The new pope, Joseph Ratzinger, who has taken the name of Benedict XVI, is doctrinally, cast in the mould of John Paul II. That is to say, he is a doctrinal conservative when it comes to Roman Catholic doctrine and dogma. He has been described as a “hardline conservative”, “the ultimate Vatican insider, John Paul II’s right-hand man, and the man who for the last 24 years was the defender and promoter of an increasingly unbending orthodoxy. One of his nicknames was God’s Rottweiler” (Source: Daily Mail and Guardian).
It was not surprising that he was elected, given the fact that his predecessor had stuffed the College of Cardinals with men made in his own image, for the most part.
Why did the new Roman pontiff adopt the name Benedict XVI? Let him tell us in his own words: “I wanted to call myself Benedict XVI to bind myself to the venerated Pope Benedict XV, who guided the Church in a troubled period because of the First World War. He was a courageous and authentic prophet of peace and worked with valiant courage first to prevent the drama of war and then to limit its nefarious consequences. In his footsteps, I want to place my ministry at the service of reconciliation and harmony among individuals and peoples” (The Southern Cross, May 11 to 17, 2005).
Of course, history is so little known by the masses today that these words will simply be believed at face value by most. But the truth about Benedict XV is far more sinister. He was pope of Rome from 1914 to 1922. He was extremely sympathetic to Germany and Austria, so much so that he did not condemn the German invasion of Belgium. He tried to prevent Italy and the United States from joining the Allies. He did his best to save Germany and Austria-Hungary from defeat. And after the war, Italy insisted that he be barred from the Versailles Peace Conference – so well known were his sympathies with the aggressors (The Vatican Against Europe, by Edmond Paris, pgs.49-64. The Wickliffe Press, London, 1961).
In addition, this same pope fully supported the IRA rebellion in 1916 in Ireland, conferring his “apostolic benediction” on the IRA gunmen.
This was the man who is so admired by the present pontiff of Rome, that he took the same name! It tells us much about the character of the new pope. He is a liar and a deceiver. Furthermore, just like his beloved Benedict XV, Benedict XVI is fully committed to using the world’s political powers to advance the cause of Vatican domination of the world.
In political matters, in the age-old Vatican desire for absolute world domination, Ratzinger is no different from his predecessor, nor indeed from any pope before him. Preaching to the cardinals before the conclave which elected him, Ratzinger warned against the moral relativism of modern secular life, and urged them to withstand the “tides of trends and latest novelties… from Marxism to free market liberalism to even libertarianism, from collectivism to radical individualism, from atheism to a vague religious mysticism” (Source: Guardian Newspapers Ltd., 2005).
This is where Christians need to be careful. Before immediately assuming, from statements like this one, that Benedict XVI is anti-Communist, they must consider the following facts. John Paul II was a pro-Marxist pope – yet he often spoke strongly against Marxism! Why? Well, what he was opposed to was Marxism as directed from Moscow, not Marxism per se. He actively promoted the Vatican’s own brand of “Catholic Communism”, a Communism directed from Rome, not from Moscow; a Communism that sought to divest itself of its atheistic roots; a Communism that was a merger of Roman Catholicism and certain key aspects of Marxism.
Thus, bearing in mind that Ratzinger is a man cast in the John Paul mould, one must understand that when Ratzinger speaks out against Marxism, atheism, collectivism, etc., he is, like his predecessor, merely condemning atheistic Marxism, but not Marxism per se. The reality is that the Vatican is supporting Marxism all over the world, most notably in Third World countries, and has been for decades now.
As further evidence of this fact, note that in the same breath as he condemned atheistic Marxism, Ratzinger also condemned the free market! This is known as buttering one’s bread on both sides. The Vatican has its own agenda, and will make use of whichever ideology suits it at the time. Under Pius XII, it backed Nazism and Fascism and opposed Communism; then under John XXIII, it began to back Communism and opposed Capitalism; then under Paul VI, it backed Communism even more; and under John Paul II, it backed its own version of Communism and opposed Moscow-controlled Communism. The Vatican always puts its finger to the wind, to see which way the political wind is blowing, and then adjusts itself accordingly.
“Catholic Marxism, although theologically conservative, is a sure formula for world revolution. It is the most dangerous ideological imponderable to emerge in the Western World in recent years. Its ultimate objective is the partial overthrow of the current world order, as a preparatory step for the advent of a Catholicised world communism. In a society doomed to collapse, Marxist Catholicism would thus turn the Vatican into a global, super-religious, ideological imperative whose capacity to withstand both the U.S. and Soviet Russia would be second to none…. By adopting a Catholicised Marxism, the Catholic Church has launched into the contemporary world the most insidiously destructive religio-ideological imponderable the like of which has never been seen since the emergence of either Bolshevism or Fascism” (The Vatican Moscow Washington Alliance, by Avro Manhattan, pgs.12,13. Second American Edition, Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1986).
Ratzinger also has the support of Opus Dei, the secretive and ultra-conservative Roman Catholic organisation working for a world under Vatican control.
Another reason given by the new pope for taking the name of Benedict was to “evoke the spirit of St Benedict, founder of Western monasticism.” And why is this so important to the new pope? It is because he is zealously committed to working for a Europe that is Roman Catholic in religion and politics. “In choosing Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to succeed Pope John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church has cast a vote for the survival of Europe and the West” (FrontPageMagazine.com, April 20, 2005). Roman Catholic numbers have been falling in Europe for a long time now, and the Vatican is deeply concerned. In addition, Islam is growing in Europe and this is deeply troubling to the Vatican, and to Ratzinger. Europe is the birthplace of Popery and the centre of its power. At all costs it must maintain firm control over the continent. This was one of the main reasons why Joseph Ratzinger was chosen as pope in the first place, and he is fully committed to using his vast influence to make certain that the European Union is “the greatest super-Catholic state the world has ever seen”, as a priest once commented many years ago. Speaking of the original Benedict, Pope Ratzinger said: “he is a basic point of reference for the unity of Europe and a strong reminder of the undeniable Christian [translation: Papist] roots of its culture and civilisation” (The Southern Cross, May 11 to 17, 2005).
Ratzinger opposes Turkey’s proposed inclusion in the EU, precisely because it is Muslim in religion.: “Turkey has always represented a different continent, always in contrast with Europe,” he has said, adding: “Europe was founded…on a common faith [by which he meant, of course, Roman Catholicism]” (FrontPageMagazine.com, April 20, 2005). Clearly, the Vatican has seen that, as in centuries past, Romanism and Islam, the two largest and most powerful religions in the world, are squaring up; and it has put a man at the helm who desires and will work for a Roman Catholic Europe at all costs.
Symbolism is extremely important within Roman Catholicism. It may seem a relatively small matter to those unfamiliar with Vatican intrigues and plots, but the choice of the name “Benedict” carries with it far-reaching implications. It will play its own part in extending and cementing Roman Catholic influence in the Europe of today.
What about Ratzinger’s stance with regard to ecumenism, the Vatican’s desire to absorb all “churches” and control them? In this he is following the path his predecessor trod as well. He made this clear after celebrating mass with the cardinals who elected him, pledging that he would lead the Roman Catholic institution on the path of “unity”, “dialogue” and Roman Catholic “evangelization”. He said that, like John Paul II, he was committed to ecumenism, and to “continue in the task of implementing the Second Vatican Council.” He even pledged to make ecumenism a special priority, calling it a “compelling duty”, and added that he would “spare no energy” in seeking to bring all “churches” together (The Southern Cross, April 27 to May 3, 2005).
We should not expect any major changes, then, in the Vatican’s pro-ecumenical stance. Ecumenism has been a very powerful tool in Rome’s hands, to gain control over the Protestant denominations, to silence all opposition to Roman Catholicism, and to promote itself as the “Mother Church” to which all others must return. The ecumenical movement has been one of Rome’s greatest weapons ever since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, and under John Paul II it made huge advances. Under Benedict XVI there is every indication that this will continue.
15 August 2005
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries.
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