But at the other extreme, none should say, “They deserved it, but we do not!” The Lord Jesus once said, speaking of a tragedy which had occurred some time before: “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:4,5). And likewise we say to those who may think such a foolish thing: the poor victims of those terrible fires were not greater or worse sinners than all other men. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). They were not sinners above all other men – for all men must die, because all are sinners, and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23); and whether men die tragically in a terrible fire or die peacefully in their beds, if they die outside of Christ they descend into an infinitely worse fire, an eternal fire which shall never be extinguished (Mk. 9:43-48). All mankind deserves the Lord’s wrath! “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish!” Jesus said. Not all will perish in the same manner, of course; He was addressing those Jews who would perish in the destruction of Jerusalem some four decades later, in much the same manner as those upon whom the tower fell. But unless men repent, they shall all perish! This is certain.
No, it is not coincidence that the Roman pope visited Fatima in May 2017, and devastating fires raged in Portugal – and in that very part of Portugal – just a month later. History is replete with examples of the sovereign Lord cursing what the pope of Rome blesses. I urge the reader to obtain a pamphlet entitled Papal Blessings and Curses, available from Bible Based Ministries, to read a long list of these (yet they are by no means exhaustive). History is laden with examples of the deadly nature of papal blessings. If there had been only two or three, one could say they were coincidental; but there are so many that it is very evidently not coincidental. Time after time after time, disaster and catastrophe has followed in the wake of papal blessings. Here are just a few examples:
* In 1588 the Armada of King Philip II of Spain, a massive fleet, sailed with papal blessings to recapture England for the Papacy. But the papal blessings proved to be a curse to the ships and men of the Armada – the Lord blew upon them and they were scattered, mostly into watery graves.
* In 1895 the archbishop of Damascus, at Vittoria, gave the pope’s blessing to the Spanish troops and fleet, with the result that Spain lost two fleets and two armies.
* In 1897 the papal nuncio blessed the grand “Charity” bazaar in Paris. Within five minutes it was in flames, and nearly 150 of the aristocracy perished, including the sister of the empress of Austria. The 2017 fires in Portugal were certainly not the first time, then, that the Lord sent a judgment of fire upon that which the pope had blessed.
* The pope of Rome blessed Lord Denbigh, the special envoy of the British sovereign. That very day disaster befell the British army in South Africa, Lord Methuen being severely wounded, and the Papists in parliament cheered the news.
* Princess Ena of Battenberg received the pope’s blessing in 1923. Within a fortnight she narrowly escaped death at the hands of a Romish anarchist, some 13 hapless victims succumbing and 80 others being wounded. Her wedding garments were bespattered with human blood. In May 1931 she, with her husband King Alfonso XIII, lost the throne and fled Spain.
* The queen of Portugal – one of the Orleans – was blessed by the pope. Her husband, the king, and her eldest son, were murdered beside her in a carriage, and she and her surviving son escaped, as exiles, to England, throneless. Portugal has been a republic ever since.
* At the height of his power, the German kaiser visited the pope and received his blessing, in 1908. He lost his throne in 1918, and died in exile. Germany became a crushed and humiliated republic.
* After Mussolini had murdered the people of Abyssinia and sacked their country, the pope blessed the Italians as “a great and good people”. Mussolini came to an inglorious end and was hung upside down and his body mutilated.
* In 1961 Queen Elizabeth II visited the pope, complying with his request to be dressed in black. Since then her once proud empire has dwindled to virtually nothing, and Britain itself is a mess. Members of the Royal Family have had continued contact with the pope and have brought great troubles on themselves and their subjects.
* On 2 July 1963 U.S. President John F. Kennedy (a Roman Catholic) had an audience with the pope for his blessing. He committed more troops to Vietnam soon after, completely involving the USA in the war. Just a few months later, on 22 November 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated.
* On 5 October 1965 Pope Paul VI visited New York to address the United Nations. He was met privately by President Johnson, who hailed the visit as a great occasion for the USA. Thereafter Johnson frequently attended mass at Roman Catholic cathedrals. His three years in office were among the most tragic in American history. More than half a million U.S. troops were sent to Vietnam without decisive result. He had to cope with anti-war demonstrations on the campuses and black riots. On 1 April 1968 he virtually resigned by announcing that he would not stand for re-election. He died a year later.
* On 24 April 1966 King Constantine and Queen Marie of Greece had an audience with the pope. A year later, on 21 April 1967, some army officers ousted the king in a coup. On 12 December 1967 the king and his family fled from Greece after a counter “coup” in the king’s favour failed.
* On 5 February 1967 U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy had an audience with the pope at the start of his election campaign. On 6 June 1968 Senator Kennedy was assassinated.
* And a previous papal visit to Fatima was followed by personal trouble for the premier of Portugal: on 12 May 1967 Pope Paul VI visited Fatima and was warmly welcomed by the premier, Salazar. On 8 September 1968 Salazar had a stroke and was partially paralysed. He was replaced in office.