's resignation has finally revealed that the papacy is simply a job (Included, in spite of the author's Church of England catholicism, because of this perceptive statement which is in the spirit of true protestantism "Catholic Protestants, like me, believe in a form of Christianity with a far greater degree of institutional subsidiarity [Given the theoretical decentralizing principle of Roman Catholicism's subsidiarity social doctrine, the author is here stating the principle of Individuality in Religion,] a religion that is not just top down and doctrinally authoritarian. I guess that is why, at a certain level, we take a certain pride in our theological squabbling, however unedifying that may be at times. Politically, we are natural democrats. And democracy is messy, without the dangerous glamour of any cult of the strong leader.")
Catholics in crisis ("Not every Catholic is troubled by the church’s dwindling membership. According to some conservative priests and thinkers, the sex scandals and conflicts with the Vatican have shaken out the fair-weather believers. The conservatives want a return to the Latin Mass and an end to challenges to the Vatican’s authority. A return to tradition would likely result in 'a smaller but much more fervent and evangelizing church,' says the Rev. John McCloskey, a former Wall Street executive who’s an outspoken advocate of the traditionalist movement." There is obviously more to fear from a "lean and mean" Roman Catholic Church than from a popular one.
The dwindling population of Roman Catholics in Europe and the United States is meaningless in connection with Rome's rise to world domination. She has always operated at the highest governmental levels, AND the sure Word of Prophecy identifies the United States, in her role as "the False Prophet," as the nation which "causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed" (Rev. 13:12) last part.) Rome's dwindling active membership in the USA is more than counter-balanced by the fervor of the apostate Protestant Christian Right.
The central birth control struggle continues -
New Round, Old Fight - Why The Religious Right Rejects The Obama Compromise Over Birth Control ("An issue that had been dormant for many years suddenly sprang to life. It’s now being seriously argued that an individual’s private decision to use birth control somehow offends the alleged religious liberty rights – and the “conscience” – of giant corporations. The most amazing thing about this argument is that some courts are taking it seriously.")
The Birth Control Battle - Courts Must Safeguard Religious Liberty For All ("The Roman Catholic hierarchy and its Religious Right allies are trying to deny millions of Americans access to safe and affordable birth control. Disturbingly, they’re using a distorted definition of religious liberty to do it.") Cf. A. T. Jones on the Papacy and America
A prominent spokesman for the Religious Right and the Republican Party -
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thess. 2:8-12 (Underscored emphasis added,)
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great [Rome and her harlot daughters born of the ecumenical movement] is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Rev. 18:2
Be ye not unequally yoked
Yet it would be a mistake to decide that the conservatives are doomed because they are out of step with modern society. In the 50 years since the Vatican council ended, that has become their strength. The general mockery of Catholics as weird and sexually conflicted tends to make young, committed ones feel their faith is stronger and more important. If Catholicism recedes from the mainstream, it is likely to grow in commitment even as it shrinks.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I WILL DWELL IN THEM, AND WALK IN THEM, AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE saith the Lord. 2 Cor. 6:14-16, 17 last part.